Chapter 7: I Respect the Individual
How can I get cold water thrown in my face? How do I go about it?
I’m already doing it. And you know it. Just don’t start shivering, because the temperature is three degrees centigrade in this room. In fact, there is no need to throw ice-cold water: you are sitting in an ice-cold atmosphere where one has to become awake.
How do you know at a glance, without me speaking but a few phrases and introducing myself, that I’m asleep?
Only one who is awake can know who is asleep. The person who is asleep cannot know who is asleep and who is awake. I am awake, that’s why I know you are asleep. You cannot know - perhaps I may be talking in your sleep, perhaps you may be dreaming. You cannot be certain about me, but I am absolutely certain about you. Your eyes are open but you are asleep. You are trying hard to wake up a little, and look through your glasses and find out who is awake and who is asleep - and that’s a good sign. That means you will have to come here again and again, till finally you are awake.
The moment one awakes, one is simply shocked, seeing that the whole world is asleep. And in sleep, people are walking, talking, going to the church, to the synagogue; in sleep, writing books, making films - doing all kinds of businesses, but their spiritual sleep continues.
When I say spiritual sleep my meaning is that you don’t know who you are. You may know everything around you, but just one thing you are not aware of - your own center, your own being. The moment you know yourself, you are awake. So I am using awakening and sleep as metaphors.
What does a man or a woman experience by following your religion? Do they become awake?
There is no promise. I never promise anything to anybody. I am here, available; I am ready to explain how one becomes awake - and my work is finished there. Then it is up to you. If you fail, I will not be disappointed. If you succeed, you succeed. I don’t take the credit for it. So the success is yours, the failure is yours. My only work is to give you a clear-cut idea how you can become more conscious - I call it meditation - working, walking, sitting.