Chapter 22: A New Kind of Religiousness
Why do you think that now is the right time for the authentic religion to be born?
I do not think. Thinking has fallen away a long time ago. Chronologically the distance is not much, only three decades, but metaphysically the distance is as big as possible. If I look backwards it is so distant - millions of years. Perhaps the reason why I feel so much distance is in the very nature of the gap between thinking and the state of no-thinking. The gap is unbridgeable.
I am reminded of one thing at this point. The day I died as a person, as an ego, and the explosion happened, and only a presence was left with no ego functioning at the center of it, just pure space, I became aware, only the next morning, of a very strange thing. The next morning when I went to the bathroom, I saw in the mirror - I was only twenty-one years old - that the hairs on my chest had become white. Something on me had become suddenly ancient.
I looked in the mirror, into my own eyes, and I could see those were not the eyes that I used to have, because thoughts had disappeared, my eyes were utterly vacant.something like a bottomless abyss. I am only fifty-four but it seems I am almost ancient. Deep inside I feel just like a child, just born, as fresh as the dewdrops in the early morning sun. But in the body I feel as if I have lived many lives together in one life.
I do not think - there is no need for me to think.
Either I know something or I don’t.
Thinking is a state in between the two:
You don’t know and you are trying to know.
That’s what thinking is all about. It is a groping in darkness for something; you are not exactly aware of what it is. Neither are you aware why you are groping for it, nor are you aware what you are going to do when you find it.
This is an experience of thousands of people: they work hard, think hard, try hard to find something, to figure out something, and finally, unfortunately, they succeed. I say unfortunately because it would have been fortunate if they had not succeeded. Then the effort, the excitement of finding, of the search, of the groping would have continued. They would have felt that they had a certain meaning in their life: They are thinkers, seekers, searchers. That’s why I say unfortunately, once in a while, a few people succeed in finding, because then they are in the same position as when a dog starts barking at your car and runs after you, chases you.
It is difficult for the poor dog. Even if the dog is a watchdog of Oregon, it makes no difference; dogs are after all, dogs. You can give them fancy names, “watchdogs,” you can let them make a political party, “1000 Friends of Oregon” - that does not make any difference to their doggishness: dogs chase cars.