Chapter 11: Remaining Closed to the Lower: A Technique for Transformation
The opening to the lower is habitual in us. Be aware when some lower force is pulling you. Be a witness to it. Don’t allow your mind to be open to it. Everything that you are open to becomes deeply imprinted inside you and finally begins to work.
So be aware constantly, moment to moment. Even if something is right, true, but lower, don’t be open to it. Even if you know someone is a thief, still I say: don’t be open to it, because while you are focused on it, it is being imprinted within you. This habit of focusing on the lower is not good because it becomes a hindrance to the opening of the higher.
Buddha has said, “Don’t believe anything that your ordinary mind thinks is believable.” If I say that someone is a great saint, if I say that he is completely pure, your ordinary mind will hesitate to believe it. How can it be? He is in his body just as you are - how can he be pure? The ego feels hurt, so you try to rationalize it in every way. You cannot conceive of someone who is purer than you are, so you try to disbelieve it. But if you cannot conceive of someone’s being purer than you, you will not be able to grow toward greater purity; then there will be no possibility of growth.
A Christian mystic, Tertullian, has said, “I believe in God, because only then I can grow.” For Tertullian, God is not a question of fact or fiction but of inner growth.
For example, Nietzsche could have grown to be a buddha. Such a great potential, such a great genius, such a vast possibility! But he did not grow to be a buddha; rather, he grew to be a madman. When he said, “God is dead,” it was not a statement about God; it became a closing to the higher for him. If there is no God, then there is no possibility beyond this. Then, you cannot grow toward God.
You do not believe so easily that someone can be pure. A buddha is so pure that you cannot believe it - even Buddha’s own father could not believe it. When news reached him that his son had become enlightened, he is reported to have said, “I know him well - he is my son, my blood and bones. I know him better than you. He is not what you say.”
After twelve years of wanderings, Buddha returned to his home town. Thousands and thousands of individuals had become his disciples: he had become an inner light to them. But his father was totally unaware of the whole thing, and when he came to see him he was angry. He was angry because Buddha was his only son - he had been his only hope - and he had deserted him in his old age. So when Buddha stood before him he said, “I still forbid you to do what you are doing. I am your father! I love you so much that whatever you have done I can forget - my doors are still open - but leave all this nonsense! I cannot bear to see my son begging in the streets.”
For him, Buddha was just a beggar - in modern language, just a hippie, a rebel. Buddha stood there silently. Finally his father began to be aware that he had not replied. His father said, “I know why you have no reply. You have no courage.”