Chapter 3: Out of Context
But we always see the periphery. If you come to me, you will see my periphery, you will not see my center. That is not available to ordinary eyes. Unless you grow the eyes of a disciple, you will not be able to see it. Unless you grow the inner eye you will only see my circumference. And I am not my circumference: I am my center. The circumference is accidental, but the center is not accidental - it is essential. The same center can exist in different circumferences. But the ordinary eyes will see only the outer, and will become obsessed with the outer and will start imitating it - in the hope that “Maybe someday, imitating, and imitating more perfectly, we will arrive at the center.” There is no way from the periphery to the center!
Let this be remembered by you always and always: there is no way from the periphery to the center. There is certainly a way from the center to the periphery. If the inner changes, the outer changes of its own accord - but not vice versa. Just by changing the outer, you will not be able to change the inner. In fact, by changing the outer you will become a hypocrite. By changing the outer, you will become split, you will become two. Rather than becoming one, you will be divided. And all divisions bring misery.
And this is the greatest division: when somebody’s center speaks one language and the circumference another, he starts falling into a kind of schizophrenia. These two poles will become farther and farther apart, and he will not be able to keep himself together. Sooner or later he will fall into fragments. That’s what madness is.
Never imitate, otherwise you are on the path of being mad. understand, but never imitate. When a master speaks, whatsoever he is saying is true in his context. Don’t take his statements out of his context, otherwise you have missed the meaning.
And I know: even out of context those statements look meaningful, but they are no more meaningful. Meaning is never in the words but always in the context. In that way, all dictionaries are false, because in a dictionary there are only words without context. You read a word love. Now what meaning can the word love have? It can have a thousand and one meanings, and it can have a thousand and one meanings because it has no meaning in itself. It depends on the user and the context.
A man says to a woman, “I love you.” And another man says, “I love ice-cream.” Is the meaning the same? And Jesus says, “Love is God.” When Jesus says, “Love is God,” and you say, “I love ice-cream,” is the meaning the same? Then God’s taste will be the taste of ice-cream. No, it is not.
The meaning of the word depends on the context. And the context is a huge phenomenon. In the context, the person who has made the statement is deeply involved. If he is a man of presence, his presence is involved. If he is a Buddha or a Christ, if he is a Sufi, then all that he has known and seen is involved in it. Don’t take statements of buddhas ordinarily. Till you have understood the quality of the Buddha, his mindfulness, his awareness, you will go on misunderstanding. And whatsoever you will do out of your misunderstanding will create more misery, complexity, turmoil, in your life. Rather than becoming a blessing, it will become a curse. That’s what has happened to humanity at large.