Chapter 7: The Ego Is the Judas
47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying: “Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; hold him fast.”
49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said: “Hail, Master;” and kissed him.
55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes: “Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.”
56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate, the governor.
11 And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, saying: “Art thou the king of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him: “Thou sayest.”
12 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.
Then said Pilate unto him: “Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?”
14 And he answered to him never a word; insomuch that the governor marveled greatly.
A man was traveling through the wilderness when he came across some animals having a speech contest. The judge was a lion who invited the man to become part of the audience. The man accepted.
A fox stood up and gave a smooth and clever speech. At one point, he declared, “The moon is larger than the sun.”
The next speaker was an elephant whose voice boomed out with power and authority. His talk included the sentence, “Summer is cooler than winter.”
Then came a tiger whose eloquence impressed everyone. At one point he said, “The river runs uphill.”
The observing man remarked to the lion, “They are superb orators. However, I’m puzzled. All of them made statements which were obviously untrue. Not only that, but the audience either did not notice or did not care. Why do your speakers make false statements?
“That’s an unworthy habit, all right,” admitted the lion, “but the audience is more interested in entertainment than in enlightenment. And, if you don’t mind sir, I would like to tell you that we have picked up this bad habit from you human beings.”
The priests, the politicians: they are great orators, superb; great thinkers, very complex weavers, spinners of theories, philosophies, but, they are not sincere about religion. They use religion. Religion is, at the most, a profession. And the audience is not interested in enlightenment, the audience is seeking entertainment. Whether you go to a cinema hall or to a theater, to a dancing party, or to the church or the temple, your interest is the same: you are seeking some place where you can forget yourself. You are seeking entertainment.
Enlightenment is just the opposite. You will have to seek a space within yourself where it becomes impossible to forget yourself; where even if you want, it is not possible to forget; where self-remembering becomes a constant flame.