Chapter 1: The Animals Must All Be Laughing
Existence is infinitely compassionate. Its doors cannot be closed; you are always welcome. But remember, when you come close to the door, take your shoes off, and with those shoes leave your idea of yourself also. Just enter as an innocent, just-born child, without any name.
These three sentences are beautiful, some of the best in the whole New Testament. But looked at through the experience of enlightenment, poetry is not the thing; it has to be reality.
So everything is right, just you are wrong. And the whole effort is to bring a state of being in you where you can say, “I am not.” Logically, you cannot use that sentence “I am not,” because who is denying? But existentially you can understand. There are moments when you are not and still you are. A beautiful sunset, a sky full of stars.for a moment you forget that you are, although you are, but in a totally new way - fresh, new, reborn.
I am constantly criticizing myself and judging other people. This makes me feel divided and tense, and I cannot establish a real contact with people or nature. I want to open my heart and I don’t know how to do it.
Please, could you say something about this?
Our whole education is so ugly, our whole upbringing is so wrong, that it takes away every possibility of your inner growth and gives you stupid ideas which have no relevance as far as your joy, your understanding and your maturity are concerned.
Every child is being told, in thousands of ways, to criticize himself, so this is not only your problem. He is always told he is wrong in everything. Slowly, slowly he catches the disease of criticizing himself. And a person who criticizes himself cannot forgive others. How can he forgive? - for the same reasons, he criticizes others. His whole life simply becomes a condemnation - condemn yourself, condemn others. Then love becomes impossible, friendship becomes impossible, and he simply suffers. And what he is criticizing is so absurd.
A young boy came running fast into the house, went directly into the kitchen and said to his mother, “My God! It must be God’s mercy that I am saved. A lion was following me from the school to the house. He is standing outside.”
The mother said, “How many millions of times have I told you not to exaggerate?” She is saying, “How many millions of times have I told you not to exaggerate? Where can you find a lion in the city?”
The boy said, “Perhaps out of fear it looked big. But it is certainly a very dangerous dog.”
The mother said, “Now you are coming to your senses. If it was dangerous you would not have been here.”