Chapter 1: A Hand Beckoning
There is nothing but water in the holy pools,
I know, I have been swimming in them.
All the gods sculpted of wood and ivory
can’t say a word.
I know, I have been crying out to them.
The Sacred Books of the East are nothing but words.
I looked through their covers one day sideways.
What Kabir talks about
is only what he has lived through.
If you have not lived through something,
it is not true.
I have been thinking of the difference between
water and the waves on it.
Rising, water’s still water, falling back, it is water.
Will you give me a hint how to tell them apart?
Because someone has made up the word wave,
do I have to distinguish it from “water”?
There is a Secret One inside us.
The planets in all the galaxies
pass through his hands like beads.
That is a string of beads one should look at
with luminous eyes.
The gods of the past are dead, and they cannot be revived again. They have become irrelevant to human consciousness; they were created by a very immature mind. Man has come of age. He needs a different vision of the gods, he needs a different kind of religion. He needs to be freed from his yesterdays, because only then can the tomorrow become possible. The old has to die for the new to be.
It is good that the old gods are gone - but it is difficult for humanity to say good-bye to them. Humanity has become too familiar with them. They have been a great consolation and comfort and convenience; they have been a sort of security. Dropping them, one feels frightened, scared.
Mind wants to remain with the known because the known is the familiar, the trodden. Mind is always afraid to move into the unknown. The unknown on the one hand challenges, attracts, on the other hand creates fear. It is unpredictable, one cannot know what will be the outcome beforehand. And mind is always orthodox, it is conventional. Mind is a convention, mind is traditional, mind is tradition. So the problem is always there: mind clings with the past and life wants to go into the future, and there is a constant tug-of-war between mind and life. Those who choose mind remain dead. Those who choose life against mind are the salt of the earth.
It is not only that the gods of the yesterdays are dead, the very concept of a personal God has no meaning anymore. In the future there will not be gods, there will not even be one God, there can only be godliness. Try to understand it. God cannot have a form in the future, and if you insist on the form there will be no religion. Only a formlessness can be conceived - a quality, not a person; an energy, not a being. Not God but godliness. Not any particular religion - Christianity, Hinduism, Islam - but only religiousness.
Those who can see this can have a great transformation in their lives. Those who can see the point that God has to be dropped in favor of godliness and religions have to disappear in favor of religiousness, they are the people of the future. And I am talking only to those people who belong to the future. I am not interested in the dead, I am not interested in the graveyards. And the graveyards can be beautiful.but that is not the point, they are still graveyards.