Chapter 19: Radiance
The saints go on sitting in silence. Now, silence is not news; unless there is a riot, a massacre, a war, nuclear weapons, Ronald Reagan, there is no news. Bernard Shaw has defined news: when a dog bites a man it is not news, but when a man bites a dog, it is news. All politicians are news - they are men biting the dog.
But in heaven there is no place for politicians. St. Peter said to the journalist, “So forgive me, you will have to go to the other door, which is just opposite. There are only two places, not many alternatives to choose from.”
But you know, journalists are very stubborn people. He insisted, “At least give me twenty-four hours, just to look around. And after twenty-four hours, if you have some place vacant, you can allow me to remain. Otherwise I will be gone.”
It was not asking too much, so Saint Peter said, “For twenty-four hours you can be in heaven.” And immediately the journalist started a rumor that in hell a great new daily newspaper is going to start, and they need a chief editor, they need an editorial board, they need assistant editors, they need all kinds of journalists. Rumor for the journalist is just like water for a fish: he lives in rumors, in lies, in all kinds of things which are not in any way true, but have a quality of sensationalism.
There was great commotion, particularly among the twelve journalists. They were tired of heaven, they were tired of dead saints.. Saints can’t have any life, because all religions have condemned life. To be a saint, you have to cut your roots from the earth, you have to become a dry bone with no juice in you. The more dead you are, the greater a saint. Any small fragment of life is enough for your fall.
Those twelve journalists were roaming around for centuries amongst those dead people - but they could not get any news, nothing was happening. When they heard the rumor, they all became so excited. After twenty-four hours, when our journalist reached the gate, Saint Peter did not open the gate. He said, “Listen, fellow, now you cannot go out. All the twelve have gone.”
“It seems that in hell they are going to start a very big newspaper on a great scale,” the journalist said, “and I don’t want to stay here.” Although he knows he has created the rumor, now the suspicion arises that if so many people believe it - and even Saint Peter believes it - there must be some truth in it.
A missionary is in search of converts, so that he can be convinced that he has the truth. His search for converts is really a psychological need of his own. He is feeling empty and hollow, but if he can manage a few people.which is always possible.