Chapter 2: Don’t Follow Me - I Am Lost Myself
That is the function of the master: just to bring you so close to his own experience that something transpires in you.
A sudden lion’s roar.and the transformation, and you are yourself - neither a Hindu, nor a Mohammedan, nor a Christian. But the world wants a mob, a crowd. It is afraid of the individual because every authentic individual is bound to be a rebel, because he will insist on being himself.
Adolf Hitler would not like individuals, nor does Jesus like individuals. And the strange thing is that even Jesus cannot understand that he is not liked by the Jews. He was born a Jew, he lived as a Jew, he died as a Jew. Remember, he had never heard the word christian in his life. He was never a Christian, because the word christ does not exist in the Aramaic language that he spoke, which was his mother tongue. Nor does the word exist in Hebrew, which was the language of the learned rabbis.
It was three hundred years after Jesus, when the Bible was translated into Greek, that the word messiah, from Hebrew, was translated as christ. It was after three hundred years that the word christ became significant, and after Christ of course the followers became Christians.
But Jesus was not a Christian, and his only crime was that he was himself an individual, trying to live authentically his own way of life, not bothering much about the tradition. That’s why the Jews were so very angry. They would have loved him, they would have made him a great rabbi, but he tried his individual way, not the traditional way. He had to die on the cross just because he insisted on being an individual.
I am surprised that even such a man who suffered because of his individuality is again making the same mistake with other people: asking them to follow him. That’s what the rabbis were asking Jesus: “Follow us, don’t try to be on your own.” They were saying, “Follow Abraham, follow Moses, follow Ezekiel.” They were asking Jesus, “What is your authority?” And Jesus says, “I am my authority.”
This is how an individual should speak: “I am my authority - and I am before Abraham was.” Abraham was three thousand years before Christ, and he says, “I am before Abraham was.” He is simply proclaiming that he does not belong to the tradition, that he is a flowering on his own accord.
But even Jesus could not see that he is making the same mistake that the rabbis were making. And of course the popes have been repeating the same mistake. If Jesus could not see, then how can you hope that popes will be able to see? They are just blind followers. They are trying to convert the whole world into a Christian world; they are not satisfied that you already have so many Christians - and what have you attained? What has man gained through it?