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Chapter 78: The Inner Guide

This is a calculating mind; this is a clever mind. Machiavelli was read by every prince and every king in medieval Europe - but he was such a clever person that no king would employ him. He was read - his book was the bible for power-politics, every prince would read his book The Prince and they would follow it - but no king was ready to employ him because he was such a clever man. It was better to keep him away - he was dangerous; he knew too much. He said, “Virtue is not good, but pretending to be virtuous is. Don’t be virtuous, but pretend always that you are virtuous. That is the real good because then you gain from both the ends: from vice you gain, and from virtue also.” This is the calculating mind. Go on pretending that you are virtuous, and always praise virtue. But never be really virtuous. Always praise virtue so others know that you are a virtuous person. Always condemn vice - but don’t be afraid to use it.

Jesus says, “When someone hits you on one cheek, give him the other. And if someone takes your coat, snatches it, give him your shirt also. And if someone forces you to carry his load for one mile, tell him that you are ready to carry it for two miles.” This is patent foolishness, but very meaningful. If you can do this, these techniques will be for you. Jesus is preparing his disciples for sudden enlightenment. Just think about it. If you can be so innocent, so trusting, that if the other is hitting you, he must be hitting you for your good - so give him the other cheek also, and let him hit it. The other’s goodness is believed in, trusted in; no one is your enemy. When Jesus says, “Love your enemies,” this is the meaning. No one is your enemy; don’t see the enemy anywhere. That doesn’t mean that there will not be enemies and there will not be people who will exploit you. There will be. They will exploit you. But be exploited - and don’t be cunning. Just look at that dimension: be exploited but don’t be cunning. Be exploited but don’t be mistrusting, don’t disbelieve, don’t lose faith. That is more valuable than anything others can cheat you of. Nothing else is so valuable.

But how do our minds function? If one man deceives you, the whole of humanity is evil. If one man is dishonest or you think that he is dishonest, then you don’t believe in man at all. Then the whole of humanity has become dishonest. If one Jew is a miser, then the whole race of Jews is miserly. If one Mohammedan is bigoted, then all Mohammedans are. Just one is enough for us to lose our faith in all. Jesus says, “Even if all are dishonest, you should not lose faith, because faith is more valuable than what these dishonest people can take from you by their dishonesty.” So really, if you lose faith you are losing something; otherwise nothing is lost.

For such innocent people these techniques are enough, they will not ask for anything more. You say, and it happens to them. Just on hearing the master many have become illumined - but in the past, not in this age.

I have heard a story about Rinzai. He was a very poor bhikkhu, a poor sannyasin, a beggar. As he was sleeping in his hut a thief entered. There was nothing in the hut except a blanket that he himself was using. He was sleeping on the floor, covered with his blanket. Then he became very uncomfortable and stared to think, “What an unfortunate fellow! He has come so far from the village to find something, and there is nothing in my hut. What misery! How to help him? The only thing is this blanket.” And he was under it and the thief would not have the courage to snatch the blanket, so he slipped out from under it, left it there and slipped into a dark corner. The thief took the blanket and went away. The night was very cold, but Rinzai was happy that the thief had not gone back empty-handed.

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