Chapter 4: Be a Light unto Yourself
It is good that religious experience has to be experienced individually. Nobody can lead you there. People can indicate the way and those indications are very subtle. Don’t take them literally. Buddha said, “Be a light unto yourself.” He is saying, “Remember, my truth cannot be your truth, my light cannot be your light. Imbibe the spirit from me, become more thirsty from me. Let your search be intense and be totally devoted to it. Learn the devotion of a truth-seeker from me but the truth, the light, will burn within you. You will have to kindle it within you.”
You cannot borrow truth. It cannot be transferred, it is not a property. It is such a subtle experience that it cannot even be expressed. It is inexpressible. One, at the most, tries to give a few hints.
The second question:
Please explain the nature of the experiences we call “boredom” and “restlessness.”
Boredom and restlessness are deeply related. Whenever you feel boredom, then you feel restlessness. Restlessness is a byproduct of boredom.
Try to understand the mechanism. Whenever you feel bored you want to move away from that situation. If somebody is saying something and you are getting bored, you start becoming fidgety. This is a subtle indication that you want to move from this place, from this man, from this nonsense talk. Your body starts moving. Of course, because of politeness you suppress it, but the body is already on the move - because the body is more authentic than the mind, the body is more honest and sincere than the mind. The mind is trying to be polite, smiling. You say, “How beautiful,” but inside you are saying, “How horrible! I have listened to this story so many times and he is telling it again!”
I have heard about Albert Einstein’s wife, Frau Einstein. A friend of Albert Einstein used to come many times and Einstein would tell some anecdotes, some jokes, and they would laugh. The friend became curious about one thing: whenever he came, and whenever Einstein would start telling jokes.
Einstein was a Jew, and Jews have the best jokes in the world. Because they have suffered so long they have lived by jokes. Their life has been so miserable that they had to tickle themselves; hence they have the most beautiful jokes. No other country, no other race, can compete with them. In India we don’t have good jokes at all because the country has lived very peacefully - no need to tickle. Humor is needed when one is in constant danger: one needs to laugh at anything, any excuse will do to laugh.
Einstein would tell some joke, some anecdote, some story, and they both would laugh. But the friend became curious because whenever Einstein would start saying something, the wife would immediately start knitting or doing something.
So he asked, “The moment Einstein starts telling some joke, why do you start knitting?”