Chapter 11: You Have to Face the Unknown
36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them: “Peace be unto you.”
37 But they were terrified and afrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them: “Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts?”
39 “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
40 And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them: “Have ye here any meat?”
42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycombe.
43 And he took it, and did eat before them.
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.
46 And said unto them: “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.”
47 “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
48 “And ye are witnesses of these things.”
The greatest problem that a man like Jesus faces is that whatsoever he is going to say will appear untrue to people - because truth cannot be said; and the moment you say it, it is falsified. Truth cannot be uttered. The language in which you utter it is not big enough. It kills the truth, it can only express the untrue.
But, out of compassion, a Jesus, a Buddha, will try to say that which cannot be said. But then they will be misunderstood. They bring news of the beyond. You have not even dreamed about it; how can you understand? You have no conception of it; how can you understand? Misunderstanding is natural. Nobody is actually at fault. Jesus brings something from the beyond. You have never been there - something of the other world. You listen: “This man appears authentic. His very being gives some authority to whatsoever he is saying.” But that is a feeling - you cannot understand what he is saying. At the most you can trust, which is very difficult, almost impossible.
How to trust? How to trust somebody else about things which you know nothing about? Not only that, but how to trust about things which go diametrically opposite to your experience?
I was reading a small story the other night.
A man was walking along, and he saw a snail lodged in a crevice in a wall, and for no particular reason he said, “Hello snail.”
And oddly enough the snail could speak, and the snail could hear, and it said, “Hello.” And it moved its eyes around as best it could on their stalks to try to see what it was that was confronting him.
So the man said, “Can you hear me?” And the snail said, “Yes, of course. Who and what are you anyway?”
The man said, “Well, I am a man.”
And the snail said, “Whatever is that?”
So the man said, “Well, we are something like you. For instance, you have got eyes on stalks and we have got stalks on the other end.”
The snail said, “The other end?”
And the man said, “Yes - just a minute - it is for putting our feet on, you see, these feet.”
The snail said, “Whatever are these feet for?”
And the man said, “The feet are for moving along very rapidly on.”
The snail said, “Really? You amaze me. Is there anything else about you that is peculiar?”
And the man said, “Well, you know how you have got your house on your back?”
The snail said, “Yes, yes.”