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Chapter 7: Wander Alone

The difference between criticism and condemnation is subtle. Sometimes condemnation may appear to be like criticism, and sometimes criticism may appear to be like condemnation. There is a very close relationship. Their form and color are similar, but their essence is very different. Criticism is out of compassion, condemnation is out of hatred. Criticism is to awaken, condemnation is to destroy. The objective of criticism is discovery of truth, of reality; the objective of condemnation is to defeat the other’s ego, to make it fall, to trample it underfoot. The objective of condemnation is to deliver a blow to the other’s being, is to wound. The objective of criticism is to seek the truth: the diamond has fallen in the dirt, now let us wash it, let us cleanse it.

Criticism is utterly friendly. No matter how hard it is, still it contains friendliness. And condemnation, no matter how sweet it is, no matter how pleasant it is, contains poison. It is poison covered in sugar.

Condemnation arises from egotism: I am greater than you, I am going to make you look small. Criticism has no relationship at all with the ego. Criticism is not connected with me versus you. Criticism is an exploration into what truth is, into how truth is. Criticism can be very hard because sometimes a sword must be used to cut falsehood. There are even rocks of falsehood, so the hammers and chisels of truth have to be used.

Gorakh is making his blows with a hammer and chisel. And after Gorakh comes Kabir, who keeps a still sharper blade on his sword - there is even more of an edge. Kabir’s blows are such that they cut to pieces. But they don’t cut you to bits, they cut your falsehood. When you attack a thief it is condemnation, but when you attack stealing it is criticism. When you start hating the sinner it is condemnation, and when you hate the sin it is criticism.

A yogi cannot condemn. Only a completely unconscious person enjoys condemning. What is the psychology of condemnation? Most people in the world are given to condemning. What is its psychology? Its psychology is clear and very simple: every person wants his ego to have the status that he is the greatest, but it is very difficult to prove this. It is difficult to prove that “I am the greatest” because everyone else is busy proving the same thing about themselves. All are trying to prove only one thing: that they are the greatest. How many people can be the greatest? Such fierce fighting follows that it is almost impossible to win. Who can win? Every person will be fighting against billions of others. Defeat is certain. In this, all will be defeated. In this, no one can win. So the mind finds an easy way. The mind says, “It may be difficult to prove that I am the greatest, but it is easy to prove that no one is greater than me.”

Remember, it is always very difficult to prove the affirmative of anything: a negative statement is always easy. For instance, if you want to prove that God exists it is very difficult, your life will have to pass through the fire of self-transformation. Even then it is unknown when the proof will happen - in this lifetime? after many lives? But to prove that God does not exist can be done right now. There is no problem, all that is needed is a little skill in logic. To be an atheist is not a matter of great proficiency, of great intelligence. The most idiotic of idiots can be an atheist.

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