Chapter 6: Now Is Not Part of Time
If you really want to go fishing, don’t ask, go - asking won’t help. Then you are alone if you want to be enlightened. Then there is no God; then there is nobody who can help you. Because if you need anybody’s help, that very help becomes a bondage. If I help you to become free, you will start depending on me. Then without me you will not be able to be free. No help is possible on the path of meditation, only indications. Buddha has said, “Buddhas only show the path. They cannot help in any substantial way. You have to go on your own, you have to be your own light.”
I have heard an anecdote:
“I am going away for a few days, Nasruddin,” said the master of the house. “And I am going to leave with you all my keys. They’re to my closets as well as those to my chests and jewel boxes. I know they will be safe with you but of course, I expect you not to touch them.”
When the master returned, the Mulla said to him, “Master, I am going to leave you.”
“Because you don’t trust me.”
“How can you say that? I left you all my keys.”
“That you did, master, but not one of them fits.”
If you really want to steal enlightenment from me, no key is going to fit - not because I am giving you wrong keys, but because the door is open and there is no lock.and you are looking for the lock. Because you have a key you are looking for a lock, and the lock does not exist. So you can go on looking for the lock because of your key, and you will miss. The door is open; you just enter me and it is there. Nobody is barring the path. But prayer will not be helpful; meditation will be helpful. Meditation will give you the clarity to see.
There is a very beautiful incident in the life of Houdini, the great magician.
His whole life was a tremendous success; he was a miracle monger. He did so many miracles that if he was a man to cheat humanity, he could have cheated very easily. But he was a very sincere man. He would say, “Whatsoever I am doing is nothing but skill; there is no miracle in it.” No magician has ever done as much as Houdini has done. His power was almost impossible to believe. He was thrown in almost all the great prisons of the world, and within seconds he would be out. He was chained, locked, and within seconds - the chains wouldn’t work, locks wouldn’t work - something would happen, and he would be out. He would be out almost within seconds, not even a minute.
But in Italy he failed, only once in his life. He was thrown in the central prison of Rome, and thousands of people had gathered to see him come out. Minutes passed and there was no sign of him. It was almost half an hour, and people started getting restless because it had never happened before: “What has happened? Has he gone mad, or died, or what happened? Or has the great magician failed?”