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Chapter 16: The Only Gift to Me: Your Enlightenment

After holding mass in Warsaw Cathedral, the pope was giving words of encouragement to a group of devout Poles. One of them asked, “Your Holiness, Poles are such devout Catholics, why was Christ not born in Poland?”

“Don’t you understand,” said the pope, “that for such a birth, there had to be three wise men and a virgin?”

And where can you find three wise men and a virgin in Poland? You must know the story of Jesus, that he is born out of a virgin, and three wise men come from the East to pay him respect. They are the first to recognize in the small child the possibility of a future enlightened being. They recognized in the seed, the flower.

I recognize in you the seed and the potential of the flower. But if you go on thinking intellectually, you will become a philosopher, a theologian; you will never become a mystic. And unless you become a mystic, you have wasted your life. Such a great opportunity, where you can grow to your greatest height of consciousness, is being wasted in unconscious trivia.

Even if you think about something great, it is only a thought, it never becomes an actual reality in your being.

I would like you to be more existential. I am not an existentialist because that is again falling into the same trap. Existentialist philosophers are not enlightened people. Neither Jean-Paul Sartre is enlightened nor Jaspers, nor Martin Heidegger, nor Marcel, nor Soren Kierkegaard; they are philosophers of existence, they think about existence.

I want you not to be existentialist thinkers; I want you to be existential experiencers. That difference is so great, and makes all the difference - because Jean-Paul Sartre, or Jaspers or other existentialist philosophers live in anguish, in anxiety, in boredom, in despair. They even think that perhaps suicide is the only way out of this mess. These people are not to be categorized with Gautam Buddha or Chuang Tzu or Baal Shem. These people are thinking about existence, just as old philosophers were thinking about God; only the object of thinking has changed, but thinking continues, and thinking can only lead you into a desert.

It is only the experience which leads your life river towards the ultimate merger with the ocean, with the universe, with the life of full awareness. You come back home. You had left the home unconscious, you come back home with consciousness. The circle is complete. Your life has come to fulfillment and contentment. This is the only benediction and this is the only authentic religious path.

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