Chapter 6: Effort Opens the Door
The irony is that while our efforts cannot bring it in, they can certainly keep it out, prevent it from coming in. If we shut the doors or close our eyes, even the sun will be powerless to do anything. We can keep the sun out of our houses, we are capable of stopping the sun, but we are not capable of ushering it in. Only let the door be open, and it will come in. And when the sun is in, we can not say that we brought it in, we cannot take that credit. We can only say that it was its kindness that it came into our house. And we can only say that we were merciful to ourselves that we did not shut our doors.
Man can only be an opening, a door for existence to come in. Our efforts only open the door; its coming depends on it, on its compassion. And its compassion is infinite, it is always present at every doorstep. But what can it do if it finds many doors closed? Existence knocks at every door, and goes back when it finds the doors shut. And we have closed our doors so firmly. So whenever it comes and knocks, we rationalize it, we explain it away in so many ways, and we remain content with it.
I would like to tell you a story that I love.
There was a great temple with a hundred priests to look after it. One night the chief priest went to bed and dreamed that God has sent word that he would visit their temple the next day. He did not believe it, because it is difficult to come across people who are more disbelieving than the priests. He did not believe his dream for another reason, too. People who trade in religion never come to believe in religion. They only exploit religion, which never becomes their faith, their truth. No one in the world is more faithless than one who turns faith into a means of exploitation. So the chief priest could not believe that God would really visit this temple.
The priest had never believed in such things, although he had been a priest for many years. He had worshipped God for a long time, and he knew that God had never visited his temple even once. Each day he had offered food to God, and he knew that he had in reality offered it to himself. He had also prayed to God every day, but he knew well that his prayers were lost in the empty sky, because there was no one to hear them. So he thought that the message was not true, it was just a dream, and a dream rarely turns into a reality.
But he was afraid, too, in case the dream should come true. At times what we call a dream turns into a reality, and a reality as we know it proves to be a dream. Sometimes what we think to be a dream, really becomes a reality. So the chief priest ultimately decided to inform his close colleagues about his dream. He said, “Although it seems to be a joke, still I should tell you about it. Last night I dreamed that God said that he would visit us today.”
The other priests laughed and said, “Are you mad, that you believe in dreams? However, don’t tell others about it; otherwise they will think you are crazy.”
But the head priest said, “In case he should come, we should be prepared for it. There is no harm if he does not turn up, but if he does come, we should not be found wanting.”