Chapter 19: The Sunlit Peaks of Sacredness
I have just finished reading the book about Jesus and his journey to Kashmir after the crucifixion, and now I have a photographic picture in my mind of the man and his unquenchable thirst for truth. Hearing stories about you, or the Buddha before enlightenment, there was the same unquenchable thirst. But here I am with you feeling like a dry leaf, blowing in the wind - searching for truth, but being distracted by every gust of wind that takes me wherever it wishes to. Will being in your presence more and more help me to intensify my search, and enable me to use these gusts of wind to take me further on the path towards truth?
There is a saying of Jesus: “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you.” These are beautiful words, but only on a very superficial plane. They have poetry in them, and they have a certain truth also; but unfortunately I have to disagree with them.
If I were to write them again, I would say, “Ask not, and it shall be given to you,” because asking is desiring, asking is demanding, asking is impatience. Asking is not trust, is not love. Love never asks, but it is given all. It never asks, but it is always understood.
“Seek not; otherwise you will miss it,” because every search leads you away from yourself; every path leads you away from yourself. “Seek ye not; just be, and you have found it,” because it is something within you. It is not something far away, it has not to be found; it is the finder himself. It has not to be sought, it is the seeker himself. The moment you are silent, neither asking nor seeking, you have it, you are it.
“Knock not, because every knock makes you a beggar,” because all knocking is on the doors of others. And it is not a question of finding it in somebody else’s house; it is there within you. There are no doors for you to knock on. You have just to be utterly centered, and the doors are always open. This is what Lao Tzu would say, and this is what Chuang Tzu would say. I know if Jesus had been born in the East, he would have said the same thing. It is the Western atmosphere, where all search is for the object and nobody cares about the seeker.
There are great scientists of tremendous intelligence who discover many things in their lives, but go on missing themselves. The reason is that they are always searching for something; but one’s own being is already there - you have just to be in a relaxed state of consciousness, in a let-go.
I am reminded of one of the most important women who has walked on the earth, Rabiya al-Adabiya. She is truly a rebel, and without being a rebel nobody can be religious. Rebellion is the very foundation of being religious. The orthodox can never be religious, the traditional can never be religious.
She was going to the market, just to fetch some vegetables, and she saw a great Sufi, well known all over the country, Junnaid. He was sitting outside the mosque praying loudly and looking at the sky, crying, “When are you going to hear me? Why don’t you open the doors? I have been waiting so long, do you hear me or not? I’m tired of knocking on your doors.”