Chapter 8: The Fear of Happiness
You can deceive others, but the greater danger is that someday you may be deceived by yourself, you may deceive yourself. Then all possibility for growth stops.
Never be bothered about knowledge. The whole quest should be for reality, that which is. You should not be worried about it. That is the difference between theology and religion: theology goes on talking about God; religion talks God, not about. The “about” is the realm of theology. The priests, the preachers - they go on talking about and about. Religion is not talking about reality. Religion talks reality.
You ask me, “Will I know when I am ready to face you?” You will face me first; then you will know. Knowledge always follows. It is a recognition when the real thing has happened. You will not know God before knowing him. You will know him first and then, as a shadow, knowledge will follow. You will recognize later on what has happened. The happening is first, recognition is later.
Sometimes it may take much time to recognize - because mind is stupid. Sometimes it takes a long time to recognize. It may happen many times in your life: you may have attained a few moments of tremendous reality, authenticity, but you couldn’t recognize them. They are lost in the desert. Before you could recognize them they were gone - and then there were other things, the mind became engaged. You missed.
This is my observation: that you cannot find a single human being on the whole of the earth who has not had some moments of reality. In spite of yourself, sometimes the glimpse comes to you - because it is not only you who is seeking reality, reality is also seeking you. It is not only that you need God: God is in tremendous need of man. You cannot be without him; he cannot be without you.
You can forget him, but he cannot even forget you. You may be standing with your back towards him, but he goes on trying to reach you. Your hands may be very small; his hands are not small. He can reach you wherever you are, even in the seventh hell. And he goes on groping for you, remember this.
That’s why many times - not because of you, in spite of you - a glimpse happens. But you cannot recognize it. Many people have religious experiences but they cannot recognize them as religious. Sometimes they think they are aesthetic experiences. No true aesthetic experience can be other than religious.
When you see a beautiful face of a man or a woman a child, if you are really struck by the beauty, the experience is not only aesthetic, it is religious - because in that moment of beauty God has looked at you through that face; God has revealed you himself through that face. Through those eyes, the depth of existence has tried to communicate with the depth of your being. The depth has talked to depth. There has been a dialogue. It is not only aesthetic.