Chapter 3: Out of Context
Sufism can be reduced to a single method: self-remembering. A man who remembers himself functions in a different way. Never imitate anybody, because by imitation you are not going to reach. If by chance you are fortunate and blessed and you come across a buddha, learn how to remember. Don’t imitate him. If you imitate a buddha, you will be just a dummy buddha, a false entity, of no worth. And you will become more and more stupid - imitators always become stupid.
Intelligence never grows by imitation: intelligence grows by experimentation. Intelligence grows by taking challenges. Intelligence grows by accepting questions and endeavoring to find their answers. Imitation means the question has not yet even arisen, and you have accepted the answer. If the question has not arisen then the season is not ripe - don’t sow the seeds, they will die. It will be sheer wastage.
But it happens: if you come across a buddha, his being, his presence is magnetic - you would like to be like him. His grace enchants you. You would like to learn his way of life. You will start imitating unconsciously. That too happens unconsciously. He looks so beautiful, he looks so silent and so blessed - who would not like to imitate him? But if you imitate, you miss, because consciousness cannot be imitated. It has to be created. You have to become the lab. You have to become the experiment. You have to create the fire. You have to create the patience. You have to create many things which are ingredients for the inner chemistry, and then the flame comes one day. Then you are a buddha in your own right. Not a copy! not a carbon copy.
Your innermost being will be exactly like the Buddha, but your outer personality will be different. A Jesus is a Jesus, a Krishna is a Krishna, a Rumi is a Rumi, a Mansoor is a Mansoor. From the periphery they are as different as people can be different, but from the innermost core their taste is one, similarly one.
What is that taste? That is the taste of self-remembering.
The body is different. Buddha has a different shape, Mohammed has certainly a different shape; their eyes, their noses, their faces, their hands, are different; their languages are different, their characters are different. Mohammed has a sword in his hand and Buddha will not touch a sword, never. Krishna has a flute - you cannot visualize Mahavira having a flute. It is impossible. Jesus is on the cross, in that deep agony of humanity, as if all the agony of all the human beings has centered into the being of Jesus. And Krishna is dancing, as if all the ecstasies of all possible human beings are gathered together. But if you look deep, in the agony of Jesus and in the ecstasy of Krishna, the taste is the same. Dancing, Krishna is remembering. Dying, Jesus is remembering. Buddha is sitting silently under his tree, with utter self-remembering, and Meera is dancing, with great abandon, but deepest at the core there is the flame of self-remembering.
Self-remembering is the soul of religion.