Chapter 21: The Twain Are Already Meeting
You cannot say, “The responsibility to save me is that of some prophet, and I am still free to be myself.” The moment you become a believer and you give your responsibility to Jesus Christ or Moses or Ezekiel you have already given your freedom too. Now it is no longer an urgency for you to realize your being, or even to bother about who you are. It all depends now on the prophet you believe in, it is his responsibility. You think that you have become free from responsibility but you have forgotten that you have also denied your freedom. With your responsibility gone you have reduced yourself to a slave.
Jesus could not speak the language of the East. He had to speak the language of his own people. But here and there the influence of the East is clear. For example, the Jewish God in the Old Testament says: “I am not a nice fellow. I am a very jealous God, I am very violent, and whoever is going to disobey me is going to suffer indefinitely. Remember,” finally he says, “I am not your uncle.”
When for the first time I came to the part where he says, “I’m not your uncle.” He is reminding you: “I am your father! And obedience is the only religion.”
That’s the whole story of creation in Christianity and Judaism: man was thrown out of the Garden of Eden - not for committing any sin, not for murdering anybody, not for raping; he was thrown out of the garden of God because he disobeyed. That makes the thing absolutely clear: that the Judeo-Christian tradition believes basically that obedience is religion and disobedience is the greatest sin, the original sin.
And it is strange to know what things Adam and Eve disobeyed. If you are impartial, not prejudiced, you can see a very strange scene: God says to Adam and Eve, “In this vast garden you can eat the fruits from any tree; just two trees are prohibited.”
It is a parable, but immensely significant. It may not be factual but is certainly true. One is the tree of wisdom, which God is denying you. You can translate it: one is the tree of enlightenment that God is denying you, because enlightenment is nothing but wisdom. And the second tree is of eternal life. He is forbidding man to eat the fruits from these two trees.
He has taken away everything that can make life an ecstasy. He has taken away your enlightenment and he has taken away your experience of the eternal. What else is left? He has taken your very dignity. He has destroyed your freedom. He has taken away even the urge to go inwards, because those two trees grow inside you. The tree of wisdom and the tree of eternal life are not really two trees. It is one experience with two fragrances.
Unfortunately, Jesus became acquainted with words which don’t fit the tradition from where he was coming. He went back when he was nearabout twenty-eight; it took two years for him to travel back to Judea. It is natural that he would have to speak the language that could be understood. For example, if he talked about nirvana, enlightenment, inner ecstasy, he would not have been understood. He had to translate it into a language that might have some meaning to the people he was talking to. He talked about the “Kingdom of God” and he tried his best to manage somehow to bring in the flavor that he had learned in the East.