Chapter 3: Meditation Requires Courage
My nation, my country, my church, my religion is higher than your religion, is higher than your church, is greater than your nation - and we are bragging about our prisons. This is utterly stupid. But why do we go on doing it? - because that is the only way to save our faces.
If we try to see the point, that all these are prisons, how can we avoid knowing that we are a prisoner - not of one prison but of many prisons, prisons within prisons? And that will destroy our ego. It helps our egos very much that “We are a great nation,” that “Our history is full of bravery,” that “We have created the greatest warriors”.or greatest saints, or whatsoever it is. “We have created the most religious society in the world,” or the most democratic society or the most communist society. This helps us to protect our egos. We find in every way methods and means, devices and strategies so that our ego remains intact.
And the ego is the most false phenomenon in existence; there is nothing more false than the ego. It has no substance. It is a balloon full of hot air - or maybe there is no balloon, only hot air! But we are living according to the dictates of this false god, the ego. And there are priests who go on helping us, who go on giving us new strategies, new interpretations. As times change, priests are ready to give us new interpretations.
A small boy in the Sunday school was very much puzzled when the priest said that God made everything. The boy looked puzzled, almost a question mark in his eyes.
The priest asked him, “What is the matter, Johnny? You look very puzzled.”
Johnny said, “Yes. You say everything - do you really mean everything? Then where is the reference that God made railway trains? I have never come across it.”
And the priest said, “Yes, you must have overlooked it. There is a reference. It is said in the Bible that God made all creeping things; it includes the railway train!”
And it is not only that they are deceiving small children; they do the same to you.
“Rabbi,” said the worried father, “I wish you would speak to my son. Here he is, bar mitzvah age, and all he ever thinks about is baseball.”
The rabbi sighed to himself. “With so many delinquent children getting into trouble,” he thought, “this is indeed a minor problem.”
“I am sorry to disappoint you,” he said, suppressing a desire to show his annoyance, “but I cannot scold your son for something we Jews have been practicing for thousands of years. In fact, there are several references to baseball in the Bible.”
“Are you serious?” demanded the father incredulously. “What are they?”