Chapter 4: Unless You Create Your Face
Leo Tolstoy used to ask his friends - he Was very much interested in their dreams - he asked Maxim Gorky.. Sitting together, they were talking of things, gossiping, and suddenly he asked Gorky “Can you tell me one of your dreams which you have not forgotten? which has remained special to you in your whole life’s dreams?”
And Gorky said “Yes, there has been one dream that I cannot forget. And it has not happened once, it has happened many times in the same way again and again. So it goes on being more and more impressed onto my consciousness.”
Tolstoy became very interested. He said “You tell me. You tell me immediately.”
And Gorky said “The dream is that I see a vast desert with no trees, no people, no animals, utterly utterly empty, sands and sands and sands. And the sun is burning so hot, it is fire. And I see myself walking to nowhere in particular. There is nowhere to go, no destination. Not only that, the strange thing is that I see only my feet and my shoes. I cannot see anything else. I try and I try, and it becomes very very crazy. I cannot see my face, I cannot see my body, I cannot see my hands - just two feet covered in leather shoes. I can hear the noise that they are making, and those two feet go on and on and on in that desert - to nowhere! And it seems to continue for ages! Nothing happens, just those two legs without the body, without the soul, without the face. Where are they going? And why are they going in the first place? And what is the point of going? Why can’t they stop? - all these questions arise, and great fear grips my soul. And I always awake out of it trembling, shaking, perspiring.”
The dream is symbolic. That dream is what modern man has become.
Unless you create your face you will not find any face. You come faceless into the world. Unless you create your soul you don’t have any. You can have only that which you create.
A Buddha has a soul, a Jesus has a soul - you don’t have. Don’t take it for granted. That has been one of the causes of greatest miseries to humanity, that people think they have souls. How can you have if you have not created it in the first place? You can have only that which you create. You can possess only that which you have created.
Religion should be that creativity - creating a soul, creating a face, creating a being out of nothingness. Then there is joy, then there is great exaltation. Then life has zest, juice, flow, thrill. Then life pulsates, is adventure; is not a monotony, is not a nightmare. Then trees start growing in your desert, birds start singing in your wasteland, flowers come, clouds come, and the emptiness is no more empty; it is full of life.
Let me repeat: the meaning has to be created.