So you can respect a dead master but you cannot respect an alive master; it is too close, it is too dangerous. Christ is worshipped now; almost half the earth has become Christian. And when he was here no more than twelve people were following him – and they too, half-heartedly. And they too betrayed in the last moment. The day he died he became God, he became divine, and millions and millions started coming to his feet, and down the ages they have been coming and increasing.
Why does a dead Christ seem to be more important than an alive Christ? The reason is: an alive Christ can prove fatal to your illusions. A dead Christ cannot do anything to you, a dead Christ is in your control; an alive Christ cannot be controlled by you. A dead Christ is just a name, a word – empty, impotent. An alive Christ is a fire. You can play with the word fire but you cannot come close to fire itself. It will burn you, it will destroy you.
But in your very destruction is the possibility of a new birth. Out of the ashes the new is going to be born. The myth of the phoenix is not a myth, it is a metaphor for man’s rebirth: you have to die first to be reborn. An alive Christ is like death; a dead Christ is a consolation, a comfort, a security.
Just the other night a woman was here, and she said that she loves my meditations and much is happening through the meditations. Not only that, she has started teaching my meditation to other people, and much is happening to them. But she cannot be initiated by me. I asked why. She said because of “religious reasons” – she may be a Christian or a Jew or somebody. She cannot leave the dead Christ for an alive christ. She calls it for religious reasons. The real reason is that to come close to me can be fatal to her. Christ is perfectly okay; it is just a picture on the wall or a name in the book or a word in your mouth. It means nothing, it is noise.
But if you come close to me – and initiation means coming close, initiation means coming as close as possible – you will be burned. You will be burned to ashes; you will disappear.
But that is the only real hope. If you disappear as you are you will be born as you really are. Only the disappearance of the lie that you have become can be the birth of truth. And truth is not far away; it is just hiding within you. You are clinging to the lie; your personality is the lie and because of the personality you cannot move towards the essence. The personality is taught by the society; the society creates lies. Lies are very, very convenient. Lies function like lubricants, lies make life smooth. You see somebody and you smile and the smile is a lie – because it is not coming from your heart, it is just painted there on the lips. You have created it, you have managed it, it is a kind of exercise of the lips. But it lubricates relationship, the other man starts smiling.
If you are true, if you are as you are, it will be difficult, the relationship will become difficult. Psychologists say that if every person started revealing what is in his heart, friendship will disappear from the earth, love will disappear from the earth. That is true. It will be impossible to find friends if you simply say what is in your heart. If you say what is in your heart your beloved will leave you and your lover will leave you.