You say, “I don’t believe a word about this mystery.” It is very good. Please, don’t believe a word, because if you start believing you will not be able to experience. I am not interested in believers, I am interested in inquirers. But please don’t start guessing either, because a guess is a guess. A guess is not going to help. It will become a belief – if you go on guessing for a long time, and if you go on repeating the same guess again and again, it becomes a belief. You create your own belief then, and that will become a barrier.
And beliefs are such subtle barriers, and disbeliefs too. Remember, whenever I say belief I always include disbelief in it – because that is the other side of the coin. Belief and disbelief, both are barriers. Once you have created a belief system around yourself – either borrowed from others or guessed by yourself; either borrowed from the Bible, Mein Kampf, Das Kapital, Bhagavadgita, or guessed by yourself, home-made, it does not matter – a belief becomes a barrier, an invisible barrier. And once it settles, it won’t allow you to see anything else that goes against it.
Just the other day I was reading about an experiment. Sarjano, meditate over it.
A certain naturalist made the following experiment: a glass jar was divided into two halves by a perfectly transparent glass partition. On one side of the partition he placed a pike; on the other a number of small fishes such as form the prey of the pike.
The pike did not notice the partition, and hurled itself on its prey with, of course, the result of only a bruised nose. The same happened many times, and always the same result. At last, seeing all its efforts ended so painfully, the pike abandoned the hunt; so that in a few days, when the partition had been removed, it continued to swim about among the small fry without daring to attack them…. Does not the same happen with us?
Now the partition is no longer there – it has been removed – but a belief system has arisen in the pike’s mind. Now he believes that there is a transparent partition. Now the belief is enough; he never goes beyond that partition which is no longer there. Now he can go! Now there is nothing to debar him but his belief…he has created a belief. And, of course, out of his experience, Sarjano – not even guesswork – it was his experience, a repeated experience. He tried again and again and again, and each time a bruised nose and pain – of course, a belief has arisen.
You have to forgive him – a poor pike has come to conclude that it is futile: “There is a barrier, transparent, so I cannot go…” and he never tries again. He will never try again his whole life. Now he can go and eat the fishes, they are available, but he will go only up to a certain line, and from that line he will come back.
This is the situation of human beings too. A Hindu has a barrier around himself, a Mohammedan another, a Jaina still another – all people live hidden behind transparent barriers, and because of those barriers they cannot see beyond.