Everybody has a defense system around himself, just to protect himself from others. Life is competitive. Everybody is running after the same goals, and you cannot remain loving, compassionate, kind, in a competitive world or you are going to be a failure. In this competitive world, the people who succeed are the people who are ready to sacrifice anybody, to destroy anybody. They go on climbing on people as if people were stepping-stones. They care about only one thing, and that is success. Naturally, everybody has to be ready not to be trampled, killed. Trust means going against the current of the competitive world. In the competitive world, trust is simply impossible.
Machiavelli wrote one of the most significant treatises on diplomacy, The Prince. Strangely enough, his great, great granddaughter is a sannyasin – Machiavelli would have never dreamed that his blood would one day trust somebody. Machiavelli has written in The Prince – it is a small treatise for every politician – maxims to be followed if you want to succeed: Don’t trust anybody, but let everybody believe that you trust them. Don’t say anything to a friend that you would not say to an enemy – because no one knows, the friend may turn into your enemy tomorrow. Don’t say anything against your enemy that you would not say against your friend – because in this competitive world, the person who is an enemy may become a friend, the person who is a friend may become an enemy. Basically, keep yourself completely closed and secretive. If you say something, say it in such a way that it can be interpreted either way, for or against. Don’t say anything which has only a single meaning, because every day you will have to face a new reality and you will have to change your meaning.
Machiavelli is the real leader of the world – not Jesus Christ or Gautam Buddha. It is a strange world. Here, the real leaders are not worshipped, but they are followed. Here, the unreal leaders are worshipped – but not followed.
When love and trust meet, their ultimate byproduct is surrender. You relax into the master, into his being, without holding anything. It is certainly only for those who are ready to take a risk.
But belief is very cheap. Everybody is a believer – somebody is a Hindu, somebody is a Mohammedan, somebody is a Christian. Belief comes in all sizes, all shapes, all colors – you can choose. And you don’t have to pay anything for it. Generally you get it with your mother’s milk, free of charge.
Secondly, belief is always in an idea, and trust is always in a presence.
That is a very delicate difference. Belief is theoretical; trust is existential.
You can change your belief without any trouble; it is just like changing your clothes. From a Hindu, you can become a Christian; from a Christian, you can become a Mohammedan; from a Mohammedan, you can become a communist. There is no problem, because belief is only of the mind. If anything is more convincing, more logical, you can change it. It has no roots in your heart. Belief is like plastic flowers, which look like flowers from far away. They don’t have any roots, they don’t need any care – no manure, no chemicals, no watering, no gardening, nothing is needed. And they are permanent “people,” they can remain with you your whole life long – because they were never born, so they will never die. They are manufactured. Unless you destroy them, they will remain.