She looked down into a fathomless emptiness. She became afraid, her whole body trembled, every cell of her body was worried. If she fell down into this emptiness then who would save her? She totally forgot that until now she had been swimming in this emptiness and she had never fallen. She totally forgot that a moment before she had been happy, joyous and that this emptiness had never disturbed her. But that day, when she looked carefully all around, she became frightened, and like a paralyzed person she could no longer swim even if she had wanted to. She lost her nerve, she became very afraid. All around there was a stillness. The night was getting darker. Everywhere there was emptiness; if she fell into it, then what would happen? She needed some support. She looked all around and said, “What shall I do? What can I hold on to? There is no one.” So she thought that she would support herself by holding on to her own tail. She turned around and bent down, and she tried hard to catch hold of her tail but could not succeed – she was not a hathayogi – she became even more afraid.
The story is that the ocean was silently watching all this. He laughed and said, “Silly fish, can’t you see the ocean? You are part of this ocean.” He was feeling pity for this fish who was caught in all this trouble. A moment before there had been the joy of trust. And now, within a moment, the smoke of doubt, the clouds of doubt had gathered and the sky was covered, hidden. At last the ocean could not remain silent and he said, “Listen, idiot, you have never fallen down before – who was supporting you? Why should you suddenly fall down today?”
This idea of falling down is an intrinsic part of doubt. Trust saves you, invisible hands support you from all around. When doubt arises, all these supporting hands seem to disappear and an infinite abyss seems to open.
The fish became afraid. She said, “Who are you? There is no ocean, it is only the blind faith of fishes.”
The ocean laughed. He said, “There is only the ocean…fishes come and go. The believers, the non-believers, the blind believers, they come and they go, but the ocean always remains. The momentary has the idea that it exists, and it doubts the eternal! If you want to doubt something, then doubt yourself. Once you were not here and one day you will no longer be here. The ocean has always been here and will always be here. Doubt the momentary and trust the eternal.”
Atheism is to trust in the transitory and to mistrust the eternal.
Man is in the same situation as that fish. And it is even more so in this century, because so many people have nourished your doubt and you have never met a person who nourishes your trust. And those who you think give you trust, they themselves have no trust. So there are people who give you doubt directly and there are people who give you doubt indirectly.
The atheists have given you doubt, but even the so-called theists sitting in the temples, in the mosques, in the gurudwaras, in the churches – watching them, your trust has not grown. Their example has given you only doubt. Their behavior has not created the music of trust in you. The fragrance of trust could not be found in their way of being, you found only the smell of doubt. You could not feel that they had experienced trust. The dance of trust was not to be found in them – neither in their lives nor in their way of being, neither in the light in their eyes nor in their way of walking – nowhere. They might be more clever than you, they might be more articulate in logic than you, maybe they had better intellects than you to support their belief in God – but from their touch it does not feel that they have known God.
Atheists are atheists, but your temples and mosques and churches are also playing the tune of the atheist. The voices of the hidden atheists seem to be coming even from there. Man is surrounded by atheism, by materialism. What can be done?