I told him, “If I cannot give one to myself, then who can give one to me? I know myself more than anybody else knows me. You don’t know me at all. If you can give a character certificate to me, then why can’t I? This is the certificate. You have to sign it.”
He looked at the certificate and laughed, because I had written on the certificate that man is a freedom, and character is always of the past, and the future remains open. I may have been a good man up to now. Next moment? Nobody knows! I may have been a saint up to now, but the next moment I can become a sinner. In fact, each moment I have to give a new lease to my character; again and again and again I have to hold it.
Character belongs to the past, and you ask for a character certificate to be reassured about the future – which is foolish. The future remains open; the future remains always open. Next moment is always indeterminate. That’s the difference between a stone and a man. You can give a character certificate to a rock. The rock is consistent; it has always remained a rock, and it is always going to remain a rock. It is predictable. But how can you give a character certificate to a man?
A sinner sometimes becomes a saint, a saint becomes a sinner. That is the beauty of man: that man has no character. Only rocks have character. The more alive you are, the less character – absolutely alive, no character. Then you are absolute freedom.
Facing Christ, people ask about authority; they ask about character. They ask that Christ should fulfill the predictions of the scriptures. Why should Christ fulfill the predictions of the scriptures? He is not a rock. He is total freedom, absolute freedom – that is his beauty and glory. But people believe in dead things, people believe in dead gods. They are dead; they feel comfortable with dead gods. If you are alive, only then can you feel comfortable with an alive God. An alive God means freedom.
Each moment one has to decide again and again who one is going to be; each moment is a decisive moment, and each moment you can change everything. You may not change; that too is your decision. But each moment one has to decide continuously, constantly. Character is not something which is there just like a dead rock. It has to be lived, acted, decided. Each moment you are born again and again. Each moment you die, and each moment you are born again and again.
But people go on asking. And the people of Jerusalem or Varanasi – they are the deadest people there are. Jerusalem is one of the most ancient cities in the world. That means it carries a very long and dead past, and always thinks in terms of the past, never in terms of the future. They couldn’t see the future. The Jews missed Christ.