When they were just going out of the village, someone came running and told the fisherman, “Your father is dead. He has just died, so come home. Where are you going?”
So the fisherman asked permission. He said to Jesus, “Allow me to go home. Soon I will come back. I have to bury my dead father.”
Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their dead. You need not go – you follow me. There are many dead men in the village. They will bury the dead.”
For Jesus, we are dead men because we have never tasted life, never tasted the present, the existential. We live in the dead past, and we go on projecting the dead past into the future. This is what Shankara calls maya, illusion. Shankara has been very much misunderstood. When Shankara says the whole world is an illusion, he means this, that man’s world is an illusion, not the world.
We don’t know anything about the world. We have created our own mental world. Everyone has his own world – this world of past and future, this world of memories and desires. This world is false, illusory. So when Shankara says the world is false, it means your world, not the world. And when your world is no more, you will come to know the real world. And Shankara says that is brahman, that is the truth, the absolute truth.
It is as if we are living in a dreamworld, everyone surrounded by his own dreams, the mist, the cloudy mist of dreams. Everyone is moving surrounded by his own dreams, and because of these dreams he cannot see what is true, what is real. The real is hidden behind our dreams.
This dreaming mind is the unstill mind. The nondreaming mind is the still mind. But desires create dreams. You dream in the night because you desire in the day. If you don’t desire in the day you cannot dream in the night.
A Buddha cannot dream because dreams are desires and desires are dreams. When they are in the day you call them desires, when they are in the night you call them dreams. But every desire is a dream. Why? Because every desire is in the future, which is not. Every desire is a future desire, which is not. The future is not.
We go on dreaming. This dreaming must be broken. This dreaming is a movement, continuous movement. You are filled with dreams – broken, burnt, newly created. We have to throw out old ones every day and create new ones.
Any moment, in any activity, try to be here and now. Even the effort is a barrier, but one has to begin. In the beginning you will have to make an effort. Even effort is a barrier because effort again moves into the future. But in the beginning one has to make an effort. Then in the second stage one has to make an effortless effort. And then in the third stage effort disappears and you are in the present.