I have seen a picture sent by a friend from Japan…just looking at the picture, one feels so sad about humanity, so hopeless. The picture is of a small girl, maybe nine years old. She is going from the ground floor to the first story with her bag and books – perhaps to do her homework before she goes to sleep. She is just in the middle of the staircase when the atom bomb falls on Hiroshima. Just a small atom exploding creates so much energy…you can use it for destruction or you can use it for some creative purpose. Right now the scientists say we have come so far from Hiroshima and Nagasaki – our new nuclear weapons are so great in their energy – that the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima look like children’s toys.
If matter, in its smallest particle, contains so much energy, can you conceive how much energy may be available in the living cell of human beings?
Enlightenment is the explosion of a living cell. Certainly it is not destructive at all, but it transforms the whole man. In that way, it is destructive. It destroys the old man, it destroys the night, it destroys all that was constituting your personality: your jealousy, your anger, your hate, your lust, your greed – all that is simply finished in a single moment. And the same energy that was involved in jealousy, hate, greed, ambition, and a thousand and one desires, is changed into totally new forms of energy: love, silence, peace, compassion, wisdom – all that is the basic search of life itself.
Life in itself is dormant, it is fast asleep. Enlightenment is absolutely awake. But it is the same energy that was asleep that becomes awake. So they are not synonymous, but they are two extremes of the same energy.
But this, if taken as an intellectual understanding, is not going to help you in any way. It has to become your own experience.
You have to see that light.
You have to see that explosion within your own being.
You have to see the darkness disappearing. You have to see the new dawn of a new life – a life of grace and gratitude, a life of beauty and blessings.
You have to remember, it is very easy to ask questions as mind gymnastics. I am not interested in mind gymnastics because it leads you nowhere; you remain stuck where you are. You only become more burdened with knowledge – knowledge which is meaningless because it is not part of your own experience.
Rabbi Bierstein was asking his congregation to donate money to help build a new synagogue. Suddenly, the town prostitute stood and shouted, “Praise the Lord. I repent. I will give two thousand dollars right now.”
“Well, as much as we need funds, I am afraid I cannot accept tainted money,” said Bierstein.
“Take it, Rabbi,” shouted a man from the back, “after all, it is our money anyway!”
Now, what are these guys doing in a synagogue? Just a formality. They are visiting prostitutes. The prostitute is more authentic. Perhaps the money also belongs to the Rabbi; that’s why the man is saying, “It is our money anyway.”
Mind has been befooling man for centuries.