So people never look directly. When Jesus is there, they talk about John, they talk about Elias, they talk about Ezekiel, they talk about Jeremias, they talk about Abraham, Moses – they can talk about the whole past, but they will not look at this man who is right now here. They have been doing the same to Moses, to Abraham and to everybody. When Moses is there, they will not encounter him. That is too dangerous and risky. Then they will talk of somebody else.
The disciples said,
“Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.”
A few things are to be understood. Whenever a Jesus happens, he is absolutely fresh and virgin. He does not come from the past; he comes from above. That is the Hindu meaning of avatar: he descends. He is not part of the chain. He is not horizontal; he is vertical.
Whenever you become alert and aware, immediately your whole being turns. Then you are no more horizontal; suddenly you find yourself vertical. If a man is lying down and fast asleep, he is horizontal. Sleep is horizontal. It is very difficult to stand and sleep – you have to lie down. That is the most comfortable position. If you try to sleep standing up, it will be almost impossible. Sleep is horizontal, unconsciousness is horizontal. But when a man awakes, he sits, he stands up, he becomes vertical. Take it symbolically.
The same happens in the inner world. When a man is unconscious, unaware, he is horizontal; his consciousness is horizontal. When he becomes alert, aware, conscious, he stands. Then the consciousness becomes vertical.
And this is the meaning of the Christian cross: two lines, one horizontal, one vertical. The horizontal line is of unconsciousness and the vertical line is of consciousness. The horizontal line you can call “of matter.” the vertical “of consciousness”; the horizontal line, the world, the maya; and the vertical, the God, the brahma.
The cross is very, very significant and multi-dimensional. You must have seen Jesus on the cross. Have you observed that his hands are on the horizontal line and his whole body on the vertical? Why? – because doing is horizontal and being is vertical. Hands are just representatives of doing. Whatsoever you do, you do with matter. Whatsoever you do, becomes part of the world. Whatsoever you do, moves into history. Whatsoever you do, becomes part of time; it becomes horizontal. But whatsoever you are – the pure being – is not part of the world. It may be in the world, but it is not of the world. It penetrates the world. That’s why Hindus have given it a beautiful name – avatar. It comes down from above. Like a ray of light it penetrates the darkness. The ray may be in the darkness, but it is not of the darkness. It comes from above.