Faith is like eyes: you see yourself. Belief is like a lantern in a blind man’s hand: he cannot see, he cannot even use the lighted lantern. Even that lighted lantern will be just a burden to him, to be carried. And if the light goes off he will never become aware of it. Belief is just believing what others say. It is not faith – faith is knowing, faith is existential – belief is intellectual.
Buddha says something, or I say something; you listen to me, it appeals to your intellect. It seems to be convincing to your reason and you start believing in it. Then it will be a lantern in a blind man’s hand. But if you listen to me, something appeals to you and you don’t stay with the intellectual understanding but you try to make that your own experience….
If I talk about love, and listening to me you don’t cling to my words but you move into love, you take the risk of love, you move into the danger of love, then you will come to an understanding which will be like eyes. If you just listen to me, it is very cheap. Just listening to me you can collect information and you can say, “Yes, I know much about love.”
Your knowing will be a deception.
I have heard:
Mulla Nasruddin and his wife went to Israel for their holidays and visited a nightclub in Tel Aviv. A comedian was on the bill who did his whole act in Hebrew. Nasruddin’s wife sat through the comic’s act in silence but Nasruddin roared with laughter at the end of each joke.
“I did not know you understood Hebrew,” she said to the Mulla when the comedian had concluded his act.
“I don’t,” replied Nasruddin.
“Well, how come you laughed so much at his jokes?”
“Oh,” said Nasruddin, “I trusted him.”
You can laugh at a joke without understanding it, but what sort of laughter will that be? It will not arise in you, it will be just a painted laughter. It will be just like an exercise of the lips and the face. It will not have any center in your being. It will not be coming from anywhere – because you can’t understand the joke, you can’t understand the language – how can you laugh? But Mulla says, “I just trusted him. He must be saying something beautiful; others are laughing.”
Buddha must be saying something beautiful – so many people believe in him, so you believe. But you have not understood the joke, the laughter is not yours. It will tire you, it will not refresh you. When laughter happens to you it spreads from your very being, from your innermost core of being to the surface. Your whole body ripples with it, pulsates, throbs. It gives you a sort of bath – you are new after it. But if you simply trust, believe, that is not going to help. Many people have just been deceived by their beliefs about many beautiful things.