It is a time of crisis, where the rotating wheel is ready to take a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn. All that was up will come down, and all that was down will go up. All the values will be reversed: the spokes of the wheel that were up will go down and the ones that were down will come up. This is the hour of crisis. In it, all the old structures will go topsy-turvy and chaos will intensify. Such a chaos has already appeared. In it, all criteria of morality will crumble, all old concepts will be destroyed. What will happen to all the systems we have established up to now will be just as if an earthquake comes and flat land turns into craters, hills become flattened and lakes become hills. In this last phase of the twentieth century enormous, disastrous changes are to take place.
And what is the real crisis? It is that the deep, essential treasure that the East has may be lost – it is losing it. No matter how often you may recite the Gita every day, its value in your heart is lost. You may be going in search of a master, but really it is to find health, to achieve success, to get the position in life you covet, to win the elections, and so on.
Two days ago a friend came here to see me. He said, “I had big businesses, but my eyes gradually became weaker and now I have lost my light completely. As a result, I had to leave my business. Will you please do something so that I can see again?”
The man was over sixty. I said to him, “Now you should search for the inner eye. You can thank existence your outer eyes are closed; now the whole energy can turn inward. The energy that was looking out can now look in!” But he did not like the idea. It was obvious from the expression on his face that he had not come to hear such things. I said to him, “Forget the business! You have made enough from it – enough for the rest of your life. What will you get by earning more?”
“I don’t want to leave the business,” he replied. “It was a big business, and I had to hand it over to others.”
Now even if the others ruined the business, it would not make any difference to this man. He has plenty; he can live well whatever happens to the business. He listened to what I was saying but he did not even once nod in agreement. As he was leaving he said again, “Just give me your blessings that I shall be able to return to my business” – as though the business is his very soul! Now, what does he want to achieve through businesses?
This is the situation of the East. Even when we go to a master, it is in search of things for which we should not go to a master at all. This is why millions gather around so-called masters who have miracle-making tricks. If a man can produce ashes out of thin air, thousands of people gather around him. They are convinced that, if they can win his favor, he can make anything happen for them. After all, he makes miracles! Understand this well: when people start to gather around miracle workers, it is a sure sign that religion has been uprooted from their hearts. After all, what connection has religion with miracles?
Lin Chi was a Zen master. One day he was talking among his disciples when a man suddenly interrupted him: “Enough of words,” said the man, “do you have any miracles to perform? I also had a master; he is no longer alive, but he certainly was a man of religion. He used to stand on one bank of a river with a pen in his hand, while I stood on the other bank half a mile away holding a piece of paper. And he would use that pen to write on the paper I was holding. Now you, if you can, show me a miracle as wondrous as this.”