And it was so. When the paint was peeled off, it was discovered that the real painting was hidden behind it and some other painter had just tried to improve on the master. There were two paintings, and the real came out only when the imposed painting and the paint were peeled off.
Then everybody was happy. But the risk was there.
When I talk on Jesus, I am trying to peel off the paint with which Christianity has tried to improve upon the original face of the master. But it is natural that things change in transit.
Be true to yourself. Never try to be anybody else. That is the only sin I call sin. Accept yourself. Whatsoever you are, you are beautiful. God accepts you; accept yourself also. He created you in his own image. He trusts, he has committed himself in your being. Don’t betray him, don’t become imitators.
That is the only way you can serve me – by being yourself. Be thyself, and suddenly you will be close to me, the closest that is possible. By being imitators, by trying to be somebody else, you falsify your being, you become a traitor. All ideals are treacherous and all ideals are betrayals. I don’t teach you any ideal, and I don’t want you to become anything that is not intrinsic to you.
You don’t know who you are; that is the difficulty in being oneself. One has to remain content with the unknown.
I have heard….
When the apostle, Paul, reached Athens, he told the people of Athens, “You are good, you are great in your thinking, you have given the greatest philosophies to the world. But one thing I have observed: I have seen one temple in your city which is devoted to the unknown God. Inside there is no statue – just written on marble is: ‘This temple is devoted to the unknown God.’”
Paul said, “This is not enough: an unknown God. This is not sufficient. Your foundation is incomplete. I give you the known God, because only with the known God a foundation is possible. Your culture, your civilization, lacks foundation.”
But I tell you, only the unknown God is the God. Once you are devoted to a known God you have started falsifying already – because the known will be knowledge, the known will be part of your mind. Buddha is known, easy to imitate. Jesus is known, easy to imitate. You are unknown. And I teach you to remain true to the unknown God.
Known is easy. You can tackle it; you can cope with it. To move into the unknown needs much courage, needs daring. And religion is the greatest adventure. It is not a consolation, it is not a convenience, it is not respectability. It is to move into the unknown, the uncharted, and to risk life.