The first thing to remember here is: to be with me means you disconnect yourself from your past, whatsoever it is – your initiation, your master, your church, your religion. Unless you disconnect yourself you can’t be with me. To be with me you have to be reborn; you have to be a new being, utterly fresh as the dewdrops in the early sun. Less than that won’t do. You have to pass through fire. And it is very difficult to pass through fire, because one can see that the familiar is disappearing and the promised is far away. The promised land may be, may not be, and the familiar is going out of your hands. And the mind says, “It is better to have half the bread that you already have than to lose it for the whole bread which you don’t have, which is only a promise.”
A master is only a promise: a promise of something that can happen, a promise of your potential becoming actual, a promise of a flowering. But right now you are only a seed, and the seed cannot believe in the promise; it is very difficult for the seed to believe in the promise. The seed would like to remain a seed and yet be a flower. So we go on clinging to the familiar beliefs, systems of thought, ideology. And still we want to be reborn!
It is like a child who wants to cling to the womb and yet wants to be born. That is impossible. Either he has to be in the womb and die in the womb – because after nine months to be in the womb is going to be sure death – or he has to take the risk, the adventure, of going into the unknown.
And, certainly, the child must feel the birth as death. It is death to his life as he has known it up to now: for nine months the darkness, the soothing darkness of the womb, the warmth, the absolutely responsibility-free existence, total rest, relaxation. And he has been floating, swimming, in a body-temperature liquid. He has never lacked anything; all was supplied by the body of the mother. Even before he needed anything it was there, ready to be given to him. Now suddenly he is being thrown out of his home into the unknown. Who knows what is going to happen? He is being uprooted. He clings! It is natural to cling.
And that’s exactly the situation when you are with a master: you have lived in a psychological womb. When you are with a master he starts pulling you out of your psychological womb. It is far more difficult than the physical process of leaving the womb because you feel closer to the psychological womb. You are a Christian, you are a Hindu, a Mohammedan, and you would like to remain that. And still you want to be transformed. Then you are in a double bind, then you are split. Two masters can only mean a deep split in you. I am not here to create schizophrenia. No, one cannot have two masters – one is more than enough!
You have heard rightly…“John the Baptist nearly drowned his disciples when baptizing them”.
That’s the only way to baptize.
You ask me: “Is this type of experience something through which a disciple must pass?”
Yes, it is a must. Unless the disciple passes through it he never becomes a devotee. And unless you become a devotee you don’t know what it means to be with a master. It is not an intellectual relationship; it is a deep merger with the being of the master. It is something very existential.
The second question: