Their story is that one Hassid mystic, hearing that God is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, approached God and said, “Before you destroy them, you have to answer a few of my questions. First, if there are two hundred people who are not perverted in those two cities – who are good, who are pure of soul, who are sincere, who are people of realization – are you still going to destroy those cities and those good people?”
God was taken aback. He could not say that he could destroy two hundred self-realized people. He said, “I was not aware of it; it is very kind of you to inform me. I will not destroy them. Those two hundred people are going to save two hundred thousand people.”
The Hassid said, “The second question: if there are not two hundred people, but only twenty, are you going to destroy them? Do you consider quantity more significant than quality?”
And God was again defeated. Certainly quality is of higher value than quantity. What does it matter whether there are two hundred self-realized people or twenty? God said, “I accept your argument. Even if there are twenty people…if you can prove there are twenty people, those cities will be saved.”
The Hassid laughed and said, “My last argument: If there are not twenty people but only one self-realized man, who lives six months in Sodom and six months in Gomorrah, are you going to destroy the cities? Do you still think quantity means much – or quality?”
God became very fed up with the man; he was a real Jew. He was bringing him down, haggling, and now he had brought him down to one man from two hundred. He said, “Okay, but then you will have to present that one man!”
The Hassid said, “I am that man!”
Jews don’t allow this beautiful story. They say it is fiction, but to me their idea of God being angry and destroying Gomorrah and Sodom is a fiction. To me, the Hassid story seems to be more authentic.
Just one man of truth is enough to save the world. But the world does not want to be saved. God need not kill that one man, the world kills that man. The people whom he was going to save are the people who destroy him.
“Without the mind there’s no buddha” means that the buddha comes from the mind – but he is not the mind. It is just like a lotus flower. It comes from mud, but it is not mud. Can you think of two things as different as mud and a lotus flower? But the lotus flower comes from the mud and rises above the waters…the lotus flower is such a transformation, but without the mud there will be no lotus flowers.