In Russia now, a really religious person has to go underground. There are my sannyasins who have to go underground. They are working underground – in basements they meet in the darkness of the night. What an ugly world we have created, where you cannot meditate openly when you cannot discuss about truth, about love openly To meditate as if you are committing some crime does not show that humanity has progressed; in many ways it has regressed.
Christianity did the same for two thousand years in the West. Communism is an offshoot of Christianity. Whatsoever communists are doing now they have learned from the Christian popes. Christianity destroyed all possibilities of mysticism.
There were only two ways to avoid being persecuted. One was to go underground or escape to some desert, to some mountains. And the second possibility was to exist as a formal Christian on the surface, use the Christian language, and go on doing your inner work privately. That’s what Dionysius did.
You will be surprised to know: he was the first Bishop of Athens. He must have been a man of rare intelligence. To remain a Bishop of Athens and yet to penetrate the deepest mysteries of life like Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra, he must have been a man of rare intelligence. He managed a facade. He deceived the Christian organization.
His treatise was not published while he was alive. He must have managed it in such a way that it was published only when he was dead. If the treatise had been published while he was alive he would have been expelled from the Church, persecuted, tortured. And a man of understanding, a man who is not suicidal in some way, would not like to be persecuted unnecessarily. If it becomes a necessity he accepts the challenge. But he is not looking for it; he is not in some way hankering to be a martyr. He is not suicidal, he is not violent towards himself.
Dionysius is a rare man: living with stupid Christianity and its rigid organization, being a bishop and still being able to reach to the ultimate peaks of consciousness is something worthy of praise.
Before we enter into these beautiful sutras of Dionysius, a few things have to be understood. One: these sutras were written as letters to one of his disciples, Timothy. All that is really great, all that is really of the ultimate, of the transcendental, can only be communicated to disciples. It has to be addressed to those who love you, to those who have a deep attunement with your heart. It cannot be addressed to the mass, to the crowd, to the indifferent, to the antagonistic. Great truths are communed only when there is love. It is possible only between a master and a disciple that a truth can be transferred.