If a good man complains, it just means that he wants all the things that a bad man has without having the courage to do anything bad. If a thief has built a big house, he also wants to build a house. But he doesn’t want to become a thief so he starts to dream: “Because I have not stolen anything, I should have an even bigger house than the thief! A bigger house should be my reward for not being a thief!” And the reason that he doesn’t steal is not because he has no lust for money, because if he had no lust for money he would not feel jealous of the big house. No, his lust for money is there, hidden.
Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, a good man is good only out of fear: he does not have the courage to do something bad. And no goodness has ever been born out of impotence and fear. So inwardly, this man is full of all the same desires that a thief has, but he does not have the courage of a thief. So when the thief manages to build a house, this so-called good man suffers a deep hurt and jealousy. He says that the good people are really suffering and the evil ones are enjoying and having a good time.
Now this man is a trishanku, a man hanging in midair. He is stuck at a midway point: he has not been able to take the jump into the ultimate mystery, and he has also moved away from the place where his heart is.
The other side of this is that only someone who is not yet finished with the previous level will go on clinging to it. If someone is really finished with the previous level, if he can let go of that level, why would he cling to the stairway? There will be no reason for him to do this. But a man can leave the lower level out of fear, just as in the case of the so-called good man. In the same way, the so-called renouncers will leave the lower level out of greed; they renounce the world, but only because of their greed.
You will be surprised to know that ninety-nine out of a hundred people who renounce the world do it because of greed. They read the scriptures, they hear their teachers, and their greed is aroused. They feel, “There is nothing of worth in the world? – then I renounce it.” Wherever the real pleasure is possible, they renounce this pleasure for that one. To renounce the world is just a bargain for them. Their renunciation does not come from the heart.
These people get as far as the staircase, but then they are unable to let go of it because they become afraid. They become afraid and they think, “What if I let go of the staircase, and this world is also gone, and I have not yet experienced the ultimate reality – what then?”
And remember, until the ultimate reality has been known, nothing can be predicted about whether it will be known or not. It is not predictable, it is not certain. It is only after you have known it that you become certain that it can be known.
This is why there is so much emphasis on trust. The meaning of trust is that one is ready to jump into uncertainty, into insecurity. The people who say, “Okay, I will have to check it out before I take the jump. I need a guarantee to go on. I will jump only if my success is guaranteed” will never take the jump, because nothing can be predicted about the destination before one has reached it.