Not for one single moment has the idea ever crossed my mind that I might have taken a wrong step. In any case, this body ultimately falls away – and mostly it falls away when you are in your bed. Ninety-nine percent of people die in their beds. That is why I say to you: “Don’t sleep in the bed.” There is nothing in this world as dangerous as a bed – ninety-nine percent of people die there! In the middle of the night, silently get out and sleep on the floor. You may start in your bed so no one says anything, but later in the night, very silently get out, if you want to survive. Remember how many people have died in bed! It is very rare that someone dies on the cross – the numbers are negligible – but you have a great love for your bed, and a great animosity toward the cross!
The body will certainly go. It is meant to go. Whosoever has come here has only come in order to go. And because this body of mine is not going to come back again, and the one who is speaking through this breath is never going to speak through any breath again… Its resting point has come, its final destination has arrived: it is my last life and my last journey. In these final days, if I can bring the message to as many people as possible… No matter what tortures I may have to go through, nothing can be taken away from me. If someone takes away that which death will take away in any case, it has not been taken away from me. It has been taken away from death, I have nothing to do with it.
I am happy because I have been able to speak my heart to so many people. No one has ever been able to do this before in the world. And the number of people who love me – no one has ever been loved so much in his lifetime. And the number of people who hate me – no one has ever been hated so much in his lifetime either. This, too, I consider to be a blessing – because it is possible that those who hate me today may love me tomorrow. It is not very difficult for hate to transform into love. Perhaps hate is their way of arriving at the temple of love.
I remember a small incident.
There have been Hasidic mystics amongst the Jews.
The mystic who gave birth to the Hasidic tradition, Baalshem, wrote his first book. He sent his disciple with a copy of it as a gift to the highest rabbi, the highest religious head of the Jews. He told the disciple, “Take this book, give it personally into the hands of the chief rabbi, not to anybody else. And the reason I am sending you is so that you can watch the reaction of the rabbi very carefully: whatever he says, whatever emotions show on his face, take good note of it all. You must report every detail to me without making a mistake. And because you are my most alert disciple, I am sending you.”
Hasidism is a revolutionary tradition. The Jewish rabbi is an old and rotten thing of dead rites and rituals. In order to be a Hasid one has to pass through a revolution; in order to be a Jew it is enough to be born into a Jewish family.
So when the disciple arrived there, the chief rabbi and his wife were both having tea, sitting in their garden. He put Baalshem’s book into the hands of the rabbi. The rabbi took it and asked, “Whose book is it?”
And as the disciple said, “This is Baalshem’s first book, the first compilation of his words,” a fire came into the eyes of the rabbi, as if the face of a demon overtook his face. He threw the book away, onto the road outside his garden, and said, “How dare you enter this house? And how could you put that filthy book into my hands? Now I will have to take a shower.”
The disciple watched all this.