The first and the most fundamental question of religion is not God but “Who am I?” One who starts with this question, “Who am I?,” is moving in the right direction. But remember, this question should not be just an intellectual inquiry. You should not ask this question with the expectation that somebody else is going to answer it; nobody can answer it for you. You cannot borrow the answer from any source, the Bible, the Veda, the Koran. No buddha can be of any help as far as the answer is concerned.
Then what is the purpose of the buddhas? – to make it clear to you that your question is unanswerable, that your question has to become an inner quest. You should not look out for the answer, you should look in for the answer. The question is hiding the answer in itself – if you go deep down into the question you will find the answer.
The answer has to become your own realization. It cannot be through the scriptures, it cannot be through the sermons of those who are awakened. It can only be through your own awakening, through your own enlightenment; there is no other way, there is no shortcut. There is no way to get the answer cheaply. You will have to dive deep into your being, you will have to risk.
Why do I call it a risk? The greatest risk is to dive deep within oneself, because when you dive deep within yourself you come across abysmal emptiness, and it frightens. And there are only two possible ways: either to be superstitious and just go into it with all your superstitions…you will miss. The superstitious person can never become religious. He believes, but his belief is blind, and if your belief is blind you cannot open your eyes. If you begin with blindness you will end with blindness.
The other possibility is doubt – one is superstition, blind belief, the other is doubt. If you doubt, you cannot dive; if you believe, you dive but in vain. And these seem to be the immediately available alternatives; the third is not so immediately clear.
The third is an intelligent trust. Again a paradox. You have always thought of trust as needing no intelligence; you have always thought of intelligence as skeptical. You have never thought of the beautiful synthesis, the harmony, of intelligence and trust. When intelligence and trust meet, when you dive deep but fully aware, fully aware of the risk, when you dive into your being risking all, gambling, but knowing…knowing perfectly that you may simply be entering into something from which there may be no return…. You may be dying and there may be no resurrection – not even a perhaps in the mind; risking without motive, risking intelligently…. Seeing that the life outside is futile – you have seen it, you have lived it, you have been through it, and enough is enough – you are ready to risk the inner journey intelligently. But remember, I say intelligently; love has not to be blind.
Ordinarily that’s what your love is: it is emotional blindness; it is sentimentality, it is not intelligence. And unless love has the quality of intelligence it is not love – not the love that Kabir is talking about. There are two stories to be pondered over….