And remember, it was not because Moses had found Israel that he stopped. He stopped because now he was also fed up; he had to stop somewhere. Now he understood that it is very easy to provoke people, to give them beautiful dreams, to encourage them, to fill them with hopes, but it is very difficult to materialize them. So he had to give them new hopes again. That is the only opium that keeps people somehow dragging and living. So he said, “Don’t be worried, our efforts are not wasted. We have reached the land.”
And what land had he reached? Jerusalem is nothing; it is a desert. And people were thinking of rivers of honey and rivers of milk. They were thinking of paradise – that’s the way Moses had painted it to them. And when they stopped at Jerusalem, almost dead – because they were refusing to move any more…enough is enough. Forty years you have been dragging them and pushing them and saying, “We are reaching, it is just close by, just a few days more.”
A few people became so frustrated that they left Moses’ group. That is what is called the lost tribe. It was not lost; they simply slipped away, seeing the futility of the whole thing. They slipped away, and by chance they reached a better place; they reached Kashmir, in India. Moses himself was tired, his people were tired. He gave them hope again – that’s all that leaders can do, and leaders have always been doing only that – the opium called hope, that tomorrow is going to be better: “Forget the yesterdays, they are finished, and don’t be too worried about today, it is fading away. Tomorrow, let tomorrow come and everything will be all right” But that tomorrow never comes.
Moses did the same. He said, “Don’t be worried, we have found the place.” He knew deep in his heart that he had failed, utterly failed; that knowingly or unknowingly he had cheated these poor people. They had been in poverty and they had been in suffering but not in such suffering and such poverty as they were now. But Moses could not confess it; to say it would have been really fatal. So what he did was, he said, “We have found the place. I am now old. The messiah will come soon. God has promised me he will be sending the messiah, who will redeem you, who will be your salvation.” And just to hide his face diplomatically, he said, “I have to go back and look for the lost tribe.”
It was a simple strategy to escape from the reality that was in front of them. No paradise had opened its doors and the people were becoming angry. Perhaps they would have killed Moses. There was a danger because this was the man who had created the whole trouble. Otherwise they were living somehow and they were satisfied, and they had accepted their fate.
I know poor people, utterly poor, who have nothing; it is so difficult for them to even manage one meal a day. Sometimes they have to just drink water and sleep – water to fill their empty belly so they can feel that something is there. But they are, in a certain way, satisfied. They have accepted it as their fate; they don’t think that things can be better than this. You can provoke them. You can put the fire in their minds very easily – just give them hope. But then sooner or later they are going to hold you by your neck: “Where are the hopes?”