The first question:
The word esoteric has been used in a very sacred sense. Would you please tell us what inspires you to use it in a ridiculous and humorous sense?
The question is from Yoga Chinmaya.
The word esoteric means the hidden – it is ridiculous because nothing is hidden. All is obvious, God is obvious; if you cannot see, it is not because God is hidden, but because you are keeping your eyes closed. The sun is there, the light is there; if you keep your eyes closed and then you call the sun esoteric, that means you don’t even want to accept that you are keeping your eyes closed. You are throwing the responsibility onto the sun itself: “What can we do? If God is hidden, what can we do? It is his responsibility.” And the priests have loved the word very much, because if God is obvious then what will be the need for the priest? God has to be hidden. If he is not, then he has to be forced to hide somewhere! Then the need for the priest arises – a mediator who will make you aware of things which are hidden; who will help you, who will guide you to the secret world of the truth.
Truth is very obvious. In Zen they have a saying: From the very beginning nothing is hidden. It is the declaration of truth, hence the word esoteric is ridiculous, stupid.
And you ask “The word esoteric has been used in a very sacred sense…’”
There is nothing sacred either. Life is simple; there is nothing sacred and nothing secular. My whole effort here is to help you to dissolve the distinction between the sacred and the secular. The secular should become the sacred and the sacred should become the secular. That’s why I insist that you should remain part of the market world and meditate. Meditation should not be a thing apart from life; it should be amidst life, it should be a part of life an organic part, nothing “put separate.” The temple should exist exactly in the middle of the market, and all distinctions between the sacred and the secular should be dissolved.
Life is one.
But again the priest comes in. He wants to make distinctions, he wants to tell you that your life is ugly, that your life is mundane, that you are a worldly being. He is spiritual, he is something superior beyond you, beyond your reach. He is holy, you are unholy; he is a saint and you are a sinner. These distinctions have to be created. These are ego distinctions: somebody is rich, somebody is poor – then the ego can exist. Somebody is holy and somebody is not holy – again the ego can exist. The ego can exist only through distinctions of inferiority and superiority. “This world is inferior.”