The mind interprets in such ways that it misses the whole point. The world is to continue: it has always been there and will always be there. Only you will not be there; death will take you away. As empty-handed as you had entered, you will have to leave. If that understanding penetrates your being, then repentance becomes possible. And repentance is nothing but attaining to the clarity of vision. This word repentance is very, very significant. There is no other word more significant in Jesus’ terminology because repentance will open the door of the divine. What is this repentance?
You have been angry and you repent. You feel sorry: you have behaved badly with someone and you repent and you ask to be pardoned. Is Jesus’ and John the Baptist’s repentance the same? Then it cannot go very far, because you have repented many times and you have not changed. How many times have you repented? How many times have you been angry, greedy, violent, aggressive, and you have repented? But your repentance has not transformed you, it has not brought you near the kingdom of God. It has not opened any new doors, new dimensions; you remain the same. Your repentance and Jesus’ repentance are not the same. In fact, they are almost diametrically opposite.
So whatsoever you have been understanding about repentance is absolutely false. Try to understand. When you repent, in fact you don’t repent. When you repent, in fact you try to repair the image. It is not repentance, it is repairing the broken image that you had of yourself.
For example, you have been angry and you have said things. Later on, when the rage is gone, the madness gone, you cool down and you look back. Now there is trouble. The trouble is that you have always been thinking that you are a very peaceful, peace-loving man; you have always been imagining that you never become angry. Now that image is broken. Your ego is shattered: now you know that whatsoever you have been believing has proved wrong. You have been angry, you have been very angry, and you have said and done things which are against your ego. You have shattered your own self-image. Now you have to repair it.
The only way to repair it is to repent. You go and repent, you say good things. You say, “It happened in spite of me. I never wanted it to be so. I was mad, I was not in my senses. The anger possessed me so much that I was almost unconscious, so whatsoever I have said, forgive me, I never meant it. I may have uttered it, but I never meant it.”
What are you doing – repenting? You are simply repairing. The other man relaxes because when somebody asks to be forgiven, he has to repair his image also. If he cannot forgive, then he is not a good man. He was also angry – about your anger – and he was planning to take revenge, but now you have come to be forgiven. If he does not forgive, then he will not be able to forgive himself, then his image will be broken.
And that is the trick you are playing. Now if he does not forgive you, you are the good guy and he is the bad guy. Now the whole thing has been thrown upon him. This is a trick, a very cunning trick. If he does not forgive you, he is a bad man. Now you are at ease, your image repaired. You have thrown the whole guilt on him. Now he will feel guilty that he cannot forgive, and a good man has to forgive. If he forgives, it is good; if he does not forgive, then it is good for you. Now it is a question for him to decide.