And the man said, “Well, we don’t know. You see, we have lots and lots of houses, and we go in and out of them almost at will.”
The snail said, “You really are a most astonishing creature. Is there anything else that’s strange about you?”
And the man said, “Well now, we are men, and a man can take a thing like a leaf; you know, a leaf?”
And the snail said, “Yes. Yes, I know a leaf.”
The man said, “Well, he can make marks on this leaf, and even hand the leaf to another man, who can give the leaf to a third man, who can tell from the marks on the leaf what the first man was thinking about.”
“Ah,” said the snail, “I see, you are one of them. Hm….”
The man said, “What do you mean?”
“You are a liar,” said the snail. “The trouble with you liars is that you tell one lie, and then you tell a bigger one, and then finally you over-reach yourselves.”
That’s the feeling with a man like Jesus. Ordinary humanity feels that way: that Jesus is over-reaching himself. Maybe he has a magnetic personality, a charisma around him. Maybe he is a powerful man, a beautiful person. Maybe he has a certain convincing force in him. He is a man worth loving, but he is over-reaching himself. Whatever he is saying is beyond the ordinary human mind. In fact, it is beyond the human mind. He is bringing something into the world of the mind from the world of no-mind. This is an almost unbridgeable gap. He is bound to be misunderstood.
In misunderstanding he was crucified. And when on the cross he said, “Father, forgive these people, because they know not what they are doing,” it was not just compassion, it was not just love. It was compassion, it was love; it was also fact. Those people who were crucifying him, in fact, were fast asleep, unconscious. Whatsoever they were doing, they were not aware of it. They had never thought about the implications of it. They were not crucifying Jesus, they were simply crucifying a liar, they were simply crucifying someone who had been disturbing their silent, peaceful lives, who had been forcing them against their wills on an adventure which seemed dangerous, who had been talking about God, which everybody knows does not exist, and yet everybody believes in as a social formality.