The ear locks have to be removed. What are the ear locks? The fear of truth is the basic lock. You are afraid of the truth – notwithstanding what you say, notwithstanding that you again and again say, “I want to know the truth.” You are afraid of truth because you have lived in lies. And you have lived in lies so long that all those lies are afraid, trembling – if truth comes they will all have to leave you. They have become owners of you. Just as darkness is afraid of light, so lies are afraid of truth. The moment you come closer to truth, the mind will become very much disturbed. It will create much stir, it will raise much dust, it will create a cloud around you so that you cannot hear what truth is.
The ear locks have to be removed. The basic lock is fear. You are locked in fear. Buddha has said that unless you are fearless you will not attain to truth. And look at your religions, at what you have done. Your so-called religions are all based in fear. And through fear there is no way to truth; only fearlessness knows what truth is.
When you bow down in a church or in a mosque or in a temple, to a statue, to a scripture, to tradition, from where is your bowing coming? Just watch inside – and you will find fear and fear and fear. Out of fear there is no faith, but the so-called faith is all based on fear. That’s why it is very rare in the world to come across a man who has faith, because faith happens only when fear has disappeared. Faith appears only on the death of fear.
Faith means trust. How can a fearful man trust? He is always thinking, he is always cunning, he is always protecting, defending. How can he trust? To trust, you need courage. To trust, you need to be brave. To trust, you need to be able to risk. To trust, you need to move into danger.
Just the other day I was looking at a Chinese ideogram for crisis and I was intrigued by it, because the Chinese ideogram for crisis consists of two symbols: one means danger, another means opportunity. Yes, that moment is a critical moment when you are facing danger and opportunity both. If you don’t go into danger you will miss the opportunity. If you want the opportunity you will have to go into danger. Those who know how to live dangerously, only they are religious. Fear is the basic ear lock. Then there are others, but they arise out of the fear – the judging, the argumentation, clinging with the past, not allowing the new any entry in your being.
In many many forms, in many many languages, the word for obedience is an intensive form of the word listening. Horchen, gehorchen, obeir, obedire, etcetera – all these words simply say passionate, intense, total listening. One thing more. You will be surprised to know that the word absurd is the exact opposite of obedience. Absurdus means absolutely deaf. So if you say something is absurd, you are simply saying, “I am absolutely deaf to what this is going to tell me.” Replace an absurd attitude with an obedient attitude and then you will be able to listen, then you will be baring your ear, then you will be utterly open.
It is good to say to an ordinary human being, “Listen attentively.” But why does Buddha say this to Subhuti? There is something very significant to be understood. A word has no meaning in itself; the meaning is created only when the word is addressed. To whom it is addressed will determine the meaning. So you cannot find the meaning in any dictionary because dictionaries are not written for bodhisattvas, they are written for ordinary human beings.