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From Unawreness Comes Fear

All evil comes from ignorance; from unawareness comes fear, and from fear comes everything else. We think death is a tragedy but it’s not a tragedy at all. It’s only a tragedy to people who have never understood life. It’s only when you’re afraid of life that you fear death. It’s only dead people who fear death. But people who are alive have no fear of death. It’s been said that awakening is the death of your belief in injustice and tragedy. The end of the world for a caterpillar is a butterfly. Death is resurrection. Not some resurrection that will happen but one that is happening right now. If you would die to the past, if you would die to every minute, you would be the person who is fully alive, because a fully alive person is one who is full of death. We’re always dying to things. We’re always shedding everything in order to be fully alive and to be resurrected at every moment. If people don’t wake up, they’re always going to have these other minor ills like hunger, wars, and violence. The greatest evil is sleeping people, ignorant people.

Don’t ask the world to change—you change first. Then you’ll be able to change whatever you think ought to be changed. Take the splinter out of your own eye. If you don’t, you have lost the right to change anyone or anything. Till you are aware of yourself, you have no right to interfere with anyone else or with the world. Now, the danger of attempting to change

others or change things when you yourself are not aware is that you may be changing

things for your own convenience, your pride, your convictions and beliefs, or just to relieve your negative feelings. I have negative feelings, so you better change in such a way that I’ll feel good. First, cope with your negative feelings so that when you attempt to change others, you’re not coming from hate or negativity but from love.But what does self-change take? First, insight. Not effort, not cultivating habits, not having an ideal. Ideals do a lot of damage. The whole time you’re focusing on what should be instead of focusing on what is. And so you’re imposing what should be on a present reality, never having understood what present reality is.

Meditating on and imitating externally the behavior of Jesus is no help. It’s not a

question of imitating Christ, it’s a question of becoming what Jesus was. It’s a question

of becoming Christ, becoming aware, understanding what’s going on within you. All the

other methods we use for self-change could be compared to pushing a car. Let’s suppose

you have to travel to a distant city. The car breaks down along the way. Well, too bad; the

car’s broken down. So we roll up our sleeves and begin to push the car. And we push and

push and push and push, till we get to the distant city. “Well,” we say, “we made it.” But

do you call this life? You know what you need? You need an expert, you need a mechanic to lift the hood and change the spark plug. Turn the ignition key and the car moves. You need the expert—you need understanding, insight, awareness—you don’t need pushing. You don’t need effort. That’s why people are so tired, so weary. You and I were trained to be dissatisfied with ourselves. That’s where the evil comes from psychologically. We’re always dissatisfied, we’re always discontented, we’re always pushing. Go on, put out more effort, more and more effort. But there’s always that conflict inside; there’s very little understanding. Change should be like a sailboat. When a sailboat has wind in its sail, it glides along effortlessly. There’s no need to push the boat. That’s an image of what happens when change comes about through awareness and understanding.

There’s a story the man, who fell off the scaffolding. They asked, “Did the fall hurt you?” And he said, “No, it was the stop that hurt, not the fall.” When you cut water, the water doesn’t get hurt; when you cut something solid, it breaks. You’ve got solid attitudes inside you; you’ve got solid illusions inside you; that’s what bumps against nature, that’s where you get hurt, that’s where the pain comes from. If the eye is unobstructed, it results in sight; if the ear is unobstructed, the result is hearing; if the nose is unobstructed, the result is a sense of smell; if the mouth is unobstructed, the result is a sense of taste; if the mind is unobstructed, the result is wisdom.

Wisdom occurs when you drop barriers you have erected through your concepts and

conditioning. Wisdom is not something acquired; wisdom is not experience; wisdom is

not applying yesterday’s illusions to today’s problems.


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