Can you say who you are?
Maneesha, I am an invitation for all those who are seeking, searching, and have a deep longing in their hearts to find their home.
I am an answer to the question that everybody is, but cannot formulate—a question that is more a quest than a question, more a thirst than a verbal, mental inquiry; a thirst that one feels in every cell and fiber of his being, but has no way to bring to words and ask.
I am an answer for that question which you cannot ask and you cannot expect that it could be answered. When I say I am the answer, I don’t mean that I can give you the answer… yes, if you are ready, you can take it. I am just like a well, ready for you to throw your bucket and draw the water for yourself. I have it but I cannot reach to you without your efforts.
Only you can reach to me.
It is a strange invitation.
It will take you on a long pilgrimage and it will end only where you already are. You will have to move many steps and on many paths just to come to yourself, because you have gone far away from yourself. You have completely forgotten the way back. I am a reminder, a remembrance, of the lost home.
As a person I do not exist.
As a person I only appear.
I exist as a presence.
Since the day I came to know myself, the person disappeared. There is only a presence, a very living presence that can quench your thirst that can fulfill your longing. Hence, in one word I can say I am an invitation, of course just for those who have a deep longing in their hearts that they are missing themselves—a deep urge, that unless they find themselves, everything else is meaningless. Unless it is your a priori concern, your ultimate concern, such that if it is needed you are even ready to lose everything for it, but you cannot drop it….
There are thousands of desires, but as far as longing is concerned there is only one: to come back home, to find your reality. And in that very finding, you have found all that is of any value—blissfulness, truth, ecstasy.
Jesus used to say, “If you have eyes to see, see. If you have ears to hear, hear.” Of course, he was not talking to the blind and to the deaf. He was talking to people just like you. Perhaps he was talking just to you, because you are not new.
You are as ancient as the whole existence.
You have always been here.
You may have come across many masters; you may have come close to many buddhas, but you were too much engaged in trivia. You were not aware of your longing.
I am an effort to provoke the dormant in you, to wake up the asleep. The fire is there, but is burning very low because you have never taken any care of it.
My invitation is to make you aflame, and unless you know a life which is luminous and aflame all your knowledge is just a deception. You are gathering it to help you forget that the real knowledge is missing.
But however great is your accumulation of the other, the objective, the world, it is not going to become a substitute for your self-knowing. With self-knowing suddenly all darkness disappears, and all separation from existence.
I am an invitation to take a courageous jump into the ocean of life. Lose yourself, because that is the only way to find yourself.
From The Invitation, Chapter One
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