Question – Well, I was brought up as a catholic, So how come Jesus is a stranger to me?
Osho – Jesus is always a stranger. It does not matter whether you were brought up as a Catholic or a Protestant or a Hindu or a Mohammedan. The very being of Jesus is that of a stranger, because he is an outsider. He lives on a different plane, he lives in a different dimension: he lives in God, you live in the world. He talks a different language; he talks about things you have not even dreamt about. You cannot trust him. You cannot even understand him; he is incomprehensible.
You may have been brought up as a Catholic; that means you have been taught from your childhood things about Jesus. Those are simply words; you have not been introduced to Jesus, because that introduction is possible only through meditation — not through any kind of teaching, not through the Catholic catechism. It is all rubbish. In fact, rather than helping you to become acquainted with Jesus it becomes a barrier; you become knowledgeable. You know many things about Jesus without knowing Jesus. The more you know about him, the less you think that you need to know him. You become satisfied by and by; you start feeling that you already know him without knowing him at all. That’s what Christian teachings do. And the more you have been taught, the more you become familiar, the more it breeds contempt.
So sometimes it happens that one who has not been brought up as a Christian may have fresher eyes to see Jesus, because his mind will be uncluttered. He will not know anything, he will look through innocence. He will not have any conditionings, he will look empty. He will approach Jesus without any prejudice for or against. And you can know Jesus only when you go nude, naked — naked of all beliefs, naked of all prejudices, when you approach him without any preoccupation, when your mind is utterly silent.
So in fact, the Catholic upbringing has done just the Opposite. All religions are doing that, it is nothing special to the Catholic Church. Hindus destroy the possibility of knowing Krishna, Buddhists destroy the possibility of knowing Buddha — because knowledge becomes more important than knowing, and knowledge is second-hand. Only knowing can help. And remember, let me repeat it again: Jesus is a stranger. He may be standing by your side but he is not there, he is somewhere else. You may be standing in front of Jesus but you are not there, you are somewhere else. You and Jesus never meet, because the planes are so different. You never criss-cross — you cannot! Unless you become something like Jesus, there is no possibility. And to become like Jesus needs great meditation, needs great intelligence — not a Catholic upbringing, not a Sunday religion, not foolish dogmas and creeds. Great intelligence, sensitivity, awareness…
People are fast asleep. Somebody is asleep as a Christian, and somebody is asleep as a Hindu. That doesn’t matter — sleep is sleep. A Christian, a Hindu, a Mohammedan — if all these three get too drunk, will there be any distinction, differentiation between their drunkenness? The Hindu will behave as foolishly as the Mohammedan; and the Mohammedan will behave as stupidly as the Christian. Once they are drunk, they are drunk. And people are asleep. It makes no difference what kind of theology you have used as a pillow for your sleep. Whether the pillow is white or green or blue or red does not matter. Once you fall asleep, you fall asleep; the pillow becomes immaterial. Whether you are sleeping on the Bible, on the Gita, on the Koran does not make any difference; you are using a pillow. Somebody is using the Bible as the pillow, somebody else is using the Koran as the pillow. And you are snoring over your scriptures. And Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and Krishna remain strangers. They do not belong to this world, that’s why Hindus call them avatars. Avatar means one who has come from beyond descended from the beyond, like a ray of light descends into darkness. It comes from the transcendental world, from the world of turiya — the fourth.
Jesus LOOKS like you, but he is not like you. Don’t be deceived by the appearance. He is here on the earth, and not of it. He moves in the same world, the same market-place, the same people, rubs shoulders with you, holds your hand, looks into your eyes, but he does not belong to this world. He belongs to the other shore. He has risen, he has risen in God.
You can also rise, and only by rising will you be able to understand him; befreind him, otherwise he will remain an outsider.
Jesus is a lotus. You are still the mud. There cannot be any dialogue between the lotus and the mud — although the lotus is born out of the mud, although the mud is carrying many more lotuses than have become manifest. Many unmanifest lotuses are there in the mud, but the mud and the lotus are so different — strangers to each other. That is the situation. If you want to understand the lotus you will have to become a lotus. Only a lotus can have a dialogue with the lotus.
Never become a Christian. If you want to become something, become a Christ. Never become a Buddhist. If you want to become something, become a Buddha. Otherwise you will remain unaware of the reality of Jesus. And because people feel uneasy — uneasy because they cannot comprehend Jesus — they create theories. Rather than transforming themselves, they load Jesus with theories, theories which can help them make him comprehensible. No theory can make him comprehensible. All theology is false. But there are only two ways: either you wrap theories around Jesus which you can understand… In that way you feel that you have understood Jesus, but you have understood only the theories that you have wrapped around him. He remains there, absolutely far away, distant. He is not even touched by your theories. You can weave and spin beautiful philosophies around him. That philosophy you will be able to understand — it is woven by you — it is your creation, it is your invention rather. But Jesus, who is just standing there hidden behind your philosophies, is still an outsider. In fact your philosophies, your theories, have made him more of an outsider than he was. With those theories, there has come a China Wall between you and him.
If you are a Christian you will never understand Jesus. Your very Christianity will be an obstruction, a hindrance. How can you understand Jesus when you are a Christian? Impossible! What does it mean to be a Christian? It means that you have certain ideas about Christ. You are clinging to certain theories: those theories become more important than Christ himself! Naturally, because you can understand those theories and you cannot understand Christ, those theories become more and more important. You can discard Jesus, but you cannot discard your theories. That’s why there are so many Christianities — the Christianity of the Catholic, and the Christianity of the Protestant, and the Christianity of many, many other sects. They all go on fighting, they are always at each other’s necks, and they are all followers of Jesus! So where is the conflict?
The conflict is not between their Jesuses, because Jesus is one. The conflict is between their theories, and they cling to the theory. They can discard Jesus very easily — Jesus is discarded, but they cannot discard their theory. Their theory is more important: it is their invention. Jesus has become secondary.
No, you cannot understand Christ if you are a Christian or a Catholic. You can understand Christ only if you are nobody. I am not saying that you can understand Christ if you are a Hindu. When you are nobody, when you drop all the curtains and you start moving in that reality called “Christ” without any preoccupied mind — empty, clean, clear, no smoke around you, just a clarity and the freshness that clarity brings, and the vitality that clarity brings — and you start approaching Jesus, with no idea of who he is, then there will be a meeting. Only if you are a nobody can you meet with Christ or Buddha or Krishna. And these are different names for the same state of consciousness. It is the fourth state of consciousness. Theories belong to the third state of consciousness; and Jesus, Buddha, belong to the fourth state of consciousness. You will have to drop many things before you can feel Jesus.