Unknown year, April talk, Serial 00620

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We begin with the creation of the world, and we try to see the whole human life in this context of creation and redemption. And it's a great mystery, it embraces the whole creation, it embraces all humanity. And we know, of course, that human beings have been in this world many hundreds of thousands of years probably, and they don't come into the picture in the Bible as we read it. But nevertheless, the Bible tries to show us how God was at work in creation, and God was at work in redemption. Redemption from Egypt was a symbol, a sign of that redemption of humanity from slavery, from its oppression. Redemption and the promise of redemption, of freedom. And today, people are looking for this redemption, this suffering, this oppression all over


the world. And people speak of the third world, we belong to that third world, where there's so much injustice, so much suffering, so much oppression, so much poverty, so much disease. All these afflictions which affect humanity. And those afflictions still continue, humanity still suffers. And we all have to be aware of the great burden of sin and suffering, which still prevails all over the world. And we have to try to see how the death and resurrection of Christ somehow has changed the meaning of it. We can't deny the fact of sin, suffering, death is everywhere. And yet, the gospel teaches us that something has happened in the world which has set us free from these powers of sin, suffering, and death. We don't see it.


In the world today, it's no happier than it was when Jesus was born, when he rose from the dead. There's still the same suffering in the world. But something has entered into the world which changes our view of life. We know that beyond all the present world, with all its sin and all its suffering, there is this mystery of grace and salvation. God has entered into humanity, into this world, and redeemed it, and opened up a new vision, a new horizon for us all. And it's only by faith that we know this new vision, this new horizon. Millions of people today, they've not got that faith. They only see the suffering of the world, and they see no future. But I think the Church has this very special calling to not only to proclaim this mystery of salvation, but also to live it on behalf of the world. The vast multitudes of people have no hope in resurrection, no faith that there's anything


beyond, and yet we're all members of one another. I think it's so important to realize humanity is one. The Sheik of Adam is man, and that man, Adam, dies, and as St. Augustine said, his limbs were scattered over the world. Humanity is divided, scattered over the world, and exposed to every kind of suffering, sin, suffering, and death. That is our human destiny. And our faith is that that suffering humanity has been redeemed and reunited. Jesus is the new Adam, the new man who gathers humanity together, gives it a new birth, a new meaning, a new life. And I think we have to have that faith. We don't see it, you see. If you look out in the world today, the suffering is immeasurable. Even in India alone, how many people are suffering in poverty and distress of every kind, and how many people are exposed all over the world to disease and, of course, to death.


So it goes on, just as it was in the time of Christ. But something has entered into this humanity, into this world, which has redeemed it, which has opened up a new horizon, a new hope in humanity. And we share that hope, and we share it on behalf of all humanity. Nobody is excluded. When Jesus died, he died for all of humanity, from the beginning to the end of the world. No one is outside that mystery of redemption. So I think we need to remind ourselves how behind all the sufferings of the world and all the sin, there is this grace, there is this new life that has come into the world. We don't see it. It's only by faith that we know that there is an end to all this. This world is passing away. It's going to end. And a new world is coming into being. And in the resurrection, we see the sign of the new world. We must go through death into life.


And the humanity is destined to go through death into life. Each one of us is called to go through death into life. So we live in that faith and in that hope. And I think we have to renew it day by day, but also year by year. This is the great day when we renew our faith in the resurrection. And everything is against it in many ways. No sign of resurrection appears in the ordinary daily life. It's only by faith we know Jesus will raise from the dead. We have faith that we also will be raised from the dead. And humanity as a whole has been redeemed and will be raised from the dead and enter into this new life. And the life of the resurrection is not simply life going on in this world. Jesus appeared to his disciples after his death, confirmed their faith. But then he goes beyond. He goes into the new world. And we're all destined to pass through this world, through death, to resurrection, to new life, to communion with God.


We're all called to share the life of God. Jesus brought the life of God into this world and to enable us also to share in that life. So we all need to renew our faith and hope that God has redeemed the world and humanity is open to this new birth, this new life. And we have the calling as Christians to make that known, to give people faith, to give them hope, to make them realize that life isn't just this world with all its sin and suffering and death, but there is something beyond it all which totally transforms our whole being and gives us eternal life. This is the great message of Easter. So we're trying to keep that message in our hearts and to share it with others. Because people today need that faith and need that hope. And every Christian is really called to share that faith and hope with others, make people realize that this life does not end with this life, but has a hope and a future before it


which is infinitely great and wonderful. So we ask for the renewal of faith and hope in ourselves, in the Church, and in the world. This season we read these various stories of the Resurrection, and I would say we must take them too literally, as though Jesus simply returned to life in this world and was observable by ordinary means, the realities of Resurrection were not, you see, in the gross body of this world of senses, but in the subtle body, the subtle world, where time and space are not the same. The subtle world has been very much understood in India, in Hinduism, everybody understands that in the gross world, the gross senses, but the subtle world, the subtle senses, the


many yogis and sannyasis have this knowledge of the subtle world, and in Buddhism also, Tibetan Buddhism in particular, they explore the subtle world to an extraordinary extent. And of course we have in our own Christian traditions many experiences of the appearances of Jesus, of Our Lady, of the little lords, of Fatima, these all belong to the subtle world, you see, they are not the gross world, and they are not purely spiritual, because they are pure. The subtle world is still appealing to the senses, but it's not conditioned by the ordinary laws of the senses, the laws of matter. So it's an intermediate world, and all these appearances of Resurrection belong to that intermediate world, before Jesus finally goes beyond, essentially passes beyond time and space, beyond this world altogether, into the spiritual world, which transcends matter and time and space altogether, and that is where Jesus is now. And when we celebrate the Eucharist, we celebrate Jesus' presence among us in the spiritual


body, not in the gross or in the subtle, but in the spiritual body. He is presently in the Eucharist under the symbols of bread and wine, in his spiritual body, and that he can share with us all. So we all have to enter into this great mystery. The resurrections of mysteries tend to take us beyond our normal time-space thinking. See, we're all conditioned by this time-space thinking, particularly today we have the tremendous development of Western science, which is entirely an exploration of matter in the conditions of time and space as they appear to us in our present consciousness and with our limited understanding. And that is something valuable, of course, and it's done great help to humanity in many ways. But when we enter into the mystery of the resurrection, we transcend all of that scientific world, the whole world of matter, of time and space, and we discover the deeper realities which appear in meditation. You see, it's only in meditation that you go beyond the gross senses in the gross world


and you discern the subtle senses from the subtle world. Many people have visions and locutions that are too common. They hear voices, they see visions of Our Lady of Paris, I say we have appearances of Lourdes or of Fatima. These are real appearances in the subtle world, you see, and only certain people see them. You see, Bernadette saw this vision of Our Lady in Lourdes, and the other children didn't see anything. Their subtle senses were not awakened, you see, but hers had been awakened and she saw the Lady and she heard the voice. I am the Immaculate Conception, the voice came through to her. And so that is a revelation in the subtle world. And of course, it's a little dangerous. The subtle world is not pure, and you can get evil voices, you get voices of devils and so on in the subtle world, and the evil forces in the world. That's why it's always somewhat dangerous.


You always have to go beyond the spiritual where you're set free from all these countries. But in the subtle world, there are still these conflicts of good and evil and truth and error, and you get many people deceived. They have certain visions and then they are deceived by them. Madame Blavatsky was a great founder of theosophy, and she had very remarkable experiences in the subtle world, the whole world of the occult, which the theosophists have explored to a considerable extent, but they also were often deceived by it. And it's a very dangerous world. And so we all need to recognize reality. I think very few people today, especially in the West, who claim Western knowledge and education, have realized there is this intermediate world. And also the whole question of purgatory, you see. Purgatory belongs to that intermediate state, the subtle world. And you can have sufferings in it, and you can have joy in it, and so on, but it's not


the final state. Purgatory is the intermediate state. There is always, between the physical and the spiritual, there is the psychic, the subtle world, the psychic world, which partakes of both. It's spiritual to some measure, but it's also conditioned by matter and by phenomena, by the appearances of things. So we need to reflect on the resurrection, that Jesus appears to his disciples in that way, and then he disappears, and then he passes beyond. And we celebrate the resurrection, not of his appearances merely, but his passing to the Father. Jesus went, returned to the Father, and is with the Father eternally, and he comes now to us in his eternal spiritual body, present with the Father, and revealing himself to his disciples. So we all need to reflect on this mystery and try to live it in our lives. You see, as Christians, we've got this calling to witness to this other world.


The vast majority of people have no knowledge of anything beyond the gross physical world. They think that's all there is, and when you die, you end everything. They have no idea that this is a mere outer shadow. It's more like a shadow than a reality, the physical gross world, or like an outer garment, if you like. When you die, you pass out of that gross world into the subtle world, and then you begin to experience... And there are many, I'm sure, you've read books about life after life. Many, many people today have had experiences of life after death. You know they have an accident, or they die in a hospital, and they feel themselves going out of their physical gross body. And they're in their subtle body, and they look down, and they see their body. One man was in an accident, he saw his body there on the road, and all the blood and everything around, and he himself was in the subtle body beyond it. And then many have the experience in the subtle body, they feel themselves drawn towards


the light, in a sort of tunnel. And they see the light at the end of the tunnel, and they feel themselves being drawn. Some people also have experiences of their parents, their family, friends, also in the subtle body who meet them. And then they're moving towards the light, and then they feel themselves being drawn back. They want to go beyond, but something is pulling them back, and then they find themselves again in the gross body, dying in the hospital or wherever. So these are all very common experiences. And Dr. Moody, I think it is, in America, who began to investigate these experiences, and every time he lectured on it, somebody or other would get up and say they've had a similar experience. You see, millions of people in America have had this experience. There's really no doubt about it. There is a subtle psychic world beyond the gross physical world. And it's not the final stage, you see. It's not all that important, as I say. It's ambiguous. There are good and evil forces there.


But it is an intermediate state, and Jesus went through that intermediate state of the subtle world, the psychic, to appear to his disciples and to assure them, you see, of the reality of his resurrection. There has to be some link between the physical and the spiritual. And the subtle is that link. And so they knew him, saw him, spoke with him, even ate and drank with him. And then he went beyond, into the purely spiritual world, where he's totally present. You see, in the physical and the psychic world, there's always some limit of time and space. But in the spiritual world, you're beyond time and space. Jesus could be totally present here in this chapel here, here in the heart of each one of us, and in every other part of the world. He's totally present in the spiritual body. So we need to reflect and to try to realize it. We're celebrating the great mystery of the resurrection. It's the central mystery of all human history. And we have to try to enter into it and for now the mystery to reveal itself to us, to


make itself new to us, so that we live in it to some extent and we look forward to it. We're all destined for the resurrection, you see. We're all living in this close world. We're all going to pass into the subtle world of death, and we'll all be called to the final state of union with God, with Jesus. So that's our human calling. It's wonderful that a man can live with Jesus in the resurrection. It's a very moving story, and it's one example of this place that women have in the church, which we all need to reflect on, because men tend to dominate the church. And yet we see this great mystery that the history of the Incarnation was first revealed to a woman, and who receives that word before anyone else. And the mystery of the resurrection, which is the central Christian gospel, was first


revealed to this woman who was also a sinner. The great paradox, you see, is that she was a woman and not a man, as you would expect, and a sinner and not a holy woman, though she had become holy, no doubt. So it faces us with this great paradox, and also with this place of woman in the church and in human existence. And I think we have to see that everybody, as one son said, is both masculine and feminine. But the masculine character is active and outgoing, and the feminine character is basically passive and receptive and indwelling. And the two make up the fullness of human nature. But when it comes to our relation with God, it's the feminine character which is the most fundamental, to be passive and receptive. Because women don't want to be active towards God, try to get hold of him.


We have to allow ourselves to be accepted by him, to be taken up by God. We have to be passive. And we have to be receptive. We have to be open. And not active and energetic and giving ourselves, but waiting patiently, receiving from another. And we see these two characters always in the church. And we have to remember that the active ministry, popes, bishops, priests, is precisely an active ministry, an outgoing, to spread the gospel. But you can't spread the gospel until you've received it. And so the primary thing is the receptive part. It's the woman who receives the word of God, who initiates the gospel, you see. And it's the woman who receives the message of the resurrection, who initiates it. Then the men go out and spread the news. But she receives it.


And I think it's very important to see this presence in the church, you see, of this receptive part, which is always there, always through the two aspects. There's the active ministry in the church, which occupies the foreground all the time, popes, bishops, priests, all the important people. But behind them is the receptive part. Without that, they are useless. There's nothing. Of course, a pope and a bishop can also be receptive and have a feminine character. But his function is active, is a ministry, is a sacrament, is an outgoing thing. And the other side of the church, the indwelling, the receptive part, the openness to the Holy Spirit, that is the heart of the church, you see. The woman is at the heart of the church. And the heart is not conspicuous. It's hidden, you see. Hands and the feet and the head, these are all outside and you see them all. But they all sustain the heart. The woman is at the heart of the church. And you see it in actual daily life.


For instance, probably the most holy person in the church in the early part of the last beginning of this century was St. Therese of Lisieux. And there were great popes, perhaps the 11th and all the rest of them, doing great things. And there were lots of priests, active ministers, missionaries, and so on, with whom she was much concerned. But she was at the heart of the church. And she realized that. She was at the heart. And she was a saint, you see. And she was above all these priests and bishops and popes and people who were doing great things. She was more holy. She was nearer to God, you see. So this is a paradox that you have all the external ministries and so on, which are all necessary, of course, in part, the central of the church. And yet behind them all is this receptive power, the power to be surrendered to God and to be totally open, to allow yourself to be occupied, to be possessed by God, you


see, and not be doing something all the time. And we live in a civilization where precisely it's the masculine dominates everything, be in control, be managing, to be organizing, to structure the whole world around you. This is the masculine power. And the other part, the feminine, is neglected. And that is why our world is suffering today, you see. This feminine aspect is rejected. And even women want to be like men, you see. They all want to have an active ministry to become priests and so on. No harm in that. A woman can have a masculine character. She can exercise it. But her essential character is this receptivity, this passivity, this openness, this nourishing power which is behind everything. And the Chinese particularly, they have a very deep sense of the feminine and of this receptive power. And they say the highest goodness is like water.


The water is excellent in benefiting everything and it always seeks the lowest place. Water goes down to the base and it renews, refreshes everybody and everything. And that is the feminine power. So we need to reflect on this. I mean, the movement for women priests is perfectly reasonable. There's no reason why. Everybody is both active and is both masculine and feminine. And a woman can exercise a masculine power as a doctor, as a lawyer, as an engineer, as a priest. It's perfectly reasonable. But you shouldn't imagine that that is sort of some great achievement. The woman has the other function which no man can advocate. Of course, men also have a feminine power and can exercise it. But a woman has this particular calling to be receptive, to be passive, to be contemplative, to be at the heart of the church. So we need to sort of bring those two together to see their place. Neither man without woman is anything, nor woman without man.


They're complementary and they fulfill the whole of human nature. So we have to ask to realize this place of women in the church and the feminine aspect in our lives, that we're all feminine before God. We all have to be passive, receptive to receive the Holy Spirit. And that is a particular grace we ask of what we recognize in Mary Magdalene. And one last point is so evident in this very tragic way. The male apostles were all hidden. They all ran away and were all hidden. And it was the women who set about going to the tomb, preparing the offerings and so on, and doing what had to be done. And they received this message from the Lord. They were active in a sense, you see, but it was their passivity which enabled them to be aware of what was necessary and to do this thing. So they also were the ones who received the good news of salvation. They were the first to receive it. Q. There are many things of interest in this story of the two disciples of Emmaus.


First of all, this appearance of Jesus, and they don't recognize him. And as I was saying, Jesus appeared in a subtle body. And the subtle body is not seen unless your subtle senses are awakened. And St. Luke says their eyes were kept from recognizing him. See, they weren't awake to this vision, this revelation, and it took time before they were able to perceive it. And we must remember that this subtle body or the subtle appearances are not nothing unique about it. It's not uncommon for people to appear after death. The story of C.S. Lewis appeared to a friend of his after death, seated in his chair, quite visible and present in every way. And Ramakrishna, it appears to have appeared to many disciples after his death.


So this kind of appearance in a subtle body is interesting. It's not the resurrection. And the second thing is that Jesus begins to reveal who he is. And this is a great difference. It's not just an appearance like that. It's a revelation. And he opens their hearts. He says, beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interrupted them in all the scriptures concerning himself. See, it isn't just an appearance after death. It is a revelation of the fulfillment of all the scriptures. Jesus comes in the context of the history of Israel, and he comes in the fulfillment of all the prophets and the patriarchs, and he reveals himself, fulfilling all these prophecies.


And now they begin to see the whole history of Israel, which is also the history of the world in the context of Jesus. A whole new perspective, a new vision of reality opens up to them. And that is the meaning of resurrection. The appearances are there to convince them that this Jesus they've known is still alive. But he's not simply alive in that subtle body. He's alive in a much more profound way. He's alive as one who has fulfilled all the scriptures and has gone beyond. And that was the message left to the church. And after that, the church began to reflect on the scriptures and to see them in the light of Christ. And that's what we do up to the present day. There's much biblical criticism today, which has opened up new perspectives in the Bible. But it all leads to this discovery of how the whole history of Israel, which is also the mystery of humanity, is fulfilled,


is revealed as we make manifest in the resurrection. Jesus reveals the ultimate meaning of life, you see, or the ultimate purpose and meaning of human existence. That is what the resurrection reveals. And then they go on and persuade him to have a meal with them. And then the final revelation takes place. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed it and broke it and gave it to them. ...gospel as a kind of appendix, which was earlier written. Afterwards, the gospel apparently ends at the end of chapter 20. And then this chapter was added. And many speculations as to why it's there. It was added. But one of the best explanations, I think, is this.


That first of all, there were these two traditions about the appearances of Jesus. That one tradition was that they were in Jerusalem. And Luke tells us earlier the appearances in Jerusalem. The other tradition was they were in Galilee. And Matthew tells their appearances in Galilee. And John had told us in Jerusalem, and he wanted to add now, appearances in Galilee. And it has a deeper significance in that the appearances in Jerusalem were in the context of the temple, the worship, prayer, the Eucharist, and the breaking of bread. And here Jesus appears to them, and they've gone back to their ordinary life. Jesus says, let's go fishing. They've gone back to their work. And maybe St. John wanted to show that the risen Lord is present among his disciples, not only in the prayer and worship in the sacred context,


but also in their daily life and their work. And that gives it really a very great meaning. And then there are various other elements in the story. First of all, it's very close to the story told by St. Luke. The early other Gospels about the miraculous draft of fishes. And it's possible that St. John has transferred this story from the past to the future. And remember that the evangelists had all these different stories of Jesus, and then they put them in the theological context, which is meaningful to them. We didn't know the chronology of them usually. And sometimes one, for instance, the three Gospels put the cleansing of the temple right at the end, as before the Passion, and St. John transfers it to the beginning. And you always have a theological reason. And as I say, the reason here may be that John has transferred this


to show that Jesus also appeared to his disciples after the resurrection in their daily life. And that is a meaning for us, that Jesus is present to us, not merely, but only, let us say, in the worship, in the prayer, in the Eucharist, but also in the context of daily life. And then you have this interesting feature. They don't recognize him. Jesus stood there and... Jesus stood on the beach, yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then he speaks to them, and tells them to cast the net, and then he says, none of the disciples dared ask him, who are you? He knew it was the Lord. So it wasn't an ordinary appearance, you see. You have to discern the presence of the Lord. And I think this is important also, you see, that God appears to us in our daily life,


but most people don't recognize him. He comes in so many different ways, under so many disguises. And you have to recognize the presence. And the disciples were able now to recognize that presence. And that is this subtle insight that I mentioned. You see, Jesus is not present now in his gross body. He's present in his subtle body. And he appears to us also in this way, when we perceive in the ordinary person, the ordinary events of life, we see through them into their deeper meaning. We see the presence of God, of Christ in our daily life, in people, in the events which are taking place around us. And it is one of the great insights that we all need to perceive this mysterious presence. And I think today, perhaps, that's the most important of all. We must balance them, of course. We need times of prayer, worship, Eucharist. That is, his presence in a special way.


See, the Eucharist is his presence, but the signs of bread and wine, the signs which he gave, the signs of his presence among his disciples, a particular mode of his presence. But he's really present everywhere. See, once he's risen, he's passed beyond this world, this time-space world, into the transcendent, and he's totally present everywhere. See, we see everything conditioned by time and space, and we have to think in those terms. Once we realize that time and space are a particular mode of consciousness, that we experience the world in that way, we can understand that when you go beyond that mode of consciousness, you're totally present everywhere and every time. And that is, of course, God is present everywhere, every time. And Jesus passing beyond time-space, into the presence of God, is present everywhere at every time, from the beginning to the end of the world. We say he's Lord of the whole creation. And so he's present beyond,


and he's present day by day in our daily life. And to recognize that presence, we can do it with the Eucharist, we're taught to do it, but often we don't recognize it in the presence of other people. And it's equally profound, you see. This is equally present in your neighbor, in the person you're living with, as in the Eucharist. It's another mode of the same presence. And so we all have to try to recognize this presence of the Lord of the world around us. And that is faith, you see. It's interesting, with the Eucharist, we only see the bread and the wine, but they teach us that Jesus is present in his total reality. So when we look around us and relate ourselves to others, to see their presence, total reality. I remember the story of Dorothy Day. She was a very holy woman, you know, and one day there was some person who was completely mad and raving and really dangerous.


And nobody dared to go near her. And Dorothy Day decided to go in, which she went and talked with others, and she came out in a perfect peace. And they asked her, well, what did you do? What did you say? And she said that there was nobody there but Jesus. So she simply went beyond the external signs of that person, the temple, physical being, and saw Jesus there, and transformation took place. So that's the mystery, you see, to see the risen Lord in people in the events around us. So we all have to ask the question, isn't it? Resurrection raises many problems, particularly this. This is St. Thomas's, perhaps the most striking monster. His finger in the place of the nails, his hand at his side.


And so Jesus appears a very concrete reality, and yet it's not precisely of this world. On each occasion, he says the doors were shut, and Jesus appeared among the dead. Among them. So he's not in the ordinary state of a human being, and yet he's physical and tangible in that way. And I think there are two mistakes we make about the resurrection. One is to think that it consists simply that we arise again with the bodies which we now have, physical, tangible, and so on. And we continue our life in another world in another phase of this world. And that clearly is an illusion. We don't go with this body. And on the other hand, the danger is, we say that the resurrection is purely spiritual. The body is not there any longer. Then we arise again in the spirit. And obviously that equally is not true to the revelation.


And to realize how it is physical and concrete and real, and yet transcends the conditions of this world, you see. It's appearing that the doors were shut. It's no longer conditioned by the time-space laws of this world. And this is a very special Christian doctrine, because most religions have a belief in a future life, and they build it in different ways, but that it has this concreteness, you see, that Jesus appears in his very body, with his wounds, and visible and tangible in that way, and yet it's not of this world still. And this has to be realized in our own lives, you see. The resurrection is not for Jesus alone. It's a great sign of the resurrection of us all. And this risen life is something which already begins in us now. Baptism, actually, this risen life of Christ.


And every time we receive the Eucharist, we receive the risen life of Christ, you see. This new life is communicated to us. So it's present in these bodies, in this present life. And yet, of course, it transcends these bodies and transcends this present life. And we have to try to recognize it, that already in the physical world around us, there is this presence, you see. There is a presence of the risen Lord in the physical world, as he was present at the sight of Sarah. And it's a presence in every human being and in the whole universe around us. There is a presence of the risen Lord, you see. Christ is present in the whole creation. There is the physical aspect of the psychic, and then beyond those, there is that presence of the risen Lord in the whole creation. And he is present in each one of us, beyond the physical body and beyond our psychic being. There is a presence of the Lord in each one of us. And that presence is, it's totally real,


but it's not conditioned by matter and time and space as our bodies are now. And it's not conditioned by time and thoughts and feelings as our souls are now. We're conditioned by these modes of thinking and feeling or limited. It goes beyond the limitation of the body, beyond the limitation of the mind, and yet it's totally real. You see, the danger, if we go beyond the body and the mind, then it begins to be unreal to us. And the fifth good is to realize the total reality of it, is it assumes the total reality of the body, the total reality of the soul, into this life of the spirit. And that is what the resurrection is in Jesus, what it's called to be in each one of us. And how to realize it in our lives now, you see, it gives sacredness to the body, to the physical world, the world in which we live. There's something sacred, there's something divine already present there. And it gives sacredness to every human being,


our desires, our fears, our hopes, our ambitions, all this world of human reality. There's something divine in it already, you see. And we can realize more and more in our lives that we're not living simply a human life, we're living the life of Christ in us, he is living in us and he's transforming our thoughts, our feelings, our desires, our whole person is being transformed. And then we're waiting for the final transformation when the body and the soul, both integral and whole, are transfigured into the life of the spirit, no longer conditioned, no longer limited, no longer subject to obviously the corruption and to change, but totally fulfilled, you see. It's the idea of total fulfillment of the human being, of the human being, of the human person. And that is really what is called the resurrection. And so we can all ask for this, it's very practical, you see, if we have a vague idea, and most people have a vague idea


after death there'll be something, and we leave it like that. And others have far too concrete view, they think this life is going on. People in this hospital have been born again of water and the spirit, it's very fundamental and has a very deep meaning, and it can easily be misunderstood. We're all born into this world of sin, suffering and death, that is the human condition which the Buddha realized so deeply. All is passing, all is suffering, all is unreal, no absolute final reality. That is the world into which we're born, and everybody has to be reborn into this other world, this other consciousness, this other experience and way of life. And there are various ways in which this rebirth takes place, and some have limited it.


Tradition of the church was that they stood for baptism, and if you were baptized you couldn't be saved. That was a very common teaching. You didn't go about baptizing Hindus when they're unconscious to make sure that they were saved in some way. And that is ludicrous, of course. And baptism is a sign, you see, all sacraments are signs. Baptism is a sign of your incorporation into this community of salvation, a community of grace. And it's an effective sign. By that sign you enter into the community of grace and salvation, and you share in the gift of God in that community. The child who is baptized, he enters into that. But it's only a sign, and there are many other ways of entering into that new life, simply by baptism. And another mistake which is very common, born-again Christians, they think they have an experience of being born again.


But people undergo that experience, it can be very profound. But of course, they're quite a small minority, the vast majority of people don't have that experience at all. And it isn't the experience of being born again which is essential. There has to be a rebirth with the depths of our being. And in a very deep sense, you see, Jesus, by his death and resurrection, has brought about rebirth to all humanity. All humanity has fallen into sin, suffering, and death. And by his death and resurrection, by the passing of history, Jesus opens up a new life, this rebirth, to all humanity. In some way, that grace is offered to every human being. There's a wonderful passage in the Constitution on the... I forget which it is, I'm afraid. Maybe that's in the modern world. In the Vatican Council, where it said, since all men, women, have a common destiny,


or accord, this union with God, we must believe that in ways known only to God, the Holy Spirit enables all human beings to be associated with the pastoral mystery. Every human being is born into a humanity which has been redeemed. We're born into a humanity which has fallen into sin and suffering and death, and we're born into a community which has been redeemed. So in some way, that rebirth, that capacity to be born again, open to new life, is present to every human being. And the various ways in which it is communicated, for the majority of Christians, baptism is the way, but Christians, of course, it's quite a small minority in the world. And each religion has its own signs and symbols. In Hinduism, there are about 11 symbols, I think it is, of rebirth, when the child is in the womb, and the moment he's born, when it has its first food.


There are all these sacraments to ensure that that child enters in the community of the same... When the Upanayana ceremony of the Brahmin boy is initiated, he's said to be dvija, twice born. It's a new birth. So this idea that you have to be reborn is really present. And of course, with the Buddha, it's the same. The Buddha said, all is suffering, all is passing, all is unreal, in the sense of the final reality. And he opened a way, the state-provided path, to be reborn, to experience his new life. So each religion has its own way to integrate people into the new life, this new way. And of course, there are millions of people outside any religion. And whenever people are open to truth, or goodness, or love, and no human being is totally deprived of such things,


they also are, they experience this rebirth. See, it's, as I say, sin, suffering, and death are the condition of the mortal life. And every opening to truth, which is going beyond the external realities, and to love, which opens you to the transcendent, each and every such thing is a way of being reborn, entering into this new life. So no one is excluded from the kingdom of God, the grace of Christ, which in various ways is offered to every human being. And we're all responsible, you see, we all have this grace offered us. And it's not simply once and for all, it's something which has to be renewed day by day. Because we all fall back into sin, suffering, and to death. And we all have to be reborn day by day to awaken to the truth which is in us. And I think that's the great calling, you see,


this conversion, day by day, to realize that we've been born out of our human, mortal, sinful state, into this way of life, of truth, of love, of integration, you see, integration into humanity, into the whole human reality. And salvation from our isolation, our separation from one another, from the world, and sin is separation, you see, and grace is reintegration, we've been reborn into this human reality. So we all have to pass the grace of rebirth, day by day, to be reborn, until the moment of death should be the final rebirth, the final passing beyond suffering and death, the final entry into grace, to Christ, to life, to the Self that is at the end of the world. We are called. This story of Jesus walking on the sea


disturbs many people, many think it's probably a legend, those sort of things don't happen. But in India, I think we understand these things much better. Such phenomena are not at all uncommon. I've never seen actually walking on water. It's one of the cities which are considered normal as you develop these psychic powers, you become able to control material conditions in many ways. Here in Kuala Lumpur, we have walking on fire every year, with a big pit, almost a whole church here, and filled with burning logs, and then midday, people come and they bathe and pray and so on, and they walk through the fire. And some are burnt, it's true, majority are not burnt at all. But these are mere phenomena, they're not particularly important. And these cities are considered normal as we develop yoga,


we develop these powers. And beyond the physical, all these psychic powers, and they create a great sensation. Many sannyasis have these powers and attract many people, but they're not important. And I think it's a mistake either to say that these things are impossible, as people in the West imagine, or to think that they're important, as other people imagine. And behind it, of course, is something much deeper, it's the presence of Christ. You see, Jesus says to them, Do not be afraid, it is I. And that is what really matters, it's not walking on water, it's this presence of Christ, that in all the human situations, there is His presence. And that is what faith is, to be aware that there is the presence of God, of Christ, in every human situation. And we're overcome by them, very easily, we get so many things happen around us,


and we get overwhelmed with all the things that are happening, and we lose any sense of a presence, of anything beyond, and to be awake to that, to be established in His presence. In the Bhagavad Gita we say, Brahmanistha, established in Brahman. Brahman is that reality behind the world, behind all the phenomena, the senses. And it's to be aware that behind all phenomena, whether they're natural or whether they're psychic, beyond all phenomena is the presence. And to be aware of the presence is really the aim of our life. And all meditation and prayer is a way of opening our hearts to the infinite presence, to discover it, and to live in it, and to allow it to shape our lives. You see, once we enter the presence, it has a power, it's not a static presence, it's a dynamic power. And it begins to shape our lives, and we surrender to it. We find our life being organized,


and I think this is one of the greatest signs. Many people experience it. You think at first that everything is accidental. You do this and that, and things go wrong, or sometimes they go right. You think it's all accidental, it's just the laws of nature. But then you begin to discover that behind the laws of nature, all these paradoxes, there is a power, there is a destiny which is shaping your life. And you begin to find things fall into a pattern. And you begin to see there is an order pattern in life. I think it's extremely important. But you see, many people have no sense of any order or pattern. Things just happen by accident. We're living in a world of natural and physical laws, and you're just subject to all this. All psychological laws are subject to all these psychic laws, and so you become disillusioned, and you feel there's no meaning. And it's only when you awake to this inner reality


behind the phenomena, you discover that it's a reality in the first place. It is that which gives reality to all phenomena, the world, senses, and so on, is sustained and given its reality by this hidden power, this Brahman, whatever name you give to it, which is behind all reality. And then you discover it's not a static power. Let's say it's a dynamic power. And ultimately, it's a power of love. See, when you discover that your life is being shaped by a power which is love, everything changes. See, for many people, this is simply lost. They've lost any idea that they think the physical world is determined by physical laws. By electromagnetic phenomenon and all the rest of it. And of course, those laws are present. There's no doubt of it. But they're not determining laws. And other people think we're all determined by psychological laws. Of course, we are determined psychologically by our heredity and our childhood and our developments and so on.


All these things condition our psyche. There's no doubt about it. But beyond the physical laws and beyond psychological laws, there is a hidden presence. And once you awake to that, then it's stronger than all beings. It doesn't abolish them. You can't escape them. But you are able to go beyond them. You find that this is working through them. God doesn't abolish all the laws of nature. But he works through them, transcends them. And walking on the water, it was a sign, you see, that Jesus was beyond the ordinary physical phenomenon. He's also beyond psychic phenomenon. He is the reality, the highest. And when we discover that, then our lives are transformed. I think we all have to ask for this grace to become more and more aware that in all the circumstances of life, there is a hidden power at work. That is the power of love, of grace. And it's working through all phenomena. And once we're aware of it, we discover it more and more.


First, one ignores it or just sees it occasionally. But gradually, you begin to see that everything is conditioned. Every single event in your life is ultimately conditioned by that power. And once we recognize it, the whole life world becomes transformed. And that, of course, is the meaning of the life of Jesus. He discovered this hidden power, working through it. Everything he did and said came from that source. He was living in that presence. It was working through him. And when it came to death and desolation and crucifixion, he knew the powers at work there. And therefore, he was able to sustain it and then go beyond. Resurrection is transcending the present physical, psychological laws and revealing the transcendent mystery beyond. And Jesus went through the whole process and reveals in the resurrection this presence beyond. And he's present everywhere now. He's gone beyond the whole psychic and physical world


and is present in the reality. And he's present to us here in this impressive signs of bread and wine. But each one of us has a presence in the heart. So it's a real presence of Christ in the heart of each one. So this is what we have to discover. This is faith. But faith has to be nourished. It has to become experience. It has to become an experience of the present. We don't merely believe that Jesus is present. In the Eucharist, we have to experience his presence transforming our lives. So we all ask for that grace to become more deeply aware of the presence of Christ.