Chapter 23: It Is a Carbon Copy
Would you talk some more on the art of how to be fully alive?
The art of living fully, totally, and intensely is not something arduous or difficult, but it has been made almost impossible. It is so simple and so obvious that there is no need to learn it.
One is born with an intuitive feeling, intrinsic in life itself. The trees know it, the birds know it, the animals know it. Only man is unfortunate. Man is the highest peak of life, and he wants to know the art of living. There has been a continual conditioning against life. That is the basic cause why the art is needed.
All the religions of the world which have dominated humanity for centuries are anti-life. Their very fundamental is that this life is a punishment. According to Christianity, you are born in sin because Adam and Eve disobeyed God. One cannot believe how long you can stretch fictions. Even if Adam and Eve disobeyed God, I don’t see any relationship with you or with me. And secondly, disobedience is not necessarily a sin. Sometimes it may be the most virtuous thing to do.
But all cultures, all societies, want obedience. That is another name of slavery, spiritual imprisonment. What wrong had Adam and Eve done because they had eaten the fruit of knowledge? Is wisdom a sin? Is ignorance a virtue? And God had forbidden them to eat from two trees; one was of wisdom and the other was of eternal life. Who is committing the sin, Adam and Eve, or God? Neither is wisdom wrong, nor is the longing for eternal life wrong; they are absolutely natural. The prohibition is wrong, and their disobedience is absolutely right. They were the first revolutionaries of the world, the first human beings with some dignity.
It is because of their disobedience that all civilization, science, art, everything else has become possible. If they had not disobeyed, we would have been still naked in the Garden of Eden chewing grass - even chewing gum would not have been possible.
It is not only Christianity; other religions find other reasons to condemn life. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism all say you are suffering, you are miserable, and you cannot get out of it because it is a punishment for your evil acts of the past life. Now, what has been done in the past life cannot be undone; you have to suffer it. This misery, this suffering, this anguish has been created by yourself, and all that you can do is patiently suffer so that in the future life you are rewarded. A strange argument!