Chapter 31: The Art of Being Human
But he has to be awakened!
The religions have been giving him opium, and for thousands of years they have made him completely unconscious. It was good for them - they could exploit people easily.
All the vested interests were together: the politician, the priest, the pedagogue, all were together, because if man becomes awake then there is no need for politicians; he will see them as criminals. There is no need for priests; he will see them as the greatest cheats that have existed ever.
These priests have been telling people, “Blessed are the poor.” They themselves are not poor - pope the Polack is the richest man in the world. But nobody asks him the question, “Blessed are the poor - so what the hell are you doing in the Vatican? Go to Calcutta and start begging on the streets! - because if you remain the pope you will be the last to enter into paradise, and perhaps you will be thrown into hell.”
The pope goes on quoting Jesus Christ, and for centuries you have listened to, “Blessed are the poor.” The rich are cursed, because even a camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but the rich man cannot pass through the gates of paradise.
And why are people poor? Every religion has given some explanation, has to give one. The Christians are poor because God is very loving to you. You are the blessed; he is preparing you for paradise. This is a test of your trust.
In India, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism have been telling people, “You are poor because in your past life you committed some grave sins, some evil acts, and this is the punishment. Don’t do anything wrong in this life. Patiently suffer, gracefully accept the punishment - in the next life you will be rich.”
Now this is distracting people from the reality. The reality is that they are being exploited in this life, right now.
And the explanation is really far-fetched. In a past life you put your hand on a candle flame - you did not burn yourself then, but you have a burned hand! Nobody knows about the past life; and cause and effect cannot be so distant. You do something, you hit your head against the wall and you will suffer now. You put your hand in the fire and you will be burned now. There is no explanation why the result comes in the next life.
So either past lives have been taken as an explanation to the poor, to give them consolation that they deserve this poverty; or God has to be brought in, that he is testing your trust. Strangely enough.why is he not testing the rich people? Why is he against the rich people?