Chapter 1: Man: A Bridge between Two Infinities
This is the only problem for religion: how to increase awareness. That’s why religions have always been against drugs. The reason is not moral or ethical, no. And the so-called moralist puritans have given a very wrong color to the whole thing. For religions, it is not a question of morality that someone takes drugs. It is not a question of morality at all, because morality begins only when I come in contact with someone else.
If I take alcohol and become unconscious, it is no one else’s affair. I am doing something with myself. Violence is a question for morality, not alcohol. Even if I give you a promise to meet at a particular time and miss, it is immoral because somebody else is involved. Alcohol can become a moral question only if someone else is involved, otherwise it is not a moral question at all. It is something you do with yourself. But for religions it is not a question of morality at all. For religions it is a deeper question: it is a question of decreasing or increasing awareness.
If once you get in the habit of falling down in unconsciousness, it will be more and more difficult to increase your awareness. It will become more and more difficult, because your body will not support you in increasing awareness. It will support you in decreasing it. The very metabolism of your body will help you to be unconscious. It will not help you to be conscious. And anything that becomes a barrier in being more aware is a religious problem, not a moral problem.
So sometimes it happens: you may find an alcoholic a more moral person than a nonalcoholic, but never a more religious person. An alcoholic may be more compassionate than a nonalcoholic; may be more loving than a nonalcoholic, may be more honest, but never more religious. And when I say “never more religious,” I mean never a more aware and conscious person.
This growth into awareness creates the anguish.
It will be good to understand the old biblical story of Adam and Eve. They were expelled from Heaven, they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. It is a very deep psychological story. God allowed them to eat anything they liked, they desired, except one fruit. One tree was not to be touched at all, and that tree was the tree of knowledge.
This is strange, God forbidding his children to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. This looks very contradictory. What type of a God is this, and what type of a father, who is against his children being wise and knowing? This story has troubled many minds. Why should God prohibit knowledge? We value knowledge very much, but it was forbidden.
Adam and Eve existed in an animal world. They were blissful, but they were ignorant - they were blissful, but they were ignorant. Children are blissful, but they are ignorant. And children, if they have to grow, must grow in knowledge. There is no other way for growth. And if you are ignorant, you may be blissful but you cannot be aware of your blissfulness.