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Chapter 1: Marx and Buddha Hand in Hand

My criticism of American politicians is based not on my personal hurts - they don’t matter. At least to me they don’t matter. But I am certainly hurt because of America’s anti-human attitude. There are three million street people and this winter they are dying in thousands. America goes on sending aid to poor countries, and it cannot save its own poor.

Karl Marx had never an idea that communism would happen in the Soviet Union. His idea was that communism would happen first in America, where exploitation of the poor has reached its climax.

Russia was a poor country with a small group of rich people, the czar and a few other rich people. The whole country was poor; there were not yet class distinctions. It was a feudal country, it had not yet become capitalist. According to Karl Marx’s analysis, only a capitalist country can move towards communism; a feudal country first has to become capitalist. Capitalism means a clear-cut division of the poor and the rich, and the middle class simply disappears. A few move into the rich, most of them fall back into the poor, and when one country is divided clearly into the poor and the rich, revolution is possible. Russia was not in such a position. It was a feudal country. The czar was a feudal lord.

But existence does not work according to logic. It was a certain situation that made Russia communist. The situation was the first world war. The czar’s own soldiers did not have sufficient clothes, boots, food. They turned against czar - his own army - and it was a great strategy of Lenin to ride on the wave. It was not really a conflict between the poor and the rich; it was a conflict between the czar and his own armies. And Lenin took advantage of the opportunity. He rushed back - he was in Germany - he rushed back immediately. And he was a man of immense clarity. He immediately rode on the wave of the armies. And when the czar had no armies, his own armies were against him..

Communism happened as an accident in Russia. It was not according to the economic analysis by Karl Marx. But whatever the cause, it happened. It is the first communist country in the world, the only hope.

And I am not against only Christianity. I am against all religions except Zen, because Zen is not a religion but only religiousness. I have to make it clear to you that religion is a doctrine, an organized church, a belief system, a fictitious God, heaven and hell, and a great priesthood which functions as a mediator between you and God and exploits you in the name of religion, in the name of God.

Zen is the only religious phenomenon in the world which has no doctrine, no scripture, which has no God, no belief system, no organized church. It is an individual phenomenon, just like love. You don’t have a church of love. You don’t have a political party for love. It is an individual freedom.

Just as love is individual, so is meditation. And to me, religion only means one thing: meditation, going inwards and exploring your consciousness. Just the way science explores matter, meditation is the science of the inner; it explores consciousness.

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