Chapter 3: The Fruits Are Ripe
I live in New York, but I am Italian.
That is great. In America everybody is a foreigner!
I have been in this city eight hours now, and I have a number of emotions, most of them strong. But I was following your lesson this morning and many things that you said that brought me back to Italy. My. This is a serious question!
Just ask it, don’t say it’s serious - you say it is serious you have already destroyed its seriousness. Just say it.
Among the many things that you said that impressed me, there were a few that brought me back to the culture that I thought I had left in Italy, namely that God doesn’t exist; that any religion that is organized means exploitation of people. There was one Italian thinker, Antonio Gramsci, who has said many things that were very similar to yours, especially the one about God, the one about religion, and above all the one about the new kind of consciousness that we need if we want to change life on the planet. But he was one of the founders of the Communist Party.
Do you see any possibility for the birth of a new consciousness in the framework of communism, of all the systems that exist on the planet?
There is every possibility - not only possibility, but I would say almost certainty of its happening. Even in a communist country consciousness cannot be prevented from growing, from spreading; love cannot be prevented. In communist countries they can nationalize your house, your money, your other commodities, but they cannot nationalize your being. That is the same everywhere, it makes no difference. And to bring consciousness to its highest peak, any place is as good as any other place; the question is basically of the individual’s decision.
I have sannyasins in the Soviet Union, of course they cannot come into the open, they are underground sannyasins. They are being persecuted, but persecution somehow always helps people to spread the message and their number is growing every day. My books are prohibited in the Soviet Union, but my people are writing them by hand or making typescripts, and they are moving from hand to hand, from one person to another person. In fact in the basements where my people in Soviet Russia meet, they are more excited than anywhere else, because for the first time certainly they are doing something that gives them their dignity back.