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Chapter 7: Zorba and Buddha: Their Split Is Your Social Disease

Slowly, slowly, the distance became bigger. The West became materialist - and the whole responsibility goes to the Christian church - and the Eastern humanity became more and more spiritualist. The division, the split that was created in each man, became a split on a wider scale: as East and West.

One great poet has written, “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” And this man, Lord Kipling, was very much interested in the East. He lived in India for years; he was in the government service. But seeing the difference: the whole Eastern consciousness moves inwards and the Western consciousness moves outwards - how could they meet?

My whole work is just to prove Lord Kipling wrong. I would like to say - neither West is West nor East is East, and the twain have already met.

What do you mean by east? In Mumbai, Calcutta is east; in Calcutta, Mumbai is west. This is nonsense; these words are relative words. You cannot say that a certain place is east and a certain place is west; they are all relative. For the people of Calcutta, Tokyo is east - and that’s what the Japanese think. They call their land “the land of sunrise” and they call their king “the only begotten son of the sun god.” The sun god is the real god, and Hirohito, the king of Japan, is his only son.

In fact, in the Second World War when the Japanese were defeated, they could not believe it. Thousands of soldiers committed suicide just out of shame - “How can it happen that God’s son should be defeated? Now there is no point in living, everything has gone wrong.” They believe that they are the real east.

Nobody is east and nobody is west. But the attitudes can be understood, and they are very prominent. And my whole approach is to bring a bridge into each individual, so that you are one whole. Don’t be against your body; it is your home. Don’t be against your consciousness, because without consciousness your house may be very decorated but it won’t have any master, it will be empty. Together they create a beauty, a fuller life.

Symbolically, I have chosen Zorba for the body and Buddha for the soul.

Your question is that when I was in Greece I was talking more about Zorba, and here in India the atmosphere seems to be closer to Buddha. Your observation is true.

In Greece I was talking about Zorba. Still they deported me. If I had been talking about Buddha, you would not have seen me again! I was talking about Zorba because that is the foundation. But I was making it clear that Zorba alone is only the foundation of the house, it is not the house itself.

In India I am talking about Buddha, but I have not forgotten Zorba. Each statement that I make - whether it is about Zorba or about Buddha - implies the other automatically, because to me they are inseparable. It is only a question of emphasis. To make the Greek mind understand, I emphasized Zorba.

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