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Chapter 22: A Synthesis between Zorba and Buddha

Anand Nartan,

Osho Times, Tokyo, Japan

Buddha the Japanese seems quite conceivable, yet Zorba the Japanese quite inconceivable. Would you comment?

It is one of the most significant questions to ask. Buddha is not only conceivable in Japan, a Buddhist country; Buddha will be conceivable anywhere, even though the countries are not Buddhist. Perhaps Buddha is the only human being in the whole of history who is loved, respected by all, not only by Buddhists.

On the other hand, Zorba is inconceivable in every old culture, civilization, religion, because they have all condemned materialism and they have all raised spiritualism to its ultimate height. They have created a duality between matter and spirit, between the mundane and the sacred.

Zorba represents all that has been condemned for centuries upon centuries by all the religions. Buddha is certainly loved by Buddhists, but respected by non-Buddhists too. He represents something of the purity of the highest conceivable spirituality. That’s why I say the question is significant.

My whole effort is to bring Zorba and Buddha closer and closer - so close that both can exist in one human being without any contradiction, as complementaries, helping each other, not fighting with each other. Separately, both are missing much.

Buddha is absolutely bloodless, just a skeleton, because he has denied everything that life is. Life is love, life is laughter. Buddha has denied everything. He is just a skeleton. Zorba is full of life, love, laughter. Eat, drink and be merry is his whole religion. He does not know anything beyond eat, drink and be merry. He does not know. He has no question or curiosity about something that is higher - higher than the alcohol, higher than the woman or man, higher than this world, the visible world, the tangible world. Zorba has no quest; he is perfectly happy drinking, dancing, enjoying.

Buddha is missing the blood, the life, the love, the joy, the celebration. Buddha cannot dance. It will be simply inconceivable, Buddha dancing. Zorba cannot sit silently and meditate. That, too, is as inconceivable as Buddha dancing. Zorba is dancing, singing, drinking; he is making love to any woman who by chance meets him.

Zorba represents the materialist in its best form, Buddha represents the spiritualist in its best form. But you are both, spirit and body. Existence is both, matter and consciousness.

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