Chapter 30: This Beautiful Earth
In Greece there was Epicurus, a very great logician, who said there is no life beyond death; and he had a great school and hundreds of followers. And today, for the first time, half of the world - more than half of the world - is communist. Karl Marx, the founder of communism, does not believe in any God, any hell, any heaven. He says, “Consciousness is just a by-product. When the body disintegrates the by-product disappears.”
There has never been such a large number of people believing that death is the end. That’s why it was easy for Joseph Stalin to kill millions of people without a prick of conscience, because after death nothing survives.
In this world, continuing a very ancient superstition in the courts - in the high courts, in the Supreme Courts of the world - just shows that even our judges are not contemporaries.
Use scientific methods to find the truth, and respect the individual. And reward the truth - that is something to be remembered. On the one hand you ask the person to be true, not to lie. And on the other hand, if he is true he is punished, and if he lies he is rewarded. What do you think - people are so dumb?
If a person says the truth, then reward him! And you will see people are saying the truth without any trouble, because truth is rewarded. Nobody will be saying lies, because lies are punished. Who wants punishment?
In my childhood, I made a contract with my father. When he said to me, “Always say the truth,” I said, “There has to be a contract about it.”
He said, “What contract?”
I said, “Whenever I say a truth, I have to be rewarded. Then you need not be worried - I will always be saying the truth. And whenever you find I am lying, I have to be punished.”
He said, “This is a strange contract. That means you can do all kinds of mischief and you can say the truth. You do the mischief and you get rewarded!”
I said, “It is up to you. Mischief I will continue; the question is whether you want me to be truthful or not. You can think it over. Otherwise, I am going to lie, because nobody wants to be punished. And you will have to find out the truth - which is very difficult, because whatever mischief I do, I take all precautions. Then it is your work, you find it out - but I am not going to admit it.” And he knew perfectly well that whatever I used to do was such that it was almost impossible to catch me red-handed.
For example, one of my relatives, one of my father’s brothers-in-law, often used to come and stay for months. He was immensely interested in eating. He was too fat and ugly - and I would help him eat too much. Now, nobody could say that I was committing any mischief; I was simply serving a guest.
Then he would fall sick and he would tell my father, “This is your son! I thought when he was bringing more sweets and more things, ‘Why is he so interested in me?’ I know now.”
I said to my father, “Do you think serving a guest is not right? And if he was feeling that he is going to be sick, he should not have eaten. The fault is not mine. If you want to punish anybody, punish your brother-in-law.”