Chapter 21: I Am a Man Who Hopes against Hope
I have heard you say that religion and politics are opposite dimensions: a religious man cannot be interested in politics, and a politician can never become religious while remaining a politician. If this is true, is there no chance for a better world?
I have said that, and I repeat it: the really religious person cannot be interested in politics. And the politician, remaining a politician, cannot have any religious experience, any taste of that flight to the unknown.
But I have never said that there is no hope for a better world.
This is true, that the politician cannot become religious - for the simple reason that politics, all politics, politics as such, is power politics. It is will-to-power. One wants to dominate, one wants to possess, one wants to be the decisive factor in people’s lives. These are the qualities of the ego.
Obviously this type of person cannot be religious because religion is basically the experience of egolessness.
In religion there is no place for will-to-power. In fact, in religion there is no place even for will. Will-to-power is far away; even will-to-be is not there. One is in the hands of existence, in a deep let-go. This let-go is what I call religiousness. That’s why I said that religion and politics are opposite dimensions.
But don’t be worried; it does not mean that there is no hope for humanity, no hope for the future.
I am a man who hopes even against hope. It is impossible for me to be hopeless. And when there is hope you can always find a way. The proverb is: “Wherever there is a will there is a way.” I don’t think it is right. Everywhere there is will, and there is no way. Some idiot must have made this proverb. But wherever there is hope there is always a way.
I would like to change the proverb. I don’t have any right to change anything, but I am simply crazy, you can’t help it. I go on changing the meanings of words because my feeling is that no word has any ultimate meaning. All meanings are given meanings. If somebody else can give a meaning to it, why can’t I give a meaning to it too? Words in themselves are just sounds. A word means what you want it to mean - it depends on you. So I would like to change this old proverb.
For my people, will is poison because will ultimately leads to politics. Will means, “I want to be something, somewhere, somebody.” I teach you will-lessness; that’s my meaning of let-go. The will clings, the will tries to force its own way; it wants existence to follow it.
When I say will-lessness, I am saying to you, don’t force your way. Just let nature take its own course. You just be a cloud. Wherever the wind blows the cloud moves, with no resistance, with no grumpiness: “I wanted to go south and what is happening? - I am going north, I hate it! I was destined towards the south, dreaming of the south, and everything is shattered by this wind.”
No, the cloud simply moves with the wind.