Chapter 1: Hey! Wait a Minute
The so-called Christian saints, even in their last moments of life, are constantly trembling, afraid - whether they are going to make it or not.
Zen is unconditionally value-free. Let it sink in you very deeply, because that is my standpoint too. I want you to understand, that’s all. Understanding is enough. Let understanding be the only law; there is no other. Don’t move by fear, otherwise you will move in darkness. And don’t move by greed - because greed is nothing but fear upside-down. They are two aspects of the same thing: on one side it is greed, on another side it is fear. A man who is fearful is always greedy, a man who is greedy is always fearful. They remain together, they go together.
Only understanding, only awareness, only the capacity to see into things as they are. Can’t you accept existence as it is? And by not accepting it, nothing has been changed. What has been changed? For thousands of years we have been rejecting many things - they are still there, even more so.
Thieves have not disappeared. Neither have murderers disappeared. Nothing has changed; things are exactly as they have been always. Prisons go on increasing. Laws go on increasing and go on becoming more and more complicated. And because of the complicated laws, more and more thieves are employed - the lawyers, the judges..
It makes no change anywhere. Your whole prison system has not done any good - in fact it has been very very harmful. The prison system has become the very university for crime - to learn crime, to learn crime from masters. Once a man goes to prison, he becomes a constant visitor. Once he has been into prison, then again and again he comes back. It is very rare to find a man who has been to prison and who never comes back again.
He comes out of prison more skillful. He comes out of prison with more ideas - how to do the same thing, now in a more expert way. He comes out of prison less amateurish. He comes out of prison with a degree; the prison is a kind of graduation - graduation into crime. Now he knows more, how to do it better. Now he knows how not to get caught. Now he knows what the loopholes are in the law system.
And those who enforce law are as criminal as anybody else - in fact they have to be more criminal. They have to deal with criminals, so they have to be more criminal. The police and the prison-guards and the jailers, they are more criminal than the people they are forcing into imprisonment - they have to be. Nothing changes. This is not the way to change things, this has proved an utter failure. Zen says change comes through understanding, not by enforcing anything.
And what is your heaven and hell? Nothing but the same idea, transported beyond life. The same idea of prison becomes the idea of hell. And the same idea of reward - governmental rewards, presidential rewards, gold medals, this and that - that same idea becomes transported as heaven, paradise, firdaus. But the psychology is the same.