Chapter 7: Zorba Is My Past: Buddha Is My Present
All the religions have created a schizophrenic humanity, split about each and every thing. For example, in India Mahatma Gandhi in his ashram had five great principles. The first principle was no taste: eat, but don’t taste. Now you are creating unnecessary trouble for poor human beings: if they eat, they will taste; if they taste, it is sin; if they don’t eat, they will die out of hunger. To destroy their taste, Gandhi used leaves of a certain tree, the neem tree.which are the bitterest. He would make everybody eat neem leaves with his food, so the taste is destroyed and everything becomes bitter. This is thought to be spirituality!
But this idea of no taste is not new: Buddhism follows it; Jainism follows it; Hinduism follows it. So for thousands of years it has been there. I don’t see that if you eat tastefully you are committing any crime. Just don’t eat too much - just don’t be an American!
In America there are thirty million people in the hospitals, dying of overeating, and in the streets there are exactly thirty million dying of hunger. Now, any intelligent person can just let these people meet and tell their stories to each other.Sixty million people can be saved from death without wasting any money, anything; just a little understanding.
All the religions have been condemnatory about all the senses of man: about his body, about his love. They have spoiled human life and its joy; they have destroyed the zorba in you. And that is my basic difference: I want to revive the zorba in you, with dignity and with respect. To me, unless you are an authentic zorba you can never become a buddha: if you have not totally lived the life of your body, you don’t have any base for your spiritual life. The life of the body becomes the foundation for the temple of your spiritual life. They are not against each other; they are together, they are one project.
Nobody has allowed man to be totally free, expressive. There have always been repressive ideologies around, in different names, but something has to be repressed. No religion has accepted this world as sacred, this life as sacred. They are all in favor of the other world - and you have to sacrifice this world and this life to attain to the other world. And that other world is just an idea; no evidence exists for it.
People have sacrificed this life, and they have not gained anything.
I say: This life is sacred.
This body is sacred.
This world is sacred - and there is no other world. The other world is hidden in this world. The deeper you go into it.you will find it. Move deeper into this and some day you will pass the boundary of this and enter into that. But it is going to happen here, now.
It is a totally different vision of spirituality. It is also unique.because I am not a god, I am not a savior, I am not a prophet, I am not a messenger.
I am just a human being as you are.
All your religions have been founded by people who were in some way or other megalomaniacs, who were in some way or other super-egoists; they pretended to be very special: the only begotten son of God, the incarnation of God, the messenger of God.They were not persons amongst you. You were far away in the dark valleys, and they were far away on the sunlit peaks - you could only worship them.