Chapter 23: Of Laughter and Dance
Now it has been almost sixty or seventy years, and that book has not been replied to by any Christian theologian. In fact, there is no reply - how can you justify it? - because according to Christianity, man has only one life. If it was Hinduism, there may have been some justification - in millions of lives, so much sin can accumulate that perhaps one can visualize an eternal punishment. But for Christianity, or for Judaism, or for Mohammedanism, that idea is so ridiculous. And a man of the intelligence of Bertrand Russell.. And the popes and the great Christian theologians all over the world have simply remained silent.
They have condemned Bertrand Russell, saying that he will go to hell. But that is not an argument. If there really are a hell and a heaven, hell will be a far more healthy place than heaven - because in heaven you will find all the dry bones, ugly creatures who have been called saints, torturing themselves. It is not a place worth visiting.
In hell you will find all the poets, all the painters, all the sculptors, all the mystics, all those people whose company is going to be a blessing. You will find Socrates there, and you will find Gautam Buddha there - Hindus have thrown him into hell because he did not believe in the Vedas, upon which the whole Hindu religion is based. You will find Mahavira, because he did not believe in the Hindu caste system; he condemned it. You will find Bodhidharma, Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu. You will find all the great people who have contributed to life - all the great scientists and artists who have made this earth a little more beautiful.
What have your saints contributed? They are the most futile people, the most unfertile. They have been just a burden, and they have been parasites; they have been sucking the blood of poor human beings. They were torturing themselves and teaching others to torture themselves; they were spreading psychological sickness.
If this earth looks so sick, if humanity looks so sad, the whole credit goes to your saints. In heaven you will meet all those ugly creatures, all those condemners who don’t know how to love, who don’t know how to laugh, who don’t know how to sing, who don’t know how to dance - who cannot allow humanity to have any pleasures, howsoever small. Pain seems to be spiritual, and pleasure seems to be materialistic.
Now modern psychiatry knows perfectly well that these saints were schizophrenic. They need not be worshipped. If you can find them somewhere, immediately take them to a psychiatric hospital - they need treatment. They are not healthy; their very existence is nauseous. But they have been the leaders of mankind, and they have made the whole of mankind feel a kind of nausea; they have created an atmosphere of nausea.
Does one then straightway have to curse where one does not love? That - seems to me bad taste. But that is what he did, this uncompromising man. He sprang from the mob.
And these saints were absolutely uncompromising. They were not even ready to listen. They were afraid to listen, because deep down they knew their own doubts about their lives, about their religion.