Chapter 22: A Synthesis between Zorba and Buddha
I love Zorba too, but I know it is because of the materialists that we have suffered two world wars, and now the third is threatening to destroy the whole of humanity at any moment. Because of Zorbas, the West has remained superficial. Yes, its stomach is full - perhaps too full - but its being is empty. The house is really beautiful, a palace, but nobody lives there. It is empty. Yes, there are precious paintings on the walls and great sculptures in the garden; everything is immensely valuable, but nobody lives there. Nobody is there, because the materialist forgot completely to come back home. He went out and out and out, and went on searching farther and farther away from his home base. Now he has completely forgotten who he is, where he comes from. Now he is asking, “What is the meaning of my life? What I am searching for? Where am I going? What the hell am I doing here?” He is angry, angry at life itself.
In one of Dostoevsky’s novels, The Brothers Karamazov, there are three brothers. One brother is an atheist, one brother is a very pious, religious, innocent person, and the third brother simply does not care about either. The atheist says, “If I meet your God, Ivan.” - Ivan is the religious one - “if I meet that fellow anywhere, the first thing I am going to do is to return the ticket, and ask the gentleman, ‘Is it right to send me into the world without asking my permission? Who are you? What authority have you got to force me to live a life which is meaningless? And everything that is joyful, you and your representatives condemn it. You have done a great job of creation. You create us without asking us; that is the first crime you have committed. Then you give us instincts which we have not asked for, and send your prophets and messiahs who condemn those instincts saying that sex is sin, that attachment is sin, that possessions are sin. So what kind of game is going on? Are you some kind of sadist? Have you created us to suffer? Are you enjoying our suffering and misery?’”
That brother is speaking for the whole of the West. Everything is available, but what is the point? You will go on making love to this woman, to that man, but what is the point? After a few experiences you simply look silly. What are you doing? You may eat in this restaurant, in that restaurant - Japanese food, Chinese food, Italian spaghetti - but sooner or later you are bound to recognize what is going on. What is the point of it all? Why should I go on living tomorrow, because again tomorrow - spaghetti!
It is enough for any intelligent man - and the more intelligent a man is, the sooner he gets bored. Retarded people can go on living with a woman or with a man their whole life. But intelligent people, the greater their intelligence, the greater is their capacity to see that there are thousands of beautiful women - why remain with one? There are thousands of beautiful men, so why cling to one? There is no natural law that you have to remain clinging to one. Why create a bondage?
But even if a man goes on moving from one woman to another, soon he gets tired and finds out that he is in a vicious circle. Finally he finds, to his great surprise, that all women are exactly the same. What you call “making love” - whether you make love to Cleopatra or Mother Teresa, it is the same, the same stupid thing.
So the whole of the West has created the foundation of the temple, but a foundation is meaningless without a temple. They go on making foundations and then they are stuck. “What are we doing? For what are we making this foundation?” They don’t have any idea that a temple has to be created. They have denied that temple for centuries: there is no consciousness.