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Chapter 22: Tomorrow Is in the Womb of Today

The future is always born out of the present. So my insistence is: drop the word sacrifice. There is nothing higher than life.

What can be higher than life? Freedom? But if there is no life? All the dead people in their graves are enjoying absolute freedom. Is that your goal? or richness? affluence? peace?

Once Confucius was asked by one of his disciples, “Master, how can I be peaceful, silent, blissful, after my death?”

Confucius said, “You idiot! Why are you bothering about the time after death? If you want to be peaceful, be peaceful here, now. Be more loving and more enjoying now. All dance has to happen now. And as far as your peace is concerned, in the grave you will be peaceful, completely peaceful, no disturbance. Leave it for the grave.

And I am not interested beyond the grave, because nobody has ever returned and said that there is something beyond the grave. Everything is on this side! And you want to sacrifice this side for everything that is only in imagination on the other side. But there is no proof for it, no evidence for it.”

Christians, Hindus, Buddhists - they are all saying, “Renounce this life so that you can have a better life in paradise.” It is simply so silly and stupid. If you are not living life here, you will forget completely how to live when you reach paradise. This life is the school for all learning. Do everything that you want to do now, because the next moment is not certain.

Paradise is not certain, but there is no need to worry about it. If you have lived life here and know all the nuances, all the colors and all the beauties of life, then if there is a paradise, it will be proud to receive you - a man who has lived so richly.

I tell you, Zorbas will be received in paradise with great rejoicing - not your saints. Your saints are simply sick. They have cut every joy from their life, they are simply vegetating. These vegetables - cabbages and cauliflowers - will be entering paradise? I don’t see any hope for these people.

Zorbas will enter paradise - if there is any paradise - because they know how to live, they know how to love. They will break down all the doors of paradise and invade it! They are not the people to be returned from the door, told that “you are not meant for paradise.” They will do the same there that they have been doing here - of course, on a bigger, vaster scale.

The poor Zorba here has only one woman to love - Bubbalina. In paradise he is not going to be satisfied with an old, ugly Bubbalina. He will find all the fairies, and he is not going to cling to one either.

Live totally with one person and then move on, because there are other beautiful people with different tastes, with different beauties, with different dimensions opening.

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