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Chapter 4: Transcendence Brings Buddhahood

Life is a trial-and-error process. The old man drops all mistakes, errors. He becomes so accustomed to doing the right thing that exploration, adventure, disappears from his life. And because of his own fears he won’t allow the new generations to go in new directions, into new dimensions. He will make them afraid, he will paralyze them, he will cripple them. That’s what has been happening in India.

India is a strange case. It is extraordinary in a way: this has never happened anywhere else. All the countries, all the cultures, civilizations, have lived, died and were resurrected again; India has remained the same. It is more like a plastic flower than like a real rose. It is more concerned with stability than with aliveness. It’s whole concern is how to go on and on forever.

But that is not the real thing. How to live each moment totally. It is not a question of duration, the question is of depth. Only those who live in depth know what life is all about. Those who live in duration live horizontally, superficially. Their life is a mask; there is no authenticity in it. Hence, I say Indian culture is neither alive nor dead but living in a kind of suspension, in a kind of limbo. It is a ghost culture: all that is significant, all that makes life a joy, has been dropped because it is dangerous, and all that is stable, permanent, plastic, has been gathered because it is safer.

Remember, this is the way of an old man. The old man always thinks of safety, security, a bank balance; he always thinks in terms of fear, because death is always standing in front of him.

The child never bothers about death, his concern is life. He is interested in going to the uncharted, to the unknown; he is ready to risk. And those who are ready to risk, only they are truly alive. They may not live long, but that is not the point at all. Just to live for a single moment with authenticity, totality, integrity is more than enough. A single moment of total experience is far bigger than the whole of eternity. It contains the whole of eternity, it contains timelessness. But one can go on vegetating for thousands of years like a cabbage, a cauliflower - very holy looking, very saintly.

Cabbages are not sinners, and cauliflowers are great scholars. A cabbage becomes a cauliflower through college education. Cauliflowers are pundits, theologians, religious people. This country is full of these people, and the burden of them is great. Somebody needs to help this country to die so that it can live again. Crucifixion is a basic condition for resurrection. The art of living is preceded by the art of dying.

This country is stinking, but this country has nothing else to brag about, so it brags about the past. It brags about its phoniness, it brags about its holiness, it brags about its spirituality - which is all nonsense because the basic foundation is missing and you are talking about the temple. The temple is possible, but first you have to put the basic foundation together.

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