Chapter 7: Zorba and Buddha: Their Split Is Your Social Disease
One of the most significant experiences that he comes across was when one night beautiful girls were dancing He was drinking, they were drinking, and then everybody fell asleep drunk. In the middle of the night he woke up and looked around, and he was shocked, and that shock was one of the turning points in his life. Some girl was snoring - she was a beautiful girl, but her mouth was open and snoring she looked so ugly; the saliva was coming out. Somebody’s nose was flowing. He said, “My God, this is what beauty is!” He was finished. Those girls were dispersed the next morning. “I don’t want any girls in my palaces. Enough is enough.”
In fact, it was too much. In twenty-nine years he lived almost the equivalent of four or five lives of an ordinary man. With all that luxury, he soon found himself tired and bored, and a question became very prominent in his mind: “Is this all? Then what am I going to live tomorrow for? Life must mean something more; otherwise, it is meaningless.” It was out of the zorba that the search for the buddha, started. Not everybody becomes a buddha; and the basic reason is that the zorba remains unlived.
Do you see my argument? My argument is: live Zorba fully, and you will naturally enter into the life of a buddha.
Kazantzakis has written Zorba the Greek. He’s dead. If he had been allowed to live longer. He was sick, he was very tense; he remained very miserable because he was always afraid of sin. And then when he was expelled from the Christian church - that means condemned to hell; only Christians can go to paradise - it was such a shock that he could not survive. He was really killed by the Christian church expelling him.
If he were alive, I would have told him: “Your book is half. You need to write another book, Zorba the Buddha. Then it will be a complete phenomenon. But you can write the other book only if you live your zorba. You have not even lived zorba; how can you live the buddha?”
Enjoy your body; enjoy your physical existence. There is no sin in it. Hidden behind it is your spiritual growing, is your spiritual blissfulness. When you are tired of physical pleasures, only then will you ask, “Is there something more?” And this question cannot be only intellectual, it has to be existential. “Is there something more?” And when the question is existential, you will find within yourself something more.
There is something much more. Zorba is only the beginning. Once the buddha, the awakened soul, takes possession of you, then you will know that pleasure was not even a shadow. There is so much bliss. This bliss is not against pleasure. In fact, it is pleasure, which has brought you to bliss. There is no fight between Zorba and Buddha. Zorba is the arrow - if you follow it rightly, you will reach the Buddha.
Certainly in Greece there is an atmosphere different from that in India. The Greek personality has remained materialistic. In India, the basic, essential atmosphere is that of the awakened soul. Whether you go on sleeping, it doesn’t matter, but the atmosphere around you is that of the sunrise. The birds are singing, the flowers are blossoming, and from everywhere the indication is for you to wake up.