Chapter 11: Sammasati - the Last Word
Zen is a very creative experience; it is not like other religions. All the religions are non-creative. In fact, the so-called saints don’t do anything. They are not great poets, they are not great dancers, they are not great musicians. But the real and authentic saints, who are very few among the so-called saints.
Just the other day I received the information that this pope, in four years, has made more than two thousand people saints. It is a certificate. He goes on giving certificates to all kinds of people who can donate money. Now the Catholic Church owns the biggest bank in the world - the Bank of America. The Catholic Church owns the greatest amount of land in the world - more than any other country.
The method in the past has been war, killing people. Thousands of people have been killed just to take possession of their properties, or they have been forced to become Catholics. A single Catholic emperor, Constantine, killed ten thousand people in a single day. He just called an assembly of all those who were not Catholics in a great auditorium in Rome, and ordered the army to kill everybody: “We don’t want anybody other than Christians in Rome.” He forced the whole of Italy to become Christian - just at the point of the sword.
The whole history of Christianity is of wars and nothing else - killing and violence. And the same is true about the other religions in a lesser measure; they are destructive. They are destructive in many ways. They destroy people by creating guilt, by making them sinners, by forcing them to renounce the world and all that is pleasant, and to go unnecessarily into hardships. But those who go into hardships are respected and their hardship has nothing to contribute to the world, only sickness, only guilt. All your saints together are enforcing guilt in you.
So in this way they destroy humanity, and in other ways they kill people because they don’t belong to their fold. They force people - either by the sword, or with bread. In the past they used to come with a sword, now they come with bread. The poor have been always vulnerable to being converted, either by force or by bribery. But this is not religiousness at all, this is pure politics.
Zen is an authentic religious experience. Its authenticity is in its opening of creativeness in human beings. Zen masters have never killed anyone. They have not forced anyone to their path; on the contrary, you have to go to them. And it has been very difficult to be accepted; the masters have been very choosy. Unless you show an immense desire and longing, they will not initiate you; the question of conversion does not arise.
You have to go to the well, the well does not come to you. The well does not even invite you, it is simply there, available.
The third question: