Chapter 8: The Whole Sky Belongs to You
So he said, “Now, the whole world is not the question. If I can prove that I am the greatest man in France, then I am proved.”
They said, “That looks right.” But now they started feeling a little uneasy.
He said, “And which is the greatest city in France?”
Of course, they were all Parisians, so it was Paris. Now they became even more afraid; he was bringing the truth home.
And then he said, “Which is the greatest and the holiest place in Paris?”
Of course, it was the university.
“And which is the greatest department in the university?”
Of course, it was the department of philosophy.
And he said, “I am the head of the department!”
When for the first time it was discovered that the earth was not the center of the universe, it damaged the human ego tremendously. The church fought it because it was not only a question of the earth. Deep down it was a question of the human ego: if the earth is not the center, then man cannot be the center; and if earth is just a far off outer post, and not at the center of existence, then man may be, at the most, a coincidence. The so-called religious people struggled against the idea.
Galileo was called into the court, an old man, and was asked to confess his sin: that he had committed a mistake, and to admit it. He had said and proved that it is not the sun that moves around the earth; On the contrary, it is the earth that moves around the sun. If the earth moves around the sun, then the sun is the center. He said, “I can admit that I have committed a mistake, and I confess, but there is one thing I must tell: whether I confess, whether I admit it or not, makes no difference. The earth moves around the sun. It will not change its course just because Galileo asks to be forgiven. You can kill me, and I am ready to ask to be forgiven. I am ready to admit that I have committed a mistake, but my admission is not going to help; the earth will go on moving around the sun, the earth is not at the center.”
Why was the church so adamant? There was reason in it, very, very significant reason in it: once earth is not at the center, man is not at the center. Then you disappear in a vast universe. In fact, religious people should have been in favor of it because they had been against ego. But then religious people, really religious people, are very rare and few.
The whole effort of religion is how to drop the ego. The whole effort is how to penetrate into the phenomenon of the ego and to see the unreality of it.
It is unreal, and I know your suffering is real. The unreal can cause a real suffering; there is not a problem in it. Because the unreal becomes almost real when you believe in it - you believe in a ghost, then the ghost is there.