Chapter 8: Escape to Reality
These words are dangerous words. Drop these words; love human beings. If you have to sacrifice the motherland, sacrifice it - it is nothing. If you have to sacrifice religion, sacrifice it - it is nothing. If you have to sacrifice humanity, kill it without a single thought - because there is no humanity and you will not be killing anything. But love the real: avoid the abstract. It is the abstract that has been the greatest calamity.
I assert the real against the abstract. And this has been the way of all the buddhas, but they have never been tried. Politicians have been tried and all the political experiments have failed, but buddhas have never been tried. We have listened to them, we have worshipped them, but we have never tried them. We have never given a chance to them.
Now the time has come that if buddhas are not tried, then there is no future. Man is doomed - because man has invented, slowly slowly, so many violent forces, man has discovered such dangerous weapons, the next war will not be the third, it will be the last. The next war will be the total war. It will destroy all life - not only human life but all life, life as such.
Before it happens, please give one opportunity to those who have been saying again and again - Krishna, Christ, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra - that the individual has to be transformed. And once the individual is transformed, society automatically changes; that is a consequence.
So we are not proposing here any social revolution. I am not at all concerned with the society: my whole concern is the real individual.
You ask me,: “Is it an escapist and self-regarding cult?”
In a sense it is escapist because we are escaping from all illusions. In a sense it is not escapist, because we are escaping into reality. Escaping from illusions and escaping into reality: hence it is not escapist.
And it is not self-regarding in the sense that we are against others, that we don’t teach any altruism, that we don’t care for morality, that we don’t care at all for others. No. We know how to care for others. But to care for others, the basic fundamental, the basic requirement is to care for yourself.
A Christian mother was telling her child, “Serve others: service is religion. God has made you to serve others.”
The little boy asked the mother, “I can understand it, that God created me to serve others, but a question arises: why did God create others? To serve me?”
That looks very unscientific: “I am here to serve others and others are here to serve me. Why can’t I serve myself and you serve yourself? Because I will be able to take care of myself in a better way than anybody else can take care of me, and you will be able to take care of yourself better than I can ever take care of you.”