Chapter 8: Laughter: Love, Joy, Gratitude
So they tried an experiment. They arranged that a very strong man would follow a child, and he would do exactly whatsoever the child was doing. And they were going to pay him; whatsoever he wanted they were going to pay him. He was a really big man, a wrestler, a famous wrestler, so he was not worried about following a child. What can a child do? But within four hours he was flat on the ground, because once the child knew that he was imitating him, the child jumped and the child ran and the child rolled on the floor and the child laughed uproariously.. And the child did so many things that the wrestler, within four hours, was finished!
He said, “Never in my life have I been so tired. I have been fighting my whole life, I have fought great fights, I have been always a winner. This is my first defeat!”
And that small child was not tired at all; he was still ready, he was still challenging the man. He said, “Come on! Let us have a little more fun! Are you finished? Why are you lying down on the ground?”
Every child is born with such great energy, but we destroy it. We paralyze every child, we cripple every child. And our churches and our temples and our priests have done the greatest wrong to humanity. They are the greatest criminals in the world, they are the real sinners. They have sinned against humanity - they have paralyzed every human being. You don’t know who you would have been if you had been allowed total freedom from the very beginning - if your laughter had been free, your love had been free, your joy had been free, and you had not been hindered, interfered with, distorted, manipulated, forced, channeled in certain directions..
No child is interested in money, because no child is foolish. No child is interested in being the president of a country or the prime minister, because no child is so stupid. His interests are far more natural. He is interested in the flowers, he is interested in the butterflies, he is interested in the pebbles on the seashore. He is interested in dancing under the stars, in dancing in the sun, in dancing in the wind. He is interested in climbing the tree or in climbing the mountain. He is interested in swimming the river or in going into the ocean.
His interests are totally different, but we divert all his energies. We say, “No need to climb the tree, no need to climb the mountain. Climb the ladder of success!” - which is an absolutely mediocre process, which is an absolutely unintelligent process. “Climb the ladder of success. Be more rich than others. Be competitive. Be jealous. Be possessive. Fight!” - a fight for things which are meaningless. Then you lose your joy, then you lose your laughter. Then life seems more like a nightmare than like a beautiful joke.
Vimalkirti, it is a cosmic joke.
And my vision is that the future religiousness is bound to be rooted more in life than in death, more in laughter than in sadness, more in dance than in dragging your life.
The second question:
Why, despite appearances, is the void more tangible than the form, consciousness more than thought, silence more than the word?