Chapter 3: The Quiet Way to the Happy Country
But this is possible to know only if you become a little detached from the form with which you have become so much attached. You are not man and you are not woman either; your body is male or your body is female. You are not man, you are not animal, you are not vegetable. These are all forms, accidental forms, just circumferences, not the centers of your being. The centers of your being are totally different from the circumferences. And we have become so attached to the circumferences that we have completely forgotten the centers.
This is the basic and fundamental cause of our insanity. A man who does not know his center is insane.
Buddha says, tell the people:
You have no name and no form.
Why miss what you do not have?
How much people suffer if they are not famous, if they are not well-known! To be anonymous feels so humiliating. If nobody knows you, you feel as if you are no longer alive. The more people know you, the more alive you feel. If the whole world knows you, your ego is puffed up to the extreme, it is bursting.
That’s why politics has so much interest for people, because that is the easiest way to become world-famous. You don’t need to be very intelligent to be a politician; in fact, if you are very intelligent you cannot be a politician. You need a certain stupidity, in good quantity, to be a politician. You need to be stubborn, you need to be violent, you need to be utterly mediocre - so that you can’t see what you are doing, so that you can’t see how you are wasting your life, and you go on and on.. You have to be utterly blind, you have to be very gross. Politics has great appeal because it can give you both a great name and great fame; it can make you a world figure.
I have heard:
A pope and a politician both showed up in heaven one day. Saint Peter greeted them and led the pope to his quarters where he would be spending eternity. Upon opening the door, the pope found a small, plainly furnished room with but one window. When he looked out he noticed the politician being shown to the luxury apartments across the way, which were equipped with hot tubs, saunas, swimming pools, tennis courts and the like.
Filled with righteous indignation, he turned to Saint Peter and protested vehemently, “I am a pope! Why is this politician being treated like this while I get almost nothing?”
“Well,” replied Saint Peter, “we have over two hundred popes up here, but this is the first time we’ve seen a politician!”
But here on the earth the politicians make much fuss. Politics has become the center of life; your newspapers are full of it, your radio programs are full of it. Everything seems to be colored by politics for the simple reason that these people have got something which you are all hankering for - they have got name and fame.