Chapter 1: Spiritual Hedonism
That’s why happiness was condemned, laziness was condemned, rest was condemned. And it has been taught, it is deep in your blood, that work is the goal of life. A good man is always working; a bad man always seems to be on holiday.
Mulla Nasruddin has not worked for a long time, for years. One day he was sitting by my side. The day was very sunny and he said, “If I had been working somewhere, I would have taken a holiday today.” And he had not been working for many days - for years!
He was missing work because he could not take a holiday. From where can he take a holiday? He only remembered work when it comes to taking a holiday.
The whole human mind has been trained to be a worker. That’s why duty has been praised and playfulness condemned, business praised and gambling condemned - because a gambler is playful and a businessman is serious. The businessman is respected; a gambler is simply condemned. He is thought to be just below humanity.
Religion is a totally different dimension. There is every possibility that a gambler may enter into religion, but a businessman is debarred. A drunkard may enter into religion: I am not saying that you should become drunkards, I am just emphasizing the quality of playfulness, the quality that can enjoy and be and is not worried about results. But a very serious man is debarred by his own seriousness.
Jesus created trouble for himself. He was a religious man: healthy, young, vibrant with life. Life was his god. Many times in the gospels you come across scenes that depict him sitting at the dining table - eating, drinking. How could the Jews and the people, his people, believe that he was religious? Fasting should be done and he is always feasting, he is always creating a feast around him. Wherever he moves he creates happiness. What type of religious man is he?
His own relatives thought that he was a little beside himself; his own relatives thought that he was a little mad. And the society in which he lived thought that he was a glutton, a drunkard: “He could be a sinner, but he cannot be a saint.”
That’s why he was crucified outside the town. The Jews had a law. They used to crucify in two ways: either inside the town or outside the town. When a person belonged to the society, and had done something wrong, then he was crucified in the town. But if somebody who had done wrong at that time was an outsider, to symbolize the fact that he didn’t belong to the society, that he was an outcast, he was crucified outside the town.