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Chapter 30: Does a Flower Need Religion?

And the difficulty with heaven is, there is an entrance but there is no exit. Jean-Paul Sartre has written a play, No Exit; it is about hell. That’s where he is wrong. The book should have been about heaven. Hell has an exit but heaven has none. In hell there is so much going on - in every religion’s hell. It is really a fantastic place, so much is going on. You will never be tired and bored - all kinds of colorful people are there. In heaven you will find only dodos.

I have experienced many times - because I have lived with many so-called saints - that saints are the worst company in the world. You cannot imagine: to live with a saint for twenty-four hours is enough to make you decide never to be a saint. From the morning till the night they are moving like robots, everything according to principle.

The Buddhist monk has thirty-three thousand principles. I told one Buddhist monk.he is an Englishman, converted at an early age - now he is very old. Bhikkhu Shankra Chitta is his name, and he has lived in Kalimpong between Tibet and India, almost his whole life. He has written beautiful books on Tibetanism, and is certainly one of its authorities as far as scholarship is concerned.

Just by chance I was holding a camp in Bodh Gaya where Buddha became enlightened, and he had come to pay homage to the temple and to the tree where Buddha became enlightened. Just by coincidence I was also there sitting under the tree when he came. We became friends.

I told Shankra Chitta, “I cannot visualize myself ever becoming a Buddhist monk because my memory is not good. Thirty-three thousand principles! Following all those principles is out of the question; I cannot even remember them. And if you are following thirty-three thousand principles in such a small life, where will you find time to live or to breathe? Those thirty-three thousand principles will kill you from all sides.”

But all religions have done that. They have given you guidelines without knowing you, who you are. But they don’t bother - “whomsoever it may concern.” They decide for a non-existential human being - just an imaginary idea - how that human being should be. Nobody is interested in the real human being, because it is not a question as far as the real human being is concerned - how he should be; the question is how he is. “Should” is nonsense; “is” is the reality. But all religions are imposing the “should” on your “isness.”

The pagan is one who has no shoulds; his life is should-free.

He simply lives without any guidelines, without any principles, without any savior, prophet, messiah. He himself is his savior, his messiah, his prophet, his holy book.

The pagan is really a unique individual.

I have called him Zorba.

The pagan goes on living peacefully in harmony with nature; and without any effort on his part, religiousness flowers in him.

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