Chapter 18: The Mind Goes Out of Employment
Mind only thinks about things. “What will happen after death?” Why can’t you wait? One thing is certain: you will die - I guarantee it! How you prefer to die, that is another matter, but there are books and books about death and what will happen after death. In India people were more philosophically minded, not now, but twenty-five centuries ago..
In the golden days of Gautam Buddha, they even started to think about what was happening before the world. Ordinarily, nobody bothers. Have you ever been concerned where you were and what was happening to you before birth? The problem simply does not arise. And once they have created a belief system that something was happening before birth, then the whole philosophy of reincarnation.and there are complexities in the philosophy, different interpretations.
The day Gautam Buddha died, his followers divided over small points into thirty-two schools: how many hells there are.Now these are purely mind games. You have not been in a hell, nor have you met anybody who has been in a hell.
Jainas believe there are three hells - just a mind calculation because there are small-time sinners who drink tea and eat in the night, and smoke once in a while. Just small sins.! Some place has to be made for them. So the first layer is of small sinners. Then there are bigger sinners who steal, who murder, who commit suicide and so on and so forth. And the third is specially for the greatest sinners: Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Ronald Reagan. The categories are absolutely necessary for the mind to figure out things. And nobody bothers whether there is any hell or not. And similarly there are three heavens, just to equalize and balance.
Buddhists believe that there are seven hells because there are so many sins that they cannot be divided into three categories only. And the followers of Buddha thought, “Our approach is far more scientific; you have only three hells.”
There was a man who must have had a great sense of humor; his name was Makkhali Gosal. He was also a competitor theologian. He said, “All these people who are talking know nothing. There are seventy-seven hells.” Sins have to be categorized in a more mathematical, accurate way, and this is just an example. Mind has been creating all kinds of problems which don’t exist, but once the mind has created them, then they become very complicated - and all answers bring more new questions.
In the Middle Ages, all the Christian theologians were concerned with a special discussion - you will think they were all idiots - how many angels can stand on a pinpoint?! What business.? That is their problem, how many can stand on a pinpoint. In the first place, why should they stand? Is there not something else to do? But the problem was to prove the weightlessness of the angel, and different theologies were giving different answers - and they were conflicting.
The whole world has lived in controversies which have to be understood as mind-created. Mind enjoys very much. If there are no problems and life is simple, there is no work for the mind. The mind goes out of employment.