Chapter 1: Whatever the Cost Enlightenment Is Cheap
When there are alive people, why bother about a picture of a naked woman - just a photograph?
When I was in the first American jail, in my cell I had one Negro partner. He was a very pious fellow, although he was charged with murder and rape and all kinds of things. Pious people do all kinds of things.
He used to put his head on the Bible every morning, every evening. He would put the Bible on the bed, kneel down on the ground and put his head on the Bible. He was not educated, so he could not read. And just above the Bible he had all kinds of nude women in all kinds of insane postures which he had cut from magazines. The whole wall was covered with nude women.
I asked him, “Do you bow down to these nude women?”
He said, “No, I have the Bible.”
I said, “You don’t know how to read?”
He said, “No, I don’t know.”
“Who told you that this is a Bible?”
He said, “The jail authorities have given it to me.”
“And what do you do when you kneel down?”
He said, “I pray to God.”
And I said, “I have been watching you for three days continuously. The nude women laugh.”
He said, “They laugh?”
I said, “I have been watching. Because you are putting your head on the Bible with closed eyes, you can’t see - and it is only at that time that they all laugh!” He looked at me. I said, “What kind of religion is this?”
He said, “I am a devout Catholic.”
I said, “Great. These are Catholic saints?”
He said, “I am sorry for that.”
And I said, “You have been doing both things together. Every day I see you cutting some picture from some magazine - Playboy, Playgirl, Penthouse - and you go on putting them up. Don’t you see the contradiction - that this is your repressed sexuality?”
A repressed sexuality can never be prayerful; the prayer will be polluted with repressed sex. A sexually repressed human being can never be in meditation. Those sexual pictures will arise from the unconscious.
And this is not only so about that poor Negro. The Hindu scriptures say that when the seers - great Hindu seers, their great saints - reach to the ultimate peak, just one step more and they will become gods..