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Chapter 32: God: The Need of the Old Man

But as you go on growing, nearabout between thirty-five and forty the hippie disappears. Suddenly thousands of hippies simply disappear. Now that youthful, romantic ideology of free love, drugs, not caring about anything, is not possible. You are becoming older; you need a home, you need a wife to look after you. You need children, because they will be, in a subtle way, tremendously satisfying. You know that you will die, but at least you will live in your child. The child is part of you. Even if a part is saved, it gives consolation.

Your parents in your childhood were young, full of romantic ideas. In fact, the young man wants to be recognized, his greatest need is attention. If you are a theist, who is going to give you any attention? There are millions of theists, it is a very common thing. But to be an atheist - you immediately start getting attention. That fulfills the ego.

And the trouble is that the atheist can always defeat any other kind of believers. The atheist can win in argument with any theist, because the theist has no evidence, no eyewitness about what happens after death, because nobody comes back after death and tells you stories about what is beyond death. So it is left up to your imagination. Of course, older people start imagining a God; otherwise they will be so helpless without the body - wandering like a cloud with no direction, no purpose. They need God. God is the need of the old man.

Children don’t care; they are forced to believe in God. The old man is again in a similar situation, but far more difficult and complex. A child can easily be molded; he is soft, vulnerable, imitative. The old man feels for seventy, eighty years he has been a certain kind of person. His personality has become consolidated, and now at the moment of death it is very difficult for him to undo himself. That is why the old are in despair.

Why did they get divorced? As youth leaves you one day, it takes many things from you; it does not go alone. It takes all your paintings, all your poetries, all your music, all your dances. It takes all your love, and leaves behind something utterly empty, dark, nobody to take care of. Children must have been grown up by now, they must be passing through revolutionary, rebellious stages - perhaps they may be hippies. They don’t care about you; you have lived your life, they want to live their life.

They may be somewhere in Kabul, in Kulu Manali, in Kathmandu, in Goa - they are enjoying their youthfulness and its freedom, and they have energy to waste. They must be taking marijuana, hashish, opium, LSD. They don’t care even if they are imprisoned - I have known many people who have been imprisoned for using drugs which governments declare illegal. But imprisonment does not help. Out of the prison, they are again on the same track: Kabul, Kulu Manali, Kathmandu, Goa. Goa is their destination. These are just stopping, resting places; Goa is the final goal.

By the way, just a little drifting.. All the Christian countries are against marijuana, LSD, hashish, but they are not against alcohol, which is far more dangerous to health. Why? - because Jesus himself was a drunkard, his apostles were all drinking. So alcohol has some religious significance for the Christians.

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