Chapter 8: Zorba the Buddha - Man of the Future
His rebellion consists of destroying the schizophrenia of man, destroying the dividedness - destroying spirituality as against materialism, and destroying materialism as against spirituality.
It is a manifesto that body and soul are together: that existence is full of spirituality, that even mountains are alive, that even trees are sensitive, that the whole existence is both - or perhaps just one energy expressing itself in two ways, as matter and as consciousness. When energy is purified, it expresses itself as consciousness; when energy is crude, unpurified, dense, it appears as matter. But the whole existence is nothing but an energy field.
This is my experience, it is not my philosophy. And this is supported by modern physics and its researches: existence is energy.
We can allow man to have both the worlds together. He need not renounce this world to get the other world, neither has he to deny the other world to enjoy this world. In fact, to have only one world while you are capable of having both is to be unnecessarily poor.
Zorba the Buddha is the richest possibility. He will live his nature to its utmost and he will sing songs of this earth. He will not betray the earth, and he will not betray the sky either. He will claim all that this earth has - all the flowers, all the pleasures - and he will also claim all the stars of the sky. He will claim the whole existence as his home.
The man of the past was poor because he divided existence. The new man, my rebel, Zorba the Buddha, claims the whole world as his home. All that it contains is for us, and we have to use it in every possible way - without any guilt, without any conflict, without any choice. Choicelessly enjoy all that matter is capable of, and rejoice in all that consciousness is capable of.
Be a Zorba, but don’t stop there.
Go on moving towards being a buddha.
Zorba is half, buddha is half.
There is an ancient story. In a forest nearby to a city there lived two beggars. Naturally they were enemies to each other, as all professionals are - two doctors, two professors, two saints. One was blind and one was lame, and both were very competitive; the whole day they were competing with each other in the city.
But one night their huts caught fire, because the whole forest was on fire. The blind man could run out, but he could not see where to run, he could not see where the fire had not yet spread. The lame man could see that there are still possibilities of getting out of this fire, but he could not run out. The fire was too fast, wild, so the lame man could only see his death coming.
They both realized that they needed each other. The lame man had a sudden realization, “The other man can run, the blind man can run, and I can see.” They forgot all their competition. In such a critical moment, when both were facing death, each necessarily forgot all stupid enmities.