Chapter 8: Dissolve Yourself
What to say about a Baul? God is there. He is pregnant with the divine. He glows, he is luminous, he dances and sings. Possessing nothing, he possesses all; having nothing, he is the richest man in the world. In one way he is just a beggar on the road, and in another way, the emperor. Because of this - that has happened inside, that he has become aware - he is happy with his body, he takes care of his body, he loves his body. This love is totally different.
And secondly: the American mind is competitive. You may not necessarily be really in love with your body - you may just be competing with others. Because others are doing things, you have to do them. The American mind is the most shallow, ambitious mind that has ever existed in the world. It is the very basic worldly mind. That’s why the businessman has become the top-most reality in America. Everything else has faded into the background; the businessman, the man who controls money is the top-most reality.
In India, brahmins were the top-most reality - the seekers of God. In Europe, the aristocrats were the top-most reality - well-cultured, educated, alert, in tune with subtle nuances of life: music, art, poetry, sculpture, architecture, classical dances, languages, Greek and Latin. The aristocrat, who had been conditioned for the higher values of life for centuries, was the top-most reality in Europe. In Russia, the proletariat, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the laborer is the top-most reality. In America, it is the businessman, vaishya, the one who controls money.
Money is the most competitive realm. You need not have culture, you need only have money. You need not know anything about music, anything about poetry. You need not know anything about ancient literature, history, religion, philosophy - no, you need not know. If you have a big bank balance, you are important. That’s why I say this is the most shallow mind that has ever existed.
And this mind has turned everything into commerce. This mind is continuously in competition. Even if you purchase a van Gogh or a Picasso, you don’t purchase it for Picasso. You purchase because the neighbors have purchased. They have a Picasso painting in their drawing room, so how can you afford not to have it? You have to have it.
You may not know anything - you may not know even how to hang it, which side is which. Because it is difficult to know, as far as a Picasso is concerned, whether the picture is hanging upside down or right-side up. You may not know at all whether it is authentically a Picasso or not. You may not look at it at all, but because others have it and they are talking about Picasso, you have to show your culture. But you simply show your money. So whatsoever is costly becomes significant; whatsoever is costly is thought to be significant.