How is your rebel concerned with “Zorba the Buddha”?
My rebel, my new man, is Zorba the Buddha. Mankind has lived believing either in the reality of the soul and the illusoriness of matter, or in the reality of matter and the illusoriness of the soul.
You can divide the humanity of the past into the spiritualists and the materialists. But nobody has bothered to look at the reality of man. He is both together. He is neither just spirituality – he is not just consciousness – nor is he just matter. He is a tremendous harmony between matter and consciousness.
Or perhaps matter and consciousness are not two things, but only two aspects of one reality: matter is the outside of consciousness, and consciousness is the interiority of matter. But there has not been a single philosopher, sage, or religious mystic in the past who has declared this unity; they were all in favor of dividing man, calling one side real and the other side unreal. This has created an atmosphere of schizophrenia all over the earth.
You cannot live just as a body. That’s what Jesus means when he says, “Man cannot live by bread alone” – but this is only half the truth. You cannot live just as consciousness alone, you cannot live without bread either. You have two dimensions of your being, and both the dimensions have to be fulfilled, given equal opportunity for growth. But the past has been either in favor of one and against the other, or in favor of the other and against the first one.
Man as a totality has not been accepted. This has created misery, anguish, and a tremendous darkness; a night that has lasted for thousands of years, that seems to have no end. If you listen to the body, you condemn yourself; if you don’t listen to the body, you suffer – you are hungry, you are poor, you are thirsty. If you listen to consciousness only, your growth will be lopsided: your consciousness will grow but your body will shrink, and the balance will be lost. And in the balance is your health, in the balance is your wholeness, in the balance is your joy, your song, your dance.
The West has chosen to listen to the body, and has become completely deaf as far as the reality of consciousness is concerned. The ultimate result is great science, great technology, an affluent society, a richness of things mundane, worldly. And amidst all this abundance, a poor man without a soul, completely lost – not knowing who he is, not knowing why he is, feeling almost an accident or a freak of nature.
Unless consciousness grows with the richness of the material world, the body – matter – becomes too heavy and the soul becomes too weak. You are too much burdened by your own inventions, your own discoveries. Rather than creating a beautiful life for you, they create a life which is felt by all the intelligentsia of the West as not worth living.