And strange is the fact that it was the Devil who persuaded Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. He showed her why God was preventing them. He does not want anybody to be equal to him – and you call this God compassionate? And you call this God love? The Devil was far more loving, far more compassionate! In fact, he showed man the way of wisdom, the way of immortality.
God is preventing his own children because he does not want them to be wise, he does not want them to be immortal. If they are immortal and wise then they will be equal to God, and he is afraid of their equality – a very jealous God. In fact, the Old Testament declares it through God himself. God says, “I am a very jealous God.” He certainly is. He was jealous of his own children. He is not even worthy to be called a father. If the Devil had not told Eve, “You have to eat these fruits, only then will you know in your innermost being that you are also gods…”
As the story is, it makes it clear that the Devil was more in favor of human individuality, respect, dignity. God was against man from the very beginning. The whole evolution that has happened in science… “Science” in its very roots means knowledge. Anything that has evolved in the inner consciousness of man – the awakened ones, the enlightened ones who have come to know that life is eternal, it is a festival, beginningless, endless – would not have been possible without the Devil. The Devil was the first rebellion against a dictatorial God.
And I have to tell you that the word devil is much more meaningful than the word God. God simply means nothing, but devil comes from the Sanskrit root div. From div are derived “devil” and “day” in English; in Hindustani from dev, devata, which means divine; from div, divas, which mean daybreak, the beginning of the day, the end of the night. The Devil seems to be more divine than God. God seems to be really a very mean fellow, and it is good that he is dead otherwise somebody would have to shoot him. It is good that he died by himself, and we had not to have his blood on our hands.
But once God is no longer there, your freedom becomes a tremendous responsibility. It should not fall down into licentiousness, it should rise into enlightenment. Freedom brings responsibility. And I want you to understand that responsibility does not mean duty, it means only the ability to respond. Ability to respond to what? To every situation, moment to moment you should be so aware that you can find original responses to every original situation. Nothing in existence ever repeats.
They say history repeats itself, because man is an idiot. But existence never repeats itself, because existence is intelligence, wisdom, eternity. History will also stop repeating once there are millions of buddhas around the world, millions of people who have the sense of being alert, aware, conscious, and who feel that they have a great responsibility moment to moment – not according to any scripture but according to everyone’s consciousness.