Why do people become followers? Why are people trapped? Why do people fall for a Joseph Stalin or an Adolf Hitler or a Mao Zedong? Why in the first place? They have become so shaky, the ideological confusion has shaken them from their very roots. Now they cannot stand on their own, they want somebody to lean on. They cannot move on their own, they don’t know who they are. They need somebody to tell them that they are this or that. They need an identity to be given to them. They have forgotten their self and their nature.
Adolf Hitlers and Joseph Stalins and Mao Zedongs will be coming again and again, until and unless man drops all ideologies. And remember, when I say all ideologies, I mean all ideologies. I don’t make any distinction between noble ideologies and not so noble. All ideologies are dangerous. In fact the noble ideologies are more dangerous, because they have a more seductive power, they are more persuasive. But ideology as such is a disease, exactly a disease, because you become two: the ideal and you. And the you that you are is condemned, and the you that you are not is praised. Now you are getting into trouble. Now sooner or later you will be neurotic, psychotic or something.
Buddha has given a nonrepressive way of life, and nonideological too. That’s why he does not talk about God, he does not talk about heaven, he does not talk about any future. He does not give you anything to hold onto, he takes everything away from you. He takes even your self. He goes on taking things away, and finally he takes even the idea of self, I, ego. He leaves only pure emptiness behind. And this is very difficult.
This is very difficult because we have completely forgotten how to give. We only know how to take. We go on taking everything. I take the exam and I take the wife and I even take the afternoon nap. You go on taking – even the afternoon nap, a thing which cannot be taken, you have to surrender to it. Sleep comes only when you surrender. Even a wife, a husband, you go on taking. You are not respectful. The wife is not a property. You can take a house – how can you take a wife or a husband? But our language shows our mind. We don’t know how to give – how to give in, how to let go, how to let things happen.
Buddha takes all ideals away, the whole future away, and finally he takes the last thing that is very very difficult for us to give – he takes your very self; leaves a pure, innocent, virgin emptiness behind. That virgin emptiness he calls nirvana. Nirvana is not a goal, it is just your emptiness. When you have dropped all that you have accumulated, when you don’t hoard anymore, when you are no longer a miser and a clinger, then suddenly that emptiness erupts. It has always been there.