Huang Po certainly knows what he is saying but there was no need to say it in a philosophical way. “Environmental phenomena” simply means all that is around you. And because of these “environmental phenomena,” you will be at a loss: why do people feel desire and hatred? because first you have not understood the “environmental phenomena.”
The girlfriend is an environmental phenomenon. Because of these girls and these boys and this money and the power…then things would have been clear to you, why people desire and why people hate.
They desire – but desire never succeeds. One desire leads to another desire. It is an endless progression. And because they never succeed to fulfill all their desires, they start hating. Now it was a very simple thing to say that the world of things creates greed in you, lust, desire, and when you don’t succeed, a depression, a hate, a despair.
And when you succeed, then something even worse happens: the ego. A man who has failed may be awakened more easily than a man who is being victorious.
I had a friend – he was one of the richest men of this country – who wanted to become an M.L.A., a member of the assembly of his state. He asked me, “Give me your blessings.”
I said, “Just don’t ask that because I never give blessings for wrong things. I will destroy all possibility of your becoming a member of the assembly. You just go…there are many saints; I am not a saint. They are sitting there, just for somebody to come with a coconut and ask for blessings.” And nuts come, and they get blessed and one never bothers how many blessings succeed because the opponent also goes to the same saint and gets the blessing: “You will be victorious.”
Obviously both cannot be victorious. And in an election there may be ten candidates, all blessed by the same saint. He has gained ten coconuts – now what happens to all these ten nuts? Nobody bothers.
You will be surprised to know that the pope blessed Benito Mussolini – and that meant he was blessing Adolf Hitler because Italy and Germany and Japan, all were together in a fight against the whole world. The high priest in Germany blessed Adolf Hitler and the priest in Japan said to the king, “There is no question – you are the Sun God, you can never be defeated.”
And it is true: before the second world war, the emperor of Japan was never defeated. In fact, nobody bothered about it, it was so far away. When there were countries like India available, who goes to conquer Japan? When easy prey is available, you don’t go unnecessarily to the darkest jungles of Africa.
And in England, the high priest blessed England and in America, the same Catholic high priest is blessing America. All these blessings are going to one God, and all these people are in a fight! Nobody even bothers about the inconsistency and contradiction. Nobody has talked about it.
Once somebody becomes victorious – and somebody is bound to become – then it is very difficult to wake him up. He is too drunk with his victory.