You say someone is good, some other man is bad. You think someone is a saint and you think someone else is a sinner. All projections, all interpretations. That’s why Jews thought Jesus to be a criminal. And Christians think him to be the only begotten son of God, the greatest who ever walked on Earth. And Jews – they thought him to be the worst, sin incarnate.
When they crucified Jesus, they didn’t crucify him alone. On both his sides were criminals; three persons were crucified together. He was crucified like a criminal. Not only that, every year the viceroy of the country, the Roman viceroy, had the power to forgive one person, to release him from the death penalty. Four persons were to be crucified – Jesus and three others. The other three were murderers, and when the viceroy asked the Jews, “I can free one man” – and he was thinking of Jesus because to him it looked as if he was just innocent, childlike. It was simply unjust to kill this man.
The viceroy was not a Jew, his standpoint was different; he could not project the same idea as Jews were projecting on Jesus. He could not see the badness, the evil. He talked to Jesus and found he was a simple man. Maybe too bold, maybe too bold because of his innocence; he may have been saying things in a metaphorical way, but he never meant it. He wanted – deep down in his heart was the idea that the Jews would ask for Jesus to be forgiven.
But no, the Jews wouldn’t ask for Jesus. They decided for a criminal, a murderer. Barabbas was his name. They decided that he should be freed but Jesus had to be killed. Jesus died like a criminal. What happened? Why are the standpoints about Jesus so contrary, so diametrically opposite?
Not that Jesus is the problem, the problem is of the interpreting mind. You call somebody good and you call somebody bad, but have you ever thought – what is goodness? Can you define it? Has anybody ever been able to define it?
One of the greatest logicians of this century, G.E. Moore, has written a book. The name of the book is Principia Ethica – one of the rare books, so penetrating, so logical – and he starts by asking “What is good?” And a man of the caliber of G.E. Moore is rarely born. You cannot find anybody else in this century who has such an acute penetrating quality of the mind.
He starts by asking: What is good? and he ends the book by saying that good is indefinable. He works hard through the book, round and round he goes, tries many ways to penetrate the mystery of good, and fails. And this is the conclusion: you dig the whole mountain and not even a mouse is found; good is indefinable.
But that has been known forever – that good is indefinable. The question is, Why is good indefinable? Why is beauty indefinable? It is indefinable because it doesn’t exist as a fact in the world, it is an interpretation. It depends on the mind. It is just like, like and dislike.