The body is the school where you learn, in shallow water, to swim. And once you have learned swimming, then it does not matter how deep the water is. Then you can go to the deepest part of the lake; it is all the same to you. And when I say this, I am not simply propagating a philosophy. I am making a statement of my own experience; hence, you can feel the authority in my words.
I am not an authoritarian person – you should remember the difference. The authoritarian person imposes his authority on you, he is a power seeker. But when words come out of experience, they have an authority of their own. They are not trying to impose anything on anybody; they are, on the contrary, simply exposing one’s own heart to those who are ready to see the great possibility that materialism and spiritualism are not opposite goals, that Zorba and Buddha are not moving in different directions, that only a Zorba has the guts to become a Buddha. It is possible he may not become, he may get stuck in being a Zorba….
But you must be reminded about Buddha’s life. Up to his twenty-ninth year, he was a pure Zorba. He had the best young girls available in his kingdom, by the dozen. His whole palace was full of music and dance. He had the best food, best clothes, beautiful palaces to live in, great gardens. He lived more deeply than poor Zorba the Greek.
Zorba had only one Bubulina – an old, faded woman, a prostitute who had lost all her customers. She had false teeth, false hair – and Zorba was her customer only because he could not afford to pay. You call him Zorba? – and you forget completely the twenty-nine years of Buddha’s life which were far richer. Day in, day out, he was simply living in luxury, surrounded by everything that he could imagine. He was living in a dreamland. It was this experience that turned him into a buddha. It has not been analyzed this way. Nobody bothers about the first part of his life – which is the very base.
He became fed up. He tasted every joy of the outside; now he wanted something more, something deeper, which was not available in the outside world. For the deeper you have to jump in. At the age of twenty-nine he left the palace in the night in search of the inner. It is Zorba going in search of the buddha.
Zorba the Greek never became a buddha for the simple reason that his zorbahood is incomplete. He is a beautiful man, full of zest, but a poor man. He wants to live life in its intensity, but he has no opportunity to live it. He dances, he sings, but he does not know the higher nuances of music. He does not know the dance where the dancer disappears.
The Zorba in Buddha knew the highest and the deepest parts of the outside world. Knowing it all, now he was ready to go on an inner search. The world is good, but not good enough; something more is needed. It gives momentary glimpses; the Buddha wants something eternal. And all these joys will be finished by death. He wants to know something which cannot be finished by death.