The word capitalism has become very derogatory, but I am not worried about that. I believe in capitalism and not in socialism, because to me capitalism is the only hope for freedom, for growth, for individual uniqueness. It is a respect for the individual; socialism is disrespectful of the individual. Socialism does not believe in the soul of man; it cannot believe because if you believe in the soul of man then you cannot behave as if man is a machine. You have to give respect to the uniqueness of every individual. Not to give that respect means committing suicide.
The second thing you ask: “If one of the listeners is a practicing Catholic, what story would you have for him?”
It is good to be a Christ, it is ugly to be a Christian – Catholic or Protestant, it doesn’t matter. It is good to be a Buddha, but ugly to be a Buddhist. When you can be a Christ, why settle for less? When Christ-consciousness can flower in you, when you can become a buddha in your own right, when you can experience what Buddha and Christ have experienced, then why just be a follower, an imitator, a carbon copy? I am against carbon copies.
My effort here is to help you to discover your original face, so whether you are a practicing Catholic or a Protestant or a Hindu or a Mohammedan, it is all wrong. Love Christ, but don’t be a Christian. Love is a totally different phenomenon. If you become a Christian you are addicted with Christ, you become dependent on Christ. If you are a Christian you are bound to be anti-Buddha, anti-Mahavira, anti-Lao Tzu, anti-Zarathustra, anti-Patanjali. Just choosing Christ and becoming anti to all the other great awakened individuals who have walked on the earth is becoming poor, unnecessarily poor. When you can claim the whole heritage of humanity, when all the buddhas, all the awakened ones can enrich your being, why narrow down your consciousness? Why become focused and obsessed with Christ or Buddha or Mahavira or Krishna?
A Catholic means he is obsessed with Christ, a Hindu means he is obsessed with Krishna, a Jain means he is obsessed with Mahavira, and obsession is a psychological disease
One should be open, one should be available, to the stars, to the sun, to the moon, to the wind, to the flowers, to the birds. One should be available to all, because this whole belongs to us.
Love Christ, because love is not excluding others; love is an inclusive phenomenon. If you love Christ you have to love Buddha too, because that is another aspect of being a Christ. If you love Christ you have to love Mahavira too, because that is again another aspect of the same fulfillment. Buddha, Christ, Mahavira, Mohammed, Bahauddin, Kabir, Nanak – different aspects of the truth.
Truth is multidimensional. Why choose one dimension? Why become linear? Why be so miserly, even in your spiritual love? Why not be open and available, vulnerable to all, so they can all dance in your being?
I would like my sannyasins to be lovers of all. Enjoy all kinds of flowers! Don t become addicted with the rose, because the lotus has its beauty just as the rose has its beauty. And where is the problem? Cannot you enjoy the rose and the lotus together? Just one thing has to be understood: if you love beauty you can enjoy all, if you love truth you can enjoy all the awakened ones.