Marx predicted that rich countries would become communist. I predict that rich countries always become religious, poor countries become communist. And once, through communism, a country becomes rich, it will start searching and seeking for religion. That’s what is happening deep down in the Russian soul now: now Russia has come to a point where it can again think of God and meditation, prayer.
You will be surprised to know that in Russia people meet in secrecy to pray, because prayer is not allowed by the government any more. To be religious is to be a criminal. Here, there are temples and nobody goes; and churches are there and people have to be persuaded somehow to go to the churches, at least on Sunday. People have to be bribed to go to the temples, to the churches, to the mosques, to the gurudwaras. Can you conceive of a country where people meet in secrecy, in their basements, to pray – silently, so that nobody can hear? Deep in the Russian soul, religion is surfacing again. It has to surface: now Russia is rich enough to think of higher things.
In my vision of life, materialism and spiritualism are not contraries; materialism paves the way for religion. Hence I am utterly materialistic and utterly spiritualistic. That is one of the most fundamental teachings that I am delivering to you: never create an antagonism between the body and the soul, between the world and God. Never create any antagonism between materialism and spiritualism – they go together, just as body and soul. Remain materialistic and use your materialism as a stepping-stone towards spirituality.
That creates much confusion in people’s minds because they have always been thinking that poverty is something spiritual. That is utter nonsense. Poverty is the most unspiritual thing in the world. A poor man cannot be spiritual. He can try, but his spirituality will remain superficial. He has not yet been disillusioned by riches – how can he be spiritual? A great disillusionment is needed – a great disillusionment with the outer world – then you turn in. The turning in comes only at a certain point when you are utterly disillusioned with the outside – when you have seen the world, you have lived the world, you have experienced – and you have come to know that there is nothing in it: all soap bubbles, momentary experiences. They promise much but they deliver nothing, and in the end only emptiness is left in your hands.
The outer world can only give you death and nothing else. Life has to be searched for within. The sources of life are in you.
The tree is in the seed. If you cut the seed open you will not find the tree – true – because that is not the way to find it. You will have to let the seed grow, then the blueprint that is hidden in the seed comes out. When a child is conceived in a mother’s womb he is just a seed, but he has all the blueprint, all the possibilities. What kind of body he will have, what kind of face, what color of eyes, hair, height, age, how long he will live, healthy or unhealthy, man or woman, black or white – all is contained in the seed. Life grows out of that seed.