I’ve often heard you speak with love and admiration of Zorba. Yet Nikos Kazantzakis, the man who created him, led a tortured life – guilt-ridden, obsessed with religion, fearful of women, preoccupied with death. Are Zorba and Kazantzakis the two sides of all of us who are unenlightened?
The religions of the world have done so much harm to human beings that it is incalculable.
The greatest wound they have created in the human spirit is schizophrenia. They have put man against himself. They have created a rift in you, a split.
Their conditioning is that you have to fight with yourself, you have to be victorious over yourself. And nobody has said that it is simply madness. You are one! Who is going to be victorious, who is going to be defeated? But the division has been done very cunningly, very cleverly.
Do you see these two hands, the right and the left? Religions have created such a division that right is always right – and left, of course, is wrong. And both the hands are so deeply together inside you. You may not have imagined it, but your left hand is connected with your right mind, and your right hand is connected with your left mind.
Now, if the right hand is right, then your left mind is right – it is the extension of the left mind. But religions are condemning all leftist efforts. If your left hand is wrong, then your right mind is wrong; and all the religions are emphasizing the right mind. So the split is complicated – but anything is possible if it is repeated for thousands of years.
Nikos Kazantzakis represents you – each human being. He was a rare man, but a victim of the whole past. He was a very sensitive man – that’s why the split became very clear; a very intelligent man, he could see he was divided. That created great inner torture for him.
To be divided against yourself is hell, fighting with yourself is continuous torture. You want to do something – that is one part of you – and the second part says, “No, you cannot do it. It is sin.”
How can you be at peace with yourself? And one who is not at peace with himself cannot be at peace with society, with culture, and finally with existence. The individual is the very brick of the whole existence.
It is very significant to understand Nikos Kazantzakis. He was a Greek, and the Greeks have always been very much body-oriented. The whole history of Greece is full of love for your own body.
Do you know that the woman in Greece was not thought to be beautiful? Just as everywhere else men managed and dominated societies, Greece was also male chauvinist, but with a difference. Women have been condemned everywhere, but not as much as in Greece. All Greek statues are of men. The whole sculpture is devoted to the beauty of the male body.