The greatest guilt Nikos feels is against his own life. Whatever he does is wrong. If he follow his materialist tendencies, the Christian is there to condemn him, to send him to hell. If he tries to be a Christian, his Greek heritage is against it. He cannot do anything, he is in a fix.
A sensitive man, an intelligent man is bound to feel guilty, that he is wasting his life fighting with himself. The man of guilt is of course obsessed with death – because he is not living and death is coming closer and closer every moment. Perhaps he may not be able to live – and death will finish him.
A man who is living totally never bothers about death.
His life is so full, death cannot even touch him.
Death will come only to the body, not to him.
He knows his inner organic consciousness.
That was impossible for Nikos to know. He was obsessed with death, continuously afraid of death. He has not lived yet and death can come any moment.
And there is a logic, a logical corollary: self-torture, guilt, obsession with death, all three together create the ultimate obsession of man – religion. Somehow he has to keep himself together – he is falling apart. Religion gives him at least a certain kind of solace, religion gives him a certain integrity.
But the man of intelligence cannot be religious either. His sensitivity is so clear that he cannot believe in a god whom he has not known. He cannot believe in heaven and hell, which are mere words. He cannot see in society that the people who are committing evil acts are punished, or the people who are simple, innocent, good are rewarded. How can he believe that his good actions are going to be rewarded after life – why not now?
Why do the cause and effect have to be so separated? They cannot be separated. Any intellectual can see the point, that cause and effect are joined together – they are two sides of the same coin. There is no reason at all why, if you commit evil here, you will be punished after death.
Religions had to invent this fiction because the question was significant. Everybody was asking, “If evil acts are punished…we don’t see that happening.”
All kinds of criminals become presidents, prime ministers, world-famous people; and the simple and the innocent and the good live as if they are not there – no recognition. They die poor, they die in indignity, they die as if they had never been here. No account is going to be kept of them.
You have your history about Genghis Khan, Nadirshah, Tamerlane, Alexander the Great, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Ayatollah Khomeiniac – these are your great people!
The good, the silent, the people who have not done any harm to anybody, who have never interfered in anybody’s life, are simply forgotten. Nobody will ever know their names. Whether they existed or not makes no difference to your history.
Any intelligent person can see the device of religions. Here we see that the people who are exploiting, sucking blood, are rich. And the people who are making beautiful skyscrapers are sleeping on the street.