Now, for these three or four days I have been driving in an Impala. It is not a very beautiful car; in America it is the car of the plumbers! But in a sense I am also a plumber – the plumber of the mind. I fix nuts and bolts. It is a poor man’s car. In America, the people who use Chevrolet Impalas, etcetera, their neighborhood is called the Chevrolet neighborhood – that means poor people’s neighborhood.
But this French couple must have the old idea that poverty has something spiritual about it. Man has lived so long in poverty that he had to console himself, otherwise it would have been intolerable. He had to convince himself that poverty is spiritual.
Poverty is not spiritual – poverty is the source of all crimes.
And I would like to tell the couple that, “If you want to cling to your beliefs and prejudices, this is not the place for you. Please get lost! – the sooner the better, because you may be corrupted here. Listening to me is dangerous for you.”
To me, spirituality has a totally different dimension. It is the ultimate luxury – when you have all and suddenly you see that, although you have all, deep inside there is a vacuum which has to be filled, an emptiness which has to be transformed into a plenitude. One becomes aware of the inner emptiness only when one has everything on the outside. Science can do that miracle. I love science, because it can create the possibility for religion to happen.
Up to now, religion has not happened on the earth. We have talked about religion but it has not happened; it has not touched the hearts of the millions. Only once in a while a person has been able to become enlightened. In a big garden where millions of bushes and trees are, if only once in a while in thousands of years a flower comes to a tree, you will not call it a garden. You will not be thankful to the gardener. You will not say, “The gardener is great, because look: after one thousand years, out of millions of trees, one tree has again blossomed with one flower.” If this happens that simply shows it must have happened in spite of the gardener! Somehow he has forgotten about the tree, somehow he has neglected the tree, somehow the tree has escaped his grip.
Man has lived irreligiously: talking about God, certainly – going to the church, to the temple, to the mosque – yet his life showing no flavor of religion.
My vision of religion is totally different. It has nothing to do with poverty. I would like the whole earth to become as rich as paradise – richer than paradise – so that people can stop thinking about paradise. Paradise was created by poor people just to console themselves that, “Here we are suffering, but it is not for long. Only a few days more, or a few years, and death will come and we will be transported into paradise.” And what a consolation! – that those who are rich here will be thrown into hell.