If we look at man it does not appear at all that he is the most evolved animal on the earth – just the opposite. No other animal goes insane except man. Yes, a few animals go insane, but they only go into insanity when they are put into zoos, not in their wild state. And a zoo is a human phenomenon.
Just think of yourself: if the elephants created a zoo and put you into a zoo – how long would you remain sane? It would be impossible for you to remain sane; it would be just natural to go insane. Animals don’t become homosexual – unless they are put in a zoo. In a zoo they turn homosexual; in a zoo they are bound to because they can’t get their females. In a zoo they are confined in such small spaces; those small spaces are bound to drive them crazy.
You must have seen tigers walking up and down in their cages, because they used to live and run for miles. The whole wild world was theirs, and now just a small cage, and surrounded by the tourists and the visitors and foolish people looking at them… Just think of yourself being in a zoo made by the elephants or the tigers or the monkeys, and all kinds of monkeys looking at you, day in, day out, the whole situation unnatural.
Now scientists say that there is a certain territory that is needed by every animal, a certain space; if that is not given to that animal it is bound to go insane. Wild animals need an area of miles and miles to remain free and to remain sane. Yes, in a zoo they go insane, they go crazy. They attack even their own species; they become destructive. Sometimes they have even been known to commit suicide, but never in their natural state. It is only man who commits suicide, goes insane, becomes sexually perverted – and still man goes on thinking that he is the highest peak!
As far as I am concerned, I don’t believe in hierarchy. The monkey is a monkey, the man is a man. Nobody is higher and nobody is lower. The rocks are rocks and the trees are trees. And we all participate in one existence. Yes, there are great changes happening, but it is not evolution; evolution means we are going higher. Changes are there, certainly; life is constantly moving, it is a river. But change does not mean evolution, remember. You can change without your being evolving – and that’s what is happening.
And that change, constant change, gives you grounds to impose your theory of evolution on it. Things are changing, life is always in a flux; nothing is permanent, all is fluid. Man has not been like this before, and man will never again be like this. Everything is in a process, but the process is not goal-oriented; it is not moving towards a certain goal. It is a very playful process.
Children playing, you cannot say that they are evolving; children playing, you cannot say they are achieving something. They are not achieving anything. That’s exactly the concept of leela in the East. Leela means play – the world is the play of existence, and in play there is no question of evolution.