Just being reminded that you have been after money for thousands of years, and you have attained money in many lives and there was only frustration and nothing else; that you have been after power and you became powerful many times, but after reaching the last rung of the ladder you saw that there is nothing – that you have been befooled by the society, that ambition is nonsense.
You are not to be “somebody”; you are what you are. There is no question of climbing a ladder and you becoming better.
Because these experiences of past lives will change one’s whole character, it is better to repress them. And when there is the future, eternity, you cannot make people afraid. And all three Western religions are based on fear, that if you miss the opportunity…. And the opportunity is very small; most people are going to miss. In a life of seventy years, I don’t think anybody will be able to fulfill all the qualifications to reach heaven. There is not enough time. So they have fallen upon belief, faith, which does not need time: you simply believe. You have faith in Jesus Christ, and on the last day he will sort out his sheep and take them to paradise. And the others will fall down into abysmal darkness for eternity.
It was easier to convert people by creating fear. It was easier to convert people by giving them greed – that if you are faithful, you will attain paradise with all its pleasures. But your personality remains the same – fake. No transformation comes to you through these things.
In the East, when they came to know that there is eternal time in the future, of course they could not create the same kind of hurry; they are very patient. Looking back, they learned not to repeat the same mistakes; looking ahead they are patient. There is no need to be tense and worried.
This is the psychology of why you find that even the poorest man in the East is utterly non-tense. He may be hungry, he may be dying, but he is not against anybody; he is not revengeful toward the society which has brought him to this point. No, he is not losing anything: if he dies, he dies. The next life is there – the journey will continue, only the trains change. Death is a kind of change of trains.
The Eastern religions are non-convertive. They don’t convert anybody; they don’t go out of the way to convert somebody. If somebody feels, tries to understand, and wants to enter…even then they are not very enthusiastic. They say, “You understand it; you can do it remaining in your own religion.” But if somebody is insistent, he is allowed in.
Once the archbishop in Japan went to see Nan In, a very great master. He took the Bible with him and he read a few sentences from The Sermon on the Mount. He had read just a few when Nan In said, “That’s enough; that man is just on the verge of enlightenment.” In Buddhist terminology he said, “He is a bodhisattva. Whoever has written it – it doesn’t matter who – he is a bodhisattva and there is no need to read anymore: these sentences are enough proof.”