Perhaps I am the first man who has risked all respectability – because to me respectability is nothing but subtle ego. I would rather be notorious than be divided, than be respected by people who can only respect the dead part, the deadness in a living man.
This has created a kind of schizophrenia, from which the whole humanity is suffering. And because the whole humanity is suffering from the same disease, we tend not to see it.
If one person suffers from a disease, we can immediately pick him out because everybody else is not suffering from it. But when everybody without exception is suffering, then it becomes difficult to call it a disease; it seems to be just part of nature.
Schizophrenia has gone deep into your very blood, bones, marrow. That’s why we see a contradiction between the mundane and the divine, between playfulness and respect for the divine. It is a created contradiction, so we don’t need to synthesize them. In fact, in reality they are one, but we don’t allow them to be one.
If somebody is in deep love with this life, we condemn him as a Zorba. He does not get the same respect as Buddha gets. There have been very beautiful people in the same category as Zorba, but humanity has not respected them; they have been condemned.
In India there has been an ancient tradition, founded by a certain man named Brihaspati. He must have been a great teacher, so even his enemies have called him Acharya Brihaspati. But they have destroyed all his writings, burned all his writings.
While he was alive, his philosophy was known as charuvak. Charuvak means sweet words. Perhaps he has spoken the sweetest words – which have been burnt – because he is no ordinary Zorba; he is one of the greatest philosophers India has produced. So his philosophy was known, when he was alive, as charuvak – sweet words, the sweetest philosophy possible, because he said to enjoy every moment of life, that there is no other world.
Now we have no idea of his actual statements. All that we have are his distorted statements in the scriptures of those who have burned his books; in the books of his enemies, just to condemn him, to criticize him. It is not reliable, but still they must have some connection even though they may be distorted.
For example they distorted…instead of calling his philosophy charuvak, they started calling his philosophy charvak. And those two words are totally different. Charuvak means sweet words; and charvak means one who overeats – just a philosophy of “eat, drink and be merry.” They changed the name, only a slight change, but it simply destroys the whole beauty. And whatever statements we have about this man are found in their books, which are certainly not exact.