Enlightenment is not at stake, but your poetry is at stake, your sense of beauty is at stake. Your humanity is at stake, not your super-humanity. That’s why it is not allowed in my ashram – and it will not be allowed. It is a question of beauty.
If you understand this many things will be clear to you. Alcohol can be allowed in this ashram but not meat, because alcohol is vegetarian – fruit juice…fermented, but it is fruit juice. And sometimes to be a little drunk gives rise to great poetry. That is possible, that has to be allowed. In the new commune we are going to have a bar – Omar Khayyam. Omar Khayyam is a Sufi saint, one of the enlightened Sufis.
But meat cannot be allowed, that is just ugly. Just to think that you are killing an animal to eat, just the very idea, is unaesthetic. I am not against it because the animal is killed…because that which is essential in the animal will live, it cannot be killed, and that which is nonessential, whether you kill it or not, is going to die. So that is irrelevant, that is not a point for me to consider. The question is not that you have killed the animal and killing is not good, no. The question is that you have killed the animal – you. Just to eat? While beautiful vegetarian food is available? If vegetarian food is not available, that’s one thing. But the food is available. Then why? Then why destroy a body? And if you can kill an animal, then why not be a cannibal? What is wrong with killing a man? The meat derived from a human body will be more in tune with you. Why not start eating human beings? That too is a question of aesthetics.
And the animals are brothers and sisters, because man has come from them. They are our family. To kill a man is only to kill an evolved animal, or to kill an animal is just to kill somebody who is not yet evolved but is on the way. It is the same. Whether you kill the child when he is in the first grade or whether you kill the young man when he has come to his last grade in the university, it does not make much difference. The animals are moving towards human beings, and human beings had once been animals. It is only a question of aesthetics. Why not kill your wife and eat her? She is so beautiful and so sweet….
A friend came to a cannibal and the food was prepared and the friend had never tasted anything like it. He had never even dreamed that food could be so tasty, so delicious. When he was leaving he said to the cannibal, “I loved the food. I have never loved food so much. When I come next, prepare the same dishes.”
And the cannibal said, “That is difficult, because I only had one mother.”
Why can’t you eat your mother? Why can’t you eat your husband or your child? – so delicious! The question is not religious, I would like to remind you again, it is a question of aesthetics. An aesthetic man will see that life remains beautiful, it does not become ugly and nightmarish.