If you look from the moon, the earth looks like the moon and the moon looks like the earth. The moon does not shine on the moon. It is in our eyes from far away that the reflected rays of the sun give the light to the moon. Yuri Gagarin was not aware before this that a miracle was going to happen: the moon becomes just like the earth, and the earth becomes luminous. The earth is eight times bigger than the moon and so its light is also eight times greater. It is tremendous. It is unimaginable.
When he came back to Moscow, the people asked him, “What was the first idea in your mind when you saw the earth from the moon?”
He said, “You will have to forgive me – I forgot completely that I am a Russian. I simply said, ‘Ah, my beautiful earth.’ Those were the first words that came into my mind.”
To see a simple fact, one has to go that far? It is our beautiful earth. It belongs to no race, to no nation; it belongs to us all. But rather than using our life energies and forces, our intelligence, for rejoicing, we are working hard in manufacturing death. It seems the only function of life is to manufacture death; it is utterly absurd.
This planet has the capacity to become a paradise, but it is up to us. The poor mountains cannot do anything; the poor trees can dance in the sun, in the rain, but they cannot do anything more than that. It is man alone who can transform the whole atmosphere from death orientation to life affirmation.
And to me, the man who is life affirmative is authentically religious, not the people who go to the churches every Sunday, or the people who go to the mosques, or the people who go to the synagogues. Those people are deceiving themselves by purchasing religion very cheaply, without risking anything, without transforming themselves. They have managed to create beautiful toys to play with: statues of God, scriptures descended from heaven, messengers and prophets imagined by us…because we love the very idea that God cares and sends messengers to us.
We have believed in those messengers because of our ego. We have believed in God because of our ego: that God created man, and God created man in his own image, and God created man as the ultimate creation. After that he did not create. This is his last signature of his creativity; since that he has retired.
To me, it has a totally different meaning. Man has believed that he is created by God because that gives him a feeling of great ego: “I am no ordinary person, but a creation of God.” But to me, the very idea of God is ugly, and the idea that he created man makes man just a puppet. The idea that you are created by somebody – manufactured, maybe handmade – takes away all dignity and all pride and all self-respect. Then you cannot have any soul of your own. Then you are certainly a mechanism and nothing more.
And moreover, you are in the hands of a whimsical God. In the first place, why did he remain silent for eternity and not create you? According to Christianity, he created man exactly four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ. I presume it must have been Monday, the first of January; that is a logical conclusion. He cannot create you on any other day, because before the creation there cannot be any calendar. So whichever day he created you was the first of January, and the first year of Our Lord!