Personality is also a necessary part of growth. It is like if you catch hold of a fish in the sea and you throw it on the shore; the fish jumps back into the sea. Now for the first time it will know that it has always lived in the sea; for the first time it will know that, “The sea is my life.” Up to now, before it was caught and thrown on the shore, it may not have ever thought of the sea at all; it may have been utterly oblivious of the sea. To know something, first you have to lose it.
To be aware of paradise, first you have to lose it. Unless it is lost and regained you will not understand the beauty of it.
Adam and Eve had to lose the Garden of Eden; that is part of natural growth. Only by leaving the beautiful garden of God can Adam become a christ one day – he can come back. Adam leaving Eden is just like the fish being caught and thrown on the shore and Jesus is the fish jumping back into the sea.
The primitive peoples cannot become enlightened. They are beautiful, spontaneous, natural, but utterly unaware of what they are; they don’t have any awareness. They live joyously but their joy is unconscious. First they have to lose it. They have to become civilized, educated, knowledgeable; they have to become a culture, a civilization, a religion. They have to lose all their spontaneity, they have to forget all about their essence, and then suddenly one day they start missing it. It is bound to happen.
That is happening all over the world, and it is happening in such great measure because this is the first time that humanity has really become civilized.
The more civilized a country is, the more is the feeling of meaninglessness. The backward countries still don’t have that feeling, they can’t have. To have that feeling of inner emptiness, meaninglessness, absurdity, one has to become very civilized.
Hence I am all in favor of science, because it helps the fish to be thrown on the shore. And once on the hot shore, in the hot sand, the fish starts feeling thirsty. It had never felt thirsty before. For the first time it misses the ocean around, the coolness, the life-giving waters. It is dying.
That is the situation of the civilized man, the educated man: he is dying. Great inquiry is being born. One wants to know what should be done, how one can enter into the ocean of life again.
In the backward countries, for example in India, there is no such feeling of meaninglessness. Even though a few Indian intellectuals write about it, their writing has no depth because it does not correspond to the situation of the Indian mind. A few Indian intellectuals write about meaninglessness, absurdity, almost in the same way as Soren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jaspers, Heidegger…. They have read about these people or they may have visited the West, and they start talking about meaninglessness, nausea, absurdity, but it sounds phony.