There are societies in South Africa which are cannibal. Living in thick forest, the child is born amongst the cannibals, and from the very beginning he starts eating human flesh – because everybody else is doing it; this is the right thing to do. He never becomes aware that to eat human flesh is so ugly that even animals feel ashamed of it. No animal eats the flesh of its own species; no lion will eat another lion, no bird will eat another bird of its own species.
Man seems to be perverted in many ways.
One cannibal tribe, just in the beginning of this century, had three thousand members. Now there are only three hundred left. Because nobody passed through that forest, afraid that they may be caught, they started eating their own people, their own mothers, their own fathers, their own children. From three thousand to three hundred…now three hundred…now three hundred will not take much time to disappear.
I have heard that one Christian missionary was very adamant to go to the tribe and teach them the right way of living, and preach to them that cannibalism is the ugliest thing you can do. As he reached there he was welcomed, because the cannibals had been waiting for somebody to come for many days. And this missionary was so fat that the whole tribe started dancing. The missionary thought, “These people seem to be very good people, very nice.” They gave him a good welcome, garlanded him with flowers, took him on their shoulders, and went inside the jungle where there was a big pot of boiling water.
Seeing the big pot and the boiling water, the missionary thought, “Perhaps these poor people don’t have bathrooms and they have prepared hot water – it is very cold here – just for me to take a bath.” But instead of giving him a bath, they threw him in the pot. He could not believe it. Still he was thinking that they were giving him a bath. Just standing in the pot, as it was getting hotter and hotter, he asked them, “Have you ever tasted something of Christianity?”
They said, “Not up to now, but soon, as you become a soup, we will have our first taste of Christianity.” Even small children were dancing and enjoying – what a great foodstuff they have found.
In different societies people are imitating the crowd; but on the whole, the whole world is asleep, because everybody else around them is asleep. Hence it seems amazing, when you come across a Gautam Buddha, or a Mahakashyap, or a Bodhidharma, or a Chuang Tzu.
The amazing part is how they avoided the gravitation of the society, how they made it possible for themselves to get out of the grip of the crowd. But even if one man can get out of the crowd, he shows you the path. He indicates to you that you are also capable – just a little courage, just a little intelligence….