Forward to supernature
IN A RECENT DISCOURSE YOU GAVE YOUR TOTAL SUPPORT TO GENETIC ENGINEERING.
I AM VERY MUCH IN TROUBLE. FOR ME SUCH ENGINEERING IS AGAINST NATURE. WHO SHOULD BE IN CHARGE OF CREATING THAT SUPERMAN? OFTEN A SO-CALLED GENIUS WAS LATER REGARDED AS THE DEVIL. AND PEOPLE LIKE HITLER, STALIN OR REAGAN ARE ONLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF ALL THE OTHERS SUPPORTING THEM.
GENETIC ENGINEERING ALSO IS AGAINST MY FREEDOM OF SELF-DEVELOPMENT.
COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME THIS SCIENCE WHICH BOTHERS ME?
Advait Gerd, genetic engineering is going to be opposed by almost everybody. But before I say anything on genetic engineering I would like to remind you that every development, every evolutionary step in mankind's life has been opposed in the beginning as being against nature.
Do you think man should go back to nature? Just see the implications of it: you will be hanging on the trees, jumping from one tree to another. Even if it had been proposed to the monkeys that by genetic engineering a better kind of monkey could be produced, they would have been offended. It would be against nature.
There is a long history of great names who have been against nature, but these are the people who have created all the facilities and all the comforts and the intelligence that you have. And they were vehemently opposed at every nook and corner.
In the Soviet Union now they have many fruits which are "against nature." They are a crossbreed, just as by crossbreeding animals, far better animals can be produced than their mothers and fathers.
In the Soviet Union they have been trying to crossbreed many fruits, trees and animals, and they have been immensely successful.
In fact without your knowing it, you are enjoying so much that is against nature. Your railway trains, your airplanes, your clothes, your medicines, your health, longer life than your predecessors can all be called against nature. Even a simple fountain pen is against nature; nature has not produced it.
One of the most significant thinkers of the West was Leo Tolstoy. He was so much against the very idea that anything should be produced which is not natural, that to Mahatma Gandhi he became a guru. Mahatma Gandhi accepted three masters. On the top of his list was Leo Tolstoy. He was one of the richest men of the world of that time, but lived like a beggar, as if to be a beggar is natural and to have riches is against nature.
Why is to be a beggar to be natural? In fact just the contrary should be the case, because we don't see beggars in animals. Have you ever met any buffalo begging? They are absolutely natural people. They don't use cars and trains - unless you force them. Then too they try in every way to resist.
Mahatma Gandhi's second master was an American philosopher, Emerson, who also "went back to nature." His third master was an Indian, Srimad Rajchandra. But they were all his masters because they were in agreement on one point: going back. But where do you draw the line? How far back is natural? All these philosophers of "back to nature" have not been able to give a clear-cut answer, except Mahatma Gandhi. His "back to nature" means when the spinning wheel was invented - but that is not nature. The spinning wheel is as technological as any technology, it is just primitive.
When a man can produce a thousand times more with a small machine, why should he bother with a spinning wheel? It takes eight hours per day to spin if you want enough clothes for the year for one person. So everybody is spinning and everybody will go bananas because you cannot eat, you cannot do anything else - there is no time! You have to sleep too, but just your clothes will take your whole time! But even clothes are not natural. Nobody pointed out to Mahatma Gandhi that even clothes are unnatural, because no animal uses clothes except for a few dogs in England - and they too against their will. It is absolutely unnatural to force them to wear clothes. Ladies take them for walks, and you know dogs - every tree creates a tremendous urge in them, which is natural...
nobody has planted it in their minds.... Perhaps they are watering the tree just to help it grow faster.
But the lady is embarrassed.
So the first part of your question has to be understood: every new thing is opposed. For example, in India birth control is opposed by all the religious leaders for the simple reason that it is not natural.
I was very friendly with a shankaracharya - who is almost similar to the pope in Hinduism - and he was very much against progress, science, technology. I heard that he had a heart attack so I went to see him in the hospital. And I asked him, "What about your philosophy?"
He said, "This is not the time."
I said, "This is the time! What is this cardiogram? - something produced by nature... grown by the trees? What are all these instruments that the doctors are using and the medicines that are being given to you? This is the time for it to be decided whether you are a man of your word or just enjoy talking. When it comes to yourself then you forget all about it." What is wrong with birth control? The Indian religious leaders have many arguments.
One very famous Hindu leader, Karpatri...
Just by chance we were traveling in the same compartment and we started discussing birth control.
He said, "Don't mention that name, it is absolutely against nature. Just look, Rabindranath was the thirteenth child of his parents. If they had used birth control there would not have been any Rabindranath."
I said, "Agreed, that means every father and mother should produce at least thirteen children in search of a Rabindranath?"
In India there are people who have twelve children, thirteen children, fourteen children... but the Rabindranath does not appear.
..."So can you give me a guarantee?"
He said, "Why should I give any guarantee for anything in which I'm not involved? It is unnatural to prevent children whom God is sending..."
I said, "Who told you that God is sending them? God has been practicing birth control from eternity.
He has given birth to only one child, Jesus Christ. If you have learned something from God, learn birth control. He could have produced millions of children - but he is a wise man, it seems. And that too he managed without getting married, via an agent, the Holy Ghost. So the blame goes to the Holy Ghost; God is completely out of it. But the Holy Ghost seems to have learned birth control, because in two thousand years since Jesus Christ he has not tried again."
He said, "You always bring strange arguments. I am not a Christian and I don't know THE BIBLE or the Christian God."
I asked him, "Then tell me about the Hindu gods. How many children has Shiva produced - two...?
That's what the Indian government has been saying, 'Don't produce more than two!' Brahma has not produced any - being wiser!"
He said, "I have never thought about it."
And I said, "You don't understand anything of the whole process of the birth of a child. One million people die, then one child is born - and that too once in a while. Every time you make love you don't create children, otherwise every woman would be carrying so many pregnancies together. Once she is pregnant then you cannot do anything to make her more pregnant; the door is closed. People come and knock - and not a small crowd. In each love affair, loving a woman, millions of male sperms rush to knock on the doors. But if the doors are closed, their life span is only a few hours.
So much violence is happening."
You will be surprised that Mahavira, who was teaching nonviolence - his concern about celibacy was not the concern as it is of other religions. His concern was that in each love act you kill millions of people without even knowing it! Just think of a man, normal... it seems in his whole life he can kill four hundred million people. All Adolf Hitlers and others don't matter; even normal people are killing!
So birth control will not make much difference. In one million, if one more is added, it will not make much difference.
I told him a story....
A very famous noble emperor, Akbar, was bringing swans from the Himalayas. It must be the highest point where a lake exists of the purest water, Mansarovar. And strangely, in Mansarovar live the biggest swans and the whitest swans. They come to India when it becomes too cold. For nine months it is frozen: you can drive on it without any fear; it is solid rock. For only three months it melts. So for three months those swans go back to Mansarovar. Akbar had seen those swans - and they were so beautiful.
He said, "Make a beautiful marble lake in my garden. Make every arrangement so that those swans don't have to go to Mansarovar again."
The lake was made and it was the season when the swans would be coming soon. He said, "It is not an ordinary lake. It is a royal reception, so inform the whole capital: Tomorrow morning fill the whole lake with milk. Bring as much as you can, at least one bucket per person."
Birbal, his friend and adviser, laughed.
He said, "Why are you laughing?"
He said, "In the morning you will see why I'm laughing. I know what is going to happen!"
And in the morning it really happened.... Everybody thought, "Early, in the darkness before the sun rises, just one bucket of water in the millions of buckets of milk will be lost. Who will be able to figure it out? And anyway, I cannot be caught because it is very difficult to see the difference between water and milk when they have mixed with each other..."
But human minds think in the same way.... Everybody had the same idea, why waste one bucket of milk?
A few were so cunning they even went without water, just buckets, so that everybody would know they were going, and in the dark they would pour nothing, just come back home.
When the sun was rising, the king and Birbal came to see, because it must be a scene: a lake of pure milk. There was no lake of pure milk; it was just water. Moreover it was not completely filled because many cheated - in fact everybody cheated.
Birbal said, "Now you know why I laughed...! When you were saying that, the same idea arose in my mind that in the millions of people of the capital... it is going to happen that the lake would be of water. If it is pure water, thank God!"
I told Karpatri, "The God in which you believe, I cannot believe simply for the reason that if he was a little saner, only one sperm, a good sperm, a Rabindranath Tagore, would have been the right thing."
What is the need for so many idiots, the crowd, Adolf Hitler and Ronald Reagan...? These are all God-created; these are not natural. What is natural? And when man creates something, why do you call it unnatural?
Man is nothing but an extension of life energy. If you say a flower is natural, then the invention of a man is the flower of his genius.
There is no question of being unnatural about genetics. The fear I can understand. But every new thing creates fear, and once you become accustomed, you completely forget that there was a day when it was a new thing. Do you know that when electricity was invented nobody was ready to have an electric lamp? Who knows, it may burst and put the whole house on fire. Now you are not afraid.
You will be surprised to know that even at the beginning of this century there was a case in an American court against a man who wanted to make a bathroom attached to his sleeping room. It was a new idea, unnatural! The bathroom and the latrines have to be in the backyard, far away...
and Indians are even more natural!
In my childhood I used to insist, "Make a bathroom in the house." And everybody tried to convince me that it is healthy and natural to go out by the side of the river, in the open air, under the open sky, the sun shining... "Why do you insist on an attached bathroom? Are you mad? And the river is flowing..."
But it is the same river where all over people are defecating, washing themselves, buffaloes are swimming, washermen are washing their clothes... All kinds of things go on happening by the side of an Indian river. It is a scene worth seeing. And then people take the same water to drink! It is natural, it has always been so, it is not an invention.
Remember, genetics creates the same fear - who will control it? You are not afraid of medicine, of who will control it. You trust the doctor - a doctor you don't know at all - that he will not kill you, that he will not cheat you, that he will not keep you sick as long as possible.
Your question is: Who is going to control it?
My idea is simple: there should be a world academy of scientists with different departments.
Genetics will be the most important department, and scientists should be trusted. There is no other way. Either trust a blind force of biology or at least trust a human being who is a little conscious and understands his responsibility.
You don't ask when you produce children.... Who are you trusting? Who is sending all these children? It is a blind biological force, certainly natural, but the scientist is also natural. And whatever he produces is of a far higher value, because it is coming from a consciousness.
I want to make meditation an absolute for all students, whatever the subject they may be studying, so their awareness becomes more and more clean and clear. And out of that clarity we can create a beautiful world. Those scientists, if they are also meditators, will not create atomic bombs to destroy.
They may use atomic energy to move trains so they don't pollute the air. They may use that atomic energy in the factories so they don't pollute air. Rather than killing man, the same atomic energy can be a tremendous help to save man and his future.
It has been raised again and again that if genetics falls into the hands of men like Ronald Reagan, and he decides what kinds of people should be produced, then there is certainly danger. But if Ronald Reagan decides that Charles Darwin and his theories should not be taught in the universities, you don't see the danger. If President Truman decides to drop atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you don't see that politicians should not exist at all, they are dangerous.
You have to understand the whole implication of my proposition. Meditation should be the central subject for every branch of knowledge, and particularly branches like genetics which are very important, which are going to produce new generations, new men. A new world should be in the hands of very clear, silent, loving people. So don't just think of genetics, also consider that we can add meditation side by side as an essential part of education; otherwise, Advait, I can understand your difficulty.
Any intelligent person will think that if genetics is in the hands of Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, what will be the fate of the world? They will create slaves, idiots. But anyway ninety-nine percent of idiots are already created - just that one percent of freaks prove to be geniuses. And because they are so rare, politicians grab them. They cannot even go to receive a Nobel Prize - just the fear that if they go out of the Soviet Union they may never return again. There are many Soviet scientists still in Siberia. Their only crime is that they won the Nobel Prize.
So I can see... but that is happening anyway: all the arms are in the hands of these people. And now, nuclear weapons are in their hands and you are not worried, and you are not taking any action on your part; they can destroy the whole world without any difficulty. So what more can they do? But genetics can be freed, in fact the whole of science can be freed from their hands.
All of education should be one worldwide system. There should be only two languages: one, the national language, your mother tongue, and one, English, the international language. It is accidental that English has become the international language although it is not spoken by more people than other languages. For example, Chinese is spoken by more people than English, but it is confined to China. It cannot become an international language although it is spoken by more people. Spanish is spoken by more people than English, but Spanish cannot become an international language.
It is not a question of more or less, it is a question of having found by coincidence that English has become a worldwide understood language. Teach English as an international language to every child, and his mother tongue, because howsoever you learn the language which is not your mother tongue, something is missing. In your mother tongue there is something poetic, more loving, more juicy. The variety should not be killed.
The international language will remain as a technical language for intercommunication for the whole world. All the armies should be surrendered to the U.N., a world government, a real world government. Up to now two bogus world governments have been in existence. One was the League of Nations - but without any armies it was impotent. And the same is the situation of the U.N.; it is a little better but not much.
The U.N. or any name you can give to it, a world government, can function only if national governments surrender their armies, their arms. Those who don't surrender their arms and armies should be boycotted by the world government. They cannot stand against the world government; they will have to surrender - it is better to surrender gracefully. They will have their government, they will have their internal guards, a national force which can manage internal affairs, but they will not have nuclear plants and millions of people engaged in the unnecessary exercise of killing man. Man dies automatically... I can't understand.... Do something that does not happen automatically. Man dies sooner or later, so what is the hurry? If he lives a few days more, let him live!
These millions of people who are in the armies are a sheer wastage; they are not doing anything.
Their use only comes into force when there is war; in peace they are of no use.
A world government with all the armies will slowly start dissolving armies, making them into peaceful citizens, useful, creative, because at least up to now, there is no other known world with which any war can happen. A war of the planets is a faraway possibility. Perhaps after millions of years there may be a possibility of a war between two planets. Right now we don't even know that anybody else exists in the whole existence - most probably we are alone.
A world government, a world language, a world education system - and you will create all the barriers which will keep science and its discoveries from being misused.
Nations can remain as provinces, so they can enjoy a little politics, but it will be just like you see kings and queens on playing cards: formal. They don't have actual force; they can't do anything. In their own country they can control telephones, railways and whatever is necessary for the country.
The world government can be an umbrella that takes over all the responsibility of defending them.
There is no need because there is nobody else who is going to attack you, and there is no need of piling up arms, new arms.
The whole scientific energy can move into sciences like genetics. According to me, genetics can be the most important part that science can play because it can create a new kind of human being, healthier; their very program is of no sickness. It can make human life long enough, as long as they want. It can drop not only diseases but old age too.
The possibilities are so tremendous that we should put our fear aside, and we should take cautious steps that genetics is not being used against humanity, but for humanity.
Anyway if you don't do anything, then what you are afraid of is going to happen. Genetics cannot be prevented from developing; every government which has enough power is interested in it, so your fear, your paranoia will not help. If cautious efforts are made, and if there are worldwide protests and movements for sciences like genetics not to be put in the hands of nations but into a world community of the scientists themselves, there is much less possibility of any danger.
And always remember, it is going to happen. These "back to nature" people have always been talking; even they themselves don't go back to nature.
Mahatma Gandhi was against railway trains. Now railway trains are such good people - they have never done any harm to anybody! He was against the telephone, he was against the radio, he was against anything that can make you comfortable...!
I stayed just a few hours in his ashram - he was dead, fortunately. His son was in charge of the ashram. It was not an ashram but a slum. I told him, "This is a slum. This is not an ashram."
When nighttime came he told me, "There are many mosquitoes, and because we believe in nonviolence we cannot kill them with Flit spray or anything else."
I said, "My God, that means I am going to be eaten by your mosquitoes - then I am not going to stay!" I asked them, "How do you manage?"
He said, "Mahatma Gandhi found a very natural thing."
That "natural thing" was kerosene oil. Kerosene oil is not a natural thing. It has been discovered; it was not there always. There were times when there was nothing else except wood for the fire. And there were times when there was even no fire; you cannot even believe that fire is an invention, it is not nature.
Mahatma Gandhi forced those poor twenty or thirty people who were in the ashram - mostly widows, because in India...
This is the only ashram where you will neither find a widow nor a widower. Once in a while one becomes a widow; that is another thing. Niskriya is sitting behind... Once in a while he becomes a widower. And when a German becomes a widower he stays one for at least a few days - but it does not last long!
... So a few widows, a few old people who had nothing to do, whose families didn't want them - they are of no use - and Gandhi taught them to put kerosene oil on their faces, on their hands, on everything that is uncovered.
I told Ramdas his son, "Just think about it: these mosquitoes are more intelligent than you. They don't come close to the kerosene that somebody has spoiled their food with. How can you sleep with the smell of the kerosene all over the place?"
He said, "I know it looks stupid, but it is part of going back to nature. We cannot use mosquito nets, that is a far too advanced technology" - mosquito nets! - "and we cannot use mosquito nets because of what will happen to the poor mosquitoes. So we have found a middle course. If they are daring enough they will rush in and eat their food; if they are cowards - it is up to them, we are not responsible. We have every freedom to paint our faces with anything we want."
Mosquitoes cannot bring a protest march to say that this is not good, this is going against nature. It is going against nature, because no animal paints itself with kerosene oil to avoid mosquitoes.
Where are you going to draw the line? And what is the need? New challenges should be accepted with all their dangers. Intelligence requires that we should take the challenge and that we make defense measures against the dangers and the risks - otherwise nothing can happen.
Back to nature...?
No! I say, forward to supernature.
It is also natural.
Nothing unnatural can happen.
Whatever happens is natural.
The question is only of whether you are going back or going forward.
We can create millions of new fruits, new vegetables. Just that old cabbage... and one goes on eating, one never bothers about whether something should be done about this cabbage. Just those old fruits that Adam ate... apples. In all these years you have not been able to make something better. So orthodox is the mind, so afraid of the new. And particularly when it comes to man he becomes very much shaky.
That's what is making you afraid, Advait; otherwise there is no problem.
We should take the risk, making every arrangement that nothing goes wrong - and even if it goes wrong, so what? Anyway everything is wrong. One thing more added...
Just now I was talking about Niskriya and here he is with his question; some problem has arisen:
"Beloved Master, the other morning I heard you say that the man of the heart rebels against social conditions. To me flirting is one of these conditionings" - he does not want to flirt!
Then what will you do with your life? Just eating cabbage? Once in a while search for the cauliflower!
It is not flirting; it is just intelligence. I have never thought, even in my imagination, that when I am talking about dropping old conditions, flirting is also part of them. This is how people hear what they want to hear.
He is saying, "I don't want to behave diplomatically when approaching a woman." Then it is better not to approach a woman, because diplomacy is nothing but the art of approaching a woman.
The woman will try to escape. Make a thousand and one excuses, but be strong - and never go backwards!
But Niskriya is saying, "Even if I decided to flirt - and I tried it - I could not because it is not me!"
Niskriya, you cannot do it because it is you! Just seeing you any girl will start running.
I have heard, people are asking in the boutique, "Can we have a picture of Niskriya?" - just to make the children afraid.
Niskriya, you do whatever you want to do with your camera, flirt, talk, and mostly that's what you are doing! You don't need a woman. A woman will be a great disturbance. Niskriya is so totally devoted to his art... a twenty-four-hours-a-day cameraman! He has no time for a woman. But just seeing others... This flirting is like an allergy.
He says, "But how can I fulfill my lust - which I always enjoy very much as a natural part of myself - without buying ice cream and telling sweet lies?"
It is a difficult question, Niskriya. I will have to talk to some women who look like witches. They may be ready to flirt without ice cream. There are a few. Because you are continuously looking through the camera, you don't know who is around. Once in a while just look around. The moment you see a woman who looks like a witch, that is the woman! There is no need to be diplomatic; there is no need for any ice cream. Just go to her and tell her, "I want to take a photograph of you."
Yes, Beloved Master.