Maneesha, mankind is at a crossroads. It cannot live the way it has lived up to now. That has become simply impossible. It has been dreaming for a better future as far back as you can conceive, but life has been deteriorating rather than becoming better. It has come to a point where we are facing either suicide, a global suicide, or a total transformation of human consciousness and its style of life.
My idea of a model commune implies the whole life of man from all the possible aspects.
First, the family cannot remain the basic unit of the society. It is the root cause of millions of diseases; it is the basic brick of which nations are made, races are made, religious organizations are made. The family has destroyed the blissfulness of men and women of the whole of mankind. Its basic structure is of possessiveness -- the husband possesses the wife and they both possess the children -- and the moment you possess a human being, you have taken away his dignity, his freedom, his very humanity. You have taken away all that is beautiful and you have given him only handcuffs, perhaps made of gold... beautiful cages in place of his wings. Those golden cages cannot give him the sky and the freedom of the sky.
So the first thing is: a model commune will not have families. The implication is clear that it will not have marriages.
Love, for the first time, should be given the respect that is its due for centuries. Love should be the only law between two human beings if they decide to live together; only joy should be their binding force. The moment love disappears.... And remember, like everything real, love also changes. Only unreal things, plastic things, remain permanent.
Marriage is permanent, but it gains permanence by killing love.
It is on the grave of love that marriage makes its house. Naturally, it brings only agony, anguish, suffering, slavery -- and a total destruction of man's spirituality.
A model commune will be a communion, a gathering of free spirits. Children should belong to the commune, not to the parents. Parents have done enough harm. They cannot be allowed anymore to corrupt their children, although their intentions are all good. But what to do with their good intentions? The results are all ugly.
Parents teach their children to be competitive, and competition brings jealousy. They teach their children to become somebody in the world, to leave a name behind themselves. That makes life a struggle, not a rejoicing but a continuous fight -- so destructive that it takes away all your joy, all your juice, all your flowers. It leaves behind only skeletons fighting for power, for money , for position. Life becomes a warfield.
The whole blame goes to the parents. They have lived as ambitious beings; they have destroyed themselves. Now they go on giving their heritage to their children -- their unfulfilled desires, their incomplete ambitions. In this way diseases pass on from one generation to another.
A commune is a declaration of a non-ambitious life with equal opportunity for all. But remember my differences with Karl Marx. I am not in favor of imposing equality on people, because that is a psychologically impossible task, and whenever you do something against nature, it becomes destructive and poisonous.
No two men are equal. But I can be misunderstood very easily, so try to understand my standpoint very clearly: I am not in favor of equality, but I am not in favor of inequality either! I am in favor of creating equal opportunities for everybody to be himself. In other words, in my vision, each individual is unique. The question of equality or inequality does not arise, because two individuals are not the same. They cannot be compared.
A real commune, a real communism, will create equal opportunities for growth, but accept the uniqueness of each individual.
There should be no private property. Everything should belong to the commune. There should be absolute freedom of expression in words or in creativity.
Each individual should be respected as he is, not according to any ideal. His basic needs should be fulfilled by the commune, and as the commune becomes richer, every individual should be provided with more comfort, with more luxury -- because I am not against luxury or comfort. I am not a sadist, and I don't want people to be tortured in any beautiful name. In the name of religion, or in the name of socialism, nobody should be sacrificed. No kind of self torture should be supported.
Man is here to rejoice, to live a life as beautifully, as peacefully, as comfortably as possible.
I am all for richness, but the richness will be of the commune. As the commune becomes richer, every individual will become richer. I am against poverty; I am not a worshiper of poverty. I don't see anything spiritual in being poor -- it is sheer stupidity. Neither poverty is spiritual, nor is sickness spiritual, nor is hunger spiritual. A commune should live in a way that it becomes more and more rich, that it does not produce too many children, that it does not overproduce people. Overproduction is bound to create beggars, is bound to create orphans, and once there are orphans there are Mother Teresas.
I don't want any Mother Teresa in the world. Neither do I believe in the virtue of serving the poor, because I don't want anybody to be poor in the world. And it is in our hands: we have all the scientific techniques to produce according to our needs -- or not to produce.
To produce the best possible children... there is no need to produce blind, crippled, retarded... that should be a thing of the past! Now science places it absolutely in our hands to choose how our children should be. We just have to drop our old conception.
Our old conception was: my child should be of my blood. It is sheer nonsense. What is the difference between my blood and your blood? The new intelligence should choose the right seed for the child -- from whom it comes, it does not matter.
In a commune there should be banks for semen in the hospitals, just as there are banks for blood. A couple can go and ask the doctor what kind of child is needed -- a mathematician? a Mohammed Ali the Great? a Jesus Christ? -- because now it is possible to read the whole history of every child even before he is conceived. Every living cell that is going to become the life of a new child has the whole program. How long he will live, whether he will be healthy or sick, intelligent or unintelligent, a musician, a dancer, a scientist... you can choose!
We just have to drop the old, stupid ideas. As far as lovemaking is concerned, you can make love to the woman you like. But as far as producing a child is concerned, your woman can provide the womb and you can find the best seed from the hospital. And it will be anonymous, so you need not be worried that someone in the street will say, "Hello, you are the father of my child." Nobody can say that; nobody will ever know.
Finally, the children should belong to the commune as a whole. Father and mother should recede, in their place, should be "uncles" and "aunts". There should be so many uncles and so many aunts... perhaps the mother should be the chief aunt and the father should be the chief uncle, but not more than that.
Everybody should be allowed to be himself. Right now everybody is forced to be according to the ideas of others. That causes misery and great anguish, and takes all joy and gladness from life. Everybody should be himself and contribute to life according to his way -- by creating music, or by creating paintings, or by writing poetry, or by producing better fruits, better crops, making better roads.
Everyone should be allowed to have his own potential fulfilled. A model commune will give dignity to every individual. I was saying this morning that Gorbachev can invite us to have a model commune in the Soviet Union.
This is as far as human growth is concerned. One thing for the inner growth is that everybody, irrespective of whether he is a man or a woman, should be allowed to choose a method of meditation suitable to him, so that he can not only experience the joys of life, but he can also experience the joys of his spirit.
Communism is missing only one thing: a spirituality. A model commune should be a spiritual gathering of seekers, of lovers, of friends, of creative people in all dimensions of life. They can produce paradise here on the earth.
The time for families is over, and the time for cities is over, and the time for nations is over. The world should be one, consisting of small communes. Then there is no need for armies because there is nobody with whom you are to fight. There is no need of arms, particularly atomic and nuclear, because you are not interested in committing a global suicide.
The whole energy that is being poured into creating more and more destructive weapons can be changed into creativity, and the whole earth can live as richly, as luxuriously, as no emperor has ever lived! And if we do not choose this, then we don't have any intelligence at all. Even a little intelligence is enough to show that a total transformation of the society, of the old dead and rotten society, has become an absolute necessity for survival; otherwise, if we continue to be the way we are, we can count the years on our ten fingers.
The end is not very far away, but the end can become a great beginning if we understand.
We can avoid it!
It is in our own hands, because the end is not coming by any natural calamity, it is being caused by our stupidity!
A model commune will create as much intelligence as possible and will allow people to grow intelligently, search and seek their truth. That is how one becomes more intelligent, by searching and seeking. Intelligence is sharpened like a sword.
Man has lived in unintelligence because all the religions of the world have emphasized only one thing: belief -- and belief is poison to intelligence. They have emphasized only one thing: faith -- and faith is against all growth.
The new man I conceive, will not have any belief system and will not have any faith. He will be a seeker, a searcher, an enquirer. His life will be a life of tremendous discovery -- discoveries in the outside world and discoveries in the inside too.
I want every human being to be a discoverer: a Galileo, a Copernicus, a Columbus, in the outside world and a Gautam Buddha, a Zarathustra, a Chuang-Tzu in the inside world.
My whole effort is concentrated on one thing: to create the new man as Zorba the Buddha.
In a model commune everybody will have the qualities of the Zorba and the qualities of the Buddha; tremendously interested in the outside world, and in the same way, in love with the inner search. The day you are both together you have become the new man, and the new man is going to be the savior of humanity.
If the new man is not born there is no hope for humanity.
Vimal, this is more than enough. The readiness to give oneself is the greatest adventure of life. And it is not only you who does not have anything else to give, we all come naked in the world. We don't bring anything into the world. All that we really have is our own self -- everything else belongs to the world, is not ours. To give money or to give anything else is really to avoid giving yourself.
The people who give money to the poor, make hospitals and schools and universities -- and brag about it -- are unaware of the fact that all their giving is just a facade. They are hiding their nudity. They are hiding the fact that they are not courageous enough to give themselves -- because that is the only thing worth giving; that is the only thing that belongs to you. All so-called givers are giving things that don't belong to them. It is almost like somebody giving you the full moon, somebody giving you the sunrise saying, "You can have it, it is yours."
I have heard about two drunks. They were lying down under a tree on a full-moon night.
Gazing at the moon, very poetically, in a very romantic mood, one drunk said to the other, "I would like to purchase this moon."
The other said, "That is impossible. Forget it! Completely forget it!"
The first man said, "But why are you getting so angry?"
The second man said, "Why shouldn't I get angry? -- I don't want to sell it!"
Unless you give yourself, you don't give! You simply hide behind your so-called givings, your poverty and your impotence.
Vimal, there is nothing wrong. The very realization that you can give only yourself is a great realization, tremendously beautiful and intrinsically spiritual.
You are saying, "I feel like a guest on the earth." Do you think anybody else can feel to be a host on the earth? Everybody is a guest except Anando's ghosts. Only they are the hosts; otherwise everybody is a guest. But there is nothing to be worried about it. Be grateful to existence that it has invited you to be a guest.
You say, "As if I don't really belong here at all." Nobody belongs here. Everybody comes one day, and everybody one day goes away. This is a big caravanserai. Just one night's stay and in the morning the journey starts again. Who is going to stay here? Millions of people have been here before you -- not even their names can be remembered, they were all guests -- and millions of people will be here after we are gone.
Just don't use this planet like a waiting room in a railway station, particularly an Indian railway station. I have been traveling for years, staying in thousands of waiting rooms and seeing the strange scene. People are throwing their banana peels on the floor, spitting their "pan" leaves on the floor, even if I have asked them, "What are you doing!" They answer me saying, "This is only a waiting room. It is not anybody's home. And who cares? Just ten minutes more and my train is coming!" It is true your train is coming, but your train will be bringing a few passengers who will be staying in this waiting room with your banana peels!
You are a guest. Leave this earth a little more beautiful, a little more human, a little more lovable, a little more fragrant, for those unknown guests who will be following you.
An ancient Sufi story: The king of Bhagdad used to go around the city on his beautiful horse, just to see how things were going -- of course in disguise, not as the king -- so that he could see reality as it is. If he went as the king, then he could see everything that was beautiful and he would not be shown the real face -- he would have to see only the mask.
Everyday he saw a man, a very old man, must be past one hundred years, working in the garden, putting in small plants, but those small plants were not seasonal flowers. If they were seasonal flowers there would be no question at all. Those were the plants of the cedars of Lebanon, which grow one hundred feet, two hundred feet high, just almost touching the stars and they take hundreds of years to grow to that height. They live one thousand years, two thousand years, three thousand years and they are some of the most beautiful trees.
The king was puzzled because this old man, who is one hundred years, cannot even hope to see the next spring. His hands are shaking; he is so fragile, any moment death may take him away. And why is he planting these cedars? He will never be able to see them grow, to see them come of age, to see their beauty when they start touching the stars.
Finally it was impossible for the king to resist the temptation. He stopped his horse one day and went to the old man and said, "I should not interfere in your work, but I cannot resist the temptation."
The old man said, "There is nothing to worry about, my son. You can ask anything you want."
The king said, "My question is, you will never be able to see these trees come of age; you will be gone long before that...."
The old man said, "That's true."
The king said, "You know that's true and still you go on doing it?"
The old man said, "If my forefathers had not planted the seeds -- just see on the other side of my garden those tall Lebanon cedars -- I would have never seen them. If my forefathers were so generous about the children with whom they are not yet acquainted, who will be coming, who will be the visitor, who will be the guest.... Still they worked hard and they created those monumental trees. Looking at those trees I gather courage and work hard, because certainly I will not be able to see the beautiful growth but somebody will. My children's children, or perhaps even their children, will be able to see when they come to their full glory. It is enough that I am not betraying my forefathers. If they could trust in the future, in the unknown guest, I can also trust."
We are all guests, but don't use this beautiful planet as a railway-station guest house. It is not a waiting room. It is our home for the time being and it will still be the home for somebody else. Don't be so miserly as to say, "I will be gone -- after ten minutes my train is coming, so who cares if I leave the waiting room dirty?"
Nobody belongs here, Vimal. But for the moment we are here, and for the moment we have to be here totally, intensely, and we have to make this moment as beautiful as possible. We have to live our life like a dance, so when we leave, anybody who comes after us will find that the people who have been here were not ordinary people; they have left flowers and fragrance; they have left the echoes of their songs and their dances; they have left their footprints in pure, twenty-four carat gold.
It is not unfortunate that we are guests. It is a great opportunity: the planet, the existence, has been so generous, so kind, so loving, so accepting, that it has welcomed you to be here.
Leave your mark. You may be gone, but your laughter can remain. You may be gone, but your dance can remain behind. You may be gone, but the way you lived will go on creating its own vibrations; the people of the future will be reminded, with gratitude, that they are inheritors of a great planet and of a great race of human beings.
At the funeral of one of the richest men in town, a stranger was observed crying louder than any of the other mourners. One of the townspeople approached him: "Are you a relative of the deceased, the richest man of our town?"
"Then why are you crying, and crying so loudly?"
Vimal, it is perfectly good just as you are. In this gathering nobody is a host -- all are guests pretending to be hosts to each other. It is a beautiful pretension. Nobody is a host; everybody is a guest, but how can there be a guest if there is no one to host him? This is the strange fact about this gathering; the whole gathering is the host, but as far as each individual is concerned, he is just a guest. So you are both -- a guest as an individual and a host as a part of the gathering.
An American makes a bet with a Britisher that whichever of them tells the most unbelievable story, wins.
"You start then," says the Britisher.
"Well," says the American, "one day an American gentleman...."
"Enough! You win!" says the Britisher.
An "American gentleman" -- you have told the strangest story.
You don't have anything to give except yourself. It is more than enough. Nothing else is asked. Even this is not asked of you. It is out of your own love. If you give yourself to the commune, the very giving will be a great reward.
Anand Sadhu, the German Chancellor Adenauer, was absolutely wrong. There is only one truth. What he has counted as four, are four aspects of it. He says there are four truths: the simple, the pure, the plain, and the whole truth. The first thing to remember is that the truth is always whole, just as the circle is always whole. You cannot have a half- circle. The moment it is half, it is only an arce, it is not a circle. The very word circle means the whole. If you say it is only a relative truth, then it is not truth because it is dependent, and truth is never dependent on anything.
The loving couple wanted to marry immediately, but the girl's strong-willed and domineering mother adamantly opposed the union.
"I can't help it," said the distraught girl to her boyfriend. "Mother thinks you are effeminate."
Reflecting for a moment, he replied, "You know, compared with her, maybe I am."
This is relative truth, but a relative truth is not the truth. Only the absolute and the whole is the truth -- and it is bound to be plain. Only lies are very complicated. They have to be; otherwise everybody will be able to find that you are lying.
You have to lie in such a complicated way, using legal jargon, logic, philosophy, law, science, and hiding the lies behind so many words. You cannot have a plain lie because it will be caught immediately.
Only truth is plain. And the truth is always pure. Can you conceive a truth which is impure? All lies are impure. There is no pure lie and there is no impure truth. And the truth is always simple, it is the very spirit of simplicity.
So I repeat that Adenauer was absolutely wrong. There is only one truth. There are millions of lies, but truth cannot be more than one. It is impossible even to conceive that there are two truths. Four is out of the question.
There was a man who had an extremely large penis and a very bad stutter. Every time he met a woman he stuttered so badly that he finally went to visit a physician. After an examination the doctor says, "Well, I can see what your problem is: the weight of your penis is so great that it is pulling on your vocal cords and causing you to stutter. I'm afraid I must remove ten inches to cure you."
The poor man was so desperate that he agreed to undergo the surgery immediately. The operation was a total success and he began to meet every woman, who all found him very charming. However, once in bed, they were very disappointed with his diminished apparatus.
Finally he goes back to the doctor and says, "Look Doc, you were absolutely right. You have cured my stuttering, but I need to have some of my penis back."
After a moment of silence the doctor says, "Er..., er..., sorry, but that is impossible, impossible!"
There are some things which are impossible. Now his vocal cords are being pulled down!
There is only one truth.
The German chancellor was a politician and he lied even about truth. I wonder... the people he lied to must have been Germans; otherwise somebody must have raised the question: "What nonsense are you talking?"
Pure truth, plain truth, simple truth, whole truth... there is only one truth. Lies are many.
That's why those who know the truth find it very difficult to express it, because it is so simple, so pure, so plain, so obvious; they have to create great devices just so that they can convey the simple truth.
If the simple truth is conveyed directly, nobody is going to listen; nobody is going to understand it, either. Just as two plus two are only four, neither five, nor six. So is the truth. Simple, pure, plain, whole -- these are all aspects. They don't make four truths; they simply describe the same truth from four different angles.
The Golden Future