Dying in Wonder
The first question:
YOU APPEAR TO HAVE MADE A POINT OF ATTACKING THE PRIME MINISTER, MORARJI DESAI, AND BACKING INDIRA GANDHI, THE FORMER PRIME MINISTER, WITH ALL THE SPIRITUAL POWER AT YOUR COMMAND. WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND? DO YOU WISH TO REPLACE MR. DESAI WITH MRS. GANDHI? IN ANY CASE, IS SUCH AN INTERVENTION IN INDIAN POLITICAL AFFAIRS BY A SPIRITUAL PERSON JUSTIFIED?
R.K. Karanjia, Editor, BLITZ.
My dear Karanjia, I am not personally against Morarjibhai Desai. But I am against the rotten mentality that he represents, I am against the Hindu chauvinistic mind that he has. I am against his obscurantist attitudes, and approaches. I am against his stubbornness in imposing his personal fads upon the whole country. I am against his bureaucratic, autocratic, dictatorial methods. I am against his unscientific attitudes towards life. I have nothing to do with Morarjibhai Desai, but all these things combined together are a calamity for the country.
Basically I am against politicians. But we cannot discard politicians absolutely. Humanity is not yet in that state of growth and intelligence where politicians can be discarded. So they will be needed - it is a necessary evil.
But evil it is. So it is better to choose a politician who at least has a flexible mind, scientific attitudes - one who at least has a contemporary mind.
Morarji Desai is just out of date. He does not belong to this century, to this time. All that he goes on saying is sheer superstitious nonsense. He is at least one thousand years back.
But once you are in power, whatsoever you believe, you can impose it on others. That is the danger.
He is cunning, shrewd and unintelligent. A politician is bound to be cunning and shrewd and unintelligent, because only unintelligent people are cunning and shrewd. That is their substitute for intelligence.
If you are intelligent, that's enough. There is no need to be cunning, there is no need to be shrewd, there is no need to use back-door methods.
A politician was teaching his little son to be less afraid, to have more courage, by having him jump down the stairs. He placed his boy on the second stair and said, "Jump, and I'll catch you." And the boy jumped. Then the father placed him on the third stair, saying, "Jump, and I'll catch you." Though the boy was afraid, he trusted his father, did what he was told, and jumped into his father's arms.
Then the father put him on the next step, and then the next step, each time telling him, "Jump, and I'll catch you." And each time the boy jumped and was caught by his father. And so this went on.
Then the boy jumped from a very high step, just as before, but this time the father stepped back and the boy fell flat on his face. As he picked himself up, bleeding and crying, the father said to him, "That will teach you: never trust a politician, even if it is your own father."
I don't trust politicians. Something is basically wrong in the being of a politician. A politician is suffering from a pathology, he suffers from an inferiority complex. Now this is a well-established fact:
that people who search for power are the people who suffer from an inferiority complex. And the people who suffer from an inferiority complex, once they are in power, are bound to prove dangerous to the people.
Morarji Desai has been suffering from an inferiority complex his whole life. His whole life has been devoted to a single aim: to become the prime minister of this country. And now he has become the prime minister. And these past twenty months have proved that you cannot find a more incompetent man than him. These twenty months have proved that he has attained his goal and now he does not know what to do with it.
The politician is skillful in coming to power, but then what to do with that power? He has been after it his whole life; that was his only desire. Now it is fulfilled. He is spent. Now he does not know what to do, except to cling to the chair.
He is clinging hard. And the country is going down and down every day - becoming poorer and poorer, becoming more and more chaotic, becoming more and more violent, destructive. People are butchered, killed, murdered, their properties destroyed, whole villages burnt, women are being raped. There is no order, no law.
And Morarji Desai is only interested in one thing: how to go on remaining in power. This is a very very retarded mind. If a young person is interested in power, he can be forgiven. But at the age of eighty-three or eighty-four, if one is interested in power, he cannot be forgiven.
Bertha was so concerned about her son that she sought advice from a family psychologist and counselor.
"Sir," she said desperately, "I am worried about my son. He has strange ways of amusing himself."
The psychologist took out his pad. "Go on."
"First of all," she continued, "he plays with boats when he takes a bath."
"That's not so unusual," said the psychologist, smiling. "Years ago, as a boy, I used to have a fleet of boats in the bathtub. I would play admiral and sink all the ships."
"He also pulls wings off flies."
"Perfectly normal - he's just releasing some hostility."
"He skates on roller skates from room to room in the house so he can get to the dinner table more quickly."
"Your son sounds very amusing," laughed the psychologist. "How old is your boy?"
Somebody clinging to power at the age of eighty-three: it looks really pitiable. And doing nothing with that power - doing only one thing: trying to cling to it, trying to keep it, trying to maintain it.
Such an unproductive man, such an uncreative man, should not be there.
The country needs a younger person with more brains, with more vision of the future; only then can this country be saved. The country needs a scientific approach towards life - not out-of-date sermons and puritanical, moralistic preachings. The country does not need a preacher; it has thousands of preachers, there is no need of any more. The country needs somebody who has the scientific capability to transform dreams into reality.
Morarji Desai does not have that capacity, that's why I have been criticizing him. And it is difficult for him to reorient himself at this time; it is too late. He is closed, frozen, everything in him has become stone-like. He cannot flow with the times, he cannot relax with reality as it is. Rather than flowing with the times and with reality as it is today, he would like reality to follow him. He is asking the impossible. And in asking that impossible, he shows his dictatorial attitudes.
This country calls itself a democracy, but it is not yet, because this country does not have the consciousness for being democratic. Democracy is just talk - deep down, there is just dictatorial bureaucracy.
And the whole mind of the past has been that way. Democracy is a new phenomenon. Democracy is a by-product of a scientific attitude - and this country lacks scientific attitude.
Try to understand this. Democracy could not have happened in any other time in the past, because all the religions have been dogmatic. Every religion claims the truth and the whole truth. Every religion claims: "I am right and everybody else is wrong." All religions are closed.
And I am not including Buddhas, Christs and Krishnas; they are exceptions, and they are not part of your so-called religious traditions. Buddha is not dogmatic, he has a very scientific openness.
He approaches every fact of life with an open mind. He told his disciples, "Don't believe in what I say. Unless you have experimented with it and unless you have experienced it, and unless you have become a witness to it, don't believe it."
But Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Jainism - all these ideologies are dogmatic:
everybody claims the whole truth. That very claim is inhuman, that very claim is egoistic. And because this country has no scientific mind, it lacks the democratic spirit.
A few days ago, Krishna Prem saw Morarji Desai. He made it a condition that whatsoever was said to Krishna Prem was to be absolutely private and off-record.
Why? Why this condition? If it is true, let it be on record. And if it is a lie, there is no need to say it.
But I understand he made that condition - because he told Krishna Prem,'If it was in y power I would have demolished Acharya Rajneesh's work, his ashram, everything."
You see the mind? It is the mind of a dictator. And why does he say that if it was in his power...? It is in his power, and he is doing whatsoever he can do.
Just the other day, from very reliable sources, it became known that he has informed the authorities that somehow, in any way, we have to be trapped into some legal problems, traps. "You have to find something or other so that we can proceed legally against this commune."
Twice they have checked all the files, all the records, and twice they have decided that there is nothing wrong. Now again, a third time, they have asked for all the files and all the records to be reopened; the issue has to be reopened, because there is pressure from New Delhi.
The chief minister of Maharashtra was willing to help. Just the other day, he said to a friend, "I was willing to help at least as far as the land is concerned, I was going to help the commune. But now the pressure from Delhi is too much. Now it is beyond my capacity; I cannot help."
Why does Morarji Desai say that it is beyond his power? He is doing everything that he can do.
But remember, these attitudes are not going to win. Democracy has become part and parcel of the modern mind; the days of this type of thing are over. You are clinging to corpses, Morarji Desai. You are clinging to dead things which no longer have any future.
A dictator had his picture printed on postage stamps. When he learned the stamps were not selling very well in the country, he called his postmaster-general and asked why.
"It's because the stamps won't stick to the envelopes," explained the postal chief.
The dictator demanded why unsatisfactory glue had been used.
"It's not the glue," explained the postmaster. "It's because they spit on the wrong side."
This is going to happen to all kinds of dictatorial minds. Morarji Desai, beware of it!
And when I criticize him I am not criticizing him personally, remember always, I have no personal grudge against him; there is no question of any personal grudge. He is just a symbol of something very rotten. And when I criticize him, in fact I am simply talking about the facts. If the facts are against him, what can I do?
Now, the twenty months that he has been in power are writ large. His incompetence, his impotence, is writ large. Everybody can see it; it is not a secret, the whole country is feeling it. But this country is very lethargic, this country is very fatalistic, this country always goes on blaming fate. If nothing is going right, then too this country remains in a kind of contentment. This has been its traditional approach.
This country is not rebellious. In the whole five thousand years of its history there has not been a single revolution. This country does not know how to revolt, this country only knows how to go on obeying. Because of this, this country has remained so long a slave.
My approach is that of a rebel. I condemn this country's past, because I can visualize a better future.
And that better future is possible only if the past is condemned. It is not going to be a continuity with the past: the future has to be absolutely new, fresh, young. This country has to go through a rebirth, this country has to become young again.
When I criticize Morarji Desai, it is not really criticism - I simply mirror him... whatsoever he is.
A modern artist once showed his latest painting - a big splosh of orange on the canvas with little black blobs - to a prominent lady art critic.
"Well," said the artist, "what do you think of it?"
After staring in puzzlement and disgust at the picture for a long time, the lady said, "I'm afraid I must confess that I think it's a pretty poor work of art."
"Huh!" snorted the artist. "It so happens that it's a portrait of you; and I can't help it if you're a pretty poor work of nature!"
I am not criticizing Morarji Desai, I am simply mirroring whatsoever he is. And it is needed: this country needs to be made alert and aware, otherwise the misery will continue. Morarji Desai represents a non-technological mind. He represents the Gandhian bullshit.
This country needs technology, otherwise this country cannot survive. And I know perfectly well that the way technology as happened in the West has also been a calamity in its own way. It has destroyed the ecology. The West is suffering from technology, and the East is suffering from lack of technology. And the Eastern obscurantists take great joy in asserting the fact: "Look what has happened to the West through technology."
But that is not the only way of bringing technology in. We can learn from the Western experiment - we can bring in technology which is not against ecology. There is no necessity, there is no inherent necessity, that technology has to be against nature. It can be for nature - it can be friendly to nature, it can be part of nature, it can be in communion with nature.
The technology has to be based on Taoist approaches. Technology as it exists in the West, if imported, will be another error, another fatal error. But the West has gone through a great experiment; we need not make all the mistakes that they have made. We are in a better position now. We have suffered without technology, the West has suffered through technology. Now there is a possibility to create a new vision of technology and nature in communion, hand in hand together.
And that experiment will become an example for the whole world. India can do it, India can create that space - because five thousand years of meditativeness, prayer, love for God, and search for God, is enough of a background to transform technology, its flavor - to make it more natural, rather than being something against nature.
India needs people who know what meditation is, and who know what science is: it needs a synthesis.
Morarji Desai simply represents the rotten, dead past. He has no vision of what has happened in the world; he is not a contemporary. I am against his non-contemporariness, I am against his non- modernness. And it is not only that he is not a contemporary: he is anti-modern. He is dogmatic - and any dogmatic person becomes a rock in the flow of a nation's life. He has to be removed.
I know it is too late for him to change, so he has to be removed.
Jan Lebanc envisioned himself as becoming another Luther Burbank, the great horticulturist and plant breeder.
"Some day I will become famous," he boasted. "With my agricultural experiments, I will revolutionize the eating habits of the world."
"Perhaps you are great," remarked his cynical wife, "but so far all of your great experiments have failed."
"How can you say that?"
"Remember that skinless banana of yours? The flies ate the bananas before the people could."
"The people didn't eat them fast enough."
"And the seedless raspberries. They turned into liquid at the touch of a finger."
"We needed more tender hands to pick them."
"And now? What marvel do you offer the world?"
"I have crossed corn and peas."
"And what does that give you?"
"Peas on the cob - my answer to senior citizens with false teeth."
"Jan, may I give you some candid advice? Why don't you cultivate some brains?"
But I cannot give that advice to Morarji Desai, it is too late; the river has already reached the end.
And the more he remains in power, the more time is wasted. Not only is time wasted, but whatsoever has been done in thirty years' independence, he is undoing it.
It is better the country becomes alert to it immediately, otherwise he will have done great wrongs.
And then to put them right will take a long time.
You ask me, Karanjia: YOU APPEAR TO HAVE MADE A POINT OF ATTACKING THE PRIME MINISTER, MORARJI DESAI, AND BACKING INDIRA GANDHI, THE FORMER PRIME MINISTER, WITH ALL THE SPIRITUAL POWER AT YOUR COMMAND. WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND? DO YOU WISH TO REPLACE MR. DESAI WITH MRS. GANDHI?
Yes. Absolutely yes. Again I would like to remind you that I have no personal attachment to Indira Gandhi. But she represents something far better than Morarji Desai represents. She has more progressive policies, a better vision of the future, and more understanding of the present. She is a contemporary woman, with immense intelligence and grace. She is not a faddist, she is not a dogmatist. She is flexible, open, vulnerable, ready to receive anything new, ready to understand anything that is happening in the modern world. Her doors and windows are open to the sun, to the moon, to the wind, to the rain.
I have met both persons. The meeting with Morarji Desai was not a meeting at all. We were sitting on the same sofa, very close, touching each other's body - but far far away, millions of miles' distance. There was no communication possible - centuries of difference. He was not capable of understanding what I was saying to him.
I have met Indira Gandhi. She was so open; it is very rare to meet a person who is so open. And more difficult to find a person who is in power and yet so open. Power blinds people, power closes people, power makes people dogmatic.
She was at the zenith of her power, but she was utterly humble. She was drinking in every single word that I was saying to her, and she understood immediately. She said, "I would like to do what you are saying, but I am surrounded by such people that it is almost impossible to do anything."
Morarji Desai was then deputy prime minister. I asked her, "Whom do you mean when you say, 'I am surrounded by such people'?" She said, "You know I mean Morarji Desai, and others. It is impossible to bring anything new into the life of this country, because they all obstruct it."
I told her, "Then it is better that either you drop these people or you drop out." The idea sank into her heart, and within seven days Morarji Desai was dropped. But still others were there.
This country chooses people who represent its past. This country is very much obsessed with the past.
While Indira Gandhi was prime minister, thrice she wanted to come to this commune. Thrice she informed us, "I am coming" - and again and again it was postponed. And the reason was that the people who were around her would not allow her. They said to her, "It is dangerous to go to Acharya Rajneesh; it will affect your political future."
Even to come to see me seems to be dangerous. And I can understand: if she had come here, then all the shankaracharyas and all the pundits and all the priests would have been against her. So her advisers wouldn't allow her to come here. Again and again, she wanted to come.
Even the desire to come, even the desire to be here and meditate and sit silently with me, shows a great openness. She has been reading almost all the books that are published, and she has been listening to the tapes.
When I say it would be better if Indira comes back, I simply mean that I would like an open mind, contemporary, modern, humble, receptive to the new waves that are arising in the world so that this country also becomes contemporary and modern - which this country is not yet.
I have great appreciation for her courage in implementing new programs even though those programs were against the traditional mentality of this country. I would like her to be back. In fact, anybody, any tom, Harry and Dick, would be better than Morarji Desai.
I have heard a story: it comes from very unreliable sources, so I don't know whether it is true or not.
Before the election, Morarji Desai visited an aboriginal tribe in Assam where he made a fine speech full of promises of better things.
"We shall see," he said, "a new era of opportunity."
To this, the aboriginals, adivasis, gave a raining cry of "Hoya Hoya!"
Encouraged, he continued, "We promise better schools and technical training."
"Hoya Hoya!" exclaimed the audience with much enthusiasm.
"We pledge better hospitals and medical assistance," said Morarji Desai.
"Hoya Hoya!" cried the poor and uneducated aboriginals.
With a tear running down his cheek, Morarji Desai ended, "We come to you as equals, as brothers, so trust us!"
The air shook with one long, mighty "Hoya Hoya!"
Greatly pleased by his reception, he then began to tour the village. "I see you have fine breeds of beef cattle here," he said. "May I inspect them?"
"Certainly! Come this way," said the chief. "But be careful not to step in the hoya."
Wherever Morarji Desai goes, greet him with "Hoya Hoya!" Drop the old slogans: "Down with Morarji Desai! Morarji Desai murdabad!" I give you a new slogan: "Morarji Desai, Hoya Hoya!"
And, Karanjia, you also ask: IN ANY CASE, IS SUCH AN INTERVENTION IN INDIAN POLITICAL AFFAIRS BY A SPIRITUAL PERSON JUSTIFIED?
I am not a spiritual person in the ordinary traditional sense of the word. In fact, all your so-called spiritual persons are in deep conspiracy with the politicians. There has always been a conspiracy between the priest and the politician, a subtle strategy to dominate people.
Your so-called spiritual persons don't say anything against the establishment. That does not mean that they are not political - in fact they are FOR the establishment; they are political. They never say anything against it - their silence is their support.
In India, we have a saying: Maunam Sammati Lakshanam - to be silent is a sign of agreement, not to say anything is to agree.
Karl Marx is perfectly right as far as these so-called spiritual persons are concerned, that religion has functioned as an opium for the people. Your so-called religious people have been teaching others to submit to the establishment, to obey the establishment, to never go against th established order whatsoever it is.
I am not a religious person, a spiritual person, in that sense. I am a rebel. You cannot categorize me with anybody else. And, to me, life is an organic unity; it cannot be divided, it cannot be split. I will comment on poetry, and I will comment on politics too, because life consists of all these dimensions.
I am not a politician, true. But when I see something going wrong, I have to make people ware of it.
I have every right to speak on poetry, although I am not a poet; I have every right to speak on music, although I am not a musician. But I can show my likes and my dislikes, I can indicate where things are going.
I am simply a light. And if the light is there in the room, it lights everything that is there - the furniture, the painting on the wall, the ceiling, and everything. I am just a light, a mirror: I will reflect everything that is happening.
So please forget that old division. It has really been a compromise; down the ages, the politician and the priest have bargained. This has been the bargain, that the politician will not interfere with the priest; he will pay his respect to the priest, to the church. And the priest should not interfere with the politician; he should pay his respect to the state, and help people to be obedient to the state.
I am in no conspiracy, in no contract, with anybody. I will say things as I see them, and I don't care whether you think me spiritual or not. Who cares? I know perfectly well that thousands of Indians will be puzzled, because they think a spiritual person should not talk about politics. They really don't understand.
Do you think Krishna did not talk about politics? He not only talked about politics - he participated.
In fact, Arjuna was trying to escape from the war. It was Krishna who persuaded him, convinced him, that it was a war which had to be fought. Because when it is a question of evil and good forces, you have to be with the good forces.
When I criticize Morarji Desai, it is a question of the past and the future. And you have to be with the future, because the past is gone and gone for ever. Forget all about it. Create the future, forget that which has been. Don't waste your time with it: create the future.
And the future has much thrill in it; a great adventure is awaiting you. And this country goes on looking backwards. This country never looks forwards. Its golden age has passed; it was once, thousands of years ago. If your golden age is in the past, then life is going to remain a drag, because you will be falling and falling farther and farther away from the golden age.
This is not a right vision of things. The golden age has to be in the future; it always has to be created. Your eyes should look towards the future. And when you look towards the future, your present becomes meaningful, because then there is a possibility of great adventure, exploration.
Then the thrill of creativity grips you, and the soul is created through it.
I am not a spiritual person in the ordinary sense; I am a class unto myself. You cannot categorize and label me with others; I represent nobody else but myself. What you call me - spiritual, religious, or anything else that you want - does not matter. These labels are useless.
I will go on destroying your labels. I will go on trespassing over your labels and your boundaries.
That's what I have always been doing: you try to define me, and I destroy your definition, because any and every definition is a bondage. And I am not here to fulfill anybody's expectations.
And to me, to divide life is to create a schizophrenic world. Politics and poetry and religion and music and painting - all are together. These are all dimensions of the same life. I accept life in its totality.
Remember, life is an organic whole, it cannot be divided; if you divide it, you destroy it.
I believe in totality, I believe in wholeness. To me, to be whole is to be holy, and there is no other kind of holiness. To me, the totality of life is God. Worship it in every possible way.
I am not a politician; that is not my choice. I have far better things to do. I am not interested in political power, because to me, power is never there outside. Power is something inside you, power is your inner reality. And to be powerful over others is ugly, violent.
Be a master of your own self. That is true power. And a power that never destroys is intrinsically creative, and a power out of which great poetry arises.
Politics is the concern with the outside, politics is the concern to change the circumstances. There is a higher world than politics; that higher world is of spirituality. It is a concern not with the circumstances, but with the inner space. Change the inner space of man, and you will be changing his circumstances automatically.
But still, people who are trying to change the outer circumstances are doing something; it has its own importance. This is not my interest. I would not like to go into active politics, never. I am finished with all toys, I am not childish. That does not mean that I cannot comment on toys. I am not a small child to play with toys, but if a child is playing with toys I can comment. I can say, "Better toys are possible." I can say, "This toy is dangerous, don't play with it. This toy can harm you; don't play with it - throw it away." This much I can say.
And that's what I am doing. When I say Morarji Desai is a wrong person to be in power, I am simply saying that there are better possibilities, and it will be good if the country chooses a better person.
But this is not my interest.
So I don't become a politician just because I have commented on politics. And I will go on commenting, because I cannot just be a spectator when millions of people's lives are going slowly slowly into darkness, into poverty. I cannot just be a spectator. I always wonder - your so- called spiritual persons who are just spectators, what kind of spirituality do they have? What kind of compassion do they have? They are cunning people; they have made secret deals with the politicians. They keep quiet, and they always keep people in such a state that they never become rebellious, that they never become revolutionaries.
The politicians are always afraid of the rebels. And my sannyasins are going to be rebels, total rebels, against all kinds of nonsense and stupidity, against all kinds of bondages.
My sole concern is religion, my major concern is religion. But I will comment on other things too, because I take life in its totality. I love life. To me, life means God.
But let me remind you again that I am not a politician, and I don't want you to become politicians. I would like you to be aware of the whole life as it is. And a part of it is concerned with politics; you have to be aware of that too.
The Pope blessed Adolf Hitler. Now, this is what I call subtle politics. Blessing Adolf Hitler is simply getting into a contract, getting into a conspiracy.
All politicians are evil. Then what should be done? Choose the lesser evil.
Morarji Desai is a bigger evil than Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi is a lesser evil; that's why I say it will be better if she comes back. If I can find somebody else who is an even lesser evil than Indira Gandhi, then I am going to support him. But my support simply means a spiritual sympathy.
I am not going to the masses to tell them to vote for this or that; I am not going into any activity. I have far better things to do: my energy has to remain involved with my sannyasins. I am here to create millions of mystic sin the world. That's my sole purpose, and that's my joy and my celebration.
On the margin I am going to comment on many things, but those are all just marginal things. And I am a spiritual person, not in the sense that I am against the world; I am a spiritual person because I rejoice in the world. The world is the manifestation of God.
My whole teaching is: Rejoice - never renounce. Rejoice in the totality of life, the wholeness of it.
Rejoice, and rejoice again.
It is natural; people have always thought that spiritual persons have to remain far away from worldly affairs. To me, there is no affair which is worldly; all affairs are the same, all affairs belong to the one center. The ordinary life is also the extraordinary life. It is only a question of seeing, right seeing; then even pebbles on the street are transformed into diamonds.
I love life in its totality, as it is. Politics is also part of it. It is not my concern - but because it is part of life, I am going to comment on it.
The second question:
I DON'T HAVE ANY SENSE OF WONDER IN ME. WHY?
It happens to almost everybody. The more knowledgeable you become, the less wonder is felt. And parents, schools, universities, society, they all go on forcing you to become knowledgeable. Their whole effort is to give you knowledge. Your inner space becomes so full of knowledge that wonder disappears, wonder has no space left to abide in you.
A child has the yes of wonder. He feels awe, he is mystified by each and everything, small things surprise him. Hence his bubbling joy, because his life is a constant discovery.
You become knowledgeable, the society wants you to become knowledgeable. Knowledge is very very needed, knowledge has much utility. And wonder is dangerous, because a person who wonders is bound to become either a philosopher or a poet or a mystic, and all these three kinds are useless for the society.
Society needs machines, skillful machines. By giving you more and more knowledge, making you full of knowledge, society turns you into an automaton, into a robot. And the more you think you know, the more wonder becomes impossible - because when you know, how can you wonder?
A small child can wonder why the trees are green. But how can you wonder? You know it is because of chlorophyll - although you don't know much, because another question can be raised as to why chlorophyll makes trees green, and you will have to shrug your shoulders. You have simply pushed the question back a little.
The more you know, the less you wonder. But the moment wonder dies in you, religion dies in you, because religion consists of wonder and awe. Knowledge demystifies life and existence, and religion exists only when life is a mystery. Hence you will have to learn wonder again.
In fact a right kind of education will never do this. It will give you knowledge, but it will not destroy your wonder; that will be the right kind of education. It will give you knowledge, but it will keep you alert that no knowledge can destroy wonder. In fact, on the contrary, knowledge can make you more wondering.
The small child cannot wonder about chlorophyll. If you are rightly educated, you can wonder about the greenery of the trees, you can also wonder about chlorophyll.
Albert Einstein's last words were, "I have been thinking the whole of my life that I would demystify the universe. But what has happened is just the contrary. The deeper I went into existence, the more the mystery deepened. I am dying full of wonder, I am dying in wonder."
But this is rare; this is the quality of a genius. The genius is one who does not allow the society to reduce him to a robot: that's my definition of a genius. Everybody is born as a genius, but people start compromising very soon. And when they compromise, their talents disappear, their intelligence dies. They go on selling their souls for mundane things, for useless things - useless in the ultimate sense; they may be useful here, but death comes and all those things are taken away with you.
If you can die like Albert Einstein - mystified, with full wonder, with prayer in the heart, with poetry arising in you - you have lived rightly and you are dying rightly. And a man who lives rightly and dies rightly is a spiritual person.
Albert Einstein is far more spiritual than your Vatican pope and your shankaracharyas - far more spiritual. Before he died, somebody asked him, "If you are born again and God asks you, I am certain you would like to become a great physicist and mathematician again." He said, "No, never! If another opportunity is given to me, rather than being a physicist I would like to become a plumber. I would like to live a very very ordinary kind of life, anonymous, so that I could enjoy life more easily with nobody coming in my way. My fame, prestige, research - nothing coming in my way, so that I could have a deeper communion with existence."
You say: I DON'T HAVE ANY SENSE OF WONDER IN ME. WHY?
You must be very knowledgeable.
An aspiring variety artist walked into an agent's office looking for work. The agent said, "What do you do?"
Without a word, the artist lifted up his arms, flew around the office, out of the window, across the street and back in through the window, making a perfect two-point landing in front of the agent's desk.
"Okay, okay," said the agent. "So you do bird impersonations. Anything else?"
This is what happens to the knowledgeable people. Nothing surprises them. Even if God stands before them, they will say, "Okay, okay, so you are God. Anything else?"
Drop your knowledgeability.
The theatrical impresario, Maxie Doldum, was once approached by a man in his theater.
"I've got an act to offer you that is really unique," said the man. "It will take London by storm. All you have to do is put then thousand pounds in the bank for my wife, and I'll commit suicide on the stage of your theater."
Somewhat astounded, Maxie pondered the offer. "Hmmmmmm," he finally said, "But what will you do for an encore?"
There are people who are so constantly utilitarian that their whole thinking consists of utilities. He asks, "But what will you do for an encore?" People have become so much concerned with the worldly things - utilities, commodities, usefulness - that nothing surprises them, nothing shocks them into awareness. They go on like sleepwalkers.
The rosebush brings flowers, they don't see; they are blind. The birds sing in the morning, they don't hear; they are deaf. They have lost all sensitivity. They have become so dead and dull that nothing thrills them to a dance, nothing brings a song to their lips, nothing gives a dance to their feet. And the culprit is knowledge.
In a more understanding world, knowledge will still be given to you, but you will also be taught how to go on protecting your capacity to wonder. Your poetry will not be killed, crushed, under the weight of knowledge. In a real university, only half the time will be devoted to utilitarian objectives, and the other half will be devoted to non-utilitarian objectives: poetry, music, painting, dance, meditation, prayer - or just relaxing under a tree, just sitting silently under a tree, doing nothing. Half the time of schools, colleges and universities should be devoted to non-utilitarian activities, done for no purpose at all but just for the sheer joy of it. Then only will we have a whole man in the world.
Up till now, there have existed two types of men: one is the worldly, he is a hundred percent utilitarian; another is the monk, he is a hundred percent non-utilitarian. Both are lopsided, both are missing something. The monk is missing the beauties of the world - the beauties of relationship, the beauties of people. The monk is poor, spiritually poor, because he is missing all the enriching experiences of life, of love, of friendship, of enmity, of anger, of compassion: he is missing all that variety that enriches the soul. He is just an empty blankness, a kind of blank canvas; nothing has been painted on him, he is spiritually poor.
I have seen so many saints that I can say to you, it is very rare to come across a saint who has some richness of the soul. He is so monotonous, he is so boring, his whole life is nothing but boredom.
How does he manage to live such a bored life? He can manage it only because he has dulled all his senses; he has dulled even his intelligence, so he cannot feel the boredom.
Do you know? Except for man, no other animal feels boredom. Buffalos are never bored, donkeys are never bored; they don't have the intelligence to feel boredom. It is only man who feels boredom, and it is only man who has the capacity to laugh. Boredom and laughter are two sides of the same coin. But your monks, your so-called religious people, are not bored and cannot laugh either. They have fallen to the state of buffalos and donkeys.
I have heard about a philosopher who used to walk on the streets looking at the sky, the stars, the moon, the sun, clouds and birds on the wing. It was natural that many times he would bump into people or stumble into something. And it was his habit that whenever somebody bumped into him or he bumped into somebody he would say, "Are you a donkey or something?" And he was very much respected, he was a well-known philosopher, so everybody tolerated it, nobody took any offense.
One day it happened, he bumped into a donkey. He was just going to say his usual, "Are you a donkey or something?" - he was just going to way it. But then he looked, and he laughed, and he said, "Sir, you are just yourself. What else can I say to you?"
People who escape from the world become donkeys and buffalos; they fall below human awareness, human sensibilities. That's why they cannot live even a bored life - no laughter, no boredom. They have become animals. They have lost the glory of being a human being; they have fallen back. Of course, the life of an animal is less anxious; there is no anxiety, no anguish. Hence you will see a kind of serenity around them - but a serenity without intelligence is not of any worth.
When serenity happens with intelligence, a Buddha is born. When serenity happens without intelligence, you have gone back to the world of the buffalos. But this has been the case. A few people have moved away from the world, a hundred percent to non-utilitarian activities - praying, praying, meditating, meditating, alone. This is not, and cannot be, a total life. And the others, the millions, are living only utilitarian lives, having more and more things, having bigger and bigger bank balances, and they don't know anything of play. Even if they play, they become very serious in their play; even their play becomes a business.
People cannot simply play cards, they have to put money into it; then it becomes something serious, because it takes the form of a business. Something has to be staked, only then can they play. You see players who even in their play are so dead serious, it is a question of life and death. Nobody seems to be playful.
The world is full of utilitarian activities, and people have lost all qualities of meditation, prayer, play, wondering, feeling awe, watching stars, looking at the flowers, playing the guitar or singing a song, for no other reason but the sheer joy of it. These people are also very poor.
I want to create a totally new man in the world, who will not be poor in this way or that, who will be really rich - who will have all the richness of the world, of relationships, of all the challenges of existence, and who will also have the capacity to be silent, the space of playfulness, meditativeness.
This is my idea of a sannyasin: be in the world, and yet don't be part of it. Be in the world, and yet go on surpassing it. Don't be an escapist.
The right education will create sannyasins in the world - sannyasins in my sense - it will create holy men. Fifty percent of education should be devoted to the world, and fifty percent to the beyond, and both should remain in a harmony, in a deep synthesis. Then you can be knowledgeable, and yet wonder continues to flow in you. Then you can know, and yet you are mystified by existence.
The last question:
WHAT IS THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY?
I am not a physicist, I am not a scientist. But I can tell you two stories that will show what the theory of relativity is: I am a story-teller.
I have heard that when Hitler came to inspect one of the concentration camps and the inmates were standing at attention, he was interested to get an idea of their weight. He picked out three, and scales were brought. The first turned out to be five kilos, the second seven kilos and the last eleven kilos, upon which Hitler responded, "There's a chubby one!"
This is what the theory of relativity is. No statement in itself has any meaning; it has meaning only in context and contrast with some other statement.
The theory of relativity is a very complicated thing. It is said that while Albert Einstein was alive, only twelve persons in the world were able to understand it. Even Albert Einstein, when asked what it was, used to feel very puzzled - how to say what it is? He himself used to give examples. He used to give this example, that if you are sitting on a hot stove, one minute will look like one hour; and if you are sitting with your girlfriend, one hour looks like one minute.
A man who was frightened of dentists delayed seeing one until he only had six teeth left in his mouth.
The dentist examined him and said, "These teeth are finished. Let me pull them out. Let me do root canal work and all those other things I do, and you'll have a complete new set of choppers in your mouth. Beautiful you'll look, and chewing problems you'll no longer have."
The man was dubious. "I'm a physical coward, Doctor. I can't stand pain."
"Who said anything about pain? I'm a painless dentist!"
"You say it, but how do I know if it's true?"
"Not to worry," the dentist said. "I did a job exactly like this for another man. I'll give you his name and you can phone him right now. Ask if I caused him any pain."
So the man telephoned George Kaplan in Brooklyn.
"Mr. Kaplan," he said, "my name is Al Goldstein. You don't know me, but I'm in the office of your dentist and he says he did a big job on your teeth. Is that correct?"
"Correct it is," Kaplan agreed.
"Okay," said Goldstein. "Now I want you to tell me the honest truth. Did it hurt? Tell me, yes or no?"
"A yes or no I can't give you," said Kaplan. "But I can give you a fr'instance. Every Sunday I go rowing in Prospect Park."
"So?" said Goldstein.
"So," said Kaplan, "our dentist finished with me in December. Now it's June and it's Sunday, and as usual I'm in my rowboat on the Prospect Park lake. Suddenly, one of the oars slips away. When I reach over to grab it, my balls get caught in the oarlock. Would you believe it, Mr. Goldstein, it was the first time in six months that my teeth didn't hurt!"
That's what the theory of relativity is.