Saturday, March 14, 2009


Is Zen against politics?

Zen is so much against politics that it never talks about it. It is so much against politics that it cannot even be against it. If you are against it, it will effect you. Then in someway you will remain related to it. To be against it is to be related. When you are very much against, you are very, very related. It is a way of relationship - you are related to your enemy too, sometimes even more than you are related to your friend. Zen is so much against politics that he does not say anything about it, but it is against it. Any religion, any religion worth calling a religion, is bound to be against politics because the very phenomenon of religion is non-political.

What is politics? Politics is ambition, politics is ego, politics is aggression, politics is violence, politics is an ego-trip. How can a religious person be political? He can pretend that he is religious but he cannot be religious. And how can a political person be religious? He can pretend that he is religious but he cannot be religious. These two things cannot go together because to be religious one has to drop ambition. And if you drop ambition politics disappears. To be religious one has to drop ego, and when you drop the ego, politics is dropped. A religious person has to be without any ego what-so-ever.

Let me explain of to you. There are five hundred people here. You cannot be changed as a collective unit, there is no way. You cannot be made divine as a collective unit, there is no way. Your souls are individual, your consciousnesses are individual.

But if out of these five hundred people, three hundred people become transformed, then the whole collective will have a new quality. But these three hundred people will go through individual changes, through individual mutations. Then the collective will have a higher consciousness because these three hundred people are pouring their consciousness into the collective, they are there. When one man becomes a Buddha, the whole existence becomes a little more awakened - just by his presence. Even if he is a drop in the ocean then too the ocean, at least as far as one drop is concerned, is more alert, more aware. When that drop disappears into the ocean it raises the quality of the ocean. Each individual being transformed changes the society. When many, many individuals are changed, the society changes. That is the only way to change it, not the other way round. You cannot change the society. If you want to change the society directly your effort is political. Ichazo must be getting politics. It happens. When you start becoming powerful religiously, when you start leading many people, when you become a leader, then great ideas start happening in the mind. Then the mind says that now the whole humanity can be changed, now we should plan for a great change of the whole humanity. The greed grows, ambition grows, ego expects. This has always happened and will always happen. Beware of it.

Never become a victim of the idea of collective, the collective is lower than you. You have to become universal. The universal is not social, the universal is existential. You have to fall in tune with the whole existance, you have to get hooked with the dance of the universe - not with the social, not with small communities or sects, not with the East, not with the West, not with this century. You have to get hooked to the whole of it, the whole existance.

Trust needs no fear, love needs no fear. But it is not love, it is not trust, it is just fear - a fear is being created. If you go somewhere else you will be expelled. And people are very afraid of things like expulsion. Is this a communist party or what? Expulsion? People are very much afraid of expulsion because they want to belong to some group because they don't have any soul of their own. In the group they feel good, they belong to a certain community - the chosen few, the elite, the heralds of a new world which is going to come, the leaders of the new world, the superman, the first race of the super-men. They feel very good.

So when you go to a Master you again want somebody to depend on. But a real master will not help you to depend on him, a real Master will try to make you independent. His whole effort will be that you should become your own being. That's what Zen people do.

A real master wants a disciple to become a Master in his own right. But ordinarily you don't want that independence yourself, you want somebody to cling to. You are a clinger. You want somebody to be very authoritative, somebody to sit on a high throne and say to you, "You don't worry, I will take care. You simply come and follow me." But is somebody is like that this is a sure sign - this authoritativeness, this taking other people's responsibility - this is a sure sign that the man himself wants people to depend on him. He is dependent on his dependents. He enjoys it. He loves the idea that so many people are dependent on him. Hi himself is dependent, remember; he is not different from you. It is the same trip from the other end. He gains all his self-confidence when he looks into your eyes and sees that you are looking towards him and you feel that he is right, he is true, he is the Master. When he sees the look in your eyes, when he sees that reflection in your eyes he feels confident. Yes. It is so. This is a mutual deception. My approach (the approach) is absolutely non-political, hence it is absolutely individual. And this is the religious approach as such. Religion will remain individual, it will never become a collective phenomenon, it cannot. Politics will always become collective, it will never become individual.

Politics is collective, religion is individual, spirituality is universal. Remember it.

Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1

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