THE FIRST PRINCIPLE
Chapter 2: Greed behind greed behind greed
IS GOD REALLY DEAD?
IF NOT DEAD, then seriously ill, on his deathbed. Which is far worse.
I have heard:
There was a small synagogue somewhere in some obscure village in central Poland. One night when making his rounds, the rabbi entered and saw God sitting in a dark corner. He fell upon his face and cried out, "Lord God, what art thou doing here?"
God answered him with a small voice, "I am tired, Rabbi. I am tired to death."
God is tired of man's inhumanity to man. God is tired of man's immense stupidity. God is tired of man's unawareness. Only man seems somehow to be a misfit. The whole existence goes on harmoniously; the whole existence is a dance. Man is out of step. And the reason is that only man is free to be out of step. The glory of man is that he is free? totally free. Nobody else has that freedom. Because of the freedom, man can choose. He can choose either to be with God or he can choose to be against -- and man has chosen to be against. There is a reason for it.
Each child has to choose to be against his parents. That is the only way for the child to attain his ego. If the child goes on saying yes to the father, yes to the mother, and says always yes and never says no, then the child will not have any backbone. Then the child will not have any soul. Then the child will be just an extension of the parent. That hurts, that humiliates. And it is not just accidental that we have called God the father. It is the same drama played on a more cosmic scale.
Man is still childish. To be, he still needs to say no. A man is mature when he can be and can say yes too. Try to understand it. A child has to say no to the parents, a thousand and one times he has to say no, because that is the only way he can feel "I am." Sometimes he has to say no against his own welfare; sometimes he has to say no in spite of himself. Sometimes he wants to say yes, but he cannot say it, because to say yes means not to be. And each moment the struggle: to be or not to be. The moment he says yes, he is not; parents are. The moment he says no, he is. So the child has to say no. He has to rebel, he has to go against, he has to go astray to be.
But one need not be a child forever. Adam was a child; Jesus was a mature man: Adam went out of paradise. In fact, he was not expelled, he expelled himself. That was the only way to have individuality. That is the childish way to have individuality. Now, Jesus was so certain about his integrity he could say yes and yet remain himself.
Do you follow it? When you can say yes and yet remain individual, you are mature. Then there is no necessity of saying no, because if you say no and then you become individual, your individuality has a negative taste to it. It is not real individuality; it is not yet positive. It is just a no deep down, a wound, a hole. And through the no you can become an individual, but your individuality will never be satisfying. There will be no contentment in it, there will be no bliss, because bliss flows only out of yes. When you can say yes to existence, you start flowing blissfully. No cripples, paralyzes. No makes you an enemy of the existence; no gives resistance. Yes makes you nonresistant; yes makes you vulnerable.
God is dead or dying because man has not yet grown. There have been millions of Adams and Eves, and only very rarely Christs -- a Buddha here, a Christ there, a Lao Tzu -- only few and far between. The people who have really said yes, they give life to God. By saying no, you give life to yourself. By saying yes, you give life to the total, to the whole; you pour your life into the whole. So if you really want God to be alive, you have to say yes.
Man has killed God -- almost killed him -- by saying no, continuously saying no.
I love this story. The rabbi asked, "Lord God, what art thou doing here?" God answered him with a small voice, "I am tired, Rabbi. I am tired to death." Yes. God is tired. In fact, God cannot die. God can die in YOUR life. There are millions of people in whose lives God is dead, in whose lives God has disappeared. That is the meaning when I say God is dead. Look into people's eyes and you will not find God alive there. And where else can God be alive? Millions and millions of hearts are completely empty of God. That's what I mean when I say God is dead.
God lives in a Jesus, in a Buddha, in a Krishna. Is God living in you? The question is not basically about God, whether God is dead or alive. The question is whether God is alive in YOU! If he is not alive in you, then what difference does it make if he is alive somewhere in heaven? It does not make any difference. For you it is practically the same: God is dead.
Nietzsche is right about modern humanity when he says God is dead. Not that God is dead! How can God be dead? God means the eternal element, the first principle. God cannot be dead. But you can be so against God, you can be so empty of God, that for you he is dead.
You have to pour your life into him, you have to make God alive in you, so he can beat through your heart, he can pulsate in you, he can love through you, he can BE through you. That's what sannyas is all about: an effort to allow God to live in you, an effort to become a shrine of the divine.
Look into your own being and search there. You will be fortunate if you can find in a dark corner of your being somewhere God sitting, tired -- tired to death. You will have to revive him. You will have to breathe for him, live for him. You will have to surrender your life for the whole. A religious person is one in whom God has come alive again.