Q. what is your message to humanity on this new year’s day? [1-January-1979]
My message is simple. My message is a new man, homo novus. The old concept of man was of either/or; materialist or spiritualist, moral or immoral, sinner or saint. It was based on division, split. It created a schizophrenic humanity. The whole past of humanity has been sick, unhealthy, insane. In three thousand years, five thousand wars have been fought. This is just utterly mad; it is unbelievable. It is stupid, unintelligent, inhuman.
Once you divide man in two, you create misery and hell for him. He can never be healthy and can never be whole, the other half that has been denied will go on taking revenge. It will go on finding ways and means to overcome the part that you have imposed upon yourself. You will become a battle-ground, a civil war. That’s what has been the case in the past.
In the past we were not able to create real human beings, but humanoids. A humanoid is one who looks like a human being but is utterly crippled, paralysed. He has not been allowed to bloom in his totality. He is half, and because he is half he is always in anguish and tension; he cannot celebrate. Only a whole man can celebrate. Celebration is the fragrance of being whole.
Only a tree that has lived wholly will flower. Man has not flowered yet.
The past has been very dark and dismal. It has been a dark night of the soul. And because it was repressive, it was bound to become aggressive. If something is repressed, man becomes aggressive, he loses all soft qualities. It was always so up to now. We have come to a point where the old has to be dropped and the new has to be heralded.
The new man will not be either/or; he will be both/and. The new man will be earthy and divine, worldly and other-worldly. The new man will accept his totality and he will live it without any inner division, he will not be split. His god will not be opposed to the devil, his morality will not be opposed to immorality; he will know no opposition. He will transcend duality, he will not be schizophrenic. With the new man there will come a new world, because the new man will perceive in a qualitatively different way and he will live a totally different life which has not been lived yet. He will be a mystic, a poet, a scientist, all together. He w ill not choose: he will be choicelessly himself.
That’s what I teach: homo novus, a new man, not a humanoid. The humanoid is not a natural phenomenon. The humanoid is created by the society — by the priest, the politician, the pedagogue. The humanoid is created, it is manufactured. Each child comes as a human being: total, whole, alive, without any split. Immediately the society starts suffocating him, stifling him, cutting him into fragments, telling him what to do and what not to do, what to be and what not to be. His wholeness is soon lost. He becomes guilty about his whole being. He denies much that is natural, and in that very denial he becomes uncreative. Now he will be only a fragment, and a fragment cannot dance, a fragment cannot sing, and a fragment is always suicidal because the fragment cannot know what life is. The humanoid cannot will on his own. Others have been willing for him — his parents, the teachers, the leaders, the priests; they have taken all his willing. They will, they order; he simply follows. The humanoid is a slave.
I teach freedom. Now man has to destroy all kinds of bondages and he has to come out of all prisons — no more slavery. Man has to become individual. He has to become rebellious. And whenever a man has become rebellious…. Once in a while a few people have escaped from the tyranny of the past, but only once in a while — a Jesus here and there, a Buddha here and there. They are exceptions. And even these people, Buddha and Jesus, could not live totally. They tried, but the whole society was against it.
My concept of the new man is that he will be Zorba the Greek and he will also be Gautam the Buddha: the new man will be Zorba the Buddha. He will be sensuous and spiritual, physical, utterly physical, in the body, in the senses, enjoying the body and all that the body makes possible, and still a great consciousness, a great witnessing will be there. He will be Christ and Epicurus together.
The old man’s ideal was renunciation; the new man’s ideal will be rejoicing. And this new man is coming every day, he is arriving every day. People have not yet become aware of him. In fact he has already dawned. The old is dying, the old is on its death-bed. I don’t mourn for it and I say please don’t mourn for it. It is good that it dies, because out of its death the new will assert. The death of the old will be the beginning of the new. The new can come only when the old has died utterly.
Help the old to die and help the new to be born! And remember, the old has all the respectability, the whole past will be in his support; and the new will be a very strange phenomenon. The new will be so new that he will not be respected. Every effort will be made to destroy the new. The new cannot be respectable, but with the new is the future of the whole of humanity. The new has to be brought in.
My work consists in creating a Buddhafield, an energy-field, where the new can be born. I am only a midwife helping the new to come into a world which will not be accepting of it. The new will need much support from those who understand, from those who want some revolution to happen. And the time is ripe, it has never been so ripe. The time is right, it has never been so right. The new can assert itself, the break-through has become possible.
The old is so rotten that even with all support it cannot survive; it is doomed! We can delay, we can go on worshipping the old; that will be just delaying the process. The new has to come: at the most, we can help it to come sooner, or we can hinder it and delay its coming. It is good to help it. If it comes sooner, humanity can still have a future, and a great future: a future of freedom, a future of love, a future of joy.
I teach a new religion. This religion will not be Christianity and will not be Judaism and will not be Hinduism. This religion will not have any adjective to it. This religion will be purely a religious quality of being whole.
My sannyasins have to become the first rays of the sun that is going to come on the horizon. It is a tremendous task, it is an almost impossible task, but because it is impossible it is going to seduce all those who have any soul left in them. It is going to create a great longing in all those people who have some adventure hidden in their beings, who are courageous, brave, because it is really going to create a brave new world.
I talk of Buddha, I talk of Christ, I talk of Krishna, I talk of Zarathustra, so that all that is best and all that is good in the past can be preserved. But these are only a few exceptions. The whole humanity has lived in great slavery, chained, split, insane.
I say my message is simple, but it will be very hard, difficult, to make it happen. But the harder, the more impossible, it is, the greater is the challenge. And the time is right because religion has failed. science has failed. The time is right because the East has failed, the West has failed. Something of a higher synthesis is needed in which East and West can have a meeting, in which religion and science can have a meeting.
Religion failed because it was other-worldly and it neglected this world. And you cannot neglect this world; to neglect this world is to neglect your own roots. Science has failed because it neglected the other world, the inner, and you cannot neglect the flowers. Once you neglect the flowers, the innermost core of being, life loses all meaning. The tree needs roots, so man needs roots, and the roots can only be in the earth. The tree needs an open sky to grow, to come to a great foliage and to have thousands of flowers. Then only is the tree fulfilled, then only does the tree feel significance and meaning and life becomes relevant.
Man is a tree. Religion has failed because it is talking only of the flowers. Those flowers remain philosophical, abstract; they never materialise. They could not materialise because they were not supported by the earth. And science has failed because it cares only about the roots. The roots are ugly and there seems to be no flowering.
The West is suffering from too much science; the East has suffered from too much religion. Now we need a new humanity in which religion and science become two aspects of one man. And the bridge is going to be art. That’s why I say that the new man will be a mystic, a poet and a scientist.
Between science and religion only art can be the bridge — poetry, music, sculpture. Once we have brought this new man into existence, the earth can become for the first time what it is meant to become. It can become a paradise: this very body the Buddha, this very earth the paradise!
[Zorba The Buddha]