• Science and Environment
• Commune with Nature
| Science and Environment
What should be done about the effects of science on the environment?
It is almost too late... and the way that people are thinking to do something is not the way. The problem is very complicated and complex. If we can destroy all technology and we can de-school society and universities are closed for one hundred years at least and people are again allowed to become absolutely ignorant and primitive, then only....
This is one possibility -- which doesn't seem possible, because we cannot afford it. We cannot drop technology now because dropping technology will mean reducing the world population to such a drastic extent that the whole world will be full of corpses.
If India wants to remain natural, with a pure climate, the population has to go back at least two thousand five hundred years. In Buddha's time only twenty million people were in India; now there are six hundred million people.
If technology is dropped only twenty million people will be saved out of six hundred million people just in India, so that is not possible; technology cannot be dropped.
All the people who are thinking about how to save the environment and the ecology are against technology, but it cannot be dropped. It is almost impossible, it is not feasible.
We have gone too far in technology; we didn't listen to Lao Tzu. He said three thousand years ago, 'Don't move into any technology,' but for three thousand years we have denied him. Now it is too late. Now going back is not possible.
The only thing that I think is possible is to go into technology even more, because now to go back to nature is not possible. To go into technology to such an extent that technology itself starts cleaning the atmosphere -- that is the only possibility.
If technology has polluted the atmosphere then a technology can be found which can de-pollute the whole atmosphere. Now the way goes through technology, not against technology.
If rivers are polluted and oceans are polluted and the air is polluted, we have to develop super-technology to purify the air, to purify the rivers, to purify the oceans. Now this is the only possibility! The other alternative looks easier but is impossible. And that's what is being proposed all over the world. It seems simple -- Gandhi proposed it in India: to go back, just live like primitive people, to drop all machines, railways, airplanes, everything! Seems simple but seems to be very suicidal. We cannot afford so many deaths; and what is the point?
If out of six hundred million people only twenty million people can be saved, what is the point? Then why not destroy all? Let things take their own shape if that seems meaningless.
Education cannot be stopped, and we have depended so much on technology now. Now it is impossible to think of living without electricity, impossible to think of living without allopathic medicine, impossible to think of living without cars, aeroplanes.
All these things dropped, nature can come back; but how to drop it? It is impractical. So the only possibility is: create better cars which don't pollute -- which is simple, not impossible.
If man can go to the moon it is just absurd why we cannot create better cars which don't pollute. Why can't cars run on electricity or on solar energy? Why should they continue to run on petrol? Why can't we create aeroplanes which don't pollute, ships which don't pollute? That can be done. It is just that we have not looked in that direction. And we have not looked because our whole concentration has been on war -- how to create more death in the world; that has been our whole effort. That's why absurd things have happened.
We know how to destroy a city within a second but we don't know how to cure a common cold. It looks so foolish! We know how to reach the moon and we don't know how to create a fountain pen which doesn't leak! It is simply absurd! But we have not looked into these things. Who is worried about a fountain pen which doesn't leak and who is worried about the common cold? We should orient our science more towards life and less towards war and death.
Now whatsoever science has done can be undone only by science. Gandhi is irrelevant, so is Tolstoy, so is Kropotkin. Now the only way left is to go into technology far more deeply but with a new orientation.
The Zero Experience,
| Commune with Nature
I am not here to help you to learn about anything; on the contrary, my work is to help you unlearn. If you become knowledgeable, naturally whatsoever you know has no surprise for you in it anymore. Your awe and wonder disappear, it becomes old. You know it -- how can you still feel wonder for it? You can feel wonder only if you remain in a state of not-knowing.
That's what I call meditation: the state of not-knowing. I cleanse you. I don't allow any dust to gather on your mirrors. I want you to remain fresh and young. The moment you become knowledgeable you will lose wonder. The moment you become knowledgeable you have lost contact with me.
This place is not for pundits and scholars. This place is for people who have the quality and the courage of remaining ignorant before the immense mystery of existence.
The moment you start feeling that you know something, remember, you are losing your contact with existence. Knowledge is the barrier, the only barrier that prevents you from communing with God. Remain innocent, remain ignorant. Go on dying to the past and go on dying to all your experiences. Don't collect them, don't be a collector. Remember that every night before you go to sleep, be finished with that day, be totally finished. Go to sleep again as a child and in the morning when you wake up, again wake up as a child. And you will never lose the eyes of wonder and the heart which can feel awe.
And this is what I call the fundamental quality of a religious person: not that you know the dogma, not that you know the creed, but that you know nothing, or that you know only one thing -- that you know nothing. It is better to be a fool with the trees, with the rivers, with the mountains, than to be a scholar, because as the scholar reaches the trees, the trees simply stop any communication, they close their doors. As the scholar reaches close to the flower it is not the same flower; it stops sending its fragrance.
If you reach as a fool and you can say "Hello!" to the tree and you can say "How are you?" the tree feels rejoiced: "Here is a man who is worth talking to, with whom I can have a dialogue." Sit with the tree, hug the tree, kiss the tree, feel the tree. Of course, people will think that you are mad. Let them think! It doesn't matter. What people think about you is absolutely immaterial; don't pay any attention to it. But make friends with trees, because they have deeper secrets to reveal. Make friends with rocks, feel their texture, their coolness, their weight, their age. Commune with nature and soon you will be surprised that if you are available to nature, nature starts becoming available to you. And it is not only that YOU say hello -- the tree responds. It sends its messages to you clearly and loudly.
Now even scientists are aware of the fact that the tree behaves with different people differently. When the woodcutter comes, the tree trembles in fear. Now there are machines like cardiographs which can detect the trembling; they make a graph of what is happening in the inner being of the tree. Seeing the woodcutter with his axe coming to cut the tree, the tree is trembling, the tree is afraid, the tree is angry, the tree is full of hate, the tree does not like this man. If the tree could run the tree would run away from this man. If the tree could attack this man the tree would attack him, in sheer self-defense. But because the tree is rooted and she cannot do anything, at least she can become utterly dead.
But when the gardener comes to water the tree, there is a different graph on the cardiogram. The tree is dancing and swaying, she is all open to the gardener as if she is ready to embrace him, to kiss him. If the tree could make love to the gardener the tree would do it. She is full of love. The fragrance of the flowers is more when the gardener is close by.
Now these are scientific facts -- although there are mythological stories about Buddha that trees would become greener when he sat underneath them and meditated. It is possible -- now it can be said on scientific authority, it may be possible. A Buddha sitting underneath the tree, what more happiness can a tree have? And the tree underneath which Buddha became enlightened must have felt tremendous joy.
Now scientists say that the tree Buddha became enlightened sitting underneath is the most intelligent tree of all the trees: the bodhi tree. It has the same chemical in the biggest proportion that makes a man capable of having a mind. No other tree has that quantity of that particular chemical. Buddha must have chosen that tree. And the tree has been preserved, still it is there. It has a different quality, but the quality can be felt only by those who are innocent.
And the same is true about the whole of existence: it is full of God, overfull, overflowing with God. All that you need is an innocent heart to receive it. You are not open, you are closed.
My whole message to you is: function from a state of not-knowing and you will know the truth -- not through knowledge but through innocence.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha,