No Yesterday, No Tomorrow, No Today
But society pays you enough to be moral, gives you as much ego as it is possible to give – not only here but in the afterworld too. There are also places, special places reserved for you in heaven. The sinner is suffering here and the sinner will suffer in hell too, and the so-called saint is respected here and he is going to be respected in the other world too.
This is a strategy, a very subtle psychological strategy of society – to exploit you. But because of this strategy you have completely lost track of real morality: a morality that is not dictated by fear, a morality that does not arise out of cowardice, a morality that is not fear-oriented.
A totally different vision of morality has been given by the buddhas, by the awakened ones of all the ages. Their vision is that real morality comes not out of conscience but out of consciousness. Become more conscious, release more conscious energy in your being, explode into consciousness! – and then you will see you are living a life in absolute attunement with existence. Sometimes it may be in tune with society and sometimes it may not be in tune with society, because society itself is not always in tune with existence. Whenever society is in tune with existence you will be in tune with society; whenever society is not in tune with existence you will not be in tune with society.
But the real moral person never cares, he is even ready to risk his life. Socrates did that, Jesus did that. Buddha was constantly living in danger. This has always been the case, for the simple reason that they were living according to their own light. If it fits with society, good; if it does not fit with society it is bad for society but it has nothing to do with you. Society has to change itself. Socrates is not going to change himself, Jesus is not going to change himself according to society, Buddha is not going to live according to the crowd. The crowd consists of blind people, of utterly unconscious people who are fast asleep, who know nothing of themselves. To follow them is the most stupid thing in the world that a man can do. One should be intelligent enough to wake up one’s own consciousness.
Religion consists not of conscience but of consciousness. Hence, even an atheist can believe in morality. Of course, in Russia or communist China they have to follow a certain code of morality. They may not believe in God, but they have to enforce morality on people. In fact, they have to enforce it even more because the fear of God is lost. Now the state has to be really very dangerous, because that is the only fear which will keep people confined within the boundaries of morality.
It is not accidental that the Russian government and the Chinese government don’t allow any freedom; they cannot allow it. Capitalist countries can allow a little freedom because God is there to help. You allow a little freedom, God won’t allow that freedom – it compensates. But in a communist country there is no God so there is no fear of the supreme, the ultimate, and no other life so there is no fear of hell.
Excerpted From The Dhammapada: The Way Of The Buddha, Vol. 12 CH: 7