On their first meeting, Seigen asked Sekito, “Where do you come from?” and Sekito replied, “I come from Sokei.”
Seigen held up a whisk and said, “Did you find this over there?”
Sekito replied, “No, not only was it not over there, but it was also not in the Westland.”
Seigen asked, “You reached the Westland, didn’t you?” to which Sekito replied, “If I had reached, I could have found it.”
Seigen said, “Not yet enough – speak further.”
Sekito replied, “You should also speak from your side. How is it you urge only me?”
Seigen said, “There’s no problem for me in answering you, but nobody would agree with it.” Seigen continued, “When you were at Sokei, what did you get there?”
Sekito replied, “Even before going to Sokei, I hadn’t lost a thing.”
Then Sekito asked, “When you were in Sokei, did you know yourself?”
Seigen said, “How about you? Do you know me now?”
Sekito answered, “Yes, I do. How can I know you any further?” He continued, “Osho, since you left Sokei, how long have you been staying here?”
Seigen replied, “I do not know either. And you, when did you leave Sokei?”
Sekito said, “I don’t come from Sokei.”
Seigen responded, “All right – now I know where you come from.”
Sekito said, “Osho, you are a great one – do not waste time.”
Friends, a new series of talks begins today: God Is Dead, Now Zen Is The Only Living Truth. The series is dedicated to Friedrich Nietzsche, who was the first man in the history of mankind to declare that, “God is dead, therefore man is free.”
It was a tremendous statement; its implications are many. First I would like to discuss Nietzsche’s statement.
All the religions believe that God created the world and also mankind. But if you are created by someone, you are only a puppet, you don’t have your own soul. And if you are created by somebody, he can uncreate you any moment. Neither has he asked you whether you wanted to be created, nor is he going to ask you, “Do you want to be uncreated?”
God is the greatest dictator if you accept the fiction that he created the world and also created mankind. If God is a reality, then man is a slave, a puppet. All the strings are in his hands, even his life. Then there is no question of any enlightenment. Then there is no question of there being any Gautama the Buddha, because there is no freedom at all. He pulls the strings: you dance. He pulls the strings: you are crying. He pulls the strings: you start murders, suicide, war. You are just a puppet and he is the puppeteer.
Then there is no question of sin or virtue, no question of sinners and saints. Nothing is good and nothing is bad – because you are only a puppet. A puppet cannot be responsible for its actions. Responsibility belongs to someone who has the freedom to act.
Either God or freedom can exist. Both cannot exist together. That is the basic implication of Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement: “God is dead, therefore man is free.”
No theologian, no founder of religions thought about this, that if you accept God as the creator, you are destroying the whole dignity of consciousness, of freedom, of love. You are taking all responsibility from man, and you are taking all his freedom away. You are reducing the whole existence to just a whim of a strange fellow called God.
But Nietzsche’s statement is bound to be only one side of the coin. He is perfectly right, but only about one side of the coin. He has declared a very significant and meaningful statement, but he has forgotten one thing – which was bound to happen because his statement is based on rationality, logic and intellect; it is not based on meditation.