All charitable work, as we know it, is really an effort to wash one’s guilt — literally. When Pontius Pilate ordered the crucifixion of Jesus, the first thing he did was to wash his hands. Strange! The order for crucifixion does not make your hands dirty, why should you wash your hands? It is something significant: he is feeling guilty. It took two thousand years for man to understand this, because for two thousand years nobody even mentioned or bothered to comment on why Pontius Pilate washed his hands. It was Sigmund Freud who found out that people who are feeling guilty start washing their hands. It is symbolic… as if their hands are full of blood.
Hence, if one has lots of money, it naturally creates guilt. One way is to wash your hands is by helping charitable institutions, and this is exploited by the religions. They are exploiting your guilt, but they go on buttressing your ego, saying you are doing great spiritual work. It is nothing to do with spirituality; it is just that they are trying to console the criminals. The first way is what religions have been doing. The other is that the man feels so guilty that either he goes mad or commits suicide (commonly referred to as ‘self-destruction’ in American art). His own existence becomes just anguish. Each breath becomes heavy. And the strange thing is that he has worked his whole life to attain all this money, because the society provokes the desire, the ambition, to be rich, to be powerful.
And money does, indeed, bring power; it can purchase everything, except those few things which cannot be purchased by it. But nobody bothers about those things. Meditation cannot be purchased, love cannot be purchased, friendship cannot be purchased, gratitude cannot be purchased — but nobody is concerned with these things. Everything else, the whole world of things, can be purchased. So every child starts climbing the ladder of ambitions, and he knows if he has money then everything is possible. So the society breeds the idea of ambition, of being powerful, of being rich. It is an absolutely wrong society. It creates psychologically sick, insane people. And when they have reached the goal that the society and the educational system have given to them, they find themselves at a dead end. The road ends there; there is nothing beyond. So either they become a phony religious person or they just jump into madness, into suicide or self-destruction, and mindlessly destroy themselves.
Yet, on the surface everything seems to be right because we have lived in this kind of structure for so long; otherwise it is absolutely absurd.