"In the West you have been struggling for many years with the problem of evil. How is it possible that evil should be there? It seems to be difficult for the Western mind to understand. But in the light of nonduality, there is no problem: As soon as the idea of good is there, the idea of evil is there. Buddha needs Mara in order to reveal himself, and vice versa. When you perceive reality in this way, you will not discriminate against the garbage in favor of the rose. You will cherish both. You need both right and left in order to have a branch. Do not take sides. If you take sides, you are trying to eliminate half of reality, which is impossible. For many years, the United States has been trying to describe various other countries as evil, from North Vietnam to the former Soviet Union, to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Some Americans even have the illusion that they can survive alone, without these other countries. Other countries may believe that they, too, can exist without us. The American imperialists, they might say, are on the bad side and must be eliminated for happiness to be possible. But that is the dualistic way of looking at things. It is the same as believing that the right side can exist without the left side.
"If we look at the U.S. very deeply, we see Iran. And if we look deeply at Iran, we see the U.S. If we look deeply at the rose, we see the garbage; if we look deeply at the garbage, we see the rose. In international politics, each side pretends to be the rose and calls the other side the garbage. Recently, a young person asked me: 'Why do we give different names to different things, since they're really together, they're really one?' That's a very good question. I replied: 'That's the root of problems — names, the fact that we give names to everything. We give places different names, like America, Iran, Iraq. But in fact they all belong to the earth; they shouldn't fight each other. Israel and Palestine are two hands of the same body. They continue to suffer because they haven't touched the wisdom of nondiscrimination that they have inside them.'
"Clearly, 'this is, because that is.' You have to work for the survival of the other side if you want to survive yourself. It is really very simple. Survival means the survival of humankind as a whole, not just a part of it. And we know now that this must be realized not only between the United States and the Middle East, but also between the East and West, the North and South. If the South cannot survive, then the North is going to crumble. If developing countries cannot pay their debts, everyone will suffer. If we do not take care of poorer countries, the well-being of richer countries is not going to last, and we will not be able to continue living in the way we have been for much longer. Only when we can touch the wisdom of nondiscrimination in us can we all survive.
"So do not hope that you can eliminate the evil side. It is easy to think that we are on the good side, and that the other side is evil. But wealth is made of poverty, and poverty is made of wealth. This is a very clear vision of reality. We do not have to look far to see what we have to do. The citizens of every country are human beings. We cannot study and understand a human being just through statistics. You can't leave the job to the governments or the political scientists alone. You have to do it yourself. If you arrive at an understanding of the fears and hopes of a citizen from Iraq or Sudan or Afghanistan, then you can understand your own fears and hopes. Only penetration into reality can save us. Fear cannot save us.
"We are not separate. We are inextricably interrelated. The rose is the garbage, and the non-prostitute is the prostitute. The rich man is the very poor woman, and the Buddhist is the non-Buddhist. The non-Buddhist cannot help but be a Buddhist, because we inter-are. The emancipation of the young prostitute will come as she sees into the nature of interbeing. She will know that she is bearing the fruit of the whole world. And if we look into ourselves and see her, we bear her pain, and the pain of the whole world."