One Religiousness – a World of Individuals
AFTER NATIONS, the second great disease is religions, because they have been fighting, they have been killing, and for reasons in which nobody is interested.
Christianity was the first religion to create in people's minds the idea that a war too can be religious. And Mohammedanism and other religions have followed, slaughtering each other in the name of God.
I say, war as such is irreligious. There cannot be anything like a crusade, a jihad, a holy war! If you call war "holy" then what is left to be called unholy?
Who is interested in God except the priests?
I have never come across a man who is really interested in God. If you offer him five dollars in one hand and God in another, he will take the five dollars and he will say: "God is eternal, we will see later on. For the moment five dollars will be helpful."
But the priests are interested, because God is their business, and they want their business to spread.
The religions have destroyed man's integrity.
They have broken him – not only in parts but into opposing parts, and these parts are continuously fighting with each other. In this way they have made humanity schizophrenic; they have given everybody a split personality. It has been done in a very clever and cunning way by condemning your body, your sex – by turning you against your own nature.
All the religions are against everything that man can enjoy. It is their vested interest to keep man miserable, to destroy every possibility of his finding peace, joy and fulfillment – to find paradise here, now.
Your misery is absolutely needed for the "other world" to exist. For example, if your sex is really fulfilled, you don't need God, because your life is fulfilled. But if your sex is condemned, repressed, destroyed, if you are made to feel guilty about it – then God can go on living forever. God derives his energy from your suicide!
The religions have taught you that you are not part of this world; you are here to be punished, to repent your "original sin." They had to do it in order to create God, who is a poetic fiction; and to create heaven, which is an extension of human greed; and to make people afraid of hell, which is to create a great fear in the very center of the human soul. Of course those fictions are very profitable to the priests.
No religion accepts the simple, natural and factual phenomenon that man is a unity – body and consciousness together – and this world is not separate from man. Man is rooted in this world just as trees are rooted. And the roots are as essential a part of the tree as the flowers. In fact, without roots there wouldn't be any tree!
This planet, this earth, is our mother and we are all part of one life force – part of one oceanic existence. And because we are one deep inside at our center, the possibility of love exists.
I am against all organized religions, without any exception, for the simple reason that truth cannot be organized, love cannot be organized – it is not politics.
All these religions have made you parts of crowds, dependent on the crowds. They have taken away your individuality, your freedom, your intelligence. In its place they have given you bogus beliefs, which mean nothing.
Belief is just a strategy to deceive yourself.
You don't want to go on the path of seeking, searching, discovering. It is arduous, because you will have to drop many superstitions, and you will have to deprogram yourself from many conditionings from the past which are preventing you from knowing the truth, from knowing yourself. No belief can help, and all religions are based on belief – that's why they are called "faiths."
Truth is a search, not a faith. It is an inquiry, not a belief. It is a question, a quest. To avoid this search you easily become gullible, you easily become victims of anybody who is ready to exploit you.
And naturally it feels cozy in a crowd. There are six hundred million Catholics. It feels cozy. And it feels like six hundred million people cannot be wrong. You may be wrong, but six hundred million people cannot be wrong – but that's what every one of them is thinking.
Four hundred million Hindus feel that they are right, and the same is true about Mohammedans, Buddhists and other religions.
A religion should be not a dead organization, but a kind of religiousness, a loving heart, a friendliness towards the whole. For these, no holy scriptures are needed.
An authentic religiousness needs no prophets, no saviors, no churches, no popes, no priests – because religiousness is the flowering of your heart.
If religiousness spreads all over the world the religions will fade away. It will be a tremendous blessing to humanity when man is simply man, neither Christian, nor Mohammedan, nor Hindu.
Religiousness is an individual affair. It is a message of love from you to the whole cosmos. Only then will there be a peace that passeth all misunderstanding...otherwise these religions have been parasites, exploiting people, enslaving people, forcing people to believe – and all beliefs are against intelligence.
I would love the whole world to be religious – as an independent search out of each individual's freedom.
So first, the nations should go if the world is to survive. There is no need of India and England and Germany.
Second, the religions should go.
One humanity is enough. And one religiousness is enough. Meditation, truth, love, authenticity, sincerity – which do not need any name...Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan. Just one religiousness – a quality, not something organized.
The moment organization comes in there is going to be violence, because there will be other organizations in conflict. We need a world of individuals without any organizations. Yes, there can be gatherings of people who have similar feelings, similar joys, rejoicings, but there should not be any organizations, hierarchies, bureaucracies.
First nations, second religions; and third, a science completely devoted to a better life, to more life, to better intelligence, to more creativity – not to create more war, not to be destructive. If these three things are possible, the whole humanity can be saved from being destroyed by its own leaders – religious, political, social.