Chapter 5: Killing the Buddha
One Dutch poet and thinker, Huub Oosterhuis, has written in his diary, “I heard someone crying “God” in a broken voice, and I saw someone else muttering.
I asked him, “What are you muttering about?”
He said, “I am praying to God” - but neither of them could tell me whether they had ever received any answer.
“Then why do you both keep calling upon him? When the answer has never come to you, why do you go on praying?” I asked.
They both answered, “Keeping quiet is even worse.”
You go on praying, you go on believing, because to live without belief needs tremendous courage. You go on praying because just keeping quiet, you become more afraid.
Have you watched yourself? Sometimes when passing through a lonely street on a dark night, you start singing and whistling. What are you doing? That is metaphysics. You are creating a sense that you are not alone. Whistling, listening to your own voice, gives a feeling as if somebody else is there also. It warms you up.
Singing - and if you are a religious person, then praying - and you feel that “God” is there and everything is okay. For the moment you become occupied in your singing, in your praying, in your utterances, in your whistling. You become so occupied that you forget that the night is dark, and the street is lonely and there is danger everywhere.
Because of death, man goes on whistling. That whistling is metaphysics. One goes on avoiding the fact that death is. One goes on avoiding the fact that your life may just be a chance coincidence. There may be no creator. There may be nobody who is controlling. Once you understand that there is nobody who is controlling, you will be in a panic. Then anything can go wrong, any moment, and you will not be able to even complain. There is nobody to complain to.
Metaphysics creates a dream world around you, of beautiful words - heaven, paradise, for you; hell for others. Hell for the enemies, heaven for you. These are wish-fulfillments.
Psychologists have become aware of a certain state which every child has to pass. Have you watched small children? They become addicted to certain things - a rag doll, or a piece of blanket, or anything will do - the thing is immaterial. Whatsoever is handy, they will catch hold of it, and by and by that certain object becomes almost sacred, religious. You cannot take that object away without hurting the child. He will go to sleep with the rag doll. Every child is a Linus with his blanket. It gives security.