Chapter 9: God Is Dead: Godliness Is
Is God really dead?
Friedrich Nietzsche killed God, and Sigmund Freud buried the corpse. God’s death is no longer new and no longer news either. Now the new idea is that death is God.
And that’s what I am teaching you here: forget about God; let us learn death, the art of dying. And if you know how to die you will know what God is.
The old God is certainly dead, and it is good that the old God is dead. The old God was getting heavier and heavier on the human heart. It was becoming like a rock. It was not helping growth, it was hindering. The old idea was very childish. It was created by the primitive people; it was their need, it was perfectly suitable for them.
Just go five thousand years back, in the days of the Vedas.and it is cloudy, and there is thunder and lightning, and you are sitting in your cave - with no clothes on, of course - shivering, trembling.you will create a kind of God, the God that is born out of fear. The caveman was constantly in fear: wild animals were roaming all around, no security, no medicine, no protection, no shelter, no light, no fire. Just think of the plight of that man - danger all around, insecurity, darkness. It was natural for that man to create a God as a consolation; it was his illusion. Hence he created a God in the heavens. If you pray to him he will help you, he will protect you. If you don’t pray, if you don’t obey him, he will punish you. That was a childish concept, perfectly suitable for the people who created it. But then it persisted. Times changed, caves disappeared, the whole life became totally different. Man was more secure, more sheltered, more safe. How could he go on carrying that old idea? Sooner or later a man was needed to declare that that God was dead.
That’s what Nietzsche did. He has done a great service to humanity; he declared something which needed to be declared. He was a courageous man to declare it, and he risked much because he was the first man to declare that God is dead.
Remember, there were people before him who had said there was no God; that is totally different. There has been Charvaka in India and Epicurus in Greece, and many more all over the world, a few courageous, intelligent people, who have always denied the existence of God. But to deny the existence of God is one thing, and to declare that God is dead is totally different. Hence Charvaka never went mad, Epicurus never went mad.