Chapter 34: Enlightenment
All theologies are fabrications of the mind, and enlightenment is a transcendence going beyond the mind. All that belongs to the mind is a nightmare. Where do your gods exist? Where is your heaven, your hell? Where are your angels and your ghosts? They all constitute the entity called the mind.
Enlightenment is the greatest revolution you can conceive of because it destroys all fictions, all rituals, all gods, all traditions, all scriptures. It leaves you with only the essential consciousness of your own being. Its trust in consciousness is so total that there is no need of anything else.
It has not been said as clearly as I am putting it.I want to make it absolutely clear that the very idea of enlightenment is against all religions. Or, in other words, the only authentic religion is that of enlightenment. All other religions are part of the marketplace; they are businesses exploiting human helplessness, exploiting human weakness, exploiting human limitations.
Religions have done so much harm to man that it is unparalleled. Nothing else has been so dangerous. In every possible way they have been preventing man from even hearing the word enlightenment. You should not become aware that raising your hands to the sky is stupid - there is no one to answer your prayers, no prayer has ever been answered.
All your gods are your own creations. You sculpt them, and you never think about it - that you go on worshipping things which you have created. The Christian Bible says, “God created man in his own image.” The truth is just the contrary: man has created God in his own image. And then - the ultimate foolishness - you worship your own image. In fact, if you were a little intelligent, you could just purchase a mirror and worship.
All your gods are nothing but your own reflections. There is no need to go to a temple or to a church; you can just keep a small mirror. Perhaps ladies are very intelligent about it - they go on looking again and again in the mirror, they believe in the mirror.
But all your gods are the same, all your rituals are created by crafty priests. None of your scriptures are even first-rate literature; they are very third-class contributions. But just because they are holy.Who makes them holy? There are people who have their vested interests.
It is a long chain from God to the prophets, to the messiahs, to the holy scripture, to the church. But the only reality in this whole long line of fictions is the priest, and his whole effort through the ages has been to exploit you. And not only to exploit - exploitation is possible only if certain conditions are fulfilled: you have to be made to feel guilty.