Chapter 9: I Teach a Religionless Religion
A man who was selling dictionaries house to house, rang the bell of a house. The housewife came out and asked, “What do you want?”
He said, “I have beautiful dictionaries. You must have children; they may need dictionaries, and I have all kinds for all ages.”
The woman wanted to get rid of him, so she said, “But we have got a dictionary.” And far away in the corner, on a table, there was a thick book looking like a dictionary.
The salesman laughed, he said, “That’s a bible.”
The woman could not believe it because from that distance it was impossible to figure out that it was a bible. She said, “You surprise me. Yes, it is a bible. I was just trying to get rid of you, saying that we have got a dictionary. But how did you manage it? Tell me and I will purchase a dictionary from you, but tell me the trick.”
He said, “There is no trick. I just saw how much dust had gathered on it.”
Only bibles, holy books, gather dust. A Playboy magazine does not gather dust. Who wants to open the book? It has not been opened perhaps for years; perhaps it has never been opened.
Religious fiction has to be dropped because it is hindering your way, preventing you from reaching reality. You have to get rid of all nonsense that has been told to you by your parents, by your society, by your teachers, by your religious elders.
Unless you clean yourself completely you cannot take the first step towards being religious. Religiousness is a quality of your being; it has nothing to do with any ritual outside you, it is a quality of your being.
There are a few things which are qualities of your being and are in a dormant state because you have never thought that they are to be developed. Have you tried to develop your consciousness? Have you tried to develop your compassion? Have you tried to develop your intelligence?
The scientists say that even the people who are geniuses use only fifteen percent of their intelligence; eighty-five percent remains unused. And this is about a man like Albert Einstein or Karl Marx or Rutherford, the Nobel Prize-winners, What about the common man, how much does he use? - not more than five percent. And that five percent he uses because it is needed for day-to-day work: his business, his family, his so-called religion, his political party and his club. Five percent is enough. You don’t have to be a genius to become a Rotarian. I don’t think a genius would like to become a member of the Lions Club. A man trying to become a lion seems to be falling down rather than rising up.