Chapter 2: Accept Yourself As You Are
The first question:
Many times I feel guilty because I cannot receive you.
The word guilt should never be used. The very word has wrong associations; and once you use it you are caught in it. Guilt is not a natural phenomenon: it is created by the priests. Through guilt they have exploited humanity. The whole history of pseudo-religion is contained in the word guilt: it is the most poisoned word. Beware of it; never use it, because in your unconscious mind it also has deep roots. You cannot find guilt in any animal: the animal simply is. It has no ideals, it has no arts; it exists, and simply exists. It has no perfections to be attained and hence the animal is beautiful, innocent.
Ideals corrupt. Once you have an ideal to fulfill you will never be at ease, and you will never be at home, and you can never be contented. Dissatisfaction follows ideals like a shadow, and the more dissatisfied you are with yourself, the more it becomes impossible to reach the ideal: this is the vicious circle. If you are not dissatisfied with yourself, if you accept yourself as you are, the ideal can be fulfilled immediately. And I emphasize the word immediately: with no time gap, right this moment, here and now, you can realize that you are perfect; it is not something to be attained in the future, it is something that you have always been carrying within you. Perfection is your nature - perfect you are.
That is the difference between a pseudo-religion and an authentic religion. The pseudo-religion says you have to be perfect, and creates guilt because you are not perfect. It creates morality because you are not perfect, and creates a deep anguish, a continuous trembling and fear because you are not perfect; and it creates hell and heaven. If you become perfect you will be awarded by heaven; if you don’t become perfect you are to be punished in hell.
Authentic religion says you are perfect, not that you have to be. You cannot be imperfect, because out of God imperfection is impossible. If God has created the world, how can it be imperfect? And if you come from God, how can you be imperfect? You are gods - that art thou, tatvamasi. And this is a realization, an understanding, not an achievement; it is not something to be worked out. If you are silent, this very moment it is realized: you are perfect. And once you realize it, that you are perfect, you live perfectly, because whatsoever you do comes from you, arises from you.