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Chapter 18: Existential Worship

We have dropped the word “work” because of its ugly connotations. Please say something about the word “worship” and its connotations.

Work is something that you have to do. It is imposed on you by your social circumstances, financial status, political structure. But worship is that which you love to do. It is creativity, another name for creativity. We could have called it “creativity,” but I prefer the word worship for two reasons.

There is no God for me except this existence, which is so utterly beautiful that work with love is bound to become your worship. In worship the worker is lost completely, only the worship remains. Digging a ditch in your garden, making food for those you love, or anything else, if you are lost in it so utterly that there is no ego or even its shadow left - you have become your work, the worker is no more there - it becomes worship.

Religions have used the word worship. Their use of “worship” is phony. Christians go every Sunday to church - that is their worship - for one hour or two hours. And what do they do in the remaining time, the whole week?

Hindus worship in the morning every day, but then what do they do the whole day? It must be something which is not worship; otherwise there is no need to have a separate time, a separate place, a temple, a mosque, a synagogue, a church for worshipping.

I want worship to become your twenty-four-hour-a-day thing - just like breathing. It has to become existential. Then you don’t need to go to any church, to any synagogue. Then wherever you are becomes your temple, you are always on holy ground.

I am reminded of Moses when, according to the story, he met God in the form of a flame arising out of a bush; and the bush was still green. As he came closer, a voice thundered, “Take off your shoes, Moses. You are on holy ground!”

To me the green bush and the flame have no meaning except as a fiction. What has meaning is that Moses is told, “Take off your shoes. You are on holy ground.” But is ground divided into two, holy and unholy? Where is the line?

To me the whole earth is holy, the whole existence is holy, and there is no need to take off your shoes either, because they are also holy. What wrong have those poor people done, that they should not be holy?

Make every action of your life holy. Choose every action of your life as if it were a love affair. Perhaps you may not become very rich; there is no need. Richness will come to you in a totally different form: the richness of being blissful, contented, ecstatic.

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