Chapter 27: Religion Is the Last Luxury
Hence my saying that I am - the guru of the rich. So to those who want to be contemporaries in the search for truth, I am available. But I am not available for those who cannot even understand the ABC of mysticism. They have not even started the journey, and I am talking about the end of the journey. Naturally, very few - those who are surrounded by every luxury and yet find - a deep hollowness in themselves, a great unfulfillment, a tremendous desire to find something that defies death - these are the people for whom I am ready, and I have methods for them. But between me and the Ethiopian, the distance is so big that there is no possibility of communication. The Ethiopian needs bread, he does not need meditation; perhaps he needs medicine. So it is a very simple thing.
And the statement is not about me, the statement is about the very nature of religiousness. It blossoms only at the very peak of your growth. For example, if somebody says that sexuality is for those who are young adults, nobody objects; nobody says that this is depriving children of sex. But what can we do? The children are not of age, they are not sexually mature. Let them come of age, and the doors will be open for them too.
Religion has a certain delicacy, subtlety. it needs a very refined mind, a very cultured being, to understand it. It is not for the poor. I don’t want the poor in the world, for the simple reason that I want religiousness to be available to all. My concern is less with poverty, my concern is more with religiousness. I don’t want anybody to be poor in the world, but not because poverty is something destructive. I have lived in India and I have seen the poor people living for centuries in poverty with no discontent. They are satisfied with their fate, they have no complaint against anybody. But still I want some discontent to arise in them, some revolt to arise in them, because just being poor they will never have the most beautiful experience of life.
To me religiousness is an orgasmic experience with existence. I don’t have any God, I don’t have any belief system: This existence is enough for me. But there are ways in which you can be in tune with existence. When you are absolutely in tune with existence, you have an orgasmic explosion of bliss, ecstasy, joy, eternal life.
Religion is not anything to do with churches and temples and mosques; it is something to do with you, with me, with each individual. It is an inner journey. And the poor man cannot go on an inner journey, because on an inner journey he cannot find bread and butter. What can I do? - it does not exist there. And a man who is hungry, starving - to talk to him about the inner journey is simply humiliating him. I would not like even to talk about religion. What he needs is totally different. He does not need religiousness.
You proclaim that what some have called Rajneeshism is dead as a religious movement. How can a religion, a spiritual movement, cease to exist only because its leader says so?
Because the people who are around me.. It is not an established religion. I had started alone, and then people started coming and became fellow travelers; it became a big caravan. But their love gives me the authority. I don’t have any power over them, but their love gives me the authority.