Chapter 2: The Time Has Come to Be Free
God does not mean a person. Yes, it has been used in that way, but what does that have to do with the poor word God? The word cannot prevent people from wrongly using it. It has been used as if there is an old man, very ancient, sitting in heaven, dominating, controlling - a great engineer who has created the world. The word itself does not have any meaning of that kind. It simply means the whole, the total.
And the whole is; nobody can deny it, not even the atheist. The atheist can deny God as a person, but there is no God as a person so the atheist is fighting with a shadow - just like the theist who is worshipping a shadow. The theist is stupid, so is the atheist. They are in the same boat. One is worshipping something which is not, the other is criticizing, fighting with something which is not. Both are engaged in an exercise in futility. God means the whole, the total, the all.
It will be good if you can free the word God from the so-called religious people. The word in itself is beautiful and has to be saved. Hence I go on using it, knowing that it has been associated with the wrong people. But it is not the fault of the word God; it is helpless. You can use any word wrongly, and almost all beautiful words have been used wrongly. Only beautiful ones can be wrongly used, remember, because they can become a camouflage. Hiding behind them, you can do wrong things more easily. “God” becomes the screen and behind it you can be as violent as possible - hiding behind a beautiful word: “love” can serve, “humanity” can serve.
If this is the way, and you become antagonistic towards words, then not a single beautiful word will be left for you; all have been used wrongly. And even if we invent new words they will be used wrongly because the people, the great crowd on the earth, are the same. Its mind is the same.
Now in Russia nobody believes in God, but they believe in communism. They will do the same in the name of communism as Christians have done in the name of God. What is the difference? In Russia nobody believes in the Bible, but they will sacrifice as many people at the altar of Das Kapital as have been sacrificed in the name of the Bible. So what is the difference? Kaaba or Kremlin, there seems to be no difference at all.
Now in China nobody believes in Buddha and nobody can commit any more crimes in the name of Buddha, but now the same crimes are being committed in the name of communism, Chairman Mao, because the people are the same. Unless the mind of humanity changes this is going to happen.
Hence I don’t drop using the word God, knowing perfectly well that you are not alone - there are many people who would like me to drop the word God completely, but then I will have to drop love too.
You say, “Love, yes.” That simply means that you are not aware that what has been done in the name of love is not less criminal than what has been done in the name of God. “.divine presence.” - you say, “.yes,” but the same can be done; “.the ultimate, yes.” These are just synonyms. Life, love, God, godliness, divine presence, the ultimate, the absolute, truth - they are all synonyms.