Chapter 13: Religion Is a Song, Poetry, a Dance of Your Heart
The first question:
Are you converting people to your own religion?
I don’t have any religion at all: a certain kind of religiousness, but no religion in particular. That’s why it is so easy for me to absorb Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra, Moses, Mohammed, Mahavira. If I had a religion, then it would not be possible for me to be so universal.
To have a religion means to become limited. To have a religion means you have defined life, you have made a dogma out of life, you have demystified it. It is no longer infinite; it is no longer unknown, unknowable. You have reduced it to a system of thought.
My whole effort here is to melt all systems of thought, to melt your minds which have become ice-cold, frozen into prejudices, so that a new kind of warmth surrounds the earth. It will be a kind of religiousness - just a vague feeling, not a definite thought. You can experience it, but you cannot explain it. It will not be like a flower, it will be more like a fragrance. If you are not suffering from cold you will be able to feel it, the fragrance. And people’s heads are too full of coldness; they are suffering from cold, they have become frozen. One is a Hindu, another is a Christian.
That is the meaning of your name, Christina: a Christian.
Be a christ and never be a Christian! Be a buddha, never be a Buddhist! That is settling for rubbish. When you can experience the truth yourself, why settle for secondhand knowledge? All religions are secondhand knowledge.
When a master is alive he has a certain climate, there is no doubt about it, a certain atmosphere around him, where people start growing - growing into themselves. That is true conversion. Conversion does not mean a Hindu becoming a Christian or a Christian becoming a Hindu; that is not conversion. That is simply changing one prison for another, moving from one dead system of thought to another dead system of thought - but you remain the same.
Conversion means a radical change in your being. It is not a question of changing your ideology, it is a question of changing your consciousness. In that sense, people are certainly being converted. And I am not converting them, they are allowing themselves to be converted. Remember that difference. I am not interested in converting anybody; I am simply making a space available for those who want to go through this revolution. They can go through this revolution. Neither directly nor indirectly am I trying to make you part of any religion.