Chapter 10: The Bridge but Not the Water Flows
The first question:
Until the Jews and Arabs and other tribes brought their racially exclusive and jealous God to the West, Toamy, Bacchus, Mithros and Apollo were the gods that man worshipped. Diana had her bow and arrow, Thor was in the north, the mother goddess was worshipped in the West. And then death and resurrection became the religion of the West. Guilt and sin were taught. Why is Adam a sinner? Why isn’t he like Theseus or Jason or Hermes? Is the concept of sin just a trick? To make men meditate?
I am a pagan. There is no god for me, except this existence. God is intrinsic to life; God is not outside life. God is this very life. To live this life totally, is to live a divine life. To live this life partially, is to live an undivine life. To be partial is to be irreligious. To be total and whole is to be holy.
The questioner asks about the past. In the past, all over the world, people were pagans - simple nature-worshippers. There was no concept of sin, there was no question of guilt. Life was accepted as it is. There was no evaluation, no interpretation - reason had not interfered yet.
The moment reason starts interfering, condemnation comes. The moment reason enters in, division, split, starts and man becomes schizophrenic. Then you start condemning something in your being - one part becomes higher, another part becomes lower, and you lose balance.
But this had to happen; reason had to come, this is part of growth. As it happens to every child, it had to happen to the whole of humanity too. When the child is born he is a pagan; each child is a born pagan. He is happy the way he is. He has no idea what is right and what is wrong; he has no ideals. He has no criteria, he has no judgment. Hungry, he asks for food. Sleepy, he falls asleep. That’s what Zen masters say is the uttermost in religion - when hungry eat, when feeling sleepy go to sleep. Let life flow; don’t interfere.
Each child is born as a pagan, but sooner or later he will lose that simplicity. That is part; that has to happen, that is part of our growth, maturity, destiny. The child has to lose it and find it again. When the child loses it he becomes the ordinary man, the worldly man. When he regains it he becomes religious.
The child’s innocence is very cheap; it is a gift from God. He has not earned it: he will have to lose it. Only by losing it will he become aware of what he has lost. Then he will start searching for it. And only when he searches for it, and earns it, achieves it, becomes it - then he will know the tremendous preciousness of it.