Chapter 9: Belong to the Transcendental
One day, after he had gone blind,
Rabbi Bunam visited Rabbi Fishel.
Rabbi Fishel was famous throughout the land
for his miracle cures.
“Entrust yourself to my care,” said his host,
“I shall restore your light.”
“That is not necessary,” answered Bunam,
“I see what I need to see.”
Spirituality is not a question of morality, it is a question of vision. Spirituality is not the practicing of virtues - because if you practice a virtue it is no longer a virtue. A practiced virtue is a dead thing, a dead weight. Virtue is virtue only when it is spontaneous; virtue is virtue only when it is natural, unpracticed - when it comes out of your vision, out of your awareness, out of your understanding.
Ordinarily religion is thought of as a practice. It is not. That is one of the most fundamental misunderstandings about religion. You can practice nonviolence but you will still remain violent, because your vision has not changed. You still carry the old eyes. A greedy person can practice sharing, but the greed will remain. Even the sharing will be corrupted by the greed, because you cannot practice anything against your understanding, beyond your understanding. You cannot force your life into principles unless those principles are of your own experience.
But so-called religious people try to practice virtue - that’s why they are the most unvirtuous people on the earth. They try to practice love, and they are the most unloving people on the earth. They have created all sorts of mischief: wars, hatred, anger, enmity, murder. They practice friendship, but the friendship has not flowered on the earth. They go on talking about God, but they create more and more conflict in the name of God. The Christian is against the Mohammedan, the Mohammedan is against the Hindu, the Hindu is against the Jaina, the Jaina is against the Buddhist - that’s all they have been doing.
There are three hundred religions and they have all created fragments in the human mind; they have not been an integrating force, they have not healed the wounds of the human soul. Because of them humanity is ill, because of them humanity is insane - and the insanity comes out of one thing. That has to be understood as deeply as possible because you can also go in the wrong direction. The wrong direction has a tremendous appeal, otherwise so many people would not have gone in it. The appeal must be great. The magnetic force of the wrong direction has to be understood, only then can you avoid it.