Chapter 22: Of the Priests
First they were against their being printed; second they were against their being translated. The only reason was, they knew that once they were printed they would be sold all over the world, anybody could purchase them. And if they are translated into living languages, then how long can you hide the truth?, and how are you going to prove that they are written by God?
The scriptures are man-made, the statues of God are man-made, the temples and churches are man-made, but thousands of years of conditioning has given them a certain sacredness, holiness. And there is nothing sacred in them, nothing holy in them.
The priests have been deceiving man more than anybody else. This is the worst profession in the world, even worse than the profession of the prostitutes. At least the prostitute gives you something in return; the priest gives you simply hot air - he has nothing to give to you.
And this is not all: Whenever somebody has realized the truth, these priests are against him. Obviously they have to be, because if his truth is recognized by people, millions of priests in the world will be out of employment. And their employment is absolutely unproductive. They are parasites, they go on sucking the blood of man. From the moment the child is born, until he enters his grave, the priest goes on finding ways to exploit him.
Unless religion is freed from the hands of the priests, the world will remain only with pseudo-religion; it will never become religious. And a religious world can not be so miserable: the religious world should be a constant celebration.
A religious man is nothing but pure ecstasy. His heart is full of songs.
His whole being is ready to dance any moment.
But the priest has taken away the search for truth: He says there is no need for searching, it has already been found, you just have to have faith.
The priest has made people miserable, because he condemns all the pleasures of the world. He condemns the pleasures of the world so that he can praise the pleasures of the other world.
The other world is his fiction. And he wants humanity to sacrifice its reality for a fictitious idea - and people have sacrificed.
Zarathustra is not alone in condemning the priests. Gautam Buddha is with him, Mahavira is with him, Lao Tzu is with him. Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, and Lao Tzu condemn the priests, but very mildly. Zarathustra calls a spade a spade. He is absolutely realistic. He does not care about etiquette, manners, culture. He says whatsoever he experiences as the truth.
And one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples and spoke these words to them:
Here are priests: and although they are my enemies, pass them by quietly and with sleeping swords!
Zarathustra is very simple, innocent; speaks like a child. Gautam Buddha will not call them “my enemies,” he will go round about.