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Chapter 23: Religion Is Dead, Religio Is Born

So it is really a great exploitation by the priesthood of all the religions. They have destroyed every individual. They have made you Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, but they have not allowed you to become just an individual, a human being. You were born not as a Christian, you were born not as a Buddhist; you were born just as a human being. They have destroyed your innocence, they have misdirected your life. They have molded you into something which you cannot become; it is not your potential.

This is not religio. Religio is accepting you in your totality, making you whole, healthy. And that opens the door to become one with existence. You are part of it; every moment you are part of it. You are breathing existence in and out every moment - you are eating it, you are living it in every possible way. No man is an island, we are all part of an infinite continent; that’s what I am calling existence.

Religio will relax you. Religio will give you, for the first time, the dignity of being a human being, and the vastness of being part of the whole existence.

Religion is dead, religio is born.

Religion is something like marriage: unnatural, arbitrary, artificial, created by social convenience.

Religio is like love: natural, simple. No law is involved in it; no society, no culture dominates it.

Love is a law unto itself, and love gives you something that is immensely precious. You start feeling needed. You are not superficial, you are not just accidental; you are needed, you are fulfilling some essential need. Love gives you the first glimpse that existence wants you the way you are. There is no need to become Jesus Christ or Gautam Buddha. Nature does not like carbon copies. Existence likes originals. You, in your originality, are acceptable.

But a Christian is a carbon copy; he is trying to become Jesus Christ, and in two thousand years not a single Christian has succeeded. In twenty-five centuries not a single Buddhist has succeeded in becoming Gautam Buddha. Is it not proof enough? You can go even further backwards. In five thousand years, no Hindu has succeeded in becoming a Krishna. It is simply impossible. Nature never repeats.

They say history repeats itself - because history is not nature. History belongs to carbon copies, retarded people; naturally it repeats itself. They don’t know what else to do, so they go on doing the same thing again.

Nature is very inventive. It does not create even two persons equal, even similar. There are four billion people on the earth today, but you cannot find two persons who are exactly alike. Even twins are not exactly alike. They may appear to be, but their mother knows who is who; their wives know who is who. There are differences - very subtle. Outsiders may be puzzled, but those who know them closely can see the differences in their individuality - in their gestures, in their way of speaking, in their way of thinking, in their way of walking - in small things. But the differences are bound to be there.

Religion has tried a very futile experiment, and almost destroyed humanity for thousands of years. The death of religion releases you from becoming somebody else. Now you can enjoy being yourself.

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