Chapter 12: Thou Art That
The attitude of a moral person is suppression, and the attitude of a religious person is observation, not suppression. The religious person simply observes: “This is a ditch, this is a danger.” He remains a witness and goes on moving ahead. He is alert not to get into a struggle with anything in the valley. He does not get into a struggle because in his struggle he will have to stop there. Then he will have to make a camp there. But if you start living in the valley, it will not be easy for you to leave the valley. This is why a moral man finds it as difficult to become religious as an immoral man.
One thing is the same between the moral and the immoral man: the immoral man is stuck and decides in favor of the valley, and the moral man is stuck in denial of the valley; he only fights with it. There is no difference between the two levels because both are stuck at the same place. The immoral man stays where the violence is because he believes in it, the moral man stays where the violence is because he does not believe in it.
A religious man is the one who does not choose either of the two: he neither believes nor disbelieves in violence. He silently passes through the valley as he keeps his attention on the peak. He wants to reach the peak. He does not have any interest in the valley, neither of liking nor of disliking, neither of friendship nor of enmity - he only wants to cross the valley. If you keep this focus in mind, then the peak is very near. And if you make even a small mistake in this, then the peak will be very far away.
This is why sometimes it happens that even an immoral man who believes in violence will suddenly rush towards the peak. The reason for this sudden rush is that because he lives in darkness, he has suffered so much that sometimes the pain becomes so intense, so unbearable, and it makes him reject the dark valley and run towards the light at the peak. But the moral person, the so-called good person who is constantly fighting with evil, will develop a very strong ego - and it is only because of his fighting. He will develop a kind of perverted interest in evil. This perverted interest is created because he needs the existence of the evil that he fights. Evil is the basis for his ego.
A man who has become nonviolent by fighting violence will find it very difficult to leave the valley. The difficulty is that if he leaves the valley, he will also have to leave the ego. The ego of being a nonviolent person can exist only as long as he fights with violence. If he abandons this fight with violence, he will also have to leave the ego behind that he developed through fighting in the valley. This ego cannot go to the peak with him, it is an intrinsic part of the valley.
This is why a good man will find it more difficult to become religious than a bad man. The bad man cannot develop an ego through doing bad things: he will just be in misery, pain, suffering. He will be in deep anguish. He gets nothing out of his evil except trouble.