Chapter 1: Man: Only a Possibility
All believers are ignorant people - belief is ignorance. Buddha never believed, Buddha knew. And when you know, you know; there is no question of belief. Buddha never argued about God, he himself was the proof. There can be no other proof. There are great arguers, speculators, theologians; their whole life they go on talking about God, but all their talk is mere talk, it is sheer nonsense. Even if they meet God, they will argue with him. Argument is their habit, argument has become their occupation, their profession, it has become an escape from their true being. Argument keeps them blind.
A rabbi’s son converted to Christianity and the rabbi was totally distraught. God himself came down to earth to console him. “After all,” said the Lord, “did not the same thing happen to my son two thousand years ago?”
“Yes,” replied the rabbi, “but don’t forget, my son was legitimate.”
A theologian, a philosopher, a great thinker, even if he comes to encounter God, is bound to argue with him. He can’t see him. For seeing, silence is needed, not argument. For seeing, love is needed, not logic. For seeing, scriptures are not needed but a totally different state of mind is needed: a state of mind where thoughts have disappeared, where the mirror of mind reflects nothing, is absolutely pure, not even a ripple of thought. In that silence, in that mirrorlike purity you need not go anywhere else to see God. Wherever you are you will see, because God is not a person, let me repeat again: God is a presence. If God was a person things would have been very easy. We would have caught him, we would have imprisoned him in the temples, in the churches, in the synagogues, in the mosques. If God was a person our scientists would be experimenting on him in their laboratories. Pavlov wouldn’t waste his time on dogs, he would experiment on God. And B.F. Skinner would not remain occupied with rats.
Karl Marx actually has said that: Unless God is proved in a scientific experiment, I am not going to believe. Unless God is proved in the lab, I am not going to believe. But a God proved in a lab is not a God at all, cannot be a God. A God caught in the net of arguments will be impotent, utterly dead.
A group of cannibals attacked a mission but found that the missionaries had fled. The old chief was fascinated by a pile of magazines he found, especially one that had pictures of scantily clad women in the advertisements. Whenever he would come to a picture of a woman with very little on, he would tear out the page and eat it.
Finally one of his sons noticed what he was doing and said, “Tell me, dad, is that dehydrated stuff any good?”
But that’s what people are doing. When you are pondering over the Bible, the Gita, the Koran, it is all dehydrated stuff. It is not going to nourish you. What is your Christianity and what is your Hinduism, and what is your Mohammedanism? A really religious person cannot be Christian, and cannot be Mohammedan, and cannot be Hindu. Yes, he can be an Ayatollah Khomeini, but not a Mohammedan, not really a religious person. Fanatics, lunatics, obsessed with unnecessary formalities..