Chapter 40: In You Are Hidden All Men
Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.
Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,
The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.
For in reverie you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.
And take with you all men:
For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.
And if you would know God, be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in the rain.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.
It is one of the misfortunes that the true religion has been destroyed - not by the irreligious, but by the so-called religious people of the world. Not by those who do not believe in God, but by those who believe in God, heaven and hell, and all that nonsense. The true religion has nothing to do with God. Neither is it a lust for rewards after life, nor is it a fear of punishment in hell.
The true religion knows no past, no future - but only this very moment, only the present. True religion is not in the temples and the mosques and the synagogues and the churches. Those who try to find it there are making their efforts in vain. It has to be found not by anything that is made by man, but by something which has made the whole existence - man himself included. You cannot sculpt God in a statue because God is the very source of life, and nothing else.
The source of life has no face of its own, it has no hands of its own, it has no eyes of its own; but if you are silent, peaceful, loving, suddenly your hands start quivering with a new source of energy. Your hands become God’s hands, your eyes start seeing in a totally different way - they become the eyes of God. Everything remains the same and yet everything changes, because you have changed. Godliness is a way of life, a style of life, living in tune with existence.
God is not a person, but simply a certain way of falling in tune with existence, of falling in love with all that surrounds you. The true religion is nothing but love, unbounded, unfettered.
Kahlil Gibran says,
Your daily life is your temple.
In fact, to avoid it, we have created temples. The temples are not the places where God lives, those are the places which we have created to deceive ourselves. Godliness is all over the space, everywhere, but to be so overwhelmed, so possessed and enchanted by God that each single moment becomes flooded with him needs courage, needs guts, needs a heart uncluttered - open, available, receptive. To avoid this, we have created small temples. These temples are not to find God, but to avoid God.