Chapter 32: First, Be Yourself
Those two sentences will not help. They will not change the whole humanity and its conditions of thousands of years. When you are fighting with conditions which have been going on and on for thousands of years, you are waging a war - single-handedly. Naturally, you have to fight from all the fronts.
It was easy for other religions. For example, Hinduism will fight Buddhism. That was simply. Jainism will fight Hinduism. It was simple. Christianity will fight Judaism. It was simple.
I am fighting three hundred religions, and the complexity is more.
Just few days before, I received the letter of the president of the American Association of Atheists. Listening my statement on television that there is no God, she was really very happy and she wrote to me. And she is one of the oldest atheists alive. She has created almost many atheists around the world.
In India too she had founded the atheist movement, and a man named Gora* was her disciple who has been fighting against Gandhi his whole life, for atheism.
She was very happy. She wrote a letter that, “You are certainly a man of tremendous courage, and I would like to come and see You, talk with You.” I have told my secretary to write to her that, “You can come, you are welcome, but you have to come knowing perfectly well that I am not an atheist. I am as much against atheism as I am against theism. And it will be a little difficult for you in your old age, you may not have ever heard of anybody who is against both.”
To me atheism is simply a reaction of theism. If theism disappears, if there is nobody who believes in God, then atheism will die an automatic death, because then what is the point of denying?
So it is a dependent phenomenon. It has nothing of its own to give. It has no contribution to make. And to me it is idiotic. If there is no God, then why waste your whole life talking, writing, fighting that there is no God? But your whole life is wasted for something which does not exist.
I am not a theist. I am not an atheist. I don’t believe in organized religion, but I believe absolutely in the flavor of religiousness. So I have to make my position clear. It is delicate and subtle.
It is very easy to divide people in categories. Somebody is a theist who believes in God, somebody is an atheist who does not believe in God. I do not have any God, yet I am not irreligious. I do not believe in any organized religion, yet I have absolute trust that in the inner world of man there is something which is eternal, conscious. There is no creator of existence, because I don’t want to divide existence into any duality: the creator and the created. Existence itself is conscious, and in man it is coming to its flowering.
And once in a while in a man like Gautam Buddha it comes to its absolute flowering.
So my position is such that I have to fight with many organized theologies, anti-theologies, and I have to make very subtle distinctions between religion and religiousness, between God and godliness.