Chapter 3: Is That So?
The priest was in a hurry; he had to reach the temple in time, there must be people waiting. But he was a man of morality - I will not say of purity: he was a man of morality. He pondered what to do. He calculated and then he thought, “It is better to help this man who is dying. This is what Jesus has said. It is better to forget the temple, the worshippers; they can wait a little. But this man has to be helped immediately, otherwise he will die.”
So he went closer to the man, but the moment he saw his face he was scared. This face looked familiar, very evil-looking. Then he suddenly remembered that in his temple there is a picture of the Devil - and this is the man. This is the Devil, nobody else! So he started running towards the temple.
The Devil called out; he said, “Priest, listen! If I die you will repent forever. Because if I die, if evil dies, where will your God be? If the bad dies, how will you know what is good? You exist because of me. Think it over!”
The priest stopped. The Devil was right: if the Devil dies, there will be no hell. And if there is no fear, who is going to worship God? All prayers are based on fear. You are afraid, your love towards God is based on the fear of the Devil. Your goodness is measured through evil. God needs the Devil.
The Devil said, “God needs me! He cannot be without me. All the temples will fall down and nobody will come to worship. And you will not find a single man who is religious if I am not there. I tempt them; through my temptation they become saints. Have you ever heard about any saint who was not tempted by the Devil? Your Jesus, your Zoroaster, your Buddha - all have been tempted by me! It is I who made them saints. So come back!”
The priest hesitated a little, but the Devil was logical - and the Devil is always logical; he is logic personified. You cannot reason with him, you cannot argue. If you argue you are defeated. You cannot win an argument with the Devil.
The priest had to concede and agree. He said, “You seem to be right. Where will we be without you?” So he carried the Devil on his back to the hospital. He waited there until he was certain that now there is no danger and that the Devil will survive - and with the Devil, all the temples, all the priests and all religions survive.
This priest is a moral man, but not a pure man. His life is a mathematical calculation, and if you calculate then you are already defeated by the Devil. You cannot calculate better than he can. If you argue, if you divide life, if it becomes a logical problem, then there is no possibility of your ever winning it. The game is already lost. You are in a losing battle.
A man of innocence does not know who God is and who the Devil is. A man of innocence lives out of his innocence, not out of his calculations. He is not shrewd, he is simple. He lives moment to moment, neither the past nor the future is meaningful to him. This very moment is enough unto itself.