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Chapter 10: Seriousness: The Disease of the Ego

I have nothing to do with them. But thinking that I am also that sort of religious man, sometimes they become hooked with me. I am a totally different type of religious man, if at all you can call me religious. To me, religion is fun. To me, religiousness is celebration. To me, religion is festive. I call religion “the festive dimension.” It is not for religious people, for serious people. For serious people there is psychotherapy; they are ill and they are deceiving nobody but themselves.

To me, religion has a totally different quality. Not that you have come to religion because you have failed in life, but because you have become matured through life. Even your failures. There are failures, but the failures are not because of life, the failures are because of your desires. You have become frustrated - not that life is frustrating, but because you hoped too much. Life is beautiful; your mind created the trouble. Your ambition was too much. Even this beautiful and vast life could not fulfill it.

The ordinary religious man leaves the world; the really religious man leaves ambition, leaves hoping, leaves imagination. Knowing through experience that every hope comes to a point where it becomes hopelessness, and every dream comes to a point where it becomes a nightmare, and every desire comes to a point where nothing but discontent is left by it in you - knowing this through experience, one becomes seasoned, mature. A growth happens in consciousness. Out of this growth one drops ambition, or the ambition drops by itself out of this growth. Then a person becomes religious.

Not that he renounces the world; the world is beautiful! There is nothing to renounce - but he renounces all expectations. And when there is no expectation, how can there be frustration? When there is no demand, how can there be unfulfillment? When there is no ambition, how can there be any nightmare? One simply becomes loose and natural. One lives the moment, and does not worry for the tomorrow.

One lives the moment, and lives it so totally because there is no hope and no desire in the future. One brings his whole being to the moment and then the whole life is transformed. It is fun, it is a feast, it is a celebration. Then you can dance and you can laugh and you can sing, and to me this is how a religious consciousness should be: a dancing consciousness, more like children, less like dead corpses. Your churches, your temples, your mosques are just like graveyards - too serious.

So of course there are many people around me who are serious; they have not understood me at all. They may be projecting their minds on me, they may be interpreting whatsoever I am saying according to their own minds, but they have not understood me. They are wrong people. Either they will have to change or they will have to leave. Finally only those people will be with me who can celebrate life so totally, with no complaint, with no grudge. The others will go; the sooner they go, the better. But this happens: thinking that I am religious, old religious-type people also sometimes come to me, and once they come they bring their own minds with them and they try to be serious here also.

One man came to me, an old man. He was a very famous Indian leader. Once he attended a camp, and he saw a few sannyasins playing cards.

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