Chapter 34: The Psychology of Belief
It is a very strange thing to see that man has been fighting for fictions, different fictions - Hindu fictions, Christian fictions, Mohammedan fictions - and they are all of the same category. They do the same to the individual wherever he is: they destroy his integrity, they destroy his intelligence.
Their whole effort is to keep you as unintelligent as possible so those who are in power are never questioned: their intentions are never questioned, their orders are never questioned. Otherwise it would be impossible for millions of people to be ready to die for stupid things: Catholics fighting Protestants - what is the difference between the two? The difference is so small, so negligible, and man’s life is so valuable. But that negligible difference is more important: thousands can die for it.
And each religion is fighting with the other religion, knowing perfectly well that they both are standing on shifting sands, but both are pretending that their foundations are very deep, very ancient, that time cannot change them: they are unchangeable. And many religions have disappeared from the earth, many new ones have come in their place; still the old mind goes on thinking that religions are something eternal.
Political ideologies go on changing like fashion; religious ideologies take a little longer time, but they also change. They have to change because man’s inquiry into scientific fields goes on bringing new facts. Those new facts, you cannot deny.
At first religions tried to deny them but that did not succeed. Now they are trying to absorb them. They are even ready to drop from the Bible anything that is against science and replace it with scientific facts. They are clinging to the Bible and trying to decorate it with new facts so that it remains appealing, but the appeal is sheer danger - danger for human beings and their life.
A man is needed who is brought up without any religious belief system, without any political ideology. His education is only a sharpening of the intelligence so that one day he can find his own truth. And remember, if the truth is not your own, it is not truth.
To be truth it has to be your own, your own experience. You cannot borrow it. And all those belief systems have been borrowed for centuries. They have ugly things in them which may have been at one time acceptable because man’s mind was not so alert, but now they cannot be accepted.
For example, in India you must have seen that everybody goes into the temple with a red-colored paste and puts a mark on the forehead of the statue of the god with the red color, and breaks a coconut at his feet. The reality is that once the red color was the blood of the enemy and the coconut was the head of the enemy. The coconut has a similarity: it has two eyes, a beard, a mustache, a skull. In fact, in the Hindustani language the skull is called kopri and the coconut is called copra - the same words.