Chapter 9: Truth Is a Search, Not a Faith
Your belief is just a strategy to deceive yourself. You don’t want to take the arduous path of seeking, searching, discovering. It is arduous, because you will have to drop many superstitions, and you will have to deprogram yourself from many conditions of the past which are preventing you from knowing the truth, from knowing yourself. No belief can help, and all religions are based on belief - that’s why they are called faiths, and the religious people are called faithful.
Truth is a search, not a faith.
It is an inquiry, not a belief.
It is a question, a quest, and you will have to go a long way to find it. To avoid this long journey you easily become gullible. You easily become victims of anybody who is ready to exploit you. And naturally it feels cozy in a crowd. There are six hundred million Catholics; it feels cozy, and you feel that six hundred million people cannot be wrong. You may be wrong, but six hundred million people cannot be wrong. But everybody in those six hundred million people is thinking the same.
Four hundred million Hindus feel that they are right; otherwise, why should four hundred million believe in their truth? The same is true about Mohammedans, Buddhists and other religions.
The search for truth is a flight of the alone to the alone.
All these religions have made you parts of crowds, dependent on the crowds. They have taken away your individuality, they have taken away your freedom, they have taken away your intelligence. In its place they have given you bogus beliefs which mean nothing.
I am not particularly against the Catholic religion, I am against all religions. My standpoint is that to be religious is a personal experience. A Buddha may have known truth, but the moment Buddha dies his truth disappears like a fragrance. When a flower dies, what happens to the fragrance? It moves into the universal.
It is good that everybody has to find it again and again; otherwise truth would be such a boring thing. It is an adventure and an ecstasy - and it will remain always an adventure, because it cannot be purchased, it cannot be borrowed, it cannot be stolen, it cannot be believed. There is no other way except seeking it and finding it.
The very seeking is so beautiful. Each moment of it is such a joy, because each moment something falls, drops from your life. And we are surrounded by falsities. On each step some mask drops, and you become acquainted with your original face. And finally, when all that is false has disappeared, you become a light unto yourself, and that is the moment of religiousness.
I would love the whole world to be religious, not under any organized religion, but as an independent search, out of each individual’s freedom. Then you will have an authority. Then, whether you say it or not, even your silence will be a sermon, even your gestures will have a grace. Those who are receptive will immediately feel the gravitation of the realized person, the magnetic force in his eyes, in his presence.