Chapter 5: Wakefulness Is Life
If on any one single theme all the buddhas of the world agree, this is the theme: that man as he is is asleep, and man as he should be should be awake. Wakefulness is the goal, and wakefulness is the taste of all their teachings. Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Buddha, Bahauddin, Kabir, Nanak - all the awakened ones have been teaching a single theme, in different languages, in different metaphors, but their song is the same. Just as the sea tastes of salt - whether the sea is tasted from the north or from the east or from the west, the sea always tastes of salt - the taste of buddhahood is wakefulness.
But you will not make any effort if you go on believing that you are already awake; then there is no question of making any effort. Why bother? And you have created religions, gods, prayers, rituals, out of your dreams - your gods are as much part of your dreams as anything else. Your politics is part of your dreams, your religions are part of your dreams, your poetry, your painting, your art - whatsoever you do, because you are asleep, you make it according to your own state of mind.
The Bible says God created man in his own image - the truth seems to be just the opposite: man has created God in his own image. Your gods are false because you are false. Your religion is pseudo because you are pseudo. Your scriptures cannot have any significance because you don’t have any significance.
Two priests are playing golf. The younger one misses an easy putt and says, “Shit!” The older one berates him for this, saying that if he continues to use profanity like that God will certainly blast him with a thunderbolt. They keep playing and the younger priest misses another putt, and again says, “Shit!”
The skies suddenly open: a thunderbolt flashes out, and strikes the older priest dead. There is a pause, and the heavenly voice is heard saying in accents of thunder, “Shit!”
Your gods cannot be different from you. Who will create them? Who will give them shape and color and form? You create them, you sculpt them; they have eyes like you, noses like you - and minds like you! The Old Testament God says, “I am a very jealous God!” Now who has created this God who is jealous? God cannot be jealous. And if God is jealous, then what is wrong in being jealous? If even God is jealous, why should you be thought to be doing something wrong when you are jealous? Then jealousy is divine.
The Old Testament God says, “I am a very angry God! If you don’t follow my commandments, I will destroy you. You will be thrown into hellfire for eternity. And because I am very jealous,” God says, “don’t worship anybody else. I cannot tolerate it.”
Who created such a God? It must be out of our own jealousy, out of our own anger, that we have created this image.
A Jew who has a long run of bad luck goes out into the woods and lifts his voice in prayer and recrimination. “Oh, God,” he asks heaven tearfully, “haven’t I always been a good Jew? Haven’t I always given charity, even to those damn goyim? Didn’t I bring up my family decent? Never drink, swear, gamble; no bad women, nothing! Why do you do this to me God? Why? Why?”