Chapter 15: Religion Is Desirelessness
This has to be understood step by step. The first point: “.through persistent contemplation..” You know nothing about God. You don’t have his address and you don’t even know his name. You are not even sure about his existence. From where to begin this unknown journey? From where to lift the curtain? If you could have a clue to help you to unfold this mystery, it would become easy for you to begin the search.
It is as if a blind man is standing in a dark room, not even knowing in which direction the door is. If he had eyes he could find it, but he cannot see. And even if he had eyes it would still be difficult because it is very dark; he is not even certain if the door exists. The room may have walls all around it, like a prison - from where can this blind man begin? The blind man will start groping in the dark, and there will be many mistakes in his groping because he will not immediately find the door. His hands will touch the walls and there is the possibility that many times he can miss the door.
Contemplation is like groping in darkness. It means that you don’t know anything, you are groping. You think, you ponder, you raise questions and try to find the solution, but it is all a groping. Ninety-nine times you will collide with the wall and only once will you confront the door. And the problem is that when you have collided with the wall ninety-nine times out of a hundred, you will become so accustomed to the wall that when you find the door you may not trust that it is really the door. You will have collided with the wall so many times that you may take the door also to be a wall.
And ninety-nine times out of a hundred, contemplation will lead to godlessness; only once will it take you to God. This needs to be understood: whosoever begins with contemplation will first become an atheist. At first he will confront the wall because the wall is big and the door is very small. Rarely does it happen that without first groping a seeker will immediately find the door in this life - only if he has been searching and groping for many lives. Otherwise, in the beginning, the search will lead to godlessness; first the seeker will become an atheist. So the person who is afraid of being an atheist will not be able to take even the first step.
This is why I don’t consider godlessness to be the opposite of godliness: I consider it to be the first step towards God. I don’t condemn the atheist: I totally support him because one who has never been an atheist will have no possibility of becoming religious. If you have become religious without first being an atheist, then your religiousness is just bogus, blind, pseudo. This religiousness will have no insight because one who is not courageous enough to say no, his yes will have no strength. His yes is just impotent. If someone has not sharpened his intelligence because of his fear of becoming an atheist, his theism will be of no value. This is why a very strange phenomenon has happened in the world: the majority of the people do not sharpen their intelligence because they are afraid to be godless. They are afraid of thinking, and a theism that is afraid of thinking is useless. A theism that does not pass through contemplation will lead nowhere.