Chapter 9: All Principles Are No Principles
It depends on you. Godliness is infinite, but each person has to look through his window. All visions are right, but they are bound to be contradictory because individuals are contradictory. When a woman comes to godliness, she will have a totally different experience than a man. She is a woman - her ways of knowing things are more intuitive and less intellectual, her ways of knowing are of the heart and not of the head. When a man comes to godliness, his ways of knowing are not so much of the heart, are not so intuitive; it is going to be a different kind of definition.
So millions of definitions are available now, and people have become acquainted with all of them. Now they are puzzled, they are so puzzled that they are paralyzed. Religion has disappeared from the world because of this confusion. And it cannot be helped; this confusion has to happen. Man has come closer, and it is a good thing that man has come closer. Now we need a totally different approach. Old definitions have become invalid - because of their very contradictions they have become invalid.
We are living in a very different world than the world which existed five thousand years ago, or two thousand years ago. Jesus moved in a small world of Jews; he knew their language, he knew their ways of expression, and he used those words. Buddha lived in a totally different world. Jesus calls God, father, abba; Buddha cannot call him abba, or father - in fact, Buddha simply says nothing about God. He talks about nirvana, where all disappears, even God. To Buddha, Jesus’ expression will look childish, just as calling God, father, appears as a father fixation to the psychoanalyst. It is not. Jesus was simply using the language that was available to him, and that language was the language of love. Buddha’s language was the language of intelligence not of love, not of the heart but of awareness, of meditation - a different language.
But to the modern mind all those languages have become available. In the past, many believed, few doubted; now nobody believes and obviously nobody doubts, but everybody wonders what religion is, what godliness is. Now it is no more a question of belief or doubt, but everybody is wondering what it is all about.
The old ground has disappeared; a totally different orientation is needed. The future will not know anything of Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Christianity - their days are over; they can linger on a little while more just out of people’s old habit, but their days are over. They have lost life, they are dead, corpses - corpses of loved ones, corpses of beautiful people, but corpses still. The life has left, the spirit has left; now the temples are empty. You are going to mass just as a formality; the churches are just a social ritual, they don’t mean a thing. Now, you don’t have a passionate affair with God, you don’t have any intensity, it is not a question of life and death.
And many new definitions have appeared - because men ask for definitions, so even people who don’t know anything of religion go on defining it: the philosophers define it, the theologians define it, the professors define it. Even stupid politicians define it - those who have nothing to do with religion, those who are basically irreligious - because a politician can never be religious, his whole endeavor is anti-religious. Ambition can never be religious, a search for power can never be religious; it is violent, it is ugly, how can it be religious? But they go on defining, so many nonsense definitions have also come in.