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Chapter 1: Until You Die

Christianity has no Sufism now; it is a dead religion - the church killed it. When ‘church’ becomes too much, Sufism has to leave that body. It cannot exist with dogmas. It can well exist with a dancing soul, but not with dogmas. It cannot exist with theology, they are not good companions. With popes and priests it is impossible for Sufism to exist. It is just the opposite! Sufism needs no popes, no priests; it needs no dogmas. It is not of the head, it belongs to the heart. The heart is the church - not an organized church, because every organization is of the mind. And once the mind takes possession, the heart has simply to leave that house completely. The house becomes too narrow for the heart. The heart needs the whole of the sky; nothing less than that will do. It cannot be confined in churches. The whole existence is the only church for it. It can throb under the sky, it can throb in freedom, but it dies when everything becomes a system, an organized pattern, a ritual. The state of Sufism simply disappears from there.

Christianity killed Jesus, the Jews could not kill him. They crucified him, of course, but they failed. They could not kill him, he survived crucifixion. That is the meaning of resurrection - not that physically Jesus survived, but that the crucifixion proved futile. Jews could not kill him - they tried, but Jesus survived. Where Jews failed, Christians succeeded. They killed him without any crucifixion. They killed him through prayer, they killed him through dogma, they killed him through organization. Followers succeed where enemies fail; apostles succeed where enemies fail.

Christianity is now a dead religion because it cannot allow Sufism to exist within its soul. It is afraid of Sufism. Every dogma is always afraid, because Sufism means infinite freedom, no confinement, no limitations. It is more like love and less like a logical syllogism. It is more of a poetry, less of a prose. It is irrational. That’s why every rational theology is afraid of it. Once you give an opening to the irrational you don’t know where you are. And remember: God is also irrational, and it is beautiful that he is irrational - otherwise he would have been a professor of philosophy in some university, or a pope, or a priest, but not existence.

Sufism has died many deaths in many religions. Jainism is a dead religion. Once it flourished beautifully and gave birth to such a great mystic as Mahavira. Then suddenly the river disappeared - only the dry riverbed has remained. No river flows now, no greenery on the bank. It has become a desert land, completely deserted. What happened? Jaina followers became too intellectual, mathematical, logical. Out of the mystery of Mahavira they created doctrines and arguments. They became too calculative, too clever, and the spirit was killed. In Christianity, Sufism had to leave because of too much church ritual. In Jainism, Sufism had to leave because of too much intellectual, theological, philosophical effort.

Remember this: Sufism is not a church, it doesn’t belong to any religion. All religions, when alive, belong to it. It is a vast sky of a particular quality of consciousness. How does it happen? How does one become a Sufi? Not by belonging to a particular order but by dropping from the head to the heart, one becomes a Sufi.

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