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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 12
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Chapter 7: No Yesterday, No Tomorrow, No Today

Unless calmness comes as a shadow of awareness, beware of it. It is false, it is utterly futile. The whole effort that you have put into cultivating it has been a sheer wastage. The same effort could have been put into becoming aware.

That is the difference between morality and religion. Morality is a social phenomenon; society needs it because society consists of millions of people. It has to keep a certain order, a certain discipline; otherwise there will be chaos. Morality keeps that order. Morality creates a conscience in you. Conscience functions as an inner policeman who does not allow you to do anything that is against the law or against the code or against the tradition. Society has imprinted in your heart certain ideas and now you are dominated by those ideas. Even if you go against those ideas they will torture you, they will become a nightmare to you. If you follow them you will feel you are not tortured so much.

So the immoral person finds himself in two difficulties. One comes from the outside because he starts losing people’s respect; and in this world respect is the most valuable thing in people’s eyes because it is a nourishment for the ego. The moment you lose respect your ego starts dying, your ego is hurt, your ego is wounded. Secondly, something inside you starts creating an inner torture for you - your conscience. That conscience is also created by the same society.

Hence, society pressures you from both sides, outer and inner. You are just crushed between these two rocks. So cowards cannot be immoral people; cowards are always moral people. In fact they are not moral but only cowards; because they are cowards they cannot be immoral - that is too dangerous, too risky. And the moral people, the so-called moral people, live a superficial life. They are bound to live a superficial life because their conscience is not their own - what else can be their own? They don’t possess even their own conscience, what else can they possess? They are the poorest people in the world.

And they are not moral because they understand the beauty of being moral; they are moral simply because they don’t have guts enough to be immoral. They follow the dictates of the society and the conscience just out of fear. There is fear of the law and there is fear of hell; there is fear of the policeman and there is fear of God. They are constantly trembling, their life is nothing but a constant trembling. Their prayers arise out of that trembling - naturally those prayers are false; they are fear-oriented. Even their conception of God is nothing but a projection of their fear.

That’s why these people are rightly called God-fearing people. They are not God-loving people. And remember, one who fears God can never love God, and one who loves God need never fear. Fear and love can’t exist together, it is impossible. Their coexistence is not possible in the nature of things.

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