Chapter 3: Home Is Not Far Away
The Sunday religion is very good - it gives you respectability. These people are not seekers. And these people are very orthodox - because they are afraid. They know that their knowledge is false, borrowed, cheap, so they are very afraid. If somebody says anything against them, they immediately pound on him: “You are creating doubt.” They don’t want any skepticism, they don’t want any doubt, they don’t want any questions. They want to cling to the comfortable beliefs their parents have given to them - or the society, or the state. They don’t want to be shaken. They live in a false world of words, ideologies.
This is the type of person you call “straight” - the square, the traditional, the conformist. He is past-oriented; he never looks to the future and he never looks in the present. He is past oriented: the past was golden, the real days are gone. Those days existed when Jesus was walking on the earth, or when Buddha was walking on the earth, or when Krishna was playing his flute. His golden age is always in the past, his utopia is always in the past: “It has been; now we have fallen from it.” He believes in a fallen state. He thinks that now there is no future - and he never looks at the future, and he clings to the past. He is a dead man, and he clings to dead beliefs, dead ideologies. His religion is not a movement, his religion is not a dynamism; his religion is codified, organized, dead. His religion is a corpse. This type of person believes in the priest, in the bishop, in the pope, in the shankaracharya. This person never goes to seek anywhere else.
I have heard:
The parson of a tiny congregation in Arkansas rashly lit out one night with the entire church treasury, and the local constable set out to capture him. This he did, dragging the culprit back by the collar a week later: “Here is the varmint fox,” announced the constable grimly. “I am sorry to say he has already squandered our money, but I drug him back so we can make him preach it out.”
Now even this type of priest will do, because religion is just a formality. Even a thief can be forced to preach. Nobody bothers about the priest - his being, his consciousness. No, at the most, his training is needed - that he knows what he is doing. This type of mind, the jungle mind, is very ritualistic. The ritual is religion: the chanting of a mantra the priest has given to you is enough.
The priest himself has not arrived home, and he goes on giving the guru mantra; he goes on giving people their mantras, their keys. He goes on distributing keys and he has not yet opened his own door. He is as ignorant as the people he leads. But he has one thing: credit that comes from the past centuries and centuries. A Hindu priest can say that for five thousand years his family have been priests; it has a market value, that’s all. He has credit. The Hindu can say that the Vedas are the oldest scriptures in the world. Their being old is thought to be very valuable. In fact, the older a book, the more dead it is bound to be.