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Chapter 9: All Principles Are No Principles

I am sitting here, but can you be certain that I am really sitting here and you are not dreaming? - because the same thing happens in your dreams. I have spoken in your dreams too, and then too it is almost real, as real as it is now. How will you make a difference between the two experiences? When in the dream you see an elephant passing by, it looks real; in the day you see an elephant passing by, it looks real. What is the difference between the two?

Whatsoever you see looks real, but many times you have found that that which appeared as real is proved later on not to be real. So what do you mean by “the seen” - this world? - then godliness is unseen. But ask the awakened, and they tell a totally different story, they say that godliness is the only seen, everything else is unseen, everything else has never been seen, only believed in.

And godliness is not an experience like matter, because it is not outside. When it happens, it happens inside you. Just think of one thing: can you suspect, can you doubt, your own existence? It is impossible; you can doubt everything, but you cannot doubt the doubter. You cannot doubt your own existence. How can you doubt it? Even to doubt it, you will be needed; even the doubt will prove that you are - otherwise who will doubt? One’s own existence cannot be doubted; that is the only indubitable fact in life, that is the only reality - and that’s what godliness is.

But such definitions continue. George Bernard Shaw defines it as, “that which binds man together.” That looks prima facie absurd because religion, the so-called religion, has been the cause of keeping people separate. A Mohammedan, a Hindu, a Christian, a Buddhist, how are they kept separate in watertight compartments? Who is keeping them separate? It is the so-called religion. Maybe George Bernard Shaw is wishing that religion should be that which binds people. In fact, the word religion itself means that which binds together, but that is a very difficult definition; if you go into it, it will create more problems than it will solve. In fact, people are bound to each other more by common hatred than by love

If China attacks India, the whole of India becomes united; the common enemy, the common hatred, the common object of hatred, makes people join hands together. They forget all their small quarrels. When there is no enemy, they start their small quarrels again. People seem to be together only because of hatred; it keeps them together because they have a common object of hatred. Then hate is religion? Up to now man has not been together because of love but because of hate. Love has not yet become a reality in the world.

And an even more strange definition: Havelock Ellis says, “Now and again, we must draw a deep breath of relief, and that is religion.” Now people are guessing, and anything goes. Now you are living in a very confused world; the confusion is becoming greater and greater. People’s minds have lost all clarity, all certainty; it is very difficult to make any sense out of this salmagundi, this kedgeree, this potpourri. Everything seems to be utterly confused.

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