Chapter 10: Jesus Is Not a Christian
What is the religion of a rebellious spirit?
The rebellious spirit can be religious, but cannot have a religion. And the difference between the two is immense, unbridgeable.
To be religious is an experience, just like love. It is an encounter with the totality of existence. It is facing yourself in the mirror of life. It is orgasmic in the sense that you melt and merge with the whole - the earth, the trees, the flowers, the sky, the stars. It is an oceanic experience, the dewdrop slipping from the lotus leaf into the ocean. You can say either the dewdrop has become the ocean, or you can say the ocean has become the dewdrop. It is the greatest experience there is.
But to belong to a religion is not an experience, it is just a belief system in which you have been brought up. It is all borrowed. And remember that truth cannot be borrowed. Either it is yours, or it is not there.
Gautam Buddha may have known the truth, but there is no way to follow him, because to follow means to imitate, to follow means to become a shadow, to follow means to betray yourself. Following is nothing but the effort of trying to be somebody that you are not; and that is not your destiny either.
Jesus is not a Christian, he is a rebellious spirit; he does not belong to any religion, and that is his crime. Jews could not tolerate him because he had become a stranger to his own people; he had started talking about having a direct contact with the universal spirit.
A religion is a marketplace thing. It is a kind of bureaucracy - you should go through the right channel. You are not even allowed to confess to God directly; you have to confess to the priest and the priest will pray for you. The priest has to always be there as a mediator.
Religion is the business of the priest; it has nothing to do with religiousness. It is a profession, pure and simple, of exploiting the ignorance and the helplessness of mankind. It is exploiting the fear of death, the fear of the unknown, the fear of the responsibilities of life. The priest takes care - you have to simply believe in his church, his religion, his god, his holy scripture.
To belong to a religion is to belong to all kinds of lies and superstitions. To belong to a religion is to belong to the past - which is dead.
A rebellious spirit has no past. A rebellious spirit has only the present and a vast opening towards the future.
Religion, to the religious spirit, is not in the holy scriptures but in the holiness of existence. It is not in the prayer taught by the priests of all kinds of religions. It is in the gratitude that one feels before a sunset, before a sunrise; it is in the gratitude that one feels to be a part of this beautiful and tremendously miraculous existence.