Chapter 9: Riding on a Miracle
My effort here is to make religion dance again. There is no need for any support, because religion in itself is the greatest authentic experience: others should look towards religion for support, not religion towards others. If religion starts dancing, starts becoming alive, science will need its support, because science itself is losing ground. It is becoming uglier and uglier every day. It is becoming more and more life-negative every day. It is becoming more and more political every day. All that science discovers is possessed by the politician. And all that science discovers serves death; it is no more serving life. Ninety percent of scientific effort goes on war. Science is losing face. Unless religion starts dancing, even science will no longer have any future. Science will need some release of energy from religion to support it. And if religion can be alive again and science becomes a part, a shadow of religion, then only can it be free of the politician and his madness; otherwise it seems impossible.
Man is coming closer and closer to the ultimate destruction of life on the earth. Only a release of religious energy can save him, can save humanity. What we are doing here may look like a very small experiment but its potential is infinite. The future of humanity depends on only one thing: if religion can again lead man, if religion can again become the central influence on man, if religion can again become humanity’s dream.
And remember, it is a very difficult dream - almost impossible. To dream to be with God, to dream to be in God, is bound to be something like an impossible dream. Man has lost courage. His dreams are tiny now, his dreams are very mundane; he no longer dreams of the transcendental. And remember, if you stop dreaming about the transcendental, you will live a meaningless life.
Meaning arises only in contact with the transcendental. Meaning arises only when you are part of a greater whole, when you are part of something higher than you, something bigger than you. When man tries to surpass himself, then there is religion. And that’s what I call the dance of religion: man trying to transcend himself. No other animal can do it, no other animal is capable of it: only man has the potential and the possibility to surpass himself. A few men have surpassed themselves; a few men have reached to the other shore.
And when I am talking to you, I am talking from the other shore. Hence I am not saying it from borrowed knowledge, I am saying it from my own experience. I know the impossible can become possible. It has become possible in me, it can become possible in you. Once your inner being becomes full of light, once you know no darkness within yourself, then you are religious.
Dream the impossible dream. It may look almost absurd in the beginning - it does look - but if it is strong enough, it transforms your reality.
I have heard..
Three trees once grew on a hillside, and as they swayed in the breeze they would dream what they would like to be.
“I should like to be cut down one day,” said the first tree, “and turned into a baby’s cradle.”
“I should like to be cut down one day,” said the second, “and become a great ship sailing the seas, carrying treasure and precious stones.”
And the third said, “I should like to stand on a hilltop and point people to heaven.”
One day the woodcutters came along and cut down the first tree. “Let’s make it into a cattle stall,” they said.