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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 37: A Dewdrop Cannot Offend the Ocean

I have heard about two brothers who used to do a business in partnership - that is the business of the priest. The first brother would go to a city in the night, in the darkness when everybody was asleep, and he would put coal tar on people’s windows, doors and walls. In the morning when people would see it, they could not believe what had happened; the whole city had been made ugly.

But suddenly, as they were wondering about who had done it, they would hear the other brother say that if somebody wanted his windows or doors cleaned, he had all the expertise needed to clean them. So he would clean and earn the money. While he was cleaning and earning the money, the other brother would have moved to another city. And in this way they were doing a lot of business.

But it is not business. It is conspiracy. That’s what the priests have done to man.

First they make you sick, and then they come as your saviors. First they crush you into subhuman beings - degraded, undignified, rejected, condemned - and then they will come, saying, “Don’t be worried. If you follow us all your misery will disappear; if you listen to us we will arrange that you are accepted by God in paradise, with great rewards.”

This conspiracy has been going on since the very beginning. It has become such a big business; almost everybody is a client, a customer, to some kind of priesthood - Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jaina, Mohammedan. But the basic business is the same. And the rivalry between the religions can be understood as the simple rivalry of all shopkeepers who are selling the same commodity.

Every religion is trying to prove that his commodity is better than anybody else’s. Jesus says, “Those who follow me will enter the kingdom of God, and those who do not follow me will fall into eternal hell.” But the same is true about all religions. In different ways, in different languages, that is the message: only we can save you.

I call it a very strange phenomenon that millions of people have not looked into: who has made you guilty that you need to be saved from guilt? Who has made you self-condemning that somebody needs to teach you how to drop it? Who has crippled you? The same source that has been crippling you comes to teach you how to walk, how to run. They are the same people.

They have been fighting amongst themselves - not for any fundamental question of life, but just over the number of customers. Every religion wants the whole humanity to belong to it. It is big business.

I have heard that the Jews have never been able to forgive themselves because they crucified Jesus - who was born a Jew, lived a Jew, died a Jew. Jews are very intelligent people. They have not even forgiven themselves after two thousand years, because by crucifying Jesus they have lost the biggest business that the poor boy was offering. Now Christianity is the biggest religion; it is the biggest established firm which deals in commodities which are invisible. And a business that deals with commodities which are invisible can never go bankrupt.

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