Chapter 1: The Man with the Inexplicable Life
When you trust, your unconscious starts revealing many things to you. It reveals itself only to the trusting mind, only to the trusting being, only to the trusting consciousness. Religion is the fragrance of this trust, impeccable, absolute. Atheism is an act of weakness, of impotency. It is decadent. A society becomes atheist only when it is dying, when it has lost vigor and youth. When a society is young, alive, vigorous, it hankers for the unknown, it longs for the danger. It tries to live dangerously because that is the only way to live.
I would like you to listen to one story:
One day an atheist was walking along a cliff when he slipped and fell over the edge. As he plunged downward he managed to grab the branch of a small tree that was growing from a crevice in the rock. Hanging there, swaying in the cold wind, he realized how hopeless his position was, for below were ragged boulders and there was no way to climb up. His grip on the branch was weakening.
“Well,” he thought, “only God can save me now. I have never believed in God, but I might be wrong. What have I to lose?” So he called out, “God! If you exist, save me and I will believe in you!” There was no answer.
He called again, “Please, God. I never believed in you, but if you will save me now, I will believe in you from now on.
Suddenly a great voice boomed down from the clouds, “Oh, no you won’t! I know your kind!”
The man was so surprised he almost lost his grip on the branch. “Please, God! You are wrong! I really mean it! I will believe!”
“Oh, no you won’t! That is what they all say!”
The man pleaded and argued.
Finally God said, “All right, I will save you.. Let go of the branch.”
“Let go of the branch?!” the man exclaimed. “Do you think I am crazy?”
Atheism is always cowardly. The really brave person is bound to become religious, and the religious person is necessarily brave. So if you find a cowardly person religious, then you can know something is wrong. A cowardly person cannot be religious. His religion is nothing but a defense, an armor. His yes is not coming out of love and courage, his yes is coming out of fear. If it were possible to say no, he would say no. His yes is coming because death is there, disease is there, danger is there. So he thinks, “What am I to lose? Why not believe? Why not pray?” His prayer is bogus, his prayer is nothing but an expression of fear. Out of fear he goes to the temple and to the church and to the priest.