Chapter 22: My Experience Is of the Wordless
A religion, if it is to be alive - if it is to be religiousness, a fragrance, a mystic rose - then it always has to be individual. There is no question of organization, no question of organizing truth. The crowd has a certain security, a certain power; in the crowd you feel a certain warmth, a coziness, but the man of authentic religion stands alone.
So the first thing I would like to tell you is: in the dictionary of existence, religiousness exists but there is no place for religion.
Religiousness means unorganized, individual experience of the truth. It is not a belief system, it is not a faith. It is more like a taste on your tongue, more like a feel in your heart, a deep penetration like an arrow in your very being.
It has nothing to do with any church, with any organized form, with any scripture. It believes only in itself. It believes only in its own experience. In this sense all the religions of the world are distracting you from truth - from your truth. They are substituting your authenticity with a bogus formulation of some theologian - some philosophy, some system of ideas. They are converting you into Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans, but they are not transforming you into being religious.
The moment a man is religious, he is no more part of any crowd, he is alone. Even if he stands in the crowd of all those who are alone, there is no crowd, there are only individuals standing together.
This is not a crowd; this is not a church. There is nothing like a Holy Bible for you, and there is no moral order, ten commandments; nobody is demanding that you behave, live in a certain way, to imitate Christ or Gautam Buddha.
This is a meeting of people who are trying to discover themselves, who are trying to go deeper into their own reality to find the truth of existence, which cannot be found in any scripture, in any philosophy.
So the first thing to be remembered, Maneesha, is: there is no religion as such, there is only religiousness.
Religiousness is alive, with a heartbeat.
Religion is something dead, a corpse which looks like a living human being but it is only a corpse. It does not breathe, its heart does not beat - there is no one in it, it is an empty house. The master of the house has left it, who could have been religious, but corpses are not religious.
Have you ever thought about it? - when a man dies, now can you decide whether the corpse is Hindu or Mohammedan or Christian? On what grounds? Because the corpse cannot believe. The corpse cannot act, cannot go every Sunday to the church. Whether you put this corpse into the grave or you put it on a funeral pyre, it has nothing to say about it, yes or no.
Still, corpses are also divided by organized religions. They are not only dominating you in your life, they dominate you even in your death. They don’t leave you any kind of freedom - even the freedom of death is taken away from you. You have only to be an imitator.