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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Reflections on Khalil Gibran's The Prophet
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Chapter 39: From Dawn to Dawn, a Wonder and Surprise

For example, in India, paradise is always cool. They had not come to know the word air-conditioning at that time, but the description is exactly that Hindus’ paradise is air-conditioned, centrally air-conditioned. Because India is so tortured by the heat of the sun, the priest has to give an idea which appeals to those tortured by the sun. But the Tibetan priest cannot believe that paradise is air-conditioned. The Tibetan priest has a very warm, always sunny, never-clouded sky, with no snow. And they are talking about the same paradise!

But they are talking to different people, and they have to fulfill their needs. So it is not God or paradise that they are defining, they are simply consoling you. The Hindus have in their hell eternal fire, of course, for the sinners; the fire burns them, but does not kill them, and they go on being burned for eternity. Death would have been a great blessing, but the fire simply burns, it does not kill. And the Tibetans have their hell full of snow, utterly cold, all year round. It does not take much intelligence to see that these people are not aware of reality. They are certainly aware of the need of the people.

And if for thousands of years a certain thing is repeated again and again, it starts becoming a truth. Adolf Hitler used to say, “I don’t see any difference between the truth and the lie. The only difference is that the truth is a lie repeated so often for centuries - and the lie is a new truth.” It will take a little time to sink into your hearts. In the name of God they have been making everybody afraid; and a man who lives in fear does not live. Fear is exactly the opposite of freedom.

Man can live only in freedom. Fear shrinks his soul. He is constantly afraid to do anything, because everything that you can enjoy, everything that you can feel is beautiful, is condemned.

It seems there are death-worshipers, particularly the people who become attracted toward professions like the priests, the police, the army. They are in the service of death, not in the service of life; their whole profession is obscene, their very minds are obscene. But it is a strange story that they have been calling beauty, obscene - is a roseflower obscene because it is naked?

There have been all kinds of idiots in the world. In England in the Victorian times, ladies were very much influenced by the priests - for the simple reason that man was free to go anywhere and woman was only free to go to the church; naturally they became more and more conditioned by the church. In the Victorian times they used clothes even for their dogs; when they would go for a morning walk and take the dog with them for a walk, it was covered with beautiful clothes. A naked dog is obscene! Not only that: even the legs of chairs - because they were called legs - were covered! Legs could not be naked, it was obscene. A poor chair!

The priests are the most poisonous people in the world. They have divided humanity, they have given people superstitions, insane ideas. And here an old priest asked:

.Speak to us of Religion.

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