Chapter 7: Nature Is All There Is
The pseudo-religions shift the attention from God to you. God remains in the center, but fades far away. For the magical-religious person God is very close by; the person can talk to him, he can persuade him. Pseudo-religions still carry the idea of God, but now God is far away - far, far away. Now the only way to reach him is not through rituals but through a significant change in your lifestyle. They start molding and changing you.
The magical religions leave people as they are, so the people who believe in magical religions are more natural, less phony, but more primitive, more unsophisticated, more uncultured. The people who belong to pseudo-religions are more sophisticated, more cultured, more educated. Religion to them is not just ritual; it is their whole life’s philosophy.
Your question comes here, at the second phase of religion. You ask why all the religions have used repression as a basic strategy, for what? The phenomenon of repression is tremendously significant to understand, because all the religions differ in every other way from each other, they are against all other religions in every other aspect.
No two religions agree on anything - except repression. So repression seems to be the greatest tool in their hands. What are they doing with it? Repression is the mechanism of enslaving man, of putting humanity into psychological and spiritual slavery.
Long before Sigmund Freud discovered the phenomenon of repression, religions had already used it for five thousand years - and successfully. The methodology is simple, the methodology is to turn you against yourself - but it does miracles. Once you are turned against yourself, many things are bound to happen.
First, you will be weakened. You will never be the same strong person you were before. Before, you were one; now you are not only two but many. Before, you were a single whole entity, now you are a crowd. Your father’s voice is speaking in you from one fragment, your mother’s voice is speaking from another fragment; and within you they are still fighting with each other - although they may both no longer be in the world. All your teachers have their compartments in you, and all the priests you came across, all the monks, all the do-gooders, moralists have all made places in you, strongholds of their own.
Whomsoever you have been impressed with has become a fragment in you. Now you are many people - dead, alive, fictitious - from the books that you have read, from the holy books, which are just religious fiction, like science fiction. If you look inside yourself, you will find yourself lost in such a big crowd. You cannot recognize who you are amongst this whole crowd. Which is your original face? They all pretend to be you, they all have faces like you, they speak the language like you, and they are all quarrelsome with each other. You become a battlefield.