Chapter 25: Religions, like Diseases, Are Many: Truth, like Health, Is One
What is religion, and why are there so many religions in the world? Is it not possible to have just one religion for the whole humanity?
Religion is an inquiry just the way science is, with one difference:
Science inquires about the objective reality - that which is there, outside of you.
Science excludes the scientist himself. It inquires about everything except the inquirer.
Religion inquires about the inquirer.
It is an inquiry of the inner, the subjective.
It is immensely surprising that the scientists have never bothered about the consciousness which is doing all the investigations, inventions, discoveries. It seems absolutely absurd that you are not bothered about the most fundamental reality in the world - since man is the only one who has a subjectivity, who has an inner world.
A chair, a table - they exist. But they don’t know that they exist, there is no knower within them. They exist for you, not for themselves. There is no one inside them, they are only means. You can use them, misuse them, it doesn’t matter, because there is nobody inside who is going to be hurt, who is going to feel bad, who is going to react.
Man is the only phenomenon with a depth. Everything else is superficial. Everything else is just the surface; behind the surface there is nothing. It is just like peeling an onion: you peel one layer and you find another layer; you peel that layer and you find another layer. You go on peeling layer upon layer, and in the end nothing is left in your hands. You can go on peeling things - ultimately you are going to find nobody there.
And science is very accurate, very logical; but in a strange way the scientist keeps himself out of his investigations. He brackets himself out. He is the sole source, and he is not included in whatever he is doing. He is the doer, he is the witness, he is the finder - but he does not exist.
The scientist does not believe that he exists, for the simple reason that he cannot put himself as an object in front of himself. How can you put yourself as an object in front of yourself? Just try.
You jump in front of yourself but the one in front of whom you were jumping is no longer there, he has jumped. Again, in front of you there is nobody. You go on jumping.. The scientist concludes that you cannot put yourself in front of yourself, because you are not. If you were there just as other things are - the rocks, the trees, the whole existence - you would have been able to put yourself on the table. But this whole idea makes the scientist look silly.