Chapter 2: First Taste Your Own Being
The policeman was walking his beat when he saw two men fighting and a little boy standing alongside them crying, “Daddy, Daddy!”
The officer pulled the two men apart and, turning to the boy, asked, “Which one is your father, lad?”
“I don’t know,” the boy said, rubbing the tears from his eyes, “That’s what they’re fighting about.”
Do you really know who God is? You don’t know even who you are - how can you know who God is? You have not even become acquainted with the closest reality - that is beating in your heart, that is breathing in you, that is alive in you - and you are thinking to become acquainted with the totality of existence? The infinite, the vast, the eternal? And you have not even been able to have a taste of your own being. You have not even tasted a single drop of the sea, and you want to taste the whole sea?
And you never go to the sea! You go to the scriptures. You never go to the sea - you go to the priests. And then you create belief, and the belief comes out of your fear, not out of your love, not out of your knowing, not out of your experience - it simply comes out of your fear. You believe because alone you feel afraid; because you are childish, you want somebody to hang on to, to cling to. You need a father-figure! so that you can always look up to him, so that you can always throw the responsibility, so that you can always cry and weep and remain helpless.
It is out of your fear that you have created God. And a God created out of fear is ill, it is pathological. It will not bring you well-being: it will make you more and more pathological.
The so-called religious man is almost pathological; he is neurotic. Go to the monasteries, look around with open eyes, and you will be simply surprised that in the name of religion a thousand and one kinds of pathologies are practiced. People don’t become healthy and whole - they become more and more helpless, more and more frightened, more and more eccentric. Of course, their neurosis is such that it is respected.
Freud is right when he says that religion is a collective neurosis. I agree with him. The so-called religious are neurotic. If a single person behaves in that way, you will think he is mad; but if a big crowd behaves in that same way, you think it is religious.