Chapter 1: Hey! Wait a Minute
Now, see the revolutionary flavor of it. It will make you afraid, it will frighten you. That’s why Zen has no commandments. It does not say: Do this and don’t do that - it has no shoulds and no should-nots. It has not created that prison of the “ought.” It is not perfectionistic.
And now psychoanalysis knows it well, perfectionism is a kind of neurosis. And Zen is the only religion which is not neurotic. It accepts. Its acceptance is so total, so utterly total, that it will not even call a thief a thief, that it will not even call a murderer a murderer. Try to see the purity of its spirit - try to see the utter transcendence. All is as it is.
Zen is unconditionally value-free - if you make a condition, you miss the point. Zen has no fear and no greed. Zen has no God and no Devil, and Zen has no heaven and no hell. It does not make people greedy by alluring them, promising them rewards in heaven. And it does not make people frightened, scared, by creating nightmarish conceptions of hell.
It does not bribe you by rewards, and it does not punish you with tortures. It simply gives you an insight to see into things - and that insight frees you. That insight has no greed as a base to it and no fear as a base to it. All other religions are greedy, all other religions are based deep down somewhere in fear. That’s why we use the word “god-fearing” for a religious person - a religious person is god-fearing.
But how can fear be religious? It is impossible. Fear can never be religious - only fearlessness. But if you have the idea of good and bad, you can never be fearless. Your ideas of good and bad make people guilty, make people cripples, make people paralyzed. How can you help them to be free from all fear? - impossible. You create more fear.
Ordinarily, a man who is not religious is less afraid, has less quantity of fear in his being, than the so-called religious. The so-called religious is continuously trembling inside, continuously anxious whether he is going to make it or he is going to lose it. Is he going to be thrown into hell? Or will he be able to make the impossible and enter into paradise?
Even when Jesus is taking his last leave from his friends and disciples, the disciples are more worried about what their places will be in heaven. They will be meeting next in heaven - what will be their places? Who will be who? Of course, they concede Jesus will be just on the right hand of God - then who is going to be next to him? Their worry comes out of their greed and comes out of their fear. They are not much concerned that Jesus is going to be crucified tomorrow, they are much concerned with their own interests.
All other religions are based in very ordinary greed and fear. The same greed that you have for money one day becomes transformed into the greed for God. Then, God is your money; now, money is your God - that’s the only difference. Then God becomes your money. Now you are afraid of the state, of the police, of this and that - and then you start being afraid of hell, and the supreme court, the suprememost court of God.the last day of judgment.