Religion is based on belief. Belief is a dirty word – four-letter or not, it is a dirty word. Belief simply means your ignorance has been covered – but that which has been covered is still there, it has not been removed.
It is like a doctor who covers your cancer and tells you, “You are perfectly healthy – no need to worry about the cancer. There is no cancer.” The cancer is not listening to the doctor. The cancer cells will go on multiplying, and you will remain ignorant of your own death that is growing within you. The doctor was not a friend. In fact, he was more dangerous than the cancer that you have. There is a cure for your cancer, but there is no cure for that doctor.
Every child is born innocent and every child is being exploited. The parents do exactly the same to the child as was done to them by their parents.
Your parents are not to be condemned – the same has happened to them. You can go as far back as possible – to Adam and Eve, the original human beings on the earth – and in their story you will find the same story that is yours. God, the father in that story, tells Adam and Eve, his children, that they are not to eat from two trees: one is the tree of knowledge and the other is the tree of eternal life.
This story is not history, but it is certainly psychology. It is about every father. It is the very essence of all that has happened to humanity. I think of this story as being of tremendous importance.
Can a father prevent his child from becoming wise? Can a father prevent his child knowing the eternal flame of life? And if a father can do this, then what is left to destroy in the child. He has destroyed everything.
And still you go on saying, “God the father.” He should be hanged! If you can get hold of him, kill him immediately! He is the worst criminal. But your priest will say just the opposite. They say it was the serpent – who was nothing but the devil taking the form of a serpent – who persuaded Eve to disobey God.
This story has many implications. Why did he try first on the woman and not on the man? That can explain why there are so many women and so few men here. The man is argumentative; he functions through his head. The woman has a loving heart; she functions from there.
Eve accepted the advice of the serpent. It was absolutely clear: “Why should you live in ignorance? Eat the fruit of the tree and be wise. Wisdom is not sin.” But that’s what your religions are telling you: wisdom is sin. Then to be an idiot is virtue. And in your churches, in your synagogues, in your temples you will find all the idiots. You cannot find a single wise man there.
To me, the serpent is the first rebel, the first assertion of human intelligence. God was simply behaving in a dictatorial way, preventing Adam and Eve from knowing.