A rationalist will say that life is mysterious. We are trying to know, we have come to know a little, but much more is still left; so the conclusion cannot be decided right now. We will have to wait till the very end. When everything is known, only then can we come to a conclusion.
A rationalist has to live without a conclusion. A rationalist has to live without a philosophy, without a religion.
T. Kovoor has made a religion out of his atheism. He is not a rationalist, because rationalism and atheism cannot go together. That’s why I say he must be suffering from senile dementia.
The second thing I would like to say is that he is senile and yet juvenile, too, because atheism is a phase of adolescence. Every intelligent person becomes atheistic at a certain age. Near about the fourteenth year, everybody becomes atheistic. That’s a natural part of growth because the child needs to say no. It is a psychological need. Up to the age of fourteen, the child has lived protected by the mother, the father, the family; now he wants to be himself. And he wants to say no because only by saying no can he feel himself to be free, can he have a sense of freedom. He starts saying no to everything. If the father says, “Don’t smoke!” he will smoke, because that is the only way – to deny the father is the only way to grow. If the mother says, “Don’t do this!” he has to do it; it is a must. If he does not do it he will never have any backbone. He will be impotent. He will not have any power. He will be unable to define himself, who he is. He has to say no.
And when you say no to your father, you say no to the ultimate father, naturally – it is a corollary. The child has to deny everything to get free. He has to kick at everything that his parents believe, that the society believes. This is natural and good.
If you have never been an atheist you will never really become a theist, because one who has not said no, how can he say yes? His yes will be impotent. Your yes is meaningful only when you have said no.
But it is a phase and, naturally, people grow out of it. Atheism is a phase. After atheism comes theism. Theism is also a phase. First you say no to feel yourself, then you become a hard ego. Then it hurts. Then you have to say yes to relax. First you say no to become an ego, strong enough to be on your own, then one day you feel that it is now hurting, it has become too hard. You have to drop it; you have to say yes. You become a theist.
But, to me, religion starts only when you have dropped both – no and yes both. Then you come to silence, you don’t say anything. A really religious person is not a theist. He has simply become silent. The no is gone, the yes is gone.