How does man, in a thoroughly unconscious state, become animal-like and why does he seek an unconscious state in order to become animal-like? It is indicative of the truth that consciousness in man is not part of the animal world, of nature, but is a part of the divine. It is a potential. It is a seed, not to be destroyed but to be nurtured. Only with its full growth is there the possibility of freedom, liberation and bliss.
Then what shall we do? Our civilization gives us three alternatives: that of the animal, that of the madman and that of the hypocrite. Is there also a fourth alternative?
Yes, I call that fourth alternative religion. It is the path of intelligence, of consciousness – not of bestiality, madness or hypocrisy. It is not the path of indulgence, suppression or acting; it is the path of real life and of knowing.
It bears the fruit of good conduct and it eliminates the animal in man; it does not suppress unconscious passions but frees man from their grip. It does not lead to the pretense of good conduct but to real living. It is not assuming a mask or any outward behavior; it is the transformation of the inner being. It is not a solution of the society but of the self. It does not change our relationships but transforms our very selves. Relationships automatically change as a consequence. It brings about a revolution in one’s being, in one’s bare individuality, in what one actually is. Then all else is automatically transformed.
Morality is social; religion, entirely individual. Morality is behavior; religion, the inner being. Morality is the periphery; religion, the center. Morality is personality; religion, the soul. Religion does not follow on the tail of morality but morality invariably follows religion. Morality cannot even succeed in making a man moral, so how can it make him religious? Morality begins with suppression, with holding things down in oneself, whereas religion begins with knowing.
There is evil, impurity and untruth in life. One has to find their roots. Where and how is evil born? Where is the center in oneself from which these poisons erupt and make one’s behavior venomous? Even when one thinks of virtue, of good, why does evil drive away all these thoughts and engulf one, surrounding one’s life, permeating one’s behavior? Why does the power of passion always defeat one’s thoughts of the good?
One has to observe all of this for oneself. Conclusions borrowed from others do not help because it is during the process of observation, during self-observation alone, that the power and energy to destroy the very source that breeds and sustains evil is generated. One has to practice this continuous observation oneself because it is not just a method of knowing about evil, but of eliminating it as well. By observing the "I," the inner unconsciousness, by becoming awake and watchful toward it, light reaches one’s dark recesses within. And this light not only exposes the roots of one’s behavior, it begins to transform them.