I compare it with love because that is the only human experience that comes a little close to the experience of truth. The only difference is that in love you need somebody else: at least two is a basic necessity. Whom are you going to love? Who is going to respond to you? So love is a dialogue, religion is a monologue. You don’t have anybody there – God, some messiah, some prophet – there is no one with whom you can have a dialogue. You, in utter silence, feel it. It is simply a state of mind at rest – and the heart throbbing in a deep harmony with existence.
So I cannot call it a religion the way Christianity is, the way other religions are. They can manage to give you a catechism which the middle class people will understand. For example, middle class people can even understand the atheist who says God does not exist. They may not agree with him, but they can understand what he is saying. They can understand the priest who says God exists. They understand, the statements are simple. My position is a little more delicate.
I say there is no God, but there is godliness. So I destroy God as a person, he becomes more like a fragrance than a flower. I am not a theist, because I don’t believe in God as a person creating the world. I am not an atheist, because I am taking God higher than he has ever been. From a quantity I am transforming him into a quality. But I am not a theist and I am not an atheist. And for people to understand godliness is certainly a little difficult. It is as difficult as if you tell me that you come from a town where everybody is blind, and ask me to say something about light so those people can understand.
What can I say about light to people who are blind, who have never experienced light? There have been preachers around for centuries telling blind people what light looks like, what light is. And there are three hundred religions and three hundred different definitions of light. They cannot all be true, but they can all be false. In the first place to try to make an endeavor of explaining light to the blind is stupid: what the blind man needs is not a priest but a physician, not a teacher but a surgeon who can give him eyes. It is not a question of giving him the definition of light, the question is to give him eyes. If he can see, he will never ask what light is – he will know. But the priests have been preventing people because they go on supplying definitions of light to the blind.
And of course nobody wants to be ignorant, that’s why people believe. It is not coming from their hearts, because it is not their experience. Anything that is your experience is bound to have its roots in your heart. But people cling to beliefs about things which they don’t know. They cling for a simple reason: they cannot accept that they are ignorant. And the first step to understand is to accept the fact that “I do not know.”
Those middle class people about whom you are asking, they are all knowers. You may think they are middle class, but they all know God exists. What kind of God? – Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan. They know the holy book, they know the holy Koran, the holy Gita, and everything is known to them – that’s what they think. They know nothing, because knowing should be your experience, and they confuse knowledgeability with knowing. And my effort is to prepare the ground for knowing – not for faith, belief. So only the very intelligent people can come to me.