The priest was annoyed, the rabbi became angry, and he told his disciples, “Throw this man outside the temple. He seems to be a skeptic. And this is insulting. He has insulted the sacred book; he has insulted our tradition.”
Then the same inquirer went to a mystic, Hillel, and he said the same thing to him. And this is the difference between a priest and a mystic: Hillel said, “Perfectly true. In fact, the Torah is so short that I can repeat it a thousand and one times while you are standing on one leg. You stand.” The man stood on one leg. Hillel said, “Do unto others what you would like to be done to you. This is the whole Torah. All else is just commentary.”
You cannot annoy a mystic. The mystic cannot be forced by you to be angry, because he lives love. But the priest goes on talking about love. If you argue, if you are skeptical, if you are a doubter, he is angered – he can even kill you to help you. He can kill you because he has to defend the doctrine of love.
No other religion has created as many wars as Christianity, and all its preaching is about love. Nobody else has created as many wars as Islam, and the very word Islam means peace. The word peace creates war. The whole of Christianity is based on a single word love, but the ultimate result is crusades, wars, murders.
Why does it happen? Once religion becomes a dogma it is bound to happen. Once rebellion turns into a revolution, into an organized thing, it is bound to happen. Rebellion is individual, pure, virgin; it comes out of the heart; it is not some doctrine.
A man came to me once and he said, “I wish I had your creed. Then I would live a life like you.” He repeated it: “I wish I had your creed; then I would live a life like yours.”
I told the man, “Please start living life like me. Soon you will have the creed.”
The vice versa is not true – you cannot have the creed first, and then the life. Life is the primary, the basic; creed is just a shadow.
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves. And said unto them, “It is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer…”
Tremendously beautiful words – he says, “my house.” When you are deeply centered in yourself, you are no more a man; you become God. That is the meaning of God: a centered consciousness. It has no other meaning. You can become a god if you are rooted deeply within yourself, centered. If your consciousness has become a flame, without any smoke around it, you are a god.