That is true about the old countries and old religions. Jainas have the same status, the past. The future holds no hope – in this world. The future holds hope for them in the other world, after life, in heaven and paradise, but not here. Here everything is finished. That’s the reason why countries like India and China – the oldest civilizations in the world, the greatest civilizations in the world, the ancientmost cultured civilizations in the world – have remained in suffering, because they accepted that nothing better can be possible here – only after death. So the past…cling to the past – that is a treasure. Keep your eyes focused on the past and prepare for the future in the other life, not in this life; this life holds no hope.
For the new religions, there is no past in which to spread their wings of imagination and dreaming. They have only the future, and that future is in the other world. Or, a communist-type of religion has it here, but not today – somewhere tomorrow, which is always hanging there like the horizon. But the more you come closer to it, the farther away it goes on moving.
In 1917 Lenin was absolutely certain that within ten years we will achieve utopia. More than sixty years have passed; utopia is farther away than it was in 1917. Now, nobody talks about utopia. No communist leader in Russia talks about it because they know that it is not going to happen. It was just a hope that you drug people with. Hence I call it the ancientmost drug, far more dangerous than any LSD, marijuana, or anything that science is going to discover: hope for the future. And that is beyond life, so there is no way to find out whether it happens or not.
People go on dying; nobody gives any sign from the other shore, any indication, that what you were hoping for is really here. At least one person in millions and millions of people…and such beautiful people have died: a Buddha, a Jesus, a Mohammed, a Krishna. Can’t they make any effort, in some way, to give a little indication? And now many scientists have died – Einstein – people of immense intelligence; they can find some way to signal, to give us an indication: “Keep up your courage, we have arrived safely.” At least this much of a telegram would do. But in millions of years, not a single indication from the other shore.
So it is very beautiful for the priest that there is no indication from the other shore, otherwise there would be immediate trouble. He can go on exploiting you because nothing can be said about what happens after death. So whatsoever he says, on the authority of the other priests, other old scriptures, that is the only thing there is; you have to believe in it. And you have to believe because otherwise you feel ungrounded, uprooted.
Then there is only death. Life you have never known, and death is coming closer every moment. Nobody knows whether he will be here tomorrow or not. Death is going to happen some day or other, and it is going to be some tomorrow, for you, for me, for somebody else. Millions of people are dying every day: before death they have not thought about it, that they are going to die. Project! Otherwise your life is so dull, so boring, so unfulfilled. Not a single flower has blossomed in you – no fruitfulness. You cannot feel anything worthwhile in you. That is the reason why all the religions go on giving hope, and all the so-called religious people live on hope.
Hope is the opium…but very psychological.