I want to ask you about the religious movement I am involved in in America. Is it doing anything generally positive for the spiritual development of the world, and should I remain in it?
On the positive side I feel the people involved in it are really interested in bringing God to people, but on the negative side I feel they are rather moralistic and have rigid and fixed characters.
These are not in fact two different things. People who are interested in bringing God to others are always narrow-minded, always moralistic, puritans.
In fact they are not concerned with God at all, God is just an excuse. They want to condemn, to torture people. These God-loving, so-called God-loving people, have created hell. They are sadists, and their morality has nothing to do with morality. It is an ego trip.
You cannot hide negative things if you don’t have something positive to hide behind, so real positivity has to be understood – whether it is pure, whether it is not hiding something behind it.
It is very simple and easy to watch a person who is really religious. If he is religious he will never have a narrow mind, or a moralistic mind. This is one of the basic qualities of the religious mind – that he will not have a condemnatory attitude. He will love so deeply that he cannot condemn, he cannot call anybody a sinner; that is impossible for a really religious person.
But religious people have been calling the whole world a world of sinners, and have been very inventive about how to torture people.
If you can give freedom to the other, only then can you love. If you can accept the being of the other as it is, only then you have love. If you can accept the divinity of the other without forcing anything on top of it, only then you are in love – otherwise not.
Love needs no theology and knows no ideology. These are tricks, and the mind has been playing tricks for so long, and you don’t understand even now.
Just watch the people whom you call religious. They may develop a certain character, they may even try to be moral, but the whole thing is an ego trip. It is just to condemn others, to feel higher than others, better than others, superior. In their eyes you can see a tremendous condemnation. They will go on becoming holier and holier – and if you look at their holiness only, you will miss the whole point.
A real saint may not look like a saint at all because he will be so ordinary. He will not have any program of how to reform the world. All those programs are political, they are nothing to do with religion. All the churches and temples and so-called prophets create more politics and more war and more violence. But these are the seeds – and the trouble is they are altruistic. They are great God-lovers, and so concerned with the welfare of the world that anyone can become a victim.