The problem with this first type of religion is that we are almost always brought up in it. We are conditioned in it, so it becomes almost normal. It looks normal. A Hindu is brought up with the idea that others are wrong. Even if he is taught to be tolerant, that tolerance is of one who knows towards others who don’t know. A Jaina is absolutely brought up with the belief that only he is right; others are all ignorant, stumbling, groping in darkness. This conditioning can become so deep that you may forget that this is a conditioning, and that you have to go beyond it.
Mulla Nasruddin was telling a friend his future through palmistry.
He said, “You will be poor and unhappy and miserable until you are sixty.”
“Then what?” asked the man hopefully.
“By that time,” said Nasruddin, “you will be used to it.”
That’s the problem: one can become used to a certain conditioning, and one can start thinking as if it is one’s nature, or as if it is the truth. So one has to be very alert and watchful to find this lowest possibility in oneself and not get caught in it.
Sometimes we go on working hard in transforming our lives, and we go on believing in the first type of religion. The revolution is not possible – because you are trying something which is so low that it cannot be really religious. The first type of religion is just religion in name; it should not be called religion.
One man was saying to another, “My son-in-law, the doctor, has been treating a patient for yellow jaundice for twenty years. He just found out the man is Chinese.”
“Ain’t that something?” said the other man.
“What is terrible is that he cured him.”
Twenty years treating a man for yellow jaundice – he may be Chinese, but how long can he protect himself? If continuously you work on yourself with a wrong attitude, your nature starts yielding. You start functioning the way you want to function. Yes, the habit can become second nature. Unfortunately, sometimes it becomes first nature, and nature is completely forgotten.
The characteristic of the first sort of religion is imitation; it insists on imitation. Imitate Buddha, imitate Christ, imitate Mahavira, but imitate – imitate somebody. Don’t be yourself, be somebody else. And if you are very stubborn you can force yourself to be somebody else.
You will never be somebody else, deep down you cannot be. You will remain yourself, but you can force so much that you almost start looking like somebody else.