An average is not a truth – because in that average that shallow water will make the deep water less deep.
One child was tall, one was a small baby, but in average…. Herodotus said, “There is no problem at all, we can cross the stream. Our children are capable: their height is higher than the river is deep.”
The poor wife did not agree, but she could not argue against Herodotus. But she was very alert that some child may be drowned, so she went behind the children; Herodotus was ahead. And then one child started drowning. The wife saved the child and said to Herodotus, “This child is drowning!”
He said, “Then there must have been a mistake in my calculations.” And rather than helping the child and the other children, he went back to the bank where he had calculated on the sand the average depth and the average height of the children.
He said, “There is no mistake. How is it happening?”
His wife said, “Don’t be mad! At least don’t destroy our picnic. Once in months you come with the family; still your science is a disturbance.”
They somehow crossed the stream, but he was continuously worried – not about the children, worried that the calculations were right and still this boy started drowning? It seemed that he was angry at the boy: “How could you dare to drown, going against mathematics?”
The wife said, “The boy does not know mathematics – he’s so small.”
This is going to the extent of absurdity, but a scientific mind remains scientific even when to be scientific is not needed. But it never becomes Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan.
A religious man will be religious in his actions, relations, in his thoughts, feelings. He does not need a church or a synagogue or a temple. What he needs is a clarity of vision, a silence of the heart, an experience of his own being – because his experience of his own being will make him aware that the whole world is divine; that everything that exists is at different stages of evolution, but there is in it the potential of life and the potential of consciousness. Even in a stone statue of Buddha the potential is there to blossom into a real Buddha, because the whole existence is full of divine consciousness.
A religious person also can go to absurd lengths, just like Herodotus – but these are exceptions. These are eccentric people. They are not the rule; in fact they prove the rule.