China was one of the most religious countries in the East under Confucius, Lao Tzu, Mencius, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu – the great heritage. And then the impact, the great impact of Buddha and Bodhidharma. Thousands of monasteries, thousands of monks, Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian, and at least five thousand years of traditional up-bringing, yet within ten years after the revolution all that disappeared. Now China is as strongly convinced of atheism as it was convinced of theism.
My feeling is that if any day this misfortune happens in India, that India becomes a communist country, it will become the most atheistic country in the world. The same people who look so religious will become anti-religious in the same way, with a vengeance, because the doubt is there deep down waiting for the right moment to assert itself.
You cannot make America atheist in the same way that you can India, for the simple reason that in America the conviction is so lukewarm it does not really matter. God is only a formality, religion is nothing but a Sunday affair, the church is not more than a club. A few people go to the Rotary Club, a few people go to the Lions Club, a few people go to the Catholic Club and a few to the Protestant Club…These are clubs where people talk sweet nothings and gossip about the society – good meeting places, nothing is wrong with it, but very lukewarm; there is no question of anything strong. Because there is no strong conviction in America, America can never become a stronghold of atheism.
That’s why communism is not succeeding in America, for the simple reason that communism is an atheistic philosophy, fanatically atheistic. In fact, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, the founders of communism, had prophesied that America would be the first communist country. They would have never thought, even in their dreams, that Russia would be the first communist country, because both were economists – they knew nothing of psychology and they knew nothing of the inner workings of the human psyche.
If they had asked me I would have told them that America is going to be the last country in the world to become communist. I would have suggested India, China, Russia – these three countries have the most potential to turn towards communism. Two have already turned, the third is getting ready – for the simple reason that five thousand years of repressed doubt has become tremendously strong. Remember one thing: the conviction through which you repress the doubt goes on becoming weaker because its energy is being used in repressing. That which is repressed goes on becoming stronger because it is not losing any energy at all; it accumulates energy.
You say: “I am deeply convinced that our way is to drop the ego…”
Look into your conviction and you will find a very great doubt about what you are saying. And once you find the doubt then something can be done, because the doubt is the reality. Nobody teaches you doubt. There are schools of Hindus and Mohammedans and Christians teaching you belief. There is nobody who teaches you doubt – even communists don’t teach doubt. They teach a new kind of belief – the belief in no-God.