One should begin from the beginning. Unless I know myself, I am not going to know anything else. If deep down I remain ignorant, then my whole knowledge is just garbage. It is based on ignorance, it is rooted in ignorance. First the light has to happen inside me and then it can spread, then it can go to the very boundaries of existence – if there are any boundaries. But first this has to happen within me. The first flame has to come from my subjectivity. When my center is full of light, then only will whatsoever is known really be known. Unless you know yourself, unless the knower is there, how can you know anything else? If you yourself are in deep darkness, all the lights that you have created outside are deceptions, illusions.
The religious quest is the greatest quest in existence. A few things have to be understood about this quest.
The first thing: religion cannot creep; it has to dance or die. And that’s what is not happening in the world – religion is not dancing, hence it has died. Religion is creeping and crawling; it has forgotten how to fly. Religion has become dogma. Dogma is death, it is a corpse. To be flowing and alive and flying, religion has to exist as an experience not as a theory, not as theology but as meditation – not as a philosophy about God but as a personal experience of God. And know perfectly well: to know about God is not to know God. You can go on knowing about and about, but you will never know God. To know about is to go round and round without penetrating the very center of it.
Religion cannot creep, and religion is creeping. Christianity, Hinduism, Islam – they are all creeping. They have all become apologetic. They are all afraid of the scientific growth in the world. They have been fighting against science. They tried all that they could do to prevent scientific growth, but they failed. Now they try to get all the support from science – whatsoever they can manage – but they know perfectly well that they have become secondary. They can exist only if science supports them. They can exist only if scientific argument becomes a prop. This is creeping: religion is no more on its own ground, on its own feet; it needs support from science. It is living a borrowed existence, a borrowed life. Its time is gone.
Why has it happened? Once a religion becomes dogma and is no more experience, it dies automatically. And a dead body cannot stand on its own, it needs support. All the churches and the temples are supported, they are not standing on their own.
When there is a buddha he stands on his own. When there is a christ he stands on his own. Then religion dances, sings a song. Then it is alive, it blooms – there are a thousand and one flowers, and great fragrance is released.