Your religions are not religion, but an escape from religion. They are like toys, poor substitutes, dead, with no life, with no song, with no dance. But it is strange that the whole of humanity has been deceiving itself. There must be some deep psychological reason.
I am reminded of a beautiful story by Rabindranath Tagore. He says, “I have been searching for God, for many, many lives. Once in a while I saw a glimpse of him near a far, faraway star, and I rushed toward that star. But by the time I reached there, he was gone.
“Again I saw him somewhere else, far away, but it was always far away, and to travel that distance takes time. And God is not something dead – it is something flowing, constantly moving. By the time I reached the spot where I had seen him, he was dancing somewhere else. I heard the dance, I heard the music; he was playing a flute, I heard the flute. I saw him, but always so far away.
“But I have continued… It was a challenge. One day I was going to find him. How long could he go on escaping from me? And certainly one day I reached a beautiful house and a plate on the house said, ‘The House of God.’ And I was so full of joy that my journey had not been in vain, I had found him; it was simply a question of going just a few steps and knocking on the door.
“Dancing with delight, I stepped on those marble steps. I was just going to knock at the door but my hand remained as if paralyzed, because a thought suddenly came to me: if he opens the door and I meet him, then what? All my life has been a search, all my life has been a constant seeking – I know only how to search and how to seek. The meeting with God is going to be a death to me, because I am nothing but a search, a seeking. It is going to be a death to the challenge. And what is life without a challenge?
“I moved my hand back, and took my shoes off from my feet, because who knows? – he might hear the noise on the steps and open the door and say, ‘Where are you going? Here I am.’ Taking the shoes in my hands, I ran away. I never looked back – perhaps he might be standing in the doorway and watching, and then escape would become a little more difficult and painful.
“Since then I have been searching for him again, and I see a glimpse here and there. I know where he lives, so only that place I have to avoid, and everywhere else I go on searching, seeking, asking, inquiring, ‘Where is God? What is God?’”
It is a tremendously profound story. Have you ever thought about it: if you meet God, what you are going to say to him? What are you going to do with him? He will be the dead-end street, he will be your grave, because beyond him there is nothing. You have been searching with great intensity, with great passion and longing; all passion and all longing will disappear.