The first question:
I was shocked to hear you say that God does not exist. Then the question arose in me: how can there be any religion without God? Isn’t God the center and religion the circumference?
It is fortunate that you were shocked. It needs intelligence to be shocked.
Millions of people on the earth have lost the quality of being shocked. They have been hypnotized for centuries, conditioned in such a way that no shock ever reaches them. All the religions, the so-called religions, pseudo-religions, have been doing only one work: creating shock absorbers in you.
My function is to destroy all your shock absorbers and make you vulnerable so that you doubt, you question, and inquire.
One who doubts to the very end finds the answer. One who inquires to the very end comes to know.
Those who go on believing without doubting, without questioning, without inquiring remain dull, dead, idiotic. So I congratulate you that you are shocked; it is a good beginning. The stupid person will be angry, not shocked. He will immediately become an enemy; he will not be shocked. To be shocked means that something in you is still alive, that the priests, the politicians, the pedagogues have not been completely successful with you. Perhaps a window has remained open; that’s why you are shocked. And do you see the miracle of that shock?
Immediately a question of tremendous importance arises in you. Your question is not out of anger; it is not out of irritation. It is a valid, intelligent, tremendously significant question: how can there be religion without God? That’s what you have been told for centuries, that God is the center and religion is its circumference. This is an absolute lie. Religion has nothing to do with God at all.
Yes, it has much to do with you, your consciousness, your being.
You ask: how can there be a religion without God? One day, if you go on inquiring, you will ask me how can there be a religion with God? And I would like you to contemplate how there can be a religion with God. God is nothing but our idea of the ultimate dictator, the ultimate Adolf Hitler.