Saint Peter says, “As far as I am concerned, I have never seen God; I don’t know whether he exists or not. I am just a doorkeeper. Perhaps somewhere in the most interior parts of paradise somebody exists who thinks that he is God, but I have never come across….”
It is such a shock that the archbishop wakes up perspiring.
The story is significant because it shows how small we are and how big the universe is. Naturally primitive man was not able to adjust himself to the idea of this vastness of the universe without giving it some personality and without making himself in some way related to that personality.
God was an effort of the primitive mind of man to give existence a personality. Then he becomes God the father. Then you can make some relationship with him. You may even be against him, but at least there is someone you can be for, you can be against; there is someone who is greater than you, who is going to protect you, who is your guarantee. God is simply the poverty of human consciousness.
The people who attained to their inner consciousness and its highest peak, like Gautam Buddha, denied the existence of God. Anybody who has ever become inwardly healthy, gone beyond the mind which is basically sick, has denied God. God as a fiction is good for kindergarten school children. They need it – parables, fables, stories. But very few human beings have gone beyond the kindergarten school.
God exists because you are not aware of yourself. God exists because you have not made any contact with your own center. The moment you know yourself, there is no God and there is no need of any God. In fact I am in absolute support of Friedrich Nietzsche: “God is dead.”
The second part of his sentence is even more significant, “God is dead and man is now free.” That second part has not received much attention from the philosophers, from the mystics, from the psychologists, but the second part is the most important; the first part is not much. In fact, the first part is basically wrong. God cannot die – fictions never die. The moment you know they are fictions there is no question of their death. Neither are they born, nor do they die. God was never born in the first place – how can he die? Death is the other extreme of birth.
So the first part is not very important, but that has been given much importance by theologians, because they became afraid: “This is sacrilegious, to tell people that God is dead. That means that now no religion is needed.” They became afraid for their own business. But they forgot the second part which is more important. It has tremendously significant implications. It means that God was a bondage, God was a retardedness, God was out of fear. God was not a treasure, but a heavy, mountainous weight on your heart and on your growth.