You may not argue with Kabir – it is difficult to argue with a man like Kabir. His presence has such weight; his eyes, his fragrance, are hypnotic. Even if you want to argue, you would not like to argue. But the argument remains. And once Kabir is gone, Jesus is gone, the argument surfaces, the no comes to the surface, and the formal silence is found to be impotent.
People go to the churches and to the temples and to the mosques, and it is all formality. It is nothing but Sunday religion. It is a social phenomenon; they are not individually committed, they are not involved. They are not going to the church or the temple to be transformed. It has a social utility; it is a kind of club – you can call it a religious club, where people can meet and gossip and talk. It is a meeting-place, but not a meeting-place between you and the divine. That’s what it is supposed to be, but it is not.
You go to the temple empty-handed, you come back from the temple empty-handed. Nothing has been happening there. It cannot happen this way. Godliness needs commitment, involvement; godliness asks for your totality, your surrender, your yes.
And when you say yes, with no strings attached to it, with no conditions; when the yes is unconditional, and has not been said out of coercion but has welled up spontaneously within you, it has a tremendous beauty to it, and tremendous power too. Its very fire transforms you from the base metal into gold, from an ordinary human being into an extraordinary divine existence.
But, remember, your yes should not come out of any sort of coercion, physical or psychological. Somebody is a Christian because he has been coerced from his very childhood to be a Christian, and somebody is a Jew because he has been coerced from the very beginning to be a Jew. A great psychological conditioning is going on. Children are being exploited; children are being forced to be Hindus, Jainas, Buddhists. The parents are not even aware of what they are doing to their children: they are preventing their children from ever becoming religious. Yes, that’s what they are doing to their children. In the name of religion they are poisoning their innocent souls. They think, they may even believe, that they are helping their children towards godliness. The truth is just the contrary: they are creating great barriers.
Once a man has said yes under coercion, once a man has yielded because he was forced to yield, you have destroyed his capacity to say yes spontaneously forever. He will say yes only when he is coerced.
Children are helpless. They depend on you, they cannot survive without you – you can exploit their vulnerability, you can exploit their helplessness. And that’s what has been done on the earth for centuries and centuries. Hence, so much talk of God, and you cannot see God anywhere; so much talk of religion, so much of theology, but nothing of the existential.