The first question:
Something inside me cringes with distrust when I hear you say “God,” and I notice that I am reluctant to embrace the word. Love, yes; divine presence, yes; the ultimate, yes; but this word “God” brings a hesitation to my lips and a shudder to my being. Will you comment on this condition?
There is a reason in it: in the name of God so much harm has been done that it is natural. This will happen to any intelligent person. The word God has become very dirty; remaining in the wrong company of the priests it has lost all its beauty. It has become associated with wrong people, wrong meanings. Hence it is very natural that a shudder goes into your being, that a hesitation arises in you, that you cringe with distrust – but it has nothing to do with the word God.
The word God in itself is beautiful, the word God in itself is innocent.
The same has been done in the name of religion, the same has been done in the name of love. If you look at the history of the word love, millions of people have been killed. Christians have been killing in the name of love, Mohammedans have been killing in the name of religion, God, brotherhood. And the same has been the case all over the world.
Now the same is happening in the name of communism. The word is beautiful, it comes from “commune.” The same is happening in the name of democracy; the word is beautiful.
So one thing has to be understood: words in themselves are innocent; it depends on what you do with them. And if you have used the word God wrongly, who can prevent you from using the word love in the same way? Brotherhood, democracy, communism, humanity, peace? In the name of peace only war happens…and preparation for war. Then one has to understand one thing: one need not become too conditioned for or against words; words are neutral.
The word God itself has tremendous beauty. It comes from a Greek root in which “g” stands for “that,” “o” stands for “which,” “d” stands for “is.” God is a code word; it means “that which is.” Now it contains all – the trees and the birds and the clouds and the sun, you and me – all that has happened, all that is happening, all that will ever happen.