Out of a hundred persons ninety-nine are irreligious. Many of them profess to be religious, but they are not – otherwise the world would have a different quality, a different flavor: there would be celebration, there would be joy and rejoicing, there would be a totally different kind of humanity. These people talk about love and go to war. These people talk about brotherly love and kill each other and murder each other. These people are even more dangerous than the so-called plain people who say that they are irreligious. These who are hiding behind religions – these people are more dangerous. They deceive themselves, they deceive the whole earth.
Kabir says, “I am not irreligious.” But he says, “Neither am I religious.” I say ninety-nine percent of people are irreligious, one percent of people are religious – very few people. How will you know if somebody is religious? If you see that in his step there is a dance, know that he is religious. If you see that in his eyes there is a flame, know that he is religious. If you feel that he is not just moving in the rut, that flowers bloom in his being…that he still has hope left in him, that he still dreams, that he is still in a romantic relationship with reality, that all has not become dull and drab, that there is still poetry…that he still laughs and laughs totally, that he still loves and gets lost into his love, that he still sings, that he still looks at the flowers and the stars…that he still has a kind of innocence, wonder, reverence, that he respects life, that he is not suicidal…and – last but not least – that sometimes you can find him just sitting doing nothing, and full of joy. His source of joy remains unknown. Somewhere deep in the recesses of his being he must have found a source from where the joy wells up.
If you can find a person who is capable of remaining unoccupied then he is religious. Let this be the criterion: if a person cannot remain unoccupied then he is afraid of his own being. Then he is avoiding – he has to do something; his doing is neurotic. If you leave him alone in the room he will read the newspaper, he will open the window or close the window, he will start changing the furniture or will listen to the radio or the TV – but he will do something. And if he cannot find anything else he will fall asleep – but he cannot remain awake and not doing anything.
If you can find a person who is sitting awake, fully awake like a flame – still, tranquil, unwavering – not neurotically obsessed by any action; passive – just enjoying his being, enjoying the moment of here and now…and you will feel a different vibe around him, of reverence – yes, that is the right word. Albert Schweitzer calls it “reverence for life”: that is the quality of a religious person. If he takes a rock in his hand, he will take it as if the rock is alive – to you it looks “as if” the rock is alive – for him it is so: it is alive. Even if he talks to a small child, he is full of respect – tremendous respect – because even the child is a presence of God, a pure presence of God. Even if he is sitting with a dog, he is sitting with God. For him there is no much difference…maybe the dog is just god read in the reverse order – just a difference of order. You can arrange god as dog – the same word; you can arrange the same word dog as god – a mere question of arrangement…but nothing of much difference.