Religion became a pathology, religion went neurotic, because of the demands of the ego. The ego wants something utterly difficult so that it becomes a special privilege if you attain it – only you have attained it, nobody else. It wants truth to be something like the peak of Everest or walking on the moon; something so special that you can claim. Through it, you become special.
Because of this, religion slowly slowly became sado-masochistic. “Torture yourself” – the more you torture, the more religious you are. And when a person tortures himself, teaches others also to torture themselves, out of necessity he becomes doubly pathological. He tortures himself, so he is a masochist, and because he teaches others to torture themselves he becomes a sadist.
In the name of religion, sado-masochism has existed on the earth. That’s why only neurotic people become interested in religion. The healthy person avoids it.
The religion I am teaching you is for the healthy person. It is for those who are not in search of fulfilling their egos. It is for those who are ready to be ordinary, utterly ordinary. It is for those who are ready to dissolve in the obvious. It is for those who are ready to make their home in this moment, this beautiful now, and who are not hankering for any paradise, who are not hankering at all; who have no desires for the other world and no desires for some god sitting on a golden throne somewhere; but for those whose god is spread all over existence, in the calls of the birds and in the green leaves of the trees and in the dewdrops and in the sun rays and in you and in me – all over; whose god is not something separate from life and existence; whose god can be in a cup of tea, whose god can be the river flowing by, whose god can be the cypress tree in the courtyard, and whose god can be three pounds of flax. It is not sacrilegious. It is not that God is reduced, Buddha is reduced, to three pounds of flax; on the contrary, three pounds of flax is transformed into divinity, into buddhahood, into God. It is not sacrilegious, it is one of the most sacred statements ever made.
This is one of the basic truths to be understood. Then it will be very easy to go into this beautiful parable.
There was once a woman who had heard of the fruit of heaven. She coveted it.
Meditate over each word:
There was once a woman who had heard…
Many of the people who become religious, become religious only through information. That’s where they miss the whole point; their first step has fallen on the wrong track.