But religions were not satisfied only with that, they want to punish your thoughts too; so, God will punish you…. And they have created their hell for those who allow their unacceptable parts to go according to nature.
In short, the natural being in you is not acceptable in its totality to these religions. Many fragments of it are absolutely condemned. A few fragments of it can be used, but in moderation, with control. And the real good has to be learned. You don’t bring it from nature: it has to be earned, deserved.
Now, if for millions of years this kind of conditioning goes on and on, naturally you start having a certain conscience – which is not consciousness.
Conscience is a social by-product.
Consciousness is your ultimate nature.
For consciousness there is nothing wrong in you. Everything that nature has provided you can be used for the growth of consciousness. It is raw material.
Have you seen when a building is being constructed and all the raw material is there? You cannot conceive that a beautiful building will come out of it, that a Taj Mahal will be created out of this mess. Your immediate idea will be, “What is this mess all about? Clean ground is far better.” But you don’t know that all that is cluttering the ground can become part of an immensely beautiful building. It just needs the right architect, the right builders.
There is a Sufi school whose name is simply “The Builders.” They have chosen the name “The Builders” because of this fact that man comes from nature as raw material. Nature gives you everything that you need to become a god; but it gives you freedom. It does not impose it on you, because if you are made a god, manufactured a god, your godliness will be worthless. Then you are assembled in a factory.
No, so much freedom is given to you that from the same raw material you can create a devil, you can create a god; you can create a hell for yourself, you can create a heaven. You can fall to the lowest and you can rise to the highest. But nothing is unnatural, neither the highest nor the lowest. Both are your possibilities, and you are free to choose.
But religions have been telling an absolute lie.
They have been saying that you are born in sin, that your nature is basically leading you towards more and more sin. You have to fight with nature, so everything natural becomes in some way evil, and everything that you can do against nature becomes good. That is their definition.
Just look at all the religions and their definitions of good and bad. They may differ about certain things – whether they are good or not – but as far as their fundamentals are concerned, there is no difference.