“So it is better to say the truth to you: please leave me. I don’t know what this business is. I have simply learned words – savior, paradise, following – but I don’t have any experience. And the little bit of sense I used to have six years ago is lost because of you. You are following me like a ghost, torturing me continuously, twenty-four hours a day, because I cannot get rid of the idea – what am I going to do with this man? And every morning you are doing exercises and becoming stronger – the savior is going to die and the follower is becoming more and more strong.”
And the young man said, “I am becoming stronger so that in case you really want to save me I will be in the right shape. Entering into paradise tattered does not look right. In your situation I would rather go to hell, not to heaven – just look at your face in the mirror!”
The old man said, “I know, but this whole thing has happened because of you. I used to know the way to paradise before you started following me. Your company for six years was too much; now I don’t know anymore where the path is, where paradise is, whether paradise exists or not. And I cannot go anywhere; my sheep are waiting all around, in every town, to listen to the great message. But I cannot, because you are standing there by my side telling them that for six years you have followed me and nothing has happened. You just leave me.”
The young man said, “I can leave you only on one condition – that you will stop this business of saving others.”
He said, “That is stopped already; my sheep have gone to follow other saviors. It will be kind of you if you start following somebody else. I have many competitors, it will be a great mercy to me if you do the same thing to those people that you have done to me. Finish them off. Nobody knows what paradise is.”
For centuries, since the very beginning of mankind, there have been people who have been taking advantage of human weakness. One of the greatest human weaknesses is that man wants things for free. And if paradise is available just by believing in the existence of God – or that the savior is the right savior – you are not losing anything and you are gaining everything. You may not get anything, but at least you can live in the hope. All your religious leaders have been giving you hope.
Karl Marx used to say that religions are the opium of the people, but he never went into a deep analysis of the fact. What is the opium? – hope is the opium. They give you hope. They are ready to give you everything for nothing. Just have faith; give all the responsibility to them. And you are unaware of the fact that the moment you give your responsibility to them, you have also given your freedom.
And they are interested in your freedom. They don’t talk to you about freedom, they don’t say, “Give your freedom,” because nobody is going to give their freedom to them. It is a very cunning business. They ask, “Give your responsibility” – and responsibility seems to be a burden, so it is better if somebody else is ready to take it. But you are unaware of the fact that along with the responsibility your freedom disappears. You become a slave. The whole of humanity is enslaved by different kinds of people, but the slavery is the same.