Strangely enough the religions which do not believe in God, their ultimate goal is freedom. And the religions that believe in God, their ultimate goal is salvation. A savior will come, you yourself are absolutely helpless. A messiah will come who will save you. They have been waiting for six thousand years, and he does not come. And once in a while if somebody gets insane enough and proclaims, “I am the one you are waiting for,” they kill him.
It is a strange humanity. You are waiting for the person and if somebody tries…. It was not only Jesus. Jesus has become more prominent because a great religion arose behind him. There were other people: John the Baptist was killed because he proclaimed not even, “I am the prophet,” but simply, “I am creating the right atmosphere for the prophet to come.” He was beheaded. He proclaimed Jesus as the prophet for whom he had been making the way. And Jesus was crucified. The same has been the behavior all around the world.
Religions don’t want you to be intelligent. The fruit of intelligence has been abandoned. If you become wise it is going against God. That’s why all religions which believe in order and obedience don’t preach meditation. These are very intricate matters. Why does Christianity not preach meditation? Why is there no place in Mohammedanism for meditation? For the simple reason that meditation is really both those trees together. It will bring you enlightenment and it will bring you an absolute, indubitable certainty that you are God, that everything is divine. In your godliness even the smallest grass leaf becomes divine, just as the biggest star. The whole universe becomes just a vibration of divine dance. But you have to feel it first in your heart, and all your so-called religions are driving you away from it: Pray to God!
I have heard about Michelangelo…. He was painting the ceiling of a famous cathedral. It was getting a little dark, and an old woman was praying to God, not knowing at all that above her on the ceiling Michelangelo was doing some painting. And he was getting tired lying on the long ladder. He listened to what this old woman was saying. She was asking God, “A little money won’t be bad. I need it, because I don’t have anybody to support me. You have taken everybody away.” She was praying particularly to Mary, Jesus Christ’s mother, because being a woman she will understand the troubles of an old woman.
Michelangelo, tired of his work, just wanted to enjoy the moment. He said, “I am listening to you. I am Jesus Christ.”
The woman must have been a great woman. She said, “Shut up! I am talking to your mother directly!”
Michelangelo has written, “I could not believe it. I had offered, but she simply refused. She said, ‘Shut up!’ In the darkness she could not even see.”
All these religions are trying to humiliate humanity. Their whole business and exploitation and oppression depend on you, your fear, your greed, your death, your disease. If you start feeling yourself divine and can enjoy not only life but death too, with the same dance, what will be the purpose of the priests? And there are millions of them all over the world, just living like parasites. They may be Hindu, they may be Mohammedan, they may be Christian, they may belong to any religion, but priesthood is the ancientmost profession of parasites.