This nothingness can be achieved only if there are no thought-clouds in you. Those are the clouds that are hampering your inner space, obstructing your inner space. Have you watched the sky? In summer it is so clean and clear, so crystal clear – not a speck of a cloud. And then come the rains, and thousands of clouds come, and the whole earth is surrounded with clouds. The sun disappears, the sky is no more available. This is the state of the mind: the mind is constantly clouded. It is the rainy season of your consciousness; the sun is no more available, the light is hidden, hindered, and the purity of space and the freedom of space is no more available. Everywhere you find yourself defined by the clouds.
When you say, “I am a Hindu,” what are you saying? You are getting caught by a cloud, the thought that you are a Hindu. When you say, “I am a Mohammedan” – or a Christian or a Jaina – what are you saying? You are becoming identified with a thought-cloud, you are losing your purity. That’s why I say a religious man is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian – he cannot be. He’s a summertime of consciousness, he has no clouds: the sun is there, bright, unhindered, and there is infinite space around him, there is silence around him. You will not find the vibe of the cloudy consciousness.
When you say, “I am a communist,” what are you saying? You are saying that you have been reading Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao; that you have become too attached with Das Kapital; that you have become identified with the idea of class struggle – the poor and the rich and the conflict; that you have become too attracted, hypnotized by a dream, an utopia: that someday in the future a classless society can be created; that you have become too obsessed with this utopia and you are ready to do anything for it. Even if you have to kill millions of people you are ready – for their own sakes, for their own good. This is a cloudy state.
When you say, “I am an Indian,” again the same. When you say, “I am a Chinese,” again the same. If you really want to be religious you will have to drop these identities slowly, slowly. No idea should ever possess you. No book should be your Bible! No Veda should define you, no Gita should confine you. You should not allow any philosophy, theology, dogma, theory, hypothesis to overcrowd you. You should not allow any smoke around your flame of consciousness. Only then are you religious.
If you ask a religious man who he is he can only say, “I am a nothingness,” because nothingness is not an idea, it is not a theory. It simply indicates a state of purity.
Remember, perception has nothing to do with knowledge. In fact, when you perceive through knowledge you don’t perceive rightly. All knowledge creates projections. Knowledge is a bias, knowledge is a prejudice. Knowledge is conclusion – you have concluded even before you have gone into it.
For example, if you come to me with a conclusion already in your mind – it may be for me, it may be against me, that doesn’t matter – if you come to me with a conclusion then you come with a cloud. Then you will go on looking at me through your cloud, and naturally your cloud will throw shadows on me. If you have come with the idea, “This is the right man,” then you will find something which goes on supporting your idea. If you have come with the idea, “This is a wrong man, dangerous, evil,” then you will go on finding something which supports your idea.