Remember this, that the real, authentic religion is concerned with the being, not with the doing. It has nothing to do with your outer way of life, it has something to do with your center. Of course, when the center changes the periphery follows; your outer life also changes. But the reverse is not true: you can change the periphery – the center will not change, and you will live the life of a hypocrite, a life of hypocrisy. You will have a different periphery from the center, not only different but just the opposite, the very contrary, and you will be split in two.
Religion is not ritual, remember that. Religion is an inner consciousness, an inner awakening. Many things on the surface will change, but the change must occur within you first.
Think of yourself as a circle with a center. The circle is concerned with others. The circle touches others’ boundaries, other circles. The circle lives, the periphery lives in the society of other peripheries. A certain morality is needed; to live with the others, a certain regulation, rule, a system, is needed. That’s okay, but that is not religion.
Morality is how to live with others, and religion is how to live with oneself. Morality is how not to go wrong with others, and religion is the method of how not to go wrong with yourself. Religion is that which you do in your total loneliness, in your innermost shrine. Obviously, the periphery will be changed because the light from the center will come, by and by, and infiltrate the whole periphery. You will become luminous. Even others will start feeling the luminosity, the light that comes from you. But that light will not be the light of your actions, good actions. The light will be something that is not concerned with good and bad.
The light will be just like when a flower opens and the fragrance spreads – neither good nor bad. The sun rises and the light spreads – neither good nor bad. And the clouds come, and rain – they don’t bother who is good and who is bad.
When the light comes from the center it is beyond morality; good and bad, everything is dissolved. Simple light, superb in its own self, in its intrinsic value.
The word religion is very beautiful, it comes from a root which means religere: religere means to rejoin, to reunite. With whom? With yourself, with the source of your being. And why reunite? – because you are already united with the source; it is a reunion. It is not that you are reaching to the source for the first time; otherwise, from where will you come? You have come from the source. Deep down you are still in the source. Just on the periphery, as if the branches have forgotten about the roots…not that they are broken from the roots, because then they cannot live. They have simply forgotten. In their ego, in their height in the sky, with the moon, in their romance, they have completely forgotten that they have roots underground which nourish them, which sustain them, without which they cannot exist for a single moment. And all this greenery, all these flowers and all these fruits, will simply disappear like dreams once they are cut from the root.