The fear oriented religion is the religion of “don’t”: don’t do this, don’t do that – because fear is negative. The Ten Commandments are all fear oriented – don’t do this, don’t do that – as if religion is nothing but avoiding – don’t do this, don’t do that – closing oneself in safety and security, never taking any risk, never moving on the dangerous path, in fact not allowing yourself to be alive. Just as the first type of religion is stupid, fanatic, the second type of religion is negative. It gives a certain stiffness, uptightness. It is childish. It is a search for security which is nowhere possible, because life exists as insecurity. God exists as insecurity, danger, and risk.
The key word for the fear oriented religion is “hell,” and of course, repression, continuous repression: don’t do this. The second type of person is always afraid – what to eat, what not to eat, whether to love a woman or not to love a woman, whether to make a house or not to make a house. And whatsoever you repress, you are never free of it; in fact, you are more and more in its power. Because when you repress a thing it goes deeper into your unconscious. It reaches to your very roots and poisons your whole being.
I have heard….
An old-timer was seeing a movie for the first time. He was known to be a very religious man, a man who used to do his prayer regularly, fulfill all the duties, had never been known to get involved in any sort of problematic situations. He was, in short, a very simple man – but not so simple inside. At one point in the feature, a bevy of shapely girls dashed across the screen. They crossed a railroad track, reached a swimming pool and began to disrobe for the plunge. They had taken off their shoes, stockings, shirts, skirts, and were beginning to…and a passing freight train sped across the screen and obscured the view. When it had passed, the next scene showed the girls frolicking in the water.
The old-timer saw the show again and again and again. At length an usher tapped him on the shoulder. “Are you not ever going home?” he asked.
“Oh, I reckon not for a while yet,” said the old-timer. “One of these times that darned train is going to be late.”
Deep inside you will always carry whatsoever has been repressed. You may follow the religion as ritual, but it will never become your heart.
I have heard an anecdote:
For centuries European Jews were the victims of organized persecution called “pogroms.” These pogroms took place so often that Jews developed a sense of humor about them.
In a small town in Poland, soldiers broke into the house of Ostrovoski and his family. Living with him were his wife, three daughters, two sons, and his very aged and religious mother. She was known around almost as a saint.
“Line up!” shouted the sergeant in charge. “We are gonna beat up all the men and rape all the women!”
“Wait,” pleaded Ostrovoski. “You can wallop me and my sons, abuse my wife and daughters, but please sir, I beg you, don’t rape my mother. She is seventy-five years old and very religious.”
“Shut up!” yelled the old woman. “A pogrom is a pogrom!”