Rinzai is saying to his followers,
“Followers of the way, you seize upon words from the mouths of old masters and take them to be the true way, saying, ‘These good masters are wonderful, and I, simple-minded fellow that I am, don’t dare measure such old worthies.’”
How can I question? How can I measure? I am an ordinary man and these are extraordinary people. Some have claimed that they are prophets of God, some have claimed that they are messengers of God, some have claimed that, like Jesus, they are the only begotten son of God. They are very rare people; how can you question them? You are an ordinary human being.
But the truth is, all these prophets and messiahs and messengers of someone who does not exist are exploiting people. What they say is just words, but they are hiding behind masks of being prophets.
These people who claim to be prophets are psychologically sick. Just to be human, purely and utterly intelligent, with an empty heart to experience the world, is enough. You don’t have to be a prophet, you don’t have to be a messenger, a paigambara, a messiah.
But this strategy of being a prophet, a messiah, a messenger, is to make their own statements authoritative. They are speaking in the name of God, and unfortunately God does not exist.
I am not in agreement with Friedrich Nietzsche, who said that God is dead. He said really a great thing, but I don’t agree because God has never been born, so how can he die?
God is only the accumulated fear of humanity.
Man feels so insecure surrounded by death, surrounded by all kinds of anxieties and anguishes of the world, he needs psychologically a protector, somebody there above to whom he can pray in times of difficulties, on whom he can rely, who will be just and compassionate and merciful. Man has projected all these ideas on a hypothesis of God.
There are egoistic people who can proclaim, “I am the prophet. I have been sent specially by God to deliver the message.” But the message is so rotten that it proves it is not even written by a good writer.
Just look at your puranas: they are so filthy, pornographic. But no Hindu ever inquires, “Does God write pornography?” They are obscene. Koran or Bible or Hindu puranas, they look so childish. They don’t have the polished, sophisticated look even of a great writer like Leo Tolstoy or Fyodor Dostoevsky. They are written by uneducated people.