The world has become so false – can’t you see? From where is this falsity arising? Millions of people go to the churches, temples, mosques, gurudwaras, and not a single person is religious. What kind of neurosis is this? They go just as a formality, they go because they have been taught to go, they go because they have become addicted to the habit of going. It is just a habit. If they don’t go they feel guilty, if they don’t go they feel as if they are betraying their parents, their society. If they go there is no joy in it, they simply drag themselves into it. They simply wait there until the ritual ends, the prayer ends, so that they can escape out of the temple, out of the church. It is a bogus kind of religion. And the reason is that they have never been allowed to say no.
No has to come first, only then can yes come. To really be a theist, first one has to go through the process of atheism. To really be a believer in God, first one has to go through the dark night of doubt – only then the dawn. There is no other alternative.
It is good, that the no is arising. You are being true for the first time in your life – let it happen – and the yes will follow just as day follows night.
But this mischief has been done to you – and in the name of great things: God, prayer, country, love, religion, church, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna. In the name of these great things much mischief has been done to you, you have been manipulated. And what is the outcome? You have become a plastic phenomenon, you don’t have that sincerity which can make a person really religious.
My own observation is this: that a person who has not said no to God will never be able to say yes, or if he says it, his yes will be pointless.
The so-called religion is what Gregory Bateson calls “the double bind;” one is ordered to do two things which are mutually exclusive: to be sincere and to believe. How can you be sincere if you are told to believe? To believe means to be insincere. To believe means to believe in something that you don’t know, to which your whole heart says, “No, I don’t know. How can I believe?” Belief is insincerity, and you have been told to be sincere and to believe – this creates a double bind in you.
Your religion, so-called religion, is based on insincerity. How can it be religious? – the very beginning is poisoned, the very source has gone sour. No child should be taught religion. Every child should be taught inquiry, doubt, logic, reason.
And why are you so afraid of logic, doubt and reason? Because if a child really goes deep into doubt, he will find the futility of it on his own. And out of that finding trust arises, and then that trust has beauty, grandeur.
If a child reasons to the very end, he will come to the point where he will be able to see that now reasoning has come to an end but existence goes on and on. Existence is something beyond reasoning. But let every child feel it in his own guts!
A religion, to be true, has to be a religion of the guts, not of belief. Let the child think as much as he can, to his full capacity. Let him burn with doubt, logic, reasoning, to the maximum, and he will see the limitations of the intellect. It is bound to happen. And when the limitations of the intellect have been seen, experienced by yourself, you start moving into the beyond; you start surpassing the mind.