People don’t really want to be religious; their religion is only formal, it does not mean anything – it is a Sunday religion. They go to the church, they go to the temple, they go to the mosque – it is respectable, and they are good meeting places. Churches are like clubs, very formal; they don’t change anything in you, but they give you a good feeling about yourself, that you are religious.
The people who go to the churches, to the temples, to the synagogues, are going for absolutely wrong reasons. What are their reasons for going there? They are going there to pray to God to grant them some of their wishes, so that some of their desires will be fulfilled. They have tried hard and they are not succeeding, and they would like God to do some miracle for them.
Here is an English public schoolgirl’s prayer:
Holy Mary, I believe
that without sin
thou didst conceive.
Now I pray
in my believing
that I may sin
They are going there in search of some miracle, they are not interested in discovering the truth. Yes, they are immensely interested in beautiful lies, consolations, confirmations that they are good, that whatsoever they are and wherever they are is perfectly right. And the priests have been doing this business. First they create guilt in you and then they console you. Guilt makes you go to the churches, to the temples, because you feel uneasy, and then the priest consoles you, helps you. He has created the wound in the first place and then he puts ointment on your wound and you feel very good.
But to be with Jesus or to be with Zarathustra or to be with Mohammed is to be with fire. You will be consumed. You will have to die – unless you die you cannot be reborn. The only way to be reborn is to first die; resurrection first is not possible. First is crucifixion, then follows resurrection. And who wants to be crucified? To be with me is crucifixion.
And the people who are afraid of me, their only method of protecting themselves from coming to me is to deny, to say, “There is nothing to go there for,” to create a wall. That’s why they are so against me, criticizing.