Your religions don’t allow you to love yourself, and then they talk all this bullshit of loving your enemies and loving your neighbors. But you can see the point. If you cannot love yourself, you cannot love anybody else in the world. That loving energy has to come from your heart, and there is sitting a sinner, condemned, waiting to be thrown into hellfire.
I have heard, in the middle ages when people, particularly women, were more naive, more simple, there were Christian preachers who would go on threatening them with hellfire, describing in minute details how they will be tortured. And it used to happen that many women would faint in the churches listening to the sermons, because the hellfire and the minute details would drive them nuts. Now these women, can they accept themselves as they are? – No!
All the religions stand upon a single word, and that is how you should be. That word is “should” – that word is not “is.” The “is” is condemned, and the “should” is praised; and the “should” is opposed to your “is.”
You cannot love yourself, your wife cannot love herself – and you both are supposed to love each other. I don’t understand how it is possible. You can pretend, but basically you will hate, because the wife knows you are dragging her further into hell, you know that she is dragging you further into hell – how can you love? Jesus is clever. He talks about loving your enemies, but he does not say anything about loving your wives. Strange, that should have been the first thing to be reminded of – “Love your husbands.” But no, these things are not mentioned.
Religions have been talking about flowers; I am working with the roots. I am against plastic flowers. Real flowers have many differences; plastic flowers are permanent – plastic love will be permanent. The real flower is not permanent, it is changing moment to moment. Today it is there dancing in the wind and in the sun and in the rain. Tomorrow you will not be able to find it – it has disappeared just as mysteriously as it had appeared.
Real love is like a real flower. But all religions teach you plastic love. Then they destroy the very possibility of ever coming to know a real flower. The real flower will have fragrance; the plastic flower has nothing to contribute to your life. It only looks like a flower, it is not a flower. The plastic flower is easy. You do not need to water it, you do not need to take care of the roots. Real flowers need some creativity on your part. Every real value needs creativity.
Just look at your saints: none of them is creative. All their qualities are just hilarious – somebody can lie down in a grave for seven days, and then you dig him up and he is still alive; and he becomes a great saint. But I don’t see that there is any contribution, any creativity in it. He may lie for seven hundred years in a grave; that does not matter. How can he become a saint by lying in a grave for seven days, by learning a certain technique of holding the breath in?