If you go on fasting for a longer time the body by and by relaxes into a kind of dullness. It starts accepting, it adjusts itself; there is no point. There is nobody who takes care, so what is the point of going on crying? The body becomes dumb. You lose sensitivity, you become thick. You grow a thick skin around yourself: then the hot and the cold do not bother you, then starvation does not bother you. Rather, on the contrary, you feel very good deep inside – that you are conquering. But you are not conquering, you are losing ground. Each moment you are losing ground, because truth can only be known through the body! Truth is known by the consciousness but known through the body. One has to remain rooted in the body.
Existence itself is rooted in the world. Take a tree out of the soil and it will die. The life of the tree is intertwined with the life of the earth: it needs water, it needs manure, it needs food, it needs the sun, the air, the wind. Those are natural needs, the tree exists through them. Take the tree out of the soil – for a few days maybe you may not notice that the tree is dying, the old water that it had contained in itself may keep it a little bit green, even a few buds may open, a few flowers may bloom, but not for long – sooner or later the reservoirs of the tree will be finished and the tree will die.
Take yourself out of your body and you will die. Your body is your earth. Your body belongs to the earth, it has come from the earth, it is a small earth around you. It nourishes you, it is not your enemy. It is not in the hands of the devil. There is no devil: the devil is a creation of the pathological mind, the devil is the creation of the paranoid mind. It has come into the world because of fear. But your so-called God has also come out of fear; so your God and your devil have both come out of your fear. You have not known the real godliness. The real godliness is not coming out of fear. The real godliness is out of love, out of joy. The real godliness can only be experienced by becoming more and more sensitive, by becoming more and more open.
Be in your body. Get out of your mind and get into your senses: that is the only way to be religious. It will look paradoxical, but let me say it: the only way to be religious is to be in the world, and deeply in the world – because godliness is hidden in the world. There is no “other world.” The other world is the deepest core of this world, it is not separate from it.
I’m against all ascetic practices. And in the future ascetics will be treated in mad-asylums, psychiatric hospitals. And out of a hundred of your so-called saints, ninety-nine have been neurotic. But because you believed, you could not see what was really happening. Once you believe in a certain thing, the belief creates the phenomenon.
If you drop all kinds of beliefs and you start looking with clarity, you will be surprised: man has not suffered through irreligious people, man has suffered in the hands of the so-called religious. Man’s greatest misery has come out of the split between body and soul. Man has become schizophrenic because of your saints, your churches, your scriptures. And I’m not saying that there have never been real saints; there have been. Jesus or Diogenes, Buddha and Krishna, Zarathustra and Lao Tzu – these people loved life. And the tradition that says something else is created by the pathological.