Seriousness is mundane, it is of the marketplace. You find it in the churches – in fact too much – because your churches are nothing but part of the marketplace, part of the world of commodities.
I have heard one Jewish joke….
A Jew came to the synagogue with a dead cat and he told the rabbi that he wanted to bury it in the Jewish burial ground.
The rabbi was aghast, horrified. He said, “What! You, a good Jew, and asking your rabbi to bury a dirty, dead cat in the holy grounds? No, never! Certainly not! Absolutely not!”
The man stood up and said, “Then I will not be able to give you the ten thousand pounds the cat has left in the will.”
Suddenly the rabbi jumped and he said, “Wait – don’t try to leave! You fool! Why didn’t you tell me before that the cat was a Jew?”
Your synagogues, your churches, your temples – they belong to the marketplace. They have to be serious.
The world is much too serious, and it has to be because death always hangs over it. You may avoid, you may not look at it, but in the world death is always around – you have to be serious! Even if you laugh, your laughter has tears within it; even if you smile, your smile is not total – it is painted, forced, it is not an inner flow and glow. No, it is not. And in the marketplace you have learned too much seriousness – then your churches become serious, your gods cannot smile.
Christians say Jesus never laughed. It looks absolutely foolish, the whole idea. Jesus never laughed? Then who will laugh? If even Jesus cannot laugh, then laughter becomes a sheer impossibility. In fact, only he must have laughed. Only he can laugh and enjoy it.
In India we don’t take the world seriously. We call it God’s leela, God’s play: a joke at the most, a story, a drama – told beautifully, but nothing serious about it.
I am not serious and whatsoever I am saying, I am saying in a very non-serious mood. Of course I am sincere, but not serious. Whatsoever I am saying, I really want to convey it to you. But if it is not conveyed I don’t feel frustrated, if it is conveyed I don’t feel proud. If I fail utterly or I succeed absolutely, both are the same. That’s why I say I am not serious.
You may be here seriously, but by and by I will persuade you not to be serious because seriousness is the shadow of the ego – without the ego you can’t be serious. Simply, the seriousness disappears with the ego, because death disappears with the ego. Only the ego dies, not you.