Jesus continuously says, “I am your shepherd, and you are my sheep….” And I have always wondered that not even a single man stood up and said, “What kind of nonsense are you talking? If we are sheep, then you are also a sheep; and if you are a shepherd, then we are also shepherds.”
Not only his contemporaries…but for two thousand years NO Christian has raised the question that it is such an insult to humanity, such a great humiliation to call human beings sheep and to call himself the shepherd, the savior.
“I have come to save you”…and he could not save himself. And still almost half of humanity is hoping that he will be coming back to save them. You cannot save yourself; the only begotten son of God, Jesus Christ, is needed. And he had promised to his people, “I will be coming soon, in your own lifetime”…and two thousand years have passed – many lifetimes have passed – and there seems to be no sign, no indication….
But all the religions have done the same in different ways. Krishna says in the Gita that whenever there will be misery, whenever there will be anguish, whenever there will be need, “I will be coming again and again.” Five thousand years have passed, and he has not been seen even once – never mind “again and again.”
These people, howsoever beautiful their statements may be, were not respectful to humanity. A rebel respects you, respects life, has a deep reverence for everything that grows, thrives, breathes. He does not put himself above you, holier than you, higher than you; he is just one amongst you. Only one thing he can claim: that he is more courageous than you are. He cannot save you – only your courage can save you. He cannot lead you – only your own guts can lead you to the fulfillment of your life.
Rebellion is a style of life. To me, it is the only religion which is authentic. Because if you live according to your own light you may go astray many times, and you may fall many times; but each fall, each going astray will make you wiser, more intelligent, more understanding, more human. There is no other way of learning than by making mistakes. Just don’t make the same mistake again.
There is no God, except your own consciousness.
There is no need for any pope, or for Ayatollah Khomeini, or for any shankaracharya, to be mediators between you and God. These are the greatest criminals in the world, because they are exploiting your helplessness.
Just a few days ago, the pope declared a new sin: that one should not confess directly to God; you have to confess through the priest. Confessing directly to God, communicating directly with God, is a new sin. Strange…you can see clearly that this is not religion, this is business – because if people start confessing directly to God, then who is going to confess to the priest and pay the fine? The priest becomes useless, the pope becomes useless.