That’s why he is the first man in the West to say that “The kingdom of God is within you.” It is not in the Old Testament. Nobody had ever heard that the kingdom of God is within you. This was simply a very clever translation to say that you are the god. “The kingdom of God is within you” is a way of saying that looking outside is not the way of the seeker; you have to go inwards.
This created the whole trouble. The Jews could see that he was using words from their tradition but he was giving them some strange meanings. It was absolutely clear: the Jewish God says, “I am a jealous god, very angry god, I will not forgive you if you commit any sin.” And it is proved by the expulsion of Eve and Adam because they committed the sin of eating the fruit from the tree of wisdom.
They were not quick enough to eat from the other tree too. They were caught red-handed on the first tree. That is the only sad part in it.
And sometimes, if you are unprejudiced, you can see things which prejudiced minds are absolutely incapable to see. Eve is persuaded by the Devil to eat from the tree of wisdom. Eve is naturally afraid – God has prohibited it – but the reasoning that convinces Eve is very significant. The Devil said, “You don’t understand why. He has prohibited you from the two most significant experiences. He has prohibited you from wisdom, he has prohibited you from immortality, because he is very jealous. If you are also enlightened, and you are also immortal, you will become a god in your own right. And that is his jealousy. He wants to remain as the only god and does not want anybody else to attain to that position.”
I am surprised that nobody has appreciated the Devil, because what he is saying is more significant – in comparison to God’s orders, which are fascist. God looks like any Adolf Hitler.
I should remind you that the word devil and the word divine both come from the same Sanskrit root. Both mean the same. Perhaps the Devil is the first great revolutionary. His own crime was that he had revolted against God; otherwise he himself used to be an angel, but because he had the mind of a revolutionary he was thrown out of the company of God, condemned as evil. But the way he persuaded Eve makes me deeply respectful to the man. He is teaching exactly what all the enlightened people of the world have been teaching, that you can become a god. You are essentially a god, it is just that you have forgotten it. Perhaps you are asleep and you don’t know who you are; all that you need is an awakening.
Jesus tried, and that very effort became the cause for his crucifixion. He was not yet enlightened – that can be said without any difficulty, because he was still believing that he was superior, the only begotten son of God, and every other human creature is inferior, needs support. No one can become part of the kingdom of God without believing in him. Now this is not the way of an enlightened man.