You can see the simple cunningness. How can man not be directly connected with the source of life? He is already connected; otherwise, how can you be alive? Who breathes in you, except God? By “God,” I mean the totality of life. Who is beating in your heart? Who sings in you, who loves in you, who dances in you? You are continually in contact with the source of life. You are immersed in it. The mediator is not needed at all.
But the Catholic pope understands that if people start confessing directly to God, then millions of Catholic priests will be out of employment. Not only will they be out of employment, if people don’t confess to them they will lose their power over people.
The greatest power in the world is to expose yourself before somebody. Particularly, what you think is evil, a sin, you want to hide. Once you have confessed to a priest, you cannot leave the Catholic fold. You will always be afraid – the priest can expose you to the public. So it is a very deep, psychological slavery. And it pays too, because the priest will give you some punishment. He will ask you to put ten dollars, twenty dollars, thirty dollars in the donation box, according to the seriousness of your sin.
One day it happened… A rabbi and a bishop were very great friends and they used to go together to the movies, to the racecourse. The whole city wondered, “One is a rabbi, a Jew. One is a bishop!” But they had a great friendship.
On the Sunday, the rabbi reached the church and was told, “The bishop may not be able to go with you to play golf because there are so many people waiting for confession. He is in the confession box.”
So the rabbi went into the box and said, “Finish it quickly.”
The bishop said, “I am trying hard, but it seems this week too much sin has been done in the city. A long queue is still waiting, and I have to get ready.”
The rabbi said, “Just let me see how you do it, because I don’t know what confession is. Just one or two instances, and then you go and get ready. And nobody will know” – because the confession box is made in such a way…a small window, and on the other side is the confessor; the priest sits behind the wall and listens from there. The rabbi said, “I will do it, you just go.”
He had seen two, three confessions. A man came and said, “Father, I am very sorry, but I again raped a woman.” The rabbi was at a loss – what to say? He had never done it before, he was very immature at the profession. But he had heard two, three confessions. He said, “Twenty dollars.”
The man said, “This is too much, because last time I raped someone you asked for only ten dollars.”
But a rabbi is a rabbi. He said, “Don’t be worried – ten dollars in advance. You can do one more rape and need not come to confess. But give twenty dollars.” A Jew understands business.
First, religions make people feel guilty about all pleasures. When you are young, you may not listen. Perhaps the life energy is so strong that all the preachers may shout from the rooftops, but life will take you on its own path.