What is the “dark night of the soul”? And is it out of date? Looking inside me and all around me, I only see more joy, contentment, lovingness, appreciation of life and of what is. Looking back, I see a lot of misery, heaviness, pain – but they seem to be related to wrong upbringing and unnecessary self-torture, not to any dark night of the soul.
Yet, I seem to remember you also talking about having, yourself, gone through deep despair, related to the search for truth. So I wonder, is this relaxing more and more into the joy of being alive, with such beauty all around, with slowly growing watchfulness – is this just fine; or are we, am I, somehow just staying on the surface and not moving into the depth of the “search”? And why am I asking?
The question you have raised is very significant in the context of the whole human past. Every religion has been life-negative. And when you negate life, you create misery for yourself; when you go against life, you are going in darkness. Life is light, but no religion in the world has existed up to now which does not teach people attitudes leading to darkness, despair, depression, guilt, sinfulness. They all reduce your dignity, your humanity – it is their vested interest.
I agree with Bertrand Russell only on one point: where he says, “If every human being becomes happy, comfortably happy, religions will disappear.” Nobody has taken note of the significance of his statement, what the implication of it is. Its implication is that religions need misery, despair, unhappiness, for their very survival. And they have a vast investment.
Now the Catholic Church is the greatest firm, compared to any business firm in the world. Six hundred million people, almost a nation, are under the thumb of a Polack pope. So much money and power and prestige is bestowed on religions, their deities, their temples.
In India there is a temple in the south which has so much income every day that it runs a whole university. Perhaps that is the only university in the world that a temple runs – all the salaries and everything. And still the temple goes on becoming rich, because the superstition is that if you donate to the deity of the temple, you will get a millionfold in the other world. Now, who is going to miss such a chance?
And you can see it clearly, that you remember about God and about heaven and hell, and about the Bible and the Koran and the Gita only when you are miserable. Have you ever seen somebody who is happy and rejoicing carrying a Bible? He will carry a bottle of wine; this is not the time for carrying a Bible. And who reads these Bibles, Vedas? Just old people who are coming close to death and are becoming afraid – afraid perhaps there may be a God. Perhaps they are going to encounter God, and if he asks any question…. naturally he will ask a question. It is better to do some homework.
A man who was a salesman of dictionaries and encyclopedias was telling the woman, standing on her doorstep, “This is the latest encyclopedia. You and your children, all will be benefited by it.” But she said, “We have it already. You can see, there in the corner.”