The deep-rooted cause for this illusion is that you are contented with what has been given to you. Remember, a religious man is absolutely contented in one sense; but in another sense it is difficult to find a more discontented person than he. He is contented in that he has no complaints against God. He is discontented in that he is very dissatisfied with himself.
An irreligious person has a thousand complaints against God: You have not given me this, You have not given me that. He has no complaints about himself. He is satisfied with his own self. That is his grave because how can you then develop, how can you progress? How will you open your wings to touch the skies? Instead you will remain a prisoner in your own nest, and will die in your cage.
You should feel contented with God and discontented with yourself, but things are reversed. We are deeply satisfied with ourselves and thoroughly dissatisfied with the world. Only we appear to be right, all the rest of the world is in the wrong. This attitude is the very thing that is wrong with us. Except for man, there is no mistake or miscalculation anywhere in existence. All the world flows in peace and joy except for man. There is no obstruction anywhere; only within you is there something clogged somewhere.
A religious man has a deep sense of dissatisfaction with himself. He feels as if he is not worthy of God, that he is not fit to worship or adore him. He is apprehensive whether God will accept him as he is. One thought keeps hammering in his brain: I must make myself worthy of him, I must be a worthy recipient of his acceptance. I must raise a throne within my heart that befits his majesty. I must be so qualified that he accepts being my guest.
So a religious person is critical of his own self. Gradually a moment comes when he evolves to such a degree, he has cleansed himself sufficiently, that he becomes a throne for the Lord. God is bound to knock at his door – if not today, then tomorrow. Then there will not be a moment’s delay. No sooner are you ready than he knocks at your door. The delay lasts only as long as you are not prepared to receive him. Screaming and shouting, weeping and wailing is of no avail. What is needed is your preparation.
And preparation means transformation. You will have to change yourself in many, many ways. If you search within yourself, you will find that not only God but you yourself would not be prepared to step inside you – as you are now. Had you to love a person just like yourself, you would refuse.
Therefore, deep down nobody loves his own self. You are not fit to love your own self, and that is why people are afraid to be alone. If you have to stay alone for an hour or two, you become restless. You look for a friend or go to a club or cinema or market, or play the radio, or watch the TV, or read a paper. How can one sit all by oneself doing nothing you ask. You are bored with yourself. You are not good company to your own self, and yet you desire the company of God? If you yourself are not prepared to stay with yourself, who else could be ready to stay with you?