Why is modern man so afraid? It has never been so. Something has happened, something like a catastrophe. Once God is not there in your consciousness, you will be afraid – because without God, existence becomes alien. Then you are not at home; then it is as if everybody is against you. If God is not there then existence becomes inimical – not that it really becomes so, but it looks so to you, it appears to you that it is inimical. Life looks just like a competition; a struggle to survive. A great jealousy surrounds you. Love disappears with God, at-homeness disappears with God.
God is just a symbolic word. It simply denotes an attitude, an attitude that “I am at home.” If God is the father, then the whole of existence is the home and you can be at ease. There is nothing to fear: everything is in the hands of your father.
Religion is personal, and the whole effort is to look at life as if it is a family. The tree, howsoever far away, is related to you. It is a relative…and the rock also, and the oceans also, and the moon and the stars also. Everything is related to everything else. You exist in a related family.
You are a part of it – as if existence is trying to reach somewhere through you to a higher peak of consciousness. Through you, God is trying to reach to a new existence, to a new peak of ecstasy, to a new peak of awareness, to a new way – as if God is trying to achieve a breakthrough through you. Suddenly you are accepted. Not only accepted, God is trying to do something through you. History is being created through you, existence is being created through you. You are significant; you have a tremendous significance. Without you, God will lack something.
Just think: without the son, the father will no longer be a father. Without the son, it is not only that the father will lack something, he will no longer be the father. He will be barren, a desert. The son is a fulfillment.
You are the fulfillment. But once you forget God, or you drop the idea of God as modern man has done, suddenly you are alienated. Suddenly you are never at ease. Wherever you move, you move like a stranger – amongst enemies, not amongst friends.
A friend of mine was staying with me. He was a vice-chancellor in a university, a very atheistic man. I always like trees, and I always like trees to be so close to the house that they almost touch it and cover it. People don’t like that because there is a danger: the tree may destroy the wall, may destroy the foundations. But to me it is worth it. Even if the building disappears, it is beautiful.
He looked around in the morning and he said, “What have you done? You are creating a jungle. Don’t you know that trees are enemies of man?”
He is right in a way, because trees have been constantly fighting with man, and man has been constantly fighting with trees. All the cities that you know were once forests. Man has destroyed the trees, cleaned the ground, claimed it. Now if you don’t do anything with trees for even twenty years, they will overrun and take over, take back the land. They will destroy the buildings and the roads and everything.
So he said, “What are you doing? Trees are enemies.”