Each man is born with a unique individuality, and each man has a destiny of his own. Imitation is crime, it is criminal. If you try to become a Buddha, you may become an imitation Buddha. You may look like Buddha, you may walk like Buddha, you may talk like Buddha, but you will miss. You will miss all that life was ready to deliver to you, because Buddha happens only once. It is not in the nature of things to repeat. God is so creative that he never repeats anything. You cannot find another human being in the present, in the past, or in the future, who is going to resemble you exactly. It has never happened. Man is not a mechanism. He is not like Ford cars on an assembly line; you can produce millions alike, exactly alike. Man is a soul, is individual. Imitation is poisonous. Never imitate anybody, otherwise you will be a victim of the first sort of religion, which is not religion at all.
Then there is the second type. The second type is fear oriented. Man is afraid, the world is a strange world, and man wants to be secure, safe. In childhood the father protects, the mother protects. But there are many people, millions of them, who never grow beyond their childhood. They remain stuck somewhere, and they still need a father and a mother. Hence God is called the Father or the Mother. They need a divine Father to protect them; they are not mature enough to be on their own. They need some security.
One psychologist, Winnicott, has been working with a particular problem with small children for many years, He has discovered many beautiful things; they are pertinent.
You may have watched small children with their teddy bear, or their toy, their special toy, or their blanket, or something that has a special personality to the child. The teddy bear…you cannot replace the teddy bear. You may say that you can find a better one, but that doesn’t matter. – there is a love relationship between the child and his teddy bear. His teddy bear is unique; you cannot replace it. It becomes dirty, it becomes smelly, rotten, but the child goes on carrying it. You cannot find a new one, a fresh one. Even parents have to tolerate it. Even they have to respect, because a child feels offended. If the parents are going to travel, they have to tolerate the teddy bear also; they have to treat it almost as a member of the family. They know this is foolish, but for the child it has significance.
What significance does the teddy bear have for the child? It is objective in a way. It is there, outside the child; it is part of reality. Certainly it is not just imagination, it is not just subjective; it is not a dream, it is there. But it is not totally there – many of the child’s dreams are involved in it. It is an object, objective, but much subjectivity is involved in it. For the child it is almost alive. The child has projected many things onto the teddy bear. He talks to the teddy bear, sometimes he becomes angry and throws it away, then says, “I am sorry” and takes it back. It has a personality, almost human.
Without the teddy bear he cannot go to sleep. Holding, hugging, he goes to sleep; he feels secure. With the teddy bear the world is okay, everything is okay. Without the teddy bear he is suddenly alone. So the teddy bear exists in a totally new dimension which is neither subjective nor objective. Winnicott calls it “the transitory realm”: a little objective and a little subjective. Many children grow physically, but they never grow spiritually, and they need teddy bears all their lives. Your images of God in the temple are nothing but teddy bears.