According to my dictionary, a cult is “a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious” – “spurious” meaning “of illegitimate birth, bastard.”
Is it not true to say that the real spirit of religiousness can never be anything but unorthodox; and will always be inspired by a love union, rather than born out of a legalized contract?
Maneesha, I am not a man of language, not a linguist, not a man of words. My experience is of the wordless. Although I use words, I am not confined by them. To me there is only one dictionary and that is of existence, of experience. All other dictionaries are for mundane, ordinary affairs – not for this extraordinary love affair.
In the first place there is no such thing as religion. Just as there is no such thing as love, no such thing as beauty – these are not things. There is a certain phenomenon you can describe as religiousness, but you cannot confine it to the word religion.
Religion is a limitation; it has a boundary line, it is an imprisonment. Religiousness is open to the whole sky. It can contain the all. It has no doors, no windows, no walls.
The moment the experience of religiousness is formulated in language, condensed in certain quotes, scriptures, churches, the religion has already died. It is almost as if you have seen a beautiful bird, an eagle flying across the sun, and you have experienced the beauty of the flight which knows no boundaries…
You can imprison the bird in a beautiful golden cage. In the ordinary sense it is the same bird that was in flight in the sky, but in truth it is not the same one. It has no sky of its own. It has lost its space, its spirit; it has lost its wings and it has not gained anything except a security, a safety. In the open sky there is always danger, always risk. Encaged, your nourishment is secured, your protection is secured, you are guarded, but you have lost your freedom. And freedom is your soul, your very being.
The same is true about truth, beauty, good: all great qualities are verbs, but you have transformed them into nouns.
There is no such thing as love. There is a certain experience which can be called “loving.” The word love is dead; the word loving is still a flowing river, unfrozen. There is no such thing as friendship, there is only friendliness.
The same is applicable to religion. To me there is no such thing as religion.
All those who pretend that they are Hindus and Mohammedans and Christians and Jews and Jainas are fake. They have not even understood the basic principle of religiousness. They are simply members of a crowd. Your religions are nothing but politics in the name of God.