First, people are more willing to be in a dead religion than to be in an alive one – because you have been taught to be afraid of life, of love, of happiness. Every child is brought up in the world with a conditioning, with a feeling that there is something wrong in being happy – a very vague feeling, but it is there and it influences your whole life: that there is something wrong in being happy. So whenever you feel happy, you feel guilty – as if you have been committing some wrong, as if you have been sinning.
Only sinners seem to be happy. Saints seem to be very sad. So whenever you are sad, everything is okay. You never feel guilty if you are sad – have you observed it? But if you are very happy, suddenly you try to hide it. Nobody should know.
Why has this happened to the human mind? – because every child is taught to be serious, somber; to have a long face. Every child is taught not to jump, not to run, not to shriek, not to be too delighted, not to laugh loudly. “Sit quietly!” – as if something is wrong in energy expressing itself. And whenever the child is happy, the family, the people around, all start teaching him – as if something has gone wrong. And when the child is not happy, when he is unhappy, everybody sympathizes with him.
When the child is ill, everybody takes care of him. When he is healthy, everybody goes on stopping him: “Don’t do this!” “Don’t do that!” When the child is ill, lying on the bed, the father comes, the mother comes, the relatives come. They are all very careful around him. By and by, he starts learning that there is something basically wrong in energy, in happiness, in joy, in dancing, running around, shrieking with delight…. There is something basically wrong – he gets the hint – and there is something basically good in being sad, ill. Whenever he is sad, he is appreciated, sympathized with.
Whenever he is healthy everybody seems to be against him; the whole world is against him. This creates a guilt, a deep guilt in the child. And that guilt follows you your whole life.
If you go to see a saint and you see him laughing loudly, you will be shocked. A saint, and laughing so loudly? A saint should be sad. You have a particular idea about the saint. It is okay to laugh in the pub, to laugh in a hotel – gamblers can do that – but to laugh in a church? No, it is not allowed. One has to become serious when one goes to church; one has to become almost corpse-like.
Because of this training…and the training has a vicious circle about it: you were trained by your parents, your parents were trained by their parents…. Somewhere in the past, deeply hidden in unknown history, something went wrong.
Maybe one who is happy cannot be forced to work, because happiness is a play. Only sad people can be forced to work. That’s why you become sad when you work, you become sad when you are on duty. A holiday has a different quality to it. You can laugh, you can enjoy.
Life was difficult in the past. Man was in a constant struggle with nature. The only aim was to survive, and everybody had to work hard. If you are happy, you like to dance, not work; if you are happy, you like to sing, play a flute and not go hunting. If you are happy, who bothers about duty and about the office? If you are happy you like to rest and relax. That was dangerous.