The man that breathes lives on the air,
and the other, unseen, rests above reach.
Between the two moves another man
as a secret link.
It is a sport amongst the three of them.
My searching heart,
whom do you seek?
Between the doors of birth and death,
stands yet another door, wholly inexplicable.
He who is able to be born
at the door of death,
is devoted eternally….
Die before dying,
Religion is a very complex phenomenon; its complexity has to be understood.
There are seven types of religions in the world. The first type is ignorance oriented. Because people cannot tolerate their ignorance, they hide it. Because it is difficult to know that one does not know, it is against the ego, people believe. Their belief systems function to protect their egos. They are helpful, but in the long range they are very harmful. In the beginning they seem to be protecting, but finally they are very destructive. The very orientation is in ignorance.
Religion is light, religion is understanding, religion is awareness, religion is authenticity. But a major part of humanity remains in the first type of religion. It is simply to avoid the reality, to avoid the gap that one feels in one’s own being, to avoid the black hole of ignorance.
The people of the first type are the fanatics. They cannot even tolerate that there can be other sorts of religions in the world. Their religion is the religion. Because they are so afraid of their ignorance, if there is some other religion also then they will become suspicious, then doubt will arise. Then they will not be so certain. To gain certainty they become very stubborn, madly stubborn. They cannot read others’ scriptures, they cannot listen to other nuances of truth, they cannot be tolerant towards other revelations of God. Their revelation is the only revelation, and their prophet is the only prophet. Everything else is absolutely false. These people talk in terms of absolute, while a man of understanding is always relative.
These people have done great harm to religion. Because of these people, religion itself looks a little stupid. Remember not to be a victim of this first sort. Almost ninety percent of humanity lives in this first sort of religion, and that is in no way better than irreligion. Maybe it is worse – because an irreligious person is not fanatic. An irreligious person is more open, at least ready to listen, ready to talk things out, ready to argue, ready to seek and inquire. But the first type of religious person is not even ready to listen.