From Bondage to Freedom Chapter 23 Religion is dead, religio isborn

CHAPTER 23

Religion is dead, religio is born

7 October 1985 am in Rajneeshmandir

Question 1 BELOVED MASTER, GOD IS DEAD, RELIGION IS DEAD. THEN WHAT REMAINS? It is an old story. First, let me tell you the latest death. Last week in the Vatican a Minorite monk, aged fifty-five, constructed a machine for masturbation. His name was Guardiano Alfredo Germonari. Testing the machine, a short circuit happened, and the poor monk died from an electric shock. He was doing a great humanitarian work, particularly for monks ­ to save them from the disease AIDS. But it seems God is more favorable to homosexuality and AIDS than to a mechanical device which is more clinical, less harmful ­ unless a short circuit happens, which is very rare. Now, your question.... Reading the name, Guardiano Alfredo Germonari, I thought perhaps God died because... pronouncing all these Italian names, it is better to die. Their names are so clumsy, just like their spaghetti. At least one thing is certain: God does not like spaghetti, because there is no mention in any scripture; otherwise every kind of detail is given. You are asking me, "God is dead...." He has never been there. This is just another way of saying that God was our own projection, our own desire for a father figure. As man matures, evolves, becomes more intelligent, the projection is bound to disappear.

God has never existed, and his death is tremendously significant. His death means man is not a machine. It means that man is not a creature, created by someone; that man has an independence. He is not created, he has evolved over millions of years. He is existential, he is not mechanical. The death of God is tremendously significant. It is the declaration of man's freedom. If God can create you, he can any moment uncreate you. You are just a puppet. If God creates you, then whatever you are, you are not responsible for it. That's why the whole humanity behaves irresponsibly. Every responsibility is God's. If good happens, it is because of God, if bad happens, it is because of God: man is simply a victim. God is a fascist dictator, and very whimsical. He created the world, according to Judaic and Christian tradition, only six thousand years ago. Then what had he been doing before that ­ for eternity? He has a gay company with him, a very strange company ­ and people are known by the company they keep. The Holy Ghost ­ now what kind of company is this? A son, but there is no mother. This is the trinity. How this son is born, no Christian theologian, no Jewish rabbi has been able to answer. Has the Holy Ghost given birth to Jesus Christ? Is the Holy Ghost a woman? Then he should be called the Holy Witch. Is he bisexual? As far as names are concerned, all the three are male. This is sheer male chauvinistic ideology, really macho. The death of God declares freedom for man and equality for women. With God in the heavens, the woman can never be equal with man. Man was created in a special way, out of mud, humus ­ that's why he is called "human." Why couldn't he create a woman out of the same material? There is so much mud, even in this small commune ­ it is called the Big Muddy Ranch ­ and God owns the whole universe! There is so much mud, but he could not find mud enough to create a woman. No, just a macho ­ the woman cannot be created exactly the way man is created. He took out one of the ribs of man and created the woman out of the rib. The woman is nothing but a bone. Now, a bone cannot be equal to man. A bone is just a bone. God alive, the woman will remain in bondage. God dead, the woman is liberated, liberated from a male chauvinistic idea. Man himself is liberated ­ because to be created by someone is very humiliating. Then you are like a painting, or a sculpture, dependent completely on the artist. You don't have your own being. A small child was saying to his friend, another small child, "My father is such a great painter that he makes a painting and you can see the face in the painting smiling. And just by a single stroke of his brush the smile disappears, and you see a sad man." The other boy laughed. He said, "That's nothing. You must see my mother. I come home smiling, there is no need even for a single stroke of a brush: just seeing her and I become sad, just a look is enough.... I was coming dancing, running, happy, but she is such a 'mum' that to face her you cannot be smiling. She is a great artist! What is your father compared to my mother?" If man is created by God, then you are not responsible for your sexuality, you are not responsible if you commit a murder, you are not responsible if you commit suicide ­ because all these potentials were created by God in you... these ideas, these possibilities which will one day become actual.

All courts are really against God ­ but they are punishing victims instead of punishing the real criminal. All religions are really against God, but they are telling you how to behave rather than telling God, "Why don't you change your way of creating man? If celibacy is spiritual, create celibate people." And nothing is impossible for God. If he can create the whole existence, can't he manage to create a celibate man? Can't he create a man or a woman who is a born monk, a born nun? He just has to do a little work in your biology, in your chemistry, in your hormones. It is strange ­ God creates men, women, full of sex, and the priests of God are against sex. God creates you the way you are, but you are not accepted by the society the way you are. You have to mold yourself according to the ideas of the society. God is secondary; the social norm is primary. And, strangely, nobody sees this contradiction. All these societies, all these religions, all these courts of law go on paying tribute to God. Once I was in a court because I had inaugurated a church which was lying closed for ten years, because the people who used to worship there had left when the British empire in India disappeared. It was a special church for English people, and it was locked; it was owned by the archbishop of England. I told a few of my Christian friends, "This is strange ­ such a beautiful church is simply becoming a ruin, such a beautiful garden is simply not taken care of. Why don't you start worshipping here? You have a church which is very ordinary, and this church was made for the people who ruled India" ­ it was all marble. "So why do you continue to worship in a third-class church, when this church is empty and Christ has been imprisoned for ten years? Give him a little fresh air ­ open the doors!" It appealed to them. A few young Christians agreed, but they said, "You will have to inaugurate it." I said, "That I will certainly do." So they broke the lock and I inaugurated the church. They started worshipping in the church; they cleaned it, they tried to make the garden better. But the archbishop of England informed the archbishop of India to put a case against these people. And because I had inaugurated their church, I was also involved in the case, so I had to go to the court. In fact, I had provoked them to do whatsoever they had done. And the church was looking so beautiful. The garden was coming back, and it was looking alive. I was brought to the court, and the judge asked me, "In the name of God, take the oath that you will speak only truth and nothing else." I said, "In the name of God I cannot take the oath. Have you seen God? Has anybody in this court seen God? I have not seen him, and I don't think he exists at all! Why should I take the oath in the name of God? I can say on my own responsibility that whatever I say will be the truth. But I cannot start it with an ultimate lie. God is the ultimate lie!" The death of God is the victory of truth. It is freedom for man. Now you need not pray, now you need not ask a favor. Now you need not believe in a messiah, in a savior, in a messenger ­ they all died

with the death of God. Without God there is no savior, no prophet, no messiah. There is no pope, no Ayatollah Khomeini, no shankaracharya. They are all living and exploiting humanity in the name of God ­ who does not exist at all. The death of God is an immense freedom, multidimensional. It is not to be mourned; it has to be celebrated. Yes, I have declared that religion too is dead. If God is dead, how can religion survive? One lie leads you to another lie, and God is the fundamental lie. Then you can make a whole palace of playing cards ­ just a small breeze of understanding, of intelligence, and the whole palace collapses. Religion is dead. It has really lived too long, it should have been dead long ago. It has not done any good to humanity, it has done immense harm. It has divided humanity. It has given different groups of people the idea that "You are the real people of God," that "You are special; other human beings are second class." It has fulfilled the egos of Jews, of Christians, of Hindus, of Mohammedans ­ of everybody. It has created so many wars. It has killed millions of people, burned thousands of people alive, and all in the name of God. For your own sake you are being burned alive! Religion is one of the most criminal phenomena that have existed in the world. It is time that we declare it dead. But remember, every death is a beginning of something new; every death is not an end. On the one side it looks as if something has ended, but on the other side something fresh starts growing. The death of religion becomes the beginning of religio. The word "religion" comes from RELIGIO. "Religio" has a beauty of its own, which is lost in "religion." Religio means an existential, an experiential phenomenon. The very word means coming to a point where you are one ­ one with yourself, one with existence. The religion which comes from the same root does not have that meaning. It, on the contrary, makes you split. Making you one is not its work; its work is to make you schizophrenic, to put you into a split state, to put you against your own body, to put you against your own sex, to put you against yourself; to divide you into parts, fragments, and create an inner conflict in you. All religious people are continuously fighting with themselves, because their biology says to do something, and their holy scripture says to do just the opposite. Their own being wants to grow in one way, but the priests direct them into some other way. Every religion has been trying to make you somebody else. No religion has allowed you to be just yourself. They are all afraid of your being just yourself; then their function is lost. Their function is to create conflict in you, to make you miserable, suffering, in anguish. Then naturally you have to seek help. They create the disease, and then they start praying for you to be forgiven. They are the criminals, and they are asking for you to be forgiven. And whom are they asking? There is nobody. So it is really a great exploitation by the priesthood of all the religions. They have destroyed every individual. They have made you Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, but they have not allowed you to become just an individual, a human being. You were born not as a Christian, you were born not

as as Buddhist; you were born just as a human being. They have destroyed your innocence, they have misdirected your life. They have molded you into something which you cannot become; it is not your potential. This is not religio. Religio is accepting you in your totality, making you whole, healthy. And that opens the door to become one with existence. You are part of it; every moment you are part of it. You are breathing existence in and out every moment ­ you are eating it, you are living it in every possible way. No man is an island, we are all part of an infinite continent; that's what I am calling existence. Religio will relax you. Religio will give you, for the first time, the dignity of being a human being, and the vastness of being part of the whole existence. Religion is dead, religio is born. Religion is something like marriage: unnatural, arbitrary, artificial, created by social convenience. Religio is like love: natural, simple. No law is involved in it; no society, no culture dominates it. Love is a law unto itself, and love gives you something that is immensely precious. You start feeling needed. You are not superficial, you are not just accidental; you are needed, you are fulfilling some essential need. Love gives you the first glimpse that existence wants you the way you are. There is no need to become Jesus Christ or Gautam Buddha. Nature does not like carbon copies. Existence likes originals. You, in your originality, are acceptable. But a Christian is a carbon copy; he is trying to become Jesus Christ, and in two thousand years not a single Christian has succeeded. In twenty-five centuries not a single Buddhist has succeeded in becoming Gautam Buddha. Is it not proof enough? You can go even further backwards. In five thousand years, no Hindu has succeeded in becoming a Krishna. It is simply impossible. Nature never repeats. They say history repeats itself ­ because history is not nature. History belongs to carbon copies, retarded people; naturally it repeats itself. They don't know what else to do, so they go on doing the same thing again. Nature is very inventive. It does not create even two persons equal, even similar. There are four billion people on the earth today, but you cannot find two persons who are exactly alike. Even twins are not exactly alike. They may appear to be, but their mother knows who is who; their wives know who is who. There are differences ­ very subtle. Outsiders may be puzzled, but those who know them closely can see the differences in their individuality ­ in their gestures, in their way of speaking, in their way of thinking, in their way of walking ­ in small things. But the differences are bound to be there. Religion has tried a very futile experiment, and almost destroyed humanity for thousands of years. The death of religion releases you from becoming somebody else. Now you can enjoy being yourself.

We can call our commune, religio ­ a mystery school, a way of searching for one's own spiritual being, a way of discovering one's original face. Nobody has to become anybody else. And you are asking me, "God is dead, religion is dead, then what is left now?" In fact, those were the hindrances, which are removed, and everything that is essential is available now. Now you can be yourself without any guilt. Now you can be simply a human being without belonging to any organized religion. The moment truth becomes organized, it becomes untrue. I am reminded of a beautiful ancient story. A newly-recruited devil came running to the master devil, huffing and puffing, and said, "Something has to be done immediately! One man on the earth has just found the truth! And if he spreads it, what are we going to do? Our whole business is finished! He has to be prevented." The old man laughed. He said, "You are a new recruit; you don't know ­ my people are already there." The young devil said, "Your people?" He said, "Yes, my people. The priests are already around the man, and they are organizing whatever he has found. That is my way of destroying truth, and it has never failed; for centuries I have been doing that. The priests ­ all the priests ­ are in my service! They don't know it, but the moment truth is organized, it dies." Why does truth die when it is organized? It dies because it is an individual experience. Can you organize love? Nobody has ever thought about it; otherwise it would have died. You cannot organize love. Love is something that transpires between two individuals. It does not need any priest, it does not need any book of instructions. When I was studying in the university I used to have a roommate ­ he was a little bit of an idiot, just the same as people are all over the world. He asked me, "Everybody talks about the fact that he has fallen in love, and some girl has fallen in love with him. It seems we are the only two persons in this whole university.... About you there is no problem, because you don't want anything to do with any love, any woman, because you think they will be a distraction in your search. I don't know what you are searching for, but I am at a loss: I want to fall in love. But how to fall in love? I have been to the university library looking for a book, HOW TO FALL IN LOVE; there is not a single book on the subject. And I cannot ask anybody else, because they will simply laugh. If everybody knows how to fall, then why don't I?" I said, "You don't be worried, I will teach you. You just choose the girl that you would like to fall in love with." He said, "I chose her two years ago, but how to start? The moment she enters, I become so nervous in the classroom, I forget all about love. I forget even what the teacher is saying." I said, "Don't be worried. I will write a love letter for you. You simply post it to the girl and wait for the answer."

I knew the girl; she was one of the most beautiful girls in the university. She had been interested in me, but I had told her, "Right now, I am involved too much in my own work, in my meditations, and I don't think you have patience enough to wait. But if you can wait, then I can promise you one thing: the day I become enlightened I will be ready. But not before that." She said, "Enlightened? My God! How long will I have to wait?" I said, "Nobody knows. I may become enlightened in this life, I may become enlightened in another life. Nothing can be said, it is unpredictable. So the best is, for the time being you choose somebody else." But she was persistent. So I approached her and said, "Just do me a favor." She said, "Have you become enlightened?" I said, "No, not yet. But one of my friends is in a difficulty. He wants to fall in love, but he does not know how to fall in love. So you will receive a letter from him. Don't discourage him ­ write him a beautiful letter." She said, "This is tricky. Then I will be stuck with that boy ­ and I know your roommate, I don't want anything to do with him." I said, "You need not be worried." And she said, "How can I write a very loving letter to that idiot? I cannot!" I said, "Then I will write it." So I was writing letters from both the sides. And the boy was so ecstatic! He could not believe that just with his writing a letter, love began. But then the girl fell in love with somebody else. She told me that she could not wait, her parents were forcing her: either she had to choose someone, or they would. "You are my choice, but your enlightenment is a strange thing," she said. "I have never heard of anybody making such a condition, that when they become enlightened, then they will think about other matters. I have to choose; otherwise they will choose. So I have chosen, unwillingly. I will remember you, but I am getting married." I said, "You get married happily, and don't feel that you are doing it unwillingly. I am responsible for making you sad, and for making you decide in favor of someone else. I like you, but as far as love is concerned, that involvement is possible only after my enlightenment, not before that!" She said, "Then what about your friend that you have been unnecessarily forcing upon me? He goes on writing every day. And you have made it such a mess that you go on writing in my name, and I have to post those letters. I read them and I say, 'My God! That idiot!' And you are praising him and telling him, 'I will die without you, and I cannot live without you. You are my heart.' What am I to say to that man?" I said, "You have simply to say that your parents are forcing you to get married." And in India it is common, an arranged marriage. A love marriage is still not acceptable.

So she told the idiot, "What can I do? I love you so much, but my parents have arranged my marriage. So now I will not be seeing you anymore, and you stop writing the letters." He almost came to a nervous breakdown, crying, in tears. I asked, "What is the matter?" ­ I knew what was the matter! He said, "My love affair was going so smoothly. Every day a letter ­ I was writing, she was replying; everything was going so smoothly. And her father has disturbed everything. I will shoot that man!" I said, "That won't help. You find another girl ­ there is no problem ­ and start writing letters again." He said, "But I don't know what to write." So I said, "You do one thing. You go to the girl and ask for all the letters you have written to her." He said, "What!" "You just tell her, 'I need those letters, because I have not been writing them.' And return her letters to her." So he went to the girl and asked for his letters. But she said, "What will you do with those letters?" He said, "What will I do? Have I to live or not? You are getting married ­ I will have to write letters to somebody else. Now what is the point of writing the same letters again? I can use these letters. And here are your letters that you had written to me; perhaps you may need them sometime, because who loves one's own husband? Who loves one's own wife? You may need them." The girl said, "You can have both the sets, because both are written by the same man." He was very angry with me, but I said to him, "That is the function of a priest. I have not done anything unique; that is what the priests have been doing all through man's history. They pray for you to God. They even bring answers from God to you ­ answers to your prayers. They make your prayer, they make the answers for your prayer. I have been just functioning like a priest ­ only the area was different; it was love, it was not God." The priests have no function if there is no God. Then there is no prayer, then there is no holy book, then there is no ritual. The priest has nothing left. He wants an organized religion. He turns religio into its opposite and calls it religion. Religio is a freedom. Religion is a slavery. Dropping God, dropping religion, I have restored your freedom. Now you can be yourself without any fear. You can grow without copying anybody. You can just grow into your own unknown potential. You are asking, "What is left?" Everything becomes available; only blocks have been removed, hindrances have been removed. Now you can meditate. You cannot pray; prayer needs a God. Meditation needs no God. Prayer has divided humanity, because Christian prayer is different from Hindu prayer. Mohammedan prayer is different from Christian prayer. But meditation is the same.

Here, this very moment... if you are all silent, it is the same silence. Silence cannot have any name, any label. And meditation is the ultimate growth of silence. Now you can be silent, you can grow deeper and deeper within yourself, searching for the center from where your life arises. The moment you discover that center, there is an explosion which is far more significant than any atomic explosion, far more luminous. The atomic explosion is destructive. The explosion that happens at your center gives you a tremendous energy to be creative. And it does not make you part of any organized cult, creed, dogma ­ no. It simply makes you a dignified individual, immensely blissful because you have found the greatest treasure in the world. There is nothing more to be found. In finding your center, you have found the very center of existence. You have found eternity. Now there is no death. And out of this experience arises lovingness, compassion, creativity. Even sitting silently, doing nothing, there will be a certain aura of bliss around you, a certain fragrance around you. You have come home. Question 2 BELOVED MASTER, SITUATIONS ARE CHANGING VERY FAST, AND YOU ARE STIRRING MY HEART. THERE ARE CHAINS OF ACTIONS, REACTIONS AND INTERACTIONS. I AM CONTINUOUSLY IMAGINING THE FUTURE. I DON'T FIND A WAY OUT OR A WAY IN. PLEASE GUIDE. There is no need to find a way out; there is no need to find a way in. Just remain where you are. One has not to go anywhere. Religio is not a going somewhere, but the dropping of all journeys and just being wherever you are, whatever you are. Religio is not a way in or out. It is a stoppage, a total stoppage of all movement. And suddenly you are where you always wanted to be. Question 3 BELOVED MASTER,

I HAVE HEARD, "WE CREATE OUR OWN REALITY," AND I HAVE HEARD, "FLOW WITH EXISTENCE." AT TIMES IT APPEARS LIKE ONE OR THE OTHER OR PO. HOW MUCH AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT I EXPERIENCE? WHAT KIND OF DANCE IS GOING ON? You are responsible for everything, for every dance that is going on. When you relax and let go, that too is your responsibility. When you don't relax and don't allow the state of let-go, that too is your responsibility. So there are not two different things. There is only one thing, and that is, your responsibility. Only one thing has to be remembered: whatever gives you a more loving heart, whatever gives you a more clear intelligence, whatever gives you a more integrated individuality, do it. Whatever goes against it, goes against your own ultimate growth. These are symbolic. Lovingness, friendliness, compassion, intelligence, clarity of vision ­ these are symbols that you are in the right dimension. But whatever you do is your responsibility. You cannot dump your responsibility on anybody else. There is nobody else. With God, the devil has also died; they were two sides of the same coin. Now you are left alone with your freedom. Make whatever you can make of it. I can only explain to you that these are symbols that you are in the right dimension. If you are going in a wrong dimension your lovingness will disappear, your compassion will disappear, your creativity will disappear, your sharpness of intelligence will disappear. So you only have to be alert and always watching that these symbols go on growing, not diminishing. Then whatever you do is right. Question 4 BELOVED MASTER, COULD YOU PLEASE SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE FEAR OF FREEDOM? THERE IS SUCH A LONGING TO BE FREE, YET ESPECIALLY IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS I SEE SO MUCH FEAR COMING UP AT THE SAME TIME. IS IT NOTHING ELSE BUT AVOIDING ALONENESS AND RESPONSIBILITY? It is natural, because from the very beginning of your childhood you have been told to depend on others, their advice, their guidelines. You have grown older, but you have not grown up. All animals grow older. It is only man who has two possibilities: either he can grow old like every other animal, or he can grow up. Growing up means getting rid of all dependence. Naturally, in the beginning it will create fear. You were surrounded by your own projections, and thinking that you were protected. For example, you have been told from the very beginning that God is protecting you. Even small children are told in the night, "Don't be afraid. Go to sleep. God is protecting you." That child is still within you ­ and I say, "There is no God. You can sleep in darkness in safety. Nobody is protecting you." But that means you cannot sleep; you are afraid, somebody is needed to protect you. That God was hocus-pocus, but it helped. It was like homeopathic medicine ­ just sugar pills.

But if your disease is just an idea ­ and there are so many people around who get ideas; just a slight thing and they will exaggerate it, almost unconsciously. No real medicine is needed for their imaginary diseases, all that they need is an imaginary medicine. In the first place, darkness is beautiful. It has tremendous depth, silence, infinity. Light comes and goes; darkness always remains, it is more eternal than light. For light you need some fuel, for darkness no fuel is needed ­ it is simply there. And for relaxing, light is not the right thing. Light creates tensions, keeps you awake. Darkness allows you to relax, to let go. There is no fear in darkness, so the whole idea of fear in darkness is a projection. Then you need a God ­ another projection ­ who will protect you in darkness. One lie needs another lie, and then there is no end; you have to go on lying. Certainly freedom will make you afraid of many things. Be alert. Look deeply into anything that makes you afraid. And you will be surprised that if you look deeply into anything that makes you afraid, it will disappear. There is nothing to fear in the world. Then you can rejoice in freedom and the responsibility it brings. Responsibility makes you grow up. You become more and more responsible for every action, for every thought, for every feeling. It makes you crystallized. It takes away all the chains that have been binding you and your psychology. I was staying with a friend; we were going to a meeting which I was to address, and the man was driving me. He was honking the horn for his wife to come down, because we were getting late. And I don't like to be late, because so many people are waiting, and you come late? It is disrespectful, ungraceful. Finally his wife looked out of the window and said, "A thousand times I have told you I am coming in a minute!" I said, "My God! How can she say it a thousand times ­ and still she is coming in a minute?" But she is not conscious of what she is saying. You have exaggerated your fears. Just look at them, and just by your looking at them they will start becoming smaller. You have never looked at them, you have been escaping from them. You have been creating protections against them, rather than looking directly into the eyes of your fear. There is nothing to fear at all; all that is needed is a little more awareness. So whatever your fear is, catch hold of it, look at it minutely, the way a scientist looks at a thing. And you will be surprised, it starts melting like an ice flake. By the time you have looked into its totality, it is gone. And when freedom is there without any fear, it brings such benediction that there are no words to express it. Question 5 BELOVED MASTER,

ARE YOU AGAINST TEMPORARY, WORKABLE ORGANIZATION? No. A temporary workable organization is an absolute necessity; otherwise there would be simply chaos. But remember that it is a temporary workable organization. It has no power, it is just functional ­ just like the post office. Certainly we need a certain kind of organization; otherwise the post office cannot work. But nobody knows who the head of the whole organization is in America, who the head postmaster general is. There is no need to know; it is a functional organization. But why should you know about President Ronald Reagan? That should also be another postal organization, not more than that. There are railways functioning, airplanes functioning. They have their functional organizations; nobody bothers about who is the president. Then what special status has the government got? And these people go on saying that democracy is for the people, of the people, by the people ­ but nobody knows those people. People come to know only the presidents, the governors, the attorney generals. There is no need. The press and other media should be more intelligent, and should start talking about creative people: musicians who have contributed to music, painters, poets. Politicians should belong to the very last category. They have not contributed anything to existence. It is good ­ they have a functional organization, but they should be put into their place. I am not against temporary workable organizations. I am against organizations which become more important than the people they are supposed to serve. People should always remain more important. Nobody is more important than the people. The government is only a servant to the people. And what is there to brag about, that you are the president of servants? Enjoy it, but keep quiet. And, in fact, it would be very protective of these people's lives. If Ronald Reagan is just the head of the servants of the people, who is going to assassinate him? For what? Nobody assassinates servants. Organizations are for the people, and they should be liquid, flexible. If something has to change it is the organization, not the people. For example, a decade ago they made in Oregon some land-use laws. The people who had made those laws I don't think were farmers. They may have been legal experts, but what have legal experts to do with land? We have changed this desert into an oasis. We have made it sufficiently cultivable so that we are growing our own food for five thousand people, we are growing our own vegetables in greenhouses. And the attorney general is saying that whatever we are doing is against land-use laws! For fifty years nothing was done on this land. For fifty years nobody was ready to purchase it. Who will purchase a desert? For what? Then it was according to the land-use laws. For fifty years there was no question; nothing was cultivated, the land was simply lying dead ­ it was according to the

land-use laws. We have put two hundred million dollars into the land, we have changed its character ­ and we have committed something illegal! It goes against their land-use laws. I have invited them, said that they should come here, and they can see in what way we have used the land. And then change your laws, because if a commune can transform a desert into an oasis, it has proved its point. No argument is needed; we have existentially proved our point. You come and see, and then change your laws, because laws are for men, and men are not for laws. This is the difference between a functional organization and the organizations that exist in the world today. All organizations should be only temporary and functional. And man should be the criterion, not the laws. Why are those laws made? ­ to serve man. But these servants become great leaders, and their laws become something... as if they are ultimate laws and they cannot be changed, like gravitation. Your laws are made by people ­ and by people who know nothing about land use. The attorney general of Oregon ­ what does he know about land use? And finally he got defeated in the court. We have been victorious in the case. Now he has another case in the court: he says the city is illegal because state and religion are mixed here. Again, I would like to know how much religion he knows, how much he has meditated. To what stage of meditation has he reached? I give him an open challenge. I want to discuss openly with him what religion should mean. Now we have buried the religion, burned it completely. Now there is no religion here. Nobody can say that religion is being mixed with the state: religion does not exist here anymore. But he has not even the guts to withdraw his case. But he will be defeated again, because we have withdrawn the whole functional temporary organization of religion. That does not mean that you become enemies of religion. That does not mean that you become irreligious. It simply means we have left religion far behind. Now we declare ourselves religio, a school of mystics, a commune of meditators. And there is no law against religio, meditation, spirituality. Now we have to see him in the court. We are not a religion like Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism. We have left them all behind, far behind. We are individuals, seekers living together because our search is one. Our paths are individual. I am not against temporary organizations, workable ­ they will be needed. Whenever there is more than one person, some kind of organization is needed. Even with just two persons ­ wife and husband ­ some kind of organization is needed. Who is going to wake up first and bring a cup of tea? Naturally, it is the husband! But some functional organization is needed. Question 6 BELOVED MASTER,

THE STORIES AND ACCUSATIONS BEING PUT OUT BY YOU LATELY AGAINST SHEELA AND HER GROUP ARE GETTING SO OUTRAGEOUS THAT I DO HAVE A HARD TIME BELIEVING THEM ANYMORE. AND I ALWAYS THOUGHT THE MAFIA WAS BAD. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FORMERLY "ONLY CRIME-FREE CITY" OF THE WORLD? It is again free of crime! Okay?

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