Osho on Religio

Question – Beloved Master, Could Religio be termed as Neo-Education? Please comment.

Osho – No, because education is something very ordinary. Religio will remain religio. It cannot be replaced by another word, for the simple reason that it has multidimensional meanings which no other word can have.

The first meaning of religio is: to make you one. All the societies and cultures and religions have made you schizophrenic, split. They have divided you in many parts — the good part, the bad part, the light part, the dark part, the higher and the lower. They have been teaching humanity for centuries that you are not acceptable as you are; you have to drop many of your essential parts. Then only will you be acceptable; otherwise you will remain a sinner. To become a saint, you have to go on destroying many parts of your being, your nature.

Religio means, nothing has to be destroyed, nothing has to be cut from you. Everything that you have has to be used in an organic unity. In fact, what you call bad, what you call black, dark, devil — they all can enhance what you call divine, white, good.

Just look at a painter. He uses all the colors; he uses black, he uses white too. He uses all the colors to create something immensely beautiful; everything just has to be in the right place. Go to any school and you will see a blackboard, because to write with white chalk, a blackboard is needed. It gives the white letters more whiteness, it creates the contrast. The same words can be written on a white board and they will be lost, you will not be able to see them.

Life is a great orchestra, all the instruments have to be used. But if you don’t know how to play all the instruments, then instead of an orchestra there will be just noise, a nuisance — neurotic, unbearable. A master musician will put the same instruments in the right places, to be used in the right times to create the symphony.

Man comes with all the ingredients to become an enlightened person, but very few people manage to become — for the simple reason that you start fighting with yourself, rather than trying to understand all your ingredients and finding ways they can be used to create a beautiful symphony.

Religio simply means to put all your separate parts together in oneness, to make a cosmos out of your chaos. It also means that it is an individual process, that there is no need for crowds, no need to become part of organized religions — because the organized religions have not produced a single enlightened person. Have you thought about it? All the enlightened persons had to rebel against the organized religions; only then could they become enlightened. It seems organized religions are the greatest barrier to enlightenment.

Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Gautam Buddha, Bodhidharma, Baal Shem Tov — all these people had to go out of the organized religion for the simple reason that the organized religions exist for the mob, and the mob has no desire to become free of their slavery. In fact, they find themselves very cozy and comfortable in their slavery.

Freedom freaks them out! Freedom creates fear in them. Freedom means responsibility. In slavery you are not responsible; you have just to follow the order, just to do what the priest says. You have not to find your own truth, you have to just become parrots and repeat THE HOLY BIBLE, the holy KORAN, the holy GITA. You don’t have to journey inwards; you have to become only more informed, more learned, more accustomed to the rituals — howsoever meaningless.

Anybody who wants to become enlightened will have many doubts about all these rituals, about all these scriptures, about all that is being taught in the churches and synagogues by the bishops, by the rabbis, by the shankaracharyas. There are bound to be a thousand and one doubts.

Religio is individual, religion is organized. And the most challenging thing in the world is to be individual. But the greater the challenge, the more is the gain, the more you become steel, the more of your potential becomes actual.

But in organized religion there is no challenge: there are only consolations. Those consolations function as opium. They help the crowd not to revolt against all kinds of exploitation, against all kinds of superstition, against all kinds of stupidities.
In the whole of history, not a single organized religion has been able to produce a single enlightened man. Those who became enlightened became against the organized religion. They had to become individuals, rebels. They were tortured, they were harassed, they were condemned, because all the forces for torturing people, condemning, harassing them, were in the hands of the organized religions.

And the state has been always in conspiracy with organized religions. They support each other, their aim is the same. The state, the politicians want people to be enslaved physically, and the priest wants people to be enslaved spiritually. And enlightenment is freedom, freedom in all its dimensions.

So please, don’t bother looking for another word, there is no need. Religio has all the meanings that are needed. Religio has no scripture, no doctrine except a challenge: “You are alive — seek the source of your life.”

It only provokes the dormant desire to know oneself: it does not give a belief, an idea who you are. It simply provokes the desire to know thyself. And it allows you to be thyself — against the whole world. It is the only revolution there is.

Source: Osho Book “From Bondage to Freedom”

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