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Who Is God?

Do you believe in you? Do you believe in god? Who is god?
No, I don't believe in me... I cannot, because I am not. There is nobody I to be believed in, and nobody to believe in it either.
If you believe in yourself, you believe in an illu-sion. The very belief will prevent you from knowing the reality.
Once you start believing in an illusion, you start losing contact with the real. To know the real, all illusions have to be dropped - and the greatest illusion of all is the ego, the 'I'.
You ask me: Do you believe in you?
No, not at all. That's why I am able to know.
You ask: Do you believe in god?
No again - because to believe in God is not to know Him. Belief is always out of ignorance. Those who don't know, they believe. If you know, what is the point of believing in? When you know, you know!
You don't believe in the morning sun. You don't believe in the trees and in the mountains. You need not! You know the sun is there. You know the people are there, you know the trees are there. There is no question of belief. Why do you believe in God? Because you don't know.
You substitute your knowledge by belief. You hide your ignorance behind the belief. The belief gives you a pretension of knowing. All beliefs are pretentious. All beliefs are deceptions. Whom are you deceiving? You yourself are deceived.
When a man says, "I believe in God," he is saying he has not been able to know God - that's all he is saying. He is not strong enough to say it that way. He is not strong enough to see his own ignorance and accept it. Hence, he says, "I believe in God!" What is the need of believing in God if you know?
Knowledge never becomes belief. Knowledge remains knowledge. Ignorance tries to become belief.
Remember always: whenever you believe, it is just to hide your ignorance. It is a cheap knowledge that belief gives.
I don't believe in God - because any relationship of belief is a wrong relationship. I know God... but to know God the only requirement is that I should not be. The moment you disappear, God appears.
Only when you are spacious enough to contain Him, when you are no more there occupying inner space - in fact, absence of yourself is the presence of God.
Remember: you will never meet God. You cannot, because the meeting will mean you are also real and God is also real - then there will be two realities, not one. And reality is one. If you are, God cannot be. If God is, you cannot be.
And the third thing you ask: Who is god?
God is not a 'who', He is not a person. God is the totality, the sum total of the whole existence. God is not somebody: God is 'allness'.
I am God, you are God - everybody is God, all is God. In fact, to use the word 'God' is not right.
There is godliness and no God at all. To be really true to reality, 'godliness' is the right word to use, not 'God'. The moment you say 'God', many things arise out of that word...
First: God becomes a person - and God is not a person. God is impersonal existence; God is impersonal 'beingness'. Once you say 'God', God becomes a 'he' - that is male chauvinistic, that is ugly. God is neither a 'he' nor a 'she'. And if you decide to use 'he' or 'she', then 'she' is far better - because 'she' includes 'he', but the 'he' does not include 'she'. 'She' is far bigger - naturally so. Man is born out of the woman. The woman can contain the man, the man cannot contain the woman.
The man has no womb to contain anything.
But both are wrong. God is neither man nor woman, because He is not a person at all.
Then what is God? Don't ask 'who is God?' ask 'what is God?' Life is God. Love is God. Light is God. It is an existential experience. You never come across God like an object. You come across godliness - like an inner upsurge. Something blooms in you... and you cannot even find the flower, just a fragrance. God is not a flower but a fragrance.
I cannot indicate where God is, who God is. I can simply relate my experience of fragrance to you.
Existence is full of godliness. Everything is divine - the flowers, the birds, the rocks, the rivers...
Not that you have to create a temple for God and a church for God - that is stupid, because God is everywhere! For whom are you creating the temple and the church and the mosque? If you want to pray, you can pray anywhere. Wherever you bow down you bow down to God, because none else exists.
You will have to understand MY language. 'Belief' is a dirty word here. And by belief you are prevented from knowing; you are not helped. And it is because of belief that man is divided. It has not helped man's spiritual growth; it has been one of the greatest barriers. It is belief that divides you as a Christian, a Hindu, a Mohammedan. It is belief that divides the earth. It is belief that creates wars.
The moment you believe, you are no more one with humanity: you are a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan. You have gone ugly, you are poisoned! And now you will be continuously fighting for your belief. And all these people fighting for their beliefs are blind people fighting for their belief in light - and nobody knows what light is.
I have heard:
The policeman was walking his beat when he saw two men fighting and a little boy standing alongside them crying, "Daddy, Daddy!"
The officer pulled the two men apart and, turning to the boy, asked, "Which one is your father, lad?"
"I don't know," the boy said, rubbing the tears from his eyes, "That's what they're fighting about."
Do you really know who God is? You don't know even who you are - how can you know who God is? You have not even become acquainted with the closest reality - that is beating in your heart, that is breathing in you, that is alive in you - and you are thinking to become acquainted with the totality of existence? the infinite, the vast, the eternal? And you have not even been able to have a taste of your OWN being. You have not even tasted a single drop of the sea, and you want to taste the whole sea?
And you NEVER go to the sea! You go to the scriptures. You never go to the sea - you go to the priests. And then you create belief, and the belief comes out of your fear, not out of your love, not out of your knowing, not out of your experience - it simply comes out of your fear. You believe because alone you feel afraid; because you are childish, you want somebody to hang on to, to cling to. You need a father-figure! so that you can always look up to him, so that you can always throw the responsibility, so that you can always cry and weep and remain helpless.
It is out of your fear that you have created God. And a God created out of fear is ill, it is pathological.
It will not bring you well-being: it will make you more and more pathological.
The so-called religious man is almost pathological; he is neurotic. Go to the monasteries, look around with open eyes, and you will be simply surprised that in the name of religion a thousand and one kinds of pathologies are practised. People don't become healthy and whole - they become more and more helpless, more and more frightened, more and more eccentric. Of course, their neurosis is such that it is respected.
Freud is right when he says that religion is a collective neurosis. I agree with him. The so-called religious ARE neurotic. If a single person behaves in that way, you will think he is mad; but if a big crowd behaves in that same way, you think it is religious.
Just the other night I was talking about a follower of Mahatma Gandhi; his name was Professor Bhansali. He took a vow of silence. Now, the real silence never arises out of vows. The very phenomenon of the vow indicates that the silence is imposed, false, pseudo, violent; otherwise, there is no need to take a vow. If you have understood the beauty of silence, you will be simply silent! Why take a vow? Why decide for tomorrow? Why say that "From now onwards I will remain silent and I will not speak a single word"? Against whom are you taking the vow?
If you have known the beauty of silence, if you have experienced the joy of it, if you have melted in it, if you have flowed into it - what is the point? You never take a vow that "I will love my whole life - I take the vow." You don't take the vow that "I will eat my whole life." You don't take the vow that "I will go on breathing till I die." This will look foolish! You enjoy love - there is no need to take the vow.
People take vows for celibacy, not for love - why? Because celibacy is unnatural, imposed. When celibacy is also natural, spontaneous, no vow is taken.
Now this man, Professor Bhansali - I knew the man - took a vow of silence, went to the Himalayas.
For two years, three years, he remained in silence. It was a hard struggle; it was a continuous fight with himself - it was repression, great repression. He must have become split: the one who is trying to impose the vow and the one, the natural one, who wants to have a little chit-chat with people, or to talk, or to relate, communicate.
One night he was sleeping and somebody in the darkness walked over him. He was fast asleep.
In sleep you cannot remember your vow. He shouted, "Who are you? Are you blind or something?
Can't you see I am sleeping here?" Then he remembered that he had broken his vow. Naturally, he felt very guilty; great guilt arose in him. He had taken the vow and he had broken it! And he was really a masochist - otherwise, why should one take the vow of being silent?
Talking, communicating to people is such a joy! Why should one become enclosed into one's being?
This is morbid. But now he was guilty - to punish himself he started eating cow-dung! But that was not enough. To punish himself, he sewed up his lips with a copper wire. Even that was not enough - insanity knows no limitations. He jumped into a cactus bush and rolled naked, thousands of thorns in his body, and he would not allow the thorns to be removed by anybody. There were wounds and wounds all over the body.
But he became very famous - he became a mahatma. People started coming towards him, worshipping him. Now, what will you call this man? Will you call him a mahatma? If you have any senses left in you, you will call him pathological. He needs psychiatric treatment, maybe electric shocks; he needs psychoanalysis. But he was a famous disciple of Mahatma Gandhi - just next to Mahatma Gandhi.
This has been happening down through the ages. There have been Christian saints who have been beating themselves every morning, wounding their bodies; and people would come to worship them and to see who was wounding himself more. And the person who was wounding himself more than others, of course, was a greater saint.
Now, these people who were wounding themselves, killing themselves slowly, they WERE pathological; and the people who used to come to see them, they were also pathological. The saints were masochists and the onlookers and the worshippers were sadists - they both were in a subtle ill state of affairs.
There have been saints who cut their genital organs. There have been women saints who cut their breasts. What will you call these people? But they live according to the belief - they are believers!
Man has to get rid of ALL this stupid kind of religiousness. Man has to get rid of all this nonsense that has persisted down the ages. It is because of this nonsense that religion has not become part of everybody's life.
No, religion need not be based on belief. Religion has to be based on experience - not on fear but on love; not on negation of life but on affirmation of life. Religion has not to be a belief - it has to be a knowing, an experiencing. That's why I say 'belief' is a dirty word here. 'Knowing', 'loving', 'being' - these are real words.
And, belief hinders them: you cannot know if you believe, you cannot love if you believe, you cannot see if you believe. And remember: I am not saying that you have to disbelieve, because disbelief is again belief. The atheist and the theist are not different - they are in the same boat, they are fellow-travellers. The theist believes God is, the atheist believes God is not - but BOTH believe.
Their beliefs are antagonistic, but as far as belief is concerned both are believers. There is not much difference.
What I am saying is: neither belief nor disbelief is needed - because you don't know, so how can you believe? and you don't know, so how can you disbelieve? When belief and disbelief are both dropped, there is silence. When belief and disbelief have both disappeared, you are open to truth; then you don't have any prejudice, then your mind is no more projecting. Then you become receptive.
Neither believe nor disbelieve. Just be watchful, receptive, open! - and you will know.
And what you call that knowing does not matter - whether you call it God, or you call it enlightenment, or you call it nirvana, does not matter! These words are just words. Any word will do: X, Y, Z will do.
But first you have to get rid of belief and disbelief.
Getting rid of belief and disbelief, you get rid of the mind. And only a state of no-mind comes to know. The state of no-mind is blissful...
Excerpted from 'Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind' by Osho

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