Osho, I am a staunch Catholic. Nobody can shake my beliefs, but why do I feel a little frightened here?
Alexander, you have fallen in wrong company! Escape from here as fast as possible, because you are already shaken.
A belief has no roots; it is just an imposed phenomenon. Howsoever staunchly you believe in it, it makes no difference. In fact, the more you are afraid of losing it, the more staunchly you believe in it. Whenever somebody says, “This is my strong belief,” know well that he is afraid. Otherwise what does it mean? Why should he brag about his staunchness? If he knows, he knows.
You know that the sun has risen, that it is day. You don’t say, “I strongly believe that this is sunrise,” you simply say, “I know this is sunrise.” You don’t say, “I strongly believe, nobody can shake my belief.” If you say it people will think you are crazy. If you say it people will think you must be blind; you are not seeing the sun, you have only heard about it. Others must have told you and you are saying, “I believe strongly.” Just to protect yourself you create a great armour around yourself.
But a real experience needs no protection. The real experience needs no bragging about being staunch. One simply knows or one knows not; things are very simple.
You say, “I am a staunch Catholic.”
It is just accidental that you were born in a Catholic house. If you were born and brought up by a Hindu you would have been a staunch Hindu. And if you were born in Soviet Russia and you were brought up by a communist you would have been a staunch communist. Staunchness would have remained the same, otherwise everything would have been different. That staunchness simply shows that you are not intelligent.
An intelligent person does not believe; he tries to know, he enquires. An intelligent person is neither Catholic nor Protestant; an intelligent person is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan. An intelligent person says, “I don’t know yet, so how can I claim what is right and what is wrong? How can I say that the Bible is right and the Koran is wrong, or vice versa?” The intelligent person is bound to say only one thing, that “I don’t know, and I cannot carry any prejudice if I really want to know.” He remains unprejudiced, open.
By being a Catholic you are closed, by being a Jain you are closed, by being a Buddhist you are closed. You are not an enquirer, you are not a seeker. You don’t love truth, you love security. Belief gives you security.
And if you want to know the truth you have to begin with agnosticism, you have to begin from the state of not knowing. Every true enquiry starts only in not-knowing. One has to be clearly aware that “I don’t know. But I have to seek, I have to search, I have to find, and I should start without any a priori conception.”
That’s why you are becoming a little afraid, frightened. You may not have landed in such a society before – these people are dangerous! Don’t tell me later on that I didn’t give you the warning!
Alexander, please escape! You don’t seem to be much of an Alexander either, and certainly you are not in good company.
Have you heard this story about Ferrara the Flyer during World War II?
He’d never shot down a British plane and everybody in the squadron kidded him about it.
One day while on patrol Ferrara spotted five British transport planes. He zipped into their formation and shot down all five. Now he couldn’t wait to tell his fellow pilots. Ferrara landed quickly, jumped out of his plane and rushed over to a colonel standing beside a map table. “I just-a shoot down five-a British-a transports!” shouted the proud Italian.
“I say, bad luck, old chap!” replied the officer.
You are in a wrong place, old chap. You should not have landed here!
You say, ” Nobody can shake my beliefs.”
But why do you say it? Why in the first place does the idea come to your mind? I have not asked, nobody has asked. “Nobody can shake my beliefs…” You are already shaking inside, I can see you trembling! And it is natural, because you know that you don’t know, that those beliefs are just borrowed by you from others. The priests have told you and you have believed. You have believed because you were not really interested in truth, so you said, “Okay.” You were not really caring enough about truth so you said okay.
People are so uncaring about truth that they say, “Whatsoever you say, it must be right. Who cares? I am not interested enough to bother.”
That’s the situation in the world: a few are Christians, a few are Hindus, a few are Mohammedans. If you look deeply into them you will see that they don’t care whether God is or is not, they don’t care what truth is. They have simply accepted the belief that the people around them believe. It is formal, a social security. It feels good to be part of the crowd, it feels good that others think that you are religious. You are not religious!
It is not easy to be religious. It is one of the most dangerous adventures of life, to be religious. It means dropping all the beliefs and going into the unknown without any maps.
It is good if you allow us to destroy your beliefs. It is good and will be healthy for you if you don’t cling to your beliefs. And something seems to have started.
You say, “But why do I feel a little frightened here?”
You have started becoming alert that your Catholicism is phony. There has been only one Christian, and he was crucified on the cross. Since then there have not been any Christians.
In fact, be a Christ, don’t be a Christian. Don’t disrespect yourself by being a Christian. You are meant to be a Christ! You are meant to be a Buddha, not to be a Buddhist. What is a Buddhist compared to being a Buddha? – just a believer, not a seeker, not an enquirer. Go on the voyage… the sea is calling you. Go alone, and go without maps and without scriptures. And if you can drop all your scriptures and maps and ideologies on this bank, the other bank is not far away.
The man who is utterly empty of knowledge is immediately worthy of receiving from God the ultimate gift of knowing. Only those who renounce knowledge become capable of knowing.
Osho, The Guest, Ch 3, Q 4