During three thousand years, fifteen thousand wars have been fought. Fifteen thousand wars in three thousand years?
How unpleasant even to think about it. So many wars cannot be fought for no reason. Five wars every year – what does it indicate? There is only a small span of three hundred years during which there was no war. These three hundred years are not in one stretch, but are made up of sometimes one day, sometimes two days, sometimes ten days of no war. Altogether there were three hundred years of peace. Three hundred years of peace and three thousand years of war? Certainly such peace cannot be true; it must be peace only in name. Even the period of peace is false: actually what we call the days of peace are the days spent in preparing for another war.
I am dividing the history of man in two parts – one, the period of war and the other, the period of preparations for war. We have really not known any period of peace. In creating this situation, the division of humanity into many parts is basically responsible. And who has divided humanity? Is it not the religions, ideologies, doctrines and cults that have divided it? Is it not the nations, nationalities and confinements of ideologies that have divided it? It is mainly the religions that have divided humanity.
Behind all the quarrels and conflicts there are isms. Whether those isms are religious or political, they create conflict, and conflict ultimately leads to wars. Even today Soviet communism and American democracy have broken into two religions. It has become like a war between two religions. But I ask if it is not possible to stop the division of humanity which is done on the basis of thoughts. Is it right that for an insubstantial thing like thought, we should kill human beings? Is it right that your thought and my thought should make our hearts enemies of one another?
…all our organizations
on some hatred.
But so far this is all that has happened. And up till now unions formed in the names of nations and religions have not been unions of our love, but unions of our hatred. So you know that if the poison of hatred is spread forcefully, anyone can be made to unite. Adolf Hitler has said somewhere that if any race has to be united, it is necessary to create hatred for some other race. He not only said this, but he also did it and found it effective.
All mischief-mongers making this earth poisonous have found this method effective. By the slogan “Mohammedanism in danger,” Mohammedans can be made to unite, and by the slogan “Hinduism in danger,” Hindus can be made to unite. Danger creates fear, and there is hatred towards those of whom we are afraid. Thus all unions and organizations are based on hatred and fear. So while all religions talk of love because they need unity, they ultimately take only the help of hatred. Then love becomes only idle talk and hatred becomes the foundation.
So the religion I am talking about is not any union or organization, it is a spiritual endeavor. It is an experience of the individual, it is not interested in collecting a crowd. In fact, religious experience is basically individualistic.
And all our organizations are founded on some hatred. What relation can hatred have with religion? Whatsoever creates hatred between you and me cannot be religion. Only whatsoever creates love between you and me can be religion. Remember, whatsoever divides man from man, how can it ever join man with God? It is not possible. But what we call religion divides us. Though the so-called religions talk about love, talk about unity among all and talk about brotherhood, it is puzzling that the talk remains only talk, and whatsoever they do spreads enmity and hatred. Christianity talks about love, but nobody else has killed as many people as Christians have. Mohammedanism is a religion of peace, but who else has succeeded more in bringing unrest?
The more evil
a deed is,
the better should be
Perhaps good things become instrumental in hiding bad things. If you want to kill people, you can do so easily in the name of love. If one wants to be violent, one can easily be violent in protecting nonviolence. If I want to kill you, I can easily do so for your own good – because in that case you will die but I will not be considered guilty. Then you will die, you will be killed and you will not complain.
It is said that man is an intellectual animal, so naturally, everything he wants to do he finds an intellectual way to do it. The devil has perhaps advised him to select a good slogan for doing a bad thing. The more evil a deed is, the better should be the slogan.
The organizations created in the name of religion have neither any relationship with God nor with love or prayer or religion. It is only your hatred and jealousy that are organized; otherwise, how is it possible that mosques are broken, temples are burned, idols are destroyed and people are killed? But this is happening and has been happening for a long time. If this is religion, my question is: What is irreligion then? Fanaticism is not religion. It is only the hidden form of irreligion.
Osho, Revolution in Education, Ch 4 (excerpt, translated from Hindi)