Man has always sought something beyond the physical existence. He has always searched, asked, suffered, tortured himself, to find out if there is something which is not of time, which is not of thought, which is not belief or faith. To find that out one must be absolutely free, for if you are anchored to a particular form of belief, that very belief will prevent investigation into what is eternal - if there is such a thing as eternity which is beyond all time, beyond all measure. So one must be free - if one is serious in the enquiry into what religion is - one must be free of all the things that thought has invented about that which is considered religious. That is, all the things that Hinduism, for example, has invented, with its superstitions, with its beliefs, with its images, and its ancient literature such as the Upanishads - one must he completely free of all that. If one is attached to all that then it is impossible, naturally, to discover that which is original. You understand the problem? If my mind, my brain is conditioned by Hindu superstitions, beliefs, dogmas and idolatry, with all the ancient tradition, then it is anchored to that and cannot move, it is not free.
Similarly, one must be free totally from all the inventions of thought, the rituals, dogmas, beliefs, symbols, saviours and so on of Christianity. That may be rather more difficult, that is coming nearer home. But all religions, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, are the movement of thought continued through time, through literature, through symbols, through things made by the hand or by the mind - and all that is considered religious in the modern world. To the speaker that is not religious. To the speaker it is a form of illusion, comforting, satisfying, romantic, sentimental but not actual.
The Network of Thought