Now, to tell a child to believe in God is nonsense, utter nonsense — not that God does not exist, but because the child has not yet felt the thirst, the desire, the longing

An interesting passage From The Book of Wisdom by Osho:

Photo by Maxim Bolotnikov

Now, to tell a child to believe in God is nonsense, utter nonsense — not that God does not exist, but because the child has not yet felt the thirst, the desire, the longing. He is not yet ready to go in search of the truth, the ultimate truth of life. He is not yet mature enough to inquire into the reality of God. That love affair has to happen some day, but it can happen only if no belief is imposed upon him. If he is converted before the thirst has arisen to explore and to know, then his whole life he will live in a phony way, he will live in a pseudo way.

Yes, he will talk about God, because he has been told that God is. And he has been told authoritatively, and he has been told by people who were very powerful in his childhood — his parents, the priests, the teachers. He has been told by people and he had to accept it; it was a question of his survival. He could not say no to his parents, because without them he would not be able to live at all. It was too risky to say no, he had to say yes. But his yes can’t be true.

How can it be true? He is saying yes only as a political device, to survive. You have not turned him into a religious person, you have made him a diplomat, you have created a politician. You have sabotaged his potential to grow into an authentic being. You have poisoned him. You have destroyed the very possibility of his intelligence, because intelligence arises only when the longing arises to know.

Now the longing will never arise, because before the question has taken possession of his soul, the answer has already been supplied. Before he was hungry, the food has been forced into his being. Now, without hunger, this forced food cannot be digested; there is no hunger to digest it. That’s why people live like pipes through which life passes like undigested food.

One has to be very patient with children, very alert, very conscious not to say anything that may hinder their own intelligence from arriving, not to convert them into Christians, Hindus and Mohammedans. One needs infinite patience.

One day that miracle happens when the child himself starts inquiring. Then too, don’t supply him with readymade answers. Readymade answers help nobody, readymade answers are dull and stupid. Help him to become more intelligent. Rather than giving him answers, give him situations and challenges so that his intelligence is sharpened and he asks more deeply — so that the question penetrates to his very core, so the question becomes a question of life and death.

But that is not allowed. Parents are very much afraid, the society is very much afraid: if children are allowed to remain free, who knows? They may never come to the fold the parents belonged to, they may never go to the church — Catholic, Protestant, this or that. Who knows what is going to happen when they become intelligent on their own? They will not be within your control. And this society goes into deeper and deeper politics to control everybody, to possess everybody’s soul.

That’s why the first thing they have to do is to destroy trust — the trust of the child in himself, the confidence of the child in himself. They have to make him shaky and afraid. Once he is trembling, he is controllable. If he is confident he is uncontrollable. If he is confident he will assert himself, he will try to do his own thing. He will never want to do anybody else’s thing. He will go on his own journey, he will not fulfill somebody else’s desires for some trip. He will never be an imitator, he will never be a dull and dead person. He will be so alive, so pulsating with life, that nobody will be able to control him.

Destroy his trust and you have castrated him. You have taken his power: now he will always be powerless and always in need of somebody to dominate, direct and command him. Now he will be a good soldier, a good citizen, a good nationalist, a good Christian, a good Mohammedan, a good Hindu. Yes, he will be all these things, but he will not be a real individual. He will not have any roots, he will be uprooted his whole life. He will live without roots — and to live without roots is to live in misery, is to live in hell. Just as trees need roots in the earth, man is also a tree and needs roots in existence or else he will live a very unintelligent life.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

10 thoughts on “Now, to tell a child to believe in God is nonsense, utter nonsense — not that God does not exist, but because the child has not yet felt the thirst, the desire, the longing”

  1. We couldn’t agree more. Teaching a child that they are nothing but a vessel for whatever god you believe in and that the gods that others believe in are wrong is selfish and hubristic.

  2. My beliefs follow a Wiccan thought process and faith. My six-year-old has his own beliefs and I support him. This morning he was telling me he liked the clouds God finger painted in the sky.

  3. JESUS says, not to withhold the little children from coming to me. We should indeed teach our children about the truth. What, it is ok to tell him/her that there is a Santa and Easter bunny, but not tell them about the truth of JESUS and what the WORD says? MMMM, that sounds crazy to me.

    IF JESUS HIMSELF says, “Let the little children come to me”, then that is exactly what we need to do. Also, the BIBLE says, we need to have faith as like a little child.

    Luke 18:15-17 says, People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

    Matthew 19:14 says, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

    Matthew 18:3 says, And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

    If JESUS said it, that settles it!

  4. Thing is, Jesus said: LET THEM COME TO ME. He didn’t say, bring them to me.

    People come to love by learning one another, and they come to faith as well as intelligence by searching for their own answers. Let them learn by themselves.

    Those who have been fed one thing all their life have it tough, especially if their nature is of the independent kind. They will be terribly conflicted once they come of age and their nature begins to assert itself in their personalities. So many children grow up to be either terrified or depressed individuals because what they were forced to accept as children goes against their natural state. A good example–my partner was born and raised a Baptist. For years she questioned so much and became so depressed, because so much of what she was taught made no sense–but in the end she gave in out of fear. We no longer call each other partners, because I was able to reconcile my faith to my identity and she was too afraid to do so. But I am here for her still, and will always be. I still hope that one day she will reconcile her faith and her identity, not just for us and the future I still hope we can have, but because so much of her has been tied down and there is so much more she could be if only she wasn’t forced into something so early.

    Didn’t the Bible say to honor one’s parents and one’s Maker? One honors one’s parents by acknowledging the physical, mental, and the spiritual identity and orientation of their child. And one honors one’s Maker by NOT denying the nature of the Maker’s creation.

    Let them learn, let them search by themselves. That is how life should be.

  5. Thanks Bea. I have no qualms with people who have found peace with their faith (although I like to stir things up once in a while — which shouldn’t bother you if you’re REALLY at peace and not just putting on a show). But let your children find their own path. You can guide them along the way by sharing your insights but don’t block out their own thinking as well.

  6. Children are wiser than us in some ways- because we lose so much as we get older, being pushed and prodded about instead of guided.

    I am a Christian and one of the verses that comes to mind is, “faith comes by hearing.” Since there are so many influences from everywhere, deliberately not talking about your faith, doesn’t make sense. But at the same time, coaxing children to pray, etc. doesn’t make sense either. I agree, let them be, but let part of that “being” include not just what everyone else says, but also what your family believes in.

    But going back to the quote- I disagree with it for the same reason I believe children are wiser than us, especially when it comes to the spirtual realm. The thirst, desire and longing- is not needed in children because they are still very much part of it. On the other hand, we need it to compel us to find God as we grow older precisely because we’ve lost touch with God and now need to seek Him.

Comments are closed.