Belief begins in ignorance. Belief cannot create truth; truth is already the case. Truth is. You need not believe in it for it to be. Your belief or your disbelief is not going to make any difference to the truth.
Truth is truth, whether you believe or you disbelieve.
Belief cannot give you the truth, it only pretends. It is cheap, it is a plastic flower. You need not take all the trouble of growing a rosebush, you can simply go to the market and purchase plastic flowers -- and they are more lasting too. Once in a while you can wash them, and they are fresh again. They will not deceive you, but at least they can deceive the neighbors, and that is the point. You will know all along that they are plastic flowers. How can you forget it? You have purchased them! The neighbors may be deceived, but how can you be deceived? Everybody is perfectly aware that everybody else is deceiving. "But this is how life is," people say. Nobody is really deceived. People just pretend to be deceived. You pretend that you have real flowers, others pretend that they are deceived.
You can believe that this is night but just by your believing, this is not going to become night. But you can believe, and you can close your eyes and for you it is night -- but only for you, remember, not in truth. You are living in a kind of hallucination.
There is this danger in belief: it makes you feel that you know the truth. And because it makes you feel that you know the truth, this becomes the greatest barrier in the search. Believe or disbelieve and you are blocked -- because disbelief is also nothing but belief in a negative form.
The Catholic believes in God, the communist believes in no God: both are believers. Go to Kaaba or go to the Comintern, go to Kailash or to the Kremlin, it is all the same. The believer believes it is so, the nonbeliever believes it is not so. And because both have already settled without taking the trouble to go and discover it, the deeper is their belief, the stronger is their belief, the greater is the barrier. Millions of people are wasting their lives in belief and disbelief.
The inquiry into truth begins only when you drop all believing. The man who wants to know truth has to be capable of dropping all concepts about truth. Everything about truth has to be dropped. Only then can you know truth.
Belief is a barrier to truth. And what the mind believes never becomes true, because truth is not becoming, truth is being; it is already the case.
And the most significant thing that will help that man to come will be if we can drop believing -- if we can drop being Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, Jainas, Buddhists, communists. If you can drop believing, immediately your energy will take a new turn: it will start inquiring. And to inquire is beautiful. Your life will become a pilgrimage to truth, and in that very pilgrimage you grow.
A real man never believes; he learns. A real man never becomes knowledgeable; he always remains open, open to truth. And he always remembers that "It is not that truth has to adjust to me, but just vice versa: I have to adjust to truth." The believer tries to adjust truth to himself, the seeker adjusts himself to truth. Remember the difference; the difference is tremendous. One who believes, he says, "Truth should be like this, this is my belief."
Just think of a Christian.... If God appears not like Jesus Christ but like Krishna, not on the cross but with a flute and girlfriends dancing around him, the Christian will close his eyes; he will say, "This is not my cup of tea." Girlfriends? Can you think of Jesus with girlfriends? The cross and girlfriends can't go together. Jesus hanging on the cross and girlfriends dancing around? It won't fit, it will be very bizarre. He was waiting for Christ to appear, and instead of Christ this guy, Krishna, appears: he seems to be debauched. If God appears as Krishna, then the Christian will say, "This is not God."
And the same will be the case with the Hindu who was waiting for Krishna: if Christ appears, that will not be his idea of God -- so sad, such a long face, so gloomy, with such suffering on his face.
The believer cannot even trust his own experience. Even if truth is revealed, he will reject it, unless it fits with him. He is more important than truth itself: truth has an obligation to fit with him. He is the criterion, he is the decisive factor. This kind of man can never know truth; he is already prejudiced, poisoned.
The man who wants to know truth has to be capable of dropping all concepts about truth. Everything about truth has to be dropped. Only then can you know truth.
Once I went to address a conference of theosophists. Now, theosophists are people who will believe any bullshit -- ANY! The more shitty it is, the more believable. So I just played a joke on them. I simply invented something; I invented a society called "Sitnalta." They were all dozing, they became alert.
"Sitnalta?" I made the word by just reading "Atlantis" backwards. And then I told them, "This knowledge comes from Atlantis, the continent that disappeared in the Atlantic ocean."
And then I talked about it: "There are really not seven chakras but seventeen. That great ancient esoteric knowledge is lost, but a society of enlightened masters still exists, and it still works. It is a very very esoteric society, very few people are allowed to have any contact with it; its knowledge is kept utterly secret."
To accept that you don't know is the beginning of real knowledge.
And then letters started coming to me. One man even wrote saying, "I thank you very much for introducing this inner esoteric circle to the theosophists, because I am a member of the society, and I can vouch that whatsoever you have said is absolutely true."
There are people like these who are just waiting to believe in anything, because the more nonsensical a belief is, the more important it appears to be. The more absurd it is, the more believable -- because if something is logical, then there is no question of believing in it.
You don't believe in the sun, you don't believe in the moon. You don't believe in the theory of relativity: either you understand it or you don't understand it; there is no question of belief. You don't believe in gravitation; there is no need. Nobody believes in a scientific theory -- it is logical. Belief is needed only when something illogical, something utterly absurd, is propounded.
To accept one's ignorance needs courage. To accept that you don't know is the beginning of real knowledge. You go on believing, because there are holes in your life which have to be filled, and belief is easily available.
There are three hundred religions on the earth. One truth, and three hundred religions? One existence, and three hundred religions? And I am not talking about sects -- because each religion has dozens of sects, and then there are sub-sects of sects, and it goes on and on. If you count all the sects and all the sub-sects, then there will be three thousand or even more.
How can so many beliefs, contradictory to each other, go on? People have a certain need -- the need not to appear ignorant. How to fulfill this need? Gather a few beliefs. And the more absurd the belief is, the more knowledgeable you appear, because nobody else knows about it.
There are people who believe in a hollow earth, and that inside the earth there is a civilization. Now, if somebody says so you cannot deny it; you cannot accept it, but at least you have to listen attentively. And that serves a purpose: everybody wants to be listened to attentively. And one thing is certain, this man knows more than you. You don't know whether the earth is hollow or not; this man knows. And who knows? He may be right. He can gather a thousand and one proofs; he can argue for it, he can propound it in such a way that you at least have to be silent if you don't agree.
Belief is a barrier to truth. And what the mind believes never becomes true, because truth is not becoming, truth is being; it is already the case. You have to see it -- or you can go on avoiding seeing it, but it is there. Nothing has to be added to it, it is eternally there.
And the best way to avoid truth is to believe. Then you need not look at it. Your eyes become full of belief; belief functions as dust on the eyes. You become closed into yourself, the belief becomes a prison around you. Belief closes you: then you are living within yourself in a windowless existence, and you can go on believing whatsoever you want to believe. But remember, it is belief, and belief is a lie.
Let me say that even when the truth is told to you, don't believe in it! Explore, inquire, search, experiment, experience: don't believe in it. Even when truth is conveyed to you, if you believe in it, you turn it into a lie. A truth believed is a lie, belief turns truth into a lie.
Believe in Buddha and you believe in a lie. Believe in Christ and you believe in a lie. Don't believe in Christ, don't believe in Buddha, don't believe in me. What I say, listen to it attentively, intelligently; experiment, experience. And when you have experienced, will you need to believe in it? There will be no doubt left, so what will be the point of belief? Belief is a way of repressing doubt: you doubt, hence you need belief.
The rock of belief represses the spring of doubt.
When you know, you know! You know it is so; there is no doubt left. Your experience has expelled all darkness and all doubt. Truth is: you are full of it. Truth never creates belief.
How to attain to truth? By dropping all kinds of beliefs. And remember, I am saying all kinds -- belief in me is included. Experience me, come along with me, let me share what I have seen, but don't believe, don't be in a hurry. Don't say, "Now what is the point? Now Osho has seen it, all that is left for me is to believe it."
What I have seen cannot become your experience unless you see it. And it is the experience of truth that delivers you from ignorance, from bondage, from misery. It is not the belief that delivers you, it is truth.
Jesus says, "Truth liberates." But how to attain to truth? It is not a question of belief, but a question of meditativeness. And what is meditation? Meditation is emptying your mind completely of all belief, ideology, concept, thought. Only in an empty mind, when there is no dust left on the mirror, truth reflects. That reflection is a benediction.