Behind The Mask ~ IN THE BEGINNING
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God". So goes the opening
verse of the Gospel of John in the New Testament.
Is this the reason why Christians talk so lightly
about God, thinking that, just because they know the
word, they also know that which it represents? Or
does it mean that God is just a word?
Not bothering to investigate and find out
what the word ‘God’ represents, or whether
it is just a word, with nothing behind it, Christians
have waged wars, carried out merciless persecutions
and crimes, and egoistically gone forth to conquer
and colonize other countries in the name of this ‘God’
or ‘word’, which they claim to be good,
loving, omnipotent and omniscient. Regardless of whether
there really is such a God or not, they were laboring
under tremendous delusion, for if their God were really
as they claimed of It—not ‘He’—It
could have brought ‘true religion’ (as
they like to call it) to everyone in the world had
It so wished, without leaving others to do it by violence.
All this is such a blatant sham that it is truly remarkable
that people—any/all people—should not
have seen through it long ago, or to have entertained
the notion for even a minute! But was it not said
by the Buddha that there are two things without limits:
Space and human stupidity?
To merely know the word and to think that
we know what it represents is a great mistake, which
we are all guilty of by reason of our upbringing.
We use words so lightly, seldom stopping to think
about what they mean. If we were to stop and think
about them, many doors would open where we didn’t
know there were doors. A little examination would
probably reveal that narrow-minded and bigoted people
are tremendously ignorant about the words which form
the basis of their belief that they alone are right
while everyone else is wrong. The word ‘God’,
for example, has been—and continues to be—the
cause of untold suffering. The Crusades (or ‘Holy
Wars’) of the 11th-13th centuries were carried
out ostensibly because of God, called by one side
Jehovah and by the other side Allah. They both worshipped
the same God but called it different names, which
was enough to cause incredible carnage and destruction
on both sides, and it’s still going on today.
This is just one example of many where words have
been responsible for bloodshed; the list, if compiled,
would go on and on!
Yes, those people believed in God, whatever
their concept of God was, but could they, with minds
full of hatred and cruelty, be regarded as religious?
What did their belief in God mean except, in many
cases, a license or excuse to fight and kill? And
this is still going on in numerous places, with Catholics
and Protestants in Northern Ireland—who both
believe in the same God—killing each other relentlessly,
and Jews and Arabs—who are both Semitic, having
the same common ancestors, whose languages are very
similar, and who worship the same ‘One God’—living
in conflict with each other. What has their belief
in God done for them? It has certainly not made them
peace-loving, has it? If it has improved them in any
way, what must they have been like before? It doesn’t
bear thinking of!