Chapter 26 - Religion
And an old priest said, "Speak to us of Religion."
And he said:
Have I spoken this day of aught else?
Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,
And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?
Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?
Who can spread his hours before him, saying, "This for God and this for myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?"
All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.
He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.
And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.
And he to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.
Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.
Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,
The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.
For in revery you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.
And take with you all men:
For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.
And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.
Chapter1 - The Coming of the Ship
Chapter2 - Love
Chapter3 - Marriage
Chapter4 - Children
Chapter5 - Giving
Chapter6 - Eating and Drinking
Chapter7 - Work
Chapter8 - Joy and Sorrow
Chapter9 - Houses
Chapter10 - Clothes
Chapter11 - Buying and Selling
Chapter12 - Crime and Punishment
Chapter13 - Laws
Chapter14 - Freedom
Chapter15 - Reason and Passion
Chapter16 - Pain
Chapter17 - Self-Knowledge
Chapter18 - Teaching
Chapter19 - Friendship
Chapter20 - Talking
Chapter21 - Time
Chapter22 - Good and Evil
Chapter23 - Prayer
Chapter24 - Pleasure
Chapter25 - Beauty
Chapter26 - Religion
Chapter27 - Death
Chapter28 - The Farewell