67. A Red Sandstone Architectural Fragment

North India, 12th century
Size: 25 × 20.6 cm

You won’t see Saint Augustine portrayed in such a pose in a Catholic church, and in a way more’s the pity. If that had been our Christian custom we might have avoided the ghastly consequences of the doctrine of Original Sin that has stunted our potential ever since it was promulgated. The fear, and therefore control that this idea has exercised, is extraordinary. The trouble is that you can’t just say: I don’t believe; and get rid of the claws of so many generations and levels of conditioning. The only release is to understand the conditioning, which takes time, to be able to step outside it. Don’t throw away the baby with the bath water, we say; the Sufis say: Don’t throw away your sandals before you can afford a pair of shoes.