FROM BONDAGE TO FREEDOM Democracy means mediocracy
FROM BONDAGE TO FREEDOM Democracy means mediocracy
WHY DOES EVERYBODY WANT TO PROVE AND TO ASSERT? WHAT IS THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND PROVING AND ASSERTING ONESELF?
The psychology behind assertiveness, behind proving oneself, is very simple. Every child, from his very beginning, is told that he is not what he should be. Disciplines are given, commandments are given; he has to fulfill them. If he cannot, he starts feeling inferior. It seems that others are fulfilling them, only he is not capable. And the inferiority complex is the basic mind disease out of which many diseases arise.
No child is born with an inferiority complex. It is the parents, the teachers, the priests, the society, the culture, which are responsible for creating the inferiority complex in the child. And the only way for the child to get rid of it seems to be to prove himself worthy according to the expectations of others. It creates a very miserable situation. He is not growing towards his own potential, he is following guidelines given by others. He will become somebody else that he was not by his nature supposed to be. He will never be happy; misery is going to be his lot. He may be able to assert himself; he may not be able to prove he is worthy, or he may be able to prove he is -- whatever the case, misery is going to be the end result.
If he proves worthy in the eyes of others and becomes respectable, he will smile -- but in his being there will be no flowers blossoming. He will show that he is dignified, but deep down he knows he has betrayed himself. He has committed the greatest crime possible: he has betrayed his own nature. He has gone against existence and listened to all kinds of idiots.
If he succeeds, then he is miserable. If he does not succeed, of course he is going to be miserable; he has failed. Others were right, that he is basically inferior, that he does not belong to the higher class, that he belongs to the lowest. It hurts -- because no individual is higher and no individual is lower.
I do not mean by that that everybody is equal. I am not a communist. Communism, to me, is out of date. It is as dead as Christianity, Buddhism, Mohammedanism. My approach is totally different.
In the past these were the only two alternatives: either man is equal -- equality of all human beings -- or people are unequal. I have a third alternative: people are unique, incomparable. They cannot be compared, so how can you say who is inferior and who is superior? Is the flower of the marigold inferior to the rose? But how can you decide? They are unique in their individualities. The whole existence produces only unique people; it does not believe in carbon copies. So the question of equality or inequality does not arise; I cut it from the very roots.
There is a Greek story. One crazy king had a very beautiful house made only for guests, and he had made a golden bed. When the guest entered the house he could not believe it -- those guests were also kings -- that he would be receiving such a warm welcome, so much respect and honor: "And people think that this man is crazy! He is not." But soon they were to find that he was.
His craziness was that the guest had to fit with the length of the bed. If he was longer, then he had to be made shorter -- a little part of his legs would be chopped off. If he was shorter -- I think that man was the inventor of traction -- the king had very big wrestlers who would pull the guest from both ends to make him fit the size of the bed. Whether he died or lived, that was not important; the size of the bed was important! Mostly the man would die.
This idea of making everybody equal, cutting them to the same size -- economically, educationally, in other ways -- is absurd, because inequality will show in other dimensions. People are not equally beautiful -- then tomorrow plastic surgery has to make them equally beautiful. Their color is not the same -- then some day they have to be injected with pigments to make their color the same.
Everything is unique; you cannot find two persons equal -- and communism has the idea that the whole humanity has to be equal! Intellectually you cannot make them equal. The genius of a musician and the genius of a mathematician are totally different worlds. If you want them to be equal, then you will have to destroy the heights, the peaks of genius, and reduce them to the lowest denominator. Then communism will be the greatest massacre that has happened to humanity in the whole of history.
I stand for man's uniqueness.
Yes, every person should be given equal opportunity to be his or her self. In other words, every person should be given equal opportunity to be unequal, to be unique. The opportunities can be given, but the mathematician should become a mathematician, and the musician should become a musician. But no society up to now has allowed the individual his freedom.
You think that you are free. You are simply living in an illusion. Humanity will only be free the day there is no inferiority complex produced in children; otherwise, freedom is just hypocrisy. Others are trying to make you a puppet. My whole life I had the problem....
The intentions of the parents are not bad, the intentions of the teachers are not bad. I never suspect their intentions -- but I suspect their intelligence. I suspect their understanding of human nature, its growth, its possibilities.
When I was going to the university, my whole family was in a turmoil. Somebody wanted me to be a doctor, somebody wanted me to be a scientist, somebody wanted me to be an engineer. I listened to everybody, and then I said, "Nobody wants me to be myself. And you think you are all well-wishers! Not a single person in the whole family" -- and in India, the family is a joint phenomenon; my family consisted of fifty, sixty people -- "none of you has said, 'We want you to be just yourself.' Why do you want to impose your ideas on me? What right have you got? If you are so interested in medicine, go and become a doctor! But why should I fulfill your desire? You are making me a puppet, an instrument. And I simply say no to everyone in the family. I will do what I want to do. I am going to study philosophy."
They all laughed. They said, "Study philosophy? Then you will remain a pauper all your life."
I said, "At least I will have the satisfaction that this is my own choice, that I am independent in whatever I have done, nobody has manipulated me. Becoming a doctor and rich, a scientist and rich, will not be a contentment to my heart. I will always remember that this is somebody else's trip -- I have been forced to do it! Even your Nobel Prize will not give me the contentment, the joy which comes out of freedom."
I knew what they would do, so I said, "I know what is in your mind. You will say, 'Then you go on your way, but we are not going to support you financially.'" I said, "That is clear. I don't resent it. I don't follow your advice -- I have no right to take your financial support. Even if you give it to me, I will not take it."
For two years I was earning -- working in the night, studying in the day. My father was very sad and very sorry. Many times he came and said, "Forget all that. You are destroying your health; you don't have time to rest, you don't have a disciplined life."
Finally he came and wept and said, "Unless you accept money from me every month, I am going to sit here and fast and I am not going to move."
I said, "That makes sense. You have finally accepted and respected my desire. These two years have not gone in vain." It was troublesome, it was not comfortable: running twenty-four hours a day -- only once in a while, whenever I could get time, sleeping, eating.
He said, "We are sorry. We had not thought that you would go so far."
I said, "Remember it. Whenever I do something I do it the whole way."
When I came back from the university, everybody except my father asked, "Now what are you going to do?"
I said, "You need not be worried. I have already an appointment as a teacher of philosophy in a university." Because for six years I proved my love for philosophy, my insight into philosophy, my ingenuity in seeing into its complexities, every teacher of my university and the vice-chancellor wanted me, immediately after I passed my master's degree, to become a teacher in the university.
I said, "It does not matter.... If you want to do something totally, you can change deserts into oases. You can change the life of a beggar into the life of an emperor. The whole question is, inside you there should be no inferiority complex. And you have not been able to create that in me."
I have never proved myself superior to anybody. I have never been assertive in that sense, of dominating. But I started speaking very early in my life, when I was in high school, and the principal was amazed. He could not believe that a student could speak in such a way.
Then I was speaking continuously throughout my whole university career. I had won so many shields, cups, inter-university competitions around India, that my mother started asking me, "Where are we going to keep all these things you go on bringing again and again?" But I have never learned speaking in a school, or oratory. I have never read a single book on how to speak, simply because I want to be just myself. Why should I read somebody else's book? I can speak in my own way.
And what is the problem? Everybody speaks, and everybody speaks beautifully. But something happens; if you are brought to the podium before the microphone, something strange happens. You forget speaking -- which you have been doing since your very childhood. Standing before an audience of thousands of people, so many thousands of eyes on you, you become afraid whether you will be able to perform according to their expectations or not. It is, somewhere, your inferiority complex that gives you trouble. Otherwise, it is just the same whether you are talking to one person or you are talking to one million people.
If you are clean inside, having no wounds of inferiority, then who cares what people expect of you? You have never fulfilled anybody's expectations. You have been simply living your life according to your own insight, intuition, intelligence. And that's the way it should be. A healthy human being will not have an inferiority complex.
And the other side of the story is: if you don't have an inferiority complex, you will never try to be superior. There is no need to be superior to somebody, dominating somebody, having the upper hand over somebody, controlling somebody -- you will never become a politician.
Only people who are basically suffering from an inferiority complex are attracted to politics. The very attraction towards politics guarantees it, what their problem is. Anybody who is attracted towards politics should be immediately treated psychologically. All politicians are sick, without any exception. Unless they are sick, they will not be in politics.
A person who has no desire to have power over others, to prove himself... because there is no need! He is alive, he is breathing, he is doing his thing; that is enough proof. He has made his signature. Certainly it is his signature, not somebody else's.
And remember, if even your thumbprint is unique in the whole world, what about your being? If nature does not create two thumbs alike.... How much care! Not even by mistake do two thumbs have the same lines -- and there are five billion people on the earth!
Being is so significant that it is irreplaceable.
You are just yourself.
Do something that comes out of you -- not to assert, but to express! Sing your song, dance your dance, rejoice in being whatever nature has chosen you to be.
If we can destroy the inferiority complex... which is very simple: the teachers and the parents just have to be aware not to impose themselves on the helpless children. And just within two decades the new generation will be free of the inferiority complex. And with it will go all politics, all presidents and all prime ministers. And their going will be such a great relief!
People will express their creativity. There will be musicians, there will be dancers, there will be painters, carpenters. There will be all sorts of creativity around the world. But nobody is competing with anybody else; he is simply doing his best. It is his joy. The joy is not in competing, the joy is not in coming first; the joy is in doing it. It is not outside the act, it is intrinsic to the act.
That's my image of the new man. He works, but his work is his life, his very soul. Whatever he does, it does not matter.
I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln. When he became the president of America, his father was a shoemaker. And, naturally, egoistic people were very much offended that a shoemaker's son should become the president. They were aristocrats, super-rich, who thought that it was their birthright to be in the highest post. A shoemaker's son?
On the first day, as Abraham Lincoln entered to give his presidential inaugural address, just in the middle one man stood up. He was a very rich aristocrat. He said, "Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family." And the whole senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.
But Lincoln -- and that type of person -- is made of a totally different mettle. Lincoln looked at the man and said, "Sir, I know that my father used to make shoes in your house for your family, and there will be many others here... because the way he made shoes, nobody else can. He was a creator. His shoes were not just shoes, he poured his whole soul in it. I want to ask you, have you any complaint? -- because I know how to make shoes myself; if you have any complaint I can make another pair of shoes. But I know that nobody has ever complained about my father's shoes. He was a genius, a great creator, and I am proud of my father!"
The whole senate was struck dumb. They could not understand what kind of man Abraham Lincoln was. He had made shoemaking an art, a creativity. And he was proud because his father did the job so well that not even a single complaint had ever been heard. And even though he was the president of America, he was ready to make another pair if there was any complaint.
The man looked silly. Lincoln insisted, "You have to speak! Why have you become dumb? You wanted to make me a fool, and now, look all around: you have made a fool of yourself."
It does not matter what you do. What matters is how you do it -- of your own accord, with your own vision, with your own love. Then whatever you touch becomes gold.
IN WHAT WAY DO YOU ENVISAGE DEMOCRACY PLAYING A PART IN YOUR COMMUNES?
The question is a little complex. Democracy is not the highest goal. It is better than dictatorial regimes, it is better than monarchies, but it is not the end of the journey -- because democracy basically means government by the people, of the people, for the people, but the people are retarded. So let us say: government by the retarded, for the retarded, of the retarded.
Democracy cannot be the highest possibility man can attain. It is good in comparison to other forms of government that have preceded it, but not something that can succeed it. I call that meritocracy.
I want a government by the people of merit.
And merit is a very rare quality.
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As the situation is, all the geniuses of the world are outside governments. It is hilarious: those geniuses are needed in the government because they can give the best world to humanity, but they are servants of the retarded politicians. Now the scientists who are making nuclear weapons are in the service of people like Ronald Reagan. What merit has he got? What intelligence has he got? What is his contribution to the world? -- those third-grade Hollywood cowboy films? But he will make the decision, and the geniuses will never be known; they will work almost anonymously.
The same is the situation in Soviet Russia, and everywhere else in the world. The Russian government does not allow its scientists, poets, or other geniuses to receive the Nobel Prize, for the simple reason that by receiving the Nobel Prize they become world famous. And a genius has no business becoming world famous; he should do his work.
The greatest physicist today is in imprisonment in Soviet Russia. The greatest physicist perhaps of all the ages, who has gone deeper than Albert Einstein -- Sakharov -- is serving a life sentence in Siberia. His only crime was that he refused to obey the Soviet government, and accepted the Nobel Prize.
Now, the people who are ruling the Soviet Union are just third rate. None of them has shown any genius -- Sakharov alone has as much as the whole stupid lot -- but they have power. And the best physicist, who can contribute to the world immensely, is simply rotting in Siberia.
The situation may be a little bit different in different countries, but the basic thing is the same: the people of merit are not the people who rule. The people who rule are always mediocre. Democracy, rightly translated, is mediocracy. I cannot support mediocracy. I would like people of merit, geniuses, to manage the world -- and things would be totally different.
For example, instead.... Anybody who is born in America, after a certain age becomes adult, is able to vote. Why this limitation of a certain age? What is so great about it? And if you can make a limitation that at twenty-one years -- any age limit -- you are able to vote, why can't you make it a point that unless you have a master's degree, a first-class master's degree in any subject, you cannot vote for the federal government?
You can make it a point that you have to have a first class bachelor's degree if you want to vote in the state government. You have to have a doctorate if you want to stand for any position in the federal government -- a Ph.D. is absolutely necessary. If you want to become the president of the country, then you must have at least a D.Litt. or D.Sc. Without having these qualifications you cannot stand, you cannot run for the post.
So we should require merits for each post -- the highest merits. And we should make grades of voters: for the federal government, the highest degree; for the state government, a lower degree; for the county, a little lower degree.
But meritocracy has to take the place of democracy. Then perhaps you will see Sakharov not suffering in Siberia, but being the prime minister of the Soviet Union. Then you will see Yehudi Menuhin perhaps being the president of America. And there are thousands of geniuses around the world....
And remember, geniuses are never destructive; they are always creative. With a genius president in America, and a genius president in the Soviet Union, a third world war becomes impossible. In fact, with geniuses ruling all over the world, the day will not be far off when they will decide that it is better to make one world rather than divide it into nations, because that solves problems more easily.
There are thirty million Americans who are dieting because of too much eating. Now, these people should be transported to Nigeria, Ethiopia, India -- there is no need for any dieting, just being in Ethiopia will bring them to their senses! Just leave them in Ethiopia. They will not die -- they have at least enough fat to last for ninety days. And for ninety days, bring thirty million Ethiopians to America. Those people will really enjoy your fridges!
It is simple... a world government can look at the whole world as one humanity. Problems are not so much as they appear. At one time, in Soviet Russia, they had a bumper crop of wheat. Rather than giving it to the countries who were dying without food, they started burning wheat in their railway trains instead of coal. Now, those poor countries where people were dying have enough coal: if the world is one, the coal can be given to Soviet Russia, the wheat can move to the poor country.
And if there is one world, then there is no need for seventy-five percent of every nation's wealth to be wasted on nuclear weapons, on armies, on other kinds of war materials. Seventy-five percent! Humanity is living only on twenty-five percent. If there are no longer any nations, the question of war does not arise. A hundred percent of all energy, money, income becomes available to the whole world.
There are countries -- for example, I know India -- where labor is so cheap.... In America, things are almost ten times more costly, for the simple reason that labor is so costly. It is simply stupid. Why not make industries in India, produce any item in India, ship it to any country where it is needed? It will be cheaper, it will be available to more people.
The Soviet Union has one-sixth of the land of the whole earth, and the population is only two hundred million. India's population today is eight hundred million, and by the end of the century it will be one billion. For the first time in history, India will be going ahead of China. Up to now China has been ahead. China will be number two, India will be number one. But it is not a great joy to be number one. India can manage very easily four hundred million people; more than that is impossible. The land is not there, the soil has been exploited too much for centuries. One billion people -- simply the idea...! India will become a thousandfold bigger Ethiopia.
In Ethiopia one thousand people have been dying every day. In India millions of people will die every day. But there is no need. Just by the side is the Soviet Union, with vast lands spreading from one corner of Europe to the other corner of Asia, covering two continents. It is such a simple matter: over-populated areas should be shifted, people should be shifted to under-populated areas.
In Switzerland they have dropped birth control policies. They are encouraging people to produce children, because for the last two years their population has been going down. We are living in an insane world. There are countries where it is so hard to teach people to use birth control methods so that their population does not rise, and there are countries where the government is giving every encouragement and rewards for people to produce children; otherwise the country will disappear. But what is the need to produce children when so many children are there, dying? Just shift them to Switzerland. Adopt them; that will be more humane.
And the same is the situation about everything. All this can be changed by people of genius coming to the top. And the simple way is, make categories so universities become your centers of power, not governments; universities create your governors, your presidents, your vice-presidents, your senators. And that should be the right thing to do.
Now, as things are, the profession of the politician is the only profession which needs no qualification. Even if you want to be a plumber, some kind of qualification will be needed, some training in plumbing, some certificate. But if you want to be the president of America, no certificate is needed. It seems strange: plumbing is more important than the presidency of America! If you want to be a senator, no qualification is needed. If you want to be a teacher in a kindergarten school, qualifications are needed.
Democracy is not succeeding; it has failed. It was better than its predecessors, but now we have to find a new alternative, because democracy has failed. It has not been of any help.
I call it meritocracy.
The future belongs to meritocracy.
HAVE NOT RELIGIONS DONE ANY GOOD TO HUMANITY?
Corpses cannot do any good to anybody, unless you like stinking things. It is a question of preference. Religion means something dead.
A roseflower alive, dancing in the sun, in the wind, surrounded by its aura of perfume, is one thing. You can find a roseflower, dry and dead, in THE HOLY BIBLE too; people keep them. The color has faded, the fragrance is gone, there is no life in it. It only reminds you of a flower, it is no longer a flower. There is no longer any juice in it, it is dead, dry. Even to call it a roseflower is not right -- it is only a corpse. Religions are corpses.
Religious experience is the living rose. Religious experience is individual. Religion is an organization, and the moment truth is organized it dies. Truth can have a beating heart only in the individual, because organization has no heart. Organization does not breathe, organization is just a graveyard.
All religions are graveyards. Yes, underneath the graves there are people who have once been alive, who had once loved, sang songs, danced, laughed. But now it is only a graveyard. Those people may be there only just as skeletons.
Religion is always dead. Religious experience is always alive. Religious experience has given tremendous riches to humanity. Religion has simply harmed. Religious experience needs no priests, no churches, no ritual, no God, no heaven, no hell. It needs only an inward journey, because there is the real shrine. There is the source of your life, of your love, of your joy, of your celebration.
Moving inwards, you will find living sources, living waters which are eternal. And the man who finds it can help others. He cannot give to you his experience, but he can explain it to you -- in a very rudimentary way, because words are not capable of expressing the wordless. But he can try. He can at least create an urge in you -- which is dormant in every human being -- to enter into your own being.
And once you know yourself, you know there is no death. Once you know yourself, you know there is no inferiority. Once you know yourself, a tremendous rejoicing arises in you which wants to create. It wants to sing, it wants to dance, it wants to compose music. To different individuals it will happen in different ways.
Religious experience has been a benediction, a tremendous blessing -- but to very few people, because most of the people don't bother about individual experience. They simply become Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, Jews. They become part of an organization which promises, "Just believe in THE HOLY BIBLE, in the TORAH. Believe in the GITA, in the KORAN. Just belief is needed on your part and you will reach to the ultimate state of bliss, to paradise."
Organized religions are cheap. They have not helped anybody; they have harmed millions. They have created thousands of wars, burned living human beings -- they have called them crusades, jihads, wars of religion, wars for God. Every kind of nuisance has been committed in the name of religion.
It is time -- we should get rid of religions and start searching for religious experience, which has never harmed anybody.
WHY ARE YOU SO AGAINST CELIBACY?
I am not. Nature is -- and I am all in favor of nature. To me, there is no other way to find truth, to find peace, to find meaningfulness, than being natural.
Celibacy is one of the most unnatural things. It has destroyed so many human beings -- millions -- Catholic monks, Hindu monks, Buddhist monks, Jaina monks, nuns. For centuries they have been teaching celibacy; and the most amazing thing is, even in the twentieth century, not a single medical expert, physiologist, has stood up and said that celibacy is impossible, that in the very nature of things, it cannot happen.
To impose celibacy means to pervert the sexual energy of man. It is celibacy that has created homosexuality. It is celibacy that has created sodomy. Perhaps you don't understand the word "sodomy"; it is making love to animals. And, finally, it is celibacy which has brought humanity to experience the great joy of AIDS. I call AIDS a religious disease. It has been created by all the religions.
Nobody ever has been celibate, whatever the pretensions; you can only be a hypocrite. But your sexual energy will find ways to move -- it is natural.
Celibacy is as natural as somebody taking a vow that he will not allow his hair to grow. What are you going to do? Is it within your hands? The body does not listen to you and your orders: the hair will continue to grow. You will be surprised: even in his grave, when a man is dead, hair and nails go on growing. What to say about in his life?
I have heard... two small children, six and seven years old, were standing by the side of a Catholic monastery. A few monks were passing by.
The little child asked the older one, "I wonder, what is the difference between a man and a monk?"
The older one said, "I know the difference, but I don't understand the meaning. I have asked older boys. They said that the difference is that the monks use their ding-dong only for pissing."
The younger boy said, "I don't understand.... That means we are also monks, because we also use our ding-dong only for pissing! What else to do with it?"
But remember, ding-dong is two words. Ding is pissing -- and dong you have understood!
You cannot escape from dong, and there is no need; it is perfectly natural, human. Enjoy both: ding, and dong too!
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