For my whole life, friendliness has been a shield for me to protect myself from others. Sitting with you in discourse and feeling your overwhelming love, layers of this shield are dropping away, more and more, and I feel a space in which I am enough unto myself.
Out of this space, a more open and less fearful connection happens. And yet, I often watch myself not being totally authentic and real. Why is this so difficult?
One of the problems that every human being has to face is the world in which he is born. His being and the intentions of the world don’t go together. The world wants him to serve, to be a slave, to be used by those who are in power. And naturally he resents it. He wants to be himself. The world does not allow anybody to be what he is by nature supposed to be.
The world tries to mold every person into a commodity: useful, efficient, obedient – never rebellious, never asserting itself, never declaring its own individuality, but always being subservient, almost like a robot. The world does not want you to be human beings. It wants you to be efficient machines. The more efficient you are, the more respectable, the more honored.
And this is what creates the problem. No individual is born here to be a machine. It is a humiliation, a degradation; it is taking away his pride and dignity, destroying him as a spiritual being and reducing him into a mechanical entity.
Hence every child, from the very beginning, as he becomes aware of the intentions of the society, of the parents, of the family, of the educational system, of the nation, of the religion – as he becomes aware, he starts closing himself. He starts becoming defensive, just out of fear, because he has to encounter a tremendous force. And he is so small and so fragile, so vulnerable, so helpless, so dependent on the same people against whom he has to protect himself.
And the problem becomes more complicated because the people he has to protect himself against are the people who think that they love him. And perhaps they are not lying. Their intentions are good but their consciousness is missing, they are fast asleep. They don’t know that they are being puppets in the hands of a blind force called the society, the establishment – all the vested interests are together.
The child faces a dilemma. He has to fight against those whom he loves, and he thinks they love him too. But it is strange that the people who love him don’t love him as he is. They say to him, “We will love you, we do love you, but only if you follow the way we are following, if you follow the religion we are following, if you become obedient the way we are obedient.”
If you become part of this vast mechanism, in which you are going to live your whole life…fighting against it is simply meaningless, you will be crushed. It is wiser just to surrender and just to learn to say yes, whether you want to or not. Repress your no. In all conditions, in all situations, you are expected to be a yea-sayer. The no is prohibited. The no is the original sin. Disobedience is the original sin – and then the society takes revenge with a great vengeance.