Times of crisis are just golden
AS SOCIETY'S HOLD ON PEOPLE'S MINDS BEGINS TO DISINTEGRATE, IN TIMES OF SOCIAL CRISIS SUCH AS NOW THERE SEEMS TO BE A TENDENCY FOR AN INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE TO FALL BELOW THE MIND INTO MADNESS. ALSO, IS IT TRUE THAT THIS IS PARALLELED BY A TENDENCY FOR PEOPLE TO LOOK AT THE POSSIBILITY OF GOING BEYOND THE MIND INTO ENLIGHTENMENT?
Times of crisis are both dangerous and immensely important -- dangerous for those who have no courage to explore new dimensions of life. They are bound to disintegrate into different kinds of madness, because their mind was made by the society. Now the society is disintegrating, the mind cannot remain; its roots are in the society. It is constantly nourished by the society -- now that nourishment is disappearing.
Because the society is disintegrating, a great suspicion, a doubt that was never there before, is bound to arise in the individuals. And if they were just obedient people who have never gone beyond any limit that society has decided, who have always been respected, honorable citizens -- in other words, just mediocre -- they will immediately go mad.
They will start committing suicide, they will start jumping from high buildings... or even if they live, now they don't have a mind which can help them to figure out the situation for their life. They will become retarded, stupid, idiotic, may become schizophrenic, split into two persons -- or perhaps a crowd.
In times of crisis, the danger is for those who have enjoyed the times when the society was settled, when there was no problem, everything was at ease, they were honored, respected. These were the people who had enjoyed the obedience of the mind, and these are going to be the sufferers. It is a simple arithmetic. They will go psychotic, they will go neurotic -- and these words don't make much difference.
I have heard a definition. One psychoanalyst was asked, "What is the difference between psychosis and neurosis?"
And the psychoanalyst said, "The psychotic person believes that two and two are five.
And the neurotic person knows that two and two are four, but is not at ease with the fact that two and two are four." So the difference is very fine. Both are in trouble.
But times of crisis are of tremendous significance for those daring souls who have never bothered about society's respectability, its honors; who have never bothered about what others think about them, but have done only that which they felt right to do; who have in a certain way been always rebellious, individualistic. For these people the times of crisis are just golden, because the society is disintegrating. Now it cannot condemn anybody -- it is itself condemned, cursed. It cannot say to others that they are wrong. It is itself proving wrong; its whole wisdom is proving just foolish, superstitious.
The daring individual can use this opportunity to go beyond mind, because now the society cannot prevent him, cannot hinder him. Now he is free.
It is almost like a situation in a jail... when the doors are open, the guards have disappeared and the jailer is nowhere to be found. The people who have some sense, some intelligence, will use it for freedom. But those who have become so enslaved that they cannot think of freedom -- imprisonment has become their home -- they will simply panic, "What is going to happen today? No guards? No jailer? The doors are open! Who will take care of us? Who will provide food for us?"
There will be people whose slavery has penetrated to their very soul; these people will go berserk. But the people who always were in search of a moment when they can escape from the prison will be immensely happy. This was the time they have been waiting and praying for. They will escape out of the prison into the open sky. Going beyond the mind is going into the open sky, full of stars, the moon, the sun -- the immensity of it... It becomes yours; the whole existence becomes yours.
The mind is a small cage.
So moments of crisis are both... and that is what is happening all around the world. There has never been so intense a search for spiritual growth, for meditation. But there has never been so much madness either. Both are happening because the status quo is no longer powerful; it has lost control.
When Galileo found that the earth moves around the sun, not vice versa as THE BIBLE says, the pope asked him to be present in his court. Many things happened that day. One was very important. Galileo asked, "What does it matter if one statement in THE BIBLE is proved wrong? It does not prove the whole BIBLE wrong. I am a devout Christian, a practicing Christian, and I don't see the point that if one statement is wrong it makes a difference."
But the pope said, "You don't understand" -- and the pope was right. He said, "When one statement is proved wrong then thousands of problems will arise. One -- that God can be wrong. And if he is wrong about one statement, what is the certainty about other statements?" Just one brick taken out of the palace, and the whole palace may collapse.
"I cannot allow," the pope said, "any statement in THE BIBLE to be wrong."
His argument is significant. Today not only one thing about the old mind, the old society, is wrong, but so many things are wrong that it needs an absolute idiot to still believe in it.
Just a little intelligence and it is impossible to be part of the old mind. It has lost credibility -- and not in one place, but all over the world. There are different kinds of old traditions, but they all have come to a point where so many things are scientifically proved wrong.
You will be surprised to know... One Jaina monk had come to see me; he had collected millions of rupees to make a lab to prove that man has not reached the moon. He wanted my support, that I should be the director of his lab. He would give any finance that was needed, but it had to be proved that no man has stepped on the moon.
I said, "Why are you so much worried about it?"
He said, "You don't understand. In Jainism, the moon is a god, not a planet. You cannot walk on a god. And they have not only walked on a god, they have brought stones and other things from the moon to be studied on the earth. It has to be proved that they are deceiving the whole world, that all these things they had taken from the earth, and they have brought them back... Nobody has been to the moon; nobody can have been, otherwise the whole system of Jainism will collapse." I said, "Just for a single thing, that the moon proves to be a planet not a god...?"
He said, "If one thing is wrong, then everything becomes suspicious. We cannot afford anything to be wrong."
I said, "You are too late! Many things have already been proved wrong. You are not very knowledgeable. You have been simply reading the newspapers, and because it is a recent event, man landing on the moon... otherwise in three hundred years science has destroyed much that all the religions have believed in for centuries."
That man was really in tremendous anguish. And I said, "For you, being a monk, it does not matter whether anything is wrong or right -- your search is for the truth, for peace and silence. And you are getting so much upset. Your very anguish shows that your own mind is shattered. It is not a question of Jaina scriptures, or the Jaina tradition, it is a question of your mind.
"You are collecting all this money, not for Jaina scriptures but to save your sanity; otherwise you would go insane. You have sacrificed your whole life, and now you find that the gods you have been worshipping are not gods but just planets, as ordinary as the earth, and very poor -- no water, no plants, no life. It is your mind that is going to be shattered. How will you account for your whole life...?"
This is the situation of many people of intelligence. Either they are going insane... you can see it -- psychotherapy and other schools of therapies are growing fast. They are the most highly paid people, people are going through psychoanalysis for years at a time. In fact people have started boasting... In women's clubs you can go and hear it, that one woman will be saying, "How many years have you been in psychoanalysis? -- just seven years? I have been in psychoanalysis for fifteen years." It has become something of pride.
But to be in psychoanalysis simply means you are insane; otherwise why are you taking the treatment? And it is spreading.
But the most intelligent people are rushing towards the East to find some way, some method, some meditation -- Yoga, Zen, Sufism, Hassidism. Somewhere somebody must know how to get over this critical stage, how to go beyond the traditional mind and still remain centered, sane, and intelligent. Thousands of people are moving towards the East.
It is very hilarious because thousands of people are coming from the East to the West to study science, medicine, engineering, electronics, and the people who know all these are going to the East, just to learn how to sit silently and do nothing.
But it is a beautiful time. The grip of society is lost. Yes, the mediocre will suffer, but anyway they were not enjoying, they were not really living; they were simply being hypocrites. By being insane at least they will be real, authentic. They won't lose anything -- of course they won't gain much....
But the people who will go beyond mind will create the new man, the new mind. And the most special thing to be remembered about the new mind is that it will never become a tradition, that it will be constantly renewed. If it becomes a tradition it will be the same thing.
The new mind has to become continuously new, every day new, ready to accept any unexpected experience, any unexpected truth... just available, vulnerable. It will be a tremendous excitement, a great ecstasy, a great challenge.
So I don't think this crisis is bad; it is good. A few people will lose their masks, and will be actually what they are -- neurotic, psychotic -- but at least they will be true and they will be honest. You may think they are mad; they are not mad, they are simply in a state of very great surprise. They have believed too much in the old mind, and it betrayed them.
But the best of the intelligence will reach to heights unknown before. And if even in a traditional world, a man like Gautam Buddha or Chuang Tzu or Pythagoras is possible, we can conceive that in the atmosphere that the new mind will create, a thousandfold more awakened people, enlightened people will become easily possible.
If the new mind can prevail then life can become an enlightening process. And enlightenment will not be something rare, that it happens once in a while to somebody very special; it will become a very ordinary human experience, that only once in a while some really idiotic person misses.
I HAVE HESITATED FOR LONG TO ASK THIS QUESTION BECAUSE IT SEEMS TO REACH DEEP DOWN INTO MY UNCONSCIOUS, AND THERE IS A LOT OF FEAR CONNECTED WITH IT.
FOR THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS I HAVE EXPERIENCED TENSION OF VARYING DEGREES IN MY HEART AREA, FOR WHICH THERE HAS BEEN NO PHYSICAL EXPLANATION. IT CAN VARY FROM SHARP, BREATH-TAKING PAIN, WHICH CAN LAST FOR HOURS, TO A SLIGHT FEELING OF PRESSURE.
IT DISAPPEARS WHEN I LOVE, MELT, LET-GO, AND WHEN I AM IN HARMONY WITH MY BODY. DOES IT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE NAME YOU GAVE ME? DO I HOLD BACK?
I WOULD BE GRATEFUL IF YOU COULD THROW SOME LIGHT ON THIS.
The question is from Premda, and his name has certainly to do something with the problem.
It is not physical; it is certainly concerned with relaxation, total melting, forgetting oneself completely. In those moments it disappears, so certainly it is not physical. You have to learn to give more love. This is not only your problem; in varying degrees it is the problem of everybody.
Everybody wants to be loved; that is a wrong beginning.
It starts because the child, the small child, cannot love, cannot say anything, cannot do anything, cannot give anything; he can only get. A small child's experience of love is of getting: getting from the mother, getting from the father, getting from brothers, sisters, getting from guests, strangers -- but always getting. So the first experience that settles deep in his unconscious is that he has to get love. But the trouble arises because everybody has been a child, and everybody has the same urge to get love; nobody is born in any other way. So all are asking, "Give us love," and there is nobody to give because the other person was also brought up in the same way.
One has to be alert and aware that just an incident of birth should not remain a constant prevailing state of your mind. Rather than asking, "Give me love," start giving love.
Forget about getting, simply give -- and I guarantee you, you will get much. But you are not to think about getting. You are not even indirectly, by the side, to watch whether you are getting it or not. That much will be enough disturbance. You simply give, because to give love is so beautiful that getting love is not so great. This is one of the secrets.
Giving love is the really beautiful experience, because then you are an emperor. Getting love is very small experience, and it is the experience of a beggar. Don't be a beggar. At least as far as love is concerned, be an emperor, because it is an inexhaustible quality in you. You can go on giving as much as you like. Don't be worried that it will be exhausted, that one day you will suddenly find, "My God! I don't have any love to give anymore."
Love is not a quantity; it is a quality, and a quality of a certain category that grows by giving and dies if you hold it. If you are miserly about it, it dies. So be really spendthrift.
Don't bother to whom -- that is really the idea of a miserly mind: I will give love to certain persons with certain qualities.
You don't understand that you have so much... you are a raincloud. The raincloud does not bother where it rains -- on the rocks, in the gardens, in the ocean -- it doesn't matter. It wants to unburden itself. And that unburdening is a tremendous relief.
So the first secret is: Don't ask for it, and don't wait, thinking that you will give if somebody asks you. Give it!
The founder of the theosophical movement, Madame Blavatsky had a strange habit her whole life -- and she lived long, and traveled all over the world and created a world movement... In fact no other woman has been so powerful in the whole history of man, has had influence worldwide. She used to carry many bags with her, full of seeds of flowers. Her whole luggage was nothing but seeds of flowers. Sitting in the train by the side of the window she would go on throwing seeds outside the window, and people would ask, "What are you doing? You carry so much unnecessary luggage, and then you go on throwing those seeds out of the window for thousands of miles."
She said, "These are seeds of flowers, beautiful flowers. When the summer goes and the rains come, these seeds will become plants. Soon there will be millions of flowers. I will not be coming back on the route and I will never see them, but thousands of people will see them, thousands of people will enjoy their fragrance."
She actually made almost all the railroads in India full of flowers, and people said, "When you will not see them again, what is your joy?"
She said, "My joy is that so many people will be joyful. I am not a miser. Whatever I can do to make people joyful, happy, I will do; it is part of my love." She really loved humanity, and did everything that she felt was right.
Just give your love to anybody -- a stranger. It is not a question that you have to give something very valuable, just a helping hand and that will be enough. In twenty-four hours, whatever you do should be done with love, and the pain in your heart will disappear. And because you will be loving so much, people will love you. It is a natural law. You get what you give. In fact you get more than you give.
Learn giving, and you will find so many people being loving towards you who had never looked at you, who had never bothered about you.
Your problem is that you have a heart full of love but you have been a miser; that love has become a burden on the heart. Rather than making the heart blossom you have been hoarding it, so once in a while when you are in a moment of love you feel it disappearing.
But why one moment? Why not every moment? It is not even a question of a living being. You can touch this chair with a loving hand. The thing depends on you, not on the object.
Then you will find a great relaxation and a great disappearance of your self -- which is a burden -- and a melting into the whole.
This is certainly a disease, in the literal meaning of the word: it is a dis-ease. It is not sickness, so no physician can help you. It is simply a tense state of your heart which simply wants to give more and more. Perhaps you have more love than other people, perhaps you are more fortunate, and you are making out of your fortune a great misery for yourself. Share it, without bothering to whom you are giving. Just give it, and you will find tremendous peace and silence. This will become your meditation.
One can come to meditation through many directions; perhaps this is going to be your direction.
WHAT I FIND REALLY AMAZING ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD IS THAT, UNLIKE MOST OF US AS CHILDREN, YOU SEEM TO HAVE AN INTRINSIC AND UNDENIABLE UNDERSTANDING THAT YOUR PARENTS'
INTERPRETATION OF REALITY AND YOUR EXPERIENCE OF REALITY WERE OFTEN TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. YOU INSIST THAT YOU ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM US, YET THIS FACET OF YOUR CHILDHOOD ALONE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH EVIDENCE THAT YOU HOUSE THE MOST UNIQUE SORT OF INTELLIGENCE.
I WOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR COMMENT.
Every child understands that he sees the world in a different way than his parents. As far as seeing is concerned, it is absolutely certain. His values are different. He may collect sea shells on the beach and the parents will say, "Throw them away. Why are you wasting your time?" And for him they were so beautiful. He can see the difference; he can see that their values are different. The parents are running after money -- he wants to collect butterflies. He can't see why you are so interested in money; what you are going to do with it? His parents cannot see what he is going to do with these butterflies, or these flowers.
Every child comes to know this, that there are differences. The only question is: he is afraid to assert that he is right. As far as he is concerned, he should be left alone. It is a question of just a little courage, which is also not missing in children. But the whole society is managed in such a way that even a beautiful quality like courage in a child will be condemned.
I was not willing to bow down in the temple to a stone statue. And I said to them, "If you want, you can force me. You have more physical force than me. I am small; you can force me, but remember you are doing an ugly act. It will not be my prayer, and it will destroy even your prayer, because you are doing violence to a little child who cannot resist physically."
One day while they were inside praying in the temple, I climbed on the top of the temple, which was dangerous. Only once a year a painter used to climb it, but I had seen the painter and how he had managed. He had put nails at the backside as steps. I followed him and I was sitting on the top of the temple. When they came out they saw me sitting there and they said, "What are you doing there? In the first place, do you want to commit suicide?"
I said, "No, I simply want to make you alert that if you force me, I can do anything that is within my power. This is the answer, for you to remember that you cannot force me to do anything."
They begged me, "Be quiet. We will arrange for somebody to bring you down."
I said, "Don't be worried. If I can come up, I can come down." They had no idea about those nails. I had been particularly watching the painter, how he manages, because everybody wondered -- that this painter was really great. He was painting all the temples.
I came down. They said, "We will never force you about anything, but don't do such a thing! You could have killed yourself."
I said, "The responsibility would have been on you."
It is not a question that intelligence is not in the children. It is that they just don't use their assertiveness because it is condemned by everybody. Now, everybody condemned my family because I had gone up on top of the temple -- that means beyond their god. That was insulting to their god. And I said, "If a painter can go... And do you know the painter is a Mohammedan? I am at least not a Mohammedan yet."
My father said, "What do you mean, that you are not a Mohammedan yet?"
I said, "Exactly what I have said. If you torture me too much I can become a Mohammedan."
I had even asked the malvi of the mosque nearby, "Are you willing to initiate me into Mohammedanism?"
He said, "You want to be initiated? Your parents... There will be trouble in the town."
I said, "Don't be worried, because you are not forcing me. I am accepting Mohammedanism. I will stand in front of the mosque and tell my parents and to the whole town that I have not been forced."
He said, "This is dangerous. It may create a riot in the city and a few people may be killed."
I said, "Don't be worried, I am not going to be a Mohammedan. You just remember, if my father asks you, you say to him, `Yes, he has come, and if he wants to become a Mohammedan we cannot refuse.' I am not going to come, but this much you have to tell him."
And my father asked him, "Has he come to you?"
He said, "He has come, and he is very insistent."
My father said, "It is better to leave him alone!
They had a meeting of the whole family, "Leave him alone; he is really dangerous. If he becomes a Mohammedan we will be condemned by the whole city. And he really has gone, and he is insisting, `If anything happens again to force me, then I am going to change my religion.'" That was the last...! They remained silent; they never told me to come to the temple. I never went to the temple. Slowly they learned one thing, that I am not dangerous, just they should not force me into a corner.
Each child has to be assertive, that's the only thing. And what is there to lose? But children are so dependent, and I don't see that they have to be so dependent. They told me many times, "We will stop giving you food."
I said, "You do it. I can start begging -- in this very city. I have to survive, I have to do something. You can stop giving me food, but you cannot stop me from begging. Begging is everybody's birthright."
There is not any difference of intelligence, but I see differences of assertiveness because children who are obedient are honored.
In my family, my other brothers would be called when some guests would be there; my uncles would be called, "He has come first class. He has come this, he has done this..."
And I would introduce myself, "I have done nothing, and all these people are just at a loss what to do with me. They never wanted me to be introduced to you, so I thought I should introduce myself!"
This happened... One member of parliament was visiting the house -- he was a friend of my father. They were introducing everybody, and I was not called; I was simply ignored.
When I came in and I introduced myself to him he said, "But this is strange. Nobody called you."
I said, "Nothing is strange. These are all obedient people. I am disobedient -- and you will have some taste of it soon."
And my father said, "Leave him alone. Why should he have a taste?"
I said, "He is going to speak in my school" -- I was in the ninth class -- "he is going to address my high school, and I am going to create trouble. I am just informing him beforehand that I am going to ask questions, and he should not think that because he is a great orator and a parliamentarian that I will be impressed by these things. Nothing impresses me."
My father told him, "You be aware of him. He will ask something, something that you cannot answer, because he is continuously harassing us. He will never ask anything that you can answer, and he has a capacity for finding... how he finds, we don't know. He asks questions that you cannot answer, and in a public meeting where you are addressing hundreds of people he can make you look a fool."
That man became really afraid. He asked me, "It will be good if you come with me, in the car" -- just to persuade me not to create any trouble.
I said, "Nothing will help. I can come in your car that will simply shock my headmaster, my masters, and the whole school. But there is no way of giving me any bribe."
He said, "You look to be so strong... at this age?"
I said, "I am not strong, I simply ask simple questions and I want their answers. When you come to address the school, I have every right to ask you a few things. You are continually asking in the parliament: I see your name in the newspapers everyday -- questions to the prime minister, to this minister, to that minister -- you should not be so much afraid of a small child. What can I ask?"
But he said, "Your father is so afraid, and we have been colleagues, we have studied together; I trust in his judgment. And you also look dangerous."
We went to the school. He started speaking; I stood up and asked him, "Be honest and tell everybody, why have you brought me in your car? Just be sincere!"
And he said, "Your father was right. You ask questions which cannot be answered."
I said, "This is a simple question. If you cannot answer it I can answer. You know the answer, I know the answer, I want everybody else also to know the answer."
My principal tried to settle the matter saying, "You sit down. He is our guest, and much depends on him for grants and this..."
I said, "That is not my business. I am not the principal of this school, I am simply a student. And I am not asking a very complicated question or any question which is dangerous to the security of the country or anything. I am just asking him why he has brought me in his car. If he accepts it sincerely I will not ask another question."
He said, "I am sorry, but it is true. What he is saying is right -- it was a bribe. I thought that sitting in my car he would feel good and he would not harass me." But he looked so embarrassed saying such small things. When I came back home, my father said, "Did you create any trouble?"
I said, "I did not create any trouble, he himself created it. He asked me to sit in his car. I was going myself, walking to the school. He created the trouble."
Each child, if supported by the parents to be courageous, has the intelligence to make clear that his values are different, his perceptions are different. But nobody supports, everybody tries to repress the child. The only difference you can make is in that... To me anything that was repressive was a challenge. Then I was provoked to do something -- and they had to learn the lesson.
So the next time I was the first to be called to be introduced, because they knew that I would come by myself and then it would become more difficult. It was better to introduce me. But they had nothing to say about me -- what to say about me?
So I told them, "You can say exactly the truth: `He is disobedient; he is a problem. He is continuously creating trouble for the family, for the neighborhood, for the whole town -- teachers, students. And the whole day we are tired of listening to complaints coming...'
You can simply introduce me the way I am. Why are you so afraid, when I am not afraid?
These are true things."
A situation was created that instead of my being afraid, my whole family was afraid of me. And each child can do that... just a little courage. One day my father said, "You have to be back in the house before nine o'clock in the night."
I said, "If I don't come -- then?"
He said, "Then the doors will not be open."
I said, "Then keep your doors closed. I will not even knock on the doors, and I am not going to come before nine. I will sit outside, and tell everybody! Whoever will be passing, they will ask, `Why are you sitting in darkness in this cold night?' And I will tell them, `This is the situation...'" He said, "That means you will create trouble for me."
I said, "I am not creating it. You are giving this order. I have never thought about it, but when you say, `Nine is the deadline,' then I cannot come before nine. It simply is against my intelligence. And I am not doing anything; I will be simply sitting outside. And if somebody asks, `Why are you sitting...?' And anybody is going to ask. If you are sitting in the road, everybody who will be passing is going to ask, `Why are you sitting here in the cold?' Then I will have to explain, `This is the situation...'" He said, "Forget about that limit. You come whenever you want."
And I said, "I am not going to knock. The doors have to remain open. Why should the doors be closed -- just to harass me? There is no reason to close the doors." In my part of India the town is awake up to twelve, because it is so hot that only after twelve it starts cooling down. So people remain awake, work continues. The day is so hot that they may rest in the day and work in the night. I said, "There is no reason to close the doors when you are sitting inside and working. Leave the doors open. Why should I knock?"
He said, "Okay, the doors will remain open. It was my fault to say to you, `Come before nine,' because everybody comes before nine.'
I said, "I am not everybody. If it is suitable for them to come before nine they can come.
If it is suitable for me, I will come. But don't cut my freedom, don't destroy my individuality. Just let me be myself."
It is a simple question of asserting yourself against those who have power. But you have subtle powers that you can use against them. For example, if I said, "I will simply sit in the road," I am also using power. If I am sitting on top of the temple, I am also using power. If they can threaten me, I can also threaten them. But children simply fall in line just to be respectable, just to be obedient, just to be on the right path. And the right path means whatsoever their parents are showing them.
You are right, I was a little different. But I don't think it is any superiority, just a little bit of difference. And once I learned the art, then I refined it. Once I knew how to fight with people who have power -- and you don't have -- then I refined it, and managed perfectly well. I always found out some way. And they were always surprised because they thought, "Now he cannot do anything against this" -- because they were always thinking rationally.
I have no devotion to reason.
My devotion is basically towards freedom.
By what means it is achieved does not matter. Every means becomes good if it brings freedom to you, individuality to you, and you are not enslaved. The children just don't have the idea. They think that their parents are doing everything good for them.
I always made it clear to them, "I don't suspect your intentions, and I hope you don't suspect my intentions either. But there are things on which we disagree. Do you want me to agree on everything with you? -- whether you are right or wrong? Are you absolutely certain, that you are right? If you are not so absolutely certain, then give me the freedom to decide for myself. At least I will have the pleasure of going wrong on my own decision, and I will not make you feel guilty and responsible."
One just has to be alert about one thing: whatsoever your parents say, they cannot do.
They cannot harm you, they cannot kill you, they can only threaten you. Once you know they can only threaten you, their threats don't make any difference; you can also threaten them. And you can threaten them in such a way that they will have to accept your right to choose what you want to do.
I made it absolutely clear to them, "If you can convince me that what you are saying is right, I will do it. But if you cannot convince me then please don't dictate. Then you are teaching me to be a fascist; you are not helping me to be a liberated man, but somebody imprisoned."
So there are differences, but nothing that is special or superior. And children can be taught; they all can do the same, because I have tried that too, even in my childhood.
Students were puzzled: I harassed the teachers, I harassed the principal, and still they could not do anything against me. And they would do something wrong and immediately they were in trouble. They started asking me, "What is the secret?"
I said, "There is no secret. You have to be very clear that you are right and that you have a reason to support it. Then whoever is against you will see. Whether he is a teacher or the principal does not matter."
One of my teachers went in great anger into the office of the principal and fined me ten rupees for my misbehavior. I just went behind him, and while he was fining me I was standing by his side. As he moved away, with the same pen I fined him twenty rupees for his misbehavior.
He said, "What are you doing? That register is for teachers to fine the students."
I asked, "Where is it written? In this register, nowhere is it written that only teachers can fine the students. I think this register is to fine anybody who misbehaves. If there is anywhere else where it is written, I would like to see it."
Meanwhile the principal came in. He said, "What is the matter?"
And the teacher said, "He has spoiled the register. He has fined me twenty rupees for misbehavior."
The principal said, "That is not right."
I said, "Do you have any written document that says that no student can fine a teacher, even if the teacher is misbehaving?"
The principal said, "This is a difficult matter. We don't have any document, it is just a convention that teachers punish."
I said, "It has to be changed. Punishment is perfectly right, but it should not be one sided.
I will pay those ten rupees only if this man pays twenty rupees." Because the principal could not ask him for twenty rupees, he could not ask me for those ten rupees, and the fine is still there! When after a few years I visited the school, he showed me, "Your fine is still there."
I said, "Leave it there for other students to know."
One just has to find ways...!
So there must be some difference, but it is not of superiority. It is just a question of using your courage, your intelligence, and risking. What is the danger? What could those people have destroyed? At the most they could have failed me in their class -- of which they were afraid, because that meant I would be again in their class the next year! -- so it was really favorable to me. They wanted to get rid of me as quickly as possible. That was the only power in the teacher's hands, to fail a student.
I had made it clear to every teacher, "You can fail me, it doesn't matter. Whether I pass a class in two years or three years does not matter. This whole life is so useless -- somewhere I have to pass my life. I can pass my whole life in this school, but I will make your life hell, because once the fear of failing disappears then I can do anything." So even the teachers who were against me were giving me more marks than needed just to help me move into another class, so I was no longer a burden to them.
If parents really love children, they will help them to be courageous -- courageous even against themselves. They will help them to be courageous against teachers, against society, against anybody who is going to destroy their individuality.
And that's what I mean: the new mind will have these different qualities. The children born under the new mind and the new man will not be treated the way they have been treated down the centuries. They will be encouraged to be themselves, to be assertive, to be self-respectful. And that will change the whole quality of life. It will become more shiny, alive, and more juicy.