[NOTE: This is a typed tape transcript and has not been edited or published, as of August 1992. It is for reference use only.]
INTERVIEW WITH MRS GUPTA, SUN MAGAZINE, YOUNG PEOPLE'S ISSUE
Q: I WOULD LIKE YOU TO COMMENT ON THE DRUG PROBLEM.
A: It is nothing new, it is as ancient as man. There has never been a time when man was not in search of escape. The most ancient book in the world is the RIGVEDA, and it is full of drug use. The name of the drug is soma.
Since those ancient times all the religions have tried to get people not to use drugs. All the governments have been against drugs. Yet drugs have proved more powerful than governments or religions, because nobody has looked into the very psychology of the drug user.
Man is miserable. He lives in anxiety, anguish and frustration. There seems to be no way out except drugs. The only way to prevent the use of drugs will be to make man joyful, happy, blissful.
I am also against drugs, for the simple reason that they help you to forget your misery for a time. They do not prepare you to fight misery and suffering; rather they weaken you.
But the reasons of religions and governments for being against drugs and my reasons for being against drugs are totally different. They want man to remain miserable and frustrated, because the man in suffering is never rebellious; he is tortured in his own being, he is falling apart. He cannot conceive of a better society, of a better culture, of a better man. Because of his misery he becomes an easy victim of the priests because they console him, because they say to him, "Blessed are the poor, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who suffer, because they shall inherit the kingdom of God."
The suffering humanity is also in the hands of the politicians, because the suffering humanity needs some hope - hope of a classless society somewhere in the future, hope of a society where there will be no poverty, no hunger, no misery. In short, they can manage and be patient with their sufferings if they have a utopia just close to the horizon. And you must note down the meaning of the word utopia. It means that which never happens. It is just like the horizon; it is so close that you think you can run and meet the place where earth and sky meet. But you can go on running your whole life and never meet the place, because there is no such place. It is a hallucination.
The politician lives on promise, the priest lives on promise. In the last ten thousand years nobody has delivered the goods. Their reason for being against drugs is that drugs destroy their whole business. If people start taking opium, hashish, LSD, they don't care about communism, and they don't care about what is going to happen tomorrow; they don't care about life after death, they don't care about God, paradise. They are fulfilled in the moment.
Here my reasons are different. I am also against drugs, not because they cut the roots of the religions and the politicians, but because they destroy your inner growth towards spirituality. They prevent you from reaching the promised land.
You remain hanging around the hallucinations, while you are capable of reaching the real. They give you a toy.
But since drugs are not going to disappear, I would like every government, every scientific lab, to purify drugs, to make them healthier without any side effects, which is possible now. We can create a drug like the one which Aldous Huxley, in memory of Rig Veda, called soma, which will be without any bad effects, which will not be addictive, which will be a joy, a happiness, a dance, a song.
If we cannot make it possible for everybody to become a Gautam Buddha, we have no right to prevent people from at least having illusory glimpses of the aesthetic state which Gautam Buddha must have had. Perhaps these small experiences will lead the person to explore more. Sooner or later he is going to be fed up with the drug, because it will go on repeating the same scene again and again. Howsoever beautiful a scene is, repetition makes it a boredom.
So first purify the drug from all bad effects. Second, let people who want to enjoy, enjoy. They will become bored by it. And then their only path will be to seek some method of meditation to find the ultimate bliss.
Your question is basically concerned with the new age people. The generation gap is the world's very latest phenomenon; it never used to exist. In the past, children of six and seven started using their hands, their minds, with their fathers in their traditional professions. By the time they were fourteen they were already craftsmen, workers, they were married, they had responsibilities. By the time they were twenty or twenty-four they had their own children, so there was never a gap between the generations. Each generation overlapped the other generation.
For the first time in the history of humanity the generation gap has happened. It is of tremendous importance. Now, for the first time, up to the age of twenty-five or twenty-six when you come back from the university you have no responsibility, no children, no worries, and you have the whole world before you to dream about - how to better it, how to make it richer, how to create a race of supermen. These are the years, between fourteen and twenty-four, when one is a dreamer, because his sexuality is maturing, and with sexuality dreams are maturing. One's sexuality is repressed by the schools and colleges, so his whole energy is available to dream. He becomes a communist, he becomes a socialist, he becomes a Fabian, all sorts of things. And this is the time when he starts feeling frustrated, because the way the world works, the bureaucracy, the government, the politicians, the society, the religion, it does not seem that he will be able to create a reality out of his dream.
He comes home from the university full of ideas, and every idea is going to be crushed by the society. Soon he forgets about the new man and the new age. He cannot even find employment, he cannot feed himself. How can he think of a classless society where there will be no rich and no poor?
It is this moment when he turns towards drugs; they give him a temporary relief; but all drugs as they are right now are addictive, so you have to go on increasing the dose. And they are destructive to the body, to the brain; soon you are absolutely helpless. You cannot live without drugs, and with drugs there is no space in life for you.
But I don't say that the younger people are responsible for it, and to punish them and put them in jail is sheer stupidity. They are not criminals, they are victims.
My idea is that education should be divided into two parts: one intellectual and the other practical. From the very beginning, a child enters school not just to learn the three R's, but also to learn to create something - some craftsmanship, some skill. Half of the time should be given to his intellectual pursuits, and half of the time should be given to life's real necessities; that will keep the balance.
And by the time he comes out of the university, he will not be a utopian, and he will not be in need of employment by others. He will be able to create things on his own.
And for students who feel any kind of frustration, from the very beginning things should be changed. If they are frustrated perhaps they are not studying the right stuff. Perhaps they want to become a carpenter and you are making them a doctor; they want to become a gardener and you are making them an engineer.
Great psychological understanding will be needed so that each child is sent in the direction where he will learn something. And in every school, every college, every university at least one hour of meditation for everybody must be compulsory, so that whenever one feels frustrated or depressed one has a space within himself that he can move to, and immediately can get rid of all the depression and frustration. He need not turn to drugs. Meditation is the answer.
But rather then doing all these things, the people who are in power go on doing idiotic things - prohibition, punishment. They know that for ten thousand years we have been prohibiting, and we have not succeeded. If you prohibit alcohol more people become alcoholic, and a dangerous kind of alcohol becomes available. Thousands of people die by poisoning, and who is responsible?
Now they are punishing young people for years in jail without even understanding that if a person has taken a drug or has been addicted to a drug he needs treatment, not punishment. He should be sent to a psychiatric home where he can be taken care of, where he can be taught meditation, and slowly, slowly, can be directed from the drugs towards something better.
Instead they are forcing them into jails - ten years in jail. They don't value human life at all. If you give ten years in jail to a young man of twenty you have wasted his most precious time and without any benefit, because in jail every drug is more easily available than anywhere else. The inmates are all highly skilled drug users, who become teachers for those who are amateurs. After ten years the person will come out perfectly trained. One thing only your jails teach:
anything you do is not wrong unless you are caught; just don't be caught. And there are masters who can teach you how not to be caught again.
So this whole thing is absolutely absurd. I am also against drugs, but in a totally different way. I think you have got the point.
Q: I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW YOUR MESSAGE FOR THE YOUNG.
A: My message for the young is to always remain young. Never become old.
Your body will become old, but your mind has no necessity to become old. If your mind remains young and fresh, ready to learn, ready to explore new dimensions of life, you are alive. The moment your mind stops exploring, expanding, you are no more alive. You may vegetate, you may drag your body around for twenty, thirty more years. My experience is that people die nearabout thirty but live to nearabout seventy-five. Those forty-five years they are just hanging around like cabbages, and when there are so many vegetables all around you, there's no room for young people to live.
Others want to prescribe everything in your life. You can remain young only if you never accept any conditioning from anybody else. Youngness is something like sharpening your sword; you should inquire into everything on your own.
Don't believe in the holy scriptures, because there is nothing holy in them, they are not even first-rate literature.
Your starting point should not be belief, but a healthy doubt. And remember, doubt does not mean disbelief, doubt simply means, "I don't know and I want to inquire. I have not come to a conclusion to say yes or no."
Doubt is youth, belief is old age. The person is tired of inquiry; he has started believing in somebody else. It is better to die as a seeker; at least you will have the contentment that you did everything that was possible, and you will have an originality.
And this is my experience: to wear your original face is the greatest joy in the world, but everybody is wearing a mask. Somebody is Hindu, that is a mask; somebody is a Mohammedan, that is a mask. A young man has to fight against all masks; he has to declare to the universe, "I am going to remain individual, I am going to remain just myself, I am not going to imitate anybody. And I will do everything that is possible to find the truth."
And whenever anybody has made this decision, has had this determination, he has always found. Existence is very compassionate.
Q: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE?
A: I am always in love. I will have to explain to you, otherwise you are going to misunderstand me.
There are two kinds of love. One is biological infatuation. You fall into it, and then it is difficult to fall out of it. It is just like any ditch; falling in is easy, but getting out is very difficult unless another ditch helps you. I have never been in biological love. Biological love is a relationship.
There is another kind of love which is not relationship. In short it can be said, I am love. Whoever comes to me, I have only love to offer. I don't have anything else to offer, and I have loved millions of people.
Biological love sooner or later drives you crazy. You can go to any psychiatrist, any psychoanalyst, and you will see the victims of biological love. Suicides, rapes, murders, every crime is committed because of biological love.
Meditation helps love to be freed from biology. Then it is more like a fragrance.
You feel it, it is heart to heart. And there is no question of jealousy. Now so many people love me, I love so many people, there is no question of jealousy. Because biological love is very tiny, you have only so much of it. If you give it to one person you cannot give it to another. The moment you are just love, you are as infinite as the sky, you can fill the whole universe with your love without spending anything.
So I am always in love. I love my friends, I love my enemies. Even if there is nobody, I am still radiating my love. It is just like breathing to me.
And godliness is every man's birthright. He may claim it, he may not claim it. If all the people of the world claim their godliness, their highest consciousness, then this whole world will become a valley of the gods - not only Kulu Manali.
And as for your asking me about believing in reincarnation, I don't believe in anything. I am against belief as such, but I know that reincarnation is true. It is not my belief; it is my knowing, but I will not enforce on anybody that you have to believe it just because I know it. I will only inspire you to find it on your own, and unless you have found it, don't believe.
Q: DO YOU THINK THAT A DEMOCRACY IS A DESIRABLE POLITICAL SYSTEM?
A: No. Democracy is better than dictatorship, but in my vision there is something higher than democracy. I call it meritocracy.
In my idea of meritocracy there is no need for any political party. Persons should stand on their own merit. Every individual should choose the person, without any political party programming him, forcing him, bribing him.
Individuals should stand, and individuals should choose, and the choice should be on merit. Just as you choose your bureaucracy - but that is not an election, it is an appointment. Your political system should be an election of merit, and the press can play a tremendously valuable role in explaining to the masses the merits of different people who are contesting.
I think only a meritocracy is the answer for our problems. Idiots are trying to solve problems which they don't understand at all.
Q: WHAT DID YOU MISS MOST WHEN YOU WERE IN JAIL?
A: I missed nothing. I enjoyed everything in the game. It was such a new and great experience, seeing human beings behaving like animals, seeing their real faces.
In the jails I started to think how Charles Darwin at the end of his life was only concerned with one thing: finding the link between the monkey and man. He missed. If he had been in an American jail he would have found the link. The jailers and the marshalls and their staff are the missing link!
But I enjoyed it to the full, I enjoy everything to the full. Even if I am in hell, I will make a heaven out of it. And that is my basic philosophy. Make the best out of the worst.
Q: SHOULD YOUNG PEOPLE STRIVE FOR WEALTH?
A: Certainly, because for centuries, unnecessarily, wealth has been condemned.
Wealth should be respected in the same way as we respect any other creativity.
Somebody paints, we respect. Somebody makes a statue, we respect. Somebody composes music, we respect. But somebody creates wealth, and we condemn.
Jesus says, "A camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but a rich man cannot pass through the gates of heaven." Now this is keeping the world poor. Richness should be respected if you are going to destroy poverty. But Mahatma Gandhi says the poor are the children of God. Then who are the rich? Children of the devil? Certainly they are not children of God. And if the poor are the children of God then the necessary corollary is to increase poverty, increase the number of children of God - the whole world should be full of children of God.
I cannot call a poor man a child of God. I hate poverty, and I want the poor man to get rid of it. And he can get rid of it, but there are people who are supporting him to remain poor.
The young people should change the whole movement. Richness should be respected and richness should be created - it can be created. Just as there are Picassos, there are Fords who can create wealth. You will be surprised to know that Ford started as a poor man, and he became superrich by his own efforts. He told his children that they have to start life the same way he started, polishing people's boots. He said, "I don't want you to be just inheritors, I want you to be creators." And his children remained grateful their whole life, because he gave them a challenge to create on their own. With technology available, to create wealth is the simplest thing.
You just have to inspire young people to create. Rather than wasting their energy in frustration and protests and fighting and throwing stones and destroying buses, the same energy can make the country a paradise.
Q: DO YOU LIKE SPORTS?
A: No. It is a waste of time, and it is really a way of throwing away energy which can be used more creatively. It is stupid. Just look at football, or volley ball; it has no intelligence. People are taking the ball from this goal to that goal, and millions of people are going mad and crazy with them. In the future when people will look back on it, they will not believe that these people were sane. It looks absolutely insane.
I have never been interested in sports. My energy has something much more important to do.
Q: WHO ARE YOUR HEROES? DO YOU ADMIRE ANYBODY
A: No. And I don't want anybody to admire anybody. That creates an inferiority complex in you. I respect myself, and I want everybody to respect himself. The moment you admire a hero, you become a carbon copy.
Q: DO YOU FEEL THAT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN GROWING UP TODAY CAN BE MORE LOVING THAN THEIR PARENTS'?
A: It depends. It can be, but only with a few conditions.
First, marriage should disappear, because marriage is an artificially created thing. It is not natural; it is man-made. And it creates a bondage.
People should live together if they love. And love is just like a breeze: it comes, but you should not close your doors to keep the breeze inside. Then it becomes stale and it starts stinking. The breeze should remain free to move.
Two persons loving should live together, knowing perfectly well that maybe tomorrow they will have to part. That knowledge, that the next moment may be the parting, will make their love more intense and more total. They will never take each other for granted.
When a wife makes love to her husband just because she is his wife, not because of any love, it is prostitution - of course, long-lease prostitution. I am against prostitution, but marriage has created it.
And people should part the moment they feel the love energy is no more there, with gratefulness, with friendship, with all those beautiful memories that they had lived through while they were together - without any complaint.
The only problem remains the children. My idea about children is that they should belong to the commune. Father and mother can meet them - whether they are together or separate does not matter - but the commune should take care of them.
That's what we were doing for four years, and it worked out beautifully because father and mother felt unburdened and the children became very responsible when they were put on their own. They became more intelligent, and more friendly to other people in the commune. Otherwise every girl becomes fixated on her father, and her whole life she will be miserable, because she cannot find a husband who is exactly like her father. And the same is true about the boy. He becomes fixated on the mother and there is no possibility to find the mother as a wife. So there is always going to be misery because he has not been able to find the woman he wanted.
When the commune takes over the children, father and mother recede and a new phenomenon happens - so many uncles and aunts are available for the children to mix with. They don't get fixated. Every girl knows so many men that she has only a general idea of what a man should be. If we can destroy that fixation, then we can make millions of people free of mental sickness.
But man has to come to the point where he sees that he has to make drastic changes. Marriage has to be dissolved. With marriage goes divorce, which is an ugly thing. With marriage goes prostitution, which is an ugly thing. And with marriage goes the fixation of the children, which makes them psychologically sick their whole life.
Just look around. I have come in contact with thousands of couples; nobody is happy. I have not found a single couple. From the outside they look very happy and smiling but when I have stayed with them and seen their real faces, no couple is happy. And these unhappy couples are producing children. Those children are learning unhappiness from the very beginning. This is the heritage that we give to our children.
Certainly the new man, the new generation, can change all this and can make life more of a love affair, with freedom, with joy, with friendship, with intelligence.