Chapter 38: The Conspiracy against the Individual
Why is it so difficult for the world to accept you as you are?
There are many implications. First, the world never accepts anybody as he is. This is something very fundamental about the world and the way it treats individuals.
The individual is small; the individual is born helpless, a child. The world is always big; it has all the power to create or to destroy. The child has no idea who he is - and certainly he needs an identity. The world gives him an identity. The world starts making him, manufacturing him according to its own needs.
The world does not exist for the individual. The whole effort is how to make the individual exist for the world.
The world is always there when the individual comes. All its vested interests are there: its religion, culture, civilization, its way of living, its system of beliefs. And to make the individual function as a cog in the wheel, the world programs the child just like a computer is programmed.
The child is not accepted as a divine guest to be respected, to be loved, to be allowed to grow, to find his own identity. The child is accepted as a commodity: the whole question is how to make him more useful to the already-existent interests.
The whole education system, the priest, the politician, the leader, the so-called wise people - they are all conspiring against the individual. Their conspiracy is to kill the individuality, the freedom, the intelligence - any possibility of revolt. There should not be left in the individual any seed of saying no. He should be programmed in such a way that he becomes an obedient servant.
Hence obedience is so much praised: parents like the obedient child, teachers like the obedient student, the society likes the obedient citizen. Those who are not obedient are thought to be misfits, they are condemned. Nobody wants to be condemned, and when the whole world is on one side, a single individual feels so tiny - a dewdrop against the whole ocean - that he cannot think himself to be right; the ocean must be right.
A strange split is created in the individual. If he follows the ocean, the collectivity, then he goes against his self-nature, he commits suicide. He will live a posthumous life. He will breathe, he will walk, but he will not be himself. He will be simply programmed, conditioned - “His Master’s Voice,” a record which goes on repeating the same song. The song is not his own; it has been handed over to him. The society wants him to repeat it.