Chapter 7: Translucent Darkness
One strange thing I would like to remind you of: in the East there has been freedom of thought, freedom of tremendous value as far as your thinking is concerned, but there has been no freedom of social forms. In the East there has been a deep slavery as far as social relationships are concerned but absolute freedom for the intelligentsia, for intelligence - no social freedom, but absolute spiritual freedom.
In the West just the opposite has been the case: social freedom is there. If a couple are hugging each other on the sea beach it is nobody else’s concern in the West; that is their personal affair. They are not doing any harm to anybody, and who are you to interfere? But in the East it is almost inconceivable. You cannot even talk to your married wife in front of others during the day in the old, traditional families. You cannot even talk to her, what to say about embracing or kissing her? Your own wife! I am not talking about somebody else’s wife - your own wife. You cannot talk with her in full daylight in front of somebody else. The wife cannot pronounce the name of the husband; that is insulting.
I have never heard my mother pronounce my father’s name. I have never even heard my father pronounce my mother’s name. For that I always respected him, because that is not the traditional way. They would have to speak in a roundabout way. My father would always call my mother “Rajneesh’s mother” - not direct, no direct relationship. Even when I went to college and to university and for years disappeared from the house, every night he would come home and knock on the door and call, “Rajneesh’s mother.”
A father cannot even play with his own child in front of his own father. My mother used to tell me that when I was small my father could not carry me around, play with me, because the family was big - the grandparents were there, uncles were there, others were there. It was not thought right that you should play with your own child, because that shows you are being related to your wife in a sexual way. Otherwise, from where has the child come? A very indirect indication of it.
In the East there has been a social slavery. That’s why you are puzzled and the Pune people are puzzled. In the West there is social freedom - and not only with your own wife. Who cares? It is nobody else’s affair at all. You are totally free to relate with people. Everybody has a girlfriend, and not only young people.
Just a few months ago Mukta’s father died. He must have been seventy-five and he had a girlfriend - on the deathbed! He had a wife, children, everything, but also a girlfriend, a young girlfriend. And he was almost dying! He was hanging between death and life for months and he was a very rich man; he has left much money for the children, for the wife, for me via Mukta! But he has left half of the money to the girlfriend! And it is accepted; there is no problem.