Chapter 18: Dropping out of the Olympics
From the very first moment a child is born, we start feeding him poisons: ambition, achievement, success, richness, name, fame. We start poisoning his sources of being; we give great attention.twenty-five years are wasted in giving a poisonous education to children. It is one-third of life; it seems to be a wastage. And it is the most important one-third, because by the time a person is twenty-five he has already started declining in many ways. The highest peak of his sexuality is no longer there, it was nearabout when he was seventeen and a half; nearabout eighteen he had the highest sexual peak. By the time he is twenty-five he is already getting old.
Twenty-five years wasted in creating an achiever’s mind. And then there is competition, conflict. On each level of life, everywhere there is politics. Even in private intimate relationship there is politics: the husband trying to control the wife, the wife trying to control the husband, the children trying to control the parents, the parents trying to control the children. There is no intimacy left, because for the achieving mind intimacy is not possible. He only knows how to use the other; he cannot be respectful to the other. He is exploitative. His relationship with life is what Martin Buber calls the “I/it” relationship: everything is reduced into a commodity.
You love a woman and immediately you start reducing her into a commodity, reducing her into being a wife, and she is trying to reduce you from a man into a husband. To be a man is something beautiful, to be a woman is something divine, but to be a wife or to be a husband is simply ugly. Love is no longer there; it is law. Intimacy is gone; now it is bargain, business. Now the poetry is dead. And both are in politics now: who dominates whom?
From the most intimate relationship to the most impersonal relationship, it is the same story. The story is that of I/it. That’s why we have created an ugly world. And naturally, when there is so much competition and so many competitors, how can you slow down? If you slow down you will be a failure, if you slow down you will never be able to succeed, if you slow down you are lost! If you slow down you will be anonymous, you will not be able to leave your signature in the world. Who will you be if you slow down? Everybody else is not slowing down.
It is almost as if you are in an Olympic race and you ask me, “How to slow down?” If you slow down, you are a drop-out! Then you are no longer in the Olympic race. And this whole life has been turned into an Olympic race. Everybody is racing, and everybody has to race to the optimum, because it is a question of life and death. Millions of enemies.we are living in a world where everybody is your enemy, because with whomsoever you are in competition, they are your enemies. They are destroying your possibilities of success, you are destroying their possibilities of success.
In this ambitious world, friendship cannot bloom, love is almost impossible, compassion cannot exist. We have created such an ugly mess, and the root is that we think that there is something to achieve.
And there is no difference between a capitalist country or a communist country, it is the same philosophy. Communism is a by-product of capitalism, just as Christianity is a by-product of Judaism. There is not much difference; only words change. The game remains the same - translated into another language, certainly, but the game is the same.