Chapter 11: Sober Up
If you are born in a Hindu family your parents will start teaching you that you are a Hindu. Now they are creating a hypnotic state. Nobody is a Hindu - but this child is innocent, he can be fooled. This child is simple. He will believe the parents that he is a Hindu - not only a Hindu, but a brahmin, not only a brahmin, but a deshastha brahmin. Sects within sects, just like Chinese boxes - boxes within boxes. And the more he becomes narrowed, the more he becomes a prisoner. The box goes on getting smaller and smaller. He was just like the sky when he was born. Then he became a Hindu, a small part of the sky; then he became a brahmin - a smaller box; then he became a deshastha - an even smaller box. This goes on and on. Society goes on forcing him into smaller boxes, and then he will have to live as a deshastha brahmin. His whole life he will live with this box, he will carry this box around him. This box is a grave. He must come out of these boxes; only then will he know what real consciousness is.
Then society gives concepts; then society gives prejudices, then society gives theories and philosophies and systems and religions. And then he will never be able to look directly, always society will be there to interpret. You are not aware when you say something is good - are you there, looking? Is this your feeling, that something is good, or just an interpretation of the society? Something is bad: have you looked into it and come to the conclusion that something is bad, or has society simply taught you that this is bad?
Look! A Hindu looking at cow dung thinks that this is the purest thing possible in the world. Nobody in the world will think of cow dung as the purest thing in the world - cow dung is dung, excreta - but a Hindu thinks of cow dung as the purest thing in the world. He will eat it happily. He eats it! Nobody in the world can believe how eight hundred million Hindus can be fooled in this, but they are fooled. When the Hindu child is initiated, panchamrita is given to him - a particular combination of five things. In these five things cow dung is one and the urine of the cow is another. It is difficult - nobody can believe that this is right. But they have their own prejudices. Put down your prejudices and look directly.
But no society allows you to look directly. It always comes in and interprets, and you are fooled by it. This monk in the morning used to call, “Don’t be fooled by others.” And he would reply, “Yes sir - yes sir, I will not be fooled by others.”
This has to be constantly remembered, because the others are all around and they are fooling you in such subtle manners. And now the others have more power than ever. Through advertisement, through radio, through newspapers, through television, the others are manipulating you.
In America, the whole market depends on how you can befool the customer, how you can create an idea in the minds of others. Now, a two-car garage is a must if you want to be happy; in America, a two-car garage is a must. Nobody asks, “If you are not happy with one car, how can you be happy with two cars?” If there is fifty percent happiness with one car, how can you be happy with two cars? With one car you are unhappy; with two cars you will be doubly unhappy, that’s all. The mathematics is simple. But advertisement, propaganda, the whole society exists by manipulating others. Happiness is something like a commodity in the market - you go and purchase it, it has to be purchased. How can happiness be purchased? Happiness is not a commodity, it is not a thing; it is a quality of living, a consequence of an alert life. You cannot purchase it - there is no way.