Chapter 15: Following Your Natural Course
Why is the world in so much misery? Why can’t we all be just as blissful as you always are?
The child is the father of the man, and down the centuries we have been destroying the child. And once the child is destroyed, the whole life becomes unnatural, miserable, meaningless.
The question is, Why has every society, every civilization tried to spoil the child?
It is something very important to understand, that all that we have created up to now - social structures, religious philosophies, teaching systems - knowingly or unknowingly all need a miserable man for their existence. They are parasites.
If man is not miserable then all your so-called great institutions will disappear from the earth. Just think: no animal needs any religion, no animal needs any philosophy, no animal needs any culture, civilization. Still, the animals have been living happily, far more happily than your man has managed to live. You will not find animals in misery, in anguish.
All these institutions which exist upon your misery are bound to create more and more misery; that is their feeding ground, that is their food. A miserable man is bound, sooner or later, to end up in a religion because he will need consolations. He does not have reality to support him; he will need fictions to substitute for reality.
He knows nothing about love. He has been prevented from the very beginning from knowing what love is. He has been diverted into something else which is not love, which is only a game - artificial, a hypocrisy. You can pretend, but it is not going to nourish you. It is, on the contrary, going to exhaust you. It is going to take so much out of you because it is not a simple phenomenon.
To pretend continuously is a heavy job, perhaps the heaviest in the world. You can carry a mountain on your head - that will not be so heavy as carrying for your whole life, all kinds of lies, pretensions, false faces.
You become a mess just trying to keep all those faces, pretensions, lies, together. They are all falling apart; all are against each other, and they have no roots in reality. You have to feed them your own blood, your own heart, your own marrow. Naturally it creates a miserable world.
But the priests are happy with the miserable world. They were very unhappy with pagans, so unhappy with pagans that the very word pagan became condemnatory.
One day I was talking to Vivek, just taking my tea. I said, “I am a pagan.”
She said, “Never use that word in the West.”
I said, “Why? It is such a beautiful word.”