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Chapter 9: Be Yourself

To perpetuate this stupid ideology everybody is told to be somebody else. That helps the establishment tremendously, for two reasons. First: by trying to be somebody else your life will be a mess because you can never be somebody else - that is impossible - you can only be yourself. So trying to be somebody else you are distracted from your authentic being; your energies will be wasted. You will be in a constant conflict with yourself, you will be in a civil war. Your mind will represent the past and your heart will go on saying, “Be yourself.” But the mind makes so much noise, you cannot hear the heart. You will be split, you will be schizophrenic: one part moving in one direction and the other part moving in the opposite direction. You will be always in a kind of tug-of-war. Your life will be of tension, anxiety, anguish.

And a man who lives in anguish can be easily enslaved, because his energies are always wasted. He has no more energy to be rebellious. To be rebellious one needs energy, one needs to be a reservoir of energy. In fact, overflowing energy is needed to be a rebel because you will be fighting against the millions, you will be fighting against a long, long tradition. You will be fighting many, many vested interests, and they are powerful people. The rich, the religious, the political, those who are dominating the society and exploiting it - they are bound to be powerful. And you will be powerless, so powerless that you cannot even raise your head. You cannot say no, you cannot assert yourself.

So on the one hand this is a very subtle psychological strategy to destroy your energy. It is just like this: watch a bull - he has energy. You cannot use the bull in a bullock-cart; it is dangerous. If you use two bulls in a bullock-cart it is very dangerous. First it will be almost impossible to keep them on the road, they will be so powerful. They can run into the fields - if they see some cow, a beautiful cow, they will forget all about you and your cart, and everything will go upside down! First the bulls have to be castrated. Once a bull is castrated he is no more the same animal; the ox is a faraway echo of the bull. He is weak, his energies have been destroyed. Now he can be enslaved; it is so easy.

And to castrate human beings this strategy has been used: your parents say to you, your teachers say to you, everybody around you goes on saying to you, “Be a Buddha, be a Krishna, be a Jesus, be a Zarathustra,” but never, “Be yourself.” This is a psychological castration: they create guilt in you - if you are yourself you will feel guilty. And you can never be the person you are trying to be, but in the effort energy is wasted and their purpose is fulfilled and your life will be a life of misery, because you can feel joy only if you are yourself.

The rose is beautiful dancing in the wind, in the sun, in the rain, because it has not wasted itself in trying to be a lotus. The lotus is beautiful for the same reason. The marigold is beautiful, all the flowers are beautiful, for the simple reason that they are just themselves. Think of a rose trying to be a lotus. Sooner or later it will end up in a psychoanalyst’s office, it will drive itself crazy, it will go nuts! And in trying to be a lotus its whole energy will be wasted, and it will not be possible even for it to be a rose. Or if it becomes possible at all then it will be a very poor rose with no color, with no perfume, with no dance, with no song.

You can see it everywhere: people are looking so sad, so burdened, as if they are carrying mountains on their shoulders. And they are carrying a psychological weight; they have been burdened, they have been knowingly burdened.

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