Chapter 4: The Cataract at Luliang
If a child is brought up in total indifference he will have no center in him. He will be a hotchpotch being, clumsy, not knowing who he is. He will not have any identity. Afraid, scared, he will not be able to take even a single step without fear, because nobody loved him. Of course, the ego will not be there, but, without the ego, he will have no center. He will not become a Buddha; he will be just a dull, inferior being, stupid and always feeling afraid. Love is needed to make you feel fearless, that you are accepted, that somebody loves you, that you are not useless, that you cannot be discarded in the junkyard. If children are brought up in such a situation, where love is lacking, they will not have egos, that’s right. Their life will not have so much struggle and fight. But they will not be able to fight at all, and they will be always in flight, escaping; escaping from everybody, hiding in caves in their own being. They will not be buddhas, they will not be radiant with vitality, they will not be centered, at ease, at home. They will simply be eccentric, off-center. That will not be a good situation either.
So I don’t support these psycho-analysts. They will create robots, not human beings - robots of course have no problems. They may create human beings like animals; there will be less anxiety, less ulcers, less cancer. But that is not worth achieving. Then you are not growing to a higher peak of consciousness, you are falling downwards. It is regression. Of course, if you become an animal, there will be a less anguish, because there will be less consciousness. And, if you become a stone, a rock, there will be no anxiety at all because there is nobody inside to feel anxious, to feel anguish. But this is not worth achieving. One has to be god-like, not rock-like.
And the meaning of the word God is this: to have absolute consciousness and still have no worries, no anxieties, no problems; to enjoy life like birds, and to have a consciousness that is absolutely perfect; to celebrate life like birds, to sing like birds - not by regression, but by growing to the optimum of consciousness.
The child gathers ego - it is natural, nothing can be done about it, I accept it. Only later on there is no need to carry it.
That ego is needed in the beginning for the child to feel that he is accepted, loved, welcomed; that he is a guest, not uninvited, invited. The father, the mother, the family, the warmth around, help him to grow strong, rooted, grounded. It is needed, the ego gives him a protection. It is good. It is just like the shell of a seed. But the shell should not become the ultimate thing, otherwise the seed will die. The protection can become too much, then it becomes a prison. The protection must remain a protection, and when the moment comes for the shell, the hard shell of the seed to die into the earth, it should die naturally so that the seed can sprout and life can be born.
The ego is just a protective shell - the child needs it because he is helpless; the child needs it because he is weak; the child needs it because he is vulnerable and there are millions of forces all around. He needs a protection, a home, a base. The whole world may be indifferent, but he can always look towards the home, from there he can gather significance.
But with significance comes the ego. He becomes egoistic. And with this ego arises all the problems, the thousand and one problems. This ego will not allow you to fall in love and millions of problems will arise in your life. This ego would like everybody to surrender to you; this ego will not allow you to surrender to anybody - and love happens only when you surrender. When you force somebody to surrender, it is hate, destruction, it is not love.