Chapter 8: No Society Rewards Lovers
Anybody can see that it will take at least three hundred years for India to be a nuclear power equal to America or the Soviet Union. And do you think for these three hundred years America and the Soviet Union will simply wait? They will be growing in the same direction of destruction and death.
All this has happened in the name of altruism.
I want you to become absolutely selfish. Love yourself, be yourself. Don’t be distracted by any type of people - religious, political, social, educational. Your first responsibility is neither towards religion nor towards nation. Your first responsibility is towards yourself.
And just see: if everybody is loving himself, caring about himself, his intelligence will come to its peak, his love will be overflowing. To me, the philosophy of selfishness will make him really altruistic because he will have so much to share, so much to give, that giving will become a joy to him, that sharing will be a celebration to him.
Altruism can only be a by-product of self-love.
Because you don’t love yourself, you feel weak - because love is nourishment, it is your strength. Naturally, how can you feel responsible? You go on throwing your responsibility on somebody else’s shoulders. God is responsible, fate is responsible, Adam and Eve are responsible. The serpent who seduced Eve to disobey God - that serpent is responsible.
Can you see the idiocy of all this dumping your responsibility on somebody? - a serpent, perhaps millions of years ago.. I have tried hard to make some little conversation with a serpent, with a snake - they don’t speak. In fact, they don’t even hear. I discovered that serpents don’t have ears, ears are not part of their physiology. And if they cannot hear, how can they speak? And how could they persuade Eve?
But we have to dump our responsibility on somebody else. Adam dumps it on Eve. Eve dumps it on the serpent. The serpent - if he could speak - would dump it on God. This way we go on throwing our responsibility, without understanding that unless your are responsible for yourself you are not truly an individual.
Shirking responsibility is destructive to your individuality. But you can accept responsibility only when you have tremendous love for yourself.
I accept my responsibility, and I rejoice in it. I have never dumped my responsibility on anybody else, because that is losing freedom, that is becoming enslaved, at the mercy of others. Whatsoever I am, I am wholly and solely responsible for it. This gives me a great strength. It gives me roots, centering. But the source of this responsibility is, I love myself.
I have also been through the same type of mass exploitation. But from the very beginning I made it clear that if I am going to be pushed into heaven I will refuse it. Of my own will I am ready to go to hell. At least I will have my independence, my choice.