Chapter 1: The Individual Versus the Society
You have had problems staying in some countries. Is it because your thoughts are subversive?
Thoughts are always subversive.
Only people who do not think are not subversive. Thinking is a crime. Jesus is crucified, Socrates is poisoned, Gautam Buddha is stoned. These people have not harmed anybody. They were the most loving, most compassionate human beings possible - but they committed a crime, and the crime’s name is thinking.
No society wants any of its members to think. Thinking is dangerous. The society wants robots who simply do whatever they are told, who cannot say no - that is impossible for them. They are machines.
It is not accidental that every developed society is replacing man with machines. Machines are obedient, never subversive. Have you ever heard of any machine being a revolutionary or a rebel? It has not happened up to now that we have had to crucify a machine. Machines are very respectable people.
I am not a machine. And there is no way of thinking, other than being subversive. Thinking means you doubt; thinking means you are not ready to accept what is being told to you. You want to decide on your own. Thinking means to be rational, to be logical; and humanity up to now has been superstitious.
When Galileo found that the earth moves around the sun, the pope called him to his court and asked him to change that sentence in his book because it goes against Christianity. The Bible says the sun goes around the earth, and it is everybody’s experience too: it looks like the sun rises in the morning, goes around, and sets by the evening. We don’t feel that the earth goes around the sun. So what is stated in the Bible is simply common knowledge, not something scientific.
The pope said, “You have to change that statement because the Bible is a holy book, written by God: he cannot commit a mistake.”
Galileo is one of the people I love. I love him for his genius, for his thinking, and I love him for his sense of humor. He said, “There is no problem. I will change the sentence, but your honor, remember that my changing the sentence will not change the fact: the earth will still go round the sun. You can kill me, you can burn my book, but nothing will change the course of the earth. It will still continue going around the sun.”
Now Galileo is subversive. He is not listening to the authorities; he is not even listening to the Holy Bible. He is only ready to listen to something rational, scientific, something which can be proved by evidence.