Chapter 8: Escape to Reality
And how have they divided man? They have told you not to accept yourself in your totality. They have told you that much is wrong in you - in fact the major part of your being, of your wholeness, is wrong. That wrong part has to be denied expression, that wrong part has to be repressed. And once you start repressing anything in yourself, a rift is created. Then you go on repressing all the problems and you go on sitting on the volcano - thinking everything is okay, believing everything is okay, and knowing all the time that nothing is okay. Deep down, there is fire and it is going to erupt any moment.
Then people become neurotic, psychotic. Then people suffer millions of diseases - unnecessarily. But it serves the vested interests. It serves the capitalist society, it serves the communist society; it serves the Catholic church, it serves the Hindu, the Mohammedan priesthood. It serves all those who are in power.
Man remains shaky, trembling, weak, divided. And man cannot assert himself, cannot stand on his own. He needs somebody to depend upon. He seeks and searches for tyrants - without tyrants he cannot live. He cannot live without governments and he cannot live without the leaders.
And look what your leaders and your governments, your churches and your priests have done. Just look at history and you will see that the whole history of man up to now has been utterly ugly. It has not been human at all.
My effort here is not to change the society but to transform the individual - to help the individual to become whole, to help the individual to drop this rift between the conscious and the unconscious; to help the individual not to repress any more but to accept himself, not to condemn but to love himself.
You can call it a ‘self-regarding cult’ - because I teach self-love. And you have been told that there is something wrong with self-love. You have been told, “Love others, but never love yourself.” But how can you love others if you cannot even love yourself?
Meditate on the great statement of Jesus: “Love thy neighbor as thou lovest thyself.” But the fundamental is loving thyself.
You cannot love anybody else - because love has to well up within you first. And you are the closest to yourself: if you hate yourself, you will hate your neighbor. Whatsoever the priests and the leaders go on saying, it will not make any difference. You will hate your neighbor, you will hate humanity, you will hate the earth - because you will hate yourself.
Love yourself, and out of that love grows love for others.
I teach you to be selfish, because only out of true selfishness is altruism born. A really selfish person cannot be against anybody, a really selfish person cannot hurt anybody - because hurting somebody you have to hurt yourself first. You cannot create suffering for others without creating suffering for yourself. Before you are angry with someone, you have to be angry within yourself. Before you are violent with somebody, you have to go through many nightmares.
The person who really loves himself, who is in tremendous love with himself, cannot do any harm to anybody - because he cannot do any harm to himself.
So in a way we are escapists, because whatsoever you call real life is not real - it is a distortion of life; it is something else in the name of life. And we are certainly self-regarding, because out of that regard, regard for the other is born.