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Chapter 2: Of Self-Overcoming

It always happens: if you are miserable, create some bigger misery and the smaller will disappear.

But remember, anybody who takes the responsibility of commanding people is being very inhuman. He is degrading people - their uniqueness, their differences - and he is putting the same size shoes on everyone. Nobody fits. Everybody suffers. All your principles are of the same kind.

In Greek mythology there is a story of a king who was a little crazy. He had a very beautiful guest house, and the bed was made of pure gold. In the beginning, a few guests stayed there, but then nobody was coming out that way, from his capital, because it became known to everybody that the man is very dangerous.

He had made such a beautiful guest house, but he had his principles - the guest has to fit with the length of the bed. He is so crazy, and you are so alone. And he keeps four wrestlers ready. If you are a little too long, they will make you a little shorter - from both sides, they start boxing you until you are of the same size as the bed. If you are a little too long, he will simply order, “Cut his feet off!” And whatever you say to him, he says, “I have made the bed the average height of human beings, and I believe in equality. It is your problem if you are not the size of the bed; it is not the problem of the bed.”

But this has been done, in such a subtle way, with your whole life. Moses decides the Ten Commandments for you - how can he decide? Jesus gives you the principles, in the Sermon on the Mount. Even principles which look so beautiful don’t turn out to be beautiful in reality, because principles are principles, and life is a living phenomenon, continuously changing.

For example, Jesus says, “Do unto others what you would like them to do to you.” Perhaps you may have never thought that there can be anything wrong in this principle. It is such a golden principle, so sweet, what can be wrong in it? Zarathustra says there is something wrong in it, although he had no idea of Jesus. But the principle is very much older than Jesus. Zarathustra was aware of the principle, and that there have been teachers before who have told to you, “Do unto others what you would like them to do to you.”

Zarathustra says, “But remember, their tastes may be different.” Nobody has thought about it - their tastes may be different. You are saying, “Do unto others what you would like to be done to you.” You are not giving freedom to the other person and his taste. In the first place, what you are doing he may not like. It is not necessarily true that your liking will be his liking too. And in the second place, how he responds will depend upon how he likes what you have done to him. It is unpredictable.

The principle looks very beautiful in words, but in actuality it will simply create more problems - it has created.. All our religions and all our philosophies have created more problems for people than they have solved. They have not solved a single thing.

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