Chapter 1: The Individual Versus the Society
Yes, I am subversive. And only the subversive people are responsible for all the progress of the world. Whatever you have - all civilization, all scientific growth, all technology - is the contribution of subversive people. It is not the contribution of the superstitious.
So I am happy to declare that I am subversive, absolutely subversive.
To belong to that category is a great honor. Jesus Christ belongs to it, Socrates belongs to it, Galileo belongs to it, Gautam Buddha belongs to it. These are the real human beings. Others are only part of the crowd, cogs in the wheel.
The society decides what is right, and they never question. The society decides what is wrong, and they never question. What is the difference between animals and man?
Each human being has to be subversive if he wants to be a human being. That’s the definition given by Aristotle: man is a thinking animal. Thinking is equivalent to subversiveness.
It is true that many countries of the world have decided that even a four-week tourist visa cannot be granted to me. I have really enjoyed it, because never before in all of history have so many countries been so afraid of a man that they cannot allow him to have a four-week tourist visa.
Socrates lived a long life; then they poisoned him. Jesus preached for three years continuously, and then they crucified him. I had only been in Greece for two weeks when they arrested me. And they threatened that they would burn the house, dynamite the house, if I didn’t leave the house immediately. These are the same people who had poisoned Socrates two thousand years before.
And what can I do in two weeks’ time? I had not even left the house! I had not gone out. But the archbishop was sending telegram upon telegram to the president, phoning the prime minister, giving interviews to the news media: “This man’s stay here” - and I only had a four-week visa, only two weeks more I could have stayed there - “this man’s stay here is going to destroy our morality, our religion, our church, our tradition.”
When I heard this I said, “If a religion, a church, a morality, a tradition, can be destroyed by a single human being in two weeks’ time - something which you have created in two thousand years - then it is worth destroying; there is no question about it.”
And a paranoia has spread all over Europe. Now in the European parliament there is a motion that I should not be allowed to land at any airport in Europe. Perhaps even my landing at the airport is going to destroy their morality, their religion, their tradition. It shows only one thing: they also know that they are standing on a rotten foundation. Just a push - which even a tourist for two weeks can manage - and your whole edifice will be shattered.
This is strange.in a civilized world, if I do not agree with you we can discuss it, we can come to an agreement. But dynamiting my house is not the answer. It seems people have not learned anything. Do you think crucifying Jesus was the answer? The crucifixion created Christianity.