Chapter 16: Superman: The Fantasy for the Inferior
Bernard Shaw does exactly that, and does it so greatly: one-hundred-page, two-hundred-page prefaces for a twenty-page drama. I don’t think that any psychoanalyst has tried - I have never come across anything - but Bernard Shaw needs to be psychoanalyzed. Why is he writing this preface to an ordinary drama? He simply projects himself It seems that if the drama were written by somebody else he would not understand it, he would need a big introduction. That’s what he was doing.
George Bernard Shaw was impressed by Nietzsche’s idea of superman; he wrote a drama on superman too. Strangely enough, he was also rejected by a woman. The name of the woman was Annie Besant. She was the godmother - is it okay to use “godmother” as well as “godfather”? - of J. Krishnamurti. She was the president of the Theosophical Movement for the whole world. She was a very beautiful woman with great charisma of her own, very intelligent, and one of the greatest orators ever. If she had remained in England she would have become prime minister anytime, because none of the prime ministers of her time had the same charisma, or the art of speaking that she had.
Bernard Shaw heard her for the first time in a Theosophical conference, and he immediately fell in love. When he approached Annie Besant she said, “Please excuse me, I have far bigger things to do.” And certainly she had far bigger things to do than be the wife of George Bernard Shaw. But George Bernard Shaw thought that he was the greatest man on the earth: “And she has far greater things to do.?” But the wound remained with him.
Annie Besant went on becoming more and more popular. It is simply unbelievable that she became the president of the Indian National Congress. When India was under the British Raj, a British woman was accepted by Indian revolutionaries - who were fighting the British Raj - as their president! You can understand her charisma.
Even the white skin was hated because that represented the rulers, the oppressors. And to accept a woman who comes from the same country with which you are fighting.. And the people who were struggling - the Indian National Congress was the party fighting with Britain to get independence - accepted her as president. She must have had a magic personality. So if she refused Bernard Shaw, I don’t think that she did anything wrong; she certainly had much bigger things to do.
She created the whole Theosophical Movement, for the first time, into a worldwide movement. She created the idea that a world teacher is going to be born and made the idea worth being believed by millions of people. It is not so easy. Even Jesus was not able to convince his own people that he was the messiah. But this woman was saying, “I am going to introduce to you, at the right moment, the messiah who is going to save the whole world,” and millions of people believed in her word. And she was not the messiah, but she had some quality to create trust in people.
Bernard Shaw was rejected by Annie Besant, and he carried that wound his whole life; and he started projecting the idea of the superman.