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Chapter 2: Man Is Born as Freedom

Freedom gives you the opportunity either to fall below the animals or to rise above the angels. Freedom is a ladder: one side of the ladder reaches hell, the other side touches heaven. It is the same ladder; the choice is yours, the direction has to be chosen by you.

To me, if you are not free you cannot misuse your unfreedom; unfreedom cannot be misused. The prisoner cannot misuse his situation - he is chained, he is not free to do anything. And that is the situation of all other animals except man: they are not free. They are born to be certain kinds of animal - and they will fulfill it. In fact, nature fulfills it; they are not required to do anything. There is no challenge in their life. It is only man who has to face the challenge, the great challenge. And very few people have chosen to risk, to go to the heights, to discover their ultimate peaks. Only a few - the Buddha, the Christ - only very few; they can be counted on the fingers.

Why hasn’t the whole of humanity chosen to reach the same state of bliss as Buddha, the same state of love as Christ, the same state of celebration as Krishna? Why? - for the simple reason that it is dangerous even to aspire to those heights; it is better not to think about it. And the best way not to think about it is to accept that there is no freedom - you are already determined beforehand; there is a certain script handed over to you before your birth and you have just to fulfill it.

You ask: “How can freedom be misused?” Only freedom can be misused, slavery cannot be misused. That’s why you see so much chaos in the world today. It has never been there before for the simple reason that man was not so free. You see more chaos in America than in Russia for the simple reason that in Russia people are not free to choose. In America they are enjoying the greatest freedom that has ever been enjoyed anywhere in the world at any time in history. Whenever there is freedom chaos erupts, but that chaos is worth it because only out of that chaos are stars born.

My sannyasins will be hated all over the world, will be condemned all over the world, for the simple reason that they have chosen to live a life of freedom. And I am not giving you any discipline, because every discipline is a subtle kind of slavery. I am not giving you any commandments, because any commandments given by anybody else coming from the outside are going to imprison you, to enslave you.

I am only teaching you how to be free and then leaving you to yourself to do what you want to do with your freedom. If you want to fall below the animals that is your decision and you are perfectly allowed to do it, because it is your life. If you decide it that way then it is your prerogative. But if you understand freedom and its value you will not start falling; you will not go below the animals, you will start rising above the angels.

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