Chapter 5: The Discipline of Transcendence
Once the child starts thinking, “I must be wrong,” he starts rejecting himself. I ordinarily never come across a person who accepts himself totally. And if you don’t accept yourself totally you will never grow - because growth is out of acceptance. If you go on rejecting yourself, you are creating a split. You will be schizophrenic. The part that you reject will hang around your neck like a great burden, a great sorrow, a great anxiety, a tension. You cannot throw it away because it is part of you; it cannot be divided. At the most you can throw it into unconsciousness. You can become unaware of it, you can forget about it, you can believe that it is not there. That’s how the unconscious is created.
The unconscious is not a natural thing. The unconscious is that part of your being that you have rejected and you don’t even want to face it, you don’t want to encounter it, you don’t want to see that it exists at all. It is there; deep down in your being it goes on manipulating you. And it will take many types of revenge, because it also needs expression. Now this is the whole misery of human beings. A good mother can create the idea of a bad child. The child himself starts rejecting himself. This is a division, a split in personality. The child is getting neurotic. .Because to feel good with oneself should be a natural and easy thing. That’s what your religious preachers go on doing, what your priests go on doing: go to the mosque, go to the temple, go to the church, and they are there - thundering, condemnatory, ready to throw you into hell, ready to reward you with heaven if you listen to them, if you follow them. Of course you cannot follow because their demands are impossible, and their demands are impossible because they don’t show you the way to be good. They simply say. “Be good.”
The way to be good has nothing to do with being good. The way to be good has something to do with centering, with awareness. Being good has nothing to do with your character. A really good person has no character at all; he is characterless. And when I say “characterless,” I mean he has no armor, no armature around him. He has no defenses around him, he’s simply open. He’s as characterless as a flower. He’s neither good nor bad. He’s simply there - alert, conscious, responsible. If something happens he will respond, but he will respond directly, he will respond from here. He will respond out of the now, he will not respond out of the past. “Character” means: you go on carrying the things that you have learned in your past. “Character” means: the conscience that has been preached to you and forced upon you. Conscience is a prison for consciousness.
Buddha brought a revolution into the world of religion, the greatest ever. The revolution was this: that he emphasized consciousness and not conscience. He emphasized awareness and not character. Of course, character comes automatically, but it comes like a shadow. You are not to carry it; it is not a burden then. Have you ever watched? - your shadow goes on following you, and you are not burdened, and you need not care about it. You need not think about it. Even if you forget completely it will be there. You cannot lose it.
Buddha says: Character is real only when you cannot lose it. If you are afraid that you can lose it, then it is conscience and not consciousness.