Chapter 12: Of the Thousand and One Goals
The truth is just the contrary: the older the thing is the more is the possibility of its being wrong, because it was conceived in the childhood days of humanity, and now humanity has come to maturity. Your spirits are in such a ridiculous state - as if a mature young man is still wearing a small child’s clothes. Those clothes will not only be ugly, they will be too much of an imprisonment; his movement will become difficult. Your clothes have to change as you grow: your values are the clothes of your soul. They have to change - every day, every moment. Hence, only individuals can have values.living, breathing, with a heartbeat. Societies can only carry corpses, because the individual has the future and the society has only the past. Just a few examples will help you.
In China, for thousands of years, it was thought beautiful that women should have small feet. But to keep them small, they had to put on young baby girls’ iron shoes. Those iron shoes crippled the girl; her body went on growing, but her feet remained small. At a certain age the shoes were removed. It was thought that the more highly cultured you were.. Your women would be almost unable to walk, the feet were so small.
In royal families the women could not even move - they were carried; and it continued for thousands of years, such a stupid idea. The feet have to be in proportion to the body and they have to grow according to nature, not according to your idea of what beauty is. It took a long time for intelligent people to fight against it: that this is crippling the women. They cannot move, they cannot work - of course, their small feet look very dainty, but a woman is not in the world just to have dainty feet.
The situation has been the same all around the world, in different ways, because all these societies have developed separately. The world has become one for the first time; people have come closer and seen each other. And that has created the doubt: “What we have been calling values, were not values, because there are millions of other people who have never thought about those values. They have their own ideas.”
Howsoever painful, howsoever unnecessary, only the individual can find, through being more conscious, an insight into what is good and what is not good. And he has to live accordingly; whether it suits the society or not, cannot be the concern or the consideration.
I have been around the world and I was surprised that even in the so-called advanced countries stupid ideas, superstitions, are still pretending to be values; even though they have become dangerous. For example, on Christian holy festivals, friends sit around the dining table celebrating, and they drink from the same cup of alcohol. The cup moves from one hand to another. Even now, when it has become an established fact that your saliva is one of the most dangerous things, it can infect you with the disease, AIDS - which has no cure. But it is their tradition, and it is a holy rite. They will not listen to medical science, they will listen to the dead past.
Just a single man who has AIDS can spread it to many people, and those others will start spreading it in different ways. Kissing should be prohibited; that is also dangerous, because AIDS does not infect people only by sexual intercourse, it infects in many ways. There are even experts who suspect that the AIDS virus can spread through your breathing, and certainly it spreads through your tears, through your perspiration. Any liquid that comes out of the body can carry the virus.