Chapter 32: The New Man: The Very Salt of the Earth
It touches so much when you talk about the new man. When you first mentioned this concept to us many years ago, the new man was simply that to me: a concept that was intriguing, a fascinating possibility. But lately, I feel as if I know this new man - this new race of people - and really care about him. It sounds audacious to repeat the words I have heard you use: “I am pregnant with the new man.” But actually, that’s how I feel; not only about myself, but about all of your people. What is our relationship to the new man?
Maneesha, the new man contains my whole philosophy about life and how it should be - lived in totality, in intensity, in wholeness, so that we are not only dragging ourselves from the cradle to the grave, but we can make each moment a tremendous rejoicing - a song, a dance, a celebration.
The old man that has existed up to now is on his death bed. He has suffered much; he needs all our compassion. He has been conditioned to live in misery, in suffering, in self-torture. He was given promises: promissory notes for great rewards after death - the more he suffers, the more he tortures himself, the more he is masochistic, the more he is destructive of his own dignity, the more he will be rewarded.
That was a very convenient concept for all the vested interests because the man who is ready to suffer can easily be enslaved. The man who is ready to sacrifice today for an unknown tomorrow has already declared his inclination to be enslaved. The future becomes his bondage. And for thousands of years, man has lived only in hope, in imagination, in dreams, in utopias, but not in reality. And there is no other life than the life of reality, than the life that exists in this moment.
The new man is a rebellion, a revolt, a revolution against all the conditionings which can enslave him, oppress him, exploit him, just by giving him hopes of a fictitious heaven, frightening him, blackmailing him about another fictitious phenomenon: hell. All the old ways of life were strangely in agreement on one point: that man is a sacrificial animal at the feet of a fictitious God.
There were times when men were actually sacrificed alive, butchered before stone statues. Although nobody dares to do such a thing now, psychologically the situation has not changed. Man is still sacrificed either in the name of communism, or in the name of capitalism, or in the name of an Aryan race, in the name of Islam, in the name of Christianity, in the name of Hinduism. Instead of stone gods, now there are only phony words, meaningless. But man has accepted to live like this for the simple reason that every child finds himself born in a crowd which is already conditioned. The teachers are conditioned, the parents are conditioned, the neighbors are conditioned; and the small child is almost helpless - he cannot envisage any other alternative than to be part of the crowd.
The old man was a crowd, a cog in the wheel; the old man had no individuality. The vested interests had taken all care to destroy self-respect, dignity, a joy and a gratefulness that you are a human being, that you are the highest creation in the long, long path of evolution.that you are the crowning glory.