Chapter 11: The Very Nature of Things
As far as I am concerned, except man, the whole existence is perfectly healthy, perfectly at ease. Julian Huxley’s idea has some pragmatic value. It may not be possible to prove what has gone wrong, because man is a very complex mechanism. But something certainly has gone wrong.
In my vision, it is not something hereditary that has gone wrong. It is something that happens to every child again and again, because every child is born in a society which is not sane. And he has to learn the ways of the people who are insane. By the time he is capable of some intelligence, he is already poisoned. It is already too late, he has become an imitator.
Children are innocent. They come into the world without any idea of what is going to happen. Naturally, finding themselves surrounded by people, they start imitating them. That is their way of learning. But in this very process of imitation and learning happens the great mistake which Julian Huxley thinks is genetic. It is not genetic, it is cultural. It is because of the grown-ups. The child has no other way; he has to learn from people who are sick. And these sick people will not tolerate anybody who is not sick.
Anybody who is healthy, anybody who is sane is going to be hated, is going to be poisoned, is going to be stoned to death, because the crowd has to choose between two things: either the single individual is right - then the whole crowd and its whole history is wrong. Or if the whole crowd and its long past, which it calls its “golden past,” is right, then this man has to be erased; otherwise it is a constant question mark.
It is not without reason that Socrates is poisoned. Socrates is intolerable. His very presence hurts you because his height, his intelligence, his honesty, all prove you to be hypocrites. Certainly the crowd is not willing to accept a single man’s standard against the whole history of mankind. It is better to destroy this man, to get rid of this man. He is a constant nagging; he is telling you that you are dishonest, that you are living in lies, that your gods are false, that your hopes are nothing but consolations, that you are trying to hide your nudity.
You know perfectly well that behind your clothes, you are a totally different person. These people are reminders, and it hurts to be reminded of your dishonesty to yourself. It hurts to know that your love is not love but jealousy; it is a diluted form of hate. It hurts to know that your gods are absolutely bogus, your own creation; your holy scriptures are as unholy as a book can be. The easier thing seems to be to remove any man like Socrates and be at ease with your misery and again start making efforts to become enlightened.
It is a very strange situation. Whenever somebody is natural and is enlightened, you destroy him and then you try to find out how to become enlightened. Perhaps your quest of how to become enlightened is nothing but a cunning strategy to postpone enlightenment.