Chapter 6: Politics and Love
The first question:
You have said, “Teaching is the best way of learning” but you have also said, “The world is irreligious because of too many preachers.” Would you please speak on the subtle difference between helping others and trying to change others.
There is a vast difference, and tremendously significant, between trying to change the other and helping him. When you help somebody you help him to be himself. When you try to change somebody you try to change him according to your idea. When you try to change somebody you try to make a carbon copy of him. You are not interested in him. You have a certain ideology, a fixed idea, an ideal. You change him according to the ideal. The ideal is more important: the real man is not important at all.
In fact, trying to change the other according to some ideal is very violent. It is aggression, it is an effort to destroy the other. It is not love, it is not compassion. Compassion always allows the other to be himself. Compassion has no ideology. Compassion is just a climate: it does not give you direction, it only gives you energy and then you move. Then your seed has to sprout according to its own nature; there is nobody forcing anything on you.
When I say “go and help others,” I mean: help them to be themselves. When I say “the world is too irreligious because of too many preachers,” I mean that so many people are trying to change, convert, transform others according to their own ideology.
The idea should not be more important than the person. Even the whole of humanity is not more important than a single human being because humanity is an idea. A single human being is a reality.
Forget about humanity; remember the human being - the real, the concrete, the throbbing, the alive. It is very easy to sacrifice human beings for humanity. It is very easy to sacrifice human beings for Islam, Christianity, Hinduism. It is very easy to sacrifice them for the idea of Christ, Buddha, Mahavira. Help, but don’t sacrifice. Who are you to sacrifice anybody? Each individual is his own end. Don’t use him as a means.
That is the meaning when Jesus says: “The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Everything is made for man. Man is the supreme value. Even God, the idea of God, is for man, and man is not for the idea of God. Sacrifice everything to man and don’t sacrifice man to anything whatsoever. Then you help.