Chapter 10: Mentation and Meditation
Women are more clearcut and thus ready to admit their desire to be born male, but men cannot so easily declare their longing to be female, because society is masculine and people will laugh at them. But deep down, men long to be women. They envy the beauty of the woman, her proportionate body, and they envy also the woman’s capacity for happiness. Women are not as discontented as men. A woman can be happy even to receive just a little; a man will remain unhappy even though he is given plenty. A woman’s demands are small; she can make of her little house and garden a whole kingdom. But the demands of man are enormous; he may win an empire the size of Alexander’s, but still he will consider it not enough. Women go mad less often than men; women commit suicide less often than men. Women remain healthier, men are more sickly.
It is only man’s idea that he is stronger than woman - it is an idea. Ask the physicians and they will tell you that women are stronger. Yes, the strength that men have is more visible, but in fact they do not possess the strength that women have. This is why there are more widows in the world than there are widowers: the men die sooner. All over the world, women live on average four years longer than men. If you are to live for seventy years, the possibility of your wife’s life-span is seventy-four. A woman falls sick less often, remains healthier, and her resistance to illness is greater than that of the man.
Just think, could a man go through nine months of pregnancy? Impossible! It is simply not within the capacity of his body. But it is within the capacity of a woman’s body to carry this load of new life for nine months; and even after nine months the pregnancy is not over; the infant has only come out of the womb - now the pregnancy has to stretch outside. So the man is jealous, the desire exists to become a woman; hence, often in the next life the sex changes. And it is the same with every facet of our life.
Mind can live only if it swings back and forth. If it becomes still, balanced, it disappears - and where mind disappears is enlightenment.
Now let us go into your question.
Certainly, children have to be educated in mathematics and in logic so that their brain becomes clear and capable, their genius grows. They are not to be left like animals. There is something in the lives of animals but a lot is missing. There is an innocence in the lives of animals, but it is of idiocy, not of saintliness. There is a simplicity, but it is compulsive, not an attainment. Animals are simple because they cannot become cunning; a saint is simple, but not because he cannot be cunning but because he does not. It is his own choice. And whatever is your own decision, only that puts soul in your life. Animals have souls, but not in the sense in which man has a soul, because man makes his own decisions.
If you don’t have the capacity to be a thief, then what value is there in your non-stealing? If you don’t have the capacity to be angry, what meaning is there in your compassion? No, you are capable of doing the opposite but you are not doing it, and this very decision of yours not to do it, sharpens and polishes your soul, brings a radiance to it. So the innocence of the saint is needed, not that of the animals.