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Chapter 10: Childhood: An Education in Psychological Slavery

That’s the way every child is being brought up, so that the psychological need arises, is bound to arise. Everything is told to the child, that he has to do this, not to do that. Of course the parents think they are doing it for the child’s own good; it is not so. It is just the opposite. They don’t mean it. They really mean that they are doing good for the child, because how can the child decide what is right and what is wrong? So they have to decide. And naturally, the child is so small and in his eyes the father, grandfather are so big, so powerful, so wise - he can believe in them.

So from the very beginning the child is not taught, not brought up, to be an independent individual. He is brought up to be a follower. He is brought up to remain a mental slave for his whole life. His father was brought up in the same way. His father’s father was brought up in the same way. He will do the same to his children. That’s how stupidity goes on from generation to generation: one generation passes it to another generation - that becomes your inheritance.

So you are waiting, waiting for Godot - somebody should come and fulfill all your psychological needs. He will be a father, a guide, a philosopher, a wise man; and then you can relax, you need not worry. You need not use your intelligence, you need not use your reason. You can put all your intelligence aside, you can now be blind - and follow the messiah. And when you see more and more people are coming, of course that also becomes a proof for you that the man must be right.

Put the messiah alone, and you will see him wavering, all his authority gone. Put the believer alone: you will be surprised that in just twenty-one days of absolute isolation you will go mad. Not more than that is needed for you to go mad. Just twenty-one days of absolute isolation - disconnected from the world of your belief, of your religion, of your society, of your club, of your university, of this and that - completely cut off for twenty-one days, just alone, and you will see slowly, slowly, underneath your feet the earth is disappearing; fear is arising, trembling is arising. In twenty-one days you will be insane.

Hence people are afraid to be alone. They will do anything not to be alone. They will go to any rotten movie, just not to be alone. They will play any stupid game, they will watch any idiotic thing: a football match.. Now, can you think of anything more idiotic? A few idiots throwing a football beyond a line to the other side, and a few other idiots throwing it back - and millions of idiots watching, as if something of immense significance is happening. No, the psychological reason is that they want somehow to forget themselves, to forget that they are alone. In the crowd they feel good, healthier, saner, because people just like themselves are all around. Millions of people are watching the game - it cannot be idiotic. Even the president of the country is watching - it cannot be idiotic.

Everybody is supporting everybody else to remain sane. Just twenty-one days of absolute isolation - no newspaper, no television, no radio, cut off from your world completely; no wife, no husband, no children, no love affair - and you will be amazed. Seeing yourself in your utter aloneness, that what you have been doing your whole life was nothing but covering holes in your being, wounds - of course, with beautiful flowers. But those wounds don’t heal. Perhaps uncovered they might have healed. Covered, they gather more pus; covered, they become more canceric. Belief is blind. All belief is blind.

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