Chapter 5: Be Therefore Mindful
There is no necessity that your adult mind may agree with your parents. Your parents were not omniscient, they were not all-knowing. They were as fallible human beings as you are, and many times you find loopholes in their thinking. Many times you find them very dogmatic, superstitious, believing in foolish things, irrational ideologies.
Your adult says no, your parent says do it, your adult says it is not worth doing, and your child goes on pulling you somewhere else. This is the triangle within you.
If you listen to the child, your parent feels angry. So one part feels good - you can go on eating as much ice-cream as you want - but your parent inside feels angry; a part of you starts condemning. And then you start feeling guilty. The same guilt arises as it used to arise when you were really a child. You are no more a child - but the child has not disappeared. It is there; it is just your ground floor, your very base, your foundation.
If you follow the child, if you follow the feeling, the parent is angry and then you start feeling guilt. If you follow the parent then your child feels that he is being forced into things which he does not want to do. Then your child feels he is being unnecessarily interfered with, unnecessarily trespassed upon. Freedom is lost when you listen to the parent, and your child starts feeling rebellious.
If you listen to the parent, your adult mind says, “What nonsense! These people never knew anything. You know more, you are more in tune with the modern world, you are more contemporary. These ideologies are just dead ideologies, out of date - why are you bothering?” If you listen to your reason then also you feel as if you are betraying your parents. Again guilt arises. What to do? And it is almost impossible to find something on which all these three layers agree.
This is human anxiety. No, never do all these three layers agree on any point. There is no agreement ever.
Now there are teachers who believe in the child. They emphasize the child more. For example, Lao Tzu. He says, “The agreement is not going to come. You drop this parental voice, these commandments, these Old Testaments. Drop all ‘shoulds’ and become a child again.” That’s what Jesus says. Lao Tzu and Jesus, their emphasis is: become a child again - because only with the child will you be able to gain your spontaneity, will you again become part of the natural flow, Tao.
Their message is beautiful, but seems to be almost impractical. Sometimes, yes, it has happened - a person has become a child again. But it is so exceptional that it is not possible to think that ever the humanity is going to become a child again. It is beautiful like a star.far distant, but out of reach.
Then there are other teachers - Mahavira, Moses, Mohammed, Manu - they say listen to the parental voice, listen to the moral, what the society says, what you have been taught. Listen and follow it. If you want to be at ease in the world, if you want to be peaceful in the world, listen to the parent. Never go against the parental voice.