Chapter 5: First Freedom, then Expression
One day - it was a Friday when orthodox Jews are busy preparing for the Sabbath - a man who didn’t like Jews met an orthodox rabbi on the street. In an attempt to torment him, he asked him to express the entire philosophy of Judaism while he stood on one foot. The rabbi stood on one foot and said, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. That is the law. The rest is commentary.”
If I were to be met by a tormentor and asked to stand on one foot and explain in one sentence what you have been teaching, would I be anywhere near correct in saying that your teaching is freedom from suppression?
You would be absolutely right, but only negatively. To be freed from suppressions is the negative part, and to express the hidden, the potential - that which you are meant to be - is the positive part. But you are right, because the negative comes first. Unless you are free from suppression, you will not be able to express yourself; you will not be able to achieve your potential.
Society exists at the cost of the individual. It has existed like that up to now. The individual must not be allowed total freedom to express himself. And by this suppression, society creates an image in you which can be exploited.
For example, if the individual becomes totally expressive, you cannot create wars in the world. It is impossible. Suppress the individual, and the suppressed energy that is there can be used for violence, for war, for anything. Once an individual is totally expressive, war becomes impossible. The whole politics and the whole history of man depends on war. The old society has been based on war, and war is possible only if the individual is not allowed to express himself.
This suppressed energy has been used for many reasons, for many causes, for many purposes: for war, for politics, for exploitation. So I am against suppression. I am for natural growth.
I am not against discipline, I am against suppression. Discipline is a very creative thing. Discipline is never against something, it is always for something. For example, I am for the discipline of sexual energies but not for the suppression. These energies must be given a creative turn. But they should not be suppressed. If they are suppressed, then they become perverted. Any suppressed energy becomes perverted and you become less than natural.
Expression means you must become more than natural. But if you cannot become more than natural, then it is better to be natural than to be perverted. The whole culture that has existed all over the world is a perverted culture. That’s why it only sometimes happens that a Buddha or a Jesus is born. Otherwise, Buddha and Jesus would be a normal phenomenon, not so exceptional, because when the whole society is perverted, a Buddha becomes something exceptional.
A Buddha is just a flowering of the planet. If the whole society were creative, then not to be a Buddha would be a case worth considering, and to be a Buddha would be just a natural, normal thing.
So you are right, you are right. Freedom from suppression and freedom for expression - these two make the whole. Then religion becomes a creative psychology. Then it is not a dogma, not a creed, but a creative instrument.
Of course it is always difficult to put things into one sentence. It is always difficult. But you are right.