Chapter 29: Rebel or Robot?
You say the Rajneeshees need to be unorthodox, untraditional, unconventional. It is clear what this means in a world full of traditions and conventions, but in your commune I find it more difficult to understand. Would you speak about the flavor of rebellion in your commune?
The question is very significant. It reminds me of Bertrand Russell’s paradox which I talked about a few days before. It will be good to remember it again.
Bertrand Russell became famous because of this paradox; before it he was not known outside Great Britain, and there too only as a very young, intelligent philosopher. But with this paradox he entered into the highest ranks of world philosophers. The paradox was sent to a mathematician, Frege, who was working his whole life on a single theme: he wanted to prove that mathematics can be without any paradox. And he had almost come to the conclusion of his immensely valuable thesis; at that very time Bertrand Russell sent this paradox to him.
It is very simple and yet as complex as only simple things can be. The paradox is, that the government of Great Britain asked all the libraries of the country to make a catalogue of all the books in their library, keep a copy of the catalogue in their library, and send the original copy of the catalogue to the central library of Great Britain. Almost every librarian was puzzled by the end of the catalogue.
The problem faced by every librarian was whether or not to include the catalogue in the catalogue. The order was clear: all the books in the library have to be included in the catalogue. A copy of the catalogue is going to remain in the library; hence, it should be included in it. But to include the catalogue itself in itself seemed to be absurd.
The catalogue should be outside; while it is being prepared it is not a book in the library - how can you include a book of the future? The order is only to include the books that are in the library. But the problem becomes difficult because once the catalogue is ready and it goes, one book in the library will remain uncataloged.
So a few librarians chose the first alternative, a few chose the second alternative; a few included it, a few did not include it. These hundreds of catalogues came to the central national library. Now the librarian was very much in trouble, because he was ordered by the government to make a master catalogue only of those catalogues which don’t include themselves.
To separate them was not difficult. He piled those catalogues on one side which had included the catalogue in itself. He piled on the other side the other kind of catalogues, in which only other books were included, the catalogue was not included. Now, he was ordered to make a master catalogue only of those catalogues which didn’t include themselves. He was in a terrible mess.