Chapter 5: Perfectly Imperfect
The first question:
Are you infallible?
I am infallibly fallible! First, I am not a perfectionist because to me perfectionism is the root cause of all neurosis. Unless humanity gets rid of the idea of perfection it is never going to be sane. The very idea of perfection has driven the whole of mankind to a state of madness. To think in terms of perfection means you are thinking in terms of ideology, goals, values, shoulds, should-nots. You have a certain pattern to fulfill and if you fall from the pattern you will feel immensely guilty, a sinner. And the pattern is bound to be such that you cannot achieve it. If you can achieve it then it will not be of much value to the ego.
So the intrinsic quality of the perfectionist ideal is that it should be unattainable; only then is it worth attaining. You see the contradiction? And that contradiction creates a schizophrenia: you are trying to do the impossible, which you know perfectly well is not going to happen - it cannot happen in the very nature of things. If it can happen then it is not much of a perfection; then anybody can do it. Then there is not much ego nourishment in it: your ego cannot chew on it, cannot grow on it. The ego needs the impossible and the impossible, by its very nature, is not going to happen. So only two alternatives are left: one is, you start feeling guilty. If you are innocent, simple, intelligent, you will start feeling guilty - and guilt is a state of sickness.
I am not here to create any guilt in you. My whole effort is to help you to get rid of all guilt. The moment you are free of guilt, rejoicing bursts forth. And guilt is rooted in the idea of perfection.
The second alternative is: if you are cunning then you will become a hypocrite, you will start pretending that you have achieved it. You will deceive others and you will even try to deceive yourself. You will start living in illusions, hallucinations, and that is very unholy, very irreligious, very unwholesome. To pretend, to live a life of pretensions is far worse than the life of a guilty man. The guilty man at least is simple, but the pretender, the hypocrite, the saint, the so-called sage, the mahatma, is a crook. He is basically inhuman - inhuman to himself because he is repressing; that’s the only way to pretend. Whatsoever he finds in himself which goes against perfection has to be repressed. He will be boiling within, he will be full of anger and rage. His anger and rage will come out in thousands of ways; in subtle ways, indirect ways, it will surface.
Even people like Jesus - nice, good - are full of anger, rage. And they are against such innocent things, you cannot believe.