Chapter 14: Understanding Is Enough
There are professions in the world which are self contradictory. For example, the profession of the physician, the doctor; it is a self-contradictory profession. If the doctor succeeds finally in eliminating all the illnesses from the world he will have committed suicide. On the one hand he tries to cure - he tries to find more and more and better methods, techniques, medicines to cure illnesses; on the other hand, deep down, he hopes that he will not succeed. That hope may be unconscious, but it is there, because his success will be suicidal. What will the function of a physician be if all illnesses disappear from the world?
Confucius was very wise in that way when he said that the physician should be paid not because he cures an illness, he should be paid because he does not allow the illness to happen. This is a totally different approach. You should pay your physician because the whole year you have not been ill; he has taken care of you. If you have been ill you should not pay him; in fact, he should pay you.
Unless this happens the profession of the physician will remain self-contradictory. He lives and thrives on your illness. He prays that more and more people should be ill. When there is an epidemic the doctors call it “the season.” And, of course, it is a season for them.
The same is true about the priest in an even wider sense, in a deeper sense. The priest can exist only if you are afraid, frightened, scared. Otherwise what need will there be of him? If you are free of fear, if you live in freedom, the priest becomes absolutely useless. Who will go to him? For what? You go to him because you want somebody to console you. You want somebody to give you hope, encouragement, to make you in a certain way secure in a very insecure life.
Life is insecurity and nothing is wrong in it. In fact, life cannot be otherwise. Death is secure, life is insecure. Marriage is secure, love is insecure. Marriage is dead, love is alive. The more alive you are the more your life remains in insecurity, because the livelier person will be exploring the unknown, he will be adventurous. It is life’s nature, its law, its very intrinsic soul.
But the priest has exploited it. He has given you consolations, securities, insurances, not only for this life but for future lives too. He says, “Don’t be worried. If you follow a certain code of conduct, if you cultivate a certain character, if you follow the commandments given in the scriptures, then you need not be afraid. Then God is going to reward you. You will be punished only if you go against the convention, against the tradition.”
What he is saying is: if you go against him, because he represents the convention, the tradition, the past. But he never says it directly, that “If you go against me you will be punished” He says, “If you go against the Koran, if you go against the Bible, if you go against the Vedas, you will be punished because these are divine scriptures. God himself has written them. They have to be followed literally, word for word. If you go astray, you are taking a great risk and then I cannot help you.”
The priest goes on telling you to remain within the confinement, the imprisonment that he and his predecessors have created for you. It is a prison cell. He makes you very much afraid of the open air and the sun and the stars and the sky.