Chapter 39: Your Mind Is Not Yours
Your mind is not your mind - this is something basic to be remembered. Your mind is an implantation of the society in which you have accidentally been born. If you were born in a Christian home, but immediately transferred to a Mohammedan family and brought up by the Mohammedans, you would not have the same mind; you would have a totally different mind, that you cannot conceive of.
Bertrand Russell, one of the geniuses of our times, tried hard to get rid of the Christian mind, not because it was Christian, but simply because it was given to him by others. He wanted his own fresh outlook about things. He did not want to see things from somebody else’s glasses; he wanted to come in contact with reality immediately, and directly. He wanted his own mind.
So it was not a question of being against the Christian mind; if he had been a Hindu he would have done the same, if he had been a Mohammedan he would have done the same, if he had been a communist he would have done the same.
The question is whether the mind is your own or implanted by others - because the others implant a mind in you which does not serve you, but serves their purposes. Now in the whole Soviet Union, each child is being brought up with a communist mind.
One of my friends, Rahul Sankritayana, was visiting the Soviet Union. He went to see a school and he asked a small boy, “Do you believe in God?” The small boy looked at him in shock and he said, “At your age, in this century, you ask such a question! In the past when people were ignorant they used to believe in God. There is no God.” Now this child will believe for his whole life that this is his voice. It is not so. It is the voice of the society, and it serves the purposes of the vested interests of the society.
You are prepared by the parents, by the teachers, by the priests, by your educational system to have a certain kind of mind, and your whole life you go on living through that certain kind of mind. That is a borrowed life. And that is why there is so much misery in the world: because nobody is living authentically, nobody is living his own self; he is simply following orders implanted in him.
Bertrand Russell tried hard and wrote a book, Why I Am Not a Christian. But in a letter to a friend he wrote, “Although I have written the book, although I do not believe that I am a Christian, I have dropped that mind, still, deep down.. One day I asked myself, ‘Who is the greatest man in history?’ Rationally I know it is Gautam Buddha, but I could not put Gautam Buddha above Jesus Christ.
“That day I felt that all my efforts have been futile. I am still a Christian. I know rationally that Jesus Christ stands no comparison with Gautam Buddha - but it is only rational. Emotionally, sentimentally I cannot put Gautam Buddha above Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ remains in my unconscious, still affecting my attitudes, my approaches, my behavior. The world thinks I am no longer a Christian, but I know.. It seems difficult to get rid of this mind! They have cultivated it with such acumen, with such craftsmanship.”