Chapter 10: The Supreme Understanding
A religious man is neither a reactionary nor a revolutionary. A religious man is simply loose and natural; he is neither for something nor against, he is simply himself. He has no rules to follow and no rules to deny, he simply has no rules. A religious man is free in his own being; he has no molding of habits and conditionings. He is not a cultured being - not that he is uncivilized and primitive - he is the highest possibility of civilization and culture, but he is not a cultured being. He has grown in his awareness and he doesn’t need any rules, he has transcended rules. He is truthful not because it is the rule to be truthful; being loose and natural he is simply truthful, it happens to be truthful. He has compassion, not because he follows the precept: Be compassionate. No. Being loose and natural he simply feels compassion flowing all around. There is nothing to do on his part; it is just a byproduct of his growth in awareness. He is not against society, nor for society - he is simply beyond it. He has again become a child, a child of an absolutely unknown world, a child in a new dimension - he is reborn.
Every child is born natural, loose; then the society comes in, has to come in for certain reasons. Nothing is wrong in it, because if the child is left to himself or herself, the child will never grow, and will never be able to become religious, he will become just like an animal. The society has to come in; the society has to be passed through, it is needed. The only thing to remember is: it is just a passage to pass through; one should not make one’s house in it. The only thing to remember is that the society has to be followed and then transcended; the rules have to be learned and then unlearned.
Rules come into your life because there are others; you are not alone. When the child is in the mother’s womb he is absolutely alone, no rules are needed. Rules come only when the other comes into relationship; rules come with relationship. Because you are not alone, you have to think of others and consider others. In the mother’s womb the child is alone; no rules, no morality, no discipline is needed, no order. But the moment he is born, even the first breath he takes is social. If the child is not crying, the doctors will immediately force him to cry, because if he doesn’t cry for a few minutes then he will be dead. He has to cry because the cry opens the passage through which he will be able to breathe; it clears the throat. He has to be forced to cry - even the first breath is social - others are there and the molding has started.
Nothing is wrong in it. It has to be done, but it has to be done in such a way that the child never loses his awareness, does not become identified with the cultured pattern, remains, deep inside, still free, knows that rules have to be followed but rules are not life. This has to be taught. And that’s what a good society will do: “These rules are good because there are others. But these rules are not absolute, and you are not expected to remain confined to them; one day you must transcend them.” A society is good if it teaches civilization and transcendence to its members; then the society is religious. If it never teaches transcendence then that society is simply secular and political, it has no religion in it.