All small children look alike. Why do they look alike? They don’t have many distinctions. Their faces don’t yet have characteristics, they don’t have any persona. They are almost alike, similar. That’s why all children look beautiful. They have not yet grown a specific character, distinction, a personality. Without this personality they are utterly in existence, one with it. There is a harmony.
But that harmony will be broken sooner or later. We will start preparing them for the world. We will start telling them what their names are. We will start telling them who they are – Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans. We will tell them whether they are boys or girls. We will start enforcing ideas on them and conditioning them and preparing them for the world. We will send them to school and to college and, by and by, we will train them.
Our whole education consists of a subtle training in the ego; that’s why the education is so competitive. It depends on ambition create ambition! Tell the child, “You have to come first in the class. You have to top the college; you have to attain to the gold medal in the university. These are the ways you have to learn how to be the first in line. Then your whole life you will have to work it out. First learn the map, and then your whole life work it out. Wherever you are, go on trying to be the first in line.”
Great anxiety is created, great anguish is created. Neurosis is created out of it.
From the first to the seventh year the child remains like an uninflated balloon. From the seventh to the fourteenth the adolescent starts gaining air. That’s why adolescents are difficult, always ready to say ‘no’ and always ready to fight and always ready to rebel. Down the ages it has been so, it is nothing new in this age. Down the ages adolescence has been the age of problems. The ego has started functioning. The adolescent says, “I would like my own way, I want to do my thing! Right or wrong is not the question – my thing I want to do!”
We create it: we repress it also. We create it so that the child can fight in the world with others. But the child starts fighting with the parents too! There is a problem. The parents don’t want the child to bring his ego against them, but where is he going to practice? – they are the closest. So there is a contradiction in the mechanism. They want him to be against the whole world: “Go and compete with everybody! Be a warrior and show your mettle and show your spine – show that you are somebody!” But the child starts learning at home. Naturally, everything has to be started at home. He says “no” to the mother, “no” to the father. The father says, “Don’t smoke!” and he will smoke. And the father says, “Don’t go to the movie!” and he will go.