When you look at me in discourse – whether or not you actually see me – I feel your love pouring out of you and penetrating to my heart. At first it feels a little scary because I feel very exposed, and then I love the feeling inside my heart. Can you talk about exposing oneself?
You have raised one of the most fundamental questions. Each human being has to face it. The majority face it in a cowardly way by escaping from it, by forgetting it, by not looking at it. The very few spirits who are rebellious, courageous, and want to know their own essential being, the meaning and significance of their life, who don’t want to be here accidentally, but want to be a significant, creative participant in existence, they have to go through the agony of exposure. They cannot escape.
Why has it become such an agony, such a suffering to expose oneself as one is? Because you have been told again and again that you are unworthy, that you are not acceptable, that you are not of any worth at all as you are. You will have to attain to respectability by following certain rules and regulations made by others. If you want some kind of dignity you have to become a puppet in the hands of others, because they decide what you should be, how you should act, and how not.
From the very first moment a child is born this ugly education starts. I was present at one of my friends’ first childbirth. The woman had been a long acquaintance – she had studied with me, she had become a teacher with me – and this was going to be her first child. Even though the husband was against my presence – why should another person be present there? – she insisted. I had no idea that there had been a quarrel and a fight. Finally the doctors interfered and they said, “There is no harm. If her feeling is that she has found a man of grace and she would like her child to be seen by the same man whom she has respected….”
On the surface everything looks beautiful, but as you go deeper into analysis things start changing their colors. The mother is even deciding what the child should see first, who he is going to have his first human encounter with. The mother is deciding that. And from such decisions start our whole education.
Naturally, a strange calamity falls over the whole humanity. Nobody seems to be the right person. Everybody seems to be in the wrong place. Somebody else may be in the right place, but you are never in the right place. And the person you think is in the right place is not in the right place either; he is thinking somebody else is in the right place.
This whole madness is the ultimate result of a wrong educational system, which does not accept you as you are in your naturalness, in your simplicity. You may not be a great leader…. In fact there is no need for great leaders. What have they done except made history to torture small children with? They have to remember their names, do the homework. What have all your great men done?