The general called the professor and he said, “You’d better work in the mess.” And he gave him a pile of peas and told him to sort out the bigger peas from the smaller peas: “Make two piles, and after one hour I will come to see the result.”
After one hour he came and saw the result. The professor was waiting, looking at the peas. The peas were sitting in the same place. The general asked, “What is the matter with you? Can’t you sort out bigger peas from smaller ones?”
He said, “The problem is, where to put the middle ones? And I never do anything unless I have planned it completely. I have not been able to figure out where to put the middle ones. All are not big and all are not small – there are middle ones too. You tell me, where should I put the middle ones? And if you tell me with the big ones, then why? Explain! If you tell me with the smaller ones, an explanation is needed.”
He was released from the army, with honor. This type of man is not needed in the army. The army wants obedient people. Whatever is said has to be done; there is no question of why. This obedience is nothing but another name of slavery, creating a slave psychology. First, “Left, right, backward, forward” – innocent things, because you are not destroying anything, not killing anybody. But they have developed, down the ages, certain tactics.
Once you become obedient and you start doing things as you are told, and you don’t ask why, then when one day you are marching with guns, the moment you are ordered to shoot you don’t think even for a moment, “Why?” That man is absolutely innocent. He has not done any wrong to you. He also has a wife, he also has children, he also has old parents waiting for him, just as your parents are waiting and praying that you will come back home soon. If the soldiers start thinking, both soldiers will throw away their guns and will hug each other and say, “It is time to go home. What is the point?”
If the politicians cannot agree on certain points, that is their business. They should wrestle with each other. Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan can have a boxing match and decide – whoever wins. But why waste millions of people’s lives? Millions of people are in the army wasting their lives.
Just “Left, right, left, right.”
And finally comes the loaded gun, “Shoot!”
Or the bomb.
The man who dropped the bombs, atom bombs, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not think for a single moment about what he was doing. His mind was completely brainwashed, completely mechanical. He had been ordered; he was obeying. Obedience is the greatest religion, not only in the army, but also in the church; not only in the politician’s world, but also in the priest’s conception of existence – obedience, just obey. And he obeyed.