What is the difference between character and consciousness? When I say Buddha has no character, try to understand it. A buddha can’t have any character, there is no need. Character means you are not so alert, you cannot be allowed total freedom to be. A character hangs around you to force you to do the right.
We teach every child not to be untrue, not to steal; be true. Why? – because we can’t rely on the child himself, his consciousness. We have to force a pattern over his being. We have to give him a character. Character means a conditioning. If you go on enforcing…. A character means just a dead pattern given from the past. And then the being of the man starts flowing through the lines that the character allows. He is not free.
A man of character is in bondage. He is a slave, a slave of a particular society he happened to be born in. He may have a Hindu character or a Mohammedan character; both are slaves. He may have a Christian character or a non-Christian character; both are slaves. He is a slave of the society; the society has forced his mind to learn certain things. Now they hang around him. He cannot go in any way different from his character. If he goes, then he feels guilt. That guilt brings him back, because it is too much.
A man of character has a conscience. The perfect man has no conscience, no character. He is simply conscious, but being conscious is enough. He does not live his life through the past, he lives his life here and now. And he is aware, so he need not have concepts from the past, routine morality from the past; he need not have any notion of what is good and what is wrong. It is not needed.
Look: if a blind man is sitting here and he wants to go out, he will start inquiring where the door is. He has to inquire, he has no eyes. And even if he has inquired from you he would like to inquire from a few other people because, who knows, you may be deceiving him. How can he trust you? He will inquire from a few others, “Where is the door?” – because many times people have played tricks on him. People are cruel. They even play tricks on blind men. They will say: “This is the door” – and the wall is there, and the blind man has stumbled many times, and then people laugh.
People are ugly. He cannot trust them. He will have to ask a few more, and if everybody says, “This is the door,” only then can he believe, at least ninety-nine percent. Then too he will grope for the door with his stick. He cannot just go, he has to check.