Is it possible to be responsible for oneself without first learning to love oneself?
It is absolutely impossible to be responsible for yourself unless you learn to love yourself. Every child is born with tremendous love for himself. It is the society that destroys that love, it is the religion that destroys that love – because if a child goes on growing in loving himself, who is going to love Jesus Christ? Who is going to love the president, Ronald Reagan? Who is going to love the parents?
The child’s love for himself has to be distracted. He has to be conditioned so that his love is always towards an object outside himself. It makes man very poor, because when you love somebody outside of yourself, whether it is God, the pope, the father, the wife, the husband, the children – whoever is the object of your love – it makes you dependent on the object. You become secondary in your own eyes, you become a beggar.
You were born an emperor, utterly contented within yourself. But the father wants you to love him, the mother wants you to love her. Everybody around you wants to become an object for your love. Nobody bothers that a man who cannot love himself cannot love anybody else either.
So a very mad society is created where everybody is trying to love somebody – and they have nothing to give. Nor has the other person anything to give. Why are lovers continuously fighting, nagging, harassing each other? The simple reason is they are not getting what they were thinking to get. Both are beggars, both are empty.
A rightly brought up child will be allowed to grow in love towards himself so that he becomes so full of love that sharing becomes a necessity. He is so burdened with love that he wants somebody to share it. And then love never makes you dependent on anybody. You are the giver; the giver is never a beggar. And the other is also a giver.
And when two emperors, masters of their own hearts, meet, there is tremendous joy. Nobody is dependent on anybody else; everybody is independent and individual, well-centered in himself, well-grounded in himself. He has roots which go deep down within his being, from where the juice called love comes towards the surface and blossoms in thousands of roses.
This type of person has not been possible up to now because of your prophets, your messiahs, your incarnations of God, and all other kinds of idiots. They have destroyed you for their own glory, for their own ego. They have crushed you utterly.