When you fall in love with a woman do you think of the content? When you fall in love with a man do you think of the content? Just the container…a little longer nose and you may fall in love. If the nose were a little shorter you might not have looked twice at the woman.
That’s the meaning of the word respect. You may not have thought about it; people don’t think about words. Respect means looking again: re-spect. When you see somebody and you feel like looking again at the person, that’s the meaning of the word respect. The person is so attractive, spectacular, that you would like to look again and again. But what you are looking at is the container, still.
I know of a professor…he was my colleague in the university, one of the most intelligent people I have ever met – but he was ugly. The content was just great, but the container…that too was just great! He was head of the department of psychology. Just because of him, students were not taking the subject of psychology.
He told me, “This is a strange university, where nobody seems to be interested in psychology. We have a full-fledged department, perhaps one of the best departments in the university. All the staff are very qualified people, but somehow students take psychology up to their BA, and after getting a BA nobody turns up for postgraduate study” – because the head of the department gives classes only for postgraduate students or research scholars.
I said to him, “It may shock you but you are the reason.”
He said, “Me? I have done no harm to anybody.”
I said, “You simply look into the mirror and don’t ask me. Your container is all wrong.”
And the postgraduate philosophy and psychology courses are mostly filled by girls, because psychology or philosophy are not going to be of much help in life. They may create trouble perhaps, but they are not going to help you. So, in India particularly, only girls turn to psychology because they are not interested in business, in service, in a career; they are interested, in India, in catching hold of a rich husband. And a postgraduate girl obviously has more chances of catching hold of a good-salaried husband.
In any other department there is much competition; in psychology and philosophy there is not much competition. Moreover, professors are very generous in passing people, giving them better marks, higher distinctions, more first classes, so that more people will become attracted. Those departments are dying all over the world.
There are hundreds of universities where no student takes postgraduate classes in philosophy for the simple reason that wherever you go, although you may have a first class MA in philosophy, that is not a qualification. In fact, it is a kind of disqualification – nobody is going to take you just because of that. It is enough proof that you are not going to be of any use; your degree shows you are useless. Philosophy has no market value.