There has never been a moment in the past like this moment. It is the best up to now. Hitherto, this is the best moment you are living, and this should be so. The past was not better than the present – it can’t be. Now, at least, a facade of freedom exists in the world: at least you are allowed to talk; at least you are allowed to question. This is one of the greatest physiological insights to be understood.
For example, in India sudras, untouchables, have existed for thousands of years, but never in the past history was there ever a question raised against their slavery. Why? – the control was perfect. The control was so perfect, the conditioning was so absolute, they couldn’t even feel that they were controlled. Who will feel it? How will you feel if the conditioning is total? You will think this is the only life there is; there is no possibility of any other life to be compared with it. Sudras accepted that this was the only possibility. They lived one of the ugliest lives on the earth, but they were never aware. The conditioning was perfect.
You cannot find greater conditioners than brahmins; and they have to be the best because they are in the trade for the longest. They have been in the trade for the longest – nobody knows more tricks than they know. The whole world has to learn from brahmins how to condition. They are the oldest brainwashers. They conditioned so perfectly that sudras, a great mass of people, simply believed that this is because of their past bad karmas that they are suffering; so there is no question of any revolt – you have to suffer it. If you suffer silently there is a possibility in the next life you may not be born a sudra; if you create trouble then in the next life also you will be born a sudra, even worse than this. They not only conditioned one life, they conditioned the whole chain of lives. And the sudras were not allowed to read because when you start reading you start questioning. They were not allowed to know anything about the Vedas, the scriptures, because if you know the same secrets as the oppressors know then it will be difficult. They were never allowed to have any understanding of any sort. They lived like animals.
That slavery was perfect; and this has been so all over the world. It is for the first time that man has got a little freedom, a little rope. So don’t say “nowadays,” because in that “nowadays” there is a condemnation of the present and appreciation of the past; that’s not right. The present is always better. It has to be because it has grown out of the past: more experienced, richer, future will be better. But conditioning is there; it has always been there. Society lives on conditioning; it conditions everybody. The methods may differ – in China they condition in a different way, in Russia in a different way, in India in a different way – but the conditioning is the same.