There is certainly a great psychology behind it. In the past there used to be no young age. You will be surprised to know about it: children used to become adult without being young. A six-year-old, seven-year-old child would start working with his father; if the father was a carpenter he would learn carpentry, or at least help his father. If the father was a farmer he would go to the farm with the father, would help him with the animals, cows, horses. By the age of six or seven he had already entered into life. By the age of twenty he would be married and have a few children.
In the past there was no “younger generation” hence there was no gap. One generation followed another generation in a continuity, with no gap between them. By the time the father died his son would have already replaced him in every field of his life. There was no time to play and there was no time to get educated; there were no schools, no colleges, no universities.
The new generation is a by-product of many things. In the past the only way of learning was to participate with the older generation, work with them – that was the only way to learn. And of course the older generation was always respected, because they were the teachers. They knew, and you were ignorant; the ignorant necessarily respected the knowledgeable. Hence in the past it was almost inconceivable that the younger people would disrespect the old people, or could even think in their dreams that they knew more than the older people. Knowledge was very decisive.
The people who knew had the power, and the people who did not, had no power. It was in those old days that the proverb must have been coined: “knowledge is power.” That was the only criterion in life, so you never heard of any revolt of the young against the old.
This generation has come to a new, totally new stage. The child never goes following in his father’s footsteps. He goes to the school; his father goes to his shop or to the office or to the farm. By the time he comes back from his university he is twenty-five years old. For these twenty-five years he has no connection with the older generation. His only connection is financial; they help him financially. In these twenty-five years many things happen: one, he knows more than his parents because his parents had been to school at least twenty, twenty-five years before. In these twenty-five years, knowledge has taken such quantum leaps – it has grown so much….
I was very much puzzled when I was in the university: my professor of psychology was quoting names and books which had been out of date for almost three decades. And because I was so interested to know everything – before I entered into myself, I had to know everything that was happening around – I was continuously in the library.
And it is impossible to respect a professor who knows less than you know, who is outmoded. He should be ashamed to remain in the seat of the professor. That’s what I told my professor of psychology: “It is simply undignified for you to remain in that seat, because you don’t know what is happening in the field of psychology today. You know what was happening thirty years before. Since the day you left your university you have not touched a single book.”
He was very angry. He said, “Who says that?”