I have heard from people who own caravans of camels that when you kill a camel in the desert the camel makes no resistance, he simply allows you to kill him. He is perfectly aware that this is the moment to be of some service to you. In some unknown way he feels you have been thirsty for days and you cannot survive unless he gives you his water reservoir.
A camel can move in the desert for six weeks without any trouble, needing no water. That much water he keeps within himself for emergency purposes. I could not believe it, that he does not resist being killed. I enquired, “If you kill a camel where there is no emergency or any danger to your life, does the camel resist?”
They said, “You say resist? He will kill you! He knows that there is no need for him to be sacrificed; this is simple murder.” And a camel is a big animal, huge, of great power, he can simply crush you under his feet, no weapons are needed. But deep in the desert, lost in the desert, he does not resist. That is something really to be understood.
The camel is graceful to the point that he can sacrifice himself. He is respectful and loving, so much so, that he is ready to die so that you can live. He puts your life above his. He is not egocentric.
And in man you will find all these animals. I am not talking about the real monkeys, donkeys, camels, lions, the child, so don’t get confused. The real child is so nasty that even after enlightenment I cannot sleep in the same room as a small child. The whole night he will disturb you. In the day he sleeps perfectly well, but as the night comes – of course, his sleep is over, now he is ready to torture you. He finds excuses: “I want to go to the toilet. I am thirsty. I am hungry. I am feeling too cold, I need one blanket more.”
So when I am talking about these stages, I am talking symbolically. To me, when I say the child it simply means innocence, simplicity, no desire for any power, no hankering to dominate anybody, and a tremendous beauty.
Have you seen any child who is ugly? All children are beautiful. But what happens to all these beautiful children when they grow up? They all disappear. They start becoming cunning, cruel, diplomatic, political. They lose their innocence, they lose their grace, they lose their beauty.
Amongst you, all kinds of these people are there. And it is not that you can define somebody as the camel. In fact, in each person they are all mixed up. Each person has all these qualities, from the Yankee to the child.
The society is afraid that if you are left alone…. You will turn into a Yankee, a monkey – at the most a donkey, or perhaps if you are fortunate enough, a camel. But beyond that your parents, your civilization is afraid. You cannot be left alone; you have to be trained, and their training has proved poisonous. With all good intentions they have destroyed your spontaneity. With all their well-wishings, they have made you a hypocrite.
I am all for naturalness.