Love is never a should, it cannot be commanded. You cannot force yourself to love as much as you can. That’s what people are doing and that’s why love is missing in the world. From the very beginning we start making the child false, and every falsity creates schizophrenia, it creates a double personality, it creates a split.
Every child is born whole, but we divide him in two. We tell him what to repress and what to express. We tell him what has not to be done and what has to be done. Whether he really feels it or not is irrelevant. And the child is so helpless, so dependent, that he has to listen to our dictates. And we have not yet been able to be democratic with children – we are dictatorial. We talk about democracy, but our whole way, our very pattern of life is dictatorial, it is non-democratic, it is really antidemocratic.
The child is not allowed to be himself; we start forcing him to be somebody else. And he has to follow us because it is a question of survival. If he does not follow us then he is in danger: he cannot live on his own, he has to compromise, and every compromise is a falsification.
We say to the child, “I am your father – love me!” as if just because you are a father there is some natural inevitability that love should flow towards you. And if it is inevitable, why say it? The very asking shows that it is not inevitable. The child may love, may not love; it will depend on you, on whether you are worth loving or not. Just being a father does not mean anything.
And the institution of father is something invented by man; it is not a natural thing at all, it is institutional. Some day it may disappear because there was a time when it was not there. For thousands of years humanity lived without the institution of fatherhood.
You may be surprised to know that the word uncle is older than the word father, because matriarchy preceded patriarchy. The mother was there and the father was not known, because the mother was meeting, merging, melting with many people. Somebody had to be the father, but there was no way to find out. So all were uncles – all potential fathers were uncles. The word uncle is older in every language than the word father.
And it will be better to call God the Uncle than the Father – it is sweeter! But the Talmud, the Jewish scripture, says: “God is not your uncle, he is not nice. If you don’t listen to him, if you don’t follow him, he will throw you into hell.” Exactly these are the words: God is not nice, God is not your uncle. And I say to you, God is not your father, and he is nice, and it is better to call him Uncle.
The institution of fatherhood came into existence with the invention of private property; they are joined together. The father represents private property, because when private property came into existence everybody wanted his own child to inherit it. “I will not be here, but a part of me should inherit my property.” Private property came first, then came the father.