In fact, in olden days it was difficult to know who the father was. So all the males of the age of the probable father – somebody was the father – all the males of the probable age of the father were called uncle. So uncle is an older word, far more prestigious. Father only came later on when men became very possessive of women.
It came with private property. The word father is joined with private property. When people started having private property – their land, their house – then they wanted to be certain about their son, because he was going to inherit it. Then monogamy became the basic system: you had to marry one woman, and the woman had to remain absolutely surrendered and committed to you so that there was no possibility of her conceiving somebody else’s son, and him possessing your property. This whole business of monogamy is a question of economics, not of psychology.
And man kept himself free. He created prostitutes and he created all kinds of ways to get out of monogamy without disturbing the woman. But the woman had to remain absolutely dedicated to the man – not only in life, even in death.
In India the woman had to die with the husband; she had to jump, alive, onto the funeral pyre where her husband was being burned, because the husband was so jealous: “What is the guarantee after I am dead that my wife may not start having some relationship with somebody else?” And the basic problem was that the property he had accumulated – he had earned it, exploited for it, robbed for it – should not go to somebody else; it should go to his own blood.
So if one day you find the father’s hand is missing, you start creating a fiction: God the father – who is invisible of course – is holding your hand and he is leading you.
I told my grandfather, “I don’t want to be left in the situation where I have to create a fiction to live in. I want to live a real life, not a fictitious life. I am not a character in a novel. So leave me alone, let me fall. I will try to get up. Wait, just watch, and that will be more compassionate towards me than holding my hand.”
And he understood it, he said, “You are right – one day I will not be there.”
It is good to fall a few times, get hurt, stand up again, to go astray a few times. There is no harm. The moment you find you have gone astray, come back. Life has to be learned through trial and error.
So the moment you start listening to the voices – and they are all recorded exactly as they were given to you – you will be surprised when you try to hear who is speaking to you. You will simply laugh: “Oh, this is my mother. I have not seen her for twenty years, and she is still trying to manipulate me.” She may be dead, but from her grave she is still keeping her hand on your neck. Her intention is not bad, but she is crippling you.
I used to tell my father, “Don’t give me any advice, even if I ask you. You have to be very straightforward about it. You simply have to say, ‘Find out your own way.’ Don’t give me advice” – because when some cheap advice is available, who bothers to find one’s own way?