The outer politician is only a manifestation, a collective manifestation of your inner politicians. You are all searching – in some way or other – to have more, to possess more, to be powerful, to be dominant, to be special: V.V.I.P.…a V.I.P. is no longer enough.
When I criticize the politicians I am criticizing the political structure of your mind.
Aristotle is right only on this point, according to me, when he calls man a political animal.
Your politician is still in a latent state. It has not been possible for it to have an opportunity to come into its true colors.
That’s why power corrupts – in fact, power has nothing to do with corruption. It appears that power corrupts because power gives you the opportunity to bring out all your fantasies, dreams, and change them into reality. You have the power to do it.
And Acton is right that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I have to criticize the politicians because they are what you would like to be. Presidents, prime ministers, governors, ambassadors – that’s what you would like to be, but it is only a seed in you. And in the seed you cannot see all the flowers and all the colors. When I criticize the politicians I am criticizing you as if your politician had come into power.
And in a certain way…you may not be very powerful, but everybody has a certain power over certain people. The parents have power over their children, the husband has power over his wife – at least he believes that. The real power is with the woman, she has all the keys. And husbands and wives are constantly fighting to prove who is higher, who is more intelligent, who is always right.
So everybody has his own small area, his own small territory where he is powerful. The teacher in the classroom is almost a king.
In India, physical punishment is against the constitution. Children cannot be tortured in any physical way. But that is only in the constitution, not in reality. All over India children are beaten.
When I entered my high school…. One man was very notorious for beating children – he was our mathematics teacher. His subject was difficult and he had no compassion at all. He thought that by beating children you could raise their intelligence! By beating children you can destroy their intelligence, but you cannot raise it. Beating is destructive.
I had decided the very first day that in the very beginning I had to come to terms with this man. As he entered in the class, I did not stand up to greet him as every other student did. He looked very angry…a little surprised, too. For a moment there was silence and then he said, “It seems you don’t know me.”
I said, “It is true. I don’t know you, but something more important is true.”
He said, “What is that?”
I said, “You don’t know yourself.”