Why am I scared to accept myself the way I am?
Everybody is in the same situation. Everybody is scared to accept himself the way he is. This is how all the past centuries of mankind have cultivated, conditioned every child, every human being.
The strategy is simple but very dangerous. The strategy is to condemn you and to give you ideals so that you are always trying to become someone else. The Christian is trying to become a Jesus, the Buddhist is trying to become a Buddha…and to distract you from yourself seems so clever a device that perhaps the people who have been doing it are themselves unaware of it.
What Jesus said on the cross – his last words to humanity – is immensely significant in many ways, particularly in this context. He prayed to God, “Father, forgive these people because they know not what they are doing.”
This is applicable to every father and to every mother, to every teacher and every priest and every moralist: to the people who manage culture, society, civilization, and who try to mold every individual in a certain way. Perhaps they also don’t know what they are doing. Perhaps they think they are doing everything for your good. I don’t suspect their intentions, but I certainly want you to be aware that they are ignorant, they are unconscious people.
A small child is born into the hands of an unconscious society. And the unconscious society starts molding the child according to its own ideals, forgetting the one thing which is the most fundamental: that the child has a potential of his own. He has to grow, not into a Jesus or into a Krishna or into a Buddha. He has to grow to be himself.
If he misses growing into being himself he will remain utterly miserable his whole life. His life will become just a hell and a curse, and he will not know what has gone wrong. He has been put in the wrong direction from the very beginning.
And he thinks the people who have put him in the wrong direction love him, are his benefactors. Actually they are his greatest enemies. The parents, the teachers, the priests and the leaders of the society are the greatest enemies of every individual who has been born on the earth up to now. Without being aware, they are distracting you from yourself.
And to distract you, you have to be absolutely conditioned about one thing: that you are unworthy, undeserving, of no use at all as you are. Of course, you can become worthy of respect, dignity, if you follow the rules and regulations given to you by others. If you are able to manage to be a hypocrite you will be a prestigious citizen of the society.