If you ask the Depth Psychologists they will say that in all behavior this distinction between reason and the rationalization has to be well understood. Rationalization is a very cunning device, it hides the real reason and gives you something false, but looks absolutely okay on the surface. And this is happening not only between a father and a child, a mother and a child, it is also happening between society and those children who have gone astray. That’s why prison exists, the law exists: it is revenge, revenge taken by society.
Society cannot tolerate somebody who is rebellious because he will destroy the whole structure. He may be right: Athens could not tolerate Socrates, not because he was wrong – he was absolutely right – but Athens could not tolerate him because if he had been tolerated then the whole structure of the society would have gone, been thrown to the dogs; then the society could not have existed. So Socrates had to be sacrificed to society.
And Jesus was crucified, not because whatsoever he was saying was wrong – never have such true words been asserted on this earth – but he was sacrificed to the society because the way he was talking, the way he was behaving, was dangerous to the structure.
Society cannot tolerate this so it will punish you. But it also rationalizes: it says this is just to put you right, it punishes you for your own good. And nobody ever bothers whether that good is ever achieved or not. We have been punishing criminals for thousands of years, but nobody bothers whether those criminals are ever transformed through our punishment or not. Criminals go on increasing: as prisons increase, prisoners increase; the more laws, the more criminals; the more courts, the more punishments. The result is absolutely absurd: more criminality.
What is the problem? The criminal can also feel that the idea that his punishment is for doing wrong, is a rationalization: really he is punished because he has been caught. So he also has his rationalization; next time he has to be more cunning and more clever, that’s all. This time he has been caught because he was not alert, not because he has done wrong. Society proved more clever than him, so next time he will see; he is going to prove himself more cunning, clever, intelligent, and then he will not be caught. A prisoner, a criminal who is punished always thinks that he is punished, not for the thing he has committed, but because he has been caught. So the only thing he is going to learn from the punishment is not to be caught again.
So whenever a prisoner comes out of prison he is a better criminal than ever: he has lived with experienced people inside the prison, with more advanced adepts who know much, who have been punished much and who have suffered long – who have been caught – and who have been deceiving in many, many ways; who are very advanced on the path of crime. Living with them, serving them, becoming a disciple to them, he learns; he learns through experience that next time he is not to be caught. Then he is a better criminal.