How can I be myself?
That should be the easiest thing in the world, but it is not. To be oneself one need not do anything; one already is. How can you be otherwise? How can you be anybody else? But I can understand the problem. The problem arises because the society corrupts everybody. The society up to now has been a great corruption. It corrupts the mind, the being. It enforces things on you and you lose contact with yourself. It tries to make something else out of you than that which you were meant to be. It puts you off your center. It drags you away from yourself. It teaches you to be like a Christ or to be like a Buddha or to be like this and that; it never says to you to be yourself. It never allows you freedom to be. It enforces foreign outside images on your mind.
Then the problem arises. You can pretend at the most, and when you pretend you are never satisfied. You always want to be yourself – that is natural – and the society does not allow it. It wants you to be somebody else. It wants you to be phony. It does not want you to be real, because real people are dangerous people, real people are rebellious people. Real people cannot be controlled so easily, real people cannot be regimented. Real people will live their reality in their own way – they will do their thing; they won’t bother about other things. You cannot sacrifice them. In the name of religion, in the name of the state, nation, race, you cannot sacrifice them. It is impossible to seduce them for any sacrifice. Real people are always for their own happiness. Their happiness is ultimate: they are not ready to sacrifice it for anything else. That’s the problem.
So the society distracts every child: it teaches the child to be somebody else. And by and by the child learns the ways of pretension, hypocrisy. And one day – this is the irony – the same society starts talking to you in this way, starts saying to you: What has happened to you? Why are you not happy? Why do you look miserable? Why are you sad? And then come the priests. First they corrupt you, the distract you from the path of happiness – because there is only one happiness possible and that is to be yourself – then they come and say to you: Why are you unhappy? Why are you miserable? And then they teach you ways to be happy. First they make you ill and then they sell medicines. It is a great conspiracy.
I have heard…
A little old Jewish lady sits down on a plane next to a big Norwegian. She keeps staring and staring at him. Finally she turns to him and says, “Pardon me, are you Jewish?”
He replies, “No.”
A few minutes go by, and she looks at him again and asks, “You can tell me – you are Jewish, aren’t you?”