I said, “For my disobedience. You praise these children because they obey you. Indirectly you are simply praising yourself. If you have the guts to praise, praise me, because I disobey you. And on any point where I have disobeyed you, I am ready to argue that I was right and you were not.”
He said, “This is strange! This is the first time I have heard somebody asking to be appreciated for his disobedience.”
I said, “If there had been many people of the same type I am, the world would have been different. It is these obedient puppets who have created a phony world. And these puppets will create other puppets; and generation after generation the same spiritual slavery continues. You give it a good name – obedience – but it is spiritual slavery.”
Disobedience is the assertion of individuality.
Disobedience is the beginning of rebellion.
The same is the situation in the schools; from the kindergarten to the university it is obedience that is continuously hammered into your minds. And it pays, too.
If you are obedient to a certain teacher, professor, you can trust that he will help you. He will give you a higher percentage for being present. If he has the paper in his hand, he may reveal the contents of it to you. If he is going to be the examiner of the paper, he will give you higher marks than anybody else – because you have been obedient.
And this is the way that your ego is indirectly being created. In the army, obedience becomes the absolute thing. In political parties obedience becomes absolutely important. Wherever you look, your whole world is moving around a single word: obedience.
In one of my colleges, even the professor called me into his private room, and told me, “You are intelligent – you could come first in the whole department, but you will not.”
I said, “Why?”
He said, “Because you are continuously being disobedient – not only to me but to all the staff members.”
I said, “I would prefer to fail, but I cannot obey anything against my intelligence. And in the long run, I tell you that your obedient people will be lost in the crowd.”
He said, “I can understand your standpoint, but you are not practical.”
I said, “Because of this practicality you have destroyed all that is beautiful but non-utilitarian. Love is not practical, nor is intelligence practical. And all that is practical is absolutely mundane. At least I cannot be practical at the cost of losing my being. To me that will be committing suicide.”
He was a good man. He said, “I will try to help you in every way, but what can I do about others?”