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The fear of being free

From the False to the Truth
Chapter #21
Chapter title: The master is nothing but a sculptor
19 July 1985 am in Rajneeshmandir
Archive code: 8507190
ShortTitle: FALSE21
Audio: Yes
Video: Yes
Length: 141 mins
Why am I so afraid of being free?
Everybody is. Freedom is a great risk. People talk about freedom, but nobody really wants to be free. It is pure talk. Everybody wants to be dependent, everybody wants somebody else to take the responsibility. In freedom you are responsible for every act, every thought, every movement. You cannot dump anything on anybody else.
Just watch a Freudian psychiatrist, psychoanalyst. The patient is lying down on a couch, the psychoanalyst is sitting behind so the patient cannot see him. He is sitting behind the couch; he can see the patient, but the patient cannot see him. Some psychoanalysts use curtains so that the patient feels he need not keep his secrets to himself.
And what happensin all psychoanalysis sessions all over the world, what is happening? The patient goes on dumping everything either on the mother mostly on the mother or on the father. But he is not taking any responsibility upon himself. He is trying to prove that he is absolutely innocent; everybody else is at fault and driving him to do things that he never wanted to do in the first place.
Perhaps there is some truth in it, that’s how it is happening: mothers are driving their children… mothers are trying to make their daughters real ladies British ladies! American won’t do. In fact, in America the lady has disappeared. In California there are only women, no ladies. The father is trying to make his son a real man, a gentleman. So there is some truth in it.
But when you are grown-up and you see the whole scene, what has happened, you can simply drop it just like that! But you don’t want to, because then you will be responsible. If right now you do something wrong, you can always point towards somebody who is responsible for it.
Everybody is afraid of freedom. That’s why all around the world, layers of slaveries exist in you. Every person is a multiple slave. He is a slave to the parents, he is a slave to the religion, he is a slave to the state, he is a slave to the neighbors all kinds of slaveries which are not visible.
When I was a student in the university, I had a roommate with me for the whole year, and I had never thought that something was wrong with his speech. Then his father came to meet him and he started stuttering. I was amazed; I said, What is the matter with you? Since your father has come you have been stuttering, you cannot speak the way you have always been speaking.
He said, From my very childhood he has been teaching me how to speak, what to speak, what not to speak, whom to speak to, when to speak. He confused me so much that I lost my own sensibility, and stuttering started. He said, I was amazed myself when I came to the university: leaving the house behind, my stuttering disappeared. And whenever I go to my house and to my family and to my town, the stuttering starts again.
I asked him, When you go to the temple and pray to the father, God, what happens?
He said, The same thing, stuttering comes in. The very word “father” is enough any father-figure.
When he was called for something by the vice-chancellor of the university, I went with him. He asked me, Why are you coming?
I said, “You d ‘Don’t be worried. I will be just outside the room waiting for you.
But, he said, there is no need.
I said, I will explain it to you afterwards.
And inside the room of the vice-chancellor, he was stuttering. I had to enter without asking permission. Both were shocked. He was shocked because he was stuttering. The vice-chancellor was shocked also: Don’t you know that you have to ask permission? And I am talking to somebody.
I said, The situation was such that I had to come in suddenly. I wanted to catch him stuttering before you for two reasons: I want to make it clear to him that it is not that something is wrong in him. Any father-figure, any authoritative figure causes his stuttering. And you are the highest authority in the university, so I wanted you also to know: please come down, don’t make poor students stutter; you are not a big daddy. That’s why I had to come in without asking, and suddenly. And I have caught you both red-handed. You are being authoritative, and that is ugly. You are imposing something on the poor student, who is already burdened with his daddy.
The vice-chancellor said, Perhaps you are right I was shouting at him. I will never do such a thing to anybody again; I don’t want my students to stutter. When he started stuttering I was puzzled: , `What is the matter? Perhaps this is his habit.‘”
I said, It is not his habit. He has been living with me for the whole year, and he has not stuttered a single time. But when his father came, immediately things changed. Since then I have been watching: in the temple when he prays to God the father, he stutters. I wanted to see what happens between you and him. He is stuttering you must have been behaving authoritatively. There is no need. You have to be more human, you have to be more friendly, you have to be more loving. You are not his father.
Now this student came out with me, and he said, My father is responsible.
I said, No, you are a coward. Every father is trying to improve upon the son, because the son is going to take his place sooner or later. That does not mean that the whole humanity is stuttering. You are a weakling, and you are avoiding that responsibility. Just accept that you have been a coward; otherwise, what is so great in your father? I have seen him. In fact, you are taller than your father. If you wrestled with him you would win, because he is getting old and you are in your prime, healthy and young.
And that old, small man makes you stutter! Still you throw the responsibility on him. This is slavery, mental slavery. But it gives you a relief that you are not the cause of it.
Who is forcing you to go to the church, to the temple, to the synagogue? Yes, when you were a child you were taken, but now? Still you are continuing the old routine. And if you are forced to explain, you will say, It was my father who dragged me to the synagogue. It was my Jewish mom who dragged me to this or that.
You don’t see it as a slavery. It is a slavery. You have not been fighting against it. Yes, I know, small children are dependent on the parents, and the parents take every advantage of your dependence. They know you cannot rebel, they know you cannot go anywhere else.
I figured out in my very childhood what makes them so authoritative: Perhaps they think I cannot rebel. Perhaps they think I cannot get food if I go against them. Perhaps they think I will be lost in this vast world without their protection. So I had to do all these things; only then would they understand that authority was not going to work with me. I made it clear to my father, One thing is absolutely certain: if you want me to do something, please don’t say it authoritatively.
He said, Then in what way has it to be said?
I said, You have to ask me, ` Will you please do it?” ’ ‘”
He said, This seems to be too much. I have to ask my own son, ` Will you please do it?” ’
I said, You will have to say this. If you say to me ` Go and do it! I am the last person to do it. I would prefer to die hungry, but I will not do it. And if you ask me, ` Will you please do it? I can even climb Everest there is no problem. I am doing it, it has not been forced upon me. I don’t want to live like a slave in my life.
One day my father was not at home. My uncle told me, Lately I have been seeing that you come in at any time of the night. You have to be back home before nine o’clock because in India nine o’clock is really night. It is not evening; the sun sets at six, and then suddenly everything becomes dark.
I said, You don’t know the contract between me and my father. You can be certain I will never enter the house unless nine o’clock has passed.
He had no children; he was just married and he was very cocky. In fact, the Indian word for uncle is kaka kaka and he was trying to be the master of his wife. He said, I repeat it again. If you don’t come before nine, then I am not going to open the door.
I said, That is settled. I will remain outside the door the whole night, but I am not going to accept authority in any way. And that’s what happened. He was thinking that in one hour, two hours, I would drop the idea of remaining for the whole cold night outside.
In fact he became worried. My father was not in the town, and if I became sick or something happened to me… The night was really cold and it was getting colder. And he could not sleep either, because he was waiting for me to knock. Finally, near about near about twelve, he opened the door and he said, Forgive me, just come in. Don’t create trouble for me.
I said, I am not creating trouble for anybody. I am simply keeping myself trouble-free.
In the school, in the college, I always loved to be a little mischievous. I felt those students who were not mischievous to be just dull and dead. So I would do something…. Just sitting in the class I might start what you do in darshan or satsang darshan or satsang– I might start Om-m-m with closed mouth. Now Om is a religious, sacred word to the Hindus. Nobody can say that this is wrong to do; but in the class when the teacher was teaching, and he was writing on the board and his back was towards us….
He turned suddenly, looked all around everybody was silent and he asked, Who was making this sound of Om?
And I would always stand up. I would say, I did it. It is a sacred sound.
He said, I know, but in a class when I am teaching you something….
I said, You cannot teach anything higher than Om! And why are you getting so freaked out? You should have continued your work. Om would have remained in the background; it is not a problem.
He would drag me to the principal it was almost an everyday ritual. The principal would say, So you have come. Can’t you leave these professors at ease even for a single day?
I said, Today I was doing such a spiritual thing. And I could have remained silent when he asked who had done it. I know perfectly well that nobody in my class can point his finger towards me, because they all know that I will create trouble for them, they are perfectly aware of it. There was no way for him to find out. I stood up myself. In fact, he should be respectful towards me: I did it, I accept it.
Many professors have asked me, Why…? You are such a nice guy in every possible way, we cannot find a better student. But once in a while, what goes wrong on? You start doing something which is unexpected.
I said, It is not unexpected, at least as far as I am concerned. It is absolutely prepared.
But why do you do it? they would ask.
I would say, For a single reason, that I don’t want to become a slave in any way. I want to keep my freedom intact whatsoever the cost. If I feel like chanting ` Om, then I don’t care what happens to me. I chanted it, and I have not harmed anybody; I have simply saved my freedom. And I take the whole responsibility for it!
In the school, the headmaster stopped even asking why I had been brought, because it was an everyday affair sometimes twice a day that I would be brought to the headmaster. In the beginning he used to enquire, What has he done? What happened? this and that. After a few days he stopped e inquiring, he simply gave me the punishment.
He would say, Go around the whole building seven times.
I would say, Yes, that’s okay, but I will go nine times not less than that.
He said, Are you mad? This is a punishment, we are not rewarding you!
I said, That is my way of changing the quality of the punishment. I am enjoying it the wind is cool, the trees are beautiful. Why seven? At least I cannot accept your order. I will go nine times; then I am free of your authority, I am doing it on my own, and I’m enjoying it! And you should remember that to be authoritative is ugly you have to understand me, why I did it. You don’t care to understand. You simply listen to the teacher, you don’t even give a chance for me to explain.
That day he said, Okay, what do you have to say? You were keeping your hand on a boy’s shoulder in the class. In the classroom some discipline has to be maintained, and you know it. The classroom is not some place of entertainment a park, a cinema hall. There you can walk with your hands on someone’s shoulders, but not in the class.
I said, I walked in the class with my hand on another student’s shoulder simply to make this teacher freak out because in the class he continually says smoking is bad, and I have caught him red-handed, smoking. Now this man should apologize to the whole class, because he was lying to them when he said, ` Don’t smoke. He himself smokes. He says to the students, ` Don’t go to the movies, and one day when I was entering the movie house for the second show, he was coming out from the first show.
When I asked, ` What are you doing here? He he said, ` I am your teacher, you are not my teacher. You have no right to ask what I am doing here. Is this a human way of behaving? I deny all kinds of authoritativeness. And still he goes on telling the students, ` Don’t go to the movies, don’t waste your time. Don’t destroy your eyes this and that. And he is a regular visitor to the movie house.
The movie house belonged to one of my friends’ father, so I had told the friend, Keep me informed how often he comes to the movie. He was a regular visitor, and a chain-smoker outside the class.
I had to do something so that he can bring me to you, and I can expose his reality. Now what do you say? Should I do nine rounds around the school or he? As far as I am concerned, we both can go together, it is perfectly good.
Since that day, that headmaster stopped punishing me. He would always ask, Why? What was the reason? And he was always satisfied with the reason. In fact, teachers stopped sending me to the headmaster, because there they found themselves guilty of doing something wrong. By and by, they stopped preventing me from doing anything, because if I am doing something, that means there must be much more to it what can a teacher do?
My headmaster changed and a new headmaster came into the school. And the first day I went, he took his cane and he said, I am a strict man, and from the very first day I make it known to the school that I am going to beat you badly.
I said, You can do it but can you see, just there on the other side of the road is the police station. And corporal punishment is illegal you start beating me and you will be behind bars! The court is not far away, and I am a great friend of an old advocate who is the best advocate in the town. And I have told him that this is going to happen: ` I have heard about this man, that he beats students. And he has promised me, ` Let him do it you come immediately to me and we will file a suit against him in the court. So I have made my position clear to you. Now, start beating.
His cane fell from his hand. He said, Are you a student or some government agency?
I said, I am a simple student, but I don’t want any authoritativeness over me. If I do anything wrong, I am ready for any punishment. But just punishing me to prove your authority? I am the last one to accept it.
And I was not wrong, the teacher has brought me to you…. It is revengeful, because the other headmaster had stopped punishing me. Rather, he had started telling the teachers, ` It was not right on your part. And today I have not done anything. Just when the teacher called me, I was sitting on the bench with my legs on top of it. I don’t see that it is a crime, I was simply relaxed. In fact, children should be provided with chairs which are comfortable, with foot-rests so they can relax.
When you are relaxed you can understand things more easily. But in Indian schools the benches are hard it is just a copy of British benches; in British schools the benches are hard. You have to sit on those hard benches for six hours and it starts hurting.
Something is wrong with you people. You are not teaching us but torturing us, and under torture no teaching is possible. So I want to know what wrong I have committed. Have I given a wrong answer to his question? No, I was just keeping my feet on top of the table. These are my feet. If I drag his feet and put them on the table, you can punish me. But if you think this is a crime, you start punishing me, and I will see you in the court.
One has to understand one thing: What can happen? At the most, death can happen. Remember a simple maxim: Hope for the best, and wait for the worst. Then nobody in this life can disappoint you. Nobody can make you a slave, physically or psychologically.
A Hindu is a slave, a Christian is a slave, a Mohammedan all these religions are psychological slaveries, because they give you consolation that if you follow and believe and have faith, then nothing wrong is going to happen to you. They give you all kinds of strategies to remain dependent. They teach you prayer prayer is just begging.
I don’t teach you any prayer. To whom are you praying? You have not even asked the people who have taught you prayer. Kneeling down on your church floor, you are humiliating yourself. I am not for egoist assertion, but neither am I for humiliation to be accepted as humility, humbleness. I want you to be simple, without any ego and without any humbleness straightforward, clear.
And freedom is such a great value, perhaps the greatest value in life. It cannot be lost for anything. Even if death is the consequence I would rather accept death than accept anything that goes against my freedom.
India was under the British Raj for almost three hundred years. My whole family was in the freedom movement; they all have been in jails. I was too young, but I was continually arguing with my father, with my uncles, Don’t blame Britain for your slavery. Such a vast country, almost a continent, cannot be made a slave by a small country like England. Somewhere deep down you are afraid of being free, somewhere deep down you are ready to accept slavery. And still you go on throwing the responsibility on Britain. But you have been a slave before too India has been in slavery for two thousand years. Masters changed, slavery remained.
It is such a simple thing to see that if anybody wanted to make you a slave, you became a slave, as if you were just waiting for it, for somebody to invade you, somebody to come and enslave you.
I told my family, I don’t accept the idea of Mahatma Gandhi, that Britain is responsible for India’s slavery. India itself is responsible for its slavery; otherwise, just in a single hour, all the British people can be thrown into the ocean. India just has to understand that freedom is our birthright. How many Britishers are there? Not many.
Is your mental slavery somebody else’s responsibility? No. You don’t want to be responsible for your own acts, you don’t want to be responsible for your way of life; that’s why you are afraid of being free. Drop this fear. This fear is worse than anything that can happen to anybody.
I teach you responsibility. But remember, don’t misunderstand me, because all around you people are using the word responsibility with an absolutely different meaning in fact, diametrically opposite to the meaning I see in the word responsibility.
They say, Be responsible to your parents. That is not responsibility, that is slavery. They say, Be responsible to your church, to your religion, to your faith. That is not responsibility, that is slavery. They say, Be responsible to your nation. That is not responsibility. These are all beautiful words to cover up an ugly fact: slavery.
When I use the word responsibility, I use it the way it should be used. Responsibility means that whatever you do, it is your response. If I ask you, Does God exist? and you say, Yes, because it is written in THE BIBLE,” the Bible’,your answer is not a responsible answer. It is out of your Christian slavery.
But if you say, I don’t know. I have never come across God yet, this is your response. You are not repeating some catechismHindu, Mohammedan, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish no. You are facing the question directly and responding to it. Responding on your own is the meaning of responsibility.
Freedom brings responsibility. Responsibility helps you to become more and more free. And only a person who knows the taste of freedom, who knows the beauty of responsibility, is worthy of calling himself a human being; otherwise, you are camels and nothing more.
–From From the False to the Truth, Discourse 21



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