The Real Human Being
By Swami Krishnananda
(Spoken on November 18, 1976)
Continued from second post
What is this that separates one human being from another?
It is fear, and a subtle desire to exploit another human being. That is at the background of this so-called culture behind us.
Why do we fear one another? Why is there agony and anxiety when we go to bed at night? We have a subtle anxiety in our mind when we sleep that some unexpected event may take place. Somebody may pounce upon us, war may breakout, a theft may take place, burglars may enter, enemies may attack.
All these are fears arising from our peculiar notion of our relationship with humanity.
Here is another interesting thing.
What is it that actually causes our fear? It is mankind – not the lion, not the tiger, not the snake, not the scorpion. If we are afraid of anything in this world, it is mankind. We are afraid of another human being. We are not afraid of anything else – not the tree, not the mountain, not the ocean or the river. Well, the ocean is so big and so high.
The ocean can rise up a hundred feet and swallow us in one minute if it wants, but the ocean does not do that. The tiger does not jump upon us. Even snakes do not bite us. It is man that attacks us, so we are afraid of man. What can be a greater travesty than to feel that man is the enemy of man? That is one aspect of the matter.
And we are working hard for whose sake? We are working for mankind who is the source of our fear. Is it not a contradiction?
This is the tension that we have. We are unhappy because there is a difficult knot in our own psychological structure which we cannot easily untie. We have a contradiction in our nature.
We love mankind and hate mankind at the same time. If there is war, it is man attacking man. It is not lions attacking man, not snakes attacking man.
Therefore, it is man’s attitude towards man that is the source of our fear, and yet we work for mankind.
We sweat, toil without taking a minute’s rest from morning till evening working for mankind, and yet mankind is the source of our fear.
This is the psychological difficulty, about which very few may have time to think.
Another aspect of the matter is that we are not sufficiently educated.
We are educationists, psychologists, professors, vice-chancellors, but we are ignoramuses of the first water as far as the real truth of life is concerned. We cannot be happy by being vice-chancellors of universities. We can wear gowns that trail behind us as if we are important social units, but underneath our hearts are sorrowful and grieving. Our education is a husk if we actually go deep into the matter.
What is the value of our education and knowledge if it cannot save us when we are in danger? If you are confronted by a lion in the jungle, your degrees will not help you. Your certificate is not going to be recognised there. The lion will care a hoot for your certificate. Even a cobra can terrify you and turn you out.
You may be a graduate of Harvard or Yale or Oxford or Cambridge, but what does it matter?