has exploited the individual in so many ways that it is almost
impossible to believe. It has created devices so clever and cunning
that it is almost impossible even to detect that they are devices.
These devices are to exploit the individual, to destroy his
integrity, to take away from him all that he has got - without even
creating a suspicion in him, even a doubt about what is being done
Jealousy is one of those tremendously powerful devices. From the very childhood every society, every culture, every religion teaches everybody comparison.
And the child is bound to learn it. He is just a tabula rasa, a blank paper without any writing; so whatsoever the parents, the teachers, the priests write on him, he starts believing that is his destiny, it is his fate.
Man comes into existence with all the doors open, all directions available; all the dimensions are for him to choose. But before he can choose, before he can be, before he can even feel his being, he is spoiled.
Jealousy is one of the greatest devices.
Look at it very closely: what does it mean?
Jealousy means to live in comparison.
Somebody is higher than you, somebody is lower than you. You are always somewhere on a middle rung of the ladder. Perhaps the ladder is a circle because nobody finds the end of the ladder. Everybody is stuck somewhere in the middle, everybody is in the middle. The ladder seems to be a round wheel.
Somebody is above you - that hurts. That keeps you fighting, struggling, moving by any means possible, because if you succeed nobody cares whether you have succeeded rightly or wrongly. Success proves you are right; failure proves that you are wrong. All that matters is success, so any means will do. The end proves the means right. So you need not bother about means - and nobody does bother. The whole question is how to climb on up the ladder. But you never come to the end of it. And whosoever is above you is creating jealousy in you, that he has succeeded and you have failed.
One would think that spending your whole life passing from one ladder to another ladder, always finding that somebody is still ahead of you - can't you simply jump off the ladder? No, you cannot jump. The society is very cunning, very clever. It has polished, refined its methods over thousands of years. Why can't you get out of the circle? - because somebody is below you and that gives you tremendous satisfaction.
Certainly, if you go on in this way - being jealous and competitive
of everybody around you - how can you come to yourself? The world is
too big, and there are so many people and you are in competition
with everybody... and you are. Somebody has a beautiful face,
somebody has beautiful hair, somebody has a beautiful, proportionate
body, somebody has a great intellect, somebody is a painter,
somebody is a poet.... How are you going to manage? All this, and
you alone to compete? You will drive yourself nuts - and that is
what all of humanity has done.
Drop competition, drop jealousy.
It is absolutely pointless.
It is absolutely a cunning device created by the priests so that you can never be yourself - because that is the only thing all the old religions are afraid of.
If you are yourself you have found contentment, fulfillment, ecstasy.