Families Are Out of Date
NEW FORMS OF collectivities will have to come into being. I would not like to call them a "society," just to avoid the confusion between the words. I call the new collectivity a "commune." The word is significant. It means: where people are not only living together, but where people are in deep communion.
To live together is one thing – we are doing it. Every city, every town, thousands of people are living together – but what togetherness is there? People don't know even their neighbors. They live in the same skyscraper, thousands of people, and they never come to know that they are living in the same house. It is not togetherness, because there is no communion. It is simply a crowd, not a community. So I would like to replace the word "society" with the word "commune."
Society has existed on certain basic principles. You will have to remove them; otherwise the society will not disappear. The first and the most important unit of the society has been the family. If the family remains the way it is, then the society cannot disappear, then religions cannot disappear. Then we cannot create one world, one humanity.
The family is the root cause of millions of diseases; it is the basic brick that nations are made of, races are made of, religious organizations are made of.
And the family has destroyed the blissfulness of men and women of the whole of mankind.
Today in the West every third marriage ends in divorce with all the horrible legal battles over kids and possessions. A majority of all violent crimes and murders in the world happen within the family between family members.
The basic structure of the family is of possessiveness: the husband possesses the wife and they both possess the children; and the moment you possess a human being you have taken away his dignity, his freedom, his very humanity. You have taken away all that is beautiful and you have given him only handcuffs; perhaps made of gold – beautiful cages in place of his wings – but those golden cages cannot give him the sky and the freedom of the sky.
The family tries to disconnect you from the whole society, just as the nation divides you from other nations; it is the same strategy of division.
Once the family is gone, much of psychological disease will be gone; much of political insanity will be gone.
So the first thing is, a model commune will not have families.
The implication is clear: it will not have marriages.
Love, for the first time, should be given the respect that has been its due for centuries. Love should be the only law between two human beings. If they decide to live together, only joy should be their binding force. And remember, like everything real, love also changes. Only unreal things, plastic things, remain permanent.
Marriage is permanent, but it gains permanence by killing love.
It is on the grave of love that marriage makes its house. Naturally it brings only agony, anguish, suffering, slavery and a total destruction of man's spirituality.
A model commune will be a communion, a gathering of free spirits.
Children should belong to the commune, not to the parents. Parents have done enough harm; they cannot be allowed to corrupt their children anymore – although their intentions are all good. But what to do with their good intentions? The results are all ugly.
They teach their children to be competitive, and competition brings jealousy. They teach their children to become somebody in the world, to "make a name" for themselves. That makes life a struggle, not a rejoicing but a continuous fight – so destructive that it takes away all your joy, all your juice, all your flowers, leaving behind only skeletons fighting for power, for money, for position. Life becomes a battlefield.
The whole blame goes to the parents. They have lived as ambitious beings, they have destroyed themselves. Now they go on giving to their children as a heritage, their unfulfilled desires, their incomplete ambitions. This way diseases go on from one generation to another.
We have to protect children from the past.
The only way is for them to belong to a commune. Children should not live with their parents but in communal hostels so the parents cannot poison their minds. Parents can meet them and spend weekends with them, but basically they will grow independently. And the commune should take care that there is no question of any religious or political ideology or nationality, race, caste – all these things which divide. This is the only way to create a break with the past. It will help tremendously if children can see things in a different light.
And having one father and one mother is psychologically dangerous because if the child is a boy, he starts imitating the father; if the child is a girl, she starts imitating the mother – and great psychological problems arise.
Father and mother should recede, and uncles and aunts should take their place. There should be so many uncles and so many aunts...perhaps the mother should be the chief aunt and the father should be the chief uncle, but not more than that.
It is good that the family is disappearing.
If the children are in the hands of the commune – I have experimented with it and found it immensely successful – the children are far more happy, because they are far more free. No conditioning is stamped on them. They mature earlier, because nobody is trying to make them dependent, so they become independent. Nobody is trying to go out of their way to help them, so they have to learn how to help themselves. This brings maturity, clarity, a certain strength.
And with the family disappearing, nations will disappear, because the family is the unit of the nation.
So I am tremendously happy whenever I see the family disappearing, because I know behind it will go the nation. With it will go the so-called religions, because it is the family which imposes religion, nationality, and all kinds of things on you. Once the family is gone, who is going to force Christianity on you, Hinduism on you?
Right now everybody is forced to be according to the ideas of others.
That causes misery and great anguish, and takes all joy and gladness from life. Everybody should be himself and contribute to life according to his way, by creating music, or by creating paintings, or by writing poetry, or by producing better fruit, better crops, making better roads. Everyone should be allowed to have his own potential fulfilled.
A model commune will give dignity to every individual.
A model commune will create as much intelligence as possible, and will allow people to grow intelligently, to search and seek for their truth, because that is how one becomes more intelligent.
By searching and seeking, intelligence is sharpened like a sword.
Man has lived in unintelligence because all the religions of the world have emphasized only one thing: belief. And belief is poison to intelligence.
They have emphasized only one thing: faith. And faith is against all growth.
The new man I conceive will not have any belief system and will not have any faith.
He will be a seeker, a searcher, an enquirer; his life will be a life of tremendous discovery, discoveries in the outside world and discoveries in the inside too.
I want every human being to be a discoverer: a Galileo, a Copernicus, a Columbus in the outside world; and a Gautam Buddha, a Zarathustra, a Chuang Tzu in the inside world. My whole effort is concentrated on one thing: to create the new man as "Zorba the Buddha."
In a model commune everybody will have both qualities, the qualities of the Zorba and the qualities of the Buddha – tremendously interested in the outside world, and in the same way in love with the inner search. The day you are both together you have become the new man, and the new man is going to be the savior of humanity.
A commune should be a gathering of seekers, of lovers, of friends, of creative people in all dimensions of life. We can produce a paradise here, on the earth.