The problem is, we speak first of all of the unity of life, and then suddenly define the social orders as one, two, three, four, and the stages of life as one, two, three, of course. Because the whole thing about The One is that it pretends to be many. Here, that’s, that’s the gimmick. The game of hide and seek is dismemberment, falling apart. Losing control. Losing unity. Let’s disintegrate. And then, after you’ve been dismembered, let’s remember. And come back to oneself, and know who it really was all the time. So the one implies the many, and many imply one, and so it goes in and out it’s the systole and dyastole, in-breathing and out-breathing that goes on and on now you see it, now you don’t. Can the whole know itself as one? Yes. You suddenly get to the extraordinary state where you see that all the variety in front of you. You know, I look out in this room and it’s a great variety, it’s a wonderful patchwork of all sorts of different people and colors and things. But you get to the point where you see that that variety means one. Things, the is the more different everything is, the more it proclaims its basic unity with everything else. It just shouts it. In other words, when I see a bright patch of our orange next to a bright patch of blue. The brighter that are in. The more it manifests the unity underlying everything. Now that sounds paradoxical but that’s the way I feel it. If all of you wore khaki,olive drab or something, I would feel uniformity rather than unity. I would say well that’s a drag. Everybody trying to look the same. That’s fake unity. It would feel like a in a plastic champagne glass. Horrible. You know it warms the champagne instead of that cold crystal. And say that fake unity, away with it. But when everybody comes on himself, you know, in a natural way then I see true unity in through the variety.
See in this society, we are exposed to so much information. Radio, television, newspapers, magazines, books tell us all sorts of attractions about things that other people are doing and we’re always wishing we were in somebody else’s shoes. Because we know so much and we’re informed so much. But in this kind of culture, everybody is settled for the fact that one day is just like another, and there they do what has to be done. What is in the course of things, and we don’t approve of this because we say it’s lacking in friskiness, adventure and get up and go. But on the other hand they turn round to us and say, you are completely unstable. You are so frisky yourself nervous you can’t stay still. For two seconds you can’t stick to a job you can’t do anything stable your utterly unreliable, and you will probably blow up the planet.
And it’s legitimate, for the simple reason that technology is getting rid of the need to earn a living. And many of us will soon have to be paid not to work, at which point we can become Vannaprastha right away. So, as technology develops that means the leisure society, and we’re going to have to find ways of living in which one self-respect does not depend upon one’s productivity.
In Europe, we have the same caste system in the feudal system Lords spiritual, Lords temporal. Commons and serfs. Now, by becoming–anyone from any of the lower caste can become a priest or a cleric. And the minute you became a priest cleric monk or whatever you were at an angle to all the other costs. You could mix with the others. Yes and what about this problem, of the separation of ages in this kind of culture. Well now, it is a little easier for them because the rate of social change is not what it is with us. In a settled agrarian culture, the essential way of living remains the same for centuries. And only violent change occurs when technology is introduced and then everything is blown wide open. But in an Indian village today, they are doing all the essential processes of life exactly the same way they were done a thousand years ago. And for this reason, the tension between the generations is very small. The son and the daughter expect, and know no other alternative than doing what father and mother have done. And of course this brings them close together, especially where the son of the daughter is constantly all day long associated with the work of father and mother. Now you know, that little children today, little boys under the school age, little girls under the school age, are always interested in what their parents are doing and want to join in. But are not allowed to do so because they can’t go to the office with their father and the mother is always in a hurry, because instead of having spent most of the day preparing dinner in the kitchen, she’s been up to the coffee klatch, the League of Women Voters, or some such dissipation and comes back and then she’s in a hurry and she doesn’t want some little girl buzzing around, having to teach her, how to boil an egg or how to bake a cookie. Unless she’s patient, unless she gets time for that kind of thing. But little girl is very very eager indeed to find out how to do what mamma does. But she mustn’t, because she might make a mess. So instead of that, little girl is given a toy. A toy cooking stove and a toy baby to look after. The child is annoyed that the cooking stove doesn’t really work that the toy baby doesn’t wee-wee properly, even though they’ve tried to make it that way, and the little boy is even more annoyed that the toy gun doesn’t kill anything.
So every day by about five o’clock in the afternoon, just before the father of the family returns, the entire house is littered with broken plastic and smashed toys have been torn apart in fury. So that develops a knock down drag out battle between the mother and the children to throw all that stuff into a bottom of a closet, mixed up with sucked lollipops, and half chewed bubble gum before Daddy comes home. And because she wants the house to look like a nice home for him. So this awful drama occurs in which the children are addled and have to be gassed with television, and the mother is in no fit mood to be the loving Cook of a superb dinner. So she gets some frozen up stuff that can be thrown together in a hurry, fixes pop or a couple of martinis so he won’t know what he’s eating anyway. And I don’t know if I answer the question. I have got sidetracked.
I think we’ve got to realize that children benefited by being exposed to a considerable number of adults. And that, in default of the old family relation, households, where, in other words, a mother and father have a grandmother and a grandfather living with them, several aunts, uncles and cousins and it’s a big household based on blood relationship. It’s very difficult to do that today because the speed of social change makes it difficult for one generation to live with the tastes of another. But what we are going to do is all couples of the same generation will join together and they will have separate dwelling quarters round a central service area where they have common washing machines, common kitchen, common recreational facilities, and any set of children can be exchanged with any set of parents. So if your children get sick of you they can go to live with somebody else’s parents. And I remember as a child that is some of the most educative periods of my life were when I went to live with other families. And we often, you see, as kids we invited other kids to come and stay with us and share our family life I suppose that goes on here just the same but still those are very productive periods. When you find out how another family lives. So, and although this solves the babysitting problem, it’s solves the problem of having to own too many cars, too many dishwashers, and all that sort of thing. Your– your dishwasher or your laundry machine is idle most of the day. Why isn’t somebody using it?