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Take a little child, six months old, and inject heroin, or any other drug, into the body of this child. And suppose you keep injecting the drug into this child; after a while, the whole body of the child is craving the drug. Craving desperately for the drug. See, it hasn’t been brought up on good, healthy nutrition; the child’s been brought up on the drug. And so when you deprive the child of the drug, the poor thing goes through the agonies of death, in the body of the child.
Ready for a surprise? That’s what happened to you and me—to all of us. They drugged us when we were kids. They didn’t bring us up on the healthy, wholesome nourishment of play and work and beauty and the pleasures of the senses, and as we grew older, the pleasures of the mind. Oh, no.They gave us a taste for a drug called “approval.” A drug called “success.” A drug called “making it to the top, achieving.” Affirmation. Triumph. Victory. They gave us power, reputation, fame, prestige. They gave us the drugs.
And you know something? We began to feel good. It was a giddy feeling when they were ap- plauding us. We started thinking how it was great to be famous, how great to be successful, how great to be popular. But as we began to grow, they could control us in any way they liked. All they had to do was withhold the drug. They don’t approve of you? How uneasy you feel, how restless. They criticize you? They’re not af- firming you? Withdrawal symptoms—you’re crawl- ing back for reassurance. And the psychologists are writing books telling you this is the way to be, this is the way to be. More of the drug. More control.
Now, as a result of this, you’ve lost your ability to love. Because when you need someone, you cannot love that person. Do you know why? Because you can’t see that person anymore. When a politician needs the votes, he stops seeing the people. When businesspeople become crazy over profits, they stop seeing people. When I want something from you, I’m not seeing you—I want to get something out of you. How could you love people like this when you’re so dependent on them emotionally?
Once you stop depending on others, there’s no tension anymore. You don’t give a damn whether people like you or not, you don’t care what they think of you. You’re not affected. You’ve gotten the drug out of your system. Do you know what that means? It means freedom. Joy.