Family: Root cause of Neurosis




Krishna Prem

THE MOST OUTDATED THING is the family. It has done its work, it is no more needed. In fact, now it is the most hindering phenomenon for human progress. The family is the unit of the nations, of the state, of the church — of all that is ugly.

The Pope is right in a way — that there is no future for the church if the family disappears — because without the family and its conditioning, from where are you going to get Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans? That’s why I say the family HAS to disappear. Without the disappearance of the family all these ugly monsters will continue.

The family is the root cause of all our neurosis. We have to understand the psychological structure of the family, what it does to human consciousness. The first thing is: it conditions the child to a certain religious ideology, political dogma, some philosophy, some theology. And the child is so innocent and so accepting, so vulnerable that he can be exploited. He cannot yet say no, he has no idea of saying no, and even if he could say no he would not say it because he is utterly dependent on the family, absolutely dependent. He is so helpless that he has to agree with the family, with whatever nonsense the family wants him to agree. The family does not help the child to inquire; it gives beliefs and beliefs are poisons.

Once the child becomes burdened with beliefs his inquiry is crippled, paralyzed, his wings are cut. By the time he is able to inquire he will be so conditioned that he will move into every investigation with a certain prejudice — and with a prejudice your inquiry is not authentic. You are already carrying an A PRIORI conclusion; you are simply looking for proofs to support your unconscious conclusion. You become incapable of discovering the truth. That’s why there are so few Buddhas in the world: the root cause is the family. Otherwise

Every child is born Buddha, comes with the potential to reach the ultimate consciousness, to discover the truth, to live a life of bliss. But the family destroys all these dimensions; it makes him utterly flat. Each child comes with a tremendous intelligence but the family makes him mediocre, because to live with an intelligent child is troublesome. He doubts, he is skeptical, he inquires, he is disobedient, he is rebellious — and the family wants somebody who is obedient, ready to follow, imitate. Hence from the very beginning the seed of intelligence has to be destroyed, almost completely burnt, so there is no possibility of any sprouts coming out of it.

It is a miracle that a few people like Zarathustra, Jesus, Lao Tzu, Buddha, escaped from the social structure, from the family conditioning. They seem to be great peaks of consciousness, but in fact every child is born with the same quality, with the same potential. Ninety-nine point nine percent of people can become Buddhas — just the family has to disappear. Otherwise there will be Christians and Mohammedans and Hindus and Jainas and Buddhists, but not Buddhas, not Mahaviras, not Mohammeds; that will not be possible. Mohammed rebelled against HIS background, Buddha rebelled against HIS background, Jesus rebelled against HIS background. These are all rebels — and the family is absolutely against the rebellious spirit. The Pope is right, in a sense, that the future of the church depends on the family, but he is wrong to say that the future of the world and the future of the church lies in the family. The future of the church certainly lies in the family, but not the future of the world. They are not synonymous, in fact they are opposites.

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If we want to save the future of humanity then all these churches have to be destroyed, only then can humanity be one. All these religions have to go, only then can man create a universal brotherhood. Mohammedans, Hindus and Christians have been talking about brotherhood, love, humanity, but that is mere talk, phony talk; what they have done is just the opposite. Their hands are full of blood. They have been the cause of more violence on the earth than anybody else. They have killed, murdered, raped; they have committed all kinds of crimes in the name of religion. And these murderers have been promised that they will have a special privilege in paradise because they are killing or being killed in the name of religion. These are the people who have been creating JIHADS — religious wars, crusades. On the one hand they talk about love, brotherhood, humanity, God, but that is only talk. That gives a beautiful cover to all the cruelty, to all the destructiveness that they are carrying within themselves.

I am not in favor of teaching Hindus to be brothers to the Mohammedans, because that is not possible. Five thousand years of experience is enough proof that that is not possible. Unless a Hindu gets out of his conditioning and the Mohammedan gets out of his conditioning there is no possibility of brotherhood. I am not in favour of synthesizing all these religions. That will be synthesizing all kinds of diseases — cancer and tuberculosis…. That will not help, that will be far more dangerous.

Humanity is passing through a very critical phase. It has to be decided whether we want to live according to the past or we want to live a new style of life. It is enough! We have tried the past and its patterns and they have all failed. It is time, ripe time, to get out of the grip of the past and to create a new style of life on the earth.

That’s what is happening here with my sannyasins. Here are Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus, Buddhists who are no more Hindus, no more Christians, no more Buddhists, no more Mohammedans, who have again become innocent like children. Great courage is needed for that — to get rid of the family conditioning — because one feels guilty, as if one is betraying one’s parents. But if the parents are mad then it is perfectly right to get out of their possessiveness. And they ARE mad, they ARE neurotic! In fact, to condition a child with any ideology is inhuman, but inhumanity is practised with such beautiful labels that unless you dig very deep you will not find the reality…

I teach the commune, not the family. The commune is the alternative to the family. The family conditions the child in the first place. Secondly, it is the cause of all kinds of insanities…A commune is a totally different phenomenon. In a commune there will be no obsessions with particular people.

Here there are at least three hundred little sannyasins, boys and girls. Many small boys and girls never turn up in the night to stay with the father and the mother — they have so many uncles and aunts. The whole commune is theirs! And small children in this commune start having an individuality of their own; they start moving on their own. They are not attached to the mother, to the father, to the family; they go on moving with different people. And their fathers and mothers are not obsessed with each other either.

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Just the other day Teertha’s daughter, Soma, wrote to me: “Osho, I am going to England for one month to be with my mother, Poonam. Of course I will miss you, I will miss Teertha, and I will miss my stepmother, Krishna….” This is beautiful, to miss the stepmother! Parents are changing, they are in a flux. The child will come across many stepmothers, many stepfathers. He will never become obsessed with one person. That will give him scope, freedom, multi-dimensionality. He will never be tethered. He will be able to experience many women as mothers, many men as fathers, and he will live in a flux, in a moving river like phenomenon. He will not live in a pond, he will float in a river where scenes go on changing. That will help him to have the capacity to love many people, and he will have a more composite view of what kind of a woman or man he would like to have in his life. All his mothers will give him a synthetic vision. There will be no single woman in it but many women, many qualities all mingled into one, all merged into one. He will be able to succeed in finding love in his life because there is no obsession with any person, with any personality.

He will be more concerned with qualities and less concerned with personalities. And he will know that there is no need to be possessive because he has known the parents were not possessive; everything was shifting and changing, lifelike. Marriage is dead. It is a fixed entity, it is a commodity, it is like a thing — it is furniture. It is not like a rosebush growing: today it is full of flowers, tomorrow all the flowers are gone; today it is so green, and tomorrow the leaves start getting yellow and they start falling. He will see all the seasons, all the moods, all the conflicts, all the agonies, all the ecstasies, and he will become more centered, grounded. He will know that life is not a fixed phenomenon. He will not expect anything because life is not fixed. He will be available to all kinds of changes. He will be able to change with life, he will never fall out of step. He will be always in tune with life. And that’s what is needed to make humanity more wholesome, more healthy, more loveful, more blissful.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse name:

Philosophia Ultima

Chapter title: I Teach the Commune
Chapter #3
13 December 1980 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on commune, parenting, family, childin many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Path of Love
  2. The Path of the Mystic
  3. The Original Man
  4. Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
  5. No Mind: The Flowers of Eternity
  6. Om Mani Padme Hum
  7. The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
  8. The Last Testament, Vol 1
  9. I Am That
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