If our evolution is interconnected and humanity is one body, why do you stress individuality more than universality?
Yes, we are part of each other. Not only is humanity one, existence is one. This oneness can be felt on two levels: one is in deep unconsciousness and another is in superconsciousness. Either you have to become a tree; then you are one with the whole. Or you have to become a Buddha; then you are one with the whole. Between the two you cannot be one with the whole. Consciousness is individual, unconsciousness is universal; superconscious is universal, consciousness is individual….
Why do people feel so happy in a crowd? Why does happiness in a crowd become so infectious? Because in a crowd they fall down, they become unconscious. They lose their individuality, they merge their individuality. By dropping their consciousness they drop their individuality. Then they are happy, then there is no worry, then there is no responsibility….
That’s why I say don’t become a member of a group. Otherwise you will be as low as the lowest member. Become individuals. In a group you will always fall to the lowest denominator. It is natural, it is very scientific. If you are walking with a group of one hundred people, the slowest person will decide the speed. Because the slowest person cannot move faster, he has his limitations. And if the group has to remain a group, the group has to move with the slowest. The faster person can slow down, but the slower person cannot become fast; he has his limitations.
The group is always ruled by the stupid person. The stupid cannot become intelligent, but the intelligent can relapse easily and become stupid. And of course, stupid people tend to make groups because alone they cannot rely on themselves. They are afraid, they don’t have any intelligence. They know that alone they will be lost. They tend to make groups, crowds. So whenever a church exists, whenever a sect exists, ninety-nine percent of it consists of fools. It has to be so. They decide policies of religion, politics and everything.
Beware of this mobocracy and be alert. Because in you also there are moments, stupid moments, when you would like to relax. Then you are not responsible, then there is no worry. Then you can always throw the responsibility on the group. You can always say, “What can I do? I am walking with the group, and the group is slow, so I am slow. The lowest member is deciding everything.”
If you really want to grow, be alone. If you really want to be free, be responsible. Hence I insist on individuality.
From The Discipline of Transcendence, Volume 1, Chapter Two
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