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Chapter 17: The Solitary Lion and His Tremendously Beautiful Roar

He said this with an ashamed face - but he said it: “When nobody bothers about religion, culture and morality, why should I be the only victim? I am also part of the same crowd. I tried my best to convince them, but if nobody is going to follow the religious and the moral and the right way, then I am not going to be just a loser and look stupid standing there. Nobody even listened to me, nobody took any notice of me.” He carried that clock away.

I have seen at least a dozen riots in that city, and I have asked individuals who have participated in arson, in murder, in rape, “Can you do it alone, on your own?” And they all said, without any exception, “On our own we could not do it. It was because so many people were doing it, and there was no responsibility left. We were not answerable, the crowd was answerable.”

Man loses his small consciousness so easily into the collective ocean of unconsciousness. That is the cause of all wars, all riots, all crusades, all murders.

Individuals have committed very few crimes compared to the crowd. And the individuals who have committed crimes, their reasons are totally different - they are born with a criminal mind, they are born with a criminal chemistry, they need treatment. But the man who commits a crime because he is part of a crowd has nothing that needs to be treated.. All that is needed is that he should be taken out of the crowd. He should be cleaned - he should be cleaned from all bondages, from any kind of collectivity. He should be made an individual again - just as he had come into the world.

The crowds must disappear from the world. Only individuals should be left. Then individuals can have meetings, individuals can have communions, individuals can have dialogues. Right now, being part of a crowd, they are not free, not even conscious enough to have a dialogue or a communion.

My work is to take individuals out from any crowd, Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu, Jew; any political crowd, any racial crowd, any national crowd, Indian, Chinese, Japanese. I am against the crowd and absolutely for the individual, because only the individual can save the world. Only the individual can be the rebel and the new man, the foundation for the future humanity.

The teacher is asking three boys in her class, “What was your mother doing when you left for school this morning?”

“Doing the washing,” says Tom.

“Cleaning the bedroom,” says Dick.

“Getting ready to go out and shoot ducks,” says Harry.

“What! What are you talking about, Harry?” asked the teacher.

“Well miss,” says Harry, “my dad has left home, and she threw her knickers on the fire and said she was going back to the game.”

People are imitators. People are not acting on their own grounds; they are reacting. The husband has left her; that brings a reaction in her, a revenge - she is going back to the game. It is not an action out of consciousness, it is not an indication of individuality.

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