Chapter 1: The Anguish of Contemporary Man
So, we should not attempt to create uniformity, otherwise an organization starts coming into existence. And the more we try to create a uniformity the more the individuality of the person, his dignity and his freedom begin to be destroyed. The concern is not for uniformity, but for the respect for all friends, even for their differing opinions. Because my whole vision is that free thinking may be born all over the country. So if the people who want to give birth to free thinking are themselves trapped within controlled thinking, then there will be danger. So, even towards me this gathering of friends should not show any special reverence. Towards me too, there should not be any feeling of reverence. Towards me too, there should be a rational approach and an intelligent approach. If what I say seems right to you, if it is to your liking, if it appears useful, only then you should communicate it to people. Do not commit the mistake of communicating to people what I say just because I have said it.
The gathering of friends is not to be centered around an individual either, because that person, I or anyone else, may become the center of worship. We will neither have any worship, nor will we be anybody’s followers, nor will we have any leader. Collectively, we are in love with a vision, a message, and it feels that if it reaches more people they will be benefited; that is why we friends have gathered, wishing to bring this vision to people.
So first of all we will talk a little about organizations. We don’t want to create an organization, only a gathering of friends. And we will try to understand the subtle difference between the two. It will be the responsibility of every individual that he tries to save the gathering of friends from becoming an organization. It is not in my hands alone. I can only say it, but it is not in my hands alone. And if we are not very alert then there is a danger that it may become an organization. So it is necessary to be very alert. And it has to be a very conscious experiment, so that it does not become an organization.
There are certain unknown ways in which a cult is formed; before we even become aware of it, a cult starts forming. So we have to be careful about that. And if we are aware beforehand then maybe we can manage things in such a way that this does not happen. This is one alternative. And the other possibility is that if we are afraid that it may become an organization, or a cult, we don’t do anything at all. That is the other danger, that if nothing is done, then the message that has to be spread cannot be spread. Then it is left on my shoulders alone to run as much as I can to bring people the message. I will continue to do that anyway; it makes no difference to me. But the same message could reach many more people. The more friends cooperate, the farther it can reach, the more easily it can reach. And today science has developed so much technology that is modernizing society, that we would be foolish not to make use of it. We would be making a mistake if we did not make use of it. For instance here, if I spoke without the use of a microphone it would be adequate. Then even if my voice did not reach you very clearly, it would still be adequate. When there are fewer people they can hear me, but if there were more people then my voice would not carry far enough. When we use a microphone, my voice can reach a long way. Today so much technology is available that if it is all made use of, one person can do more work in his lifetime than Buddha and Mahavira could have managed in twenty lives, had they wanted to.