Chapter 8: Just for Your Sake
Becoming part of the group you are no longer anxious, no longer burdened. For a few days while you are in the group you feel a certain kind of relaxation; out of the group you will be back in your personality. Hence you will need the groups again and again; after a few days, a few weeks, you will again feel to participate in a group. Now the group becomes like an intoxicant which helps you to forget yourself.
This is not the purpose here. Here the purpose is totally different: you have to be helped to stand on your own feet, to be yourself.
You ask me: “In the West many group psychoanalysts treat a group as a unity.” No group can ever be a unity; a group can at the most be a union. And the difference between union and unity is great. In unity you become one, you dissolve yourself completely, you are no more separate. In union you remain separate, but you are together for a certain purpose. Once the purpose is fulfilled the union disappears. But the unity, once attained, never disappears - it is not purposive.
With people you need only unions, with existence you need unity.
Even a love affair is a union not a unity, a friendship is a union not a unity. Once the purpose is fulfilled the love affair will disappear. You may cling for a few days just out of a sense of gratitude, out of a sense of responsibility, duty, out of a sense of all the promises that you have given in the past - you may cling for a few days, but that clinging cannot go on for long. Sooner or later it is finished, the purpose is fulfilled.
Unity means there is no way to finish it; it can only be with “God.” Unity with existence, union with people. In unity you become one, inseparably one, but in a group you are not inseparably one. It is a temporary commitment, you can drop out of it any moment, you can say no any moment; you still remain capable of separating yourself. Remember the difference between unity and union.
When a group, a psychotherapeutic group meets together, it is a kind of union. You have met for a certain purpose for a few days: to help each other, to be helped by the wisdom of the psychoanalyst - if he has any. He may not have any. His psychotherapy may be just an escape for him to avoid his own problems.
It happens many times: listening to other people’s problems you can easily forget your own problems. Getting involved with other people’s anxieties you can avoid your own anxieties; they look very small compared to other people’s problems. You can even feel a little good inside: “My problems are not so great.” Listening to other people’s problems you become focused on others.
Your so-called psychoanalysts, more or less, are simply avoiding their own problems - because I know them. Many of them have become sannyasins, many more are on the way. They are in the same misery, in the same mess, as you are. But they are knowledgeable, they are experts, they have studied. They can help a little, they can supply a kind of expertise; maybe a little bit of help is possible. Sometimes they may not be able to give you any help, but they may function as a placebo.