Chapter 8: Escape to Reality
If the individual can be helped, if the individual can be enlightened, if the individual can be persuaded to celebrate life, to enjoy life, only then will we be able to change the climate around the earth. But that is not our purpose, that is not our goal - that is going to be just a consequence.
You ask me: “What does your movement signify about the condition of society?”
It simply signifies that the society is rotten, that the society is ill, that there is no possibility of reforming the society. Because if this society is reformed it will be simply a modified form of the same rottenness - maybe a little bit better decorated, better painted, but it will be the same disease. In five thousand years’ history, many times society has been reformed. And nothing basically ever changes; it remains the same in every form. It is the same illness, the same ugliness, the same sickness that continues.
Enough is enough!
Those who are intelligent have become aware that all revolutions have failed - all social revolutions have failed. And we have not listened yet to buddhas who have been telling of a totally different revolution: the revolution in the heart of the individual - because the individual is substantial, real. Society is only a relationship.
For example, we are sitting here, two thousand people. You can think of it as a society, as a community. But what is society? What is community? There are two thousand individuals sitting here. You will never come across society anywhere; you will never meet the community. Whenever you come across anything, you will come across the real individual.
Society is only a word - and a very dangerous word. And man is very very efficient at inventing dangerous words. For example, humanity. Now, I have never seen humanity; I have only seen human beings. Humanity is just an abstraction. But there are people who love humanity. You cannot hug humanity, you cannot kiss humanity. But that becomes a very very subtle camouflage. In the name of humanity you can go on hating human beings - because you love humanity; there is no need to love human beings because you love humanity.
And if the need arises, you can sacrifice all human beings for your love of humanity. That has been done again and again: people love nations, and people kill people in the name of the nation. In the name of motherland, fatherland - stupid words - but in the name of motherland thousands of people can be killed very easily.
The real is sacrificed on the altar of the abstract. This is your whole history. In the name of God, in the name of religion, in the name of love, in the name of peace, in the name of democracy, in the name of communism - all abstractions - we go on butchering real human beings.