Chapter 5: A Journey between Two Infinities
This second mind is very prevalent. Except in very rare cases, the first mind sooner or later disappears. Some imbeciles, idiots - in them the first layer never disappears, it remains predominant. They never learn how to be social, they remain primitive. Otherwise, normally the second layer evolves - the schooling, the family training, the teachers, the society, the experiences, the observation.. And the child starts learning that he is not an island, but a member of an organism - the society, the church, the nation.
This second, collective mind has a certain identity. The first mind knows no identity. If you ask a child “Who are you?” he can’t answer it. He does not know the answer - who he is. But a grown-up person can say “Yes, I am a Catholic, I am a communist, I am a Hindu, I am an Indian, I am a German, I am an Italian.” What is he saying? He is saying “I belong to this group called Hindu, or Christian, or Mohammedan. I belong to this nation, to this geography - India, Germany. Italy.” Or “I belong to this ideology - communism, Catholicism, fascism.” He is saying “I am to whom I belong.”
Now he has an identity. He can say “I am a doctor, or an engineer, or a businessman” - then too he is saying “This is what I do. This is my function in the society.” When you ask somebody “Who are you?” - he answers by showing you where he belongs, to whom he belongs, what his function is in the society. Now this is not much of a self-knowledge. If this is self-knowledge then everybody knows who he is. But for utilitarian purposes it is enough, and many people stop there.
If you stop there you will never know who you are. Then you have taken just a false identity. Just a few labels, and you think “This is me.” This is not you. You exist on a far higher plane, or in a deeper depth. These labels that you have collected about yourself are good for functioning in the society as a member, but they don’t show anything about your reality. The inward reality remains untouched by them. But this is the second layer where almost everybody stops. The society does not want you to go beyond it. The school, the college, the university - their effort is that you should not remain childish, you should become civilized, and then their effort ends. Then the society’s work is finished.
The society has made you a member of the mass, has made you a kind of slave, has given you a certain imprisonment, has taken all that was dangerous in you - the chaos, the freedom, the irresponsibility; has made you dutiful, responsible, given you values what is good and what is not good; has pigeonholed you, categorized you. Now the society is finished. Now live silently, go to the office, come home, take care of your children, your parents, and so on and so forth - one day, die: your existence is complete. This is a very false completion: a routine existence.