Chapter 21: My Message: A Matter of Life and Death
This is the way of the unconscious. But the unconscious is a vast continent; and the mob belongs to the unconscious, and any moment that you are possessed by the unconscious you are part of the mob. And the other way round too: the moment you belong to a mob you fall into the darkness of the unconscious. Then you can do anything without feeling at all responsible for it.
That’s something very significant to be understood. If we want a better world, the phenomenon of the mob will have to disappear, because it is the mob that goes on pulling you down deeper and deeper into darkness. And there are mobs all around the world - where are the people?
The second stage of the crowd is a “crowd”: a little bit organized, a little bit unorganized.
And the third form of the crowd is the organization - a perfectly organized crowd.
Think in parallels to the human mind. The mob, the lowest, is the unconscious. The crowd is the subconscious, just on the borderline; it is not much. Either you are in the mob or you are in the organization. Perhaps for a transitory period you may be in the crowd, passing from the mob to the organization, or from the organization to the mob. It is just the borderline, subconscious; there is not much space in it.
Crowds are not as dangerous as mobs because a little sense, a little consciousness is there, and a little responsibility. The traffic on the road is a crowd: a little organized, a little unorganized - but it is not a mob.
The highest in these three categories is the organization: Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism; the communist party, fascist party, socialist party - political, religious, philosophical organizations. It does not matter on what excuse the organization exists, but it is an organized crowd - well organized, regimented.
Look at the Catholic church, which is the most organized religion of all religions. It is almost an army camp - the bureaucracy, the hierarchy.. Every small detail is being dictated from above and has to be followed exactly the same as ordered. If you don’t follow it, you are expelled. You are thrown out of your position and power - and it gives so much position and power that nobody is willing to risk it. So people go on pretending, showing false faces.
These are the three kinds of crowds in existence but none of them has the dignity to be called “the people.”
Whether it is a mob or a crowd or an organization, one thing can be used as a criterion: no individuality is allowed.
In that sense the organization is the most dangerous, because it kills your individuality very methodologically.
The crowd is not so dangerous; it is a little loose, gives you a little more rope. The mob is less dangerous in this sense, that it does not bother about you at all.