Chapter 1: The Anguish of Contemporary Man
I feel that those friends who have become interested in this direction, should not remain only interested in themselves, but they should become interested in other people and in their environment too. Because this interest may benefit others, and even if it does not, it will still be very meaningful for them themselves; it will be helpful for them to enter deeply into great peace, and into great blissfulness, because one of the reasons for dis-ease lies in becoming self-centered. And someone who spreads out from his center to all those around him starts moving towards becoming peaceful. So we have gathered here so that I can discuss with you in what ways the message of love, peace and compassion can be spread to as many people as possible. What methods can we find to make sure that the message reaches them? Is it possible? It is not to be propaganda, it is not to create a cult, it is not to create an organization, or a group. We are not to create a center which becomes powerful in itself, but we are to spread the message as widely as possible, without becoming a group, without becoming a cult, without becoming an organization, without creating any centralized power. And this needs a great deal of contemplation.
If one wants to create a cult then there is not much need to think about it; if one is to create an organization, there is not much need to think about it - everyone in the world knows how to create groups and organizations. Thousands of cults have already been created. We are not going to create another cult among all those cults. That is why it has to be thought through thoroughly, so that we do not create a cult, or an organization, and yet we want to be able to share with everybody what we love and what feels blissful to us. We don’t want to become propagandists and at the same time it may be possible to disseminate. Hence it is a very delicate issue and it needs to be thought through very carefully and with great sensitivity. It is like walking on a tight rope. One option is not to disseminate at all, because there is the danger of becoming a cult. This means we simply do not spread the message at all to anybody. And the second alternative is that we spread the message, but end up creating a cult. That danger also exists. We have to spread the message, but it is absolutely necessary to take care that a cult is not created.
So it is a question of making the dissemination possible without propagandizing, without becoming a cult, or an organization; so that the necessary transmission, the vital message reaches to the maximum number of people. This is what you have been invited here to discuss. In the coming sessions, I will gradually tell you about the things that I can see. And I will also expect you to think along these lines. I will say a few basic things to you so that you can think them over. The first thing is that our gathering of friends today is not as big as the message is. An organization is not needed, only a gathering is needed. And the difference between an organization and a gathering must be clearly understood. A gathering means that everybody is free, has come out of his own freedom and can leave of his own freedom. The meaning of a gathering is that everybody is equal, nobody is higher or lower, nobody is in any hierarchy, nobody is a follower, nobody is a leader. This is the meaning of a gathering. We are to create a gathering of friends, not an organization in which there are authorities, hierarchies, higher and lower people. And an organization has its own infrastructure; there is a hierarchy from the bottom to the top, there are rungs and positions, and along with it all comes politics. Because politics is bound to enter wherever there is status and position. Those who hold a position become scared that somebody may replace them. Those who do not hold a position become eager to reach a position. So the organization has its own hazards.