Chapter 34: A Danger to the Crowd
The rebel has to remain an individual. That does not mean that he cannot be friendly with others, that he cannot love others, that he cannot join people. But he loves without losing his individuality, without losing his freedom. He can become part of a group, making it clear to the group that “I am not surrendering to you or anybody. I am just joining you with my individuality intact, my intelligence free, my individuality undamaged. I will respect you and I expect the same from you; neither are you my slave nor am I your slave - we are friends.” But such groups have not existed up to now.
This is my dream, this is my hope, because all groups - religious, political, social - have been against the individual. I would like communes in the world which are not against the individual, but which are a support and a nourishment to the individual. The group in itself has no soul, the soul belongs to the individual. The group exists for the individual, not vice versa. The individual does not exist for the group.
But up to now, this has been the rule: if you are a Christian, then you exist for Christianity - Christianity does not exist for you. If you are a Hindu, then you exist for Hinduism, and if there is a need to die, you will have to die for Hinduism. But Hinduism is neither living for you nor dying for you. Just words, ideologies, fictions, have destroyed the reality. The individual is the only reality, the very crown of existence, the highest peak that existence has been able to reach up to now.
Hence, I teach the rebel. That does not mean that the rebels will not have their friends, that they will not live in communes; that they will all be solitary, living in caves in the Himalayas absolutely alone - that is not my intention at all. I want to change the structure. The society should be for the individual, then there is nothing harmful in it. It should be a help, a nourishing ground for growth, for intelligence, for consciousness, for sensitivity; and it will allow enough space, enough territory to every individual.
The past has been utterly ugly. Even in small relationships, even in families, the individual is crushed. Even two persons getting married, and their individualities are in danger. Their intelligences are in danger. We have become so accustomed, through thousands of years, to possessing each other. Freedom is only a beautiful word. Poets sing songs of it, dreamers dream about it, but reality is simply a sick slavery.
Tom was thinking about getting married, so he wrote to his father for some advice. His father wrote back: “I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear about your impending marriage. You will find marriage the most wonderful state of bliss and happiness.
“As I look across the table at your dear mother, I realize with great pride how full and wonderful our years together have been. By all means, get married. You have our blessings. It will be the happiest day of your life.Sincerely, Dad.
“PS Your mother just left the room - stay single, you idiot.”