Those psychoanalysts have not said what the basic reasons behind it are. The crowd is a protection because it supplies you with a common hallucination in which everyone believes. So you need not be worried about it, you need not think that this is something sick: “It is healthy to be a Christian, to be a Mohammedan, to be a Hindu, to go to the temple and to bow down before a stone statue and pray to a god who lives in heaven. Everybody is doing it, it must be true; so many people cannot be wrong….” It is a common hallucination.
Now, by putting a person into an isolation cell you have taken him out of the crowd, out of the comfort and the coziness of the crowd. He has never been on his own. Now, for the first time, in darkness, with nobody to talk to, with nobody to say anything to…his mind goes berserk. And now, to keep himself engaged, he has to do something, his mind has to do something.
One Russian scientist was kept in an isolation cell for years, but he kept himself sane by just counting figures. From one he would go counting up to millions and millions, and then he would count backwards, and then again…he was a great mathematician. And he was a chess player, so when he would get tired with figures, he would start playing chess with an imaginary partner. Just by playing chess and thinking of ways to win, he kept himself sane.
But the ordinary man within three weeks breaks down and starts having hallucinations. These are private hallucinations. That is the difficulty: they don’t have the sanction of the crowd. And that is why the jail authorities have thought keeping people in isolation the greatest punishment you can suffer. It is really the most terrible torture.
The crowd is living – it may be miserable, it may be suffering, but so is everybody else. If somebody wakes up and sees that everybody is asleep and having nightmares – unnecessarily suffering, creating illusions which have no counterpart in reality – that man will be looked upon as an enemy. He is the greatest friend, but he is bound to be looked upon as an enemy.
This is the whole history of man: all the friends have been looked upon as enemies, and all the enemies have been looked upon as friends.
I am carrying a silence around me. It is simply a by-product of my silence inside. And when I stand in the marketplace, naturally everybody feels disturbed, humiliated, contradicted – his beliefs are being destroyed; otherwise, what danger can I be?
I am a danger only because they are living in false beliefs. And I am doing my best to make it clear to them: whatever you believe is nonsense – and unless you drop it you cannot have any experience of blissfulness, you cannot become in touch with truth as it is.
I will go on doing it because I cannot think that there is not a possibility of humanity waking up – if not today, then tomorrow; if not by me, then by somebody else. But to lose hope means to drop all possibilities of future growth for human beings. So I will continue to do whatsoever I feel is right…and they will continue to avoid whatever they feel is dangerous.
Even if a few people are turned on, that’s enough – more than enough – because those few people will turn on a few more people. It can become a wildfire.