The question is yours but you are a coward: you cannot even accept your ignorance. Of course, to accept that “this is my question” certainly means that you are an ignorant person; hence the question is thrown on the shoulders of some unknown people. I cannot find those people anywhere. Neither can you. Consciousness never exists in collectivities: people, nation, society, culture, civilization. You will not find these things anywhere; they don’t exist.
Whenever and wherever you come across “people”, you will come across the individual. That is solid reality. And “people” can’t have any questions. The “people” don’t have any soul, the “people” is only a collective name.
It is just like a forest. From far away you can see the forest but as you come closer and closer the forest starts disappearing. When you are exactly in the forest there is no forest, there are only trees. You will come across trees and trees and trees; unique trees, individual, having their own world; their own foliage, their own fragrance.
You cannot find even two trees exactly the same in the whole so-called forest. What to say about the forest? – even two trees are not exactly the same. The forest is only a word. Yes, it denotes a collectivity, but no collectivity has any consciousness of its own.
The society – have you come across society anywhere? Or do you hope some day to say, “Hi, society! How are you?” These words are just hollow, empty. They are only containers without any content in them. But man is so idiotic that he is more interested in containers than in the content.
I have heard that in a book shop a certain dictionary was not being sold at all. And the bookshop had kept the dictionary for ten years. They had purchased the wholesale rights to the dictionary, but not a single copy had they been able to sell in ten years, and they had been selling other books in thousands. The dictionary was really very significant, a milestone in the world of dictionaries; that’s why they had purchased the wholesale rights to it. But the book was not selling.
It just happened that the shopkeeper mentioned it to a painter who was looking for a book. The painter looked at the dictionary and he laughed. He said, “The whole problem is, its cover is wrong. Who bothers what is inside the dictionary? The cover is repulsive, that’s why you have not been able to sell it. I will make a cover for it. You change the cover.”
But the man said, “Just by changing the cover…? The dictionary will be the same.”
The painter said, “Don’t be worried – you just do what I am saying.” He made a new cover, beautiful, glossy, attractive…. Now, what has a dictionary to do with a nude woman? – but a nude woman was on the cover looking into the dictionary, the same dictionary. Again on that dictionary’s cover was the nude woman looking into the dictionary, the same dictionary. It was a beautiful cover.
But the owner was simply shocked – there was a queue! People were dying to purchase the dictionary. What he had not been able to do in ten years was done within a week. He had to order a reprint. He told the painter, “This is strange.”
The painter said, “It is not strange – it is just human.”