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Saanen, 3rd meeting 1980

Questions and Answers 31st Question Saanen 3rd Question & Answer Meeting 25th July 1980 'Authority'

Question: What do you mean when you ask us to think together? Do you intend that everybody who listens to you should think with you at the same time? Don't you think that this is acting as a guru, leading people to follow your ideas, thoughts and conclusions?

The word 'guru' is a discredited word. I believe that the true meaning is one who dispels ignorance, not one who adds his ignorance to yours. It has other meanings also. There have always been Western gurus from ancient times; the priests, acting between you and what they call god or the saviour. This has also existed in India. The questioner says: When the speaker asks us to think together, is he not setting himself as a guru? So let us examine what it means when the speaker says 'think together'.

Thinking together is not accepting what the speaker is saying. It is not agreeing with or accepting the ideas, the conclusions which he may have. The speaker, in fact, has no conclusions. But he says 'think together' in the sense that both of us observe together. Observe, and let us find out what it means to observe. That does not give him any authority. You can make him into an authority, which would be unfortunate, but he does not have any authority and he denies any kind of following. If he were laying down any conclusions, ideals and so on and was accepting disciples, then he would be in a state of corruption. For the last fifty years he has been saying this.

So there is no sense of authority in this. It is very simple: if he were prejudiced, if he had all kinds of nauseating, compulsive, neurotic conclusions, it would mean that he wanted to force them on you. But he constantly says let us share together what we are observing, out there and in here. That is all.

Apparently you seem to be incapable of standing alone: that word 'alone' means all one. When you are really alone, not contaminated, when you are really free, you are the whole human entity, the human world. But we are frightened to be alone; we always want to be with somebody or with an idea or an image. To be alone is not solitude, solitude has its own beauty, to walk alone in the woods, alone along the river not hand in hand with somebody or other - but alone in solitude, which is different from aloneness.If you are walking by yourself, you are watching the sky, the trees, the birds, the flowers and all the beauty of the earth, and also, perhaps, you are watching yourself - not having a dialogue with yourself, not carrying your burdens with you; you have left those behind. Solitude reveals you loneliness, your vanity, your sense of depression. When you have finished with solitude there is the other, aloneness, which is not a conclusion or a belief - it is not propaganda, telling you what it means to look. Aloneness is not pushing you in any direction; when you are directed or when you are guided, you become a slave and therefore you lose freedom, totally, from the very beginning. Freedom is not at the end, it is at the beginning.

Questions and Answers

Saanen, 3rd meeting 1980

Questions and Answers 31st Question Saanen 3rd Question & Answer Meeting 25th July 1980 'Authority'

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