“How Can We Better Work Together as a Group?”
Last Wednesday I was at a meeting of Sri Kumar with members of the Swiss WTT group in Hergiswil (I met him there already on 6 June) . It was the end of his 57th tour to the West and he had invited us for a question-answer exchange; 10 persons could come.
With his smile he gave us a warm welcome and remarked that there is no need to sit in a school-like manner. Then he presented his wife, his son and his nephew to the group, who were accompanying him on the tour.
I took the occasion to ask the first question: “How can we better work together as a group?” – and here is what he answered – clear and inspiring as always:
“For a group to be together there has to be a common work. Common work has to be found between the members of the group, what a work can be done, it should serve the group. This should be found. This develops group consciousness. Man normally tends to be individualistic, some part of him can be individualistic and a major part has to be groupal. This develops the personality. When we relate to the group there is an exchange of energies in the group and therefore the individualisation; the process of individualisation takes to a different dimension of group. While staying individualistic the group consciousness is also developed. By this, there is the exchange of groupal energies and the related joy.
When we are alone at home is one thing and when we are in a group is another thing. Normally everyone is locked in oneself. If the exchange is not made one crystallizes in oneself. In a group by exchange the one learns from the other. By nature when we are alone we tend to be individualistic; we cannot adapt to the surroundings. For the personality to develop it is important to adjust. Therefore man is in a community. You cannot exchange with the entire society but people who have the same ideas can come together and do something for the community. For that the wisdom says, community living, group living, community meals and prayers, community work, that is how community is formed to experience group consciousness.
In a group there is sharing of energy. Slowly working with the energies makes a group a family. A family is a group where there is a free flow of energy. Today the family is in a danger. The individualisation is causing walls between the members. More and more one gets individualised. One gets disconnected with all the surrounding life energies. The consciousness that we are is universal. Universal consciousness expresses individually, like one electricity expresses as so many lights. Consciousness always looks for unity and not separativity. A natural group like a family is today no more able to work as a group; this leads to an excessive individualism which is contrary to the nature of consciousness.
Consciousness is by nature staying united. Excessive individualisation leads to excessive mind. Even if there is someone sitting next to you there is no relation to him. In nature, it is a family system; the flowers live together as a bunch of flowers and not as single flowers. A bunch of flowers is more beautiful than individual flowers. There is strength in being together. Today more and more is tending to be intellectual and individual; it is difficult to tolerate another person next to him and less to exchange with him. Today people feel the company of a cat, a dog or a rat better than a man next to them. That is a demonstration of intolerance towards co-human beings. The person withdraws, and it forms a prison towards the consciousness he really is. Therefore there is a suffering in individualism. The wisdom teachings instruct from individuality to personality and from personality to group consciousness, from group consciousness to universal consciousness. The contrary is a process of condensation; everything becomes very strict in life. Nature has the tendency to reverse the inversion. It is like a flower that unfolds, it doesn’t show its beauty when it is closed.
We look at a bud of a flower and wait for it to unfold. Likewise each one of us can unfold like a flower with 8 layers of petals. Then the potential for real human being is realised. The reversing process of excessive individualism for this group living is given. We try to bring together our strength so that we can do common work – the common work, common study, common prayer, common eating, common travel. When these things periodically happen, this would release a person from constriction. In the beginning of 20th century especially to the west the concept of group work has been imparted by teachers of wisdom.
Before the 2 world wars of 20th century, there was a good family system, even in the European and American countries. By industrialisation there has been a change in the way of life, leading to individuals becoming more a system than the group. This has led to excessive individualism. The consequence of individualism is strong individual viewpoints – what I think is right. There is no way to accommodate another viewpoint. When one lives continuously in one pattern he cannot see other viewpoints. It tends to make intolerant towards other viewpoints. It reduced the vision to a single viewpoint. And one tries to impose one’s viewpoint on the other.
We see that each one of us has a different viewpoint as per the food, the weather, the life events. To some less salt is tasty, for others more salt. That both possibilities are there is not realised. Sun is good for some, for others it is good when it is clouded. To be able to see from every viewpoint leads one to vision. To stand by one’s viewpoints leads to excessive individualism and he cannot see the beauty of nature.
What is comfort? There are different views, also what is tasty, what weather is good – in everything there are different views. To be able to accommodate the different views and develop a vision, that is group consciousness. When we group together, it is different from personalities grouping together. We should see the difference as complementary but not as disagreement. That is where frequent meetings and doing something together is a way to liberate oneself. If you are just individuals – I do my own breakfast, I drive my car to my work, I see just my work and am not related to people around; I take my own meals and don’t participate in the meals with others and then I drive again home, I cook and eat and watch TV – all alone. When no life is shared the beauty of human potential is not shared.
The rose bud can unfold by being in relation to others. The whole life in its beauty is to see it in relation. The more you are related to the surroundings, beginning with the humans, the energy flows out and you keep opening. If you only take the energy inside, even by prayers, you remain a closed bud. When you observe yourself while traveling – there are many people but no one relates to the other. This way we build walls between each other and restrict substantially our potential of experiencing life. Where there is communication there is the joy of unfoldment.”
The other questions were about “Music”, “Dealing with Crises”, “Working with plants / a plant mantra”, “Burnout / colours for healing”. As usual, I had my notebook with me and took notes of the interesting answers – otherwise the words seem to quickly vanish. Of course, they were recorded but normally I don’t take the time for listening to it.
After the exchanges we had a 30 minutes meditation, starting with 7 times OM and ending with OM Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. We then had a joyful spaghetti dinner together and afterwards Sri Kumar said good-bye by shaking hands to each one.
While driving home 1.5 hs, some of his replies kept lingering in my mind.
A view out of the window from the dinner table