Exclusive, private knowledge offers deeply satisfying pleasure. To know something that others do not know is a constant source of satisfaction; it gives one the feeling of being in touch with deeper things which afford prestige and authority. You are directly in contact, you have something which others have not, and so you are important, not only to yourself, but to others. The others look up to you, a little apprehensively, because they want to share what you have; but you give, always knowing more. You are the leader, the authority; and this position comes easily, for people want to be told, to be led. The more we are aware that we are lost and confused, the more eager we are to be guided and told; so authority is built up in the name of the State, in the name of religion, in the name of a Master or a party leader.
The worship of authority, whether in big or little things, is evil, the more so in religious matters. There is no intermediary between you and reality; and if there is one, he is a perverter, a mischief maker, it does not matter who he is, whether the highest saviour or your latest guru or teacher.
Commentaries on Living Series I