Ommen Camp, Holland | 1st Public Talk 25th July, 1936
We are here to understand for ourselves that process of consciousness focussed in each individual, and, in so doing, we shall inevitably put away the false values that have become guiding principles throughout the world.
The emphasis on the comprehension of individual consciousness is not to be taken as a further encouragement of self-centredness and the narrowing down of comprehensive action. It is only through understanding the process of individual consciousness that there can be spontaneous and true action, without creating or further increasing sorrow and conflict. Please try to understand this point fully. When I talk about individual consciousness I do not mean that process of introspection and self-analysis which gradually limits all activity. To bring about the plenitude of action there must be the comprehension of the process of individuality. I am not concerned with individual or collective progress or with mass activity, but only with right comprehension which will bring about right attitude and action towards work, towards the neighbour, towards the whole of society. So we must deeply comprehend the process of individuality with its consciousness.
We must be able to discern in ourselves comprehensively the influence of the mass through traditions, racial prejudices, ideals and beliefs to which we have sur- rendered ourselves, consciously or unconsciously. As long as these dominate us, we, as individuals, are not capable of clear, direct, simple and comprehensive action. So my emphasis on individuality is not to be mistaken as an encouragement to selfish self-expression, nor is it to be understood as a collective acquiescence in an idea or a principle. It is not to be used as an excuse for subjugating oneself to a group of people or to a set of leaders. It is to bring about the right comprehension of the process of individual consciousness, which alone can give rise to spontaneous and true action.
To understand this process of individuality there must be the urge to know, not to speculate, not to dream.