We need to work along the right lines, and those who know can and do lay down certain plans for our guidance. This does not imply blind following.’ There is no enlightened following; all following is evil. Authority corrupts, whether in high places or among the thoughtless. The leader is as confused as the follower who, out of his conflict, has chosen the leader. Following another, whether it be a leader or a saviour, does not bring about clarity and happiness. The thoughtless are not made thoughtful by following another, however great and noble he may be. ‘I like cooperating with my friends in working for something which has worldwide significance. To work together, we need some kind of authority over us.’
Is it cooperation when there is the compelling influence, pleasant or unpleasant, of authority? Is it cooperation when you are working for a plan laid down by another? Are you not then consciously or unconsciously conforming through fear, through hope of reward, and so on? And is conformity cooperation? When there is authority over you, benevolent or tyrannical, can there be cooperation? Surely, cooperation comes into being only when there is the love of the thing for itself without the fear of punishment or failure, and without the hunger for success or recognition.
Cooperation is possible only when there is freedom from envy, acquisitiveness, and from the craving for personal or collective dominance, power. ‘Nothing would be achieved if we were to wait until we had freed ourselves from all those inward causes which are evil.’ But what are you achieving now? There must be deep earnestness and inward revolution if there is to be a different world; there must be at least some who are not consciously or unconsciously perpetuating the conflict and misery. Personal ambition, and ambition for the collective, must drop away, for ambition in any form prevents love.