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Wednesday February 2 2005 08:02 IST

By Karmayogi

A German Jew, for some mysterious reasons of wartime exigency, found himself in the refugee camp in Shanghai immediately after the World War. It was a bedlam.

No one could understand German there. In his own town he was a VIP. Here he was a nobody. His social status was of no consequence here. He found doctors from Finland there. His medical skill was not recognised.

After all, he was a refugee, trying to get his rations by his sign language. A refugee camp nullifies your status, professional skill, your outer social value and throws you entirely on your inner psychological worth.

To the German Jew, the camp life came as a revelation; but he saw, even there, very many people got on, on the strength of their personal charm. Then he began to value being successful in Shanghai.

Later he came to New York and Washington. The revelation he had in Shanghai made him seek his own inner resources. He rose to become the Secretary of the Treasury in the Cabinet.

When someone is carrying on, on the strength of his post in the government, he used to ask them, “Can you make it in Shanghai?” When his term ended as a member of the Cabinet, he worked for the merger of some companies totalling $10 billion and presided over it.

His book on government finance became a best seller. We rest on our oars. A degree comes to our rescue.

Our post carries a status. Often caste becomes respectable. Men who are wealthy can carry on the strength of wealth. Relieve a man of all this, as a refugee camp does, and he is on his own.

It means he is left with his native intelligence, charm, good manners, thoughtfulness, resourcefulness, alertness, caution, dynamism, and capacity to communicate without speaking. All this constitutes the pure psychological individual. Imagine yourself thus. Who will obey you if you are not a parent or adult?

Who can understand you if you do not speak? Your inner thoughts will communicate themselves only if they are intense. It means unless things come to you on their own, you cannot claim them. In practice, you will get nothing. One who is successful in this condition is really a successful man.

As I said, he is a psychological individual. The next step is the Spiritual Individual. He will be much more powerful than the psychological individual. While we are in the society and are endowed with all the aspects of our status, it is possible for us to behave as if we do not have any of these endowments.

Then we become many times more powerful, as we are then the Psychological Individual. Shedding our own character, we get the divine character, thus changing into the Spiritual Individual. The 21st century will be the century of the Spiritual Individual.
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