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Individualism is a dangerous myth

Ego, ambition, self-esteem, self-respect pride and arrogance are commonly used terms that are easily confused with one another. In my earlier article 'Ego, Esteem, Respect and Pride' wherein I explained the differences.

All these traits and aspects do not exist in isolation, which brings us to the two major aspects of our existence. The Individual and Society and the symbiotic relationship between the two. Society facilitates, secures and cares for the individual's freedom, property and life and the individual lives to enrich and develop himself while contributing to and serving society.

We are witnessing a wave of rising individualism across the world, but a degradation of society.

Reigning supreme, Individualism is all about 'I, me and myself', where only the individual matters at the expense of society. This behaviour is accentuated primarily because of the almost universal adoption of the flawed Western Democratic model of governance.

It has come to mean that each individual has supposedly many rights and little or no responsibilities. Individualism is destroying human society, because if everyone is only for himself ignoring others, our environment, Creation and our collective security we are ignoring the very life-sustaining tree upon which we depend for our existence and survival.

The individual will always remain an individual but societies can be of various kinds, Savage, Empire, Civilisation etc. A civilisation is the best because it is built from the grassroots but guided from the top.

Individualism is a dangerous myth. Individualism is unsustainable because no individual is an island and cannot exist in isolation. The degradation and destruction of society will also result in the death of the individual. That is why the world is plagued with intolerance for the other and for Nature and Creation itself. Ecological destruction and wars are the result of an excessive tilt towards individualism in free societies and repression of the individual in empire-like societies.

The solution is to adopt the millennia-old civilisational approach that India, China, and Persia possessed, which made them long-lasting civilisations. The latter two have lost much of their civilisational character and India some of it, but it can be resurrected.

Standing at a crossroads, on this Republic Day, India and we Indians have to ask ourselves whether we want to build an empire or revive our civilisational culture and traditions. Do we wish to persist with alien cultures and traditions imposed on us by religious, ideological, cultural and economic invasions that have not served us well?

It might be more challenging and take longer to rebuild India using a uniquely Indian approach and not as a second-rate copy of other lands and people. If we do this, then in the medium to long term, we will continue to enrich the world and ourselves materially, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually as the longest-continuing civilisation.


This article has been written to compliment my earlier Guru Wonder articles.

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