41b | CR Book XII, Chapter 2

isolating features of social life, - from envy,
jealousy, rivalry, pride, futile talk, spite, triumph and
defeat, separation from friends, contact with unpleasant
people, misunderstandings, susceptibilities, polite obli-
gations, apprehensions etc. Innumerable occasions for
distraction and dispersion are avoided. Renouncing the
protection of the social group - as far as he can, -
he realises how little there is to him. Alone by him-
self, he learns to distinguish that which is in himself
from that which is really outside. When he has nobody
to justify and aggrandise himself to, he may be taught
to acquiesce in his own insanity. Finally, when unconfir-
med by others, his very existence my become a matter of

Periods of social contact, on the other hand, may be
treated both as a school of training, and as a test of
its success or failure. One exposes oneself to perpetu-
al provocations to depart from kindness, tolerance, harm-
lessness, patience, self-effacement, detachment, evenmin-
dedness. Social contacts may also be used to check the
conceit which easily grows in solitude. When one is
forced to collaborate with others, one easily discerns
the real motive behind one's withdrawal from company.
Two types of motivation can be distinguished: Many shut
themselves up against society in order to keep intact
their illusionary self. Expecting too much attention
and affection, they feel peeved, rejected, failures, and
are continually obsessed with a sense of guilt. The loss
of social contacts leads in their case not to mental
poverty, but to the inflation of the self with a dream-
world which owes its contents to excessively narcissi-
stic and antisocial wishes. Others, however, are prompted
to solitude by a vision of Reality. Inabiblity to co-op-
erate indicates the first type of motivation. When such
an inability is observed, social life can be used as an
opportunity to undeceive oneself about one's motives,
and it can be treated as a spur to remove narcissistic
barriers. Narcissistic isolation leads to schizoid dis-
integration. The self is shut into itself, and becomes
lonier and lonier, in the end separated from everything.
Through "right isolation", however, the self jumps out
of itself, is freed for ever from loneliness, becomes
more and more capable to associate with everything. In
due course the difference between solitude and society
is abolished. The sage repudiates the world without a-
bandoning it, lives in the world though not of it, and
becomes a servant to all beings.