There is a kind of "cross-pollination" that occurs between members of groups, between members of the human race, for that matter. As language passes between us, several things are occurring which usually escape observation. Usually, all that one can perceive is that which he can later talk about. That is, before man HAD the idea of 'electricity', he could not perceive it - until then, it was 'spirits,' or 'magic,' or 'God.'
So, how DOES the concept of 'electricity' get into one? It surely got there - because we're talking about it now. Someone, had to have gotten it first, and then it spread.
Whole teachings have been dreamt up and spread, just arguing the source and content of their primal directives, their original, seminal thoughts.
Do people grow, 'intellectually' by receiving new ideas, or are they just heads, spinning on a stick?
Did people grow, when first hearing (from 'out there') of the concept of awakening, or cosmic consciousness, or enlightenment, or whatever choice word/phrase you care to mention?
Or does the only 'useful growth,' vis-a-vis those choice terms, occur in spite of such receipt of ideas from out there, by expelling those ideas?
Why is there a perceived greater value in having the largest group membership list? Surely no one would disagree with that, on the face of it. More and more ideas would certainly be spread, and each one could "get some on 'em", so what could possibly be the harm in that?
The idea of the 'Bodhisatva' - one who hangs around long enough to see the awakening of all sentient beings (or something like that) - may have been born of the understanding of human intellectual cross-pollination. There must be some valid, in the 'cosmic sense', reason for talking about 'working on oneself,' 'waking up,' and other such related topics. Even though at the very core of such talking, is the oft-stated factoid: "he who knows does not speak, he who speaks does not know."
But only those of a fertile ground wherein the pollin can take root and grow, do flower.