Indian Philosopher, Holy Man
Indian Philosopher, Holy Man
You see, there is fear as long as you want to be secure- secure in your marriage, secure in your job, in your position, in your responsibility, secure in your ideas, in your beliefs, secure in your relationship to the world or in your relationship to God. The moment the mind seeks security or gratification in any form, at any level, there is bound to be fear; and what is important is to be aware of this process and understand it. It is not a matter of so-called purity. The mind which is alert, watchful, which is free of fear, is an innocent mind; and it is only the innocent mind that can understand reality, truth or God.
Using another as a means of satisfaction and security is not love. Love is never security; love is a state in which there is no desire to be secure; it is a state of vulnerability; it is the only state in which exclusiveness, enmity and hate are impossible.
The desire for security is not only economic, but much more profound and complex. If man destroys the family, he will find other forms of security through the State, through the collective, through belief and soon, which will in turn breed their own problems. We must understand the desire for inward, psychological security and not merely replace one pattern of security with another.
The inward desire for security expresses itself outwardly through exclusion and violence, and as long as its process is not fully understood there can be no love. Love is not another refuge in the search for security. The desire for security must wholly cease for love to be.
Religious education in the true sense is to encourage the child to understand his own relationship to people, to things and to nature. There is no existence without relationship; and without self-knowledge, all relationship, with the one and with the many, brings conflict and sorrow. Of course, to explain this fully to a child is impossible; but if the educator and the parents deeply grasp the full significance of relationship, then by their attitude, conduct and speech they will surely be able to convey to the child, without too many words and explanations, the meaning of a spiritual life.
Love alone can bring about a radical revolution or transformation in relationship; and love is not a thing of the mind. Thought can plan and formulate magnificent structures of hope, but thought will only lead to further conflict, confusion and misery. Love is when the cunning, self-enclosing mind is not.
The relationship of utility is based on violence; the family as a means of mutual inward security makes for conflict and confusion.
A man who seeks to avoid the world is still related; he is running away from conflict and not understanding it. In relationship, which is activity between you and another, the ways of the self are revealed.
Since we surround ourselves with inaction, with escape, with ideals, we are running away from what is, which is relationship; but it is only in that relationship that we see ourselves clearly as we are. The more you go into what is, the more you see the deeper layers of consciousness, that is, life at different levels.
So, life has problems and conflicts and miseries only when you use relationship as a means of becoming, that is, when you gratify yourself through relationship. When I use another, or when I use property or an idea as a means of self-expansion, which is the perpetuation of gratification, then life becomes a series of ceaseless conflicts and miseries. It is only when I understand relationship - which is the beginning of self-knowledge - that self-knowledge brings about right thinking with regard to what is; and it is right thinking that dissolves our problems - not the gurus, not the heroes, not the mahatmas, not the literature, but the capacity to see what is and not escape from what is.
That capacity to understand life comes into being only when one understands relationship. Relationship is a mirror. It must reflect, not as one wishes oneself to be, ideally or romantically, but what one actually is, and it is very difficult to perceive oneself as one actually is because one is so accustomed to escaping from what is; it is arduous to perceive, to observe silently what is, because one is so used to condemning, justifying, comparing, identifying. And in that process of justification, condemnation, that which is, is not understood. Only in the understanding of what is is there freedom from what is.
Life is relationship with things, people, and ideas; and if we do not meet these relationships rightly, fully, then conflicts arise from the impact of the challenge.
We use relationship as a means of self-forgetfulness, and as long as relationship does not show us what we actually are, we are satisfied. That is why we accept the domination of another.
Without relationship, there is no existence; to be is to be related. If I merely use relationship without understanding myself, I increase the mess and contribute to further confusion. Most of us do not seem to realize this - that the world is my relationship with others, whether one or many. My problem is that of relationship. What I am, that I project; and obviously, if I do not understand myself, the whole of relationship is one of confusion in ever-widening circles.
Relationship, surely, is the mirror in which you discover yourself. Without relationship you are not; to be is to be related; to be related is existence. And you exist only in relationship; otherwise, you do not exist, existence has no meaning. It is not because you think you are that you come into existence. You exist because you are related, and it is the lack of understanding of relationship that causes conflict.
Do what you will, withdraw to the mountains, sit in a forest, you cannot live in isolation. You can live only in relationship, and as long as relationship is not understood, there can be no right action. Right action comes in understanding relationship, which reveals the process of oneself. Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom, it is a field of affection, warmth, and love, therefore a field rich with flowers.
A mind that is vain, arrogant, full of the desire for power, and that tries to cultivate humility, is occupied with itself; therefore it is a petty mind. The mind that is trying to improve itself through the acquisition of knowledge, that is trying to become very clever, to be more powerful, to have a better job - such a mind is petty. It may occupy itself with God, with truth, with the Atman, or with sitting in the seats of the mighty, but it is still a petty mind.
A mind that is truly inquiring is not accumulating. It is the accumulating mind that is petty, whether it is accumulating knowledge, or money, power, position. When you see the truth of that totally, there is real transformation of the mind, and it is such a mind that is capable of dealing with the many problems.
The mind which is not calling upon knowledge, which is not living in memory, which is totally emptying itself of the past, dying to every form of accumulation from moment to moment - it is only such a mind that can be in a state of not-knowing, which is the highest form of thinking; and then thinking has a different meaning altogether. It may not be thinking at all, as we know it, but a state of being which is not merely the opposite of not-being.
So the mind, through understanding itself at all its different levels, comes to a state when it is still. And this is not a long, tedious, tiresome, boring process. You know very well what you think and what you feel, if you are at all aware, sensitive to yourself. You do not have to be analysed, dissected, - that is a lazy man's game. But we know, actually inwardly, our own conflicts, and the cause of those conflicts, their significance, what lies behind them. But we don't want to look at it, we don't want to face it. And so, we play around in circles, never coming to the centre.
Without understanding the process of thought, how thought comes into being, the ways of your own individual thinking, how your thought is driven by motives, by desires, by anxieties, - without knowing the whole content of thought you cannot possibly bring about tranquillity.
A petty mind can never find that which is beyond the mind, and a conditioned mind is a petty mind whether it believes in God or not. That is why all the beliefs and dogmas that we hold, all the authorities, especially the spiritual authorities, have to be put aside, and only then is there a possibility of finding that which is everlasting, timeless.
Gossip is an expression of a restless mind; but merely to be silent does not indicate a tranquil mind, Tranquillity does not come into being with abstinence or denial; it comes with the understanding of what is. To understand what is needs swift awareness, for what is is not static.
Our problem is not, how to make the mind tranquil, still, peaceful, but, to understand, to be free from those problems which agitate the mind. The mind obviously creates the problems. If there is a problem, how do we approach it, with what attitude? How do we experience it? It is that which it is important to understand, and not, how to escape from the problem into tranquillity.
Awareness is observation without choice, condemnation, or justification. Awareness is silent observation from which there arises understanding without the experiencer and the experienced. In this awareness, which is passive, the problem or the cause is given an opportunity to unfold itself and so give its full significance. In awareness there is no end in view to be gained, and there is no becoming, the 'me' and the 'mine' not being given the continuity.