The expression of the self seems so vitally important to most of us. We are trying to express ourselves, according to space and time, and as we do not deeply understand what it is that is expressing itself, we are bound to create confusion, sorrow, antagonism, and competition. in other words, ignorance is expressing itself, creating further ignorance; and if thwarted in one of its expressions, we try to overcome that resistance through violence, anger, or other impetuous action. In its fullest scope and expression, the self, which is born of ignorance, must, when it acts from itself create its own bondages and sorrow. Without understanding the full implication of self-expression, self-reliance becomes merely the means to greater and greater expression of narrow individualistic and ignorant action.
Until we begin to break down this vicious circle of ignorance which only creates further ignorance, self-reliance cannot bring about release from sorrow. Yet to understand this continuity of ignorance and sorrow, each one must become utterly self-reliant to be able to probe into craving, fear, tendencies, memories, and so on. Mere self-expression is not creativeness and to be truly creative, one must understand the process of the self and so be free from it. Through earnest awareness as to what it is that is expressing itself, we begin to understand the limited causes of the past which control the present and in this strenuous understanding there comes a freedom from the cause of ignorance. True self-reliance, not the self-reliance for the purpose of mere aggressive expression of the self, can come about only through understanding the process of craving, with its limiting values, fears, and hopes; then self-reliance has great significance, for through one's own strenuous awareness there is a wholeness, a completeness.
4th Public Talk 16th June, 1940