... we somewhat discussed relationship, dependence, fear and love; how to set about freeing thought-feeling from dependence and fear which corrupt love. I said that this morning we would try to understand what makes for a simple life. Simple life is freedom from acquisitiveness, freedom from addiction and freedom from distraction. Freedom from acquisitiveness surely lies in understanding the cause that breeds in us the conflict of greed and envy. The more we acquire the greater the demand for possessions and to deny, to say, "I will not acquire" in no way solves the problem of greed and envy. But in watching it, in becoming aware of the process of acquisition and envy on all the different levels of our consciousness, we begin to understand their deeper significance, with all the economic, social and inward implications. This state of acquisitive conflict, competitive possessiveness is not conducive to simple life which is essential to understand the real. So if you become aware of acquisitiveness with its problems - not putting yourself in opposition to it and therefore developing the quality of non-acquisitiveness, which is only another form of greed - you will begin to be aware of its deeper and wider implications.
Then you will begin to understand that a mind caught up in greed and envy cannot experience the bliss of truth. A mind which is competitive, held in the conflict of becoming, thinking in terms of comparison, is not capable of discovering the real. Thought-feeling which is intensely aware is in the process of constant self-discovery which discovery, being true, is liberating and creative. Such self-discovery brings about freedom from acquisitiveness and from the complex life of the intellect. It is this complex life of the intellect that finds gratification in addictions: destructive curiosity, speculation, mere knowledge, capacity, gossip and so on; and these hindrances prevent simplicity of life. An addiction, a specialization gives sharpness to the mind, a means of focussing thought, but it is not the flowering of thought-feeling into reality.
8th Public Talk 2nd July, 1944