There is the movement of so-called progression, is there not, from the simple to the complex? There is the process of constant adjustment to environment which brings about modification or change, taking on new forms. There is constant interaction between the outer and the inner, each aiding in modifying and transforming the other. This does not demand belief; we can observe society becoming more and more complex, more and more efficiently organized to survive, to exploit, to oppress and to kill. Existence which was simple and primitive has become very complex, highly organized and civilized. We have "progressed; we have radios, movies, quick means of transportation and all the rest of it. We can kill, instead of a few, thousands upon thousands in a moment; we can wipe out, as the phrase goes, whole cities and their people in a few burning seconds. We are well aware of all this and some call it progress; bigger and better houses, more luxury,more amusements, more distractions. Can this be considered progress? Is the expansion of sensate desire progress? Or does progress lie in compassion?
We mean by progress also, do we not, the constant expanding of desire, of the self? Now in this process of expansion and becoming can there ever be an end to conflict and sorrow? If not, what is the purpose of becoming? If it is for the continuation of struggle and pain, of what value is progress, the evolution of desire, the expansion of the self? If in the expansion of desire there is the cessation of sorrow then becoming could have significance, but is it not the very nature of craving to create and continue conflict and sorrow?
8th Public Talk 1945