To make these discussions fruitful it is necessary, is it not, first to understand our own intentions? When we observe what is taking place in our lives and in the world we perceive that most of us, in subtle or crude ways, are occupied with the expansion of the self. We crave self-expansion now or in the future; for us life is a process of the continuous expansion of the ego through power, wealth, asceticism or the cultivation of virtue and so on. Not only for the individual but for the group, for the nation this process signifies fulfilling, becoming, growing and has ever led to great disasters and miseries. We are ever striving within the framework of the self, however much it may be enlarged and glorified. If this be your aim and mine wholly different then we will have no relationship though we may meet; then our discussions will be purposeless and confused. So first we must be very clear in our intention. We must be clear and definite as to what we are seeking. Are we craving self-expansion, the constant nourishment of the ego, the me and the mine, or are we seeking to understand and so transcend the process of the self? Will self-expansion bring about understanding, enlightenment; or is there illumination, liberation only when the process of self-expansion has ceased? Can we reveal ourselves sufficiently to discern in which direction our interest lies? You must have come here with serious intent; therefore we will discuss in order to clarify that intent, and consider if our daily life indicates what our pursuits are and whether we are nourishing the ego or not. So these discussions can be a means of self-exposure to each one of us. In this self-exposure we will discover the true significance of life.
Must we not first have freedom to discover? There can be no freedom if our action is ever enclosing. Is not the action of the ego, the sense of the me and the mine, ever a process of limitation? We are trying to find out, are we not, if the process of self-expansion leads to Reality or if Reality comes into being only when the self ceases?
1st Public Talk, 1946