When you walk down the streets you are aware of the poverty of the people, of the ill-fed families and of the utter callousness of everyone. But we have created this, you and I have created what is about us. it has not come into being by some mysterious charm, and since we are not aware of it how can we transform it? Surely that is the obvious beginning. Is it not? It looks simple and yet the most profound beginning is to begin with ourselves, which is the most difficult. We can always reform others, but it is very difficult to transform ourselves. (Laughter).
I know, Sirs, you laugh and that laughter has very little significance, it does not mean very much. I know that to most of us life has very little significance. We are all trying to solve the world's problem. What is happening in the Punjab, has happened in Germany. What is happening is a slow process of regimentation, even in England which has stood for the liberty of the individual. We are not aware of what is happening in America and China. You read about all of this because unfortunately it is one of our pet habits to read papers. We have become so dull and I think that is where our difficulty lies. We must revivify and quicken our whole sensitivity but you cannot be sensitive by merely saying that you must be sensitive. You become sensitive, when you become aware of yourself in action, in thought and in feeling. Surely hope or God, or whatever name you like to give it is to be found not in religion, not in systems but in trying to discover truth in every little thing. Truth is not far away but very near, only if we knew how to look for it, but we do not look for it because we are not aware. So what is of primary importance is to be aware, so choicelessly, so penetratingly aware of every thought, every feeling that is revealed.
Public Talk 2nd November, 1947