... after all, virtue gives freedom. Have you ever noticed that an immoral man is stupid, because he is caught, he is miserable; while the really virtuous are free and happy and are not becoming something but being. That is, there can be freedom only in virtue, because it is orderly, clear and free but a man who is not virtuous is disorderly and unclear and his mind is confused. So virtue is not an end in itself, but it creates that freedom without which reality cannot exist; but when we translate virtue as a means of becoming, then there is friction. So becoming and being virtuous are two wholly different states. Virtue is understanding, is it not? That which you understand brings freedom. That which you do not understand creates confusion, darkness and so on. The moment you understand something there is virtue. So, is understanding to come through effort, or is there a state in which effort has ceased for understanding to be? Does understanding come through effort, or does understanding come when there is no effort? Have you tested it or tried it? If I want to understand what you are saying, must I make an effort to listen? When I make an effort there are distractions. Then, distractions become more important than listening. Not being interested in what you are saying, I have to make an effort not to be distracted, in order to listen. Whereas if there is interest, if there is communion, then there is no effort. Now, you are listening to me without effort. The moment you make an effort, you have ceased to understand.
Public Talk 23rd November, 1947