Exploitation begins fundamentally, deeply, profoundly, only when you, the individual, the society, have that painful, psychological emptiness of which we are aware sometimes, but which generally is very carefully concealed. Such exploitation, psychological exploitation is far worse, because then the name matters, because then things matter, ideas matter, the thought as knowledge matters. Surely through knowledge you cannot find the Real. Only when knowledge ceases the Real is, for knowledge is merely the product of thought and thought is the result of time and that which is the product of time can never find the timeless.
So, things, names and ideas become extraordinarily significant when through them you are expanding. And that expansive process is the beginning of real exploitation. You cease to exploit when you recognize the significance of property for what it is, for what it gives you, which is very little. When you see the significance of relationship for what it is and not for the gratification it gives you, and when you see the idea not as self-protection, as security, but as merely an idea, then they have their own significance and very little else because, after all, if in relationship, you seek self-expansion through gratification, relationship ceases, relationship becomes very painful. Relationship is a process of self-revelation, a means of discovering your own way of thinking, of feeling. If you use property as a means of self-expansion, then it leads to chaos, to an utterly sensate existence which is what the world leads at the present time. Trying to solve the problem of existence on its own level brings destruction and the same is true of ideation. When you use knowledge, idea, to gain psychological gratification you set man against man which again produces hatred, envy and misery.
So, really exploitation takes place when there is self-expansion whether it is in the name of God or in the name of anything else. Exploitation is not swept away through legislation. You may establish a physically non-exploited world, but it will lead to exploitation on another level where the boss will still be all important. So, exploitation can be understood and really brought to an end only when you understand your own way of thinking, feeling and acting, that is, through self-knowledge you begin to perceive the utter emptiness of your own existence, which is a fact that has been covered over by ideation, by relationship, by things. When you realize that emptiness and do not try to escape from it through any means, then that which is, is transformed.
Public Talk 14th December, 1947