What is thinking, what is the process of thinking? As we know it, it is a response to memory, is it not? You have certain memories and they leave certain marks and to this residue you respond. Memory thus is accumulation of the residue of experience. So, thinking, which is the response to memory, is always conditioned and as we know, that is the actual fact, our daily existence. That is, you have an experience and you translate that experience according to previous memories and so the experience, which has been translated, is gathered as memory and according to that memory you respond and this is called thinking. Surely such thinking only strengthens conditioning, which only produces more conflict, more pain and more sorrow.
That is, memory is constantly responding to the residue of experience which we call memory. It is responding to a challenge and this challenge and response to memory we call thinking, because life is a series of challenges and responses and the response is always conditioned by memory and that response to memory we call thinking. But the challenge is always new, it is never the old and our thinking is always old because it is the response of the past. So, believing is not thinking, believing is only conditioned thinking and conditioned experience - I am using the ordinary word conditioning and not the technical one. If you believe in something, you experience it and your experience is conditioned because it is based on a belief which is also conditioned. So belief is not thinking at all, it is only a response to a memory. So, that is what we are doing in our daily life if we examine ourselves. You have the experience which leaves a residue which is memory and according to that memory you think, and that response which we call thinking is always conditioned because belief is always conditioned memory.
Public Talk 21st December, 1947