To bring order out of this confusion, out of this chaos which we have projected outwardly because inwardly we are chaotic, envious and stupid, is virtue. You can only bring order and peace and happiness through self-knowledge, and not by following a particular system, either economic or religious. But to know one's self is most difficult. It is very easy to follow a system for you don't have to think very much, you give yourself over to a party, either the left or the right, and thereby close your thinking process. To be aware of the activities of your daily existence requires thoughtfulness, intelligence, awareness which very few people are willing to practice. They would rather reform society than understand their own activity, their own thought, their own feelings, yet it is they who really create misery and havoc. Self-knowledge is not the knowledge of some supreme self, which is still within the field of the mind, but the knowledge of yourself in your daily action, what you do every day, what you feel, what you think every moment. This requires extraordinary alertness, does it not? There must be constant alertness to pursue every thought, every feeling and to know all their contents. From self-knowledge comes right thinking, therefore, right action which is really extremely simple when you are aware, but extremely difficult when you talk theoretically about it. Most of us are so callous about everything, about life itself, that we would rather discuss what is self-knowledge than be aware. Yet it is only through right thinking which comes through self-knowledge, the knowledge of everything we do, think and feel, that we can bring order and peace, and not in any other way. No system of philosophy, either of the left or of the right, can bring order, peace and happiness to men because it is you and I who have created this misery, through our everyday stupidity, ill will and envy. These things cannot be eradicated until we understand them. We can only understand them as they function within us, in you and in me, and not by theoretically reading about them in any book; and through understanding them we will bring virtue into being and virtue gives freedom and that freedom is Truth.
Public Talk 28th December, 1947