So, can we stop this misery at once, and not go on always being caught by the wave of confusion and sorrow? Am I making myself clear? That is, great teachers, whether the Buddha or the Christ, have come; they have accepted faith, making themselves, perhaps, free from confusion and sorrow. But they never prevented sorrow, they never stopped confusion. Confusion goes on, sorrow goes on. And if you, seeing this social and economic confusion, this chaos, this misery, withdraw into what is called the religious life and abandon the world, you may feel that you are joining these great Teachers; but the world goes on with its chaos, its misery and destruction, the everlasting suffering of its rich and poor. So, our problem, yours and mine, is whether we can step out of this misery instantaneously. If, living in the world, you refuse to be a part of it, you will help others out of this chaos - not in the future, not tomorrow, but now. Surely, that is our problem. The war is probably coming, more destructive, more appalling in its form. Surely, we cannot prevent it, because the issues are much too strong and too close. But you and I can perceive the confusion and misery immediately, can we not? We must perceive them, and then we will be in a position to awaken the same understanding of truth in another. In other words, can you be instantaneously free? - because that is the only way out of this misery. Perception can take place only in the present; but if you say, 'I will do it tomorrow', the wave of confusion overtakes you, and you are then always involved in confusion.
Public Talk 18th January, 1948