... what happens if you don't term, if you don't give a name to an experience? If you are not naming the various sensations, if you have no background, where is the 'you'? That is, when it is not named, the feeling or the experience withers away, it has no continuity. Experiment with yourself, and you will see. If you have a very strong feeling of nationalism, what happens? You give it a name, the thought arises of idealism, love, 'my country; that is, you term it and thereby give it a continuity. It is very difficult not to term it, because the process of naming a feeling is so automatic, so instantaneous. But suppose you do not name a feeling, what happens to that feeling? Surely, the record-keeper cannot identify himself with that feeling. He does not give it substance, he does not give it strength, he does not give it vitality. Therefore, it withers away. The next time you are feeling the sensation which you term irritation, don't give it a name. Don't say, 'I am irritated', don't term it, and see what happens. You will discover an extraordinary thing happening. The mind is bewildered, because the mind dislikes to be in a state of uncertainty. Then bewilderment becomes more important than the feeling, and the feeling is forgotten and bewilderment remains. But the mind does not like to be bewildered, puzzled; therefore, it demands security, and it seeks security, certainty, in the record, in memory, thereby strengthening the record-keeper.
It is really quite fascinating, if you observe the process of your own consciousness. But you cannot learn all this in a book. No book can teach it, and what a book teaches is not worthwhile. You can only repeat what a book teaches; but if you experiment and discover for yourself, then you are both the teacher and the pupil, and you no longer want the gurus, the books, and all the rest of it. Then you know how to tackle the problem, any problem that arises, for yourself, because you are both the teacher and the pupil, you know the ways of the working of your own consciousness. You discover that in not terming a sensation, in not giving it a name, that feeling, that sensation comes to an end.
Public Talk, February 29th, 1948