What is simplicity? Can simplicity be the discarding of non-essentials and pursuing of essentials - which means choice? Please follow this. Does it not mean choice, choosing? I choose essentials and discard non-essentials. What is this process of choosing? Think deeply. What is the entity that chooses? The mind, is it not? It does not matter what you call it. You say, "I will choose this essential." How do you know what is the essential? Either you have a pattern of what other people have said or your own experience says that is the essential. Can you rely on your experience? Because, when you choose, your choice is based on desire; what you call essential is that which gives you satisfaction. So you are back again in the same process, are you not? Can a confused mind choose? If it does, the choice must also be confused.
Therefore, the choice between the essential and the nonessential is not simplicity. It is a conflict. A mind in conflict, in confusion, can never be simple. So when you discard, when you see all the false things and the tricks of the mind, when you observe it, look at it, are aware of it, then you will know what simplicity is. A mind which is bound by belief is never a simple mind. A mind that is crippled with knowledge is not simple. A mind that is distracted by God, by women, by music, is not a simple mind. A mind caught in the routine of the office, of the rituals, of the mantras, such a mind is not simple. Simplicity is action without idea. But, that is a very rare thing; that means creation. As long as there is not creation, we are centers of mischief and misery and destruction. Simplicity is not a thing which you pursue and experience. Simplicity comes, as a flower opens, at the right moment when each one understands the whole process of existence and relationship. Because we have not thought about it or have not observed it, we are not aware of it; we value in a certain way all of the outer forms of simplicity - such as shaving our heads, having clothing or unclothing in a certain way. Those are not simplicity. Simplicity is not to be found. Simplicity does not lie between essential and nonessential. It comes into being when the self is not, when the self is not caught in speculations, in conclusions, in beliefs, in ideations. Such a mind only can find truth. Such a mind alone can receive that which is immeasurable, which is unnameable - and that is simplicity.
Reflections on the Self
Madras, India. January 19, 1952