A mind that is indifferent is aware of the shoddiness of our civilization, the shoddiness of our thought, the ugly relationships; it is aware of the street, of the beauty of a tree, or of a lovely face, a smile; and it neither denies it nor accepts it, but merely observes - not intellectually, not coldly, but with that warm, affectionate indifference. Observation is not detachment because there is no attachment. It is only when the mind is attached - to your house, to the family, to some job - that you talk about detachment. But, you know, when you are indifferent, there is a sweetness to it, there is a perfume to it, there is a quality of tremendous life-energy - this may not be the meaning of that word in the dictionary. One has to be indifferent - to health, to loneliness, to what people say or do not say - indifferent whether you succeed or do not succeed; indifferent to authority.
Now, if you observe, you hear somebody is shooting, making a lot of noise with a gun, you can very easily get used to it, probably you have already got used to it, and you turn a deaf ear - that is not indifference. Indifference comes into being when you listen to that noise with no resistance, go with that noise, ride on that noise infinitely. Then that noise does not affect you, does not pervert you, does not make you indifferent. Then you listen to every noise in the world - the noise of your children, of your wife, of the birds, the noise of the chatter the politicians make - you listen to it completely with indifference and therefore with understanding.
Sixth Public Talk, March 7, 1962