Know what it means to live with actuality. In observing myself I find I am jealous, anxious, or envious - I realize that. Now I want to live with that because it is only when I live with something intimately that I begin to understand it. But to live with my envy, with my anxiety, is one of the most difficult things - I see that the moment I get used to it I am not living with it.
You are following all this? There is that river and I can see it every day, hear the sound of it, the lapping of the water, but after two or three days I have got used to it and I don't always hear it. I can have a picture in the room, I have looked at it every day, at the beauty, the colour, the various depths and shadows, the quality of it, yet having looked at it for a week I have lost it, I have got used to it. And the same happens with the mountains, with the valleys, the rivers, the trees, with the family, with my wife, with my husband. But to live with a living thing like jealousy, envy, means that I can never accept it, I can never get used to it - I must care for it as I would care for a newly planted tree, I must protect it against the sun, against the storm. So, in the same way, I have to live with this anxiety and envy, I must care for it, not get used to it, not condemn it. In this way I begin to love it and to care for it, which is not that I love to be envious or anxious, but rather that I care for the watching. It is like living with a snake in the room, gradually I begin to see my immediate relationship to it and there is no conflict.
So, can you and I, live with what we actually are? Being dull, envious, fearful, thinking that we have tremendous affection when we have not, getting easily hurt, flattered, bored, can we live with these actualities, neither accepting nor denying, but observing, living with them without becoming morbid, depressed or elated? Then you will find that one of the major reasons for fear is that we don't want to live with what we are.
Talk and Dialogues Saanen 1967
5th Public Talk 18th July 1967