Saanen, Switzerland | Ninth Public Talk, 1967
Every experience demands recognition, otherwise it is not an experience. If I don't recognize it as an experience involving something, it is not an experience. It is only when I recognize it that I call it an experience, but to recognize I must have already known. Through experience there can be no new thing at all. So one has discovered a fundamental truth, that a mind that is seeking, craving, searching for wider, deeper experience, such a mind is shallow because it lives always with its memories, with its recognitions, and what is remembered, recognized, is not the new. But there is no experiencing in silence and one asks, how is it possible to act in this world if the mind is really quiet, silent? You understand? Is it possible to function, in this world, with this enormous sense of silence? One has a certain function, one has to do a certain thing, as a librarian, as a cook, as a technician, sit in an office and so on, which all demands accumulated information as knowledge, experience; and one asks, can my mind which has understood and is living in that state of silence function in these circumstances? When one puts that question, one separates silence from the action; it is therefore the wrong question. But when there is the silence one will function in the office. You know, it is like a drum that is highly tuned and you strike on it and it gives you the right note, but it is always empty, silent. It doesn't say - 'I am silent' - 'How am I to function in the office?'