Frognerseteren, Norway | 1st Public Talk, September 6, 1933
A problem exists as long as there is reaction - either a reaction to external standards, or a reaction to an inner standard, as when you say, ''I must be true to this idea,'' or, ''I must be true to this belief.'' Most educated, thoughtful people have discarded external standards, but they have developed inner standards. We discard an external standard because we have created an inner standard to which we are trying to be true, a standard which is continually guiding us and shaping us, a standard which creates duality in our action. As long as there are standards to which we are trying to be true, there will be problems, and hence the continual search for the solution of these problems.
These inner standards exist as long as we do not meet the experiences and incidents of life wholly. As long as there is a guiding principle in our lives to which we are trying to be true, there must be duality in action, and therefore a problem. That duality will exist as long as there is conflict, and conflict exists wherever there is the limitation of self-consciousness, the 'I'. Though we have discarded external standards and have found for ourselves an inner principle, an inner law, to which we are trying to be true, there is still distinction in action, and hence an incompleteness in understanding. It is only when we understand, when we no longer search for understanding, then there is an effortless existence.
So when I say, do not seek a solution, do not search for an end, I do not mean that you must turn to the opposite and become stagnant. My point is: Why do you seek a solution? Why are you incapable of meeting life openly, nakedly, simply, fully? Because, you are continually trying to be consistent. Therefore there is the exertion of will to conquer the immediate obstacle; there is conflict, and you do not try to find out the cause of the conflict. To me this continual search for truth, for understanding, for the solution of various problems, is not progress; this going from one problem to another is not evolution. Only when the mind and heart meet every idea, every incident, every experience, every expression of life, fully - only then can there be a continual becoming which is not stagnation. But the search for a solution, which we mistakenly call progress, is merely stagnation.