Madras, India | Eight Public Talk, December 27, 1953
Is it not necessary to have a fresh mind, not an open mind, but a totally new mind to meet all these problems? Is it possible? I do not know if you have asked this question of yourselves. We have always asked how to meet the problem, what methods we should adopt, what ideals we should practice, the way, but we never said to ourselves that we must have a new mind, a totally innocent mind that can meet the problems, a fresh mind uncluttered, a mind that can see the problem without any bias. So when we inquire into that, should we not go into that question of what is experience because it is the experience that is dulling the mind? That is, does experience, as we know it, help to meet this extraordinarily complex problem of living? If I may suggest, it is important to know how to listen. You are listening obviously from experience; you have conclusions, you have had innumerable experiences, various trials, sorrows, afflictions, and with that background you are listening, you are listening with a conclusion. Is that listening at all? If I listen to what you are saying - which may perhaps be new, different - with a mind already entrenched in a particular ideology, in a particular experience, in a specific knowledge, can such a mind listen? That may be one of our difficulties because I feel that if we can listen rightly, we shall be able to break down the whole process of the mind that is entrenched in a particular point of view. So there is an art of listening, and I think it is very important, especially when we are dealing with the problems that confront each one of us.