Ojai, California | 6th Public Talk 1945
What is the process of understanding a problem? To understand, mind-heart must unburden itself of its accumulation so that it is capable of right perception. If you would understand a modern painting you must, if you can, put aside your classical training, your prejudices, your trained responses. Similarly if we want to understand a complex psychological problem we must be capable of examining it without any condemnatory or favourable bias; we must be capable of approaching it with dispassion and freshness.
The questioner says that he has been struggling for many years with his problem. In his struggle he has accumulated what he would call experience, knowledge, and with this increasing burden he tries to solve the problem; thus he has never come face to face with it openly, anew, but has always approached it with the accumulation of many years. It is the accumulated memory that confronts the problem and so there is no understanding of it. The dead past darkens the ever living present.