Ojai, California | 12th Public Talk 1st July, 1934
As we have built up through centuries, generation after generation, this wheel of self-protection, spiritual and economic, let us find out if spiritual or economic self-protection is real. Perhaps economically you may assert self-protection for awhile. The man who has money and many possessions, and who has secured comforts and pleasures for his body, is generally, if you will observe, most insufficient and unintelligent, and is groping after so-called spiritual protection.
Let us inquire however if there really is spiritual self-protection, because economically we see there is no security. The illusion of economic security is shown throughout the world by these depressions, crises, wars, calamities, and chaos. We recognize this, and so turn to spiritual security. But to me there is no security, there is no self-protection, and there never can be any. I say there is only wisdom, which is understanding, not protection. That is, security, self-protection, is the outcome of insufficiency, in which there is no intelligence, in which there is no creative thinking, in which there is constant battle between the"you" and society, and in which the cunning exploit you ruthlessly. As long as there is the pursuit of self-protection there must be conflict, and so there can be no understanding, no wisdom. And as long as this attitude exists, your search for spirituality, for truth, or for God is vain, useless, because it is merely the search for greater power, greater security.