Public Talk, March 14th, 1948 | Mumbai, India
I would like this afternoon to discuss the problem of action, which might be rather abstruse and difficult at the beginning, but I hope by thinking it over, we will be able to see the issue clearly. Because, our whole existence, our whole life, is a process of action. It is an action at different levels of consciousness. Please, I am afraid you will have to pay a little attention to this, because it is going to be extremely difficult if you do not follow it very closely, if your attention is distracted by those who are passing behind me. I shall not be distracted; but you will be, unfortunately, and therefore you will not be able to follow it and will miss its beauty; because, it is quite a difficult problem and needs very close attention.
Most of us live in a series of actions, of seemingly unrelated, disjointed actions, leading to disintegration, to frustration. It is a problem that concerns each one of us, because we live by action; and without action, there is no life, there is no experience, there is no thinking. Thought is action; and merely to pursue action at one particular level of consciousness, which is the outer, merely to be caught up in outward action without understanding the whole process of action itself, will inevitably lead us to frustration, to misery. Therefore, if I may suggest, and though the problem is quite simple, one has to be a little concentrated - not with the concentration of exclusiveness, but with the interest which brings, not exclusion, but attention. That is what is needed: to be attentive with interest. Then you and I will go together; then I won't take the journey alone, and you won't become a mere spectator. And if we can take the journey together, it will be much more creative, much more interesting, more vital and significant, and therefore you will be able to follow it for yourself in daily action.