Chennai, India | 1st Public Talk 6th December, 1936
What do I mean by "being conscious"? I mean not only the objective perception of the interrelated complexity of life, but also the complete awareness of the hidden, subtle, psychological processes from which arise confusion, joy, struggle, and pain. Most of us think that we are conscious of the objective complexity of life. We are conscious of our jobs, of our bosses, of ourselves as employers or as the employed. We are conscious of friction in relationship. This perception of the mere objective complexity of life is not, to me, full consciousness. We become fully conscious only when we deeply relate the psychological to the objective complexity. When we are able to relate through action the hidden with the known, then we are beginning to be conscious.
Before we can awaken in ourselves this full consciousness from which alone can come true creative expression, we must become aware of the actual, that is, of the prejudices, fears, tendencies, wants, with their many illusions and expressions. When we are thus aware, we shall know the relationship of the actual to our action which limits and conditions thought-emotion with its reactions, hopes and escapes. When we are conscious of the actual there is the immediate perception of the false. That very perception of the false is truth. Then there is no problem of choice, of good and evil, false and true, the essential and unessential. In perceiving what is, the false and the true are known, without the conflict of choice.