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Existence is painful and complex. To understand the sorrow of our existence we must think-feel anew, we must approach life simply and directly; if we can, we must begin each day anew. We must be able each day to revalue the ideals and patterns that we have brought into being. Life can be deeply and truly understood only as it exists in each one; you are that life and without comprehending it there can be no enduring joy and tranquillity.
Our conflict within and without arises, does it not, from the changing and contradictory values based on pleasure and pain? Our struggle lies in trying to find a value that is wholly satisfying, unvarying and un-disturbing; we are seeking permanent value that will ever gratify without any shadow of doubt or pain. Our constant struggle is based on this demand for lasting security; we crave security in things, in relationship, in thought.
Without understanding the problem of insecurity there is no security. If we seek security we shall not find it; the search for security brings its own destruction. There must be insecurity for the comprehension of reality, the insecurity that is not the opposite of security. A mind that is well anchored, which feels safe in some refuge, can never understand reality. The craving for security breeds slothfulness; it makes the mind-heart unliable and insensitive, fearful and dull; it hinders the vulnerability to reality. In deep insecurity is Truth realized.
But we need a certain security to live; we need food, clothes and shelter, without which existence is not possible. It would be a comparatively simple matter to organize and distribute effectively if we were satisfied with our daily fundamental needs only. Then there would be no individual, no national assertiveness, competitive expansion and ruthlessness; there would be no need for separate sovereign governments; there would be no wars if we were wholly satisfied with our daily needs. But we are not.
Ojai, California | 7th Public Talk 1945 Read full text