Quote of the Day

Nov 9, 2023
. . . so thought breeds fear. I think about my losing a job or I might lose a job and thought creates the fear. So thought always projects itself in time, because thought is time. I think about the illness I have had and I do not like pain, and I am frightened that the pain might return again. I have had an experience of pain; thinking about it and not wanting it create fear. Fear is very closely related to pleasure. Most of us are guided by pleasure. To us, like the animals, pleasure is of the highest importance, and pleasure is part of thought. By thinking about something that has given me pleasure, that pleasure is increased. Isn't it? Have you not noticed all this? You have had an experience of pleasure - of a beautiful sunset, or of sex - and you think about it. The thinking about it increases pleasure, as thinking about what you have had as pain brings fear. So thought creates pleasure and fear. Doesn't it? So thought is responsible for the demand for, and the continuation of pleasure; and thought is also responsible for engendering fear, bringing about fear. One sees this; this is an actual experimental fact.

Then one asks oneself, "Is it possible not to think about pleasure or pain? Is it possible to think only when thought is demanded, but not otherwise?" Sir, when you function in an office, when you are working at a job, thought is necessary; otherwise you could not do anything. When you speak, when you write, when you talk, when you go to the office, thought is necessary. There, it must function precisely, impersonally. There, thought must not be guided by inclination, a tendency. There, thought is necessary. But is thought necessary in any other field of action?

Please follow this. For us thought is very important; that is the only instrument we have. Thought is the response of memory which has been accumulated through experience, through knowledge, through tradition; and memory is the result of time, inherited from the animal. And with this background we react. This reaction is thinking. Thought is essential at certain levels. But when thought projects itself as the future and the past psychologically, then thought creates fear as well as pleasure; and in this process the mind is made dull and, therefore, inaction is inevitable. Sir, fear, as we said, is brought about by thought - thinking about losing my job, thinking my wife might run away with somebody, thinking about death, thinking about what has been and so on. Can thought stop thinking about the past psychologically, self-protectively, or about the future?
Public Talk 1 Bombay (Mumbai), India - 19 February 1967 Read full text