Quote of the Day

Nov 19, 2023
I think I will only answer questions this evening and not give the usual preliminary talk: but before answering, I would like to point out one or two things concerning these questions and answers.

First of all, most of us are very inclined to believe. The mind is very clever in persuading us to think differently, to adopt a new point of view, or to believe in things that are not fundamentally true. Now, in answering these questions, I would like to say that I am not persuading you to think along my particular line. We are trying to find the right answer together. I am not answering for you just to accept or deny. We are going to find out together what is true, and that requires an open mind, an intelligent mind, an enquiring mind, an alert mind; not a mind that is so prejudiced that it merely denies, or so eager that it accepts. And, in answering these questions, one fundamental thing must be borne in mind. It is that they are merely a reflection of the ways of our own thinking, they reveal to us what we think. They should act as a mirror in which we perceive ourselves. After all, these discussions, these talks, have only one purpose, and that is the pursuit of self-knowledge. For, as I said, it is only in knowing ourselves first - deeply, profoundly, not superficially - that we can know truth. And it is extremely arduous to know ourselves deeply, not superficially. It is not a matter of time, but a question of intensity; it is direct perception and experience that are important. And these discussions and talks are meant for that; so that each one of us may experience directly whatever is being discussed, and not merely understand it on the verbal level. It is important also to bear in mind that each of us must find the truth, each of us must be the Master and the pupil; and that requires a great deal of humility, not mere acceptance of assurance or denial from me.

So, when I answer these questions, please bear all this in mind. Because, all of us have innumerable problems. Life is not very pleasant or simple; it is very complicated; and we can understand it only when we understand the whole, total process; and the total process is in us, not outside of us. Therefore, it is important to understand ourselves. Then we can deal with the things that we face every day, the influences that are constantly impinging upon us.
Ojai, California USA | 9th Public Talk 13th August 1949 Read full text