Quote of the Day

Aug 2, 2022
I am not talking of theories. I am not peddling in ideas. We are trying to find out what it means to live. Living without fear may be immortality, being deathless. To die to memories, to the yesterday and the tomorrow, is surely to live with death; and in that state there is no fear of death and all the absurd inventions which fear creates. And what does it mean, to die inwardly? Thought is a continuity of yesterday into the future, is it not? Thought is the response of memory. Memory is the result of experience. And experience is the process of challenge and response. You can see that thought is always functioning in the field of the known; and so long as the machinery of thought is functioning there must be fear. Because it is thought that prevents the enquiry into the unknown.

Please, we are trying to think this thing out together. I am not talking to you as a person who has discovered something new and is just telling you about it for you merely to follow verbally. You must go along with it and search out your own mind and heart. There must be self-knowing; for the knowing of oneself is the beginning of freedom from fear. We are asking if it is possible to live with death, not at the last moment. when the mind is diseased or there is old age or an accident, but actually to find out now. To live with death must be an extraordinary experience, something totally new, unthought of and which thought cannot possibly discover. And to find out what it means to live with death, you must have immense energy, must you not? To live with your wife, your husband, your children, your neighbour and not be perverted, twisted; to live with a tree, with nature; you need to have energy to meet it. To live with an ugly thing you must have energy; otherwise the ugly thing will distort you, or you will get accustomed to it, mechanically; and the same applies to beauty. Unless you live intensely, completely, fully in a world of this kind, where there is every form of propaganda, influence, pressure, control, false values, you get accustomed to it all, and it dulls the mind, the spirit. And to have energy there must be no fear which means there must be no demand on life at all. I do not know if you can go as far as that: not to ask a thing of life.

We discussed `need' the other day. We do need certain physical comforts, food and shelter; but to make psychological demands on life means that you are begging, that you are afraid. It requires an intense energy to stand alone. To understand this is not a matter of thinking about it. There is understanding only when there is no choice, no judgment, but merely observation. To die each day means not to carry over from yesterday all your ambitions, grievances, your memories of fulfilment, your grudges, your hatred. Most of us wither away, but that is not dying. To die is to know what love is. Love has no continuity, no tomorrow. The picture of a person on the wall, the image, in your mind - that is not love, it is merely memory. As love is the unknown, so death is the unknown. And to enter the unknown, which is death and love, one must first die to the known. Then only is the mind fresh, young and innocent; and in that there is no death.
Paris 7th Public Talk | 19th September 1961 Read full text