Quote of the Day

Feb 9, 2021
You don't really know yourself. To know yourself is to know the extraordinary capacity of your own mind, to uncover the recesses of your own heart; it is to know how your mind operates, and whether your thinking is action or mere reaction; it is to be aware of the intricacies of the unconscious and see all the intimations and hints that the unconscious is projecting into the conscious. But you are not aware of all that, you are just operating on the surface and going through the routine of daily existence. You go to the office, do your work, and return, carrying on day after day in the same old pattern; and you do not want any disturbance of that pattern which means that you are superficially satisfied. When you are disturbed superficially, you seek further satisfaction, so your life remains on the superficial level. Though you may meditate, read the scriptures, think of God, it is all on the surface. Your mind is like a gramophone record repeating a song you have heard. It is not even your song, it is the song of another; and there may be no 'your song', but only 'the song'. 

So it is very important to understand not only the conscious, but also the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is much more powerful, much more insistent much more directive and conservative than the conscious mind; because the conscious is merely the educated mind which adjusts itself to the environment. I do not know if you have noticed a priest riding on the bus or on a motorbike. This situation is quite contradictory, if you come to think of it, He is adjusting himself, as you do, to the environment, to the pressure from outside, but inwardly he is the same - that is, the unconscious is still the residue of the past.

If I may suggest it, watch your own minds; do not merely listen to my words, but through my words observe the operation of your own thinking and discover yourself. I am describing the picture, but it is your picture, not mine. If you really watch yourself as you listen, you will find a radical change taking place in spite of your conscious mind. It is like a seed that, being sown in fertile soil, pushes through the earth and puts out a blossom. So may I respectfully and persistently ask you to listen so that through the activity of listening you find out the real facts, the truth about yourself. The discovery of that truth will liberate the mind.
Colombo, Sri Lanka | 3rd Public Talk 20th January 1957 Read full text