The Free Mind
Public talk, Madras, November
The mind that has put its house in order, has understood the
nature of knowledge. Such a mind is completely silent. And that silence has no
cause. You see, "silence" can be illusory; it can be put together by a thought
that is determined to be silent. You have the silence between the two whistles
of a train, the silence between two notes, between two noises, between two
sounds, between two thoughts - but that kind of silence is still within the
realm of cognition. But when the mind is completely silent, it isn't even
aware that it is silent. If it were, it would merely be playing tricks. The mind
that has put its house in order is silent. That silence has no cause and,
therefore, has no end. Only that which has a cause can end. That silence - which
has no ending - is absolutely necessary, because it is only in that silence that
there is no movement of thought. It is only in that silence that that which is
sacred, that which is nameless, and that which is not measurable by thought, is.
And that which is, is the most sacred. That is meditation.
1958 3rd Public Talk, Poona, India
The mind is conditioned, is it not? All your environment is shaping
the mind; the climate, the customs, the tradition, the racial influences, the
family, - innumerable conscious and unconscious pressures are shaping the mind.
You are a Hindu, a Parsi, a Mussulman, a Christian or whatever you are, because
you have been influenced by your environment.
1971 Public talk, Rome, Italy
So thought is the instrument of pleasure, and thought is the
instrument of pain, fear - consciously or unconsciously. Then there is the whole
question of hidden fears, unconscious, deep rooted fears inherited through the
environment, through culture, through the race, through family, you know, the
stored up fears. Now how is one to be free of all that?
1957 4th public talk, Bombay
You may know the superficial layers of your mind; but to know the
unconscious motives, drives, fears, the hidden residue of tradition, of racial
inheritance - to be aware of all that and to give it close attention is very
hard work, it demands a great deal of energy. Most of us are unwilling to give
close attention to these things, we have not the patience to go into ourselves
step by step, inch by inch, so that we begin to know all the subtleties, the
intricate movements of the mind.
But it is only the mind which has understood itself in its totality and is
therefore incapable of self-deception - it is only such a mind that can free
itself of its past and go beyond its own movements within the field of time.
This is not very difficult, but it requires a great deal of hard work. >>
Delhi India 3rd Public Talk, 19th December, 1948
"So, self-knowledge is the technique of meditation, and without
self-knowledge there is no meditation."
"Self-knowledge begins in understanding oneself from moment to moment, and
that understanding requires one's full attention to be given to each thought at
any particular moment without an end in view; because, there cannot be complete
attention when there is condemnation or justification. When the mind condemns or
justifies, it does so either to deny or to escape what it perceives."
"To discover what is eternal, the process of the mind must be understood. You
cannot think about the unknown; you can think only about the known, and what is
known is not the real. Reality cannot be thought about, meditated upon,
pictured, or formulated; if it is, it is not real, because it is merely the
projection of the mind. It is only when the thought process ceases, when the
mind is literally and utterly still - and stillness can come about only through
self-knowledge - , that reality is understood; and it is the real that resolves
our problems, not our cunning distractions and formulated escapes."