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Brockwood Park, 1st meeting 1980

Questions and Answers 42nd Question Brockwood Park 1st Question & Answer Meeting 2nd September 1980 'Urgency to Change'

Question: When I listen to you there is an urgency to change. When I return home it fades. What am I to do?

What are you to do? Is the urgency to change due to, or influenced by, the speaker? While you are here you are driven into a corner but when you leave that is so no longer. It means that you are being challenged, influenced, driven, persuaded, and when that is gone you are where you were.

Now, what is one to do? Please let us think out the right answer to this. What is one to do? I come to this gathering from a distant place. It is a lovely day. I have put up a tent and I am really interested. I have read, not only what the speaker has said, but a great deal besides. I know the Christian and Buddhist concepts, the Hindu mythology, and I have also done different forms of meditation, the T.M., the Tibetan, Hindu and Buddhist. But I am dissatisfied with all those, so I come here and I listen. Now am I prepared to listen completely? I cannot listen completely if I bring all my knowledge here with me. I cannot listen or learn, or comprehend, completely if I belong to some sect, if I am attached to one particular concept and if I also want to add to that what is said here. I must come, if I am serious, with a free mind, with a mind that says, "Let's find out, for God's sake", not, "I want to add what you are saying to what I already know".

So what is one's attitude going to be? The speaker has been saying constantly: freedom is absolutely necessary. Psychological freedom first, not the physical freedom which you have in the democratic, if not in the totalitarian, countries. Inward freedom can only come about when one understands one's conditioning, the conditioning which is both social and cultural, religious, economic and physical. Can one be free of that - of the psychological conditioning? Me first, everybody else second! What is difficult in all this is that we cling to something so deeply that we are unwilling to let go. One has studied various things and one is attracted to a particular psychological school. One has gone into it, studied it and found out that there is a great deal in it and one sticks to it. And then one comes here and listens and adds what one has heard to that. So it all becomes a melange, a mixture of everything. Are we not doing that? Our minds become very confused. And for the time being when you are here that confusion is somewhat pushed away or diminished, but when you leave, it is back again. Can one be aware of this confusion, not only while you are here but when you are at home - that is much more important?

So what does it all indicate? We have the intelligence to solve technological problems: the problem-solving mind. We all have that, but it is not intelligence. The capacity to think clearly, objectively, and to be aware of the limitation of thinking, that is the beginning of intelligence. We worship thinking; the more cleverly we can think, the greater we see ourselves as being. Whereas if we could observe our own confusion, our own individual narrow way of looking at life, if we could be aware of all that, we would see how thought is perpetually creating problems. Thought creates the image and that image divides - to see that requires intelligence. To see psychological dangers is intelligence. But apparently we do not see those things. That means somebody has to goad you all the time, push you, drive you, ask you, persuade you, beg you to make you aware of yourself; and then to move from there, not just stay there. And I am afraid nobody is going to do that for you, not even the most enlightened human being, because then you become his slave.

Vitality, physical and psychological energy, is, as you are now, being dissipated in conflict, in worry, in chattering, in endless gossip not only with others but with oneself. This endless chattering! It all dissipates the psychological energy that is needed to observe ourselves in the mirror of relationship - we are all related to somebody or other - and so discover our illusions, images, absurdities and idiocies. Then out of that observation comes freedom and the intelligence which will show the way of life.

Questions and Answers

Brockwood Park, 1st meeting 1980

Questions and Answers 42nd Question Brockwood Park 1st Question & Answer Meeting 2nd September 1980 'Urgency to Change'

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ancient Chinese treatise by Sun Tzu

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free summary online