We are tired of this world with all the pain, the anxiety, the guilt, the misery, ….

We are tired of this world with all the pain, the anxiety, the guilt, the misery, the confusion, the competition, the desire for power, position, and death. This is what is the life which we live, daily: a life of battle, of conflict, a life that has very little meaning actually, objectively, it has very little meaning; to battle all one’s life, to fight with each other inwardly, constantly making effort, conflict, and at the end of forty, fifty or sixty years, to die. That is what we know, that is the actual, that is the daily life of everyone, whether they live in the East or in the West, in the communist world or in the capitalist world.

[3rd Students Talk Rajghat
November 30, 1969]

…understand oneself…

And that’s why it’s important to understand oneself, to know oneself, to see all the structure of oneself: the thoughts, the hopes, the fears, the anxieties, the ambitions, the competitive, aggressive spirit.

[4th Public Talk Berkeley, California
February 06, 1969]

…is it possible for human beings – you and I – for us to be really free?…

And, is it possible to be free? Is it possible as we are – conditioned, shaped by every influence, by propaganda, by the books we read, the cinemas, the radios, the magazines – all impinging on the mind, shaping it – is it possible to live in this world completely free, not only consciously but at the very roots of our being? That, it seems to me, is the challenge, is the only issue. Because if one is not free there is no love – there is jealousy, anxiety, fear, domination, the pursuit of pleasure, sexually or otherwise. If one is not free you cannot see clearly, if there is no freedom there is no sense of beauty. This is not mere arguments, supporting a theory that man must be free – which again becomes an ideology, which again will divide people. So, if to you that is the central issue, that is the main challenge of life – not whether you are happy or unhappy, all that becomes secondary – whether you can get on with others or whether your belief, your opinions are more important than another – all those are side issues which will be answered if this question is fully, deeply understood and answered. If you really feel that is the only challenge in life seeing the actual facts around you, and the actual fact inside yourself, how narrow, petty, small we are, anxious, guilty, fearful, hanging on to other people’s ideas, opinions, judgements, worshipping public opinion, having heroes, examples – when you see all that in yourself, actually, which breeds fragmentation, a division, if to you that is the only challenge, the challenge of freedom – and not because the speaker says so, but because you yourself have observed it, you yourself have seen very clearly when you examine the whole map of human existence – the nationalities, the wars, the division of gods and the priests and the ideologies, all that, the conflict, the misery, the sorrow. If this is the central issue, for each one of us, and nothing else, because unless one is free you cannot see what is truth, unless there’s complete freedom inwardly love becomes a pleasure-pain; unless there is complete inward sense of freedom, not given by another, not as an idea, not as a something to be aspired to, then there is no fear of death. If this is the central issue then you and the speaker are in communion, you and the speaker can communicate with each other, whether it is at all possible, and we can then go into it step by step. But if to you that is not the main interest, that is not the main challenge – but whether if you ask is it possible for a human being to find God, truth, love and all the rest of it – how can you find anything if you’re not free? How can you explore, take a voyage, if all the things that you have accumulated through generation after generation, that burden you carry with you, all the fear. So it seems to me that is the only issue, and, is it possible for human beings – you and I – for us to be really free?

[2nd Public Talk Saanen
July 09, 1968]

…They have given you escapes, and escapes are not the answer…

So, that is our main issue: a mind that has been so heavily conditioned for so many centuries, whether it is possible to uncondition itself and not fall into another condition, and therefore be free, capable, intensely alive, anew, fresh, so that it can meet any problem. As I said, that is the only question we have to face, and as human beings we have to find the answer. And you cannot depend on anybody to tell you what to do. You understand? You cannot depend on anybody to tell you how to uncondition yourself; and if you do depend on that person, you are conditioning yourself according to his ideas. Therefore you are back again, caught. So, see the immense problem that is in front of you. There is no leader, no saviour, no guru, no authority anymore, because they have all they have done is to condition you – as a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, whatever you like – as a communist and all that. And they have not answered the problem. They have found no solution to human misery, to human anxiety, to human despair. They have given you escapes, and escapes are not the answer. When you have got cancer you can’t run away from it, you have to face it.

[1st Public Talk New Delhi
December 15, 1966]