What is religion and what is meditation?
A mind that seeks truth must be free of the observer
7th Public Talk Saanen
July 29, 1973
This is the last talk and there will be a discussion on Wednesday morning.
During all these talks here for the last fortnight I hope we saw the tremendous importance of the human mind undergoing a radical revolution because we are the world, and the world is us. This may become a slogan! And it would be unfortunate if it became merely a verbal, intellectual concept. You know when you hear a statement of that kind you really don't listen, you translate it into an idea, and then you try to conform yourself to that idea. First when you hear a statement of that kind, verbally, intellectually you understand. The understanding is in terms of an idea, a verbal concept, and then you will find it very difficult to approximate your life to that concept. So you have a difficulty when you form a conclusion from a statement. And then you will say to yourself, 'What am I to do? How am I to live in a world in which I know intellectually that I am the world, and the world is me, how am I to live that?' I think such a question is a wrong question because first you have really not listened to that question, to that statement, at all. That means you have not seen the truth, the perfume, the beauty of that statement, actually seen it. If you do then it is like breathing a perfume, it is there. And that perfume is going to act, not what you should do with that statement.
I hope this is clear, because we are going this morning into something that requires, if you are at all serious, your non-verbal attention. There is a verbal attention, and a non-verbal attention. The verbal attention is conceptual, ideological, fragmentary. Whereas the attention which is non-verbal, you listen without forming a conclusion, an abstraction. And that very act of listening produces its own activity. One hasn't to do something about that statement. The very listening to that statement brings about a clarity, a perfume, which acts independently from your conceptual activity.
We are going, this morning, to talk over together, and therefore share together, what is religion, what is the meaning of religion, and what is meditation? Because in a degenerating world where there is really quite a chaos, religion has become meaningless; religion has become a series of repetitive rituals, in a marvellous setting, in a cathedral with lovely colours and windows, and the priestly robes, all the marvellous setting is there, without any content - a verbal rigmarole that has lost totally its meaning. And it is the same right throughout the world, whether you go to a temple in India, very, very ancient temples with a great deal of feeling around it, the beauty, the quietness, the darkness, gives a mystery; and there is the chanting of the priest and the incense and all the flowers, and the kneeling and the genuflecting and so on and so on and so on that goes on in the east; and also in the west here, it is all so beautifully organised. Everybody is driven through propaganda of two thousand years to go into a church in the morning, sit around, look at people's hats and the new dresses and all that thing that goes on with the rituals and the mass, which has nothing to do whatsoever with our daily living. And the influence, the ritualistic propaganda has lost its meaning. And in its place, in the west, the gurus from the east have stepped in, with their authority, with their demand for obedience, acceptance, shaving their heads and putting on robes, and dancing in the streets, transcendental meditations for so much money, and so on and on and on. Where there is a vacuum, emptiness, something has to be filled, and India apparently is filling it with their rubbish! And this is not religion. Religion has nothing whatsoever to do with belief, because belief inevitably divides people, as nationalities, economic states, social division and so on. Beliefs divide people, separate people, and therefore where there is separation, division, either through belief, nationality or any other form of division, it must inevitably bring about conflict. Where there is conflict there must be violence.
So religions throughout the world have no meaning whatsoever any more. On the contrary, through their persecution, torture, excommunication and so on and so on, they have divided, separated man. This is a fact. So when you put aside all that, not only verbally, logically, intellectually, but put it away completely from oneself so that the mind is free to enquire, it is no longer driven by propaganda, by threat and punishment, on which the churches, the temples, the mosques have survived.
So when the mind is free from belief, from punishment and reward, actually free, not ideologically free, then we can begin to enquire, investigate together, what is religion. Because man, from the ancient of days, has enquired into this. He sees the world transient, painful, sorrowful, a life of continuous struggle, pain, all the absurdities and the trivialities and the pleasures, all those are passing, they disappear. And so man, or woman, human beings, have enquired into this question. They have taken vows of celibacy, obedience, charity; they have tortured themselves physically, psychologically; they have denied the worldly things and have married themselves to an idea, to an image, to a concept. They have tried everything - fasting, withdrawing from the world, isolating themselves and never really finding out for themselves what is the meaning of religion.
And we, this morning, if we are serious, then we can begin to enquire very deeply, what is sacred, if there is anything sacred at all, what is a mind that is not caught in time, and if there is anything timeless, something which has not been put together by the mind, by thought. That is what our enquiry is. And in the process of this enquiry we will find out for ourselves what is meditation.
Are we together, I hope, journeying together into this question? First we are trying to enquire into what is not only the meaning of life, but also if there is something that is beyond time, something that is not nameable, something that thought in its devious ways in its search for its permanency, has put together. If there is something beyond all this.
So to penetrate deeply into these questions: what is religion, if it has any meaning in life, and what is meditation, if it has any significance in one's living? And in the enquiry, if we are serious, dedicated, completely committed to such enquiry, then we shall be able to find out the whole movement of a mind that is not caught in the trap of time.
I don't know quite where to begin this thing, because it is very complicated, and if we could all together, not as separate human beings, man, woman, with a name, with a particular problem and so on, together enquire into this, it would be a marvellous thing. If we could put aside our particular temperament, our particular committed activity, our particular demand for the solution of our little problems, if we could for this morning put aside all that and together, and I mean together, like building a house together, like putting a very complex machinery together, then in that feeling of togetherness which can only come about when we are serious, really deeply concerned with this enquiry, and when there is affection, then the feeling of togetherness comes about. And it has immense meaning because we are not separate human beings, we are related to each other. You may build a wall round yourself and another round himself, but when we are enquiring, suffering, anxious, feeling guilty, ambitious, all the rest of it, then we are together, because human beings all over the world have the same problems, whether they live in India, Japan or in Russia, China, America and so on, they have the same problems. They think they are separate problems, individual problems and they want to solve it by themselves, but we are all related to each other, you can't exist without me and I can't exist without you. We are the world and the world is us. That is not a concept, it is an actuality. And to feel that actuality, then this feeling of togetherness, sharing things together, the feeling of being together, which can only occur, take place when there is affection, when there is enquiry, when there is seriousness.
So we are going to enquire together in that sense, what is the whole religious movement, apart from the organised absurdity, apart from the priests and their propaganda and their images, and your own particular image, apart from all that, what is the religious enquiry, what is the religious life, and why should we look to religion at all? And to really go into it one must approach it through meditation, because you can give any meaning you like to a religious life. You can interpret religion according to any particular feeling, idiosyncrasy, environmental influence, ecology and so on. You can translate a religious life according to your particular conditioning, but that is not a religious life. So in enquiring into what is meditation then perhaps we'll come upon what is a religious life. Right? Can we go together from there?
Unfortunately there are many, many schools of meditation. They are popping up all over the world like poisonous mushrooms; and people being gullible as they are, fall into these traps. And if you don't fall into any of these traps, then what is meditation? If you don't belong to any group, as I don't, if you don't belong to any school, as I don't, if you don't do any particular practice or follow a guru, with all that nonsense that is going on, then what is meditation? And why should one meditate? The word 'meditation' means to ponder over, to think over, to delve deeply into the meaning.
So having discarded any practice - please listen to all this - having discarded any practice, any discipline, any following of anybody, including that of the speaker, most emphatically of the speaker, not to obey because the mind must be free from the very beginning, not at the end. The first step is the last step. And if the first step is not free then the last step will also not be free. So having totally seen the falseness of all this because when you practise a system in order to achieve a result you already know what the result is. So you have projected the result from your conditioning, as a reaction or as the opposite. And when you practise you inevitably bring about a mechanical process of thinking. So one must totally deny the whole sense of practice. And following somebody with a beard, with a new kind of set of words instead of the old set of words, you know all that thing that is going on? Following anybody is the most destructive process.
So if you are not following anybody, not practising anything - practising in order to achieve enlightenment, bliss and god knows what else, if you have put aside all that, then let's enquire together what is meditation.
You see if you had never heard of that word it would be marvellous! Then you would come to it afresh, then you would listen very, very carefully, because then you would begin to learn, observe, watch, listen. But unfortunately you have already heard of that word, followed some book and so on.
So one can see very clearly that where there is the activity of the self, meditation is not possible. Right? Please understand this. This is very important to understand, not verbally but actually, into which we are going. We said, just now, that meditation is a process of emptying the mind of all the activity of the self, of all the activity of the 'me'. If you do not understand the activity of the self then your meditation only leads to illusion; your meditation then only leads to self-deception; your meditation then will only lead to further distortions. So to understand what meditation is you must understand the activity of the self. Ben?
Now we are going to find out the activity of the self. One of the activities of the self is to demand experience. Right? Because it is dissatisfied with the experiences it has in this world with all its pain, pleasure, punishment, grief, guilt. It has had a thousand experiences, worldly, sensuous, intellectual experiences, it is bored with them because they have no meaning. So the demand for a greater experience is the activity of the self. Right? Please understand this very clearly because this desire to have wider, more expansive, transcendental experiences, the desire is part of the 'me', the self. When you have such experiences, or visions, you must be able to recognise those experiences, or those visions. When you can recognise them they are no longer new - right? - therefore it is projection of your background, of your conditioning, in which the mind delights as something new. And you say, 'Yes, I have had a marvellous experience' - whether through LSD, through various kinds of self-hypnosis and so on. So one of the activities of the self is the demand for more experience. Don't agree with the speaker. See the truth of it, then it is yours.
And one of the demands or the urges, or the desires, of the self is to change 'what is' into 'what should be'. Because it doesn't know what to do with 'what is', it cannot resolve 'what is', therefore it projects an idea of 'what it should be', which is the ideal. Please carefully listen to all this. So the mind, the self, desires to change 'what is' into 'what should be'. The 'what should be' is the projection, or the antithesis of 'what is'. And therefore there is a conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be', and in that conflict, that very conflict is the blood and the breath of the self. Understand?
Also one of the activities of the self is the will - the will to become, the will to change. Will is a form of resistance, in which we have been educated from childhood. Will, to us, has become extraordinarily important, both economically, socially and religiously. Will is a form of ambition. And that is one of the activities. And from that will arises the desire to control. Please follow all this. To control - control one thought by another thought, one activity of thought by another activity of thought. 'I must control my desire' - the 'I' is put together by thought, a verbal statement as the 'me' with its memories, experiences. That thought wants to control, shape, deny, another thought. And one of the activities of the self is to separate itself as the observer.
Please, if it gets a little complex tell me and I'll stop. We are travelling together, if you get tired let us stop. Let's listen to the stream going by, or look at the sunlight and the deep shadows, and if you can see those mountains and delight with them, then we will stop so as to come back to it afresh. But if you are not tired we will go on.
As we said, one of the activities of the self as the 'me' is the observer. The observer is the past, with all the accumulated knowledge, experience, memories. So the 'I', the 'me' separates itself as the observer, and the 'you' as the observed. 'We' and 'They' - we the Germans, the Communists, the Catholics, the Hindus, and they the heathens, the communists and so on, and so on, so on. So the activity of the self is the 'me' as the observer, the activity of the self, the 'me', as the controller and the controlled, the activity of the self as will, the activity of the self demanding, desiring, experience. Right? As long as any of those activities exist, meditation then becomes a means of self-hypnosis, escape from the daily life, escape from all the misery and problems. And as long as that activity exists there must be self-hypnosis, deception and so on. If you see the reality of that, not verbally, but actually, that a man who is enquiring into meditation, see what takes place, then he must understand all the activity of the self. You may sit for an hour very quietly, close your eyes, breathe rightly, put your head over the - god knows where! - and hoping, thinking that you are meditating. You are not meditating. That's just You are playing games.
I was walking one day in New Delhi, among the ancient tombs of the Muslims, and I saw a man come on a bicycle, a poorish man, lean the bicycle against a tree, sit cross-legged, shut his eyes and he thought he was meditating. And I watched him for some time. He was very quiet. And then he stopped meditating, got up, lit a cigarette and went on! But he spent a long time. I came back after taking a long walk, and there he was, still sitting very quietly! And there are all those people who are practising awareness - awareness according to Zen Buddhism, or according to some professor, some writer of Zen, and all that thing that is going on and on and on. The Sufis, the Krishna conscious crowd - you know - to which you all belong. You may remember that story of a man coming to a teacher and sitting in front of him cross-legged, closing his eyes and saying to the teacher, 'I am going to meditate in order to reach the highest form of consciousness'. And the teacher said, 'All right, go ahead'. And the teacher presently picked up two pieces of stone and began to rub them together, and kept on rubbing. And presently the man opened his eyes and said, 'Master, what are you doing? You are disturbing me. What are you doing?' 'Oh', the Master said, 'I am rubbing these two pieces of stone in order to make a mirror of it, at least in one of them there will be a mirror'. And the man said, 'Master, you can do that for the next ten thousand years, you will never have a shiny pebble'. And the Master says, 'You can sit like that, my friend, for the next ten thousand years...!' (Laughter)
So meditation is the emptying of the mind of the activity of the self. And you cannot empty the mind of the activity of the self by any practice, by any method, or by saying 'Tell me what to do'. Therefore if you are really interested in this, concerned, you have to find out for yourself your own activity of the self as the you - the habits, the verbal statements, the gestures, the deceptions, the guilt which you cultivate and hold on to as though it were some precious thing instead of throwing it out, the punishments, all the activity of the self. And that demands awareness. Now what is being aware? Awareness implies an observation in which there is no choice whatsoever. Just to observe without interpretation, translation, distortion, and that will take place as long as there is an observer who is trying to be aware. Right? Are you getting all this?
So can you be aware, attentive, so that in that attention there is only observation and not the observer? Now listen to this. You have heard that statement: awareness is a state of mind in which the observer is not, with its choice. You hear that statement. You immediately want to put it into practice, into action. You say, 'What am I to do? How am I to be aware without the observer?' So you want an immediate activity set going. Right? Which means you have not really listened to that statement. You are more concerned with putting into action that statement, rather than listening to the statement. It is like looking at a flower and smelling the flower. The flower is there, the beauty of the flower, the colour, the loveliness of it. You look at it and pick it up and begin to tear it to pieces. And you do the same when you listen to this statement, that in awareness, in attention, there is no observer. If the observer is, then you have the problem of choice, conflict and all the rest of it. You hear that statement and then the immediate reaction of the mind is, 'How am I to do it?' So you are more concerned with the action of what to do about that statement, rather than actually listening to it. If you listen to it completely, then you are breathing the perfume, the truth of it. And the perfume, the truth acts, not the 'me' that is struggling to act rightly. You have got it?
So one has to understand, if you want to meditate, and the beauty of meditation and the depth of it, if you want to find out you have to enquire into the activities of the self, which is put together by time. So you have to understand time. Time, as we said, is a movement. Please listen to this. Listen. Don't do anything about it. Just listen. Find out if it is false or true. Just observe. Listen with your heart, not with your beastly little mind. Time is movement, both physically as well as psychologically. Physically to move from here to there, that needs time. Psychologically, the movement of time is to change 'what is' into 'what should be'. So thought, which is time, thought can never be still because thought is movement. Right? And this movement is part of the self. And all meditation, as one observes, and people have come to the speaker from every kind of group of meditation, always they are concerned with this problem, control and time. We are saying thought is the movement of time. Thought is the movement of time because it is the response of knowledge, experience, memory which is time. So thought can never be still. Thought can never be new. Thought can never bring about freedom.
So when one is aware of the movement of the self, in all its activities as ambition, fulfilment, in relationship and so on and so on, out of that comes a mind that is completely still, not thought is still - you understand the difference? Am I making myself clear? You understand sir, most people are trying to control their thought, and so hoping thereby to bring quietness to the mind. I have seen dozens of such people who have practised - god knows - for years trying to control their thought, thereby hoping to have a mind that is really quiet. But they don't see that thought is a movement. You might divide that movement as the observer and the observed, or the thinker and the thought, or the controller and the controlled, but it is still a movement. And thought can never be still, if it is still it dies, therefore it cannot afford to be still. You understand? So if you have gone into all this deeply, into yourself, then you will see the mind becomes completely still, not enforced, not controlled, not hypnotised. And it must be still because it is only in that stillness that a totally new, unrecognisable thing can take place. You understand sir? If I force my mind to be still, brought about through various tricks and practices, shocks, then it is the stillness of a mind that has struggled with thought, controlled thought, suppressed thought. Right? That is entirely different from a mind that has seen the activity of the self, seen the movement of thought as time, and being aware of all that movement, that very attention brings about the quality of a mind that is completely still, in which something totally new can take place. Are we anywhere near together? Because you see our life is routine, both sexually, daily life of habits, office, labour, it is a constant routine, a repetition, a habit, and in that area nothing new can happen. And man is always searching within that area for something new - the new non-objective painting, the new plays, the new technology, always within that area of the known. And within that area nothing new can take place. Though human beings struggle, struggle, struggle - new ways of expression, new kind of literature, new kind of painting - and in that there is nothing new because all that is the activity of thought, and thought can never produce, create something totally out of time.
So is there anything new? You are following? Or is it always that there is nothing new under the sun? So a mind that is enquiring, really serious, must find out if there is anything new. New, not in the sense the old and the new. The new not the opposite of the old, but something completely unnameable, that cannot be put into words and utilised to create a book, or write a poem, or paint a beastly little picture. I don't know if you have ever thought about it. Creation and expression may not always go together. We all want to express in so many different ways. To us expression has become extraordinarily important. If you feel something you must put it down. If you see a beautiful tree, the breeze among the leaves, swaying the boughs, and the depth of light and shade, shadow, if you are inclined to paint you want to express what you feel. And perhaps sell it and get some money out of it. Does creation demand expression? You understand? It may not need expression at all. Why should it? Why should I want to express - please listen to this - something new, totally creative, energy, into words, into picture, into a stone, why? To communicate to you what the new is? And can that which is new ever be expressed at all? And when there is the expression of that, is the expression, the symbol, the word, the painting, the real? You are following all this? Therefore creation may have no expression at all. You understand? And there is great beauty in that, because that new, that creative thing, is timeless, is the summation of all energy and why should that energy be expressed in a little painting - whether it is by the great painter or the little painter, why should it? Why should that be communicated to you through a painting? Why can't you find it for yourself? - which is much more important than my expression of that in a painting. You understand? I wonder if you have got it?
So that absolute reality can never be put into words. It can never be said that one has known it, or one has experienced it. That is all nonsense. The moment you have said, 'I have experienced it', it is not that. Or when you say, 'I know it', it is not that, because knowledge is the past, dead, that thing is a living thing.
So meditation is the emptying of the mind of all the activity of the self. Now will it take time? You understand? Will the emptying of - or rather I won't use that word 'emptying', you will get frightened - can this process of the self come to an end, through time, through days, through years, or is it to end instantly? And is that possible? You are following all this? It is part of your meditation. When you say to yourself, 'I will gradually get rid of the self', that is part of our conditioning. Right? Because when you introduce the word 'gradually' that involves time, a period, and you enjoy yourself during that period - you understand? - all the pleasures, all the feeling of guilt which you cherish, which you hold on to, and the anxiety which also gives you a certain sense of living, all that, and to be free of all that you say, 'It will take time'. And that is part of our culture, part of our evolutionary conditioning and so on. Now will it take time? Time being psychologically putting an end to the activities of the self, will it take time? Or it doesn't take time at all, but a new kind of energy must be released - please listen to me - a new kind of energy must be released which will put aside all that instantly. You understand? You understand my question?
Look, I know myself: I am greedy, envious, oh, I have got enormous guilt about some silly thing which I have done and I cherish that guilt because I have nothing else to hold on to, and I am ambitious, all that. Now to be aware of all that, both conscious as well as unconscious, it looks obviously that I need time, to peel off layer after layer and go through all that; my mind which has been conditioned says, 'I need time. That is obvious, I need time. So I am going to take many years over it, gradually.' That means I may die never putting an end to the activity of the self. So I see there is something very false in it. Right? So what is to be done? Do I - does the mind actually see the falseness of that proposition: that you need time to dissolve the activities of the self? Do I see clearly the falseness of it? Or intellectually feel yes, that it isn't quite right. And therefore I go on with it! If I see the falseness of it actually, then it has gone, hasn't it? Time is not involved at all. Time only is needed when there is analysis, when there is inspection or examination of each broken piece which constitutes the 'me'. All that requires, if I allow time, analysis and so on and so on. Therefore when I see the whole movement of this as false, untrue, has no validity, though man has accepted it as inevitable, then because the mind sees the falseness of it, it ends. I wonder if you see this! Look sir, if you saw a precipice, when you are near a precipice there is no question, unless you are rather unbalanced, insane and then you go over. But if you are sane, healthy, you go away from it. The movement away from it doesn't take time, it is an instant action because you see what would happen if you fell, if you fall. So in the same way if you see the falseness of all the movement of thought: the analysis, the acceptance of time and so on, so on, then there is instant action of thought as the 'me' ending itself.
Now, so you see what meditation is. What relation has meditation with that which we have called religion? We said religion is not under any circumstances the worship of another. The worship of a saviour, the image, the belief, the dogma, the priests, all that is not religion. Any intellectual human being accepts that logically, but at the moment of death he says, 'Yes, I am a little frightened, I'll accept all that'. You have watched that, haven't you? So religion is not that, for that is based on fear, punishment and reward.
Then what place has meditation in a religious life? We have accepted a religious life as poverty, chastity, obedience to an image created by thought, whether it is the image of two thousand years or ten thousand years, the image made by hand, or by the mind. And that is not religion. A religious life then is a life of meditation, in which the activities of the self are not. Right? And one can live such a life in this world every day. That is, as a human being one can live a life in which there is constant alertness, watchfulness, awareness, an attentive mind that is watching the movement of the self. And the watching is watching from silence, not from a conclusion. You understand? Because the mind has observed the activities of the self and sees the falseness of it and therefore the mind has become extraordinarily sensitive, and silent. And from that silence it acts. You understand? In daily life. Have you got it? Have I conveyed anything of this - not 'conveyed' - sorry. Have we shared this together? Because it is your life, not my life. It is your life of sorrow, of tragedy, of confusion, guilt, reward, punishment, pleasure, all that, it is your life. And if you are serious you have tried to untangle all this: you have read this book, or followed that teacher, or listened to somebody, and yet the problems remain. So we are saying these problems will exist as long as the human mind moves within the field of the activity of the self. And that activity of the self must create more and more and more problems. And when you observe, when you become extraordinarily aware of this activity of the self, then the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet, sane, healthy, holy. And from that silence our life in everyday activity is transformed. So religion is the cessation of the 'me' and action born of that silence. That life is a sacred life - you understand? - because it is full of meaning. I don't think at least I don't know what you feel
Do you want to ask any questions about all this?
Krishnamurti: (Repeating) What is the difference between awareness, observation and meditation. I am aware of you sitting there. I am aware of the colour of your shirt, the glasses that you wear, the colour of your hair. In that awareness there is no choice - I don't like your shirt, I'd prefer you to put on a red shirt. So there is no choice in that awareness. That is one factor. Then what is observation? Does observation exist when there is the observer? The observer is the past, obviously, the 'me' who says, 'I observe' - the 'I' is put together through time, experience, knowledge, memory. If there is an observer then there is no observation because the observer then is translating everything he has observed according to his conditioning, and such observation is not observation. Then what is meditation? Have you followed? Awareness, observation, now what is meditation? Meditation is a state of mind in which there is neither observation nor awareness, but not a state of unconsciousness. There is absolutely no movement of time, or nothing.
Questioner: Is that a state of passivity?
Krishnamurti: He says, 'Is that a state of passivity?' Certainly not. Passivity implies it is the opposite of activity. Right? We know only activity, going round and round and round, the same circle, in the same field, everlastingly. And anything opposite to that you call passivity. What we are talking about is not a passive state. We said it is the summation of energy. And when you look at that energy it is nothing. I won't go into all that because that is mere description and one has a horror of description about these things. They have no value.
K: (Repeating) Is love the activity of the self. When love becomes pleasure then it is the activity of the self. Right? Pleasure implies punishment, pleasure implies fear, pleasure - activity of the self is pleasure, is fear, is the memory of that pleasure. And surely love is not pleasure, love is not pain. Sir, if you understand this, you know, that love has nothing to do with all this then something marvellous comes out of it. But you always compare - is pleasure love, mustn't I know jealousy in order to love? I heard one day a rather intellectual lady, highly educated, and highly sophisticated, say, 'If I am not jealous, I don't know what love is'! Right?
Q: Why is it so difficult to empty one’s mind?
K: Why is it so difficult to empty one's mind. Now just listen to that question - it must be the last question. Why is it so difficult to empty the mind? Listen to this. The speaker stated: meditation is the emptying of the mind of the activity of the self. You've heard it. You have drawn a conclusion from it, saying, 'How am I to do it?' - and in the very doing of it, it has become very difficult. So you ask the question, 'Why is it so difficult to empty the mind?' That is, you haven't listened to the statement at all. You have drawn a conclusion from that statement saying, 'I'd like to do that, but by Jove, how difficult it is' - you have understood? If you listen to it and not draw an abstraction from it, that is, 'I must empty the mind', then 'How am I to do it and how difficult it is', then you have an immense problem. You can't empty the mind, do what you will, you can't empty it, because the desire to empty it is part of the activity of the self. But if you listen to it, listen to the statement, knowing you can't do a thing about it, just listen to it - look sir, I listen to that aeroplane, listen to it. Listen to it without any resistance; listen to it saying, 'I am trying to understand what he is talking about, how can I listen to that aeroplane, I want to listen to him' - you follow? - all that. Whereas if you just listen to that aeroplane without any resistance, then what takes place? You are just listening. There is no difficulty. But whereas if you listen to the statement that meditation is that, then you go into all kinds of tantrums, see all the difficulties, say, how can you do this living in this beastly world and so on and on and on. Whereas if you listened totally and completely then that very act of listening has produced in the mind a movement which is not the activity of the self. And that movement operates in daily life without any difficulty.