Letter 15

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From the book "Letters to a young friend"

The sun is attempting to break through the clouds, probably it will manage to break during the day. One day it is spring and the next day it is almost winter. The weather represents man’s moods, up and down, darkness and temporary light. You know, it is strange how we want freedom and we do everything to enslave ourselves. We lose all our initiative. We look to others to guide us, to help us, to be generous, to be peaceful; we look to the gurus, masters, saviors, meditators. Someone writes great music, someone plays it, interpreting it in his own way and we listen to it, enjoying it or criticizing it. We are the audience watching the actors, football players, or watching the cine-screen. Others write poems and we read; others paint and we gape at them. We have nothing, so we turn to others to entertain us, to inspire us, to guide or save us. More and more, modern civilization is destroying us, emptying of us all creativeness. We ourselves are empty inwardly and we look to others to be enriched and so our neighbor takes advantage of this to exploit, or we take advantage of him.

When one is aware of the many implications involved in looking to others, that very freedom is the beginning of creativeness. That freedom is true revolution and not the false revolution of social or economic adjustments. Such revolution is another form of enslavement.

Our minds make little castles of security. We want to be sure of everything, sure of our relationships, of our fulfillments, hopes, and our futures. We build these inward prisons and woe to anyone that disturbs us. It is strange how the mind is ever seeking a zone where there will be no conflict, no disturbance. Our living is the constant breaking up and rebuilding, in different forms, of these zones of safety. Our mind then becomes a dull and weary thing. Freedom consists in having no security of any kind.

It is really astonishing to have a still and a very calm mind, without a single wave of thought. Of course, the stillness of a dead mind is not the calm mind. The mind is made to be still by the action of will. But can it ever be profoundly, right through its whole being, silent? It is really most amazing what happens when the mind is, thus, silent. In that state all consciousness, as knowing, recognizing ceases. The instictual pursuit of the mind, memory, has come to an end. And it’s very interesting how the mind begins to do its best to capture that wordless state, trough thinking, verbalizing, perfecting symbols. But for this process to come to an end, naturally and spontaneously, is like dying to everything. One does not want to die, and so there is always an unconscious struggle going on, and this struggle is called life. It is odd how people want to impress others, by their achievements, by their cleverness, by their books-by any means to assert themselves.

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