Are you any different from all other teachers?
- Now, you are really seeking, and what does it mean to seek? Do you understand the question? You are obviously seeking something, but what? Essentially, you are seeking a state of mind which will never be disturbed and which you call peace, God, love, or whatever it be. Is it not so? Our life is disturbed, anxious, full of fear, darkness, upheaval, confusion, and we want to escape from all that; but when a confused man seeks, his search is based on confusion, and therefore what he finds is further confusion. Are you following this?
First of all, then, we must inquire why we seek and what it is we are seeking. You may go from teacher to teacher, each teacher offering a different method of discipline or meditation, some foolish nonsense; so what is important, surely, is not the teacher and what he offers, but what it is you are seeking. If you can be very clear about what you are seeking, then you will find a teacher who will offer you that. If you are seeking peace, you will find a teacher who will offer you that which you seek. But that which you seek may not be true at all. Do you understand? I may want perfect bliss, which means an undisturbed state of mind in which there will be complete quietness, no conflict, no pain, no inquiry, no doubt; so I practice a discipline which some teacher offers, and probably that very discipline produces its own result, which I call peace. I might just as well take a drug, a pill, which will have the same effect – only that’s not respectable, whereas the other is. [Laughter] Please, it is not a laughing matter; this is what we are actually doing.
So, that which you are seeking, you will find, obviously, if you are willing to pay for it. If you put yourself in the hands of another, follow some authority, discipline, control yourself, you will find what you want, which means that your desire is dictating your search; but you are really not aware of the motivation of your search at all, and then you ask me what my position is and how you are to know whether what I am saying is true or false. Having gone to various teachers and been caught, burned, you now want to try this. But I am not telling you anything; actually I am not telling you anything at all. All that I am saying is to know yourself deeper and deeper, see yourself as you actually are, which nobody can teach you; and you cannot see yourself as you are if you are bound by beliefs, by dogmas, by superstitions, fears.
Sirs, for a mind that cannot stand alone, search will have no meaning at all. To stand alone is to be uncorrupted, innocent, free of all tradition, of dogma, of opinion, of what another says, and so on. Such a mind does not seek because there is nothing to seek; being free, such a mind is completely still without a want, without movement. But this state is not to be achieved; it isn’t a thing that you buy through discipline; it doesn’t come into being by giving up sex, or practicing a certain yoga. It comes into being only when there is understanding of the ways of the self, the ‘me’, which shows itself through the conscious mind in everyday activity, and also in the unconscious. What matters is to understand for oneself, not through the direction of others, the total content of consciousness, which is conditioned, which is the result of society, of religion, of various impacts, impressions, memories – to understand all that conditioning and be free of it. But there is no “how” to be free. If you ask how to be free, you are not listening.