Letter 10

From the book "Letters to a young friend"

The farmer about here had a beautiful rabbit, alive and kicking. His woman carried it to him and one of the women said, “I cannot look”, and the man killed it, and a few minutes later that which was alive, with a light in its eyes, was being skinned by the women. Here they are used to killing animals, as elsewhere in the world, religion does not forbid them to kill. In India where for centuries, children are told, at least in the South among the Brahmins, not to kill, how cruel it is to kill, there are many children who when they grow up are forced by circumstances to change their culture overnight. They eat meat, they become army officers to kill and be killed. Overnight their values change. The centuries of a particular pattern of culture is overthrown and a new one taken on. The desire to be secure, in one form or another, is so dominant that the mind will adjust itself to any pattern that can give it security and safety. But there is no security; and when one really understands this, there’s something totally different, which creates its own way of life. That life cannot be understood or copied; all that one can do is to understand and be aware of the ways of security, which brings its own freedom.

The earth is beautiful and the more you are aware of it, the more beautiful it is. The color, the varieties of greens, the yellows. It is amazing what one discovers when one is alone with the earth. Not only the insects, the birds, the grass, the varieties of flowers, the rocks, the colors and the trees, but thoughts, if one loves them. We are never alone with anything. With ourselves, or with the earth. It is easy to be alone with a desire, not to resist it by an action of will, not to let it run away into some action, not to allow its fulfillment, not create its opposite by justification or condemnation; but to be alone with it. This brings about a very strange state without any action of will. It is that which creates resistance and conflict. Being alone with a desire brings about a transformation in the desire itself. Play with this and discover what happens; don’t force anything, but consider it easily.

Education? What do we mean by it? We learn to read and write, acquire a technique necessary for a livelihood, and then we are let loose on the world. From childhood we are told what to do, what to think, and inwardly we are deeply conditioned by social and environmental influence.

I was thinking, can we educate man on the outside but leave the center free? Can we help man to be free inwardly and be always free? For it is only in freedom that he can be creative and so be happy. Otherwise, life is such a tortuous affair, a battle within and so without. But to be free inside needs astonishing care and wisdom; but few see the importance of this. We are concerned with the outer and not with creativity. But to change all this, there must be at least a few who understand the necessity of this, who themselves are inwardly bringing about this freedom. It is a strange world.

What is important is a radical change in the unconscious. Any conscious action of the will cannot touch the unconscious pursuits, wants, urges, the conscious mind must subside, be still, and no try to force the unconscious, according to any particular pattern of action. The unconscious has its own pattern of action, its own frame within which it functions. This frame cannot be broken by any outward action, and will is an outward act. If this is really seen and understood, the outward mind is still; and because there is no resistance, set up by will, one will find that the so-called unconscious begins to free itself from its own limitations.Then only there a radical transformation in the total being of man.

“ Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem. „
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