Letter 12

From the book "Letters to a young friend"

Take things easily, but inwardly with fullness and alertness. Don’t let a moment slip by without being fully aware what is happening inwardly and about you. Often this is what is to be sensitive, not to one or two things, but to be sensitive to everything. To be sensitive to beauty and to resist ugliness is to bring about conflict. You know, as you watch you will perceive that the mind is always judging-this is good and that is bad, this is black and that is white-judging people, comparing, weighing, calculating. The mind is everlastingly restless. Can the mind watch, observe, without judging, calculating? Perceive without naming and just see if the mind can do that.

Play with this. Don’t force it, let it watch itself. Most people who attempt to be simple begin with the outer, discarding, renouncing, and so on; but inwardly the complexity of their being remains. With inward simplicity, the outer corresponds to the inner. To be simple inwardly is to be free from the urge for the more, which does not mean to be satisfied with “what is”. To be free from the urge for the more is not to think in terms, progress, getting there. To be simple is for the mind to free itself from all results, is for the mind to empty itself of all conflict. This is real simplicity.

How can the mind battle between the ugly and the beautiful, clinging to one and pushing away the other. This conflict makes the mind insensitive and exclusive. Any attempt on the part of the mind to find an undefined line between the two is still part of the one or the other. Thought cannot, do what it will, free itself from the opposites; thought itself has created the ugly and the beautiful, and good and bad. So it cannot free itself from its own activities. All that it can do is to be still, not choose. Choice is conflict and the mind is back again to its own entanglements. The stillness of the mind is the freedom from duality.

“ Pain itself destroys pain. Suffering itself frees man from suffering. „
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