You may know the superficial layers of your mind, but to know the unconscious motives, drives, fears, the hidden residue of tradition, of racial inheritance-to be aware of all that and to give it close attention is very hard work; it demands a great deal of energy. Most of us are unwilling to give close attention to these things; we have not the patience to go into ourselves step by step, inch by inch, so that we begin to know all the subtleties, the intricate movements of the mind.
But it is only the mind which has understood itself in its totality and is therefore incapable of self-deception, it is only such a mind that can free itself of its past and go beyond its own movements within the field of time. This is not very difficult, but it requires a great deal of hard work.
You work a great deal when you go to the office. You have been trained to work hard in the commercial world, and you are also willing to work hard in the so-called spiritual world if there is a reward at the end of it. If you are promised a seat in heaven, or if you believe that you can achieve bliss, an everlasting peace, you will work hard to get it, but that is merely an action of greed.
Now, there is a different way of working, which is to inquire into ourselves and to know exactly what is going on within the field of the mind, not in order to gain some reward, but for the very simple reason that there can obviously be no end to misery in the world as long as the mind does not understand itself. And, after all, the world in which we live is not the enormous world of political activities, of scientific research, and so on; it is the little world of the family, the world of relationship between two people at home or in the office, between husband and wife, parents and children, teacher and pupil, lawyer and client, policeman and citizen.
That is the little world we all live in, but we want to escape from that world of relationship and go out into an extraordinary world which we have imagined and which does not really exist at all. If we do not understand the world of relationship and bring about a fundamental transformation there, we cannot possibly create a new culture, a different civilization, a peaceful world.
So it must start with ourselves. The world demands an immense, a radical change, but it must begin with you and me; and we cannot bring about a real change in ourselves if we do not know the totality of our world of thoughts, of feelings, of actions, if we are not aware of ourselves from moment to moment.
This article has been written by by Jiddu Krishnamurti.