Like most people, you have ideals, have you not? And the ideal is not real, not factual; it is what should be, it is something in the future. Now, what I say is this: forget the ideal, and be aware of what you are. Do not pursue what should be, but understand what is. The understanding of what you actually are is far more important than the pursuit of what you should be. Why? Because, in understanding what you are, there begins a spontaneous process of transformation; whereas, in becoming what you think you should be, there is no change at all, but only a continuation of the same old thing in a different form.
If the mind, seeing that it is stupid, tries to change its stupidity into intelligence, which is what should be, that is silly, it has no meaning, no reality; it is only the pursuit of a self-projection, a postponement of the understanding of what is. As long as the mind tries to change its stupidity into something else, it remains stupid. But if the mind says, ‘I realize that I am stupid and I want to understand what stupidity is, therefore I shall go into it, I shall observe how it comes into being,’ then that very process of inquiry brings about a fundamental transformation.
Any society that does not respond to the new challenge of a group or an individual obviously decays. And it seems to me that if we would create a new world, a new society, we must have a free mind. And that mind cannot come about without real self-knowledge. Do not say, ‘All this has been said by so-and-so in the past. We can never find out the totality of our whole self.’ On the contrary, I think one can. To find out, the mind must surely be in a state in which there is no condemnation. Because what I am is the fact. Whatever I am -jealous, envious, haughty, ambitious, whatever it be -can we not just observe it without condemnation? Because the very process of condemnation is another form of conditioning what is. If one would understand the whole process of the self, there must be no identification, condemnation, or judgment, but an awareness in which there is no choice- just observation. If you attempt it, you will see how extraordinarily difficult it is. Because all our morality, our social and educational training, leads us to compare and to condemn, to judge. And the moment you judge, you have stopped the process of inquiry, insight. Thus, in the process of relationship, one begins to discover what the ways of the self are.
A mind that gives an opinion about a fact is a narrow, limited, destructive mind. You can translate the fact in one way, and I can translate it in another way. The translation of the fact is a curse which prevents us from seeing the actual fact and doing something about the fact. When you and I discuss our opinions about the fact, nothing is done about the fact; you can add perhaps more to the fact, see more nuances, implications, significance about the fact, and I may see less significance in the facts. But the fact cannot be interpreted; I cannot offer an opinion about the fact.
It is so, and it is very difficult for a mind to accept the fact. We are always translating, we are always giving different meanings to it, according to our prejudices, conditionings, hopes, fears and all the rest of it. If you and I could see the fact without offering an opinion, interpreting, giving a significance, then the fact becomes much more alive -not more alive- the fact is there alone, nothing else matters; then the fact has its own energy which drives you in the right direction.