It seems strange that we cannot find a way of living in which there is neither conflict, nor misery, nor confusion but a great abundance of love and consideration. We read books by intellectual people which tell us how society should be organized economically, socially and morally. Then we turn to books by religious people and theologians with their speculative ideas. Apparently it seems very difficult for most of us to find a way of living which is alive, peaceful, full of energy and clarity, without depending on others.
We are supposed to be very mature and sophisticated people. Those of us who are older have lived through two appalling wars, through revolutions, upheavals, and every form of unhappiness. And yet here we are, on a beautiful morning, talking about all these things, perhaps waiting to be told what to do, to be shown a practical way of living, to follow somebody who may give us some key to the beauty of life and the greatness of something beyond the daily round.
I wonder - and so may you - why we listen to others. Why is it that we cannot find clarity for ourselves in our own minds and hearts, without any distortion; why need we be burdened by books? Can we not live unperturbed, fully, with great ecstasy and really at peace? This state of affairs seems to me very odd indeed, but there it is. Have you ever wondered if you could live a life completely without any effort or strife? We are endlessly making effort to change this, to transform that, to suppress this, to accept that, to imitate, to follow certain formulas and ideas.
And I wonder if we have ever asked ourselves if it is possible to live without conflict - not in intellectual isolation or in an emotional, sentimental, rather woolly way of life - but to live without any kind of effort at all. Because effort, however pleasant (or unpleasant), gratifying or profitable, does distort and pervert the mind. It is like a machine that is always grinding, never running smoothly and so wearing itself out very quickly.
Then one asks - and I think it is a worthwhile question - whether it is possible to live without effort, but without becoming lazy, isolated, indifferent, lacking in sensitivity, without becoming a sluggish human being. All our life, from the moment we are born till we die, is an endless struggle to adjust, to change, to become something. And this struggle and conflict make for confusion, dull the mind and our hearts become insensitive.
First of all, why do we invent conflicts, either pleasurable or unpleasurable, and is it possible to end this? Can we end this and live a totally different kind of life, with great energy, clarity, intellectual capacity, reason, and have a heart that is full of abundant love in the real sense of the word? I think we should apply our minds and our hearts to find out, get involved in this completely.