BENGALURU: Conflict can exist only so long as there is reaction to that environment which produces the “I”, the self. The majority of people are unconscious of this conflict - the conflict between one’s self, which is but the result of the environment, and the environment itself; very few are conscious of this continuous battle. One becomes conscious of that conflict, that disharmony, that struggle between the false creation of the environment, which is the “I”, and the environment itself, only through suffering.
Hierarchical structure offers an excellent opportunity for self-expansion. You may want brotherhood, but how can there be brotherhood if you are pursuing spiritual distinctions? You may smile at worldly titles; but when you admit the Master, the savior, the guru in the realm of the spirit, are you not carrying over the worldly attitude? Can there be hierarchical divisions or degrees in spiritual growth, in the understanding of truth, in the realization of God? Love admits no division. Either you love, or do not love; but do not make the lack of love into a long-drawn-out process whose end is love. When you know you do not love, when you are choicelessly aware of that fact, then there is a possibility of transformation; but to sedulously cultivate this distinction between the Master and the pupil, between those who have attained and those who have not, between the savior and the sinner, is to deny love. The exploiter, who is in turn exploited, finds a happy hunting-ground in this darkness and illusion.
Separation between God or reality and yourself is brought about by you, by the mind that clings to the known, to certainty, to security. This separation cannot be bridged over; there is no ritual, no discipline, no sacrifice that can carry you across it; there is no savior, no Master, no guru who can lead you to the real or destroy this separation. The division is not between the real and yourself; it is in yourself.
What is essential is to understand the increasing conflict of desire; and this understanding comes only through self-knowledge and constant awareness of the movements of the self.
Conflict in any form distorts the mind. This is a fact, not some opinion or judgment given thoughtlessly. Any conflict between two people prevents their understanding each other. Conflict prevents perception. The understanding of what is, is the only important thing, not the formulating of what should be. This division between what is and what should be is the origin of conflict. And the interval between idea and action also breeds conflict. The fact and the image are two different things: the pursuit of the image leads to every form of conflict, illusion and hypocrisy whereas the understanding of what is, which is the only thing we really have, leads to quite a different state of mind.
Man has accepted conflict as an innate part of daily existence because he has accepted competition, jealousy, greed, acquisitiveness and aggression as a natural way of life. When we accept such a way of life we accept the structure of society as it is and live within the pattern of respectability. And that is what most of us are caught in because most of us want to be terribly respectable. When we examine our own minds and hearts, the way we think, the way we feel and how we act in our daily lives, we observe that as long as we conform to the pattern of society, life must be a battlefield.