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Don’t listen with the knowledge you already know

To discover the new mind, not only is it necessary for us to understand the responses of the old brain, it is also necessary for the old brain to be quiet.

Published: 17th January 2018 09:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th January 2018 07:20 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  To discover the new mind, not only is it necessary for us to understand the responses of the old brain, it is also necessary for the old brain to be quiet. The old brain must be active but quiet. You are following what I am saying? Look, sir! If you would discover for yourself firsthand -not what somebody else says-if there is a reality, if there is such a thing as God, the word ‘God’ is not the fact, your old brain, which has been nurtured in a tradition, either anti-God or pro-God, in a culture, in an environmental influence and propaganda, through centuries of social assertion, must be quiet. Because otherwise it will only project its own images, its own concepts, its own values. But those values, those concepts, those beliefs are the result of what you have been told, or are the result of your reactions to what you have been told; so, unconsciously, you say, This is my experience!

When the new brain operates, the old brain cannot possibly understand the new brain. It is only when the old brain, which is our conditioned brain, our animalistic brain, the brain that has been cultivated through centuries of time, which is everlastingly seeking its own security, its own comfort -it is only when that old brain is quiet that you will see that there is a different kind of movement altogether, and it is this movement that is going to bring clarity. To understand, you must understand the old brain, be aware of it, know all its movements, its activities, its demands, its pursuits, and that is why meditation is very important. 


I hope that you will listen, but not with the memory of what you already know; and this is very difficult to do. You listen to something, and your mind immediately reacts with its knowledge, its conclusions, its opinions, its past memories. It listens, inquiring for a future understanding. Just observe yourself, how you are listening, and you will see that this is what is taking place. Either you are listening with a conclusion, with knowledge, with certain memories, experiences, or you want an answer, and you are impatient. You want to know what it is all about, what life is all about, the extraordinary complexity of life.

You are not actually listening at all. You can only listen when the mind is quiet, when the mind doesn’t react immediately, when there is an interval between your reaction and what is being said. Then in that interval there is a quietness, there is a silence in which alone there is a comprehension, which is not intellectual understanding. If there is a gap between what is said and your own reaction to what is said, in that interval, whether you prolong it indefinitely, for a long period or for a few seconds in that interval, if you observe, there comes clarity.

It is the interval that is the new brain. The immediate reaction is the old brain, and the old brain functions in its own traditional, accepted, reactionary, animalistic sense. When there is an abeyance of that, when the reaction is suspended, when there is an interval, then you will find that the new brain acts, and it is only the new brain that can understand, not the old brain.

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