What is one to do, not having faith in another, not be dependent on some saviour, some teacher, some authority, then where are you to look for light, for an understanding? And if one’s action, and life is inevitably a continuous movement of action, the very living, what is one to do?
This meeting, and the subsequent ones are not a philosophical entertainment, nor a religious amusement, and in no way a philosophical examination of life. We’re not here - at least I am not - to be entertained by you or by my own particular ideas. What we are trying to do is to find out for ourselves, confronted with this extraordinary problem of living, with all its contradictions and complexities, what is the course of action which will not be contradictory, which will be whole, complete, which will not produce more agonies, more mischief, more confusion.
And to find that out is our problem - and I think that is the only problem in life. An action that is not broken up, that is not contradictory, that is continuous, whole, complete and total, so that it doesn’t bring more sorrow, more confusion. And if you will, we will go together into this question, bearing in mind that the speaker has no authority whatsoever, because both of us are going to examine, observe, this phenomenon called life, living, and find out the truth of the matter, if there is an action, a way of living, not at odd moments or in a great crisis but every day, every minute, a way of living in which there is joy, there is no violence, no brutality, no contradiction, and obviously no imitation and dependency.
Unless we find such a way of living, not an abstract idea, a philosophical concept, a theory, but rather an actual way of living, whether there can be an action so complete, so whole, so completely non-contradictory. And I feel to live that way is the only religious way, none other. We are using the word ‘religion’ not in the accepted sense of that word, which is to believe in something, believe in God or no God, or believe in some conceptual ideation - we are using that word as a way of life in which every action is whole, complete and full of ecstasy. We’re going to go into that.
First of all, to understand all this, we must establish right relationship between us, between you and the speaker. He is not teaching you, in the ordinary sense of that word, telling you what to do. The word ‘teach’ is to give information, to make one understand, to point out, to inform. But here there is no teacher, and we really mean it, because each one of us has to be his own teacher and his own disciple. And this is a very serious matter.
So that you are listening with quite a different attitude, you’re listening to the speaker, to the words he is using, and understanding those words, watching through those words all your own reactions and responses and conditioning, so that you yourself, through your own observation, learn, so the speaker becomes a mirror in which you are observing yourself.