BENGALURU: We entrench ourselves continually; through possessiveness we build around ourselves securities, comforts, and try to feel assured, safe, certain. That is what we are constantly doing. But though we entrench ourselves behind the securities of knowledge, virtue, love, possession, though we build up many certainties, we are but building on sand, for the waves of life are constantly beating against their foundations, laying open the structures that we have so carefully and sedulously built.
Experiences come, one after another, which destroy all previous knowledge, all previous certainties, and all our securities are swept away, scattered like chaff before the wind. So, though we may think that we are secure, we live in continual fear of death, fear of change and loss, fear of revolution, fear of gnawing uncertainty. We are constantly aware of the transiency of thought. That is how it is with most people. We want and we search. We try to analyse the substitutes which others suggest to take the place of the securities which we know and which are steadily being eaten away, corroded, by the experience of life. But fear cannot be got rid of by substitution, by removing one set of beliefs and replacing it by another. Only when we find out the true value of the beliefs that we hold, the lasting significance of our possessive instincts, our knowledge, the securities that we have built up, only in that understanding can we put an end to fear.
Now as long as the ego exists, as long as there is consciousness of the “my”, there must be fear; and this ego will exist as long as we desire substitutes, as long as we do not understand the things about us, the things that we have established, the very monuments of tradition, the habits, ideas, beliefs in which we take shelter. And we can understand these traditions and beliefs, find out their true significance, only when we come into conflict with them. We cannot understand them theoretically, intellectually, but only in the fullness of thought and emotion, which is action.
To me, the ego represents the lack of perception which creates time. When you understand the experiences of life wholly, unreservedly, time ceases. But you cannot understand experience completely if you are constantly seeking certainty, comfort, if your mind is entrenched in security. To understand an experience in all its significance, you must question, you must doubt the securities, the traditions, the habits, which you have built up, for they prevent the completeness of understanding.