Does self-knowledge come through searching?

After all, if one is seeking peace, one can find it very easily.

Published: 01st April 2021 02:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2021 02:02 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Now, can you seek anything? Why do you come to these meetings? Why are you all sitting here and listening to me? It would be very interesting to find out why you are listening, why you take the trouble to come from long distances on a hot day, and listen. And, to what are you listening? Are you trying to find a solution for your troubles, and is that why you go from one lecturer to another, and through various religious organisations, and read books, and so on and on; or, are you trying to find out the cause of all the trouble, the misery, contention and strife? Surely, that does not demand that you should read a great deal, that you should attend innumerable meetings, or search out teachers? What it demands is clarity of intention, isn’t it?

After all, if one is seeking peace, one can find it very easily. One can devote oneself blindly to some kind of a cause, to an idea, and take shelter there. Surely, that does not solve the problem. Mere isolation in an enclosing idea is not a release from conflict. So, we must find, must we not?, what it is, inwardly, as well as outwardly, that each one of us wants. If we are clear on that matter, then we don’t have to go anywhere, to any teacher, to any church, to any organisation.

So, our difficulty is, is it not?, to be clear in ourselves regarding our intention. Can we be clear? And does that clarity come through searching through trying to find out what others say, from the highest teacher to the ordinary preacher in a church round the corner? Have you got to go to somebody to find out? And yet, that is what we are doing, is it not? We read innumerable books, we attend many meetings and discuss, we join various organizations - trying thereby to find a remedy to the conflict, to the miseries in our lives. Or, if we don’t do all that, we think we have found; that is, we say that a particular organisation, a particular teacher, a particular book satisfies us; we have found everything we want in that; and we remain in that, crystallised and enclosed.

So, we have to come to the point when we ask ourselves, really earnestly and profoundly, if peace, happiness, reality, God, or what you will, can be given to us by someone else. Can this incessant search, this longing, give us that extraordinary sense of reality, that creative being, which comes when we really understand ourselves? Does self-knowledge come through search, through following someone else, through belonging to any particular organization, through reading books, and so on? After all, that is the main issue, is it not?, that as long as I do not understand myself, I have no basis for thought, and all my search will be in vain. I can escape into illusions, I can run away from contention, strife, struggle; I can worship another; I can look for my salvation through somebody else. But as long as I am ignorant of myself, as long as I am unaware of the total process of myself, I have no basis for thought, for affection, for action.


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