Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Problem with Liberals

"Have you not noticed how arrogant idealists are? The political leaders who bring about certain results, who achieve great reforms -- have you not noticed that they are full of themselves, puffed up with their ideals and their achievements? In their own estimation, they are very important. Read a few of the political speeches, watch some of these people who call themselves reformers, and you will see in the very process of reformation, they are cultivating their own ego; their reforms, however extensive, are still within the prison, therefore they are destructive and ultimately bring more misery and conflict to man."

Think on These Things


At December 04, 2005 7:51 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

"Now, would it not be much simpler not to have ideals at all? If you had no ideals, would you then have any reason to hate yourself? So why do you say, “I must be kind, I must be generous, I must pay attention, I must study?” If you can find out why, and be free of ideals, then perhaps you will act quite differently -- which I shall presently go into.

So, why do you have ideals? First of all, because people have always told you that if you don’t have ideals, you are a worthless boy. Society, whether it is according to the communist pattern or the capitalist pattern, says, “This is the ideal,” and you accept it, you try to live up to it, do you not? Now, before you try to live up to any ideal, should you not find out whether it is necessary to have ideals at all? Surely, that would make far more sense. You have the ideal of Rama and Sita, and so many other ideals which society has given you or which you have invented for yourself. Do you know why you have them? Because you are afraid to be what you are.

Let us keep it simple, don’t let us complicate it. You are afraid to be what you are -- which means that you have no confidence in yourself. That is why you try to be what society, what your parents and your religion tell you that you should be.

Now, why are you afraid to be what you are? Why don’t you start with what you are and not with what you should be? Without understanding what you are, merely to try to change it into what you think you should be has no meaning. Therefore scrap all ideals. I know the older people won’t like this, but it doesn’t matter. Scrap all ideals, drown them in the river, throw them into the waste-paper basket, and start with what you are -- which is what?"

Think on These Things

At December 05, 2005 8:40 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

“The moment you try to become intelligent, you cease to be intelligent. This is really important, so give your mind to it a little bit. If I am stupid and everybody tells me that I must become intelligent, what generally happens? I struggle to become intelligent, I study more, I try to get better marks. Then people say, “He is working harder,” and pat me on the back; but I continue to be stupid because I have only acquired the trimmings of intelligence. So the problem is, not how to become intelligent, but how to be free of stupidity. If, being stupid, I try to become intelligent, I am still functioning stupidly.

You see, the basic problem is that of change. When you ask, “What is intelligence and how is one to become intelligent?”, it implies a concept of what intelligence is, and then you try to become like that concept. Now, to have a formula, a theory or concept of what intelligence is, and to try to mould yourself according to that pattern, is foolish, is it not? Whereas, if one is dull and begins to find out what dullness is without any desire to change it into something else, without saying, “I am dull, stupid, how terrible!” , then one will find in unraveling the problem, there comes an intelligence freed of stupidity and without effort.”

Think on These Things

At December 05, 2005 6:22 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

“What is this energy we all have? This energy is thinking, feeling; it is interest, enthusiasm, greed, passion, lust, ambition, hate. Painting pictures, inventing machines, building bridges, making roads, cultivating the fields, playing games, writing poems, singing, dancing, going to the temple, worshipping -- these are all expressions of energy; and energy also creates illusion, mischief, misery. The very finest and the most destructive qualities are equally the expressions of human energy. But, you see, the process of controlling or disciplining this energy, letting it out in one direction and restricting it in another, becomes merely a social convenience; the mind is shaped according to the pattern of a particular culture, and thereby its energy is gradually dissipated.

So, our problem is, can this energy, which in one degree or another we all possess, be increased, given greater vitality -- and if so, to do what? What is energy for? Is it the purpose of energy to make war? Is it to invent jet planes and innumerable other machines, to pursue some guru, to pass examinations, to have children, to worry endlessly over this problem and that? Or can energy be used in a different way so that all our activities have significance in relation to something which transcends them all? Surely, if the human mind, which is capable of such astonishing energy, is not seeking reality or God, then every expression of its energy becomes a means of destruction and misery. To seek reality requires immense energy; and, if man is not doing that, he dissipates his energy in ways which create mischief, and therefore society has to control him. Now, is it possible to liberate energy in seeking God or truth and, in the process of discovering what is true, to be a citizen who understands the fundamental issues of life and whom society cannot destroy? Are you following this, or is it a little bit too complex?

You see, man is energy and if man does not seek truth, this energy becomes destructive; therefore society controls and shapes the individual, which smothers this energy. That is what has happened to the majority of grown-up people all over the world. And perhaps you have noticed another interesting and very simple fact: that the moment you really want to do something, you have the energy to do it. What happens when you are keen to play a game? You immediately have energy, have you not? And that very energy becomes the means of controlling itself, so you don’t need outside discipline. The man who is seeking reality, spontaneously becomes the right kind of citizen, which is not according to the pattern of any particular society or government.

So, students as well as teachers must work together to bring about the release of this tremendous energy to find reality, God or truth. In your very seeking of truth, there will be discipline, and then you will be a real human being, a complete individual, and not merely a Hindu or a Parsi limited by his particular society and culture. If, instead of curtailing as it is doing now, the school can help the student to awaken his energy in the pursuit of truth, then you will find that discipline has quite a different meaning.

Why is it that in the home, in the classroom and in the hostel, you are always being told what you must do and what you must not do? Surely, it is because your parents and teachers, like the rest of society, have not perceived that man exists for only one purpose, which is to find reality or God. If even a small group of educators were to understand and give their whole attention to that search, they would create a new kind of education and a different society altogether.

Don’t you notice how little energy most of the people around you have, including your parents and teachers? They are slowly dying, even when their bodies are not yet old. Why? Because they have been beaten into submission by society. You see, without understanding its fundamental purpose which is to free the extraordinary thing called the mind, with its capacity to create atomic submarines and jet planes, which can write the most amazing poetry and prose, which can make the world so beautiful and also destroy the world -- without understanding the fundamental purpose, which is to find truth or God, this energy becomes destructive, and then society says, “We must shape and control the energy of the individual.”

So, it seems to me that the function of education is to bring about a release of energy in the pursuit of goodness, truth, or God, which in turn makes the individual a true human being and therefore the right kind of citizen. But mere discipline, without the full comprehension of all this, has no meaning, it is a most destructive thing. Unless each one of you is so educated that, when you leave school and go out into the world, you are full of vitality and intelligence, full of abounding energy to find out what is true, you will be smothered, destroyed, miserably unhappy for the rest of your life. As a river creates the banks which hold it, so the energy which seeks truth creates its own discipline without any form of imposition; and as the river finds the sea, so that energy finds its own freedom.”

Think on These Things

At December 07, 2005 9:38 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

"I think it is effort that destroys us, this struggling in which we spend almost every moment of our lives. If you watch the older people around you, you will see that for most of them life is a series of battles with themselves, with their wives or husbands, with their neighbors, with society; and this ceaseless strife dissipates energy. The man who is joyous, really happy, is not caught up in effort. To be without effort does not mean that you stagnate, that you are dull, stupid; on the contrary, it is only the wise, the extraordinarily intelligent who are really free of effort, of struggle.

But, you see, when we hear of effortlessness, we want to be like that, we want to achieve a state in which we will have no strife, no conflict; so we make that our goal, our ideal, and strive after it; and the moment we do this, we have lost the joy of living. We are again caught up in effort, struggle. The object of struggle varies, but all struggle is essentially the same. One may struggle to bring about social reforms, or to find God, or to create a better relationship between oneself, and one’s wife or husband, or with one’s neighbor; one may sit on the bank of Ganga, worship at the feet of some guru, and so on. All this is effort, struggle. So what is important is not the object of struggle, but to understand struggle, itself.

Now, is it possible for the mind to be not just casually aware that for the moment it is not struggling, but completely free of struggle all the time so that it discovers a state of joy in which there is no sense of the superior and the inferior?

Our difficulty is that the mind feels inferior, and that is why it struggles to be or to become something, or to bridge over its various contradictory desires. But don’t let us give explanations of why the mind is full of struggle. Every thinking man knows why there is struggle both within and without. Our envy, greed, ambition, our competitiveness leading to ruthless efficiency -- these are obviously the factors which cause us to struggle, whether in this world or in the world to come. So we don’t have to study psychological books to know why we struggle; and what is important, surely, is to find out if the mind can be totally free of struggle."

Think on These Things

At December 09, 2005 7:14 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

“Don’t have ideals of purity, chastity, brotherhood, non-violence and all the rest of it, because they have no meaning. Don’t try to be courageous, because that is merely a reaction to fear. To be fearless requires immense insight, an understanding of the whole process of fear and its cause.

You see, there is fear as long as you want to be secure -- secure in your marriage, secure in your job, in your position, in your responsibility, secure in your ideas, in your beliefs, secure in your relationship to the world or in your relationship to God. The moment the mind seeks security or gratification in any form, at any level, there is bound to be fear; and what is important is to be aware of this process and understand it. It is not a matter of so-called purity. The mind which is alert, watchful, which is free of fear, is an innocent mind; and it is only the innocent mind that can understand reality, truth or God.

Unfortunately, in this country as elsewhere, ideals have assumed extraordinary importance, the ideal being the what should be: I should be good, and so on. The ideal, the what should be, is always somewhere far away, and therefore it never is. Ideals are a curse because they prevent you from thinking directly, simply and truly, when you are faced with facts. The ideal, the what should be, is an escape from what is. The what is is the fact that you are afraid -- afraid of what your parents will say, of what people will think, afraid of society, afraid of disease, death; and if you face what is, look at it, go into it even though it brings you misery, and understand it, then you will find that your mind becomes extraordinarily simple, clear; and in that very clarity there is the cessation of fear. Unfortunately we are educated in all the philosophical absurdities of ideals, which are merely postponement; they have no validity at all.

You have the ideal of non-violence, for example; but are you non-violent? So why not face your violence, why not look at what you are? If you observe your own greed, your ambition, your pleasures and distractions, and begin to understand all that, you will find that time as a means of of progress, as a means of achieving the ideal has come to an end. You see, the mind invents time in which to achieve, and therefore it is never quiet, never still. A still mind is innocent, fresh, though it may have had a thousand years of experience, and that is why it is able to resolve the difficulties of its own existence in relationship.”

Think on These Things


Post a Comment

<< Home