We vary in our earnestness according to circumstances, our moods and fancies. Earnestness must be independent of circumstances and moods, of persuasion and hope. We often think that perhaps through shock we shall be made earnest but dependence is never productive of earnestness. Earnestness comes into being with inquiring awareness and are we so alertly aware? If you are aware you will realize that your mind is constantly engaged in the activities of the ego and its identification; if you pursue this activity further you will find the deep seated self-interest. These thoughts of self-interest arise from the needs of daily life, things you do from moment to moment, your role in society and so on, all of which build up the structure of the ego. This seems so strangely inevitable but before we accept this inevitability must we not be aware of our purposive intention, whether we desire to nourish the ego or not? For according to our hidden intentions we will act. We know how the self is built up and strengthened through the pleasure and pain principle, through memory, through identification and so on. This process is the cause of conflict and sorrow. Do we earnestly seek to put an end to the cause of sorrow?
1st Public Talk 1946