Awareness of what is, must be choiceless which [again] is very arduous. Awareness is that state of choicelessness, because if you want to understand something you must not condemn or identify, it must tell you its story. After all, if you observe a child, if you want to understand him, if you want to study him, his ways, his mannerisms, his idiosyncrasies, his moods, you can only do that if you don't condemn him or identify yourself with him, saying: this is my child. Condemnation, justification or identification prevents understanding and to be aware of the whole total process of what is, there must be choiceless observation. You do just that when you are interested in something, when you are vitally interested in pursuing something, in understanding something; you are not criticizing, you are not condemning, you give all your mind and heart to it. But, unfortunately we are trained educationally and religiously to condemn and not to understand. After all, condemnation is very easy, but to understand is very arduous, understanding requires intelligence, condemnation does not demand any intelligence at all, condemnation is a form of self-protection just as identification is. When you condemn you protect yourself, but if you want to understand what is, condemnation is a barrier. If you want to understand the state of the world as it is now, its appalling misery, surely it is no good condemning it, you must investigate it, you must observe from different points of view, from the psychological, economic, and so on. It is a total process and to understand the total process you cannot condemn it in part. We condemn because it is so easy to condemn, while to be aware and to pursue all the implications requires a great deal of patience, a capacity to penetrate and to be still. You understand only when there is stillness, when there is silent observation, passive awareness. Then the problem yields you its significance. So, the awareness of which I am speaking is awareness of what is, and not of something which is the invention of the mind. Being aware implies awareness of the mind's activities in which are included ideas, beliefs but also the tricks which the mind plays upon itself. So, be aware of what is, without condemnation, without justification or identification, then you will see that there is a deeper understanding which resolves our problems.
Public Talk 28th December, 1947