If I may, I would like to talk about something that may be considered rather complex. But it is really quite simple. We like to make things complex, we like to complicate things. We think it is rather intellectual to be complicated, to treat everything in an intellectual or in a traditional way, and thereby give the problem or the issue a complex turn. But to understand anything rather deeply, one must approach the issue simply - that is, not verbally or emotionally merely, but rather with a mind that is very young. Most of us have old minds because we have had so many experiences, we are bruised, we have had so many shocks, so many problems; and we lose the elasticity, the quickness of action. A young mind, surely, is a mind that acts on the seeing and the observing. That is, a young mind is a mind to which seeing is acting.
I wonder how you listen to a sound. Sound plays an important part in our life. The sound of a bird, the thunder, the incessant restless waves of the sea, the hum of a great town, the whisper among the leaves, the laughter, the cry, a word - these are all forms of sound, and they play an extraordinary part in our life, not only as music, but also as everyday sound. How is one to listen to the sound around one - to the sound of the crows, to that distant music? Does one listen to it with one's own noise, or does one listen to it without noise?
Most of us listen with our own peculiar noises of chatter, of opinion, of judgment, of evaluation, the naming, and we never listen to the fact. We listen to our own chattering and are not actually listening. So, to listen, actually to listen, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet and silent. When you are listening to the speaker, if you are carrying on your own conversation with yourself, turning out your opinions or ideas or conclusions or evaluations, you are actually not listening to the speaker at all. But to listen not only to the speaker but also to the birds, to the noise of everyday life, there must be a certain quietness, a certain silence.
Fourth Public Talk, February 21, 1965