Quote of the Day

Sep 2, 2023
We as human beings, as we are, are only a result, a psychological product. In that state - in being a product of time, of culture, of experience, of knowledge, of all the accumulated memories of a thousand yesterdays, or of yesterday - there is no aloneness at all. All our relationships are based on what has been, or what should be, therefore all relation ship is a conflict, a battlefield. If one would Understand what is right relationship, one must enquire into the nature and the structure of solitude, which is to be completely alone. But that word alone creates an image - watch yourself, you will see. When you use that word alone you have already a formula, an image, and you try to live up to that image, to that formula. But the word or the image is not the fact. One has to understand and live with that which actually is. We are not alone, we are a bundle of memories, handed down through centuries, as Germans, as Russians, as Europeans, and so on.

Understanding solitude - if you really know what it means and live in that state - is really quite extraordinary, because then the mind is always fresh and is not dependent upon inclination, tendency, nor guided by circumstance. In understanding solitude you will begin to understand the necessity of living with yourself as you actually are - for one of our major causes of fear is that we do not want to face ourselves as we are. Please, this morning, do look at yourselves as you actually are, not as you think you ought to be or as you have been. See whether you can look at yourself without any tremor, without any false modesty, without any fear, without any justification or condemnation - just live with what you actually are.

Know what it means to live with actuality. In observing myself I find I am jealous, anxious, or envious - I realize that. Now I want to live with that because it is only when I live with something intimately that I begin to understand it. But to live with my envy, with my anxiety, is one of the most difficult things - I see that the moment I get used to it I am not living with it. You are following all this? There is that river and I can see it every day, hear the sound of it, the lapping of the water, but after two or three days I have got used to it and I don't always hear it. I can have a picture in the room, I have looked at it every day, at the beauty, the colour, the various depths and shadows, the quality of it, yet having looked at it for a week I have lost it, I have got used to it. And the same happens with the mountains, with the valleys, the rivers, the trees, with the family, with my wife, with my husband. But to live with a living thing like jealousy, envy, means that I can never accept it, I can never get used to it - I must care for it as I would care for a newly planted tree, I must protect it against the sun, against the storm. So, in the same way, I have to live with this anxiety and envy, I must care for it, not get used to it, not condemn it. In this way I begin to love it and to care for it, which is not that I love to be envious or anxious, but rather that I care for the watching. It is like living with a snake in the room, gradually I begin to see my immediate relationship to it and there is no conflict.

Can you and I, live with what we actually are? Being dull, envious, fearful, thinking that we have tremendous affection when we have not, getting easily hurt, flattered, bored, can we live with these actualities, neither accepting nor denying, but observing, living with them without becoming morbid, depressed or elated? Then you will find that one of the major reasons for fear is that we don't want to live with what we are.
Talk and Dialogues Saanen 1967 | 5th Public Talk 18th July 1967 Read full text