"The primary cause of conflict is escape; escape through idea. Please observe yourself: how, instead of facing, let us say, jealousy, envy –coming directly into contact with it– you say, ‘How shall I get over it? What shall I do? What are the methods by which I can not be jealous?’, which are all ideas and therefore an escape from the fact that you are jealous; and by going away from the fact, through ideas, prevents you not only wasting your energy, but prevents you from coming into contact directly with that feeling. Now, if you gave your complete attention – not through idea; idea, as we pointed out, prevents attention. So when you observe or become aware of this feeling of jealousy and give complete attention, without idea, then you will see that not only are you directly in contact with that feeling but because you have given your complete attention then it ceases to be; and you have then greater energy to meet the next incident or next emotion, next feeling.
That is, to discover, to bring about a complete mutation, you must have energy; not the energy which is brought about through suppression, but that energy that comes when you’re not escaping through ideas or through suppression. We only know two ways to meet life: either escape from it altogether, which is a form of insanity leading to neurosis, or suppress everything because we don’t understand. That’s all we know.
Suppression is not merely putting the lid on the feeling or any sensation, but suppression also is a form of intellectual explanation, a rationalization. Please observe yourself and you will see how factual all… what is being said. So when you don’t escape – and it’s one of the most important things to find out: never to escape. And it’s one of the most difficult things to find out, because we escape through words; through not only running to the temple and all the rest of that silly business, but through words, through intellectual argument, opinions, judgments, evaluations; and we have so many ways of escaping from the fact; the fact that one is dull. If one is dull, that’s a fact; and when you become conscious that you are dull, the escape is to try to become clever. But to become sensitive demands all your attention directed to that state of mind which is dull.
So we need energy, energy which is not the result of any contradiction, any tension, but which comes about when there is no effort at all. Please do understand this one very simple, actual fact: that we waste our energy through effort and that waste of energy, effort, prevents us from coming directly into contact with the fact. When I’m making a tremendous effort to listen to you, all my energy is gone in making an effort and I’m actually not listening. When I am angry or impatient, all my energy is gone in trying to say, ‘I must not be angry.’ But when I pay attention completely to anger or to that state of anger by not escaping through words, through condemnation, through judgment, then in that state of attention there is a freedom from that thing called anger; and therefore that attention which is the summation of energy is not effort. And it is only the mind that is without effort is the religious mind and therefore such a mind alone can find out if there is or if there is not.
Now, then there is another factor, which is we are imitative human beings; there is nothing original. We are the result of time, of many, many thousand yesterdays. We have been brought up to imitate, from childhood, to copy, to obey, to copy tradition, to follow the scriptures, to follow authority. We are talking not the authority of law, which must be obeyed, but the authority of the scriptures, the spiritual authority, the pattern, the formula; and we obey and imitate. And when you imitate – which is to conform inwardly to a pattern, whether imposed by society or by yourself through your own experience – such conformity, such imitation, such obedience, destroys this clarity of energy; because you imitate, you conform, you obey authority because you are frightened. A man who understands, who sees clearly, who is very attentive, he has no fear and therefore he has no reason to imitate; he is himself – whatever that himself be – at every moment."
Excerpt from What Are You Looking For?