What are my rules and principles of life?
Please follow what I say, critically and intelligently.
Don't object, "Must we not have rules? Otherwise our
lives would be chaos." Don't think in terms of opposites.
Think intrinsically with regard to what I am saying.
Why do you want rules and principles? Why do you want
them, you who have so many principles by which you
are shaping, controlling, directing your lives? Why
do you want rules? "Because," you reply, "we cannot
live without them. Without rules and principles we
would do exactly the things that we want to do; we
might overeat or overindulge in sex, possess more
than we should. We must have principles and rules
by which to guide our lives." In other words, to restrain
yourselves without understanding, you must have these
principles and rules. This is the whole artificial
structure of your lives - restraint, control, suppression
- for behind this structure is the idea of gain, security,
comfort, which causes fear.
But the man who is not pursuing acquisitiveness,
the man who is not caught up in the promise of reward
or the threat of punishment, does not require rules;
the man who tries to live and understand each experience
completely does not need principles and rules, for
it is only conditioning beliefs which demand conformity.
When thought is unbound, unconditioned, it will then
know itself as eternal. You try to control thought,
to shape and direct it, because you have established
a goal, a conclusion towards which you wish to go,
and that end is always what you desire it to be, though
you may call it God, perfection, reality.
You ask me concerning my conception of God, truth,
beauty, love. But I say, if someone describes truth,
if someone tells you the nature of truth, beware of
that person. For truth cannot be described; truth
cannot be measured by words. You nod your heads in
agreement, but tomorrow you will again be trying to
measure truth, to find a description of it. Your attitude
towards life is based on the principle of creating
a mold, and then fitting yourselves into that mold.
Christianity offers you one mold, Hinduism offers
another, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Theosophy offer
still others. But why do you want a mold? Why do you
cherish preconceived ideas? All that you can know
is pain, suffering, and passing joys. But you want
to escape from them; you don't try to understand the
cause of pain, the depth of suffering. Rather, you
turn to its opposite for your consolation. In your
sorrow, you say that God is love, that God is just,
merciful. Mentally and emotionally you turn to this
ideal of love, justice, and shape yourselves after
that pattern. But you can understand love only when
you are no longer possessive; from possessiveness
arises all sorrow. Yet your system of thought and
emotion is based on possessiveness, so how can you
know of love?
So your first concern is to free the mind and heart
from possessiveness, and you can do that only when
that possessiveness becomes a poison to you, when
you feel the suffering, the agony which that poison
causes. Now you are trying to escape from that suffering.
You want me to tell you what my ideal of love is,
my ideal of beauty, so that you can make of it another
pattern, another standard, or compare my ideal with
yours, hoping thereby to understand. Understanding
does not come through comparison. I have no ideal,
no pattern. Beauty is not divorced from action. True
action is the very harmony of your whole being. What
does that mean to you? It means nothing but empty
words, because your actions are disharmonious, because
you think one thing and act another.
You can find enduring freedom, truth, beauty, love
- which are one and the same - only when you no longer
seek them. Please try to understand what I am saying.
My meaning is subtle only in the sense that it can
be carried out infinitely. I say that your very search
is destroying your love, destroying your sense of
beauty, of truth, because your search is but an escape,
a flight from conflict. And beauty, love, truth, that
Godhead of understanding, is not found by running
away from conflict; it lies in the very conflict itself.
(Photo courtesy of The Essential U.G.)