You know, in the case of most of us, the mind is noisy, everlastingly chattering to itself , soliloquizing or chattering about something, or trying to talk to itself, to convince itself of something; it is always moving, noisy. And from that noise, we act. Any action born of noise produces more noise, more confusion.
Silence is difficult and arduous, it is not to be played with. It isn’t something that you can experience by reading a book, or by listening to a talk, or by sitting together, or by retiring into a wood or a monastery. I am afraid none of these things will bring about this silence. This silence demands intense psychological work. You have to be burningly aware of your snobbishness, aware of your fears, your anxieties, your sense of guilt. And when you die to all that, then out of that dying comes the beauty of silence.
Learning in the true sense of the word is possible only in that state of attention, in which there is no outer or inner compulsion. Right thinking can come about only when the mind is not enslaved by tradition and memory.
I wonder if you have noticed how lonely most people are? And to escape from loneliness we run to temples, churches, or mosques, we dress up and attend social functions, we watch television, listen to the radio, read, and so on. If you inquire a little into boredom you will find that the cause of it is loneliness. It is in order to escape from loneliness that we want to be together, we want to be entertained, to have distractions of every kind: gurus, religious ceremonies, prayers, or the latest novel. Being inwardly lonely we become mere spectators in life; and we can be the players only when we understand loneliness and go beyond it. .. . because beyond it lies the real treasure.
The fact is there is nothing that you can trust; and that is a terrible fact, whether you like it or not. Psychologically, there is nothing in the world that you can put your faith, your trust, or your belief in. Neither your gods, nor your science can save you, can bring you psychological certainty; and you have to accept that you can trust in absolutely nothing. That is a scientific fact, as well as a psychological fact. Because, your leaders — religious and political — and your books — sacred and profane — have all failed, and you are still confused, in misery, in conflict. So, that is an absolute, undeniable fact.