One of the principal questions which one has to put to oneself is this: how far or to what depth can the mind penetrate into itself? That is the quality of seriousness because it implies awareness of the whole structure of one’s own psychological being, with its urges, its compulsions, its desire to fulfill, and its frustrations, its miseries, strains and anxieties, its struggles, sorrows, and the innumerable problems that it has. The mind that perpetually has problems is not a serious mind at all, but the mind that understands each problem as it arises and dissolves it immediately so that it is not carried over to the next day – such a mind is serious.…
What are most of us interested in? If we have money, we turn to so-called spiritual things, or to intellectual amusements, or we discuss art, or take up painting to express ourselves. If we have no money, our time is taken up day after day with earning it, and we are caught in that misery, in the endless routine and boredom of it. Most of us are trained to function mechanically in some job, year in and year out. We have responsibilities, a wife and children to provide for, and caught up in this mad world we try to be serious, we try to become religious; we go to church, we join this religious organization or that – or perhaps we hear about these meetings and because we have holidays we turn up here. But none of that will bring about this extraordinary transformation of the mind.
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