To communicate with one another, even if we know each other very well, is extremely difficult. Here we are; you do not know me, and I do not know you. We are talking at different levels. I may use words that may have to you a significance, different from mine. Understanding comes only when we, you and I, meet on the same level at the same time. That happens only when there is real affection between people, between husband and wife, between intimate friends. That is real communion. Instantaneous understanding comes when we meet on the same level at the same time.
There is an art of listening. To listen really, one should abandon or put aside all prejudices, pre-formulations and daily activities. When you are in a receptive state of mind, things can be easily understood; you are listening when your real attention is given to something. But, unfortunately, most of us listen through a screen of resistance. We are screened with prejudices, whether religious or spiritual, psychological or scientific; or with our daily worries, desires and fears. And with these for a screen, we listen. Therefore, we listen really to our own noise, to our own sound, not to what is being said. It is extremely difficult to put aside our training, our prejudices, our inclination, our resistance, and, reaching beyond the verbal expression, to listen so that we understand instantaneously. That is going to be one of our difficulties.
I am going to explain presently that truth can be understood instantaneously. It is not a matter of time, it is not a matter of growth or of habit. Truth can only be understood directly, immediately, now, in the present, not in the future; and it can be understood, felt, realized, when there is the capability of listening directly, in an open manner and with an open heart. But if our minds are engrossed, if our hearts are tired, then there is no possibility of receiving that which is truth. So our difficulty is to have that instantaneous capacity to perceive directly for ourselves and not wait for the medium of time. Time and life become a process of destruction when we are unable to understand directly; so it is obvious why I suggest that you should listen without any resistance.
If, during this discourse, anything is said which is opposed to your way of thinking and belief, just listen, do not resist. You may be right, and I may be wrong; but by listening and considering together, we are going to find out what is the truth. Truth cannot be given to you by somebody. You have to discover it; and to discover, there must be a state of mind in which there is direct perception. There is no direct perception when there is a resistance, a safeguard, a protection. Understanding comes through being aware of what is. To know exactly what is, the real, the actual, without interpreting it, without condemning or justifying it, is, surely, the beginning of wisdom. It is only when we begin to interpret, to translate according to our conditioning, according to our prejudice, that we miss the truth. After all, it is like research. To know what something is, what it is exactly, requires research - you cannot translate it according to your moods. Similarly, if we can look, observe, listen, be aware of what is, exactly, then the problem is solved. And that is what we are trying to do in all these discourses. I am going to point out to you what is, and not translate it according to my fancy; nor should you translate it or interpret it according to your background or training.
Is it not possible, then, to be aware of everything as it is? Starting from there, surely, there can be an understanding. To acknowledge, to be aware of, to get at that which is, puts an end to struggle. If I know that I am a liar, and it is a fact which I recognize, then the struggle is over. To acknowledge, to be aware of what one is, is already the beginning of wisdom, the beginning of understanding, which releases you from time. To bring in the quality of time - time, not in the chronological sense, but as the medium, as the psychological process, the process of the mind - is destructive, and creates confusion.
So, we can have understanding of what is when we recognize it without condemnation, without justification, without identification. To know that one is in a certain condition, in a certain state, is already a process of liberation; but a man who is not aware of his condition, of his struggle, tries to be something other than he is, which brings about habit. So, then, let us keep in mind that we want to examine what is, to observe and be aware of exactly what is the actual, without giving it any slant, without giving it an interpretation. It needs an extraordinarily astute mind, an extraordinarily pliable heart, to be aware of and to follow what is; because what is, is constantly moving, constantly undergoing a transformation, and if the mind is tethered to belief, to knowledge, it ceases to pursue, it ceases to follow the swift movement of what is. What is, is not static, surely - it is constantly moving, as you will see if you observe it very closely. And to follow it, you need a very swift mind and a pliable heart which are denied when the mind is static, fixed in a belief, in a prejudice, in an identification; and a mind and heart that are dry cannot follow easily, swiftly, that which is."
Truth Is A Pathless Land