Now, when you say, “I know I am conditioned”, do you really know it, or is that merely a verbal statement? Do you know it with the same potency with which you see a cobra? When you see a snake and know it to be a cobra, there is immediate, unpremeditated action; and when you say, “I know I am conditioned”, has it the same vital significance as your perception of the cobra? Or is it merely a superficial acknowledgment of the fact, and not the realization of the fact? When I realize the fact that I am conditioned, there is immediate action. I don’t have to make an effort to un-condition myself. The very fact that I am conditioned, and the realization of that fact, brings an immediate clarification. The difficulty lies in not realizing that you are conditioned - not realizing it in the sense of understanding all its implications, seeing that all thought, however subtle, however cunning, however sophisticated or philosophical, is conditioned.
All thinking is obviously based on memory, conscious or unconscious, and when the thinker says, “I must free myself from conditioning”, that very thinker, being the result of thought, is conditioned; and when you realize this, there is the cessation of all effort to change the conditioning. As long as you make an effort to change, you are still conditioned, because the maker of the effort is himself conditioned; therefore his effort will result in further conditioning, only in a different pattern. The mind that fully realizes this is in an unconditioned state, because it has seen the totality of conditioning, the truth or the falseness of it. Sirs, it is like seeing something true. The very perception of what is true is the liberating factor. But to see what is true demands total attention - not a forced attention, not the calculated, profitable attention of fear or gain. When you see the truth that whatever the conditioned mind does to free itself, it is still conditioned, there is the cessation of all such effort, and it is this perception of what is true that is the liberating factor.
New Delhi 6th Public Talk 31st October 1956