Talks in Europe 1968
There are many explanations for this outbreak of anarchy which is taking place all over the world, but both in the East and in the West nobody has organized it; there is no central organization which has incited the students to revolt, it has come into being of its own accord. There is also the war in Vietnam; of course it doesn't affect this country, but it touches America and the whole of the East. And whether you are an Italian, an Englishman, a Russian, an American or a Vietnamese, this war, any war, is your responsibility; you are responsible, each one of you. But I don't think we really feel this responsibility. Apart from the human crisis, there is also the economic crisis in our daily life, so there is a great deal of disorder. This disorder has come about through the separation of nations, religious divisions, one group of people believing in a certain ideology and the other not at all, some calling themselves Christians, others Hindus and Muslims and so on. So these disruptive, subversive forces are at work. That is an obvious fact whether you believe it or not, whether you accept it or not; these are the fundamental causes of this chaotic existence and what is a human being to do? One can't go on everlastingly describing the causes, everlastingly searching out deeper causes for this utter chaos, misery, confusion and sorrow; the description or analytical process has not solved a thing, so I think we must approach it from an entirely different angle.
Therefore in understanding fear, which is very complex, we shall then understand the nature and structure of authority and so become a light to ourselves, not depending on anybody to tell us what to do. This is very important especially as chaos, anarchy and violence are growing in the world. When the mind is confused, at a loss, not knowing what to do, then out of fear it turns to some kind of authority - the authority of a priest, or a new society, the authority of a new guru or a new theological concept. So it is absolutely imperative that one understands this whole complex problem of fear, because a mind that is afraid cannot think straight. When the mind is afraid, it is confused; it lives in darkness. And most of us are afraid, afraid of falling ill, afraid of old age and death, afraid of what people think and so on. So is it possible for a human being, living in this world, to be radically, totally free of fear, not as an idea, not as an intellectual concept but actually?
So this morning, and during the next two talks, we have to consider the many problems, the many issues that confront each one of us as a human being. You know exactly what is happening in the world; throughout society there is a tremendous amount of violence, uncertainty and fear, a form of organized, flourishing anarchy. Society has become a structure in which there are wars, separate religions and different nationalities, each in conflict with the other. And all over the world man has lost faith; he no longer trusts anybody, neither the priests nor the politicians, nobody, not even his own parents because the older generation has created such a monstrous society, a world in which there is constant war, insecurity and therefore fear. Religion, whether it is the religion of this country, of India or the Far East, which is