By Zen Gardner
To be individual means complete freedom from all fear
Surely, as long as the mind is caught in authority, it is not an individual at all. And, to find out what is real, what is God, what is truth, to discover that which is nameless, must one not be completely individual? To be individual means complete freedom from all fear, from all compulsion, from the desire to find a right way of living. That is what we all want, that is the cry in our hearts -to find a right way of action, a right way of conduct, a right method to live happily, to have peace. And, does not that very cry create authority, the authority of a book, of a person, of an idea? We want to be told what to do, how to live, in what manner to overcome the innumerable problems that we have. And, with that desire in our minds and in our hearts, we pursue those who can give us what we are seeking, those who we think will lead us to reality, to happiness, to God.Now, can the mind be free of this whole process and live simply from day to day, understanding life as it arises from moment to moment? After all, that is the timeless, the nameless eternity, when the mind itself is the unknown. At present, the mind is the known; it is the result of time, of yesterday, of accumulated knowledge, experiences, and beliefs. And such a mind can never know the unknown. This is not some vague form of mysticism. Surely, if I want to know something that has never been experienced before, that is not of time, that cannot be put into the frame of authority, my mind must be totally free from the past, which means that it must be free from fear. . . .The mind can never be free of fear as long as it is making an effort to get away from fear. All that it can do is to be aware that it is frightened and be completely passive, without any choice. Then you will see that the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet and, in that quietness, the problem of fear can be resolved. In that stillness of mind, authority has wholly vanished. What need have you of authority when, from moment to moment, you are seeing what is true?