Most of us are afraid and that fear prevents initiative because it makes us cling to people and to do things as a creeper clings to a tree. We cling to our parents, our husbands, our sons, our daughters, our wifes and to our possessions. That is the outward form of fear. Being inwardly afraid, we dread to stand alone (allone). We may have fine clothes, jewels, or other property (props); but inwardly, phychologically, we are very poor. The poorer we are inwardly, the more we try to enrich ourselves outwardly by clinging to people, to position, to property.
When one is afraid, there is always a tendency to imitate. Have you noticed that? People who are afraid imitate others; they cling to tradition, to parents, to their wifes, to their friends, brothers and sisters. And imitation destroys initiative. You know, when you draw or paint a tree, you do not imitate the tree, you do not copy it exactly as it is, which would be mere photography. to be free to paint a tree, or a flower, or a sunset, you have to feel what it conveys to you personally, the significance, the meaning of it. This is very important- to try to convey the significance of what YOU see and not merely copy it, for then you begin to awaken the creative process to be truely alive, not just functioning as another useless robot in our wonderful world.
Do you know what a free mind is? Have you observed your own mind? It is not free, is it? You are always watching to see what your friends say about you. Your mind is like a house enclosed by a fence or by barbed wire. In that state no new thing can take place. A new thing can happen only when there is no fear. And it is extremely difficult for the mind to be free of fear, because that implies being really free of the desire to imitate, to follow, free of the desire to amass weath or to conform to the norm.
Freedom of the mind comes into being when there is no fear, when the mind has no desire to show off and is not intriguing for position or prestige. Then it has no sence of imitation. And it is important to have such a mind – a mind really free of tradition, which is a habit forming mechanism of the mind.
Is this all too difficult? You never take the time-not a week, not even a day-to think fully, that is why it seems difficult; but it is not difficult at all. On the contrary, if you give time to it you can see for yourself how your mind works, how it operates, responds, it is very important to understand your own mind, otherwise as you grow you will just be blindly following some tradition or way that has little meaning, you will imitate, which is to keep on cultivating fear and as such you will never ever be free.
So your whole life is hedged in, limited, confined to certain ideas, and deep down within yourself there is fear. How can you think clearly if there is fear? If you see a snake and know it is venomous you move away, you dont go near it. But you do not know that your are caught in a series of imitations which prevent inititave; you are caught in them unconsciously; But if you begin to be conscious of them, and of how they hold you; if you are aware of the fact that you want to imitate because you are afraid of what people may say, afraid of your parents, bosses, and peers, then you can look at these imitations in which you are caught, you can examine them, you can study them.
You see, first you must be aware of these things, and then you can go into them, you can question, study them, but if you blindly accept everything because for the last thirty centuries it has been so, then it has no meaning, has it? Surely what we need in the world is not more imitators, not more leaders and more followers. What we need now are individuals like you and me who are beginning to examine all these problems, not superficially or casually, but more and more deeply so the mind is free to be creative, free to think, free to love.
Otherwise life is a waste, is it not? You are “educated” you pass a BA or whatever, you get a job which you dislike but because you have to earn money; you are married and have children – and there you are stuck for the rest of your life. You are miserable, unhappy, quarrelsome, you have nothing to look forward to except more babies, more hunger, more misery, more endless wanting and desires to be forever chased and never satisified.