The fact is we are violent

We all see the importance of the cessation of violence. And how am I, as an individual, to be free of violence not just superficially, but totally, completely, inwardly? If the ideal of nonviolence will not free the mind from violence, then will the analysis of the cause of violence help to dissolve violence?

After all, this is one of our major problems, is it not? The whole world is caught up in violence, in wars; the very structure of our acquisitive society is essentially violent. And if you and I as individuals are to be free from violence totally, inwardly free, not merely superficially or verbally then how is one to set about it without becoming self-centered?

You understand the problem, do you not? If my concern is to free the mind from violence and I practice discipline in order to control violence and change it into nonviolence, surely that brings about self-centered thought and activity, because my mind is focused all the time on getting rid of one thing and acquiring something else. And yet I see the importance of the mind being totally free from violence. So what am I to do? Surely, it is not a question of how one is not to be violent. The fact is that we are violent, and to ask “How am I not to be violent?” merely creates the ideal, which seems to me to be utterly futile. But if one is capable of looking at violence and understanding it, then perhaps there is a possibility of resolving it totally.