Chapter 2: The Meaning of Maturity
The first question:
You told me that my mind is immature. What does it mean to have a mind that is mature?
To think that you know is to be immature. To function from knowledge, from conclusion, is immaturity. To function from no-knowledge, from no conclusion, from no past, is maturity.
Maturity is deep trust in your own consciousness; immaturity is a distrust in your own consciousness. And when you distrust your consciousness you trust your knowledge, but that is a substitute, and a very poor substitute at that.
Try to understand this, it is important. You have been living, you have experienced so many things; you have read, you have listened, you have thought. Now all those conclusions are there. When a certain situation arises you can function in two ways. Either you can function through all the accumulated past, according to it - that’s what I mean by functioning through a center, through conclusions, through experience, stale, dead - then whatsoever you do, your response is not going to be a response, it will be a reaction. And to be reactionary is to be immature.
If you can function right now, here in this moment, through your consciousness, through your being aware, putting aside all that you have known, this is what I call functioning through no-knowledge. This is functioning through innocence. - and this is maturity.
I was reading one anecdote:
It seemed to Mr. Smith that now that his son had turned thirteen, it was important to discuss those matters which an adolescent ought to know about life. So he called the boy into the study one evening. shut the door carefully, and said with impressive dignity, “Son, I would like to discuss the facts of life with you.”
“Sure thing, Dad,” said the boy. “What do you want to know?”