On one hand we have a real need to involve our ourselves with people, with situations. And on the other hand we have a need for freedom. And sometimes we think that it is our involvement that is our prison and that's the reason why people become hermits. Because they leave the world because they find that their conditions are constraining.
But what Buddha is saying is that one can find freedom in one's mind whatever the conditions. In fact freeing yourself from conditions doesn't make you free anyway. Some of the hobos under the bridge in France, in Paris, are not free. They're caught up in their own trip.
Freedom from opinion. Freedom from opinion. You see that is when you are meditating and considering you problems, you are assessing your problems, that is your opinion.
So just think of that clue that Buddha gives: you are caught in, not only your vantage point, you are caught in your opinion. And what we want to do is to free ourselves from opinion. Or, at least, well I would say think of your opinion as relative. I would say do not think of it as faulty, but think of it as relative.
So now I would say that when you're meditating, I would say that the key to meditating really is like this: normally we are receptive to impressions. Normally our thinking is monitored by the challenge of the environment. When we turn within, when we try to meditate, then the environment is not challenging us, but it continues to live in our psyche.
Now, the change now, the way to switch over as you meditate is to work with what is, work with yourself—rather with the emergence of a new self, the rebirthing of your psyche that is happening continually—rather than with the environment.
And that is one of the ways of doing it, there are several, of course, one is: the simplistic thing is to consider that your face is a mask. And that's not your real being. And then consider that your thoughts are not, well first, yes, then consider that you are —playing a role—in life and forgot who you are.
And then consider that your thoughts are somehow distorted by language. One doesn't realize it. And that's the reason why people are advised to maintain silence during a meditation, during a retreat. Because, you see, not only we're used to saying—articulating—what we mean, but even when we're not speaking we are still translating our thoughts in language. Language distorts our thought.
I'll give you an example: for example our language is—I mean the language that we've inherited in our civilizations—is based upon static words instead of dynamic words. For example, we say "my thoughts." There's no such thing as my thoughts, there's my thinking. My emotions? No. There's my emoting. And so on. You see, we don't know how..., our thinking is—how can I say?—fragmented into categories, as Immanuel Kant says.
Now, when you, if you maintain silence for forty days, for example, you don't know how to speak any more, and you are not used to translating your thoughts into—your thinking—into words. And then you get into a whole different dimension of thinking. And, one might say, that is what you imply behind what you explain. What you imply behind what you explain. What is implicit behind what is explicit.
If you're familiar with the theories of Dr. David Bohm, in physics, then you know that what he says is the same thing is true of the physical world—that we experience the physical world in categories, discrete entities. But the reality behind it is what he calls the implicate state. So in terms of psychology, implicit. Physics, implicate. And then the explicate and, in terms of psychology, it is the explicit.