The spiritual search is search for our true self, our natural uninhibited and unconditioned self. Until we find our original pure unprotected self-nature, our experience of life is a struggle in varying degrees.

But what happened that we forgot our natural self and shifted our centre of living to some other centre? Why is it that you cannot feel the natural life centre in yourself? Why do you have to grope so ardently to experience something so deep within you? Why is it concealed from you for so long? Why can you find it only indirectly?

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The reason is that you have anaesthetized what once was a shock to you. The greatest distress a human being can experience is not hurt — it is lack of feeling, it is inner deadness.

The deadness was originally meant to be a protection against the pain, fear, and discomfort with which the individual was unable to cope. At a time when one is very young, self-numbing may indeed be a temporary solution.

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For an immature mind unequipped to comprehend and handle certain emotional experiences realistically, temporary anaesthesia is needed to survive. But if it becomes a habit, it is extremely harmful.

When something alive is deadened, all experience stops. This deadness creates the hopelessness all human beings suffer from to some degree.

It may be quite conscious, or it may be concealed from awareness. It is without a doubt the greatest cross to bear.