79. “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”
A problem cannot be solved if you do not know what it is. Even if it is really solved already, you will still have the problem because you cannot [will not] recognize that it has been solved. This is the situation of the world. The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved. But [Yet] the solution is not recognized because the problem is not recognized.
Everyone in this world seems to have his own special problems. Yet they are all the same, and must be recognized as one if the one solution which solves them all is to be accepted. Who can see that a problem has been solved if he thinks the problem is something else? Even if he is given the answer, he cannot see its relevance.
That is the position in which you find yourselves now. You have the answer, but you are still uncertain about what the problem is. A long series of different problems seem to confront you, and as one is settled the next one and the next arise. There seems to be no end to them. There is no time in which you feel completely free of problems, and at peace.
The temptation to regard problems as many is the temptation to keep the problem of separation unsolved. The world seems to present you with a vast number of problems, each requiring a different answer. These perception places you in a position in which your problem solving must be inadequate, and failure must be [is] inevitable.
No-one could solve all the problems the world appears to hold. They seem to be on so many levels, in such varying forms and with such varied content, that they confront you with an impossible situation. Dismay and depression are inevitable as you regard them. Some spring up unexpectedly, just as you think you have resolved the previous ones. Others remain unsolved under a cloud of denial, to and rise to haunt you from time to time, only to be hidden again but still unsolved.
All this complexity is but a desperate attempt not to recognize the problem, and therefore not to let it be resolved. If you could recognize that your only problem is separation, no matter what form it takes, you could accept the answer because you would see its relevance. Perceiving the underlying constancy in all the problems which confront you, you would understand that you have the means to solve them all. And you would use the means to because you recognize the problem.
In our longer practice periods [today], we will ask what the problem is, and what is the answer to it. We will not assume that we already know. We will try to free our minds of all the many different kinds of problems that we think we have. We will try to realize that we have only one problem, which we have failed to recognize. We will ask what it is, and wait for the answer. We will be told. Then we will ask for the solution to it. And we will be told.
Our [The] exercises for today will be successful to the extent to which we [you] do not insist on defining the problem. Perhaps we [you] will not succeed in letting all our [your] preconceived notions go, but that is not necessary. All that is necessary is to entertain some doubt about the reality of our [your] version of what our [your] problems are. We [You] are trying to recognize that we [you] have been given the answer by recognizing the problem, so that the problem and the answer can be brought together, and we [you] can be at peace.
The shorter practice periods for today will not be set by time, but by need. You will see many problems today, each one calling for an answer. Our efforts will be directed toward recognizing that there is only one problem and one answer. In this recognition are all problems resolved. And In this recognition there is peace.
Be not deceived by the form of problems today. Whenever any difficult[y] seems to rise, tell yourself quickly:
“Let me recognize this problem so it can be solved.”
Then try to suspend all judgment about what the problem is. If possible, close your eyes for a moment, and ask what it is. You will be heard and you will be answered.