Flame of Attention
3rd Public Talk
15th July 1982
May we continue where we left off the day before yesterday? We were talking about causation and the effects of that cause. We always apparently are concerned with the effects, the results, and try to change or modify the results, the effects. But apparently we never enquire very deeply into the cause of these effects. We went into that a little bit the other day and I think it is important to go into them quite deeply.
We also said that intelligence has no cause. And all our actions, our ways of thinking have always a ground, a reason, a motive. And if one ends the cause then what is beyond cause? That's what we were talking about the day before yesterday. One hopes you will not mind being reminded again that the speaker is totally, completely anonymous. The speaker is not important. What is said is important and to find out for oneself if what is being said is true or false depends on one's intelligence. We said intelligence is the uncovering of the false and totally rejecting the false. So please bear in mind during all these talks and question and answer meetings that together, in co-operation, we are investigating, examining, exploring into these problems. The speaker is not exploring but you are exploring with him. So there is no question of following him. There is no authority invested in him. I think this must be said over and over again as most of us are prone, have a tendency to follow, to accept, specially from those whom you think somewhat different or spiritually advanced, or all that nonsense. So please, if one may repeat it over and over again, because our minds and our brains are conditioned to follow, as you follow a professor in a university, he informs you and you accept because he certainly knows mathematics more than perhaps we do. But here it is not a matter of that kind. We are not informing you. We are not urging you to accept those things that are said, but rather together in co-operation investigate into these human problems, which are very complex, need a great deal of observation, a great deal of energy and enquiry. But if you merely follow you are only following the image that you have created about him or about the symbolic meaning of the words. So please bear in mind all these facts.
So we are going to enquire together what is intelligence? We are not defining what is intelligence. The dictionary probably has several meanings to it. Intelligence according to accepted good dictionaries, says it is gathering together information, reading between the lines, which are all the activity of thought. And is thought intelligent? Is thought, our thinking, the way we act, the whole social, moral world in which we live, or immoral world in which we live - is all that the activity of intelligence? Then we begin to enquire into what is intelligence? We said one of the factors is to uncover, explore, not say this is false and reject it, but explore the nature of the false because in the understanding of the false, in the uncovering of that which is illusion, there is the truth which is intelligence.
So we have inquired together, together, into the nature of intelligence. Has intelligence a cause? Thought has a cause - right? One thinks because one - the very word 'because' implies causation - one thinks because one has past experiences, past accumulated information and knowledge, that knowledge is never complete, that knowledge must go hand in hand with ignorance, and from this ground of knowledge with its ignorance thought is born. And that thought must be partial, limited, fragmented because it is the outcome of knowledge, and as knowledge can never be complete at any time, therefore thought must be incomplete, insufficient, limited. And we use that thought not recognizing the limitation of it, and living in thought and creating thoughts, the things which thought has created and worshipping the things that thought has created. Thought has created wars and the instruments of war. Thought has created the whole technological world, the terror and so on. We have gone into that previously.
So is thought, the activity of thought, which is to compare, to identify, to fulfil, to seek satisfaction, to seek security, which is the result, the cause of thinking - and is thought intelligent? Please, you understand my question? Don't wait for the speaker to tell us; we are together looking at this question of thought, its place, its activity in relationship to intelligence. We live by thought, yesterday, tomorrow and today. Is this movement from the past through the present, to the future, which is the movement of time and thought, that movement with its cunningness, with its capacity to adjust itself as no other animal does except a human being - is that movement of thought born of the past, is that intelligence? Will that produce confusion?
So thought has a causation, obviously. I want to build a house; I want to drive a car; I want to be powerful, well-known. I am dull, but I'll be clever. I will achieve, I will fulfil - all that is the movement of the centre from which thought arises. Right? It is so obvious. Through the obvious we are going to penetrate which may be different. But first we must be very clear of the obvious, that which has a cause and an effect, that effect may be immediate or postponed. The movement from the cause to the effect is time. Are you listening?
I have done something in the past which was not correct; it is not correct because of various causes, and the effect of that may be that I pay for it immediately, or perhaps five years later. So where there is a cause and there is an effect, the interval, whether it is the shortest interval, a second or years, is the movement of time. So is intelligence the movement of time? Please think it over, examine it because this is not a verbal clarification, it is not a verbal explanation, but the perception of the reality of it, the truth of it. Because we are going to go into various aspects of our life, our daily living, not some Utopian concept, or some ideological conclusion according to which we shall act, but in investigating our lives, our lives are the lives of all humanity, it is not my life or your life, life is a tremendous movement and in that movement we have separated a part of it and call ourselves individuals. We went into that the other day very carefully.
So we are saying, asking, where there is a cause there is an ending. If I have tuberculosis the cause is my coughing and the blood and all the rest of it, and that cause can be cured and the effect will disappear. Please follow this carefully, examine this carefully - I won't use the word follow, forgive me. We are saying where there is a cause the effect can be ended with the ending of cause. Right? And all our life is the movement of causation: I like you, you are my friend. You flatter me, I am delighted. I flatter you. You say something unpleasant, I hate you. In all this movement there is a causation - right? Of course. We are asking: is there a life, a living without causation? We must understand first the implications of ending. You understand? I end anger or greed in order to achieve something else. I love you because you are my audience. That is, you flatter me, I fulfil myself in talking to you, and I feel sad or depressed when there is no audience. So there is always a cause and an ending. So we are enquiring: what is it to end? Is ending a continuation, a continuation? I end something and begin something else, which is another form of the same thing. Are you following? We must go slowly, we must go into it very carefully.
You see to go into this very deeply one has to understand the conflict of the opposites - right? The conflict of duality. I am greedy, one is greedy and for various, social, economic, moral reasons one must end it. In the ending of it there is a cause because I want something else. The something else is the result of the cause. I have not really ended the greed, but I have replaced the greed by something else - right? I am violent, one is violent by nature because that violence has been inherited from the animal and so on, we won't go into that. We are violent human beings. The cause of that violence may be very complex but the result of that complex causation is violence. I want to end violence because I think it is too stupid. And so in ending I am trying to find a field which is non-violent, which has no shadow of violence in it. But I haven't really ended violence, only I have transmuted or translated that feeling into another feeling but the feeling is the same. Have you got it? I wonder if you capture this? Are we co-operating together in this? We will put it in ten different ways.
You see if thought has cause, which it has, then the ending of cause doesn't mean thoughtlessness. Or something totally different. If it is something totally different then it has no cause - right? Please understand this. Don't go to sleep please. This is not an intellectual entertainment or verbal exchange, but if we go into it very carefully, deeply, it will affect our daily life because that may be the ending of conflict. Because our life is in conflict, our consciousness is in conflict, it is messy, confused, contradictory. And our consciousness is the result of thought - right? And because thought has a causation our consciousness has a cause. And what has a cause, and the movement of that cause as effect is time. We went into that. Is there a way of observing without cause? You understand my question? I want to observe all my complex life, my contradictions, one's imitation, conformity, the various conclusions with their opposites, all that is a movement of causation - right? Of course. I can end that causation by will, by a desire to have an orderly life. The orderly life may be born out of a causation - right? Because I am disorderly. So when discovering the disorderliness of my life and wishing to have an orderly life that orderly life has a causation, and therefore it is not orderly - right? Is this clear?
It is a very complex subject and I hope you will have patience to go into it.
So has intelligence a cause? Obviously not. Right? I will go into it. What is order? There is the order of law based upon various experiences, judgements, necessities, convenience, to keep out the ill-doers and so on. So what we call order, social order, ethical order, political order and so on has essentially a basis, a background, a cause. Now we are asking: has order a cause? We are going to investigate together. Now do we recognise, see, how our lives are disorderly? Disorderly being contradictory, conforming, following, accepting, denying what we may want and accepting something else. The conflict between the various opposites, that is disorder. Right? Because I accept one form of thought as order, but I think also its opposite. The opposite may create disorder so I am living always within the field of these opposites - right? So will disorder end, completely end in my life, in our lives, if I want order? I want to live peacefully, I want to have a pleasant life, companionship and so on and so on, that desire is born out of this disorder. Get it? So the opposite is born out of this, out of its own opposite. I am angry, I hate, I mustn't hate, therefore I must try not to hate, and not to hate is the outcome of my hate - right? If there is no hate it has no opposite - right? So the ending of hate has no result. I wonder if you capture all this? I see not.
You see thought has created disorder. Let's see that fact. Thought has created disorder in the world through nationalities, through division, I am a Jew, you are an Arab, I believe and you don't believe - you follow? Those are all the activities of thought, which in itself is divisive, in itself, it can't bring unity, because in itself it is divisive, fragmented. That which is fragmented cannot see the whole - right? So I discover that my consciousness is entirely in disorder and I want order, hoping thereby I will end conflict. There is a motive. That motive is the cause of my desire to have an orderly life - right? So order is born there out of disorder - right? Therefore that order perpetuates disorder, which is happening in the political, religious and other fields. I wonder if you see that?
Now let's go back. Now I see the cause of disorder. I don't want to move away from disorder. I see the cause of it, that I am contradictory, that I am angry, the confusion, I see it. I see the cause of it. I am not moving away from the cause or the effect. I am the cause and I am the effect. Do you see that? I am the cause and the things that happen is myself also. So any movement away from that is disorder - right? I wonder if you get it?
So the ending without a future - right? The ending of 'what is' has no future. Any future projected by my demand for order is still the continuation of disorder. So is there an observation of my disorder and the ending of it without any cause? You get it? You understand? I am violent. One is violent. One wants to be famous. One wants so many things. And there is violence in human beings. The cause of that violence is essentially a self-centred movement - right? Right? You want, you are violent because you are self-centred. I am also violent because I am self-centred. Therefore there is a battle between us - right? This is obvious. So there is violence in you. Thought is not pursuing non-violence, which is a form of violence. If you see that very clearly then there is only the concern with violence. The cause of that violence, as we said, may be so many contradictory demands, so many pressures and so on and so on, we can go into all that but I don't want to go into all that for the moment. So there are many causes. One cause of violence is this self. The self being, it has many aspects, it hides behind many ideas, I am an idealist because that appeals to me and I want to work for that ideal, but in the working for that ideal I am becoming more and more important, or I cover up that by the ideal and the very escape from myself is part of myself - right? This whole movement is the factor of violence. I want to kill others because by killing them there may be a better world - you know all the stuff that goes on.
So is there an observation of disorder, seeing the cause of that disorder, and the ending of it without ending of it? You understand my question? Is this clear or not? Perhaps I smoke. It is a habit. A habit which I want to break, I want to break it because I want to be healthy, it is affecting my heart and my brain, my activity and so on and so on, therefore I want to end it. There is a motive behind it - right? I am really not ending it. I substitute smoking for something else, which is habit - right? So is there an ending of habit, an ending of it completely? Not replacing it by something else? Goodness, I have explained it in ten different ways. Is this clear? Can we move away from that?
So our life has many causes, the living. Is there a way of living without a single cause? Please enquire into this. It is a marvellous enquiry even, to put that question demands some deep searching to find out. I want security therefore I follow my guru. I am not following, I want security, I may put on his robes or copy what the man says and so on and so on but deeply I want to be safe. And I cling to some idea, some picture, some image. And the image, the idea, the conclusion, the person can never bring about security. So I have to enquire into security. Is there such a thing as security? Not physically, outwardly, there must be outwardly, inwardly I am talking about. Because I am uncertain, confused and you say, you are not confused, I will hold on to you. Because my demand is to find some kind of peace, hope, some kind of quietness in my life. You are not important but my desire is important. I worship you. I will do whatever you want to say, I will follow you. I am silly enough to do all that but the moment I enquire into the cause of it I discover deeply I want this protection, this feeling "I am safe". Now is there security psychologically - or rather can there ever be security psychologically? The very question implies the demand for intelligence. You understand? Putting that very question is an outcome of intelligence. But if you say, "No, there is always security in my symbol, my saviour, in this, in that" - then you won't move away from it. But if you begin to enquire, look, then you are bound to ask is there security?
So if there is a cause for security, it is not secure - right? Because the cause is more important than the desire for security. So has intelligence a cause? We have come back to that. Right? Of course not.
So has love a cause? Come on, you must answer this question. Look at it sirs, please take time, look at it very closely, let us go into it very carefully. We said intelligence has no cause, therefore it is not your intelligence and my intelligence, it is intelligence. It is light. Where there is light there is not your light or my light; the sun is not your sun or my sun. It is light, the heat, the clarity of light. Has love a cause? If it has not then love and intelligence go together. You follow? You see this? When one says to one's wife or one's girl-friend, "I love you", what does it mean? I love god - one loves god. Why? You don't know anything about that bird and you love him, because there is fear, there is a demand for security, there is the vast weight of tradition, the book says so, it gives you comfort - right? So you say, "I believe in god". But if there is no fear and the discovery that intelligence is total security, and that love is something beyond all causation - you understand? - which is order. And then the universe is open, because the universe is order - right? This is all clear.
Let us go into the question of what is intelligent relationship? Not the relationship of thought with its image. We will go into that. We will have to go into this a little more. Our brains are mechanical - right? Mechanical being repetitive, never being free, struggling within the same field, thinking it is free by moving from one corner to the other in the same field, which is choice, and thinking that choice is freedom, which is repeated. "I am free because I can choose to go to Zurich." But if I lived in Russia I cannot. Whatever place I wanted to go to there. Right?
So one's brain, which has evolved through time - right? - of course, that brain is not yours or mine, it is brain. Right? And that brain has become through ages, through tradition, through education, through conformity, through adjustment, mechanical. You can observe this in yourself. There may be parts of brain which may be free but we don't know. Don't assert that. Don't say, "Yes, there is part of me that is free", that is meaningless. But the fact remains that the brain has become mechanical, traditional, repetitive which has its own intelligence - right? Isn't it? Do you see that? No? It has - I won't use the word intelligence - it has its own cunningness, its own capacity to adjustment, to discern. But it is always within a limited area because thought itself is fragmented. And thought has its home in the brain, in the cells and so on. So, scientists are saying the same thing in different words.
Now, the brain has become mechanical. I am a Christian. I am a Hindu, I believe, I have faith, and I don't have faith, I am not a Christian - you follow? Which is all repetitive process, which is reaction to another reaction, which is mechanical. Now this brain, the human brain, has been conditioned, and being conditioned it has created its own artificial, mechanical intelligence. I will keep that word - mechanical intelligence. Like a computer. They are trying to investigate, spending billions and billions of dollars and money to find out if a computer can be exactly like the brain. Probably they will. So we are asking: is thought, which is born out of my memory, knowledge and so on, in the brain, and so thought is mechanical - right? It may invent but it is still mechanical. Invention is totally different from creation. I mustn't enter into that.
So the brain being almost, with an occasional flare, totally different from the mechanical process, but essentially it is repetitive, mechanical. And thought is trying to discover a way of a different life, a different social order. Thought is trying to discover it - right? And the discovery of a social order by thought is still within the field of confusion - right? We are asking then: is there an intelligence which has no cause and therefore from that intelligence act in our relationship, and not the mechanical state of relationship which exists now?
Are you all getting tired? (Audience: No.) It is too easy to say you are not tired.
Look sirs: our relationship is mechanical. I have certain biological urges and you fulfil them. I demand certain comforts, certain companionship because I am lonely, I am depressed and by holding on to you perhaps that depression will disappear. That is my relationship with you, intimate or otherwise, has a cause, a motive, a ground from which I establish a relationship with you - right? Biological, sex and so on. That is mechanical. This has been happening for a million years, which is, there is a conflict between a woman and a man, a constant battle, each pursuing his own line, never meeting, like two railway lines which never meet. This relationship is the activity of thought and therefore limited. And wherever there is limitation there must be conflict - right? Any form of association, I belong to this group, and you belong to another group - association. You belong to this group - so where there is separate associations there is solitude, isolation, where there is isolation there must be conflict - right? This is a law, not invented by the speaker, it is so. Right?
So thought is ever in limitation and therefore isolating itself. Therefore in relationship where there is activity of thought there must be conflict. Get it? No, but see the reality of it. See the actuality of this fact, not as an idea, as a something that is happening in my life, in one's active daily life: divorces, quarrels, hating each other, jealousy. You know all about it. The misery of it all. The wife wants to hurt you, is jealous of you, and you are jealous - you follow? Which are all reactions, which are repetitive and therefore the activity of thought in relationship must be mechanical and therefore brings conflict. Right? That is a fact.
Now how do you deal with a fact? Do you understand my question? Here is a fact: my wife and I quarrel. She hates me. And also - you follow? - the response, the mechanical response, the hate. And I discover that it is the remembrance of things that have happened and that memory is stored in the brain, it continues day after day. And my whole thinking is a process of isolation - right? And she also is isolating. We never discover the truth of the isolation. That wherever there is isolation of any kind, putting on purple robes, or green robes - you follow? - must be a factor of isolation, nationalism and so on, and it must breed conflict. Now that is a fact. Now how do I look at that fact? What am I to do with that fact? You understand my question? Please, I am not answering, you are answering, you are questioning it, you are putting this question to yourself. What is your response? How do you face this fact? With a motive? With a cause? Please, be careful, don't say, "No". My wife hates me. And I smother it over but I also hate her, dislike her, don't want to be with her, because we both of us are isolated. That is a fact. I am ambitious, she is ambitious, for something else. So we are operating in our relationship in isolation. Now what happens? I face the fact. You are facing the fact, not I. You are facing the fact. Do you approach it, the fact, with reason, with a ground, with a motive? So how do you approach it? Without a motive? Without cause? When you approach it without a cause what then happens? Please watch it. Please don't jump to something, watch it in yourself. So far I have mechanically approached this problem with a motive, with some reason, a ground from which I act. And I see the foolishness of such an action because it is the result of thought and so on. So then is there an approach to the fact without a single motive? That is, I have no motive. She may have a motive, or I may have a motive and she has not. Then if I have no motive how am I looking at the fact? The fact is not different from me - right? I am the fact. I am ambition, I am hate, I depend and so on, dependent on somebody, I am that. So there is an observation of the fact which is myself. And the observation of the fact, which is myself, without any kind of reason, motive. Is that possible?
If I don't do that I live perpetually in conflict. And you may say that is the way of life. If you accept that is the way of life, that is your business. That is your pleasure. That is what your brain, tradition, habit tells you, that is the inevitable. But when you see the absurdity of such acceptance then you are bound to ask this question. All this travail is myself, I am the enemy, not you. I have met the enemy and discovered it is me. So can I observe this whole movement of me, the self, separate, isolated, tradition, the acceptance that I am separate, which becomes foolish when you examine the whole field of consciousness of humanity. I am the entire humanity, which we went into, consciousness, my consciousness is common.
So I have come to a point in understanding what is intelligence. We said intelligence is without a cause, as love is without a cause. If love has a cause, it is not love, obviously. If I am intelligent because the government asks me, I am intelligent because I am following you, I am intelligent because I have worked in a factory, I have a great skill. We don't call all that intelligence, that is capacity. Intelligence has no cause. Therefore am I looking at myself with a cause? You understand? Are you following this? Am I looking at this fact that I am thinking, working, feeling, in isolation? And that isolation must inevitably breed everlasting conflict. And that isolation is myself. I am the enemy, not the Argentines, or the Russians. I am the enemy. Now how do I look at myself without a motive? When I look at myself without a motive, is there myself? Myself is the cause, the effect, myself is the result of time, which is movement from cause to effect. So when I look at myself, at this fact, without any cause, there is the ending of something and the beginning of something totally new. Right? We had better stop now.
3rd Public Talk
4th September 1982
We have got two talks, today and tomorrow morning. I think we ought to talk over together whether it is at all possible to live at peace in this world. Considering what is happening on the earth, where man is living, he has brought about a great deal of chaos - wars and the terrible things that are going on in the world. This is not a pessimistic or optimistic point of view but just looking at the facts as they are. Apparently it is not possible to have peace on this earth, to live with friendship, with affection, with each other in our lives. And to live at peace, to have some peace with oneself and the world, one needs to have a great deal of intelligence. Not just the word peace and strive to live a peaceful life, which then becomes merely a rather vegetating life, but to enquire whether it is possible to live in this world where there is such disorder, such unrighteousness - if we can use the old fashioned word - whether one can live at all with a certain quality of a mind and a heart that is at peace with itself. Not everlastingly striving, striving in conflict, in competition, in imitation and conformity but to live not, a satisfied life, not a fulfilled life, not a life that has achieved some result in this life, some fame or some notoriety, or some wealth but to have a quality of peace. We ought to talk about it together. We ought to go into it co-operatively to find out if it is at all possible for us to have such peace, not peace of mind, that just will be a piece, a small part, but to have this peculiar quality of undisturbed but tremendously alive, undisturbed, tranquil, quiet, with a sense of dignity, without any sense of vulgarity, whether one can live such a life.
I do not know if one has asked such a question, surrounded by total disorder. I think one must be very clear about that: there is total disorder outwardly, every morning you read a newspaper there is something terrible. Aeroplanes that can travel at such astonishing speed from one corner of the earth to the other without having to refuel, carrying great weight of bombs, gases that can destroy man in a few seconds. To observe all this and to realize what man has come to, and in asking this question you may say that is impossible. It is not at all possible to live in this world utterly, inwardly undisturbed, to have no problems, to live a life utterly not self centred. How shall we talk about this? Talking, using words, has very little meaning but to find out through the words, through communicating with each other, to find or discover, or come upon, a state that is utterly still. That requires intelligence, not a phantasy, not some peculiar day dreaming called meditation, not some form of self hypnosis but to come upon it, as we said, requires intelligence.
So we have to ask: what is intelligence? As we said the other day, to perceive that which is illusory, that which is false, not actual, and to discard it, not merely assert that is false and continue in the same way, but to discard it completely. That is part of intelligence. To see, for example, nationalism, with all its peculiar patriotism, isolation, narrowness, is very destructive in this world, it is a poison in the world, and seeing the truth of it is to discard that which is false. That is intelligence. But to keep on with it, acknowledging it is stupid but keep on, that is essentially part of stupidity and disorder. It creates disorder. So intelligence is, is it not, we are talking over together, I am not saying it is, or it is not, we are investigating very seriously into this question: what is intelligence which alone can bring about in one's life complete order and peace? And we said that can come about only when there is this extraordinary quality of intelligence. And intelligence is not the clever pursuit of argument, of opposing knowledge, contradictory opinions and through opinions find truth, which is impossible but to realize that the activity of thought, with all its capacities, with all its subtleties, is an extraordinary waste of thought. It is not intelligence. Intelligence is beyond thought. Please don't agree with the speaker. We are looking at it, going into it.
So one has to find out in order to live peacefully what is disorder? Why we human beings, who are supposed to be extraordinarily evolved, which I doubt, extraordinary capable in certain directions, why they live and tolerate disorder in their daily life. If we can discover the root of this disorder, the cause, and observe it carefully, that very observation of that which is the cause, in that observation there is the awakening of intelligence. Not that there should be order and striving to bring about order. That is, a confused disorderly mind, brain or activity of one's life, that disorder, that state of mind which is contradictory, opposing, such a mind seeking order will still be disorder. I don't know if we comprehend it? I am confused, uncertain, going from one thing to another, burdened with many problems, such a life, such a mind, such a way of living, from there I want order. Then my order is born out of my confusion, and therefore it is still confused. I don't know if we see this? Right?
When I chose order out of disorder, the choice is still based on disorder. When this is clear, then what is disorder, the cause of it? As we said, it has many causes, the desire to fulfil, the anxiety of not fulfilling, the contradictory life one lives, saying one thing, doing totally different things, trying to suppress and to achieve something. These are all contradictions in oneself. And one can find out many causes but the pursuit of searching, of search of causes is endless. Whereas if we could ask ourselves: is there one cause out of all these many causes, is there one root cause? Obviously there must be. And we are saying that the root cause of this is the self, the me, the ego, the personality, which in itself is put together by thought, by memory, by various experiences, by certain words, certain qualities and so on. That feeling of separateness, isolation, that is the root cause of this disorder. However that self tries not to be self it is still the pursuit of the self - right? The self may identify with the nation, that very identification with the larger is still glorified self. And each one of us is doing that in different ways. So there is the self, which is put together by thought, that is the root cause of this total disorder in which we live. If you say it is impossible to get rid of the self, that is a wrong question. But when we observe what causes disorder, and as one has become so accustomed to disorder, one has lived in such disorder, we accept it as natural but when we begin to question it and go into it, and see that is the root of it, to observe it, not to do anything about it, then by that very observation begins to dissolve the centre which is the cause of disorder. Right? Are we following all this together?
And we said intelligence is the perception of that which is true, putting aside totally that which is false, and seeing the truth in the false, and realizing all the activities of thought is not intelligence because thought itself is the outcome of knowledge, which is the result of experience, as memory and the response of that memory is thought. And so knowledge is always limited. That is obvious. There is no perfect knowledge. So thought, with all its activity and with its knowledge is not intelligence. Right? So what we are asking is: what place has knowledge in life? Because all our life is based on thought. Whatever we do is based on thought. That is clear. All our activities are based on thought, our relationship is based on thought. Our inventions, the technological and the non-technological is still the activity of thought. The gods we have created, and the rituals, the mass and the whole circus of all that is the product of thought. So what place has knowledge in the degeneration of man? Please you must go into this. You must ask this question. Can we proceed?
We have accumulated immense knowledge, in the world of science, psychology, biology, mathematics and so on and so on, a great deal of knowledge. And we think through knowledge we will ascend, we will liberate ourselves, we will transform ourselves. And we are questioning what is the place of knowledge in life? Has knowledge transformed us, made us good? - again, an old fashioned word. Has it given us integrity? Is it part of justice? Has it given us freedom? Of course it has given us freedom in the sense that we can travel, communicate from one country to another. It is all based on knowledge and thought. Better communication, better systems of learning and so on, the computer and the atom bomb. All that is the result of a great deal of accumulated knowledge. And has this knowledge given us freedom, a life that is just, a life that is essentially good?
So we are again examining those three words: freedom, justice and goodness. This has been one of the problems, those three words, in the ancient people who have always struggled to find out if you can live a life that is just. That word 'just' means to be righteous, to have righteousness, to act benevolently, to act with generosity, not deal with hatreds, antagonisms. You know what it means to lead a just, a right kind of life? Not according to a pattern, not according to some fanciful projected ideals by thought, but a life that has great affection, a life that is just, true, accurate. And in this world there is no justice. You are clever, I am not. You have power, I haven't. You can travel all over the world, meet all the prominent people, and I live in a little town, work day after day, live in a small room. Where is there justice there? And is justice to be found in external activities? That is, you may become the prime minister, the president, the head of a big intercontinental business, great corporations. I may be for ever a clerk, way down below, a soldier. So do we seek justice out there, which is, we are trying to bring about an egalitarian state, all over the world they are trying it, thinking that will bring about justice. Or justice is to be found away from all that. Please when I am asking, you are asking this question, not the speaker. The speaker is only putting into words that which we are enquiring into. Justice involves a certain integrity, to be whole, integral, not broken up, not fragmented, which can only take place when there is no comparison. But we are always comparing, better cars, better houses, better position, better power and so on. That is measurement. Where there is measurement there cannot be justice. You are following all this? Please see it. Where there is imitation, conformity, there cannot be justice, following somebody. We listen to these words, we don't see the beauty, the quality, the depth of these things, and we may superficially agree and walk away from it. But the words, the comprehension of the depth of it must leave a mark, a seed, justice must be in there, in us.
And also the word 'goodness', it is a very old fashioned word. One hardly ever uses that word any more. The other day we were talking to some psychologist, fairly well known and one used that word. He was horrified! He said, "That is an old fashioned word, don't use that word." But one likes that good word. So what is goodness? It is not the opposite of that which is bad. If it is the opposite of that which is bad then goodness has its roots in badness. I don't know if one realizes this. Anything that has an opposite must have its roots in its own opposite - right? So goodness is not related to that which we consider bad. It is totally divorced from the other. So we must look at it as it is, not in a reaction to the opposite, as a reaction to the opposite. Right? Goodness implies a quality of deep integrity. Integrity is to be whole, not broken up, not inwardly fragmented. And goodness also means a way of life which is righteous, not in terms of church, or morality or ethical concept of righteousness, but a person who sees that which is true and that which is false, and sustains that quality of sensitivity that sees it immediately and acts. And the word 'freedom' is a very complex word. When there is freedom there is justice, there is goodness. So we have to enquire together what is freedom?
Please sirs, we are going together in this, not just you are listening to the speaker. If you are merely listening to the speaker and getting some ideas out of it - I hope you are not - if you are merely listening to it then it becomes another lecture, another sermon and one is fed up with all that kind of stuff. Why don't you just go to church? But if the words ring a bell, if the words awaken the depth of that word, if the word opens up a door through which you see the enormity of that word, not, "I want to be free from my anger" - that is all rather... or "I have a headache and I must be free from it". or I have a relationship which is rather tiresome, boring and I want to get a divorce. Freedom for us has been the capacity to choose. Because one chooses one thinks one is free - right? That is so. Because you can choose to go abroad, you can choose your work, you can choose what you want to do, but in the Totalitarian world you cannot do all that. There they stamp it all down, they want you to conform, obey, follow. In the so-called Democratic world there is still the choice of so-called freedom. Where there is choice, is there freedom? Please go into it. Who chooses? And why does one have to choose? When one is very clear in one's capacity to think objectively, impersonally, not sentimentally, very precise, there is no need for choice, when there is freedom. That is, when there is no confusion then there is no choice. It is only a confused mind that chooses. This is so. Look at yourself. When you choose between two parliamentarians, you don't know for whom to vote, so you choose one whom you like, who sounds rather good verbally, but you know all that game.
So what is freedom? Freedom is not the opposite of imprisonment - right? Then again it becomes a totally different kind of escape. So freedom is not escape from anything. That means a brain that has been conditioned by knowledge, knowledge is always limited and therefore always living within the field of ignorance, such brains which is the machinery of thought, through thought there can be no freedom. I wonder if we understand all this? That is, we all live with a certain kind of fear - fear of tomorrow, fear of things that have happened in many yesterdays. And we seek freedom from that fear. So freedom has a cause. That is, "I am afraid", I have found the cause of that fear and now I have got rid of that fear, therefore I am free. Where there is a cause the effect can end, like a disease, if one has, and the enquiry into that disease and the cause of that disease, then that disease can be cured. So if we think in terms of causation and freedom, then that freedom is not freedom at all. Freedom implies not just in a certain period of one's life but freedom right through one's life, and therefore freedom has no cause. Are you following this?
Now with all this being stated let's look at the cause of sorrow and whether that cause can ever end. Because man, all of us, have suffered in one way or another, through deaths, through lack of love, or having love for another and not receiving in return, sorrow has many, many faces. And man has tried to escape from sorrow, from the ancient of times. And we still live after all these million years, we still live with sorrow. Man has shed, or woman too, man has shed untold tears. There have been wars which have brought such agony to human beings, great anxiety and apparently we have not been able to be free from that sorrow. This is not a rhetorical question but is it possible for a human brain, human mind, human being, to be totally free from the anxiety of sorrow and all the human travail with regard to it?
So let's go together, walk along the same path to find out. Along the same road, let's walk together to see if we can in our daily life end this terrible burden which man has carried from the time he has lived until now. How do you approach such a question? We are asking, the question is: the ending of sorrow. How do you approach it? What is your reaction to that question? What is the state of your mind, your quality when a question of that kind is put to us? My son is dead, my husband is gone, I have friends who have betrayed me, I have followed and it has been fruitless after twenty years. Sorrow has such a great beauty and pain in it. Now how does each one of us react to that question? Do we say, "I don't want even to look at it. I have suffered, it is the lot of man, I rationalize it and accept it and go on." That is one way of dealing with it. But you haven't solved the problem. Or you transmit that sorrow to a symbol, and worship that symbol, as is done in Christianity. Or as the ancient Hindus have done, it is your lot, your karma. Or in the modern world you say your parents are responsible for it, or your society, or you inherited genetically some kind of genes and you have to suffer for it, and so on. There have been a thousand explanations. But these explanations have not resolved the ache and the pain of sorrow.
So how do I approach this question? Do we want to look at it face to face? Or casually? Or with trepidation? How do I approach such a problem. Approach means come near to the problem, very near. That is, is sorrow different from the observer who says, "I am in sorrow." When he says, "I am in sorrow" he has separated himself from that feeling, so he has not approached it at all. He has not touched it. So can we not avoid it, not transmit it, not escape from it, but come with such closeness to it, which means, I am sorrow? Is that so? Like I am anger. I am envy. But I have also invented an idea of non-envy. That invention has postponed, put it off further but the fact is I am envy, I am sorrow. Do you realize what that means? Not somebody has caused me sorrow, not my son is dead therefore I shed tears. I will shed tears for my son, for my wife, for whoever it is, but that is an outward expression of that pain of loss. That loss is the result of my dependence on that person, my attachment, my clinging to it, my feeling I am lost without him. So as usual we try to act upon the symptoms, we never go to the very root of this enormous problem which is sorrow. So we are not talking about the outward effects of sorrow. If you are you can take a drug and pacify yourself very quietly, or take a pill and pass off for the rest of your life - not for the rest of your life, you can end it. But we are trying together to find for ourselves, not be told and then accept, but actually find for ourselves the root of it.
Is it time that causes pain? Time not by the watch, or by the day, or sun rise, sunset, but the time that thought has invented in the psychological realms? You understand my question?
Questioner: What do you mean by psychological time?
K: I will explain sir, have a little patience. We are asking a very serious question. You are not asking me what is psychological time. You are asking that question yourself. Perhaps the speaker may prompt you, put it into words but it is your own question. I have had a son, a brother, a wife, father, whatever it is, mother, and I have lost. They are gone. They can never return. They are wiped away from the face of the earth. Of course I can invent they are living on other planes, you know all that. But I have lost them, there is a photograph on the piano, or the mantelpiece. My remembrance of them is time. How they loved me, how I loved them. What a help they were. And they helped to cover up my loneliness. And the remembrance of them is a movement of time. They were there yesterday and gone today. That is, the record has taken place in the brain - you understand? A remembrance is a recording on the tape of the brain - right? And that record is playing all the time. How I walked with them in the woods, my sexual remembrances, their companionship, the comfort I derived from them, all that is gone and the recording is going on. And this recording is memory, memory is time. Please listen to this, if you are interested, go into it very deeply. If you are interested, I am not asking you to. I have lived with my brother, my son, I have had happy days with them, enjoyed many things together but they are gone. And the memory of them remains. It is that memory that is causing pain, for which I am shedding tears in my loneliness. Now is it - please find out - is it possible not to record? This is a very serious question. I have enjoyed the sun yesterday morning early, so clear, so beautiful among the trees, casting a golden light on the lawn with long shadows. It has been a pleasant, lovely morning. And it has been recorded. And I have enjoyed the morning. How beautiful it was. Now the repetition begins. You understand? I have recorded that which has happened which caused me delight and that record, like a gramophone or tape recorder, it is repeated. That is the essence of time. And is it possible not to record at all? That sunrise of yesterday, look at it, give your whole attention to it, and not record it, it has gone, that moment of light, that golden light on the lawn with long shadows is gone, but the memory of it remains. Look at it and not record. The very attention of looking wipes away recording.
So we are asking is time the root of sorrow? Is thought the root of sorrow? Of course. So thought and time are the centre of my life - right? I live on that. And when something happens which is so drastically painful, I return to that pattern, to those memories and I shed tears. I wish he had been here to enjoy that sun when I was looking at it. Don't you know all this? It is the same with all our sexual memories, building a picture, thinking about it. All that is part of time and thought. If you ask how it is possible for time and thought inwardly to stop - again that is a wrong question. But when one realizes the truth of this, not the truth of another but your own observation of that truth, your own clarity of perception, will that end sorrow? That is, part of sorrow is my loneliness. I may be married, have children, responsibilities, belong to a club, play golf and all the rest of it, if one is lucky. And there I must record, recording there is knowledge, I must have knowledge. But that sunrise in the cloudless sky and the blue, and the shadows, numberless - I am not quoting Keats! - what need there be to record that? It is ended.
So to find out how to live a life without psychological recording - do you understand? To give such tremendous attention. It is only where there is inattention there is recording. I am used to my brother, to my son, to my wife, to my mother. I know what they will say. They have said so often the same thing. They have repeated, they have scolded. I know them. When I say "I know them" I am inattentive. When I say, "I know my wife", obviously I don't really know her because a living thing you cannot possibly know. It is only a dead thing that you can know. That is the dead memory that you know.
So when one is aware of this with great attention, sorrow has totally a different meaning. There is nothing to learn from sorrow. There is only the ending of sorrow. And when there is an ending of sorrow then there is love. How can I love another, have the quality of that love, when my whole life is based on memories, on that picture which I have hung on the mantelpiece, put up on the piano, how can I love when I am caught in a vast structure of memories? So the ending of sorrow is the beginning of love.
Tomorrow I think we ought to talk over together the nature of death and meditation. That is enough for this morning.
May I repeat a story? A teacher, a religious teacher, had several disciples and used to talk to them every morning, about the nature of goodness, beauty, love. And one morning he gets on the rostrum and as he is just about to begin talking a singing bird comes, alights on the window sill and begins to sing, chant. And he sings for a while and disappears. So the teacher says, "The sermon for this morning is over." May I get up please?
Related Talks 
Public Talk on 6th November, 1982
If one may point out that we are probing together, questioning together, doubting, asking, and this is not a lecture. We are together enquiring, taking a walk together into the whole field of existence, not dealing with a particular problem but the problem of man, the problem of human beings. And one of the factors in our existence is that we live in disorder. And apparently after thirty, forty thousand years or more we have not been able to live in total order, like the universe which is in complete order, absolute order, not relative order, but order that under all circumstances, wherever we live, socially, politically, and so on, to have within oneself order. And we are going to probe into that question, together.
Please bear in mind, if I may repeat again and again, the person, the speaker, is in no way important. The personality of the speaker has no place in this whatsoever. But what is important is that we, you and I, the speaker, should unfold the causes of disorder, not merely listen to the explanation or the description which the speaker might offer, but together think, observe, go into ourselves, not in any way selfishly, or self-centredly, egotistically, but to look at our lives, to look what we have made of the world, why man, the human being, lives in perpetual disorder outwardly and inwardly. One may like to live in disorder, then that's quite a different matter, but to enquire if it is possible to live inwardly first, then outwardly, not the other way round, but first inwardly, deep within ourselves, if we can live in complete order.
And also we should be able to discuss, talk over together this evening, the problem of suffering, and this enormous mystery of death, because we have only one more gathering here. After tomorrow we disperse, so if we have time this evening we will talk about all these things.
Beauty is complete order. But most of us have not that sense of beauty in our life. We may be great artists, great painters, expert in various things, but in our own daily life, with all the anxieties and miseries, we live, unfortunately, a very disordered life. That's a fact. Even the great scientists, they may be very good, expert in their subject, but they have their own problems, struggles, pain, anxiety, like the rest of us. So we are asking together, is it possible to live in complete order within. Not imposed, disciplined, controlled, but to enquire into the nature of this disorder, what are the causes of it, and to dispel, move away, wash away the causes, then there is a living order like the universe. Order is not a blueprint, a following of a particular pattern of life, or following certain systems, blindly or openly, but to enquire into ourselves and discover for ourselves, not be told, not to be guided, but to unfold in ourselves the real causes of this disorder.
So, please, this is a talk between you and the speaker, an exchange. We can't exchange with words with so many people, but we can each one of us think together. Not think according to my way or your way, but the capacity to think clearly, objectively, non-personally so that we both are capable of meeting each other so that we can communicate with each other happily, easily, with some sense of affection and beauty.
So we are asking, you and the speaker, are asking what are the causes of this chaos, not only in the world outside of us, which is the result of our own inward psychological mess, confusion, disorder, which has produced disorder outwardly, what are the causes of it. Would you consider desire is one of the factors? We are going to go into this: desire, fear, pleasure and thought. We will go into it step by step, slowly, we will take time. So we have to enquire closely and rather hesitantly, is desire one of the factors. So we are asking, what is desire. For most of us desire is a potent factor, desire drives us, desire brings about a sense of happiness or disaster. Desire varies in its search, desire changes with the objects of its desire. You are following all this, I hope. So we have to think together.
Is desire one of the causes? And what is desire? Why is it that all religions, all so-called religious people have suppressed desire? All over the world the monks and the sannyasis have denied desire, though they are boiling inside the fire of desire is burning, they deny it by suppressing it, or identifying with a symbol, with a figure, and surrendering that desire to that figure, to that person, but it is still desire. I hope you are all following all this. And most of us have, when we become aware of our desires, either we suppress or indulge, or come into conflict with it - desire for this and desire not to have it. The battle that goes on with all of us when there is the drive of desire.
So we should together happily, if we can, easily enquire into the nature of desire. We are not advocating either to suppress it or to surrender to it, or to control it, that has been done all over the world by every religious person, you know, all the rest of it. So we are examining it very closely so that your own understanding of that desire, how it arises, its nature, out of that understanding, self-awareness of it, one becomes intelligent. Then that intelligence acts, not desire. So we are going to go into this carefully.
First of all are we aware, each one of us, as two people talking together, of the extraordinary power of desire - desire for power, desire for certainty, desire for god - if you like that kind of stuff - desire for enlightenment, desire to follow some system. Desire has so many aspects, it is as intricate as the weaving of a great master weaver. So one has to look at it very, very simply, and then the complexity arises. But if you start with complexity then you will not go any further. You understand? If you start simply then you can go very far.
So we are looking at it, at the root and the beginning of desire. Have you ever noticed how our senses operate? Does one become aware of our senses - not a particular sense by the totality of the senses? You understand my question? Senses, the feeling, the tasting, the hearing, to have all those senses in operation fully. And when all your senses are active, functioning, have you ever looked at a tree in that way, have you ever looked at the sea, the mountains, the hills and the valleys with all your senses? Do you understand my question? If you do then there is no centre from which you are looking at things. The whole of your sensory reactions are complete, not controlled, shaped, suppressed. Unless you understand this very clearly it is a dangerous thing to say this because for most of us our senses are partial, either we have very good taste for clothes and rotten taste for furniture. You know all this. So our senses are limited, as we now live. Nobody, no religious or other philosophers have said this: unless you allow all the senses to flower and with their flowering perceive the beauty of the world.
Then one of the causes of desire is disorder. I am going to go into it - we are going to go into it very carefully. Up to now it is clear, is it, we are together in this. What is desire? What is the cause of it, how does it arise? It doesn't arise by itself. It arises through sensation, through contact, through seeing something, seeing a man or a woman, seeing a dress in the window, seeing a beautiful garden with the great hills, there is immediate sensation. That's clear. Then what happens? It is natural, healthy to have such sensation, such response. Then what takes place? I see a beautiful - what would you like? - a beautiful woman, a beautiful man, a beautiful house, a beautiful dress - I see it - a beautiful shirt, made most delicately. I go inside and touch the material: seeing, then contact, from that contact sensation. Right? Then - please listen to this - then what happens? Enquire with me. We are enquiring, please enquire. You have touched the shirt, you have the sensation, of its quality, its colour. Up to now there has been no desire. There has been only sensation. Right? Then what happens? Now, you are waiting for me to tell you. Please look at it carefully - don't answer me - please look at it for yourself. Because you see unless you discover this with your heart and mind it is not yours, you just repeat what somebody has said. That's what is destroying this country. You all quote other people - the Gita, the Upanishads or some other book. I was going to say, 'rotten book'. And you repeat, but you never discover, it's never yours, it's somebody else's, therefore you become secondhand human beings. Whereas if you discover it yourself it is an extraordinary freedom that comes.
So we are asking when the senses discover a nice dress, shirt, or a car, then what takes place? You have touched that shirt or dress, then thought - please listen - then thought creates the image of you in that shirt, in the car, in that dress; when thought creates that image that is the moment desire is born. You are following all this? You are following all this, sirs? I am not telling you, you are discovering it. That is, desire begins when thought creates the image. I see a beautiful violin, a Stradivarius, I want to have that, the beauty of that sound that the violin makes, I would like to possess it. I look at it, touch it, the sense of that old structure and I would like to have it. That is, the moment thought enters into the field of sensation, creates the image then desire begins. Now the question then is - please listen to it - whether there can be a hiatus, that is, the sensation and not let thought come and control the sensation. That's a problem. You understand? Not the suppressing of desire. Why has thought created the image and holds that sensation? You understand? Is it possible to look at that shirt, touch it, sensation and stop, not for thought to enter into it? Have you ever tried any of this? No, I'm afraid you haven't.
When thought enters into the field of sensation - and thought is also a sensation, which we will go into presently - when thought takes control of sensation then desire begins. And is it possible to only observe, contact, sensation, and nothing else? You understand my question? If you put that question to yourself and discover that discipline has no place in this, because the moment when you begin to discipline that's another form of desire to achieve something. You are following all this?
So one has to discover the beginning of desire. And see what happens. Don't buy the shirt immediately, or the dress, but see what happens. You can look at it, but we are so eager to get something, to possess something, the shirt, the man or a woman or some status, we are so eager. We have never time, quietness to look at all this. So desire is one of the factors of our disorder. We have been trained either to control, suppress, change desire, the object of desire. But we have never looked at the movement, the flowering of desire. So that's one of the causes of our disorder in life. Please bear in mind we are not trying to control desire, that's been tried by all the so-called saints and all the rest of it, nor indulge in desire, but to understand it, like looking at a flower, how it grows. You understand all this. Are you all asleep?
Then is fear one of the causes of disorder? Obviously. Fear: fear of failure, fear of not being able to fulfil, fear of losing, fear of not gaining. We have every kind of fear - fear of the guru. Have you ever noticed how you crawl in front of a guru? You kind of become, I don't know, inhuman, you are afraid, you want something from him, so you worship him, and in the worship there is fear. So there are multiple forms of fear. We are not taking one particular form. We are asking what is the root of fear, if we can discover the root of fear then the whole tree is dead. You understand? But if I am concerned with my particular little fear of darkness, or of my husband, or something or other, my brain is not involved in the discover of the whole root of it. This is clear, so we can go on.
So what is the root of fear? How does it arise? It's a very complex problem. And every complex problem must be approached very simply, the simpler the better. The simpler means, I don't know how to deal with the root of fear, I don't know. Then you begin to discover. But if you have already come to a conclusion, the root of fear is this, this, that, then you never discover what the root is - but if you approach fear very simply, the trunk and the root of fear, not the branches.
So we are asking what is the cause, or the causation of fear. Would you say time is a factor of fear - Time. That is, I am living, I might die tomorrow, which is time. Time to go from here to your house, that requires time. So there are only two kinds of time, time by the sunrise and sunset, time by the watch, time by the distance you have to cover, time, that is, physical time. Right? Is that clear? That is, time by the watch, by the sunrise and sunset, darkness and dawn. That's physical time. There is the other time which is psychological, inward: I am this but I will be that. I am violent, but I am practising non-violence, which is nonsense. I am brutal but give me time I will get over it. So there is psychological time. You understand this? I hope I will meet my friend tomorrow, hope implies time. You understand all this? Are we thinking together? There is time by the watch, time, psychological becoming, climbing the ladder of becoming. That is, creating an ideal, and then try to reach that ideal. You understand this? Of course. All that implies psychological time. Right? Is this clear? I am this, but tomorrow I will be different. I haven't reached the position of power, but give me time I will get it.
So one of the factors of fear is time: I am living but I might die in a week's time. Right, is this clear? So what is time? Am I making this complex? Are you following all this? So we must ask, what is time, not by the watch, but time that we have - I hope, I will, which is measurement. You are following all this? You understand? Hope implies measurement. Now time is a movement, isn't it. Are you following all this? Does it interest you, all this? Because we will come to a point presently when you begin to understand that there can be an end to fear, completely, inwardly. Begin always inwardly, but not outwardly. That there is a possibility of being totally free from fear. And to find that out one must begin to enquire.
So we say desire is one of the factors of disorder, fear is one of the factors, fear is time, isn't it. Are you quite sure you understand this because otherwise we can't go further. Time is a movement from one point to another point, both physically and psychologically. Right? I need time to learn a language, it may take me a month, or two moths, or three months, to go from here to London takes time, to drive a car I need time. So - please watch this in yourself - we need time there so we use that time to become something inwardly. You understand? We have moved over from the physical fact of learning a language and I also say to myself, as I need time there I need time also to evolve, to become, to be less violent. Right? You understand this question? I need time to learn a language, and also I think I need time to get over violence, to bring about peace in the world. So that is a movement in measurement. Right? I wonder if you understand all this.
So what is movement, which is thought. Right? You are following all this? Thought is a movement, and thought has created time, not to learn a language, but to become something. Right? That is, I want to change 'what is', and to change that I need time, as I need time to learn a language. You have understood this? Gosh, are you all asleep?
So time - desire, time, thought, are the factors which bring about fear. I have done this something wrong two years ago, and it has caused pain, and I hope I will - hope - I will not do the same thing again. You understand this? Clear? So desire, time, thought. Now what is thought? The whole world is moving in the realm of thought, all the technological world with all its extraordinary complexity is brought about by thought. Right? They have built the most extraordinary complicated machines, like the computer, like the jet, and so on, it's all put together by thought. Right? All the great cathedrals are put together by thought, all the temples, and all the things that are in the temples, in the cathedrals are put together by thought. The rituals are invented by thought. Right? The guru is invented by thought. Right? You are a Sikh and I am not, but when you say, 'I am a Sikh' it is thought conditioning itself as a Sikh and operating there. So thought has become the most important factor in our life. In our relationship thought dominates. I don't know if you have noticed all this. Thought has created the problems of war. Right? And thought then says, I must have peace also - which is contradiction. You understand? So we must understand why thought has become so extraordinarily important in the world. And that's the only instrument we have, at least we think we have. Right? Are we together so far? Yes sir?
Q: I understand.
K: Good luck to you!
So what is thought? What is the origin and the beginning of thought? And why man so depends on thought, all the great intellectuals, great scientists, great philosophers, all the books that have been written are all the results, whether it is the Bible, the Koran, or your Upanishads and so on, even Marx, are based on thought. And thought - what is thought, by which we live? Now we will explain it, but you are discovering it, I am not telling you, so don't wait to be told, for god's sake, don't wait, then you become worthless human beings.
So is there thought without knowledge? You understand my question? What is knowledge? There are really several kinds of knowledge but we will take two. Knowledge you have by going to a school, college, university, or becoming an apprentice, and gradually accumulating skill. If I want to be a carpenter I must learn the grain of the wood, what kind of wood and so on, the instrument I use, I must learn, acquire a great deal of knowledge. Are you following all this? If I want to be a scientist I must have tremendous knowledge. Right? Knowledge is born of experience. Right? One scientist makes an experience, that is, discovers something, another scientist adds to it, or detracts from it, so there is a gradual accumulation of knowledge. Right? Now is knowledge complete? Or is knowledge always limited? You understand my question? Please answer yourself. Can the human thought, which is born of knowledge, can that knowledge be total, complete about everything? Of course not. Right? Knowledge can never be complete about anything. So knowledge is always limited. The master weavers of this country, they produce the most marvellous things but they are learning, adding, learning. So knowledge is always limited. The Gita, the Upanishads, the Bible, they are all the knowledge of history that people have written and so on. That's irrelevant. So knowledge, whether it is given by a saint, by a politician, by a philosopher, is limited. So don't worship knowledge.
So if it is limited, as it is, then knowledge always lives with ignorance. You follow all this? So thought is born out of knowledge. Right? That is, I experience a motor accident, and it is recorded in the brain as painful, or whatever it is, and that memory, that experience is stored in the brain as memory, and next time I drive I am jolly careful. Right? That is, experience, knowledge, from that experience, stored in the brain as memory, and from that memory, thought. If there is no memory at all, what happens? You follow, you are in a state of amnesia. You understand? So thought is always limited. Right? There is no supreme thought, noble thought, or ignoble thought, it is limited, and because it is limited whatever it does must produce conflict in human relationship. You understand this? Are you working as hard as the speaker is doing, or are you just listening casually?
If you understand the very complexity of thought, the delicacy of thought, the extraordinary capacity of thought - capacity of thought in one direction. Look what thought has done technologically. Have you ever looked at any marvellous machinery, a dynamo, a piston engine, the jet? Technologically we are progressing with lightening speed because partly we want to kill each other. So thought has created wars, thought has created the instruments of war, thought has also created all the extraordinary good things of life - sanitation, health, surgery, communication and so on. Thought is responsible for all this, but also thought has created problems. Right?
So we are asking if thought is the only instrument we have, and that instrument is becoming blunt and creating problems, and the problems it has created are being solved by thought. You understand? Therefore it creates more problems. You understand all this? So we are asking - I don't know if you will understand this - we are asking if there is another kind of instrument which is not thought? You understand my question? Thought is limited, and thought is not your thought or my thought, it is thought, it is not individual thinking, it is thinking, whether you are rich, a great scholar, or poor village person who doesn't know how to read a book, how to read or write, but he still thinks.
So now we see that disorder in our life, at whatever level we live, you may have the greatest power on earth as a politician, as a guru, they live in disorder inwardly, and therefore whatever they touch they bring disorder. You see that all over the country politically. And the many factors of disorder are desire - we went into it carefully - time, and thought. And if you exercise thought to create order you are still creating disorder. Is this clear? I wonder if you understand all this? Our whole life is based on discipline, like soldiers which are disciplined day after day, month after month, we discipline ourselves to do this and not to do that. The word 'discipline', the root of it, is to learn, not from somebody, to learn from oneself, one's own reactions, one's own observation, one's own activities and behaviour. But discipline never brings about intelligence. What brings about intelligence is observation and being free from fear - being free from. Now understanding the nature of desire, for example, if you understand it, see its nature and its structure, its vitality and find out for yourself the sensation and when thought enters into it, when you become aware of that, you are beginning to have intelligence, which is not your intelligence or my intelligence, it is intelligence.
So is it possible after listening to this talk, both of us, is it possible to be free of fear, which is a tremendous burden on humanity? Now you have listened to it, are you free from it? If you are honest you are not, why? Go on, enquire, why. Because you have not really investigated, gone into it step by step, and said, let's find out, put your passion, your guts, your vitality into it, not accept it. You haven't done that, you have just listened casually, you haven't said, look, I am afraid of my husband, my wife, whatever it is you are afraid of. Look at it, bring it out and look at it. But we are afraid to look at it, and so we live with it, like some horrible disease, we live with fear. And that's causing disorder. If you see that you are already operating from intelligence.
It is now nearly seven o'clock, shall we have time to enquire further into what is suffering, what is love, what is compassion, and also we ought to enquire into what is death.
Q: How can we achieve thoughtlessness?
K: How to achieve thoughtlessness - you have achieved it! You have perfectly achieved it, you have become machines, you never think properly, you have never gone into it. And you want to find out how to be still further asleep, how to be really thoughtless which is a wrong question. If you understand the nature of thought, the intricacies, the subtleties, the beauty of thought, from that understanding, the unfolding of a flower, nothing matters then. You don't say, how am I to gain this or that, it is unfolding, like a flower and you see the beauty of it. Do you see the beauty of a flower, of the mountain, of a full moon on a leaf, the light, silver, on a piece of rock?
So one has also to enquire, what is beauty - not in a painting or something, beauty in our life. There are too many things to talk about. We haven't touched sorrow and the ending of that burden, putting away sorrow altogether, then only you have compassion. If you suffer, if you have pain of anxiety, ambition and so on, you don't know what love is. But you want to be ambitious, you want to have power, position, better house, better cars, better, better, better. Have you ever understood that a man who is ambitious has no love in his heart. How can he? And we are all very ambitious, to achieve nirvana, or to become the bank manager. Both the same thing. You understand? To reach nirvana, or moksha, heaven, is the same as becoming manager of a bank, because both are ambitious. So to live a life of intelligence which means no ambition, but yet be tremendously active. You people don't know anything about all this.
So, sir, we have to talk over together the ending of sorrow, what are the implications of death, and what is religion. Without religion you cannot create a new structure, a new society, but what we have as religion is utter nonsense, meaningless nonsense in our life. We repeat some shloka, or whatever you do, that's not religion; reading the Gita everyday until you die is not religion, or quoting some book is not religion, or following a guru is not religion, or doing some rituals day after day, day after day. So we have to enquire into the depth of that word because a new culture, a new civilization can be born only out of a really true religion, not all this paraphernalia that goes on in the name of religion. So I don't know when we are going to do it.
K: You see how angry we get.
Q: What is the real meaning of life?
K: No, sir, please listen, sir, just listen. How angry you get, how defensive you get, you don't even look at your repetitions, or whatever you repeat, you don't say, why am I doing this, what is the reason, what lies behind all this. You follow tradition and therefore you think that is religion. You know in India somebody calculated three hundred thousand gods. It is perhaps better than having one god, you can choose anything you like. But god - the worship of god, or saying, 'I believe in god', is not religion. Religion is something entirely different. To have a religious life means to have compassion, love, the ending of sorrow, to find right relationship with each other, but you are not interested in all that. Really you are not deeply, profoundly, passionately interested in order to find out. What most people want is not to be disturbed with their own particular pattern, way of life. And you get angry, or violent, when you say, look, just look at what you are doing. Have you ever noticed the totalitarian states, what they are doing: anybody who dissents, disagrees, is sent to somewhere or other. You do exactly the same thing. So please consider, give your energy, your capacity to find out if there is a different way of living on this earth.
So perhaps when we meet tomorrow...
Q: One question.
Q: I have one too.
K: He is the first!
Q: My question is I don't think it is possible for a human being to live without desire, fear...
K: Sir, I have understood. Have it your own way, sir. You have said it is not possible, I never said live without desire, I never said it. I have said understand desire, look into the nature of desire, explore, probe into this urge of desire. And you translate it as, 'to live without desire'. I never said that.
You were going to say something, sir?
Q: Why should tradition be discouraged? Why should not the religious books, the Gita be read, they should be read and then meditated upon.
K: Why do you take for granted that they are all true? Why is a book, printed, a book is always printed lines, why do you take it all as though something terribly serious? Ask yourself, sir, why. Why is a book, the Koran, your own particular book, or the Bible, and so on, that gentleman's saint's books, why do you take it all to dreadfully serious? Has it affected your life?
Q: It has affected the life of many of us.
K: Oh yes, sir, look at the catastrophe that is going on in this country. This is so hopeless. And you have poverty, incredible poverty in this country, anarchy, disorder, your own lives are in disorder and you talk about some book. Those books haven't in the least affected your lives. You don't love anybody, do you? You do? If you loved somebody this country wouldn't be in chaos as it is, and in the world there would be no wars if we loved people. So your books, your rituals, have no meaning whatsoever because you have lost the most precious thing in life, you have never probably had it, to love without jealousy, without possession, possessing. Love is not attachment. If we all loved, all of us under this tent, if you all loved it would be a different India tomorrow.
Q: But last time you said...
K: Oh, please, sir, just listen. You people don't even listen, you are all so intellectual. No, sorry, I withdraw that word. You are all so verbal, you just use words. But to find out why your life is empty, shallow, why you have no love, why there is no compassion, why you are a Hindu and a Sikh and a Muslim, you never ask these questions. Sir, meditation is to ask these questions. Meditation is to find out the reality of these questions, the truth that lies behind these questions. Right, sirs.