Freedom From the Known
FEAR, PLEASURE, SORROW, thought and violence are all interrelated. Most of us take pleasure in violence, in disliking somebody, hating a particular race or group of people, having antagonistic feelings towards others. But in a state of mind in which all violence has come to an end there is a joy which is very different from the pleasure of violence with its conflicts, hatreds and fears.
Can we go to the very root of violence and be free from it? Otherwise we shall live everlastingly in battle with each other. If that is the way you want to live - and apparently most people do - then carry on; if you say, `Well, I'm sorry, violence can never end', then you and I have no means of communication, you have blocked yourself; but if you say there might be a different way of living, then we shall be able to communicate with each other.
So let us consider together, those of us who can communicate, whether it is at all possible totally to end every form of violence in ourselves and still live in this monstrously brutal world. I think it is possible. I don't want to have a breath of hate, jealousy, anxiety or fear in me. I want to live completely at peace. Which doesn't mean that I want to die. I want to live on this marvellous earth, so full, so rich, so beautiful. I want to look at the trees, flowers, rivers, meadows, women, boys and girls, and at the same time live completely at peace with myself and with the world. What can I do?
If we know how to look at violence, not only outwardly in society - the wars, the riots, the national antagonisms and class conflicts - but also in ourselves, then perhaps we shall be able to go beyond it.
Here is a very complex problem. For centuries upon centuries man has been violent; religions have tried to tame him throughout the world and none of them have succeeded. So if we are going into the question we must, it seems to me, be at least very serious about it because it will lead us into quite a different domain, but if we want merely to play with the problem for intellectual entertainment we shall not get very far.
You may feel that you yourself are very serious about the problem but that as long as so many other people in the world are not serious and are not prepared to do anything about it, what is the good of your doing anything? I don't care whether they take it seriously or not. I take it seriously, that is enough. I am not my brother's keeper. I myself, as a human being, feel very strongly about this question of violence and I will see to it that in myself I am not violent - but I cannot tell you or anybody else, `Don't be violent.' It has no meaning - unless you yourself want it. So if you yourself really want to understand this problem of violence let us continue on our journey of exploration together.
Is this problem of violence out there or here? Do you want to solve the problem in the outside world or are you questioning violence itself as it is in you? If you are free of violence in yourself the question is, `How am I to live in a world full of violence, acquisitiveness, greed, envy, brutality? Will I not be destroyed?' That is the inevitable question which is invariably asked. When you ask such a question it seems to me you are not actually living peacefully. If you live peacefully you will have no problem at all. You may be imprisoned because you refuse to join the army or shot because you refuse to fight - but that is not a problem; you will be shot. it is extraordinarily important to understand this.
We are trying to understand violence as a fact, not as an idea, as a fact which exists in the human being, and the human being is myself. And to go into the problem I must be completely vulnerable, open, to it. I must expose myself to myself - not necessarily expose myself to you because you may not be interested - but I must be in a state of mind that demands to see this thing right to the end and at no point stops and says I will go no further.
Now it must be obvious to me that I am a violent human being. I have experienced violence in anger, violence in my sexual demands, violence in hatred, creating enmity, violence in jealousy and so on - I have experienced it, I have known it, and I say to myself, `I want to understand this whole problem not just one fragment of it expressed in war, but this aggression in man which also exists in the animals and of which I am a part.'
Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear. So violence isn't merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country. Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence.
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.
Now there are two primary schools of thought with regard to violence, one which says, `Violence is innate in man' and the other which says, `Violence is the result of the social and cultural heritage in which man lives.' We are not concerned with which school we belong to - it is of no importance. What is important is the fact that we are violent, not the reason for it.
One of the most common expressions of violence is anger. When my wife or sister is attacked I say I am righteously angry; when my country is attacked, my ideas, my principles, my way of life, I am righteously angry. I am also angry when my habits are attacked or my petty little opinions. When you tread on my toes or insult me I get angry, or if you run away with my wife and I get jealous, that jealousy is called righteous because she is my property. And all this anger is morally justified. But to kill for my country is also justified. So when we are talking about anger, which is a part of violence, do we look at anger in terms of righteous and unrighteous anger according to our own inclinations and environmental drive, or do we see only anger? Is there righteous anger ever? Or is there only anger? There is no good influence or bad influence, only influence, but when you are influenced by something which doesn't suit me I call it an evil influence.
The moment you protect your family, your country, a bit of coloured rag called a flag, a belief, an idea, a dogma, the thing that you demand or that you hold, that very protection indicates anger. So can you look at anger without any explanation or justification, without saying, `I must protect my goods', or `I was right to be angry', or `How stupid of me to be angry'? Can you look at anger as if it were something by itself? Can you look at it completely objectively, which means neither defending it nor condemning it? Can you?
Can I look at you if I am antagonistic to you or if I am thinking what a marvellous person you are? I can see you only when I look at you with a certain care in which neither of these things is involved. Now, can I look at anger in the same way, which means that I am vulnerable to the problem, I do not resist it, I am watching this extraordinary phenomenon without any reaction to it?
It is very difficult to look at anger dispassionately because it is a part of me, but that is what I am trying to do. Here I am, a violent human being, whether I am black, brown, white or purple. I am not concerned with whether I have inherited this violence or whether society has produced it in me; all I am concerned with is whether it is at all possible to be free from it. To be free from violence means everything to me. It is more important to me than sex, food, position, for this thing is corrupting me. It is destroying me and destroying the world, and I want to understand it, I want to be beyond it. I feel responsible for all this anger and violence in the world. I feel responsible - it isn't just a lot of words - and I say to myself, `I can do something only if I am beyond anger myself, beyond violence, beyond nationality'. And this feeling I have that I must understand the violence in myself brings tremendous vitality and passion to find out.
But to be beyond violence I cannot suppress it, I cannot deny it, I cannot say, `Well, it is a part of me and that's that', or `I don't want it'. I have to look at it, I have to study it, I must become very intimate with it and I cannot become intimate with it if I condemn it or justify it. We do condemn it, though; we do justify it. Therefore I am saying, stop for the time being condemning it or justifying it.
Now, if you want to stop violence, if you want to stop wars, how much vitality, how much of yourself, do you give to it? Isn't it important to you that your children are killed, that your sons go into the army where they are bullied and butchered? Don't you care? My God, if that doesn't interest you, what does? Guarding your money? Having a good time? Taking drugs? Don't you see that this violence in yourself is destroying your children? Or do you see it only as some abstraction?
All right then, if you are interested, attend with all your heart and mind to find out. Don't just sit back and say, `Well, tell us all about it'. I point out to you that you cannot look at anger nor at violence with eyes that condemn or justify and that if this violence is not a burning problem to you, you cannot put those two things away. So first you have to learn; you have to learn how to look at anger, how to look at your husband, your wife, your children; you have to listen to the politician, you have to learn why you are not objective, why you condemn or justify. You have to learn that you condemn and justify because it is part of the social structure you live in, your conditioning as a German or an Indian or a Negro or an American or whatever you happen to have been born, with all the dulling of the mind that this conditioning results in. To learn, to discover, something fundamental you must have the capacity to go deeply. If you have a blunt instrument, a dull instrument, you cannot go deeply. So what we are doing is sharpening the instrument, which is the mind - the mind which has been made dull by all this justifying and condemning. You can penetrate deeply only if your mind is as sharp as a needle and as strong as a diamond. It is no good just sitting back and asking, `How am I to get such a mind?' You have to want it as you want your next meal, and to have it you must see that what makes your mind dull and stupid is this sense of invulnerability which has built walls round itself and which is part of this condemnation and justification. If the mind can be rid of that, then you can look, study, penetrate, and perhaps come to a state that is totally aware of the whole problem.
So let us come back to the central issue - is it possible to eradicate violence in ourselves? It is a form of violence to say, `You haven't changed, why haven't you?' I am not doing that. It doesn't mean a thing to me to convince you of anything. It is your life, not my life. The way you live is your affair. I am asking whether it is possible for a human being living psychologically in any society to clear violence from himself inwardly? If it is, the very process will produce a different way of living in this world.
Most of us have accepted violence as a way of life. Two dreadful wars have taught us nothing except to build more and more barriers between human beings that is, between you and me. But for those of us who want to be rid of violence, how is it to be done? I do not think anything is going to be achieved through analysis, either by ourselves or by a professional. We might be able to modify ourselves slightly, live a little more quietly with a little more affection, but in itself it will not give total perception. But I must know how to analyse which means that in the process of analysis my mind becomes extraordinarily sharp, and it is that quality of sharpness, of attention, of seriousness, which will give total perception. One hasn't the eyes to see the whole thing at a glance; this clarity of the eye is possible only if one can see the details, then jump. Some of us, in order to rid ourselves of violence, have used a concept, an ideal, called non-violence, and we think by having an ideal of the opposite to violence, non-violence, we can get rid of the fact, the actual - but we cannot. We have had ideals without number, all the sacred books are full of them, yet we are still violent - so why not deal with violence itself and forget the word altogether?
If you want to understand the actual you must give your whole attention, all your energy, to it. That attention and energy are distracted when you create a fictitious, ideal world. So can you completely banish the ideal? The man who is really serious, with the urge to find out what truth is, what love is, has no concept at all. He lives only in what is.
To investigate the fact of your own anger you must pass no judgement on it, for the moment you conceive of its opposite you condemn it and therefore you cannot see it as it is. When you say you dislike or hate someone that is a fact, although it sounds terrible. If you look at it, go into it completely, it ceases, but if you say, `I must not hate; I must have love in my heart', then you are living in a hypocritical world with double standards. To live completely, fully, in the moment is to live with what is, the actual, without any sense of condemnation or justification - then you understand it so totally that you are finished with it. When you see clearly the problem is solved.
But can you see the face of violence clearly - the face of violence not only outside you but inside you, which means that you are totally free from violence because you have not admitted ideology through which to get rid of it? This requires very deep meditation not just a verbal agreement or disagreement.
You have now read a series of statements but have you really understood? Your conditioned mind, your way of life, the whole structure of the society in which you live, prevent you from looking at a fact and being entirely free from it immediately. You say, `I will think about it; I will consider whether it is possible to be free from violence or not. I will try to be free.' That is one of the most dreadful statements you can make, `I will try'. There is no trying, no doing your best. Either you do it or you don't do it. You are admitting time while the house is burning. The house is burning as a result of the violence throughout the world and in yourself and you say, `Let me think about it. Which ideology is best to put out the fire?' When the house is on fire, do you argue about the colour of the hair of the man who brings the water?
THE CESSATION OF violence, which we have just been considering, does not necessarily mean a state of mind which is at peace with itself and therefore at peace in all its relationships.
Relationship between human beings is based on the image-forming, defensive mechanism. In all our relationships each one of us builds an image about the other and these two images have relationship, not the human beings themselves. The wife has an image about the husband - perhaps not consciously but nevertheless it is there - and the husband has an image about the wife. One has an image about one's country and about oneself, and we are always strengthening these images by adding more and more to them. And it is these images which have relationship. The actual relationship between two human beings or between many human beings completely end when there is the formation of images.
Relationship based on these images can obviously never bring about peace in the relationship because the images are fictitious and one cannot live in an abstraction. And yet that is what we are all doing: living in ideas, in theories, in symbols, in images which we have created about ourselves and others and which are not realities at all. All our relationships, whether they be with property, ideas or people, are based essentially on this image-forming, and hence there is always conflict.
How is it possible then to be completely at peace within ourselves and in all our relationships with others? After all, life is a movement in relationship, otherwise there is no life at all, and if that life is based on an abstraction, an idea, or a speculative assumption, then such abstract living must inevitably bring about a relationship which becomes a battlefield. So is it at all possible for man to live a completely orderly inward life without any form of compulsion, imitation, suppression or sublimation? Can he bring about such order within himself that it is a living quality not held within the framework of ideas - an inward tranquillity which knows no disturbance at any moment - not in some fantastic mythical abstract world but in the daily life of the home and the office?
I think we should go into this question very carefully because there is not one spot in our consciousness untouched by conflict. In all our relationships, whether with the most intimate person or with a neighbour or with society, this conflict exists - conflict being contradiction, a state of division, separation, a duality. Observing ourselves and our relationships to society we see that at all levels of our being there is conflict - minor or major conflict which brings about very superficial responses or devastating results.
Man has accepted conflict as an innate part of daily existence because he has accepted competition, jealousy, greed, acquisitiveness and aggression as a natural way of life. When we accept such a way of life we accept the structure of society as it is and live within the pattern of respectability. And that is what most of us are caught in because most of us want to be terribly respectable. When we examine our own minds and hearts, the way we think, the way we feel and how we act in our daily lives, we observe that as long as we conform to the pattern of society, life must be a battlefield. If we do not accept it - and no religious person can possibly accept such a society - then we will be completely free from the psychological structure of society.
Most of us are rich with the things of society. What society has created in us and what we have created in ourselves, are greed, envy, anger, hate, jealousy, anxiety - and with all these we are very rich. The various religions throughout the world have preached poverty. The monk assumes a robe, changes his name, shaves his head, enters a cell and takes a vow of poverty and chastity; in the East he has one loin cloth, one robe, one meal a day - and we all respect such poverty. But those men who have assumed the robe of poverty are still inwardly, psychologically, rich with the things of society because they are still seeking position and prestige; they belong to this order or that order, this religion or that religion; they still live in the divisions of a culture, a tradition. That is not poverty. poverty is to be completely free of society, though one may have a few more clothes, a few more meals - good God, who cares? But unfortunately in most people there is this urge for exhibitionism.
Poverty becomes a marvellously beautiful thing when the mind is free of society. One must become poor inwardly for then there is no seeking, no asking, no desire, no - nothing! It is only this inward poverty that can see the truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all. Such a life is a benediction not to be found in any church or any temple.
How is it possible then to free ourselves from the psychological structure of society, which is to free ourselves from the essence of conflict? It is not difficult to trim and lop off certain branches of conflict, but we are asking ourselves whether it is possible to live in complete inward and therefore outward tranquillity? Which does not mean that we shall vegetate or stagnate. On the contrary, we shall become dynamic, vital, full of energy.
To understand and to be free of any problem we need a great deal of passionate and sustained energy, not only physical and intellectual energy but an energy that is not dependent on any motive, any psychological stimulus or drug. If we are dependent on any stimulus that very stimulus makes the mind dull and insensitive. By taking some form of drug we may find enough energy temporarily to see things very clearly but we revert to our former state and therefore become dependent on that drug more and more. So all stimulation, whether of the church or of alcohol or of drugs or of the written or spoken word, will inevitably bring about dependence, and that dependence prevents us from seeing clearly for ourselves and therefore from having vital energy.
We all unfortunately depend psychologically on something. Why do we depend? Why is there this urge to depend? We are taking this journey together; you are not waiting for me to tell you the causes of your dependence. If we enquire together we will both discover and therefore that discovery will be your own, and hence, being yours, it will give you vitality.
I discover for myself that I depend on something - an audience, say, which will stimulate me. I derive from that audience, from addressing a large group of people, a kind of energy. And therefore I depend on that audience, on those people, whether they agree or disagree. The more they disagree the more vitality they give me. If they agree it becomes a very shallow, empty thing. So I discover that I need an audience because it is a very stimulating thing to address people. Now why? Why do I depend? Because in myself I am shallow, in myself I have nothing, in myself I have no source which is always full and rich, vital, moving, living. So I depend. I have discovered the cause.
But will the discovery of the cause free me from being dependent? The discovery of the cause is merely intellectual, so obviously it does not free the mind from its dependency. The mere intellectual acceptance of an idea, or the emotional acquiescence in an ideology, cannot free the mind from being dependent on something which will give it stimulation. What frees the mind from dependence is seeing the whole structure and nature of stimulation and dependence and how that dependence makes the mind stupid, dull and inactive. Seeing the totality of it alone frees the mind.
So I must enquire into what it means to see totally. As long as I am looking at life from a particular point of view or from a particular experience I have cherished, or from some particular knowledge I have gathered, which is my background, which is the 'me', I cannot see totally. I have discovered intellectually, verbally, through analysis, the cause of my dependence, but whatever thought investigates must inevitably be fragmentary, so I can see the totality of something only when thought does not interfere.
Then I see the fact of my dependence; I see actually what is. I see it without any like or dislike; I do not want to get rid of that dependence or to be free from the cause of it. I observe it, and when there is observation of this kind I see the whole picture, not a fragment of the picture, and when the mind sees the whole picture there is freedom. Now I have discovered that there is a dissipation of energy when there is fragmentation. I have found the very source of the dissipation of energy.
You may think there is no waste of energy if you imitate, if you accept authority, if you depend on the priest, the ritual, the dogma, the party or on some ideology, but the following and acceptance of an ideology, whether it is good or bad, whether it is holy or unholy, is a fragmentary activity and therefore a cause of conflict, and conflict will inevitably arise so long as there is a division between `what should be' and `what is', and any conflict is a dissipation of energy.
If you put the question to yourself, `How am I to be free from conflict?', you are creating another problem and hence you are increasing conflict, whereas if you just see it as a fact - see it as you would see some concrete object - clearly, directly - then you will understand essentially the truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all.
Let us put it another way. We are always comparing what we are with what we should be. The should-be is a projection of what we think we ought to be. Contradiction exists when there is comparison, not only with something or somebody, but with what you were yesterday, and hence there is conflict between what has been and what is. There is what is only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with what is, is to be peaceful. Then you can give your whole attention without any distraction to what is within yourself - whether it be despair, ugliness, brutality, fear, anxiety, loneliness - and live with it completely; then there is no contradiction and hence no conflict.
But all the time we are comparing ourselves - with those who are richer or more brilliant, more intellectual, more affectionate, more famous, more this and more that. The `more' plays an extraordinarily important part in our lives; this measuring ourselves all the time against something or someone is one of the primary causes of conflict.
Now why is there any comparison at all? Why do you compare yourself with another? This comparison has been taught from childhood. In every school A is compared with B, and A destroys himself in order to be like B. When you do not compare at all, when there is no ideal, no opposite, no factor of duality, when you no longer struggle to be different from what you are - what has happened to your mind? Your mind has ceased to create the opposite and has become highly intelligent, highly sensitive, capable of immense passion, because effort is a dissipation of passion - passion which is vital energy - and you cannot do anything without passion.
If you do not compare yourself with another you will be what you are. Through comparison you hope to evolve, to grow, to become more intelligent, more beautiful. But will you? The fact is what you are, and by comparing you are fragmenting the fact which is a waste of energy. To see what you actually are without any comparison gives you tremendous energy to look. When you can look at yourself without comparison you are beyond comparison, which does not mean that the mind is stagnant with contentment. So we see in essence how the mind wastes energy which is so necessary to understand the totality of life.
I don't want to know with whom I am in conflict; I don't want to know the peripheral conflicts of my being. What I want to know is why conflict should exist at all. When I put that question to myself I see a fundamental issue which has nothing to do with peripheral conflicts and their solutions. I am concerned with the central issue and I see - perhaps you see also? - that the very nature of desire, if not properly understood, must inevitably lead to conflict. Desire is always in contradiction. I desire contradictory things - which doesn't mean that I must destroy desire, suppress, control or sublimate it - I simply see that desire itself is contradictory. It is not the objects of desire but the very nature of desire which is contradictory. And I have to understand the nature of desire before I can understand conflict. In ourselves we are in a state of contradiction, and that state of contradiction is brought about by desire - desire being the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain, which we have already been into.
So we see desire as the root of all contradiction - wanting something and not wanting it - a dual activity. When we do something pleasurable there is no effort involved at all, is there? But pleasure brings pain and then there is a struggle to avoid the pain, and that again is a dissipation of energy. Why do we have duality at all? There is, of course, duality in nature - man and woman, light and shade, night and day - but inwardly, psychologically, why do we have duality? Please think this out with me, don't wait for me to tell you. You have to exercise your own mind to find out. My words are merely a mirror in which to observe yourself. Why do we have this psychological duality? Is it that we have been brought up always to compare `what is' with `what should be'? We have been conditioned in what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, what is moral and what is immoral. Has this duality come into being because we believe that thinking about the opposite of violence, the opposite of envy, of jealousy, of meanness, will help us to get rid of those things? Do we use the opposite as a lever to get rid of what is? Or is it an escape from the actual?
Do you use the opposite as a means of avoiding the actual which you don't know how to deal with? Or is it because you have been told by thousands of years of propaganda that you must have an ideal - the opposite of `what is' - in order to cope with the present? When you have an ideal you think it helps you to get rid of `what is', but it never does. You may preach non-violence for the rest of your life and all the time be sowing the seeds of violence.
You have a concept of what you should be and how you should act, and all the time you are in fact acting quite differently; so you see that principles, beliefs and ideals must inevitably lead to hypocrisy and a dishonest life. It is the ideal that creates the opposite to what is, so if you know how to be with `what is', then the opposite is not necessary.
Trying to become like somebody else, or like your ideal, is one of the main causes of contradiction, confusion conflict. A mind that is confused, whatever it does, at any level, will remain confused; any action born of confusion leads to further confusion. I see this very clearly; I see it as clearly as I see an immediate physical danger. So what happens? I cease to act in terms of confusion any more. Therefore inaction is complete action.
NONE OF THE agonies of suppression, nor the brutal discipline of conforming to a pattern has led to truth. To come upon truth the mind must be completely free, without a spot of distortion.
But first let us ask ourselves if we really want to be free? When we talk of freedom are we talking of complete freedom or of freedom from some inconvenient or unpleasant or undesirable thing? We would like to be free from painful and ugly memories and unhappy experiences but keep our pleasurable, satisfying ideologies, formulas and relationships. But to keep the one without the other is impossible, for, as we have seen, pleasure is inseparable from pain.
So it is for each one of us to decide whether or not we want to be completely free. If we say we do, then we must understand the nature and structure of freedom.
Is it freedom when you are free from something - free from pain, free from some kind of anxiety? Or is freedom itself something entirely different? You can be free from jealousy, say, but isn't that freedom a reaction and therefore not freedom at all? You can be free from dogma very easily, by analysing it, by kicking it out, but the motive for that freedom from dogma has its own reaction because the desire to be free from a dogma may be that it is no longer fashionable or convenient. Or you can be free from nationalism because you believe in internationalism or because you feel it is no longer economically necessary to cling to this silly nationalistic dogma with its flag and all that rubbish. You can easily put that away. Or you may react against some spiritual or political leader who has promised you freedom as a result of discipline or revolt. But has such rationalism, such logical conclusion, anything to do with freedom?
If you say you are free from something, it is a reaction which will then become another reaction which will bring about another conformity, another form of domination. In this way you can have a chain of reactions and accept each reaction as freedom. But it is not freedom; it is merely a continuity of a modified past which the mind clings to.
The youth of today, like all youth, are in revolt against society, and that is a good thing in itself, but revolt is not freedom because when you revolt it is a reaction and that reaction sets up its own pattern and you get caught in that pattern. You think it is something new. it is not; it is the old in a different mould. Any social or political revolt will inevitably revert to the good old bourgeois mentality.
Freedom comes only when you see and act, never through revolt. The seeing is the acting and such action is as instantaneous as when you see danger. Then there is no cerebration, no discussion or hesitation; the danger itself compels the act, and therefore to see is to act and to be free.
Freedom is a state of mind - not freedom from something but a sense of freedom, a freedom to doubt and question everything and therefore so intense, active and vigorous that it throws away every form of dependence, slavery, conformity and acceptance. Such freedom implies being completely alone. But can the mind brought up in a culture so dependent on environment and its own tendencies ever find that freedom which is complete solitude and in which there is no leadership, no tradition and no authority?
This solitude is an inward state of mind which is not dependent on any stimulus or any knowledge and is not the result of any experience or conclusion. Most of us, inwardly, are never alone. There is a difference between isolation, cutting oneself off, and aloneness, solitude. We all know what it is to be isolated - building a wall around oneself in order never to be hurt, never to be vulnerable, or cultivating detachment which is another form of agony, or living in some dreamy ivory tower of ideology. Aloneness is something quite different.
You are never alone because you are full of all the memories, all the conditioning, all the mutterings of yesterday; your mind is never clear of all the rubbish it has accumulated. To be alone you must die to the past. When you are alone, totally alone, not belonging to any family, any nation, any culture, any particular continent, there is that sense of being an outsider. The man who is completely alone in this way is innocent and it is this innocency that frees the mind from sorrow.
We carry about with us the burden of what thousands of people have said and the memories of all our misfortunes. To abandon all that totally is to be alone, and the mind that is alone is not only innocent but young - not in time or age, but young, innocent, alive at whatever age - and only such a mind can see that which is truth and that which is not measurable by words.
In this solitude you will begin to understand the necessity of living with yourself as you are, not as you think you should be or as you have been. See if you can look at yourself without any tremor, any false modesty, any fear, any justification or condemnation - just live with yourself as you actually are. It is only when you live with something intimately that you begin to understand it. But the moment you get used to it - get used to your own anxiety or envy or whatever it is - you are no longer living with it. If you live by a river, after a few days you do not hear the sound of the water any more, or if you have a picture in the room which you see every day you lose it after a week. It is the same with the mountains, the valleys, the trees - the same with your family, your husband, your wife. But to live with something like jealousy, envy or anxiety you must never get used to it, never accept it. You must care for it as you would care for a newly planted tree, protect it against the sun, against the storm. You must care for it, not condemn it or justify it. Therefore you begin to love it. When you care for it, you are beginning to love it. It is not that you love being envious or anxious, as so many people do, but rather that you care for watching.
So can you - can you and I - live with what we actually are, knowing ourselves to be dull, envious, fearful, believing we have tremendous affection when we have not, getting easily hurt, easily flattered and bored - can we live with all that, neither accepting it nor denying it, but just observing it without becoming morbid, depressed or elated?
Now let us ask ourselves a further question. Is this freedom, this solitude, this coming into contact with the whole structure of what we are in ourselves - is it to be come upon through time? That is, is freedom to be achieved through a gradual process? Obviously not, because as soon as you introduce time you are enslaving yourself more and more. You cannot become free gradually. It is not a matter of time.
The next question is, can you become conscious of that freedom? If you say, 'I am free', then you are not free. It is like a man saying, `I am happy'. The moment he says, `I am happy' he is living in a memory of something that has gone. Freedom can only come about naturally, not through wishing, wanting, longing. Nor will you find it by creating an image of what you think it is. To come upon it the mind has to learn to look at life, which is a vast movement, without the bondage of time, for freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness.
I AM TEMPTED TO repeat a story about a great disciple going to God and demanding to be taught truth. This poor God says, `My friend, it is such a hot day, please get me a glass of water.' So the disciple goes out and knocks on the door of the first house he comes to and a beautiful young lady opens the door. The disciple falls in love with her and they marry and have several children. Then one day it begins to rain, and keeps on raining, raining, raining - the torrents are swollen, the streets are full, the houses are being washed away. The disciple holds on to his wife and carries his children on his shoulders and as he is being swept away he calls out, 'Lord, please save me', and the Lord says, `Where is that glass of water I asked for?'
It is rather a good story because most of us think in terms of time. Man lives by time. Inventing the future has been a favourite game of escape.
We think that changes in ourselves can come about in time, that order in ourselves can be built up little by little, added to day by day. But time doesn't bring order or peace, so we must stop thinking in terms of gradualness. This means that there is no tomorrow for us to be peaceful in. We have to be orderly on the instant.
When there is real danger time disappears, doesn't it? There is immediate action. But we do not see the danger of many of our problems and therefore we invent time as a means of overcoming them. Time is a deceiver as it doesn't do a thing to help us bring about a change in ourselves. Time is a movement which man has divided into past, present and future, and as long as he divides it he will always be in conflict.
Is learning a matter of time? We have not learnt after all these thousands of years that there is a better way to live than by hating and killing each other. The problem of time is a very important one to understand if we are to resolve this life which we have helped to make as monstrous and meaningless as it is.
The first thing to understand is that we can look at time only with that freshness and innocency of mind which we have already been into. We are confused about our many problems and lost in that confusion. Now if one is lost in a wood, what is the first thing one does? One stops, doesn't one? One stops and looks round. But the more we are confused and lost in life the more we chase around, searching, asking, demanding, begging. So the first thing, if I may suggest it, is that you completely stop inwardly. And when you do stop inwardly, psychologically, your mind becomes very peaceful, very clear. Then you can really look at this question of time.
Problems exist only in time, that is when we meet an issue incompletely. This incomplete coming together with the issue creates the problem. When we meet a challenge partially, fragmentarily, or try to escape from it - that is, when we meet it without complete attention - we bring about a problem. And the problem continues so long as we continue to give it incomplete attention, so long as we hope to solve it one of these days.
Do you know what time is? Not by the watch, not chronological time, but psychological time? It is the interval between idea and action. An idea is for self-protection obviously; it is the idea of being secure. Action is always immediate; it is not of the past or of the future; to act must always be in the present, but action is so dangerous, so uncertain, that we conform to an idea which we hope will give us a certain safety.
Do look at this in yourself. You have an idea of what is right or wrong, or an ideological concept about yourself and society, and according to that idea you are going to act. Therefore the action is in conformity with that idea, approximating to the idea, and hence there is always conflict. There is the idea, the interval and action. And in that interval is the whole field of time. That interval is essentially thought. When you think you will be happy tomorrow, then you have an image of yourself achieving a certain result in time. Thought, through observation, through desire, and the continuity of that desire sustained by further thought, says, `Tomorrow I shall be happy. Tomorrow I shall have success. Tomorrow the world will be a beautiful place.' So thought creates that interval which is time.
Now we are asking, can we put a stop to time? Can we live so completely that there is no tomorrow for thought to think about? Because time is sorrow. That is, yesterday or a thousand yesterday's ago, you loved, or you had a companion who has gone, and that memory remains and you are thinking about that pleasure and that pain - you are looking back, wishing, hoping, regretting, so thought, going over it again and again, breeds this thing we call sorrow and gives continuity to time.
So long as there is this interval of time which has been bred by thought, there must be sorrow, there must be continuity of fear. So one asks oneself can this interval come to an end? If you say, `Will it ever end?', then it is already an idea, something you want to achieve, and therefore you have an interval and you are caught again.
Now take the question of death which is an immense problem to most people. You know death, there it is walking every day by your side. Is it possible to meet it so completely that you do not make a problem of it at all? In order to meet it in such a way all belief, all hope, all fear about it must come to an end, otherwise you are meeting this extraordinary thing with a conclusion, an image, with a premeditated anxiety, and therefore you are meeting it with time.
Time is the interval between the observer and the observed. That is, the observer, you, is afraid to meet this thing called death. You don't know what it means; you have all kinds of hopes and theories about it; you believe in reincarnation or resurrection, or in something called the soul, the atman, a spiritual entity which is timeless and which you call by different names. Now have you found out for yourself whether there is a soul? Or is it an idea that has been handed down to you? Is there something permanent, continuous, which is beyond thought? If thought can think about it, it is within the field of thought and therefore it cannot be permanent because there is nothing permanent within the field of thought. To discover that nothing is permanent is of tremendous importance for only then is the mind free, then you can look, and in that there is great joy.
You cannot be frightened of the unknown because you do not know what the unknown is and so there is nothing to be frightened of. Death is a word, and it is the word, the image, that creates fear. So can you look at death without the image of death? As long as the image exists from which springs thought, thought must always create fear. Then you either rationalize your fear of death and build a resistance against the inevitable or you invent innumerable beliefs to protect you from the fear of death. Hence there is a gap between you and the thing of which you are afraid. In this time-space interval there must be conflict which is fear, anxiety and self-pity. Thought, which breeds the fear of death, says, `Let's postpone it, let's avoid it, keep it as far away as possible, let's not think about it' - but you are thinking about it. When you say, `I won't think about it', you have already thought out how to avoid it. You are frightened of death because you have postponed it.
We have separated living from dying, and the interval between the living and the dying is fear. That interval, that time, is created by fear. Living is our daily torture, daily insult, sorrow and confusion, with occasional opening of a window over enchanted seas. That is what we call living, and we are afraid to die, which is to end this misery. We would rather cling to the known than face the unknown - the known being our house, our furniture, our family, our character, our work, our knowledge, our fame, our loneliness, our gods - that little thing that moves around incessantly within itself with its own limited pattern of embittered existence.
We think that living is always in the present and that dying is something that awaits us at a distant time. But we have never questioned whether this battle of everyday life is living at all. We want to know the truth about reincarnation, we want proof of the survival of the soul, we listen to the assertion of clairvoyants and to the conclusions of psychical research, but we never ask, never, how to live - to live with delight, with enchantment, with beauty every day. We have accepted life as it is with all its agony and despair and have got used to it, and think of death as some- thing to be carefully avoided. But death is extraordinarily like life when we know how to live. You cannot live without dying. You cannot live if you do not die psychologically every minute. This is not an intellectual paradox. To live completely, wholly, every day as if it were a new loveliness, there must be dying to everything of yesterday, otherwise you live mechanically, and a mechanical mind can never know what love is or what freedom is.
Most of us are frightened of dying because we don't know what it means to live. We don't know how to live, therefore we don't know how to die. As long as we are frightened of life we shall be frightened of death. The man who is not frightened of life is not frightened of being completely insecure for he understands that inwardly, psychologically, there is no security. When there is no security there is an endless movement and then life and death are the same. The man who lives without conflict, who lives with beauty and love, is not frightened of death because to love is to die.
If you die to everything you know, including your family, your memory, everything you have felt, then death is a purification, a rejuvenating process; then death brings innocence and it is only the innocent who are passionate, not the people who believe or who want to find out what happens after death.
To find out actually what takes place when you die you must die. This isn't a joke. You must die - not physically but psychologically, inwardly, die to the things you have cherished and to the things you are bitter about. If you have died to one of your pleasures, the smallest or the greatest, naturally, without any enforcement or argument, then you will know what it means to die. To die is to have a mind that is completely empty of itself, empty of its daily longing, pleasure; and agonies. Death is a renewal, a mutation, in which thought does not function at all because thought is old. When there is death there is something totally new. Freedom from the known is death, and then you are living.
THE DEMAND TO be safe in relationship inevitably breeds sorrow and fear. This seeking for security is inviting insecurity. Have you ever found security in any of your relationships? Have you? Most of us want the security of loving and being loved, but is there love when each one of us is seeking his own security, his own particular path? We are not loved because we don't know how to love.
What is love? The word is so loaded and corrupted that I hardly like to use it. Everybody talks of love - every magazine and newspaper and every missionary talks everlastingly of love. I love my country, I love my king, I love some book, I love that mountain, I love pleasure, I love my wife, I love God. Is love an idea? If it is, it can be cultivated, nourished, cherished, pushed around, twisted in any way you like. When you say you love God what does it mean? It means that you love a projection of your own imagination, a projection of yourself clothed in certain forms of respectability according to what you think is noble and holy; so to say, `I love God', is absolute nonsense. When you worship God you are worshipping yourself - and that is not love.
Because we cannot solve this human thing called love we run away into abstractions. Love may be the ultimate solution to all man's difficulties, problems and travails, so how are we going to find out what love is? By merely defining it? The church has defined it one way, society another and there are all sorts of deviations and perversions. Adoring someone, sleeping with someone, the emotional exchange, the companionship - is that what we mean by love? That has been the norm, the pattern, and it has become so tremendously personal, sensuous, and limited that religions have declared that love is something much more than this. In what they call human love they see there is pleasure, competition, jealousy, the desire to possess, to hold, to control and to interfere with another's thinking, and knowing the complexity of all this they say there must be another kind of love, divine beautiful untouched, uncorrupted.
Throughout the world, so-called holy men have maintained that to look at a woman is something totally wrong: they say you cannot come near to God if you indulge in sex, therefore they push it aside although they are eaten up with it. But by denying sexuality they put out their eyes and cut out their tongues for they deny the whole beauty of the earth. They have starved their hearts and minds; they are dehydrated human beings; they have banished beauty because beauty is associated with woman.
Can love be divided into the sacred and the profane, the human and the divine, or is there only love? Is love of the one and not of the many? If I say, `I love you', does that exclude the love of the other? Is love personal or impersonal? Moral or immoral? Family or non-family? If you love mankind can you love the particular? Is love sentiment? Is love emotion? Is love pleasure and desire? All these questions indicate, don't they, that we have ideas about love, ideas about what it should or should not be, a pattern or a code developed by the culture in which we live.
So to go into the question of what love is we must first free it from the encrustation of centuries, put away all ideals and ideologies of what it should or should not be. To divide anything into what should be and what is, is the most deceptive way of dealing with life.
Now how am I going to find out what this flame is which we call love - not how to express it to another but what it means in itself? I will first reject what the church, what society, what my parents and friends, what every person and every book has said about it because I want to find out for myself what it is. Here is an enormous problem that involves the whole of mankind, there have been a thousand ways of defining it and I myself am caught in some pattern or other according to what I like or enjoy at the moment - so shouldn't I, in order to understand it, first free myself from my own inclinations and prejudices? I am confused, torn by my own desires, so I say to myself, 'First clear up your own confusion. Perhaps you may be able to discover what love is through what it is not.'
The government says, `Go and kill for the love of your country'. Is that love? Religion says, `Give up sex for the love of God'. Is that love? Is love desire? Don't say no. For most of us it is - desire with pleasure, the pleasure that is derived through the senses, through sexual attachment and fulfilment. I am not against sex, but see what is involved in it. What sex gives you momentarily is the total abandonment of yourself, then you are back again with your turmoil, so you want a repetition over and over again of that state in which there is no worry, no problem, no self. You say you love your wife. In that love is involved sexual pleasure, the pleasure of having someone in the house to look after your children, to cook. You depend on her; she has given you her body, her emotions, her encouragement, a certain feeling of security and well-being. Then she turns away from you; she gets bored or goes off with someone else, and your whole emotional balance is destroyed, and this disturbance, which you don't like, is called jealousy. There is pain in it, anxiety, hate and violence. So what you are really saying is, `As long as you belong to me I love you but the moment you don't I begin to hate you. As long as I can rely on you to satisfy my demands, sexual and otherwise, I love you, but the moment you cease to supply what I want I don't like you.' So there is antagonism between you, there is separation, and when you feel separate from another there is no love. But if you can live with your wife without thought creating all these contradictory states, these endless quarrels in yourself, then perhaps - perhaps - you will know what love is. Then you are completely free and so is she, whereas if you depend on her for all your pleasure you are a slave to her. So when one loves there must be freedom, not only from the other person but from oneself.
This belonging to another, being psychologically nourished by another, depending on another - in all this there must always be anxiety, fear, jealousy, guilt, and so long as there is fear there is no love; a mind ridden with sorrow will never know what love is; sentimentality and emotionalism have nothing whatsoever to do with love. And so love is not to do with pleasure and desire.
Love is not the product of thought which is the past. Thought cannot possibly cultivate love. Love is not hedged about and caught in jealousy, for jealousy is of the past. Love is always active present. It is not `I will love' or `I have loved'. If you know love you will not follow anybody. Love does not obey. When you love there is neither respect nor disrespect.
Don't you know what it means really to love somebody to love without hate, without jealousy, without anger, without wanting to interfere with what he is doing or thinking, without condemning, without comparing - don't you know what it means? Where there is love is there comparison? When you love someone with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your body, with your entire being, is there comparison? When you totally abandon yourself to that love there is not the other.
Does love have responsibility and duty, and will it use those words? When you do something out of duty is there any love in it? In duty there is no love. The structure of duty in which the human being is caught is destroying him. So long as you are compelled to do something because it is your duty you don't love what you are doing. When there is love there is no duty and no responsibility.
Most parents unfortunately think they are responsible for their children and their sense of responsibility takes the form of telling them what they should do and what they should not do, what they should become and what they should not become. The parents want their children to have a secure position in society. What they call responsibility is part of that respectability they worship; and it seems to me that where there is respectability there is no order; they are concerned only with becoming a perfect bourgeois. When they prepare their children to fit into society they are perpetuating war, conflict and brutality. Do you call that care and love?
Really to care is to care as you would for a tree or a plant, watering it, studying its needs, the best soil for it, looking after it with gentleness and tenderness - but when you prepare your children to fit into society you are preparing them to be killed. If you loved your children you would have no war.
When you lose someone you love you shed tears - are your tears for yourself or for the one who is dead? Are you crying for yourself or for another? Have you ever cried for another? Have you ever cried for your son who was killed on the battlefield? You have cried, but do those tears come out of self-pity or have you cried because a human being has been killed? If you cry out of self-pity your tears have no meaning because you are concerned about yourself. If you are crying because you are bereft of one in whom you have invested a great deal of affection, it was not really affection. When you cry for your brother who dies cry for him. It is very easy to cry for yourself because he is gone. Apparently you are crying because your heart is touched, but it is not touched for him, it is only touched by self-pity and self-pity makes you hard, encloses you, makes you dull and stupid.
When you cry for yourself, is it love - crying because you are lonely, because you have been left, because you are no longer powerful - complaining of your lot, your environment - always you in tears? If you understand this, which means to come in contact with it as directly as you would touch a tree or a pillar or a hand, then you will see that sorrow is self-created, sorrow is created by thought, sorrow is the outcome of time. I had my brother three years ago, now he is dead, now I am lonely, aching, there is no one to whom I can look for comfort or companionship, and it brings tears to my eyes.
You can see all this happening inside yourself if you watch it. You can see it fully, completely, in one glance, not take analytical time over it. You can see in a moment the whole structure and nature of this shoddy little thing called `me', my tears, my family, my nation, my belief, my religion - all that ugliness, it is all inside you. When you see it with your heart, not with your mind, when you see it from the very bottom of your heart, then you have the key that will end sorrow. Sorrow and love cannot go together, but in the Christian world they have idealized suffering, put it on a cross and worshipped it, implying that you can never escape from suffering except through that one particular door, and this is the whole structure of an exploiting religious society.
So when you ask what love is, you may be too frightened to see the answer. It may mean complete upheaval; it may break up the family; you may discover that you do not love your wife or husband or children - do you? - you may have to shatter the house you have built, you may never go back to the temple.
But if you still want to find out, you will see that fear is not love, dependence is not love, jealousy is not love, possessiveness and domination are not love, responsibility and duty are not love, self-pity is not love, the agony of not being loved is not love, love is not the opposite of hate any more than humility is the opposite of vanity. So if you can eliminate all these, not by forcing them but by washing them away as the rain washes the dust of many days from a leaf, then perhaps you will come upon this strange flower which man always hungers after.
If you have not got love - not just in little drops but in abundance - if you are not filled with it - the world will go to disaster. You know intellectually that the unity of mankind is essential and that love is the only way, but who is going to teach you how to love? Will any authority, any method, any system, tell you how to love? If anyone tells you, it is not love. Can you say, `I will practise love. I will sit down day after day and think about it. I will practise being kind and gentle and force myself to pay attention to others'? Do you mean to say that you can discipline yourself to love, exercise the will to love? When you exercise discipline and will to love, love goes out of the window. By practising some method or system of loving you may become extraordinarily clever or more kindly or get into a state of non-violence, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with love.
In this torn desert world there is no love because pleasure and desire play the greatest roles, yet without love your daily life has no meaning. And you cannot have love if there is no beauty. Beauty is not something you see - not a beautiful tree, a beautiful picture, a beautiful building or a beautiful woman. There is beauty only when your heart and mind know what love is. Without love and that sense of beauty there is no virtue, and you know very well that, do what you will, improve society, feed the poor, you will only be creating more mischief, for without love there is only ugliness and poverty in your own heart and mind. But when there is love and beauty, whatever you do is right, whatever you do is in order. If you know how to love, then you can do what you like because it will solve all other problems.
So we reach the point: can the mind come upon love without discipline, without thought, without enforcement, without any book, any teacher or leader - come upon it as one comes upon a lovely sunset?
It seems to me that one thing is absolutely necessary and that is passion without motive - passion that is not the result of some commitment or attachment, passion that is not lust. A man who does not know what passion is will never know love because love can come into being only when there is total self-abandonment.
A mind that is seeking is not a passionate mind and to come upon love without seeking it is the only way to find it - to come upon it unknowingly and not as the result of any effort or experience. Such a love, you will find, is not of time; such a love is both personal and impersonal, is both the one and the many. Like a flower that has perfume you can smell it or pass it by. That flower is for everybody and for the one who takes trouble to breathe it deeply and look at it with delight. Whether one is very near in the garden, or very far away, it is the same to the flower because it is full of that perfume and therefore it is sharing with everybody.
Love is something that is new, fresh, alive. It has no yesterday and no tomorrow. It is beyond the turmoil of thought. It is only the innocent mind which knows what love is, and the innocent mind can live in the world which is not innocent. To find this extraordinary thing which man has sought endlessly through sacrifice, through worship, through relationship, through sex, through every form of pleasure and pain, is only possible when thought comes to understand itself and comes naturally to an end. Then love has no opposite, then love has no conflict.
You may ask, `If I find such a love, what happens to my wife, my children, my family? They must have security.' When you put such a question you have never been outside the field of thought, the field of consciousness. When once you have been outside that field you will never ask such a question because then you will know what love is in which there is no thought and therefore no time. You may read this mesmerized and enchanted, but actually to go beyond thought and time - which means going beyond sorrow - is to be aware that there is a different dimension called love.
But you don't know how to come to this extraordinary fount - so what do you do? If you don't know what to do, you do nothing, don't you? Absolutely nothing. Then inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what that means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing; there is no centre at all. Then there is love.
WE HAVE BEEN enquiring into the nature of love and have come to a point, I think, which needs much greater penetration, a much greater awareness of the issue. We have discovered that for most people love means comfort, security, a guarantee for the rest of their lives of continuous emotional satisfaction. Then someone like me comes along and says, 'Is that really love?' and questions you and asks you to look inside yourself. And you try not to look because it is very disturbing - you would rather discuss the soul or the political or economic situation - but when you are driven into a corner to look, you realize that what you have always thought of as love is not love at all; it is a mutual gratification, a mutual exploitation.
When I say, `Love has no tomorrow and no yesterday', or, `When there is no centre then there is love', it has reality for me but not for you. You may quote it and make it into a formula but that has no validity. You have to see it for yourself, but to do so there must be freedom to look, freedom from all condemnation, all judgement all agreeing or disagreeing.
Now, to look is one of the most difficult things in life - or to listen - to look and listen are the same. If your eyes are blinded with your worries, you cannot see the beauty of the sunset. Most of us have lost touch with nature. Civilization is tending more and more towards large cities; we are becoming more and more an urban people, living in crowded apartments and having very little space even to look at the sky of an evening and morning, and therefore we are losing touch with a great deal of beauty. I don't know if you have noticed how few of us look at a sunrise or a sunset or the moonlight or the reflection of light on water.
Having lost touch with nature we naturally tend to develop intellectual capacities. We read a great many books, go to a great many museums and concerts, watch television and have many other entertainments. We quote endlessly from other people's ideas and think and talk a great deal about art. Why is it that we depend so much upon art? Is it a form of escape, of stimulation? If you are directly in contact with nature; if you watch the movement of a bird on the wing, see the beauty of every movement of the sky, watch the shadows on the hills or the beauty on the face of another, do you think you will want to go to any museum to look at any picture? Perhaps it is because you do not know how to look at all the things about you that you resort to some form of drug to stimulate you to see better.
There is a story of a religious teacher who used to talk every morning to his disciples. One morning he got on to the platform and was just about to begin when a little bird came and sat on the window sill and began to sing, and sang away with full heart. Then it stopped and flew away and the teacher said, `The sermon for this morning is over'.
It seems to me that one of our greatest difficulties is to see for ourselves really clearly, not only outward things but inward life. When we say we see a tree or a flower or a person, do we actually see them? Or do we merely see the image that the word has created? That is, when you look at a tree or at a cloud of an evening full of light and delight, do you actually see it, not only with your eyes and intellectually, but totally, completely?
Have you ever experimented with looking at an objective thing like a tree without any of the associations, any of the knowledge you have acquired about it, without any prejudice, any judgement, any words forming a screen between you and the tree and preventing you from seeing it as it actually is? Try it and see what actually takes place when you observe the tree with all your being, with the totality of your energy. In that intensity you will find that there is no observer at all; there is only attention. It is when there is inattention that there is the observer and the observed. When you are looking at something with complete attention there is no space for a conception, a formula or a memory. This is important to understand because we are going into something which requires very careful investigation.
It is only a mind that looks at a tree or the stars or the sparkling waters of a river with complete self-abandonment that knows what beauty is, and when we are actually seeing we are in a state of love. We generally know beauty through comparison or through what man has put together, which means that we attribute beauty to some object. I see what I consider to be a beautiful building and that beauty I appreciate because of my knowledge of architecture and by comparing it with other buildings I have seen. But now I am asking myself, `Is there a beauty without object?' When there is an observer who is the censor, the experiencer, the thinker, there is no beauty because beauty is something external, something the observer looks at and judges, but when there is no observer - and this demands a great deal of meditation, of enquiry then there is beauty without the object.
Beauty lies in the total abandonment of the observer and the observed and there can be self-abandonment only when there is total austerity - not the austerity of the priest with its harshness, its sanctions, rules and obedience - not austerity in clothes, ideas, food and behaviour - but the austerity of being totally simple which is complete humility. Then there is no achieving, no ladder to climb; there is only the first step and the first step is the everlasting step.
Say you are walking by yourself or with somebody and you have stopped talking. You are surrounded by nature and there is no dog barking, no noise of a car passing or even the flutter of a bird. You are completely silent and nature around you is also wholly silent. In that state of silence both in the observer and the observed - when the observer is not translating what he observes into thought - in that silence there is a different quality of beauty. There is neither nature nor the observer. There is a state of mind wholly, completely, alone; it is alone - not in isolation - alone in stillness and that stillness is beauty. When you love, is there an observer? There is an observer only when love is desire and pleasure. When desire and pleasure are not associated with love, then love is intense. It is, like beauty, something totally new every day. As I have said, it has no today and no tomorrow.
It is only when we see without any preconception, any image, that we are able to be in direct contact with anything in life. All our relationships are really imaginary - that is, based on an image formed by thought. If I have an image about you and you have an image about me, naturally we don't see each other at all as we actually are. What we see is the images we have formed about each other which prevent us from being in contact, and that is why our relationships go wrong.
When I say I know you, I mean I knew you yesterday. I do not know you actually now. All I know is my image of you. That image is put together by what you have said in praise of me or to insult me, what you have done to me - it is put together by all the memories I have of you - and your image of me is put together in the same way, and it is those images which have relationship and which prevent us from really communing with each other.
Two people who have lived together for a long time have an image of each other which prevents them from really being in relationship. If we understand relationship we can co-operate but co-operation cannot possibly exist through images, through symbols, through ideological conceptions. Only when we understand the true relationship between each other is there a possibility of love, and love is denied when we have images. Therefore it is important to understand, not intellectually but actually in your daily life, how you have built images about your wife, your husband, your neighbour, your child, your country, your leaders, your politicians, your gods - you have nothing but images.
These images create the space between you and what you observe and in that space there is conflict, so what we are going to find out now together is whether it is possible to be free of the space we create, not only outside ourselves but in ourselves, the space which divides people in all their relationships.
Now the very attention you give to a problem is the energy that solves that problem. When you give your complete attention - I mean with everything in you - there is no observer at all. There is only the state of attention which is total energy, and that total energy is the highest form of intelligence. Naturally that state of mind must be completely silent and that silence, that stillness, comes when there is total attention, not disciplined stillness. That total silence in which there is neither the observer nor the thing observed is the highest form of a religious mind. But what takes place in that state cannot be put into words because what is said in words is not the fact. To find out for yourself you have to go through it.
Every problem is related to every other problem so that if you can solve one problem completely - it does not matter what it is - you will see that you are able to meet all other problems easily and resolve them. We are talking, of course, of psychological problems. We have already seen that a problem exists only in time, that is when we meet the issue incompletely. So not only must we be aware of the nature and structure of the problem and see it completely, but meet it as it arises and resolve it immediately so that it does not take root in the mind. If one allows a problem to endure for a month or a day, or even for a few minutes, it distorts the mind. So is it possible to meet a problem immediately without any distortion and be immediately, completely, free of it and not allow a memory, a scratch on the mind, to remain? These memories are the images we carry about with us and it is these images which meet this extraordinary thing called life and therefore there is a contradiction and hence conflict. Life is very real - life is not an abstraction - and when you meet it with images there are problems.
Is it possible to meet every issue without this space-time interval, without the gap between oneself and the thing of which one is afraid? It is possible only when the observer has no continuity, the observer who is the builder of the image, the observer who is a collection of memories and ideas, who is a bundle of abstractions.
When you look at the stars there is you who are looking at the stars in the sky; the sky is flooded with brilliant stars, there is cool air, and there is you, the observer, the experiencer, the thinker, you with your aching heart, you, the centre, creating space. You will never understand about the space between yourself and the stars, yourself and your wife or husband, or friend, because you have never looked without the image, and that is why you do not know what beauty is or what love is. You talk about it, you write about it, but you have never known it except perhaps at rare intervals of total self-abandonment. So long as there is a centre creating space around itself there is neither love nor beauty. When there is no centre and no circumference then there is love. And when you love you are beauty.
When you look at a face opposite, you are looking from a centre and the centre creates the space between person and person, and that is why our lives are so empty and callous. You cannot cultivate love or beauty, nor can you invent truth, but if you are all the time aware of what you are doing, you can cultivate awareness and out of that awareness you will begin to see the nature of pleasure, desire and sorrow and the utter loneliness and boredom of man, and then you will begin to come upon that thing called `the space'.
When there is space between you and the object you are observing you will know there is no love, and without love, however hard you try to reform the world or bring about a new social order or however much you talk about improvements, you will only create agony. So it is up to you. There is no leader, there is no teacher, there is nobody to tell you what to do. You are alone in this mad brutal world.