Freedom From the Known

Chapter 12

PLEASE GO ON with me a little further. It may be rather complex, rather subtle, but please go on with it.

Now, when I build an image about you or about anything, I am able to watch that image, so there is the image and the observer of the image. I see someone, say, with a red shirt on and my immediate reaction is that I like it or that I don't like it. The like or dislike is the result of my culture, my training, my associations, my inclinations, my acquired and inherited characteristics. It is from that centre that I observe and make my judgement, and thus the observer is separate from the thing he observes.

But the observer is aware of more than one image; he creates thousands of images. But is the observer different from these images? Isn't he just another image? He is always adding to and subtracting from what he is; he is a living thing all the time weighing, comparing, judging, modifying and changing as a result of pressures from outside and within - living in the field of consciousness which is his own knowledge, influence and innumerable calculations. At the same time when you look at the observer, who is yourself, you see that he is made up of memories, experiences, accidents, influences, traditions and infinite varieties of suffering, all of which are the past. So the observer is both the past and the present, and tomorrow is waiting and that is also a part of him. He is half alive and half dead and with this death and life he is looking, with the dead and living leaf. And in that state of mind which is within the field of time, you (the observer) look at fear, at jealousy, at war, at the family (that ugly enclosed entity called the family) and try to solve the problem of the thing observed which is the challenge, the new; you are always translating the new in terms of the old and therefore you are everlastingly in conflict.

One image, as the observer, observes dozens of other images around himself and inside himself, and he says, `I like this image, I'm going to keep it' or `I don't like that image so I'll get rid of it', but the observer himself has been put together by the various images which have come into being through reaction to various other images. So we come to a point where we can say, `The observer is also the image, only he has separated himself and observes. This observer who has come into being through various other images thinks himself permanent and between himself and the images he has created there is a division, a time interval. This creates conflict between himself and the images he believes to be the cause of his troubles. So then he says, "I must get rid of this conflict", but the very desire to get rid of the conflict creates another image.

Awareness of all this, which is real meditation, has revealed that there is a central image put together by all the other images, and the central image, the observer, is the censor, the experiencer, the evaluator, the judge who wants to conquer or subjugate the other images or destroy them altogether. The other images are the result of judgements, opinions and conclusions by the observer, and the observer is the result of all the other images - therefore the observer is the observed.

So awareness has revealed the different states of one's mind, has revealed the various images and the contradiction between the images, has revealed the resulting conflict and the despair at not being able to do anything about it and the various attempts to escape from it. All this has been revealed through cautious hesitant awareness, and then comes the awareness that the observer is the observed. It is not a superior entity who becomes aware of this, it is not a higher self (the superior entity, the higher self, are merely inventions, further images); it is the awareness itself which had revealed that the observer is the observed.

If you ask yourself a question, who is the entity who is going to receive the answer? And who is the entity who is going to enquire? If the entity is part of consciousness, part of thought, then it is incapable of finding out. What it can find out is only a state of awareness. But if in that state of awareness there is still an entity who says, `I must be aware, I must practise awareness', that again is another image.

This awareness that the observer is the observed is not a process of identification with the observed. To identify ourselves with something is fairly easy. Most of us identify ourselves with something - with our family, our husband or wife, our nation - and that leads to great misery and great wars. We are considering something entirely different and we must understand it not verbally but in our core, right at the root of our being. In ancient China before an artist began to paint anything - a tree, for instance - he would sit down in front of it for days, months, years, it didn't matter how long, until he was the tree. He did not identify himself with the tree but he was the tree. This means that there was no space between him and the tree, no space between the observer and the observed, no experiencer experiencing the beauty, the movement, the shadow, the depth of a leaf, the quality of colour. He was totally the tree, and in that state only could he paint.

Any movement on the part of the observer, if he has not realized that the observer is the observed, creates only another series of images and again he is caught in them. But what takes place when the observer is aware that the observer is the observed? Go slowly, go very slowly, because it is a very complex thing we are going into now. What takes place? The observer does not act at all. The observer has always said, `I must do something about these images, I must suppress them or give them a different shape; he is always active in regard to the observed, acting and reacting passionately or casually, and this action of like and dislike on the part of the observer is called positive action - `I like, therefore I must hold. I dislike therefore I must get rid of.' But when the observer realizes that the thing about which he is acting is himself, then there is no conflict between himself and the image. He is that. He is not separate from that. When he was separate, he did, or tried to do, something about it, but when the observer realizes that he is that, then there is no like or dislike and conflict ceases.

For what is he to do? If something is you, what can you do? You cannot rebel against it or run away from it or even accept it. It is there. So all action that is the outcome of reaction to like-and dislike has come to an end.

Then you will find that there is an awareness that has become tremendously alive. It is not bound to any central issue or to any image - and from that intensity of awareness there is a different quality of attention and therefore the mind - because the mind is this awareness - has become extraordinarily sensitive and highly intelligent.

Chapter 13

LET US NOW go into the question of what is thinking, the significance of that thought which must be exercised with care, logic and sanity (for our daily work) and that which has no significance at all. Unless we know the two kinds, we cannot possibly understand something much deeper which thought cannot touch. So let us try to understand this whole complex structure of what is thinking, what is memory, how thought originates, how thought conditions all our actions; and in understanding all this we shall perhaps come across something which thought has never discovered, which thought cannot open the door to.

Why has thought become so important in all our lives - thought being ideas, being the response to the accumulated memories in the brain cells? Perhaps many of you have not even asked such a question before, or if you have you may have said, `It's of very little importance - what is important is emotion.' But I don't see how you can separate the two. If thought doesn't give continuity to feeling, feeling dies very quickly. So why in our daily lives, in our grinding, boring, frightened lives, has thought taken on such inordinate importance? Ask yourself as I am asking myself - why is one a slave to thought - cunning, clever, thought which can organize, which can start things, which has invented so much, bred so many wars, created so much fear, so much anxiety, which is forever making images and chasing its own tail - thought which has enjoyed the pleasure of yesterday and given that pleasure continuity in the present and also in the future - thought which is always active, chattering, moving, constructing, taking away, adding, supposing?

Ideas have become far more important to us than action - ideas so cleverly expressed in books by the intellectuals in every field. The more cunning, the more subtle, those ideas are the more we worship them and the books that contain them. We are those books, we are those ideas, so heavily conditioned are we by them. We are forever discussing ideas and ideals and dialectically offering opinions. Every religion has its dogma, its formula, its own scaffold to reach the gods, and when inquiring into the beginning of thought we are questioning the importance of this whole edifice of ideas. We have separated ideas from action because ideas are always of the past and action is always the present - that is, living is always the present. We are afraid of living and therefore the past, as ideas, has become so important to us.

It is really extraordinarily interesting to watch the operation of one's own thinking, just to observe how one thinks, where that reaction we call thinking, springs from. Obviously from memory. Is there a beginning to thought at all? If there is, can we find out its beginning - that is, the beginning of memory, because if we had no memory we would have no thought?

We have seen how thought sustains and gives continuity to a pleasure that we had yesterday and how thought also sustains the reverse of pleasure which is fear and pain, so the experiencer, who is the thinker, is the pleasure and the pain and also the entity who gives nourishment to the pleasure and pain. The thinker separates pleasure from pain. He doesn't see that in the very demand for pleasure he is inviting pain and fear. Thought in human relationships is always demanding pleasure which it covers by different words like loyalty, helping, giving, sustaining, serving. I wonder why we want to serve? The petrol station offers good service. What do those words mean, to help, to give, to serve? What is it all about? Does a flower full of beauty, light and loveliness say,`I am giving, helping, serving'? It is! And because it is not trying to do anything it covers the earth.

Thought is so cunning, so clever, that it distorts everything for its own convenience. Thought in its demand for pleasure brings its own bondage. Thought is the breeder of duality in all our relationships: there is violence in us which gives us pleasure but there is also the desire for peace, the desire to be kind and gentle. This is what is going on all the time in all our lives. Thought not only breeds this duality in us, this contradiction, but it also accumulates the innumerable memories we have had of pleasure and pain, and from these memories it is reborn. So thought is the past, thought is always old, as I have already said.

As every challenge is met in terms of the past - a challenge being always new - our meeting of the challenge will always be totally inadequate, hence contradiction, conflict and all the misery and sorrow we are heir to. Our little brain is in conflict whatever it does. Whether it aspires, imitates, conforms, suppresses, sublimates, takes drugs to expand itself - whatever it does - it is in a state of conflict and will produce conflict.

Those who think a great deal are very materialistic because thought is matter. Thought is matter as much as the floor, the wall, the telephone, are matter. Energy functioning in a pattern becomes matter. There is energy and there is matter. That is all life is. We may think thought is not matter but it is. Thought is matter as an ideology. Where there is energy it becomes matter. Matter and energy are interrelated. The one cannot exist without the other, and the more harmony there is between the two, the more balance, the more active the brain cells are. Thought has set up this pattern of pleasure, pain, fear, and has been functioning inside it for thousands of years and cannot break the pattern because it has created it.

A new fact cannot be seen by thought. It can be understood later by thought, verbally, but the understanding of a new fact is not reality to thought. Thought can never solve any psychological problem. However clever, however cunning, however erudite, whatever the structure thought creates through science, through an electronic brain, through compulsion or necessity, thought is never new and therefore it can never answer any tremendous question. The old brain cannot solve the enormous problem of living.

Thought is crooked because it can invent anything and see things that are not there. It can perform the most extraordinary tricks, and therefore it cannot be depended upon. But if you understand the whole structure of how you think, why you think, the words you use, the way you behave in your daily life, the way you talk to people, the way you treat people, the way you walk, the way you eat - if you are aware of all these things then your mind will not deceive you, then there is nothing to be deceived. The mind then is not something that demands, that subjugates; it becomes extraordinarily quiet, pliable, sensitive, alone, and in that state there is no deception whatsoever.

Have you ever noticed that when you are in a state of complete attention the observer, the thinker, the centre, the 'me', comes to an end? In that state of attention thought begins to wither away. If one wants to see a thing very clearly, one's mind must be very quiet, without all the prejudices, the chattering, the dialogue, the images, the pictures - all that must be put aside to look. And it is only in silence that you can observe the beginning of thought - not when you are searching, asking questions, waiting for a reply. So it is only when you are completely quiet, right through your being, having put that question, `What is the beginning of thought?', that you will begin to see, out of that silence, how thought takes shape.

If there is an awareness of how thought begins then there is no need to control thought. We spend a great deal of time and waste a great deal of energy all through our lives, not only at school, trying to control our thoughts - `This is a good thought, I must think about it a lot. This is an ugly thought, I must suppress it.' There is a battle going on all the time between one thought and another, one desire and another, one pleasure dominating all other pleasures. But if there is an awareness of the beginning of thought, then there is no contradiction in thought.

Now when you hear a statement like 'Thought is always old' or `Time is sorrow', thought begins to translate it and interpret it. But the translation and interpretation are based on yesterday's knowledge and experience, so you will invariably translate according to your conditioning. But if you look at the statements and do not interpret them all but just give them your complete attention (not concentration) you will find there is neither the observer nor the observed, neither the thinker nor the thought. Don't say, `Which began first?' That is a clever argument which leads nowhere. You can observe in yourself that as long as there is no thought - which doesn't mean a state of amnesia, of blankness - as long as there is no thought derived from memory, experience or knowledge, which are all of the past, there is no thinker at all. This is not a philosophical or mystical affair. We are dealing with actual facts, and you will see, if you have gone this far in the journey, that you will respond to a challenge, not with the old brain, but totally anew.

Chapter 14

IN THE LIFE we generally lead there is very little solitude. Even when we are alone our lives are crowded by so many influences, so much knowledge, so many memories of so many experiences, so much anxiety, misery and conflict that our mind become duller and duller, more and more insensitive, functioning in a monotonous routine. Are we ever alone? Or are we carrying with us all the burdens of yesterday?

There is a rather nice story of two monks walking from one village to another and they come upon a young girl sitting on the bank of a river, crying. And one of the monks goes up to her and says, `Sister, what are you crying about?' She says, `You see that house over there across the river? I came over this morning early and had no trouble wading across but now the river has swollen and I can't get back. There is no boat.' `Oh,' says the monk, `that is no problem at all', and he picks her up and carries her across the river and leaves her on the other side. And the two monks go on together. After a couple of hours, the other monk says, `Brother, we have taken a vow never to touch a woman. What you have done is a terrible sin. Didn't you have pleasure, a great sensation, in touching a woman?' and the other monk replies, `I left her behind two hours ago. You are still carrying her, aren't you?' That is what we do. We carry our burdens all the time; we never die to them, we never leave them behind. it is only when we give complete attention to a problem and solve it immediately - never carrying it over to the next day, the next minute - that there is solitude. Then, even, if we live in a crowded house or are in a bus, we have solitude. And that solitude indicates a fresh mind, an innocent mind.

To have inward solitude and space is very important because it implies freedom to be, to go, to function, to fly. After all, goodness can only flower in space just as virtue can flower only when there is freedom. We may have political freedom but inwardly we are not free and therefore there is no space. No virtue, no quality that is worth while, can function or grow without this vast space within oneself. And space and silence are necessary because it is only when the mind is alone, uninfluenced, untrained, not held by infinite varieties of experience, that it can come upon something totally new.

One can see directly that it is only when the mind is silent that there is a possibility of clarity. The whole purpose of meditation in the East is to bring about such a state of mind - that is, to control thought, which is the same as constantly repeating a prayer to quieten the mind and in that state hoping to understand one's problems. But unless one lays the foundation, which is to be free from fear, free from sorrow, anxiety and all the traps one lays for oneself, I do not see how it is possible for a mind to be actually quiet. This is one of the most difficult things to communicate. Communication between us implies, doesn't it, that not only must you understand the words I am using but that we must both, you and I, be intense at the same time, not a moment later or a moment sooner and capable of meeting each other on the same level? And such communication is not possible when you are interpreting what you are reading according to your own knowledge, pleasure or opinions, or when you are making a tremendous effort to comprehend.

It seems to me that one of the greatest stumbling blocks in life is this constant struggle to reach, to achieve, to acquire. We are trained from childhood to acquire and to achieve - the very brain cells themselves create and demand this pattern of achievement in order to have physical security, but psychological security is not within the field of achievement. We demand security in all our relationships, attitudes and activities but, as we have seen, there is actually no such thing as security. To find out for yourself that there is no form of security in any relationship - to realize that psychologically there is nothing permanent - gives a totally different approach to life. It is essential, of course, to have outward security - shelter, clothing, food - but that outward security is destroyed by the demand for psychological security.

Space and silence are necessary to go beyond the limitations of consciousness, but how can a mind which is so endlessly active in its self-interest be quiet? One can discipline it, control it, shape it, but such torture does not make the mind quiet; it merely makes it dull. Obviously the mere pursuit of the ideal of having a quiet mind is valueless because the more you force it the more narrow and stagnant it becomes. Control in any form, like suppression, produces only conflict. So control and outward discipline are not the way, nor has an undisciplined life any value.

Most of our lives are outwardly disciplined by the demands of society, by the family, by our own suffering, by our own experience, by conforming to certain ideological or factual patterns - and that form of discipline is the most deadening thing. Discipline must be without control, without suppression, without any form of fear. How is this discipline to come about? It is not discipline first and then freedom; freedom is at the very beginning, not at the end. To understand this freedom, which is the freedom from the conformity of discipline, is discipline itself. The very act of learning is discipline (after all the root meaning of the word discipline is to learn), the very act of learning becomes clarity. To understand the whole nature and structure of control, suppression and indulgence demands attention. You don't have to impose discipline in order to study it, but the very act of studying brings about its own discipline in which there is no suppression.

In order to deny authority (we are talking of psychological authority, not the law) - to deny the authority of all religious organizations, traditions and experience, one has to see why one normally obeys - actually study it. And to study it there must be freedom from condemnation, justification, opinion or acceptance. Now we cannot accept authority and yet study it - that is impossible. To study the whole psychological structure of authority within ourselves there must be freedom. And when we are studying we are denying the whole structure, and when we do deny, that very denial is the light of the mind that is free from authority. Negation of everything that has been considered worthwhile, such as outward discipline, leadership, idealism, is to study it; then that very act of studying is not only discipline but the negative of it, and the very denial is a positive act. So we are negating all those things that are considered important to bring about the quietness of the mind.

Thus we see it is not control that leads to quietness. Nor is the mind quiet when it has an object which is so absorbing that it gets lost in that object. This is like giving a child an interesting toy; he becomes very quiet, but remove the toy and he returns to his mischief-making. We all have our toys which absorb us and we think we are very quiet but if a man is dedicated to a certain form of activity, scientific, literary or whatever it is, the toy merely absorbs him and he is not really quiet at all.

The only silence we know is the silence when noise stops, the silence when thought stops - but that is not silence. Silence is something entirely different, like beauty, like love. And this silence is not the product of a quiet mind, it is not the product of the brain cells which have understood the whole structure and say, `For God's sake be quiet; then the brain cells themselves produce the silence and that is not silence. Nor is silence the outcome of attention in which the observer is the observed; then there is no friction, but that is not silence.

You are waiting for me to describe what this silence is so that you can compare it, interpret it, carry it away and bury it. It cannot be described. What can be described is the known, and the freedom from the known can come into being only when there is a dying every day to the known, to the hurts, the flatteries, to all the images you have made, to all your experiences - dying every day so that the brain cells themselves become fresh, young, innocent. But that innocency, that freshness, that quality of tenderness and gentleness, does not produce love; it is not the quality of beauty or silence.
That silence which is not the silence of the ending of noise is only a small beginning. It is like going through a small hole to an enormous, wide, expansive ocean, to an immeasurable, timeless state. But this you cannot understand verbally unless you have understood the whole structure of consciousness and the meaning of pleasure, sorrow and despair, and the brain cells themselves have become quiet. Then perhaps you may come upon that mystery which nobody can reveal to you and nothing can destroy. A living mind is a still mind, a living mind is a mind that has no centre and therefore no space and time. Such a mind is limitless and that is the only truth, that is the only reality.

Chapter 15

WE ALL WANT experiences of some kind - the mystical experience, the religious experience, the sexual experience, the experience of having a great deal of money, power, position, domination. As we grow older we may have finished with the demands of our physical appetites but then we demand wider, deeper and more significant experiences, and we try various means to obtain them - expanding our consciousness, for instance, which is quite an art, or taking various kinds of drugs. This is an old trick which has existed from time immemorial - chewing a piece of leaf or experimenting with the latest chemical to bring about a temporary alteration in the structure of the brain cells, a greater sensitivity and heightened perception which give a semblance of reality. This demand for more and more experiences shows the inward poverty of man. We think that through experiences we can escape from ourselves but these experiences are conditioned by what we are. If the mind is petty, jealous, anxious, it may take the very latest form of drug but it will still see only its own little creation, its own little projections from its own conditioned background.

Most of us demand completely satisfying, lasting experiences which cannot be destroyed by thought. So behind this demand for experience is the desire for satisfaction, and the demand for satisfaction dictates the experience, and therefore we have not only to understand this whole business of satisfaction but also the thing that is experienced. To have some great satisfaction is a great pleasure; the more lasting, deep and wide the experience the more pleasurable it is, so pleasure dictates the form of experience we demand, and pleasure is the measure by which we measure the experience. Anything measurable is within the limits of thought and is apt to create illusion. You can have marvellous experiences and yet be completely deluded. You will inevitably see visions according to your conditioning; you will see Christ or Buddha or whoever you happen to believe in, and the greater a believer you are the stronger will be your visions, the projections of your own demands and urges.

So if in seeking something fundamental, such as what is truth, pleasure is the measure, you have already projected what that experience will be and therefore it is no longer valid.

What do we mean by experience? Is there anything new or original in experience? Experience is a bundle of memories responding to a challenge and it can respond only according to its background, and the cleverer you are at interpreting the experience the more it responds. So you have to question not only the experience of another but your own experience. If you don't recognize an experience it isn't an experience at all. Every experience has already been experienced or you wouldn't recognize it. You recognize an experience as being good, bad, beautiful, holy and so on according to your conditioning, and therefore the recognition of an experience must inevitably be old.

When we demand an experience of reality - as we all do, don't we? - to experience it we must know it and the moment we recognise it we have already projected it and therefore it is not real because it is still within the field of thought and time. If thought can think about reality it cannot be reality. We cannot recognize a new experience. It is impossible. We recognize only something we have already known and therefore when we say we have had a new experience it is not new at all. To seek further experience through expansion of consciousness, as is being done through various psychedelic drugs, is still within the field of consciousness and therefore very limited.

So we have discovered a fundamental truth, which is that a mind that is seeking, craving, for wider and deeper experience is a very shallow and dull mind because it lives always with its memories.

Now if we didn't have any experience at all, what would happen to us? We depend on experiences, on challenges, to keep us awake. If there were no conflicts within ourselves, no changes, no disturbances, we would all be fast asleep. So challenges are necessary for most of us; we think that without them our minds will become stupid and heavy, and therefore we depend on a challenge, an experience, to give us more excitement, more intensity, to make our minds sharper. But in fact this dependence on challenges and experiences to keep us awake, only makes our minds duller - It doesn't really keep us awake at all. So I ask myself, is it possible to keep awake totally, not peripherally at a few points of my being, but totally awake without any challenge or any experience? This implies a great sensitivity, both physical and psychological; it means I have to be free of all demands, for the moment I demand I will experience. And to be free of demand and satisfaction necessitates investigation into myself and an understanding of the whole nature of demand.

Demand is born out of duality: `I am unhappy and I must be happy'. In that very demand that I must be happy is unhappiness. When one makes an effort to be good, in that very goodness is its opposite, evil. Everything affirmed contains its own opposite, and effort to overcome strengthens that against which it strives. When you demand an experience of truth or reality, that very demand is born out of your discontent with what is, and therefore the demand creates the opposite. And in the opposite there is what has been. So one must be free of this incessant demand, otherwise there will be no end to the corridor of duality. This means knowing yourself so completely that the mind is no longer seeking.

Such a mind does not demand experience; it cannot ask for a challenge or know a challenge; it does not say, `I am asleep' or `I am awake'. It is completely what it is. Only the frustrated, narrow, shallow mind, the conditioned mind, is always seeking the more. Is it possible then to live in this world without the more - without this everlasting comparison? Surely it is? But one has to find out for oneself.

Investigation into this whole question is meditation. That word had been used both in the East and the West in a most unfortunate way. There are different schools of meditation, different methods and systems. There are systems which say, `Watch the movement of your big toe, watch it, watch it, watch it; there are other systems which advocate sitting in a certain posture, breathing regularly or practising awareness. All this is utterly mechanical. The other method gives you a certain word and tells you that if you go on repeating it you will have some extraordinary transcendental experience. This is sheer nonsense. It is a form of self-hypnosis. By repeating Amen or Om or Coca-Cola indefinitely you will obviously have-a certain experience because by repetition the mind becomes quiet. It is a well known phenomenon which has been practised for thousands of years in India - Mantra Yoga it is called. By repetition you can induce the mind to be gentle and soft but it is still a petty, shoddy, little mind. You might as well put a piece of stick you have picked up in the garden on the mantelpiece and give it a flower every day. In a month you will be worshipping it and not to put a flower in front of it will become a sin.

Meditation is not following any system; it is not constant repetition and imitation. Meditation is not concentration. It is one of the favourite gambits of some teachers of meditation to insist on their pupils learning concentration - that is, fixing the mind on one thought and driving out all other thoughts. This is a most stupid, ugly thing, which any schoolboy can do because he is forced to. It means that all the time you are having a battle between the insistence that you must concentrate on the one hand and your mind on the other which wanders away to all sorts of other things, whereas you should be attentive to every movement of the mind wherever it wanders. When your mind wanders off it means you are interested in something else.

Meditation demands an astonishingly alert mind; meditation is the understanding of the totality of life in which every form of fragmentation has ceased. Meditation is not control of thought, for when thought is controlled it breeds conflict in the mind, but when you understand the structure and origin of thought, which we have already been into, then thought will not interfere. That very understanding of the structure of thinking is its own discipline which is meditation.

Meditation is to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong but just to watch it and move with it. In that watching you begin to understand the whole movement of thought and feeling. And out of this awareness comes silence. Silence put together by thought is stagnation, is dead, but the silence that comes when thought has understood its own beginning, the nature of itself, understood how all thought is never free but always old - this silence is meditation in which the meditator is entirely absent, for the mind has emptied itself of the past.

If you have read this book for a whole hour attentively, that is meditation. If you have merely taken away a few words and gathered a few ideas to think about later, then it is no longer meditation. Meditation is a state of mind which looks at everything with complete attention, totally, not just parts of it. And no one can teach you how to be attentive. If any system teaches you how to be attentive, then you are attentive to the system and that is not attention. Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life - perhaps the greatest, and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody, that is the beauty of it. It has no technique and therefore no authority. When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, watch the way you walk, how you eat, what you say, the gossip, the hate, the jealousy - if you are aware of all that in yourself, without any choice, that is part of meditation.

So meditation can take place when you are sitting in a bus or walking in the woods full of light and shadows, or listening to the singing of birds or looking at the face of your wife or child.

In the understanding of meditation there is love, and love is not the product of systems, of habits, of following a method. Love cannot be cultivated by thought. Love can perhaps come into being when there is complete silence, a silence in which the mediator is entirely absent; and the mind can be silent only when it understands its own movement as thought and feeling. To understand this movement of thought and feeling there can be no condemnation in observing it. To observe in such a way is the discipline, and that kind of discipline is fluid, free, not the discipline of conformity.

Chapter 16

WHAT WE HAVE been concerned with all through this book is the bringing about in ourselves, and therefore in our lives, of a total revolution that has nothing whatsoever to do with the structure of society as it is. Society as it is, is a horrifying thing with its endless wars of aggression, whether that aggression be defensive or offensive. What we need is something totally new - a revolution, a mutation, in the psyche itself. The old brain cannot possibly solve the human problem of relationship. The old brain is Asiatic, European, American or African, so what we are asking ourselves is whether it is possible to bring about a mutation in the brain cells themselves?

Let us ask ourselves again, now that we have come to understand ourselves better, is it possible for a human being living an ordinary everyday life in this brutal, violent, ruthless world - a world which is becoming more and more efficient and therefore more and more ruthless - is it possible for him to bring about a revolution not only in his outward relationships but in the whole field of his thinking, feeling, acting and reacting.

Every day we see or read of appalling things happening in the world as the result of violence in man. You may say, `I can't do anything about it', or, `How can I influence the world?' I think you can tremendously influence the world if in yourself you are not violent, if you lead actually every day a peaceful life - a life which is not competitive, ambitious, envious - a life which does not create enmity. Small fires can become a blaze. We have reduced the world to its present state of chaos by our self-centred activity, by our prejudices, our hatreds, our nationalism, and when we say we cannot do anything about it, we are accepting disorder in ourselves as inevitable. We have splintered the world into fragments and if we ourselves are broken, fragmented, our relationship with the world will also be broken. But if, when we act, we act totally, then our relationship with the world undergoes a tremendous revolution.

After all, any movement which is worth while, any action which has any deep significance, must begin with each one of us. I must change first; I must see what is the nature and structure of my relationship with the world - and in the very seeing is the doing; therefore I, as a human being living in the world, bring about a different quality, and that quality, it seems to me, is the quality of the religious mind.

The religious mind is something entirely different from the mind that believes in religion. You cannot be religious and yet be a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist. A religious mind does not seek at all, it cannot experiment with truth. Truth is not something dictated by your pleasure or pain, or by your conditioning as a Hindu or whatever religion you belong to. The religious mind is a state of mind in which there is no fear and therefore no belief whatsoever but only what is - what actually is.

In the religious mind there is that state of silence we have already examined which is not produced by thought but is the outcome of awareness, which is meditation when the meditator is entirely absent. In that silence there is a state of energy in which there is no conflict. Energy is action and movement. All action is movement and all action is energy. All desire is energy. All feeling is energy. All thought is energy. All living is energy. All life is energy. If that energy is allowed to flow without any contradiction, without any friction, without any conflict, then that energy is boundless, endless. When there is no friction there are no frontiers to energy. It is friction which gives energy limitations. So, having once seen this, why is it that the human being always brings friction into energy? Why does he create friction in this movement which we call life? Is pure energy, energy without limitation, just an idea to him? Does it have no reality?

We need energy not only to bring about a total revolution in ourselves but also in order to investigate, to look, to act. And as long as there is friction of any kind in any of our relationships, whether between husband and wife, between man and man, between one community and another or one country and another or one ideology and another - if there is any inward friction or any outward conflict in any form, however subtle it may be - there is a waste of energy.

As long as there is a time interval between the observer and the observed it creates friction and therefore there is a waste of energy. That energy is gathered to its highest point when the observer is the observed, in which there is no time interval at all. Then there will be energy without motive and it will find its own channel of action because then the `I' does not exist.

We need a tremendous amount of energy to understand the confusion in which we live, and the feeling, `I must understand', brings about the vitality to find out. But finding out, searching, implies time, and, as we have seen, gradually to uncondition the mind is not the way. Time is not the way. Whether we are old or young it is now that the whole process of life can be brought into a different dimension. Seeking the opposite of what we are is not the way either, nor is the artificial discipline imposed by a system, a teacher, a philosopher or priest - all that is so very childish. When we realize this, we ask ourselves is it possible to break through this heavy conditioning of centuries immediately and not enter into another conditioning - to be free, so that the mind can be altogether new, sensitive, alive, aware, intense, capable? That is our problem. There is no other problem because when the mind is made new it can tackle any problem. That is the only question we have to ask ourselves.

But we do not ask. We want to be told. One of the most curious things in the structure of our psyche is that we all want to be told because we are the result of the propaganda of ten thousand years. We want to have our thinking confirmed and corroborated by another, whereas to ask a question is to ask it of yourself. What I say has very little value. You will forget it the moment you shut this book, or you will remember and repeat certain phrases, or you will compare what you have read here with some other book - but you will not face your own life. And that is all that matters - your life, yourself, your pettiness, your shallowness, your brutality, your violence, your greed, your ambition, your daily agony and endless sorrow - that is what you have to understand and nobody on earth or in heaven is going to save you from it but yourself.

Seeing everything that goes on in your daily life, your daily activities - when you pick up a pen, when you talk, when you go out for a drive or when you are walking alone in the woods - can you with one breath, with one look, know yourself very simply as you are? When you know yourself as you are, then you understand the whole structure of man's endeavour, his deceptions, his hypocrisies, his search. To do this you must be tremendously honest with yourself throughout your being. When you act according to your principles you are being dishonest because when you act according to what you think you ought to be you are not what you are. it is a brutal thing to have ideals. If you have any ideals, beliefs or principles you cannot possibly look at yourself directly. So can you be completely negative, completely quiet, neither thinking nor afraid, and yet be extraordinarily, passionately alive?

That state of mind which is no longer capable of striving is the true religious mind, and in that state of mind you may come upon this thing called truth or reality or bliss or God or beauty or love. This thing cannot be invited. please understand that very simple fact. It cannot be invited, it cannot be sought after, because the mind is too silly, too small, your emotions are too shoddy, your way of life too confused for that enormity, that immense something, to be invited into your little house, your little corner of living which has been trampled and spat upon. You cannot invite it. To invite it you must know it and you cannot know it. It doesn't matter who says it, the moment he says, `I know', he does not know. The moment you say you have found it, you have not found it. If you say you have experienced it, you have never experienced it. They are all ways of exploiting another man - your friend or your enemy.

One asks oneself then whether it is possible to come upon this thing without inviting, without waiting, without seeking or exploring - just for it to happen like a cool breeze that comes in when you leave the window open? You cannot invite the wind but you must leave the window open, which doesn't mean that you are in a state of waiting; that is another form of deception. It doesn't mean you must open yourself to receive; that is another kind of thought.

Haven't you ever asked yourself why it is that human beings lack this thing? They beget children, they have sex, tenderness, a quality of sharing something together in companionship, in friendship, in fellowship, but this thing - why is it they haven't got it? Haven't you ever wondered lazily on occasion when you are walking by yourself in a filthy street or sitting in a bus or are on holiday by the seaside or walking in a wood with a lot of birds, trees, streams and wild animals - hasn't it ever come upon you to ask why it is that man, who has lived for millions and millions of years, has not got this thing, this extraordinary unfading flower? Why is it that you, as a human being, who are so capable, so clever, so cunning, so competitive, who have such marvellous technology, who go to the skies and under the earth and beneath the sea, and invent extraordinary electronic brains - why is it that you haven't got this one thing which matters? I don't know whether you have ever seriously faced this issue of why your heart is empty.

What would your answer be if you put the question to yourself - your direct answer without any equivocation or cunningness? Your answer would be in accordance with your intensity in asking the question and the urgency of it. But you are neither intense nor urgent, and that is because you haven't got energy, energy being passion - and you cannot find any truth without passion - passion with a fury behind it, passion in which there is no hidden want. Passion is a rather frightening thing because if you have passion you don't know where it will take you.

So is fear perhaps the reason why you have not got the energy of that passion to find out for yourself why this quality of love is missing in you, why there is not this flame in your heart? If you have examined your own mind and heart very closely, you will know why you haven't got it. If you are passionate in your discovery to find why you haven't got it, you will know it is there. Through complete negation alone, which is the highest form of passion, that thing which is love, comes into being. Like humility you cannot cultivate love. Humility comes into being when there is a total ending of conceit - then you will never know what it is to be humble. A man who knows what it is to have humility is a vain man. In the same way when you give your mind and your heart, your nerves, your eyes, your whole being to find out the way of life, to see what actually is and go beyond it, and deny completely, totally, the life you live now - in that very denial of the ugly, the brutal, the other comes into being. And you will never know it either. A man who knows that he is silent, who knows that he loves, does not know what love is or what silence is.


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