Network of Thought
Network of Thought
By J. Krishnamurti
E-Text Source: www.jkrishnamurti.org
Chapter 1 - 1st Public Talk - Saanen - 12th July 1981
Chapter 2 - 2nd Public Talk - Saanen - 14th July 1981
Chapter 3 - 3rd Public Talk - Saanen - 16th July 1981
Chapter 4 - 4th Public Talk - Saanen - 19th July 1981
Chapter 5 - 5th Public Talk - Saanen - 21st July 1981
Chapter 6 - 6th Public Talk - Saanen - 23rd July 1981
Chapter 7 - 7th Public Talk - Saanen - 26th July 1981
Chapter 8 - 1st Public Talk - Amsterdam - 19th September 1981
Chapter 9 - 2nd Public Talk - Amsterdam - 20th September 1981
The copyright of this book is held by Krishnamurti Foundations. We are providing this e-book solely for non-commercial usage as a noble service. The printed book can be purchased from Krishnamurti Foundations.
Chapter - 1
1st Public Talk - Saanen - 12th July 1981
I see some of my old friends are here - and I am glad to see you. As we are going to have seven talks we should go into what I am going to say very carefully, covering the whole field of life, so please be patient. Those of you who have heard the speaker before, please be tolerant if the speaker repeats himself, for repetition has a certain value.
Prejudice has something in common with ideals, beliefs and faiths. We must be able to think together; but our prejudices, our ideals and so on, limit the capacity and the energy required to think, to observe and examine together so as to discover for ourselves what lies behind all the confusion, misery, terror, destruction and tremendous violence in the world. To understand, not only the mere outward facts that are taking place, but also the depth and the significance of all this, we must be able to observe together - not you observing one way and the speaker another, but together observe the same thing. That observation, that examination, is prevented if we cling to our prejudices, to our particular experiences and our particular comprehension. Thinking together is tremendously important because we have to face a world that is rapidly disintegrating, degenerating, a world in which there is no sense of morality, where nothing is sacred, where no one respects another. To understand all this, not only superficially, casually, we have to enter into the depths of it, into what lies behind it. We have to enquire why it is that after all these millions of years of evolution, man, you and the whole world, have become so violent, callous, destructive, enduring wars and the atomic bomb. The technological world is evolving more and more; perhaps that may be one of the factors causing man to become like this. So, please let us think together, not according to my way or your way, but simply using the capacity to think.
Thought is the common factor of all mankind. There is no Eastern thought, or Western thought; there is only the common capacity to think, whether one is utterly poor or most sophisticated, living in an affluent society. Whether a surgeon, a carpenter, a labourer in the field, or a great poet, thought is the common factor of all of us. We do not seem to realize that thought is the common factor that binds us all. You think according to your capacity, to your energy, your experience and knowledge; another thinks differently according to his experience and conditioning. We are all caught in this network of thought. This is a fact, indisputable and actual.
We have been `programmed' biologically, physically and also `programmed' mentally, intellectually. We must be aware of having been programmed, like a computer. Computers are programmed by experts to produce the results that they want. And these computers will outstrip man in thought. These computers can gather experience, and from that experience learn, accumulate knowledge, according to their programme. Gradually they are going to outstrip all our thinking in accuracy and with greater speed. Of course they cannot compose as Beethoven, or as Keats, but they will outstrip our thinking.
So, then, what is man? He has been programmed to be Catholic, protestant, to be Italian or British and so on. For centuries he has been programmed - to believe, to have faith, to follow certain rituals, certain dogmas; programmed to be nationalistic and to go to war. So his brain has become as a computer but not so capable because his thought is limited, whereas the computer, although being also limited, is able to think much more rapidly than the human being and can outstrip him.
These are facts, this is what actually is going on. Then what becomes of man? Then what is man? If the robots and the computer can do almost all that the human being can do, then what is the future society of man? When cars can be built by the robot and the computer - probably much better - then what is going to become of man as a social entity? These and many other problems are facing us. You cannot any more think as Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. We are facing a tremendous crisis; a crisis which the politicians can never solve because they are programmed to think in a particular way - nor can the scientists understand or solve the crisis; nor yet the business world, the world of money. The turning point, the perceptive decision, the challenge, is not in politics, in religion, in the scientific world, it is in our consciousness. One has to understand the consciousness of mankind, which has brought us to this point. One has to be very serious about this matter because we are really facing something very dangerous in the world - where there is the proliferation of the atomic bomb which some lunatic will turn on. We all must be aware of all this.
One has to be very very serious, not flippant, not casual but concerned, to understand this behaviour and how human thought has brought us all to this point. We must be able to penetrate very carefully, hesitantly, with deep observation, to understand together what is happening both out there and inwardly. The inward psychological activity always overcomes the outer, however many regulations, sanctions, decisions you may have outwardly, all these are shattered by our psychological desires, fears and anxieties, by the longing for security. Unless we understand that, whatever outward semblance of order we may have, inward disorder always overcomes that which is outwardly conforming, disciplined, regularized. There may be carefully constructed institutions - political, religious, economic - but whatever the construction of these may be, unless our inward consciousness is in total order, inward disorder will always overcome the outer. We have seen this historically, it is happening now in front of our eyes. This is a fact.
The turning point is in our consciousness. Our consciousness is a very complicated affair. Volumes have been written about it, both in the East and in the West. We are not aware of our own consciousness; to examine that consciousness in all its complexity one has to be free to look to be choicelessly aware of its movement. it is not that the speaker is directing you to look or to listen to all the inward movement of consciousness in a particular way. Consciousness is common to all mankind. Throughout the world man suffers inwardly as well as outwardly there is anxiety, uncertainty, utter despair of loneliness; there is insecurity, jealousy, greed, envy and suffering. Human consciousness is one whole; it is not your consciousness or mine. This is logical, sane, rational: wherever you go, in whatever climate you live, whether you are affluent or degradingly poor, whether you believe in god, or in some other entity, belief and faith are common to all mankind - the images and symbols may be totally different in various localities but they stem from something common to all mankind. This is not a mere verbal statement. If you take it as a verbal statement, as an idea, as a concept, then you will not see the deep significance involved in it. The significance is that your consciousness is the consciousness of alI humanity because you suffer, you are anxious, you are lonely, insecure, confused, exactly like others, though they live ten thousand miles away. The realization of it, the feeling of it - the feeling in your guts - is totally different from the mere verbal acceptance. When you realize that you are the rest of mankind, it brings a tremendous energy, you have broken through the narrow groove of individuality the narrow circle of me and you, we and they. We are examining together this very complex consciousness of man, not the European man, not the Asiatic man or the Middle East man, but this extraordinary movement in time that has been going on in consciousness for millions of years.
Please do not accept what the speaker is saying; if you do it will have no meaning. If you do not begin to doubt, begin to question, be sceptical to enquire, if you hold on to your own particular belief, faith, experience or the accumulated knowledge, then you will reduce it all to some kind of pettiness with very little meaning. If you do that you will not be facing the tremendous issue that is facing man.
We have to see what our actual consciousness is. Thought and all the things that thought has put together, is part of our consciousness - the culture in which we live, the aesthetic values, the economic pressures, the national inheritance. If you are a surgeon or a carpenter, if you specialize in a particular profession, that group consciousness is part of your consciousness. If you live in a particular country with its particular tradition and religious culture, that particular group-consciousness has become part of your consciousness. These are facts. If you are a carpenter you have to have certain skills, understand the nature of wood and the tools of the trade, so you gradually belong to a group that has cultivated these special skills and that has its own consciousness - similarly the scientist, the archeologist, just as the animals have their own particular consciousness as a group. If you are a housewife you have your own particular group consciousness, like all the other housewives. Permissiveness has spread throughout the world; it began in the far West and has spread right through the world. That is a group-conscious movement. See the significance of it; go into it for yourself, see what is involved in it.
Our consciousness includes, in the much deeper consciousness, our fears. Man has lived with fear for generation after generation. He has lived with pleasure, with envy, with all the travail of loneliness, depression and confusion; and with great sorrow, with what he calls love and the everlasting fear of death. All this is his consciousness which is common to all mankind. Realize what it means: it means that you are no longer an individual. This is very hard to accept because we have been programmed, as is the computer, to think we are individuals. We have been programmed religiously to think that we have souls separate from all the others. Being programmed our brain works in the same pattern century after century.
If one understands the nature of our consciousness, then the particular endeavour of the `me' that suffers has become something global, then a totally different activity will take place. That is the crisis we are in. We have been programmed; being programmed we can learn - occasionally have an insight - and our brain repeats itself over and over again. Just see the actual fact of that: one is a Christian, or a Buddhist or a Hindu; one is against Communism, one is a Communist or a Democrat, repeat, repeat, repeat. And in this state of repetition there is an occasional breakthrough.
So, how shall a human being - who is actually the rest of mankind - how shall he face this crisis, this turning point? How will you as a human being, who has evolved through millennia upon millennia, thinking as an individual - which is actually an illusion - face a turning point, see what actually is and in that very perception move totally in another direction?
Let us understand together what it means to look - to look at the actuality of thought. You all think, that is why you are here. You all think and thought expresses itself in words, or through a gesture, through a look, through some bodily movement. Words being common to each one of us, we understand through those words the significance of what is being said. Yet thought is common to all mankind - it is a most extraordinary thing if you have discovered that, for then you see that thought is not your thought, it is thought. We have to learn how to see things as they actually are - not as you are programmed to look. See the difference. Can we be free of being programmed and look? If you look as a Christian, a Democrat, a Communist, a Socialist or a Catholic or a protestant - which are all so many prejudices - then you will not be able to understand the enormity of the danger, the crisis, that we are facing. If you belong to a certain group, or follow a certain guru, or are committed to a certain form of action, then, because you have been programmed, you will be incapable of looking at things as they actually are. It is only if you do not belong to any organization, to any group, to any particular religion or nationality, that you can really observe. If you have accumulated a great deal of knowledge from books and from experience, your mind has already been filled, your brain is crowded with experience, with your particular tendencies and so on - all that is going to prevent you from looking. Can we be free of all that to look at what is actually happening in the world? - at the terror and the terrible religious sectarian divisions, one guru opposed to another idiotic guru, the vanity behind all that, the power, the position, the wealth of these gurus, it is appalling. Can you look at yourself - not as a separate human being but as a human being who is actually the rest of mankind? To have such a feeling means that you have tremendous love for human beings.
When you are able to see clearly, without any distortion, then you begin to enquire into the nature of consciousness, including the much deeper layers of consciousness. You have to enquire into the whole movement of thought, because it is thought that is responsible for all the content of consciousness, whether it is the deep or the superficial layers. If you had no thought there would be no fear, no sense of pleasure, no time; thought is responsible. Thought is responsible for the beauty of a great cathedral, but thought is also responsible for all the nonsense that takes place inside the cathedral. All the achievements of the great painters, poets, composers, are the activity of thought: the composer; inwardly hearing the marvellous sound, commits it onto paper. That is the movement of thought. Thought is responsible for all the gods in the world, all the saviours, all the gurus; for all the obedience and devotion; the whole is the result of thought which seeks gratification and escape from loneliness. Thought is the common factor of all mankind. The poorest villager in India thinks as the chief executive thinks, as the religious leader thinks. That is a common everyday fact. That is the ground on which all human beings stand. You cannot escape from that.
Thought has done marvellous things to help man but it has also brought about great destruction and terror in the world. We have to understand the nature and the movement of thought; why you think in a certain way; why you cling to certain forms of thought; why you hold on to certain experiences; why thought has never understood the nature of death. We have to examine the very structure of thought - not your thought because it is fairly obvious what your thought is, for you have been programmed. But if you enquire seriously into what thinking is, then you enter into quite a different dimension - not the dimension of your own particular little problem. You must understand the tremendous movement of thought, the nature of thinking - not as a philosopher, not as a religious man, not as a member of a particular profession, or a housewife - the enormous vitality of thinking.
Thought is responsible for all the cruelty, the wars, the war machines and the brutality of war, the killing, the terror, the throwing of bombs, the taking of hostages in the name of a cause, or without a cause. Thought is also responsible for the cathedrals, the beauty of their structure, the lovely poems; it is also responsible for all the technological development, the computer with its extraordinary capacity to learn and go beyond man-s thought. What is thinking? It is a response, a reaction, of memory. If you had no memory you would not be able to think. Memory is stored in the brain as knowledge, the result of experience. This is how our brain operates. First, experience; that experience may have been from the beginning of man, which we have inherited, that experience gives knowledge which is stored up in the brain; from knowledge there is memory and from that memory thought. Prom thought you act. Prom that action you learn more. So you repeat the cycle. Experience, knowledge, memory, thought, action; from that action learn more and repeat. This is how we are programmed. We are always doing this: having remembered pain, in the future avoid pain by not doing the thing that will cause pain, which becomes knowledge, and repeat that. Sexual pleasure, repeat that. This is the movement of thought. See the beauty of it, how mechanically thought operates. Thought says to itself: `I am free to operate.' Yet thought is never free because it is based on knowledge and knowledge is obviously always limited. Knowledge must also be always limited because it is part of time. I will learn more and to learn more I must have time. I do not know Russian but I will learn it. It may take me six months or a year or a lifetime. Knowledge is the movement of time. Time, knowledge, thought and action; in this cycle we live. Thought is limited, so whatever action thought generates must be limited and such limitation must create conflict, must be divisive.
If I say that I am a Hindu, that I am Indian, I am limited and that limitation brings about not only corruption but conflict because another says, `I am a Christian' or `I am a Buddhist', so there is conflict between us. Our life from birth to death is a series of struggles and conflicts from which we are always trying to escape, which again causes more conflict. We live and die in this perpetual and endless conflict. We never seek out the root of that conflict, which is thought, because thought is limited. Please do not ask, `How am I to stop thought?' - that is not the point. The point is to understand the nature of thought, to look at it.
Chapter - 2
2nd Public Talk - Saanen - 14th July 1981
We were saying that human consciousness is similar in all human beings. Our consciousness, whether we live in the East or West, is made up of many layers of fears, anxieties, pleasures, sorrows and every form of faith. Occasionally, perhaps, in that consciousness there is also love, compassion, and from that compassion a totally different kind of intelligence. And always there is the fear of ending, death. Human beings throughout the world from time immemorial have tried to find out if there is something sacred, beyond all thought, something incorruptible and timeless.
There are the various group consciousnesses; the businessmen with their consciousness, the scientists with theirs and the carpenter with his, these are of the content of consciousness and are the product of thought. Thought has created wonderful things; from the extraordinary technology of computers, to telecommunication, to robots, surgery and medicine. Thought has invented religions; all the religious organizations throughout the world are put together by thought.
Thought has invented the computer. You must understand the complexity and the future of the computer; it is going to outstrip man in his thought; it is going to change the structure of society and the structure of government. This is not some fantastic conclusion of the speaker, or some fantasy, it is something that is actually going on now, of which you may not be aware. The computer has a mechanical intelligence; it can learn and invent. The computer is going to make human labour practically unnecessary - perhaps two hours work a day. These are all changes that are coming. You may not like it, you may revolt against it, but it is coming.
Thought has invented the computer, but human thought is limited and the mechanical intelligence of the computer is going beyond that of man. It is going to totally revolutionize our lives. So what will a human being be then? These are facts, not some specialized conclusions of the speaker.
When we consider what the capacity of the computer is, then we have to ask ourselves: what is a human being to do? The computer is going to take over most of the activities of the brain. And what happens to the brain then? When a human being's occupation is taken over by the computer, by the robot, what becomes of the human? We human beings have been `programmed' biologically, intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, through millions of years, and we repeat the pattern of the programme over and over again. We have stopped learning: and we must enquire if the human brain, which has been programmed for so many centuries, is capable of learning and immediately transforming itself into a totally different dimension. If we are not capable of that, the computer, which is much more capable, rapid and accurate, is going to take over the activities of the brain. This is not something casual, this is a very very serious, desperately serious matter. The computer can invent a new religion. It could be programmed by an expert Hindu scholar, by a Catholic, by a protestant or a Muslim, and it would turn out a marvellous structure for a new religion! And we, if we are not aware of what is happening, we will follow that new structure which has been turned out by the computer. See the seriousness of all this, please.
Our consciousness has been programmed for thousands and thousands of years to think of ourselves as individuals, as separate entities struggling, in conflict from the moment we are born until we die. We are programmed to that. We have accepted that. We have never challenged it; we have never asked if it is possible to live a life absolutely without conflict. Never having asked it we will never learn about it. We repeat. It is an innate part of our existence to be in conflict - nature is in conflict: that is our argument - and we consider that progress is only through conflict. Religious organizations throughout history have maintained the idea of individual salvation. We are questioning very seriously whether there is an individual consciousness; whether you, as a human being, have a separate consciousness from the rest of mankind. You have to answer this, not just play with it.
Having been brought up, programmed, conditioned, to be individuals, then our consciousness is all this activity of thought. Fear and the pursuit of pleasure are the movement of thought. The suffering, anxiety, uncertainty and the deep regrets, wounds, the burden of centuries of sorrow, are all part of thought. Thought is responsible for what we call love, which has become sensual pleasure, something to be desired.
As we said, and we will repeat it over and over again until we are quite sure of it, we are thinking together, the speaker is not telling you what to think. He is not making propaganda - it is a horrible thing, propaganda. He is not telling you how to act, what to believe, but together, we are investigating the catastrophe that is taking place in the world outside of us, the utter ruthlessness and violence, and also inwardly in each human being the extraordinary conflict that is going on. Together we are examining. It is not - if one may point out - that you are merely listening to some ideas or conclusions; we are not talking about ideas, conclusions or beliefs. We are looking at this world that human beings have produced, for which all of us are responsible. We must be clear in our understanding - at whatever level that understanding be, whether it is intellectual understanding, which is merely verbal, or the understanding of deep significance so that that understanding acts - that we have come to a point where we have to make a decision, not by the exercise of will, but the decision that will naturally come when we begin to understand the whole nature and structure of the world, both externally and internally. That perception will bring about a decision, an action.
Thought has created the problems which surround us and our brains are trained, educated, conditioned, to the solving of problems. Thought has created the problems, like the division between nationalities. Thought has created the division and the conflict between various economic structures; thought has created the various religions and the divisions between them and therefore there is conflict. The brain is trained to attempt to solve these conflicts which thought has created. It is essential that we understand deeply the nature of our thinking and the nature of our reactions which arise from our thinking. Thought dominates our lives, whatever we do; whatever action takes place, thought is behind that action. In every activity, whether it is sensual or intellectual, or biological, thought is operating all the time. Biologically, through centuries, the brain has been programmed, conditioned - the body acts in its own way, the action of breathing, the beat of the heart and so on - so, if you are a Catholic, a Hindu, or a Buddhist, you repeat that conditioning over and over again. Thought is a movement in time and space. Thought is memory, the remembrance of past things. Thought is the activity of knowledge, knowledge which has been gathered together through millions of years and stored as memory in the brain. If you observe the activity of your thinking you will see that experience and knowledge are the basis of your life. Knowledge is never complete; it must always go together with ignorance. We think knowledge is going 10 solve all our problems, whether the knowledge of the priest, the guru, the scientist, the philosopher, or the latest psychiatrist. But we have never questioned whether knowledge in itself can solve any of our problems - except perhaps technological problems.
Knowledge comes through time. To learn a language you need time. To learn a skill or to drive a car efficiently takes time. The same movement of time is brought over to the psychological field; there too we say, `I must have time to learn about myself.' `I must have time in order to change myself from `what I am' to `what I should be.' Bringing over the activity of the external world into the psychological world means that time is a great factor in our life - tomorrow, the past and the present. Time is thought. Time is required in the acquisition of knowledge through experience, both externally in the world and inwardly. That is the way we have been programmed.
Being so programmed we consider time is necessary to bring about a deep, fundamental change in the human structure. We employ time as thought - `I am this, I shall be that.' You would also say in the technical world: `I do not know how to construct a computer but I will learn, Time, knowledge, memory, thought, they are a single unit; they are not separate activities but a single movement. Thought, the outcome of knowledge, must everlastingly be incomplete and therefore limited, because knowledge is incomplete. Whatever is limited must bring about conflict. Nationality is limited. Religious belief is limited. An experience which you have had, or which you are longing for, is limited. Every experience must be limited.
Krishnamurti: Because there are more experiences. I may have an experience sexually, or the experience of the possession of wealth, the experience of giving everything up and going into a monastery - those experiences are all limited.
Thought, being limited, creates problems - national, economic and religious divisions; then thought says, `I must solve them.' So thought is always functioning in the resolution of problems. And the computer, a mechanism which has been programmed, can outstrip all of us because it has no problems; it evolves, learns, moves.
Our consciousness has been programmed as an individual consciousness. We are questioning whether that consciousness, which we have accepted as individual, is actually individual at all. Do not say: `What will happen if I am not an individual?' Something totally different may happen. You may have an individual training in a particular trade, in a particular profession, you may be a surgeon, a doctor, an engineer, but that does not make you an individual. You may have a different name, a different form - that does not make individuality; nor the acceptance that the brain through time has affirmed: `I am an individual, it is my desire to fulfil, to become through struggle.' That so-called individual consciousness, which is yours, is the consciousness of all humanity.
If your consciousness, which you have accepted as separate, is not separate, then what is the nature of your consciousness? part of it is the sensory responses. Those sensory responses are naturally, necessarily, programmed to defend yourself, through hunger to seek food, to breathe, unconsciously. Biologically you are programmed. Then the content of your consciousness includes the many hurts and wounds that you have received from childhood, the many forms of guilt; it includes the various ideas, imaginary certainties; the many experiences, both sensory and psychological; there is always the basis, the root, of fear in its many forms. With fear naturally goes hatred. Where there is fear there must be violence, aggression, the tremendous urge to succeed, both in the physical and the psychological world. In the content of consciousness there is the constant pursuit of pleasure; the pleasure of possession, of domination, the pleasure of money which gives power, the pleasure of a philosopher with his immense knowledge, the guru with his circus. Pleasure again has innumerable forms. There is also pain, anxiety, the deep sense of abiding loneliness and sorrow, not only the so-called personal sorrow but also the enormous sorrow brought about through wars, through neglect, through this endless conquering of one group of people by another. In that consciousness there is the racial and group content; ultimately there is death.
This is our consciousness - beliefs, certainties and uncertainties, anxiety, loneliness and endless misery. These are the facts. And we say this consciousness is mine! Is that so? Go to the Far East, or the Near East, America, Europe, anywhere where human beings are; they suffer, they are anxious, lonely, depressed, melancholic, struggling and in conflict - they are just the same as you. So, is your consciousness different from that of another? I know it is very difficult for people to accept - you may logically accept it, intellectually you may say, `Yes, that is so, maybe.' But to feel this total human sense that you are the rest of mankind requires a great deal of sensitivity. It is not a problem to be solved. It is not that you must accept that you are not an individual, that you must endeavour to feel this global human entity. If you do, you have made it into a problem which the brain is only too ready to try to solve! But if you really look at it with your mind, your heart, your whole being totally aware of this fact, then you have broken the programme. It is naturally broken. But if you say, `I will break it,` then you are again back into the same pattern. To the speaker this is utter reality, not something verbally accepted because it is pleasant; it is something that is actual. You may have logically, reasonably and sanely examined and found that it is so; but the brain which has been programmed to the sense of individuality is going to revolt against it (which you are doing now). The brain is unwilling to learn. Whereas the computer will learn because it has nothing to lose. But here you are frightened of losing something.
Can the brain learn? That is the whole point; so now we have to go into this question of what learning is. Learning for most of us is a process of acquiring knowledge. I do not know the Russian language but I will learn it. I will learn day after day, memorizing, holding on to certain words, phrases and the meanings, syntax and grammar. If I apply myself I can learn almost any language within a certain time. To us, learning is essentially the accumulation of knowledge or skill. Our brains are conditioned to this pattern. Accumulate knowledge and from that act. When I learn a language, there knowledge is necessary. But if I am learning psychologically about the content of my mind, of my consciousness, does learning there imply examining each layer of it and accumulating knowledge about it and from that knowledge acting - following the same pattern as learning a language? If the brain repeats that pattern when I am learning about the content of my consciousness, it means that I need time to accumulate knowledge about myself, my consciousness. Then I determine what the problems are and the brain is ready to solve them - it has been trained to solve problems. It is repeating this endless pattern and that is what I call learning. Is there a learning which is not this? Is there a different action of learning, which is not the accumulation of knowledge? You understand the difference?
Let me put it differently: from experience we acquire knowledge, from knowledge memory; the response of memory is thought, then from thought action, from that action you learn more, so the cycle is repeated. That is the pattern of our life. That form of learning will never solve our problems because it is repetition. We acquire more knowledge which may lead to better action; but that action is limited and this we keep repeating. The activity from that knowledge will not solve our human problems at all. We have not solved them, it is so obvious. After millions of years we have not solved our problems: we are cutting each other's throats, we are competing with each other, we hate each other, we want to be successful, the whole pattern is repeated from the time man began and we are still at it. Do what you will along this pattern and no human problem will be solved, whether it be political, religious or economic, because it is thought that is operating.
Now, is there another form of learning; learning, not in the context of knowledge, but a different form, a non-accumulative perception-action? To find out we have to enquire whether it is possible to observe the content of our consciousness and to observe the world without a single prejudice. Is that possible? Do not say it is not possible, just ask the question. See whether, when you have a prejudice, you can observe clearly. You cannot, obviously. If you have a certain conclusion, a certain set of beliefs, concepts, ideals, and you want to see clearly what the world is, all those conclusions, ideals, prejudices and so on will actually prevent it. It is not a question of how to get rid of your prejudices but of seeing clearly, intelligently, that any form of prejudice, however noble or ignoble will actually prevent perception. When you see that, prejudices go. What is important is not the prejudice but the demand to see clearly.
If I want to be a good surgeon I cannot do so with ideals or prejudices about surgeons; I must actually perform surgery. Can you see that a new form of action, a new form of non-accumulative knowledge, is possible which will break the pattern, break the programme, so that you are acting totally differently?
The way we have lived, over millions of years, has been the repetition of the same process of acquiring knowledge and acting from that knowledge. That knowledge and action is limited. That limitation creates problems and the brain has become accustomed to solving the problems which knowledge has repeatedly created. The brain is caught in that pattern and we are saying that that pattern will never, in any circumstance, solve our human problems. Obviously we have not solved them up till now. There must be a different, a totally different, movement, which is a non-accumulative perception-action. To have non-accumulative perception is to have no prejudice. It is to have absolutely no ideals, no concepts, no faith - because all those have destroyed man, they have not solved his problems. So: have you a prejudice? Have you a prejudice which has something in common with an ideal? Of course. Ideals are to be accomplished in the future, and knowledge becomes tremendously important in the realizing of ideals. So, can you observe without accumulation, without the destructive nature of prejudice, ideals, faith, belief and your own conclusions and experiences? There is group consciousness, national consciousness, linguistic consciousness, professional consciousness, racial consciousness, and there is fear, anxiety, sorrow, loneliness, the pursuit of pleasure, love and finally death. If you keep acting in that circle, you maintain the human consciousness of the world. Just see the truth of this. You are part of that consciousness and you sustain it by saying, `I am an individual. My prejudices are important. My ideals are essential' - repeating the same thing over and over again. Now the maintenance, the sustenance and the nourishment, of that consciousness takes place when you are repeating that pattern. But when you break away from that consciousness, you are introducing a totally new factor in the whole of that consciousness.
Now, if we understand the nature of our own consciousness, if we see how it is operating in this endless cycle of knowledge, action and division - a consciousness which has been sustained for millennia - if we see the truth that all this is a form of prejudice and break away from it, we introduce a new factor into the old. It means that you, as a human being who is of the consciousness of the rest of mankind, can move away from the old pattern of obedience and acceptance. That is the real turning point in your life. Man cannot go on repeating the old pattern, it has lost its meaning, - in the psychological world it has totally lost its meaning. If you fulfil yourself, who cares? If you become a saint, what does it matter? Whereas, if you totally move away from that you affect the whole consciousness of mankind.
Chapter - 3
3rd Public Talk - Saanen - 16th July 1981
I would like to repeat that we are not trying to convince you of anything - that must be clearly understood. We are not trying to persuade you to accept a particular point of view. We are not trying to impress you about anything; nor are we doing any propaganda. We are not talking about personalities, or who is right and who is wrong, but rather trying to think out, to observe, together, what the world is and what we are, what we have made of the world and what we have made of ourselves. We are trying together to examine both the inward and the outward man.
To observe clearly one must be free to look - obviously. If one clings to one's particular experiences, judgements and prejudices, then it is not possible to think clearly. The world crisis which is right in front of us demands, urges, that we think together so that we can solve the human problem together, not according to any particular person, philosopher, or particular guru. We are trying to observe together. It is important to bear in mind all the time that the speaker is merely pointing out something which we are examining together. It is not something one-sided but rather that we are co-operating in examining, in taking a journey together and so acting together.
It is very important to understand that our consciousness is not our individual consciousness. Our consciousness is not only that of the specialized group, nationality and so on, but it is also all the human travail, conflict, misery, confusion and sorrow. We are examining together that human consciousness, which is our consciousness, not yours or mine, but ours.
One of the factors that is demanded in this examination is the capacity of intelligence. Intelligence is the capacity to discern, to understand, to distinguish; it is also the capacity to observe, to put together all that we have gathered and to act from that. That gathering, that discernment, that observation, can be prejudiced; and intelligence is denied when there is prejudice. If you follow another, intelligence is denied; the following of another, however noble, denies your own perception, denies your own observation - you are merely following somebody who will tell you what to do, what to think. If you do that, then intelligence does not exist; because in that there is no observation and therefore no intelligence. Intelligence demands doubting, questioning, not being impressed by others, by their enthusiasm, by their energy. Intelligence demands that there be impersonal observation. Intelligence is not only the capacity to understand that which is rationally, verbally explained but also implies that we gather as much information as possible, yet knowing that that information can never be complete, about anybody or anything. Where there is intelligence there is hesitation, observation and the clarity of rational impersonal thinking. The comprehension of the whole of man, of all his complexities, all his physical responses, his emotional reactions, his intellectual capacities, his affection and his travail, the perceiving of all that at one glance, in one act, is supreme intelligence. Intelligence has not, so far, been able to transcend conflict. We are going together to see if it is possible for the brain to be free from conflict. We live with conflict from the time we are born and will continue co do so until we die. There is the constant struggle to be, to become something spiritually, so-called, or psychologically; co become successful in the world; to fulfil - all that is the movement of becoming: I am this now but I will reach the ultimate destination, the highest principle, whether that principle be called god, Brahman, or any other name. The constant struggle whether co become, or to be, is the same. But when one is trying to become, in various directions, then you are denying being. When you try to be you are becoming also. See this movement of the mind, of thought: I think; am, and being dissatisfied, discontented, with what I am, I try to fulfil myself in something; I drive towards a particular goal; it may be painful, but the end is thought to be pleasurable. There is this constant struggle to be and to become.
We are all trying to become; physically, we want a better house, a better position with more power, higher status. Biologically, if we are not well we seek co become well. psychologically, the whole inward process of thought, of consciousness, the whole drive, inwardly, is from the recognition that one is actually nothing, and by becoming, to move away from that. psychologically, inwardly, there is always the escape from `what is`, always the running away from that which I am, from that with which I am dissatisfied to something which will satisfy me. Whether that satisfaction is conceived as deep contentment, happiness, or enlightenment, which is a projection of thought, or as acquiring greater knowledge, it is still the process of becoming - I am, I shall be. That process involves time. The brain is `programmed' to this. All our culture, all our religious sanctions, everything says: `become'. It is a phenomenon to be seen all over the world. Not only in this Western world but in the East, everyone is trying to become, or to be, or to avoid. Now: is this the cause of conflict, inwardly and outwardly? Inwardly there is this imitation, competition, conformity with the ideal; outwardly there is this competition between so-called individuals of one group against another group, nation against nation. Inwardly and outwardly there is always this drive to become and to be something.
We are asking: is this the basic cause of our conflict? Is man doomed - as long as he lives on this marvellous earth - to perpetual conflict? One can rationalize this conflict, say nature is in conflict, the tree struggling to reach the sun is in conflict, and that that is part of our nature, because, through conflict, through competition, we have evolved, we have grown into this marvellous human being that we are - this is not being said sarcastically. Our brain is programmed to conflict. We have a problem which we have never been able to resolve. You may neurotically escape into some phantasy and in that phantasy be totally content, or you may imagine that you have inwardly achieved something and be totally content with that: an intelligent mind must question all this, it must exercise doubt, scepticism. Why have human beings, for millions of years, from the beginning of man up to the present time, lived in conflict? We have accepted it, we have tolerated it, we have said it is part of our nature to compete, to be aggressive, to imitate, to conform; we have said that it is part of the everlasting pattern of life.
Why is man, who is so highly sophisticated in one direction, so utterly unintelligent in other directions? Does conflict end through knowledge - knowledge about oneself, or about the world, knowledge about matter, learning more about society so as to have better organizations and better institutions, acquiring more and more knowledge? Will that solve our human conflict? Or is it that freedom from conflict has nothing whatsoever to do with knowledge?
We have a great deal of knowledge about the world, about matter and the universe; we have also a great deal of historical knowledge about ourselves: will that knowledge free the human being from conflict? Or has freedom from conflict nothing to do with analysis, with discovering the various causes and factors of conflict? Will analytical discovery of the cause, or many causes, free the brain from conflict - the conflict which we have while we are awake during the daytime and the conflict carried on while we are asleep? We can examine and interpret dreams, we can go into the whole question of why human beings dream at all; will that solve conflict? Will the analytical mind analysing very clearly, rationally, sanely into the cause of conflict, end conflict? In analysis the analyser tries to analyse conflict, and in doing so separates himself from conflict - will that solve it? Or is it that freedom has nothing whatsoever to do with any of these processes? If you follow somebody who says: `I will show you the way; I am free from conflict and I will show you the way' - will that help you? This has been the part of the priest, the part of the guru, the part of the so-called enlightened man - `Follow me, I will show you; or, `I will point out the goal to you.' History shows this through millennia upon millennia, and yet man has not been able to solve his deep-rooted conflict.
Let us find out together - not agree, not as an intellectual verbal concept - if there is a perception, an action, that will end conflict, not gradually, but immediately. What are the implications of that? The brain being programmed to conflict is caught in that pattern. We are asking if that pattern can be broken immediately, not gradually. You may think you can break it through drugs, through alcohol, through sex, through different forms of discipline, through handing oneself over to something - man has tried a thousand different ways to escape from this terror of conflict. Now, we are asking: is it possible for a conditioned brain to break that conditioning immediately? This may be a theoretical, non-actual, question. You may say it is impossible, it is just a theory, it is just a wish, a desire, to be free of this conflict. But if you examine the matter rationally, logically, with intelligence, you see that time will not solve this conditioning. The first thing to realize is that there is no psychological tomorrow. If you see actually, not verbally, but deeply in your heart, in your mind, in the very very depths of your being, you will realize that time will not solve this problem. And that means that you have already broken the pattern, you have begun to see cracks in the pattern we have accepted of time as a means of unravelling, breaking up, this programmed brain. Once you see for yourself, clearly, absolutely, irrevocably, that time is not a freeing factor then already you begin to see cracks in the enclosure of the brain. Philosophers and scientists have said: time is a factor of growth, biologically, linguistically, technologically, but they have never enquired into the nature of psychological time. Any enquiry into psychological time implies the whole complex of psychological becoming - I am this, but I will be that; I am unhappy, unfulfilled, desperately lonely but tomorrow will be different. To perceive that time is the factor of conflict then that very perception is action; decision has taken place - YOU do not have to decide - the very perception is the action and decision.
There are multiple forms of conflict; there are thousands of opinions so there are thousands of forms of conflict. But we are not talking about the many forms of conflict but about conflict itself. We are not talking about your particular conflict - I don’t get on with my wife, or in my business, or this or that - but the conflict of the human brain in its existence. Is there a perception - not born of memory, not born of knowledge - that sees the whole nature and structure of conflict; a perception of that whole? Is there such perception at all - not analytical perception, not intellectual observation of the various types of conflict, not an emotional response to conflict? Is there a perception not of remembrance, which is time, which is thought? Is there a perception which is not of time or thought, which can see the whole nature of conflict, and with that very perception bring about the ending of conflict? Thought is time. Thought is experience, knowledge, put together in the brain as memory. It is the result of time - `I didn't know a week ago but I know now.' The multiplication of knowledge, the expansion of knowledge, the depth of knowledge, is of time. So thought is time - any psychological movement is time. If I want to go from here to Montreux, if I want to learn a language, if I want to meet somebody at a distant place, time is required. And that same outer process is carried on inwardly - `I am not, I will be'. So thought is time. Thought and time are indivisible.
And we are asking the question: is there a perception which is not of time and thought - a perception that is entirely out of the pattern to which the brain has been accustomed? Is there such a thing that perhaps alone is going to solve the problem? We have not solved the problem in a million years of conflict; we are continuing the same pattern. We must find, intelligently, hesitantly, with care, if there is a way, if there is a perception which covers the whole of conflict, a perception which breaks the pattern. The speaker has put this question forward. Now how shall we meet this together? He may be wrong, irrational, but after you have listened to him very carefully, it is your responsibility as well as the speaker`s, to see if it is so, if it is possible. Do not say: `Well it is not possible because I have not done it; it is not within my sphere; I have not though t enough about it; or, I do not want to think about it at all because I am satisfied with my conflict and because I am quite certain one day humanity will be free of conflict.' That is all just an escape from the problem. So are we together being aware of all the complexities of conflict, not denying it. It is there, it is there as actually as pain in the body. Are we aware without any choice that it is so and at the same time ask the question as to whether there is a different approach altogether?
Now, can we observe - it does not matter what it is - without the naming, without the remembrance? Look at your friend, or your wife, or whomever it is, observe that person without the words `my wife' or `my friend' or `we belong to the same group' - without any of that - observe so that you are not observing through remembrance. Have you ever directly tried it? Look at the person without naming, without time and remembrance and also look at yourself - at the image that you have built about yourself, the image that you have built about the other; look as though you were looking for the first time - as you might at a rose for the first time. Learn to look; learn to observe this quality which comes without all the operation of thought. Do not say it is not possible. If you go to a professor, not knowing his subject but wanting to learn from him (I am not your professor), you go to listen. You do not say: `I know something about it,' or `You are wrong,' or `You are right,' or `I don't like your attitude.' You listen, you find out. As you begin to listen sensitively, with awareness, you begin to discover whether it is a phoney professor using a lot of words, or a professor who has really gone into the depths of his subject. Now, can we together so listen and observe, without the word, without remembrance, without all the movement of thought? Which means, complete attention; attention, not from a centre but attention which has no centre. If you have a centre from which you are attending, that is merely a form of concentration. But if you are attending and there is no centre, it means that you are giving complete attention; in that attention there is no time.
Many of you, fortunately or unfortunately, have heard the speaker for many years and one sees that this breaking of the `programme' of the brain has not come about. You repeatedly listen to that statement year after year and it has not come about. Is it because you want to attain, to become, to have that state in which the pattern of the brain has been broken? You have listened, and it has not come about, and you are hoping that it will come about - which is another form of striving to become. So you are still in conflict. So you brush it all aside and say you will not come here any more because you have not got what you want - `I want that but have not got it.' That wanting is the desire to be something and is a cause of conflict. That desire comes from the `programmed' brain. We are saying: to break that programme, that pattern, observe without the movement of thought. It sounds very simple, but see the logic of it, the reason, the sanity, of it, not because the speaker says so, but because it is sane. Obviously one must exercise the capacity to be logical, rational and yet know its limitation; because rational, logical thinking is still part of thought. Knowing that thought is limited, be aware of that limitation and do not push it further because it will still be limited however far you go, whereas if you observe a rose, a flower, without the word, without naming the colour, but just look at it, then that look brings about great sensitivity, breaks down this sense of heaviness of the brain, and gives extraordinary vitality. There is a totally different kind of energy when there is pure perception, which is not related to thought and time.
Chapter - 4
4th Public Talk - Saanen - 19th July 1981
Order is necessary in our everyday activity; order in our action and order in our relationship with each other. One has to understand that the very quality of order is totally different from that of discipline. Order comes through directly learning about ourselves - not according to some philosopher or some psychologist. We discover order for ourselves when we are free from all sense of compulsion, from all sense of determined effort to obtain order along a particular path. That order comes very naturally. In that order there is righteousness. It is order, not according to some pattern, and not only in the outward world, which has become so utterly chaotic, but inwardly within ourselves where we are not clear, where we are confused and uncertain. Learning about ourselves is part of order. If you follow another, however erudite, you will not be able to understand yourself.
To find out what order is we must begin to understand the nature of our relationships. Our life is a movement in relationship; however much one may think one lives alone, one is always related to something or other, either to the past or to some projected image in the future. So, life is a movement in relationship and in that relationship there is disorder. We must examine closely why we live in such disorder in our relationships with each other - however intimate or superficial.
The speaker is not trying to persuade you to think in a particular direction, or put any kind of persuasive, subtle pressure on you. On the contrary, we are together thinking over our human problems and discovering what our relationship with each other is and whether in that relationship we can bring about order. To understand the full meaning of relationship with each other, however close, however distant, we must begin to understand why the brain creates images. We have images about ourselves and images about others. Why is it that each one has a peculiar image and identifies himself with that image? Is the image necessary, does it give one a sense of security? Does not the image bring about the separation of human beings?
We have to look closely at our relationship with wife, husband or friend; look very closely, not trying to avoid it, not trying to brush it aside. We must together examine and find out why human beings throughout the world have this extraordinary machinery that creates images, symbols, patterns. Is it because in those patterns, symbols and images, great security is found?
If you observe you will see that you have an image about yourself, either an image of conceit which is arrogant, or the contrary to that. Or you have accumulated a great deal of experience, acquired a great deal of knowledge, which in itself creates the image, the image of the expert. Why do we have images about ourselves? Those images separate people. If you have an image of yourself as Swiss or British or French and so on, that image not only distorts your observation of humanity but it also separates you from others. And wherever there is separation, division, there must be conflict - as there is conflict going on all over the world, the Arab against the Israeli, the Muslim against the Hindu, one Christian church against another. National division and economic division, all result from images, concepts, ideas and the brain clings to these images - why? Is it because of our education, because of our culture in which the individual is most important and where the collective society is something totally different from the individual? That is part of our culture, part of our religious training and of our daily education. When one has an image about oneself as being British or American, chat image gives one a certain security. That is fairly obvious. Having created the image about oneself that image becomes semi-permanent; behind that image, or in that image, one tries to find security, safety, a form of resistance. When one is related to another, however delicately, however subtly, psychically or physically, there is a response based on an image. If one is married or related intimately with somebody, an image is formed in one's daily life; whether one is acquainted for a week or ten years, the image is slowly formed about the other person step by step; every reaction is remembered, adding to the image and stored up in the brain so that the relationship - it may be physical, sexual, or psychical - is actually between two images, one's own and the other's.
The speaker is not saying something extravagant, or exotic, or fantastic, he is merely pointing out that these images exist. These images exist and one can never know another completely. If one is married or one has a girl friend, one can never know her completely; one thinks one knows her because having lived with that person one has accumulated memories of various incidents various irritations and all the occurrences which happen in daily life; and she also has experienced her reactions and their images are established in her brain. Those images play an extraordinarily important part in one's life. Apparently very few of us are free from any form of image. The freedom from images is real freedom. In that freedom there is no division brought about by images. If one is a Hindu, born in India with all the conditioning to which one is subject, the conditioning of the race, or of a particular group with its superstitions, with its religious beliefs, dogmas, rituals - the whole structure of that society - one lives with that complex of images, which is one`s conditioning. And however much one may talk about brotherhood, unity, wholeness, it is merely empty words having no actual daily meaning. But if one frees oneself from all that imposition, all the conditioning of all that superstitious nonsense, then one is breaking down the image. And also in one's relationship, if one is married or lives with somebody, is it possible not to create an image at all - not to record an incident which may be pleasurable or painful, in that particular relationship, not to record either the insult or the flattery, the encouragement or discouragement?
Is it possible not to record at all? Because if the brain is constantly recording everything that is happening, psychologically, then it is never free to be quiet, it can never be tranquil, peaceful. If the machinery of the brain is operating all the time it wears itself out. This is obvious. It is what happens in our relationships with each other - whatever the relationship is - and if there is constant recording of everything then the brain slowly begins to wither away and that is essentially old age.
So in investigating we come upon this question: is it possible in our relationships with all their reactions and subtleties, with all their essential responses, is there a possibility of not remembering? This remembering and recording is going on all the time. We are asking whether it is possible not to record psychologically, but only to record chat which is absolutely necessary? In certain directions it is necessary to record. For example, one must record all chat which is necessary to learn mathematics. If I am to be an engineer I must record all the mathematics related to structures and so on. If I am to be a physicist I must record that which has already been established in that subject. To learn to drive a car I must record. But is it necessary in our relationships to record, psychologically, inwardly, at all? The remembrance of incidents past, is that love? When I say to my wife, `I love you,' is that from a remembrance of all the things we have been through together - the incidents, the travail, the struggles, which are recorded, stored in the brain - is that remembrance actual love?
So is it possible to be free and not to record psychologically at all? It is only possible when there is complete attention. When there is complete attention there is no recording.
I do not know why we want explanations, or why it is that our brains are not swift enough to capture, to have an insight into, the whole thing immediately. Why is it that we cannot see this thing, the truth of all this, and let that truth operate and therefore cleanse the slate and have a brain that is not recording at all psychologically? But most human beings are rather sluggish, they rather like to live in their old patterns, in their particular habits of thought; anything new they reject because they think it is much better to live with the known rather than with the unknown. In the known there is safety - at least they think there is safety, security - so they keep on repeating, working and struggling within that field of the known. Can we observe without the whole process and machinery of memory operating?
What is love? This is a very complex question; all of us feel we love something or other, abstract love, love of a nation, love of a person, love of god, love of gardening, love of overeating. We have abused the word love so greatly that we have to find out basically what love is. Love is not an idea. Love of god is an idea; love of a symbol is still an idea. When you go to the church and kneel down and pray, you are really worshipping, or praying to, something which thought has created. So, see what is happening, thought has created it - actually this is a fact - and you worship that which thought has created; which means you are worshipping, in a very subtle way, yourself. This may seem a sacrilegious statement, but it is a fact. That is what is happening throughout the world. Thought creates the symbol with all the attributes of that symbol, romantic or logical and sane; having created it you love it, you become totally intolerant of any other thing. All the gurus, all the priests, all the religious structures, are based on that. See the tragedy of it. Thought creates the flag, the symbol of a particular country, then you fight for it, you kill each other for it; your nation will destroy the earth in competition with another nation, and so the flag becomes a symbol of your love. We have lived for millions of years that way and we are still extraordinarily destructive, violent, brutal, cynical human beings.
When we say we love another, in that love there is desire, the pleasurable projections of the various activities of thought. One has to find out whether love is desire, whether love is pleasure, whether in love there is fear; for where there is fear there must be hatred, jealousy, anxiety, possessiveness, domination. There is beauty in relationship and the whole cosmos is a movement in relationship. Cosmos is order and when one has order in oneself one has order in one's relationships and therefore the possibility of order in our society. If one enquires into the nature of relationship one finds it is absolutely necessary to have order, and out of that order comes love. What is beauty? You see the fresh snow on the mountains this morning, clean, a lovely sight. You see those solitary trees standing black against that white. Looking at the world about us you see the marvellous machinery, the extraordinary computer with its special beauty; you see the beauty of a face, the beauty of a painting, beauty of a poem - you seem to recognize beauty out there. In the museums or when you go to a concert and listen to Beethoven, or Mozart, there is great beauty - but always out there. In the hills, in the valleys with their running waters, and the flight of birds and the singing of a blackbird in the early morning, there is beauty. But is beauty only out there? Or is beauty something that only exists when the `me' is not? When you look at those mountains on a sunny morning, sparkling clear against the blue sky, their very majesty drives away all the accumulated memories of yourself - for a moment. There the outward beauty, the outward magnificence, the majesty and the strength of the mountains, wipes away all your problems - if only for a second. You have forgotten yourself. When there is total absence of yourself beauty is. But we are not free of ourselves; we are selfish people, concerned with ourselves, with our importance or with our problems, with our agonies, sorrows and loneliness. Out of desperate loneliness we want identification with something or other and we cling to an idea, to a belief, to a person, especially to a person. In dependency all our problems arise. Where there is psychological dependency, fear begins. When you are tied to something corruption begins.
Desire is the most urgent and vital drive in our life. We are talking about desire itself, not desire for a particular thing. All religions have said that if you want to serve god you must subjugate desire, destroy desire, control desire. All the religions have said: substitute for desire an image that thought has created - the image that the Christians have, that the Hindus have and so on. Substitute an image for the actual. The actual is desire - the burning of it and they think that one can overcome that desire by substituting something else for it. Or, surrender yourself to that which you think is the master, the saviour, the guru - which again is the activity of thought. This has been the pattern of all religious thinking. One has to understand the whole movement of desire; for obviously it is not love, nor yet compassion. Without love and compassion, meditation is utterly meaningless. Love and compassion have their own intelligence which is not the intelligence of cunning thought.
So it is important to understand the nature of desire, why it has played such an extraordinarily important part in our life; how it distorts clarity, how it prevents the extraordinary quality of love. It is important that we understand and do not suppress, do not try to control it or direct it in a particular direction, which you think may give you peace.
Please bear in mind that the speaker is not trying to impress you or guide and help you. But together we are walking a very subtle, complex path. We have to listen to each other to find out the truth about desire. When one understands the significance, the meaning, the fullness, the truth of desire, then desire has quite a different value or drive in one's life.
When one observes desire, is one observing it as an outsider looking at desire? Or is one observing desire as it arises? Not desire as something separate from oneself, one is desire. You see the difference? Either one observes desire, which one has when one sees something in the shop window which pleases one, and one has the desire to buy it so that the object is different from `me', or else the desire is `me', so there is a perception of desire without the observer watching desire.
One can look at a tree. `Tree' is the word by which one recognizes that which is standing in the field. But one knows that the word `tree' is not the tree. Similarly one's wife is not the word. But one has made the word one's wife. I do not know if you see all the subtleties of this. One must very clearly understand, from the beginning, that the word is not the thing. The word `desire' is not the feeling of it - the extraordinary feeling there is behind chat reaction. So one must be very watchful that one is not caught in the word. Also the brain must be active enough to see that the object may create desire - desire which is separate from the object. Is one aware that the word is not the thing and that desire is not separate from the observer who is watching desire? Is one aware that the object may create desire but the desire is independent of the object?
How does desire flower? Why is there such extraordinary energy behind it? If we do not understand deeply the nature of desire we will always be in conflict with each other. One may desire one thing and one's wife may desire another and the children may desire something different. So we are always at loggerheads with each other. And this battle, this struggle, is called love, relationship.
We are asking: what is the source of desire? We must be very truthful in this, very honest, for desire is very very deceptive, very subtle, unless we understand the root of it. For all of us sensory responses are important - sight, touch, taste, smell, hearing. And a particular sensory response may for some of us be more important than the other responses. If we are artistic we see things in a special way. If we are trained as an engineer then the sensory responses are different. so we never observe totally, with all the sensory responses. We each respond somewhat specially, divided. Is it possible to respond totally with all one's senses? See the importance of that. If one responds totally with all one's senses there is the elimination of the centralized observer. But when one responds to a particular thing in a special way then the division begins. Find out when you leave this tent, when you look at the flowing waters of the river, the light sparkling on the swiftness of the waters, find out if you can look at it with all your senses. Do not ask me how, for that becomes mechanical. But educate yourself in the understanding of total sensory response.
When you see something, the seeing brings about a response. You see a green shirt, or a green dress, the seeing awakens the response. Then contact takes place. Then from contact thought creates the image of you in that shirt or dress, then the desire arises. Or you see a car in the road, it has nice lines, it is highly polished and there is plenty of power behind it. Then you go around it, examine the engine. Then thought creates the image of you getting into the car and starting the engine, putting your foot down and driving it. So does desire begin and the source of desire is thought creating the image, up to that point there is no desire. There are the sensory responses, which are normal, but then thought creates the image and from that moment desire begins. Now, is it possible for thought not to arise and create the image? This is learning about desire, which in itself is discipline. Learning about desire is discipline, not the controlling of it. If you really learn about something it is finished. But if you say you must control desire, then you are in a totally different field altogether. When you see the whole of this movement you will find that thought with its image will not interfere; you will only see, have the sensation and what is wrong with that? We are all so crazy about desire, we want to fulfil ourselves through desire. But we do not see what havoc it creates in the world - the desire for individual security, for individual attainment, success, power, prestige. We do not feel that we are totally responsible for everything we do. If one understands desire, the nature of it, then what place has it? Has it any place where there is love? Is love then something so extraordinarily outside of human existence that it has actually no value at all? Or, is it that we are not seeing the beauty and the depth, the greatness and sacredness of the actuality of it; is it that we have not the energy, the time to study, to educate ourselves, to understand what it is? Without love and compassion with its intelligence, meditation has very little meaning. Without that perfume that which is eternal can never be found. And that is why it is important to put the `house' of our life, of our being, of our struggles, into complete order.