Wholeness of Life
4th Conversation with Dr. David Shainberg and Prof. David Bohm
19th May, 1976
KRISHNAMURTI: I don't think that yesterday we answered the question: Why do human beings live the way they are living? I don't think we went into it sufficiently deeply. Did we answer it?
Dr Shainberg: We got the point - but we never answered that question.
K: I was thinking about it this morning and it struck me that we hadn't answered it fully. We went into the question: Can thought observe itself?
Dr Bohm: Right. Yes.
K: But I think we ought to answer that other question.
B: But I think that what we said was on the way to answering it. I mean it was relevant to the answer.
K: Yes, relevant. But it is not complete.
S: No, it's not complete, it doesn't really get hold of that issue: Why do people live the way they do, and why don't they change?
K: Yes. Could we go into that a little bit before we go on?
S: Well, you know my immediate answer to that question was that they like it. We came up against that and then pulled away.
K: I think it is much deeper than that, don`t you? Because if one actually transformed one's conditioning, the way one lives, one might find oneself economically in a very difficult position.
K: It would be going against the current, completely against the current.
B: Are you saying that it might lead to a certain objective insecurity?
K: Objective insecurity.
B: It is not merely a matter of the imagination.
K: No, no, actual insecurity.
B: Yes, because a lot of the things we are discussing are to do with some illusion of security or insecurity. In addition there is some genuine...
K: ...genuine insecurity. And also doesn't it imply that you have to stand alone?
S: Definitely you would be in a totally different position.
K: Because it is being completely out of the stream. And that means you have to be alone, psychologically alone. And we ask whether human beings can stand that.
S: Well, certainly this other is to be completely together.
K: It is the herd instinct. Be together, with people, don't be alone.
S: Be like them, be with them - it is all based on competition in some way. I am better than you...
K: Of course, of course. It is all that.
B: Well, it is unclear because in some sense we should be together, but society, it seems to me, is giving us some false sense of togetherness which is really fragmentation.
K: Quite right. So would you say that one of the main reasons why human beings don't want to transform themselves radically, is that they are frightened of not belonging to a group, to a herd, to something definite - of standing completely alone? I think you can only co-operate from that aloneness, not the other way round.
S: People don't like to be different, that we know.
K: I once talked to an FBI man - he came to see me and he said, "Why is it that you walk alone all the time? Why are you so much alone? I see you among the hills walking alone. Why?" He thought it was very disturbing.
B: Well, I think anthropologists find that in primitive peoples the sense of belonging to the tribe is even stronger; their entire psychological structure depends on being in a tribe.
K: You would rather cling to the misery you already know than come into another kind of misery you don't know.
S: That's right. Being with others...
K: ...you are safe.
B: You will be taken care of, as your mother may have taken care of you; you are gently supported. You feel that fundamentally everything will he all right because the group is large, it is wise, it knows what to do. I think there is a feeling like that, rather deep. The Church may give that feeling.
K: Yes. You have seen those animal pictures? They are always in herds.
B: Aren't people seeking from the group a sense that they have some support from the whole?
K: Of course.
B: Now isn't it possible that you are discussing an aloneness in which you have a certain security? People are seeking in the group a kind of security; well, it seems to me, that that can arise actually in aloneness.
K: Yes, that is right. In aloneness you can be completely secure.
B: I wonder if we could discuss that because it seems there is an illusion there: people feel they should have a sense of security.
K: Quite right.
B: And they are looking for it in a group, the group being representative of something universal.
K: The group is not the universal.
B: It isn't, but it is the way we think of it.
K: Of course.
B: The little child thinks the tribe is the whole world.
K: A human being, if he transforms himself, becomes alone, but that aloneness is not isolation - it is a form of supreme intelligence.
B: Yes, but could you go into that a little further about it not being isolation, because at first when you say alone - the feeling that I am entirely apart...
K: It is not apart.
S: All people seem to gravitate together; they have to be like other people. What would change that? Why should anybody change from that? What would such people experience when they are alone? They experience isolation.
K: I thought we had already dealt with that fairly thoroughly. When one realizes the appalling state of the world, and of oneself, the disorder, the confusion and the misery, and when one says there must be a total change, a total transformation, one has already begun to move away from all that.
S: Right. But here one is, being together...
K: Being together, what does it really mean?
S: I mean being in this group...
K: Yes, what does it really mean? Identifying oneself with the group, remaining with the group - what does it mean? What is involved in it? The group is me. I am the group.
K: Therefore it is like co-operating with myself.
B: Perhaps you could say as Descartes said, "I think, therefore I I am" - meaning that I think implies that I am there. One says, "I am in the group, therefore I am". You see, if I am not in a group where am I? In other words I have no being at all. That is really the condition of the primitive tribe, for most of the members anyway.
And there is something deep there because I feel that my very existence, my being, psychologically, is implied in being in the group. The group has made me, everything about me has come from the group. I am nothing without the group.
K: Yes, quite right. I am the group in fact.
B: And therefore if I am out of the group I feel everything is collapsing. I don't know where I am. I have no orientation, to life or to anything.
B: And therefore, you see, that might be the greatest punishment the group could inflict, to banish me.
K: Yes, look what is happening in Russia: when there is a dissenter he is banished.
B: Such banishment sort of robs him of his being. It is almost like killing him.
K: Quite. I think that is what it is, the fear of being alone. Alone is translated as being isolated from all this.
B: Could we say from the universal?
K: Yes, from the universal.
B: It seems to me you are implying that if you are really alone, genuinely alone, then you are not isolated from the universe.
K: Absolutely. On the contrary.
B: Therefore we first have to be free of this false universal.
S: This false identification with the group.
B: Identification with the group as the universal. Treating the group as if it were the universal support of my being.
S: Right, right. Now there is something more to that. What is being said is that when that localized identification with the group, that false security, is dropped, one is opened up to the participation in...
K: No, there is no question of participation - you are the universe.
S: You are that.
B: As a child I felt that the town I was in was the whole universe; then I found another town further away which felt almost beyond the universe, which must be the ultimate limits of all reality. So the idea of going beyond that would not have occurred to me. And I think that is how the group is treated. We know abstractly that it is not so, but the feeling you have is like that of a little child.
K: Is it then that human beings love, or hold on to, their own misery and confusion because they don't know anything else?
K: The known is so far, then the unknown.
S: Right. Yes.
K: Now to be alone implies, doesn't it, to step out of the stream?
S: Of the known.
K: Step out of the stream of this utter confusion, disorder, sorrow, despair, hope and travail - to step out of all that.
K: And if you want to go much deeper into this, to be alone implies, doesn't it, not to carry the burden of tradition with you at all?
B: Tradition being the group, then.
K: The group. Tradition also being knowledge.
B: Knowledge, but it comes basically from the group. Knowledge is basically collective. It is collected by everybody.
K: So to be alone implies total freedom. And when there is that great freedom it is the universe.
B: Could we go into that further because to a person who hasn't seen this, it doesn't look obvious?
S: I think David is right there. To a person, to most people, I think - and I have tested this out recently - the idea, or even the deep feeling, that you are the universe, seems to be so...
K: Ah, sir, that is a most dangerous thing to say. How can you say you are the universe when you are in total confusion? When you are unhappy, miserable, anxious, jealous, envious how can you say you are the universe? Universe implies total order.
B: Yes, the cosmos in Greek meant order.
K: Order, of course.
B: And chaos was the opposite.
S: But I...
K: No, listen. Universe, cosmos, means order.
K: And chaos is what we live with.
S: That's right.
K. How can I think I have universal order in me? That is the good old trick of the mind which says disorder is there, but inside you there is perfect order. That is an illusion. It is a concept which thought has put there and it gives me a certain hope, but it is an illusion, it has no reality. What has actual reality is the confusion.
K: My chaos. And I can imagine, I can project a cosmos but that. is equally illusory. So I must start with the fact of what I am, which is that I am in chaos.
S: I belong to a group.
K: Chaos, chaos is the group. So to move away from that into cosmos, which is total order, means that I am alone. There is a total order which is not associated with disorder, chaos. That is alone.
B: Yes, can we go into that? Suppose several people are in that state, moving into cosmos, into order out of the chaos of society - are they all alone?
K: No, they don't feel alone there. There is only order.
B: Are they different people?
K: Sir, would you say - suppose - no, I can't suppose - we three are in cosmos, there is only cosmos, not you, Dr Bohm, Dr Shainberg and me.
B: Therefore we are still alone.
K: That is, order is alone.
B: I looked up the word "alone" in the dictionary; basically it is all one.
K: All one. Yes.
B: In other words there is no fragmentation.
K: Therefore there is no three - we three. And that is marvellous, sir.
S: But you jumped away there. We have got chaos and confusion. That is what we have got.
K: So as we said, to move away from that, which is to have total order, most people are afraid. Alone, as he pointed out, is all one. Therefore there is no fragmentation, then there is cosmos.
S: Right. But most people are in confusion and chaos. That is all they know.
K: So how do you move away from that? That is the whole question.
S: That is the question. Here we are in chaos and confusion, we are not over there.
K: No, because you may be frightened of that. Frightened of an idea of being alone.
S: How can you be frightened of an idea?
B: That is easy.
K: Aren't you frightened of tomorrow? Which is an idea.
S: OK. That is an idea.
K: So they are frightened of an idea which they have projected, which says, "My God, I am alone", which means I have nobody to rely on.
S: Right, but that is an idea.
B: Well, let's go slowly. We have said that to a certain extent it is genuinely so. You are not being supported by society. You do have a certain genuine danger because you have withdrawn from the hub of society.
S: I think we are confused here. I really do because I think if we have got confusion, if we have got chaos...
K: Not if - it is so.
S: It is so, OK I go with you. We have got chaos and confusion, that is what we have got. Now if you have an idea about being alone while in chaos and confusion, that is just another idea, another thought, another part of the chaos. Is that right?
K: That's right.
S: OK. Now that is all we have got, chaos and confusion.
K: And in moving away from that we have the feeling we will be alone.
B: In the sense of isolated.
S: Right. That's what I am getting at.
K: We will be lonely.
S: That's right.
K: Of that we are frightened.
S: Not frightened, in terror.
K: Yes. Therefore we say, "I would rather stay where I am in my little pond than face isolation." And that may be one of the reasons why human beings don't radically change.
S: That's right.
B: That's like this primitive tribe - the worst punishment is to be banished.
S: You don't have to go to a primitive tribe. I see people and talk to people all the time; patients come to me and say, "Look, Saturday came, I couldn't stand being alone, I called up 50 people looking for somebody to be with."
B: Yes, that is much the same.
K: So that may be one of the reasons why human beings don't change.
K: The other is that we are so heavily conditioned to accept things as they are. We don't say to ourselves, "Why should I live this way?"
S: That is certainly true. We don't.
B: We have to get away from this conviction, that the way things are is all that can be.
K: Yes, that's right. You see, the religions have pointed this out by saying there is another world, aspire to that. This is a transient world, it doesn't matter, live as best as you can in your sorrow, and then you will be perfectly happy in the next world.
K: And the Communists say there is no next-world, so make the best of this world.
B: I think they would say that there is happiness in the future in this world.
K: Yes, yes. Sacrifice your children for the future, which is exactly the same thing.
B: But it seems it is a sort of transformation of the same thing: we say we want to give up this society as it is, but we invent something similar.
K: Yes, quite.
S: It has to be similar if we are inventing it.
B: Yes, but it seems it is an important point, that there is a subtle way of not being alone.
K: Quite right.
S: You mean we go ahead and make it out of the old ideas?
B: Yes. To make heaven for the future.
K: So what will make human beings change? Radically.
S: I don't know. Even the idea you are suggesting here is that it can't be different, or that it is all the same: that is part of the system itself.
K: Agreed. Now wait a minute. May I ask you a question? Why don't you change? What is preventing you?
S: I would say that it is - oh, it's a tough question. I suppose the answer would be that - I don't have any answer.
K: Because you have never asked yourself that question. Right?
S: Not radically.
K: We are asking basic questions.
S: Right. I don't really know the answer to the question.
K: Now, sir, move away from that, sir. Is it that our structure, our whole society, all religions, all culture is based on thought, and thought says, "I can't do this. Therefore an outside agency is necessary to change me."
K: Whether the outside agency is the environment, the leader, or God. God is your own projection of yourself, obviously. And you believe in God, you believe in some leader; you believe, but you are still the same.
S: That's right.
K: You may identify with the State and so on, but the good old me is still operating. So is it that thought doesn't see its own limit? Doesn't know, realize, that it cannot change itself?
B: Well, I think thought loses track of something; it doesn't see that it itself is behind all this.
K: Of course. We said that. Thought has produced all this chaos.
B: But thought doesn't really see this exactly.
S: What thought does in fact is to communicate through gradual change.
K: That is all the invention of thought.
S: Yes, but that is where I think the hook is.
K: No, sir, please, sir, just listen.
K: Thought has put this world together. Technologically as well as psychologically. The technological world is all right, leave it all alone, we won't even discuss that. It would be too absurd. But psychologically, thought has built all this world in me and outside me. And does thought realize that it has made this mess, this chaos?
B: I would say that it doesn't. It tends to look on this chaos as independently existent.
K: But it is its baby!
B: It is, but it is very hard for thought to see that. That is really what we were discussing yesterday.
K: Yes, we are coming back to that.
B: To this question of how thought gives a sense of reality. We were saying that technology deals with something that thought made, but it is actually an independent reality once it is made.
K: Like the table, like those cameras.
B: But you could say that thought also creates a reality which it calls independent, but isn't.
K: Yes, yes. So, does thought realize, is it aware, that it has created this chaos?
K: Why not? But you, sir. Do you realize it?
S: I realize that...
K: Not you - does thought - you see! I have asked you a different question: Does thought, which is you, your thinking - does your thinking realize the chaos it has created?
B: Thought tends to attribute that chaos to something else, either to something outside, or to me who is inside.
K: Thought has created me.
B: But also thought has said that me is not thought, although in reality it is. Thought is treating me as a different reality.
K: Of course, of course.
B: And thought is saying that it is coming from me and therefore it doesn't take credit for what it does.
K: To me thought has created the me.
S: That's right.
K: And so "me" is not separate from thought. It is the structure of thought, the nature of thought that has made me.
K: Now: Does your thinking, or does your thought realize this?
S: In flashes it does.
K: No, not in flashes. You don't see that table in flashes; it is always there. We asked a question yesterday, and we stopped there: Does thought see itself in movement?
K: The movement has created the me, created the chaos, created the division, created the conflict, jealousy, anxiety, fear...
S: Right. Now what I am asking is another question. Yesterday we came to a moment where we said thought stops.
K: No. That is much later. Please just stick to one thing.
S: OK. What I am trying to get at is what is the actuality of thought seeing itself?
K: You want me to describe it?
S: No, no, I don't want you to describe it - what I am trying to get at is what is the actuality that thought sees? We get into the problem of language here - but it seems that thought sees and forgets.
K: No, no, please. I am asking a very simple question. Don't complicate it. Does thought see the chaos it has created? That's all. Which means: Is thought aware of itself as a movement? Not I am aware of thought as a movement - the I has been created by thought.
B: I think a question that is relevant is: Why does thought keep on going? How does it sustain itself? Because as long as it sustains itself it produces something like an independent reality, an illusion of reality.
S: What is my relationship to thought?
K: You are thought. There is no you related to thought.
S: Right. But look, look. The question is: I say to you, "What is my relationship to thought" - and you say to me " You are thought". in some way what you say is clear, but that is still the way thought is moving for me, to say it is my relationship to thought.
B: Well, that's the point. Can this very thought stop right now?
B: What is sustaining this whole thing? - at this very moment? - was the question I was trying to get at.
S: Yes, that's the question.
B: In other words, say we have a certain insight but nevertheless something happens to sustain the old process right now.
K: That's right.
S: Right now thought keeps moving.
K: No, Dr Bohm asked a very good question which we haven't answered. He said, Why does thought move?
B: When it is irrelevant to move.
K: Why is it always moving? What is movement? Movement is time - right?
S: That's too quick. Movement is time.
K: Obviously, of course. Physically, from here to London, from here to New York. And also psychologically from here to there.
K: I am this, I must be that.
S: Right. But if a thought is not necessarily all that...
K: Thought is the new movement. We are examining movement, which is thought. Look: if thought stopped there is no movement.
S: Yes, I know. I am trying - this has to be made very clear.
B: I think there is a step that might help: to ask myself what it is that makes me go on thinking or talking. I can often watch people and see they are in a hole just because they keep on talking. If they would stop talking the whole problem would vanish. I mean it is just this flow of words that comes out as if it were reality, and then they say that is my problem, it is real and I have got to think some more. There is a kind of a feedback saying, "I have got a problem, I am suffering."
S: You have got an `I' thought.
B: Yes, I think that; therefore I have a sense that I am real. I am thinking of my suffering, and in that it is implicit that it is I who am there, that the suffering is real because I am real.
B: And then comes the next thought, which is: Since that is real I must think some more.
S: It feeds on itself.
B: Yes. And one of the things I must think is that I am suffering. And I am compelled to keep on thinking that thought all the time. Maintaining myself in existence. Do you see what I am driving at? That there is a feedback.
K: Which means that if thought is movement, which is time, and there is no movement I am dead! I am dead.
B: Yes, if that movement stops, then the sense that I am there being real must go, because the sense that I am real is the result of thinking.
K: Do you see this is extraordinary?
S: Of course it is.
K: No, no, actually. In actuality, not in theory. One realizes thought is movement - right?
B: And in this movement it creates an image of...
K: ...of me...
B: ...that is supposed to be moving.
K: Yes, yes. Now, when that movement stops there is no me. The me is time, put together by time, which is thought.
K: So do you, listening to this, realize the truth of it? Not the verbal, logical statement, but the truth of such an amazing thing? Therefore there is an entirely different action. The action of thought as movement brings about a fragmentary action, a contradictory action. When the movement as thought comes to an end there is total action.
B: Can you say then that whatever technical thought brings about has an order?
K: Of course.
B: In other words it doesn't mean that thought is permanently gone.
K: No, no.
S: It can still be a movement in its proper place, in its fitting order?
K: Of course. So is a human being afraid of all this? Unconsciously, deeply, he must realize the ending of me. Do you understand? And that is really a most frightening thing. My knowledge, my books, my wife - the whole thing which thought has put together. And you are asking me to end all that.
B: Can't you say it is the ending of everything? Because everything that I know is there.
K: Absolutely. So you see, really I am frightened; a human being is frightened of death. Not the biological death...
S: To die now.
K: This coming to an end. And therefore he believes in God, reincarnation, and a dozen other comforting things, but in actuality, when thought realizes itself as movement and sees that movement has created the me, the divisions, the quarrels, the whole structure of this chaotic world - when thought realizes this, sees the truth of it, it ends. Then there is cosmos. You listen to this: how do you receive it?
S: Do you want me to answer?
K: I offer you something. How do you receive it? This is very important.
S: Yes. Thought sees its movement...
K: No, no. How do you receive it? How does the public, who listens to all this, receive it? They ask, "What is he trying to tell me?"
K: He says I am not telling you anything. He says listen to what I am saying and find out for yourself whether thought as movement has created all this, both the technological world which is useful, which is necessary, and this chaotic world.
K: How do you receive it, listen to it? What takes place in you when you listen to it?
K: No. Is it?
S: Yes. There is a panic about the death. There is a sense of seeing, and then there is a fear of that death.
K: Which means you have listened to the words; the words have awakened the fear.
K: But not the actuality of the fact.
S: I wouldn't say that. I think that is a little unfair. They awaken the...
K: I am asking you.
S: ...they awaken the actuality of the fact and then there seems to be a silence, a moment of great clarity that gives way to a kind of feeling in the pit of the stomach where things are dropping out, and then there is a kind of...
S: ...withholding, right. I think there is a whole movement there.
K: So you are describing humanity?
S: No I am describing me.
K: You are humanity.
B: You are the same.
K: You are the viewer, the people who are listening.
S: That's right. So there is a sense of what will happen tomorrow?
K: No, no. That is not the point. No. When thought realizes itself as a movement, and realizes that that movement has created all this chaos, total chaos, complete disorder - when it realizes that, what takes place? Actually? You are not frightened, there is no fear. Listen to it carefully. There is no fear. Fear is the idea brought about by an abstraction. You understand? You have made a picture of ending and are frightened of that ending.
S: You are right. You are right.
K: There is no fear.
S: No fear and then there is...
K: There is no fear when the actuality takes place.
S: That's right. When the actuality takes place there is silence.
K: With the fact there is no fear.
B: But as soon as thought comes in...
K: That's right.
S: That's right. Now wait a minute; no, don't go away. When thought comes in...
K: Then it is no longer a fact. You haven't remained with the fact.
B: Well, that is the same as saying you keep on thinking.
K: Keep on moving.
B: Yes. Well, as soon as you bring thought in, it is not a fact; it is an imagination or a fantasy which is thought to be real, but it is not so. Therefore you are not with the fact any longer.
K: We have discovered something extraordinary, that with fact there is no fear.
B: So all fear is thought, is that it?
K: That's right.
S: We have got a big mouthful here.
K: No. All thought is fear, all thought is sorrow.
B: That goes both ways, that all fear is thought, and all thought is fear.
K: Of course.
B: Except the kind of thought that arises with the fact alone.
S: I want to interject something right here: it seems to me we have discovered something quite important right here, which is that at the actual seeing, the instant of attention is at its peak.
K: No. Something new takes place, sir. Something totally new that you have never looked at. It has never been understood or experienced, whatever it is. A totally different thing happens.
B: But isn't it important that we acknowledge this in our thought, I mean in our language?
B: As we are doing now. In other words, if it happened and we didn't acknowledge it, then we are liable to fall back.
K: Of course, of course.
S: I don't get you.
B: Well, we have to see it not only when it happens but we have to say that it happens.
S: Then are we creating a place to localize this, or not?
K: No, no. What he is saying is very simple. He is saying, does this fact, this actuality take place? And can you remain with it, can thought not move but remain only with that fact? Sir, it is like saying: Remain totally with sorrow. Do not move away, do not say it should be or shouldn't be, or how am I to get over it - just totally remain with that thing. With the fact. Then you have an energy which is extraordinary.
5th Conversation with Dr. David Shainberg and Prof. David Bohm
19th May, 1976
KRISHNAMURTI: We have talked about the necessity for human beings to change, and about why they don't change, why they accept this intolerable condition of the human psyche. I think we ought to approach the same thing from a different angle. Who has invented the unconscious?
Dr Shainberg: Who has invented it? I think there is a difference between what we call the unconscious and what is the unconscious. The word is not the thing.
K: Yes, the word is not the thing. Who has thought it up?
S: Well, I think the history of thinking about the unconscious is a long and involved process.
K: May we ask: Have you an unconscious? Are you aware of your unconscious? Do you know if you have an unconscious that is operating differently, trying to give you hints - are you aware of all that?
S: Yes. I am aware of an aspect of myself that is incompletely aware. That is what I call the unconscious. It is aware of my experience, aware of events in an incomplete way. That's what I call the unconscious. It uses symbols and different modes of telling, of understanding a dream, say, in which I discover jealousy that I wasn't aware of.
K: Do you also give importance, Dr Bohm, to a feeling that there is such a thing?
Dr Bohm: Well, I don't know what you mean by that. I think there are some things we do that we are not aware of. We react, we use words in an habitual way...
S: We have dreams.
B: We have dreams, yes...
K: I am going to question all that because I am not sure...
S: You are not questioning that we have dreams?
K: No. But I want to question, I want to ask the experts if there is such a thing as the unconscious, because I don't think it has played any important part in my life at all.
S: Well, it depends on what you mean.
K: I will tell you what I mean. Something hidden, something incomplete, something that I have to go after consciously or unconsciously - discover, unearth, explore and expose. See the motives, see the hidden intentions.
B: Well, could we make it clear that there are some things people do which you can see they are not aware of doing?
K: I don't quite follow.
B: Well, for example, this Freudian slip of the tongue - somebody makes a slip of the tongue which expresses his will.
K: Yes, yes, I didn't mean that quite.
S: That is what most people think of as the unconscious. You see, I think there are two problems here, if I can just put in a technical statement. There has arisen in the history of thinking about the unconscious, a belief that there are things in it which must be lifted out. Then there are a large group of people now who think of the unconscious as areas of behaviour, areas of response, areas of experience that they are not fully aware of, so that in the daytime they might have, let's say, an experience of stress which they didn't finish with, and at night they go through re-working it in a new way.
K: I understand all that.
S: So that would be the unconscious in operation. You get it also from the past or from previous programmes of action.
K: I mean - the collective unconscious, the racial unconscious.
B: Let's say somebody has been deeply hurt in the past; you can see that his whole behaviour is governed by that. But he doesn't know it; he may not know it.
K: Yes, that I understand.
S: But his response is always from the past.
K: Yes, quite. What I am trying to find out is why we have divided the conscious and the unconscious. Or is it one unitary total process - one movement? Not hidden, not concealed, but moving as a whole current. These clever brainy birds come along and split it up and say there is the conscious and the unconscious, the hidden, the incomplete, the storehouse of racial memories, family memories....
S: The reason that that has happened, I think, is partially explained by the fact that Freud and Jung and others were seeing patients who had fragmented off this movement which you are talking about. So much knowledge of the unconscious grew out of that.
K: That's what I want to get at.
S: There's the whole history of hysteria, where patients couldn't move their arms, you know?
K: I know.
S: Then you open up their memories and eventually they can move their arms. Or there were people who had dual personalities...
K: Is it an insanity - not insanity - is it a state of mind that divides everything, that says there is the unconscious and the conscious? Is it also a process of fragmentation?
B: Well, wouldn't you say, as Freud has said, that certain material is made unconscious by the brain because it is too disturbing?
K: That is what I want to get at.
B: It is fragmented. That is well known in all schools of psychology.
S: That's right. That is what I am saying. It is fragmented off and is then called the unconscious. What is fragmented is the unconscious.
K: I understand that.
B: But would you say that the brain itself is in some sense holding it separate on purpose in order to avoid it?
K: Yes, avoiding facing the fact.
S; That's right.
B: Yes. So that it is not really separate from consciousness.
K: That is what I want to get at.
S: It isn't separate from consciousness but the brain has organized it in a fragmented way.
B: Yes, but then it is a wrong terminology to call it that. The word unconscious already implies a separation.
K: That's right, separation.
B: To say there are two layers, the unconscious and the surface consciousness, a structure is implied. But this other notion is to say that that structure is not implied, but that certain material wherever it may be is simply avoided.
K: I don't want to think about somebody because he has hurt me. That is not the unconscious, it's just that I don't want to think about him.
S: That's right.
K: I am conscious he has hurt me and I don't want to think about it.
B: But a kind of paradoxical situation arises there because eventually you would become so good at it that you wouldn't realize you were doing it. That seems to happen, you see.
K: Yes, yes.
B: People become so proficient at avoiding these things that they cease to realize they are doing it.
B: It becomes habitual.
S: That is right. I think this is what happens. These hurts....
K: The wound remains.
S: The wound remains and we forget that we have forgotten.
K: The wound remains.
B: We remember to forget, you see!
S: We remember to forget and then the process of therapy is to help the remembering and the recall - to remember you have forgotten, and then to understand the connections of why you forgot; then the thing can move in a more holistic way, rather than being fragmented.
K: Do you consider, or feel that you have been hurt?
K: And want to avoid it? Resist, withdraw, isolate - the whole picture being the image of yourself being hurt and withdrawing - do you feel that when you are hurt?
S: Yes. I feel - how to put it?
K: Let's go into this.
S: Yes, I feel there is definitely a move not to be hurt, not to have that image, not to have that whole thing changed because if it is changed it seems to catapult into the same experience that was the hurt. This has a resonation with that unconscious which reminds me... you see I am reminded of being hurt deeply by this more superficial hurt.
K: I understand that.
S: So I avoid hurt - period.
K: If the brain has a shock - a biological, physical shock - must the psychological brain, if we can call it that, be hurt also? Is that inevitable?
S: No, I don't think so. It is only hurt with reference to something.
K: No. I am asking you: Can such a psychological brain, if I can use those two words, never be hurt? - in any circumstances, given family life, husband, wife, bad friends, so-called enemies, all that is going on around you - never get hurt? Because apparently this is one of the major wounds of human existence. The more sensitive you are, the more aware, the more hurt you get, the more withdrawn. Is this inevitable?
S: I don't think it is inevitable but I think it happens frequently, more often than not. And it seems to happen when an attachment is formed and then the loss of that attachment. You become important to me, I like you, or I am involved with you, then it becomes important to me that you don't do anything that disturbs that image.
K: That is, the relationship between two people, the picture we have of each other, the image - that is the cause of hurt.
B: Well, it also goes the other way: we hold those images because of hurt.
K: Of course, of course.
B: Where does it start?
K: That is what I want to get at.
S: That is what I want to get at too.
K: He pointed out something.
S: I know he did, yes.
B: Because the past hurt gives tremendous strength to the image, the image which helps us to forget it.
S: That's right.
K: Now is this wound in the "unconscious" - we use the word unconscious in quotes for the time being - is it hidden?
S: Well, I think you are being a little simplistic about that because what is hidden is the fact that I have had this happen many times - it happened with my mother, it happened with my friend, it happened in school, when I cared about somebody... You form the attachment and then comes the hurt.
K: I am not at all sure that it comes through attachment.
S: Maybe it is not attachment, that is the wrong word. What happens is that I form a relationship with you where an image becomes important - what you do to me becomes important.
K: You have an image about yourself.
S: That's right. And you are saying that I like you because you are conforming with the image.
K: No, apart from like and dislike, you have an image about yourself. Then I come along and put a pin in that image.
S: No, first you come along and confirm it.
B: The hurt will be greater if you first come along and are very friendly to me and confirm the image, and then suddenly put a pin in me.
K: Of course, of course.
B: But even somebody who didn't confirm it can hurt if he puts a pin in properly.
S: That's right. That's not unconscious. But why did I have the image to begin with? That is unconscious.
K: Is it unconscious? That is what I want to get at. Or it is so obvious that we don't look. You follow what I am saying?
S: I follow, yes.
K: We put it away. We say it is hidden. I question whether it is hidden at all, it is so blatantly obvious.
S: I don't feel all parts of it are obvious.
B: I think we hide it in one sense. Shall we say that this hurt means that everything is wrong with the image, but we hide it by saying everything is all right? In other words the thing that is obvious may be hidden by saying it is unimportant, that we don't notice it.
S: Yes we don't notice it but I ask myself what is it that generates this image, what is that hurt?
K: Ah, we will come to that. We are enquiring, aren't we, into the whole structure of consciousness?
K: Into the nature of consciousness. We have broken it up into the hidden and the open. It may be the fragmented mind that is doing this. And therefore strengthening both.
The division grows greater and greater and greater...
S: The fragmented mind is...
K: ...doing this. Now most people have an image about themselves, practically everybody. It is that image that gets hurt. And that image is you, and you say, "I am hurt".
B: It is the same as what we were discussing this morning.
B: You see, if I have a pleasant self-image, I attribute the pleasure to me and say that it is real. When somebody hurts me then the pain is attributed to me and I say that's real too. It seems that if you have an image that can give you pleasure, then it must also be able to give you pain. There is no way out of that.
S: Well, the image seems to be self-perpetuating, as you were saying.
B: I think people hope that the image will give them pleasure.
K: Pleasure only.
B: Only pleasure, but the very mechanism that makes pleasure possible makes pain possible, because the pleasure comes if I say "I think I am good", and this is sensed to be real, which makes that goodness real, but if somebody comes along and says, " You are no good, you are stupid", that too is real and therefore very significant.
K: The image brings both pleasure and pain.
B: I think people would hope for an image that would bring only pleasure.
S: People do hope that, there is no question. But people not only hope for the image, they invest all their interest in their image.
B: The value of everything depends on this self-image being right. So if somebody shows it's wrong, everything is wrong.
S: That's right.
K: But we are always giving new shape to the image.
B: But I think this image means everything, and that gives it tremendous power.
S: The entire personality is directed to the achievement of this image. Everything else takes second place.
K: Are you aware of this?
S: Yes. I am aware of it.
K: What is the beginning of this?
K: Please, just let me summarize first. Every human being practically has an image of himself, of which he is unconscious or not aware.
S: That's right. Usually it's sort of idealized.
K: Idealized, or not idealized, it is an image.
S: That's right. They must have it.
K: That have it.
B: They have it.
S: But they must direct all their actions towards getting it.
B: I think one feels one's whole life depends on the image.
K: Yes, that's right.
S: Depression is when I don't have it.
K: We will come to that. The next question is: How does it come into being?
S: Well, I think it comes into being in the family in some way. You are my father and I understand through watching you that if I am smart you will like me, right?
K: Quite. We agree.
S: I learn that very quickly. So I am going to make sure I get that love...
K: It is all very simple. But I am asking: What is the origin of making images about oneself?
B: If I had no image at all I would never get into that, would I?
S: If I never made images..?
B: Yes. Never made any image at all no matter what my father did.
K: I think this is very important.
S: That is the question.
B: Maybe the child can't do it, but suppose he can...
K: I am not at all sure...
B: Perhaps he can, but I am saying under ordinary conditions he doesn't manage to do it.
S: You are suggesting that the child already has an image that he has been hurt.
K: Ah, no, no. I don't know. We are asking.
B: But suppose there was a child who made no image of himself.
S: OK. Let's assume he has no image.
B: Then he cannot get hurt.
K: He can't be hurt.
S: There I think you are in very hot water psychologically because a child...
K: No, we said "suppose".
B: Not the actual child - but suppose there was a child who didn't make an image of himself so he didn't depend on that image for everything. The child you talked about depended on the image that his father loved him.
S: That's right.
B: And therefore when his father doesn't love him, everything has gone, right?
B: Therefore he is hurt. But if he has no image that he must have his father love him, then he will just watch his father.
S: But let's look at it a little more pragmatically. Here is the child and he is actually hurt.
B: He can't be hurt without the image. Who is going to get hurt?
K: It is like putting a pin into the air.
S: Now wait a minute, I am not going to let you guys get away with this! Here you have got this child vulnerable in the sense that needs psychological support. He has enormous tensions.
K: Sir, agreed to all that. Such a child has an image.
S: No, no image. He is simply not being biologically supported.
K: No. No.
B: Well, he may make an image of the fact that he is not biologically supported. You have to get the difference between the actual fact of what happens biologically and what he thinks of it. Right? Now I have seen a child sometimes drop suddenly, he really goes to pieces, not because he was dropped very far but because that sense of...
K: Loss, insecurity.
B: ...insecurity, because his mother was gone. It seemed as if everything had gone, right? And he was totally disorganized and screaming, but he dropped only about this far, you see. But the point is he had an image of the kind of security he was going to get from his mother. Right?
S: That is the way the nervous system works.
B: Well, that is the question - Is it necessary to work that way? Or is this the result of conditioning?
K: This is an important question.
S: Oh, terribly important.
K: Because whether in America or in this country, children are running away from their parents. The parents seem to have no control over them. They don't obey, they don't listen. They are wild. And the parents feel terribly hurt. I saw on TV what is happening in America. One woman was in tears. She said, "I am his mother he doesn't treat me as a mother, he just orders me about." He had run away half a dozen times. And this separation between parents and children is growing all over the world. They have no relationship between themselves, between each other. So what is the cause of all this, apart from sociological, economic pressures which made the mother go out to work and leave the child alone - we take that for granted - but much deeper than that? Is it that the parents have an image about themselves and insist on creating an image in the children?
S: I see what you are saying.
K: And the child refuses to have that image - he has his own image. So the battle is on.
S: That is very much what I was saying when I said that initially the hurt of the child...
K: We haven't come to the hurt yet.
S: Well, what is in that initial relationship between child...
K: I doubt if they have any relationship. That is what I am trying to get at.
S: I agree with you. There is something wrong with the relationship.
K: Have they a relationship at all? Look, young people get married, or they don't get married. They have a child by mistake, or intentionally, but young people are children themselves; they haven't understood the universe, cosmos or chaos - they just have this child.
S: That's right. That is what happens.
K: And they play with it for a year or two and then say, "For God's sake, I am fed up with this child", and look elsewhere. And the child feels left, lost.
S: That's right.
K: And he needs security, from the beginning he needs security.
K: Which the parents do not give, or are incapable of giving - psychological security, the sense of "You are my child, I love you, I'll look after you, I'll see that throughout life you will behave properly". They haven't got that feeling. They are bored with it after a couple of years.
S: That's right.
K: Is it that they have no relationship right from the beginning neither the husband, nor the wife, boy or girl? Is it only a sexual relationship, the pleasure relationship? Is it that they won't accept the pain principle involved with the pleasure principle?
S: That's right.
K: What I am trying to see is if there is actually any relationship at all, except a biological, sexual, sensual relationship.
K: I am questioning it, I am not saying it is so, I am questioning it.
S: I don't think it is so. I think they have a relationship but it is a wrong relationship.
K: There is no wrong relationship. It is a relationship or no relationship.
S: Well, then we will have to say they have a relationship. I think most parents have a relationship with their children.
B: Suppose the parent and child have images of each other, and the relationship is governed by those images - the question is whether that is actually a relationship or not, or whether it is some sort of fantasy of relationship.
K: A fanciful relationship. Sir, you have children - forgive me if I come back to you - you have children. Have you any relationship with them? In the real sense of that word.
S: Yes. In the real sense, yes.
K: That means you have no image about yourself.
K: And you are not imposing an image on them?
S: That's right.
K: And the society is not imposing an image on them?
S: There are moments like that...
K: Ah, no. That is not good enough. It is like a rotten egg.
S: This is an important point.
B: If it is moments it is not so. It is like saying a person who is hurt has moments when he is not hurt, but he is sitting there waiting to explode when something happens. So he can't go very far. It is like somebody who is tied to a rope, and as soon as he reaches the limits of that rope he is stuck.
S: That is right.
B: So you could say I am related as long as certain things are all right, but beyond that point it just sort of blows up. You see what I am driving at? That mechanism is inside there, buried, so it dominates me potentially. It is like the man who is tied to a rope and says there are moments when I can move wherever I like, but I can't really because if I keep on moving I am bound to come to the end.
S: That does seem to be what happens, in fact. There is a reverberation in which there is a yank-back.
B: Either I come to the end of the cord, or else something yanks the cord. The person who is on the end of a cord is really not free ever.
S: Well, that's true, I mean I think that is true.
B: You see in the same sense the person who has the image is not really related ever.
K: Yes, that is just the whole point. You can play with it verbally, but the actuality is that you have no relationship.
S: You have no relationship as long as it is the image.
K: As long as you have an image about yourself you have no relationship with another. This is a tremendous revelation - you follow? It is not just an intellectual statement.
S: I have the memory of times when I do have what I think is a relationship, yet one must be honest with you, and say that after such relationship there inevitably seems to be this yank-back.
B: The end of the cord.
S: Yes, a yank-back. You have a relationship with somebody but you will go just so far.
K: Of course. That is understood.
B: But then really the image controls it all the time because the image is the dominant factor. If you once pass that point, no matter what happens, the image takes over.
K: So the image gets hurt, and the child, because you impose the image on the child. You are bound to because you have an image. Because you have an image about yourself you are bound to create an image in the child.
S: That is right.
K: You follow, you have discovered? And society is doing this to all of us.
B: So you say the child is picking up an image just naturally, as it were, quietly, and then suddenly it is hurt?
K: Hurt. That's right.
B: So the hurt has been prepared and preceded by this steady process of building an image?
S: That's right. There is evidence, for instance, that we treat boys differently from girls...
K: No. Look at it: don't verbalize it too quickly.
B: You see, if the steady process of building an image didn't occur there would be no basis, no structure, to get hurt. In other words the pain is due entirely to some psychological fact. Whereas I was previously enjoying the pleasure of saying, "My father loves me, I am doing what he wants" - now comes the pain - "I am not doing what he wants, he doesn't love me".
S: I don't think we touched on the biological situation of the child feeling neglected.
B: Well, if the child is neglected, he must pick up an image in that very process.
K: Of course. If you admit, see it as a reality, that as long as the parents have an image about themselves they are bound to give that image to the child...
S: Right. There is no question, as long as the parent is the image-maker and has an image, he can't see the child.
K: And therefore gives an image to the child.
S: Right. He will condition the child to be something.
K: You see, society is doing this to every human being. Religions, every culture around us is creating this image. And that image gets hurt. Now the next question is: Is one aware of all this? Which is part of our consciousness.
S: Right, right.
K: The content of consciousness makes up consciousness. That is clear.
K: So one of the contents is the image-making, or maybe the major machinery that is operating, the major dynamo, the major movement. Being hurt, which every human being is - can that hurt be healed and never be hurt again? That is, can a human mind which has created the image, which has accepted the image, can that mind put away the image completely and never be hurt? - which means that a great part of consciousness is empty - it has no content. I wonder.
S: Can it? I really don't know the answer to that.
K: Why? Who is the image-maker? What is the machinery or the process that is making images? I may get rid of one image and take on another. I am a Catholic, I am a Protestant, I am a Hindu, I am a Zen monk, I am this, I am that - you follow? - they are all images.
S: Who is the image-maker?
K: You see, after all, if there is an image of that kind how can you have love in all this?
S: We don't have an abundance of it.
K: We don't have it.
S: That's right. We have got a lot of images. That is why I say I don't know.
K: It is terrible, sir, to have these images - you follow?
S: Right. I know about image-making, I see it. I see it even when you are talking about it. I can see that if I don't make one image I will make another.
K: Of course, sir. We are saying, Is it possible to stop the machinery that is producing images? And what is the machinery? Is it wanting to be somebody?
S: Yes. It is wanting to be somebody, it is wanting to know - wanting to have. Somehow or other it seems to be wanting to handle the feeling that if I don't have it I don't know where I am.
K: Being at a loss?
S: Yes. The feeling that you are at a loss. Not to be able to rely on anything, not to have any support, breeds more disorder - you follow?
B: That is one of the images...
K: The image is the product of thought - right?
S: It is organized.
K: Yes, a product of thought. It may go through various forms of pressure, a great deal of conveyor belt, and at the end it produces an image.
S: Right. No question. I agree with you there, yes.
K: Can the machinery stop? Can thought which produces these images, which destroys all relationship so that there is no love - not verbally but actually no love - can it stop? When a man who has got an image about himself says, "I love my wife, or my children", it is just sentiment, romantic, fanciful emotionalism.
K: As it is now, there is no love in the world. There is no sense of real caring for somebody.
S: That is true.
K: The more affluent the worse it becomes. Not that the poor have this. I don't mean that. Poor people haven't got this either - they are concerned with filling their stomachs, and work, work, work.
B: But still they have got lots of images.
K: Of course. All these are the people who are correcting the world - right? Who are ordering the universe. So I ask myself, can this image-making stop? Stop, not occasionally, but stop. Because unless it does I don't know what love means. I don't know how to care for somebody. And I think that is what is happening in the world because children are really lost souls, lost human beings. I have met so many, hundreds of them now, all over the world. They are really a lost generation. As the older people are a lost generation. So what is a human being to do? What is the right action in relationship? Can there be right action in relationship as long as you have an image?
K: Ah! Sir, this is something tremendous.
S: That is why I was wondering. It seemed to me you made a jump there. You said all we know is images, and image-making. That is aIl we know.
K: But we never said can it stop?
S: We have never said can it stop - that is right.
K: We have never said, for God's sake if it doesn't stop we are going to destroy each other.
B: You could say that the notion we might stop is something more we know that we didn't know before...
K: It becomes another piece of knowledge.
B: I was trying to say that when you say "all we know", a block comes in.
B: You see, it is not much use to say "all we know". If you say it is all we know then it can never stop.
K: He is objecting to your use of "all".
S: I am grateful to you.
B: That is one of the factors blocking it.
S: Well, if we come down to it, what do we do with that question: Can it stop?
K: I put that question to you. Do you listen to it?
S; I listen to it - right.
K: Ah, do you?
S: It stops.
K: No, no. I am not interested in whether it stops. Do you listen to the question. Can it stop? We now examine, analyse, this whole process of image-making - the result of it, the misery, the confusion, the appalling things that are going on. The Arab has his image, the Jew, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Christian, the Communist. There is this tremendous division of images, of symbols. If that doesn't stop, you are going to have such a chaotic world - you follow? - I see this, not as an abstraction, but as an actuality, as I see that flower.
K: And as a human being, what am I to do? Because I personally have no image about this. I really mean I have no image about myself, no conclusion, no concept, no ideal - none of these images. I have none. And I say to myself what can I do? - when everybody around me is building images and so destroying this lovely earth where we are meant to live happily in human relationship and look at the heavens and be happy about it. So what is the right action for a man who has an image? Or is there no right action?
S: Let me turn it back. What happens with you when I say to you Can it stop?
K: I say, of course. It is very simple to me. Of course it can stop. You don't ask me the next question: How do you do it? How does it come about?
S: No, I just want to listen for a minute to when you say, "Yes, of course". OK. Now how do you think it can stop? Let me put it to you straight - I have absolutely no evidence that it can, no experience that it can.
K: I don't want evidence.
S: You don't want any evidence?
K: I don't want somebody's explanation.
S: Or experience?
K: Because they are based on images. Future image, or past image or living image. So I say: Can it stop? I say it can. Definitely. It is not just a verbal statement to amuse you. To me this is tremendously important.
S: Well, I think we agree that it is tremendously important, but how?
K: Not how. Then you enter into the question of systems, mechanical processes, which are part of our image-making. If I tell you how, you will say tell me the system, the method and I'll do it every day and I'll get the new image.
K: Now I see the fact of what is going on in the world.
S: I am with you, yes.
K: Fact. Not my reaction to it. Not romantic, fanciful theories of what it should not be. It is a fact that as long as there are images there is not going to be peace in the world, or love in the world - whether it be the Christ image, or the Buddha image or the Muslim image - you follow? There won't be peace in the world. Right. I see it as a fact. Right? I remain with that fact. Finished. This morning we said that if one remains with the fact there is a transformation. That is, not let thought interfere with the fact.
B: For then more images come in.
K: More images come in. So our consciousness is filled with these images.
S: Yes, that is true.
K: I am a Hindu, a Brahmin, I am by tradition better than anybody else, I am the chosen people, I am the Aryan - you follow? I am an Englishman - all that is crowding my consciousness.
B: When you say remain with the fact, one of the images that may come in is that it is impossible, that it can never be done.
K: Yes, that is another image.
B: In other words, if the mind could stay with that fact with no comment whatsoever...
S: The thing that comes through to me when you say remain with the fact is that you are really calling for an action right there.
K: Sir, it is up to you. You are involved in it.
S: But that is different from remaining with it.
K: Remain with that.
S: To really see it. You know how that feels? It feels like we are always running away.
K: So our consciousness, sir, is these images - conclusions, ideas...
S: We are always running away.
K: Filling, filling, and that is the essence of the image. If there is no image-making what is consciousness? That is quite a different thing.
B: Do you think we could discuss that next time?
K: Yes. Tomorrow.
6th Conversation with Dr. David Shainberg and Prof. David Bohm
20th May, 1976
KRISHNAMURTI: Dr Bohm, as you are a well-known physicist, I would like to ask you, after these five dialogues we have had, what will change man? What will bring about a radical transformation in the total consciousness of human beings?
Dr Bohm: Well, I don't know that the scientific background is very relevant to that question.
K: No, probably not, but after having talked together at length, not only now but in previous years, what is the energy - I am using energy not in any scientific sense but in the just ordinary sense - the vitality, the energy, the drive - which seems to be lacking? If I were listening to the three of us, if I were a viewer, I would say, "Yes, it is all very well for these philosophers, these scientists, these experts, but it is outside my field. It is too far away. Bring it nearer. Bring it much closer so that I can deal with my life."
B: Well, I think at the end of the last discussion we were touching on one point of that nature, because we were discussing images.
K: Images, yes.
B: And the self-image. And questioning whether we have to have images at all.
K: Of course, we went into that. But, you see, as a viewer, totally outside, listening to you for the first time, the three of you, I would say, "How does it touch my life? It is all so vague and uncertain and it needs a great deal of thinking, which I am unwilling to do. So please tell me in a few words, or at length, what am I to do with my life. Where am I to touch it? Where am I to break it down? From where am I to look at it? I have hardly any time. I go to the office. I go to the factory. I have got so many things to do - children, a nagging wife, poverty - the whole structure of misery, and you sit there, you three, and talk about something which doesn't touch me in the least. So could we bring it down to brass tacks, as it were, where I can grapple with it as an ordinary being?
B: Well, could we consider problems arising in daily relationship as the starting point?
K: That is the essence, isn't it? I was going to begin with that. You see, my relationship with human beings is in the office, in the factory, on a golf-course.
B: Or at home.
K: Or at home. And at home there is routine, sex, children (if I have children, if I want children), and the constant battle, battle, battle all my life. Insulted, wounded, hurt - everything is going on in me and around me.
B: Yes, there is continual disappointment.
K: Continual disappointment, continual hope, desire to be more successful, to have more money - more, more, more of everything. Now how am I to change my relationship? What is the raison d'etre, the source of my relationship? If we could tackle that a little bit this morning, and then go on to what we were discussing, which was really much more - which is really very important - which is not to have an image at all.
B: Yes. But it seems, as we were discussing yesterday, that we tend to be related almost always through the image.
K: Through the image. That's right.
B: You see I have an image of myself and of you as you should be in relation to me.
B: And then that gets disappointed and hurt and so on.
K: But how am I to change that image? How am I to break it down? I see very well that I have got an image and that it has been put together, constructed, through generations. I am fairly intelligent, I am fairly aware of myself, and I see I have got it. But how am I to break it down?
B: Well, as I see it, I have got to be aware of that image, watch it as it moves.
K: So I am to watch it? Am I to watch it in the office?
K: In the factory, at home, on the golf-course? - because my relationships are in all these areas.
B: Yes, I would say I have to watch it in all those places.
K: I have to watch it all the time in fact.
K: Now am I capable of it? Have I got the energy? I go through all kinds of miseries, and at the end of the day I crawl into bed. And you say I must have energy. So I must realize that relationship is of the greatest importance.
K: Therefore I am willing to give up certain wastages of energy.
B: What kind of wastage?
K: Drinking, smoking, useless chatter. Endless crawling from pub to pub.
B: That would be the beginning, anyway.
K: That would be the beginning. But you see I want all those, plus more - you follow?
B: But if I can see that everything depends on this...
K: Of course.
B: ...then I won't go to the pub, if I see it interferes.
K: So I must, as an ordinary human being, realize that the greatest importance is to have right relationship.
B: Yes. It would be good if we could say what happens when we don't have it.
K: Oh, when I don't have it, of course...
B: Everything goes to pieces.
K: Not only everything goes to pieces but I create such havoc around me. So can I, by putting aside smoke, drink, and endless chatter about this or that - can I gather that energy? Will I gather that energy which will help me to face the picture which I have, the image which I have?
B: That means going into ambition also and many other things.
K: Of course. You see I begin by obvious things, like smoking, drinking, the pub...
Dr Shainberg: Let me just stop you here. Suppose my real image is that you are going to do it for me, that I can't do it for myself.
K: That is one of our favourite conditionings - that I can't do it myself, therefore I must go to somebody to help me.
S: Or I go to the pub because I am in despair because I can't do it for myself and want to obliterate myself through drink, so that I no longer feel the pain of it.
B: At least for the moment.
S: That's right. And also I am proving to myself that my image that I can't do it for myself is right. By treating myself in such a way
I am going to prove to you that I can't do it for myself, so may be you will do it for me.
K: No, no. I think we don't realize, any of us, the utter and absolute importance of right relationship. I don't think we realize it.
S: I agree with you. We don't.
K: With my wife, with my neighbour, with the office, wherever I am - and also with nature - I don't think we realize a relationship which is easy, quiet, full, rich, happy - the beauty of it, the harmony of it. Now can we tell the ordinary viewer, the listener, the great importance of that?
S: Let's try. How can we communicate to somebody the value of a right relationship? You are my wife. You are whining, nagging me - right? You think I should be doing something for you when I am tired and don't feel like doing anything for you.
K: I know. Go to a party.
S: That's right. "Let's go to a party. You never take me out. You never take me anywhere."
K: So how are you, who realize the importance of relationship, to deal with me? How? We have got this problem in life.
B: I think it should be very clear that nobody can do it for me. Whatever somebody else does won't affect my relationship.
S: How are you going to make that clear?
B: But isn't it clear?
S: It is not obvious. I, as the viewer, feel very strongly that you ought to be doing it for me. My mother never did it for me, somebody has got to do it for me.
B: But isn't it obvious that it can't be done? It is just a delusion because whatever you do I will be in the same relationship as before. Suppose you live a perfect life. I can't imitate it, so I'll just go on as before, won't I? So I have to do something for myself. Isn't that clear?
S: But I don't feel able to do anything for myself.
B: But can't you see that if you don't do anything for yourself it is inevitable that it must go on? Any idea that it will ever get better is a delusion.
S: Can we say then that right relationship begins with the realization that I have to do something for myself?
K: And the utter importance of it.
S: Right. The utter importance. The responsibility I have for myself.
K: Because you are the world. And the world is you. You can't shirk that.
B: Perhaps we could discuss that a bit because it may seem strange to the viewer to hear someone say "You are the world".
K: After all, you are the result of the culture, the climate, the food, the environment, the economic conditions, your grandparents - you are the result of all that - all your thinking is the result of that.
S: I think you can see that.
B: That's right. That's what you mean by saying you are the world.
K: Of course, of course.
S: Well I think you can see that in what I have been saying about the person who feels he is entitled to be taken care of by the world - the world is in fact moving in that direction...
K: No, sir. This is a fact. You go to India, you see the same suffering, the same anxiety - and you come to Europe, to America, and in essence it is the same.
B: Each person has the same basic structure of suffering and confusion and deception. Therefore if I say I am the world, I mean that there is a universal structure and it is part of me and I am part of that.
K: Part of that, quite. So now let's proceed from there. The first thing you have to tell me as an ordinary human being, living in this mad rat race, is, "Look, realize that the greatest, most important thing in life is relationship. You cannot have relationship if you have an image about yourself. Any form of image you have about another, or about yourself, prevents the beauty of relationship.
B: Yes. The image that I am secure in such and such a relation, for example, and not secure in a different situation, prevents relationship.
K: That's right.
B: Because I will demand of the other person that he put me in the situation that I think is secure, you see?
B: But he may not want to.
S: Right. So that if I have the image of a pleasurable relationship, I have what I call claims on the other person; in other words I expect him to act in such a way that he acknowledges that image.
B: Yes. Or I may say that I have the image of what is just and right.
S: In order to complete my image?
B: Yes. For example, the wife says, "Husbands should take their wives out to parties frequently" - that is part of the image. Husbands have corresponding images and then those images get hurt.
S: I think we have to be very specific about this. Each little piece of this is with fury.
B: With energy.
S: Energy and fury and the necessity to complete this image in relationship; therefore relationship gets forced into a mould.
K: Sir, I understand all that. But you see most of us are not serious. We want an easy life. You come along and tell me: relationship is the greatest thing. I say, of course, quite right. And I carry on in the old way. What I am trying to get at is this: What will make a human being listen to this seriously even for two minutes? He won't listen to it. If you went to one of the great experts on psychology, or whatever it is, he wouldn't take time to listen to it. The experts have all got their own plans, their pictures, their images - they are surrounded by all this. So to whom are we talking?
B: To whoever can listen.
S: We are talking to ourselves.
K: No. Not only that. To whom are we talking?
B: Well, whoever is able to listen.
K: That means somebody who is somewhat serious.
B: Yes. And I think we may even form an image of ourselves as not capable of being serious.
K: That's right.
B: In other words that it is too hard.
K: Too hard, yes.
B: There is an image to say I want it easy, which comes from the image that this is beyond my capacity.
K: Quite. So let's move from there. We say that as long as you have an image, pleasant or unpleasant, created, put together by thought, there is no right relationship. That is an obvious fact. Right?
B: Yes, and life ceases to have any value without right relationship.
K: Yes, life ceases to have any value without right relationship. Now my consciousness is filled with these images. Right? And the images make my consciousness.
S: That is right.
K: Now you are asking me to have no images at all. That means no consciousness, as I know it now. Right, sir?
B: Yes, well could we say that the major part of consciousness is the self-image? There may be some other parts but...
K: We will come to that.
B: We come to that later. But for now, we are mostly occupied with the self-image.
K: Yes. That is right.
S: What about the self-image? And the whole way it generates itself?
B: We discussed that before. It gets caught on thinking of the self as real. That is always implicit. Say, for example, the image may be that I am suffering in a certain way, and I must get rid of this suffering. There is always the implicit meaning in that, that I am real, and therefore I must keep on thinking about this reality. And it gets caught in that feedback we were talking about - the thought feeds back and builds up.
S: Builds up more images.
B: More images, yes.
S: So that is the consciousness...
K: Wait. The content of my consciousness is a vast series of images, inter-related - not separated, but interrelated.
B: But they are all centred on the self.
K: On the self, of course. The self is the centre.
B: The self is regarded as all important.
B: That gives it tremendous energy.
K: Now what I am getting at is this: you are asking me, who am fairly serious, fairly intelligent, asking me as an ordinary human being to empty that consciousness.
S: Right. I am asking you to stop this image-making.
K: Not only the image-making. You are asking me to be free of the self, which is the maker of images.
K: And I say please tell me how to do it. And you tell me that the moment you ask me how to do it, you are already building an image, a system, a method.
B: Yes, when you ask how am I to do it - you have already put `I' in the middle. The same image as before with a slightly different content.
K: So you tell me, never to ask how to do it because the "how" involves the me doing it. Therefore I am creating another picture.
B: That shows the way you slip into it. When you ask how to do it, the word "me" is not there but it is there implicitly.
K: Implicitly, yes.
B: And therefore you slip in.
K: So now you stop me and say proceed from there. What is the action that will free consciousness, even a corner of it, a limited part of it? I want to discuss it with you. Don't tell me how to do it. I have understood that and I will never again ask how to do it. The how, as Dr Bohm explained, conveys implicitly the me wanting to do it, and the me is the factor of the image-maker.
K: I have understood that very clearly. So then I say to you, I realize this - what am I to do?
S: Do you realize it?
K: Yes, sir. I know it. I know I am making images all the time. I am very well aware of it. Because I have discussed with you. I have gone into it. I have realized right from the beginning during these talks that relationship is the most important thing in life. Without that life is chaos.
S: Got it.
K: That has been driven into me. I see that every flattery and every insult is registered in the brain, and that thought then takes it over as memory and creates an image, and the image gets hurt.
B: So the image is the hurt...
K: ...is the hurt.
S: That's right.
K: So, Dr Bohm, what is one to do? What am I to do? There are two things involved in it - one is to prevent further hurts and the other is to be free of all the hurts that I have had.
B: But they are both the same principle.
K: I think there are two principles involved.
B: Are there?
K: One to prevent it, the other to wipe away the hurts I have.
S: It is not just that I want to prevent the further hurt. It seems to me that you must first say how I am to be aware of how in fact I take flattery. I want you to see that if I flatter you, you get a big inner gush; then you get a fantasy about yourself. So now you have got an image of yourself as this wonderful person who fits the flattery.
K: No, you have told me very clearly that it is two sides of the same coin. Pleasure and pain are the same.
S: The same, exactly the same.
K: You have told me that.
S: That's right. I am telling you that.
K: I have understood it.
B: They are both images.
K: Both images, right. So please - you are not answering my question. How am I, realizing all this, I am a fairly intelligent man, I have read a great deal, an ordinary man - I personally don't read so it is an ordinary man I am talking about - I have discussed this and I see how extraordinarily important all this is - and I ask, how am I to end it? Not the method. Don't tell me what to do. I won't accept it because it means nothing to me - right, sirs?
B: Well, we were discussing whether there is a difference between the stored-up hurts and the ones which are to come.
K: That's right. It is the first thing I have to understand. Tell me.
B: Well, it seems to me that fundamentally they work on the same principle.
B: Well, if you take the hurt that is to come my brain is already disposed to respond with an image.
K: I don't understand it. Make it much simpler.
B: Well, there is no distinction really between the past hurts and the present one because they all come from the past, I mean come from the reaction of the past.
K: So you are telling me, don't divide the past hurt from the future hurt because the image is the same.
B: Yes. The process is the same. I may just be reminded of the past hurt, and that is the same as somebody else insulting me.
K: Yes, yes. So you are saying to me, don't divide the past from the future hurt. There is only hurt. Therefore look at the image, not in terms of past hurts or future hurts but just look at that image which is both the past and the future.
B: But we are saying look at the image, not at its particular content but its general structure.
K: Yes, yes, that's right. Now then my next question is: How am I to look at it? Because I have already an image with which I am going to look. You promise me by your words, not promise exactly, but give me hope that if I have right relationship I will live a life that will be extraordinarily beautiful, I will know what love is - therefore I am already excited by this idea.
B: Then I have to be aware of an image of that kind too.
K: Yes, yes. Therefore, how am I - that is my point - how am I to look at this image? I know I have an image, not only one image but several images, but the centre of that image is me, the I - I know all that. Now how am I to look at it? May we proceed now? Right. Is the observer different from that which he is observing? That is the real question.
B: That is the question, yes. You could say that that is the root of the power of the image.
K: Yes, yes. You see, sir, what happens? If there is a difference between the observer and the observed there is that interval of time in which other activities go on.
B: Well, yes, in which the brain eases itself into something more pleasant.
K: Yes. And where there is a division there is conflict. So you are telling me to learn the art of observing, which is: that the observer is the observed.
B: Yes, but I think we could look first at our whole conditioning, which tells us that the observer is different from the observed.
K: Different. Of course.
B: We should perhaps look at that, because that is what everybody feels.
K: That the observer is different.
B: Ordinarily, when I am thinking of myself, that self is a reality, which is independent of thought, do you see?
K: Yes, we think that it is independent of thought.
B: And that the self is the observer who is a reality.
K: Quite right.
B: Who is independent of thought and who is thinking, who is producing thought.
K: But it is the product of thought.
B: Yes. That is the confusion.
K: Are you telling me, sir, that the observer is the result of the past?
B: Yes. One can see that.
K: My memories, my experiences - it is all the past.
B: Yes, but I think the viewer may find it a little hard to follow that, if he hasn't gone into it.
S: Very hard, I think.
K: Be fairly simple.
S: What do you mean?
K: Don't you live in the past? Your life is the past.
K: You are living in the past. Right?
S: That's right, yes.
K: Past memories, past experiences.
S: Yes, past memories, past becomings.
K: And from the past you project the future.
K: You hope that you will be good, that you will be different in future. It's always from the past to the future.
S: That's right. That's how it is lived.
K: Now that past is the me, of course.
B: But it does look as if it is something independent...
K: Is it independent?
B: It isn't, but...
K: I know, that is what we are asking. Is the me independent of the past?
B: It looks as if the me is here looking at the past.
K: The me is the product of the past.
S: Right. I can see that.
K: How do you see it?
S: I see it intellectually.
K: Then you don't see it.
S: Right. That is what I am coming to.
K: You are playing tricks.
S: I see it as an intellectual - that's right, that's right. I see it intellectually.
K: Do you see this table intellectually?
S: There is an immediacy of perception there.
K: Why isn't there an immediacy of perception of a truth, which is that you are the past?
S: Because time comes in. I imagine that I have gone through time.
K: What do you mean imagine?
S: I have an image of myself at three, I have an image of myself at ten and I have an image of myself at seventeen, and I say that they followed in sequence in time. I see myself having developed over that time. I am different now from what I was five years ago.
K: Are you?
S: I am telling you that that is how I have got that image. That image of a developmental sequence.
K: I understand all that, sir.
S: And I exist as a storehouse of memories, of accumulated incidents.
K: That is, time has produced that.
S: Right. I see that, right.
K: What is time?
S: I have just described it to you. Time is a movement... I have moved from the time I was three.
K: From the past, it is a movement.
S: That's right. From three to ten, to seventeen.
K: Yes, I understand. Now, is that movement an actuality?
S: What do you mean by actuality?
B: Or is it an image? Is it an image, or is it an actuality? I mean, if I have an image of myself as saying "I need this", it may not be an actual fact - right? It is just...
K: An image is not a fact.
S: Right. But I feel...
K: No, what you feel is like saying "my experience'.
S: No, I am describing an actual...