Wholeness of Life
5th Public Talk Ojai California
16th April 1977
Death--a Great Act of Purgation
Death is something not only mysterious but a great act of purgation. That which continues in a repetitive pattern is degeneration. The pattern may vary according to country, according to climate, according to circumstance, but it is a pattern. Moving in any pattern brings about a continuity and that continuity is part of the degenerating process of man. When there is an ending of continuity, something new can take place. One can understand it instantly if one has understood the whole movement of thought, of fear, hate, love - then one can grasp the significance, instantly, of what death is.
What is death? When one asks that question, thought has many answers. Thought says: "I do not want to go into all the miserable explanations of death." Every human being has an answer to it, according to his conditioning, according to his desire, his hope. Thought always has an answer. The answer will invariably be intellectual, verbally put together by thought. But one is examining, without having an answer, something totally unknown, totally mysterious - death is a tremendous thing.
One realizes that the organism, the body, dies and the brain - having in life been misused in various forms of self-indulgence, contradiction, effort, constant struggle, wearing itself out mechanically, for it is a mechanism - also dies. The brain is the repository of memory; memory as experience, as knowledge. From that experience and knowledge, stored up in the cells of the brain, as memory, thought arises. When the organism comes to an end, the brain also comes to an end, and so thought comes to an end. Thought is a material process - thought is nothing spiritual - it is a material process based on memory held in the cells of the brain; when the organism dies, thought dies. Thought creates the whole structure of the me - the me that wants this, the me that does not want that, the me that is fearful, anxious, despairing, longing, lonely - fearful of dying. And thought says: "What is the value, what is the significance of life for a human being who has struggled, experienced, acquired, lived in such an ugly, stupid, miserable way and then for it to end?" So, thought then says: "No, this is not the end, there is another world." But that other world is still merely the movement of thought.
One asks what happens after death. Now ask quite a different question: What is before death? - not what is after death. What is before death, which is one's life. What is one's life? Go to school, to college, university, get a job, man and woman live together, he goes off to the office for 50 years, she goes off earning more money, they have children, pain, anxiety, each fighting. Living such a miserable life one wants to know what is after death - about which volumes have been written, all produced by thought, all saying, "Believe". So, if one puts all that aside, literally, actually, puts it all aside, then what is one faced with? - the actual fact that oneself who is put together by thought, comes to an end - all one's anxieties, all one's longings come to an end. When one is living, as one is living now, with vigour, with energy, with all the travail of life, can one live meeting death now? I am living in all vigour, energy and capacity, and death means an ending to that living. Now, can I live with death all the time? That is: I am attached to you; end that attachment, which is death - is it not? One is greedy and when one dies, one cannot carry greed with one; so end the greed, not in a week's time, or ten days' time - end it, now. So one is living a life full of vigour, energy, capacity, observation, seeing the beauty of the earth and also the ending of that instantly, which is death. So to live before death is to live with death; which means that one is living in a timeless world. One is living a life in which everything that one acquires is constantly ending, so that there is always a tremendous movement, one is not fixed in a certain place. This is not a concept. When one invites death, which means the ending of everything that one holds, dying to it, each day, each minute, then one will find - not "one" there is then no oneself finding it, because one has gone - then there is that state of a timeless dimension in which the movement we know as time, is not. It means the emptying of the content of one's consciousness so that there is no time; time comes to an end, which is death.
1st Public Talk Brockwood Park
27th August 1977
Action Which Is Skilful and Which Does Not Perpetuate the Self
We have become very skilful in dealing with our daily life; skilful, in the sense of being clever in applying a great deal of knowledge which we have acquired through education and through experience. We act skilfully, either in a factory, or in a business and so. That skill becomes, through repetitive action, routine. Skill, when it is highly developed - as it should be - leads to self importance and self aggrandizement. Skill has brought us to our present state, not only technologically but in our relationships, in the way we deal with each other - not clearly, not with compassion, but with skill. Is there an action, in our daily life, which is skilful yet which does not perpetuate the self, the me, which does not give importance to oneself and to one's self-centred existence? Is it possible to act skilfully without strengthening the self? To answer that one has to enquire into what clarity is; when there is clarity there is action which is skilful and which does not perpetuate the self.
Clarity exists only when there is freedom to observe. One is only capable of observing, looking, watching, when there is complete and total freedom; otherwise there is always distortion in the observation. Is it possible to be free of all the distorting factors in one's outlook? When one observes oneself, or another, or society, the environment, the whole cultural, political and religious movements that are going on in the world - the so-called religious movements - can one do so without any prejudice, without taking any side, without projecting one's own personal conclusions, one's beliefs and dogmas, one's experience and knowledge and be totally free to observe clearly?
One may describe what compassion is in the most eloquent and poetic manner but in whatever words it is expressed, those words are not the thing. Without compassion there is no clarity; without clarity there is no selfless skill - they are interrelated. Can one have this extraordinary sense of compassion in one's daily life, not as a theory, not as an ideal, not something to be achieved, to be practised and so on, but to have it totally, completely, at the very root of one's being?
Can there be clarity? One can be very clear in one's thinking, in its objectivity, rationality, sanity; but such thinking, however logical, however objective, is very limited. And one sees that such logical, objective thinking has not solved our problems; the philosophers, the scientists, the so-called religious people, have thought very clearly about certain things, but in daily life, clear thinking has not resolved our most important issues. One may think very clearly about one's envy or violence, but that does not bring about the ending of envy or violence. Clear thinking is limited because it is thought and thought itself is limited, conditioned. Thought itself has its own boundary; it may try to go beyond that boundary by inventing a logo, a deity or a Utopian State and so on, but these inventions are still limited because thought is the product of memory, experience and knowledge and it is always from the past and therefore time-bound. Is it possible to see the limitations of thought and give it its right place? Giving the right place to thought brings clarity.
To understand the whole meaning and the depth of compassion one has to investigate the movement of one's consciousness. Wherever one goes in the world, east or west, north or south, human beings have great anxiety and live in uncertainty, always seeking security in some form or another - physiologically or psychologically. And they are full of violence, right through the world; this is an extraordinary phenomenon - violence, greed, envy, hatred. In consciousness there is the good and the bad; the bad is increasing; it is increasing because the good has become static, the good is not flowering. One has accepted certain patterns of what is thought to be good and one lives according to those patterns. So, the good, instead of flowering, is withering and thereby giving strength to the bad. There is more violence, more hatred, there are more national and religious divisions, there is every form of antagonism, right through the world. It is on the increase because the good is not flowering. Now, be aware of this fact without any effort; the moment one makes effort one gives importance to the self, which is the bad. Just observe the actual fact of the bad without any effort, observe it without any choice - because choice is a distorting factor. When one observes so openly, so freely, then the good begins to flower. It is not that one pursues the good and thereby gives it strength to flower but when the bad, the evil, the ugly, is understood, completely, the other naturally flowers.
We have strengthened in our consciousness, through great development of skill, the structure and the nature of the self. The self is violence, the self is greed, envy and so on. They are of the very essence of the self. As long as there is the centre as the me, every action must be distorted. Acting from a centre you are giving a direction, and that direction is distortion. You may develop a great skill in this way but it is always unbalanced, inharmonious. Now, can consciousness with its movement undergo a radical transformation, a transformation not brought about by will? Will is desire, desire for something and when there is desire there is a motive, which is again a distorting factor in observation. In our consciousness there is this duality, the good and the bad. We are always looking with the eyes of the good and also with the eyes of the bad, so there is a conflict. Now to eliminate conflict altogether is only possible when you observe without any choice. Just observe yourself. In that way you eliminate the conflict between the good and the bad.
1st Public Talk Saanen
10th July 1977
Reason and Logic Alone Will Not Discover Truth
Reason and logic have not solved our human problems, and we are going to find out if there is quite a different approach to all the problems and travails of life. We shall come upon something that is beyond reason; for reason has not solved any of our political, economic or social problems; nor has it solved the intimate human problems between two people. It becomes more and more obvious that we live in a world that is going to pieces, that has become quite insane, quite disorderly and a dangerous place to live in. Up to a point we must reason together, logically, sanely, holistically; then, perhaps, beyond that point, we shall be able to find a different state, a different quality of mind, not bound by any dogma, by any belief, by any experience and therefore a mind that is free to observe and through that observation see exactly "what is" and also find that there is energy to transform it.
One must not start from any conclusion, from any belief, from any dogma which conditions the mind, but from a mind that is free to observe, to learn, to move and act. Such a mind is a compassionate mind for compassion has no cause; it is not a result. Compassion comes when the mind is free and it brings about a fundamental psychological revolution. That psychological revolution is what we are concerned with from the beginning to the end.
So we will begin by asking ourselves: What is it that we are seeking? Physical comfort? Physical security? Deep down, is there the demand or desire to be totally secure in all our activities; in all our relationships to be stable, certain, permanent? We cling to experience that gives us a certain quality of stability, or to a certain identification which gives us a sense of permanency, well-being. In a belief there is security; in identification with a particular dogma, political or religious, there is security. If we are aged, we find security or happiness in the remembrance of things past, in the experiences that we have known, in the love that we have had, and we cling to the past. And if we are young and cheerful we are satisfied for the moment, not thinking about the future or the past. But gradually youth slips into old age with the desire to be secure, with the anxiety of uncertainty, of not being able to depend on anything or anybody, yet desiring deeply to have something secure to cling to.
We have to examine closely whether there is psychological security at all. And if there is no psychological security will a human being go insane; will he become totally neurotic, because he has no security? Probably the majority of human beings are somewhat neurotic. A Communist, a Catholic, Protestant or Hindu, each is secure in his belief; he has no fear because he clings to it. And when you begin to investigate, or question, or reason with him he stops at a certain point and will not examine further, it is too dangerous, he feels his security is being threatened; then communication ceases. He may reason, think logically up to a certain point but is incapable of breaking through to a different dimension altogether; he is stuck in a groove and will not investigate anything else. Does that really give security? Does thought, which has created all these beliefs, dogmas, experiences, divisions, give security? We function with thought; all our activity is based on thought, horizontal or vertical; whether you are aspiring to great heights it is the movement of thought vertically; or whether you are merely satisfied to bring about a social revolution and so on it is the horizontal movement of thought. So does thought fundamentally, basically, give security, psychologically? Thought has its place; but when thought assumes that it can bring about psychological security then it is living in illusion. Thought wanting ultimate security has created a thing called god; and humanity clings to that idea. Thought can create every kind of romantic illusion. And when the mind, psychologically, seeks security in the dogma of the Church, or some other dogmatic assertion, or whatever it is, it is seeking security in the structure of thought.
Thought is the response of experience and knowledge, stored up in the brain as memory; that response is therefore always moving from the past. Now, is there security in the past? Please use your reason, logic, all your energy to find out. Can any activity of thought, which is essentially of the past, give security? Follow the sequence of it; in that which it has created it seeks security and that security is of the past. Thought, though it may project the future, says: "I am going to attain godhood", yet that movement of thought is essentially from the past. Or, recognizing there is no security in the past, thought then projects an idea, an idealistic state of mind and finds security in the hope of that in the future.
A human being, throughout life, depends on thought and the things that thought has put together as being most essential, holiness, unholiness, morality, immorality and so on. Someone comes along and says: "Now look, all that is the movement of the past." Having reasoned with him, logically, the other says: "Why not, what is wrong with holding on to thought even though it is of the past"? He acknowledges it, and says: "I'll hold to it, what is wrong?" Yet when the human mind lives in the past and when it holds to the past, then it is incapable of living, or perceiving truth.
We come to a certain point and we say: "Yes, I see and I recognize logically, that in those things there is no security and when they are questioned there is fear." And when we say we see that, what do we mean by that word "see"? Is it merely a logical understanding, a verbal understanding, a linear understanding, or is it an understanding which is so profound that that very understanding breaks down, without any effort, the whole movement of thought? When you say: "I understand what you are saying", what do you mean by that word "understand"? Do you mean you understand the English words? Is it an understanding of the words, the meaning of the words, the explanation of the words and therefore an understanding only at a very superficial level? Or, is it that, when you say "I understand", you mean you actually "see", or observe the truth as to what thought is; you actually feel, taste, observe in your blood as it were, that thought, whatever it creates, has no security? You "see" the truth of it and therefore you are free of it. Seeing the truth of it is intelligence. Such intelligence is not reason, logic, or the very careful dialectical explanation; the latter is merely the exposition of thought in various forms; and thought is never intelligent. The perception of the truth is intelligence; and in that intelligence there is complete security. That intelligence is not yours or mine; that intelligence is not conditioned - we have finished with all that. We have seen that thought in its very movement creates conditioning and when you understand that movement, that very understanding is intelligence. In that intelligence there is security, from that there is action.
We may talk about this question in different ways, in different fields, such as fear, pleasure, sorrow, death, meditation, but the essence of it is this: thought is the movement from the past, therefore of time and therefore measurable. That which is measurable can never find the immeasurable, which is truth. That can only take place when the mind actually sees the truth that whatever thought has created, in that there is no security; the very observation of that is intelligence. When there is that intelligence then it is all finished. Then you are out of this world, though you are living in it; though trying to do something in it, you are completely an outsider.
1st Public Talk Ojai California
2nd April 1977
Intelligence, in Which There Is Complete Security
Wherever one goes in the world, India, Europe and America, one sees great sorrow, violence, wars, terrorism, killing, drugs - every kind of stupidity. One accepts these as though inevitable and easily puts up with them, or one revolts against them; but revolt is a reaction, as Communism is a reaction to Capitalism or Fascism.
So, without revolting, without going against everything and forming one's own little group, or without following a guru from India or from elsewhere, without accepting any kind of authority - because in spiritual matters there is no authority - can we investigate these problems that human beings have had, centuries upon centuries, generation after generation, these conflicts, uncertainties, travails, all the things that human beings go through during life only to end in death, without understanding what it is all about?
Psychologically, inwardly, every human being, whoever he is, is the world. The world is represented in oneself and oneself is the world. That is a psychological, absolute fact; though one may have a white skin and another a brown or black skin, be affluent or very poor, yet inwardly, deep down, we are all the same; we suffer loneliness, sorrow, conflict, misery, confusion; we depend on someone to tell us what to do, how to think, what to think; we are slaves to propaganda from the various political parties and religions, and so on. That is what is happening all over the world inwardly; deep down, we are slaves to the propaganda of the experts, of the governments and so on, we are conditioned human beings, whether we live in India, Europe or America.
So, one is actually, psychologically, the world and the world is oneself. Once one realizes this fact, not verbally, not ideologically or as an escape from fact, but actually, deeply feel the fact, realize the fact, that one is not different from the other - however far away he is - inwardly he suffers greatly and is terribly frightened, uncertain, insecure, then one is not concerned with one's little self, one is concerned with the total human being. One is concerned with the total human being - not with Mr X or Y or somebody else - but with the total psychological entity as a human being, wherever he lives. He is conditioned in a particular way; he may be a Catholic, a Protestant, or he may be conditioned by thousands of years of certain kinds of beliefs, superstitions, ideas and gods, as in India, but below that conditioning, in the depth of his mind, when alone, he is facing the same life of sorrow, pain, grief and anxiety. When one sees this as an actual, irrevocable fact, then one begins to think entirely differently and one begins to observe, not as an individual person having troubles and anxieties, but whole, entire. It gives one an extraordinary strength and vitality; one is not alone, one is the entire history of mankind - if one knows how to read that history which is enshrined in one. This is not rhetoric but a serious factor one is deeply concerned with, a fact which one denies, because one thinks one is so individualistic. One is so concerned with oneself, with one's petty problems, with one's little guru, with one's little beliefs; but when one realizes this extraordinary fact, then it gives one tremendous strength and a great urgency to investigate and transform oneself, because one is mankind. When there is such transformation, one affects the whole consciousness of man because one is the entire humanity; when one changes fundamentally, deeply, when there is this psychological revolution in one, then naturally, as one is part of the total consciousness of the human being, which is the rest of humanity, its consciousness is affected. So, one is concerned to penetrate the layers of one's consciousness and to investigate whether it is possible to transform the content of that consciousness so that out of that transformation a different dimension of energy and clarity may come into being.
A human being, who is representative of the world, who is the world, psychologically, what is his innermost demand? In one part of his consciousness it is to find both biological and psychological security; he must have food, clothes and shelter - that is an absolute necessity. But also he demands, craves, and searches for psychological security - to have psychological certainty about everything. The whole struggle in the world, both physiologically and psychologically, is to find security. Security means physical permanency, physically to be well, to continue, advance, grow, and also it means psychological permanency. Everything, psychologically, if one observes very carefully, is very impermanent; one's relationships, psychologically, are most uncertain. One may be temporarily secure in one's relationship with another, man or woman, but it is only temporary. That very temporary security is the ground of complete insecurity.
So one asks: is there any security, psychologically, at all? One seeks psychological security in the family - the family being the wife, the children. There one tries to find a relationship that will be secure, lasting, permanent - all relative, because there is always death. And, not always finding it - there are divorces, quarrels and all the misery, jealousies, anger, hatred that goes on - one tries to find security in a community, with a group of people, large or small. One tries to find security in the nation - I'm an American, I'm a Hindu - that gives a tremendous sense of apparent security. But when one tries to find security, psychologically, in a nation, that nation is divided from another nation. Where there is division between nations - in one of which one has invested psychologically one's security - there are wars, there are economic pressures. That is what is actually going on in the world.
If one seeks security in an ideology - the Communist ideology, the Capitalist ideology, the religious ideologies, with their dogmas, images - there is division; one believes in one set of ideals which one likes, which give one comfort, in which one seeks security with a group of people who believe the same thing, yet another group believes another thing and from them one is divided. Religions have divided people. The Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Muslims, divide; they are at each other, each believing something extraordinary, romantic, unrealistic, unreal, not factual.
Seeing all this - not as something to be avoided or to become supercilious or intellectual about - seeing all this very clearly, one asks, is there psychological security at all? And, if there is no psychological security, then does it become chaos? One loses one's identity - one has been identified with a nation, America, or with Jesus, with Buddha and so on - when reason, logic, makes it clear how absurd all this is. Does one despair because one has observed the fallacy of these divisive processes, the unreality of these fictions, myths, fantasies which have no basis? The very perception of all this is intelligence - not the intelligence of a clever, cunning mind, not the intelligence of book knowledge, but the intelligence which comes out of clear observation. In that intelligence, brought about this clear observation, there is security; that very intelligence is secure.
But one will not let go, one is too afraid to let go lest one does not find security. One can let go of being a Catholic, Protestant, Communist, and so on, fairly easily. But when one does let go, when one cleanses oneself of all this, either one does it as a reaction, or one does it because one has observed intelligently, holistically, with great clarity, the absurdity of the fantasies and the make-belief. Because one observes without any distortion, because one is not out to get something from it, because one is not thinking in terms of punishment and reward, because one observes very clearly, then that very clarity of perception is intelligence. In that there is extraordinary security - not that you become secure, but intelligence is secure.
One has come to the absolute fact - not relative fact - the absolute fact that there is no psychological security in anything that man has invented; one sees that all our religions are inventions, put together by thought. When one sees that all our divisive endeavours, which come about when there are beliefs, dogmas, rituals, which are the whole substance of religion, when one sees all that very clearly, not as an idea, but as a fact, then that very fact reveals the extraordinary quality of intelligence in which there is complete, whole security.
4th Public Talk Saanen
17th July 1977
In Negation the Positive Is Born
We are dealing with the facts of daily life, our way of living. Most of us abstract from those facts ideas and conclusions which become our prisons. We may ventilate those prisons but still we live there and go on making further abstractions of facts there. We are not dealing with ideas, exotic philosophies, or with abstract conclusions. We are going into problems that require a great deal of care and about which we must be very serious - because the house is burning. The Communist world is pressing in all the time, constraining us to believe in certain ideologies and if we do not we can be sent either to a concentration camp or a mental hospital. That is gradually closing in. If you are aware of the world situation, of what is happening in the world economically, socially, politically, of the preparation for wars, you become extremely serious; it is not a thing to play around with, you have to act.
Most of us are mediocre - we just go half way up the hill. Excellence means going to the very top of it and we are asking for excellence. Otherwise we shall be smothered, destroyed, as human beings, by the politicians, by the ideologists, whether they are Communists, Socialists and so on. We are demanding of ourselves the highest form of excellence. That excellence can only come into being when there is clarity and compassion without which the human mind will destroy human beings, destroy the world.
We are exercising reason, clear objective thinking, and logic, but they themselves do not bring about compassion. We must exercise the qualities that we have, which are reason, careful observation and from those the excellency of clear sight to examine the various contents of consciousness, in which compassion does not exist; there may be pity in them, sympathy and tolerance, there may be the desire to help, there may be a form of love, but all these are not compassion.
Is compassion or love, pleasure? What is the significance and the meaning of pleasure, which every human being is seeking and pursuing at any cost? What is pleasure? There is the pleasure derived from possessions; the pleasure derived from a capacity or talent; the pleasure when you dominate another; the pleasure of having tremendous power, politically, religiously or economically; the pleasure of sex; the pleasure of the great sense of freedom that money gives. There are multiple forms of pleasure. In pleasure there is enjoyment, and further on there is ecstasy, the taking delight in something and the sense of ecstasy. "Ecstasy" is to be beyond yourself. There is no self to enjoy. The self - that is the me, the ego, the personality - has all totally disappeared, there is only that sense of being outside. That is ecstasy. But that ecstasy has nothing whatsoever to do with pleasure.
You take a delight in something; the delight that comes naturally when you look at something very beautiful. At that moment, at that second, there is neither pleasure, nor joy, there is only that sense of observation. In that observation the self is not. When you look at a mountain with its snow cap, with its valleys, its grandeur and magnificence, all thought is driven away. There it is, that greatness in front of you and there is delight. Then thought comes along registering as memory what a marvellous and lovely experience it was. Then that registration, that memory, is cultivated and that cultivation becomes pleasure. Whenever thought interferes with the sense of beauty, the sense of the greatness of anything, a piece of poetry, a sheet of water, or a lonely tree in a field, it is registration. But, to see it and not register it - that is important. The moment you register it, the beauty of it, then that very registration sets thought into action; then the desire to pursue that beauty, which becomes the pursuit of pleasure. One sees a beautiful woman, or man; instantly it is registered in the brain; then that very registration sets thought into motion and you want to be in her or his company and all that follows. Pleasure is the continuation and the cultivation in thought of a perception. You have had sexual experience last night, or two weeks ago, you remember it and desire the repetition of it, which is the demand for pleasure.
It is the function of the brain to register; in registration it is secure, it knows what to do and from that there is the development of skill. That skill in its turn becomes a great pleasure as a talent, a gift; it is the movement, the continuation of thought through desire and pleasure. Is it possible to register only that which is absolutely necessary and not register anything else? Take a very simple thing: most of us have had physical pain of some sort or another; that pain is registered and the brain says, tomorrow, or a week later, I must be very careful not to have that pain again. Physical pain is distorting; you cannot think clearly when there is great pain. It is the function of the brain to register that pain so as to safeguard itself from doing things that will bring about pain. It must register and then there is the fear of that pain happening again later - that registration has caused fear. Is it possible, having had that pain, to end it, not carry it on, not carry it over? If so, then the brain has the security of being free and intelligent; but the moment the pain is carried over it is never free.
Is it possible to register only the things that are absolutely necessary? The necessary things are the knowledge of how to drive a car, how to speak a language, technological knowledge, the knowledge of reading, writing and so on. But in our human relationships, those between man and woman for example, every incident in that relationship is registered. What takes place? The woman is irritated, nags, or is friendly, kindly, or says something just before the man goes off to the office, which is ugly; so from this there is built up, through registration, an image about her and she builds an image about him - this is factual. In human relationships, between man and woman, or between neighbours and so on, there is registration and the process of image making. But when the husband says something ugly listen to it carefully, end it, do not carry it on; then you will find that there is no image-making at all. If there is no image-making between a man and a woman the relationship is entirely different; there is no longer the relationship of one thought opposed to another thought - which is called relationship, which actually it is not; it is just ideas.
Pleasure follows registration of an incident in the continuation given by thought. Thought is the root of pleasure. If you had no thought and you saw a beautiful thing it would rest at that. But thought says: "No I must have that"; from this flows the whole movement of thought.
What is the relationship of pleasure to joy? Joy comes to you uninvited, it happens. You are walking along in a street, or sitting in a bus, or wandering in the woods, seeing the flowers, the hills, and the clouds and the blue sky and suddenly there is the extraordinary feeling of great joy; then comes the registration, thought says: "What a marvellous thing that was, I must have more of it." So, again joy is made into pleasure by thought. This is seeing things as they are, not as you want them to be; it is seeing them exactly, without any distortion, seeing what is taking place.
What is love? Is it pleasure; which is the continuation of an incident through the movement of thought? Is the movement of thought love? Is love remembrance? A thing has happened and living in its remembrance, feeling that remembrance of something which is over, resuscitating it and saying, "What a marvellous thing that was when we were together under that tree; that was love" - all that is the remembrance of a thing that is gone. Is that love? Is love the pleasure of sex? - in which there is tenderness, kindliness and so on - is that love? That is not to say that it is, or that it is not.
We are questioning everything that man has put together of which he says: "This is love." If love is pleasure then it gives emphasis to the remembrance of past things and therefore brings about the importance of the me - my pleasure, my excitement, my remembrances. Is that love? And is love desire? What is desire? One desires a car; one desires a house; one desires prominence, power, position. There are infinite things one desires; to be as beautiful as you are; to be as intelligent, as clever, as smart as you are. Does desire bring clarity?
The thing that is called love is based on desire - desire to sleep with a woman, or sleep with a man, desire to possess her, dominate her, control her, "she is mine, not yours." Is love in the pleasure derived in that possession, in that dominance? Man dominates the world and now there is woman fighting the domination.
What is desire? Does desire bring about clarity? In its field does compassion flower? If it does not bring clarity and if desire is not the field in which the beauty and the greatness of compassion flower, then what place has desire? How does desire arise? One sees a beautiful woman, or a beautiful man - one sees. There is the perception, the seeing, then the contact, then the sensation, then that sensation is taken over by thought, which becomes the image with its desire. You see a beautiful vase, a beautiful sculpture - ancient Egyptian, or Greek - and you look at it and you touch it; you see the depth of sculpture of the figure sitting cross-legged. From that there is a sensation. What a marvellous thing and from that sensation desire; "I wish I had that in my room; to look at it every day, touch it every day" - the pride of possession, to have such a marvellous thing as that. That is desire: seeing, contact, sensation, then thought using that sensation to cultivate the desire to possess - or not to possess.
Now comes the difficulty: realizing this the religious people have said: "Take vows of celibacy; do not look at a woman; if you do look treat her as your sister, mother, whatever you like; because you are in the service of God you need all your energy to serve Him; in the service of God you are going to have great tribulations, therefore be prepared, but do not waste your energy." But the thing is boiling and we are trying to understand that desire which is constantly boiling, wanting to fulfil, wanting to complete itself.
Desire arises from the movement - seeing - contact - sensation - thought with its image - desire. Now we are saying: seeing - touching - sensation, that is normal, healthy - end it there, do not let thought take it over and make it into a desire. Understand this and then you will also understand that there will be no suppression of desire. You see a beautiful house, well proportioned with lovely windows, a roof that melts into the sky, walls that are thick and part of the earth, a beautiful garden, well kept. You look at it, there is sensation; you touch it - you may not actually touch it but you touch it with your eyes - you smell the air, the herbs, the newly-cut grass. Can you not end it there? End it there, say: "It is a beautiful house"; but there is no registration and no thought which says: "I wish I had that house" - which is desire and the continuation of desire. You can do this so easily; and I mean easily, if you understand the nature of thought and desire.
Is thought love? Does thought cultivate love? It is not pleasure, it is not desire, it is not remembrance, although they have their places. Then what is love? Is love jealousy? Is love a sense of possession, my wife, my husband, my girl - possession? Has love within it fear? It is none of these things, entirely wipe them all away, end them, putting them all in their right place - then love is.
Through negation the positive is - through negation; that is: is pleasure love? - you examine pleasure and see it is not that - though pleasure has its place it is not that - so you negate that. You see it is not remembrance though remembrance is necessary; so put remembrance in its right place, therefore you have negated remembrance as not being love. You have negated desire, though desire has a certain place. Therefore through negation the positive is. But we, on the contrary, posit the positive and then get caught in the negative. One must begin with doubt - completely doubting - then you end up with certainty. But if you start with certainty, then you end up in uncertainty and chaos.
So in negation the positive is born.
7th Public Talk Saanen
24th July 1977
Because There Is Space, There Is Emptiness and Total Silence
Time, for us, is very important, both chronologically and psychologically. We depend so much on psychological time. Time is related to movement - from here to there takes time. A distance to be covered, to arrive at a goal, to fulfil a purpose, requires time.
To learn a language requires time. That has been carried over into the psychological field: "We need time to be perfect; we need time to get over something; we need time to be free of our anxieties; to be free of our sorrow; to be free of our fears and so on." Time is needed in practical matters, in the field of technology and so on and that need for time has been introduced into our psychological life and we have accepted it. To wipe away our nationalities, to become brotherly we think we need time. Psychological time implies hope; the world is mad, let us hope in the future there will be a sane world. We are questioning whether there is such a thing as psychological time at all. We ask: Is there an action in which time is not involved at all? Action arising from a cause, a motive, needs time. Action based on a pattern of memory needs time to put into action. If you have an ideal, however noble, however beautiful and romantic, however nonsensical even, you need time to arrive at that idealistic state. And to arrive at that you destroy the present. It does not matter what happens to you now; what is important is the future. For the sake of the future sacrifice yourself now - some marvellous future established by the ideologists, the religious teachers and so on throughout the world. We question that and ask whether there is any psychological time at all and therefore no hope. "What shall I do if I have no hope?" Hope is so important because it gives you satisfaction, energy, drive to achieve something.
When one looks closely, non-sentimentally, logically, is there psychological time at all? There is psychological time only when one moves away from "what is". There is psychological time when one realizes that one is violent and then proceeds to enquire how to be free of it; that movement away from "what is" is time. But if one is totally and completely aware of "what is", then there is no such time.
Most of us are violent. Violence is not only hitting somebody physically, but anger, jealousy, acceptance of authority, conformity, imitation, accepting the edicts of another. Human beings are violent; that is the fact - violence. The very word "violence" condemns it. By the very usage of the word "violence" you have already condemned violence. See the intricacies of this. Being violent and being negligent, or lazy, we move away from it and invent ideological non-violence. That is time - the movement from "what is" to "what should be". That time comes to an end, completely, when there is only "what is" - which is non-verbal identification with "what is". Anger is a form of violence, or hatred, jealousy. The words "anger", "hatred" or "jealousy" in themselves are condemnatory; they are verbalizations which strengthen by reaction. When I say "I am angry," I have recognized from past angers the present anger, so I am using the word "anger" which is of the past and identifying that word with the present. The word has become extraordinarily important; yet if there is no usage of the word so that there is only the fact, the reaction, then there is no strengthening of that feeling.
Is it possible to live, psychologically, without tomorrow? To say: "I love you, I will meet you tomorrow", that affection is in memory projected towards tomorrow. Is there an activity without time at all? Love is not time; it is not a remembrance. If it is, it is not love, obviously. "I love you because you gave me sex; or you gave me food, or flattered me; or you said you needed a companion; I am lonely therefore I need you" - all that is not love, surely? When there is jealousy, when there is anxiety or hatred, that is not love. So then what is love? Love is obviously a state of mind in which there is no verbalization, no remembrance, but something immediate.
There is a way of living, in daily life, where time as movement from this state to that, has gone. What happens when you do that? You have an extraordinary vitality, an extraordinary sense of clarity. You are then only dealing with facts, not with ideas. But as most of us are imprisoned in ideas and have accepted that way of life, it is very difficult to break away. But, have an insight into it, then it is finished.
Our minds are so cluttered up, with knowledge, with worries, with problems, with money, with position and prestige; they are so burdened that there is no space at all; yet without space there is no order.
When I look at this valley from a height and there is a direction because I want to see where I live, then I lose the vastness of space. Where there is direction space is limited. Where there is a purpose, a goal, something to be achieved, there is no space. If you have a purpose in life for which you are living, concentrating, where is there space? Whereas if there is no concentration there is vast space.
When there is a centre from which we look, then space is very limited. When there is no centre, that is to say, no structure of the me which has been put together by thought, there is vast space. Without space there is no order, there is no clarity, there is no compassion.
Living where there is no effort, where there is no action of will, where there is tremendous space, is part of meditation.
So far we have only dealt with the waves on the surface of the ocean. You have only dealt with the superficiality of it. Now, if you have gone so far you can go into the depth of the ocean - of course you must understand how to dive deeply; not you dive, it comes about.
There is concentration, choiceless awareness and attention. Concentration implies resistance. Concentration on a particular thing, on the page you are reading, or on the phrase you are trying to understand: to concentrate is to put all your energy in a particular direction. In concentration there is resistance and therefore effort and division. You want to concentrate, thought goes off on something else, you bring it back - the fight. If you are interested in something you concentrate very easily. Implied in the word concentrate is putting your mind on a particular object, a particular picture, a particular action.
Choiceless awareness is to be aware both externally and inwardly, without any choice. Just to be aware of the trees, the mountains, nature, just to be aware. Not choose, saying, "I like this", "I don't like that", or "I want this", "I don't want that". It is to observe without the observer. The observer is the past, which is conditioned, always looking from that conditioned point of view, therefore there is like and dislike and so on. To be choicelessly aware implies observing the whole environment around you, the mountains, the trees, also the ugly world and the towns; just to be aware, observe and in that observation there is no decision, no will, no choice.
In attention there is no centre, there is no me attending. When there is no me which limits attention then attention is limitless; attention has limitless space.
After understanding all the waves on the surface - fear, authority, all the petty affairs compared to that which we are going into - the mind has then emptied consciousness of the whole of its content. It is empty; not through action of will, not through desire, not through choice. Consciousness, then, is totally different, is of a totally different dimension.
Because there is space there is emptiness and total silence - not induced silence, not practised silence; which are all just the movement of thought and therefore absolutely worthless. When you have gone through all this - and there is great delight in going through all this, it is like playing a tremendous game - then in that total silence there is a movement which is timeless, which is not measured by thought - thought has no place in it whatsoever - then there is something totally sacred, timeless.
5th Public Talk Saanen
19th July 1977
The State of The Mind That Has Insight Is Completely Empty
An awakened intelligence has a deep, true, insight into all our psychological problems, crises, blockages and so on; not intellectual comprehension, not the resolving of problems through conflict. Having an insight into a human issue is to awaken this intelligence; or, having this intelligence, there is the insight - both ways. In such insight there is no conflict; when you see something very clearly, when you see the truth of the matter, there is the end of it, you do not fight against it, you do not try to control, you do not make all manner of calculated, motivated, efforts. From that insight, which is intelligence, there is action - not postponed action but immediate action.
We are educated from childhood to exercise, as deeply as possible, every form of effort. If you observe yourself you will see what tremendous efforts we make to control ourselves, to suppress, adjust and modify ourselves to certain patterns or objectives that you or another have established; so there is constant struggle. We live with it and we die with it. And we ask: Is it possible to live our daily life without a single conflict?
Most of us are awakened to all the problems, political, religious, economic, social, ideological and so on, in which we live. Being somewhat aware of all that most of us are discontent. When you are young, this dissatisfaction becomes like a flame and you have a passion to do something. So you join some political party, the extreme Left, the extreme revolutionary, the extreme forms of "Jesus freaks" and so on and so on. By joining these things, by adopting certain attitudes, certain ideologies, that flame of discontent fades away and you then appear to be satisfied. You say: "This is what I want to do" and you pour your heart into it. But gradually you find, if you are at all awake to the problems involved, that you are not satisfied. It is too late; you have already given half your life to something which you thought would be completely worthwhile and you have found later on that it is not so; then your energy, capacity and drive has withered away. Gradually the real flame of discontent has withered away. You must have noticed the pattern that has been followed all the time, generation after generation, in yourself, in your children, in the young and the old.
But if you are alive to all these things and are discontented and if you do not allow this discontent to be squashed by the desire to be satisfied, by the desire to adjust oneself to the environment, to the "establishment", or to an ideal, to a Utopia, if you allow this flame to keep on burning, not being satisfied with anything, then the superficial satisfactions have no place; then this very dissatisfaction is demanding something much greater and the ideals, the gurus, the religions, the "establishment", become totally superficial. This flame of discontent, because it has no outlet, because it has no object in which it can fulfil itself, that flame becomes a great passion. That passion is intelligence. If you are not caught in these superficial, essentially reactionary things, then that extraordinary flame is intensified. That intensity brings about a quality of mind having a deep insight instantly into things, and from that there is action.
Such dissatisfaction does not make you neurotic or bring about imbalance. There is imbalance only when this dissatisfaction is translated, or caught in a trap of some kind or another; then there is distortion, then there are all kinds of fights, inwardly.
If you have been caught in these various traps, can you put them aside, wipe them out, destroy them? - do what you like, but have this tremendous flame of discontent now. It does not mean that you throw bombs at people, destroy, indulge in physical revolution and riots. When you put aside all the traps that man has created around you and that you have created for yourself, then this flame becomes a supreme intelligence. And that intelligence gives you insight. And when you have insight, from that there is immediate action.
Action is not tomorrow. There is an action without cause; it has been a problem for many great thinkers; action without cause, action without motive, action not dependent on some ideology. One of the demands of serious people is to find out if there is an action which is per se, for itself; which is without cause and motive. See what is implied in it: no regrets, no retention of those regrets and all the sequence that follows from those regrets, such action does not depend on some past or future ideology; it is an action which is always free. It is an action that is only possible when there is insight born of intelligence.
Most people would say that there must be conflict otherwise there is no growth; that conflict is part of life. A tree in a forest struggles to reach the sun; that is a form of conflict. Every animal is in conflict. And we human beings, supposed to be intelligent, are yet constantly in conflict. Now discontent says: "Why should I be in conflict?" Conflict implies comparison, imitation, conformity, adjustment to a pattern, the modified continuity of what has been, through the present, to the future - all a process of conflict. The deeper the conflict the more neurotic you become. And so, in order to have respite from conflict you believe most deeply in God, saying: "His will be done" - and we create this monstrous world.
Conflict implies comparison. Can one live without comparison? which means no ideal, no authority of a pattern, no conformity to a particular ideology. It implies freedom from the prison of ideas so that there is no comparison, no imitation, no conformity; therefore you are stuck with "what is" - actually what is. Comparison comes only when you compare "what is" with "what should be", or "what might be", or try to transform "what is" into something which it is not and all this implies conflict.
To live without comparison is to remove a tremendous burden. If you remove the burden of comparison, imitation, conformity, adjustment, modification, then you are left with "what is". Conflict arises only when you try to do something with "what is", try to transform it, to modify it, to change it, or to suppress it, run away from it. But if you have an insight into "what is" then conflict ceases; you are left with "what is". And what happens to "what is"? What is the state of your mind when you are looking at "what is"? What is the state of your mind when you are not escaping, not trying to transform, or deform "what is"? What is the state of that mind that is looking and has insight? The state of the mind that has insight is completely empty. It is free from escapes, free from suppression, analysis and so on. When all these burdens are taken away - because you see the absurdity of them, it is like taking away a heavy burden - there is freedom. Freedom implies an emptiness to observe. That emptiness gives you insight into violence - not the various forms of violence, but the whole nature of violence and the structure of violence; therefore there is immediate action about violence, which is to be free, completely, from all violence.
5th Public Talk Saanen
19th July 1977
Where There Is Suffering You Cannot Possibly Love
We say that love is part of suffering. When you love somebody it brings about suffering. We are going to question whether it is possible to be free of all suffering. When there is freedom from suffering in the consciousness of the human being then that freedom brings about a transformation in consciousness and that transformation affects the whole of mankind's suffering. That is part of compassion.
Where there is suffering you cannot possibly love. That is a truth, a law. When you love somebody and he or she does something of which you totally disapprove and you suffer, it shows that you do not love. See the truth of it. How can you suffer when your wife throws you away and goes after somebody else? Yet we suffer from that. We get angry, jealous, envious, hateful; at the same time we say, "I love my wife"! Such love is not love. So, is it possible not to suffer and yet have the flowering of immense love?
What is the nature and the essence of suffering - the essence of it, not the various forms of it? What is the essence of suffering? Is it not the total expression, at that moment, of complete self-centred existence? It is the essence of the me - the essence of the ego, the person, the limited, enclosed, resisting existence, which is called the "me". When there is an incident that demands understanding and insight, that is denied by the awakening of the me, the essence which is the cause of suffering. If there were no me, would there be suffering? One would help, one would do all kinds of things, but one would not suffer.
Suffering is the expression of the me; it includes self-pity, loneliness, trying to escape, trying to be with the other who is gone - and all else that is implied. Suffering is the very me, which is the image, the knowledge, the remembrance of the past. So, what relationship has suffering, the essence of the me, to love? Is there any relationship between love and suffering? The me is put together by thought: but is love put together by thought?
Is love put together by thought? - the memories of the pains, the delights, and the pursuit of pleasure, sexual or otherwise, of the pleasure of possessing somebody and somebody liking to be possessed; all that is the structure of thought. The me with its name, with its form, its memory, is put together by thought - obviously. But if love is not put together by thought, then suffering has no relationship to love. Therefore action from love is different from action from suffering.
What place has thought in relation to love and in relation to suffering? To have an insight into it means you are neither escaping, wanting comfort, frightened to be lonely, isolated; it means therefore your mind is free and that which is free is empty. If you have that emptiness you have an insight into suffering. Then suffering as the me disappears. There is immediate action because that is so; action then is from love, not from suffering.
One discovers that action from suffering is the action of the me and that therefore there is constant conflict. One can see the logic of it all, the reason for it. Only so is it possible to love without a shadow of suffering. Thought is not love; thought is not compassion. Compassion is intelligence - which is not the outcome of thought. What is the action of intelligence? If one has intelligence it is operating, it is functioning, it is acting. But if one asks: What is the action of intelligence? - one merely wants thought to be satisfied. When one asks: What is the action of compassion? - is it not thought that is asking? Is it not the me that is saying: If I could have this compassion I would act differently? Therefore when one puts such questions one is still caught in terms of thought; But with an insight into thought then thought has its right place and intelligence then acts.
3rd Public Talk Brockwood Park
3rd September 1977
Sorrow Is the Outcome of Time and Thought
We are concerned with the whole existence of man and whether a human being can ever be free from his travail, his efforts, his anxieties, violence and brutality, and whether there is an end to sorrow.
Why have human beings, throughout the ages, sustained and put up with suffering? Can there be an ending to it all?
One must be free of all ideologies. Ideologies are dangerous illusions, whether they are political, social, religious, or personal. Every form of ideology either ends up in totalitarianism, or in religious conditioning - as the Catholic, the Protestant, the Hindu, the Buddhist and so on; and ideologies become such great burdens. So, to go into the enormous question of suffering, one must be free from all ideologies. One may have experienced a great deal of suffering which may have brought about certain definite conclusions. But to enquire into this question one must be utterly free of all conclusions.
Obviously there is biological, physical, suffering, and that suffering may distort the mind if one is not very careful. But we are concerned with the psychological suffering of man. In investigating suffering we are investigating the suffering of all mankind, because each one of us is of the essence of all humanity; each one of us is, psychologically, inwardly, deeply, like the rest of mankind.
They suffer, they go through great anxiety, uncertainty, confusion, violence, through great sense of grief, loss, loneliness, as each one of us does. There is no division, psychologically, between us all. We are the world, psychologically, and the world is us. That is not a conviction, that is not a conclusion, that is not an intellectual theory, but an actuality, to be felt, to be realized and to be lived. investigating this question of sorrow one is investigating not only one's own personal limited sorrow but also the sorrow of mankind. Do not reduce it to a personal thing, because when one sees the enormous suffering of mankind, in the understanding of the enormity of it, the wholeness of it, then one's own part has a role in it. It is not a selfish enquiry concerned with how I am to be free of sorrow. If one makes it personal, limited, then one will not understand the full significance of the enormity of sorrow.
In opposition to sorrow there is happiness, as in one's consciousness there is the bad and the good. In one's consciousness there is sorrow and a sense of happiness. In enquiring one is not concerned with sorrow as an opposite to happiness, gladness, enjoyment; but with sorrow itself. The opposites contain each other. If the good is the outcome of the bad, then the good contains the bad. And if sorrow is the opposite of happiness, then the enquiry into sorrow has its root in happiness. We are enquiring into sorrow per se, not as an opposite to something else.
It is important to understand how one observes the nature and the movement of sorrow. How does one look at one's sorrow? If one looks at it as though it was different from oneself then there is a division between oneself and that which one calls sorrow. But is that sorrow different from oneself? Is the observer of sorrow different from sorrow itself? Or is it that the observer is sorrow? It is not that he is free from sorrow and then looks at sorrow, or identifies with sorrow. Sorrow is not just in the field of the observer; he is sorrow. The observer is the observed. The experiencer is the experienced; just as the thinker is the thought. There is no division as when the observer says "I am in sorrow", and who then divides himself off and tries to do something about sorrow - run away from it; seek comfort; suppress it; and all the various means of attempting to transcend sorrow. Whereas, if one sees that the observer is the observed, which is a fact, then one eliminates altogether the division that brings about conflict. One has been brought up, educated, to think that the observer is something totally different from the observed; as for example: one is the analyser therefore one can analyse - but the analyser is the analysed. So in this perception there is no division between the observer and the observed, between the thinker and the thought - there is no thought without the thinker - if there is no thinker there is no thought - they are one.
So if one sees that the observer is the observed, then one is not dictating what sorrow is, one is not telling sorrow what it should be, or not be, one is just observing without any choice, without any movement of thought.
There are various kinds of sorrow; the man who has no work; the man who will always remain poor, the man who will never enjoy clean clothes or a fresh bath - as happens among the poor. There is the sorrow of ignorance, the sorrow when children are maltreated, the sorrow when animals are killed - vivisection and so on. There is the sorrow of war, which affects the whole of mankind. There is the sorrow when someone whom you love, dies. There is the sorrow of the desire to fulfil and the ensuing failure and frustration. So, there are multiple kinds of sorrow. Does one deal with all the multiple expressions of sorrow piecemeal? Or does one deal with the root of sorrow as a whole? Does one take each expression of the hundreds of varieties of sorrow? Or go to the very root of sorrow? If one takes all the multiple expressions of sorrow there will be no end. One may trim them individually, diminish them, but more will always remain. Can one look at the multiple branches of sorrow and through that observation go into the very root of sorrow, from the outside go inside and examine what is at the root, the cause? If one does not end sorrow there is no love in one's heart - although one may pity others and be troubled by the slaughter that is going on.
What is sorrow? Why does one suffer? Is it that one has lost something that one had? Or is there suffering because one has been promised a reward and that reward has not been given? - because we are educated through reward and punishment. Does one suffer because of self-pity? Because one has not the things that another has? Does one suffer through comparison, measurement? Does one suffer because, through limitation, one has not been able to achieve that which one is trying to imitate - trying to conform to a pattern and never reaching that pattern fully, completely? So one asks very deeply: What is suffering and why does one suffer?
One must be very careful in examination to see whether the word "sorrow" itself weighs down on man. Sorrow has been praised, romanticized. It has been made into something that is essential in order to find reality - one must go through suffering to find love, pity, compassion. We seek through suffering a reward. Does not the word "sorrow" bring about the feeling of sorrow? Or, independent of that word and the stimulation of that word, the reaction of that word, is there sorrow by itself? If this examination is a matter of tremendous crisis in one's life, as it must be, then, when there is sorrow, it is a challenge and aIl one's energy is brought into being - otherwise one dissipates that energy by running away, seeking comfort, inventing explanations such as karma and so on. It is a challenge: What is sorrow? Is there an ending to sorrow? One can only respond completely to it when one has no fear, when one is not caught up in the machinery of pleasure, when one is not escaping from it, seeking comfort, but responding to it with all one's energy - a response that is the expression of the totality of one's energy.
In the understanding of the cause of sorrow does sorrow disappear? I may say to myself: "I am full of self-pity, if I can end self-pity there will be no sorrow." So I work at getting rid of it because I see how silly it is; I try to suppress it; I worry about it like a dog with a bone. And I may, intellectually, think I am free from sorrow. But the uncovering of the cause of sorrow is not the ending of sorrow. The searching for the cause of sorrow is a wastage of energy; sorrow is there, demanding one's tremendous attention. It is a challenge asking one to act. But instead of that one says: "Let me look to the cause; let me find out; is it this, that, or the other? I may be mistaken; let me talk it over with others; or is there some book that will tell me what the real cause is?" But all this is moving away from the actual fact, the actual, response to that challenge.
If one's mind, the movement of its thought, is looking through its memory and responding according to that memory, according to previous knowledge, then one is acting not directly to the challenge, but merely responding from memory, from the past. I am in sorrow, my son, my wife, or the social conditions - the poverty, the brutality of man - bring about a great sorrow in me. It wants a response, a complete response, from me as a human being who represents the totality of humanity. If thought responds to the challenge saying: "I must find out how to respond to it; I have had sorrow before and I know all the meaning of the suffering and the pain, the anxiety and the loneliness of sorrow," then it is responding according to remembrance, therefore it is not an actual response; it is not actually seeing the fact that any response to that challenge from memory is no response at all, it is mere reaction. It is not action, it is reaction. Once see that, then the question is: What is the root of it all - not the cause? When there is a cause there is an effect and the effect in turn becomes a cause and the action from that becomes the cause for the next action. There is a chain effect. When the mind is caught in this limited chain, and it is always limited, then any response to the challenge will be very limited and time bound. But can one act to that challenge without a time interval? One may not actually have had any immediate sorrow, but one sees the enormity of the sorrow of mankind - the global sorrow of mankind. If one responds to that according to one's conditioning, according to one's past memory, then one is caught in action that is always time binding. The challenge and its response demand no time interval. Therefore there is instant action.
Fear is the movement of thought - thought as measure. Fear is time. Thought is the response of memory, knowledge, experience; it is limited; it is a movement in time. If there is no time there is no fear. I am living now but I am afraid I might die - I might in the future. There is a time interval produced by thought. But if there is no time interval at all, there is no fear. So, in the same way: is the root of sorrow time? - time being the movement of thought. And if there is no thought at all, when one responds to that challenge, is there suffering?
Can one put away, for the time being, all one's habitual ideas about time, sorrow and fear? Put away all one's conclusions, all that one has read about sorrow and begin again as though one knew nothing about sorrow. Though one suffers one has no answer to it. But one has been so conditioned: put the burden of sorrow on to somebody else, as Christianity has done so beautifully; go to church and one sees all the suffering in that figure. The Christians have given all that suffering over to somebody and think by that they have understood the whole vast field of sorrow. In India, in the Asiatic countries, they have also another form of evasion - karma. But face the actual movement at the moment of sorrow and be completely choicelessly aware of that thing and one asks: Is time, which is thought, the fundamental issue that makes sorrow flower? Is thought responsible for suffering? - not only the suffering of others, the brutality of others, but for the total ignorance of this whole earth.
There is no new thought; there is no free thought. There is only thought and that is the response of knowledge and experience, stored up in the brain as memory. Now if that is fact, if one sees that it is true that sorrow is the outcome of time and thought - if that is not a supposition - then one is responding to sorrow without the me for the me is put together by thought. My name, my form, how I look, my qualities, my reactions, all the things that are acquired, are all put together by thought. Thought is `me'. Time is `me', the self, the ego, the personality, all that is the movement of time as me. When there is no time, when one responds to this challenge of suffering and there is no me, then, is there suffering?
Is not all sorrow based on me, the individual, the personality, the ego? It is the self that says, "I suffer", "I am lonely", "I am anxious", this whole movement, this whole structure, is me in thought. And thought posits not only me but also that I am a superior me - something far superior to thought; yet it is still the movement of thought. So, there is an ending to sorrow when there is no me.