Wholly Different Way of Living
6th Conversation with Dr. Allan W. Anderson
San Diego, California
20th February 1974
A: Mr Krishnamurti, if I recall correctly I think, we had begun to talk together last time, just at the point where the question of fear arose, and I think we both, perhaps, could explore that together a little.
K: Yes, I think so. I wonder how we can approach this problem, because it is a common problem in the world. Everyone, or I can say, almost everyone is frightened of something. It may be the fear of death, fear of loneliness, fear of not being loved, fear of not becoming famous, successful and also fear of not having physical security, and fear of not having psychological security. There are so many multiple forms of fears. Now to go into this problem really very deeply, can the mind, which includes the brain, really fundamentally be free of fear? Because fear, as I have observed, is a dreadful thing.
A: Oh yes.
K: It darkens the world, it destroys everything. And I don't think we can discuss fear, which is one of the principles in life, without also discussing, or going into the pursuit of pleasure. The two sides of the same coin.
A: Fear and pleasure, two sides of the same coin.
K: So as we are first going to take fear there is conscious as well as unconscious fears. Fears that are observable, that can be remedied and fears that are deep rooted, deep in the recesses of one's mind.
A: At the unconsious level.
K: At the deeper levels. Now, we must be concerned with both, not only the obvious external fears, but also the deep seated undiscovered fears. The fears that have been handed down, traditional fears.
A: Being told what to fear.
K: And also fears that the mind itself has produced, has cultivated.
A: In one's personal life.
K: Personal. And also in relation to others; fears of physical insecurity, losing a job, losing a position, losing something, and all the positive, not having something, and so on and on. So, if we are going to talk about this question how should we, you and I, approach this? First take the outer, the obvious physical fears, and then from there move to the inner, and so cover the whole field, not just one little fear of an old lady, an old man, or a young man, take the whole problem of fear.
K: Not just take one leaf of fear, or one branch of it but the whole movement of fear.
A: We are back to that word movement again.
A: Good,good. The whole movement of fear.
K: Now, outwardly, physically it is becoming obvious that we must have security, physical security. That is, food, clothes, and shelter are absolutely necessary. Not only for the Americans but for the whole humanity.
A: Of course.
K: It's no good saying, "We are secure and to hell with the rest of the world." The world is you. And you are the world. You can't isolate yourself and say, I am going to be secure and not bother about the others.
A: Secure myself against them.
K: It becomes a division, conflict, war, all that it produces. So that physical security is necessary for the brain. The brain can only function, as I have observed in myself, in others, not that I am an expert on brain, or neurology and all that but I have observed it. The brain can function only in complete security. Then it functions efficiently, healthily, not neurotically. And its actions won't be lopsided. The brain needs security, as a child needs security. That security is denied when we separate ourselves - the Americans, the Russians, the Indians, the Chinese. National division has destroyed that security, because wars.
A: Because that is a physical barrier.
K: Physical fact. And yet we don't see that. Sovereign governments, with their armies, their navies and all the rest of it, are destroying security.
A: In the name of...
K: So, you see what we are trying to get at is how stupid the mind is. It wants security. And it must have security, and yet it is doing everything to destroy security.
A: Oh yes, yes. I see that.
K: So that's one factor. And the factor of security is in jobs. Either in a factory, in a business, or as a priest in his job. So occupation becomes very important.
A: Indeed it does, yes.
K: So, see what is involved. If I lose my job I am frightened, and that job depends on the environment, on the production, business, factory, all that commercialism, consumerism, and therefore competition with other countries. France isolating itself because it wants to, which is happening. So we need physical security and we are doing everything to destroy it. If we all of us said, look let's all get together, not with plans, not with my plan, your plan, or the communist plan or Mao plan, let's as human beings sit together and solve this problem. They could do it. Science has the means of feeding people. But they won't because they are conditioned to function so as to destroy security which they are seeking. So that's one of the major factors in physical security. Then there is the fear of physical pain. Is physical pain in the sense, one has had pain, let's say last week. The mind is afraid that it should happen again. So there is that kind of fear.
A: That's very interesting with respect to the phenomenon of physical pain, because what is remembered is not the neurological reaction but the emotion that attends what occurred.
K: Yes, that's it. So there is that fear.
A: Right, right.
K: Then there is the fear of outward opinion, what people say, public opinion.
K: Reputation. You see, sir, all this is born out of disorder. I don't know if I'm?
A: Oh yes, yes.
K: Which we discussed.
A: Which we looked into previously.
K: So, can the mind bring about security, physical security, which means food, clothes and shelter for everybody. Not as a communist, as a capitalist, as a socialist, or as a Mao, but meet together as human beings to resolve this problem. It can be done. But nobody wants to do it, because they don't feel responsible for it. I don't know if you have been to India; if you have gone from town to town, village to village as I have done, you see the appalling poverty, the degradation of poverty, the sense of hopelessness.
A: Yes, I have been to India and it was the first time in my life that I sensed poverty, not as a privation, but it seemed to have a positive character about it. It was so stark.
K: I know sir. Personally we have been through all that. So, physical survival is only possible when human beings get together. Not as communists, socialists, all the rest, as human beings who say, look this is our problem, for god's sake let's solve it. But they won't because they are burdened with problem, with planning. How to solve that. I don't know if I am?
A: Yes, yes, you are.
K: You have your plan, I have my plan, he has his plan, so planning becomes most important, plans become most important rather than the starvation. And we fight each other. And common sense, affection, care, love can change all this. Sir, I won't go into that. Then the fear of public opinion. Do you understand it? What my neighbour will say.
A: My image, the national image, yes.
K: And I depend on my neighbour.
A: Oh yes, necessarily.
K: If I am a Catholic living in Italy, I have to depend on my neighbour because I would lose my job if I were a Protestant there. So I accept it. I will go and salute the pope or whatever, it has no meaning. So I am afraid of public opinion. See what a human mind has reduced itself to. I don't mind about public opinion, because that's stupid. They are conditioned, they are frightened as much as I am. So there is that fear. And there is the fear, physical fear of death, which is an immense fear. That fear one has to tackle differently when we come to it, when we talk about death and all that.
K: So there is the outward form of fear; fear of darkness, fear of public opinion, fear of losing a job, fear of survival, not being able to survive. Sir, I have lived with people with one meal a day and that's not enough even. I have walked behind a woman with a girl, and the girl said, in India, "Mother, I'm hungry." And the mother says, "You have already eaten for the day." So there is all that, those physical fears, pain, and the fear of recurring pain, and that. And the other fears are much more complicated, fears of dependency, inwardly, I depend on my wife, I depend on my guru, I depend on the priest, I depend on the - so many dependents. And I am afraid to lose them, to be left alone.
A: To be rejected.
K: To be rejected. If that woman turns away from me I'm lost. I get angry, brutal, violent, jealous, because I have depended on her. So dependency is one of the factors of fear. And inwardly I am afraid. I am afraid of loneliness. The other day I saw on the television a woman saying, the only fear I have in life is my loneliness. And therefore being afraid of loneliness I do all kinds of neurotic activities. Being lonely I attach myself to you or to a belief, or to a saviour, or to a guru. And I protect the guru, the saviour, the belief and that soon becomes neurotic.
A: Yes. I fill up the hole with this...
K: With this rubbish. There is that fear. And then there is the fear of not being able to arrive, succeed, succeed in this world of disorder, and succeed in the so-called spiritual world. That's what they are all doing now.
A: Spiritual achievement.
K: Achievement, which they call enlightenment.
A: Expanding consciousness. I know what you mean. It's very interesting that you just got through describing fear of being left behind. Now we are fearing that we'll never arrive.
A: Please go on.
K: Same thing. Then there is the fear of not being, which translates itself in identification with. I must identify myself.
A: In order to be.
K: To be. Identify myself with my country, and I say to myself, that's too stupid. Then I say, I must identify myself with god, which I have invented. God has not made man in his image, man has made god in his image. You follow this?
A: Oh, I follow you.
K: So, not being, not achieving, not arriving, brings about tremendous sense of uncertainty, tremendous sense of not being able to fulfil, not being able to be with, and the cry, "I must be myself."
A: Do my own thing.
K: Your own thing. Which is rubbish. So there are all these fears, both logical fears, irrational fears, neurotic fears, and fears of survival, physical survival. So now how do you deal with all these fears and, many more fears which we can't go into, which we will presently - how do you deal with them all? One by one?
A: Well you just be in the mournful round of fragmentation if you do that.
K: And also there are the hidden fears, which are much more active.
A: The continual bubbling from below.
K: Bubbling up, when I'm not conscious they take over.
A: That's right.
K: So, how am I to deal first with the obvious fears which we have described? Shall I deal with it one by one, to secure myself? You follow?
K: Or, take loneliness and tackle that, come to grips with it, go beyond it and so on. Or is there a way of dealing with fear, not with the branches of it but with the root of it? Because if I take each leaf, each branch it will take all my lifetime. And if I begin to analyze my fears, analyse, then that very analysis becomes a paralysis.
A: Yes. And then I even fear that I might not have analyzed correctly.
K: Correctly. And I am caught in it over and over again. So how shall I deal with this problem, as a whole, not just parts of it, fragments of it?
A: Isn't there a hint about how it might be dealt with. Of course, when I say hint here, I mean terribly, terribly slight. I don't think I would call it a pointer, but fear, no matter how many varieties one imagines he knows, fear does have a common taste, you might say, there is something there
K: Yes, sir, but what shall I do with it?
A. Oh, yes, of course, I quite understand. But it interested me while you were speaking, to observe that already when we think of many fears we haven't even paid attention to how we feel when we fear. Yes, I was interested to have that flash because it seems to be altogether consonant with what you are talking about. And I said to myself, now in our conversations we've been pointing to movement. The movement of fear is one.
K: Yes, a tremendous one.
A: And it is a unified field of destruction.
K: It is the common factor of everything.
A: The whole field, yes, exactly.
K: Whether I live, a man lives in Moscow or India, or in any place, it is the common thing of this fear, and how shall we deal with it? Because unless the mind is free of fear, really, not verbally or ideologically, absolutely be free of fear. And it is possible to be free, completely of fear, and I'm not saying this as a theory, but I know it, I've gone into it.
K: Actual. Now how shall I deal with this? So I ask myself, what is fear? Not the objects of fear, or the expressions of fear.
A: Nor the instant reaction to danger, no.
K: What is fear?
A: It's an idea in my mind in part.
K: What is fear, sir?
A: If we had said it's an abiding...
K: No, no. Behind the words, behind the descriptions, the explanations, the way out and the way in, and all the rest of it, what is fear? How does it come?
A: If I have followed you through our conversations up until now, I'd be inclined to say that it is another expression of the observer's disordered relation to the observed.
K: What does that mean? What is what you say. Look, the problem is this - I am only making the problem clearer. We have, man has tried to lop off or prune one fear after the other, through analysis, through escape, through identifying himself with something which he calls courage. Or saying, well I don't care, I rationalize my fears and remain in a state of rationalizing, intellectual, verbal explanation. But the thing is boiling. So what shall I do? What is fear? Unless I find this out, not because you tell me, unless I find it out for myself as I find from myself that I am hungry, nobody has to tell me I am hungry, I have to find this out.
A: Yes, now there is a difference here in terms of what you have just said. And in so saying pointing to something, and my earlier reply when you asked me what is fear, I did the usual academic thing - if I have followed you up until now then it seems clear that... Whereas let's forget about the following, let's zero in on it right now and then I must say, not I might say, but I must say that I can't tell anybody else what fear is with respect to what it is I am going to discover in me as such. And all my continual descriptions about it are simply a deflection from my immediate issue which is here.
K: Yes. So, I'm not escaping.
K: I'm not rationalizing. I am not analyzing, because analysis is real paralysis.
A: Yes indeed.
K: When you are confronted with a problem like this merely spinning or analysing, and the fear of not being able to analyze perfectly and therefore go to a professional, who needs also an analysis. So I'm caught. So I will not analyze because I see the absurdity of it. You follow sir.
A: Yes I do.
K: I won't run.
A: No backing off.
K: Backing off.
K: No explanations, no rationalizations, no analysis. I am faced with this thing. And what is fear? Wait, wait. Leave that. Then there are the unconscious fears of which don't know. They express themselves occasionally when I am alert, when I see the thing coming out of me.
A: When I am alert.
K: Alert. When I am watching. Or when I'm looking at something this comes up, uninvited. Now, it is important for the mind to be completely free of fear. It's essential, as food is essential. It's essential for the mind to be free of fear. So I see outwardly what we have discussed. Now I say, what is this, what are the hidden fears, can I consciously invite them come to the surface? You follow?
A: Yes I do.
K: Or, the conscious cannot touch that. You follow?
A: Yes, yes, yes I do.
K: Conscious can only deal with the things it knows. But it cannot observe the things it doesn't know.
A: Or have access to.
K: So, what am I to do? Dreams? Dreams are merely continuation of what has happened during the day, they continue in a different form, and so on. We won't go into that for the moment. So how is all that to be awakened and exposed? The racial fears, the fears that society has taught me, the fears that the family has imposed, the neighbour, all those crawling, ugly, brutal things that are hidden, how shall they all come up naturally, and be exposed so that the mind sees them completely? You understand?
A: Yes, I do. I was just thinking about what we are doing in relation to what you are saying. Here we are in a university situation where hardly any listening goes on at all, if any. Why? Well, if we were to relate to each other in terms of my sitting back here saying to myself, every time you make a statement, well what do I have to say back, even if my reaction were benign and I say to myself as a professor, I'd say, now that's an interesting concept. Perhaps we could clear that up a little bit, you know. That nonsense - nonsense in terms of what is immediate here. That's what I mean.
K: I understand.
A: I don't mean demonstrating something on the board. We should never have begun to be together, never started, and yet we might have given ourselves the idea that we were trying very hard to be sincere. Yes I understand.
K: I know, I know.
A: But fear is at the base of that too, because the professor is thinking to himself...
K: ...his position, his...
A: He's got his reputation at stake here. He better not keep quiet too long, because someone might get the idea that, either he doesn't understand a thing that is going on, or he doesn't have anything to contribute to what's going on. All of which has nothing to do with anything.
K: Absolutely. Please sir, Look, sir, what I have found: the conscious mind, conscious thought cannot invite and expose the hidden fears. It cannot analyse it, because analysis, we said, is inaction, and if there is no escape, I shan't run off to a church, or Jesus, or Buddha, or somebody, or identify myself with some other thing. I have pushed all those aside because I've understood their use, their futility. So I am left with this. This is my baby. So, what shall I do? Some action has to take place. I can't just say, well I've pushed all that aside, I'll just sit. Now just see what happens sir, because I've pushed all this aside through observation, not through resistance, not through violence, because I have negated all those, escape, analysis, running off to something, and all the rest of all that, I have energy, haven't I. The mind has energy now.
A: Now it has, yes. Yes it floods up.
K: Because I have pushed away all the things that are dissipating energy.
A: Energy leaks.
K: Therefore I am now this thing. I am confronted with that, confronted with fear. Now, what can I do. Listen to this, sir, what can I do? I can't do anything, because it is I who have created the fear, public opinion,
A: Yes, yes.
K: Right, so I cannot do a thing about fear.
K: But there is the energy which has been gathered, which has come into being when all dissipation of energy has ended energy. There's energy.
A: Yes. Exactly, virtue, right, right, manifested.
K: Energy, energy. Now, what happens? This is not some hocus-pocus, some kind of mystical experience. There is actual fear and I have tremendous energy which has come because there is no dissipation of energy. So what takes place? So, wait, wait,
A: Oh, I'm waiting, I'm waiting. There was something going through my mind.
K: What takes place? So I say, so what has created fear? What has brought it about? Because if I have the energy, you follow, sir, to put that question and find the answer for that question. I've got energy now. I don't know if you are following?
K: So, what has brought it about? You, my neighbour, my country, my culture?
K: Hm? What has brought it about?
A: I've done it.
K: Who is I?
A: I don't mean 'I' as the fragmented observer off from me. I am thinking what you said earlier about the mind as disordered, which requires to empty itself of the disorder, does it require another mind to do it, yes.
K: I'm asking, what has brought this fear into me, into my consciousness? I won't use that word because we'll have to go into that in a different way. What has brought this fear? And I won't leave it till I find it. You understand, sir? Because I've got the energy to do it. I don't depend on anybody, on any book, on any philosopher, nobody.
A: Would it be the case that once that energy begins to flood, that the question itself disappears.
K: And I'll begin to find the answer.
K: I don't put the question.
A: No, no
K: And I find the answer.
A: Right, right.
K: Now, what is the answer?
A: The answer couldn't be academic, a description of something.
K: No, no, no.
A: A change has occurred in the being.
K: What is the answer to this fact of fear which has been sustained, which has been nourished, which has carried on from generation to generation? So, can the mind observe this fear, the movement of it...
A: The movement of it.
K: ...not just a piece of fear.
A: Or a succession of fears...
K: But the movement of this.
A: The movement of fear itself.
K: Yes, observe it without the thought that has created the observer. I don't know if you follow?
A: Oh yes, yes.
K: So, can there be observation of this fact, which I've called fear because I have recognized it, the mind has recognized it, because it has had fear before. So through recognition and association it says, this is fear.
A: Yes, that never stops. Yes.
K: So, can the mind observe without the observer, who is the thinker, observe this fact only? Because the observer, which is thought, the observer as thought has produced this. I don't know -
A: Yes, yes.
K: So thought has produced this, right?
A: Yes, yes.
K: I am afraid of my neighbour, what he may say because I want to be respectable. That is part of the thought. Thought has divided the world into America, Russia, India, China and all the rest of it, and that destroys security. That is the result of thought. I am lonely and therefore I act neurotically, which is also the factor of thought. So I see very clearly that thought is responsible for that. Right, right, sir?
K: So, what will happen with thought? Thought is responsible for this. It has nourished it, has sustained it, it has encouraged it, it has done everything to sustain it. I am afraid of the pain that I had yesterday happening again tomorrow. Which is the movement of thought. So can thought, which can only function within the field of knowledge, that's its ground, and fear is something new each time. Fear isn't old.
A: No, no.
K: It is made old when I recognize it.
A: Yes, yes.
K: But when the process of recognition, which is the association of words and so on, can the mind observe that without the interference of thought? If it does fear is not.
A: Right. The thing that was hitting me while I was sitting here intently, the thing that was hitting me was that the moment that occurs, the thought and the fear immediately disappear.
K: So, fear then can be put away completely. If I was living as a human being in Russia and they threaten me to be put into prison I would probably be afraid. It is natural self preservation. That's a natural fear like a bus coming rushing towards you, you step aside, you run away from a dangerous animal, that's a natural self protective reaction. But that's not fear. It's a response of intelligence operating saying, for god's sake move away from the rushing bus. But the other factors are factors of thought.
K: So, can thought understand itself and know its place and not project itself? Not control, which is an abomination. If you control thought, who is the controller? Another fragment of thought.
A: Of thought.
K: It is a circle, a vicious game you are playing with yourself. So can the mind observe without a movement of thought? It will only do that when you have understood the whole movement of fear. Understood that, not analysed, looking at it. It is a living thing, therefore you have to look at it. It is only a dead thing you can dissect and analyse, kick it around. But a living thing you have to watch.
A: This is very shocking because in our last conversation, just towards the end we came to the place where we raised the question of someone saying to himself, I think I understand what I have heard, now I am going to try that. And then fear holds up a mirror to itself.
K: Of course.
A: And one is suddenly ringed about by a world of mirrors.
K: You don't say, sir, when you see a dangerous animal, I will think about it. You move. You act. Because there is tremendous destruction waiting there. That is a self protective reaction which is intelligence says, get out. Here we are not using intelligence. And intelligence operates when we have looked at all these fears, the movements of it, the inwardness of it, the subtlety of it, the whole movement. Then out of that comes intelligence and says, I have understood it.
A: It's marvelous. Yes, that's very beautiful, very beautiful. We were going to say something about pleasure.
K: Ah, that must be dealt with.
A: Right, exactly.
K: So, sir, look, we said there is the physical fears, and psychological fears, both are interrelated, we can't say, that's one and this is the other. They are all interrelated. And the interrelationship and the understanding of that relationship brings this intelligence which will operate physically. It will say, let's then work together, co-operate together to feed man. You follow, sir?
K: Let's not be national, religious, sectarian. What is important is to feed man, to clothe him, to make him live happily. But you see unfortunately we are so disorderly in our ways of life that we have no time for anything else. Our disorder is consuming us.
A: It's interesting in relation to tradition, I don't mean to start an entirely new conversation now, but just to see what is immediately suggested, among many other things that would be, but just this one. What we could say about the misuses of tradition would be that we are actually taught what to fear. In our language we have an expression, don't we, that expresses part of this, old wives tales we say, an accumulation of warnings about things that, that are simply imaginary. Not in the creative sense of imagination, and I'm using the word creative there very loosely, very loosely, but fantasia, phantasmagoria, from the little ones' earliest years, gets this stuff with the bottle. And then when we get into adolescence we reflect on these things we have learned and if things go wrong we feel that perhaps it's because we haven't sufficiently grasped what we have been told. And then some young people will say at that point, I'm going to junk the whole thing. But then immediately the loneliness question arises. Yes, yes.
K: They can't, sir, it is life, this is life, you can't reject one part and accept the other part.
K: Life means all this. Freedom, order, disorder, communication, relationship, it's the whole thing is living. If we don't understand, sir, I don't want to have anything to do with, then you are not living. You are dying.
A: Yes, of course. I wonder how much, I wonder - I keep saying I wonder, and the reason I wonder is because what we have been saying about this movement, as a unified field, is when stated, taken by thought and, you might say put in the refrigerator, and, that's the reality to the person.
K: Quite, sir.
A: And when we want to look at it, it's one of the ice cubes we break out and have a look.
K: That's right, sir. What place has knowledge in the regeneration of man? Look, our knowledge is: you must be separate. You are an American, I am an Hindu, that's our knowledge. Our knowledge is you must rely on your neighbour because he knows, he is respectable. Society is respectability, society is moral, so you accept that. So knowledge has brought about all these factors. And you are telling me suddenly, asking me, what place has that, what place has tradition, what place has the accumulated knowledge of millennia? The accumulated knowledge of science, mathematics, that is essential. But what place has knowledge which I have gathered through experience, through generation after generation of human endeavour, what place has it in the transformation of fear? None, whatsoever.
A: None. Clear, clear.
K: You see.
A: Because of what we reached before that upon the instant that this is grasped, the thought that was operating as a fragment and the fear vanish; and it isn't that something takes its place in succession.
K: No nothing takes its place.
A: No, nothing takes its place. Nothing takes its place.
K: It doesn't mean there is emptiness.
A: Oh, no, no, no. But you see it's right there when you start thinking about that as a thought, you get scared.
K: That's why it's very important to find out, or to understand the function of knowledge and where knowledge becomes ignorance. We mix the two together. Knowledge is essential, to speak English, driving, and a dozen things, knowledge is essential. But when that knowledge becomes ignorance, when we are trying to understand actually 'what is', the 'what is' is this fear, this disorder, this irresponsibility. To understand it you don't have to have knowledge. All you have to do, is to look. Look outside you, look inside you. And then you see clearly that knowledge is absolutely unnecessary, it has no value in the transformation or the regeneration of man. Because freedom is not born of knowledge; freedom is when all the burdens are not. You don't have to search for freedom. It comes when the other is not.
A: It isn't something in place of the horror that was there before.
K: Of course not. I think that is enough.
A: Yes, yes, I quite follow you. Maybe next time we could carry on into this with pleasure as such, the opposite side of that coin.
7th Conversation with Dr. Allan W. Anderson
San Diego, California
21st February 1974
A: Mr Krishnamurti, last time we were speaking you made the remark that fear and pleasure are opposite sides of the same coin. And, as I remember, when we concluded our last conversation we were still talking about fear. And I was thinking perhaps we could move from fear into the discussion of pleasure. But perhaps there is something more about fear that we need still to look into, to explore.
K: Sir, I think for most of us, fear has created such misery, so many activities are born of fear, ideologies and gods, that we never seem to be free completely from fear. That's what we were saying.
A: That's what we were saying.
K: And so freedom from. and freedom, are two different things. Aren't they.
K: Freedom from fear, and the feeling of being completely free.
A: Would you say that the notion even of freedom for is also a suggestion of conflict.
A: Yes, yes, do go ahead.
K: Yes. Freedom for, and freedom from, has this contradiction and therefore conflict and therefore battle, violence, struggle. When one understands that rather deeply then one can see the meaning of what it means to be free. Not from or for, but intrinsically, deeply, by itself. Probably it's a nonverbal, non ideational happening. A feeling that all the burden has fallen away from you. Not that you are struggling to throw them away. The burdens don't exist. Conflicts don't exist. As we were saying the other day, relationship then is in total freedom.
A: Your word intrinsic interested me. Sometimes I think in our tongue we will use the adverbial preposition 'in'. Would it be possible to say freedom in, or would you not even want to have 'in'.
K: Not 'in', no.
A: You don't want 'in'.
K: For, in, from.
A: They are all out. I see, yes, yes, go on.
K: So these two principles, pleasure and fear seem to be deeply rooted in us - these two principles of pleasure and fear. I don't think we can understand pleasure without understanding fear.
A: I see. I see.
K: You can't separate them, really. But for investigating one has to separate.
A: Yes, were it not for fear do you think we should ever have thought of pleasure?
K: We would never have thought of pleasure.
A: We would never have got the notion.
A: I understand. I understand.
K: It's like punishment and reward. If there was no punishment at all nobody would talk about reward.
A: Yes, yes I see.
K: And when we are talking about pleasure I think we think we ought to be clear that we are not condemning pleasure. We are not trying to become puritanical or permissive. We are trying to investigate or examine, explore the whole structure and nature of pleasure, as we did fear.
A: As we did fear.
K: And to do that properly and deeply the attitude of condemnation or acceptance of pleasure must be set aside. You see, naturally. I mean if I want to investigate something I must be free from my inclinations, prejudices.
A: The 'looking forward to' is, I see, beginning to emerge from what you are saying.
A: We say we look forward to pleasure, we even ask a person, what is your pleasure. We get nervous in thinking perhaps we won't meet it, Now I take it that what your saying suggests the anticipation of gratification here. Would that be right?
K: That's right. Gratification, satisfaction and sense of fulfillment. We will go into all that when we talk about pleasure. But we must be clear from the beginning, I think, that we are not condemning it. The priests throughout the world have condemned it.
A: Yes, the notion of freedom is associated with many religious approaches to this. One is free from desire.
K: Yes. Sir, one has to bear in mind that we are not justifying it, or sustaining it or condemning it but observing it. To really go into the question of pleasure I think one has to look into desire, first. The more commercial and the usage of things, the more desire grows. You can see it's commercialism, and consumerism. Through propaganda desire is, you know, sustained, is pushed forward, is - what is the word I am looking for - is nourished, expanded.
K: Nurtured. Inflamed, that's the word, inflamed.
A: Inflamed, yes.
K: And you see this happening right through the world, now. In India, for example, not that I know India much better than I do America because I've not lived there very long, I go there every year, this desire and this instant fulfillment is beginning to take place. Before in the Brahmanical sense, there was a certain restraint, a certain traditional discipline which says, don't be concerned with the world and things. They are not important. What is important is the discovery of truth, of Brahman, of reality and so on. But now, all that's gone, now desire is being inflamed, buy more. Don't be satisfied with two trousers but have a dozen trousers. This feeling of excitement in possession is stimulated through commercialism, consumerism, and propaganda.
A: There's a lot of terror, isn't there, associated with commercialism on the part of those who are purveyors in this, because the pleasure fades off and this requires a stronger stimulus next time.
K: That's what the couturiers are doing, every year there is a new fashion, or every six months, or every month or whatever it is. Look, there is this stimulation of desire. It is really quite frightening in a sense, how people are using, are stimulating desire to acquire money, possession, the whole circle of a life that is utterly sophisticated, a life in which there is instant fulfillment of one's desire, and the feeling if you don't fulfil, if you don't act, there is frustration. So all that's involved.
A: Would you say, then that the approach to this on the part of what you have described, is on the basis of frustration. Frustration itself is regarded as the proper incentive.
A: Yes, I see. Yes. And since frustration itself is a nullity we are trying to suggest that nullity is in itself interested in being filled. Whereas it couldn't be by its nature.
K: Like children - don't frustrate them. Let them do what they like.
A: Yes. Yes, that reminds me of something years ago in graduate school. I was brought up as a child in England, and in a rather strict way compared with the permissiveness of today. And one of my graduate colleagues told me that he had been brought up by his parents in a totally permissive way. This was at Columbia University. And he looked at me, and he said, I think you were better off, because at least you had some intelligible reference against which to find out who you are, even if what you found out wasn't right, there was something to find out. Whereas I had to do it entirely on my own and I still haven't done it. And he talked about himself as being constantly in the world trying to hide the fact that he was a nervous wreck. We had a long conversation over dinner.
K: Sir, I think that before we enter into the complicated field of pleasure, we ought to go into this question of desire.
A: Yes, yes. I'd like to do that.
K: Desire seems to be a very active and demanding instinct, demanding activity that is going on in us all the time. Sir, what is desire?
A: I wonder if I could ask you to relate it to appetite as over against what one would call hunger that is natural. Sometimes I have found a confusion that seems to be a confusion to me, and that's why I am asking you. Someone will get the idea in class, talking about the question of appetite and desire, that if we look to nature, the lion desires to kill the antelope to satisfy his appetite. Whereas it has seemed to me the correct reply to that is, no that's not the case. The lion wants to incorporate the antelope into his own substance. He's not chasing his appetite.
K: I think they are both related, appetite and desire.
K: Appetite, physical appetite and there is psychological appetite.
A: Yes, yes.
K: Which is much more complex. Sexual appetite, and the intellectual appetite, a sense of curiosity.
A: Even more furious.
K: More furious, that's right. So I think both desire and appetite are stimulated by commercialism, by consumerism which is the present civilization actively operating in the world at the present time - both in Russia, everywhere, this consumerism has to be fulfilled.
A: Right. We talk about planned obsolescence.
K: Planned obsolescence. Quite.
A: You have that in mind, yes I see.
K: So, what is appetite and what is desire? I have an appetite because I am hungry. It's a natural appetite. I see a car and I have read a great deal about it and I would like to possess it, drive it feel the power of it, going fast, the excitement of all that. That is another form of appetite.
K: Appetite, intellectual appetite of discussing with a clever intelligent, observing man or woman, to discuss, to stimulate each other in discussion.
K: And comparing each other's knowledge, a kind of subtle fight.
A: Making points.
K: That's right. And that is very stimulating.
A: Oh yes, oh yes it is.
K: And there is the appetite, sexual appetite, the sexual appetite of constantly thinking about it, chewing the cud. All that, both psychological, and physical appetite, normal, abnormal. The feeling of fulfillment and frustration. All that's involved in appetite. And I'm not sure whether religions, organized religions and beliefs, whether they will not stimulate the peculiar appetite for rituals.
A: I have the notion they do. It seems to me that despite pious protestations, there is a theatrical display that occurs in this.
K: Go to a Roman Catholic Mass, and you see the beauty of it, the beauty of colour, the beauty of the setting, the whole structure is marvelously theatrical and beautiful.
A: And for the moment it appears that we have heaven on earth.
K: Tremendously stimulating.
A: But then we have to go out again.
K: Of course. And it's all stimulated through tradition, through usage of words, chants, certain association of words, symbols, images, flowers, incense, all that is very, very stimulating.
K: And if one is used to that one misses it.
A: Oh yes. I was thinking as you were saying about, at least to my ear how extraordinarily beautiful a language is Sanskrit, and the chanting of the Gita, and the swaying back and forth and then one sits down to study what the words say, and one says to himself, now look, what on earth is going on when we are doing this as over against what the word itself could disclose. But the seduction that is available, of course its self seduction, one can't blame the language for being beautiful, it's a self. And all this is encouraged. And the notion I take it that you are suggesting that we look at here, is that there's a tremendously invested interest in keeping this up.
K: Of course. Commercially it is. And if it is not sustained by the priests then the whole thing will collapse. So is this a battle to hold the human being in his appetites - which is really very frightening when you look at it. Frightening in the sense, rather disgusting in one way, exploiting people and intrinsically destructive to the human mind.
A: Yes. Yes. I've had this problem in teaching, in my classes, in terms of my own discussion in class. Sometimes, it has seemed that maybe the first stanza of a poem that I would have known by heart would be appropriate. And so I'll begin to recite it and when I get to the end of it the expectation has arisen, the ears are there, the bodies are leaning forward and I have to stop, you see, and I have to say, well you see we can't go on, because you are not listening to what I am saying, you are listening to how it is being said. And if I read it terribly you would no more listen to what it is. Your disgust would dominate just as the pleasure is dominating now. And the students have got after me for not reciting more poetry. You see that you would be upset with that is a perfect sign that you haven't started to do your work in class yet. And then we are up against the problem that they think I am being ascetical, and denying the goodies. That's part of what you mean.
K: Yes, of course.
A: Good, good. I'm glad you cleared that for me.
K: And there is this desire, appetite, we have a little bit gone into it, what is desire? Because I see something and immediately I must have it, a gown, a coat, a tie, the feeling of possession, the urge to acquire, the urge to experience, the urge of an act that will give me tremendous satisfaction. The satisfaction might be the acquisition, acquiring a tie, or a coat, or sleeping with a woman, or acquiring. Now behind that, isn't there, sir, this desire. I might desire a house and another might desire a car, another might desire to have intellectual knowledge. Another might desire god, or enlightenment. They are all the same. The objects vary, but the desire is the same. One I call the noble; the other I call the ignoble, worldly, stupid. But the desire behind it. So what is desire? How does it come about that this very strong desire is born, is cultured? You follow? What is desire? How does it take place in each one of us?
A: If I've understood you, you've made a distinction between on the one hand appetite associated with natural hunger, that sort of desire, and now we are talking about desire which sometimes gets the name artificial. I don't know whether you would want to call it that.
K: Desire. I might desire, but the objects vary, sir, don't they.
A: Yes, the objects vary.
K: The objects of desire vary according to each individual, each tendency and idiosyncracy or conditioning and so on. Desire for that and that, and that. But I want to find out, what is desire? How does it come about? I think it's fairly clear, that. You see sir...
A: You mean a sense of absence?
K: No, no. I am asking what is desire? How does it come?
A: One would have to ask himself.
K: Yes, I'm asking, I'm asking you, how does it come about that there is this strong desire for, or against desire itself. I think it's clear: perception, visual perception, then there is sensation, then there is contact, and desire comes out of it. That's the process isn't it?
A: Oh, yes, I'm quite clear now what you are saying. I've been listening very hard.
K: Perception, contact, sensation, desire.
A: And then if the desire is frustrated, anger.
K: All the rest of it, violence.
A: The whole thing goes down the line.
K: All the rest of it follows.
A: Follows, yes.
K: So desire. So the religious people, monks, throughout the world said, be without desire. Control desire. ~Suppress desire. Or if you cannot, transfer it to something that's worthwhile - God, or enlightenment or truth or this or that.
A: But then that's just another form of desire, not to desire.
K: Of course.
A: So we never get out of that.
K: Yes, but you see they said, control.
A: Power is brought into play.
K: Control desire. Because you need energy to serve God and if you are caught in desire you are caught in a tribulation, in trouble, which will dissipate your energy. Therefore hold it, control it, suppress it. You have seen it sir, I have seen it so often in Rome, the priests are walking along with the Bible and they aren't look at anything else, they keep on reading it because they are attracted, it doesn't matter, to a woman, or a nice house or a nice cloak, so keep looking at it, never expose yourself to tribulation, to temptation. So hold it because you need your energy to serve God. So desire comes about through perceptions, visual perception, contact, sensation, desire. That's the process of it.
A: Yes. And then there's the whole backlog of memory of that in the past to reinforce it.
K: Of course, yes.
A: Yes. I was taken with what you just said. Here's this book, that's already outside me, it's really no more than what they put on horses when they are in a race.
K: The Bible becomes blinkers!
A: Yes, the blinking Bible. Yes, I follow that. But the thing that caught me was, never, never quietly looking at it.
K: That's it sir.
A: The desire itself.
K: I walked once behind a group of monks, in India. And they were very serious monks. The elderly monk, with his disciples around him, they were walking up a hill and I followed them. They never once looked at the beauty of the sky, the blue, the extraordinary blue of the sky and the mountains, and the blue light of the grass and the trees and the birds and the water - never once looked around. They were concerned and they had bent their head down and they were repeating something, which I happen to know in Sanskrit, and going along totally unaware of nature, totally unaware of the passers-by. Because their whole life has been spent in controlling desire and concentrating on what they thought is the way to reality. So desire there acted as a suppressive limiting process.
A: Of course, of course.
K: Because they are frightened. If I look there might be a woman, I might be tempted, and cut it. So we see what desire is and we see what appetite is; they are similar.
A: Yes. Would you say appetite was a specific focus of desire?
K: Yes, put it that way if you want.
A: All right
K: But we are both go together.
A: Oh yes
K: They are two different words for the same thing. Now the problem arises, need there be a control of desire at all? You follow, sir?
A: Yes, I'm asking myself, because in our conversations I've learned that every time you ask a question, if I take that question and construe it in terms of a sylogistical relation to things that have been stated as premises before, I am certainly not going to come to the answer, that is not the right answer as over against the wrong answer, I'm not going to come to the one answer that is needful. So that every time you've asked me this morning, I have asked myself inside. Yes, please go ahead.
K: Sir, you see, discipline is a form of suppression and control of desire - religious, sectarian, nonsectarian, it's all based on that, control. Control your appetite. Control your desires. Control your thought. And this control gradually squeezes out the flow of free energy.
A: Oh, yes. And yet, amazingly he Upanishads in particular have been interpreted in terms of tapas, as encouraging this control.
K: I know, I know. In India it is something fantastic, the monks who have come to see me, they are called sannyasis, they have come to see me. They are incredible. I mean, if I can tell you a monk who came to see me some years ago, quite a young man, he left his house and home at the age of 15 to find God. And he had renounced everything. Put on the robe. And as he began to grow older at 18, 19, 20 sexual appetite was something burning. He explained to me how it became intense. He had taken a vow of celibacy, as sannyasis do, monks do. And he said, day after day in my dreams, in my walk, in my going to a house and begging, this thing was becoming so like a fire. You know what he did to control it?
A: No, no what did he do?
K: He had it operated.
A: Oh for heaven's sake. Is that a fact?
K: Sir, his urge for God was so - you follow, sir? The idea, the idea, not the reality.
A: Not the reality.
K: So he came to see me, he had heard several talks which I had given in that place. He came to see me in tears. He said, what have I done? You follow, sir?
A: Oh, I'm sure. Yes.
K: What have I done to myself? I cannot repair it. I cannot grow a new organ. It is finished. That's the extreme. But all control is in that direction. I don't know if I am?
A: Yes, his is terribly dramatic. The one who is sometimes called the first Christian theologian, Origen, castrated himself out of, as I understand it, misunderstanding the words of Jesus, "If your hand offends you cut it off".
K: Sir, authority to me is criminal in this direction. It doesn't matter who says it.
A: And like the monk that you just described, Origen came later to repent of this in terms of seeing that it had nothing to do anything. A terrible thing. Was this monk, if I may ask, also saying to you in his tears, that he was absolutely no better off in any way shape or form?
K: No, on the contrary, sir, he said, I've committed a sin. I've committed an evil act.
A: Yes, yes, of course.
K: He realized what he had done. That through that way there is nothing.
K: I've met so many, not such extreme forms of control and denial, but others. They have tortured themselves for an idea. You follow, sir? For a symbol, for a concept. And we have sat with them and discussed with them, and they begin to see what they have to themselves. I met a man who is high up in bureaucracy and one morning he woke up and he said, I'm passing judgment in court over others, punishment, and I seem to say to them I know truth, you don't you are finished. So one morning he woke up and he said, this is all wrong. I must find out what truth is, so he resigned, left and went away for 25 years to find out what truth is. Sir, these people are dreadfully serious, you understand.
A: Oh yes.
K: They are not like cheap repeaters of some mantra, and such rubbish. So somebody brought him to the talks I was giving. He came to see me the next day. He said you are perfectly right. I have been meditating on truth for 25 years. And it has been self hypnosis, as you pointed out. I've been caught in my own verbal, intellectual formula, structure. And I haven't been able to get out of it. You understand, sir?
A: 25 years. That's a very moving story.
K: And to admit that he was wrong needs courage, needs perception.
K: Not courage, perception. So, now seeing all this, sir, the permissiveness on one side, the reaction to Victorian way of life, the reaction to the world with all its absurdities, trivialities and banality, all that absurdity and the reaction to that is to renounce it. To say, well I won't touch it. But desire is burning all the same, all the glands are working. You can't cut out your glands. So therefore they say, control, therefore they say, don't be attracted to a woman, don't look at the sky, because the sky is so marvelously beautiful and beauty then may become the beauty of a woman, the beauty of a house, the beauty of a chair in which you can sit comfortably. So don't look. Control it. You follow, sir?
A: I do.
K: The permissiveness, the reaction to restraint, control the pursuit of an idea as God, and for that control desire. And I met a man again he left his house at the age of 20. He was really quite an extraordinary chap. He was 75 when he came to see me. He had left home at the age of 20, renounced everything, all that, and went from teacher to teacher to teacher. He went to, I won't mention names because that wouldn't be right, and he came to me, talked to me. He said, I went to all these people asking if they could help me find God. I've spent from the age of 20 till I'm 75, wandering all over India. I'm a very serious man and not one of them has told me the truth. I've been to the most famous, to the most socially active, the people who talk endlessly about God. After all these years I returned to my house and found nothing. And you come along, he said, you come along you never talk about God. You never talk about the path to God. You talk about perception. The seeing 'what is' and going beyond it. The beyond is the real, not the 'what is'. You understand. He was 75.
A: Yes, 55 years on the road.
K: They don't do that in Europe, on the road. He was literally on the road.
A: Yes. I'm sure he was. Because you said he was in India.
K: Begging from village, to village to village. When he told me I was so moved, tears almost - to spend a whole lifetime, as they do in business world...
K: ...50 years to go day after day to the office and die at the end of it. It is the same thing.
A: The same thing.
K: Fulfilling of desire, money, money, money, more things, things, things; and the other, none of that but another substitute for that.
A: Yes, just another form.
K: So looking at all this sir, it is dreadful what human beings have done to themselves and to others, seeing all that one inevitably asks the question, how to live with desire? You can't help it, desire is there. The moment I see something, a beautiful flower, the admiration, the love of it, the smell of it, the beauty of the petal, the quality of the flower and so on, the enjoyment, one asks, is it possible to live without any control whatsoever?
A: The very question is terrifying in the context of these disorders that you are speaking about. I am taking the part now of the perspective that one is in, when out of frustration he comes to you, let us say, like the man did after 55 years on the road, the minute he walks in the door, he has come to get something he doesn't already have.
A: And as soon as you make that statement, if the answer that is coming up he starts 'if-ing' right now, if the answer is going to be something that completely negates this whole investment of 55 years on the road, it seems that most persons are going to freeze right there.
K: And it is a cruel thing too, sir. He has spent 55 years at it, and suddenly realizes what he has done. The cruelty of deception. You follow?
A: Oh, yes.
K: Self deception, deception of tradition, you follow, of all the teachers who have said, control, control, control. And he comes and you say to him, what place has control?
A: I think I am beginning to get a very keen sense of why you say go into it. Because there is a place there like dropping a stitch we might say. He doesn't get past that initial shock, then he is not going to go into it.
K: So we talked, I spent hours, we discussed, we went into it. Gradually he saw. He said, quite right. So, sir, unless we understand the nature and the structure of appetite and desire, which are more or less the same, we cannot understand very deeply pleasure.
A: Yes, yes. I see why you have been good enough to lay this foundation before we get to the opposite side of the coin.
K: Because pleasure and fear are the two principles that are active in most human beings, all human beings. And it is reward and punishment. Don't bring up a child through punishment but reward him. You know the psychologists are advocating some of this.
A: Oh yes. They are encouraged by the experiments on Pavlov's dogs.
K: Dogs, or peoples or ducks, geese. Do this and don't do that. So unless we understand fear, understand in the sense, investigate, see the truth of it and if the mind is capable of going beyond it, to be totally free of fear, as we discussed it the other day; and also to understand the nature of pleasure. Because pleasure is an extraordinary thing, and to see a beautiful thing to enjoy it - what is wrong with it?
K: See what is involved in it.
A: Right. The mind plays a trick there. I say to myself, I can't find anything wrong with it, therefore nothing is wrong with it. I don't really believe that necessarily. And I was thinking a little while ago when you were speaking about the attempts through power to negate desire, through power.
K: Because search for power, negating desire is search for power.
A: Would you be saying that one searches for power in order to secure a pleasure that has not yet been realized?
K: Yes, yes.
A: I understood you well then?
A: I see. It's a terrible thing.
K: But is a reality.
A: Oh, it's going on.
K: It's going on.
A: Oh, yes. But we are taught that from children.
K: That's just it, sir. So, pick up any magazine, the advertisements, the half naked ladies, women and so on, and so on. So pleasure is a very active principle in man as fear.
A: Oh yes.
K: And again society, which is immoral, has said, control. One side, the religious side says, control and commercialism says, don't control, enjoy, buy, sell. You follow? And the human mind, says this is all right. My own instinct is to have pleasure I'll go after it. But Saturday, or Sunday or Monday or whatever the day it is I'll give it to God. You follow, sir?
K: And this game goes on, forever it has been going on. So what is pleasure? You follow sir? Why should pleasure be controlled; why should, I'm not saying it's right or wrong, please let's be very clear from the beginning that we are not condemning pleasure. We are not saying you must give reign to it, let it run. Or that it must be suppressed, or justified. We are trying to understand why pleasure has become of such extraordinary importance in life. Pleasure of enlightenment. You follow, sir? Pleasure of sex. Pleasure of possession. Pleasure of knowledge. Pleasure of power.
A: Heaven which is regarded as the ultimate pleasure...
K: The ultimate, of course.
A: ...is usually spoken of theologically as the future state.
A: This is to me very interesting in terms of what you have been saying and even at the level of gospel songs we hear, "When the Roll is called up Yonder I'll be there". When it's called up yonder, which means at the end of the line. And then there's the terror that I won't be good enough when...
A: Yes, so I'm tightening up my belt to pay my heavenly insurance policy on Saturday and Sunday, the two days of the weekend that you mentioned. What if you got caught from Monday through Friday. Yes.
K: So pleasure, enjoyment and joy. Follow, sir? There are three things involved.
A: Three things.
K: Enjoyment and joy.
K: Happiness. You see joy is happiness, ecstasy, the delight, the sense of tremendous enjoyment. And what is the relationship of pleasure to enjoyment and to joy and happiness?
A: Yes, we have been moving a long way from fear.
K: Fear, that's right.
A: Yes, but I don't mean moving away...
K: No, no.
A: ...by turning our back on it.
K: No, we have gone into it, we see the movement from that to this, it's not away from it, pleasure. There is a delight in seeing something very beautiful. Delight. If you are at all sensitive, if you are at all observant, if there is a feeling of relationship to nature, which very few people unfortunately have, they stimulate it, but the actual relationship to nature, that is when you see something really marvelously beautiful, like a mountain with all its shadows valleys and the line and, you know it's something, a tremendous delight. Now see what happens: at that moment there is nothing but that. That is, beauty of the mountain, lake or the single tree on a hill, that beauty has knocked everything out of me.
A: Oh yes.
K: And at that moment there is no division between me and that. There is sense of great purity and enjoyment.
K: See what takes place.
A: I see we've reached a point where we are going to take a new step, I feel it coming on. It's amazing how this thing has moved so inevitably but not unjoyfully. Not unjoyfully. In our next conversation I would just love to pursue this.
8th Conversation with Dr. Allan W. Anderson
San Diego, California
21st February 1974
A: Mr Krishnamurti, I was wonderfully overjoyed in our last conversation, for myself, just as one who was trying and listening to you to learn something of this inwardness, to follow along the passage that we had made from fear through the points as we moved, until we came to pleasure. And as we left off we were still talking of pleasure and I hope we can begin now to move along.
K: Yes, sir, we were saying, weren't we, pleasure, enjoyment, delight and joy and happiness, and what relationship has pleasure with enjoyment, and with joy and with happiness? Is pleasure joy. Is pleasure happiness? Is pleasure enjoyment. Or is pleasure something entirely different from those two?
A: In English we think we make a distinction between pleasure, and joy without necessarily knowing what we mean. But in our use, in our employment of the words we will discriminate sometimes, we think it odd to use the word pleasure rather than joy when we think that joy is appropriate. The relation between the word please and pleasure interests me very much. We will say to a person, please sit down. And usually that will be thought of as...
K: Have the pleasure to sit down.
A: Yes. It's not a request.
K: Please yourself to sit down.
A: It's an invitation, not a request.
K: Not a request.
A: Be pleased to sit down.
K: Be pleased to sit down.
A: It's, be pleased to be seated.
K: Yes. In Italian, French, so on.
A: Right. So within pleasure itself, the word pleasure, there's the intimation of joy, intimation of it that is not strictly reduced to the word.
K: I would like to question whether pleasure has any relationship with joy.
A: Not in itself, I take it you mean.
K: Or even beyond the word. Is there a line or continuity of pleasure to joy? Is there a connecting link? Because what is pleasure? I take pleasure in eating, I take pleasure in walking. I take pleasure in accumulating money. I take pleasure in - I don't know a dozen things, sex, hurting people, sadistic instincts, violence. They are all forms of pleasure. I enjoy - I won't use the word enjoy - I take pleasure in and pursue that pleasure. One wants to hurt people. And that gives great pleasure. One wants to have power. It whether doesn't matter over the cook or over the wife, or a thousand people, it is the same. The pleasure in something which is sustained, nourished, kept going. And this pleasure, when it is distorted becomes violence, anger, jealousy, fury, wanting to break, all kinds of neurotic activities and so on, so on, so on. So what is pleasure and what is it that keeps it going? What is the pursuit of it, the constant direction of it?
A: I think something in our first or second conversation, I think it was the first, is intimated here when we talked about the built in necessity that one observes in a progress that is never consummated. It's just nothing but a termination and then a new start. But no consummation at all, no totality, no fulfillment - feeling full is what I mean by that.
K: Yes, I understand, sir. But what is it that's called pleasure. I see something, something which I enjoy and I want it. Pleasure. Pleasure in possession. Take that simple thing which the child, the grown up man, and the priest, they all have this feeling of pleasure in possession. A toy or a house or possessing knowledge or possessing the idea of God, or the pleasure the dictators have, the totalitarian brutalities. The pleasure. What is that pleasure. To make it very, very simple: what is that pleasure? Look, sir what happens: there is a single tree on the hill, green meadow, deer and there is the single tree standing on the hill. You see that and you say, how marvellous. Not verbally, you merely say, how marvellous, to communicate to somebody. But when you are by yourself and see that it is really astonishingly beautiful. The whole movement of the earth, the flowers, the deer, the meadows and the water and the single tree, the shadow. You see that. And it's almost breathtaking. And you turn away and go away. Then thought says, how extraordinary it was.
A: Compared with what now is.
K: How extraordinary.
K: I must have it again. I must get that same feeling which I had then, for two seconds or five minutes. So thought - see what has taken place - there was immediate response to that beauty, non-verbal, non-emotional, non-sentimental, non-romantic, then thought comes along and says, how extraordinary, what a delight that was. And then the melody of it, the repetition, the demand, the desire for the repetition.
A: When we go to performances this is what happens, we call it the encore, don't we.
K: Of course.
A: And with encores there's a creeping embarrassment. Because with the first reappearance this is a sign of adulation praise and everybody is happy. But then, of course, there's the problem of how many more encores can be made, maybe the last encore is a signal that we are fed up now. We don't need, we don't want any more.
K: Quite, quite.
A: Yes, yes, I understand. I think I am following you.
K: So thought gives nourishment, sustains it and gives a direction to pleasure. There was no pleasure at the moment of perception, of that tree, the hill, the shadows, the deer, the water, the meadow. The whole thing was real non-verbal, non-romantic, and so on, perception. It has nothing to do with me or you, it was there. Then thought comes around and says memory of it, the continuing of that memory tomorrow and the demand for that, and the pursuit of that. And when I come back to it tomorrow it is not the same. I feel a little bit shocked. I say, I was inspired, I must find a means of getting again inspired therefore I take a drink, women, this or that. You follow?
A: Yes, yes. Do you think, in the history of culture, the establishment of festivals would be related to what you say?
K: Of course of course. It's the whole thing, sir.
A: We live for, well in English we have this saying, to live it up. The rest of the time we are living it down.
K: Down, yes, Mardi Gras, the whole business of it. So there it is. I see that. See what takes place, sir. Pleasure is sustained by thought - sexual pleasure, the image, the thinking of it, all that, and the repetition of it. And the pleasure of it and so on, keep on, keep on, routine. Now, in relationship, what is the place of pleasure, or relationship to the delight of the moment, not even the delight, it is something inexpressible. So is there any relationship between pleasure and enjoyment? Enjoyment becomes pleasure when thought says, I have enjoyed it, I must have more of it.
A: It's actually a falling out of joy.
K: Yes. That's it, you see, sir. So pleasure has no relationship to ecstasy, to delight, to enjoyment, or to joy and happiness. Because pleasure is the movement of thought in a direction. It doesn't matter what direction but in a direction. The others have no direction. Pleasure, enjoyment, you enjoy. Joy is something you cannot invite. Happiness you cannot invite. It happens and you do not know if you are happy at that moment. It is only the next moment you say, how happy, how marvellous that was. So see what takes place, can the mind, the brain register the beauty of that hill, the tree, the water the meadows and end it? Not say, I want it again.
A: Yes. This would take us back to what you just said now, it would take us back to that word negation that we spoke of before, because there has to be a moment when we are about to fall out, we are about to fall out and what you are saying is the moment 'that about to fall out' appears something must be done.
K: You will see it in a minute, sir, you will see what an extraordinary thing takes place. I see pleasure, enjoyment, joy and happiness, see pleasure as not related to any of that, the other two, joy and enjoyment. So thought gives direction and sustains pleasure. Right? Now I ask myself, the mind asks can there be non-interference of thought, non-interference of thought in pleasure? I enjoy. Why should thought come into it at all?
A: There's no reason at all.
K: But it does.
A: It does, it does.
K: Therefore the question arises how is the mind, the brain to stop thought entering into that enjoyment? You follow?
K: Not to interfere. Therefore they said, the ancients, and the religious, control thought. You follow? Don't let it creep in. Therefore control it.
A: The minute it raises its ugly head, whack it off. It's like a hydra.
K: It keeps on growing. Now, is it possible to enjoy, to take a delight in that lovely scene, and not let thought creep in? Is this possible? I'll show you, it is possible, completely possible if you are attentive at that moment, completely attentive. You follow sir?
A: Which has nothing to do with screwing oneself up with muscular effort to focus in there.
K: Right. Just be wholly there. When you see the sunset, see it completely. When you see a beautiful line of a car, see it. And don't let this thought begin. That means at that moment be supremely attentive, completely, with your mind, with your body, with your nerves, with your eyes, ears, everything attentive. Then thought doesn't come into it at all. So pleasure is related to thought and thought in itself brings about fragmentation, pleasure and not pleasure. Therefore I haven't pleasure, I must pursue pleasure.
A: It makes a judgment.
A: A judgment.
K: Judgment. And the feeling of frustration, anger, violence - you follow, all that come into it. There is the denial of pleasure, which is what the religious people have done. They are very violent people. They have said no pleasure.
A: The irony of this is overwhelming. In classical thought you have that marvellous monument, the works of St. Thomas Aquinas who never tires of saying in his examination of thought, and the recognition of the judgment that one must distinguish in order to unite. His motive was very different from what seems to have been read. Because we have managed to distinguish, but we never see the thing whole and get to the uniting, so the uniting just vanishes.
K: That's the whole point, sir. So unless I understand, unless the mind understands the nature of thinking, really very, very deeply, mere control means nothing. Personally I have never controlled a thing. This may sound rather absurd. But it is a fact.
K: Never. But I've watched it. The watching is its own discipline and its own action. Discipline in the sense, not conformity, not suppression, not adjusting yourself to a pattern but the sense of correctness, the sense of excellence. When you see something why should you control? Why should you control when you see a poisonous bottle on the shelf? You don't control. You say, that's quite right, you don't drink. You don't touch it. It's only when I don't read the sign properly, when I see it and when I think it is a sweet then I take it. But if I read the label, if I know what it is I won't touch it. There's no control.
A: Of course not. It's self evident. I'm thinking of that wonderful story in the Gospel about Peter who in the storm gets out to walk on the water because he sees his lord coming on the water and he's invited to walk on the water. And he actually makes it a few steps and then it says he loses faith. But it seems to me that one could see that in terms of what you are saying, at the point where thought took over he started going down. That was the time when he started going down. But he was actually walking. The reason that I am referring to that is because I sense in what you are saying that there is something that supports, there is a support that's not a support that's fragmented from something else but there is an abiding something which must be sustaining the person.
K: I wouldn't put it that way, sir. That is, that leaves a door open, that opens a door to the idea in you there is God.
A: Yes, yes I see the trap.
K: In you there is the higher self, in you there is the Atman, the permanent.
A: Maybe we shouldn't say anything about that.
K: That's it. No, but we can say this though: to see - look what we have done this morning - to see appetite, desire, to see the implications, the structure of pleasure, and there is no relation to enjoyment, and to joy, to see all that, to see it, not verbally but actually, through observation, through attention, through care, through very careful seeing, that brings an extraordinary quality of intelligence. After all intelligence is sensitivity. To be utterly sensitive in seeing it - if you call that intelligence, the higher self, or whatever, it has no meaning. You follow?
A: It's as though you are saying at that instant it's released.
K: Yes. That intelligence comes in observation.
K: And that intelligence is operating all the time if you allow it - not if you allow it. If you are seeing. And I see, I have seen all my life, people who have controlled, people who have denied, people who have negated, and who have sacrificed, who have controlled, suppressed, furiously, disciplined themselves, tortured themselves. And I say, for what? For God? For truth? A mind that has been tortured, crooked, brutalized, can such a mind see truth? Certainly not. You need a completely healthy mind, a mind that is whole, a mind that is holy in itself. Otherwise go and see something holy, unless the mind is sacred, you cannot see what is sacred. So, I say, sorry, I won't touch any of that. It has no meaning. So, I don't know how this happened that I never for a second control myself. I don't know what it means.
A: And yet, amazingly you know what it is in others.
K: Oh, obviously, you can see it.
A: So this is something that you are able to see without having...
K:...gone through it.
A: Without having gone through it. Now this to me is profoundly mysterious. I don't mean in the sense of mystification.
K: No, no.
A: But I mean it's miraculous.
K: No, not necessarily, sir. I'll show you something, sir. Must I get drunk in order to find out what it is to be sober?
A: Oh no, no, no.
K: Because I see a man who is drunk, I say, for god's sake, see the whole movement of drunkenness, what lies behind it, what he goes through, see it, finished.
A: But it seems to me that in my listening to you that you are doing more than just observing that someone over there has fallen on his face therefore...
K: No, no.
A: Right, there's something that is very deep here.
K: Of course.
A: At least to me, that you've said. Control, in the very, very deep sense is an activity, not a product, and something that you haven't experienced that we would call normally intangible is nevertheless acutely present to you.
K: Yes, yes.
A: And I take it that what you've said that intelligence reveals that. Intelligence, if intelligence is allowed to reveal it.
K: I think, sir, not allowed. That's a danger, to allow intelligence to operate. Which means you have intelligence then you allow it.
A: Yes, I see the trap of that construction. Yes, yes, I see what you mean. Yes, because now we've got an observer who's got a new gimmick. Yes, I see what you mean. Please go on, please.
K: So, you see that's why discipline has a different meaning. When you understand pleasure, when you understand its relationship to enjoyment and to the joy and happiness and the beauty of happiness, beauty of joy and so on, then you understand the utter necessity of a different kind of discipline that comes naturally. After all, sir, look at the word discipline in itself means to learn. To learn, not to conform, not to say, I must discipline myself to be like that, or not to be like that. The word discipline, as we both see, is to learn. To learn means I must be capable of hearing, of seeing, which means the capacity which is not cultivable. You can cultivate a capacity, but that is not the same as the act of listening. I don't know if I'm...
A: Oh, you are. Yes I follow, very clearly.
K: The capacity to learn demands a certain discipline. I must concentrate, I must give my time to it. I must set aside my efforts in a certain direction and all that. That is, developing a certain capacity needs time.
K: But perception is nothing to do with time. You see it, and act, as you do when you see a danger. You act instantly. You act instantly because you are so conditioned to danger.
K: That conditioning is not intelligence. You are just conditioned. You see a snake and you recoil. You run away. You see a dangerous animal and you run. That's all self protective conditioned responses. That's very simple. But perception and action is not conditioned.
A: You know, we have in the history of the English language turned that word fear upside down in terms of its derivation because, if I remember correctly, it, fear comes from the Anglosaxon word that means danger. That means danger.
K: Danger, of course.
A: And now we've psychologized that word and now a fear means rather my emotional response to that danger.
K: Of course, of course.
A: And not what I want to be doing.
K: Yes, not aware of the danger of fear, you follow?
K: That means sir look: ordinary human beings are conditioned now as they are to, by the culture, by the civilization they are living in. They accept nationalism, say for instance, I am taking that for example, they accept nationalism, the flag, and all the rest of it, nationalism is one of the causes of war.
A: Oh yes, yes, indubitably.
K: As patriotism and all the rest of it. Now we don't see the danger of nationalism because we are conditioned to nationalism as being secure, security.
A: But we do see our fear of the enemy.
K: Of course,
A: Yes, right. And contemplating that fear of the enemy dulls our capacity to deal with the danger.
K: Danger. So, fear, pleasure, and discipline, you follow sir. Discipline means to learn; I am learning about pleasure. The mind is learning about pleasure. Learning brings its own order.
A: Its own.
K: It's own order.
A: Yes. That's what l've been calling miracle. It just asks you to jolly well leave it alone.
K: It brings its own order, and that order says, don't be silly, control is out, finished. I talked to a monk once. He came to see me. He had a great many followers. And he was very well known. He is still very well known. And he said, I have taught my disciples, and he was very proud of having thousands of disciples, you follow? And it seemed rather absurd for a guru, to be proud.
A: He was a success.
K: Success. And success means Cadillacs or Rolls Royces, European, American followers, you follow, all that circus that goes on.
A: His gimmick works.
K: And he was saying, I have arrived because I have learned to control my senses, my body, my thoughts, my desires. I've held them as the Gita says: hold something, you are reigning, you are riding horse, you know, holding. He went on about it for some length, I said sir, what at the end of it? You have controlled. Where are you at the end of it: He said, what are you asking, I have arrived. Arrived at what? I have achieved enlightenment. Just listen to it. Follow, follow the sequence of a human being who has a direction, which he calls truth. And to achieve that there are the traditional steps, the traditional path, the traditional approach. And he has done it. And therefore he says, I have got it. I have got it in my hand. I know what it is. I said, all right sir. He began to be very excited about it because he wanted to convince me about being a big man and all that. So I suggested we sat, I sat very quietly and listened to him and he quietened down. And then I said to him, we were sitting by the sea, and I said to him, you see that sea, sir. He said, of course. Can you hold that water in your hand? When you hold that water in you hand it's no longer the sea.
K: He couldn't make out. I said, all right. And the wind was blowing from the north, slight breeze, cool. And he said, there is a breeze. Can you hold all that? No. Can you hold the earth? No. So what are you holding? Words? You know sir, he was so angry he said I won't listen to you any more. You are an evil man. And walked off.
A: I was thinking of the absurd irony of that. All the time he thought he was holding on to himself and he just let go as he got up and walked away.
K: So you sir, that's what I am saying. So learning about pleasure about fear, really frees you from the tortures of fear and the pursuit of pleasure. So there is a sense of real enjoyment in life. Everything then becomes a great joy, you follow, sir. It isn't just a monotonous routine, going to the office, sex and money.
A: I've always thought it's a great misfortune that in that splendid rhetoric of our Declaration of Independence, we have that phrase, the pursuit of pleasure.
K: Pursuit of pleasure.
A: Because the child, the bright child is reared on that.
K: Oh, rather, sir.
A: And when you are very young you are not about to turn around and say, everybody's daft.
K: I know, I know. So from this you see, discipline in the orthodox sense has no place in a mind that's really wanting to learn about truth - not philosophize about truth, not theorize about truth, as you say, tie ribbons round it, but learn about it. Learn about pleasure. It is really out of that learning comes the extraordinary sense of order which we were talking of the other day. The order which comes with the observation in oneself of pleasure. The order. And there is pleasure - there is enjoyment. A marvellous sense of ending each enjoyment as you live each moment. You don't carry over the past enjoyment. Then that becomes pleasure. Then it has no meaning. Repetition of pleasure is monotony, is boredom. And they are bored in this country, and other countries. They are fed up with pleasure. But they want other pleasures in other directions. And that is why there is the proliferation of gurus in this country. Because they all want, you know, the circus kept going. So discipline is order. And discipline means to learn about pleasure, enjoyment, joy and the beauty of joy. When you learn, it is always new.
A: I've just thought - well thought is not the right word - something flashed in the communication of what you have been pointing to, if you don't mind I'd rather say that you've been pointing to than to use the phrase that, you've been saying, I hope I've understood you correctly here because in terms of the communication problem it seems that there's been a profound confusion between perception and practice.
K: Yes. Oh yes.
A: I have grasped that. It's as though we had the idea that perception is perfected at the end of practice.
K: That is a routine, isn't it?
A: We do have that idea.
K: I know.
K: You see, sir, they always say freedom is at the end. Not at the beginning. On the contrary, sir, the beginning is the first step that counts, not the last step. So if we understand this whole question of fear and pleasure, joy, the understanding can only come in freedom to observe. And in the observation learning and the acting. They all have the same meaning, at the same moment, not learn then act. It is the doing, the seeing all taking place at the same time. That is whole.
A: All these marvellous participles that being in the infinite mood in themselves. In themselves. Yes, a little while back it occurred to me that if we paid attention to our language as well as to the flowers and the mountains and the clouds...
K: Oh yes,
A:...the language not only in terms of individual words, but words in context so that we would refer then to what we call usage, would through perception, intelligence disclose themselves completely.
A: We say don't we, that one is pleased, one is joyed, but if we ask somebody, if we ask somebody: what have you been doing, and he said to us, I've been pleasing myself, we'd think that was a little odd. We wouldn't think it strange at all if he said, well, I have been enjoying myself. We don't mind that.
K: That's right.
A: But we don't pay attention to what we say.
K: That's right, sir. I came back after lunch, and somebody said have you enjoyed your meal? And there was a man there who said, we are not pigs to enjoy.
A: Oh good lord.
A: Yes. Exactly. I suppose he must feel very righteous. What he denied himself during the meal.
K: It is a question of attention, isn't it, whether you are eating, whether you are observing pleasure. Attention, that's the thing we have to go into very, very deeply. I don't know if there is time now, what it means to attend. Whether we attend to anything at all, or is it only a superficial listening, hearing, seeing which we call attending; or the expression of knowledge in doing. Attention, I feel, has nothing to do with knowledge, or with action. In the very attending is action. And one has to go into this question again of what is action. Perhaps we can do it another day.
A: Yes, I see a relation between what you've just said about action and what a few conversations ago we came to with the word movement.
A: On-goingness. And when you were talking about standing and looking at the tree on the mountain, I remembered when I was staying at one of the ashramas, actually the Vedanta Forest Academy, and when I got to my quarters a monkey and sat on the window sill with her little baby, and she looked full into my face, and I looked full into her's, but I think she looked fuller into mine; I had that strange feeling that I was actually a human being being...
A:...investigated, or as the students say today, being psyched out by this monkey. And it was a profound shock to me.
K: Talking of monkeys, sir, I was in Benares at the place I go to usually, I was doing yoga, exercises, half naked, and a big monkey, with black face and long tail, came and sat on the veranda. I closed my eyes. I looked and there was this big monkey. She looked at me and I looked at her. A big monkey, sir. They are powerful things. And it stretched out its hand, so I walked up and held her hand, like that, held it.
A: Held it.
K: And it was wrought but very, very supple, extraordinarily supple. But rough. And we looked at each other. And it said it wanted to come into the room. I said, look, I am doing exercises, I have little time, would you come another day. I kind of talked to it. Come another day. So it looked at me and I withdrew, went back. She stayed there for two or three minutes and gradually went away.
A: Marvellous, just marvellous. Complete act of attention between you.
K: There was no sense of fear. It wasn't afraid. I wasn't afraid. A sense of, you know...
A: This reminds me of a story I read about Ramana Maharishi, how when he was a young man he went and lived in a tiger's cave. And it was occupied by the tiger. And the tiger would come back after the hunt in the early hours of the morning and sleep with him. To read that within the environs of our culture well it starts, well you feel undone when you read that if you think for a moment you could allow yourself to believe it. But in the context of what we have been saying about the monkeys, and this marvellous story you told me, I wish I could have shaken hands with that little mother with her baby. I wasn't ready to.
K: No, it was really - I don't know, there must have been a communication, there must have been a sense of friendship, you know, without any antagonism, without any fear of it. It looked at me, you know. And I think attention is not something to be practised, not to be cultivated, go to a school to learn how to be attentive. That's what they do in, in this country and in other places, say, I don't know what attention is, I'm going to learn from somebody who will tell me how to get it. Then it's not attention.
A: Speed reading, it's called.
K: Speed reading, yes.
A: A thousand words a minute.
K: Sir, that's why I see there is a great sense of care and affection in being attentive, which means diligently watching. That word diligent comes from legere, you know, of course, to read. To read exactly what it is, what is there. Not interpret, not translate it, not contrive to do something with it, but to read what is there. There is an infinite lot to see. There is tremendous lot to see in pleasure, as we said. And to read it. And to read it, you must be watchful, attentive, diligent, careful. We are negligent. What's wrong with pleasure?
A: There's a colloquial remark in our tongue when somebody wishes to secure attention, they will say, do you read me? That, of course, has been taken over in technology into a different aspect, but quite apart from what someone would be saying with ear phones on in a plane, just common ordinary practice, sometimes a person will say that.
K: So that what we have done is really read this whole map.
K: From the beginning of responsibility, relationship, fear, pleasure. All that. Just to observe the extraordinary map of our life.
A: And the beauty of it is, we've been moving within the concern for the question of the transformation of man which is not dependent on knowledge or time without getting worried about whether we are getting off the track. It is happening naturally. That I take it is not a surprise to you, of course, but I'm sure it's shocking in terms...
K: And that's why, also, sir, it is right to live with the company of the wise. Live with a man who is really wise. Not with people who are faking it, not in books, not attending classes where you are taught wisdom. Wisdom is something that comes with self knowing.
A: It reminds me of a hymn in the Veda that talks about the goddess of speech who never appears except among friends.
A: Marvellous. Actually that means that unless there is the care, the affection that you mentioned, that is continuous concurrent with attention, there can be nothing but babble.
K: Of course.
A: There can be, verbal babble.
K: Which the modern world is encouraging, you see.
K: Again which means the superficial pleasures, not enjoyment. You follow? Superficial pleasures become the curse. And to go behind that is one of the most difficult things for people to do.
A: Because it goes faster and faster.
K: That's just it.
A: It goes faster and faster.
K: That's what is destroying the earth, the air. Everything they are destroying. There is a place I go to every year in India, where there is a school: the hills the oldest hills in the world.
A: What a beautiful thing.
K: Nothing has been changed, no bulldozers, no houses, it's an old place, with the old hills and in amongst there is a school with which I am connected and so on. And you feel the enormity of time, the feeling of absolute non-movement. Which is, civilization, which is all this circus that is going on. And when you go there you feel this, utter quietness, in which time has not touched it. And when you leave it and come to civilization you feel rather lost, a sense of what is all this about? Why is there so much noise about nothing? That's why it is so odd, and rather inviting, a great delight to see everything as is, including myself. To see what I am, not through the eyes of a professor, a psychologist, a guru, a book, just to see what I am and to read what I am. Because all history is in me. You follow?
A: Of course. There is something immensely beautiful about what you have said. Do you think in the next conversation we have we could talk about the relation of beauty to what you have said. Thank you so much.