Wholly Different Way of Living

15th Conversation with Dr. Allan W. Anderson
San Diego, California
27th February 1974
Religion and Authority - 1

A: Mr Krishnamurti, we were talking last time together about death in the context of living, and love. And as I remember just as we came to the close of what we were discussing we thought it would be good to pursue this in terms of a further enquiry into education, what really goes on between teacher and student when they begin looking together. And what are the traps that immediately appear, and shock? You mentioned the terror of death, not simply externally, but internally in relation to thought. And it seemed to me perhaps it would be a splendid thing if we just continued that and went deeper into it.

K: Sir, I would like to ask why we are educated at all? What is the meaning of this education that people receive? Apparently they don't understand a thing of life, they don't understand fear, pleasure, the whole thing that we have discussed, and the ultimate fear of death and the terror of not being. Is it that we have become so utterly materialistic that we are only concerned with good jobs, money, pleasure and superficial amusements, entertainments, whether they be religious or football. Is it that our whole nature and structure has become so utterly meaningless? And when we are educated for that, and to suddenly face something real is terrifying.

And as we were saying yesterday, we are not educated to look at ourselves, we are not educated to understand the whole business of living, we are not educated to look and see what happens if we face death. So I was wondering as we came along this morning, religion, which we were going to discuss anyhow, has become merely not only a divisive process but also utterly meaningless. Maybe 2,000 years as Christianity, or 3,000, 5,000 as Hinduism, Buddhism and so on, it has lost its substance. And we never enquire into what is religion, what is education, what is living, what is dying, you know, the whole business of it. We never ask, what is it all about. And when we do ask we say, well, life has very little meaning. And it has very little meaning, and it has very little meaning as we live it, and so we escape into all kinds of fantastic, romantic nonsense, which has no reason, which we can't discuss, or logically enquire, but it is mere escape from this utter emptiness of the life that one leads. I don't know if you saw the other day, a group of people adoring a human being, and they were doing the most fantastic things, and that's what they call religion, that's what they call God. They seem to have lost all reason. Reason apparently has no meaning any more, either.

A: I did see a documentary that was actually put on by this station, in which the whole meeting operation was being portrayed between the public and this individual in this young 15 year old guru, Maharaji. It was extraordinary.

K: Disgusting.

A: Amazing. It was in many respects revolting.

K: And that's what they call religion. So shall we begin with the religion and go on?

A: Yes, I think that would be a splendid thing to do.

K: All right, sir. You know man has always wanted and tried to find out something beyond the everyday living, everyday routine, everyday pleasures, every activity of thought, he wanted something much more. I don't know whether you have been to India, I do not know if you have been to villages. They put a little stone under a tree, put some marking on it, the next day they have flowers, and of course to the people that are there it has become divinity, it has become something religious. That same principle is continued in the cathedrals. Exactly the same thing when you have mass and all the rituals in India, all that, it begins there: the desire for a human being to find something more than what thought has put together. Not being able to find it they romanticize it, they create symbols, or somebody who has got a little bit of this, they worship. And round that they do all kinds of rituals, Indian puja, you know all that business that goes on. And that is called religion. Which has absolutely nothing to do with behaviour, with our daily life.

So seeing all this, both in the west and the east, in the world of Islam, in the world of Buddhism and all this, it is the same principle going on: worshipping an image which they have created, whether it is the Buddha, Jesus or Christ, it is the human mind that has created the image.

A: Oh yes, certainly.

K: And they worship the image which is their own. In other words they are worshipping themselves.

A: And the division, the split, grows wider.

K: Wider. So religion, when one asks what is religion, obviously one must negate in the sense not brutally cut off, understand all this. And so negate all religions: negate the religion of India and the multiple gods and goddesses; and here the religion of Christianity, which is an image which they have created, which is idolatry. They might not like to call it idolatry but it is. It is an idolatry of the mind. The mind has created the ideal, and the mind through the hand created the statue, the cross and so on and so on. So if one really puts all that aside, the belief, the superstition, the worship of the person, the worship of an idea, and the rituals and the tradition, all that, if one can do it, and one must do it to find out.

A: Exactly. There is a point of terror here that is many, many faceted it seems to me, it has so many different mirrors that it holds up to one's own dysfunction. To reach the place where one is willing to begin at the point where he makes this negation in order to find out, he thinks very often that he is being required to assume something in advance in order to make the negation.

K: Of course.

A: Therefore he balks at that, and he won't do it.

K: No, because sir the brain needs security, otherwise it can't function.

A: That's right.

K: So it finds security in a belief, in an image, in rituals, in the propaganda of 2,000 or 5,000 years. And there, there is a sense of safety, comfort, security, well-being, somebody is looking after you, the image of somebody greater than me who is looking after me, inwardly he is responsible. All that. When you are asking a human being to negate all that, he is faced with an immense sense of danger, an immense sense - he becomes panicked.

A: Exactly.

K: So to see all that, to see the absurdity of all the present religions, the utter meaninglessness of it all, and to face being totally insecure, and not be frightened.

A: I sense a trick that one can play on himself right here. Again I am very grateful to you that we are exploring together pathology in its various facets. One can begin with the notion that he is going to make this negation in order to attain to something better.

K: Oh no, that's not negation.

A: And that's not negation at all.

K: No. Negation is to deny what is false not knowing what is truth. To see the false in the false and to see the truth in the false, and it is the truth that denies the false. You don't deny the false, but you see what is false, and the very seeing of what is false is the truth. I don't know?

A: Yes, of course.

K: And that denies, that sweeps away all this. I don't know if I am making myself clear.

A: Well I had a very interesting experience in class yesterday. I had given the class an assignment. I think I mentioned this in a conversation we had yesterday, that I had given the class an assignment to go and look at the tree. So in fact I am making a report as to what happened after they came back. Well one young woman described what happened to her; and she described it in such a way that the class was convinced, and I was convinced that there was no blockage of her looking between herself and this tree. She was calmly ecstatic in her report. That sounds like a curious juxtaposition of words, but it seems to me to be correct. But then I asked her a question. And I said, now were you thinking of yourself as looking at this tree? And she hesitated - mind you she had already gone through this whole statement, which very beautifully undertaken - and I had come along playing the role of the serpent in the garden and I said, well now might it not have been the case that at any time during that you thought of yourself. And with this hesitation she began to fall more and more out of her own act. Well we had a look at that, she and I and the class, we all had a look at what she was doing. Finally she turned around and said, the reason that I stopped was not because of what went on between me and the tree - I am very clear about that - because I am in class now and I am thinking that I ought to say the right thing, and so I have gone and ruined the whole thing. It was a revelation not only to her but you could see with respect to the faces all around the room that we are all involved in this nonsense.

K: Yes, sir.

A: And her shock that she could so betray this relationship that she had had in doing her exercise in just a couple of words, was almost...

K: Revealing.

A: Yes, extremely revealing, but at the same time desperately hard to believe that anybody would do such a thing to himself.

K: Quite. Negation can only take place when the mind sees the false, the very perception of the false is the negation of the false. And when you see the religions based on miracles, based on personal worship, based on fear that you, your own life is so shoddy, empty, meaningless, and that you are so transient, you will be gone in a few years, and then the mind creates the image which is eternal, which is marvelous, which is the beautiful, the heaven, and identifies with it and worships it. Because it needs a sense of security, deeply, and it has created all this superficial nonsense, a circus - it is a circus.

A: Oh, yes.

K: So can the mind observe this phenomenon, and see its own demand for security, comfort, safety, permanency, and deny all that? Deny in the sense see how the brain, thought, creates the sense of permanency, the eternality, or whatever you like to call it. And to see all that. Therefore one has to go much more deeply, I think, into the question of thought because both in the west and the east thought has become the most important movement in life. Right?

A: Oh yes, oh yes.

K: Thought, which has created this marvelous world of technology, marvelous world of science, and all that, and thought which has created the religions, all the marvelous chants, both the Gregorian and the Sanskrit chants, thought which has built beautiful cathedrals, thought which has made images of the saviours, the masters, the gurus, the father image. Unless one really understands thought, what is thinking, we will still play the same game in a different field.

A: Exactly.

K: Look what is happening in this country. These gurus come from India, they shave their head, put on the Indian dress, a little tuft of hair hanging down, and repeat endlessly what somebody has said. A new guru. They have had old gurus, the priests.

A: Oh yes.

K: The Catholic, the Protestant, and they have denied them but accept the others! You follow?

A: Yes.

K: The others are as dead as the old ones because they are just repeating tradition: traditionally repeating how to sit, how to shake, how to meditate, how to hold your head, breathe. Finally you obey what the old gurus says, or the young guru says. Which is exactly what took place in the Catholic world, in the Protestant world. You follow? They deny that and yet accept the other. Because they want security, they want somebody to tell them what to do, what to think, never how to think.

A: No. This raises the question that I hope we can explore together, that concerns the word 'experience'. It's amazing how often in these times this word crops up to represent something that I desperately need, which somehow lies outside myself. I need the experience of an awakening. It isn't an awakening that I need, apparently, it's an experience of this awakening. The whole idea of religion as experience seems to me to need very, very careful thought, very, very careful penetration.

K: Quite, quite. So, if I may ask, why do we demand experience? Why is there this craving for experience? We have sexual experience, experiences of every kind, don't we?

A: Yes.

K: As we live: insults, flattery, happenings, incidents, influences, what people say, don't say, we read a book, and so on and so on. We have experiences all the time. We are bored with that. And we say we will go to somebody who will give me the experience of god.

A: Yes, that's precisely what is claimed.

K: Now what is involved in that? What is involved in the demand of our experience, and the experiencing of that demand? I experience what that guru or master, or somebody tells me, how do I know it is real? And I say, I recognize it. Look, I experience something, and I can only know that I have experienced it only when I have recognized it. Right?

A: Right.

K: Recognition implies I have already known.

A: Recognize.

K: Recognize.

A: Yes.

K: So I am experiencing what I have already known, therefore it is nothing new. I don't know if I am making it clear.

A: Yes, you are making yourself very, very clear.

K: All they are doing is a self deception.

A: It is actually lusted after.

K: Oh, lord, yes.

A: Yes, the drive for it is extraordinary. I have seen it in many, many students, who will go to extraordinary austerities.

K: I know all this.

A: We sometimes think that young people today are very loose in their behaviour, well some are, but what is so new about that, that has been going on since time out of mind. I think what is rarely seen is that many young persons today are extremely serious about acquiring something that someone possesses that they don't have, and if someone claims to have it, naively they are on their way. They go through any number of cart wheels, stand on their head indefinitely for that.

K: Oh, yes, I have seen all that.

A: Which is called an experience, as such.

K: That's why one has to be very careful, as you pointed out, sir, to explore this word. And to see why the mind, why a human being demands more experience, when his whole life is a vast experience with which he is so bored. He thinks this is a new experience, but to experience the new how can the mind recognize it as the new, unless it has already known it? I don't know if I'm...

A: Yes. And there is something very remarkable here in terms of what you said earlier in other previous conversations that we have had: in the recognition of what is called the new, the linkage with old thought, old image establishes the notion that there is something gradual in the transition. That there really is some kind of genuine link here with where I am now, and where I was before. Now I become the next guru who goes out and teaches the person how gradually to undertake this discipline.

K: Yes, sir, yes, sir.

A: And it never stops. No, no, I do see that. It's amazing, it's amazing. Driving down in the car this morning I was thinking about the whole business of chant, that you mentioned, the beauty of it all, and since this is related to experience as such, I thought maybe we could examine the aesthetics in terms of where this self trapping lies in it. And of course I thought of Sanskrit, that beautiful invocation that is chanted in the Isa Upanishad (chant in Sanskrit) and it goes on. And I said to myself, if one would attend to those words there is the echo of the abiding through the whole thing, through the whole glorious cadence, and within it there's the radical occasion to fall into a euphoria.

K: Yes, sir.

A: And somnolence takes over. But it is within the very same. And I said to myself, well maybe Mr Krishnamurti would say a word about the relation of beauty to this in terms of one's own relation to the beautiful, when that relation is not seen for what it is. Since there is a narcosis present that I can generate. It isn't in those words. And yet we think that the language must be at fault, there must be something demonically hypnotic about this that we do. And then religious groups will separate themselves totally from all this. We had a period in Europe when Protestants, Calvinists, wouldn't allow an organ, no music, because music is seductive. I am not the self seducer, it is the music's fault!

K: That's just it, sir.

A: Let's look at it.

K: As we were saying the other day, sir, beauty can only be when there is the total abandonment of the self. Complete emptying the consciousness of its content, which is the 'me'. Then there is a beauty which is something entirely different from the pictures, chants, all that. And probably most of these young people, and also the older people, seek beauty in that sense through the trappings of the church, through chants, through reading the Old Testament with all its beautiful words and images, and all that, and that gives them a sense of deep satisfaction. In other words, sir, what they are seeking is really gratification through beauty - beauty of words, beauty of chant, beauty of all the robes and the incense, and the light coming through those marvelous pieces of colour. You have seen it all in cathedrals, Notre Dame and Chatres, marvelous. And it gives them a sense of sacredness, sense of feeling happy, relieved, at last here is a place where I can go and meditate, be quiet, get into contact with something. And then you come along and say, look, that's all rubbish, it has no meaning. What has meaning is how you live in your daily life.

A: Yes.

K: Then they throw a brick at you.

A: It is like taking food away from a starving dog.

K: Exactly. So this is the whole point, sir: experience is a trap, and all the people want this strange experience which the gurus think they have.

A: Which is always called the knowledge. Interesting.

K: Very.

A: Isn't it? It is always called the knowledge. Yes. Of course I was thinking about previous conversations, about this self transformation that is not dependent on knowledge.

K: Of course not.

A: Not dependent on time. And eminently requires responsibility.

K: And also, sir, we don't want to work. We work very strenuously in earning a livelihood. Look what we do, year after year, after year, day after day, the brutality, the ugliness of all that. But here, inwardly, psychologically, we don't want to work. We are too lazy. Let the other fellow work, perhaps he has worked, and perhaps he will give me something. But I don't say I am going to find out, deny the whole thing and find out.

A: No, the assumption is that the priest's business is to have worked in order to know so that I am relieved of that task; or if I didn't come into the world with enough marbles then all I need do is simply follow his instructions and it's his fault if he gets it messed up.

K: We never ask the man who says, "I know, I have experienced", what do you know?

A: Exactly.

K: What have you experienced? What do you know? When you say, I know, you only know something that is dead, which is gone, which is finished, which is the past. You can't know something that is living. You follow sir?

A: Yes.

K: A living thing you can never know, it's moving. It is never the same. And so I can never say, I know my wife, or my husband, children, because they are living human beings. But these fellows come along, from India specially, and they say, look, I know, I have experienced, I have knowledge, I will give it to you. And I say, what impudence. You follow sir?

A: Yes.

K: What callous indifference that you know and I don't know. And what do you know?

A: It's amazing what has been going on in terms of the relation between men on the one hand, and women on the other, or man and woman in respect to this, because a whole mythology has grown up about this. For instance we say, our sex says, woman is mysterious, and never is this understood in terms of the freshness of life, which includes everything not just woman. Now we have an idea that woman is mysterious. So we are talking about something in terms of an essence, which has nothing to be with existence. Isn't that so?

K: Exactly.

A: Goodness me! And as you said earlier we are actually taught this, this is all in books, this is all in the conversations that go on in class rooms.

K: So that why, sir, I feel education is destroying people - as it is now. It has become a tragedy. If I had a son - which I haven't got, thank god - I would say, where am I to educate him? What am I to do with him? Make him like the rest of the group? Like the rest of the community? Taught, memories, accept, obey. You follow, sir, all the things that are going on. And when you are faced with that, as many people are now, they are faced with this problem.

A: Oh, they are, yes, yes. There's no question about that.

K: So we say, look, let's start a school, which we have in India, which I am going to do in California, at Ojai. We are going to do that. Let's start a school where we think totally differently, where we are taught differently. Not just the routine, routine, routine, to accept, or to deny, react, you know, the whole thing.

From that arises, sir, another question: why does the mind obey? I obey the laws of the country, I obey keeping to the left side of the road, or the right side of the road. I obey what the doctor tells me - I would be careful what he tells me, personally I don't go near doctors but I am very careful what they have to say, I am watchful. I don't accept immediately this or that. But politically in a so-called democratic world they won't accept a tyrant.

A: No.

K: They say no authority, freedom. But spiritually, inwardly, they accept every Tom, Dick and Harry - specially when they come from India.

A: Oh yes.

K: The other day I turned on the London BBC and there was a man interviewing a certain group of people. And the boy and the girl said, "We obey entirely what our guru says." And the interviewer said, "Will he tell you to marry?" "If he tells me I will marry. If he tells me I must starve, I will starve". Just a slave. You understand sir? And yet the very same person will object to political tyranny.

A: Absurd. Yes.

K: There he will accept the tyranny of a petty little guru, with his fanciful ideas, and he will reject politically a tyranny or a dictatorship. So why does the mind divide life into accepting authority in one way, in one direction, and deny it in another? And what is the importance of authority? That is, sir, the word authority, as you know, means the one who originates.

A: The author.

K: And these priests, gurus, leaders, spiritual preachers, what have they originated? They are repeating tradition, aren't they?

A: Oh, yes, precisely.

K: And tradition, whether it is from the Zen tradition, the Chinese tradition, or Hindu, is a dead thing. And these people are perpetuating the dead thing. The other day I saw a man, he was explaining how to meditate - put your hands here, close your eyes.

A: Yes, that's the one I saw.

K: And do this, that and the other.

A: Appalling.

K: And people accept it.

A: And on the same thing there was this woman who had run out of money and every blessed thing, and she had nowhere to go to sleep and so forth, and hysterically she was saying, "I'm in line, I've got all these people ahead of me, but I'm must have this knowledge." The hysteria of it, the desperation of it.

K: That's why, sir, what is behind this acceptance of authority? You understand? The authority of law, the authority of the policeman, the authority of the priests, the authority of these gurus, what is behind the acceptance of authority? Is it fear? Fear of going wrong spiritually, of not doing the right thing in order to gain enlightenment, knowledge, and the super consciousness, whatever it is, is it fear? Or is it a sense of despair? A sense of utter loneliness, utter ignorance? I am using the word ignorance in the deeper sense.

A: Yes, yes, I follow.

K: Which makes me say, well, there is a man who says he knows, I'll accept him. I don't reason. You follow, sir? I don't say, what do you know? What do you bring to one, give to me, your own tradition from India? Who cares? You are bringing something dead, nothing original, nothing real, but repeat, repeat, repeat what others have done - which in India they themselves are throwing out.

A: Yes. I was just thinking of Tennyson's lines appropo of this, although in a different context when he wrote it: "There's not to reason why, but to do and die".

K: That's what the gurus say. So what is behind this acceptance of authority?

A: It is interesting that the word authority is radically related to the self - autos, the self. There is this sensed gaping void, through the division.

K: Sir, that's just it.

A: Through the division. And that immediately opens up a hunger, doesn't it? And my projection of my meal, I run madly to.
K: When you see this, you want to cry. You follow sir?

A: Yes.

K: All these young people going to these gurus, shaving their head, dressing in Indian dress, dancing in the streets. Fantastic things they are doing. All on a tradition which is dead. All tradition is dead. You follow? And when you see that you say, my god, what has happened? So I go back and ask, why do we accept? Why are we influenced by these people? Why are we influenced when there is a constant repetition in a commercial, 'buy this, buy this'? It is the same as that. You follow sir?

A: Yes.

K: Why do we accept? The child accepts, I can understand that. Poor thing, he doesn't know anything, it needs security, it needs a mother, it needs care, it needs protection, it needs to sit on your lap and affection, kindness, gentle. It needs that. Is it they think the guru gives him all this? Through their words, through their rituals, through their repetition, through their absurd disciplines. You follow? A sense of acceptance as I accept my mother when a child, I accept that in order to be comfortable, in order to feel at last something, somebody is looking after me.

A: This relates to what you said in a previous conversation, we looked into fear, the reaction of the infant is a reaction with no intermediary of any kind, of his own contrivance. He simply recognizes that he has a need, and this is not an imagined want, it is a radical need. He needs to feed, he needs to be affectionately held.

K: Of course, sir.

A: The transition from that to the point where as he gets older he begins to think about the source of the meeting of that need. He emerges as the image that is interposed as between the sense of danger and the immediate action. So if I am understanding you correctly, there is a deflection here from the radical purity of act.

K: That's right.

A: And I've done that myself. I have done that myself. It isn't because of anything I was told that actually coerced me to do it, even though what you say is true, we are continually invited, it's a kind of siren like call that comes to us throughout our entire culture, in all cultures to start that stuff.

K: You see sir, that's what I want to get at. Why is it that we accept authority? In a democratic world, politically, we shun any dictator. But yet religiously they are all dictators. And why do we accept it? Why do I accept the priest as an intermediary to something which he says he knows? And so it shows, sir, we stop reasoning. Politically we reason, we see how important it is to be free, free speech, everything free, as much as possible. We never think freedom is necessary here. Spiritually we don't feel the necessity of freedom. And therefore we accept it - any Tom, Dick and Harry. It is horrifying. I've seen intellectuals, professors, scientists, falling for all this trash. Because they have reasoned in their scientific world, and they are weary of reasoning, and they say, at last I can sit back and not reason, be told, be comfortable, be happy, I'll do all the work for you, you don't have to do anything, I'll take you over the river. You follow?

A: Oh, yes.

K: And I'm delighted. So we accept where there is ignorance, where reason doesn't function, where intelligence is in abeyance, and you need all that: freedom, intelligence, reasoning, with regard to real spiritual matters. Otherwise what? Some guru comes along and tells you what to do, and you repeat what he does. You follow sir how destructive it is?

A: Oh yes.

K: How degenerate it is. That is what is happening. I don't think these gurus realize what they are doing. They are encouraging degeneracy.

A: Well they represent a chain of the same.

K: Exactly. So can we - sir, this brings up a very important question - can there be an education in which there is no authority whatsoever?

A: I must say, yes, to that in terms of the experience that I had in class yesterday. It was a tremendous shock to the students when they suspended their disbelief for a moment, just to see whether I meant it when I said, now we must do this together, not your doing what I say to do.

K: You have to walk together.

A: We will do this together.

K: Share it together.

A: Right. You will question, and I will question, we will try to grasp as we go along - without trying. And I went into the business, about let's not have this shoddy little thing trying. That took a little while. That increased the shock because the students who have been to their own great satisfaction what you would call devoted, those who do their work, who make effort, are suddenly finding out that this man has come into the room and he is giving 'trying' a bad press. This does seem to turn the thing completely upside down. But they showed courage in the sense that they gave it a little attention before beginning the true act of attention. That's why I was using courage there because it is a preliminary to that. I've quite followed you when you have raised the question of the relation of courage to the pure act of attention. It seems to me that is not where it belongs.

K: No.

A: But they did get it up for this preliminary step. Then we ran into this what I think I called in an earlier conversation, dropping a stitch - where they really saw this abyss, they were alert enough to stand over the precipice. And that caused them to freeze. And it's that moment that seems to me absolutely decisive. It is almost like one sees in terms of events, objective events. I remember reading the Spanish philosopher, Ortega who spoke of events that trembled back and forth before the thing actually tumbles into itself. That was happening in the room. It was like water that moved up to the lip of the cup and couldn't quite spill over. I have spoken about this at some length because I wanted to describe to you a real situation, what was actually happening.

K: I was going to say, sir, I have been connected with many school, for forty years, and more, and when one talks to the students about freedom and authority and acceptance, they are completely lost.

A: Yes.

K: They want to be slaves. My father says this, I must do this. Or, my father says, I won't do that. It is the same.

A: Exactly. Do you think in our next conversation we could look at that moment of hesitation?

K: Yes, sir.

A: It seems to me so terribly critical for education itself. Wonderful.

16th Conversation with Dr. Allan W. Anderson
San Diego, California
27th February 1974
Religion and Authority - 2

A: Mr Krishnamurti in our series of conversations we have reached, it seems to me, an especially critical place. In our last discussion together we touched on the question of authority, not only in relation to what is out there, that we project, and what is out there that faces us, literally, but also the question at the deeper level of my relationship within that. And a point where in the enquiry, in going deeply into myself, in self examination, there is a point of boggling, when one boggles, one is hesitant, and trembles, there is a real fear and trembling that occurs at the birth of that enquiry. And I think you, at the conclusion of our former conversation, were moving toward a discussion of that in terms of its role in the religious life.

K: That's right.

A: Yes.

K: Sir, why do we hesitate? That's what it comes to, what you are saying. Why do we not take the plunge? That's what you are asking?

A: That's what I'm asking, yes.

K: Why is it always coming to the brink and withdrawing, running away? Why don't we see the thing as is and act? Is it, sir, part of our education, that has cultivated function, enormous function, we give tremendous importance to function - as an engineer, as a professor as a doctor, and so on so on - functioning in a particular technique. And we have never cultivated, or encouraged or enquired into what is intelligence. Where there is intelligence there won't be this hesitation. There is action. When one is very sensitive, you act. That sensitivity is intelligence. Now, in education, as I have observed it both here and in India and other parts of the world, education is merely training the mind to function to the dictates of society. So many engineers are wanted, so many doctors are wanted. If you get into a profession where there are few you might make more money.

A: You have to watch out for the glut.

K: Glut, yes. Don't become a scientist, there are enough scientists, or whatever it is.

A: Oh dear, dear, yes.

K: So we are encouraged and trained to function in the field of activity as functions, careers. Now we hesitate to enter or plunge into something that demands all your attention, not fragmentary, all your attention because we don't know the measure. We know how to measure function. Here we have no measure. Therefore I depend. Therefore I won't reason here because I don't know how to reason. I don't say to a man who says 'I know,' what? I say, 'What do you know? You only know something that's gone, finished, dead. You can't say I know something that's living. And so gradually, as I see it, the mind becomes dull, restless. Its curiosity is only in the direction of functioning. And it has no capacity to enquire. To enquire you must have freedom first. I can't enquire otherwise. If I come to enquire to something which I have to enquire about, if I have prejudices I can't enquire. If I have conclusions about that I can't enquire. Therefore there must be freedom to enquire. And that is denied, because I've laid, society and culture laid tremendous importance on function. And function has its own status.

A: Oh, yes, yes. It's exalted ultimately into process.

K: Yes. Into a status.

A: Right.

K: So status matters much more than function.

A: Yes.

K: And so I live in that field, live in that structure and if I want to enquire into religion, what is religion, what is God, what is immortality, what is beauty - I can't do it. I depend on an authority. And I have no basis for reasoning - you follow, sir - in this vast field of religion. So it is partly the fault of our education, partly our incapacity to look at anything objectively. Our incapacity to look at a tree without all the rigmarole, knowledge, screen, blocks, that prevents me from looking at the tree. I never look at my wife, if I have a wife, or a girl, or whatever, I never look. I look at her or him through the image I have about her, or him. So the image is the dead, dead thing. So I never look at a living thing. I never look at nature, with all the marvel of it, the beauty of it, the shape, the loveliness of it. But I am always translating it, trying to paint it, write about it or enjoy it, or - you follow?

A: Yes.

K: So from that arises the question, why do I, why do human beings accept authority? Obey? Is it because they have been trained in the field of function where you must obey to learn, you follow, you can't do anything else.

A: Oh yes. No, it has its own laws built in.

K: Laws. It has its own disciplines. It has its own laws, its own ways. Because I have been trained that way I bring that over here into the field of religion, into the field of something that demands freedom. Freedom not at the end, right from the beginning. The mind must be free from authority, from the beginning. If I want to find out what is God, not I believe in God, that has no meaning, if there is God, if there is no God, I really want to find out. I am terribly serious. And if I am really serious, I am really concerned to the understanding, learning about God, if there is God, I must push aside completely all the beliefs, all the structure, all the churches, all the priests, all the books, all the things that thought has put together about religion. You follow?

A: Yes, I do. I've been thinking very hard about your word 'intelligence' and the word 'truth' in relation to what you have been saying. And the passage from the gospel came to my mind which would end up, I think. with a very different exegesis in terms of what you've been saying, if one applied what you've been pointing to, to this text. "When he, the spirit of truth is come he will guide you into all truth and the truth shall make you free." The truth is called a spirit here. And in the very same St.John's gospel, God is also called spirit. a radical act, not this spirit over there, out there somewhere that I have projected. If one takes seriously, the terrible thing is that it hasn't been taken seriously.

K: Because we are not allowed to be serious, sir.

A: We can't even be serious about the thing that is claimed we must be the most serious about.

K: Serious about. That's just it.

A: Yes, I know. I know what you mean.

K: And, look, we are not serious about our children. We don't feel responsible for them, right through life. Only till they are four, five, six, we are responsible, you know. After that they can do what they want. So freedom and authority cannot possibly exist. Freedom and intelligence go together. And intelligence has its own innate, natural, easy discipline, discipline in the sense of, not of suppression, control, imitation and all that, but discipline which is the act of learning all the time.

A: In attention.

K: Yes, in attention.

A: In attention. This intelligence that you speak of is associated with splendour, isn't it?

K: Yes.

A: Its advent is immediate, not gradual.

K: No, of course not. The perception is intelligence.

A: The perception is intelligence.

K: And therefore acting.

A: And perception is the act.

K: Of course.

A: So the act, intelligence, beauty...

K: All these.

A: ...love, truth, freedom...

K: Death, all those are one.

A: ...order, they form a complete, total, integral movement in act.

K: That's right.

A: That in itself looked at positively is even, once it's translated into a concept...

K: Oh, there is no longer that.

A: ...becomes in itself an occasion for terror again.

K: Of course.

A: Because it seems that it runs away too fast from you.

K: Yes.

A: As soon as you say, yes I see. Isn't that marvelous. It's as though these that you've mentioned, beauty, intelligence, love, freedom...

K: ...and death.

A: ...have so to speak, secured themselves against all tom-foolery.

K: Absolutely. Quite right.

A: They are so radically pure, any foolery.

K: So, sir, that means can the mind put aside totally all the structure of thought with regard to religion? It can't put away the function of thought in the field of knowledge. That we have understood. That's very clear. But here there is something, I don't know, we don't know - you follow, sir. We pretend we know. When a man says, Jesus is Saviour or whatever, it is a pretension. It is saying, "I know and you don't know." What do you know, in the name of heaven, you know nothing, you just repeat what you have learned from somebody else. So can the mind, in the field of religion, because religion is, as we said at the beginning, the gathering of all energy in that quality of attention. And it is that quality of attention that regenerates man, that brings about real transformation in man with regard to his conduct, his behaviour, his whole way of relationship, religion is that factor. Not all of this foolery that is going on. Now, to enquire, the mind must put aside all the structure of thought built around that word. You follow, sir?

A: Yes I do.

K: Can one do it? If not, we are pretending, talking about god, no god, yes a god. You follow? All that nonsense that is going on. So that is the first question. Can the mind be free of the authority of another, however great, however sublime, however divine or no divine, you follow?

A: And because an act is required in order to answer this question...

K: Absolutely.

A: ...the individual must do this on his own.

K: Otherwise he merely lives in a routine of function, which he has, which he is still doing and therefore he escapes into all these circuses which he calls religion.

A: This came home to me with great dramatic force yesterday in class. On the one hand we have textbooks; textbooks which have survived the centuries because of their classical value in that sense. And the usual way in which this material is taught, is that one learns, let us say something about the Chinese vision of life. Then we have the Hindu vision of life and so we accumulate over a long period of time through school, clear through graduate school, if you hang in there long enough, if you can stand it, you come into possession of...

K: ...what other people have said.

A: ...what other people have said.

K: But you know nothing about it.

A: Exactly. You acquire certain skills in the order of function, as you have mentioned. Now the teacher has a problem. I am thinking of these schools that you have referred to in India and the one that will be in Ojai. There is a body of material here, clearly the teacher must be in possession of knowledge in the order of functional operation, procedural techniques and so forth. He simply has to know. The child is going to read books.

K: Of course.

A: In these schools that you mentioned he is going...

K: Oh they do, they do.

A: ...to read. They read books. Books. And all of them haven't been written necessarily by somebody who is undertaking to do the thing that goes on between the students and the teachers in these schools. Now the teacher must handle this written material in books in a way to indicate to the child, the younger student, the older student that it is possible to read this material without being self divided in doing it.

K: And also what would you do if there was no book?

A: You'd be in the same position.

K: No, if there was no book, nobody saying tradition, you have to find out for yourself.

A: But that's what we are asking him to do with his book, aren't we?

K: Are we?

A: No, no. Not in general. But in this new approach.

K: Of course, of course.

A: In this new approach we must somehow...

K: ...bring the book and the other.

A: ...bring the book and the other to freedom.

K: ...and the freedom. Book and freedom.

A: Yes. This is what hit me with such a shock yesterday in class. And I immediately felt radically responsible for doing this, in so far as I could. And I was surprised to see that though the students were extremely hesitant, there was a lot of anxiety there, real fear and trembling. What of health they possessed did assert itself and there was tremendous interest in the possibility. But then there was the hesitation that somehow wasn't passed.

K: Passed, quite.

A: The hesitation is there. I have this feeling that this has happened through the centuries with persons who have seriously studied scripture - since we were talking about religion. Sometimes you can detect it in their very commentaries, in their very writing. They come right up to it...

K: And miss it.

A: ...and then they can't...

K: ...make it.

A: ...push it over. They can't go...

K: I understand.

A: ...beyond the point.

K: Yes, sir. It has been my fortune or misfortune to talk a great deal. And everybody comes to that point. They say, please what am I to, I've reached that point I can't go beyond it. Sir, look at it this way, if I may suggest. If I had a class, I wouldn't talk about the book first. I'd say freedom. You're secondhand people. Don't pretend you're not. You're secondhand, sloppy, shoddy people. And you are trying to find something that is original - god is, the reality is original. It's not coloured by all the priests in the world. It's original. Therefore you must have an original mind. Which means a free mind. Not original in painting a new picture, or a new this, that's all tommy rot. But a free mind. A free mind that can function in the field of knowledge, and a free mind that can look, observe, learn. Now, how do you help another, or is it not possible, to be free? You understand? Look, I never belonged to anything. I have no church, or no belief, all that. A man who really wants to find out if there is eternal, the nameless, something beyond all thought, he must naturally set aside everything based on thought: the saviour, the masters, the gurus, the knowledge, all that. Are there people to do that? You follow? Will anybody undertake that journey? Or will they say, you tell me all about it, old boy. I'll sit comfortably, and then you tell me.

A: Yes, yes that's what goes on.

K: I say, I won't describe that. I won't tell you a thing about it. That to put it into words is to destroy it. So, let us see if you cannot be free. What are you frightened about? Frightened of authority? Frightened of going wrong? But you are completely wrong the way you live, completely stupid the way you are carrying on, it has no meaning. You follow, sir? Deny the spiritual authority of every kind. What are you frightened of? Going wrong spiritually? They are wrong. Not you are wrong because you are just learning. They are the established in unrighteousness.

A: That's beautiful. Yes.

K: And so, why do you follow them? Why do you accept them? They are degenerate. And can you be free from all that, so that your mind through meditation, which we will discuss, perhaps another time, what it means to be free, what it means to wipe away all the things that people have put on you. You understand? So that you are innocent. Your mind is never hurt, is incapable of being hurt. That is what innocence means. And from that enquire, let's take a journey from there. You follow, sir? From this sense of negation, of everything that thought has put together. Because thought is time, thought is matter. And if you are living in the field of thought, there will be never freedom. You are living in the past. You may think you are living in the present, but actually you are living in the past when thought is in operation, because thought is memory, response of memory, knowledge, experience stored up in the brain. And that knowledge, experience is the expression of thought. Unless you understand that and know the limitation of thought you can't enter into the field of that which you call religion. You follow, sir? Unless this is told, repeated, shown to them, they can talk endlessly about books. This comes first. Then you can read the books.

A: Yes.

K: Sir, the Buddha never read a book. He listened, watched, looked, observed, fasted; said, all that's rubbish, and threw it out.

A: I just thought of something you said, one must keep on repeating this again.

K: In different ways.

A: In different ways, and again. I'm speaking now about teaching. This point of hesitation is the point where something will or will not get born.

K: That's right.

A: That beautiful expression in earlier conversation about it that you used, incarnate now.

K: Now, yes.

A: So we're on the brink. We're, in the words of Ortega I mentioned earlier, rocking back and forth on the brink of a new event. And we're not over the line. There is nothing that any of us can do at that point with respect to the terror of the one who hears this, including my own, I'm not dividing myself from this doing together with the student, since I'm a student in this activity. So here we are, student among students. And there is this boggling, this fear and trembling, and nothing can be done other than simply encourage.

K: And tell them, wait, stay there.

A: Hold.

K: Hold. It doesn't matter if you wobble, but keep on wobbling.

A: Don't bolt.

K: Don't run away.

A: And so this is said in different ways over and over again. Now I understand what you meant by saying, now let's start the class ten minutes...

K: ...with this.

A: ...with this. We don't open the book.

K: That's right, sir.

A: We don't open the book, we start with this. And then when the book is opened perhaps the word, for a change, will disclose itself.

K: That's right.

A: Because intelligence has broken out.

K: That's right.

A: And behold it's all splendid. Yes, yes, yes I, please, I didn't mean to interrupt you. I just wanted to make sure that I have - it's terribly important that I understand this.

K: Because, you see, sir, students rush from one class to the other, because the period is short, run, from mathematics to geography, from geography to history, chemistry, biology, run, run. And if I was one of the professors, teachers I would say, "Look, sit down. Be quiet for five minutes. Be quiet. Look out of the window if you want to. See the beauty of light on water or the leaf and look at this and that, but be quiet."

A: We teach in classes that don't have windows now.

K: Of course, naturally.

A: Yes, I was just being facetious.

K: Of course, sir.

A: But not only facetious. It's a horror.

K: Horror. You are trained to be functional. You follow, sir?

A: I know.

K: Don't look at anything else but be monkeys. And my child is brought up that way.

A: Yes.

K: It is appalling.

A: The classroom is a tomb. Yes.

K: So, I say, 'sit quietly.' Then after sitting quietly I talk about this first. I have done this in schools. Talk about this, freedom, authority, beauty, love, you know, all that we have been discussing. Then pick up your book. But you have learned much more here than in the book.

A: Oh, yes. Oh, sure.

K: Therefore the book shows what you're - you follow?

A: Yes. Exactly. Exactly. The book is seen...

K: Book becomes a secondhand thing.

A: Yes. It's seen with a clean eye.

K: That's why, sir, I personally have never read a single book of all this, neither the Gita, the Upanishads, all that, what the Buddha has said. It somehow bored me. It meant nothing to me. What has meant anything was to observe: observe the very poor in India; observe the rich, the dictators, the Mussolinis, the Hitlers, the Krushchevs, Brezhnevs, all that. I have watched them, and the politician. And you learn an awful lot. Because the real book is you. Do you understand, sir? If you can read your book which is yourself you have learned everything, except the functional knowledge. So when there is self knowing, authority has no meaning. I won't accept. Why should I accept these people who bring truth from India? That's not truth they are bringing. They are bringing a tradition, what they believe. So, can the mind put away everything that man has taught or invented, imagined about religion, God, this and that? That means, can this mind, which is the mind of the world, which is the mind of common consciousness, can that consciousness empty itself of all the things that man has said about reality? Otherwise I can't - you follow, sir?

A: Can't begin.

K: Not only begin, what do I discover? What other people have said? What Buddha, Christ, why should I accept that?

A: Well, the terrible thing is, I'm not in a position to grasp whatever they said that was worthwhile until this occurs.

K: So freedom, sir, is an absolute necessity.

A: Oh, yes. Absolutely.

K: But none of them say this. On the contrary they say, freedom will come to you much later. Be in the prison for the rest of your life. When you die you'll have freedom. That's what they are preaching, essentially. So, can the mind, the heart, and all the storehouse in the brain be free of the things that man has said about reality? Sir, that's a marvellous question. You understand, sir?

A: Oh I do, I do. One of the things that seems to me of remarkable cogency in our discussions, in our conversations, has been how continually you have returned to a question.

K: Yes.

A: Return to the question. And the notion of return in its depth, has it seems, if I've followed you correctly, been quite erroneously presented. The return has been presented as a movement to an answer.

K: Quite, quite.

A: But that is not a return.

K: No, of course, not.
A: No. Because the turn is toward that original that you mentioned. Therefore it is to the question, not to the answer at all.

K: Quite, quite. Quite right, sir. You know I was staying once in Kashmir right among the hills, mountains. And a group of monks came to see me, freshly bathed and everything, done all the ceremony, and all that. They had come to see me. And they told me, they said they had just come from a group of unworldly people, super monks, who were very high up in the mountains. And they said they were totally unworldly. I said, "What do you mean by that word, sirs?" They said, "They had just left the world. They are no longer tempted by the world. They have this great knowledge of the world." And, I said, "When they have left the world, have they left the memory of the world?" The memory, the knowledge which the world has made. You follow? Which the gurus have put together to teach us. He said, "That's wisdom. How can you leave wisdom?" I said, "You mean wisdom is bought through a book, a teacher, from another, through sacrifice, torture, renunciation?" You follow, sir, their idea. That is, wisdom is something you can buy from somebody else.

A: They went up the mountain with all this baggage.

K: Baggage, that's right. That's exactly what I said. All the baggage which you have put away, the world, but they carry their baggage. You follow, sir?

A: Oh goodness me.

K: So that is really an important thing if a mind is really very serious to find out what religion means. Not all this rubbish. I keep on repeating because seems to be mounting, you know growing. But to free the mind from all the growth, accretions, and therefore which means see the accretions, see all the absurdities.

A: This throws a very, very different cast on our word worldly.

K: Yes, That's just it.

A: They are going up the mountain in order to leave the world. But they are taking immense pains to take it with them.

K: That's right, sir. That's what they are doing when they go into the monastery.

A: Of course, of course, of course. Goodness. Accretions, incrustations.

K: So now, come back: can the mind be completely alone? Not isolated, not withdrawn, not build a wall around itself, say, and then I'm alone. But alone in the sense, that aloneness that comes when you put away all this, all the things of thought. You understand, sir? Because thought is so clever, cunning. It can build a marvellous structure and call that reality. But thought is the response of the past, so it is of time. Thought being of time, it cannot create something which has no time. Thought can function in that field of knowledge. It is necessary, but not in the other. And this doesn't need bravery. It doesn't need sacrifice. It doesn't need torture. Just perception of the false. To see the false is to see the truth in the false.

A: To see the false is to see the truth in the false.

K: Of course.

A: I must repeat that again. To see the false is to see the truth in the false.

K: And see what is considered truth as the false.

A: Yes, yes.

K: So my eyes are stripped of all the false, so that there is no inward deception whatsoever, because there is no desire to see something, to achieve something. Because the moment there is a desire to experience, to achieve, to arrive at enlightenment all that, there is going to be illusion, something desire has created. Therefore the mind must be free of this pursuit of desire and its fulfillment, which we discussed previously. Understand what the structure of desire is. We talked a great deal about that. So it comes to this point, can the mind be free and free of all the things which are born of fear, and desire and pleasure? That means one has to understand oneself at great depth.

A: The thing that keeps popping up is that one can repeat those questions...

K: Yes, sir.

A: ...and start to think that he has grasped them.

K: You grasp the words.

A: Exactly. There is something you have to come out the other side of.

K: Quite right.

A: But the repetition of the question does have a functional value.

K: I know.

A: It seems to me.

K: Yes, sir, it does. That is if the person is willing to listen.

A: If he is willing to listen, because thought is incredibly deceitful.

K: Very.

A: As you have pointed out. Goodness. I was just thinking of poor old Jeremiah's words: the heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Surely he must have...

K: ...tasted something.

A: Yes, and of course. But I was asking myself this question concerning why I went on to continue my formal education. And in following this deeply, it seems to me to go back to something that is going to sound very absurd, but it has something to do with everything you've said, you've been talking about. When I was very small, growing up in England, I was put to school rather earlier than many American children were put to school, and I always read a great deal of poetry. I don't know what has happened to us in this country, but poetry doesn't really exist for the populace at all.

K: No, sir, I know.

A: But, thank God, I was brought up on it daily.

K: Yes, in England of course everybody reads poetry, Latin, you know.

A: And I was always read poetry by the young woman employed by my parents to look after me and my little sister. I never went to sleep without hearing it. One day when I was very small, at school, the teacher read "The Owl and the Pussy Cat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat", that mad thing, marvelously mad thing, Edward Lear wrote.

K: Edward Lear.

A: Yes, and you know I was never the same again. And I know now why, it sounds absolutely absurd, I came to experience in language a splendour that I never lost touch with, despite all the struggles I had with my teachers, I had a bad time in school to get to the end of formal education, I have to say that, I had a pretty grim time. And one of the reasons for the grim time was my refusal to give this up, this...

K: Quite, the Pussy Cat in the boat.

A: The fact that there's a bird and a cat in the same boat. And the man is describing what you called act, movement in which truth and beauty and so on move along. Oh, goodness.

K: Sir, I think we ought to, after coming to this point, we ought to go very deeply again into the question of meditation.

A: Yes.

K: Because religion, in the sense we are talking about, and meditation go together. That means religion isn't just an idea but is actual conduct in daily life. Your thoughts, your speech, your behaviour is the very essence of religion. You understand, sir? If that doesn't exist religion can't exist.

A: Exactly.

K: It's just words, you go around spinning a lot of words, go to various circus tents. But that's not religion. So after establishing that deeply in oneself, and the understanding of religion, inward, then the next thing is: what is meditation? That is of tremendous importance, because meditation is something, that is really, if it is understood properly, is the most extraordinary thing that man can have. Meditation is not divorced from daily life.

A: What was running through my mind was, not mistaken, that the root relation to the word 'medeo'.

K: 'Medeo' is to think, to ponder, to go into.

A: In Homer, it actually carries the idea to provide for in the sense of to care for. It is very beautiful. It brings up the question that you raised earlier of true care.

K: Yes, sir.

A: That one is not meditating unless he is...

K: ...careful.

A: ...careful and caring.

K: Caring rather than careful.

A: Yes. It's all there in the word, but we don't look, won't have a look. Yes, yes please go on please.

K: You see when we have divorced conduct from religion, which we have, divorced relationship from religion, which we have, divorced death from religion, which we have, divorced love from religion, when we have made love into something sensuous, something that is pleasurable, then religion, which is the factor of regeneration, disappears in man. And that's why we are so degenerate. And unless you have this quality of a mind that is really religious, degeneracy is inevitable. You follow, sir? Look at the politicians who are supposed to be the rulers, the guides, the helpers of the people: they are degenerate. You see what is happening in this country and everywhere. They are so corrupt. And they want to bring order. They are so irreligious. They may go to church, Baptists or whatever they are, and yet they are really irreligious, because they don't behave. And so man is becoming more and more degenerate. You can see it, sir. Because religion is the factor that brings a new quality of energy. It is the same old energy but it has become a new quality. So the brain doesn't regenerate. As we get older we tend to degenerate. But it doesn't because it is the freedom from every kind of security of the me has no place.

A: I noticed this in class yesterday with this business about energy that you are just talking about. There was a quickening...

K: Yes, sir.

A: ...that took place. There was at the end of the class, and it was strenuous, because of this terrible hesitation. But even so there was a release of energy which has nothing to do with entertainment at all, people running to get their minds off themselves, as they say, which, of course, is nonsense. They are just grinding themselves into themselves some more with it. But in this particular case there was empirical demonstration of what you are saying. Something that is out there. It's to be seen. It's observable.

K: That's right, sir.

A: And behold it sprung up like a green bay tree. Yes, please, please go on.

K: You see, sir, that's why the priests throughout the world have made religion into something profitable, both the worshipper and the intermediary. It has become a business affair, intellectually business, or it has become really commercial, not only physically but inwardly, deeply: do this and you will reach that.

A: Utilitarian to the core.

K: Which is commercial.

A: Yes.
K: And so, unless this is put an end to we are going to degenerate more and more and more. And that's why I feel so immensely responsible, personally. Tremendously responsible to the audience that I talk to, when I talk, when I go to the various schools in India, I feel I am responsible for those children. You follow, sir?

A: Yes, of course. I do. I certainly do.

K: I say, "For god's sake, be different. Don't grow up like that. Look." I go into it very, very, you know, talk a great deal. And they begin to see. But the world is too strong for them. They have to earn a livelihood. They have to resist their parents who want them to settle down and have a good job, and marry, a house. You know, all that business.

A: Well, surely.

K: And the public opinion, and overpopulation, is much too strong.

A: The tremendous weight of that tradition of the four stages of life.

K: Yes.

A: Of course.

K: So I say, let us find out if a few elite - quote the word elite, if I may use that word without any snobbery - let's create a few, who really are concerned, a few teachers, few students. Even that becomes very difficult because most teachers are not good at this or that and therefore become teachers.

A: Yes. Oh dear, dear, dear, yes.

K: So everything, sir, is against you. Everything. The gurus are against you. The priests are against you. Business people, the teachers, the politicians, everybody is against you. Take that for granted. They won't help you an inch. They want you to go their way. They've got their vested interest and all that.

A: Yes, I do see that. I do see that with clarity. In our next conversation do you think we could explore the activity of meditation within the context of all this horror...

K: Oh yes, sir, we will.

A: ...that we have described. Oh that's wonderful, yes.

17th Conversation with Dr. Allan W. Anderson
San Diego, California
28th February 1974
Meditation - 1

A: Mr Krishnamurti, in our last conversation we came almost up to the point where we were about to begin another, on the subject of meditation. And I was hoping that today we could share that together.

K: Right, sir. Sir, I don't know if you are aware of the many schools of meditation - in India, in Japan, in China, the Zen, and the various Christian contemplative orders, those who pray endlessly, keep going day after day; and those who wait to receive the grace of God - or whatever they call it. I think, if I may suggest, we should begin, not with what is the right kind of meditation, but what is meditation.

A: Yes. Yes.

K: Then we can proceed and investigate together, and therefore share together this question of what is meditation, the word means ponder, hold together, embrace, consider very, very deeply. The meaning of all that is involved in that one word meditation. If we could start with saying that we really do not know what meditation is.

A: Very well.

K: If we accept the orthodox, traditional Christian or Hindu or Buddhist meditation, and there is, of course, the meditation among the Muslims as the Sufis. If we accept that then it's all based on tradition.

A: Yes.

K: What some others have experienced. And they lay down the method or the system to practise what they have achieved. And so there are probably thousands of schools of meditation. And they are proliferating in this country: meditate three times a day; think on a word, a slogan, a mantra. And for that you pay $35 or $100 and then you get some Sanskrit word or some other Greek word and you repeat, repeat, repeat. Then there are all those people who practise various forms of breathing. And the practise of Zen. And all that is a form of establishing a routine and a practice that will essentially make the mind dull. Because if you practise, practise, practise, you will become a mechanical mind. So, I have never done any of those things because personally, if I may talk a little about myself...

A: Please do.

K: ...I have watched, attended, went into certain groups of various types, just to look. And I said, "This isn't it." I discarded it instantly. So if we could discard all that: discard the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Christian, and the various importations of meditation by the gurus from India, and the contemplative, all that as a continuance of a tradition, which is the carrying over of what others have said, and other's experiences, other's illuminations, other's enlightenment, and so on. If we could totally discard all of that, their methods, their systems, their practices, their disciplines. Because they are all saying, truth, or God, or whatever they like to call it, is something over there. You practise in order to get there. That is a fixed thing - according to them. Of course, it must be fixed. If I keep practising in order to get there, that must be static.
A: Yes, of course.

K: Therefore truth isn't static. It isn't a dead thing.

A: No, no, I quite see that.

K: So, if we could honestly put away all that and ask what is meditation.

A: Good.

K: Not how to meditate. In asking that question, what is meditation, we'll begin to find out, we'll begin to meditate ourselves. I don't know if I-?

A: Yes, you do. You make yourself very clear. We're back again to, to the distinction between an activity, the goal of which lies outside the activity, in contrast to the activity...

K: ...itself.

A: ...the end of which is intrinsic to itself.

K: Yes, sir.

A: Yes.

K: So, could we start with saying I do not know what meditation is?

A: Yes, yes. I'm willing to start there.

K: It's really marvelous if you start from there.

A: It certainly is.

K: It brings a great sense of humility.

A: Also one intuits even from afar a freedom.

K: Yes. Yes that's right. I don't know. That is a tremendous acknowledgment of a freedom from the established known, the established traditions, the established methods, the established schools and practices.

A: Exactly.

K: I start with something I don't know. That has, for me that has great beauty. Then I am free to move.

A: Exactly.

K: I'm free to flow, or swim with, in the enquiry. So, I don't know. Now then, from that we can start. First of all, is meditation divorced from daily living? The daily conduct, the daily desires of fulfillment, ambition, greed, envy, the daily competitive, imitative, conforming spirit, the daily appetites, sensual, sexual, other forms, intellectual and so on. Is meditation divorced from all that? Or does meditation flow through all that, covers all that, includes all that? Otherwise meditation has no meaning. You follow?

A: Yes, I do. This raises an interesting question I'd like to ask you. Perhaps you'd be good enough to help me clarify this. Now, I've never personally undertaken meditation with respect to its ritual character in some traditions or its...

K: ...monastic.

A: ...its monastic and radically methodical approach. I've read rather deeply in the literatures that have emanated from those practices. And I'm thinking for instance of what I've understood from my study of, what is called the hesychast tradition, where, what is called the Jesus prayer is uttered by the monks, particularly on Mount Athos, "Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me a sinner." This is repeated over and over with, as I understand it, the hope that someday it will become so automatic that, perhaps as a modern day depth psychologist would put it, the unconscious comes into possession of it, so that what I am doing, whatever that may be, is itself focused entirely on that prayer. The claim being that when this is achieved, when I no longer have to utter the prayer, in that sense, the prayer is uttering itself in me.

K: The same thing, sir, is expressed in India in a different way, which is mantra. You know that?

A: Yes.

K: Repetition of a sentence or a word. And the repeating loudly first, then silently. Then it has entered into your being and the very sound of it is going on.

A: Yes.

K: And from that sound you act, you live. But it's all self-imposed in order to arrive at a certain point. I, say for instance when you said the prayer which you just now repeated, sin - I don't accept sin. I don't know what sin is.

A: I can just imagine the horror on the faces of those whose ears catch those words.

K: That means they are conditioned accessing to a belief, that there is a Jesus, that there is a sin, that they must be forgiving - all that. It just carrying on a tradition.

A: This speaks to me very personally. The basis for the decision that I made years ago not to do one of these things was embodied in your statement a little earlier, namely that it is expected that out of this word, or out of these words...

K: ...out of breathing, all that.

A: ...will come somehow this permeation of my total being. And the question that arose for me at the time was, and I'd like you to clarify whether you think this question was correct, what arose in my mind was, that statement itself whether the mantram or the Jesus prayer is itself a finite expression.

K: Absolutely.

A: Therefore, aren't I doing something strange here.

K: Yes.

A: And if I somehow attain to anything that's worth attaining to it would probably be in spite of that rather than because of it. That perhaps was thinking about thought. But I didn't feel it at the time. I thought that I was making an intuitive response to it.

K: Quite.

A: And therefore I simply wouldn't go ahead.

K: You wouldn't go ahead.

A: Yes. Please go on.

K: Quite, quite right sir. So you see, all that implies that there is a path to truth - the Christian path, the Hindu path, the Zen, the various gurus and systems, there is a path to that enlightenment or to that truth or to that immeasurable something or other. And it is there, all you have to do is keep on, keep on walking, walking, walking toward a saint. That means that thing is established, fixed, static, is not moving, is not living.

A: It flashed into my mind the Biblical text in which God is described as the lamp unto my feet, and the light unto my path. It doesn't say he is the path. But rather he's the lamp...

K: ...to the path, quite.

A: Right. As a lamp to the feet, and a light to the path. But it doesn't say that God is the path. That's very interesting.

K: Very.

A: But maybe nobody really looks at those words closely enough.

K: You see, sir, how you are looking at it already. You see the truth of that statement. The feeling of it.

A: Yes, yes.

K: So, that's one thing. Does meditation cover the whole field of existence? Or is it something totally apart from life? Like being in business, politics, sex, pleasure, ambition, greed, envy, the anxiety, death, fear, all that is my life, life, living. Is meditation apart from that or does it embrace all that? If it doesn't embrace all that meditation has no meaning.

A: Something just came to me that I'm sure would be regarded as incredibly heretical. But you know that the words of Jesus himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life", when understood in the context of what has been revealed through these discussions we've had, takes on, in relation to something else he said an incredibly different meaning from what we've been taught. For instance, when he asks Peter who he is, that is, "Who am I, Jesus?", and Peter says, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God", he immediately turns to him and says, "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you." Nothing to do with flesh and blood, "But my father which is in heaven", which he says elsewhere, is one with him. And he's one with the father. And then he prays in his prayer that the disciples be one with him as he and his father are one. That they all may be one. So if you look at that, I'm almost stuttering over myself because this, what I'm about to say, I'm aware of, theologically speaking would be, looked on as fantastical, when he says, "I am the way, the truth and the life", if it's seen in the context of that one as act, as act, then the whole business utterly is transformed. Isn't it?

K: Quite, quite.

A: I'm going to be swallowing hard about that for a long time. Please go on.

K: So if it is divorced from life then meditation has no meaning. It's just an escape from life, escape from all our travails and miseries, sorrows, confusions. And therefore it's not worth even touching.

A: Yes. Right.

K: If it is not, and it is not for me, then what is meditation? You follow? Is it an achievement, an attainment of a goal? Or is it a perfume, a beauty that pervades all my activities, therefore it has tremendous significance? Meditation has tremendous significance.

Then the next question is: is it the result of a search? Joining Zen group, then another group, one after the after, one after the other, practise this, practise that, don't practise, take a vow of celibacy, poverty, or don't speak at all, fast, in order to get there. For me all those are totally unnecessary. Because what is important is the seeing, as we said yesterday, the false, not I judge the false as true or false, but the very perception reveals the truth or the falseness of it. I must look at it. My eyes must look at it without any prejudices, without any reactions. Then I can say this is false, I won't touch it. That's what happens. I won't. People have come to me and said, "Oh, you have no idea of all the things", they have said "You must", I have said, "Nothing doing." To me this is false because it doesn't include your life.

A: Yes.

K: You haven't changed. You may say, "I'm full of love. I'm full of truth. I'm full of knowledge. I'm full of wisdom." I say, "That's all nonsense. Do you behave? Are you free of fear? Are you free of ambition, greed, envy and the desire to achieve success in every field? If not, you are just playing a game. You are not serious." So, from that we can proceed.

A: Yes.

K: That meditation includes the whole field of existence, whether in the artistic field, or the business field. Because, to me, the division as the artist, business, the politician, the priest, the scholar, and the scientist, you know, how we have fragmented all these as careers, to me, as human beings are fragmented, the expression of this fragmentation is this, business, scientist, the scholar, the artist. You follow?

A: Yes, yes, yes. I'm thinking of what goes on in the academy with respect to this. We are always saying to each other as academicians, "For heaven's sake let's, let's find an ordering principle by which to bring all this into some kind of integration, so the student can really feel that he's doing something meaningful. And not just adding another freight car to the long train of what he hasn't even seen."

K: Quite, quite.

A: Yes.

K: And meditation must be, or is, when you deny all this - systems, methods, gurus, authorities - a religious question.

A: Yes, profoundly religious.

K: Profoundly religious.

A: Oh, yes.

K: Now, what place has an artist in not only the social structure, in its expression of the religious? You understand? What is an artist, sir? Is he something apart from our daily living? The beauty of living. The quality of the mind that is really religious. You follow? Is he part of that? Or is he a freak, outside that? Because he has certain talents? And the expression of that talent becomes extraordinarily important to him and to the people.

A: In our culture it often seems that the expression of that talent brings him into conflict with certain conventions.

K: And also expressing that conflict in himself.

A: Of course. Yes, we have a long tradition in western civilization of the artist as an outsider, don't we.

K: Yes. Something outside. But he is much more sensitive, much more alert to beauty, to nature, but apart from that he is just an ordinary man.

A: Yes, of course. Yes.

K: To me, that is a contradiction. First be a total human being. And then whatever you create, whatever you do will be beautiful.

A: Of course.

K: Whether you paint, or whatever you do. Don't, let's divide the artist into something extraordinary. Or the business man into something ugly. Let's call it just living in the world of the intellect, or the scientist in the world of physics, and so on, so on. But first there must be human being. You follow, sir? Human being in the sense, the total understanding of life, death, love, beauty, relationship, responsibility, not to kill. All that's implied in living. Therefore it establishes a relationship with nature. And the expression of that relationship, if it is whole, healthy is creative.

A: This is very, very different from what many artists conceive of as their task. Especially in modern times artists have this notion that they are in some sense reflectors of the fragmentation of their times.

K: Absolutely.

A: And so they make a statement which holds up the fragmentation as a mirror to us, and what has this got to do with anything else but reinforcing the fragmentation.

K: Absolutely.

A: Yes. Yes I quite understand what you are saying.

K: You see that, sir. Meditation covers the whole field of existence. Meditation implies freedom from the method, the system, because I don't know what meditation is. I start from that.

A: Yes.

K: Therefore I start with freedom. Not with their burden.

A: That's marvelous. Start with freedom and not with their burden. This business of holding up fragmentation to us from that perspective is really nothing more than a species of journalism.

K: Journalism, absolutely.

A: Isn't it. Yes, yes.

K: Propaganda.

A: Of course, yes.

K: Therefore, lie. So I discard all that. So I have no burden. Therefore the mind is free to enquire what is meditation?

A: Marvelous.

K. I have done this. You follow, sir? It is not verbal expressions. I don't say anything which I haven't lived.

A: Oh that's very, very obvious to me as one sitting here conversing with you. Yes.

K: I won't. That is hypocrisy. I am not interested in all that. I'm really interested in seeing what is meditation. So I start - one starts with this freedom. And freedom means freeing the mind, emptying itself of the burdens of others, their methods, their systems, their acceptance of authority, their beliefs, their hope, because its part of me, all that. Therefore I discard all that. And, now I start by saying, I don't know what meditation is. I start. That means the mind is free, has this sense of great humility. Not knowing I'm not asking. Then somebody will fill it.

A: Exactly.

K: Some book, some scholar, some professor, some psychologist comes along and says, "You don't know. Here, I know. I'll give it to you." I say, "Please don't." I know nothing. You know nothing either. Because you are repeating what others have said. So I discard all that. Now I begin to enquire. I'm in a position to enquire. Not to achieve a result, not to arrive at what they call enlightenment. Nothing. I don't know if there is enlightenment or not. I start with this feeling of great humility, not knowing, therefore my mind, the mind is capable of real enquiry. So I enquire. First of all I look at my life, because I said in the beginning meditation implies covering the whole field of my life, of one's life. My life, our life, is first the daily conscious living. I've examined it. I have looked at it. There is contradiction and so on, as we've been taking about. And also there is the question of sleep. I go to sleep, eight, nine, ten hours. What is sleep? I start not knowing. Not what others have said. You follow, sir?

A: Yes, I do.

K: I'm enquiring in relation to meditation which is the real spirit of religion. That is, gathering all the energy to move from one dimension to a totally different dimension. Which doesn't mean divorce from this dimension.

A: No, it's not like those monks going up the hill, no.

K: I've been up those hills.

A: Yes.

K: So, what is sleep? And what is waking? Am I awake? Or, I am only awake when there is a crisis, when there is a shock, when there is a challenge, when there ia an incident, death, discard, failure. You follow? Or am I awake all the time, in waking during the daytime. So what is it to be awake? You follow, me sir?

A: Yes, I am, I am. Since you are saying that meditation must permeate, obviously, to be awake cannot be episodic.

K: That's it. Cannot be episodic. Cannot be something stimulating.

A: Can't be described as peak experiences.

K: No, no. Any form of stimulation, external or internal only implies that you are asleep and you need a stimulant, whether it is coffee, sex, or a tranquilizer. All keep you awake.

A: Have a shot to go to sleep and have a shock to wake up.

K: So, in my enquiry I am asking, am I awake? What does it mean to be awake? Not awake to what is happening politically, economically, socially, that is obvious. But awake. What does it mean? I am not awake if I have any burden. You follow, sir? There is no sense of being awake when there is any kind of fear. If I live with an illusion, if my actions are neurotic, there is no state of being awake. So I'm enquiring and I can only enquire by becoming very sensitive to what is happening in me, outside me. So is the mind aware during the day completely to what is happening inside, outside of me.

A: Upon every instant.

K: That's it. Otherwise I am not awake.

A: I was just thinking about something that has always given me a great sense of wonder. At home we have some birds and, of all things, a cat too.

K: Of course.

A: But they love one another. That is to say, the birds don't run around in the room with the cat, but the cat supervises the birds. When the birds are put to bed in the evening the cat goes into that room and stays with them, maybe an hour or two, watches. Just seems to have the feeling that it must look after the birds. And in the day time, I've often watched the cat sit and look at the birds with an immense intensity, and the ordinary reaction is, "Well for heaven's sake, haven't you seen them before?" What is this everlasting intensity, but she's looking.

K: That's right, sir.

A: And her eyes are always with that jewel-like...

K: ...clarity.

A: ...intensity and clarity. Cleaner than flame. And it never stops. And when she sleeps, she really - yes. When you asked me what is sleep, there must be a relation between the wonder that we feel for the cat's ability completely to sleep. And when she awakes she's completely awake.

K. That's right, sir. So in asking and enquiring what is sleep, I must also ask what is to be awake.

A: Of course.

K: Of course. Am I awake? Or is the past so alive that it is dictating my life in the present? Therefore I am asleep.

A: Would you say that again? It's very important.

K: I don't know how, I'll put it differently. Am I awake. Is my mind burdened with the past? And therefore bearing a burden I'm not awake to the present.

A: Not awake in the present, exactly.

K: Not awake as I am talking.

A: That's right.

K: Because I'm talking from the background of my past, of my experience, of my failures, my hurts, my depressions, therefore the past is dominating and putting me to sleep now.

A: To sleep. It's a narcotic.

K: Narcotic. Therefore what am I to do with the past? You follow, sir?

A: Yes, I do. Yes, yes, yes.

K: Past ia necessary.

A: Of course, yes, the whole field of knowledge.

K: Knowledge. Past is necessary. But when the past covers the present, then I am asleep. So is it possible to know what the past is and not let it overflow into the present? That question and the reality of it brings its own discipline. Therefore I say, yes, I know what it means. I can live, I can keep awake totally and widely and yet operate in the field of knowledge. So there is no contradiction. I don't know if I am conveying it ?

A: Oh you are. You are, you are.

K: So both are moving in harmony. One doesn't lag behind the other. One doesn't contradict the other. There's balance.

A: Well, what I am seeing here, if I am following correctly is, on the one hand we have knowledge and the grasp of its necessity with respect to know how in practical affairs.

K: Of course.

A: On the other hand we have seeing, understanding. And the act of meditation is the nexus...

K: That's right, sir.

A: ...between them so that there is no interruption of flow in the activity...

K: That's right.

A: ...of understanding and knowing.

K: That is part of meditation.

A: Of course.

K: You follow?

A: Yes.

K: See what is taking place. Then what is sleep? I have understood now what is means to be awake. That means I am watching. I am aware. I am aware without any choice, choiceless awareness, watching, looking, observing, hearing, what is going on and what is going outside, what people tell me, whether they flatter me, or they insult me. I am watching. So I am very aware. Now, what is sleep? I know what is sleep: resting, shutting your eyes, going to bed at 9 or 10 or later. What is sleep? And in sleep, dreams. What are dreams? I don't know what the others say. I am not interested in what the others say. You follow, sir? Because my enquiry is to find out whether meditation covers the whole field of life, not just one segment.

A: My enquiry is from the point where I say, I don't know.

K: I don't know. That is right. So I'll proceed. I dream. There are dreams. What are dreams? Why should I dream? So I have to find out why I dream. What are dreams? Dreams are the continuation of my daily sleep. Which is, I haven't understood - see what is taking place, sir - I have not understood my daily life. I watch my daily life. My daily life is in disorder; so I go to sleep and the disorder continues. And the brain says, I must have order otherwise I can't function. So if the mind doesn't put order during the day, the brain tries to bring order during the night.

A: Through the dream.

K: Through the dreams, through intimations. When I awake I say, yes I have a certain feeling this must be done. So, see what takes place. When the mind is awake during the day it has order, it establishes order, in the sense we have discussed previously.

A: Yes. In that sense of order.

K: Order which comes out of the understanding of disorder. The negation of disorder is order, not the following of a blueprint.

A: No.

K: Or a pattern, all that's disorder. So during the day, the mind, the brain has established order. So when I sleep the brain isn't working out how to establish order in itself in order to be secure. Therefore the brain becomes rested.

A: I see.

K: Therefore the brain becomes quiet, sleeps without dreams. It may have superficial dreams when you eat wrongly, you know, all that kind of thing. That I am not talking about. So, sleep means regeneration of the brain. I don't know if you follow?

A: Yes, I do. I wonder if I could ask you a question about dreams here, that might introduce a distinction between dreams in terms of their nature. Sometimes we report that we've had a dream which points to future event.

K: That's another thing.

A: That's entirely different from what you are talking about.

K: Yes, yes.

A: So we could say that...

K: Sir, that, I think we can understand that very simply. You know the other day we were walking high up in the hills in India and there was a river flowing down below. And two boats were coming in the opposite direction and you knew where they were going to meet.

A: Of course.

K: When you go high enough you see the boats coming together at a precise point.

A: But that's very objective. That has nothing to do with my subjective unfinished business.

K: No.

A: Which is the other thing you were talking about.

K: That's right.

A: Yes, I quite see, I quite see. Right. What an amazing thing it would be to have all your business done and go to sleep. And if order should present you with...

K: Yes, sir.

A: ...an understanding.

K: Of course.

A: Then the understanding never stops from waking through sleeping.

K: That's right.

A: Yes. Of course. Of course. Marvelous. Marvelous

K: So you see, that way the brain is regenerated, keeps young. No conflict. Conflict wears out the brain.

A: Yes.

K: So, sleep means not only order, rejuvenation, innocence, but also in sleep there are states in which there is absolutely freedom to enquire, to see into something which you have never seen with your eyes, physical eyes.

A: Yes.

K: Of course.

A: Yes

K: So we have described sufficiently into that. I see that. So do I - does the mind live that kind of life during the day?

A: That would be rare.

K: Otherwise it is not meditation.

A: Otherwise it is not meditation, of course, of course, of course.

K: And I don't want to play a game, a hypocritical game, because I am deceiving nobody. I am deceiving myself and I don't want to deceive myself. I don't see the point of deceiving myself because I don't want to be a great man, little man, big man, success. That's all too infantile. So I say, am I living that? If not, what is happening? And it gives me energy to live that way because I have no burden of the others. I don't know?

A: This is very remarkable. It reminds me of a story that is told about a swordsman and his three sons. And he was an old, old swordsman in old Japan and he wanted to pass on the responsibility for his art to his sons. And he asked the sons each to come into his room and he would speak to them and he would decide.

K: Quite, quite.

A: He was a man of knowledge in terms of the sword, but he also was a man of understanding. And unbeknown to them he put a ball on top of the lintel and as they passed in, they, of course, were quite unaware of that. The youngest was called in first, and when the youngest walked in his father had arranged for this ball to drop, you see, and the ball dropped and the son, in a flash, cut it in two with his sword when it fell down. And his father said, "Please wait in the other room." The second son came in, ball fell on his head but precisely as it touched his head he reached up and he took it in his hands and the father said, "Please wait in the other room." Eldest son came in. He opened the door, and as he opened the door he reached up and he took the ball. And the father called them in and he read out the youngest son and he said, "Very brilliant. You've mastered the technique. You don't understand anything." He said to the second one, "Well, you're almost there. Just, just keep on, keep on." And he said to the eldest son, "Well, now you can begin." And it seemed to me that's just exactly - imagine! It's like the word 'prajna' which means 'pra' - ahead, 'jna' to, to know, to know beforehand, in the sense, not of some work of prediction that we do based on the study of rats in the lab or something but understanding is...

K: Yes, sir,

A: ...ahead and behind in the total movement of that one act.

K: Yes, sir.

A: Oh yes of course.

K: So I see this, because I do not separate meditation from daily living. Otherwise it has no meaning. So I see the importance of order during the waking hours. And therefore freeing the mind - the brain from conflict, all that, during sleep, so there is total rest to the brain. That's one thing. Then, what is control? Why should I control? They have all said control. All religions have said control. Control. Be without desire. Don't think about yourself. You follow? All that. I say to myself - this is what they say - can I live without control? You follow, sir?

A: Oh yes, yes. One has to start that question too at the very beginning.

K: I am doing it. That's what we are doing.

A: Yes. My statement is a reflection. Just a mirror to that, yes.

K: Yes.

A: Yes.

K: Is it possible to live without control? Because what is the control? And who is controller? The controller is the controlled. When I say I must control my thought, the controller is the creation of thought. And thought controls thought. It has no meaning. One fragment controls another fragment, and yet therefore remain fragments. So I say, is there a way of living without control? Therefore no conflict. Therefore no opposites. Not one desire against another desire. One thought opposed to another thought. One achievement opposed to another achievement. So, no control. Is that possible? Because I must find out. You follow, sir? It's not just ask a question, just leaving it alone. I've got energy now because I am not carrying their burden anymore. Nor am I carrying my own burden. Because their burden is my burden. When I have discarded that I have discarded this. So I have got energy when I say is it possible to live without control. And so it is a tremendous thing. I must find out. Because the people who have control, they have said through control you arrive at Nirvana, heaven - to me that's wrong, totally absurd. So I say, can I live a life of meditation in which there is no control?

A: When intelligence breaks out, as we looked at before, then with it comes order and that order...

K: Intelligence is order.

A: And intelligence is that order. The seeing is the doing.

K: The doing, yes.

A: Therefore there is no conflict at all.

K: You see, therefore do I live a life, not only is it possible, do I live it? I've got desires: I see a car, a woman, a house, a lovely garden, beautiful clothes, or whatever it is, instantly all the desires arise. And not to have a conflict. And yet not yield. If I have money I go and buy it. Which is obvious. That's no answer. If I have no money I say, "Well, I'm so sorry. I have no money. And I will get sometime, someday. Then I'll come back and buy it." It's the same problem. But the desire is aroused. The seeing, contact, sensation and desire. Now that desire is there, and to cut it off is to suppress it. To control it is to suppress it. To yield to it is another form of fragmenting life into getting and losing. I don't know if I?

A: Yes, yes, yes.

K: So to allow for the flowering of desire without control. You understand, sir?

A: Yes, I do.

K: So the very flowering is the very ending of that desire. But if you chop it off it'll come back again. I don't know?

A: Yes, yes. It's the difference between a terminus and a consummation.

K: Quite, yes. So I let the desire come, flower, watch it. Watch it, not yield or resist. Just let it flower. And be fully aware of what is happening. Then there is no control.

A: And no disorder.

K: No, of course. The moment you control there is disorder. Because you are suppressing or accepting - you know, all the rest of it. So that is disorder. But when you allow the thing to flower and watch it, watch it in the sense be totally aware of it - the petals, the subtle forms of desire to possess, not to possess, to possess is a pleasure, not to possess is a pleasure, you follow? - the whole of that movement of desire.

A: Exactly.

K: And that you to be very sensitive, watchful, very sensitive, choiceless watching.

A: This image that you have referred to metaphorically with the plant itself, could we pursue that in our next conversation through the continuation of concern to look further into meditation.

K: We have not finished meditation.

A: We haven't, no

K: There's lots more involved.

A: Good, good.