World of Peace
The World of Peace
By J. Krishnamurti
E-Text Source: www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net
Brockwood Park 1983
1st Public Talk
27th August 1983
2nd Public Talk
28th August 1983
1st Public Question And Answer Meeting
30th August 1983
2nd Public Question And Answer Meeting
1st September 1983
3rd Public Talk
3rd September 1983
4th Public Talk
4th September 1983
Brockwood Park 1983
1st Public Talk27th August 1983
First of all, if one may remind you, this is not an entertainment, it is not an intellectual feast, or intellectual stimulation, or some kind of romantic, sentimental nonsense. We are going to deal with the very, very complex problem of living together in this world - this world that has gone almost mad; there is such chaos and misery, the threat of war. And religions have played very little part in all this, in our daily life. And I think we ought to go together - together, not that the speaker will talk about various things - but together we ought to go into these matters, not that you listen and the speaker talks, but together. And so if we are going to work together, think together, perceive together and act together, one must, it appears, listen very carefully, not only to what is being said, but also to listen to our own reactions to what is being said - our reactions of approval or disapproval, our sense of restrictions, our resistances, our fears, and all the complexities of our reactions to any form of stimulation. And so the act of listening is very important if we are going together to explore, to think together, into the whole problem of our present day existence.
We are very circumscribed, limited. Our brains have been so programmed and conditioned, so limited that most of us are unaware of this. We are conditioned linguistically, whether we are or not, that's a very serious subject into which we will go if we have time. We are conditioned, shaped, moulded by the environment, by tradition, by religion, by the solitude of our own illusions, our own imaginations, the solitude of our own aspirations, circumscribed, limited. So our brain - not that the speaker is an expert at it, but having listened to a great many people talk about the brain, specialists and others, one perceives that through this long process of evolution our brains are very, very limited. Apparently only a very small part of it acts or thinks or lives - the rest is in abeyance. That is what some of the specialists who have studied the quality of the brain and the workings of the brain have said.
And also we can see for ourselves, without relying on the experts, that our life is very small. We are so concerned with ourselves, with our success, with our miseries, and all the turmoil of one's own limited life - the sorrow, the pain, the anxiety, the various forms of reactions which arise from our prejudices, our bias, our tendencies. All this does condition our brain, and so we never have the awareness of the whole of life, the whole of existence which is vast, immeasurable and tremendously potent.
And if we could together, this morning, go easily and happily, and enquire into the quality of our own life - if you are willing - into the nature of our behaviour, into the whole process of our thought, if we could enquire together into all this. And not only enquire, but through the very enquiry, apply. Enquiry by itself has very little meaning. Enquiring into ourselves, into our environment, into the state of the world - mere enquiry, either intellectual or the enquiry of curiosity, of information, and so on, has very little effect on our lives. But if we enquire into ourselves, into the way of our thinking, why we think this way - why human beings who have lived on this beautiful earth for so many millenia are still what they are - unhappy, violent, ready to kill each other for some idiotic reasons. If we could go together into all this - and in the process of going together on this path, on this road which has no end and no beginning, then perhaps our meeting here will be worthwhile. But to merely listen year after year and not apply, has very little meaning. It is a waste of time and energy.
So could we, this morning, be serious enough for at least an hour to look at this whole world in which we live, the world which we have created. This society is the result of our own complex life. You are conditioned by health, by environment, by our culture, by nationalism, and so on. Unless we break through all this conditioning, we will go on as we have been going on for thousands of years. And so violence will go on, corruption, each one seeking his own fulfillment and pursuing his own ambitions - isolated, and where there is isolation there must be conflict. And so could we this morning go into all this. One is asking this seriously because you have taken the trouble to come here. And it's no good merely talking about the ideas, the expressions, the reactions, but go into this with tremendous energy, vitality and see if it is possible to break down this conditioning so that the brain will have immense capacity.
It has the capacity now, extraordinary capacity in the technological world - in the computers, the biological chemistry, genetic engineering and various forms of other activities from the outside to affect the brain. I don't know if you are aware of all this. Scientists in the various disciplines are trying desperately to bring about a change in man. And such change has been from the outside - I hope we understand each other. They are trying through genetic engineering, to change the very genes themselves so that the human being is something entirely different. And the computer is taking over perhaps a great deal of our activity - again from the outside. The Communists have tried that, tried to control, changed the environment, hoping that man would change, through authority, through discipline, through complete obedience, and they have not succeeded. On the contrary, they are creating great misery in the world. So we are asking a most fundamental question, whether it is possible, not to be affected from the outside - I hope we understand when I use the word the 'outside', whether the outside be god, music, art, or the external laws that are established by governments, and so on - all these outside agencies in various forms and disciplines are trying to force man to conform, to bring about a radical change in their behaviour so that man will live without wars, and so on.
And also, on the other side, they are preparing for wars. Every government throughout the world is armed, ready to kill and be killed. So this is going on all the time around us. I am sure most of us are aware of all this.
We are asking a totally different question. Religions have tried to change man, to tame him down - through fear, heaven and hell, and all the rest of it. And they have not succeeded either. These are all facts. It is not the speaker's imagination or bias. This is what is going on in the world around us, affecting through propaganda, through various forms of chemical engineering, and so on, to force man. And they have never succeeded, and they will never succeed because the psyche is far too strong, far too cunning, extraordinarily capable. So we are asking - you and the speaker are asking - I am not asking you, you are asking this question: since all outside influences, including the idea of god and ideologies, various forms of historical dialectical conclusions have not changed man, whether it is possible for human beings to change radically, fundamentally, without the external influence at all? You understand? Gurus throughout the world have not succeeded. They are all pretentious and seeking money. They can be put aside completely. They are not important. But what is important and essential to ask is, what will make each one of us, intellectuals, whether we are scientists, whether we are artists or various forms of activities, whether we are capable, fundamentally, deeply, to bring about a mutation in the very brain cells themselves? Have I made this question clear?
We were talking the other day in New York to some scientists. After a great deal of discussion - it lasted over two hours - I asked them what would bring about a mutation in the brain cells themselves, not from the outside - genetic engineering, biochemistry - you follow all that. What will change the brain cells themselves which have been conditioned for thousands of years? I hope you are putting this question to yourselves. What would be your answer? If you are serious and earnest and passionate enough to put this question, what would be your answer? If you have thought a great deal about all this - either you would say, it is not possible, and so close the door for your further enquiry, or you would say, I really don't know, is it possible? We are in that position. We are not closing the door by saying, it is not possible - it's impossible. How can man, who has been so conditioned for thousands and thousands of years, through vast knowledge, experience - how can that brain transform itself? It's not possible! If you are serious and answer that way - "It's not possible" - then you have closed completely the avenue of enquiry. But if you are enquiring into it - that is, whether the brain, which has such extraordinary capacity in one direction, and so utterly limited, circumscribed, conditioned, programmed, to be a Catholic, Protestant, to be British, French and English, you know, and all the rest of it - whether that brain can be totally free - not free to do what you like. We're all doing that anyhow - pursuing our own pleasures, our own solitary ambitions, our own salvation if you are at all religiously minded, our own isolated pleasures and illusions. We do that every day of our life. That's a common occurrence for all of humanity, pursuing their own isolated, solitary illusions, stimulations, aspirations and ideologies. And that is what they call freedom. Surely, that is not freedom. Freedom requires a great deal of discipline. Please understand what we mean by that word. We will go into it in a minute - freedom implies great humility, innate inward discipline and work. We'll go into those three.
Most of us are so arrogant because we rely so much on our knowledge. We are certain; our beliefs, our conclusions our desires are so strong that we have lost all sense of deep, natural humility. Again, it is a fact - how strong when a Frenchman says, "I'm a Frenchman" or when you say, "I'm British". I don't know if you have noticed - god-given race - and everyone feels this in every country. The other day an Indian was talking to us. He said, "We have the greatest culture in the world. We are the most highly civilized people." I said, "Yes, you are corrupt. You're superstitious. Your beliefs have no value at all. Your ideals, your religions are just a stack of words." He said, "Oh, but we are still the highest culture." I said, "All right." No, no. Please don't laugh. This applies to you too.
So, when we identify ourselves with a country, with certain ideologies, with conclusions, concepts, then we are incapable of being humble. Because then only when you are enquiring in humility, you learn, you find out. And humility is necessary. Then you see things as they are, around you and in yourself. And discipline is constantly watching, watching your own reactions, continual observation, seeing what the source of your thought is, why you react in certain ways, what your biases are, your prejudices, your hurts, and so on. Constant watching brings its own natural discipline, order. That's what we mean by discipline. Not conformity, not following a certain pattern either established by society or by yourself, but the eternal watching of the world and of yourself. Then you see there is no difference between the world and yourself. That brings about naturally a sense of order. Therefore order is discipline, not the other way round. And work, not only physical work, which unfortunately most of us have to do - not if you are unemployed in this country - but also work in the sense of applying what you see to be true - apply it, not give a period of time between perception and action. If one sees, as the speaker has seen many, many years ago, as a boy, that nationalism was a poison - I hope you don't mind my saying all this - that he was no longer a Hindu, he just walked, he was no longer a Hindu - finished with all those superstitions and you know all that rubbish that goes on in every nationality.
So, to live on this earth peacefully, in spite of the governments, requires a great deal of enquiry. To live peacefully demands great intelligence. Right sir? Can we go on like this? It is easy for the speaker to talk about all these things because that's his life. But merely listening to what is being said seems so futile. But the moment you apply: if you see something to be true - instant application, then that removes conflict altogether.
Conflict exists only when there is a gap, a division between what you see to be actual, to be true, and all the implications of fear of your action. So there is an interval, a gap, a hiatus which brings about conflict. I hope you understand all this. May I go on? Or am I going on for myself? Are we following each other a little bit? We are not doing any kind of propaganda. We are not trying to convince you of anything - on the contrary, one must have doubt, scepticism, question, not only what the speaker is saying but question your own life, question, doubt your own beliefs. If you begin to doubt it gives certain clarity. It doesn't give you a feeling of great importance to yourself. Doubt is necessary in our exploration, in our enquiry into this whole problem of existence. And the question whether it is possible for human beings, who are perhaps somewhat neurotic, whether that neuroticism can be wiped away, become sane, rational - with such a brain, enquire.
We are enquiring whether the brain cells can, without any influence from outside - governmental, environmental, religious and all the rest of it - can bring about a mutation in the brain cells? Is this question clear? Are we putting this question to ourselves? This is a serious problem. This cannot be answered by yes or no, affirmative or negative. One must look at this whole question as a whole; not as British, French or some kind of religious, superstitious nonsense, or according to your own particular discipline or profession. You must look at the whole of life as one unitary movement. You understand all this? If we do, then we can begin to ask - is it possible? And if we do ask that question, what difference does it make if a few of us bring about, perhaps, a mutation? What effect has it on the world? You know, that's the usual question. Right? I may change and you may change. A few of us may bring about a mutation, but what effect has that on the mass of people, on the governments, will they stop wars, and so on?
I think that's a wrong question to put - what effect has it on others? That's a wrong question. Because then you are not doing the thing for itself, but how it will effect others? After all, beauty has no cause. Right? To do something for itself - for the love of itself, then it has an extraordinary effect - may or may not have. For example, we have talked for the last sixty years, unfortunately or fortunately - need I answer the question any further? One might ask, "How has it affected the world? You go to various parts of the world, has it changed anybody at all?" I think that is rather a foolish question. We might ask, "Why does a flower bloom? Why is there a solitary star in the heavens in the evening?" The man who has freed himself from his conditioning never asks that question. For in it there is compassion, with its great intelligence.
So let us proceed. Can we proceed? You are not too tired?
First of all, do we realize that we are conditioned; aware without any choice, aware that my brain is conditioned? Or you accept what another says and therefore say, "My brain is conditioned." You see the difference? If I am aware that my brain is conditioned, that has a totally different quality. But if you tell me that I am conditioned and then I realize that I am conditioned, then it becomes very, very superficial. I hope you are following all this. So are we aware that we are conditioned - as a Britain, by our experiences - we are not saying that it is right or wrong, we are going to find out - by our culture, by our tradition, by our environment, by all the religious propaganda for two thousand years as Christianity, or as Buddhism two thousand five hundred years ago, or Hinduism, perhaps longer? Are we aware? If you are aware, then you ask, why?
Why is the brain conditioned? What is the nature of conditioning? Is it essentially experience and knowledge? Please go slowly with this. Experience conditions the brain. Right? Obviously. Do we meet each over there? And experience means knowledge - right? To learn to drive a car you need experience. You get into a car, drive it and gather through that experience knowledge, how to drive a car. Please listen carefully, if you will, kindly: is knowledge the basic factor of our conditioning? Knowledge being the repetition of certain tradition - right - and so on. Knowledge is necessary. Otherwise you couldn't go home, you couldn't drive a car, you couldn't go back to a job, if you have a job. So knowledge in one area, physical knowledge is necessary. But knowledge also conditions our brain - , knowledge being tradition, the being programmed as we are, by newspapers, by magazines, by constant repetition that you are British, British, British. Or when you go to France, it's the same old thing, French, French. Again when you go to India, again, Indian - this constant repetition. So the brain becomes dull, repetitive, mechanical. And perhaps that's a safe way of living but it's got tremendous danger. This repetition of various cultures, countries, is an isolating process and therefore division, therefore war - that's only one of the reasons for war. So are we aware that our brain is being programmed?
Please don't look at others: look at yourself. If one is aware that one is programmed, conditioned, then one asks, "Is it knowledge?" And apparently it is knowledge. Then why do we live psychologically, why is the structure of the psyche essentially based on knowledge? You understand? Have I made the question clear? The psyche, the 'me', the self, is essentially a movement in knowledge, a series of knowledge which is a series of memories. Right? So we are a series of memories - so we are memory. Do you see that fact? Not that we are divine and, you know, all that blah that is trotted out by religion. But the actual fact is that we are nothing but memories. Most unpleasant discovery, isn't it! Or do you say, "Look, there is part of me which is not memory." The moment that you say that, it's already memory. I don't know if you see that. When I say I am not wholly the result of memories, that very statement implies that there is part of me which is not. And that part of me when I look at it, is also memory. So memories are the past, projected perhaps in the future, but it is still memory. Those memories are modified by the present and continue into the future, but is still a series of memories.
Please don't let's become sentimental about all this - that's so meaningless or romantic. These are facts. What are you without memory, without all the remembrances of your achievement, of your wife, of your son, of your brother, family, memories of your travels, what you have done, what you have achieved? Right? They are all in the past. So memories are dead things. On those dead things we live. Right? Do see all this. Please we are not trying to persuade you to look at this, we are not trying to persuade you or convince you of anything. The speaker is not your guru. So don't follow anybody including the speaker. But look at these facts.
Then the question arises: is it possible to live psychologically without a single memory? You understand? Put this question, please, to yourself. My brother, son, wife, husband, is dead. I remember all the incidents, happiness, you know, all the rest of it, intimate relationships. It is a vast reminiscence of the past, memory. And I live on that. I have a picture, photograph, and there is this constant stimulation from the photograph. So the 'me', the self, the ego is a movement of identification with memory. Right? I am a Christian, I am a Hindu, a Buddhist, an American, and so on. How tremendously attached we are to our identifications. That's our conditioning. And when you see that, not verbally, not as an idea, but actually see the fact, then there is action. Like when you have a violent toothache, there is action because it's there. But if you imagine you have a toothache, then that's quite a different process.
So do we see clearly, without being persuaded, without being pushed into a corner, do we see very clearly for ourselves what we are - which is our conditioning, which is our consciousness. And seeing that, what is one to do? Clear? Can we go on from that? We've got another ten minutes. Have we reached that point? Please, have we all of us, or at least some of us, reached that point when we realize completely that we are conditioned and that conditioning is a vast series of movements, of memories. And memories are always the past, remembrance of things past which are then projected into the future, modified by the present, but still it is a movement of memories. Right? And these memories we call knowledge. Right?
Then how does one look at these memories? You understand my question? How does one observe these memories? We have thousands of memories. Right? From childhood we have gathered them - pleasant, unpleasant, memories that are of our aspirations, memories of achievements, memories of pain, fear, great sorrow. These are all memories.
And do we see these memories as different from the observer? You understand the question? We are observing. I am observing that I am a long series of memories. I've stated that - that I am memories; but there is in me the feeling that I'm not all that, there's something else that's observing. Right? Are you following? Are we together in this? So is the observer different from the observed? This is an old theme. Many of you probably have heard of it. "Ah, you say, well, you're trotting that out." But when you realize this fact, something extraordinary happens - not something mysterious, not parapsychological, and so on, and so on - something which ends conflict which is far more important then anything else.
As long as there is division between the memories and the observer, this division creates conflict. Right? Division between the Arab and the Jews, between the British and the Falklands - may I mention the Falklands? Right? Between the Hindu and the Islamic world. Wherever there is division there must be conflict. Right? No, no, pursue that please. Wherever there is isolated action, isolated solitary pleasure, solitary aspirations, that very solitude is an act of separation. Therefore, that very person who pursues his particular ambition, his particular fulfillment, his aspirations, and so on, must inevitably create conflict, not only for himself but for others.
So from this arises the question whether conflict of every kind, in our very being, can end? Because we live with conflict. You might say, "Well, all nature is in conflict. A single tree in a forest is fighting to achieve light, is struggling, fighting, squeezing out others. And human beings, born from nature, are doing the same thing." If you accept that, then you accept all the consequences of conflict - wars, confusion, brutality, ugliness, the nastiness of war. As long as you are British, French or an Indian you are inevitably going to create wars. Right? But you see this, and we don't do anything about it.
So, to end conflict, which means to live with that peace which requires tremendous intelligence, is to understand the nature of conflict. I must stop for now. We will continue tomorrow morning, may we? Sorry to stop at this point. Not that it is an enticement for you to come tomorrow.
Q: Can you just say something about when a memory comes it seems to come from outside and then you react. Say, you are embarrassed, then you remember something - at least I do. Do you understand?
K: The gentleman says - memory is outside, comes from outside. You react to that memory and you strengthen that memory or you put aside that memory. Right? Are you different from memory? You see, that's the whole point. We are the result of this movement from the outer to the inner. Right? From the inner to the outer. Right? Have you not noticed - like the sea going out and coming in. We have created this monstrous society, and that society controls us. Right? And we try to change that society, through law, through governments, through all kinds of strikes, and all the rest of it, and then react to that. So it's a constant movement from the outer to the inner, from the inner to the outer. Right? It is one movement. It's not separate movement - water is water. It goes out and comes in. It's salt water.
Now, the question arises from that, whether this movement can stop - action and reaction - you hit me and I hit you back. If you hate me, I hate you back. I own this particular piece of land and you fight for it. And I defend and I attack. You follow? This has been going on for millions of years - the ebb and flow of reaction. If you will, kindly put the question whether this movement can end. If that wasp stings me, I react, naturally. But why should I react if you flatter me, or insult me?
So to ask this question, whether this movement of action and reaction can stop - to find an answer to that, one has to go a great deal into it.
2nd Public Talk28th August 1983
May we go on where we left off yesterday. We were talking about conflict, not only in ourselves, but in the society in which we live - conflict between nations, between groups, between the various gurus, between ideologies, the communist ideology and the so-called democratic ideology. Apparently man has lived, throughout these centuries, in a state of constant conflict, struggle, fighting each other, killing each other, destroying that which he created and then rebuilding it again. This has been the historical process for the last five thousand years or more. Religions have also, except perhaps Buddhism and Hinduism, have created wars - a hundreds heretics, burnt them, destroyed them. And so man has lived on this earth without any peace. And to live in peace appears to be almost impossible - to live without conflict, without aggression, not only in personal relationships, but also with those with whom we don't agree, or have not the same belief, the same concepts, the same culture. There is this constant, endless, struggle, conflict. And one asks whether it is possible to live in this world utterly peacefully. Because it is only in peace that a flower can flower. It's only in peace that the human mind, the human brain can really be free. And why has man who has learned so much, who has acquired such extraordinary knowledge, experience, why can he not live in peace?
As we said yesterday, this is not a talk, a lecture on a particular subject, to be informed, to be instructed. But we are together exploring this question. Not that the speaker explores, and you listen, but together, you and the speaker investigate, sanely without any bias, without any definite conclusions, to find out why we human beings cannot live on this beautiful earth with peace and without conflict. That is where we left off yesterday.
There are various forms of chemical injections to make man peaceful. They are doing it now: in the totalitarian states they send them to hospitals, psychotherapeutic hospitals where they are drugged, kept peaceful. And also belief has also drugged us tremendously, to be peaceful. We all believe, if you are Christians, in some form of saviour. And that belief has kept us somewhat tamed.
There have been attempts of every kind, throughout the world to help man to live peacefully. They have said: meditate, follow, obey, conform, don't hurt, love another - the whole religious instructions throughout the world. And yet, in spite of all that, and perhaps because of all that, man has not lived at peace with himself or created a society that's peaceful. Why? We are asking, you are also asking the question not only me.
Are we different, each one of us, from the world outside of us? Are you, as British, or French or American, Russian or whatever nationality, group to which one belongs, or Indian, are we the rest of humanity - or separate individuals, struggling, separate souls, each one seeking his own fulfilment, his own happiness, his own salvation, identifying himself with something, noble, illusory, imaginary, and so on? Are we living in isolation on this earth, each one of us isolated, separated from the rest of mankind? And this separation, this so-called 'individualism' may be one of the causes why human beings do not live at peace, either in their relationships, or with his neighbour who might be next door, or a thousand miles away.
Please, you and the speaker are putting these questions. I am not - the speaker is not putting the question for you to answer. This is a question which all of us have to face. Either we face it intelligently, rationally, sanely, or escape into some form of illusory peace.
Peace can only exist if we have complete security, both outwardly and inwardly, psychologically and environmentally. We all want security, even the greatest scientist and the poorest very uneducated villager - all of us want security. Like every animal, every living thing needs security. And apparently we don't have security. We have sought it in religions, in beliefs, in ideologies, in some form of authority - followed them, and yet we remain separate. We are asking, is that one of the basic causes why human beings, thinking they are separate, isolated entities, each one seeking his own particular form of security, must inevitably come into conflict with others who are also seeking their own particular form of security?
So we are asking a question, which is, are we separate from the rest of humanity? You understand my question? Are you separate? Are you an individual so that you as an individual are seeking your own happiness, your own pleasures, solitary in your illusions, in your particular form of imaginative hope? So this is a question that must be answered very carefully, gone into, by both of us. Because if that is the cause of it, it is, either the cause is rational, real, actual and then we have to deal with that, or it is really illusory. Each one of us has been brought up to think that we are individuals, separate. Is that a fact? Is our consciousness - which contains our behaviour, our reactions, our pleasures, fears, anxieties, sorrow and all the experiences, knowledge, all that is our consciousness, what you are, what each one of us is - is that consciousness different from the rest of humanity? You understand my question?
When you travel around, when you observe without even travelling around, when you observe the world, all humanity goes through, more or less the same forms of suffering, anxiety, insecurity, they believe in some kind of illusory nonsense, full of superstitions, fears, and all the rest of it. Everywhere every human being goes through all this. Right? Insecure, uncertain, fearful, constantly in conflict, burdened with great sorrow - like those who live in this country. Right? This is a fact. So is your consciousness different from the rest of mankind?
I may be an Arab, with my peculiar Islamic tradition, and as a human being, apart from the label as an Arab, I go through all the turmoil of life, like you do - pain, sorrow, jealousy, hate. So is there a difference, apart from labels, apart from culture, between you and me, as an Arab. Please consider all this. As we said yesterday, we are not trying to convince you of anything, doing any kind of propaganda, any kind of persuasion or stimulation. Because if you are capable of being persuaded, then another will come and persuade you differently. If you depend on propaganda, the same thing, another type of propaganda will show you. So one must be clear for oneself, absolutely, upon this matter. It is your psyche. And the psyche is the content of its own consciousness. And that consciousness is shared by all human beings, though outwardly you may have a different culture, different environment, different food, different clothes, more affluent, but essentially, deeply, most profoundly we are the rest of the world, and the world is us. Right? Be quite clear on this point. You may not like it because we have been brought up from childhood, perhaps right before childhood, in the very genes, that we are separate individuals. We are questioning that very thing, not only subjectively but objectively.
If you examine without any bias, without any tradition, if your brain is eager to find out whether it is possible to live in this world with complete freedom and peace and therefore with order. One has to put this question. You may be a great scientist, a great painter, a marvellous poet, like Keats, but the scientist, the poet, the painter have their own sorrow, pain, anxiety like the rest of us. And as long as we think we are separate, conflict must exist - between the Arab and the Jew, as is happening in Beirut, between the black and the white, between the Muslim and the rest of the world. So please, consider this question seriously - exercise our brains, not accept.
And if that is one of the causes of war, one of the causes of conflict between human beings, this fallacy that each one of us is entirely different, we are questioning that very thing. And if we are not, then we are the rest of mankind. You are the rest of mankind. With that goes tremendous responsibility which you may not like to have. We like to avoid responsibility.
As long as one is violent, aggressive, you contribute to the rest of the world, to the rest of mankind's aggression, violence. This is natural, all this. So the question is, if you are the rest of mankind, you are the mankind, not part of mankind, you are the entire world - if you have that feeling, that truth of that, then your whole outlook is entirely different. Then you have totally abolished all division. Right? I wonder if you see the truth of this? Not the sentimentality of it, not a romantic, Utopian concept but the actuality of it, the fact of it.
So let us examine it much more closely. Conflict exists as long, as we said, there is separation: between me and you, we and they. Conflict must exist in our relationships, between man and woman, of which we all know. Right? Between you and your wife, the wife and the husband, the family against the community, the community against the larger community and so on.
So why is there conflict in our relationships? Please answer these questions. One is married, with children, or unmarried and all the human relationships - conflict exists as long as the husband or the wife or the man is pursuing his own sense of fulfilment, both sexually and in the world. Right? This is a fact, isn't it? The wife pursues her own particular form of pleasure and the man pursues his own, so actually they never meet, except perhaps in bed. That's a fact.
Now is it possible to be free of this separation? Then one begins to enquire into the nature of what is called affection, into the nature of what is love - if you are interested in all this. If it bores you, you can always get up and go. But if you are serious, as we must be considering what the world has become - insane, disorderly, corrupt, heaven knows all the ugly things that are going on. If you are at all serious, looking at all this, one must inevitably ask: why, in close relationship where there is a sense of affection, tolerance, acceptance, there is conflict, divorce, hate - you know, the whole field of turmoil? Is it possible to live with another completely at peace? You are all married probably, aren't you, or have girl friends. What do you say to all this? It's your life; not the life of the speaker. It's your life and you have to answer these really serious questions, not evade them.
As long as we are caught in this illusion of individuality however close our relationship with another, however intimate, however personal, companionship, escape from loneliness, this question must be answered. Because all life is relationship, with nature, with the universe, and with the tiniest little flower in the field; and also relationship with another human being. We cannot live without relationship. Even the monk, who has taken various forms of vows, is related. And in this relationship conflict seems to be all-pervasive. Therefore we must start very near to go very far. We must start where we are, with our family, with ourselves - whether we can live without conflict and therefore with peace.
From this arises the question: how do you observe all this? How do you observe, when I say 'you', I'm not being personal, how do you observe this conflict - the present state of the world, the present relationship with each other - how do your observe it? It is very important to understand the nature and the structure of the observer. Right? May we go on with this? Are we together in all this, or am I talking to myself? I really would like to know. Are we going along the same path, along the same lane, taking a journey together, or you are ahead or I am far behind? Or are we walking together, perhaps hand-in-hand. If we are walking together, with the same step, looking at the world together, looking at our relationship together, and as friends we can question each other, we can doubt what we're saying without hurting each other because we're friends. And out of this friendship, we can understand the depth and the beauty of relationship in which there is no conflict.
So relationship is extraordinarily important. It's our life. And as long as there is conflict, relationship becomes most destructive. Suppose I realize that - I am married, I'm not - suppose I realize that I am living with a woman and actually we are separate human beings, following parallel lines but never meeting inwardly, psychologically. Now, how do I observe that - the fact that we two are separate, each with his own ambition, his own greed, his own particular form of irritation you know, and all the rest of it - how do I observe it? Because in my observation, I may be biased, prejudiced. And so it is very important for me to find out the nature of the observer. Right? If I am not clear how to observe, in what manner to look, I may distort the whole thing. So I must enquire into the nature of the observer. Right?
A great scientist - they all think they are great - a scientist, unless he is very clear both subjectively and objectively, when he looks through a microscope and all the rest of it, that he is observing without any bias, without any prejudice, the self doesn't enter into his observation, otherwise his observation will be distorted, untrue, non-factual. Right? So similarly, we have to be very clear of the nature of observation, who is the observer? Are we together in this? Who is the observer? You look at those trees, a field full of cows or sheep, you see the horizon lit up by the morning sun. How do you observe all that? - if you ever do! When you look at a tree or a house, your very perception of looking is blocked by the word you use. Right? You understand? I can look at a Frenchman and say, "Oh, he is a Frenchman." That means that all my prejudices, all my knowledge of the French comes in between me and observing a man who calls himself French. Right? So can I look at him without all the prejudices, antagonisms? Can you?
So the observer is the past. Right? Are you following this? So the observer is full of his past knowledge, whether that knowledge is absurd, silly or actual, that knowledge is blocking my observation. Right? Are we following this?
Now, to observe my relationship with my wife or husband, I must observe without any previous, accumulated incidents, knowledge, all that. Is that possible? You understand my question? Otherwise, I never see my wife for the first time. You understand? I'm always looking at her with all the memories of a thousand days. Now, is that a fact, that I am looking at another from the past knowledge - a living thing can never be observed with a limited knowledge. And knowledge is always limited. You understand? A living thing must be observed freely, without all the accumulation, experiences, knowledge. So is it possible for me to look at my wife or husband, or the girl friend or whatever you like, without the previous remembrances?
Have you ever tried to look at a tree without the word 'tree', to look at a flower without the label so that you are actually observing what actually is, in which there is no subjective reaction? You are following all this? Are you? Or is this Greek or Chinese, better still.
You see, our brain is a network of words, a network of remembrances. It is never free to look because it has been conditioned through identification. To us, identity is very important. I am Hindu, whatever that silly word may be, but it gives me a sense of assurance, a sense of security. I have roots in that - like the British, like the French, German, you know, the rest of the world. And can we look, observe, without any identity? You understand? Are you doing it now? Or are you going to try and do it when you go home? If, when you are listening to this and doing it now, perhaps you are sitting next to your wife, or husband - to do it now, the very action of perception is to destroy that division. Right? If you do it now, which means, action is not of time. You follow this? Look sir, I've heard this. I have paid attention to what I have heard. I am sitting next to my wife. I'm a serious person and I hope she is too. And I see that I am not looking at her freely, without any past incidents and all the rest of it. And to me it is important to have a relationship with her, or with him, in which there is no conflict because if I can live that way, I have peace in my heart and brain. So the very moment I hear this, the actual perception that I am in conflict and I am looking at her, or him, with all the accumulated memories which are all dead anyhow; and so I am looking at her.
Action is the moment of perception of the fact, and not allowing time to interfere with the action. You understand? Am I conveying something? So for most of us, action implies conflict. I have to do something. I don't want to go to the office today from nine to five - god knows why you go anyway. See sir, what we're doing, how we are giving up an extraordinary life, life that is immense, is extraordinarily beautiful, that has great depth, unfathomable depth, and we spend our lives from nine to five. And our society demands that, governments demand it, and our wives demand it, because to be at home is rather a bore. So the whole structure of society is that our ethos is to work, and we miss the great width and the depth of life.
So can I look at her, or him without any past remembrances? Will you do it now? See what it entails - do it, and you will find out how tremendously we are bound to the past. Our life is the past, that is, past memories. And apparently they have such a strong hold on our brain. And we say "It's impossible to look without the knowledge of yesterday". And so we give up and pursue the old way, quarrelling, nagging, fighting, miserable, unhappy - you know, the whole business of it. Whereas, if one actually sees the fact that conflict must exist between two human beings, and therefore with the rest of humanity, as long as there is this concept of 'individual', with his own particular memories. And seeing that is to act, not postpone action. When you postpone action, time is involved. Right? And during that postponement, other things take place; other complexities arise. I wonder if you are following all this? So action is perception and instant action so that your brain is not cluttered with problems.
I do not know if you have gone into the question of problems. Why human beings have problems at all? The word 'problem' means something thrown at you. That's the actual meaning, the etymological meaning of that word, something thrown at you, which is a challenge. Our brains, from childhood, are trained to solve problems. Right? Poor child, at the age of two now they are teaching babies to count, how to learn a language. I don't know if you have followed all that. From childhood through school, college, university, business, family - everything has become a problem which must be solved. So we treat life as a vast problem, because our brain is trained that way. I don't know if you see all this. We never meet anything easily, happily, but it becomes a dreadful problem to be solved. So relationship has become a problem. You understand, sir. Are we together in all this? For god's sake, tell me, yes. And when we try to solve a problem - because our brains are trained that way, to solve problems - in the solution of that problem, we have other problems from that very solution. I don't know if you have noticed all this. Politically that is what is happening. You have the Falklands war and innumerable problems arising from it.
So can you look at life, not as a problem, though problems exist, but have a mind that is free from problems? You understand the difference? Problems exist. I have a toothache, I have to go to the doctor. Problems of tax, follow? Problems exist. But if my brain is free of problems, then I can deal with those problems easily. But if my brain is trained, conditioned to deal with problems, I increase problems. Right? I wonder if you see this?
There is a question, for example, about god. It's a problem, whether god exists or not. Most Christians believe that there is god. And Buddhists have no idea of god. He doesn't exist in their religious philosophy, and all the rest of it. But they make Buddha into a god, that's a different matter. Now, that's a problem. You believe and suppose I don't believe. Are you willing to look why god exists, if he does exist. Because I have no belief, one way or the other - suppose - actually I have no belief about it. Can you look at that question and find out why, throughout the ages, man has invented god - invented, I'm using that word purposely. I hope you won't get hurt. Man has invented it because he is frightened. He wants somebody, an outside agency to protect him, to give him security, to feel somebody out there is looking after you. That concept gives you great comfort. Whether that is an illusion or an actuality, doesn't matter. But as long as you have that kind of belief, it gives you great comfort. Now, if you strongly believe in all that, would you doubt it, question it, find out? Or are you so frightened, you won't even think about it. You understand?
So, to find out whether there is something beyond man's measure, one must be free to enquire. As we enquired into relationship, one must be free to enquire, to observe. And if the observer, the enquirer is prejudiced, is convinced deeply, though he may pretend outwardly to examine, then his examination will be according to his conviction. So can the brain be free to look - to look at my wife, husband, to look at all the governments, my guru, the whole world around us - to look so carefully without the background of my tradition, values, judgements? The brain then is acting wholly, not in fragments. You understand?
Scientists are saying, probably you know all this - if you know it, please forgive me for repeating it - only one very small part of the brain is functioning with most people and therefore this outlook on life is fragmentary. You understand? Only one part of my brain is actively sharing or actively operating throughout my life, only a part. And therefore the brain is not functioning wholly. Right? You understand the question? If it interests you, you want to find out whether the brain can operate holistically, completely, not just a part. Are you interested in that kind of question? Why? Is it curiosity, or just to argue about it? Or are you serious enough to say, I want to find out whether the brain which is now very limited - because all knowledge is limited. Right? You must be quite sure of that - all knowledge, whether it be the knowledge of the past or the knowledge of the future, knowledge is everlastingly limited. They are discovering more and more and more in the scientific world. No scientist can ever say, "My knowledge is complete". Right?
So knowledge is always incomplete. And knowledge being incomplete, thought is incomplete. Because thought is born out of knowledge as memory and thought is limited. Right? Without memory you have no thought, without knowledge there is no existence as thought. And we only function, now, with the limited thought. Right? You understand? I wonder if you are following all this?
My thought and your thought, the thought of the great scientist or the uneducated individual, his thinking is similar. Thinking is similar. They may express it differently but that thought is limited. So as long as our thinking is the basis of our action, the basis of our life, the brain can never function as a whole. Right? Logically see this, please. Our lives are fragmentary: I'm a businessman. I'm a scientist, I am a painter - right? - and so on and so on. We are all put in categories. Therefore our life is fragmentary because our thinking is limited and therefore it must inevitably be fragmentary. Would you accept this? Not accept it - see the fact of it, would you? You are all so doubtful, aren't you? Because we are cutting at the very root of our life, which is thinking. And we have built marvellous cathedrals, great architecture, great implements of war, the computers and so on, all the product of thought. And all the things in the cathedrals and the church are the product of thought. Right? Nobody can deny this - all the vestments, all the robes the priests put on, are copied, or part of it, from the Egyptians - thought has produced all this. And thought has also invented god.
Now, the question is whether to eliminate thought altogether. And who is the entity who is going to eliminate all thought? It is still thought. Right? I wonder if you see that? Your meditation, if any of you indulge in that kind of stuff, is to eliminate thinking. But you never examine who is the eliminator, who is saying, "I mustn't think"? It's still thought who says "By Jove, if I don't think I might get something." And yet thought is necessary, knowledge is necessary in certain areas otherwise you can't get home, you can't write letters, you couldn't speak English and so on and so on.
So thought has been the instrument of our fragmentation. And to so observe that, not say, "How to get rid of thought" but to observe the fact that thought is necessary in certain areas, and thought in the psychological world may not be necessary at all. In our relationship with each other, if thought is the instrument, which it is, then that very thought is the factor of divisiveness. To see it, not what to do about it. To see the danger of this, then you move away from danger. Like a precipice, like a dangerous animal, you run away. Similarly, thought is dangerous in the psychological world. I wonder if you see this? Though it is necessary in certain areas. Then, if you observe this very carefully, without any bias, then thought begins to realize its own place.
1st Public Question & Answer Meeting30th August 1983
We have to go into these questions. First of all if one may ask most respectfully, from whom do you expect the answers? It is good to question, not only the speaker or to question your friends, your wives and your husbands, question, to doubt, to enquire, to be sceptical. And when one puts a question, which is a challenge, to whom or from whom do you expect that challenge to be answered? Is it a challenge to oneself? Or are you challenging the speaker? There is a great deal of difference: when you are putting the question to yourself, to oneself, then you are really probing into it, putting your teeth into it. And if one is earnest and really deeply concerned then the answers can only be found in the question. The answer is not, if one may point out, separate from the question, it is not somewhere the answer is, and the question is somewhere else. So we are saying that in the very questioning is the answer. I hope we understand that.
So we are together going to enquire into these questions. And in enquiring together we will find the answer. It is not that the speaker is going to answer, like a politician, he has got all kinds of answers, but here we are together enquiring into these questions. The question is far more important, is it not, than the answer. Why do I put a question to myself, or to the world, or to my friend? If I put a question rather superficially the answer will inevitably be superficial because my question is really not very important, to myself or to the world. But if I put a question and try to find the nature, what lies behind the question, then I am opening the question. It is like digging in a well, the more you dig the more water. So we are together, if I may point out again, we are going together to go into these questions. Is that all right?
1st QUESTION: How do you know what you are saying is true?
Why do you ask me that question? Isn't it true that as long as there is national division, economic division, racial division, religious division, there must be conflict. That is a fact. Right? Would you accept that? So it is not what I say to be true, but the fact itself. Facts themselves show what the truth is. As we talked the other day about relationship: as long as there is this separation between two human beings, psychologically, there must be conflict. That is a fact. It is not what I say - how do I know what I say is true, but it is a fact that as long as I am ambitious and pursuing my particular form of pleasure, particular fulfilment, and my wife or husband, or girl friend does the same, we must inevitably end up in conflict. That is a fact. So it is not, how do I know what truth is. First of all let us look at facts.
We are greatly prejudiced people. We have a great many prejudices. We have cultivated them, we have strengthened them by public opinion and so on, that our prejudices prevent understanding other people. Right? That is a fact. So can one be free of prejudices, free of certain opinions which become so very strong in our lives. And the question then arises: how is it possible for human beings to be free of prejudices? That we can discuss. That we can have a conversation, a dialogue and say, look I have prejudices, suppose I have them, and you have them, and so these prejudices, whether they are idealistic prejudices, capitalist prejudices, totalitarian prejudices, religious prejudices, they divide people. Right? This is a simple fact. And where there is division there must be conflict - the Arab and the Jew, the Islamic world and the rest of the world, those who are terribly bigoted and those who are not, must be in conflict. It is a fact. I have nothing to do with it. It isn't how do I know what I am saying is true, we are just facing facts.
Now what is a fact? What do you think is a fact? That which has happened before, an incident, a car accident, that is a fact. Or what is happening now, sitting here, is a fact. But what will happen in the future may not be a fact. So fact implies that which has happened before: yesterday, walking along the lane, I met a viper, I saw it, it didn't bite me. That is a fact. And what is happening now, what I am thinking, what I am doing now, is a fact. And what I will do may not be a fact. It might happen, or might not happen. So if we are clear on what is a fact, and then what is an idea. You understand? Is an idea a fact? And the word 'idea', the Greek and so on, Latin, means to observe. The root meaning of that word 'idea' is to observe, to perceive, to see. What we do is see a fact and make an abstraction of it and then pursue the idea. Which means there is always the fact and a conclusion from the fact, and pursue the fact, pursue the conclusion, not the understanding of the fact. Am I making myself clear?
So please it is not how do you know what you are saying is true, the speaker is merely pointing out facts. Those facts are not personal. If I say I am a Hindu and I stick to it, that is a fact. Whether it is an illusion, whether it is some kind of superstitious sentimental nonsense, that also is fact. You understand? Fact can be an illusion, or actual. But most of us live with illusions. I am an Indian - that is an illusion. And you are, if I may most gently point out, you are British - that is also an illusion. This tribal insular worship is destroying the world. That is a fact. As long as I am an Arab and you are something else, I am going to destroy you because I believe by destroying you I will go to heaven. Right? That is an illusion which they have accepted as a fact, and for that illusion they are willing to fight and kill, and destroy. Right? So can we always deal with facts? I am asking: can we always be with facts? Not translate the facts according to my prejudice, according to my belief, according to my neurotic illusions, however noble they are, can I look at these facts and understand what those facts are telling, saying? Suppose I had an accident in a car, can I look at that fact that I was rather careless, driving too fast, not paying complete attention to what I was doing because I was talking to my friend next to me - that is a fact. But I then say, "No, it is your fault" - you know, the other fellow is a fool!
Now, it is a fact that we have ideals. Right? Don't you all have ideals? No? I wish we could have a dialogue, friendly, talk to each other. Don't you have ideals? I am afraid you do. Ideals. What are those ideals? Are they facts? The ideal that we must live peacefully. Right? The ideal that we must be - whatever it is, non-violent, or the ideals of a communist, which are drawn from historical study, but those studies are prejudiced by my conditioning, so why do we have ideals at all? I know this is a dangerous thing to say because most of us live with these extraordinary ideals. We are questioning, please I am not saying you should or should not have ideals. I am saying, why do we have ideals, faiths, beliefs, as a Christian, as a Buddhist, as a Hindu, I am an American, you are British, you know, all the rest of it - why? Is it our brain is incapable of living without any illusion? What do you say to that? Is my brain capable, strong, vital, to understand things as they are and not create a future ideal? Ideal is non-existent. Right? All Christians and all religious people believe that you must not kill. Right? And probably the Christians have killed more than anybody else. Right? And the British. And the Islamic world have killed more - not so many as the Christians. And probably the Buddhists and the Hindus come on a lower scale because they are barbarians, they are uncivilized people. And so it goes on. And we know that ideals of every kind, faith, belief, divide people. That is a fact.
So, can we be free of ideals, of faith, of being identified with one group and against another group which identifies with another group. You follow? Be free of all this. Could we - or is that impossible? If we could have a dialogue about this then we would exchange views - yes, it is possible, it is not possible, why is it not possible - you understand? Could we do that now? To have a free mind, free brain, that is not cluttered up with a lot of rubbish, a lot of illusions, is that possible? And some of you may say, no, it is not possible because I can't live without my beliefs. I must have my ideals, my faith, otherwise I am lost - with your faiths, with your beliefs, ideals you are already lost. That is a fact. You are very lost people. But whereas if we could have a dialogue, conversation, and say, why do I cling to my particular prejudice, particular ideal, and so on, why have I identified myself with them? Why do I identify myself with anything? You follow? Push it. Push it deeply to find out why we do all these things. Why we have allowed ourselves to be programmed. Why are we afraid of public opinion and so on and so on.
So the question: how do you know what you are saying is true? I am afraid it has very little meaning. Truth is not something that is mysterious, truth is where you are. From there we can begin. Truth is I am angry, I am jealous, I am aggressive, I quarrel. That is a fact. So one must begin, if one may most respectfully point out, where one is. That is why it is important to know oneself, to have complete knowledge of oneself, not from others, not from psychologists, brain specialists and so on, but to know what you are. Because you are the story of mankind. Do you understand all this? If you know how to read that book which is yourself, then you know all the activities and the brutalities and the stupidities of mankind because you are the rest of the world. Right? Is that question clear?
2nd QUESTION: Is desire something fundamental in human beings? Without desire could we function in this world at all?
Could we talk about this? Have a conversation: what is desire, why desire has become so important in our lives and why desire dominates and why desire changes its object from year to year. Right? You understand? Why? And all the various monks throughout the world, they are supposed to be serious people, dedicated, committed, they suppress their desires, they are tortured by their desires. Right? They may worship whatever symbol, whatever person, but desire is there burning like a fire. Right? This is a common fact. And to understand the whole nature of desire one must go into it very, very carefully. Let's talk about it together, shall we? Join me please.
Why have human beings yielded to desire, to do everything that they wanted to do, on one side; and there are other human beings who say you must suppress desire? You understand this? The monks, the sannyasis of India, and the Buddhist monks, all say you must control your desire, or transform your desire to god. Do you understand all this? Turn your desire to the worship of your saviour, turn this desire that is so strong, take vows against it - vows of celibacy, vows of silence, vows of one meal a day. You understand? Have you ever been in a monastery? No? I was in one for some time for fun. And I watched, I listened, slept there, did the things they did. It was really a cruel affair. Take a vow of silence and never speak again - you understand what it means? Never look at a woman. Do you understand all this? Never look at the sky, the beauty of trees, the solitary tree in a field, never communicate what you are feeling to another. Do you understand all this? In the name of service, in the name of god, human beings have tortured themselves to find illumination, to find enlightenment, to find something or other, heaven. And that is a tremendously torturing affair. And desire is at the root of all this. Right? I wonder if you understand all this.
Human beings in India, in the West, and the Far East, they have done everything to suppress this flame. I once met a man, an Indian, highly educated, he had been to the West, talked excellent English, very learned, and yet he had taken a vow never to enter into a married couple's house. Please, you may laugh at it. Because he said sex is an abomination; and when he said it is an abomination you could feel the tortures he had been through. You understand all this? Does it mean anything to you, all this?
So to go into this question: what is desire? Why are there these two elements in life, the suppression, the control, and the other side to do what you want. There are the gurus who say do what you want, god will bless you, and of course they are very, very popular. And thousands go, offer everything they have - you know all that is happening in the world. So we must go into this question: what is desire and whether it is the fundamental urge of life, of living. Is this quite clear, up to now?
So let's go into it. What is desire? You understand? We expanded desire, what is taking place in the world, night clubs, sex, free sex, do what you want to do, gurus help you to do what you want to do, really it releases all your inhibitions. Counter groups - you know. God, this world is mad all right! But they never ask the question apparently, I may be mistaken: what is the nature of desire? What is that entity that controls desire? You understand? The urge to have something, to possess something, and the entity that says, "Don't". Right? There is this battle going on: one desire opposing another desire. Right? Are we together in this? We are having a conversation, I am not making a sermon. We are having a dialogue together. Which is: why is there in human beings this dual process going on, opposite processes, wanting and not wanting, suppressing and letting go? You understand my question? Why is there this contradiction in us? Does the contradiction exist because we are not facing facts? Facts have no contradiction, it is a fact. I wonder if you understand? I am angry. That is a fact. I am violent. I am jealous, greedy. That is a fact. But when I say, "I am violent", there is immediately an idea I must not be violent. Right? And I must not be violent becomes the ideal, which is non-violence. So there is a battle between violence, which I am, and trying to be non-violent. Why have we done this? The non-violence is non-fact. I know it is a fashion brought about through Tolstoy in India and so on, that we must all be non-violent. Whereas we are actually violent human beings. Would you admit that? Therefore why do we have its opposite? You understand? Is that an escape from fact? And if it is an escape from fact why do we escape? Is it because we do not know how to deal with the fact? I escape from something because I don't know what to do about it, but if I know what to do I can deal with it.
So let's find out - oh, that takes too long! I will go into it. Let's find out how to deal with the fact only, not with its opposite. I am violent. And I have no opposite. Because that is non-fact, that has no validity at all. What has validity, what is truth, what is a fact, is I am violent. Right? And what does violence mean? Not only to do harm to another, throw a bomb and all the rest of things that are going on in the world, it also means comparison. Right? When I compare myself with you, who are clever, bright, noble and all the rest of it, then what takes place when I am comparing with you? Through comparison I make myself dull. Right? I wonder if you follow all this? Is this too much? Why do we compare? Of course you have to compare, if you have the money, between two cars, or between dresses and so on, that is inevitable. But why do I psychologically compare myself with anybody? Is it because I do not know how to deal with myself? You understand? When you say to a boy, you must be like your elder brother, as most parents do, what happens to that boy, who is B? When you are comparing B with A, what happens to B? Have you ever thought about it? I have two sons, A and B - or two girls, whatever it is. I am comparing A, the youngest boy to the older, and say, "You must be like him." What does that do to A? You understand? When I say you must be like B, what happens to A? Then he is imitating, conforming. You have set a pattern and this comparison is a form of violence. Right? I wonder if you see that. No? So imitation is violence. You have to go into this to see all the subtleties of it.
So when you look at violence it opens itself more and more, what the content of that word is, and it reveals most extraordinary things. But if you are pursuing non-violence, which is illusory, which is non-factual, it has no meaning. I wonder if you see this?
So, let's come back. Which really means: how do you observe violence? Is the observer different from the thing called violence? You understand? I am violent. That word indicates the reaction, and I have used that word because I have repeated it so often - to identify that particular reaction. Are you following? And by using that word constantly I am strengthening that feeling. So can I be free of the word and look? Do you understand all this? No, you don't. So let's come back. What is desire? How does it happen? And can that be understood, lived with, so that there is no suppression, no condemnation, or indulging in it? Right? To look at it, to understand it, so that when you understand something very clearly then it becomes simple. If I know how to dismantle a car, which I have done, not the modern cars, they are too complicated, then it is fairly simple to deal with any misbehaving, or something faulty. So it never frightens one. So let's look at this very carefully. What is desire? What is the root and the beginning of desire? Right sirs? Can we have a dialogue on it?
We are asking what is the root of desire and can we observe that root and remain with that root? You understand? Not say it is right, or wrong, it is good to have desire, or what will human beings do without desire, and all that kind of question.
Q: I have an answer to your question. I think separation from the mother is the root of desire.
K: From the mother? The baby gets desire from the mother?
Q: No, desire from the separation.
K: Desire from the separation from the mother? Is that so? Is that true, a fact? We don't know. Don't go back to babies and children and mothers, and all that. That is a different question. We will deal with it when it arises.
We are asking: what is the root of desire? You see something beautiful, a nice picture, a beautiful piece of furniture, jewelry. You see it in the window. What takes place? Let's go slowly. You see the particular jewel in the window. There is a reaction to that. Right? You go inside the shop and you ask the man to show you that particular jewel. You touch it. The you have a certain sensation. Right? That is, seeing, going inside and contact with your fingers, then sensation. Right? Seeing, contact, sensation. Then - please go slowly, you will see it for yourself - then thought imagines how lovely you would look with that jewel, on your hand, or round your neck, or in your ears. Right? So at that moment desire is born. Am I making myself clear? That is, it is natural to have this sensation - seeing that jewel in the window, going into the shop, handling it, sensation, a feeling. Then thought comes along, it is all done in a flash of a second, but thought comes along and says, "How lovely that would be on my finger. How lovely it would be if I owned that marvellous piece of jewelry." At that moment desire is born. Right? I wonder if you understand? If we could approach desire slowly, step by step, then we see how desire is born - seeing, contact, sensation. Then thought sees that car, touches it, goes round it, feels it, opens it up and then, sensation. Then thought says, "I'd like to have that car, sit in it, drive it." You understand? All this takes place instantly, now we are separating it step by step.
So if you are aware of this whole process - seeing, contact, sensation, thought imagining you in the car and driving it off. You understand that? That moment is the birth of desire, when thought interferes with sensation. Got it? Is this a fact? Not what you say, is it true, is this a fact? This is a fact. You see a blouse, or a skirt, or a nice shirt in the window and you know, you go through the whole process in a flash of a second. But when you slow it down, like in a film, step by step, you see the whole movement of it - seeing, contact, sensation, thought with its image, then desire is born. Right? Are we clear on this? Not I am saying this, don't say, "What right have you to tell me that?" It is a fact. Then let's find out why thought does this. Why thought captures the sensation and makes an image of it. You understand what I am saying? Why? Now you see, why does thought do this?
Q: Trapped in memory which likes to repeat itself.
K: Yes, no. This is the habit, isn't it? This is our unconscious, unaware movement. Right? I see something, immediately - we never separate thought from sensation. You understand what I am saying? I wish you could. Am I talking sense or nonsense? You judge - please, you question what I am saying. So thought is more dominant than desire. Right? I wonder if you see that? Which is, thought shapes sensation. Right? You have had sex last night and thought is going on - the image, the picture, the wanting.
So desire and thought go together. Right? Are you following? Is that so? Or is desire something totally different from thought? Or they are always going together like two horses. And then like two horses trotting along together, then thought says, "I must control". I wonder if you understand?
So when one is aware of this movement of seeing, contact, sensation and thought capturing the sensation, creating an image, at that moment desire is born. Now can there be a hiatus, a gap, an interval, between sensation and the moment when thought captures sensation? You understand what I am saying? I see - one sees a car, a very good model, beautifully polished, beautiful lines and aerodynamic and all the rest of it. And you see it. The seeing, going round it, touching it, sensation. Why don't you stop there? Why does thought take over so quickly? If you are aware of this whole movement then there can be observation very clearly when thought begins to come in. Right? When you observe it so closely then thought hesitates. You follow? I wonder if you follow all this?
So attention to all this denies totally any control. I wonder if you understand all this? After all, when I control my desire, the controller is another form of desire. Right? So one desire is in conflict with another desire. But if we understand the whole movement of desire then - you understand - there is a certain quality of discipline, not control. But the awareness, or the attention to this whole movement is its own discipline. Am I talking to myself? No, you haven't done any of this. It is all totally new.
Q: Can I ask you a question about thought? When we go now from this tent, what do we do with our thoughts that they don't start?
K: I explained this madam the other day. Thought is necessary in certain areas otherwise you and I couldn't speak English. Thought is necessary for you to go home, to do your job, your skill. Thought has built the extraordinary things of the world, cathedrals, atom bomb, the marvellous submarines. And also thought has created all the things that are in the cathedrals, the vestments, the robes - and all the rest of it, and also thought has created war - my country, your country, my tribe and your tribe. So all that we are saying is: thought is necessary in certain places, it is not necessary in other areas. That requires a great deal of observation, attention, care, to find out where thought is not necessary. Right? But we are so impatient, we want to get at it quickly, like taking a pill for a headache. But we never find out what is the cause of the headache. You understand? And all the rest of it. So if this is very clear, the origin and the beginning of desire, then that very clarity is its own order, then there is no discipline, desire.
Right? Have I made this somewhat clear?
Q: What is the difference between clarity of desire of buying something or to look for truth?
K: The desire for a blue suit, blue shirt, blue blouse, whatever it is, and desire for truth are exactly the same, because they are both desire. I might desire a beautiful car, and you might desire for heaven, what is the difference? We are trying to understand desire, not the objects of desire. Your object may be to sit next to god, my object of desire may be to have a nice garden. But desire is common to both of us and we are trying to understand desire, not your heaven and my garden. If I understand desire then whether you have heaven - you follow?
3rd QUESTION: Jealousy and mistrust are poisoning my relationship with someone. Is there any solution other than isolating myself from every other human being except him?
I wonder why you laughed. This is a common everyday human life. Right? How do you answer this question? If I put this question to you, how would you deal with it? What would be your reaction, your response to this question? Would you laugh? Would you say, "I am not jealous"? So let's go together into this very complex question, which is a human question. It is not something about heaven, or nirvana, or illumination. You know, sir, unless we keep our house in order, meditation and other things have no value. Right? If my house, which is me, is not in complete order, without any conflict, what is the point of meditation? It is another escape, another illusion. But when my house is in order, completely, without any shadow in my house, then meditation is something entirely different. But we think by meditating, god knows what, then your house will be in order. See how deceptive we are. So let's go into this.
Jealousy and distrust, poisoning one's life, have I to isolate myself to be with her, or him? Why do we possess people? Right? Why? We are having a dialogue please. Why do I possess my wife? And my wife delights in possessing me. Why?
Q: I need the status and there is a fear of being alone.
K: Which means what? Sir, look: we are asking this question, to end jealousy, not just to go on and on and on for the rest of our life. Like desire, to understand it so fully, it becomes very simple. So I want to find out why I am jealous. Why I am jealous of my wife, or she is jealous of me. Is it that we want to possess each other? What does that mean? What am I possessing? The body? Please enquire with me sirs. The body, the organism and what is implied in possession? To dominate. Right? Doesn't it? Oh, come on sirs. I want to possess her - go into it: why do I want to possess? Because I am lonely, she gives me comfort, she is mine, legally, morally, the church has blessed it, or the Registrar has blessed it, and I hold her - why? Is it because I am lonely? If I am lonely I want to escape from that tremendous void of the word which I use, 'lonely', to escape from it - to which I escape too becomes all important. You understand? I escape from life by inventing god and I hold to that god because that is the only thing I have.
So, I possess her, and what does that mean, in possessing somebody? Dominating, identifying myself with her - go slowly, enquire slowly. And it gives me a sense of power. Right? And at the end of all this I say she is mine. People like to be possessed - don't you? No? Can you say to your wife, "I don't possess you"? Oh, you people have never done anything. And I am jealous, which is, she is depriving me of my stability, my security when she goes away and talks to somebody else, or looks at somebody else, or does something or other with somebody else - I am at a loss. She has deprived me of my identity, driven me to my loneliness. And I hate all that. So I am jealous of her. Which means, jealousy implies hate, anger, violence, beating - god, don't you know all this? And I can't let her go and she can't let me go, and we live like that. Jealousy, distrust, feeling lonely deeply inside but trying to escape from it, that's my life, and that is what we call relationship, and that is what we call love. You understand sirs?
So one asks a much deeper question: is love desire? Go on sirs. Is love pleasure? You have to answer that question, not I. It is your life not my life. And can each of us see this fact, what possession, domination, power, does to each of us? You - the man may see it first, or the woman may, then will she help him to see all this? And is he willing to listen to all this? You are following all this, or is this all strange to you? Will he, or she listen to each other, the basis of it, being afraid to lose - you understand? Afraid of losing one's security in relationship. And when that security is shaken I am jealous. Will my wife listen to me? And I say to her, "Look, old girl, I love you but I don't possess you" - could you say that? My golly! "I am free of you and you are free of me." Which doesn't mean free love and going off, you know, changing every year a new man or a new woman. But seeing the whole problem, not just jealousy, how to get rid of jealousy, or distrust, but seeing the whole problem of relationship, which is very complex, which demands subtlety, sensitivity.
Q: I can see it.
K: But will you do something about it? One can intellectually understand all this, verbally, which you call intellectually. What value has it when I carry on with jealousy for the rest of my life and that jealousy creates wounds in me psychologically? I am hurt inwardly and I carry on with that hurt, with that jealousy, with that distrust - is this the way to live? So merely to see it all intellectually has very little meaning. But if you say, "Look, I am jealous. Let's go into it. Let's find out whether it can end" - which means do I possess anything at all? Am I attached to anything? Attached to my wife, husband, attached to ideals, my future success - you know, attachment. When you are attached then there is jealousy, there is anxiety, there is pain. If you see that very clearly then the thing becomes very simple. But you don't want to see it clearly because we want to live the way we have lived for a million years. Right?
Can we go on to the next question? Or do you want to escape from these questions?
Q: Can I ask a question? How does one break free of habits? Once one has intellectually reached an understanding from such as one has just discussed, how does one break free of habit then?
K: When one understands something verbally, so-called intellectually, how does one break that habit. That is the question the gentleman asked.
What is habit? It is a repetition, isn't it? Cleaning one's teeth every morning, afternoon and evening, it becomes a routine, you don't pay attention, you just do it very quickly and get off. So the brain establishes a pattern, drinking, sex, whatever it is, it establishes a pattern, then repeats it, then it becomes mechanical. Right? Are you following all this? So the brain through constant habits has become what it is now - not active, alive. So the gentleman asks: how do you break a habit, whatever the habit? A habit to search for god, to go to some exotic guru who promises you everything and lets you do what you like - you know all the crazy things that are going on in the world. Now how do you break a habit? Without conflict - right? You understand? Let's say I have a habit, of what - give me a habit, would you please.
K: Smoking is such an easy affair, that is an easy affair to stop.
Q: Always giving the same answer.
K: I hope I am not giving the same answer. It doesn't matter. I have a habit, smoking, scratching my head, keeping my mouth open, habit of thinking the same thing over and over and over again, or the habit of chattering. Let's take chattering.
I am not only chattering with myself but I am always endlessly talking with others. Right? The other day somebody came to see me, it was an interview. I don't give interviews anymore but she insisted, she came. The moment she entered - please, it is none of you here - she began to talk, talk, talk, and when she left, "I am glad to have met you." We all chatter endlessly; not only some go back and forth but also chatter inwardly. That has become an extraordinary habit for most people, they can never be quiet, never be silent. Silence in the sense the brain completely still, but that is a different matter, we can go into it later. So this habit of chattering. How do I stop it? First of all, who is to stop it? Another chatterer who says, "I must stop this chattering but I will have my own chattering" - you understand? So who is to stop chattering? Fear? Seeing that it is a wastage of energy, chattering, chattering, then will you stop that?
So we have to ask a question which is more serious: is there an entity outside of you, or inside of you, that will act as a brake upon chattering, that will say, "No I will not chatter"? Is it - please listen carefully - is it will, the decision not to chatter? And if it is will, what is will? The quintessence of desire - right? Right? Are you all tired?
K: All right. How quickly you answered.
So, how do you stop a habit of chattering? First of all, if you stop it through will, through desire, that creates another conflict, doesn't it? And to stop chattering without conflict - you understand my question? - is that possible? I chatter. First of all I am not aware I am chattering. You point it out to me and say, "Old chap do stop chattering so much." And I get rather hurt by it but if I go beyond that and I say, "Now, in what manner am I to stop it?" Then I have got the orthodox means of will, or taking a drug that will quieten me down, and having been quietened I take another drug to keep me awake - and I keep on that routine. So I want to find out how to stop a habit, like chattering, keeping your mouth open, scratching yourself, all kinds of things, without any kind of effort. You understand my question? This is an important question. To do something without effort. Does it amuse you, it's fun. Will you do this? Find out your particular habit, aware of it, and say, now, can it be ended without any action of will, decision, compulsion, reward - you understand - reward and punishment they are the two elements we live on. So can I break that habit without any side effects. Right? Can we go into this? I will go into it.
First of all am I aware of my habit, not that you point it out to me and then I realize it, but am I aware of my habits without somebody telling me of my habits. You understand? See the difference. If you tell me my habit then I either resist it, or say, yes, I must stop it. But if I see it for myself I am a step ahead, if I can so put it. Right? Now are we aware of our particular habit, chattering, we took that? Now what does that awareness mean? Awareness means to look at something without any reaction, without any choice. I am aware that I am chattering, that is first. Then to be aware, to watch it without any condemnation, justification or explanation, just to watch it. Will you do that? So that the old reactions don't come in, the old tradition doesn't come in and say, "I must stop it", I must do this, I must do that. So to watch the chattering very carefully. To watch it means without any reaction of past memories. This becomes very difficult. You understand? If I watch that tree in movement in the wind, it is a beautiful thing, And I don't like wind therefore I won't watch it. Similarly in a certain way, I can watch my chattering. The watcher is not different from chattering. So the watcher is not the structure of words, memories, he is just watching. You understand? Please this is rather complex and requires a great deal of enquiry.
We watch things with our prejudices, with our opinions, with our memories, the whole structure of words. Right? We watch everything that way. Now can you watch without all that memory, structure? That is where the art comes in, the art of watching. Now I watch - there is a watching of my chattering. I am aware and in that awareness I am not seeking any reward or punishment, I am just watching. Which means what? I am giving complete attention at that moment. Right sirs? At that second all my energy, all my capacity and attention is there. Which means when there is complete attention, complete, not attention brought about by any form of desire, through any form of reward or punishment, just complete attention, then that habit has no place. You understand? Do it please, try it once. Now, you will say, yes, for the moment it is possible, I can see that can end, if I give complete attention to something there is an ending to it, but it comes back. Right? Are you following? It comes back, the chattering comes back. Then what is your reaction? I did it once, gave complete attention, and it seems to subside for the second, now if I give the same attention it will subside again. So you have become mechanical. I wonder if you see this? Do you understand this? I gave attention, complete attention, to my chattering. That flame of attention wiped away for a few minutes chattering. I have seen the thing works. Then the next moment, or next hour, whatever period of time, you begin to chatter and suddenly catch yourself and say, "I must pay attention." So again you repeat, again it disappears. So gradually what you are learning is paying attention, which means you are not attending. Have you understood what I am saying? If you are constantly reminding yourself to attend, it is not attention. But attention has no time - oh, I won't go into all this.
If you give your complete attention, which means there is no wastage of energy, then the thing goes away. So your concern is not attention but wasting energy - you follow? We waste energy in a thousand ways, chattering is one of the ways. So, all right, I don't pay attention any more about chattering, but I am going to see how I waste my energy - right? I am going to pursue that. I am going to watch, learn, see where I am wasting energy. Oh, there are so many ways. Right? So my mind now is not becoming mechanical by the repetition that I must attend but it is moving. Right? All the time picking up new things. I wonder if you see all this? So that the brain becomes extraordinarily alert, and when it is so alert habits have no place.
2nd Public Question & Answer Meeting1st September 1983
There are several questions here and I hope this morning we can go through them. These questions are really problems. And to resolve problems a mind, or rather the brain, unless it is free from problems in itself, it cannot possibly solve the problems without raising other problems. Right? That is what politicians throughout the world are doing. They have got innumerable problems, war, atomic bombs and all the rest of it, their own position, their ambition, they represent the voter and so on and so on, their brains are full of their problems. And such a brain, as our brains also, are cluttered with so many problems, to resolve other problems, how can you solve them unless your brain is free from problems? I hope I am making this clear. If my brain is clouded with several problems, scientific, medical, health, sexual - so many problems human beings have, and other problems arise, how can I meet them? I only meet them with a brain that is not only trained to resolve problems but also heavy with problems. So shouldn't one enquire whether it is possible to be free of problems? And then any problem that arises we can meet freely. Is that possible? You understand my question?
Suppose I have several personal problems, and my brain is worried and concerned and thinking about it all the time, and I meet other problems - problems being something thrown at me - I can only meet them according to my brain which is already heavy with problems. Right? Isn't it important - I am just asking - to have a mind, a brain which is really free from problems. Then life has problems, you can meet them freely. Am I making my position clear? This, as we said the other day, this is a dialogue between us, not a monologue by me but a dialogue where two of us are talking things over. Neither is trying to impress the other, or convince the other, or subtly persuading the other, but two friends talking over together. And I hope we are doing this, together look at these problems. If our brain is not free, then whatever problems arise we will meet them with the problems that we already have. So we are asking: is it possible for a brain to be free of problems? Is this all right? Am I putting a wrong question? Now how is a brain to be free of problems so that it can meet problems? How do you meet it? How do you meet problems with a free mind, a free brain? Do please let's talk it over together.
From childhood we are trained to have problems, the whole of education is a series of problems, mathematical, relationship, teacher and the student, examinations - you know, the whole educational system becomes a problem. And we are trained to resolve problems. So our brain is trained, educated. Now can one uncondition the brain which has been trained to solve problems and is therefore never free? Am I making my question clear so that we are both understanding each other? Right? Is that possible? Please.
Q: Is it not necessary first to free ourselves from very strong attachments.
K: Sir, it is not a question of attachment for the moment. But I am just asking my brain from childhood, and your brain, is trained to have problems and to resolve problems. That is a fact. Such a brain meeting problems will always meet them with a brain that is cluttered. Right? Shouldn't it be free to meet problems? No? Now how do you propose to be free? What will you do?
Q: Could it be that first we should recognize that by asking that question we are making it another problem.
K: Not asking that person, yourself. Is it possible for me, for my brain, not to have a single problem so that it can meet the problems of life freely? This is really a very, very serious question.
K: Yes? It is so easy as that?
Q: You have to look.
K: Is your brain free from problems? Are you free from problems - health problems, mathematical, if you are a technician, you know, the whole world of technology with their problems, personal problems, problems of relationship, political problems, whether it should be a democratic or republican, a communist or a socialist, whether you believe in god or don't believe in god, whether you - you follow, our brain is so loaded. The more serious you are the more the burden becomes.
So in what manner can the brain be entirely free from problems? You see we haven't thought about this at all. Does one demand the brain to be free from problems so that it can meet problems?
Q: I have thought about it but that seems to create another problem.
K: Yes, that is just it. You have thought about it and the very thinking about it creates another problem.
Q: One has to ask whether thought can solve problems.
K: Whether thought solves the problem and so on. Does this mean anything to each one of us? Or is it something that you haven't really given your mind to it?
Q: A great many people enjoy their problems and they would find life very boring if they didn't have problems.
K: Oh well that is a different matter. If you enjoy your problems good luck! That is a kind of neuroticism.
Shall we go into this matter before answering all the questions - there are here about eight questions? Problems have conditioned our brain. Right? Have limited the brain. And do we see the importance that a brain that has been working on problems, problem after problem, is incapable of meeting any problem at all? Are we clear on that point, verbally even, intellectually?
Q: I am not sure about that one. The brain has a stack of problems, you are saying it is incapable of meeting another problem freshly, coming to that problem.
K: If the brain has problems and meets another problem, what happens?
Q: It copes with it as it does cope with it - more or less badly, or better or worse.
K: That is what is happening in the world.
Q: That is the case. You cannot therefore say the brain cannot deal with problems just because it has problems.
K: No, it can only deal with problems partially, limited.
Q: Yes, I agree.
K: And therefore more problems.
Q: Yes, all right.
K: That's all we are saying. Look at all the politicians in the world, that is a perfect example. They are creating one problem after another and merely never solving any problems. You have perfect examples here.
Q: Yes, but what is it that we are demanding when we want some sort of absolute kind of solution?
K: We are going to find out sir if there is, or there is not.
Q: Oh, all right, fair enough.
K: Or must we always live with increasing problems, multiplying problems? So can the brain be aware of itself - this is a very serious question if you want to go into it - can the brain be aware? - it has problems, personal, health, scientific, and so on and so on, multiple problems, many, many problems. And can we put aside and look at those problems first objectively, unemotionally, not taking sides and so on, without bias? Can we do that?
Q: I don't know about the old mind, there is something happening which you can't cope with and making it into a problem of thought.
K: Sir, you are not meeting my question - forgive me for pointing out.
Q: The problem is only for our ego.
K: Problems exist for the sustenance of our ego. All right. But what will you do about it? Oh, I see you can't deal with this. All right, let's go to our questions.
Q: No, no.
K: We will come back to it perhaps at the end of it. May we? Come back?
Q: Is it possible that our problem is that we always want answers to the questions? As we sit here you are putting a question into this whole gathering and immediately many people are creating a duality by wanting an answer to the question, which is the way we always live?
K: All right. You are going to get them.
1st QUESTION: What is the relationship between consciousness, mind, brain, thought, intellect, meditation and intelligence? Is awareness, attention still there when thought is not? Is awareness beyond time?
Now how do you meet this problem? This is a problem. Right? This is a question - how do you meet that? Because this is a question that all of us put, if you are at all serious, if you have gone into all this, you say, what is the relationship of intellect, brain, mind, intelligence, consciousness and so on? How do you meet this problem? What is your approach to this problem, to these questions? Right? What is your approach? Either you say there is no relationship, each is something separate. Or, there is a relationship between them all. That remains a mere verbal statement. But to find out actually what is your answer? How do you respond to that question?
Q: To observe your own conditioning.
K: Yes, which means what? One has to ask who is the observer, is the observer different from the observed? So let's begin.
Is awareness beyond time? That is the question. Is one aware of the relationship between consciousness, intellect, intelligence, brain and so on? What is awareness? Are we aware when we are sitting here of the tent - of the marquee - the number of poles there are holding up the marquee, aware of the person sitting next to us, the colour of the shirt, the skirt, whatever it is? Are we aware of all this? Or, not aware of it at the same time? You are aware of it partially, from time to time. Is that awareness? Or do you take the whole thing, observe the whole marquee, see the number of poles there are and so on, all together, and observe the various colours? So isn't awareness - begin very near. Right? I am aware of the room I live in, or the flat I live in, the single room, aware of the trees, the sky, the birds, the flowers, the beauty of the land and so on. Are we aware of all this? Or we are aware very, very rarely? If we are aware is it a partial awareness, see one thing only? Or being aware you see the causation and the consequences and the ending of the cause? You follow all this? Isn't all that implied in being aware? I am aware of my wife or husband. I'd better come back down back to that. There we begin to understand much more. I am aware of my wife. Is this awareness the memory of my wife? Please answer. You understand? I am aware of my wife - which means all the images I have built about my wife. Right? The various incidents, flatteries, sex, companionship and so on, all that is a continuous memory, adding all the time. Am I aware of these memories? Or those memories are so strong, so embedded, that there is no awareness of it objectively? You understand my question? Are we going along with each other? Is this too complex? No. All right.
So am I aware of the memories which interfere, block, the awareness of my wife? So I ask naturally: can this block be put aside, wiped away so that I can be aware of my wife sensitively? So that the memories don't interfere all the time. If one sees the fact that in awareness if memory is functioning, then I am not aware at all? Memory is acting all the time. If I am aware that the memories are operating all the time, then I see how they block my relationship with my wife and therefore if I like the block, if I like it because it is much better, it is easier to live that way, then I keep it, but if one sees it is not necessary, it is dangerous in relationship, then the very fact of the danger puts away the block, the barrier. Is this clear?
Now let's proceed from there. What is the relationship between consciousness, mind, brain, thought and so on, intelligence, intellect? What is relationship - to be related to something? Is it identification? I am related to my husband. Is that identification, or relationship? Please. If it is identification then it is not relationship. If I am identified as a Hindu there is no relationship in that identification. If I am identified with a particular island called Britain I have no relationship. So we have to distinguish, or separate, identification and relationship. Right?
Now, are you doing it? So to find out what is relationship, without identification, that is very serious. You understand? Is that possible? I have identified with my wife, or with certain ideas and conclusions, and it is almost impossible to break that identification. I am that idea, I am that concept, therefore to ask such a question: what is the relationship between consciousness, mind, brain and so on, one has to go into this question, what is relationship? If it is not identification, then what is the relationship between consciousness, yours, mine or someone else's, what is the relationship between consciousness, the mind and so on? Now, first of all we have to enquire what is consciousness? To be conscious, not only to what is taking place around me but also to be consciousness inwardly, what are my reactions, the beliefs, the fears, the faiths, the hopes, the various forms of identification. Right? Suffering, pain, health, ill health, and so on. All that is my consciousness. Right sirs? Would you agree to that? Not agree, do we move together? Your consciousness, my consciousness, or someone else's consciousness, is all its content. Without its content consciousness, as we know it now, cannot be. Right? Agreed? We go along with that?
Then we ask: what is the content? If I am a Hindu, or a Christian, or British, my consciousness is made up of British tradition, the Empire, the Queens and the Kings. Right? There are various traditions, culture, linguistic control, and I believe, I have faith, and so on. Right? That is the content of my consciousness if I am British, a Frenchman and so on. If I am not of the Western world then my consciousness also is faith, belief, suffering, pain, anxiety, like the rest of the world. So the question is: is my consciousness different from yours? If I suffer, if I have anxiety, if I believe in something - I may believe in something else, and you may believe, being Christian, in something else - but belief is common to both of us. Right? Suffering we all share. It is not my suffering only but you also suffer and so on. So consciousness apart from the physical environmental impressions, which are also part of consciousness, you may be tall, I may be short, I may be lighter skinned than you, or you may be lighter skinned than me, that is a superficial coating, but inwardly we are similar. Right? I know you will not like this but that is a fact. Right? Do we go as far as that? No.
Q: Yes, yes.
K: Verbally we will go.
Q: No, beyond verbally.
K: Intellectually you see the reason, the logic of it, but to feel it, to see the truth of it.
Q: You have to trust us more.
K: It is not a question of I trusting you, or you trusting me, it is a question - you see how we...
Q: You are saying we don't see it. Maybe we are seeing it. I don't see how you can say that we are only seeing it intellectually.
K: I don't know. I am asking sir.
Q: Well I feel it is not only intellectual.
K: Then sir, that means the idea of individual separation, psychologically, is non-existent. That means you have tremendous responsibility for the whole. If I feel tremendous responsibility I will not kill a Brazilian, an Arab, because he is part of me. I don't know if you go as far as that. And that is not pacifism - that is another conclusion. The fact is our consciousness is shared by all humanity.
Now what is the relationship between consciousness, mind, brain and all the rest of it - meditation included, all right, include everything - what is the relationship between them all? Is the cord of relationship thought? As the pearls are held together by a thin nylon thread, are all these, consciousness, mind, brain and so on, held together by thought? Thought is the thin line, thin fibre that holds all this together? Please. So one has to go into the very question: why has thought become so extraordinary vibrant, alive, and full of activity? Right? Why? Is thought feeling? Is thought emotion? Of course it is. If I do not recognize an emotion, which is the activity of thought to recognize, then that emotion is not. You understand all this? So thought apparently is the main thread that holds the whole thing together? Is that so?
Then what is the mind - this is really a very, very serious question - what is the mind? Is it part of the brain? Or is it outside of the brain?
Q: Is it both?
K: No. Sir don't be quick. Please this is much to serious a question to say yes, both, it is, it is not. How am I to find out?
Q: Well, when you drive a motor car the actual passage of the motor car going across a road, along a road, the actual miles covered, do you say "Is that in the engine"?
K: Yes sir. When you are driving a car you have to be aware of not only the approaching car but also you have to be aware of the side roads, you are aware or see three hundred or four hundred feet ahead.
Q: Sir, I am not saying that at all. What I am saying is - it is getting a bit slack now I have made you lose your point, I am sorry. But what I interrupted by saying was, that when you are driving a car along the road the actual passage of the car going along the road, the actual miles covered, we don't normally talk about that as being inside the engine. Yet when we are discussing as we are now, talking about different functions of the mind, body, brain, organism, that sort of thing, we try to vitalize them, yet normally they proceed in sort of almost automatic sense as if the car is going along...
K: Yes sir, I know they are automatic, they all work together. Now I want to understand when we use the word mind, when we use the brain, when we use the word consciousness, like an engine they are all working together.
Q: Yes, with more or less degrees of functioning. Sometimes they are functioning very badly, other times in the same life time they are functioning very well.
K: I would like to, if I may most respectfully point out, first of all are we aware that there is no separation between all this? Like driving a car the engine is working, taking you along.
Q: Is it possible to be aware of no separation?
K: Yes sir, that is what I am asking sir, is it all a single movement, a unitary movement in which there is no separation? You see you can't answer these questions.
Q: The separation is only in thought. It isn't real.
K: I would like to find out for myself, what is the mind? Is it part of the brain? How do I find out? Unless my brain is unconditioned I can't find out. Right? I can't find out anything unless there is freedom to look. But I am not free. My brain is conditioned as a Catholic, Protestant, Communist, Socialist, Democrat, or religiously and so on and so on, environmentally. As long as that is conditioned I can never find out what the mind is. I can say the mind is part of the brain or it is separate from the brain. This matter we have discussed with several so-called scientists. Some of them agree that it is outside the brain. Do you understand all this?
K: No, sir. Please sir, please sir, don't verbally, say yes. But the implication that it is something outside the brain and that the brain can only understand that when it is itself totally free. So I am not concerned whether it is outside, inside, far away or near, my chief concern is whether the brain can be free from its conditioning. Then there will be discovery of that which is true, not just invention.
So I am asking - we are asking: what is the connection between them all? Is it all one single movement? To find that out one must begin very near, which is what I am. Right? What my thoughts are. What are you? May I ask that simple question, which is very complex, but we will start very simply - what are you?
K: That is understood. No, sir. Seriously what are you? You are your name. Right? You are your tradition, you are your memories. Right? And so on. So you are all that. Right? Which is, you are consciousness. Right? You believe in, you don't believe, you have faith, your gods, your fears, pleasures, suffering, pain, and emotionalism and so on and so on, you are all that. Right? We agree to that? Or do we think we are something totally different?
Q: That is what we are. It is a fact.
K: That is a fact. Now what does that mean? When I say my name is K, I belong to India, or Britain, or this or that, I have faith and so on, what does all that mean? Does it all mean memory?
K: Which means, if you see that, or if you don't see it, we are the past. Right? Would you go along with that, even verbally? We are the past. The past is knowledge. Right? The past is memory. Right?
K: You are not learning anything from me please. I am just pointing out. So we are the series of movements in memory. Right?
K: See the implications of it. That we are not actively living human beings. You may go to the office every day for the next ten years, fifty years, or a factory, or do something or other. You are all that too. If I am a scientist I have accumulated knowledge through books, through experiments, through discussions, through various forms of hypothesis and conclusions, all those are the past. So I am the past. Right sir? I am memories. I am a dead entity psychologically. I wonder if you see that?
Q: The moment I see that...
K: Wait. Do we just see it, or is it just an idea? Sir this requires a great deal of work, a great deal of observation, patience, looking at things very, very carefully, impartially, objectively, without any sense of subjective reactions to it. That when once I realize that I am the whole movement of the past, not only it is a sudden shock to me but also the realization that there is nothing new in me.
Q: You haven't proved it yet.
K: I seem to be probing, you are not probing.
Q: Sir, if you saw this a long time ago, how come it is a sudden shock to you?
K: I said sir, suppose - sorry. Right?
Q: Isn't the arc narrowed down very much whenever you do anything? When you talk about being aware of all the tent and everything, if I have to start vacuuming the carpet I have to narrow it all down, and gradually as I do that I get wrapped up in everything I am doing so that it is continually narrowing down.
K: So we are narrowing down - the gentleman asks why do you, K, narrow down all this? It is the same thing sir, never mind. Sir, putting light, a strong electric light on a small thing you see very clearly - right - and from there move. But if you stay only there then it remains very, very small.
Question: We can learn more from each other than by listening to K. Why don't you encourage people to hold group discussions on particular topics and have organized activities to facilitate dialogue and relationship?
Q: Excuse me, we didn't quite finish the last question, I thought. Because you were saying we are the past and we are all these things, but what is that? It is like a lot of stuff on a table. What is the basis of that? That is what we should really get to. Not all that memory, that dead stuff.
K: Sir, if I acknowledge that I am memory - right - then I remain with that memory - right - not just one particular memory but the whole movement of memory - right - then in that observation there is a perception that one asks: is it possible to live a life without memories except where it is necessary?
Q: It is, yes. I was aware of that even as a child.
Q: That it is possible just to be without memories. I have been aware of this.
K: Is that so?
Q: Yes, it is a fact.
K: All right sir, then we have solved the problem.
Q: Good, good. Go on to the next question.
K: Then we have solved the problem that the brain, which has been conditioned by memory for a million, or forty or fifty thousand years, can live, function, act, in all relationship of life without bringing in this terrible past. If you can live that way, it is a most extraordinary thing to live that way. Right?
2nd QUESTION: We can learn more from each other than by listening to K. Why don't you encourage people to hold group discussions on particular topics and have organized activities to facilitate dialogues and discussions?
Are you listening to K? Or are you listening to yourself? K is pointing out: listen to yourself, see how conditioned you are, not, I am telling you that you are conditioned but by listening to yourself you learn infinitely more than by listening to a lot of other people, including K. But when you listen to K he is not instructing you. He is putting up a mirror in front of you to see yourself. Right? And when you see yourself very clearly you can break the mirror, and the man who holds up the mirror. Right? So do we clearly see ourselves? If we depend on relationship, depend, or on dialogue or on associations and institutions to teach us, to help us, to make things clear - what we are - then we depend. And when we depend on others, whether it is on institutions, encounter groups, small groups and so on, what are you learning? And what do you mean by learning? Please this is again a very serious question. Learning, as we know, is accumulating knowledge. I have learned about myself - that I am all this, all the pain, the misery, the confusion, the extraordinary travail of life - I am all that. I have learnt it. That is, somebody has told me, or I have learnt about myself. So learning, as far as we know now, learning at school, learning about ourselves, is accumulating knowledge about ourselves. Right? And K says knowledge is the very root of disorder. Go slowly.
Knowledge is necessary in the field of technology, in daily life, but psychologically knowledge is the very root of disorder, because knowledge is the past. Right? Knowledge is always, whether in the future or in the past, or in the infinite future, is always limited, always. Right? Because it is based on experience, hypothesis, conclusions, a chain - it is a constant addition instead of taking away therefore it is very limited. So can I look at myself without the previous knowledge or conclusion when I looked at myself? You understand my question? I have looked at myself all yesterday, or a few hours of yesterday and I find that I am this, that, the other thing; I am depressed by it or I am elated by it. All that is going on. That becomes yesterday's knowledge. And with that knowledge I observe myself again. Right? We do this. Right? So knowledge is bringing about constant repetition - mechanical, psychologically. And also if you go into the matter very carefully among the scientists and so on, they are also beginning to discover knowledge is a hindrance in certain areas of discovery. Right?
So you are not learning or discovering anything from K. You are the storehouse of past history. That is a fact. You are the history of mankind. Right? And if you know how to read that book, you don't have to depend on anybody, on discussions, on relationship, or organized groups and all that kind of thing. Right? I am not saying you should not discuss, you should not have relationship, you should not have this or that. All that one is pointing out is that as long as you depend for your understanding yourself on others then you are lost. You have had leaders, haven't you? Religious leaders, political leaders, every kind of specialist who will tell you what to do, how to raise your children, how to have sex, you have had every kind of leader for the last hundred thousand years or more. And where are you at the end of it? Do ask these questions please. We are what we are because we have depended on others - somebody to tell us what to do, what to think, which means we are being programmed all the time. And to understand ourselves there is every opportunity through relationship, through discussions, but if you depend on them you are lost. Is this clear, this question? Not that you must agree with the speaker. But see the consequences of depending on others - depending on governments to bring order in this chaotic world, depending on a guru, depending on the priest, whether it is the pope or the local priest. You understand?
So the question is really: one is the storehouse of all mankind. Right? One is the rest of mankind and if one looks at that very closely, with a great deal of hesitation, affection, then you begin to read what you are, which then is a flowering. But if you depend then you live with pain and anxiety and fear.
3rd QUESTION: While understanding what is being said and wanting to live differently, how is one to approach the problem of livelihood in this world of unemployment and limited opportunities?
K: Have different governments, which means a government which is not limited to a particular group. Right? French government, English government, each concerned with is own limited area. So there it is. Sir, what is preventing us all working together - you understand - as one human being? We are divided by nationalities, religion, by the tradition and we hold on to that. There is no world economy. You understand, sir. I wonder if you have thought about all this. There is no world economy. Each country is concerned with its own economy - right - with its own laws, with its own individual identity to a particular piece of land. There can never be united Europe. Right? Because each nation will suffer something or other. Therefore unless we have a government which is not local, not insular - right - there will be unemployment, lack of opportunities and so on. But also another factor is coming into being, which is the computer. Computer is beyond all nationalities, all governments. It can outthink us. It can create its own god which we shall worship. There is a good joke about it, but it is not worth it. Shall I repeat it?
K: A man says to the computer there is no god, I have never believed in god. The computer says, "You have it now".
So as long as we are Americans, British, French, Italians, Hindus, Communists and Socialists, we will never have peace in the world. There will always be unemployment, there will always be wars. For god's sake see all this. When you see the truth of it you are no longer identified with any country, with any group, with any religion. But one must have passion behind it, not just intellectual concepts. So as things are, problems of livelihood become more and more difficult. As things are, you will have more wars. I don't know if you have heard - I was only told about it the other day - in Russia a certain atomic bomb blew up and for twenty five thousand years an area of several hundred miles can never be cultivated, you can never approach it. You understand what I am saying? This is humanity. And nobody cares. You may have demonstrations, but the politicians know how to use those demonstrations. But unless each one of us who is listening really sees the danger of separation, like the Jew, the Arab, the Hindu, the Muslim, the British, we are going to live in perpetual insecurity, perpetual wars.
Q: What is the difference between a university and a lunatic asylum?
K: I don't know, you had better find out. Professors will object to that.
Q: A professor is someone who professes to know.
K: Sir, don't let's go off to universities and all that. Here is a serious problem.
Q: They are the ones who make the atom bomb.
Q: Will you shut up talking about nonsense.
Q: Atom bombs are nonsense?
Q: He is talking about it, we are coming there with him. I turn myself sick because I really do care sometimes. Shut up. Find out where we are going to put them.
K: Again may I remind you, if you don't mind, may I remind one that we are talking about division, separation, between nations, between groups, between religions, between individuals. As long as this separation exists there is going to be more and more unemployment, not less. More wars. As long as we hold on to our ideologies, separate and so on. So if you want to live that way, live that way.
Q: But even if we have no separate identity we have got to have some form of government surely?
K: Of course sir. I said Sir some form of government which is not based on separative governments.
Q: Who are going to be the politicians?
K: Oh sir, first have, you see we want to organize it right away. You know there is a story - I think probably the speaker invented this story. I'll repeat it. Two people were walking along the road, they were friends. They had been talking about the world and so on and how dismal everything was, how boring, how tiresome, how vicious everything had become. They were talking about things and as they go along one of them sees something on the pavement and picks it up. And the very looking at it transforms him. He becomes extraordinarily vital, happy, a sense of tremendous energy. And the other fellow says, "What have you found? What was it that made you so extraordinarily beautiful suddenly". He said, "I have picked up truth." And the other fellow says, "Marvellous. Let's go and organize it."
First sir, begin with ourselves, not what kind of governments will be, who the prime minister and who the chief treasurer will be, how many parliamentary governments. You follow? First let's begin with ourselves. If all of us who are here in this marquee really felt this in their heart, in their blood, we would have different governments in the world. We would put an end to wars, we wouldn't work for wars.
Look, I am not saying anything, we are only pointing out one thing - our brains are conditioned. Whatever is conditioned is limited. Whatever is conditioned is separated, and this separation, this conditioning, is causing havoc in the world, which is a fact. And to stop that havoc in the world one must begin with oneself, not how to organize a new government. Am I conditioned? Am I thinking about myself endlessly from morning until night? In meditation - you follow? - in exercise, in doing all kinds of things. Right? I am more important then anybody else. I want all my desires fulfilled. I want to be somebody, recognized, so I am occupied with myself. The scientist may be occupied with his experiments but he is occupied with himself. Right? He is also ambitious, wants a marvellous position, recognized by the world, Nobel Prize. I know some of them, I have met them. One didn't get the Nobel Prize and the other got it - you ought to see the other fellow who didn't get it. How upset he was. Bitter, angry. You know, just like you and me, everybody else. Right?
So sirs and ladies if you really want to live on this peaceful earth one has to begin very near which is yourself.
4th QUESTION: You talk about violence and freedom. But you say very little about law. Why is that? No civilized society can exist without laws. And laws sometimes have to be backed by force which means violence. What do you do when terrorists hold hostages? Do you let them be killed, or storm the building? Where does freedom come into all this.
Laws. What is law? Law, doesn't it mean order basically? Either a society establishes certain laws, which are to bring about order, those very laws are broken by cunning people, by criminals, by criminals who employ excellent lawyers. You know all this, don't you? Now where does law, order begin? In the courts, with the police, with the superintendents and the intelligence group? Where does order begin? Please ask. Society is in disorder. Right? It is a fact. Corrupt, immoral and almost chaotic. And governments are trying to bring order in all that. We, you and another - we live in disorder - right - confused, uncertain, seeking our own security, not only one's own security but the security of one's own family and so on. Each one is creating through isolation, disorder - no? And where is law? With the police officer? With the lawyers? I have met several of them. They will protect the murderer, it is their job. A criminal pays them enormous sums. You understand all this sirs, don't you? Where is order, law in all this? So shouldn't we first face disorder? That is a fact, that we live in disorder and society is in disorder, governments are in disorder - no? If you have talked to some of the politicians, prime ministers, high up in the hierarchy of government, each one is after power - right sir - and position, hold on to certain concepts, identify with those concepts, ideologies and all the rest of it. All of us are working separately for oneself. We will come together in a great crisis like war. But the moment the crisis is over we are back to our old pattern. Right? So wouldn't you - I am just suggesting this - wouldn't you begin to find out if law which means complete order, whether you can live in complete order without any confusion. Sirs, put this question to yourself. So there is no contradiction, say one thing, do another, think one thing and act in another way. As long as we live in disorder, the society, the governments will be in disorder.
Law implies justice. Right? Is there justice in the world? You are rich, I am poor. You have got bright minds, you can travel, you go abroad. You can do all kinds of things and I can't. Right? You are born to riches, you become the Prince of a country and for the rest of your life you are safe. And the poor chap down in the East End or the West End, he is poor - you know. So where is justice? Is there justice in the world? Examine all this. Justice implies equality. We all say equality before law. But that equality is denied by employing the highest paid lawyer and I can't afford the highest paid lawyer, so there is immediately inequality. So where do you find justice, law and order?
There arises a very complex question, which is: admitting factually that there is no justice in the world - you are well placed, good reputation, cars, houses, mistresses and all the rest of it, marvellous furniture, and I live in a small hut. There is no equality. So one asks after facing the fact, one asks where does it exist at all? You are asking that question. I am not asking you to ask that question, you are asking that question. Where there is compassion there is equality, there is justice. Compassion implies intelligence. When there is that marvellous flame then there is no difference between the poor and the rich, between the well placed and those people who have nothing on god's earth.
Q: As I asked the question may I ask another part of it? If one has this compassion, you say, then one also must accept the fact that for this compassion you will be killed.
K: I will be killed. All right. I will be killed. What is wrong with being killed?
Q: But most people would say that when you are dead you are not in a position to do something.
K: Are we in a position to do something now?
K: What? To stop this threat of war; the neutron bombs exploding in a part of the country and you can never come near it for the next twenty five thousand years?
Q: The peace groups, and people who have this compassion appear to be the first victims to be wiped out.
K: I am not sure. The speaker has been threatened many times.
Q: But you are not living in Central America.
K: I am not. I have been there many years ago. But I am not there, neither in Honduras, Nicaragua or San Salvador. I can't do anything there. But I can do something here. Sir you are going off. I said compassion implies great intelligence. Compassion cannot possibly exist if you are identified with a group, with a particular form of worship or religious organization, if you go out to India and do some kind of social work, being attached to some church. That is not compassion. That is pity, sympathy. This is happening sirs.
So first let's find out if we can be compassionate. To come to that point one must be extraordinarily alert to all the human frailties, to all the human limitations, which is one's own limitation because you are not separate from the rest of mankind. If once you see the truth of that then your whole attitude toward life and action and employment changes completely.
3rd Public Talk3rd September 1983
May we continue where we left off last Sunday. First of all, if one may remind oneself, this is not a lecture on a particular subject with the intention of being informed, instructed. It's not a lecture. We are talking over together our human problems, not only the daily problems of our life, with all the travail of existence, but also we should go very much deeper, perhaps go together in the enquiry, what is beyond all time; what is the source, the origin, of all creation? And to enter into all that area one must begin, surely, with all the contents of our consciousness, with what we are - our reactions, our anxieties, loneliness, depression, elation, fears, the continuity of pleasure. And enquire also if it is possible to end all sorrow.
And also we should enquire this morning, and perhaps tomorrow morning, the nature of dying, what is religion, meditation, and the whole limitation of time. We've got to cover a great deal in these two talks. So we must go very deeply into this matter, because we can always scratch on the surface as we generally do and find very little. But if we could go very, very deeply into the whole question of whether the content of our consciousness can ever come to an end; that is, the ending of all our wounds, psychological hurts, fears, beyond all the memories to which we cling, and the pain, the pleasure, the great deal of grief and sorrow - all that makes up our consciousness which is what we are.
As most of us are concerned with ourselves, with our own achievements, with our own successes, failures and giving ourselves great importance in doing little things - whether all that can end and discover something totally new. Not only discover, but experience. One must be very careful in the usage of that word 'experience'. There is really nothing to experience. If you go beyond time, if that is possible, and beyond fear and so on, is there anything to experience? We are going to go into all this this morning and tomorrow morning, together. You are not merely listening to the speaker, to a lot of words, a lot of words put together into a sentence and ideas, but together we are going to enquire into all this and see if our brains which have been so heavily conditioned, programmed, whether those programmes can come to an end and no longer be programmed any more.
All this requires a great deal of serious intention and considerable attention. And if we are willing, this morning and tomorrow, to give our interest, not only superficially but deeply give our attention to it, perhaps we can go together into all this and see if there is something infinite beyond all time. Can we do that this morning and tomorrow?
First of all, do we realize that thought is a material process and therefore is limited? And any action based on that limitation must inevitably create conflict. And so thought is a material process. Matter is limited energy. And the whole content of our consciousness is the result of the material process of thought. Right? We have said over and over again for the last umpteen years that thought is a material process. And the content of our consciousness, with all the reactions and responses, and so on, are put together by the material process of thought which is limited. So our consciousness, which is what we are - whatever we think we are - is always limited.
When one is concerned with oneself, with one's problems, with one's relationships, with one's status in society, and so on, this concern with oneself is a very small affair, a limited affair. Right? Do we actually see this or is it just an idea to be pursued, enquired into and then come to a conclusion, and accept that conclusion and say: "I am that". Or do we see immediately, instantly, that all the self-centred activity is very, very limited - whether it be in the name of religion, in the name of peace, in the name of leading a good life, and so on - this self-centred activity is always limited and therefore the cause of conflict. Do we actually realize that? Or is it merely an idea? Do we see the difference between the actuality and the idea?
If one pursues the idea, then you are following some kind of illusion. But if one actually realizes the self-centred, egotistic activity is very, very, very small and separate and therefore the basic cause of conflict is the self. I wonder how many of us hear this and actually realize it. And the self, the psyche, the persona, is the whole content of our consciousness - which is our conditioning, which is our being programmed for millenia upon millenia, which is the whole structure of knowledge.
Are we together in all of this? Or am I speaking Russian or Chinese? If the speaker is not indulging in Chinese or in a peculiar language and therefore there is no communication between us, but there should be clarity and communication when we are both looking at these enormous, complex problems of existence of our daily life - monotonous, boring, exciting, indulging, pursuing various forms of pleasure - and ultimately, whether one has a jolly good life or a miserable life, ultimately ending in death. Right?
So our life generally is rather shallow. We try to give meaning to that shallowness, but that meaning too, that significance, is still shallow. So could we this morning, realizing all this, go and find out for ourselves, not be informed by the speaker, not be instructed by the speaker, but together explore what we are actually, and break down this limitation and go, if possible, further? Is this clear - what we are doing this morning and tomorrow - together?
The content of our consciousness - one of the factors - is fear. And most of us know what fear is - whether it is superficial or deeply embedded in one's own recesses of our brain. We are all afraid of something. Right? So can that fear end psychologically? Begin with that. Then we can ask whether there are physical fears also and their relation to the psyche, psychological fears. So we are enquiring together into the nature of fear - not the various forms of fear. One may be afraid of death, one may be afraid of one's wife or husband, one may be afraid of various things. But we are concerned with fear itself, not fear of something or fear of the past or the future, but the actual reaction which is called fear.
Are we together?
So what is the cause, the root of fear? Is it thought and is it time? We must cover a great deal so we must be brief. Is it thought - thinking about the future or thinking about the past? And so, is thought one of the causes of fear? And is time also the cause - time, as growing old, as most of us are. The moment we are born we are already growing old. And time as future - not by the watch, by the day or by the year - but time as a movement from 'what is' to 'what should be', 'what might be', 'what has been', we said the whole movement of time, the psychological process of time - is that one of the causes of fear? The memory of some pain, both physical and psychological, which might have happened a couple of weeks ago; and remembering that and being afraid that it might happen again - which is the movement of time and thought.
So time and thought - are they the causes of fear? Right? And this time which is thought, because thought as we said is the response of memory which is knowledge and experience, so knowledge is of time, and knowledge may be one of the causes of fear. I wonder if you are following - right?
So we are saying, time, thought, knowledge, which are not separate, which is an actual unitary movement, that may be the cause of fear. And it is the cause of fear. Right? Then, when one realizes that, even intellectually, verbally, is it possible to end that fear? Right? What's your answer? You're waiting for me to instruct you. Therefore we are not working, thinking, investigating together. Right? You are waiting for the speaker to answer that question. And that means our brains have been conditioned, trained, educated to learn from somebody else, be instructed by another. And here we refuse to instruct you or to tell you what to do. We have no authority to tell you what to do, not like these ugly, beastly gurus.
So we are together. Please, this is important to understand what it means, 'together.' Not you and I separately working - together look at it. Together see the whole movement of fear, what is involved in it. Why humanity has borne this fear for thousands of years and they have not solved it. They have transmitted it and accepted it as the norm of life, as a way of living. But if you begin to question, as we are doing now, question whether fear can ever end at all psychologically. Therefore we must understand the cause. And where there is a cause, there is an end. If one has some kind of disease and if, after diagnosis you find the cause, it can be ended. Similarly, if we can find the cause, the basic cause, the fundamental cause, then fear can end. Right?
So together we are saying that time-thought, not two separate things, is the root of fear. Right?
Q: Is not fear always preceded by desire?
K: Desire is also part of fear. We went into that very carefully the other day - the nature of desire. Do you want me to go into it again?
K: Why do you say no? Have we understood the nature and the whole movement of desire? You see, please, we don't listen, not to the speaker, to ourselves. We never say, "What is desire? Why are we slaves to desire?" We said desire is sensation. That sensation - seeing, contact, sensation - then desire comes in. Which is, thought creates the image out of that sensation, then at that moment, second, desire is born. Clear? No, and I won't go into all of that because we went into it the other day very, very carefully and deeply - into the whole nature of desire. And desire also is one of the factors of fear.
Desire is thought with its image. If you have a desire without any image, there is no desire. The seeing of a blue shirt or a skirt or whatever it is in the window, and entering into the window and touching it, sensation. Then thought creates the image of you having that shirt, then desire at that moment is born. So thought is essentially the movement of desire, and time-thought is the root of fear.
Now, does one realize this actual fact? Then how do you observe that fact? I realize - suppose, I realize that thought, with all its complexity, and time also, is the root of fear. Then how do I realize it, feel it, be aware of it? You understand my question? Do I see it as something separate from me, time-thought, something separate from me or I am that? Is it all becoming rather complex?
I am anger, am I not? Anger is not something separate from me. I am greed, envy, anxiety. Right? I like to think that is something separate over which I have control. But the actual fact is I am all that - even the controller is me. Right? So there is no division between greed, anger, jealousy, and so on - that is me, that is the observer. Right? Now, so how do I observe, how does one observe this fact that time-thought is fear? How do you observe it? You understand? How do you look at it - as something separate from you, or you are that? If you are that, and it's not separate from you - right - all action ceases, doesn't it? Before, I controlled, I suppressed, I tried to rationalize fear. Right? Now one sees that one is all that and therefore the whole movement of time and thought stops.
Are we together, one of us or two of us? You see we are all so eager to act. One must act, but here you have to watch the whole thing without any sense of doing something. Right? Just to observe without any reaction or response to what you observe. Right?
Then also we should go into the question why man has suffered. And whether there is an ending to suffering, not only the personal sorrow, but the sorrow of vast humanity. Right? Don't let's get sentimental about this, but actually all of us suffer in one way or another. The dull man suffers, the most intellectual, learned man, every human being on earth, including the leaders in Russia - every human being suffers. And we are asking a very serious question, whether that suffering can end. Or some of us enjoy suffering which becomes neurotic. So don't let's bother about the people who enjoy suffering, thinking that suffering in some way will help us to understand this universe, to understand life, and so on. Right?
So, one suffers. My son is dead, gone. But the memory of it remains, the memory of his companionship, of my affection, love for him, and so on. Memory remains. And is that memory sorrow? Please, enquire together. I have lost my wife, or I am not as clever as you are, I am not as alert, sensitive, as you are and I suffer through that. Or I suffer in ten different ways. And is suffering, the shedding of tears, is that the loss, the actual loss, or the loss that brings about various memories, remembrances. You follow all this?
Is that one, or perhaps the major cause of suffering? Man, including woman, man from the beginning of man, has had wars, has killed people. That has been our pattern of existence - war after war, killing thousands of people. Humanity has suffered. And we are still pursuing that path of war that has brought about tremendous sorrow for mankind. Right? And we have our own personal sorrow. Sorrow is the same whether it is yours or mine. I like to identify myself with my sorrow, and you like to identify yourself with your sorrow. But sorrow of yours and sorrow of mine is the same. The objects of sorrow may vary, but sorrow is sorrow - therefore it is not personal. I wonder if you realize this? Right? No, it is very difficult for one to see the truth of this.
If you suffer and I suffer - you suffer for one reason and I suffer for another, and we identify ourselves with my particular one and you with yours, we divide ourselves and then find ways and means to suppress it, rationalize, and so on. But if we realize that sorrow is sorrow of all mankind, all humanity - and we are the rest of humanity because we have fears, sorrow, pleasure, anxiety, like the rest of mankind - if we realize sorrow is not my sorrow, that becomes such a small affair. Which is, we are the whole of mankind, we are the rest of mankind, and when there is suffering, suffering is man's suffering. Then you have a totally different approach to the problem. You understand? Not my suffering - 'Please god help me how to get over it, how to understand it,' - I pray, and it all becomes so personal, a shoddy little affair. Right? But when it is the rest of mankind that has suffered, then suffering becomes an extraordinary thing that one has to look at very carefully. And if one human being understands the nature of suffering and goes beyond it, he then helps the rest of mankind. Right?
Now is suffering a remembrance? The mother or the father whose son has been killed in your particular little war, recent war, Falklands - killed there. And the mother and the father remember all the things that he did - the death, the birth, the pictures, the photographs, all the incidents and accidents, and laughter, tears, scolding - you follow? So we are asking, please find out for yourselves whether sorrow is part of this continuity of memory. And if it is memory, don't reduce memory just to a few words. It is a tremendous content. And if it is memory, can that memory, not only of my particular son, but the memory of mankind's sorrow - memory which is sorrow - can that memory come to an end? You understand?
Therefore one has to enquire, not into a particular memory, but the whole movement of memory. Right? We live on memories - we are memories. We are the word, the reaction to that word, the pleasure derived from the word, the remembrance of all the things that were. that symbol, that incident, accident has awakened, has stored up in the brain which is awakened when an incident takes place. Right? And memory is the past. Right? So we are the past. Can this whole movement of the past, which is time, which is thought, end? Not thought in our daily life, we're not talking of that, we're not talking when thought is used to drive a car, to write a letter, to write a poem, write this or that. There thought, knowledge is absolutely necessary. We are talking of this whole psychological movement which is based on memory.
So we are asking a much deeper question which is: can the self, the 'me', the ego, all this self-centred activity which is the movement of memory, can that self end? Not by discipline, by control, by suppression or identification with something greater, which is still the movement of the self. Can that self end? You might then ask - if the self ends, what place is there, for me in society? What shall I do? Right? Right sir? First end it and then find out - not the other way around.
This is a very, very serious question. Nobody can tell you in the world or beyond the world - perhaps most of us try to get instructions beyond the world. Nobody on earth can tell you how to end it. But if one observes all these facts without any reactions - I observe the fact that I am hurt psychologically because my daughter, my son, my father has done something which hurts me - if I can observe that hurt without a single resistance, without any action that I should not be hurt, or keep the hurt - most people do, all through their life they carry their hurt. But to observe this hurt, psychological wound, without any reaction to it, then one sees that hurts disappear altogether. Right? So in the same way, just to observe, to observe memory as it arises, see the nature of it, the evolution of it. The whole nature of activity of our daily life is based on this. And memory is very, very limited. Thought may invent the infinite, but thought being itself limited, its infinity is also limited, finite, but may pretend that it is infinite.
So, all this implies complete freedom. Right? Not only freedom from something, but the quality of freedom that is not based on any reaction, any reward or punishment. To enquire into that also, one must understand the nature of death, dying. Are you interested in all this? Does it even amuse you? You see one must enquire very quietly, not hysterically, into this very complex problem. Dying or coming to an end is what we are concerned about, talking about, because it is part of our life. Not only are we born and all the education and all the troubles and all anxieties, and so on, but also death is part of our life - it is there, whether you like it or not; whether you are British or French - it is there; whether you are young, middle aged or old, disease, accident - it is there. And one must understand what it is, as one must understand life before death. We have been trying to understand together what is before death - fear, wounds, sorrow, pain, anxiety, labour, going to the office from morning till night. All that is part of our life, living, and also the ending of all that.
One may have had a very good life, pleasant, successful, been somebody in the world, power, position, money, but the thing is there at the end. We like to postpone it as long and as far away as possible, put it away.
So we are together going to enquire. The organism dies, naturally. It will live as long as possible if we treat it properly. We won't go into the question of health. I know you are all interested in health but we won't go into it now.
What is it to die? Not jump over the bridge, not do something to kill yourself, but living as we are now, sitting here in the marquee, what is death - apart from the whole physical organism, the brain lacking oxygen withers away and there is death? But we are asking, is death an ending? Right? An ending to everything that I've had - my wife, my children, my books, my status, my power, my position - you know - all that is going to come to an end. And also, we must enquire into the question, which is the question of the East, which is reincarnation, to be reborn next time. So a series of lives till you reach whatever you reach - you know, the highest principle, and so on. They believe in that very strongly, but they don't deeply enquire what it is that continues. Right?
Is it the 'me' that is going to continue or is there something beyond the 'me' that is going to continue? Right? And if there is something beyond 'me', my ideas, my opinions, my conclusions, and so on, which we talked about earlier. If that 'me' is the word, the name, the remembrances - is that going to continue? Right? Or there is a spiritual entity, the soul in the Christian world and the Buddhist world, the Hindu world have different words - will that continue? Then that thing which is beyond me or which is in me but the 'me' covers it up. Then if that is a spiritual entity, it must be beyond time and beyond death. Right? Therefore that cannot reincarnate. Right? So people like to believe all that because it is a great comfort. I shall be born next life. I've had a poor life - next life I'll have a better house. In another life I'll live in a bigger house or I'll be a king - or some rot or other.
So if we put aside all that kind of illusory pursuits and face the fact that psychologically there is an ending, a complete ending. The 'me', with all its memories, has come to an end - that is dying. And we don't like that. And so we seek various forms of comfort, beliefs faith, resurrection and - you know, all that. Now, while living, can we end something without any cause, without any future - end something? You understand my question? Take for example: will you end all attachment - attachment to your name, attachment to your furniture, attachment to your wife, to your husband, to your garden, attachment to your ideas, prejudices, end all attachments while living? That is what is going to happen when you actually die. Right? So do it now and see what it means. That ending is tremendous, has tremendous quality behind it. There is no attachment to anything. That is freedom, and when there is that kind of freedom death has no fear. You understand? Because you are already living with death. The two are going together, living and dying. Do you see? No you don't. Do you understand the beauty of that? The quality of complete freedom from all fear. Because where there is attachment there is jealousy, anxiety, hate. And the more you are attached the more pain there is. You know all this. If you went and told your wife or husband, 'I am no longer attached to you,' what would happen? Does it deny love? Does it deny relationship? Is attachment love? Go on, enquire into all this and the deeper you enquire, the more vitality and security and strength one has. It hasn't derived from any drugs, any stimulation.
We'll have to stop now and continue tomorrow morning. Please we are going to discuss tomorrow morning, very carefully what is the origin of all this, the beginning of all this. Why man has to go through all this misery, confusion, occasional pleasure and joy. Unless one understands creation from the very beginning, and in the understanding of that is tremendous sense of no time and no beginning and no end.
4th Public Talk4th September 1983
This is the last dialogue together. We began this series of talks by asking why human beings living on this earth, such a beautiful earth, except on a rainy day like this - why we cannot live at peace with each other, why must we have wars, the economic, social, racial differences, and why we cannot live with each other - intimately or otherwise, with tranquility, a certain quality of serenity? And apparently that is not possible, because the vast majority of people throughout the world are very violent. They don't want peace - neither do the governments. They talk a great deal about it, but they are all preparing for everlasting war. And religions too have not given man peace. The tribal divisions, local gods and saviours, the religious hierarchy, all that has prevented - or we have created all this and therefore there is no peace on earth. Pacem in terris.
And we have been talking over together if we can in our daily life, end conflict within ourselves, be free of any shadow of fear, end suffering, move away entirely from the self-centred activity which is one of the, perhaps, or the major causes of conflict - not only outwardly but also inwardly. And very, very few seem to be serious enough to go into this deeply and perhaps realize that there is a totally different way of living. And this morning, if we will, together, go into this question, not only of peace, but as we said, what is the origin, the beginning of all existence? Why man has become what he is - why we are, after millenia upon millenia, very, very primitive psychologically, barbarous. And technologically we are advanced tremendously. And that very technology is going perhaps to destroy us too. And we ought to go together this morning and enquire seriously: is it man's lot inevitably that he lives this way? Or has something gone wrong with the whole human evolution? Or is there something outside, beyond human measure, that if one can understand, go into it deeply, may perhaps open the door, open our eyes and perhaps our hearts, too, so that we may naturally, easily live a happy, serene life? That is what we are going to enquire into together this morning.
First of all, we must understand the word 'experience'. Experience is a process of acquiring knowledge, becoming familiar with something. And this knowledge may be one of the fundamental reasons of our conflict, of our ignorance. Not the knowledge of outside, technological knowledge, scientific knowledge, medical knowledge, and so on, but the accumulated knowledge of humanity which is the whole burden of the past. That may be one of the basic causes of conflict. We have talked a bit about it and we'll go further into it.
We ought to enquire together whether there is an outside agency beyond the measure of man - beyond man himself as a measure - an outside agency that we can appeal to, pray to, ask guidance. Or be with that so basically that we are that so that there is no outside agency. I hope we are together in this. This is, as we said the other day, and we have been repeating this many, many times - this is not a lecture, nor a sermon on Sunday morning - god forbid! Nor try to instruct, convince you, or do some kind of silly propaganda. If we could, both of us travel together, walk along together and see things as they are, and go beyond. Is man the measure of all things? Man being his consciousness, reactions, his memories - is he the measure? Or there is something outside of him that, if we can come into contact, may help us? Right? This has been the activity of religion. Throughout the world, from ancient of days, man sought something outside of himself, or has said: there is something divine in me, in the human, but it is covered over with his greed, with his envy, with his ambitions and cruelty, bestiality, and that can be stripped away, then that will be the abiding factor of righteous behaviour. Right? Are we together in this, following each other? And to strip away all the layers of our ugly, brutal, anxious, ambitious, aggressive life, there have been many, many systems, many incantations, many forms of rituals, magic. They have tried every form of physical torture - fasting, denying every sensory response, to come to this point where man can understand and live a different way of life.
Scientists are also trying, through genetic engineering, through chemistry, other forms of drugs, to change man. And man has looked in every direction outwardly, and perhaps never inwardly. He may have superficially scratched the surface of his existence. But man has perhaps never, except for a few, deeply concerned and gone into himself for he is both matter and the movement of thought, which is also matter. And the instrument of investigation has been thought - to go in himself. And thought is not the right instrument, because thought itself is limited. Right? So religions throughout the world, organized and not organized, individual, separate groups and every form of attempt has been made to become enlightened - if I may use that word which has been so corrupted by the gurus. If we can put aside all the religious dogmas, faiths, systems, symbols, figures, rituals and all those incantations which have very little meaning now - perhaps they never had it - if we could put aside completely all of that and not belong to any group, to any spiritual authority - those two words 'spiritual authority' is the denial of spirituality. So if we could shove off all that, which means, be able to stand completely free, unafraid, so that we can enquire into the actual, if there is a dimension that is not the invention of thought. And then, what is religion? Right? We are going to go into all of this.
What is the origin and the beginning of all existence, from the minutest cell to the most complex brain? Whether there was a beginning at all, and is there an end to all this? And also we are going to enquire together: what is creation? Now, to find out all this, to uncover all this, what kind of brain does one need? You understand? What kind of capacity, what kind of energy, what kind of passion is needed to really probe into all of this? You understand? To probe into something totally unknown, not preconceived, not caught in any sentimental, romantic illusion, there must be a quality of brain that's completely free. Right? Free from all its conditioning, from all its programming, from every kind of influence, and therefore highly sensitive and tremendously active. Right? Is that possible? Do you, taking part in a dialogue, do you have such a brain? Or is it very sluggish, lazy and living in its own self-conceit? Which is it? Because we are going to enquire into something that demands a mind, a brain that is extraordinarily alive, not caught in any form of routine, mechanical. Is that possible? Have we such a brain in which there is no fear, no self-interest, no self-centred activity? Otherwise it is living in its own shadow all the time. Right? It's living in its own tribal, limited environment, field. It's like an animal tied to a stake - the tether may be very long or very short, but it is tied to a post therefore its movement is limited. You may give it a very, very, very long rope, but the very length is an indication of limitation.
A brain must have space. So what is space? Not only the space between here and there - space indicates 'without a centre'. Right? If you have a centre, and you move away from the centre to the periphery, however long, wide the periphery is, it is still limited. Right? Are we following each other? So, space indicates, does it not, where there is no centre and there is no periphery, there is no boundary. Have we such a brain that one doesn't belong to any thing, attached to anything - attached to one's experience, conclusions, hopes, ideals, and so on, so that the brain is really, completely free? Right? If it is burdened, you can't walk very far, you can't go very far. If it is crude, vulgar, self-centred, it cannot have measureless space. And space indicates - one is using the word very, very carefully - emptiness. Are you following? Does it interest you at all this? Are you sure, coming here in spite of the awful rain and wind, we are communicating with each other?
We are trying to find out, aren't we, if it is possible to live in this world without any fear, without any conflict, with a tremendous sense of compassion which demands a great deal of intelligence. You cannot have compassion without intelligence. And that intelligence is not the activity of thought. One cannot be compassionate if one is attached to a particular ideology, to a particular narrow tribalism, or to any religious concept, for that limits. And compassion can only come, or be there, when there is the ending of sorrow, which is the ending of self-centred movement. Right?
So space indicates emptiness, nothingness. And that space, because there is not a thing put by thought, that space has tremendous energy. This is what the scientists too are saying, only it is their conclusion, it is not the actual living of the scientist, because the scientist, like everybody else, every other human being, is greedy, out for himself, or he represents a government, or he is ambitious, and so on. He is just like anybody else, but he has got an extraordinary capacity for accumulating knowledge in a certain area.
So the brain must have the quality of complete freedom and space. That is, one must be nothing. Whereas we are all something - analysts, psychotherapists, doctors - that's all right. But when we are therapists, when we are biologists, technicians, that very identification limits the wholeness of the brain. Right? Can we proceed from there?
And then we can ask, only then can we ask really, what is meditation? Because if you ask what is meditation or try to meditate and follow all the systems whether it is Zen, a Buddhist form of meditation, Tibetan form of meditation, the Hindu, the Christian form which is rather limited, and all the latest gurus with their peculiar invitations to mysterious meditations, only on a condition you pay a lot of money for it. And there are all these forms of meditation. They are all based on making thought silent, making thought quiet, not rampant thought. Right? That is, there is a controller who is going to control through systems, through practice, through daily allotted time for quietness, and so on, and so on. There is always the controller watching. And the controller himself is the activity of thought. Right? So they are going round and round in a circle like a cat chasing its own tail. And that's called meditation.
Now, meditation is something entirely different. Unless one has laid the foundation of order in our life - you understand, order, there cannot be order if there is fear, there cannot be order if there is any kind of conflict, unless our house, not the outer house, unless our inward house is in complete order, so there is great stability, no waffling around, great strength in that very stability, therefore in that order - then only one can ask what is true meditation.
If the house is not in order, your meditation has very little meaning. Right? You can invent any kind of illusion, any kind of enlightenment, any kind of daily discipline - it will be still limited, illusory, because it is born out of disorder. Right? This is all logical, please, sane, rational. It is not something the speaker has invented for you to accept. Unless there is this kind of - may I use the word - 'undisciplined order' (that's a good word, I'm glad I thought of it just now!) - unless there is undisciplined order, meditation becomes very shallow and meaningless.
So then, what is order? Thought cannot create order, because thought itself is disorder. Would you accept that? Do you see that? Because thought, based on knowledge, which is based on experience, all knowledge is limited, and so thought is also limited. And when thought tries to create order, it brings about disorder. Right? Do we see this actual fact? - not as a theory.
Thought has created disorder, that is, it has created disorder through conflict of 'what is,' and 'what should be'. Right? The actual and the theoretical; yet there is only the actual and not the theoretical. And thought looks at the actual from a limited point of view. Right? And therefore its action must inevitably create disorder. Do we see this as a truth, as a law - or just an idea? You understand? I am greedy, suppose I am greedy, envious - that's 'what is; the opposite is not. But the opposite has been created by human beings, by thought as a means of understanding 'what is', and also as a means of escaping from 'what is'. Right? Are we walking together, communicating with each other? So there is only 'what is'. And when you perceive 'what is' without its opposite, then that very perception brings order. Are we together?
As we were saying - our house must be in order. And this order cannot be brought about by thought. Thought creates its own discipline - do this, don't do that, follow this, don't follow that, be traditional or not traditional, and so on. Thought is the guide. One hopes to bring about order, but thought itself is limited, therefore it is bound to create disorder. If I keep on repeating for the rest of my life - I'm a British, British, or French, French, or would you like any other nationality, or a Hindu or Buddhist, whatever it is - that tribalism is very limited. And that tribalism is causing great havoc in the world. We don't go to the root of it, that is, to end tribalism, not how to create better wars.
So similarly, we are saying, order can only come into being when thought, which is necessary in certain areas, has no place in the psychological world. And therefore in that world, that world itself is in order when thought is absent. Are we meeting each other?
So meditation - the very word meditation means to measure - measure between 'what is' and 'what should be,' between 'what I am,' and, through meditation, 'what I will be'. So meditation, both in Sanskrit and Latin, and so on, is the quality of measurement, right - which is comparison. And comparison is disorder. Right? Do you need explanation of that? When I am comparing myself with you, which is, I am competing with you, I am trying to be better than you, then this is a constant conflict, isn't it? So is it possible to live without any comparison, not only biologically, physically, but much more psychologically, inwardly - never to compare oneself with anything, with anybody, so that the mind, the brain is free from this conflict of arrogance. Right?
So then we can ask, what is meditation? Because it is necessary to have a brain that is absolutely quiet. The brain has its own rhythm - please, I am not a scientist, brain specialist but one has watched all this in oneself - which doesn't mean that the speaker is extraordinary. Don't let's become sentimental and personal.
The brain is endlessly active, chattering from one subject to another, from one thought to another, from one association to another, from one state to another - it's constantly occupied. One is not aware of it generally. But when one is aware without any choice, choiceless awareness of this movement, then that very awareness, that very attention ends that chattering. Please do it, and you will see how simple it all is.
So the quality of the brain is that it must be free - space and silence, silence psychologically. One is talking now. You and I are hearing each other, talking to each other. There, thought is being employed because we are all speaking English. But to speak out of this silence - do you understand what I am saying? Don't, please go off into some kind of fanciful imagination.
This brings the question of language. Does language condition the brain? Have you ever thought about all this? Or is it all something totally new? Does English or French or whatever, Russian or Chinese, does the very usage of those words, does it shape the brain so that it becomes conditioned? Language does condition the brain. Right? If you talk to a Russian or to a Frenchman - of course if you talk to a British or an American speaking English - if you watch, their whole outlook is limited by the language they use. Right? Have you noticed all this? So to be free of the network of words! Right, sir? To use a language like English and not allow it to shape our outlook on the whole of existence. Right?
I see you haven't done any of these things, so it's all something fanciful. So, not to be caught in the network of words, that's quite complex too. When you say, "I am a Communist", your whole reaction is different. As you have had a recent war in the Falklands, when you talk about Argentina, the label is more important than the person. So there must be freedom from the word. Then the brain is utterly quiet though it has its own rhythm. Right?
Now what is, then, creation, what is the beginning of all this? Right? We are enquiring into that - the origin of the beginning of all life - not only our life, but the life of every living thing; the deep down whales, the dolphins, the little fish, the minute cells, the vast nature, the beauty of a tiger. Have you ever seen a tiger in a forest? No, of course you haven't seen it. It's really the most extraordinary animal. I won't go into it, that is, not this time. I nearly touched it, wild. And the living of man, from the minutest cell to the most complex man, with all his inventions, with all his illusions, with his superstitions, with his quarrels, with his wars, with his arrogance, vulgarity, with his tremendous aspirations and his great depressions - what is the origin of all this? Right?
Now, meditation is to come upon this - not you come upon it - in that silence, in that quietness, in that absolute tranquility. The beginning - is there a beginning? And if there is a beginning, there must be an ending. Right? That which has a cause must end. If I have cancer, the cause is the disease, I must be operated on, then that would be the end of it or it would kill me. Right? Wherever there is a cause there must be an end. That's a law, that's natural. So is there a causation at all for the creation of man, the creation of all the way of life? You understand my question? Is there a beginning of all this? How are we going to find out?
Religions have said there is god - god is the beginning and the end of all things. That's a very easy way of solving the problem. The Hindus have said it in one way, perhaps the Buddhists too, and Christianity said, god. Only the fundamental belief - man has been created four thousand, five hundred years ago. Right? It seems rather absurd because four thousand, five hundred years ago, the Egyptians invented the calendar, which means they must have been extraordinarily advanced, and so on. And if you are a fundamentalist, then you'll get angry with what is being said. And I hope none of us are any kind of fundamentalist.
So what is creation - not the painter who creates the picture, not the poet, not the man who makes something out of marble? Those are all things manifested. Right? Is there something which is not manifest? Is there something, because it is not manifested, that thing has no beginning and no end? That which is manifested has a beginning, has an end. Right? We are the manifestations, aren't we? Not of divine something or other, we are the result. We are the result of thousands of years of so-called evolution, growth, development, and we also come to an end. That which is manifested can always be destroyed. But that which is not, has no time. Right?
Now we are asking is there such a thing as something beyond all time? This has been the enquiry of philosophers, scientists, and religious people - to find out that which is beyond the measure of man, which is beyond time. Because if one can find, come, discover that, or see that, that is immortality. Right? That's beyond death. I wonder if you understand all this? Are you following all this? A little bit at least? Try to encourage me, please. I don't want your encouragement but you see this man has really sought, in various ways, in different parts of the world, through different beliefs. Because when one discovered that, or realized that, life then has no beginning and no end. Therefore it is beyond all concepts, beyond all hope. Do you follow? It is something immense.
Now to come back to earth - you see we never look at life as a tremendous movement, our own life as a tremendous wide - with a great depth, a vastness. We have reduced our life to such a shoddy little affair. And life is really the most sacred thing in existence. To kill somebody is the most irreligious horror. To get angry, to be violent with somebody - the speaker has been angry only once and the person with whom he was angry has been reminding him, so he still carries on with the anger. You understand? Really?
You see we never see the world as a whole because we are so fragmented, we are so terribly limited, so petty. And we never have this feeling of wholeness, you follow, where the things of the sea, things of the earth, the nature and the sky, is the universe, is part of us. Not imagined - you can go off in some kind of fanciful imagination and imagine that we are the universe, then you become cuckoo! But, to break down this small self-centred interest, to have nothing of that, then from there you can move infinitely.
And meditation is this. Not just sitting cross-legged, or standing on your head, or doing whatever one does, but to have this feeling of complete wholeness and unity of life. And that can only come when there is love and compassion.
You know, one of our difficulties is we have associated love with pleasure, with sex. And love also, for most of us, means jealousy, anxiety, possessiveness, attachment. That is what we call love. So is love attachment? Is love pleasure? Is love desire? Is love the opposite of hate? If it is the opposite of hate, then it is not love. Right? Do you see this? All opposites contain its own opposite. Right? When I try to become courageous, that courage is born out of fear. Right? I wonder if you understand this? No? So love cannot have its opposite. Love cannot be where there is jealousy, ambition, aggressiveness.
And where there is that quality, then from that arises compassion; where there is that compassion there is intelligence. Not the intelligence of self-interest, not the intelligence of thought, not the intelligence of a great deal of knowledge, but compassion has nothing to do with knowledge. Then only is that intelligence which gives humanity security, stability, vast sense of strength.
So we have come to the end of our dialogue and one hopes we shall meet again next year.