A Dialogue With Oneself
A Dialogue With Oneself
I realize that love cannot exist when there is jealousy; love cannot exist when
there is attachment. Now, is it possible for me to be free of jealousy and
attachment? I realize that I do not love. That is a fact. I am not going to deceive
myself; I am not going to pretend to my wife that I love her. I do not know what
love is. But I do know that I am jealous and I do know that I am terribly attached
to her and that in attachment there is fear, there is jealousy, anxiety; there is a
sense of dependence. I do not like to depend but I depend because I am lonely; I
am shoved around in the office, in the factory and I come home and I want to feel
comfort and companionship, to escape from myself. Now I ask myself: how am I
to be free of this attachment? I am taking that just as an example.
At first, I want to run away from the question. I do not know how it is going to
end up with my wife. When I am really detached from her my relationship to her
may change. She might be attached to me and I might not be attached to her or
to any other woman. But I am going to investigate. So I will not run away from
what I imagine might be the consequence of being totally free of all attachment. I
do not know what love is, but I see very clearly, definitely, without any doubt, that
attachment to my wife means jealousy, possession, fear, anxiety and I want
freedom from all that. So I begin to enquire; I look for a method and I get caught
in a system. Some guru says: «I will help you to be detached, do this and this;
practise this and this.» I accept what he says because I see the importance of
being free and he promises me that if I do what he says I will have reward. But I
see that way that I am looking for reward. I see how silly I am; wanting to be free
and getting attached to a reward.
I do not want to be attached and yet I find myself getting attached to the idea
that somebody, or some book, or some method, will reward me with freedom
from attachment. So, the reward becomes an attachment. So I say: «Look what I
have done; be careful, do not get caught in that trap.» Whether it is a woman, a
method, or an idea, it is still attachment. I am very watchful now for I have learned
something; that is, not to exchange attachment for something else that is still
I ask myself: «What am I to do to be free of attachment?» What is my motive in
wanting to be free of attachment? Is it not that I want to achieve a state where
there is no attachment, no fear and so on? And I suddenly realize that motive
gives direction and that direction will dictate my freedom. Why have a motive?
What is motive? A motive is a hope, or a desire, to achieve something. I see that I
am attached to a motive. Not only my wife, not only my idea, the method, but my
motive has become my attachment! So I am all the time functioning within the
field of attachment – the wife, the method and the motive to achieve something in
the future. To all this I am attached. I see that it is a tremendously complex thing;
I did not realize that to be free of attachment implied all this. Now, I see this as
clearly as I see on a map the main roads, the side roads and the villages; I see it
very clearly. Then I say to myself: «Now, is it possible for me to be free of the
great attachment I have for my wife and also of the reward which I think I am
going to get and of my motive?» To all this I am attached. Why? Is it that I am
insufficient in myself? Is it that I am very very lonely and therefore seek to escape
from that feeling of isolation by turning to a woman, an idea, a motive; as if I must
hold onto something? I see that it is so, I am lonely and escaping through
attachment to something from that feeling of extraordinary isolation.
So I am interested in understanding why I am lonely, for I see it is that which
makes me attached. That loneliness has forced me to escape through attachment
to this or to that and I see that as long as I am lonely the sequence will always be
this. What does it mean to be lonely? How does it come about? Is it instinctual,
inherited, or is it brought about by my daily activity? If it is an instinct, if it is
inherited, it is part of my lot; I am not to blame. But as I do not accept this, I
question it and remain with the question. I am watching and I am not trying to find
an intellectual answer. I am not trying to tell the loneliness what it should do, or
what it is; I am watching for it to tell me. There is a watchfulness for the loneliness
to reveal itself. It will not reveal itself if I run away; if I am frightened; if I resist it.
So I watch it. I watch it so that no thought interferes. Watching is much more
important than thought coming in. And because my whole energy is concerned
with the observation of that loneliness thought does not come in at all. The mind
is being challenged and it must answer. Being challenged it is in a crisis. In a
crisis you have great energy and that energy remains without being interfered
with by thought. This is a challenge which must be answered.
I started out having a dialogue with myself. I asked myself what is this strange
thing called love; everybody talks about it, writes about it – all the romantic
poems, pictures, sex and all other areas of it? I ask: is there such a thing as love?
I see it does not exist when there is jealousy, hatred, fear. So I am not concerned
with love anymore; I am concerned with `what is’, my fear, my attachment. Why
am I attached? I see that one of the reasons – I do not say it is the whole reason –
is that I am desperately lonely, isolated. The older I grow the more isolated I
become. So I watch it. This is a challenge to find out, and because it is a
challenge all energy is there to respond. That is simple. If there is some
catastrophe, an accident or whatever it is, it is a challenge and I have the energy
to meet it. I do not have to ask: «How do I get this energy?» When the house is on
fire I have the energy to move; extraordinary energy. I do not sit back and say:
«Well, I must get this energy» and then wait; the whole house will be burned by
So there is this tremendous energy to answer the question: why is there this
loneliness? I have rejected ideas, suppositions and theories that it is inherited,
that it is instinctual. All that means nothing to me. Loneliness is `what is’. Why is
there this loneliness which every human being, if he is at all aware, goes through,
superficially or most profoundly? Why does it come into being? Is it that the mind
is doing something which is bringing it about? I have rejected theories as to
instinct and inheritance and I am asking: is the mind, the brain itself, bringing
about this loneliness, this total isolation? Is the movement of thought doing this?
Is the thought in my daily life creating this sense of isolation? In the office I am
isolating myself because I want to become the top executive, therefore thought is
working all the time isolating itself. I see that thought is aIl the time operating to
make itself superior, the mind is working itself towards this isolation.
So the problem then is: why does thought do this? Is it the nature of thought to
work for itself? Is it the nature of thought to create this isolation? Education brings
about this isolation; it gives me a certain career, a certain specialization and so,
isolation. Thought, being fragmentary, being limited and time binding, is creating
this isolation. In that limitation, it has found security saying: «I have a special
career in my life; I am a professor; I am perfectly safe.» So my concern is then:
why does thought do it? Is it in its very nature to do this? Whatever thought does
must be limited. Now the problem is: can thought realize that whatever it does is
limited, fragmented and therefore isolating and that whatever it does will be thus?
This is a very important point: can thought itself realize its own limitations? Or am
I telling it that it is limited? This, I see, is very important to understand; this is the
real essence of the matter. If thought realizes itself that it is limited then there is
no resistance, no conflict; it says, «I am that». But if I am telling it that it is limited
then I become separate from the limitation. Then I struggle to overcome the
limitation, therefore there is conflict and violence, not love.
So does thought realize of itself that it is limited? I have to find out. I am being
challenged. Because I am challenged I have great energy. Put it differently: does
consciousness realize its content is itself? Or is it that I have heard another say:
«Consciousness is its content; its content makes up consciousness»? Therefore I
say, «Yes, it is so». Do you see the difference between the two? The latter,
created by thought, is imposed by the `me’. If I impose something on thought then
there is conflict. It is like a tyrannical government imposing on someone, but here
that government is what I have created.
So I am asking myself: has thought realized its own limitations? Or is it
pretending to be something extraordinary, noble, divine? – which is nonsense
because thought is based on memory. I see that there must be clarity about this
point: that there is no outside influence imposing on thought saying it is limited.
Then, because there is no imposition there is no conflict; it simply realizes it is
limited; it realizes that whatever it does – its worship of god and so on – is limited,
shoddy, petty – even though it has created marvellous cathedrals throughout
Europe in which to worship.
So there has been in my conversation with myself the discovery that
loneliness is created by thought. Thought has now realized of itself that it is
limited and so cannot solve the problem of loneliness. As it cannot solve the
problem of loneliness, does loneliness exist? Thought has created this sense of
loneliness, this emptiness, because it is limited, fragmentary, divided and when it
realizes this, loneliness is not, therefore there is freedom from attachment. I have
done nothing; I have watched the attachment, what is implied in it, greed, fear,
loneliness, all that and by tracing it, observing it, not analysing it, but just looking,
looking and looking, there is the discovery that thought has done all this. Thought,
because it is fragmentary, has created this attachment. When it realizes this,
attachment ceases. There is no effort made at all. For the moment there is effort –
conflict is back again.
In love there is no attachment; if there is attachment there is no love. There
has been the removal of the major factor through negation of what it is not,
through the negation of attachment. I know what it means in my daily life: no
remembrance of anything my wife, my girl friend, or my neighbour did to hurt me;
no attachment to any image thought has created about her; how she has bullied
me, how she has given me comfort, how I have had pleasure sexually, all the
different things of which the movement of thought has created images;
attachment to those images has gone.
And there are other factors: must I go through all those step by step, one by
one? Or is it all over? Must I go through, must I investigate – as I have
investigated attachment – fear, pleasure and the desire for comfort? I see that I do
not have to go through all the investigation of all these various factors; I see it at
one glance, I have captured it.
So, through negation of what is not love, love is. I do not have to ask what love
is. I do not have to run after it. If I run after it, it is not love, it is a reward. So I
have negated, I have ended, in that enquiry, slowly, carefully, without distortion,
without illusion, everything that it is not – the other is.
Brockwood Park 1st Public Dialogue 30th August 1977
I believe we are going to have a discussion but I am afraid that word implies
that we are trying to find truth through argument, debate. And with so many
people I am afraid discussion is not possible. Nor is dialogue – dialogue being a
conversion between two people, people who are friendly. And that is also not
possible with so many people. And also we thought of having about ten or twelve
people in front here, have a dialogue with them and those who want to join in
come in also. But that also is not possible. So what shall we do? Shall we have a
question and answer meeting; or a dialogue with two or three people who are
seriously enough concerned with their life, with their surroundings and their
environment, with politics and so on to have a dialogue with those few people,
and those who wish to join in can, so that they are not chosen specially or that
anyone is excluded? So what shall we do?
Q: The latter.
K: Which is, question and answer?
Q: No dialogue.
Q: A few people talking.
K: You want a few people talking? Now, who is going to choose the few
people? If I choose, or if somebody else chooses, you will consider there are our
Q: Let those who wish come forward and be part of the dialogue.
Q: Questions and answers are the simplest.
K: Question and answer: would you like that?
So would you like a question and answer meeting? Or a dialogue between two
or three people? And you choose those two or three people – not the speaker but
Q: Play it by ear.
K: How do you do that?
Can we start off, if I may suggest, with a question and answer meeting, and
then see how that works out. And then out of the questions and answers we will
find who can really have a dialogue, who can exchange, who can say, look, I
don’t understand, what do you mean by that? Let us talk about it much more so
that there is a conversation between the speaker and yourself. Can we try that?
Question and answer first, then a dialogue – that is, a conversation between two
or three people. We will see how this works out.
Just a minute: before you put questions please, we are asking questions
affecting our life, our daily life. How to bring about, or rather, is it possible to bring
about a radical transformation in our daily existence, in our consciousness, a
radical change in our whole way of thinking, looking, observing, acting? That is
what we are concerned with. And if you ask questions, hypothetical questions, or
theoretical questions I am afraid I won’t answer. That is fairly simple and clear.
Please ask questions directly concerning yourself because you are the rest of the
humanity, and if you want to find out how to resolve your problems, how to look at
life as a totally different thing, from that ask questions, then it is worthwhile. But if
you discuss, ask questions which are not actual, factual but theoretical then I am
afraid, at least I won’t be able to answer them.
Q: I see that there is a common thing amongst us all the time. And I can’t see
it, I can’t hear it, but I think there is something. Can you tell us what it is about?
K: What is the problem, sir?
Q: That there is something common amongst all human beings, what is that?
K: We have explained very carefully during these talks, and in the past, that
wherever you go in the world human beings are caught in a trap of sorrow,
misery, confusion, uncertainty, disorder and so on and so on. That is the common
factor of all human beings living on this unfortunate earth.
Q: Do you see that the psychological fear, greed and violence in each one of
us is a direct transformation of the physical violence through the other senses for
profit and food? Or in other words, killing animals is a prime cause of our misery?
K: I haven’t understood. Killing animals…
Q: …for the food and profit.
K: What is the question sir.
Q: Do you think that the psychological fear, greed and violence in each one of
us is a direct transformation of physical violence over the centuries?
K: Oh, I see. Biologists and others have said that in the process of evolution
we are the result of the animal and so on. The animals are violent, therefore we
have inherited that violence. Now what is the question? The question is, whether
human beings can be free of that violence.
Q: That’s right.
K: Are we really concerned about it? And that is a matter of daily occupation
that you really deeply, profoundly seriously – there is an urge to be free of that?
Just a minute sir. That is the question I am asking. If it is, then let’s talk about it.
Otherwise if you say, «Well theoretically I would like to be free but I am going to
kill animals all the same», then it has no meaning.
So what is violence? How does violence arise? And there is not only physical
violence, hitting each other, throwing bombs at each other, killing each other, but
also there are various forms of violence. It is violence when human beings are in
conflict psychologically. That is a form of violence, surely? It is another form of
violence when we imitate, when we conform, when we follow – all those are
indications, like being angry and so on, are a form of violence. Right? So when
we talk about violence we are not only talking about psychological factors of
violence but also the physical actions of violence – hitting each other, throwing
bombs at each other and so on and so on. The terrorists, the totalitarian states
which suppress people – all that is a form of violence. Right?
Now is it possible to be free of that violence, psychologically? Let’s begin
psychologically, not physically. We are saying is it possible? It is only possible,
isn’t it, when you can come face to face with it and deal with it – not have theories,
ideals of non-violence and all the rest of it. Right? That is an escape from the fact.
I want to be free from violence, therefore there must be an awareness of all the
factors of violence, and observe them, not run away from them, not say, «I must
change them», «I must become non-violent». In becoming non-violent you are in
conflict. Right? Because you are violent and you want to become non-violent and
therefore you make an effort and that very effort is a form of violence. Can we go
on from there?
So is it possible to be free of violence and look at the whole issue, the
complex problem of violence, psychologically? Which means, are we imitating,
conforming, adjusting ourselves to a pattern which we or others have established
for us? All those are symptoms of violence, like anger, hatred, jealousy. Now can
we remain with that factor of violence and be aware choicelessly of the whole
structure of violence? Will you do it? Are you doing it now? Are you doing it, sir,
the questioner? Is the questioner, who put that question, is he doing it? Or is it
just a theory about violence? Where there is division between man and man,
woman and man, and so on there must be conflict, which is a form of violence.
Nationalism and so on are a form of violence. Obviously. When there are two
dogmatic beliefs, each trying to convert each other, oppose each other, it is a
form of violence. So are we aware of this factor in our life? And when you
become aware of it what are you going to do? Do you say, «Yes, I am aware of it»
but carry on with violence? Therefore it becomes a very serious matter. If one is
really to be free of violence, to look at it, to live with it, to understand it, to go into
it and see all the multiple forms of violence, totally to be acquainted with it – and
when you are acquainted with something it flowers and then it withers away, you
don’t have to fight it. Will you do it?
Q: Are you saying that we become violent to understand it?
K: We are not saying we become violent – we are violent!
Q: What do you mean by flowering?
K: Sir, look: I am violent. I observe it. Because I don’t run away from it, I don’t
suppress it, I don’t transform it into something else as non-violence, which is
absurd – the transformation of violence in to non-violence is stupidity, it has no
meaning. So as I am violent, I let it come out – not in action. Let it flower, let it
grow, as you watch it, it grows and dies. Haven’t you done all this? That is sir,
when you are angry, at that moment of anger you are not aware, you are full out.
Then a second later you say, «I have been angry». Right? So you have divided
yourself as not being angry and that you have been angry. So there is a division
between the observer who says, «I have been angry, and I must not be angry».
Right? So the division brings about conflict, saying «I mustn’t be angry, how am I
to get rid of my anger» – and so on and so on. Whereas if you are aware of anger
as it arises and let it come out non-verbally, non-actively, not say, «I am going to
hit you» – let it flower, let it come out, and you will see it disappears very quickly
and withers away. And if you do it properly you are never angry again, finished.
Q: Can you do the same thing with fear?
K: Same thing with fear.
Q: Sir, when you say you should observe the totality of yourself, I find that very
hard to do because I can only see what is coming up in the present moment. Now
is that the totality of myself? Or is it the whole feelings, the whole of the mental
K: Sir, now let’s go into that, shall we? Is it possible to be totally aware of the
whole content of one’s consciousness? That is the question, isn’t it? Have I
misunderstood the question?
Q: In one moment.
K: I am coming to that. First I am asking if I am telling you what the questioner
is saying accurately? The questioner is asking whether it is possible to see the
whole of the content of consciousness at one perception and to be totally aware
of the whole thing? Is it possible when you have lived a partial life all the time?
Right? You look at life partially, don’t you? You are a business man, you are a
doctor, you are a politician, you are a scientist, you are an artist, you are a writer,
you are a labourer, a woman and so on. Those are all divided parts, aren’t they?
And our whole conditioning is to look at life in parts. Right? Are you following
this? In parts. Therefore our conditioning is going to prevent seeing the totality,
the whole of consciousness at one instant. So our concern then is not how to
observe the totality of consciousness, but why does the mind, or the brain
observe partially? Why is the brain not capable of observing the total affair? The
brain has been conditioned through millenia to look at life partially. Right? That is
clear, isn’t it? You are all looking at life in fragments. Then my concern is – if I
have a concern about it – our concern then is why does the mind or the brain
observe in fragments? Right? Why?
Q: What do you mean by observing in fragments?
K: Don’t we live that way? In the office I am brutal, ambitious, I want success, I
am ruthless. At home – I come home and say, «Darling, how are you?»
Q: Sir that seems almost optional. Whereas society seems to demand that we
become more specialized.
K: Yes. Society demands that we become more specialized, which is
fragmentation. Society demands it because they need more engineers and so on
and so on. But psychologically we are asking why does the brain function in
fragments? As we were saying, it has been conditioned that way for millenia. Now
is it possible to be free of that conditioning? Not how to look at the totality, but to
be free of the conditioning as a nationalist, Arab, Jew, specialist, doctor and so
on? To take life as a whole. Because there is security in fragments – in
fragmentation both physiologically as well as psychologically, that is obvious, isn’t
it? No? I specialize in becoming a guru – and I find in that specialization a great
deal of security – both physical as well as psychologically. I specialize as a doctor,
as an engineer, as a businessman, as a priest, as a salesman, whatever you like,
in that fragmentation of life, in the fragments there is a great deal of security. And
the brain and all the structure of the brain demands security. So it has found
security in a fragment. Now is there security in a fragment? Follow it up please. Is
there security in division – as a Hindu, as a Muslim, as a Christian, as an Arab, as
a Jew, or in a specialized career? Is there security? That is for you to answer. I
can’t answer. If there is no security, and to find out that there is no security is the
beginning of intelligence, isn’t it? To say there is security in being a Communist or
a Catholic – I am taking those two as an example – if I am a Catholic, in a Catholic
country I feel very safe. Psychologically I believe and all the rest of it. In that
belief, in that conditioning there is security. And in the same way if I am a
Communist, theoretically I believe in certain concepts of society, in the power of
the State and so on and so on, control, and in believing that there is a great deal
So one has to find out if there is security in division. Right? However
profitable, however pleasurable, however comforting, is there security in division,
which is fragmentation? Obviously not. Now to find out that, to find out that there
is no security in fragmentation is the beginning of intelligence. It is only the
unintelligent who accept division and live in that division. Right?
Q: Sir, if we are serious people, can the skill you spoke of…
K: Ah, wait. We haven’t finished this question? This is a very complex
question, it is not just a couple of minutes. We live a fragmentary life. The
essence of fragmentation is the ‘me’. Right? The ‘me’ and the ‘you’, ‘we’ and
‘they’. That is the essence of fragmentation. And we have lived that way, we are
educated that way, we are conditioned to that, because in that there is
tremendous idea or illusion that there is security. Now to be free of that requires a
great deal of observation, living with the idea that I am really functioning in
fragmentation and where there is fragmentation there must be conflict, and
therefore the importance given to the ‘me’. That is all.
So can you, can one be free of the fragmentary way of living daily?
Q: Sir, there seems to be no security in fragmentation, the fragmentation
seems to continue as habit.
K: But it is habit. Now, all right sir. It doesn’t matter if it is habit. All right if it is
habit can you be free of that habit – habit being conditioning? Otherwise we live in
constant battle with each other, however intimate we are with each other,
husband and wife and so on, there must be constant conflict and that is why so
many families break up – you know all the rest of it.
So we are asking: to observe the totality of consciousness is only possible
when there is no fragmentary existence, then you see the whole thing at once.
We are all so used to analysis, which is the continuation of fragmentation.
Q: Sir, doesn’t that mean the whole of the consciousness is nothing?
K: The whole of consciousness first of all is its content, isn’t it? Its content
makes up consciousness – anger, jealousy, hatred, the innumerable hurts we
have, nationalities, beliefs, conclusions, hopes, all that is our consciousness. Is it
possible to be aware of all this, not bit by bit, but totally? And then to go beyond it,
which means to be free of the content and see what happens. But nobody wants
to try that!
Q: It seems impossible.
Q: Would you say to try that without compassion would have no real meaning
in the transformation of mankind?
K: I don’t quite follow.
Q: Well I will try and make it clearer if I can. You spoke on Saturday of three
things: compassion, clarity and skill. You have shown us very clearly how skill
comes into operation from clarity and compassion comes in from…
K: Yes, yes sir.
Q: Now how do we bring in compassion if we haven’t got compassion? If
compassion has not brought us to this tent today then what is the point of being
here? My question to you was this: if we get this consciousness that you have
talked about, if there is no compassion what is the point?
K: If there is no compassion?
Q: If man has no compassion.
K: Quite right sir. There is no point.
Q: It is fundamental that man hasn’t got compassion.
K: Quite right. Man has not got compassion. Why?
Q: That is the question.
K: No, go into it sir. Why as a human being, you or I or another, who is the
essence of all humanity – right sir? – psychologically he is the essence of all
humanity, therefore when you are aware of yourself you are representing the
whole of mankind. And you or another has no compassion – why?
Q: One of the problems is the feeling that our problems are our personal
K: Our problems are not personal, it is universal.
Q: One of the factors that prevents compassion is this feeling that it is my
K: No, we are trying to find out sir why have human beings who are so evolved
technologically to such enormous extent, why have they not got this simple factor
which is so intelligent, why have they not got compassion – why?
Q: Perhaps they are too busy.
K: No, don’t answer it. Find out why you as a human being, living on this earth,
which is meant for all human beings to live happily, why haven’t you compassion?
You – not somebody else.
Q: Sir I am too frightened.
K: Madam, that is too quick an answer, you haven’t gone into it.
Q: Because I am greedy, because I want too much.
Q: You will have compassion when you see yourself…
K: You haven’t even investigated, you haven’t even looked for a couple of
seconds at yourself and asked yourself why you haven’t got compassion. You are
already answering, throwing out words. That may be your defence. Why have
you, with all your experiences, with all your knowledge, with all the civilization that
you have behind you of which you are the result, why doesn’t this thing exist in
your daily life?
Q: Because of self preservation?
K: Is it a question of self preservation? To find out why you haven’t got it, why
it doesn’t exist in the human heart and mind and outlook, don’t you ask also the
question: do you love anybody?
Q: That is a mean question, I mean for me. I wonder sir what love is all about.
K: I am asking you sir, please sir. I am asking you most respectfully, whether
you love anybody at all? You may love your dog but the dog is your slave. Apart
from animals and buildings and books and poetry and the love of the land, do you
love anybody – which means not asking anything in return? Right?
K: Just listen sir. Find out! Not asking anything from that person you love, not
dependent on that person at all. Because if you are dependent then fear begins,
jealousy, anxiety, hatred, anger. And if you are attached to somebody is that
love? Find out! And if all that is not love – I am just asking, I don’t say it is, or it is
not – if all that is not love then how can you have compassion? We are asking for
something much more than love. And even love we haven’t got – just the ordinary
love for another human being.
So what shall we do? We can go on discussing, answering this question,
umpteen times, but if you, the listener, don’t listen, take it in, find out, then it
becomes utterly meaningless to have a dialogue, or a discussion, or a question
and answer meeting when you are not actively participating in the enquiry.
Q: How do you find that love?
K: I don’t want to find that love. All that I want to do is to remove that which is
not love, to be free of jealousy, attachment.
Q: That means we should have no fragmentation.
K: Sir that is just theory. You see you are going back again to theory. Find out
if you love somebody.
K: You haven’t listened madam, you haven’t listened to what the speaker has
been saying. How can you love when you are concerned about yourself? Right?
Your problems, your ambitions, your desire for success, your desire for all the
rest of it. You first and the other second; or the other first and you second. It is the
Q: I would like to know whether it is possible to look at a feeling without
bringing in thought.
K: We haven’t finished this question madam.
Now you see we have asked so many questions, now how can we have a
dialogue about this, two people – you understand? Two or three people, sitting
round here, all of you can sit on this platform with me, if you want to discuss,
have a dialogue. Can we do that now? Two of you, or half a dozen of you sit here
together and say, «Look, let’s go into this. Why am I, I understand this verbally,
that love cannot exist when there is jealousy, love cannot exist when there is
attachment, now is it possible for me to be free of attachment?» That is a dialogue
– then I will have a dialogue with myself, shall I, and you listen?
Q: From the moment of conception up to the moment of being brought up,
trained, people are selfish and they never learn to give. From the mother’s womb
up to being thrown into the world…
K: We are saying that sir. I will have a conversation with myself, a dialogue
I realize by listening to this that I don’t love. That is a fact. I am not going to
deceive myself. I am not going to pretend to my wife that I love her, or to the
woman or the girl, or boy. Now first of all I don’t know what love is. But I do know
that I am jealous, I do know that I am terribly attached to her. And in that
attachment there is fear, there is jealousy, there is anxiety, there is a sense of
dependency, I don’t like to depend but I depend because I am lonely and I’m
shoved around by society, in the office, in the factory and I come home and I
want to feel comfort, companionship, escape from myself. So I am dependent,
attached to that person. Now how am I – I am asking myself – how am I to be free
of this attachment, not knowing what love is, I won’t pretend – love of god, love of
Jesus, love of Krishna, all that nonsense, throw it all out – if I have thrown it all
out. So I am saying: how am I to be free of this attachment? I am taking that just
as an example.
First of all I won’t run away from it. Right? I don’t know how it is going to end
up with my wife. You understand? When I am really detached from her my
relationship may change to her. She might be attached to me and I might not be
attached to her or to any other woman. Please, you understand? It isn’t that I
want to be detached from her and join another woman. That is silly. I am having a
dialogue with myself. So what shall I do? I won’t run away from the consequence
of being totally free of all attachment. I am going to investigate. I don’t know what
love is, but I see very clearly, definitely, without any doubt, that attachment to that
person means fear, anxiety, jealousy, possession, all the rest of it. So I ask
myself, how am I to be free of attachment? Not the method, I want the freedom
from it. I don’t know. I really don’t know.
So I begin to enquire. Then I get caught in a system. You understand? You
are following this? I get caught in some guru who says, «I will help you to be
detached, do this, this, this. Practise this, this». And I want to be free from it and I
accept what the silly man says because I see the importance of being free, and
he promises me that if I do this I will have a reward. So I want to be free in order
to have a reward. You understand? I am looking for a reward. So I say, how silly I
am. I want to be free and I get attached to the reward. You are following all this?
Good! At last! I think I had better have a dialogue all the time with myself!
So I represent the rest of humanity – and I really mean it – therefore if I am
having a dialogue with myself I am in tears – you understand? Not like you,
smiling. It is a passion for me.
So I don’t want to be attached and yet I find myself getting attached to an idea.
You understand? That is, I must be free and somebody, or some book, or some
idea, something says «Do this and you will have that.» So the reward becomes my
attachment – you follow? So I say, «Look what I have done. Be careful, don’t get
caught in that trap.» Whether it is a woman or an idea it is still attachment. So I
am very watchful now. I have learned something. That is, exchange for
something else is still attachment – right? So I am very watchful. Then I say to
myself, is there a way, or what am I to do to be free of attachment? What is my
motive? Why do I want to be free from attachment? Because it is painful?
Because I want to achieve a state where there is no attachment, no fear, no
etc.etc? What is my motive? Please follow me because I am representing you.
What is my motive in wanting to be free? And I suddenly realize a motive gives a
direction. Right? And that direction will dictate my freedom. Are you following
this? So why do I have a motive? What is motive? A motive is a movement, a
hope, or to achieve something. So the motive is my attachment. I wonder if you
are following all this. Do it sir as we are talking. The motive has become my
attachment, not only the woman, the idea of a goal, but my motive; I must have
that. So I am all the time functioning within the field of attachment. Right? The
woman, the future and the motive – to all this I am attached. So I say «Oh, my
god, it is a tremendously complex thing. I didn’t realize that to be free of
attachment implies all this.» Right?
Now, I see this as clearly as I see on a map the roads, the villages, the side
roads, the main roads, very clearly. Then I say to myself: «Now, is it possible for
me to be free of my motive, to which I am attached, to be free of the woman for
whom I have great attachment, and also the reward which I am going to get when
I am free?» To all this I am attached. Why? Is it that I am insufficient in myself? Is
it that I am very, very lonely, therefore escape from that feeling of that
extraordinary sense of isolation and therefore cling to something, man, woman,
idea, motive? Hold on to something. Now is it I am lonely? I am taking that. Is it I
am lonely? Therefore I am escaping from that feeling of extraordinary isolation,
through attachment of another. Right? So I am not interested in attachment at all.
I am interested in understanding why I am lonely, which makes me attached. You
have understood? You are following me – my dialogue with myself? Which is: I
am lonely, and that loneliness has forced me to escape through attachment to
this or to that. Now I say as long as I am lonely, all the sequence is this. So I must
investigate why I am lonely. What does it mean? Right? What does it mean to be
lonely? How does it come about? Is it instinctual, inbred, heredity, or is it my daily
activity that is bringing about this loneliness? You understand? I am going into it. I
am having a dialogue with myself.
If it is inherited, if it is an instinct, which I question because I accept nothing –
you understand? – I accept nothing because I don’t accept it is instinct and say «I
can’t help it». If it is heredity, I am not to blame. As I don’t accept any of these
things I say, «Why is there this loneliness?» Now I question it and remain with the
question, not try to find an answer. I wonder if you understand this? Is somebody
following all this? I have asked myself what is the root of this loneliness; and I am
watching, I am not trying to find an intellectual answer; I am not trying to tell the
loneliness what it should do, or what it is. I am watching it for it to tell me. I
wonder if you understand this? Are we going along together somewhat?
So there is a watchfulness for the loneliness to reveal itself. It won’t reveal if I
run away, if I am frightened, if I resist it. So I watch it. I watch it so that no thought
interferes because this is much more important than thought coming in, because
my whole energy is concerned with the observation of that loneliness therefore
thought doesn’t come in at all. Are you following this? Because the mind is being
challenged and it must answer. And when you are challenged it is a crisis. And in
a crisis you have got all the energy, and that energy remains without being
interfered with. I wonder if you follow all this? Because this is a challenge which
must be answered.
Q: How can we hang on to that energy? How can we do something about this
K: It has come. You have lost the whole thing.
Look: I have started out having a dialogue with myself. I said what is this
strange thing called love. Everybody talks about it, writes about it: romantic
poems, pictures and all the rest of it, sex and whole areas of it. And I say have I
got this thing called love? Is there such a thing as love? I see love doesn’t exist
when there is jealousy, hatred, fear. So I am not concerned with love any more; I
am concerned with ‘what is’, which is: my fear, attachment. And why am I
attached? I say maybe one of the reasons is – one of the reason, I don’t say that
is the whole reason – one of the reasons is that I am lonely, desperately isolated.
The older I grow the more isolation. So I watch it. This is a challenge to find out,
because it is a challenge all energy is there to respond. That is simple, isn’t it?
When there is death in the family, it is a challenge. If there is some catastrophe,
an accident or whatever it is, it is a challenge and you have the energy to meet it.
You don’t say, «Where do you get this energy?» When your house is on fire you
have the energy to move. You have extraordinary energy. You don’t sit back and
say, «Well I must get this energy» and then wait. And the whole house will be
So there is this tremendous energy to answer this question: why is there this
loneliness? Because I have rejected other ideas – you follow? – suppositions,
theories, that I have inherited it, it is instinct. All that means nothing to me. It is
‘what is’. So why am I lonely – not I – why is there this loneliness which every
human being, if he is at all aware, goes through, superficially or most profoundly?
And why? Why does this come into being? Is it the mind is doing something
which is bringing it? You understand? If I have rejected theories, instinct,
inheritance, I have rejected all that; therefore I am asking does the mind bring this
about? You understand my question sir, or are you getting tired?
Is the mind doing this? Loneliness means total isolation. Right? So I say, is the
mind, the brain doing this? The mind which is partly the movement of thought, is
thought doing this? You are following all this? Thought in daily life, is it creating,
bringing about this sense of isolation? You understand? Which is, in the office I
am isolating myself because I want to become bigger, become the executive, or
the pope or the bishop – you know. Therefore it is working all the time isolating
itself. Are you watching this? You understand sir?
Q: I think it isolates itself in relation to how crowded it is.
Q: As a reaction.
K: Yes, that is right, sir, that is right. I want to go into this. So I see thought, the
mind, is all the time operating to make itself superior, more, working itself to this
isolation, towards this isolation. Right? Clear?
So the problem then is: why does thought do this? Is it the nature of thought to
work for itself? You understand what I mean? Is it the nature of thought to create
this isolation? Does society create this isolation? Does education create this
isolation? Right? Education does bring about this isolation – it gives me a certain
career, a certain specialization, so it is isolation. You follow? So thought, being
fragmentary, because I have found that – I have found that thought, which is the
response of the past as knowledge, experience and memory, so thought is
limited. Right? Thought is time-binding. So thought is doing this. So my concern
then is why does thought do it? Is it in its very nature to do this?
I came here for a discussion – wait sir – I came here for a discussion, dialogue.
Now I am having a dialogue by myself. Too bad! I’ll go on because look what it is
leading me up to – leading.
Q: This is the fourth time I have stood up to say something and you are saying
that you are having a dialogue by yourself. This is silly!
K: But sir are you telling me – please sir, are you having a dialogue with me?
Q: Well I have something to say which I thought related to what you were
K: Are you having a dialogue with me?
Q: I don’t know.
K: We said sir, please, we said that a dialogue implies conversation between
two people. Are you and I conversing together about the same thing?
Q: Well we can’t be because every time I have something to say…
K: I am asking you sir, not the others, I am asking you are we having a
dialogue between you and me about this thing? Which is: why does thought
create this isolation, if it does?
Q: I want to do that. Because I thought that it came back to the beginning
when you were talking about what is love. If there is a moral obligation to love a
person at all costs, as there is in my family, it is an affectation. And affectation as
love is nobody showing their true feelings, people are masking their violence by
politeness which they call love. Therefore what is really inside is being hidden all
the time and therefore thought must be deceptive, must lead to isolation because
nobody knows what anybody else is feeling because of all the pretence.
K: We have been through that sir. We are coming to the point when we are not
pretending. I don’t know what love is. We said in the dialogue that we don’t know
what love is. I know when we use that word ‘love’ there is a certain pretence, a
certain hypocrisy, putting on a certain type of mask. We have been through all
that. At the beginning of this dialogue we went into all that. So we come to the
point now: why does thought, being a fragment, why does it bring about this
isolation, if it does? I have found it does in my conversation with myself because
thought is limited, thought is time-binding, therefore whatever it does must be
limited. And in that limitation it has found security. It has found security in saying,
«I have a special career in my life». It has found security in saying, «I am a
professor. There I am perfectly safe. After seven years.» – and there you are stuck
for the rest of your life. And there is great security both psychologically as well as
So thought is doing this. Now the problem then is: can thought realize – please
listen to this – can thought realize that it is limited and therefore the moment it
understands that whatever it does is limited and therefore fragmentary and
therefore isolating, whatever it does will be this. Therefore can thought – please I
am having a dialogue, this is a very important point – can thought realize its own
limitations? Or does thought say to itself, I am limited. You understand the
difference? Are you all asleep? Thought being me – do I say, thought is limited
and therefore it says, «I am limited». Or thought itself realizes I am limited. The
two things are entirely different. One is an imposition, and therefore conflict,
whereas when thought itself says «I am limited» it won’t move away from that
limitation. Please this is very important to understand because this is the real
essence of this thing. We are imposing on thought what it should do. Thought has
created the ‘we’, the ‘me’, and thought and the ‘me’ have separated itself from
thought and says, I will dictate, tell what thought should do. But if thought realizes
itself that it is limited then there is no resistance, no conflict, it says «I am that. I
So does thought – in my dialogue with myself, I am asking – does thought
realize this itself? Or am I telling it that it is limited? If I am telling it that it is limited
then I become separate from the limitations. Then I struggle to overcome the
limitation, therefore there is conflict, which is violence, which is not love. Are you
So does thought realize itself that it is limited? I have to find out. I am being
challenged. I have got energy now, because I am challenged I have got all
energy. Does consciousness – put it differently – does consciousness realize its
content? Does consciousness realize its content is itself? Or I have heard another
say, «Consciousness is its content, its content makes up consciousness»?
Therefore you say, «Yes it is so» – you follow? Or does consciousness, my
consciousness, this consciousness realize its content and therefore its very
content is the totality of my consciousness? Right? Do you see the difference in
the two? The one imposed by me, the ‘me’ created by thought, then if I impose
something on thought then there is conflict. Right? It is like a tyrannical
government imposing on someone, but the government is what I have created.
So we are asking: has thought realized its own littleness, its own pettiness, its
own limitations; or is it pretending to be something extraordinary, noble? – you
know, all the rest of it – divine? – which is nonsense because thought is memory,
experience, remembrance. So I must, in my dialogue there must be clarity about
this point: that there is no outside influence imposing on thought saying it is
limited. So thought then because there is no imposition – you understand – there
is no conflict, therefore it realizes it is limited. Therefore whatever it does – its
worship of god, its worship of Jesus, its worship is limited, shoddy, petty, though it
has created marvellous cathedrals throughout Europe.
So there has been in my conversation with myself a discovery that loneliness
is created by thought. And thought has now realized itself that it is limited, so it
cannot solve the problem of loneliness. You understand? As it cannot solve the
problem of loneliness does loneliness exist? You understand my question?
Thought has made this sense of loneliness. Right? And thought realizes that it is
limited and because it is limited, fragmentary, divided, it has created this, this
emptiness, loneliness, therefore when it realizes this, loneliness is not. I wonder if
you see this? Right?
So therefore there is freedom from attachment. I have done nothing. You
understand? I have watched it, the attachment, what is implied in attachment,
greed, fear, loneliness, all that, and by tracing it, looking at it, observing it, not
analysing it, examining, but just looking, looking, looking, and there is a discovery
that thought has done all this. Right? Thought because it is fragmentary it has
created this attachment. So when it realizes, attachment ceases. I wonder if you
see this? There is no effort made at all, because the moment there is effort it is
back again. You understand?
So we have said if there is love there is no attachment; if there is attachment
there is no love. So there has been the removal of the major factor through
negation of what it is not, which is, love is not attachment. You know what it
means in your daily life – no remembrance of anything, my wife, my girl-friend, or
my neighbour told me, no remembrance of any hurt, no image about her because
I am attached to the image, not to her. I am attached to the image thought has
created about her. She has hurt me, she has bullied me, she has given me
comfort – I have had a pleasant time sexually, ten different things which are all the
movement of thought, which has created the image, and it is the image I am
attached to. So attachment has gone.
But there are other factors: fear, pleasure, comfort in that person, or in that
idea. Now must I get through all these step by step, one by one, or all over? You
understand my question? Must I go through, must I investigate as I have
investigated attachment, fear? Must I investigate the desire for comfort? Must I
observe why I seek comfort? Is it because I am insufficient, I want comfort, I want
a comfortable chair therefore I want a comfortable woman – or a man, or
whatever it is, a comfortable idea? I think most of us do. To have a comfortable,
secure idea which can never be shaken, and to which I am deadly attached, and
so anybody who says, nonsense to that I get angry, I get jealous, I get upset
because he is shaking my house. So I say I don’t have to go through all the
investigation of all these various factors: I see it at one glance, I have captured it.
You understand now?
So through negation of what is not love the other thing is. I don’t have to ask
what is love. I don’t have to run after it. If I run after it, it is not love, it is a reward.
So I have ended in that enquiry, slowly, carefully, without distortion, without
illusion, I have negated everything that it is not – the other is.
Now, I have had a good dialogue with myself.
Q: May I ask a question? Maybe I didn’t get it. Would you say that loneliness is
created by experiencing loneliness?
K: I have explained all this Madam. Not that I have explained, I have had a
dialogue with myself. If you have listened to it then you have got it.