J. KRISHNAMURTI MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN NEW DELHI 1ST PUBLIC TALK 30TH OCTOBER, 1982 ‘THE ROOT CAUSE OF CONFUSION’

MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN NEW
DELHI 1ST PUBLIC TALK 30TH OCTOBER,
1982 ‘THE ROOT CAUSE OF CONFUSION’

This is not a lecture, but rather a conversation between two people,
between you and the speaker, not on a particular subject,
instructing and shaping your thought or opinions. We are two
friends sitting in a park on a bench, talking over together our
problems, friends who are concerned deeply with what is going on
in the world, with the confusion, the chaos that exists throughout
the world. I wonder if you have a friend with whom you talk, to
whom you expose your own feelings, your concepts, your ideas,
disillusionment, and so on. We are going to talk over together in
that manner – exploring, enquiring, without any bias, in great
friendship, which means, with great affection, respecting each
other, without having some kind of hidden thought, hidden
motives.
First, let us look at what is happening around us, outwardly,
without any bias, not as an Indian, not as a German, Englishman,
American or Russian. We are human beings, whatever country we
belong to. One observes countries going through a great deal of
confusion, great uncertainty; there is chaos. People have no
direction. But, unfortunately, we are conditioned, we are confused,
uncertain, insecure, and we try to find a solution in the past, go
back to our own traditions. This is what is happening throughout
the world. There are the fundamentalists who accept the Bible as
their authority, the fundamentalists of Islam who look to the Koran.
There are the fundamentalists who look to Marx. So, when we are uncertain, confused, greatly disturbed, we look to the past, to some
kind of authority, some kind of book, to find a direction. Now, in
this country, as you observe, there are too many books, too many
labels. So, here tradition is uncertain. You have all the leaders, all
the gurus, but all the so-called saints have not helped mankind.
What is the root cause of all this confusion? When one can find
the cause, then one can end it. A cause has an end. We are asking
what is the cause or what are the causes of this confusion, this lack
of integrity, this sense of desperate degeneration. What is the root
of all this? Most of us play with symptoms. We say it is due to
overpopulation, bad government. Throughout the world it is the
same – lack of leadership, lack of morality. These are all
symptoms. One never asks what is the cause of all this. When we
begin to enquire into the cause, each one of us will give different
opinions. The more learned we are, the greater is the assertion of
the cause or causes. But we are not very learned people. We are
ordinary people, we are laymen, we are not very bright, very
intelligent. But we are caught in this great turmoil that exists in the
world and here in this country. Every nation, every group, is
preparing for war. All countries, especially the industrial countries,
are supplying armaments to the rest of the world. Nobody asks,
`Why do we have to have wars, why do we have to kill each other,
murder each other?’ They are talking about stopping nuclear wars,
but not ending all wars. Why have human beings reduced
themselves to this condition? This is very important to ask. Why do
we have to kill other people? Is it for your nation, for your
particular group? We have accepted the idea of war as a historical
process and it has become a reality. But the root of it is, we live in an illusion, illusion that our country must be protected. What is
your country? What are you protecting – your house, your home,
your ideas, your bank account? The whole world is degenerating,
going to pieces, and we are not enquiring into fundamental causes.
Now, what is the cause? Is it that you have so far looked to
political leaders, religious leaders, economic leaders with their
particular ideas, with their particular systems, to help you, so that
you are always depending on others to guide you, to tell you what
to do? Is that the root cause of this, or do you blame the
environment? The environment is the government having no
proper leader, no righteous guru. That is the environment –
something outside of you. Is that the cause of this, which means
that you have relied entirely on authority – the authority of
tradition, authority of books, authority of leaders, gurus, and so on?
When you depend, you gradually become weak, you become
feeble. You are incapable of thinking clearly. This is a fact.
Newspapers tell you what to think. All the meetings, the discourses
that you attend, instruct. So the lack of self-reliance, the lack of a
sense of responsibility for oneself – that may be the root cause of
all this confusion. We have become irresponsible because we
depend.
Is it possible to be a light to oneself and not depend on a single
person? You have to depend on the milkman, on the postman, on
the policeman who keeps order at the crossroad. You depend on a
surgeon, on a doctor. But inwardly, psychologically, one doesn’t
have to depend to think clearly for oneself, to observe one’s own
reactions and responses, if one can be completely a light to oneself.
Do you understand what that means – to be a light to oneself? It is not self-confidence, not self-reliance. Self-confidence is part of
selfishness. It is part of egotism. But to be a light to oneself
requires great freedom, a very clear brain, not a conditioned brain.
But to have an active brain, to challenge, to question, to doubt, that
means to have energy. But when you depend on others, you lose
energy.
So, let us proceed from that. Is your mind, your brain,
conditioned? Do you understand that word `conditioned’? From the
moment we are born, the brain is being conditioned, shaped by
tradition, by religion, by the literature you read, by the newspapers,
by parents. the brain has lived for millions of years. It has had great
many experiences. It has faced wars, sorrow, pleasure, pain, agony,
great disturbances. And it is conditioned as a Hindu, as a Sikh, as a
Muslim, as a Christian. Why is it conditioned? We are enquiring
seriously whether your brain which is conditioned – if you are
aware of it – can that conditioning be resolved? Do we see actually
that we are conditioned? Do both of us agree to this at least? If you
are conditioned, it means your being becomes mechanical – you
repeat that you are a Hindu, you are a Muslim, you are a Marxist,
and so on. Your brain becomes mechanical, repeating the same
thing over and over again. So, first, do we, two of us, talking
together as friends, realize actually that our brains are conditioned?
Then we ask whether it is possible to free the brain from being a
Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, a Marxist. We are human beings, not
labels. But labels count a great deal. That is what is going on.
Where there is conditioning, there is no freedom. There cannot
be love, there cannot be affection. It is imperative, absolutely
essential for the future of humanity that we are concerned with the brain which is conditioned. If one is aware of that, then we can
proceed to ask whether it is possible to free the brain. The
relationship between the brain and the mind can come, is
understood, when the brain is completely free. Then the brain is the
mind. We will go into that later as we go along.
We are conditioned, and we are asking whether it is possible to
be free. Don’t say it is or it is not, because that will be absurd;
whereas if you are enquiring, then you are learning through
investigation. Where do you begin to enquire whether it is possible
to free the brain from its conditioning, to enquire whether it is
possible not to be a Hindu or a Muslim or a Sikh, but a human
being with all the travails of humanity, the anxieties, the
uncertainties, the depth of sorrow and pain? Do you begin to
enquire from the outside or do you begin to enquire from inside?
That is, is the outside world different from the world in which we
live inside? Do you understand that question? The society, the
morals, the outward world – is that different from you or have you
created it? Please look at this: The world is you and you are the
world. It is very important to understand this. In our disorder, in
our confusion, in our desire for security, we have created a world
outside of us as society, which is corrupt, immoral, confused,
everlastingly at war, because we in ourselves are confused, we are
in conflict.
So where do you begin, knowing that you have created this
world? You have to begin with yourself, not with the alteration of
the system, of the outer world. It means, not looking for a new
leader, new system, new philosophy, new gurus, but looking at
yourself as you are. Can you observe yourself as you would observe your face in a mirror? Can you observe your reactions,
your responses, because your reactions and your responses are
what you are. So let us begin to enquire there.
Life is a process of relationship. There is no life without
relationship. This is a fact. You may be a hermit, you may be a
monk, you may withdraw from all society, but you are related. As
a human being, you cannot escape from being related. You are
related to your wife, to your husband, to your children, you are
related to your government, you are related to the hermit who
withdraws because you feed him, and he is related to his ideas. So
relationship is the basis of human existence. Without relationship
there is no existence. You are either related to the past, which is, to
all the tradition, to all the memories, to the monks, or you are
related to some future ideation. So relationship is the most
important thing in life. Do you see the truth of that, not verbally,
not intellectually, but actually with your heart and mind?
We are enquiring what is your relationship with another,
however intimate or not. Is it that you are from childhood hurt,
wounded psychologically, and therefore, from that hurt. from that
psychological wound, you bring about violence? The consequence
of being hurt, inwardly wounded, is that you enclose yourself more
and more in order not to be hurt. And your relationship with
another then becomes very narrow, limited. We must first enquire
whether it is possible to find out if you can never be hurt. What is
the root of being hurt? What is the cause? When I say I am hurt,
my pride is hurt, what does that mean? My teacher has hurt me, my
parents have hurt me. We are all hurt. We are all wounded by an
accident, by a word, by a look, by a gesture. So what is it that is hurt? You say I am hurt. What is that `I’ which is being hurt? Is it
not an image that you have built about yourself?
We are asking a very serious question: What is it that is hurt?
The brain has the capacity to create images. The images are the
illusions. We have illusions, war is an illusion; we accept it. You
accept killing another human being, another life, as part of the
image which you have. You have many, many images. And one of
the images is, I am being hurt. We are enquiring what is the entity
that is being hurt. The entity is the image that I have built about
myself. I think I am a great man and you come along and tell me,
`Don’t be an idiot.’ I get hurt. Where there is comparison, there is
hurt. When I compare myself with somebody who is more clever,
more bright, more intelligent, that is, when there is measurement,
there must be hurt. So please enquire whether you can live without
comparison, without measurement. We are always comparing
ourselves with someone. It begins at the school when the boy is
told that he must be as good as his brother. That is comparison, that
is measurement, and that process continues throughout life.
So, is it possible to live without comparison, without
measurement? This is a tremendously complicated question.
Because, the word `better’ is measurement. The word `more’ is
measurement. Self-improvement is measurement. Find out whether
it is possible to live without measurement, which means, to live
without comparison. Part of meditation is to enquire into not
becoming; becoming is measurement. Is it possible in our
relationship with each other, however intimate it is, not to have
measurement? That means your brain must be active in your
relationship; it must enquire into your relationship, whether in that relationship there is hurt and that hurt brings about greater fear,
greater enclosure within oneself, and therefore isolation. And as
long as there is isolation, either outwardly or inwardly, there must
be conflict.
We are saying the brain has been conditioned to isolation as a
Hindu, as a Buddhist, and so on. To enquire into this question.
whether the brain can resolve its own conditioning, we must
enquire into relationship. What is your relationship with another,
with your wife, with your husband, with your children? Begin
there, near at home, not far away. You know, sirs, to go very far
you must begin very, very near. To go very far you must put your
house in order. Can you be aware, alert, so that you are watching
your relationship and are learning from that awareness how you
respond, what your reactions are? That is life, that is everyday life.
That requires constant attention to every reaction, to every thought.
But most of us are so lazy. We have become lazy because we are
dependent on others.
We have, as two friends, gone into the question of relationship,
and we will enquire further into the nature of that relationship. Is
the human brain your brain, or is it the brain of mankind? This is
really a very serious question. Is your brain an individual brain or
the brain of humanity? When you say it is my brain, when you say
it is my consciousness, is it so? Or is it the consciousness of
mankind? Enquire into it. You suffer, you are uncertain, you are
anxious, you are in agony, pain. That is what you are. You have
belief, knowledge, character, and that is what you are. And that is
exactly what your neighbour is. He is suffering, he goes through
agony, sorrow, pain, trouble. So, is your consciousness separate from the rest of mankind? No, of course not. If you admit that, if
you see the truth of that, then are you an individual? You may
think you are an individual because you are dark, you are short,
because peripheral activity makes you think you are an individual,
but deeply, are you not the rest of mankind? When you realize that,
the truth of that, you will never kill another, because you are killing
yourself. Then out of that comes great compassion, love.
Audience: What is an impersonal action?
Krishnamurti: What is an impersonal action? First of all, what is
action? What do you mean by that word `action’? Either you act
according to a pattern, or act according to some idea, act according
to your experience which is the past, or act according to some ideal
which is in the future, or act according to your knowledge which is
the past, or act according to convenience. So what do you mean by
that word? The word means acting, not having acted, or will act.
But action means acting in the present. Whether that action is
correct, true, actual, depends on the quality of your brain, of your
heart, not just theory. So, sirs, enquire into what is action. We are
all acting from morning till night. You are sitting there and the
speaker is sitting here. And you listen and he is speaking – that is
an action. If you listen, that is action, or if you don’t listen, that is
an action. How you listen is an action.
What do you mean by impersonal? You see we have concepts.
What do you mean by person – word, name, form? Are you an
individual to call yourself personal and then ask, `Can I be
impersonal?’ Are you an individual? You all think you are
individuals. Your whole tradition, religions, tell you that you are an
individual. Are you? Are you not the result of centuries of human endeavour? You don’t want to question all those things. You are
afraid. If you are not an individual, what would happen to you?
Individuality is a form of isolation and, therefore, we are all at each
other’s throat all our life. We have no love for each other. We talk
about love of god, but we do not love each other. And besides, god
is the invention of man. I know you all believe in god, but you
have invented that entity. If god does exist, and if he has created
us, what a miserable god he must be. You don’t want to look at it
that way. You worship an illusion and you like the illusion and
think that in illusion there is security. And you are finding out there
is no security in illusion. Your god has betrayed you and yet you
worship him – the Christian god, the Hindu god, the Muslim god. It
is all so absurd and childish.
So, let us find out for ourselves if we can be a light to ourselves,
not depend on anyone psychologically, inwardly, not depend on
your wife, your husband, or your guru, or a book, but live a life,
free, full of vitality, energy, so that your brain is acting, not
mechanical. Our brains have become now a form of computer.
Please do enquire into a different way of living.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN NEW
DELHI 2ND PUBLIC TALK 31ST OCTOBER,
1982 ‘CONFLICT, DUALITY AND
OBSERVATION’

We are going to talk over together this evening many things. One
does not listen to another actually. If you do listen, there is always
a defence, there is always a resistance to anything that is said, to
something new. There is an immediate reaction to resist because it
might be disturbing. So, there is an art of listening: to listen to what
is being said, not interpret what is being said to suit your own
convenience, to your own traditional language, but to listen to the
word, the meaning of that word, to see that we understand each
other. To listen, one has to have not only a certain quality of
attention but also a sense of affection, a sense of trying to
understand what the other fellow is saying. Communication is
possible at depth only when both of us are concerned about the
same subject, about the same ideas, or concerned about a certain
thing. Then we are both in communication with each other. But if
you resist, as perhaps you are going to resist a great deal of what
the speaker is going to say, then communication is not possible.
One has to learn the art of listening. When you listen to music
which you like, there is no resistance. You go with it, you shake
your head, you clap your hands, you do all kinds of things to
express your appreciation, your understanding of the quality of the
music, and so on. There is no form of defence, no form of
resistance; you are going with it; you are flowing with it. In the
same way, kindly listen, not to be instructed, not to be told what to do, but to understand what is being said.
So, please learn the art of listening, not to the speaker only, but
to your wife, to your husband, to your children, to the birds, to the
wind, to the breeze, so that you become extraordinarily sensitive in
listening. When you listen, you catch up quickly, you don’t have to
have a lot of explanations, analyses and descriptions; you are
flowing with each other. We are talking together as two friends
sitting in a park, or in a wood, quiet, birds are singing, there’s
plenty of light coming through the leaves on the floor and there is a
sense of appreciation of beauty. When you so listen, the miracle
takes place. When you so listen, it is like sowing a seed. If the seed
is vital, strong, healthy, and the ground is properly prepared, it
inevitably grows. So one has to learn the art of listening. If you
listen very, very carefully, you capture it so quickly, the meaning
of what the other is saying. Perhaps many of you have listened to
the speaker for a number of years, unfortunately; and you get used
to it; you get used to his language, his gesture, how he looks and so
on, and you gradually slip off. And you say, `Why haven’t I, after
years of listening to this man, changed?’ It is because you have
actually not listened with your heart, with your mind, with your
whole energy. So, don’t blame the speaker, but rather learn, if one
may suggest most respectfully, the way of listening. There is great
beauty in listening to a bird, to the wind among the leaves, and to a
word that is spoken with depth, with meaning, with passion.
We were saying yesterday that the future of man is at stake, and
that man has no existence in isolation – isolation as a nation,
isolation as a group, isolation in religion, isolation as an individual
and isolation in consciousness. For most of us thinking is individual. You think there is a difference, a division – your
opinion against my opinion, my thought against your thought, or
your husband’s thought, or your wife’s thought. But thinking is not
individual. Thinking is the ordinary factor from the poorest,
ignorant man to the great Nobel prize winner, the scientist. They
are both thinkers. But we have the idea that your thinking is yours,
whereas thinking is the nature of man. Be clear on this point. When
you think, it is not your individual thinking, it is the capacity of
your brain to be active and respond in words, in form, and that is
the nature of man. But we have reduced thinking to my thinking as
opposed to your thinking. Most of us have got strong opinions,
bias, conclusions. We have experienced so much and we think it is
our experience, our conclusion. When a new outlook is put before
you, you refuse to look. But thinking is the nature of man.
Can we go on from that? When you observe what is going on in
the world outside of you, you see that each country is isolating
itself, each group is isolating itself – the Muslim, the Hindu, the
Buddhist, the Tibetan, the Russian, the American, and so on, This
factor of isolation is destroying the world, is separating humanity
This is an actual fact that is taking place in the world. Then,
inwardly, each of us think we are separate. Tradition, religion, all
that has conditioned our thinking that we are separate human
beings. We are separate in the sense you are a woman and I am a
man, tall, short, white, black, and so on. But we are talking at
depth; that is, human consciousness is general, is shared by all
human beings. All human beings suffer, go through great agonies,
shed tears, have the sense of loneliness, pain, anxiety, depression,
uncertainty. The poorest and the most sophisticated, erudite human beings – all have this general factor. They all share this. This is so.
So, our consciousness is not yours or mine. It is the consciousness
of all human beings. It is very difficult for most people to see the
reality of this, because we have been so conditioned. For
Christianity, you are a separate soul. Here, among the Hindus, you
reincarnate over and over again till you reach, god knows what. It
is still the emphasis that you are a separate individual. Is that so?
We are questioning. We have to find out, doubt, ask, which means
you are listening without any defence, without any resistance to
this truth. We are using the word correctly; it is the truth. You may,
at the periphery, on the outside, have certain mannerisms, certain
habits, certain tendencies, capacities, but if you move from the
outer to the inner, we all share the same common issues. Unless we
realize this, not verbally, not intellectually, but in our hearts, in our
minds, in our blood, we are going to destroy each other.
We are capable of listening to the actual fact that our
consciousness is its content; our consciousness is made up of its
content. Isn’t it? Look, a great many books have been written about
consciousness. There are specialists about consciousness;
conferences about consciousness are held all over the world. One
has to enquire into the nature of one’s own consciousness, observe
the content, because without the content there is no consciousness.
Are you following all this? Consciousness is made up of one’s
beliefs, one’s tendencies, one’s secret desires, anxieties, loneliness,
and so on. There is the content which makes up consciousness.
Without the content, there is no consciousness as we know it. If
you observe your own consciousness, that is what you are; your
consciousness is what you are. Your fears, your desires, your pleasures, your loneliness, depression, anxiety and all that, that is
what you are, what you believe.
So the content makes the consciousness and that consciousness
is conditioned. Since it is conditioned, it must be in conflict. Aren’t
you all in conflict of some kind or other, conflict being dissension
between two people, conflict with oneself, what is and what should
be? That is conflict. All human beings apparently are violent. The
content of our consciousness is part of that violence. Conflict arises
when there is duality. That is, I am violent, I should not be violent.
Or I have the ideal of non-violence or of practising non-violence,
but the fact is you are violent. That is a fact. The other is not a fact.
We must go into this very carefully because we are trying to
understand why human beings live perpetually in conflict, why
there is a contradiction – I am, I should be; I am violent, I must
become non-violent. The non-violence is an idea, is a concept, is
not an actuality, because I am violent. This is a fact, an actuality.
The other is non-fact, but we think the pursuit of non-violence will
help us to become non-violent, that we will be free from violence.
Let us understand the content of that word. What does violence
mean? There is physical violence. You shoot with a gun, or you
hit, or you throw a bomb, you slap, you injure. That is physical
violence. What is psychological violence? – the inward anger,
hatred, wanting to dominate people, not only physical domination,
but the domination of ideas. I know, you don’t know; I will tell
you, and you will obey. That is domination. The gurus are violent
because they are dominating people with their ideas, with their
systems of meditation and all that. Please understand this. We are
not attacking gurus. I am just pointing out that psychological dependence, imitation, conformity, domination, all that is inward
violence. That is a fact. Can we deal with the fact and not with the
idea of the opposite? There is no opposite. Right? There is an
opposite as darkness and light, woman and man, tall and short,
dark and white, and so on. Inwardly, is there a duality at all?
Actually we are asking, `Is there a duality or only `what is»?’ There
is only `what is’, that is, I am violent. Now, is it possible to be free
of violence, not to become non-violent? Is this clear? This country
has propagated this idea of non-violence. Being violent, they are
propagating something which they are not. That means I am
gradually, day by day, practising to become that, not to understand
violence, but become something which I have called non-violence.
Do you see the difference? Hence there is conflict. When I am
observing, learning, enquiring into the fact, there is no conflict in
my mind. But if my mind is all the time saying, `l must achieve
non-violence’, then there is conflict. But if I say I am violent, what
is the root of violence, what is the nature of violence? I don’t
condemn it, I observe it.
What is observation? Now, when you observe the full moon, do
you observe it, do you see the beauty of that light, see the
extraordinary quality of that light, or do you say it is a full moon
and do something else? What do you mean by observing? Do you
ever observe the snow clad mountain with all that grandeur, the
beauty, the deep valleys full of dark shadows, the extraordinary
majesty of that mountain? When you observe for a single moment,
all your problems have gone, because the majesty of that mountain
has driven away all your problems for a second. Have you noticed
it? But your problems come back immediately. So we are going to talk over together what it means to observe.
Now, suppose I am violent. How do I observe that violence? I
want to understand the nature of that violence. I want to explore,
discover the extraordinary factors that contribute to violence. How
do I observe? First, is violence different from me? Do you
understand my question? I am asking, is that violence, which I see
when I say I am violent, is that violence different from me, or I am
that violence? When you are angry, you are angry. It is not that you
are different from anger. You are different from anger only when
you want to control it, only when you say, `I must suppress it,’ but
are you actually different, separate from violence? Is that so? Has
the word `violence’ – separated through tradition, through
constantly talking about violence and so on – created a separation
from observation?
The observer says, I am different from that, I am different from
violence. We have to enquire who is the observer. The observer is
the past, who has known what violence is. It is the past, it is
knowledge, it is experience, it is all the stored-up memories. Those
memories, those various forms of knowledge, and the movement of
all that, is the past. Thought has divided itself as the past, the
present, and the future. It has divided itself as the observer and the
observed. Thought has said, `I am not violent, violence is not part
of me.’ But when you look at it closely, you are violent, you are
angry, you are greedy, envious, competitive, depressed, you are all
that. Right? The observer is not different from that which he is
observing. Please understand this. This is very important because,
if you really understand this with all your heart and your mind,
with all your brain, conflict comes to an end; there is no duality at all. Forget all your books, the Vedanta and all the rest of it. The
fact is, there is no opposite except physically. Psychologically,
inwardly, there is only the fact. The fact is, one is violent and
jealous, and so on.
Now, can you observe the fact without its opposite, which
thought has invented? Do you see this, to observe `what is’? In that
observation, the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought
the experiencer is the experienced. But we have separated it. We
are saying, `I must experience enlightenment,’ or whatever it is you
want to experience. So the thinker is the thought. There is no
thinker without thought. The observer is the observed, the analyser
is that which he is analysing. I can put it in ten different ways. But
that is a fact: the observer is the observed. Therefore, you eliminate
altogether the sense of duality inwardly. Then there is no question
of suppressing it, escaping from it, analysing it. It is there. Then
what takes place? What takes place when there is actually the
realization of this truth that there is only the fact, not the invented
opposite, only that which is? In that there is no division as the
observer or the observed. Then what takes place? Do you
understand my question?
Man has lived in conflict from time immemorial. If you see the
rock engravings or those caves in France and in certain parts of the
world, you will see that there has always been this battle between
the good and the bad, the good against the evil. This has been the
history of man – conflict. We are asking if this conflict can end. If
it ends, then he is a human being who is vital, creative, and he has
something extraordinary. When there is this realization that you are
violent, not that you are separate and violence is separate, but you are that, what takes place? You are brown, you have certain
characteristics, you have troubles, you are a professor or a scientist
– all that is not separate from you. So what takes place when this
fact, this truth, is realized, not intellectually, not verbally, but deep
down as fact, as truth? Have you not eliminated altogether the
opposite? There is only this, and so live with that like a precious
jewel that you have discovered; you are watching it, seeing the
beauty of that jewel, the light, the many aspects of it as you are
watching, which is part of yourself. Therefore, watching,
observing, is extraordinarily important so that there is no division
whatsoever between the watcher and that which is watched. Then
you realize that nothing can be done about it. You are brown, you
cannot change it. The fact is, when there is such observation, it is
not the word, it is not the memory, it is something totally new. You
are facing this new reaction, which you call violence, anew. That
means, have you observed anything anew? Have you seen the
moon, the new moon that is coming up, as though for the first time
in your life? Have you looked at your wife or husband as though
for the first time? Or do you just say she is my wife, he is my
husband – just a mechanical observation? To observe requires great
enquiry, energy, vitality, to see actually `what is’. We are now
concerned with the elimination altogether of all kinds of conflict.
Why do we have opinions? You have opinions, judgments, haven’t
you? Please enquire into this. Why do you carry opinions? It is a
burden. I am a Brahmin you are not. I am a Sikh, you are not. I am
a Muslim, you are not. Why do you have these opinions? It
indicates a mind, a brain, that is so crowded with opinions it is
becoming small, petty, narrow. It is not free to enquire, to look.       Why is the human mind, the human brain, always occupied,
never free, never quiet? Enquire into all this, because we have a
tremendous crisis in the world and also a crisis in our
consciousness,
We should also talk over together, relationship. Why is it that in
our relationship with each other, however intimate, sexual,
however close, there is conflict? Why cannot two people live
peacefully? Have you ever asked that question? Because this is
very important. If I don’t know how to live peacefully with my
wife, with my husband, with my girl friend, I cannot live
peacefully in the world. I may talk about peace, I may write a great
deal about peace, go all over the world talking about peace, but I
am quarrelling with my wife, or with my husband. So there is
conflict in our relationship. Why? Do you want me to tell you or
are you enquiring with the speaker? If you are really enquiring, it is
a sharing, a moving together, not agreeing together, but thinking
step by step, going together, like walking hand in hand on the lane
where there is so much beauty, love and affection. Why is there
this dissension, this division between man and man, woman and
man, in our relationship? Have you noticed it? We are like two
parallel lines, never meeting. We never say what we mean and
stick to what we mean. We are going to find out together why in
human relationship we have such desperate, ugly conflicts. I have
my ambition, my desires, my problems. In my office, I am
competitive, aggressive. I am pursuing my own direction and the
wife is also pursuing her own ambition, and I dominate, which she
resists. So we are asking why there is this conflict, because we two
have to live together. We have sex, we have children, but we two are separate. Isn’t it a fact? I dominate her or she dominates me, she
bullies me, or I bully her. I scold her or she scolds me. I don’t beat
her but I am angry with her. I would like to beat her, but I am a
little more controlled. You laugh; but these are all facts. But I am
an individual, she is an individual. Each must have his own way –
in habits, in desires. Then, how can two people live together?
Which means, you have no love at all for your wife or your
husband.
Do you know what it means to love another? Have you ever
loved anybody? Is love dependence? Is love desire? Is love
pleasure? I don’t love my wife; she doesn’t love me. We are two
separate individuals. We may meet sexually, otherwise we carry on
in our own particular way. Do you understand, sirs? Does love
exist in this country? Don’t ask, `Does it exist in Europe?’ When
the speaker is in Europe, he talks about it there. But we are talking
about it here as we are in this country, in this part of the world. Is
there love in this country? Do you love anybody? Can love exist
with fear, when each one is becoming something? Can love exist
when I am becoming a saint and she is not, or she is becoming a
saint and I am not, when each one is becoming? Please understand
all this. It is your life. When each one is becoming something, how
can there be love? Is it possible to love another without wanting a
single thing from another, either emotionally, physically, in any
way, not ask my wife for anything? Psychologically, she may care
for my need, for I may bring money. I am not talking about that.
But inwardly, love cannot exist where there is attachment. If you
are attached to your guru, there is no love in your heart. This is
very, very serious. Without love, there is no right action. We talk about action. We do so many kinds of social work. But when there
is love in your heart, in your eyes, in your blood, in your face, you
are a different human being. Whatever you do then has beauty, has
grace, is a right action. All this may be excellent words you hear.
But will you have this quality? It cannot be cultivated, it cannot be
practised, it cannot be bought from your guru, from anywhere. But
without that, you are dead human beings. So what will you do?
Please do ask this question, find out for yourself why this flame
does not exist, why you have become such paupers. Unless you put
your house in order, your house, which is yourselves, there will be
no order in the world. You may meditate for the rest of your life;
but without that, your meditation has no meaning. So, please, most
respectfully we are asking, what is your response?
Audience: Well, sir, you have been talking about radical change
for the last 50 years, and obviously there is not any radical change
in the world. My question to you, then, is why do you talk?
Krishnamurti: The gentleman asks, you have talked about
fundamental change of human consciousness and so on for the last
50 years and obviously there is no change at all. Then the question
is, why do you talk? The speaker is not talking for his amusement,
for his fulfilment, for his encouragement. If he didn’t talk, he would
not feel depressed, he would not feel lacking something. Therefore,
why do I talk? Have you ever asked why the lotus blooms? Have
you, sir? Have you ever asked why a flower blooms, why it has so
much beauty, why it has such marvellous colour, the depth and the
smell and the glory of a simple flower? Maybe the speaker has
been talking about compassion.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN NEW
DELHI 3RD PUBLIC TALK 6TH NOVEMBER,
1982 ‘FACTORS OF DISORDER’

If one may point out, we are probing together, questioning,
doubting, asking, and this is not a lecture. We are together
enquiring, taking a walk together into the whole field of existence,
not dealing with a particular problem, but the problem of man, the
problem of human beings. One of the factors in our existence is
that we live in disorder. Apparently, after thirty, forty thousand
years or more, we have not been able to live in total order in the
universe; not relative order, but to have order within, under all
circumstances, wherever we live – socially, politically, and so on.
What is important is that we, you and I the speaker, should unfold
the causes of disorder, not merely listen to the explanation or the
description which the speaker might offer, but together think,
observe, go into ourselves, not in any way selfishly or self-
centredly, but look at our lives, look at what we have made of the
world; why man, the human being, lives in perpetual disorder
outwardly and inwardly. To enquire if it is possible to live in order
inwardly first, then outwardly, not the other way round. But first,
inwardly, deep within ourselves one can live in complete order.
Also, we should be able to discuss, talk over together this evening,
the problem of suffering and this enormous mystery of death.
Beauty is complete order. But most of us have not that sense of
beauty in our lives. We may be great artists, great painters, expert
in various things, but in our own daily life, with all the anxieties
and miseries, we live, unfortunately, a very disordered life. It is a fact. You may be a great scientist, you may be a very great expert
in a subject, but you have your own problems, struggles, pain,
anxieties and the rest of it. We are asking together, is it possible to
live in complete order within, not impose discipline, control, but to
enquire into the nature of this disorder, what are the causes, and to
dispel, move away, wash away the cause? Then there is a living
order in the universe.
Order is not following a particular pattern of life, or following
certain systems blindly or openly, but to enquire into ourselves and
discover for ourselves; not to be told, not to be guided, but to
unfold in ourselves the real causes of this disorder. So, what are the
causes of this chaos, not only in the world outside of us, but also of
our own inward psychological confusion which has produced
disorder outwardly?
Would you consider desire as one of the factors of disorder?
What is desire? For most of us desire is a potent factor: desire
drives us, desire brings about a sense of happiness or disaster.
Desire changes with the objects of desire. Is desire one of the
causes? Why is it that all religions, all so-called religious people,
have suppressed desire? All over the world the monks, the
sannyasis, have denied desire, though they are boiling inside. The
fire of desire is burning, but they deny it by suppressing it or
identifying that desire with a symbol, with a figure and
surrendering that desire to the figure, to that person. But it is still
desire. Most of us, when we become aware of our desires, either
suppress or indulge it or come into conflict; the battle goes on. We
are not advocating either to suppress it or to surrender to it or to
control it. That has been done all over the world by every religious person. We are examining it very closely so that out of your own
understanding of that desire, how it arises, its nature, out of that
understanding, self-awareness of it, one becomes intelligent. Then
that intelligence acts, not desire.
First of all, are we aware, each one of us, of the extraordinary
power of desire – desire for power, desire for certain things, desire
for god, desire for enlightenment, desire to follow some system?
Desire has so many aspects. It is as intricate as the weaving of a
great master weaver. One has to look at it very very simply and
then the complexity arises. But if you start with complexity, then
you are not going further. If you start simply, then you can go very
far. We are looking at it – the root and the beginning of desire.
Have you ever noticed how our senses operate? Does one
become aware of one’s senses, not a particular sense, but the
totality of the senses? – the feeling, the tasting, the hearing, the
seeing – to have all these senses in operation fully? When all your
senses are active, functioning, have you ever looked at a tree that
way? Have you ever looked at the sea, the mountain, the hills and
the valley with all your senses? If you do, then there is no centre
from which you are looking. The whole of your sensory reactions
are complete, not controlled, shaped, suppressed. Unless you
understand this very clearly, it is a dangerous thing to say this
because, for most of us,our senses are partial – we may have very
good taste for clothes and a rotten taste for furniture! You know all
that. Our senses are limited as we now live. Nobody, no religion,
no other philosophers, have said this. All the senses have to flower
and, in that flowering, perceive the beauty of the world.
So, what are the causes of desire? Let us go into it very carefully. What is desire; How does it arise? It doesn’t arise by
itself. It arises through sensation, through contact, through seeing
something – seeing a man or a woman, seeing a dress in a window,
seeing a dress or a car or the great hills. There is immediate
sensation. It is natural, healthy, to have such sensation, such
response. Then what takes place? I see a beautiful woman, a
beautiful man, a beautiful house, a beautiful dress. I see a beautiful
shirt made most delicately. I go inside and touch the material. First
seeing, then contact, and from that contact, sensation, right? Then
what happens? Enquire into it: You have touched the shirt, you
have the sensation of its quality, its colour. Up to now there has
been no desire; there has been only sensation. Then what happens?
You have touched that shirt or dress. Then thought creates the
image of you in that shirt, in that car, in that dress. When thought
creates that image, that is the moment desire is born. That is, desire
begins when thought creates the image. I see a beautiful violin – I
want to have it; the beauty of that sound that violin makes – I like
to possess it. I look at it, touch it, get the sense of that old structure,
and I would like to have it; that is, the moment thought enters into
the field of sensation and creates the image, then desire begins.
Now, the question is, whether there can be a hiatus, a gap; that
is, have only sensation, and not let thought come and control
sensation. That is the problem. Why does thought create the image
and hold on to that sensation? Is it possible to look at the shirt,
touch it – sensation – and stop, not allow thought to enter into it?
Have you ever tried any of these? When thought enters into the
field of sensation – and thought is also a sensation – then thought
takes control of sensation, and desire begins. Is it possible to only observe, contact, sensation, and nothing else? Do you understand
that? And discipline has no place in this because the moment you
begin to discipline, that is another form of desire to achieve
something. So one has to discover the beginning of desire and see
what happens. Don’t buy the shirt immediately, but see what
happens. You can look at it; but we are so eager to get something,
to possess a shirt, a man, a woman or some status that we have
never the time, the quietness, to look at all this. So, desire is one of
the factors of our disorder. We have been trained either to suppress
or to change the object. But we have never looked at the moment
of the flowering of desire. That is one of the causes of disorder in
our life. Please bear in mind, we are not trying to control desire –
that has been tried by all the so-called saints – nor are we talking of
indulging desire, but we are looking at it like a flower, how it
grows.
Then, is fear one of the causes of disorder? Obviously, it is –
fear of failure, fear of not being able to fulfil, fear of losing, fear of
not gaining. We have every kind of fear. You have fear of the guru
– have you ever noticed how you crawl in front of a guru? You
kind of become inhuman, you are afraid. You want something from
him and so you worship him. In that worship there is fear. So, there
are multiple forms of fear. We are not talking of one particular
form. We are asking what is the root of fear. If we can discover the
root of fear, then the whole tree is there. Do you understand that?
But if I am concerned with my particular little fear of darkness, or
of my husband, wife, or something or the other, my brain is not
involved in the discovery of the whole root. This is clear. So, what
is the root of fear? How does it arise? This is a very complex problem. Every complex problem must be approached very simply,
the simpler the better. Simpler means to say, `I don’t know how to
deal with fear.’ Then you begin to discover. If you have already
come to a conclusion as to what the root of fear is, then you never
discover what the root is. But you have to approach fear very
simply, the trunk and the root of fear, not the branches. We are
asking what is the cause or the causation of fear.
Would you say time is a factor of fear? Time – that is, I am
living, I might die tomorrow, which is time, right? To go from here
to your house, that requires time. There are only two kinds of time:
time by the sunrise or sunset, time by the watch, time by the
distance you have to cover, time that is physical. There is the other
time which is psychological, inward: I am this, but I will be that; I
am violent, but I am practising non-violence; I am brutal, but give
me time, I will get over it; I hope I will meet my friend tomorrow.
Hope implies time. Do you understand this? There is time by the
watch, time as psychological becoming, climbing the ladder of
becoming, that is, creating an ideal and then trying to reach that
ideal: I am this but tomorrow I will be different; I have not reached
the position of power, but give me time, I will get it – all that
implies psychological time. Is that clear? So, one of the factors of
fear is time.
We must ask what is time, not by the watch, but time that we
have: `I hope I will’, which is measurement. Hope implies
measurement. Time is movement, isn’t it? When we begin to
understand that there can be an end to fear completely, inwardly;
then there is a possibility of being totally free from fear. To find
that out, one must begin to enquire. Desire is one of the factors of disorder. Fear is one of the factors. Fear is time. Time is a
movement from one point to another point, both physically and
psychologically – I need time to learn a language. It may take a
month, two months, or three months. To go from here to London
takes time. To drive a car I need time. We need time there. But
when we use that time to become something inwardly, we have
moved over from the physical fact of learning a language to the
psychological field, and I say to myself: I also need time to evolve,
to become less violent. Do you understand this? I need time to
learn a language and also I think I need time to get over violence,
to bring about peace in the world. That is a movement in
measurement. That is a movement which is thought. Thought is a
movement and thought has created time. That is, I want to change
`what is’, and to change that I need time.
So, desire, time, thought, are the factors which bring about fear.
I have done something wrong two years ago, and that has caused
pain, and I will not do the same thing again. Now, what is thought?
The whole world is moving in the realm of thought. The
technological world with all its extraordinary complexity is
brought about by thought. Man has built the most extraordinary,
complicated machines like the computer, the jet, and so on. It is
also put together by thought. All the great cathedrals are put
together by thought; all the temples and all the things that are in the
temples and cathedrals are put together by thought. The rituals are
invented by thought. The guru is invented by thought. When you
say `I am a Sikh’, it is thought conditioning itself as a Sikh and
operating. So thought has become the most important factor in our
life. In our relationship, thought dominates. Thought has created the problems of war, and thought then says, `I must have peace
also’, which is a contradiction. Do you understand? Why has
thought become so extraordinarily important in the world?
What is thought, what is the origin and the beginning of
thought, and why does man depend on thought? All the great
intellectuals, the great scientists, great philosophers, all the books
that have been written, are all the result of thought, are based on
thought. What is thought, by which we live? Is there a thought
without knowledge? What is knowledge? There are several kinds
of knowledge, but we will take two: knowledge you acquire by
going to a school, college, a university, or by becoming an
apprentice and gradually accumulating skill. If you want to be a
carpenter, you must learn the grains of wood, what kind of wood to
use, what instruments to use, and so on. If you want to be a
scientist, you must have tremendous knowledge. Knowledge is
born of experience. One scientist discovers something; another
scientist adds to it or detracts from it. So, there is a gradual
accumulation of knowledge. Now, is knowledge complete, or is
knowledge always limited? Can the human thought which is born
of knowledge, can that knowledge, be totally complete about
anything? Knowledge is always limited. The Gita, the Upanishads,
the Bible, they are all knowledge. And knowledge, whether it is
given by a saint, by a politician, by a philosopher, is limited. So
don’t worship knowledge. If it is limited, as it is, then knowledge
always lives with ignorance. So, thought is born out of knowledge.
Do you understand this – the complexity of thought, the delicacy of
thought, the extraordinary capacity of thought? In one direction, in
the technological direction, it has invented the marvellous machinery, the dynamo, the piston engine, the jet, and so on, and
on the other hand, thought has created wars. It has created
instruments of war. We want to kill each other. If thought is the
only instrument we have and that instrument is becoming blunt and
creating problems, we are asking if there is another kind of
instrument which is not thought.
We see disorder in our lives, at whatever level we may live.
You may have the greatest power on earth, be a politician or a
guru, but you live in disorder inwardly. Therefore, whatever you
touch, to it you bring disorder. You see this all over the country.
There are many factors of disorder, and desire is one factor. We
went into it – desire, time and thought. If you exercise thought to
create order, you are still creating disorder. Do you understand?
Our whole life is based on discipline. We have disciplined
ourselves to do this and not to do that. The word `discipline’ is, the
root of it is, `to learn; not from somebody, but to learn from
oneself, one’s own reactions, one’s own observation, and one’s own
activities and behaviour. But discipline never brings about
intelligence. What brings about intelligence is observation, and
being free from fear, and understanding the nature of desire. For
example, if you understand desire, see the nature, structure, its
vitality, and find out for yourself the sensation and when thought
enters it, when you become aware of that, you are beginning to
have intelligence, which is not your intelligence or my intelligence
but intelligence. So, is it possible to be free of fear which is such a
tremendous burden? You have listened. Are you free from it? If
you are honest, you are not. Why? Because, you have not really
investigated, gone into it step by step and said, `Let me find out’ with your passion, with your guts, putting your vitality into it. You
have not done that. You have just listened casually, you are afraid
to look at it. And so you live with it, as with some horrible disease,
you live with fear, and that is causing disorder. If you see that, you
are already operating from intelligence. If you understand the
nature of thought, the intricacies, the subtleties, the beauty of it,
from that understanding the unfolding of a flower happens. It is
unfolding – the beauty of the flower.
Do you see the beauty of the flower, of the mountain, of a full
moon on a leaf, the lights of silver on a piece of rock? Sir, what is
beauty, not in a painting, but beauty in our life? What is the nature
of sorrow, the ending of that burden, puffing away of sorrow? If
you suffer pain, anxiety, ambition, and so on, you don’t know what
love is. You want to be ambitious, you want to have power,
position, better house, better cars. Have you ever understood that a
man who is ambitious has no love in his heart? And we are all very
ambitious to achieve nirvana or to become a bank manager. To
reach nirvana or moksha is the same thing as becoming manager of
a bank because both are ambitions. To live a life of intelligence
means no ambition but to be tremendously active. Sir, we have to
talk over together the ending of sorrow, and what are the
implications of death, and what is religion. Without religion you
cannot create a new structure, a new society. What we have as
religion is utter nonsense, meaningless. We have to enquire into the
depth of that word. Because, only a new culture, a new civilization,
can be born out of true religion, not all that paraphernalia that goes
on in the name of religion. Religion is something entirely different.
To have a religious life means to have compassion, love; it means the ending of sorrow, to find right relationship with each other.
What most people want is not to be disturbed. They want to
continue with their own particular pattern of life. So, please
consider, give your energy, your capacity, to find out whether there
is a different way of living on this earth.
You don’t love anybody. If you love somebody, then this
country would not be in chaos as it is; and there won’t be wars if
we love people. Your books, your rituals, your japas have no
meaning whatsoever because you have lost the most precious thing
in life. You probably never had it: to love without jealousy,
without possession. Love is not attachment. If all of us under this
tent, if we all love, then there will be a different India tomorrow.
You are all so verbal, you just use words, but find out why your
life is empty, shallow, why you have no love, why there is no
compassion, why you are a Hindu, a Sikh, and a Muslim. You have
never asked these questions, sirs. Meditation is to ask these
questions. Meditation is to find out the reality of these questions
and the truth that lies behind these questions.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN NEW
DELHI 4TH PUBLIC TALK 7TH NOVEMBER,
1982 ‘IN ENDING, THERE IS A NEW
BEGINNING’

It is necessary to talk about suffering and whether there is an end to
suffering, and the meaning of death. That is part of our life. We
should go also into the question of religion, what is implied in
religion, what is a religious mind, and meditation. We will talk
over together as two friends who have known each other for some
time, not opposing each other, not defending or accusing, but
enquiring, probing gently, because one discovers what is true only
when there is no certainty. Those who begin with certainty end up
in uncertainty. Those who begin with uncertainty, questioning,
asking, doubting, probing, those end up with absolute certainty, not
relative certainty.
So, what is suffering; can it end? And if there is suffering, can
there be love? Human beings throughout the world have suffered
incredibly. The last two world wars and the previous 5,000 years in
which there have been wars, practically every year, man, woman
has shed innumerable tears. Man has suffered and is going on
suffering. The poor in this country suffer. There is disease, pain,
and the anguish of human existence. Life is not pleasant; life is a
turmoil, agony. One becomes more and more aware of all this. One
begins to see very clearly that all human beings bear the same
burden, share the same sorrow; not a particular sorrow, not the
sorrow of one’s son dying or brother dying, or the wife or the
husband leaving, but the sorrow which man has accumulated for thousands of years. Your sorrow is the sorrow of mankind, the
sorrow of all human beings, whether you live in Russia or China or
in this unfortunate country.
We are questioning, asking the causes of sorrow, the pain of
sorrow, the grief, the anxiety that comes with sorrow, the utter
loneliness of sorrow. Like pleasure, sorrow is narrowed down as
mine. When we are concerned with our own particular sorrow, we
neglect, we disregard, we are not concerned with the sorrow of
mankind, whereas our consciousness is the consciousness of
humanity. One must understand this very clearly because, in
understanding the nature of our consciousness, what we are, we
begin to see that our pain, our loneliness, our depression, our joys,
our beliefs, are shared by all humanity. You may believe in one
kind of god and he may believe in another kind of god, but belief is
common, belief is general, and that is our consciousness. That is
what you are. The language you speak, the food you eat, the
climate, the clothes, the education, the constant repetition of certain
phrases, the loneliness, the ultimate fear of death, is the ground on
which all humanity stands. You are the humanity. Your
consciousness is not individual. It is the consciousness of all
mankind with their myths, superstitions, with their images, fears,
and so on. This is important to understand, not intellectually, not
verbally, but with your heart, with your mind, because, when we
come to the question of what is death, we must first understand the
nature of our consciousness, the nature of what we are actually; not
what we should be, but what we actually are in daily life. That
actuality is shared by each and every human being in the world.
When we are enquiring into the nature of sorrow, we are not discussing your particular, narrow, little pain and agony but the
agony of mankind and you actually are mankind. This enquiry is
not selfish. This enquiry opens up tremendous possibilities. Kindly
listen, find out for yourself the nature of sorrow, why human
beings all over the world have gone through tortures, sorrow. What
is sorrow and why has not mankind put it off, thrown it off? Please
ask this question of yourself. Why must you have some kind of
sorrow, some kind of grief, pain, the sorrow of loneliness, though
you may be married, have children? You are lonely people. You
have separated yourself enormously. When there is a great grief,
you realize how lonely you are. We are asking, is one of the causes
of sorrow this loneliness? Loneliness is the result of our daily life.
Each one of us, from the highest to the lowest, is completely
convinced that he is a separate soul, separate entity, and all his
activity is self-centred. The daily activity of this self-centredness
will inevitably bring about solitude, loneliness, separatism,
division. We are asking, is this isolation in our way of thinking, in
our way of life, one of the causes of sorrow?
And, is attachment the cause of sorrow? I am attached to my
wife, to my son, to my memories, to my beliefs, to my experience.
I am attached to that. I believe and I am attached to that belief, and
when that belief is questioned, doubted, shaken, there is
uncertainty, pain. Is that one of the causes of sorrow? Is it possible
to be free of all beliefs, not one particular belief or one particular
ideal, but to be totally free of all ideals, all beliefs? Please don’t
ask, `If one is free of belief and ideals, what do you replace it by?’
That is a wrong question. See the truth that any belief, any ideal,
divides people. I believe that god exists or does not exist. I believe in certain ideology – communist, socialist, capitalist, whatever it is,
for which I am willing to fight, kill people. We believe because it
gives us some sense of security. You may believe in god, as most
of you do, because it gives you a sense of protection, guidance,
security. The mind has invented, the brain has invented, various
forms of security – nationalism, religious figures, and the so-called
sacred books. They have all given a certain quality of security.
Actually, there is no security at all. It is an illusion.To realize that
belief, ideals and so on are very, very destructive, that they
separate man from man, and to see the truth of it, is to become
intelligent. Only in intelligence there is complete security, not in
your beliefs, in your myths and ideals. To discover this intelligence
– and that intelligence is not yours or the speaker’s, it is intelligence
– is to see the false as false and end the false. To see `what is’
actually, not imagine and run away from it but to see actually what
we are, and in that exploration there is the awakening of
intelligence.
So we are asking, is pain, the anguish, sorrow, brought about by
our isolation of mind, of thought, of action? Is sorrow the result of
our daily attachment, how we are attached to people? Please wake
up to all this, see the truth of all this. Please explore the nature of
attachment. It breeds anxiety, fear, pain, jealousy, hatred. All these
are the consequences of attachment. You are attached to your wife
or to your husband. See the consequences of it. You depend on
each other, that dependence gives a form of security. When that
person leaves or dies or runs away from you, you are then in pain,
in agony, you have suspicion, hatred and sorrow. Don’t you know
aIl this? It is nothing new. This is an everyday fact of life. It may not happen to you, but it is happening to others, millions of others.
In their relationship, there is sorrow, fear, agony.
We are asking, is attachment one of the causes of this sorrow? I
am attached to my son and he dies, and then I invent various forms
of comfort. I never remain with sorrow. To remain, not to escape,
not to seek comfort, not to run off to some form of entertainment,
religious or otherwise, but to look at it, live with it, understand the
nature of it – when you do that, sorrow opens the door to passion.
You are not passionate people because you have never understood
the nature of sorrow and the ending of sorrow. You have become
very dull. You accept anything, accept sorrow, accept fear, you
accept being dominated by politicians, by your guru, by all the
books and traditions. That means you never want to be free and
you are frightened to be free, frightened of the unknown. You
invent various forms of consoling, illusory images and hopes.
Now, after saying all this about sorrow, looking at it, when my
son dies, I realize how I am attached to him, that I have lost him
for ever and remain with that sorrow. Do you understand this? It is
like a flower. It blooms, it opens up, and it withers away. It dies at
the end of the day. It may die at the end of the week, but it withers
away. You must give it an opportunity to flower – the flowering of
sorrow and the ending of sorrow. Then you have passion, vitality,
energy, drive. Where there is sorrow, there can be no love. A mind,
a brain, that is in agony, that is lonely, self-centred, how can it
love? Love is not emotional, love is not sentiment, romantic,
fanciful, comforting thing. It is tremendously vital, as strong as
death. When there is sorrow, love is not. Most human beings in the
world suffer and never resolve the problems of suffering. So they do not know what it is to love. We have now reduced love to
pleasure, sexual attachment and so on, to various forms of
pleasure.
We ought to ask, is love pleasure, is love desire, is love
thought? Can love ever be cultivated? Without love, the sense of
compassion, the flame of it, the intelligence of it, life has very little
meaning. You may invent a purpose for life, perfection, you know
all the rest of that business, but without this fundamental beauty of
love, life has no meaning. Actually, your life, when you look at it,
going to the office every day for the next 50 years, what does it all
mean? – bringing little money, little power, breeding children,
wrong kind of education and so perpetuating this incredible cruelty
in the world. You may read all the books in the world, visit all the
museums in the world,listen to talks like this from a different kind
of speaker,but if there is not this quality, that extraordinary sense
of beauty with its great sensitivity, life has very little meaning.
Without this you become more and more mischievous, more and
more chaotic in the world. Do you love anybody? Does that love
contain jealousy, possessiveness, domination, attachment? Then
that is not love. It is just a form of pleasure, entertainment. Where
there is sorrow, there cannot be love, and therefore no intelligence.
Love has its own intelligence. Compassion has its quality of this
pure, unadulterated intelligence. When there is that, that
intelligence operates in this world. That intelligence is not the
result of thought; thought is a small affair. When you hear all this,
when you see the truth of all this – If you do – does the perfume, the
sense, of being completely loving happen, or do you go back to the
old routine?       Also we ought to talk over together the question of death. Like
love, hate, pain, sorrow and fear, death is part of our life. You may
postpone it, you may say I have ten years more to live, but at the
end of it there is death waiting. All humanity fears death or
rationalizes it away saying that death is inevitable. To understand
the depth and the full significance of that extraordinary incident
which we call death, you must understand the nature of our own
consciousness, the nature of what you are. If you do not understand
what you are actually, not descriptively, then death becomes a
dreadful thing.
If we are to go into the question of death, we must understand
what you are – a name, a form, man or woman, with certain
qualities, certain tendencies, idiosyncracies, desire, pain, anxiety,
uncertainty, confusion. Out of this confusion, you invent
something permanent – the Absolute, the Brahman or God. But
what you actually are, is the movement of thought. That thought
may invent the idea that you have got the spark of divinity in you,
but it is still the movement of thought. So what are you apart from
your physical reactions, differently educated, rich and poor?
Actually, when you look at yourself, what are you? Aren’t you all
this? If there is something permanent in you, then why seek
permanency in something else? Do you understand my question?
As we said, begin with uncertainty, begin with not knowing. This
is what you are. You know your face when you look in a mirror.
Also, inwardly, you are all the struggle, the pain, the conflict, the
misery, the confusion. That is what you are actually. That is the
state of all human beings. So your consciousness is not yours but is
the common ground on which all human beings stand and share. If that is clearly seen, then what is death?
Death is the ending of everything: My pleasures, my memories,
my experiences, my attachments, ideals, beliefs – all that end. But
we do not like the ending; to us ending is pain. So we begin to
invent, search for comfort in reincarnation. Don’t you? You never
ask what is it that reincarnates in the next life. What is it that
reincarnates – your memories, your experiences, your hopes, a
better life, better house? This is what you are now. You are going
to incarnate in the next life. If you really, actually, deeply believe,
feel that next life you are going to be born, then what you are doing
now is all important. What you are doing now, what you think,
what you feel, how you react matters enormously because that is
going to shape your next life. But you don’t believe. The actuality
is your life now and,you are not willing to face it. Death is
something to be avoided. You always ask what happens after
death. But you have never asked what happens before death, what
happens now in your life. What is your life? – working, office,
money, pain, striving, climbing the ladder of success. That is your
life. And death puts an end to all that. So, is it possible, while
living, to end – end your attachment end your belief? To end, the
beauty of ending something voluntarily without motive, without
pleasure – can you do it?
In ending, there is a new beginning. If you end, there is
something, the doors are opened, but you want to be sure before
you end that the door will open. So you never end, never end your
motive. The understanding of death is to live a life, inwardly
ending.
Also now we ought to talk over together religion and meditation. What is religion? What is religion for most of you? –
beliefs, rituals. If you are a Christian, you believe in a saviour, in a
particular saviour, with all the rituals, with all the marvellous,
beautiful architecture inside the churches, the great cathedrals.
Have you seen a cathedral performing a mass? It is a great sight,
with great beauty, with utter precision, to impress the poor people
who believe and do all the rituals, puja, daily, and above all believe
in god. That is what you call religion, which has absolutely nothing
whatever to do with your daily life. All religions, organized or
unorganised, have said, `Don’t kill, love someone.’ But you go on
killing, you go on worshipping false gods which is your
nationalism, your tribalism. So you are killing each other. That is
what you all call religion. To find out the nature of a religious
mind, you must put away all those childish things. Will you? Of
course not. You will go on doing your puja, your ceremonies,
become slaves to the priests. Religion has become a form of
entertainment. Can you put away all that and not belong to any
religion, neither be a Christian, Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim? Leave
all that; that is a propaganda of centuries. Like a computer, you are
being programmed. When you say, `I am a Hindu’, you have been
programmed for the last 5,000 years. When you are enquiring into
the nature of religion, you must be free from all this. Will you?
When there is freedom from all that is false, illusory, then you
begin to enquire into what is meditation; not before. A mind in
conflict, a brain in struggle, cannot possibly meditate. You may sit
down for 20 minutes every day, but if the brain is in conflict, pain,
anxiety, loneliness, sorrow, what is the value of your meditation?
We are going to enquire into what is the meditation, not how to meditate. You have asked, `Tell me how to meditate’, which is to
give you a system, a method, a practice. Do you know what
practising every day does to your brain? Your brain becomes dull,
mechanical, it is tortured, making effort to achieve some silence,
some state of experience. That is not meditation. That is just
another form of achievement like a politician becoming a minister.
In your meditation, you want to achieve illumination, silence. It is
the same pattern repeated; only, you call it religious and the other
calls it political achievement. There is not much difference.
What is meditation, what does that word mean? If you look up
the dictionary, you’ll find it means to ponder over, to be able to
think clearly, not with confusion, not with personal objectives, but
clearly, to think. It needs clarity. Meditation also means
measurement, to measure. We are always measuring, which is
comparing – I am this, I will be that, I will be better – which is a
form of measurement. The word `better’ is measurement. To
compare yourself with another is a measurement. When you tell
your son or somebody that you must be like your elder brother, that
is measurement. We live by measurement; we always compare.
That is a fact. Our brain is conditioned to measure – I am this
today, I hope I will be different in a year’s time, not physically but
psychologically. That is a measurement.
Now, to live without measurement, to be totally, completely,
free of all measurement, is part of meditation. Not that `I am
practising this, I will achieve something in a year’s time.’ That is
measurement which is the very nature of one’s egotistic activity. In
schools we compare, in universities we compare. We compare
ourselves with somebody who is more intelligent, more beautiful physically – there is this constant measurement going on. Either
you know it consciously or you are not aware of this movement of
measurement. Meditation is the ending of measurement, ending of
comparison, completely. See what is implied in it – that there is no
psychological mark. Tomorrow is the measurement of what is in
time. Do you understand this? So measurement, comparison, and
the action of will must end completely. There is no action of will in
meditation. Every form, every system, of meditation is an activity
of the will. What is will? I will meditate, I will sit down quietly,
control myself, narrow down my thoughts and practise – all that is
the action of desire, which is the essence of will. In meditation
there is no activity of the will. Do you understand the beauty of all
this? When there is no measurement, no comparison, no achieving
or becoming, there is the silence of the negation of the self. There
is no self in meditation. So a mind, a brain, that is in the act of
meditation is whole. The whole of life is meditation, not one period
of meditation when you meditate. Meditation is the whole
movement of living. But you have separated meditation from your
life: It is a form of relaxation like taking a drug. If you want to
repeat, repeat Coca Cola or any other cola which has the same
effect to dull the mind, whereas in meditation, when there is no
measurement, when there is no action of the will and mind, the
brain is entirely free from all systems. Then there is a great sense
of freedom. In that freedom there is absolute order, and that you
must have in life. Then, in that state of mind, there is silence, not
wanting, desiring to have a quiet mind, but there is freedom from
measurement. In that freedom there is absolute order, there is
silence.       Then, is there something sacred, not invented by thought? There
is nothing sacred in the temple, in the mosque, in the churches.
They are all the inventions of thought. When you discard all that, is
there something sacred that is nameless, timeless, something that is
the outcome of great beauty and total order which begins in our
daily life? That is why meditation is the movement of living. If you
do not understand the basis of all this that is our life, our everyday
reactions or behaviour, your meditation has no meaning
whatsoever. You can sit on the banks of the Ganga or some place
and do all kinds of tricks with yourself. That is not meditation.
Meditation is something that is of daily life. It is your movement of
life, and then there is in that movement freedom, order, and out of
that flowers great silence. Only when you have come to that point,
one finds there is something absolutely sacred.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
CALCUTTA 1ST PUBLIC TALK 20TH
NOVEMBER, 1982 ‘THE HUMAN CONDITION’

From the very beginning, we ought to establish our relationship.
This is not a lecture as it is commonly understood. A lecture is a
discourse on a particular subject by way of instruction. This is a
conversation between you and the speaker. The speaker is not
telling you what to do, what to think, how you should behave, and
so on. This is a conversation between two people concerned with
what is happening in the world, what is happening to man, not a
particular man but man in the world; what is man doing to man,
what he has done to other men, what is exactly happening in the
world – not in any particular part of the world, but what is
happening to man on the earth.
To have a conversation with another, a friendly, serious
communication with each other, we must learn how to listen. We
hardly ever listen to another. We carry on with our own thoughts,
with our own problems, with our own particular ideas and
conclusions, and so it is very difficult to listen to another. We are
suggesting that you listen. There is an art of listening. We are
going to talk over together a great many things – the state of war,
divided nations, divided groups, human relationship. We are going
to talk over together the problems of fear, pleasure and the
complexity of human thought. We are going to talk over together
whether sorrow can ever end and the implications and the
complexities of death. We are also going to talk over together what
is religion, what is meditation, and if there is anything sacred, eternal. We are going to talk over together all these things. And
one must have the art of listening to all this; not what you think
with all your traditions, with all your knowledge, but to listen to
another who is telling you something. Then communication
becomes simple, easy. But if you are not thinking together, which
is quite an arduous task, then you and the speaker will be thinking
in two different directions. So there is an art of listening; not
translating what the speaker is saying, but listening to the word, the
content of the word, the significance and the depth of the word. We
are using ordinary, daily language. There is no jargon, there is no
specialized subject about which we are talking. We are talking of
human beings and problems. The word has depth, meaning, and we
are speaking in English, using the daily language without any
mysterious words being used. It is important that you and the
speaker establish a right relationship. He is not a guru. He is not
going to inform you what to think, how to think, but together we
are going to observe the activities of human beings right
throughout the world, why they have become what they are.
We are going to look together why man has become what he is –
cruel, destructive, violent, idealistic and, in the world of
technology, doing astonishing things of which most of us are
unaware; why after thousands of years of wars, shedding tears, a
human being, through a long period of time, is actually behaving in
this manner. Man has divided the world into nationalities; man has
divided the world into the Catholic, the Protestant, the Hindu, the
Muslim and so on – religiously. Where there is division as the Arab
and the Jew, the Hindu and the Muslim, and so on, where there is
division, there must be conflict. This is a natural law, which is what is actually taking place in the world. Why is there this
division? Who has brought this about? Why has man become what
he is in spite of great experience, in spite of great knowledge, in
spite of vast technological advancement; why has he remained
more or less what he has been for 40,000 years; why? Is it because
our mind, our brain, is programmed, like a computer? The
computer is programmed by the professionals and it can repeat
perhaps much quicker, more rapidly, than man, giving infinite
information. Is it that every human being in this world has been
programmed to be a Bengali, to be a Muslim, to be a Hindu, and so
on? Is your brain programmed, thinking in a conventional, narrow,
limited way? Our brain within the skull is limited. But it has the
capacity of extraordinary invention, extraordinary technological
advancement. Perhaps most of us do not know what is actually
going on in the biological world, in the technological world, in the
world of warfare, because most of us are concerned with our daily
living, with our own particular problems, with our own fulfilments.
So, we generally forget the vast advancement humanity is making
in one direction, in the technological world, and totally,
completely, neglecting the psychological world, the world of
human behaviour, the world of consciousness. What are the causes
of all this? Why are human beings being programmed as Christians
for 2,000 years, believing in certain doctrines, certain beliefs,
seeking only one saviour, and the Muslim also being programmed
for the last 1,000 or more years to believe in certain principles and
call himself a Muslim, and the Hindu being programmed perhaps
for the last three to five thousand years. So our brains are
conditioned. Does one ever realize how our brain is acting, thinking, looking? Where there is limitation, there must be conflict.
Our brains are conditioned to be this or that, to behave in a
certain manner, to enjoy, to suffer, to have a great burden of fear,
uncertainty, confusion and the ultimate fear of death. We are
conditioned to that and there is a whole group of people,
professors, scholars, writers, including the communists with their
guru Marx who say that the human brain will always be
conditioned; it can never be free; you can modify that conditioning
by environmental influence, by law. It can always be modified,
changed here and there, but actually the human brain can never be
free. Please understand the implication of that. Therefore, the
totalitarian governments are controlling human thought and not
allowing them to think freely, and if they do, they are sent to the
psychiatric ward, to concentration camps. It is most important to
find out for yourself whether the human brain which has been
conditioned through experience, through knowledge, whether that
brain can ever be free, have no fear, no conditioning. Where there
is conditioning, there must be conflict, because all conditioning is
limited. Is this clear?
In talking over together, you are aware of your own thinking,
your own reactions, your own responses, how they are limited,
how they are conditioned, how you depend on past knowledge.
You see how your life becomes very narrow, rather sloppy,
confused, and there is the fear of insecurity. If one is aware of all
one’s own inward activities, one’s thoughts, one`s feelings, one’s
reactions, then you will find out for yourself how conditioned you
are, how limited you are. When you recognise that fact, then you
realize the consequences of that conditioning, that limitation. Wherever there is limitation as Hindu or Muslim, there must be
conflict. Wherever there is a division between husband and wife,
there must be conflict. And human beings throughout the world,
after all this evolution, are still in conflict with each other.
Please consider all this because we are concerned with your life
as a human being. And that life, our daily living, has become
extraordinarily complex, extraordinarily dangerous, difficult,
uncertain. The future of man is really at stake. This is not a threat,
this is not a pessimistic point of view. The crisis is not only
physical, but it is in our consciousness, in our being. So, talking
over together, become aware of all this. In becoming aware, you
begin to discover. You begin to find out for yourself how your life
has become such pain, such anxiety, such uncertainty. If you are so
aware, you can then proceed more deeply, but if you merely listen
to the words, words have very little meaning. Words have certain
significance, but if one lives in words, as most people do, in
symbols, in myths, in romantic nonsense, then we make life more
and more difficult, more and more dangerous, for each other. So,
please listen to find out, to question, to doubt, so that your own
brain becomes aware of itself. We are asking why human beings,
who have developed the most marvellous technology the world has
ever known, have remained more or less the same psychologically,
inwardly, for the last 40,000 years. Inwardly, we have systems, we
have ideals, we have all the so-called sacred books, but we have
not radically brought about a change, a psychological revolution,
and we are going to enquire into that – whether it is possible to
bring about total mutation in the brain cells themselves.
We are talking about the radical change of human behaviour so that man is not self-centred as he is, which is causing such great
destruction in the world. If one is aware, then we can begin to ask
whether that conditioning can be totally changed so that man is
completely free. Now, he thinks he is free to do what he likes. Each
individual thinks he can do what he likes, all over the world, and
his freedom is based on choice because he can choose where to
live, what kind of work he can do, choose between this idea and
that idea, this ideal or that ideal, change from one god to another
god from one guru to another, from one philosopher to another.
This capacity to choose brings in the concept of freedom, but in the
totalitarian state there is no freedom; you can’t do what you want to
do. It is totally controlled. Choice is not freedom. Choice is merely
moving in the same field from one corner to another. Is this clear?
Our brain being limited, we are asking, is it possible for the brain
to free itself so that there is no fear? Then there is right relationship
with all the neighbours in the world.
Now we are going to enquire into the nature of our
consciousness. Your consciousness is what you are – your belief,
your ideals, your gods, your violence, fear, romantic concepts, your
pleasure, your sorrow, and the fear of death and the everlasting
question of man, which has been from time immemorial, whether
there is something sacred beyond all this. That is your
consciousness. That is what you are, You are not different from
your consciousness. We are asking whether that content of
consciousness can be transformed, can be totally changed.
First, your consciousness is not yours. Your consciousness is
the consciousness of all humanity, because what you think, your
beliefs, your sensations, your reactions, your pain, your sorrow, your insecurity, your gods, and so on, are shared by all humanity.
Go to America, go to England, Europe or Russia, China, you will
find human beings suffer everywhere. They are frightened of
death, they have beliefs, they have ideals. They speak a particular
language, but their thinking, their reactions, their responses,
generally are shared by all human beings. This is a fact that you
suffer, your neighbour suffers; that neighbour may be thousands of
miles away, but he suffers. He is as insecure as you are. He may
have a lot of money but inwardly there is insecurity. A rich man in
America, or the man in power, all go through this pain, anxiety,
loneliness, despair. So, your consciousness is not yours any more
than your thinking. It is not an individual thinking. Thinking is
common, is general, from the poorest man, the most uneducated,
unsophisticated man in a little, tiny village to the most
sophisticated brain – the great scientists; they all think. The
thinking may be more complex, but thinking is general, shared by
all human beings. Therefore, it is not your individual thinking. This
is rather difficult to see and to recognise the truth of it, because we
are so conditioned as individuals. All your religious books,
whether Christian or Muslim or another, all sustain and nourish
this idea, this concept of an individual. You have to question that.
You have to find out the truth of the matter.
We are investigating together and we see that human
consciousness is similar, is shared by all human beings. Therefore,
there is no individual. He may be more educated than you, he may
be taller, he may be shorter; outside he may be different, but
inwardly he shares the ground of all humanity. This is a fact. But if
you are frightened, if you are caught in the conditioning of being an individual, you will never understand the immensity and the
extraordinary fact that you are the entire humanity. From that there
is love, compassion, intelligence, but if you are merely conditioned
to the idea that you are an individual, then you have endless
complications because it is based on illusion, not on fact. The
illusion may be of thousands of years, but it is still illusion. You
are the result of your environment, you are the result of the
language you speak, you are the result of the food you eat, the
clothes, the climate, the tradition handed down from generation to
generation – you are all that. You are the product of the society
which you have created. Society is not different from you. Man has
created the society, the society of greed, envy, hatred, brutality,
violence, wars; he has created all that and he has also created the
extraordinary world of technology. So, you are the world and the
world is you. Your consciousness is not yours, it is the ground on
which all human beings stand, all human beings think. So, you are
actually not an individual. That is one of the realities, truth that one
must understand.
Do not accept what the speaker is saying, but question your own
isolation, because individual means isolation. To separate oneself
from another is isolation, like nations isolate themselves as Indians
and all the rest of it. And they think that in isolation there is
security. There is no security in isolation. But the governments of
the world, representing the humanity of each country, are
maintaining this isolation, and therefore they are perpetuating wars.
If you recognise the truth, the fact that you are not an individual,
that inwardly there is no division, that we all share the same
problems, then the problem is: Can you, as a human being representing all humanity, bring about a fundamental,
psychological, revolution? You might ask `If I, as a human being,
change, will it affect in any way the rest of mankind? If I do
change, if there is a change in a particular person, how will it affect
the whole consciousness of mankind?’ Please do put that question
to yourself; even as a single isolated human being you are asking,
`If I change, what effect has it in the world?’
The question is, if you change fundamentally, you affect the
whole consciousness of man. Napoleon affected the whole
consciousness of Europe. Stalin affected the whole consciousness
of Russia. The Christian saviour, he has affected the consciousness
of the world, and the Hindus with their peculiar gods have affected
the consciousness of the world. When you as a human being,
radically transform psychologically, that is, be free of fear, have
right relationship with each other, end sorrow and so on, which is a
radical transformation, then you affect the whole consciousness of
man. It is not an individual affair. It is not a selfish affair. It is not
individual salvation; it is the salvation of all human beings of
which you are.
First, we must enquire what is relationship. Why is there, in
human relationship with each other, such conflict, such misery,
such intense sense of loneliness? From past history, from all the
knowledge that has been acquired, studied, man has lived in
conflict with each other. But relationship is existence: without
relationship you cannot exist. In that existence there is conflict.
Relationship is absolutely necessary. Life is relationship, action is
relationship; what you think brings about relationship or destroys
relationship. The hermit, the monk, the sanyasi – he may think he is separate, but he is related – related to the past, related to the
environment, related to the man who brings him some grains, some
food, some clothes. So life is relationship. We are going to explore
together why human beings live in conflict with each other, why
there is conflict between you and your husband, between the wife
and the man. Because, where there is conflict in relationship, there
is no love, there is no compassion, and there is no intelligence. Are
you actually related? You may be related to a man, woman,
sexually, but apart from that, are you related to anybody? Relation
means non-isolation. That is, the man goes to the office every day
of his life, to a factory, to some form of occupation, leaving the
house at 8 o’clock, spends the whole day working, for 50, 60 years,
and then dies. And there the man is ambitious, greedy, envious,
struggling, competing; he comes home and the woman, the wife, is
also competitive, jealous, anxious, going on in her own way. They
may meet sexually, talk together, care somewhat, but they remain
separate, like two railway lines never meeting. This is what we call
relationship, which is an actuality. This is a fact of everyone’s life,
the perpetual division between two people, each holding on to his
opinions, to his conclusions. The fact is, however intimate that
relationship may be, there is always conflict, one dominating the
other, one possessing the other, one jealous of the other. This is
what we call relationship. Now, can that relationship which we
know, be totally changed? Ask yourself this.
Why is there conflict between two human beings, whether they
are highly educated or not at all educated? They may be great
scientists, but they are ordinary human beings, like you and another
– fighting, quarrelling, ambitious. Why does this state exist? Is it not because each person is concerned about himself? So he is
isolating himself. In isolation you cannot have right relationship.
You hear this, but you will not do anything about it because we fall
into a habit, into a rut, into a groove, into a narrow little life, and
we put up with it, however miserable, unhappy, quarrelsome, ugly,
it is. So, please enquire, question, doubt, whether it is possible to
live with another with complete harmony without any dissension,
without any division. If you really, deeply, enquire, you will find
that you have created an image about your wife, and she has
created an image about you. Each has built an image about the
other, a picture about the other. These two pictures, images, words,
are in relationship with each other. Where there is an image about
another, a picture about another, there must be conflict. I am sure
you all have an image about the speaker. I am quite sure of it.
Why? You don’t know the speaker. You can never know the
speaker, but you have created an image about him: that he is
religious, non-religious, he is stupid, he is very clever, he is
beautiful, he is this, he is that. And with that image you look at the
person. The image is not the person. The image is the reputation,
and reputations are easily created; the reputation may be good or
bad. But the human brain, the thought, creates the image. The
image is the conclusion, and we live by images and imagination.
The making of pictures has no place in love. We don’t love each
other; we may hold hands, we may sleep together, we may do this
and ten different things, but we have no love for each other. If you
had that quality, that perfume of love, there would be no wars.
There will be no Hindu and Muslim, Jew and Arab. But you listen
to all this and you still remain with your images. You still wrangle with each other, quarrel with each other. Your life has become so
extraordinarily meaningless.
I wonder how many of you realize that we are put together by
thought. Your gods are put together by thought. All the rituals, all
the dogmas, the philosophy, are all put together by thought, and
thought is not sacred. Thought is always limited. Thought has
created an image about you as the audience, about you as the wife
and the husband, about you as the Indian and he as the American,
and so on. It is these images which are unreal, which are dividing
humanity. You should never call yourself an Indian, Russian or
American; we are human beings. Then we should have no wars.
We should have global government, global relationship, but you
are not interested in all that. You hear all this, and if you don’t
change radically, you are bringing about destruction to the future
generation. So, please give ear, give thought, attention, to what is
going on outside you and also to what is going on inwardly, for the
inward psyche conquers the outer environment. As you see it in
Russia, we give such importance to the outer. We must have right
society, right laws, feed the poor, be concerned about the poor, but
the inward thought, inward feeling inward isolation, is separating
man from man and you are responsible for this. Each one of you is
responsible for this. Unless you, change fundamentally, inwardly,
the future is very dangerous. Unless you fundamentally bring about
a change in your daily life, have right relationship with each other,
live correctly, not be ambitious and so on, there is no possibility for
the ending of conflict between human beings.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
CALCUTTA 2ND PUBLIC TALK 21ST
NOVEMBER, 1982 ‘THE MOVEMENT OF
BECOMING’

As one observes the world outside, there is greater and greater
chaos in every country. And in this country it is fairly obvious; it is
blatant, it is palpable. Where there is uncertainty, disturbance, lack
of political credulity, knowing that politicians all over the world
are making things far worse, knowing that religions throughout the
world have lost all their meaning, seeing all this, there are those
who have called themselves the fundamentalists; they go back to
the Bible or to the Koran or to the various so-called religious
scriptures, thinking that if they follow those books, there will be
less chaos. This is what is happening the world over; going back to
the past, holding on to certain beliefs, tradition. Most of us are
doing this in some way or other. In a world that is very, very
chaotic, disturbing, dangerous and preparing for war, one naturally
wants some kind of security, outside of us or inside. There isn’t
much security in the outward world. You may be very rich, you
may be very powerful politically, or you might find security in
some dogma, in some belief, but in none of these there is absolute
security. Man wants security. We must all have security – security
in the sense of food, clothes and shelter. ALso we want security
inwardly, something that will give us assurance, stability, a sense
of strength. But there is no security in any belief, in any dogma, in
any ideal. Not finding security in any of these, man turns to the
past and hopes thereby to find some hope, some kind of words, to hold on to.
I do not know if you have not noticed that the more you cling to
some kind of conclusion, reasonable conclusion, logical conclusion
or the conclusions of certain authorities, there is less energy.
Where there is conclusion, there must be lack of energy because,
when you come to a conclusion – which means, after discussing,
arguing, come to a point which you think is right – then you shut
the door to further enquiry, and that is what is happening in the
world. We all want conclusions, whether there is god, whether
there is going to be any peace, and so on. Lacking security
inwardly and outwardly, lacking something on which we can
totally rely, on which we can depend, which will give us comfort, a
sense of well-being, we cling to some traditional conclusions and
thereby lose that creative energy of enquiry. Enquiry means to
penetrate, to investigate, to explore, to open the door, to find out
further. But most of us have not that energy, and so we fall back
upon something which we call tradition or some book or other.
It seems to the speaker that we are not releasing creative energy
to bring about a new culture, a new way of life, because the old
brahmanical culture of this country has completely disappeared – a
culture which we are not saying is good or bad; a culture that has
existed perhaps three to five thousand years has completely gone
overnight, disappeared altogether. And one questions, asks, why
human beings who have lived with a particular culture for so long,
why that culture has disappeared. Perhaps it was not a culture at
all. It was only a series of words, traditions without any life behind
them. So, in exploring together the condition of our mind and our
heart, in investigating the nature of our brain which is the centre of all our actions, of all our feelings, of every thought, we see whether
it is possible to release that creative energy. And we are going to
go into this very carefully.
There is an art of listening and there is an art of learning. Most
of our learning is the accumulation of knowledge; not knowing
mathematics, or biology, or physics, gradually we accumulate a
great deal of information about physics and store it up in the brain,
which becomes our knowledge about physics, mathematics or what
you will. That is what we do, and that is what we call learning –
accumulating a lot of knowledge about various subjects – as an
engineer, as an astronomer, as a politician. We accumulate
knowledge in order to act skilfully in the world as a carpenter, as a
mason, as a doctor, knowledge is accumulated, from which we act
either skilfully or not skilfully, efficiently or inefficiently. So we
must enquire together into what is knowledge, what place
knowledge has in our relationship with each other. Perhaps we
have never questioned what is the place of knowledge in life apart
from having an occupation, becoming a good scientist, doctor,
engineer, and so on. We are asking a very serious question, which
is, `What place has knowledge in human relationship?’ Knowledge
is always in the past. There is no future knowledge. Knowledge
implies the process of time as the past. And this knowledge, both in
the scientific world and human existence, is based on experience.
This experience is gathered for millions of years or for the last 30
years. And that knowledge is used to accumulate further
knowledge, further exploration, but knowledge is always in the
past. There is no question about that. And knowledge is never
complete about anything. That is a fact. So, our knowledge is stored in the brain as memory, and the response of that memory is
thought. That is, experience either inherited or accumulated in the
present becomes knowledge. Then that knowledge is memory,
which is the past, and from that memory the reaction is thought. Is
this clear?
So thought is always limited. One has accumulated, say for
example, scientific knowledge. That knowledge is being added to
all the time, more and more. So scientific knowledge is never
complete. Thought, whatever it does, is limited. We are saying
categorically and definitely that knowledge is limited. Because
there is no complete knowledge about anything, knowledge always
goes with a shadow of ignorance. And any thought born of
knowledge must inevitably be fragmentary, limited, finite; thought
can invent something immeasurable, something beyond, infinite,
but it is still the movement of thought. A person can invent god
because he feels god is necessary for his comfort, for his security,
but that god is the product of thought which is limited. We must be
very clear on this point; you must see for yourself the fact, the
truth, that thought, under all circumstances, whatever the thought,
whether of the scientist or of the great philosopher, is always
bound, narrow, limited. Thought has invented nationalities and,
having created them, brings about division between people – the
Muslim and the Hindu, the Jew and the Arab, the communist, the
socialist, the capitalist, and so on. Thought has invented all this.
All rituals are the product of thought. And thought has created
problems like war, like conflict, and so on. Then thought tries to
solve these problems.
We see that thought, politically, religiously, and between human beings, has created innumerable problems. And thought says, `I
will solve it.’ In that solution, you are producing more problems. So
life is becoming more and more complex, full of problems, because
we think that thought is the only instrument and that thought is
limited. Is this clear? We can then ask, is there a new instrument?
What is the nature of thought? Thought is a material process
because it is held in the very brain cells themselves. Whatever
thought thinks about or invents, is the result of a material process.
When thought creates god, it is still a material process. Thought is
not sacred. if this is very clear, not verbally but deeply, profoundly,
then we can ask, is there a new instrument? – not higher
consciousness or lower consciousness; that is another invention of
thought.
We are going to find out together if there is a new instrument
totally different from thought, which thought has not touched at all,
because whatever thought touches must be limited and, being
limited, it must inevitably create conflict, bring about
fragmentation, as it has done in the world – religious fragmentation,
political fragmentation, and so on. Is this clear? Can we go on from
there? If you are at all serious, deeply concerned, if you have a
great affection for humanity, you must have the energy to enquire;
the drive, the passion, to find out. A new instrument is so
absolutely necessary in this world which is degenerating day by
day, destroying itself. By questioning the nature of thought,
doubting, asking, probing, we are going to find out for ourselves
that thought, at whatever level, is fragmentary, limited, finite, and
this limitation has conditioned the brain. The brain has got
extraordinary capacity as can be seen from what is happening in the technological world, but the capacity has been developed in
one direction only and that is in the technological world – the
doctor, the surgeon, the mathematician, the computer expert, and
so on. But the human problems, which is our conflict with each
other, our sorrow, pain, grief and endless conflict, the
technological world can never solve. No politician, no system, no
method, is concerned with all that. As ordinary human beings, we
are going to find out for ourselves if there is or if there is not a new
instrument which is not touched by thought, which is not the result
of time, which is not caught in the process of evolution which is
thought.
We are going into this step by step, if you are willing, if you are
serious. You must have great alertness, attention, capacity,
sensitivity; you cannot be committed to any group, to any belief, to
any dogma. You have to have a mind that is really global, not a
petty little mind concerned with one’s own little problems. In the
greater, the lesser disappears. In the greater humanity, the few little
human problems dissolve. Without understanding the vast
complexity of the human brain and mind and head, you will never
solve any problem. So please give your attention, care to find out
for yourself, not repeat what the speaker says. The speaker has no
value. He is just a telephone, but what he says perhaps may have
importance. So find out. Have you ever tried to observe yourself,
your wife, the tree across the road and that animal that goes by,
without the word? Have you ever tried to look at a tree without
naming it, without bringing all the past pictures about a tree, just to
observe the tree without the word, to look at it? Have you ever
done it? Have you ever looked at your wife or your husband or your politicians? Have you ever looked at them without the
symbol? Can you look at the speaker without the word, without all
the rubbish and all that reputation, look at him without the image
that you have built about him? Perhaps, it will be easier to look at
the speaker that way because he does not know you and you don’t
know him. But to look at your wife, at your husband, is much more
difficult. Can you look at the animal without the picture, the image,
the word? First, be aware whether you can see, observe, look,
without a single word the picture, because then you will awaken
your sensitiveness. You are not sensitive to the dust, to the squalor,
to the misery, to the poverty; you have just accepted it. The poverty
of this country can never be solved, is not ever going to be solved,
unless you drop your nationalism completely. It will be solved only
when you have understood the global relationship of man to man.
Then there will be no frontiers. That you have probably not
understood. So, I say that the first essential quality in investigation,
in enquiry, in that one has to be extraordinarily sensitive. All
religions have said: suppress your senses, suppress your feelings,
so that you have gradually lost the sensitivity of the senses. The
speaker is saying quite the contrary. The speaker is saying,
`Awaken all your senses to their highest degree so that you look at
the world with all your senses.’ To look at the world with that
immense feeling when all the senses are fully awakened, in that
there is great, extraordinary sense of energy, beauty. In the
investigation of another instrument, we see that the first thing is,
man has become dull through repetition, through tradition, through
the oppression of the environment; the environment is not merely
nature; the environment is the politician, the guru and all that is going on around you. You have gradually lost all sensitivity, all
energy to create, but we are talking of creation in the sense of
bringing about something totally new, and to have that capacity,
the drive, the beauty, one must have great sensitivity. You cannot
have great sensitivity if every sense is not fully functioning, fully
aware.
Now, why have we destroyed ourselves? Religions have said,
the scriptures of this country and the religious leaders have said,
the Christian world has said, `Suppress desire, suppress your
feelings, don’t look at a woman, torture yourself; then only you
find god or nirvana or moksha or whatever you want; only then
you will be illumined; which is utter nonsense. How can you
destroy the most extraordinary instrument that you have – the body,
with all its senses, the beauty? It is an extraordinary instrument.
These people say, `Suppress desire, don’t yield to desire.’ So we
must understand the nature of desire. It is very important, in the
investigation of a new instrument, to realize just that the old
instrument, which is thought, is not solving any human problems.
In the investigation of all that, we have now come upon this thing
called desire. What is desire? Why have people said, suppress it,
deny it? If you cannot identify it with something greater, it is
always a problem of struggle. We are not advocating suppression,
avoidance, escape, and all that. We are investigating together the
nature of desire, how desire arises, why we are caught in it, why it
has become so extraordinarily powerful.
What is desire? You see a pleasant object, a beautiful object, a
beautiful woman or a man. You desire him or her or that object.
That is so. You see a nice car, polished, good lights, powerful, and you touch it, get inside, feel the pleasure of owning it if you can
afford it. Then the desire is there. First, the object creates the
desire, or desire exists apart from the object; which is, the object,
car, creates the desire, or desire exists and the objects may vary.
We are not discussing the objects of desire – to be a powerful
minister or prime minister, governor, an executive or a talented
violinist – but we are enquiring into the very structure and nature of
desire. If we understand that, not verbally but factually, then there
is never a question of suppressing it, never a question of
controlling it. We have controlled, never understanding who is the
controller. We have controlled desire, we have controlled our sex,
we are brought up to control. And where there is desire, we are
trying to understand it, explore it, probe into it, not control it. If
this is clear, then we can go together into the understanding of the
truth of desire, what place it has in life, or has it no place at all. So
we cannot possibly start with any conclusion; that is, suppress
desire or let desire run rampant. But we are slowly, hesitantly,
carefully, probing into this which becomes an extraordinary factor
in life and a torture too.
What is the origin, the source, of desire? Go into it very very
deeply to capture the whole movement of desire, the implication of
it, the depth of it, the reality of it. If you had no senses, there will
be no sensation. Sensation arises when you see something in the
window of a shop, a shirt, a radio, or what you will. You see it –
visual perception. Then you go inside that shop, touch the material,
and from the touching of it, there is a sensation. This is very
simple. You see the car, you touch it, you look at the lights, the
polish – not the beauty of Indian cars, but some of the European cars are extraordinarily beautiful. Like an aeroplane, it is
extraordinarily beautiful – and you touch it, you touch that shirt you
see in the window, blue shirt, and by the very touch there is
sensation. Then what happens? Then, if you observe very closely,
thought says, `How nice it would be if I had that shirt on me, if I
stepped into that car.’ So, at that moment when thought creates the
image out of the sensation, is the origin of desire.
You see a beautiful tree, which man has not created. Man has
created the cathedral, the mosque, the temple, and all the things
therein; but he has not created the tree. He has not created nature,
but man is destroying nature. Now, you look at a beautiful tree.
You wish it were in your garden. And you see it. There is the
sensation of the dignity, the shadows, the light on the leaf, the
movement of the tree. Then sensation arises. And then thought
says, `How nice it would be if I had that tree in my garden. When
thought creates the image of that tree in your garden, at that second
desire is born. Right? The fact is, it is natural to be sensitive, to
have sensations. Otherwise you are paralysed. You must have
sensation, you must have sensitivity in your fingers, in your eyes,
in your hearing and looking, and you are sensitive to watch, to look
– out of that looking, watching, observing, sensation inevitably
arises. It must arise; otherwise you are blind, deaf. When there is
sensation, then thought creates an image, and at that moment desire
is born. Have you found it to be so? Or are you going to repeat just
what the speaker has said or go back to your tradition and say we
must suppress desire or say what you are talking is nonsense? If
you really go into this question of desire, which is so important in
life, then you will find out for yourself the origin, the beginning, of desire. Now, the question is to look at a car, at the shirt, at a
woman, at a picture; there is arising of sensation. Find out whether
thought can be in abeyance, not immediately create a picture, an
image of you in that shirt, or in that car, and so on. Can there be a
gap between sensation and thought impinging upon that sensation?
Find out. It will make your mind, brain, alert, watchful. Also, we
ought to talk over together, in the investigation of a new
instrument, whether man can ever be free from fear. We are
frightened of something, either of the past or of the future or of the
living present, uncertain of the living activity, uncertain of the
process of the present. We always have this fear. Man has never
solved the problem; he has escaped from it. He has various means
of suppressing it, denying it, escaping from it, but he has never
solved this problem. When there is fear, dreadful activities take
place, all kinds of wrong actions take place. Your whole body,
your whole mind, shrinks when there is real danger of fear. This is
a problem we must solve, not theoretically, but actually, and be
completely free of fear. Is that possible?
What is the cause of fear? Where there is a cause, there is
always an end to that cause. This is logic, this is natural. I may
have pain, the cause may be cancer. If I discover the cause, the
pain will end, or it will be terminal. We investigate the cause
through the symptom. We are looking together, not at the
symptoms of fear – frightened of the dark, frightened of your
parents or grandparents, frightened of your husband or wife,
frightened of the politician, and so on. Those are all symptoms, the
objects of fear, but we are asking what is the root of it. It is like
cutting down a tree, it is like going to the very root of things. We are going to look at it.
First, we are asking, is the cause of fear time? Look at it
carefully. Is time a major cause of fear? That is, time being
tomorrow, what might happen tomorrow, or what has happened
yesterday or many thousand yesterdays, or what might happen
now? You understand my question? Is time one of the factors of
fear? I may have done something wrong last week, and what I have
done has caused pain, and I hope it will not recur again. That is, the
word `hope’ implies the future. Are you following this? There is
time by the watch, time by the sunrise and sunset, time as
yesterday, today and tomorrow, time as yesterday’s memories,
experiences, modifying itself in the present and proceeding into the
future. All that is time. Physical time – to cover a distance from
here to there, from one point to another point, from this place to go
to your home, that requires time. There is the so-called
psychological time, the inward time. That is, `I hope I will get a
better job at the end of the year, I hope I will be better, nobler or
whatever it is, sometime later; I hope I will meet a nice man
tomorrow.’ So the word `hope’ implies time. And another is the
idea of better: I am this, but I will be better; I am violent but I will
become non-violent. This process of `what is’ and transforming
`whit is’ to something else is a process of time. Is this clear? So,
time is a factor of fear. I am living, I have got full energy, but
something, an accident, might kill me. I am warned that there is
always death. So there is this sense of time, an interval. That
interval is translated as the better, as hope, as self-improvement,
and so on. I want to fulfil, I may not be able to fulfil. I apply for a
job, I may not have the capacity for the job. So there is fear. Time is one of the factors of fear.
We are not saying how to wipe away time. We are enquiring
into the nature of fear. Then, is not thought, is not the process of
thinking, another factor of fear? Look at it. I think I may die. I
think that god exists, but you come along and threaten my belief,
and I am frightened. So, thinking of the past incident, hoping that
pain will not recur again, thinking about it and wishing that it will
not happen again, is the movement of thought. So thought and time
are the very root of fear. The physical time – to go from here to
your house, that requires time – you cannot stop that. To learn a
language, to learn any technique, requires time. We see that time is
one of the factors of fear as well as thought. So thought is a
movement. Is it not? Time is a movement. Is there actually,
factually, psychological time at all? You understand my question?
The problem of time is very important as the problem of thought.
We live by time. All our knowledge is based on time – the struggle
to become less violent, the struggle to become something, which is
all measure. I an unhappy, violent, lonely, depressed, anxious. That
is `what is’. That is a fact. Then comes the idea, `I must become
something else from «what is.» That becoming is time, as
becoming from a clerk to a manager requires time. That same
process of thinking we have brought over into the field of the
psyche, into the field of thinking. That is, `I am violent, I will
become non-violent’, which is, you are allowing time to come,
interfere. But when you say, `I am violent, I am going to
understand it, look at it, watch it, go into it very quickly, deeply’,
there is no time. But if you are trying to become something else,
there is time.       It is the becoming, which is measure, that demands time. Say,
for instance, if you compare yourself with somebody more
intelligent, more bright, comparison is measurement. If you don’t
compare at all with anybody, including your great gods and saints
and gurus and all the rest of it, then what happens? You are what
you are. From there you start, but when you are comparing, trying
to become something else, you never understand yourself, what
you are. So time is a becoming, a becoming which is non-fact. That
is,`I am violent, I must become non-violent.’ The non-violence is
not a fact, has no reality. Though you talk a great deal about it in
this country, it does not exist. What exists is violence. If you forget
the non-violence, then you can tackle violence, go into it. The
understanding of violence can be long or very quick. Either your
investigation of violence can take time because you are lazy, or
you may say, `I will investigate it tomorrow, it is not important’,
and so on. But a man who is concerned with violence which is
spreading all over the world, destroying humanity, wants to
understand the depth of violence, he will understand it instantly.
Where there is a becoming, you must have psychological time.
That becoming is illusory. The fact is what exists, what you are at
the moment – your anger, your reactions, your fears. Look at it.
Time is a major factor of fear and also thought. You cannot stop
physical time, but when you begin to understand the nature of time
inwardly, the becoming and the non-becoming, and understand the
whole movement of thought, not suppress it, deny it, say how am I
to control thought, then who is the controller? The controller is
another part of thought.
If you are really, deeply, concerned with the nature of fear and the total ending of psychological fear, one has to go into the
question of time in depth and also the nature and structure of
thought. But if you say, `Please tell me a method to get rid of fear,’
then you are asking a terribly wrong question because, the very
question implies that you have not understood yourself, you have
not looked at yourself. Death, conflict, pain, sorrow, pleasure, fear,
meditation, all that is our life, and to understand it one must have
vitality, strength and you will not have that energy if you are
merely repeating words, if you cling to some belief, to some
conclusions; that destroys all energy. Energy implies freedom; not
what you like to do, but freedom. Only then you have
extraordinary energy.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
CALCUTTA 3RD PUBLIC TALK 27TH
NOVEMBER, 1982 ‘THE ENDING OF SORROW’

We ought to talk over together this evening why human beings
who have lived for over four thousand years, are behaving as they
are, what has happened to them, what has happened to each one of
us that we don’t lead an orderly, sane, balanced life. We have
created this society which is immoral, unethical, corrupt,
destructive. Each one of us has contributed to it, and if there is to
be a radical change in the social structure, we have to begin with
ourselves, not with politics, not with Marxism or some kind of
retreat from the present. We have to put order in our house first.
We are disorderly, violent, confused, lonely. So we are going to
talk over this evening what is total order, if there is any kind of
love, what is compassion, whether sorrow can ever end, the sorrow
of human beings right throughout the world.
We are talking over together – you and the speaker – our
problems amicably, without any resistance, not agreeing but
exploring, investigating, seeing why we live such disorderly lives
and why we accept things as they are. We are not advocating or
talking about physical violence, physical revolution. On the
contrary, such revolutions have never produced a good society. We
are talking about human behaviour, why man is what he is. We
cannot blame the environment, we cannot blame the politicians or
the scientists. That is a very easy escape, but what we ought to be
concerned with is why somewhat intelligent people, somewhat
educated people, lead such disorderly lives. So our question is, what is disorder? A confused mind, a confused life, cannot find
what is order. Could we together find out for ourselves what causes
disorder in our lives, what brings about a society which is utterly
disordered? What is disorder? What is the nature and the structure
of disorder? There is disorder, isn’t there? Where there is
contradiction – saying one thing and doing something totally
different – there is bound to be disorder. I wonder if one is aware of
this. Then, there is conflict, disorder, when we are pursuing ideals –
whether political ideals, religious ideals or our own projection of
what we think we ought to be. That is, where there is division
between actually what is happening in ourselves and neglecting
that and pursuing an ideal, that is one of the causes of disorder.
Another cause in the psychological, so-called inward life, is to
pursue authority, the authority of a book, the authority of a guru,
the authority of so-called spiritual people. We accept very easily
authority in our inward life. Of course, you have to accept the
authority of the scientists, of the technocrat, the doctor, the
surgeon. But inwardly, psychologically, why do we accept
authority at all? This is an important question to ask. We will come
back to it.
We are asking what are the causes of disorder. We said
pursuing an ideal is disorder, accepting authority of another in the
world of the mind, the inward psychological state, is disorder. One
of the other causes of disorder is the everlasting attempt to become
something inwardly. So, perhaps these and other causes bring
about disorder. We are going to investigate each one of them. Why
do we have ideals at all? What is an ideal? Originally the root
meaning of that word `idea’ was to observe, to look, to seek. But we have translated it as a projection of a particular concept brought
about by thought, and that is the ideal and the ideal is far more
important and the pursuit of that ideal becomes all-consuming
when you totally neglect `what is.’ `What is’ is important. not the
ideal. We are using the word, `what is,’ in the sense what is actually
happening, both outwardly and inwardly. We are violent, as most
human beings are. To have an ideal of non-violence has no reality,
has no validity, but what has validity, reality, is the fact that we are
violent, and to deal with that violence not in terms of ideals and
patterns. Perhaps, in this country, the pursuit of non-violence
which is an illusion has deprived us of our energy to look at
actually what is going on.
We never look at `what is’. We want to change what is taking
place to something else. This has been the process of centuries
upon centuries. The political ideal, the religious ideal, the ideal that
one has created for oneself, an end, a goal – and the goal, the end,
the ideal, becomes extraordinarily important and not what is
actually happening. That is, the `what is’ is being transformed into
`what should be’. Then there is struggle, there is disorder. Whereas,
if we give our attention to `what is’, and the `what is’ is violence,
hatred, antagonism, brutality, we can deal with it. We are
concerned to discover the causes of disorder. We are saying that
one of the major factors of disorder in life is trying to transform or
change `what is` into `what should be’. The `what should be’ is
totally unreal, but `what is’ is all-important. If I am greedy, I have
to enquire into the nature of greed, whether that greed can really
have an end or it must continue and not have the ideal of non-
greed. To see the illusory nature of `what is’, is the beginning of intelligence.
Then there is division in us, there is duality, the opposite. Is
there an opposite at all? There is opposite as light and darkness, tall
and short, and so on. Basically, is there an opposite at all? We say
there is an opposite in the world of psyche, in the world of spirit.
We say there is the good and the bad, the good and the evil. Is
good the opposite of evil? If it is the opposite, then it has its root in
its own opposite. If evil is the opposite of the good, then that evil
has a relationship with the good. The opposite is put together by
thought. Either the good is totally divorced from evil or it is the
outcome, the opposite, the invention, of thought as the good. So
what is the good? Let us enquire into that.
What is the good? According to the dictionary, the common
usage of that word means good behaviour, good in the sense of
being whole, not fragmented but having that sense or
understanding of the nature of the wholeness of life, and in that
there is no fragmentation as the evil. But if evil is the outcome of
the good, then that evil has a relationship with the good. We are
enquiring together if there is an opposite in our life, if there is hate
and love. Can love have a relationship with hate, with jealousy? If
hate has a relationship with love, then it is not love. Obviously. If I
hate someone, and at the same time talk about love, it is
incompatible. The two don`t meet. We are questioning, is there an
opposite at all? Where there is an opposite, there must be conflict. I
hate, and also I think I love him. The opposite of hate is not love.
The opposite of hate is still hate.
So, that is one of the factors of disorder in our life: the ideal, the
opposite and the acceptance of so-called spiritual authority. There is the authority of law, the authority of government, the authority
of a policeman, the authority of a good surgeon. But
psychologically, inwardly, why do we accept authority – the
authority of the priest, the authority of a book, the authority of a
guru? When we follow somebody and be guided by somebody,
guided what to believe and what not to believe, to accept his
system of enlightenment and so on, what is happening to our own
brain, to our own inward state? You are my guru. You tell me what
to do, what to think, what to believe and the various steps I must
take to attain enlightenment or whatever they call it, and I, rather
gullible, want to escape from my life which is disorderly, corrupt,
insecure. I trust the guru. I give him my life and say I surrender, I
give part of my life in attaining that enlightenment. Why do I do
that? Because I want some kind of security, some kind of
assurance, that I will have some day some kind of happiness, some
kind of release from my daily worries and misery. The guru gives
you an assurance and you feel satisfied. But you never question the
guru, you never doubt what he is saying, you never discuss with
him; you accept. That has been the condition of human beings right
throughout the world for millions of years. The interpreter between
god and you, between that which is holy and you – and you,
wanting comfort, security, will accept him without a single doubt.
Now, to question spiritual authority – whether it is Christian
authority or the spiritual authority of Islam with their book, or your
guru with his statement – to question, to doubt it, is to rely entirely
on yourself, be a light to oneself, and that light cannot be lit by
another. It requires your questioning, your demanding, of not only
the outer, the spiritual authority, but of yourself – why you believe – so that your own mind becomes clear, strong, vital, so that there is
energy for creative activity. But when you follow somebody, your
brain becomes dull, routine, mechanical, which is the very
destructive nature of the human mind, or human brain. So please
see why this disorder exists in our life, and when you begin to
investigate into this disorder, then out of that disorder comes order.
When there is the dissipation of causes of disorder, there is order.
Then you don’t have to pursue what is order. Order is virtue, order
means freedom.
We have to enquire also into what is freedom. We have said that
where there is order in our life, total order, that order is virtue and
that very order is freedom. The word `freedom’ is misused by
everybody. There is freedom from something and there is freedom.
Freedom from something is not freedom. We will go into that. I am
a prisoner, prisoner of my own ideas, of my own theories, of my
own conceptions, and my brain is a prisoner to that. Then freedom
is, to be free from my prison to fall into another prison. I free
myself from one particular conditioning and, unknowingly or
unconsciously, fall into another conditioning. So freedom is from
something; from anger, from jealousy; all that is not freedom at all.
Freedom means free, not from something. This requires a great
deal of enquiry, which is, our brain is conditioned like a computer,
programmed to be a Hindu, programmed to be a Muslim,
Christian, and so on. The computer is programmed; our brain has
been programmed for thousands of years, which is our
conditioning. Freedom is the ending of that conditioning. Where
there is an end to conditioning, then only there is freedom. Without
having that freedom, there must be disorder. So the ideal, the opposite, the pursuit of spiritual authority and accepting the
conditioning that we are Hindus, Muslims and so on – all that
brings disorder. When there is an end to that, there is order. You
will say that it is impossible, impossible not to follow somebody
because you are so uncertain, so insecure, and you are willing to
follow somebody so easily, which means your brain is becoming
dull, inactive. You may be active physically, but psychologically,
inwardly, you cease to be active.
We ought to talk over together sorrow, whether there is an end
to sorrow. When there is an end to sorrow, then only there is love,
then only there is compassion. What is sorrow, grief, pain, a
feeling of loneliness, the sense of isolation? What is the nature of
sorrow? What is the cause of sorrow. which is pain, fear, a sense of
desperate loneliness? Why have human beings, from time
immemorial, suffered and are still suffering, not from physical
pain, some fatal disease or a feeling of utter rejection, but from the
nature of suffering inwardly – the pain, the fears and the escape
from it? I wonder if we have realized that for the last thousand
years there have been many wars, and how many people have
cried, mothers have shed tears! The pain, the anxiety, the hope, all
that constitute sorrow, and this sorrow exists in all the days of our
life, and we never seem to be free of it, completely ending that
sorrow.
We together will go into this because, there is an end to sorrow.
Sorrow comes with the loss of somebody, with the death of
somebody. My son – I have lost him; there is grief and tears and
great sense of loneliness. Then, in that state of shock, in that state
of pain, anxiety, loneliness, I seek comfort, I want to escape from this agony. I escape through every form of entertainment, whether
it is the drug, the alcohol, the temple, mosque or the church. I
begin to invent all kinds of fanciful concepts. I lost him, he is dead,
gone, and there is that pain. Can one remain with that pain? Can I
look at that pain, hold it, hold it as a precious jewel – not escape,
not suppress, not rationalize it, not seek the cause of it, but hold it
as a vessel holds water? Hold this thing called sorrow, the pain,
that is, I have lost my son and I am lonely, not to escape from that
loneliness, not to suppress it, not to intellectually rationalize it, but
to look at that loneliness, understand the depth of it, the nature of
it. Loneliness is total isolation which is brought about through our
daily activity of selfish ambitions or ideological ambitions,
competitions, each one out for himself. Those are the activities
which bring about loneliness. But if you run away from it, you will
never solve sorrow. The very word `sorrow’ etymologically means
passion. Most of us have no passion. We may have lust, we may
have ambition, we may want to become rich; we donate our
energies to all that. But that does not bring about passion. Only
with the ending of sorrow there is passion. That is total energy, not
limited by thought. So it is important to understand the nature of
suffering and the ending of it. The ending of it is to hold that
sorrow, that pain, too. Look at it. It is a marvellous thing to know
how to hold the pain and look at it, be with it, live with it, not get
bitter, cynical, but to see the nature of sorrow. There is beauty in
that sorrow, depth in that sorrow.
We also have to talk over together what is love. What does that
word mean to you? If you are asked in a drawing room what is the
meaning of that word to you, what would you answer? What do you mean by that? I love playing golf, I love to read, I love my
wife, I love god. Is that love? Do you love your wife? Do you love
your husband? Do you love your friend? We are enquiring into
what is love. This is very important to enquire because without
love, life is empty. You may have all the riches of the earth, you
may be a great banker, great scientist, mathematician, great
technician, capable of great technology, but without love you are
lost, an empty shell. Together we are going to find not what love is,
but what is not love. That is, through negation come to the positive.
Is jealousy love, jealousy in which there is attachment, anxiety? In
jealousy there is hate. Is that love? You are attached to your family,
you are attached to a person or an idea or a concept or a
conclusion. What are the implications of your attachment? Suppose
I am married, I am attached to my wife. What does it mean? Where
there is attachment, there is fear. Where there is attachment, there
is possessiveness. When there is attachment to an ideal, to a
concept, to a belief, or to a person with all the consequences of
jealousy, anger, hatred, suspicion, surely all that is not love. To
understand the nature of love, is it possible to be totally free from
attachment? Please ask this question of yourself. You are all
attached to something or the other. If I may suggest, most
respectfully, become aware of the consequences of that attachment.
If you are attached to an ideal, you are always on the defensive, or
aggressive. If you come to a conclusion, to hold on to that
conclusion is to end all further enquiry. Where there is attachment,
there must be pain. I am attached to my wife and she may run
away, she may look at another man, or she may die. In attachment,
there is always fear, there is always anxiety, suspicion, watching. Surely, that is not love. So, can one be totally free of all
attachment? It is up to you, but when you are attached, there is no
love. Because, in that attachment there is fear. Fear is not love.
And the ambitious man who wants to climb the ladder of success
has no love because he is concerned with himself, with his
achievements, which is the gathering of power, position, prestige.
How can such a man love another? He may have a family,
children, but in that man there is no love. When you say, `I love
god as the highest principle’, is that also love? That god, that
principle, the highest principle `Brahman’, is the result of thought.
God is invented by man. I am sure you won’t like this. But you are
attached to that concept: god exists. Then you ask who is the
creator of all this misery. God hasn’t created all this, has he? If he
has, he must be an odd god, he must be a sadist god. All the gods
in the world are invented by thought, and to find out what love is,
there must be an end to sorrow, end to attachment, end to
everything we are committed to inwardly. Where the self, the ego,
the me is, love is not. You hear all this, and you will walk away
from here with the same attachment, with the same convictions,
and never enquire further because the more you enquire about all
this, the more life becomes dangerous. Because you may have to
give up a lot of things naturally, easily, not as self-sacrifice. You
have to understand the nature of attachment and be free from it.
You have to realize that when you see the truth of something, you
are standing completely alone, and that you may perceive that, and
of that you are frightened. You may believe, see the truth inwardly
of the nature of attachment, but as you don’t want to quarrel with
your wife, or husband, you accept. Gradually you become hypocrites.
Also we should discuss the nature of intelligence. Compassion
has its own intelligence, love has its own intelligence. We are
going to enquire into what is intelligence. Surely, it cannot be
bought in books. Knowledge is not intelligence. Where there is
love, compassion, it has the beauty of its own intelligence.
Compassion cannot exist if you are a Hindu, or a Catholic,
Protestant or a Buddhist, or a Marxist. Love is not the product of
thought. In understanding the nature of love, compassion, which is
to deny all that which is not, to see that which is false as false, is
the beginning of intelligence. To see the truth in the false is the
beginning of intelligence. To see the nature of disorder and end it,
not carry on day after day but to end it – the ending is the
immediate perception which is intelligence.
We are enquiring into what is intelligence. Cleverness is not
intelligence. Having a great deal of knowledge about various
subjects – mathematics, history, science, poetry, painting – that is
not the activity of intelligence. The investigator into the atom may
have an extraordinary capacity of concentration, imagination,
probing, questioning, formulating hypothesis after hypothesis,
theory, after theory, but all that is not intelligence. Intelligence is
the activity of the wholeness of life, and that intelligence is not
yours or mine. It does not belong to any country or to any people,
like love is not Christian love or Hindu love, and so on. So, please
enquire into all this because our life depends on all this. We are
unfortunate miserable people, always in travail, always in conflict.
We have accepted it as the way of life. But in enquiring into all
this, there is awakening of that intelligence, and when that intelligence is in operation, in action, there is only right action.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
CALCUTTA 4TH PUBLIC TALK 28TH
NOVEMBER, 1982 ‘THE MEANING OF DAILY
LIVING’

We have been talking about so many things, so many human
problems, and we ought to consider this evening several things
more. You and the speaker have to think together, not agree, not
disregard or reject. Thought has been responsible for all the
miseries of human beings, though it has created in the world of
technology most extraordinary things. It seems so utterly urgent
and necessary that we should think together, cooperate together,
find out for ourselves because there is no more any leader, no
politician, no guru. We are utterly and totally responsible for
ourselves. As the crisis is great, we ought to be able to think
together, and apparently that is one of the most difficult things to
do because each one of us has so many opinions, so many
conclusions, which prevent our coming together. To think together
means to put aside all your personal prejudices, bias, opinions and
various forms of conclusions which actually prevent
communication with each other. We could put all that aside and so
find out for ourselves the truth, the actuality of life, look at it
without any bias; not as a communist, Marxist, socialist, or
belonging to some sect or religion or nationality, but together look
very closely at our lives. Nobody is going to change our lives; no
environment, no authority, no book. We have to look together at
ourselves as we are and explore with great depth the meaning of
existence, the meaning of our lives, the significance of our activities.
Let us together look at the whole existence of our life. Going to
the office day after day for the next 40/50 years and then dying at
the end of it – the ugliness and brutality of it all. We should be able
to look at this whole existence of our life, of each one’s life, to
observe it, not direct it, not to ask ourselves what is the goal, what
should I do, but first to get acquainted, to understand ourselves, to
understand what actually we are, why we do certain things, why
we belong to this or to that. It is important that we look at our life.
If you observe closely, you will see that your life is fragmented,
broken up. Either you are a businessman or a doctor or a surgeon
or an engineer, and in your own personal life there is always this
division between you and another, however intimate. There is
always this division, this struggle, this pain. Of course, there is
some kind of joy, pleasure, but that is also part of life. Our life, as
it is now, is broken up, fragmented, and this fragmentation takes
place because our thinking is also fragmentary.
Our thinking is the outcome of knowledge, and knowledge is
always limited. Knowledge always goes hand in hand with
ignorance. There is no complete knowledge about anything. Our
thinking, which is born out of our knowledge, is always limited
under all circumstances, whether you are a scientist or a
psychologist or an engineer, and so on. So thought, thinking, is
limited, circumscribed, and what is limited must inevitably, in its
action, create fragmentation. Thought itself is the cause of all
division, of all fragmentation. Unless one understands the nature
and the structure of thought, one cannot go very far, and to go very
far you must begin very near, which is you, how you think, what you think, and discover for yourself that thought always is limited.
Thought can invent god, the immeasurable, the nameless, the
invisible, the supreme, but it is still the product of thought. So
thought is one of the major factors of our conflict, of our misery, of
our sorrow. Unless one understands this basically, very deeply, not
intellectually, not verbally or argumentatively or logically, unless
you understand the nature of thinking, you cannot begin to
discover for yourself a new instrument, a totally different
instrument. Because, the only instrument we have now is thought,
and thought has created incredible problems, most complex
problems, and thought tries to solve those problems and thereby
creates more problems. You must have noticed this politically,
religiously, and so on. We must find together a new instrument,
and that is what we are going to do when we talk about death,
religion, meditation. And to understand, to discover, and to come
upon something that is not man-made, that something must be
beyond time, beyond all measure.
It is much more important to understand what happens before
death rather than what happens after death. We are always
enquiring what happens after death, but we never enquire what is
happening before death, not at the last day or the last minute but
the way we live for thirty, forty, fifty years or more. Time is death,
time – which is the inward time, the psychological time, the time
that has created the idea of thought, `I hope to become something, I
hope to become rich, I hope to become a saint, or a particular
person.’ The inward time, the psychological time of hope, of
achievement, of that which is to change to become something else –
all that involves time both physically and psychologically. We are talking about the psychological time, a time that is inside the skin
as it were – that time is death. To think in terms of time is to bring
about division, fragmentation, give the future greater significance
than the present.
Time is a movement invented by thought. Psychological time is
invented by thought, and thought itself is the product of time.
Thought is the product of time because man has acquired
knowledge through long evolution; evolution implies time, and
when we think in terms of time, we divide life, we fragment life – I
am a Hindu, you are a Buddhist, I am a Muslim, you are a
Christian, and so on. This fragmentation is the result of thought
which itself is limited. And psychological time is invented by
thought. When you say, `I am, I will be, I am this but I will one day
be different,’ that gap between what you are and what you should
be or what you want to be, is time. When you have such time, there
must be fragmentation. Life which is being lived now, in that life
we have separated death from living.
We never enquire deeply what happens long before death, what
happens to our life. Very few people ask that. They are all
concerned with what happens after death – whether you will live,
whether you will meet your brother, and so on, but not with the
long period of thirty, forty, fifty years which is far more important
than what happens after. So, we are going to examine, observe,
what our life is. Because, if we don’t understand that profoundly,
when you meet death, then you are frightened, then you are totally
blind to everything. We ought to investigate our life which we live
daily, whether it has any significance at all, whether it has any
value, depth, beauty. Perhaps you go to the office from nine to five for the rest of your life. Have you ever thought about what a
tragedy it is? And what are you working for? You will say, `My
responsibility, my duty to my family, I must earn money, therefore
I go to the office from nine to five for the next 60 years; then I
retire, and then die. That is one of the factors of our daily
existence. There, in the office or in the factory, you are struggling,
you are competing, you want to become the manager, the clerk
wants to become the executive, the priest wants to become the
bishop, and so on. You come home, weary, insulted, bored. What
do you call home – just the roof, half a dozen rooms, or one room?
What is a home? Have you ever thought about all this? What does
that word `home’ mean to you? Is it just to live there, eat, sex,
children, quarrelling, arguing, discussing, bullying each other or
withdrawing from it all, becoming a monk, a sannyasi? You can’t
withdraw from life; you may put on different robes, but life is
where you are, what you are, and during these 40/50 years, there is
constant struggle, constant conflict, pain, little joy, the pursuit of
pleasure and facing the inevitable death. That is our life, put in a
nutshell. You can’t deny it; it is so. Now this is the life of every
human being on earth, whether he lives in an affluent society or
under a dictatorship or in a totalitarian state, whether he is Marxist,
Leninist or democrat. This is his life – pain, struggle, conflict,
working from morning till night. Do you know what happens to
such a human being, his capacity to think? This is the state of every
human being, that is his consciousness.
You are actually the rest of mankind. This is not a logical
conclusion, this is a fact. You must understand this fact; otherwise,
as we talk about death furthermore, you won’t understand the significance of it, which is your consciousness with its content. The
content is the belief, the dogma, the name, the form, the pain,
anxiety, loneliness, depression, desire; all that is you. All that is
what you are actually. This consciousness is the consciousness of
all human beings. If you feel the depth of it, the extraordinary
beauty of it, the strength of it, that you are the rest of mankind, that
it is a fact, and when you feel it in your blood, in your heart, in
your mind, then you are no longer an individual. I know it is
difficult for you to swallow this or even to think about it because
you are conditioned to be an individual, but you are not. You may
be tall, you may be short or clever, and so on, but inside you are
like the rest of mankind.
If you are the rest of mankind, you are mankind. Then what is
your responsibility to man? What is your responsibility to what is
happening in the world? Probably, you have never asked this
question of yourself. You say my responsibility is to my family, to
my country. But the idea of your country is just another invention
of thought. When you ask the question what is my responsibility to
the rest of mankind, you have to find out for yourself what is your
responsibility, what is right action. You can’t escape from it. You
may limit yourself to certain immediate responsibilities, but you as
a human being who is the rest of mankind, you are also responsible
for mankind. So your consciousness is not yours. It is shared by all
human beings living on this earth. They all go through every kind
of misery, every kind of suffering – pain, anxiety, despair and the
feeling of utter loneliness. If you are at all aware of what is
happening in the world, then you will have to ask yourself what is
your responsibility, what is your action.       Now, you think you are an individual, you think you are
separate from the rest of mankind, and then you ask, `What
happens to me after I die, do I not incarnate?’ Let us examine that
very closely. What are you? When you say, I want to be born next
life, I believe in reincarnation, and so on, what is it that is going to
be reborn? What are you? Let us examine it together
dispassionately. You are the name, the form, the body. You are
what you think, you are the result of your education, if you have
had one. And the education is so rotten, it only conditions you to
become some engineer, clerk, or this or that. You are not educated
to understand the beauty, the wholeness of life. You are given a lot
of knowledge so that you can act either skilfully or not, in the
world. That is not education. That is one very small part of
education. Education is the cultivation of the whole human being,
the unfoldment, the flowering of a human mind, not crippling by
specialization. So what are you? Are you a series of words, a series
of ideas, a repetitive memory, a continuity of conviction? That is
all. It is so. This is a verbal structure. But you will say that is not
all, there is something much deeper. When you say there is
something much deeper, god or atman or whatever you like to call
it – the soul as the Christians do, and you call it by another name –
when you say I am not all that, I am much more, there is a
fragment of light in me; when you say there is something more
than mere physical attributes, more than mere conclusions,
concepts, beliefs and words, there is something beyond; when you
say you are more than that, it is also the invention of thought,
obviously. You are put together by thought. You call yourself a
Hindu, and another calls himself a Muslim, and so on. All that division is the result of thought. You are actually a series of
memories, a series of reactions and responses based on your
knowledge, your experience, your quality of mind. That is what
you are, which is essentially death. You are living in the past and
the past is death. All knowledge is in the past, and therefore, when
you live with knowledge which is the past, and as the past is over,
what are you? Look at yourself as you would look in a mirror. That
is what you are. And you say, `If I die, I incarnate in another’,
which is to carry the same thing over to the next life. If you do
believe in future life, that is, next life, then what you do now
matters more because next life you will pay for it. This is your
conviction. This is what you cling to, a lot of memories which are
dead ideas, which are also finished. So the content of your life is
that. That is why this country which believes in so many things, so
many beliefs, so many superstitions, believes in reincarnation. That
is why here there is a slow dying.
Now, the question then is, what is death? Please ask this
question: Are you just the vast reservoir of memory, words,
pictures, symbols? Is your consciousness the rest of mankind, that
you are not an individual? That what you think, other people think,
your thinking, is not individual and that there is only thinking?
When you realize you are not an individual though you may have a
different form, different shape of head, different jobs, and so on,
but that inwardly you are like the rest of mankind, what does death
mean then? Look, sir. Suppose I am all that – name, thought,
education, physical responses, psychological reactions, all the
inherited racial memories and personal memories, which is all in
the past, I am all that and all human beings are that, all human consciousness is that, then what does it mean to die? Ask this
question, sirs. Now we are living, repetitively active, mechanically
active, as most people are; but you are active, you have got life,
you have got feelings, you have got responses, sensations, and
when death comes, all that is wiped out. That is what we call death,
which is to end all the things you have held, your joys, your house,
your bank account, your wife, your children; all that you end; you
and your attachment, that is death. But you want to carry it over to
the next life which is just an idea, vision, fulfilment. Please listen:
While living, can you end attachment? Because, when you die, all
attachment ends. But can you invite the ending of attachment? Do
you understand this? That is ending. Ending is death. So, can you,
while living, vigorous, active, end your attachment, end a
particular habit voluntarily, easily, quietly? Because then, where
there is an ending, there is a totally different beginning. When you
end something like attachment, there is a different activity going
on: to incarnate in the present now. That is creativity. It is up to
you if you want to do all this.
We ought to talk over together what is religion, what is a
religious life, what is a religious mind. We are going to enquire
together what is a religious life, what is meditation, and if there is
anything that has not been touched by thought. Do you call the
present religions all throughout the world as religious? You are a
Hindu, you believe, your religion says this and that, you worship
an idol; the Muslim does not, but he has his own form of worship.
The Christian has his symbol – the rituals, the dogmas, the beliefs,
the superstitions, all that. The hierarchical structure of a religious
society, you call all that religion. Your belief is god. Unless you believe in god or some supreme principle, it is considered that you
are not religious. We say to ourselves, `There must be something
more, something which is protecting, which is giving, which is
creating.’ Thought creates the idea, based on books, tradition, being
programmed to believe in god. That surely is not religion. Do you
agree with that? Of course not. But that is not religion: your belief,
your worship, going to the temple, to the mosque, to the church,
repeating some phrases utterly divorced from daily life. To
understand the daily life, to bring about a radical change in that
life, to have a brain that is not superstitious – that is actually facing
facts, facing what one is and going beyond `what is’. That is the
beginning of what is a religious mind. To understand the whole
meaning of daily living, which is the understanding of the
relationship with each other, to love, to have that quality of love, to
have that perfume. that beauty, that flame, that is religion. That is
the religious mind, To live a life that has no conflict, that has the
sense of compassion with love, with intelligence, that is a religious
life. Compassion is intelligence. That is the religious life. But that
is not enough. We have to understand much deeper things, which is
what is meditation.
What is meditation? Is it sitting in a certain posture, closing
your eyes, repeating some phrases, some mantra? The word mantra
means in Sanskrit, to ponder over, consider, not becoming. When
you are not becoming, what are you? Also that word mantra means
to resolve and put away self-centred activity. That is the real
meaning of that word mantra. Now, look at what you have done
with it. You repeat some words and call that mantra. As we said, a
religious life is not becoming inwardly anything; we must go much deeper than that. Meditation is the ending of measurement. I will
go into it. So what is meditation, not how to meditate. When you
put the `how’, when you use that word `how’, that means, `give me
a system, please tell me what to do, show me the path.’ If you can
remove that word `how’ altogether from your mind, and then look
at it, what is meditation? Systems, methods, practices, certain
forms of discipline, breathing correctly, deeply, and so on, all that
is not meditation. It is an exchange, a market place where the guru
sells you something and you practise. We are going to see what
meditation is. Meditation is not the practice of any system.
Because, when you practise a system, your brain becomes
atrophied, becomes dull. It is not alive, active. If you are really,
deeply, concerned with meditation, then there is no system, no
method. Practising every day, sitting half an hour quietly, is not
meditation. Can you deny all that intelligently because you see the
absurdity of practising a method, as it brings up a routine? Whereas
in meditation, there must be freedom – freedom from fear, freedom
from envy, greed, sorrow and all the psychological wounds and
hurts one has received from childhood. One should be free from all
that.
So, we have to enquire first what it means to be aware. It means
three things – what it means to be aware, what it means to
concentrate, and what it means to attend. Because, all this is
implied in meditation – to be aware, to be conscious of your
environment, to be aware how you talk, how you walk, how you
eat, what you eat; to be aware how you speak to another, how you
treat another, as you are sitting there, to be aware of your
neighbour, the colour of the coat, the way he looks. Without criticism just be aware. That gives you great sensitivity, empathy,
so that your body is subtle, sensitive, aware of everything that is
going on around you. To be aware without any choice, see where
you are, looking at the speaker, looking all around you without a
single choice, just look – to be aware.
Then, let us look at concentration. When you concentrate, what
happens? To control all thought except one thought, which is to
concentrate on something, concentrate on a book, concentrate on
what you are doing, concentrate which means, shut off all other
thought except one thought, to centralize all thinking to a particular
point – that is what generally concentration means. That is, while
you are trying to concentrate, all other thoughts are wandering,
pushing, coming in and out. So you build a resistance to every
other thought except one thought, one idea. Look at it. That is
generally what is called concentration.
Then, there is attention. Have you ever attended to anything,
given your whole energy, listened totally to another, completely
attended? Not like a soldier who is drilled to attend, but if you
understand the nature of awareness, concentration, then what is
attention? If you are attending now completely to what is being
said, in that attention there is no centre as the `me’. Are you so
attending to what is being said? That is, giving all your energy,
listening vibrantly, alive to attend? If you are, then you will find
there is no centre as the `me’ attending. Then, when you are
attending so deeply, the brain becomes quiet, naturally. There is no
chattering, there is no control. Who is the controller to control
thought? The controller is another part of thought, isn’t it? One part
of thought says, `I am the witness, I am going to control my thought.’ The controller is the controlled. In meditation there is no
controller, there is no activity of will, which is desire. Then, the
brain, the whole movement of the brain – apart from its own
anxiety which has its own rhythm – becomes utterly quiet, silent. It
is not the silence cultivated by thought. It is the silence of
intelligence, the silence of supreme intelligence. In that silence
comes that which is not touched by thought, by endeavour, by
effort. It is the way of intelligence which is the way of compassion.
Then that which is sacred is everlasting. That is meditation. Such a
life is religious life. In that there is great beauty.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
MADRAS 1ST PUBLIC TALK 25TH DECEMBER,
1982 ‘THE NATURE AND CONTENT OF
THOUGHT’

We are going to talk over together a great many things relating to
our daily life. This is not a lecture as it is commonly understood,
but this is a conversation between two friends who are concerned
not only with what is happening in the world externally,
environmentally, but also with what is happening to the human
being. What is happening to our brain, to our conduct; why have
we human beings who have lived on this earth, perhaps million
years or more, so degenerated without any stamina, without any
integrity? We are not merely listening to a series of ideas or some
conclusions or some new principles and values, but together you
and the speaker are going to examine closely, hesitantly, carefully,
what is happening in the external world, and what is happening to
us in our own daily life, the inner life. So, we are having a
conversation together about all this. If you hold on to your opinion
however slight or obstinate, then it will not be possible to have a
conversation or communicate with each other. That must be clearly
understood from the very beginning of these talks, that you and the
speaker are going to examine not from any religious point of view
or as a communist, socialist, Marxist, conservative, or as belonging
to the left or right, or belonging to any nation, but we are going to
examine in freedom. To examine, one must have a free mind, not
an opinionated mind, not a traditional mind, not belonging to any
sect, to any order, to any religious group or to any institution. There are the threats of war, of nuclear or conventional war; there
is decline of all religions; there is no moral activity; but most of us
are living superficially, intellectually, never examining, never
questioning, never doubting, all that is going on in the world. And
to examine, probe, observe, requires a very clear mind and heart, a
brain that is not held by any tradition. The brain is already
conditioned. The human brain has evolved through millennia. If we
are not aware of the activities of our own sensory responses, to
examine,and to observe what is going on in the world becomes
almost impossible.
Let us talk together like two human beings, as friends, not
imposing any ideas on each other, any dogmatic argumentative
conclusions; as two friends who have known each other for some
time, sitting under a lovely tree in a cool climate and looking at the
world. What is the world? What is it that is happening out there?
Who has created it? Why has man become what he is, thoughtless,
careless, indifferent, without any love, brutal, violent? Why have
we become like this? You might blame our inheritance, you might
blame our environment, our culture or society. But who has created
this society? Each one of us, the past generation and the present
generation, is contributing to it. We have created this world, and
there is no escape from that fact. Each one of us has contributed to
that chaos, to the mess, the disorder, the anarchy that is going on.
Thought has divided the world into nationalities, and
nationalities are one of the causes of war. Nationality, devised by
thought in its search for security, has divided the world into the
British, the French, the Muslim, Pakistani, Russian, and so on, and
thought has created war through this division and the preparations of war for killing other human beings; thought has been
responsible for this. In its search to be safe, secure, to find
somewhere or other a sense of safety, it begins with the family,
community, then a larger group and a wider group, hoping thereby
to find some kind of safety, protection, security. It begins with a
small group and ends up in nationalities. All the governments are
supporting this crazy system of dividing people into nationalities,
into groups – as the Hindus and the Muslims, the Chinese and the
Russians, the Americans and the British and the French, and so on.
Thought has been responsible for the division of religions – the
Christian, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Muslim, and so on. Thought
has created the marvellous cathedrals, the great mosques and the
lovely temples. Thought has put in these temples, mosques and
churches the things that are invented by thought: the rituals, the
dogmas, all the ceremonies, etc. Thought has also been responsible
for the extraordinary development of techniques. Very few of us
know actually what is going on in the technological world; the
terrible things they are doing biologically, inventing great
instruments of destruction of man – this is the vast unlimited
movement of technology; and also thought has organized mass
killings in the name of peace, in the name of the country, in the
name of god. So, there is a great conflict going on, for which
thought is responsible. Thought has brought about great hygienic
benefits, communications, rapid transport, and all that. The brain is
infinitely capable, and that capacity, that energy of thought has
created this world of technology with all the problems it involves –
social and environmental; and thought also has created havoc in
our daily life, in our relationship with each other, between man and woman. We are saying that thought is responsible for all the
miseries it has brought about in the world. Thought has also done
great things to humanity. Please do not deny or accept what the
speaker is saying. He is putting this forward for you to examine, to
question, to doubt, not to accept nor to agree.
So, we must together examine very carefully what is the source
of thought, why thought has created such havoc in the world,
whether thought can ever have as its companion love, or is love
entirely different from the activities of thought. Is it possible to
examine without any sense of authority, without any sense of
belonging to any group, and go beyond the present confusion and
chaos? Please listen; do not agree. but listen to find out. We have
to be both the teacher and the disciple. The meaning of that word
`disciple’ is he who learns. Also we must be the teacher. The very
act of learning gives us the responsibility to teach. So, we are going
together to learn, not hold on to our own traditions, to our own
opinions and conclusions; then that prevents us from learning, not
from the speaker, but learning through observation, learning
through the investigation of the nature of thought and the nature of
the brain – not the physiological brain but the activities of a brain
that is conditioned. So, first of all, we are going to examine
together why the brain, which has evolved through thousands of
years, which has gone through every kind of incident, accident, has
become so limited. It is not limited in the technological world at
all. It is moving with extraordinary rapidity. So, in one direction, in
the direction of technology, the brain has infinite scope. The brain
has put man on the moon, invented terrible things to kill human
beings. Also technology has given man great comfort, hygiene, communication, and so on. But the brain is limited because it
cannot go in any other direction but that direction. it is incapable at
present to go inward, and if it can go in one direction, the outward
direction, with such extraordinary vigour, extraordinary energy,
then it can also go in the other direction, in the world of the psyche,
the psychological world.
We are going to enquire together into the whole psychological
world: why after all these thousands of years we live in conflict
with each other; why man has become so miserable, unhappy,
anxious, uncertain, hypocritical, dishonest, corrupt, suffering a
great deal. That is our inner world, the psychological realm into
which very few have investigated deeply, profoundly. The
psychologists, the theoreticians, the analysts, psychotherapists,
have not solved all our human problems. They have written vast
volumes about it, but we are still what we are. So, how do we
investigate into something that is yourself, that is your
consciousness? You are both the unconscious and the conscious,
the whole realm of the inward activity which dictates the outer
activity. If that inner activity is not in order, then you create a
society as we have done, which is totally in disorder. You cannot
create outward order unless there is inward order. Has one realized
this fact, that the outward chaos, war, confusion, the brutality, the
violence, the hatred, is the result of our own life, our own disorder,
is the resulting conflict in our own consciousness? Can all this
misery, confusion, conflict, anxiety, ever end? This question,
whether it is possible to change radically the content of our
consciousness, is far more serious than the nuclear war, or the
neutron war, or whatever war that may be. The crisis is there, not in the world, not the nuclear war, not the terrible division, the
brutality that is going on. The crisis is in our consciousness, the
crisis is what we are, what we have become. Unless we meet that
crisis, that challenge, we are going to perpetuate wars, destruction,
and there will be outward chaos.
When there is great disturbance outwardly, uncertainty,
insecurity, man turns back to tradition like the Muslim world is
doing. They go back to the Koran, and in the Christian, Hindu
world there are so many books that they cannot go back to the
books, but they go back to tradition. We have now got tribal gods
at every corner because the world has become uncertain,
dangerous, and we are all doing the same. We want to belong to
some group, some sect, some local god. Now, how does one
enquire into the psychological world, that is, into the world of
consciousness? The content of that consciousness is what you are.
That is not a dogmatic statement. That is not a conclusion but is a
fact. What you are, is the content of your consciousness. Your
beliefs, your opinions, your experiences, your illusions,
superstitions, your gods, your fear, your pleasure and the
loneliness, the sorrow, and the great grief and the fear of death.
That is what you are. That is, the content of your consciousness is
what you are. You can divide that content of your consciousness
into various parts, invent a super consciousness, but it is still the
content of your consciousness. You can meditate, sit cross-legged,
do all those things, but it is part of your consciousness. And the
content of your consciousness is put together by thought. Please
examine this situation. We are saying, the content of your
consciousness is put together by thought, by thinking, the thinking that you are a Hindu or a Christian, Marxist, Maoist or whatever
you want to think. Thought, which is limited, has brought about
limitations in consciousness. It can expand consciousness by
thinking that it can expand and experiment in expansion. But it is
still the activity of thought.
The question is, whether your consciousness which is the
activity of the brain – brain with all its sensory responses, brain
which is the centre of thought – whether that thought has not
brought about fear, whether thought which is also movement in
time is not responsible for the whole content of our consciousness.
We are saying thought is limited because it is the outcome of
knowledge. It is the result, the end product of experience,
knowledge stored in the brain as memory; the response of any
challenge is thinking. And knowledge is always limited. There is
no complete knowledge about anything. The scientific knowledge
is limited. Every kind of knowledge in any field is limited –
biological, sociological, technological, and in the world of
religions with all their gods, and all gods are invented by thought.
Examine it, please. Thought has invented all the gods on earth, and
then thought worships that which it has invented, and this you call
religion. The root meaning of that word is quite difficult, and it has
not been established what the root of that word is. So, thought is
limited and whatever its activity, it is always limited, and being
limited, it must inevitably create problems – not only problems in
the technological world but also problems in human relationship
which is far more important to understand than the technological
world because, we human beings are perpetually in conflict with
each other, agreeing, disagreeing, believing, and not believing. It is a perpetual war between human beings. It is created by thought.
And having created the problems, then thought tries to solve them
and so increase the problems, which is what is actually happening.
If one sees that, not intellectually, not as an idea or a conclusion
but as an actuality, as a fact, then one can see that the only
instrument that we have is thought. Please understand the nature
and the content of thought. Thought is all the sensory responses,
the imaginations, all the sexual symbols, the sexual pictures, and so
on, the feeling of depression, elation, anxiety; all this is the result
of limited thought, because thought is the outcome of limited
knowledge. There is no complete knowledge about anything. We
ask a totally different question, which is, `Is there a different
instrument?’ If thought is not the instrument to solve human
problems, then what is the instrument? Thought is a worn out
instrument, blunt instrument. It may be clever, it may solve certain
problems; but the problems it has created in human beings and
between human beings, the instrument of thought that we have
used to solve our problems in our daily life, in relationship, that
instrument is blunt, limited, worn out. Unless we find a new
instrument, there can be no fundamental, radical, change of human
psyche. So, we are going together to enquire into the nature of that
instrument, the quality of it, the structure of it, the beauty of it. But
before we can enquire, one must be absolutely clear that the
instrument which we have now as thought, has reached its tether. It
cannot solve the problem of human relationship, and in that human
relationship there is conflict, and out of that conflict we have
created this society through our greed, through our brutality,
through our violence.       We have to be absolutely, irrevocably, clear that thought is not
the instrument to solve our human problems. We have tried every
method of solving our human problems, surrendering ourselves to
some ideals, to some guru, to some concept, to some conclusion –
we have done all these things. We have followed all kinds of
leaders – political, religious, various quacks, many gurus. And we
are still what we are, slightly modified, little more observant, little
more kindly, but basically, millennia after millennia, we are what
we have been from the beginning of time. And the instrument that
we have had, which is thought, can no longer solve our problems.
This is very clear, and that requires great observation, questioning,
doubting, asking, never accepting authority – the authority of the
books, the hierarchical structure of our society, the authority of
institutions, the authority of those who say , `I know.’ A mind
which is enquiring into the nature of a new quality and structure of
a new instrument must be entirely free from authority, not the
authority of the policeman, not the authority of the governments.
So, a mind that is enquiring into something requires great
sensitivity, freedom; that demands a brain that is stable, not
wobbly, sloppy. I do not know if you have noticed how our minds
are sloppy. We go from one guru to another, specially in this
country. We tolerate anything – the dirt, the squalor, the corruption,
the tradition that is dead, and all the temple buildings which are
absolutely meaningless, spreading all over the world. You watch
all this and you observe all this, and a mind, a brain, that is
enquiring must be extraordinarily free, have great sensitivity. I
don’t know if you have not noticed how limited our senses are;
senses, which is, the observing optically, visually, hearing – to hear another so completely that you understand immediately what is
being said, to have sympathy, empathy, the feeling of cooperation,
feeling of affection, feeling of love. We have not got it here. But
you love god, you love going to a temple, putting on ashes,
belonging to some tribal god, because you are frightened, and
where there is fear, there is no freedom of enquiry.
So, we are talking about our daily life, our conflicts, our
loneliness, our despair, and none of those can be solved by thought.
Then what is the instrument that will solve our problems? Don’t
wait for the speaker to tell you. Then the speaker becomes your
guru, your leader, and the speaker does not want to be your guru,
your authority; but go together, as two human beings concerned
with humanity, because after all you are the rest of humanity. `The
rest of humanity has also the same consciousness as yours. Every
human being in the world suffers, is anxious, uncertain, confused,
in tears, lonely. Your consciousness is not yours, it is as the rest of
mankind. So you are mankind. It is not a mere intellectual, logical,
analytical conclusion. It is a fact to be felt, realized, lived, that you
are not a separate human being, that you are not an individual. That
is a hard pill to swallow because we all think we are separate
individuals with our own little brains. That is our conditioning, to
think that each one of us is separate, but we are not. We are the
result of thousands of years of humanity – their suffering, their
loneliness, their despair, their excitement. their joy, their sex. What
you think, others think, the great scientist thinks; so does the
uneducated villager, poor and hungry, labouring from morning till
night. So thinking is not your individual thinking. There is only
thinking. You may think in one way, another may think another way. It is still thinking. So the thinking,consciousness is shared by
all human beings. And when one really realizes the fundamental
truth of it, then your whole activity changes. Then you are
concerned with the whole humanity, which means your son, your
neighbour, your wife, your husband, the man who is miles away.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
MADRAS 2ND PUBLIC TALK 26TH
DECEMBER, 1982 ‘LIFE IS A MOVEMENT IN
RELATIONSHIP’

We are together having a conversation. We are walking down a
lane, wooded, with plenty of shadows and birds singing; we are
sitting down together and talking about the whole problem of
existence which is very complex. We are not convincing each other
about any subject, we are not trying to persuade each other, we are
not trying to overcome the other through arguments or sticking
dogmatically to one’s own opinions, prejudices, but rather, together
we are going to look at the world as it is and the world that is
within us.
Many volumes have been written about the world outside of us –
the environment, the society, politics, economics, and so on, but
very few have gone to the very length of discovering what we
actually are. Why human beings are behaving as they are doing –
killing each other, constantly in trouble, following some authority
or the other, some book, some person, some ideal, and having no
right relationship with their friends, with their wives, with their
husbands and with their children; why human beings have become,
after so many millennia, so vulgar, so brutal, so utterly lacking in
care, consideration, attention to others, and denying the whole
process of what is considered love. Outwardly, man has lived with
wars for thousands and thousands of years. We are now trying to
stop nuclear war but we will never stop wars. There has been no
demonstration throughout the world to stop wars, but there are demonstrations against particular wars, and these wars have been
going on – people being exploited, oppressed and the oppressor
becoming the oppressed. This is the cycle of human existence with
sorrow, loneliness, a great sense of depression, the mounting
anxiety, the utter lack of security. There is no relationship with
society or with one’s own intimate persons, a relationship in which
there is no row, no conflict, quarrels, oppression, and so on. This is
the world we live in, which I am sure you all know.
As we said yesterday, look at the activities of thought, because,
we live by thought. All our actions are based on thought, all our
contemplated efforts are based on thought – our meditations, our 76
worships, our prayer. Thought has brought about the division of
nationalities which create wars, the division in religions as the Jew,
as the Arab, the Muslim, the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and so on.
Thought has divided the world not only geographically but also
psychologically, inwardly. Man is fragmented, broken up not only
at the psychological, mechanical, level of his existence but also in
his occupation. If you are a professor, you have your own small
circle and live in that. If you are a businessman, you are in money
making, or if you are a politician, you live within that area. And if
you are a religious person, in the accepted sense of the word –
doing various forms of puja, rituals, meditations, worshipping
some idol, and so on – then also you live a fragmented life. Each
fragment has its own energy, has its own capacity, has its own
discipline, and each path plays an extraordinary role in
contradicting the other path. You must know all this. This division
– both outwardly, geographically, religiously, nationally, and the
division that is between yourself and another, is such a waste of energy. It is a conflict: wasting our energy, quarrelling, dividing,
each one pursuing his own thing, each one aspiring, demanding his
own personal security, and so on. All action takes energy, all
thinking takes energy. This energy which is so constantly being
broken up is a wastage of energy. When one energy contradicts
another, one action contradicts another action – saying one thing
and doing another, which is obviously a hypocritical acceptance of
life – there is wastage of energy. All such activities must invariably
condition the mind, the brain. We are conditioned as a Hindu,
Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, with all the superstitions, beliefs. We
are conditioned, and there is no question about it. There is no
argument that we are not conditioned; we are, religiously,
politically, geographically.
Until there is freedom from conditioning, freedom from the
activities of thought which is creating great problems, those
problems cannot possibly be solved. A new instrument is necessary
to solve our human problems, and we are going to talk as we go
along about it, but it is not for the speaker to tell you what the new
quality of that instrument is; each one has to find for himself. That
is why both of us must think together, if we can. That demands that
both of us feel, enquire, search out, question, doubt, all these things
that man has put together, all the things that we have created as
barriers between each other. We as human beings living on this
beautiful earth which is slowly being destroyed, living on this earth
which is our earth – not the Indian earth or the British earth or the
American earth – have to live intelligently, happily; but apparently,
that is not possible because we are conditioned. This conditioning
is like a computer: we are programmed. We are programmed to be Hindus, to be Muslims, to be Christians, Catholics, Protestants. For
2000 years the Christian world has been programmed and the brain
has been conditioned through that programme, like the computer.
So our brains are deeply conditioned and we are asking if it is at all
possible to be free of that conditioning. Unless we are totally,
completely, free of that limitation, mere enquiry or asking what is
the new instrument which is not thought, has no meaning.
First, one must begin very near to go very far. We want to go so
far without taking the first step, and perhaps the first step may be
that last step. Are we understanding each other, are we
communicating with each other, or am I talking to myself? If I am
talking to myself, I can do this in my own room. But if we are
talking, having a conversation together, that conversation has
significance when both of us meet at the same level, with the same
intensity, at the same time. That is love. That is the real, deep
friendship. To me this is not a lecture in the ordinary sense of the
word. We are together trying to enquire and resolve human
problems. That requires a great deal of enquiry because human
problems are very, very complex. One must have the quality of
patience, which is not of time. We are all impatient to get on – `tell
me quickly something or other’ – but if you have patience, that is, if
you are not trying to achieve something, to arrive at some end,
some goal, then enquire step by step into it.
As we said, we are programmed. Our human brain is a
mechanical process. Our thought is a materialistic process, and that
thought has been conditioned to think as a Buddhist, as a Hindu, as
a Christian, and so on. So our brain is conditioned. Is it possible to
be free from that conditioning? There are those who say it is not possible, because they ask, how can a brain which has been
conditioned for so many centuries upon centuries, how can that
conditioning be wiped away completely so that the human brain is
extraordinarily pristine, original, capable of infinite capacity?
Many people assert this, and are merely satisfied in modifying the
conditioning. But we are saying that this conditioning can be
examined, can be observed, and there can be total freedom from
that conditioning. To discover for ourselves whether it is possible
or not, we have to enquire into our relationship. Relationship is the
mirror in which we see ourselves as we are. All life is a movement
in relationship. There is no living thing on earth which is not
related to something or other. Even the hermit, a man who goes off
to a lonely spot, is related to the past, is related to those who are
around him. There is no escape from relationship. In that
relationship which is the mirror in which we can see ourselves, we
can discover what we are, our reactions, our prejudices, our fears,
depression, anxieties, loneliness, sorrow, pain, grief. We can also
discover whether we love or there is no such thing as love. So, we
will examine this question of relationship because that is the basis
of love. That is the only thing we have now with each other. If you
cannot find the right relationship, if you live your own particular
narrow life apart from wife, husband, and so on, that isolated
existence brings about its own destruction.
Relationship is the most extraordinarily important thing in life,
If we don’t understand that relationship, we cannot possibly create
a new society. We are going to enquire very closely into what is
relationship – why human beings throughout their long existence of
life have never had a relationship in which there is neither oppression, possessiveness, attachment, contradiction, and so on.
Why is there always this division – man, woman, we and they? We
are going to examine together. This examination can be intellectual
or merely verbal, but such intellectual comprehension has no value
at all. It is just an idea, it is just a concept, but if you can look at
your relationship as a whole, then perhaps you can see the depth
and the beauty and the quality of relationship. Right, sir? Can we
go on? We are asking, what actually is the present relationship with
each other, not theoretically, not romantically, not idealistically,
which are all unreal, but the actual, daily relationship of man,
woman, with each other? Are we related at all? There is the
biological relationship; our relationship is sexual, pleasurable. Our
relationship is possessiveness, attachment, various forms of
intrusion upon each other.
What is attachment? Why do we have such tremendous need for
attachment? What are the implications of attachment? Why is one
attached? When you are attached to anything, there is always fear
in it, fear of losing it. There is always a sense of insecurity. Please
observe it for yourself. There is always a sense of separation. I am
attached to my wife. I am attached to her because she gives me
pleasure sexually, gives me pleasure as a companion; you know all
this, without my telling you. So, I am attached to her, which means
I am jealous, frightened. Where there is jealousy, there is hatred.
And is attachment love? That is one point to note in our
relationship.
Then, in our relationship each one has, through the years, put
together an image about the other. Those images she and he have
created about each other is the actual relationship. They may sleep together, but the fact is that he and she have an image about each
other, and in that relationship of images, how can there be any
actual, factual, relationship with another? All of us from childhood
have built images about ourselves and about others. We are asking
a very, very serious question – can one live without a single image
in our relationship? Surely, you all have an image about the
speaker, haven’t you? Obviously you have. Why? You don’t know
the speaker, actually you don’t know. He sits on a platform, talks,
but you have no relationship with him because you have an image
about him. You have created an image about him, and you have
your own personal images about yourself. You have got so many
images about politicians, about businessmen, about the guru, about
this and that. Can one live profoundly without a single image?
Image may be conclusion about one’s wife, image may be a
picture, sexual picture, image may be some form of better
relationship, and so on. Why do human beings have images at all?
Please ask this question of yourself. When you have an image
about another, that image gives you a sense of security.
Love is not thought. Love is not desire, love is not pleasure,
love is not the movement of images, and as long as you have
images about another, there is no love. And we ask, is it possible to
live a life without a single image? Then you have a relationship
with each other. As it is, it is like two parallel lines never meeting,
except sexually. A man goes off to the office, ambitious, greedy,
envious, trying to achieve a position in the business world, in the
religious world, in the professional world, and the modern lady
also goes off to the office, and they meet in their house to breed
children. And then the whole problem of responsibility, problem of education, of total indifference, comes. It does not matter then
what your children are, what happens to them. You want them to
be like you – safely married, with a house, a job, etc. Right? This is
our life, daily life, and it is really a sorrowful life. So, if one asks
why human beings live by images – all your gods are images, the
Christian god, the Muslim god and your god – you will see that
they are created by thought, and thought is uncertain, fearful. There
is no security in the things that thought has put together. Is it
possible then to be free from our conditioning in our relationship?
That is, to observe in the mirror of relationship attentively, closely,
persistently, what our reactions are, whether they are mechanical,
habitual, traditional. In that mirror you discover actually what you
are. So, relationship is extraordinarily important.
We have to enquire into what it is to observe. How do you
observe yourself what you are, in the mirror of relationship? What
does it mean to observe? This is really another important thing one
has to find out. What does it mean to look? When you look at a
tree, which is the most beautiful thing on the earth, one of the most
lovely things on the earth, how do you look at it? Do you ever look
at it, do you ever look at the new moon – the shape of the new
moon, so delicate, so fresh, so young; have you ever looked at it?
Can you look at it without using the word `moon’? Are you really
interested in all this? I will go on like a river that goes on. You are
sitting on the banks of the river looking at the river, but you don’t
become the river ever because you never take part of the river, you
never join the beauty of the movement that has no beginning and
no end. So please consider what it is to observe. When you observe
a tree, or a moon, something outside you, you always use the word – the tree, the moon; can you look at that moon, the tree, without
naming it, without using the word to identify? Can you look
without the word, without the content of the word, without
identifying the word with the tree or the thing? Now, can you look
at your wife, at your husband, at your children, without the word
`my wife’, without an image? Have you ever tried it? When you
observe without a word, without a name, without the form you
have created about her or him, in that observation there is no centre
from which you observe. Then find out what happens. The word is
thought. Thought is born out of memory. So you have the memory,
the word, the thought, the image interfering between you and the
other. Right? But here is no thought, thought in the sense, the
word, the content of the word, the significance of the word to look,
to observe. Then, in that observation, there is no centre as `me’
looking at `you’. Then only there is a right relationship with
another. In that, there is a quality of learning, a quality of certain
beauty, certain sensitivity.
May we go on? Why do human beings throughout the world
live in perpetual conflict? Please ask that question of yourself. You
are in conflict. Your meditation is conflict, your worship is
conflict. You have got various gods who are in conflict with each
other and with you. Why do human beings throughout the world
live in constant struggle, pain, conflict? What is conflict? What is
the cause of conflict? Where there is a cause, that cause has an end.
If I have a cause of pain, the doctor examines the cause and the
symptom which is the pain. Then the cause may be removed. So
where there is a cause or a causation, there must be an ending of
that causation. So find out for yourself what is the cause of conflict by which man has lived from time immemorial. Don’t wait for the
speaker to tell you. Go into yourself as we are doing now. Find out
what is the cause of this conflict, outside and inside. Is there one
cause or many causes? If there are many causes, we can examine
the many and slowly resolve each cause. One of the causes may be
the constant attempt to become something – the becoming – I am
this, I must be that; I am greedy and I hope I will not be greedy.
That is to become something different from what I am: I am not
beautiful but I will become beautiful; I am violent but I will
become non-violent. So the becoming is a process of evolution. All
becoming – whether the clerk becoming the manager, or the
manager becoming the chairman – is a process of time which is
evolution, from the low to the high. You plant a sapling which
becomes a great tree, which is the evolution of the plant, of that
tree. Is evolution one of the causes of conflict? That is, I am
violent. All human beings apparently, most unfortunately, are
violent. I am violent and I will become non-violent. The becoming
from `what is’ is a process of evolution which requires time, space.
And we are asking, is evolution, this movement from `what is’ to
`what should be`, which is the movement of evolution, one of the
causes of conflict? Is time one of the causes of conflict, that is,
duality – light and dark, man, woman, physical world? There is
duality between good cloth and bad cloth, between nice dress
which is tasteful, good material and bad material, between a good
car and a bad car. Obviously, physically there is a difference; there
is duality. And we are asking, inwardly, psychologically, is there a
duality at all?
We are asking, does conflict exist as long as there is duality? Why have we psychologically, inwardly, duality? I am violent and
I have thought I must not be violent, and so I invent an idea called
non-violence which, in this country, is fashionable. And this
fashion of non-violence is spreading all over the world, which has
no meaning. Because violence is the fact, is real, non-violence is
fiction. So there is only `what is’, not `what should be’, so that if
one realizes that `what is’ is a reality and not `what should be’, then
you can dispense with `what should be’. Then there is no duality.
Do you understand this?
The moment there is the idea `I must not’ or `I should, or, I will,
away from `what is’, then there must be conflict. Does one perceive
this intellectually or actually – that there is no opposite
psychologically, inwardly, but only `what is’? You deal with `what
is’, not `what should be’. I am violent, and this idea of non-violence
is fictitious, is hypocritical. It has no value because, in becoming
non-violent, I am sowing the seeds of violence all the time. So
there is only violence. What is the nature and the structure of
violence, not only to get angry, to hit somebody, to kill somebody,
not only the killing of human beings but killing animals, killing
nature? Violence is also imitation, conformity, trying to be
something which you are not. Can one look at that violence with
all the content of that word, not just physical anger or physical
expression of that anger but to look at the whole content of that
word and hold it, look at it, and not move away from it, neither
suppress it nor escape from it nor transcend it but just look at it as
you would look at a precious jewel? When you so look at it, are
you looking at it as something separate from you or what you
observe is what you are? This is important to understand. We are violent. That violence, we have said, is different from `me’.
Therefore, I try to change it to become something else. That
violence is me. I am not different from violence, greed or hate or
jealousy. Suffering is me, but we have separated anger, jealousy,
loneliness, sorrow, as something separate from me so that I can
control it, shape it, run away from it; but if that is me, I can do
nothing about it but just observe it. So the observer is the observed,
the thinker is the thought, the experiencer is the experienced. The
two are not separate.
So where there is division, there must be conflict. If I am
separate psychologically from my wife, there is bound to be
conflict. So time, evolution, the sense of the opposite, are the
factors of violence. These are the other factors. All these factors
are `me’. And `me’ in essence is the cause of conflict. If I ask how
am I to be free of `me’, it is a wrong question, but observe the
whole movement of conflict, not try to understand, but just
observe, like you observe the marvellous movement of the skies,
the ocean. Then it tells you all its content without your analysing.
So a brain that is in conflict mechanically, psychologically, must
inevitably bring about disorder in itself and so outwardly. Is it
possible for human beings to be totally, completely, free of it?
When there is that freedom, there is order, there is love,
compassion, and that compassion is intelligence.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
MADRAS 3RD PUBLIC TALK 1ST JANUARY,
1983 ‘ON TIME’

We have been talking over together, in a conversation between two
people, the very complex process of our living from the time we
are born till we die. We talked about whether it is possible at all to
live a life without a single shadow of conflict – conflict in our
relationship with each other, however intimate or far away.
Conflict brings about disorder, and as long as each one of us lives
in disorder, we cannot possibly bring about a psychological
revolution in the structure of society. This evening we ought to talk
over the nature of time, desire, fear, pleasure, and whether sorrow,
which happens to be the lot of man throughout the world, has an
end to it. Together you and the speaker are going to investigate the
nature of time, explore desire which is very complex, and talk over
together as to whether there is an end to sorrow. Because, where
there is sorrow, there cannot be love, there can be no compassion,
there can be no intelligence. So, it is important that you and the
speaker meet at the same level, at the same time, with the same
intensity. Otherwise, there will be no possibility of communication.
One hopes we will meet on the same level because, the speaker has
no authority, he is not telling you what to do, or what you should
do with your life; but when we are together, discussing, having a
dialogue over a problem, that problem is the concern of both the
speaker and you. It is your concern as well as that of the speaker.
Merely to meet at a verbal level, as most of us do, has very little
significance because we are concerned with not physical revolution, but psychological revolution – inward, radical,
fundamental change. We have lived for millennia after millennia,
for thousands of years, with sorrow, pain, anxiety, loneliness,
despair, fear and the pursuit of wandering desire, and man has
always asked if there is a stop to time.
What is time? Time fundamentally means division, evolution,
achievement, moving from here to there, the constant division as of
yesterday, today and tomorrow – sun rising, sun setting, the full
moon of a lovely evening and the time to meet your friend. Time is
hope. Time is a very complex affair, and that requires patience.
Patience is timeless; it is only impatience that has time. To enquire
into the nature of time, one must have a great deal of patience, not
impatience, not say `get on, I understand what you are talking
about.’ We have divided our life in a time movement. Movement is
time. To go from here to there requires time. To learn a language
requires time. To accumulate knowledge, to experience, looking
forward to something as fear or as pleasure, the memories of
yesterday, a thousand yesterdays, meeting the present, modifying
and moving towards the future, all this is time. For a clerk to
become the manager, to acquire any skill, requires time. The desire
to experience something other than the usual experience and
pursuit of that, is also time. Is there psychological time at all?
Being violent, to become non-violent – that requires time. The
pursuit of an ideal requires time. One has the fallacy that one will
evolve into something totally different from `what is’. All this
implies time. So we must together understand, not verbally, the
feeling of time, the sense of time.
Time is memory – the past as the observer, observer observing what is happening, translating what is happening to his own
conditioning, to his own experience, and so on. Time essentially
means division. So outwardly to change, we imagine time is
necessary; that eventually man who is divided, who has divided
himself into nationalities, will become international and gradually
drop all nationalistic tendencies and have a global relationship. We
think all that requires time. Time is fundamentally a process of
division. Outwardly, physically, time is necessary – like the seed
growing into a great tree, that requires time, years. There is a tree
in California which is over 5,000 years old. To come to that age,
there have been many many rains and storms and fires and
lightning – which is all growth in time. We see that outwardly,
physically, we need time; to acquire knowledge, the accumulating
process of learning mathematics, physics or how to fly one of these
jets, requires time. One cannot possibly escape from that time or
try to find a stop to that kind of time. That will be utterly
meaningless and foolish.
Now, we are together going to enquire if there is psychological
time at all. We think time is necessary to change from one
psychological or one sensory response to another. We think time is
necessary to be free of violence, to be free of envy. I am envious
but I need time to be free of that particular pain or pleasure. We are
questioning whether there is time at all psychologically. Do you
understand my question? To build a house you need time. To be
educated – if you must be educated – needs time. But we are
enquiring into something much more important, much more
essential, because we are conditioned to the idea or the concept or
to the illusion that time is necessary to change `what is’ to `what should be’. We, the speaker and you, are questioning that – whether
time is at all necessary for a radical change. Have I stated the
question clearly so that we all meet it? We said time is division,
division as I am, I should be. `I should be’ requires time. Right? We
are questioning that. We said there is no such thing as becoming
something or experiencing something. Does enlightenment, of
which many people talk, demand time? We are questioning the
most fundamental thing. All our philosophy, our life, all the sacred
books, have said that time is necessary; you must go through
various disciplines, various practices, in order to come near
whatever you call god, an experience which is beyond all measure,
a state of mind that has not been touched by time.
We must go into the question very closely, whether there is
psychological time at all. The moment you admit that there is
psychological time, time being division, there must be conflict. I
am violent, and to become non-violent I need time. There is a
division immediately taking place. We are violent and we create
the opposite. Where there is the opposite, there must be division
and therefore, there must be conflict, and time is the cause of
conflict. Look at it very simply. I am greedy, and to be non-greedy
takes time. Where time comes into being, there must be conflict,
and the becoming something is endless. We are asking, is there an
end to violence in which there is no time at all? It is a very, very
serious problem. We have accepted time, division, as a means of
ending conflict. We are saying quite the contrary. Where there is
division as `me’ becoming something – the becoming something
may be noble or whatever it is – that very division is the process of
time; and that division, does it exist at all? That is, I am violent. That is the only fact I have. The other, non-violence, has no reality.
It is just a concept, a structure of thought which cannot understand
or end violence. It is the escaping process – the ideal. I am this, I
will be that; that is measurement. All that implies psychological
time. That is the illusion in which we live. We are questioning the
reality of that. There is only `what is; there is only greed; there is
only violence; there is only war.
Now we will go into it very carefully. Human beings are
violent. Is it not important to find out whether it can end
immediately? Is it not important to end it, not say, `I must become
non-violent’? When you become non-violent, that involves a period
of time. During that period you are sowing the seeds of violence. Is
it possible to end violence or greed, anger or whatever you will
immediately? Can you end the whole entirely of violence? What is
violence? It is not merely anger – to injure another, to hate, to
criticize, to wound another both physically and psychologically, to
imitate, to conform – not merely physical aggression but the whole
movement of violence. Can that movement totally end? To find
that out, one must understand time as division. I have divided,
thought has divided `what is’ into `what should be’. We are now
asking whether it is possible to end violence, greed, what you will,
immediately, so that it never comes up again.
How do you observe violence? Violence is a sensory response.
You have hurt me, I am wounded. My image about myself has
been hurt. You might not physically hurt me, but you have
wounded me inwardly because I have an image about myself as a
great man or as a professor. That image has been hurt. To get over
that hurt, I say, `Give me time.’ All that is effort which is brought about by the division of time. So, is it possible to end violence so
completely that it never comes back? That is why we are asking
how do you look at, how do you perceive, violence. How do you
look at a tree, the moon, the stars, the heavens and the beauty of
night – how do you look at it? How do you look at your wife or
your husband or your friend? Do you look at your wife or your
husband or the tree or the moon or the rivers with the memories
that you have had, with accumulated hurts, accumulated pleasures,
companionship, stored in the brain as memory? Do you look at
your wife and your husband with those memories? Memory is
time. Where there is time, there must be division. Hence you have
quarrels and all the rest of it in your relationship with another.
It is of the highest importance to find out how to observe, to
observe a tree, which is one of the most beautiful things on earth.
How do you look at it? When you use the word `tree’ or the species
of tree, you are not looking. The word, the remembrance, prevents
you from looking. You want to look at your wife. Probably you
have never looked at her. You have looked at her as your wife,
your possession, your pleasure, sexually and in other ways. You
have looked at her with all the memories of the last ten days or ten
years or fifty years. Those memories come between her and you,
and she has also her memories. So, it is very important to find out
whether. one can look at a wife or a husband or a tree or moon or
the flowing waters of a great river without the word, without the
name, which is the past. Can you look at violence or greed or
whatever you will without the word? The moment you use the
word `violence’, you have already put it in time. The moment you
use the word which we have used a thousand times before, as violence, that very word is the factor of time. Do you see this?
Therefore you have already brought about a division.
Now, can you observe your wife, your friend or the speaker
without his reputation, look at him without any image? Can you
look at your wife, at a tree, at a flower, without the movement of
thought? The movement of thought is time. Thought divides as
time divides. When you look, you are looking as the observer, who
is the past, who is the word, who is the memory. The past divides,
the past is time. It is in the mirror of relationship that you look at
yourself as you would look in the mirror to look at your face. There
you can perceive every movement of thought, every movement of
reaction. So, the perceiver is the perceived, the analyser is the
analysed. I want to experience something extraordinary. I am bored
with all the experience I have had – sex and pleasure. I want to
experience something ultra, something beyond all thought, and the
experiencer is the experienced. A mind that does not demand
experience is totally different. Therefore, we have to learn how to
listen, how to observe, not accumulate how to listen, but just listen,
just observe, without all the memory. Then you will see that which
you observe, which is violence, and that there is no division
between the observer and the observed. The observer is the
violence. I wonder if you see that! When you are so alert,
watching, observing, it is like putting great light on the thing which
you observe. Then it disappears totally, never to return.
Now, we ought to talk over together what is desire because,
time, desire and thought are the major factors of fear. What is
desire? What is the wandering nature of desire, desire which is
never content, the desire that all religions have said, suppress? Why have religious leaders all over the world, and all the books,
said we must suppress our desire; desire is all right for god, but to
desire a woman, desire a house, desire the lovely things of the
earth, the beauty of a painting, the beauty of a statue, a poem of
Keats, that you must not desire? We have learnt through the ages
the art of suppressing desire or yielding to desire. So, what is
desire? – not the object of desire or the object creating the desire.
Does the object create the desire or desire exists and the object
varies? You must be clear on this point. You see a nice car, a nice
shirt, a lovely house, a beautiful painting. That painting, house, the
car, the woman, the man – does the object create the desire or
desire exists and the objects don’t matter? If the object creates
desire, then it is a totally different investigation, but if desire exists
and the nature of desire is not wandering from one thing to another,
then it is difficult. We have to examine together what is the origin,
the beginning, of desire; not how to control desire, not to suppress
it, transcend it, but the beginning of it. If one can understand the
origin, the source, of desire, then we can deal with it. If we don’t
ask the origin, the beginning, then we are merely trimming the
branches of desire.
So, what is desire? We live by sensation. The reaction of our
sensory responses is the activity of sensation. I see you well
dressed, clean, healthy, beautiful, or whatever you are. I see it. The
seeing is the beginning of sensory responses. The seeing,
observing, contact and sensation are the responses of the senses.
Right? Then what happens? I see a beautiful house, a lovely chalet
in the mountains, beautifully built, strong. I see it, contact, touch it
actually, and the sensation from it. Then what happens? This is really important to understand. I see a beautiful woman or a
beautiful man. The very seeing of that beauty is a sensation, is it
not? Then, what is the next step that takes place? You see a
beautiful something, a statue which has been created by love and
skill and matter. As you see it, sensation arises. You touch it, then
what happens? Please find out for yourself. Then thought comes in
and says, `How beautiful; I wish I had that statue in my room, I
wish I was in that car, I wish I had that house.’ At that moment
when thought takes charge of sensation, at that precise moment,
desire is born. Do you understand this, sir? Sensation is normal,
healthy, vital; otherwise you are dead. To suppress sensation
means you are dead, and probably that is what has happened here
in this country. You read the Gita and Upanishads and all the
sacred books and you follow guru after guru, discipline your
desire, control it, suppress it, escape, and so on. Whereas, we are
saving something entirely different. Can you follow the sensation,
the immediate association of thought with the object, then thought
saying, `How nice it would be if I sat in that beautiful car which
has tremendous power behind it’? – then begins desire. Now, is it
possible for thought not to intervene, not immediately, thought
saying `I will see myself in the car’? Is there an interval between
sensation and thought, so that thought does not immediately take
charge, so that there is a gap? If there is a gap, what happens? That
requires extraordinary skill and attention, to see where sensations
are important, because, if your senses are not alive, you cannot see
the beauty of the earth, the movement of the sea. So sensations, the
sensory responses, are essential for life, but when thought controls,
shapes, gives identity to sensation, then at that precise moment desire is born.
Can we find out, without control, without suppression, just see
how thought is acting upon sensation, even verbally, even
intellectually, and go into it very deeply, to have such alertness,
such care, such affection, such love to see its nature, how desire is
born? You have to see what thought is, how thought makes all life
a problem. Thought is a material movement. Thought is limited
because all knowledge, all experience, is limited. Thought springs
from knowledge, experience, memory. And this whole process is
limited. There is no complete knowledge about anything, can never
be. Science, technology, is always adding more and more. So, time,
desire, thought, are the factors of fear. I am afraid of what might
happen to me because I have had an accident a couple of days ago
or a year ago, and I am afraid it might happen again. I am watchful.
There is fear. I am afraid of the dark, I am afraid of the wife, the
husband, I am afraid of my boss. Aren’t you all afraid? Don’t be
ashamed. It is the common lot of man. You may not want to
acknowledge it, you may not want to face it, but you are
frightened, and fear does terrible things to human beings. Mentally,
psychologically, it narrows down, it curtails. It makes human
beings so bound to authority, to some ideas. They have become so
dependent, so attached, so inhuman. We are not talking about the
many expressions of desire, of fear, but fear itself. We are not
talking about the various aspects of fear, but the root of it.
What is the root of fear? Is it not time and thought? That is, I
am a clerk, I may never become a manager. I am a disciple, I can
never become the guru if I want to be. I am ignorant in the deep
sense of the word, deeply ignorant, which is, not knowing. That is ignorance – a movement that has no beginning and perhaps no end,
and to understand that deep ignorance I imagine I need time,
experience, accumulation, belief in reincarnation, and all the rest of
it. So there is fear. We are asking each other what is the root of it
all. Why has man, throughout the ages, from timeless beginning,
carried this burden of fear? He has not been able to resolve it. He
may go to all the temples, to all the churches, to all the gurus,
various systems of meditation, but fear is always there. You may
be blind to it, you may want to evade it, but it is always there in
one form or another.
We are asking, what is the root of it? The root of it is time and
thought. I had pain a couple of weeks ago and I fear it might return
again, which is time. There is the remembrance of that pain and the
fear that it may happen again. My wife has hurt me, as I have hurt
her, not physically, but inwardly, and I hope she won’t hurt me
more by word or a gesture or by a tear. I am afraid she might hurt
me, so there is fear. Fear is time and thought. If one understands
the nature of time and thought and the movement and the
wandering of desire, understand in the sense see the truth of it
instantly, not the verbal conclusion of it but the fact of it, the
reality of it, the depth of it, the intensity of it, if you do see it so
clearly, then you will never ask how is fear to end. Nor can you
ask, `How can I control thought’, or `How am I to stop thought’,
which are the causes of fear. You will never ask that question
because you cannot ask that question about it. You actually see the
truth. It is there. It is there for you to see, not to accept, to argue,
analyse, discuss, take sides; you can’t. This is like seeing the most
beautiful thing on earth, which is there – an excellent sea, an excellent mind which is there, a heart that is always aflame, which
is there. If you see it, then fear ends. And where there is the ending
of fear, there is no god. It is out of our fear, out of our desire, that
we invent the gods. When a man is without fear, then he is a totally
different human being and he needs no god. And sirs and ladies,
give your heart to consider all this – not your mind, not your
intellect. Intellect has its place, but when you are examining
something very, very seriously, the head must enter into its
consideration. When the heart enters, that is when there is love to
observe, love of watching, seeing; then, when you see the truth of
desire, time and thought, there is no fear whatsoever. Then only
there can be love. Fear and love cannot go together. Fear and
pleasure go together, but not love and fear.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
MADRAS 4TH PUBLIC TALK 2ND JANUARY,
1983 ‘MEDITATION IS THE EXPRESSION OF
DAILY ACTIVITY’

Yesterday evening we talked about fear, the nature of fear and
what brings about fear. We said time, desire, thought, are the
causes of fear and man has lived with fear. We live with fear now –
fear of the past, fear of the future of man, what is going to happen
to man. Surely, the future of man is what he is now. If he does not
radically change, psychologically, inwardly, the future is what he is
now. That is guaranteed because there will be more wars, more
instruments of wars, more destruction, more violence, more
fragmentation of human beings into nationalities, and so on. The
future is what we are now. It is so urgently necessary to bring
about the psychological revolution. What does it mean to bring
about a change – not move from one form, one system, one idea to
another, but is it possible for human beings who have lived on this
lovely earth for so many millennia to change?
This evening we ought to talk over together whether sorrow can
ever end – the sorrow of man; what is love, what is compassion,
what is intelligence, the significance of death, and the whole
question of meditation. We have lived with sorrow generation upon
generation – the grief, the sorrow of loneliness, the sorrow of great
anxiety, the sorrow of having no proper relationship with another,
the sorrow of a mother, of a father losing a son, of a wife whose
husband has been killed in war. Also there is the sorrow of
ignorance. Sorrow has many forms. It is not just one incident called death, it is not just one happening in one’s life, but a series of
incidents, of accidents and experiences which contain pleasure and
pain, the sorrow of this movement of reward and punishment, the
sorrow of old age, the sorrow of illness, blindness, of deformed
children. Man has carried the great weight of sorrow and tries to
escape from it. He invents all kinds of theories, all kinds of
possibilities, romantic concepts, but sorrow remains with man. I
wonder if one has looked at what wars have done to man – how
many women, fathers, brothers, sisters, have shed tears because
one holds on to nationalism, racial prejudices, linguistic
differences. All this is causing enormous sorrow in the world.
There is not only personal sorrow, the loss of something, the loss
of someone whom you loved, but the loss of never having a single,
happy, original day, the pain of seeing poverty in this land and
doing nothing about it. Man has carried this sorrow from time
beyond measure. We still are burdened, fearful, anxious, lonely,
aching with deep inward pain, the lack of success, lack of
opportunity, lack of the things we all want.
Is it possible to end this enormous burden carried by humanity
and by those who are still in sorrow? What is sorrow? What is the
cause of sorrow? Where there is a cause, there is an end. If I have
cancer, the cause, the pain, then perhaps the cause can be removed.
So, where there is a cause for anything, there is an end to that. The
causation is a movement; it is not a fixed point. If you can
understand and discover the cause of this burden of sorrow, then
perhaps we can understand the nature of love; not love of god, not
the love of the guru, not the love of some book or a poem but the
love of human beings – the love of your wife, the husband, your children. To find that extraordinary perfume that is really the light
of the world, one must understand the nature of suffering, the
structure of suffering.
I hope together we, you and the speaker, are going into this.
Together we are investigating, not the speaker investigates and you
listen, agree or disagree, accept or deny, but together we are
exploring a very, very profound problem of humanity. One
requires an unemotional approach to understand sorrow; not
sentimentality, not a conclusion that sorrow will end, or that
sorrow will always remain with mankind. We must together
consider this question deeply. You can only consider this question
when the mind is in the heart. We use our intellect to comprehend,
to discern, to argue. We use the intellect to choose, to measure.
And intellect is one of the faculties of the brain. If we are going to
examine this extraordinary, profound, problem, mere intellect has
very little place, and most of us are highly intellectual, highly
educated, having this extraordinary quality of analysis. You in
India can analyse anything on earth. You have got fairly subtle
minds, whereas to comprehend sorrow, mere intellect cannot go
very far. We are saying that all of us have the capacity to use our
intellect, which is to understand, to discern, to argue, to choose, to
weigh one against the other. This is the function of the intellect.
And most of us having the capacity – if you are merely approaching
this question of sorrow that way – then our intellect, our mind,
dominates the process of investigation. Therefore it distorts.
Whereas, is it possible to approach it with a holistic movement?
We never approach anything as a whole. We never look at life as a
whole. We have fragmented life, broken it up as the intellect, the emotions, love, and so on, and so we can never look at a problem
wholly. The word `whole’ also means healthy – a healthy mind, not
a crippled mind, not a stagnant mind, but a mind which is whole, a
sense of covering the earth and the skies and the beauty of all that.
`Whole’ means also `holy’. In investigating, exploring, this
question, one needs to have that quality of a mind in the heart
which is not romantic, idealistic, imaginative, but a very factual
mind, tempered with the quality of love. When we use the word
`holy`, we mean by that – mind in the heart, mind in the quality of
love, which has nothing whatsoever to do with any ideals, with any
obedience. There must be freedom to observe. So, together let us
look at this question of what is sorrow and why man has put up
with sorrow, why he has accepted it as he has accepted fear, as he
has accepted pleasure, desire, all the things that man is surrounded
with, both outwardly and inwardly.
So, what is sorrow? What is the nature of it? In that thing called
sorrow, there is pain, there is grief, there is a sense of isolation, a
sense of loneliness in which there is no relationship. It is not only a
physical shock but a great crisis in consciousness, in the psyche. I
have lost my son; I am only taking that example. I have lost my
son to whom I am attached. I want him to grow up into some
businessman, have some kind of good substantial income, a house,
and so on, and suddenly he has gone. What is that quality of
suddenness, something which has given me great joy, great pain,
great anxiety, concern about his future? All that movement – my
affection, my concern, my care, my sense of helping him to have
good taste, to live aesthetically – suddenly ends. Don’t you know all
these feelings? In every house there is this shadow of sorrow. There is sudden ending of my attachment, sudden ending of all my
hope which I have invested in him, sudden in the sense of a deep
shock and life becomes empty; either I become very cynical or find
a rational explanation or plunge myself into some form of
entertainment – drugs, trips and all the rest of it, or believe in some
future life. This is the lot of human beings.
What is this ending? What does it mean to end? Have we ever
ended something without a motive, without a reward or
punishment? Where there is an ending, there is a totally new
beginning. But we never end. We end things if it is profitable or
painful. Our life is based on reward and punishment, both
outwardly and inwardly, but we never end anything without a
cause. So, grief, loneliness, and sense of separation which is
essentially time, identification, investment and all the things one
has cultivated in another – all that ends and there is a shock and that
shock I call sorrow. Now, can one remain with that, not escape, not
seek comfort? Can you remain with that tremendous challenge
without a single movement of thought, because sorrow is perhaps
one of the greatest challenges, greatest demands on the human
mind, on the human quality? And if you merely escape from it, run
away, rationalize, then sorrow is your shadow, but with the ending
of that, there is passion that is the very essence of energy. But very
few of us have that passion. which is living, that passion which
moves the universe.
So we ought to look into what is love. That word has been so
spoilt. We have given to that word such shallow meaning. One
may say, I love my wife. One questions that love. That love may be
attachment, that love may be seeking comfort, pleasure sexually, the pleasure of companionship, and so on. We are going to
consider what is love, to see the depth of it, the beauty and the
extraordinary quality of it. Love may be related to death.
Surely, to find something true one must negate that which is not
true, negate the false. To discover what is false and what is true
and what is true in the false, one requires not only the capacity to
think clearly but to demand, ask questions. So what is love? Would
you say love is desire? Would you say love is pleasure? Would you
say love is attachment? The speaker is asking these questions for
you to answer to yourself; answer, not to deceive yourself, which is
so easy to do. One may think that one is a marvellous human
being, and that one is out of all this. But to find out that which is
not love, that is negation, and it is the most positive action. We are
asking, is desire love? Desire is a wandering movement, and is
love wandering, unstable, weak, or is it something as strong, as
vital as death? Is love pleasure, sexual pleasure, the pleasure of
owning, dominating, possessing a person? Is that love? Is
attachment to the person – my wife, my husband, my family, which
means to hold on, cling to – is that love? Or,in attachment there is
fear, jealousy, anxiety, hate? Where there is jealousy, there is hate.
Is that love? Has hate any relationship with love? Is love the
opposite of hate? Is the good opposite of that which is not good? If
hate is the opposite of love, then hate has its root in love. All
opposites have their root in their own opposites. Please examine
your own life honestly and ask these questions. Desire, pleasure,
attachment, jealousy, anxiety, fear of losing, is all that love? Can
you be free of attachment, not at the last moment when death is
there? Can you end attachment to another? See the implications of attachment, the consequences of attachment. Where there is
jealousy, there is hate, anger. Is all that love?
And what is compassion? – not the definition that you can look
up in a dictionary. What is the relationship between love and
compassion, or are they the same movement? When we use the
word `relationship’, it implies a duality, a separation, but we are
asking what place has love in compassion, or is love the highest
expression of compassion? How can one be compassionate if you
belong to any religion, follow any guru, believe in something,
believe in your scriptures, and so on, attached to a conclusion?
When you accept your guru, you have come to a conclusion, or
when you strongly believe in god or in a saviour, this or that, can
there be compassion? You may do social work, help the poor out
of pity, out of sympathy, out of charity, but is all that love and
compassion? In understanding the nature of love, having that
quality which is mind in the heart, that is intelligence. Intelligence
is the understanding or the discovering of what love is. Intelligence
has nothing whatsoever to do with thought, with cleverness, with
knowledge. You may be very clever in your studies, in your job, in
being able to argue very cleverly, reasonably, but that is not
intelligence. Intelligence goes with love and compassion, and you
cannot come upon that intelligence as an individual. Compassion is
not yours or mine like thought is not yours or mine. When there is
intelligence, there is no me and you. And intelligence does not
abide in your heart or your mind. That intelligence which is
supreme is everywhere. It is that intelligence that moves the earth
and the heavens and the stars, because that is compassion.
Also we are going to talk over together this question of death – death being the ending, the ending of our memories, of our
attachments, the bank account if you have one. You cannot carry it
with you but you would like to have it till the last moment. So,
what is death and who is it that dies? And what is life? Do you
understand? Who is it that dies, and what does it mean to die? We
are not talking of the ending of the physical organism, but we are
enquiring into life, the ending of life and the great significance of
what death means. What is life which we have separated from
death? There is a gap 40, 50 or 100 years. We want to prolong our
lives, as long as possible. Modem medicine, surgery, health, and all
that helps to prolong one’s life. I do not know for what, but one
wants to prolong it. So what is life, your life or the life of the
universe, life of the earth, life of nature, life which is the vast
movement without a beginning and without an end? Don’t fall back
into the trap of your tradition. That is dead, as dead as a door nail.
So we must examine when we talk about living, life, what that
means – the life of a tree, the life of the fish in the water, the life of
the beauty of a tiger, the life of the universe, this life that seems so
extraordinarily vast, immense, measureless. Are we talking about
that or your life? If you are talking about your life, what is that
life? Going to the office from morning till night for 50, 60 years,
having children, belonging to some sect, following some guru?
Your life is conflict as pleasure, conflict as fear and the pursuit of
pleasure and desire. This is your life. Is that what we are talking
about, the ending of that life? What is important – before or after
death? Life, the beauty of it, the energy, the pleasure of it, the
immensity of it you have reduced to such shallow little `me’. Are
you concerned about that, the `me’ that is going to die? Is it your name, your form, how you look, your bank account, your ideals,
your beliefs, your experiences? So what are you? Please look,
question it, doubt it, ask it. Is that what you are frightened of –
dying? Knowing that your body, that organism, is going to die?
You may prolong it for a long time, but it is going to come to an
end. Or you can say, `I have had a jolly good life, I don’t mind
dying.’ We are asking, what is it that dies and what is it that clings
to life? By life I mean going to office, sex, pain, pleasure, fighting
each other, quarrelling, destroying each other. This is your life,
whether you are young or old. Is that what you are afraid of
ending? Or are you considering life as a whole, the life of the
universe, which is so immense, so vast, so incalculable? Please
enquire what you are, to which thought clings, to the image you
have built about yourself. It is not the immortality of one’s soul, of
yourself. Yourself is built through time, your image as `me’ from
the moment you are born till now. And you accept that `me’ as a
reality; is it real at all or is it a series of words, series of memories,
accidental experiences, which are all put together by thought, and
is that `me’ holding on to all this travail of life? If you are not
holding it then life is something totally different. It is a vast
incalculable movement. But that can only be seen when the self is
not.
Now we ought to ask a question: what is meditation? We are
together going to examine what is meditation, not how to meditate,
but what is the nature, the quality, the structure, the beauty of
meditation. The word `meditation means to ponder over, to think
over, to consider, to probe, to investigate, to look, according to the
dictionary. And the word `meditation also means measurement, to measure. I believe in Sanskrit ma is to measure. Measurement
means comparison. Have you ever considered how the ancient
Greece in 450 B.C. exploded all over Europe? Greece was
responsible for measurement; the Greeks invented measurement.
Without measurement there can be no technology. And the
Western world is capable of great technology, which has moved to
Japan. The ancient Indians said that measurement is illusion; India
exploded all over Asia. Don’t be proud of it, it is all gone. You
have lost the one thing that was so precious. You have lost the
greatest jewel that you had ever had. So meditation means to think,
to ponder, and also it means to measure. That is, I am this, I must
be that; I am comparing myself with yourself who are clever,
beautiful, lovely, and I am not; that is measurement. Following an
example is measurement. Wherever there is comparison
psychologically, meditation cannot be. Where there is
measurement, comparison, there cannot be meditation. You can
compare between two cars, between two materials, better cloth,
better paper, better house, better food, but where the mind thinks in
terms psychologically of the better, meditation is not possible. You
can sit cross-legged, do all kinds of yoga, all kinds of control, but
where there is control, there is measurement. Where there is
control, there must be conflict and there must be measurement, and
that is not meditation.
Meditation is to live a diligent life. Meditation is not separate
from daily living; it is not going off into a little corner, meditating
for twenty minutes every day or every afternoon, every evening;
that is just having a siesta. There is no system. System implies
practice. Practice means measurement – from what you are to what you want to be, and you may be practising the wrong note. And
probably you are. You call that meditation. That meditation is
totally separate from your daily living. Find out whether it is
possible to live a daily life of meditation which means no
measurement at any time. In meditation, there is no control because
the controller is the controlled. In meditation there is no will
because will is desire. The essence of desire is will – `I will
meditate, I will practise this day after day.’ In meditation there is no
effort at all because there is no controller. Meditation implies
awareness, awareness of the earth, the beauty of the earth, the dead
leaf, the dying dog, to be aware of your environment; to be aware
of your neighbour; to be aware of the colours you carry, why you
wear that colour and those beads, to be aware of that. To be aware
of the beauty of the wind among the leaves, to be aware of your
thoughts, your feelings, that is, to be aware without choice – just to
be aware. That heightens your sensitivity – to observe diligently
everything. When you say I will do something, do it, never
forgetting what you have said. Do not say something you don`t
mean. That is part of meditation. That is, to be aware of your
feelings, your condition. your opinions, your judgments, and your
beliefs so that in that awareness there is no choice – just to be
aware of the beauty of the earth, the skies and the lovely waters.
When you are so aware, then there is attention; to attend not only
to see the speaker but also to what your wife is telling you or your
husband is telling you or your children are telling you, what the
politicians are telling you – their trickery, their search for power,
position. When you so profoundly attend, there is no centre as the
`me’ to attend. That is also meditation.       Then, if you have gone that far, if the mind has moved that far,
then you ask what is religion. Religion is none of these things that
you have – the temples and the content of the temples, the puja, the
Tirupatis, the churches and all that is not religion. The rituals, the
beliefs, they are put together by thought which is a material process
and you worship that which thought has created, which is what you
have created. Have you ever realized that all the rituals, these gods,
you have created them out of your fear, out of your wanting
security? I know you don’t agree, but listen to it. You will go on
doing it because your mind is conditioned, afraid, wants some kind
of security, but a religious man does not belong to any group, to
any religion, has no belief because his mind is free. Intelligence is
the highest, supreme form of ultimate security, not the intelligence
of the cunning thought. There is the intelligence of compassion. In
that intelligence there is no doubt, no uncertainty, no fear. That
intelligence is something immense and universal. And where there
is attention, there is silence. If you attend now to what the speaker
is saying, attend with your ears, with your eyes, with your nerves,
with your whole body, if you so attend, then in that quality of
attention there is silence, unfathomable silence. That silence has
never been touched by thought, and only then that for which man
has searched from time immemorial, something sacred, something
nameless, supreme, comes. It is only that mind that is so utterly
free from all the travails of life; it is only such a mind that can find
the supreme. That means meditation, which is the expression of
daily activity.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
BOMBAY 1ST PUBLIC TALK 22ND JANUARY,
1983 ‘WHERE THERE IS A CAUSE, THERE IS
AN END’

If one may like to point out, this is not a lecture to instruct on a
particular subject or with a view to inform, not to instruct and
teach, but we, you and the speaker, are searching out the various
issues of our daily lives to see if there are any solutions for them.
So it is your responsibility as well as that of the speaker to think
together, for each of us to discover, find out for ourselves if we are
meeting each other; not merely at the intellectual level or
emotional, ideational level, but rather meet in a relationship that is
enquiring, questioning. To question, enquire, one must be free of
prejudices. Otherwise, enquiry has no value at all. Most of you are
already committed to so many ideals, conclusions, opinions, and so
we never meet. As the speaker has no beliefs, has no ideals, has no
authority whatsoever, he can investigate easily, freely, happily, but
if you also were free, you can also enquire, look into the vast
conflicts of our society, of our governments, why human beings
who have lived on this earth for perhaps forty, fifty thousand years
or more have become what they are – dull, violent, superstitious.
We are the society, we have created this society in which we live,
and to bring about order in that society, our own house must be in
order, which it is not. Our house, the house in which we live, is not
the physical house, but it is the house of our struggle, conflict,
misery, confusion, sorrow. That is our house, and we don’t bring
about order in that. Mere demand for outward order has little meaning.
What we are concerned with deeply is why human beings are
what they are, why they have become like this. The future is what
they are now. If they don’t change now, the future will be exactly
what it is now, perhaps with certain modification, variation. If
human beings don’t radically, fundamentally, bring about a change
in their own attitudes, in their own lives, which is to put order, then
attending all these talks has very little meaning. If that is very
clear, then we are together meeting at a certain level with the same
intensity, at the same time; then communication becomes very
simple. Because, obviously the speaker is here to say something, to
explore something with you. If you hold on to your commitments,
to your beliefs, to your gurus and all that, we can never meet each
other. So, please, this is a talk or a conversation between two
people, a dialogue of two friends who are concerned not only with
their own private life but concerned with the world, concerned with
what is happening in the world – the global disorder, the threat of
wars, poverty, the violence and the destruction that is going on
right through the world. We are responsible for all that.
What is the problem? Why have we, throughout our life,
problems – from the beginning, when we see the light, till we die?
Why do we have problems – social problems, economic problems,
mechanical problems, computer problems and our own problems in
our daily life, in our relationship? Is it necessary to have problems?
Is it possible to live without a single problem? If you have
problems, obviously those problems act as friction and wear out
the brain, and one gets old and so on. Human beings throughout the
world have many, many problems. They live in problems. Their whole life is a movement of problems. Now we are asking: is it
possible not to have problems? We are going to investigate the
question, not say, `yes, it is possible to live without problems; that
is not the point. The point is why do we have it, what is a problem,
why the brain is always trying to solve problems. There are
mechanical problems, mathematical problems, problems of design,
problems in architecture, physics. In the technological field, there
are many, many problems. That is inevitable. But why do we, in
our life, in our relationship, in our own way of living, in our
family, have problems? We see that in the technological world
problems must exist. We live in a mechanical world. We are
business people: we are doctors, surgeons, physicists, biologists,
trained computer experts. And our brain is trained, educated,
conditioned, to solve problems. We extend that same attitude to our
daily life. Do you understand what I am saying? Suppose one is a
computer expert. He has several problems there, and mechanically
he has to solve those problems, which means his brain is trained,
conditioned, educated, to solve problems. And we extend that same
movement of solution of problems to the psychological field.
The psychological field is the field of our relationship, our
fears, anxiety, all the rest of it. We have got the same mentality that
these have to be solved: these are problems that have to be solved,
which means we look at life, at our daily living, from the point of
view of our problems. You are trained or educated to solve
problems. We try to solve one problem. In the solution of that one
problem we add more problems. So we live with problems. We are
saying something totally different, which is, to observe life not
with a mind that is trained to solve problems, but to understand why the brain is conditioned, trained, educated, to solve problems,
and why with that same movement we meet life.
Now, we are going to look at the various issues of our life not
with a brain that is trained to solve problems, but to observe the
issues, not demanding an answer, not demanding a solution,
because to live a life without a single problem is the most
extraordinary life. It has immense capacity. It has tremendous
energy. It is always renewing itself, but if you are always caught in
the field of problems and the resolution of those problems, then
you never move out of those problems. Is this clear? We are going
to find out whether it is possible to look at any issue and not call it
a problem, to look at any issue of our daily life and not label it as a
problem but only to observe it, to be aware of the whole nature of
that issue, the content of that issue; but if you approach it as a
problem and therefore try to find an answer to it, you will increase
the problem. Say, for example, it is important to have an
unoccupied mind. It is only a brain that is unoccupied that can
perceive something new, that is free, that has tremendous vitality.
It is necessary to have a very quiet mind because it is only a quiet
mind, unoccupied mind, a brain that can see things clearly, that can
actually think totally differently. Now, you hear that it is necessary
to have a quiet, still mind, then you ask, `how am I to get it?’ Then
you make a problem of it – `I need a quiet mind. My mind is
occupied, restless, chattering all the time and how am I to stop it?’
The desire to stop it brings about problems. How am I to do it is a
problem. Have you understood this? But if you approach the
question of that unoccupied mind without the how, then you will
begin to see for yourself the nature of occupation, why it is occupied, why it is constantly dwelling on a particular thing. When
you observe it, when you are aware of it, it is telling you the story.
Do you understand this?
First, we must be very clear that you and the speaker are
treating life not as a problem but as a tremendous movement. If
your brain is trained to solve problems, then you will treat this
movement as a problem to be solved. Is it possible to look at life
with all its questions, with all its issues, which is tremendously
complex, to look at it not as a problem, but to observe it clearly,
without bias, without coming to some conclusion which will then
dictate your observation? You have to observe this vast movement
of life, not only your own particular life, but the life of humanity,
the life of the earth, the life of the trees, the life of the whole world
– look at it, observe it, move with it, but if you treat it as a problem,
then you will create more problems. Is this clear?
What is our first issue in life, what is the first movement in our
life, in the life of man? We are not talking about the petty little life
which you lead, which we will come to presently, but the life that
is around us, the vast, immense, complex movement of existence.
What is it that strikes you first? What is it that has meaning, that
has depth, that has a sense of vitality behind it? What would be
your first observation, your first response, your first immediate
enquiry? Perhaps you never ask this question. If you look at this
vast extraordinary movement of life of which one is a part, what is
the thing that you meet first? Would it be relationship, would it be
your own particular concern about yourself, would it be your own
fear, your own anxiety, your own particular, narrow, limited
enquiry, your own search for god? What would be your first natural contact, natural demand? Don’t we look at this vast
movement of life from a narrow little window, that window being
your own little self – your own worries, your own anxieties, your
own sexual demands? Are you looking at this vast movement from
no particular point of view, from no window, from no
commitment, or are you so caught in a system, in a tradition, in
knowing as a professor, as a philosopher, as a writer, as a soldier or
as a specialist? Or do you look at it as a human being, the human
being with so many questions, sorrows, pains, anxieties? How do
you look at all this?
When you put such a question among so many people, naturally
each one has a different response. But as we are all human beings,
we are the rest of mankind. We may have a certain background,
certain tradition, certain long history. But primarily you are a
human being, not a Christian, not a doctor, not a Buddhist, not a
Hindu; you are primarily a human being related to all other human
beings. Therefore, you are the rest of humanity. Your body may be
different from another body, the physical organism may be
different from other physical organism, but the body never says `I
am’, the body never says `I am something special; the body never
says `my progress, my success, I must seek God’, and all that. The
body is never conscious that it is separate from somebody else. It is
thought that says I am different. It is important to see how thought
divides. So, that is the first thing that you notice when you look at
this vast movement of life, how man has divided himself from
another, separated himself from another, calling himself an
American, a Jew, a Russian, an Arab, a Hindu, and all the rest of it.
Don’t you observe this extraordinary broken up human entity? Are you aware of that? In that, the first thing you see is how the world
is divided geographically, nationally, racially, religiously. This
division is causing immense conflict, this division is causing wars –
the Hindu against the Muslim. the Russian against the Afghan, and
so on. Isn’t that the first thing you see in this world – how man has
created this division? This division must exist because thought has
created this division.
Sir, if you are at all alert, aware, one sees what man has done to
himself and what he has done to others. That is the first thing one
observes – the destruction of this division, the breeding of wars
through nationalism. One of the causes of war is nationalism, and
one never treats this vast movement of life as one unit. We have
lived that way for thousands of years, killing each other in the
name of god, in the name of peace, in the name of the country, in
the name of a flag, and we are still doing this after thousands of
years. So one asks, what is wrong with man? Why is he doing this?
He is extraordinarily clever in the technological world; he has
invented the most extraordinary delicate instruments. But we are
still carrying on most stupidly our own lives. So that is the first
thing you notice. And one asks what is the cause of it.
What is the cause of all this – this division, these wars, the
structure of hierarchical authority in every country, in the religious
world, in the political world, in the scientific world? It is all based
on hierarchical principles – the authority of knowledge, authority of
experience, and so on. Now, what is the cause of all this? Who is
responsible? Please enquire. Because, where there is a cause, there
is an end to that cause. If one has pain, the cause being cancer or
what you will, then that pain can be ended or you are killed. So, wherever there is a cause, there is an end to that. That is a law, that
is a principle. So we are asking: what is the cause of all this – this
vast misery, unhappiness, the tremendous uncertainty?
May we go into it together, not that I explain, you accept, but
together, slowly, carefully, find out for ourselves what is the root
of all this, what is the cause of all this? If we don’t find it now, the
future will be exactly the same, what you are now – wars, division,
sorrow, pain, anxiety, uncertainty. So together let us find out what
is the cause of this division. This division breeds wars, quarrels,
perpetual conflict – conflict between man and woman, sexually,
and so on. What is the root of all this, the cause of all this? If I may
ask, how do you approach a question like that? How do you come
near to it? Approach means to come near, to come into contact.
This is a question put to you and are you looking at it as a problem
to be resolved, or do you come even close to it? If you do, you are
then open to the question, but if you keep away from the question,
you are not open, you are not alive to the question.
So we are together approaching this question with no direction,
with no motive, because if there is a motive, then that motive
dictates the answer, it distorts the perception. Suppose this is my
question; I am putting this question to myself: `What is the root of
all this?’ I have no answer. I don’t know, but I am going to find out.
But to find out, I must be free, absolutely free from any kind of
direction. Because, if I have a direction, a motive, hoping for some
kind of reward, then that motive, that reward, is going to dictate
my investigation. So one must be free to observe this question –
what is the root of all this? Is it inevitable for every human being
living on this beautiful earth that he must live in conflict, that he must live with anxiety, fear? If you accept that as inevitable, then
there is no investigation. You have come to a conclusion and you
have shut the door. Conclusion means the ending of investigation.
The very word `conclusion` is to close, to end. If you come to any
conclusion, then you cannot possibly answer. So one must be
aware of how you approach this question. We are asking: is it
thought? What is thought? Is thought yours. Is thought individual?
Is your thinking separate from somebody else’s thinking? Every
person thinks – the most stupid, ignorant, downtrodden man in a
village to the great scientist. So thinking is common to all of us. It
is not your thinking separate from my thinking. But thinking is the
movement of all mankind; it is not individual thinking. Do we see
that? It is rather difficult to accept it or see it because we are so
conditioned, we are so educated, so trained to think that my
thinking is separate from yours, my opinion is different from yours.
But opinion is opinion; it is not your opinion or my opinion.
So, is thinking the root of all this misery, this destruction, this
decline, this corruption, this decay? If it is, then can that movement
of thought which has created such havoc in the world, end? It is
thinking which has created the most extraordinary technological
world, great instruments of war, extraordinary submarines, and so
on. Also it has created all the religions in the world. It has built
extraordinary cathedrals, mosques, temples and all the things that
are in the temples, in the mosques, in the churches. Thought has
invented all the rituals, invented the saviour in the Christian world,
invented liberation or moksha or whatever you like to call it in this
country. Also it has invented gods. The more you are uncertain, the
more dangerous the world becomes. So thought must find a security, the sense of safety, certainty. And it creates gods – your
god and my god, my god is better than your god, my guru is better
than yours, and so on. Thought has been responsible for all this, If
that is the cause, if thought is the cause of all this – our misery, our
superstitions, our immense insecurity, uncertainty, and also thought
has created the most extraordinary things – communications,
surgery, medicines and so on, is there an end to it? You understand
my question? Is there an end to thought? That is, if thought is
responsible for all this technological world and the human world of
misery, unhappiness, anxiety, if thought is the cause of all this, it
must have an end. That is, if one has a certain disease brought
about by various incidents, that disease has a cause, and that
having been discovered, it can be treated and ended. Similarly, if
thought is responsible for all this, for our daily confusion, misery,
uncertainty, sorrow, and all these superstitions that thought has
created around us, if thought is the cause, it has an end.
If you say, tell me how to end thought, then you make a
problem of it because your brain is trained, educated, to solve
problems. As an expert in computers is trained to solve problems
there, that same movement is extended into the psychological
world. If thought is the cause of this, the question is not how to end
it, but to understand the whole movement of thought. If you treat it
as your thinking, and somebody else treats it as his thinking, then
the issues are totally different. That leads to all kinds of illusion.
Superstitions have no reality, but thinking is the ground upon
which all human beings – the black, the white, the pink, the
Muslim, the Hindu, the villager, the uneducated – stand. Then you
move away from the idea that it is my thinking; you are then concerned with global thinking, not the Indian way of thinking.
You are concerned really with the world, with all humanity, of
which you are. You are not an individual. Individual means unique,
undivided. You are not unique, you are totally divided, fragmented
in yourself, you are the result of all the past generations. Your
brain is not yours. It is evolved through thousands and thousands of
years. But your religion, your scriptures, your everyday life, says
you are separate from everybody else, and you are trained to accept
it. You have never gone into it, you have never questioned it,
doubted it, but you accept, and in that acceptance lies your
problems. But if you look at it all as a vast movement of life of
which you are a part, this movement that is limitless, that has no
beginning and no end, then you begin to enquire into the nature of
thought.
Now, what is the origin of thought? Why is thought divided in
its very nature, the very movement of thinking in itself, why is it
divisive, fragmentary, limited? Since thought is perhaps the cause,
don’t ask, `Please tell me how to end the cause; then you are back
into your old field of problems. If you try to solve this problem,
you have other problems. Thought is creating problems. So you
say, tell me how to stop them, how to stop thinking, and there are
lots of people who will tell you how to stop thinking. And those
people vary from each other – meditate, don’t meditate, try this
way, you know all that. So we multiply problems after problems.
But look at this movement of thought with which man has lived for
thousands upon thousands of years, and ask not how to end
thought, but what is the nature of it, why has thought become so
important. Because, thought implies knowledge. Ask what place has knowledge in life. We must stop now, we will continue
tomorrow evening. But please, when you leave here, look at it, find
out; that means an active brain, brain that is active, thinking,
discussing, not just stuck in a narrow little groove of tradition of
some system. One of the calamities in the world is that we are all
getting old, not merely old in the body, but old mentally. Decay
begins there inside first because we become mechanical. We never
have the energy, vitality, passion, to find out. We have all been told
what to do, we have all been instructed. This is not a place of
instruction nor are you being told what to do. Here we are serious
to find out a different way of living, and you can only find that out
when you understand the nature of thought and the way of living in
which thought is not important at all.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
BOMBAY 2ND PUBLIC TALK 23RD JANUARY,
1983 ‘THE GOOD MIND’

May we continue with what we were talking about yesterday
evening? We said the present condition of racial divisions,
linguistic divisions, religious divisions, national divisions as
Muslim and the Hindu, the Jew and the Arab, the American and the
European, the Russian, the Chinese, and so on has brought about a
great many wars. Where there is division there must be conflict,
not only division between man and woman in their relationship,
but also division as racial, religious and linguistic. Also we went
into the question of why does this constant conflict between man
and man exist, what is the root of it, what is the cause of all this
chaos, anarchy, near anarchy, bad governments, each nation
preparing for wars, one guru more important than the other, and so
on. We are seeing this division throughout the world, and also
historically it has existed for many, many centuries. What is the
cause of it? Who is responsible for it? We said thought has divided
man against man; thought has also created the most extraordinary
architecture, painting, poetry and the whole world of technology,
medicine, surgery, communications, computers, robots, and so on.
Thought has brought about health, good medicine and various
forms of human comfort. But thought also has created this vast
division between man and man, and we ask what is the cause of all
this, Who is responsible for all this? And we said, where there is a
cause, there is an end. When you have a certain disease, the cause
can be found of that disease, and the disease can be cured. So wherever there is a cause, there is an end to that cause. That is
obviously a fact. If thought has created this confusion, this
uncertainty, this perpetual danger, then what will happen if thought
is not used?
We are together investigating, asking why man throughout the
world lives and perpetuates conflict not only within himself but
outwardly – in society, in religion, in the economy, and so on. That
thought is responsible for the mess, for the division, for all the
misery of human beings, is fairly obvious. If one recognizes that
fact, not as a theory or philosophical statement but the actual fact
of it, that thought, however clever, however crafty, however
erudite, is responsible for this mess, then what is man to do? That
is where we left off yesterday. We said also that thought has
created marvellous cathedrals, temples and mosques, and all the
things that are in the temples, mosques and churches are the
invention of thought. Thought has created god because thought
seeks to find security. Finding uncertainty, insecurity, conflict, in
this world, thought invents an entity, a principle, an ideal which
gives it security, comfort; but that comfort, that security, is the
invention of thought. It is very obvious, if you observe your own
thinking, that thought has created this division and this conflict.
Then we can ask a question: why does this conflict exist, why have
we lived with conflict from immemorial times – conflict between
the good and the bad, between `what is’ and `what should be’, the
actual and the ideal?
Why does man live in conflict? What is conflict? What is the
nature of conflict? I do not know if some of you have seen those
caves in the south of France where, 25, 30 thousand years ago, there is a picture of man fighting evil in the form of a bull, and so
on. For thousands of years we have lived with conflict. To
meditate, it becomes a conflict. Does conflict exist where there is
comparison? Comparison means measurement. One compares
oneself with another. Where there is comparison, there must be
fear, there must be conflict. Can one live without comparison at
all? We think that by comparing ourselves with somebody we are
progressing. You want to be like your guru, you want to achieve
enlightenment, position, you want a follower, you want to be
respected, and so on. So, where there is a becoming
psychologically, there must be conflict. Is it possible to live a life
without any comparison and therefore without any conflict? We
are questioning the whole process of psychological becoming. A
child becomes an adult, then grows into manhood. To learn a
language we need time, to acquire any skill we need time. We are
asking, is becoming psychologically one of the reasons of conflict –
the `what is’ to be changed into `what should be’ – `I am not good
but I will be good, I am greedy, envious, but perhaps one day I will
be free of all this.’ Desire to become, which is measurement, which
is comparison, is that one of the causes of conflict?
There is another reason for conflict – which is, there is duality.
We are examining something to understand the nature of conflict
and to find out for ourselves if it is possible to be totally,
completely, free of conflict. Conflict wears out the brain, makes
the mind old. A man who has lived without conflict is an
extraordinary human being. It is important to realize the necessity
of understanding conflict. We see that measurement, comparison,
brings about conflict. Also we have stated that there is duality. Some of your philosophers have stated that, posited that there is
duality and that one of the reasons of this conflict is this duality.
There is duality – night and morning, light and shade, tall and short,
bright and dull morning, sun rising and sun setting. Physically
there is duality: you are a woman and another is a man. But we are
asking, is there psychological duality at all? Or is there only `what
is’? I am violent, that is, there is only violence, not non-violence.
The non-violence is just an idea. It is not a fact. Where there is
violence and non-violence, there must be conflict. In this country,
you are talking endlessly about non-violence, but probably you are
also very violent people. The fact is, human beings throughout the
world are violent. That is a fact. Violence means not only physical
violence but also imitation, conformity, obedience, acceptance.
There are other forms of violence, but there is only `what is’.
But if you are conditioned to pursue non-violence while you are
violent, that is, to move away from the fact, then you must have
conflict. Whereas, if one dealt with `what is’, there is only one fact
– that is I am violent, and in the understanding of the nature and
structure of violence there may be the ending of violence, but the
ending of violence is not a problem. Our minds are trained,
educated, to solve problems – mathematical problems, economic
problems, political problems, and so on. Our brains are conditioned
to deal mechanically with problems. And we make of life a series
of endless problems psychologically. We went into that yesterday.
So there is only fact, not the opposite. Is this very clear – that the
ideal, the principle, that which you call the noble, are all illusions?
What is fact is, we are violent, ignorant, corrupt, uncertain, and so
on. Those are facts and we have to deal with facts. Facts don’t create problems if you face them. I discover that I am violent, and I
have no opposite to it. I reject totally the opposite, it has no
meaning. There is only fact.
Now, how do I deal with fact? How do I approach fact? How do
I look at that fact? What is my motive in looking at the fact? What
is the direction in which I want the fact to move? I must be aware
of the nature and structure of the fact, I must be aware of the fact
without choice. How does one deal with fact? That is, how do I
observe the fact that I am violent? That violence is shown when I
am angry, when I am jealous. If I am trying to compare myself
with another, if I am doing all that, then it is impossible to face
facts. A good mind faces facts. If you are in business, you face
facts and deal with the fact, change the fact; you don’t pretend that
you will do something else away from the fact. Then you are not a
good businessman. But here we are so ineffectual because we don’t
deal with facts. Psychologically, inwardly, we avoid them. We
escape from them, or when we do discover them, we suppress
them. So there is no resolution of any of them. From that, we ask
something else, which is: What is a good mind? Is a mind good
when it is full of knowledge?
What is knowledge? We are all very proud of having
knowledge, scholastic knowledge through experience, knowledge
through incidents, accidents. Accumulated memory is knowledge.
An experience can never be complete. Is a good mind a free,
comprehensive, global, mind, or is a good mind parochial, narrow,
nationalistic, traditional? A good mind is a free mind. It is not a
contemporary mind. A good mind is not of time, a good mind is
not concerned with time, with environment. It can deal with environment, it can deal with time, but in itself, it is totally free.
Such a mind has no fear. Whereas, our minds have been so
educated, so trained, that we are not original. There is no depth;
knowledge is always superficial. We are concerned with the
understanding of the human being, his mind, his action, his
behaviour; his responses are limited because his senses are limited.
Is it possible for him to be completely, wholly, free? One must
have a good mind, not just accumulation of words, which does not
mean a clever mind, crafty mind. We are very cunning, crafty,
subtle, but that is not a good mind. So, is it possible for us, living
in this modem world with all the activities that happen, the
influences and newspapers and constant repetition, with our minds
being programmed like a computer, as a Hindu, Sikh, and so on, to
be strong, healthy, active, full of alertness? Such a mind is
necessary. Only then is it possible to bring about a psychological
revolution and so a new society, a new culture.
I hope you are listening. It is important to know the art of
listening: it is to listen, to see the truth of it and act. For us, we see
something to be true, we understand logically, reasonably, very
clearly, but we don’t act. There is an interval between perception
and action. Between the perception and action all other incidents
take place. Therefore you will never act. If you see that violence in
you is a fact and not try to become non-violent, which is non-fact,
but if you perceive the nature of violence, the complexity of
violence and listen to your own violence, it will reveal the nature
of itself. Then there is the end of violence, completely.
As we said earlier, a chattering mind is an unhealthy mind. It
perpetually talks, not only about business problems, mathematical problems, and so on, but problems of one’s relationship with
husband, wife, children, with the neighbour. It is perpetually
occupied, and such occupation will inevitably wear down, weigh
down, the capacity of the brain. It is obvious. Is it possible not to
chatter? When we realize this chattering and ask the question is it
possible to stop it, then we make a problem of it. Our brains are
trained to solve problems. So we solve it by saying I must not
chatter, and I must try to control, and then the problem arises: Who
is the controller? Is the controller different from the controlled?
When a problem arises, you are ready to solve it, and brains like
ours are trained to solve problems. In solving one problem, other
problems increase. So, see a fact that you are violent and make the
story of violence read itself; and it will, if your mind is quiet. But
don’t make a problem of it – `How is the brain to be quiet?’ Is it
possible to look, to observe, without any choice, to look at your
greed, envy, ambitions, your arrogance? Have you not noticed how
many people are arrogant? Not the politician, that is understood; he
wants power, position, prestige. Where there is power, there is evil.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Now, are you arrogant? The man who is trying to become
something psychologically is arrogant. A person is arrogant when
he tries to become something which he is not. The becoming is the
movement of arrogance. Sirs, look at it. It denies totally the sense
of humility. When you are facing facts, then you have to be totally
humble, not cultivate humility. Only the vain cultivate humility.
When they are vain, arrogant, they may cultivate humility, but their
humility is still arrogance. We are all treading the same path of
becoming and therefore being utterly dishonest, pretending to be what we are not. Whereas, a good mind faces the fact, the fact that
you are violent; arrogant. Nobody has to tell me that you are
arrogant, it is so obvious. The way you talk, the way you behave, if
one is at all awake, one sees the nature of arrogance. To see it, to
comprehend it and to hold it, not try to escape from it, is to solve it.
When there is perception of that which is, that is arrogance, that
very perception demands immediate action. That is intelligence. If
I see something dangerous – and violence is tremendous danger for
a healthy, sane, rational, passionate mind – and if there is the
perception of that, that very perception demands immediate action.
That is the ending of it. Perception doesn’t demand analysis.
Perception is something actual, understanding it, looking at it,
ending it, and then from there you can reason. That very reasoning
will be logical. But if you begin with logic, reason, find out the
cause, then you will take time and the cause will multiply.
So, is it possible to live a life without a single problem? We are
not talking of mathematical problems and so on, but problems of
relationship. To have no problems in relationship – is that possible?
You have problems with your wife, with your father, with your
mother, with your children. Why? If the daily living is not in order,
you can meditate till you are blue in the face, that meditation has
no meaning. It is merely an escape; you might just as well take a
drug and enjoy yourself. If you don’t put your house in order,
which is your relationship, if that house is not in order, then your
society will not be in order. You must begin near to go very far.
The near is your relationship. Why are problems there? Why do
you have problems with your wife, with your husband, with your
children, with your neighbour, with your government, with your community and all the rest of it, which is, what is relationship?
Life is a movement in relationship. There is no escape from that.
You may become a hermit, take vows, put on strange garbs and all
the rest of it, thinking yourself extraordinary, exceptional, but you
are related. To understand relationship is the most important thing
in life; not god, not all these scriptures, but to understand the depth,
the meaning, the beauty, the quality, of relationship.
Now, are you being drowned by a lot of words or do you catch
instantly the depth, the beauty, the quality of relationship without
more explanation, more analysis, see the extraordinary importance
of relationship? Do you see the beauty of relationship? Where there
is no relationship, there is disorder. So let us look at it together in
order to arrive at or listen to something serious. You know most of
us have homes, have houses, flats, and we own them and possess
them. It is our home. We never realize that we are also guests in
that house. Do you understand the meaning of that? You can be a
guest in a house, in your own house. Do you understand what it
means? That means one must be a teacher as well as a disciple.
There is no teacher outside of you. You are the teacher and also
you are the disciple who is learning from the teacher, not from the
teacher as a guru. But you are learning and teaching. You are the
owner of your house and also you are the guest of your house. That
means you look after the house, you care for the house, you care
for whoever is in the house because you are a guest. The speaker
has travelled all over the world for the last sixty years, and
wherever he is, he is a guest. That means he is always adjusting
himself like a river with great volume of water behind it, and every
boulder, every rock, it goes round it. The guest is like that. Let us get back.
Relationship is one of the most important things in life. Why
have we made it such a confusion and such misery? What is
relationship? The word implies being in contact, not only physical
contact, not sexual contact – that you all know – but to be in contact
mentally, emotionally, inwardly, with another so that there is no
division in that contact. That is relationship. But we have not got
that contact. You are ambitious and your wife also is ambitious.
You want this and she wants something else. She may be right and
you may be wrong. She wants to live in a marvellous house and
you say `Please, for god’s sake; she wants to be popular and you
don’t care. You are a scholar, a professor in your own little groove,
and she has also her own little groove. So you are never in contact
with each other except sexually. This is a fact. And you call that
relationship. You have an image about her or she has an image
about you. Where does love come into all this? Do you understand
my question? When one says to one’s wife, I love you, what does it
mean? I don’t know whether you say it at all. I doubt it. But if you
do say it, what does it mean to love another? Relationship means to
love another. What does that word mean? I love this or I love that,
I love god, I love my guru. What does that love mean? Is it based
on reward and punishment? Look at it sirs, because we are always
caught between the two – reward and punishment. I follow the guru
because he is going to promise me heaven, give me comfort. We
are caught in this. Is relationship a reward and punishment
process? Is love a movement of that? Think it out.
To meet your wife or your husband, your children, your
neighbour, at the same time, at the same level, with the same intensity, that is love. Do you understand this? To meet somebody,
you must meet him at the same time, at the same level, with the
same intensity. Then that is relationship, but if you are ambitious,
you follow the path, becoming noble, ignoble and all the rest of it,
and she also follows another path. Naturally you may be married,
you may have children and all the rest of it, but you never meet.
That breeds a sense of desperate loneliness. Don’t you know all
this? I have no relationship with anyone – with my wife, with my
boss, with my foreman – I have no relationship at all with anybody,
because I am self-centred. So that self-centredness and the lack of
relationship brings about great loneliness. Discovering that
loneliness, we then make out of that loneliness a problem – what
am I to do when I am lonely? Your brain is ready to solve the
problem. But you never rest with the loneliness, you never enquire
the cause of it.
Where there is love, there is no loneliness. Where there is love
in your heart, there is no problem. Having stated that, don’t make it
into a problem. Look at the fact. The fact is that we are not
sensitive, that we don’t have the depth of beauty. The fact is that
we don’t love; we don’t look at it, try to remain with it, to see `that
is so’, not try to rationalize it. It is so, that I don’t love my wife; you
know what it means to say that to yourself. You should cry. I want
to cry for you all. Sirs, it is like two parallel lines never meeting
and therefore increasing conflict day after day till you die. See the
fact that there is no love in your heart, to have the mind in your
heart. We think love can be achieved, cultivated. Love is not
something to cultivate. Either there is or there is not. If there is not,
look at it, hold it, realize what you are without love in your heart; it then becomes a machine – insensitive, vulgar, coarse, only
concerned with sex and pleasure. Sirs, please, I am not harassing
you, I am not scolding you. I am just pointing out what is
happening. Your knowledge, your books, have destroyed you
because love is not found in the books. It does not lie with
knowledge. Knowledge and love don’t go together. Then you say:
`I know my wife’, but that is your knowledge which is your image
about her. That knowledge is put together by thought, and thought
is not love. So, having stated all this, do you have love in your
heart or is it something romantic, nonsensical, impractical,
valueless? It does not give you any money; that is so. Having heard
all this, is there a comprehension of the depth of that word so that
your mind is in the heart? Then you have right relationship. When
you have right relationship, which means love, you can never go
wrong.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
BOMBAY 3RD PUBLIC TALK 29TH JANUARY,
1983 ‘IS THERE A PSYCHOLOGICAL
EVOLUTION’

We must together perceive for ourselves what is truth and what is
false; not to be told what is false or what is true, what is ignorance
and what is knowledge, but to find for ourselves a quiet corner in
ourselves, living in this dreadful city, living in small spaces,
working all day long, commuting, going to great distances in
crowded trains and buses. We must find for ourselves a quiet
corner, not in a house or in a garden or an empty lane but deep
within ourselves, and from there act, live, and find out for
ourselves what is beauty, what is time, the nature and the
movement of fear, the pursuit of pleasure and the ending of sorrow.
We must have such a corner, not in the mind but in the heart,
because then, where there is affection and love, intellect,
understanding, comes clarity, and from that there is action. But
most of us live such strenuous, conflicting, lives with much
pressure around us. If we don’t find for ourselves some inward
space, a space not created by thought, a space uncontaminated,
clear, in which there is a light which is not lit by another, a light to
ourselves so that we are totally free, we are not free human beings.
We think we are free. We think we are free because we can choose,
because we can do what we want, but freedom is something
entirely different from the desire to do what we want. So we must
together find for ourselves without guidance, without help, without
any outside agency telling us what to do, how to behave, what is right action, and find in ourselves a space that has no ending and
no beginning.
First of all, what is beauty? You may ask, what has that to do
with our daily life? Our daily life is rather ugly, self-centred; our
daily life is a conflict, pain, anxiety, and that sense of desperate
loneliness. That is our daily life. To understand that, one must have
a great sense of perception, seeing actually what is going on. One
of the factors of our life is time. We are going to find out what is
time, what part time plays in our life; and whether time which is
the process of division, time which is a beginning and an ending,
time which is becoming, whether that time – apart from
chronological time, apart from the time of sun rising, sun setting,
the beauty of the full moon and the slip of new moon – as a path
includes or excludes beauty. This is important for us to understand
because we have lost all sense of an aesthetic way of living. We
have lost the sense of natural beauty, not the beauty of the face
only or the good taste in clothes, and so on, but the quality of
beauty. Beauty cannot exist without life. Beauty is not of time.
Creation is not of time.
So, time is a great factor in our life. There is time by the watch,
the chronological time and the time to learn a language, a skill, a
time to achieve in this world – become from a clerk to the
executive person, and so on. There is time in that direction. Is there
time psychologically, that is, inwardly? Is there time which means
a progress from here to there, in the sense of becoming more noble,
more free of greed, anger, violence? Time is evolution. From the
seed to a tree, from a baby to manhood, the growth, the becoming,
all that implies time. Time has evolution. Now we are going to question together whether there is psychological evolution at all.
This is important because time and thought are the root of fear.
Fear cannot end or fade away or dissipate if you don’t understand
the nature of time and the nature of thought which are the roots of
all fear. We are examining together the nature of time. There is
physical time, the new moon becoming the full moon, the seed
growing into a great gigantic tree. Time is necessary to learn a
language, a skill; time is necessary to accumulate knowledge. You
may learn a language within a week or six months. To go from
here to your house takes time; from one point to another. All
physical movement, physical activity, learning, requires time. The
psyche, that is, the bundle of all your thinking, of all your feelings,
of all your conclusions, beliefs, gods, hope, fear, all that is a
bundle, that is your consciousness, that is what you are. That is
what your consciousness is. Your consciousness is made of all
these things – your gods, your knowledge, your faith, your hope,
your fears, your pleasures, your conclusions, your loneliness and
the great fear of sorrow, pain. We are asking whether that
consciousness has evolution at all.
Evolution means becoming, that is, I am greedy, envious,
violent. Can greed evolve into non-greed? Or anger, loneliness,
become gradually something else? All our tradition, all our
religious training, our belief, our faith, and all the so-called sacred
literature tell you that you will become something. If you make an
effort, if you strive after, if you meditate, you will move from this
to that, from `what you are’ to `what you should be’. That is
evolution. Now the speaker is denying all that. The speaker is
saying greed can never become better greed. There is only the ending of something, not becoming something. Most of you
probably believe in reincarnation. Why do you believe in it? That
is, from this life to next life, where you have better opportunities,
where you will be a little bit nobler, where you have a little more
comfort, more enlightenment; that is, from `what you are’ to
become `what you should be’. That is called evolution. The speaker
is questioning that. He says there is no such thing as psychological
evolution. You have to understand the nature of that statement,
what is implied – that there is no movement as the evolution of the
psyche which means there is no becoming. I don’t become noble, I
don`t achieve enlightenment if I practise, if I strive, if I deny this or
control, and so on, which is gradation in achievement. So one has
to understand the nature of time; time, as we said, essentially
means to divide, break; time implies a beginning and an ending.
So we are going to talk over together the nature of fear; whether
fear can end now or it must end gradually. We are used to the idea
that gradually we will be rid of fear, which is, `I am afraid, but give
me time, I will get over it.’ Can fear disappear through time or is
the very time itself the root of fear? What is the root of fear? What
is fear? You all know what fear is – fear of not becoming, not
achieving, fear of the dark, fear of authority, fear of your wife or
husband; fear has many many aspects. We are not concerned with
the many facets of fear or with the wiping away of one or two
fears. It is like cutting the branches of a tree, but if you want to
destroy the tree, you must uproot the tree, go to the very root of it.
So look at that fear. What is fear – fear of an accident, fear of
disease, and ultimate fear which is of death or the fear of living?
Fear is much too deep to surrender it or to dispel it or to control it or to suppress it. One must enquire into the root of it. What is the
root of fear? Is it not time, is it not remembrance, is it not an
experience which you have had which was painful and the fear of it
recurring again, fear of disease – are not all these the symptoms?
We are not dealing with symptoms. We are concerned whether it is
possible to uproot totally all fear. If that is clear, then we are
concerned not with a particular fear, not your own special neurotic
fear but with the nature, the structure, the cause of fear, because
where there is a cause, there is an end. So we are together going to
find out the cause. One of the causes of fear is time. That is, the
future, fear of what might happen, fear of the past which is time,
which is a remembrance, which is thought. We are asking: are time
and thought the root of fear are they the cause of fear? I am afraid
of what might happen, that is, the future. Or I am afraid of
something that has happened in the past that might happen again,
that is, the past invading the present, modifying itself and going on.
So time is one of the factors of fear. Now, I am asking whether
thought is also a factor of fear, and if there is a difference between
time and thought. Time is division as yesterday, today and
tomorrow, the remembrance of the past projecting into the future,
and we are afraid of that which might happen. Now, is thought one
of the causes or the cause of fear? So what is thought? What is
thinking? The most ignorant who does not know how to read or
write, who lives in a small village, poverty-ridden, unhappy, he
thinks too as you think, as the scientist thinks. Thinking is shared
by all. It is not your thinking, it is not individual thinking. We are
asking: is thought one of the factors of fear? We are investigating
what is thinking. Thinking is shared by all humanity, whether the most educated, sophisticated, rich, powerful, and all the rest of it,
or by the most simple, ignorant, half-starving person. It is common
to all. Therefore it is not your thinking. You may express your
thinking differently and I may express it in different words, but the
fact is that we both think, and thinking is not yours or mine. It is
thinking.
So what is thinking? Why has it become so extraordinarily
important in your life? Please understand this. Give your mind to
this. Because love and thinking cannot go together. Compassion is
not the product of thought. Love cannot exist in the shadow of
thought. Love is not remembrance. Please give your heart and
mind to the understanding of this – that thinking is common to all
of us. It is not individual thinking. You may express it and another
may express it differently, most scholastically, and another may
not, but thinking is shared by all. So what is thinking? When that
question is put to you, you begin to think, don’t you? Or do you
listen to the question? If you listen to the question, which is, your
mind is not interfering with your conclusions, with your ideas, and
so on, if you are listening with all your attention, which means with
all your senses totally awakened, then you will see for yourself
what is the origin of thinking. The origin of thinking is experience.
Experience gives knowledge, whether it is scientific knowledge or
the knowledge about wife or husband. Experience, knowledge,
stored in the brain as memory and response of memory, is thinking.
This is very simple. It is a fact. You cannot think if there is no
memory, if there is no knowledge, if there is no experience. So
thinking is a process of time, because knowledge is a process of
time and knowledge can never be complete. Therefore thought can never be complete; you must always be fragmented. So fear is the
child of thought. So thought and time are the factors of fear.
Now, is thought different from time, or is thought time?
Thought is a movement, is it not? It is a material process. Whatever
thought has done is material. Your gods are created by thought,
your rituals are created by thought. All the things that go on in the
name of religion are created by thought. The gods, the gurus,
everything is created by thought. Thought is limited, fragmented,
because knowledge is limited, and all action then becomes limited.
Where there is limitation, there must be fear. So we are asking, do
thought and time work together or are they different? Or is there
only thought which is divided as time, as progress, as evolution, as
becoming? Sirs, please explore all this. Search out. Don’t let your
brains become dull by knowledge. Life is both intellect, emotion,
senses. But if you let thought dominate them all, as you do, then
our life becomes fragmented, shallow, empty.
We ought to talk over together what is love. Would you say that
you love somebody, love without attachment, love without
jealousy? If there is attachment, there is no love. If there is any
kind of antagonism, hate, love cannot exist. Where there is fear,
love cannot exist. Where there is ambition, love cannot exist;
where there is power of any kind, the other cannot be. If you have
power over your wife or if you possess your husband or if you are
ambitious, then love is not. We are asking, do you love, because
without love, suffering will go on. We have to search out, seek out
whether there is a possibility of ending sorrow, because all these
are linked together. Sorrow is not different from fear. Sorrow is not
different from thought. Sorrow is not different from hate, the wounds, the psychological wounds that we receive. They are all
related to each other. It is one issue, not separate issues. It is
something that you have to approach wholly, not partially. But if
you approach it intellectually, ideally or idealistically,
romantically, then you don’t see the wholeness of life. So we are
searching out if there is a possibility of ending sorrow. Fear,
pleasure and sorrow have existed from time beyond thought.
Man has always had these three factors in life – fear, the pursuit
of pleasure and sorrow, and apparently he has not gone beyond
that. He has tried every method, every system that you can think
of, tried to suppress it, tried to escape from it, tried to invent the
gods and surrender all this to that invention, but that has not
worked either. So we must find out whether sorrow can end,
whether we can understand the nature of sorrow, the causes of
sorrow. Is the cause different from fear, is the cause different from
pleasure, pleasure of achievement, pleasure of talent, pleasure of
wealth? Let us find out whether sorrow and fear can ever end. The
pursuit of pleasure is infinite, is endless, the pleasure of
achievement, the pleasure of being attached to somebody, whether
that attachment is to a person, to an idea or to a conclusion. While
you are pursuing that pleasure, there is always the shadow of fear
with it. Where there is fear, there is sorrow. But they are all
together. They are all interrelated, and one must deal with them all
wholly, not separately. Be clear that we are not dealing with
sorrow separately as though it was something different from fear.
We are looking, searching out the nature of sorrow and the ending
of sorrow, because where there is sorrow, there is no love.
Sorrow expresses itself in so many ways – the sorrow of loneliness, the sorrow of seeing this vast country where there is
poverty, corruption, utter disregard for another human being,
carelessness. When you watch all this day after day, that is also
sorrow, the utter neglect by all the politicians all over the world.
They only want power, position, and where there is power, there is
evil. And sorrow is the loss of someone you love. Sorrow of losing,
sorrow of ending something you have cherished, something that
you have held on to, the sorrow of doubt, the sorrow of seeing
one’s own life such an empty shell, meaningless existence. You
may have money, sex, children, be very fashionable, rich, but it is
an empty life. There is no depth in it. Seeing that, perceiving the
nature of it, is also sorrow. So can sorrow end? It is not your
sorrow. It is also mine and another’s. Don’t deal with sorrow as
your particular precious stuff. It is shared by all humanity. Deal
with it not as your particular sorrow, your private quiet sorrow, but
as the sorrow of all human beings, whether you are a man or a
woman, rich or poor, sophisticated or at the height of your
excellence. Please don’t deal with all these factors like fear,
pleasure, sorrow, love, and so on as something separate from each
other. You must approach this whole thing wholly, not
fragmentarily. If you approach it fragmentarily, you will never
solve it. So, look at greed, pain, sorrow, as a whole movement of
life, not something different from life. This is our daily life. To
find whether there is an end to all this – to misery, to conflict, pain,
sorrow and fear – one must be able to perceive them, one must be
able to be aware of them.
We must understand what is perception, how to look. Is the
observer who looks at all this – the poverty, the loneliness, the anxiety, the uncertainty, the suffering – different from all that or is
the observer all that? I will explain this. We have separated the
`me’, who is the observer, from that which he is observing. I say I
am suffering and I say to myself that suffering must end, and to
end it, I must suppress it, I must escape from it, I must follow a
certain system. So, I am different from fear, from pleasure, from
pain, sorrow. Are you different from all that? Or you may think
that there is something in you which is totally different from all
that. If you think that, it is part of your thought, and therefore there
is nothing sacred there. So, is the observer different from the
observed? When you are angry, envious, brutal, violent, are you
not all that? The meditator is the meditation. Please sir, think about
it. The observer is the observed. See the importance of this. Before,
we have divided the observer from the observed. That means there
is a division between that and the other. So, there was conflict. You
could then control it, suppress it, fight it, but if you are that, if you
are sorrow, if you are fear, if you are pleasure, you are the
conglomeration of all this. To realize that fact is a tremendous
reality; therefore, there is no division, and therefore there is no
conflict; the observer is the observed.
Then a totally different action takes place, a totally different
chemical action takes place. It is not an intellectual achievement,
not the intellectual concept of the truth but to see the fact, the truth
of it, that you are not different from your qualities, you are not
different from your anger, jealousy, hatred, but you are all that,
You know what happens when you realize that, not verbally but
inwardly? Find out. Are you waiting for me to tell you? I won’t.
You see how your mind works. You are waiting for me to tell you; you don’t want to find out. If I tell you, then you will say yes, right
or wrong, but you will go on, but find out for yourself the actual
truth of it, that the observer is the observed, the watcher is the
watched, that you are the whole bundle of your consciousness, the
content of your consciousness is what you are and the content of
that consciousness is put together by thought. Now, to find out, not
the ending of thought, but to find out how to observe the content,
when you observe without the division, then a totally different
action takes place. Where there is love, there is no observer. There
is no you and the one that you love. There is only that quality of
love.
MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN
BOMBAY 4TH PUBLIC TALK 30TH JANUARY,
1983 ‘WHAT IS A RELIGIOUS MIND?’

We ought to talk over together the significance of death, about
what is religion and meditation. Before going into all that, I
wonder if one is aware of what is happening to our minds, to our
brain; if one is aware of the extraordinary things that the brain,
which is the seat of thought, has brought about. Technologically
we have progressed, advanced so rapidly, and psychologically our
behaviour, our attitudes, our actions, are more or less un-evolved.
We are still aggressive, brutal, cruel, thoughtless, for thousands
and thousands of years. Apparently man is still behaving more or
less as he behaved 40,000 years ago. If we had that same energy,
that same intensity, as one used in the technological world, if we
could go very, very deeply into ourselves and go beyond ourselves,
the brain has infinite capacity there too. But very few have taken
that journey, very few have gone into this question whether the
mind, the brain, can ever be totally free, and therefore enquire very
deeply, search out what lies beyond, if there is anything beyond
thought.
Some of you perhaps have heard of genetic engineering. The
genetic experts say that they assume a factor, a creative element,
handed out from the father to the offspring, certain tendencies,
qualities. `They are saying, since man has not changed for
thousands of years, they assume that he can be changed through
genetic interference. It is a very complex question which we are
not going to discuss. But we must understand what is going on, that as human beings have not deeply changed their characteristics,
their way of life, their violence, they are hoping through certain
chemical process and so on to change the genes, the factors that
transmit certain characteristics from the father to the son. Also we
should consider what is happening in the computer world. We
cannot neglect all this: the genetic engineering and what is
happening in the computer world. They are trying to create a
mechanical intelligence, ultimate intelligence through the computer
which will then think much more rapidly, more accurately, and
inform the robots what they should do. This is happening already
and they are trying to bring about a machine, a computer, which
has ultimate intelligence. So, there is on one side genetic
engineering, on the other the computer acting as human beings,
inventing generation after generation of computer, improving, and
so on. I won’t go into all that. So what is going to happen to the
human mind? What is going to happen to us when the computer
can do almost everything that we do? It can meditate, it can invent
gods, much better gods than yours, it can inform, educate your
children far better than the present teacher, and it will create a great
deal of leisure for man. Are you understanding the nature of all
this, the significance of all this? That is, what is going to happen to
our minds? When the computer and genetic engineering are rapidly
advancing, what is going to happen to us? We would have more
leisure, the computer plus the robot will do a great many things
that we are doing now in our factories, in our offices, and so on.
Then man will have more leisure. How will he use that leisure?
Please go into this with me for a while. If the computer can out-
think you, remember far more than you do, calculate with such astonishing speed and give you leisure, either you pursue the path
of pleasure which is entertainment – cinemas, religious
entertainments, you know all the industry of entertainment,
including the gurus – or psychological search, seeking out inwardly
and finding out for oneself a tremendous area that is beyond all
thought. These are the only two possibilities left for us –
entertainment or delving into the whole structure of the psyche and
acting. Now we are asking what is our human mind, our brain. We
are going to find out for ourselves.
We first begin by asking what is the significance of death. It is
the question of all humanity whether we are very young or very
old. What is the meaning, the significance, of the extraordinary
thing called death? Yesterday evening, we talked about several
things including what is love, compassion; what is the relationship
of life which is not only the whole human existence, what is its
relationship to love, to death and to the whole search of man for
thousands of years to find something that is beyond all thought. We
have to understand the meaning of death because we are all going
to die. That is absolute certainty. We are so afraid of it or we
rationalize it. You say `yes’, I accept it, I accept death as I accept
pain, as I accept sorrow, as I accept loneliness; I also accept death,
which is to submit, to suffer death, to allow the whole of existence
of a human being to come to an end, either through disease,
through old age or through some incident. We never find out while
we are living what it means to die, to understand the depth of it.
You are looking at it as an incident of life, as a fact of life, as
violence is a fact of life, as hatred is a fact of life. If we are at all
reasonable, sane, we must look at this question of death in similar manner, not accept it, not just say it is inevitable or try to find out
what lies beyond death, but to observe the nature of dying.
What does death mean to most of us? Surely it means the
ending, both organically and biologically, of all the things that we
have held here, of all the wounds, pains, sacrifice, resistance,
loneliness, despair – all that coming to an end, which means, either
there is a continuity of the self, the `me’, or the ending of the `me’.
We said death is an ending. You can believe in reincarnation, as
most of you perhaps do. If you do, you have to ask the question,
what is it that continues? Is there a continuity or is there constant
change – breaking, ending, beginning? If you believe – as most
people perhaps in India believe – that you are going to be reborn,
then what is it that is going to be reborn? Surely not the physical
body, but if you believe in that, it is a continuity of what you are
now, continuity of your beliefs, your activities, your greed, and so
on, that is the bundle which is the consciousness, which is the self.
That self, which is essentially consciousness, is put together by
thought, your greed, your envy; your religious beliefs,
superstitions, your anger, and so on; all those are the activities of
thought. You are the result of a continuous movement of thought.
If you believe in reincarnation and all that, you must find out if it is
an illusion or a reality. If you are your name, your form, your
ideas, your conclusions, your experiences, are they the factors of
continuity as the `me’ in the next life? What is that `me’?
Each one of us, we think, is a separate entity; we think we are
so-called individuals. What is that individuality – the name, the
form, what you remember, your attitudes, your loneliness, your
pain, your anxiety, your chaos, your sorrow and uncertainty? You may live in a nice house or in a small room or a nice flat but you
are all that. You are the bank account. When you are attached to a
bank account, you are the bank account; when you are attached to a
house, you are the house; when you are attached to your body, you
are that. You may have lovely furniture, and it may be marvellous
furniture, and if you are attached to that, you are that furniture. So
you are all that. When you are attached to a chair, to a person, to an
idea, to an ideal, to a personal experience, what are the
implications of that attachment? Why are you attached, because
death says you cannot be attached, that is the end of it. You may
believe in the future, but death says you have ended, your
attachment is over, your bank account is over, your guru and all
your following is over. So what is it that continues, that is reborn –
memories, ideas? Which is what? – something dead, or is there no
continuity at all? Think, search out, please. Continuity means that
which is going on modifying itself. You are becoming something,
and achieving it and wanting more. Continuity implies security,
certainty. Are you certain about anything? Is there security in your
ideas? We want continuity. We hope to have continuity because, in
continuity we thing there is security. One has been married for ten
years, fifteen years or fifty years, there is certain continuity, but in
that continuity there is conflict, misery, unhappiness, all the rest of
that. So there is no continuity at all. There is constant change if you
are aware of it. Either that can be superficial or a total mutation,
change. That which has existed completely undergoes a change.
One must find out for oneself what is the truth of this matter. One
cannot be convinced by argument, by so-called evidence, and so
on. One cannot be convinced of anything. One has to search out, seek and find what is true and what is illusion. We have lived with
this illusion that we are separate entities, whereas if you examine
very closely, your consciousness, which is you is shared by all
humanity. They suffer as you suffer, they are as uncertain as you
are; they are lonely, miserable, confused, anxious, as you are. So
your consciousness is not yours. It is the consciousness of all
humanity. You are the entire humanity. It is not mere logical
conclusion or observation. That is a fact. We have been trained,
educated, both religiously and educationally, that we are separate
individuals. We are frightened that individuality should come to an
end. With such a thought, such concept as an individual, when one
approached the question of death, there is immense fear of ending.
But if one sees the reality, the truth that you are the rest of
mankind, then what is death?
Have you ever enquired what is the nature of ending, not ending
to begin something, but ending? That is, you are attached, that is a
common fact; attached to your children, attached to your husband,
wife, attached to something or other. Death comes along and wipes
away that attachment. You cannot carry your money to heaven.
You may like to have it till the last moment, but you cannot take it
with you, and death says no. So can we, while living understand
the nature of attachment with all its fear, jealousy, anxiety,
possessive feeling; while living, be free of attachment? While you
are alive, to end something voluntarily, easily without any
pressure, without any reward or punishment, to end, in that there is
great beauty. Then one understands the nature of freedom. In the
ending, there is a beginning, something new. There is an ending,
and when there is an ending, there is that feeling of total freedom from all the burden that humanity has carried for centuries. You
listen to all this, smile, nod your head and agree, but you will go on
being attached. That is the easiest way, the most comforting and
the most painful, but you will go on. And you call that practical.
Whereas, if you understand the nature of ending, you end your
ambition in a very, very competitive world, understand the ending
of your arrogance, your pride, your status. When this so-called
organism ends, the content of consciousness of humanity goes on
unless you bring about a radical change in that consciousness, a
mutation, so that you are no longer in that stream of selfishness;
you are no longer caught, engaged, put in the prison of attachment,
uncertainty, and so on. There is a totally different way of living.
Also we should talk about religion. It is a very complex
question. Together we are going to find out a mind that is religious,
not the mind that does puja, all the ceremonies, beliefs, and all that.
That is not religion. Those are all the inventions of thought. God is
your invention because you find life so dull, boring. It is such a
pain. So you invent god who is all-perfect, all-loving; you worship
that, and you worship that which you have put together by thought.
So thought is deceiving you. But you will go on because you love
to live in illusion. We must find out what is a religious mind,
because a religious mind brings about a new world, a new
civilization, a new culture, a new outburst of energy. One must find
out for oneself what is a religious mind, not be told, not be
directed, not be explained to. So what is a religious mind? You can
only find out if you deny totally all the present religious structure,
religious beliefs and ideas, because it is only a free mind that can
find out what is the quality of the religious mind.       First of all, one can see very clearly that freedom is essential,
not freedom from something. A prisoner wants freedom, which
means first he is caught in a prison, then he wants freedom to leave
that prison. That is only a reaction. That reaction is not freedom.
Freedom implies the total ending of all illusions, of all beliefs, of
all your accumulated wants, desires. A religious mind is a sane,
healthy, factual mind; it faces facts, not ideas. The speaker can go
on explaining what is a religious mind. Perhaps you will accept the
definitions or deny the definitions; and merely arguing, analysing,
questioning, may help, but it may not necessarily bring about a
religious mind. So one has to have a great humility, a sense of not
knowing. Also a religious mind acts, because it is compassionate.
That action is born of intelligence. Intelligence, love, compassion,
all go together. That is meditation. Don’t suddenly sit up properly.
That has no meaning. You may sit cross-legged, breathe properly,
practise various systems; that is not meditation.
We are going to enquire, search out for ourselves, what is
meditation. The word `meditation means, according to a good
dictionary, to ponder over, to think over, to look closely, to come
in touch with, not something sublime invented by thought, but
come close and touch your daily life. That is the ordinary
dictionary meaning of that word `meditation. Also meditation
implies measurement. That is the meaning of that word. So we
begin by asking, why do we measure? What do we mean by
measurement? Why is there in our mind and heart this constant
measurement? Measurement means comparison. I compare myself
with you, wanting to be like you, wanting to be like your guru, like
your highest example, whatever it is. Why do we compare at all in life? We say we compare in order to make progress. We are always
comparing. You are beautiful, I am not. I want to be as beautiful,
as powerful as you are. We want to be as enlightened as you are.
There is always this competition of comparison between us. We
are never free of that movement, but if we are free, then what are
we? Do you understand my question? Is it possible to be free of
comparison, is it possible to end comparison? If you don`t
compare, then you throw away a great burden that has no reality.
Because, then you are what you are. From there you can begin, but
if you are always comparing, becoming somebody else, then you
are fundamentally unhappy anxious, frightened, and all the rest of
it. So please ask the question of yourself, whether you can live
without comparison, without any form of measurement which is
quite difficult, because we are trained, educated, convinced, that
we are this but we will become that. The becoming is a form of
measurement. To live without a single movement of measurement
is part of meditation.
Most people who meditate follow various systems. Each one
has his own guru and he has laid down certain systems of
meditation, and you practise, repeat certain words over and over
again and you call that meditation. When you repeat over and over
again, what is happening to your brain? You become more and
more dull. You become a machine and you think that is meditation.
You will go on doing it in spite of what the speaker is saying. In
enquiring what is meditation, there can be no system, no effort.
Effort means conflict. Can you be free of systems, practice,
realizing the fact that your brain, your senses, become dull? Can
you be free of systems? Can the mind, the brain, realize what it means to follow somebody, to obey what somebody else tells you
to do because he calls himself a guru? All those things have
destroyed the beauty of a religious mind. Meditation is none of
these things, yoga included. Then what is meditation? You want
experience. You are craving for some strange experience, so-called
spiritual experience. You have enough of experiences in this world,
of pain, anxiety, sorrow, and you say we want something more,
greater experience. Experience has nothing whatsoever to do with
meditation. To experience, there must be an experiencer, and if
there is an experiencer, that experiencer is the continuity of past
memories which is the self. Meditation is the understanding of the
whole structure of the `me’, the self, the ego, and whether it is
possible to be totally free of the self, not seek some super-self. The
super-self is still the self. So meditation is something which is not a
cultivated, determined, activity. There must be freedom, and where
there is freedom, there is space. Have we space apart from the
physical world? Have we, living in Bombay, space? Hardly. We
live in a little flat or a little room, and our minds gradually accept
that little space. We are talking of space which has no walls. You
know, when you look at the sea, when the smog has gone and you
see the far horizon, the vast disc, and when you look up at the stars
and see their extraordinary brightness and the vast space and the
space that you have in your mind, how small it is, how narrow it is;
that space in your heart and mind is so controlled, shaped, put
together. There is hardly any space in you. To understand that
which is sacred, there must be vast space in you, not out there in
the sea. Space is not separation. Space is not division. When you
divide, there is space between you and your wife, between you as India and another country, but that is not space. The space
inwardly can only exist when there is no conflict whatsoever. Then
when there is that vast limitless space of the mind, then only in that
space there is energy, not the energy and friction of thought,
because that energy is born out of freedom. When there is that
space and silence and that immeasurable energy, then there is that
which is utterly nameless, measureless, timeless; then there is that
which is sacred. But to find that, one must have great love, great
compassion, which must begin at home. You must love your wife,
your children, your husband. Love cannot exist with attachment. If
it is attachment, then you have all the problems of life. So, sirs and
ladies, it is your life. Either you bring about a great radical,
psychological revolution in yourself or the experts of the genetic
world are going to make you do something. Then you will become
merely machines. Then life will have very little meaning. But there
is great significance, great meaning, if you are aware what love is,
compassion and intelligence. Then out of that comes great silence
and vast space. All that cannot exist if there is any shadow of
selfishness. And this is meditation, and not the repetition of words,
not the discipline of will, but the discipline of order which comes
when there is no conflict.
NEW DELHI 1ST PUBLIC TALK 30TH
OCTOBER, 1982

If one may point out, this is not a lecture as it is commonly
understood, a discourse on a particular subject with its instructions.
This is not a lecture, but rather a conversation between two people,
between you and the speaker, not on a particular subject,
instructing, guiding and shaping your thought or opinions. We are
two friends sitting in a park on a bench talking over together their
problems. So please bear that in mind throughout the talks,
tomorrow and next weekend that two friends, you and the speaker,
who who are concerned deeply with what is going on in the world,
their confusion, the chaos, almost anarchy that exists throughout
the world. But we are talking over together what is happening in
this part of the world.
I wonder if you have a friend with whom you talk, with whom
you expose your own feelings, your own concepts, your ideas and
disillusionment and so on. If you have such a friend, and I hope
you have, if you have such a friend with whom you are discussing,
you are talking over together, neither one nor the other is trying to
persuade the other, persuade, guide, or shape his particular thought.
So if you are willing, we are going to talk over together in that
manner, exploring, enquiring, never accepting what another says,
never expressing one’s own strong opinions, but rather without any
bias, in great friendship, which means with great affection
respecting each other, without any arriere pensee, that is, having
some kind of hidden thought, hidden motive. So we are together
this evening going to enquire, not asserting, because in this enquiry there is no authority. The speaker has no authority, he is not your
guru. Thank god! He is not a lecturer, asserting certain points of
view, or introducing a new kind of philosophy, or ideas. This must
be made perfectly clear, that he is not an authority, but rather
together we are going to enquire into what is happening in this
country. That is, what is happening not only outwardly, in the
world of politics, economics, business and the environment, but
also we are going to talk over together as two friends their own
inward life – their confusion, their misery, their suffering and so on.
So please we are both, you and the speaker, are responsible, as two
friends, not the speaker is lecturing, telling you what to do, or what
to think, or proposing a new set of systems, ideologies, and so on.
Both of us are equal, both of us are concerned with our own lives,
and the lives of others.
So first let us look at what is happening around us, outwardly,
without any bias, not as an Indian, not as a German, Englishman,
American, or Russian, we are human beings, whatever country we
belong to. We are human beings facing a very dangerous world,
facing a great deal of uncertainty, confusion, and when the mind is
confused we seek some kind of authority as a means of security. So
we are first going to consider, if you will, what is happening here.
As one observes, the country is going through a great confusion,
great uncertainty; there is chaos, people have no direction, but
unfortunately we are conditioned when we are confused, uncertain,
insecure, to try to and find a solution in the past, go back to our old
traditions. This is what is happening throughout the world. There
are the fundamentalists who accept the Bible as their authority, the
fundamentalists of Islam who look to the Koran, there are the fundamentalists who look to Marx. So when we are uncertain,
confused, greatly disturbed, we look to some kind of authority,
some kind of book, to the past, to find a direction. Now in this
country, as you observe, there are not many books – or rather too
many books, too many leaders. So our tradition is uncertain. All
the leaders, all the gurus, all the so-called saints have not helped
mankind because we are actually what we are at the moment.
So what is the root cause of all this confusion? Because when
one can find the cause then we can end it. A cause has an end.
Right? I hope we are following each other. So we are asking, what
is the cause, or causes, of this confusion, this lack of integrity, this
sense of desperate degeneration, what is the root of all this. Most of
us play with symptoms; we say it is the overpopulation, bad
governments, right throughout the world it is the same, lack of
leadership, lack of morality. These are all symptoms, but one never
asks, what is the cause of all this. And when you begin to enquire
into the cause of it, each one of us will give different opinions; the
more learned you are the greater assertion of the cause, or causes.
But we are not very learned people, we are ordinary people, we are
laymen, we are not very bright, very intelligent, but we are caught
in this, in this great turmoil that exists in the world and here. There
are wars, every nation, every group, is preparing for war. I wonder
if you are aware of all this. Every country, specially the industrial
countries, are supplying armaments to the rest of the world. The
other day in London on television an industrialist was being
interviewed, and the industrialist said, ‘We send abroad eighty per
cent of our armaments and twenty per cent we keep.’ This is
happening in all the industrial countries. And nobody says, ‘Why do we have to have war? Why do we have to kill each other,
murder each other?’ They are talking about stopping nuclear war,
but not ending all wars. Why? Why have human beings reduced
themselves to this condition? Please, this is very important to ask.
Why do you have to kill other people, for what? For your nation?
For your particular group? The idea of war is a great historical
process which we have accepted, and it has become a great reality,
but the root of it is we live in an illusion, an illusion that our
country must be protected. What is your country? Please ask these
questions. What are you protecting? Your house? Your hope? Your
ideas? Your bank account? And the whole world is degenerating,
going to pieces, and we are not enquiring into fundamental causes.
So we are going together, as two friends, please bear this in
mind, as two friends, who are not against each other, who are
friendly, who have a certain affection for each other, and are facing
this problem, which is, why have we human beings become what
we are, confused, uncertain, following any leader that comes along,
the country breaking up, fragmentation going on, the Sikhs, the
Hindus, the Muslims and so on, what is the cause of this?
Are you waiting for the speaker to tell you? Or, is your mind,
your brain active enough to enquire, not depend on the speaker to
tell you? We will talk over together, which means your mind, your
brain must be as active as that of the speaker. And it can only be
active if you are not saying, I am Hindu, Buddhist, whatever it is.
We are free to enquire. Enquiry means first looking what is
actually going on, not a theory of what is going on, actually
observing with your heart, with your mind, with your capacity,
with your energy to look.       Now what is the cause of it? Is it that we have looked to others
to help us, we have looked to political leaders, religious leaders,
economic leaders, with their particular ideas, with their particular
systems, so that you are always depending on others to guide you,
to tell you what to do. Is that the root cause of this? Or do you
blame the environment? You understand my question? Do you
blame the environment? That is, the government, no proper leader,
no righteous guru, those are all the environment, something outside
of you. Is that the cause of this? Which means that you have relied
entirely on authority: authority of tradition, authority of books,
authority of leaders, gurus and so on. So when you depend you
gradually become weak, you become feeble, you are incapable of
thinking clearly because you depend. This is a fact. Newspapers
tell you what to think, all the meetings that you attend, the
discourse, instruct.
So self-reliance, the sense of responsibility for oneself, not
depending on another, that may the root cause of this, that we have
become irresponsible because we depend. You understand the fact
of this? Just a minute, sir, you can ask questions perhaps at the end
of the talk, if we have time, but please quietly, you and I are
talking over together. The speaker is not asserting a thing, he
doesn’t want you to follow him, he is not your guru, he is not your
leader, but you and I, the speaker, who wants to show a different
way of living, not that you must accept it, but enquire, put your
mind and heart into this to find out why we have become what we
are, so utterly selfish, utterly self-concerned. And in that state of
mind and brain you ask, what is the root cause of all this, you are
incapable of enquiry, finding out because our conditioning is to depend, to be directed, to be told what to do, what to believe. This
is a fact, isn’t it?
So is it possible to be a light to oneself, and not depend on a
single person? Of course you depend on the milkman, on the
postman, on the policeman who keeps order at a crossroad, you
depend on a surgeon, on a doctor, but inwardly, psychologically to
think clearly for oneself, to observe one’s own reactions and
responses. And ask if one can be completely a light to oneself. You
understand what that means, to be a light to oneself. Not self-
confidence, not self-reliance, self-confidence is a part of
selfishness, it is a part of egotism, but to be a light to oneself which
requires great freedom, a very clear brain, not a conditioned brain.
We will go into the activity of the brain, what is the relationship of
the brain to the mind – we will go into all that presently. But one
must be very active, not merely intellectually, which is verbally,
active with one’s ideas. The speaker does not mean that. To have an
active brain, to challenge, to question, to doubt, that means to have
energy, but when you depend on others you lose energy. That’s
what is happening.
So we are asking if this is the root cause of all this confusion,
uncertainty, insecurity, this breaking up of this country into parties,
which is all indicates a state of chaos. And we are responsible for
it. Each one of us is responsible for what is happening.
So we are going together seriously, amicably, with a great sense
of affection for each other, to enquire and see if we cannot go
beyond all this. So you are here for that purpose, not to be
instructed, not to be told or given a direction. We have had all that
in the past, and the result is this utter lack of personal responsibility.
So let’s proceed from there. This is the cause. Where there is a
cause there is an end. If I have cancer, which is the cause of my
pain, it can be removed. So where there is a cause to any problem,
there is an end to that problem. But we must be very clear of the
causation of a particular problem, or many problems. Not just
merely explain away verbally the problems. So please we are
listening to each other, actively, without any bias. If that is the
cause of this present degeneration of mankind, then can this
degeneration be put an end to? That’s the problem.
So is your mind, your brain, conditioned? You understand that
word, being conditioned? When we are born, from the moment we
are born the brain is being conditioned, shaped, by tradition, by
your religion, by the literature you read, by the newspapers, by
your parents, you are being conditioned. The brain is conditioned.
It has lived for millions of years, it has had a great many
experiences, it has faced wars, sorrow, pleasure, pain, agony, great
disturbance, and it is conditioned as a Hindu, it is conditioned as a
Sikh, as a Muslim, as a Christian. Why is it conditioned? Please
enquire with me. Why is one’s brain conditioned – if you are aware
that it is conditioned. You are conditioned, aren’t you? You call
yourself a Hindu, and I call myself a Muslim – why? Your parents,
your books, have told you, you are a Hindu, I am a Muslim. That
is, years of propaganda, two thousand years of Christianity, the
repetition of a certain formula, rituals, has conditioned the brain;
the Muslim’s brain is also conditioned, like the Hindu brain, with
his rituals, with his authority, with his knowledge of previous
instructions and so on. So we are enquiring, please listen to this, we are enquiring seriously, whether your brain, which is
conditioned, if you are aware of it, can that condition be resolved.
Do we both of us see actually that we are conditioned? Right? Do
we both of us agree to this at least? Yes? If you are conditioned it
means you are being conditioned, it becomes mechanical. Right?
You repeat that you are a Hindu, I am Muslim, I am a Marxist and
so on. So your brain becomes mechanical, routine, repeating the
same thing over and over again, like, war is necessary, leadership
is necessary, you must depend – a child depends on his mother up
to a certain age but after that he leaves – but we, through
dependency, even when we are grown-up become infantile. Right?
So we are concerned first whether the brain can be freed from
its conditioning. You understand, if it is conditioned, the speaker as
a Muslim and you as a Hindu are going to have war, we will fight
each other, we will kill each other. That’s what is happening. And
if you like to live in a state of perpetual war, that’s your affair; but
if you are serious, concerned with human existence, with the future
of man, one must learn whether it is possible to free the brain from
its conditioning. There is a whole group of people who say the
brain cannot be freed from conditioning, it will always be
conditioned but modify it. That is one of the theories of
communism, of Marxism, that the brain can never be free from its
conditioning and therefore condition it in a new way, which is
Marxism, read what Marx has said, accept him as your god –
perhaps not as god – as your saint and so on. If I am a Christian, I
have been conditioned, I accept the Bible, and so on. So first do we
realize, the two of us talking together as friends, do we realize
actually that our brains are conditioned?       Then we will ask, if we are serious, whether it is possible to free
the brain from being a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, a Marxist. We
are human beings, not labels, but labels count a great deal. That’s
what is going on – the Sikhs wanting their own petty little affair. So
first, please realize as two friends who are talking over together,
great friendship, that our brains are conditioned, and we see the
consequences of being conditioned: where there is conditioning
there is no freedom, there cannot be love, there cannot be affection.
So it is imperative, absolutely essential for the future of humanity
that we are concerned with the brain which is conditioned. If one is
aware of that then we can proceed whether it is possible to free the
brain.
The relationship between the brain and the mind exists, is
realized when the brain is completely free, then the brain is the
mind. We will go into that later as we go along. So we are
conditioned. And we are asking, whether it is possible to be free.
Don’t say, it is, or, it is not, because that would be absurd. Whereas
if you are enquiring then you are learning, not being instructed,
you are learning for yourself through enquiry, through
investigation. Right?
So let’s find out. Where do you begin? Where do you begin to
enquire whether it is possible to free the brain from its
conditioning? You understand? That is, you are enquiring whether
it is possible not to be a Hindu, or a Muslim, or a Sikh, but a
human being, with all the travail of humanity, the anxieties, the
uncertainties, with the depth of sorrow and pain. So where do you
begin? Do you begin to enquire from the outside, or do you begin
to enquire from inside? You understand my question? That is, is the outside, the world, not the physical world, not nature, but the
world which humanity has created, is that world different from the
world in which you live inside? Do you understand my question?
The society, the morals, the systems, the outward world, is that
different from you? Or, you have created it, you who want security,
you who want to have different status, the more powerful, the less
powerful, the more greedy and the less greedy, the religious saint
and the ordinary man – you have created all this. So please look at
this: the world is you, and you are the world. Right? Is that a fact to
you, or just an idea? You understand, it is very important to
understand this. We, in our disorder, in our confusion, in the desire
for security, we have created a world outside of us, a society which
is corrupt, immoral, confused, everlastingly at war, because we
ourselves, in ourselves, we are confused, we are in conflict, we
want to kill somebody out of anger, violence, because we want to
protect our image as Hindus. Right? And the Muslim wants to
protect his image as a Muslim, and the Christian does the same
thing. The speaker has just returned from Europe. He has visited
many countries; each country says, British, British, British; French,
French, French. Right? They never consider as human beings, but
isolated entities, isolated groups. That’s part of our conditioning.
So the speaker is asking, where do you begin, knowing that you
have created this world. So we have to begin with yourself, not
with the alteration or systems of the outer world, which is not
looking for a new leader, new system, new philosophy, new gurus,
but looking at yourself, as you are. So can you observe yourself as
you would observe your face in a mirror? You understand my
question? Can you observe your reactions, your responses? Because your reactions and your responses are what you are. So
let’s begin there to enquire.
Life is a process of relationship. There is no life without
relationship. You understand? This is a fact. You may be a hermit,
you may be a monk, you may withdraw from all society, but you
are related, as a human being you cannot escape from being
related. Right? Is this clear? You are related to your wife, to your
husband, to your children. You are related to your government, you
are related to the hermit who withdraws because you feed him, and
he is related to his ideas. So relationship is the basis of human
existence. Without relationship there is no existence. You are
either related to the past, which is to all the tradition, to all the
memories, to all the books, or you are related to some future
ideation. So relationship is the most important thing in life. Do we
see that? Not verbally, not intellectually but actually with your
heart and mind, do you see the truth of that? So we are enquiring,
what is your relationship with another, however intimate or not. Go
on, sir, we are enquiring, sir, don’t go to sleep.
What’s your relationship? Is it that we are from childhood hurt,
wounded, psychologically? Are you wounded, hurt, therefore from
that hurt, from that psychological wound you bring about violence?
And the consequence of being hurt inwardly, wounded, is that you
enclose yourself more and more not to be hurt. And your
relationship with another then becomes very narrow, limited. So
we must first enquire whether it is possible to find out whether you
can never be hurt. So we are enquiring, what is the root of being
hurt, what is the cause of it. When I say, I am hurt, my pride is
hurt, what does that mean? My teacher has hurt me, my parents have hurt me – we are all hurt, we are all wounded, by an accident,
by a word, by a look, by a gesture. So what is it that is hurt? When
you say, I am hurt – what is that ‘I’ which is being hurt? Is it not an
image that you have built about yourself? Haven’t you got images?
The brain is always – what a noisy town this is. All right let’s go on.
Probably it is a demonstration against this meeting! The whole
world wants to demonstrate about something or other.
So we are asking a very serious question: what is it that is hurt.
The brain has the capacity to create images. The images are the
illusions we have, illusions like war, it is an illusion, we accept it.
We accept killing another human being, another life, as part of the
image which we have. We have many, many images, and one of
the images is, I am being hurt. So we are enquiring what is the
entity that is being hurt. The entity is the image that I have built
about myself. Right? I think I am very clever, a great man; you
come along and tell me ‘Don’t be an idiot’, I get hurt. Where there
is comparison there is hurt. You follow all this? When I compare
myself with somebody who is more clever, more bright, more
intelligent, that is, when there is measurement there must be hurt.
So please enquire whether you can live without comparison,
without measurement. You understand my question? We are
always comparing ourselves with somebody. It begins at the school
level, when the boy is told he must be as good as his brother, that is
the comparison, that is measurement. And that process continues
throughout life. So is it possible, please enquire – it is possible to
live without comparison, without measurement? This is a
tremendously complicated question because the word ‘better’ is
measurement, the word ‘more’ is measurement, ‘self-improvement’ is measurement. So find out whether it is possible to live without
measurement, which means without comparison. Part of meditation
is to enquire into not becoming, which is measurement. We will go
into that when we come to that.
So is it possible in our relationship with each other, however
intimate it is, not to have measurement? That means your brain
must be active in your relationship, not just routine: she is my wife
– or husband – you know, carry on like a machine. So one must
enquire into our relationship, whether in that relationship there is
hurt, and that hurt brings about greater fear, greater enclosure
within oneself, and therefore isolation. You follow? Isolation, each
country is isolating itself – Britain is isolated, France is isolated,
America is isolated, in their way of looking at life. So where there
is isolation there must be conflict. If I am a Jew and you are an
Arab, which is, you are isolated as an Arab, and I am isolated as a
Jew, we are going to fight. So please see the importance of this. As
long as there is isolation, either outwardly, or inwardly, there must
be conflict.
And we are asking, the brain has been conditioned in isolation
as a Hindu, as a Buddhist and so on. So to enquire into this
question, whether the brain can resolve its own conditioning, one
must enquire into relationship. What is your relationship with
another, with your wife, with your husband, with your children.
Begin there, near at home, not far away. You know, sirs, to go very
far you must begin very, very near. To go very far you must put
your house in order. So can you be aware, alert, so that you are
watching your relationship, and learning from that awareness how
you respond, what are your reactions. That is life, that’s everyday life. And that requires constant attention to every reaction, every
thought, but most of us are so lazy, and we have become lazy
because we are dependent on others.
So please, as two friends, we have gone into a certain question
of relationship, and we will enquire further into the nature of that
relationship, whether the human brain, whether it is your brain or it
is the brain of mankind. This is really a very serious question: is
your brain an individual brain, or, the brain of humanity? When
you say, it’s my brain – when you say, it’s my consciousness, is it
your consciousness, individual consciousness, or, it is the
consciousness of mankind. I will go into it very, very briefly now,
you can enquire into it. You suffer, you are uncertain, you believe,
you are anxious, you are in agony, pain. That’s what you are, your
belief, your knowledge, your character, that’s what you are. And
that’s exactly what your neighbour is, he suffers, he goes through
agonies, sorrow, pain, trouble. Right? So is your consciousness
separate from the rest of mankind? No, of course not. So please if
you admit that, if you see the truth of that, then are you an
individual? You may think you are an individual because you are
dark, short, peripheral activity makes you think you are an
individual. But deeply, are you not the rest of mankind. So when
you realize that, the truth of that, you will never kill another
because you are killing yourself. Then out of that comes great
compassion, love.
We have talked for an hour. Do you want to ask questions?
Q: What is an impersonal action?
K: What is an impersonal action. First of all, what is action?
What do you mean by that word ‘action’? Either you act according to a pattern, or act according to some idea, act according to your
experience, which is the past, act according to your knowledge,
which is the past, or act according to some ideal which is in the
future, or act according to your convenience. So what do you mean
by that word? The word means acting, not having acted, or will act.
But action means acting in the present, whether that action is
correct, true, actual, depends on the quality of your brain, of your
heart, not just theory. First, therefore, please sirs, enquire into what
is action. We are all acting from morning until night. You are
sitting there, and the speaker is sitting here, you are listening and
he is speaking, that’s an action, whether you listen, that’s an action,
or whether you don’t listen, that’s an action, how you listen is an
action, whether you are actually listening or you think you are
listening.
And what do you mean by ‘impersonal’? You see we have
concepts. What do you mean by ‘person’, what do you mean by that
word ‘person’? The word, name, the form, are you an individual
and then ask, can I be impersonal, are you an individual? I know
you all think you are individuals. You whole tradition, religious
and in every other way tells you are an individual – are you? Are
you not the result of centuries of human endeavour? You see you
don’t want to question all those things. You are afraid if you are not
an individual, what would happen to you. Individuality is a form of
isolation, and therefore we are all at each other’s throat all the years
of our life. We have no love for each other. We talk about the love
of god, but we don’t love each other. And besides god is the
invention of man. Right? I know you are all believers in god
probably, but you have invented that entity. If god does exist, and if he has created us, what a miserable god he must be. Right? You
don’t want to look at it that way. You worship an illusion, and you
like the illusion. You think in illusion there is security, and you are
finding out there is no security in illusions. Your god has betrayed
you, and yet you worship him. The Christian god, the Hindu god,
the Muslim god – you follow? It’s all so absurdly childish.
So please, sirs, let’s find out for ourselves, if we can be a light to
ourselves, not depend on anyone psychologically, inwardly. Not
depend on your wife, or your husband, or your guru, on a book, but
to live a life free, full of vitality, energy, so that your brain is
active, not mechanical. Our brains have become now a form of
computers, but the computer is far more efficient, far more quick.
We will go into that if we have time. So please do enquire into a
different way of living.
I think that’s enough, sir, for this evening.
NEW DELHI 2ND PUBLIC TALK 31ST
OCTOBER, 1982

May we continue with what we were talking about yesterday
evening? Communication with each other, to communicate
something to another, unless they are really willing to listen,
however friendly, however good intentioned, unless one is able to
listen to another, communication becomes rather limited,
misunderstood and apt to be misguided. So we are going to talk
over together this evening many things; and one has to use words
to communicate, of course unless we are extraordinarily telepathic,
without words we can communicate, I am afraid that is not
possible, but words are necessary. Each one uses words rather
casually, without much intonation, quality behind that word, and
one doesn’t listen to another actually. If you do listen there is
always a defence, there is always a resistance to anything that is
said, something new, and perhaps over which you have not
thought, so the immediate reaction is to resist, or not listen,
because it might be disturbing.
So there is an art of listening. That is to listen to what is being
said, not interpret what is being said to your own convenience, to
your own traditional language, but if you understand English, I
hope some of you do, then to listen to the word, the meaning of
that word, to see if we understand each other. And to listen one has
to have not only a certain quality of attention but also a sense of
affection, a sense of trying to understand what the other fellow is
saying. A communication is possible at depth, as well as
superficially, when both of us are concerned about the same subject, or the same idea, the same concern about a certain thing,
then we are both in communication with each other. But if you
resist, as perhaps you are going to resist a great deal to what the
speaker is going to say, then communication is not possible. And
as you are all good enough to come to the talk – I don’t know why,
but you are here.
So one has to learn the art of listening. When you listen to
music which you like, there is no resistance, you go with it, you
shake your head, you clap your hands, you do all kinds of things to
express your appreciation, your understanding, your understanding
of the quality of the music and so on. There, there is not any form
of defence, any form of resistance, you are going with it, flowing
with it. So please in the same way kindly listen, not to be
instructed, not to be told what to do, but to understand what is
being said, not the person who is saying it, but what is being said.
If you are merely concerned with the person, that is, with the
speaker, and not with what is being said, then you are not in
communication with him. So forget the person altogether. He is
just a telephone. You understand? So that you are actually listening
to what is being said, and discover for yourself if you are resisting,
and why you are resisting. One resists or there is a defence because
you don’t want to be disturbed, or you are not accepting anything
new, you don’t want anything new, or you don’t really care what is
being said. So please, as we are going to talk over together like two
friends, please listen very carefully. Learn the art of listening, not
to the speaker only, but to your wife, to your husband, to your
children, to the birds, to the wind, to the breeze, so that you
become extraordinarily sensitive in listening. And when you listen you capture quickly, you don’t have to have a lot of explanations
and analysis and descriptions, you are flowing with it.
So please as we are talking together as two friends, sitting in a
park, or in a wood, quiet, birds are singing, plenty of dappled light
coming through the leaves on the floor, and there is a sense of
appreciation of beauty, and when you so listen the miracle takes
place – when you listen. It is like sowing a seed and the if the seed
is vital, strong, healthy, and the ground is properly prepared, it
inevitably grows. So if one may point out, one has to learn the art
of listening. And if you listen very, very carefully you capture it so
quickly, the meaning of what the other is saying. Perhaps many of
you have listened to the speaker for a number of years,
unfortunately, and you get used to it. You get used to his language,
his gesture, how he looks and so on, and you gradually slip off.
And you say, ‘Why haven’t I, after years of listening to this man,
changed?’ – because they have actually not listened with their
depth, with their heart, with their mind, with their whole energy.
So don’t blame the speaker but rather learn, if one may suggest
most respectfully, the way of listening. There is great beauty in
listening, to a bird, to a wind among the leaves, and to a word that
is spoken with depth, with meaning, with passion.
We were saying yesterday that the future of man is at stake.
And the future man has no existence in isolation – isolation as a
nation, isolation as a group, isolation in religions, isolation as an
individual, and isolation in consciousness. For most of us thinking
is individual. What I think, what you think, there, there is a
difference, a division, your opinion against my opinion, my
thought against your thought, or your husband’s thought, your wife’s thought. So thinking is not individual. Thinking is the
ordinary factor of the poorest, ignorant man, and the greatest Noble
prize winner, scientist, they both think. But we have the idea that
your thinking is yours, but whereas thinking is the nature of man.
Clear, this point? So when you think, it is not your individual
thinking, it is the capacity of the brain to be active and respond in
words, in thought. This is the nature of man. But we have reduced
it as, my thinking opposed to your thinking, or you agree with my
thinking, or I agree with your thinking. This must be made very
clear in these talks: we are thinking together, it is not your thinking
and you accept my thinking. We are thinking together, which is
very difficult because for most of us we have got strong opinions,
biased, conclusions, we have experienced so much, so we think it
is our experience, our conclusion. So when a new outlook is put
before you, you refuse to look at it.
So thinking is the nature of man, it is not your thinking or my
thinking. This must be seen very clearly. You observe when you
talk to a poor, illiterate, ignorant man, he is also thinking according
to his knowledge, his perception, his activity, as the scientist, the
greatest scientist, he thinks according to his experience, to his
knowledge, and discovers something new and so on. This is the
general factor of all human beings that thinking is not yours or
mine, it is thinking. Can we go on from there? We understand each
other, at least even intellectually, even verbally?
And when you observe what is going on in the world, outside of
you, each country is isolating itself, each group is isolating – the
Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Tibetan, the Russian, the
American, and so on, the Chinese, I don’t have to enumerate all the names. This is what is happening, each group is isolating, one
follows one particular guru, another, another guru, and so on. This
factor of isolation is destroying the world, is separating humanity.
This is an actual fact that is taking place in the world. Then
inwardly each of us thinks we are separate. Tradition, religion, all
that has conditioned our thinking that we are separate human
beings. Of course we are separate in the sense that you are a man,
you are a woman, I am a man, or I am a woman, you are a man,
tall, short, light, black and so on, but we are talking at a depth. That
is, human consciousness is general, is shared by all human beings,
all human beings suffer, go through great agonies, shed tears, have
this sense of loneliness, pain, anxiety, depression, uncertainty – the
poorest and the most sophisticated, erudite human being, all have
this general factor, they all share this. This is so. So our
consciousness is not yours or mine, it is the consciousness of all
human beings. This is very difficult for most people to see this, and
to see the reality of it because we have been so conditioned – in
Christianity you are a separate soul, here you are atman, you
reincarnate over and over again until you reach god knows what. It
is still the emphasis that you are separate, individual – is that so?
We are questioning it. Therefore you have to find out, question,
doubt, ask. Which means you are listening without any defence,
without any resistance to this truth – we are using the word
correctly. It is the truth. You may at the periphery, on the outside,
have certain mannerisms, certain habits, certain tendencies,
capacities, but if you move from the outer to the inner we all share
the same common issues. So unless we realize this, not verbally,
not intellectually, but in our heart, in our minds, in our blood, we are going to destroy each other, which is going on. So are we
capable of listening to this fact – not your opinions about the fact,
but the actual fact that our consciousness, which is the content –
our consciousness is made up of its content, isn’t it. Are you all
puzzled? Are we all thinking together, or we are off to somewhere
else?
Look: a great many books have been written about
consciousness, there are specialists about consciousness,
conferences about consciousness, all over the world, and scholars,
experts who have studied, not themselves, but other poor victims,
they meet and discuss. But we are not professionals, at least I am
not, but one has enquired into the nature of one’s own
consciousness, observed the content of it, because without the
content there is no consciousness. Right? Are you following all
this? Are we moving together? Consciousness is made up of one’s
beliefs, one’s tendencies, one’s secret desires, anxieties, beliefs,
loneliness, and so on. That is the content which makes up
consciousness; without the content there is no consciousness as we
know it. If you observe your own consciousness, that is, what you
are – your consciousness is what you are – your fears, your desires,
your pleasures, your loneliness, depression, anxiety and all that,
that is what you are, what you believe – you believe that you are
god, you are that, and so on. So the content makes consciousness.
And that consciousness is conditioned, and since it is conditioned it
must be in conflict. Aren’t you all in conflict, of some kind or
another? Conflict being dissension between two people, conflict
with oneself, ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’, that’s a conflict. A man
who is violent, as all human beings apparently are violent, the content of our consciousness is part of that violence. And conflict
arises when there is a duality. That is, I am violent, I should not be
violent; or I have the ideal of non-violence, which this country
loves – the idea of non-violence, or practising non-violence, but the
fact is you are violent. That’s a fact. The other is not a fact. I
wonder if you see this.
We must go into this very carefully because we are trying to
understand why human beings live perpetually in conflict. Why
there is a contradiction – I am, I should be, I am violent, I must
become non-violent. And the non-violent is an idea, is a concept, is
not an actuality because I am violent. Do you see this actuality, this
is a fact? The other is non-fact. But we have created, or we think
the pursuit of non-violence will help us to become non-violent, we
will be free from violence. This is rather important, go into it, I will
go into it slowly. I am violent, human beings are violent. I am
violent, let’s understand the content of that word. What does
violence mean? There is physical violence, you with a gun shoot
me, or you hit me, or you throw a bomb at me, you slap me, you
injure me – that’s a physical violence. What is psychological
violence? The inward anger, hatred, wanting to dominate people.
Right? Not only physical domination but the domination of ideas –
I know, you don’t know, I will tell you and you will obey. That’s
domination. I wonder if you follow all this. The gurus are violent
because they are dominating people with their ideas, with their
system of meditation and all that business. Please understand this,
we are not attacking the gurus, they can jump in the lake or swim,
whatever they want, but I am just pointing out what violence is, the
psychological dependence, imitation, conformity, domination, all that is inward violence. That’s a fact. Can we deal with the fact and
not with the idea of the opposite, only deal with facts, and there is
no opposite. Right? There is an opposite as darkness and light,
woman and man, tall and short, black and white and so on, there is
a difference, but inwardly is there duality at all? Do you
understand, are we following each other, or am I talking to myself?
We are trying to understand why human beings live in conflict,
and whether it is at all possible to be totally free of conflict, then
the brain works astonishingly, then there is great energy, vitality,
passion. But a mind that is constantly in conflict, not only wears
down physically but also the brain becomes weak, worn out, old
age and so on. So we are concerned this evening to understand why
human beings live in conflict, not only with each other – the Arab
and the Jew, the Muslim and the Hindu, and all that – but also in
our relationship with each other. And actually we are asking, is
there a duality, or only ‘what is’? You understand my question?
There is only ‘what is’, that is, I am violent. Now is it possible to be
free of violence, not to become non-violent? Is this clear, are we
meeting each other? Are we meeting each other? May I go on?
Q: We are not clear.
K: You see, here, this country has propagated this idea of non-
violence. Being violent they are propagating something which they
are not, and if you ask them, ‘I am practising non-violence’ – you
understand, practising. That means I am gradually, day by day,
practising to become that, not to understand violence but to
become something which I have called non-violence. See the
difference? And hence there is conflict. Right? When I am
observing, learning, enquiring into the fact there is no conflict, but if my mind is all the time saying, I must achieve non-violence, then
there is conflict. But if I say, look, I am violent, what is the root of
violence, what is the nature of violence, I don’t condemn it, I
observe it.
Now, wait a minute, here it is very important to understand
what we mean by observing. Now when you observe the full
moon, do you observe it, do you see the beauty of that light, you
see the grandeur, the extraordinary quality of that light, or do you
say, ‘Yes, it’s a full moon’ and you do something else? So what do
we mean by observing? Do you ever observe the mountain, with all
that grandeur, majesty, the snow-cap, and the deep valleys full of
dark shadows, the extraordinary majesty of mountains. When you
observe for a single moment all your problems have gone because
the majesty of that has driven away all your problems, for a
second. Have you noticed this? But the old problems come back
immediately.
So we are going to talk over together, what does it mean to
observe. Now suppose I am violent, how do I observe that
violence, because I want to understand the nature of that violence, I
want to explore, discover, the extraordinary factors that contribute
to violence, so how do I observe it. First, is violence – please listen
to this – is violence different from me? Right? You understand my
question? I am asking, is that violence, which I see when I say, I
am violence, is that violence difference from me, or I am that
violence. When you are angry, you are angry, it is not you are
different from anger. You are different from anger only when you
want to control it, only when you say, I must suppress it. But are
you actually different, separate, from violence? Please you must go into this very carefully because most people say, I am different
from that object which I call violence. Is that so? Is the word
‘violence’ separated? You understand? Through tradition, through
constant talking about violence and so on, the word itself has
created a separation from observation. I wonder if you are
following all this. Are your brains working actively, as the speaker
is? I’ll go on if you are interested, it’s up to you to find out.
So the observer says, I am different from that, I am different
from violence. So we have to enquire who is the observer. Right?
The observer is the past who has known what violence is. It is the
past, it is the knowledge, is the experience, is all the stored-up
memories; those memories, those various forms of knowledge, and
the movement of all that is the past. Thought has divided itself as
the past, the present and the future. Right? So thought has divided
itself as the observer and the observed. Right? Thought has said, I
am not violent, but violence is not part of me. But when you look
at it very closely, you are violent, you are angry, you are greedy,
envious, competitive, depressed, you are all that. Right? You are
not the watcher, the observer is not different from that which he is
observing. Please understand, this is very important because this
will, if you really truly understand this with your heart, with your
mind, with all your being, conflict comes to an end because there is
no duality at all. Forget all your books, Vedanta and all the rest of
it, the fact is there is no opposite except physically.
Psychologically, inwardly there is only the fact. The fact is, one is
violent, angry, jealous, hatred and so on.
Now to observe the fact without its opposite which thought has
invented. Right, do you see this? To observe ‘what is’. In that observation the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought.
Right? The experiencer is the experience. But we have separated it.
We are saying, I must experience enlightenment, or I must
experience – whatever you want to experience. So the thinker is the
thought, there is no thinker without thought. The observer is the
observed, the analyser is that which he is analysing. I’ll put it in ten
different ways, but that is the fact, the observer is the observed,
therefore you eliminate altogether the sense of duality inwardly.
Then there is no question of suppressing it, escaping from it,
analysing it, it is there. Then what takes place? Do you understand?
Are we together, at least a little bit, half of the way? What takes
place when there is the actual realization of this truth, that there is
only the fact, not the invented opposite, only that which is? In that
there is no division as the observer and the observed, then what
takes place? You understand? Have you ever done this, or is it just
all theories to you? You understand my question? Man has lived in
conflict from time immemorial; if you see those caves in France, in
certain parts of the world, there is always the battle between the
good and the bad, the good against the evil. Right? This has been
the history of man, conflict. And we are asking if this conflict in
man can end, then he is a human being, vital, creative, you
understand, he is something extraordinary.
And when there is this realization that you are violent, not you
separate and violence is separate, you are that. You are brown, you
have certain characteristics, you have troubles, you are a professor,
scientists, all that you are, all that is not separate from you. So what
takes place when this fact, this truth is realized? Not intellectually,
not verbally, but deep down as a fact, as truth, what takes place? Have you not eliminated altogether the opposite, there is only this.
And – please follow this – and to live with that, like a precious
jewel that you have discovered and you are watching it. See the
beauty of that jewel, the light, the facets, the many aspects of it, as
you are watching it, which is part of yourself. Therefore the
watching, observing is extraordinarily important. So that there is
no division whatsoever between the watcher and that which is
watched. Then you realize nothing can be done about it. You are
brown, you can’t change it; you have dark hair, you can’t change it
– of course you can change it by various colours and so on. But the
fact when there is such observation it is not the word, it’s not the
memory, it is something totally new, you are facing this new
reaction which you have called violence anew. That is, have you
ever observed anything anew? Have you seen the moon, the new
moon that is coming up, as though for the first time in your life?
Have you looked at your wife, or your husband, as though for the
first time? Have you? Or, she is my wife, he is my husband, you
know, just a mechanical observation. So to observe requires great
enquiry, energy, vitality to see actually ‘what is’.
So we are now concerned with the elimination altogether of all
kinds of conflict. That is, why do we have opinions? You
understand my question? You have opinions, haven’t you,
judgements, why? Political opinions, religious opinions. Please
enquire, don’t just listen to what the speaker is saying, enquire into
this. Why do you carry opinions, it is a burden? I am a Brahmin,
you are not, I am a Sikh, you are not, I am a Muslim – you follow.
Why these opinions? It indicates a mind that is, or a brain which is
so crowded with opinions it is becoming small, petty, narrow. It is not free to enquire, look.
So we must go into this question why human minds, the human
brain is always occupied, never free, never quiet. You are
practising quietness, that’s your meditation. It’s like a pianist
practising the wrong note. You understand this? So enquire into all
this, please, because we are reaching a crisis, or we have a crisis in
the world, a tremendous crisis, and also crisis in our consciousness,
in us.
And we also ought to talk over together, as we talked yesterday,
that life is a process of relationship. Why in our relationship with
each other, however intimate, sexual, however close, why there is
conflict, why two people cannot live peacefully. Have you ever
asked that question? Why? Because it is very important, if I don’t
know how to live peacefully with my wife, with my husband, with
my girl friend, whatever you like, I cannot live peacefully in the
world. I may talk about peace, I may write a great deal about
peace, go all over the world talking about peace, but I am
quarrelling with my wife, or with my husband. So there is conflict
in our relationship, why? Please enquire. Do you want me to tell
you, or are you enquiring with the speaker? See the difference.
You are waiting – actually the truth – you are waiting for me to tell
you. But if you are really enquiring it is a sharing, a moving
together. So we are thinking together, that’s so important. Not
agreeing together, but thinking, step by step, going together, like
walking hand in hand down a lane, where there is so much beauty,
love and affection. Why is there this dissension, this division
between man and man, and woman and man, in our relationship?
Have you noticed? They are like two parallel lines never meeting; you may sleep with your wife or your husband – or is that not
mentioned publicly? Would you kindly tell me, is it not mentioned
publicly? In this country it is kind of hidden, secret, keep it closed,
don’t talk about it, everybody shies away from it, not from the act,
but talking, looking. We are such hypocrites. We never say what
we mean and stick to what you mean.
So we are going to find out together why in human relationship
we have such desperate, lonely, ugly conflicts. I am not married,
suppose I am married – I have my ambition, my desires, my
problems, in my office I am competitive, aggressive, I am pursuing
my own direction, and the wife also is pursuing her own. Right?
Ambitious, or not ambitious, too docile and I dominate and she
resists, you know the whole game. So we are asking, why is there
this conflict because we two have to live together, we have sex, we
have children, but we two are separate. Right? This is a fact, isn’t
it. I dominate or she dominates me, she bullies me or I bully her, I
scold her or she scolds me, I don’t beat her but I am angry with her
– I’d like to beat her but I am a little more controlled. No, sir, you
laugh, these are all facts. But I am an individual, she is an
individual, each must have his own way, sexually, in habits, in our
desires – how can two people live together like that? Which means
you have no love at all, for your wife or your husband. Do you
know what it means to love another? Have you ever loved
anybody? Is love dependence? Is love desire? Is love pleasure? I
don’t love my wife, she doesn’t love me, we are two separate
individuals, we may meet sexually but otherwise we carry on our
own particular way. You understand, sir? Does love exist in this
country? Don’t say, does it exist in Europe. When the speaker is in Europe he talks about it, but we are talking about it here as we are
in this country, in this part of the world. Is there love in this
country? Do you love anybody? Can love exist with fear? When
each one is becoming something – I am becoming a saint and she is
not, or she is becoming a saint, I am not. When each one is
becoming something – you understand? Please understand all this.
It’s your life. And when each one is becoming something how can
there be love?
So what will you do? You understand my question? I have
talked about it, what will you do? Get up and go home and forget
all about it, or will you enquire if it is possible to love another
without wanting a single thing from another, neither emotionally,
physically, in any way, not ask my wife for anything
psychologically – she may cook my meal, I may bring money, I am
not talking about that, but inwardly. Love cannot exist where there
is attachment. If you are attached to your guru there is no love in
your heart. So this is very, very serious. Without love there is no
right action. When there is love, whatever you do is right action.
We talk about action, we do social work, but when there is love in
your heart, in your eyes, in your blood, in your face, you are a
different human being. Whatever you do then has beauty, has
grace, is right action.
All this may be excellent words that you hear, but will you have
this quality? It cannot be cultivated, it cannot be practised, it
cannot be bought from your guru, from anybody, but without that
you are dead human beings. So what will you do? Sir, please, do
ask this question, find out for yourself, why this flame doesn’t exist
in you. Why you have become such paupers. You see unless we put our house in order – our house which is ourselves – there will be
no order in the world. You may meditate for the rest of your life,
without that your meditation has no meaning. So please most
respectfully we are asking, what will you do after hearing all this,
what’s your response?
Q: I want to ask something.
K: Yes sir?
Q: (Inaudible)
K: You didn’t listen sir, forgive me for pointing out. You
haven’t listened to what the speaker has said previously. That
thought is not yours or mine.
Q: I realize that it is not mine, it is not his, it is thought. So he
does what he thinks.
K: No, sir. If you and I realize that thought is shared by all
humanity, then there is no different thoughts, there is no you
agreeing, I disagreeing. We’ll go into it another time.
Q: Wouldn’t that be love?
K: No, sir.
Q: You have been talking about radical change for the last fifty
years, and I wonder sometimes, obviously there is no radical
change in the world.
K: All right. Then why do you talk, is that it?
Q: Quite, precisely.
K: The gentleman asks – are you all interested suddenly in this?
You have all become very active suddenly! The gentleman asks –
this will be the last question, please – the gentleman asks, you have
talked probably over fifty years, you have talked about
fundamental change of human consciousness and so on and so on, for the last fifty years and more, and there is no change at all. Then
the question is, why do you talk. I am not – the speaker is not
talking for his amusement, for his fulfilment, for his
encouragement, or if he didn’t talk he wouldn’t be depressed, he
wouldn’t feel lacking something. The speaker has tried not to talk
for a year, therefore why do I talk. You understand? Have you ever
asked why the lotus blooms, have you ever asked it? Have you, sir?
Now just a minute, have you?
Q: You look very self satisfied.
K: Don’t let this become an argument, please. Have you ever
asked a flower why it grows, why it has so much beauty, why it has
such marvellous colour, the depth and the smell and the glory of a
simple flower? Or the speaker may be talking out of compassion –
may be. But he is not talking for his self-fulfilment.
CALCUTTA 1ST PUBLIC TALK 20TH
NOVEMBER, 1982

From the very beginning, we ought to establish our relationship.
This is not a lecture as it is commonly understood. A lecture is a
discourse on a particular subject by way of instruction. This is a
conversation between you and the speaker. The speaker is not
telling you what to do, what to think, how you should behave and
so on. But he is having a conversation between you, as a person
sitting there, and the speaker, here. He is sitting on a platform for
the convenience of others, but he has no authority. This is a
conversation between two people concerned with what is
happening in the world, what is happening to man, not a particular
man, but man in the world. What is man doing to man, what he has
done to other men. And we are going to talk over together
amicably, dispassionately, objectively. So please, together, we are
going to think of what is exactly happening in the world, not in any
particular part of the world, but what is happening to man on the
earth.
To have a conversation with another, a friendly, serious
communication with each other, we must learn how to listen. We
hardly ever listen to another. We carry on with our own thoughts,
with our own problems, with our own particular ideas and
conclusions, and so it is very difficult to listen to another. And we
are suggesting that you listen. There is an art of listening.
We are going to talk over together a great many things: the state
of war, divided nations, divided groups, human relationship. We
are going to talk over together the problems of fear, pleasure and all the complexity of human thought. And we are going to talk over
together whether sorrow can ever end, and the implications and the
complexities of death. And we are also going to talk over together
what is religion, what is meditation, and if there is anything sacred,
eternal. We are going to talk over together all these things. And
one must have the art of listening to all this; not what you think
with all your traditions, with all your knowledge, but to listen to
another who is telling you something. And then communication
becomes simple, easy. But if you are not thinking together, which
is a quite an arduous task, then you and the speaker will be
thinking in two different directions. So there is an art of listening,
not translating what the speaker is saying but to listen to the word,
the content of the word, the significance and the depth of the word.
The speaker is going into many of these problems step by step,
slowly, clearly, objectively. And one must listen to the word as
both of us perhaps understand English; we are using ordinary, daily
language. There is no jargon, there is no specialized subject about
which we are talking. We are talking of human beings and their
problems, not a particular human being, but humanity as a whole.
Is this all right sir? Is this all right? Can you all hear?
Audience: Yes.
K: Yes? Yes!
As I said, the word has great depth, the meaning of it, and as we
are speaking in English, using the daily language without any
mysterious words being used, it is important that you and the
speaker establish a right relationship. He is not a guru. He is not
going to inform you what to think, how to think, but we are
together going to observe the activities of human being rights throughout the world: why they have become what they are, after
40 thousand years of evolution, why man is killing each other,
destroying each other, exploiting each other, why man has divided
the world into nationalities as the Jew, the Arab, the Hindu,
Muslim and so on. We are going to look at all this because it is
important to look, to observe, not from a particular point of view as
a Bengali, as an Indian, or as a European or Russian or Chinese or
American. We are going to look together why man has become
what he is: cruel, destructive, violent, idealistic; and in the world of
technology are doing astonishing things of which most of us are
unaware; why after thousands of years of wars, shedding tears,
why a human being through a long period of time, why he is
actually behaving in this manner. So, please, we are thinking
together, not agreeing together, nor resisting what is being said, nor
accepting, but observing, looking as you would look at a map,
exactly what is going on.
Man has divided the world into nationalities; man has divided
the world into the Catholic, the Protestant, the Hindu, the Muslim
and so on, religiously. Where there is division, as the Arab and the
Jew, the Hindu and the Muslim and so on, where there is division,
there must be conflict. This is a natural law, which is what is
actually taking place in the world. Why is there this division? Who
has brought this about?
Please, I hope you are thinking together, you and the speaker.
You are not just listening to him, merely accepting or rejecting
what he is saying. This is your problem, the problem of humanity.
And as we are human beings, at least we hope so, as we are human
beings, we must consider all these questions. Doubt, investigate, never accepting what the authorities or what the gurus or the sacred
books, including the speaker, never accepting, questioning,
doubting, asking. If you merely accept or reject you remain where
you are without bringing about a radical mutation in this whole
psyche, in the whole content of consciousness. So, please, if one
may ask most respectfully, please let us think together. You are
walking down a lane, not in the lanes of Calcutta, but in a nice,
quiet wooded place with clean air, and we are talking over together
as two friends the problems which, as a human being, he faces and
the problems of humanity. So we are talking together; we are
listening to each other. It’s a dialogue between you and the speaker.
Dialogue means conversation between two people; as there is such
a large audience, that is not possible. But one can talk to each other
though there are 1000 or 2000 people here.
So why has man – it includes the woman naturally – become
what he is in spite of great experience, in spite of great knowledge,
in spite of vast technological advancement, why have we remained
more or less what we have been for 40,000 years, why? Is it
because our mind, our brain is programmed, like a computer. The
computer is programmed by the professionals and it can repeat,
perhaps much quicker than man, more rapidly, giving infinite
information and so on. Is it that every human being in this world
has been programmed to be a Bengali, to be a Muslim, to be a
Hindu and so on, so on, so on? So is your brain programmed – that
is, to think in a conventional, narrow, limited way? Because our
brain within the skull is limited, but it has the capacity of
extraordinary invention, extraordinary technological advancement.
Perhaps most of us do not know what is actually going on in the biological world, in the technological world, in the world of
warfare, because most of us are concerned with our daily living,
with our own particular problems, with our own fulfilments, and so
we generally forget the vast advancement humanity is making in
one direction, in the technological world, and totally, completely
neglecting in the psychological world, in the world of human
behaviour, in the world of consciousness.
So we are together going to discover the causes of all this. That
is why human beings, being programmed as Christians for 2,000
years, believing certain doctrines, certain beliefs, stating there is
only one saviour, and the Muslim also has been programmed for
the last 1000 or more years to believe in certain principles, call
himself Muslim, and the Hindus have been programmed perhaps
for the last three to five thousand years. So our brains are
conditioned. I wonder if one ever realizes how our brain is acting,
thinking, looking. So, where there is limitation, there must be
conflict. We are going to go into all this. That is, our brains are
conditioned to be this or that, to behave in a certain manner, to
enjoy, to suffer, to have great burden of fear, uncertainty,
confusion and the ultimate fear of death. So we are conditioned to
that.
And there is a whole group of people, professors, scholars,
writers who say, including the communist with their guru Marx,
they say the human brain will always be conditioned. It can never
be free. You can modify that conditioning by environmental
influence, by law and so on. It can always be modified, changed
here and there, but actually the human brain can never be free.
Please understand the implication of that. Therefore the totalitarian governments are controlling human thought, they are not allowing
them to think freely and if they do, they are sent to the psychiatric
ward, and so on, to concentration camps. But we are asking please
do pay a little attention to this. It is most important for you to find
this out for yourself which is, whether the human brain which has
been conditioned through experience, through knowledge, whether
that brain can ever be free to have no fear, no conditioning. Where
there is conditioning, there must be conflict because all
conditioning is limited. Right? Is this clear? Are we meeting each
other?
Audience: [inaudible]
K: Just a minute, sir, please; you ask questions perhaps at the
end of the talk if there is time. But I’m asking – but the speaker is
asking if you are following him at all, or at the end of the long day
you’re tired and may not be listening at all. So he may be talking to
himself. So please be good enough since you are here to pay
attention to what is being said because it’s your life, not the
speaker’s life. It is your daily conflicting, confused existence with
all the sorrow, with all the pain and grief. So, please in talking over
together, you are aware of your own thinking, your own reactions,
your own responses, how they are limited, how they are
conditioned, how you depend on past knowledge. And so our life
become very narrow, rather sloppy, confused and there is the fear
of insecurity. If one is aware at all of one’s own activities – our
inward activities, your thoughts, your feelings, your reactions, then
you will find out for yourself how conditioned you are, how
limited you are, and when you recognize that fact, then you realize
the consequences of that conditioning, that limitation. Wherever there is limitation as a Hindu or Muslim, there must be conflict.
Wherever there is a division between husband and wife, there must
be conflict. And human beings, throughout the world, after all this
evolution are still in conflict with each other, not only the conflict
of war, the preparation for war, the new machines that are killing,
may kill millions of people with one blow.
So, please most respectfully, consider all this because we are
concerned with your life as a human being. And that life, our daily
living, has become extraordinarily complex, extraordinarily
dangerous, difficult, uncertain. The future of man is really at stake.
This is not a threat; this is not a pessimistic point of view. The
crisis is not only physical but the crisis is in consciousness, in our
being. So please in talking over together, become aware of all this.
So in becoming aware, you begin to discover: you begin to find out
for yourself how your life has become such pain, such anxiety,
such uncertainty. If you are so aware, you can then proceed further,
deeply, more and more but if you merely listen to the words – and
words have very little meaning; words have certain significance,
but if one lives in words, as most people do, in symbols, in myths,
in romantic nonsense, then we make life more and more difficult,
more and more dangerous for each other. So please be good
enough to listen, to find out, to question, to doubt, so that your own
brain becomes aware of itself.
So we are asking why human beings who have developed the
most marvellous technology the world has ever known: easy
communication, electricity, sanity and so on; we don’t have to go
into all that. But psychologically, inwardly, we remain as we have
been more or less for the last 40,000 years. Inwardly, I wonder if one realizes that: we have systems, we have ideals, we have all the
so-called sacred books which are not sacred at all, they are just
words. Why human beings, which is you, have not radically
brought about a change, a psychological revolution, and we are
going to enquire into that. And whether it is possible to bring about
total mutation in the brain cells themselves.
I hope this is clear that we are talking about human condition
and whether that condition can be radically changed, bring about a
mutation in that, not transformation. Transformation means
transforming from one form to another form. But we are talking
about the radical change of human behaviour so that he is not
terribly self-centred as he is, which is causing such great
destruction in the world. If one is aware – and one hopes that you
are – aware of your conditioning, then we can begin to ask whether
that conditioning can be totally changed so that a man is
completely free. Now he thinks he is free to do what he likes. Each
individual thinks he can do what he likes, all over the world, and
his freedom is based on choice, because he can choose where to
live, what kind of work he can do, choose between this idea and
that idea, this ideal or that ideal, change from one god to another
god, from one guru to another, one philosopher from another. This
capacity to choose brings in the concept of freedom. But in the
totalitarian states, there is no freedom, you can’t do what you want
to do. It is totally controlled. So choice is not freedom. Choice is
merely moving in the same field from one corner to another. Is this
clear? I hope you are following all that is being said. So our brain
being limited, we are asking is it possible for the brain to free itself
so that there is no fear, completely no fear? We have right relationship with each other – man, woman. Right relationship with
all the neighbours in the world.
So we are going to ask the nature of our consciousness. Our
consciousness is what you are: your belief, your ideals, your gods,
your violence, fear, myths, romantic concepts, your pleasure, your
sorrow, and the fear of death, and the everlasting question of man
which has been from time immemorial, whether there is something
sacred beyond all this. That is your consciousness. That is what
your are. You are not different from your consciousness. So we are
asking whether the content of the consciousness can be totally
changed.
First your consciousness is not yours. Your consciousness is the
consciousness of all humanity, because what you think, your
beliefs, your sensations, your reactions, your pain, your sorrow,
your insecurity, your gods and so on is shared by all humanity. Go
to America, go to England, Europe or Russia, China, human beings
suffer: they are frightened of death, they have beliefs, they have
ideals, they speak a particular language but the thinking, the
feeings, the reactions, the responses generally is shared by all
human beings. This is a fact not merely the invention or
speculation of the speaker. This is a fact that you suffer; your
neighbour suffers; that neighbour may be thousands of miles away,
he suffers. He is insecure, as your are. You may have a lot of
money, but inwardly there is insecurity. So is a rich man in
America or the man in power, they all go through this pain,
anxiety, loneliness, despair. So your consciousness is not yours any
more than your thinking is not individual thinking. Thinking is
common, is general, from the poorest man, the most uneducated, unsophisticated man in a little tiny village to the most sophisticated
brain, the great scientist, they all think. They may think differently.
Their thinking may be more complex, but thinking is general,
shared by all human beings. Therefore it is not your individual
thinking. This is rather difficult to see and recognize the truth of it,
because we are so conditioned as individuals.
All your religious books whether Christian or Muslim or
another religious books, they all sustain and nourish this idea,
concept of an individual. You have to question that. You have to
find out the truth of the matter. And we are investigating together,
and we see that every human being in the world, however
miserable, however low the structure of society, and the great
philosophers of the world, great scientists all think. And again
human consciousness is similar, is shared by all human beings.
Therefore there is no individual, outside, peripheral. He may be
more educated, he may be taller, he may be shorter, outside,
outside the skin as it were, he may be different. But inwardly he
shares the ground of all humanity. This is a fact if you examine it
very closely, but if you are frightened, if you are caught in the
conditioning of being an individual, you will never understand the
immensity and the extraordinary fact that you are the entire
humanity. From that there is love, compassion, intelligence, but if
you are merely conditioned to the idea that you are individual, then
you have endless complications because it is based on illusion, not
on fact. The illusion may be thousands of years, but it is still
illusion. You are the result of your environment; you are the result
of the language you speak; you are the result of the food you eat,
the clothes, the climate, the tradition handed down from generation to generation; you are all that. You are the product of the society
which you have created. Society is not different from you. Man has
created the society, the society of greed, envy, hatred, brutality,
violence, wars; he has created all that and also he has created the
extraordinary world of technology.
So you are the world and the world is you. So you are the world
and the world is you; your consciousness is not yours, it is the
ground which all human beings share; all human beings think. So
you are actually not an individual. That’s one of the realities, truth
that one must understand, not accept what the speaker is saying,
but question your own isolation because individual means
isolation, to separate himself from another, like nations isolate
themselves as Indians, all the rest of it. And they think in isolation
there is security. There is no security in isolation. But the
governments of the world, representing humanity of each country,
they are maintaining this isolation, and therefore they are
perpetuating wars.
So if you recognize the truth, the fact that you are not an
individual – you may be short, you may be tall, but inwardly there
is no division. We all share the same problems. When you
recognize that truth, and I hope you do, then the problem is, can
you, as a human being representing all humanity, bring about a
fundamental, psychological revolution? You might say if I, as a
human being, change, will it affect in any way the rest of mankind?
That is the usual question. I may change; I may radically bring
about a mutation in the mind which we’ll go into presently. If I do
change, if there is a change in a particular person, how will it affect
the whole consciousness of mankind? Please do put that question to yourself. Even as a single isolated human being, which you are
not, even if you think so, you are asking, if I change, what effect
has it in the world? You know they are making experiments in the
scientific world, of which perhaps some of you may have heard.
We were talking with one of those people who are experimenting
that certain rats in a particular place, say for instance, a group of
rats in London: they are experimenting with that group of rats. If
one generation of rats learn a particular lesson very slowly, it takes
many generations to learn completely but the next generation
learns much quicker. It is not genetic transformation; it is not
genetic action, but a generation of 5 or 10 rats, the last generation,
the latest generation learns the lesson far quicker, in a couple of
days. Now they are doing the same experiment in Australia, same
experiment in America and other places: those rats which have
learnt much quicker in London affect the whole group of rat’s
consciousness. You understand this? Am I making it clear?
Audience: No.
K: No. Now easily you say, ‘no’. One group of rats, one
generation learns a lesson very slowly. The next generation learns
a little faster and so on. The last generation – say 25 generations –
the last generation learns the lesson in a couple of hours. Now what
they have learnt in a couple of hours is transmitted to all the rats in
the world. They are experimenting with that. And it is not a genetic
transformation, but a group consciousness is being affected. You
understand this? That is simple enough. I’m not going to explain
further. If you don’t understand, you’d better study.
So the question is: if you change fundamentally, you affect the
whole consciousness of man. Napoleon affected the whole consciousness of Europe. Stalin affected the whole consciousness
of Russia, and human beings all over the world like the Christian
saviour, he has affected the consciousness of the world, and the
Hindus with their peculiar gods have affected the consciousness of
the world. So, when you as a human being radically transform
psychologically, that is, be free of fear, have right relationship with
each other, the ending of sorrow, and so on, which is radical
transformation – which we shall go into presently – then you affect
the whole consciousness of man. So it is not an individual affair. It
is not a selfish affair. It is not individual salvation. It is the
salvation of all human beings of which you are.
So, first then we must enquire what is relationship? Why in
human relationship with each other there is such conflict, such
misery, such intense sense of loneliness. We are going to enquire
together into that. Enquire means to investigate, to question, to
doubt, about our relationship between man and woman, between
your nearest neighbour and the farthest neighbour. Why is there
such conflict? From the past history, from all the knowledge that
has been acquired, studied, man has lived in conflict with each
other. But relationship is existence. Without relationship you
cannot exist. In that existence there is conflict. But relationship is
absolutely necessary. Life is relationship; action is relationship;
what you think brings about relationship or destroys relationship.
The hermit, the monk, the sannyasi, he may think he is separate,
but he is related: related to the past, related to the environment,
related to the man who brings him some grains, some food, some
clothes. So life is relationship. Without life, without that interaction
in relationship, there is no existence. So we are going together to explore why human beings live in conflict with each other? Why
there is conflict between you and your husband, between the wife
and the man? Why? Please ask this question of yourself. Though
the speaker may put the question, you are putting the question.
Find out. Let’s enquire together, because where there is conflict in
relationship there is no love, there is no compassion and there is no
intelligence. We will go into the word ‘intelligence’, ‘compassion’,
and ‘love’. But one wonders whether in this country, as in other
countries, there is love at all?
So we are exploring together what is relationship? Are you
actually related in the sense – of course, blood relationship and so
on – you may be related to a man, woman, sexually, but apart from
that, are you related to anybody? Relation means non-isolation.
That is, the man goes to the office everyday of his life, to a factory,
to some form of occupation, leaving the house at 9 o’clock or 6
o’clock, spending the whole day working, working for 50, 60 years,
and then dies, and there the man is ambitious, greedy, envious,
struggling, competing, comes home and the woman, the wife is
also competitive, jealous, anxious, ambitious, going on in her own
way. They may meet sexually, talk together, care somewhat, have
children, but they remain separate, like two railway lines never
meeting. And this is what we call relationship, which is an
actuality. This is not the speaker’s invention. It is not his opinion or
conclusion, but this is a fact of everyone’s life, the perpetual
dissension between two people, each holding to his opinions, to his
conclusions. The word ‘conclusion’ means putting an ends to an
argument. ‘I conclude that there is god’. Therefore I’ve put myself
in a position, I have ended the argument; I conclude. So, please do not conclude, that is, bringing something to an end, argument. We
are not concluding; we are observing the fact. The fact is, however
intimate that relationship may be, there is always conflict. One
dominating the other; one possessing the other; one jealous of the
other. And so this is what we call relationship.
Now, can that relationship which we know now, can that
relationship be totally changed? Ask yourself this. Why is there
conflict between two human beings, whether they are highly
educated or not at all educated. They may be great scientists, but
they are ordinary human beings, like you and another – fighting,
quarrelling, ambitious. And why does this state exist? Is it not
because each person is concerned with himself? So, he is isolating
himself. In isolation you cannot have right relationship. You
understand, this is so terribly obvious. You hear this, but you will
not do anything about it because we fall into habit, we fall into a
rut, into a groove, into a narrow little life, and we put up with it,
however miserable, unhappy quarrelsome, ugly it is. So, please
enquire, question, doubt whether it is possible to live with another
with complete harmony, without any dissension, without any
division.
If you really, deeply, enquire, you will find that you have
created an image about her, and she has created an image about
you. These two images – you understand the image? – the image is
the picture of living together for 20 years, the nagging, the cruel
words, the indifference, the lack of consideration and so on, and
on. Each has built an image about the other, a picture about the
other. These two pictures, images, words, are in relationship with
each other. You understand all this? So where there is an image about another, a picture about another, there must be conflict. I am
sure you all have an image about the speaker. I am quite sure of it.
Why? You don’t know the speaker. You can never know the
speaker, as you don’t know your husband, your wife. But you have
created an image about him. That is, religious, non-religious, he is
stupid, he is very clever, he is beautiful, he is this, he is that. And
with that image you look at the person. The image is not the
person. The image is the reputation, and reputations are easily
created, reputation which may be good or bad. But the human
brain, the thought creates the image. The image is a conclusion,
and we live by images. And the image, the imagination, the making
of pictures has no place in love. We don’t love each other. We may
hold hands; we may sleep together, do this and the other, ten
different things, but we have no love for each other. If you had that
quality, that perfume of love, there would be no wars. There will
be no Hindus, Muslims, Jew and Arab. But you listen to all this
and you will still remain with your images. You still wrangle with
each other, quarrel with each other, dissent. You understand, our
life has become so extraordinarily meaningless. I wonder how
many of you realize this. We are put together by thought. Your
gods are put together by thought. All the rituals, all the dogmas, the
philosophy are all put together by thought, and thought is not
sacred.
Thought is always limited, which we will talk about perhaps
tomorrow, why thought is limited. And so thought has created the
image, about you as the audience, about you as the wife and the
husband, about you as the Indian and you as the American and so
on. It is these images which are unreal, that are separating humanity. If you never call yourself an Indian, and I never call
myself a Russian, or an American but we are human beings, we
should then have no wars. We should have global government,
global relationship, but you are not interested in all that. You
remain mediocre, forgive me if I use that word. The word
‘mediocre’ means a man who has only climbed half way up the hill,
who has never climbed right to the top, psychologically, not in the
business world or the technological world. You hear all this and if
you don’t change radically, you are bringing about destruction for
the future generation. So, please give ear, give thought, attention to
what is going on outside you and also what is going on, which is
much more important, inwardly, for the inward psyche conquers
the outer environment, as you see it in Russian. We give such
importance to the outer: we must have right society, right laws,
feed the poor, be concerned with the poor, which we are not saying
we should not be, but the inward thought, inward feelings, inward
isolations are separating man against man, and you are responsible
for this. Each one of us is responsible for this. Unless you change
fundamentally, inwardly, the future is very dangerous. They are
preparing for nuclear war, which means if a nuclear bomb – the
neutron bomb – falls over New York, 10 million people are
vaporized. There is no existence of those 10 million people; they
have vanished completely from the earth, and those who remain
are wounded, their eyes melt. And there is only one doctor for 10
thousand people. They are preparing for all this, and this country
too. And you are responsible for all this. Unless you fundamentally
bring about a change in your daily life, to have right relationship
with each other, to live correctly, not ambitious and so on, then only there is it possible for the ending of conflict between human
beings.
Right, sirs. May I go?
CALCUTTA 2ND PUBLIC TALK 21ST
NOVEMBER, 1982

May we now continue with what we were talking about yesterday
evening? We were saying, weren’t we, that this is a conversation
between us, not a lecture. A lecture is a discourse on a particular
subject intended to give you information. But this is not a lecture.
We are talking over together, amicably, in conversation, observing
what is happening in the world, not only externally, outside of us,
but also we were talking about what is happening to man inwardly,
psychologically. And as one observes in the world outside, there is
greater and greater chaos practically in every country and in this
country it is fairly obvious, it is blatant, it is palpable. And where
there is uncertainty, disturbance, the lack of political credulity,
knowing that the politicians all over the world are making things
far worse, knowing that religions throughout the world have lost all
their meaning, seeing all this, there are those who have called
themselves the fundamentalists: they are those who go back to the
Bible or to the Koran or to the various scriptures, so-called
religious, thinking that if they follow those books, there will be less
chaos. This is what is happening the world over, going back to the
past, holding on to certain beliefs, tradition, and these books are
incorruptible; they speak the truth and so on. Most of us are doing
this in some way or another. In a world that is very, very chaotic,
very disturbing, dangerous and the preparation for wars, one
naturally wants some kind of security, outside of us or inside.
There is not much security in the outward world. You may be very
rich, you may be very powerful politically, or you may be one of those gurus who are making a lot of money, or you might find
security in some dogma, in some belief; but in none of these is
there absolute security. Man wants security. We must all have
security – security in the sense of food, clothes and shelter. But also
we want security inwardly, something that will give us assurance,
stability, a sense of strength, and there to there is no security, in
any belief, in any dogma, in any ideal. And not finding security in
any of these, man turns to the past, and hopes thereby to find some
ray, some kind of words, traits to hold on to.
I do not know if you have noticed that the more you cling to
some kind of conclusion, reasonable conclusion, logical conclusion
or the conclusions of certain authorities, where there is conclusion
there must be lack of energy because when you come to a
conclusion, which means after discussing, arguing, come to a point
which you think is right, conclude it, then you shut the door for
further enquiry. And that is what is happening in the world. We all
want conclusions: whether there is god, whether there is going to
be any peace and so on and when you conclude, which means to
bring about an end to various arguments, suggestions, ideas, then
when you have those conclusions, you are bound to lose energy,
because you have shut the door against further enquiry, further
exploration. And perhaps that is what is happening in this country
and the world over. That is, lacking obviously security inwardly
and outwardly, security in the sense, something on which we can
totally rely, on which we can depend, which will give us comfort, a
sense of well-being; not having that, we cling to some traditional
conclusions and thereby lose that creative energy of enquiry.
Enquiry means to penetrate, to investigate, to explore, to open the door to find out further. But most of us have not that energy, that
drive, and so we fall back upon something which we call tradition
or some book or other.
And in these talks today and the next weekend, we are not
giving any formula, any panacea, any sense of certainty, but
together, you and the speaker are in friendly conversation,
exploring, so that we release our own energy and not depend on
anybody, on any book, on any person or any idea, belief. It seems
to the speaker, that we are not releasing the creative energy to
bring about a new culture, a new way of life, because the old
Brahmanical culture of this country has completely disappeared. A
culture – we are not saying what is good or bad – a culture that has
existed perhaps five to three thousand years has completely gone
overnight, disappeared altogether. And one questions, asks, why
human beings who have lived with a particular culture for so long,
that culture has disappeared. Perhaps it was not a culture at all; it
was a series of words, traditions, without any life behind them.
So, together in exploring the condition of our mind and heart, in
investigating the nature of the brain which is the centre of all our
actions, of all our feelings, of every thought, whether it is possible,
surrounded by chaos, uncertainty, danger, whether each one of us
can release that creative energy, and we are going to go into this
very carefully this evening.
As we said yesterday, there is an art of listening and there is an
art of learning. Most of our learning is the accumulation of
knowledge: not knowing mathematics or biology or physics,
gradually we accumulate a great deal of information about physics
and store it up in the brain which becomes our knowledge about physics, mathematics or what you will. That is what we do, and
that is what we call learning, accumulating a lot of knowledge
about various subjects as an engineer, as an astronomer, and if you
will, unfortunately as a politician. We accumulate knowledge in
order to act skilfully in the world as a carpenter, as a mason, as a
doctor. That’s what we do – knowledge accumulated from which
we act either skilfully, or not skilfully, efficiently or inefficiently.
So we must enquire together what is knowledge? What place
has knowledge? What place has knowledge in our relationship with
each other? Please, we are enquiring into this, don’t merely just
listen to the speaker. If you merely casually hear the words that the
speaker is using, then it will become very shallow, empty. We are
already full of other people’s knowledge. But you have never
perhaps questioned what is the place of knowledge in life, apart
from having an occupation, becoming a good scientist, doctor,
engineer and so on. We are asking a very serious question which is,
what place has knowledge in human relationship?
Let me talk, if you don’t mind, and then perhaps if there is time
you can ask questions. Is that all right?
We are asking, what place has knowledge in human
relationship? Knowledge is always in the past. There is no future
knowledge. Knowledge implies the process of time as the past.
Right? That’s clear? And this knowledge, both in the scientific
world and in human existence is based on experience. And this
experience is gathered for millions of years, or for the last 300
years with the scientists. And that knowledge is used to accumulate
further knowledge, further exploration, but always knowledge is in
the past. There is no question about that. And knowledge is never complete about anything. Right? Are we going together in this?
Please we are not agreeing; you are not just listening, we are
thinking together. We are saying that knowledge is incomplete
always. There is no complete knowledge about anything. That’s a
fact. So, our knowledge is stored in the brain as memory, and the
response of that memory is thought. That is experience, either
inherited or accumulated in the present, that becomes knowledge,
then that knowledge is memory, which is the past, and from that
memory, the reaction is thought.
Is this clear? Can we go on from that? So thought is always
limited. Right? I have accumulated – one has accumulated, say for
example, scientific knowledge. That knowledge is being added to
all the time: more and more and more they are discovering. And so
scientific knowledge is never complete. Right? So thought,
whatever it does, is limited. Perhaps some of you will reject this,
but if you would kindly investigate it, go together to look at it, not
take a definite stand about it, but let us think it over together.
We are saying categorically and definitely that knowledge being
limited, because there is no complete knowledge about anything,
knowledge always goes with the shadow of ignorance. And any
thought born of knowledge must inevitably be fragmentary,
limited, finite; but thought can invent something immeasurable,
something beyond all, infinite, but it is still the movement of
thought. Right? A person can invent god because he feels god is
necessary for his comfort, for his security, but that god is the
product of thought which is limited. Please we must be very clear
on this point, not that you agree with the speaker which will be
useless, but if you for yourself see the fact, the truth, that thought under all circumstances, whatever the thought of the scientist is, or
the great philosophers, it is always bound, narrow, limited.
Thought has invented nationalities, and thought having created
them, brings about division between people – the Muslim and the
Hindu, the Jew and the Arab, the Communist, the Socialist, the
capitalist and so on. Thought has invented all this. Our society,
however corrupt it is, as it is in this country, not that corruption
doesn’t exist in other countries, but in this country one can see so
blatantly, and this corruption is invented by thought. All the ritual
is the product of thought, whether the military rituals or the
religious rituals, they are all forms of entertainment invented by
thought. And thought has created problems like war, like conflict
and so on. Then thought tries to solve these problems. Right?
Are you following all this? Are you interested in all this? Could
you tell me? Perhaps a little bit. Probably you have not thought
about it at all. You have not gone into all this. You’ve just accepted
thought as the only instrument man has. And that instrument has
created havoc in the world. A good carpenter, when he finds his
instruments are useless, throws them away and tries to find new
instruments, but we don’t. We see that thought, politically,
religiously, as human beings between each other, thought has
created innumerable problems. And thought politically, religiously
says, ‘I will solve it.’ And in that solution, you are producing more
problems. So life is becoming more and more complex, more and
more full of problems because we think that thought is the only
instrument; and that thought is limited. Right? Is this clear, not
verbally clear, but clear for yourself, so that we can then ask, is
there a new instrument? You follow? We find all over the world even the greatest scientist, greatest – whatever they are, are
beginning to question – because the speaker has talked with many
of them – are beginning to question the nature of thought. Thought
is a material process because thought is held in the brain – in the
very brain cells themselves. So thought is a material process. So
whatever thought thinks about or invents is the result of a material
process. So when thought creates god, it is still a material process.
Thought is not sacred. So, if this is very clear, not verbally but
deeply, profoundly, then we can ask is there a new instrument. Not
higher consciousness or lower consciousness, I don’t mean that at
all; that is another invention of thought. The higher consciousness
and bring it down to the lower consciousness. You know all that
game one plays, which is still the product and process of thought.
So, we are going to find out together if there is a new
instrument totally different from thought, which thought has not
touched at all, because whatever thought touches must be limited,
and being limited it must inevitably create conflict, bring about
fragmentation, as it has done in the world: religious
fragmentations, political fragmentations and so on. Is this clear?
Can we go on from that? Right sir? Well if you are merely
accepting the words or just accepting the words, you can’t go much
further, but if you are really deeply concerned with humanity,
deeply concerned with what is happening in the world, profoundly
concerned with the future of man, that is, future of your children,
grand-children, you must inevitably ask this question, if you are at
all serious, deeply concerned, if you have great affection for
humanity. But you see most of us have not the energy to enquire,
have not the drive, the passion to find out, so we turn to Marx, Lenin, or the Bible or the Koran and those will never give energy
for the discovery of the new instrument which is so absolutely
necessary in this world, which is degenerating day by day,
destroying itself.
So please, together, we are going to find out without any
shadow of doubt, by questioning the very nature of thought, by
questioning, doubting, asking, probing and finding out for
ourselves that thought, at whatever level is fragmentary, limited,
finite, and this limitation has conditioned the brain. The brain has
got extraordinary capacity, as can be seen in what is happening in
the technological world, extraordinary capacity, but the capacity
has only been developed in one direction, that is, the technological
world: the doctor, surgeon, mathematician, the computer experts
and so on. But the human problems, which is our conflict with each
other, our sorrow, pain, grief and endless conflict, the
technological world can never solve, they are not concerned with it
at all. No politician, no system, no method is concerned with all
that. So we, as ordinary human beings, are going to find out for
ourselves if there is, or if there is not a new instrument which is not
touched by thought, which is not the result of time, which is not
caught in the process of evolution, which is thought.
We are going to ask, we are going into it, step by step, if you
are willing, if you are serious. You must be series, which doesn’t
mean you must not laugh, which doesn’t mean you must torture
your body as the religions advocate. You must have great alertness,
attention, capacity, sensitivity, you cannot be committed to any
group, to any belief, to any dogma. You have to have a mind that is
really a global mind, not a petty little mind concerned with one’s own little problems. In the greater, the lesser disappears. That is, in
the greater humanity, the few little human problems are solved, but
we are trying to solve human problems without understanding the
vast complexity of the human brain and mind and heart, then you
will never solve any problem. So please give your attention, care to
find out for yourself, not repeat what the speaker says. The speaker
has no value. He is just a telephone, but what he says perhaps may
have importance. So please find out.
Have you ever tried to observe yourself, your wife, the tree
across the road and that animal that goes by, without the word?
Have you ever tried to look at a tree without naming it, without
bringing all the past pictures about a tree – just to observe the tree
without the word, which is thought, to look at it. Have you ever
done it? No, of course not. Have you ever looked at your wife or
your husband or your limited politician, have you ever looked at
them without the word, without the picture, without the symbol?
Will you look at the speaker without the word – will you? Without
all the rubbish and all that reputation which is loathsome anyhow,
look at him without the image that you have built about him. Can
you do it? Perhaps it will be easier to look at the speaker that way
because he doesn’t know you, and you don’t know him. So perhaps
it is easier, but to look at your wife, at your husband, at the tree, at
the animal without the picture, the image, the word, which is not
identification with the tree, of course. Obviously if you identify
yourself with the tree, you are the tree. Right? Are you following
all this? Or am I talking to myself?
So first, to be aware whether you can see, observe, look,
without a single word, picture, because then you will awaken your sensitiveness. We are not sensitive; we have accepted; we are not
sensitive to the dirt, to the squalor, to the misery, to the poverty.
We just accept it. The poverty of this country can never be solved,
it’s not ever going to be solved unless you drop your nationalism
completely. It will be solved only when you have understood the
global relationship of man to man. Then there will be no frontiers.
But you are not probably interested in this.
So, we are saying that the first essential quality in the
investigation, in the enquiry, if there is another instrument, the first
thing is, one has to be extraordinarily sensitive. That is, all
religions have said suppress your senses. Right? Suppress your
feelings, everything, suppress it, so that we have gradually lost the
sensitivity of the senses. The speaker is saying quite the contrary.
We live by senses, and perhaps some have developed a particular
sense. But the speaker is saying to awaken all your senses to their
highest degree so that you look at the world with all your senses.
You understand what I am talking about? To look at the world with
that immense feeling when all the senses are fully awakened. In
that there is a great extraordinary sense of energy, beauty. So that
in the investigation of another instrument, we see the first thing is
that the man who has become dull through repetition, through
tradition, through the oppression of the environment – the
environment is not merely nature, the environment is the politician,
the guru, all that’s going on around you. And we are oppressed by
all that. So we have gradually lost all sensitivity, all energy to
create. And we are using that word create, not creating a picture, a
poem, literary works, but we are talking of creation in the sense of
bringing about something totally new. And to have that capacity, the drive, the beauty, one must have great sensitivity. And you
cannot have great sensitivity if every sense is not fully functioning,
fully aware.
Now why have we destroyed our senses? You understand my
question? Religions have said, the Christian world and the
scriptures of this country, and the religious leaders have said,
‘suppress desire, suppress your feelings; don’t look at a woman;
torture yourself, then only will you find god, or nirvana or moksha
or whatever you want. Only then, you will be illumined,’ – which is
utter nonsense. How can you destroy the most extraordinary
instrument that we have, the body, with all its senses, the body
which is – if you have gone into it – such an extraordinary
instrument. So these people say, ‘suppress desire; don’t yield to
desire but if you have desire, identify it with the saviour, with
Krishna or whatever the religious gods be in the world.’ I wonder if
you have realized in this country, somebody calculated, there are
three hundred thousand and thirty gods. Perhaps it is better than
having one god, you can have more fun with the many. Right?
Don’t be so serious!
So we must understand the nature of desire; it is very important
in the investigation of a new instrument, realizing the old
instrument, which is thought, is not solving any human problems.
So in the investigation of that, we have come upon this thing called
desire. What is desire? Why have people said, ‘suppress it, deny it,
if you cannot identify it with something greater’. It is always a
problem of struggle. So we are not advocating suppression,
avoidance, escape and all that, of desire. We are investigating
together the nature of desire, how desire arises, why we are caught in it, why it has become so extraordinarily powerful. Right? So we
are together going into the question of what is desire?
What is desire? You see a pleasant object, a beautiful object, a
beautiful woman or a man, you desire him or her or that object.
That is so. You see a nice car, polished, good lines, powerful, and
you touch it, get inside, feel the pleasure of owning it, if you can
afford it – perhaps not in this country, never mind. And the desire is
there. First the object creates the desire or desire exists apart from
the object – you are following all this – which is the object ‘car’
creates the desire, or desire exists and the objects may vary. So we
are not discussing the objects of desire: to be a powerful minister
or prime minister, Governor, executive or a talented violinist, but
we are enquiring into the very structure, nature of desire. If we
understand that, not verbally but factually then there is never a
question of suppressing it, never a question of controlling it. Please
listen carefully to what the speaker is saying. We have controlled,
never understanding who is the controller. We have controlled
desire. We have controlled our sex. We are brought up to control.
And where there is desire, we are trying to understand it, explore it,
probe into it, not control it. If this is clear, then we can go together
into the understanding, the truth of desire. What place it has in life,
or no place at all? So we cannot possibly start with any conclusion.
That is ‘suppress desire’ or ‘let desire run rampant?’ But we are
together slowly, hesitantly, carefully probing into this which has
become an extraordinary factor in life and a torture too. So we are
asking: what is desire? What is the origin, the source of desire?
Please, you are thinking with me, not just listening to the
explanation the speaker is going to give. You are thinking, actively participating in this search of the origin of desire, whether the
object creates the desire, or it is independent totally of all objects.
Is it clear? Can we go on? Please sirs, and ladies, it is very
important to understand this, to go into it very, very deeply, to
capture the whole movement of desire, the implications of it, the
depth of it, the reality of it.
If you had no senses, there would be no sensation. Sensation
arises when you see something in the window of a shop, a shirt, a
robe, a radio, or whatever or what you will. You see it, visual
perception. Then you go inside that shop, touch the material, and
from the touching of it there is a sensation. Right? This is simple.
You see the car, you touch it, you look at the lines, the polish – not
the beauty of Indian cars but some of the European cars are
extraordinarily beautiful, like an aeroplane, it is extraordinarily
beautiful. And you touch it, you touch that shirt you see in the
window, a blue shirt, and by the very touching there is a sensation.
This is quite obvious. There is sensation. Then what happens? We
are thinking together. You are not accepting what I am saying. You
touch that shirt, look at that radio, television, whatever it is and the
very touching, looking creates a sensation. Then if you observe
very closely thought says, ‘how nice it would be if I had that shirt
on me, if I stepped into that car.’ At that moment when thought
creates the image out of the sensation is the origin of desire. Right?
Are you following all this?
I see a beautiful tree which man hasn’t created. He has created
the cathedral, the mosque, the temple and all the things therein. He
has created all that, but he has not created the tree; he has not
created nature, but man is destroying nature. So you look at a beautiful tree. You wish it were in your garden. And you see it;
there is the sensation of the dignity, the shadows, the light on the
leaf, the movement of the tree. Then sensation arises. Then thought
says, ‘How nice it would be if I had that tree in my garden.’ When
thought creates the image of that tree in your garden, at that
second, desire is born. Right?
So the question then is; it is natural to be sensitive, to have
sensations, otherwise you are paralysed. You must have sensation;
you must have sensitivity in your fingers, in your eyes, in your
hearing and looking, and when you are sensitive you watch, you
look and out of that looking, watching, observing, sensation
inevitably arises, it must, otherwise you are blind, deaf. Now when
there is sensation, then thought creates an image and at that
moment desire is born. Right? Have you found this to be so? Or
you are going to repeat just what the speaker has said? Or go back
to your tradition and say, ‘we must suppress desire’ or, ‘what you
are talking about is nonsense. All our religious books have said…’ –
I don’t know why you read all these religious books, anyhow. So if
you really go into this question of desire, which is so important in
life, then you will find out for yourself the origin, the beginning of
desire. Now the question is to look at a car, at a shirt, at a woman,
at a picture, there is arising of sensation, and find out whether
thought can be in abeyance, not immediately create a picture,
immediately create an image of you in that shirt, or in that car and
so on. Can there be a gap between sensation and thought impinging
upon that sensation? You understand this question? Find out. It
will make your mind – brain alert, watchful.
And also we ought to talk over together, in the investigation of a new instrument, whether man can ever be free from fear? We are
all frightened about something or other, frightened ultimately of
death. We will talk about that perhaps next weekend, if we have
time. We are all frightened about something, either of the past, of
the future or the present, the living present, uncertain of the living
activity, the process of the present. We always have this fear.
Aren’t you afraid? Perhaps you are not afraid of your wife, because
you may dominate her and so on, or you may be afraid of the
politician. Have you ever noticed how you behave in front of a
minister? Have you ever noticed it? How you crawl in front of him,
go almost on your knees to him as you do to a guru? Haven’t you
noticed all this? So one has this burden of fear. Man has never
solved the problem; he has escaped from it; he has various means
of suppressing it, denying it, escaping from it, but he has never
solved this problem. And when there is fear, dreadful activities
take place, all kinds of wrong actions take place. Your whole body,
your whole mind shrinks when there is real danger of fear. So this
is a problem we must solve, not theoretically, but actually, finish
completely with fear. Is that possible? Right? We are going to
enquire together into that question, not take any dogmatic stand or
say, ‘it cannot’ or ‘it can’. We are together probing, looking into the
nature of fear, the cause of it, the root of it, the beginning of it, not
the various branches of fear, nor the many, many leaves of fear.
You understand this? We are looking or trying to find out what is
the root of fear? When we find that out the branches wither away,
the leaves disappear; they dry up. So please, if you are not tired,
give your attention to this question: whether it is possible to be
totally, completely free of fear, so that when you walk out of this place, you are really free of fear, fear of – you know, death and all
that. That means you must apply your brain, be active in the
investigation of it.
What is the cause of fear? Where there is a cause there is always
an end to that cause. Right? This is logic; this is natural. I may
have pain, the cause may be cancer. And if I discover the cause, the
pain will end, or it will be terminal. It may kill me but I must
discover the cause; like all good doctors, they want to know the
cause, so they investigate through the symptoms the cause. So we
are looking together, not at the symptoms of fear, dark, frightened
of the dark, frightened of your parents, or grandparents, frightened
of your husband or wife, frightened of the politician and so on.
Those are all symptoms, the objects of fear, but we are asking what
is the root of it? It is like cutting down a tree, and I hope you never
cut a tree down. It is like going to the very root of things. Now we
are going to look at it.
So first we are asking, is the cause of fear time? T-I-M-E. Look
at it carefully. Don’t accept whatever the speaker says, question it,
doubt it, ask. The speaker has no authority. He is not important –
the person, but what he says is – find out. Is time one of the major
causes of fear. That is, time being tomorrow, what might happen
tomorrow or what has happened yesterday or many thousand
yesterdays, or what might happen now? You understand my
question? Is time the factor of fear, one of the factors? I may have
done something wrong last week and what I have done has caused
pain, and I hope it will not recur again. That is the word ‘hope’
implies the future. Are you following this? So time by the watch,
time by the sunrise and sunset, time as yesterday, today and tomorrow, time as yesterday’s memories, experiences, modifying
itself in the present and proceeding to the future. All that is time –
physical time, to cover a distance from here to there, from one
point to another point, from this place to go to your home, that
requires time. So there is physical time, and there is so-called
psychological time, the inward time. That is, I hope I will get a
better job at the end of the year. I hope I will be better, nobler or
whatever it is, sometime later. I hope I meet a nice man tomorrow.
So the word ‘hope’ implies time. Right? Or another is the idea of
‘better’. I am this, but I will be better. I am violent but I will
become non-violent. So this process of ‘what is’ and transforming
‘what is’ to something else is a process of time. Right? Is this clear?
So time is a factor of fear. I am living; I am full of energy but
something, an accident might kill me? I am well, but there is
always death. So there is this sense of time, an’interval. That
interval is translated as the better, as hope, as self-improvement
and so on. I want to fulfil; I may not be able to fulfil. I apply for a
job; I may not have the capacity for the job. So there is fear. So
time is one of the factors of fear. Right? We are not saying how to
wipe away time. We are enquiring into the nature of fear. Then, is
not thought, is not the process of thinking another factor of fear?
Look at it. I think I may die. I think that god exists, but you come
along and threaten my belief. I am frightened. So thought, thinking
of the past incident, hoping that pain will not recur again, thinking
about it and wishing that it will not happen again, is the movement
of thought. Right? So thought and time are the very root of fear.
You cannot stop time, the physical time, from here to your house
you require time, you cannot stop that. Time to learn a language. To learn any technique requires time. And we see that time is one
of the factors of fear as well as thought. Right? So thought is a
movement. Isn’t it? Time is a movement. Are you understanding all
this? Are we together or you and I are far apart? Sir, I don’t know
what has happened to your brain, to your capacity to investigate.
Let’s go on.
Is there actually factually psychological time at all? You
understand my question? Is there in me, in my feeling, actually, is
that time invented? No, I’ll show you what I mean. It’s quarter past
seven, oh – quarter past six. Are you tired? Shall I go on with it?
Audience: Yes, yes.
K: You mean to say you are not tired?
A: No, no.
K: Why?
A: (Laughter)
K: Ah, no, sir, just listen. I’m asking a serious question, don’t
just laugh it off. Why?
A: Inaudible.
K: No, no sir, just listen to the question. Don’t immediately
answer. If you have been working, investigating, active, exercising
every capacity that you have to find out, you would be tired; you
should be tired. Which shows you have just listened casually,
played around with words.
So I’m asking you, the problem of time is very important, as the
problem of thought. We live by time. All our knowledge is based
on time. The struggle to become less violent, to struggle to become
something, which is all measure. I mustn’t go into all this. Are you
following all this? Sir, look: I am this; I am what I am. That is ‘what is’. I am unhappy, violent, lonely, depressed, anxious, that’s
what one is; that is a fact. Then comes the idea I must become
something else from ‘what is’. That ‘becoming’ is time, as becoming
from a clerk to a manager, that requires time. That same process of
thinking we have brought over into the field of the psyche, into the
field of consciousness, into the field of feeling, thinking. That is, I
am violent, I will become non-violent, which is you are allowing
time to come, interfere. But when you say, ‘I am violent, I am
going to understand it, look at it, watch it, go into it very quickly,
deeply,’ there is no time. But if you are trying to become something
else, there is time. Right? The becoming, which is measure, that
demands time. Say for instance, if you compare yourself with
somebody, more intelligent, more bright, more etc., if you
compare, comparison is measurement. If you don’t compare at all
with anybody, including your great gods and saints and gurus and
all the rest of it, don’t compare at all, then what happens? You are
what you are, from there you start. But when you are comparing,
trying to become something else you will never understand your
self, what you are.
So time is a becoming. A becoming which is non-fact. That is, I
am violent, I must become non-violent. The non-violence is not a
fact, has no reality. You talk a great deal about it in this country. It
doesn’t exist. What exists is violence. And if you forget the non-
violence then you can tackle violence, go into it. And the
understanding of violence can be long or very quick, either the
investigation can take time because you are lazy, or you say, ‘Well,
I’ll investigate it tomorrow, it’s not important’, and so on. But a man
who is concerned with violence, which is spreading all over the world, more and more, destroying humanity, if he is concerned and
wanting to understand the depth of violence he will understand it
instantly.
So where there is a becoming you must have psychological
time. That becoming is illusory. The fact is what exists, what you
are at the moment: your anger, your reactions, your fears, look at it.
So time is a major factor of fear, and also thought. You cannot stop
physical time. When you begin to understand the nature of time
inwardly, the becoming, and not becoming, and understand the
whole movement of thought – understand it, not suppress it, deny
it, how am I to control thought. Those are all absurd questions,
because who is the controller? The controller is another part of
thought. I won’t go into that, we haven’t time. So if you really,
deeply are concerned with the nature of fear and the total ending of
psychological fear, one has to go into the question of time in depth
and also the nature and structure of thought. But if you say, ‘Please
tell me a method to get rid of fear,’ then you are asking a terribly
wrong question, because the very question implies that you have
not understood yourself, you have not looked at yourself.
So we will talk about sorrow, love and compassion. We will
talk next Sunday perhaps, on what is religion? What is the nature
of the religious mind, and what is meditation, and if there is
something sacred beyond all thought. We must investigate all that,
because that is all life: death, the conflict, pain, sorrow, pleasure,
fear, meditation, all that is our life, and we don’t understand all
that. And to understand it one must have vitality, strength, and you
will not have that energy if you are merely repeating words, if you
cling to some belief, to some conclusion, that destroys all energy. Energy implies freedom, not what you like to do but freedom. Only
then can you have extraordinary energy. Right, sir.
CALCUTTA 3RD PUBLIC TALK 27TH
NOVEMBER, 1982

May we go on with what we were talking about in the last two
talks? First of all I would like to remind you, if I may, this is not an
intellectual entertainment, nor some kind of romantic ideological
rubbish. We are dealing with our daily life, with our relationship
with each other, and also what is happening in the world, and the
turmoil, the disorder, the lack of care. People are treated brutally,
and governments seem to have no control over the populous. This
is happening all over the world, but more so in this country. And
we ought to talk over together this evening why human beings who
have lived for over forty thousand years, why human beings are
behaving as they are? What’s happened to them? What’s happened
to each one of us that we don’t lead an orderly sane, balanced life?
We have created this society which is immoral, unethical, corrupt,
destructive. We have created it. Each one of us has contributed to
it. And if there is to be a radical change in the social structure, we
have to begin with ourselves, not with politics, not with Marxism
or some kind of retreat from the present. We have to put order in
our own house first. We are disorderly, violent, confused, lonely,
all that. And so please, we are going to talk over together this
evening not only what is order, total order, if there is any kind of
love, what is compassion, whether sorrow can ever end, the sorrow
of human beings right throughout the world. So we are going to
talk over together these things.
As we pointed out in the last two talks this is not a lecture –
lecture being, being informed, directed about a particular subject. We are talking over together, you and the speaker, our problems,
amicably, without any resistance, not agreeing but exploring,
investigating, seeing why we live such disorderly lives and why we
accept things as they are. We are not advocating or talking about
physical violence, physical revolution. On the contrary, such
revolutions have never produced a good society. We are talking
about human behaviour, why man is what he is. We cannot blame
the environment; we cannot blame the politicians or the scientists.
That is a very easy escape. But what we ought to be concerned
with is why, we somewhat intelligent people, somewhat educated
people with families, with all the daily work that one goes through,
why we lead such disorderly lives? What is disorder? Please, as I
said, this is a conversation between you and the speaker. So please
take part in it, don’t just casually listen but share in it, partake in
our conversation. We cannot talk to such a large group, but you as
a human being, you and the speaker can talk over together.
So our question is: what is disorder? A confused mind, a
confused life, cannot find what is order, because the brain is
confused, we are uncertain and to merely search for an order, an
orderly life is rather thoughtless, foolish, whereas if we could
together find out for ourselves what causes disorder in our lives,
and so what brings about a society which is utterly disorderly. So
please, we are talking over together. You are sharing the problem
with the speaker. It’s not that you are merely listening to some
ideas but sharing, partaking in the conversation between us. That
must be quite clear from the beginning, that you are as much
responsible for what is happening in the world. And we are going
to investigate together why we live such disorderly lives, and what is our responsibility towards what is happening in the world.
What is disorder? What is the nature and the structure of
disorder? There is disorder – isn’t there – where there is
contradiction: say one thing and do something totally different;
think one thing and act quite the opposite. I wonder if one is aware
of that. Then, there is conflict, disorder, when we are pursuing
ideals, whether political ideals, religious ideals or our own
projection of what we think we ought to be. That is, where there is
division between what is actually going on and try to change that
according to a certain pattern, certain ideals, certain attitudes and
convictions, that is, where there is division between actually what
is happening in ourselves and neglecting that and pursuing an
ideal, that is one of the causes of disorder. Another cause is to
pursue in a psychological, so-called inward life, pursue authority:
the authority of a book, the authority of a guru, the authority of so-
called spiritual people. We accept very easily the authority in our
inward life. Of course you have to accept the authority of the
scientist, of the technocrat, of the doctor, the surgeon, but
inwardly, psychologically, why do we accept authority at all?
Please, this is an important question to ask. We’ll come back to it.
We are asking what are the causes of disorder? We said pursuing
an ideal is disorder, accepting authority of another in the world of
spirit, in the world of the mind, inward psychological state. And
one of the other causes of disorder is this everlasting attempt to
become something inwardly. So these, perhaps and other causes
bring about disorder. So we are going to investigate each one of
them.
Why do we have ideals at all? There are the political ideals, and in the communist world the theoretician translating Marx or Lenin
according to their inclination, their study, their historical search. So
we are asking – and I hope you are asking too – why do we have
ideals at all? And what is an ideal? The word ‘idea’, originally the
root meaning of that word is to observe, to see, to look. But we
have translated it as a projection of a particular concept, brought
about by thought, and that is the ideal, and the ideal is far more
important and the pursuit of that ideal becomes all consuming
when you totally neglect ‘what is’, ‘what is’ is important, not the
ideal. We are using the word ‘what is’ in the sense what is actually
happening both outwardly and inwardly. When we are violent, as
most human beings are, to have an ideal of non-violence has no
reality, has no validity, but what has validity, reality is the fact that
we are violent and to deal with that violence, not in terms of ideals
and patterns, but to understand the cause or causes of violence.
Perhaps in this country the pursuit of non-violence, which is an
illusion, has deprived us of our energy to look actually at what is
going on. I hope we are talking over together this problem. We
never look at ‘what is’. We want to change what is taking place to
something else. This has been the process for centuries upon
centuries. The political ideals, the religious ideal, the ideals that
one has created for oneself, an end, a goal, and the goal, the end,
the ideals become extraordinarily important and not what is
actually happening? That is, ‘what is’ being transformed into ‘what
should be’. There is the struggle, there is disorder. Whereas if we
understand, give our attention to ‘what is’, that is, ‘what is’ is
violence, hatred, antagonism, brutality, and to deal with it.
So, we are concerned to discover the causes of disorder. So we are saying one of the major factors in life, which is disorder, is
trying to transform or change ‘what is’ into ‘what should be’. The
‘what should be’ is totally unreal, but ‘what is’ is all important. If I
am greedy, to enquire into what is the nature of greed, whether that
greed can really have an end or must it continue, but to have the
ideal of non-greed seems so utterly nonsensical, and yet we are
brought up on this. So to see the illusory nature of ‘what is’ is the
beginning of intelligence.
Then, there is division in us; there is duality, the opposite. Is
there an opposite at all? There is opposite as light and darkness,
there is tall and short, different ways outside, but basically is there
an opposite to greed, to violence? You are following all this I hope.
We are asking if there is an opposite? That is, in the world of the
psyche, in the world of the spirit, psychologically, is there an
opposite at all? We say there is the good and the bad, the good and
the evil. I do not know if some of you have been to Europe and
various caves there, about thirty thousand, forty thousand years
ago, man still had this problem: in their paintings there is the evil
on the one side in various forms, and there is the good on the other,
and there is battle between the two. We are asking, please think
together in this matter; not accept what the speaker is saying but
question, ask, doubt, enquire if there is an opposite at all, apart
from the physical side of it, inwardly. Is good, the good, is it the
opposite of evil? If it is the opposite then the good has its root in its
own opposite. Is this clear? Have I to explain everything? All right.
I’ll explain. The good and the bad. If evil is the opposite of the
good, then that evil has a relationship with the good. Right?
Because it’s the opposite. The opposite is put together by thought. Either the good is totally divorced from evil or it is the outcome,
the opposite, the invention of thought as the good. Are you
following this or not?
So what is the good? Let’s enquire into that. What is the good?
According to the dictionary, which is the common usage of that
word, it means good behaviour, good in the sense, being whole, not
fragmented, but having that sense, or understanding the nature of
wholeness of life, and in that there is no fragmentation as the evil.
But if the evil is the outcome of the good, then that evil has a
relationship with the good. Right? Are we following this at all with
each other? Yes? Good. So we are enquiring together if there is an
opposite in our life? If there is hate and love, can love have a
relationship with hate, with jealousy? If it has a relationship with
love, then it is not love. Obviously. If I hate someone, I hope I
don’t – if I hate someone, and at the same time talk about love, it is
incompatible, the two don’t meet. So we are questioning if there is
an opposite at all, but only ‘what is’. Where there is an opposite,
there must be conflict. I hate and also I think I love. The opposite
of hate is not love. The opposite of hate is still hate. Right?
So that’s one of the factors in our life of disorder: the ideal, the
opposite and the acceptance of spiritual, so-called spiritual
authority. There is the authority of law, the authority of a
government, the authority of a policeman, the authority of a good
surgeon. But psychologically, inwardly, why do we accept
authority? – the authority of the priest, the authority of a book, the
authority of a guru. Why? When we follow somebody and are
guided by somebody, guided in what to believe, what not to
believe, to accept his system of enlightenment and so on and so on, what is happening to our own brain, to our own inward search?
You understand my question? I follow you as my guru, you’re not,
but I try. You are my guru. You tell me what to do, what to think,
what to believe and the various steps I must take to attain whatever
they call it – enlightenment. And I, rather gullible, want to escape
from my life which is disorderly corrupt, insecure, I trust the guru.
I give him my life and say ‘I surrender; I give part of my life in
attaining that enlightenment’, whatever it is understood to mean. So
why, why do I do that? – which you are doing in different forms.
Why? Is it not because I want some kind of security, some kind of
assurance that I will have some day some kind of happiness, some
kind of release from my daily worries and miseries. The guru gives
you an assurance, and you feel satisfied. But you never question
the guru; you never doubt what he is saying; you never discuss
with him; you accept. That has been the condition of human beings
right throughout the world for millions of years. The interpreter
between god and you, between that which is holy and you, he
assumes he knows it; he assumes he has realized it and he is going
to tell you what to do. And you, wanting comfort, security will
accept him without a single doubt. Have you ever talked, discussed
with your guru? Have you, if you have one? Never, I am quite sure
of it. He wouldn’t have it. He would say, ‘You know nothing about
it; I will tell you.’
Now, to question spiritual authority, whether it is the Christian
authority or the spiritual authority of Islam with their book or you
with your guru with his statements, to question, to doubt it, so that
you rely entirely on yourself, to be a light to oneself, a light that
cannot be lit by another. That requires your questioning, your asking, your demanding not only the outer, the spiritual authority
but of yourself, why you believe so that your own mind becomes
clear, strong, vital, so that there is energy for creative activity. But
when you follow somebody your brain becomes dull, routine,
mechanical which is the very destructive nature of the human mind
– of the human brain. So please we are not telling you what to do,
but see what you are doing. See why this disorder exists in our life,
and when you begin to investigate into that disorder, then out of
that disorder comes order. When there is the dissipation of the
whole causes of disorder, there is order. Then you don’t have to
pursue what is order. Order is virtue: order means freedom. So we
have to enquire also into what is freedom. You understand what we
have said that where there is order in our life, total order, that order
is virtue and that very order is freedom.
The word ‘freedom’ is misused by everybody. There is freedom
from something, and there is freedom. Freedom from something is
not freedom. We will go into that. I am a prisoner, prisoner of my
own ideas, of my own theories, of my own concepts and so on, and
my mind – brain is a prisoner to that. And then freedom is to be
free from my prison, to fall into another prison. I free myself from
one particular conditioning and unknowingly or unconsciously fall
into another conditioning. So freedom is from something, from
anger, from jealousy, all that; that is not freedom at all. Freedom
means to be free, not from something. This requires a great deal of
enquiry, which is, our mind, our brain is conditioned like a
computer. As we said the other day we are programmed,
programmed to be a Hindu, programmed to be a Muslim, Christian
and so on. The computer is programmed. So our brains have been programmed for thousands of years, which is our conditioning.
Freedom is not the dissolution of that conditioning but the ending
of that conditioning. Where there is an end to my conditioning then
only is there freedom. I wonder if you are understanding all this?
Are we together in this at all? So without having that freedom there
must be disorder. So, the ideal, the opposite, the pursuit of spiritual
authority, and accepting the conditioning we are Hindu, Muslim,
and so on, all that brings about disorder. When there is an end to
that, there is order. You will say that is impossible: it is impossible
not to follow somebody because we are so uncertain, so insecure.
And you are willing to follow somebody so easily, which means
your brain is becoming dull, inactive. You may be active
physically but psychologically, inwardly, you cease to be active.
Then we ought to talk over together suffering, whether there is
an end of sorrow. When there is an end to sorrow, then only there
is love, then only there is compassion. So we are going to enquire
together into this question, whether it is possible to end all sorrow.
What is sorrow, grief, pain, the feeling of loneliness, the sense of
isolation? So we are enquiring, you and the speaker together, not
intellectually or verbally, but to find out for ourselves, for each one
of us whether sorrow can ever end? What is the nature of sorrow?
What is the cause of sorrow, which is pain, tears, a sense of
desperate loneliness, what is the cause of it? We are going together
to enquire into it. So sir, please share with the speaker. Don’t just
go to sleep; enquire with him why human beings from time
immemorial have suffered and are still suffering, not from physical
pain, some fatal disease or feeling utterly rejected. We are talking
about the nature of suffering inwardly – the pain, the tears, and the escape from it. I wonder if we have ever realized that for the last
five thousand years there have been wars, killing each other and
how many people have cried, shed tears, for those who have been
killed, maimed. I was – the speaker was once taken to a hospital by
a friend, another doctor, where the results of war were in hospital.
People had no arms and legs. Some had no eyes. Imagine how their
mothers must have cried. The pain, the anxiety, the hope, all that
constitutes sorrow. And this sorrow has existed in all the days of
our life, and we never seem to be free of it, completely ending
sorrow. So together, if you will, we’ll go into this, because there is
an end to sorrow. Sorrow comes with the loss of somebody, with
the death of somebody, my son, I have lost him. There is grief and
tears and a great sense of loneliness. Then in that state of shock, in
that state of pain and anxiety, loneliness, I seek comfort; I want to
escape from this agony; then I escape through every form of
entertainment, whether it be drugs, alcohol, the temple, the
mosques or the church, I want to escape from this. So I begin to
invent all kinds of fanciful concepts. Whereas I have lost him, he is
dead, gone. And there is that pain. Can one remain with that pain,
can one look at that pain, hold it, you hold it as a precious jewel,
not escape, not suppress, not rationalize, but to look, to look at the
sorrow in oneself, not analyse it, not rationalizing it, not seeking
the cause of it but as a vessel holds water so hold this thing called
sorrow, the pain. That is, I have lost my son, and I am lonely, not
to escape from that loneliness, not to suppress it, not to
intellectually rationalize it, but to look at that loneliness,
understand the depth of it, the nature of it. Loneliness is total
isolation which is brought about through our daily activity of selfish ambitions or ideological ambitions, competition, each one
out for himself. Those are the attributive causes which bring about
loneliness. But if you run away from it, you will never solve
sorrow.
The very word ‘sorrow’ has etymologically passion, the word
‘passion’. Most of us have no passion. We may have lust; we may
have ambition; we may want to become a rich man, we devote our
energies to all that. But that does not bring about passion. Only
with the ending of sorrow, there is passion. It is that total energy,
not limited by thought. So it is important to understand the nature
of suffering and the ending of it. The ending of it is to hold that
sorrow, that pain. Look at it. It’s a marvellous thing to know how to
hold the pain and look at it, be with it, live with it, not get bitter,
cynical, but to see the nature of sorrow. There is beauty in that
sorrow, depth in that sorrow.
So we ought also to talk over together what is love. What does
that word mean to you? If you were asked in a drawing room, in
your room, what is the meaning of that word to you, what would
you answer? You might if you are an intellectual, say, ‘What do
you mean by that? I love playing golf. I love to read. I love my
wife. I love god.’ Is that love? Do you love your wife? Do you love
your husband? Do you love your friend? So we are enquiring into
what is love. This is really very important to enquire into because
without love life is empty. You may have all the riches of the earth.
You may be a great banker, great scientist, mathematician, great
technician, capable of great technology, but without love you are
lost, an empty shell. So together we are going to find out not what
love is, but what is not love. That is, through negation come to the positive. You understand what I am saying? Through negating
what is not, that very negation is the positive. Is jealousy love?
Jealousy in which there is attachment, anxiety, in jealousy there is
hate, is that love? You are attached to your family; you are
attached to a person or an idea or a concept or a conclusion, you
are attached. What are the implications of attachment? Suppose I
am married; I am attached to my wife. What does it mean? Where
there is attachment, there is fear. Where there is attachment, there
is suspicion. Where there is attachment, there is possessiveness.
Because through attachment to an ideal, to a concept, to a belief, or
to a person, when there is attachment, with all the consequences of
jealousy, anxiety, hatred, suspicion, surely all that is not love.
So to understand the nature of love, is it possible to be totally
free from attachment? Please ask this question of yourself. You are
all attached to something or other. If I may suggest, most
respectfully, become aware of the consequences of that attachment.
If you are attached to an ideal you are always on the defensive or
aggressive. If you come to a conclusion and to hold on to that
conclusion is to end all further enquiry. The communist, the
socialist and so on, they have all come to a conclusion according to
Marx, Lenin, and so on. They have stopped. They have brought an
end to their thinking capacity, to their enquiry, to their doubt. So,
where there is attachment, there must be pain. I am attached to my
wife and she may run away, she might look at another man or she
might die. So in attachment, there is always fear, there is always
anxiety, suspicion, watching. Surely that is not love, is it? So can
one be totally free of all attachment? It’s up to you, but when you
are attached, there is no love, because in that attachment there is fear. Fear is not love. And the ambitious man who wants to climb
the ladder of success has no love, because he is concerned with
himself, with his achievements, with his gathering of power, the
position, the prestige. How can such a man love another? He may
have a family, children, but that’s all normal, natural to have
children – but in that man there is no love. And when you say I love
god or the highest principle, is that love? That god, that principle,
the highest principle ‘Brahmin’ is the result of thought. God is
invented by man. I am sure you won’t like this. But you are
attached to that concept – god exists. Then you ask, ‘Who is the
creator of all this misery’. God hasn’t created this, has he? If he has,
he must be rather an odd god, he must be a strange sadistic god.
So, all the gods in the world are invented by thought.
And to find out what love is, as we said there must be an end to
sorrow, an end to attachment, end to everything we have
committed to inwardly. Where the self, the ego, the ‘me’ is, love is
not. You hear all this my friend, you hear all this, and you will
walk away from here with the same attachment, with the same
convictions and never enquire further because the more you
enquire into all this, the more life becomes dangerous because you
may have to give up a lot of things naturally, not as self sacrifice,
naturally, easily you may have to give up. If you understood the
nature of attachment and are free from it, if you tell your wife, ‘I
am no longer attached to you’, she may perhaps throw a brick at
you or say ‘what nonsense’. So you have to realize that when you
see the truth of something, you are standing completely alone. And
you may perceive that, and from that you are frightened. You may
believe, you may see the truth in the nature of attachment, but as you don’t want to quarrel with your wife or husband, you accept.
So gradually we become hypocrites.
And also we should discuss, if there is time, the nature of
intelligence. Compassion has its own intelligence. Love has its
own intelligence. We are going to enquire into what is intelligence,
if you are not tired. Surely it cannot be bought in books.
Knowledge is not intelligence. Please, this may be a little arduous
to go into, so please give your attention, if you are willing; I’m not
asking you to force yourself to do something that you don’t want to
do, because where there is love, compassion, it has the beauty of its
own intelligence. Compassion cannot exist if you are a Hindu, a
Catholic, Protestant, a Buddhist, or a Marxist. Love is not the
product of thought. In understanding the nature of love,
compassion, which is to deny all that which is not. To see that
which is false as false is the beginning of intelligence. To see the
truth in the false is the beginning of intelligence. To see the nature
of disorder and end it, not carry on day after day, but end it. The
ending is the immediate perception which is intelligence.
So we are enquiring into what is intelligence. Cleverness is not
intelligence. Having a great deal of knowledge about various
subjects, mathematics, history, science, poetry, painting, to be able
to paint and all the rest of it, that is not the activity of intelligence.
The investigator into the atom, he may have extraordinary capacity
of concentration, imagination, probing, questioning, asking,
hypothesis after hypothesis, theory after theory, all that is not
intelligence. Intelligence is the activity of the wholeness of life, not
broken up, fragmented. And that intelligence is not yours or mine,
it doesn’t belong to any country, to any people, like love is not Christian love or Hindu love and so on. So, please enquire into all
this. Because our life depends on all this. We are unfortunate,
miserable people, always in travail, always in conflict. We have
accepted it as a way of life. But in enquiring into all this there is
the awakening of that intelligence. When that intelligence is in
operation, in action, there is only right action.
Tomorrow we will talk over together death, meditation and if
there is something beyond all thought, if there is something
enduring, something sacred, something immeasurable. We are
going to discuss that tomorrow. Right, sirs.
CALCUTTA 4TH PUBLIC TALK 28TH
NOVEMBER, 1982

This is the last talk. We have been talking about so many things, so
many human problems and we ought to consider this evening
several things more, seeing what the world is, what is taking place
in the world – the corruption, the violence, the total disregard for
the people by the politicians, and the gurus have nothing to say any
more except repeat some worn out phrases and slogans.
Considering all this, we ought together, you and the speaker, think
together, not agree, not disregard or reject, but together think
because thought has built this world. Thought has been responsible
for all the miseries of human beings, though it has created in the
world of technology most extraordinary things. And it seems so
utterly urgent and necessary that we should think together,
cooperate together, find out for ourselves because there is no leader
any more, there is no politician, no guru. We are utterly totally
responsible for ourselves. And so as the crisis is great we should be
able to think together, and apparently that is one of the most
difficult things to do because each one of us has so many opinions,
so many conclusions which prevent our coming together. To think
together means to put aside all your personal prejudices, bias,
opinions and various forms of conclusions which actually prevent
communication with each other. If we could, this evening, put all
that aside, even for an hour, and think together to find out for
ourselves the truth, the actuality of life, to look at it without any
bias, not as a communist, marxist, socialist or belonging to some
sect or religion or nationality, but together look very closely at our lives.
Nobody is going to change our lives; no environment, no
authority, no book. So we have to look together at ourselves as we
are and explore deeper with great depth the meaning of existence,
meaning of our lives, the significance of our activities. So please, if
one may point out this is not a lecture, the speaker is not telling
you what to do but together, you and the speaker, enter into the
realm of thought. Because thought has brought about great
technology and also great wars, great misery, great sorrow, and
thought has also brought about great hygiene, surgery and all that.
So please together this evening we are going to penetrate into the
whole existence of man, not one aspect of it, not as a religious man
or a worldly man, as a scholar or as a monk or as a woman or man;
but together look at the whole existence of our life: going to the
office day after day for the next forty, fifty years and then dying at
the end of it, or going to the factory with all that noise, ugliness
and brutality of it all. We should be able to look at this whole
existence of our life, of each one’s life, to look at it, to observe it,
not direct it, not to ask ourselves what is the goal, what should I do.
But first to get acquainted, to understand ourselves, to understand
what actually we are, why we do certain things, why we belong to
this or to that. So it is important that we look at our life.
If you observe closely, our life is fragmented, broken up. Either
you are a businessman or a doctor or a surgeon, or an engineer and
in your own life, personal life there is always this division between
you, however intimate, and another. There is always this division,
this struggle, this pain. Of course there is some kind of joy,
pleasure, but that is also part of life. Our life, as it is now, is broken up, fragmented and this fragmentation takes place because our
thinking is also fragmentary. Our thinking which is the outcome of
knowledge, and knowledge is always limited, and knowledge
always goes hand in hand with ignorance, there is no complete
knowledge about anything, and so our thinking which is born out
of knowledge is always limited, under all circumstances, whether
you are a scientist, or a psychologist, or an engineer and so on. So
thought, thinking, is limited, circumscribed, and what is limited
must inevitably in its action create fragmentation. You are
following this? Thought itself is the cause of all division, of all
fragmentation, and unless one understands the nature and the
structure of thought you cannot go very far. And to go very far you
must begin very near, which is you: how you think, what you
think. And to discover for yourself that thought always is limited; it
can invent god, the immeasurable, the nameless, the supreme, but it
is still the product of thought. And so thought is one of the major
factors of our conflict, of our misery, or our sorrow. We have gone
into it briefly during the other talks, but unless one understands this
basically, very deeply, not intellectually, not verbally, or
argumentatively, or logically, unless you understand the nature of
thinking and then begin to discover for yourself a new instrument,
a totally different instrument. Because the only instrument we have
now is thought. And thought has created incredible problems, most
complex problems, and thought tries to solve those problems, and
thereby increases more problems. You must have noticed this,
politically, religiously and so on.
So we must find together a new instrument, and that is what we
are going into when we talk about death, religion, meditation, and to understand, to discover, to come upon something that is not man-
made, that must be something beyond time, beyond all measure.
We are going to discover it, we are going to talk about it,
communicate with each other. But we must understand the position
of thought, the value of thought, the activities which thought brings
about in which there is division, there is fragmentation. If this is
very clear we can look at our life, at our own personal
circumscribed life. Because it is much more important what
happens before death rather than what happens after death. Is this
clear? We are always enquiring what happens after death but we
never enquire what is happening before death, not at the last day or
the last minute but the way we live for thirty, forty, fifty years or
more and then die.
Time – please listen to all this, if you care to – time is death.
Time – we are talking about time which is the inward time, the
psychological time – the time that has created the idea of thought. I
hope to become something, I hope to become rich, I hope to
become a saint, or a spiritual person. Time is a movement, apart
from the time by the watch, by the sunset, and so on or the time
from one point to another. Now all that requires time – to learn a
language and so on. We are saying that time, the inward time, the
psychological time of hope, of achievement of that which is to
change it to become something else. All that involves time both
physically and psychologically. We are talking about the
psychological time, a time that is inside the skin as it were – that
time is death. To think in terms of time is to bring about division,
as we pointed out, fragmentation, and make the future – give the
future greater significance than the present.       Are you following all this a little bit? Yes? When I ask ‘yes’,
you are not encouraging me. Please, you are not encouraging me, I
am asking if we are together walking together in the same road, in
the same lane, perhaps hand in hand, not that you are walking
ahead of me or behind me, but together we are walking on the
same pleasant lane full of shadows, scented air, and the beauty of
the trees. So when I ask, please, it is only to find out whether we
are walking together, thinking together, cooperating together.
As I said – the speaker said time which is a movement, invented
by thought – psychological time is invented by thought and thought
itself is the product of time, that is, it is the product of time because
man has acquired knowledge through long evolution, evolution
implies time and when we think in terms of time we divide life, we
fragment life. I am a Hindu, you are a Buddhist, I am Muslim, you
are a Christian and so on. This fragmentation is the result of
thought which itself is limited. And psychological time is invented
by thought. When you say, I am, I will be, I am this but I will one
day be different, that gap between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’ or
what you want to be, is time. When you have such time there must
be fragmentation. And life which is being lived now, in that life we
have separated death from living. Right? I’ll go into it.
As we said we never enquire deeply what happens long before
death? What happens to our life? But very few people ask that.
They are all concerned with what happens after death – whether
you will live, whether you will meet your brother, and so on and so
on. But not the long period thirty, forty, or fifty years which is far
more important than what happens after. So we are together going
to examine, observe what our life is. Because if we don’t understand that profoundly, then when you meet death – which I
hope you won’t for a very long time – then you are frightened, then
you are totally blind to everything.
So we ought together investigate our life which we live daily,
whether it has any significance at all, whether it has any value,
depth, beauty. What is our life, what is your daily life? Perhaps you
go to the office from nine to five for the rest of your life. Have you
ever thought what a tragedy it is, and working for what. You will
say, my responsibility, my duty to my family, I must earn money,
therefore I go to the office from nine to five for the next sixty
years. Then you retire, to die. That is one of the factors of our daily
existence. There in the office, or in the factory, you are struggling,
you are competing, you want to become the manager: the clerk
wants to become the executive, the priest wants to become the
Bishop and so on. You come home, weary, insulted, bored, and
you come home. What do you call home? Just the roof, half a
dozen rooms or one room? What is a home? Have you ever thought
about all this? What does that word home mean to you? Just to live
there, eat, sex, children, quarrelling, discussing, arguing, bullying
each other, or withdrawing from it all – becoming a monk, a
sannyasi? You can’t withdraw from life, you may put on different
robes, but life is where you are, what you are. And during these
forty, fifty years, there is constant struggle, constant conflict, pain,
a little joy, the pursuit of pleasure, and facing the inevitable death.
That is our life, to put it in a nutshell. You can’t deny it, it is so.
Now this is the life of every human being on earth, whether they
live in an affluent society or under a dictatorship or in a totalitarian
state, whether they are Marxist, Leninist or democrats. This is their life – pain, struggle, conflict working from morning till night. Do
you know what happens to such human beings, their capacity to
think?
How can you think clearly, think as a human being, who is
actually the rest of humanity? This is the state of every human
being, that is his consciousness. So you are actually the rest of
mankind. This is not a logical conclusion, this is a fact. We went
into it the other day, because you must understand this fact
otherwise you won’t understand as we talk about death,
furthermore you won’t understand the significance of it. Which is
your consciousness with its content; the content is the belief, the
dogmas, the name, the form, the pains, anxieties, loneliness,
despair, depression, desire, all that is you. All that is what you are,
actually. This consciousness is the consciousness of all human
beings. This is logical but if you merely reduce it to logic and then
conclude then it has no value. But if you feel the depth of it, the
extraordinary beauty of it, the strength of it, that you are the rest of
mankind. That is a fact and when you feel it in your blood, in your
heart, in your mind then you are no longer an individual. I know it
is difficult for you to swallow this or even to think about it because
you are conditioned to be an individual but you are not. You may
be tall, you may be short or clever and so on, on the peripheral
level, on the outside, but inside you are like the rest of mankind.
So if you are the rest of mankind – you are the mankind – then
what is your responsibility to man? What is your responsibility to
what is happening in the world? Probably you have never asked
this question of yourself. You say my responsibility is to my
family, to my country. But the idea of your country is just another invention of thought. So please examine your daily life. And when
you ask the question, what is your responsibility to the rest of
mankind? The rest of mankind is destroying itself. You may live
safely in Calcutta – I doubt it. In this filthy city, poverty ridden
country, each one is destroying the other and exploiting and all the
rest of it. So you have to find out for yourself what is your
responsibility, what is right action in front of all this? You can’t
escape from it. You may limit yourself to certain immediate
responsibilities, but you are a human being who is the rest of
mankind, so you are also responsible for mankind. So your
consciousness is not yours, it is shared by all human beings living
on this earth. They all go through every kind of misery, every kind
of suffering – pain, anxiety, despair and the feeling of utter
loneliness.
So if you are at all aware of what is happening in the world,
then you will have to ask yourself what is your responsibility, what
is your action. And as we have not time to go into that, what is
right action in front of this perhaps we would talk about it in
Madras and other places and if you are interested read some rotten
book, it will tell you about it.
So now you think you are an individual, you think you are
separate from the rest of mankind. And then you ask, what happens
to me after I die? Do I not incarnate? So let us examine that very
closely. What are you? When you say I want to be born next life, I
believe in reincarnation and so on, what is it that is going to be
reborn? What are you? Please examine it. Let’s examine it together
dispassionately. You are the name, the form, the body; you are
what you think, you are the result of your education, if you have one. And the education is so rotten, it only conditions you to
become some engineer, clerk, or this or that. They don’t educate
you to understand the beauty, the wholeness of life. They only give
you a lot of knowledge so that you can act either skilfully or not in
the world. That is not education. That is one part, a very small part
of education. Education is the cultivation of the whole human
being, the unfoldment, the flowering of a human mind, not crippled
by specialization. Again, we haven’t time to go into that. So what
are you? Are you a series of words – please listen – a series of
ideas, a repetitive memory, a continuity of conviction? That is, all
this is a verbal structure. Right?
But you say, ‘That is not all, there is something much deeper’ –
that is what you will say – when you say, there is something
deeper, god or Atman or whatever you like to call it, the soul, as
the Christians do, and you call it by another name, when you say, ‘I
am not all that, I am much more, there is a fragment of light in me’,
when you say there is something more than mere physical
attributes, more than mere conclusion, concepts, beliefs and words,
words, words, you say, there is something more beyond, more than
that; when you say you are more than that, it is also the invention
of thought obviously. So you are put together by thought.
Obviously. You call yourself a Hindu, and another calls himself a
Muslim and so on. All the division is the result of thought. So you
are actually a series of memories, a series of reactions and
responses based on your knowledge, your experience, your quality
of mind. That is what you are, which is essentially death. Right?
You are living in the past and the past is death. All knowledge is in
the past and therefore when you live with knowledge, which is the past, and as the past is over, gone, what are you? Go on look at
yourself, don’t look at me. Look at yourself as you would look in a
mirror. So that is what you are. And you say, if I die, incarnate in
another life, which is to carry the same thing over to the next life a
lot of words, a lot of experience, a lot of memories, better houses
or if you want more money and so on. But if you do believe in a
future life, that is next life, then what you do now matters more
because next life you will pay for it. This is your conviction. This
is what you cling to: a lot of memories which are dead, gone, ideas
which are also finished, they are also dead. So your content of your
life is what? That is why this country which believes in so many
things, so many beliefs, so many superstitions, believes in
reincarnation. That is why here there is slow dying.
Now, the question then is, what is death? Please ask this
question, what is death? That is, you are just a vast reservoir of
memories, words, pictures, symbols. Your consciousness is the rest
of mankind. You are not an individual. What you think, other
people think, your thinking is not individual. There is only
thinking. So when you realize you are not an individual – you may
have a different form, different shape of head, jobs and so on, those
are physical peripheral activities – but inwardly you are like the rest
of man. So what does death mean then? Are you following this
somewhat? Look sir: suppose I am all that, which is a fact – name,
form, education, physical responses, psychological reactions, all
the inherited racial memories and personal memories, which is all
in the past. I am all that and all human beings are that, all human
consciousness is that. So what does it mean to die? Ask these
questions, sirs? Now we are living, active. You may be repetitively active, mechanically active, as most people are, but you are active,
you have got life, you have got feelings, you have got responses,
sensations, and when death comes all that is wiped out. The brain
cells themselves, for lack of air and so on, decay. That is what we
call death ,which is to end all the things you have held, your
jewels, your house, your bank account, your wife, your children,
all that you end, your attachments, that is death. But you want to
carry it over to the next life, which is just an idea, vision,
fulfilment. So please listen: while living to end attachment, for
example – because when you die all attachment ends. But can you
invite the ending of attachment? You understand this, you are
following this? That is ending, ending is death. So can you, living
vigorously, actively, end your attachment, end a particular habit
voluntarily, easily, quietly, because then, where there is an ending,
there is a totally different beginning? Not as a human being with all
your peculiar ideas and so on – when you end something like
attachment, there is a different activity going on. So to incarnate in
the present now – you understand this – that is creative activity. It is
up to you sirs if you want to do all this.
We ought to talk over together what is religion. What is a
religious life, what is a religious mind? Shall we go into it, even
those of you who have got sannyasi robes and all that. Shall we go
into this? I am not tired, to me this is – never mind what it is to me.
The origin of that word, etymologically, is not clear. Originally it
meant to bind yourself to some higher principle, bind yourself to
some noble idea. But even that is discarded now. So the root
meaning of that word is not clear. So we can forget the dictionary
meaning, which is the common usage of that word. Now, we are going to enquire, together, what is religion, what is a religious life,
what is meditation, and if there is anything that has not been
touched by thought. The present religions, all throughout the world
– do you call those religious? Do you? You are a Hindu, you
believe, your religion says this and that, your books, you worship
an idol, the Muslim does not, he has his own form of worship. The
Christian has his symbol – the rituals, the dogmas, the beliefs, the
superstitions all that. The hierarchical structure of a religious
society, right, you follow all this? You call all that religion. Your
belief is god: unless you believe in god or some supreme principles
it is considered that you are not religious. But your gods have been
put together by thought. Right? Because our life is so miserable, so
uncertain, so ugly, we say to ourselves there must be something
more, something which is protecting, which is giving, which is
creative. So thought creates the idea based on books, tradition,
being programmed to believe in god – programmed – that surely is
not religion. Do you agree to that? Of course not. But that is not
religion: your belief, your worship, going to the temple, to the
mosque, to the church, repeating some phrases, utterly totally
divorced from daily life.
To understand the daily life, to bring about a radical change in
that life, to have a brain that is not superstitious that is actually
facing facts, facing what one is, and going beyond ‘what is’, that is
the beginning of a religious mind, not all the superstition, not the
torturing of the body. That is what tradition has done: you cannot
come to illumination or god, without brutalizing, destroying,
denying your body. But inside the flame of desire is there, burning.
So to understand the whole meaning of daily living, which is the understanding of relationship, relationship with each other, to love,
to have that quality of love which is not, that I love my wife or
some other thing, to have that perfume, that beauty, that flame.
That is religion. That is a religious mind. And with that
understanding that all religions as they exist now, with their
constant repetition of phrases, rituals, genuflecting and so on and
so on, is not religion. But to live a life that has no conflict, that has
the sense of compassion with love with intelligence – compassion
is intelligence – that is the religious life.
But that is not enough. We have to understand much deeper
things, which is, what is meditation? Is it sitting in a certain
posture, closing your eyes and repeating some phrases – mantra.
The word mantra means, I believe, in Sanskrit,to ponder over,
consider, not becoming. You understand? Meditate on that, not
becoming, which means – I wonder if you understand this. When
you are not becoming, what are you? And also that word mantra,
ponder over not becoming, and also resolve, put away all self
centred activity. That is the real meaning of that word mantra. Now
look what you have done with it. You repeat some words and call
that mantra. So as we said, a religious life is that – not becoming
inwardly, anything.
Then we must go much deeper than that. Meditation means, the
word, to ponder over, to think over, according to the dictionary.
And we are adding to that to ponder over, think over and we are
adding to that the ending of measurement. I will go into it. You are
not tired? Are you really interested in all this? Oh, god, you are
not. I wish you were. I wish you would give your life to this, not to
what is being said but give your life to find out how to live correctly, truly, orderly, and an orderly life cannot exist without
love and compassion. Give your life to that, not to some cult. So
what is meditation, not how to meditate. When you put the ‘how’,
when you use that word ‘how’ that means give me a system, please
tell me what to do, show me the path. So if you can remove that
word ‘how’ altogether from your mind, then look at it: what is
meditation? Systems, methods, practices, certain forms of
discipline, breathing correctly, deeply and so on, is not meditation.
It is just you are practising something. Somebody told you if you
do this, you will get that. It is an exchange, a market place where
the guru sells you something and you practice. So we are going to
see what meditation is.
Meditation is not the practice of any system. Because when you
practise a system your brain becomes atrophied, becomes dull. It is
not alive, active. So if you are really deeply concerned with
meditation then there is no system, no method, practising, every
day sitting half an hour quietly, is not meditation. It may relax you.
It is like going to bed, lying down after a good meal. Sorry to make
you put it at that level. It is. So if you deny all that, intelligently
because you see the absurdity of practising a method because it
brings up a routine, your mind is already caught, is mechanical,
and you are making it more mechanical, more drugged, more
conditioned. Whereas in meditation there must be freedom:
freedom from fear – we went into all this. Freedom from envy,
greed, sorrow and all the wounds one has received from childhood,
psychological wounds and the hurts. One should be free from all
that.
So we have to enquire, first, what does it mean to be aware. Three things: what does it mean to be aware, what does it mean to
concentrate, and what does it mean to attend? Because this is
implied in meditation. To be aware: to be aware, to be conscious of
your environment; to be aware how you talk, how you walk, how
you eat, what you eat; to be aware how you speak to another, how
you treat another; to be aware as you are sitting there, to be aware
of your neighbour, the colour, the coat, the way he looks, without
criticism, just be aware. That gives you great sensitivity, empathy,
so that your body is subtle, sensitive, aware of everything that is
going on around you. To be aware without any choice. You
understand this? To be aware, see where you are, looking at the
speaker, looking all around you without a single choice, just to
look, to be aware.
Then concentration. When you concentrate what happens? To
control all thought except one thought, which is to concentrate on
something, concentrate on a book, concentrate on what you are
doing, concentrate, which means, shut off all other thought except
one thought, to centralize all thinking to a particular point. That is
what generally, concentration means. That is, while you are trying
to concentrate, all other thoughts are wandering, pushing, coming
in and out, and so you build a resistance to every other thought
except one thought, or one page, one symbol, one idea. Look at it?
That is generally what is called concentration. That’s clear.
Then attention. Have you ever attended to anything? Given your
whole energy, listened totally to another, completely attended, not
like a soldier who is drilled to attend but if you understand the
nature of awareness, concentration, then attention. To attend
completely. If you are attending now completely to what is being said, in that attention there is no centre as the ‘me’. You understand
this? Are you so attending to what is being said? That is, giving all
your energy, your listening, vibrantly alive to attend. If you are,
then you will find there is no centre as the ‘me’ attending. Then
when you are attending so deeply the brain becomes quiet,
naturally. There is no chattering, there is no control. The idea of
controlling thought, who is the controller to control thought, it is
another part of thought, isn’t it? One part of thought says, I am the
witness, I am going to control my thought. The controller is the
controlled. You understand all this?
So in meditation there is no controller, there is no activity of
will, which is desire. Then the brain, the whole movement of the
brain apart from its own activity, which has its own rhythm,
becomes utterly quiet, silent. It is not the silence cultivated by
thought. It is the silence of intelligence, silence of supreme
intelligence. In that silence that which is nameless comes, nameless
is. That is sacred, immovable, is not touched by thought, by
endeavour, by effort. It is the way of intelligence which is the way
of compassion. Then that which is sacred is everlasting. That is
meditation. Such a life is a religious life. In that there is great
beauty.
MADRAS 1ST PUBLIC TALK 25TH DECEMBER
1982

I don’t know why you are all here. I wonder why you have gathered
here. We have an important question to ask: why each one of us is
here, with what intention, with what purpose, and at the end of the
talk, what you have gathered for yourself? We are going to talk
over together a great many things relating to our daily life, relating
to all the events that are taking place on this unfortunate earth. So
this is not a lecture. A lecture generally means gathering
information, collecting some data with a view to instruction. So,
this is not a lecture as it is commonly understood, but this is a
conversation between us. A conversation between two friends who
are concerned not only with what is happening in the world
externally, environmentally, but also what is happening to the
human being.
We are going to talk first, about what is happening to our brain,
to our conduct, why human beings who have lived on this earth,
perhaps a million years or a more recent discovery, between 30,000
or 40,000 years, why after all this so-called evolution, passing
through so many wars, one religion after another, one government
after another, why we human beings throughout the world have so
degenerated, without any stamina, without any integrity. And we
are, as I said, going to talk over together, you are not merely – if I
may point out most respectfully – you are not merely listening to a
series of ideas or some form of conclusions or some new principles
and values, but together you and the speaker are going to examine
closely, hesitantly, carefully, what is happening in the external world, and what is happening to us in our own daily life, the inner
life.
So, please, we are having a conversation together about all this.
If you hold on to your opinion however slight, or dogmatic,
stubborn or obstinate or come to some definite conclusions, then it
will not be possible to have a conversation, or communicate with
each other. That must be clearly understood from the very
beginning of these talks, that you and the speaker are going to
examine, not from any religious point of view or as a communist,
socialist, marxist, conservative, left and right, or belonging to any
nation. We are going to examine. To examine one must have a free
mind, not an opinionated mind, not a traditional mind, not
belonging to any sect, to any order, to any religious group or to any
institution. Then one cannot possibly examine closely what is
happening in the world outside us. There are the threats of war,
nuclear or the conventional war: the decline of all religions; there
is no moral activity, but most of us are living superficially,
intellectually, never examining, never questioning, doubting all
that is going on in the world.
And to examine, to probe, to observe, requires a very clear mind
and heart, a brain that is not held by any tradition, or a brain that is
already conditioned, a brain that has evolved through millennia.
And if we are not aware of the activities of our own brain, our own
sensory responses, examination and the observation of what is
going on in the world, becomes almost impossible. So, please, even
for this evening, let us talk together like two human beings,
friendly, not imposing any ideas on each other, any dogmatic
argumentative, conclusions, but as two friends who have known each other for some time, sitting under a lovely tree in a cool
climate and looking at the world.
What is the world? What is it that is happening out there? Who
has created it? Why has man become what he is, thoughtless,
careless, indifferent – without any love, brutal, violent? Why have
we become like this? You might blame it on our inheritance, you
might blame it on the environment, on the culture, on the society.
But who has created this society? Each one of us, the past
generation after generation, and the present generation is
contributing to it. So, we have created this world, and there is no
escape from that fact. Each one of us has contributed to that chaos,
to the mess that is going on, the disorder, the anarchy.
So, thought has divided the world into nationalities, and
nationalities are one of the causes of war, nationalities devised by
thought in its search for security has divided the British, the
French, the Indian, the Muslim, Pakistan, the Russian and so on,
and thought has created war through this division. And the
preparations of war for killing other human beings, thought has
been responsible for this. In its search to be safe, secure, to find
somewhere or other a sense of safety, it begins with the family,
community, then a large group and a wider group hoping thereby
to find some kind of safety, protection, security, and so it begins
with the small and ends up in nationalities. And all the
governments are supporting this crazy system of dividing people
into nationalities, into groups – as the Hindus and the Muslims the
Chinese and the Russians, the Americans and the British and the
French of course, and so on. Thought has been responsible for the
division of religions – the Christian, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Muslim and so on. Thought has created the marvellous cathedrals,
the great mosques and the lovely temples.
And thought has put in these temples, mosques and churches the
things that are invented by thought – the rituals, the dogmas, all the
ceremonial vesture, thought has been responsible for. And thought
has created the problems of division, the problems that arise
through division, between the Jew and the Arab, one group against
another group. Thought has been responsible for the extraordinary
development of technique, technology. Very few of us know
actually what is going on in the technological world, the terrible
things they are doing biologically, inventing great instruments for
the destruction of man – vast unlimited movement of technology.
And thought has organized mass killing in the name of peace, in
the name of the country, in the name of god. So there is great
conflict going on for which thought is responsible.
We will presently investigate together what is thinking, what is
the nature of thought. But first we must examine the activity and
the result of thought, thinking. Thought has brought about great
hygienic benefits, communication, rapid transport and all that. The
brain is infinitely capable; and that capacity, that energy of thought
has created this world of technology, with all the problems it
involves, social, environmental; and thought also has created havoc
in our daily life, in our relationship with each other, between man
and woman. So, we are saying that thought is responsible for all
the misery it has brought about in the world. Please do not deny or
accept what the speaker is saying. He is putting that forward for
you to examine, to question, to doubt, not to accept nor to agree,
but to look, to examine, to care. Thought has also done great things for humanity.
So, we must together examine very carefully what is the source
of thought, why thought has created such havoc in the world,
whether thought can ever have as its companion love, or love is
entirely different from the activities of thought. So, please, together
without any sense of authority, without any sense of belonging to
any group – either the Marxist, Capitalist or democratic, belonging
to no religion, no sects, totally uncommitted. Then only is it
possible to examine and to go beyond the present confusion and
chaos. So, please listen, not agree, but listen to find out. We have
to be both the teacher and the disciple. The word disciple – the
meaning of that word disciple means he who learns. And also we
must be the teachers. The very act of learning gives us the
responsibility to teach. So, we are going together to learn, not hold
on to our old traditions, to our old opinions and conclusions, that
prevents us from learning, not from the speaker but learning
through observation, learning through the investigation of the
nature of thought and the nature of the brain, not the physiological
brain but the activities of a brain that is conditioned. So, first of all,
we are going to look together, why the brain which has evolved
through thousands of years, which has gone through every kind of
experience, pleasurable, painful, and every kind of incident,
accident – why that brain had become so limited, not limited in one
direction, which is in the technological world. It is not limited there
at all. It is moving with extraordinary rapidity. So in one direction,
in the direction of technology, the brain has infinite power. That is
obvious.
The brain has put man on the moon, invented terrible things to kill human beings, and also technology has given man great
comfort, hygiene, communication, and so on. But the brain is
limited because it cannot go in any other direction but that
direction. That is, it is incapable at present of going inwardly. And
if it can go in one direction with such extraordinary vigour,
extraordinary energy that has been put into the technological
world, if it can go in the other direction, that is not in the direction
of amusement, entertainment but in the world of the psyche, the
psychological world, then it has an extraordinary infinite capacity,
both outwardly, that is the technological world, and the inward, the
psychological world. But we have not given that same
consideration, the same enquiry, the same doubt, scepticism,
questioning, demanding, challenging into what we are. So, we are
going to enquire together into the whole psychological world, why
after all these thousands of years, why we live in conflict with each
other, why man has become so miserable, unhappy, anxious,
uncertain, hypocritical, dishonest, corrupt, suffering a great deal.
That is our inner world, the world of the psyche, the psychological
realm into which very few have investigated deeply, profoundly.
And the psychologists, the theoreticians, the analysts,
psychotherapists, they have not solved any of our human problems.
They have written vast volumes about it, but we are still what we
are.
So, how do we investigate into something that is yourself, that
is your consciousness? You are both the unconscious and the
conscious, the whole realm of the inward activity which dictates
the outer activity. If that inner activity is not in order, then you
create a society as we have done, which is totally in disorder; as any fool can see. You cannot create outward order unless there is
inward order. We are not going to discuss what is order now. We
will as we go along. But one has to realize this fact, that the
outward chaos, war, confusion, the brutality, the violence, the
hatreds, is the result of our own life, our own disorder, the conflict
in our own consciousness, the disorder of our daily life, the
disorder in our relationship with each other, the perpetual row that
goes on between human beings. And can all this misery, confusion,
conflict, anxiety, and so on, can it ever end? This question is far
more serious than the nuclear war, or the neutron war, whatever
war that be, whether it is possible to change radically the content of
our consciousness. The crisis is there, not in the world. Please
understand all this. The crisis is not in the world, not the nuclear
war, not the terrible division, the brutality that is going on. The
crisis is in our consciousness, the crisis is what we are, what we
have become. Unless we meet that crisis, that challenge, we are
going to perpetuate wars, destruction, and there will be outward
chaos.
I wonder if we realize when there is great disturbance
outwardly, uncertainty, insecurity, we turn to tradition, turn back to
tradition, like the Muslim world is doing. They go back to the
Koran, and in the Christian world they go back to the bible.
Fortunately in the Hindu world there are so many books they can’t
go back to the books, but they go back to tradition, to tribalism.
They have now got tribal gods at every corner because the world
has become uncertain, dangerous. And we are all doing the same.
We want to belong to some group, some sect, some local god. The
other day we were told by a friend who has investigated into the gods of India. He told us there are 330,000 gods in this country – I
suppose it’s better than having one. Then you can have fun with
them all. Now how does one enquire into the psychological world?
That is, into the world of consciousness, the content of that
consciousness is what you are. That is not a dogmatic statement.
That is not a conclusion, that is a fact. What you are is the content
of your consciousness: your beliefs, your opinions, your
experiences, your illusions, superstitions, your gods, your fear,
your pleasure and the loneliness, the sorrow, and the great grief
and the fear of death. That is what you are. That is, the content of
your consciousness is what you are. You can divide that
consciousness into various parts, invent a super consciousness,
super-super-super, but it is still the content of your consciousness.
You can meditate, sit cross-legged, do all those things, but it is part
of your consciousness. And the content of your consciousness is
put together by thought. Please examine this. The speaker asks
most respectfully, don’t throw it out and say I agree or I don’t
agree. Just examine it, find out. Please do not stick to your old
opinions, conclusions or what the books have said.
We are saying the content of your consciousness is put together
by thought, by thinking, thinking that you are a Hindu or a
Christian, Marxist, Maoist or whatever you want to think. Thought
which is limited has brought about limitations in consciousness. It
can expand consciousness by thinking that it can expand and
experiment in expansion. But it is still the activity of thought.
Right, sirs? Are we together in this? We are not saying
dogmatically. We are saying please examine it, don’t agree, but
question whether your consciousness which is the activity of the brain, brain with all its sensory responses, brain which is the centre
of thought, whether that thought has not brought about fear,
whether that thought which is also movement in time, whether that
thought is not responsible for the whole content of our
consciousness.
And we are also saying, thought is limited because it is the
outcome of knowledge. It is the result, the end product of
experience, knowledge stored in the brain as memory and the
response of any challenge is thinking. And knowledge is always
limited. There is no complete knowledge about anything. Right?
The scientific knowledge is limited. Every kind of knowledge in
any field, biological, sociological, technological and the world of
religion with all their gods, and all gods in the world are invented
by thought. Examine it please. Don’t reject it. Don’t say he is
preaching whatever he is preaching. He is not. Examine it. All the
gods on earth man has invented, thought has invented, and then
thought worships that which it has invented and this you call
religion. That word religion, when we talk about it, the root
meaning of that word is quite difficult and it has not been
established what the root is of that word. So, thought is limited and
whatever its activity is always limited, and being limited, it must
inevitably create problems, not only problems in the technological
world but also the problems in human relationship, which is far
more important to understand than the technological world because
we human beings are perpetually in conflict with each other,
agreeing, disagreeing, believing and not believing, one dogmatic
opinion against another opinion, one idea, one ideal against another
ideal. It is perpetual war between human beings. It is created by thought. And having created the problems then thought tries to
solve them and so increases the problems, which is what is actually
happening.
If one sees that, not intellectually, not as an idea or a conclusion
but as an actuality, as a fact, then one can ask a totally different
question, which is, the only instrument that we have, which is
thought – please understand the nature and the content of thought,
thought is all sensory responses, all the imagination, all the sexual
symbols, the sexual pictures, and so on, the feeling of depression,
elation, anxiety, all this is the result of limited thought, because
thought is the outcome of limited knowledge. There is no complete
knowledge about anything. Then, if thought is not the instrument to
solve human problems, then what is the instrument? You
understand my question? Are we together understanding this, or
am I just talking to myself, or are you listening to what is being
said? It is up to you. Take it or leave it. This is really a very
important question to ask, because thought is a worn out
instrument, a blunt instrument. It may be clever, it may solve
certain problems, but the problems it has created in human beings
and between human beings, the instrument that we have used to
solve our problems in our daily life in relationship, that instrument
is blunt, limited, worn out. Unless we find a new instrument, there
can be no fundamental, radical change of the human psyche. So,
we are going together to enquire into the nature of that instrument,
the quality of it, the structure of it, the beauty of it. But before we
can enquire, one must be absolutely clear that the instrument which
we have now as thought, has reached its tether. It cannot possibly
solve our human relationship. And in that human relationship there is conflict and out of that conflict we have created this society
through our greed, through our brutality, through our violence.
Unless one is absolutely, irrevocably clear that thought is not
the instrument to solve our human problems – we have tried every
method of solving our human problems: surrendering ourselves to
some ideals, to some guru, to some concept, to some conclusion –
we have done all these things, we have followed all kinds of
leaders: political, religious, various quacks who are gurus. We have
done everything, and we are still what we are, slightly modified, a
little more observant, a little more kindly, but basically, millennia
after millennia, we are what we have been from the beginning of
time. And the instrument that we have had, which is thought, that
instrument can no longer solve our problems. If this is very clear,
and that requires great observation, questioning, doubting, asking,
never accepting authority: the authority of the books, the
hierarchical structure of our society, the authority of institutions,
the authority of those who say, I know, you don’t know, I will tell
you. A mind which is enquiring into the nature of a new quality
and structure of a new instrument must be entirely free from
authority; not the authority of the policeman, not the authority of
the governments, however rotten they are, however corrupt,
thoughtless. So, a mind that is enquiring into something that
requires great sensitivity, freedom, that demands a brain that is
stable, not wobbly, sloppy.
I don’t know if you have noticed how are our minds are sloppy.
We go from one guru to another, especially in this country. We
tolerate anything: the dirt, the squalor, the filth, the corruption, the
tradition that is dead, and all the temple buildings which are absolutely meaningless, spreading all over the world. I believe they
are building temples in America. What a lovely idea. And Europe.
One nonsense going to the other kind of nonsense. You watch all
this and you observe all this, and a mind, a brain that enquires must
be extraordinarily free, and have great sensitivity. I don’t know if
you have noticed how limited our senses are – senses – which is, the
observing optically, visually, hearing, to hear another so
completely that you understand immediately what is being said, to
have sympathy, empathy, the feeling of cooperation, feeling of
affection, feeling of love. We have not got it here. But you love
god. You love going to a temple, putting on ashes, belonging to
some tribal god, because you are frightened, and where there is
fear there is no freedom of enquiry.
So, please we are going into this very, very seriously if you will.
This is not an entertainment, this is not something you come for
one day and forget the rest of the year. We are concerned, We are
talking about our daily life, our conflicts, our loneliness, our
despair, and none of those can be solved by thought. Then what is
the instrument that will solve our problems? Don’t wait for the
speaker to tell you. Then the speaker becomes your guru, your
leader, and the speaker does not want to be your guru, your
authority. But together, as two human beings, concerned, caring,
concerned with humanity, because after all you are the rest of
humanity, because your consciousness with its content is the rest of
humanity. The rest of humanity has also the same consciousness as
yours. They suffer. Every human being in the world suffers, is
anxious, uncertain, confused, in tears, lonely like you. Your
consciousness is not yours, it is the rest of mankind. So you are mankind. It is not a mere intellectual, logical, analytical
conclusion. It is a fact to be felt, realized, lived, that you are not a
separate human being, that you are not an individual. That is a hard
pill to swallow because we all think we are separate individuals
with our own little brains. That is our conditioning to think that
each one of us is separate, but we are not. We are the result of
thousands of years of humanity – their suffering, their loneliness,
their despair, their excitement, their joy, their sex. What you think,
others think. The great scientist thinks, so does the uneducated
villager, poor, hungry, labouring from morning till night, he also
thinks. So thinking is not your individual thinking. It is only
thinking. You may think in one way, another may think another
way. It is still thinking.
So the thinking consciousness is shared by all human beings.
And when one really realizes that, the fundamental truth of it, then
our whole activity changes. Then you are concerned with the
whole of humanity, which means your son, your neighbour, your
wife, your husband, your man who is miles away.
So sirs, let us stop this evening and continue tomorrow evening
in our enquiry, and ask whether there is a different kind of
instrument, a different kind of activity which is not the activity of
thought. Don’t invent. Let us find out. Don’t come to any
conclusion but enquire, question, doubt. To have a subtle mind,
quick mind, a brain that is active, not bogged down by tradition, by
conclusions, by ideals, so that you and the speaker can talk about
it, enquire into it very, very deeply.
MADRAS 2ND PUBLIC TALK 26TH DECEMBER
1982

May we continue with what we were talking about yesterday
evening. We were saying that this is not a lecture, with a view to
conveying information. We are together having a conversation, you
as a separate human being, if you are separate at all, with the
speaker. We are walking down a lane, wooded, plenty of shadows
and birds singing and we sit down together and talk about the
whole problem of existence, which is very complex. And as we
have been friends for a long time, we have many days to talk over
these things. And we are neither convincing each other about any
subject. We are not trying to persuade each other, we are not trying
to overcome the other through arguments or sticking dogmatically
to one’s own opinion, prejudices but rather together, and I hope you
are doing the same with me, together we are going to look at the
world as it is and the world that is within us.
Many volumes have been written about the world outside of us:
the environment, the society, politics, economics, and so on but
very few – as far as I know, but one may be mistaken – but very
few have gone to the very length of discovering what we actually
are. Why human beings are behaving as they are doing – killing
each other, constantly in trouble with each other, following some
authority or another – some book, some person, some ideal, and
having no right relationship with their friends, with their wives,
with their husbands and with their children. Why human beings
have become after so many millennia, so vulgar, so brutal, utterly
lacking care, consideration, attention to others, and denying the whole process of what is considered love, if we at all have that
quality.
And outwardly there are wars – man has lived with wars for
thousands and thousands of years. We are trying to stop nuclear
war but we will never stop wars. There has been no demonstration
in the world to stop wars, but they demonstrate against a particular
war. And these wars have been going on – people being exploited,
oppressed and the oppressor becoming the oppressed. This is the
cycle of human existence with sorrow, loneliness, a great sense of
depression, the mounting anxiety, the utter lack of security, and
there is no relationship with society or with one’s own intimate
persons – a relationship in which there is no row, conflict, quarrels,
oppression and so on. This is the world in which we live – which I
am sure you all know; or we are unaware of it, or we don’t want to
know. Most of us are unaware of what is actually happening. And
the scientists, the biologists, the philosophers have their own
separate existence apart from the rest of us.
And throughout these millennia our brains are conditioned;
conditioned by knowledge. Please as we said yesterday, please
don’t reject or accept anything that the speaker says. Question it,
doubt it, be sceptical and above all don’t be influenced by the
speaker because we are so easily influenced, we are so gullible.
And if we are to have a conversation together and to talk seriously
about these matters, one must have a mind and a brain that is free
to examine, free from bias, from any conclusion, from any opinion
or obstinate, from any conclusion that is definite. One must have a
brain that is constantly enquiring, questioning, doubting. It is only
then perhaps that we can have a relationship with each other and so communicate with each other easily. Words are meant to
communicate. You may translate the meaning of the words
differently but if you are speaking as we are in English, words have
a definite meaning.
And together as we said yesterday, look at the activities of
thought because we live by thought: all our actions are based on
thought, all our contemplated efforts are based on thought – our
meditations, our worships our prayer. And thought has brought
about the division of nationalities which breed wars, the division in
religions as the Jew, the Arab, the Muslim, the Christian, the Hindu
and the Buddhist and so on. Thought has divided the world not
only geographically but also psychologically inwardly. Man is
fragmented. Man is fragmented – when I use ‘man’, please ladies I
mean you too – man is fragmented, broken up not only at the
psychological, mechanical level of his existence but also in his
occupation. If you are a professor, you have your own small circle
and live in that. If you are a businessman, if you have multi-
national business, you may travel but you are still in business,
money making, or if you are a politician, you live within that area.
And if you are a religious person, in the accepted sense of the word
– doing various forms of puja, rituals, meditations, worshipping
some idol and so on. We all live a fragmented life. Each fragment
has its own energy, has its own capacity, has its own discipline,
and each part plays an extraordinary role in contradicting the other
part. You must know all this. And this division, both outwardly,
geographically, religiously, nationally, and the division that is
between oneself and another, is such a waste of energy and
conflict: wasting our energy, quarrelling, dividing, each one pursuing his own thing, each one aspiring, demanding his own
personal security and so on. This extraordinary energy for all
action takes energy, all thinking takes energy.
This energy which is constantly being broken up is a waste of
energy. When one energy contradicts another, one action
contradicts another action – saying one thing and doing another,
which is obviously a hypocritical acceptance of life. All such
activities must invariably condition the mind, the brain. We are
conditioned as a Hindu, with all the superstitions, beliefs – you
know all this – what a Hindu is, what a Roman Catholic is, what a
Protestant is, what a Christian is, what a Buddhist is and so also the
Islamic world. We are conditioned and there is no question about
it, there is no argument that we are not conditioned. We are, both
religiously, politically, geographically. And as we were talking
about yesterday, until there is freedom from conditioning, the
activities of thought which are creating great problems and those
problems thought cannot possibly solve, as we pointed out
yesterday. And a new instrument is necessary to solve our human
problems and we are going to talk about it as we go along. But as
we said, it is not for the speaker to tell you what the new quality of
that instrument is; why each one has to find for himself. That is
why both of us must think together, if we can. That demands, that
both of us feel, enquire, search out, question, doubt all the things
that man has put together, all the things that we have created, the
barriers between each other. So we, as human beings, living on this
beautiful earth which is slowly being destroyed, living on this earth
which is our earth, not the Indian earth or the British earth or the
American earth, it is our earth, to live intelligently, happily. But apparently that is not possible because we are conditioned. This
conditioning is like a computer. We are programmed. We are
programmed to be Hindus, to be Muslims, to be Christians,
Catholics, Protestants.
For 2000 years the Christian world has been programmed and
the brain has been conditioned through that programme, like the
computer. So our brains are deeply conditioned and we are asking
if it is at all possible to be free of that conditioning. Unless we are
totally, completely, free from that limitation, mere enquiry or
asking what is the new instrument which is not thought, has no
meaning. First one must begin very near to go very far. But most of
us don’t want to begin very near because we are all idealistic. We
want to go so far without taking the first step, and perhaps the first
step may be the last step. Are we understanding each other, are we
communicating with each other or am I talking to myself? If I am
talking to myself, I can do that in my own room. But if we are
talking, having a conversation together, that conversation has
significance when both of us meet at the same level, with the same
intensity at the same time. That is love, that is real deep friendship.
So please, this is not a lecture in the ordinary sense of the word.
We are together trying to enquire and resolve our human problems.
That requires a great deal of enquiry because human problems are
very, very complex. One must have the quality of patience which is
not of time. We are all impatient to get on: tell me quickly
something or other. But if you have patience, that is, not trying to
achieve something, not to arrive at some end, some goal but step
by step enquire into it. As we said, we are programmed. Our
human brain is a mechanical process. Our thought is a materialistic process, and that thought has been conditioned to think as a
Buddhist, as a Hindu, as a Christian and so on. And so our brain is
conditioned. And whether it is possible to be free from that
conditioning? Do you understand? There are those who say it is not
possible; and they are not stupid people but very intelligent people.
They say it is not possible because how can a brain which has been
conditioned for so many centuries upon centuries, how can that
conditioning be wiped away completely so that the human brain is
extraordinarily pristine, original, capable of infinite capacity. Many
people assert this, and are merely satisfied in modifying it,
modifying the conditioning.
But we are saying that this conditioning can be examined, can
be observed and there can be total freedom from that conditioning.
And to discover for ourselves whether it is possible or not, we have
to enquire into our relationship. Relationship is the mirror in which
we see ourselves as we are. All life is a movement in relationship.
There is no living thing on earth that is not related to something or
other. Even the hermit that abandons the world and goes off to a
lonely spot, is related to the past, is related to those who are around
him. There is no escape from relationship. And in that relationship,
which is the mirror in which we can see ourselves, in that
relationship we can discover what we are: our reactions, our
prejudices, our fears, depressions, anxieties, loneliness, sorrow,
pain, grief. And we can also discover whether we love or if there is
no such thing as love. So we are together, if you will, if you are
serious enough to examine this question of relationship, because
that is the basis of life. That is the only thing we have with each
other. And if we cannot find the right relationship, if we live our own particular narrow life apart from wife, husband and so on, that
isolated existence brings about its own destruction.
So relationship is the most extraordinarily important thing in
life. If we don’t understand that relationship, we cannot possibly
create a new society. You may have physical revolutions,
communists, Mao, or other forms of physical revolution, as it has
been observed in Russia, where there has been great revolution –
the same old cycle is being repeated with always the elite on top.
You know the whole business. So relationship is important. So we
are going to enquire very closely into what is relationship? Why
human beings throughout the long existence of their lives have
never had a relationship in which there is neither oppression,
possessiveness, attachment, contradiction and so on. Why there is
always this division – man, woman, we and they. We are going to
examine it together. This examination can be intellectual or merely
verbal which is an intellectual concept of what relationship is,
trying to understand intellectually what that relationship is, but
such intellectual comprehension has no value at all. It is just an
idea, it is just a concept, but if you can look at our relationship as a
whole, then perhaps we can see the depth and the beauty and the
quality of relationship. Right sir? Can we go on?
So we are asking what actually is the present relationship with
each other, not theoretical, not romantic, not idealistic which are all
unreal, but the actual, daily relationship of man, woman with each
other? Are we related at all? There is the biological sex – may I use
that word without all of you getting excited about it, especially in
this country that word is rather doubtful, we never talk about it. It
is hidden, but we are going to talk about it. So please forgive me if I do. Our relationship is sexual, pleasurable. Our relationship is
either possessiveness, attachment, various forms of intrusions upon
each other. And if we examine one quality in that relationship,
which is attachment, what is attachment? Why do we have such
tremendous need for attachment? We are either attached to a
person, to a belief, to some form of conclusion. What are the
implications of attachment? If one is attached to a person, to one’s
wife, to one’s family, what are they? The complication, the
extraordinary nature of attachment. Why is one attached? When
you are attached to anything, there is always fear of losing it. There
is always a sense of uncertainty. Please observe it for yourself.
There is always a sense of separation: I am attached to my wife. I
am not married, but suppose I am. I am married, I am attached to
her because she gives me pleasure, sexually, gives me pleasure as a
companion, she gives me pleasure as a cook, you know all the rest
of it without my telling you. So I am attached to her, which means
I am jealous, frightened and the consequence of attachment is a
continuation of fear, of losing, jealousy, anxiety. Where there is
jealousy there is hatred. And is attachment love? That is one point,
in our relationship.
In our relationship each one has, through the years, put together
an image about each other. Those images, she and he have created
about each other is the actual relationship. Right? They may sleep
together, but the fact is that you and she have an image about each
other, and in that relationship of images, how can there be any
actual, factual relationship with another? We have, all of us from
childhood, built images about ourselves and about others. And we
are asking a very, very serious question: in our relationship can one live without a single image? Surely you all have an image about
the speaker, haven’t you? Obviously you have. Why?
You don’t know the speaker; actually you don’t know him. He
sits on a platform, talks – but you have no relationship with him
because you have an image about him. You have created an image
about him, and you have your own personal images about yourself.
You have got so many images; about politicians, about business
men, about the guru, about this and that. You understand my
question? Can one live profoundly without a single image? An
image may be conclusion about one’s wife, an image may be a
picture, a sexual picture, an image may be some form of better
relationship and so on. Why do human beings have images at all?
Please, sir, ask this question of yourself: why do you have an
image about the speaker? If you can answer that very honestly, go
into it, perhaps you may solve the image you have built about your
wife, or your husband, or your children. When you have an image
about another, that image gives you a sense of security. Right sir?
Please examine what the speaker is saying, because this is very
important. Love is not thought. Love is not desire, love is not
pleasure, love is not the movement of images, and as long as you
have an image about another, there is no love. And one asks, is it
possible to live a life without a single image? Then you have a
relationship with each other. As it is now, it is like two parallel
lines, our relationship, two parallel lines never meeting, except
sexually. A man who goes off to the office and the modern lady
also goes off to the office. The man is ambitious, greedy, envious,
trying to achieve a position in the business world, in the religious
world, the professor, and the woman goes off too to earn a livelihood. And they meet in their house to breed children. And
then comes the whole problem of responsibility, problem of
education, of total indifference. It does not matter what your
children are, what happens to them. You want them to be like you
safely married, a house, a job. Right?
And the education conditions the poor student, the poor child,
as you the parents are conditioned and this process has been going
on for millennia upon millennia. This is our life, our daily life and
it is really a sorrowful life. So one asks why human beings live by
images – all your gods are images: the Christian god, the Muslim
god and your god, they are created by thought because thought is
uncertain, fearful. There is no security in the things that thought
has put together, and the thing it has created as an image, that you
worship. Such an illusory trick thought plays upon each other.
So is it possible to be free from our conditioning in our
relationship? That is, to observe in the mirror of relationship
attentively, closely, persistently, what our reactions are; whether
they are mechanical, habitual, traditional. And in that mirror you
discover actually what you are. So relationship is extraordinarily
important.
How do you observe what you are in the mirror of relationship?
So we have to enquire into what it is to observe? Suppose you are
married and you have a wife, and in that relationship that
relationship is the mirror in which you see what you are; actually
what you are, not theoretically, that you have some special
consciousness, that there is something in you which is divine and
all that kind of nonsense, actually what you are, then how do you
observe? Do you understand? How do you observe yourself, what you are, in the mirror of relationship?
What does it mean to observe? This is really another important
thing one has to find out. What does it mean to look? When you
look at a tree, which is the most beautiful thing on earth, one of the
most lovely things on earth, when you look at a tree, how do you
look at it? Do you ever look at it? Do you ever look at the new
moon, the slip of the new moon, so delicate, so fresh, so young.
Have you ever looked at it? Can you look at it without using the
word ‘moon’? Are you following all this? Are you interested in all
this? Would you kindly tell me, are you really interested in all this?
I will go on like a river that goes on. You are sitting on the bank of
the river looking at the river, but you don’t become the river ever,
because you never take part of the river, you never join the beauty
of a movement that has no beginning and no end.
So please consider what it is to observe. When you observe a
tree, or a moon, something outside of you, you always use the
word ‘tree’, the ‘moon’, and can you look at that moon, the tree the
flower with all its colour, and can you look at it without naming it,
without using the word to identify? Can you look without the word,
without the content of that word, without identifying the word with
the tree or the thing? Now can you look at your wife, at your
husband, at your children without the word my wife, without an
image? Have you ever tried it? No. When you observe without a
word, without a name, without the form you have created about her
or him, in that observation, there is no centre from which you
observe. Are you following all this? I don’t think you are. That
does not matter. You have not even tried to look at your pet
politician without the word, without the form, without all the associations you have got.
Can you look at the speaker, observe without your image,
without the name? Then find out what happens? The word is
thought. Thought is born out of memory. So you have the memory,
the word, the thought, the image interfering between you and the
other. Right? So there is no thought, thought in the sense of the
word, the content of the word, the significance of the word to look,
to observe. Then in that observation, there is no centre as ‘me’
looking at ‘you’. Right? Then only is there a right relationship with
another. In that, there is a quality of love, a quality of a certain
beauty, a certain sensitivity, but if you constantly have an image
about another there is no communication, there is no love, there is
no depth of that word. So to look at another without the image, and
the image is our conditioning. That is, we are conditioned, we are
programmed. The Christian world has been programmed for 2000
years, the Muslim world for 1400 years and perhaps the Hindu
world five to three thousand years. And during those periods of
time, which is called evolution, our brains have been conditioned
by immense knowledge, great experience. Time and space has
brought about the extraordinary quality of the brain. The speaker is
not a brain specialist. The speaker does not want to be a specialist
of any kind, even a religious specialist. But if you can observe your
own activity of thought, that is, thought to observe itself, not you
observe thought. You see the difference. Because you are put
together by thought: your form, your name, your qualities, your
fears, your anxieties, your nationality, your peculiar tendencies and
so on and so on, are put together by thought. That is your
consciousness, as we were saying yesterday. Psychologists, we were told this afternoon, they don’t believe in consciousness. They
only see matter and the reaction to matter, sensation and
adjustment; adjustment to the present existence, whether slightly
neurotic, that is the result of various causes, remove those causes
and you adjust yourself to the present society, to the present
misery. And we are saying our conditioning is so deep, and to
understand it one must understand the nature of effort.
May we go on. You are not tired? Are you sure, you are not
tired? You should be, because if you are actively co-operating in
this, your brain must be active, questioning, asking, looking,
experimenting as you are going on, now, not tomorrow. But all that
needs attention, care, watching, and so you must be tired. But I will
go on.
Why do human beings throughout the world live in perpetual
conflict? Please ask that question of yourself. You are in conflict.
Your meditation is conflict, your worship is conflict. You have got
various gods who are in conflict with each other and with you.
Why human beings throughout the world live in constant struggle,
pain, conflict. What is conflict? What is the cause of conflict?
Where there is a cause, that cause has an end. You understand this?
If I have a cause of pain, the doctor examines me and if I have
cancer he examines the cause and the symptom which is the pain –
then that cause may be removed or it may be terminated. So where
there is a cause or a causation, there must be an ending of that
causation. So if you can find out, not be instructed – the speaker is
not instructing – but if you can find out for yourself what is the
cause of conflict by which man has lived from time immemorial.
What is the cause of it? Don’t wait for the speaker to tell you. Go into yourself as we are doing now, find out what is the cause of this
conflict outside and inside. Is there one cause or many causes?
If there are many causes, we can examine the many and slowly
resolve each cause; or there may be only one cause. You
understand my question? So are there many causes for conflict? Or
is there only one cause? One of the causes may be the constant
attempt to become something – the becoming. Please, this is very
important to understand. The becoming – I am this, I must be that; I
am greedy, and I hope I will not be greedy. That is, to become
something different from what I am. I am not beautiful, but I will
become beautiful; I am violent but I will become non-violent. So
the becoming is a process of evolution. You understand all this?
Don’t look so vague sir. All becoming – whether the clerk
becoming the manager, or the manager becoming the chairman is a
process of time which is evolution, from the low to the high. You
plant a sapling which becomes a great tree, which is the evolution
of that plant, of that tree. And, please listen if you are interested, is
evolution one of the causes of conflict? You understand my
question? That is, I am violent – all human beings apparently, most
unfortunately are violent – and I am violent and I will become non-
violent. The becoming from ‘what is’ is a process of evolution
which requires time, space. Right? You are following all this? And
we are asking, is evolution, this movement from ‘what is’ to what
‘should be’, which is the movement of evolution, is that one of the
causes of conflict? Right? Is time one of the factors of conflict? Is
duality one of the causes of conflict? That is, there is duality – light
and dark, man, woman, you know duality, the physical world, in
that physical world there is duality between good cloth and bad cloth, between a nice dress, which is tasteful, good material and
bad material, between a good car and a bad car. Obviously,
physically, there is a difference. There is duality.
And we are asking, inwardly, psychologically, is there a duality
at all? I am violent. When I try to become non-violent there is
duality. And we are asking does conflict exist as long as duality?
And why have we psychologically, inwardly duality? I am violent
and I have thought I must not be violent, and so I invent an idea
called non-violence, which in this country is fashionable. And this
fashion of non-violence is spreading all over the world, which has
no meaning of course. Because violence is the fact, is real. Non-
violence is fiction. Right? So there is only ‘what is’, not ‘what
should be’, so that if one realizes that ‘what is’ is reality and not
‘what should be’, then you can dispense with ‘what should be’. Then
there is no duality. You understand this? The moment there is the
idea ‘I must not’ or ‘I should’, or ‘I will’, away from ‘what is’, then
there must be conflict. Does one perceive this intellectually or
actually that there is no psychologically, inwardly, the opposite,
only ‘what is’? When there is only ‘what is’ you deal with ‘what is’,
not with ‘what should be’. Right?
I am violent and this idea of non-violence is fictitious, is
hypocritical. It has no value because in becoming non-violent I am
sowing the seeds of violence all the time. So there is only violence,
not, what is violence. What is the nature and the structure of
violence, not only to get angry, to hit somebody, to kill somebody,
not only the killing of human beings but killing animals, killing
nature. Fifteen million whales have been killed by man. Do you
understand all this? Violence is also imitation, conformity, trying to be something which you are not. So can one look at that
violence with all the content of that word, not just physical anger
or physical expression of that anger but to look at the whole
content of that word and hold it, not move away from it, just hold
that feeling, look at it, and not move away from it, neither suppress
it, nor escape from it, nor transcend it but just look at it as you
would look at a precious jewel.
And when you look at it, are you looking at it as something
separate from you or, what you observe is what you are? You
understand my question? Please, this is important to understand. If
some of you are tired don’t listen, just go to sleep. This is important
to understand. We are violent. That violence we have said is
different from ‘me’. Therefore I try to change it to become
something else. That violence is ‘me’. I am not different from
violence, greed is part of me, I am not different from violence,
greed, or envy, hate or jealousy. Suffering is me but we have
separated anger, jealousy, loneliness, sorrow as something separate
from me. So I can control it, shape it, run away from it, but if that
is ‘me’, I can do nothing about it but just observe it. I wonder if you
understand it?
So the observer is the observed; the thinker is the thought, the
experiencer is the experienced. The two are not separate. So where
there is division there must be conflict. If I am separate from my
wife, of course physically I am separate, but if I am separate
psychologically from my wife there is bound to be conflict. So
time, evolution, the sense of the opposite are the factors of
violence. These are the many and other factors, all these factors are
‘me’. So ‘me’ in essence is the cause of conflict. I wonder if you understand this? If one asks, how am I to be free of ‘me’, which is a
wrong question, but to observe the whole movement of conflict,
not translate it, not try to understand, just to observe, like you
observe the marvellous movement of the skies, the ocean. Then it
tells you all its content without your analysing.
So a brain that is in conflict mechanically, psychologically,
must inevitably bring about disorder in itself and so outwardly.
Conditioning, which we will go into again next week end, whether
it is possible for human beings to be totally, completely free of it?
When there is that freedom, there is order, there is love,
compassion and that compassion is intelligence.
MADRAS 3RD PUBLIC TALK 1ST JANUARY
1983

May I wish you all a happy New Year. I hope you will have a
happy New Year.
We have been talking over together our daily problems, not
theories, not speculative philosophy or some romantic, imaginative
life. We have been talking over together as a conversation between
two people, the very complex process of our living from the time
we are born till we die. We went into several things in the last two
talks, two conversations, and perhaps, it will be right to remind you
if I may, that this is not a lecture as it is commonly understood, to
inform and to instruct on a particular subject, but this is a
conversation between two people, between you and the speaker,
about the life they live, their pleasures, their fears, their sorrows,
and the perpetual conflict between human beings. We talked about
whether it is possible at all to live a life without a single conflict –
conflict in our relationship with each other, however intimate or far
away. We went into that question very carefully, whether it is
possible in the modern world with all the terrible things that are
happening, whether human beings in their relationship with
another, to live a life without a single shadow of conflict. Conflict,
we have said, brings about disorder and as long as we live each one
of us in disorder, we cannot possibly bring about a radical
psychological revolution in the structure of society. We went into
that too.
I think this evening, we ought to talk over together the nature of
time, desire, fear and whether sorrow, which man has lived with, can ever end? So we will talk over together as two friends, not as
the speaker sitting on the platform, that is only for convenience,
two people talking over this very complex problem of time, desire,
fear, pleasure, and whether sorrow, which happens to be the lot of
man throughout the world, whether it has an end to it. So please,
the speaker is not directing you on what to think, or agree with
what he is saying, but we are together going into this problem.
Together, not you listen to the speaker or agree or disagree, but
together you and the speaker investigate the nature of time,
because it is very important to understand the nature of time.
And also we ought to explore desire which is very complex, and
we ought to talk over together too, whether there is an end to
sorrow because where there is sorrow there cannot be love, there
can be no compassion, there can be no intelligence. So it is
important that you and the speaker meet at the same level, at the
same time, with the same intensity, otherwise there will be no
possibility of communication. I hope this is clear. That to
understand another, to understand with your heart, not with one’s
intellect, which is necessary, but to meet another like the speaker
there must be a communication, not merely verbal but a
communication of the mind and the heart, intelligence in the heart.
The word heart is not merely a physical organ but the whole nature
of that word, to have the mind, which is an extraordinary affair, in
the heart. But most of us listen to words, to ideas, agree or
disagree, analyse, speculate and so on, but we never meet at the
same time at the same level, with the same intensity. Then there is
real, deep, profound communication; then words become rather
meaningless, though they have to be used and the words have definite meaning. The construction of a phrase, of a sentence must
be naturally grammatical, but to meet another in communication,
there must be no barrier. That means you or the speaker must have
no prejudice, no bias, not committed to any philosophy to any
conclusion, but meet in freedom. And to meet in freedom requires
a great deal of intelligence, a great deal of enquiry.
One hopes this evening, we will meet on the same level because
the speaker has no authority, he is not telling you what to do, or
what you should do with your life; but when we are together,
discussing, having a dialogue over a problem, that problem is the
concern of both the speaker and you, or you and the speaker. It is
your concern as well as that of the speaker. And to merely meet at
a verbal level, as most of us do, has very little significance,
because we are concerned with a psychological revolution, not
physical revolution, psychological, inward radical, fundamental
change. We have lived for millennia upon millennia – thousands of
years with sorrow, pain, anxiety, loneliness, despair, fear and the
pursuit of wandering desire, and man is always asked if there is a
stop to time? And we are going to talk over together the nature of
time.
What is time? Time fundamentally means division, distribution,
evolution, achievement, moving from here to there – that is, this
constant division as of yesterday, today and tomorrow, sun rising,
sun setting, the full moon of a lovely evening and time, meeting
your friend, time is hope. Time is a very, very complex affair and
that requires a patient… patience is timeless. Do you understand
what we are talking about? It is only impatience that has time. Are
we meeting each other somewhere? So to enquire into the nature of time one must have a great deal of patience; not impatience, not
say, get on with it, I understand what you are talking about, let us
get on. Because we live by time. We have divided our life in a time
movement. Movement is time. To go from here to there requires
time. To learn a language requires time. To accumulate knowledge,
to experience, to have pleasure, looking forward to something as
fear or as pleasure, the memories of yesterday, of a thousand
yesterdays, meeting the present, modified and moving towards the
future. This is all time. Time for a clerk to become the manager, to
acquire any skill – all this requires time. And the desire to
experience something other than the usual experience, the pursuit
of that is also time. And whether there is psychological time at all.
That is, being violent, to become non-violent, that requires time.
The pursuit of an ideal requires time. Time means evolution both
physical as well as one imagines or one has the fallacy that one
will evolve into something totally different from ‘what is’. All this
implies time. Time to realize, to become illumined, which the
speaker is questioning.
So we must together understand, not verbally but the feeling of
time, the sense of time. Time is memory – the past as the observer,
the observer observing what is happening, translating what is
happening to his own condition, to his own experience, and so on.
So we need time, bearing in mind that time essentially means
division. Division implies distribution, and you need time to learn a
skill. The scientist needs a great deal of time to enquire into matter,
into astrophysics. So outwardly to change, we imagine time is
necessary. Eventually man who is divided, who has divided
himself into nationalities, will eventually become international and gradually drop all nationalities and have a global relationship. We
think all that requires time. We must evolve towards that. I hope
this is being made clear. So time which is fundamentally a process
of division, outwardly, physically is necessary – like the seed
growing into a great tree that requires time, years. There is a tree in
California which is over 5,000 thousand years old. To come to that
age, many, many rains and storms and fires and lightening, which
is all the growth in time.
Are we together in all this? Are we following each other,
sharing with each other? If we are, we see that outwardly,
physically, we need time. Time to acquire knowledge, the
accumulating process of learning, mathematics, physics or how to
fly one of these jets. All that requires time. One cannot possibly
escape from that time or try to find a stop to that kind of time. That
would be utterly meaningless and foolish. But if you could enquire
into the nature of time to become something inwardly. You can
become through diligent work, a clerk or a worker becoming a
foreman or a manager. There all that is time. To go from here to
there, for a plant to grow into a great magnificent tree, the seasons
of winter, spring, summer, autumn is the division of time. Now we
are together going to enquire if there is psychological time at all?
Do you understand my question? The time that we think is
necessary to change from one psychological or sensory responses,
to another. We think time is necessary to be free of violence, time
is necessary to be free of envy: I am envious but give me time to be
free of that particular pain or pleasure.
So we are questioning whether there is time at all
psychologically? Do you understand my question? Right sirs? Are we meeting each other? Otherwise my talking and your sitting here
has no meaning. So we are not discussing or having a conversation
about the necessity of physical time. To build a house you need
time. To be educated, if you must be educated, needs time. But we
are enquiring into something much more important, much more
essential because we are conditioned to the idea or to the concept
or to the illusion that time is necessary, from ‘what is’, to ‘what
should be’. We, the speaker and you, are questioning that, whether
time is at all necessary for a radical change? Do you understand?
Have I stated the question clearly so that we all meet it? We said
time is division, time is distribution, division as ‘I am’, ‘I should be’.
That is a division and ‘I should be’ requires time. Right? We are
questioning that. We said is there such a thing as becoming
something or experiencing something? Enlightenment, of which
many people talk, does that demand time? We are questioning a
most fundamental thing. You understand sirs, because all our
philosophy, our life, all the books that you read – the so-called
sacred books are no more sacred than any other book – they have
all said that time is necessary. You must go through various
disciplines, various practices in order to come near whatever you
like to call it – god, an experience which is beyond all measure, a
state of mind that has not been touched by time.
So we must go into this question very closely whether there is
psychological time at all. The moment you admit that there is
psychological time, time being division, there must be conflict.
Right? I have divided violence, which I am, which all human
beings apparently are, and to achieve non-violence there is a
division immediately taking place. You understand sirs? We are violent and we must be the opposite. Where there is the opposite,
there must be division and therefore there must be conflict. And
time is the enemy, is the cause of conflict. I wonder if you
understand all this. Don’t look so vague please. Don’t be so
puzzled. Look at it very simply. I am greedy, which perhaps you
are not, I am greedy and to be non-greedy takes time. We said time
is division. You understand that? So where time comes into being,
there must be conflict, and the becoming something is endless. Do
you understand that? Now we are asking, is there an end to
violence in which there is no time at all. You understand my
question? Come on, somebody say, yes. Don’t say, yes, for the fun
of it. It is a very, very serious problem. We have accepted time,
division, as a means of ending conflict. We are saying quite the
contrary. Where there is division as ‘me’ becoming something, the
becoming something is noble or whatever it is, that very division is
the process of time, and that division, does it exist at all? That is, I
am greedy, that is the only fact I have. The other, non-greed, non-
violence has no reality. It is just a concept, a structure of thought
which cannot understand or end violence. It is an escaping process
– the ideal. All right?
Are we together in this? I am afraid we are not. You are full of
ideals, a bag full of them, and you will never under any
circumstances achieve the ideals because they are still the
invention of thought. As we went into the nature of thought which
is limited because all knowledge is limited. We talked about it
considerably. One doesn’t want to make it too complex. Greed,
measurement, comparison – ‘I am this’, ‘I will be that’, which is
measurement, all that implies psychological time. That is the illusion in which we live. We are questioning the reality of that.
There is only ‘what is: there is only greed, there is only violence,
there is only war. And can war end, killing each other in the name
of god, in the name of ideals, in the name of countries, god and all
the rest of it? Now we will go into it very carefully. I am violent.
When I say ‘I’, I mean all humanity. You are violent. Human beings
are violent. Is it not important to find out whether it can end
immediately? Isn’t it important? Not to say, I must become non-
violent. When you become non-violent that means a period of time.
During that period you are sowing the seeds of violence, which is
so obvious. Like man saying I am trying to be non-violent. Do you
understand all this? I will go on.
So is it possible to end violence or greed, whatever you will,
anger immediately – the whole entirety of violence? So what is
violence? Not merely anger, to injure another, to hate, to criticize,
to wound another both physically and psychologically, to imitate,
to conform, not merely physical aggression but the whole
movement of violence, can that movement totally end? And to find
that out one must understand time as division. I have divided,
thought has divided ‘what is’ into ‘what should be’. I am ignorant,
not in the scholastic sense, I am ignorant but I will be enlightened
some day. So we are now asking whether it is possible to end
violence, greed, what you will, immediately, so that it never comes
up again. Aren’t you interested in that to find out? Are you really?
If you are interested what do you give? If you buy something, you
must give something. Right? You must give money, you must
make a gesture, you must do something – not say, yes, I want to
end it, which means, to end it you have to think, you have to work, you have to be passionate about it, not just casually saying, yes.
That is why I said in the beginning, we must meet at the same
level, at the same time, with the same intensity. Then we can
communicate profoundly, not verbally, but with a mind in the
heart, which means intelligence operating with love. How do you
observe violence? Violence is a sensory response. You have hurt
me, I am wounded. My image about myself has been hurt. You
might not physically hurt me but you have wounded me inwardly
because I have an image about myself as a great man or some
professor or some idiotic person. And that image has been hurt.
And to get over that hurt, give me time. I work not to be hurt, I will
be aware, I will be careful, listen carefully and so on.
You see all that is effort, which is brought about by the division
of time. Clear? So is it possible to end violence so completely it
never comes back? That is why you are asking, how do you look,
how do you perceive violence? How do you look at a tree, the
moon, the stars, the heavens and the beauty of the night, how do
you look at it? How do you look at your wife or your husband or
your friend? Do you look at your wife, or your husband or the tree
or the moon or the rivers with the memories that you have had,
with the accumulated hurts, accumulated pleasures,
companionship, stored in the brain as memory? Do you look at
your wife, and your husband with those memories? So memory is
time. Right? So where there is time, there must be division. And
hence you have row after row, quarrels and all the rest of it in your
relationship with another.
So it is of the highest importance to find out how to observe.
How to observe a tree, which is one of the most beautiful things on earth, how do you look at it? When you use the word tree or the
species of tree, you are not looking. Right? The word, the
remembrance prevents you from looking. I want to look at my
wife. Probably you have never looked at her. I have looked at her
as my wife, my possession, my pleasure, sexually and otherwise. I
have looked at her with all the memories of the last ten days or ten
years or fifty years. And those memories come between her and
me, and she has also her memories. So it is very important to find
out whether one can look at a wife or a husband or a tree or the
moon or the flowing waters of a great river without the word,
without the name, which is the past. You understand all this?
So can you look at violence or greed or whatever you will
without the word? The moment you use the word ‘violence’, you
have already put it in time. Do you understand this? The moment
you use the word, which we have used a thousand times before, as
violence, that very word is the factor of time. Do you see this? And
therefore you have already brought about a division. Now can you
observe your wife, your friend or the speaker now? Can you
observe him without his reputation, without any image, look at
him, can you? Or the image that you have built about the poor chap
is so strong that you cannot possibly see him as he is, or you see
him impudently, say, ‘Who are you you to tell us?’ So can you look
at your wife, at a tree, at a flower without the movement of
thought? The movement of thought is time. Thought divides as
time divides. When you look, you are looking without the
observer, who is the past, who is the word, who is the memory.
That past divides, the past is time. To look at yourself, as you look
in the mirror to look at yourself, and that mirror, which is physical, the mirror in which you look is the mirror of relationship. There
you can perceive every movement of thought, every movement of
reaction. So the perceiver is the perceived, the analyser is the
analysed. I want to experience something extraordinary. I am bored
with all the experience I have had – sex and pleasure. I want to
experience something ultra, ultra, something beyond all thought,
and the experiencer has projected what he wants to experience and
therefore the experiencer is the experienced.
I wonder if you understand all this? A mind that does not
demand experience is totally different. Therefore we have to learn
how to listen, how to observe, not accumulate how to listen, just
listen, just observe with all the memory. Then you will see that
which you observe, which is violence, there is no division between
the observer and the observed. The observer is the violence. Right?
I wonder if you see that. And when you are so alert, watch,
observe, it is like putting a great light on the thing which you
observe, then it disappears totally, never to return.
Now we ought to talk over what is desire? Because time and
desire and thought are the major factors of fear. Time as tomorrow,
what might happen to me, time as not achieving, not becoming. We
went into that. And we are saying time, desire, thought, are the
major factors of fear. So we ought to talk over together, have a
dialogue between two friends who have known each other for some
time, happily, easily without trying to convince one or the other,
what is desire, the wandering nature of desire, desire which is
never content, the desire that all religions have said, suppress it?
We are going to examine together the nature of that desire. Why
have religious leaders, who are really phony leaders, why have religious leaders all over the world and all the books and all the
rest of it, why have they said we must suppress or desire for god?
That is all right to desire for god, for illumination, that is perfectly
all right; but to desire a woman, desire a house, desire the lovely
things of the earth, the beauty of a painting, the beauty of a statue,
a poem of Keats, there you must not desire. It will lead you astray,
it will lead you to temptation, and we have learnt through the ages
the art of suppressing desire or yielding to desire. So we are
together, if you are not tired, we will go into this question of desire.
What is desire? Not the object it desires or the object creating
the desire. You understand? The object creating the desire or the
desire exists and the object varies. You understand? You must be
clear on this point. Gosh, there is so much to talk about in all this,
aren’t you tired? You see a nice car, a nice shirt, a lovely house, a
beautiful painting. That painting, house, the car, the woman, the
man – does the object create the desire or the desire exists and the
objects don’t matter? If the object creates desire then it is a totally
different investigation. But if desire exists and the wandering
nature of desire from one thing to another. So we have to examine
together what is desire? What is the origin, the beginning of desire,
not how to control desire, not suppress it, transcend and all that
kind of stuff, but the beginning. If one can understand the origin,
the source of desire, then we can deal with it. But if we don’t ask
the origin, the beginning then we are merely trimming the branches
of desire. Is this clear? So together we are going to examine what is
desire?
We live by sensation. Our sensory responses, their reaction is
the activity of sensation. Right? I see you, well dressed, clean, healthy, beautiful or whatever you are. I see it. The seeing is the
beginning of sensory responses. You are following this obviously.
It is not complicated. So the seeing, observing, contact and
sensation, which are the responses of the senses. Right? Is this
clear? Then what happens? You understand? I see a beautiful
house, a lovely chalet in the mountains, beautifully built, strong:
see it, contact, actually touch it and from there sensation. Then
what happens? This is really important to understand. I see you, a
beautiful woman. I am not tempted so don’t bother. I see a beautiful
woman or a beautiful man, if you are a woman. The very seeing of
that beauty – nice, clear, intelligent face, is a sensation, isn’t it?
Then what is the next step that takes place? Think quickly for god’s
sake, move. I’ll show you. You see I have to tell you, which is a
pity. That is why – please – you become second hand human
beings. But if you saw it for yourself you are completely out of that
mediocrity. You see a beautiful something, a statue which has been
created by love and skill and matter. Then as you see it, sensations
arise, you touch it, then what happens? Please listen, find out for
yourself. Please listen, sir. Then thought comes in and says, how
beautiful, I wish I had that statue in my room, I wish I was in that
car, I wish I had that house. Right? At that moment when thought
takes charge of sensation, at that precise moment, desire is born.
Do you understand this, sirs?
We will go into this a little more. Sensation which is normal,
healthy, vital, otherwise you are dead. To suppress sensation means
you are dead and probably that is what happened here in this
country. You read the Gita and the Upanishads and all the sacred
books and you follow guru after guru, discipline your desires, control, suppress, escape and so on. Whereas we are saying
something entirely different, if you can follow this a little bit.
Sensation, then immediate association of thought with the object.
Right? That is, sensation, seeing the car, thought then says, how
nice it would be if I sat in there, it is a beautiful car and has
tremendous power behind it – not the Indian cars – and beautifully
made, then begins desire. Right? You understand this? Now is it
possible for thought not to intervene? You understand my
question? Not immediately thought saying, it will see itself in the
car. Is there a hiatus, an interval between sensation and thought not
immediately taking charge? You understand this? So that there is
an interval, a gap. If there is a gap, what happens? That requires
extraordinary skill and attention. Right sirs? To see where
sensations are important, because if your senses are not alive you
cannot see the beauty of the earth, the movement of the sea. So
sensations, the sensory responses are essential for life, but when
thought controls, shapes, gives identity to sensation, then at that
precise movement desire is born. Can we find out, without control,
without suppression, just to see how thought is acting upon
sensation, just to see it, even verbally, even intellectually, but to go
into it very deeply, to have such alertness, such care, such
attention, such love to see the nature – how desire is born. Then
you have to see what thought is, how thought makes all life a
problem, which we went into the other day.
And also thought is a movement, material movement. Right?
Perhaps you have not enquired or gone into this – not gone into it in
the sense, read about it, by professionals who have written books
about it, but you can watch yourself, which is far more exciting, far more real, then you are dealing with something actual. Thought, as
we said, is limited because all knowledge, all experience is limited,
and thought springs from knowledge, experience, memory,
thought. And this whole process is limited. There is no complete
knowledge about anything, can never be: science, technology is
always adding more and more. So time, desire, thought, are the
factors of fear. I am afraid what might happen to me because I have
had an accident a couple of days ago or a year ago and I am afraid
it might happen again. I am watchful. There is fear. I am afraid of
the dark. I am afraid of the wife, the husband, I am afraid of my
boss. Aren’t you all afraid? Aren’t you? Don’t be ashamed, it is the
common lot of man. You may not want to acknowledge it, you
may not want to face it, but you are frightened and fear does
terrible things to human beings: mentally, psychologically, it
narrows down, it curtails, ii makes human beings so bound to
authority, to some ideas. They have become so dependent, so
attached, so inhuman. So we are not talking about the many
expressions of desire, of fear, but fear itself. Not afraid of your
wife, or husband, afraid of losing a job, afraid of past pains, hoping
that they will never occur again. We are not talking about the
various aspects of fear, but the root of it.
What is the root of fear? Isn’t it time and thought? That is, I am
a clerk, I may never become a manager. I am a disciple, I can never
become the guru, if I want to be. I am ignorant in the deep sense of
the word, not ignorance of the book. Deep ignorance which is not
knowing myself wholly. That is ignorance – a movement, that is
‘me’ that has no beginning, perhaps no end. And to understand that
deep ignorance I not only need time, I imagine I need time and also I need experience, accumulation, reincarnation and all the rest of it.
So there is fear. So we are asking each other what is the root of it
all? Why has man, throughout the ages, past, timeless, beginning,
why has he carried this burden of fear? He hasn’t been able to
resolve it. He may go to all the temples, to all the churches, to all
the gurus, various try various systems of meditation but fear is
always there. You may be blind to it, you may want to evade it but
it is always there, in one form or another. So we are asking what is
the root of it. The root of it is time and thought. Of course. Is that
clear? Must I go into it? I had pain a couple of weeks ago and I fear
it might return again, which is time. Right? You understand, it is
time, isn’t it? It is the remembrance of that pain and it might
happen again. And the fear is hoping it would not happen again.
My wife – I am not married – my wife has hurt me, as I have hurt
her, not physically, inwardly, and I hope she won’t hurt me more
by word or gesture or by a tear. I am afraid she might hurt me, fear.
So fear is time and thought. If one understands the nature of time
and thought and the movement and the wandering of desire –
understand in the sense, see the truth of it instantly, as we went into
time, we went into desire, see the actual truth of it, not the verbal
conclusion of it, the fact of it, the reality of it, the depth of it, the
intensity of it – if you do see it so clearly then you will never ask,
how is fear to end, nor ask, can I control thought, or say, how am I
to stop thought – which are the causes of fear. You will never ask
that question, because you can’t ask a question about what you
actually see, the truth. It is there.
It is there for you to see, not to accept, to argue about, analyse,
discuss, take sides, you can’t. It is like seeing the most beautiful thing on earth, which is there. An excellency, an excellent mind
which is there. A heart that is always aflame, which is there. If you
see it, then fear ends. And where there is the ending of fear, there is
no god. You understand? It is out of our fear, out of our desire, we
invent the gods. When a man in whom there is no fear, completely
no fear, then he is a totally different human being and he needs no
god. Sirs and ladies give your heart to consider all this. Not your
mind, not your intellect. Intellect has its place, but when you are
examining something very, very seriously, the heart must enter into
its consideration. When the heart enters, that is when there is love
to observe, love of watching, seeing, then when you see the truth of
desire, time and thought, then there is no fear whatsoever. Then
only, there can be love. Fear and love cannot go together. Fear and
pleasure go together but not love and fear.
MADRAS 4TH PUBLIC TALK 2ND JANUARY
1983

This is the last talk. Yesterday evening we talked about fear, the
nature of fear and what brings about fear. We said, time, desire,
thought are the contributory causes of fear. And man has lived with
fear. We live with fear now: feature of the future, the past, fear of
the future of man, what is going to happen to man. Surely the
future of man is what he is now. It is so obvious. If he does not
radically change, not society, not the various forms of
governments, but if he does not radically change psychologically,
inwardly, the future is what he is now. That is guaranteed because
there will be more wars, more instruments of war, more
destruction, more violence, more fragmentation of human beings
into nationalities and so on. The future is what we are now. And
we said during all these talks, that it is so urgently necessary to
bring about this psychological revolution, to bring about a change,
not move from one form, one system, one idea to another but
whether it is possible for human beings who have lived on this
lovely earth for so many millennia, whether it is possible for them
to change.
And this evening I think we ought to talk over together whether
sorrow can ever end, the sorrow of man. And what is love, what is
compassion, and what is intelligence? We ought to talk over
together also the significance of death. And if we have time, we
ought to talk over the whole question of meditation.
We have lived with sorrow generation upon generation: the
grief, the sorrow of loneliness, the sorrow of great anxiety, the sorrow of having no proper relationship with another, the sorrow of
a mother, a father losing a son, a wife whose husband has been
killed in war, decorated as a hero with lots of medals on his chest.
And also there is the sorrow of ignorance. Sorrow has many forms.
It isn’t just one incident called death, it isn’t just one happening in
one’s life, but a series of incidents, a series of accidents and
experiences which both contain both pleasure and pain, the sorrow
of this movement of reward and punishment, the sorrow of old age,
the sorrow of illness, blindness and deformed children. Man has
carried a great weight of sorrow and we try to escape from it. We
invent all kinds of theories, all kinds of possibilities, romantic
concepts, flowering in ideations. But sorrow remains with man. I
wonder if one has looked at what wars have done to man. How
many women, fathers, brothers, sisters have shed tears because one
holds on to nationalism, racial prejudices, linguistic differences.
All this is causing enormous sorrow in the world. There is not only
personal sorrow, the loss of something, the loss of someone whom
you loved – if you love at all – the loss of never having a single,
happy, original day, the pain of seeing poverty in this land and
people doing nothing about it. So man has carried this sorrow from
time beyond measure. And we are still burdened, fearful, anxious,
lonely, aching with deep inward pain, the lack of success, lack of
opportunity, lack of the things we all want.
So we ought together this evening consider whether it is
possible to end this enormous burden carried by humanity and by
those who are still in sorrow. What is sorrow? As we said
yesterday, what is the cause of sorrow? Where there is a cause,
there is and end. If I have cancer, the cause, the pain, then perhaps the cause can be removed. So where there is a cause for anything,
there is an end to that. A causation is a movement, it is not a fixed
point. And if you can understand and discover the cause of this
burden of sorrow, then perhaps we shall understand the nature of
love; not love of god, not the love of the guru, not the love of some
book or a poem but the love of human beings, the love of your
wife, husband, your children. To find that extraordinary perfume
that is really the light of the world, one must understand the nature
of suffering, the structure of suffering.
I hope we are together, you and the speaker, going into this.
Please, together we are investigating, not the speaker investigates
and you listen, agree or disagree, accept or deny, but together to
explore a very, very profound problem of humanity. One requires
an unemotional approach to it, not sentiment, not a conclusion that
sorrow will end, or that sorrow will always remain with mankind.
We must together, if you will, consider this question deeply. You
can only consider this question when the mind is in the heart. We
use our intellect to comprehend, to discern, to argue. We use the
intellect to choose, to measure. And so intellect is one of the
faculties of the brain. And if we are going to examine this
extraordinary, profound problem, mere intellect has very little
place, and most of us are highly intellectual, highly educated, have
extraordinary – especially in India – extraordinary qualities of
analysis. You can analyse anything on earth. You have fairly subtle
minds, not all naturally. And to comprehend sorrow, mere intellect
cannot go very far. You understand sirs, what we are saying; that
all of us have the capacity to use our intellect, which is to
understand, to discern, to argue, to choose, to weigh one against the other. This is the function of the intellect. And most of us have
that capacity. And if you are merely approaching this question of
sorrow, then your mind, your intellect dominates the process of
investigation, therefore it distorts. Whereas is it possible to
approach it with a holistic movement? Do you understand?
We never approach anything as a whole. We never look at life
as a whole. We have fragmented life, broken up as the intellect, the
emotions, love and so on, broken it up, and so we can never look at
a problem wholly. The word ‘whole’ means not only complete, not
only the feeling that parts are included in it, but the parts don’t
make the whole. ‘Whole’ also means healthy – a healthy mind, not a
crippled mind, not a stagnant mind – a mind which is whole, a
sense of covering the earth and the skies and the beauty of all that.
‘Whole’ means also ‘holy’. So we never approach with that quality
of mind. And in investigating, exploring this question, one needs to
have that quality of a mind in the heart, which is not romantic,
idealistic, imaginative, but a very factual mind, tempered with the
quality of love. When we use the word ‘heart’ we mean by that –
mind in the heart, mind in the quality of love, which has nothing
whatsoever to do with any ideas, with any ideals, with any
obedience. There is no guru. There must be freedom to observe.
So together, let us look at this question. Together. What is
sorrow, and why has man put up with sorrow, why has he accepted
it as he has accepted fear, as he has accepted pleasure, desire, all
the things that man is surrounded with, both outwardly and
inwardly. We are not talking over together, not having a dialogue
about the various types of sorrow. I might have lost my son and
you might have lost your bank account, suddenly discover that all your belief in god has no meaning, all the temples contain nothing
but words and stones and are probably dirty. So you have to have a
very clear, direct, uncluttered observation of this. Are we together
in this? If we are, which I am rather sceptical about, I hope you
don’t mind, if we are, then what is sorrow? What is the nature of it?
In that thing called sorrow there is pain, there is grief, there is a
sense of isolation, a sense of loneliness in which there is no
relationship. It is not only a physical shock but it is a great crisis in
the consciousness, in the psyche. I have lost my son. I am only
taking that as an example. I have lost my son to whom I am
attached. I wanted him to grow up into some beastly business man,
to have some kind of good substantial income, a house and so on.
In him I have emulated myself – you understand this word, you are
following what I am saying – and suddenly he has gone. What is
that quality of suddenness? The sudden ending of something which
has given me great joy, great pain, great anxiety, concern about his
future. And all that movement: my affection, my concern, my care,
my sense of helping him to have good taste, to live aesthetically
because where there is deep aesthetic sensitivity, that is the highest
moral, highest ethics, and suddenly he is gone. Don’t you know all
these feelings? I hope not your son, or your wife or your mother or
father but in every house there is this shadow of sorrow. There is a
sudden ending, a sudden ending of my attachment, a sudden ending
of all my hopes, which I have invested in him, a sudden sense of
not only deep shock, life becomes empty, either one becomes very
cynical or finds a rational explanation or plunges oneself into some
form of entertainment, drugs, drinks and all the rest of it, or believe
in some future life. This is the lot of all human beings.       So what is this ending? Are we together in this a little bit? What
does it mean to end? Have we ever ended something without a
motive, without a reward or punishment – to end? Because where
there is an ending there is a totally new beginning. But we never
end. We end things if it is profitable or painful. Our life is based on
reward and punishment, both outwardly and much more inwardly,
but we never end something without a cause.
So grief, loneliness and a sense of separation, which is
essentially time, which we went into yesterday: time,
identification, investment and all the things one has cultivated in
another, all that ends and there is a shock, and that shock I call
sorrow. Now can one remain with that, not escape, not seek
comfort, because that is the most silly thing to do, not go off to a
temple or run after some guru, but to remain with that tremendous
challenge without a single movement of thought? Because sorrow
is perhaps one of the greatest challenges, greatest demand on the
human mind, on the human quality, and if you merely escape from
it, run away, rationalize, then that which has a tremendous depth to
it.. then sorrow is your shadow but with the ending of that, there is
passion, not lust but the passion that is the very essence of energy.
But very few of us have that passion, very few of us have that
passion which is living, not occasionally, but that passion which
moves the universe.
So we ought to look into what is love. That word has been so
spoilt. Romantic woman calls it the love of god, the love of my
guru, the love of my painting, the love of my book. You
understand? We have given to that word such a shallow meaning.
One may say, I love my wife. One questions that love. That love may be attachment, that love may be seeking comfort, pleasure
sexually, pleasure of companionship and so on. So we are going to
consider what is love. Because in trying to see the depth of it, the
beauty and the extraordinary quality of it, love may be related to
death. So we are going together to look at it. Please, this is not a
lecture in view of instruction, but together as two human beings
facing a world which is becoming so dangerous, one must ask this
question.
Surely to find something true, one must negate that which is not
true, negate the false. You may then say, to each person the false is
different. To each person that which is illusory, that is, which is not
objective, rational, sane. So to discover what is false and what is
true, and what is true in the false, one requires not the capacity to
think clearly only, but the demand, asking, questioning. So what is
love? Would you say, love is desire? Would you say, love is
pleasure? Don’t shake your heads. It is meaningless. Would you
say, love is attachment? Please, the speaker is asking these
questions for you to answer to yourselves, answer not to deceive
yourselves, it is so easy to deceive oneself. One may think one is a
marvellous human being, you are out of all this. But to find out that
which is not love, that negation is the most positive action.
We are asking is desire love? Is it? We went into the question of
desire yesterday. We won’t go into it again now, if you don’t mind.
Is desire love? Desire is a wandering movement, and is love
wandering, unstable, weak, or is it something as strong, as vital as
death? Is love pleasure: sexual pleasure, the pleasure of owning,
dominating, possessing a person? Is that love? Is attachment to the
person – my wife, my husband, my family, attached which means to hold on, cling to. Is that love? Or in attachment there is fear,
jealousy, anxiety, hate. Where there is jealousy, there is hate. Is
that love? Has hate any relationship with love? Is love the opposite
of hate? Is the good the opposite of that which is not good? Ask
these questions sir. If hate is the opposite of love, then hate has its
root in love. All opposites have their root in their own opposites.
Are you getting tired? So please examine your own life, not
listen to what the speaker is saying. Examine, each one of you,
your own life honestly and ask these questions. Desire, pleasure,
attachment, jealousy, anxiety, fear of losing, is all that love? So can
you be free of attachment, not at the last moment when death is
there? Can you end attachment to another? See the implications of
attachment, the consequences of attachment. Fear, anxiety,
jealousy – where there is jealousy there is fear, hate, anger and
more, when there is attachment, and is all that love? And what is
compassion? Not the definition, you can look it up in a dictionary.
What is compassion? What is the relationship between love and
compassion, or they are the same movement? When we use the
word ‘relationship’, it implies a duality, a separation, but we are
asking what place has love in compassion, or is love the highest
expression of compassion?
How can you be compassionate if you belong to any religion,
follow any guru, believe in something, believe in your scriptures,
in your guru and so on, attached to a conclusion? When you accept
your guru, you have come to a conclusion, or when you strongly
believe in god or in a saviour or in this or that, can there be
compassion? You may do social work, help the poor, out of pity,
out of sympathy, out of charity, but is all that love and compassion? So in understanding the nature of love, having that
quality, which is mind in the heart. That is, intelligence, which is a
very complex question, intelligence is the understanding or the
discovering of what love is. Intelligence has nothing whatsoever to
do with thought, with cleverness, with knowledge. You may be
very clever in your studies, in your job, in being able to argue very
cleverly, reasonably, but that is not intelligence. Intelligence goes
with love and compassion. And with that intelligence, if there is, if
you have come upon it, and you cannot come upon it as an
individual; compassion is not yours or mine, like thought is not
yours or mine. Where there is intelligence, there is no me and you.
And intelligence does not abide in your heart or your mind, that
intelligence, which is supreme is everywhere. It is that intelligence
that moves the earth and the heavens and the stars because that is
compassion.
We ought to talk over together what is death? Are you
interested in all this – not interested, that is a stupid word. Are you
concerned about all this, or you have grown too old? The young
are already old, some of them. And hearing all this, what will you
do with it? Just as you leave, forget all this and fall back to your
daily monotonous, mediocre life? Ask these questions sirs and
ladies.
And also we are going to talk over together this question of
death – death being the ending: the ending of our memories, of our
attachments, your bank account if you have one. You can’t carry it
with you but you like to have it till the last moment. So what is
death, and who is it that dies? And what is life? Do you
understand? Life: who is it that dies and what does it mean to die? We are not talking of the ending of the physical organism, but we
are enquiring into life, the ending of life and the great significance
of what death means. What is life which we have separated from
death? There is a gap of forty, fifty or a hundred years. We want to
prolong our lives as long as possible. Modern medicine, surgery,
health and all that helps to prolong one’s life. I do not know for
what, but one wants to prolong it.
So what is life; your life or the life of the universe, life of the
earth, life as nature, life which is the vast movement without a
beginning and without an end? Don’t fall back into the trap of your
tradition. That is dead, as dead as a door nail. And when you
follow tradition you are already dying, or perhaps you are already
dead. So we must examine when we talk about living, life, what
does that mean? The life of a tree, the life of the fish in the water,
the life of the beauty of a tiger, the life of the universe, this life that
seems so extraordinarily vast, immense, without measureless
depth. Are we talking about that or your life, yours? If you are
talking about your life, what is that life? Going to the office from
morning till night for fifty, sixty years, breeding children, your life,
belonging to some sect, following some guru? And of course, you
believe in that guru so tremendously, you follow him. And conflict
from morning till night: conflict as pleasure, conflict as fear and
the pursuit of pleasure and desire. This is your life. Is that what we
are talking about, the ending of that life? What is important: what
lies beyond death, or long incidents of life in your life? What is
important: before or after death? If living, life, the beauty of it, the
energy of it, the passion of it, the immensity of it, which you have
reduced to such a shallow little ‘me’. Are you concerned about that, the ‘me’ that is going to die? I would like to prolong this living.
One would like, and this living, we never question, look, ask,
doubt, find out, but we mechanically carry on and we are
concerned about that ‘me’, you, dying.
What is the ‘me’, what is the ‘you’? Is it a series of words?
Examine it, for god’s sake, look at it. Is it your name, your form,
how you look, your bank account, your ideals, your beliefs, your
experiences? You believe in god, and that belief is you, who have
created god. So what are we? Please look, question it, doubt it, ask.
Is that what you are frightened of – dying? Knowing your body
which is the most extraordinary instrument, badly treated, tortured,
drugged, unhealthy – that body, that organism is going to die. You
may prolong it for a long time but it is going to come to an end. Or
you can say if you are very successful in any field, you can say, I
have had a jolly good life, I don’t mind dying. So we are asking
what is it that dies, and what is it that clings to life? By life, I mean
office, sex, pain, pleasure, fighting each other, quarrelling,
destroying each other. This is your life, whether you are young or
old. Is that what you are afraid of ending? Or are you considering
life as a whole, life of the universe, which is so immense, so vast,
so incalculable? That is, that life is there, as well as here, as well as
this little life you have – this torture, this anxiety, this conflict, this
misery, occasional spurts of joy and clarity.
So please, enquire what you are, to which thought clings, to the
image you have built about yourself. You see, sirs, it is not the
immortality of one’s soul, of yourself. ‘Yourself’ is built through
time. Your reward as ‘me’ from the moment you are born till now.
And you accept that ‘me’ as a reality, and is it real at all, or is it a series of words, a series of memories, accidental experiences which
are all put together by thought, and is that ‘me’ holding on to all this
travail of life? If you are not holding it, then life is something
totally different: it is a vast incalculable movement. But that can
only be seen when the self is not.
Now we ought to ask, what is meditation? May we go on? You
are not too tired? If you are tired just get up, please, and go quietly,
without disturbing others, because we are going to enquire into
something that demands all your attention, that demands your care,
your profound consideration. So we are together going to examine
what is meditation, not how to meditate, that is the silliest question,
but what is the nature, the quality, the structure, the beauty of
meditation. The word ‘meditation’ means to ponder over, to think
over, to consider, to probe, to investigate, to look, according to the
dictionary. And the word ‘meditation’ also means measurement, to
measure. I believe in sanskrit ‘ma’ is to measure. And also it has
another meaning. So meditation, as it is said in a good dictionary
is, to ponder over, think over, consider, look, observe, feel, move,
and also it means to measure. Measurement means comparison.
Have you ever considered the ancient Greece 450 BC exploded all
over Europe. Greece was responsible for measurement. I don’t
know history but we can observe. They invented measurement.
And without measurement there can be no technology. And the
western world is par excellence, highest, capable of great
technology, which has moved to Japan.
India, the ancient Indians said that measurement is illusion
because – now the speaker is saying – all measurement is limited. If
there was complete measurement, then there would be instant perfection of all technology. So India exploded all over Asia. Don’t
be proud of it, it is all gone. You have lost the one thing that was so
precious. You have lost the greatest jewel that you have ever had.
So meditation means to think, to ponder, and also it means to
measure. That is, measurement: I am this, I must be that. I am
comparing myself with you, how clever, beautiful, lovely, and I am
not, that is measurement. Following an example is a measurement.
Following an ideal is measurement. Wherever there is comparison
psychologically, meditation cannot be. You understand all this?
Where there is no comparison, where there is no measurement, that
I will achieve one day peace or god or illumination or all that stuff
– the word used here is self-realization, I do not know what it
means: realizing the self, you invent a lot of words and you stick to
them. So where there is measurement, comparison, there cannot be
meditation. You can compare between two cars, between two
materials, a cloth, better paper, better houses, better food, but
where the mind thinks in terms psychologically of better,
meditation is not possible. You can sit cross-legged, do all kinds of
yoga, all kinds of control, where there is control there is
measurement. I wonder if you see all this.
Are you getting tired? Sorry, allow me another five minutes, it’s
all over then.
So to meditate: in meditation there must be no effort. What you
call meditation is to repeat some words, repeat a mantra. I have
been told the meaning of that word is to ponder over not becoming,
which is not measuring. And also it means to absolutely deny all
self-centred activity. I believe that is the root meaning of that word:
not becoming and totally not living in a self-centred way. You can repeat all the words, mantras, breathe properly, you know, follow
system after system, if one system does not suit you, take another
system, methods, go off to Japan to learn Zen, or the latest guru
will tell you how to meditate,’a All that implies control. Where
there is control, there must be conflict and there must be
measurement and that is not meditation. We are going to go into a
little bit.
Meditation is to live a diligent life. Meditation is not separate
from daily living. It is not going off into a little corner, meditating
for twenty minutes every day or every afternoon, every evening;
that is just having a siesta – you know what a siesta is? Having a
sleep in the afternoon. So there is no system. System implies
practice. Practice means measurement – from what you are to what
you want to be. And you may be practising the wrong note. And
probably you are. And you call that meditation. And that
meditation is so totally separate from your daily living. So find out
whether it is possible to live a daily life of meditation, which
means no measurement at any time. It is dangerous, what the
speaker is saying, so please understand it very carefully. In
meditation there is no control, because the controller is the
controlled. I went into it the other day, I won’t go into again now.
In meditation there is no will because will is desire. The essence of
desire is will – ‘I will meditate, I will practice this day after day,
discipline’. In meditation there is no effort at all because there is no
controller.
And meditation implies awareness: awareness of the earth, the
beauty of the earth, the dead leaf, the dying dog, the dog that is
diseased, not just awareness of something or the other, to be aware of your environment; to be aware of your neighbour; to be aware of
the colours you carry, why you wear that colour and those beads, to
be aware of that; to be aware of the beauty of the wind among the
leaves; to be aware of your thoughts, your feelings. That means to
be aware without choice – just to be aware. That hightens your
sensitivity. To observe diligently everything. When you say, I will
do something, do it, never forgetting what you have said. Do not
say something you don’t mean. That is part of meditation. That is,
to be aware of your feelings, your conditioning, your opinions,
your judgments, and to your beliefs, so that in that awareness, there
is no choice – just to be aware of the beauty of the earth, the skies
and the lovely waters. And when you are so aware, then there is
attention. To attend: to attend to what the speaker is saying, not
only to the speaker but to what your wife is telling you, or your
husband is telling you or your children are telling you, what the
politicians are telling you – their trickery, their search for power,
position; to attend. When you so profoundly attend, there is no
centre as the ‘me’ to attend. That is also meditation.
Then if you have gone that far with your mind – not your mind –
if you have moved that far, if the mind has moved that far, then
what is religion? Religion is none of these things that you have: the
temples, and the content of the temples, the puja, the Tirupatis, the
churches, all that is not religion. The rituals, the beliefs that are put
together by thought, which is a material process and you worship
that which thought has created, which is what you have created.
Have you ever realized all the gods, you have created them out of
your fear, out of your wanting security, and the rituals day after
day, puja, the mass is another form of entertainment. I know you don’t agree, but listen to it. You will go on doing it because your
mind is conditioned, afraid, wants some kind of security, if not
here perhaps somewhere else. So a religious man does not belong
to any group, to any religion, has no belief, because his mind is
free, unafraid, because intelligence is the highest supreme form of
ultimate security, not the intelligence of the cunning thought.
Intelligence of compassion. And that intelligence has no doubt, no
uncertainty, no fear, which is something immense in the universe.
And where there is attention, there is silence. If you attend now
to what the speaker is saying, attend with your ears, with your
eyes, with your nerves, with your whole body, attend, then in that
quality of attention there is great silence, unfathomable silence.
That silence has never been touched by thought. And only then,
which man has searched from time immemorial, something sacred,
something nameless, supreme. It is only that mind that is utterly
free from all the travails of life, it is only such a mind that can find
the supreme. That means meditation, which is the expression of
daily activity.

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