J. KRISHNAMURTI THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 1 1ST APRIL 1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF. DAVID BOHM ‘THE ROOTS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL CONFLICT’

THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 1 1ST APRIL
1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF. DAVID
BOHM ‘THE ROOTS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL
CONFLICT’

KRISHNAMURTI: How shall we start? I would like to ask if
humanity has taken a wrong turn.
DAVID BOHM: A wrong turn? Well it must have done so, a
long time ago, I think.
K: That is what I feel. A long time ago… It appears that way –
why? You see, as I look at it, mankind has always tried to become
something.
DB: Well possibly. I was struck by something I once read about
man going wrong about five or six thousand years ago, when he
began to be able to plunder and take slaves. After that, his main
purpose of existence was just to exploit and plunder.
K: Yes, but there is the sense of inward becoming.
DB: Well, we should make it clear how this is connected. What
kind of becoming was involved in doing that? Instead of being
constructive, and discovering new techniques and tools and so on,
man at a certain time found it easier to plunder his neighbours.
Now what did they want to become?
K: Conflict has been the root of all this.
DB: What was the conflict? If we could put ourselves in the
place of those people of long ago, how would you see that conflict?
K: What is the root of conflict? Not only outwardly, but also
this tremendous inward conflict of humanity? What is the root of
it?       DB: Well, it seems that it is contradictory desires.
K: No. Is it that in all religions, you must become something?
You must reach something?
DB: Then what made people want to do that? Why weren’t they
satisfied to be whatever they were? You see, the religion would not
have caught on unless people felt that there was some attraction in
becoming something more.
K: Isn’t it an avoidance, not being able to face the fact, and
therefore moving to something else – to more and more and more?
DB: What would you say was the fact that people couldn’t stay
with?
K: The Christians have said, Original Sin.
DB: But the wrong turn happened long before that.
K: Yes, long before that. Long before that, the Hindus had this
idea of Karma. What is the origin of all this?
DB: We have said that there was the fact that people couldn’t
stay with. Whatever it was, they wanted to imagine something
better.
K: Yes, something better. Becoming.
DB: And you could say that they began to make things
technologically better, then they extended this, and said, `I too
must become better.’
K: Yes, inwardly become better.
DB: All of us together must become better.
K: That’s right. What is the root of all this?
DB: Well, I should think it is natural in thought to project this
goal of becoming better. That is, it is intrinsic in the structure of
thought.       K: Is it that the principle of becoming better outwardly has
moved to becoming better inwardly?
DB: If it is good to become better outwardly, then why
shouldn’t I become better inwardly?
K: Is that the cause of the conflict?
DB: That is getting towards it. It’s coming nearer. K: Is it
coming nearer? Is time the factor? Time – as `I need knowledge in
order to do this or that’? The same principle applied inwardly? Is
time the factor?
DB: I can’t see that time by itself can be the only factor.
K: No, no. Time. Becoming – which implies time.
DB: Yes, but we don’t see how time is going to cause trouble.
We have to say that time applied outwardly doesn’t cause any
difficulty.
K: It causes a certain amount – but we are discussing the idea of
time,inwardly.
DB: So we have to see why time is so destructive inwardly.
K: Because I am trying to become something.
DB: Yes, but most people would say that this is only natural.
You have to explain what it is that is wrong about becoming.
K: Obviously, there is conflict, in that when I am trying to
become something, it is a constant battle.
DB: Yes. Can we go into that: why is it a constant battle? It is
not a battle if I try to improve my position outwardly.
K: Outwardly, no. It is more or less all right outwardly, but
when that same principle is applied inwardly it brings about a
contradiction.
DB: And the contradiction is.?       K: Between `what is’ and `becoming what should be’.
DB: The difficulty is, why is it a contradiction inwardly and not
outwardly?
K: Inwardly it builds up a centre, doesn’t it, an egotistic centre?
DB: Yes, but can we find some reason why it should do so?
Does it build up when we do it Outwardly? It seems it need not.
K: It need not.
DB: But when we are doing it inwardly, then we are trying to
force ourselves to be something that we are not. K: Yes. That is a
fact. Is it that one’s brain is so accustomed to conflict that one
rejects any other form of living?
DB: But why have people come to the conclusion that conflict
is inevitable and necessary?
K: What is the origin of conflict?
DB: I think we touched on that by saying that we are trying to
force ourselves. When we are a certain thing that we want to be,
we also want to be something else, which is different; and therefore
we want two different things at the same time. Would that seem
right?
K: I understand that. But I am trying to find out the origin of all
this misery, confusion, conflict, struggle – what is the beginning of
it? That’s why I asked at the beginning: has mankind taken a wrong
turn? Is the origin, `I am not I’.?
DB: I think that is getting closer.
K: Yes, that’s it. And the `I’ – why has mankind created this `I’,
which must, inevitably, cause conflict? `I’ and `you’, and `I’ better
than `you’, and so on, and so on.
DB: I think it was a mistake made a long time ago, or, as you call it, a wrong turn, that having introduced separation between
various things outwardly, we then kept on doing it – not out of ill
will but simply through not knowing better.
K: Quite.
DB: Not seeing what we were doing.
K: Is that the origin of all this conflict?
DB: I am not sure that it is the origin. What do you feel?
K: I am inclined to observe that the origin is the ego, the `me’,
the`I’.
DB: Yes.
K: If there is no ego, there is no problem, there is no conflict,
there is no time – time in the sense of becoming or not becoming;
being or not being.
DB: But it might be that we would still slip into whatever it was
that made us make the ego in the first place. K: Wait a minute. Is it
that energy – being so vast, limitless – has been condensed or
narrowed down in the mind, and the brain itself has become
narrowed because it couldn’t contain all this enormous energy?
You are following what I am saying?
DB: Yes.
K: And therefore the brain has gradually narrowed down to
`me’, to the `I’.
DB: I don’t quite follow that. I understand that that is what
happened, but I don’t quite see all the steps. You say energy was
enormous and the brain couldn’t handle it, or decided that it
couldn’t handle it?
K: It couldn’t handle it.
DB: But if it can’t handle it, it seems as if there is no way out.       K: No, just a minute. Go slowly. I just want to enquire, push
into it a little bit. Why has the brain, with all thought, created this
sense of `me’, `I’? Why?
DB: We needed a certain sense of identity to function.
K: Yes, to function.
DB: To know where we belong.
K: Yes. And is that the movement which has brought the `me’?
The movement of the outer? I had to identify, with the family, the
house, the trade or profession. All this gradually became the `me’?
DB: I think that this energy that you are talking about also
entered into it.
K: Yes, but I want to lead up to that slowly.
DB: You see, what you say is right, that in some way this sense
of the `me’ gradually strengthened, but by itself that wouldn’t
explain the tremendous strength that the ego has. It would only be
a habit then. The ego becoming completely dominant required that
it should become the focus of the greatest energy; of all the energy.
K: Is that it? That the brain cannot hold this vast energy? DB:
Let’s say that the brain is trying to control this – to bring it to order.
K: Energy has no order.
DB: But if the brain feels it can’t control something that is going
on inside, it will try to establish order.
K: Could we say that the brain, your brain, his brain, her brain,
has not just been born; it is very, very old?
DB: In what sense?
K: In the sense that it has evolved.
DB: Evolved, yes, from the animal. And the animal has
evolved. So let’s say that in a sense this whole evolution is somehow contained in the brain.
K: I want to question evolution. I understand, say, evolution
from the bullock cart to the jet.
DB: Yes. But before you question, we have to consider the
evidence of man developing through a series of stages. You can’t
question that, can you?
K: No, of course not.
DB: I mean, physically it is clear that evolution has occurred in
some way.
K: Physically, yes.
DB: And the brain has got larger, more complex. But you may
question whether mentally evolution has any meaning.
K: You see, I want to abolish time, psychologically. You
understand?
DB: Yes, I understand.
K: To me that is the enemy. And is that the cause, the origin of
man’s misery?
DB: This use of time, certainly. Man had to use time for a
certain purpose, but he misused it.
K: I understand that. If I have to learn a language, I must have
time. B: But the misuse of time by extending it inwardly…
K: Inwardly: that is what I am talking about. Is that the cause of
man’s confusion – introducing time as a means of becoming, and
becoming more and more perfect, more and more evolved, more
and more loving? You follow what I mean?
DB: Yes, I understand. Certainly if we didn’t do that, the whole
structure would collapse.
K: That’s it.       DB: But I don’t know whether there is not some other cause.
K: Just a minute. I want to go into that a little bit. I am not
talking theoretically, personally. But to me the idea of tomorrow
doesn’t exist psychologically – that is, time as a movement, either
inwardly or outwardly.
DB: You mean psychological time?
K: Yes, psychological time, and time outwardly. Now if
psychological time doesn’t exist, then there is no conflict, there is
no `me’, no `I’, which is the origin of conflict. Outwardly,
technologically man has moved, evolved.
DB: And also in the inward physical structure.
K: The structure, everything. But psychologically we have also
moved outward.
DB: Yes, we have focused our life on the outward. Is that what
you are saying?
K: Yes. We have extended our capacities outwardly. And
inwardly it is the same movement as outwardly. Now if there is no
inward movement as time, moving, becoming more and more, then
what takes place? You understand what I am trying to convey?
Time ends. You see, the outer movement is the same as the inward
movement.
DB: Yes. It is going around and around.
K: Involving time. If the movement ceases, then what takes
place? I wonder if I am conveying anything? Could we put it this
way? We have never touched any other movement than the outer
movement. DB: Generally, anyway. We put most of our energy
into the outer movements.
K: And psychological movement is also outward.       DB: Well, it is the reflection of that outward movement.
K: We think it is inward but it is actually outward, right?
DB: Yes.
K: Now if that movement ends, as it must, then is there a really
inward movement – a movement not in terms of time?
DB: You are asking, is there another kind of movement which
still moves, but not in terms of time?
K: That’s right.
DB: We have to go into that. Could you go further?
K: You see, that word movement means time.
DB: Well, it really means to change from one place to another.
But anyway there is still the notion of something which is not
static. By denying time you don’t want to return to something
static, which is still time.
K: Let’s say, for instance, that one’s brain has been trained,
accustomed, for centuries to go North. And it suddenly realizes that
going North means everlasting conflict. As it realizes that, the
brain itself changes – the quality of the brain changes.
DB: All right. I can see it will wake up in some way to a
different movement.
K: Yes, different.
DB: Is the word flow any better?
K: I have been going North all my life, and there is a sudden
stoppage from going North. But the brain is not going East or
South or West. Then conflict ceases – right? Because it is not
moving in any direction.
DB: So that is the key point – the direction of movement. When
the movement is fixed in direction, inwardly, it will come to conflict. But outwardly we need a fixed direction. K: Of course we
do. That’s understood.
DB: Yes. So if we say the brain has no fixed direction, then
what is it doing? Is it moving in all directions?
K: I am a little bit hesitant to talk about this. Could one say,
when one really comes to that state, that it is the source of all
energy?
DB: Yes, as one goes deeper and more inward.
K: This is the real inwardness; not the outward movement
becoming the inner movement, but no outer or inner movement…
DB: Yes, we can deny both the outward and the inner, so that
all movement would seem to stop.
K: Would that be the source of all energy?
DB: Yes, perhaps we could say that.
K: May I talk about myself a little bit?
DB: Yes.
K: First about meditation. All conscious meditation is no
meditation – right?
DB: What do you mean by conscious meditation?
K: Deliberate, practised meditation, which is really
premeditated meditation. Is there a meditation which is not
premeditated – which is not the ego trying to become something –
or being able to negate?
DB: Before we go ahead, could we suggest what meditation
should be. Is it an observation of the mind observing?
K: No. It has gone beyond all that. I am using the word
meditation in the sense in which there is not a particle of any sense
of trying consciously to become, to reach a level.       DB: The mind is simply with itself, silent.
K: That is what I want to get at.
DB: Not looking for anything. K: You see, I don’t meditate in
the normal sense of the word. What happens is that I wake up
meditating.
DB: In that state?
K: One night in India I woke up; it was a quarter past twelve, I
looked at the watch. And – I hesitate to say this because it sounds
extravagant – the source of all energy had been reached. And that
had an extraordinary effect on the brain. And also physically. I’m
sorry to talk about myself but, you understand, literally, there was
no division at all; no sense of the world, of `me’. You follow? Only
this sense of a tremendous source of energy.
DB: So the brain was in contact with this source of energy?
K: Yes, and as I have been talking for sixty years, I would like
others to reach this – no, not reach it. You understand what I am
saying? All our problems are solved. Because it is pure energy
from the very beginning of time. Now how am I – not `I’, you
understand – how is one not to teach, not to help, or push – but how
is one to say, `This way leads to a complete sense of peace, of
love’? I am sorry to use all these words. But suppose you have
come to that point and your brain itself is throbbing with it – how
would you help another? You understand? Help – not words. How
would you help another to come to that? You understand what I am
trying to say?
DB: Yes.
K: My brain – but not mine – has evolved. Evolution implies
time, and it can only think, live in time. Now for the brain to deny time is a tremendous activity, for any problem that arises, any
question is immediately solved.
DB: Is this situation sustained or is it only for a period?
K: It is sustained, obviously, otherwise there is no point in it. It
is not sporadic or intermittent. Now how are you to open the door,
how are you to help another to say,`Look, we have been going in
the wrong direction, there is only non-movement; and, if
movement stops, everything will be correct’?
DB: Well, it is hard to know beforehand if everything is going
to be correct. K: Let’s go back to what we began with. That is, has
mankind taken a wrong turn, psychologically, not physically? Can
that turn be completely reversed? Or stopped? My brain is so
accustomed to this evolutionary idea that I will become something,
I will gain something, that I must have more knowledge and so on;
can that brain suddenly realize that there is no such thing as time?
You understand what I am trying to say?
DB: Yes.
K: I was listening the other day to a discussion on television
about Darwin, his knowledge and what he achieved – his whole
theory of evolution. It seems to me that this is totally untrue
psychologically.
DB: It seems that he has given evidence that all species have
changed in time. Why is that untrue?
K: Of course. It is obvious.
DB: It is true in one respect, although I think it would be untrue
to say the mind evolved in time.
K: Of course.
DB: But physically it seems clear there has been a process of evolution, and that this has increased the capacity of the brain to do
certain things. For example, we couldn’t be discussing this if the
brain had not grown larger.
K: Of course.
DB: But I think you are implying that the mind is not
originating in the brain. Is that so? The brain is perhaps an
instrument of the mind?
K: And the mind is not time. Just see what that means.
DB: The mind does not evolve with the brain.
K: The mind not being of time, and the brain being of time – is
that the origin of conflict?
DB: Well, we have to see why that produces conflict. It is not
clear to say that the brain is of time, but rather that it has developed
in such a way that time is in it.
K: Yes, that is what I meant. DB: But not necessarily so.
K: It has evolved.
DB: It has evolved, so it has time within it.
K: Yes, it has evolved, time is part of it.
DB: It has become part of its very structure.
K: Yes.
DB: However, the mind operates without time, although the
brain is not able to do so.
K: That means that God is in man, and God can only operate if
the brain is quiet, if the brain is not caught in time.
DB: Well, I wasn’t meaning that. I see that the brain, having a
structure of time, is not able to respond properly to mind. That’s
really what seems to be involved here.
K: Can the brain itself see that it is caught in time, and that as long as it is moving in that direction, conflict is eternal, endless?
You follow what I am saying?
DB: Yes. Does the brain see it?
K: Has the brain the capacity to see in what it is doing now –
being caught in time – that in that process there is no end to
conflict? That means, is there a part of the brain which is not of
time?
DB: Not caught or functioning in time?
K: Can one say that?
DB: I don’t know.
K: That would mean – we come back to the same thing in
different words – that the brain is not being completely conditioned
by time, so there is a part of the brain that is free of time.
DB: Not a part, but rather that the brain is mainly dominated by
time, although that doesn’t necessarily mean it couldn’t shift.
K: Yes. That is, can the brain, dominated by time, not be
subservient to it? DB: That’s right. In that moment it comes out of
time. I think I can see this – it is dominated only when you give it
time. Thought which takes time is dominated, but anything fast
enough is not dominated.
K: Yes, that’s right. Can the brain – which has been used to time
– can it see in that process that there is no end to conflict? See, in
the sense of realizing this? Will it realize it under pressure?
Certainly not. Will it realize it under coercion, reward or
punishment? It will not. It will either resist or escape.
So what is the factor that will make the brain see that the way it
has been functioning is not correct? (Let’s use that word for the
moment.) And what will make it suddenly realize that it is totally mischievous? What will make it? Certainly not drugs or some kind
of chemical.
DB: None of these outward things.
K: Then what will make the brain realize this?
DB: What do you mean by realize?
K: Realize that the path along which the brain has been going
will always be the path of conflict.
DB: I think this raises the question that the brain resists such a
realization.
K: Of course, of course. Because it has been used to the old
path, for centuries! How will you make the brain realize this fact?
If you could make it realize that, conflict is finished.
You see, people have tried fasting, austerity, poverty, chastity in
the real sense, purity, having a mind that is absolutely correct; they
have tried going away by themselves; they have tried practically
everything that man has invented, but none of these ways has
succeeded.
DB: Well, what do you say? It is clear that people pursuing
these outward goals are still becoming.
K: Yes, but they never realize that these are outward goals. It
means denying all that completely.
DB: You see, to go further, I think that one has to deny the very
notion of time in the sense of looking forward to the future, and
deny all the past. K: That’s just it.
DB: That is, the whole of time.
K: Time is the enemy. Meet it, and go beyond it.
DB: Deny that it has an independent existence. You see, I think
we have the impression that time exists independently of us. We are in the stream of time, and therefore it would seem absurd for us
to deny it because that is what we are.
K: Yes, quite, quite. So it means really moving away – again
this is only words – from everything that man has put together as a
means of timelessness.
DB: Can we say that none of the methods that man uses
outwardly is going to free the mind from time?
K: Absolutely.
DB: Every method implies time.
K: Of course. It is so simple.
DB: We start out immediately by setting up the whole structure
of time; the whole notion of time is presupposed before we start.
K: Yes, quite. But how will you convey this to another? How
will you, or `X’, convey this to a man who is caught in time and
will resist it, fight it, because he says there is no other way? How
will you convey this to him?
DB: I think that you can only convey it to somebody who has
gone into it; you are not likely to convey it at all to somebody you
just pick up off the street!
K: So then, what are we doing? As that cannot be conveyed
through words, what is a man to do? Would you say that to resolve
a problem as it arises you have to go into it immediately, because
otherwise you may do the most foolish thing and delude yourself
that you have resolved it? Suppose I have a problem, any
psychological problem – can the mind realize, resolve it
immediately? Not deceive itself, not resist it – you understand? But
face it, and end it.
DB: Well, with a psychological problem, that is the only way. Otherwise we would be caught in the very source of the problem.
K: Of course. Would that activity end time, the psychological time
that we are talking about?
DB: Yes, if we could bring this immediate action to bear on the
problem, which is the self.
K: One is greedy, or envious. To end immediately greed,
attachment, and so on, will that not give a clue to the ending of
time?
DB: Yes, because any action which is not immediate has
already brought in time.
K: Yes, yes. I know that.
DB: The ending of time is immediate – right?
K: Immediate, of course. Would that point out the wrong turn
that mankind has taken?
DB: Yes, if man feels something is out of order psychologically
he then brings in the notion of time, and the thought of becoming,
and that creates endless problems.
K: Would that open the door to this sense of time having no
place inwardly? Which means, doesn’t it, that thought has no place
except outwardly?
DB: You are saying that thought is a process which is involved
in time.
K: Wouldn’t you say that thought is the process of time?
Because thought is based on experience, knowledge, memory and
response, which is the whole of time.
DB: Let’s try to put it that thought, as we have generally known
it, is in time.
K: Thought as we know it now is of time.       DB: Yes. I would agree, generally speaking.
K: Generally speaking, thought is time.
DB: It is based on the notion of time.
K: Yes, all right. But to me, thought itself is time.
DB: Thought itself creates time, right.
K: Does it mean, when there is no time there is no thought? DB:
Well no thought of that kind.
K: No. There is no thought. I want just to go slowly.
DB: Could we say that there is a kind of thought which we have
lived in which has been dominated by time?
K: Yes, but that has come to an end.
DB: But there may be another kind of thought which is not
dominated by time… I mean, you were saying, you could still use
thought to do some things.
K: Of course, outwardly that’s so.
DB: We have to be careful not to say that thought is necessarily
dominated by time.
K: Yes. I have to go from here to there, to my house; that needs
time, thought, but I am not talking of that kind of time.
DB: So let’s make it clear that you are talking of thought which
is aimed at the mind, whose content is the order of the mind.
K: Yes. Would you say knowledge is time?
DB: Well, yes…
K: All knowledge is time.
DB: Yes, in that it has been known, and may project into the
future, and so on.
K: Of course, the future, the past. Knowledge – science,
mathematics, whatever it is – is acquired through time. I read philosophy, I read this or that, and the whole movement of
knowledge involves time. See what I mean!
DB: I think we are saying that man has taken a wrong turn and
got caught in this kind of knowledge, which is dominated by time
because it has become psychological knowledge.
K: Yes. So he lives in time.
DB: He lives in time because he has attempted to produce
knowledge of the nature of the mind. Are you saying that there is
no real knowledge of the mind? Would you put it that way? K: The
moment you use the word `knowledge’, it implies time. When you
end time, in the sense we are talking about, there is no knowledge
as experience.
DB: We have to see what the word `experience’ means.
K: Experience, memory.
DB: People say, `I learn by experience, I go through something.’
K: Which is becoming!
DB: Well, let’s get it clear. You see there is a kind of
experience, for example, in one’s job, which becomes skill and
perception.
K: Of course, but that is quite different.
DB: But we are saying there is no point in having experience of
the mind, psychological experience.
K: Yes, let’s put it that way. psychological experience is in time.
DB: Yes, and it has no point, because you cannot say, `As I
become skilled in my job I will become skilled in my mind, or
skilled fundamentally’.
K: Yes. So where is this leading? I realize that knowledge is
time; the brain realizes it, and sees the importance of time in a certain direction, and that there is no value in time at all in another
direction. It is not a contradiction.
DB: I would put it that the value of time is limited to a certain
direction or area, and beyond that, it has no value.
K: Yes. So what is the mind or the brain without knowledge?
You understand.
DB: Without psychological knowledge?
K: Yes, I am talking psychologically.
DB: It is not so much that it is caught in time as that it is
without psychological knowledge to organize itself.
K: Yes.
DB: So we are saying that the brain field must organize itself by
knowing psychologically all about itself.
K: Is then the mind, the brain, disorder? Certainly not. DB: No.
But I think that people being faced with this might feel there would
be disorder.
K: Of course.
DB: I think what you are saying is that the notion of controlling
yourself psychologically has no meaning.
K: So knowledge of the `me’ – the psychological knowledge – is
time.
DB: Yes, I understand the totality of knowledge is `me’, is time.
K: So then what is existence without this? There is no time,
there is no knowledge in the psychological sense, no sense of `me’,
then what is there? To come to that point most people would say,
`What a horror this is.’
DB: Yes, because it seems there would be nothing.
K: Nothing. But if one has come to that point, what is there? Would you say, because there is nothing, it is everything?
DB: Yes, I would accept that. I know that. That is true, it has
all.
K: No meditation, nothing.
DB: No thing.
K: No thing, that’s right.
DB: A thing is limited, and this is not a thing because there are
no limits… At least, it has everything in potential.
K: Wait, Sir. If it is nothing, and so everything, so everything is
energy.
DB: Yes. The ground of everything is energy.
K: Of course. Everything is energy. And what is the source of
this thing? Or is there no source of energy at all? Is there only
energy?
DB: Energy just is. Energy is `what is’. There is no need for a
source. That is one approach, perhaps?
K: No. If there is nothing, and therefore everything, and
everything is energy… We must be very careful because here, the
Hindus have this idea too, which is that Brahman is everything.
You understand? But that becomes an idea, a principle, and then
functioning is once more in the brain. But the fact of it is, there is
nothing, therefore there is everything, and all that is cosmic energy.
But what started this energy?
DB: We are not talking of time.
K: I know we are not talking of time, but you see the Christians
would say, `God is energy and He is the source of all energy.’ No?
DB: But the Christians have an idea of what they call the
Godhead, which is the very source of God too.       K: And also the Hindus, the Arabic and the Jewish worlds have
this. Are we going against all that?
DB: It sounds similar in some ways.
K: And yet not similar. We must be careful.
DB: Many things like this have been said over the ages.
K: Then is one just walking in emptiness? Is one living in
emptiness?
DB: Well, that is not clear.
K: There is nothing, and everything is energy. What is this?
DB: Well, is there something within the energy?
K: This is not different from energy. This. But the thing that is
inside says, `I am totally different from that’.
DB: The `I’ encloses itself and says, `I am different, I am
eternal.’
K: Why has it done this? Why has the separation arisen? Is it
because outwardly I identify with a house and so on, and that
identification has moved inwardly?
DB: Yes. And the second point was that once we established a
notion of something inward, then it became necessary to protect
that. And therefore that built up the separation.
K: Of course.
DB: The inward was obviously the most precious thing, and it
would have to be protected with all our energy. K: Does it mean
then that there is only the organism – which part of energy? There
is no `me’ at all, except the passport name and form; otherwise
nothing. And therefore there is everything and therefore all is
energy?
DB: Yes, the form has no independent existence.       K: No. There is only the form. That’s all.
DB: There is also the energy, you say.
K: That is part of energy. So there is only this, the outward
shape.
DB: There is the outward form in the energy.
K: Do you realize what we have said, Sir? Is this the end of the
journey?
DB: No, I should think not.
K: Has mankind journeyed through millennia to come to this?
That I am nothing, and therefore I am everything, and all energy.
DB: Well it can’t be the end, in the sense that it might be the
beginning.
K: Wait. That is all I wanted you to begin with. The ending is
the beginning – right? Now I want to go into that. You see, in the
ending of all this – the ending of time, we will call it briefly – there
is a new beginning. What is that? Because otherwise this seems so
utterly futile. I am all energy and just the shell exists, and time has
ended. It seems so futile.
DB: Yes, if we stop there….
K: That’s all.
DB: I think that really this is clearing the ground of all the
debris, of all the confusion.
K: Yes. So the ending is a beginning. But what is that?
Beginning implies time also.
DB: Not necessarily. I think we said there could be a movement
which had no time.
K: That is all. I want to make it clear. DB: Yes, but it is hard to
express. It is not a question of being static, but in some sense the movement has not the order of time. I think we would have to say
that now.
K: Yes. So we will use the word `beginning’ and deprive it of
time.
DB: Because ending and beginning are no special time. In fact
they can be any time or no time.
K: No time. Then what takes place? What is happening? Not to
me, not to my brain. What is happening? We have said that when
one denies time there is nothing. After this long talk, nothing
means everything. Everything is energy. And we have stopped
there. But that isn’t the end.
DB: No.
K: That is not the end. Then what is going on? Is that creation?
DB: Yes, something like that.
K: But not the art of creating like writing or painting.
DB: Perhaps later we can discuss what we mean by creating.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 2 2ND APRIL
1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF. DAVID
BOHM ‘CLEANSING THE MIND OF THE
ACCUMULATION OF TIME’

KRISHNAMURTI: We were saying that psychological time is
conflict, that time is the enemy of man. And that enemy has existed
from the beginning of man. And we asked, why has man from the
beginning taken a `wrong turn’, a `wrong path’? And, if so, is it
possible to turn man in another direction in which he can live
without conflict? Because, as we said yesterday, the outer
movement is also the same as the inner movement. There is no
separation between inner and outer. It is the same movement. And
we asked whether we were concerned deeply and passionately to
turn man in another direction so that he doesn’t live in time, with a
knowledge only of the outer things. The religions, the politicians,
the educators have failed: they have never been concerned about
this. Would you agree to that?
DAVID BOHM: Yes. I think the religions have tried to discuss
the eternal values beyond time but they don’t seem to have
succeeded.
K: That is what I want to get at. To them it has been an idea, an
ideal, a principle, a value, but not an actuality, and most of the
religious people have their anchor in a belief, in a principle, in an
image, in knowledge, in jesus or in something or other.
DB: Yes, but if you were to consider all the religions, say the
various forms of Buddhism, they try to say this very thing which
you are saying, to some extent.       K: To some extent but what I am trying to get at is: why has
man never confronted this problem? Why haven’t we said `Let’s
end conflict’? Instead we have been encouraged because through
conflict we think there is progress.
DB: It can be a certain source of stimulus to try to overcome
opposition.
K: Yes, Sir, but if you and I see the truth of this, not in
abstraction, but actually, deeply, can we act in such a way that
every issue is resolved instantly, immediately, so that psycholog-
ical time is abolished? And as we asked yesterday, when you come
to? that point where there is nothing and there is everything, where
all that is energy – when time ends, is there a beginning of
something totally new? Is there a beginning which is not enmeshed
in time? Now how shall we discover it? Words are necessary to
communicate. But the word is not that thing. So what is there when
all time ends? Psychological time, not time of…
DB: …time of day.
K: Yes. Time as the `me’, the ego, and when that completely
comes to an end, what is there that begins? Could we say that out
of the ashes of time there is a new growth? What is that which
begins – no, that word `begins’ implies time too.
DB: Whatever we mean, that which arises.
K: That arises, what is it?
DB: Well, as we said yesterday, essentially it is creation, the
possibility of creation.
K: Yes, creation. Is that it? Is something new being born?
DB: It is not the process of becoming.
K: Oh, no, that is finished. Becoming is the worst, that is time, that is the real root of this conflict. We are trying to find out what
happens when the `I’, which is time, has completely come to an
end. I believe the Buddha is supposed to have said `Nirvana’. And
the Hindus call it Moksha. I don’t know whether the Christians call
it Heaven…
DB: The Christian mystics have had some similar state…
K: Similar, yes. But you see, the Christian mystics, as far as I
understand it, are rooted in jesus, in the Church, in the whole
belief. They have never gone beyond it.
DB: Yes, well that seems so. As far as I know anyway.
K: Now we have said belief, attachment to all that is out,
finished. That is all part of the `I’. Now when there is that absolute
cleansing of the mind from the accumulation of time, which is the
essence of the `me’, what takes place? Why should we ask what
takes place?
DB: You mean it is not a good question? K: I am just asking
myself, why should we ask that? Is there behind it a subtle form of
hope? A subtle form of saying, I have reached that point, there is
nothing. Then that’s a wrong question Wouldn’t you consider that
so?
DB: Well, it invites you to look for some hopeful outcome.
K: If all endeavour is to find something beyond the `me’, the
endeavour and the thing that I may find are still within the orbit of
`me’. So I have no hope. There is no sense of hope, there is no
sense of wanting to find anything.
DB: What is then moving you to enquire?
K: My enquiry has been to end conflict.
DB: Yes, we have then to be careful. We are liable to produce a hope of ending conflict.
K: No, no; there is no hope. I end it. The moment I introduce
the word `hope’ there is a feeling of the future.
DB: Yes, that is desire.
K: Desire – and therefore it is of time. So I – the mind – puts all
that aside completely; I mean it, completely. Then what is the
essence of all this? Is my mind still seeking, or groping after
something intangible that it can capture and hold? If that is so, it is
still part of time.
DB: Well, that is still desire.
K: Desire and a subtle form of vanity.
DB: Why vanity?
K: Vanity in the sense `I have reached’.
DB: Self-deception.
K: Deception and all forms of illusion arise from that. So it is
not that. I am clearing the decks as we go along.
DB: Essentially it seems that you are clearing the movement of
desire in its subtle forms.
K: In its subtle forms. So desire too has been put away. Then
there is only mind – right? DB: Yes, but then we have to ask what
is meant by nature, if all is mind, because nature seems somewhat
independent.
K: But we have also said that all the universe is the mind.
DB: You mean to say nature is the mind?
K: Part of the mind.
DB: The universal mind?
K: Yes.
DB: Not a particular mind?       K: The particular mind then is separate, but we are talking of
mind.
DB: You see, we have to make it clear, because you are saying
that nature is the creation of universal mind, though nevertheless
nature has a certain reality.
K: That is all understood.
DB: But it is almost as if nature were the thought of the
universal mind.
K: it is part of it. I am trying to grope towards the particular ind
coming to an end; then there is only the Mind, the universal mind –
right?
DB: Yes. We have been discussing the particular mind groping
through desire, and we said if all of that stopped…
K: That is just my point. If all that has completely come to an
end, what is the next step? Is there any next? We said yesterday,
there is a beginning, but that word implies part of time.
DB: We won’t say so much beginning, perhaps ending.
K: The ending, we have said that.
DB: But now is there something new?
K: Is there something which the mind cannot capture?
DB: Which mind, the particular or the universal?
K: The particular has ended. DB: Yes. You are saying the
universal mind cannot capture it either?
K: That is what we are finding out.
DB: Are you saying there is a reality – or something – beyond
universal mind?
K: Are we playing a game of peeling off one thing after
another? Like an onion skin, and at the end there is only tears and nothing else?
DB: Well, I don’t know.
K: Because we said there is the ending, then the cosmic, the
universal mind, and, beyond, is there something more?
DB: Well, would you say this `more’ is energy? That energy is
beyond the universal mind?
K: I would say yes, because the universal mind is part of that
energy.
DB: That is understandable. In a way the energy is alive, you
are saying?
K: Yes, yes.
DB: And also intelligent?
K: Wait a minute.
DB: In some way… In so far as it is mind.
K: Now if that energy is intelligent, why has it allowed man to
move away in the wrong direction?
DB: I think that that may be part of a process, something that is
inevitable in the nature of thought. You see if thought is going to
develop, that possibility must exist. To bring about thought in
man…
K: Is that the original freedom for man? To choose?
DB: No, that is, thought has to have the capacity to make this
mistake.
K: But if that intelligence was operating, why did it allow this
mistake? DB: Well, we can suggest that there is a universal order, a
law.
K: All right. The universe functions in order.
DB: Yes, and it is part of the order of the universe that this particular mechanism can go wrong. If a machine breaks down, it
is not disorder in the universe, it is part of universal order.
K: Yes. In the universal order there is disorder, where man is
concerned.
DB: It is not disorder at the level of the universe.
K: No. At a much lower level.
DB: At the level of man it is disorder.
K: And why has man lived from the beginning in this disorder?
DB: Because he is still ignorant, he still hasn’t seen the point.
K: But he is part of the whole, yet in one tiny corner man exists,
and has lived in disorder. And this enormous conscious intelligence
has not…
DB: Yes, you could say that the possibility of creation is also
the possibility of disorder. That if man had the possibility of being
creative, there would also be the possibility of a mistake. It could
not be fixed like a machine, always to operate in perfect order. The
intelligence would not have turned him into a machine that would
be incapable of disorder.
K: No, of course not. So is there something beyond the cosmic
order, mind?
DB: Are you saying that the universe, that that mind, has
created nature which has an order, which is not merely going
around mechanically? It has some deeper meaning?
K: That is what we are trying to find out.
DB: You are bringing in the whole universe as well as mankind.
What makes you do this? What is the source of this perception?
K: Let’s begin again: there is the ending of the `me’ as time, and
so there is no hope; all that is finished, ended. In the ending of it, there is that sense of nothingness. And nothingness is this whole
universe. DB: Yes, the universal mind, the universal matter.
K: The whole universe.
DB: What led you to say that?
K: Ah. I know. To put it very simply: division has come to an
end. Right? The division created by time, created by thought,
created by this education, and so on – all that. Because it has ended,
the other is obvious.
DB: You mean that without the division then the other is there –
to be perceived?
K: Not to be perceived, but it is there.
DB: But then how does one come to be aware that it is there?
K: I don’t think one becomes aware of it.
DB: Then what leads you to say it?
K: Would you say it is? Not, I perceive it, or it is perceived.
DB: Yes. It is.
K: It is.
DB: You could almost say that it is saying it. In some sense,
you seem to be suggesting that it is what is saying.
K: Yes. I didn’t want to put it – I am glad you put it like that!
Where are we now?
DB: We are saying that the universe is alive, as it were, it is
mind, and we are part of it.
K: We can only say we are part of it when there is no `I’.
DB: No division.
K: No division. I would like to push it a little further; is there
something beyond all this?
DB: Beyond the energy, you mean?       K: Yes. We said nothingness, that nothingness is everything,
and so it is that which is total energy. It is undiluted, pure,
uncorrupted energy. Is there something beyond that? Why do we
ask it? DB: I don’t know.
K: I feel we haven’t touched it – I feel there is something
beyond.
DB: Could we say this something beyond is the ground of the
whole? You are saying that all this emerges from an inward
ground?
K: Yes, there is another – I must be awfully careful here. You
know one must be awfully careful not to be romantic, not to have
illusions, not to have desire, not even to search. It must happen.
You follow what I mean?
DB: We are saying the thing must come from that. Whatever
you are saying must come from that.
K: From that. That’s it. It sounds rather presumptuous.
DB: You are actually seeing it. It is not that you look at it and
say, that is what I have seen.
K: Oh, no. Then it is wrong.
DB: There isn’t a division. Of course, it is easy to fall into
delusion with this sort of thing.
K: Yes, but we said delusion exists as long as there is desire and
thought. That is simple. And desire and thought are part of the `I’,
which is time. When desire and time are completely ended, then
there is absolutely nothing, and therefore that is the universe, that
emptiness, which is full of energy. We can put a stop there…
DB: Because we haven’t yet seen the necessity for going beyond
the energy. We have to see that as necessary.       K: I think it is necessary.
DB: Yes, but it has to be seen. We have to bring out why it is
necessary.
K: Why is it necessary? Tentatively, there is something in us
that is operating, there is something in us much more – much – I
don’t know how to put it – much greater. I am going slowly, slowly.
What I am trying to say is, I think there is something beyond that.
When I say `I think’, you know what I mean.
DB: I understand, yes. K: There is something beyond that. How
can we talk about it? You see, energy exists only when there is
emptiness. They go together.
DB: This pure energy you talk about is emptiness. Are you
suggesting there is that which is beyond the emptiness, the ground
of the emptiness?
K: Yes.
DB: Would that be something in the way of a substance? You
see the question is, if it is not emptiness, then what is it?
K: I don’t quite follow your question.
DB: Well, you say something beyond emptiness, other than
emptiness. I think we can follow to the energy and the emptiness.
Now if we suggest something other to that, to the emptiness…
K: This something other.
DB: Yes, then that other must be different from the emptiness.
Something other to emptiness, which therefore is not emptiness.
Does that make sense?
K: Then it is substance.
DB: Yes, that is what is implied: if it is not emptiness, it is
substance.       K: Substance is matter, is it not?
DB: Not necessarily, but having the quality of substance.
K: What do you mean by that?
DB: Matter is a form of substance in the sense that it is energy,
but having the form of substance as well, because it has a constant
form and it resists change. It is stable, it maintains itself.
K: Yes. But when you use the word `substance’, meaning
beyond emptiness, does that word convey that meaning?
DB: Well, we are exploring the possible meaning of what you
want to say. If you are saying it is not emptiness, then it would not
be substance as we know it in matter. But we can see a certain
quality which belongs to substance in general; if it has that quality,
we could use the word substance, extend the meaning of the word
substance.
K: I understand. So could we use the word `quality’?
DB: The word `quality’ is not necessarily the emptiness, energy
could have the quality of emptiness, you see. And therefore it is
something else. Something other might have the quality of
substance. That is the way I see it. And is that what you are trying
to say?
K: There is something beyond emptiness. How shall we tackle
it?
DB: Firstly, what leads you to say this?
K: Simply the fact that there is. We have been fairly logical all
along, we have not been caught in any illusions so far. And can we
keep that same kind of watchfulness, in which there is no illusion,
to find out – or, not find out – that which is beyond emptiness? To
come down to earth. Come down to earth in the sense to be communicated. You follow what I mean?
DB: Yes. Well we could come back to the question before: why
hasn’t it come down?
K: Why hasn’t it come down? Has man been ever free from the
`I’?
DB: No. Not generally speaking.
K: No. And it demands that the `I’ ends.
DB: I think we could look at it this way: that the ego becomes
an illusion of that substance. You feel the ego is a substance too in
some way.
K: Yes, the ego is substance.
DB: And therefore that substance seems to be…
K: …untouchable.
DB: But that ego is an illusion of the true substance – it may be
that the mind tries to create some sort of illusion of that substance.
K: That is an illusion. Why do you relate it to the other? DB: In
the sense that if the mind thinks it already has this substance, then
it will not be open…
K: Of course not. Can that thing ever be put into words? It is not
a question of avoiding something, or trying to slither out of some
conclusion. But you see, so far we have put everything into words.
DB: Well, I think that once something is properly perceived,
then after a while the words come to communicate it.
K: Yes, but can that be perceived? And therefore be
communicable? Is this beyond.?
DB: This thing beyond, would you say also it is alive? Life
beyond emptiness, is that still life? Living?
K: Living, yes. Oh, yes.       DB: And intelligent?
K: I don’t want to use those words.
DB: They are too limited?
K: Living, intelligence, love, compassion; they are all too
limited. You and I are sitting here. We have come to a point and
there is that thing which perhaps later on might be put into words
without any sense of pressure, and so without any illusion. Don’t
you see beyond the wall? – the word, I mean? We have come to a
certain point, and we are saying there is something still more – you
understand? There is something behind all that. Is it palpable? Can
we touch it? Is it something that the mind can capture? You
follow?
DB: Yes. Are you saying it is not?
K: I don’t think it is possible for the mind to capture it…
DB: Or grasp it.?
K: Grasp it, understand… for the mind even to look at it. You
are a scientist, you have examined the atom, and so on. Don’t you,
when you have examined all that, feel there is something much
more, beyond all that?
DB: You can always feel that there is more beyond that, but it
doesn’t tell you what it is. It is clear that whatever one knows is
limited. K: Yes
DB: And there must be more beyond.
K: How can that communicate with you, so that you, with your
scientific knowledge, with your brain capacity can grasp it?
DB: Are you saying it can’t be grasped?
k: No. How can you grasp it? I don’t say you can’t grasp it. Can
you grasp it?       DB: Look, it is not clear. You were saying before that it is
ungraspable by…
K: Grasp, in the sense, can your mind go beyond theories.?
What I am trying to say is, can you move into it? Not move, in the
sense of time and all that. Can you enter it? No, those are all
words. What is beyond emptiness? Is it silence?
DB: Isn’t that similar to emptiness?
K: Yes, that is what I am getting at. Move step by step. Is it
silence? Or is silence part of emptiness?
DB; Yes, I should say that.
K: I should say that too. If it is not silence, could we – I am just
asking – could we say it is something absolute? You understand?
DB: Well, we could consider the absolute. It would have to be
something totally independent; that is what `absolute’ really means.
It doesn’t depend on anything.
K: Yes. You are getting somewhere near it.
DB: Entirely self moving, as it were, self active.
K: Yes. Would you say everything has a cause, and that has no
cause at all?
DB: You see, this notion is already an old one. This notion has
been developed by Aristotle, that this absolute is the cause of itself.
C: Yes.
DB: It has no cause, in a sense. That is the same thing.
K: You see the moment you said Aristotle… it is not that. How
shall we get at this? Emptiness is energy, and that emptiness exists
in silence, or the other way round, it doesn’t matter – right? Oh, yes,
there is something beyond all this. Probably it can never be put into
words. But it must be put into words. You follow?       DB: You are saying that the absolute must be put into words,
but we feel it can’t be? Any attempt to put it into words makes it
relative.
K: Yes. I don’t know how to put all this.
DB: I think that we have a long history of danger with the
absolute. people have put it in words, and it has become very
oppressive.
K: Leave all that. You see, being ignorant of what other people
have said, Aristotle and the Buddha, and so on, has an advantage.
You understand what I mean? An advantage in the sense that the
mind is not coloured by other people’s ideas, not caught in other
people’s statements. All that is part of our conditioning. Now, to go
beyond all that! What are we trying to do?
DB: I think, to communicate regarding this absolute, this
beyond.
K: I took away that word `absolute’ immediately.
DB: Then whatever it is; the beyond emptiness and silence.
K: Beyond all that. There is beyond all that. All that is
something, part of an immensity.
DB: Yes, well even the emptiness and silence is an immensity,
isn’t it? The energy is itself an immensity.
K: Yes, I understand that. But there is something much more
immense than that. Emptiness and silence and energy are immense,
really immeasurable. But there is something – I am using the word,
`greater’, than that.
DB: I am just considering. I am looking at it. One can see that
whatever you say about emptiness, or about any other thing, there
is something beyond.       K: No, as a scientist, why do you accept – not accept, forgive
me for using that word – why do you even move along with this?
DB: Because we have come this far step by step, seeing the
necessity of each step.
K: You see all that is very logical, reasonable, sane.
DB: And also, one can see that it is so right.
K: Yes. So if I say there is something greater than all this
silence, energy – would you accept that? Accept in the sense that
up to now we have been logical.
DB: We will say that whatever you speak of there is certainly
something beyond it. Silence, energy, whatever, then there is
always room logically for something beyond that. But the point is
this: that even if you were to say there is something beyond that,
still you logically leave room for going again beyond that.
K: No.
DB: Well why is that? You see, whatever you say, there is
always room for something beyond.
K: There is nothing beyond.
DB: Well that point is not clear, you see.
K: There is nothing beyond it. I stick to that. Not dogmatically
or obstinately. I feel that is the beginning and the ending of
everything. The ending and the beginning are the same – right?
DB: In which sense? In the sense that you are using the
beginning of everything as the ending?
K: Yes. Right? You would say that?
DB: Yes. If we take the ground from which it comes, it must be
the ground to which it falls.
K: That’s right. That is the ground upon which everything exists, space…
DB: …energy…
K: …energy, emptiness, silence, all that is. All that. Not ground,
you understand?
DB: No, it is just a metaphor. K: There is nothing beyond it. No
cause. If you have a cause then you have ground.
DB: You have another ground.
K: No. That is the beginning and the ending.
DB: It is becoming more clear.
K: That’s right. Does that convey anything to you?
DB: Yes, well I think that it conveys something.
K: Something. Would you say further, there is no beginning and
no ending?
DB: Yes. It comes from the ground, goes to the ground, but it
does not begin or end.
K: Yes. There is no beginning and no ending. The implications
are enormous. Is that death – not death in the sense, I will die, but
the complete ending of everything?
DB: You see at first you said that the emptiness is the ending of
everything, so in what sense is this more, now? Emptiness is the
ending of things, isn’t it?
K: Yes, yes. Is that death, this emptiness? Death of everything
the mind has cultivated. This emptiness is not the product of the
mind, of the particular mind.
DB: No, it is the universal mind.
K: That emptiness is that.
DB: Yes.
K: That emptiness can only exist when there is death – total death – of the particular.
DB: Yes.
K: I don’t know if I am conveying this.
DB: Yes, that is the emptiness. But then you are saying that, in
this ground, death goes further?
K: Oh, yes. DB: So we are saying the ending of the particular,
the death of the particular, is the emptiness, which is universal.
Now are you going to say that the universal also dies?
K: Yes, that is what I am trying to say.
DB: Into the ground.
K: Does it convey anything?
DB: Possibly, yes.
K: just hold it a minute. Let’s see it. I think it conveys
something, doesn’t it?
DB: Yes. Now if the particular and the universal die, then that is
death?
K: Yes. After all, an astronomer says everything in the universe
is dying, exploding, dying.
DB: But of course you could suppose that there was something
beyond.
K: Yes, that is just it.
DB: I think we are moving. The universal and the particular.
First the particular dies into the emptiness, and then comes the
universal.
K: And that dies too.
DB: Into the ground, right?
K: Yes.
DB: So you could say the ground is neither born nor dies.       K: That’s right.
DB: Well, I think it becomes almost inexpressible if you say the
universal is gone, because expression is the universal.
K: You see – I am just explaining: everything is dying, except
that. Does this convey anything?
DB: Yes. Well it is out of that that everything arises, and into
which it dies.
K: So that has no beginning and no ending. DB: What would it
mean to talk of the ending of the universal? What would it mean to
have the ending of the universal?
K: Nothing. Why should it have a meaning if it is happening?
What has that to do with man? You follow what I mean? Man who
is going through a terrible time. What has that got to do with man?
DB: Let’s say that man feels he must have some contact with the
ultimate ground in his life, otherwise there is no meaning.
K: But it hasn’t. That ground hasn’t any relationship with man.
He is killing himself, he is doing everything contrary to the ground.
DB: Yes, that is why life has no meaning for man.
K: I am an ordinary man; I say, all right, you have talked
marvellously of sunsets, but what has that got to do with me? Will
that or your talk help me to get over my ugliness? My quarrels with
my wife or whatever it is?
DB: I think I would go back, and say we went into this logically
starting from the suffering of mankind, showing it originates in a
wrong turning, that leads inevitably…
K: Yes, but man asks, help me to get past the wrong turn. Put
me on the right path. And to that one says, please don’t become
anything.       DB: Right. What is the problem then?
K: He won’t even listen.
DB: Then it seems to me that it is necessary for the one who
sees this to find out what is the barrier to listening.
K: Obviously you can see what is the barrier.
DB: What is the barrier?
K: `I’.
DB: Yes, but I meant more deeply.
K: More deeply, all your thoughts, deep attachments – all that is
in your way. If you can’t leave these, then you will have no
relationship with that. But man doesn’t want to leave these. DB:
Yes, I understand. What he wants is the result of the way he is
thinking.
K: What he wants is some comfortable, easy way of living
without any trouble, and he can’t have that.
DB: No. Only by dropping all this.
K: There must be a connection. There must be some
relationship with the ground and this, some relationship with
ordinary man. Otherwise, what is the meaning of living?
DB: That is what I was trying to say before. Without this
relationship…
K: …there is no meaning.
DB: And then people invent meaning.
K: Of course.
DB: Even going back, the ancient religions have said similar
things, that God is the ground, so they say seek God, you know.
K: Ah, no, this isn’t god.
DB: No, it is not god, but it is saying the same. You could say that `god` is an attempt to put this notion a bit too personally
perhaps.
K: Yes. Give them hope, give them faith, you follow? Make life
a little more comfortable to live.
DB: Well, are you asking at this point: how is this to be
conveyed to the ordinary man? Is that your question?
K: More or less. And also it is important that he should listen to
this. You are a scientist. You are good enough to listen because we
are friends. But who will listen among the other scientists? I feel
that if one pursues this we will have a marvellously ordered world.
DB: Yes. And what will we do in this world?
K: Live.
DB: But, I mean, we said something about creativity…
K: Yes. And then if you have no conflict, no `I’, there is
something else operating. DB: Yes, it is important to say that,
because the Christian idea of perfection may seem rather boring
because there is nothing to do!
K: We must continue this some other time, because it is
something that has got to be put into orbit.
DB: It seems impossible.
K: We have gone pretty far.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 3 8TH APRIL
1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF. DAVID
BOHM ‘WHY HAS MAN GIVEN SUPREME
IMPORTANCE TO THOUGHT?’

KRISHNAMURTI: What shall we talk about?
DAVID BOHM: One point relating to what we discussed
before; I was reading somewhere that a leading physicist said that
the more we understand the universe, the more pointless it seems,
the less meaning it has. And it occurred to me that in science there
may be an attempt to make the material universe the ground of our
existence, so that it may have meaning physically but not…
K: …any other meaning. Quite.
DB: And the question that we might discuss is this ground
which we were talking about the other day. Is it any different to
mankind, as the physical universe appears to be?
K: Let’s get the question clear.
DB: Not only physicists hut geneticists, biologists, have tried to
reduce everything to the behaviour of man – atoms, genes, you
know, DNA molecules, and so on. And the more they study it, then
the more they feel it has no meaning, it is just going on. Though it
has meaning physically, in the sense that we can understand it
scientifically, it has no deeper meaning than that.
K: I understand that.
DB: And, of course, perhaps that notion has penetrated because
in the past people were more religious and felt that the ground of
our existence was in something beyond matter – God, or whatever
they wished to call it. And that gave them a sense of deep meaning to the whole of their existence, which has now gone away. That is
one of the difficulties of modern life, the sense that it doesn’t mean
anything.
K: So have the religious people invented something which has a
meaning? DB: They may well have done so. You see, feeling that
life has no meaning, they may have invented something beyond the
ordinary. Something which is eternal…
K: …timeless, nameless.
DB: …and independent, absolute.
K: Seeing that the way we live, genetically and all the rest of it,
has no meaning, some clever erudite people said, `We will give it a
meaning’.
DB: Well, I think it happened before that. In the past people
somehow gave meaning to life, long before science had been very
much developed, in the form of religion. And science came along
and began to deny this religion.
K: Quite. I understand that.
DB: And people no longer believe in the religious meaning.
perhaps they never were able to believe in it entirely anyway.
K: So, how does one find out if life has a meaning beyond this?
How does one find out? They have tried meditation: they have
tried every form of self torture, isolation, becoming a monk, a
sannyasi and so on. But they may also be deceiving themselves
thoroughly.
DB: Yes. And that is in fact why the scientists have denied it
all, because the story told by the religious people is no longer
plausible, you see.
K: Quite. So how does one find out if there is something more than the mere physical? How would one set about it?
DB: We have been discussing the notion of some ground which
is beyond matter, beyond the emptiness.
K: But suppose you say it is so, and I say that is another
illusion.
DB: The first point is, perhaps we could clear this up: you see,
if this ground is indifferent to human beings, then it would be the
same as scientists’ ground in matter.
K: Yes. What is the question?
DB: Is the ground indifferent to mankind? You see, the universe
appears to be totally indifferent to mankind. It is immense vastness,
it pays no attention, it may produce earthquakes and catastrophes,
it might wipe things out, it is essentially not interested in mankind.
K: I see what you mean, yes.
DB: It does not care whether man survives or does not survive –
if you want to put it that way.
K: Right. I understand the question.
DB: Now I think that people felt that God was a ground who
was not indifferent to mankind. You see, they may have invented
it, but that is what they believed. And that is what gave them
possibly…
K: …tremendous energy. Quite.
DB: Now I think the point is, would this ground be indifferent
to mankind?
K: How would you find out? What is the relationship of this
ground to man, and man’s relationship to it?
DB: Yes, that is the question. Does man have some significance
to it? And does it have significance to man? May I add one more point? I was discussing with somebody who was familiar with the
Middle East and traditions of mysticism; he told me that in these
traditions they not only say that what we call this ground, this
infinite, has some significance, but that what man does has
ultimately some significance.
K: Quite, quite. Suppose one says it has – otherwise life has no
meaning, nothing has any meaning – how would one find out?
Suppose you say this ground exists, as I said the other day. Then
the next question is: what relationship has that to man? And man to
it? How would one discover, or find out, or touch it – if the ground
exists at all? If it doesn’t exist, then really man has no meaning at
all. I mean, I die and you die and we all die, and what is the point
of being virtuous, what is the point of being happy or unhappy, of
just carrying on? How would you show that the ground exists? In
scientific terms, as well as the feeling of it, the non-verbal
communication of it?
DB: When you say scientific do you mean rational?
K: Yes, rational, logical, sane. DB: So, something that we can
actually touch.
K: Not touch, – better than touch – sense. Many can come to it.
DB: Yes, it is public.
K: It isn’t just one man’s assertion. But it would be scientific. I
think it can be shown, but with all things one must do it, not just
talk about it. Can I – or you – say the ground exists? The ground has
certain demands: which are, there must bc absolute silence,
absolute emptiness, which means no sense of egotism in any form –
right? Would you tell me that? Am I willing to let go all my
egotism, because I want to prove it, I want to show it, I want to find out if what you are saying is actually true? So am I willing to
say,`Look, complete eradication of the self’?
DB: I think I can say that perhaps in some sense one is willing,
but there may be another sense in which the willingness is not
subject to one’s conscious effort or determination.
K: No, wait. So we go through all that.
DB: We have to see that…
K: It is not will, it is not desire, it is not effort.
DB: Yes, but when you say willingness, it contains the word
`will’, for example.
K: Willingness, in the sense, go through that door. Or, am I, are
we, willing to go through that particular door to find that the
ground exists? You ask me that. I say, agreed, I will. I will not in
the sense of exercising will and all that. What are the facets or the
qualities or the nature of the self? We go into that. You point it out
to me and I say, `Right’ – can we do it? Not be attached, not have
fear – you follow? – the whole business of it. No belief, absolute
rationality – you know – observation. I think if ten people do it, any
scientist will accept it. But there are no ten people.
DB: I see. We have to have the thing done together publicly…
K: …that’s it…
DB: …so that it becomes a real fact. K: A real fact, in the sense
that people accept it. Not something based on illusion, belief, and
all the rest of that.
DB: A fact; that which is actually done.
K: Now, who will do this? The scientists want to say that the
thing is all illusory, nonsense. But there are others who say, `It is
not nonsense, there is a ground. And if you do these things it will be there.’
DB: Yes, but I think that some of the things you say may not in
the beginning entirely make sense to the person you talk with.
K: Yes, quite, because he isn’t even willing to listen.
DB: But also his whole background is against it. You see, the
background gives you the notion of what makes sense and what
doesn’t. Now, when you say, for example, one of the steps is not to
bring in time…
K: Ah, that’s much more difficult.
DB: Yes, but it is fairly crucial.
K: But wait. I wouldn’t begin with time, I would begin at the
schoolboy level.
DB: But you are going eventually to reach those more difficult
points.
K: Yes. But begin at the schoolboy level and say `DO these
things.’
DB: Well what are they? Let’s go over them.
K: No belief.
DB: A person may not be able to control what he believes, he
may not know what he believes.
K: No, don’t control anything. Observe that you have belief, you
cling to the belief, belief gives you a sense of security and so on.
And that belief is an illusion, it has no reality.
DB: You see, I think if we were to talk to scientists like that
they might say they were not sure about it, because they believe in
the existence of the material world.
K: You don’t believe the sun rises and sets. It is a fact. DB: Yes,
but the scientist believes. You see, there have been long arguments about this, there is no way to prove that it exists outside my mind,
but I believe it anyway. This is one of the questions which arises.
Scientists actually have beliefs. One will believe that this theory is
right, and the other believes in a different one.
K: No. I have no theories. I don’t have any theories. I start at the
schoolboy level by saying, `Look, don’t accept theories,
conclusions, don’t cling to your prejudices.’ That is the starting
point.
DB: Perhaps we had better say, don’t hold to your theories,
because somebody might question you if you say you have no
theories. They would immediately doubt that, you see.
K: I have no theories. Why should I have theories?
QUESTIONER: If I am a scientist, I would also say I don’t have
theories. I don’t see that the world which I construct for my
scientific theories is also theoretical. I would call it fact.
K: So we have to discuss what are facts? Right? I would say
that facts are what is happening, actually happening. Would you
agree to that?
DB: Yes.
K: Would the scientists agree to that?
DB: Yes. Well, I think that the scientists would say that what is
happening is understood through the theories. You see, in science
you do not understand what is happening, except with the aid of
instruments and theories.
K: Now, wait, wait. What is happening out there, what is
happening here?
DB: Let’s go slowly. First, what is happening out there. The
instruments and theories are needed even to…       K: No.
DB: …have the facts about what is out there…
K: What are the facts out there?
DB: You cannot find out without some kind of theory. K: The
facts there are conflict, why should I have a theory about it?
DB: I wasn’t discussing that. I was discussing the facts about
matter, you see, which the scientist is concerned with. He cannot
establish those facts without a certain theory, because the theory
organizes the facts for him.
K: Yes, I understand that. That may be a fact. You may have
theories about that.
DB: Yes. About gravitation, atoms – all those things depend on
theories in order to produce the right facts.
K: The right facts. So you start with a theory.
DB: A mixture of theory and fact. It is always a combination of
theory and fact.
K: All right. A combination of theory and fact.
DB: Now, if you say we are going to have an area where there
isn’t any such combination…
K: That’s it. Which is, psychologically I have no theory about
myself, about the universe, about my relationship with another. I
have no theory. Why should I have? The only fact is, mankind
suffers, is miserable, confused, in conflict. That is a fact. Why
should I have a theory about it?
DB: You must go slowly. You see, if you are intending to bring
in the scientists, this has to be scientific…
K: …I will go very slowly…
DB: …so that we don’t leave the scientists behind!       K: Quite. Leave me behind!
DB: Well, let’s accept `part company’ – right? The scientists
might say yes, psychology is the science with which we look
inwardly, to investigate the mind. And they say various people –
like Freud, and Jung and others – have had theories. Now we will
have to make it clear why it has no point to make these theories.
K: Because theory prevents the observation of what is actually
taking place. DB: Yes, but outside it seemed that the theory was
helping that observation. Why the difference here?
K: The difference? You can discover that, it is simple.
DB: Let’s spell it out. Because if you want to bring in scientists
you must answer this question.
K: We will answer it. What is the question?
DB: Why is it that theories are both necessary and useful in
organizing facts about matter, outwardly, and yet inwardly,
psychologically, they are in the way, they are no use at all.
K: Yes. What is theory? The meaning of the word, theory?
DB: Theory means to see, to view, a kind of insight.
K: To view? That’s it. A way of looking.
DB: And the theory helps you to look at the outside matter.
K: Theory means to observe.
DB: It is a way of observing.
K: Can you observe psychologically what is going on?
DB: Let’s say that when we look at matter outwardly, to a
certain extent we do the observing.
K: That is, the observer is different from the observed.
DB: Not only different, but their relationship is fixed, relatively
at least, for some time.       K: So we can move now, a little.
DB: This appears to be necessary in order to study matter.
Matter does not change so fast, and it can be separated to some
extent. We can then make a fairly constant way of looking. It
changes but not immediately, it can be held constant for a while.
K: Yes.
DB: And we call that theory.
K: As you said, theory means a way of observing.
DB: it is the same as `theatre’ in Greek. K: Theatre, yes, that’s
right. It is a way of looking. Now, where do we start? A common
way of looking, an ordinary way of looking, the way of looking
depending on the viewpoint of each person – the housewife, the
husband? What do you mean by the way of looking?
DB: The same problem arose in the development of science. We
began with what was called common sense, a common way of
looking. Then scientists discovered that this was inadequate.
K: They moved away from it.
DB: They moved away, they gave up some parts of it.
K: That is what I am coming to. The common way of looking is
full of prejudice.
DB: Yes, it is arbitrary, and dependent on your background.
K: Yes, all that. So can one be free of one’s background, one’s
prejudice? I think one can.
DB: The question is whether a theory of psychology would be
any help in doing this. The danger is that the theory itself might he
a prejudice. If you tried to make a theory…
K: That is what I am saying. That would become a prejudice.
DB: That would become a prejudice because we have nothing – we have not yet observed anything to found it on.
K: So the common factor is that man suffers – right? That is the
common factor. And the way of observing matters.
DB: Yes. I wonder whether scientists would accept that as the
most fundamental factor of man.
K: All right. Conflict?
DB: Well, they have argued about it.
K: Take anything, it doesn’t matter. Attachment, pleasure, fear.
DB: I think some people might object, saying we should take
something more positive.
K: Which is what? DB: Simply, for example, some people
might have said that rationality is a common factor.
K: No, no, no! I won’t call rationality a common factor. If
people were rational they wouldn’t be fighting each other.
DB: We have to make this clear. Let’s say in the past somebody
like Aristotle might have said rationality is the common factor of
man. Now your argument against it is that men are not generally
rational.
K: No, they are not.
DB: Though they might be, they are not. So you are saying that
is not a fact.
K: That’s right.
DB: I think commonly scientists would say that there are many
different human beings and that the common factor of mankind is
that they are all striving for happiness.
K: Is that the common factor? No. I won’t accept that – that
many human beings are trying for happiness.
Q: No. Human beings are all different.       K: Agreed. Stay there.
Q: What I am saying is that this is the common theory, which
people believe to be a fact.
K: That is, each person thinks he is totally different from others.
Q: Yes. And they are all independently struggling for happiness.
K: They are all seeking some kind of gratification. Would you
agree to that?
DB: That is one common factor. But the reason I brought up
rationality was that the very existence of science is based on the
notion that rationality is common to man.
K: But each person is seeking his own individuality.
DB: But, you see, science would be impossible if that were
entirely true.
K: Quite. Q: Why?
DB: Because everybody would not be interested in the truth.
The very possibility of scientific discovery depends on people
feeling that this common goal of finding the truth is beyond
personal satisfaction, because even if your theory is wrong you
must accept that it is wrong, though it is not gratifying. That is, it
becomes very disappointing for people, but they accept it, and say,
well, that is wrong.
K: I am not seeking gratification. I am a common man. You
have brought up that scientists take for granted that human beings
are rational.
DB: At least when they do science. They may agree that they
are not very rational in private life, but they say that at least they
are capable of being rational when they do scientific work.
Otherwise it would be impossible to begin.       K: So outwardly, in dealing with matter, they are all rational.
DB: At least they try to be, and they are to some extent.
K: They try to be, but they become irrational in their
relationships with other human beings.
DB: Yes. They cannot maintain it.
K: So that is the common factor.
DB: Yes. It is important to bring out this point – that rationality
is limited, and, as you say, the fundamental fact is that more
generally they cannot be rational. They may succeed in some
limited area.
K: That’s right. That is a fact.
DB: That is a fact, though we don’t say it is inevitable, or that it
can’t be changed.
K: No. It is a fact.
DB: It is a fact that it has been, it has happened, it is happening.
K: Yes. I, as a common human being, have been irrational. And
my life has been totally contradictory, and so on, which is
irrational. Now can I as a human being change that? DB: Let’s see
how we could proceed from the scientific approach. This would
raise the question, why is everybody irrational?
K: Because we have been conditioned that way. Our education,
our religion, our everything.
DB: But that won’t get us anywhere, because it leads to more
questions: how did we get conditioned and so on
K: We can go into all that.
DB: But I meant that following that line is not going to answer.
K: Quite. Why are we conditioned that way?
DB: For example, we were saying the othEr day that perhaps man took a wrong turning, established the wrong conditioning.
K: The wrong conditioning from the beginning. Or, seeking
security – security for myself, for my family, for my group, for my
tribe – has brought about this division.
DB: Even then you have to ask why man sought this security in
the wrong way. You see, if there had been any intelligence, it
would have been clear that this whole thing has no meaning.
K: Of course, you are going back to taking the wrong turn. How
will you show me we have taken a wrong turning?
DB: Are you saying that we want to demonstrate this
scientifically?
K: Yes. I think the wrong turn was taken when thought became
all important.
DB: What made it all important?
K: Now let’s work it out. What made human beings enthrone
thought as the only means of operation?
DB: Also it would have to be made clear why, if thought is so
important, it causes all the difficulties. These are the two questions.
K: That is fairly simple. So thought has been made king,
supreme. And that may be the wrong turn of human beings. DB:
You see, I think that thought became the equivalent of truth.
People took thought to give truth, to give what is always true.
There is the notion that we have knowledge – which may hold in
certain cases for some time – but men generalize, because
knowledge is always generalizing. When they got to the notion that
it would always be so, this crystallized the thought of what is true.
This gave thought supreme importance.
K: You are asking, aren’t you, why has man given thought such importance?
DB: I think he has slipped into it.
K: Why?
DB: Because he did not see what he was doing. You see, in the
beginning he did not see the danger…
Q: Just before, you said that the common ground for man is
reason…
K: Scientists say that.
Q: If you can show a person that something is true…
K: Show it to me. It is true I am irrational. That is a fact, that is
truth.
Q: But for that you don’t need reason. Observation is sufficient
for that.
K: No. One goes and fights. One talks about peace. One is
irrational. Dr. Bohm is pointing out that scientists say man is
rational but the fact is that everyday life is irrational. Now we are
asking, show us scientifically why it is irrational. That is, show
man in what way he has slipped into this irrationality; why human
beings have accepted this. We can say it is habit, tradition, religion.
And the scientists also, they are very rational in their own field, but
irrational in their lives.
Q: And you suggested that making thought the king is the main
irrationality?
K: That is right. We have reached that point.
DB: But how did we slip into making thought so important? K:
Why has man given importance to thought as the supreme thing? I
think that is fairly easy. Because that is the only thing he knows.
DB: It doesn’t follow that he would give it supreme importance.       K: Because the things I know – the things thought has created,
the images, all the rest of it – are more important than the things I
don’t know.
DB: But you see, if intelligence were operating he would not
come to that conclusion. It is not rational to say that all that I know
is all that is important.
K: So, man is irrational.
DB: He slipped into irrationality to say, all that I know is all
that is important. But why should man have done this?
K: Would you say that the mistake is made because he clings to
the known, and objects to anything unknown?
DB: That is a fact, but it is not clear why he should.
K: Because that is the only thing he has.
DB: But I am asking why he was not intelligent enough to see
this.
K: Because he is irrational.
DB: Well, we are going around in circles!
K: I don’t think so.
DB: Look, every one of these reasons you give is merely
another example of man’s irrationality.
K: That is all I am saying. We are basically irrational, because
we have given thought supreme importance.
Q: But the step before that is that the thought has built up the
idea that I exist?
K: Ah, that comes a little later; we have to go step by step.
Q: Surely for the `me’, the only thing that exists is thought.
K: Would the scientists accept that? DB: The scientist feels he
is investigating the real nature of matter, independent of thought, ultimately independent anyway. He wants to know the way the
universe is. He may be fooling himself, but he feels that it wouldn’t
be worth doing unless he believes he is finding an objective fact.
K: So would you say that through the investigation of matter he
is trying to find something, he is trying to find the ground?
DB: That’s exactly it.
K: But wait! Is that it?
DB: Precisely, yes.
K: Now the religious man says you cannot find it by becoming
terribly rational in your life. He doesn’t accept that he is rational
but says he is irrational in contradiction, and so on. So either he
will have to clear up that first – step by step, or he can do the whole
thing at one blow. Right? One accepts that one is irrational.
DB: But there is a difficulty. If you accept you are irrational,
you stop, because you say, how can you begin?
K: Yes. But if I accept I am irrational – wait a minute –
completely, then I am rational!
DB: You will have to make that more clear. You could say that
man has been deluding himself into believing that he is already
rational.
K: I don’t accept that.
DB: Now if you don’t accept this delusion, then you are saying
that rationality will be there.
K: No, I don’t accept it. The fact is, I am irrational and, to find
the ground, I must become extremely rational in my life. That’s all.
Irrationality has been brought about by thought creating this idea of
me as separate from everybody else. So can I, being irrational, find
the cause of irrationality and wipe it out? If I can’t do that, I cannot reach the ground which is the most rational. Would a scientist who
is investigating matter accept that the ground exists at all?
DB: Well, tacitly he is assuming that it does. K: It does. Mr. `X’
comes along and says it does exist. And you, the scientists say
`Show it.’ Mr. `X’ says I will show it to you. A scientist meets with
other scientists, experimenting and being rational in that area,
although irrational in his own life. First become rational in your
life, begin here, rather than there. What would you say to all that?
This must be done without effort without desire, without will,
without any sense of persuasion, otherwise you are back in the
game.
DB: Let’s try to put it like this: even in science you could no
pursue the science fully unless you were rational.
K: Somewhat rational.
DB: Somewhat rational, but, eventually, the failure of
rationality blocks science anyway. Scientists cling to their theories,
and they become jealous and so on.
K: That’s it, that is all. The irrationality overcomes them.
DB: So then you could say you might as well look at the source
the whole irrationality.
K: That is what I am saying.
DB: But now you have to make it clear that it really can be
done.
K: Oh yes, I am showing it to you. I say, first recognize, see,
observe, be aware that you are totally irrational.
DB: The word `totally’ will cause trouble, because if you we
totally irrational you couldn’t even begin to talk.
K: No, that is my question. I say one is totally irrational. First recognize it. Watch it. The moment you admit there is some part of
me that is rational, who wants to wipe away the irrationality.
DB: …It is not that, but there must be sufficient rationality
understand what you are talking about.
K: Yes, of course.
DB: Essentially, I would rather put it that one is dominated by
one’s irrationality, even though there is enough rationality discuss
the question.
K: I question that. DB: You see, otherwise we couldn’t begin to
talk.
K: But listen. We begin to talk. A few of us begin to talk
because we are willing to listen to each other, we are willing to
say, we’ll set aside any conclusions we have; we are willing to
listen to each other.
DB: That is part of rationality.
K: With some of us perhaps, but the vast majority is not willing
to listen to us, because we are concerned, serious enough to find
out if the ground exists. That gives us rationality to listen to each
other.
DB: Listing is necessary for rationality.
K: Of course. Are we saying the same thing?
DB: Yes.
K: The scientist, through the examination of matter, hopes to
reach the ground. We and `X’ and `Y’ say, let us become rational in
our life. Which means that you and I, and `X’ and `Y’ are willing to
listen to each other. That’s all. The very listening is the beginning
of rationality. Some people won’t listen to us or to anybody. So can
we, who are listening, be somewhat rational, and begin? That is all my point. This is being terribly logical, isn’t it? So can we proceed
from there?
Why has man brought about this irrationality in his life? A few
of us can apparently throw off some part of irrationality, become
somewhat rational and say, now, let’s start. Let us start to find out
why man lives this way. Now what is the common dominant factor
in all our lives? Obviously it is thought.
DB: Yes, that is so. Of course many people might deny that and
say it is feeling, or that something else is the major factor.
K: Many people might say that, but thought is part of feeling.
DB: Yes, but that is not commonly understood.
K: We will explain it. Feeling – if there was no thought behind
it, would you be able to recognize it?
DB: Yes, I think this is a major difficulty, in communication
with some people. K: So we begin. There may be some who don’t
see this, but I want the free `X’ and `Y’ to see it, because they have
become somewhat rational, therefore they are listening to each
other. They can say thought is the main source of this current.
DB: Then we have to say, what is thought?
K: I think that is fairly simple. Thought brings about
irrationality.
DB: Yes, but what is it? How do you know you are thinking?
What do you mean by thinking?
K: Thinking is the movement of memory, which is experience,
knowledge, stored in the brain.
DB: Suppose we want to have rationality which includes
rational thought. Is rational thought only memory?
K: Wait a minute. Let’s be careful. If we are completely rational, there is total insight. That insight uses thought, and then it
is rational.
DB: Then thought is not only memory?
K: No, no.
DB: Well, I mean since it is being used by insight…
K: No, insight uses thought.
DB: Yes, but what thought does is not just due to memory now.
K: Wait a minute.
DB: Outwardly thought runs on its own, it runs like a machine
on its own, and it is not rational.
K: Quite right.
DB: But when thought is the instrument of insight…
K: Then thought is not memory.
DB: It is not based on memory.
K: No, not based on memory.
DB: Memory is used, but it is not based on memory. K: Then
what? Thought being limited, divisive, incomplete, can never be
rational…
DB: Without insight.
K: That’s right. Now, how are we to have insight which is total
rationality? Not the rationality of thought.
DB: I should call it rationality of perception.
K: Yes, rationality of perception.
DB: Then thought becomes the instrument of that, so it has the
same order.
K: Now how am I to have that insight? That is the next
question. Isn’t it? What am I to do, or not to do, to have this instant
insight, which is not of time, which is not of memory, which has no cause, which is not based on reward or punishment? It is free of all
that. Now how does the mind have this insight? When I say, I have
the insight, that is wrong. Obviously. So how is it possible for a
mind which has been irrational, and has become somewhat
rational, to have that insight? It is possible to have that insight if
your mind is free from time.
DB: Right. Let’s go slowly because you see, if we go back to the
scientific, even common sense point of view, implicitly time is
taken as the ground of everything in scientific work. In fact even in
ancient Greek mythology Chronos, the god of time, produces his
children and swallows them. That is exactly what we said about the
ground; everything comes from the ground and dies to the ground.
So, in a way, mankind long ago began to take time already as the
ground.
K: Yes. And then someone comes along and says time is not the
ground.
DB: That’s right. So until now even scientists have been looking
for the ground in time – and everybody else too!
K: That is the whole point.
DB: Now you say time is not the ground. Somebody might say
this is nonsense, but we say, we will stay open to that, although
some people might easily dismiss it right away. Now if you say
time is not the ground, we don’t know where we are. K: I know
where I am. We will go into it.
Q: Is time the same movement as this thought which we
described first?
K: Yes, time is that. Time is thought.
DB: Let’s go slowly again on that, because there is, as we have often said, chronological time.
K: Of course, that is simple.
DB: Yes, but in addition we are thinking. You see, thinking
takes time chronologically, but in addition it projects a kind of
imaginary time…
K: …which is the future.
DB: Which is the future and the past as we experience it.
K: Yes, that is right.
DB: That time which is imagined is also a kind of real process
of thinking.
K: It is a fact.
DB: It is a fact that it takes time, physically, to think, but we
also have time when we can imagine the whole past and future.
K: Yes, which are facts.
DB: So let’s say that this time is not the ground, perhaps not
even physically.
K: We are going to find out.
DB: Yes, but we feel it to be the ground, because we feel that
we, as the self, exist in time. Without time there could be no `me’.
K: That’s it.
DB: `I’ must exist in time.
K: Of course, of course.
DB: Eternally being something, or becoming something.
K: Becoming and being are in the field of time. Now can the
mind, which has evolved through time… Q: What do you mean by
mind then?
K: Mind – the brain, my senses, my feeling, all that is the mind.
DB: The particular mind, you mean.       K: Particular mind, of course, I am talking of the mind that has
evolved through time.
DB: Even its particularity depends on time.
K: Time, of course, and all the rest of it. Now we are asking,
can that mind be free of time, to have an insight which is totally
rational, which then can operate on thought? That thought is totally
rational, not based on memory. Agreed?
DB: Yes.
K: Now how am I – as `X’ and `Y’ – to be free of time? I know I
need time to go from here to there, to learn a lesson, a technique,
etc. I understand that very clearly, so I am not talking about that
time. I am talking about time as becoming.
DB: As being.
K: Of course, becoming is being. I start from being to become.
DB: And being something in myself. Being better, being
happier.
K: Yes, the whole thing – the more. Now can I, can my brain
investigating to find out if the ground exists, can my whole mind
be tree of time? We have now separated time. The time which is
necessary, and the time which is not necessary. That is, can my
brain not function as it has always done, in time as thought? Which
means, can thought come to an end? Would you accept that?
DB: Yes, but could you make that more clear? We can see that
the first question is, can my brain not be dominated by the function
of thought?
K: Yes, which is time.
DB: And then, if you say thought comes to an end…
K: No! Can time as thought come to a stop?       DB: Psychological time comes to a stop. K: Yes, I am talking of
that.
DB: But we will still have the rational thought.
K: Of course. That is understood. We have said that.
DB: We are discussing the thought of conscious experience.
Q: Of becoming and being…
K: And the retention of memory; you know, the past, as
knowledge. Oh, yes, that can be done.
DB: You really mean the memory of experiences?
K: The memory of experiences, hurts, attachments, the whole of
it. Now can that come to an end? Of course it can. This is the point:
it can come to an end when the very perception asks, what is it?
What is hurt? What is psychological damage? The perception of it
is the ending of it. Not carrying it over, which is time. The very
ending of it is the ending of time. I think that is clear. `X’ is hurt,
wounded from childhood. And he, by listening, talking, discussing,
realizes that the continuation of the hurt is time. And to find out the
ground, time must end. So he says, can my hurt end instantly,
immediately?
DB: Yes, I think there are some steps in that. You say, he finds
that hurt is time, but the immediate experience of it is that it exists
on its own.
K: I know, of course. We can go into that.
DB: That simply is something on its own.
K: Which means, I have created an image about myself and the
image is hurt, but not me.
DB: What do you mean by that?
K: All right. In the becoming, which is time, I have created an image about myself.
DB: Well, thought has created that image.
K: Thought has created an image through experience, through
education, through conditioning, and made this image separate
from me. But this image is actually `me’, although we have
separated the image and the me, which is irrational. So, in realizing
that the image is `me’, I have become somewhat rational.
DB: I think that will not be clear – because if I am hurt I feel the
image is `me’.
K: The image is you.
DB: The person who is hurt feels that way, you see.
K: All right. But the moment you operate on it you separate
yourself.
DB: That’s the point. Now the first feeling is that the image is
`me’ hurt, and the second feeling is that I draw back from the image
in order to operate on it…
K: …which is irrationality.
DB: …because it is not correct.
K: That’s right.
DB: And that brings in time, because I say it will take time to
do that.
K: Quite right. So by seeing that, I become rational, and act.
The act is to be free of it immediately.
DB: Let’s go into that. The first thing is that there has been a
hurt. That is the image, but at first I don’t separate it. I feel
identified with it.
K: I am that.
DB: I am that. But then I draw back, and say that I think there must be a `me’ who can do something.
K: Yes, can operate on it.
DB: Now that takes time.
K: That is time.
DB: That is time, but I mean, I am thinking it takes time. Now I
have to go slowly. If i don’t do that, that hurt cannot exist.
K: That’s right.
DB: But it is not obvious in the experience itself that this is so.
K: First let’s go slowly into it. I am hurt. That is a fact. Then I
separate myself – there is a separation – saying, I will do something
about it.
DB: The `me’ who will do something is different.
K: Different, of course.
DB: And he thinks about what he should do.
K: The `me’ is different because it is becoming.
DB: It projects into the future a different state.
K: Yes. I am hurt. There is a separation, a division. The `me’,
which is always pursuing the becoming, says, I must control it. I
must wipe it out. I must act upon it, or I will be vengeful, hurtful.
So this movement of separation is time.
DB: We can see that now. The point is, there is something here
that is not obvious. A person is thinking that the hurt exists
independently of `me’, and I must do something about it. I project
into the future the better state and what I will do. Let’s try to make
this very clear, because you are saying that there is no separation.
K: My rationality discovers there is no separation.
DB: There is no separation, but the illusion that there is a
separation helps to maintain the hurt.       K: That’s right. Because the illusion is, I am becoming.
DB: Yes. I am this and will become that. So I am hurt and I will
become non-hurt. Now that very thought maintains the hurt.
K: That’s right.
Q: Is the separation not already there when I become conscious
and say I am hurt?
K: I am hurt. Then I say, I am going to hit you because you
have hurt me, or I say, I must suppress it – or I create fear, and so
on.
Q: But isn’t that feeling of separation there from the moment I
say I am hurt?
K: That is irrationality.
Q: That is irrational already? K: Yes, when you say, does not
the separation exist already when I say `I am hurt’.
DB: It does, but I think that before that happens you get a kind
of shock. The first thing that happens is a mild shock, a pain or
whatever, which you identify with that shock. Then you explain it
by saying `I am hurt’, and that immediately implies the separation
to do something about it.
K: Of course. If I am not hurt I don’t know anything about
separation or not separation. If I am hurt, I am irrational as long as
I maintain that hurt and do something about it, which is to become.
Then irrationality comes in. I think that is right.
DB: Now if you don’t maintain it, what happens? Suppose you
say, I won’t go on with this becoming?
K: Ah, that is quite a different matter. It means I am no longer
thinking, no longer observing, or using time as an observation.
DB: You could say that is not your way of looking. It is not your theory any more.
K: That’s right.
DB: Because you could say time is a theory which everybody
adopts for psychological purposes.
K: Yes. That is the common factor; time is the common factor
of man. And we are pointing out time is an illusion…
DB: Psychological time.
K: Of course, that is understood.
DB: Are you saying that when we no longer approach this
through time, then the hurt does not continue?
K: It does not continue, it ends – because you are not becoming
anything.
DB: In becoming you are always continuing what you are.
K: That’s right. Continuing what you are, modified…
DB: That is why you struggle to become.
K: We are talking about insight. That is, insight has no time.
Insight is not the product of time, time being memory, etc. So there
is insight. That insight being free of time acts upon memory, acts
upon thought. That is, insight makes thought rational, but not
thought which is based on memory. Then what the devil is that
thought?
No. Wait a minute. I don’t think thought comes in at all. We
said insight comes into being when there is no time. Thought –
which is based on memory, experience, knowledge – that is the
movement of time as becoming. We are talking of psychological
and not chronological time. We are saying to be free of time
implies insight. Insight, being free of time, has no thought.
DB: We said that it may use thought.       K: Wait. I am not sure. Just go slowly. It may use thought to
explain, but it acts. Before, action was based on thought. Now,
when there is insight, there is only action. Why do you want
thought? Because insight is rational, action is rational. Action
becomes irrational when it is acting from thought. So insight
doesn’t use thought.
DB: Well, we have to make it clear because in a certain area it
has to use thought… If, for example, you want to construct
something you would use the thought which is available on how to
do it.
K: But that is not insight.
DB: But even so you may have to have insight in that area.
K: Partial. The scientists, the painters, the architects, the
doctors, the artists and so on have partial insight. But we are
talking of `X’ and `Y’, who are seeking the ground; they are
becoming rational, and we are saying insight is without time, and
therefore without thoughts, and that insight is action. Because that
insight is rational, action is rational. Forgive me, I am not making
myself an example, I am talking in all humility. That boy, that
young man in 1929 dissolved the Order of the Star. There was no
thought. People said, `Do this’, `Don’t do that’, `Keep it’, `Don’t
keep it’. He had an insight; dissolved it. Finished! Why do we need
thought?
DB: But then you used some thought in dissolving the Order to
say, when to do it, how to do it. K: That word is used merely for
convenience, for communication with other people.
DB: But still some thought was needed.
K: The decision acts.       DB: I didn’t mean about the decision. The primary action did
not require thought; only that which followed.
K: That is nothing. It is like moving a cushion from there to
there.
DB: Yes, I understand that. Then the primary source of action
does not involve thought.
K: That is all I wanted to say.
DB: But it sort off filters through into…
K: …it is like a wave.
Q: Does not all thought undergo a transformation in this
process?
K: Yes, of course. Because insight is without time, therefore the
brain itself has undergone a change.
DB: Yes, now could we talk about what you mean by that?
K: Does it mean that every human response must be viewed by,
or must enter into insight? I will tell you what I mean. I am jealous.
Is there an insight which will cover the whole field of jealousy and
so end it? End envy, greed, and all that is involved in jealousy. You
follow? Irrational people go step by step – get rid of jealousy, get
rid of attachment, get rid of anger, get rid of this, that and the other.
Which is a constant process of becoming – right? But insight,
which is totally rational, wipes all that away.
DB: Right.
K: Is that a fact? Fact, in the sense that `X’ and `Y’ will never be
jealous again; never!
DB: We have to discuss that, because it is not clear how you
could guarantee it.
K: Oh, yes, I will guarantee it! DB: If it can reach those who are able to listen…
K: Which means that to find the ground the first thing is to
listen.
DB: You see, scientists cannot always listen. Even Einstein and
Bohr were not able at a certain point to listen to each other. Each
one was attached to his particular view.
K: They brought their irrationality into operation.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 4 10TH
APRIL 1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF.
DAVID BOHM ‘BREAKING THE PATTERN OF
EGO-CENTRED ACTIVITY’

KRISHNAMURTI: I would like to ask a question which may lead
us to something: what will make man change, deeply,
fundamentally, radically? He has had crisis after crisis, he has had
a great many shocks, he has been through every kind of
misfortune, every kind of war, personal sorrow, and so on. A little
affection, a little joy, but all this doesn’t seem to change him. What
will make a human being leave the way he is going, and move in a
totally different direction? I think that is one of our great problems,
don’t you? Why? If one is concerned, as one must be, with
humanity, with all the things that are going on, what would be the
right action to move man out of one direction to another? Is this
question valid? Has it any significance?
DAVID BOHM: Well, unless we can see this action, it won’t
have much significance.
K: Has the question any significance?
DB: What it means is, indirectly, to ask what is holding people.
K: Yes, same thing.
DB: If we could find out what is holding people in their present
direction…
K: Is it the basic conditioning of man, this tremendous egotistic
attitude and action, which won’t yield to anything? It appears to
change, it appears to yield, but the centre remains the same.
perhaps this may not be in the line of our dialogue over the last two or three days, but I thought we might start with this.
DB: Have you some notion of what is holding people?
Something that would really change them?
K: I think so.
DB: What is it then? K: What is it that is blocking? Do we
approach through environmental conditioning, from the outer to
the inner, and discover from man’s outer activities, the inner? And
then discover that the outer is the inner, the same movement, and
then go beyond it to see what it is? Could we do that?
DB: When you say outward, what do you mean? Do you mean
the social conditions?
K: The social conditioning, the religious conditioning,
education, poverty, riches, climate, food; the outer. Which may
condition the mind in a certain direction. But as one examines it a
little more, the psychological conditioning is also from the outer,
somewhat.
DB: It is true that the way a person thinks is going to be
affected by his whole set of relationships. But that doesn’t explain
why the conditioning is so rigid, and why it holds.
K: That is what I am asking too.
DB: Yes. If it were merely outward conditioning, one would
expect it to be more easily changed. For example, you could have
some other outward condition.
K: They have tried all that.
DB: Yes, the whole belief of Communism was that with a new
society there would be a new man. But there have been none! I
think that there is something fundamentally in the inward that
holds, that resists change.       K: What is it? Will this question lead us anywhere?
DB: Unless we actually uncover it, it will lead nowhere.
K: I think one could find out, if one applied one’s mind. I am
just asking: is this question worthwhile, and is it related to what we
have been discussing? Or shall we take up something else in
relation to what we have been talking about?
DB: Well, I think that we have been talking of bringing about
an ending to time, an ending to becoming. And we talked of
coming into contact with the ground, through complete rationality.
But now we could say that the mind is not rational.
K: Yes, we said man is basically irrational. DB: This is perhaps
part of the block. If we were completely rational, then we would of
necessity come to this ground. Would that be right?
K: Yes. We were talking the other day about the ending of time.
The scientists, through the investigation of matter, want to find out
that point. Also the so-called religious people have endeavoured to
find out – not only verbally – if time can stop. We went into that
quite a bit, and we say it is possible for a human being, who will
listen, to find out through insight the ending of use insight is not
memory. Memory is time, memory is knowledge stored up in the
brain, and so on. As long as that is in operation there is no
possibility of having insight into Total insight, not partial insight.
The artist, the musician, they all have partial insights and therefore
they still time-bound.
It is possible to have a total insight, which is the ending of the
`me’ because the `me’ is time? Me, my ego, my resistance, my
hurts, all that. Can that `me’ end? It is only when that ends that
there is total insight. That is what we discovered.       And we went into the question, is it possible for a human being
to end totally this whole structure of the `me’? We said yes, and
went into it. Very few people will listen to this because it is
perhaps too frightening. And the question then arises: if the `me’
ends, what is there? just emptiness? There is no interest in that. But
if one is investigating without any sense of reward or punishment,
then there is something. We say that something is total emptiness,
which is energy and silence. Well that sounds nice, but it has no
meaning to an ordinary man who is serious and wants to go beyond
it, beyond himself. And we pushed it further: is there something
beyond all this? And we say there is.
DB: The ground.
K: The ground. Is it that the beginning of this enquiry is to
listen? Will I, as a human being, give up my egocentric activity
completely? What will make me move away from that? What will
make a human being move away from this destructive, self-centred
activity? If he will move away through reward, or punishment, then
that is just another thought, motive. So discard that. Then what will
make human beings renounce – if I may use the word – renounce it
completely without motive? You see, man has tried everything in
this direction – fasting self-torture in various forms, abnegating
himself through belief and denying himself through identification
with something greater. All the religious people have tried it, but
the `me’ is still there.
DB: Yes. The whole activity has no meaning, but somehow this
does not become evident. People will move away from something
which has no meaning, and makes no sense, ordinarily speaking.
But it seems that the perception of this fact is rejected by the mind. The mind is resisting it.
K: The mind is resisting this constant conflict, and moving
away from it.
DB: It is moving away from the fact that this conflict has no
meaning.
K: People don’t see that.
DB: Also the mind is set up purposefully to avoid seeing it.
K: The mind is avoiding it.
DB: It is avoiding it almost on purpose, but not quite
consciously, like the people of India who say they are going to
retire to the Himalayas because nothing can be done.
K: But that is hopeless. You mean to say that the mind, having
lived so long in conflict, refuses to move away from it?
DB: It is not clear why it refuses to give it up; why the mind
does not wish to see the full meaninglessness of the conflict. The
mind is deceiving itself, it is covering up.
K: The philosophers and so-called religious people have
emphasized struggle, emphasized the sense of striving, control,
effort. Is that one of the causes why human beings refuse to let go
of their way of life?
DB: Possibly. They hope that by fighting or struggling they will
achieve a better result. Not to give up what they have, but to
improve it by struggle.
K: Man has lived for two million years; what has he achieved?
More wars, more destruction. DB: What I am trying to say is that
there is a tendency to resist seeing this, but also to go back to
hoping that the struggle will produce something better.
K: I am not quite sure if we have cleared this point; that the intellectuals – I am using the word respectfully – the intellectuals of
the world have emphasized this factor of struggle.
DB: Many of them have, I suppose.
K: Most of them.
DB: Karl Marx.
K: Marx and even Bronowski, who talk of more and more
struggle, of acquiring more and more knowledge. Is it that the
intellectuals have such extraordinary influence on our minds?
DB: I think people do this without any encouragement from
intellectuals. You see, struggle has been emphasized everywhere.
K: That is what I mean. Everywhere. Why?
DB: Well, in the beginning people thought it would be
necessary because they had to struggle against nature in order to
survive.
K: So struggling against nature has been transferred to the
other?
DB: Yes, that is part of it. You see you must be a brave hunter,
and you must struggle against your own weakness to become
brave. Otherwise you can’t do it.
K: Yes, that’s it. So is it that our minds are conditioned, shaped,
held, in this pattern?
DB: Well that is certainly true, but it doesn’t explain why it is so
extraordinarily hard to change it.
K: Because I am used to it. I am in a prison, but I am used to it.
DB: But I think that there is a tremendous resistance to moving
away from it.
K: Why does a human being resist this? If you come along and
point out the fallacy, the irrationality of this, and you show the whole cause and effect, give examples, data, everything else?
Why? DB: That is what I said, that if people were capable of
complete rationality they would drop it, but I think that there is
something more to the problem. You see, you may expose the
irrationality of it but there is something more, in the sense that
people are not fully aware of this whole pattern of thought. Having
had it exposed at a certain level, it still continues at levels that they
are not aware of.
K: But what would make them aware?
DB: That is what we have to find. I think people have to
become aware that they have this tendency to go on with the
conditioning. It might be mere habit, or it might be the result of
many past conclusions, all operating now, without people knowing
it. There are so many different things that keep people in this
pattern. You might convince somebody that the pattern makes no
sense, but when it comes to the actual affairs of life he has a
thousand different ways of proceeding which imply that pattern.
K: Quite. Then what?
DB: Well, I think that a person would have to be extremely
interested in this to break all that down.
K: Then what will bring a human being to this state of extreme
interest? You see, they have even been offered heaven as a reward
if they do this. Various religions have done this, although that
becomes too childish.
DB: That is part of the pattern – reward. Ordinarily the rule is
that I follow the self-enclosed pattern except when something
really big comes up.
K: A crisis.       DB: Or when a reward is to be obtained.
K: Of course.
DB: That is a pattern of thinking. people must in some way
believe that it has value. If everybody were able to work together
and suddenly we were able to produce harmony, then everybody
would say, fine, I will give up myself. But in the absence of that, I
had better hold on to what I have! That is the sort of thinking.
K: Hold on to what is known.
DB: I don’t have much, but I had better hold on to it. K: Yes. So
are you saying that if everybody does this, I will do it?
DB: That is the common way of thinking. Because as soon as
people begin to start to cooperate in an emergency, then a great
many people go along.
K: So they form communes. But all those have failed.
DB: Because after a while this special thing goes away and they
fall back to the old pattern.
K: The old pattern. So I am asking, what will make a human
being break through this pattern?
QUESTIONER: Isn’t it related to the question we dealt with
before – time and no time?
K: But I know nothing about time, I know nothing about all
this, it is just a theory to me. Yet the fact is, I am caught in this
pattern and I can’t let it go. The analysts have tried it, the religious
people have tried it, everybody has tried to make human beings
intelligent – but they have not succeeded.
Q: But they don’t see that the very attempt at letting go the
pattern or ending the conflict is still strengthening the conflict.
K: No, that is just a theory.       Q: But you can explain that to them.
K: You can explain. As we said, there are a dozen very rational
explanations. At the end of it we fall back to this.
Q: Well, you only fall back to that if you have not really
understood it.
K: Have you understood it when you say that? Why haven’t I, or
you, said `finished’! You can give me a thousand explanations, and
all probably a bit irrational, but I say, have you done it?
Q: I don’t even understand the question, when you ask, have I
done it?
K: I am not being personal. You have given an explanation of
why human beings can’t move away from this pattern, or break
through it.
Q: No, I give you more than the explanation. K: What do you
give me?
Q: If I observe something to be correct, then the description of
the observation is more than just explanation.
K: Yes, but can I observe this clearly?
Q: Well, that is the problem.
K: So help me to see it clearly.
Q: For that there must be an interest.
K: Please don’t say `must’. I haven’t got an interest. I am
interested, as Dr. Bohm pointed out just now, when there is a
tremendous crisis such as war. Then I forget myself. In fact, I am
glad to forget myself, to give the responsibility to the generals, to
the politicians. Under a crisis I forget, but the moment the crisis
goes away I am back to my pattern. That is happening all the time.
Now, I say to myself, what will make me relinquish this pattern, or break through it?
Q: Isn’t it that one must see the falseness?
K: Show it to me.
Q: I can’t, because I have not seen it.
K: Then what shall I do as a human being? You have explained
to me ten thousand times how ugly it is, how destructive it is, and
so on, but I fall back to this pattern all the time. Help me, or show
me how to break the pattern. You understand my question?
Q: Well then you are interested?
K: All right. Now what will make me be interested? Pain?
Q: Sometimes it does for a moment, but it goes away.
K: So what will make me as a human being so alert, so aware,
so intense that I will break through this thing?
Q: You state the question in terms of an action, breaking
through, relinquishing. Isn’t it a matter of seeing?
K: Yes. Show me, help me to see, because I am resisting you.
My pattern, so deeply ingrained in me, is holding back – right? I
want proof, I want to be convinced. Q: We have to go back to this
question – why do I want to have proof? Why do I want to be
convinced?
K: Because someone says that this is a stupid, irrational way of
looking. And he shows us all the effects of it, the cause of it, and
we say, yes but we can’t let go!
DB: You may say that is the very nature of `me’, that I must
fulfil my needs no matter how irrational they are.
K: That is what I am saying.
DB: First I must take care of my own needs, and then I can try
to be rational.       K: What are our needs then?
DB: Some of the needs are real and some are imaginary but…
K: Yes, that’s it. The imaginary, illusory needs sway the other
needs.
DB: But you see, I may need to believe I am good and right,
and to know that I will be always there.
K: Help me to break that!
DB: I think I have to see that this is an illusion. You see, if it
seems real, what can I do? Because if I am really there, I need all
this, and it is foolish to talk of being rational if I am going to
vanish, break down or something. You have proposed to me that
there is another state of being where I am not there – right? And
when I am there, this doesn’t make any sense!
K: Yes, quite. But I am not there. Suppose as a human being,
heaven is perfect, but I am not there; please help me to get there.
DB: No, it is something different.
K: I know what you are saying.
Q: Can one see the illusory nature of that very demand that I
want to go to heaven? Or I want to be enlightened, or I want to be
this, I want to be that? But this very question, this very demand is…
K: This demand is based on becoming, on the more.
Q: That is illusory. K: No. You say that.
DB: You haven’t demonstrated it to me, you see.
K: That is an idea to you. It is just a theory. Show me.
Q: Well, are we willing really to explore the question?
K: We are willing on one condition – that we find something at
the end of it. See how the human mind works. I will climb the
highest mountain if I can get something out of it.       Q: Can the mind see that this is the problem?
K: Yes, but it can’t let go.
Q: Well if it sees…
K: You are going round and round in circles!
DB: It sees the problem abstractly.
K: That is it. Now why do I see it abstractly?
DB: First of all, it is a lot easier.
K: Don’t go back to that. Why does my mind make an
abstraction of everything?
DB: Let’s begin by saying that to a certain extent it is the
function of thought to make abstractions outwardly, but then we
carry them inwardly. It is the same sort of thing as before.
K: Yes. So is there something else – I am just asking – that we
are missing in this altogether? That is, if I may point out, we are
still thinking in the same old pattern.
DB: The question itself contains that pattern, doesn’t it?
K: Yes, but the pursuit of the pattern is traditional.
DB: I mean that in framing this question, the pattern has
continued.
K: Yes, so can we move away altogether from this, and look at
it differently. Can the human mind say, all right, we have tried all
this – Marx, Buddha, everybody has pointed out something or
other. But obviously after a million years, we are still somehow
caught in that pattern – saying we must be interested, we must
listen, we must do this, and so on. DB: That is still time.
K: Yes. Then what happens if I leave all that, actually leave it? I
won’t even think in terms of it. No more explanations, or new
twists, that are the same old twists! So I say let’s leave that area completely and look at the problem differently, the problem being
why do I always live in this centre of `me’? I am a serious human
being; I have listened to all this and after fifty years I know all the
explanations – what I should, should not do, etc. Can I say, all
right, I will discard all that? That means I stand completely alone.
Does that lead anywhere?
DB: Possibly, yes.
K: I think it does lead somewhere.
DB: It seems to me that basically you are saying leave all this
knowledge of mankind behind.
K: That is what I am saying.
DB: Apparently it is out of its place.
K: Yes. Leave all the knowledge, and experiences,
explanations, causes that man has created – discard all that.
Q: But you are still left with the same mind.
K: Ah! I have not such a mind. It is not the same mind. When I
discard all this, my mind has changed. My mind is this.
Q: No, isn’t the mind also the basic set-up?
K: Which I have discarded.
Q: But you can’t discard that.
K: Oh, yes.
Q: I mean this is an organism.
K: Now, wait a minute. My organism has been shaped by
knowledge, by experience. And more knowledge which I have
acquired as I have evolved, as I have grown. As I have gathered
more and more, it has strengthened me, and I have been walking on
that path for millennia. And I say, perhaps I may have to look at
this problem totally differently – which is not to walk on that path at all, but to discard all knowledge I have acquired. DB: In this
area, in this psychological place.
K: Psychologically, of course.
DB: At the core, at the source, knowledge is irrelevant.
K: Yes.
DB: Further down the line it becomes relevant.
K: Of course. That is understood.
Q: But I have one question. The mind at the beginning of its
evolution was in that same position. The mind at the beginning of
whatever you call man was in that position.
K: No. I don’t accept that. Why do you say that? The moment it
comes into being, it is already caught in knowledge. Would you
say that?
DB: I think it is implicit in the structure of thought.
K: That is just it.
DB: First of all, to have knowledge about the outward, and then
to apply this to the inward, without understanding that it was going
to be caught in it. Therefore it extended that knowledge into the
area of psychological becoming.
Q: Well, if the mind started new, it would go through the same
mistake again.
K: No, certainly not.
Q: Unless it has learnt.
K: No, I don’t want to learn. You are still pursuing the same old
path. I don’t want to learn. please, just let me go into this a little bit.
DB: We should clear this up because on other occasions you
have said it is important to learn, even about observing yourself.
K: Of course.       DB: Now you are saying something quite different. It should be
made clear why it is different. Why is it that you have given up the
notion of learning at this stage?
K: At this stage, because I am still gathering memory. DB: But
there was a state when it was important to learn about the mind.
K: Don’t go back. I am just starting. I have lived for sixty,
eighty, or a hundred years. And I have listened to all this – the
teachers in India, the Christians, the Muslims; I have listened to all
the psychological explanations, to Freud, Marx and everybody.
DB: I think we should go a bit further. We agree that is all
negative stuff, but in addition perhaps I have observed myself, and
learned about myself.
K: Myself, yes, add that. And, at the end of it, I say perhaps this
is a wrong way of looking at it.
DB: Right. Having explored that way, we finally are able to see
it might be wrong.
K: Perhaps.
DB: Well I would say that in some sense perhaps it was
necessary to explore that way.
K: Or not necessary.
DB: It may not have been, but given the whole set of conditions
it was bound to happen.
K: Of course. So now I have come to a point when I say discard
– we will put in that word – all that knowledge, because that hasn’t
led me anywhere, in the sense that I am not free of my
egocentricism.
DB: But that alone isn’t enough because if you say it hasn’t
worked, you can always hope or suppose that it may. But in fact you could see that it can’t work.
K: It can’t work. I am definite on that.
DB: It is not enough to say it hasn’t worked, actually it cannot
work.
K: It cannot work because it is based on time and knowledge,
which is thought. And these explanations are based on thought – to
acquire knowledge and so on and so on. Would you say that? DB:
As far as we have gone we have based them on knowledge and
thought. And not only thought, but the habitual patterns of skill are
an extension of thought.
K: So I put those aside, not casually, not with an interest in the
future – but seeing the same pattern being repeated and repeated;
different colours, different phrases, different pictures, different
images – I discard all that totally. Instead of going North, as I have
been going for millennia, I have stopped and am going East, which
means my mind has changed.
DB: Has the structure of the `me’ gone?
K: Obviously.
DB: Without insight into it?
K: No. I won’t bring in insight for the moment.
DB: But there was insight to do that. I mean to say that to
consider doing it was an insight. The insight was the thing that
worked.
K: I won’t bring in that word.
DB: When you said that the whole thing could not work, I think
that is an insight.
K: For me. I see it cannot work. But then we go back again to
how do I acquire insight, and all that.       DB: But leaving that aside and just saying that it was an insight,
the question of how to acquire it is not the point.
K: It is an insight that says `out’.
Q: Out to the pattern.
K: No, finished with this constant becoming through
experience, knowledge, patterns. Finished!
Q: Would you say that the kind of thinking afterwards, is a
totally different kind of thinking? Evidently one still must think.
K: I am not sure.
Q: Well you may call it something else. K: Ah, I won’t call it
anything else. Please I am just fishing around. After having lived a
hundred years, I see everybody pointing out the way to end the
self, and that way is based on thought, time, knowledge. And I say,
sorry, I know all that, I have used that. I have an insight into that;
therefore it falls away. Therefore the mind has broken the pattern
completely. Not going North but East, you break the pattern.
Now, all right. Suppose Dr. Bohm has this insight, and has
broken away from the pattern. Please let us help another human
being to come to that. Don’t say you must be interested, you must
listen, then fall back – you follow? What is your communication
with another human being, so that he hasn’t got to go through all
this mess? What will make me absorb so completely what you
have said, so that it is in my blood, in my brain, everything, so that
I see this thing? What will you do? Or is there nothing to do – you
follow my question? Because if you have that insight it is a
passion, it is not just a clever insight, nor is it possible to sit back
and be comfortable; it is a passion that won’t let you sit still, you
must move, give – whatever it is. What will you do? You have that passion or this immense insight. And that passion must, like a river
with a great volume of water flowing over the banks, move in the
same way.
Now, I am a human being, ordinary, fairly intelligent, well read,
experienced. I have tried this, that and the other thing, and I meet
someone who is full of this, and I say, why won’t I listen to him?
Q: I think we do listen.
K: Do we?
Q: Yes, I think so.
K: just go very, very slowly. Do we so completely listen that
there is no resistance, no saying why, what is the cause, why
should I? You follow what I mean? We have been through all that.
We have walked the area endlessly, back and forward from corner
to corner, North, South, East, West. And `X’ comes along and says,
look there is a different way of living, something totally new;
which means listening completely.
Q: If there is a resistance one does not see the resistance. K:
Don’t begin all over again on why you resist. I will show you your
resistance, by talking. You know. But yet you go back.
Q: Krishnaji, did not your initial question go beyond this, when
you asked, let’s leave the listening, the rationality, the thought.
K: Yes, but that is just an idea. Will you do it? `X’ comes along
and says, `Look, eat this.’
Q: I would eat it if I could see it.
K: Oh, yes, you can see it, very clearly. We said, don’t go back
to the pattern. See! Then you say, how am I to see? which is the
old pattern.just see! `X’ refuses to enter that pattern.
Q: The pattern of explanation?       K: Knowledge, all that. He says come over, don’t go back.
Q: Krishnaji, to talk about a normal situation in the world; there
are a number of people who ask one with similar words to see, put
thought aside; if one would really look at this thing one would see
it. That is what the priests tell us. So what is the difference?
K: No, I am not a priest. I have left all that. I have left the
church, the gods,jesus, the Buddhas, the Krishnas, I have left all
that, Marx, Engels, all the analysts, all the pundits, everybody. You
see, you haven’t done that. Ah, you say, no, I can’t do it until you
show me there is something else beyond all that. And `X’ says,
`Sorry.’ Has that any meaning?
DB: Yes. I think that we say, leave all the knowledge behind.
But knowledge takes many subtle forms which we don’t see.
K: Of course. You are full of this insight and you have
discarded all knowledge because of that. And another keeps on
paddling over the pool of knowledge. And you say, leave it. The
moment we enter into explanations we are back in the game. And
you refuse to explain.
You see, explanations have been the boat in which to cross to
the other shore. And the man on the other shore says there is no
boat. But `X’ says, cross! He is asking something impossible, isn’t
he?
DB: If it doesn’t happen right away, then it is impossible. K:
Absolutely. He is asking something impossible for one to do. I am
meeting `X’, who is immovable. Either I have to go round him,
avoid him or go over him. I can’t do any of that. But `X’ won’t
leave me alone, in the sense that I have met something immovable.
And it is there night and day with me. I can’t battle with it because there is nothing to get hold of.
So what happens to me when I meet something that is
completely solid, immovable, absolutely true, what happens to me?
Is that the problem? That we have never met something like that?
We may climb the Himalayas, but Everest is always there. In the
same way, perhaps human beings have never met something
irrevocable. Something absolutely immovable. Either we are
terribly puzzled by it, or we say, well we can’t do anything about it.
Walk away from it. Or it is something that we must investigate –
you follow – we must capture. Which is it?
Here is a solid thing. I am confronted by it. As I said, I might
run away from it, which I generally do. Or worship it. Or try to
understand what it is. When I do all these things, I am back in the
old pattern. So I discard that. When meeting `X’, who is
immovable, I see what the nature of it is. I am movable, as a
human being, but `X’ is immovable. The contact with it does
something, it must. It is not some mystic, occult stuff but it is
simple, isn’t it?
Q: Sir, it functions like a magnet, but it doesn’t break
something.
K: No, because you haven’t let go the pattern. It is not `X’s’
fault.
Q: I didn’t say it was.
K: No, the implication is that. Therefore you are back, you are
dependent.
Q: What is taking place?
K: I am saying, you meet `X; what happens?
Q: You said, an effort to understand.       K: Ah, there you are, lost. You are back in the old pattern. You
see it, you feel it, you know it, you recognize it. It doesn’t matter
what word you use, it is there.
DB: Well, can’t you say that `X’ communicates the absolute
necessity of not going on with the old pattern, because you see it
absolutely can’t work. K: Yes put it in your own words. All right.
DB: And therefore that is unalterable, immovable – is that what
you mean?
K: Yes, I am movable; `X’ is immovable.
DB: Well, what is behind `X’, what is working in `X’ is
immovable. Wouldn’t you say that?
K: What is working is something of a shock at first, naturally. I
have been moving, moving, moving, then I meet something that is
immovable. Suddenly something takes place, obviously. You can
see what takes place. `X’ is not becoming, and I am becoming. And
`X’ has been through explanations and all the rest of it, and he
shows that becoming is painful. (I am putting it quickly, in a few
words.) And I meet that. So there is the sensitivity – all right, let’s
put it the other way. The explanations and the discarding of all the
explanations have made me sensitive. Much more alert. When I
meet something like `X’, naturally there is a response not in terms
of explanation or understanding. There is a response to that. There
is bound to be. Explanations have been given over and over again.
I have listened, but either they have made me dull, or I begin to see
that explanations have no value at all. So in this process I have
become extraordinarily sensitive to any explanation. I am allergic!
There is a danger in this too, because, you know, people have
said when you go to the guru he gives; so be silent and you will receive. That’s an illusion, you know. Well, I have said enough.
DB: I could just say that when one sees that this whole process
of time and knowledge and so on won’t work, then it stops. Now,
this leaves one more sensitive – right?
K: Yes, the mind has become sharp.
DB: All this movement was getting in the way.
K: Yes, psychological knowledge has made us dull.
DB: It has kept the brain moving in an unnecessary way.
Q: All knowledge?
DB: Well, no. You could say in some sense that knowledge
needn’t make you dull, I suppose, if it starts from the clarity of
where we don’t have this knowledge at the core… K: Yes. You
remember we said too, in our discussions, that the ground is not
knowledge.
DB: You see the first thing is, it creates emptiness.
K: That’s it.
DB: But not yet the ground, not immediately the ground.
K: That’s right. You see, we have discussed all this; I hear it on
the tape, it is printed in a book, and I say, yes I get it. By reading it,
I have explained, I have acquired knowledge. Then I say, I must
that.
DB: The danger is that there is great difficulty in
communicating a book because that is too fixed.
K: But that is what generally happens.
DB: But I think that the main point, which could communicate
it, is to see that knowledge, in all its forms, subtle and obvious,
cannot solve the psychological problem; it can only make it worse.
But then there is another energy which is involved.       K: You see now what is happening? If any trouble arises I go to
a psychologist. In any family trouble I go to somebody who will
tell me what to do. Everything around me is being organized, and
making me more and more helpless. That is what is happening.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 5 12TH
APRIL 1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF.
DAVID BOHM ‘THE GROUND OF BEING, AND
THE MIND OF MAN’

DAVID BOHM: Perhaps we could go further into the nature of the
ground; whether we could come to it and whether it has any
relationship to human beings. And also whether there could be a
change in the physical behaviour of the brain.
KRISHNAMURTI: Could we approach this question from the
point of view, why do we have ideas? And is the ground an idea?
That is where we must first be clear. Why have ideas become so
important?
DB: Perhaps because the distinction between ideas, and what is
beyond ideas, is not clear. Ideas are often taken to be something
more than ideas; we feel they are not ideas but a reality.
K: That is what I want to find out. Is the ground an idea, or is it
imagination, an illusion, a philosophic concept? Or something that
is absolute, in the sense that there is nothing beyond it?
DB: How can you tell that there is nothing beyond it?
K: I am coming to that. I want to see whether we look at that, or
perceive that, or have an insight into that, from a concept. Because
after all the whole Western world – perhaps also the Eastern world
– is based on concepts. The whole outlook and religious beliefs, are
based on that. But do we approach it from that point of view or as a
philosophic investigation – philosophic, in the sense, love of
wisdom, love of truth, love of investigation, the process of the
mind? Are we doing that when we discuss, when we want to investigate, explain, or find out what that ground is?
DB: Well, perhaps not all the philosophers have been basing
their approach on concepts, although certainly philosophy is taught
through concepts. Certainly it is very hard to teach it except
through concepts.
K: What then is the difference between a religious mind and a
philosophic mind? You understand what I am trying to convey?
Can we investigate the ground from a mind that is disciplined in
knowledge?
DB: Fundamentally, inherently, we say that the ground is
unknown. Therefore we can’t begin with knowledge, and we have
suggested we start with the unknown.
K: Yes. Say for instance `X’ says there is such a ground. And all
of us, `Y’ and `Z’, say, what is that ground, prove it, show it, let it
manifest itself? When we ask such questions, is it with a mind that
is seeking, or rather that has this passion, this love for truth? Or are
we merely saying let’s talk about it?
DB: I think that in that mind there is the demand for certainty;
we want to be sure. So there is no enquiring.
K: Suppose you state that there is such a thing, that there is the
ground; it is immovable, etc. And I say, I want to find out. Show it,
prove it to me. How can my mind, which has evolved through
knowledge, which has been highly disciplined in knowledge, even
touch that? Because that is not knowledge, it is not put together by
thought.
DB: Yes, as soon as we say, prove it, we want to turn it into
knowledge.
K: That’s it!       DB: We want to be absolutely certain, so that there can be no
doubt. And yet, on the other side of the coin, there is also the
danger of self-deception and delusion.
K: Of course. The ground cannot be touched as long as there is
any form of illusion, which is the projection of desire, pleasure or
fear. So how do I perceive that thing? Is the ground an idea to be
investigated? Or is it something that cannot be investigated?
DB: Right.
K: Because my mind is trained, disciplined, by experience and
knowledge, and it can only function in that area. And someone
comes along and tells me that this ground is not an idea, is not a
philosophic concept; it is not something that can be put together, or
perceived by thought. DB: It cannot be experienced, it cannot be
perceived or understood through thought.
K: So what have I? What am I to do? I have only this mind that
has been conditioned by knowledge. How am I to move away from
all that? How am I, an ordinary man, educated, well-read,
experienced, to feel this thing, to touch it, to comprehend it?
You tell me words will not convey that. You tell me you must
have a mind that is free from all knowledge, except that which is
technological. And you are asking an impossible thing of me, aren’t
you? And, if I say I will make an effort, then that also is born out
of the self-centred desire. So what shall I do? I think that is a very
serious question. That is what every serious person asks.
DB: At least implicitly. They may not say it.
K: Yes, implicitly. So you, on the other side of the bank, as it
were, tell me that there is no boat to cross in. You can’t swim
across. In fact you can’t do anything. Basically, that is what it comes to. So what shall I do? You are asking me, you are asking
the mind, not the general mind but…
DB: …the particular mind.
K: You are asking this particular mind to eschew all knowledge.
Has this ever been said in the Christian or the jewish worlds?
DB: I don’t know about the jewish world, but in some sense the
Christians tell you to give your faith to God, to give over to jesus,
as the mediator between us and God.
K: Yes. Now Vedanta means the end of knowledge. And being
a Westerner, I say, it means nothing to me. Because from the
Greeks and all that, the culture in which I have lived has
emphasized knowledge. But when you talk to some Eastern minds,
they acknowledge in their religious life that a time must come
when knowledge must end; the mind must be free of knowledge.
Vedanta is the whole way of looking. But it is only a conceptual, a
theoretical understanding. But to a Westerner, it means absolutely
nothing.
DB: I think that there has been a Western tradition which is
similar, but not as common. For example, in the Middle Ages there
was a book called The Cloud of Unknowing, which is on that line,
although it is not the main line of Western thought. K: So what
shall I do? How shall I approach the question? I want to find it. It
gives meaning to life. It is not that my intellect gives meaning to
life by inventing some illusion, some hope, some belief, but I see
vaguely that this understanding, coming upon this ground, gives an
immense significance to life.
DB: Well, people have used that notion of God to give
significance to life.       K: No, no. God is merely an idea.
DB: Yes, but the idea contains something similar to the Eastern
idea that God is beyond knowing. Most people accept it that way,
though some may not. So there is some sort of similar notion.
K: But you tell me that the ground is not created by thought. So
you cannot under any circumstances come upon it through any
form of manipulation of thought.
DB: Yes, I understand. But I am trying to say that there is this
problem, danger, delusion, in the sense that people say, `Yes, that
is quite true, it is through a direct experience of jesus that we come
upon it, not through the thought of God, you see!’ I am not able to
express their view accurately. possibly, the grace of God?
K: The grace of God, yes.
DB: Something beyond thought, you see.
K: As a fairly educated, thoughtful man, I reject all that.
DB: Why do you reject it?
K: Because it has become common, first of all, common in the
sense that everybody says that! And also there may be in it a great
sense of illusion created by desire, hope, fear.
DB: Yes, but some people do seem to find this meaningful
although it may be an illusion.
K: But if they had never heard of jesus, they wouldn’t
experience jesus.
DB: That seems reasonable.
K: They would experience something different that they have
been taught. In India I mean… QUESTIONER: But don’t the more
serious people in the religions say that essentially God, or whatever
that is, the Absolute, the ground, is something that cannot be experienced through thinking? Also they might go so far as to say
it cannot be experienced at all.
K: Oh, yes, I have said it cannot be experienced. `X’ says it
cannot be experienced. Let’s say, I don’t know. Here is a person
who says there is such a thing. And I listen to him, and not only
does he convey it by his presence, but through the word. Although
he tells me to be careful; the word is not the thing; but he uses the
word to convey that there is this something so immense that my
thought cannot capture it. And I say, all right, you have explained
that very carefully, and how is my brain, that is conditioned,
disciplined in knowledge, how is it to free itself from all that?
Q: Could it free itself by understanding its own limitation?
K: So you are telling me thought is limited. Show it to me! Not
by talking or memory, experience or knowledge; I understand that,
but I don’t capture the feeling that it is limited, because I see the
beauty of the earth, I see the beauty of a building, of a person, of
nature. I see all that, but when you say thought is limited, I don’t
feel it. It is just a lot of words which you have said to me.
Intellectually I understand. But I have no feeling for it. There is no
perfume in it. How will you show me – not show me – how will you
help me – not help – aid me, to have this feeling that thought itself
is brittle, it is such a small affair? So that it is in my blood – you
understand? When once it is in my blood, I have got it. You don’t
have to explain it.
Q: But isn’t that the possible approach, not to talk about the
ground, that at the moment is far too removed, but rather to look
directly at what the mind can do.
K: Which is thinking.       Q: The mind is thinking.
K: That is all I have. Thinking, feeling, hating, loving – you
know all that. The activity of the mind.
Q: Well, I would say we don’t know it, we only think we know
it. K: I know when I am angry. I know when I am wounded. It is
not an idea, I have got the feeling, I am carrying the hurt inside me.
I am fed up with the investigation because I have done it all my
life. I go to Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam – and I say I
have investigated, studied, looked at them. I say these are all just
words. How do I as a human being have this extraordinary feeling
about it? If I have no passion, I am not investigating. I want to have
this passion that will explode me out of this little enclosure. have
built a wall around myself, a wall, which is myself. An man has
lived with this thing for millions of years. And I have been trying
to get out of it by studying, by reading, by going to gurus, by all
kinds of things, but I am still anchored there. And you talk about
the ground, because you see something that is breathtaking, that
seems so alive, so extraordinary. And I am here, anchored in here.
You, who have `seen’ the ground, must do something that will
explode, break up this centre completely.
Q: I must do something, or you must?
K: Help me! Not by prayer, and all that nonsense. You
understand what I am trying to say? I have fasted, I have
meditated, I have renounced, I have taken a vow of this and that. I
have done all those things. Because I have had a million years of
life. And at the end of the million years I am still where I was, at
the beginning. This is a great discovery for me; I thought I had
moved on from the beginning, by going through all this, but I suddenly discover I am back at the same point where I started. I
have had more experience, I have seen the world, I have painted, I
have played music, I have danced – you follow? But I have come
back to the original starting point.
Q: Which is me and not me.
K: Me. I say to myself, what am I to do? And what is the human
mind’s relationship to the ground? perhaps if I could establish a
relationship it might break up this centre, totally. This is not a
motive, not a desire, not a reward. I see that if the mind could
establish a relationship with that, my mind has become that – right?
Q: But hasn’t mind then already become that?
K: Oh, no. Q: But I think you have just wiped away the greatest
difficulty in saying there is no desire.
K: No, no. I said I have lived a million years…
Q: But that is an insight.
K: No. I won’t accept insight so easily as that.
Q: Well, let me put it this way: it is something much more than
knowledge.
K: No, you are missing my point. My brain has lived for a
million years. It has experienced everything. It has been Buddhist,
Hindu, Christian, Muslim; it has been all kinds of things, but the
core of it is the same. And someone comes along and says, look
there is a ground which is… something! Am I going back to what I
have already known – the religions, etc? I reject all that, because I
say I have been through it all, and they are like ashes to me at the
end of it.
DB: Well, all those things were the attempt to create an
apparent ground by thought. It seemed that through knowledge and thought, people created what they regarded as the ground. And it
wasn’t.
K: It wasn’t. Because man has spent a million years at it.
DB: So long as knowledge enters the ground, that will be false?
K: Of course. So is there a relationship between that ground and
the human mind? In asking that question, I am also aware of the
danger of such a question.
DB: Well, you may create a delusion of the same kind that we
have already gone through.
K: Yes. I have played that song before.
Q: Are you suggesting that the relationship cannot be made by
you, but it must come.?
K: I am asking that. No, it may be that I have to make a
relationship. My mind now is in such a state that I won’t accept a
thing. My mind says I have been through all this before. I have
suffered, I have searched, I have looked, I have investigated, I have
lived with people who are awfully clever at this kind of thing. So I
am asking the question, being fully aware of the danger of it, as
when the Hindus say, God is in you, Brahman is in you – which is a
lovely idea! But I have been through all that.
So I am asking if the human mind has no relationship to the
ground, and if there is only a one-way passage, from that to me…
DB: Surely that’s like the grace of God then, that you have
invented.
K: That I won’t accept.
DB: You are not saying the relationship is one way, nor are you
saying it is not one way.
K: Maybe; I don’t know.       DB: You are not saying anything.
K: I am not saying anything. All that I `want’ is this centre to be
blasted. You understand? For the centre not to exist. Because I see
that the centre is the cause of all the mischief, all the neurotic
conclusions, all the illusions, all the endeavour, all the effort, all
the misery – everything is from that core. After a million years, I
haven’t been able to get rid of it; it hasn’t gone. So is there a
relationship at all? What is the relationship between goodness and
evil? Consider it. There is no relationship.
DB: It depends on what you mean by relationship.
K: Contact, touch, communication, being in the same room…
DB: …coming from the same root.
K: Yes.
Q: But are we then saying that there is the good, and there is the
evil?
K: No, no. Let’s use another word; whole, and that which is not
whole. It is not an idea. Now is there relationship between these
two? Obviously not.
DB: No, if you are saying that in some sense the centre is an
illusion. An illusion cannot be related to that which is true, because
the content of the illusion has no relation to what is true. K: That’s
it. You see, that is a great discovery. I want to establish
relationship with that. `Want; I am using rapid words to convey
something. This petty little thing wants to have relationship with
that immensity. It cannot.
DB: Yes, not just because of its immensity, but because in fact
this thing is not – actually?
K: Yes.       Q: But I don’t see that. He says the centre is not actual, but I
don’t see that the centre is not actual.
DB: Not actual, in the sense of not being genuine but an
illusion. I mean, something is acting but it is not the content which
we know.
K: Do you see that?
Q: You say the centre must explode. It does not explode
because I don’t see the falseness in it.
K: No. You have missed my point. I have lived a million years,
I have done all this. And at the end of it I am still back at the
beginning.
Q: So you say the centre must explode.
K: No, no, no. The mind says this is too terribly small. And it
can’t do anything about it… It has prayed, it has done everything.
But the centre is still there. And someone tells me there is this
ground. I want to establish a relationship with that.
Q: He tells me there is this thing, and also says that the centre is
an illusion.
DB: Wait, that is too quick.
K: No. Wait. I know it is there. Call it what you like, an illusion,
a reality, a fiction – whatever you like. It is there. And the mind
says, it is not good enough; it wants to capture that. It wants to
have relationship with it. And that says, `Sorry, you can’t have
relationship with me.’ That’s all!
Q: Is that mind which wants to be in connection, in relationship
with that, the same mind which is the `me’? K: Don’t split it up,
please. You are missing something. I have lived all this. I know, I
can argue with you, back and forth. I have a million years of experience, and it has given me a certain capacity. And I realize at
the end of it all there is no relationship between me and truth. And
that’s a tremendous shock to me. It is as if you have knocked me
out, because my million years of experience say, go after that, seek
it, pray for it, struggle for it, cry, sacrifice for it. I have done all
that. And suddenly it is pointed out that I cannot have relationship
with that. I have shed tears, left my family, everything, for, that.
And that says, `No relationship’. So what has happened to Me?
This is what I want to get at. Do you understand what I am saying –
what has happened to me? To the mind that has lived this way,
done everything in search of that, when that says, `You have no
relationship with me’. This is the greatest thing…
Q: It is a tremendous shock to the `me’, if you say that.
K: Is it to you?
Q: I think it was, and then…
K: Don’t! I am asking you, is it a shock to discover that your
brain, and your mind, your knowledge, are valueless? All your
examinations, all your struggles, all the things that you have
gathered through years and years, centuries, are absolutely
worthless? Do you go mad, because you say you have done all this
for nothing? Virtue, abstinence, control, everything – and at the end
of it, you say they are valueless! Do you understand what this does
to you?
DB: I mean, if the whole thing goes, then it is of no
consequence.
K: Absolutely, you have no relationship. What you have done
or not done is absolutely of no value.
DB: Not in any fundamental sense. It has relative value, relative value only within a certain framework, which in itself has no value.
K: Yes, thought has relative value.
DB: But the framework in general has no value.
K: That’s right. The ground says, whatever you have done `on
earth’ has no meaning. Is that an idea? Or an actuality? Idea being
that you have told me, but I still go on, struggling, wanting,
groping. Or is it an actuality, in the sense that I suddenly realize the
futility of all that I have done. So, one must be very careful to see
that it is not a concept; or rather that one doesn’t translate it into a
concept or an idea, but receive the full blow of it!
Q: You see, Krishnaji, for hundreds of years, probably since
man has existed, he has pursued what he calls God, or the ground.
K: As an idea.
Q: But then the scientific mind came along, and also said it is
just an idea, it is just foolish.
K: Oh, no! The scientific mind says that through investigating
matter we will perhaps come upon the ground.
DB: Yes, many feel that way. Some would even add, investigate
the brain, you see.
K: Yes. That is the purpose of investigating the mind, not to
blast each other off the earth, with guns. We are talking of `good’
scientists, not governmental scientists, but those who say, we are
examining matter, the brain and all that, to find out if there is
something beyond all this.
Q: And many people, many scientists, would say that they have
found the ground; the ground is empty, it is emptiness; it is an
energy which is different from man.
K: Now, is that an idea, or an actuality to them, which affects their life, their blood, their mind, their relationship with the world?
Q: I think it is just an idea.
K: Then I am sorry, I have been through that. I was a scientist
ten thousand years ago! You follow? I have been through all that.
If it is merely an idea, we can both play at that game. I can send the
ball to you, it is in your court, and you can send it back to me. We
can play that. But I have finished with that kind of game.
DB: Because, in general, what people discover about matter
does not seem to affect them deeply, psychologically.
K: No, of course not. DB: You might think that if they saw the
whole unity of the universe they would act differently, but they
don’t.
Q: You could say that it has affected some of their lives. You
see the whole Communist doctrine is built on the idea (which they
think is a fact) that whatever is, is just a material process, which is
essentially empty. So then man has to organize his life and society
according to those dialectical principles.
K: No, no, dialectical principles are opinion opposing another
opinion; man hoping, out of opinions, to find the truth.
DB: I think we should leave this aside. There are ways of
looking at different meanings of the word dialectical – but one
needs to see reality as a flowing movement; not to see things as
fixed, but to see them in movement and interconnection. I think
that you could say that whatever way people managed to look at it,
after they saw this unity it didn’t fundamentally change their lives.
In Russia, the same structures of the mind, if not worse, hold as
elsewhere. And wherever people have tried this, it has not actually,
fundamentally, affected the way they feel and think, and the way they live.
Q: You see, what I wanted to say is that the dismissal of the
pursuit of the ground has not had any shocking effect on people.
K: No! I am not interested. It has given me a tremendous shock
to discover the truth, that all the churches, prayers, books, have
absolutely no meaning – except how we can build a better society,
and so on.
DB: If we could manage to bring this point to order, then it
would have great meaning – to build a good society. But as long as
this disorder is at the centre, we can’t use that in the right way. I
think it would be more accurate to say that there is a great potential
meaning in all that. But it does not affect the centre, and there is no
sign that it has ever done so.
Q: You see what I don’t understand is that there are many
people who in their life have never pursued what you call the
ground.
K: They are not interested.
Q: Well, I am not so sure. How would you approach such a
person? K: I am not interested in approaching any person. All the
works I have done – everything I have done – the ground says are
valueless. And if I can drop all that, my mind is the ground. Then
from there I move. From there I create society.
DB: I think you could say that as long as you are looking for the
ground somewhere by means of knowledge, then you are getting in
the way.
K: So to come back to earth; why has man done this?
DB: Done what?
K: Accumulated knowledge. Apart from the necessity of having factual knowledge in certain areas, why has this burden of
knowledge continued for so long?
DB: Because in one sense man has been trying to produce a
solid ground through knowledge. Knowledge has tried to create a
ground. That is one of the things that has happened.
K: Which means what?
DB: It means illusion again.
K: Which means that the saints, the philosophers, have educated
me – in knowledge and through knowledge – to find the ground.
Q: To create a ground. You see, in a way, there used to be all
these periods when mankind was caught in superstition. And
knowledge was able to do away with that.
K: Oh, no.
Q: To some extent it was.
K: Knowledge has only crippled me from seeing truth. I stick to
that. It hasn’t cleared me of My illusions. Knowledge may be
illusory itself.
Q: That may be, but it has cleared up some illusions.
K: I want to clear up all the illusions that I hold – not some. I
have got rid of my illusion about nationalism; I have got rid of
illusion about belief, about this, about that. At the end of it, I
realize my mind is illusion. You see, to me, who have lived for a
thousand years, to find all this is absolutely worthless, is something
enormous.
DB: When you say you have lived for a thousand years, or a
million years, does that mean, in a sense, that all the experience of
mankind is.?
K: …is me.       DB: …is me. Do you feel that?
K: I do.
DB: And how do you feel it?
K: How do we feel anything? Wait a minute, I will tell you. It is
not sympathy, or empathy, it is not a thing that I have desired, it is
a fact, an absolute, irrevocable fact.
DB: Could we share that feeling, perhaps? You see, that seems
to be one of the steps that is missing, because you have repeated
that quite often as an important part of the whole thing.
K: Which means that when you love somebody there is no, me,
– it is love. In the same way, when I say I am humanity, it is so; it
is not an idea, it is not a conclusion, it is part of me.
DB: Let’s say it is a feeling that I have gone through all that, all
that you describe.
K: Human beings have been through all that.
DB: If others have gone through it, then I also have gone
through it.
K: Of course. One is not aware of it.
DB: No, we separate.
K: If we admit that our brains are not my particular brain, but
the brain that has evolved through millennia…
DB: Let me say why this doesn’t communicate so easily:
everybody feels that the content of his brain is in some way
individual, that he hasn’t gone through all that. Let’s say that
somebody, thousands of years ago, went through science or
philosophy. Now how does that affect me? That is what is not
clear. K: Because I am caught in this self-centred, narrow little cell,
which refuses to look beyond. But you as a scientist, as a religious man, come along and tell me that your brain is the brain of
mankind.
DB: Yes, and all knowledge is the knowledge of mankind. So
that in some way we have all knowledge.
K: Of course.
DB: Though not in detail.
K: So you tell me that, and I understand what you mean, not
verbally, not intellectually; it is so. But I come to that only when I
have given up ordinary things, like nationality, etc.
DB: Yes, we have given up the divisions, and we can see that
the experience is of all mankind.
K: It is so obvious. You go to the most primitive village in
India, and the peasant will tell you all about his problems, his wife,
children, poverty. It is exactly the same thing, only he is wearing
different clothes or whatever! For `X’, this is an indisputable fact; it
is so. He says, all right, at the end of all this, of all these years, I
suddenly discover that it is empty. You see, we don’t accept it, we
are too clever. We are so soaked with disputations and arguments
and knowledge. We don’t see a simple fact. We refuse to see it.
And `X’ comes along and says, see it, it is there: then the
immediate machinery of thought begins – and says, be silent. So I
practise silence! I have done that for a thousand years. It has led
nowhere.
So there is only one thing, and that is to discover that all that I
have done is useless – ashes! You see that doesn’t depress one. That
is the beauty of it. I think it is like the phoenix.
DB: Rising from the ashes.
K: Born of ashes.       DB: In a way it is freedom, to be free of all that.
K: Something totally new is born.
DB: Now what you said before is that the mind is the ground, it
is the unknown.
K: The mind? Yes. But not this mind. DB: In that case it is not
the same mind.
K: If I have been through all that, and come to a point when I
have to end all that, it is a new mind.
DB: That’s clear, the mind is its content, and the content is
knowledge, and without that knowledge it is a new mind.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 6 15TH
APRIL 1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF.
DAVID BOHM ‘CAN INSIGHT BRING ABOUT A
MUTATION OF THE BRAIN CELLS?’

DAVID BOHM: You have said that insight changes the brain cells,
and I wonder if we could discuss that?
KRISHNAMURTI: As it is constituted, the brain functions in
one direction: memory, experience, knowledge. It has functioned
in that area as much as possible, and most people are satisfied with
it.
DB: Well, they don’t know of anything else.
K: And also they have placed knowledge in supreme
importance. If one is concerned with fundamental change, where
does one begin? Suppose `X’ feels he will go along a certain
direction set by mankind. He has been going there century after
century, and he asks himself what is radical change; if it is in the
environment, or in human relationships; if it is a sense of love,
which is not in the area of knowledge. Where is it to begin? You
understand my question? Unless there is some mutation taking
place inside here, inside my mind, the brain, I may think I have
changed, but it is a superficial change, and not a change in depth.
DB: Yes. What is implied there is that the present state of
affairs involves not only the mind but also the nervous system and
the body. Everything is set in a certain way.
K: Of course. That is what I meant, the whole movement is set
in a certain way. And along that pattern I can modify, adjust, polish
a little more, a little less and so on. But if a man is concerned with radical change, where is he to begin? As we said the other day, we
have relied on the environment or society and various disciplines to
change us, but I feel these are all in the same direction.
DB: In so far as they all emanate from this thing, the way the
mind and body are set, they are not going to change anything.
There is a total structure involved which is in the brain, in the
body, in the whole of society. K: Yes, yes. So what am I to do?
What is `X’ to do? And in asking this question, what is there to
change?
DB: What exactly do you mean by `what is there to change’?
What is to be changed?
K: Yes, both; what is there to be changed, and what is there to
change? Basically, what is there to change? `X’ sees that he can
change certain things along this way, but to go much further than
that, what is one to do? I am sure man has asked this question. You
must have asked it. But apparently the mutation hasn’t taken place.
So what is `X’ to do? He realizes the need for a radical revolution,
a psychological revolution; he perceives that the more he changes,
it is the same thing continuing; the more he enquires into himself,
the enquiry remains the same, and so on. So what is there to
change; unless `X’ finds a way to change the brain itself?
DB: But what will change the brain?
K: That’s it. The brain has been set in a pattern for millennia! I
think it is no longer `what’ should I change. It is imperative that I
change.
DB: So it is agreed that there must be a change, but the question
is still, how can the brain change?
K: One must come to that point. If this question is put to you as a scientist, or as a human being who is involved in science, what
would your answer be?
DB: I don’t think science can deal with it, because it doesn’t go
far enough. It can’t possibly probe that deeply into the structure of
the brain. Many questions are positing the relationship of brain and
mind, which science has not been able to resolve. Some people
would say that there is nothing beyond the brain…
K: …Purely materialistic; I understand all that.
DB: If it is not materialistic, then for the moment science has
very little to say about it. perhaps some people would try to, but
science generally has been most successful, most systematic, in
dealing with matter. Any attempt to do otherwise is not very clear.
K: So you would tell `X’, to change inside in the brain cells, etc.
My immediate answer to that is, how? Everybody asks that. It is
not a matter of faith. It is not a matter of changing one pattern to
another pattern. So you leave me without any direction – right?
You leave me without any instrument that can penetrate this.
DB: Except that you are implying there is something beyond the
brain, in putting that question. We don’t know. The very statement
implies that insight is somehow beyond the brain, else it couldn’t
change the brain.
K: Yes. So how am I to capture it? Maybe I can’t capture it…
DB: …but how will it come about? You are saying that
something that is non-material can affect matter. This is the
implication.
K: I am not sure.
DB: I think that clearing this up, would make more clear what
your question is. It is somewhat puzzling if you don’t.       K: All that you have said to me is, insight changes, brings about
mutation in the brain. Now you explain what insight is, which is
not a result of a progressive knowledge, not progressive time, not a
remembrance. This insight may be the real activity of the brain.
DB: All right. Let’s put it differently. The brain has many
activities which include memory, and all these that you have
mentioned. In addition there is a more inward activity, but it is still
the activity of the brain.
K: It may be the same.
DB: You see, in putting this, something seems to be not quite
clear.
K: Yes. We must be very clear that it is not the result of
progressive knowledge; it is not come by through any exercise of
will.
DB: Agreed. I think people can generally see that insight comes
in a flash, it does not come through will. Those who have
considered it at all can see that. Also, that chemistry will probably
not bring it about.
K: I think most people who are concerned see that. But how am
I, as `X’, to have this insight? I see your logic, I see your reason.
DB: In some ways it may disturb people. It is not clear what the
logic is, what is going to make this change in the brain. Is it
something more than the brain, or is it something deeper in the
brain? This is one of the questions.
K: Of course.
DB: It is not quite clear logically.
QUESTIONER: Are you saying that there is a function of the
brain which acts without reference to its content?       K: Yes, to the past, to the content.
DB: This is a good question. Is there a function in the brain
which is independent of the content? Which is not conditioned by
the content, but that might still be a physical function?
K: I understand. Is this the question? Apart from the
consciousness with its content, is there in the brain an activity
which is not touched by consciousness?
DB: By the content; yes.
K: Content is the consciousness.
DB: Yes, but sometimes we use the word in another sense.
Sometimes we imply that there could be another kind of
consciousness. So if we call it `content’ it would be more clear.
K: All right. A part of the brain which is not touched by the
content.
DB: Yes, this suggests that it may be possible for the brain to
change. Either the brain is entirely controlled by its content, or in
some way it is not conditioned.
K: That is a dangerous concept!
DB: But it is what you are saying.
K: No. See the danger of it. See the danger of admitting to
oneself that there is a part of the brain…
DB: …an activity…
K: …all right, an activity of the brain which is not touched by
the content. DB: It is a possible activity. It may be that it has not
been awakened.
K: It has not been awakened. That’s right.
Q: But what is the danger?
K: That is simple enough. The danger is that I am admitting there is God in me, that there is something superhuman; something
beyond the content which therefore will operate on it, or that will
operate in spite of it.
Q: But which part of the brain sees the danger?
K: Let us go slowly. Which part of the brain sees the danger?
Of course it is the content that sees the danger.
Q: Does it?
K: Oh, yes, because the content is aware of all the tricks it has
played.
DB: This is similar to many of the old tricks.
K: Yes.
DB: Those tricks we have discussed before – the assumption of
God within, the imagination of God within. There is a danger here
obviously.
Q: But could the brain, seeing the danger, make that statement
nevertheless? Because that statement might be pointing to the right
direction.
DB: Even though it is dangerous, it may be necessary to do so;
it may be on the right track.
K: The unconscious, which is part of the content, may capture
this, and say, `Yes’ – so it sees the danger instantly.
Q: It sees its own trap.
K: Yes, it sees the trap which it has created. So it avoids that
trap. That is sanity: to avoid a trap is sanity. Is there an activity
which is totally independent of the content? Then, is that activity
part of the brain?
DB: Is it a natural activity of the brain? Material in the brain. K:
Which means what?       DB: Well, if there is such a natural activity, it could awaken
somehow, and that activity could change the brain.
K: But would you say it is still material?
DB: Yes. There could be different levels of matter, you see.
K: That is what I am trying to get at. Right.
DB: But you see, if you think that way, there could be a deeper
level of matter which is not conditioned by the content. For
example, we know matter in the universe is not conditioned by the
content of our brains generally. There could be a deeper level of
matter not conditioned in that way.
K: So it would still be matter, refined, or `super’, or whatever; it
would still be the content.
DB: Why do you say that? You see, you have to go slowly. Do
you say that matter is content?
K: Yes.
DB: Inherently? But this has to be made clear, because it is not
obvious.
K: Let’s discuss it. Let’s grip this. Thought is matter.
DB: Well, thought is part of the content, part of the material
process. Whether it exists independently as matter is not so clear.
You can say, water is matter; you can pour water from one glass to
another, it has an independent substance. But it is not clear whether
thought could stand as matter by itself, except with some other
material substance like the brain in which it takes place. Is that
clear?
K: I don’t quite follow.
DB: If you say water is matter, then it is clear. Now if you say,
thought is matter, then thought must have a similar independent substance. You say air is matter – right? Or water is matter. Now
waves are not matter, they are just a process in matter. Is it clear
what I mean?
K: Yes. A wave is a process in matter. DB: A material process.
Is thought matter or is it a process in matter?
Q: May one ask, is electricity considered to be matter?
DB: In so far as there are electron particles it is matter, but it is
also a movement of that, which is a process.
Q: So it is two things.
DB: Well you can form waves of electricity, and so on.
Q: Waves would be the matter, but not the electrical action.
DB: The electrical action is like the waves, but the electricity
consists of particles.
K: What is the question we are now asking?
DB: Is thought a material substance, or is it a process in some
other material substance – like the brain?
K: It is a material process in the brain.
DB: Yes, scientists would generally agree with that.
K: Let’s stick to that.
DB: If you say it is matter, they would become very puzzled.
K: I see.
Q: It doesn’t exist apart from the brain cells. It resides in the
brain.
K: That is, thought is a material process in the brain. That
would be right. Then can that material process ever be
independent?
DB: Independent of what?
K: Independent of something that is not a material process. No, wait a minute, we must go slowly. Thought is a material process in
the brain. We all agree about this?
DB: Yes, you would get very wide agreement on that.
K: Then our question is, can that material process in the brain
bring about a change in itself?
DB: Yes, that is the question. K: In itself. And if that material in
itself can change, it would still be a material process. Right?
DB: Yes. Thought is always apparently going to be a material
process.
K: And therefore it is not insight. We must come back to that.
DB: You are saying that insight is not a material process?
K: Go slowly. We must be careful in using words. Thought is a
material process in the brain; and any other movement, springing
from that material process, is still material.
DB: Yes, it has to be.
K: Right. Is there another activity which is not a material
process?
DB: Of course people have asked that question for ages. Is there
spirit beyond matter?
K: Spirit, Holy Ghost! Is there some other activity of the brain
which cannot be related to the material process?
DB: Well, it cannot depend upon it. Insight cannot depend on
the material process, as it would then be just another material
process.
K: Insight cannot depend on the material process, which is
thought.
DB: But you were putting it the other way round, that the
material process may depend on insight, may be changed by insight.
K: Ah, wait. The material process is dependent on it, but insight
is not dependent on that process.
DB: Now many people would not see how something non-
material would affect something material.
K: Yes, quite.
DB: It might be easily agreed that something non-material is not
affected by matter, but then how does the operation work the other
way? K: What do you say? The brain thought, with its content, is a
material process. Any activity from it is still part of that. Now is
insight part of that too?
DB: We have agreed on its independence of that; it can’t be part
of it. But it can still act within the material process, that’s the
crucial thing.
K: Yes. That’s right. Insight is independent of the material
process, but yet it can act upon it.
DB: Let’s discuss that a little. Generally speaking, in science, if
`A’ can act on `B’ there is usually reciprocal action of `B’ on `A’.
We don’t find situations where `A’ acts on `B’, but `B’ never acts on
`A’.
K: I see, I see.
DB: This is one of the difficulties you have raised. We don’t
find this elsewhere; in human relations, if I can act on you, you can
act on me – right?
K: Yes, we see that human relationships are interaction.
DB: Yes, mutual relationships.
K: And in those relationships there is response, and so on. Now,
if I don’t respond to your action, I am independent of it.       DB: But you see, science generally finds that it is not possible
to have a one-sided action.
K: Quite. So we are continually insisting that the material
process must have a relationship to the other.
DB: An action, anyway. Relationship is an ambiguous word
here. If you said action it would be more clear.
K: All right. The material process must be able to act on the non-
material, and the non-material must act on the material.
DB: But that would make them both the same.
K: Exactly!
Q: Not necessarily. One could envisage that insight is a much
larger movement than the material process of the brain, and
therefore that the larger movement can act on the smaller
movement, but the smaller cannot act on the larger.
K: Yes, we are saying the same thing.
DB: The small movement has no significant action on the larger
movement. You can have a situation that if you drop a rock in the
ocean, the ocean absorbs it with no significant change.
K: Yes.
Q: So then they would still have a two-way action but only one
action would be significant.
K: No, no. Don’t enter into that too quickly, let us be careful.
Love has no relationship to hate.
DB: Again there is this word `relationship’. Would you, for
example, say that hate has no action on love?
K: They are independent.
DB: Independent, they have no action on each other.
K: Ah, it is a very important thing to discover this. Love is independent of hate. Where there is hate the other cannot exist.
DB: Yes, they can’t stand side by side, acting on each other.
K: They can’t. So when scientists say, if `A’ has a relationship to
`B’, then `B’ must have a relationship to `A’, we are contradicting
that.
DB: Not all scientists have said that; a few have said otherwise –
I don’t like to bring in Aristotle…
K: Bring him in!
DB: He said there is an unmoved mover, that God is never
moved by matter; he is not acted on by matter, but he acts. Do you
see? That is an old idea then. Since Aristotle’s time, science has
thrown out this concept, and said that it is impossible.
K: If I see clearly that love is independent of hate, hate cannot
possibly act on love. Love may act on hate, but where hate is, the
other cannot be.
DB: Well, those are two possibilities. Which are you saying? K:
What are the two possibilities?
DB: You said, one possibility is that love may act on hate, and
the other is that they have no action at all on each other.
K: Yes.
DB: But which?
K: I understand. No, love cannot act on hate.
DB: Right. They have no relationship. But perhaps insight
could, you see.
K: We have to be quite clear on this point. Violence, and being
without violence, are two entirely different factors. One cannot act
upon the other.
DB: In that case you could say that the existence of the one is the non-existence of the other, and there is no way in which they
can act together.
K: That’s right.
DB: They cannot be there together.
K: Absolutely. I’ll stick to that. So when this material process is
in action, the other cannot exist.
DB: What is `the other’ this time? Insight?
K: Yes.
DB: That denies what we were saying before; that there is an
action from insight on the material process.
K: Now, steady, yes. Where there is violence the other – I hate
to use the word `non-violence’ – is not.
DB: Peace, or harmony?
K: Where there is violence, peace cannot exist. But where there
is peace, is there violence? No, of course not. So peace is
independent of violence.
Q: You have said many, many times that intelligence can act
upon thought; insight can affect thought, but it doesn’t work the
other way round. You have given many examples of this. K:
Intelligence can wipe away ignorance, but ignorance cannot touch
intelligence – right? Where there is love, hate can never exist. Can
love wipe away hate?
DB: We said that this doesn’t seem to be possible, because hate
appears to be an independent force.
K: Of course it is.
DB: It has its own momentum, you see, its own force, its own
movement.
Q: I don’t quite get this relationship of love and hate with the earlier discussion of insight.
DB: There seem to bc two different areas.
Q: Thought is a movement, and insight seems to be non-
movement, where everything seemingly is at rest, and it can
observe movement.
DB: That is what we are trying to get at, the notion of
something which is not affected by anything else.
Q: Aren’t you then saying, in looking at love and hate, that there
is good and there is evil, and that evil is a completely separate,
independent force?
DB: Well, it is independent of good.
Q: But is the process in the mind, or is it related to insight?
DB: We are coming to that.
Q: Take light and darkness. Light appears, and the darkness is
gone.
DB: Good and evil; love and hate; light and darkness – when
one is, the other can’t be, you see. That is all we are saying so far.
Q: Do you mean, in a single brain?
DB: In any brain, yes, or in any group, or anywhere. Whenever
there is hate going on in a group, there is not love.
K: Something has just come to my mind. Love has no cause.
Hate has a cause. Insight has no cause. The material process, as
thought, has a cause. Right? DB: Yes, it is part of the chain of
cause and effect.
K: Can that which has no cause ever act upon that which has a
cause?
DB: It might. We can see no reason why that which has no
cause might not act on something that has a cause. There is no obvious reason. It won’t happen the other way round. What has a
cause cannot act on that, which has no cause, because that would
invalidate it.
K: That’s right. But apparently the action of insight has an
extraordinary effect on the material process.
DB: It may for example wipe out some causes.
K: As insight is causeless, it has a definite effect on that which
has cause.
DB: Well, it doesn’t necessarily follow, but it is possible.
K: No, no, I don’t say it is possible.
DB: I am saying we haven’t quite seen why it is necessary.
There is no contradiction when we say the word possible.
K: All right, I see. As long as we are clear on the word possible.
We must be careful. Love is without cause, and hate has a cause.
The two cannot co-exist.
DB: Yes. That is true. That is why there is a difference between
love and insight. That is why it doesn’t follow necessarily that if
something has no cause it will act on something that has a cause.
That is what I was trying to say.
K: I just want to explore a little more. Is love insight?
DB: As far as we can see it is not the same. Love and insight are
not identical, are they? Not exactly the same thing.
K: Why?
DB: Insight may be love, but, you see, insight also occurs in a
flash.
K: It is a flash of course. And that flash alters the whole pattern,
operates on it, uses the pattern, in the sense that I argue, reason, use
logic, and all that. I don’t know if I am making myself clear? DB: I think that once the flash has operated, the pattern is different, and
would therefore be more rational. The flash may make logic
possible, because you may have been confused before the flash.
K: Yes, yes! Aristotle may have come to all this by logic.
DB: Well, he may have had some insight! We don’t know.
K: We don’t know, but I am questioning it.
DB: We really don’t know how his mind operated because there
are only a few books that have survived.
K: Would you say by reading some of those books that he had
insight?
DB: I haven’t really read Aristotle directly; very few people
have because it is hard. Most people read what other people have
said about Aristotle. A few phrases of his are common, like `the
unmoved mover’. And he has said some things which suggest that
he was quite intelligent, at least.
K: What I am trying to say is that insight is never partial; I am
talking of total, not partial, insight.
Q: Krishnaji, could you explain that a little? What do you mean
by `not partial’ insight?
K: An artist can have a partial insight. A scientist can have a
partial insight. But we are talking about total insight.
I: You see the artist is also a human being, so…
K: But his capture of insight is partial.
Q: It is directed to some form of art. So you mean that it
illuminates a limited area, or subject. Is that what you mean by
partial insight?
K: Yes.
Q: Then what would be total insight? What would it encompass?
K: The total human activity.
DB: That is one point. But earlier on, we were asking whether
this insight would illuminate the brain, the activity of the brain. In
that illumination, it seems that the material activity of the brain will
change. Would that be correct? We must get this point clear, then
we can raise the question of totality. Are we saying that insight is
an energy which illuminates the activity of the brain? And that in
this illumination, the brain itself begins to act differently.
K: You are quite right. That’s all. That is what takes place. Yes.
DB: We say the source of this illumination is not in the material
process; it has no cause.
K: No cause.
DB: But it is a real energy.
K: It is pure energy. Is there action without cause?
DB: Yes, without time. Cause implies time.
K: That is, this flash has altered completely the pattern which
the material process has set.
DB: Could you say that the material process generally operates
in a kind of darkness, and therefore it has set itself on a wrong
path?
K: In darkness, yes. That is clear. The material process acts in
ignorance, in darkness. And this flash of insight enlightens the
whole field, which means that ignorance and darkness have been
dispelled. I will hold to that.
DB: You could say, then, that darkness and light cannot co-exist
for obvious reasons. Nevertheless the very existence of light is to
change the process of darkness.       K: Quite right.
Q: But what contributes the flash?
K: We haven’t come to that yet. I want to go step by step into
this. What has happened is that the material process has worked in
darkness, and has brought about confusion, and all the mess that
exists in the world. But this flash of insight wipes away the
darkness. Which means that the material process is not then
working in darkness. DB: Right. But now let’s make another point
clear. When the flash has gone, the light continues.
K: The light is there, the flash is the light.
DB: At a certain moment the flash is immediate, but then, as
you work from there, there is still light.
K: Why do you differentiate flash from light?
DB: Simply because the word `flash’ suggests something that
happens in one moment.
K: Yes.
DB: You see, we are saying that insight would only last in that
moment.
K: We must go slowly.
DB: Well, it is a matter of language.
K: Is it merely a matter of language?
DB: Perhaps not, but if you use the word `flash’, there is the
analogy of lightning, giving light for a moment, but then the next
moment you are in darkness, until there is a further flash of
lightning.
K: It is not like that.
DB: So what is it? Is it that the light suddenly turns on, and
stays on?       K: No. Because when we say `stays on’ or `goes off’, we are
thinking in terms of time.
DB: We have to clear this up, because it is the question
everybody will put.
K: The material process is working in darkness, in time, in
knowledge, in ignorance and so on. When insight takes place there
is the dispelling of that darkness. That is all we are saying. Insight
dispels that darkness. And thought, which is the material process,
no longer works in darkness. Therefore that light has altered – no, it
has ended – ignorance.
DB: So we say that this darkness is really something which is
built into the content of thought. K: The content is darkness.
DB: That’s right. Then that light has dispelled that ignorance.
K: That’s right. Dispelled the content.
DB: But still we have to be very careful, in case we still have
content in the usually accepted sense of the word; you know, all
kinds of things.
K: Of course.
DB: So we can’t say that the light has dispelled all the content.
K: It has dispelled the centre of darkness.
DB: Yes, the source, the creator of darkness.
K: The self Right? It has dispelled the centre of darkness which
is the self.
DB: We could say that the self, which is part of the content –
that part of the content which is the centre of darkness, which
creates it and maintains it – is dispelled.
K: Yes, I hold to that.
DB: We see now that this means a physical change in the brain cells. That centre, that content which is the centre, is a certain set,
form, disposition of all the brain calls, and it in some way alters.
K: Obviously! You see, this has enormous significance, in our
relationship with our society, in everything. Now the next question
is, how does this flash come about? Let’s begin the other way
round. How does love come about? How does peace come about?
Peace is causeless, violence has cause. How does that causeless
thing come about when my whole life is causation? There is no
`how’ – right? The `how’ implies a cause, so there is no `how’.
Q: Are you saying that since it is without cause, it is something
that just exists.?
K: No, I don’t say that it exists. That is a dangerous statement.
Q: It has to exist at some point.
K: No. The moment you say it exists, it is not. DB: You see, the
danger is that it is part of the content.
K: The question you put was about a mutation in the brain calls.
That question has been put after a series of discussions. And we
have come to a point when we say that the flash, that light, has no
cause; that the light operates on that which has cause, which is the
darkness. That darkness exists as long as the self is there, it is the
originator of that darkness, but light dispels the very centre of
darkness. That’s all. We have come to that point. And therefore
there is a mutation. Then I say that the question of how do I get this
flash of insight, how does it happen, is a wrong question. There is
no `how’.
Q: There is no `how’, but there is darkness and there is light.
K: Just see first there is no `how’. If you show me how, you are
back into the darkness. Right?       DB: Yes.
K: It is a tremendous thing to understand that. I am asking
something else, which is, why is it that we have no insight at all?
Why is it that this insight doesn’t start from our childhood?
DB: Well, the way life is lived…
K: No, I want to find out. Is it because of our education? Our
society? I don’t believe it is all that. You follow?
DB: What do you say then?
K: Is it some other factor? I am groping after this. Why don’t we
have it? It seems so natural.
DB: At first, one would say something is interfering with it.
K: But it seems so natural. For `X’, it is quite natural. Why isn’t
it natural for everyone? Why isn’t it possible? If we talk about
blockages, education, etc., which are all in the realm of causation,
then to remove the blockages implies another cause. So we keep on
rolling in that direction. There is something unnatural about all
this.
Q: If you would say that there are blocks…
K: I don’t want to use that; it is the language of the darkness. Q:
Then you could say that the blocks prevent the insight from acting.
K: Of course. But I want to move away from these blockages.
DB: Not exactly blockages, but we used the words `centre of
darkness’, which we say is maintaining darkness.
K: Why isn’t it natural for everybody to have this insight?
DB: That is the question.
K: Why is love not natural to everybody? Am I putting the
question clearly?
DB: I think, to make it more clear, some people might feel that it is natural to everybody, but being treated in a certain way they
gradually get caught in hate.
K: I don’t believe that.
DB: Then you would have to suppose that the young child
meeting hate would not respond with hate.
K: Yes, that’s right.
DB: Most people would say that it is natural for the young child
meeting hate to respond with hate.
K: Yes, this morning I heard that. Then I asked myself why?
Now just a minute. `X’ has been put under all these circumstances,
which could have produced blockages, but `X’ wasn’t touched by
them. So why is it not possible for everybody?
DB: We should make it clear why we say it would be natural
not to respond to hate with hate.
K: All right. Limit it to that.
DB: Even when one hasn’t thought about it. You know, the
child is not able to think about all this. Some people would say it is
instinct, the animal instinct…
K: …which is to hate…
DB: …well, to fight back.
K: To fight back. DB: The animal will respond with love, if you
treat him with love, but if you treat the animal with hate he is going
to fight back.
K: Of course.
DB: He will become vicious.
K: Yes.
DB: Now some people would say that the human being in the
beginning is like that animal, and later he can understand.       K: Of course. That is, the human being’s origins were with the
animal, and the animal, the ape or the wolf…
DB: …the wolf will respond with love too.
K: And we are saying, why…
DB: Look, almost everybody feels that what I said is true, that
when we are very young children, we are like the animal. Now you
are asking, why don’t all young children immediately fail to
respond to hate with hate?
K: That means, is it the fault of the parents?
DB: What you are implying is that it is not entirely that. There
must be something deeper.
K: Yes, I think there is something quite different. I want to
capture that.
DB: This is something that would be important.
K: How do we find out? Let’s have an insight! I feel that there is
something totally different. We are attacking it from a causational
point of view. Would it be right to say that the beginning of man is
not animal?
DB: Well, that is not clear. The present theory of evolution is
that there have been apes, developing; you can follow the line
where they become more and more like human beings. Now when
you say that the beginning of man is not animal, it is not clear.
K: If the beginning of man is the animal, therefore that instinct
is natural and then it is highly cultivated.
DB: Yes, that instinct is cause and effect. K: Cause and effect,
and it becomes natural. But someone comes along and asks `Is it?’
DB: Let’s try to get this clear.
K: I mean, scientists and historians have said that man began from the ape, and that, as all animals respond to love and to hate,
we as human beings respond instantly to hate by hate.
DB: And vice versa, to love by love.
K: At the beginning there were a few people who never
responded to hate, because they had love. Those people implanted
this thing in the human mind. Right? That where love is, hate is
not. And that has also been part of our inheritance. Why have we
cultivated the response of hate to hate? Why haven’t we cultivated
the other? Or is the other – love – something that cannot be
cultivated?
DB: It is not causal. Cultivation depends on a cause.
K: On thought. So why have we lost the other? We have
cultivated very carefully, by thought, the concept of meeting hate
by hate, violence by violence, and so on. Why haven’t we moved
along with the other line? With love, that is causeless? You follow
my question?
DB: Yes.
K: Is this a futile question?
DB: One doesn’t see any way of proceeding.
K: I am not trying to proceed.
DB: We have to understand what made people respond to hate
with hate…
K: …To `X’, the other seems so natural. So if that is so natural to
him, why isn’t it natural to everyone else? It must be natural to
others!
You know this ancient idea, which is probably in existence in
the jewish and in the Indian religions, and so on, that the
manifestation of the highest takes place, occasionally. That seems too easy an explanation. Has mankind moved in the wrong
direction? Have we taken a wrong turn? DB: Yes, we have
discussed this before, that there has been a wrong turning.
K: To respond to hate by hate, violence by violence, etc.
DB: And to give supreme value to knowledge.
Q: Wouldn’t another factor also be the attempt to cultivate the
idea of love? The purpose of the religions has been to produce
love, and better human beings.
K: Don’t go into all that. Love has no cause, it is not
cultivatable. Full stop.
Q: Yes, but,the mind doesn’t see that.
K: But we have explained all that. I want to find out why, if it is
natural to `X’, it isn’t natural to others. I think this is a valid
question.
DB: Another point is to say that you could see that the response
of hate to hate makes no sense anyway. So why do we go on with
it? Because many believe in that moment that they are protecting
themselves with hate, but it is no protection.
K: But to go back to that question: I think it is valid. `X’ is
without cause, `Y’ is caught in cause. Why? You understand? Is it
the privilege of the few? The elite? No, no. Let’s look at it another
way. The mind of humanity has been responding to hate with hate,
violence by violence, and knowledge by knowledge. But `X’ is part
of humanity, and he does not respond to hate by hate, like `Y’ and
`Z’! They are part of `X’s’ consciousness, part of all that.
DB: Why is there this difference?
K: That is what I am asking. One is natural, the other is
unnatural. Why? Why the difference? Who is asking this question? The people, `Y’ and `Z’, who respond to hate by hate, are they
asking the question? Or is `X’ asking the question?
Q: It would seem that `X’ is asking this question.
DB: Yes, but you see we were also just saying that they are not
different. We say they are different, but also that they are not
different.
K: Of course. They are not different. DB: There is one mind.
K: That’s it, one mind.
DB: Yes, and how does it come that another part of this one
mind says no?
K: That’s the whole thing. How does it come about that one part
of the mind says we are different from another? Of course, there
are all kinds of explanations, and I am left with the fact that `A’ `B’
and `C’ are different from `X’ `Y’ and `Z’. And those are facts –
right?
Q: They appear to be different.
K: Oh, no.
Q: They are actually different.
K: Absolutely; not just apparently.
DB: I think the question we want to come back to is, why do the
people who cultivate hate say that they are different from those
who don’t?
K: Do they say that?
DB: I think they do, in so far as they would admit that if there
was anybody who didn’t cultivate hate, they must be different.
K: Yes, that is clear – light and darkness, and so on. But I want
to find out if we are moving in the right direction. That is, `X’ has
given me that gift, and I have not carried that gift. You follow what I mean? I have cultivated one response, but not carried this. Why?
If a father has responded to hate by hate, why has the son not
responded in the same way?
DB: I think it is a question of insight.
K: Which means that the son had insight right from the
beginning. You follow what I am saying? Right from childhood,
which means what?
DB: What?
K: I don’t want to enter into this dangerous field yet!
DB: What is it? Perhaps you want to leave that. K: There is
some factor that is missing. I want to capture it. You see, if that is
an exception, then it is silly.
DB: All right. Then we agree that the thing is dormant in all
human beings; is that what you want to say?
K: I am not quite sure that is what I want to say.
DB: But I meant that the factor is there in all mankind.
K: That is a dangerous statement too.
DB: That is What you were saying.
K: I know, but I am questioning. When I am quite sure, I will
tell you.
DB: All right. We tried this, and we can say it seems promising
but it is a bit dangerous. This possibility is there in all mankind,
and in so far as some people have seen it.
K: Which means God is in you?
DB: No, it is just that the possibility of insight is there.
K: Yes, partly. I am questioning all this. The father responds to
hate by hate; the son doesn’t.
DB: That happens from time to time.       K: No, consistently from the beginning – why?
DB: It must depend on insight, which shows the futility of hate.
K: Why did that man have it?
DB: Yes, why?
K: And why if this seems so terribly natural to him, is it not
natural to everybody? As water is natural to everybody.
DB: Well, why isn’t insight present for everybody from the
beginning?
K: Yes, that is what I am asking.
DB: So strongly that even maltreatment cannot affect it. K:
Nothing can affect it, that is my point. Maltreatment, beating, being
put into all kinds of dreadful situations hasn’t affected it. Why? We
are coming to something.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 7 17TH
APRIL 1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF.
DAVID BOHM ‘DEATH HAS VERY LITTLE
MEANING’

KRISHNAMURTI: Are we saying that human beings are still
behaving with the animal instincts?
DAVID BOHM: Yes, and that the animal instincts, it seems,
may be overpowering in their intensity and speed, and especially
with young children. It may be that it is only natural for them to
respond with the animal instinct.
K: So that means, after a million years, that we are still
instinctively behaving like our ancestors?
DB: In some ways. probably our behaviour is also complicated
by thought; the animal instinct has now become entangled with
thought, and it is getting in some ways worse.
K: Far worse.
DB: Because all these instincts of hatred now become directed
and sustained by thought, so that they are more subtle and
dangerous.
K: And during all these many centuries we haven’t found a way,
a method, a system – something that will move us away from that
track. Is that it?
DB: Yes. One of the difficulties, surely, is that when people
begin to be angry with each other, their anger builds up and they
can’t seem to do anything about it. They may try to control it, but
that doesn’t work.
K: As we were saying, someone – `X’ – behaves naturally in a way that is not a response to the animal instinct. What place has
this kind of insight in human society? None at all?
DB: In society as it is, it cannot be accommodated, because
society is organized under the assumption that pain and pleasure
are going to rule. You could say that friendliness is a kind of
animal instinct too, for people become friendly for instinctive
reasons. And perhaps they become enemies for similar reasons.
So I think that some people would say that we should be
rational rather than instinctive. There was a period during the 18th
century, the Age of Reason, when they said man could be rational,
could choose to be rational, in order to bring about harmony
everywhere.
K: But he hasn’t done so!
DB: No, things got worse, leading to the French Revolution, to
the Terror and so on. But, after that, people didn’t have so much
faith in reason as a way of getting anywhere, or coming out of
conflict.
K: So where does that lead us? We were talking really about
insight that actually changes the nature of the brain itself.
DB: Yes, by dispelling the darkness in the brain, insight allows
the brain to function in a new way.
K: Thought has been operating in darkness, creating its own
darkness and functioning in that. And insight is, as we said, like a
flash which breaks down the darkness. Then when that insight
clears the darkness, does man act, or function, rationally?
DB: Yes, man will then function rationally, and with
perception, rather than by rules and reason. But there is a freely
flowing reason. You see, some people identify reason with certain rules of logic which would be mechanical. But there can be reason
as a form of perception of order.
K: So we are saying, are we, that insight is perception?
DB: It is the flash of light which makes perception possible.
K: Right, that’s it.
DB: It is even more fundamental than perception.
K: So insight is pure perception, and from that perception there
is action, which is then sustained by rationality. Is that it?
DB: Yes.
K: That’s right.
DB: And the rationality is perception of order. K: So, would
you say, there is insight, perception and order?
DB: Yes.
K: But that order is not mechanical because it is not based on
logic.
DB: There are no rules.
K: No rules; let’s put it that way; it’s better. This order is not
based on rules. This means insight, perception, action, order. Then
you come to the question, is insight continuous, or is it by flashes?
DB: We went into that, and felt it was a wrong question, so
perhaps we can look at it differently. It is not time binding.
K: Not time binding. Yes, we agreed on that. So now let’s get a
little further. We said, didn’t we, that insight is the elimination of
the darkness which is the very centre of the self, the darkness that
self creates? Insight dispels that very centre.
DB: Yes. With the darkness, perception is not possible. It’s
blindness in a way.
K: Right, then what next? I am an ordinary man, with all my animal instincts, pleasure and pain and reward and punishment and
so on. I hear you say this, and I see what you are saying has some
kind of reason, logic and order.
DB: Yes, it makes sense as far as we can see it.
K: It makes sense. Then how am I to have reason in my life?
How am I to bring it about? You understand that these words
which are difficult, are all of them time binding. But is that
possible?
DB: Yes, without time, you see.
K: Is it possible for man with his narrow mind, to have this
insight, so that pattern of life is broken? As we said the other day,
we have tried all this, tried every form of self-denial, and yet that
insight doesn’t come about.
Once in a while there is a partial insight, but that partial insight
is not the whole insight, so there is still partial darkness. DB:
Which doesn’t dispel the centre of the self. It may dispel some
darkness in a certain area, but the source of the darkness, the
creator, the sustainer of it, is still there.
K: Still there. Now what shall we do? But this is a wrong
question. This leads nowhere.
We have stated the general plan, right? And I have to make the
moves, or make no moves at all. I haven’t the energy. I haven’t the
capacity to see it quickly. Because this is immediate, not just
something that I practise and eventually get. I haven’t the capacity,
I haven’t the sense of urgency, of immediacy. Everything is against
me: my family, my wife, society. Everything. And does this mean
that I eventually have to become a monk?
DB: No. Becoming a monk is the same as becoming anything else.
K: That’s right. Becoming a monk is like becoming a
businessman! I see all this, verbally as well as rationally,
intellectually, but I can’t capture this thing. Is there a different
approach to this problem? I am always asking the same question,
because I am caught in the same pattern. So, is there a totally
different way? A totally different approach to the whole turmoil of
life? Is there a different manner of looking at it? Or is the old way
the only way?
We have said that as long as the centre is creating darkness, and
thought is operating in that darkness, there must be disorder, and
society will be as it is now. To move away from that, you must
have insight. Insight can only come about when there is a flash, a
sudden light, which abolishes not only darkness but the creator of
darkness.
DB: Yes.
K: Now I am asking if there is a different approach to this
question altogether, although an old response seems so absolute.
DB: Well possibly. When you say it seems absolute, do you
want a less absolute approach?
K: I am saying that if that is the only way, then we are doomed.
DB: You can’t produce this flash at will.
K: No, it can’t be produced through will, through sacrifice,
through any form of human effort. That is out; we know we have
finished with all that. And also we agreed that to some people – to
`X’ – this insight seemed so natural and we asked why is it not
natural to others?
DB: If we begin with the child, it seems natural to the child to respond with his animal instincts, with great intensity which sweep
him away. Darkness arises because it is so overwhelming.
K: Yes, but why is it different with `X’?
DB: First of all it seems natural to most people that the animal
instincts would take over.
K: Yes, that’s right.
DB: And they would say the other fellow, `X’, is unnatural.
K: Yes.
DB: So that is the way mankind has been thinking, saying that if
there are indeed any people who are different they must be very
unusual and unnatural.
K: That’s it. Human beings have been responding to hatred by
hatred, and so on. There are those few, perhaps many, who say that
is not natural or rational. Why has this division taken place?
DB: If we say that pleasure and pain, fear and hate, are natural,
then it is felt that we must battle to control these, otherwise they
will destroy us. The best we can hope for is to control them with
reason, or through another way.
K: But that doesn’t work! Are people like `X’, who function
differently, the privileged few, by some miracle, by some strange
chance event?
DB: Many people would say that.
K: But it goes against one’s grain. I would not accept that.
DB: Well, if that is not the case, then you have to say why there
is this difference.
K: That is what I am trying to get at, because `X’ is born of the
same parents.
DB: Yes, fundamentally the same, so why does he behave differently? K: This question has been asked many times, over and
over again in different parts of the world. Now why is there this
division?
QUESTIONER: Is the division really total? You see, even the
man who responds to hatred with hatred, nevertheless sees that it
doesn’t make sense, is not natural and should be different.
K: It should be different, but he is still battling with ideas. He is
trying to get out of it by the exercise of thought which breeds
darkness.
Q: I just want to say that the division does not seem to be so
entire.
K: Oh, but the division is entire, complete.
Q: Well, then, why are people not simply saying, let’s continue
to live that way, and let’s enjoy it to the last moment?
K: Because they can’t see anything except their own darkness.
Q: But they want to get out of it.
K: Now wait a minute. Do they want to get out of it? Do they
actually realize the state they are in, and deliberately want to get
out of it?
Q: They are ambivalent about it. They want to go on getting the
fruits of it, but they have a sense that it is wrong, and that it leads
to suffering.
DB: Or else they find they can’t help it. You see, when the time
comes to experience anger or pleasure, they can’t get away.
K: They can’t help it.
Q: But they want to get out of it, although they are helpless.
There are forces which are stronger than their will.
K: So what shall we do? or is this division false?       DB: That’s the point. We had better talk of a difference between
these two approaches. This difference is not fundamental.
K: I don’t think they have anything in common. DB: Why? You
say the difference is false, although fundamentally people are the
same, but a difference has developed between them. Perhaps most
people have taken a wrong turning.
K: Yes, let’s put it that way.
DB: But the difference is not intrinsic, it is not structural, built
in like the difference between a tree and a rock.
K: Agreed. As you say, there is a difference between a rock and
a tree, but it is not like that. Let’s be simple. There are two
responses. They start from the source; one has taken one direction,
and the other has taken a different direction. But the source is the
same. Why haven’t all of them moved in the right direction?
DB: We haven’t managed to answer that. I was just saying that
if one understands that, then going back to the source, one does not
have to take the wrong turn. In a sense we are continually taking
this wrong turn, so if we can understand this, then it becomes
possible to change. And we are continually starting from the same
source, not going back in time to a source.
K: Just a minute, just a minute.
DB: There are two possible ways of taking our statement. One
is to say that the source is in time, that far back in the past we
started together and took different paths. The other is to say that
the source is timeless, and we are continually taking the wrong
turn, again and again. Right?
K: Yes, it is constantly the wrong turn. Why?
Q: This means that there is the constant possibility of the right turn.
K: Yes, of course. That’s it. If we say there is a source from
which we all began, then we are caught in time.
DB: We can’t go back.
K: No, that is out. Therefore it is apparent that we are taking the
wrong turn all the time.
DB: Constantly.
K: Constantly taking the wrong turn. But why? The one who is
living with insight and the other who is not living with insight – are
these constant? The man who is living in darkness can move away
at any time to the other. That is the point. At any time.
DB: Then nothing holds him, except constantly taking the
wrong turn. You could say the darkness is such that he doesn’t see
himself taking the wrong turn.
K: Are we pursuing the right direction, putting the right
question? Suppose you have that insight, and your darkness, the
very centre of darkness, has been dispelled completely. And I, a
serious, fairly intelligent human being, listen to you. And whatever
you have said seems reasonable, rational, sane. I question the
division. The division is created by the centre which creates
darkness.Thought has created it.
DB: Well, in darkness, thought creates the division.
K: From the darkness a shadow is thrown; it makes a division.
DB: If we have that insight, we say there is no division.
K: Yes. And man won’t accept that, because in his darkness
there is nothing but division. So we, living in darkness, have
created the division. We have created it in our thoughts…
DB: We are constantly creating it.       K: Yes, always wanting to live constantly in a state in which
there is no division. That movement, however, is still the
movement of darkness. Right?
DB: Yes.
K: How am I to dispel this continuous, constant darkness? That
is the only question, because, as long as that exists, I create this
constant division. You see, this is going round in circles. I can only
dispel the darkness through insight, and I cannot have that insight
by any effort of will, so I am left with nothing. So what is my
problem? My problem is to perceive the darkness, to perceive the
thought that is creating darkness, and to see that the self is the
source of this darkness. Why can’t I see that? Why can’t I see it
even logically?
DB: Well, it’s clear logically. K: Yes, but somehow it doesn’t
seem to operate. So what shall I do? I realize for the first time that
the self is creating the darkness which is constantly breeding
division. I see that very clearly.
DB: And the division produces the darkness anyway.
K: Vice versa, back and forth. And from all that, everything
begins. I see that very clearly. What shall I do? So I don’t admit
division.
Q: Krishnaji, aren’t we introducing division again, never the
less, when we say there is the man who needs insight?
K: But man has insight. `X’ has insight, and he has explained
very clearly how darkness has vanished. I listen to him, and he says
your very darkness is creating the division. Actually, there is no
division, no division as light and darkness. So he asks me, can you
banish, can you put away this sense of division?       DB: You seem to be bringing back a division by saying that, by
saying that I should do it, you see.
K: No, not `should’.
DB: In a way you are saying that the thought process of the
mind seems spontaneously to produce division. You say, try to put
it aside, and at the same time it is trying to make division.
K: I understand. But can my mind put away division? Or is that
a wrong question?
Q: Can it put away division as long as it is divided?
K: No, it can’t. So what am I to do?
Listen. `X’ says something so extraordinarily true, of such
immense significance and beauty that my whole being says
`Capture it’. That is not a division.
I recognize that I am the creator of division, because I am living
in darkness, and so out of that darkness I create. But I have listened
to `X’, who says there is no division. And I recognize that is an
extraordinary statement. So the very saying of that to one who has
lived in constant division has an immediate effect. Right?
DB: I think that one has to, as you say, put away the division…
K: I will leave that; I won’t put it away. That statement that ere is
no division – I want to get at that a little bit. I am getting
somewhere with it.
`X’ s’ statement from this insight, that there is no division has a
tremendous effect on me. I have lived constantly in division, and
comes along and says there is no division. What effect has it on
me?
DB: Then you say there is no division. That makes sense. But
on the other hand it seems that the division exists.       K: I recognize the division, but the statement that there is no
division has this immense impact on me. That seems natural,
doesn’t it? When I see something that is immovable, it must have
some effect on me. I respond to it with a tremendous shock.
DB: You see, if you were talking about something which was in
front of us, and you said, `No, it is not that way’, then that would,
of course, change your whole way of seeing it. Now you say this
division is not that way. We try to look and see if that is so – right?
K: I don’t even say, `Is that so? `X’ has very carefully explained
whole business, and he says at the end of it that there is no
division. And I am sensitive, watching very carefully, and realizing
that I am constantly living in division. When `X’ makes that
statement it has broken the pattern.
I don’t know if you follow what I am trying to explain? It has
broken the pattern, because he has said something which is so
fundamentally true. There is no God and man. Right, Sir, I stick to
that. I see something – which is, where hatred exists the other is
not. But, hating, I want the other. So constant division is born out
of darkness. And the darkness is constant. But I have been listening
very carefully, and `X’ makes a statement which seems absolutely
true. That enters into me, and the act of his statement dispels the
darkness. I am not making an effort to get rid of darkness, but `X’
is the light. That’s right, I hold to that.
So it comes to something, which is, can I listen with my
darkness – in my darkness, which is constant? In that darkness, can
I listen to you? Of course I can. I am living in constant division
which brings darkness. `X’ comes along and tells me there is no
division.       Right. Now why do you say you can listen in the darkness? K:
Oh, yes, I can listen in darkness. If I can’t I am doomed.
DB: But that is no argument.
K: Of course that is no argument, but it is so!
DB: Living in darkness is not worthwhile. But now we say that
it is possible to listen in the darkness.
K: He, `X’, explains to me very, very carefully. I am sensitive, I
have been listening to him in my darkness, but that is making me
sensitive, alive, watching. That is what I have been doing. We have
been doing it together. And he makes a statement that there is
absolutely no division. And I know that I am living in division.
That very statement has brought the constant movement to an end.
Otherwise, if this doesn’t take place I have nothing – you
follow? I am perpetually living in darkness. But there is a voice in
the wilderness, and listening to that voice has an extraordinary
effect.
DB: Listening reaches the source of the movement, whereas
observation does not.
K: Yes, I have observed, I have listened, I have played all kinds
of games all my life. And I now see, that there is only one thing.
That there is this constant darkness and I am acting in the darkness;
in this wilderness which is darkness; whose centre is the self. I see
that absolutely, completely; I can’t argue against it any more. And
`X’ comes along and tells me this. In that wilderness a voice says
there is water. You follow? It is not hope. There is immediate
action in me.
One must realize, that this constant movement in darkness is my
life. You follow what I am saying? Can I, with all the experience, with all the knowledge which I have gathered over a million years,
suddenly realize that I am living in total darkness? Because that
means I have reached the end of all hope. Right? But my hope is
also darkness. The future is out altogether, so I am left with this
enormous darkness, and I am there. That means, the realization of
that is the ending of becoming. I have reached that point and `X’
tells me this is natural.
You see, all the religions have said this division exists.
DB: But, they say it can be overcome. K: It is the same pattern
repeated. It doesn’t matter who said it, but the fact is somebody in
this wilderness is saying something, and in that wilderness I have
been listening to every voice, and to my own voice, which has
created more and more darkness. Yet, this is right. That means
doesn’t it, that when there is insight there is no division?
DB: Yes.
K: It is not your insight or my insight, it is insight. In that there
is no division.
DB: Yes.
K: Which brings us to that ground we spoke of…
DB: What about the ground?
K: In that ground there is no darkness as darkness, or light as
light. In that ground, there is no division. Nothing is born of will,
or time, or thought.
DB: Are you saying that light and darkness are not divided?
K: Right.
DB: Which means to say there is neither.
K: Neither, that’s it! There is something else. There is a
perception that there is a different movement, which is `nondualistic’.
DB: Non-dualistic means what? No division.
K: No division. I won’t use `non-dualistic’. There is no division.
DB: But nevertheless there is movement.
K: Of course.
DB: What does that mean now, without division?
K: I mean by movement, that movement which is not time. That
movement doesn’t breed division. So I want to go back, lead to the
ground. If, in that ground, there is neither darkness nor light, no
God or the son of God – there is no division – what takes place?
Would you say that the ground is movement?
DB: Well, it could be, yes. Movement is undivided. K: No. I say
there is movement in darkness.
DB: Yes, but we said there is no division of darkness and light,
and yet you said there is movement.
K: Yes. Would you say the ground is endless movement?
DB: Yes.
K: What does that mean?
DB: Well, it is difficult to express.
K: Keep on going into it; let’s express it. What is movement,
apart from movement from here to there, apart from time – is there
any other movement?
DB: Yes.
K: There is. The movement from being to becoming,
psychologically. There is the movement of distance, there is the
movement of time. We say those are all divisions. Is there a
movement which in itself has no division? When you have made
that statement that there is no division, there is that movement surely?
DB: Well, are you saying that when there is no division that
movement is there?
K: Yes, and I said, `X’ says that is the ground.
DB: Right.
K: Would you say it has no end, no beginning?
DB: Yes.
K: Which means again time.
DB: Can one say that movement has no form?
K: No form – all that. I want to go a little further. What I am
asking is, we said that when you have stated there is no division,
this means no division in movement.
DB: It flows without division, you see.
K: Yes, it is a movement in which there is no division. Do I
capture the significance of that? Do I understand the depth of that
statement? A movement in which there is no division, which
means no time, no distance as we know it. No element of time in it
at all. So I am trying to see if that movement is surrounding man?
DB: Yes, enveloping.
K: I want to get at this. I am concerned with mankind,
humanity, which is me. `X’ has made several statements, and I have
captured a statement which seems so absolutely true – that there is
no division. Which means that there is no action which is divisive.
DB: Yes.
K: I see that. And I also ask, is that movement without time,
etc? It seems that it is the world, you follow?
DB: The universe.
K: The universe, the cosmos, the whole.       DB: The totality.
K: Totality. Isn’t there a statement in the jewish world, `Only
God can say I am’?
DB: Well, that’s the way the language is built. It is not
necessary to state it.
K: No, I understand. You follow what I am trying to get at?
DB: Yes, that only this movement is.
K: Can the mind be of that movement? Because that is timeless,
therefore deathless.
DB: Yes, the movement is without death; in so far as the mind
takes part in that, it is the same.
K: You understand what I am saying?
DB: Yes. But what dies when the individual dies?
K: That has no meaning, because once I have understood there
is no division…
DB: …then it is not important.
K: Death has no meaning.
DB: It still has a meaning in some other context. K: Oh, the
ending of the body; that’s totally trivial. But you understand? I
want to capture the significance of the statement that there is no
division, it has broken the spell of my darkness, and I see that there
is a movement, and that’s all. Which means death has very little
meaning.
DB: Yes.
K: You have abolished totally the fear of death.
DB: Yes, I understand that when the mind is partaking in that
movement, then the mind is that movement.
K: That’s all! the mind is that movement.       DB: Would you say that matter is also that movement?
K: Yes, I would say everything is. In my darkness I have
listened to `X’. That’s most important. And his clarity has broken
my spell. When he said there is no division, he abolished the
division between life and death. I don’t know if you see this?
DB: Yes.
K: One can never say then, `I am immortal’. It is so childish.
DB: Yes, that’s the division.
K: Or, `I am seeking immortality’. Or, `I am becoming’. We
have wiped away the whole sense of moving in darkness.
Q: What then would be the significance of the world? Is there a
significance to it?
K: The world?
Q: With man.
DB: Society, do you mean?
Q: Yes, it seems that when you make that statement, there is no
division, and life is death – what then is the significance of man
with all his struggle.?
K: Man in darkness. What importance has that? It is like
struggling in a locked room. That is the whole point.
DB: Significance can only rise when the darkness is dispelled.
K: Of course. Q: The only significance is the dispelling of the
darkness.
K: Oh, no, no!
DB: Aren’t we going to say that something more can be done
besides dispelling the darkness?
K: have listened very carefully to everything that you, who have
sight, say. What you have done is to dispel the centre. In darkness I could invent many things of significance; that there is light, here is
God, there is beauty, there is this and that. But it is still in the area
of darkness. Caught in a room full of darkness, I can invent a lot of
pictures, but I want to get something else. Is the mind the one who
has this insight – who therefore dispels darkness and has
understanding of the ground which is movement without time – is
that mind itself the movement?
DB: Yes, but it isn’t the totality. The mind is the movement, but
we are saying movement is matter, movement is mind. And we
were saying that the ground may be beyond the universal mind.
You said earlier that the movement, that the ground, is more than
the universal mind, more than the emptiness.
K: We said that; much more.
DB: Much more. But we have to get this clear. We say that the
mind is this movement.
K: Yes, mind is the movement.
DB: We are not saying that this movement is only mind?
K: No, no, no.
DB: That is the point I was trying to get correct.
K: Mind is the movement – mind, in the sense, `the ground’.
DB: But you said that the ground goes beyond the mind.
K: Now just a minute: what do you mean by `beyond the mind’?
DB: just going back to what we were discussing a few days ago:
we said we have the emptiness, the universal mind, and then the
ground is beyond that.
K: Would you say beyond that is this movement? DB: Yes. The
mind emerges from the movement as a ground, and falls back to
the ground; that is what we are saying.       K: Yes, that’s right. Mind emerges from the movement.
DB: And it dies back into the movement.
K: That’s right. it has its being in the movement.
DB: Yes, and matter also.
K: So, what I want to get at is, I am a human being faced with
this ending and beginning. And `X’ abolishes that.
DB: Yes, it is not fundamental.
K: It is not fundamental. One of the greatest fears of life, which
is death, has been removed.
DB: Yes.
K: You see what it does to a human being when there is no
death? It means the mind doesn’t age – the ordinary mind I am
talking about. I don’t know if I am conveying this.
DB: Let’s go slowly. You say the mind does not age, but what if
the brain cells age?
K: I question it.
DB: But how can we know that?
K: Because there is no conflict, because there is no strain, there
is no becoming, no movement.
DB: This is something that it is hard to communicate with
certainty about.
K: Of course. You can’t prove any of this.
DB: But the other, what we have said so far…
K: …can be reasoned.
DB: It is reason, and also you can feel it. But now you are
stating something about the brain cells that I have no feeling for. It
might be so; it could be so. K: I think it is so. I won’t discuss it.
When a mind has lived in the darkness and is in constant movement there is the wearing out, the darkness and is in constant
movement there is the wearing out, the decay of the cells.
DB: We could say that this conflict will cause cells to decay.
But somebody might argue that perhaps even without conflict they
could decay at a slower rate. Let’s say if you were to live hundreds
of years, for example, in time the cells would decay no matter what
you did.
K: Go into this slowly.
DB: I can readily accept that the rate of decay of the cells could
be cut down when we get rid of conflict.
K: Decay can be slowed down.
DB: Perhaps a great deal.
K: A great deal. Ninety per cent.
DB: That we could understand. But if you say a hundred per
cent, then it is hard to understand.
K: Ninety per cent. Wait a minute. It can be very, very greatly
slowed down. And that means what? What happens to a mind that
has no conflict? What is that mind, what is the quality of that mind
which has no problem? You see, suppose such a mind lives in pure
unpolluted air, having the right kind of food and so on, why can’t it
live two hundred years?
DB: Well it is possible; some people have lived for a hundred
and fifty years, living in very pure air, and eating good food.
K: But you see, if those very people who have lived a hundred
and fifty years, had no conflict, they might live very much longer.
DB: They might. There was a case I was reading of a man in
England who lived to be a hundred and fifty. And the doctors
became interested in him. They wined and dined him, and then he died in a few days!
K: Poor devil!
Q: Krishnaji, you generally say that anything that lives in time,
also dies in time. K: Yes, but the brain, which has had insight, has
changed the cells.
Q: Are you implying that even the organic brain does not live in
time any more?
K: No, don’t bring in time yet. We are saying that insight brings
about a change in the brain cells. Which means that the brain cells
are no longer thinking in terms of time.
Q: Psychological time?
K: Of, course, that is understood.
DB: If they are not so disturbed, they will remain in order and
perhaps they will break down more slowly. We might increase the
age limit from one hundred and fifty to two hundred years,
provided one also had healthy living at all levels.
K: Yes, but all that sounds so very trivial.
DB: Yes, it doesn’t seem to make much difference, although it is
an interesting idea.
K: What if I live another hundred years? We are trying to find
out what effect this extraordinary movement has on the brain.
DB: Yes. If we say the brain is in some way directly enveloped
in this movement; that would bring it to order. But there is a real
direct flow, physically.
K: Not only physically.
DB: But also mentally.
K: Yes, both. It must have an extraordinary effect on the brain.
Q: You talked earlier about energy. Not the everyday energy…       K: We said that that movement is total energy. Now this insight
has captured, seen, that extraordinary movement, and it is part of
that energy. I want to come much closer to earth; I have lived with
the fear of death, fear of not becoming, and so on. Suddenly I see
there is no division, and I understand the whole thing. So what has
happened to my brain – you follow?
Let,s see something. See this whole thing, not verbally, but as a
tremendous reality, as truth. With all your heart, mind, you see this
thing. That very perception must affect your brain. DB: Yes. It
brings order.
K: Not only order in life but in the brain.
DB: People can prove that if they are under stress the brain cells
start to break down. And if you have order in the brain cells, then it
is quite different.
K: I have a feeling, Sir – don’t laugh at it; it may be false, it may
be true – I feel that the brain never loses the quality of that
movement.
DB: Once it has it.
K: Of course. I am talking of the person who has been through
all this.
DB: So probably the brain never loses that quality.
K: Therefore it is no longer involved in time.
DB: It would no longer be dominated by time. The brain, from
what we were saying, is not evolving in any sense, it is just a
confusion. You can’t say that man’s brain has evolved during the
last ten thousand years. You see science, knowledge, has evolved,
but people felt the same about life several thousand years ago as
they do now.       K: I want to find out: in that silent emptiness that we went
through, is the brain absolutely still? In the sense, no movement.
DB: Not absolutely. You see, the blood is going in the brain.
K: We are not talking of that.
DB: What kind of movement are we discussing?
K: I am talking of the movement of thought, the movement of
any reaction.
DB: Yes. There is no movement in which the brain moves
independently. You were saying that there is the movement of the
whole, but the brain does not go off on its own, as thought.
K: You see, you have abolished death, which is a tremendously
significant thing. And so I say, what is the brain, the mind, when
there is no death. You follow? It has undergone a surgical
operation. DB: We said the brain normally has the notion of death
continually there in the background, and that notion is constantly
disturbing the brain, because the brain foresees death, and it is
trying to stop it.
K: To stop the ending of itself, and so on.
DB: It fore sees all that, and thinks it must stop it, but it can’t.
K: It can’t.
DB: And therefore it has a problem.
K: A constant struggle with it. So all that has come to an end.
What an extraordinary thing has taken place! How does it affect
my daily life, because I have to live on this earth? My daily life is
aggression, this everlasting becoming, striving for success – all that
has gone. We will pursue this but we have understood a great deal
today.
DB: In bringing in the question of daily life you might bring in the question of compassion.
K: Of course. Is that movement compassion?
DB: It would be beyond.
K: That’s it. That’s why one must be awfully careful.
DB: Then again, compassion might emerge out of it.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 8 19TH
APRIL 1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF.
DAVID BOHM ‘CAN INSIGHT BE AWAKENED
IN ANOTHER?’

KRISHNAMURTI: We were discussing what it is for the brain to
have no movement. When a human being has been pursuing the
path of becoming, and has gone through all that, and this sense of
emptiness, silence and energy, he has abandoned almost everything
and come to the point, the ground. So how does this insight affect
his daily life? What is his relationship to society? What is his
action with regard to war, and the whole world – a world that is
really living and struggling in darkness? What is his action? I
would say, as we agreed the other day, that it is non-movement.
DAVID BOHM: Yes, we said before that the ground was
movement without division.
K: Without division. Yes, quite.
DB: In some sense it seems inconsistent to say non-movement,
while you say the ground is movement.
K: Yes, the ground is movement. Would you say an average,
educated, sophisticated man, with all his unpleasant activities, is
constantly in movement?
DB: Well, a certain kind of movement.
K: A movement in time.
DB: Yes.
K: A movement in becoming. But we are discussing the man
who has trodden that path (if I may use that word), and come to
that point. From there, what is his action? We said, for the moment, non-action, non-movement. What does that mean?
DB: It means, as you said, not taking part in this process of
becoming.
K: Of course, that is obvious. If he doesn’t take part in this
process, what part does he play? Is it one of complete non-action?
DB: It is not clear why you should call it non-action. We might
think that it was action of another kind, which is not part of the
process of becoming.
K: It is not becoming.
DB: But it may still be action.
K: He still has to live in the world.
DB: In one sense, whatever you do is action, but his action is
not directed towards the illusory process, it is not involved in it, but
would be directed towards what underlies this illusory process. It
would be directed perhaps towards considering the wrong turning
which is continually coming out of the ground. Right?
K: Yes, yes. You see, various religions have described a man
who has been saved, who is illuminated, who has achieved
something or other. They have described very clearly, especially in
Hindu religious books, how he walks, how he looks, how he talks,
the whole state of his being. I think that is merely a poetic
description which…
DB: You think it is imagination?
K: I think a great deal of it is imagination. I have discussed this
point with some, and it is not like that, not imagination. Somebody
who describes it, knows exactly what it is.
DB: Well, how should he know? It is not clear.
K: So what is a man of that kind? How does he live in this world? This is a very interesting question, if you go into it deeply.
There is a state of non-movement. That is, the non-movement
which we have gone into.
DB: You see, it is not clear exactly what you mean by non-
movement.
K: One becomes poetic but I am trying to avoid that! Although
it would be right, even poetically: it is like a single tree in a field.
There is no other tree, but that tree, whatever the name of that tree
is, it is there.
DB: But why do you say, `non-movement’?
K: It is non-moving. DB: The tree stands of course.
K: A tree is a living, moving thing. I don’t mean that.
DB: The tree in a sense is moving, but in relation to the field it
stands. That is the picture we get.
K: You see, someone comes to you, because you have gone
from the beginning to the end. And now you are at the end with a
totally different kind of movement, which is timeless, and all that.
You are in that. I come to you and ask, `What is that state of mind?
What is the state of your mind, that has walked on that path and
ended something, that has totally moved out of darkness?’
DB: If you say it is non-movement, are you implying that it is
constant?
K: It must be… But what do you mean by constant?
Continuous?
DB: No, no.
K: Do you mean that it is.?
QUESTIONER: …static?
K: Oh, no!       DB: To stand firm, to stand together as a whole. That is really
its literal meaning.
K: Is that it?
DB: That is the picture you have got of the tree as well. That is
the picture which the tree in the field suggests.
K: Yes, I know. That is too romantic and poetic, and it becomes
rather deceptive. It is a nice image, but let’s move from it. What is
that mind? The quality of that mind that has started from
beginning, and pursued the becoming, and gone through all that
centre of darkness which has been wiped away? That mind must be
entirely different. Now what does such a mind do, or not do, in the
world which is in darkness?
DB: Surely the mind does not do a thing; it does not enter into
the movement of that world.
K: Agreed. DB: And in a sense we say that it is constant – not
fixed, but it does not move.
K: Is it static?
DB: No, it’s not static. It is constant – which in a sense is also
movement. There is a constancy which is not merely static, which
is also, at the same time, movement.
K: We said that movement was not the becoming movement.
DB: Yes, but the ground movement which is completely free.
K: What has happened to that mind? Let’s go into it a little bit. It
has no anxiety and no fear. You see the words `compassion’ and
`love’ are beyond that. Right?
DB: But they may emerge out of this ground.
K: The mind being nothing, not a thing, and therefore empty of
knowledge, would it always be acting in the light of insight?       DB: It would be pervaded, if not always, by the quality of
insight.
K: Yes, that is what I mean.
DB: Well `always’ brings in time, you see.
K: Remove the word.
DB: I would use `constantly’.
K: Yes, constantly; let’s use the word `constant’.
DB: It is a bit better, but not good enough.
K: Yes. Let’s use that word. It is acting constantly in that light,
in that flash of insight. I think that is right. So what does that mean
in one’s daily life? How does one earn a livelihood?
DB: That, surely, would be another point. You would have to
find a way to stay alive.
K: Stay alive. So that is why I am saying this: as civilization
grows, begging is not allowed.
DB: Is criminal. You have to find some way to stay alive.
K: So what will he do? He has no profession, no special skill,
no coin with which he can buy. DB: Well, wouldn’t it be possible
for this mind to earn enough to get what is needed to stay alive?
K: How?
Q: Why has he no skill to earn a livelihood?
K: Why should he have skill? Why must one have skill to earn a
livelihood? You say that, and another man says, `Why should I
have skill of any kind?’ I am just discussing, enquiring into this.
DB: Suppose you had to take care of yourself, you would need a
certain skill. If you were by yourself in a cave, you know…
K: Ah, I don’t want a cave!
DB: I know. But, whoever it is, he has to live somewhere; he needs some skill to find the food which he needs. You see, if
everybody were to say no skill is needed then the human race
would perish.
K: I am not sure.
DB: Well, what would happen then?
K: That is what I am coming to. Skill implies, as we said,
knowledge; from knowledge, comes experience, and gradually one
develops a skill. And that skill gives one an opportunity to earn a
livelihood, either meagre or rich. But this man says, there may be a
different way of living and earning. We are used to a pattern, and
he says, `Look, that may be totally wrong’.
DB: It depends what you mean by skill. For example, suppose
he has to drive a car, surely that takes some skill?
K: Yes.
DB: Is he going to do without that?
K: I had better go carefully into the word `skill’.
DB: Yes. I mean skill could have a bad meaning – like being
very clever at getting money.
K: So this man is not avaricious, he i; not money-minded, he is
not storing up for the future, he hasn’t any insurance. But he has to
live. When we use the word `skill’ to mean driving a car… DB: …or
being a carpenter… If all those skills were to vanish, life would be
impossible.
K: The whole thing would collapse.
DB: Yes.
K: I am not sure. Do we mean that kind of skill must be denied?
DB: It couldn’t mean that.
K: No. That would be too silly.       DB: But then people become very skilful at getting other people
to give them money, you see!
Q: Is it that now we have made a division between living and
skill, skill and working, living and earning a livelihood?
K: That’s it! I need to have food, I need to have clothes, and
shelter.
Q: But is the division necessary? As society is built now, we
have a division between living and working.
K: We have been through all that. We are talking of a man who
has been through all this, and has come back to the world, and
says, `Here I am’. What is his relationship to society, and what is he
to do? Has he any relationship to society?
DB: Well, not in a deep or fundamental sense, although there is
a superficial relationship that he has to have.
K: All right. A superficial contact with the world.
DB: He has to obey the laws, he has to follow the traffic signals.
K: Quite. But I want to find out, what is he to do? Write? Talk?
That means skill.
DB: Surely that kind of skill need not be harmful?
K: I am just asking.
DB: Like the other skills; like carpentry.
K: Yes. That kind of skill. But what is he to do? I think if we
could find out the quality of a mind that has been through all that
from the beginning to the end, all that we have talked of in our
recent discussions; that man’s mind is entirely different, yet he is in
the world. How does he look upon it? You have reached and come
back – these are approximate terms – and I am an ordinary man,
living in this world. So what is your relationship to me? Obviously none, because I am living in a world of darkness and you are not.
So your relationship can only exist when I come out of it – when
darkness ends.
DB: Yes.
K: Then there is only that; there is not a relationship. But now
there is division between you and me. And I look at you with my
eyes, which are accustomed to darkness and to division. But you
are not. And yet you have to have some contact with me. You have
to have, however superficial, however slight, a certain relationship
with me. Is that relationship compassion, and not something
translated by me as compassion? From my darkness I cannot judge
what compassion is. Right?
DB: Yes. That follows from that.
K: I don’t know what your love is, what your compassion is
because my only love and compassion has been this. And so, what
do I do with you?
DB: Who are we talking about now? It is not clear to me whom
we are discussing!
K: You or `X’, have been through all that, and come back.
DB: Then why hasn’t `Y’ done so?
K: `Y’ has not. `Y’ asks, `Who are you? You seem so different.
Your way of looking at life is different.’ And what will `Y’ do with
`X’? That is the question. Not what will `X’ do to `Y’. I don’t know
if I am making it clear.
DB: Yes, I understand. What will `Y’ do with `X’?
K: Our question until now has been what will `X’ do with `Y’,
but I think we were putting the wrong question. What will `Y’ do
with `X’? I think what would happen generally is that `Y’ would worship, kill or neglect him. Right?
DB: Yes.
K: If `Y’ worships `X’ then everything is very simple. He has
the goodies of the world. But that doesn’t answer my question. My
question is not only what will `Y’ do to `X’, but what will `X’ do
with `Y’? `X’s’ demand is, `Look, walk out of this darkness; there is
no answer in the darkness, so walk out.’ It doesn’t matter, whatever
phrase we use – walk out, dispel it, get rid of it, etc. And `Y’ then
says, `Help me, show me the way’, and is back again in darkness –
you follow? So what will `Y’ do to `X’?
DB: I can’t see that `Y’ can do very much, except what you
mentioned – to worship, or to do something else.
K: To kill or neglect `X’.
DB: But if compassion works in `X’…
K: Yes, `X’ is that. He won’t even call it compassion.
DB: No, but we call it that. Then `X’ will work to find a way to
penetrate the darkness.
K: Wait! So `X’s job is to work on darkness?
DB: To discover how to penetrate darkness.
K: In that way he is earning a living.
DB: Well, possibly.
K: No. I am talking seriously.
DB: It depends on whether people are willing to pay him for it.
K: No joking. Seriously.
DB: It is possible.
K: Probably `X’ is the teacher. `X’ is out of society. `X’ is
unrelated to this field of darkness and saying to the people who are
caught in it, `Come out’. What’s wrong with that?       DB: Nothing is wrong with that.
K: That is his means of livelihood.
DB: It’s perfectly all right as long as it works. Of course, if there
were a lot of people like `X’, there would have to be some limit.
K: No, Sir. What would happen if there were lots of people like
`X’? DB: That is an interesting question. I think there would be
something revolutionary.
K: That’s just it.
DB: The whole thing would change.
K: Yes. If there were lots of people like that, they would not be
divided. That is the whole point, right?
DB: I think that even if ten or fifteen people were undivided
they would exert a force that has never been seen in our history.
K: Tremendous! That’s right.
DB: Because I don’t think it has ever happened, that ten people
have been undivided.
K: That is `X’s’ job in life. He says that is the only thing. A
group of those ten `X’s’ will bring a totally different kind of
revolution. Will society stand for that?
DB: They will have this extreme intelligence, and so they will
find a way to do it, you see.
K: Of course.
DB: Society will stand for it, because the `X’s’ will be intelligent
enough not to provoke society, and society will not react before it
is too late.
K: Quite right. You are saying something which is actually
happening. Would you say then that the function of many `X’s’ is to
awaken human beings to that intelligence which will dispel the darkness? And that this is `X’s’ means of livelihood?
DB: Yes.
K: Then there are those people who in darkness cultivate this
and exploit people, but there are `X’s’ who don’t exploit. All right.
That seems very simple, but I don’t think it is all that simple.
DB: Right.
K: Is that the only function of `X’?
DB: Well it is really a difficult function. K: But I want to find
out something much deeper than mere function.
DB: Yes function is not enough.
K: That’s it. Apart from function, what is he to do? `X’ says to
`Y’, `Listen; And `Y’ takes time, and gradually, perhaps, at some
time he will wake up and move away. And is that all `X’ is going to
do in life?
DB: That can only be an outcome of something deeper.
K: The deeper is all that; the ground.
DB: Yes, the ground.
K: But is that all he is to do in this world? just to teach people to
move out of darkness?
DB: Well, that seems to be the prime task at the moment, in the
sense that, if this doesn’t happen, the whole society will sooner or
later collapse. We could ask whether he needs to be in some sense
more deeply creative.
K: What is that?
DB: Well, it is not clear.
K: Suppose `X’ is you, and you have an enormous field in which
to operate, not merely teaching me but having this extraordinary
movement which is not of time. That is, you have this abounding energy, and you have produced all that to teach me to come out of
darkness.
DB: That can only be a part of it.
K: So what does the rest do, you follow? I don’t know if I am
conveying this.
DB: Well, this is what I tried to suggest by talking of some
creative action, beyond this, taking place.
K: Yes, beyond this. You may write, you may preach, you may
heal, you may do this and that, but all those activities are rather
trivial. But you have something else. Have I reduced you, `X’, to
my pettiness? You can’t be so reduced. My pettiness says, `You
must do something. You must preach, write, heal, do something to
help me to move.’ Right? You comply to the very smallest degree,
but you have something much more than that, something immense.
You understand my question?
DB: Yes. So what happens?
K: How is that immensity operating on `Y’?
DB: Are you saying that there is some more direct action?
K: Either there is more direct action, or `X’ is doing something
totally different to affect the consciousness of man.
DB: What could this be?
K: Because `X’ is not `satisfied’ with merely preaching and
talking. That immensity which he is must have an effect, must do
something.
DB: Are you saying `must’ in the sense of the feeling of needing
to do it, or are you saying `must’ in the sense of necessity?
K: It must.
DB: It must necessarily do so. But how will it affect mankind? You see, when you say this, it would suggest to people that there is
some sort of extrasensory effect that spreads.
K: That is what I am trying to capture.
DB: Yes.
K: That is what I am trying to convey.
DB: Not merely through the words, through the activities or
gestures.
K: Let’s leave the activity alone. That is simple. It is not just
that, because that immensity must…
DB: …Necessarily act? There is a more direct action?
K: No, no. All right. That immensity necessarily has other
activities.
DB: Other activities at other levels?
K: Yes, other activities. This has been translated in the Hindu
teachings as various degrees of consciousness.
DB: There are different levels or degrees of acting. K: All that
too is a very small affair. What do you say, Sir?
DB: Well, since the consciousness emerges from the ground,
this activity is affecting all mankind from the ground.
K: Yes.
DB: You see many people will find this very difficult to
understand.
K: I am not interested in many people. I want to understand
you, `X’ and me, `Y’. That ground, that immensity, is not limited to
such a petty little affair. It couldn’t be.
DB: The ground includes physically the whole universe.
K: Yes, the whole universe, and to reduce all that to…
DB: …these little activities…       K: …is all so silly.
DB: I think that raises the question of what is the significance of
mankind in the universe, or in the ground?
K: Yes, that’s it.
DB: Because even the best of these little things that we have
been doing have very little significance on that scale. Right?
K: Yes, this is just opening the chapter. I think that `X’ is doing
something – not doing, but by his very existence…
DB: …he is making something possible?
K: Yes. When you read of Einstein, he has made something
possible, which man hadn’t discovered before.
DB: We can see that fairly easily because it works through the
usual channels of society.
K: Yes, I understand that. What is `X’ bringing apart from the
little things? Putting it into words makes it sound wrong. `X’ has
that immense intelligence, that energy, that something, and he must
operate at a much greater level than one can possibly conceive,
which must affect the consciousness of those who are living in
darkness. DB: Possibly so. The question is, will this effect show in
any way? You know, manifestly.
K: Apparently not. If you hear the television or radio news, and
know what is happening all over the world, apparently it is not
doing so.
DB: That is what is difficult, and a matter of great concern.
K: But it must have an effect. It has to.
DB: Why do you say it has to?
K: Because light must affect darkness.
DB: perhaps `Y’ might say that, living in darkness, he is not sure that there is such an effect. He might say perhaps there is, but
I want to see it manifest. Not seeing anything and still being in
darkness, he then asks, what shall I do?
K: I understand that. So are you saying that `X’s’ only activity is
just writing, teaching etc?
DB: No. Merely that it may well be that the activity is much
greater, but it doesn’t show. If only we could see it!
K: How would it be shown? How would `Y’, who wants proof
of it, see it?
DB: `Y’ might say something like this: many people have made
a similar statement, and some of them have obviously been wrong.
But one wants to say it could be true. You see, until now, I think
the things we have said make sense, and they follow to a certain
extent.
K: Yes, I understand all that.
DB: And now you say something which goes much further.
Other people have said things like that and one feels that they were
on the wrong track, that they, or at least some of these people, were
fooling themselves.
K: No. `X’ says, we are being very logical.
DB: Yes, but at this stage logic will not carry us any further.
K: It is very reasonable! We have been through all that. So `X’s,
mind is not acting in an irrational way. DB: You could say that,
having seen the thing was reasonable, so far, `Y’ may have some
confidence that it could go further.
K: Yes, that is what I am trying to say.
DB: Of course, there is no proof.
K: No.       DB: So could we explore?
K: That is hat I am trying to do.
Q: What about the other activities of `X’? We said he has the
function of teaching, but also that `X’ has other activities.
K: He must have. Necessarily must.
Q: But what?
K: I don’t know; we are trying to find that out.
DB: You are saying that somehow he makes possible an activity
of the ground in the whole consciousness of mankind which would
not have been possible without him.
K: Yes.
Q: His contact with `Y’ is not only verbal. `Y’ listens but there is
some other quality…
K: Yes, but `X’ says all that is a petty little affair. That is, of
course, understood, but `X’ says there is something much greater.
Q: The effect of `X’ is perhaps far greater than can be put in
words.
K: We are trying to find out what that greater is that must
necessarily be operating.
Q: Is it something that appears in the daily life of `X’?
K: Yes. In his daily life `X’ is apparently doing fairly small
things – teaching, writing, book-keeping, or whatever. But is that
all? It seems so silly.
DB: Are you saying that in the daily life `X’ does not look so
different from anybody else?
K: No, apparently not. DB: But there is something else going on
which does not show. Right?
K: That’s it. When `X’ talks it may be different, he may say things differently but…
DB: …That is not fundamental, because there are so many
people who say things differently from others.
K: I know. But the man who has walked through all that right
from the beginning! If such a man has the whole of that energy to
call upon, to reduce it all to these petty little things seems
ridiculous.
DB: Let me ask a question: Why does the ground require this
man to operate on mankind? Why can’t the ground, as it were,
operate directly on mankind to clear things up?
K: Ah, just a minute, just a minute. Are you asking why the
ground demands action?
DB: Why does it require a particular man to affect mankind?
K: Oh, that I can easily explain. It is part of existence, like the
stars.
Q: Can the immensity act directly on mankind? Does it have to
inform a man to enter the consciousness of mankind?
K: We are talking about something else. I want to find out if `X’
says, I am not going to be reduced only to writing and talking; that
is too small and petty. And the other question is, why does the
ground need this man? It doesn’t need him.
DB: But when he is here, the ground will use him.
K: That is so.
DB: Well, would it be possible that the ground could do
something to clear this up?
K: That is what I want to find out. That is why I am saying, in
different words, that the ground doesn’t need the man, but the man
has touched the ground.       DB: Yes. K: So the ground is using him, let’s say employing
him. He is part of that movement. Is that all? Do you follow what I
mean? Am I asking the wrong questions? Why should he do
anything? Except this?
DB: Well, perhaps he does nothing.
K: That very doing nothing, may be the doing.
DB: Doing nothing makes possible the action of the ground. It
may be that. In doing nothing which has any specified aim…
K: That’s right. No specified content which can be translated
into human terms.
DB: Yes, but still he is supremely active in doing nothing.
Q: Is there an action which is beyond time, for that man?
K: He is that…
Q: Then we cannot ask for a result from that man.
K: He is not asking for results.
Q: But `Y’ is asking for a result.
K: No. Perhaps `X’ says, I am concerned to talk, etc., which is a
very small thing. But there is a vast field which must affect the
whole of mankind.
DB: There is an analogy which may not be very good but we
can consider it. In chemistry, a catalyst makes possible a certain
action without itself taking part, but merely by being what it is.
K: Yes, is that what is happening? Even that is a small affair.
DB: Yes.
Q: And even there `Y’ would say it isn’t happening, because the
world is still in a mess. So is there a truth in the world for the
activity of that man?
K: `X’ says he is sorry, but that is no question at all I am not interested in proving anything. It isn’t a mathematical or a technical
problem to be shown and proved. `X’ says that he has walked from
the beginning of man to the very end of man, and that there is a
movement which is timeless. The ground which is the universe, the
cosmos, everything. And the ground doesn’t need the man, but the
man has come upon it. And he is still a man in the world, who says,
`I write and do something or other,’ not to prove the ground, not to
do anything. `X’ does that just out of compassion. But there is a
much greater movement which necessarily plays a part in the
world.
Q: Does the greater movement play a part through `X’?
K: Obviously, `X’ says that there is something else operating
which cannot possibly be put into words. He asks, `What am I to
do?’ There is nothing which a man like `Y’ will understand. He will
iMmediately translate it into some kind of illusory thing. But `X’
says there is something else. Otherwise it is all so childish.
DB: I think the general view which people are developing now
is that the universe has no meaning, that it moves any old way,
things just happen, and none of them has any meaning.
K: None of them has meaning for the man who is here, but the
man who is there, speaking relatively, says it is full of meaning,
and not invented by thought.
All right, let’s leave the vastness, and all that. `X’ says, perhaps
there will be ten people with this insight and that might affect
society. It will not be communism, socialism, this or that political
reorganization. It will be totally different, and based on intelligence
and compassion.
DB: Well, if there were ten, they might find a way to spread this much more.
K: That’s what I am trying to get at.
DB: What do you mean?
K: `X’ brings the universe, but I translate it into something
trivial.
DB: Are you saying that if the whole of mankind were to see
this that would be something different?
K: Oh, yes, of course!
DB: Would it be new…
K: …It would be paradise on earth.
DB: It would be like an organism of a new kind. K: Of course.
But you see, I am not satisfied with this.
DB: Well, what is it?
K: I am not `satisfied’ in leaving this immensity to be reduced to
some few words. It seems so stupid, so incredible. You see man,
`Y’, is concerned with concepts like `show me’, `prove it to me’,
`what benefit has it?’, `will it affect my future?’ You follow? He is
concerned with all that. And he is looking at `X’ with eyes that are
accustomed to this pettiness! So, he reduces that immensity to his
pettiness, and puts it in a temple and has therefore lost it
completely. But `X’ says, I won’t even look at that; there is
something so immense, please do look at it. But `Y’ is always
translating it by wanting demonstration, proof or reward. He is
always concerned with that. `X’ brings light. That’s all he can do.
Isn’t that enough?
DB: To bring the light which would allow other people to be
open to the immensity?
K: Is it like this? We only see a small part, but that very small part extends to infinity?
DB: That small part of what?
K: No. We see immensity only as a very small thing. And that
immensity is the whole universe. I can’t help but think that it must
have some tremendous effect on `Y; on society.
DB: Certainly the perception of this must have an effect, but it
seems that this is not in the consciousness of society at the
moment.
K: I know.
DB: But you are saying still the effect is there?
K: Yes.
Q: Are you saying that the perception of even a small part is the
infinity?
K: Of course, of course.
Q: Is it in itself the changing factor?
DB: Do you think it is possible that a thing like this could divert
the course of mankind away from the dangerous path it is taking?
K: Yes, that is what I think. But to divert the course of man’s
destruction somebody must listen. Right? Somebody – ten people –
must listen!
DB: Yes.
K: Listen to that immensity calling.
DB: So the immensity may divert the course of man. The
individual cannot do it.
K: Yes. The individual cannot do it, obviously. But `X’ who is
supposed to be an individual, has trodden this path, and says,
`Listen’. But man does not listen.
DB: Well, then, is it possible to discover how to make people listen?
K: No, then we are back!
DB: What do you mean?
K: Don’t act; you have nothing to do.
DB: What does it mean not to do a thing?
K: I realize, as `Y’, that whatever I do – whether I sacrifice,
practise, renounce – whatever I do, I am still living in that circle of
darkness. So `X’ says, `Don’t act; you have nothing to do.’ You
follow? But that is translated by `Y’, who does everything except
wait and see what happens. We must pursue this, Sir, otherwise it
is all so hopeless from the point of view of `Y’.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 9 1ST JUNE
1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF. DAVID
BOHM ‘SENILITY AND THE BRAIN CELLS’

KRISHNAMURTI: I would like to talk over with you, and perhaps
with Narayan [Mr G. Narayan, Principal of the Rishi Valley School
in India.] too, what is happening to the human brain. We have a
civilization that is highly cultivated, and yet at the same time
barbarous, with selfishness clothed in all kinds of spiritual garbs.
Deep down, however, there is a frightening selfishness. Man’s
brain has been evolving through millennia upon millennia, yet it
has come to this divisive, destructive point, which we all know. So
I am wondering whether the human brain – not a particular brain,
but the human brain – is deteriorating? Whether it is just in a slow
and steady decline? Or whether it is possible in one’s lifetime to
bring about in the brain a total renewal from all this; a renewal that
will be pristine, original, unpolluted? I have been wondering about
this, and I would like to discuss it.
I think the human brain is not a particular brain; it doesn’t
belong to me, or to anyone else. It is the human brain which has
evolved over millions of years. And in that evolution it has
gathered tremendous experience, knowledge and all the cruelties,
vulgarities and brutalities of selfishness. Is there a possibility of its
sloughing off all this, and becoming something else? Because
apparently it is functioning in patterns. Whether it is a religious
pattern, a scientific, a business, or a family pattern, it is always
operating, functioning in small narrow circles. Those circles are
clashing against each other, and there seems to be no end to this. So what will break down this forming of patterns, so that there is
no falling into other new patterns, but breaking down the whole
system of patterns, whether pleasant or unpleasant? After all, the
brain has had many shocks, challenges and pressures upon it, and if
it is not capable of renewing or rejuvenating itself, there is very
little hope. You follow?
DAVID BOHM: You see, one difficulty might present itself. If
you are thinking of the brain structure, we cannot get into the
structure, physically. K: Physically we cannot. I know, we have
discussed this. So what is the brain to do? The brain specialists can
look at it, take the dead brain of a human being and examine it, but
it doesn’t solve the problem. Right?
DB: No.
K: So what is a human being to do, knowing it cannot be
changed from outside? The scientist, the brain specialist and the
neurologist explain various things but their explanations, their
investigations, are not going to solve this.
DB: Well, there is no evidence that they can.
K: No evidence.
DB: Some people who do bio-feedback think that they can
influence the brain, connecting an instrument to the electrical
potentials in the skull and being able to look at them; you can also
change your heart beat and blood pressure and other things. These
people have raised the hope that something could be done.
K: But they are not succeeding.
DB: They are not getting very far.
K: And we can’t wait for these scientists and bio-feedbackers –
sorry! – to solve the problem. So what shall we do?       DB: The next question is whether the brain can be aware of its
own structure.
K: Can the brain be aware of its own movement? And can the
brain not only be aware of its own movement, but itself have
enough energy to break all patterns and move out of them?
DB: You have to ask to what extent the brain is free to break
out of patterns?
K: What do you mean?
DB: Well, you see, if you begin by saying that the brain is
caught in a pattern, it may not be so.
K: But apparently it is.
DB: As far as we can see. It may not be free to break out. It may
not have the power.
K: That is what I have said: not enough energy, not enough
power. DB: Yes, it may not be able to take the action needed to get
out.
K: So it has become its own prisoner. Then what?
DB: Then that is the end.
K: Is that the end?
DB: If that is true, then that is the end. If the brain cannot break
out then perhaps people would choose to try some other way to
solve the problem.
NARAYAN: When we speak of the brain, in one sense it is
connected to the senses and the nervous system; the feedback is
there. Is there another instrument to which the brain is connected
which has a different effect on the brain?
K: What do you mean by that? Some other factor?
N: Some other factor in the human system itself. Because, obviously, through the senses the brain does get nourishment, but
still that is not enough. Is there some other internal factor which
gives energy to the brain?
K: You see, I want to discuss this. The brain is constantly
occupied with various problems, with holding on, attachment, and
so on. It is constantly in a state of preoccupation. That may be the
central factor. And, if it is not in occupation, does it go sluggish? If
it is not occupied, can it maintain the energy that is required to
break down the patterns?
DB: Now the first point is that if the brain is not occupied,
somebody might think that it would just take things easy.
K: Become lazy and all that! I don’t mean that.
DB: If you mean not occupied, but still active…
K: Of course. I mean that.
DB: Then we have to go into what is the nature of the activity.
K: Yes. This brain is so occupied with conflicts, struggles,
attachments, fears and pleasures. And this occupation gives to the
brain its own energy. If it is not occupied, will it become lazy,
drugged, and so lose its elasticity, as it were? Or will that
unoccupied state give the brain the required energy to break the
patterns? DB: What makes you say this might happen? We were
discussing the other day that when the brain is kept busy with
intellectual activity and thought, it does not decay and shrink.
K: As long as it is thinking, moving, living.
DB: Thinking in a rational way; then it remains strong.
K: Yes. That is what I want to get at too. Which is, as long as it
is functioning, moving, thinking rationally…
DB: …it remains strong. If it starts irrational movement, then it breaks down. Also if it gets caught in a routine it begins to die.
K: That’s it. If the brain is caught in any routine – the meditation
routine, or the routine of the priests.
DB: Or the daily life of the farmer…
K: …the farmer, etc., it must gradually become dull.
DB: Not only that, but it seems to shrink.
K: To shrink physically.
DB: Perhaps some of the cells die?
K: To shrink physically, and the opposite to that is the eternal
occupation with business – by anyone who does a routine job…
thinking, thinking, thinking! And we believe that that also prevents
shrinking.
DB: Surely experience seems to show that it does, from
measurements that have been made.
K: Yes, it does. That’s it.
DB: The brain starts to shrink at a certain age. Now that is what
they have discovered, and just as when the body is not being used
the muscles begin to lose their flexibility…
K: So, take lots of exercise!
DB: Well, they say exercise the body and exercise the brain.
K: Yes. If it is caught in any pattern, any routine, any directive,
it must shrink.
DB: Could we go into what makes it shrink? K: That is fairly
simple. It is repetition.
DB: Repetition is mechanical, and doesn’t really use the full
capacity of the brain.
K: One has noticed that people who have spent years and years
in meditation are the most dull people on earth. And also with lawyers and professors there is ample evidence of all that.
N: It is suggested that rational thinking postpones senility. But
rational thinking itself can sometimes become a pattern.
DB: It might. Rational thinking pursued in a narrow area might
become part of the pattern too.
K: Of course, of course.
DB: But is there some other way?
K: We will go into that.
DB: But let’s clear up things about the body first. You see, if
somebody does a lot of exercise for the body, it remains strong, but
it can become mechanical.
K: Yes.
DB: And therefore it would have a bad effect.
N: What about the various traditional religious instruments –
yoga, tantra, kundalini, etc?
K: I know. Oh, they must shrink! Because of what is happening.
Take yoga for example. It used not to be vulgarized, if I may use
that word. It was kept strictly to the very few, who were not
concerned about kundalini and all that, but who were concerned
with leading a moral, ethical, so-called spiritual life. You see, I
want to get at the root of this.
DB: I think there is something related to this. It seems that
before man was organized into society, he was living close to
nature, and it was not possible to live in a routine.
K: No, it was not.
DB: But it was completely insecure. K: So we are saying that
the brain itself becomes extraordinarily alive – is not caught in a
pattern – if it lives in a state of uncertainty? Without becoming neurotic!
DB: I think that is more clear when you say not becoming
neurotic – then certainty becomes a form of neurosis. But I would
rather that the brain lives without having certainty, without
demanding it, without demanding certain knowledge.
K: So are we saying that knowledge also withers the brain?
DB: Yes, when it is repetitious and becomes mechanical.
K: But knowledge itself?
DB: Well, we have to be very careful there. I think that
knowledge has a tendency to become mechanical. That is, it gets
fixed, but we could always be learning, you see.
K: But learning from a centre, learning as an accumulative
process!
DB: Learning with something fixed. You see, we learn
something as fixed, and then you learn from there. If we were to be
learning without holding anything permanently fixed…
K: Learning and not adding. Can we do that?
DB: Yes, I think to a certain extent we have to drop our
knowledge. You see, knowledge may be valid up to a point, and
then it ceases to be valid. It gets in the way. You could say that our
civilization is collapsing because of too much knowledge.
K: Of course.
DB: We don’t discard what is in the way.
N: Many forms of knowledge are additive. Unless you know the
previous thing, you can’t do the next thing. Would you say that
kind of knowledge is repetitive?
DB: No. As long as we are learning. But if we hold some
principle, or the centre, fixed, and say it cannot change, then that knowledge becomes mechanical. But, for example, suppose you
have to make a living. People must organize society, and so on,
and they need knowledge.
K: But there we add more and more. DB: That’s right. We may
also get rid of some.
K: Of course.
DB: Some gets in the way, you see. It is continually moving
there.
K: Yes, but I am asking, apart from that, about knowledge itself.
DB: Do you mean knowledge without this content?
K: Yes; the knowing mind.
DB: Which merely wants knowledge, is that what you are
saying? Knowledge for its own sake?
K: Yes. I want to question the whole idea of having knowledge.
DB: But again, it is not too clear, because we accept that we
need some knowledge.
K: Of course, at a certain level.
DB: So it is not clear what kind of knowledge it is that you are
questioning.
K: I am questioning the experience that leaves knowledge, that
leaves a mark.
DB: Yes, but what kind of mark? A psychological mark?
K: Psychological, of course.
DB: You are questioning this, rather than knowledge of
technique and matter, and so on. But you see, when you use the
word knowledge by itself, it tends to include the whole.
K: We have said that knowledge at a certain level is essential;
there you can add and take away and keep on changing. But I am questioning whether psychological knowledge is not in itself a
factor of the shrinking of the brain.
DB: What do you mean by psychological knowledge?
Knowledge about the mind, knowledge about myself?
K: Yes. Knowledge about myself, and living in that knowledge,
and accumulating that knowledge.
DB: So if you keep on accumulating knowledge about yourself
or about relationships… K: …yes, about relationships. That’s it.
Would you say such knowledge helps the brain, or makes the brain
somewhat inactive, makes it shrink?
DB: Brings it into a rut.
K: Yes.
DB: But one should see what it is about this knowledge that
makes trouble.
K: What is this knowledge that makes so much trouble? In
relationship, that knowledge creates trouble.
DB: Yes, it gets in the way because it fixes.
K: If I have an image about someone, that knowledge is
obviously going to impede our relationship. It becomes a pattern.
DB: Yes, the knowledge about myself and about him and how
we are related, makes a pattern.
K: And therefore that becomes a routine and so it loses its
energy.
DB: Yes, and it occurred to me that routine in that area is more
dangerous than routine in, say, the area of daily work.
K: That’s right.
DB: And if routine in ordinary work can shrink the brain, then
in that area it might do some worse thing, because it has a bigger effect.
K: Can the brain, in psychological matters, be entirely free from
this kind of knowledge? Look! I am a businessman, and get into
the car, bus, taxi or tube train, and I am thinking about what I am
going to do, whom I am going to meet in connection with business.
My mind is all the time living in that area. Then I come home;
There is my wife and children; sex and all that. That also becomes
a psychological knowledge from which I am acting. So there is the
knowledge of my business, and also the knowledge with regard to
my wife and my reactions in relationship. These two are in
contradiction, unless I am unaware of them, and just carry on. If I
am aware of these two, it becomes a disturbing factor. DB: Also
people find that this is a routine. They get bored with it, and they
begin to…
K: …divorce, and then the whole circus begins!
DB: They may hope that by becoming occupied with something
else they will get out of their boredom.
K: Yes, by going to church, etc. Any escape is an occupation.
So I am asking whether this psychological knowledge is not a
factor of shrinkage of the brain?
DB: Well, it could be a factor.
K: It is.
DB: If knowledge of your profession or skill can be a factor,
then this psychological knowledge is stronger.
K: Of course. Much stronger.
N: When you say psychological knowledge you are making a
distinction between psychological knowledge and, let us say,
scientific knowledge or factual knowledge?       K: Of course, we have said that.
N: But I am a little wary of the claim that scientific knowledge
and other types of factual knowledge help to extend the brain, to
make it bigger. That in itself doesn’t lead anywhere. Though it
postpones energy.
K: Dr. Bohm makes this very clear. Rational thinking becomes
merely routine; I think logically, and therefore I have learned the
trick of that, but I keep on repeating it.
N: That is what happens in most forms of rational thinking.
K: Of course.
DB: I think that there is a dependence on being faced with
continual problems.
K: Of course.
DB: You see, lawyers may feel that their brains will last longer,
because they are presented with constantly different problems, and
therefore they cannot think entirely according to routine! K: But,
just a minute! They may have different clients with different
problems, but they are acting from fixed knowledge.
DB: They would not say entirely, they have got to find new
facts, and so on.
K: They are not functioning entirely in routine but the basis is
knowledge – precedence and book knowledge and experience with
various clients.
DB: But then you would have to say that some other more
subtle degeneration of the brain takes place, not merely shrinkage.
K: That’s right. That’s what I want to get at.
DB: You see, when a baby is born, the brain cells have very few
cross connections; these gradually increase in number, and then, as a person approaches senility, they begin to go back. So the quality
of those cross connections could be wrong. If, for example, we
repeated them too often, they would get too fixed.
N: Are all the brain functions confined to rational forms, or are
there some functions which have a different quality?
DB: Well, it is known that a large part of the brain deals with
movement of the body, with muscles, with various organs and so
on, and this part does not shrink with age, although the part that
deals with rational thought, if it is not used, does shrink. Then there
may be other functions that are totally unknown; that is, very little
is actually known about the brain.
K: What we are saying is that we are only using one part of the
brain. There is only partial activity, partial occupation, either
rational or irrational. But as long as the brain is occupied it must be
in that limited area. Would you say that?
DB: Then what will happen when it is not occupied? We can
say that it may tend to spend most of the time occupied in the
limited set of functions which are mechanical, and that this will
produce some subtle degeneration of the brain tissue, since
anything like that will affect the brain tissue.
K: Are we saying that senility is the result of a mechanical way
of living? Of mechanical knowledge, so that the brain has no
freedom, no space? DB: That is the suggestion. It is not necessarily
accepted by all the people who work on the brain. They have
shown that the brain cells start to die around the age of thirty or
forty at a steady rate, but this may be a factor. I don’t think their
measurements are so good that they can test effectively how the
brain is used. You see, they are merely rough measurements, made statistically. But you want to propose that this death or
degeneration of the brain cells comes from the wrong way of using
the brain?
K: That’s right. That is what I am trying to get at.
DB: Yes, an there is a little bit of evidence from the scientists,
although I think that they don’t know very much about it.
K: You see, scientists, brain specialists, are, if I may put it
simply, examining things outside, but not taking themselves as
guinea-pigs, and not going into that.
DB: Mostly, you see, except for those who do bio-feedback,
they are trying to work on themselves in a very indirect way.
K: Yes, but I feel we haven’t time for all that.
DB: It is too slow, and it isn’t very deep.
K: So let’s come back to the realization that any activity which
is repeated, which is directed in the narrow sense, any method, any
routine, logical or illogical, does affect the brain. We have
understood that very clearly. Knowledge at a certain level is
essential, but psychological knowledge about oneself, one’s
experiences, etc. becomes routine. The images I have about myself
also obviously become routine, and all that helps to bring about a
shrinkage of the brain. I have understood all that very clearly. And
any kind of occupation, apart from the mechanical… no, not
mechanical…
DB: …physical.
K: …apart from physical occupation, brings about shrinkage of
the brain. Now how is this process to stop? And if it does stop, will
there be a renewal?
DB: I think that some brain scientists would doubt that the brain cells could be renewed, and I don’t know that there is any proof one
way or the other. K: I think they can be renewed. That is what I
want to get at.
DB: So we have to discuss that.
N: Are you implying that mind is different from the brain, that
mind is distinct from the brain?
K: Not quite.
DB: You have spoken of universal mind.
N: Mind, in the sense that one has access to this mind, and it is
not the brain. Do you consider that a possibility?
K: I don’t quite follow this. I would say that the mind is all-
inclusive. When it is all-inclusive, of brain, emotions – all that;
when it is totally whole, not divisive in itself, there is a quality
which is universal. Right?
N: One has access to it?
K: Not one: no, you can’t reach it. You can’t say, I have access
to it.
N: I am only saying access. One doesn’t possess it, but…
K: You can’t possess the sky!
N: No, my point is, is there a way of being open to it and is
there a function of the mind through which the whole of it can
become accessible?
K: I think there is. We may come to that presently if we can
stick to this point: We are asking now, can the brain renew itself,
rejuvenate, become young again without any shrinkage at all? I
think it can. I want to open a new chapter and discuss this.
psychologically, knowledge that man has acquired is crippling it.
The Freudians, the Jungians, the latest psychologist, the latest psychotherapist, are all helping to make the brain shrink. Sorry! I
don’t mean to give offence….
N: Is there a way of forgetting this knowledge then?
K: No, no. Not forgetting. I see what psychological knowledge
is doing and I see the waste; I see what is taking place if I follow
that line. It is obvious. So I don’t follow that avenue at all. I discard
analysis altogether. That is a pattern we have learnt, not discard
analysis altogether. That is a pattern we have learnt, not only from
the recent psychologists and psychotherapists but also through the
tradition of a million years of analysis, of introspect, or of saying,
`I must’, and `I must not’, `This is right and that is wrong’. You
know the whole process. I personally don’t do it, and so I reject that
whole method.
We are coming to a point, which is direct perception and
immediate action. Our perception is generally directed by
knowledge, by the past, which is knowledge perceiving, and with
action arising, acting from that. This is a factor of shrinking of the
brain, of senility.
Is there a perception which is not time binding? And so action
which is immediate? Am I making myself clear? That is, as long as
the brain, which has evolved through time, is still living in a
pattern of time, it is becoming senile. If we could break that pattern
of time, the brain has broken out of its pattern, and therefore
something else takes place.
N: How does the brain break out of the pattern of time?
K: We will come to that, but first let’s see if we agree.
DB: Well, you are saying that the brain is the pattern of time,
and perhaps this should be clarified. I think that what you mean by analysis is some sort of process based on past knowledge, which
organizes our perception, and in which we take a series of steps to
try to accumulate knowledge about the whole thing. And now you
say that this is a pattern of time, and we have to break out of it.
K: If we agree that this is so, the brain is functioning in a pattern
of time.
DB: Then we have to ask, what other pattern is possible?
K: But wait…
DB: What other movement is possible?
K: No. First let’s understand this, not merely verbally, but let’s
actually see that it is happening. That our action, our way of living,
our whole thinking, is bound by time, or comes with the
knowledge of time.
DB: Certainly our thinking about ourselves, any attempt to
analyse ourselves, to think about ourselves, involves this process.
K: This process, which is of time. Right? N: That is a difficulty:
when you say knowledge and experience, they are a certain
cohesive energy or force that binds you.
K: Which means what? Time binding!
N: Time binding and…
K: …and therefore the pattern of centuries, of millennia, is being
repeated.
N: Yes. But I am saying that this has a certain cohesive force.
K: Of course, of course. All illusions have an extraordinary
vitality.
N: Very few break through.
K: Look at all the churches and what immense vitality they
have.       N: No, apart from these churches, one’s personal life, it has a
certain cohesive force that keeps one back. One can’t break away
from it.
K: What do you mean, it keeps you back?
N: It has a magnetic attraction, it sort of pulls you back. You
can’t free yourself of it unless you have some instrument with
which you can act.
K: We are going to find out if there is a different approach to
the problem.
DB: When you say, a different instrument, that is not clear. The
whole notion of an instrument involves time, because if you use
any instrument, it is a process which you plan.
K: Time; that’s just it.
N: That is why I use the word `instrument; I mean, it is
effective.
K: It has not been effective. On the contrary, it is destructive. So
do I see the very truth of its destructiveness? Not just the theory,
the idea, but the actuality of it. If I do, then what takes place? The
brain has evolved through time, and has been functioning, living,
acting, believing in that time process. But when one realizes that
all this helps to make the brain senile, when one sees that as true
then what is the next step?
N: Are you implying that the very seeing that it is destructive is
a releasing factor?
K: Yes.
N: And there is no need for an extra instrument?
K: No. Don’t use the word instrument.
There is no other factor. We are concerned to end this shrinkage and senility and in asking whether the brain itself, the cells, the
whole thing, can move out of time? I am not talking about
immortality, and all that kind of stuff Can the brain move out of
time altogether? Otherwise deterioration, shrinkage and senility are
inevitable, and even when senility may not show, the brain cells
are becoming weaker, and so on.
N: If the brain cells are material and physical, somehow or other
they have to shrink through time; indeed it can’t be helped. The
brain cell, which is tissue, cannot in physical terms be immortal.
DB: perhaps the rate of shrinkage would be greatly slowed
down. If a person lives a certain number of years, and his brain
begins to shrink long before he dies, then he becomes senile. Now
if the deterioration would slow then…
K: …not only slow down, Sir.
DB: …Well, regenerate…
K: …be in a state of non-occupation.
DB: I think Narayan is saying that it is impossible for any
material system to last for ever.
K: I am not talking about lasting for ever – though I am not sure
if it can’t last for ever! No, this is very serious, I am not pulling
anybody’s leg.
DB: If all the cells were to regenerate in the body and in the
brain, then the whole thing could go on indefinitely.
K: Look, we are now destroying the body, through drink,
smoking, overindulgence in sex and all kinds of things. We are
living most un-healthily. Right? If the body were in excellent
health, maintained right through – which means no heightened
emotions, no strain, no sense of deterioration, the heart functioning normally – then why not!
DB: Well…
K: …which means what? No travelling, and all the rest of it….
DB: No excitement.
K: If the body remains in one quiet place I am sure it can last a
great many more years than it does now.
DB: Yes, I think that is true. There have been many cases of
people living for a hundred and fifty years in quiet places. I think
that is all you are talking about. You are not really suggesting
something lasting for ever?
K: So the body can be kept healthy, and since the body affects
the mind, nerves, senses and all that, they also can be kept healthy.
DB: And if the brain is kept in the right action…
K: …yes, without any strain.
DB: You see the brain has a tremendous affect on organizing
the body. The pituitary gland controls the entire system of the body
glands; also all the organs or the body are controlled by the brain.
When the mind deteriorates, the body starts to deteriorate.
K: Of course.
DB: They work together.
K: They go together. So can this brain – which is not `my’ brain
– which has evolved through millions of years, which has had all
kinds of destructive or pleasant experiences…
DB: You mean it is a typical brain, not a particular brain,
peculiar to some individual? When you say `not mine’, you mean
any brain belonging to mankind, right?
K: Any brain.
DB: They are all basically similar.       K: Similar: that is what I said. Can that brain be free of all this?
Of time? I think it can. DB: Perhaps we could discuss what it
means to be free of time. You see, at first the suggestion that the
brain be free of time might sound crazy, but, obviously, we all
know that you don’t mean that the clock stops.
K: Science fiction and all that!
DB: The point is, what does it really mean to be psychologically
free of time?
K: That there is no tomorrow.
DB: But wp know there is tomorrow.
K: But psychologically…
DB: Can you describe better, what you mean when you say `no
tomorrow’?
K: What does it mean to be living in time? Let’s take the other
side first, because then we come to the other. What does it mean to
live in time? Hope; thinking and living in the past, and acting from
the knowledge of the past; images, illusions, prejudices – they are
all an outcome of the past. All that is time, and that is producing
chaos in the world.
DB: Well, suppose we say that if we are not living
psychologically in time, we may still order our actions by the
watch. The thing that is puzzling is if somebody says, I am not
living in time, but I must keep an appointment. You see?
K: Of course; you can’t sit here for ever.
DB: So you say, I am looking at the watch, but I am not
psychologically extending how I am going to feel in the next hour,
when I have fulfilment of desire, etc.
K: I am just saying that the way we are living now is in the field of time. And there we have brought all kinds of problems and
suffering. Is that right?
DB: Yes, but it should be made clear why this necessarily
produces suffering. You are saying that if you live in the field of
time suffering is inevitable.
K: Inevitable.
DB: Why? K: It is simple. Time has built the ego, the `me’, the
image of me sustained by society, by education, which has built
through millions of years. All that is the result of time. And from
there I act.
N: Yes.
DB: Towards the future psychologically; that is, towards some
future state of being.
K: Yes. Which means that the centre is always becoming.
DB: Trying to become better.
K: Better, nobler, or anything else. So all that, the constant
endeavour to become something psychologically, is a factor of
time.
DB: Are you saying that the endeavour to become produces
suffering?
K: Obviously. It is simple. All that is divisive. It divides me
from others, and so you are different from me. And when I depend
on somebody, and that somebody is gone, I feel lonely and
miserable. All that goes on.
So we are saying that any factor of division, which is the very
nature of the self, must inevitably cause suffering.
DB: Are you saying that through time the self is set up, and then
the self introduces division and conflict and so on? But that if there were no psychological time, then perhaps this entire structure
would collapse, and something entirely different would happen?
K: That’s it. That is what I am saying. And therefore the brain
itself has broken up.
DB: Well, that is the next step – to say that the brain has broken
out of that rut, and perhaps could then regenerate. It doesn’t follow
logically, but still it could be so.
K: I think it does follow logically.
DB: Well, it follows logically that it would stop degenerating.
K: Yes.
DB: And are you adding further that it would start to
regenerate? K: You look sceptical?
N: Yes, because the whole human predicament is bound to time.
K: We know that.
N: Society, individuals, the whole structure.
K: I know, I know.
N: It is so forceful that anything feeble doesn’t work here.
K: What do you mean – `feeble’?
N: The force of this is so great that what has to break through
must have tremendous energy.
K: Yes.
N: And no individual seems to be able to generate sufficient
energy to be able to break through.
K: But you have got hold of the wrong end of the stick, if I may
point this out. When you use the word `individual’, you have
moved away from the fact that our brain is universal.
N: Yes, I admit that.
K: There is no individuality.       N: That brain is conditioned this way.
K: Yes, we have been through all that. It is conditioned this way
through time. Time is conditioning – right? It is not that time has
created the conditioning, time itself is the factor of conditioning.
So can that time element not exist? (We are talking about
psychological time, not the ordinary physical time.) I say it can.
We have said that the ending of suffering comes about when the
self, which is built up through time, is no longer there. A man who
is actually going through agony might reject this. But when he
comes out of the shock of it, if somebody points out to him what is
happening, and if he is willing to listen, to see the rationality, the
sanity of it, and not to build a wall against it, he is out of that field.
The brain is out of that time-binding quality.
N: Temporarily.
K: Ah! There again when you use the word `temporary’, it
means time. N: No, I mean that the man slips back into time.
K: No, he can’t. He can’t go back if he sees that something is
dangerous, like a cobra, or any other danger, he cannot go back to
it.
N: That analogy is a bit difficult, because the structure itself is
that danger. One inadvertently slips into it.
K: When you see a dangerous animal, there is immediate action.
It may be the result of past knowledge and experience, but there is
immediate action for self-protection. But psychologically we are
ware of the dangers. If we become as aware of these dangers as we
are aware of physical dangers, there is an action which is not time-
binding.
DB: Yes, I think you could say that as long as you could perceive this danger you know you would respond immediately.
But you see, if you were to use that analogy of the animal, it might
be an animal that you realize is dangerous, but he might take
another form that you don’t see as dangerous!
K: Yes.
DB: Therefore there would be a danger of slipping back if you
didn’t see this. Or illusion might come in some other form.
K: Of course.
DB: But I think the major point you are making is that the brain
is not belonging to any individual.
K: Yes, absolutely.
DB: And therefore it is no use saying that the individual slips
back.
K: No.
DB: Because that already denies what you are saying. The
danger is rather that the brain might slip back.
K: The brain itself might slip back, because it has not seen the
danger.
DB: It hasn’t seen the other forms of the illusions. K: The Holy
Ghost taking different shapes! All this is the real root of time.
DB: Time, and separation as individuality, are basically the
same structure.
K: Of course.
DB: Although it is not obvious in the beginning.
K: I wonder if we see that.
DB: It might be worth discussing that. Why is psychological
time the game illusion, the same structure as individuality?
Individuality is the sense of being a person who is located here somewhere.
K: Located and divided.
DB: Divided from the others. He extends out to some periphery,
his domain extends out to some periphery, and also he has an
identity which extends over time. He wouldn’t regard himself as an
individual if he said `Today I am one person, tomorrow I am
another’. So it seems that we mean by individual somebody who is
in time.
K: I think that this idea of individuality is a fallacy.
DB: Yes, but many people may find it hard to be convinced that
it is a fallacy. There is a common feeling that, as an individual, I
have existed at least from my birth if not before, and go on to
death, and perhaps later. The whole idea of being an individual is
to be in time. Right?
K: Obviously.
DB: To be in psychological time, not just the time of the clock.
K: Yes, we are saying that. So can that illusion that time has
created individuality be broken? Can this brain understand that?
DB: I think that, as Narayan said, there is a great momentum in
the brain, which keeps rolling, moving along.
K: Can that momentum stop?
N: The difficulty comes here. The genetic coding is intrinsic to
a person. He seems to function more or less unconsciously, driven
by this past momentum. And suddenly he sees, like a flash,
something true. But the difficulty is that it may operate only for a
day – and then he is again caught in the old momentum.
K: I know that. But it says the brain will not be caught. Once
the mind or the brain is aware of this fact, it cannot go back. How can it?
N: There must be another way of preventing it from going back.
K: Not preventing: that means also time. You are still thinking
in terms of prevention.
N: Prevention, in the sense of the human factor.
K: The human being is irrational. Right? And as long as he is
functioning irrationally, he says of any rational factor, `I refuse to
see it’.
N: You are suggesting that the very seeing prevents you from
slipping back. This is a human condition.
DB: I wonder if we should go further into this question about
prevention. It may be important.
N: There are two aspects. You see the fallacy of something, and
the very seeing prevents you from slipping back, because you see
the danger of it.
DB: In another sense you say you have no temptation to slip
back, therefore you don’t have to be prevented. If you really see it,
there is no need for conscious prevention.
N: Then you are not tempted to go back.
K: I can’t go back. If for example I see the fallacy of all the
religious nonsense, it is finished!
DB: The only question which I raise is that you may not see this
so completely in another form.
N: It may come in different shapes…
DB: …and then you are tempted once again.
K: The mind is aware, it is not caught. But you are saying that it
is.
N: Yes, in other shapes and forms. K: Wait Sir. We have said that perception is out of time, is seeing immediately the whole
nature of time. Which to use a good old word, is to have an insight
into the nature of time. If there is that insight, the very brain cells,
which are part of time, break down. The brains cells bring about a
change in themselves. You may disagree, you may say, `prove it.’ I
say this is not a matter of proof, it is a matter of action. Do it, find
out, test it.
N: You were also saying the other day, that when the
consciousness is empty of its content…
K: …the content being time…
N: …that leads to the transformation of the brain cells.
K: Yes.
N: When you say consciousness is empty of the content there…
K: …there is no consciousness as we know it.
N: Yes. And you are using the word insight. What is the
connection between the two?
DB: Between what?
N: Consciousness and insight. You have suggested that when
consciousness is empty of its content…
K: Be careful. Consciousness is put together by its content. The
content is the result of time.
DB: The content also is time.
K: Of course.
DB: It is about time as well, and it is actually put together by
time, also it is about time. But if you have an insight into that, the
whole pattern is gone, broken. The insight is not of time, not of
memory, is not of knowledge.
N: Who has this insight?       K: Not `who’. Simply, there is an insight.
N: There is an insight and then the consciousness is empty of its
content…
K: No, Sir. No. N: You are implying that the very emptying of
the content is insight?
K: No. We are saying time is a factor which has made up the
content. It has built it up, and it also thinks about it. All that bundle
is the result of time. Insight into this whole movement, which is not
`my’ insight, brings about transformations in the brain. Because
that insight is not time-binding.
DB: Are you saying that this psychological content is a certain
structure, physically, in the brain? That in order for this
psychological content to exist, the brain over many years has made
many connections of the cells, which constitute this content?
K: Quite, quite.
DB: And then there is a flash of insight, which sees all this, and
that it is not necessary. Therefore all this begins to dissipate. And
when it has dissipated, there is no content. Then, whatever the
brain does is something different.
K: Let us go further. Then there is total emptiness.
DB: Well, emptiness of the content. But when you say total
emptiness, you mean emptiness of all this inward content?
K: That’s right. And that emptiness has tremendous energy. It is
energy.
DB: So could you say that the brain, having had all these
connections tangled, has locked up a lot of energy?
K: That’s right. Wastage of energy.
DB: And when they begin to dissipate, that energy is there.       K: Yes.
DB: Would you say that it is as much physical energy as any
other kind?
K: Of course. Now we can go on in more detail, but is this
principle, the root of it, an idea or a fact? I hear all this physically
with the ear, but I may make it into an idea. If I hear it, not only
with the ear, but in my being, in the very structure of myself, what
happens then? If that kind of hearing doesn’t take place, all this
becomes merely an idea, and I spin along for the rest of my life
playing with ideas.
If there was a scientist here, bio-feedback or another brain
specialist, would he accept all this? Would he even listen to it?
DB: A few scientists would, but obviously the majority would
not.
K: No. So how do we touch the human brain?
DB: All this will sound rather abstract, to most scientists, you
see. They will say, it could be so; it is a nice theory, but we have
no proof of it.
K: Of course. They would say it doesn’t excite them very much
because they don’t see any proof.
DB: They would say, if you have some more evidence we will
come back later, and become very interested. So you see, you can’t
give any proof, because whatever is happening, nobody can see it
with their eyes.
K: I understand. But I am asking, what shall we do? The human
brain – not `my’ brain or `your’, the brain – has evolved through a
million years. One biological `freak’ can move out of it, but how do
you get at the human mind generally to make it see all this?       DB: I think you have to communicate the necessity, the
inevitability of what you are saying. Say if a person sees something
happening before his eyes he says, `That’s so’. Right?
K: But it requires somebody to listen, somebody who says, `I
want to capture it, I want to understand this, I want to find out.’
You follow what I am saying? Apparently that is one of the most
difficult things in life.
DB: Well, it is the function of this occupied brain – that it is
occupied with itself and it doesn’t listen.
N: In fact one of the things is that this occupation starts very
early. When you are young it is very powerful, and it continues all
through your life. How can we, through education, make this clear?
K: The moment you see the importance of not being occupied –
see that as a tremendous truth – you will find ways and methods to
help educationally, creatively. No one can be told, copy and
imitate, for then he is lost.
DB: Then the question is, how is it possible to communicate to
the brain, which rejects, which doesn’t listen? Is there a way?
K: Not if I refuse to listen. You see, I think meditation is a great
factor in all this. I feel we have been meditating although ordinarily
people wouldn’t accept this as meditation.
DB: They have used the word so often…
K: …that its meaning is really lost. But true meditation is this:
the emptying of consciousness. You follow?
DB: Yes, but let’s be clear. Earlier you said it would happen
through insight. Now are you saying that meditation is conducive
to insight?
K: Meditation is insight.       DB: It is insight already. Then is it some sort of work you do?
Insight is usually thought of as the flash, but meditation is more
constant.
K: We must be careful. What do we mean by meditation? We
can reject the systems, methods, acknowledged authorities, because
these are often merely traditional repetitions – time-binding
nonsense.
N: Do you think some of them could have been original, could
have had real insight, in the past?
K: Who knows? Now meditation is this penetration, this sense
of moving without any past.
DB: The only point to clear up is that when you use the word
meditation, you mean something more than insight, you see.
K: Much more. Insight has freed the brain from the past, from
time. That is an enormous statement…
DB: Do you mean that you have to have insight if you are going
to meditate?
K: Yes, that’s right. To meditate without any sense of becoming.
DB: You cannot meditate without insight. You can’t regard it as
a procedure by which you will come to insight. K: No. That
immediately implies time. A procedure, a system, a method, in
order to have insight is nonsensical. Insight into greed or fear frees
the mind from them. Then meditation has quite a different quality.
It has nothing to do with all the gurus’ meditations. So could we
say that to have insight there must be silence?
DB: Well, that is the same; we seem to be going in a circle.
K: For the moment.
DB: Yes, my mind has silence.       K: So the silence of insight has cleansed, purged, all that.
DB: All that structure of the occupation.
K: Yes. Then there is no movement as we know it; no
movement of time.
DB: Is there movement of some other kind?
K: I don’t see how we can measure that by words, that sense of a
limitless state.
DB: But you were saying earlier that nevertheless it is necessary
to find some language, even though it is unsayable!
K: Yes – we will find that language.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 10 7TH JUNE
1980 CONVERSATION WITH PROF. DAVID
BOHM ‘COSMIC ORDER’

KRISHNAMURTI: We left off the other day by saying that when
the mind is totally empty of all the things that thought has put
there, then real meditation begins. But I would like to go more
deeply into that matter, to go back a bit, and find out if the mind,
the brain, can ever be free from all illusion and forms of deception.
Also whether it can have its own order – an order not introduced by
thought, effort or any endeavour to put things in their proper place.
And also, however much damaged the brain is by shock and all
kinds of situations, whether it can heal itself completely.
So first let’s begin by asking if there is an order which is not
made by man or by thought – which is not the result of calculated
order out of disturbance, and therefore still part of the old
conditioning?
DAVID BOHM: Are you referring to the mind? I mean, you
can say the order of nature exists on its own.
K: The order of nature is order.
DB: Yes, it is not made by man.
K: But I am not talking of such. I am not sure that it is that kind
of order. Is there cosmic order?
DB: Well, that is still the same thing, in a sense, because the
word `cosmos’ means order, but the whole order, which includes
the order of the universe and the order of the mind.
K: Yes. What I am trying to find out is whether there is order
which man can never possibly conceive?       DB: Well, how are we going to discuss it?
K: I don’t know. What is order?
NARAYAN: There is mathematical order, the highest kind of
order known to any discipline. K: Would the mathematicians agree
that mathematics is complete order?
N: Yes, mathematics itself is order.
DB: I think it depends on the mathematician. But there is a well-
known mathematician called Von Neumann who defined
mathematics as the relationship of relationships. Really he meant,
by relationship, order. It is order working within the field of order
itself, rather than working on some object.
K: Yes, that is what I am trying to get at.
DB: So the most creative mathematicians are having a
perception of this, which may be called pure order; but of course it
is limited, because it has to be expressed mathematically, in terms
of formulae or equations.
K: Of course. Is order part of disorder, as we know it?
DB: What we mean by disorder is another question. It is not
possible to give a coherent definition of disorder, because it
violates order. Anything that actually happens has an order, but
you can call a certain thing disorder if you like.
K: Are you saying that anything that happens is order?
DB: Has an order. If the body is not functioning rightly, even if
cancer is growing, there is a certain order in the cancer cell; it is
just growing according to a different pattern, which tends to break
down the body. Nevertheless the whole thing has a certain kind of
order.
K: Yes, yes.       DB: It has not violated the laws of nature, although relative to
some context you could say it is disorder, because, if we are talking
of the health of the body, then the cancer is called disorder. But in
itself…
K: Cancer has its own order.
DB: Yes, but it is not compatible with the order of the growth of
the body.
K: Quite. So what do we mean by order? Is there such a thing as
order? DB: Order is a perception; we can’t get hold of order.
N: I think that generally when we refer to order it is in relation
to a framework, or in relation to a certain field. Order always has
that connotation. But when you say the order of order, as in the
study of mathematics, we are going away from this limited
approach to it.
DB: You see most mathematics start with the order of the
numbers, like 1, 2, 3, 4, and build on that, in a hierarchy. But you
can see what is meant by the order of the numbers. There is for
example a series of relationships which are constant. In the order of
the numbers, you have the simplest example of order.
N: And a new order was created with the discovery of zero! Are
mathematical order and the order in nature, part of a bigger field?
Or are these localized forms?
K: You see the brain, the mind, is so contradictory, so bruised,
that it can’t find order.
DB: Yes, but what kind of order does it want?
K: It wants an order in which it will be safe, in which it won’t be
bruised, be shocked, or feel physical and psychological pain.
DB: The whole point of order and mathematics is not to have contradiction.
K: But the brain is in contradiction.
DB: And something has gone wrong.
K: Yes, we have said that the brain took a wrong turn.
DB: You see, if the body is growing wrongly we have a cancer
cell, which means two contradictory orders – one being the growth
of the cancer, and the other the order of the body.
K: Yes. But can the mind, the brain, be totally free of all
organized order?
DB: You mean by organized order, a fixed or imposed pattern?
K: Yes. Imposed or self-imposed. We are trying to investigate
whether the brain can ever be free from all impositions, pressures,
wounds, bruises and trivialities of existence which are pushing it in
different directions. If it cannot, meditation has no meaning. DB:
You could go further, and say that probably life has no meaning if
you cannot free it of all that.
K: No, I wouldn’t say that life has no meaning.
DB: The pattern goes on indefinitely.
K: If it goes on as it has done, indefinitely, for millennia, life
has no meaning. But I think there is a meaning and to find out, the
brain must be totally free.
DB: What is the source of what we call disorder? It is like a
cancer going on inside the brain, moving in a way which is not
compatible with the health of the brain.
K: Yes.
DB: It grows as time goes on, it increases from one generation
to another.
K: Each generation repeats the same pattern.       DB: It tends to accumulate through tradition with every
generation.
K: How is this set, accumulated pattern, to end, to be broken
through?
DB: Could we ask another question? Why does the brain
provide the soil for this stuff to grow on?
K: It may be merely tradition or habit.
DB: But why does the brain stay in that?
K: It feels safe. It is afraid of something new taking place,
because in the old tradition it finds refuge.
DB: Then we have to question why the brain deceives itself.
This pattern involves the fact that the brain deceives itself about
disorder. It doesn’t seem able to see it clearly.
N: In my mind there is intelligence behind order which makes
use of it. I have a certain purpose for which I create an order, and
when the purpose is over I set aside that order or pattern. So order
has an intelligence which works it out. That is the usual
connotation. But you are referring to something else. K: I am
asking whether this pattern of generations can be broken, and why
the brain has accepted that pattern in spite of all its conflicts and
misery.
N: I am saying the same thing in a different way. When an order
has served its purpose, can it then be put aside?
K: Apparently it can’t. We are speaking psychologically. It
can’t. The brain goes on, repeating fears, sorrow, miseries. Is it so
heavily conditioned that it cannot see its way out of it, because, by
constant repetition, the brain has become dull?
N: The momentum of repetition is there?       K: Yes. That momentum makes the mind mechanical. And in
that sluggishness it takes refuge and says, `It’s all right, I can go on.
That’s what most human beings do.
DB: That is part of the disorder. To think in that way is a
manifestation of disorder.
K: Of course.
N: Do you connect order with intelligence? Or is order
something that exists on its own?
DB: Intelligence involves order; it requires the perception of
order in an orderly way, without contradiction. But I think that, in
the terms of this discussion, we ourselves don’t create this; we don’t
impose this order, but rather it is natural.
K: Yes. I am the ordinary man. I see that I am caught. My
whole way of living and thinking is out of this enormous length of
time. Time is my whole existence. In the past, which cannot be
changed, I take refuge. Right?
DB: Well I think that if we were to talk to the so-called ordinary
man, we would find he doesn’t really understand that time is
something that happens to him.
K: I am saying an ordinary man can see, after talking over with
another, that his whole existence is based on time. And the mind
takes refuge in time – in the past.
DB: What does that mean exactly? How does it take refuge?
K: Because the past cannot be changed. DB: Yes, but people
also think of the future. It is common to think that the future can
change. The Communists have said, give up the past, we are going
to change the future.
K: But we can’t give up the past, even if we think we can.       DB: Then if even those who try not to take refuge in the past,
can’t give it up, it seems that whatever we do, we are stuck.
K: So the next step is, why does the brain accept this way of
living? Why doesn’t it break it down? Is it through laziness or that
in breaking it down it has no hope?
DB: That is still the same question, of going from past to future.
K: Of course. So what is the brain to do? This is applicable to
most people, isn’t it?
DB: We haven’t understood why, when people see that their
behaviour is disorderly or irrational, they try to give up the past,
but find they cannot.
K: Wait, Sir. If I give up the past, I have no existence. If I give
up all my remembrances, I have nothing; I am nothing.
DB: I think some people like the Marxists would look at it a
little differently. Marx said that it is necessary to transform the
conditions of human society and that this will remove the past.
K: But it has not done so. It cannot be done.
DB: That is because when man tries to transform it he still
works from the past.
K: Yes, that’s what I am saying.
DB: If you say, don’t depend on the past at all, then, as you have
asked, what are we going to do?
K: I am nothing: is that the reason why we cannot possibly give
up the past? Because my existence, my way of thinking, my life,
everything, is from the past. And if you say, wipe that out, what
have I left?
DB: I think you could say that obviously we have to keep
certain things from the past, like useful knowledge.       K: Yes, we have been through all that. DB: But you could ask,
suppose we keep that useful part of the past, and wipe out all
aspects of the past which are contradictory?
K: Which are all psychologically contradictory. Then what is
left? Just going to the office? There is nothing. Is that the reason
why we cannot give it up?
DB: There is still a contradiction in that, because if you say,
`what is left’, you are still asking from the past.
K: Of course.
DB: Are you simply saying that when people talk of giving up
the past, they are just not doing it, but merely turning this into
another question which avoids the issue?
K: Because my whole being is the past; it has changed or been
modified, but its roots are in the past.
DB: Now if you said, `All right, give all that up and in the
future you will have something quite different, and better’, would
people then be attracted to this?
K: But `better’ is still from the past.
DB: But people want to be assured of at least something.
K: That is just it. There is nothing. The ordinary human being
wants something to which he can cling.
DB: He may feel, not that he is clinging to the past, but reaching
for something.
K: If I reach something it is still the past.
DB: Yes, it has its roots in the past, but that is not often
obvious, because people say it is a big, new revolutionary situation.
K: As long as I have my roots in the past there cannot be order.
DB: Because the past is pervaded with disorder.       K: Yes. And is my mind, my brain, willing to see that there is
absolutely nothing if I give up the past?
DB: And nothing to reach for.
K: Nothing. There is no movement. Sometimes people dangle a
carrot in front of me and, foolishly, I follow it. But I see that there
are really no carrots, no rewards or punishments. Then how is this
past to be dissolved? Because otherwise I am still living in the field
of time that is man-made. So what shall I do? Am I willing to face
absolute emptiness?
DB: What will you tell somebody who is not willing to face
this?
K: I am not bothered. If somebody says that he can’t do all this,
I say, `Well, carry on’.
But I am willing to let my past go completely. Which means
there is no effort or reward; nothing. And the brain is willing to
face this extraordinary and totally new state of existing in
nothingness. That is appallingly frightening.
DB: Even these words will have their meaning rooted in the
past.
K: Of course. We have understood that; the word is not the
thing. The mind says it is willing to do that, to face this absolute
emptiness, because it has seen for itself that all the places where it
has taken refuge are illusions…
DB: I think this leaves out something that you brought up
earlier – the question of the damage of scars to the brain.
K: That is just it.
DB: The brain that isn’t damaged could possibly let go the past
fairly readily.       K: Look, can I discover what has caused damage to the brain?
Surely one of the factors is strong, sustained emotions, like hatred.
DB: probably a flash of emotion doesn’t do so much damage,
but people sustain it.
K: Of course. Hatred, anger and violence not only shock but
wound the brain. Right?
DB: And getting excessively excited.
K: Of course; and drugs, etc. The natural response doesn’t
damage the brain. Now the brain is damaged; suppose it has been
damaged through anger?
DB: You could even say that nerves probably get connected up
in the wrong way, and that the connections are too fixed. I think
there is evidence that these things will actually change the
structure.
K: Yes, and can we have an insight into the whole nature of
disturbance, so that the insight changes the cells of the brain which
have been wounded?
DB: Well, possibly it would start them healing.
K: All right. That healing must be immediate.
DB: It may take time in the sense that, if wrong connections
hade been made, it is going to take time to redistribute the material.
The beginning of it, it seems to me, is immediate.
K: All right. Can I do that? I have listened to `X’, I have
carefully read, I have thought about all this, and I see that anger,
violence, hatred – any excessive emotion – bruises the brain. And
insight into this whole business brings about a mutation in the
cells. It is so. Also the nerves – the adjustments, will be as rapid as
possible.       DB: Something happens with cancer cells. Sometimes the
cancer suddenly stops growing, and it goes the other way, for some
reason that is unknown. But a change must have taken place in
those cells.
K: Could it be that the brain cells change fundamentally, and
the cancer process stops?
DB: Yes. Fundamentally it stops, and begins to dismantle.
K: Dismantle, yes that is it.
N: You are saying that insight sets into motion the right kind of
connections, and stops the wrong connections?
DB: And it even dismantles the wrong connections.
N: So a beginning is made, and it is made now.
DB: At one moment.
K: That is the insight.
N: But there is no time involved, because the right movement
has started now. There is another thing which I want to ask about
the past: for most people, the past means pleasure.
K: Not only pleasure but the remembrance of everything.
N: One starts disliking pleasure only when it becomes stale, or
leads to difficulties. One wants pleasure all the time.
K: Of course.
N: It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between pleasure and
the staleness or the difficulties that it brings.
K: Pleasure is always the past; there is no pleasure at the
moment it is happening. That comes in later, when it is
remembered. So the remembrance is the past. But I am willing to
face nothingness which means to wipe out all that!
N: But I am saying that the human being, even though he understands what you are saying, is held back in this field.
K: Because he is not willing to face this emptiness. Pleasure is
not compassion. pleasure is not love, pleasure has no place in
compassion. But perhaps if there is this mutation, compassion is
stronger than pleasure.
DB: Even the perception of order may be stronger than
pleasure. If people are really concerned with something, the
pleasure plays no role at that moment.
N: But what happens to a man in whom pleasure is dominant?
K: We have already discussed this. As long as he is unwilling to
face this extraordinary emptiness, he will keep on with the old
pattern.
DB: You see, we have to say that this man had a damaged brain
too. It is brain damage which causes this emphasis on pleasure, as
well as the fear and the anger.
K: But the damaged brain is healed when there is insight.
DB: Yes. But I think many people who would understand that
hate and anger are products of the damaged brain would find it
hard to see that pleasure also is the product of the damaged brain.
K: Oh, yes, but of course it is. DB: Can we say there is a true
enjoyment, which is not the product of the damaged brain, which is
confused with pleasure.?
N: If pleasure gives rise to anger, anger is part of the damaged
brain.
K: And also the demand for pleasure.
So do you have an insight into how very destructive the past is
to the brain? Can the brain itself see, have an insight into this, and
move out of it?       N: You are saying that the beginning of order comes from
insight?
K: Obviously. Let’s work from there.
N: May I put it in a different way? Is it possible to gather a
certain amount of order in a pattern sense, artificially, so that it
gives rise to a certain amount of insight?
K: Ah! You cannot find truth through the false.
N: I am asking it purposefully because many people seem to
lack the energy that is required for insight.
K: You are tremendously keen to earn a livelihood, to earn
money, to do anything in which you are really interested. If you are
interested vitally in this transformation, etc., you have the energy.
May we go on? I, as a human being, have seen that this insight
has wiped away the past, and the brain is willing to live in
nothingness. Right? We have come to this point several times from
different directions. Now let’s go on. Now there isn’t a thing put
there by thought. There is no movement of thought, except factual
knowledge which has its own place. But talking psychologically,
there is no movement in the mind or of thought. There is absolutely
nothing.
DB: You mean no feeling either? You see, the movement of
thought and feeling is together.
K: Wait a minute. What do you mean here by feeling?
DB: Well, usually people might say, all right, there is no
thought, but they have various feelings.
K: Of course we have feelings. DB: These are sensations. And
also there are the inner feelings.
K: Inner feelings of what?       DB: It is hard to describe them. Those that can easily be
described are obviously the wrong kind, such as anger and fear.
K: Is compassion a feeling?
DB: probably not.
K: No, it is not a feeling.
DB: Though people may say they feel compassionate! Even the
very word suggests it is a form of feeling. Compassion has in it the
word `passion’, which is feeling. This is a difficult question. We
could perhaps question what we usually recognize as feelings?
K: Let’s go into that a little bit. What do we mean by feelings?
Sensations?
DB: Well, people don’t usually mean that. You see, sensations
are connected with the body.
K: So you are talking of feelings which are not of the body?
DB: Yes, or which – in the old days – would have been
described as of the soul.
K: The soul, of course. That is an easy escape but it means
nothing.
DB: No.
K: What are the inner feelings? pleasure?
DB: Well, in so far as you could label it, that description would
not be valid.
K: So what is valid? The non-verbal state?
DB: It may be a non-verbal state… something analogous to a
feeling which isn’t fixed, that can’t be named.
N: You are saying it is not feeling, it is similar to feeling, but it
is not fixed?
DB: Yes. I am just considering that that could exist if we say that there is no thought. I am trying to clarify this. K: Yes, there is
no thought.
DB: What does that really mean?
K: What it really means is, thought is movement, thought is
time. Right? In that emptiness there is not time or thought.
DB: Yes, and perhaps no sense of the existence of an entity
inside.
K: Absolutely, of course. The existence of the entity is the
bundle of memories, the past.
DB: But that existence is not only thought thinking about it, but
also the feeling that it is there; you get a sort of feeling inside.
K: A feeling, yes. There is no being. There is nothing. If there is
a feeling of the being continuing…
DB: Yes, even though it doesn’t seem possible to verbalize
this… It would be a state without desire. How can we know if this
state is real, is genuine?
K: That is what I am asking. How do we know, or realize that
this is so? In other words, do you want proof of it?
N: Not proof, but communication of that state.
K: Now wait a minute. Suppose someone has this peculiar
compassion, how can he communicate it Lo me, if I am living in
pleasure and all that? He can’t!
N: No, but I am prepared to listen to him.
K: Prepared to listen, but how deeply? The man says there is no
being. And one’s whole life has been this becoming. And, in that
state, he says there is no being at all. In other words, there is no
`me’. Right? Now you say, `Show it to me’. It can be shown only
through certain qualities that it has, certain actions. What are the actions of a mind that is totally empty of being? Actions at what
level? Actions in the physical world?
N: Partly.
K: Mostly that. All right, this man has got this sense of
emptiness, and there is no being. He is not acting from self-centred
interests. His actions are in the world of daily living, and you can
judge whether he is a hypocrite, whether he says something and
contradicts it the next moment, or whether he is actually living this
compassion and not just saying, `I feel compassionate’.
DB: But if one is not doing the same, one can’t tell.
K: That’s right. That is what I am saying.
N: We can’t judge him.
K: You can’t. So how can he convey to us in words that peculiar
quality of mind? He can describe, go round it, but he can’t give the
essence of it. Dr. Bohm, for example, could discuss with Einstein;
they were on the same level. And he and I can discuss. If one has
this sense of not being, of emptiness, the other can go very close,
but can never enter that mind unless he has it!
N: Is there any way of communicating, for one who is open, but
not through words?
K: We are talking of compassion. It is not, `I feel
compassionate’. That is altogether wrong. You see, in daily life
such a mind acts without the `me’, without the `ego’. Therefore it
might make a mistake, but it corrects immediately; it is not
carrying that mistake.
N: It is not stuck.
K: Not stuck. But we must be very careful here not to find an
excuse for wrong!       So we come to that point that we discussed earlier; what then is
meditation? Right? For the man who is becoming, meditation has
no meaning whatsoever. That is a tremendous statement. When
there is not this being or becoming, what is meditation? It must be
totally unconscious, totally uninvited.
DB: Do you mean, without conscious intention?
K: Yes, I think that is right. Would you say – I hope this doesn’t
sound silly – that the universe, the cosmic order, is in meditation?
DB: Well, if it is alive, then we would have to look at it that
way.
K: No, no. It is in a state of meditation.
DB: Yes.
K: I think that is right. I stick to that. DB: We should try to go
further into what is meditation. What is it doing?
N: If you say that the universe is in meditation, is the expression
of it order? What order can we discern which would indicate
cosmic or universal meditation?
K: The sunrise and sunset; all the stars, the planets are order.
The whole thing is in perfect order.
DB: We have to connect this with meditation. According to the
dictionary, the meaning of meditation is to reflect, to turn
something over in the mind, and to pay close attention.
K: And also to measure.
DB: That is a further meaning, but it is to weigh, to ponder, it
means, measure, in the sense of weighing.
K: Weighing, that’s it. ponder, think over, and so on.
DB: To weigh the significance of something. Now is that what
you mean?       K: No.
DB: Then why do you use the word?
N: I am told that, in English, contemplation has a different
connotation from meditation. Contemplation implies a deeper state
of mind.
DB: It is hard to know. The word `contemplate’ comes from the
word temple, really.
K: Yes, that’s right.
DB: Its basic meaning is, to create an open space.
K: Is that an open space between God and me?
DB: That is the way the word arose.
K: Quite.
N: The Sanskrit word Dhyans doesn’t have the same
connotation as meditation.
K: No. N: Because meditation has the overtones of
measurement, and probably, in an oblique way, that measurement
is order.
K: No, I don’t want to bring in order – let’s leave the word order
out. We have been through that, and beaten it to death!
DB: Why do you use the word meditation?
K: Don’t let’s use it.
DB: Let’s find out what you really mean here.
K: Would you say, a state of infinity? A measureless state?
DB: Yes.
K: There is no division of any kind. You see we are giving lots
of descriptions, but it is not that.
DB: Yes, but is there any sense of the mind being in some way
aware of itself?       Is that what you are trying to say? At other times you have said
that the mind is emptying itself of content.
K: What are you trying to get at?
DB: I am asking whether it is not only infinite, but if something
more is involved?
K: Oh, much more.
DB: We said that content is the past which is making disorder.
Then you could say that this emptying of content in some sense is
constantly cleaning up the past. Would you agree to that?
K: No, no.
DB: When you say the mind is emptying itself of content…
K: Has emptied itself.
DB: All right, then. When the past is cleaned up, then you say
that is meditation.
K: That is meditation; no, contemplation…
N: Just a beginning.
K: Beginning?
N: The emptying of the past. K: That emptying of the past,
which is anger, jealousy, beliefs, dogmas, attachments, etc., must
be done. If that is not emptied, if any part of that exists, it will
inevitably lead to illusion. The brain or the mind must be totally
free of all illusion, illusion brought by desire, by hope, by wanting
security, and all that.
DB: Are you saying that when this is done, it opens the door to
something broader, deeper?
K: Yes. Otherwise life has no meaning; it is just repeating this
pattern.
N: What exactly did you mean when you said that the universe is meditation?
K: I feel that way, yes.
DB: Could we say first of all that the universe is not actually
governed by its past? You see, the universe creates certain forms
which are relatively constant, so that people who look at it
superficially only see that, and it seems then to be determined from
the past.
K: Yes, it is not governed by the past. It is creative, moving.
DB: And then this movement is order.
K: Would you, as a scientist, accept such a thing?
DB: Well as a matter of fact I would!
K: Are we both crazy? Let’s put the question another way: is it
really possible for time to end – the whole idea of time as the past –
chronologically, so that there is no tomorrow at all? There is the
feeling, the actual reality, psychologically, of having no tomorrow.
I think that is the healthiest way of living – which doesn’t mean that
I become irresponsible! That would be too childish.
DB: It is merely a question of physical time, which is a certain
part of natural order.
K: Of course; that is understood.
DB: The question is whether we have a sense of experiencing
past and future or whether we are free of that sense.
K: I am asking you, as a scientist, is the universe based on time?
DB: I would say no, but you see the general way…
K: That is all I want. You say no! And can the brain, which has
evolved in time.?
DB: Well, has it evolved in time? Rather it has become
entangled in time. Because the brain is part of the universe, which we say is not based on time.
K: I agree.
DB: thought has entangled the brain in time.
K: All right. Can that entanglement be unravelled, freed, so that
the universe is the mind? You follow? If the universe is not of
time, can the mind, which has been entangled in time, unravel itself
and so be the universe? You follow what I am trying to say?
DB: Yes.
K: That is order.
DB: That is order. And would you say that it is meditation?
K: That is it. I would call that meditation, not in the ordinary,
dictionary sense of pondering, and all that, but a state of meditation
in which there is no element of the past.
DB: You say the mind is disentangling itself from time, and
also really disentangling the brain from time?
K: Yes, would you accept that?
DB: Yes.
K: As a theory?
DB: Yes, as a proposal.
K: No, I don’t want it as a proposal.
DB: What do you mean by theory?
K: Theory – when somebody comes along and says, this is real
meditation.
DB: All right.
K: Wait. Somebody says, one can live this way; life has an
extraordinary meaning in it, full of compassion, etc., and every act
in the physical world can be corrected immediately, and so on.
Would you, as a scientist, accept such a state, or say that the man who talks of it is cuckoo?
DB: No, I wouldn’t say that. I feel it is perfectly possible; it is
quite compatible with anything that I know about nature.
K: Oh, then that’s all right. So one is not an unbalanced cuckoo!
Of course putting all this into words is not the thing. Right? That is
understood. But can it be communicated to another? Now can s me
of us get to this, so that we can communicate it, actually?
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 11 18TH
SEPTEMBER 1980 CONVERSATION WITH
PROF. DAVID BOHM ‘THE ENDING OF
`PSYCHOLOGICAL’ KNOWLEDGE’

KRISHNAMURTI: What makes the mind always follow a certain
pattern? Always seeking? If it lets go of one pattern it picks up
another; it keeps on functioning all the time like that. One can give
explanations why it does so – for protection, for safety, from
indifference, certain amount of callousness, a disregard of one’s
own flowering, etc.
But it is really very important to explore deeply why our minds
are always operating in a certain direction.
We said that one comes, after going through travail,
investigation, and insight, to a blank wall. And that blank wall can
only wither away, or be broken down, when there is love and
intelligence. Before we go into that, I would like to ask why human
beings, however intelligent, however learned, however
philosophical and religious, always fall into this groove of pattern
seeking.
DAVID BOHM: Well, I think the groove is inherent in the
nature of the accumulated knowledge.
K: Are you saying then that knowledge must invariably create a
groove?
DB: perhaps it is not inevitable but it seems to develop this way
in mankind, if we are referring to psychological knowledge, that is
to say…
K: Obviously we are talking of that. But why does the mind not become aware of it – see the danger of this mechanical repetition,
and the fact that there is nothing new in it? See how we keep on
doing it?
DB: It seems to me that the groove, or the accumulated
knowledge, seems to have a significance far beyond what its
significance is. If we say that we have knowledge of some object,
like the microphone, that has some limited significance. But
knowledge about the nation to which you belong seems to have
immense significance. K: Yes. So is this attribution of significance
the cause of the narrowing down of the mind?
DB: Because this knowledge seems to have a tremendous value
beyond all other values, it makes the mind stick to that. It seems
the most important thing in the world.
K: In India, there is this philosophy that knowledge must end –
you know it, of course, the Vedanta. But apparently very, very, few
people do end knowledge and talk from freedom.
DB: You see, knowledge generally seems to be extremely
important, even when a person may say verbally that it should
end…
K: You mean I am so stupid that I don’t see that this
psychological knowledge has very little significance, and so my
mind clings to it?
DB: I wouldn’t quite put it that a person is that stupid, but rather
say that his knowledge stupefies the brain.
K: Stupefied, all right. But the brain doesn’t seem to extricate
itself.
DB: It is already so stupefied that it can’t see what it is doing.
K: So what shall it do? I have been watching for many years people attempting to become free from certain things. This is the
root of it, you understand? This psychological accumulation which
becomes psychological knowledge. And so it divides, and all kinds
of things happen around it and within it. And yet the mind refuses
to let go.
DB: Yes.
K: Why? Is that because there is safety or security in it?
DB: That is part of it, but I think in some way that knowledge
has taken on the significance of the absolute, instead of being
relative.
K: I understand all that, but you are not answering my question.
I am an ordinary man, I realize all this, and the limited significance
of knowledge at different levels, but deeper down inside one, this
accumulated knowledge is very destructive. DB: The knowledge
deceives the mind, so that the person is not normally aware that it
is destructive. Once this process gets started, the mind is not in a
state where it is able to look at it because it is avoiding the
question. There is a tremendous defensive mechanism or escape
from looking at the whole issue.
K: Why?
DB: Because it seems that something extremely precious might
be at stake.
K: One is strangely intelligent, capable or skilled in other
directions but here, where the root is of all this trouble, why don’t
we comprehend what is happening? What prevents the mind from
doing this?
DB: Once importance has been given to knowledge, there is a
mechanical process that resists intelligence.       K: So what shall I do? I realize I must let go the accumulated,
psychological knowledge – which is divisive, destructive and petty
– but I can’t. Is this because of lack of energy?
DB: Not primarily, though the energy is being dissipated by the
process.
K: Having dissipated a great deal of energy, I haven’t the energy
to grapple with this?
DB: The energy would come back quickly if we could
understand this. I don’t think that is the main point.
K: No. So what shall I do, realizing that this knowledge is
inevitably forming a groove in which I live? How am I to break it
down?
DB: Well, I am not sure that it is generally clear to people that
this knowledge does all that; or that the knowledge is knowledge.
You see, it may seem to be some `being’, the `self’, and `me’. This
knowledge creates the `me’, and the `me’ is the experience as an
entity, which seems not to be knowledge but some real being.
K: Are you saying that this `being’ is different from knowledge?
DB: It appears to be; it feigns a difference.
K: But is it? DB: It isn’t, but the illusion has great power.
K: That has been our conditioning.
DB: Yes. Now the question is, how do we get through that to
break down the groove, because it creates the imitation, or a
pretension, of a state of being?
K: That is the real point, you see. This is man’s central
movement. It seems so utterly hopeless. And realizing the
hopelessness I sit down and say I can’t do anything. But if I apply
my mind to it, the question arises, is it possible to function without psychological knowledge in this world? I am rather concerned
about it; it seems the basic issue that man must resolve, all over the
world.
DB: That is right. But you may discuss with somebody, who
thinks it seems reasonable. But perhaps his status is threatened, and
we have to say that that is psychological knowledge. It doesn’t
seem to him that it is knowledge, but something more. And he
doesn’t see that his knowledge of his status is behind the trouble.
At first sight knowledge seems to be something passive, which you
could use if you wanted to, and which you could just put aside if
you wished, which is the way it should be.
K: I understand all that.
DB: But then the moment comes when knowledge no longer
appears to be knowledge.
K: The politicians and the people in power wouldn’t listen to
this. And neither would the so-called religious people. It is only the
people who are discontented, who feel they have lost everything,
who will listen. But they don’t always listen so that it is a real
burning thing.
How does one go about this? Say, for instance, I have left
Catholicism and protestantism, and all that. Also I have a career
and I know that it is necessary to have knowledge there. Now I see
how important it is not to be caught in the process of psychological
knowledge, and yet I can’t let it go. It is always dodging me; I am
playing tricks with it. It is like hide and seek. All right! We said
that is the wall I have to break down. No, not I – that is the wall
that has to be broken down. And we have said that this wall can be
broken down through love and intelligence. Aren’t we asking something enormously difficult?
DB: It is difficult.
K: I am this side of the wall, and you are asking me to have that
love and intelligence which will destroy it. But I don’t know what
that love is, what that intelligence is, because I am caught in this,
on this other side of the wall. I realize logically, sanely, that what
you are saying is accurate, true, logical, and I see the importance of
it, but the wall is so strong and dominant and powerful that I can’t
get beyond it. We said the other day that the wall could be broken
down through insight – if insight does not become translated into
an idea.
DB: Yes.
K: When insight is discussed, there is the danger of our making
an abstraction of it; which means we move away from the fact, and
the abstraction becomes all important. Which means, again,
knowledge.
DB: Yes, the activity of knowledge.
K: So we are back again!
DB: I think the general difficulty is that knowledge is not just
sitting there as a form of information, but is extremely active,
meeting and shaping every moment according to past knowledge.
So even when we raise this issue, knowledge is all the time
waiting, and then acting. Our whole tradition is that knowledge is
not active but passive. But it is really active, although people don’t
generally think of it that way. They think it is just sitting there.
K: It is waiting.
DB: Waiting to act, you see. And whatever we try to do about
it, knowledge is already acting. By the time we realize that this is the problem, it has already acted.
K: Yes. But do I realize it as a problem, or as an idea which I
must carry out? You see the difference?
DB: Knowledge automatically turns everything into an idea,
which we must carry out. That is the whole way it is built.
K: The whole way we have lived. DB: Knowledge can’t do
anything else.
K: How are we to break that, even for a second?
DB: It seems to me that if you could see, observe, be aware – if
knowledge could be aware of itself at work… The point is that
knowledge seems to work unawares, simply waiting, and then
acting, by which time it has disrupted the order of the brain.
K: I am very concerned about this because wherever I go this is
what is happening. It is something that has to be resolved. Would
you say the capacity to listen is far more important than any of this,
than any explanations, or logic?
DB: It comes to the same problem.
K: No, no. It doesn’t. I want to see if there is a possibility that
when I listen completely to what you are saying, the wall has
broken down. You understand? Is there – I am trying to find out,
Sir – I am an ordinary man and you are telling me all this, and I
realize what you are saying is so. I am really deeply involved in
what you are saying, but somehow the flame isn’t lit; all the fuel is
there, but the fire is not. So what shall I do? This is my everlasting
cry!
DB: The brain has the capacity to listen; we have to question
whether the ordinary man is so full of opinions that he can’t listen.
K: You can’t listen with opinions; you might just as well be dead.
DB: I think knowledge has all sorts of defences. Is it possible
for, say, the ordinary man to have this perception? That is really
what you are asking, isn’t it?
K: Yes. But there must be a communication between you and
that man, something so strong that the very act of his listening to
you, and you communicating with him, operates.
DB: Yes, then you have to break through his opinions, through
the whole structure.
K: Of course. That is why this man has come here – for that. He
has finished with all the churches and doctrines. He realizes that
what has been said here is true. When you communicate with him,
your communication is strong and real, because you are not
speaking from knowledge or opinions. A free human being is
trying to communicate with this ordinary man. Now can he listen
with that intensity which you, the communicator, are giving him?
He wants to listen to somebody who is telling the truth, and in the
very telling of it, something is taking place in him. Because he is
so ardently listening, this happens.
It is rather like you as a scientist, telling one of your students
something. You are telling him about something which must be
enormously important, because you have given your life to it. And
has given up much just to come here. Is it the fault of the
communicator that the listener does not receive it instantly? Or is
the listener incapable of hearing it?
DB: Well, if he is incapable of listening, then nothing can be
done. But let’s say there is somebody who comes along who has
got through some of these defences, although there are others that he is not aware of – that is something less simple than what you
have described.
K: I feel it is dreadfully simple somehow. If one could listen
with all one’s being, the brain would not be caught in the groove.
You see, generally, in communication, you are telling me
something and I am absorbing it, but there is an interval between
you telling and my absorbing.
DB: Yes.
K: And that interval is the danger. If I don’t absolutely absorb,
listen with all my being, it is finished. Is listening difficult because
in this there is no shadow of pleasure? You are not offering any
pleasure, any gratification. You are saying this is so; take it. But
my mind is so involved in pleasure that it won’t listen to anything
that is not completely satisfactory or pleasurable.
I realize too the danger of that. Of seeking satisfaction and
pleasure, so I put that aside too. There is no pleasure, no reward, no
punishment. In listening, there is only pure observation.
So we come to the point, is pure observation, which is actually
listening, love? I think it is.
Again, if you state this, then my mind says `Give it to me. Tell
me what to do.’ But when I ask you to tell me what to do,I am back
in the field of knowledge. It is so instantaneous. So I refuse to ask
you what to do. Then where am I? You have referred to perception
without any motive or direction. Pure perception is love. And in
that perception love is intelligence. They are not three separate
things, they are all one thing. You pointed all this out very
carefully, step by step, and I have come to that point that I have a
feeling for it. But it goes away so quickly. Then the question begins, `How am I to get it back?’ Again, the remembrance of it,
which is knowledge, blocks.
DB: What you are saying is that every time there is a
communication, knowledge begins to work in many different
forms.
K: So you see it is enormously difficult to be free of knowledge.
DB: We could ask, why doesn’t knowledge wait until it is
needed?
K: That means to be psychologically free of knowledge, but,
when the need arises, to act from freedom, not from knowledge.
DB: But knowledge comes in to inform your action, although it
is not the source.
K: That is freedom from knowledge. And being free, it is from
freedom and not from knowledge that one communicates. That is,
from emptiness there is communication. When we use words, they
are the outcome of knowledge, but they are from that state of
complete freedom. Now, suppose I, as an ordinary human being,
have come to that point where there is this freedom, and from it
communication takes place – will you, as an eminent scientist,
communicate with me without any barrier? You follow what I am
saying?
DB: Yes. There is this freedom from knowledge when
knowledge is seen to be information. But ordinarily it seems more
than information, and knowledge itself does not see that knowledge
is not free.
K: It is never free. And if I am going to understand myself, I
must be free to look.
How will you communicate with me, who have come to a certain point where I am burning to receive what you are saying, so
completely that psychological knowledge is finished? Or am I
fooling myself about being in that state?
DB: Well, that is the question: knowledge is constantly
deceiving itself. K: So is my mind always deceiving itself? Then
what shall I do? Let’s come back to that.
DB: Again I think the answer is to listen.
K: Why don’t we listen? Why don’t we immediately understand
this thing? One can give all the superficial reasons why – old age,
conditioning, laziness, and so on.
DB: But is it possible to give the deep reason for it?
K: I think it is that the knowledge which is the `me’ is so
tremendously strong as an idea.
DB: Yes, that is why I tried to say that the idea has tremendous
significance and meaning. For example, suppose you have the idea
of God; this takes on a tremendous power.
K: Or if I have the idea that I am British, or French, it gives me
great energy.
DB: And so it creates a state of the body which seems the very
being of the self Now the person doesn’t experience it as mere
knowledge…
K: Yes, but are we going round and round and round? It seems
like it.
DB: Well, I was wondering if there is anything that could be
communicated about that overwhelming power that seems to come
with knowledge…
K: …and with identification.
DB: That seems to be something that would be worth looking into.
K: Now what is the root meaning of `identification’?
DB: Always the same.
K: Always the same, that’s right. That’s right! There is nothing
new under the sun.
DB: You say the self is always the same. It tries to be always
the same in essence, if not in detail.
K: Yes, yes. DB: I think this is the thing that goes wrong with
knowledge. It attempts to be involved with what is always the
same, so it sticks, you see. Knowledge itself tries to find what is
permanent and perfect. I mean, even independent of any of us. It is
like building it into the cells.
K: From this arises the question, is it possible to attend
diligently? I am using `diligence’ in the sense of being accurate.
DB: Actually it means to take pains.
K: Of course. To take pains, take the whole of it. There must be
some other way round all this intellectual business. We have
exercised a great deal of it and that intellectual capacity has led to
the blank wall. I approach it from every direction, but eventually
the wall is there, which is the `me’, with my knowledge, my
prejudice, and all the rest of it. And the `me’ then says, `I must do
something about it. Which is still the `me’.
DB: The `me’ wants always to be constant, but at the same time
it tries to change.
K: To put on a different coat. It is always the same. So the mind
which is functioning with the `me’ is always the same mind. Good
Lord, you see, we are back again!
We have tried everything – fasting, every kind of discipline – to get rid of the `me’ with all its knowledge and illusions. One tries to
identify with something else, which is the same thing. One then
comes back to the fundamental question, what will make the blank
wall totally disappear? I think this is only possible when the man
who is blocked can give total attention to what the free man is
saying. There is no other means to break down the wall – not the
intellect, not the emotions, nor anything else. When somebody who
has gone beyond the wall, who has broken it down, says, `Listen,
for God’s sake listen,’ and I listen to him with my mind empty, then
it is finished. You know what I am saying? I have no sense of
hoping for anything to happen, or anything to come back, or
concern with the future. The mind is empty, and therefore
listening. It is finished.
For a scientist to discover something new, he must have a
certain emptiness from which there will be a different perception.
DB: Yes, but only in the sense that usually the question is
limited, and so the mind may be empty with regard to that
particular question, allowing the discovery of an insight in that
area. But we are not questioning this particular area. We are
questioning the whole of knowledge.
K: It is most extraordinary when you go into it.
DB: And you were saying the end of knowledge is the Vedanta.
K: That is the real answer.
DB: But generally people feel they must keep knowledge in one
area to be able to question it in another. You see it might worry
people to ask, with what knowledge do I question the whole of
knowledge?
K: Yes. With what knowledge do I question my knowledge? Quite.
DB: In a way, we do have knowledge, because we have seen
that this whole structure of psychological knowledge makes no
sense, that it is inconsistent and has no meaning.
K: From that emptiness that we were talking of, is there a
ground or a source from which all things begin? Matter, human
beings, their capacities, their idiocies – does the whole movement
start from there?
DB: We could consider that. But let’s try to clarify it a little. We
have the emptiness.
K: Yes, emptiness in which there is no movement of thought as
psychological knowledge. And therefore no psychological time.
DB: Though we still have the time of the watch…
K: Yes, but we have gone beyond that; don’t let’s go back to it.
There is no psychological time, no movement of thought. And is
that emptiness the beginning of all movement?
DB: Well, would you say the emptiness is the ground?
K: That is what I am asking. Let’s go slowly into this.
DB: Earlier on, we were saying that there is the emptiness, and
beyond that is the ground.
K: I know, I know. Let’s discuss this further.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 12 20TH
SEPTEMBER 1980 CONVERSATION WITH
PROF. DAVID BOHM ‘THE MIND IN THE
UNIVERSE’

KRISHNAMURTI: We talked the other day about a mind that is
entirely free from all movement, from all the things that thought
has put there, the past, and the future, and so on. But before we go
into that I would like to discuss man’s being caught in materialistic
attitudes and values, and to ask, what is the nature of materialism?
DAVID BOHM: Well, first of all materialism is the name of a
certain philosophical…
K: I don’t mean that. I want to explore this.
DB: Matter is all there is, you see.
K: That is, nature and all human beings, react physically. This
reaction is sustained by thought. And thought is a material process.
So reaction in nature is a materialistic response.
DB: I think the word `materialistic’ is not quite right. It is the
response of matter.
K: The response of matter; let’s put it that way. That is better.
We are talking about having an empty mind, and we have come to
that point when the wall has been broken down. This emptiness
and what lies beyond it, or through it – we will come to that, but
before doing so, I am asking, is all reaction matter?
DB: Matter in movement. You could say that there is evidence
in favour of that, that science has found a tremendous number of
reactions which are due to the nerves.
K: So would you say that matter and movement are the reactions which exist in all organic matter?
DB: Yes, all matter as we know it goes by the law of action and
reaction, you see. Every action has a corresponding reaction.
K: So action and reaction are a material process, as is thought.
Now, to go beyond it is the issue. DB: But before we say that,
some people might feel that there is no meaning in going beyond it.
That would be the philosophy of materialism.
K: But if one is merely living in that area it is very, very
shallow. Right? It has really no meaning at all.
DB: perhaps one should refer to one thing that people have said
– that matter is not merely action and reaction, but may have a
creative movement. You see, matter may create new forms.
K: But it is still in that area.
DB: Yes. Let’s try to make it clear. We have to see that there are
very subtle forms of materialism which might be difficult to pin
down.
K: Let’s begin. Would you consider that thought is a material
process?
DB: Yes. Well, some people might argue that it is both material,
and something beyond material.
K: I know. I have discussed this. But it is not.
DB: How can we say that simply, to make it clear?
K: Because any movement of thought is a material process.
DB: Well, we have to amplify this so that it is not a matter of
authority. As an observation, one sees that thought is a material
process. Now how are you going to see that?
K: How could one be aware that thought is a material process? I
think that is fairly clear. There is an experience, an incident which is recorded, which becomes knowledge. And from that knowledge,
thought arises and action takes place.
DB: Yes. So we say that thought is that. It is still coming from
the background. So are you saying that something new coming into
being is not part of this process?
K: Yes, if there is to be something new, thought, as a material
process, must end. Obviously.
DB: And then it may take it up later. K: Later, yes. Wait, see
what happens later. So we say all action, reaction and action from
that reaction is movement of matter.
DB: Yes, very subtle movement of matter.
K: So as long as one’s mind is within that area, it must be a
movement of matter. So is it possible for the mind to go beyond
reaction? That is the next step. As we said earlier one gets irritated,
and that is the first reaction. Then the reaction to that, the second
reaction, is `I must not be’. Then the third reaction is, `I must
control or justify’. So it is constantly action and reaction. Can one
see that this is a continuous movement without an ending?
DB: Yes. The reaction is continuous, but it seems at a certain
moment to have ended, and the next moment appears to be a new
movement.
K: But it is still reaction.
DB: It is still the same but it presents itself differently.
K: It is exactly the same always…
DB: But it presents itself as always different, always new.
K: Of course. That’s just it. You say something, I get irritated,
but that irritation is a reaction.
DB: Yes, it seems to be something suddenly new.       K: But it is not.
DB: But one has to be aware of that, you see. Generally the
mind tends not to be aware of it.
K: We are sensitive to it, alert to the question. So there is an
ending to reaction if one is watchful, attentive; if one understands
not only logically, but having an insight into this reacting process,
it can of course come to an end. That is why it is very important to
understand this, before we discuss what is an empty mind, and if
there is something beyond this, or whether in that very emptying of
the mind there is some other quality.
So is that empty mind a reaction? A reaction to the problems of
pain and pleasure and suffering? An attempt to escape from all this
into some state of nothingness? DB: Yes, the mind can always do
that.
K: It can invent. Now we have come to the point of asking
whether this quality of emptiness is not a reaction. Right, Sir?
Before we go further, is it possible to have a mind that is really
completely empty of all the things that thought has put together?
DB: So that thought ceases to act.
K: That’s it.
DB: On the one hand, perhaps you could say that reaction is due
to the nature of matter, which is continually reacting and moving.
But then is matter affected by this insight?
K: I don’t quite follow. Ah, I understand! Does insight affect the
cells of the brain which contain the memory?
DB: Yes. The memory is continually reacting, moving, as does
the air and the water, and everything around us.
K: After all, if I don’t react physically I am paralysed. But to be reacting continuously is also a form of paralysis.
DB: Well, the wrong kind of reaction! Reaction around the
psychological structure. But assuming that the reaction around the
psychological structure has begun in mankind, why should it ever
stop? Because reaction makes another and another, and one would
expect it to go on for ever, and that nothing would stop it.
K: Only insight into the nature of reaction ends psychological
reaction.
DB: Then you are saying that matter is affected by insight
which is beyond matter.
K: Yes, beyond matter. So is this emptiness within the brain
itself? Or is it something that thought has conceived as being
empty? One must be very clear.
DB: Yes. But whatever we discuss, no matter what the question
is, thought begins to want to do something about it, because
thought feels it can always make a contribution.
K: Quite.
DB: Thought in the past did not understand that it has no useful
contribution to make, but it has kept on in the habit of trying to say
that emptiness is very good. Therefore thought says, I will try to
bring about the emptiness.
K: Of course.
DB: Thought is trying to be helpful!
K: We have been through all that. We have seen the nature of
thought, and its movement, time, and all that. But I want to find out
whether this emptiness is within the mind itself, or beyond it.
DB: What do you mean by the mind?
K: The mind is the whole – emotions, thought, consciousness, the brain – the whole of that is the mind.
DB: The word `mind’ has been used in many ways. Now you
are using it in a certain way, that it represents thought, feeling,
desire and will – the whole material process.
K: Yes, the whole material process.
DB: Which people have called non-material!
K: Quite. But the mind is the whole material process.
DB: Which is going on in the brain and the nerves.
K: The whole structure. One can see that this materialistic
reaction can end. And the next question I am asking is whether that
emptiness is within or without. (Without, in the sense of being
elsewhere.)
DB: Where would it be?
K: I don’t think it would be elsewhere, but I am just putting the
question…
DB: Well, any such thing is a material process.
K: It is in the mind itself. Not outside it. Right?
DB: Yes.
K: Now what is the next step? Does that emptiness contain
nothing? Not a thing?
DB: Not a thing, by which we mean anything that has form,
structure, stability. K: Yes. All that, form, structure, reaction,
stability, capacity. Then what is it? Is it then total energy?
DB: Yes, movement of energy.
K: Movement of energy. It is not movement of reaction.
DB: It is not movement of things reacting to each other. The
world can be regarded as made up of a number of things which
react to each other and that is one kind of movement: but we are saying it is a different kind of movement.
K: Entirely different.
DB: There is no thing in it.
K: No thing in it, and therefore it is not of time. Is that possible?
Or are we just indulging in imagination? In some kind of romantic,
hopeful, pleasurable sensation? I don’t think that we are, because
we have been through all that, step by step, right up to this point.
So we are not deceiving ourselves. Now we say that emptiness has
no centre, as the `me’, and all the reactions. In that emptiness there
is a movement of timeless energy.
DB: When you refer to timeless energy, we could repeat what
we have already said about time and thought being the same.
K: Yes, of course.
DB: Then you were saying that time can only come into a
material process?
K: That’s right.
DB: Now if we have energy that is timeless but nevertheless
moving…
K: Yes, not static…
DB: Then what is the movement?
K: What is movement from here to here?
DB: That is one form.
K: One form. Or from yesterday to today, and from today to
tomorrow.
DB: There are various kinds of movement. K: So what is
movement? Is there a movement which is not a movement? You
understand? Is there a movement which has no beginning and no
end? Unlike thought which has a beginning and an end.       DB: Except you could say that the movement of matter might
have a beginning and no ending; the reactive movement. You are
not speaking of that?
K: No, I am not talking of that. Thought has a beginning and
thought has an ending. There is a movement of matter as reaction,
and the ending of that reaction.
DB: In the brain.
K: Yes. But there are various kinds of movements. That is all
we know. And someone comes along and says there is a totally
different kind of movement. But to understand that, we must be
free of the movement of thought, and the movement of time, to
understand a movement that is not…
DB: Well there are two things about this movement. It has no
beginning and no end, but also it is not determined as a series of
successions from the past.
K: Of course. No causation.
DB: But you see, matter can be looked at as a series of causes; it
may not be adequate. But now you are saying that this movement
has no beginning and no ending; it is not the result of a series of
causes following one another.
K: So I want to understand verbally a movement that is not a
movement. I don’t know if I am making it clear?
DB: Then why is it called a movement if it is not a movement?
K: Because it is not still, it is active.
DB: It is energy.
K: It has tremendous energy; therefore it can never be still. But
in that energy it has stillness.
DB: I think we have to say that the ordinary language does not convey this properly, but the energy itself is still, and also moving.
K: But in that movement is a movement of stillness. Does it sound
crazy?
DB: The movement can be said to emerge from stillness.
K: That’s right. You see, that is what it is. We said that this
emptiness is in the mind. It has no cause and no effect. It is not a
movement of thought, of time. It is not a movement of material
reactions. None of that. Which means, is the mind capable of that
extraordinary stillness without any movement? When it is so
completely still, there is a movement out of it.
DB: I think I mentioned before that some people, like Aristotle,
had this notion in the past; we discussed it. He talked about the
unmoved mover, when trying to describe God, you see.
K: Ah, God, no. I don’t want to do that!
DB: You don’t want to describe God, but some sort of notion
similar to this has been held in the past by various people. Since
then it has gone out of fashion, I think.
K: Let’s bring it into fashion, shall we?!
DB: I am not saying that Aristotle had the right idea. It is
merely that he was considering something somewhat similar,
though probably different in many respects.
K: Was it an intellectual concept or an actuality?
DB: This is very hard to tell because so little is known.
K: Therefore we don’t have to bring in Aristotle.
DB: I merely wanted to point out that the concept of a
movement of stillness wasn’t crazy, because other very respectable
people had had something similar.
K: I am glad! I am glad to be assured that I am not crazy! And is that movement out of stillness the movement of creation? We are
not talking of what the poets, writers and painters call creation. To
me, that is not creation; just capacity, skill, memory and
knowledge operating. Here I think this creation is not expressed in
form.
DB: It is important to differentiate. Usually we think creation is
expressed in form, or as structure. K: Yes, structure. We have gone
beyond being crazy, so we can go on! Would you say that this
movement, not being of time, is eternally new?
DB: Yes. It is eternally new in the sense that the creation is
eternally new. Right?
K: Creation is eternally new. You see that newness is what the
artists are trying to discover. Therefore they indulge in all kinds of
absurdities, but few come to that point where the mind is
absolutely silent, and out of that silence there is this movement
which is always new. The moment when that movement is
expressed…
DB: …the first expression is in thought?
K: That is just it.
DB: And that may be useful, but then it gets fixed, and becomes
a barrier.
K: I was told once by an Indian scholar that before people
began to sculpt the head of a god, or whatever, they had to go into
deep meditation. At the right moment they took up the hammer and
the chisel.
DB: Then it came out of the emptiness. There is another point,
you see. The Australian aborigines draw figures in the sand, so that
they don’t have permanency.       K: That is right.
DB: Perhaps thought could be looked at that way. You see,
marble is too static, and remains for thousands of years. So
although the original sculptor may have understood, the people
who follow see it as a fixed form.
K: What relationship has all this to my daily life? In what way
does it act through my actions, through my ordinary physical
responses, to noise, to pain, various forms of disturbance? What
relationship has the physical to that silent movement?
DB: Well, in so far as the mind is silent, the thought is orderly.
K: We are getting on to something. Would you say that the
silent movement, with its unending newness, is total order of the
universe? DB: We could consider that the order of the universe
emerges from this silence and emptiness.
K: So what is the relationship of this mind to the universe?
DB: The particular mind?
K: No; mind.
DB: Mind in general?
K: Mind. We went through the general and the particular, and
beyond that there is the mind.
DB: Would you say that is universal?
K: I don’t like to use the word universal.
DB: Universal in the sense of that which is beyond the
particular. But perhaps that word is difficult.
K: Can we find another word? Not global. A mind that is
beyond the particular?
DB: Well you could say it is the source, the essence. It has been
called the absolute.       K: I don’t want to use the word `absolute’, either.
DB: The absolute means literally that which is free of all
limitations, of all dependence.
K: All right, if you agree that `absolute’ means freedom from all
dependence and limitation.
DB: From all relationships.
K: Then we will use that word.
DB: It has unfortunate connotations.
K: Of course. But let’s use it for the moment just for
convenience in our dialogue. There is this absolute stillness, and in
or from that stillness there is a movement, and that movement is
everlastingly new. What is the relationship of that mind to the
universe?
DB: To the universe of matter?
K: To the whole universe: matter, trees, nature, man, the
heavens. DB: That is an interesting question.
K: The universe is in order; whether it is destructive or
constructive, it is still order.
DB: You see, the order has the character of being absolutely
necessary; in a sense it cannot be otherwise. The order that we
usually know is not absolutely necessary. It could be changed; it
could depend on something else.
K: The eruption of a volcano is order.
DB: It is order of the whole universe.
K: Quite. Now in the universe there is order, and this mind
which is still is completely in order.
DB: The deep mind, the absolute.
K: The absolute mind. So, is this mind the universe?       DB: In what sense is that the universe? We have to understand
what it means to say that, you see.
K: It means, is there a division, or a barrier, between this
absolute mind and the universe? Or are both the same?
DB: Both are the same.
K: That is what I want to get at.
DB: We have either duality of mind and matter, or they are both
the same.
K: That’s it. Is that presumptuous?
DB: Not necessarily. I mean that these are just two possibilities.
K: I want to be quite sure that we are not treading upon
something which really needs a very subtle approach – which needs
great care. You know what I mean?
DB: Yes. Let’s go back to the body. We have said that the mind
which is of the body – thought, feeling, desire, the general and the
particular mind – is part of the material process.
K: Absolutely.
DB: And not different from the body. K: That’s right. All the
reactions are material processes.
DB: And therefore what we usually call the mind is not
different from what we call the body.
K: Quite.
DB: Now you are making this much greater in saying, consider
the whole universe. And we ask if what we call the mind in the
universe is different from what we call the universe itself?
K: That’s right. You see why I feel that in our daily life there
must be order, but not the order of thought.
DB: Well, thought is a limited order, it is relative.       K: That’s it. So there must be an order that is…
DB: …free of limitation.
K: Yes. In our daily life we have to have that – which means no
conflict, no contradiction whatsoever.
DB: Let’s take the order of thought. When it is rational it is in
order. But in contradiction the order of thought has broken down, it
has reached its limit. Thought works until it reaches a
contradiction, and that’s the limit.
K: So if in my daily life there is complete order, in which there
is no disturbance, what is the relationship of that order to the never
ending order? Can that silent movement of order, of that
extraordinary something, affect my daily life, when I have inward
psychological order? You understand my question?
DB: Yes. We have said, for example, that the volcano is a
manifestation of the whole order of the universe.
K: Absolutely. Or a tiger killing a deer.
DB: The question then is whether a human being in his ordinary
life can be similar.
K: That’s it. If not, I don’t see what is the point of the other – the
universal.
DB: Well, it has no point to the human being. You see, some
people would say, who cares about the universe. All we care about
is our own society, and what we are doing. But then that falls
down, because it is full of contradiction.
K: Obviously. It is only thought which says that.
So that universe, which is in total order, does affect my daily
life.
DB: Yes. I think that scientists might ask how. You see, one might say, I understand that the universe is constituted of matter,
and that the laws of matter affect our daily life. But it is not so
clear how it affects the mind; and if there is this absolute mind
which affects the daily life.
K: Ah! What is my daily life? Disorderly, and a series of
reactions. Right?
DB: Well, it is mostly that.
K: And thought is always struggling to bring order within that.
But when it does that, it is still disorder.
DB: Because thought is always limited by its own
contradictions.
K: Of course. Thought is always creating disorder, because it is
itself limited.
DB: As soon as it tries to go beyond the limit, that is disorderly.
K: Right. I have understood, I have gone into it, I have an
insight into it, so I have a certain kind of order in my life. But that
order is still limited. I recognize that, and I say that this existence is
limited.
DB: Now some people would accept that, and say `Why should
you have more?’
K: I am not having more.
DB: But others might say, `We would be happy if we could live
in a material life, with real order.’
K: I say, let’s do it! It must be done! But in the very doing of it,
one has to realize it is limited.
DB: Yes, even the highest order that we can produce is limited.
K: And the mind realizes its limitation and says, let’s go beyond
it. DB: Why? Some people would say, why not be happy within those limits, continually extending them, trying to discover new
thoughts, new order? The artist will discover new forms of art, the
scientists a new kind of science.
K: But all that is always limited.
DB: There is often the feeling that we can go this far, and
accept that this is all that is possible.
K: You mean the feeling that we must accept the human
condition?
DB: Well, people would say that man could do much better than
he is doing.
K: Yes, but all this is still the human condition, a little
reformed, a little better.
DB: Some people would say enormously reformed.
K: But it is still limited!
DB: Yes. Let’s try to make clear what is wrong with the
limitation.
K: In that limitation there is no freedom, only a limited
freedom.
DB: Yes. So eventually we come to the boundary of our
freedom. Something makes us react, through reaction we fall back
into contradiction.
K: Yes, but what happens when I see that I am always moving
within a certain area.?
DB: Then I am under the control of the forces.
K: The mind inevitably rebels against that.
DB: That is an important point. You see the mind wants
freedom. Right?
K: Obviously.       DB: It says that freedom is the highest value. So do we accept
that, and see it just as a fact?
K: That is, I realize that within this limitation I am a prisoner.
DB: Some people get used to it and say, `I accept it.’ K: I won`t
accept it! My mind says there must be freedom from prison. I am a
prisoner, and the prison is very nice, very cultured and all the rest
of it. But it is still limited, although it says, there must be freedom
beyond all that.
DB: Which mind says this? Is it the particular mind of the
human being?
K: Ah! Who says there must be freedom? Oh, that is very
simple. The very pain, the very suffering demands that we go
beyond.
DB: This particular mind, even though it accepts limitation,
finds it painful.
K: Of course.
DB: And therefore this particular mind feels somehow that it is
not right. But it can’t avoid it. There seems to be a necessity of
freedom.
K: Freedom is necessary, and any hindrance to freedom is
retrogression. Right?
DB: That necessity is not an external necessity due to reaction.
K: Freedom is not a reaction.
DB: The necessity of freedom is not a reaction. Some people
would say that having been in prison you reacted in this way.
K: So where are we? You see, this means there must be freedom
from reaction, freedom from the limitation of thought, freedom
from all the movement of time. We know that there must be complete freedom from all that, before we can really understand
the empty mind, and the order of the universe, which is then the
order of the mind. We are asking a tremendous lot. Are we willing
to go that far?
DB: Well, you know that non-freedom has its attractions.
K: Of course, but I am not interested in these attractions.
DB: But you asked the question, are we willing to go that far?
So it seems to suggest that there may be something attractive in
this limitation.
K: Yes. I have found safety, security, pleasure in non-freedom. I
realize that in pleasure or pain there is no freedom. The mind says,
not as a reaction, that there must be freedom from all this. To come
to that point and to let go without conflict, demands its own
discipline, its own insight. That’s why I said to those of us who
have done a certain amount of investigation into all this, can one
go as far as that? Or do the responses of the body – the
responsibilities of daily action, for one’s wife, children, and all that
– prevent this sense of complete freedom? The monks, the saints,
and the sannyasis have said, `You must abandon the world.’
DB: We went into that.
K: Yes. That is another form of idiocy, although I’m sorry to put
it like that. We have been through all that, so I refuse to enter again
into it. Now I say are the universe and the mind that has emptied
itself of all this, one?
DB: Are they one?
K: They are not separate, they are one.
DB: So you are saying that the material universe is like the
body of the absolute mind.       K: Yes, all right.
DB: It may be a picturesque way of putting it!
K: We must be very careful also not to fall into the trap of
thinking that the universal mind is always there.
DB: How would you put it then?
K: Man has said that God is always there; Brahman, or the
highest principle, is always present, and all you have to do is to
cleanse yourself, and arrive at that. This is also a very dangerous
statement, because then you might say, there is the eternal in me.
DB: But I think that is projecting.
K: Of course!
DB: There is a logical difficulty in saying it is always there
because `always’ implies time, and we are trying to discuss
something that has nothing to do with time. So we can’t place it as
being here, there, now or again!
K: We have come to the point that there is this universal mind,
and the human mind can be of that when there is freedom.
THE ENDING OF TIME CHAPTER 13 27TH
SEPTEMBER 1980 CONVERSATION WITH
PROF. DAVID BOHM ‘CAN PERSONAL
PROBLEMS BE SOLVED, AND
FRAGMENTATION END?’

KRISHNAMURTI: We have cultivated a mind that can solve
almost any technological problem. But apparently human problems
have never been solved. Human beings are drowned by their
problems: the problems of communication, knowledge, of
relationships, the problems of heaven and hell; the whole human
existence, has become a vast, complex problem. And apparently
through out history it has been like this. In spite of his knowledge,
in spite of his centuries of evolution, man has never been free of
problems.
DAVID BOHM: Yes, of insoluble problems.
K: I question if human problems are insoluble.
DB: I mean, as they are put now.
K: As they are now, of course, these problems have become
incredibly complex and insoluble. No politician, scientist, or
philosopher is going to solve them, even through wars and so on!
So why have human beings throughout the world not been able to
resolve the daily problems of life? What are the things that prevent
the complete solution of these problems? Is it that we have never
turned our minds to it? Is it because we spend all our days, and
probably half the night, in thinking about technological problems
so that we have no time for the other?
DB: That is partly so. Many people feel that the other should take care of itself.
K: But why? I am asking in this dialogue whether it is possible
to have no human problems at all – only technological problems,
which can be solved. But human problems seem insoluble. Is it
because of our education, our deep-rooted traditions, that we
accept things as they are?
DB: Well, that is certainly part of it. These problems
accumulate as civilization gets older, and people keep on accepting
things which make problems. For example, there are now far more
nations in the world than there used to be, and each one creates
new problems.
K: Of course.
DB: If you go back in time…
K: …a tribe becomes a nation…
DB: And then the group must fight its neighbour.
K: Men use this marvellous technology to kill each other. But
we re talking about problems of relationships, problems of lack of
freedom, this sense of constant uncertainty and fear, the struggle to
work for a livelihood for the rest of one’s life. The whole thing
seems so extraordinarily wrong.
DB: I think people have lost sight of that. Generally speaking
they accept the situation in which they find themselves, and try to
make the best of it, trying to solve some small problems to
alleviate their circumstances. They wouldn’t even look at this
whole situation seriously.
K: But the religious people have created a tremendous problem
for man.
DB: Yes. They are trying to solve problems too. I mean everybody is caught up in his own little fragment, solving whatever
he thinks he can solve, but it all adds up to chaos.
K: To chaos and wars! That is what we are saying. We live in
chaos. But I want to find out if I can live without a single problem
for the rest of my life. Is that possible?
DB: Well, I wonder if we should even call these things
problems, you see. A problem would be something that is
reasonably solvable. If you put the problem of how to achieve a
certain result, then that presupposes that you can reasonably find a
way to do it technologically. But psychologically, the problem
cannot be looked at in that way; to propose a result you have to
achieve, and then find a way to do it.
K: What is the root of all this? What is the cause of all this
human chaos? I am trying to come to it from a different angle, to
discover whether there is an ending to problems. You see,
personally, I refuse to have problems.
DB: Somebody might argue with you about that and say that
maybe you are not challenged with something.
K: I was challenged the other day about something very, very
serious. That is not a problem.
DB: Then it is a matter of clarification. part of the difficulty is
clarification of the language.
K: Clarification, not only of language, but of relationship and
action. A problem arose the other day which involved lots of
people, and a certain action had to be taken. But to me personally it
was not a problem.
DB: We have to make it clear what you mean, because without
an example, I don’t know.       K: I mean by a problem something that has to be resolved,
something you worry about; something you are questioning, and
endlessly concerned with. Also doubts and uncertainties, and
having to take some kind of action which you will regret at the end.
DB: Let’s begin with the technical problem where the idea first
arose. You have a challenge, something which needs to be done,
and you say that is a problem.
K: Yes, that is generally called a problem.
DB: Now the word problem is based on the idea of putting forth
something – a possible solution – and then trying to achieve it.
K: Or, I have a problem but I don’t know how to deal with it.
DB: If you have a problem and you have no idea how to deal
with it…
K: …then I go round asking people for advice, and getting more
and more confused.
DB: This would already be a change from the simple idea of a
technical problem, where you usually have some notion of what to
do.
K: I wonder if we do? Surely technical problems are fairly
simple. DB: They often bring challenges requiring us to go very
deeply and change our ideas. With a technical problem, we
generally know what we have to do to solve it. For example, if
there is lack of food, what we have to do is to find ways and means
of producing more. But with a psychological problem, can we do
the same?
K: That is the point. How do we deal with this thing?
DB: Well, what kind of problem shall we discuss?
K: Any problem which arises in human relationships.       DB: Let’s say that people cannot agree; they fight each other
constantly.
K: Yes, let’s take that for a simple thing. It seems to be almost
impossible for a group of people to think together, to have the
same outlook and attitude. I don’t mean copying each other, of
course. But each person puts his opinion forward and is
contradicted by another – which goes on all the time, everywhere.
DB: All right. So can we say that our problem is to work
together, to think together?
K: Work together, think together, co-operate without the
involvement of monetary issues.
DB: That is another question, whether people will work
together if they are highly paid.
K: So how do we solve this problem? In a group, all of us are
offering different opinions, and we don’t meet each other at all.
And it seems almost impossible to give up one’s opinions.
DB: Yes, that is one of the difficulties, but I am not sure that
you can regard it as a problem, and ask, what shall we do to give
up opinions.
K: No, of course. But that is a fact. So observing that, and
seeing the necessity that we should all come together, people still
cannot give up their opinions, their ideas, their own experiences
and conclusions.
DB: Often it may not seem to them like an opinion, but the
truth.
K: Yes, they would call it fact. But what can man do about these
divisions? We see the necessity of working together – not for some
ideal, belief, some principle or some god. In various countries throughout the world, and even in the United Nations they are not
working together.
DB: Some people might say that we not only have opinions, but
self-interest. If two people have conflicting self-interests, there is
no way, as long as they maintain their attachment to these, that
they can work together. So how do we break into this?
K: If you point out to me that we must work together, and show
me the importance of it, then I also see that it is important. But I
can’t do it!
DB: That’s the point. It is not enough even to see that co-
operation is important, and to have the intention of achieving this.
With this inability there is a new factor coming in. Why is it that
we cannot carry out our intentions?
K: One can give many reasons for that, but those causes and
reasons and explanations don’t solve the problem. We come back
to the same thing – what will make a human mind change? We see
that change is necessary, and yet are incapable or unwilling to
change. What factor – what new factor – is necessary for this?
DB: Well, I feel it is the ability to observe deeply whatever it is
that is holding the person and preventing him from changing.
K: So is the new factor attention?
DB: Yes, that is what I meant. But also, we have to consider
what kind of attention.
K: First let’s discuss what is attention.
DB: It may have many meanings to different people.
K: Of course, as usual, there are so many opinions!
Where there is attention, there is no problem. Where there is
inattention, every difficulty arises. Now without making attention itself into a problem, what do we mean by it? Can we understand
it, not verbally, not intellectually, but deeply, in our blood?
Obviously attention is not concentration. It is not an endeavour, an
experience, a struggle to be attentive. You must show me the
nature of attention, which is that when there is attention, there is no
centre from which `I’ attend. DB: Yes, but that is the difficult thing.
K: Don’t let’s make a problem of it.
DB: I mean that people have been trying this for a long time. I
think that there is first of all some difficulty in understanding what
is meant by attention, because of the content of thought itself When
a person is looking at it, he may think he is attending.
K: No, in that state of attention there is no thought.
DB: But how do you stop thought then? You see, while thinking
is going on, there is an impression of attention – which is not
attention. But one thinks, one supposes that one is paying attention.
K: When one supposes one is paying attention, that is not it.
DB: So how do we communicate the true meaning of attention?
K: Or would you say rather that to find out what is attention, we
should discuss what is inattention?
DB: Yes.
K: And through negation come to the positive. When I am
inattentive, what takes place? In my inattentiveness, I feel lonely,
depressed, anxious, and so on.
DB: The mind begins to break up and go into confusion.
K: Fragmentation takes place. And in my lack of attention, I
identify myself with many other things.
DB: Yes, and it may be pleasant – but it can be painful too.
K: I find, later on, that what was pleasing becomes pain. So all that is a movement in which there is no attention. Right? Are we
getting anywhere?
DB: I don’t know.
K: I feel that attention is the real solution to all this – a mind
which is really attentive, which has understood the nature of
inattention and moves away from it!
DB: But first, what is the nature of inattention? K: Indolence,
negligence, self-concern, self-contradiction – all that is the nature
of inattention.
DB: Yes. You see, a person who has self-concern may feel that
he is attending but he is simply concerned with himself.
K: Yes. If there is self contradiction in me, and I pay attention
to it in order not to be self-contradictory, that is not attention.
DB: But can we make this clear, because ordinarily one might
think that this is attention.
K: No, it is not. It is merely a process of thought, which says, `I
am this, I must not be that’.
DB: So you are saying that this attempt to become, is not
attention.
K: Yes, that’s right. Because the psychological becoming breeds
inattention.
DB: Yes.
K: Isn’t it very difficult, Sir, to be free of becoming? That is the
root of it. To end becoming.
DB: Yes. There is no attention, and that is why these problems
are there.
K: Yes, and when you point that out, the paying attention also
becomes a problem.       DB: The difficulty is that the mind plays tricks, and in trying to
deal with this, it does the very same thing again.
K: Of course. Can the mind, which is so full of knowledge, self-
importance, self-contradiction, and all the rest of it, come to a point
where it finds itself psychologically unable to move?
DB: There is nowhere for it to move.
K: What would I say to a person who has come to that point? I
come to you. I am full of this confusion, anxiety, and sense of
despair, not only for myself but for the world. I come to that point,
and I want to break through it. So it becomes a problem to me.
DB: Then we are back; there is again an attempt to become, you
see. K: Yes. That is what I want to get at. So is that the root of all
this? The desire to become?
DB: Well, it must be close to it.
K: So how do I look, without the movement of becoming, at
this whole complex issue of myself?
DB: It seems that one hasn’t looked at the whole. We did not
look at the whole of becoming, when you said, `How can I pay
attention?’ part of it seemed to slip out, and became the observer.
Right?
K: Psychological becoming has been the curse of all this. A
poor man wants to be rich, and a rich man wants to be richer, it is
all the time this movement of becoming, both outwardly and
inwardly. And though it brings a great deal of pain and sometimes
pleasure, this sense of becoming, fulfilling, achieving
psychologically, has made my life into all that it is. Now I realize
that, but I can’t stop it.
DB: Why can’t I stop it?       K: Let’s go into that. Partly I am concerned in becoming
because there is a reward at the end of it; also I am avoiding pain
or punishment. And in that cycle I am caught. That is probably one
of the reasons why the mind keeps on trying to become something.
And the other perhaps is deep rooted anxiety or fear that if I don’t
become something, I am lost. I am uncertain an insecure, so the
mind has accepted these illusions and says, I cannot end that
process of becoming.
DB: But why doesn’t the mind end it? Also we have to go into
the question of being trapped by these illusions.
K: How do you convince me that I am caught in an illusion?
You can’t, unless I see it myself I cannot see it because my illusion
is so strong. That illusion has been nurtured, cultivated by religion,
by the family, and so on. It is so deeply rooted that I refuse to let it
go. That is what is taking place with a large number of people.
They say, `I want to do this but I cannot’. Now given that situation,
what are they to do? Will explanations, logic and all the various
contradictions, theories, help them? Obviously not.
DB: Because it all gets absorbed into the structure. K: So what
is the next thing?
DB: You see, if they say, `I want to change’, there is also the
wish not to change.
K: Of course. The man who says, `I want to change’, has also at
the back of his mind, `Really, why should I change?’ They go
together.
DB: So we have a contradiction.
K: I have lived in this contradiction, I have accepted it.
DB: But why should I have accepted it?       K: Because it is a habit.
DB: But when the mind is healthy, it will not accept a
contradiction.
K: But our mind isn’t healthy. The mind is so diseased, so
corrupt, so confused, that even though you point out all the dangers
of this, it refuses to see them.
So how do we help a man who is caught in this to see clearly
the danger of psychological becoming? Let’s put it that way.
psychological becoming implies identification with a nation, a
group, and all that business.
DB: Yes, holding to opinions.
K: Opinions and beliefs; I have had an experience, it gives me
satisfaction, I am going to hold on to it. How do you help me to be
free of all this? I hear your words – they seem quite right, but I can’t
move out of all that.
I wonder if there is another factor, another way of
communication, which isn’t based on words, knowledge,
explanations and reward and punishment. Is there another way of
communicating? You see, in that too there is danger. I am sure
there is a way which is not verbal, analytical or logical, which
doesn’t mean lack of sanity.
DB: Perhaps there is.
K: My mind has always communicated with another with
words, explanations and logic, or with suggestion. There must be
another element which breaks through all that. DB: It will break
through the inability to listen.
K: Yes, the inability to listen, the inability to observe, to hear,
and so on. There must be a different method. I have met several men who have been to a certain saint, and in his company they say
all problems are resolved. But when they go back to their daily life,
they are back in the old game.
DB: There was no intelligence in it, you see.
K: That is the danger. That man, that saint, being quiet and non-
verbal in the presence of that saint they feel quiet, and think that
their problems are resolved.
DB: But this is still from the outside.
K: Of course. It is like going to church. In an ancient church, or
cathedral, you feel extraordinarily quiet. It is the atmosphere, the
structure – you know; the very atmosphere makes you feel quiet.
DB: Yes, it communicates what is meant by quietness, non-
verbally.
K: That is nothing. It is like incense!
DB: It is superficial.
K: Utterly superficial; like incense, it evaporates! So we push
all that aside, and then what have we left? Not an outside agency, a
god, or some saviour. What have I left? What is there that can be
communicated, which will break through the wall that human
beings have built for themselves?
Is it love? That word has become corrupted, loaded, dirty. But
cleansing that word, is love the factor that will break through this
clever analytical approach? Is love the element that is lacking?
DB: Well, we have to discuss it; perhaps people are somewhat
chary of that word.
K: I am chary beyond words!
DB: And, therefore, as people resist listening, they will resist
love too.       K: That is why I said it is rather a risky word.
DB: We were saying the other day that love contains
intelligence. K: Of course.
DB: Which is care as well; we mean by love that energy which
also contains intelligence and care; all that…
K: Now wait a minute: you have that quality and I am caught in
my misery, anxiety, etc., and you are trying to penetrate with that
intelligence this mass of darkness. How will you do it? Will that
act? If not, we human beings are lost. You follow, Sir? Therefore
we have vented jesus, Buddha, Krishna – images which have
become meaningless, superficial and nonsensical.
So what shall I do? I think that is the other factor. Attention,
perception, intelligence and love – you bring all this to me, and I
am incapable of receiving it. I say, `It sounds nice; I feel it, but I
can’t hold it’. I can’t hold it, because the moment I go outside this
room, I am lost!
DB: That really is the problem.
K: Yes, that is the real problem. Is love something outside, as
heaven – and all that stuff is outside. Is love something outside,
which you bring to me, which you awaken in me, which you give
me as a gift – or, in my darkness, illusion and suffering, is there
that quality? Obviously not, there can’t be.
DB: Then where is it?
K: That’s just it. Love is not yours or mine; it is not personal,
not something that belongs to anyone; love is not that.
DB: That is an important point. Similarly you were saying that
isolation does not belong to any one person, although we tend to
think of isolation as a personal problem.       K: Of course. It is common ground for all of us. Also,
intelligence is not personal.
DB: But again, that goes contrary to the whole of our thinking,
you see.
K: I know.
DB: Everybody says this person is intelligent, and that one is
not. So this may be one of the barriers to the whole thing, that
behind the ordinary everyday thought there is deeper thought of
mankind, but we generally feel divided, and say these various
qualities either belong to us, or they don’t belong to us.
K: Quite. It is the fragmentary mind that invents all this.
DB: It has been invented, but we have picked it up verbally and
non-verbally, by implication, from childhood. Therefore it
pervades, it is the ground of our thoughts, of all our perceptions. So
this has to be questioned.
K: We have questioned it – that grief is not my grief, grief is
human, and so on.
DB: But how are people to see that, because a person who is
experiencing grief feels that it is his personal grief?
K: I think it is partly because of our education, partly our
society and traditions.
DB: But it is implicit in our whole way of thinking. Then we
have to jump out of that, you see.
K: Yes. To jump out of that becomes a problem, and then what
am I to do?
DB: Perhaps we can see that love is not personal.
K: Earth is not English earth, or French earth, earth is earth!
DB: I was thinking of an example in physics: if the scientist or chemist is studying an element such as sodium, he does not say it is
his sodium, or that somebody else studies his sodium. And of
course they compare notes, etc.
K: Quite. Sodium is sodium.
DB: Sodium is sodium, universally. So we have to say that love
is love, universally.
K: Yes. But you see my mind refuses to see that, because I am
so terribly personal, terribly concerned with `me and my problems’.
I refuse to let that go. When you say sodium is sodium, it is very
simple; I can see that. But when you say to me that grief is
common to all of us, this is difficult.
DB: This can’t be done with time, but it took quite a while for
mankind to realize that sodium is sodium, you see. K: Is love
something that is common to all of us?
DB: Well, in so far as it exists, it has to be common.
K: Of course.
DB: It may not exist, but if it does, it has to be common.
K: I am not sure it does not exist. Compassion is not `I am
compassionate’. Compassion is there, is something that is not `me’.
DB: If we say compassion is the same as sodium, it is universal.
Then every person’s compassion is the same.
K: Compassion, love, and intelligence. You can’t have
compassion without intelligence.
DB: So we say intelligence is universal too!
K: Obviously.
DB: But we have methods of testing intelligence in particular
people, you see.
K: Oh, no.       DB: But perhaps that is all part of the thing that is getting in the
way?
K: Part of this divisive, fragmentary way of thinking.
DB: Well, there may be holistic thinking, although we are not in
it yet.
K: Then holistic thinking is not thinking; it is some other factor.
DB: Some other factor that we haven’t gone into yet.
K: If love is common to all of us, why am I blind to it?
DB: I think partly because the mind boggles; it just refuses to
consider such a fantastic change of concept in a way of looking.
K: But you said just now that sodium is sodium.
DB: You see, we have a lot of evidence for that in all sorts of
experiments, built up through a lot of work and experience. Now
we can’t do that with love. You can’t go into a laboratory and prove
that love is love. K: Oh, no. Love isn’t knowledge. Why does one’s
mind refuse to accept a very obvious factor? Is it the fear of letting
go my old values, standards and opinions?
DB: I think it is probably something deeper. It is hard to pin
down, but it isn’t a simple thing, although what you suggest is a
partial explanation.
K: That is a superficial explanation, I know. Is it the deep
rooted anxiety, the longing to be totally secure?
DB: But that again is based on fragmentation.
K: Of course.
DB: If we accept that we are fragmented, we will inevitably
want to be totally secure, because being fragmented we are always
in danger.
K: Is that the root of it? This urge, this demand, this longing to be totally secure in our relationship with everything? To be
certain?
Of course, there is complete security only in nothingness!
DB: It is not the demand for security which is wrong, but the
fragmentations. The fragment cannot possibly be secure.
K: That is right. Like each country trying to be secure, it is not
secure.
DB: But complete security could be achieved if all the countries
got together. The way you have put it sounds as if we should live
eternally in insecurity, you see.
K: No, we have made that very clear.
DB: It makes sense to ask for security, but we are going about it
the wrong way. How do we convey that love is universal, not
personal, to a man who has lived completely in the narrow groove
of personal achievement? It seems the first point is, will he
question his narrow, `unique’ personality?
K: People question it; they see the logic of what we are
discussing, yet, curiously, people who are very serious in these
matters, have tried to find the wholeness of life through starvation,
through torture – you know, every kind of way. But you can’t
apprehend or perceive or be the whole through torture. So what
shall we do? Let’s say I have a brother who refuses to see all this.
And as I have great affection for him, I want him to move out of
fragmentation. And I have tried to communicate with him verbally,
and sometimes non-verbally, by a gesture or by a look; but all this
is still from the outside. And perhaps that is the reason why he
resists. Can I point out to my brother that in himself this flame can
be awakened? It means he must listen to me, but my brother refuses to listen.
DB: It seems that there are some actions which are not possible.
If a person is caught in a certain thought such as fragmentation,
then he can’t change it, because there are a lot of other thoughts
behind it.
K: Of course.
DB: Thoughts he doesn’t know. He is not actually free to take
this action because of the whole structure of thought that holds
him.
K: So how do I help – I use that word with great caution – my
brother? What is the root of all this? We talk of his becoming
aware – but all that is verbal; it can be explained in different ways –
the cause, the effect, and all the rest of it. After I explain all this, he
says, `You have left me where I am’. And my intelligence, my
affection, says `I can’t let him go’. Which means, am I putting
pressure on him?
I am not using any kind of pressure, or reward; my
responsibility is that I can’t let another human being go. It is not the
responsibility of duty and all that dreadful stuff But it is the
responsibility of intelligence to say all that to him. There is a
tradition in India that one who is called the Maitreya Buddha took
a vow that he would not become the ultimate Buddha until he had
liberated other human beings too.
DB: Altogether?
K: Yes. You see, the tradition hasn’t changed anything. How
can one, if one has that intelligence, that compassion, that love,
which is not of a country, a person, an ideal or a saviour, transmit
that purity to another? By living with him, talking to him? You see it can all become mechanical.
DB: Would you say that this question has never really been
solved? K: I think so. But we must solve it, you follow? It has not
been solved, but our intelligence says, solve it. No, I think
intelligence doesn’t say solve it; intelligence says these are the
facts, and perhaps some will capture it.
DB: Well, it seems to me that there are really two factors: one is
the preparation by reason to show that it all makes sense; and from
there possibly some will capture it.
K: We have done that, Sir. The map has been laid out, and he
has seen it very clearly; the conflicts, the misery, the confusion, the
insecurity, the becoming. All that is extremely clear. But at the end
of the chapter he is back at the beginning. Or perhaps he has a
glimpse of it, and his craving to capture that glimpse and hold on to
it becomes a memory. You follow? And all the nightmare begins!
In showing him the map very clearly, can we also point out to
him something much deeper than that, which is love? He is groping
after all this. But the weight of body, brain, tradition – all that
draws him back. So it is a constant battle – and I think the whole
thing is so wrong.
DB: What is wrong?
K: The way we are living.
DB: Many people must see that by now.
K: We have asked whether man has taken a wrong turning, and
entered into a valley where there is no escape. That can’t be so; that
is too depressing, too appalling.
DB: I think some people might object to that. The very fact that
it is appalling does not make it untrue. I think you would have to give some stronger reason why you feel that to be untrue.
K: Oh, yes.
DB: Do you perceive in human nature some possibility of a real
change?
K: Of course. Otherwise everything would be meaningless; we’d
be monkeys, machines. You see, the faculty for radical change is
attributed to some outside agency, and therefore we look to that,
and get lost in that. If we don’t look to anybody, and are completely
free from dependence, then solitude is common to all of us. It is
not an isolation. It is an obvious fact that when you see all this – the
stupidity and unreality of fragmentation and division – you are
naturally alone. That sense of aloneness is common, and not
personal.
DB: Yes, but the ordinary sense of loneliness is personal in the
sense that each person feels it is his own.
K: Loneliness is not solitude; it is not aloneness.
DB; I think all the fundamental things are universal, and
therefore you are saying that when the mind goes deep, it comes
into something universal.
K: That’s right.
DB: Whether or not you call it absolute.
K: The problem is to make the mind go very, very deeply into
itself.
DB: Yes. Now there is something that has occurred to me.
When we start with a particular problem our mind is very shallow,
then we go to something more general. The word `general’ has the
same root as `to generate’, the genus is the common generation…
K: To generate, of course.       DB: When we go to something more general, a depth is
generated. But going on, still further, the general is still limited
because it is thought.
K: Quite right. But to go profoundly, requires not only
tremendous courage, but the sense of constantly pursuing the same
stream.
DB: Well, that is not quite diligence; that is still too limited,
right?
K: Yes, diligence is too limited. It goes with a religious mind in
a sense that it is diligence in its action, its thoughts and so on, but it
is still limited. If the mind can go from the particular to the general
and from the general…
DB: …to the absolute, to the universal. But many people would
say that is very abstract, and has nothing to do with daily life. K: I
know. Yet it is the most practical thing, and not an abstraction.
DB: In fact, it is the particular that is the abstraction.
K: Absolutely. The particular is the most dangerous.
DB: It is also the most abstract, because you only get to the
particular by abstracting.
K: Of course, of course.
DB: I think that this may be part of the problem. People feel
they want something that really affects us in daily life; they don’t
just want to get themselves lost in talking, therefore, they say, `All
these vapid generalities don’t interest us’.
It is true that what we are discussing must work in daily life, but
daily life does not contain the solution of its problems.
K: No. The daily life is the general and the particular.
DB: The human problems which arise in daily life cannot be solved there.
K: From the particular, it is necessary to move to the general;
from the general to move still deeper, and there perhaps is the
purity of what is called compassion, love and intelligence. But that
means giving your mind, your heart, your whole being to this
enquiry.
We have talked now for a long time, I think we have reached
somewhere.
OJAI 1ST CONVERSATION WITH DAVID
BOHM 1ST APRIL, 1980 `THE ENDING OF TIME’

JK: Sir, how shall we start this?
DB: I understand you have something to say.
JK: On lots of things but I do not know how to start it.
DB: Oh.
JK: Sir, I would like to ask if humanity has taken a wrong turn.
DB: A wrong turn? Well it must have done so, a long time ago,
I think.
K: That is what I feel. A long time ago mankind must have
turned.
DB: Yes.
K: I am just enquiring.
DB: It appears that way.
K: It appears that way – why? You see, as I look at it, mankind
has always tried to become something – the becoming.
DB: Well possibly. You see I think I was struck by something I
read a long time ago about a man going wrong when he began to
be able to plunder and take slaves about five or six thousand years
ago. And then after that his main purpose of existence was to just
exploit and plunder and take slaves.
K: Yes, but the sense of inward becoming.
DB: Well yes, we should make it clear how this is connected.
What kind of becoming was involved in doing that? Instead of
being constructive and discovering new techniques, and metals,
and so on, they found it easier to plunder their neighbours and take
slaves at a certain point.       K: Yes, yes, all that.
DB: Now what did they want to become?
K: That is, conflict has been the root of all this.
DB: What was the conflict? You see if we could put ourselves
in the place of the people a long time ago, how would you see that
conflict?
K: What is the root of conflict, not only outwardly, but also this
tremendous inward conflict of humanity? What is the root of it?
DB: Well, it seems it would be contradictory desires.
K: No. Is it that we are all trying, in all religions it has been that
you must become something? You must reach.
DB: Yes, well what made people want to do that? Why weren’t
they satisfied to be whatever they were? You see the religion
would not have caught on unless people felt that there was some
attraction to becoming something more.
K: Isn’t it an avoidance or rather, not being able to face the fact
and change the fact, but rather move to something else, more and
more and more.
DB: Yes. Well what would you say was the fact that people
couldn’t stay with?
K: What is the fact that people could not stay with? The
Christians said, the original sin.
DB: Yes, well that is already a long time – it happened long
before that.
K: Long before that. I am just saying. Long before that. The
Hindus have this idea of Karma. What is the origin of all this?
DB: Well we have said that there is a fact that people couldn’t
stay with. But whatever it was they wanted to imagine something better.
K: Yes, something better. Becoming more and more and more.
DB: Yes. And you could say that technologically they began to
make techniques to make things better which made sense, and then
they extended this, without knowing it, and said ‘I too must become
better, all of us must’.
K: Yes, inside becoming better.
DB: All of us together must become better.
K: That’s right. What is the root of all this?
DB: Well I should thing it is natural in thought to project this
goal of becoming better, that it is intrinsic in the structure of
thought.
K: Is it becoming better outwardly – the principle of becoming
better outwardly, move to the inside, trying to become better.
DB: Yes, well that’s clear that man didn’t know any reason why
he shouldn’t do that.
K: I know, of course.
DB: He say, if it is good to become better outwardly then why
shouldn’t I become better inwardly.
K: Is that the cause of it?
DB: Well, that is getting towards it. It’s coming nearer.
K: It is coming nearer? Is time the factor? Time as ‘I need
knowledge in order to do – it doesn’t matter, whatever it is – I need
time for that’. The same principle applied inwardly.
DB: It is the same general idea to say that we project something
better outwardly which requires time and therefore the same must
be done inwardly.
K: Is time the factor?       DB: Well time by itself I can’t see is the only factor.
K: No, no. Time, becoming which implies time.
DB: Yes, but one would have to ask a question here: time by
itself – we don’t see how it is going to cause trouble. We have to
say time applied outwardly causes no difficulty.
K: It causes a certain amount, but inwardly the idea of time.
DB: Yes, so we have to see why is time so destructive inwardly.
K: Because I am trying to become something.
DB: Yes but if I could say that most people would say that is
only natural. We have to say what is it about becoming that is
wrong.
K: In that there is conflict.
DB: Yes. O.K. So we see that then.
K: Obviously in that when I am trying to become something it
is a constant battle.
DB: Yes. Can we go into that: why it is a constant battle.
K: Oh, that is fairly simple.
DB: It is not a battle if I try to improve my position outwardly.
K: Outwardly, no.
DB: It is not obvious. Yes, but it would be good to bring it out
very much in the open why it is a battle when we are trying to do
something inwardly.
K: Are we asking why it is that it is more or less all right
outwardly, but inwardly when that same principle is applied it
brings about a contradiction.
DB: Yes. And the contradiction is?
K: Between ‘what is’ and the ‘becoming what should be’.
DB: Yes, but then outwardly it would appear there is a contradiction too because we have a certain situation here and we
try to make it into something else. Now that seems all right.
K: That seems normal.
DB: The difficulty is why is it a contradiction inwardly and not
outwardly, or the other way round?
K: Inwardly it builds up, doesn’t it, a centre, an egotistic centre.
DB: Yes, but if we could find some reason why it should do
that. Does it do it when we do it outwardly? It seems it needn’t do.
K: It needn’t do.
DB: Yes. Now when we are doing it inwardly then we are
trying to force ourselves to be something that we are not. Right?
K: Yes.
DB: And that is a fight. That is clear.
K: That is a fact.
DB: But it seems outwardly it needn’t be a fight. Because matter
will allow itself to be shaped – you know, from what is to what it
should be.
K: Is it one’s brain is so accustomed to conflict that one rejects
any other form of living?
DB: Well that must have come later.
K: I understand that, I understand that.
DB: After a while people come to the conclusion that conflict is
inevitable and necessary?
K: But the origin of conflict, we are going into it. What’s the
origin of conflict?
DB: I think we touched on it by saying we are trying to force
ourselves, on the one hand I think when we are a certain thing that
is what we want to be, and then we also want to be something else, which is different and therefore we want two different things at the
same time. Would that seem right?
K: I understand that. But I am trying to find out the origin of all
this misery, confusion, conflict, struggle – what is the beginning of
it? That’s why I asked at the beginning: has mankind taken a wrong
turn? Is the origin ‘I am not I’?
DB: Well, that might be getting closer. I think that is getting
closer to separation between ‘I am not I’.
K: Yes, that’s it. And the ‘I’ – why has mankind created this ‘I’,
which must inevitably cause conflict? ‘I’ and you, and me better
and so on and so on and so on.
DB: I think that was a mistake made a long time ago, or as you
call it a wrong turn, that again having introduced separation
between various things outwardly we then, not knowing better,
kept on doing. Not out of ill will but simply not knowing better.
K: Quite, quite, quite.
DB: Not seeing what they are doing.
K: Is that the origin of all this?
DB: Well it is close. I am not sure that it is the origin. What do
you feel?
K: I am inclined to observe that the origin is that, the ego, the
‘me’, the ‘I’.
DB: Yes.
K: If there is no ego there is no problem, there is no conflict,
there is no time – time in the sense of becoming, not becoming,
being or not being.
DB: But it might be that we would still slip into whatever it was
that made us make the ego in the first place.       K: Is it – wait a minute, wait a minute – is it energy being so
vast, limitless, has been condensed or narrowed down in the mind,
and the brain itself has become narrowed down because it couldn’t
contain all this enormous energy – you are following what I am
saying?
DB: Yes.
K: And therefore gradually narrowed down to me, to the ‘I’.
DB: I don’t quite follow that. I understand that that is what
happened but I don’t quite see all the steps. If you say energy was
very broad, very big, and the brain you say can’t handle it, or it
decided it couldn’t handle it?
K: It couldn’t handle it.
DB: But if it can’t handle it, it seems as if there is no way out
them?
K: No, no, Just a minute. Wait, wait, wait. Slowly. I just want to
enquire, push into it a little bit.
Why has the brain, with all thought and so on, created this sense
of ‘me’, ‘I’? Why? Outwardly, the family, you follow, outwardly it
had to be that way.
DB: Well we needed a certain sense of identity to function.
K: Yes, to function. To function, to have a trade, function.
DB: To know where you belong.
K: Yes, and so on. And is that the movement that has brought
that in? The movement of the outer, where I had to identify – the
family, the house and so on gradually became the me?
DB: Yes, well I think that this energy that you are talking about
also entered into it.
K: Yes, I want to lead up to it slowly. I have got an idea inside I’ll show you a little later.
DB: Somehow – you see certainly what you say is right that in
some way this gradually strengthened but by itself that wouldn’t
explain the tremendous strength that the ego has. It would only be
a habit then. The ego becoming completely dominant required that
it become the focus of the highest energy, you know, the greatest
energy, of all the energy?
K: Is that it? That the brain cannot hold this vast energy?
DB: Well let’s say the brain is trying to control this, to bring it
to order.
K: Energy has no order.
DB: You see if the brain feels it can’t control something that is
going on inside, it will try to establish order.
K: Sir, could we say that the brain, your brain, his brain, her
brain, is not just born, it is very, very old?
DB: Well, I would have to see what that means anyway. In what
sense?
K: In the sense it has evolved.
DB: Evolved, yes, from the animal.
K: From the animal and so on.
DB: And the animal has evolved and so let’s say that in the
sense that this whole evolution is somehow contained in the brain.
K: I want to question evolution. I understand say, from the
bullock cart to the jet – I understand that, that evolution.
DB: Yes. But before you question we have to consider that
there is evidence of the development of a series of steps, man
developing through a series of stages – you can’t question that, can
you?       K: No, of course not, of course not.
DB: I mean physically it is clear that evolution has occurred in
some way.
K: Physically, yes.
DB: And the brain has got larger.
K: Quite.
DB: More complex. You may question whether mentally
evolution has any meaning. I understand that.
K: You see sir, I want to avoid time.
DB: Right. Go ahead.
K: Psychologically, you understand?
DB: Yes, I understand.
K: To me that is the enemy.
DB: Yes, I understand that very well.
K: You understand that?
DB: Yes.
K: Well that is something! And is that the cause of it?
DB: I don’t know what we mean by cause but it is one point.
K: No, the origin of man’s misery?
DB: Well this use of time certainly. Man had to use time for a
certain purpose and he misused it.
K: I understand that. I mean if I had to learn a language I must
have time.
DB: But the misuse of time by extending it inwardly.
K: Inwardly, that is what I am talking about.
DB: Yes. To the essence.
K: Is that the cause of this – man’s confusion – introducing time
as a means of becoming, and becoming more and more perfect, more and more evolved, more and more loving? You follow what I
mean?
DB: Well, yes I understand. Certainly if we didn’t do that the
whole structure would collapse.
K: Collapse, that’s it.
DB: But whether there is not some other cause still, I don’t
know.
K: Just a minute. I want to go into that a little bit. If I – no, I am
not talking theoretically, personally. To me the idea of tomorrow
doesn’t exist psychologically.
DB: Right.
K: That is, time is a movement either inwardly or outwardly.
Right?
DB: You mean psychological time?
K: Yes psychological time and time outwardly.
DB: Yes. And certain relation between those two.
K: Now if the psychological time doesn’t exist then there is no
conflict, there is no me, there is no ‘I’ which is the origin of
conflict. Do you understand sir what I am trying to get at?
Outwardly we moved, evolved – this microphone and so on.
DB: And also in the inward physical structure.
K: The structure, everything. But psychologically we have also
moved outwardly.
DB: Yes, we have focused our life on the outward. Is that what
you are saying?
K: Yes.
DB: We have turned our attention to the outward.
K: No. I have extended my capacities outwardly.       DB: Yes we have developed outwardly.
K: And inwardly it is the same movement outwardly.
DB: Yes, whatever we do outwardly we do inwardly.
K: Yes. I don’t know whether I am conveying this.
DB: I understand that in order to develop outwardly in a certain
way through time and mechanism we have to adopt that inward
structure.
K: Yes, now if there is no inward movement as time, moving,
becoming more and more, then what takes place? You understand
what I am trying to convey?
DB: Yes. Well then if we say this whole movement of time
ceases – whatever that means – the word ‘ceases’ is wrong because
that is time.
K: Time ends.
DB: Without the movement of time that the energy is…
K: You see the outer movement is the same as the inward
movement.
DB: Yes. Whatever you do outwardly you must do inwardly.
That seems correct.
K: And it is the same movement.
DB: Yes. It is going around and around.
K: Yes, yes, involving time.
DB: Yes.
K: If that movement ceases then what takes place? I wonder if I
am conveying anything. Are we talking nonsense? I don’t think I
am talking nonsense.
Sir, could we put it this way: we have never touched any other
movement than the outer movement.       DB: Yes, well generally anyway. We put most of our energy
into the outward movements.
K: Outward, and psychologically is also outward.
DB: Well it is the reflection of the outward movement.
K: We think it is inward but it is actually outward – right?
DB: Yes.
K: Now if that movement ends, as it must, then is there a really
inward movement – movement not in terms of time?
DB: You want to say: is there another kind of movement?
K: Yes.
DB: It still moves but not in terms of time.
K: That’s right.
DB: We have to go into that. Could you go further.
K: You see that word movement means time.
DB: Well it means to change place from one place to another
really. But anyway still you have some notion which is not static.
By denying time you don’t want to return to something static,
which still is time.
K: You see one’s brain has been trained, accustomed, for
centuries to go North, let’s say for instance. And it suddenly
realizes going North is everlasting conflict. As it realizes it moves
East. In that movement the brain itself is changing. Right?
DB: Well something changes, yes.
K: The quality of the brain changes.
DB: All right. Well I can see it will wake up in some way to a
different movement.
K: Yes, different. A different movement again – you see.
DB: Is the word flow any better?       K: If I am not going North, and I have been going North all my
life, and there is a stoppage from going North, but it is not going
East, or South or West, then conflict ceases. Right? Because it is
not moving in any direction.
DB: All right. So that is the key point – the direction of
movement. When the movement is fixed in direction, inwardly it
will come to conflict. Outwardly we need a fixed direction.
K: Of course we do. That’s understood.
DB: Yes. So if we say it has no fixed direction then what is it
doing? Is it moving in all directions?
K: I am hesitant to talk about this a little bit. Could one say
when one really comes to that state, that is the source of all energy?
DB: Yes, as you go deeper, more inwardly.
K: This is the real inwardness, not the outward movement
becoming the inner movement but when there is no outer and inner
movement.
DB: Yes, we can deny both the outward and the inner, so that it
would seem to stop movement.
K: Would that be the source of all energy?
DB: Yes, well perhaps we could say that.
K: May I talk about myself a little bit?
DB: Yes.
K: It sounds so ridiculous.
DB: No, it doesn’t actually. It seems to make sense so far.
K: First of all conscious meditation is no meditation. Right?
DB: What do you mean by conscious meditation?
K: That is deliberate meditation, practice and deliberate, which
is really premeditated meditation. Right? Is there a meditation which is not premeditated? Which is not the ego trying to become
something, or the ego not trying to negate negatively or positively.
DB: Yes. Now before we go ahead could we suggest somewhat
what meditation should be. Is it an observation of the mind
observing?
K: No, no, no. It has gone beyond all that.
DB: Yes. So…
K: Sorry!
DB: You used the word meditation.
K: I am using meditation in the sense in which there is not a
particle of endeavour, a particle of any sense of trying to become,
consciously reach a level and so on.
DB: The mind is simply with itself, silent.
K: That is what I want to get at.
DB: Not looking for anything.
K: You don’t mind, we two are talking. You see I don’t meditate
in the normal sense of the word. What happens with me is – I am
not talking personally, please: I wake up meditating.
DB: In that state.
K: And one morning, one night in Rishi Valley I woke up – a
series of incidents had taken place, meditation for some days – I
woke up one night, in the middle of the night, it was really a
quarter past twelve, I looked at the watch. And I hesitate to say this
because it sounds extravagant and rather childish: that the source of
all energy had been reached. And that had an extraordinary effect
on the brain, and also physically. Sorry to talk about myself but
you understand. Wait a minute, I don’t mind now I am in it.
And literally any sense of the world and me and that – you follow? – there was no division at all only this sense of tremendous
source of energy. I don’t know if I am conveying it.
DB: So the brain was in contact with this source of energy?
K: Yes. Now, coming down to earth, as I have been talking for
sixty years, I’d like to, not help, I’d like another to reach this – no,
not reach it – you understand what I am saying? Because all our
problems are resolved, political, religious, every problem is
resolved because it is pure energy from the very beginning of time.
Now how am I – not I, you understand – how is one to – not teach,
not help, not push, pressure – how is one to say, ‘This way leads to
a complete sense of peace, love and all that’? I am sorry to use all
these words. Sir, you have it sir, suppose you have come to that
point and your brain itself is throbbing with it, how would you help
me? You understand? Not words, how would you help me to come
to that? You understand what I am trying to say?
DB: Yes.
K: My brain, brain, not mine, the brain has evolved. Evolution
implies time and it can only think, live in time. Now for it to deny
time is a tremendous activity of having no problems. Any problem
that arises, any question is immediately solved. It has no duration,
of a problem.
DB: Well is this sustained? Is this situation sustained or is it for
that period?
K: It is sustained, obviously, otherwise there is no point in it. It
is not sporadic, intermittent and all that. Now how are you to open
the door, shut, however, how are you to help me to say, ‘Look, we
have been going in the wrong direction, there is only another non-
movement, and if that takes place, you follow, everything will be correct.’ It sounds silly all this.
DB: Well yes. I think I can’t know if everything is going to be
correct. It is hard to know beforehand if everything is going to be
correct. But the movement would have value anyway. Certainly it
should make a big difference.
K: Sir, let’s go back to what we began with. That is, has
mankind taken a wrong turn, psychologically, not physically?
DB: Yes, we went into that – the turn in various ways.
K: Can that turn be completely reversed? Or stopped? Say, my
brain is so accustomed to this evolutionary idea that I will become
something, I will gain something, I must have more knowledge and
so on and so on, can that brain realize suddenly there is no such
thing as time? You understand what I am trying to say?
DB: Yes.
K: I was listening the other day to Darwin on the television, his
voyage, and what he achieved and so on and so on, his whole
evolution.
DB: Oh, Darwin, yes.
K: It seems to me that is a wrong thing psychologically. Totally
untrue.
DB: Once again it seems that he has given evidence that these
species have changed in time. Now why is that untrue?
K: Of course it was obvious.
DB: Yes it is true in that regard. I think it would be untrue to
say the mind evolved in time.
K: Of course.
DB: But physically it seems clear there has been a process of
evolution and this has increased the capacity of the brain to do certain things. But for example we couldn’t be discussing this if the
brain had not grown larger.
K: Of course sir, I understand all that.
DB: But I think you are implying that the mind is not
originating in the brain. Is that so? The brain is perhaps an
instrument for it, of the mind?
K: The mind. And the mind is not time.
DB: The mind is not time.
K: Just see what it means. We are getting nearer.
DB: It does not evolve with the brain.
K: Sounds odd, doesn’t it?
DB: It would sound odd to persons not used to it, In the past
people used to accept this idea quite easily.
K: The mind not being of time, and the brain being of time – is
that the origin of conflict?
DB: That may be an important point.
K: You understand sir what that means? The Hindus say the
Atman, the highest Principle is in man, which is the mind. I may be
translating wrongly, interpreting it wrongly. And the brain is of
time. I am putting it, they may not put it that way. So is that the
origin of conflict?
DB: Well we have to see why that produces conflict. It is not
clear to say even that the brain is of time, but rather it has
developed in such a way that time is in it.
K: Yes, that is what I meant.
DB: But not necessarily so.
K: It has evolved.
DB: It has evolved so it has time within it.       K: Yes as it has evolved, time is part of it.
DB: It has become part of its very structure.
K: Yes.
DB: And that was necessary. And now however the mind
operates without time, the brain therefore is not able to.
K: No. You see that means god is in man and god can only
operate if the brain is quiet, if the brain is not caught in time.
DB: Well, I wasn’t meaning that. I was saying that the brain
having a structure of time is not able to respond properly to mind.
That’s really what seems to be involved there.
K: Can the brain itself see that it is caught in time and as long as
it is moving in that direction conflict is eternal, endless? You
follow what I am saying?
DB: Yes. Now does the brain see?
K: Yes, has the brain the capacity to see that what it is doing
now, caught in time, in that process there is no end to conflict.
DB: Yes. Wouldn’t you say the brain is not totally caught in
time it can awaken to another, to see.
K: That means, is there a part of the brain which is not of time.
DB: Not caught in time. Some function.
K: Can one say that?
DB: I don’t know.
K: That means – we come back to the same thing in different
words – that the brain, not being conditioned by time completely,
so there is a part of the brain…
DB: Well not a part but rather the brain functions dominated by
time but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it couldn’t shift. The
general tendency is for time to dominate the brain.       K: Yes. That is, can the brain dominated by time not be
subservient to it?
DB: That’s right. In that moment it comes out of time. And it is
dominated only – I think I can see this – it is dominated only when
you give it time, you see thought which takes time is dominated
but anything fast is not dominated.
K: Yes, that’s right. When the brain which has been used to
time, can it see that in that process there is no end to conflict, can it
see this? See in the sense can it realize it? Will it realize it under
pressure? Certainly not. Will it realize it under coercion and a
reward, punishment or any of that kind? It will not. It will either
resist or escape and all the rest of it. Right? So what is the factor
that will make the brain see the way it has gone is not correct – let’s
use the word for the moment. And what will make it suddenly
realize that it is totally mischievous? You follow what I am saying?
What will make it? Drugs?
DB: Well it’s clear that won’t work.
K: Certainly not drugs. Some kind of chemical?
DB: None of these, these are all outward things.
K: Sir, I want to be clear. These are all outward pressures. Then
what will make the brain realize this?
DB: What do you mean by realize?
K: Realize in the sense, that path which it has been going on
will always be the path of conflict.
DB: Yes, well I think this raises the question that the brain is
resisting such a realization.
K: Of course, of course. Because it is used to that, for centuries.
How will you make the brain realize this fact? You understand sir? If you could do that it is finished.
You see they have tried, you must have talked to many people,
they have tried fasting, no sex, austerity, poverty, chastity in the
real sense, purity, having a mind that is absolutely correct; they
have tried going away by themselves; they have tried everything
practically that man has invented, but none of them have
succeeded.
DB: Well what do you say? It is clear that these are all outward
goals, they are still becoming.
K: Yes, but they never realize it is outward.
DB: Everyone of those is an attempt to break the process of
becoming.
K: Yes, that’s right. So it means denying completely all that.
DB: You see to go further I think one has to deny the very
notion of time in the sense of looking forward to the future, and all
the past.
K: That’s just it sir, that’s just it.
DB: That is the whole of time and always.
K: Time is the enemy. Meet it and go beyond it.
DB: To deny that that is an independent existence. You see I
think we have the impression that time exists independently of us.
We are in the stream of time and therefore it would seem absurd
for us to deny it because that is what we are, you see.
K: Yes, quite, quite. So it means really moving away – again
words – from everything that man has put together as a means of
timelessness.
DB: Yes, well we can say that none of the methods that man
uses outwardly are going to.       K: Absolutely not.
DB: Every method implies time.
K: Of course, of course. It is so simple, clear.
DB: You start out immediately by setting up the whole structure
of time, the entire notion of time is presupposed before you start.
K: Yes, quite.
How will you convey this to me? How will you or ‘X’ to a man
who is caught in time and will resist it, fight it, he says, there is no
other way, and so on, how will you convey this to him?
DB: I think that you can only – I mean even though time is not
the point – unless somebody has looked at this, you know, and gone
into it, you are not likely to convey it at all to somebody you just
pick up off the street.
K: So, then what are we doing? As that cannot be conveyed
through words, then what is a man to do?
DB: I think that both the word and beyond the word, you know,
is part of the communication, conveyance.
K: Would you say sir, to resolve a problem immediately as it
arises – one has to go into that because you can resolve it
immediately, you may do the most foolish thing.
DB: Well you may think you are resolving it.
K: Yes, yes, I am saying that. You may do the most foolish
thing or think you have resolved it.
DB: Because you can get the sense of the immediate from time,
from thought because thought gives the sense of now.
K: Not allow time. Suppose I have a problem, any problem, it
doesn’t matter, a psychological problem: can the mind realize,
resolve it immediately? Not deceive myself, not resist it – you understand, all that. To face it and end it.
DB: Well a psychological problem, that is the only way.
K: I am talking about a psychological problem.
DB: Otherwise we would be caught in the very source of the
problem.
K: Of course, of course, of course. Would that activity end time,
psychological time we are talking about.
DB: If we could bring this immediate action to bear on what
you call the problem, which is the self.
K: Sir, one is greedy, or envious, to end it immediately – greed,
attachment, and so on, there are a dozen things. Sir what I am
trying to convey is: will that not give a clue to the ending of time?
DB: Yes, because any action which is not immediate has
already brought in time.
K: Yes, yes. I know that.
DB: The ending of time is immediate – right?
K: Immediate, of course. Would that point out the wrong turn
that mankind has taken?
DB: Yes, to bring in time and thought to mediate
psychologically.
K: Yes, we are talking psychologically, keep to that.
DB: If man feels something is out of order psychologically then
he then brings in the notion of time and the thought of becoming,
and that creates endless problems.
K: Would that open the door – it’s a phrase – would that open the
door to this sense of, time has no place inwardly? You see, which
means sir, doesn’t it, thought has no place except outwardly.
DB: If you are going to say thought is a process which is involved in time…
K: Of course it is.
DB: Yes, I mean not everybody has used that idea, used it that
way.
K: Wouldn’t you say thought is the process of time? Because
thought is based on experience, knowledge, memory and response,
which is the whole of time.
DB: Yes, but still we have often discussed a kind of thought that
would be a response to intelligence. But thought as we have
generally known it – let’s try to put it that thought as we have
generally known it is in time.
K: Thought as we know it now is of time.
DB: Yes. Well possibly people may have known it a little
differently from time to time. But I would say generally speaking.
K: Generally speaking as of now, thought is time.
DB: Yes, it is based on the notion of time, time is first.
K: Yes, all right. To me itself is time.
DB: Thought itself creates time, right.
K: Does it mean when there is no time there is no thought?
DB: Well, no thought of that kind.
K: No, there is no thought – I want to just go slow, slow.
DB: Because otherwise we may contradict some other things,
you see.
K: I know all that.
DB: Could we say there is a kind of thought which has been
dominated by time – you know – which we have lived in. Right?
K: Yes. It has come to an end.
DB: There may be another kind of thought which is not dominated by time, you know, because you were saying you could
still use thought to do things.
K: Of course sir, that’s so.
DB: We have to be careful not to say that thought is necessarily
dominated by time.
K: No. I have to go from here to there, to my house, that needs
time, thinking, all the rest of it. I am not talking of that kind of
time.
DB: So let’s make it clear that you are thinking of thought
which is aimed at the mind, whose content is the order of the mind.
K: Yes, yes.
DB: And we will say that that thought clearly is time.
K: Yes. Would you say knowledge is time?
DB: Yes, well knowledge…
K: All knowledge is time.
DB: Well in so far as has been known and may project into the
future and so on.
K: Of course, the future, past. Knowledge is time. Through time
it has acquired knowledge – science, mathematics, whatever it is,
philosophy. I read philosophy, I read this or that. So the whole
movement of knowledge is involved in time. Right? See what that
means.
DB: You see, I think again we…
K: Understood that knowledge is how to make a chair…
DB: Well not only that but I think you say that man has taken a
wrong turn and got caught in this kind of knowledge, which is
dominated by time because it is psychological knowledge.
K: Yes. So he lives in time.       DB: He lives in time because he has attempted to produce
knowledge of the nature of the mind. Now you saying that the
mind has no real knowledge of the mind. Would you put it that
way? There is no knowledge of the mind, would you put it that
way?
K: The moment you use the word ‘knowledge’, it implies time.
DB: Yes, you are saying the mind is not of time.
K: No. When you end time, in the sense we are talking about
there is no knowledge as experience.
DB: We have to see what the word ‘experience’ means.
K: Experience, memory, experience.
DB: Well people say, ‘I learn by experience, I go through
something.’
K: Which is becoming.
DB: Well let’s get it clear. You see there is a kind of experience
you get in your job, which becomes skill and perception.
K: Of course, that is quite different sir.
DB: We are saying there is no point in having experience of the
mind, of psychological experience.
K: Yes, let’s put it that way. That is, psychological experience is
in time.
DB: Yes, and it has no point because you cannot say, ‘As I
become skilled in my job, I will become skilled in my mind’.
K: Right.
DB: In a certain way you do become skilled in thinking but not
become skilled fundamentally.
K: Yes. So you understand, sir, where this is leading to?
Suppose I realize knowledge is time, the brain realizes it, and sees the importance of time in a certain direction, and no value of time
at all in another direction, it is not a contradiction. Right?
DB: Yes, well right, O.K. I would put it that the value of time is
limited to a certain direction or area and beyond that it has no
value.
K: Yes. So what is the mind or the brain without knowledge?
You understand?
DB: Without knowledge, psychological knowledge?
K: Yes, I am talking psychologically.
DB: Yes, it is not so much that it is time but without
psychological knowledge to organize itself.
K: Yes.
DB: So we are saying the brain field must organize itself by
knowing psychologically all about itself.
K: Is then the mind, the brain disorder? Certainly not.
DB: No. But I think people might feel, being faced with this,
that there would be disorder.
K: Of course.
DB: You see, I think that what you are saying is the notion of
controlling yourself psychologically has no meaning.
K: So knowledge of the ‘me’ is time.
DB: Yes, well the knowledge…
K: The psychological knowledge.
DB: Yes, I understand that, that knowledge of ‘me’, is the whole
totality of knowledge, is ‘me’, is time.
K: Yes. So then what is existence without this?
DB: Yes.
K: You understand?       DB: Yes. O.K.
K: There is no time, there is no knowledge in the psychological
sense, no sense of ‘me’, then what is there? To come to that point
most people would say, ‘What a horror this is.’
DB: Yes, well it seems there would be nothing.
K: Nothing.
DB: It would be rather dull! It is either frightening or it is all
right.
K: But if one has come to that point what is there? Again it
sounds rather trite and sloganish but it is not. Would you say
because there is nothing it is everything?
DB: Yes, I would accept that. I know that. That is true, it has
all.
K: No, it is nothing, that’s right.
DB: No thing.
K: No thing, that’s right.
DB: So far as a thing is limited and this is not a thing because
there are no limits. I mean at least it has everything in potential.
K: Wait sir. If it is nothing and so everything, so everything is
energy.
DB: Yes. The ground of everything is energy.
K: Of course. Everything is energy. And what is the source of
this thing? Or is there no source at all of energy? There is only
energy.
DB: Energy just is. Energy is ‘what is’. There is no need for a
source. That is one approach.
K: No. If there is nothing and therefore there is everything, and
everything is energy – we must be very careful because here the Hindus have this idea too, which is Brahman is everything. You
understand sir? That becomes an idea, a principle and then carried
out and all that. But the fact of it is, if there is nothing therefore
there is everything and all that is cosmic energy. But what started
this energy?
DB: Is that a meaningful question?
K: No. What began?
DB: But we are not talking of time.
K: I know we are not talking of time but you see the Christians
would say, ‘God is energy and He is the source of all energy.’ No?
DB: Yes.
K: And his son came to help the world, all bla. Now is that…
DB: Well the Christians have an idea of what they call the
Godhead, which is the very source of God too.
K: And also the Hindus have this. I mean the Arabic world and
the Jewish world also have this. Are we going against all that?
DB: It sounds similar in some ways.
K: And yet not similar. We must be awfully careful.
DB: Many things like this have been said over the ages. It is a
familiar notion, yes.
K: Then is one just walking in emptiness? One is living in
emptiness?
DB: Well that is not clear.
K: There is nothing and everything is energy. What is this?
DB: Well this is a form within the energy.
K: So this is not different from energy? This.
DB: The body, yes.
K: But the thing that is inside says, ‘I am different from that’.       DB: You must make that clearer.
K: The ‘I’ says, ‘I am totally different from all this’.
DB: The ‘I’ encloses itself and says, ‘I am different, I am
eternal.’
K: Why has it done this?
DB: Well we went into that because it began, this notion of
separation.
K: Why has the separation arisen, is it because outwardly I
identify with a house and so on and that has moved inwardly?
DB: Yes. And the second point was that once we established a
notion of something inward then it became necessary to protect
that.
K: To protect that and all the rest of it.
DB: And therefore that built up the separation.
K: Of course.
DB: The inward was obviously the most precious thing and it
would have to be protected with all your energy.
K: I understand sir. Does it then mean there is only the
organism living, which is a part of energy? There is no K at all,
except the Passport, the name and form, otherwise nothing. And
therefore everything and therefore all energy. You follow sir?
DB: Yes, the form has no independent existence.
K: No, no. There is only the form, that’s all.
DB: There is also the energy, you say.
K: That is part of energy.
DB: Yes.
K: So there is only this, the outward shape.
DB: There is the outward form in the energy.       K: Do you realize what we have said sir? Is this the end of the
journey?
DB: No, I should think not.
K: Has mankind journeyed through millennia to come to this:
that I am nothing and therefore I am everything and all energy?
DB: Well it can’t be the end in the sense that it might be the
beginning.
K: Wait, wait, that is all I am saying. That is what I wanted you
to begin with. That is the only – the ending then is the beginning.
Right? Now, I want to go into that a little bit. You see the ending
of all this, the ending of time we will call it briefly, is that there is a
new beginning. What is that? Because this seems so utterly futile
for a moment.
DB: What?
K: I am all energy and just the shell exists, and time has ended.
I am just taking that. It seems so…
DB: I understand that if you stop there…
K: That’s all.
DB: I think that really is clearing the ground of all the debris, of
all the confusion.
K: Yes. So the ending is a beginning. What is that? Beginning
implies time also.
DB: Not necessarily. I think that we said there could be a
movement which had no time.
K: That is why I want to make it clear.
DB: Yes but it is hard to express. It is not a question of static, of
being static but in some sense the movement has not the order of
time. I think we would have to say that now.       K: Yes. So we will use the word ‘beginning’ and deprive it of
time.
DB: Yes, because ending and beginning are no special time. In
fact they can be any time or no time.
K: No time.
DB: That’s right, no time.
K: What takes place? What happens? What is then happening?
Not to me, not to my brain. What is happening?
DB: You mean to energy?
K: Sir, we have said when one denies time there is nothing.
After this long talk – nothing means everything. Everything is
energy. And we stopped there. But that isn’t the end. Right?
DB: No.
K: No. That is all. That is not the end. Then what is going on?
Sir, can we carry on tomorrow. I think we had better stop. I want to
go on with it but we had better stop.
DB: O.K.
K: Is that creation?
DB: Yes, something like.
K: Not the art of creating, writing.
DB: Yes, well if we discuss what we mean by creation.
K: We will do it tomorrow.
OJAI 2ND CONVERSATION WITH DAVID
BOHM 2ND APRIL, 1980 `THE ENDING OF
TIME’

K: I hope you had a good rest. In our dialogue between yourself
and myself we were saying time is conflict.
DB: Yes, psychological time.
K: Time is the enemy of man. And that enemy has existed from
the beginning of man. And we said why has man from the
beginning taken a wrong turn, a wrong path – in quotes. And if so
is it possible to turn man in another direction in which he can live
without conflict? Because, as we said yesterday, the outer
movement is also the same as the inner movement, there is no
inner or outer. It is the same movement carried on inwardly. And if
we were concerned deeply and passionately, to turn man in another
direction so that he doesn’t live in time, but has a knowledge of the
outer things. And the religions have failed; the politicians, the
educators, they have never been concerned about this. Would you
agree to that?
DB: Yes, I think the religions have tried to discuss the eternal
values beyond time but they don’t seem to have succeeded.
K: That is what I wanted to get at. To them it was an idea, an
ideal, a principle, a value, but not an actuality.
DB: Yes, well some of them claim that to some of them it may
have been an actuality.
K: But you see most of the religious people have their anchor in
a belief.
DB: Yes.       K: An anchor in a principle, in an image, in knowledge, in Jesus
or in something or other.
DB: Yes, but if you were to consider all the religions, say the
various forms of Buddhism, they try to say this very thing which
you are saying, to some extent.
K: To some extent, but what I am trying to get at is: why has
man never confronted this problem? Why hasn’t he, all of us, why
haven’t we said, let’s end conflict? Or rather we have been
encouraged because through conflict we think there is progress.
DB: Yes, to overcome opposition.
K: Yes,
DB: It can be a certain source of stimulus to try to overcome
opposition.
K: Yes sir. And if you and I saw the truth of this, not in
abstraction but actually deeply, can we act in such a way that every
issue is resolved instantly, immediately, so that time is abolished?
DB: Psychological time.
K: We are talking about psychological time. And as we said
yesterday, when you come to that point when there is nothing and
there is everything, and all that is energy, and when time ends, is
there a beginning of something totally new? That’s where we came
up to yesterday.
DB: And if there isn’t then the whole thing falls flat. I mean it
only drives you back into the world.
K: Is there a beginning which is not enmeshed in time? Now
how shall we discover it? Words are necessary to communicate.
But the word is not that thing. So what is there when all time ends?
Psychological time, not the time of…       DB:… time of day.
K: Yes. Time is the ‘me’, the ‘I’, the ego, and when that
completely comes to an end what is there that begins – could we
say that, out of the ashes of time, there is a new growth? What is
that? We came to that point yesterday. What is that which begins –
no, that word ‘begins’ implies time too.
DB: Whatever we mean, that which arises.
K: That arises, what is it?
DB: Well we were discussing yesterday that essentially it is
creation, the possibility of creation.
K: Yes, we said creation. Is that it? That is, is something new
being born each – not time, you see – something new is taking
place.
DB: It is not the process of becoming, you see.
K: Oh no, that is finished. Becoming is the worst, that is time,
that is the real root of this conflict. We are trying to find out what
happens when the ‘I’, which is time, has completely come to an
end. I believe the Buddha is supposed to have said, Nirvana.
DB: Nirvana?
K: Nirvana. And the Hindus call it Moksha. I don’t know, the
Christians may call it Heaven or whatever it is.
DB: The Christian mystics have had some similar…
K: Similar yes. But you see the Christian mystics as far as I
understand it, they are rooted in Jesus, in the Church, in the whole
belief. They have never gone beyond it.
DB: Yes, well that seems so. As far as I know anyway.
K: Say, like a man like Teilhard de Chardin, he was great, you
know all the rest of it, he was a deep believer. Now we have said belief, attachment to all that is out, finished. That is all part of the
‘I’. Now when there is that absolute cleansing of the mind of the
accumulation of time, which is the essence of the ‘me’, what takes
place? Why should we ask what takes place?
DB: You mean it is not a good question?
K: I am just asking myself. Why should we ask that? Is there
behind it a subtle form of hope? A subtle form of saying, what, I
have reached that point, there is nothing. That’s a wrong question.
Wouldn’t you consider that.
DB: Well it invites you to search out – it invites you to look for
some hopeful outcome.
K: If all endeavour is to find something beyond the ‘me’, that
endeavour and the thing that I may find is still within the orbit of
‘me’ – right?
DB: Yes.
K: So I have no hope. There is no sense of hope, there is no
sense of wanting to find anything.
DB: What then is moving you to enquire?
K: My enquiry has been to end conflict.
DB: Yes, we have to then be careful. You are liable to produce
a hope of ending conflict. We are liable to fall into the hope of
ending conflict.
K: No, no there is no hope. I end it.
DB: There is no hope.
K: The moment I introduce the word ‘hope’ there is a feeling of
the future.
DB: Yes, that is desire.
K: Desire, and therefore it is of time. So I – the mind puts all that aside completely, I mean it, completely. Then what is the
essence of all this? Do you understand my question? What is the –
no, I have put the wrong question, sorry. Is my mind still seeking,
or groping after something intangible that it can capture and hold?
And if that is so, it is still part of time.
DB: Well that is still desire.
K: Desire and a subtle form of vanity.
DB: Why vanity?
K: Vanity in the sense ‘I have reached’.
DB: Self deception.
K: Deception, and all forms of illusion arise from that. So it is
not that. I am cleaning the decks as we go along.
DB: Essentially it seems that you are cleaning the movement of
desire in its subtle forms.
K: In its subtle forms. So that too has been put away. Then as
we said the other day, in another discussion, there is only mind.
Right?
DB: Yes, we left the question somewhat unsettled because we
had to ask what is meant by nature, if there is only mind, because
nature seems somewhat independent.
K: But we also said all the universe is the mind.
DB: You mean to say nature is the mind.
K: Part of mind.
DB: The universal mind.
K: Universal mind.
DB: Not a particular mind.
K: The particular mind then is separate but we are talking of
Mind.       DB: You see we have to make it clear because you are saying
that nature is the creation of universal mind which nevertheless
nature has a certain reality.
K: That is all understood.
DB: But it is almost as if nature was the thought of the universal
mind.
K: It is part of it. Sir I am trying to grope after – if the particular
mind has come to an end, then there is only the Mind, the universal
mind. Right?
DB: Right. Yes, well if it has – we have been discussing the
particular mind groping through desire and we said if all of that has
stopped…
K: That is just my point. If all that has completely come to an
end, what is the next step? Is there any next? We said yesterday,
there is a beginning, and that word also implies part of time.
DB: We won’t say, so much beginning, perhaps ending.
K: The ending, we have said that.
DB: Ending, right. But now is there something new?
K: Is there something which the mind cannot capture?
DB: Which mind, the particular or the universal?
K: The particular has ended.
DB: Yes. You are saying the universal mind cannot capture it
either?
K: That is what I am finding out.
DB: Are you saying there is a reality beyond universal mind?
Or something?
K: Sir, are we playing a game of peeling off one thing after
another? Like an onion skin and at the end there is only tears and nothing else?
DB: Well, I don’t know.
K: Because we said there is the ending, then the cosmic, the
universal mind, and behind is there something more?
DB: Well would you say this ‘more’ is energy?
K: We said that.
DB: But you mean the energy is beyond the universal mind?
K: I would say yes because the universal mind is part of that
energy.
DB: I understand that. That is understandable.
K: That is understandable. At last!
DB: Well in a way the energy is alive, you are saying?
K: Yes, yes.
DB: And also intelligent?
K: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
DB: In so far as it is mind.
K: Now if that energy is intelligent, why has it allowed man to
move away in the wrong direction?
DB: I think that that may be part of a process, something that
was inevitable in the nature of thought. You see if thought is going
to develop that possibility must exist.
K: Oh.
DB: To bring about thought in man…
K: Is that the original freedom for man?
DB: What?
K: To choose?
DB: No, that is, thought has to have the capacity to make this
mistake.       K: But if that intelligence was operating, why did it allow this
mistake?
DB: Well you can suggest anyway that there is a universal
order, a law.
K: All right sir. The universe function in order.
DB: Yes, and this is part of the order of the universe that this
particular mechanism can go wrong. If a machine breaks down it is
not disorder in the universe, it is merely part of universal order.
K: Yes. In the universal order there is disorder, where man is
concerned.
DB: It is not disorder at the level of the universe.
K: No, no. At a much lower level.
DB: At the level of man it is disorder.
K: Disorder. And why has he lived from the beginning of man,
why has he lived in this disorder?
DB: Because he is still ignorant, he still hasn’t seen the point.
K: But if he is part of the whole and in one tiny corner man
exists and has lived in disorder. And this enormous conscious
intelligence – not conscious, this enormous intelligence has not…
DB: Yes, well you could say that the possibility of creation is
also the possibility of disorder. That if man had the possibility of
being creative and there would also be the possibility of a mistake
or something. It could not be fixed like a machine, to always
operate in perfect order.
K: No, no.
DB: I mean the intelligence would not have turned him into a
machine.
K: No, of course not.       DB: That would be incapable of disorder.
K: So is there something beyond the cosmic order, mind?
DB: Are you saying that the universe, that that mind has created
nature which has an order that is not merely just going around
mechanically? It has some deeper meaning.
K: That is what we are trying to find out.
DB: You are bringing in the whole universe as well as mankind.
Well what makes you do this? What is the source of this
perception?
K: The source of what?
DB: Of what you said.
K: What?
DB: About the universe and about the mind.
K: We said just now – let’s begin again: there is the ending of
the ‘me’ as time, and so there is no hope, all that is gone, finished,
ended. In the ending of it there is that sense of nothingness, which
is so. And nothingness is this whole universe,
DB: Yes, the universal mind, the universe of matter.
K: Yes, the whole universe.
DB: I am just asking: what lead you to say that?
K: Ah! I know. To put it very simply: division has come to an
end. Right? The division created by time, created by thought,
created by this education and so on and so on, all that, because it
has ended, it is obvious, the other.
DB: You mean without the division then the other is there to be
perceived.
K: Not to be perceived, it is there.
DB: But then how do you come to be aware that it is there?       K: Quite. How do you come to be aware that – I don’t think you
become aware of it.
DB: Then what leads you to say it?
K: Would you say it is, not, I perceive it, or, it is perceived.
DB: No. It is.
K: It is.
DB: You could almost say that it is saying it. In some sense you
seem to be suggesting that it is what is saying.
K: Yes.
DB: Right?
K: Yes. I didn’t want to put it – I am glad you put it like that!
DB: I mean it is implied in what you are saying.
K: Where are we now?
DB: Well we say that the universe is alive, as it were, it is mind
and we are part of it.
K: We can only say we are part of it when there is no ‘I’.
DB: No division.
K: No division.
I would like to push it a little further, which is: is there
something beyond all this?
DB: Beyond the energy, you mean?
K: Yes. We said nothingness and everything, that nothingness is
everything and so it is that which is total energy. It is undiluted
pure uncorrupted energy – right. Is there something beyond that?
Why do we ask it?
DB: I don’t know.
K: I feel we haven’t touched – I feel there is something beyond.
DB: Could we say this something beyond is, as it were, the ground of the whole. You are saying that this all emerges from an
inward ground?
K: Yes, there is another – I must be awfully careful here. Sir,
you know one must be awfully careful not to be romantic, not to
have illusions, not to have desire, not even to grope. It must
happen. You follow what I mean?
DB: We are saying the thing must come from that. Whatever
you are saying must come from that.
K: From that. That’s it. It sounds rather presumptions.
DB: Without your actually seeing it – it is not that you look at it
and say that is what I have seen.
K: Oh no. Then it is wrong.
DB: There isn’t a division or anything. Of course it is easy to
fall into delusion into this sort of thing.
K: Of course. But we said delusion exists as long as there is
desire and thought. That is simple. And desire and thought is part
of the ‘I’, which is time and all that. When that is completely ended
then there is absolutely nothing and therefore that is the universe,
that emptiness which is full of energy. We can put a stop there for
the time.
DB: Yes, because we haven’t yet seen the necessity for going
beyond the energy, you see.
K: Yes.
DB: We have to see that as necessary.
K: I think it is necessary.
DB: Yes but it has to be seen. We have to bring that out, why is
it necessary?
K: Why is it necessary? Tentatively: there is something in us that is operating, there is something in us much more – I don’t know
how to put it – much greater. Let me, sir. I am going slowly,
slowly. What I am trying to say is: wait a minute. I think there is
something, sir, beyond that. When I say ‘I think’, you know what I
mean.
DB: I understand, yes.
K: There is something beyond that. How can we talk about it?
You see energy exists only when there is emptiness – right?
DB: Yes. Well.
K: Together they go.
DB: This pure energy is emptiness. This pure energy you talk
about is emptiness.
K: Emptiness.
DB: Not filled with something.
K: No. Now beyond that emptiness, not in terms of beyond.
Beyond means more, further, time.
DB: Yes. Inwardly.
K: I don’t know how to put it that way.
DB: But are you trying to suggest that there is that which is
beyond the emptiness, the ground of the emptiness?
K: Yes.
DB: Would that be something in the nature of a substance? You
see the question is if it is not emptiness then what is it?
K: I don’t quite follow your question.
DB: Well you say something beyond emptiness, you know,
other than emptiness.
K: I said there is emptiness which is energy.
DB: And beyond that.       K: Now, wait a minute. Are you all hanging on my words?
What do you say sir?
DB: I think we can follow to the energy and the emptiness. Now
if we suggest something other to that, to the emptiness…
K: Oh yes, there is something other.
DB: Yes, then that other must be different from the emptiness.
K: Yes sir. I have got it.
DB: Non-emptiness. Is that right?
K: What did you say just now?
DB: I said something other to emptiness, which therefore is not
emptiness, does that make sense?
K: Then it is substance.
DB: Yes that is what seemed to be implied: if it is not emptiness
it is substance.
K: Substance is matter, is it?
DB: Not necessarily but having quality of substance.
K: What do you mean by that?
DB: Well, you see matter is a form of substance in the sense
that it is…
K: Matter is energy.
DB: It is energy but having the form of substance as well
because it has a constant form and it resists change, it is stable, it
maintains itself.
K: Yes. But when you use the word ‘substance’, beyond
emptiness, does that word have a meaning then?
DB: Well we are exploring the possible meaning of what you
want to say. If you are saying it is not emptiness then it would not
be substance as we know it in matter but we can see a certain quality which belongs to substance in general, if it has that quality
we could use the word substance, extend the meaning of the word
substance.
K: I understand. So could we use the word ‘quality’?
DB: Well the word ‘quality’ is not necessarily the emptiness,
energy could have the quality of emptiness, you see.
K: Yes I see.
DB: And therefore something other might have the quality of
substance. That is the way I see it. And is that what you are trying
to say?
K: Sir, there is something beyond emptiness. How shall we
tackle it?
DB: Firstly, what leads you to say it? What leads you to say
this?
K: Simply the fact that there is. We have been fairly logical all
along, reasonable and fairly sane. So we have not been caught in
any illusions so far. Right? And can we keep that same kind of
watchfulness in which there is no illusion to find out – not find out
– for that which is beyond emptiness to come down to earth? Come
down to earth in the sense to be communicated. You follow what I
mean?
DB: Yes. Well we could come back to the question before: why
hasn’t it come down?
K: Why hasn’t it come down? Has man been ever free from the
‘I’?
DB: No, well not generally speaking, no.
K: No. And it demands that the ‘I’ end.
DB: I think we could look at it this way: that the ego becomes an illusion of that substance. You feel the ego is a substance too in
some way.
K: Yes, the ego is substance, quite right.
DB: And therefore that substance seems to be…
K:… untouchable.
DB: But that ego is an illusion of true substance. You see the
mind tries to create some illusion of that substance.
K: That is an illusion, why do you relate it to the other?
DB: In the sense that if the mind thinks it already has this
substance then it will not be open to it.
K: Of course, of course.
Can that thing ever be put into words? I am not saying I am
avoiding it – you follow? It is not a question of avoiding or trying
to slither out of some conclusion. But you see so far we have put
everything into words.
DB: Yes, well I think that once something can be perceived it
can generally be put into words. If anything can be properly
perceived then after a while the words come to communicate it.
K: Yes, but can that be perceived and therefore communicable?
DB: This thing beyond, would you say also it is alive?
K: Eh?
DB: Is life beyond emptiness, is that still life?
K: Is that still alive?
DB: Living.
K: Living, yes. Oh yes.
DB: And intelligent?
K: I don’t want to use those words.
DB: That is too limited?       K: Living, intelligence, love, compassion, it is all too limited.
Sir, you and I are sitting here, we have come to a point and
there is that thing which perhaps later on might be put into words,
without any sense of pressure or intimation, without any sense of
verbal communication, and so without any illusion, don’t you see
beyond the wall? You know what I mean? We have come up to a
certain point and we are saying there is something still more – you
understand? There is something behind all that. Is it palpable, you
can touch it, is it something that the mind can capture? You
follow?
DB: Yes. Are you saying it is not?
K: I don’t think it is possible for the mind to capture it – capture,
you understand?
DB: Yes, or grasp it.
K: Grasp it, understand, for the mind to look at it even. Sir, you
are a scientist, you have examined the atom and so on and so on,
don’t you, when you have examined all that, don’t you feel there is
something much more beyond all that?
DB: You can always feel there is more beyond that but it
doesn’t tell you what it is.
K: No, no, but you know there is something much more.
DB: It is clear that whatever you know it is limited.
K: Yes.
DB: And there must be more beyond.
K: How can that communicate with you so that you, with your
scientific knowledge, with your brain capacity and so on and so on,
how can you grasp it?
DB: Now are you saying it can’t be grasped?       K: No, no. Can you grasp it? I don’t say you can’t grasp it – can
you grasp it?
DB: Look, it is not clear. You were saying before that it is
ungraspable by…
K: Grasp in the sense, can your mind, highly trained, capable of
perception, you know, beyond theories and so on – what am I
trying to tell you? I am trying to say: can you move into it? Not
move – you understand, move means time and all that. Can you –
what am I trying to say? Can you enter it? No, those are all words.
Sir, what is beyond emptiness? Is it silence?
DB: Isn’t that similar to emptiness?
K: Yes, that is what I am getting at, move step by step. Is it
silence? Or is silence part of emptiness?
DB: Yes, I should say that.
K: I should say that too. If it is not silence – just a minute sir, I
am just asking: could we say it is something absolute? You
understand?
DB: Well we could consider the absolute. It would have to be
something totally independent, that is what it really means,
absolute. It doesn’t depend on anything.
K: Yes, sir. I am glad. You are getting somewhere near it.
DB: Entirely self moving, as it were, self active.
K: Yes. Would you say everything has a cause and that has no
cause at all?
DB: You see this notion is already an old one. This notion has
been developed by Aristotle, that this absolute is the cause of itself.
K: Yes.
DB: It has no cause in a sense. That is the same thing.       K: You see the moment you said Aristotle, it is not that. How
shall we get at this? Emptiness is energy and that emptiness exists
in silence or the other way round, it doesn’t matter – right?
DB: Right.
K: Oh yes, there is something beyond all this. Probably it can
never be put into words.
DB: As far as we can tell anyway.
K: But it must be put into words.
DB: Yes.
K: You follow?
DB: You are saying the absolute must be put into words, and
yet we feel it can’t be. Any attempt to put it into words makes it
relative.
K: Yes. I don’t know how to put all this.
DB: I think we have a long history of danger with the absolute.
People have put it in words and it has become very oppressive.
K: Leave all that. You see being ignorant of what other people
have said – you follow? – Aristotle and the Buddha and so on – it
has an advantage. You understand what I mean? It is an advantage
in the sense that the mind is not coloured by other people’s ideas, it
is not caught in other people’s statements. And that is part of our
conditioning and so on, all that. Now to go beyond all that. What
are we trying to do, sir?
DB: Well I think to communicate regarding this absolute, this
beyond.
K: I took away that word immediately.
DB: Then whatever it is, what is beyond emptiness and silence.
K: Beyond all that. There is beyond all that.       DB: The difficulty is…
K: All that is something, part of an immensity.
DB: Yes, well even the emptiness and silence is an immensity,
isn’t it? The energy is itself an immensity.
K: Yes, I understand that. But there is something much more
immense than that. Sir, emptiness and silence and energy is
immense, it is really immeasurable. But there is something – I am
using the word ‘greater’ than that. I can’t put it, I don’t know. Why
do you accept all this?
DB: Well I am just considering. I am looking at it, I mean, but
one can see that whatever you say about emptiness, or about any
other thing, that there is something beyond.
K: No, as a scientist, why do you accept – not accept, forgive
me for using that word – why do you even move with the other
chap?
DB: Yes, well because we have come this far step by step,
seeing the necessity of each step.
K: You see all that is very logical, reasonable, sane.
DB: And also, one can see that it is so, right.
K: Yes. So if I say there is something greater than all this,
silence, energy, would you accept that? Accept in the sense that up
to now we have been logical.
DB: We will say that anything you say, there is certainly
something beyond it. Whatever you say – carry whatever you say to
silence, energy, whatever, then there is always room logically for
something beyond that.
K: Beyond that, yes.
DB: That is not the final.       K: That is not the end.
DB: But even if you were to say there is something – the point is
this: that even if you were to say there is something beyond that,
but still you logically leave room for going again beyond that.
K: No, no, no.
DB: Well that is the question.
K: That is the point.
DB: Well why is that? You see whatever you say there is
always room for something beyond.
K: Of course, of course. There is nothing beyond.
DB: Yes, well that point is not clear you see because…
K: There is nothing beyond it. I stick to that. Not dogmatically
or obstinately. I feel that is the beginning and the ending of
everything. Sir, just in ordinary parlance, in ordinary
communication, the ending and the beginning are the same. Right?
DB: In which sense?
K: Yes sir, I see something in this.
DB: You mean in the sense that you are using the beginning of
everything as the ending of everything.
K: Yes. Right? You would say that?
DB: Yes, if we take the ground from which it comes it must be
the ground to which it falls.
K: That’s right. That is the ground.
DB: All right.
K: Upon which…
DB: Well that is a figure of speech.
K:… upon which everything exists, space…
DB:… energy…       K:… energy, emptiness, silence, all that is on that – not ground,
you understand?
DB: No, it is just a metaphor.
K: There is nothing beyond it.
DB: This ground has no cause.
K: No cause, of course. If you have a cause then you have
ground.
DB: You have another ground.
K: No, no, that is the beginning and the ending.
DB: It is becoming more clear.
K: That’s right. Does that convey anything to you?
DB: Yes, well I think that that conveys something.
K: Something. Would you say further: there is no beginning and
no ending?
DB: Yes. It comes from the ground, goes to the ground, but it
does not begin or end, right.
K: Yes, there is no beginning and no ending. Right?
DB: Yes.
K: The implications are enormous. Is that sir, death – not death
in the sense, I will die – is that complete ending of everything?
DB: Yes, well you see at first you would have said that the
emptiness is the ending of everything, so in what sense is this more
now?
K: I am trying to get at thing.
DB: We began with emptiness is the ending of things, isn’t it?
K: Yes, yes. Is that death?
DB: What?
K: This emptiness?       DB: Well that…
K: Death of everything the mind has cultivated.
DB: Right, then in what sense is it not then? Why is it not?
K: That emptiness is not the product of the mind, of the
particular mind.
DB: Yes, it is the universal mind.
K: That emptiness is that.
DB: Yes.
K: That emptiness can only exist when there is death of the
particular.
DB: Yes, the particular goes.
K: When there is total death of the particular.
DB: Yes.
K: I don’t know if I am conveying this.
DB: Yes that is the emptiness, but then you are saying that in
this ground that death goes further?
K: Oh yes, oh yes.
DB: So you are saying the ending of the particular, the death of
the particular is the emptiness, which is universal. Now are you
going to say that the universal also dies?
K: Yes sir, that is what I am trying to say.
DB: Into the ground.
K: Does it convey anything?
DB: Possibly, yes.
K: Just hold it a minute. Let’s see it. I think it conveys
something sir, doesn’t it?
DB: Yes, of course it is hard to…
K: Yes.       DB: Now if the particular and the universal die then that is
death, yes?
K: Yes sir. After all, I don’t know, I am not an astrologer – not
astrologer – an astronomer, everything in the universe is dying,
exploding, dying.
DB: Yes, but of course you could suppose that there was
something beyond, you know.
K: Yes, that is just it.
DB: I think we are moving. The universal and the particular –
first the particular dies into the emptiness and then comes the
universal.
K: And that dies too.
DB: Into the ground, right?
K: Yes, sir.
DB: So you could say the ground is neither born not dies.
K: That’s right.
DB: Well I think it becomes almost inexpressible if you say the
universal is gone because expression is the universal.
K: You see, I am just explaining: everything is dying, except
that. Does this convey anything?
DB: Yes. Well it is out of that that everything arises and into
which it dies.
K: So that has no beginning and no ending.
DB: Yes. Well what would it mean to talk of the ending of the
universal? What would it mean to have the ending of the universal
you see?
K: Nothing. Why should it have a meaning if it is happening?
What has that to do with man? You follow what I mean?       DB: Yes.
K: Man who is going through a terrible time and all the rest of
it, what has that got to do with man?
DB: Well let’s call it that man feels he must have some contact
with the ultimate ground in his life otherwise there is no meaning.
K: But it hasn’t. That ground hasn’t any relationship with man.
DB: Apparently not.
K: No. He is killing himself, he is doing everything contrary to
the ground.
DB: Yes, that is why life has no meaning for man.
K: So I am asking, I am an ordinary man: I say all right you
have talked marvellously, it sounds excellent, what has that got to
do with me? How will that or your talk help me to get over my
ugliness? My wife quarrels with me – or whatever it is. And after
your excellent talk…
DB: Well I think I would go back and say we went into this
logically starting from the suffering of mankind, showing it
originates in a wrong turning and that leads inevitably…
K: Yes but help me, he says, to get to the right turn. Put me on
the right path. And to that you say, please don’t become anything.
You see, sir?
DB: Right. What is the problem then?
K: He won’t even listen to you.
DB: Yes, well now it seems to me that it is necessary for the
one who sees this to find out what is the barrier to listening.
K: Obviously you can see what is the barrier.
DB: What is the barrier?
K: ‘I’.       DB: Yes but I meant more deeply so that…
K: More deeply, all your thoughts, you know, deep attachments
and all that is in your way. If you can’t leave that then you will
have no relationship with that. But he doesn’t want to leave all that.
DB: Yes, I understand that. But what he wants is the result of
the way he is thinking.
K: What he wants is some comfortable, easy way of living
without any trouble, and he can’t have that.
DB: No. Well only by dropping all this.
K: There must be a connection otherwise…
DB: A connection.
K: There must be some relationship with the ground and this,
with ordinary man otherwise what is the meaning of living?
DB: Yes, well that is what I was trying to say before that
without that…
K:… there is no meaning.
DB: And then people invent meaning.
K: Of course. Billy Graham does it everyday.
DB: Well even going back, the ancient religions have said
similar things that god is the ground and they say seek god, you
know.
K: Ah no, this isn’t god.
DB: Yes, it is not god but it is playing the same – you could say
that god is an attempt to put this notion a bit too personally
perhaps.
K: Yes. Give them hope, give them faith, you follow? Make life
a little more comfortable to live.
DB: Well are you asking first, at this point: how is this to be conveyed to the ordinary man? Is that your question?
K: Yes more or less. And also it is important that he should
listen to this.
DB: Yes, I meant exactly that.
K: You are a scientist. You are good enough to listen because
we are friends. But who will listen among your friends? They will
say, what the hell are you talking about? I feel, sir, if one pursues
this we will have a marvellously ordered world.
DB: Yes. And what will we do in this world?
K: Live.
DB: Yes but I mean we said something about creativity.
K: Yes. And then if you had no conflict, no ‘I’, there is
something else operating.
DB: Yes, it is important to say that because the Christian idea of
having a perfection may seem rather boring because there is
nothing to do.
K: That reminds me of a good joke! You are waiting for the
joke? A man dies and goes to St Peter and St Peter says, ‘You have
lived a fairly good life, you have not cheated too much, but before
you enter into this heaven I must tell you one thing: here we are all
bored. We are all awfully serious, god never laughs. And every
angel is moody, oppressed and unless you want to enter this world,
hesitate.’ But he says, ‘Before you come in perhaps you would like
to go down below and see what it is like. And then come and tell
me. It’s up to you.’ So St Peter says, ‘Ring that bell, the lift will
come up. You get into it and go down.’ So the chap rings the bell
and goes down and the gates open. And he is met by the most
beautiful girls etc., etc., etc. And he said, ‘By Jove, this is the life. May I go up and tell Peter?’ And so he rings the bell and gets into
the lift and goes up and says, ‘Sir it was very good of you to offer
me the choice. I prefer down below.’ And Peter says. ‘I thought so!’
So he rings the bell and goes down, opens the gate, two people
meet him and beat him up. Push him all around and so on. He said,
‘Just a minute, a minute ago I came here, you treated me like a
king.’ ‘Ah, you were a tourist then!’ (Laughter) Sorry. From the
sublime to the ridiculous, which is good too.
Sir we must continue this some other time, because it is
something that has got to be put into orbit.
DB: It seems impossible.
K: We have gone pretty far.
OJAI 3RD CONVERSATION WITH DAVID
BOHM 8TH APRIL, 1980 `THE ENDING OF
TIME’

Krishnamurti: What shall we talk about?
Dr Bohm: Did you have something?
K: I haven’t thought about it.
B: One point relating to what we said before on the other days: I
was reading somewhere that a leading physicist said that the more
we understand the universe the more pointless it seems, the less
meaning it has.
K: Yes, yes.
B: And it occurred to me that in science maybe an attempt to
make the material universe the ground of our existence, and then it
may have meaning physically but it does not have meaning…
K:… any other meaning, quite.
B: And the question that we might discuss is this ground which
we were talking about the other day. Is it any different to mankind,
as the physical universe appears to be?
K: A good question. Let’s get the question clear. I have
understood it but explain it a little bit more.
B: Well if we go into the background that we were discussing at
lunch. Not only physicists but geneticists, biologists, have tried to
reduce everything to the behaviour of matter – atoms, genes, you
know, DNA. And the more they study it then the more they feel it
has no meaning, it is just going on. Though it has meaning
physically in the sense that we can understand it scientifically, it
has no deeper meaning than that.       K: I understand that.
B: And that, of course, perhaps that notion has penetrated
because in the past people felt the religious people were more
religious and felt that the ground of our existence is in something
beyond matter – in god, or whatever they wished to call it. And that
gave them a sense of deep meaning to the whole of our existence,
which meanwhile has gone away. That is one of the difficulties of
modern life, the sense that it doesn’t mean anything.
K: So have the religious people invented something which has a
meaning?
B: They may well have done so. You see, feeling that life has
no meaning, they may have invented something beyond the
ordinary.
K: Yes.
B: Something which is eternal…
K:… timeless, nameless.
B:… and independent, absolute.
K: Seeing the way we live genetically and all the rest of it, has
no meaning, and so some clever erudite people said, ‘We will give
it a meaning’.
B: Well I think it happened before that. In the past people
somehow gave meaning to life long before science had been very
much developed in the form of religion. And science came along
and began to deny this religion.
K: Quite. I understand that.
B: And people no longer believe in the religious meaning.
Perhaps they never were able to believe in it entirely anyway.
K: So, how does one find out if life has a meaning beyond this? How does one find out? They have tried meditation: they have
tried every form of self torture, isolation, becoming a monk, a
sannyasi and so on and so on. But they may also be deceiving
themselves thoroughly.
B: Yes. And that is in fact why the scientists have denied it all
because the story told by the religious people is not plausible, you
see.
K: Quite, quite. So how does one find out if there is something
more than the mere physical? How would one set about it?
B: Yes, well what I was thinking was that we had been
discussing the past two days the notion of some ground which is
beyond, matter beyond the emptiness.
K: Yes, but suppose you say it is so and I say that is another
illusion.
B: Yes but the first point is, perhaps we could clear this up:
would this ground possibly – you see if this ground is indifferent to
human beings then it would be the same as scientists’ ground in
matter.
K: Yes. What is the question? Is the ground different…
B: Indifferent.
K: Indifferent.
B: Indifferent to mankind, then you see the universe appears to
be totally indifferent to mankind. It goes in immense vastness, it
pays no attention, it may produce earthquakes and catastrophes, it
might wipe us out, it essentially is not interested in mankind.
K: I see what you mean, yes.
B: It does not care whether man survives or does not survive – if
you want to put it that way.       K: Right. I get the question.
B: Now I think that people felt that god was a ground who was
not indifferent to mankind. You see they may have invented it but
that is what they believed. And that is what gave them possibly…
K:… tremendous energy, quite.
B: Now I think the point would be: would this ground be
indifferent to mankind?
K: Quite. How would you find out? What is the relationship of
this ground to man? What is its relationship with man and man’s
relationship to it?
B: Yes, that is the question. Does man have some significance
to it? And does it have significance to man?
K: By Jove, quite, quite.
B: If I may add one more point: that I was discussing once with
somebody who was familiar with the Middle Eastern traditions of
mysticism and he said that in their they not only say that what we
call this ground, this infinite, you know, has some significance.
Remember they feel that what man does has ultimately some
significance.
K: Quite, quite. Join us somebody!
Suppose one says it has, otherwise life has no meaning, nothing
has any meaning, how would one, not prove, how would one find
out? Suppose you say this ground exists, as the other day I said it.
Suppose somebody, you say it, and then the next question is: what
relationship has that to man? And man’s relationship to it, how
would you find out? How would one discover, or find out, or touch
it, if the ground exists at all? If it doesn’t exist then really man has
no meaning at all. I mean I die and you die and we all die and what is the point of being virtuous, what is the point of being happy or
unhappy, just carry on. How would you show the ground exists? In
scientific terms as well as the feeling of it, the non verbal
communication of it?
B: Yes, well you say scientific you mean rational?
K: Rational.
B: So something that we can actually touch.
K: Yes. Not touch, sense – better than touch, sense.
Scientifically, we mean by that, rational, logical, sane, many can
come to it.
B: Yes, it is public.
K: Yes. And it isn’t just one man’s assertion.
B: Yes, I think that is fair.
K: That would be scientific. I think that can be shown. Because
we said from the very beginning that if half a dozen of us actually
freed ourselves, etc., etc., etc. – I think it can be shown but with all
things one must do it, not just verbally talk about it. Can I – or you
say the ground exists and the ground has certain demands: which
are, there must be absolute silence, absolute emptiness, which
means no sense of egotism in any form. Right? Would you tell me
that. Am I willing to let go all my egotism because I want to prove
it, I want to show it, I want to find out if what you are saying is
actually true, so am I willing – all of us, ten of us – willing to say,
‘Look, complete eradication of the self’?
B: Yes, I think that I can say that perhaps in some sense one is
willing but there may be another sense in which the willingness is
not subject to your conscious effort or determination.
K: No, wait. So we go through all that.       B: We have to see that…
K: It is not will, it is not desire, it is not effort.
B: Yes but when you say willingness it contains the word ‘will’
for example.
K: Willingness in the sense go through that door. Or am I or are
we willing to go through that particular door to find that the ground
exists? You ask me that. I say, agreed, I will. I will in the sense of
not exercising will and all that – what are the facets or the qualities
or the nature of the self? So we go into that. You point it out to me
and I say, ‘Right’ – Can ten of us do it? Not be attached, not have
fear, not have – you follow? – the whole business of it. Have no
belief, absolute rational – you know – observation. I think if ten
people do it any scientist will accept it. But there are no ten people.
So one man’s assertion becomes…
B: I see. We have to have the thing done together publicly…
K:… that’s it.
B:… so that it becomes a real fact.
K: A real fact. A real fact in the sense that people accept it. Not
based on illusion, Jesus, belief and all the rest of that.
B: Yes, well a fact. what is actually done.
K: Now, who will do this sir? The scientists want to say that the
thing is all illusory, nonsense, and there are others, ‘X’ says ‘It is
not nonsense, there is a ground.’ And ‘X’ says, ‘If you do these
things it will be there.’
B: Yes. Now I think that some of the things that you say may
not entirely in the beginning make sense to the person you talk
with. You see.
K: Yes, quite, because he isn’t even willing to listen.       B: Yes, but also his whole background is against it.
K: Of course, of course.
B: You see the background gives you the notion of what makes
sense and what doesn’t. Now if you say for example, one of the
steps is not to bring in time, you see.
K: Ah, that’s much more difficult.
B: Yes but that is fairly crucial.
K: But wait. I wouldn’t begin with time, I would begin at the
schoolboy level.
B: Yes. But you are going eventually reach those more difficult
points.
K: Yes. Begin at the schoolboy level and say, look, do these
things.
B: Well what are they? Let’s go over them.
K: No belief.
B: A person may not be able to control what he believes, he
may not know what he believes.
K: No, don’t control anything. Observe.
B: Yes.
K: That you have belief, you cling to that belief, belief gives
you a sense of security and so on and so on. And that belief is an
illusion, it has no reality.
B: Yes. You see I think if we were to talk to a scientist like that
he might say, ‘I am not sure about that’, because he says ‘I believe
in the existence of the material world.’
K: Yes, you don’t believe the sun rises and sets. It is a fact.
B: Yes, but he believes – you see there have been long
arguments about this, there is no way to prove that it exists outside my mind but I believe it anyway. This is one of the questions
which arises. You see scientists actually have beliefs. One will
believe that this theory is right, and the other believes in that one.
K: No. I have no theories. I don’t have any theories. I start at the
schoolboy level by saying, Look, don’t accept theories,
conclusions, don’t cling to your prejudices and so on and so on.’
That is the starting point.
B: Yes, well perhaps we had better say don’t hold to your
theories you see because somebody might question you if you say
you have no theories, they would immediately doubt that.
K: I have no theories. Why should I have theories.
Q: You see Krishnaji if I am a scientist I would also say I don’t
have theories. I don’t see that the world which I construct for my
scientific theories is also theoretical. I would call it fact.
K: So we have to discuss what are facts? Right? What are facts?
I would say what are facts, is that which is happening. Actually
happening. Would you agree to that?
B: Yes.
K: Would the scientists agree to that?
B: Yes. Well I think that the scientists would say that what is
happening is understood through theories. You see in science you
do not understand what is happening except with the aid of
instruments and theories.
K: Now, wait, wait, wait. What is happening out there, what is
happening here.
B: All right, but let’s go slowly. First what is happening out
there. The instruments and theories are needed to even….
K: No, I am not – no.       B: To have the fact about what is out there…
K: What are the facts out there?
B:… you cannot do it without some kind of theory.
K: The facts there are conflict, why should I have a theory about
it?
B: I wasn’t discussing that. I was discussing the facts about
matter, you see, which the scientist is concerned with.
K: Yes. All right.
B: He cannot establish that fact without a certain minor theory.
K: Perhaps. I wouldn’t know that.
B: You see, because the theory organizes the fact for him.
Without that it would really fall into…
K: Yes. I understand that. That may be a fact. You may have
theories about that.
B: Yes. About gravitation, atoms – all those things depend on
theories in order to produce the right facts.
K: The right facts. So you start with a theory.
B: A mixture of theory and fact. It is always a combination of
theory and fact.
K: Yes, all right. A combination of theory and fact.
B: Now if you say we are going to have an area where there
isn’t any such combination…
K: That’s it. Which is psychologically I have no theory about
myself, about the universe, about my relationship with another. I
have no theory. Why should I have? The only fact is mankind
suffers, miserable, confused, in conflict. That is a fact. Why should
I have a theory about it?
B: You must go slowly. You see if you are intending to bring in the scientists, this is to be scientific…
K: I will go very slowly.
B:… so that we don’t leave the scientists behind!
K: Quite. Or, leave me behind.
B: Well let’s accept ‘part company’ – right?
The scientists might say yes, psychology is the science with
which we try to look inwardly, to investigate the mind. And they
say biased people have had theories such as Freud, and Jung and
other people – I don’t know all of them. Now we have to make it
clear why it has no point to make these theories.
K: Because theory prevents the observation of what is actually
taking place.
B: Yes, but outside it seemed the theory was helping that
observation. Why the difference here?
K: Yes. The difference? You can do that, it is simple.
B: Well let’s spell it out. Because if you want to bring in
scientists you must answer this question.
K: Yes sir. We will answer it. The question is: why should –
what is the question?
B: Why is it that theories are both necessary and useful in
organizing facts about matter, outwardly and yet inwardly,
psychologically they are in the way, they are no use at all.
K: Yes. What is theory?
B: Yes. Well…
K: The meaning of the word, theory.
B: Theory means to see, to view, a kind of insight.
K: To view? That’s it.
B: A view, a way of looking.       K: A way of looking.
B: And the theory helps you to look at the outside matter.
K: Well, can you – theory means to observe.
B: It is a way of observing.
K: A way of observing. Can you observe psychologically what
is going on, observe?
B: Yes, now let’s say that when we look at matter outwardly to a
certain extent we fix the observing.
K: That is the observer is different.
B: Not only different but their relationship is fixed, relatively at
least, for some time.
K: Yes, that’s right. We can move now, a little. Move.
B: This appears to be necessary to study matter. Matter does not
change so fast and it can be separated to some extent, and we can
then make it a fairly constant way of looking at changes but not
immediately, it can be held constant for a while.
K: Yes.
B: And we call that theory.
K: As you said, theory means, the actual meaning of the word,
is a way of observing.
B: It has the same root as theatre in Greek, you see.
K: Theatre, yes, that’s right. It is a way of looking. Now what is
– now where do we start? A common way of looking, an ordinary
way of looking, the way of looking depending on each person – the
housewife, the husband, the money-maker – what do you mean the
way of looking?
B: Well the same problem arose in the development of science.
We began with what was called common sense…       K:… common sense
B:… a common way of looking. Then scientists discovered that
this was inadequate.
K: The moved away from it.
B: The moved away, they gave up some parts of it.
K: That is what I am coming to. The common way of looking is
full of prejudice.
B: Yes, it is arbitrary.
K: Arbitrary.
B: Depends on your background.
K: Yes, all that. So can I be free of my background, my
prejudice?
B: Yes.
K: I think one can.
B: You could say that when it comes to looking inwardly – you
see the question is whether a theory of psychology would be any
help in doing this. The danger is that the theory itself might be a
prejudice. If you tried to make a theory…
K: That is what I am saying. That would become a prejudice.
B: That would become a prejudice because we have nothing –
we have not yet observed anything to found it on.
K: So the common factor is that man suffers. Right? That is a
common factor. And the way of observing matters.
B: Yes.
K: Right?
B: I wonder whether scientists would accept that as the most
fundamental factor of man.
K: All right. Conflict?       B: Well they have argued about it.
K: Take anything, it doesn’t matter. Attachment, pleasure, fear.
B: I think some people might object saying we should find
something more positive.
K: Which is what?
B: Simply, for example some people might have said that
rationality is a common factor.
K: No, no, no. I won’t call rationality a common factor. If they
were rational they wouldn’t be fighting each other.
B: We have to make this clear. You see let’s say in the past
somebody like Aristotle might have said rationality is the common
factor of man. Now your argument against it is that men are not
generally rational.
K: No, they are not.
B: Though they might be they are not.
K: That’s it.
B: So you are saying that is not a fact.
K: That’s right.
Q: I think commonly scientists would say that the common
factor for mankind is, that there are many different human beings
and that they are all striving for happiness.
K: Is that the common factor? No. I won’t accept that. Many
human beings are striving for happiness.
Q: No. Human beings are all different.
K: Agreed. Stay there.
Q: That is what I am saying. That there is the common theory
which people believe to be a fact.
K: That is, each person thinks he is totally different from others.       Q: Yes. And they are all independently striving for happiness.
K: They are all seeking some kind of gratification. Right?
Would you agree to that.
B: Yes that is one. But the reason I brought up rationality was
that the very existence of science is based on the notion that
rationality is common to man.
K: I know, but that is why I didn’t want you to bring that in.
Each person seeking his own individuality.
B: But you see science would be impossible if that were entirely
true, you see.
K: Quite.
Q: Why?
B: Well because everybody would not be interested in the truth,
you see. The very possibility of doing science depends on people
feeling that this common goal of people finding the truth is beyond
personal satisfaction because even if your theory is wrong you
must accept that it is wrong though it is not gratifying. That is, it
becomes very disappointing for people but they accept it, and say,
‘Well, that is wrong’.
K: I am not seeking gratification. I am a common man.
Q: Well it is something, for example, which is written into
many Constitutions of many countries, and that is why I brought it
up. It seems to be a common belief.
K: No, I think what Dr Bohm has brought up, which is,
scientists take for granted human beings are rational.
B: When they do science.
K: Science.
B: They may agree that they are not very rational in private life, but they say that at least they are capable of being rational when
they do scientific work. Otherwise it would be impossible to begin.
K: So outwardly in dealing with matter they are all rational.
B: At least they try to be and they are to some extent.
K: They try to be. They become irrational in their relationship
with other human beings.
B: Yes. They cannot maintain it.
K: So that is the common factor.
B: Yes. O.K. It is important to bring out this point: that
rationality is limited and that you say the fundamental fact is more
generally they cannot be rational. They may succeed in some
limited area.
K: That’s right. That’s right. Now can I – that is a common
factor. That is a fact.
B: That is a fact though we don’t say it is inevitable or that it
can’t be changed.
K: No. It is a fact.
B: It is a fact that it has been.
K: That is happening.
B: Yes, it has happened. It is happening.
K: Yes. I, as a common human being, have been irrational. And
my life has been totally contradictory and so on and so on, which is
irrational. Now can I as a human being change that?
B: Yes. Let’s see how we could proceed from the scientific
approach. Now this would raise the question, why is everybody
irrational?
K: Because we have been conditioned that way. Our education,
our religion, our everything.       B: Well that won’t get us anywhere because it leads to more
questions: how did we get conditioned and so on.
K: We can go into all that.
B: Yes, but I meant that following that line is not going to
answer.
K: Quite. Why are we conditioned that way?
B: For example we were saying the other day that perhaps man
took a wrong turning.
K: Yes.
B: That established the wrong conditioning.
K: The wrong conditioning right from the beginning. Or
seeking security – security for myself, for my family, for my group,
for my tribe, has brought about this division.
B: Yes, but even then you have to ask why man sought this
security in the wrong way. You see if there had been any
intelligence it would have been clear that the whole thing has no
meaning.
K: Of course you are going back to taking the wrong turn. How
will you show me we have taken a wrong turning?
B: Yes. You are saying we want to demonstrate this
scientifically, is that what you are saying? You want to continue
this demonstration?
K: Yes. I think the wrong turn was taken when thought became
all important.
B: Yes, and what made it all important?
K: Now let’s think it out. What made thought – what made
human beings enthrone thought as the only means of operation?
Why have they enthroned thought? Right?       B: Yes. Also it would have to be made clear why, if thought is
so important, it causes all the difficulties. These are the two
questions.
K: That is fairly simple.
B: Well we have gone over that but I am saying that if we are
presenting it to somebody else we have to go into that.
K: That is fairly simple. So thought has been made king,
supreme. And that may be the wrong turn of human beings.
B: Yes, you see I think that thought became the equivalent of
truth. You see people took thought to give truth, to give what is
always true. At a certain stage that when there may be the notion
that we have knowledge, which may hold in certain cases for some
time, but men generalize because knowledge is always
generalizing and when they got to the notion that it would be
always so this gave the thought of what is true, you see. This
would give thought this supreme importance.
K: Why has man given – you are asking, aren’t you – why has
man given thought such importance? Is that it?
B: I think he has slipped into it.
K: Why?
B: Because he did not see what he was doing. You see, in the
beginning he did not see the danger.
Q: Just before you said that the common ground for man is
reason so…
K: Scientists say that.
Q: Yes. So if you can prove something to be true it is even more
important than you have happiness.
K: I don’t quite follow.       Q: If you can show to a person that something is true…
K: Show it to me. It is true I am irrational. That is a fact, that is
true.
Q: Yes, but for that you don’t need reason, observation is
sufficient to do that.
K: No. I am irrational. I go and fight. I talk about peace. I am
irrational.
Q: That is all irrational. So why do I say that the reason is so
important when I am not reasonable?
K: No. What Bohm is pointing out is: scientists say man is
rational. The fact of everyday life is irrational. Now we are saying –
he is asking: show me why it is irrational, scientifically. That is,
show me in what way I have slipped into this irrationality, why
human beings have accepted this. We can say it is habit, tradition,
religion; and the scientists also, they are very rational there, in the
scientific field, but very irrational in their lives.
Q: And you suggested that making thought the king is the main
irrationality.
K: Yes. That is right. We have reached that point. I want to be
clear.
B: Yes, but then how did we slip into making thought so
important?
K: Why has man given importance to thought as the supreme
thing? Why? I think that is fairly easy. Because that was the only
thing he knew.
B: It doesn’t follow that he would give it supreme importance.
K: Because the thing I know is more important than the things I
don’t know – the things thought has created, the images, all the rest of it.
B: But you see if man were – if intelligence were operating he
would not come to that conclusion. It is not rational to say that all
that I know is all that is important.
K: That is why he is irrational.
B: Yes. It slipped into irrationality to say ‘All that I know is all
that is important.’ But why should man have made that mistake?
K: Would you say that that mistake is made because he clings to
the known and objects to anything unknown?
B: Well that is a fact but it is not clear why he should.
K: Because that is the only thing that I have.
B: Well you see I am asking why he was not intelligent enough
to see that this…
K: Because we are irrational.
B: Well we are going around in circles.
K: I don’t think we are going in circles.
B: Look: every one of these reasons you give is merely another
form of irrationality.
K: That is all I am saying. We are basically irrational. And that
is irrationality has arisen because we have given thought supreme
importance.
Q: But the step before that, isn’t that thought has built up the
idea that I exist?
K: Ah, that comes a little later. I don’t want to enter into that
because he says you have to go step by step.
Q: Well I felt that that step really comes before because – can I?
K: Yes sir. You say what you like, we are in America.
Q: It is for the ‘me’, for the ‘me’ it is the only thing that exists is thought.
K: Would the scientists accept that?
B: No, scientists feel they are investigating the real nature of
matter, you know, independent of thought, independent ultimately
anyway. He wants to know the way the universe is. He may be
fooling himself but he feels that otherwise it wouldn’t be worth
doing unless he believed that he was finding an objective fact.
K: So would you say through matter, through the investigation
of matter he is trying to find something, he is trying to find the
ground.
B: That’s exactly it.
K: Wait, wait. Is that it?
B: Precisely, yes.
K: Now the religious man, like ‘X’, the religious man Mr ‘X’, he
says you can find it by becoming terribly rational in your life.
Right? Which is, etc., I needn’t go into it. He says, ‘I don’t accept I
am rational’ – the religious man starts. ‘I am irrational, I contradict’
and so on and so on. So I will have to clear up that first, step by
step, clear up. Or I can do the whole thing at one blow. Right? I
accept I am irrational.
B: Well yes. There is a difficulty: if you accept you are
irrational, you stop because you say how are you going to begin.
Right?
K: Yes.
B: If…
K: If I accept I am irrational – wait a minute – completely, I am
rational!
B: Yes, well you will have to…       K: You understand of course.
B: You will have to make that more clear. You see I think you
could say that man has been deluding himself into believing that he
is already rational.
K: I don’t accept that.
B: Yes. Now if you don’t accept this delusion then you are
saying that rationality will be there.
K: No, I don’t accept it. The fact is I am irrational.
B: Right.
K: And to find the ground I must become terribly rational in my
life. That’s all I start with. And irrationality has been brought about
by thought creating this idea of me as separate from everybody
else, etc., etc. So can I, being irrational, find the cause of
irrationality and wipe it out? If I can’t do that I cannot reach the
ground which is the most rational.
Would a scientist who is investigating matter, to come upon the
ground, he may not accept the ground exists at all.
B: Well tacitly he is assuming that it does.
K: It does. Mr ‘X’ comes along and says it does exist. And you,
the scientist, says, ‘Show it.’ Mr ‘X’ says ‘I will show it to you. First
become rational in your life’. Not there, don’t as a scientist meeting
with another scientist, experimenting and all the rest of the be
rational there, and irrational in your life. Begin there rather than
there. What would you say to all that?
B: Right. Well…
K: This must be done without effort, without desire, without
will, without any sense of persuasion, otherwise you are back in
the game.       Q: Krishnaji are you supposing, or are you saying that the
scientist can be rational here?
K: He says they are.
B: They are to some extent.
K: Of course. He says that. Sir when scientists meet about
something they are very rational.
Q: To some extent.
K: To some extent, yes.
B: Well eventually their personal relations come in and so on.
K: That’s is. They become irrational because of their jealousies
and ambitions.
B: Well also because they are attached to their theories and so
on.
Q: Also the basic irrationality of them is that they think what
they discover is the truth.
K: No, he doesn’t say that. Through the investigation of matter
they hope to come upon the ground.
B: They may be wrong but that is what they hope for.
K: They must otherwise what is the point of investigating
matter?
Q: Maybe there is no point.
B: In addition of course it is important for practical purposes
and so on.
K: Practical purposes, yes for inventing guns and all the rest of
it, submarines and super missiles.
B: Well also new energy sources and so on.
K: Of course, of course, that is only part of it.
B: That is part of it but in addition it may have an interest in itself but we have to say that – let’s try to put it like this: even in
science you could not pursue the science fully unless you were
rational.
K: Yes, somewhat rational.
B: Somewhat rational, but in fact eventually the failure of
rationality blocks science anyway. Scientists alter their theories
and they become jealous and so on.
K: That’s it. Or the irrationality overcomes them.
B: They cannot keep the irrationality out.
K: That’s it.
B: So then you could say you might as well look at the source
of the whole irrationality.
K: That’s it. That is what I am saying.
B: That is the only possibility.
K: Yes.
B: But now you have to make it clear that it really can be done,
you see.
K: Oh yes, I am showing it to you. I say first recognize, see,
observe, be aware – or whatever word – that you are totally
irrational.
B: Well the word ‘totally’ will cause trouble because if you were
totally irrational you couldn’t even begin to talk, you see.
K: No, that is my question. I say you are totally irrational. First
recognize it. Watch it. If the moment that you admit there is some
part of you which is rational – right – who wants to wipe away the
irrationality…
B: It is not that but there must be sufficient rationality to
understand what you are talking about.       K: Yes, of course.
B: Essentially I would rather put it that you are dominated by
your irrationality, that irrationality dominates even though there is
enough rationality to discuss the question.
K: I question that.
B: You see otherwise we couldn’t even begin to talk.
K: No, but listen. Just a minute, just a minute. We begin to talk,
you, a few of us begin to talk because we are willing to listen to
each other, we are willing to say ‘I’ll set aside any conclusion I
have’, and so on, we are willing to listen to each other.
B: That is part of rationality.
K: No, with us, but the vast majority are not willing to listen to
us because we are concerned, serious enough to find out if the
ground exists. Right? That gives us rationality to listen to each
other.
B: Yes. Well listening is essential for rationality.
K: What?
B: Listening is necessary for rationality.
K: Of course. Are we saying the same thing?
B: Yes.
K: Because as the scientist – wait a minute – as the scientist
through the examination of matter, the investigation of matter
hopes to reach the ground, we, ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, say let us become
rational in our life. Which means you and I and ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’ are
willing to listen to each other. That’s all. The very listening is the
beginning of rationality. Mr Carter, Mr K, they won’t even listen to
us, not even the Pope, or anybody. So can we, who are listening, be
rational somewhat and begin? That’s all my point. This is all being terribly logical, isn’t it? So can we proceed from there?
Why has man brought about this irrationality in his life, and a
few of us can apparently throw off some part of irrationality and
become somewhat rational, ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, and those rational people
say, ‘Now, let’s start.’ Right? Let us start to find out why man lives
this way, both the scientists and me, because he is a man, he is not
just a scientist. Now what is the dominant factor in his life, the
common, dominant factor in all human beings’ lives, apart from ‘X’,
‘Y’, ‘Z’ who are rational, including them, what is the dominant
current in his life? Obviously thought.
B: Yes, that is so. Of course many people would, might deny
that and say that it is feeling or something else is the major…
K: Many people might say that but thought is part of feeling.
B: Right. That is not commonly understood.
K: We will explain it. Senses, feeling, if there was no thought
behind it you wouldn’t be able to recognize those senses.
B: Yes. I think this is a major difficulty in communication with
some people.
K: Yes, so we begin. Leave the some people, I want the three
‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’ to see this and ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, because they listen to each
other, because they have become somewhat rational, therefore they
are listening to each other, can say thought is the main source of
this current.
B: Yes, well we have to say what is thought.
K: I think that is fairly simple.
B: Well, what is it?
K: Thought brings about irrationality.
B: Yes, but what is it? How do you know you are thinking? What do you mean by thinking?
K: Thinking is the movement of memory, memory which is
experience, knowledge stored up in the brain. Which you and I –
we know all this.
Q: You see Krishnaji at this moment we are also thinking partly
but nevertheless it seems that this kind of thinking is not just
memory.
K: Oh yes, it is memory, sorry. No, no, I don’t go further, I stop
just here.
B: Suppose we want to have rationality which includes rational
thought.
K: That is just it.
B: But rationality must include rational thought.
K: Of course.
B: Is rational thought only memory?
K: Rational thought if it is – now wait a minute, careful!
B: Yes. Right.
K: Wait a minute. If we are completely rational there is total
insight. That insight uses thought and then it is rational.
B: Then it is rational.
K: My god, yes.
B: Then thought is not only memory?
K: No, no.
B: Well, I mean since it is being used by insight.
K: No, insight uses thought.
B: Yes, but what thought does is not just due to memory now.
K: Wait a minute.
B: You see, I see it this way.       K: Quite right.
B: Ordinarily thought runs on its own, it runs like a machine on
its own, it is not rational.
K: Quite right.
B: But when thought is the instrument of insight then you see it
would be the difference between…
K: Agreed, agreed. Then thought is not memory.
B: It is not based on memory.
K: No, not based on memory.
B: Memory is used, but it is not based on memory.
K: That’s right. Then what? ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, who are fairly rational,
who have seen this point that thought being limited, divisive,
incomplete, can never be rational.
B: Without insight.
K: That’s right. Now how is ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, to have insight? Which
is total rationality. Not the rationality of thought.
B: It is rationality of perception, I should say. I should call it
rationality of perception.
K: Perception.
B: To perceive rational order.
K: Yes, rationality of perception.
B: Then thought becomes the instrument of that, so it has the
same order.
K: Now how am I to have that insight? That is the next
question, isn’t it? What am I to do? Or not do, to have this instant
insight, immediate insight, which is not of time, which is not of
memory, which has no cause – right – which is not based on reward
or punishment, it is free of all that. Now how do I in discussing with ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, who want to come upon the ground, how do I,
how does the mind have this insight? When I say, ‘I have the
insight’, that is wrong. Obviously. So how is it possible for a mind,
which has been irrational, and has somewhat become rational, ‘X’,
‘Y’, ‘Z’, and that ‘X’,’Y’ ‘Z’, asks is it possible to have that insight?
Yes it is possible to have that insight if your mind is free from
time.
B: Right. Let’s go slowly, because you see, let me say, that if we
go back to the scientific point of view, even common sense, I think
that implicitly time is taken as the ground of everything in
scientific work.
K: Yes.
B: And common sense. In fact even in ancient Greek mythology
you see Chronus the god of time produces his children and
swallows them. That is exactly what we said about the ground,
everything comes from the ground and dies to the ground. So in a
way mankind began to take time already as the ground.
K: Yes.
B: Long ago, right.
K: Yes, that is right. And you come along and say time is not
the ground.
B: That’s right. So up until now even scientists have been
looking for the ground somewhere in time, and everybody else too.
K: Yes sir, that is the whole point.
B: Now you say time is not the ground.
K: Go on, this is very interesting.
B: This of course somebody might say is nonsense but we say
OK, we will stay open to that. Right?       K: No, we, ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, are open to it.
B: We are going to be open to it but I am saying some people
might easily dismiss it right away.
K: Of course. Science fiction writers may accept it!
B: Well they may, some of them, yes.
K: I was only joking.
B: Now if you say time is not the ground, this seems to leave us,
well, let us say we don’t know where we are.
K: I know where I am. We will go into it.
B: Yes.
Q: Is time the same movement as this thought which we
described first?
K: Yes, time is that. Time is thought.
B: Yes, well, let’s go slowly again on that because there is, as
we have often said, chronological time.
K: Of course, that is simple.
B: Yes but in addition we are thinking. You see thinking takes
time chronologically but in addition it projects a kind of imaginary
time…
K:… which is the future
B:… which is the future, the past as we experience it.
K: Yes, that is right.
B: That time which is imagined, which is also a kind of real
process of thinking.
K: Which is a fact.
B: It is a fact. It is taking time physically, to think, but we also
have the time we can imagine the whole past and future.
K: Yes, which are facts.       B: So let’s say that this time is not the ground, perhaps not even
physically.
K: We are going to find out. We are going to find out.
B: Yes. But we feel it to be the ground because we feel that we,
as the self, I as the self, exist in time. Without time there could be
no me.
K: That’s it.
B: I must exist in time.
K: Of course, of course.
B: Eternally being something or becoming something.
K: Becoming and being are in the field of time. Now can the
mind, which has evolved through time…
Q: That is a strange statement.
K: Why?
Q: What do you mean by mind then?
K: Mind – the brain, my senses, my feeling all that is the mind.
B: The particular mind, you mean?
K: Particular mind, of course, I am talking not the mind which
is – I am talking of ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’,s’ mind. That mind has evolved
through time. Right?
B: Well even its particularity depends on time.
K: Time, of course and all the rest of it. Now we are asking: can
that mind be free of time to have an insight which is totally
rational, which then can operate on thought, which will be rational?
That thought is not based on memory. Right?
B: Right.
K: Now how am I – ‘X’ – ‘X’ says how am I to be free of time? I
know I need time to go from here to there, to learn a lesson, a technique and so on. I understand that very clearly, so I am not
talking about that time. I am talking about the time as becoming.
B: Or as being.
K: Of course, becoming is being. I start from being to become.
B: And being something in myself, you see.
K: Right sir.
B: Being better, being happier.
K: Yes, the whole thing – the more.
B: The more.
K: Now can I, can my brain investigating to find out if the
ground exists, can my brain, can I, can my whole mind be free of
time? Yes. We have now separated time. The time which is
necessary, and the time which is not necessary. That is, can my
brain not function as it has always in time as thought? Right?
Which means can thought come to an end? Right? Would you
accept that?
B: Yes, well could you make that more clear. You see we could
see that the first question is, that can my brain not be dominated by
the function of thought?
K: Yes, which is time.
B: Time. And then if you say thought comes to an end…
K: No, can time as thought come to a stop?
B: Psychological time comes to a stop.
K: Yes, I am talking of that.
B: But we will still have the rational thought.
K: Of course. That is understand. We have said that. We are
leaving that.
B: We are discussing the thought of conscious experience.       Q: Of becoming and being.
B: Of becoming and being.
K: And the retention of memory, you know, the past, as
knowledge. Oh, yes, that can be done.
B: You really mean the memory of experiences?
K: The memory of experiences, hurts, attachments, the whole of
it. Now can that come to an end? Of course it can. Now this is the
point: it can come to an end when the very perception asks, what is
it, hurt?
B: Yes.
K: Damaged psychologically, the perception of it is the ending
of it. Not carrying it over, which is the time. The very ending of it
is the ending of time. Is that? I think that is clear. Or not clear?
All right, I am hurt. ‘X’ is hurt, wounded from childhood, for
various reasons, you know all that. And he, by listening, talking,
discussing with you, realizes that the continuation of the hurt is
time. Right? And to find out the ground, time must end. So he says
can my hurt end instantly, immediately.
B: Yes, I think there are some steps in that. You say he finds
that hurt is time but the immediate experience of it is that it exists
on its own.
K: I know, of course, of course. We can go into that.
B: That simply is something on its own.
K: Which is, I have created an image about myself and the
image is hurt but not me.
B: What do you mean by that?
K: All right. In the becoming, which is time, I have created an
image about myself. Right?       B: Well thought has created that image.
K: Thought has created an image through experience, through
education, through conditioning, that this image is separate from
me. Wait a minute, I will explain it. This image is actually me.
B: Yes.
K: But we have separated the image and the me, which is
irrational.
B: Right.
K: So in realizing that the image is me, I have become
somewhat rational.
B: Yes, well you see I think that that will not be clear because if
a person is hurt he feels the image is me.
K: The image is you.
B: The person who is hurt feels that way.
K: All right. But the moment you operate on it you separate
yourself.
B: That’s the point. Now the first feeling is the image is me, and
the second feeling is I draw back from the image in order to
operate on it.
K: Which is irrationality.
B: Because it is not correct, eh?
K: That’s right. Right?
B: And that brings in time because I say it will take time to do
that.
K: Quite right. So by becoming, by seeing that I become
rational and in the act, the act is to be free of it immediately.
B: Yes, well let’s go into that. You see, we say we have drawn
back – the first thing is that there has been a hurt. Right? That is the image but at first I don’t separate it. I feel identified with it.
K: I am that.
B: I am that. But then I draw back and say that I think there
must be a me who can do something.
K: Yes, can operate on it.
B: Right. Now that takes time.
K: That is time.
B: That is time, but I mean I am thinking it takes time. Now if I
don’t do that, now you see I have to go slowly. That hurt cannot
exist.
K: That’s right.
B: But it is not obvious in the experience itself that this is so.
K: First, let’s go slowly into it. I am hurt. That is a fact. Then I
separate myself, there is a separation saying ‘I will do something
about it’.
B: The ‘me’ who will do something is different.
K: Is different. Of course.
B: And he thinks about what he should do.
K: The ‘me’ is different because it is becoming. I don’t want to
complicate it.
B: Well, yes, it projects into the future a different state.
K: Yes. I am hurt. There is a separation, a division. The ‘me’,
which is always pursuing the becoming, says, ‘I must control it. I
must wipe it. I must act upon it, or I will be vengeful, hurtful’ – and
all the rest of it. So this movement of separation is time.
B: Yes, we can see that now. Now the point is – there is
something here that is not obvious. A person is thinking the hurt
exists independently of me and I must do something about it. I project into the future the better state and what I will do. You see,
let’s try to make it very clear because you are saying that there is no
separation.
K: My rationality discovers there is no separation.
B: There is no separation but the illusion that there is a
separation helps to maintain the hurt.
K: That’s right. Because the illusion is ‘I am becoming’.
B: Yes. I an this and I will become that.
K: Yes.
B: So I am hurt and I will become non hurt. Now that very
thought maintains the hurt.
K: That’s right.
Q: But isn’t that feeling of separation there when I become
conscious and say, ‘I am hurt’?
K: I am hurt. Then I say, ‘I am going to hit you because you
have hurt me. Or I say, ‘I must suppress it’, I create fear and so on.
Q: But isn’t that feeling of separation there from the moment I
say, ‘I am hurt’?
K: That is irrationality.
Q: That is irrational already?
K: Already. When you say does not the separation exist already
when I say ‘I am hurt’.
B: Well it does, but I think that before that happens you get a
kind of shock. The first thing that happens is a kind of shock, a
pain or whatever which you identify with that shock and then you
explain it by saying ‘I am hurt’ or whatever and that immediately
implies the separation to do something.
K: Of course. Of course. If I am not hurt I don’t know anything about separation or not separation.
Q: Well something might happen to me.
K: Yes, he has said a shock, any kind of shock.
Q: But at the moment I say I am hurt, then in that moment I
have already separated myself from that fact which…
K: No, no, no. I don’t – all that I know is that I am hurt. Right? I
don’t say I have already separated myself.
Q: No, I am not saying that. Isn’t that implied?
K: No. I am just hurt. I am irrational as long as I maintain that
hurt and do something about it, which is to become. Then
irrationality comes in. I think that is right.
B: Now if you don’t maintain it, what happens? Suppose you
say, ‘OK, I won’t go on with this becoming.’
K: Ah, that is quite a different matter. Which means I am no
longer observing using time as an observation.
B: You could say that is not your way of looking.
K: Yes.
B: It is not your theory anymore.
K: That’s right.
B: Because you could say time is a theory which everybody
adopts for psychological purposes.
K: That’s right. That is a common factor, time is the common
factor of man. And we are pointing out time is an illusion.
B: Psychological time.
K: Of course, that is understood.
B: Are you saying that when we no longer approach this
through time then the hurt does not continue?
K: Does not continue, it ends.       B: It ends.
K: Because you are not becoming anything.
B: In becoming you are always continuing what you are.
K: That’s right. Continuing what you are, modified and…
B: That is why you struggle to become.
K: And all the rest of it. We are talking about insight. That is,
insight has no time. Insight is not the product of time, time being
memory, remembrance and so on and so on. So there is insight.
That insight being free of time acts upon memory, acts upon
thought which is rational. That is, insight makes thought rational.
Right?
B: Right.
K: Not thought which is based on memory. Then what the devil
is that thought?
B: What?
Q: That is the question.
K: No. Wait a minute sir. I don’t think thought comes in at all.
We said insight comes into being when there is no time. Thought
which is based on memory, experience, knowledge, that is the
movement of time as becoming. We are talking psychologically,
not the other. We are saying to be free of time implies insight.
Insight being free of time, it has no thought.
B: We said that it may use thought.
K: Wait, wait. I am not sure. Just go slowly.
B: You are changing, yes.
K: It may use thought to explain but it acts. Before action was
based on thought, now when there is insight there is only action.
Why do you want thought? Because insight is rational therefore action is rational. Action becomes irrational when it is acting from
thought. So insight doesn’t use thought.
B: Well we have to make it clear because in a certain area it has
to use thought. You see if for example you want to construct
something you would use the thought which is available as to how
to do it.
K: But that is not insight.
B: Yes, but even so you may have to have insight in that area.
K: Partial. We said the other day when we were discussing that
the scientists, the painters, the architects, the doctors, the artists and
so on, they have partial insight. We are talking of ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, who
are seeking the ground, they are becoming more – not more – they
are becoming rational and we are saying insight is without time
and therefore without thoughts, and that insight is action. Because
that insight is rational action is rational.
Q: Could this action be thought?
K: No. Sir, just a minute. Forgive me I am not making myself
into an example, I am talking in all humility. That boy, that young
man in 1929 dissolved the Order. There was no thought. People
said ‘Do this, don’t do that’, ‘Keep it’, ‘Don’t keep it’. He had an
insight, finished. I dissolved it. Why do we need thought?
Q: You don’t need thought.
K: Ah! We do, we employed thought to do something.
B: But then you used some thought in dissolving the Order. Say,
when to do it, how to do it.
K: That is merely for convenience, for other people and so on.
B: But still some thought was needed.
K: The decision acts.       B: I didn’t say about the decision. The primary action did not
require thought, only that which follows.
K: That is nothing. It is like moving a cushion from there to
there.
B: Yes, I understand that. The primary source of action does not
involve thought.
K: That is all I wanted.
B: But it sort of filters through into…
K: It is like a wave.
Q: Does not all thought undergo a transformation in this
process? Before it was…
K: Yes, of course, of course. Because insight is without time
therefore the brain itself has undergone a change.
B: Yes, now could we talk about what you mean by that?
K: What time is it?
B: Yes, you see we must refer to time! It is twenty five past
five.
K: I think we will have to stop for a bit here.
B: Perhaps another day.
K: My head is buzzing.
B: Next time.
K: I think this is good. So does it mean, sir, every human
response must be viewed, or must enter into insight? I will tell you
what I mean. I am jealous. Is there an insight which will cover the
whole field of jealousy, so end that – envy, greed, and all that is
involved in jealousy. You follow? We irrational people say, step by
step, get rid of jealousy, get rid of attachment, get rid of anger, get
rid of this, that and the other. Which is a constant process of becoming. Right? And the insight, which is totally rational, wipes
all that away. Right?
B: Right.
K: Is that a fact? Fact in the sense ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, will never again
be jealous, never.
B: Yes, well we have to discuss that because it is not clear how
you could guarantee that.
K: Oh yes, I will guarantee it! We had better stop. Isn’t your
head aching too?
OJAI 4TH CONVERSATION WITH DAVID
BOHM 10TH APRIL, 1980 `THE ENDING OF
TIME’

J Krishnamurti: Would it be all right if we start, you and I, and
later on they can join in?
I would like to ask a question which may lead us to something:
what will make man, a human being, change, deeply,
fundamentally, radically? He has had crisis after crisis, he has had
a great many shocks, he has been through every kind of
misfortune, every kind of war, personal sorrow, and so on, a little
affection, a little joy, but all this doesn’t seem to change him. What
will make a human being leave the way he is going and move in a
totally different direction? I think that is one of our great problems,
don’t you?
Dr Bohm: Yes. What you say is true.
K: Why? If you were concerned, as one must be, if one is
concerned with humanity, with human beings, with all the things
that are going on, what would be the right action that would move
him out of one direction to another? Is this question valid? Has it
any significance?
B: Well unless we can see this action it won’t have much
significance.
K: Has the question any significance?
B: Well what it means is, really indirectly, to ask what is
holding people.
K: Yes, same thing.
B: The same question. If we could find out what is holding people in their present direction.
K: Is it the basic conditioning of man, the basic being this
tremendous sense of egotistic attitude and action, which won’t yield
to anything?
B: Well if you say it won’t yield to anything…
K: Apparently it doesn’t seem to yield at all. It appears to
change, it appears to yield, it appears sometimes to say yes, but the
centre remains the same. Perhaps this may not be in the line of our
dialogue for the last two or three days, two or three times, but I
thought we might start with that. If that is of no value, if that
doesn’t lead anywhere…
B: Well have you some notion of what is holding people?
Something that would really change them?
K: I think so.
B: What is it then?
K: I mean this has been the question of serious human beings:
what is it that is blocking? Do we approach it through
environmental conditioning, from the outer to the inner and
discover from the outer his activities, the inner? And then discover
that the outer is the inner, the same movement, and then go beyond
it to see what it is? Could we do that?
B: Right.
K: I wonder if I am making myself clear?
B: When you say outward, what do you mean? Do you mean
the social conditions?
K: The social conditioning, the religious conditioning,
education, poverty, riches, climate, food, the outer. Which may
condition the mind in a certain direction, but as one examines it a little more the psychological conditioning is also from the outer,
somewhat.
B: Well it is true that the way a person thinks is going to be
affected by his whole set of relationships. But that doesn’t explain
why it is so rigid, why does it hold?
K: That is what I am asking too.
B: Yes. If it were merely outward conditioning one would
expect it to be more easily changed.
K: Easily changed.
B: For example you could put some other outward condition.
K: They have tried all that.
B: They have tried it, the whole belief of Communism was that
would – with a new society there would be a new man.
K: New society, new man, yes. But there have been none!
B: Well I think that there is something fundamentally in the
nature of the inward that holds, which resists change.
K: What is it? Will this question lead us anywhere?
B: Unless we actually uncover it, it will lead nowhere.
K: I think one could find out if one applied one’s mind. I think
one can. I am just asking: is this question worthwhile and is it
related to what we have been talking about the last two or three
times that we met? Or shall we take up something else in relation
to what we have been talking about?
B: Well I think that we have been talking about bringing about
an ending to time, ending to becoming. And we said that to come
into contact with the ground and through complete rationality. But
now we could say that the mind is not rational.
K: Yes, we said man is basically irrational.       B: This is perhaps part of the block. If you were completely
rational then we would of necessity come to this ground. Right?
Would that be fair?
K: Yes. You were not here the other day but we were having a
dialogue about the ending of time. Both the scientists through
investigation of matter want to find out that point, and also the so-
called religious people, not only verbally but they have
endeavoured to find out if time can stop. We went into that quite a
bit and we say it is possible for a human being, who will listen, to
find out through insight the ending of time. Because insight is not
memory. Memory is time, memory as experience, knowledge
stored up in the brain and so on, as long as that is in operation there
is no possibility of having insight into anything. Total insight, not
partial insight. The artist has a partial insight, the scientist, the
musicians and so on, they all have partial insights and therefore
they are still time-bound. Is it possible to have a total insight? It is
only possible – we went into that step by step – which is the ending
of the ‘me’, because the ‘me’ is put together by thought, thought is
time, ‘me’ is time – me and my ego, my resistance, my hurts, all
that. Can that ‘me’ end? It is only when that ends there is total
insight. Right? That is what we discovered. Right?
And we went into the question; is it possible for a human being
to end totally this whole structure of the ‘me’. We said yes, and
went into it. And very few people will listen to this because it is
perhaps too frightening. And the question then arises: if the ‘me’
ends what is there? Just emptiness? There is no interest in that. But
if one is investigating without any sense of reward or punishment,
then there is something. We say that something is total emptiness, which is energy and silence. Well, you say that is very nice, it
sounds nice but it has no meaning to an ordinary man who is
serious and wants to go beyond it, beyond himself. And we pushed
it further: is there something beyond all this. Right sir?
B: Yes.
K: And we said there is.
B: The ground.
K: The ground. You were perhaps here at the beginning. And
the last thing, if I remember rightly, will people listen to this? Is it
the beginning of this enquiry is to listen. That is, I think, where we
left off it I remember rightly.
So – I had forgotten all that, I have just remembered it! So I
started with this question, the question which I just began. Let’s
forget that question. We will come back to it perhaps a little later.
Will I, as a human being, give up my egocentric activity
completely? What will make me move away from that? Not me,
that is only a way of talking. What will make a human being move
away from this destructive, self-centred activity? It comes to the
same thing. If he will move away through reward then that is just
another – with it goes punishment. So discard that. Then what will
make you, a human being – if I may use the word ‘renounce’
without reward – renounce it completely? Right sir?
You see man has tried everything in this direction – fasting, self
torture in various forms, abnegating himself through belief,
denying himself through identification with something greater,
with – so on and so on. All the religious people have tried it but it is
still there.
B: Yes. I think it becomes clear that the whole activity has no meaning, it has no sense, but somehow this does not become
evident, you see. People will move away from something which
has no meaning, and makes no sense, ordinarily speaking.
K: Yes.
B: But it seems that the perception of this fact is rejected by the
mind, you see the mind is resisting it.
K: The mind is resisting this constant conflict, it is moving
away from this conflict.
B: Yes. It is moving away from the fact that this conflict has no
meaning.
K: They don’t see that.
B: Not only that but the mind is set up purposely to avoid seeing
it.
K: The mind is avoiding it.
B: It is avoiding it almost on purpose but not quite consciously.
You said sometimes, for example, that it avoids it consciously like
the people of India who say they are going to retire to the
Himalayas because nothing can be done.
K: Oh, that is hopeless. You mean to say, sir, that the mind
having lived so long in conflict refuses to move away from it?
B: It is not clear why it refuses. It refuses to give it up, right.
K: The same thing, refuses to give it up.
B: It is not clear why the mind does not wish to see the full
meaninglessness of the conflict. The mind is deceiving itself, it is
continually covering up.
K: The philosophers and the so-called religious people have
emphasized struggle, emphasized the sense of striving – control,
make effort. Is that one of the causes why human beings refuse to let go of their way of life?
B: Well that may be. They hope by fighting or struggling they
will achieve a better result. Not to give up what we have but to
improve it by struggle.
K: You can see man has lived for two million years, what has
he achieved? More wars, more destruction.
B: What I am trying to say is that there is a tendency to resist
seeing this, but to continually go back to hope – to hope that the
struggle will finally produce something better.
K: I am not quite sure if we have cleared this point: that the
intellectuals of the world – I am using the word respectfully – the
intellectuals of the world have emphasized this, this factor of
struggle.
B: Well I don’t know if all of them have. Many of them have I
suppose.
K: Most of them.
B: Karl Marx.
K: Yes Marx and even Bronowsky who says through acquiring
more and more knowledge, more and more struggle. Is it that they
have had such extraordinary influence on our minds?
B: Well I think people do that without any encouragement from
intellectuals. You see struggle has been emphasized everywhere.
K: That is what I mean. Everywhere. Why?
B: Well in the beginning people thought it would be necessary,
they had to struggle against nature to live.
K: So struggling against nature has been transferred to the
other?
B: Yes, that is part of it. To become brave. You see you must be a brave hunter, you must struggle against your own weakness to be
a brave hunter.
K: Yes, that’s it, that’s it.
B: Otherwise you can’t do it.
K: So is it that our minds are conditioned, or shaped, or held, in
this pattern?
B: Well that is certainly true but it doesn’t explain why it is so
extraordinarily hard to change it.
K: Because I am used to it. I am in a prison. I am used to it.
B: Yes, but I think that there is a tremendous resistance to
moving away from that.
K: Why? Why does a human being resist this? If you come
along and point out the fallacy of this, the irrationality of this, and
you show the whole cause and effect and examples, data,
everything else.
B: That is what I said that if people were capable of complete
rationality they would drop it, but I think that there is something
more to it.
K: More to it?
B: To the problem. You see you may expose the irrationality of
it and for one thing people may say well what happens is that there
is something more in the sense that people are not fully aware of
this whole pattern of thought. Having had it exposed at a certain
level it still continues at levels that people are not aware of.
K: Yes, but what would make them aware?
B: Well that is what we have to find. I think that people have to
become aware that they have this tendency to go on with the
conditioning; it might be mere habit, or it might be the result of many past conclusions, all operating now without people knowing
it. There are so many different things that keep people in this
pattern, so abstractly you might convince somebody that the
pattern makes no sense but when it comes to the actual affairs of
life he has a thousand different ways of proceeding which imply
that pattern.
K: Quite. Then what?
B: Well I think that a person would have to be extremely
interested in this to break all that down.
K: Then what will bring a human being to be extremely
interested? You see they have offered heaven as a reward if you do
this. Various religions have done this, but that becomes too
childish.
B: Well that is part of the pattern, reward. You see somebody
might say, ‘I follow my self-enclosed pattern except when some
great thing comes up.’ You see people do that thing in a real
emergency, they drop the self-enclosed pattern.
K: You can see that.
B: Ordinarily the rule is that I follow the self-enclosed pattern
except when something really big comes up.
K: A crisis.
B: Or reward is to be obtained.
K: Of course.
B: Something special is needed to get out of it, and then you fall
back in when that special thing is passed.
K: Now why? Why?
B: Well that is a pattern of thinking. I think that people must in
some way think that it has value, people believe – you see if everybody were able to work together and suddenly you were able
to produce harmony, then everybody would say fine, I would give
up myself, but saying that in the absence of that I had better hold
on to what I have. That is the sort of thinking.
K: Hold on to what is known.
B: I don’t have much but I had better hold on to it because if
everybody was suddenly to become harmonious then maybe I
could leave it.
K: Yes. So are you saying if everybody does this I will do it?
B: That is the common way of thinking. Because as soon as
people begin to start to cooperate in an emergency then a great
many people go along.
K: So they form communes. But all those have failed.
B: Because after a while this special thing goes away and they
fall back to the old pattern.
K: The old pattern. So I am asking what will make a human
being break through this pattern? Go on sirs.
Q: Isn’t it related to the question we dealt with last time again –
time and no time. You see when there is conflict…
K: But I know nothing about time, I know nothing about all
that, it is just a theory to me. But the fact is I am caught in this
pattern and I can’t let it go. The analysts have tried it, the religious
people have tried it, everybody has tried to make human beings –
the intelligent people – let this go but they apparently have not
succeeded.
Q: But they don’t see that the very attempt at letting it go, or to
end the conflict, is still strengthening the conflict.
K: No, that is just a theory.       Q: No, you can explain that to them.
K: You can explain. As we said there are a dozen explanations,
very rational. At the end of it I fall back to this.
Q: Well you only fall back to that if you have not really
understood it.
K: Have you understood it when you say that? Why haven’t I or
you, or Moody, said finished? You can give me a thousand
explanations and all probably a bit irrational and I say yes, very
nice, have you done it, or what?
Q: I don’t even understand the question. When you ask me, have
you done it?
K: No, I am not being personal. Have you, when you have given
an explanation why human beings can’t move away from this
pattern, or break through it, you give me some explanation.
Q: No, I give you more than the explanation.
K: What do you give me?
Q: If I observe something to be correct, then the explanation of
the observation is more then just an explanation.
K: Yes. I have accepted this. I can’t observe this clearly.
Q: Well what is the problem.
K: So help me to see it clearly.
Q: For that there must be an interest.
K: Don’t say there must. I haven’t got an interest. I am
interested, as he pointed out just now, when there is a tremendous
crisis such as war, I forget myself. In fact I am glad to forget
myself, I give the responsibility to the Generals, to the politicians.
Under a crisis, I forget but the moment the crisis goes away I am
back to my pattern. That is happening all the time. Now I say to myself what will make me relinquish this, the pattern, or break
through it?
Q: Isn’t it that one must see the falseness.
K: Show it to me sir.
Q: I can’t because I have not seen it.
K: Then what shall I do as a human being? You have explained
to me ten thousand times how ugly it is, how destructive it is and
so on and so on. And you have pointed out in a crisis, etc., etc., but
I fall back to this pattern all the time. Right? Help me or show me
how to break the pattern. You understand my question?
Q: Well then you are interested.
K: All right. Now what will make me interested? Pain?
Q: I don’t know. Usually it doesn’t. Sometimes it does for a
moment but it goes away.
K: So what will make me as a human being so alert, so aware,
so intense that I will break through this thing?
Q: Sir you state the question in terms of an action, breaking
through, relinquishing. Isn’t it a matter of seeing?
K: Yes. Show me, help me to see, because I am resisting you.
My pattern, so deeply engrained in me, is holding back. Right? I
want proof, I want to be convinced. Right?
Q: I am convinced but I don’t see.
Q: We have to go into this question: why do I want to have
proof? Why do I want to be convinced?
K: Because you say to me this is a stupid, irrational way of
living. And you show me all the effects of it, the cause of it and I
say yes but I can’t let go.
B: Well as a matter of fact I feel that it may well be that all this is irrational but since I am there this doesn’t change anything. You
see you may say that is the very nature of me, that I must fulfil my
needs no matter how irrational they are.
K: Sir, sir, that is what I am saying.
B: So irrationality eventually cannot prevail because you see
first I must take care of my own needs and then I can try to be
rational.
K: What are my needs then?
B: Some of the needs are real and some are imaginary, but…
K: Yes, that’s it. The imaginary, the illusory needs sway the
other needs.
B: But you see I may need to believe I am good and right and
know that I will be always there.
K: Help me to break that, sir.
B: I think I have to see that this is an illusion. You see if it
seems real then I can say, what can I do, because if I am really
there I need all this, and it is foolish to talk of being rational if I am
going to vanish, break down or something. You see you have
proposed to me that there is another state of being where I am not
there. Right? And when I am there this doesn’t make any sense!
K: Yes, quite. But I am not there. Suppose as a human being,
heaven is perfect, but I am not there, please help me to get there.
B: No, no, it is something different.
K: I know what you are saying.
Q: You see can one see the illusory nature of that very demand
that I want to go to heaven? That very question – or I want to be
enlightened, or I want to be this, I want to be that – but this very
question, this very demand is…       K: My demand is based on becoming.
Q: Right.
K: The more.
Q: That is illusory.
K: No. You say that.
B: You haven’t demonstrated it to me you see.
K: That is an idea to you. It is just a theory. Show me.
Q: Well are you willing to really explore into this question?
K: I am willing on one condition. I lay my condition actually
because I want to find at the end of it something. See how the
human mind works.
Q: That’s just it.
K: I will climb the highest mountain if I can get something out
of it.
Q: Can the mind see that this is the problem?
K: Yes, but it can’t let go.
Q: Well if it sees…
K: No, no, you are going round and round in circles.
B: It sees the problem abstractly. That is it sees it…
K: That is it. Now why do I see it abstractly?
B: Well, first of all it is a lot easier.
K: Don’t go back to that. Why does my mind make an
abstraction of everything?
B: Let’s begin by saying that to a certain extent that is the
function of thought to make abstractions outwardly, then we carry
them inwardly. It is the same sort of thing as before.
K: Yes. So is there a way – I am just asking – is there something
else that we are missing in this altogether? That is we are still thinking, if I may point out, still thinking the same old patterns.
Right?
B: Well I think the question itself contains that pattern doesn’t
it?
K: Yes. But the pattern – the pursuit of the pattern is traditional.
B: Yes, but I mean that even in framing this question the pattern
has continued.
K: Yes, so can we move away altogether from this, and look at
it differently – can we? That is we are still saying, listen to me, you
must be interested, don’t ask – you follow? Move away from that
altogether. Can I move away from all that? Can the human mind
say, all right, we have tried all this – Marx, Buddha, you follow?
Everybody has pointed out something or other, we have tried, after
a million years, obviously. And we are still somehow caught in that
pattern, saying you must be interested, you must listen, you must
do this and so on.
B: That is still time.
K: Yes. Leave all that. Then what happens if I leave all that,
actually leave it? I won’t even think in terms of it. I wonder if I am
making myself clear?
Q: Is the action of leaving all that…
K: Not action. I know you have told me all that, I know all that.
The religious people have said it, Marxists, you follow, everybody,
and you add some more explanations, a new twist but it is the same
old twist. So I say let’s leave that area completely and look at the
problem differently.
Q: The problem which is?
K: Which is: why do I always live in this centre of me, me, me? Well sirs?
Would it be, I am a serious man, a serious human being, I have
listened to all this, after sixty years, or fifty years. All the
explanations I know, what I should, should not do and so on and so
on, can I say, all right, I will discard all that. That means I stand
completely alone. Does that lead anywhere?
B: Possibly, yes. I say possibly.
K: I think it does lead somewhere.
B: It seems to me that basically you are saying, leave all this
knowledge of mankind behind. Right?
K: That is what I am saying.
B: Apparently it is out of its place.
K: Yes. Leave all the knowledge and experience and
explanations, causes that man has created as human beings, discard
all that.
Q: But you are still left with the same mind.
K: Ah! I have not such a mind. It is not the same mind.
Q: Well then it is not clear what you are saying.
K: Oh yes. When I discard all this my mind has changed. My
mind is this.
Q: No, isn’t the mind also the basic set-up?
K: Which I have discarded.
Q: But you can’t discard that.
K: Oh yes.
Q: I mean this is an organism.
K: Now wait a minute. My organism has been shaped by the
knowledge, by experience. Right?
Q: To some extent.       K: Yes. And more knowledge which I have acquired, as I have
evolved, as I have grown, as I have experienced, gathered more
and more, it has strengthened me, and I have been walking on that
path for millennia. And I say, perhaps I may have to look at this
problem totally differently. Which is not to walk on that path at all.
Discard all knowledge I have acquired. Sorry.
B: In this area, in this psychological place.
K: Psychologically, of course.
B: At the core, at the source, knowledge is irrelevant.
K: Yes sir.
B: Further down the line it becomes relevant.
K: Of course. That is understood.
Q: But I have one question. The mind at the beginning of its
evolution, or at the beginning, was in that same position. The mind
at the beginning of whatever you call man was in that position, it
didn’t have any knowledge.
K: No. I don’t accept that. Why do you say that? The moment it
comes into being it is already formed in that. It is already caught in
knowledge.
Q: I don’t quite understand.
K: Would you say that.
B: Well I think it is implicit in the structure of thought.
K: Yes sir, that is just it.
B: First of all to have knowledge about the outward, and then to
come inward and therefore without understanding that it was going
to be caught in it. It was good enough, developed enough to think
about the inward, then it would extend that knowledge outward to
the inward into the area of psychological becoming.       Q: Well you see, if the mind could start anew, it would go
through the same mistake again.
K: No. No. Certainly not.
Q: Unless it has learnt.
K: No. I don’t want to learn. You are still pursuing the same old
path. That is what I am objecting to.
Q: I think I just have the problem of choosing the right words.
K: I don’t want to learn – no sir, please just let me go into this a
little bit.
B: We should clear this up because on other occasions you have
said it is important to learn, even about observing yourself.
K: Of course, of course.
B: Now you are saying something quite different. It should be
clear that if it is different, why? Why is it that you have given up
the notion of learning at this stage?
K: At this stage because I am still gathering memory.
B: Yes, but there was a state when it was important to learn
about the mind.
K: Don’t go back. Just a minute. I am just starting. I have lived
for sixty years or eighty years, or a hundred years. And I have
listened to all this – the preachers in India, the teachers in India, the
Christians, the Muslims, I have listened to all the explanations,
psychological explanations, the cause, Freud, Marxist, everybody.
B: I think we should go a bit further. That is all the negative
stuff but in addition perhaps I have observed myself and learned
about myself.
K: Myself, yes, add that.
B: Add that too, right.       Q: Add K.
K: All that. And at the end of it I say perhaps this is a wrong
way of looking at it. Right?
B: Right. Having explored that way we finally are able to see it
might be wrong.
K: Perhaps.
B: Well I would say that in some sense perhaps it was necessary
to explore that way.
K: Or not necessary.
B: It may not have been but given the whole set of conditions it
was bound to happen
K: Of course. So now I have come to a point when I say all that
knowledge – we will put in that word – discard it. Because that
hasn’t lead me anywhere – lead me in the sense that I am not free of
my egocentricism.
B: Well that alone isn’t enough because if you say it hasn’t
worked you can always hope that it may, suppose it may. But in
fact you could see that it can’t work.
K: It can’t work. Oh, I am definite on that.
B: It is not enough to say it hasn’t worked but actually it cannot
work.
K: It cannot work.
Q: I am not definite on that. Isn’t that just the difficulty?
K: It cannot work because it is based on time and knowledge,
which is thought. And these explanations are based on thought –
acquire knowledge and so on and so on. Would you say that?
B: Well as far as we have gone we have based it on knowledge
and thought and not only thought but also the habitual patterns of skill, all that which is an extension of thought.
K: So when I put those aside, not casually, not with an interest
in the future, but I see the same pattern being repeated, repeated,
repeated, different colours, different phrases, different pictures,
different images – I discard all that totally. Instead of going North,
as I have been going for millennia, I have stopped and am going
East, which means my mind has changed.
Q: Has the structure of the ‘me’ gone?
K: Obviously.
Q: Without insight into it?
K: No. I won’t bring in insight for the moment.
B: But there was insight to do that. I mean to say that to
consider doing it was an insight. The insight was the whole thing
that worked.
K: I won’t bring in that word.
B: When you said it, that the whole thing cannot work, well I
think that is an insight.
K: For me. I see it cannot work. But you see then we go back to
that again: how do I acquire insight and all that.
B: But leaving all that aside and just saying that it was an
insight, but the question of how to acquire it is not the point.
K: It is an insight that says, out.
Q: Out to the pattern.
K: No, finished with this constant becoming through
experience, knowledge – you follow – patterns, finished.
Q: Well would you say that that kind of thinking afterwards is a
totally different kind of thinking? Evidently you must still think.
K: I am not sure.       Q: Well you may call it something else.
K: Ah, I won’t call it anything else. Please I am just fishing
around. Which is after having lived a hundred years and I see
everybody pointing out the way to end the self, and that way is
based on thought, time, knowledge. And I say sorry, I know all
that, I have an insight – I’ll use that – I have an insight into that,
therefore it falls away. And therefore the mind has broken the
pattern completely.
Now, all right. Dr Bohm has achieved this – not achieved – has
got this insight and broken away the pattern. Please help another
human being to come to that. Don’t say you must be interested, you
must listen, you must – then you fall back – you follow? How will –
no, not ‘how’. What is your communication with another human
being so that he hasn’t got to go through all this mess? You follow
my question? How will you – not ‘how’ – what will make me absorb
so completely what you have said, so that it is in my blood, in my
brain, in my way, everything, so that I see this thing, what will you
do? Or there is nothing to do? You follow me? Because if you have
the insight it is a passion, it is not just a clever insight, now sit back
and be comfortable, it is a passion, and this passion won’t let you
sit still, you must move, give whatever it is. What will you do?
You have that passion. Exercise that passion of this immense
insight. And that passion must, like a river with a great volume of
water flows over the banks, in the same way that passion must
move.
Now, I am a human being, ordinary, fairly intelligent, read,
experienced, tried this, that and the other thing, and I meet this ‘X’
and I say – and he is full of this – why won’t I listen to him?       Q: I think you do listen.
Q: But that is the old question Krishnaji.
Q: Krishnaji I listen.
K: Do you?
Q: Yes, I think so.
K: Just go very, very slowly. Do you so completely listen that
there is no resistance, no saying why, what is the cause, why
should I – you follow what I mean? We have been all through all
that. We have walked the area endlessly, back and forth from
corner to corner, North, South, East, we have walked all over the
area. And ‘X’ comes along and says, ‘Look, there is a different way
of living, different, something totally new’ – which means, please
listen, will you so completely that you – you know.
Q: If there is a resistance one does not see the resistance.
K: Don’t go back to school. I am not being rude.
Q: What do you mean?
K: Begin again all over again – explain why you resist.
Q: But one doesn’t see the resistance.
K: Then I will show you your resistance, by talking – you know.
But yet you go back.
Q: Krishnaji, did not your initial question go beyond this, when
you asked, let’s leave the listening, the rationality, the thought.
K: Yes sir, but that is just an idea – will you do it? ‘X’ comes
along and says ‘Look, eat this.’
Q: I would eat it if I could see it.
K: Oh yes, you can see it, very clearly you can see it.
Q: The ‘me’…
K: That’s what I am preventing – he said don’t go back to the pattern. See it. Then you say: ‘How am I to see?’ – which is the old
pattern. Just see! ‘X’ refuses to enter that pattern.
Q: The pattern of explanation?
K: Knowledge, all that. He says come over, don’t go back.
Q: Krishnaji, to talk about a normal situation in the world. You
have quite a number of people who ask you with similar words to
see, put thought aside, if you would really look at this thing you
will see it. I mean that is what the priests tell you. So what is the
difference?
K: No, no, no. I am not a priest. ‘X’ isn’t a priest. ‘K’ says, I have
left all that. I have left the church, the gods, Jesus, the Buddhas, the
Krishnas, I have left all that, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, all the
analysts, all the pundits, everybody. You see you haven’t done that.
‘X’ says, do that. Ah, you say, no, I can’t do it until you show me
there is something else beyond all that. And ‘X’ says, ‘Sorry.’ Has
that any meaning sir?
B: Yes. You see I think that if you say leave all the knowledge
behind, but knowledge takes many subtle forms which you don’t
see. Right? You see even…
K: Of course. You are full of this insight and you have
discarded all knowledge because of that. And I keep on puddling
over the pool of knowledge. And you say, leave it. The moment
you enter into explanations we are back into the game. And you
refuse to explain. It’s rather good. Yes sir.
You see explanations have been the boat on which to cross to
the other shore. And the man on the other shore says there is no
boat. Cross! Now ‘X’ says that. He is asking me something
impossible. Right?       B: If it doesn’t happen right away then it is impossible.
K: Absolutely. He is asking me something impossible for me to
do. (Noise of bees buzzing)
B: The bees are very active, it’s so warm.
K: I am meeting ‘X’ who is immovable. Either I have to go
round him, avoid him, or go over him. I can’t do any of that. But ‘X’
absolutely refuses to enter into the game of words. Then what am I,
who have played games with words, what am I to do? ‘X’ won’t
leave me alone. Right sir? Leave me alone in the sense he may
leave personally, but in the sense that I have met something
immovable. And it is there might and day with me. I can’t battle
with it because there is nothing I can get hold of.
So what happens to me? Go on sirs: what happens to me when I
meet something that is completely solid, immovable, absolutely
true, what happens to me? Is that the problem, that we have never
met – sorry, I am just putting that – never met something like that?
You may climb the Himalayas but Everest is always there. In the
same way perhaps human beings have never met something
irrevocable, something absolutely immovable. Either I am terribly
puzzled by it, or I say, well I can’t do anything about it. Walk away
from it. Or it is something that I must investigate. You follow? I
must capture it. Right? Which is it?
Q: But then we are back in the old pattern.
K: No, no. No.
Q: I want to investigate.
K: Here is a solid thing. I am confronted by it. As I said, I might
run away from it, which I generally do. Or worship it. Or try to
understand what it is. When I do all those things I am back into the old pattern. So I discard that. When meeting ‘X’ who is immovable
I see what the nature of it is. I wonder if I am? I am movable, as a
human being, but ‘X’ is immovable. The contact with it does
something, it must. It is not some mystic, it is not some occult stuff
and all that kind of thing, but it is simple, isn’t it?
Q: Sir, it functions like a magnet, which is why everyone is in
this room. But it doesn’t break something.
K: No, because you haven’t let go the pattern. It is not his fault,
‘X’s’ fault.
Q: I didn’t say it was.
K: No, the implication is that.
Q: No.
K: When you use the word ‘magnet’, it means that, attraction.
Q: It has that effect.
K: No. Therefore you are back, you are dependent.
Q: What is taking place?
K: I understand. I am saying you, Moody, meet ‘X’, what
happens?
Q: You said effort to understand.
K: Ah, there you are, lost. You are back into the old pattern.
Q: But even the language of meeting suggests that you have..
K: No, no, don’t break up the words. Meet, face, you see it, you
feel it, you know it, you recognize, it doesn’t matter what word you
use, it is there.
B: Well can’t you say that if ‘X’ communicates the absolute
necessity of not going on with the old pattern because you see it
absolutely cannot work.
K: Yes sir, put it in your own words. All right.       B: And that is unalterable, what is immovable – is that what you
mean?
K: Yes sir. I am movable: ‘X’ is immovable.
B: Well what is behind ‘X’ is immovable. Wouldn’t you say that,
what is working in ‘X’.
K: What is working is something of a shock first, naturally. I
have been moving, moving, moving, then I meet something that is
immovable. Suddenly something takes place, obviously. Not
something, you can see what takes place. ‘X’ is not becoming and I
am becoming. And ‘X’ has been through explanations and all the
rest of it and he shows that becoming is painful. I am putting it
quickly, in a few words. And I meet that. So there is the sensitivity
– all right, let’s put it the other way. The explanations and the
discarding of many, many – all the explanations – has made me
sensitive, obviously. Much more alert. When I meet something like
‘X’ naturally there is a response not in terms of explanation or
understanding. There is a response to that. No? Bound to be. If I
am a musician, I like Beethoven, or Mozart or whatever it is, and I
have listened, listened, listened, it makes me sensitive to music. So
in the same way explanations have been given over and over and
over again. I have listened but it has made me either dull or I begin
to see explanations have no value at all. So in this process – I am
using the word – in this process I have become extraordinarily
sensitive to any word of explanation. I am allergic!
There is a danger in this too because you know people have said
when you go to the guru he gives – you know – be silent and you
will receive. That’s an illusion, you know. Well I have said enough.
B: Could I just say that when you see that this whole process of time and knowledge and so on won’t work then it stops, you see.
Now then this leaves one more sensitive. Right?
K: Yes sir. The mind has become sharp.
B: Because all this movement is getting in the way.
K: Yes. I think psychological knowledge has made us dull.
B: Yes, it has kept the brain moving in an unnecessary way. It is
clear.
Q: All knowledge.
B: Well no. You could say in some sense that knowledge
needn’t make you dull, I suppose, but if it starts from the clarity of
where we don’t have this knowledge at the core…
K: Yes sir. You remember we said too in our discussion, the
ground is not knowledge.
B: You see the first thing is it creates emptiness.
K: Yes sir, that’s it.
B: But not yet the ground. But not immediately the ground.
K: That’s right. You see we have discussed all this. I hear it on
the tape, it is printed in a book, and I say, yes I get it. By reading it
I have explained, you have explained, I have acquired knowledge.
Then I say I must have that.
B: Well the danger is it is very difficult to communicate this in a
book, you see, because it is too fixed.
K: But that is what generally happens.
B: But I think that the main point, which could communicate it,
is to see that knowledge in all its forms, subtle and obvious, cannot
solve the psychological problem, it can only make it worse. But
then there is another energy which is involved.
K: You see now what is happening? If any trouble arises I go to a psychologist. If any family trouble I go to somebody who will
tell me what to do. Everything around me is being organized and
making me more and more and more helpless. Right? Which is
what is happening.
B: Yes, well that is part of the same trend to organize our lives
in more and more detail.
K: What time is it?
B: Twenty past five.
K: Five twenty? I think we had better stop, don’t you? Shall we
meet again?
B: On Saturday, we suggested.
K: Yes, let’s do it Saturday.
B: The same time.
OJAI 5TH CONVERSATION WITH DAVID
BOHM 12TH APRIL, 1980 `THE ENDING OF
TIME’

J Krishnamurti: Anything you have to say sir?
Dr Bohm. Well I thought perhaps we could go on – we raised
several questions after these discussions. One was the nature of this
ground that we discussed, whether we could come to it and
whether it has any interest in human beings. And also we discussed
the possibility that there could be a change in the physical
behaviour of the brain.
K: Could we approach this question from the point of view:
why have ideas – because is the ground an idea? That is what I
want first be clear – why have ideas become so important?
B: Well I should say that perhaps because the distinction
between ideas and what is beyond ideas is not clear. Ideas are often
taken to be something more than ideas, that we feel it is not an idea
but actually a reality.
K: That is what I want to find out. Is it an idea, or is it an
imagination, an illusion, a philosophic concept? Or something that
is absolute in the sense that there is nothing beyond it?
B: How can you tell that there is nothing beyond it?
K: I am coming slowly. I want to see whether we look at that, or
we perceive that, or have an insight into that from a concept.
Because after all the whole Western world, and perhaps also the
Eastern world, is based on concepts. Their whole outlook, their
religious beliefs, are all based on that, and in the Asiatic world too.
But do we approach it from that point of view? A philosophic investigation – philosophic in the sense love of wisdom, love of
truth, love of investigation, the process of the mind. Are we doing
that when we discuss, or when we want to investigate or explain, or
find out what that ground is?
B: Yes, well perhaps not even all the philosophers have been
basing themselves on concepts. Certainly philosophy is taught
through concepts.
K: Yes, I am just questioning that.
B: Whether all the philosophers really wanted to base
everything on concepts is another question.
K: I didn’t say all, sir.
B: Most of them.
K: Most of them!
B: And certainly it is very hard to teach it except through
concepts.
K: So I just want to know. What then is the difference between
a religious mind and a philosophic mind? You understand what I
am trying to convey? Perhaps I am not doing it properly. Do we
investigate the ground from a mind that is disciplined in
knowledge?
B: Yes, well fundamentally we say that the ground is unknown
inherently.
K: That’s what I want to know.
B: Therefore we can’t begin with knowledge. Many years ago
we had a discussion in London and we suggested we start with the
unknown.
K: Yes, yes. Say for instance ‘X’ says there is such a ground.
And all of us, ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’ and ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ say what is the ground, prove it, show it, let it manifest itself. And when we ask such
questions, is it a mind that is seeking, or rather that has this passion
for truth, the love of truth? You follow? Or merely we say let’s talk
about it?
B: I think that in that mind there is the demand for certainty
which says show itself, I want to be sure. So therefore there is not
enquiry, no?
K: No. Suppose you state that there is such a thing, there is the
ground, immovable and so on. And ‘X’, I will take the part of ‘X’,
‘X’ says, ‘I want to find out, show it to me. Prove it to me.’ How can
my mind which has evolved through knowledge, which has been
highly disciplined in knowledge, even touch that, because that is
not knowledge, that is not put together by thought.
B: Yes, as soon as you say, prove it, you want to turn it into
knowledge.
K: That’s it. Prove it to me. Show it to me.
B: To be absolutely certain knowledge is what you want.
K: That’s it.
B: So that there can be no doubt. And yet of course there is also
the danger of self-deception and delusion, the other side.
K: Of course. We have been through all that very carefully.
Right from the beginning we said the ground cannot be touched as
long as there is any form of illusion, which is the projection of
desire, pleasure, fear and all that.
B: I merely meant to say that the person who says prove it, is
also trying to protect it against those illusions. But it is a vain hope.
K: So how do I, as an ‘X’, perceive that thing? That is what I
want. Is the ground an idea to be investigated? Or is it something that cannot be investigated?
B: Right.
K: Because my mind is trained, disciplined, by experience and
knowledge, and it can only function in that area. And you come
along and tell me that this ground is not an idea, it is not a
philosophical concept, it is not something that can be put together
by thought, or perceived by thought.
B: Yes, or understood by thought.
K: Yes, understood by thought. Then what am I to do?
B: Yes, you are even adding more in some sense because the
person says that I want to find that by experience, not only thought
but also experience.
K: Of course.
B: It cannot be experienced, it cannot be perceived, or
understood through thought.
K: Yes. So what have I? I have only this mind that has been
conditioned by knowledge. How am I, as an ‘X’, to move away, to
move away from all that? Because there are more philosophers
than religious people. Sorry!
B: Well there are very few true philosophers too.
K: There are very few religious people too.
B: Very few of either.
K: I am just making a joke of it.
B: Well I don’t know, you could say compare the number of
people who call themselves philosophers, call themselves religious,
far more call themselves religious. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t
count.
K: So how am I, an ordinary man, educated, read, experienced, to feel this thing, to touch it, to comprehend it?
You tell me words will not convey that. You tell me you must
have a mind that is free from all knowledge, except technological,
the other kind of knowledge. And you are asking me an impossible
thing, aren’t you? And if I say, I will make an effort, then that also
is born out of the self-centred desire. So what shall I do? I think
this is not a spurious question. It is a very serious question. This is
what everybody asks – everybody in the sense, I mustn’t use a
general term, that serious people ask.
B: At least implicitly. They may not say it.
K: Yes, implicitly. So you on the other side of the bank as it
were, tell me that there is no boat to cross. You can’t swim across.
In fact you can’t do anything. Basically that is what it comes to. So
what shall I do? You are asking me to free – you are asking the
mind, not the general mind but this mind…
B:… the particular mind.
K: You are asking this particular mind to eschew all knowledge.
My god, sir! Has this been said in the Christian world, or in the
Jewish world?
B: I don’t know about the Jewish world. But in some sense the
Christians tell you to give your faith to god, to give up all your
personal, to give over to Jesus and let him…
K: Yes, they have said that, only through Jesus.
B: He is the mediator between us and god.
K: Yes. But what I am trying to find out is: has, say for
instance, Vedanta means the end of knowledge – you know that, of
course. The ending of knowledge.
B: It could mean that I suppose. I don’t know Sanskrit that well.       K: I have discussed…
B: Veda by itself means knowledge.
K: It means the end of that.
B: That means the end of it, yes.
K: And being a Westerner, I say it means nothing to me.
Because from the Greeks and all that, this culture in which I have
lived is emphasizing knowledge. Last night Bronoski was talking
again about evolution of man and all that.
B: They reshoed it?
K: Yes. When you talk to an Eastern mind – I am talking of the
minds who have studied, not just the usual ones – they know, they
acknowledge in their religious life that a time must come when
knowledge must end. Vedanta is the whole way of looking. They
would immediately understand that the mind must be free of
knowledge. But it is only a conceptual, a theoretical understanding.
But as a Westerner, it means absolutely nothing to me.
B: Well, in the beginning. I think there has been a Western
tradition which is similar but not as common. Like in the Middle
Ages there was a book written called ‘The Cloud of Unknowing’,
which is on that line, but that is not the main line of Western
thought.
K: No, that is what I am saying: it is not the line of Western
thought. So what shall I do? How shall I approach the question? I
want to find it, not only find it, it gives meaning to life – not my
intellect gives meaning to life by inventing some illusion, or some
hope, some belief, but I see vaguely, that this understanding, or
coming upon this ground, gives an immense significance to life.
B: Yes, well people have used that notion of god to give significance to life.
K: No, no. God is merely an idea.
B: Yes but the idea contains something similar to the Eastern
idea that god is beyond knowing. Most people accept it that way.
K: Yes.
B: Though some may not. So there is some sort of similar
notion.
K: But you tell me this is not created by thought. So you cannot
under any circumstances come upon it through any form of
manipulation of thought.
B: Yes, I understand what you are saying. I am trying to say that
there is this problem, danger, delusion, in the sense that in the West
people say, ‘Yes, that is quite true, it is through a direct experience
of Jesus that we come upon it, not through thought’, you see.
K: I mean after all a direct experience of Jesus…
B: Well those are my words, they might not even talk that way,
I don’t know. I am not able to express their view accurately. The
grace of god.
K: The grace of god, yes.
B: Something beyond thought, you see.
K: As a fairly educated man, fairly thoughtful man, I reject all
that.
B: Yes, why do you reject it?
K: Because it has become common, first of all. Common in the
sense that everybody says that. And also there may be, or perhaps
there is, in it a great sense of illusion created by desire, hope, fear.
B: Yes. Some people do seem to find this meaningful, it may be
an illusion but…       K: But if they had never heard of Jesus, never heard of Jesus,
they wouldn’t experience Jesus.
B: That seems reasonable.
K: They would experience what they had been taught. In India I
mean Jesus…
B: That seems to be the weak point that the particular form of
Jesus must be due to their having heard that idea.
K: Of course, of course, obviously. When you are daily
pounded with, Jesus is your Saviour – I mean, naturally.
B: I mean it would be interesting if someone who had never
heard of Jesus would have this experience. That would be some
sort of proof that there was more to it.
Q: But wouldn’t you also say that there are some more serious
people in the religions who would say that essentially what they
want to say is that also god, or whatever that is, the absolute, or the
ground is something that cannot be experienced through thinking
or also they might even go so far as to say it cannot be experienced
at all.
K: Oh yes, I have said it cannot be experienced. ‘X’ says it
cannot be experienced.
Q: I think the essence of some religions would say that too.
K: All right, I don’t know. Here is a person who says there is
such a thing. And I listen to him and I see not only does he convey
it by his presence, he conveys it also through the word. And he
tells me, be careful, the word is not the thing. But he uses the word
to convey something to me which I vaguely capture, that there is
this something so immense that my thought cannot capture it. And
I say, all right, you have explained that very carefully and how am I, whose brain is conditioned that way, in knowledge, disciplined,
how is it to free itself from all that?
Q: Could it free itself by understanding its own limitation?
K: Understanding what?
Q: That itself, that thought itself could understand that whatever
it is doing it is bound by some natural limitation.
K: So you are telling me, thought is limited. Show it to me. Not
by saying memory, experience, knowledge, all knowledge – I
understand all that, but I don’t capture the feeling that it is limited,
because I see the beauty of the earth, I see the beauty of a building,
of a person, of nature, I see all that; but when you say thought is
limited I don’t feel it. It is just a lot of words which you have told
me.
Q: Well it does require serious investigation.
K: No, I have investigated it. I have investigated that thought is
limited. Obviously. You don’t need the investigation, it is so clear.
Q: I see. You are saying that thought sees it normally
indirectly?
K: No, no. I am saying, I see that. Intellectually I understand it.
It is so obvious. But I have no feeling for it. You understand?
There is no perfume in it.
Q: That is what I would say is indirect understanding.
K: No, it is not even understanding – it means nothing.
Q: It is just more knowledge.
K: Yes. It means nothing. How will you show me – not show me
– how will you help me – not help – aid me to have this feeling that
thought itself is brittle, it is such a small affair, so that it is in my
blood – you understand? When once it is in my blood I have got it – you don’t have to explain it.
Q: But isn’t that the possible approach, not to talk about the
ground, that at the moment is far too removed.
K: That is far away.
Q: But rather look directly at what the mind can do.
K: Which is thinking.
Q: The mind is thinking.
K: That is all I have. Thinking, feeling, hating, loving – you
know all that. The activity of the mind. I know that very well, you
don’t have to tell me.
Q: I would say you don’t know it, you only think you know it.
K: Oh no. You think so. I know it. I have seen it. I have
captured it. I know when I am angry. I know when I am wounded.
It is not an idea, I have got the feeling, the hurt is carrying inside
me. I want to get at this. You understand sir? Am I conveying
anything? I am fed up with the investigation because I have done it
all my life. I go to the Hindu business and I say I have investigated,
studied it, looked at it, Buddhism, this and the other, Christianity,
Islam and so on. I say these are all just words. How do I as a
human being have this extraordinary feeling about it? You
understand? I wonder if I am conveying anything – am I? Because
if I have no passion behind it, it is just…
Q: What does the feeling spring from?
K: I am not investigating. I want to have this passion that will
explode me out of this little enclosure. You understand? I have
built a wall round myself, cultured, fairly respectable, educated, a
wall, which is myself. And I have lived with this thing for millions
of years. And I have lived trying to get out of it by studying, by reading, by going to gurus, by all kinds of things I have done. And
I am still anchored there. And you talk about the ground because
you see something that is breathtaking, that seems so alive,
extraordinary and so on. And I am here, anchored in here. You,
who have seen the ground – see in quotes – must do something that
will explode, break up this thing completely.
Q: I must do something, or you must do something?
K: Help me! Not by prayer and all that nonsense. You
understand what I am trying to say? I have fasted, I have
meditated, I have given up, I have taken a vow of this and that, I
have done all those things. Because I have had a million years of
life. And at the end of the million years I am still where I was, at
the beginning – which is a great discovery for me. You understand?
I thought I had moved from the beginning, at the beginning by
going through all this, but I suddenly discover I am back at the
same point where I started; I have more experience, I have seen the
world, I have painted, I have played music, I have danced. You
follow? But have come back to the original starting point.
Q: Which is me and not me.
K: Yes, me. I say to myself what am I to do? And what is the
human mind’s relationship to the ground? That is what you are
saying. Perhaps if I could establish relationship it might break up
this centre, totally. You follow? It is not a motive, it is not a desire,
it is not a reward. I see if the mind could establish a relationship
with that my mind has become that. Right?
Q: But hasn’t the mind then already become that?
K: Oh, no.
Q: But Krishnaji I think you have just wiped away the greatest difficulty in saying there is no desire, there is no…
K: No, no. I said I have lived a million years.
Q: But that is an insight.
K: No. I won’t accept insight so easily as that.
Q: Well let me put it this way: it is something much more than
knowledge.
K: No, no, you are missing my point. My brain has lived for a
million years. It has experienced everything. It has been a
Buddhist, it has been a Hindu, a Christian, it has been a Muslim, it
has been all kinds of things, but the core of it is the same. Right?
And you come along and say, look there is a ground which is –
something. Are you going back to what I have already known?
You follow? Hindus, Buddhists. If you do I reject all that because I
say I have been through all that. They are like ashes to me at the
end of it.
B: Well all of those things were the attempt to create apparent
ground by thought. It seemed that through knowledge and thought,
through Buddhism, and various other ways, people created what
they regarded as the ground. And it wasn’t.
K: It wasn’t. Because I have spent a million years at it.
B: So as long as knowledge enters the ground that will be false?
K: Of course. So can I – I am just asking – is there a relationship
between that and the human mind? In asking that question I am
also aware of the danger of such a question.
B: Yes. Well you may create a delusion of the same kind that
we have already gone through.
K: Yes. I have played that before, that song.
Q: Are you suggesting that the relationship cannot be made by you, but it must come…
K: I am asking that. No, it may be I have to make a relationship.
My mind now is in such a state that I won’t accept a thing.
Q: But the bridge, if there is such a thing.
K: My mind says I have been through all this before. I have
suffered, I have searched, I have looked, I have investigated, I have
lived with people who are awfully clever at this kind of thing, and
so on and so on. So I am asking this question being fully aware of
the danger of that question. Because that is what the Hindus say,
god is in you, Brahman is in you, which is a lovely idea. I have
been through all that.
So I am asking ‘X’, if the human mind has no relationship to it,
and that there is only a one way passage, from that to me…
B: Well that’s like the grace of god then.
K: You see.
B: That you have invented.
K: That I won’t accept.
Q: And also we are back again into the area of ideas.
K: No. They may be. So I am rejecting the explanation – the
grace of god.
B: You are not saying the relationship is one way, nor are you
saying it is not one way.
K: Maybe, I don’t know.
B: You are not saying anything.
K: I am not saying anything. All that I want is – want in quotes –
this centre to be blasted. You understand? For the centre not to
exist. Because I see that centre is the cause of all the mischief, all
the neurotic conclusions, all the illusions, all the endeavour, all the effort, all the misery, everything is from that core. After a million
years, I haven’t been able to get rid of it, it hasn’t gone. So is there a
relationship at all? What is the relationship between goodness and
evil, or bad? Right? It comes to the same thing. There is no
relationship.
B: It depends upon what you mean by relationship.
K: All right. Contact, touch, communication, being in the same
room.
B: Coming from the same root.
K: Yes, same root.
Q: But Krishnaji, are we then saying that there is the good and
that there is the evil?
K: No, no. Don’t. Goodness – use another word, whole, and that
which is not whole. It is not an idea. Now, is there relationship
between these two? Obviously not.
B: Yes, well if you are saying that in some sense the centre is an
illusion – an illusion cannot be related to that which is true because
the content of the illusion has no relation to what is true.
K: That’s it, that’s it. You see that is a great discovery. I want to
establish relationship with that – want, I am using rapid words to
convey this thing – this petty little thing wants to have relationship
with that immensity. It cannot.
B: Yes, it is not just because of its immensity but because in
fact this thing is not actually.
K: Yes.
Q: But I don’t see that.
K: What do you mean?
Q: He say the centre is not actual. And that is part of my difficulty – I don’t see the centre is not actual.
B: Actual in the sense of being genuine and not an illusion. I
mean something is acting but it is not the content which we know.
K: Do you see that?
Q: No. He says the centre must explode. It does not explode
because I don’t see the falseness in it.
K: No, no, no. You have missed my point. I have lived a million
years, I have done all this. And at the end of it I am still back at the
beginning.
Q: Well you say the centre then must explode.
K: No, no, no. The mind says this is too damn small.
Q: Right.
K: And it can’t do anything about it. It has prayed, it has done
everything. It is still there.
Q: Right.
K: And he comes along and tells me there is this thing. I want to
establish a relationship with that.
Q: He tells me there is this thing and he also tells me that the
centre is an illusion.
B: Wait, that is too quick.
K: No. Wait. I know it is there. Call it what you like.
Q: Yes.
K: An illusion, a reality, a fixation – whatever you like. It is
there. And the mind says it is not good enough, it wants to capture
that. Therefore it wants to have that relationship with it. And that
says, ‘Sorry, you can’t have relationship with me.’ That’s all!
Q: Krishnaji, is that mind that wants to be in connection, wants
to have a relationship with that, is that the same mind which is the ‘me’?
K: Yes, yes. No, don’t split it up sir. You are missing something.
I have lived all this. Don’t argue with me. I know, I can argue with
you, back and forth. I have a million years of experience and it has
given me a certain capacity. And I realize at the end of it all there
is no relationship between me and truth. Right? And that’s a
tremendous shock to me. You follow? It is like you have knocked
me out because all my millions of years of experience says go after
that, seek it, search for it, pray for it, struggle for it, cry for it,
sacrifice. I have done all that. And suddenly ‘X’ says, you cannot
have relationship with that. You understand? You are not feeling
the same as I am. I have shed tears, left my family, everything for
that. And that says, ‘Sorry’. So what has happened to me? That is
what I want to get at. You understand sir? Do you understand what
I am saying? What has happened to the mind that has lived this
way, done everything that man has done in search for that, and that
says, one morning, ‘You have no relationship with me’. Sir, this is
the greatest thing. Right? I don’t know if you follow what I mean.
Q: This is a tremendous shock to the ‘me’, if you say that.
K: Is it to you?
Q: I think it was and then…
K: Don’t – I am asking you: is it a shock to discover that your
brain, and your mind, your knowledge is valueless? All your
examinations, all your struggles, all the things that one has
gathered through years and years, centuries, absolutely worthless.
Either I go mad, because I say, ‘My god, I have done all this for
nothing? My virtue, my abstinence, my control, everything and at
the end of it you say they are valueless.’ Sir, you understand what it does to me? You don’t see it.
B: I mean if the whole thing goes then it is of no consequence.
K: Because what you have said, which is that absolutely you
have no relationship. What you have done, not done, what you
have, is absolutely of no value. You understand sir?
B: Not in any fundamental sense. It has relative value. It has
only relative value within a certain framework, in which itself has
no value.
K: Yes, thought has relative value.
B: But the framework in general has no value.
K: That’s right. Whatever you have done on earth – in quotes –
has no meaning, the ground says. Is that an idea? Or an actuality?
You understand? Idea being that you have told me but I still go on,
struggling, wanting, groping; but it is an actuality, in the sense that
I suddenly realize the futility of all that I have done. So I must be
very careful – when I use the word ‘I’ it doesn’t mean – I must be
very careful to see that it is not a concept, or rather that I don’t
translate into a concept, an idea, but receive the full blow of it!
Where are we?
Q: You see Krishnaji for hundreds of years, probably since
mankind existed, man has pursued this, what he calls god or the
ground.
K: As an idea.
Q: As an idea for many people it was very…
K: No, for all people. It must be.
Q: But anyhow then science came along, the scientific mind
came along and also told that mind that it is just an idea, it is just
foolish.       K: No, no, no. Scientific mind says through investigating matter
we will perhaps come upon the ground.
B: Many feel that way, yes.
K: Many.
B: Well some would even add investigate the brain, you see.
K: Yes. That is the purpose of investigating the mind, not to
blast each other off, guns and all that. They say as a scientist – we
are talking of good scientists, like him and so on – good, not a
governmental scientist, but a good scientist says, ‘We are
examining matter, the brain and all that, to find out if there is
something beyond all this.’
Q: And many people, many scientists, would say that they have
found the ground – the ground is empty, it is emptiness, it is an
energy which is indifferent to man.
K: Now, is that an idea, or an actuality to them, which affects
their life, their blood, their mind, their relationship with the world?
Q: Well I think it is just an idea.
K: Then, I am sorry, I have been through that. I was a scientist
ten thousands years ago! You follow, I have been through all that.
If it is merely an idea we can both play at that game. I can send the
ball to you, it is in your court, and you can send it back to me. We
can play that. But I have finished with that kind of game.
B: Because in general what people discover about matter does
not seem to affect them deeply, psychologically.
K: No. Of course not.
B: Though you might think that if they saw the whole unity of
the universe they would act differently, but they don’t.
K: They wouldn’t be competing for the Nobel prize and so on.       Q: You could even say that it has affected some of their lives.
You see the whole Communist idea is built on the idea of what
they think is the fact that whatever is, is just a material process,
which is essentially empty and then man has to organize his life
and has to organize society according to those dialectical
principles.
K: No, no. Dialectical principles are one opinion opposing
another opinion, hoping out of opinions to find the truth.
B: Well I think we should leave this aside. There are different
ways of looking at different meanings of the word dialectal – but it
also means to see reality as a flowing movement, not to fix things,
not to see things fixed but to see them in movement and
interconnection. I think that you could say that whatever way
people managed to look at it, after they saw this unity it didn’t
fundamentally change…
K:… their lives.
B: In Russia the same structures of the mind hold as elsewhere,
if not worse. And wherever people have tried this it has not
actually fundamentally affected the way they feel and think and the
way they live.
Q: Well you see what I wanted to say is the dismissal of the
pursuit of the ground has not had any shocking effect on people.
K: No, no. I am not interested. I am the people, it has given me
a tremendous shock to discover the truth, not ideas, discover all the
churches, all the prayers, all the books have absolutely no meaning
– except they have a meaning so that we can build a better society
and so on and so on.
B: If we could manage to bring this point to order then it would have a great meaning – to build a good society.
K: From there I start creating a society.
B: But as long as this disorder is at the centre we can’t use that
in the right way. I think it would be more accurate to say that there
is a great potential meaning in all that but as long as it does not
affect the centre and there is no sign that it has ever done so.
Q: You see what I don’t understand Krishnaji is that there are
many people who in their life have never pursued what you call the
ground.
K: The are not interested.
Q: Well I an not so sure. How would you approach such a
person?
K: I am not interested in approaching any person. I am
interested – not interested – all the works I have done, good,
everything I have done, the ground says are valueless. And if I can
drop all that my mind is the ground. Then from there I move. From
there I create society. Sorry!
B: Well I think that you could say that as long as you are
looking for the ground somewhere by means of knowledge then
you are getting in the way.
K: So sir, to come back to earth: why has man done this?
B: Done what?
K: Accumulated knowledge. Apart from the necessity of
knowledge in certain areas, why has this burden of knowledge
continued for so long?
B: Because in one sense man has been trying to produce a solid
ground through knowledge. Knowledge has tried to create a
ground. That is one of the things that has happened.       K: Which means what?
B: It means illusion again.
K: Which means the saints, the philosophers, have educated me
in knowledge and through knowledge to find the ground.
B: But in fact even to create a ground by using knowledge…
K: Yes sir, I understand that very well. But ‘X’ says…
Q: To create a ground. You see in a way before we have had in
societies of mankind there were all these periods where mankind
was caught in the craziest superstition and there knowledge was
able to do away with that.
K: Oh no.
Q: To some extent it was.
K: Ah! Knowledge has only crippled me from seeing truth.
Sorry I stick to that. It hasn’t cleared me of my illusions.
Knowledge may be illusory itself.
Q: That may be but it has cleared up some illusions.
K: I want to clear up all the illusions that I hold – not some. I
have got rid of my illusion about nationalism; I have got rid of
illusion about belief, about Christ, about this, about that. At the end
of it I realize my mind is illusion. Sorry!
You see to me, who has lived for a thousand years, to find it is
absolutely worthless, it is something enormous.
B: When you say you have lived for a thousand years or a
million years, does that means in a sense that all the experience of
mankind is…
K:… is me.
B:… is me. Do you feel that?
K: I do.       B: And how do you feel it?
K: I feel it like – you know, how do you feel anything? Wait a
minute, I will tell you. It is not sympathy, or empathy, it is not a
thing that I have desired, that I am all humanity, it is a fact, an
absolute, irrevocable fact to me.
B: Yes, well perhaps if we could share that feeling. You see that
seems to be one of the steps that is missing, because you have
repeated that quite often as an important part of the whole thing.
K: Which means sir that when you love somebody there is no –
what? – there is no me, it is love. In the same way, when I say I am
humanity, it is so, it is like that finger. It is not an idea, it is not a
conclusion, it is part of me.
B: Well let’s say it is a feeling that I have gone through all that,
all that you describe, all those million years.
K: Human beings have been through all that.
B: If others have gone through it then I also have gone through
it.
K: Of course. But one is not aware of it.
B: No, we separate.
K: If we admit that our brains are not my particular brain but the
brain that has evolved through millennia.
B: Well let me say why this doesn’t communicate so easily:
everybody feels that the content of his brain is in some way
individual, that he hasn’t gone through all that. Let’s say that
somebody thousands of years ago went through science or
philosophy. Now how does that affect me? That is what is not
clear.
K: Because I am caught in this self-centred narrow little cell, which refuses to look beyond.
B: That is the thing which has been going on.
K: But you come along and tell me, as a scientist, as a religious
man, that your brain is the brain of mankind.
B: Yes and all knowledge is the knowledge of mankind. So that
in some way we have all knowledge.
K: Of course.
B: Not in detail, of course.
K: So you tell me that, and I understand what you mean, not
verbally, not intellectually, I know – not know, it is so. But I come
to that only when I have given up ordinary things like nationality,
you know.
B: Yes we have given up the divisions and we can see that our
experience is of all mankind.
K: It is so obvious sir. You go to the most primitive villager in
India and he will tell you all about his problems, his problems, his
wife, children, poverty. It is exactly the same thing, only here he is
wearing different trousers, kimono, or whatever it is. For ‘X’ it is an
indisputable fact, it is so. And he says, all right, at the end of all
this, a million years, I suddenly show, discover, or show that it is
empty. You see sir, we don’t accept it. We are too clever, we are so
soaked with disputations and arguments and knowledge. We don’t
see a simple fact. We refuse to see it. And ‘X’ comes along and
says, ‘See it, it is there’, and immediately the whole machinery of
thought begins. So they say, be silent. So I practise silence. I have
done that for a thousand years. It has lead nowhere.
So there is only one thing and that is to discover all that I have
done is useless. They are ashes. You see sir that doesn’t depress one. That is the beauty of it. I think it is like the Phoenix.
B: Rising from ashes.
K: Born out of ashes.
B: Well in a way it is freedom to be free of all that.
K: Something totally new is born.
B: Now what you said before is that the mind is the ground, it is
the unknown.
K: The mind? Yes. But not this mind.
B: In that case it is not the same mind.
K: Sir, if I have been through all that and come to a point when
I have to end all that, it is a new mind.
B: That’s clear. The mind is its content, and the content is
knowledge and without that knowledge it is a new mind.
OJAI 6TH CONVERSATION WITH DAVID
BOHM 15TH APRIL, 1980 `THE ENDING OF
TIME’

Dr Bohm: Yesterday I was discussing with some people in San
Francisco and they said you had said that insight changes the brain
cell. They were very interested but I wasn’t able to say a lot more. I
wonder if we could discuss that.
Krishnamurti: As it is constituted the brain functions in one
direction, memory, experience, knowledge. And it has functioned
in that area as much as possible. And most people are satisfied with
it.
B: Well they don’t know of anything else.
K: Of anything else. And also they have placed knowledge in
the supreme importance, and so on and so on. If one is concerned
with fundamental change, where does one begin? Suppose ‘X’ feels
he will go along a certain direction set by mankind. And he has
been going there century after century, and when he asks himself
what is radical change, is it in the environment, is it in the human
relationship, is it a sense of love which is not in the area of
knowledge and so on? Where is it to begin? You understand my
question? Unless there is some mutation taking place inside here,
inside my mind, the brain, I may think I have changed, or it may be
a superficial change, but it won’t be change in depth.
B: Yes, well I think the first thing is to say that what is implied
there is that the present state of affairs involves not only the mind
but also the nervous system, the body, all is set in a certain way.
K: Of course. Yes that is what I meant, the whole movement is in a certain way. And along that way I can modify, adjust, polish, a
little more, a little less and so on, but if a man is concerned with a
very radical change, where is he to begin? As we said the other day
we relied on the environment to change us, society to change us,
various forms of disciplines and so on, but I feel they are all the
same direction.
B: Well, yes in so far as they all emanate from this thing, the
way the mind is set, the body is set, they are not going to change
anything. There is a total structure involved which is in the brain,
in the body, in the whole of society.
K: Yes, yes. So what am I to do? What is ‘X’ to do? And in
asking this question, what is there to change? You understand sir?
B: What do you mean by that, what is there to change? What is
to be changed?
K: Yes, what is to be changed? Both, what is there to be
changed and what is there to change?
B: To make the change, do you mean?
K: To make the change, yes. Not only to make the change but…
B:… to undergo the change?
K: Yes, basically what is there to change? I see, ‘X’ sees he can
change certain things along this way, but go much further than that
– what is one to do? I am sure man has asked this question. You
must have asked it. But apparently the mutation hasn’t taken place.
So what is ‘X’ to do? He realizes the need for a radical revolution, a
psychological revolution, he perceives the more he changes it is the
same thing continued, the more he enquires into himself the
enquiry is still the same, and so on and so on. So what is there to
change? Unless ‘X’ finds a way to change the brain itself…       B: But what will change the brain?
K: That’s it, that’s it. The brain that has been set in a pattern for
millennia. I think it is no longer what should I change, it is
imperative that I change.
B: So in discussing yesterday it was agreed that there must be a
change but the question is how can the brain change?
K: One must introduce, come to that point. If this question is
put to you as a scientist, or as a human being who is involved in
science, what would your answer be?
B: I don’t think science can deal with that because it doesn’t go
far enough, it can’t possibly probe that deeply into the structure of
the brain anyway. Many questions are positing the relationship of
brain and mind, which science has not been able to resolve. Some
people would say that there is nothing beyond the brain.
K: Purely materialistic, I understand all that.
B: If it is not materialistic then for the moment science has very
little to say about it. May be some people would try to but science
generally has been most successful, most systematic, in dealing
with matter, any attempt to do otherwise is not very clear.
K: You tell me – I am ‘X’ – you tell me, inside change in the
brain cells and so on. My immediate answer to that is, how?
B: Yes, that is what everybody asks.
K: That’s it. Everybody asks that. It is not a matter of faith. It is
not a matter of changing the pattern to another pattern. So you
leave me without any direction. Right? You leave me without any
instrument that can penetrate this.
B: Except you are implying that there is something beyond the
brain, it seems clear, in putting that question. We don’t know. The very statement implies that insight is somehow beyond the brain
else it couldn’t change the brain.
K: Yes. So how am I to capture it? I can’t capture it but…
B:… how will it come about?
K: Yes, how is this to come about?
B: I think one should clear up: are you saying that something
which is non-material can affect matter, this is the implication.
K: I am not sure.
B: I think clearing this up would make it more clear what your
question is. It is somewhat puzzling if you don’t.
K: All that you have said to me is, insight changes, brings about
mutation in the brain. Now you explain what insight is, which is
not a result of progressive knowledge, it is not a progressive time,
which is not a remembrance, which may be the real activity of the
brain.
B: All right. Let’s put it differently: the brain has many activities
which include memory and all these that you have said, and in
addition there is a more inward activity, but it is still the activity of
the brain.
K: Then it would be the same.
B: Yes that is what is not clear, you see – in putting this thing
something seems to be not quite clear.
K: Yes. We must be very clear that it is not the result of
progressive knowledge, it is not come by through any exercise of
will.
B: Yes. I think people can generally see that insight comes in a
flash, it does not come through will. Those who have considered it
at all can see that. Also that probably chemistry won’t bring it about, drugs, you know.
K: I think most people see that.
B: Those who are concerned.
K: Some people do see it. How am I, ‘X’, to have this insight. I
see your logic, I see your reason.
B: In some ways it may disturb people, it is not clear what the
logic is, what is going to make this change in the brain, is it
something more than the brain, is it something deeper in the brain?
This is one of the questions.
K: Of course.
B: It is not quite clear logically.
Q: Are you saying sir that there is a function of the brain which
acts without reference to its content?
K: To the past, to the content.
Q: It acts without it. But that this isn’t something which is
changing the whole brain, coming into the brain, but it is a
capability of the brain to…
B: That is a good question, yes. It is on the right line as far as I
see it. Is there a function in the brain which is independent of the
content, which is not conditioned by the content, but it might still
be a physical function?
K: Yes, I understand. Sir, is this the question? Apart from the
consciousness with its content, is there in the brain an activity
which is not touched by consciousness?
B: By the content, yes.
K: By the content – content is the consciousness.
B: Yes, but sometimes you use it in another sense. Sometimes
you talk of consciousness, that there could be another kind of consciousness.
K: Yes, we will leave that.
B: So if we call it content it would be more clear.
K: All right. A part of the brain which is not touched by the
content.
B: All right then. That suggests that it may be possible for the
brain to change. Either the brain is entirely controlled by its
content, or in some way it is not that conditioned, it has some…
K: That is a dangerous thing.
B: But that is what you are saying.
K: You see the danger of it. I am moving away from it. I see the
danger of admitting to myself, and so of trying to tell somebody
else, admitting to myself that there is a part of the brain…
B: An activity.
K:… all right, an activity of the brain which is not touched by
the content.
B: It is a possible activity. It may be that has not been
awakened.
K: It has not been awakened. That’s right.
Q: But what is the danger?
K: That is simple enough. The danger is that I am admitting
there is god in me, that there is some super human, something
beyond the content and therefore that will operate on this, or that
will operate in spite of this.
Q: But which part of the brain sees the danger? Is it that part…
K: Slowly, slowly. Which part of the brain that sees the danger –
of course the content sees the danger.
Q: Does it?       K: Oh yes because the content is aware of all the tricks it has
played.
B: It is similar to many of the old tricks.
K: Yes. Go ahead sir.
B: Those tricks we have discussed before – the assumption of
god within and the imagination of god within, therefore the
apparent proof, there is a danger obviously.
Q: But you see could the brain seeing the danger make that
statement nevertheless, because that statement nevertheless might
be pointing to the right direction.
B: The point is that even though it is dangerous it may be
necessary to do so, it may be on the right track.
K: No, no. The danger is that it is not only traditional, not only
that man has thought about it and previous to ‘X’ said that this thing
exists, therefore the unconscious, which is part of the content, is
capturing that and says, ‘Yes’ – so it sees the danger instantly.
Q: It sees its own trap.
K: Yes, it sees the trap which it has created. Right sir? So it
avoids that trap. That is sanity: to avoid a trap is sanity. Is there an
activity which is totally independent of the content? That activity,
is it part of the brain?
B: Is it a natural activity of the brain? Material in the brain.
K: Which means what?
B: Well if there is such a natural activity it could awaken
somehow and that activity could change the brain, it could change.
K: But would you say it is still material?
B: Yes. There could be different levels of matter you see.
K: That is what I am trying to get at. Right?       B: Right. But you see, if you think that way, there could be a
deeper level of matter which is not conditioned by the content. For
example we know matter in the universe is not conditioned by the
content of our brains generally. There could be a deeper level of
matter not conditioned in that way which could…
K: So it would still be matter, refined or super or whatever, it is
still – what I am trying to find out is that it would still be the
content.
B: Why do you say that? You see you have to go slowly
because do you say matter is content?
K: Yes.
B: Inherently but that has to be cleared up because it is not
obvious.
K: Let’s discuss it. Let’s grip this. Thought is matter.
B: Well thought is part of the content, it is part of the material
process. Whether it exists independently as matter is not so clear. If
you say water is matter then you can pour water from one glass to
another, it has an independent substance, but it is not clear whether
thought could stand as matter by itself except with some other
material substance like the brain in which it takes place. Is that
clear?
K: I don’t quite follow.
B: If you say water is matter then it is clear. You could take
water and it stands inside whatever it is, in the ocean. Now if you
said thought is matter then thought must have a similar
independent substance.
K: I don’t quite follow this. Sorry.
B: You said air is matter. Right? Water is matter. Now waves are not matter, they are just a process in matter. Is that clear what I
mean?
K: Yes. A wave is a process in matter.
B: A material process. Is thought matter, or is it a process in
matter?
K: Ah!
Q: May one ask, is electricity considered matter?
B: In so far as there are electron particles it is matter but it is
also a movement of that, which is a process.
Q: So it is two things.
B: Well you can form waves of electricity and so on.
Q: Waves would be the matter but not the electrical action.
B: Well the electrical action is like the waves but the electricity
consists of particles.
K: Sir, what is the question you have just asked me?
B: Is thought matter, or is it a process in matter? For example,
in the matter of the brain.
K: Is thought…
B: Is thought a material substance, or is it a process in some
other material substance, like the brain?
K: It is a material process in the brain.
B: Yes, scientists would generally agree with that.
K: Let’s stick to that.
B: If you said it was matter they would become very puzzled.
K: I see.
Q: It doesn’t exist apart from the brain cells. It resides in the
brain.
K: That is, thought is a material process in the brain. That would be right. Then is that material process independent – can that
material process ever be independent?
B: Independent of what?
K: Independent of something that is not a material process – no,
wait a minute, I must go slowly. I know what I am trying to
express. I must be careful That’s all I know. Right? A material
process in the brain.
B: Yes, OK.
K: To which we all agree.
B: Yes, you would get very wide agreement on that.
K: Yes. Our question is: can that material process in the brain
bring about a change in itself.
B: That is the question, yes.
K: In itself, and if that material in itself can change it would still
be a material process.
B: Yes.
K: Right?
B: Well thought is always going to be apparently a material
process.
K: So it will still be a material process. And therefore it is not
insight. We must come back to that.
B: You are saying that insight is not a material process? That is
what you are saying.
K: Go slow. I must be careful of using the right words. Thought
is a material process in the brain and any other movements
springing from that material process is still material.
B: Yes, it has to be.
K: Has to be, right. And is there another activity which is not a material process?
B: Well of course people have asked that question for ages. Is
there spirit beyond matter, right?
K: Spirit, Holy Ghost! Is there a material process in the brain, is
there some other activity which – it cannot be related to this, to the
material process.
B: Well it cannot depend on it. Insight cannot depend on the
material process as it would be just another material process.
K: It cannot depend on it. Insight is not dependent on the
material process, which is thought.
B: But you were saying it the other way round: that the material
process may depend on insight, may be changed by insight.
K: Ah, wait, wait. The material process is dependent on it, and
not that dependent on this.
B: Yes, that is what you are saying, isn’t it?
K: Yes. Slowly, slowly.
B: Now you see, generally speaking people would not see how
something non-material could affect something material, you see.
K: Yes, quite.
B: It might be easily agreed that something non-material is not
affected by matter but then how does the operation work the other
way?
K: What do you say? The brain, thought is a material process,
with its content. Any activity from that is still part of that. Now is
insight part of that?
B: Well we have agreed it is independent of that. It takes place
independently of that, it can’t be part of it.
K: That’s right.       B: There’s something the other way. But it can still act within
the material process, that’s the crucial thing.
K: Yes, That’s right. That’s right. It is independent of the
material process but yet it can act upon the material process.
B: Well let’s discuss that a little. You see…
K: Yes, be careful, we mustn’t enter into the Holy Spirit!
B: Generally speaking in science if A can act on B it is usually
reciprocal action of B on A. We don’t find situations where A acts
on B and B never acts on A.
K: I see, I see.
B: This is one of the difficulties you have raised.
K: I understand. But B can act on A.
B: But generally we don’t find this elsewhere, we generally find
that if B acts on A then A can act on B. In human relations if I can
act on you, you can act on me – right?
K: Yes. But if I don’t act – we say human relationships are
interaction.
B: Yes, mutual relationships.
K: Mutual relationship. In that relationship there is response and
so on. Now if I don’t respond to your action, I am independent of it.
B: Yes. I think that if we are trying to make this clear in
science: you see science generally finds that this situation is not
possible to have a one-sided action.
K: Quite. I have understood it. So we are continually insisting
that the material process must have a relationship to…
B: Well an action. You see relationship is an ambiguous word
here. If you said action it would be more clear.
K: All right. The material process…       B:… must be able to act.
K:… must be able to act on the non-material, and the non-
material must act on the material.
B: But that would make them both the same.
K: Exactly! Exactly!
Q: Not necessarily. Could one envisage may be that insight is a
much larger movement than the material process of the brain, and
therefore that much larger movement can act on the smaller
movement but the smaller movement cannot act on the larger
movement.
K: Yes, we are saying the same thing.
B: The small movement has no significant action on the larger
movement. You can have a situation that if you drop a rock in the
ocean, you know the ocean absorbs it with no significant…
K: Quite, quite.
Q: Well then they would still have an action amongst
themselves but there is only one action that is significant
K: No, no, be careful. Don’t enter into that too quickly. Sir, love
has no relationship to hate.
B: Well, again it is the word ‘relationship’. You see would you
say hate has no action on love?
K: They are independent.
B: Independent, they have no action on each other. Right.
K: Ah, this is a very important thing to discover. Love is
independent of hate. Where there is hate the other cannot exist.
Right?
B: Yes.
K: Right?       B: Yes, they can’t stand side by side acting on each other.
K: No, they can’t. So when you scientists say A must have a
relation to B, B must have a relation to A – right? We are
contradicting that. Love is…
B: Well not all scientists have said that but of course a few have
said otherwise – I don’t like to bring in Aristotle, but he said…
K: Bring in Aristotle, both of you.
B:… there is an unmoved mover, you see, he says that god is
never moved by matter, he is not acted on by matter but he acts. Do
you see? So that is an old idea then. Since that time science has
thrown out Aristotle and said that is impossible.
K: If I see clearly that love is independent of hate, hate cannot
possibly act on love, love may act on hate, or where hate is the
other cannot be.
B: Well those are two possibilities, which are you saying?
K: What are the two possibilities?
B: Well you said, one is that love may act on hate, and the other
is that they have no action at all on each other.
K: Yes.
B: Which?
K: I understand. No sir, love cannot act on hate.
B: Right. They have no relationship. But perhaps insight could.
K: Slowly. I am moving, edging my way into it. I want to be
quite clear on this point. Violence and to be without violence are
two entirely different factors. Right?
B: Right.
K: The one cannot act upon the other.
B: Well in that case you could say that the existence of the one is the non-existence of the other, and there is no way to act
together.
K: That’s right.
B: They cannot be there together.
K: Absolutely. I’ll stick to that. So where there is this material
process in action, the other cannot exist.
B: Well then you are going to say – what is the other this time,
insight or…
K: Yes.
Q: Well then that sounds as if insight cannot change that
material process.
K: Eh?
B: Well that denies what we were saying before that there is an
action from insight on the material process.
K: Now steady, yes. Where there is violence the other is not.
Right? Non-violence, I hate to use that word, whatever it is.
B: Peace.
K: Peace.
B: Or order, harmony, right?
K: Where there is violence peace cannot exist. But where there
is peace, is there violence? No, of course not. So peace is
independent of the other.
B: Yes.
K: Now we are saying the material process, being independent
of insight…
B: No, we didn’t say that. We said it might depend on insight.
K: Suppose for the moment… independent of insight then
insight cannot act on the other.       B: That’s true, yes. If that is the case.
K: If that is the case.
Q: Sir you have said many, many times that intelligence can act
upon thought, insight can act, can affect thought, but it doesn’t
work the other way round. You have said this in many forms.
K: If intelligence can wipe away ignorance, but ignorance
cannot touch intelligence. Right? Where there is love hate can
never exist. Right?
B: Well as long as there is love.
K: Yes I am saying that. Can love wipe away hate?
B: Well we said that doesn’t seem to be possible.
K: It doesn’t seem possible.
B: Because hate seems to be an independent force.
K: Of course it is.
Q: Is there a question of volume then?
B: What?
Q: Is there a question of volume, in other words if love can’t
wipe away hate, can there be enough units of love to supplant hate?
Are we talking about a physical possibility?
B: Well I think that hate goes on its own independently.
K: I have come back.
B: It has its own momentum, you see, its own force, its own
movement.
Q: I don’t quite get this relationship of this love and hate,
independence with this other discussion of insight.
B: That is what we have been trying to get at. There seems to be
two different areas.
Q: It is an exploration really.       Q: Thought is a movement and insight seems to be a non-
movement where everything seemingly is at rest and it can observe
movement.
B: Yes, that is what we are trying to get at, the notion of
something which is not affected by anything else.
Q: Or anything else can affect it.
Q: Aren’t you then saying, if you look at this love/hate thing,
aren’t you in essence saying there is good and there is evil, and evil
is a completely separate independent force on its own?
B: Well, it is independent of good.
Q: But isn’t the process in the mind, or is it related to insight?
B: Well we are coming to that.
Q: Well take light and darkness, light appears and the darkness
is gone.
Q: Well in a way it is just like the pattern of duality, isn’t it?
When you say there is good and there is evil and they are
completely separate, if one is completely independent of the
other…
B: Well when one is the other can’t be, you see. That is all that
we are saying so far.
Q: There is no relationship.
Q: Do you mean in a single brain?
B: In any brain, yes, or in a group, or anywhere. Well whenever
there is hate going on in a group there is not love.
K: Sir, I have just thought of something – not thought of it, it
just came to my mind. Love has no cause. Right? Hate has a cause.
Insight has no cause. Right? The material process, as thought, has a
cause.       B: Yes, it is part of the chain of cause and effect, yes.
K: That which has no cause, can it act ever upon that which has
a cause?
B: Well it might. We see that the insight might act to change
the…
K: I just want to go slowly.
B: Yes. We can see no reason why that which has no cause
might not act on what has a cause. There is no obvious reason. It
won’t happen the other way round. What has a cause cannot act on
what has no cause because the would deny the whole thing.
K: Yes, that’s right. But apparently the action of insight has an
extraordinary effect on the material process.
B: Yes, so as to change the whole causal – it may wipe out some
causes for example.
K: It wipes out – I know what it wipes out, slowly – -as insight is
causeless, which is not born out of cause, that insight has a definite
effect on that which has cause.
B: Yes, well it doesn’t follow but it is possible. I mean you put it
as if it followed necessarily but it doesn’t follow, so far it doesn’t
follow but we say it is possible.
K: No, no I don’t say it is possible.
B: I am saying we haven’t quite seen why it is necessary.
K: Let’s say that it is possible, I can’t admit possibility in this.
B: Well we are just saying that there is no contradiction when
we say the word possible, I merely mean that there is no
contradiction in saying that insight acts on…
K: All right, I see. As long as we are clear on the word
‘possible’. We must be careful here. Love being without cause, and hate has a cause, the two cannot co-exist.
B: Yes. That is true. That is why there is a difference between
love and insight. That is why it doesn’t follow necessarily that if
something has no cause it will act on something that has a cause.
That is what I was trying to say.
K: I just want to explore a little more. Is love insight?
B: Well as far as we can see it is not the same exactly. Love is
not identically the same as insight, is it?
K: Love is – what is the question?
B: Well you asked is love insight.
K: Yes, I asked that.
B: At first sight we see that they are not necessarily exactly the
same thing.
K: Why?
B: Insight may be love but you see insight also occurs in a flash
for example.
K: It is a flash of course. And that flash alters the whole pattern.
B: That’s right.
K: But that flash operates on the whole pattern, uses the pattern
in the sense, argue, reason, logic and all that. I don’t know if I am
making myself clear.
B: Well I think once the flash has operated then the pattern is
different and therefore it would be more rational.
K: No, what I am trying to say is: you have a flash but you can
be logical
B: The flash may make logic possible because you may have
been confused before the flash.
K: Ah, yes, yes sir. Aristotle may have come to all this by logic.       B: Well he may have had some insight, we don’t know.
K: We don’t know but I am questioning it.
B: Well we really don’t know how his mind operated because
there are only a few books that survived.
K: Would you say he had insight by reading a few of his books?
B: I haven’t really read Aristotle directly, very few people have
because it is hard. Very few people have actually read Aristotle,
what he directly said. Most people read what other people said
about Aristotle. There are a few phrases of Aristotle which are
common – the unmoved mover. And he has seen some things
which suggest that he was quite intelligent, at least.
K: What I am trying to say is that insight is not partial ever. I
am talking of total insight, not partial insight.
Q: Krishnaji, could you explain that a little bit more? What do
you mean by not partial insight?
K: An artist can have a partial insight. A scientist can have a
partial insight. I am talking – ‘X’ is talking about total insight.
Q: Not an insight bound by a certain area.
K: It is total insight.
Q: You see the artist is also a human being, so…
K: But his capture of insight is partial.
Q: Is that necessarily so?
Q: It is directed to art, painting or whatever the art is. So you
mean an insight that illuminates a limited area, or subject, is that
what you mean by partial insight?
K: Yes.
Q: Yes, it concerns music or whatever. Then what would be
total insight, it would encompass what?       K: The total human activity. Right sir?
B: Well that is one point. But coming back we were discussing
before that this insight would illuminate the brain, the activity of
the brain, and in that illumination it seems that the activity of the
brain, the material activity of the brain will change. Would that be
fair?
K: Let’s go slowly.
B: Yes, we must get this point clear, then we could raise the
question of totality. Now we are saying that insight is an energy
perhaps which illuminates the activity of the brain. And in that
illumination the brain itself begins to act differently.
K: That’s right sir. That’s all. You are quite right. That is what
takes place. Yes.
B: This illumination, we say its source is not in the material
process, it has no cause.
K: It has no cause.
B: But it is a real energy.
K: It is pure energy. That’s right, sir.
B: Pure energy. It is like saying – well we know the lightening
flash has a cause but it flashes on the ground which is not
connected with the cause of what is on the ground.
K: Quite, quite.
Q: Iron filings, all halter-skelter, and you put a magnet and
suddenly they are all in order.
B: Well that’s a cause, that is the magnetic field acting as a
cause, you see.
K: Yes, sir, that’s quite right. Which means is there action
without cause?       B: Yes, without time, cause implies time.
K: Time, of course. That is, this flash has altered completely the
pattern which the material process has set.
B: Yes. Could you say that the material process generally
operates in a kind of darkness and therefore it has set itself in a
wrong path.
K: Darkness, yes. The material process naturally sir, it is quite
simple. That is clear. The material process acts in ignorance, in
darkness. Right? And this flash enlightens the whole field. Which
means ignorance, darkness has been dispelled. Right. I will hold to
that.
B: Well then you could say then in that sense darkness and light
cannot co-exist for obvious reasons.
K: Obviously.
B: Nevertheless the very existence of light is to change the
process of darkness.
K: Quite right. I hold to that. Quite right.
Q: But what contributes the flash?
K: What?
B: What will produce the flash?
K: Wait, I haven’t come to that yet. I want to go step by step,
into this, otherwise we will get…
B: Yes. Now we must make it very clear that you are saying
that the process, the material process of the brain can depend on
this flash which has no cause, which therefore is outside the chain
of ordinary material process.
K: Yes, yes.
B: That is as far as we can say.       K: What has happened is that the material process has worked
in darkness and has brought about such confusion and all the rest
of it, the mess that exists in the world. And this flash wipes away
the darkness. Right? Which means what? The material process then
is not working in darkness. Right?
B: Right. Yes. But now let’s make another point clear. Here is
the flash but it seems the light will go on.
K: The light goes on.
B: The flash has gone but the light is going on, right?
K: The light is there, the flash is the light.
B: We have to consider, you see you have the flash now, right.
At a certain moment, the flash is immediate but then as you work
from there there is still light.
K: Why do you differentiate flash from light?
B: Well just simply the word ‘flash’ suggests something that
happens in one moment.
K: Yes.
B: We should clear this up. You see we are saying that your
insight would only last in that moment. Let’s clear it up.
K: Yes.
Q: Can we call it sudden light?
K: Just a minute. I must go slowly. What is this sir?
B: Well it is a matter of language.
K: Is it merely a matter of language?
B: Maybe not, but if you use the word ‘flash’, like a flash of
lightening gives light for that moment but then the next moment
you are in darkness until the next flash of lightening.
K: It is not like that.       B: Right. So what is it? Is it that the light suddenly turns on and
stays on? The other view is to say that the light suddenly flashes on
and stays on.
K: No. Because when we put that question ‘stays on and goes
off’, you are thinking in terms of time.
B: Yes, well we have to clear this up because it is the question
everybody will put.
K: The material process is working in darkness, in time, in
ignorance and so on, in knowledge, ignorance, all that. When that
insight takes place there is the dispelling of that darkness. That is
all we are saying.
Q: But the material process…
K: Wait, sir, I am coming to it. It dispels that darkness. And
thought, which is the material process, is no longer working in
darkness, therefore that light has altered, has ended, no, has ended
ignorance.
B: So we say this darkness is really something which is built
into the content of thought.
K: The content is darkness.
B: That’s right.
K: By Jove.
B: Then that light has dispelled that ignorance.
K: That’s right sir. That’s right. Dispelled the content.
B: But still we have to be very careful, you still have content in
the usually accepted sense of the word, like you know all kinds of
things.
K: Of course, of course.
B: So we can’t say it has dispelled all the content.       K: It has dispelled the centre of darkness.
B: Yes, the source, the creator of darkness.
K: The self. Right? It has dispelled the centre of darkness which
is the self.
B: Well we could say that a certain content, the self is part of
the content and that part of the content which is the centre of
darkness, which creates it and maintains it, is dispelled.
K: Dispelled. Yes. The centre of darkness, which has
maintained the darkness, has been dispelled. I hold to that. Going
on slowly.
B: We say now that means a physical change in the brain cells.
That centre, that content which is the centre is a certain set form,
disposition of all the brain cells and that in some way alters.
K: Of course sir, obviously.
You see sir, this is so, it has enormous significance. Right? That
is in our relationship with our society, in everything.
Now the next question is, which Mrs Lilliefelt put, is: how does
this flash come about? Let’s begin the other way round. How does
love come about? How does peace come about? Which is, peace
being causeless, violence is cause, how does that causeless thing
come about when my whole life is causation? There is no ‘how’.
Right? There is no ‘how’. The ‘how’ implies a cause, so there is no
‘how’. I must stop here a bit.
Q: Are you saying that since it is without cause it is something
that just exists and that…
K: No, I don’t say that it exists. That is a dangerous statement.
Immediately.
Q: It has to exist at some point.       K: No. The moment you say it exists it is not.
B: Well you see the danger is that that is part of the content.
K: Be careful in these things.
Q: If you are using it as content. But if you were saying – or if I
can make the next statement: it, say, is, and the mind is blocked,
the brain is blocked from something that is without cause, or
without any time quality, but the brain is blocked.
K: Don’t use those words, no. No, no. We have gone through all
that. You are beginning all over again. We have gone through all
that. The question Dr Bohm put, posed, was: why do you say
insight changes, brings about a mutation in the brain cells? That
was the question. That question has been put after a series of
discussions. And we have come to a point when we say that flash,
that light, has no cause, and that light operates on that which has
cause, which is the darkness, which is, that darkness exists as long
as the self is there, is the originator of that darkness, that light
dispels the very centre of darkness. That’s all. We have come to
that point. And therefore there is a mutation and so on and so on.
Then the question, when Mrs Lilliefelt put that question how do
I get it, how does it happen. Right? That’s all. I say that is a wrong
question. There is no ‘how’.
Q: There is no ‘how’ but there is darkness and there is light.
K: Just see first there is no ‘how’. If you show me how you are
back into the darkness. Right.
B: Right.
K: That’s a tremendous thing to understand that. I am asking
something else, a question sir, which is: why is it that we have no
insight at all, why is it that it doesn’t start from our childhood, this insight? You follow what I am talking about?
B: Well the way life is lived…
K: No, I want to find. Is it our education? Is it our society? Is it
our – I don’t believe it is all that. You follow?
B: What do you say then?
K: Am I making myself clear? It is some other factor. I am
groping after it. I am groping after this, which is why don’t we have
it, it seems so natural?
B: Yes, well at first one would say something is interfering with
it.
K: I don’t want to go back. It seems so natural. For ‘X’ it is quite
natural. Why isn’t it natural for A, B, C, D, all the twenty six
letters? Why isn’t it possible? If we say blockage, education, which
are all causes – right?
B: Yes.
K: Then to remove the blockages implies another cause. So we
keep on rolling in that direction. There is something unnatural
about all this.
Q: If you would say there are blocks…
K: I don’t want to use that, that is the language of the darkness.
Q: Then you could say that the blocks prevent the insight from
acting.
K: Of course. But I want to move away from these blockages.
B: Not exactly blockages, but we used the words centre of
darkness, which we say is maintaining darkness, that something is
going on.
K: To ‘X’ it seems so natural. Why isn’t it natural to everybody?
You follow what I am talking about?       B: That is the question.
K: That is the question I am asking. And you say blockages, the
self, the society, environment, genetic inheritance – I say those are
all causes. Now why isn’t it natural to everybody? Right sir? Why
is not love natural to everybody? Am I putting the question?
B: Well I think to make it more clear: you see some people
might feel it is natural to everybody, but being treated in a certain
way they gradually get caught in hate.
K: I don’t believe that.
B: Well then you would have to ask: suppose you were to say
that the young child meeting hate would not respond with hate.
Why is that not natural?
K: Yes, that’s right.
B: Yes, that is your question. Most people would say that it is
natural for the young child meeting hate to respond with hate.
K: Yes, this morning I heard that. Then I asked myself why?
B: If you say it would be natural to meet hate without hate…
K: It seems so natural.
Now just a minute sir. ‘X’ has been put under all these
circumstances – right – which could have produced blockages,
which could have produced all the rest of it – but ‘X’ wasn’t touched
by it. You follow? Why is it not possible for everybody?
B: We should make it more clear why we say it would be
natural immediately not to respond to hate with hate.
K: All right. Limit it to that.
B: Even thought one hasn’t thought about it, you know the child
is not able to think about all this.
K: Is it possible to act – what is it?       B: Is it possible, meeting hate not to respond with hate, even
though a young child, who hasn’t thought about it, he doesn’t know.
K: Yes right. Interesting this.
B: Because some people would say it would be instinct, the
animal instinct…
K: Which is to hate.
B: Well, to fight back.
K: To fight back.
B: The animal will respond with love if you treat him with love,
but if you treat the animal with hate he is going to fight back.
K: Of course.
B: He will become very vicious.
K: Yes.
B: Now some people would say that the human being in the
beginning is like that animal and later he can understand. Right?
K: Of course. That is, the human being began his origin with the
animal and the animal, the ape or any other animal, the wolf…
B: The wolf will respond with love too.
K: And we are saying: why…
B: Look, almost everybody feels that what I said is true, that we
are like the animal when we are young children. Now you are
saying why didn’t the young child, why don’t all children respond
immediately, fail to respond to hate with hate?
K: That means, is it the fault of the parents?
B: Well what you are implying is that it is not entirely that, that
there is something deeper.
K: Yes sir. I think there is something quite different. I want to
capture that.       B: This is something that would be important.
K: How do you find out? Let’s have an insight! I feel that there
is something totally different. We are attacking it from a
causational point of view. Would it be right sir, just a question
mark, would it be right to say that the beginning of man is not
animal?
B: Well that is not clear, you see. The present theory of
evolution which has been followed, there have been apes,
developing, you can follow the line where they become more and
more like human beings.
K: Yes, I know.
B: Now when you say the beginning of man is not animal, then
it is not clear.
K: I am asking. And therefore if the beginning of man is the
animal therefore we have that instinct highly cultivated and that
instinct is natural.
B: Yes, that instinct is cause and effect.
K: Yes, cause and effect and it becomes natural. And someone
comes along and says, ‘Is it?’
B: Right. Let’s try to get this clear then. Let’s make this clear
because…
K: I mean from all the scientific and historical and all the
archaeologists, they say man began from the ape.
B: Yes, began from other animals.
K: And that as all animals respond to love and to hate, we as
human beings, respond instantly to hate by hate.
B: And vice versa, to love by love.
Q: Could we say that that is a question which cannot possibly be answered by scientists?
K: We are scientists.
B: It depends what you mean.
Q: I mean it in that sense that you see science tries to explain
things to primary causes, and the biologist would say, well this
kind of instinct has died out, it has died a natural death because
man responded to hate with love.
B: Well that is one view, you could say that it would not have
been helpful for survival to respond to hate with love, that it would
have been a selection of people who responded to hate with hate.
Q: That is why I feel it is not a question of that kind which can
be answered by such an approach.
K: So at the beginning there were people, or there were half a
dozen people who never responded to hate because they had love,
and those people, one or two had implanted this thing in the human
mind also. Right? That where love is the other is not. And that has
also been part of our inheritance. Right? Because those few said
this, that. And why haven’t we as human beings cultivated to
respond to hate by hate, why haven’t we cultivated the other? And
the other is not cultivatable.
Q: They have tried to cultivate it.
K: No, it is not cultivatable.
B: It is not casual. It cannot be, cultivation depends on a cause.
K: On cause. So why have we lost that? If this is so.
Q: But when you ask why we have lost it, that implies that we
have had it sometime.
K: No, no. You have missed it.
B: Some have had it.       K: Yes. Some, I said that, some ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, or A, B, C, when
man began implanted in man this thing, love, which is causeless,
which will not respond to hate. All right. That has been implanted.
And we have cultivated very carefully by thought, respond to hate
by hate, violence by violence, and so on. Why haven’t we moved
along with the other line? You follow my question?
B: Yes,
K: Is this a futile question sir?
B: One doesn’t see any way of proceeding.
K: I am not trying to proceed.
B: We have to understand what made people respond to hate
with hate, why they didn’t…
K: To ‘X’ the other seems so natural. To ‘X’ he never even
thought about the other. So if that is so natural to ‘X’, why isn’t it
natural to ‘Y’ and so on? If he is a freak then there is no answer.
That is a stupid way of pushing him off. If it is natural to ‘X’ it must
be natural to others, why isn’t it natural? You follow my question?
Why?
You know this ancient idea which is probably in existence in
the Jewish religion and in the Indian religions and so on, that the
manifestation of the highest takes place, occasionally. That seems
too easy an explanation. Have we moved in the wrong direction?
B: What do you mean by that?
K: We have taken the wrong turn.
B: You mean mankind? Yes, we have discussed that before, that
there has been a wrong turning.
K: To respond to hate by hate, violence by violence and so on.
B: And giving supreme value to knowledge.       Q: Wouldn’t another factor also be the attempt to cultivate the
idea of love?
K: Who says that?
Q: Well people in literature, people have always tried to really
produce love and better human beings.
B: That is the purpose of religion.
Q: It is the purpose of religion.
K: Wipe it out by one – if it is cultivatable, by what, thought?
Thought is a material process. Don’t go into all that. Love has no
cause, it is not cultivatable, full stop.
Q: Yes, but you see the mind doesn’t see that.
K: But we explained all that sir. I want to go into something,
forgive me, not that, I want to find out if it is natural to A, B, C,
why isn’t it natural to ‘X’ ‘Y’? I think this is a valid question. Right?
B: Even another point is to say that you could see that the
response of hate to hate just makes no sense anyway, why do we
go on with it? Because people may believe in that moment that
they are protecting themselves with hate, but it is no protection.
K: Oh, please give me some insight! It is a very good question
sir. I think it is valid. A, B, C, are born without cause and ‘X’, ‘Y’,
‘Z’ are caught in cause. They walk along that way and those don’t
walk along that way. So why not ‘X’ ‘Y’ ‘Z’? You understand? I
keep on. Is it the privilege of the few? The elite? No, no. Let’s
begin the other way round sir. I hope it doesn’t bore you.
B: No, go ahead.
K: ‘X’s’ mind is the mind of humanity. We have been through
that. The mind of humanity has been responding to hate with hate,
violence by violence, knowledge by knowledge and so on. And A, B, C are part of humanity, but A, B, C do not respond to hate by
hate, they are part of me, they are part of ‘X’s’ conscience, part of
all that. Please.
B: Why is there this difference?
K: Yes sir, that is what I am asking. One is natural, the other is
unnatural. Why? Why the difference? Who is asking this question?
Just a minute. Who is asking this question? The people, ‘X’ ‘Y’ ‘Z’
who respond to hate by hate, are they asking the question? Or A, B,
C are asking the question.
Q: It would seem that A, B, C are asking this question.
B: It appears that way, that A, B, C have asked the question.
K: A, B, C are asking the question, yes.
B: But you see we were also just saying that they are not
different.
K: They are not different.
B: We say they are different but also they are not different.
K: Of course. They are not different. Just a minute, just a
minute. ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’ say A, B, C are different. A, B, C say they are
not different. Right? We are not different. Which means what?
How do you respond to it? Don’t think about it. A, B, C, ‘X’, ‘Y’,
‘Z’. ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’ don’t put this question, only A, B, C put this
question. And A, B, C say we are part of you.
B: There is one mind.
K: That’s it, one mind.
B: Yes and how does it come that another part of this one mind
says, no?
K: That’s the whole thing. How does it come about that one part
of the mind says we are different from A, B, C? Of course there are all kinds of explanations – Karma, reincarnation, blah, blah, blah.
Remove all those explanations, what am I left with, the fact that A,
B, C are different from ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’. And those are facts. Right?
Q: They appear to be different.
K: Oh no, they are absolutely different, not appear.
B: There is a contradiction because you said before that A, B, C
are saying they are not different.
K: I must be clear. A, B, C do not respond to that.
B: I think the question we wanted to be sure we come back to
is: why do the people who cultivate hate say that they are different
from those who don’t.
K: Do they say that?
B: I think they do in so far as they would admit that there was
anybody who didn’t cultivate hate, then they would say they must
be different.
K: Yes, because that is clear – light and darkness and so on. But
I want to find out are we moving in the right direction? That is, A,
B, C have given me that gift and I have not carried that gift. You
follow what I mean? I have carried the other gift but not this –
why?
Q: Did you say sir that it is implanted in all of us?
K: Of course. If man began there, with the animal, somebody
there must have said, look.
Q: But in A, B, C it is natural and in the others it is latent but
has never come out, is that it?
K: I am asking that. Right sir?
B: Right.
K: My father – I am talking respectfully – was responding to hate by hate, why has the son not responded in the same direction?
B: I think it is a question of insight.
K: Which means what? He had insight right from the beginning.
You follow what I am saying. Right from childhood, which means
what?
B: What?
K: That – I don’t want to enter into this dangerous field yet.
B: What is it? Perhaps you want to leave that.
K: There is some factor that is missing sir. I want to capture it.
You see if that is an exception then it is silly.
B: All right then we agree that the thing is dormant in all human
beings – is that what you want to say?
K: I am not quite sure that is what I want to say.
B: But I meant that the factor is there in all mankind.
K: That is a dangerous statement too.
B: That is what you were saying.
K: I know, but I am questioning, when I am quite sure I will tell
you.
B: All right. We tried this and we can say it seems promising
but it is a bit dangerous. This possibility is there in all mankind and
in so far as some people have seen it.
K: Which means god is in you?
B: No, it is just that the possibility of insight is there.
K: Yes, partly. I am questioning all this sir. The father responds
to hate by hate, the son doesn’t.
B: Yes, well that happens from time to time.
K: No, consistently from the beginning – why?
B: Well it must depend on insight which shows the futility of hate.
K: Why did that chap have it?
B: Yes, why?
K: And he says this seems so terribly natural, what is natural it
must be to everybody. Water is natural to everybody.
B: Yes, well why isn’t insight present for everybody from the
beginning?
K: Yes, that is all I am asking.
B: So strong that even maltreatment cannot affect it.
K: Nothing can affect it, that is my point. I am getting at it
slowly. Maltreatment, beating, being put into all kinds of
situations, it hasn’t affected it. Why? You follow sir? Wait a
minute. We had better stop. We are coming to something.
OJAI 7TH CONVERSATION WITH DAVID
BOHM 17TH APRIL, 1980 `THE ENDING OF
TIME’

Krishnamurti: Shall we start from where we left off?
Dr Bohm: All right.
K: Or something new?
B: What do you suggest?
K: I don’t know.
Are we saying sir that human beings are still behaving with the
animal instincts?
B: Yes, I think we were discussing that the other day and the
animal instincts, it seems, may apparently be overpowering in their
intensity and speed, and especially with young children. It may
seem that it is only natural for them to respond with the animal
instinct.
K: So that means that we are still, after a million years or ten
million years, or whatever years, we are still instinctively behaving
like our ancestors?
B: Well in some ways. Probably it is complicated by thought,
the animal instincts have now become entangled with thought and
it is getting in some ways worse.
K: In some ways far worse.
B: Because all these instincts of hatred now become directed by
thought and sustained by thought so that they are more subtle and
more dangerous.
K: And during all these many, many centuries we haven’t found
a way, a method, a system or something that will move us away from that track. Is that it?
B: Well that is one point, yes. That is one of the difficulties,
surely. When people begin to get angry with each other, their anger
builds up and they can’t seem to do anything about it. They may try
to control it but then that doesn’t work.
K: ‘X’, as we were saying, behaves, let’s suppose, naturally,
which is not responding to the animal instincts. What place has
such insight, we will call it, in human society?
B: Yes, well…
K: None at all?
B:… in the society as it is it cannot be accommodated because
society is organized under the assumption that pleasure and pain
and fear are going to rule, except when you control it. Say,
friendliness is a kind of animal instinct too, people that become
friendly for instinctive reasons.
K: People have become?
B: Friendly sometimes for reasons similar to animal instinct and
may become enemies for similar reasons. So I think that some
people would say that we should be rational. If we want to answer
your question you see there is a period during the 18th century, the
age of reason, when they said man could be rational, he could
choose to be rational, bring about harmony everywhere.
K: But he hasn’t.
B: But it got worse, it led to the French revolution and to the
terror and so on. But after that people didn’t have so much faith in
reason as a way of getting anywhere, coming out of it.
K: So where does that lead us? We were talking really about
insight, that it actually changes the nature of the brain itself.       B: Yes, we discussed that yesterday: by dispelling the darkness
in the brain, it allowed the brain to function in a new way.
K: Yes. Thought has been operating in darkness, creating its
own darkness and functioning in that. And insight is like, as we
said, a flash which breaks down the darkness. And then that
insight, clearing the darkness, then does it act, function, rationally?
B: Yes we went into that: man will then function rationally in a
sense of perception – we discussed – rather than by rules and
reason. But there is a freely flowing reason. You see some people
identify reason with certain rules of logic which would be
mechanical.
K: Which would be mechanical, yes.
B: But reason as a form of perception of order.
K: So we are saying, are we, that insight is perception?
B: It is even the flash of light which makes perception possible.
K: Right, that’s right.
B: It is even more fundamental than perception.
K: So insight is pure perception and from that perception there
is action, which is then sustained by rationality. Is that it?
B: Yes.
K: That’s right.
B: The rationality being perception of order, I would say.
K: So would you say: insight, perception and order?
B: Yes.
K: That order is not mechanical.
B: Yes.
K: Because it is not based on logic.
B: There are no rules.       K: No rules, let’s put it that way, it’s better. It is not based on
rules. Then that means insight, perception, action, order. Then you
come to the question: is insight continuous, or is it by flash?
B: We went into that and said it was a wrong question.
K: Yes.
B: We have to look at it differently.
K: So it is not time…
B:… not time-bound.
K: Not time binding, yes we said that. So now let’s get a little
further. That means we said, didn’t we, insight is the elimination of
darkness which is the very centre of the self, which is the self
creates this darkness. Right? And so insight dispels that very
centre.
B: Yes, with the darkness perception is not possible.
K: Quite.
B: It’s blindness in a way.
K: Right, then what next? How – no! I am an ordinary man with
all my animal instincts, pleasure and pain and reward and
punishment and so on, I hear you say this, and I see what you are
saying has some kind of reason, logic, and order.
B: Yes, it makes sense as far as we can see. Right?
K: It makes sense. Then how am I to have it in my daily life?
How am I to bring about – you understand these are words which
are difficult, all these words are time-binding – but is that possible?
B: Yes, without time, you see.
K: Is it possible for me, with my narrow mind, with my etc., to
have this insight so that pattern of life is broken? As we said, sir,
the other day, we have tried all this; every form of self-denial and yet that insight doesn’t come about. I may have once in a while a
partial insight, but the partial insight is not the whole insight so
there is still partial darkness.
B: If it doesn’t dispel the centre of the self, it is not adequate. It
may dispel some darkness in a certain area but the source of the
darkness, the creator, the sustainer of it is still there.
K: Yes, still there. Now what shall I do? This is a wrong
question. This leads nowhere.
So we have stated the general plan. Right? And I have to make
the moves, or make no moves at all. I haven’t the energy. I haven’t
the capacity to see it quickly. Because this is immediate, not just
something I practise and get it. Right? I haven’t the capacity, I
haven’t got that sense of urgent immediacy. Everything is against
me: my family, my wife, society, everything. And does it mean
that I eventually have to become a monk?
B: No. Becoming a monk is the same as becoming anything
else.
K: That’s right. So becoming a monk is as becoming a
businessman. Quite. That’s rather good! I see all this, verbally as
well as rationally, intellectually, but I can’t capture this thing. And
you don’t help me. You, ‘X’ doesn’t help me, I am just left. Is there
a different approach to this problem? I am always asking the same
question because I am caught in the same pattern. So I am asking
myself is there a totally different way – I am using that word for the
moment – a totally different way of moving, or approaching, the
whole turmoil of life? You follow sir?
B: Yes.
K: Is there a different manner of looking at it? Or is this the only way? You follow?
B: Yes.
K: We are saying as long as the centre is creating darkness, and
thought is operating in that darkness, there must be disorder, there
must be everything as society now is. And to move away from that
you must have insight. Insight can only come about when there is a
flash, a sudden light which abolishes not only darkness but the
creator of darkness.
B: Yes.
K: Now I am asking – that seems so absolute. Right? – and I am
asking myself is there a different approach to this question
altogether?
B: Well possibly. When you say it seems absolute, do you want
a less absolute approach?
K: It is so.
B: It is so, but I mean, it was not clear what you meant by it
seems so absolute.
K: I mean there is no other.
B: There is no other way.
K: Yes, there is no other way.
B: But you say maybe there is another way. Are you suggesting
that there is another way?
K: I am asking if that is the only way, then I am doomed.
B: You can’t produce this flash at will.
K: Oh, we have been through that, it can’t be produced through
will, through sacrifice, through every form of human effort. That is
out, we have finished with all that. We finished with all that two or
three weeks ago.       And also we came to a point, to ‘X’ this insight seemed so
natural and why is it not natural to others? That was one of the
points we raised.
B: Yes.
K: Why is it natural to ‘X’ and not so to others? If we could find
that sir.
B: Yes. Well let’s say that if you begin with the child, it seems
natural to the child to respond with his animal instincts, with great
intensity which sweep him away. Darkness arises because it is so
overwhelming.
K: Yes, but why is that with ‘X’?
B: First of all it seems natural to most people that this would
happen, that the animal instincts would take over.
K: Yes, that’s right. That seems so natural.
B: Very natural and they would say the other fellow is
unnatural.
K: Yes.
B: Right. And therefore that is the way mankind has been
thinking, saying that if there are indeed any other people they must
be very unusual and unnatural.
K: That’s it. That is, human beings have been acting according
to this pattern, one pattern, responding to hatred by hatred and so
on. There are those few, perhaps many, who say that is not. Why
has this division taken place? If this is natural, that is, hate, what is
one battling against?
B: Yes, if you say pleasure and pain, fear and hate, are natural,
then the people say we must battle to control it because it will
destroy us. You see they say the best we can hope for is to control it with reason or with another way.
K: But that doesn’t work.
B: We have gone into all that.
K: So I must…
B: Now you say, someone else says the other way is natural.
K: If that is natural, are the few, the privileged, by some
miracle, by some strange chance event?
B: Yes, some people, many people say that, many people would
say that they are unusual in some way.
K: No, that goes against one’s grain. I wouldn’t accept that.
B: Yes, well if that is not the case then you have to say why is
there this difference.
K: Yes, that is what I am trying to get at. Because ‘X’ is born of
the same parents.
B: Yes, you say they are fundamentally the same but why do
they behave differently?
K: Differently, yes. This question has been asked many times,
over and over again in different parts of the world. Now why? Why
is there this division? I can’t find out.
Q: Is the division really total? You see because even that man
you say responds to hatred with hatred, he nevertheless sees that it
doesn’t make sense. He also sees that it is wrong. But even so he
says it is natural, he at the same time say it is not natural, it should
be different.
K: It should be different but he is still battling with ideas, with
thought.
Q: That’s right but it is not entirely natural. If it were entirely
natural he would say, ‘OK, that’s just the way we live’. He wouldn’t even try to get out of it. You see what I am saying?
K: Yes, I understand that. But he is trying to get out of it by the
exercise of thought which breeds darkness.
Q: But he doesn’t understand that.
K: And we have explained to him.
Q: Well I just want to say that the division does not seem to be
so entire. You see.
K: Oh yes sir, the division is entire, complete. We talked about
this the other day.
Q: Well why are people not saying ‘Well look here, let’s live
that way, let’s kill each other and let’s enjoy it to the last moment’?
K: Because they can’t see anything except their own darkness.
Q: But they want to get out of it.
K: Now wait a minute sir. Do they want to get out of it?
Q: At least they say so.
K: Do they actually realize the state they are in and deliberately
want to get out of it?
Q: I think so.
Q: They are ambivalent about it. They want to go on getting the
fruits of it but they have a sense it is wrong, that it leads to
suffering for them.
B: Or else they find they can’t help it. You see when the time
comes to get angry, or pleasure, they can’t get away.
K: They can’t help it. We have been through it.
Q: But they want to get out of it, they can’t help it. They are
helpless, there are forces which are stronger than even their will.
K: So what shall we do? Or this division is false.
B: That’s the point. We had better call it a difference between these two. This difference is not fundamental. One idea is to say it
is a difference which is absolute, there is nothing in common.
K: I don’t think there is anything in common.
B: Why? But if you say the difference is false, or the division is
false, you say fundamentally they are the same, but a difference
has developed between them. It would mean if you say the division
is false, yet you say fundamentally, you mean fundamentally they
are the same, but a difference has developed between them.
Perhaps one has taken a wrong turning.
K: Let’s put it that way, yes.
B: But the difference is not intrinsic, it is not structural, you
know, built in like the difference between a tree and a rock.
K: Right. Yes.
B: A tree cannot become a rock.
K: Yes, as you say there is a vast difference between a rock and
a tree but it is not like that. Then what? Are we trying to find out
sir, let’s be simple, are we trying to find out: there are two, they
start from the source and one has taken one direction and the other
has taken another direction. Right? But the source is the same.
Why haven’t all of them moved in the right direction?
B: Yes, we haven’t answered that. We haven’t managed to
answer that.
K: Yes, we are trying to answer that. Let’s get back to that.
B: I was just saying that if you understand that, then going back
to the source you do not have to take the wrong turn. In some sense
we are continually taking the wrong turn, so if we can understand
this wrong turn, then it becomes possible to change.
K: Yes sir. That is, we start from the same source. ‘A’ takes one turn…
B: We are continually starting from the same source, not going
back in time to a source.
K: Just a minute, just a minute.
B: There are two possible ways of taking your statement. One is
to say the source is in time, far back in the past, we started together
and we took different paths. The other is to say the source is
timeless and we are continually taking the wrong turn, again and
again. Right?
K: Yes. We cut out time, therefore it is constantly the wrong
turn.
B: Constantly the wrong turn, yes.
K: Why?
Q: Which means there is the constant possibility of the right
turn.
K: Yes, of course. That’s it. We are getting a little more clear.
That is if we say the source from which we all began, then we are
caught in time.
B: You can’t go back.
K: You can’t go back. That is out. Therefore it is we apparently
are taking the wrong turn all the time.
B: Constantly.
K: Constantly, let’s put it that way. Constantly taking the wrong
turn, why? The one – I am just going into it a little bit – the one who
is not operating, the one who is living with insight and the other
not living with insight, these are constant. And the man who is
living in darkness can move away at any time to the other. That is
the point: at any time.       B: Yes.
K: Right?
B: Then nothing holds him, except taking the wrong turn
constantly. You could say the darkness is such that he doesn’t see
himself taking the wrong turning.
K: Is this right sir? Are we pursuing the right direction, right
question? You have that insight, suppose you have that insight, and
your darkness, the very centre of darkness has been dispelled
completely. And I listen to you. I am a serious, fairly intelligent,
not neurotic, human being, I listen to you. And whatever you have
said seems so reasonable, rational, sane. I question the division sir,
you follow? I question the division. The division is created by the
centre which creates darkness. Right?
B: Yes. It is the same as the other divisions, it is thought.
K: Thought has created this division. The other man says there
is no division. I don’t know if I am?
B: Yes, well in the darkness thought creates this division.
K: You say, you who have the insight, etc., you say there is no
division.
B: From the darkness a shadow is thrown, it makes a division.
K: Yes. And I won’t accept that because in my darkness there is
nothing but division. So I, living in darkness, have created the
division. I think that is right. As I have created it in my thoughts…
B: I am constantly creating it.
K: Yes, constantly creating division, that’s right, constantly
creating division and so I am always wanting to live constantly in a
state in which there is no division. Right?
B: Yes.       K: But that movement is still the movement of darkness. Right?
B: Yes.
K: How am I to dispel this continuous, constant darkness? That
is the only question because as long as that exists I create this
constant division. Right?
B: Yes.
K: You see, this going round and round in circles. Which is, I
can only dispel the darkness through insight, and I cannot have that
insight by any effort, will and so on and so on, so I am left with
nothing. Right? So what is my problem? My problem is to perceive
the darkness, to perceive the thought that is creating darkness and
to see that the self is the source of this darkness. Why can’t I see
that? Why can’t I see it even logically?
B: Well it’s clear logically.
K: Yes but somehow that doesn’t seem to operate. So what shall
I do? I realize sir, for the first time that the self is creating the
darkness which is constantly breeding division. I see that very
clearly.
B: Yes and the division produces the darkness anyway.
K: Vice versa, back and forth. And from all that everything
begins. Now I see that very clearly. What shall I do? So I don’t
admit division. Right sir?
Q: Krishnaji, aren’t we introducing division again, nevertheless,
when we say there is the man who needs insight?
K: He has insight. ‘X’ has insight and he has explained to me
very clearly how darkness is banished. I listen to him and he says,
your very darkness is creating the division. Actually there is no
division, no division as light and darkness. So can you, he asks me, can you banish, can you put away this sense of division?
B: You seem to be bringing back a division by saying that, by
saying that I should do it, you see.
K: No, not ‘should’.
B: In a way you are saying that the thought process of the mind
seems to spontaneously produce division, you say try to put it
aside, at the same time it is trying to making division.
K: No sir. I understand that question. But can my mind put
away division? Or is that a wrong question?
Q: Can it put away division as long as it is divided?
K: No, it can’t, so what am I to do?
Q: We are introducing division again.
K: No, no, no. Listen: he says something so extraordinarily true,
which has immense significance and beauty and my whole being
says ‘Capture it’. It is not a division.
Q: The division seems to be immediate, you know when I feel
there is something which I want to capture.
K: No, no. I recognize that I am the creator of division. Right
sir? Because I am living in darkness and so out of that darkness I
create. But I have listened to ‘X’ who says there is no division. And
I recognize that is an extraordinary statement. So in saying that to
me, who has lived in division, constant division, that very saying
has an immediate effect on me. Right?
B: I think that one has to – well if you say, put away the
division…
K: I will leave that, I won’t put it away. That statement…
B: Which statement?
K: That there is no division.       B: That there is no division, yes. No division, right.
K: Yes.
B: And therefore there is no need to think division.
K: No. No. I want to get at this a little bit. I am getting
somewhere with it.
Your statement that there is no division, because you have this
insight, etc., etc. That very statement has a tremendous effect on
me. I have lived constantly in division and you come along and
say, after discussing, you say there is no division. What effect has
it on me? You understand my question? It must have some impact
on me otherwise what is the good of talking, you are saying
anything.
B: But then you say there is no division. That makes sense. And
on the other hand it seems that the division exists.
K: I recognize the division, but your statement that there is no
division has a tremendous impact on me. That seems so natural,
isn’t it? When I see something that is immovable, it must have
some effect on me. When you say, ‘It is so’ – you follow sir, what I
am trying to get at? I respond to it with a tremendous shock. I
wonder if I am conveying anything.
B: You see if you were talking about something which was say
in front of us and you said, ‘No, it is not that way’ and then you see
we would look at it and say, ‘No, it’s not that way’, you see, and
then that would, of course, change your whole way of seeing it.
Now you say this division is not that way. We try to look and see if
that is so. Right?
K: I don’t even say, ‘Is that so?’ You who have very carefully
explained the whole business, and you say at the end of it that there is no division. You understand? And I am sensitive, watch very
carefully and all the rest, realize I am constantly living in division,
when you make that statement it has – I think it has broken the
pattern. I don’t know if you follow what I am trying to explain.
Q: You say at least for that moment it breaks the pattern.
K: It has broken the pattern, because he has said something
which is so fundamentally true: there is no god and man. Right sir,
I stick to that. I see something in that. Which is, we said the other
day where hate exists the other is not. Right? But hating I want the
other. Right? So constant division – division is born out of
darkness. And the darkness is constant. And you come along and
tell me, because I have been very carefully listening to you, I am
not just a casual listener, I’m not just a person who just says, ‘I have
come this afternoon, tell me all about it’ – it has been my life time.
And you make a statement which seems so absolutely true. You
follow sir? That enters into me therefore this act has dispelled
darkness. The act of his statement dispels the darkness. I wonder if
I am capturing something. I think it does. I am not making an effort
to get rid of darkness but you are the light. That’s right sir, I hold to
that.
So it comes to something which is: can I listen with my
darkness, in my darkness, which is constant, in that darkness can I
listen to you? Of course I can.
Q: Krishnaji, is it then still darkness?
K: No, no don’t bother. I am living in constant division which
brings darkness. Somebody, ‘X’, comes along and tells me there is
no division old boy, look at it.
B: Right. Now why do you say you can listen in the darkness?       K: What?
B: You have just said you can listen in the darkness.
K: Yes sir.
B: Right. That needs some…
K: Oh yes, I can listen in darkness. If I can’t I am doomed.
B: But that is no argument.
K: Of course that is no argument but that is so. If I am
constantly living darkness…
B: That’s clear. We have gone into it, constantly living in
darkness is not worthwhile. But now we say that it is possible to
listen in the darkness.
K: Yes sir. Yes sir. Listen. It isn’t that – of course sir.
Q: This holds with what you say that there is no division.
K: Listening is not division.
Q: Right. If that were I could not listen.
K: But I am in division. No, sir, you are missing the point. He
says there is no division. He is the flag to me. I wonder if I am
making it clear? Oh no.
Q: Can we make it a little bit more clear?
K: He, ‘X’, says insight, he explains very, very carefully to me
what insight is – I won’t go into all that over and over again. He
explains to me very, very carefully. I am sensitive, I have been
listening to him in my darkness but that is making me sensitive,
alive, watching. That is what I have been doing. We have been
doing that together. And he makes a statement: there is absolutely
no division. And I know that I am living in constant division. That
very statement has put the constant movement to an end. I wonder.
Yes sir.       Otherwise if this doesn’t take place I have nothing. You follow?
I am perpetually living in darkness. A man, a voice in the
wilderness and listening to that voice has an extraordinary effect in
wilderness.
B: Listening reaches the source of the movement, whereas
observation does not.
K: Yes sir, I have observed, I have listened, I have played all
kinds of things all my life. And I have done everything that human
beings have invented, or is inventing. And I now see there is only
one thing, that there is this constant darkness and I am acting in the
darkness, in this wilderness which is darkness, whose centre is the
self. I see that absolutely. I mean absolutely, completely, you can’t
argue against it any more. And you come along and tell me this.
Sir, see what happens? Yes, sir. In that wilderness a voice says
there is water. You follow? It is not hope, there is immediate action
in me. Yes. Which is, sir, would you say one must realize,
understand, any word, that this constant movement in darkness is
my life. Would I admit that sir? You follow what I am saying? Can
I realize with all my experience, with all my knowledge, with all
my etc., of a million years, suddenly realize that I am living in total
darkness? Nobody will admit that. Because that means I have
reached the end of all hope. Right? My hope is also darkness. You
have cut the future altogether. You understand? So I am left with
this enormous darkness and I am there. No, sir. That means, the
realization of that is the ending of becoming. Right? And I have
reached that point and ‘X’ tells me, naturally sir.
You see all of them, all the religions have said this division
exists. God and son of god.       B: Yes, well they say it can be overcome.
K: It is the same pattern repeated.
B: Yes. I don’t know whether the Indian religions haven’t said
this.
K: I wouldn’t know but I have discussed with some pundits, I
doubt it. No, no, I doubt it very much. It doesn’t matter who said it
but the fact is somebody in this wilderness is saying something and
in that wilderness I have been listening, listening to every voice.
Right sir? And my own voice, which has created more and more
darkness. Yes, this is right. That means sir, does it: when there is
insight there is no division.
B: Yes.
K: It is not your insight or my insight, it is insight. In that there
is no division.
B: Yes.
K: Which means sir, do I understand this, that the ground,
which we talked about…
B: What about the ground?
K: In that ground there is no darkness as darkness, no light as
light. What is that? On that ground, or in that ground, there is no
division and so it is not – we have been through all that, just
recapture it – it is not born of will or time, or thought and all that.
So in that ground…
B: Are you saying light and darkness are not divided?
K: Right.
B: Which means to say that there is neither.
K: Neither, that’s it, that’s it. There is something else. You see,
you come along and tell me this extraordinary fact. To me it is an extraordinary fact. I realize it with all my being that what you say
is true – true not merely verbally but it is so. And I see – not I see –
there is a perception that there is a different movement which is
non-dualistic.
B: Non-dualistic means what? No division?
K: No division. I won’t use non-dualistic – they use that in India.
There is no division.
B: But nevertheless there is movement.
K: Movement, of course.
B: What does that mean, now without division?
K: Movement, I mean by that movement that it is not time. That
movement doesn’t breed division. So I want to go back to the
ground. Lead to that.
If there is neither darkness nor light, which is really a
tremendous division. Right? On that ground there is no division.
That ground is not god, or the son of god, there is no division. So
what takes place? Would you say sir, that the ground is movement?
B: Well it could be, yes. Movement that is undivided, without
division.
K: No. I say there is movement in darkness.
B: Yes but we said there is no division of darkness and light,
and yet you said there is movement.
K: Yes. Would you say the ground is endless movement?
B: Yes.
K: What does that mean?
B: Well, it is not clear – it is difficult to express.
K: I think one can go into it, let’s express it. I am off somewhere
else, just a minute, come back.       What is movement sir, apart from here to there, apart from time,
is there any other movement?
B: Yes.
K: There is. The movement from being to becoming,
psychologically. There is the movement of distance, there is the
movement of time. We say those are all divisions. Is there a
movement which is non-divisive – no, which in itself has no
division? There is when you have said that statement. You follow
sir? When you have made that statement that there is no division, it
is that movement surely? Right?
B: Well, you are saying that when there is no division then that
movement is there. Right?
K: Yes. And I said, ‘X’ says that is the ground.
B: Right.
K: Would you say – these are words – it has no end, no
beginning?
B: Yes.
K: Which means again time.
Q: Can one say that movement has no form.
K: All that, no form, we are not talking. I want to go a little
further. What I am asking is; we said when you have stated that
there is no division, which means no division in movement.
B: Yes. It flows without division, you see.
K: Yes. When you accept that you have pointed out to me
something, it is a movement in which there is no division.
B: Yes.
K: Do I capture the significance of that? You understand what I
mean? Do I understand the depth of that statement? A movement in which there is no division, which means no time, no distance as
we know it, no element of time in it at all. So I am trying to see sir
is that movement, is it pushing man – wait a minute, I am just using
wrong words – is it surrounding man?
B: Yes, enveloping.
K: Enveloping man. You understand?
B: Yes.
K: I want to get at this. I am concerned with man, with
mankind, humanity, which is me. You have made, ‘X’ – it doesn’t
matter – ‘X’ has made several statements and I have captured a
statement which seems so absolutely true: that there is no division.
And which means there is no action which is divisive.
B: Yes.
K: Right?
B: Yes.
K: I see that. And also I see: is that movement without time,
etc., it seems that is the world. You follow?
B: The universe.
K: The universe, the cosmos, the whole.
B: The totality.
K: Totality. You know, isn’t there a statement sir in the Jewish
world, ‘Only god can say, I am’?
B: Well that’s the way the language goes. The language is built
that way. It is not necessary to state it.
K: No, I understand. You follow what I am trying to get at?
B: Yes.
K: What am I trying to say?
B: Well that only this movement is.       K: You see sir, can the mind be of that movement? Because that
is timeless, therefore deathless.
B: Yes, the movement is without death.
K: Death.
B: In so far as the mind takes part in that it is the same.
K: You understand what I am saying?
B: Yes. But what dies when the individual dies?
K: It has no meaning even because then once I have understood
there is no division…
B: Then it is not important.
K:… death has no meaning.
B: It still has a meaning in some other context.
K: Oh, the ending of the body, that’s totally trivial. But you
understand? I wanting to capture the significance of your statement
saying there is no division, has broken the spell of my darkness,
and I see that there is a movement and that’s all. Which means
death has very little meaning.
B: Yes.
K: You have abolished totally the fear of death.
B: Yes, I understand that when the mind is partaking in that
movement then the mind is that movement.
K: That’s all. The mind is that movement.
B: Would you say that matter is also that movement?
K: Yes sir, I would say everything. In my darkness I have
listened to you. That’s most important. And your clarity has broken
my spell. When you have said there is no division, you have
abolished the division between life and death. I don’t know if you
see this?       B: Yes.
K: One can never say then ‘I am immortal’. You follow sir? It is
so childish.
B: Yes, that’s the division.
K: Or, ‘I am seeking immortality’. Or, ‘I am becoming’ – you
have wiped away the whole sense of moving in darkness. I wonder
if you get this? Yes, sir.
Q: What then would be the significance of the world? Is there a
significance to it?
K: The world?
Q: With man.
B: Society, do you mean?
Q: Yes, it seems that when you make this statement, there is no
division, and life is death, what then is the significance of man with
all his struggle, with all his…
K: None. He is in darkness. What importance has that? It is like
struggling in a locked room. That is the whole point.
B: Significance can only arise when the darkness is dispelled.
K: Of course.
Q: The only significance is the dispelling of the darkness.
K: Oh no, no. No.
B: Aren’t we going to say that something more can be done
besides dispelling darkness?
K: All that you have done to me, who has listened very
carefully to everything that you, who have insight, etc., you have
dispelled the centre. So in darkness I can invent a lot of
significances, that there is light, there is god, there is beauty, there
is this, that, it is still in the area of darkness. Caught in a room full of darkness and I can invent a lot of pictures. I want to get
something else. Which is: is the mind of the one who has this
insight, therefore dispelled darkness and therefore has
understanding of that ground, which is movement without time and
so on, then that mind itself is that movement.
B: Yes, but it isn’t the totality. The mind is the movement but
we are saying movement is matter, movement is mind.
K: Yes sir. Yes sir.
B: And we were saying that the ground may be beyond the
universal mind. You were saying earlier that the movement, that
the ground is more than the universal mind still, more than the
emptiness.
K: We said that, much more.
B: Much more. But it contains – we have got to get it clear. We
say the mind is this movement.
K: Yes, mind is this movement.
B: We are not saying that this movement is only mind.
K: No, no, no.
B: That is the point I was trying to get clear.
K: Mind is the movement – mind in the sense the ground.
B: But the ground goes beyond the mind, is what you said.
K: Now just a minute: what do you mean by beyond the mind?
B: Just going back to what we were discussing a few days ago:
we said we have the emptiness, the universal mind and then the
ground is beyond that, yes.
K: Would you say beyond that is this movement?
B: Yes. The movement from which – the mind emerges from the
movement as a ground and falls back to the ground, that is what we are saying.
K: Yes, that’s right. Mind emerges from the movement.
B: And it dies back into the movement.
K: That’s right. It has it being in the movement.
B: Yes and matter also.
K: Quite. So, sir, what I want to get at is: I am a human being
faced with this ending and beginning, and you abolish that.
B: Yes it is not fundamental.
K: It is not fundamental. You have removed one of the greatest
fears of life which is death.
B: Yes.
K: You see what it does to a human being when there is no
death? Which means the mind doesn’t age, the ordinary mind I am
talking about. I don’t know if I am conveying this.
B: Let’s go slowly. You say the mind doesn’t age, but what if
the brain cells age?
K: I question it.
B: Yes. How can we know that?
K: Because there is no conflict, because there is no strain, there
is no becoming, movement. You follow?
B: Yes, well this is something that it is hard to communicate
certainty about.
K: Of course. You can’t prove any of this.
B: But the other, what we have said so far…
K:… can be reasoned.
B: It is reason and also you can feel it yourself. But now you are
stating something about the brain cells about which I have no
feeling for. It might be so, it could be so.       K: I think it is so. I want to discuss it. Does a mind, which has
lived in the darkness – a mind which has lived in the darkness is in
constant movement.
B: Yes.
K: Therefore there is the wearing out of the cells, decay.
B: We could say that this conflict will cause cells to decay but
somebody might argue that perhaps even without conflict they
could decay at a slower rate. Let’s say if you were to live hundreds
of years, for example, in time the cells would decay no matter what
you would do.
K: Go into this slowly.
B: I can readily accept that the rate of decay of cells could be
cut down when you get rid of conflict.
K: Slowed down.
B: Slowed down.
K: Decay can be slowed down.
B: Perhaps a great deal.
K: A great deal. Ninety per cent.
B: That we can understand. But if you say a hundred per cent,
then it is hard to understand.
K: Ninety per cent. Wait a minute. It can be very, very greatly
slowed down. And that means what? What happens to a mind that
has no conflict, ninety per cent, or eighty per cent, what is that
mind – mind in the sense of what is the quality of that mind which
has no problem? You see sir suppose such a mind lives in pure air,
unpolluted, etc., etc., the right kind of food and so on and so on,
why can’t it live two hundred years?
B: Well it is possible, some people are said to have lived up to a hundred and fifty, living in very pure air and good food.
K: But you see those very people who have lived a hundred and
fifty years, if they had no conflict they might live very much
longer.
B: Yes, they might. There was a case I was reading of a man in
England who lived to a hundred and fifty, it was recorded. And the
doctors became interested in him, they invited him to London and
wined and dined him and then he died in few days.
K: Poor devil!
Q: Krishnaji normally you say that anything that lives in time
also dies in time.
K: Yes but the brain, which has had insight has changed the
cells.
Q: Are you implying in a way that even the organic brain…
K: Yes sir. We said that. We went into that.
Q:… does not live in time any more.
K: No, don’t bring in time yet. We are saying that insight brings
about a change in the brain cells, we said that. Which means the
brain cells are no longer thinking in terms of time. Right sir?
Q: Psychological time?
K: Of course, that is understood.
B: If they are not so disturbed they will remain in order and
perhaps they will break down more slowly, we might increase the
age limit from one hundred and fifty to two hundred provided you
also had healthy living all round.
K: Yes. That all sounds so damn trivial, all that.
B: Yes, it doesn’t seem to make much difference. It is an
interesting idea.       K: What if I live another hundred years, what?
B: Yes, well the men who lived to one hundred and fifty beyond
that there was nothing unusual.
K: What we are trying to find out is: what effect has this
extraordinary movement on the brain, you understand sir?
B: Yes. If we say the brain in some way directly enveloped in
this movement.
K: Yes, it is.
B: That would bring it to order. But there is a direct flow,
physically.
K: Not only physically.
B: But also mentally, both.
K: Yes, both. It must have an extraordinary effect on the brain.
Q: You talked earlier about energy, Krishnaji. An energy, not
the everyday energy but some very…
K: We said that movement is total energy, we have been saying
all that. Now this insight has captured, seen that extraordinary
movement and it is part of that energy. I want to come much closer
to earth, which is I have lived with the fear of death, fear of not
becoming and so on, suddenly I see there is no division and I
understand this whole thing. So what has happened to my brain?
You follow?
Sir, see something. You see this whole thing as not verbally,
you see it as a tremendous reality, truth, not just with all your heart,
mind, you see this thing. That very perception must affect your
brain.
B: Yes. It brings order.
K: Not only order in life but…       B: I mean order in the brain.
K:… in the brain.
B: The brain cells now – people can prove that if you are under
stress the brain cells start to break down. It is proved. And if you
have order in the brain cells then it is quite different.
K: I have a feeling sir, don’t laugh at it, it may be false, it may
be true. I feel that the brain never loses the quality of that
movement. I don’t know if you see.
B: Once it has it.
K: Of course. I am talking of the person who has been through
all this and so on.
B: So probably it never loses that quality.
K: Therefore it is no longer involved in time.
B: It would no longer be dominated by time. The brain, from
what we were saying, is not evolving in any sense, it is just
confusion. You can’t say that man’s brain has evolved since the last
ten thousand years.
K: What?
B: You can’t say there was any real evolution in the last ten
thousand years of the brain because if you go back it is the same.
You see science, knowledge, has evolved but people felt the same
about life several thousand years ago as they do now.
K: Sir I want to find out: which is in that silent emptiness what
we went through, is the brain absolutely still? You understand my
question?
B: Well not absolutely because…
K: In the sense no movement.
B: Yes we have discussed this before. You see the blood is flowing inside the brain.
K: Yes, we are not talking of that.
B: What kind of movement are we discussing?
K: I am talking of the movement of thought, movement of any
reaction.
B: Yes. There is no movement in which the brain moves
independently. You were saying there is the movement of the
whole but the brain does not go off on its own, like thought, you
see.
K: You see you have done a tremendous act, which is you have
abolished death, which is a tremendous thing, in significance, you
follow, sir? And so I say what is the brain, the mind, the brain,
when there is no death? You follow? It has undergone a surgical
operation.
B: We talked about the brain normally has the notion of death
continually there in the background and now that notion is
disturbing the brain constantly.
K: Yes sir.
B: Because the brain foresees that death and it is trying to stop
it.
K: The ending of itself and so on and so on.
B: It foresees all that and says it must stop it and it can’t.
K: It can’t.
B: And therefore it has a problem.
K: Constant struggle with it.
B: In the background.
K: So all that has come to an end. What an extraordinary thing
you have done. You follow what I am saying. How does that affect my daily life? Because I have to live on this earth. How does it
affect my life? My daily life. My daily life is aggression, this
everlasting becoming, successful, all that has gone. What an
extraordinary thing has taken place. You follow sir?
The last day tomorrow, Saturday. We will pursue this but we
have understood a great deal today.
B: In bringing in this question of daily life you might bring in
the question of compassion.
K: Of course, of course, all that. You see sir, is that movement –
you see compassion becomes rather – is that movement
compassion?
B: It would be beyond.
K: That’s it. That’s why one must be awfully careful.
B: Then again compassion might emerge out of it.
K: Of course if you haven’t got that. We had better stop.
OJAI 8TH CONVERSATION WITH DAVID
BOHM 19TH APRIL, 1980 `THE ENDING OF
TIME’

Krishnamurti: We left off with non movement.
Dr Bohm: Yes.
K: A human being who has been pursuing the path of becoming
and has gone through all that and went through this sense of
emptiness, silence, energy, and abandoned almost everything and
comes to the point, the ground. And has this insight, how does all
that affect his daily life? That was what we came to.
B: Yes, that was the question.
K: What is his relationship to society, what is his action with
regard to war and the whole world – a world that is really living in
darkness and struggling in darkness, what is his action? Right? I
would say, sir, as we discussed the other day, it is non-movement.
What does that mean?
B: Yes, well we said before that the ground was movement
without division.
K: Without division, I forgot that, yes, quite right.
B: In some sense it seems inconsistent to say non-movement
while you say the ground is movement.
K: The ground is movement, yes. I forgot all that. Would you
say an ordinary, average man, educated, sophisticated, with all his
unpleasant activities, he is constantly in movement. Right?
B: Well a certain kind of movement.
K: I mean a movement in time.
B: Yes.       K: A movement in becoming. And we are saying the man who
has trodden – if I may use that word – that path and come to that
point, and from there what is his action? We said for the moment,
whatever that may mean, non-action, non-movement. What does
that mean?
B: Well it means, as you said, not taking part in this process.
K: Yes, that, of course, that is obvious. If he doesn’t take part in
this process, what part does he play? Would you say a complete
non-action? What does that mean? I see something but I am trying
to put it into words.
B: Well it is not clear why you should call it non-action, we
might think that it was action of another kind which is not part of
the process of becoming.
K: It is not becoming.
B: But it may still be action.
K: He still has to live here.
B: Well there is one sense that whatever you do is action, his
action is not directed towards the illusory process, it is not involved
in it, but it would be directed towards what underlies this illusory
process. It would be directed, like we were discussing the other day
the wrong turning which is continually coming out of the ground.
Right?
K: Yes, yes. You see various religions have described a man
who has been saved, who is illuminated, who has achieved
something or other. They have described very clearly what he is,
how he walks, specially in Hindu religious books, there it is stated
very clearly, I believe, how he looks, how he walks, the whole state
of his being. I think that is merely a poetic description of something which is…
B: You think it is imagination?
K: I’m afraid a great deal of it is imagination. I have discussed
this point with some and it is not like that, that is no imagination.
Somebody who described it knew exactly what it was.
B: Well how should he know? It is not clear.
K: I don’t want to personally, he said ‘You are that’ – I said ‘Buzz
off’. So what is a man of that kind, how does he live in this world?
It is a very interesting question, this, if you go into it rather deeply.
I think that is right, sir. There is a state of non-movement. That is,
the non-movement which we have gone into.
B: You see it is not clear exactly what you mean by non-
movement.
K: One becomes poetic, I am trying to avoid that. You see
would it be right sir, even poetically: it is like a single tree in a
field. There is no other tree but that tree, whatever the name of that
tree is, it is there.
B: Well why do you say non-movement?
K: It is non-moving.
B: The tree stands of course.
K: A tree is a living, moving thing. I don’t mean that.
B: The tree in some sense is moving but in relation to the field it
stands. That is the picture we get.
K: You see I come to you, you have gone from the beginning to
the end. And now you are at the end with a totally different kind of
movement, which is timeless and all that.
B: I agree.
K: But you are in that, you are that. I come to you and say, ‘What is that state mind of mind’ – I think that is right – ‘What is the
state of your mind, that has walked on that path and ended
something, totally moved out of darkness, what is the state of that
mind?’
B: If you say it is non-movement are you implying it is
constant?
K: It must be. Constant in the sense – what do you mean by
constant?
B: Well it can have many meanings, but…
K: Continuous?
B: No, no.
K: Do you mean that it is…
B:… static?
K: Oh no.
B: To stand firm, to stand together as a whole, you see. That is
really its literal meaning.
K: Is that it?
B: That is the picture you have got of the tree as well, you
know. That is the picture which the tree in the field suggested.
K: Yes, I know. That is too romantic and poetic and it becomes
rather deceptive. It is a nice image but let’s move from it. What is
the mind sir, what is that mind – I think we have to go through that
– what is the mind, the quality of that mind that has started from the
beginning and pursued the becoming, went through all that, the
centre of darkness has been wiped away, that mind must be entirely
different. No? Now what does such a mind do, or not do, in the
world which is in darkness? Sorry, it sounds…
B: Yes, well the mind does not do a thing, it does not enter into the movement of that world.
K: Agreed.
B: And in that sense we say that it is constant, not fixed but
does not move.
K: Static?
B: No it’s not static, it is constant which in a sense is also
movement. There a constancy which is not merely static, which is
also at the same time movement.
K: We said that movement, not the becoming movement.
B: Yes but the ground movement.
K: Yes, let’s call it the ground movement.
B: Which is completely free.
K: What has happened to that mind? Let’s go into it a little bit. It
has no anxiety, no fear and all the rest of it. You see the word
‘compassion’ and ‘love’ is beyond that. Right?
B: Yes, well. That may emerge out of this ground.
K: The mind being nothing, not a thing, and therefore empty of
knowledge – sorry all this sounds so… unless you have followed it
right from the beginning.
B: You have to go through it otherwise it makes no sense.
K: No sense. Empty of knowledge. Would it be always acting in
the light of insight?
B: Yes, well, it would be pervaded, well not always but it
should be of the quality of insight.
K: Yes, that is what I mean.
B: Well ‘always’ brings in time, you see.
K: Remove the word.
B: I would use constantly.       K: Yes constantly, yes, let’s use the word ‘constant’.
B: It is a bit better but not good enough.
K: Yes. Let’s use the word ‘constant’. It is acting constantly in
that light, in that flash – we will use that word – in that flash of
insight. I think that is right. So what does that mean in one’s daily
life? Earn a livelihood.
B: Well, I mean that would be another point. You would have to
find a way to stay alive.
K: Stay alive. So that is why I am saying this: as civilization
grows, begging is not allowed.
B: Is criminal. You have to find some way to stay alive.
K: I am just asking: What will you do? He has no profession.
No skill because – knowledge and all that – he has no coin with
which he can buy.
B: Well wouldn’t it be possible for this mind to earn enough to
get what is needed to stay alive?
K: How?
Q: Why has he no skill to earn a livelihood?
K: Why should he have skill?
Q: To earn a livelihood.
K: Why? Why must you have skill to earn a livelihood? You
say that and another man says, ‘Why should I have skill of any
kind?’ – I am just discussing, enquiring into it – why should I have
any skill to earn a livelihood?
B: Well suppose you had to take care of yourself anyway, you
would need a certain skill. You see suppose you were by yourself
in a cave, you know.
K: Ah, I don’t want a cave!       B: I know. But whoever it is, you have to live somewhere, you
need some skill to find the food which you need, you see if
everybody were to do this then the human race would perish.
K: I am not sure sir.
B: Well what would happen then?
K: That is what I am coming to.
B: Right, right. At first sight it would seem that if everybody
would say no skill is needed.
K: No, because skill implies as we said, knowledge, from that
knowledge experience and gradually develop a skill. And that skill
gives you an opportunity to earn a livelihood, meagre or a great
deal. And this man says, there may be a different way of living and
earning. We are used to that pattern – right sir? And he may say,
‘Look, that may be totally wrong’.
B: It depends what you mean by skill. Say for example, suppose
he has to drive a car, well that takes some skill, you see. He may
want to drive.
K: Yes.
B: Is he going to do without that?
K: I had better go carefully into the word ‘skill’.
B: Yes. I mean skill could have a bad meaning by being very
clever at getting money.
K: So this man is not avaricious, he is not money-minded, he is
not storing up for the future, he hasn’t any insurance, but he has to
live, and when we use the word ‘skill’, as driving a car…
B:… or a carpenter – a carpenter has skill. If all those skills were
to vanish it would be impossible.
K: The whole thing would collapse.       B: Yes.
K: I am not sure – do we mean by that, that kind of skill must be
denied?
B: No, it couldn’t mean that.
K: No. That would be too silly.
B: But then people become very skilful at getting other people
to give them money, you see!
K: That might be the game. That may be it! As I am doing!
Q: I wish you were more skilled at that!
K: Sufficient unto the day.
Q: Is it that now we have made a division between living and
skill, skill and working, living and earning a livelihood?
K: It is that, it is that. I need to have food, I need to have clothes
and a shelter.
Q: But is the division necessary?
K: It is not division, I need it.
Q: Yes, but as the society is built now we have a division
between living and working.
K: We have been through all that. We are talking of a man who
has been through all this and has come back – come back – to the
world and says, ‘Here I am’. What is his relationship to society and
what is he to do? Right sir? Has he any relationship to society?
B: Well not in a deep sense. In a fundamental sense no,
although there is a superficial relationship he has to have.
K: All right. A superficial contact with the world.
B: He has to obey the laws, he has to follow the traffic signals.
K: Quite. But I want to find out sir, what is he to do? Write,
talk, that means skill.       B: Well is that the kind you don’t think is necessary? Is that skill
– well that kind of skill need not be harmful, you see.
K: I am just asking.
B: The same as the other skills, carpentry.
K: Yes. That belong to that kind of skill. But what is he to do? I
think if we could find out, sir, the quality of a mind that has been
through from that from the beginning to the end, you know the last
five or six discussions we have had, we went through all that step
by step to the very end, and that man, that man’s mind is entirely
different, and he is in the world. How does he look upon the
world? You have reached and come back – these are terms – and I
am an ordinary man, living in this world, what is your relationship
to me? Obviously none because I am living in a world of darkness
and you are not. So your relationship can only exist when I come
out – when darkness ends.
B: Yes.
K: Then there is only that, there is not a relationship, there is
only that. But now there is division between you and me. And I
look at you with my eyes which are accustomed to darkness and to
division. And you don’t. And yet you have to have some contact
with me. You have to have, however superficial, however slight, a
certain relationship with me. Is that relationship compassion – not
translated by me as compassion? Not say, ‘Oh it shows you are not
compassionate if you don’t do this’. So I am not looking from my
darkness at you who may be compassionate. So I cannot judge
what your compassion is. Right?
B: That follows from that, yes.
K: I don’t know what your love is, what your compassion is because my only love and compassion has been this. And so what
do I do with you?
B: Which one are we talking about now? It is not clear to me
which one we are discussing.
K: You, ‘X’, have been through all that and come back.
B: Yes and ‘Y’ has not.
K: ‘Y’ has not. ‘Y’ says to you, ‘Y’ asks – I asked this just now, I
have forgotten it. I would say sir, ‘Y’ says, ‘Who are you? You
seem so different, your way of looking at life is different. Who are
you’? And what will ‘Y’ do with you, ‘X’? That is the question. Not
what you will do to me, but what will I do with you? I don’t know
if I am making it clear.
B: Yes I understand, what will ‘Y’ do, what will ‘Y’ do with ‘X’,
I mean what will he do?
K: Our question has been what will ‘X’ do with ‘Y’. On the
contrary, I think we are putting the wrong question. What will ‘Y’
do with ‘X’? I think what would happen generally is I would
worship him, kill him, or neglect him. Right?
B: Yes.
K: If ‘Y’ worships ‘X’ then everything is very simple. He has the
goods. He has the goodies of the world. But that doesn’t answer my
question. My question is not only what will ‘Y’ do to ‘X’ but will ‘X’
do with ‘Y’? ‘X’s’ demand is to say, ‘Look, walk out of this
darkness, there is no answer in this darkness so walk out.’ – it
doesn’t matter, whatever phrase we use, dispel it, get rid of it, etc.,
etc. And ‘Y’ then says ‘Help me, show me the way’ – I am back
again, you follow? So what will ‘Y’ do to ‘X’?
B: Well I can’t see that ‘Y’ can do very much except what you said to worship, or to do something else.
K: Kill him or neglect him.
B: But if ‘X’ has compassion, if compassion works in ‘X’ – right?
K: Yes, ‘X’ is that. He won’t even call it compassion.
B: No but we call it that, then ‘X’ will work to find a way to
penetrate the darkness.
K: Wait: so ‘X’s’ job is to work on darkness?
B: Well to discover how to penetrate darkness.
K: In that way he is earning a living.
B: Well possibly.
K: Ah. No, no. I am talking seriously.
B: It depends on whether people are willing to pay him for it.
K: No, I am taking seriously.
B: Well it is possible.
K: Probably that is. ‘X’ is the teacher. ‘X’ is out of society, out of
darkness. ‘X’ is unrelated to this field of darkness and ‘X’ is asking,
teaching, saying to the people of darkness, ‘Come out’. What’s
wrong with that?
B: Well nothing is wrong with that.
K: That is his means of livelihood. What’s wrong with that?
B: It’s perfectly all right as long as it works, it is perfectly all
right.
K: It seems to work!
B: Of course if there were a lot of people like ‘X’ there would be
some limit.
K: No sir. What would happen if there were lots of people like
‘X’?
B: That is an interesting question, yes.       K: What would happen?
B: Well then I think there would be something revolutionary.
K: That’s just it.
B: The whole thing would change.
K: That is just it. If there were lots of people like that they
would not be divided. That is the whole point, right?
B: I think that even if ten or fifteen people were undivided they
would exert a force that had never been seen in our history.
K: Tremendous. That’s right.
B: Because I don’t think it has ever happened, that ten people
were undivided.
K: That is ‘X’s’ job in life. He says that is the only thing. A
group of those ten ‘X’s’ will bring a totally different kind of
revolution. Right? Will society stand for that?
B: They will have this extreme intelligence and so they will find
a way to do it, you see.
K: Of course, of course.
B: Society will stand for it because they will be intelligent
enough to not to provoke society and society will not react before it
is too late.
K: Quite right, quite right. You are saying something that is
actually happening. So what happens? Would you say then that the
function of many ‘X’s’ is to awaken human beings to that
intelligence which will dispel the darkness? And that is his means
of livelihood. Right?
B: Yes.
K: Then there are those people who in darkness cultivate this,
exploit people, and there are ‘X’s’ who don’t exploit people. All right. That seems very simple. But I don’t think it is all that simple.
B: Right.
K: Is that the only function of ‘X’? That seems very simple,
doesn’t it?
B: Well it is a difficult function, it is not so simple.
K: The function may be complicated but that can easily be
solved. But I want to find out something much deeper that mere
function.
B: Yes, well function is not enough.
K: That’s it. Apart from function, what is he to do? ‘X’ says to
‘Y’, listen, and ‘Y’ takes time and all the rest of it and gradually,
perhaps once, sometime he will wake up and move away. And is
that all ‘X’ is going to do in life? – in life, you understand sir? Is
that all?
B: Well that can only be an outcome of something deeper.
K: The deeper is all that.
B: What?
K: The ground.
B: The ground and so on, yes.
K: But is that all he has to do in this world? Just to teach people
to move out of darkness?
B: Well that seems to be the prime task at the moment, in the
sense that if this doesn’t happen the whole society will sooner or
later collapse anyway. But he needs to be in some sense creative,
more deeply, I think.
K: What is that?
B: Well that is not clear.
K: Sir, suppose you are ‘X’ and ‘Y’ – ‘X’ is you and has an enormous field in which you operate, not merely teaching me, but
you have this extraordinary movement which is not time and all
that. That is, you have this abounding energy and you have
produced all that to teach me – you follow – to move out of
darkness.
B: Yes, well that can only be a part of it.
K: So what does the rest do, you follow? I don’t know if I am
conveying this.
B: Well that is what I tried to mean by some creative action,
beyond this is taking place.
K: Yes, beyond that. You may write, you may preach, you may
heal, you may do this and that, but all those are all rather trivial.
Right sir? Trivial, it is a very small business. But you have
something else. Have I reduced you, ‘X’, to my pettiness? You
can’t. My pettiness says, ‘You must do something. You must teach,
you must write, you must heal, you must do something to help me
to move.’ Right? You comply to the very smallest degree, but you
have something much more immense than that. You understand my
question?
B: Yes. So what?
K: How is that operating on ‘Y’?
B: On ‘Y’?
K: How is that immensity operating on ‘Y’ apart from darkness –
I don’t know if I am conveying this?
B: Well are you saying that there is some more direct action?
K: Either there is more direct action, or ‘X’ is doing something
totally different to affect the consciousness of man.
B: Yes, all right. What could this be?       K: Because you are not satisfied, in quotes, merely preaching,
talking, and all that petty stuff. That immensity which you are must
affect, must do something.
B: Are you saying that it must in the sense of a feeling that you
need to do it, or are you saying must in the sense of necessity?
K: It must.
B: It must necessarily do so. Right? But how will it affect
mankind? You see when you say this, it would suggest to people
that there is some sort of extrasensory effect, you know that it
spreads.
K: That is what I am trying to capture.
B: Yes.
K: That is what I am trying to convey.
B: Not merely through words, through the activities or gestures.
K: Sir, leave the activity alone. That is simple. That is peanuts!
B: It is only to make it clear what you mean to say, that it is not
that.
K: It is not that.
B: Not just that.
K: Not just that. Because that immensity must – must…
B: Necessarily then, necessarily act?
K: I wonder if you see what I am trying to get at sir.
B: You are saying that there is a more direct action.
K: No, no. All right. That immensity necessarily has other
activities.
B: Yes, other activities in other ways, at other levels, other…
K: Yes, other activities. Which has been translated in the Hindu
and perhaps a little bit as, various degrees of consciousness.       B: There are different levels of acting.
K: Levels.
B: Or degrees.
K: That too is a very small affair. You follow? What do you say
sir?
B: Well since the consciousness emerges from the ground that
this activity is affecting all mankind from the ground.
K: Yes.
B: You see many people will find this very difficult to
understand, of course.
K: I am not interested in many people. I want to understand
you, ‘X’ and I, ‘Y’, that ground, that immensity, is not limited to
such a potty little affair. It couldn’t.
B: Yes, well the ground includes physically the whole universe.
K: The whole universe, yes, and to reduce all that to…
B:… to these little activities.
K: It sounds so silly.
B: Yes, well I think that raises the question of what is the
significance of mankind in the universe, or in the ground?
K: Yes, that’s it. That’s it.
B: Because these little things are very little, even the best that
we have been doing has very little significance on that scale.
Right?
K: Yes. I think – think in quotes, this is just opening the chapter
– I think that ‘X’ is doing something – not doing, by his very
existence…
B:… that he is making something possible?
K: Yes. Einstein, when you were a scientist, has made something possible, which man hadn’t discovered before.
B: We can see that fairly easily because that works through the
usual channels of society.
K: Yes, that I understand. I can see that. What is this man
bringing apart from the little things? What is he bringing? Would
you say, sir, – putting it into words it sounds wrong – ‘X’ has that
immense intelligence, that energy, that something and he must
operate at a much greater level than one can possibly conceive,
which must affect the consciousness of those who are living in
darkness.
B: Well possibly so. The question is will this effect show in any
way, you know, manifestly?
K: Apparently it doesn’t – if you heard the morning news! See
television and all the rest of the world, apparently it is not doing it.
B: Yes, that is what is difficult, it is a matter of great concern.
K: But it must affect sir.
B: It has to.
K: It has to.
B: Well why do you say it has to?
K: Because light must affect darkness.
B: Yes. Well you say, well perhaps ‘Y’ might say he is not sure,
living in darkness he is not sure that there is such an effect. He
might say maybe there is, I want to see it manifest. But not seeing
anything and still being in darkness, he says what shall I do?
K: I understand that. So are you saying: ‘X’s’ only activity is just
that?
B: No. Merely that it may well be that the activity is much
greater but you know it hasn’t shown. If we could see it.       K: How would it be shown? How would ‘Y’, who wants proof
of it…
B: Well not proof but just to be shown. Let’s say ‘Y’ might say
something like this: many people have made a similar statement
and some of them have obviously been wrong and you know one
wants to say it could be true. You see until now I think the things
we have said make sense and you know they follow to a certain
extent.
K: Yes, I understand all that sir.
B: And now you are saying something which goes much further
and other people have said things like that and one feels they were
on the wrong track, you know, that they were fooling themselves,
certainly some of these people were.
K: No. No. ‘X’ says we are being very logical
B: Yes but at this stage logic will not carry us any further.
K: It is very reasonable, rational, we have been through all that.
So ‘X’s’ mind is not acting in any irrational way.
B: Well you could say that having seen that the thing was
reasonable so far, ‘Y’ may have some confidence that it may go
further.
K: Yes that is what I am trying to say.
B: Of course there is no proof.
K: No.
B: So we could explore.
K: That is what I am trying to do.
B: Yes.
Q: What about the other activities of ‘X’? We said ‘X’ has a
function, teaching, but we said ‘X’ has other activities.       K: May be. Must have. Necessarily must.
Q: Which are what?
K: I don’t know, we are trying to find that out.
B: Well you are saying that somehow he makes possible – the
way I understand it – an activity of the ground in the whole
consciousness of mankind which would not have been possible
without him.
K: Yes.
B: That is what I understand.
K: Yes.
Q: His contact with ‘Y’ is not verbal, only verbal. It is not that
‘Y’ has to listen but some other quality…
K: Yes but ‘X’ says that is all a petty little affair. That is of
course understood but ‘X’ says there is something much greater
than all that.
Q: The effect of ‘X’ is far greater than perhaps can be put into
words.
K: We are trying to find out what is that greater that must
necessarily be operating?
Q: Is it something that appears in the daily life of ‘X’?
K: Yes. Daily life of ‘X’ is apparently doing the petty little stuff
– teaching, writing, book-keeping, or whatever it is. Is that all? You
follow what I mean? It seems so silly.
B: Are you saying that in the daily life ‘X’ does not look so
different from anybody else?
K: No, he apparently is not.
B: But there is something else going on…
K: Yes.       B:… which does not show, right?
K: That’s it. When ‘X’ talks it may be different, he may say
things differently but…
B:… that is not fundamental because there are so many people
who say things.
K: I know.
B: Well there are people who say things differently from other
people.
K: But the man who has walked through that right from the
beginning to the end, he is entirely different and when he says
something, that is also different, but I am not concerned about that.
Let’s leave that.
We are asking: such a man has the whole of that energy to call
upon, and to reduce all that energy to this petty little place seems
so ridiculous.
B: Yes, well let me ask a question. You see why does the
ground require this man to operate on mankind? You see why can’t
the ground, as it were, operate directly in mankind to clear things
up?
K: Ah, just a minute, just a minute. Are you asking why does
the ground demand action?
B: Why does it require a particular man, you see?
K: Oh, yes, that I can easily explain. It is part of existence, like
the stars.
Q: Can the immensity act directly on mankind? Does it have to
inform a man to enter the consciousness of mankind?
K: We are talking about something else. I want to find out, ‘X’
wants to say, I am not going to be reduced to writing, talking, that is too petty, too small. We will do that, but leave that alone. And
the question is, as you put, is why does the ground need this man?
It doesn’t need him.
B: Yes but when he is here the ground – if he is here then the
ground will use him.
K: That is all.
B: Well would it be possible that the ground could do
something to clear up this…
K: That is what I want to find out. That is why I am asking in
different words. The man, the ground doesn’t need man but the
man has touched the ground.
B: Yes.
K: So the ground is using him, let’s call it, is employing him. He
is part of that movement. Is that all? Do you follow what I mean
sir? Am I asking the wrong questions? Why should he do
anything? Except this?
B: Well perhaps he does nothing.
K: That very doing nothing may be the doing.
B: Well in doing nothing it makes possible the action of the
ground. It may be that. In doing nothing which has any specified
aim…
K: That’s right. Specified content which can be translated into
human terms.
B: Well yes, but still he is supremely active in doing nothing.
K: Yes. All this sounds…
Q: Is there an action which is beyond time for that man?
K: He is that.
Q: Then we cannot ask for a result of that man.       K: He is not asking results.
Q: But ‘Y’ is asking for a result.
K: No. He says I am not concerned with ‘Y’. I am only
concerned, ‘X’ says I am only concerned to talk, or do something in
a petty little way, that is a very small thing and I am not bothered
about that. But there is a vast field which must affect the whole of
mankind.
B: Well there is an analogy which may not be very good but we
can consider it. In chemistry a catalyst makes possible a certain
action without itself taking part.
K: Yes.
B: But merely by being what is it.
K: Yes, what it is. Is that is what is happening? Even that is a
small affair.
B: Yes.
Q: And even there ‘Y’ would say it isn’t happening because the
world is still in a mess. So is there a truth in the world for the
activity of that man?
K: ‘X’ says he is sorry that is no question at all. I am not
interested in proving anything. Right? It isn’t a mathematical
problem or technical problem to be shown and proved. He says this
is so. I have walked from the beginning of man to the very end of
man and this is there, there is a movement which is timeless.
Right? The ground which is the universe, the cosmos, everything.
But the ground doesn’t need the man but the man has come upon it.
Right? And he is still a man in the world. Right? And that man
says ‘I write and do something or other.’ – not to prove the ground,
not to do anything but just out of ‘X’s’ compassion he does that. But there is much greater movement which necessarily must play a part
in the world.
Q: Does the greater movement play a part through ‘X’?
K: Obviously, obviously. If there were ten ‘X’s’ of course it
would be… I think we are pursuing something which may have no
value at all.
B: What do you mean, no value? Why do you say no value?
K: Value in the sense – ‘X’ may only see – I am not saying this
out of vanity, out of escape – ‘X’ says there is something else
operating which cannot possibly be put into words. That may be a
slight escape but he says ‘What am I to do?’ There is nothing which
a man like ‘Y’ will understand. He will immediately translate it into
some kind of illusory thing. But ‘X’ says there is. Right? Sir, it
must be. Otherwise it is all so childish.
B: Well, I think that ‘Y’ might say it doesn’t follow that the
universe isn’t something childish or trivial. But if you say it isn’t
trivial.
K: No, it is not trivial.
B: No, but I think the general view which people are developing
now is that the universe has no meaning.
K: Yes, yes.
B: That it moves any old way, all sorts of things happen and
none of them have any meaning.
K: None of them have meaning for the man who is here, but the
man who is there, speaking relatively, says it is full of meaning,
not invented by thought and all that but it has got – the word
meaning has no meaning there.
All right sir. Leave the vastness and all that. Which means ‘X’ says, the occupation with pettiness and perhaps there will be ten
people who will join the game, and that might affect the society –
which will not be communism, socialism, this, that, the other. It
might be totally different, based on intelligence, compassion and
all the rest of it.
B: Well if there were ten they might find a way to spread much
more, you see.
K: That’s what I am trying to get at. I can’t get it.
B: What do you mean?
K: Sir you bring the universe and I translate it into – you
understand sir?
B: Well if the whole of mankind were to see this, are you saying
then that that would be something different?
K: Oh, yes sir. Of course.
B: Would it be a new…
K:… it would be paradise on earth.
B: It would be like an organism of a new kind.
K: Of course. I think we had better stop there. What time is it?
B: Ten past five
K: I think we had better stop there sir. You see I am not
satisfied with this.
B: Well what is it?
K: I am not satisfied, in quotes satisfied, in leaving this
immensity to be reduced to some few words. You follow? It seems
so stupid, incredible. You see man, ‘Y’ is concerned with ‘show me,
prove it to me, what benefit it has, will I get my future…’ – you
follow? He is concerned with that. And he is looking at ‘X’ with the
eyes that are so accustomed to this pettiness. So either he reduces that immensity to his pettiness and puts it in a temple, and has
therefore lost it completely. But ‘X’ says I won’t even look at that.
There is something so immense that ‘X’ says please do look at this,
and ‘Y’ is always translating it into ‘show it to me’, ‘prove it to me’,
‘will I have a better life’ – you follow? He is concerned always with
that.
‘X’ brings light. That’s all he can do. Isn’t that enough? We had
better stop there sir. I would like to have a go with you at this
sometime, maybe later.
B: To bring the light which would allow other people to be open
to the immensity.
K: You see, is it like this sir? We only see a small part but that
very small part extends to infinity. That means endless.
B: Endless, yes. Small part of what?
K: No. That immensity we see only as a very small thing. And
that immensity is the whole universe. I can’t help but think that it
must have some immense affect on ‘Y’, on society.
B: Yes. Well certainly the perception of this must have an effect
but it seems that this is not in the consciousness of society at the
moment.
K: I know.
B: But you are saying still the effect is there?
K: Yes sir.
Q: Are you saying that the perception of even a small part is not
the infinity?
K: Of course, of course.
Q: It is in itself the changing factor?
K: I think we had better stop here.       B: Well, I don’t want to raise a question but do you think it is
possible that a thing like this could divert the course of mankind
away from the dangerous course he is taking?
K: Yes sir, that is what I am thinking too. But to divert the
course of man’s destruction somebody must listen. Right?
Somebody – ten people must listen.
B: Yes.
K: Listen to that immensity calling.
B: So the immensity may divert the course of man, yes. The
individual cannot do it.
K: Yes, the individual cannot do it, obviously. But the
individual, but ‘X’, who is supposed to be an individual, has
trodden this path and says, ‘Listen’, but they don’t listen.
B: Well then is it possible to discover how to make people
listen?
K: No, we are back. Sir, we had better stop.
B: What do you mean?
K: Don’t act, you have nothing to do.
B: What does it mean not to do a thing?
K: Sir I realize as ‘Y’ that whatever I do, whatever I do,
sacrifice, give up, practise, whatever I do I am still living in that
circle of darkness. Right? So ‘X’ says, ‘Don’t act, you have nothing
to do.’ You follow? That is translated. I’ll wait. You do everything
except wait and see what happens. I must pursue this sir. It is all so
hopeless, hopeless from the point of view of ‘Y’, not to ‘X’.
BROCKWOOD PARK 9TH CONVERSATION
WITH DAVID BOHM 1ST JUNE 1980 ‘THE
ENDING OF TIME’

Krishnamurti: Sir, I would like to talk over with you, and perhaps
with Narayan too, what is happening to the human brain. I will go
into it a little bit.
You have a highly cultivated civilization and yet at the same
time barbarous, great selfishness clothed in all kinds of spiritual
garbs – holy spirit, holy ghost and all the rest of it, but deeply, deep
down, heightening, frightening selfishness. And man’s brain has
been evolving through millennia upon millennia and it has come to
this point: divisive, destructive and so on, which we all know. So I
was wondering whether the human brain, not a particular brain but
the human brain, is deteriorating? Whether it is capable of revival,
renewal or it is a slow, steady decline? And whether it is possible
in one’s lifetime to bring about in itself a total renewal from all this,
a renewal that will be pristine, original, unpolluted? I have been
wondering about it and I thought we needed to discuss it.
And I think the human brain is not a particular brain, it doesn’t
belong to me or to anyone else, it is the human brain which has
evolved ten million, or five million, or three million years. And in
that evolution it has gathered tremendous experience, knowledge
and all the cruelties and the vulgarities and the brutalities of
selfishness. Is there a possibility of it sloughing off, throwing off
all this and becoming something else. Because apparently it is
functioning in patterns, whether it is a religious pattern or a
scientific pattern or a business pattern or a family pattern, it is always operating, functioning in a very small narrow circle. And
those circles are clashing against each other. And there seems to be
no end to this. You follow?
Bohm: Yes.
K: So what will break down this forming of patterns, not falling
into other new patterns, but breaking down the whole system of
patterns, whether pleasant or unpleasant? After all the brain has
had so many shocks, so many challenges, so many pressures on it
and if that brain is not capable in itself to renew, to rejuvenate
itself, there is very little hope. You follow?
B: You see one difficulty might present itself that if you are
thinking of brain’s structure, we cannot get into the structure
physically.
K: Physically you cannot. I know, we have discussed this. So
what is it to do? I mean the brain specialists can look at it, take a
dead brain of a human being and examine it, but it doesn’t solve the
problem. Right?
B: No.
K: So what is a man, or a human being, to do knowing it cannot
be changed from outside or the scientist and the brain specialists,
and the nerve specialist, neurologist and all that, explain the thing
but it is there, their explanation, their investigation, is not going to
solve this. Right.
B: Well, yes, there is no evidence that it can.
K: No evidence, all right. I’ll put it a little more congenially.
B: Some people may have thought so. Some people who do bio-
feedback think that they can influence the brain, by connecting an
instrument to the electrical potentials in the skull and being able to look at them, you can also change your heart beat and your blood
pressure and various other things. They have raised the hope that
something could be done.
K: But they are not succeeding.
B: They are not getting very far.
K: But we can’t wait for these scientists and bio-feedbackers –
sorry! – to solve the problem. So what shall we do?
B: Well then the next question is: whether the brain can be
aware of its own structure.
K: Yes, that is the first question. Can the brain be aware of its
own movement? And the other question is: can the brain, not only
be aware of its own movement, can the brain itself have enough
energy to break all patterns and move out of it?
B: Yes, well you have to ask whether the brain can do that. You
see to what extent is the brain free to break out of patterns?
K: What do you mean?
B: Well, you see if you begin by saying the brain is caught in a
pattern, it may not be so.
K: Apparently it is, apparently.
B: As far as we can see. It may not be free to break out.
K: I understand.
B: It may not have the power.
K: That is what I said, not enough energy, not enough power.
B: Yes, it may not be able to take the action needed to get out.
K: So it has become its own prisoner. Then what?
B: Well then that is the end.
K: Is that the end?
B: If that is true then that is the end. Say if the brain cannot break out then perhaps people would choose to try some other way,
I don’t know, to solve the problem.
Narayan: When we speak of the brain in one sense the brain is
connected to the senses and the nervous system, the feedback is
there. Is there another instrument to which the brain is connected
which has a different effect on the brain?
K: What do you mean by that sir? Some other factor?
N: Some other factor in the human system itself. Because
obviously through the senses the brain does get nourishment, but
still that is not enough. Is there some other internal factor which
gives energy to the brain?
K: You see, sir, I think – I want to discuss this. The brain is
constantly in occupation, the body’s problems, holding on,
attachment and so on, so it is constantly in a state of occupation.
That may be the central factor. And if it is not in occupation does it
go sluggish? That is one factor. If it is not in occupation can it
maintain the energy that is required to break down the patterns? I
don’t know if I am making myself clear?
B: Yes. Now the first point is that if it is not occupied
somebody might think that it would just take it easy.
K: No, of course not, then it becomes lazy and all that. I don’t
mean that.
B: If you mean not occupied but still active..
K: Of course, I mean that.
B:.. we have to go into what is the nature of the activity.
K: That’s what I want to go into. If this brain which is so
occupied with conflicts, struggles, attachments, fears, pleasures,
you know, all that, and this occupation gives to the brain its own energy. Right? If it is not occupied, will it become lazy, drugged
and so lose its elasticity, as it were, or if it doesn’t become lazy and
so on will that unoccupied state give to the brain the required
energy to break?
B: Yes, well if you ask a question, you see what makes you say
this will happen? It says something about the brain – we were
discussing the other day that when the brain is kept busy with
intellectual activity and thought, then it does not decay and shrink,
you see.
K: Yes, as long as it is thinking, moving, living.
B: Thinking in a rational way, then it remains strong.
K: Yes. That is what I want to get at too. Which is, as long as it
is functioning, moving, thinking rationally..
B:.. it remains strong. If it starts irrational movement then it
breaks down. Also if it gets caught in a routine it begins to die.
K: That’s it. That is, if the brain is caught in a routine, either the
mediation routine, or the routine of the priests..
B: Or the daily life of the farmer.
K:.. the farmer and so on and so on, it must gradually become
dull.
B: Not only that but it seems to shrink.
K: To shrink physically.
B: Perhaps some of the cells die.
K: That is what we were discussing the other day, yes. To
shrink physically. And the opposite to that is this eternal
occupation with business – as a lawyer, as a doctor as a – you
follow? – a scientist, thinking, thinking, thinking. And we think that
also that prevents shrinking.       B: Well it does. Well at least experience seems to show it does,
the measurements they made.
K: Yes, it does too. That’s it. Excuse the word ‘farmer’.
B: Whatever it is, the routine clerical worker and anybody who
does a routine job.
K: Anybody.
B: Yes, his brain starts to shrink at a certain age. Now that is
what they discovered and just as the body not being used the
muscles begin to lose their..
K:.. so take lots of exercise!
B: Well, they say exercise the body and exercise the brain.
K: Yes. If it is caught in any pattern, any routine, any directive
too, it must shrink.
B: It is not clear why. Could you go into what makes it shrink,
you see.
K: That is fairly simple. It is repetition.
B: Well repetition is mechanical and doesn’t really use the full
capacity of the brain.
K: One has noticed the people who have spent years and years
in meditation are the most dull people on earth. And also those
lawyers and professors and all the rest of them, you can see them,
there is ample evidence of all that.
N: The only thing that article seems to say that rational thinking
postpones senility. But rational thinking itself becomes a pattern at
some time.
B: Well it might. They didn’t carry it that far you see, but
rational thinking pursued in a narrow area might become part of
the pattern too.       K: of course, of course.
B: But if you say that there is some other way.
K: We will go into that, I want to go into that.
B: But let’s clear up about the body first. You see if somebody
does a lot of exercise for the body it remains strong, but it might
become a mechanical..
K:.. mechanical, of course, of course.
B: And therefore it would have a bad effect.
K: You see yoga..
N: What about the various, if I may use the word, religious
instruments – the traditional religious instruments, yoga, tantra,
kundalini, etc.
K: I know, oh, they must shrink. Because you see what is
happening, yoga, take for example, it was not vulgarised, if I may
use that word. It was kept strictly to the very, very few, who were
not concerned about kundalini and all that kind of stuff, who were
concerned with leading a moral, ethical so-called spiritual life, with
ordinary exercise, but not this fantastic gymnastics. You see I want
to get at the root of this, sir.
B: I think there is something related to this. It seems that before
men organized into society, he was living close to nature and it was
not possible to live in a routine.
K: No, it was not.
B: But it was insecure, completely insecure.
K: So are we saying, that is what I want to get at – are we saying
the brain becomes extraordinarily – is not caught in a pattern
because if the brain itself lives in a state of uncertainty..
B: Well..       K:.. without becoming neurotic.
B: Well I think that is more clear when you say not becoming
neurotic, then certainty becomes a form of neurosis.
K: Neurosis, of course.
B: But I would rather say the brain lives without having
certainty, without demanding it.
K: Yes, without demanding certainty.
B: Yes, without demanding certain knowledge.
K: So are we saying that knowledge also withers the brain?
B: Well when it is repetitious and becomes mechanical, yes.
K: But knowledge itself?
B: Well, yes, we have to be careful there.
K: I know.
B: I think that knowledge has a tendency to become mechanical.
That is, to get fixed, but we could be always learning, you see.
K: But learning from a centre, learning as an accumulation
process.
B: Learning I think with something fixed. You see you learn
something as fixed and then you learn from there. If we were to be
learning without holding anything permanently fixed.
K: That is, learning and not adding. Can you do that?
B: Yes, well you see I think to a certain extent we have to drop
our knowledge. Knowledge may be valid up to a point and then it
ceases to be valid, it gets in the way. You could say that our
civilization is collapsing from too much knowledge.
K: Of course.
B: We don’t drop what is in the way.
N: Many forms of knowledge are additive. Unless you know the previous thing you can’t do the next thing. Would you say that kind
of knowledge is repetitive?
B: No. As long as you are learning. But if you hold some
principle fixed and say it cannot change, you see if you hold the
centre fixed or anything fixed then that knowledge becomes
mechanical. But if you say you have got to keep on learning.
K: Learning what?
B: Whatever you are doing. Say for example, suppose you have
to make a living. People must organize the society and all kinds of
things, they need knowledge.
K: But there you add more and more.
B: That’s right. You may also get rid of some.
K: Of course.
B: Some gets in the way, you see. It is continually moving
there.
K: Yes, but I am asking apart from that, knowledge itself.
B: Well yes. Do you mean knowledge without this content.
K: Yes, the knowing mind.
B: Mind which merely wants knowledge, is that what you are
saying? – for its own sake.
K: Yes. I want to question, if I may, the whole idea of having
knowledge.
B: Yes, but again it is not too clear because you see we accept
that we need knowledge.
K: Of course, at a certain level.
B: It is not clear what kind of knowledge it is that you are
questioning.
K: I am questioning the experience that leaves knowledge, leaves a mark.
B: Yes, but again you say that the experience of driving a car –
we want to make it clear. What kind, it leaves a mark
psychologically, you mean?
K: Psychologically, of course.
B: Rather than knowledge of technique and matter and so on.
But you see when you use the word knowledge by itself it tends to
include the whole.
K: We have said that knowledge at a certain level is essential,
there you can add and take away and keep on changing, moving,
there; but I am questioning whether psychological knowledge is
not in itself a factor of the shrinking of the brain.
B: What do you mean by psychological knowledge? Knowledge
about the mind, knowledge about myself?
K: Yes. Knowledge about myself and living in that knowledge,
and accumulating that knowledge.
B: So if you keep on accumulating knowledge about yourself or
about relationships..
K:.. yes, about relationships. Yes that is it. Would you say such
knowledge helps the brain, makes the brain somewhat inactive,
makes the brain shrink?
B: Brings it into a rut.
K: Yes.
B: But one should see why, what is it about this knowledge that
makes so much trouble?
K: What is this knowledge that makes so much trouble? In
relationship that knowledge does create trouble.
B: Yes, it gets in the way.       K: In the way, yes.
B: Because it fixes.
K: If I have an image about him and I am related to him, that
knowledge is obviously going to impede – it becomes a pattern.
B: Yes, well the knowledge about myself and about him and
how we are related, it makes a pattern.
K: Yes, and therefore that becomes a routine and so it loses it..
B: Yes, and it occurred to me you see that routine in that area is
more dangerous than routine in say the area of daily work.
K: That’s right.
B: And if routine in ordinary work can shrink the brain then in
that area it might do some worse thing because it has a bigger
effect.
K: So, can the brain, in psychological matters, be entirely free
from knowledge, from this kind of knowledge? That is, sir, look: I
am a businessman and I get into the car, or bus or a taxi, or the
tube, and I am thinking what I am going to do, whom I am going to
meet, a business talk, and my mind is all the time living in that
area. I come home, there is a wife and children, sex and all that,
that also becomes a psychological knowledge from which I am
acting. So there is the knowledge of my business and contacts and
all that, and also there is the knowledge with regard to my wife,
and myself and my reactions: these two are in contradiction. Or I
am unaware of these two and just carry on. If I am aware of these
two it becomes a disturbing factor.
B: Well, also people find that it is a routine and they get bored
with it and they begin to..
K:.. divorce and then the whole circus begins.       B: They may hope that by becoming occupied with something
else they will get out of their..
K:.. yes, go to church, etc., etc. Any escape is an occupation.
So I am asking whether this psychological knowledge is not a
factor of the shrinkage of the brain? Sorry!
B: Well, yes, it could be a factor.
K: It is. It is.
B: If knowledge of your profession can be a factor, then this
knowledge is stronger.
K: Of course, of course. Much stronger.
N: When you say psychological knowledge you are
distinguishing, making a distinction between psychological
knowledge and let us say scientific knowledge or factual
knowledge?
K: Of course, we have said that.
N: But I am a little wary about this article and the fact that
scientific knowledge and other types of factual knowledge helps to
extend or make the brain bigger. That in itself doesn’t lead
anywhere. Though it postpones energy.
K: What?
N: Well exercising rational thinking.
K: Dr Bohm explained very carefully: rational thinking
becomes merely routine. I think logically and therefore I have
learned the trick of that and I keep on repeating it.
N: That is what happens to most forms of rational thinking.
K: Of course.
B: I think that say they depend on being continually faced with
unexpected problems. You see as they said lawyers will beg that their brains last longer because they are faced with constantly
different problems and therefore they cannot make it entirely
routine, you see. Perhaps eventually they could but it would take a
while.
K: But sir, just a minute, just a minute. They may have different
clients with different problems, but they are acting from
knowledge.
B: They would say not entirely, they have got to find new facts
and so on.
K: Of course, they are not entirely but the basis is knowledge –
precedence and book knowledge and various experiences with
various clients.
B: But then you would have to say that some other more subtle
degeneration of the brain takes place, not merely shrinkage.
K: That’s right. That’s what I want to get at.
B: You see there is also what is known, that when a baby is
born the brain cells have very few cross connections, then they
gradually increase in number, then as a person approaches senility
they begin to go back. So the quality of those cross connections
could be wrong. As another example but it would be too subtle to
show up in these measurements but if for example, if you repeated
them too often, they would get too fixed.
N: Are all the brain functions confined to rational forms, or are
there some functions which have a different quality?
B: Well, it is known, for example, that a large part of the brain
deals with movement of the body and so on, with muscles and with
various organs, and this part does not shrink with age, but the part
that deals with rational thought if it is not used does shrink. Then there may be other functions that are totally unknown, that is, very
little is known actually about the brain.
N: Which we don’t touch. Is there a possibility of that sort?
K: Narayan, what we are saying, what I am trying to explain:
we are only using one part, or very partially the brain, and that
partial activity is the occupation, either rational or irrational, or
logical and so still using the part. And as long as the brain is
occupied it must be in that limited area. Would you say that?
B: Well, then what will happen when it is not occupied?
K: We will go into that in a minute.
B: Well we can say that it may tend to spend most of the time
occupied in that limited set of functions which are mechanical and
that will produce some subtle degeneration of the brain tissues
since anything like that will affect the brain tissue.
K: Are we saying that senility is the result of mechanical way of
living? Mechanical knowledge and so the brain has no freedom, no
space, no sense of..
B: Well, that is the suggestion. It is not necessarily accepted by
all the people who work on the brain. They have shown that the
brain cells start to die around the age of thirty or forty at a steady
rate but this..
K: Be careful!
B:.. but this may be a factor but I don’t think their measurements
are so good they can test for effect as to how the brain is used. You
see they are merely rough measurements made statistically. And so
you want to propose that this death of the brain cells, or the
degeneration, will come from the wrong way of using the brain?
K: That’s right. That is what I am trying to get at.       B: Yes, and there is a little bit of evidence in favour of this from
the scientists.
K: Thank god!
B: But I think that the brain scientists don’t know very much
about it.
K: Sir, you see scientists, brain specialists, are, if I may use a
rather easy word, they are going out, examining things outside, but
not taking themselves as guinea pigs and going through that.
B: Well mostly you see except for those who do bio-feedback,
they are trying to work on themselves in a very indirect way.
K: Yes. Well I feel we haven’t time for all that stuff.
B: Yes, that is too slow and it isn’t very deep.
K: Not very deep.
So let’s come back to the point. I realize that any activity which
is repeated, any action that is directed in the narrow sense, any
method, any routine, logical or illogical, does affect the brain and
so on and so on. We have understood that very clearly. And
knowledge at a certain level is essential, and also psychological
knowledge about oneself, one’s experiences, all that, also becomes
routine, the images I have about myself obviously are a routine,
and so that helps to bring about a shrinkage of the brain. I have
understood all that very clearly. Now I say to myself, any kind of
occupation apart from the mechanical – not mechanical..
B: Physical.
K:.. physical occupation, the occupation with oneself, that
obviously does bring about shrinkage of the brain. Now how is this
process to stop? And when it does stop will there be a renewal?
B: Yes, I think again that some brain scientists would doubt that the brain cells could be renewed, but I don’t know that there is any
proof one way or the other.
K: I think they can be renewed. That is what I want to get at.
B: So we have to discuss that.
N: I want to put this question because in one discussion between
you in Ojai you are implying that mind is different from the brain,
mind is distinct from the brain.
K: Not quite. Did I?
N: Yes, the possibility of mind as distinct from the brain.
B: It was universal mind.
N: Mind in the sense that one has access to this mind and it is
not the brain. Do you consider that possibility?
K: I don’t quite follow this. I would say that the mind is all-
inclusive.
N: Yes.
K: When it is all-inclusive, brain, emotions, all that, when it is
totally whole, not divisive in itself, there is a quality which is
universal. Right?
N: One has access to it?
K: Not one, you can’t reach it, no. You can’t say, I have access
to it.
N: I am saying access, one doesn’t possess it but..
K: You can’t possess the sky.
N: No, my only point is: is there a way of being open to it and is
there a function of the mind, the whole of it, which is accessible
through education?
K: I think there is. We will come to that presently if you can
stick to this point. We have reached a certain point in our discussion. Don’t go back and repeat it again.
We are asking now, having understood all that, after this
discussion, can the brain itself renew, rejuvenate, become young
again without any shrinkage at all? I think it can. I want to open a
new chapter and discuss it. I think it can. Psychologically
knowledge that man has acquired is crippling it. The Freudians, the
Jungians, or the latest psychologist, the latest psychotherapist, are
all helping to make the brain shrink. Sorry! I hope there is nobody
here.
N: Is there a way of forgetting this knowledge then?
K: No, no. Not forgetting. I see what they are doing and I see
the waste, I see what is taking place if I follow that line. I see it,
obviously. So I don’t follow that avenue at all. So I discard
altogether analysis. That is a pattern we have learnt, not only from
the recent psychologists and psychotherapists but also it is the
tradition of a million years, to analyze, introspect, say, ‘I must’ and
‘I must not’, ‘This is right, this is wrong’ – you know the whole
process. I personally don’t do it and so I reject that whole method.
We are coming to a point, which is: direct perception and
immediate action. Because our perception is directed by
knowledge – the past perceives and so the past, which is
knowledge, perceiving and acting from that is a factor of shrinking,
senility. Shrinking the brain. So is there a perception which is not
time-binding? Right, sir? And so action which is immediate. Am I
making myself clear? That is, sir, the brain has evolved through
time, and it has set the pattern of time in action. And as long as the
brain is active that way it is still living in a pattern of time and so
becoming senile. If we could break that pattern of time, then the brain has broken out of its pattern and therefore something else
takes place. I don’t know if I am making myself clear?
N: How does it break out of the pattern?
K: I will come to that but first let’s see if it is so.
B: Yes, well you are saying that the pattern is the pattern of
time.
K: The pattern of time.
B: Perhaps this should be clarified. I think that what you mean
by analysis is some sort of process based on past knowledge which
organizes your perception and you take a series of steps to try to
accumulate knowledge about the whole thing. And now you say
this is a pattern of time and you have to break out of it. You have
to say what is that.
K: If we agree to that, if we say this is so: the brain is
functioning in a pattern of time.
B: Yes. Now then you have to ask, you see I think most people
would ask: what other pattern is possible?
K: Wait, wait, wait.
B: What other movement is possible?
K: No. First let’s understand this.
B: Sorry.
K: Not merely verbally but actually see that it is happening.
That our action, our way of living, our whole thinking, is bound by
time. Or comes with the knowledge of time.
B: Yes, well certainly our thinking about ourselves, any attempt
to analyze yourself, to think about yourself, involves this process.
K: Process, which is of time. Right?
N: That is a difficulty: when you say knowledge and experience, they have a certain cohesive energy, force, it binds
you.
K: Which is what, which is what? Time-binding.
N: Time-binding and..
K:.. and therefore the pattern of centuries, millennia, is being
repeated.
N: Yes. What I am saying is that this has a certain cohesive
force.
K: Of course, of course. All illusions have an extraordinary
vitality.
N: Very few break through.
K: Look at all the churches, what immense vitality they have.
N: No, apart from these churches, one’s personal life has a
certain cohesive, it keeps you back. You can’t break away from it.
K: And what happens if you do then – what do you mean it
keeps you back?
N: It has a magnetic attraction, it sort of pulls you back. You
can’t free yourself of it unless you have some instrument with
which you can act.
K: We are going to find out if there is a different approach to
the problem.
B: I mean when you say a different instrument that is not clear.
The whole notion of an instrument involves time because you use
an instrument – any instrument is a process which you plan.
K: Time, that’s just it.
N: That is why I use the word instrument, I mean it is effective.
K: This has not been effective.
N: Not been effective, no.       K: On the contrary, it is destructive. So do I see the very truth of
its destructiveness? Not just theories, ideas, but the actuality of it.
If I do, then what takes place? The brain, which has evolved
through time, and has been functioning, living, acting, believing,
all that in that time process, and when one realizes that helps to
make the brain senile – I won’t go into all that – now if you see that
as true, then what is the next step?
N: Are you implying that the very seeing that it is destructive is
a releasing factor?
K: Yes.
N: And there is no need for an extra instrument?
K: No. Don’t use the word instrument.
N: I am putting it because..
K: He keeps on repeating the word instrument. There is no other
factor. You see I am concerned – I am using the word not
personally – I am concerned to end this shrinkage and senility and
asking whether the brain itself, the cells, the whole thing, can move
out of time? Not immortality, I am not talking about all that kind of
stuff. Move out of time altogether, otherwise deterioration,
shrinkage, senility is inevitable. Senility may not show but the
brain cells are becoming weaker and so on.
N: If the brain cells are material and physical, somehow or other
they have to shrink through time, indeed it can’t be helped. The
brain cell which is tissue cannot be in physical terms immortal.
B: Perhaps the rate of shrinkage would be greatly slowed down.
If a person say lives a certain number of years and his brain begins
to shrink long before he dies, then he becomes senile. Now if it
would slow down then..       K:.. not only slow down, sir.
B:.. well, regenerate, if you wish.
K: No, be in a state of non-occupation.
B: Well I think Narayan is saying that it is impossible for any
material system to last for ever.
K: I am not talking about lasting for ever. I am not sure if it
can’t last for ever. No, this is very serious, I am not pulling
anybody’s leg.
B: If all the cells were to regenerate perfectly in the body and in
the brain, then the whole thing could go on indefinitely.
K: Look sir: we are now destroying the body, drink, smoke, sex
– over indulgence in sex, all kinds of things. We are living most
unhealthily. Right? If the body were in excellent health, maintained
right through, which is no heightened emotions, no strain on the
body, no sense of deterioration in the body, the heart functioning
healthily, normally – you know – why not?
B: Well..
K: Which means what? No travelling! No travelling and all the
rest of it.
B: No excitement.
K: If the body remains in one quiet place I am sure it can last a
great any more years than it does now.
B: Yes, I think that is true. There have been cases of people
living say to one hundred and fifty in quiet places. But I think that
is all you are talking about. You are not talking about something
for ever really.
K: So the body can be kept healthy and since the body affects
the mind, nerves, senses and all that, that also can be kept healthy.       B: And if the brain is kept in the right action..
K: Yes, without any strain.
B: You see the brain has a tremendous affect on organizing the
body. The pituitary gland controls the entire system of the body
glands and also all the organs of the body are controlled in that
way and so on. When the mind deteriorates the body starts to
deteriorate.
K: Of course, of course.
B: It works together.
K: They go together. So can this brain which is not my brain,
but the brain which has evolved through millions of years, which
has had all kinds of destructive experiences, pleasant and all the
rest of it, can that brain..
B: You mean it is a typical brain not a peculiar brain, peculiar to
some individual. When you say not mine, any brain belonging to
mankind. Right?
K: Any brain.
B: They are all basically similar.
K: Similar, that is what I said. Can that brain be free of all this,
of time? I think it can.
B: If we could discuss what it means to be free of time, you see
at first sight that might sound crazy because obviously we all know
that you don’t mean that the clock stops or anything.
K: Science fiction and all that nonsense.
B: The point is what does it really mean to be psychologically
free of time?
K: That there is no tomorrow.
B: But I mean you know there is tomorrow.       K: But psychologically.
B: Can you describe that better, what do you mean when you
say, no tomorrow?
K: Sir, what does it mean to be living in time? Let’s take the
other side first before we come to the other. What does it mean to
live in time? Hope, thinking, living in the past, and acting from the
knowledge of the past, the images, the illusions, the prejudices,
they are all an outcome of the past, all that is time. And that is
producing in the world chaos.
B: Yes, well suppose we say if you are not living
psychologically in time, then you may still order your actions by
the watch but the thing that is puzzling is that suppose somebody
says, ‘I am not living in time but I must make an appointment’ – you
see.
K: Of course, you can’t sit here for ever.
B: So you say I am looking at the watch but I am not
psychologically extending how it is going to feel in the next hour,
when I have fulfilment of desire, or whatever.
K: So I am just saying the way we are living now is in the field
of time. And there we have brought all kinds of problems,
suffering, all that. Right?
B: Yes, it should be made clear why this produces suffering
necessarily. Say, if you live in the field of time you are saying
suffering is inevitable.
K: Inevitable, inevitable.
B: Why?
K: It is simple. Which is, time has built the ego, the ‘me’, the
image of me, sustained by society, by the parents, by education, that is built after millions of years, that is the result of time. And
from there I act.
B: Towards the future?
K: Towards the future.
B: Towards the future psychologically, that is towards some
future state of being. Right?
K: Yes. Which is, the centre is always becoming.
B: Trying to become better.
K: Better, nobler, or the other way round. So all that, this
constant endeavour to become something psychologically, is a
factor of time.
B: Are you saying that produces suffering?
K: Obviously. Why? Oh my Lord, why? Because it is simple , it
is divisive. It divides me and so you are different from me, and me,
when I depend on somebody and that somebody is lost, or gone, I
feel lonely, miserable, unhappy, grief, suffering. All that goes on.
So we are saying any factor of division which is the very nature of
the self, that must inevitably suffer.
B: Are you saying that through time the self is set up,
organized, and then the self introduces division and conflict and so
on. But if there were no psychological time then maybe this entire
structure would collapse and something entirely different would
happen?
K: That’s it. That is what I am saying. And therefore the brain
itself has broken out.
B: Well, that is the next step to say that the brain has broken out
of that rut and maybe it could regenerate then. It doesn’t follow
logically, but still it could.       K: I think it does follow logically.
B: Well, it follows logically that it would stop degenerating.
K: Yes.
B: And you are adding further that it would start to regenerate.
K: Yes. You look sceptical!
N: Yes, because the whole human predicament is bound to time.
K: Yes, we know that.
N: Society, individuals, the whole structure.
K: I know, I know.
N: It is so forceful that anything feeble doesn’t work here.
K: What do you mean feeble?
N: The force of this is so great that if you have to break through,
whatever comes must have greater energy.
K: Yes.
N: And no individual seems to be able to generate this energy to
be able to break through.
K: Ah, you have got the wrong end of the stick, if I may point
out. When you use the word ‘individual’..
N: A human being.
K:.. then you have moved away from the fact that our brain is
universal.
N: Yes, I admit that.
K: There is no individuality.
N: That brain is conditioned this way.
K: Yes, we have been through all that. It is conditioned this way
through time. Time is conditioning. Right? It is not that time has
created the conditioning, time itself is the factor of conditioning.
So can that time element not exist? – psychologically we are talking about, not in the ordinary physical time. I say it can. And
we said the ending of suffering comes about when the self, which
is built up through time, is no longer there. For a man who is
actually going through agony, going through a terrible time, he
might reject this, he is bound to reject it, but when he comes out of
the shock of this, and somebody points out to him, and if he is
willing to listen, if he is willing to see the rationality of it, not build
a wall against it, but see for himself the sanity of it, he is out of that
field, the brain is out of that time-binding quality.
N: Temporarily.
K: Ah! There again, when you use the word ‘temporary’ it
means time.
N: No, he slips back into time.
K: No, you can’t. You can’t go back, if you see something
dangerous and go back to it, you can’t. Like a cobra, like whatever
danger it is, you cannot.
N: But the difficulty is the analogy is a bit difficult because the
structure is that. You inadvertently slip into it.
K: When you see a dangerous animal, there is immediate action.
It may be the result of past knowledge, past experience, but there is
immediate action, self-protection. Psychologically we are unaware
of the dangers. And if we become as aware of the dangers as we
are aware of a physical danger there is an action which is not time-
binding.
B: Yes, I think that you could say that as long as you could
perceive this danger you know you will respond immediately. But
you see if you were to use this analogy of the animal, there might
be an animal that you realize is dangerous, but then he might take another form that you don’t see as dangerous.
K: Yes.
B: Therefore there would be a danger of slipping back if you
didn’t see. This time illusion might come in in some other form.
K: Of course.
B: But I think the major point is that you are saying that the
brain is not belonging to any individual.
K: Yes, sir, absolutely.
B: And therefore it is no use saying that the individual slips
back, you see.
K: No.
B: That already denies what you are saying. But rather the
danger might be that the brain might slip back.
K: Which is the brain itself might get back because it itself has
not seen the danger.
B: Hasn’t seen the other form of the illusions.
K: The Holy Ghost taking different shapes.
B: But you see, yes, well I think that is the point.
K: Sir, that is the real root of it, time.
B: Well you see time and separation as individuality are
basically the same structure.
K: Of course.
B: Although it is not obvious in the beginning.
K: I wonder if you see that.
B: It might be worth discussing that. Why is time the same
illusion, the same structure as individuality? That is psychological
time. You see individuality is the sense of being a person who is
located here somewhere.       K: Located and divided.
B: Divided from the others. He extends out to some periphery,
his domain extends out to some periphery and also he has an
identity which goes over time. He wouldn’t regard himself as an
individual unless he had an identity, if he said, today I am one
person, tomorrow I am another. So he has to be, it seems we mean
by individual somebody who is in time.
K: I think that is such a fallacy, this idea of individuality.
B: Yes, on the other hand many people may find that very hard
to be convinced that it is a fallacy.
K: Of course, many people find everything very hard.
B: There is a common feeling that as an individual I have
existed at least from my birth if not before, and go on to death and
perhaps later. The whole idea of being an individual is to be in
time. Right?
K: Obviously, sir, obviously.
B: Therefore to be in psychological time.
K: Of course, we are saying that.
B: Not just clock time.
K: So if that illusion could be broken, that time has created
individuality, which is erroneous.
B: Yes, through time the notion of individuality has arisen.
K: Of course. Can this brain understand that?
B: Well I think that as Narayan said, that say there is a great
momentum in any brain, which keeps rolling, moving along.
K: Can that momentum stop for a minute? Sorry, not a minute.
Can that stop? Not for a minute.
N: The difficulty comes actually in this: it is intrinsic to you, the genetic coding and you seem to function more or less
unconsciously, you are driven by this kind of past momentum. And
suddenly you see, as it were, like a flash something true. But the
difficulty is it operates for some time in the sense that it may
operate for a day, but then there is the fact we are again caught in
the old momentum. It is a human experience.
K: I know that. But I say it will not be caught.
N: That is why I say this can’t be a feeble thing.
K: Don’t use the word feeble or strong. Once you see the mind,
or the brain is aware of this fact it cannot go back. How can it?
N: There must be another way of preventing it from going back.
K: Not preventing, that means also time. You are still thinking
in prevention.
N: Prevention in the sense, as a human factor.
K: The human being is irrational. Right? And as long as he is
functioning irrationally any other rational factor he says, ‘I refuse
to see it’.
N: From what you are saying you are suggesting that the very
seeing prevents you also from going back, from slipping. This is a
human condition.
B: I wonder if we should ask this question about prevention.
You see it may be a question.
N: It has both the aspects. You see the fallacy of something and
the very seeing prevents you from slipping back. Because you see
the danger of it.
B: In another sense you say you have no temptation to slip back,
therefore you don’t have to be prevented. If you really see it there is
no need to be prevented.       N: Then you are not tempted to go back.
K: I can’t go back. If I see the fallacy of all the religious
nonsense, it is finished.
B: The only question which I raise is that you may not see it in
another form. You see..
N: It may come in different shapes.
B:.. and then you are tempted once again.
K: The mind is aware, it is not caught. But you are saying it
does.
N: In other shapes and forms, sir.
There is another thing I want to ask: is there a faculty in the
human system which has this function as it were, and so it has
some effect, or some transforming effect on the brain?
K: We have said that.
N: No, we have not said that.
K: Wait sir. We have said that perception is out of time, seeing
immediately the whole nature of time. Which is to have, to use a
good old world, to have an insight into the nature of time. If you
have that insight into the nature of time, not you, if there is an
insight into the nature of time the very brain cells which are part of
time break down. The brain cells bring about a change in
themselves. That is what this person is saying. You may disagree,
you may say prove it. I say this is not a matter of proof, it is a
matter of action. Do it, find it, test it.
N: You were also saying the other day that when the
consciousness is empty of its content..
K: The content is time.
N: You said that leads to the transformation of the brain cells.       K: Yes.
N: When you say consciousness is empty of the content there..
K:.. there is no consciousness as we know it.
N: Yes. And again you are using the word insight. What is the
connection between the two? There is an obvious connection.
B: Between what?
N: Consciousness. When you have suggested that consciousness
is empty of its content..
K: Careful! Consciousness is put together by its content. The
content is the result of time. Now just..
B: The content also is time.
K: Of course.
B: It is about time as well.
K: Of course.
B: It is also actually put together by time.
K: Actually put together by time and also it is about time, as he
pointed out. If you have an insight into that the whole pattern is
gone, broken.
N: Yes, if..
K: The insight, which is not of time, which is not of memory,
which is not of knowledge, etc., etc.
N: Who has this insight?
K: Not me. There is an insight.
N: There is an insight and the word insight has a positive
connotation. You have an insight and then the consciousness is
empty of its content as a negative kind of..
K: No, sir, no.
N: You are implying that the very emptying of the content, the emptiness of the content, is insight.
K: No, no. We are saying time is a factor which has put the
content, which has made up the content. It has made up and it also
thinks about. All that is a bundle, is the result of time. Now insight
into this whole movement, it is not my insight.
N: No, it is insight.
K: Insight, that brings about transformation in the brain.
Because it is not time-binding, that insight.
B: If you say this content, the psychological content, is a certain
structure physically in the brain, you may say that in order for this
psychological content to exist the brain over many years has made
many connections of the cells, which constitute this content.
K: Quite, quite.
B: And then there is a flash of insight which sees all this and
sees that it is not necessary and therefore all this begins to
dissipate. And when that has dissipated there is no content. Then
you say whatever the brain is doing is something different.
K: Which is, sir, go further, which is then there is total
emptiness. We won’t go into it. Which we went into the other day.
B: Yes, well emptiness of that content. But when you say total
emptiness you don’t mean you don’t see the railway, but you mean
emptiness of all this inward content.
K: That’s right. That emptiness has tremendous energy. It is
energy.
B: So could you say that the brain having had all these
connections tangled up has locked up a lot of energy?
K: That’s right. Wastage of energy.
B: Then when they begin to dissipate that energy is there.       K: Yes.
B: Would you say that is as much physical energy as any other
kind?
K: Of course, of course.
Now you have heard all this, Narayan, we can go on more in
detail, but you have heard the principle, the root of it: is it an idea
or a fact?
N: An idea has no..
K: No, I am asking you, don’t dodge it. Is it an idea or a fact? I
hear all this. I have heard it with the hearing of the ear so I make it
into an idea, but if I hear it, not only with the hearing of the ear but
hear it in my being, in the very structure of myself, I hear this
statement, what happens then? If that doesn’t take place it becomes
merely an idea and we can spin along for the rest of one’s life
playing with idea. But if that sense of – you know.
So Sir, we are more or less, you and I, and Narayan perhaps,
more or less a captured audience. If there was a scientist, bio-
feedback or another brain specialist, would they accept this?
Would they even listen to all this?
B: Maybe a few would but obviously the majority would not.
K: No. So what? You see how do we affect – I am using the
word affect – how do we touch the human brain?
B: Yes. Well, the way it will sound to most scientists is that it
will sound rather abstract, you see. They will say it could be so, it
is a nice theory.
K: Good boy, it is nice.
B: We have no proof of it.
K: Of course, of course.       B: Therefore they would say, OK, it doesn’t excite me very
much because I don’t see any proof. I think that is the way the more
favourable ones would look at it. Let’s say they would say, if you
have some more evidence we will come back later, and become
very interested. So you see you can’t give any proof because you
know whatever is happening nobody can see it, with their eyes.
K: Of course. I understand. But I am asking: what shall we do?
Our mind, our brain, is not my brain. Right? It is the human brain
which has evolved through a million years. One freak, or one
biological freak, can move out of it – perhaps, or does – how do you
get at the human mind to make him see this?
B: Well I think you have to communicate the necessity of what
you are saying, that it is inevitable. You have to communicate the
necessity of what you are saying, that it is inevitable. Say if
somebody sees something, you know, you explain it to him and he
sees it happening before his eyes he says, ‘That’s so’. Right?
K: But sir, that requires somebody to listen.
B: Yes.
K: Somebody who says I want to capture it, I want to
understand this, I want to find out. You follow what I am saying?
Apparently that is one of the most difficult things in life.
B: Well it is the function of this occupied brain that it is
occupied with itself and it doesn’t listen.
N: In fact one of the things is that this occupation seems to start
very early. When you are young it is very powerful and it
continues through all your life. How do you through education
make this..
K: Oh, that is a different matter. I would say I would work at it differently, if you are asking how to set about it I will tell you. The
moment you see the importance of not being occupied, you
yourself see that as a tremendous truth, you will find ways and
methods to help them. That is creative, you can’t just be told and
copy and imitate, then you are lost.
B: Well then the question is: how is it possible to communicate
to the brain, which rejects, which doesn’t listen?
K: I understand, that is what I am asking.
B: Yes, well is there a way?
K: No. If I refuse to listen, well, go to the pope and tell him all
this he would say..
Sir, I think we had better stop, don’t you?
You see, sir, I think meditation is a great factor in all this. I feel
we have been meditating. Ordinary people wouldn’t accept this as
meditation.
B: They have used the word so often..
K:.. it is really lost. Sir, that is one of the things. Something real,
made vulgar, common, is gone. Yoga was something
extraordinary, only for the, if I may use the word without being
misunderstood, the very few; now it has become common, a way
of earning a livelihood. It’s gone. So meditation is this, sir, the
emptying of consciousness. You follow?
B: Yes, but let’s be clear. Before you said it would happen
through insight, you see. Now are you saying meditation is
conducive to insight.
K: Meditation IS insight.
B: It is insight already. Then it is some sort of work you do, you
see insight is usually thought of as the flash.       K: Yes, insight is a flash.
B: But also meditation is a more constant..
K: Now we must be careful. What do we mean be meditation?
B: That’s the question, yes.
K: We can reject the systems, the methods, the authorities, the
acknowledged Zen, Tibetan, Hindu, Buddhist, we can reject all
that, because it is obviously merely traditional repetition, time-
biding nonsense. For me it is not..
N: Do you think some of them could have been original, some
of them could have had original insight?
K: If they had they wouldn’t belong to Christians, Hindu,
Buddhist, they wouldn’t be anything.
N: In the past?
K: Who knows? Now meditation, sir, is this penetration. You
follow? I don’t know if I am using the right word. It is this sense of
moving without any past.
B: The only point to clear up is that when you use the word
meditation, you mean something more than insight, you see. It
seems to mean something a bit more.
K: A bit more, much more! Because insight has freed the brain
from the past, from time. That is an enormous statement.
Meditation as we know it is becoming, and any sense of becoming
is still time, therefore there is no sense of becoming.
B: But that seems to mean that you have to insight if you are
going to meditate. Right?
K: Yes, sir, that’s right.
B: You cannot meditate without insight.
K: Of course.       B: You can’t regard it as a procedure by which you will come to
insight.
K: No. That immediately implies time. A procedure, a system, a
method to have insight sounds so nonsensical. Insight into greed,
into fear, into all that, frees the mind from all that. Then meditation
has quite a different quality. It has nothing to do with all the guru’s
meditations. Right? So that is what?
Would we say, sir – it is the wrong word – to have insight there
must be silence?
B: Well, that is the same, we seem to be going in a circle.
K: For the moment.
B: My mind has silence, yes.
K: Silence. So the silence of insight has cleansed – cleansed,
purged, all that.
B: The structure of the occupation.
K: Yes. Then meditation, oh lord, what is it? There is no
movement as we know it – movement means time and all that. It is
not that kind of movement.
B: Some other kind?
K: I don’t see how we can measure that by words. You see that
sense of limitless state.
B: But you were saying that nevertheless it is necessary to find
some language, even though it is unsayable.
K: We will find the language. We had better stop, it is too late.
Shall we continue next Sunday?
BROCKWOOD PARK 10TH CONVERSATION
WITH DAVID BOHM 7TH JUNE 1980 ‘THE
ENDING OF TIME’

Krishnamurti: Let’s forget the audience. We are not performing for
your amusement. I think we left off the other day, if I remember
rightly, when the mind is totally empty of all the things that
thought has put there, then begins real meditation – if I remember
rightly. But I would like to go further in that matter – I would like
to go back a bit and find out if the mind, if the brain, can ever be
free, not only from all illusion, any form of deception but whether
it can have its own order – the order not introduced by thought or
make an effort, an endeavour to put things in their proper place.
And also whether the brain, however much damaged it is, and most
brains are damaged by shock, by all kinds of stimulations, whether
that brain can heal itself completely. That is what I would like to
go into.
So first let’s begin by asking, if I may ask: is there an order
which is not man-made, which is not the result of calculated order
out of disturbance, an order that is probably very satisfying and so
it is still part of the old conditioning, is there an order which is not
man-made, thought-made?
Bohm: Are you referring to the mind? I mean you can say the
order of nature exists on its own.
K: The order of nature is order.
B: Yes, it is not made by man.
K: But I am not talking of such. I don’t think I want to – I am not
sure that it is that kind of order. Is there cosmic order?       B: Well, right that is still the same thing in a sense because the
word cosmos means order, but the whole order.
K: The whole order, I mean that.
B: Which includes the order of the universe and the order of the
mind?
K: Yes. What I am trying to find out is: is there an order which
man can never possibly conceive? You follow? Because any
concept is still within the pattern of thought. So is there order
which is not..
B: Well, how are we going to discuss it?
K: That is what I want to discuss. I think we can. What is order?
Narayan: I thought we were just discussing it..
K: We were discussing what?
N: At the table.
K: At lunch time.
N: At lunch. There is mathematical order. And generally
mathematical order is the order of science, or sort of behind any
particular order. That is the highest kind of order known to any
discipline.
K: Would the mathematicians agree that mathematics is
complete order?
N: Yes, mathematics itself is order.
K: Would they agree to that?
B: Well I think it depends on the mathematician, but there is a
well known mathematician called von Neumann who defined
mathematics as the relationship of relationships, which really he
meant by relationship, order. To say that it is order working within
the field of order itself and not on something else.       K: Order working in the field of order, yes.
B: Rather than working on some object.
K: Yes, yes, that is what I am trying to get at.
B: So the most creative mathematicians are having a perception
of this, which may be called pure order, but of course it is limited
because it has to be expressed mathematically..
K: Of course, of course.
B: In terms of formulae or equations.
K: Is order part of disorder as we know it?
B: Well that is another question, what we mean by disorder. It is
not possible to give a coherent definition of disorder because this
order is inherent.
K: What?
B: You cannot give a coherent account because this order
violates order. Anything that actually happens has an order. Now
you can call a certain thing disorder if you like.
K: Are you saying that anything that happens is order?
B: Has some order.
K: Has some order.
B: You see if you say the body is not functioning rightly, say
cancer is growing, now that is a certain order in the cancer cell, it is
just growing in a certain way.
K: A different pattern.
B: A different pattern which tends to break down the body, but
the whole thing is a certain kind of order.
K: Yes, yes.
B: It has not violated the laws of nature.
K: Yes, yes.       B: But relative to some context you could say it is disorder
because if we are talking of the health of the body then the cancer
is called disorder.
K: Quite, quite.
B: But in itself..
K: Cancer has its own order.
B: But it is not compatible with the order of the growth of the
body.
K: Quite. So what do we mean by order? Is there such a thing as
order?
B: Well order is a perception – we can’t get hold of order.
N: I think generally when we say order it is in relation to a
framework or in relation to a certain field. Order always has that
connotation. And when you say order of order, as the study of
mathematics, some aspects of mathematics, we are going away
from the limited approach to order.
B: We are not ordering things any more. You see most
mathematics start with the order of the numbers, like 1, 2, 3, 4, and
builds on that way, in a hierarchy. But then you can see what is
meant by the order of the numbers, there is a series of relationships
which are constant for example. You see in the order of the
numbers you have the simplest example of order.
N: And a new order was created with the discovery of zero, a
new set of order came into being. And is mathematical order and
the order in nature a part of a bigger field? Or it is a localised
form?
K: You see the brain, the mind is so contradictory, so bruised, it
can’t find order.       B: Yes, but what kind of order does it want?
K: It wants an order in which it will be safe. It won’t be bruised,
it won’t be shocked, it won’t feel the pain of physical or
psychological pain.
B: The whole point of order is not to have contradiction.
K: That’s right.
B: That is the whole purpose of mathematics.
K: But the brain is in contradiction.
B: Yes, and in some ways something has gone wrong, we said it
took a wrong turn.
K: It took a wrong turn, we think, yes.
B: You see you could say that if the body is growing wrongly
we have a cancer cell, which is two contradictory orders: one is the
growing of the cancer and the other is the order of the body.
K: Yes. But I am just asking because I want to go into
something, which is: can the mind, the brain, be totally free of all
organized order?
B: Yes. You have to ask why you want it to be free of organized
order and what you mean by organized order.
K: Then it becomes a pattern.
B: You mean by organized order a fixed order.
K: Yes, a fixed order, or fixed pattern.
B: Imposed.
K: Imposed or self-imposed. Because we are trying to
investigate, at least I am trying to find out whether the brain can
ever be free from all the impositions, pressures, wounds, bruises,
all the trivialities of existence, pushing it in different directions,
whether it can be completely free of all that. If it cannot, meditation has no meaning.
B: Yes, but you could go further and say probably life has no
meaning if you cannot free it of all that.
K: No, I wouldn’t say life has no meaning.
B: It goes on indefinitely.
K: Indefinitely like that, yes. If it goes on as it has done
indefinitely for millennia, life has no meaning. But to find out if it
has a meaning at all, and I think there is a meaning, the brain must
be totally free of all this.
B: Well that is what you call disorder. You see, what is the
source of what we call disorder? We could say it is like a cancer,
almost going on inside the brain. It is moving in a way which is not
compatible with the health of the brain.
K: Yes.
B: It grows as time goes on, it increases from one generation to
another.
B: Now you say..
K: One generation produces the same pattern being repeated.
B: It tends to accumulate from one generation to another
through tradition. Now we say – it is almost the same question to
ask how are we going to stop these cancer cells from taking over.
K: That is what I want to get at. How is this pattern, which has
been set, and which has for generation after generation
accumulated, how is that to end, be broken through? That is the
real question that is at the back of my mind.
B: Could we ask another question: why does the brain provide
the soil for this stuff to go on, to grow?
K: It may be merely tradition, habit.       B: Well, why does it stay in that, you see?
K: It may be that it is so afraid of a new pattern, of something
new taking place because in the old tradition it takes refuge. It feels
safe.
B: Yes, well you see then we have to question why does the
brain deceive itself? It seems that this pattern of disorder involves
the fact that the brain deceives itself about this disorder. It doesn’t
seem to be able to see it clearly.
N: When you say order, in my mind there is intelligence behind
order which makes use of it. I have a certain purpose, I create an
order and when the purpose is over I set aside that order. So order
has an intelligence which works it out. In usual parlance that is the
connotation. But you are referring to something else.
K: I am asking whether this pattern of generations can be
broken and why the brain has accepted that pattern in spite of all
the conflicts, misery and goes on in the same way, and is it
possible to break that pattern? That is all I am really asking.
N: Yes, I am saying the same thing in a different way. If an
order has served its purpose can it be put aside because it is no
longer..
K: Apparently it can’t.
N:.. it is no longer useful or adequate.
K: Apparently it can’t. Psychologically we are talking of, it
can’t, it doesn’t. Take an ordinary human being like any of us, it
goes on repeating fears, sorrow, misery, all that is part of its daily
meal. And Dr Bohm asked, why does it go on, why doesn’t it break
through? And we said is it so heavily conditioned that it cannot see
its way out of it? Or it may be merely the constant repetition so the brain has become dull.
N: The momentum of repetition is there?
K: Yes. That momentum of repetition makes the mind sluggish,
mechanical. And in that mechanical sluggishness it takes refuge
and says, ‘It’s all right, I can go on’. That’s what most human beings
do.
B: Well that is part of the disorder, to think that way is a
manifestation of disorder.
K: Of course.
N: Do you connect order with intelligence? Or is order
something that exists on its own? Any kind of intelligence.
B: Intelligence certainly involves order, intelligence requires the
perception of order in an orderly way, without contradiction. But I
think that in the terms that we were discussing before that we
ourselves don’t create this, we don’t impose this order but rather it
is natural.
K: Yes. Sir, let’s come back. I am the ordinary man. I see that I
am caught with my whole way of living; my thinking and my
attitudes and so on, beliefs, is the result of enormous length of
time. Time is, as we went into it the other day, my whole existence.
In the past, which cannot be changed, I take refuge. Right?
B: Yes. Well I think that if we were to talk to the ordinary man,
the first thing he would feel is he doesn’t really understand that
time is something that happens to him.
K: We went into that. I am saying an ordinary man either sees,
after talking over with you, I see that my whole existence is based
on time. Which is, time is the past and in that the brain takes
refuge.       B: What does that mean exactly? How does it take refuge?
K: Because the past cannot be changed.
B: Yes we agreed that. But then people also think that the
future, you see it is common to think the future can change, the
Communists have said, give up the past, we are going to change.
K: But I can’t give up the past. We only think we can give up
the past.
B: Yes, well that is the second point that even those who try to
give up the past, those who don’t want to take refuge in the past,
still can’t give it up.
K: That is just my point.
B: So it seems which ever way you do it you are stuck.
K: So the next step is: why does the brain accept this way of
living, and why doesn’t it break it down? Right? Is it laziness? Is it
that in breaking it down it has no hope?
B: Yes, well that is still the same question.
K: Of course it is the same question.
B: Going from past to future.
K: So what is it to do? I think this is applicable to most people,
isn’t it? So what is there to be done?
B: We haven’t understood why it does this. It is not clear. Say
this behaviour is disorderly, irrational and so on, and people have
said, ‘OK, let’s give up the past but we find we can’t’ – why can’t
we?
K: Why can’t we give up the past? Wait, sir. If I give up the past
I have no existence.
B: Well you have to clarify that because some people would
say..       K: It is simple: if I give up all my remembrances, all my etc.,
etc., I have nothing, I am nothing.
B: I think some people would look at it a little differently, like
the Marxists. Marx himself said that it is necessary to transform the
conditions of human existence and that will remove this past, you
see.
K: But it has not done this. It cannot be done.
B: Well that is because when he tries to transform it he still
works from the past.
K: Yes, that is what I am saying.
B: If you say, don’t depend on the past at all, then as you say,
what are we going to do?
K: I am nothing. Is that the reason why we cannot possibly give
up the past? Because my existence, my way of thinking, my life,
everything is from the past. And if you say, wipe that out, what
have I left?
B: Yes, well I think you could say we obviously have to keep
certain things from the past like useful knowledge and technology.
K: Yes, we went through all that.
B: Now you could ask, suppose we keep that part of the past
and wipe out all the parts of the past which are contradictory.
K: Which are all psychological, contradictory and so on. What
is left? Just going to the office? There is nothing left. Is that the
reason why we cannot give it up?
B: Well there is still a contradiction in that because you see if
you say what is left, you are still asking for the past.
K: Of course, of course, of course.
B: I mean are you saying simply that when people say they are giving up the past, they just simply are not doing it.
K: They are not doing it.
B: They are merely turning it into another question which
avoids the issue.
K: Because my whole being is the past, modified, changed, but
it has its roots in the past.
B: Now if you told somebody ‘Ok, give all that up and in the
future you will have something quite different, better’, then people
would be attracted.
K: But ‘better’ is still from the past.
B: If you say that but you see perhaps it could even be open and
creative. You see people want to be assured of at least something.
K: That is just it. There is nothing. You want to be assured, the
common man, a human being, wants something to which he can
cling to, can hold on to.
B: Reach for.
K: Reach.
B: They feel not that they are clinging to the past but they are
reaching for something.
K: If I reach something it still is the past.
B: The past yes, but that is not often obvious because people say
it is a big new revolutionary situation. But it has its roots in the
past.
K: That is what I am asking. As long as I have my roots in the
past there cannot be order.
B: Because the past is pervaded with disorder?
K: Yes, disorder. And is my mind, my brain, willing to see that
there is absolutely nothing? If I give up the past – you follow, sir?       B: Yes, you say there is nothing to reach for.
K: Nothing, I mean there is no movement, therefore I cannot
possibly give up the past. So people dangle in front of me a carrot
and I, like a silly person, I follow it. So if I have no carrots, nothing
as a reward or punishment, how is this past to be dissolved?
Because otherwise I am still living in the field of time. And
therefore it is still man-made. So what shall I do? Am I willing to
face absolute emptiness? Right, sir?
B: Well, what will you tell somebody who is not willing?
K: I am not bothered. If somebody says, ‘I am sorry I can’t do all
this nonsense’ – you say, ‘Well, carry on’. But I am willing to let my
past go completely, which means there is no effort, no reward, no
punishment, no carrot, nothing. And the brain is willing to face this
extraordinary state, totally new to it, of being, of existing in a state
of nothingness. That is appallingly frightening.
B: Even these words will have their meaning rooted in the past.
K: Of course. We have understood that, the word is not the
thing.
B: But that is because of the fear, because from the roots in the
past this notion of nothingness is..
K: My brain says, ‘I am willing to do that’. I am willing to face
this absolute nothingness, emptiness because it has seen for itself
all the refuges, the various places where it has taken refuge are
illusions, so it has finished with all that.
B: I think this leaves out something. You have also brought up
the question of the damage of the scars to the brain.
K: That’s just it.
B: The brain if it wasn’t damaged possibly could do that fairly readily.
K: Look: can I discover what has caused damage to the brain?
One of the factors is strong emotions.
B: Strong sustained emotions.
K: Strong sustained emotions, like hatred.
B: Probably a flash of emotion doesn’t do it but people keep it
up.
K: Of course. Hatred, anger, a sense of violence must
obviously, they are not only a shock but they wound the brain.
Right?
B: Well, excessive excitation too. Getting excessively excited
by other means.
K: Of course, drugs and all that stuff. Excessive excitement,
excessive anger, violence, hatred, all that. The natural response
doesn’t damage the brain. Right? Now my brain is damaged,
suppose, it has been damaged through anger.
B: You could even say probably that nerves get connected up in
the wrong way and the connections are too fixed. I think there is
evidence that these things will actually change the structure.
K: The structure, yes, yes. That is, can I have an insight into the
whole nature of disturbance, anger, violence, they are all part of the
same. Can I have an insight into that? And so that insight changes
the cells of the brain which have been wounded.
B: Well possibly it would start them healing, yes.
K: Yes. All right. Start them healing. That healing must be
immediate.
B: In some way it may take time in the sense that if wrong
connections have been made it is going to take time to redistribute the material. The beginning of it, it seems to me, is immediate.
K: Make it that way, all right. Can I do this? I have listened to
you, I have carefully read, I have thought about all this and I see
that anger, violence, hatred, all those excessive – or any form of
excitement – and so on, does bruise the brain. And the insight into
this whole business does bring about a mutation in the cells. It is
so. And the nerves and all their adjustments will be as rapid as
possible.
B: Something happens with cancer cells. Sometimes the cancer
suddenly stops growing and it goes the other way, for some reason
that is unknown but a change must have taken place in those cells.
K: Would it be, sir – if I may ask, I may be on the wrong track –
when the brain cells change, a fundamental change there, the
cancer process stops?
B: Yes, fundamentally it stops and it starts to dismantle.
K: Dismantle, yes that is it. So.
N: You are saying it sets into motion the right kind of
connections?
B: Yes.
N: And stops the wrong connections?
B: Or even starts to dismantle the wrong connections.
N: So a beginning is made and it is made now.
B: At one moment.
K: That is the insight.
N: But there is no question of time involved because the right
movement has started.
B: Yes.
K: What, what?       N: There is no time involved because the right movement has
started now.
K: Of course, of course.
N: But there is another thing which I want to ask about the past:
for most people the past means pleasure.
K: Not only past pleasures, the remembrance of all the things.
N: One starts disliking pleasure only when it becomes stale, or
it leads to difficulties but one wants pleasure all the time.
K: Of course, of course.
N: Now it is very difficult to distinguish between pleasure and
the staleness or the difficulties it brings in because on wants to
keep the pleasure afresh and not have the staleness or the problems
it brings. I mean the normal human being – I am asking what is
your attitude to pleasure?
K: What do you mean, my attitude?
N: How does one deal with this immense problem of pleasure in
which most people are caught because it is the past.
K: Pleasure is always the past but there is no pleasure at the
moment it is happening. It comes in later when it is remembered.
So the remembrance is the past. And I, as a human being, am
willing to face nothingness, which means wipe out all that.
N: How does one wipe out this tremendous instinct for
pleasure? It almost seems to be an instinct.
K: No, we went into that. Which is: what is the nature of
pleasure? What is pleasure? It is a constant remembrance of things
past which have happened.
B: And also the expectation that it will happen.
K: Of course, always from the past.       B: You have usually made this distinction of pleasure and
enjoyment.
K: Yes, I did.
N: Of course you have made a distinction, but I am saying, still
the human being, even though he understands what you are saying,
he is sort of held back in this field.
K: No, Narayan, because he is not willing to face this
emptiness.
Pleasure is not compassion. Pleasure is not love. But perhaps if
there is this mutation compassion is stronger than pleasure. I don’t
know if you see. So pleasure has no place in the compassion.
B: Even the perception of order may be stronger than pleasure.
If people are really concerned about something, the pleasure plays
no role at that moment.
N: Yes, that is what I am trying to imply because it has a certain
strength which can keep that in its place.
K: Compassion has got tremendous strength, an incalculable
strength, pleasure is nowhere in it.
N: But what happens to a man in whom pleasure is dominant?
K: We said that. As long as he is unwilling to face this
extraordinary emptiness he will keep on with the old pattern.
B: You see we have to say that this man had a damaged brain
too. There is a certain brain damage which causes this emphasis on
sustained pleasure as well as the fear and the anger and the hate.
K: But the damaged brain is healed when there is insight.
B: Yes. But I think many people would say, ‘I understand that
hate and anger and so on are products of the damaged brain’, but
they would find it hard to say that pleasure is the product of the damaged brain.
K: Oh yes, of course it is.
B: Whereas if you say there is that true enjoyment which is not
the product of the damaged brain, which is confused with
pleasure..
N: That is the difficulty because if pleasure gives rise to anger,
anger is part of the damaged brain.
K: And also the demand for pleasure.
B: Which may give rise to anger and hatred and fear.
K: Of course. If I can’t have the pleasure I want I begin to get
annoyed. I feel frustrated and all the rest of it follows. So do I, do
you, as a human being, have an insight into the past, how very
destructive it is to the brain, and the brain itself sees it and has an
insight into it and moves out of that?
N: You are saying the beginning of order comes from insight?
K: Obviously. Let’s walk from there.
N: May I put it in a different way? Is it possible to gather a
certain amount of order in a pattern sense, not artificially, so that it
gives rise to a certain amount of insight?
K: Ah! You cannot through the false find truth.
N: I am saying it on purpose because for many people the
energy that is required for insight or the keenness is lacking.
K: You are tremendously keen to earn a livelihood, to earn
money, to do something if you are interested in something. If you
are interested vitally in this transformation, etc., you have the
energy.
May we go on, sir? I, as a human being, I have seen this insight
has wiped away really the past, and the brain is willing to live in nothingness. We have come to this point several times from
different directions. From there I want to go on; may we? There
isn’t a thing which thought has put there. There is no movement of
thought, except thought, knowledge and all that which has its own
place. But we are talking of the psychological state of mind where
there is no movement of thought, there is absolutely nothing.
B: You mean also no feeling, you see the movement of thought
and feeling is together.
K: Wait a minute. What do you mean by feeling there?
B: Well then usually people might say, well, OK, there is no
thought, but they may have various feelings.
K: Of course, I have feelings. The moment you put a pin in to
me..
B: These are sensations. And also the inner feelings.
K: Inner feelings of what?
B: It is hard to describe them, you see, those that can be easily
described are obviously the wrong kind such as anger and fear.
K: Is compassion a feeling?
B: Probably not
K: No, it is not a feeling.
B: Though people may say they feel compassionate.
K: Of course, of course.
B: But even the very word suggests it is a form of feeling.
K: Of course, I feel compassionate.
B: Compassion has the word passion in it which is a feeling. It
can be taken in that meaning. And you see it is a difficult question.
You could say what we usually call feelings anyway, those
things that could be recognized as feelings, you know of a describable character.
K: Sir, let’s go into that a little bit. What do we mean by
feeling? Sensations?
B: Well, people don’t usually mean that. You see sensation is
connected with the body.
K: Body, senses.
B: The inner organs of the body.
K: So you are saying feelings which are not of the body.
B: Yes, or which are said to belong – you see in the old days
they would have said they are of the soul, you see.
K: The soul, of course. That is an easy escape but it means
nothing.
B: No.
K: What are the inner feelings? Pleasure?
B: Well in so far as you can label it that way it is clear that it is
not valid there.
K: So what is valid? The non-verbal state.
B: It may be a non-verbal state which includes something that
seems – would it have something analogous to a feeling which
wasn’t fixed, you see? That you couldn’t name.
N: You are saying it is not a feeling, it is similar to feeling but it
is not fixed?
B: Yes. I am just considering that could exist.
K: I don’t follow.
B: If you say that there is no thought, I am trying to clarify it.
K: Yes, there is no thought.
B: Somebody could say, ‘OK, I understand, I am not thinking, I
am not talking, I am not figuring out what to do’.       K: Oh, no.
B: We have to go further. What does it really mean?
K: All right. What it really means is: thought is movement,
thought is time. Right? There is no time and thought.
B: Yes, well perhaps no sense of the existence of an entity
inside.
K: Absolutely, of course. The existence of the entity is the
bundle of memories, the past.
B: But that existence is not only thought thinking about it but
also the feeling that it is there, inside, you get a sort of feeling.
K: The feeling, yes. There is no being. Otherwise, you follow,
there is nothing. If there is a feeling of the being continuing..
B: Yes, even though it doesn’t seem verbalizable.
K: Of course. I wonder if you are caught in an illusion that there
is such a state.
B: Well it may be. It would be a state without will, without..
K: Of course. All those are gone.
B: Now, how do we know that this state is real, is genuine?
K: That is what I am asking. How do I know, or realize, or state,
that it is so? In other words you want proof of it.
B: Well at least..
N: Not proof, communication of that state.
B: Not proof.
K: Now wait a minute. How can you communicate with me,
suppose you have this peculiar compassion, how can you
communicate to me who is living in pleasure and all that? You
can’t.
N: No, but I am prepared to listen to you.       K: Therefore, prepared to listen – how deeply?
N: To the extent my listening takes me to.
K: Which means what?
N: That is all I could say.
K: No, no. It is very simple. You will go as long as it is safe,
secure.
N: No, not necessarily.
K: The man says there is no being. And one’s whole life has
been this becoming, being and so on. And in that state he says
there is no being at all. In other words, there is no me. Right sir?
Now you say, ‘Show it to me’. It can be shown only through certain
qualities it has, certain actions. What are the actions of a mind that
is totally empty of being? What are the actions? Wait a minute.
Actions at what level? Actions in the physical world?
N: Partly.
K: Mostly that.
N: Not mostly, partly.
K: No, I am asking is that partial where – all right, this mam has
got this sense of emptiness and there is no being, so he is not acting
from self-centred interest. So his actions are in the world of daily
living. That’s all, you can judge only there, whether he is a
hypocrite, whether he says one thing and contradicts it the next
moment, or whether he is actually living this compassion – not ‘I
feel compassionate’.
B: Well if you are not doing the same you can’t tell, you see.
K: That’s just it. That’s what I am saying.
N: I can’t judge you there.
K: You can’t. So how can you convey to me in words that peculiar quality of a mind? You can describe, you know go round
it, but you can’t give the essence of it. I mean David, for example,
he can discuss with Einstein, they are on the same level. And he
and I can discuss up to a certain point and if he has this sense of
not being, empty, I can go very close but I can never enter or come
upon that mind unless I have it.
N: Is there any way of communicating but not through words
for one who is open?
K: We said compassion. It is not as David put it just now, it is
not ‘I feel compassionate’. That is altogether wrong. You see after
all in daily life such a mind acts without the ‘me, without the ego,
and therefore it might make a mistake but it corrects it
immediately, it is not carrying that mistake.
N: It is not stuck.
K: Stuck. We must be very careful here not to find an excuse
for wrong.
So sirs, we come to that point, as we said the other day, what is
then meditation? Right? The becoming man, or the being man, who
meditates, has no meaning whatsoever. That is a tremendous
statement. When there is this not becoming, not being, then what is
mediation? It must be totally unconscious. Right sir? Totally
uninvited.
B: Without conscious intention, is what you mean.
K: Yes, without conscious intention. Yes, I think this is right.
Would you say, sir – it sounds silly but – the universe, cosmic
order, is in meditation?
B: Well if it is alive then you would have to look at it that way.
K: No, no, it is in a state of meditation.       B: Yes.
K: I think that is right. I stick to that.
B: We should try to go over what is meditation, what is it
doing?
N: If you say the universe is in meditation, is the expression of
it order? What order can we discern, which would indicate cosmic
meditation or universal meditation?
K: The sunrise and sunset is order, all the stars, the planets, the
whole thing is in perfect order.
B: We have to connect this with meditation.
K: He is bringing the word ‘order’.
B: You see, according to the dictionary the meaning of
meditation is to reflect, to turn something over in your mind and to
pay close attention.
K: And also to measure.
B: That is a further meaning but it is to weigh, to ponder, it
means measure in the sense of weighing.
K: Weighing, that’s it. Ponder, think over and so on.
B: To weigh the significance of something. Now is that what
you mean?
K: No.
B: Then why do you use the word, you see?
N: I am told that in English contemplation has a different
connotation from meditation. Contemplation implies a deeper state
of mind, whereas meditation is..
K: To contemplate.
N: That’s what I was told.
B: It is hard to know. The word contemplate comes from the word ‘temple’ really.
K: Yes, that’s right.
B: To make an open space really is its basic meaning. To create
an open space so you can look at it.
K: Is that open space between god and me?
B: That is the way the word arose.
K: Quite.
N: From temple, space?
B: Which means an open space.
N: The Sanskrit word ‘dhyana’ doesn’t have the same
connotation as meditation.
K: Dhyana, no.
N: Because meditation has the overtones of measurement and
probably in an oblique way that measurement is order.
K: No, I don’t want to bring in order, leave the word order out,
we have been through that, we have beaten that to death.
B: I just asked why you used the word meditation.
K: Don’t let’s use the word meditation.
B: Let’s find out what you really mean here.
K: Would you say, sir, a state of infinity, a measureless state?
B: Yes.
K: There is no division of any kind. You see we are giving lots
of descriptions, but it is not that.
B: Yes, but is there any sense of the mind being in some way
aware of itself, you see, is that what you are trying to say? At other
times you have said that the mind is emptying itself of content.
K: Yes. What are you trying to get at?
B: Well I am trying to get at that it is not merely infinite but it seems that something more is involved.
K: Oh, much more.
B: But in this emptying of content, we said that this content is
the past which has become disorder. Then you could say that in
some sense it is constantly cleaning up the past. Would you agree
to that?
K: It is constantly cleaning up the past?
B: Yes.
K: No, no.
B: When you say the mind is emptying itself of content..
K: Has emptied itself.
B: Has emptied itself. All right, then you say when the past is
cleaned up, then you say that is meditation.
K: That is meditation, no, contemplation..
N: Just a beginning. He is at the beginning.
K: Beginning?
N: The emptying of the past.
K: That must be done. Emptying the past which is anger,
jealousy, beliefs, dogmas, attachments, all that is the content. If
any part of that exists it will inevitably lead to illusion. Right? So
we said that. The brain or the mind must be totally free of all
illusion – illusion brought by desire, by hope, by wanting security
and all that.
B: Are you saying when that is done this opens the door to
something broader, deeper?
K: Yes. Otherwise life has no meaning, just repeating this
pattern. I want to go into this. It is five o’clock.
N: What exactly did you mean when you said the universe is in meditation? You are trying to convey something when you say that
the universe is in meditation.
K: I feel that way, yes. Meditation is a state of ‘non-movement
movement’.
B: All right, yes.
N: Is it..
B: Could we say first of all the universe is not actually governed
by its past. That is the first point.
K: Yes, sir, yes sir.
B: It is free and creative.
K: It is creative, moving.
B: And then this movement is an order.
K: Would you, as a scientist, accept such a thing?
B: Yes. Well, as a matter of fact I would!
K: Are we both crazy?
B: You see the universe creates certain forms which are
relatively constant, so that if people who look at it superficially
only see that, it seems to be then determined from the past.
K: Yes. Sir, put the question the other way: is it really possible
for time to end – time being the past, time, the whole idea of time,
to have no tomorrow at all? Of course there is tomorrow, you have
to go to a talk in the morning and I have to, and so on; there is
tomorrow but the feeling, the actual reality of having no tomorrow.
I think that is the healthiest way of living. Which doesn’t mean that
I become irresponsible – that is all too childish.
B: It is merely a question of physical time, it is a certain part of
natural order.
K: Of course, that is understood.       B: Which we still have in mind but the question is whether we
have a sense of experiencing past and future or whether we are free
of that sense.
K: Sir, is the universe, as a scientists I am asking you, based on
time?
B: I would say, no, but you see the general way it has been
formulated..
K: That is all I want, you say no.
B: Yes.
K: And can the brain which has evolved in time..
B: Well, has it evolved in time, you see, that is a way of talking
but it has become entangled in time.
K: Entangled, all right.
B: Entangled in time in some way because if you say the
universe is not based on time, the brain is part of the universe.
K: I agree.
B: It can’t be based merely on time.
K: No. The brain in the sense, thought.
B: Thought has entangled the brain in time.
K: In time. All right. Can that entanglement be unravelled,
freed, so that the universe is the mind? You follow? If the universe
is not of time, can the mind which has been entangled in time,
unravel itself and so be the universe? You follow what I am trying
to say?
B: Yes.
K: That is order.
B: That is order. Now would you say that is meditation?
K: That is it. Now I would call that meditation. Not in the ordinary dictionary sense of pondering over and all that, that is a
state of meditation in which there is no element of the past.
B: You say the mind is disentangling itself from time and also
really disentangling the brain from time.
K: Yes, sir. Would you accept that?
B: Yes.
K: As a theory.
B: Yes, as a proposal.
K: No, I don’t want it as a proposal.
B: What do you mean by theory?
K: Theory as somebody comes along and says this is real
meditation.
B: All right.
K: Wait. Somebody says one can live this way and life has an
extraordinary meaning in it, full of etc., etc, compassion and so on,
and every act in a world, in the physical world, can be corrected
immediately and so on and so on. Would you, as a scientist, accept
such a state, or say this man is cuckoo?
B: No, I wouldn’t say that, no. I feel it is perfectly possible, it is
quite compatible with anything that I know about nature.
K: Oh, then that’s all right. So one is not an unbalanced cuckoo?
B: No. Part of the entanglement is that science itself has put
time into a fundamental position which helps to entangle it still
further.
K: We had better stop, sir. Shall we continue some more?
B: When do you want to continue?
K: Next Sunday.
B: I am going to be in America next Sunday.       K: Oh, when do you go to America?
B: Thursday.
K: Well, we can’t.
B: Except by television!
K: Yes, very simple.
B: In the autumn, in September?
K: Yes, September. Of course putting it into words is not the
thing. Right? That is understood. But can it be communicated to
another?
B: Yes, well I think that the point about communication of this
is to bring it about.
K: Of course. Now can some of us get to this so that we can
communicate actually?
We had better stop.
BROCKWOOD PARK 13TH CONVERSATION
WITH DAVID BOHM 18TH SEPTEMBER 1980
`THE ENDING OF TIME’

Krishnamurti: May we continue with where we left off the other
other day?
What makes the mind always follow a certain pattern, always
seeking, if it lets go of one pattern it picks up another pattern, and
so on, it keeps on functioning all the time within that, why? One
can give explanations and can see why it does: for protection, for
safety, for slackness, indifference, a certain amount of callousness,
total disregard to one’s own flowering and so on. But I think it is
very important to find out why our minds are always operating in a
certain direction. We came to the point when we said that one
comes, after one has been through all kinds of travail,
investigation, and insight, one comes to a blank wall, and that
blank wall can only wither away or be broken down when there is
love and intelligence. That is where we came to the other day. But
before we go into that I would like to ask: why do human beings,
however intelligent, however learned, however philosophical and
religious, they always fall into this groove.
Bohm: Yes, well I think the groove is inherent in the nature of
the accumulated knowledge.
K: Are you saying then that knowledge invariably must create a
groove?
B: Perhaps not ‘must’, but it has in the way it has developed in
mankind. Knowledge, psychological knowledge that is to say.
K: We are talking of that, obviously.       B: But psychological knowledge I would agree must create a
groove.
K: But why does the mind not be aware of it, see the danger of
it, see its mechanical repetition and therefore there is nothing new
in that, and it keeps on doing it.
B: You see I think when we were discussing this accumulation
of knowledge which really constitutes a groove because..
K: Yes, constitutes a groove, but why?
B: You see I think it is the same question, if you merely think of
the accumulation of knowledge making a groove then you don’t see
why a person should stay in it, you see.
K: Yes, that is what I am asking.
B: It seems to me that the groove, or the knowledge
accumulated, has a significance far beyond, seems to have a
significance far beyond, what its real significance is, that carries a
necessity. If we say we have knowledge of some object, like the
microphone, that has some limited significance. Now knowledge
about your nation, the nation to which you belong seems, seems to
have immense significance.
K: Yes, yes. So is this significance the cause of this narrowing
down of the mind?
B: Well, it holds the mind, this knowledge has a tremendous
value beyond all other values. It makes the mind stick to that
because it seems the most important thing in the world.
K: In certain philosophies, certain concepts and so on in India,
there is this philosophy that knowledge must end – you know it, of
course, the Vedanta. But apparently very, very, very few people do
end knowledge and talk from freedom.       B: Well, I would come back to that point, you see knowledge
generally seems to be extremely important, worth holding on to.
You see though a person may verbally say it should end..
K: But..
B: Knowledge about the self.
K: Yes. You mean I am so stupid that I don’t see this knowledge
has very little significance essentially, psychological knowledge,
and yet my mind clings to it?
B: Yes, I wouldn’t quite put it that a person is that stupid but
rather to say that this knowledge stupefies the brain.
K: Yes, all right, call it that.
B: I mean that the brain being caught in this knowledge
becomes stupefied.
K: Stupefied, all right, but it doesn’t seem to extricate itself.
B: Because it is already so stupefied that it can’t see what it is
doing.
K: So what shall it do? I have been watching this for many
years, why human beings think or attempt to become free from
certain things, and yet this is the root of it. You understand? This
accumulation, psychological accumulation which becomes
psychological knowledge and so it divides and all kinds of things
happen around it and within it. And yet the mind refuses to let go.
B: Yes.
K: Is it that it doesn’t see? Or it has given to knowledge such
immense importance?
B: Yes, that is what I mean, yes.
K: Why? Is that because there is safety in it? Or security in it?
B: Partly. That is part of it but it seems to be a source of security but you see I think in some way knowledge has taken on
the significance of the absolute, you see, to say that knowledge
should be properly relative. But this knowledge of the mind,
psychological knowledge of the self or the associated knowledge.
K: I understand all that, sir, but you are not answering my
question. I am an ordinary man, I realize all this and I realize the
significance and the value of knowledge in different levels, but
deeper down inside one, this accumulated knowledge is very, very
destructive.
B: That is true, but there is self-deception and the knowledge
deceives the mind so that the person is not normally aware that it is
destructive.
K: Is that why human beings cling to it?
B: Well, they can’t really. We don’t know exactly how they got
started on it, once it gets started the mind is generally in a state in
which it is not able to look at this because it is avoiding the
question, there is a tremendous defensive mechanism to escape
looking at the whole question.
K: Why?
B: Because it seems something supremely precious might be at
stake.
K: One is strangely intelligent in other directions, capable and
efficient, skilled, having a great deal of skill, but here, where the
root of all this trouble is, why don’t we comprehend it fully? What
prevents the mind? You say it has given importance to knowledge.
I acknowledge that, it is so, but yet it holds on. You must know
this.
B: But I think once this has happened there is a mechanical process that resists intelligence.
K: So what shall I do? What shall I do as an ordinary man, I
realize technological knowledge and all the rest of it, but
knowledge which I have accumulated, which is divisive, which is
destructive, which is rather petty, and yet I hold on to that and I
realize I must let it go but I can’t? What shall I do? I think this is
the average person’s problem – a problem which arises when we are
a little bit serious about all this. Is it the lack of energy?
B: Not primarily. You see the energy is being dissipated by the
process.
K: Dissipated, I understand that. Having dissipated a great deal
of energy I haven’t got the energy to grapple with this.
B: That could come back quickly if we could get out of this.
The energy is constantly being dissipated and a person may be a
little worn down but he could recover if this would stop. I don’t
think it is the main point.
K: No, that is not the main point. So what shall I do, as a human
being, realizing that this knowledge is naturally, inevitably forming
a groove in which I live, my next question is: how am I to break it
down?
B: Well, I am not sure that it is clear in general to people that
this knowledge is doing all this, and also that the knowledge is
knowledge. You see it may seem to be some being, the self, the
me, this knowledge is experienced as some entity, this knowledge
creates the me and the me is now experienced as an entity which is
not knowledge, but some real being. Right?
K: Are you saying this being is different from knowledge?
B: It appears to be, it feigns difference.       K: But is it?
B: It isn’t but it has a very powerful ability.
K: But that has been my conditioning.
B: That is true. Now the question is, how do we get through that
to break down the groove?
K: That is the real point, you see.
B: Because it creates an imitation or a pretension of a state of
being.
K: Look: there are several hundred million Catholics, thousands
and millions and millions of Chinese. You follow? This is their
central movement. It seems so utterly hopeless. And realizing the
hopelessness I sit back and say, I can’t do anything. But if I apply
my mind to it then the question arises: is it possible to function
without psychological knowledge in this world? I am rather
concerned about it because I think wherever one goes, whether it is
California, India, or here or anywhere else, it is this central issue
that must be resolved.
B: That is right. But you see you may discuss this, or tell this to
somebody, and he may say it looks reasonable perhaps, but let’s
say that his status is threatened. Now we have to say that is
psychological knowledge. It doesn’t seem to him that it is
knowledge but something more.
K: I know all that.
B: Now he does not see that his knowledge of his status is
behind the trouble. Knowledge seems to be at first sight something
passive, something which you know, which you could use if you
wanted to and which you could fail to use if you don’t want to, just
put it aside, you see, which is the way it should be.       K: I understand all that.
B: But when the moment comes, knowledge no longer appears
to be knowledge. You see how would you, if you were to talk to
some politician – I think once somebody wanted you to talk to Mao
Tze Tung – you would probably get nowhere.
K: No! The politicians and the people in power wouldn’t even
listen to me. The religious people won’t listen to you, the so-called
religious people. It is only the people who are discontented, who
are frustrated, who feel they have lost everything, perhaps those
will listen. But they won’t listen so that it is a real burning thing.
How does one go about it? Say for instance, I have left Catholicism
and Protestantism and all that nonsense, and also I have a career, I
know it is necessary to have knowledge there, but I have come to a
point, as a human being, living in this world, I see how important it
is not to be caught in the process of knowledge, psychological
knowledge, and yet I can’t let it go. It is always dodging me, I am
playing tricks with it. It is like hide and seek.
All right. From there we said that is the wall I have to break
down. We are approaching it differently. That is the wall I have to
break down – not ‘I’ – that is the wall that has to be broken down.
And we said that wall can be broken down through love and
intelligence. Aren’t we asking something enormously difficult?
B: Well, it is difficult.
K: I am behind, this side of the wall, and you are asking me to
have that love and intelligence which will destroy the wall. But I
don’t know what that love is, what that intelligence is, because I am
caught in this, on this side of the wall. And I realize what you are
saying is accurate, true, logical, and I see the importance of it, but the wall is so strong and dominant and powerful that I can’t get
beyond it. And we said the other day that the wall can be broken
down through insight – we went into that. That insight becomes an
idea.
B: Yes.
K: It is not an actuality and you say, ‘Yes, I understand it, I see
it’, but when you describe the insight, whether it is possible, how it
is brought about and so on, I immediately make an abstraction of it,
which means I move away from the fact and the abstraction
becomes all important. Which means knowledge.
B: Yes, well it is the activity of knowledge.
K: So I am back again.
B: Well I think the general difficulty is this: that knowledge is
not just sitting there as a form of information but it is extremely
active, meeting every moment and shaping every moment
according to the past knowledge, so even when we raise this issue
knowledge is all the time waiting and then acting.
K: All the time waiting, yes.
B: One point is that our whole tradition is that knowledge is not
active but passive, it is really active but people don’t generally
think of it that way.
K: Of course.
B: They think it is just sitting there.
K: It is waiting.
B: It is waiting to act, you see. And anything you try to do about
it, knowledge is already acting. By the time you realize that this is
the problem it has already acted.
K: Yes. Do I realize it as a problem, or an idea which I must carry out? You see the difference?
B: Yes, the first point is that knowledge automatically turns
everything into an idea which you must carry out. That is the
whole way it is built. Right?
K: That is the whole way I have lived.
B: Knowledge can’t do anything else.
K: How am I to break that even for a second?
B: It seems to me that if you could see, observe, be aware, if
knowledge could be aware of itself at work, the point is that
knowledge seems to work unawares, you see, it is just simply
waiting there and then acts and by that time it has disrupted the
order of the brain.
K: I am very concerned about this because wherever I go this is
what is happening. And it has become a problem, not for me, but it
is something that has to be resolved. Would you say the capacity to
listen is far more important than any of this, any explanations, any
logic, to listen?
B: It comes to the same problem.
K: No, no. It doesn’t. I want to see if there is a possibility that
when I listen, listen to what you are saying so completely the wall
has broken down. You understand? I am trying to find out sir. I am
an ordinary man and you are telling me all this, and I realize what
you are saying is so. And I am concerned about it, I am really
deeply involved in what you are saying. And somehow the flame
isn’t lit, all the fuel is there but the fire isn’t there. So what, as an
ordinary man, what shall I do? This is my everlasting cry.
B: If it is the capacity to listen then we have the question of say
the ordinary man is full of opinions, you see, so he can’t listen.       K: You can’t listen with opinions, you might be just as well
dead.
B: You see I think knowledge has all sorts of defences. If you
are thinking of trying to spread, make it possible for people, say the
ordinary man, to have this perception, that is really what you are
asking, isn’t it?
K: Yes.
B: At least those who are interested. Now I think knowledge has
a tremendous number of defences, it is against perceiving this. It
has evolved in such a way that it resists, is built so as to resist
seeing this, so it has opinions which also act immediately.
K: I understand that, sir. But I want to find, not a drug, not a
medicine, not a way, but there must be a communication between
you and me who is the ordinary man, a communication so that the
communication is so strong that very act of listening to you and
you communicating with me operates.
B: Right.
K: You follow?
B: Yes, then you have to break through this opinion, through the
whole structure.
K: Of course, of course. That is why I have come here. As an
ordinary man I have come for that. I have left all the churches and
all that stuff, I have thrown them miles away, years away, I have
finished with all that. I have just come here and I realize all that
has been said here is true and I am burning to find out. When you
communicate with me your communication is so strong, so real.
You follow? You are not speaking from knowledge, you are not
speaking from opinion and all the rest of it. You are really a free human being who is trying to communicate with me.
B: Right.
K: And can I listen with that intensity which, you the
communicator, is giving me?
B: Well, we would have to ask, is the ordinary man full of that?
K: No, he is not. He wants the pub. No, I said I am an ordinary
man but I have moved away from all that, I have come here. I have
left all that. I also realize in opinions I can grow, multiply, gather
opinions, which is partly prejudice and all the rest of it, I realize all
that. And I want to listen to somebody who is telling the truth and
in the very telling of it something is taking place in me. I don’t
know if you understand. And because I am so ardently listening it
happens. I wonder if I am conveying anything. After all you, a
great scientist, I am one of your students, you want to tell me
something. You are telling me about something which I know must
be enormously important because you have given your life to it,
and as a student I have given up so much just to come here. Is it the
fault of you who are communicating with me that I don’t receive it
instantly? You understand? Or is it my fault that I am incapable of
really listening to you?
B: Well, whichever it is, but suppose the difficulty is that I am
incapable of listening,then what can be done?
K: No, nothing can be done. You see that is the difficulty. If I
am incapable of listening because I am full of prejudices, opinions,
and judgements, defences and all the rest of it has built up, and
then, of course, I won’t listen to you.
B: Well let’s say there is somebody who comes along who has
got through some of these defences and so on, but perhaps there are others that he is not aware of, you see. There is something not
quite so simple as that.
K: I think it is simple. I feel it is dreadfully simple somehow. I
think it is that if I could listen with all my being, with all my
attention, it takes place. It is as simple as that, I think.
You see, sir, you are telling me something and I am absorbing
it, so there is an interval between my telling and your absorbing. I
don’t know if I am conveying it?
B: Yes.
K: And in that interval is the danger. If I didn’t absorb it
absolutely, listen to it with all my being, it is finished. Is it because
in this there is no shadow of pleasure? You follow what I am
saying? You are not offering me any pleasure, any gratification.
You are saying, it is so, take it. But my mind is so involved in
pleasure it must be pleasurable to listen. You follow what I mean?
B: Yes.
K: I won’t listen to anything that is not completely satisfactory. I
realize too the danger of that.
B: Danger?
K: Of seeking satisfaction and pleasure and all that. I say, ‘All
right, I won’t, I see what I am doing’ – so I put that aside too. No
pleasure, no reward, no punishment, in listening but there is only
pure observation.
So we come back to that point: is pure observation, which is
actually listening, is that pure observation love? I think it is. Again
you have stated it and then my mind says – I am fairly ordinary, I
have come here – my mind immediately says, ‘Give it to me. Tell
me what to do’. You see when I ask you, ‘Tell me what to do’, I am back in the knowledge, in the field of knowledge. It is so
instantaneous. So I refuse to ask you what to do. Then where am I?
You have told me perception without any motive, direction, pure
perception is love. And in that perception/love is intelligence. They
are not three separate things, they are all one thing. I have a feeling
for it. Because you have lead me very carefully – not lead me – you
have pointed out very carefully step by step, and I have come to
that point, I have a feeling for it. I am sensitive enough by listening
to all this, to come to that point when I have a feeling and say, ‘By
Jove, that is so’. But it goes away so quickly. Then begins, ‘How
am I get it back?’ Again the remembrance of it, which is
knowledge, blocks.
B: Well what you are saying is that every time there is a
communication, knowledge gets to work in many different forms.
K: So you see it is enormously difficult to be free of knowledge.
B: It seems we could ask why doesn’t knowledge wait until it is
needed?
K: Ah, that requires, sir – that means to be psychologically free
of knowledge but when the occasion arises you are acting from
freedom, not from knowledge..
B: But knowledge comes in as information.
K: Yes.
B: It informs your action but it is not the source.
K: That is, to put it rather succinctly, freedom from knowledge,
and being free it is from freedom one communicates, not from
knowledge. I wonder if I am making this clear?
B: Yes.
K: That is, from emptiness there is communication. One may use the word, or language, which is the outcome of knowledge, but
it is from that state of complete freedom.
B: Yes. Knowledge, communication, takes place but it is
concerning the question of knowledge as the irrelevance of
knowledge, of psychological knowledge, that is the
communication.
K: Yes. Now, sir, can I communicate with you from freedom?
Suppose I, as a human being, have come to that point where there
is complete freedom from knowledge and from that freedom a
communication, using words, takes place. Right? Now will you, as
a scientist, of great scientific eminence and all the rest of it, will
you – please, I am being polite – will you communicate with me,
can I communicate with you without any barrier? You follow what
I am saying?
B: Yes.
K: You understand what I am saying, I am not trying to.. Can I
communicate with another – or rather let me put it the other way.
Can that man who is free, totally free from knowledge, but uses
knowledge merely as a means of communication, can I be in such a
state of mind to receive that communication?
B: Yes, well if knowledge is seen to be information, you see
knowledge ordinarily seems more than information, it seems that
knowledge itself does not ordinarily see that knowledge is not free.
K: It is never free.
B: No, but it may seem it at first sight, you are free to use your
knowledge, you see.
K: Of course.
B: But it isn’t free and any activity of knowledge is part of the un-freedom.
K: Of course. If I am going to understand myself I must be free
to look at myself.
B: And knowledge has pressures in it to prevent you.
K: Knowledge prevents me from looking then. That is so
obvious. Sorry!
B: Well I mean it may be obvious at this stage, but I am saying
that generally people don’t see that. Let’s leave that aside.
K: If I am full of opinions and judgements and evaluations and
to look at myself I must be somewhat free from it to look. It is so
clear.
B: Yes, but I mean probably one tends to say that there are
certain kinds of knowledge which are harmful like prejudice and
then you say there are other kinds which are not harmful.
K: The whole business.
B: The whole thing is one structure, yes. It is impossible to have
prejudice in one part without having it in the other.
K: How will you communicate with me who have come to a
certain point when I am really grasping – not grasp – burning to
receive what you are saying, so completely it is finished? Am I,
having come here, am I in that state really? Or am I fooling
myself?
B: Well that is the question: knowledge is constantly deceiving
itself.
K: Of course.
B: Well I think I would say that knowledge, it is not even that I
am deceiving myself but knowledge has a built-in tendency to
deceive itself.       K: So, sir, is my mind always deceiving itself?
B: The tendency is it’s constantly there when knowledge is
operating psychologically.
K: So what shall I do? Come back to that.
B: Well, there is the question of deceiving oneself. Again I
think it is the same point: to listen.
K: Why don’t we listen, sir? Why don’t we immediately
understand this thing, instantly, immediately, why? One can give
the reasons why but that doesn’t – old age, conditioning, laziness,
ten different things.
B: Well that is superficial.
K: Meaningless.
B: But would it be possible to give the deep reason for it?
K: We come back to the same thing. You see I think, sir, is it
that the knowledge which is the ‘me’..
B: Yes, that is the point, yes.
K:.. the knowledge which is the ‘me’ is so tremendously strong
as an idea, not as a fact?
B: Yes, I understand it is an idea. That is what I tried to say, that
the idea has tremendous significance and meaning. For example,
suppose you have the idea of god, this takes on a tremendous
power.
K: Or like I am British, or French, it gives me great energy.
B: And so it creates a state of the body which seems to be the
very being of the self. Now the person doesn’t experience it as
mere knowledge but at first feels something very powerful which
doesn’t seem to be knowledge.
K: Yes. Are we going round and round and round? It seems like it.
B: Well I was wondering if there is anything that could be
communicated about that overwhelming power that seems to come
with knowledge.
K: And with identification.
B: With identification. That seems to be something that would
be worth looking into.
K: What does the word – I have forgotten – the root meaning of
identification?
B: Well, always the same.
K: Always the same, that’s right. That’s it, you see! It is always
the same. There is nothing new under the sun.
B: That is the essence of it. You say the self is always the same.
It tries to be always the same in essence if not in details.
K: Yes, yes.
B: I think this is the thing that goes wrong with knowledge that
knowledge attempts to be knowledge of what is always the same,
you see, so it holds, you see.
K: Of course, it is always the same.
B: And knowledge itself tries to find what is permanent and
perfect and always the same. I mean even independent of any of us
you see. It is built into, like the cells, you see.
K: From this arises a question: is it possible to attend? I am
trying to use the word diligent. Is it possible to diligently attend?
Diligence in the sense of being accurate.
B: Literally it means to take pains.
K: To take pains, of course. To take pain, take the whole if it.
Sir, there must be some other way round all this intellectual business. We have exercised a great deal of intellectual capacity
and that intellectual capacity has led to the blank wall. I approach it
from every direction and eventually the wall is there, which is the
‘me’, with my knowledge, my prejudice, and all the rest of it – me.
And the ‘me’ then says, ‘I must do something about it’ – which is
still the me. We all know that.
B: Well the ‘me’ wants to be always the same at the same time it
tries to be different.
K: Put on a different coat. It is always the same. So the mind
which is functioning with the ‘me’ is always the same mind. Good
Lord, you see, sir, back again!
B: You see, ‘always the same’ gives a tremendous force. Now is
it possible to leave go of that ‘always the same’, you know?
K: You see, we have tried everything – fasting, every kind of
thing to get rid of the ‘me with all its knowledge, with all its
illusions and so on. One tries to identify with something else,
which is the same. A serious man has done all this and comes back
to the fundamental question: what will make this wall totally
disappear? I think, sir, that it is only possible when I can give my
total attention to what you are saying. There is no other means to
break down the wall – not the intellect, not the emotions, not any of
these things. When somebody who is beyond the wall, has gone
beyond, broken down the wall, says, ‘Listen, for god’s sake listen’.
Can I listen to you – when I listen to you my mind is empty. So
it is finished. You follow what I am saying?
B: You see I think generally that one would feel OK, it is
finished, but something will happen in its own time.
K: I have no sense of hoping to come back, to have it in the future, or – it is empty and therefore listening. It is finished.
We had better stop, we have come to a point. Five minutes is
enough.
I would like to go on differently. You are a scientist, to discover
something new, you must have a certain emptiness from which
there will be a different perception.
B: Yes, but I think there is a difference in the sense that usually
the question is limited and so the mind may be empty with regard
to that question.
K: That particular question, yes.
B: Allowing for discovery and insight in that question.
K: But can that mind, which has been specializing, therefore
enquiring into something it becomes empty and rom that emptiness
you discover something new. I understand that. But without any
specialization, does this emptiness hold every other – I don’t know.
B: Well, I think one has to ask – we are not questioning this
particular area but rather we are questioning the whole of
knowledge.
K: Knowledge, yes.
B: And..
K: It is most extraordinary when you go into it.
B: As you were saying, the end of knowledge is the Vedanta.
K: That is the real answer.
B: But if a person can take this scientific attitude and question
the whole of knowledge..
K: Oh, of course, of course.
B: But generally people would feel they must keep knowledge
in one area to be able to question it in another. You see this is something that might worry people to say, with what knowledge do
I question that knowledge?
K: Yes. With what knowledge I question my knowledge? Quite.
B: In a way we do have knowledge because we have seen that
this whole structure, we have gone through it logically and
rationally and seen that the whole structure makes no sense, that it
is inconsistent and has no meaning. The structure of psychological
knowledge has no meaning, it has been done already.
K: Would you then from there, from that emptiness: is there a
ground or a source from which all things begin? Matter, human
beings, their capacities, the whole movement starts from there.
B: We could consider that certainly. But let’s try to clarify it a
little. We have the emptiness.
K: Yes, emptiness in which there is no movement of thought as
knowledge, of course.
B: As psychological knowledge.
K: Of course, I understand that.
B: So, well then..
K: And therefore no time.
B: No psychological time.
K: Yes, no psychological time.
B: Though we still have the watch.
K: Yes. We have gone beyond that, don’t let’s go back to it.
B: The words are often confusing, they carry wrong meanings.
K: Psychological time. There is no psychological time, no
movement of thought. And is that emptiness the beginning of all
movement?
B: Well, would you say the emptiness is the ground then?       K: That is what I am asking. Let’s go slowly into this. Shall we
postpone this for another day?
B: Well perhaps it should be gone into more carefully.
K: We had better stop.
B: Well just one thing: in California we were saying there is the
emptiness and beyond that is the ground.
K: I know, I know.
B: We leave it for the time.
K: When do we meet again?
B: It is two days from now, on Saturday.
K: The day after tomorrow.
B: Yes.
K: Right, sir.
BROCKWOOD PARK 14TH CONVERSATION
WITH DAVID BOHM 20TH SEPTEMBER 1980
`THE ENDING OF TIME’

Krishnamurti: We talked the other day about a mind that is entirely
free from all movement, from all the things that thought has put
there, that thought has brought about, has experienced, the past and
the future and so on. But before we go into that I would like to ask,
what is materialism?
Bohm: Materialism.
K: Man is caught in this materialistic attitude and values and
experiences. What is the nature of materialism?
B: Well, consider first of all materialism is the name of a certain
philosophical….
K: I don’t mean that.
B: No.
K: I don’t mean a certain philosophical saying but I want to find
out.
B: Matter is all there is.
K: I want to go into that a little bit. That is, all nature, all human
beings react physically. This reaction is sustained by thought. And
thought is a natural process. So reaction as in nature, in animals, in
human beings, is the materialistic response.
B: Well, I think the word materialistic is not quite right. It is the
response of matter.
K: The response of matter, let’s put it that way. All right. The
response of matter. That’s better. Let me repeat it again, let’s be
clear.       We are talking about having an empty mind and we have come
to that point when the wall has been broken down and this
emptiness and what lies beyond it, or through it, and so on, we will
come to that, but before I begin with that, as I said: is all reaction
matter?
B: Matter in movement.
K: Matter in movement.
B: Well that is the suggestion. You could say there is a lot of
evidence in favour of that, that science has found a tremendous
number of reactions which are due to the nerves.
K: Yes, all that. So would you call matter and movement the
reactions which exist in all organic matter?
B: Yes, it is necessary – all matter as we know it goes by the law
of action and reaction. Every action has a corresponding reaction.
K: So action and reaction is a material process, as thought is.
Now to go beyond it is the question, that is the point.
B: Yes. Now some people might say it has no meaning to go
beyond it. That would be the philosophy of materialism: there is no
meaning to go beyond it.
K: Beyond it, that’s right. But if one is merely living in that area
it is very, very shallow. Right? It has really no meaning at all. But
if one recognizes thought as a material process and reaction and
action are matter and movement.
B: Yes. Perhaps one should say one other thing that some
people have said that matter is not merely action and reaction but it
may have a creative movement. You see matter may create new
forms.
K: Matter may create new forms, but it is still within that area.       B: Yes. Let’s try to make it clear what is the difference. We
have to see there are very subtle forms of materialism which might
be difficult to pin down.
K: Let’s begin: would you consider, or agree or see that thought
is a material process.
B: Yes. Though some people might argue that it is both material
and something beyond material.
K: I know. I have discussed this. But it is not.
B: How can we say that simply to make it clear?
K: Because any movement of thought is a material process,
whether it is beyond.
B: Well we have to make it clear so that it is not a matter of
authority. From observation one sees that thought is a material
process, now how are would one see that?
K: How would one be aware of all that? Aware that it is a
material process. I think that is fairly clear. There is an experience,
an incident, recorded, which becomes knowledge, from that
knowledge thought arises and action takes place.
B: Yes. So we say thought is that.
K: Any assertion that is beyond is still thought.
B: It is still coming from the background. So if we say that
something new coming into there is not part of this process, is that
what you are saying?
K: Yes, if there is to be something new, thought, as a material
process, must end. Obviously.
B: And then it may take it up later.
K: Later, yes. Wait, see what happens later. So could we say, all
reaction and action, action from that reaction is movement of matter.
B: Yes, very subtle movement of matter.
K: Yes, very subtle movement of matter. So as long as one’s
mind is within that area it must be a movement of matter.
B: Yes, well let’s proceed from there then.
K: So is it possible for the mind to go beyond reaction? That is
the next step obviously. As we said yesterday morning in our
discussion with the group, one gets irritated and that is the first
reaction. Then the reaction to that, the second reaction to that is ‘I
must not’. Then the third reaction, ‘I must control’ – or justify or
whatever it is. So it is constantly action and reaction. Can one see it
is a movement, a continuous movement without an ending?
B: Yes. The reaction is actually continuous but it seems at a
certain moment to have ended and the next moment appears to be a
new moment.
K: But it is still reaction.
B: It is still the same but it presents itself differently.
K: That’s right.
B: It is always the same.
K: It is exactly the same always.
B: It presents itself as always different.
K: Of course.
B: Always new.
K: That is just it. You say something, I get irritated, but that
irritation is a reaction.
B: Yes, it seems to be something suddenly new.
K: Suddenly new. But it is not.
B: It is not. But one has to be aware of that.       K: Of course, of course.
B: Generally the mind tends not to be aware of it.
K: But after discussing a great deal and talking one can.
B: We are attentive to it.
K: Yes, we are sensitive to it, alert to the question. So there is
an ending to reaction if one is watchful, attentive, understand not
only logically but have an insight into this reacting process all the
time, it can of course come to an end. That is why it is very
important, I think, to understand this, before we discuss what is an
empty mind and if there is something beyond, or in that very
emptying of the mind there is some other quality. So is that empty
mind a reaction? You follow sir? A reaction to the problems of
pain and pleasure and suffering, and the reaction to that is to
escape from all this into some state of nothingness.
B: Yes, well the mind can always do that, it can fail to notice
pain and pleasure.
K: It can invent. Of course, of course. That becomes an illusion.
Now we are not talking – because we went into the question of
illusions and said desire is the beginning of illusion. Now we have
come to the point that this quality of emptiness is not a reaction.
That must be absolutely sure. Right sir?
Now before we go further into this: is it possible to have a mind
that is really completely empty of all the things that thought has put
together?
B: Well, then thought ceases to react.
K: That’s it.
B: Thought being a material process, on the one hand perhaps
you could say that perhaps the reaction is due to the nature of matter which is continually reacting and moving, but then is matter
affected by this insight?
K: I don’t quite follow. Ah, I understand. Does insight affect the
cells of the brain which contains the memory?
B: Yes. The memory is continually reacting, moving, as does
the air and the water, everything around us. Now if nothing
happened we should say, why would it ever stop?
K: Quite. After all sir, physically if I don’t react I am paralysed.
One is paralysed. But the reacting continually is also a form of
paralysis.
B: Yes, well the wrong kind of reaction.
K: Yes.
B: Reaction around the psychological structure.
K: Yes, we are talking psychologically always.
B: But now assuming that the reaction around the psychological
structure has begun in mankind why should it ever stop, because
one reaction makes another and another.
K: It is like a chain, endless.
B: One would expect it to go on for ever unless something will
stop it. Right?
K: Nothing will stop it. Only the insight into the nature of
reaction ends psychological reaction.
B: Yes, but then you are saying that matter is affected by
insight, which is beyond matter.
K: Yes, beyond matter. Didn’t we discuss this matter also in
Ojai?
B: Yes.
K: So is this emptiness within the brain itself? Or something thought has conceived as being empty? One must be very clear on
this.
B: Yes. But whatever is discussed, no matter what the question
is, thought begins to want to do something about it because thought
feels it can always make a contribution.
K: Quite.
B: That might be useful, eh? So thought in the past did not
understand that there are areas where it has no useful contribution
to make, but it keeps on in the habit of trying to say emptiness is
very good, therefore thought says I will try to help bring about
emptiness.
K: Of course.
B: Thought is trying to be helpful.
K: We have been through all that.
B: Yes.
K: We have seen the nature of thought, what is its movement,
time, and all that. We have been through all that. I want to find out,
I have come to a point: is this emptiness within the mind itself, or
beyond it?
B: What do you mean by the mind, do you see.
K: The mind being the whole, emotions, thought,
consciousness, the brain, the whole of that is the mind.
B: The mind has been used in many ways, that word. Now you
are using it in a certain way, which is that it represents thought,
feeling, desire and will – the whole material process.
K: Yes, the whole material process.
B: Which people have called non-material.
K: Quite. The mind is the whole material process.       B: Which is going on in the brain and the nerves.
K: The whole of it.
B: Yes.
K: The whole structure. One can see this reaction, this
materialistic reaction can end. And the next question I am asking
is: is that emptiness within or without? And without in the sense it
is elsewhere.
B: Where would it be?
K: I don’t think it would be elsewhere but I am just putting it.
B: Well any such thing is part of the material process. You see
here and there are distinctions made within the material process.
K: Yes, that is right. That is what I wanted to get at. It is there.
It is in the mind itself. Not outside it. Right?
B: Yes.
K: Now what is the next step? Is that emptiness – does that
emptiness contain nothing, not a thing?
B: Yes, well not a thing, meaning anything that has form,
structure, stability.
K: Yes, all that, form, structure, reaction, naturally.
B: Yes it is stability and reaction.
K: Form, structure, capacity, reaction – all that. Or it contains
none of that. Then what is it? Is it then total energy?
B: Yes, movement of energy.
K: Movement of energy. It is not movement of reaction.
B: It is not movement of things reacting to each other. Because
the world can be regarded as made up of a large number of things
which react to each other and that is one kind of movement. But we
are saying it is a different kind of movement.       K: Entirely different.
B: Which has no thing in it.
K: No thing in it and therefore not of time – right? Is that
possible? Or are we just indulging in imagination? Indulging in
some kind of romantic, hopeful, pleasurable, sensation? I don’t
think we are because we have been through all that step by step by
step right up to this point. So we are not deceiving ourselves. Now
we say that emptiness has no centre – right? – as the ‘me’ and all the
reactions and so on. It is in that emptiness there is a movement of
timeless energy.
B: Yes, when you say timeless energy – we could say what we
have already said that time and thought are the same.
K: Yes, of course.
B: Then you were saying that time can only come into a
material process.
K: Time can only come into a material process, that’s right.
B: Now if we have an energy that is timeless but nevertheless
moving…
K: Yes, it is not static.
B: It is moving.
K: It is moving.
B: Yes, now what is the movement?
K: Sir, what is movement? From here to there.
B: That is one form.
K: One form. Or from yesterday to today, and from today to
tomorrow.
B: Yes, there are various kinds of movement.
K: So what is movement? Is there a movement – I am asking, I want to question it – is there a movement which is not a moving?
Just a minute. You understand? Is there a movement which has no
beginning and no end? Because thought has a beginning and an
end.
B: Except, we could say that the movement of matter might
have a beginning and no ending, the reactive movement – you are
not talking of that?
K: No, I am not talking of that.
B: So it is not enough to say it has no beginning and no end –
right?
K: We must go back then to the other. That is, thought has a
beginning and thought has an ending. There is a movement of
matter as reaction and the ending of that reaction.
B: Yes, in the brain.
K: In the brain. But there are these various kinds of movements.
That is all we know. And someone comes along and says there is a
totally different kind of movement. But to understand that I must
be free of the movement of thought, material process and all that,
the movement of time, to understand a movement that is not…
B: Well there are two things: it has no beginning and no end but
also it is not determined as a series of successions from the past.
K: No causation.
B: It is not a series of causes, one following the other.
K: Of course. No causation.
B: But you see matter can be looked at as a series of causes,
though it may not be adequate. But you were saying that this
movement has no beginning and no ending, it is not the result of a
series of causes, one following another without end.       K: So, sir I want to understand, verbally even, a movement that
is not a movement. I don’t know if I am making it clear.
B: Then why is it called a movement if it is not a movement?
K: Because it is not still, it is not – it is active.
B: It is energy.
K: It has tremendous energy, therefore it can never be still. But
it has got in that energy a stillness.
B: Yes, the energy itself – I think that we have to say that the
ordinary language does not convey it properly, but the energy itself
is still and also moving.
K: Yes, but in that movement it is a movement of stillness.
Does it sound crazy?
B: The movement can be said to emerge from stillness.
K: That’s right. You see that is what it is sir. We said that this
empty mind, this emptiness is in the mind. That emptiness has no
cause and no effect. It is not a movement of causation. It is not a
movement of thought, time. It is not a movement of material
reactions; none of that. Which means: is the mind capable of that
extraordinary stillness without any movement? And when it is so
completely still there is a movement out of it. It sounds crazy.
B: Well it needn’t sound crazy. In fact I think I mentioned
before that some people have had this notion in the past – such as
Aristotle – we discussed it. He talked about the unmoved mover –
that is the way he tried to describe god.
K: Ah, god, no. I don’t want to do that.
B: You don’t want to describe god but I mean some sort of
notion similar to this has been held in the past by various people,
but since then it has gone out of fashion, I think.       K: Out of fashion. Let’s bring it into fashion, shall we!
B: I am not saying that Aristotle had the right idea, it is merely
that he was considering something somewhat similar, though
probably different in many cases.
K: Was it an intellectual concept or an actuality?
B: This is very hard to tell because so little is known.
K: Therefore we don’t have to bring in Aristotle.
B: I merely wanted to say it to point out that it wasn’t crazy
because other very respectable people have had something similar.
K: I am glad! I am glad to be assured I am not crazy!
B: Because you did ask if it was crazy.
K: And is that movement out of stillness, is that the movement
of creation? Not the creation of the artist, the poets and the writers
and all the painters call creation – to me that is not creation, just a
capacity and skill and memory and knowledge operating there.
Here I think this creation is not expressed in form.
B: Yes, that is important. Usually we think creation is expressed
as form or as structure.
K: Structure, yes.
B: Now, then this is difficult, what does it mean?
K: We have gone beyond being crazy so we can go on. Would
you say, sir, this movement, not being of time, is eternally new?
B: Yes. It is eternally new in the sense that the creation is
eternally new. Right?
K: Creation is eternally new. You see I think that is what the
artists are trying to find out.
B: Yes, that’s true, yes.
K: Therefore they indulge in all kinds of various absurdities, but to come to that point where the mind is absolutely silent,
completely silent, out of that silence there is this movement which
is always new, eternally new. And the moment when that
movement is expressed…
B: Yes, the first expression is in thought – right?
K: That is just it.
B: And that may be useful but then it gets fixed. Then it may
become a barrier.
K: I was told, once by an Indian philosopher, an Indian scholar,
that before they began to sculpture a head of a god, or whatever it
is, they had to have deep meditation, go into deep meditation. At
the right moment they took up the hammer and the chisel.
B: To have it come out of the emptiness.
K: The emptiness.
B: There is another point. The Australian aborigines draw
figures in the sand so they don’t have permanency.
K: That is right.
B: If thought could be looked at that way. You see the marble is
already too static, it stays there for thousands of years. So although
the original sculptor may have understood, the people who follow
see it as a fixed form.
K: Sir, what relationship has all that to my daily life? What way
does that act through my action, through my ordinary physical
responses? There are no psychological responses but there are
physical responses, to noise, to pain, various forms of disturbances,
physical disturbances. What relationship has the physical to that
silent movement?
B: Yes, well in so far as the mind is silent then the thought is orderly.
K: Yes, it is orderly. Ah, we are getting on to something. Would
you say that silent movement with its unending newness, is total
order of the universe?
B: Yes, we could consider that the order of the universe
emerges from this silence and emptiness.
K: So what is my relationship, what is the relationship of this
mind to the universe?
B: The particular mind?
K: No, mind.
B: Mind in general.
K: Mind, the general and the particular we went through and
beyond that, there is the mind.
B: Well would you say that is universal?
K: Universal mind. That universal mind – I don’t like to use the
word universal.
B: In the sense, that which is beyond the particular and general
would usually be called universal mind. But it may be that the
word is difficult, eh?
K: Can we find a different word? Global, no. A mind that is
beyond a particular. No.
B: Well you could say it is the source, the essence. I don’t know
what you could say. It has been called the absolute.
K: I don’t want to use that word absolute either.
B: But in the sense – the absolute means literally that which is
free of all limitations, of all dependence, right?
K: All right, if you agree that absolute means freedom from all
dependence, from all limitations.       B: From all relationships.
K: Then we will use that, all right.
B: It has unfortunate connotations.
K: Of course, of course. Let’s use that word for the moment for
our convenience, in our dialogue. There is this absolute stillness
and in that stillness or from that stillness there is a movement and
that movement is everlastingly new. And what is the relationship
of that mind to the universe?
B: To the universe of matter?
K: Yes, the universe, the whole universe. Matter, trees, nature,
man, the heavens.
B: Yes, well that is an interesting question.
K: That is in order, the universe is in order, whether it is
destructor or constructive, it is still order.
B: Well it is necessary order. You see the order has the
character of being absolutely necessary. In a sense it cannot be
otherwise. The order that we usually know is not absolutely
necessary, it could be changed, it could depend on something else,
any ordinary order is contingent, it depends on something.
K: The eruption of a volcano is order.
B: It is order of the whole universe, it is necessary considering
the whole universe, it cannot be otherwise.
K: Quite. Now in the universe there is order and this mind
which is still, is completely in order.
B: The deep mind, the absolute.
K: The absolute mind. So is this mind, the universe?
B: Well that is the question. In what sense is that the universe?
We have to understand in what sense, what it means to say that.       K: Or it means sir, is there a division, or a barrier, between this
absolute mind and the universe? Or are both the same?
B: Both are the same, right.
K: That is what I want to get at.
B: We have either duality of mind and matter, or they are both
the same.
K: That’s it. Is that presumptions?
B: Not necessarily, no. I mean these are just two possibilities.
K: I want to be quite sure we are not treading on something
which really needs very, very, subtle, great care, you know what I
mean?
B: Yes. Well if you go back to the body. We have said the body
is physical, it is material. And we said the mind of the body – the
mind which is in the body – thought, feeling desire, the general and
the particular are part of the material process.
K: Absolutely, the material process.
B: Not different from the body.
K: That’s right. All the reactions are material processes.
B: And therefore what we usually call the mind is not different
from what we usually call the body.
K: Quite, quite.
B: Now you are making this much greater in saying consider the
whole universe. And we say what we call the mind in the universe,
is it different from what we call the universe itself?
K: That’s right. You see that’s why I feel in our daily life there
must be order, not the order of thought.
B: Well thought is a limited order, it is relative.
K: That’s it. So an order that is…       B:… free of limitation.
K: Free of limitation, yes. In my daily life I have to have that,
which means no conflict whatsoever, no contradiction, no, all the
rest of that.
B: Well if we take the order of thought. You see when it is
rational it is in order; in contradiction the order of thought has
broken down, it has reached its limit. Thought works until it
reaches a contradiction and that’s the limit.
K: So if in my daily life there is complete order in which there
is no disturbance, what is the relationship of that order to the never
ending order? Can that silent movement of order, of that
extraordinary something, can that affect my daily life when I have
deep inward psychological order? You understand my question?
B: Yes. We have said, for example, the volcano is a
manifestation of the whole order of the universe.
K: Absolutely. A tiger killing a deer.
B: The question is then, whether a human being in his daily life
can be similar.
K: Similar. That’s it. If not I don’t see what is the point of the
other.
B: Well it has no point to the human being.
K: That’s it.
B: Then you would fall back into the human being trying to
make his own purpose out of himself, out of his thoughts. You see
I think some people would say who cares about the universe, all we
care about is our own society, what we are doing. But then that
falls down because it is full of contradiction.
K: Obviously. It is only thought that says that. So that universe, which is in total order, does affect my daily life.
B: Yes. I think, that scientists might ask how. You see people
might say, ‘OK. I understand that the universe is constituted of
matter, the laws of matter affect your daily life,’ – but we are saying
it is not so clear how it affects the mind – you know if there is this
absolute mind which affects the daily life.
K: Ah! What is my daily life? A series of reactions and
disorder. Right?
B: Yes.
K: I am making it very quick, brief.
B: Well it is mostly that.
K: Mostly. And ought is always struggling to bring order within
that.
B: Yes.
K: And when it does that, it is still disorder.
B: Because thought is limited.
K: Of course.
B: Always limited by its own contradictions.
K: Of course. Thought is always creating disorder because it is
itself limited.
B: As soon as it tries to go beyond the limit, that is disorderly.
K: That is disorderly. Right. I have understood, I have gone into
it, I have an insight into it, so I have a certain kind of order in my
life. But that order is still limited. I recognize that and as long as
matter, this existence, I say it is limited.
B: Now some people would accept that and say why should you
have more.
K: Ah, I am not having more.       B: But I mean some people would say, ‘I would be happy if I
could bring this limited order, seeing that we have so much
disorder now, if we could live in a material life with real order.’
K: I say, let’s do it! Of course that must be done. But in the very
doing of it one has to realize it is limited.
B: Yes, even the highest order you can produce is limited.
K: Limited. And the mind realizes its limitation and says, let’s
go beyond it.
B: Why? Some people would say, why not be happy within
those limits, continually extending them, saying we can discover
new thoughts, new order, the order will discover new forms of art,
the scientists new kind of sciences.
K: But it is always limited.
B: Though we have to go slowly because I think some people
would go this far and say that that is all that is possible.
K: I like the human condition, let’s accept it, and make the best
of it.
B: They say, we could do much better than we are doing.
K: Yes, but it is still the human condition, a little reformed, a
little better.
B: Some people would say enormously reformed.
K: But it is still limited.
B: Yes. Well let’s try to make it clear because what is wrong
with limitation?
K: In that limitation there is no freedom, it is a limited freedom.
B: Yes. So eventually we come to the boundary of our freedom
– but let’s try to put it clearly. Something not known to us makes us
react and this would inevitably fail because through reaction we would fall back into contradiction.
K: Yes, but when I see sir, that I am always moving within a
certain area…
B: Therefore I am under the control of the forces.
K: Forces and the limited. The mind inevitably rebels against
that.
B: That is an important point. You see the mind wants freedom.
Right?
K: Obviously.
B: Yes, it says that is the highest value, yes. So do we accept
that and say that is just a fact?
K: That is, a prisoner, I realize I am a prisoner within this
limitation.
B: Some people get used to it and say, ‘I accept it’.
K: I won’t accept it. My mind says there must be freedom from
prison. I am a prisoner and the prison is very nice, very cultured
and all the rest of it, but it is still limited and it says there must be
freedom beyond all that.
B: Yes, which mind says this? Is it the particular mind of the
human being? Or?
K: Ah! Who says there must be freedom? Oh, that is very
simple. The very pain, the very suffering, the very all that,
demands that we go beyond.
B: This particular mind even though it accepts limitation, finds
it painful.
K: Of course.
B: And therefore this particular mind feels somehow that it is
not right.       K: Yes.
B: It can’t avoid it. It seems to be a necessity of freedom.
K: Freedom is necessary.
B: Is necessary, yes.
K: And any hindrance to freedom is retrogression. Right.
B: That necessity is not an external necessity due to reaction.
K: Freedom is not a reaction.
B: The necessity of freedom is not a reaction. Some people
would say that having been in prison you reacted in this way. No?
K: So where are we? You see sir, that means there must be
freedom from reaction, freedom from the limitation of thought,
freedom from all the movement of time. You know, all that, there
must be complete freedom from all that, before I can really
understand the empty mind and all that, and order of the universe,
which is then the order of the mind. We are asking a tremendous
lot! Am I willing to go that far?
B: Well you know the non-freedom has its attractions.
K: Of course. I am not interested in its attraction.
B: But you asked the question: am I willing to go that far. So it
seems to suggest that there may be something attractive in this.
K: I am sure. I have found safety, security, pleasure in non-
freedom. I realize in that pleasure, pain, there is no freedom and
the mind says, not as a reaction, says there must be freedom from
all this. To come to that point and to let go without conflict,
demands its own discipline, its own insight. That’s why I said those
of us who have given a certain amount of time, thought and
investigation into all this, can one go as far as that? Or there are the
responses of the body, responses of daily demand, the responsibilities of daily action – wife, children, and all that – is that
what is holding and preventing this sense of complete freedom?
And the monks, the saints and the sannyasis have said, ‘You must
abandon the world.’
B: We went into that.
K: Yes, we have gone into that. That again is another form of
idiocy. Sorry to put it like that. We have been through all that so I
refuse to enter again into all that. Now I say is that universe and the
mind that has emptied itself of all this, are they one?
B: Are they one?
K: One. They are not separate, they are one.
B: Yes, it sounds as if you are saying that the material universe
is like the body of the absolute mind.
K: Yes, all right, all right. All right.
B: It may be a picturesque way of putting it!
K: We must be very careful also not to fall into the trap that the
universal mind is always there.
B: Yes, well how would you put it then?
K: They have said that: god is always there and god – Brahman,
or that highest principle, is always there and all you have to do is to
cleanse yourself and arrive at that. Do all kinds of things to come
there. Which is also a very dangerous statement because then you
say, there is the eternal in me.
B: Well I think thought is projecting.
K: Of course, sir, of course.
B: But suppose – how would you put it, there is a logical
difficulty in saying it is always there, because that implies time and
it is there every minute and we are trying to discuss what has nothing to do with time.
K: Nothing to do with time.
B: So we can’t place it as being here, there, now, or then.
K: Sir, we have come to a point, that there is this universal
mind, and the human mind can be of that when there is freedom.
I think that is enough, isn’t it?
B: Yes, what time is it?
K: We are going by time, all right!
B: Well that should be enough.
K: That should be enough.
B: You want to continue next week, on Saturday?
K: We will see.
BROCKWOOD PARK 15TH CONVERSATION
WITH DAVID BOHM 27TH SEPTEMBER 1980
`THE ENDING OF TIME’

Krishnamurti: Sir, I would like to discuss, have a dialogue about
something which we were talking about the other day. We have
cultivated a mind that can solve almost any technological problem.
And apparently human problems have never been solved. Human
beings are drowned by their problems: the problems of
communication, the problems of knowledge, problems of
relationship, problems of heaven and hell – you know, the whole
human existence has become a vast complex problem. And
apparently throughout history it has been like this. And man in
spite of his knowledge, in spite of his centuries of evolution, he has
never been free of problems.
Bohm: Yes, well really of insoluble problems. I would add
insoluble problems.
K: I question if human problems are insoluble.
B: Well I mean as they are put now.
K: As they are, of course, now these problems have become so
complex, and so incredibly insoluble, as things are. No politician,
or scientist, or philosopher is going to solve them except through
wars and so on. So why has the mind of human beings throughout
the world, why have they not been able to resolve human daily
problems of life? What are the things that prevent the solution of
these problems, completely? Is it that we have never turned our
minds to it? Because we spend all our days and probably half the
night in thinking about technological problems that we have no time for the other?
B: Well that is only partly so. Many people feel that the other
should take care of itself. I think many people don’t give a lot of
attention to these problems.
K: Why, why? I am rather concerned about this because in a
school like this, or with all the people we talk to, the human
problems remain constant. And I am questioning, asking, in this
dialogue, whether it is possible to have no problems at all – human
problems, apart from technological problems, that can be solved.
But human problems seem insoluble – why? Is it our education? Is
it our deep rooted tradition that we accept things as they are?
B: Yes, well that is certainly part of it. These problems
accumulate as civilization gets older, people keep on accepting<