J KRISHNAMURTI TRUTH AND ACTUALITY INSCRIPTIONS

TRUTH AND ACTUALITY INSCRIPTIONS

«What is the relationship between truth and reality? Reality being,
as we said, all the things that thought has put together. Reality
means, the root meaning of that word is, things or thing. And living
in the world of things, which is reality, we want to establish a
relationship with a world which has no things – which is
impossible.»
«Actuality means `What is’… Are you facing in yourself what
actually is going on.. You don’t take actuality and look at it.»
«Man has been concerned throughout the ages to discover or
live in `Truth’.»
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART I CHAPTER 1
1ST DISCUSSION WITH PROF. DAVID BOHM
BROCKWOOD PARK 18TH MAY 1975
‘REALITY, ACTUALITY, TRUTH’

Krishnamurti: I was thinking about the question of what is truth
and what is reality and whether there is any relationship between
the two, or whether they are separate. Are they eternally divorced,
or are they just projections of thought? And if thought didn’t
operate, would there be reality? I thought that reality comes from
«res», thing, and that anything that thought operates on, or
fabricates, or reflects about, is reality. And thought, thinking in a
distorted, conditioned manner is illusion, is self-deception, is
distortion. I left it there, because I wanted to let it come rather than
my pursuing it.
Dr Bohm: The question of thought and reality and truth has
occupied philosophers over the ages. It’s a very difficult one. It
seems to me that what you say is basically true, but there are a lot
of points that need to be ironed out. One of the questions that arises
is this: if reality is thought, what thought thinks about, what
appears in consciousness, does it go beyond consciousness?
K: Are the contents of consciousness reality ?
Dr B.: That’s the question; and can we use thought as equivalent
to consciousness in its basic form ?
K: Yes.
Dr B: I wonder whether, just for the sake of completeness, we
should include in thought also feeling, desire, will and reaction. I
feel we should, if we are exploring the connection between consciousness, reality and truth.
K: Yes.
Dr B: One of the points I’d like to bring up is: there is thought,
there is our consciousness, and there is the thing of which we are
conscious. And as you have often said, the thought is not the thing.
K: Yes.
Dr B: We have to get it clear, because in some sense the thing
may have some kind of reality independent of thought; we can’t go
so far as to deny all that. Or do we go as far as some philosophers,
like Bishop Berkeley, who has said that all is thought? Now I
would like to suggest a possibly useful distinction between that
reality which is largely created by our own thought, or by the
thought of mankind, and that realty which one can regard as
existing independently of this thought. For example, would you say
Nature is real?
K: It is, yes.
Dr B: And it is not just our own thoughts.
K: No, obviously not.
Dr B: The tree, the whole earth, the stars.
K: Of course, the cosmos. Pain is real.
Dr B: Yes. I was thinking the other day, illusion is real, in the
sense that it is really something going on, to a person who is in a
state of illusion.
K: To him it is real.
Dr B: But to us it is also real because his brain is in a certain
state of electrical and chemical movement, and he acts from his
illusion in a real way. K: In a real way, in a distorted way.
Dr B: Distorted but real. Now it occurred to me that one could say that even the false is real but not true. This might be important.
K: I understand. For instance: is Christ real?
Dr B: He is certainly real in the minds of people who believe in
Him, in the sense we have been discussing.
K: We want to find out the distinction between truth and reality.
We said anything that thought thinks about, whether unreasonably
or reasonably, is a reality. It may be distorted or reasoned clearly, it
is still a reality. That reality, I say, has nothing to do with truth.
Dr B: Yes, but we have to say besides, that in some way reality
involves more than mere thought. There is also the question of
actuality. Is the thing actual? Is its existence an actual fact?
According to the dictionary, the fact means what is actually done,
what actually happens, what is actually perceived.
K: Yes, we must understand what we mean by the fact.
Dr B: The fact is the action that is actually taking place.
Suppose, for example, that you are walking on a dark road and that
you think you see something. It may be real, it may not be real.
One moment you feel that it’s real and the next moment that it’s not
real. But then you suddenly touch it and it resists your movement.
From this action it’s immediately clear that there is a real thing
which you have contacted. But if there is no such contact you say
that it’s not real, that it was perhaps an illusion, or at least
something mistakenly taken as real.
K: But, of course, that thing is still a reality that thought thinks
about. And reality has nothing to do with truth.
Dr B: But now, let us go further with the discussion of «the
thing». You see, the root of the English word «thing» is
fundamentally the same as the German «bedingen», to condition, to set the conditions or determine. And indeed we must agree that a
thing is necessarily conditioned.
K: It is conditioned. Let’s accept that.
Dr B: This is a key point. Any form of reality is conditioned.
Thus, an illusion is still a form of reality which is conditioned. For
example, the man’s blood may have a different constitution because
he’s not in a balanced state. He is distorting, he may be too excited,
and that could be why he is caught in illusion. So every thing is
determined by conditions and it also conditions every other thing.
K: Yes, quite.
Dr B: All things are interrelated in the way of mutual
conditioning which we call influence. In physics that’s very clear,
the planets all influence each other, the atoms influence each other,
and I wanted to suggest that maybe we could regard thought and
consciousness as part of this whole chain of influence.
K: Quite right.
Dr B: So that every thing can influence consciousness and it in
turn can work back and influence the shapes of things, as we make
objects. And you could then say that this is all reality, that thought
is therefore also real.
K: Thought is real.
Dr B: And there is one part of reality influencing another part of
reality.
K: Also, one part of illusion influences another part of illusion.
Dr B: Yes, but now we have to be careful because we can say
there is that reality which is not made by man, by mankind. But
that’s still limited. The cosmos, for example, as seen by us is
influenced by our own experience and therefore limited.       K: Quite.
Dr B: Any thing that we see, we see through our own
experience, our own background. So that reality cannot possibly be
totally independent of man.
K: No.
Dr B: It may be relatively independent. The tree is a reality that
is relatively independent but it’s our consciousness that abstracts
the tree.
K: Are you saying that man’s reality is the product of influence
and conditioning?
Dr B: Yes, mutual interaction and reaction.
K: And all his illusions are also his product.
Dr B: Yes, they are all mixed together.
K: And what is the relationship of a sane, rational, healthy,
whole man, to reality and to truth?
Dr B: Yes, we must consider that, but first may we look at this
question of truth. I think the derivation of words is often very
useful. The word «true» in Latin, which is «verus», means «that
which is». The same as the English «was» and «were», or German
«wahr». Now in English the root meaning of the word «true» is
honest and faithful; you see, we can often say that a line is true, or
a machine is true. There was a story I once read about a thread that
ran so true; it was using the image of a spinning-wheel with the
thread running straight.
K: Quite.
Dr B: And now we can say that our thought, or our
consciousness, is true to that which is, if it is running straight, if the
man is sane and healthy. And otherwise it is not, it is false. So the falseness of consciousness is not just wrong information, but it is
actually running crookedly as a reality.
K: So you’re saying, as long as man is sane, healthy, whole and
rational, his thread is always straight.
Dr B: Yes, his consciousness is on a straight thread. Therefore
his reality –
K: – is different from the reality of a man whose thread is
crooked, who is irrational, who is neurotic.
Dr B: Very different. Perhaps the latter is even insane. You can
see with insane people how different it is – they sometimes cannot
even see the same reality at all.
K: And the sane, healthy, whole, holy man, what is his
relationship to truth?
Dr B: If you accept the meaning of the word, if you say truth is
that which is, as well as being true to that which is, then you have
to say that he is all this.
K: So you would say the man who is sane, whole, is truth?
Dr B: He is truth, yes.
K: Such a man is truth. He may think certain things which
would be reality, but he is truth. He can’t think irrationally.
Dr B: Well, I wouldn’t say quite that, I’d say that he can make a
mistake.
K: Of course.
Dr B: But he doesn’t persist in it. In other words, there is the
man who has made a mistake and acknowledges it, changes it.
K: Yes, quite right.
Dr B: And there is also the man who has made a mistake but his
mind is not straight and therefore he goes on with it. But we have to come back to the question: does truth go beyond any particular
man; does it include other men, and Nature as well?
K: It includes all that is.
Dr B: Yes, so the truth is one. But there are many different
things in the field of reality. Each thing is conditioned, the whole
field of reality is conditioned. But clearly, truth itself cannot be
conditioned or dependent on things.
K: What then is the relationship to reality of the man who is
truth?
Dr B: He sees all the things and, in doing this, he comprehends
reality. What the word «comprehends» means is to hold it all
together.
K: He doesn’t separate reality. He says, «I comprehend it, I hold
it, I see it».
Dr B: Yes, it’s all one field of reality, himself and everything.
But it has things in it which are conditioned and he comprehends
the conditions.
K: And because he comprehends conditioning, he is free of
conditioning.
Dr B: It seems clear then that all our knowledge, being based on
thought, is actually a part of this one conditioned field of reality.
K: Now another question. Suppose I am a scholar, I’m full of
such conditioned and conditioning knowledge. How am I to
comprehend truth in the sense of holding it all together?
Dr B: I don’t think you can comprehend truth.
K: Say I have studied all my life, I’ve devoted all my life to
knowledge, which is reality.
Dr B: Yes, and it is also about a bigger reality. K: And suppose you come along and say, «Truth is somewhere else, it’s not that». I
accept you, because you show it to me, and so I say, «Please help
me to move from here to that».
Dr B: Yes.
K: Because once I get that, I comprehend it. If I live here, then
my comprehension is always fragmented.
Dr B: Yes.
K: Therefore my knowledge tells me, «This is reality but it is
not truth». And suppose you come along and say, «No, it is not».
And I ask: please tell me how to move from here to that.
Dr B: Well, we’ve just said we can’t move…
K: I’m putting it briefly. What am I to do?
Dr B: I think I have to see that this whole structure of
knowledge is inevitably false, because my reality is twisted.
K: Would you say the content of my consciousness is
knowledge?
Dr B: Yes.
K: How am I to empty that consciousness and yet retain
knowledge which is not twisted – otherwise I can’t function – and
reach a state, or whatever it is, which will comprehend reality. I
don’t know if I’m making myself clear.
Dr B: Yes.
K: What I’m asking is: my human consciousness is its content,
which is knowledge; it’s a messy conglomeration of irrational
knowledge and some which is correct. Can that consciousness
comprehend, or bring into itself, truth?
Dr B: No, it can’t. K: Therefore, can this consciousness go to
that truth? It can’t either. Then what?       Dr B: There can be a perception of the falseness in this
consciousness. This consciousness is false, in the sense that it does
not run true. Because of the confused content it does not run true.
K: It’s contradictory.
Dr B: It muddles things up.
K: Not,»muddles things up; it is a muddle.
Dr B: It is a muddle, yes, in the way it moves. Now then, one of
the main points of the muddle is that when consciousness reflects
on itself, the reflection has this character: it’s as if there were a
mirror and consciousness were looking at itself through a mirror
and the mirror is reflecting consciousness as if it were not
consciousness but an independent reality.
K: Yes.
Dr B: Now therefore, the action which consciousness takes is
wrong, because it tries to improve the apparently independent
reality, whereas in fact to do this is just a muddle.
I would like to put it this way: the whole of consciousness is
somehow an instrument which is connected up to a deeper energy.
And as long as consciousness is connected in that way, it maintains
its state of wrong action.
K: Yes.
Dr B: So on seeing that this consciousness is reflecting itself
wrongly as independent of thought, what is needed is somehow to
disconnect the energy of consciousness. The whole of
consciousness has to be disconnected, so it would, as it were, lie
there without energy.
K: You’re saying, don’t feed it. My consciousness is a muddle, it
is confused, contradictory, and all the rest of it. And its very contradiction, its very muddle, gives its own energy.
Dr B: Well, I would say that the energy is not actually coming
from consciousness, but that as long as the energy is coming,
consciousness keeps the muddle going.
K: From where does it come?
Dr B: We’d have to say that perhaps it comes from something
deeper.
K: If it comes from something deeper, then we enter into the
whole field of gods and outside agency and so on.
Dr B: No, I wouldn’t say the energy comes from an outside
agency. I would prefer to say it comes from me, in some sense.
K: Then the «me» is this consciousness?
Dr B: Yes.
K: So the content is creating its own energy. Would you say
that?
Dr B: In some sense it is, but the puzzle is that it seems
impossible for this content to create its own energy. That would be
saying that the content is able to create its own energy.
K: Actually, the content is creating its own energy. Look, I’m in
contradiction and that very contradiction gives me vitality. I have
got opposing desires. When I have opposing desires I have energy,
I fight. Therefore that desire is creating the energy – not God, or
something profounder – it is still desire. This is the trick that so
many played. They say there is an outside agency, a deeper energy
– but then one’s back in the old field. But I realize the energy of
contradiction, the energy of desire, of will, of pursuit, of pleasure,
all that which is the content of my consciousness – which is
consciousness – is creating its own energy. Reality is this; reality is creating its own energy. I may say, «I derive my energy deep
down», but it’s still reality.
Dr B: Yes, suppose we accept that, but the point is that seeing
the truth of this…
K: …that’s what I want to get at. Is this energy different from the
energy of truth?
Dr B: Yes.
K: It is different.
Dr B: But let’s try to put it like this: reality may have many
levels of energy.
K: Yes.
Dr B: But a certain part of the energy has gone off the straight
line. Let’s say the brain feeds energy to all the thought processes.
Now, if somehow the brain didn’t feed energy to the thought
process that is confused, then the thing might straighten out.
K: That’s it. If this energy runs along the straight thread it is a
reality without contradiction. It’s an energy which is endless
because it has no friction. Now is that energy different from the
energy of truth?
Dr B: Yes. They are different, and as we once discussed, there
must be a deeper common source.
K: I’m not sure. You are suggesting that they both spring out of
the same root.
Dr B: That’s what I suggest. But for the moment there is the
energy of truth which can comprehend the reality and –
K: – the other way it cannot.
Dr B: No, it cannot; but there appears to be some connection in
the sense that when truth comprehends reality, reality goes straight. So there appears to be a connection at least one way.
K: That’s right, a one-way connection – truth loves this, this
doesn’t love truth.
Dr B: But once the connection has been made, then reality runs
true and does not waste energy or make confusion.
K: You see, that’s where meditation comes in. Generally,
meditation is from here to there, with practice and all the rest of it.
To move from this to that.
Dr B: Move from one reality to another.
K: That’s right. Meditation is actually seeing what is. But
generally meditation is taken as moving from one reality to
another.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART I CHAPTER 2
3RD DISCUSSION WITH PROF. DAVID BOHM
BROCKWOOD PARK 31ST MAY 1975 ‘INSIGHT
AND TRUTH. GULF BETWEEN REALITY AND
TRUTH’

Krishnamurti: I am concerned with trying to find out if there is an
action which is not a process of thought, an action which is of truth
– if I can put it that way – an insight which acts instantly. I want to
inquire into that question.
Dr Bohm: Perhaps one action that acts instantly is to see
falseness.
K: Yes. It’s difficult to take examples. I have an insight into the
fact that people believe in God – I’m taking that as an example.
Dr B: What is the nature of your insight, then?
K: The insight into the fact that God is their projection.
Dr B: Yes, and therefore false.
K: I have an insight. If I had a belief in God it would drop
instantly. So it is not a process of thought, it is an insight into truth.
Dr B: Or into falseness.
K: Or into falseness, and that action is complete, it’s over and
done with. I don’t know if I’m conveying it: that action is whole,
there is no regret, there is no personal advantage, there is no
emotion. It is an action which is complete. Whereas the action
brought about by thought, the investigation of an analysis whether
there is a God or no God, is always incomplete.
Dr B: Yes, I understand that. Then there is another action in
which you do use words, where you try to realize the insight       Let’s say, you talk to people. Is that action complete or
incomplete? Say you have discovered about God. Other people are
still calling this a fact, and therefore…
K: But the man speaks from an insight.
Dr B: He speaks from an insight, but at the same time he starts a
process of time.
K: Yes, to convey something.
Dr B: To change things. Let’s now consider that just to get it
clear. It’s starting from an insight but it’s conveying truth.
K: Yes, but it’s always starting from an insight.
Dr B: And in doing that you may have to organise…
K: …reasonable thinking and so on, of course. And the action of
reasoned thought is different from the action of insight.
Dr B: Now what is the difference when insight is conveyed
through reasoned thought? To come back again to your insight
about God: you have to convey it to other people, you must put it
into a reasonable form.
K: Yes.
Dr B: And therefore isn’t there still some of the quality of the
insight, as you convey it? You must find a reasonable way to
convey it. Therefore in doing that, some of the truth of the insight
is still being communicated in this form. And in some sense that is
thought. K: No, when conveying to another that insight verbally,
one’s action will be incomplete unless he has insight.
Dr B: That’s right. So you must convey what will give someone
an insight.
K: Can you give an insight?
Dr B: Not really, but whatever you convey must somehow do something which perhaps cannot be further described.
K: Yes. That can only happen when you yourself have dropped
the belief in God.
Dr B: But there is no guarantee that it will happen.
K: No, of course not.
Dr B: That depends on the other person, whether he is ready to
listen.
K: So we come to this point: is there a thinking which is non-
verbal? Would this be what communicates insight?
Dr B: I would say there is a kind of thinking that communicates
insight. The insight is non-verbal, but the thinking itself is not non-
verbal. There is the kind of thinking which is dominated by the
word and there is another kind of thinking whose order is
determined, not by the word, but by the insight.
K: Is the insight the product of thought?
Dr B: No, but insight works through thought. Insight is never
the product of thought.
K: Obviously not.
Dr B: But it may work through thought. I wanted to say that the
thought through which insight is working has a different order
from the other kind of thought. I want to distinguish those two.
You once gave an example of a drum vibrating from the emptiness
within. I took it to mean that the action of the skin was like the
action of thought. Is that right?
K: Yes, that’s right. Now, how does insight take place? Because
if it is not the product of thought, not the process of organized
thought and all the rest of it, then how does this insight come into
being?       Dr B: It’s not clear what you mean by the question.
K: How do I have an insight that God is a projection of our own
desires, images and so on? I see the falseness of it or the truth of it;
how does it take place?
Dr B: I don’t see how you could expect to describe it.
K: I have a feeling inside that thought cannot possibly enter into
an area where insight, where truth is, although it operates anywhere
else. But truth, that area, can operate through thought.
Dr B: Yes.
K: But thought cannot enter into that area.
Dr B: That seems clear. We say that thought is the response of
memory. It seems clear that this cannot be unconditioned and free.
K: I would like to go into this question, if I may: how does
insight take place? If it is not the process of thought, then what is
the quality of the mind, or the quality of observation, in which
thought doesn’t enter? And because it doesn’t enter, you have an
insight. We said, insight is complete. It is not fragmented as
thought is. So thought cannot bring about an insight.
Dr B: Thought may communicate the insight. Or it may
communicate some of the data which lead you to an insight. For
example, people told you about religion and so on, but eventually
the insight depends on something which is not thought.
K: Then how does that insight come? Is it a cessation of
thought?
Dr B: It could be considered as a cessation.
K: Thought itself realizes that it cannot enter into a certain area.
That is, the thinker is the thought, the observer, the experiencer, all
the rest of it; and thought itself realizes, becomes aware, that,it can only function within a certain area.
Dr B: Doesn’t that itself require insight? Before thought realizes
that, there must be an insight.
K: That’s just it. Does thought realize that there must be insight?
Dr B: I don’t know, but I’m saying there would have to be
insight into the nature of thought before thought would realize
anything. Because it seems to me that thought by itself cannot
realize anything of this kind.
K: Yes.
Dr B.: But in some way, we said, truth can operate in thought,
in reality.
K: Truth can operate in the field of reality. Now how does one’s
mind see the truth? Is it a process?
Dr B: You’re asking whether there is a process of seeing. There
is no process, that would be time.
K: That’s right.
Dr B: Let’s consider a certain point, that there is an insight about
the nature of thought, that the observer is the observed and so on.
K: That’s clear.
Dr B: Now in some sense thought must accept that insight,
carry it, respond to it.
K: Or the insight is so vital, so energetic, so full of vitality, that
it forces thought to operate.
Dr B: All right, then there is the necessity to operate.
K: Yes, the necessity.
Dr B: But you see, generally speaking it doesn’t have that
vitality. So in some indirect way thought has rejected the insight, at
least it appears to be so.       K: Most people have an insight, but habit is so strong they reject
it.
Dr B: I’m trying to get to the bottom of it, to see if we can break
through that rejection.
K: Break through the rejection, break through the habit, the
conditioning, which prevents the insight. Though one may have an
insight, the conditioning is so strong, you reject the insight. This is
what happens.
Dr B: I looked up the word «habit» and it says, «A settled
disposition of the mind», which seems very good. The mind is
disposed in a certain fixed way which resists change. Now we get
caught in the same question: how are we going to break that «very
settled disposition»?
K: I don’t think you can break it, I don’t think thought can break
it.
Dr B: We are asking for that intense insight which necessarily
dissolves it.
K: So, to summarize: one has an insight into truth and reality.
One’s mind is disposed in a certain way, it has formed habits in the
world of reality – it lives there.
Dr B: It’s very rigid.
K: Now suppose you come along and point out the rigidity of it.
I catch a glimpse of what you’re saying – which is nonthinking –
and I see it.
Dr B: In a glimpse only.
K: In a glimpse. But this conditioning is so strong I reject it.
Dr B: I don’t do it purposely; it just happens.
K: It has happened because you helped to create that happening. Is that glimpse, first of all, strong enough to dissolve this? If it is
not so strong, then it goes on. Can this conditioning dissolve? You
see, I must have an insight into the conditioning, otherwise I can’t
dissolve it.
Dr B: Maybe we could look at it like this: conditioning is a
reality, a very solid reality, which is fundamentally what we think
about.
K: Yes.
Dr B: As we said in the previous dialogue, it’s actual. Ordinary
reality is not only what I think about, but it fits actuality to some
extent – the actual fact. That’s the proof of its reality. Now, at first
sight it seems that this conditioning is just as solid as any reality, if
not more solid.
K: Much more solid. Is that conditioning dissolved, does it
come to an end through thing?
Dr B: It won’t because thinking is what it is.
K: So thinking won’t dissolve it. Then what will?
Dr B: We’re back again. We see that it’s only truth, insight. K: I
think something takes place. I see I’m conditioned and I separate
myself from the conditioning, I am different from the conditioning.
And you come along and say «No, it isn’t like that, the observer is
the observed». If I can see, or have an insight, that the observer is
the observed, then the conditioning begins to dissolve.
Dr B: Because it’s not solid.
K: The perception of that is the ending of the conditioning. The
truth is, when there is the realization that the observer is the
observed. Then in that realization, which is truth, the conditioning
disappears. How does it disappear? What is necessary for the crumbling of that structure?
Dr B: The insight into the falseness of it.
K: But I can have an insight into something that is false and yet
I go on that way, accept the false and live in the false.
Dr B: Yes.
K: Now I don’t know if I can convey something. I want to bring
this into action in my life. I have accepted reality as truth, I live in
that – my gods, my habits, everything – I live in that. You come
along and say «Look, truth is different from reality» and you
explain it to me. How will I put away that tremendous weight, or
break that tremendous conditioning? I need energy to break that
conditioning. Does the energy come when I see, «the observer is
the observed»? As we’ve said, I see the importance, rationally, that
the conditioning must break down, I see the necessity of it: I see
how it operates, the division, the conflict and all the rest of what is
involved. Now when I realize that the observer is the observed, a
totally different kind of energy comes into being. That’s all I want
to get at.
Dr B: Yes, it’s not the energy of reality then. I see it better when
I say, «the thinker is the thought». It’s actually the same thing.
K: Yes, the thinker is the thought. Now, is that energy different
from the energy of conditioning and the activity of the conditioning
and reality? Is that energy the perception of truth? – and therefore it
has quite a different quality of energy.
Dr B: It seems to have the quality of being free of, not being
bound by the conditioning.
K: Yes. Now I want to make it practical to myself. I see this
whole thing that you have described to me. I have got a fairly good mind, I can argue, explain it, all the rest of it, but this quality of
energy doesn’t come. And you want me to have this quality, out of
your compassion, out of your understanding, out of your
perception of truth. You say, «Please, see that». And I can’t see it,
because I’m always living in the realm of reality. You are living in
the realm of truth and I can’t. There is no relationship between you
and me. I accept your word, I see the reason for it, I see the logic of
it, I see the actuality of it, but I can’t break it down.
How will you help – I’m using that word hesitantly – how can
you help me to break this down? It’s your job, because you see the
truth and I don’t. You say, «For God’s sake, see this». How will you
help me? Through words? Then we enter into the realm with which
I am quite familiar. This is actually going on, you understand? So
what is one to do? What will you do with me, who refuses to see
something which is just there? And you point out that as long as
we live in this world of reality, there is going to be murder, death –
everything that goes on there. There is no answer in that realm for
any of our problems. How will you convey this to me? I want to
find out, I’m very keen, I want to get out of this.
Dr B: It’s only possible to communicate the intensity. We
already discussed all the other factors that are communicated. K:
You see, what you say has no system, no method, because they are
all part of the conditioning. You say something totally new,
unexpected, to which I haven’t even given a single moment of
thought. You come along with a basketful and I do not know how
to receive you. This has been really a problem; to the prophets, to
every…
Dr B: It seems nobody has really succeeded in it.       K: Nobody has. It’s part of education that keeps us constantly in
the realm of reality.
Dr B: Everyone is expecting a path marked out in the field of
reality.
K: You talk of a totally different kind of energy from the energy
of reality. And you say that energy will wipe all this out, but it will
use this reality.
Dr B: Yes, it will work through it.
K: It’s all words to me, because society, education, economics,
my parents, everything is here in reality. All the scientists are
working here, all the professors, all the economists, everybody is
here. And you say «Look», and I refuse to look.
Dr B: It’s not even that one refuses, it’s something more
unconscious perhaps.
K: So in discussing this, is there a thinking which is not in the
realm of reality?
Dr B: One might ask whether there is such thought, in the sense
of the response of the drum to the emptiness within.
K: That’s a good simile. Because it is empty, it is vibrating.
Dr B: The material thing is vibrating to the emptiness.
K: The material thing is vibrating. Wait – is truth nothingness?
Dr B: Reality is some thing, perhaps every thing. Truth is no thing.
That is what the word «nothing» deeply means. So truth is «no-
thingness».
K: Yes, truth is nothing.
Dr B.: Because if it’s not reality it must be nothing – no thing.
K: And therefore empty. Empty being – how did you once
describe it?       Dr B: Leisure is the word – leisure means basically «empty».
The English root of «empty» means at leisure, unoccupied.
K: So you are saying to me, «Your mind must be unoccupied».
It mustn’t be occupied by reality.
Dr B: Yes, that’s clear.
K: So it must be empty, there mustn’t be a thing in it which has
been put together by reality, by thought – no thing. Nothing means
that.
Dr B: It’s clear that things are what we think about, therefore we
have to say the mind must not think about anything.
K: That’s right. That means thought cannot think about
emptiness.
Dr B: That would make it into a thing.
K: That’s just it. You see, Hindu tradition says you can come to
it.
Dr B: Yes, but anything you come to must be by a path which is
marked out in the field of reality.
K: Yes. Now, I have an insight into that, I see it. I see my mind
must be unoccupied, must have no inhabitants, must be an empty
house. What is the action of that emptiness in my life? – because I
must live here; I don’t know why, but I must on the other side you
do have to take care of your real material needs.
K: That’s understood.
Dr B: There arises a conflict because what you are proposing
appears to be reasonable, but it doesn’t seem to take care of your
material needs. Without having taken care of these needs you’re not
secure.
K: Therefore they call the world of reality «maya».       Dr B: Why is that? How do you make the connection?
K: Because they say, to live in emptiness is necessary and if you
live there you consider the world as maya.
Dr B: You could say all that stuff is illusion, but then you would
find you were in real danger…
K: Of course.
Dr B: So you seem to be calling for a confidence that
nothingness will take care of you, physically and in every way. In
other words, from nothingness, you say, there is security.
K: No, in nothingness there is security.
Dr B: And this security must include physical security.
K: No, I say, psychological security…
Dr B: Yes, but the question almost immediately arises…
K: How am I to be secure in the world of reality?
Dr B: Yes, because one could say: I accept that it will remove
my psychological problems, but I still have to be physically secure
as well in the world of reality.
K: There is no psychological security in reality, but only
complete security in nothingness. Then if that is so, to me, my
whole activity in the world of reality is entirely different. Dr B: I
see that, but the question will always be raised: is it different
enough to…
K: Oh yes, it would be totally different, because I’m not
nationalistic, I’m not «English», I am nothing. Therefore our whole
world is different. I don’t divide…
Dr B: Let’s bring back your example of one who understands
and the one who wants to communicate to the other. Somehow
what doesn’t communicate is the assurance that it will take care of all that.
K: It won’t take care of all that. I have to work here.
Dr B: Well, according to what you said, there is a certain
implication that in nothingness we will be completely secure in
every way.
K: That is so, absolutely.
Dr B: Yes, but we have to ask: what about the physical
security?
K: Physical security in reality? At present there is no security. I
am fighting all my life, battling economically, socially, religiously.
If I am inwardly, psychologically, completely secure, then my
activity in the world of reality is born of complete intelligence.
This doesn’t exist now, because that intelligence is the perception
of the whole and so on. As long as I’m «English» or «something», I
cannot have security. I must work to get rid of that.
Dr B: I can see you’d become more intelligent, you’d become
more secure – of course. But when you say «complete security»
there is always the question: is it complete?
K: Oh, it is complete, psychologically.
Dr B: But not necessarily physically. K: That feeling of
complete security, inwardly, makes me…
Dr B: It makes you do the right thing.
K: The right thing in the world of reality.
Dr B: Yes, I see that. You can be as secure as you can possibly
be if you are completely intelligent, but you cannot guarantee that
nothing is going to happen to you.
K: No, of course not. My mind is rooted, or established, in
nothingness, and it operates in the field of reality with intelligence. That intelligence says, «There you cannot have security unless you
do these things».
Dr B: I’ve got to do everything right.
K: Everything right according to that intelligence, which is of
truth, of nothingness.
Dr B: And yet, if something does happen to you, nevertheless
you still are secure.
K: Of course – if my house burns down. But you see we are
seeking security here, in the world of reality.
Dr B: Yes, I understand that.
K: Therefore there is no security.
Dr B: As long as one feels that the world of reality is all there
is, you have to seek it there.
K: Yes.
Dr B: One can see that in the world of reality there is in fact no
security. Everything depends on other things which are unknown,
and so on. That’s why there is this intense fear.
K: You mention fear. In nothingness there is complete security,
therefore no fear. But that sense of no fear has a totally different
kind of activity in the world of reality. I have no fear – I work. I
won’t be rich or poor – I work. I work, not as an Englishman, a
German, an Arab – all the rest of that nonsense – I work there
intelligently. Therefore I am creating security in the world of
reality. You follow?
Dr B: Yes, you’re making it as secure as it can possibly be. The
more clear and intelligent you are, the more secure it is.
K: Because inwardly I’m secure, I create security outwardly.
Dr B: On the other hand, if I feel that I depend inwardly on the world of reality, then I become disorganised inwardly.
K: Of course.
Dr B: Everybody does feel that he depends inwardly on the
world of reality.
K: So the next thing is: you tell me this and I don’t see it. I don’t
see the extraordinary beauty, the feeling, the depth of what you are
saying about complete inward security. Therefore I say, «Look,
how are you going to give the beauty of that to me?»
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART I CHAPTER 3
6TH DISCUSSION WITH PROF. DAVID BOHM
BROCKWOOD PARK 28TH MAY 1975 ‘THE
SEED OF TRUTH’

Krishnamurti: If a seed of truth is planted it must operate, it must
grow, it must function, it has a life of its own.
Dr Bohm: Many millions of people may have read or heard
what you say. It may seem that a large number of them haven’t
understood. Do you feel that they are all going eventually to see it?
K: No, but it’s going on, they are worried about it, they ask,
«What does he mean by this?» The seed is functioning, it’s
growing, it isn’t dead. You can say something false and that also
operates.
Dr B: Yes, but now we have a struggle between those two and
we cannot foresee the outcome of this struggle; we can’t be sure of
the outcome.
K: You plant in me the seed that, «Truth is a pathless land».
Also a seed is planted in my consciousness that says, «There is a
way to truth, follow me». One is false, one is true. They are both
embedded in my consciousness. So there is a struggle going on.
The true and the false, both are operating, which causes more
confusion, more misery and a great deal of suffering, if I am
sensitive enough. If I don’t escape from that suffering what takes
place?
Dr B: If you don’t escape, then it’s clear what will take place.
Then you will have the energy to see what is true.
K: That’s right. Dr B: But now let’s take the people who do escape, who seem to be a large number.
K: They are out, quite right, millions are out. But still, the
struggle is going on.
Dr B: Yes, but it is creating confusion.
K: That is what they are all doing.
Dr B: Yes, but we don’t know the outcome of that.
K: Oh yes, we do; dictatorship, deterioration.
Dr B: I know, it gets worse. But now we want to get i; clear. In
a few people who face the suffering, the energy comes to perceive
the truth. And in a large number, who escape from suffering, things
get worse.
K: And they rule the world.
Dr B: Now what is the way out of that?
K: They say there is no answer to that, get away from it.
Dr B: That also won’t do.
K: They say you can’t solve this problem, go away into the
mountains or join a monastery, become a monk – but that doesn’t
solve anything. All one can do is to go on shouting.
Dr B: Yes, then we have to say we don’t know the outcome of
the shouting.
K: If you shout in order to get an outcome, it is not the right
kind of shouting.
Dr B: Yes, that is the situation.
K: You talk, you point out. If nobody wants to pay attention it’s
their business, you just go on. Now I want to go further. You see,
there is a mystery; thought cannot touch it. What is the point of it?
Dr B: Of the mystery? I think you could see it like this: that if
you look into the field of thought and reason and so on, you finally see it has no clear foundation. Therefore you see that «what is»
must be beyond that. «What is» is the mystery.
K: Yes.
Dr B: I mean, you cannot live in this field of reality and
thought, because of all we said.
K: No, of course not. But I don’t mind, I have no fears.
Dr B: You don’t mind because you have psychological security.
Even if something happens to you, it does not deeply affect you.
K: I live in the field of reality, that is my life. There I am
consciously aware, and I struggle and keep going in that field. And
I can never touch the other. I cannot say, «I can touch it; there is no
«I» to touch it when you really touch it.
You say to me, «There is a mystery which passes all
understanding». Because I am caught in this, I would like to get
that. You say there is a mystery, because to you it is an actuality,
not an invention, not a superstition, not self-deception. It is truth to
you. And what you say makes a tremendous impression on me,
because of your integrity. You point it out to me and I would like
to get it. Somehow I must get it. What is your responsibility to me?
You understand the position? You say words cannot touch it,
thought cannot touch it, no action can touch it, only the action of
truth; perhaps it will give you a feeling of that. And I, because I am
a miserable human being, would like to get some of that. But you
say, «Truth is a pathless land, don’t follow anybody» – and I am
left.
I realize, I am consciously aware of the limitation of thought, of
all the confusion, misery, and all the rest of it. Somehow I can’t get
out of it. Is your compassion going to help me? You are compassionate, because part of that extraordinary mystery is
compassion. Will your compassion help me? – obviously not.
So what am I to do? I have a consuming desire for that, and you
say, «Don’t have any desire, you can’t have that, it isn’t your
personal property». All you say to me is: put order into the field of
reality.
Dr B: Yes, and do not escape suffering.
K: If you actually put order into the field of reality then
something will take place. And also you say to me, it must be done
instantly.
Is that mystery something everybody knows? – knows in the
sense that there is something mysterious. Not the desire that creates
mysteries, but that there is something mysterious in life apart from
my suffering, apart from my death, from my jealousy, my anxiety.
Apart from all that, there is a feeling that there is a great mystery in
life. Is that it? – that there is a mystery which each one knows?
Dr B: I should think that in some sense everybody knows it.
Probably one is born with that sense and it gradually gets dimmed
through the conditioning.
K: And has he got the vitality, or the intensity, to put away all
that? You see, that means «God is within you» – that is the danger
of it.
Dr B: Not exactly, but there is some sort of intimation of this. I
think probably children have it more strongly when they are young.
K: Do you think that modern children have that?
Dr B: I don’t know about them, probably less. You see, living in
a modern city must have a bad effect. Dr B: There are many
causes. One is lack of contact with nature; I think any contact with nature gives that sense of mystery.
K: Yes.
Dr B: If you look at the sky at night, for example.
K: But you see the scientists are explaining the stars.
Dr B: Yes, I understand that.
K: Cousteau explains the ocean; everything is being explained.
Dr B: Yes, the feeling has been created that in principle we
could know everything.
K: So knowledge is becoming the curse. You see, perception
has nothing to do with knowledge. Truth and knowledge don’t go
together; knowledge cannot contain the immensity of mystery.
Dr B: Yes, I think if we start with a little child, he may place the
mystery in some part that he doesn’t know. He could put it at the
bottom of the ocean, or somewhere else outside, far away from
where he is, and then he learns that people have been everywhere.
Therefore the whole thing is made to appear non-existent.
K: Yes. Everything becomes so superficial.
Dr B: That’s the danger of our modern age, that it gives the
appearance that we know more or less everything. At least that we
have a general idea of the scheme, if not of the details.
K: The other night I was listening to Bronowski, «The Ascent of
Man». He explains everything. Dr B: The original impulse was to
penetrate into this mystery, that was the impulse of science. And
somehow it has gone astray. It gives the appearance of explaining
it.
K: May I ask, do you as a trained scientist get the feeling of this
mystery.
Dr B: I think so, yes. But I’ve always had some of that, you see.       K: But in talking now, do you get more of the intensity of it?
Not because I feel intense, that’s a totally different thing, that then
becomes influence and all that. But in talking about something we
open a door.
Dr B: Yes. I think that my particular conditioning has a great
deal in it to resist this notion of mystery, although I think that
science is now going in a wrong direction.
K: But even the scientists admit that there is a mystery.
Dr B: Yes, to some extent. The general view is that it could be
eventually cleared up.
K: Cleared up in the sense of explained away.
Dr B: My own feeling is that every particular scientific
explanation will be a certain part of this field of reality, and
therefore will not clear away the mystery.
K: No, but it clears it away because I listen to you explaining
everything, and then I say, «There is nothing».
Dr B: That is the main point of distinguishing between truth and
reality, because we could say, in the field of reality we may explain
more and more broadly without limit.
K: That is what the present day Communists are doing.
Dr B: Not only the Communists. K: Of course not, I’m taking
that as an example.
Dr B: I think you could say, anything in the field of reality can
be explained, we can penetrate more deeply and broadly, there is
limitless progress possible. But the essence is not explained.
K: No, I am asking a different question, I’m asking you, in
talking like this, do you have an intimation of that mystery. Being a
scientist, a serious person, perhaps you had an intimation long ago. In talking now, do you feel it’s no longer an intimation but a truth?
Dr B: Yes, it is a truth.
K: So it’s no longer an intimation?
Dr B: I think it’s been a truth for some time now. Because it’s
implied in what we have been doing here at Brockwood.
K: Yes. You see there is something interesting: the truth of that
mystery makes the mind completely empty, doesn’t it ? it’s
completely silent. Or because it is silent, the truth of that mystery
is.
I don’t know if I’m conveying anything. When the mind is
completely silent, not in use, not meditated upon, and because it
has put order in reality it is free from that confusion, there is a
certain silence, the mind is just moving away from confusion.
Realizing that is not silence, not moving away from that realization
but staying with it, means negating that which order has produced.
Dr B: You say, first you produce order. Why is it necessary to
produce the order first and then negate it?
K: To negate is silence.
Dr B: This is why it has to take place in that sequence. K:
Because when I remove disorder there is a certain mathematical
order, and as a result of that order my mind is quiet.
Dr B: You say that is not a true silence.
K: No. Realizing that is not true silence I negate the false
silence, for the moment. So in the negation of that silence I don’t
want any other silence. There is no movement towards greater
silence. Then this total silence opens the door to that. That is, when
the mind, with all the confusion, is nothing – not a thing – then
perhaps there is the other.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART II CHAPTER 4
1ST PUBLIC TALK BROCKWOOD PARK 6TH
SEPTEMBER 1975 ‘RIGHT ACTION’

WE MUST ALL be very concerned with what is going on in the
world. The disintegration, the violence, the brutality, the wars and
the dishonesty in high political places. In the face of this
disintegration what is correct action? What is one to do to survive
in freedom and be totally religious? We are using the word
«religious» not in the orthodox sense, which is not religious. The
meaning of that word is: gathering together all energy to find out
what is the place of thought and where are its limitations and to go
beyond it. That is the true significance and the meaning of that
world «religious». So what is one to do in this disintegrating,
corrupt, immoral world, as a human being – not an individual,
because there is no such thing as the individual – we are human
beings, we are collective, not individual, we are the result of
various collective influences, forces, conditioning and so on. As
human beings, whether we live in this country, or in America or in
Russia or in India, which is going through terrible times, what is
one to do? What is the correct, right action? To find this out, if one
is at all serious – and I hope we are serious here, otherwise you
wouldn’t have come – what is one to do? Is there an action that is
total, whole, not fragmented, that is both correct and accurate, that
is compassionate, religious in the sense we are using that word?
This has nothing whatsoever to do with belief, dogma, ritual, or the
conditioning of a certain type of religious enquiry. What is a
human being confronted with this problem to do?       To find an answer, not imaginary, fictitious or pretended, to find
the true, the right answer one must enquire into the whole
movement of thought. Because all our conditioning, all our
activity, all our political, economic, social, moral and religious life
is based on thought. Thought has been our chief instrument in all
the fields of life, in all the areas, religious, moral, political,
economic, social, and in personal relationships: I think that is fairly
obvious. Please, if I may point out, we are talking this over
together. We are enquiring into this together, sharing it, your
responsibility is to share it, not just merely listen to a few ideas,
agree or disagree, but to share it; which means you must give
attention to it, you must care for it, this problem must be serious,
this problem must be something that touches your mind, your
heart, everything in life – otherwise there is no sharing, there is no
communion, there is no communication except verbally or
intellectually and that has very little value. So we are together
enquiring into this question.
What is the responsibility of thought? – knowing its limitation,
knowing that whatever it does is within a limited area; and in that
limited area is it possible to have correct, accurate response and
action? At what level does one find for oneself, as a human being,
the right action? If it is imaginary, personal, according to an idea, a
concept, or an ideal, it ceases to be correct action. I hope we are
understanding each other. The ideal, the conclusion is still the
movement of thought as time, as measure. And thought has created
all our problems; in our personal relationships, economically,
socially, morally, religiously, thought has not found an answer.
And we are trying to find out if we can, this morning – and in the next two or three talks – what is the action which is whole, non-
traditional, non-mechanistic, which is not a conclusion, a prejudice,
a belief. That is, I want to find out, if I am at all serious, how am I
to act? An action in which there is no pretension, an action that has
no regrets, an action that does not breed further problems, an action
that will be whole, complete and answer every issue, whether at the
personal level, or at the most complex social level. I hope this is
your problem. Unless we solve this problem very deeply, talking
about meditation, about what is God, what is truth and all the rest
of it, has very little meaning. One must lay the foundation,
otherwise one cannot go very far. One must begin as close as
possible to go very far, and the nearness is you, as a human being
living in this monstrous, corrupt society. And one must find for
oneself an action that is whole, non-fragmented, because the world
is becoming more and more dangerous to live in, it is becoming a
desert and each one of us has to be an oasis. To bring about that –
not an isolated existence – but a total human existence, our enquiry
is into the problem of action.
Can thought solve our problems, thought being the response of
memory, experience and knowledge? Memory is a material
process; thought is material and chemical – the scientists agree
about this. And the things that thought has created in the world and
in ourselves is the world of reality, the world of things. Reality
means the thing that exists. And to find out what truth is one must
be very clear where the limitations of reality are, and not let it flow
into the world that is not real.
One observes in the world and in oneself, thought has created
an extraordinary complex problem of existence. Thought has created the centre as the «me» and the «you». And from that centre
we act. Please look at it, observe it, you will see it for yourself; you
are not accepting something the speaker is talking about, don’t
accept anything. You know, when one begins to doubt everything,
then from that doubt, from that uncertainty grows certainty, clarity;
but if you start with imagination, belief, and live within that area
you will end up always doubting. Here we are trying to investigate,
enquire, look into things that are very close to us: which is our
daily life, with all its misery, conflict, pain, suffering, love and
anxiety, greed, envy, all that.
As we said, thought has created the «me», and so thought in
itself being fragmentary makes the me into a fragment. When you
say «I», «me», «I want, I don’t want, I am this, I am not that», it is
the result of thought. And thought itself being fragmentary, thought
is never the whole, so what it has created becomes fragmentary.
«My world», «my religion», «my belief», «my country», «my god»
and yours, so it becomes fragmentary. Thought intrinsically is a
process of time, measure, and therefore fragmentary. I wonder if
you see this? If you see this once very clearly, then we will be able
to find out what is action, a correct, accurate action in which there
is no imagination, no pretension, nothing but the actual.
We are trying to find out what is action that is whole, that is not
fragmentary, that is not caught in the movement of time, not
traditional and therefore mechanical. One wants to live a life
without conflict and live in a society that doesn’t destroy freedom,
and yet survive. As the societies and governments throughout the
world are becoming more and more centralised, more and more
bureaucratic, our freedom is getting less and less. Freedom is not what one likes to do, what one wants to do, that is not freedom.
Freedom means something entirely different. it means freedom
from this constant battle, constant anxiety, uncertainty, suffering,
pain, all the things that thought has created in us.
Now is there an action which is not based on the mechanical
process of memory, on a repetition of an experience and therefore a
continuing in the movement of time as past, present and future? Is
there an action that is not conditioned by environment? You know
the Marxists say that if you control the environment then you will
change man, and that has been tried and man has not changed. Man
remains primitive, vulgar, cruel, brutal, violent and all the rest of it,
though they are controlling the environment. And there are those
who say don’t bother about the environment, but believe in some
divinity and that will guide you; and that divinity is the projection
of thought. So we are back again in the same field. Realizing all
this what is a human being to do?
Can thought, which is a material, a chemical process, a thing,
which has created all this structure, can that very thought solve our
problems? One must very carefully, dill – gently, find out what are
the limitations of thought. And can thought itself realize its
limitation and therefore not spill over into the realm which thought
can never touch? Thought has created the technological world, and
thought has also created the division between «you» and «me».
Thought has created the image of you and the «me» and these
images separate each one of us. Thought can only function in
duality, in opposites, and therefore all reaction is a divisive
process, a separative process. And thought has created division
between human beings, nationalities, religious beliefs, dogmas, political differences, opinions, conclusions, all that is the result of
thought. Thought has also created the division between you and me
as form and name; and thought has created the centre which is the
«me» as opposed to you, therefore there is a division between you
and me. Thought has created this whole structure of social
behaviour, which is essentially based on tradition, which is
mechanical. Thought has also created the religious world, the
Christian, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Muslim, with all the
divisions, all the practices, all the innumerable gurus that are
springing up like mushrooms. And thought has created what it
considers is love. Is compassion the result of «love», the result of
thought? That is our problem, those are all our problems.
Yet we are trying to solve all these problems through thought.
Can thought see itself as the mischief maker, see itself as a
necessary instrument in the creation of a society which is not
immoral? Can thought be aware of itself? Please do follow this.
Can your thought become conscious of itself? And if it does, is that
consciousness part of thought? One can be aware of the activities
of thought, and one can choose between those activities as good
and bad, worthwhile and not worthwhile, but the choice is still the
result of thought. And therefore it is perpetuating conflict and
duality. Can thought be attentive to its own movements? Or is there
an entity outside the field of thought which directs thought? I can
say I am aware of my thoughts, I know what I am thinking, but that
entity which says, «I know what I am thinking», that «I» is the
product of thought. And that entity then begins to control,
subjugate, or rationalize thinking. So there is an entity, we say,
which is different from thought: but it is essentially thought. What we are trying to explain is: thought is tremendously limited, it
plays all kinds of tricks, it imagines, it creates it.
So our problem then is : can thought realize for itself where it is
essential to operate, where it is accurate in its operation, and yet
totally limited in every other direction? That means, one has to go
into this question of human consciousness. This sounds very
philosophical, very complicated, but it isn’t. Philosophy means the
love of truth, not love of words, not love of ideas, not love of
speculations, but the love of truth. And that means you have to find
out for yourself where reality is and that reality cannot become
truth. You cannot go through reality to come to truth. You must
understand the limitations of reality, which is the whole process of
thought. You know, when you look into yourself, knowing your
consciousness, why you think, what your motives are, what your
purposes are, your beliefs, your intentions, your pretensions, what
your imaginations are, all that is your consciousness; and that
consciousness essentially is the consciousness of the world. Please
do see this. Your consciousness is not radically different from the
consciousness of a Muslim, a Hindu, or anybody else, because
your consciousness is filled with anxiety, hope, fear, pleasure,
suffering, greed, envy, competition; that is cons- ciousness. Your
beliefs and your gods, everything is in that consciousness. The
content of that makes up your consciousness, and the content of
that is thought – thought that has filled consciousness with the
things it has created. Look into yourself and you will see how
extraordinary obvious it is.
And from this content, which is conditioned, which is the
tradition, which is the result of thought, we are trying to find a way to act within that area – within that area of consciousness which
thought has filled with the things of thought. And one asks: if
thought cannot solve all our human problems – other than
technological or mathematical problems – then how can it limit
itself and not enter into the field of the psyche, into the field of the
spirit? – we can use that word for the moment. As long as we
function within that area we must always suffer, there must always
be disorder, there must always be fear and anxiety. So my question
is: can I, can a human being bring about order in the world of
reality? And when thought has established order in the world of
reality, then it will realize its own tremendous limitations. I wonder
if you see this? We live in a world of disorder, not only outwardly
but inwardly. And we have not been able to solve this disorder. We
try everything – meditation, drugs, accepting authority, denying
authority, pursuing freedom and denying freedom – we have done
everything possible to bring about order – through compulsion,
through fear – but we still live in disorder. And a disordered mind
is now trying to find out if there is a correct action – you follow? A
disordered mind is trying to find out if there is a right, accurate,
correct action. And it will find an action which is incorrect,
disorderly, not whole. Therefore in the world of reality in which
we live we must bring about order. I wonder if you see this?
Order is not the acceptance of authority. Order is not what one
wants to do. Order is not something according to a blueprint. Order
must be something highly mathematical, the greatest mathematical
order is the total denial of disorder, and so within oneself, within
the human being. Can you look at your disorder, be aware of it, not
choosing particular forms of disorder, accepting some and denying others, but see the whole disorder? Disorder implies conflict, self-
centred activity, the acceptance of a conclusion and living
according to that conclusion, the ideal and the pursuit of the ideal
which denies the actual; can you totally deny all that? It is only
when you deny totally all that, that there is order, the order that is
not created by thought in the world of reality. You understand? We
are separating reality and truth. We say reality is everything that
thought has created; and in that area, in that field, there is total
disorder, except in the world of technology. In that field human
beings live in complete disorder and this disorder is brought about,
as we have explained, by conflict, by the pursuit of pleasure, fear,
suffering, all that. Can you become aware of all that and totally
deny it – walk away from it? Out of that comes order in the world
of reality.
In that world of reality behaviour is something entirely
different. When you have denied all that, denied the «me», which is
the product of thought, which creates the division, the thought that
has created the «me» and the super-conscious, all the imaginations,
the pretensions, the anxieties, the acceptance and the denial. That is
the content which is so traditional; to deny that tradition is to have
order. Then we can go into the question of what truth is, not
before; otherwise it becomes pretentious, hypocritical, nonsensical.
In that one has to understand the whole question of fear, how
human beings live in fear, and that fear is now becoming more and
more acute, because the world is becoming so dangerous a place,
where tyrannies are increasing, political tyrannies, bureaucratic
tyrannies, denying freedom for the mind to understand, to enquire.
So can we as human beings, living in this disorderly, disintegrating world, become actually, not in theory or
imagination, an oasis in a world that is becoming a desert? This is
really a very serious question. And can we human beings educate
ourselves totally differently? We can do that only if we understand
the nature and the movement of thought as time, which means
really understanding oneself as a human being. To look at
ourselves not according to some psychologist, but to look at
ourselves actually as we are and discover how disorderly a life we
lead – a life of uncertainty, a life of pain, living on conclusions,
beliefs, memories. And becoming aware of it, that very awareness
washes away aU this.
For the rest of this morning can we talk over together, by
question and enquiry, what we have talked about? Please, you are
asking questions not of me, not of the speaker. We are asking
questions of ourselves, saying it aloud so that we can all I share it
because your problem is the problem of everybody share. Your
problem is the problem of the world, you are the world. I don’t
think we realize that. You are actually in the world, in the very
deepest essence – your manners, your dress, your name and your
form may be different – but essentially, deep down, you are the
world, you have created the world and the world is you. So if you
ask a question you are asking it for the whole of mankind. I don’t
know if you see that? – which doesn’t mean that you mustn’t ask
questions, on the contrary. Questioning then becomes a very
serious matter, not a glib question and a glib answer, some
momentary question and forget it till another day. If you ask, ask
about a really human problem.
Questioner: Did you say that by walking away from the disorder of traditions we create order? Is that what you meant ?
Krishnamurti: Yes, that is what I meant. Now just a minute, that
needs a great deal of explanation of what you mean by tradition,
what you mean by walking away, what you mean by order. Q: In
addition to that question, the seeing of this disorder already implies
that the `see-er’ has gone, that you have walked away.
K: There are three things involved in this: order, walking away,
and the observation of disorder. Walking away from disorder, the
very act of moving away from it, is order. Now first, how do you
observe disorder? How do you observe disorder in yourself? Are
you looking at it as an outsider looking in, as something separate
and there is therefore a division, you and the thing which you are
observing? Or are you looking at it, if I may ask, not as an outsider,
without the outsider, without the observer who says, «I am
disorderly»? Let us put it round the other way. When you look at
something, those trees and that house, there is a space between you
and that tree and that house. The space is the distance and you must
have a certain distance to look, to observe. If you are too close you
don’t see the whole thing. So if you are an observer looking at
disorder, there is a space between you and that disorder. Then the
problem arises, how to cover that space, how to control that
disorder, how to rationalize the disorder, how to suppress it, or
whatever you do. But if there is no space you are that disorder. I
wonder if you see that?
Q: How can I walk away from it?
K: I am going to show it to you; I am going to go into that. You
understand my question?
When you observe your wife, your husband, a boy or a girl – nowadays they don’t marry – or your friend, how do you observe
him or her? Watch it please. Go into it, it is very simple. Do you
observe directly, or do you observe that person through an image,
through a screen, from a distance? Obviously, if you have lived
with a person – it doesn’t matter if it’s for a day or ten years – there
is an image, a distance. You are separate from her or him. And
when you observe dis- order you have an image of what order is;
or an image which says, «this disorder is ugly». So you are looking
at that disorder from a distance, which is time, which is tradition,
which is the past. And is that distance created by thought? Or does
this distance actually exist? When you say, «I am angry», is anger
different from you? No, so you are anger. You are disorderly: not
you separate from disorder. I think that is clear.
So you are that disorder. Any movement – please follow this –
any movement of thought away from that disorder is still disorder.
Because that disorder is created by thought. That disorder is the
result of your self-centred activity, the centre that says, «I am
different from somebody else» and so on. All that produces
disorder. Now can you observe that disorder without the observer?
Q: Then you will find in yourself what you are criticizing in the
other?
K: No, no. I am not talking about criticizing the others. That has
very little meaning criticizing others.
Q: No, what you found in the other, you will find it in yourself.
K: No, madam. The other is me; essentially the other is me. He
has his anxieties, his fears, his hopes, his despairs, his suffering, his
pain, his loneliness, his misery, his lack of love and all the rest of
it; that man or women is me. If that is clear, then I am not criticizing another, I am aware of myself in the other.
Q: That is what I meant.
K: Good. So is there an observation without the past, the past
being the observer? Can you look at me, or look at another, without
all the memories, all the chicanery, all the things that go on – just
look? Can you look at your husband, wife and so on, without a
single image? Can you look at another without the whole past
springing up? You do, when there is an absolute crisis. When there
is a tremendous challenge you do look that way. But we live such
sloppy lives, we are not serious, we don’t work.
Q: How can you live permanently at crisis pitch?
K: I’ll answer that question, sir, after we have finished this.
So the walking away from it is to be totally involved in that
which you observe. And when I observe this disorder without all
the reactions, the memories, the things that crop up in one’s mind,
then in that total observation, that very total observation is order. I
wonder if you see this? Which raises the question, have you ever
looked at anything totally? Have you looked at your political
leaders, your religious beliefs, your conclusions, the whole thing
on which we live, which is thought, have you looked at it
completely? And to look at it completely means no division
between you and that which looks. I can look at a mountain and the
beauty of it, the line of it, the shadows, the depth, the dignity, the
marvellous isolation and beauty of it, and it is not a process of
identification. I cannot become the mountain, thank God! That is a
trick of the imagination. But when I observe without the word
«mountain», I see there is a perception of that beauty entirely. A
passion comes out of that. And can I observe another, my wife, friend, child, whoever it is, can I observe totally? That means can I
observe without the observer who is the past? Which means
observation implies total perception. There is only perception, not
the perceiver. Then there is order.
Q: If there is only perception and no perceiver, what is it that
looks? If I see that I am disorder, what is it that sees it?
K: Now go into it, sir. Disorder is a large word, let us look at it.
When you see that you are violent and that violence is not different
from you, that you are that violence – what takes place? Let us look
at it round the other way.
What takes place when you are not the violence? You say
violence is different from «me», what happens then? In that there is
division, in that there is trying to control violence, in that there is a
projection of a state of non-violence, the ideal, and conformity to
that ideal; therefore further conflict, and so on. So when there is a
division between the observer and the observed, the sequence is a
continuous conflict in different varieties and shapes; but when the
observer is the observed, that is when the observer says, «I am
violent, the violence is not separate from `me»‘, then a totally
different kind of activity takes place. There is no conflict, there is
no rationalization, there is no suppression, control, there is no non-
violence as an ideal: you are that. Then what takes place? I don’t
know if you have ever gone into this question.
Q: Then what is «you»? One cannot speak without «you».
K: No, madam, that is a way of speaking. Look, please. You see
the difference between the observer and the observed. When there
is a difference between the observer and the observed there must
be conflict in various forms because there is division. When there is a political division, when there is a national division there must
be conflict; as is going on in the world. Where there is division
there must be conflict; that is law. And when the observer is the
observed, when violence is not separate from the observer, then a
totally different action takes place. The word «violence» is already
condemnatory; it is a word we use in order to strengthen violence,
though we may not want to, we strengthen it by using that word,
don’t we? So the naming of that feeling is part of our tradition. If
you don’t name it then there is a totally different response. And
because you don’t name it, because there is no observer different
from the observed, then the feeling that arises, which you call
violence, is non-existent. You try it and you will see it. You can
only act when you test it. But mere agreement is not testing it. You
have to act and find out. The next question was about challenge.
Must we always live with challenge?
Q: I said crisis.
K: Crisis, it is the same thing. Aren’t you living in crisis? There
is a political crisis in this country, an economic crisis, crisis with
your wife or your husband; crisis means division, doesn’t it? Which
means crisis apparently becomes necessary for those people who
live in darkness, who are asleep. If you had no crisis you would all
go to sleep. And that is what we want – `For God’s sake leave me
alone!` – to wallow in my own little pond, or whatever it is. But
crisis comes all the time.
Now a much deeper question is: is it possible to live without a
single crisis and keep totally awake? You understand? Crisis,
challenge, shock, disturbance exist when the mind is sluggish,
traditional, repetitive, unclear. Can the mind become completely clear, and therefore to such a mind there is no challenge? Is that
possible?
That means, we have to go deeper still. We live on experiences
to change our minds, to further our minds, to enlarge our minds;
experiences, we think will create, will open the door to clarity. And
we think a man who has no experience is asleep, or dull or stupid.
A man who has no experience, but is fully awake, has an innocent
mind, therefore he sees clearly. Now is that possible? Don’t say yes
or no.
Q: When you say he has no experience, do you mean in the
sense that he is ignorant of basic life?
K: No, no. Sir, look. We are conditioned by the society in which
we live, by the food we eat, clothes, climate. We are conditioned
by the culture, by the literature, by the newspapers, our mind is
shaped by everything, consciously, or unconsciously. When you
call yourself a Christian, a Buddhist, or whatever it is, that is your
conditioning. And we move from one conditioning to another. I
don’t like Hinduism so I jump into Christianity, or into something
else. If I don’t like one guru I just follow another guru. So we are
conditioned. Is it possible to uncondition the mind so that it is
totally free? That means is it possible to be aware of your total
conditioning – not choose which conditionings you like, but total
conditioning, which is only possible when there is no choice and
when there is no observer. To see the whole of that conditioning,
which is at both the conscious level as well as at the unconscious
level, the totality of it! And you can see the totality of something
only when there is no distance between you and that – the distance
created as movement of thought, time. Then you see the whole of it. And when there is a perception of the whole, then the
unconditioning comes into being. But we don’t want to work at that
kind of thing. We want the easiest way with everything. That is
why we like gurus. The priest, the politician, the authority, the
specialist, they know, but we don’t know; they will tell us what to
do, which is our traditional acceptance of authority.
Q: A question about true action. Actually, as we are, every
action is a self-centred activity. So when you see that, you are
afraid to act because everything has no significance. That is a
reality, there is no choice or imagination. You are facing a terrible
void and you…
K: I understand the question…
Q: Even material activity.
K: When there is an observation and you see you can’t do
anything, then you say there is a void. just hold on to that sentence,
to that phrase. There is an observation, you realize you can’t do
anything and therefore there is a void. Is that so? When I see that I
have been able to do something before, there was no void. You
understand? I could do something about it, join the Liberal Party,
become a neurotic or whatever it is – sorry! (Laughter). Before I
could do something and I thought by doing something there was no
void. Because I had filled the void by doing something, which is
running away from that void, that loneliness, that extraordinary
sense of isolation. And now when I see the falseness of this doing,
a doing about something – which doesn’t give a significance or an
answer – then I say to myself, «I observe that I am the observer, and
I am left naked, stark naked, void. I can’t do anything. There is no
significance to existence.» Before, you gave significance to existence, which is the significance created by thought, by aU
kinds of imaginings, hope and all the rest of it, and suddenly you
realize that thought doesn’t solve the problems and you see no
meaning in life, no significance. So you want to give significance
to life – you understand? You want to give it. (Laughter). No, don’t
laugh, this is what we are doing. Living itself has no meaning for
most of us now. When we are young we say, «Well at least I’ll be
happy» – sex and all the rest of it. As we grow older we say, «My
God, it is such an empty life», and you fill that emptiness with
literature, with knowledge, with beliefs, dogmas, ritual, opinions,
judgements, and you think that has tremendous significance. You
have filled it with words, nothing else but words. Now when you
strip yourself of words you say, «I am empty, void».
Q: These are still words.
K: Still words, that is what I am saying. Still words. So when
you see that thought has created what you considered to be
significance, now when you see the limitation of thought, and that
what it has created has no significance, you are left empty, void,
naked. Why? Aren’t you still seeking something? Isn’t thought still
in operation? When you say, I have no significance, there is no
significance to life», it is thought that has made you say there is no
significance, because you want significance. But when there is no
movement of thought, life is full of significance. It has tremendous
beauty. You don’t know of this. Q: Thought is afraid not to think.
K: So thought is afraid not to think. We will go into that
tomorrow: the whole problem of thought creating fear and toying
to give significance to life. If one actually examines one’s life,
there is very little meaning, is there? You have pleasant memories or unpleasant memories, which is in the past, dead, gone, but you
hold on to them. There is all this fear of death. You have worked
and worked and worked – God knows why – and there is that thing
waiting for you. And you say, «Is that all?» So we have to go into
this question of the movement of thought as time and measure.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART II CHAPTER 5
2ND PUBLIC TALK BROCKWOOD PARK 7TH
SEPTEMBER 1975 ‘THE PROBLEM OF FEAR’

WE MUST BE serious in facing what we have to do in life, with
all the problems, miseries, confusion, violence and suffering. Only
those live who are really ernest, but the others fritter their life away
and waste their existence. We were going to consider this morning
the whole complex problem of fear.
The human mind has lived so long, so many centuries upon
centuries, putting up with fear, escaping from it, trying to
rationalize it, trying to forget it, or completely identifying with
something that is not fear – we have tried all these methods. And
one asks if it is at all possible to be free totally, completely of fear,
psychologically and from that physiologically. We are going to
discuss this, talk it over together, and find out for ourselves if it is
at all possible.
First, we must consider energy, the quality of energy, the types
of energy, and the question of desire; and whether we have
sufficient energy to delve deeply into this question. We know the
energy and friction of thought; it has created most extraordinary
things in the world technologically. But psychologically we don’t
seem to have that deep energy, drive, interest to penetrate
profoundly into this question of fear.
We have to understand this question of thought bringing about
its own energy and therefore a fragmentary energy, an energy
through friction, through conflict. That is all we know: the energy
of thought, the energy that comes through contradiction, through opposition in duality, the energy of friction. All that is in the world
of reality, reality being the things with which we live daily, both
psychologically and intellectually and so on.
I hope we can communicate with each other. Communication
implies not only verbal understanding, but actually sharing what is
being said, otherwise there is no communion. There is not only a
verbal communication but a communion which is non-verbal. But
to come to that non-verbal communion, one must understand very
deeply whether it is possible to communicate with each other at a
verbal level, which means that both of us share the meaning of the
words, have the same interest, the same intensity, at the same level,
so that we can proceed step by step. That requires energy. And that
energy can come into being only when we understand the energy
of thought and its friction, in which we are caught. If you
investigate into yourself you will see that what we know, or
experience, is the friction of thought in its achievement, in its
desires, in its purposes – the striving, the struggle, the com.
petition. All that is involved in the energy of thought.
Now we are asking if there is any other kind of energy, which is
not mechanistic, not traditional, non-contradictory, and therefore
without the tension that creates energy. To find that out, whether
there is another kind of energy, not imagined, not fantastic, not
superstitious, we have to go into the question of desire.
Desire is the want of something, isn’t it? That is one fragment of
desire. Then there is the longing for something, whether it be
sexual longing or psychological longing, or so-called spiritual
longing. And how does this desire arise? Desire is the want of
something, the lack of something, missing something; then the longing for it, either imaginatively, or actual want, like hunger; and
there is the problem of how desire arises in one. Because, in
coming face to face with fear, we have to understand desire – not
the denial of desire, but insight into desire. Desire may be the root
of fear. The religious monks throughout the world have denied
desire, they have resisted desire, they have identified that desire
with their gods, with their saviours, with their jesus, and so on. But
it is still desire. And without the full penetration into that desire,
without having an insight into it, one’s mind cannot possibly be
free from fear.
We need a different kind of energy, not the mechanistic energy
of thought, because that has not solved any of our problems; on the
contrary, it has made them much more complex, more vast,
impossible to solve. So we must find a different kind of energy,
whether that energy is related to thought or is independent of
thought, and in enquiring into that one must go into the question of
desire. You are following this? – not somebody else’s desire, but
your own desire. Now how does desire arise? One can see that this
movement of desire takes place through perception, then sensation,
contact and so desire. One sees something beautiful, the contact of
it, visual and physical, sensory, then sensation, then from that the
feeling of the lack of it. And from that desire. That is fairly clear.
Why does the mind, the whole sensory organism, lack? Why is
there this feeling of lacking something, of wanting something? I
hope you are giving sufficient attention to what is being said,
because it is your life. You are not merely listening to words, or
ideas, or formulas, but actually sharing in the investigating process
so that we are together walking in the same direction, at the same speed, with the same intensity, at the same level. Otherwise we
shan’t meet each other. That is part of love also. Love is that
communication with each other, at the same level, at the same
time, with the same intensity.
So why is there the sense of lacking or wanting in oneself? I do
not know if you have ever gone into this question at all? Why the
human mind, or human beings, are always after something – apart
from technological knowledge, apart from learning languages and
so on and so on, why is there this sense of wanting, lacking,
pursuing something all the time? – which is the movement of
desire, which is also the movement of thought in time, as time and
measure. All that is involved.
We are asking, why there is this sense of want. Why there is not
a sense of complete self-sufficiency? Why is there this longing for
something in order to fulfil or to cover up something? Is it because
for most of us there is a sense of emptiness, loneliness, a sense of
void? Physiologically we need food, clothes and shelter, that one
must have. But that is denied when there is political, religious,
economic division, nationalistic division, which is the curse of this
world, which has been invented by the Western world, it did not
exist in the Eastern world, this spirit of nationality; it has come
recently into being there too, this poison. And when there is
division between peoples, between nationalities and between
beliefs, dogmas, security for everybody becomes almost
impossible. The tyrannical world of dictatorship is trying to
provide that, food for everybody, but it cannot achieve it. We know
all that, we can move from that. So what is it that we lack?
Knowledge? – knowledge being the accumulation of experience, psychological, scientific and in other directions, which is
knowledge in the past. Knowledge is the past. Is this what we
want? Is this what we miss? Is this what we are educated for, to
gather all the knowledge we can possibly have, to act skilfully in
the technological world? Or is there a sense of lack, want,
psychologically, inwardly? Which means you will try to fill that
inward emptiness, that lack, through or with experience, which is
the accumulated knowledge. So you are trying to fill that
emptiness, that void, that sense of immense loneliness, with
something which thought has created. Therefore desire arises from
this urge to fill that emptiness. After all, when you are seeking
enlightenment, or self-realization as the Hindus call it, it is a form
of desire. This sense of ignorance will be wiped away, or put aside,
or dissipated by acquiring tremendous knowledge, enlightenment.
It is never the process of investigating «what is», but rather of
acquiring; not actually looking at «what is», but inviting something
which might be, or hopeful of a greater experience, greater
knowledge. So we are always avoiding «what is». And the «what
is» is created by thought. My loneliness, emptiness, sorrow, pain,
suffering, anxiety, fear, that is actually «what is». And thought is
incapable of facing it and tries to move away from it.
So in the understanding of desire – that is perception, seeing,
contact, sensation, and the want of that which you have not, and so
desire, the longing for it – that involves the whole process of time. I
have not, but I will have. And when I do have it is measured by
what you have. So desire is the movement of thought in time as
measure. Please don’t just agree with me. I am not interested in
doing propaganda. I don’t care if you are here or not here, if you listen or don’t listen. But as it is your life, as it is so urgently
important that we be deadly serious – the world is disintegrating –
you have to understand this question of desire, energy, and the
enquiry into a different kind of non-mechanical energy. And to
come to that you must understand fear. That is, does desire create
fear? We are going to enquire together into this question of fear,
what is fear? You may say, «Well let’s forget about energy and
desire and please help me to get rid of my fear» – that is too silly,
they are all related. You can’t take one thing and approach it that
way. You must take the whole packet.
So what is fear, how does it arise? Is there a fear at one level
and not at another level? Is there fear at the conscious level or at
the unconscious level? Or is there a fear totally? Now how does
fear arise? Why does it exist in human beings? And human beings
have put up with it for generations upon generations, they live with
it. Fear distorts action, distorts clear perceptive thinking, objective
efficient thinking, which is necessary, logical sane healthy
thinking. Fear darkens our lives. I do not know if you have noticed
it? If there is the slightest fear there is a contraction of all our
senses. And most of us live, in whatever relationship we have, in
that peculiar form of fear.
Our question is, whether the mind and our whole being can ever
be free completely of fear. Education, society, governments,
religions have encouraged this fear; religions are based on fear.
And fear also is cultivated through the worship of authority – the
authority of a book, the authority of the priest, the authority of
those who know and so on. We are carefully nurtured in fear. And
we are asking whether it is at all possible to be totally free of it. So we have to find out what is fear. Is it the want of something? –
which is desire, longing. Is it the uncertainty of tomorrow? Or the
pain and the suffering of yesterday? Is it this division between you
and me, in which there is no relationship at all? Is it that centre
which thought has created as the «me» – the me being the form, the
name, the attributes – fear of loosing that «me»? Is that one of the
causes of fear? Or is it the remembrance of something past,
pleasant, happy, and the fear of losing it? Or the fear of suffering,
physiologically and psychologically? Is there a centre from which
all fear springs? – like a tree, though it has got a hundred branches
it has a solid trunk and roots, and it is no good merely pruning the
branches. So we have to go to the very root of fear. Because if you
can be totally free of fear, then heaven is with you.
What is the root of it? Is it time? Please we are investigating,
questioning, we are not theorizing, we are not coming to any
conclusion, because there is nothing to conclude. The moment you
see the root of it, actually, with your eyes, with your feeling, with
your heart, with your mind – actually see it – then you can deal with
it; that is if you are serious. We are asking: is it time? – time being
not only chronological time by the watch, as yesterday, today and
tomorrow, but also psychological time, the remembrance of
yesterday, the pleasures of yesterday, and the pains, the grief, the
anxieties of yesterday. We are asking whether the root of fear is
time. Time to fulfil, time to become, time to achieve, time to
realize God, or whatever you like to call it. Psychologically, what
is time? Is there such a thing – please listen – as psychological time
at all? Or have we invented psychological time? Psychologically is
there tomorrow? If one says there is no time psychologically as tomorrow, it will be a great shock to you, won’t it? Because you
say, «Tomorrow I shall be happy; tomorrow I will achieve
something; tomorrow I will become the executive of some
business; tomorrow I will become the enlightened one; tomorrow
the guru promises something and I’ll achieve it». To us tomorrow is
tremendously important. And is there a tomorrow psychologically?
We have accepted it: that is our whole traditional education, that
there is a tomorrow. And when you look psychologically,
investigate into yourself, is there a tomorrow? Or has thought,
being fragmentary in itself, projected the tomorrow? Please, we
will go into this, it is very important to understand.
One suffers physically, there is a great deal of pain. And the
remembrance of that pain is marked, is an experience which the
brain contains and therefore there is the remembrance of that pain.
And thought says, «I hope I never have that pain again: that is
tomorrow. There has been great pleasure yesterday, sexual or
whatever kind of pleasure one has, and thought says, «Tomorrow I
must have that pleasure again». You have a great experience – at
least you think it is a great experience – and it has become a
memory; and you realize it is a memory yet you pursue it
tomorrow. So thought is movement in time. Is the root of fear
time? – time as comcomparison with you, «me» more important
than you, «me» that is going to achieve something, become
something, get rid of something.
So thought as time, thought as becoming, is the root of fear. We
have said that time is necessary to learn a language, time is
necessary to learn any technique. And we think we can apply the
same process to psychological existence. I need several weeks to learn a language, and I say in order to learn about myself, what I
am, what I have to achieve, I need time. We are questioning the
whole of that. Whether there is time at all psychologically,
actually; or is it an invention of thought and therefore fear arises?
That is our problem; and consciously we have divided
consciousness into the conscious and the hidden. Again division by
thought. And we say, «I may be able to get rid of conscious fears,
but it is almost impossible to be free of the unconscious fears with
their deep roots in the unconscious». We say that it is much more
difficult to be free of unconscious fears, that is the racial fears, the
family fears, the tribal fears, the fears that are deeply rooted,
instinctive. We have divided consciousness into two levels and
then we ask: how can a human being delve into the unconscious?
Having divided it then we ask this question.
It is said it can be done through careful analysis of the various
hidden fears, through dreams. That is the fashion. We never look
into the whole process of analysis, whether it be self-introspective,
or professional. In analysis is implied the analyser and the
analysed. Who is the analyser? Is he different from the analysed, or
is the analyser the analysed? And therefore it is utterly futile to
analyse. I wonder if you see that? If the analyser is the analysed,
then there is only observation, not analysis. But the analyser as
different from the analysed – that is what you all accept, all the
professionals, all the people who are trying to improve themselves
– God forbid! – they all accept that there is a division between the
analysed and the analyser. But the analyser is a fragment of
thought which has created that thing to be analysed. I wonder if
you follow this? So in analysis is implied a division and that division implies time. And you have to keep on analysing until you
die.
So where analysis is totally false – I am using the word «false»
in the sense of incorrect, having no value – then you are only
concerned with observation. To observe! – we have to understand
what is observation. You are following all this? We started out by
enquiring if there is a different kind of energy. I am sorry we must
go back so that it is in your mind – not in your memory, then you
could read a book and repeat it to yourself, which is nothing. So we
are concerned with, or enquiring into energy. We know the energy
of thought which is mechanical, a process of friction, because
thought in its very nature is fragmentary, thought is never the
whole. And we have asked if there is a different kind of energy
altogether and we-are investigating that. And in enquiring into that
we see the whole movement of desire. Desire is the state of
wanting something, longing for something. And that desire is a
movement of thought as time and measure: «I have had this, and I
must have more». And we said in the understanding of fear, the
root of fear may be time as movement. If you go into it you will
see that it is the root of it: that is the actual fact. Then, is it possible
for the mind to be totally free of fear? For the brain, which has
accumulated knowledge, can only function effectively when there
is complete security – but that security may be in some neurotic
activity, in some belief, in the belief that you are the great nation;
and all belief is neurotic, obviously, because it is not actual. So the
brain can only function effectively, sanely, rationally, when it feels
completely secure, and fear does not give it security. To be free of
that fear, we asked whether analysis is necessary. And we see that analysis does not solve fear. So when you have an insight into the
process of analysis, you stop analysing. And then there is only the
question of observation, seeing. If you don’t analyse, what are you
to do? You can only look. And it is very important to And out how
to look.
What does it mean to look? What does it mean to look at this
question of desire as movement in time and measure?
How do you see it? Do you see it as an idea, as a formula,
because you have heard the speaker talking about it? Therefore you
abstract what you hear into an idea and pursue that idea – which is
still looking away from fear. So when you observe, it is very
important to find out how you observe.
Can you observe your fear without the movement of escaping,
suppressing, rationalizing, or giving it a name? That is, can you
look at fear, your fear or not having a job tomorrow, of not being
loved, a dozen forms of fear, can you look at it without naming,
without the observer? – because the observer is the observed. I
don’t know if you follow this? So the observer is fear, not «he» is
observing «fear».
Can you observe without the observer? – the observer being the
past. Then is there fear? You follow? We have the energy to look
at something as an observer. I look at you and say, «You are a
Christian, a Hindu, Buddhist», whatever you are, or I look at you
saying, «I don’t like you», or «I like you». If you believe in the same
thing as I believe in you are my friend; if I don’t believe the same
thing as you do, you are my enemy. So can you look at another
without all those movements of thought, of remembrance, of hope,
all that, just look? Look at that fear which is the root of time. Then is there fear at all? You understand? You will And this out only if
you test it, if you work at it, not just play with it.
Then there is the other form of desire, which not only creates
fear but also pleasure. Desire is a form of pleasure. Pleasure is
different from joy. Pleasure you can cultivate, which the modem
world is doing, sexually and in every form of cultural
encouragement – pleasure, tremendous pleasure and the pursuit of
pleasure. And in the very pursuit of pleasure there must be fear
also, because they are the two sides of the same coin. joy you
cannot invite; if it happens then thought takes charge of it and
remembers it and pursues that joy which you had a year ago, or
yesterday, and which becomes pleasure. And when there is
enjoyment – seeing a beautiful sunset, a lovely tree, or the deep
shadow of a lake – then that enjoyment is registered in the brain as
memory and the pursuit of that memory is pleasure. There is fear,
pleasure, joy. Is it possible – this is a much more complex problem
– is it possible to observe a sunset, the beauty of a person, the
lovely shape of an ancient tree in a solitary field, the enjoyment of
it, the beauty of it – observe it without registering it in the brain,
which then becomes memory, and the pursuit of that tomorrow?
That is, to see something beautiful and end it, not carry it on.
There is another principle in man. Besides fear and pleasure,
there is the principle of suffering. Is there an end to suffering? We
want suffering to end physically, therefore we take drugs and do all
kinds of yoga tricks and all that. But we have never been able to
solve this question of suffering, human suffering, not only of a
particular human being but the suffering of the whole of humanity.
There is your suffering, and millions and millions of people in the world are suffering, through war, through starvation, through
brutality, through violence, through bombs. And can that suffering
in you as a human being end? Can it come to an end in you,
because your consciousness is the consciousness of the world, is
the consciousness of every other human being? You may have a
different peripheral behaviour but basically, deeply, your
consciousness is the consciousness of every other human being in
the world. Suffering, pleasure, fear, ambition, all that is your
consciousness. So you are the world. And if you are completely
free of fear you affect the consciousness of the world. Do you
understand how extraordinarily important it is that we human
beings change, fundamentally, because that will affect the
consciousness of every other human being? Hitler, Stalin affected
all the consciousness of the world, what the priests have achieved
in the name of somebody has affected the world. So if you as
human beings radically transform, are free of fear, you will
naturally affect the consciousness of the world.
Similarly, when there is freedom from suffering there is
compassion, not before. You can talk about it, write books about it,
discuss what compassion is, but the ending of sorrow is the
beginning of compassion. The human mind has put up with
suffering, endless suffering, having your children killed in wars,
and willingness to accept further suffering by future wars.
Suffering through education-modern education to achieve a certain
technological knowledge and nothing else – that brings great
sorrow. So compassion, which is love, can only come when you
understand fully the depth of suffering and the ending of suffering.
Can that suffering end, not in somebody else, but in you? The Christians have made a parody of suffering – sorry to use that word
– but it is actually so. The Hindus have made it into an intellectual
affair: what you have done in a past life you are paying for it the
present life, and in the future there will be happiness if you behave
properly now. But they never behave properly now; so they carry
on with this belief which is utterly meaningless. But a man who is
serious is concerned with compassion and with what it means to
love; because without that you can do what you like, build all the
skyscrapers in the world, have marvellous economic conditions
and social behaviour, but without it life becomes a desert.
So to understand what it means to live with compassion, you
must understand what suffering is. There is suffering from physical
pain, physical disease, physical accident, which generally affects
the mind, distorts the mind – if you have had physical pain for
some time it twists your mind; and to be so aware that the physical
pain cannot touch the mind requires tremendous inward awareness.
And apart from the physical, there is suffering of every kind,
suffering in loneliness, suffering when you are not loved, the
longing to be loved and never finding it satisfactory; because we
make love into something to be satisfied, we want love to be
gratified. There is suffering because of death; suffering because
there is never a moment of complete wholeness, a complete sense
of totality, but always living in fragmentation, which is
contradiction, strife, confusion, misery. And to escape from that we
go to temples, and to various forms of entertainment, religious and
non-religious, take drugs, group therapy, and individual therapy.
You know all those tricks we play upon ourselves and upon others
– if you are clever enough to play tricks upon others. So there is this immense suffering brought by man against man. We bring
suffering to the animals, we kill them, we eat them, we have
destroyed species after species because our love is fragmented. We
love God and kill human beings.
Can that end? Can suffering totally end so that there is complete
and whole compassion? Because suffering means, the root
meaning of that word is to have passion – not the Christian passion,
not lust, that is too cheap, easy, but to have compassion, which
means passion for all, for all things, and that can only come when
there is total freedom from suffering.
You know it is a very complex problem, like fear and pleasure,
they are all interrelated. Can one go into it and see whether the
mind and the brain can ever be free completely of all psychological
suffering, inward suffering. If we don’t understand that and are not
free of it we will bring suffering to others, as we have done, though
you believe in God, in Christ, in Buddha, in all kinds of beliefs –
and you have killed men generation after generation. You
understand what we do, what our politicians do in India and here.
Why is it that human beings who think of themselves as
extraordinarily alive and intelligent, why have they allowed
themselves to suffer? There is suffering when there is jealousy;
jealousy is a form of hate. And envy is part of our structure, part of
our nature, which is to compare ourselves with somebody else; and
can you live without comparison? We think that without
comparison we shall not evolve, we shall not grow, we shall not be
somebody. But have you ever tried – really, actually tried – to live
without comparing yourself with anybody? You have read the lives
of saints and if you are inclined that way, as you get older you want to become like that; not when you are young, you spit on all
that. But as you are approaching the grave you wake up.
There are different forms of suffering. Can you look at it,
observe it without trying to escape from it? – just remain solidly
with that thing. When my wife – I am not married – runs away from
me, or looks at another man – by law she belongs to me and I hold
her – and when she runs away from me I am jealous; because I
possess, and in possession I feel satisfied, I feel safe; and also it is
good to be possessed, that also gives satisfaction. And that
jealousy, that envy, that hatred, can you look at it without any
movement of thought and remain with it? You understand what I
am saying? Jealousy is a reaction, a reaction which has been named
through memory as jealousy, and I have been educated to run away
from it, to rationalize it, or to indulge in it, and hate with anger and
all the rest of it. But without doing any of that, can my mind solidly
remain with it without any movement? You understand what I am
saying? Do it and you will see what happens.
In the same way when you suffer, psychologically, remain with
it completely without a single movement of thought. Then you will
see out of that suffering comes that strange thing called passion.
And if you have no passion of that kind you cannot be creative.
Out of that suffering comes compassion. And that energy differs
totally from the mechanistic energy of thought.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART II CHAPTER 6
1ST PUBLIC DIALOGUE BROCKWOOD PARK
9TH SEPTEMBER 1975

Krishnamurti: This is in the nature of a dialogue between two
friends, talking over their problems, who are concerned not only
with their own personal affairs, but also with what is happening in
the world. Being serious, these two friends have the urge to
transform themselves and see what they can do about the world
and all the misery and confusion that is going on. So could we this
morning spend some time together having a friendly conversation,
not trying to be clever, nor opposing one opinion against another
opinion or belief, and together examine earnestly and deeply some
of the problems that we have? In this, communication becomes
rather important; and any one question is not only personal but
universal. So if that is understood, then what shall we talk over
together this morning?
Questioner: The compilation of your biography has caused
much confusion and quite a lot of questions. I have boiled them
down to a few. May I at least hand them over to you.
K: Do you want to discuss the biography written by Mary
Lutyens? Do you want to go into that?
Q: No.
K: Thank God! (laughter).
Q(1): Briefly and then finish with it. Q(2): I would propose that
you go into the question of correct and incorrect thinking: that is a
problem. Both kinds of thought, or thinking processes, are
mechanical processes.       K: I see. Can we discuss this? Do you want to talk over the
biography – have many of you read it? Some of you. I was just
looking at it this morning (laughter). Most of it I have forgotten
and if you want to talk over some of the questions that have been
given me, shall we do that briefly?
Basically the question is: what is the relationship between the
present K and the former K? (laughter). I should think very little.
The basic question is, how was it that the boy who was found
there, «discovered» as it was called, how was it that he was not
conditioned at all from the beginning, though he was brought up in
a very orthodox, traditional Brahmin family with its superstitions,
arrogance and extraordinary religious sense of morality and so on?
Why wasn’t he conditioned then? And also later during those
periods of the Masters, Initiations and so on – if you have read
about it – why wasn’t he conditioned? And what is the relationship
between that person and the present person? Are you really
interested in all this?
Audience: Yes.
K: I am not. The past is dead, buried and gone. I don’t know
how to tackle this. One of the questions is about the Masters, as
they are explained not only in Theosophy but in the Hindu tradition
and in the Tibetan tradition, which maintain that there is a
Bodhisattva; and that he manifests himself and that is called in
Sanskrit Avatar, which means manifestation. This boy was
discovered and prepared for that manifestation. And he went
through all kinds of things. And one question that may be asked is,
must others go through the same process. Christopher Columbus
discovered America with sailing boats in dangerous seas and so on, and must we go through all that to go to America? You understand
my question? It is much simpler to go by air! That is one question.
How that boy was brought up is totally irrelevant; what is relevant
is the present teaching and nothing else.
There is a very ancient tradition about the Bodhisattva that there
is a state of consciousness, let me put it that way, which is the
essence of compassion. And when the world is in chaos that
essence of compassion manifests itself. That is the whole idea
behind the Avatar and the Bodhisattva. And there are various
gradations, initiations, various Masters and so on, and also there is
the idea that when he manifests all the others keep quiet. You
understand? And that essence of compassion has manifested at
other times. What is important in all this, if one may talk about it
briefly, is: can the mind passing through all kinds of experiences,
either imagined or real – because truth has nothing to do with
experience, one cannot possibly experience truth, it is there, you
can’t experience it – but going through all those various imagined,
illusory, or real states, can the mind be left unconditioned? The
question is, can the mind be unconditioned always, not only in
childhood. I wonder if you understand this question? That is the
underlying problem or issue in this.
So as we say, all that is irrelevant. I do not know if you know
anything about the ancient tradition of India and Tibet and of
China and Japan, about the awakening of certain energy, called
Kundalini. There are now all over America, and in Europe, various
groups trying to awaken their little energy called Kundalini. You
have heard about all this, haven’t you? And there are groups
practising it. I saw one group on television where a man was teaching them how to awaken Kundalini, that energy, doing all
kinds of tricks with all kinds of words and gestures – which all
becomes so utterly meaningless and absurd. And there is
apparently such an awakening, which I won’t go into, because it is
much too complex and probably it is not necessary or relevant. So I
think I have answered this question, haven’t I?
The other question asked was: Is there a non-mechanistic
activity? is there a movement – movement means time – is there a
state of mind, which is not only mechanical but not in the field of
time? That is what the question raised involves. Do you want to
discuss that, or something else? Somebody also sent a written
question, «What does it mean to be aware? Is awareness different
from attention? Is awareness to be practised systematically or does
it come about naturally?» That is the question. Are there any other
questions?
Q(1): Would you go into the question of what it means, finding
one’s true will?
Q(2): What is the difference between denial and suppression?
Q(3): When being together with another person I lose all my
awareness; not when I am alone.
K: Can we discuss awareness, begin with that and explore the
whole thing, including the will of one’s own destiny?
Q: What about earnestness and effort?
K: Earnestness and effort, yes. We are now discussing
awareness. Does choice indicate freedom? I choose to belong to
this society or to that society, to that cult, to a particular religion or
not, I choose a particular job – choice. Does choice indicate
freedom? Or does freedom deny choice? Please let us talk this over together.
Q: Freedom means that no choice is needed.
K: But we choose, and we think because we have the capacity
to choose that we have freedom. I choose between the Liberal
Party and the Communist party. And in choosing I feel I am free.
Or I choose one particular guru or another, and that gives me a
feeling that I am free. So does choice lead to awareness? Q: No.
K: Go slowly.
Q: Choice is the expression of conditioning, is it not?
K: That is what I want to find out.
Q: It seems to me that one either reacts out of habit, or one
responds without thinking.
K: We will come to that. We will go into what it means to
respond without choice. We are used to choosing; that is our
conditioning.
Q: Like and dislike.
K: All that is implied in choice. I chose you as my friend, I deny
my friendship to another. One wants to find out if awareness
includes choice. Or is awareness a state of mind, a state of
observation in which there is no choice whatsoever? Is that
possible? One is educated from childhood to choose and that is our
tradition, that is our habit, that is our mechanical, instinctive
reaction. And we think, because we choose there is freedom. What
does awareness mean: to be aware? It implies, doesn’t it, not only
physical sensitivity, but also sensitivity to the environment, to
nature, sensitivity to other people’s reactions and to my own
reactions. Not, I am sensitive, but to other people I am not
sensitive: that is not sensitivity.       So awareness implies, doesn’t it, a total sensitivity: to colour, to
nature, to all my reactions, how I respond to others, all that is
implied in awareness, isn’t it? I am aware of this tent, the shape of
it and so on. One is aware of nature, the world of nature, the beauty
of trees, the silence of the trees, the shape and beauty and the depth
and the solitude of trees. And one is aware also of one’s
relationship to others, intimate and not intimate. In that awareness
is there any kind of choice? – in a total awareness, neurologically,
physically, psychologically, to everything around one, the
influences, to all the noises and so on. Is one aware? – not only of
one’s own beliefs but those of others, the opinions, judgements,
evaluations, the conclusions, all that is implied – otherwise one is
not aware. And can you practise awareness by going to a school or
college, or going to a guru who will teach you how to be aware? Is
that awareness? Which means, is sensitivity to be cultivated
through practice?
Q: That becomes selfishness, concentration on oneself.
K: Yes, that is, unless there is total sensitivity, awareness
merely becomes concentration on oneself.
Q: Which excludes awareness.
K: Yes, that is right. But there are so many schools, so many
gurus, so many ashramas, retreats, where this thing is practised.
Q: When it is practised it is just the old trick again.
K: This is so obvious. One goes to India or japan to learn what
it means to be aware – Zen practice, all that. Or is awareness a
movement of constant observation? Not only what I feel, what I
think, but what other people say about me – to listen, if they say it
in front of me – and to be aware of nature, of what is going on in the world. That is total awareness. Obviously it can’t be practised.
Q: It is a non-movement, isn’t it?
K: No, it is movement in the sense of, «alive».
Q: It is a participation.
K: Participation implies action. If there is action through choice,
that is one kind of action; if there is an action of total awareness,
that is a totally different kind of action, «being aware»? You
understand? To be aware of the people around one, the colour,
their attitudes, their walk, the way they eat, the way they think –
without indulging in judgement.
Q: Is it something to do with motive? If you have a motive…
K: Of course. Motive comes into being when there is choice;
that is implied. When I have a motive then choice takes place. I
chose you because I like you, or you flatter me, or you give me
something or other; another doesn’t, therefore there is choice and
so on. So is this possible? – this sense of total awareness.
Q: Is there a degree of awareness?
K: That is, is awareness a process of time?
Q: Can one man be more aware than another?
K: Why should I enquire if you are more aware than I am? just
a minute, let us go into it. Why this comparision? Is this not also
part of our education, our social conditioning, which says we must
compare to progress? – compare one musician with another, one
painter with another and so on. And we think by comparing we
begin to understand. Comparing means measurement, which
implies time, thought, and is it possible to live without comparing
at all? You understand? One is brought up, educated in schools,
colleges and universities to compare oneself with «A», who is much cleverer than myself, and to try to reach his level – this
constant measurement, this constant comparison, and therefore
constant imitation, which is mechanical! So can we find out for
ourselves whether it is possible to be totally sensitive and therefore
aware?
Q: Can you know if you are totally aware or not? Can we be
aware of our awareness?
K: No (laughter). Q: You can be aware when you are not aware.
K: Watch it in yourself; verbally it becomes speculative. When
you are aware do you know you are aware?
Q: No.
K: Find out. Test it, madam, test it. Do you know when you are
happy? The moment you are aware that you are happy it is no
longer happiness.
Q: You know when you have got a pain.
K: That is a different matter. When I have pain I am aware of it
and I act, do something about it. That is one part of being aware,
unless I am paralysed – most people are, in other directions!
So we are asking ourselves, not asking somebody else to tell us,
but one is asking oneself if there is that quality of awareness? Does
one watch the sky, the evening stars, the moon, the birds, people’s
reactions, the whole of it? And what is the difference between that
awareness and attention? In awareness is there a centre from which
you are aware? When I say, «I am aware», then I move from a
centre, I respond to nature from a centre, I respond to my friends,
to my wife, husband or whatever it is – that centre being my
conditioning, my prejudices, my desires, my fears and all the rest
of it. In that awareness there is a centre. In attention there is no centre at all. Now please listen to this for two minutes. You are
now listening to what is being said and you are giving total
attention. That means you are not comparing, you do not say, «I
already know what you are going to say», or, «I have read what you
have said etc. etc». All that has gone, you are completely attentive
and therefore there is no centre and that attention has no border. I
don’t know if you have noticed?
So, by being aware one discovers that one responds from a
centre, from a prejudice, from a conclusion, from a belief, from a
conditioning, which is the centre. And from that centre you react,
you respond. And when there is an awareness of that centre, that
centre yields and in that there is a total attention. I wonder if you
understand this? And this you cannot practise; it would be too
childish, mechanical. So we go to the next question, which is: «Is
there an activity which is not mechanistic?» That means, is there a
part of the brain which is non-mechanical. Do you want to go into
this? No, no, please, this isn’t a game. First of all one has to go into
the question of what is a mechanical mind.
Is the brain, which has evolved through millennia, is that totally
mechanical? Or is there a part of the brain which is not mechanical,
which has never been touched by the machine of evolution? I
wonder if you see.
Q: What do you mean by mechanical?
K: We are going to discuss that, sir. Part of this mechanical
process is functioning within the field of conditioning. That is,
when I act according to a pattern – Catholic, Protestant,
Communist, Hindu, whatever it is, a pattern set by society, by my
reading, or other influences, and accept that pattern or belief – then that is part of the mechanical process. The other part of the
mechanical process is, having had experiences of innumerable
kinds which have left memories, to act according to those
memories: that is mechanical. Like a computer, which is purely
mechanical. Now they are trying to prove it is not so mechanical,
but let’s leave that alone for the moment.
Mechanical action is accepting tradition and following tradition.
One of the aspects of that tradition is acceptance and obedience to
a government, to priests. And the mechanical part of the brain is
following consciously or unconsciously a line set by thought as the
goal and purpose. All that and more is mechanical; and we live that
way.
Q: Is thought of itself mechanical? K: Of course, that is the
whole point. One has to discover this for oneself, not be told by
others, then it becomes mechanical. If we discover for ourselves
how mechanical our thinking, our feeling, our attitudes, our
opinions are, if one is aware of that, it means thought is invariably
mechanistic – thought being the response of memory, experience,
knowledge, which is the past. And responding according to the
pattern of the past is mechanical, which is thought.
Q: All thought?
K: All thought, of course. Whether noble, ignoble, sexual, or
technological thought, it is all thought.
Q: Thought of the great genius also?
K: Absolutely. Wait, we must go into the question of what is a
genius. No, we won’t go into that yet.
If all thought is mechanical, the expression which you often use,
«clear thinking», seems to be a contradiction.       K: No, no. Clear thinking is to see clearly, clear thinking is to
think clearly, objectively, sanely, rationally, wholly.
Q: It is still thought.
K: It is still thought, of course it is.
Q: So what is the use of it? (laughter).
K: If there was clear thought I wouldn’t belong to any political
party! I might create a global party – that is another matter.
Q: Can we get back to your question as to whether there is a
part of the brain which is untouched by conditioning?
K: That’s right, sir; this requires very careful, hesitant, enquiry.
Not saying, «Yes, there is», or, «No, there isn’t». «I have
experienced a state where there is no mechanicalness» – that is too
silly. But to really enquire and find out, you need a great deal of
subtlety, great attentive quality to go step by step into it, not jump.
So we say most of our lives are mechanical. The pursuit of
pleasure is mechanical – but we are pursuing pleasure. Now, how
shall we find out if there is a part of the brain that is not
conditioned? This a very serious question, it is not for
sentimentalists, romantic people, or emotional people; this requires
very clear thinking. When you think very clearly you see the
limitation of thinking.
Q: Are we going to look very clearly at the barriers which
interfere with an unconditioned mind?
K: No, we are trying to understand, or explore together, the
mechanical mind first. Without understanding the totality of that
you can’t find out the other. We have asked the question: «Is there a
part of the brain, part of our total mind – in which is included the
brain, emotions, neurological responses – which is not completely mechanical?» When I put that question to myself I might imagine
that it is not all mechanical because I want the other; therefore I
deceive myself. I pretend that I have got the other. So I must
completely understand the movement of desire. You follow this?
Not suppress it, but under. stand it, have an insight into it – which
me;ms fear, time, and all that we talked about the day before
yesterday. So we are now enquiring whether our total activity is
mechanistic? That means am I, are you, clinging to memories? The
Hitlerian memories and all that, the memories of various
pleasurable and painful experiences, the memories of sexual
fulfilment and the pleasures and so on. That is: is one living in the
past?
Q: Always, I am.
K: Of course! So all that you are is the past, which is
mechanical. So knowledge is mechanical. I wonder if you see this?
Q: Why is it so difficult to see this?
K: Because we are not aware of our inward responses, of what
actually is going on within ourselves – not to imagine what is going
on, or speculate about it, or repeat what we have been told by
somebody else, but actually to be aware of what is going on.
Q: Aren’t we guided to awareness by experience?
K: No. Now wait a minute. What do you mean by experience?
The word itself means, «to go through» – to go through, finish, not
retain. You have said something that hurts me, that has left a mark
on the brain, and when I meet you that memory responds.
Obviously. And is it possible when you hurt me, say something
cruel, or justified, or violent, to observe it and not register it? Try
it, sir; you try it, test it out.       Q: It is very difficult because the memory has already been hurt;
we never forget it.
K: Do go into this. From childhood we are hurt, it happens to
everybody, in school, at home, at college, in universities, the whole
of society is a process of hurting others. One has been hurt and one
lives in that consciously or unconsciously. So there are two
problems involved: the past hurt retained in the brain, and not to be
hurt; the memory of hurts, and never to be hurt; Now is that
possible?
Q: If «you» are not there.
K: Go into it. You will discover it for yourself and find out.
That is, you have been hurt.
Q: The image of myself…
K: Go into it slowly. What is hurt? The image that you have
built about yourself, that has been hurt. Why do you have an image
about yourself? Because that is the tradition, part of our education,
part of our social reactions. There is an image about myself, and
there is an image about you in relation to my image. So I have got
half a dozen images and more. And that image about myself has
been hurt. You call me a fool and I shrink: it has been hurt. Now,
how am I to dissolve that hurt and not be hurt in the future,
tomorrow, or the next moment? You follow the question? There
are two problems involved in this. One, I have been hurt and that
creates a great deal of neurotic activity, resistance, self protection,
fear; all that is involved in the past hurt. Second, how not to be hurt
any more.
Q: One has to be totally involved.
K: Look at it and you will see. You have been hurt, haven’t you – I am not talking to you personally – and you resist, you are afraid
of being hurt more. So you build a wall round yourself, isolate
yourself, and the extreme form of that isolation is total withdrawal
from all relationship. And you remain in that but you have to live,
you have to act. So you are always acting from a centre that is hurt
and therefore acting neurotically. You can see this happening in the
world, in oneself. And how are those hurts to be totally dissolved
and not leave a mark? Also in the future how not to be hurt at all?
The question is clear, isn’t it.
Now how do you approach this question? How to dissolve the
hurts, or how not to be hurt at all? Which is the question you put to
yourself, which do you want answered? Dissolve all the hurts, or
no more hurts? Which is it that comes to you naturally?
Q: No more hurts.
K: So the question is: «Is it possible not to be hurt?» Which
means is it possible not to have an image about yourself?
Q: If we see that image is false… K: Not false or true. Don’t you
see, you are already operating in the field of thought? Is it possible
not to have an image at all about yourself, or about another,
naturally? And if there is no image, isn’t that true freedom? Ah,
you don’t see it.
Q: Sir, if what happens to you is of no importance to you, then
it doesn’t matter and it won’t hurt you. If you have managed to get
rid of your self-importance…
K: The gentleman says if you can get rid of your self-
importance, your arrogance, your vanity, then you won’t be hurt.
But how am I to get rid of all that garbage which I have collected?
(laughter).       Q: I think you can get rid of it by being entirely aware of the
relationship between yourself and your physical body and your
thinking. How you control your physical body and…
K: I don’t want to control anything, my body, my mind, my
emotions. That is the traditional, mechanistic response. Sorry!
(laughter). Please go into this a little bit and you will see. First of
all, the idea of getting rid of an image implies that there is an entity
who is different from the image. Therefore he can kick the image.
But is the image different from the entity who says, «I must get rid
of it»? They are both the same, therefore there is no control. I
wonder if you see that. When you see that you are no longer
functioning mechanically.
Q: Surely by destroying one image we are immediately building
another one?
K: We are going to find out if it is possible to be free of all
images, not only the present ones but the future ones. Now why
does the mind create an image about itself? I say I am a Christian,
that is an image. I believe in the saviour, in Christ, in all the ritual,
why? Because that is my conditioning. Go to India and they say,
«What are you talking about, Christ? I have got my own gods, as
good as yours, if not better» (laughter). So that is their
conditioning. If I am born in Russia and educated there I say, «I
believe in neither. The State is my god and Marx is the first
prophet and so on and so on. So the image formation is brought
about through propaganda, conditioning, tradition.
Q: Is that related to the fact that out of fear one behaves in a
certain way which is not natural for one to behave; and therefore
one is not being oneself? And that is making the image you are talking about.
K: The image is what we call ourself: «I must express myself»,
«I must fulfil myself». «Myself» is the image according to the
environment and culture in which one has been born. I believe
there was a tribe in America, among the Red Indians, where
anybody who had an image about himself was killed (laughter),
was liquidated, because it led to ambition and all the rest of it. I
wonder what would happen if they did it to all of us. It would be a
lovely world, wouldn’t it? (laughter).
So is it possible not to create images at all? That is, I am aware
that I have an image, brought about through culture, through
propaganda, tradition, the family, the whole pressure.
Q: We cling to the known.
K: That is the known, tradition is the known. And my mind is
afraid to let that known go, to let the image go, because the
moment it lets it go it might lose a profitable position in society,
might lose status, might lose a certain relationship; so it is
frightened and holds on to that image. The image is merely words,
it has no reality. It is a series of words, a sense of responses to
those words, a series of beliefs which are words. I believe in Marx,
in Christ, or in Krishna or whatever they believe in India. They are
just words ideologically clothed. And if I am not a slave to words,
then I begin to lose the image. I wonder if you see how significant
deeply rooted words have become.
Q: If one is listening to what you say and realizes that one has
an image about oneself, and that there is a large discrepancy
between the image one has of oneself and the ideal of freedom…
K: It is not an ideal…       Q:.. freedom itself… then knowing that there is a discrepancy,
can one think of freedom, knowing that it is just an idea?
K: Is freedom an abstraction, a word, or a reality?
Q: It is being free of relationship, is it not?
K: No please, we are jumping from one thing to another. Let us
go step by step. We began by asking whether there is any part of
the brain, any part of the total entity, that is not conditioned? We
said conditioning means image-forming. The image that gets hurt
and the image that protects itself from being hurt. And we said
there is only freedom – the actuality of that state, not the word, not
the abstraction – when there is no image, which is freedom. When I
am not a Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Communist, Socialist, I have
no label and therefore no label inside. Now is it possible not to
have an image at all? And how does that come about?
Q: Isn’t it all to do with the activity…
K: Look, we come to a point and go off after something else.
One wants to find out whether it is possible to live in this world
without a single image.
Q: When there is no observer there is nothing observed, and yet
one comes across something in this silence…
K: Madam, is this an actual fact that there is no observer in your
life – not only occasionally. Is it possible to be free of the image
that society, the environment, culture, education has built in one?
Because one is afl that; you are the result of your environment, of
your culture, of your knowledge, of your education, of your job, of
your pleasure, you are all that.
Q: What happens to one’s sense of orientation without a centre.
K: All that comes a little later, please.       Q: If you are aware of your conditioning does that free you?
K: Now, are you actually aware – not theoretically or in the
abstract – actually aware that you are conditioned this way, and
therefore you have got an image?
Q: If you don’t have the image then you don’t know what your
place is.
K: «If you have no image then you do not know what your place
is.» Listen to that carefully. If you have no image, you have no
place in the world. Which means if you have no image you are
insecure. Go step by step. Now are you, having a place in the
world, secure?
Q: No.
K: Be actual.
Q: When you see that the image that you have built, which you
are attached to, when you see that it is just a load of words…
K: You are finding security in a word: and it is not security at
all. We have lived in words and made those words something
fantastically real. So if you are seeking security, it is not in an
image; it is not in your environment, in your culture. One must
have security, that is essential, food, clothes, and shelter; one must
have it otherwise one can’t function. Now that is denied totally
when I belong to a small group. When I say I am a German, or a
Russian, or an Englishman, I deny complete security. I deny
security because the words, the labels have become important, not
security. This is what is actually happening, the Arabs and the
Israelis both want security, and both are accepting words and all
the rest of it.
Now we come to the point. Is it possible to live in this world, not to go off into some fantastic realm of illusion, or to some
monastery, and to live in this world without a single image and be
totally secure.
Q: How can we be secure in a sick society?
K: I am going to go into this, madam, I’ll show it to you.
Q: It is competitive, it is vicious.
K: Please go with me. I’ll show you that there is complete
security, absolute security, not in images.
Q: To be totally aware every moment, then your conditioning
does not exist.
K: Not if you are aware. Are you aware that you have an image
and that image has been formed by the culture, the society? Are
you aware of that image? You discover that image in relationship,
don’t you? Now we are asking ourselves whether it is possible to be
free of images. That means, when you say something to me that is
vulgar, hurting, at the moment to be totally aware of what you are
saying and how I am responding. Totally aware, not partially, but
to be totally aware of both the pleasurable image and the
displeasurable image. To be aware totally at the moment of the
reaction to your insult or praise. Then at that moment you don’t
form an image. There is no recording in the brain of the hurt, the
insult or the flattery, therefore there is no image. That requires
* See Discussion about security, pages 39-43. tremendous
attention at the moment, which demands a great inward perception,
which is only possible when you have looked at it, watched it,
when you have worked. Don’t just say, «Well, tell me all about it; I
want to be comfortable».
Q: Who watches all this?       K: Now, who watches all this? If there is a watcher, then the
image is continuous. If there is no watcher there is no image. In
that state of attention the hurt and the flattery are both observed,
not reacted to. You can only observe when there is no observer,
who is the past. It is the past observer that gets hurt. Where there is
only observation when there is flattery or insult, then it is finished.
And that is real freedom.
Now follow it. In this world, if I have no image, you say I shall
not be secure. One has found security in things, in a house, in
property, in a bank account, that is what we call security. And one
has also found security in belief. If I am a Catholic living in Italy, I
believe that; it is much safer to believe what ten thousand people
believe. There I have a place. And when my belief is questioned I
resist.
Now can there be a total awareness of all this? The mind
becomes tremendously active, you understand? Not just saying, «I
must be aware», «I must learn how to be attentive». You are
tremendously active, the brain is alive. Then we can move from
that to find out if there is in the brain a part that has not been
conditioned at all, a part of the brain which is non-mechanistic. I
am putting a false question, I don’t know if you see that. Do see it
quickly, do see it. Please just listen for two minutes, I am on fire!
If there is no image, which is mechanical, and there is freedom
from the image, then there is no part of the brain that has been
conditioned. Full stop! Then my whole brain is unconditioned.
Q: It is on fire! K: Yes, therefore it is non-mechanistic and that
has a totally different kind of energy; not the mechanistic energy. I
wonder if you see this. Please don’t make an abstraction of it because then it becomes words. But to see this, that your brain has
been conditioned through centuries, saying survival is only
possible if you have an image, which is created by the circle in
which you live and that circle gives you complete security. We
have accepted that as tradition and we live in that way. I am an
Englishman, I am better than anybody else, or a Frenchman, or
whatever it is. Now my brain is conditioned, I don’t know whether
it is the whole or part, I only know that it is conditioned. There can
be no enquiry into the unconditioned state until the conditioning is
non-existent. So my whole enquiry is to find out whether the mind
can be unconditioned, not to jump into the other, because that is
too silly. So I am conditioned by belief, by education, by the
culture in which I have lived, by everything, and to be totally
aware of that, not discard it, not suppress it, not control it, but to be
totally aware of it. Then you will find if you have gone that far
there is security only in being nothing.
Q: What about images in racial prejudices? Do you belong to a
community? I quite agree with you. You don’t want any
psychological image but you must have a physical image for your
physical survival… even if you want to drop it everyone forces it
on you.
K: Sir, if one wants to survive physically, what is preventing it?
All the psychological barriers which man has created. So remove
all those psychological barriers and you have complete security.
Q: No, because the other one involves you in it, not yourself.
K: Nobody can put you into prison.
Q: They kill you. K: Then they kill you, all right (laughter).
Then you will find out how to meet death (laughter). Not imagine what you are going to feel when you die – which is another image.
Oh, I don’t know if you see all this.
So nobody can put you psychologically into prison. You are
already there (laughter). We are pointing out that it is possible a to
be totally free of images, which is the result of our conditioning.
And one of the questions about the biography is about that very
point. How was that young boy, whatever he was, how was he not
conditioned right through? I won’t go into that because it is a very
complex problem. If one is aware of one’s own conditioning then
the whole thing becomes very simple. Then genius is something
entirely different. And that leaves the question: What is creation?
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART II CHAPTER 7
2ND PUBLIC DIALOGUE BROCKWOOD PARK
11TH SEPTEMBER 1975

Questioner (1): You were going to speak on what is creation; could
you say something about creative intelligence 1.
Q(2): Is there any reality in the belief in reincarnation? And
what is the nature and quality of the meditative mind?
Q(3): What is the difference between denial and suppression of
habits?
Q(4): You were saying that for the mind to function sanely one
must have great security, food and shelter. This seems logical. But
it seems that in order to try and find a way to having this security
one encounters the horrors and the difficulties which make things
so hard and impossible sometimes. What is the right action in this
connection?
Krishnamurti: I don’t quite follow this.
Q: How are we to live to have this basic security without taking
part in all the horrors that are involved in it.
K: You are asking, what is correct action in a world that is
chaotic, where there is no security and yet one must have security.
What is one to do? Is that the question?
Q(5): I have a question which, when I ask it of myself, I always
come up against a wall. I say, «I am the observer, and I would like
to see the whole of the observer. I cannot see the whole of the
observer because I can only see in fragments. So how is the
observer to see the whole of the observer unless there is no
observer? How can the observer see the observer with no observer?       K: How can one see the whole of the observer and can the
observer watch himself as the observer. Is that the question?
Q(6) This is about the state of mind in observation. Now when a
situation occurs, what holds one to the observation that the
observer is not different from what is observed? There seems a
lack of attention at the moment, at that point; but that attention
requires a tremendous vitality that we don’t have.
K: Have I understood the question rightly? We do not have
enough energy to observe wholly. Is that it?
Q: Yes.
K: Now which of these questions shall we talk over together?
Q(7): May I ask a question? Can an act of willpower – I think
you call it an act of friction – can this generate the vitality or the
passion?
K: Can will generate sufficient energy to see clearly? Would
that be right?
Q: Yes.
Q(8): What happens to the brain and the process of thought
during hypnosis? For medical reasons we use hypnosis. What is the
process of thought in that particular case?
K: We have got so many questions. What shall we begin with?
The observer?
Q: Yes. K: To see the whole of the observer one needs energy
and how is that energy to be derived? How is that energy to be
acquired? And will that energy reveal the totality of the nature and
structure of the observer? Should we discuss that? And what is the
quality of the mind that has this meditative process? How is one to
observe the whole of something, psychologically? How is one to be aware of oneself totally? Can we begin with that?
Q: Surely one can only be aware of the totality if one loses
oneself.
K: Yes, sir. Is it possible to see the totality of one’s reactions,
the motives, the fears, the anxieties, the sorrows, the pain, the
totality of all that? Or must one see it in fragments, in layers? Shall
we discuss that? How is one to be aware of the content of one’s
consciousness?
What is consciousness? What do you think is consciousness –
under hypnosis, as well as when one is not hypnotized? Most of us
are hypnotised – by words, by propaganda, by tradition, by all the
things that we believe in. We are hypnotized not only by external
influence, but also we have our own peculiar process of
hypnotizing ourselves into believing something, or not believing
and so on. Can one see the totality of one’s consciousness? Let us
enquire into this.
Q: The observer cannot see it.
K: Don’t let us say one can, one cannot, it is so, it is not so. Let’s
enquire.
Q: One has the feeling one has got to begin!
K: We are going to begin, sir (laughter). How shall I begin,
from where shall I begin? To be aware of myself, myself being all
the beliefs, the dogmas, conclusions, the fears, the anxieties, the
pain, the sorrow, the fear of death, the whole of that – where shall
we begin to find out the content of this? Q: You just asked what
consciousness was.
K: We are going into that.
Q: If one is going to observe, is it true that one has to stand outside the things that one is observing?
K: Madam, I am asking, if I may, how shall I begin to enquire
into the whole structure of myself. If I am interested, if I am
serious, where shall I begin?
Q: Is the question, «Who am I?»
K: That becomes intellectual, verbal. I begin to know myself in
my relationship to others – do let’s face that fact. I cannot know
myself in abstraction. Whereas if I could observe what my
reactions are in relationship to another, then I begin to enquire.
That is much closer, more accurate and revealing. Can we do that?
That is, in my relationship to nature, to the neighbour and so on, I
discover the nature of myself. So how do I observe my reactions in
my relationship with another?
Q: Each time I see something about myself in a reaction it
becomes knowledge, it becomes something retainable.
K: I wonder if we are aware what takes place in our relationship
with another. You all seem to be so vague about this matter.
Q: When I am very interested in some relationship I notice that
I can’t really observe. When I am angry in my relationship I see
immediately that I really can’t observe what is going on.
K: What do we mean by relationship?
Q: When we seem to want something…
K: Look at the word first, the meaning of the word.
Q: I like to compare myself with the other person. K: We are
asking the meaning of the word itself, relationship.
Q(1): Communication.
Q(2): It means you are relating to that person.
K: When I say I am related to my wife, or to my husband, father, son, neighbour, what does that mean?
Q(1): I care for the person.
Q(2): The whole human race is one’s brother.
Q(3): I’d rather you told us.
K: Ah! (laughter). Relationship means – I am enquiring please, I
am not stating it – doesn’t relationship mean to respond accurately.
To be related, the meaning in the dictionary is, to respond –
relationship comes from that word. Now how do I respond in my
relationship to you, or to my wife, husband and all the rest of it?
Am I responding according to the image I have about you? Or are
we both free of the images and therefore responding accurately?
Q: Isn’t it largely subconscious?
K: First let us see what the word in itself means.
Q: What do you mean by accurate?
K: Accurate means care – the word accurate means to have great
care. If you care for something you act accurately. If you care for
your motor you must be very well acquainted with it, you must
know all the mechanical processes of it. Accurate means infinite
care; we are using that word in that sense. When there is a
relationship with another, either intimate, or distant, the response
depends on the image you have about the other, or the image the
other has about you. And when we act or respond according to that
image, it is inaccurate, it is not with complete care. Q: What is a
love and hate relationship?
K: We will come to that. I have an image about you and you
have an image about me. That image has been put together through
pleasure, fear, nagging, domination, possession, various hurts,
impatience and so on. Now when we act or respond according to that image, then that action, being incomplete, 1-s inaccurate, or
without care, which we generally call love. Are you aware that you
have an image about another? And having that image you respond
according to the past, because the image has been put together and
has become the past.
Q: And also it is according to one’s selfish desires.
K: I said that, fear, desire, selfishness.
Q: You can’t think of another person without an image; how can
you write a letter without an image?
K: How quickly you want to resolve everything, don’t you? First
of all, can we be aware that we have an image, not only about
ourselves but about another?
Q: The two images are in relation, images of the other are in
relation with the image of yourself.
K: You see what you are saying – there is a thing different from
the image.
Q: The image of the other is made from the image of yourself.
K: That is what we said.
Q: Would anything practical help?
K: This is the most practical thing if you listen to this. The
practical thing is to observe clearly what we are and act from there.
Is one aware that one has an image about another? And is one
aware that one has an image about oneself? Are you aware of that?
This is a simple thing. I injure you, I hurt you, and you naturally
have an image about me. I give you pleasure and you have an
image about me. And according to that hurt or pleasure you react,
and that reaction, being fragmentary, must be inaccurate, not
whole. This is simple. Can we go on from there.       Now what do you do with the image you have built about
another? I am aware that I have an image about myself and I have
an image about you, so I have got two images. Am I conscious of
this? Now if I have an image, why has this image been put
together? And who is it that has put the image together? You
understand the question?
Q(1): Is it fear that creates the image?
Q(2): Is experience a necessary imaginative process?
Q(3): Previous images.
Q(4): Lack of attention.
K: How does it come? Not through lack of something, but how
does it come? You say through experience, through various
incidents, through words…
Q: Retaining it all as memory.
K: Which is all the movement of thought, isn’t it? So thought as
movement, which is time, put this image together, created this
image. It does it because it wants to protect itself. Am I inventing,
or fabricating this, or is this actual?
Q: Actual.
K: That means «what is». Actuality means «what is». (Sorry, I
am not teaching you English!)
Q: It means that it then can see itself.
K: No, no. You have an image about me, haven’t you?
Q: Well, it is changing. K: Wait, go slow (laughter). You have
an image about me, haven’t you, if you are honest, look into
yourself, you see you have an image. How has that image been
brought about? You have read something, you have listened to
something, there is a reputation, a lot of talk about it, some articles in the papers and so on. So all this has influenced thought and out
of that you have created an image. And you have an image, not
only about yourself but about the other. So when you respond
according to an image about the speaker you are responding
inaccurately; in that there is no care. We said care implies
attention, affection, accuracy. That means to act according to «what
is». Now let’s move from there.
Q: Is not an image a thought form?
K: We said that, a thought.
Q: Thought has created images and it seems to imply that
thought has created thought so…
K: Wait, we will get very far if we go slowly. So thought has
built this image through time. It may be one day or fifty years. And
I see in my relationship to another this image plays a tremendous
part. If I become conscious, if I don’t act mechanically, I become
aware and see how extraordinarily vital this image is. Then my
next question is: is it possible to be free of the image? I have an
image as a Communist, believing in all kinds of ideas, or as a
Catholic – you follow. This whole cultural economic, social
background has built this image also. And I react according to that,
there is a reaction according to that image. I think this is clear.
Now is one aware of it? Then one asks: is it necessary? If it is
necessary one should keep it, one should have the image. If it is not
necessary how is one to be free of it? Now, is it necessary?
Q: Images form the whole chaos in the world where we live, so
it is not necessary. K: He says this whole image-making is bringing
about chaos in the world.
Q: Aren’t we making a lot of judgements?       K: Are we making a lot of judgements?
Q: In making an image there is a lot of judgement.
K: Yes, but we are asking a little more. We are asking whether
it is necessary to have these images?
Q: No, we can be free of it.
K: Is it necessary? First let us see that.
Q: No.
K: Then if it is not necessary why do we keep it? (laughter).
Q: I have a feeling, being what we are, we can hardly help it.
K: We are going to find out whether it is possible to be free of
this image, and whether it is worth while to be free of this image,
and what does it mean to be free of the image.
Q: What is the relation with the chaos? Is it judging that is
wrong?
K: No, no, sir. Look, I have an image about myself as a
Communist and I believe in Marx, his economic principles, I am
strongly committed to that. And I reject everything else. But you
think differently and you are committed to that. So there is a
division between you and me, and that division invariably brings
conflict I believe that I am Indian and I am committed to Indian
nationalism, and you are a committed Muslim and there is division
and conflict. So thought has created this division, thought has
created these images, these labels, these beliefs and so there is
contradiction and division, which brings conflict and therefore
chaos. That is a fact. So you think life is a process of infinite
conflicts, neverending conflicts, then you must keep these images.
I don’t say it is, we are asking. I believe there have been more than
five thousand wars within the last two thousand years and we have accepted that. To have our sons killed because we have these
images. And if we see that is not necessary, that it is really a
tremendous danger to survival, then I must find out how to be free
of the images.
Q: I think something else is involved in this, because you say
we always react from the past, but what difference does it make –
the past is a cyclic phenomenon that repeats so you can’t prevent
yourself, you know it is a fact that you will repeat it in the same
way all the time.
K: We are talking about the necessity…
Q: (interrupting) You are pitting yourself against necessity…
K:.. of having an image, or not having an image. If we are clear
that these images are a real danger, really a destructive process,
then we want to get rid of them. But if you say: I keep my little
image and you keep your little image, then we are at each other’s
throat. So if we can see very clearly that these images, labels,
words, are destroying human beings…
Q: Krishnamurti, doesn’t spiritual commitment give us the
penetration or energy? I mean if I am a committed Buddhist and I
channel my energy in that direction, it doesn’t necessarily mean
that I am in conflict with those who aren’t Buddhists.
K: Just examine that please. If I am a committed human being,
committed to Buddhism, and another is committed to the Christian
dogma, and another to Communism…
Q: That is not my concern.
K: Isn’t this what is happening in life? Don’t say it is not my
business if you are a Communist. It is my business to see if we can
live in security, in peace in the world, we are human beings, supposed to be intelligent. Why should I be committed to
anything?
Q: Because it gives energy, the power of penetration.
K: No, no.
Q: The danger is that we are moving away from the central fact.
K: Yes, we are always moving away from the central fact.
Q: We are doing that right now: the image is not necessary.
K: People think it is necessary to be an Englishman, a German,
a Hindu, a Catholic, they think it is important. They don’t see the
danger of it.
Q:1: Some people think it is not necessary.
Q:2: Why don’t we see the danger?
K: Because we are so heavily conditioned, it is so profitable.
My job depends on it. I might not be able to marry my son to
somebody who is a Catholic. All that stuff. So the point is: if one
sees the danger of these images, how can the mind free itself from
them?
Q: Can «I» be there when no image is formed?
K: Images, whether they are old or new, are the same images.
Q: Yes, but when an image is formed can I be aware?
K: We are first of all going to go into that. How is an image
formed? Is it formed through inattention? You get angry with me
and if at that moment I am totally attentive to what you say there is
no anger. I wonder if you realize this?
Q: So the image and the image-former must be the same in that
case. K: Keep it very simple. I say something that doesn’t give you
pleasure. You have an image instantly, haven’t you? Now at that
moment, if you are completely aware, is there an image?       Q: If you don’t have that new image, all the other images are
gone.
K: Yes, that is the whole point. Can one be attentive at the
moment of listening? You are listening now, can you be totally
attentive? And when someone called you by an unpleasant name,
or gives you pleasure, at that moment, at that precise moment, can
you be totally aware? Have you ever tried this? You can test it out,
because that is the only way to find out, not accept the speaker’s
words. You can test it out. Then if there is no image-forming, and
therefore no image, then what is the relationship between the two.
You have no image about me, but I have an image about you; then
what is your relationship to me? You have no image because you
see the danger of it, but I don’t see the danger of it, I have my
images and you are related to me, as wife, husband, father,
whatever it is. I have the image and you have not. Then what is
your relationship to me? And what is my relationship to you?
Q: There is a barrier somewhere.
K: Of course there is a barrier, but we are asking what is that
relationship. You are my wife; and I am very ambitious, greedy,
envious, I want to succeed in this world, make a lot of money,
position, prestige, and you say, «How absurd all that is, don’t be
like that, don’t be silly, don’t be traditional, don’t be mechanical,
that is just the old pattern being repeated». What happens between
you and me?
Q: Division.
K: And we talk together about love. I go off to the office here I
am brutal, ambitious, ruthless, and I come home and am very
pleasant to you – because I want to sleep with you. What is the relationship?
Q(1): No good.
Q(2): No relationship.
K: No relationship at all. At last ! And yet this is what we call
love.
So what is the relationship between you and me when I have an
image and you have no image? Either you leave me, or we live in
conflict. You don’t create conflict but I create conflict because I
have an image. So is it possible in our relationship with each other
to help each other to be free of images? You understand my
question? I am related to you by some misfortune, sexual demands
and so on and so on. I am related to you and you are free of the
images and I am not, and therefore you care infinitely. I wonder if
you see that? To you it is tremendously important to be free of
images – and I am your father, wife, husband or whatever it is.
Then will you abandon me?
Q: No.
K: Don’t say «no» so easily. You care, you have affection, you
feel totally differently. So what will you do with me?
Q: There is nothing you can do.
K: Why can’t you do something with me? Do go into it, don’t
theorize about it. You are all in that position. Life is this.
Q(1): It depends if this person has the capacity to see what the
truth of the matter is.
Q(2): See through it all and don’t take any notice of it (laughter).
K: When I am nagging you all the time? You people just play with
words. You don’t take actuality and look at it.
Q: Surely if you have no image in yourself and you look at another person, you won’t see their image either.
K: If I have no image I see very clearly that you have an image.
This is happening in the world, this is happening in every family,
in every situation in relationship – you have something free and I
have not and the battle is between us.
Q: I think that situation is in everything.
K: That is what I am saying. What do you do? just drop it and
disappear and become a monk? Form a community? Go off in
meditation and all the rest of it? Here is a tremendous problem.
Q(1): I tell you how I feel, first of all.
Q(2): But surely this is fictitious, because we are trying to
imagine.
K: I have said that if you have an image and I have an image,
then we live very peacefully because we are both blind and we
don’t care.
Q: That situation you have created for us because you want us
to be free of images!
K: Of course, of course, I want you to be free of images because
otherwise we are going to destroy the world.
Q: I see that.
K: The situation is not being created for you: it is there. Look at
it.
Q: I have an image about you, and I have had it for a long time.
And there are different kinds of images. I have been trying to get
rid of those images because I have read that they have created
problems for me. Now every time I try to work it out with you; and
yet it hasn’t helped.
K: I’ll show you how to get rid of it, how to be free of images.       Q: I don’t believe you, sir.
K: Then don’t believe me (laughter).
Q: All the time you are just sitting there talking. Abstractions
and abstractions. Me having an image about you means you are
sitting up on the platform being an enlightened person I am here as
a listener, let’s say a disciple or a pupil. Now I feel very strongly
that is not actuality or reality because we are two human beings.
But still you are the king of gurus, you are the one who knows
and… (laughter).
K: Please don’t laugh, sirs, be quiet, he is telling you some
thing, please listen. May I show you something?
If that image of the guru has not created a problem you would
live with that guru happily, wouldn’t you? But it has created a
problem, whether it is the guru, the wife, or the husband – it is the
same thing. You have got the image about the speaker as the
supreme guru (Krishnamurti and others laugh) – the word means,
one who dispels ignorance, one who dispels the ignorance of
another. But generally the gurus impose their ignorance on you.
You have an image about me as the guru, or you have an image
about another as a Christian and so on. If that pleases you, if that
gives you satisfactIon you will hold on to it – won’t you? That is
simple enough. If it causes trouble then you say, «It is terrible to
have this» and you move away, form another relationship which is
pleasant; but it is the same image-making. So one asks: is it
possible to be free of images. The speaker sits on the platform
because it is convenient, so you can all see; I can equally sit on the
ground but you will have the same image. So the height doesn’t
make any difference. The question is, whether the mind – the mind being part of thought, and thought has created these images – can
thought dispel these images? Thought has created it and thought
can dispel it because it is unsatisfactory and create another image
which will be satisfactory. This is what we do. I don’t like that guru
for various reasons and I go to another because he praises me,
gives me garlands and says, «My dear chap, you are the best
disciple I have». So thought has created this image. Can thought
undo the image?
Q: Not if you are looking at it intellectually. But looking at it
intellectually, you are not using your senses.
K: I am asking that first. Look at it. Can the intellect, reasoning,
dispel the image?
Q: No.
K: Then what will?
Q: The thing that stands in the way is merely self, the «I». If you
overcome this…
K: I know; but I don’t want to go into the much more complex
problem of the «I».
Q: You say the image is what he means by the «I», but what do
you mean by the «I»?
K: Of course, of course. How does thought get rid of the image
without creating another image?
Q: If the guru causes trouble and it feels uncomfortable with the
image, if one can see the trouble then perhaps that guru can help?
K: You are not going into it at all, you are just scratching on the
surface.
Q: Thought cannot get rid of the image.
K: If that is so, then what will? Q: Understanding.       K: Don’t use words like understanding. What do you mean by
understanding?
Q: Getting rid of the thoughts.
K: Now who is going to get rid of thought?
Q: Is it a question of time? Could it be that our energies are all
in the past, and we need to think now?
K: All the images are in the past. Why can’t I drop all that and
live in the now?
Q: That is what I meant.
K: Yes. How can I? With the burden of the past, how to get rid
of the past burden? It comes to the same thing.
Q: if one lives in the present, do the past images still come
through?
K: Can you live in the present? Do you know what it means to
live in the present? That means not a single memory, except
technological memories, not a single breath of the past. Therefore
you have to understand the totality of the past, which is all this
memory, experience, knowledge, imagination, images. You go
from one thing to another, you don’t pursue one thing steadily.
Q(1): Please keep going with one having no image and the other
having an image.
Q(2): Yes, but we don’t answer it.
K: I’ll answer it, all right. You have no image and I have an
image. What happens? Aren’t we eternally at war with each other?
Q: What am I going to do with you?
K: We are living on the same earth, in the same house, meet-
ing often, living in the same community, what will you do with
me?       Q: I would try to explain to him what I’ve learned.
K: Yes, you have explained it to me, but I like my image
(laughter).
Q: Sir, we cannot know because we have these images of
urselves.
K: That is all I am saying! You are living in images and you
don’t know how to be free of them. These are all speculative
questions.
So let’s begin again. Are you aware that you have images? If
you have images that are pleasant and you cling to them, and
discard those which are unpleasant, you still have images. The
question really is, can you be free of them?
Q: Go and listen to some music.
K: The moment that music stops you are back to those images.
This is all so childish. Take drugs, that also creates various images.
Q: Isn’t there division between wanting to hold on to the images
and wanting to let them go.
K: What is the line, the division? The division is desire, isn’t it?
Listen, sir. I don’t like that image, I am going to let it go. But I like
this image, I am going to hold on to it. So it is desire, isn’t it?
Q: I feel there is a pleasure-motive even in…
K: Of course. You don’t stick to one thing, sir.
Q: If I have no image, then the other has no image at all.
K: How inaccurate that is. Because I am blind therefore you are
also blind! This is so illogical; do think clearly. What should I do
so that there is no image-forming at all? Let us think together.
Q: I think most people – I am sorry – I think most people here
are looking for consolation in your words, rather than anything else…
K: I am aware that I have images, I know. There is no question
of it, I know I have images. I have an image about myself and I
have an image about you – that is very clear. If I am satisfied with
you and we have the same images, then we are both satisfied. That
is, if you think as I think – you like to be ambitious, I like to be
ambitious – then we are both in the same boat, we don’t quarrel, we
accept it, and we live together, work together, are both ruthlessly
ambitious. But if you are free of the image of ambition and I am
not, the trouble begins. What then will you do, who are free of that
image, with me? You can’t just say, «Well it is not my business» –
because we are living together, we are in the same world, in the
same community, in the same group and so on. What will you do
with me? Please just listen to this. Will you discard me, will you
turn your back on me, will you run away from me, will you join a
monastery, learn how to meditate? Do afl kinds of things in order
to avoid me? Or will you say, «Yes, he is here in my house». What
will you do with regard to me, who has an image?
Q: First I would ask you politely to listen.
K: But I won’t listen. Haven’t you lived with people who are
adamant in their beliefs. You are like that.
Q: It is best not to waste one’s time.
K: We are going to find out, sir. You see this is really a
hypothetical question because you have got images and you live in
those images, and the other person lives in images. That is our
difficulty. Suppose I have no images, and I haven’t, I have worked
at this for fifty years, so I have no image about myself, or about
you. What is our relationship? I say please listen to me, but you won’t. I say please pay attention, which means care, to attend
means infinite care. Will you listen to me that way? That means
you really want to learn – not from me, but learn about yourself.
That means you must infinitely care and watch yourself, not
selfishly, but care to learn about yourself – not according to me, or
to Freud, or Jung, or to the latest psychologist, but learn about
yourself. That means, watch yourself; and you can only do that in
your relationship with each other. You say, «You are sitting on that
platform and you have gradually assumed, at least in my eyes, a
position of authority, you have become my guru». And I say to
you, «My friend just listen. I am not your guru. I won’t be a guru to
anybody.» It is monstrous to be a guru. Are you listening when I
say this? Or do you say, «I can’t listen to you because my mind is
wandering’. So when you listen, listen with care, with affection,
with attention, then you begin to learn about yourself, actually as
you are. Then, from there we can move, we can go forward; but if
you don’t do that, but keep on repeating, «Oh I have got my image,
I don’t know how to get rid of it» and so on, then we don’t move
any further.
Now you have an image with regard to sex, that you must have
a girl or a boy. We are so conditioned in this. I say to you please
listen, are you aware that you are conditioned – don’t choose parts
of the conditioning: be totally aware of your whole conditioning.
We are conditioned much more at the deeper levels than at the
superficial levels – is that clear? One is conditioned very deeply,
and superficially less so. listening with your heart, not with your
little mind, with your heart, with the whole of your being, is it
possible to be totally aware of all this, the whole of consciousness? To be totally aware implies no observer. The observer is the past
and therefore when he observes he brings about fragmentation.
When I observe from the past, what I observe brings about a frag-
mentary outlook. I only see parts, I don’t see the whole. This is
simple. So I have an insight that says, «Don’t look from the past».
That means, don’t have an observer who is all the time judging,
evaluating, saying, «This right, this is wrong», «I am a Christian, I
am a Communist» – all that is the past, Now can you listen to that,
which is a fact, which is actual, which is not theoretical? You are
facing actually what is. Are you facing in yourself what actually is
going on? And can you observe another without the past – without
all the accumulated memories, insults, hurts – so that you can look
at another with clear eyes? If you say, «I don’t know how to do it»,
then we can go into that.
As we said, any form of authority in this matter is the reaction
of submission to somebody who says he knows. That is your
image. The professor, the teacher knows mathematics, geography, I
don’t, so I learn from him, and gradually he becomes my authority.
He knows, I don’t know. But here, psychologically, I think I don’t
know how to approach myself, how to learn about it, therefore I
look to another – the same process. But the other is equally
ignorant as me, because he doesn’t know himself. He is tradition-
bound, he accepts obedience, he becomes the authority, he says he
knows and you don’t know: «You become my disciple and I will
tell you». The same process. But it is not the same process
psychologically. Psychologically the guru is «me». I wonder if you
see that? He is as ignorant as myself. He has got a lot of Sanskrit
words, a lot of ideas, a lot of superstitions; and I am so gullible I accept him. Here we say there is no authority, no guru, you have to
learn about yourself. And to learn about yourself, watch yourself,
how you behave with another, how you walk. Then you find that
you have an image about yourself, a tremendous image. And you
see these images create great harm, they break up the world – the
Krishna-conscious group, the Transcendental group, or some other
group. And your own group; you have your own ideas, you must
have sex, you must have a girl, you must have a boy, and all the
rest of it, change the girl, change the boy, every week. You live
like that and you don’t see the tremendous danger and wastage of
life.
Now we come to the point: how am I to be free of all image-
making? That is the real question. Is it possible? I will not say it is,
or it is not, I am going to find out. I am going to find out by
carefully watching why images are made. I realize images are
made when the mind is not giving its attention at the moment. At
the moment something is said that gives pleasure, or something
that brings about displeasure, to be aware at that moment, not
afterwards. But we become aware afterwards and say, «My god, I
must pay attention, terrible, I see it is important to be attentive and
I don’t know how to be attentive; I lose it and when the thing takes
place it is so quick; and I say to myself I must be attentive». So I
beat myself into being attentive – I wonder if you see this – and
therefore I am never attentive. So I say to myself, «I am not
attentive at the moment something is said which gives pleasure or
pain», I see that I am inattentive. I have found that my whole mind,
make-up, is inattentive, to the birds, to nature, to everything, I am
inattentive – when I walk, when I eat, when I speak, I am inattentive. So I say to myself, I am not going to be concerned with
attention, but inattention». Do you get this?
Q: Yes.
K: I am not going to be concerned with being attentive, but I am
going to see what is inattention. I am watching inattention, and I
see I am inattentive most of the time. So I am going to pay
attention to one thing at a time, that is, when I walk, when I eat, I
am going to walk, eat, with attention. I am not going to think about
something else, but I am going to pay attention to every little thing.
So what has been inattention becomes attention. I wonder if you
see that? So I am now watching inattention. That is, I am watching
that I am not attentive. I look at a bird and never look at it, my
thoughts are all over the place – I am now going to look at that
bird; it may take me a second but I am going to look at it. When I
walk I am going to watch it. So that out of inattention, without any
effort, there is total attention. When there is total attention, then
when you say something pleasant or unpleasant there is no image-
forming because I am totally there. My whole mind, heart, brain,
all the responses are completely awake and attentive. Aren’t you
very attentive when you are pursuing pleasure? You don’t have to
talk about attention, you want that pleasure. Sexually, when you
want it, you are tremendously attentive, aren’t you? Attention
implies a mind that is completely awake, which means it doesn’t
demand challenge. It is only when we have images that challenges
come. I wonder if you see this. Because of those images challenges
come and you respond to the challenge inadequately. Therefore
there is a constant battle between challenge and response, which
means the increase of images; and the more it increases the more challenges come, and so there is always the strengthening of
images. I wonder if you see this? Haven’t you noticed people when
they are challenged about their Catholicism or whatever it is, how
they become more strong in their opinions? So by being
completely attentive there is no image formation, which means
conditioning disappears.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART II CHAPTER 8
3RD PUBLIC TALK BROCKWOOD PARK 13TH
SEPTEMBER 1975 ‘SUFFERING; THE MEANING
OF DEATH’

May we go on with what we were discussing the other day? We
were saying that the crisis in the world is not outward but the crisis
is in consciousness. And that consciousness is its content: all the
things that man has accumulated through centuries, his fears, his
dogmas, his superstitions, his beliefs, his conclusions, and all the
suffering, pain and anxiety. We said unless there is a radical
mutation in that consciousness, outward activities will bring about
more mischief, more sorrow, more confusion. And to bring about
that mutation in consciousness a totally different kind of energy is
required; not the mechanical energy of thought, of time and
measure. When we were investigating into that we said there are
three active principles in human beings: fear, pleasure and
suffering. We talked about fear at some length. And we also went
into the question of pleasure, which is entirely different from joy,
enjoyment, and the delight of seeing something beautiful and so
on. And we also touched upon suffering.
I think we ought this morning to go into that question of
suffering. It is a nice morning and I am sorry to go into such a dark
subject. As we said, when there is suffering there can bc no
compassion and we asked whether it is at all possible for human
minds, for human beings right throughout the world, to put an end
to suffering. For without that ending to suffering we live in
darkness, we accept all kinds of beliefs, dogmas, escapes, which bring about much more confusion, more violence and so on. So we
are going this morning to investigate together into this question of
suffering, whether the human mind can ever be free from it totally;
and also we are going to talk about the whole question of death.
Why do we accept suffering, why do we put up with it
psychologically? Physical suffering can be controlled or put up
with; and it is important that such physical suffering does not
distort clarity of thought. We went into that. Because for most of
us, when there is physical pain, a continued suffering, it distorts
our thinking, it prevents objective thinking, which becomes
personal, broken up, distorted. If one is not actively aware of this
whole process of physical suffering, whether remembered in the
past, or the fear of having it again in the future, then neurotic
habits, neurotic activities take place. We spoke of that briefly the
other day.
We are asking if it is at all possible for human beings to end
suffering at all levels of their existence, psychological suffering.
And when we go into it in ourselves deeply, we see one of the
major factors of this suffering is attachment – attachment to ideas,
to conclusions, to ideologies, which act as security; and when that
security is threatened there is a certain kind of suffering. Please, as
we said the other day, we are sharing this together, we are looking
into this question of suffering together. You are not merely
listening to a talk, if I may point out, and gathering a few ideas and
agreeing or disagreeing, but rather we are in communication,
sharing the problem, examining the question, the issue, actively;
and so it becomes our responsibility, yours as well as the speaker’s,
to go into this question.       There is also attachment to persons; in our relationships there is
a great deal of suffering. That is, the one may be free from this
conditioning of fear and so on, and the other may not be and hence
there is a tension. The word attachment means «holding on», not
only physically but psychologically, depending on something. In a
relationship, one may be free and the other may not be free and
hence the conflict; one may be a Catholic and the other may not be
a Catholic, or a Communist and so on. Hence the conflict that
breeds continuous strain and suffering.
Then there is the suffering of the unknown, of death; the
suffering of losing something that you were attached to in the past,
as memory. I do not know if you have not noticed all these things
in yourself? And is it possible to live in complete relationship with
another without this tension, which is brought about through self-
interest, through self-centred activity, desire pulling in different
directions, and live in a relationship in which there may be
contradictions, for one may be free, the other may not be? To live
in that situation demands not only what is called tolerance – that
absurd intellectual thing that man has created – but it demands a
much greater thing, which is affection, love, and therefore
compassion. We are going to go into that.
We are asking whether man can end suffering. There are
various explanations: how to go beyond it, how to rationalize it,
how to suppress it, how to escape from it. Now we are asking
something entirely different: not to suppress it, not to evade it, nor
rationalize it, but when there is that suffering to remain totally with
it, without any movement of thought, which is the movement of
time and measure.       One suffers: one loses one’s son, or wife, or she runs away with
somebody else; and the things that you are attached to, the house,
the name, the form, all the accumulated conclusions, they seem to
fade away, and you suffer. Can one look at that suffering without
the observer? We went into that question of what the observer is.
We said the observer is the past, the accumulated memory,
experience and knowledge. And with that knowledge, experience,
memory, one observes the suffering, so one dissociates oneself
from suffering: one is different from suffering and therefore one
can do something about it. Whereas the observer is the observed.
This requires a little care and attention, the statement that, «the
observer is the observed». We don’t accept it. We say the observer
is entirely different; and the observed is something out there
separate from the observer. Now if one looks very closely at that
question, at that statement that the observer is the observed, it
seems so obvious. When you say you are angry, you are not
different from anger, you are that thing which you call anger.
When you are jealous, you are that jealousy. The word separates;
that is, through the word we recognise the feeling and the
recognition is in the past; so we look at that feeling through the
word, through the screen of the past, and so separate it. Therefore
there is a division between the observer and the observed.
So we are saying that when there is this suffering, either
momentary, or a continuous endless series of causes that bring
about suffering, to look at it without the observer. You are that
suffering; not, you are separate from suffering. Totally remain with
that suffering. Then you will notice, if you go that far, if you are
willing to observe so closely, that something totally different takes place: a mutation. That is, out of that suffering comes great
passion. If you have done it, tested it out, you will find it. It is not
the passion of a belief, passion for some cause, passion for some
idiotic conclusion. It is totally different from the passion of desire.
It is something which is of a totally different kind of energy; not
the movement of thought, which is mechanical.
We have a great deal of suffering in what is called love. Love,
as we know it now, is pleasure, sexual, the love of a country, the
love of an idea, and so on – all derived from pleasure. And when
that pleasure is denied there is either hatred, antagonism, or
violence. Can there be love, not just something personal between
you and me or somebody else, but the enormous feeling of
compassion – passion for everything, for everybody. Passion for
nature, compassion for the earth on which we live, so that we don`t
destroy the earth, the animals, the whole thing… Without love,
which is compassion, suffering must continue. And we human
beings have put up with it, we accept it as normal. Every religion
has tried to find a way out of this, but organized religions have
brought tremendous suffering.
Religious oganizations throughout the world have done a great
deal of harm, there have been religious wars endless persecution,
tortures, burning people, especially in the West – it wasn’t the
fashion in those days in the East. And we are speaking of – not the
acceptance of suffering, or the putting up with suffering – but
remaining motionless with that suffering; then there comes out of it
great compassion. And from that compassion arises the whole
question of creation.
What is creation, what is the creative mind? Is it a mind that suffers and through that suffering has learnt a certain technique and
expresses that technique on paper, in marble, with paint – that is, is
creativeness the outcome of tension? Is it the outcome of a
disordered life? Does creativeness come through the fragmentary
activity of daily life? I don’t know if you are following all this? Or
must we give a totally different kind of meaning to creativeness,
which may not need expression at all?
So one has to go into this question within oneself very deeply,
because one’s consciousness is the consciousness of the world. I do
not know if you realize that? Fundamentally your consciousness is
the consciousness of the speaker, of the rest of the world, basically.
Because in that consciousness there is suffering, there is pain, there
is anxiety, there is fear of tomorrow, fear of insecurity, which
every man goes through wherever he lives. So your consciousness
is the consciousness of the world, and if there is a mutation in that
consciousness it affects the total consciousness of human beings. It
is a fact. So it becomes tremendously important that human beings
bring about a radical transformation, or mutation in themselves, in
their consciousness.
Now we can go into this thing called death, which is one of the
major factors of suffering. As with everything else in life we want
a quick, definite answer, an answer which will be comforting,
which will be totally satisfactory, intellectually, emotionally,
physically, in every way. We want immortality, whatever that may
mean, and we want to survive, both physically and
psychologically. We avoid death at any price, put it as far away as
possible. So we have never been able to examine it closely. We
have never been able to face it, understand it, not only verbally, intellectually, but completely. We wait until the last moment,
which may be an accident, disease, old age, when you can’t think,
when you can’t look, you are just «gaga». Then you become a
Catholic, a Protestant, believe in this or that. So we are trying this
morning to understand, not verbally, but actually what it means to
die – which doesn’t mean we are asking that we should commit
suicide. But we are asking, what is the total significance of this
thing called death, which is the ending of what we know as life.
In enquiring into this we must find out whether time has a stop.
The stopping of time may be death. It may be the ending and
therefore that which ends has a new beginning, not that which has
a continuity. So first can there be an ending to time, can time stop?
– not chronological time by the watch, as yesterday, today, and
tomorrow, the twenty-four hours, but the whole movement of time
as thought and measure. That movement, not chronological time,
but that movement as thought, which is the whole process of
comparing, of measurement, can all that process stop? Can
thought, which is the response of memory, and can experience as
knowledge – knowledge is always in the past, knowledge is the past
– can that whole momentum come to an end? Not in the
technological field, we don’t even have to discuss that, that is
obvious. Can this movement come to an end? Time as hope, time
as something that has happened to which the mind clings,
attachment to the past, or a projection from the past to the future as
a conclusion, and time as a movement of achievement from alpha
to omega – this whole movement in which we are caught. If one
said there is no tomorrow, psychologically, you would be shocked,
because tomorrow is tremendously important: tomorrow you are going to be happy, tomorrow you will achieve something,
tomorrow will be the fulfilment of yesterday`s hopes, or today’s
hopes, and so on. Tomorrow becomes extraordinarily significant –
the tomorrow which is projected from the past as thought.
So we are asking, can all that momentum come to an end? Time
has created, through centuries, the centre which is the «me». Time
is not only the past as attachment, hope, fulfilment, the evolving
process of thought until it becomes more and more refined. But
also that centre around which all our activities take place, the «me»,
the mine, we and they, both politically, religiously, economically
and so on. So the «me» is the conclusion of time, adding to itself
and taking away from itself, but there is always this centre which is
the very essence of time. We are asking, can that movement come
to an end. This is the whole problem of meditation, not sitting
down and repeating some mantra, some words, and doing some
tricks – that is all silly nonsense. I am not being intolerant but it is
just absurd. And it becomes extraordinarily interesting to find this
out, enquire into this.
Then what is death? Can that be answered in terms of words, or
must one look at it not only verbally but non-verbally? There is
death, the organism dies, by misuse, by abuse, by overindulgence,
drink, drugs, accident, all the things that the flesh is heir to – it dies,
comes to an end, the heart stops, the brain with all its marvellous
machinery comes to an end. We accept it – we are not afraid of the
physical organism coming to an end but we are afraid of something
totally different. And being afraid of that basically, we want to
resolve that fear through various beliefs, conclusions, hopes.
The whole of the Asiatic world believes in reincarnation, they have proof for it – they say so at least. That is – watch this, it is
extraordinary – the thing that has been put together by time as the
«me», the ego, that incarnates till that entity becomes perfect and is
absorbed into the highest principle, which is Brahman, or whatever
you like to call it. Time has created the centre, the «me», the ego,
the personality, the character, the tendencies, and so on, and
through time you are going to dissolve that very entity, through
reincarnation. You see the absurdity? Thought has created
something as the «me», the centre, and through the evolutionary
process, which is time, you will ultimately dissolve that and be
absorbed into the highest principle. And yet they believe in this
tremendously. The other day I was talking to somebody who is a
great believer in this. He said, «If you don’t believe it you are not a
religious man», and he walked out. And Christianity has its own
form of continuity of the «me», the resurrection – Gabriel blowing
the trumpet and so on (laughter). When you believe in
reincarnation, what is important is that you are going to live
another life and you suffer in this life because of your past actions.
So what is important is, if one is actually basically committed
wholly to that belief, it means that you must behave rightly,
accurately, with tremendous care now. And we don’t do that. That
demands superhuman energy.
There are several problems involved in this. What is
immortality and what is eternity – which is a timeless state – and
what happens to human beings who are still caught in this
movement of time? We human beings live extraordinarily
complex, irresponsible, ugly, stupid lives, we are at each other’s
throats, we are battling about beliefs, about authority, politically and religiously, and our daily lives are a series of endless conflicts.
And we want that to continue. And because our lives are so empty,
so full of meaningless words, we say there is a state where there is
no death, immortality – which is a state where there is no
movement of time. That is, time through centuries has created the
idea of the self, of the «me» evolving. It has been put together
through time, which is a part of evolution. And inevitably there is
death and with the ending of the brain cells thought comes to an
end. Therefore one hopes that there is something beyond the «me»,
the super-consciousness, a spark of God, a spark of truth, that can
never be destroyed and that continues. And that continuity is what
we call immortality. That is what most of us want. If you don’t get
it through some kind of fame, you want to have it sitting near God,
who is timeless. The whole thing is so absurd.
Is there something which is not of time, which has no beginning
and no end, and is therefore timeless, eternal? Our life being what
it is, we have this problem of death; and if I, a human being, have
not totally understood the whole quality of myself, what happens to
me when I die? You understand the question? Is that the end of
me? I have not understood, if I have understood myself totally,
then that is a different problem, which we will come to. If I have
not understood myself totally – I am not using the word
«understand» intellectually – but actually to be aware of myself
without any choice, all the content of my consciousness – if I have
not deeply delved into my own structure and the nature of
consciousness and I die, what happens?
Now who is going to answer this question? (laughter). No, I am
putting it purposefully. Who is going to answer this question? Because we think we cannot answer it we look to someone else to
tell us, the priest, the books, the people who have said, «I know»,
the endless mushrooming gurus. If one rejects all authority – and
one must, totally, all authority – then what have you left? Then you
have the energy to find out – because you have rejected that which
dissipates energy, gurus, hopes and fears, somebody to tell you
what happens – if you reject all that, which means all authority,
then you have tremendous energy. With that energy you can begin
to enquire what actually takes place when you have not totally
resolved the structure and the nature of the self, the self being time,
and therefore movement, and therefore division: the «me» and the
«not me» and hence conflict.
Now what happens to me when I have not ended that conflict?
You and I and the rest of the world, if the speaker has not ended it,
what happens to us? We are all going to die – I hope not soon but
sometime or other. What is going to happen? When we live, as we
are living, are we so fundamentally different from somebody else?
You may be cleverer, have greater knowledge or technique, you
may be more learned, have certain gifts, talents, inventiveness; but
you and another are exactly alike basically. Your colour may be
different, you may be taller, shorter, but in essence you are the
same. So while you are living you are like the rest of the world, in
the same stream, in the same movement. And when you die you go
on in the same movement. I wonder if you understand what I am
saying? It is only the man who is totally aware of his conditioning,
his consciousness, the content of it, and who moves and dissipates
it, who is not in that stream. Am I making this clear? That is, I am
greedy, envious, ambitious, ruthless, violent – so are you. And that is our daily life, petty, accepting authority, quarrelling, bitter, not
loved and aching to be loved, the agonies of loneliness,
irresponsible relationship – that is our daily life. And we are like
the rest of the world, it is a vast endless river. And when we die
we’ll be like the rest, moving in the same stream as before when we
were living. But the man who understands himself radically, has
resolved all the problems in himself psychologically, he is not of
that stream. He has stepped out of it.
The man who moves away from the stream, his consciousness is
entirely different. He is not thinking in terms of time, continuity, or
immortality. But the other man or woman is still in that. So the
problem arises: what is the relationship of the man who is out to
the man who is in? What is the relationship between truth and
reality? Reality being, as we said, all the things that thought has put
together. The root meaning of that word reality is, things or thing.
And living in the world of things, which is reality, we want to
establish a relationship with a world which has no thing – which is
impossible.
What we are saying is that consciousness, with all its content, is
the movement of time. In that movement all human beings are
caught. And even when they die that movement goes on. It is so;
this is a fact. And the human being who sees the totality of this –
that is the fear, the pleasure and the enormous suffering which man
has brought upon himself and created for others, the whole of that,
and the nature and the structure of the self, the «me», the total
comprehension of that, actually – then he is out of that stream. And
that is the crisis in consciousness. We are trying to solve all our
human problems, economic, social, political, within the area of that consciousness in time. I wonder if you see this? And therefore we
can never solve it. We seem to accept the politician as though he
was going to save the world, or the priest, or the analyst, or
somebody else. And, as we said, the mutation in consciousness is
the ending of time, which is the ending of the «me» which has been
produced through time. Can this take place? Or is it just a theory
like any other?
Can a human being, can you actually do it? When you do it, it
affects the totality of consciousness. Which means in the
understanding of oneself, which is the understanding of the world –
because I am the world – there comes not only compassion but a
totally different kind of energy. This energy, with its compassion,
has a totally different kind of action. That action is whole, not
fragmentary.
We began by talking about suffering, that the ending of
suffering is the beginning of compassion; and this question of love,
which man has reduced to mere pleasure; and this great complex
problem of death. They are all interrelated, they are not separate. It
isn’t that I am going to solve the problem of death, forgetting the
rest. The whole thing is interrelated, inter-communicated. It is all
one. And to see the totality of all that, wholly, is only possible
when there is no observer and therefore freedom from all that.
Questioner: I’d like to ask a question. You said towards the
beginning that it is important for each individual to transform his
consciousness. Isn’t the fact that you say that it is important an
ideal, which is the very thing to be avoided ?
Krishnamurti: When you see a house on fire, isn’t it important
that you put it out? In that there is no ideal. The house is burning, you are there, and you have to do something about it. But if you are
asleep and discussing the colour of the hair of the man who has set
the house on fire…
Q: The house on fire is in the world of reality, isn’t it? It is a
fact. We are talking about the psychological world.
K: Isn’t that also a factual world? Isn’t it a fact that you suffer?
Isn’t it a fact that one is ambitious, greedy, violent – you may not
be, but the rest – that is a fact. We say the house is a fact, but my
anger, my violence, my stupid activities are something different;
they are as real as the house. And if I don’t understand myself,
dissolve all the misery in myself, the house is going to become the
destructive element.
Q: Sir, as I understand it, your message and the message of
Jesus Christ seem to reach towards the same thing, although stated
differently. I had always understood your message and Jesus
Christ’s message to be quite different in content. About two years
ago I was a Christian, so it is very difficult to get rid of statements
that Jesus made, such as, «No man cometh to the Father but by
me». Although I find more sense in your message at the moment,
how do you equate this?
K: It is very simple. I have no message. I am just pointing out.
That is not a message.
Q: But why are you doing it?
K: Why am I doing it? Why do we want a message? Why do we
want somebody to give us something? When everything is in you.
Q: It is wonderful.
K: No, it is not wonderful (laughter). Please do look at it. You
are the result of all the influences, of the culture, the many words, propaganda, you are that. And if you know how to look, how to
read, how to listen, how to see, the art of seeing, everything is
there, right in front of you. But we don’t have the energy, the
inclination, or the interest. We want somebody to tell us what there
is on the page. And we make that person who tells us into an
extraordinary human being. We worship him, or destroy him,
which is the same thing. So it is there. You don’t need a message.
Do look at it please. Is the book important, or what you find in the
book? What you find in the book, and after you have read it you
throw it away. Now in these talks, you listen, find out, go into it,
and throw away the speaker. The speaker is not at all important. It
is like a telephone.
The other question is, «Why do you speak?» Does that need
answering? Would you say to the flower on the wayside, «Why do
you flower?» It is there for you to look, to listen, to see the beauty
of it and come back again to look at the beauty of it. That is all.
Q: (partly inaudible) We have the same message, the same
words, we have it in ourselves, the guru. Q: (repeating) We have a
guru in ourselves.
K: Have you? Guru means in Sanskrit, the root meaning of that
word means «heavy».
Q: He said heaven.
K: Heaven, it is the same thing, sir. Have you a heaven in
yourself? My lord, I wish you had! (laughter). In yourself you are
so confused, so miserable, so anxious – what a set of words to use –
heaven! You can substitute God into heaven, heaven as God and
you think you are quite different. People have believed that you
had God inside you, light inside you, or something else inside you. But when you see actually that you have nothing, just words, then
if there is absolutely nothing there is complete security. And out of
that, everything happens, flowers.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART II CHAPTER 9
4TH PUBLIC TALK BROCKWOOD PARK 14TH
SEPTEMBER 1975 ‘THE SACRED, RELIGION,
MEDITATION’

I would like this morning to talk about the question of what is
sacred, what is the meaning of religion and of meditation. First we
must examine what is reality and what is truth. Man has been
concerned throughout the ages to discover, or live in truth; And he
has projected various symbols, conclusions, images made by the
mind or by the hand and imagined what is truth. Or he has tried to
find out through the activity and the movement of thought. And I
think we should be wise if we would differentiate between reality
and truth and when we are clear what reality is then perhaps we
shall be able to have an insight into what is truth.
The many religions throughout the world have said that there is
an enduring, everlasting truth, but the mere assertion of truth has
very little significance. One has to discover it for oneself, not
theoretically, intellectually, or sentimentally, but actually find out
if one can live in a world that is completely truthful. We mean by
religion the gathering together of all energy to investigate into
something: to investigate if there is anything sacred. That is the
meaning we are giving it, not the religion of belief, dogma,
tradition or ritual with their hierarchical outlook. But we are using
the word «religion» in the sense: to gather together all energy,
which will then be capable of investigating if there is a truth which
is not controlled, shaped, or polluted by thought.
The root meaning of the word reality is thing or things. And to go into the question of what is reality, one must understand what
thought is. Because our society, our religions, our so-called
revelations are essentially the product of thought. It is not my
opinion or my judgement, but it is a fact. All religions when you
look at them, observe without any prejudice, are the product of
thought. That is, you may perceive something, have an insight into
truth, and you communicate it verbally to me and I draw from your
statement an abstraction and make that into an idea; then I live
according to that idea. That is what we have been doing for
generations: drawing an abstraction from a statement and living
according to that abstraction as a conclusion. And that is generally
called religion. So we must find out how limited thought is and
what are its capacities, how far it can go, and be totally aware that
thought doesn’t spill over into a realm in which thought has no
place.
I don’t know if you can see this? Please, we are not only
verbally communicating, which means thinking together, not
agreeing or disagreeing, but thinking together, and therefore
sharing together; not the speaker gives and you take, but tðer we
are sharing, therefore there is no authority. And also there is a non-
verbal communication, which is much more difficult, because
unless we see very clearly the full meaning of words, how the mind
is caught in words, how words shape our thinking, and can go
beyond that, then there is no non-verbal communication, which
becomes much more significant. We are trying to do both: to
communicate verbally and non-verbally. That means we must both
be interested at the same time, at the same level, with the same
intensity, otherwise we shan’t communicate. It is like love; love is that intense feeling at the same time, at the same level. Otherwise
you and I don’t love each other. So we are going to observe
together what is reality, what are the limitations of thought, and
whether thought can ever perceive truth. Or is it beyond the realm
of thought?
I think we all agree, at least most of us do, even the scientists,
that thought is a material process, is a chemical process. Thought is
the response of accumulated knowledge as experience and
memory. So thought is essentially a thing. There is no sacred
thought, no noble thought, it is a thing. And its function is in the
world of things, which is technology, learning, learning the art of
learning, the art of seeing and listening. And reality is in that area.
Unless we understand this rather complex problem we shall not be
able to go beyond it. We may pretend, or imagine, but imagination
and pretension have no place in a human being who is really
serious and is desirous to find out what is truth.
As long as there is the movement of thought, which is time and
measure, in that area truth has no place. Reality is that which we
think and the action of thought as an idea, as a principle, as an
ideal, projected from the previous knowledge into the future
modified and so on. All that is in the world of reality. We live in
that world of reality – if you have observed yourself you will see
how memory plays an immense part. Memory is mechanical,
thought is mechanical, it is a form of computer, a machine, as the
brain is. And thought has its place. I cannot speak if I have no
language; if I spoke I-n Greek you wouldn’t understand. And
learning a language, learning to drive a car, to work in a factory
and so on, there thought is necessary. psychologically, thought has created the reality of the «me». «Me», «my», my house, my
property, my wife, my husband, my children, my country, my God
– all that is the product of thought. And in that field we have
established a relationship with each other which is constantly in
conflict. That is the limitation of thought.
Unless we put order into that world of reality we cannot go
further. We live a disorderly life in our daily activities; that is a
fact. And is it possible to bring about order in the world of reality,
in the world of thought, socially, morally, ethically and so on? And
who is to bring about order in the world of reality? I live a
disorderly life – if I do – and being disorderly, can I bring about
order in all the activities of daily life? Our daily life is based on
thought, our relationship is based on thought, because I have an
image of you and you have an image of me, and the relationship is
between those two images. The images are the product of thought,
which is the response of memory, experience and so on. Now can
there be order in the world of reality? This is really a very
important question. Unless order is established in the world of
reality there is no foundation for further enquiry. In the world of
reality, is it possible to behave orderly, not according to a pattern
set by thought, which is still disorder? Is it possible to bring about
order in the world of reality? That is, no wars, no conflict, no
division. Order implies great virtue, virtue is the essence of order –
not following a blueprint, which becomes mechanical. So who is to
bring order in this world of reality? Man has said, «God will bring
it. Believe in God and you will have order. Love God and you will
have order.» But this order becomes mechanical because our desire
is to be secure, to survive, to find the easiest way of living – let us put it that way.
So we are asking, who is to bring order in this world of reality,
where there is such confusion, misery, pain, violence and so on.
Can thought bring about order in that reality – a world of reality
which thought has created? Do you follow my question? The
Communists say control the environment, then there will be order
in man. According to Marx the State will wither away – you know
all that. They have tried to bring order but man is in disorder, even
in Russia! So one has to find out, if thought is not to bring about
order, then what will? I don`t know if this is a problem to you, if it
really interests you? So one has to ask, if thought, which has made
such a mess of life, cannot bring clarity into this world of reality,
then is there an observation in the field of reality, or of the field of
reality, without the movement of thought. Are we meeting each
other about this? A human being has exercised thought, he says
there is disorder, I will control it, I will shape it, I will make order
according to certain ideas – it is all the product of thought. And
thought has created disorder. So thought has no place in order, and
how is this order to come about?
Now we will go into it a little bit. Can one observe this disorder
in which one lives, which is conflict, contradiction, opposing
desires, pain, suffering, fear, pleasure and all that, this whole
structure of disorder, without thought? You understand my
question? Can you observe this enormous disorder in which we
live, externally as well as inwardly, without any movement of
thought? Because if there is any movement of thought, then it is
going to create further disorder, isn’t it? So can you observe this
disorder in yourself without any move, ment of thought as time and measure – that is, without any movement of memory?
We are going to see whether thought as time can come to an
end. Whether thought as measure, which is comparison, as time,
from here to there – all that is involved in the movement of time –
whether that time can have a stop? This is the very essence of
meditation. You understand? So we are going to enquire together if
time has a stop, that is, if thought as movement can come to an
end. Then only is there order and therefore virtue. Not cultivated
virtue, which requires time and is therefore not virtue, but the very
stopping, the very ending of thought is virtue. This means we have
to enquire into the whole question of what is freedom. Can man
live in freedom? Because that is what it comes to. If time comes to
an end it means that man is deeply free. So one has to go into this
question of what is freedom. Is freedom relative, or absolute? If
freedom is the outcome of thought then it is relative. When
freedom is not bound by thought then it is absolute. We are going
to go into that.
Outwardly, politically, there is less and less freedom. We think
politicians can solve all our problems and the politicians, especially
the tyrannical politicians, assume the authority of God, they know
and you don’t know. That is what is going on in India, freedom of
speech, civil rights, have been denied, like in all tyrannies.
Democratically we have freedom of choice, we choose between the
Liberal, Conservatives, Labour or something else. And we think
that having the capacity to choose gives us freedom. Choice is the
very denial of freedom. You choose when you are not clear, when
there is no direct perception, and so you choose out of confusion,
and so there is no freedom in choice – psychologically, that is. I can choose between this cloth and that cloth, and so on; but
psychologically we think we are free when we have the capacity to
choose. And we are saying that choice is born out of confusion, out
of the structure of thought, and therefore it is not free. We accept
the authority of the gurus, the priests, because we think they know
and we don’t know. Now if you examine the whole idea of the
guru, which is becoming rather a nuisance in this country and in
America, the world over – I am sorry I am rather allergic to gurus
(laughter), I know many of them, they come to see me (laughter).
They say, «What you are saying is the highest truth» – they know
how to flatter! But we are dealing, they say, with people who are
ignorant and we are the intermediaries: we want to help them. So
they assume the authority and therefore deny freedom. I do not
know if you have noticed that not one single guru has raised his
voice against tyranny.
A man who would understand what freedom is must totally
deny authority, which is extraordinarily difficult, it demands great
attention. We may reject the authority of a guru, of a priest, of an
idea, but we establish an authority in ourselves – that is «I think it is
right, I know what I am saying, it is my experience. All that gives
one the authority to assert, which is the same thing as the guru and
the priest.
Can the mind be free of authority, of tradition, which means
accepting another as your guide, as somebody to tell you what to
do, except in the technological field? And man must be free if he is
not to become a serf, a slave, and deny the beauty and depth of the
human spirit. Now can the mind put aside all authority in the
psychological sense? – if you put aside the authority of the policeman you will be in trouble. That requires a great deal of
inward awareness. One obeys and accepts authority because in
oneself there is uncertainty, confusion, loneliness, and the desire to
find something permanent, something lasting. And is there
anything lasting, anything that is permanent, created by thought?
Or does thought give to itself permanency? The mind desires to
have something it can cling to, some certainty, some psychological
security. This is what happens in all our relationships with each
other. I depend on you psychologically – because in myself I am
uncertain, confused, lonely – and I am attached to you, I possess
you, I dominate you. So living in this world is freedom possible,
without authority, without the image, without the sense of
dependency? And is it freedom from something or freedom per se?
Now can we have freedom in the world of reality? You
understand my question? – can there be freedom in my relationship
with you? Can there be freedom in relationship between man and
woman, or is that impossible? – which doesn’t mean freedom to do
what one likes, or permissiveness, or promiscuity. But can there be
a relationship between human beings of complete freedom? I do
not know if you have ever asked this question of yourself? You
might say it is possible or not possible. The possibility or the
impossibility of it is not an answer, but to find out whether
freedom can exist, absolute freedom in our relationships. That
freedom can only exist in relationship when there is order: order
not according to you, or another, but order in the sense of the
observation of disorder. And that observation is not the movement
of thought, because the observer is the observed; only then there is
freedom in our relationship.       Then we can go to something else. Having observed the whole
nature of disorder, order comes into being in our life. That is a fact,
if you have gone into it. From there we can move and find out
whether thought can end, can realize its own movement, see its
own limitation and therefore stop. We are asking, what place has
time in freedom. Is freedom a state of mind in which there is no
time? – time being movement of thought as time and measure.
Thought is movement, movement in time. That is, can the brain,
which is part of the mind – which has evolved through centuries
with all the accumulated memories, knowledge, experience – is
there a part of the brain which is not touched by time? Do you
understand my question? Our brain is conditioned by various
influences, by the pursuit of desires; and is there a part of the brain
that is not conditioned at all? Or is the whole brain conditioned and
can human beings therefore never escape from conditioning? They
can modify the conditioning, polish, refine it, but there will always
be conditioning if the totality of the brain is limited, and therefore
no freedom.
So we are going to find out if there is any part of the brain that
is not conditioned. All this is meditation, to find out. Can one be
aware of the conditioning in which one lives? Can you be aware of
your conditioning as a Christian, a Capitalist, a Socialist, a Liberal,
that you believe in this and you don’t believe in that? – all that is
part of the conditioning. Can a human being be aware of that
conditioning? Can you be aware of your consciousness? – not as an
observer, but that you are that consciousness. And if you are aware,
who is it that is aware? Is it thought that is aware that it is
conditioned? Then it is still in the field of reality, which is conditioned. Or is there an observation, an awareness in which
there is pure observation? Is there an act, or an art of pure
listening?
Do listen to this a little bit. The word «art» means to put
everything in its right place, where it belongs. Now can you
observe without any interpretation, without any judgement, without
any prejudice – just observe, see purely? And can you listen, as you
are doing now, without any movement of thought. It is only
possible if you put thought in the right place. And the art of
learning means not accumulating – then it becomes knowledge and
thought – but the movement of learning, without the accumulation.
So there is the art of seeing, the art of listening, the art of learning –
which means to put everything where it belongs. And in that there
is great order.
Now we are going to find out if time has a stop. This is
meditation. As we said at the beginning, it is all in the field of
meditation. Meditation isn’t something separate from life, from
daily life. Meditation is not the repetition of words, the repetition
of a mantra, which is now the fashion and called transcendental
meditation, or the meditation which can be practised. Meditation
must be something totally unconscious. I wonder if you see this? If
you practise meditation, that is follow a system, a method, then it is
the movement of thought, put together in order to achieve a result,
and that result is projected as a reaction from the past and therefore
still within the area of thought.
So can there be a mutation in the brain? It comes to that. We say
it is possible. That is, a mutation is only passible when there is a
great shock of attention. Attention implies no control. Have you ever asked whether you can live in this world without a single
control? – of your desires, of your appetites, of the fulfilment of
your desires and so on, without a single breath of control? Control
implies a controller: and the controller thinks he is different from
that which he controls. But when you observe closely the controller
is the controlled. So what place has control? In the sense of
restraint, suppression, to control in order to achieve, to control to
change yourself to become something else – all that is the demand
of thought. Thought by its very nature being fragmentary, divides
the controller and the controlled. And we are educated from
childhood to control, to suppress, to inhibit – which does not mean
to do what you like; that is impossible, that is too absurd, too
immature. But to understand this whole question of control
demands that you examine the desire which brings about this
fragmentation; the desire to be and not to be. To find out whether
you can live without comparison, therefore without an ideal,
without a future – all that is implied in comparison. And where
there is comparison there must be control. Can you live without
comparison and therefore without control – do you understand?
Have you ever tried to live without control, without comparison?
Because comparison and control are highly respectable. The word
«respect» means to look about. And when we look about we see
that all human beings, wherever they live, have this extraordinary
desire to compare themselves with somebody, or with an idea, or
with some human being who is supposed to be noble, and in that
process they control, suppress. Now if you see this whole
movement, then one will live without a single breath of control.
That requires tremendous inward discipline. Discipline means actually to learn, not to be disciplined to a pattern like a soldier.
The word «discipline» means to learn. Learn whether it is possible
to live without a single choice, comparison, or control. To learn
about it; not to accept it, not to deny it, but to find out how to live.
Then out of that comes a brain which is not conditioned.
Meditation then is freedom from authority, putting everything in its
right place in the field of reality, and consciousness realizing its
own limitation and therefore bringing about order in that limitation.
When there is order there is virtue, virtue in behaviour.
From there we can go into the question, whether time has a
stop. Which means, can the mind, the brain itself, be absolutely
still? – not controlled. If you control thought in order to be still,
then it is still the movement of thought. Can the brain and the mind
be absolutely still, which is the ending of time? Man has always
desired throughout the ages to bring silence to the mind, which he
called meditation, contemplation and so on. Can the mind be still?
– not chattering, not imagining, not conscious if that stillness,
because if you are conscious of that stillness there is a centre which
is conscious, and that centre is part of time, put together by
thought; therefore you are still within the area of reality and there
is no ending in the world of reality of time.
Man has made, whether by the hand or by the mind, what he
thinks is sacred, all the images in churches, in temples. All those
images are still the product of thought. And in that there is nothing
sacred. But out of this complete silence is there anything sacred?
We began by saying that religion is not belief, rituals, authority,
but religion is the gathering of all energy to investigate if there is
something sacred which is not the product of thought. We have that energy when there is complete order in the world of reality in
which we live – order in relationship, freedom from authority,
freedom from comparison, control, measurement. Then the mind
and the brain become completely still naturally, not through
compulsion. If one sees that anything which thought has created is
not sacred, nothing – all the churches, all the temples, all the
mosques in the world have no truth – then is there anything sacred?
In India, when only Brahmins could enter Temples and Ghandi
was saying that all people can enter temples – I followed him
around one year – and I was asked, «What do you say to that»? I
replied, God is not in temples, it doesn’t matter who enters. That
was of course not acceptable. So in the same way we are saying
that anything created by thought is not sacred, and is there anything
sacred? Unless human beings find that sacredness, their life really
has no meaning, it is an empty shell. They may be very orderly,
they may be relatively free, but unless there is this thing that is
totally sacred, untouched by thought, life has no deep meaning. Is
there something sacred, or is everything matter, everything
thought, everything transient, everything impermanent? Is there
something that thought can never touch and therefore is
incorruptible, timeless, eternal and sacred? To come upon this the
mind must be completely, totally still, which means time comes to
an end; and in that there must be complete freedom from all
prejudice, opinion, judgement – you follow? Then only one comes
upon this extraordinary thing that is timeless and the very essence
of compassion.
So meditation has significance. One must have this meditative
quality of the mind, not occasionally, but all day long. And this something that is sacred affects our lives not only during the
waking hours but during sleep. And in this process of meditation
there are all kinds of powers that come into being: one becomes
clairvoyant, the body becomes extraordinarily sensitive. Now
clairvoyance, healing, thought transference and so on, become
totally unimportant; all the occult powers become so utterly
irrelevant, and when you pursue those you are pursuing something
that will ultimately lead to illusion. That is one factor. Then there is
the factor of sleep. What is the importance of sleep? Is it to spend
the sleeping hours dreaming? Or is it possible not to dream at all?
What are dreams, why do we dream, and is it possible for a mind
not to dream, so that during sleep, the mind being utterly restful, a
totally different kind of energy is built in?
If during waking hours we are completely attentive to our
thoughts, to our actions, to our behaviour, totally aware, then are
dreams necessary? Or are dreams a continuation of our daily life,
in the form of pictures, images, incidents – a continuity of our daily
conscious or unconscious movements? So when the mind becomes
totally aware during the day, then you will see that dreams become
unimportant, and being unimportant they have no significance and
therefore there is no dreaming. There is only complete sleep; that
means the mind has complete rest: it can renew itself. Test it out. If
you accept what the speaker is saying, then it is futile; but not if
you enquire and find out if during the day you are very very awake,
watchful, aware without choice – we went into what it is to be
aware – then out of that awareness when you do sleep, the mind
becomes extraordinarily fresh and young. Youth is the essence of
decision, action. And if that action is merely centred round itself, round the centre of myself, then that action breeds mischief,
confusion and so on. But when you realize the whole movement of
life as one, undivided, and are aware of that, then the mind
rejuvenates itself and has immense energy. All that is part of
meditation.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART III CHAPTER
10 QUESTION FROM THE 7TH PUBLIC TALK
SAANEN 25TH JULY, 1976 ‘RIGHT
LIVELIHOOD’

Questioner: Is a motive necessary in business? What is the right
motive in earning a livelihood?
Krishnamurti: What do you think is the right livelihood? – not
what is the most convenient, not what is the most profitable,
enjoyable, or gainful; but what is the right livelihood? Now, how
will you find out what is right? The word «right» means correct,
accurate. It cannot be accurate if you do something for profit or
pleasure. This is a complex thing. Everything that thought has put
together is reality. This tent has been put together by thought, it is a
reality. The tree has not been put together by thought, but it is a
reality. Illusions are reality – the illusions that one has, imagination,
all that is reality. And the action from those illusions is neurotic,
which is also reality. So when you ask this question, «What is the
right livelihood», you must understand what reality is. Reality is
not truth.
Now what is correct action in this reality? And how will you
discover what is right in this reality? – discover for yourself, not be
told. So we have to find out what is the accurate, correct, right
action, or right livelihood in the world of reality, and reality
includes illusion. Don’t escape, don’t move away, belief is an
illusion, and the activities of belief are neurotic, nationalism and all
the rest of it is another form of reality, but an illusion. So taking all
that as reality, what is the right action there?       Who is going to tell you? Nobody, obviously. But when you see
reality without illusion, the very perception of that reality is your
intelligence, isn’t it? in which there is no mixture of reality and
illusion. So when there is observation of reality, the reality of the
tree, the reality of the tent, reality which thought has put together,
including visions, illusions, when you see all that reality, the very
perception of that is your intelligence – isn’t it? So your intelligence
says what you are going to do. I wonder if you understand this?
Intelligence is to perceive what is and what is not – to perceive
«what is» and see the reality of «what is», which means you don’t
have any psychological involvement, any psychological demands,
which are all forms of illusion. To see all that is intelligence; and
that intelligence will operate wherever you are. Therefore that will
tell you what to do.
Then what is truth? What is the link between reality and truth?
The link is this intelligence. Intelligence that sees the totality of
reality and therefore doesn’t carry it over to truth. And the truth
then operates on reality through intelligence.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART III CHAPTER
11 QUESTION FROM THE 3RD PUBLIC TALK
SAANEN 15TH JULY, 1975 ‘WILL’

Questioner: I wish to know if effort of will has a place in life.
Krishnamurti: Has the will a place in life? What do we mean by
life? – going to the office every day, having a profession, a career,
the everlasting climbing the ladder, both religiously and
mundanely, the fears, the agonies, the things that we have
treasured, remembered, all that is life, isn’t it? All that is life, both
the conscious as well as the hidden. The conscious of which we
know, more or less; and all the deep down hidden things in the
cave of one’s mind, in the deepest recesses of one’s mind. All that
is life: the illusion and the reality, the highest principle and the
«what is», the fear of death, fear of living, fear of relationship – all
that. What place has will in that? That is the question.
I say it has no place. Don’t accept what I am saying; I am not
your authority, I am not your guru. All the content of one’s
consciousness, which is consciousness, is created by thought which
is desire and image. And that is what has brought about such havoc
in the world. Is there a way of living in this world without the
action of will? That is the present question.
I know this, as a human being I am fully aware of what is going
on within my consciousness, the confusion, the disorder, the chaos,
the battle, the seeking for power, position, safety, security,
prominence, all that; and I see thought has created all that. Thought
plus desire and the multiplication of images. And I say, «What
place has will in this?» It is will that has created this. Now can I live in this without will? Biologically, physiologically, I have to
exercise a certain form of energy to lean a language, to do this and
that. There must be a certain drive. I see all this. And I realise – not
as a verbal realization, as a description, but the, actual fact of it, as
one realizes pain in the body – I realize that this is the product of
thought as desire and will. Can I, as a human being, look at aU this,
and transform this without will?
Now what becomes important is what kind of observation is
necessary. Observation to see actually what is. Is the mind capable
of seeing actually «what is»? Or does it always translate into «what
should be», «what should not be», «I must suppress», «I must not
suppress», and all the rest of it? There must be freedom to observe,
otherwise I can’t see. If I am prejudiced against you, or like you, I
can’t see you. So freedom is absolutely necessary to observe –
freedom from prejudice, from information, from what has been
learned, to be able to look without the idea. You understand: to
look without the idea. As we said the other day, the word «idea»
comes from Greek; the root meaning of that word is to observe, to
see. When we refuse to see, we make an abstraction and make it
into an idea.
There must be freedom to observe, and in that freedom will is
not necessary; there is just freedom to look. Which means, to put it
differently, if one makes a statement, can you listen to it without
making it into an abstraction? Do you understand my question?
The speaker makes a statement such as, «The ending of sorrow is
the beginning of wisdom». Can you listen to that statement without
making an abstraction of it? – the abstraction being: «Is that
possible?», «What do we get from it?,’, «How do we do it?». Those are all abstractions – and not actually listening. So can you listen to
that statement with all your senses, which means with all your
attention? Then you see the truth of it. And the perception of that
truth is action in this chaos.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART III CHAPTER
12 QUESTION FROM THE 5TH PUBLIC TALK
SAANEN 22ND JULY, 1975 ‘EMOTIONS AND
THOUGHT’

Questioner: Are emotions rooted in thought?
Krishnamurti: What are emotions? Emotions are sensations,
aren’t they? You see a lovely car, or a beautiful house, a beautiful
woman or man, and the sensory perception awakens the senses.
Then what takes place? Contact, then desire, Now thought comes
in. Can you end there and not let thought come in and take over? I
see a beautiful house, the right proportions, with a lovely lawn, a
nice garden: all the senses are responding because there is great
beauty – it is well kept, orderly, tidy. Why can’t you stop there and
not let thought come in and say, «I must have» and all the rest of it?
Then you will see emotions, or sensations, are natural, healthy,
normal. But when thought takes over, then all the mischief begins.
So to find out for oneself whether it is possible to look at
something with all the senses and end there and not proceed further
– do it! That requires an extraordinary sense of awareness in which
there is no control; no control, therefore no conflict. Just to observe
totally that which is, and all the senses respond and end there.
There is great beauty in that. For after all what is beauty?
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART III CHAPTER
13 QUESTION FROM THE 5TH PUBLIC TALK
SAANEN 22ND JULY, 1975 ‘BEAUTY’

Is beauty in the world of reality? Or is it not within the movement
of thought as time? Please follow this carefully because we are
investigating together. I am not laying down the law. I am just
asking myself: does beauty lie within the movement of thought as
time? That is, within the field of reality. There are beautiful
paintings, statues, sculpture, marvellous cathedrals, wonderful
temples. If you have been to India, some of those ancient temples
are really quite extraordinary: they have no time, there has been no
entity as a human being who put them together. And those
marvellous old sculptures from the Egyptians, from the Greeks,
down to the Moderns. That is, is it expression and creation? Does
creation need expression? I am not saying it does, or does not, I am
asking, enquiring. Is beauty, which is both expression outwardly
and the sense of inward feeling of extraordinary elation, that which
comes when there is complete cessation of the «me», with all its
movements?
To enquire what is beauty, we have to go into the question of
what is creation. What is the mind that is creative? Can the mind
that is fragmented, however capable, whatever its gifts, talent, is
such a mind creative? If I live a fragmented life, pursuing my
cravings, my selfishness, my self-centred ambitions, pursuits, my
pain, my struggle – is such a mind (I am asking) creative? – though
it has produced marvellous music, marvellous literature,
architecture and poetry – English and other literature is filled with it. A mind that is not whole, can that be creative? Or is creation
only possible when there is total wholeness and therefore no
fragmentation? A mind that is fragmented is not a beautiful mind,
and therefore it is not creative.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART III CHAPTER
14 QUESTION FROM THE 6TH PUBLIC TALK
SAANEN 24TH JULY, 1975 ‘THE STREAM
OF»SELFISHNESS»‘

One can see that thought has built the «me», the «me» that has
become independent, the «me» that has acquired knowledge, the
«me» that is the observer, the «me» that is the past and which passes
through the present and modifies itself as the future. It is still the
«me» put together by thought, and that «me» has become
independent of thought. That «me» has a name, a form. It has a
label called X or Y or John. It identifies with the body, with the
face; there is the identification of the «me» with the name and with
the form, which is the structure, and with the ideal which it wants
to pursue. Also with the desire to change the «me» into another
form of «me», with another name. This «me» is the product of time
and of thought. The «me» is the word: remove the word and what is
the «me»?
And that «me» suffers: the «me», as you, suffers. The «me» in
suffering is you. The «me» in its great anxiety is the great anxiety
of you. Therefore you and I are common; that is the basic essence.
Though you may be taller, shorter, have a different temperament,
different character, be cleverer, all that is the peripheral field of
culture; but deep down, basically we are the same. So that «me» is
moving in the stream of greed, in the stream of selfishness, in the
stream of fear, anxiety and so on, which is the same as you in the
stream. Please don’t accept what I am saying – see the truth of it.
That is, you are selfish and another is selfish; you are frightened, another is frightened; you are aching, suffering, with tears, greed,
envy, that is the common lot of all human beings. That is the
stream in which we are living, the stream in which we are caught,
all of us. We are caught in that stream while we are living; please
see that we are caught in this stream as an act of life. This stream is
«selfishness» – let us put it that way – and in this stream we are
living – the stream of «selfishness» – that expression includes all the
descriptions of the «me» which I have just now given. And when
we die the organism dies, but the selfish stream goes on. Just look
at it, consider it.
Suppose I have lived a very selfish life, in self-centred activity,
with my desires, the importance of my desires, ambitions, greed,
envy, the accumulation of property, the accumulation of
knowledge, the accumulation of all kinds of things which I have
gathered – all of which I have termed as «selfishness». And that is
the thing I live in, that is the «me», and that is you also. In our
relationships it is the same. So while living we are together flowing
in the stream of selfishness. This is a fact, not my opinion, not my
conclusion; if you observe you will see it, whether you go to
America, to India, or all over Europe, modified by the
environmental pressures and so on, but basically that is the
movement. And when the body dies that movement goes on… That
stream is time. That is the movement of thought, which has created
suffering, which has created the «me» from which the «me» has
now asserted itself as being independent, dividing itself from you;
but the «me» is the same as you when it suffers. The «me» is the
imagined structure of thought. In itself it has no reality. It is what
thought has made it because thought needs security, certainty, so it has invested in the «me» all its certainty. And in that there is
suffering. In that movement of selfishness, while we are living we
are being carried in that stream and when we die that stream exists.
Is it possible for that stream to end? Can selfishness, with all its
decorations, with all its subtleties, come totally to an end? And the
ending is the ending of time. Therefore there is a totally different
manifestation after the ending, which is: no selfishness at all.
When there is suffering, is there a «you» and «me»? Or is there
only suffering? I identify myself as the «me» in that suffering,
which is the process of thought. But the actual fact is you suffer
and I suffer, not «I» suffer something independent of you, who are
suffering. So there is only suffering… there is only the factor of
suffering. Do you know what it does when you realize that? Out of
that non-personalised suffering, not identified as the «me» separate
from you, when there is that suffering, out of that comes a
tremendous sense of compassion. The very word «suffering» comes
from the word «passion».
So I have got this problem. As a human being, living, knowing
that I exist in the stream as selfishness, can that stream, can that
movement of time, come totally to an end? Both at the conscious
as well as at the deep level? Do you understand my question, after
describing all this? Now, how will you find out whether you, who
are caught in that stream of selfishness, can completely step out of
it? – which is the ending of time. Death is the ending of time as the
movement of thought if there is the stepping out of that. Can you,
living in this world, with all the beastliness of it, the world that
man has made, that thought has made, the dictatorships, the
totalitarian authority, the destruction of human minds, destruction of the earth, the animals, everything man touches he destroys,
including his wife or husband. Now can you live in this world
completely without time? – that means no longer caught in that
stream of selfishness.
You see there are many more things involved in this; because
there is such a thing as great mystery. Not the thing invented by
thought, that is not mysterious. The occult is not mysterious, which
everybody is chasing now, that is the fashion. The experiences
which drugs give are not mysterious. There is this thing called
death, and the mystery that lies where there is a possibility of
stepping out of it.
That is, as long as one lives in the world of reality, which we
do, can there be the ending of suffering in that world of reality?
Think about it. Look at it. Don’t say yes, or no. If there is no ending
of suffering in the world of reality – which brings order – if there is
no ending of selfishness in the world of reality – it is selfishness
that creates disorder in the world of reality – if there is no ending to
that then you haven’t understood, or grasped, the full significance
of ending time. Therefore you have to bring about order in the
world of reality, in the world of relationships, of action, of rational
and irrational thinking, of fear and pleasure. So can one, living in
the world of reality as we are, end selfishness? You know it is a
very complex thing to end selfishness, it isn’t just, «I won’t think
about myself»…. This selfishness in the field of reality is creating
chaos. And you are the world and the world is you. If you change
deeply you affect the whole consciousness of man.
TRUTH AND ACTUALITY PART III CHAPTER
15 QUESTION FROM THE 7TH PUBLIC TALK
SAANEN 27TH JULY, 1975 ‘THE UNIFYING
FACTOR’

What is the unifying factor in meditation? Because that is one of
the most necessary and urgent things. Politicians are not going to
bring this unity however much they may talk about it. It has taken
them thousands of years just to meet each other. What is that
factor? We are talking about a totally different kind of energy,
which is not the movement of thought with its own energy; and
will that energy, which is not the energy of thought, bring about
this unity? For God’s sake, this is your problem, isn’t it? Unity
between you and your wife or husband, unity between you and
another. You see, we have tried to bring about this unity; thought
sees the necessity of unity and therefore has created a centre. As
the sun is the centre of this world, holding all things in that light, so
this centre created by thought hopes to bring mankind together.
Great conquerors, great warriors, have tried to do this through
bloodshed. Religions have tried to do it, and have brought about
more division with their cruelty, with their wars, with their torture.
Science has enquired into this. And because science is the
accumulation of knowledge, and the movement of knowledge is
thought, being fragmentary it cannot unify.
Is there an energy which will bring about this unity, this
unification of mankind? We are saying, in meditation this energy
comes about, because in meditation there is no centre. The centre is
created by thought, but something else, totally different, takes place, which is compassion. That is the unifying factor of mankind.
To be – not to become compassionate, that is again another
deception – but to be compassionate. That can only take place when
there is no centre, the centre being that which has been created by
thought – thought which hopes that by creating a centre it can bring
about unity, like a fragmentary government, like a dictatorship, like
autocracy, afl those are centres hoping to create unity. All those
have failed, and they will inevitably fail. There is only one factor,
and that is this sense of great compassion. And that compassion is
when we understand the full width and depth of suffering. That is
why we talked a great deal about suffering, the suffering not only
of a human being, but the collective suffering of mankind. Don’t
understand it verbally or intellectually but somewhere else, in your
heart, feel the thing. And as you are the world and the world is you,
if there is this birth of compassion you will inevitably bring about
unity, you can’t help it.
BROCKWOOD PARK 1ST PUBLIC TALK 6TH
SEPTEMBER 1975

As we are going to have only four talks and two discussions we
ought to make it as brief and to the point as possible.
We must all be very concerned with what is going on in the
world: the fact of disintegration, the violence, the brutality, the
wars and dishonesty in high political fields. So in the face of all
this disintegration, what is correct action? What is one to do to
survive in freedom and be totally religious? We are using the word
‘religion’ not in the orthodox sense at all, which is no religion, but
the meaning of that word being, «gathering together all energy to
find out what is the place of thought and where its limitations are,
and to go beyond it». That is the true significance and the meaning
of that word religion. If you look into a good dictionary you will
find that. And so what is one to do in this disintegrating, corrupt,
immoral world, what is a human being – not the individual because
there is no such thing as the individual – we are human beings, we
are collective, not individual, we are the result of various
influences, collective influences, forces, conditioning and so on. So
as human beings, whether we live in this country, or in America or
in Russia or in India, which is going through terrible times, what is
one to do? What is the correct, right action? To find this out, if one
is at all serious and I hope we are serious here, otherwise you
wouldn’t have come, what is one to do? Is there an action that is
total, whole, not fragmented, that is both correct, accurate, that is
compassionate, religious in the sense we are using that word,
which has nothing whatsoever to do with belief, dogma, rituals, conditioning of a certain type of religious enquiry, what is a human
being confronted with this problem to do?
To find an answer, not imaginary, fictitious or pretended, to find
the true, the right answer one must enquire into the question of
what is the whole movement of thought. Because all our
conditioning, all our activity, all our religions, all our political,
economic, social, moral life is based on thought. I hope we are
meeting each other in this problem. Thought has been our chief
instrument in all the fields of life, in all the areas, religious, non-
religious, political, economic, social, moral and personal
relationships. I think that is fairly obvious. Please, if I may point
out, we are talking this thing over together. We are enquiring into
this together, you are sharing it, your responsibility is to share it,
not just merely listen to a few ideas, agree or disagree, but to share
it, which means you must give attention, you must care for it, this
problem must be serious, this problem must be something that
touches your mind, your heart, everything in life – otherwise there
is no sharing, there is no communion, there is no communication
except verbally or intellectually and that has very little value. So
we are together enquiring into this question.
And what is the responsibility of thought, knowing its
limitations, knowing that whatever it does is within the limited
area, and in that limited area is it possible to have correct, accurate
response and action? At what level does one find for oneself, as a
human being, the right action? If it is imaginary, personal,
according to an idea or a concept, or an ideal, it ceases to be correct
action. I hope we are understanding each other. The ideal, the
conclusion is still the movement of thought as time, as measure. And thought has created all our problems – in our personal
relationship, economically, socially, morally, religiously, thought
has not found an answer. And we are trying to find out, if we can
this morning, and the next two or three talks, what is a human
being concerned seriously in the face of this enormous problem,
which is very complex, and being committed, responsible, what is
the action that is whole, non-traditional, non-mechanistic, which is
not a conclusion, a prejudice, a belief? That is, I want to find out, if
I am at all serious, how am I to act – in which action there is no
pretension, an action that has no regrets, an action that does not
breed further problems, an action that will be whole, complete and
answer to every issue, whether at the personal level or in the most
complex social level? This is your problem. Unless we solve this
problem very deeply, talking about meditation, what is god, what is
truth and all the rest of it has very little meaning; one must lay the
foundation, otherwise you cannot go very far. One must begin as
close as possible to go very far, and the nearness is you, as a
human being living in this monstrous society, corrupt and all the
rest of it. And one must find for oneself an action that is whole,
non-fragmented, because the world is becoming more and more
dangerous to live in, it is becoming a desert and each one of us has
to be an oasis. And to bring about that, not isolated existence, but a
total human existence, our enquiry is into the problem of action.
Can thought solve our problems – thought being the response of
memory, experience and knowledge? The response of memory.
Memory is a material process. Thought is material and chemical,
and all the scientists agree about this. And the things that thought
has created, if you observe in the world and in ourselves, is the world of reality, the world of things. Reality means – I won’t go
into the root meaning of all that – the word means ‘the thing that
exists’ – not imagined, not fictitious, something that is actual, real.
Reality means this thing. And to find out what truth is one must be
very clear where the limitations of reality are, and not let it flow
into the world that is not real. I don’t know if you are following all
this? May we go on? We are all together in this?
So when one observes in the world and in oneself, thought has
created an extraordinarily complex problem of existence. Thought
has created the centre as the ‘me’ and the ‘you’. And from that
centre we act. Please look at it yourself, observe it, you will see it
for yourself, you are not accepting something the speaker is talking
about, don’t accept anything. You know when one begins to doubt
everything, then from that doubt, from that uncertainty grows
certainty, clarity; but if you start with imagination, belief,
conclusions and live within that area you will end up always
doubting. So here we are trying to investigate, enquire, look into
things that are very close to us, which is our daily life, with all its
misery, conflict, pain, suffering, love and anxiety, greed, envy, all
that.
And as we said, thought has created the ‘me’, and so thought in
itself being fragmentary makes the ‘me’ into a fragment – right?
When you say I, the ‘me’, I want, I don’t want, I am this, I am not
that, it is the result of thought. And thought itself being
fragmentary – thought is never the whole, so what it has created
becomes fragmentary. My world, my religion, my belief, my
country, my god and yours, so it becomes fragmentary. So thought
intrinsically is a process of time, measure and therefore fragmentary. I wonder if you see this. If you see this once very
clearly, then we will be able to find out what is action, a correct,
accurate action in which there is no imagination, no pretension,
nothing but the actual. Right.
So we are trying to find out what is action that is whole, that is
not fragmentary, that is not caught in the movement of time, which
is not traditional and therefore mechanical. One wants to live a life
without conflict and yet live in a society that doesn’t destroy
freedom and yet survives. As the societies and governments
throughout the world are becoming more and more centralized,
more and more bureaucratic, our freedom is getting less and less.
Freedom is not what one likes to do, what one wants to do, that is
not freedom. Freedom means something entirely different: freedom
from this constant battle, constant anxiety, uncertainty, suffering,
pain, all the things that thought has created in us.
So is there an action which is not based on the mechanical
process of memory, on a repetition of an experience and therefore a
continuing in the movement of time as past, present and future, is
there an action that is not conditioned by environment? You know
the Marxists say that control the environment then you will change
man, and that has been tried, and man has not changed. Man is as
primitive, vulgar, cruel, brutal, violent and all the rest of it, though
they are controlling the environment. And there are those who say,
don’t bother about the environment but have a belief in some
divinity and that will guide you. You must know all this. And that
divinity is the projection of thought. So we are back again in the
same field. So realizing all this what is a human being to do?
And can thought, which is material process, which is a chemical process, therefore a thing, a thing which is real, which has created
all this structure, can that very thought solve our problems? You
understand my question? So one must very carefully, diligently,
find out what are the limitations of thought, and can thought realize
itself its limitation and therefore not spill over into the realm which
thought can never touch? I wonder if you see – right? You
understand my question? Thought has created the technological
world, the house, the bicycle, the aeroplane, and thought has also
created the division between you and me. Thought has also created
the image of you and the ‘me’, and these images separate each one
of us. Thought can only function in duality, in opposites, and
therefore all reaction is a divisive process, separating process. And
thought has created time, not only division between human beings,
nationalities, religious beliefs, rituals, dogmas, political
differences, opinions, conclusions, all that is the result of thought.
Thought has also created the division between you and me, as form
and name. And thought has also created the centre which is the ‘me’
as opposed to you, and therefore there is a division between you
and me. Thought has also created this whole structure of social
behaviour, which is essentially based on tradition, which is
mechanical. Thought has also created the religious world – the
Christian, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Muslim, with all the
divisions, all the practices, all the innumerable gurus that are
springing up like mushrooms. It is awfully serious all this, you
don’t know how deadly serious all this is. How they are all
destroying all this.
And thought has created what it considers is love. And is
compassion the result of love, the result of thought? That is our problem – those are all our problems – the technological world, the
world of relationship between man and woman and so on, in which
the image is the most formidable barrier, and the social behaviour
which has become totally immoral, each one seeking his own
pleasure, his own security, his own existence and denying
everything else. And in the world of religion it has projected the
saviours, the gurus, the gods, all kinds of fantastic imaginary
things, fictitious, unreal. And yet we are trying to solve all these
problems through thought. I wonder if you get it – right?
And can thought see itself as the mischief maker, see itself as a
necessary instrument in the creation of a society which is not
immoral? Can thought be aware of itself? You understand my
question? Please do follow this. Can your thought become
conscious of itself? And if it does, is that consciousness part of
thought? One can be aware of the activities of thought, and one can
choose those activities as good and bad, and worthwhile and not
worthwhile, but the choice is still the result of thought. And
therefore it is perpetuating conflict and duality – right? Can thought
be attentive to its own movements? Or is there an entity outside the
field of thought who directs thought? You are following all this?
You understand? I can say, «I am aware of my thoughts, I know
what I am thinking». But that entity that says, I know what I am
thinking, that ‘I’ is the product of thought. And that entity then
begins to control, subjugate, or rationalize thinking. So there is an
entity, we say, that is different from thought – but it is essentially
thought. So what we are trying to explain is: thought is
tremendously limited, it plays all kinds of tricks, it imagines, it
creates a super-consciousness – but it is still thought.       So our problem then is: can thought realize for itself where it is
essential to operate, where it is accurate in its operation and totally
limited in every other direction? That means, one has to go into
this question of human consciousness. You know this sounds very
philosophical, very complicated, but it isn’t. Philosophy means the
love of truth – not love of words, not love of ideas, not love of
speculations, but the love of truth. And that means you have to find
out for yourself where reality is, and that reality cannot become
truth. You cannot go through reality to come to truth. You must
understand the limitations of reality, which is the whole process of
thought – right? You know when you look into yourself, which is
knowing yourself, knowing your consciousness – why you think,
what your motives are, what your purposes are, what your beliefs
are, what your intentions are, what your pretensions, what your
imaginations are – all that is your consciousness. That
consciousness essentially is the consciousness of the world. Please
do see this. Your consciousness is not radically different from the
consciousness of a Muslim, Hindu, anybody else, because your
consciousness is filled with anxiety, hope, fear, pleasure, suffering,
greed, envy, competition, that is your consciousness. And the
beliefs and your gods, everything is in that consciousness. The
content of that makes consciousness. The content of that is thought
– right? The thought that has filled the consciousness with the
things it has created. Look into yourself and you will see how
extraordinary obvious it is.
And from this content, which is tradition, which is conditioned,
which is the result of thought, we are trying to find a way to act
within that area. Right? Within that area of consciousness which thought has filled with the things of thought. And one asks: if
thought cannot solve all our problems, human problems, not
technological problems, not mathematical problems, them how can
it go, or how can it limit itself and not enter into the field of the
psyche, into the field of the spirit – we can use that word for the
moment. You see as long as we function within that area we must
always suffer, there must always be disorder, there must always be
fear and anxiety. So my question is: can I, can a human being bring
about order in the world of reality, and when you have established
order, when thought has established order in the world of reality,
then it will realize its own tremendous limitations. I wonder if you
see – right? We live in a world of disorder, not only outwardly but
inwardly. And we have not been able to solve this disorder. We try
everything – meditation, drugs, accepting authority, denying
authority, pursuing freedom and denying freedom – we have done
everything possible to bring about order – through compulsion,
through fear, through various forms of motivations – but still we
live in disorder. And a disordered mind is now trying to find out if
there is a correct action – you follow? A disordered mind is trying
to find out if there is a right, accurate, correct action. And it will
find an action which is incorrect, disorderly, not whole, therefore
in the world of reality in which we live we must bring order. I
wonder if you see this?
Order is not the acceptance of authority. Order is not what one
wants to do. Order is not something according to a blue print –
right? So order must be something highly mathematical, because
the greatest mathematical order is the total denial of disorder,
within oneself and within every human being. Can you look at your disorder, be aware of it, not choosing particular forms of disorder
and accepting others and denying others, but see the whole
disorder? Disorder implies conflict, self-centred activity, the
acceptance of a conclusion and living according to that conclusion,
the ideal and the pursuit of the ideal which denies the actual, can
you totally deny all that? It is only when you deny totally all that,
that there is order – the order that is not created by thought in the
world of reality. You understand? We are separating the words,
reality and truth. We say reality is everything that thought has
created: and in that area, in that field, there is total disorder, except
in the world of technology. In that field human beings live in
complete disorder, and this disorder is brought about by the things
which we have explained – conflict, the pursuit of pleasure, fear,
suffering, death, all that. Can you become aware of all that and
totally deny it, walk away from it? And out of that comes order in
the world of reality.
So in that world of reality behaviour is something entirely
different. When you have denied all that – you understand what I
am talking about? – when you have denied the ‘me’, which is the
product of thought, which creates the division, the thought that has
created the ‘me’ and the super consciousness, all the rest of it – all
the imaginations, the pretensions, the anxieties, the acceptance and
the denial. That is, the content which is so traditional, to deny that
tradition is to have order. Then we can go into the question of what
truth is, not before because then it becomes pretentious,
hypocritical, nonsensical. In that one has to understand the whole
question of fear, how human beings live in fear, and that fear is
now becoming more and more acute, because the world is becoming so dangerous a place, where tyrannies are increasing,
political tyrannies, bureaucratical tyrannies and therefore denying
freedom for the mind to understand, to enquire.
So can we as human beings, living in this disorderly world and
disintegrating world, become, not in theory or in imagination, but
actually an oasis in a world that is becoming a desert? This is really
a very serious question. And can we human beings educate
ourselves totally differently? And we can do that only if we
understand the nature and the movement of thought as time, which
means really understanding oneself as a human being – to look at
oneself not according to some psychologists, Freudians and
Jungians and all the rest of it, but to look at ourselves actually as
we are, and discover for ourselves how disorderly a life we lead – a
life of uncertainty, a life of pain, living on conclusions, beliefs,
memories – and becoming aware of it and that very awareness
washes away all this.
So perhaps there is no time this morning to go into – perhaps we
will tomorrow morning – into this question of fear which seems to
dominate all our minds, consciously or unconsciously. And that
fear guides our life, not gods, not divinities, not destiny, not
something imagined, but actually this fear of not only physical
survival but also fear of not knowing, fear of not understanding the
whole significance of life, fear in a very, very limited small area of
our self-induced activity. So we can perhaps go into that tomorrow
because that is a very complex problem.
So for this morning can we talk over together by questioning
and enquiring what we have talked about? You understand? Please,
you are asking questions not of me, not of the speaker; we are asking questions of ourselves, saying it aloud so that we can all
share it because your problem is the problem of everybody else.
Your problem is the problem of the world, you are the world. I
don’t think we realize that. You are actually the world, in the very
deepest essence, your manners, your dress, your name and your
form may be different but essentially, deep down you are the
world, you have created the world and the world is you. So if you
ask a question you are asking it for the whole of mankind. I don’t
know if you see that. Which doesn’t mean that you mustn’t ask
questions: on the contrary. Questioning then becomes a very
serious matter, not a glib question and a glib answer, some
momentary question and forget it and pick it up another day. If you
ask, ask something of a really human problem.
Q: Did you say that by walking away from the disorder of
tradition, we create order?
K: Yes, that is what I meant. Now just a minute. That needs a
great deal of explanation. What you mean by tradition; what you
mean by walking away; what you mean by order.
Q: In addition to that question the seeing of this disorder already
implies that the see-er has gone, that you have walked away.
K: That is what I was going to go into. There are three things
involved in this: order, walking away, and the observation of
disorder. Walking away from disorder and the very act of moving
away from it is order.
Now first how do you observe disorder? How do you observe
disorder in yourself? Are you looking at it as an outsider looking
in, as something separate from you and therefore there is a
division, you and the thing which you are observing? Or are you looking at it, if I may ask, not as an outsider, looking at it without
the outsider, without the observer who says, «I am disorderly»?
Look, let us put it round the other way. When you look at
something, say those trees and the house, there is a space between
you and that tree and that house. The space is the distance and you
must have a certain distance to look, to observe. If you are too
close you don’t see the whole thing. So if you are an observer
looking at disorder there is a space between you and that disorder.
Then the problem arises: how to cover that space, how to control
that disorder, how to rationalize this disorder, how to suppress it, or
whatever you do. But if there is no space, you are that disorder. I
wonder if you see that?
Q: How can I walk away from it?
K: One moment, I understand and I am going to show it to you.
I am going to go into that. You understand my question?
One looks at one’s wife – if you have a wife or a husband, or a
boy or a girl, nowadays they don’t marry. So when you observe
your wife, or your husband, your boy or girl, or your friend, how
do you observe him or her? Watch it please. Go into it, it is so
simple. Do it! How do you observe? Do you observe directly? Or
do you observe that person through an image, through a screen,
through a distance? Obviously, if you have lived with a person, it
doesn’t matter if it’s for a day or ten years, there is an image, a
distance. You are separate from that, from her or him. And when
you observe disorder you have an image of what order is. Or an
image which says, this disorder is ugly. So you are looking at that
disorder from a distance, which is time, which is traditional, which
is the past. So you are looking at disorder from a distance. Put it this way: is that distance created by thought, or does this distance
exist actually? When you say, «I am angry» – is anger different
from you? No, so you are anger. So you are disorderly, not you
separate from disorder – right? I think that is clear. Right.
So you are that disorder. Any movement – please follow this –
any movement of thought away from that disorder is still disorder.
No? Because that disorder is created by thought. That disorder is
the result of your self-centred activity, the centre that says, «I am
different from somebody else» and so on and so on and so on. That
is, all that produces disorder. Now can you observe that disorder
without the observer?
Q: Then you will find it in yourself. Then you criticize the
others.
K: No, no. I am not talking about criticizing the others. That has
very little meaning criticizing others
Q: No, what you found in the other.
K: No, madame. The other is me. He may have a red shirt, or a
woman, or a man, or dark coloured or whatever it is, essentially the
other is me – he has his anxieties, his fears, his hopes, his despairs,
his suffering, his pain, his loneliness, his misery, his lack of love
and all the rest of it – that man is me. If that is clear then I am not
criticizing another, I am aware of myself in the other.
Q: That is what I meant.
K: Good.
So can I observe, is there an observation without the past, the
past being the observer? Can you look at me, or look at another
without all the memories, all the chicanery, all the things that go
on, just look? Can you look at your husband, wife and so on, without a single image? Can you look at another without the whole
past springing up? You do it when it is absolutely a crisis. When
there is a tremendous challenge you do look that way. But we live
such sloppy lives, we are not serious, we don’t work.
Q: How can you live permanently at crisis pitch?
K: I’ll answer that question sir, after we have finished this.
So the walking away from it, is to be totally involved in that
which you observe. I cannot walk away from my disorder if I know
I am that disorder. But I can walk away from it if I say, that is
different from me. I am already miles away from it. And when I
observe this disorder without all the reactions, the memories, the
things that crop up in one’s mind, then in that total observation, that
very total observation is order. I wonder if you see this? Which
means sirs and ladies, whether you have ever looked at anything
totally – whether you have looked at your political leaders, your
religious beliefs, your conclusions, the whole thing upon which we
live, which is thought, whether you have looked at it completely.
And to look at it completely means no division between you and
that at which you look. I can look at the mountain and the beauty
of it, the line of it, the shadows, the depth, and the dignity, and the
marvellous isolation and beauty of it, and it is not a process of
identification. I cannot become the mountain, thank god! Or the
tree. That is a trick of the imagination. But when I observe without
the word, the mountain, there is a perception of that beauty
entirely, and there comes a passion out of that. And can I observe
another, my wife, friend, child, whatever it is, can I observe
totally? That means can I observe without the observer who is the
past? That means observation implies total perception. There is only perception, not the perceiver. Then there is order. Right.
Q: If there is only perception and no perceiver, what is it that
looks? If I see that I am disorder, what is it that sees it?
K: Now go into it sir. Disorder is a large word, let us look at it.
When you see that you are violent, and that violence is not
different from you, you are that violence, what takes place? Let us
look at it round the other way.
What takes place when you are not the violence? You say
violence is different from me, what happens then? In that there is
division, in that there is trying to control violence, in that there is a
projection of a state of non-violence, the ideal, and conformity to
that ideal, therefore further conflict, and so on. So when there is a
division between the observer and the observed, the sequence of
that is a continuous conflict in different forms and varieties, and
shapes; but when the observer is the observed, that is when the
observer says, «I am violent, the violence is not separate from me»,
then there is a totally different kind of activity that goes on: there is
no conflict, there is no rationalization, there is no suppression,
control, there is no non-violence as an ideal: your are that. Then
what takes place? I don’t know if you have ever gone into this
question.
Q: Then what is you?
K: There is no you madame.
Q: But you said ‘you’.
K: No, madame, that is a way of speaking. Wait a minute. I
understand. Look, please. You see the difference between the
observer and the observed. When there is a difference between the
observer and the observed there must be conflict in various forms because there is division. When there is a political division, when
there is a national division, there must be conflict, as is going on in
the world. We are all human beings, we call each other Arabs,
Jews or whatever it is, and we are butchering each other. Where
there is division there must be conflict: that is law. And when the
observer is the observed, when violence is not separate from the
observer, then a totally different action takes place. Which is, if
you have gone into it, the word ‘violence’ is already condemnatory
– right? It is a word we use in order to strengthen violence, though
we may not want it, we strengthen it by using that word. Don’t we?
So the naming of that feeling is part of our tradition. If you don’t
name it then there is a totally different response. And because you
don’t name it, because there is no observer different from the
observed, then that feeling which arises which you call violence, is
non existent. You try it and you will see it. You can only act when
you test it. But mere agreement is not testing it. You have to act
and find out. Right.
The next question was about challenge. Must we always live
with challenge?
Q: I said crisis.
K: Crisis, it is the same thing. Aren’t you living in crisis? There
is a political crisis in this country, economic crisis, crisis with your
wife or your husband, crisis means division, doesn’t it? Which
means crisis apparently becomes necessary for those people who
live in darkness, who are asleep – no? If you had no crisis you
would all go to sleep. And that is what we want – for god’s sake
leave me alone, to wallow in my own pond, or whatever it is. So
crisis comes all the time.       Now a much deeper question to all that is: is it possible to live
without a single crisis and keep totally awake? You understand?
Crisis, challenge, shocks, disturbance exist when the mind gets
sluggish, traditional, repetitive, unclear. Can the mind become
completely clear, and therefore to such a mind there is no
challenge? Is that possible?
That means – we have to go much deeper still – which means we
live on experiences, to change our minds, to further our minds, to
enlarge our minds, experiences we think will open the door to
clarity. And a man that has no experience, we think he is asleep or
dull or stupid. A man that has no experience but is fully awake is
an innocent mind, therefore he sees clearly. Now is that possible?
Don’t say yes or no.
Q: When you say he has no experience, do you mean in the
sense that he is ignorant of basic life?
K: Sir, look: we are conditioned by the society in which we live,
by the food we eat, clothes, climate. We are conditioned by the
culture in which we live, by the literature, by the newspapers, by
everything our minds are shaped, consciously, or unconsciously.
When you call yourself a Christian, or a Buddhist, or whatever it
is, that is your conditioning. And we move from one conditioning
to another conditioning. I don’t like Hinduism, I jump into
Christianity, or into something else. If I don’t like one guru, I just
follow another guru. So we are conditioned. Is it possible to
uncondition the mind so that it is totally free? That means is it
possible to be aware of your total conditioning – not choose which
conditionings you like, but total conditioning, which is only
possible when there is no choice and when there is no observer. To see the whole of that conditioning, which is at both the conscious
level as well as at the unconscious level, the totality of it. And you
can see the totality of something only when there is no distance
between you and that – the distance created as movement of
thought, time. Then you see the whole of it. And when there is a
perception of the whole then the unconditioning comes into being.
But we don’t want to work at that kind of thing. We want the
easiest way of everything. That is why we like gurus. The priests,
the politicians, the authority, the specialist, they know, I don’t
know, they will tell me what to do, which is our traditional
acceptance of authority.
Q: A question about true action. Actually as we are, every
action is a self-centred activity. So when you see that, you are
afraid to act because everything has no significance. That is a
reality, not a choice or an imagination. You are facing a terrible
void and you…
K: No, wait. I understand the question sir.
Q: Even material activity.
K: When there is an observation and you see you can’t do
anything, then you say there is a void. Just hold on to that sentence,
to that phrase. When there is an observation, you realize you can’t
do anything and therefore there is a void. Is that so? When I see
that I have been able to do something before there was no void.
You understand? I could do something about this, join the Liberal
Party, or whatever it is, or become a neurotic whatever it is. Sorry!
Before I could do something, and I thought by doing something
there was no void, because that void I had filled by doing
something, which is running away from that void, that loneliness, that extraordinary sense of isolation. And now when I see the
falseness of that, this doing, doing about something which doesn’t
give a significance or answer, then I say to myself, «I observe and I
am the observer and I am left naked, stark naked, void. I can’t do
anything. There is no significance to existence.» Yes sir. Before
you gave significance to existence, which is the significance
created by thought, by all kinds of imaginations, hopes and all the
rest of it, and suddenly you realize that thought doesn’t solve the
problems and you see no meaning in life, no significance. So you
want to give significance to life – you understand? You want to
give it. Life itself has no significance but you follow? Living itself
has no meaning for most of us now. When we are young we say
«Well at least I’ll be happy» sex and you know, all the rest of it. As
we grow older we say, «My god, it is such an empty life», and you
fill that emptiness with literature, with knowledge, with beliefs,
dogmas, rituals, opinions, judgements and you think that has
tremendous significance. And you have filled it with words,
nothing else but words. Now when you strip yourself of words you
say, «My god, I am empty, void».
Q: It is words.
K: Still words, that is what I am saying. Still words. So when
you see that thought has created what you considered significant,
now when you see the limitations of thought, and what it has
created has no significance, you are left empty, void, naked – why?
Aren’t you still seeking something? Isn’t thought still in operation?
When you say, «I have no significance, there is no significance to
life», it is thought that has made you say there is no significance
because you want significance. But when there is no movement of thought life if full of significance. There is tremendous beauty.
You don’t know anything of this.
Q: Thought is afraid not to think.
K: So thought is afraid not to think. So we will go into that
tomorrow. The whole problem of thought creating fear and trying
to give significance to life. If one actually examined one’s life,
there is very little meaning, isn’t there? You have pleasant
memories, or unpleasant memories, which is in the past, dead,
gone, but you hold on to them. There is all this fear of death. You
have worked and worked and worked – god knows why – and there
is that thing waiting for you. And you say, «Is that all?»
So we have to go into this question of the movement of thought
as time and measure. Right sirs.
BROCKWOOD PARK 2ND PUBLIC TALK 7TH
SEPTEMBER 1975

It is a lovely morning, but this gathering isn’t an entertainment. We
are rather serious and we must be serious in facing what we have to
do in life, with all the problems, miseries, confusion, violence and
suffering. It is only those who are really earnest live, but the others
fritter their life away and waste their existence. And if we may we
will continue with what we were talking about yesterday. We were
going to consider this morning, the whole complex problem of
fear. Whether the human mind, which has lived so long, so many
centuries upon centuries, putting up with fear, escaping from it,
trying to rationalize it, trying to forget it, or completely identifying
with something that is not fear. We have tried all these methods,
conscious as well as unconscious fear. And when one asks if it is at
all possible psychologically and from that physiologically, whether
it is at all possible to be free totally, completely of fear. And we are
going to discuss this, talk it over together, and find out for
ourselves if it is at all possible.
Before we go into that we must consider energy, the quality of
energy, the types of energy, and the question of desire. So in order
to understand completely, and if it is possible to be totally free of
fear, we must go into, and consider energy – whether we have
sufficient energy to delve deeply into this question. We know the
energy and friction of thought. It has created most extraordinary
things in the world technologically, and also psychologically we
don’t seem to have that deep energy, drive, interest to penetrate
profoundly into this question of fear.       So we have to first of all understand and go into this question of
thought bringing about its own energy, and therefore fragmentary
energy; and the energy through friction, which is through conflict.
That is all we know: the energy of thought, the energy that comes
in contradiction, in opposing, in duality, the opposites, and the
energy of friction – all that is in the world of reality, reality being
the things with which we live daily, both psychologically as well as
intellectually and so on – right? I hope we are communicating with
each other. Communication implies not only verbal understanding,
but sharing, actually sharing what is being said. Otherwise there is
no communion, communication. There is not only a verbal
communication but a communion which is non verbal. But to come
to that non verbal communion one must understand very deeply the
question, whether it is possible to communicate with each other at
a verbal level, which means that we both of us share the meaning
of the words, have the same interest, the same intensity, at the
same level, so that we can proceed step by step. That requires
energy. And that energy can come into being only when we
understand the energy of thought and its friction, in which we are
caught. That is all we know actually. If you investigate into
yourself you will see that what we know, or experience, or are
aware of, is the friction of thought in its achievement, in its desires,
in its purposes – the striving, the struggle, the competition. All that
is involved in the energy of thought.
Now we are asking if there is any other kind of energy, which is
non mechanistic, non traditional, non contradictory, and therefore
tension and that tension creates energy. I hope you are meeting all
this. To find that out, if there is another kind of energy, not imagined, not fantastic, not superstitious, traditional, but to find
out, we have to go into the question of desire. May we go along?
We are communicating with each other, a little bit at least?
Desire, as most of us have, is the want of something – right?
That is one fragment of desire. Then the longing for something,
whether it is sexual longing or psychological longing, or the so-
called spiritual longing. And the third part of that desire, the other
fragment, is how does this desire arise? Do you follow? There is
desire – desire is the want of something, the lack of something,
missing something. Then the longing for it, either imaginatively, or
actually wanting, like hunger. And there is this whole problem of
how desire arises in one. Because in comprehending, in coming
face to face with fear, we have to understand desire. Desire may be
the root of fear, not the denial of fear, but the insight into desire.
The religious monks throughout the world have denied desire, they
have resisted desire, they have identified that desire with their
gods, with their saviours, with their Jesus and so on and so on and
so on. But it is still desire. And without the full penetration into
that desire, having an insight, fear cannot possible be free from
one’s mind.
So first, how does desire arise? Please you are following all
this? That is, we need a different kind of energy, not the
mechanistic energy of thought, because that has not solved any of
our problems. On the contrary it has made it much more complex,
more vast, impossible to solve them. So we must find a different
kind of energy, whether that energy is related to thought, or
independent of thought, and in enquiring into that one must go into
the question of desire. You are following this? Not somebody else’s desires, but your own desire. Now how does desire arise? If you
have observed yourself, how does this whole feeling of desire,
which is the lack or the want of something? One can see that this
movement of desire takes place through perception, seeing, visual,
then sensation, contact and desire – you follow? One sees
something beautiful, the contact of it, visual, and physical, sensory,
then sensation, then from that the feeling of the lack of that, and
from that desire. That is fairly clear.
Why does the mind, the whole sensory organism, lack – you
follow? Why is there this feeling of lacking something, of wanting
something? I hope you are giving sufficient attention to what is
being said because it is your life. You are not merely listening to
words, or ideas, or formulas, but actually sharing in the
investigating, in the investigating process so that we are together
walking in the same direction, at the same speed, with the same
intensity, at the same level. Otherwise we shan’t meet each other.
That is part of love also. Love is that communication with each
other, at the same level, at the same time, with the same intensity.
So why is there the sense of lacking or wanting in oneself? I do
not know if you have ever gone into this question at all: why the
human mind, human beings, are always after something apart from
technological knowledge. Apart from learning languages and so on
and so on, why is there this sense of wanting, lacking, pursuing
something all the time – which is the movement of desire, which is
also the movement of thought as time and measure? All that is
involved in that. I hope you are following. Shall we go on?
We are asking: why there is this sense of want. Why there is not
this sense of complete self sufficiency. Why is there this sense of longing for something in order to fulfil, or cover up something? Is
it because for most of us there is this sense of emptiness,
loneliness, sense of void? Physiologically we need food, clothes
and shelter, that one must have. But that is denied when there is
political, religious, economic division, nationalistic division, which
is the curse of this world, which has been invented by the western
world, it did not exist in the eastern world, this spirit of nationality.
It has come recently into being there too, this poison. So when
there is division between people, between nationalities and
therefore between beliefs, dogmas, and from that arises economic
division, security for everybody becomes almost impossible. And
the tyrannical world, the dictatorship is trying to provide that, food
for everybody, but it cannot achieve it for everybody. We know all
that. We can move from that.
Then there is this question why psychologically there is this
sense of want, this sense of lacking. And what is it that we lack?
Knowledge? Knowledge being the accumulation of experience,
both scientific, psychological and in other directions, which is,
knowledge is the past. Knowledge is the past. Is this what we
want? Is this what we miss? Is this what we are educated for – to
gather all the knowledge you can possibly have, to act skilfully in
the technological world? Or, is there a sense of lack, want,
psychologically, inwardly? Which means you will try to fill that
inward emptiness, which is the lack, through or with experience,
which is the accumulated knowledge. So you are trying to fill that
emptiness, that void, that sense of immense loneliness, with
something which thought has created. Therefore desire arises from
this urge to fill that emptiness. After all when you are seeking enlightenment, as you call it, or self-realization as the Hindus call
it, it is a form of desire. This sense of ignorance which will be
wiped away, or put aside, or dissipated by acquiring tremendous
knowledge, enlightenment. It is never the process of investigating
‘what is’, but rather by acquiring. I wonder if you follow all this?
Not actually looking at ‘what is’, but inviting something which
‘might be’, or hoping for a greater experience, greater knowledge.
So we are always avoiding ‘what is’. And the ‘what is’ is created by
thought – my loneliness, emptiness, sorrow, pain, suffering,
anxiety, fear – that is actually ‘what is’. And thought is incapable of
facing it and tries to move away from that.
In the understanding of desire, which is perception, seeing,
visual perception, contact, sensation, and the want of that which
you have not, which there is not, and the desire, the longing for it.
That involves the whole process of time. I have not, but I will have.
When I do have, it is measured by what you have. So desire is the
movement of thought in time as measure. Right? Please, you are
not agreeing with me. I am not interested in doing propaganda. I
don’t care if you are here or not here, if you listen or don’t listen.
But as it is your life, as it is so urgently important that we be
deadly serious, the world is disintegrating. You have to understand
this question of desire, energy and the enquiry into a different kind
of non-mechanistic energy. And to come to that you must
understand fear. You get it now? That is, does desire create fear,
the want of something? So what is fear? We are going to enquire
together into this question of fear, all related to each other, they are
not something separate. You say, «Well let’s forget about energy
and desire and please help me to get rid of my fear» – that is too silly. They are all related. You can’t take one thing and approach it
that way. You must take the whole packet.
So what is fear, how does it arise? Is there a fear at one level,
and not at another level? Is there fear at the conscious level, or at
the unconscious level? Or is there a fear totally? Now how does
fear arise? Why does it exist in human beings? And human beings
have put up with it for generations upon generations, they live with
it. And fear distorts action, distorts clear perceptive thinking,
objective efficient thinking, which is necessary, logical, sane
healthy thinking. Fear darkens our lives. I do not know if you have
not noticed it. If there is the slightest fear there is a contraction of
all your senses. And most of us live in whatever relationship we
have, in that peculiar form of fear.
Our question is: whether our mind, our whole being can ever be
free completely of fear? You see, the education, society,
governments, religions have encouraged this fear. All religions are
based on this fear. And fear also is cultivated through the worship
of authority – right? The authority of the book, the authority of the
priest, the authority of those who know, the authority of the
politician and so on and so on. We are carefully nurtured in fear –
right? And we are asking whether it is at all possible to be totally
free. So we have to find out what is fear. Is it the want of
something, which is desire, longing? Is it the uncertainty of
tomorrow? Or the pain and the suffering of yesterday? Is it this
division between you and me, in which there is no relationship at
all? Is it that centre which thought has created as the ‘me’ – the ‘me’
being the form, the name, the attributes, and loosing that ‘me’? Is
that one of the causes of fear? Or is it the remembrance of something past, pleasant, happy, and the fear of losing it? Or the
fear of suffering, both physiologically, neurologically and
psychologically? You are following all this? So is there a centre
from which all fear springs? Like a tree, though it has got a
hundred branches it is a solid trunk, its roots, and it is no good
merely pruning the branches. So we have to go to the very root of
fear. Are we walking together?
What is that root of fear? Because if one can be totally free of
fear, then heaven is with you. So what is the root of it? Is it time?
Please, we are investigating, questioning, we are not theorizing, we
are not coming to any conclusion, because there is nothing to
conclude. The moment you see the root of it, actually, with your
eyes, with your feeling, with your heart, with your mind, actually
see it then you can deal with it. That is if you are serious. So what
is the root of it? We are asking: is it time? – time being not only
chronological time by the watch as yesterday, today and tomorrow,
but also psychologically – yesterday, the remembrance of
yesterday, the pleasures of yesterday, and the pains, the grief, the
anxieties of yesterday, which is time. We are asking whether the
root of fear is time – time to fulfil, time to become, time to achieve,
time to realize god, or whatever you like to call it. And what is
time – not by the watch, that is fairly simple, but psychologically
what is time? Is there such a thing – please listen – as psychological
time at all? Or we have invented psychological time? Is there
psychologically tomorrow? And if you say there is no time
psychologically as tomorrow, it will be a great shock to you. Won’t
it? Because you say, «Tomorrow I will be happy. Tomorrow I will
achieve something. Tomorrow I will become the executive of some business. Tomorrow I will become the enlightened one. Tomorrow
the guru promises something and I’ll achieve it.» To us tomorrow is
tremendously important. And is there a tomorrow psychologically?
We have accepted it: that is our whole traditional education that
there is a tomorrow. And when you look psychologically,
investigate into yourself, is there a tomorrow? Or has thought,
being fragmentary in itself, projected the tomorrow? Please we will
go into this, it is very important to understand.
One suffers physically, there is a great deal of pain. And the
remembrance of that pain is marked, is an experience which the
brain contains, and therefore there is the remembrance of that pain
– right? And thought says, «I hope I never have that pain again» –
that is, tomorrow. There has been great pleasure yesterday, sexual,
whatever kind of pleasure that one has, and thought says,
«Tomorrow I must have that pleasure again.» You have had great
experience – at least you think it is great experience – and it has
become a memory, and you realize it is a memory but yet you
pursue it tomorrow – right? So thought is movement in time. So is
the root of fear time? Time as ‘me’ compared to you, ‘me’ more
important than you, ‘me’ that is going to achieve something,
become something, get rid of something. So thought as time, which
is to become, is the root of fear.
We have said time is necessary to learn a language. Time is
necessary to learn any technique. And we think we apply the same
process to the psychological existence. You are following? I need
several weeks to learn a language and I say in order to learn about
myself, what I am, what I have to achieve, I need time. And we are
questioning the whole of that – whether there is time at all psychologically, actually, or is it an invention of thought, and
therefore fear? You get it? That is one problem.
And consciously we have divided consciousness into the
conscious and the hidden. Again division by thought. And we say,
«I may be able to get rid of conscious fears, but it is almost
impossible to be free of the unconscious fears having their deep
roots in the unconscious.» You follow? We say that it is much
more difficult to be free of unconscious fears – which is the racial
fears, the family fears, the tribal fears, the fears that are deeply
instinctively rooted. We have divided consciousness into two
levels. And then we ask: how can I, how can a human being delve
deeply into the unconscious? – having divided it then we ask this
question, as the Christians who first invented sin, and then the
Saviour who will save you from the sin! This is the same old
problem.
Now: we say it can be done through careful analysis,
introspection. Careful analysis of the various hidden fears, through
dreams – I haven’t time to go into all that, I must be quick because
there is a great deal to cover in one hour. To uncover the
unconscious with all the inherited fears, the racial, the family, the
name, all that is hidden there, and we say we must analyse it –
right? That is the fashion. We never look into the whole process of
analysis, whether it is self-introspective, or professional. In
analysis is implied the analyser and the analysed. Who is the
analyser? Is he different from the analysed? Or the analyser is the
analysed, and therefore it is utterly futile to analyse? I wonder if
you see that? Right? If the analyser is the analysed, then there is
only observation, not analysis – right? But if the analyser is different from the analysed, which is what you all accept, all the
professionals, all the introspective, all the people who are trying to
improve themselves – god forbid! – they are all concerned with this
thing, that there is a division between the analysed and the
analyser. But the analyser is a fragment of thought which has
created that thing to be analysed. I wonder if you follow all this?
So in analysis is implied a division, and that division implies time –
because you have to keep on analysing until you die!
So when analysis is totally false – I am using the word ‘false’ in
the sense of incorrect, it has no value – then you are only concerned
with observation, that is, to observe. So we have to understand the
whole question of what is observation. You are following all this?
We started out by enquiring if there is a different kind of
energy. I am sorry we must go back to it so that it is in your mind –
not memory – then you can read a book and repeat to yourself, that
is nothing. So we are concerned, or enquiring into energy. We
know the energy of thought is mechanistic, a process of friction,
because thought in its very nature is fragmentary, thought is never
the whole, therefore it is a fragment. And we have said, is there a
different kind of energy altogether? And we are investigating that.
And enquiring into that you see the whole movement of desire.
Desire is the state of wanting something, longing for something.
And that desire is a movement of thought as time and measure. «I
had this, I must have more». And we said, in the understanding of
fear, the root of fear may be time as movement. That may be the
root of it. And if you go into it you will see that it is the root of it,
not may be. That is the actual fact. Then is it possible for the mind
to be totally free of fear? That is, the brain which has accumulated knowledge and can only function effectively when there is
complete security – right? And that security may be in some
neurotic activity, in some belief, in the belief that you are the great
nation, in the belief of dozens and dozens of things – all belief is
neurotic, obviously, because it is not actual.
So the brain can only function effectively, sanely, rationally,
when it feels completely secure, and fear does not give it security.
And to be free of that fear we say, analysis is necessary. And we
see that analysis does not solve fear. So when you have an insight
into the process of analysis, you stop analysing – right? And then
there is only the question of observation, seeing. If you don’t
analyse, what are you to do? You can only look. And it is very
important to find out how to look. What does it mean to look?
What does it mean to look at this question of desire as movement
in time and measure? How do you see it? You are following this?
Do you see it as an idea? As a formula because you have heard the
speaker talking about it, therefore abstract what you hear into an
idea and pursue the idea, which is still away from fear. I don’t
know if you see this. So when you observe it is very important to
find out how you observe. Can you observe your fear without the
movement of escaping, suppressing, rationalizing, or giving it a
name, which is quite complex? That is, can you look at fear, your
fear of not having a job tomorrow, of not being loved, a dozen
forms of fear, can you look at it without naming, without the
observer who is different from that which is observed, because the
observer is the observed? I don’t know if you follow all this? So the
observer is fear, not, he is observing fear. Is this getting all too
much?       So can you observe without the observer – the observer being
the past? Then is there fear? You follow? We have the energy to
look at something as an observer. I look at you and say you are a
Christian, a Hindu, Buddhist, whatever you are, I look at you
saying, «I don’t like you», or «I like you». If you believe in the same
thing as I believe you are my friend. If I don’t believe the same
thing as you do you are my enemy. So I am always looking at you
or another – not I, I don’t, thank god – can you look at another
without all these movements of thought, of remembrances, of hope,
all that, just look at yourself, look at that fear which is the root of
time? Then is there fear at all? You understand? You will find this
out only if you test it, if you work at it, not just play with it.
Then there is the other form of desire, which not only creates
fear but also pleasure. Desire is a form of pleasure. Pleasure is
different from joy, from enjoyment. Pleasure you can cultivate,
which the modern world is doing, both sexually, in every form of
cultural encouragement, pleasure, tremendous pleasure and the
pursuit of pleasure. And therefore in the very pursuit of pleasure
there must be fear also, because they are the two sides of the same
coin. And joy you cannot invite. If it happens then thought takes
charge of it and remembers it and pursues that joy which you have
had a year ago, or yesterday, which becomes pleasure. And when
there is enjoyment – seeing a beautiful sunset, a lovely tree or a
deep shadow of a lake – then that enjoyment is registered in the
brain as memory and the pursuit of that memory as pleasure. Do
you follow? There is fear, pleasure, joy and enjoyment. And is it
possible – this is a much more complex problem – is it possible to
observe the sunset, the beauty of a person, the lovely shape of an old ancient tree in a solitary field, the enjoyment of it, the beauty of
it, and observe it without registering it in the brain, which then
becomes memory, and the pursuit of that tomorrow? Do you
follow? That is, to see something beautiful and end it, not carry it.
So there is this problem of fear, pleasure, and also there is
another principle in man: that is the principle of fear, the principle
of pleasure, and suffering. Is there an end to suffering? We want
suffering to end physically, so we take drugs, and do all kinds of
yoga tricks and all that. But we have never been able to solve this
question of suffering, human suffering, not only of a particular
human being but the whole of humanity suffering. There is your
suffering and millions and millions of people in the world suffer,
through war, through starvation, through brutality, through
violence, through bombs, and can that suffering in you as a human
being end? Because if it comes to an end in you, as your
consciousness is the consciousness of the world, because your
consciousness is the consciousness of every other human being –
you may have different peripheral behaviour but basically, deeply,
your consciousness is the consciousness of every other human
being in the world, they suffer, they have pleasure, they have fear,
they are ambitious – you follow – all that is your consciousness. So
you are the world. And if you are completely free of fear you affect
the consciousness of the world. You understand how
extraordinarily important it is that we human beings change,
fundamentally, because that will affect the consciousness of every
human being. That Hitler has done, Stalin affected all the
consciousness of the world, what the priests have achieved in the
name of somebody, it has affected the world. So if you, as a human being, radically transform yourself, be free of fear you will
naturally affect the consciousness of the world.
Similarly if there is a freedom from suffering, because when
there is freedom from suffering there is compassion, not before.
You can talk about it, write books about it, discuss what
compassion is, but the ending of sorrow is the beginning of
compassion. And can your human mind, which has put up with
suffering, endless suffering, having their children killed in wars,
suffering, and willing to accept further suffering by future wars.
Suffering through education – modern education is to achieve a
certain technological state and nothing else and that brings great
sorrow. So compassion, which is love, can only come when you
understand fully the depth of suffering and the ending of suffering.
And can that suffering end – not in somebody else, in you? The
Christians have made a parody of suffering – sorry to use that word
– but it is actually so. The Hindus have made it into an intellectual
affair, that what you have done in a past life, you are paying for in
the present life, and for the future there will be happiness for you if
you behave properly now. But they never behave properly now. So
they carry on with this belief which is utterly meaningless. But if a
man who is serious, who is concerned with compassion, what it
means to love, because without that you can do what you like,
build all the skyscrapers, have a marvellous economic world and
social behaviour and all that, but without that life becomes a desert.
So to understand what it means, or to live with compassion, you
must understand what suffering is. Is suffering apart from the
physical pain, physical disease, physical accident, which generally
affects the mind, distorts the mind? If you have had physical pain for some time it twists your mind, and to be aware that the physical
pain cannot touch the mind requires tremendous inward awareness.
And then there is the suffering apart from the physical, there is
suffering of every kind, suffering in loneliness, suffering when
there is no love and you are not loved, the longing for you to be
loved and never finding it satisfactory, because we make love into
something to be satisfied, we want love to be gratified; and
suffering because there is death, suffering because there is never a
moment of complete wholeness, a complete sense of totality, but
always living in fragmentation, which is contradiction, strife,
confusion, misery. And to escape from that we go to temples, drugs
and various forms of entertainment, religious and non-religious,
group therapy, and individual therapy. You know all those tricks
we play upon ourselves and upon others, if you are clever enough
to play tricks upon others. So there is this immense suffering
brought by man against man. We bring suffering to all the animals,
we kill them, we eat them, we have destroyed species after species
because our love is fragmented: we love god and kill human
beings.
So there is this problem: can that end? Can suffering totally end
so that there is complete and whole compassion? Because suffering
means, the root meaning of that is to have passion, not the
Christian passion, passion, not lust, that is too cheap, that is very
easy, but to have compassion, which means passion for all, for all
things, and that can only come when there is total freedom from
suffering.
You know it is a very complex problem, like everything, like
fear, pleasure and suffering, they are all interrelated, and to go into it and see whether the mind, which includes the brain can ever be
free completely of all psychological suffering, inward suffering. If
we don’t understand that and are not free we will bring suffering to
others, as we have done – though you believe in god, in Christ, in
Buddha, in all kinds of beliefs, you have killed men generation
after generation. You understand what we do, what our politicians
do in India, and here. So what is suffering? And why is it that
human beings who think themselves extraordinarily alive and
intelligent, why have they allowed themselves to suffer? Do you
understand? There is the suffering when there is jealousy – jealousy
is a form of suffering, a form of hate, not only jealousy of those
who have achieved something in this world, or supposedly
achieved in another world, envy is part of our structure, part of our
nature, which is to compare ourselves with somebody else, and can
you live without comparison? We think without comparison we
shall not evolve, we shall not grow, we shall not be somebody. But
have you ever tried to live really, actually without comparing
yourself with anybody? You have read the lives of saints, etc., etc.,
and if you are inclined that way, as you get older, you want to
become like that, not when you are young, you spit on all that; but
as you are approaching the grave you wake up.
So there are different forms of suffering and can you look at it,
observe it, without trying to escape from it, just remain solidly with
that thing? When my wife – I am not married – when my wife runs
away from me, or looks at another man because the wedding has
by law said she belongs to me and I hold her – stupid stuff all this –
and when she moves away from me I am jealous because I possess.
In possession I feel satisfied, I feel safe. And also it is good to be possessed, that also gives satisfaction. And that jealousy, that envy,
that hatred, can you look at it without any movement of thought
and remain with it? You understand what I am saying? Jealousy is
a reaction, a reaction which has been named through memory as
jealousy, and I have been educated to run away from it, to
rationalize it, or to indulge in it, and hate, anger and all the rest of
it. But without doing any of that can my mind solidly remain with
it without any movement? You understand what I am saying? Do it
and you will see what happens
In the same way when you suffer, psychologically, to remain
with it completely without a single movement of thought. Then
you will see out of that suffering comes that strange thing called
passion. And if you have no passion of that kind you cannot be
creative. So out of that suffering comes compassion. And that
energy is totally different from the mechanistic energy of thought –
right?
BROCKWOOD PARK 1ST PUBLIC DIALOGUE
9TH SEPTEMBER 1975

This is a dialogue between two friends, talking over their problems,
who are concerned with not only their own personal affairs, but
also with what is happening in the world. Being serious these two
friends have the urge to transform themselves and see what they
can do about the world and all the misery and confusion that is
going on. So if we could this morning spend some time together
having a friendly conversation, not trying to be clever or trying to
oppose one opinion against another opinion or belief or conclusion,
but together examine earnestly and deeply some of the problems
that one has. And so communication becomes rather important.
And any one question is not only personal but universal. So if that
is understood then what shall we talk over together this morning?
Q: The compilation of your biography has caused much
confusion and quite a lot of questions. I have boiled them down to
a few. May I at least hand them over to you?
K: Do you want to discuss the Biography, written by Mary
Lutyens – do you want to go into that?
Q: No.
K: Thank god!
Q: Briefly and then finish with it.
Q: I would propose that you go into the question of correct and
incorrect thinking as that is a problem. Both kinds of thought, or
thinking processes are mechanical processes.
K: I see. Now wait a minute. Have many of you read the
Biography? Some of you. I was just looking at it this morning. Most of it I have forgotten, and if you want to talk over the
questions that Anneka Korndoffer has put, shall we do that briefly?
Basically the question is: what is the relationship between the
present K and the former K? I should think very little. The whole
question is – if you want to go into it very deeply – how was it that
boy who was found there, discovered as it was called, how was it
that he was not conditioned at all from the beginning, though he
was brought up among a very orthodox traditional Brahmin family
with their superstitions, arrogance and extraordinary religious
sense of morality and so on? Why wasn’t he conditioned then? And
also during all those periods of the Masters, Initiations and so on
and so on and so on – if you have read any of them – why wasn’t he
conditioned and what is the relationship between that person and
the present person? Right? Are you really interested in all this?
Audience: Yes.
K: I am not. The past is dead buried and gone. I don’t know how
to tackle this. One of the questions is: do the Masters as they are
explained, not only in the Theosophical world, but in the Hindu
tradition and the Tibetan tradition maintains that there is a
Bodhisattva – do you understand all this? And that he manifests
himself rarely and that is called in Sanskrit, Avatar, which means
manifestation. And this boy was discovered and prepared for that
manifestation. And he went through all kinds of things. And one
question that may be asked: must others go through the same
process? Christopher Columbus discovered America with sailing
boats, dangerous seas and so on. And must we go through all that
to go to America? You understand my question? It is much simpler
to go by air. That is one question.       What is relevant and irrelevant in all this is the whole structure
in which he was brought up is totally irrelevant, and what is
relevant is the present teachings, and nothing else. So if you are
interested in wanting to find out the reality of the whole past – and I
don’t know why you should be interested in it – if you are and if the
idea that the Bodhisattva – you know this is a very ancient tradition
that there is a state of consciousness, let us put it that way, which is
the essence of compassion. And when the world is in chaos that
essence of compassion manifests itself. That is the whole idea
behind the Avatar and behind the Bodhisattva. And there are
various gradations in all that – Initiations, various Masters and so
on. And also the idea when he manifests all the others keep quiet.
You understand? And he, that essence of compassion, has
manifested at other times. So what is important in all this is, if one
may talk about it briefly: can the mind passing through all kinds of
experiences, either imagined or real – because truth has nothing to
do with experience, one cannot possibly experience truth, it is
there, you can’t experience it – but going through all those various
imagined or illusory or real states has not left the mind
conditioned. The question is: can the mind be unconditioned
always – not only in childhood and therefore gradually get rid of
conditioning, but start unconditioned? I wonder if you understand
this question. That is the underlying problem or issue in these
questions.
So as we said, all that is irrelevant. I do not know if you know
anything about the ancient tradition of India and Tibet and
therefore China and Japan at one time, that the awakening of
certain energy, called Kundalini, if you are interested in all this. And there are now all over America, and in Europe, various groups
trying to awaken their little energy called Kundalini. You have
heard about all this, haven’t you? And there are all kinds of groups
practising it. I saw one group on a television where a man is
teaching them how to awaken Kundalini, that energy, and making
all kinds of tricks and all kinds of words and gestures, which all
become so utterly meaningless and absurd. And there is apparently
such an awakening, which I won’t go into because it is much too
complex and probably is not necessary or relevant.
So I think I have answered this question, haven’t I?
The other question which was put: is there a non-mechanistic
activity? Is there a movement – movement means time – is there a
state of mind, active which is not only not mechanical but not in
the field of time? That is what the question raised involves. Do you
want to discuss that, or something else?
Somebody also put a question on a paper which was sent: what
does it mean to be aware? Is awareness different from attention? Is
awareness to be practised systematically, or does it come about
naturally? That is the question. Are there any other questions?
Q: Would you go into the question of what it is to find one’s
true will?
K: Finding out one’s true will. What is one’s true will.
Q: What is the difference between denial and suppression?
Q: I lose all my awareness when I am alone.
K: Can we talk over together awareness, begin with that and
explore the whole thing, including the will of one’s own destiny,
the destiny, the will in a certain direction? (Is that what you mean
sir?)       Q: Well I am not sure.
Q: What about earnestness and effort?
K: We are now discussing awareness. Does choice indicate
freedom? Please this a discussion. I chose to belong to this society,
or that society, to that cult, or another, to a particular religion or
not, I chose a particular job – choice. Does choice indicate
freedom? Or freedom denies choice? Please let is talk over together
this.
Q: Freedom means no choice is needed.
K: But we chose and we think because we have the capacity to
choose that we have freedom. I chose between the Liberal Party
and the Communist Party, or the Conservative Party. And in
choosing I feel I am free. Or I chose one particular form of guru or
another, and that gives me a feeling that I am free. So does choice
lead to awareness?
Q: No.
K: Go slowly.
Q: Choice is the expression of conditioning, is it not?
K: That is what I want to find out.
Q: It seems to me that one either reacts out of habit, or one
responds without thinking.
K: We will come to that. We will go into what does it mean to
respond without choice. We are used to choosing. That is our
conditioning.
Q: Like and dislike.
K: All that is implied in choice. I chose you as my friend, I deny
my friendship to another and so on and so on and so on. I want to
find out, one wants to find out if awareness includes choice. Or is awareness a state of mind, a state of observation in which there is
no choice whatsoever? Is that possible? One is educated from
childhood to choose, and that is our tradition, that is our habit, that
is our mechanical, instinctive reaction. And we think because I
chose there is freedom.
And what does awareness mean? To be aware? It implies,
doesn’t it, not only physiological sensitivity, physical sensory
sensitivity, but also a sensitivity to my environment, to nature,
sensitivity to other people’s reactions, and sensitivity to my own
reactions – not I am sensitive and to every other person I am not
sensitive. That is not sensitivity.
So awareness implies, doesn’t it, a total sensitivity – to colour, to
nature, to all my reactions, how I respond to others – all that
implies awareness, doesn’t? I am aware of this tent, the shape of it
and so on and so on and so on. One is aware of nature, the world of
nature, the trees, the beauty of trees, the silence of the trees, you
know the shape and the beauty and the depth, and the solitude of
trees. And one is aware also of one’s relationship to others, intimate
and not intimate. Whether in that awareness there is any kind of
choice. That is a total awareness, not only neurologically,
physiologically but psychologically, to everything around me, to
the influences, to all the noise and so on and so on. Is one so aware
– not only to the beliefs of one’s own but of others, the opinions,
judgements, evaluations, the conclusions? All that is implied –
otherwise one is not aware. And can you practise awareness? By
going to a school, college, or going to a place where there is a guru
who will teach me to be aware, is that awareness? Which is, is
sensitivity to be cultivated through practise? Come on sirs.       Q: That becomes selfishness.
K: Yes, that is unless there is total sensitivity, awareness merely
then becomes concentration on oneself.
Q: Which excludes awareness.
K: Yes, that is right. So there are so many schools, so many
gurus, so many ashramas, retreats, where this thing is practised.
Q: When it is practised it is just the old trick again.
K: This is so obvious. One goes to India, or to Japan to learn
what it means to be aware. The Zen practice, you know all that. Or
is awareness a movement of constant observation – not only what I
feel, what I think, but also what other people are saying about me,
if they say it in front of me, to listen, and to be aware of nature, of
what is going on in the world? That is the total awareness.
Obviously it can’t be practised.
Q: It is a non-movement.
K: No, it is movement in the sense alive.
Q: It is a participation.
K: Participation implies action. If there is action through choice,
that is one kind of action. If there is an action of total awareness,
that is a totally different kind of action, obviously. So is one so
aware? Or we indulge in words of being aware? You understand?
To be aware of the people around one, the colour, their attitudes,
their walk, the way they eat, the way they think – you know aware –
without indulging in judgement.
Q: Is it something to do with motive? If you have a motive…
K: Of course. Motive comes into being when there is choice.
That is implied. When I have a motive then the choice takes place.
I chose you because I like you, or you flatter me, or you give me something or other. And the other doesn’t, therefore there is choice
and so on.
So is this possible, this sense of total awareness?
Q: Is there a degree of awareness?
K: Is there a degree of awareness. That is, is awareness a
process of time?
Q: Can one man be more aware then another?
K: Why should I enquire if you are more aware than I am? Just
a minute, let us go into it. Why this comparison? Is it not also part
of our education, our social conditioning which says we must
compare to progress? – compare one musician against another, one
painter and so on and so on. And we think by comparing we begin
to understand. Comparing means measurement, which means time,
thought, and is it possible to live without comparing at all? You
understand? One is brought up, educated, in schools, colleges, and
universities to compare oneself with A who is much cleverer than
myself and try to reach his level. This constant measurement, this
constant comparison, and therefore constant imitation, which is
mechanical. So can we find out for ourselves whether it is possible
to be totally sensitive and therefore aware?
Q: Can you know if you are totally aware or not?
K: Can you know if you are aware or not.
Q: Totally aware.
K: Totally.
Q: Can we think our thoughts? Can we be aware of our
awareness?
K: No. Can we be aware of our awareness?
Q: You can be aware when you are not aware.       K: Watch it in yourself. It becomes speculative, verbal, but
when you are aware, do you know you are aware?
Q: No.
K: Find out, Test it madame, test it. Do you know when you are
happy? The moment you are aware that you are happy it is no
longer happiness.
Q: You know when you have got a pain.
K: Wait. That is a different matter. When I have got pain I am
aware that I have got pain and I act, do something about it. That is
one part of being aware, unless I am paralysed totally, then I am
not aware that I have pain. Most people are in other directions.
So we are asking ourselves, not asking somebody else to tell me
I am aware, I am asking, one is asking oneself if there is that
quality of awareness? Does one watch the sky – you follow? – the
evening stars, the moon, , the birds, and people’s reactions, you
know, the whole of it? And what is the difference between that
awareness and attention? In awareness is there a centre from which
you are aware? You understand? When I say, I am aware, then
from a centre I move, I respond to nature, from a centre I respond
to my friends, to my wife, husband or whatever it is – right? If there
is a centre from which I respond – that centre being my prejudices,
my conditioning, my desires, my fears and all the rest of it – then in
that awareness is there a centre? You follow? So in attention there
is no centre at all, obviously. Now please listen to this for two
minutes. You are now listening to what is being said, and to what
is being said you are giving total attention. That means you are not
comparing, you do not say, I already know what you are going to
say, or I have read what you have said, etc., etc. All that is gone, you are completely attentive and therefore there is no centre and
that attention has no border. I don’t know if you haven’t noticed.
So by being aware one discovers one responds from a centre,
from a prejudice, from a conclusion, from a belief, from a
conditioning, which is the centre. And from that centre you react,
you respond. And when there is an awareness of that centre, that
centre yields and in that there is a total attention. I wonder if you
understand this? And this you cannot practise. It would be too
childish, that becomes mechanical.
So we go to the next question, which is: is there an activity
which is non-mechanistic? That means, is there a part of the brain
which is non-mechanical. Do you want to go into this. No, no,
please, this isn’t a game. First of all one has to go into the question
of what is a mechanical mind – right?
Is the brain, which has evolved through millenia, is that totally
mechanical? Or is there a part of the brain which is not mechanical,
which has never been touched by the machine of evolution? I
wonder if you see.
Q: What do you mean by mechanical?
K: We are going to discuss that sir. Part of this mechanical
process is functioning within the field of conditioning. That is,
when I act according to a pattern – Catholic, Protestant, Hindu,
whatever it is – according to a pattern set by society, by influence,
by my reading, and accept that pattern or a belief and so on, then
that is part of the mechanical process. The other part of the
mechanical process is, having had experiences of innumerable
kinds which have left memories, and act according to those
memories, that is mechanical – like a computer, which is purely mechanical. Now they are trying to prove it is not so mechanical,
but let’s leave that alone for the moment.
Then mechanical action is, accepting tradition and following
tradition. One of the aspects of that tradition is acceptance and
obedience to a government, to priests, you know, obedience. And
the mechanical part of the brain is following consciously or
unconsciously a line set by thought as the goal and purpose. All
that and more is mechanical. And we live that way.
Q: Is thought of itself mechanical?
K: Of course. That is the whole point.
So one has discovered for oneself, not told by others as then that
becomes mechanical. If one discovers for oneself how
mechanically our thinking, our feeling, our attitudes, our opinions
are, all that, if one is aware of that, which means thought is
invariably mechanistic – thought being the response of memory,
experience, knowledge, which is the past. And responding
according to that pattern of the past is mechanistic, which is
thought. Right?
Q: All thought?
K: All thought, of course. Whether noble thought, ignoble
thought, sexual thought or technological thought, it is all thought.
Q: Part of the great genius also?
K: Absolutely, Wait, wait we must go into the question of what
is a genius. No, we won’t go into that yet.
Q: So if all thought is mechanical, the expression which you
often use ‘clear thinking’ seems to be a contradiction.
K: No, no. Clear thinking is to see clearly, obviously, clear
thinking is to think clearly, objectively sanely, rationally, wholly.       Q: It is still thought.
K: It is still thought. Wait, of course it is.
Q: So what is the use of it?
K: What is the use of clear thought. If there was clear thought I
wouldn’t belong to any political party. I might create a global party,
because obviously – that is another matter.
Q: Can we get back to your question as to whether there is a
part of the brain which is untouched by conditioning?
K: That’s right sir. To go into this requires one to be very
careful and hesitant – you know, one has to enquire into this – not
say «Yes, there is», or not. «I have experienced a state where there
is no mechanism» – that is all too silly. But to really enquire and
find out you need a great deal of subtlety, great attentive quality to
go step by step into it, not jump.
So we say most of our lives are mechanistic. The pursuit of
pleasure is mechanistic – right? But we are pursuing pleasure. Now
how will we find out if there is a part of the brain that is not
conditioned? How will you find out? This is a very, very serious
question, it is not for sentimentalists, or romantic people, or
emotional people, this requires very clear thinking. And when you
think very clearly you see the limitation of thinking.
Q: Are we going to look very clearly at the barriers which
interfere with an unconditioned mind?
K: No. We are trying to understand, or explore together the
mechanistic mind first. Without understanding the totality of that,
you can’t find out the other. We have asked the question: is there a
part of the brain, part of our total mind in which is included the
brain, emotions, neurological responses, the total brain, is that completely mechanistic? And when I put that question to myself I
might imagine that it is not, because I want the other, therefore I
deceive myself. I pretend that I have got the other. So I must
completely understand the movement of desire. You follow all
this? Not suppress it, but understand it, have an insight in this –
which means fear, time and all that we talked about the day before
yesterday.
So we are now enquiring: is our total activity mechanistic? That
means am I, or you, are we, or is one clinging to memories? – the
Hitlarian memories and all that, the memories of various
pleasurable and painful experiences, the memories of sexual
fulfilment and the pleasures and so on. That is, is one living in the
past?
Q: Always I am.
K: Of course! So all that you are is the past, which is
mechanistic. So knowledge is mechanistic. I wonder if you see
this?
Q: Why is it so difficult to see this?
K: Because we are not aware of our inward responses, or aware
of what actually is going on within oneself – not imagine what is
going on, or speculate about what is going on, or repeat what is
going on because we have been told by somebody else, but actually
being aware.
Q: Aren’t we guided to awareness by experience?
K: No. Now wait a minute. What do you mean by experience?
The word itself means to go through – to go through, finish, not
retain. You have said something that hurts me. That has left a mark
on the brain and when I meet you that memory responds. Obviously. And is it possible when you hurt me, say something
cruel, violent, or justified, to observe it and not register it. You
understand? Try it sir. You try it, test it out.
Q: It is very difficult because the memory has already been hurt
sir, we never forget it.
K: Don’t forget. Do go into this. From childhood we are hurt,
which is happening to everybody, in school, at home, at college, in
universities, the whole society is a process of hurting others. One
has been hurt and one lives in that, consciously, or unconsciously.
So there are two problems involved: the past hurt retained in the
brain, and not to be hurt. That which has given you and the
memory of hurts, and never to be hurt. Now is that possible?
Q: If you are not there.
K: Go into it sir, go into it. You will discover it for yourself and
find out. That is, you have been hurt.
Q: The image of myself…
K: Go into it slowly. What is hurt? The image that you have
built about yourself, that has been hurt. Why do you have an image
about yourself? Because that is the tradition, part of our education,
part of our social reactions. There is an image about myself and
there is an image about you in relation to my image. So I have got
half a dozen images and more. And that image about myself has
been hurt. You call me a fool and I shrink, and it has been hurt.
Now how am I to dissolve that hurt and not be hurt in the future,
tomorrow, or the next moment? You follow the question? There
are two problems involved in this. One, I have been hurt and that
creates a great deal of neurotic activity, resistance, self protection,
fear, all that is involved in the past hurt; and also how not to be hurt any more – right?
Q: One has to be totally involved.
K: Go into it sir. Look at it and you will find out. You have
been hurt haven’t you – I am not talking to you sir. You have been
hurt haven’t you, and you resist, you are afraid of being hurt more.
So you build a wall round yourself, isolate yourself, and the
extreme form of that isolation is total withdrawal from all
relationship. And you build a wall and you remain in that but you
have to live, you have to act. So you are always acting from a
centre that is hurt and therefore neurotically acting – right? You can
see this happening in the world, in oneself. And how are those
hurts to be totally dissolved and not leave a mark, and also in the
future not to be hurt at all? Right, the question is clear, is it?
Now how do you approach this question: how to dissolve the
hurts and be concerned with that, or how not to be hurt at all?
Which is the question you put to yourself? Put to yourself. Now
which do you want answered? To dissolve all the hurts, or no more
hurts. You understand? Which is it that comes to you naturally?
Q: No more hurts.
K: Don’t guess. If you say «I will find out if it is possible not to
be hurt at all» – then you will have to solve the problem of past
hurts, won’t you? I don’t know if you see that. But if you say, «I
will try to dissolve my past hurts», you are still living with hurts. I
wonder if you see – right? So if you see that: if it is possible to have
no hurt, then you have solved the past hurts. Shall we go on? So
the question is: is it possible not be hurt? Which means is it
possible not to have an image about yourself?
Q: If we see that image is false…       K: No false or truth. Don’t – you see you are already operating
in the field of thought. So is it possible not to have an image at all
about yourself, or about another, naturally? And if there is no
image, isn’t that true freedom? You see it? We are doing it slowly.
Q: Sir, if what happens to you is of no importance to you, then
it doesn’t matter, and it won’t affect you and it won’t hurt you. If
you have managed to get rid of your self importance…
K: Yes, sir. The gentleman says if you can get rid of your self
importance, your arrogance, your vanity, your etc., etc. then you
won’t be hurt. But how am I to get rid of all that garbage which I
have collected?
Q: I think you can get rid of it by being entirely aware of the
relationship between yourself and your physical body and your
thinking. How you control your physical body and…
K: I don’t want to control anything, my body, my mind, my
emotions. That is the traditional, mechanistic response. Sorry!
Please go into this a little bit and you will see. First of all the
idea of getting rid of an image implies there is an entity who is
different from the image, and therefore he can then kick the image.
But is the image different from the entity who says, I must get rid
of it? Therefore there is no control. Therefore when you see that
you are no longer functioning mechanistically.
Q: Surely by destroying one image we are immediately building
another one?
K: We are going to find out if it is possible to be free of all
images, not only the present one but the future ones. Now why
does the mind create an image about itself? Come on sirs. Why do
I create an image about myself? I say I am a Christian, that is an image. I belief in the Saviour, in Christ, in all the rituals, you
know, all that, why? Because that is my conditioning. Go to India
and they say «What are you talking about, Christ? I have got my
own gods, as good as yours, if not better.» So that is his
conditioning. If I am born in Russia and educated there I say «I
believe in neither. The State is my god and Marx is the first
prophet» and so on and so on and so on.
So the image formation is brought about through propaganda,
conditioning, tradition – right?
Q: Sir, is that related to the fact that out of fear one behaves in a
certain way which is not natural for one to behave, and therefore
one is not being oneself? And that is making the image that you are
talking about.
K: The image is what we call oneself. I must express myself. I
must fulfil myself – myself is the image according to the
environment and culture in which I have been born. I believe there
was a tribe in America, among the Red Indians where anybody
who had an image about himself was killed, was liquidated. That
lead to ambition and all the rest of it. I wonder what would happen
if they did it to all of us. It would be a lovely world, wouldn’t it?
So: is it possible not to create images at all? That is, I know, I
am aware that I have an image, brought about through culture,
through propaganda, tradition, family, you follow, the whole
pressure.
Q: We cling to the known.
K: That is the known, tradition is the known. And my mind is
afraid to let that known go, the image go, because the moment it
lets it go it might lose a profitable position in society, might lose status, might lose a certain relationship and so on and so on, so it is
frightened, and yet holds to that image. The image is merely words,
it has no reality. It is a series of words, a series of responses to
those words, a series of beliefs which are words – I believe in
Christ. Or in Krishna, or whatever they believe in in India, or
Marx. They are just words ideologically clothed. And if I am not a
slave to words then I begin to lose the image. I wonder if you see
how deeply rooted words have become significant.
Q: If one is listening to what you say and realize that one has an
image about oneself, and that there is a large discrepancy between
the image one has of oneself and the ideal of freedom…
K: It is not an ideal.
Q: Freedom itself. Then knowing that there is a discrepancy can
one think of freedom knowing that it is just an idea?
K: That is why sir – is freedom an abstraction, a word in
abstraction? Or a reality?
Q: It is free of relationship, is it not?
K: No sir, please we are jumping from one thing to another. Let
us go step by step. We began by asking whether there is any part of
the brain, which means any part of the total entity, that is not
conditioned? We said conditioning means the image forming – the
image that gets hurt and the image that protects itself from being
hurt. And we said there is only freedom, the actuality of that state,
not the word, not the abstraction, but the actuality of that word
when there is no image which is freedom. When I am not a Hindu,
Buddhist, Christian, Communist, Socialist – you follow? – I have
no label, and therefore no label inside. I am a global politician –
sorry!       Now is it possible not to have an image at all? And how does
that come about?
Q: Isn’t it all to do with the activity…
K: No sir. Look. Please we come to a point and go off after
something else. I want to find out, one wants to find out whether it
is possible to live in this world without a single image.
Q: When there is no observer there is nothing observed and yet
one comes across something in this silence.
K: Madame, is this an actual fact that there is no observer in
your life, not occasionally? Please, please – we go off into
something. Is it possible to be free of the image that society,
environment, culture, education has built in one? Because one is all
that – right? You are the result of your environment, of your
culture, of your knowledge, of your education, of your
technological job, of your pleasure, you are all that.
Q: What happens to one’s sense of orientation without a centre?
K: All that comes a little later, please.
Q: If you are aware of your conditioning does that free you?
K: Now are you actually, not theoretically or in abstraction,
actually aware that you are conditioned this way, therefore you
have got an image?
Q: If you don’t have the image then you don’t know what your
place is.
K: Wait, listen to that carefully. If you have no image, you have
no place in the world. Which means if you have no image you are
insecure. Go step by step. Now are you, having a place in the
world, secure?
Q: No.       K: Be actual.
Q: Sir when you see that the image that you have built, you
think you are attached to, when you see that it is just a load of
words…
K: So you are finding security in a word, and therefore it is not
a security at all. You understand sir? We have lived in words and
made those words something fantastically real. So if you are
seeking security, it is not in an image, it is not in your environment,
in your culture. I want security, I must have security, that is
essential, food, clothes, and shelter. I must have it otherwise I can’t
function. Now that is denied totally when I belong to small groups
– right? When I say I am a German, or a Russian, or an
Englishman, I deny complete security. That is, I deny security
because the words, the labels have become important, not security.
I wonder if you see? Right, we meet this? This is what is actually
happening, the Arab and Israel, both want security – right? And
both are accepting words and all the rest of it.
Now we come to the point: is it possible to live in this world,
not go off into some fantastic realm or illusion, or monasteries and
all the rest of it, live in this world without a single image and be
totally secure?
Q: How can we be secure in a sick society?
K: I am going to go into this madame, I’ll show it to you.
Q: All right. I am going to hold on to it.
K: All right you have got your security, then hold on to your
security. Please go with me. I’ll show you that there is complete
security, absolute security, not in images.
Q: To be totally aware every moment, then your conditioning does not exist.
K: Not, if you are aware. Are you aware that you have an image
and that image has been formed by the culture, society and all the
rest of it? Are you aware of that image? And you discover that
image in relationship, don’t you? How you react in relationship
with each other. When you tell me something ugly and I get hurt,
that is, the image is hurt, the image is me, carefully put together by
words. I am a Christian. I believe in this. I do not believe in that.
This is my opinion – you follow? Now we are asking ourselves
whether it is possible to be free of images? That means sir – listen
to it carefully – that means when you say something to me that is
vulgar, hurting, at that moment to be totally aware of what you are
saying and how I am responding. Totally aware, not partially – I
like what you said about me, it is pleasant and I hold on to that, and
what somebody else says is unpleasant and I get hurt. But to be
totally aware of both, the pleasurable image which I have and the
unpleasurable image which has been put together. To be aware
totally at the moment of the reaction to your insult or praise. At
that moment you don’t then form an image. There is no recording
in the brain of the hurt, of the insult or the flattery, therefore there
is no image. That requires tremendous attention at the moment.
Which demands a great inward perception, you understand sir –
which is only possible when you have looked at it, watched it, you
have worked. You don’t just say, «Well tell me all about it. I want
to be comfortable.»
Q: Who watches all this?
K: Now who watches all this. If there is a watcher then the
image is continuous. If there is no watcher there is no image. Obviously.
So: in that state of attention both the hurt and the flattery, or the
pleasant things, are both observed, not reacted to. Both observed
and you can only observe when there is no observer, who is the
past. It is the past observer that gets hurt. There is only observation
when there is flattery and insult, then it is finished. And that is real
freedom.
Now follow it. In this world, if I have no image, as you say, I
shall not be secure. One has found security in things, in a house, in
a property, in a bank account, that is what we call security. And
you have also found security in belief. I believe – if I am a Catholic
living in Italy – I believe in that it is much safer to believe what ten
thousand people believe. There I have a place. And when that
belief is questioned I resist. And Protestantism grew out of that and
so on and so on.
Now can there be a total awareness of all this? So my mind is
tremendously active you understand? Not say, «I must be aware»,
«I must learn how to be» – play games. It requires that you are
tremendously active, the brain is alive.
Then we can move from that to find out if there is in the brain a
part that has not been conditioned at all, which is part of the brain
which is non-mechanistic. I am putting a false question, I don’t
know if you see that. Do see it quick; do see it. Please just listen
for two minutes, I am on fire, sorry, excuse me.
If there is no image which is mechanistic, and there is freedom
from that image, then there is no part of the brain that has been
conditioned. Full stop. You understand? Then my whole brain is
unconditioned.       Q: It is on fire!
K: Yes, therefore it is non-mechanistic and that has got a totally
different kind of energy. Not the mechanistic energy – right? I
wonder if you see this. Please don’t make an abstraction of it
because then it becomes words. But if you see this, that your brain
has been conditioned through centuries, saying survival is only
possible if you have an image which is created by the circle in
which you live, and that circle gives you complete security. We
have accepted that as tradition, and we live in that way. I am an
Englishman – you follow – I am better than anybody else, or a
Frenchman or whatever it is. Now my brain is conditioned, I don’t
know whether it is whole or part, I only know that it is conditioned.
There is no enquiry into the unconditioned state until the
conditioning is non-existent. So my whole enquiry is to find out
whether the mind can be unconditioned, not jump into the other
because that is too silly. So I am conditioned by belief, by
education, by the culture in which I have lived, by everything, and
to be totally aware of that, not discard it, not suppress it, not
control it, but to be aware of it. Then you will find if you have
gone that far there is security only in being nothing.
Q: What about images in relationship? Don’t belong to a
community. I quite agree with you. You don’t want any
psychological image but you must have a physical image for your
physical survival. And even if you want to drop it you can’t
because the other one puts it on you.
K: Sir, if I want to survive physically, what is preventing it? All
the psychological barriers which man has created – right? So
remove all those psychological barriers, you have complete security.
Q: No, because the other one puts it on you, not yourself.
K: Nobody can put you into prison.
Q: They kill you.
K: Then they kill you, all right. Then you will find out how to
meet death – not imagine what you are going to feel when you die,
which is another image. Oh, I don’t know if you see all this.
So nobody can put you psychologically into prison. You are
already there. We are pointing out that it is only possible to be
totally free of images, which is the result of our conditioning. And
one of the questions about the biography is that whole point: how
was one, that young boy, or whatever he was, how was he not
conditioned right through? I won’t go into that because it is a very
complex problem, I will not go into that. If one is aware of one’s
own conditioning then the whole thing becomes very simple. Then
genius is something entirely different.
That leaves the question of what is creation – right sir?
BROCKWOOD PARK 2ND PUBLIC DIALOGUE
11TH SEPTEMBER 1975

K: What shall we talk over this morning together?
Q: Continue with the question about security and being nothing.
Q: You were going to speak on what is creation and to say
something about creative intelligence.
Q: Is there any reality in the belief of reincarnation, and what is
the nature and quality of the meditative mind?
Q: The difference between denial and suppression of habit.
Q: You were saying that for the mind to function sanely one
must have great security, food and shelter. This seems logical. But
it seems that in order to try and find a way of having this security
one encounters the horrors and the difficulties which makes things
so hard and impossible sometimes. What is the right action?
K: I don’t quite follow this.
Q: How are we to live and have this basic security without
taking part in all the horrors that are involved in this?
K: Do we understand rightly that you are asking: what is the
correct action in a world that is chaotic, insecure, where there is no
security, one must have security and what is one to do? Is that the
question? Are you quite sure?
Q: I have a question that when I ask myself I always come up to
a wall. I say, «I am the observer» and I would like to see the whole
of the observer. I cannot see the whole of the observer because I
can only see in fragments: so how is the observer to see the whole
of the observer unless there is no observer? So how can the
observer see the observer with no observer?       K: How can one see the whole of the observer and can the
observer watch himself as the observer? Is that the question?
Q: When a situation occurs, what keeps one into the
observingness that the observer is different from what is observed?
It seems a lack of attention to the moment, at that point, but that
attention to the point requires a tremendous vitality that we don’t
have.
K: Have I understood the question rightly sir? We do not have
enough energy to observe wholly. Is that it?
Q: Yes.
K: Now which of these questions shall we talk over together?
Q: May I just ask a question? Can an act of will-power – I think
you call it an act of friction – can this generate the vitality or the
passion?
K: Can will generate sufficient energy to see clearly. Would that
be right?
Q: Yes.
Q: What happens to the brain and the process of thought during
hypnosis? Is hypnosis a way of looking at one’s thought process?
K: Have you heard that question?
Q: For medical reasons, we use hypnosis in medicine. What is
the process of thought in that particular case?
K: What is the process of thought when there is hypnosis. Is that
it?
Now wait a minute sirs: we have got so many questions. What
shall we begin with? The observer?
Q: Yes.
K: The observer, and to see the whole of that of that observer one needs energy, and how is that energy to be derived, to be got.
How is that energy to be acquired? And will that energy reveal the
totality of the whole nature and structure of the observer? Should
we discuss that? And what is the quality of the mind that has this
meditative process and so on. Now wait a minute.
How is one to observe the whole of something,
psychologically? How is one to be aware of oneself totally? Can
we begin with that? How am I, or we, or one to be wholly aware of
oneself?
Q: Surely one can only be aware.
K: Yes sir. How is one, you or I, to be aware of the totality of
our consciousness, with all its content – right? Would you like to
discuss this? That is what was proposed. Is it possible to see the
totality of one’s own reactions, the motives, the fears, the anxieties,
the sorrows, the pain, the totality of all that? Or must one see it in
fragments, in layers? Shall we discuss that? How is one to be
aware of the content of one’s consciousness? Right, can we begin
with that?
What is consciousness? What do you think is consciousness?
Under hypnosis as well as when one is not hypnotized. Most of us
are hypnotised – by words, by propaganda, by tradition, by all the
things that we believe in, and so on. We are hypnotized not only
externally, by external influence, but also we have our own
peculiar process of hypnotizing ourselves into believing something,
or not believing, and so on and so on. All that – can one see the
totality of one’s consciousness? Come on sirs, let us enquire into
this?
Q: The observer cannot see.       K: Don’t let us say one can, one cannot, it is so, it is not so. Let’s
enquire.
Q: One has the feeling one has to begin.
K: We are going to begin sir. How shall I begin, from where
shall I begin? To be aware of myself – myself being all the beliefs,
the dogmas, the conclusions, the fears, the anxieties, the pain, the
sorrow, the fear and the fear of death, and so on, the whole of that,
where shall we begin to find out the content of this? You
understand?
Q: You just asked what consciousness was.
K: We are going into that.
Q: If one is going to observe, is it true that one has to stand
outside the things that one is observing?
K: Madame I am asking, if I may, how shall I begin to enquire
into the whole structure of myself? If I am interested, if I am
serious, where shall I begin?
Q: Is the question «Who I am?»
K: Enquire who I am, that becomes intellectual, verbal. Would
you please follow this. I can only know myself, begin to know
myself in my relationship to others – right? Do let’s face that fact. I
cannot know myself in abstraction. It would be rather a vain
process to say to myself, «I am going to learn about myself». And
then I can imagine all kinds of fantasies, illusions and so on. But
whereas if I could observe what my reactions are in my
relationship to another, then I begin to enquire. That is much
closer, more accurate and revealing. Can we do that? That is, in my
relationship with my wife, husband, friend, or boy, girl and so on,
with my relationship to nature, with my relationship to the neighbour and so on, I discover the nature of myself. Right?
Please, this is a dialogue, not a talk by me. So how do I observe my
reactions in my relationship with another?
Q: Each time I see something in a reaction about myself it
becomes knowledge.
K: I wonder if we are aware what takes place in our relationship
with another. You all seem to be so vague about this matter.
Q: When I am very interested in some relationship I notice that
I can really observe. When I am angry in my relationship I see
immediately that I really can’t observe what is going on.
K: Sir, you and I are related. You and I are related as friends, or
husband, wife or this or that: what is our relationship? What do we
mean by relationship?
Q: When we seem to want something…
K: Look at the word first, the meaning of the word.
Q: I like to compare myself with the other.
K: Sir we are asking, if I may, the meaning of the word itself,
relationship.
Q: Communication.
Q: It means you are relating to that person.
K: I am lost! When I say I am related to my wife, or to my
husband, father, son, neighbour, what does that mean?
Q: Care for the person, I care for the person.
Q: The whole human race is one’s brother.
Q: I’d rather you told us.
K: Ah! (Laughter). I am related to you, either in blood, same
father and mother, or I am related to you economically, I am
related to you sexually, socially, or I am related to you because we have both the same belief, the same ideal, the same purpose.
Relationship means, does it not, I am enquiring please, I am not
stating it, doesn’t relationship mean to respond accurately. To be
related, the meaning in the dictionary, says to respond –
relationship comes from that word. Now how do I respond in my
relationship to you, if you are my wife, husband and all the rest of
it? Am I responding according to the image I have about you? And
you are responding according to the image you have about me? Or
are we both free of the images and therefore responding
accurately? I don’t know if you see.
Q: Isn’t it largely subconsciousness?
K: We will go into that. First let us see what the word means in
itself.
Q: What do you mean by accurate?
K: Accurate means care – the word accurate means to have great
care. Therefore accurate, if you care for something you act
accurately. If you care for your motor you must be very well
acquainted with it, you must know all the mechanical processes of
it.
So accurate means infinite care. We are using that word in that
sense: that when there is a relationship with another, either
intimate, or distant, the response depends on the image you have
about the other, or the image the other has about you; and when we
act according to that image, that is we respond according to that
image, it is inaccurate, it is not with complete care. Is that clear?
Q: What is a love hate relationship?
K: Love and hate relationship. Sir we are just beginning to
enquire. We will come to that. Now I have an image about you and you have an image about me. That image has been put together
through, it may be one day or it may be ten years, through pleasure,
fear, nagging, domination, possession, various hurts, impatience
and so on and so on. Now when we act or respond according to
that image then that action, being incomplete, it is inaccurate, and
therefore without care, which we generally call love. May we go
on from there? Please, not verbally. Are you aware, is one aware
that you have an image about yourself, about another? And having
that image you respond according to the past, because the image
has been put together but has become the past.
Q: And also it is according to one’s selfish desires.
K: I said that, fear, desire, selfishness.
Q: You can’t think of another person without an image, so how
can you write a letter?
K: How quickly you want to resolve everything, don’t you. First
of all can we be aware that we have an image, not only about
ourselves but about another?
Q: The two images are in relation, images of the other are in
relation with the image of yourself.
K: So there is – you see what you are saying – there is a thing
different from the image.
Q: The image of the other is made from the image you have of
yourself.
K: That is what we said sir.
Q: Sir would anything practical help?
K: Sir this is the most practical thing if you listen to this. You
want something practical, and the practical is to observe clearly
what we are and act from there. Is one aware that one has an image about another? And is one aware that one has an image about
oneself? Are you aware of that? This is a simple thing. I injure you,
I hurt you, and you naturally have an image about me. I give you
pleasure, and you have an image about me. And according to that
hurt and pleasure you react; and that reaction, being fragmentary,
must be inaccurate, not whole. This is simple. Can we go on from
there?
Now what do you do with the image you have built about
another? I am conscious, I am aware that I have an image about
myself, and I have an image about you, so I have got two images,
the one that I have about myself and the other is about you. Am I
conscious of this?
Q: From moment to moment.
K: Just look now, sir, not moment to moment. Now if I have an
image why has this image been put together? And who is it that has
put the image together? You understand the question? Why is it
that there is an image and who is it that has put it there? Who is the
creator of these images? Let us begin there. I have an image about
you. How has that image been born? How has it come into being?
Q: Is it a necessary imaginative process? – experience,
imagination and previous images.
Q: Lack of attention.
K: How does it come? Not through lack of something, but how
does come? You say through experience, through various
incidents, through words.
Q: Retaining it all as memory.
K: Which is all the movement of thought, isn’t it? No? So
thought as movement, which is time, put this image, created this image. It does it because it wants to protect itself – right? Am I
inventing or fabricating this, or is this actual?
Q: Actual.
K: Actual. That means ‘what is’. Actually means ‘what is’. Sorry
I am not teaching you English!
Q: It means that it then can see itself.
K: No, no sir. You have an image about me, haven’t you?
Q: Well it is changing.
K: Wait, wait, go slow. You have an image about me, haven’t
you, if you are honest, look into yourself, you see you have an
image. How has that image been brought about? You have read
something, you have listened to something, there is a reputation, a
lot of talk about it, some articles in the papers and so on and so on.
So all this has influenced the thought and out of that you have
created an image. And you have an image, not only about yourself
but about the other. So when you respond according to an image
about the speaker you are responding inaccurately, in that there is
no care. We said care implies attention, affection, accuracy; that
means to act according to ‘what is’. Now let’s move from there.
Q: Is not an image a thought?
K: We said that sir, a thought.
Q: Thought has created images and it seems to imply that
thought has created thought so…
K: Wait sir, we will get very far if we go slowly. So thought has
built this image through time. It may be one day or fifty years. And
I see in my relationship to another this image plays a tremendous
part, if I become conscious, if I don’t act mechanically, I become
aware and see how extraordinarily vital this image is. Then my next question is: is it possible to be free of the image? I have the
image as a Communist, believing in all kinds of ideas, or a
Catholic – you follow? It is not just an image but this whole
cultural, economic, social thing has built this image also. And I act
according to that, there is a reaction according to that image. I
think this is clear. May we go on from there?
Now is one aware of it? Then one asks: is it necessary? If it is
necessary one should keep it, one should have the image. If it is not
necessary how is one to be free of it? Right? Now is it necessary?
Q: Images form the whole chaos in the world where we live, so
it is not necessary.
K: He says this whole image making is bringing about chaos in
the world – the image as a Hindu, as a Buddhist, as a Communist,
as a Mao, as a Trotsky-ite, as a Catholic, as a Protestant, good god,
you understand?
Q: Aren’t we making a lot of judgement?
K: Are we making a lot of judgement?
Q: In making an image there is a lot of judgement.
K: But we are asking a little more. We are asking whether it is
necessary to have these images?
Q: No, we can be free of it.
K: Wait. Is it necessary? First let us see.
Q: No.
K: Then if it is not necessary why do we keep it?
Q: I have a feeling being what we are we can hardly help it.
K: We are going to find out whether it is possible to be free of
this image, and whether it is worthwhile to be free of this image,
and what does it mean to be free of the image.       Q: What is the relation with the chaos? Judging that chaos is
wrong.
K: No, no sir. Look: I have an image about myself as a
Communist, and I believe in Marx, his economic principles, I am
strongly committed to that. And I reject everything else. But you
think differently and you are committed to that. So there is a
division between you and me, and that division invariably brings
conflict. Wait, go slowly. I believe that I am Indian and I am
committed to Indian nationalism, and you are committed to a
Muslim and there is a division and there is conflict. So – wait,
slowly. So thought has created this division, thought has created
these images, these labels, these beliefs and so there is
contradiction, division, which brings conflict and therefore chaos.
That is a fact. Now wait a minute. That is a fact. So if you think
life is a process of infinite conflicts, never ending conflicts, then
you must keep these images. Wait. I don’t say it, we are asking it
sir. All our wars – I believe there have been five thousand wars
within the last two thousand years, more, five thousand years – and
we have accepted that: to have our sons killed, you know, the
whole business, because we have these images. And if we say that
is not necessary, it is really a tremendous danger to survival, to
physical survival, then I must find out how to be free of the images
– right?
Q: I think something else is involved in that because you say we
always react from the past but what difference does it make – the
past is a cyclic phenomenon that repeats so you can’t prevent
yourself, you know it is a fact that you will repeat it in the same
way all the time.       K: Sir, we are talking about the necessity of having an image, or
not having an image. If we are clear that these images are a real
danger, real destructive processes then we want to get rid of them.
But if you say, I keep my little image and you keep your little
image, then we are at each other’s throats. So if we see very clearly
that these images, labels, words are destroying human beings…
Q: Krishnamurti, doesn’t spiritual commitment give us the
penetration of energy. I mean if I am a committed Buddhist and I
channel my energy into that direction, it doesn’t necessarily mean
that I am in conflict with those that aren’t Buddhist.
K: If I am a committed Buddhist, it does not necessarily mean I
am in conflict with another – right? Just examine that please. If I
am a committed human being to Buddhism and another is
committed equally to the Christian dogma, and another equally
committed to Communism…
Q: That is not my concern.
K: Isn’t this what is happening in life? Don’t say, it is not my
business if you are a Communist. It is my business to see if we can
live in security, in peace in the world, we are human beings,
supposed to be intelligent. Why should I be committed to
anything?
Q: Because it gives energy, the power of penetration.
K: No, no.
Sirs, let’s go on.
Q: The danger is that we are moving away from the central fact.
K: Yes, we are always moving away from the central fact.
Q: We are doing that right now, it is not necessary.
K: You may think it is necessary, people think it is necessary to be an Englishman, to be a German, to be a Hindu – you follow – or
a Catholic, they think it is important. They don’t see the danger of
it.
Q: Some people think it is not.
Q: Why don’t you see the danger?
K: Why don’t I see the danger. Because I am so heavily
conditioned, it is so profitable, my job depends on it. I might not be
able to marry my son to somebody else, who is a Catholic. All that
stuff. So the point is: if one sees the danger of these images, then
how can the mind free itself from these images? That is the next
question. Can we go on from there?
Q: Can I be there when no image is formed?
K: Images, whether they are old or new are the same images.
Q: Yes but when an image is formed can I be aware.
K: We are first of all going to go into that. How is an image
formed? Is it formed through inattention, when I am not paying
attention the image is formed. You get angry with me and if I am at
that moment totally attentive to what you say there is no anger. I
wonder if you realize this.
Q: So the image and the image former must be the same in that
case.
K: Sir, look. Keep it very simple. I say something that doesn’t
give you pleasure. You have an image instantly, haven’t you? Now
at that moment if you are completely aware, is there an image?
Q: If you are not trying to utilize what has been said to you.
K: That’s right, call it any word you like. Utilize, or liquidate,
any word.
Q: If you don’t have that image, all the other images are gone.       K: Yes, that is the whole point sir. Can one be attentive at the
moment of listening? You understand? You are listening now, can
you be totally attentive, so that when you call me a name, not a
pleasant name, or give me pleasure, at that moment, at that precise
moment to be totally aware? Have you ever tried this? You can test
it out, because that is the only way to find out, not accept the
speaker’s words. You can test it out. Then if there is no image
forming, and therefore no image, then what is the relationship
between the two? You understand? I wonder if you follow all this?
You have no image about me, but I have an image about you, then
what is your relationship to me? You are following this question?
You have no image because you see the danger of it, but I don’t see
the danger of it, I have my image and you are related to me, I am
your wife, husband, father, whatever it is, girl, boy and all the rest
of it. I have the image and you have not. Then what is your
relationship to me? And what is my relationship to you?
Q: There is a barrier somewhere.
K: Of course there is a barrier. But we are saying what is that
relationship. You are my wife – my god! – and I am very ambitious,
greedy, envious, I want to succeed in this world, make a lot of
money, position, prestige, and you say, «How absurd all that is,
don’t be like that, don’t be silly, don’t be traditional, don’t be
mechanical, that is just the old pattern being repeated.» What
happens between you and me?
Q: Division.
K: And we talk together about love. I go off to the office where
I am brutal, ambitious, ruthless, and I come home and be very
pleasant to you, because I want to sleep with you. What is the relationship?
Q: No good.
K: No, is there any relationship at all? At last. For god’s sake.
And yet this is what we call love.
So what is the relationship between you and me, I have an
image and you have no image? Either you leave me, or we live in
conflict. You don’t create conflict but I create conflict, because I
have an image. So is it possible in our relationship with each other
to help each other to be free of images? You understand my
question? I am related to you by some misfortune – sexual
demands, glands frightfully active and so on and so on, I am
related to you and you are free and I am not, of the images, and
therefore you care infinitely – you follow? I wonder if you see that?
To you this is tremendously important to be free of images, and I
am your father, wife, husband or whatever it is, Then will you
abandon me?
Q: No.
K: Don’t say, no, so easily. Because you care, you have
affection, you feel totally differently. So what will you do with
me? Drown me? Hold hands?
Q: There is nothing you can do.
K: Why can’t you do something with me? Do go into it, don’t
theorize about it. You are all in that position. Life is this.
Q: It depends if this person has the capacity to see what the
truth of the matter is.
K: This is the truth – you have none and I have.
Q: See through it all and don’t take any notice of it.
K: When I am nagging you all the time? You people just play with words. You don’t take actuality and look at it.
Q: Surely if you have no image in yourself and you look at
another person you won’t see their image either.
K: Oh goodness! If I have no image I see very clearly that you
have an image. Sir, look this is happening in the world, this is
happening in every family, in every situation in relationship: you
have something free and I am not and the battle is between us.
Q: I think that situation is in everything.
K: That is what I am saying. What do you do? Just drop it and
disappear and become a monk? Form a community? Go off to
meditation and all the rest of it? Here is a tremendous problem.
Q: I tell you how I feel first of all.
Q: But surely this is fictitious because we are trying to imagine.
K: I have said that madame; if you have an image and I have an
image, then we live very peacefully because we are both blind and
we don’t care.
Q: That situation you have created for us because you want us
to be free of images.
K: Of course, of course I want you to be free of images because
otherwise we are going to destroy the world.
Q: Of course, I see that. But you say to us that situation.
K: We are not creating the situation for you: it is there. Look at
it.
Q: I have an image about you, and I have had it for a long time.
And there are different kinds of images. I have been trying to get
rid of those images because I have read that they have created
problems for me. Now every time I try to work it out with you and
it hasn’t helped.       K: I’ll show you sir how to get rid of it, how to be free of
images.
Q: I don’t believe you sir.
K: Don’t believe me.
Q: You are all the time just sitting there talking.
K: I am not asking you…
Q: Abstractions and abstractions. Me having an image about
you means you are sitting up on the platform being an enlightened
person. I am here as a listener, a disciple or a pupil. Now I feel
very strongly that is really not actuality or reality because we are
two human beings. But still you are the guru, you are the one who
knows and…
K: Please sirs be quiet, he is telling you something please listen.
I’ll show you something. Please do sit down. I’ll show you
something.
If that image of the guru had not created a problem you would
live with that guru happily – right? But it has created a problem,
whether it is the guru, the wife, husband, it is the same thing. Now
how am I, how is one, or you who have got the image about the
speaker as the supreme guru – talking about gurus, the word means
one who dispels ignorance, one who dispels the ignorance of
another. That is one of the meanings. But generally the gurus
impose their ignorance on you. This is a fact. Now we won’t go
into the whole business of the gurus.
You have an image about me as the guru, or you have an image
about another as a Christian and so on and so on and so on. First of
all, if that pleases you, if that gives you satisfaction, you will hold
it – right? That is simple enough. If it causes trouble then you say, «My god, it is terrible to have this» and you move away and form
another guru, another relationship which is pleasant, but it is the
same image making. Right? So one asks: is it possible to be free of
images? The speaker sits on the platform because it is convenient,
because you can all see, I can equally sit on the ground but you
will have the same image – right? So the height doesn’t make any
different.
So the question is, please: whether the mind, the mind being
part of thought, and thought has created these images, can thought
dispel these images? Do you understand? That is the first question.
Thought has created it, and thought can dispel it because it is
unsatisfactory, and create another image which will be satisfactory.
This is what we do – I don’t like that guru for various reasons,
because he stinks, or I don’t like that guru and I go to another
because he praises me, gives me garlands and says, «My dear chap
you are the best disciple I have». And so on and so on and so on.
So thought has created this image. Can thought undo the image?
Q: Not if you are looking at it intellectually. Looking at it
intellectually you are not using your senses.
K: I am asking that first. Look at it. Can the intellect,
intellection, dispel the image?
Q: No.
K: Then what will?
Q: The thing that stands in the way is merely self, the I. You
overcome this.
K: No sir. I know but I don’t want to go into the much more
complex problem of the I.
Q: You say the image but what do you mean by the I?       K: How does thought get rid of the image without creating
another image?
Q: It feels uncomfortable perhaps with the image if the guru
causes trouble, so if one can see the trouble then perhaps that guru
can help?
K: You are not going into it at all sir, you are just scratching on
the surface.
Q: Thought cannot get rid of the image.
K: If that is so, if thought cannot get rid of the image then what
will?
Q: Understanding.
K: Don’t use words like understanding. What do you mean by
understanding?
Q: Getting rid of the thoughts.
K: Getting rid of thought. Now who is going to get rid of
thought?
Q: Is it a question of time? Would it be that our energies are all
in the past, and we need to think now.
K: All the images are in the past, why can’t I drop all that and
live in now?
Q: That is what I meant.
K: Right. Yes. How can I, with a burden of the past? How do I
get rid of the burden? It comes to the same thing.
Q: Sir if one lives in the present, do the past images still come
through?
K: If I live in the present will the past images come? Can you
live in the present? Do you know what it means to live in the
present? That means not a single memory except technological memory, not a single breathe of the past. And therefore you have to
understand the totality of the past, which is all this memory,
experience, knowledge, imagination, images, which is the past. I
am asking. You go off from one thing to another, you don’t pursue
steadily one thing.
Q: Please keep going with one having no image and the other
having an image.
K: We have been through that sir. I’ll answer it, all right, if you
want it. You have no image and I have an image. I want you to be
the richest man, etc., etc. I have got an image, and you haven’t.
And I live with you, what happens? Aren’t we eternally at war with
each other? No?
Q: I can’t drown him.
K: No you can’t drown me.
Q: What am I going to do with you?
K: I am going to go into it. I have an image and you haven’t. We
are living on the same earth, in the same house, meeting often,
living in the same community, what will you do with me?
Q: I would try to explain to him.
K: Yes, you have explained it to me, but I like my image.
Q: Sir we cannot know because we have this image ourselves.
K: That is all I am saying. You are living in images and you
don’t know how to be free of it. And these are all speculative
questions.
So let’s begin again. Are you aware that you have images? If
you have those images that are pleasant and you cling to them, and
discard those which are unpleasant, you have still images. Right?
Then the question is really: can you be free of them?       Q: Go and listen to some music.
K: Go and listen to music. The moment that music stops you are
back to those images. This is all so childish. Take drugs, that also
creates various images.
Q: Isn’t the division between wanting to hold on to the images
and wanting to let them go.
K: Wanting to hold on to images and to let them go. What is the
line, the division? The division is desire, isn’t it? Listen sir. Listen.
Desire isn’t it? I don’t like that image, I am going to let it go. But I
like this image, I am going to hold on to it. So it is desire, isn’t it?
Q: I feel that there is a pleasure motive even in…
K: Of course sir. You don’t stick to one thing sir.
Q: If I have no image then the other person has no image at all.
K: If I have no image, the other person has no images at all.
How inaccurate that is. Because I am blind therefore you are also
blind. Don’t please. This is so illogical. Do think clearly. Let’s go
into this.
What are the activities, what should I do so that there is no
image forming at all? May I talk a few minutes? Will you listen to
it? Let us think together.
Q: I think most people – I am sorry – I think most people in this
place are, in your words, here for consolation, rather then any
other; I mean it all gets such a bore really because the same words
get used over and over again, and everybody is looking like a load
of zombies.
K: I am aware that I have images – aware being I am conscious,
I know – there is no question of it, I know I have images – right? I
am an Englishman, Dutchman, or a Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, Communist and all the rest of it, I have an image about myself and
I have an image about you. That is very clear. If I am satisfied –
both you and I have the same image, then we are satisfied. That is,
if you think as I think, you like to be ambitious, I like to be
ambitious, then we are both in the same boat, we won’t quarrel, we
accept it, and we live together, work together, be ruthlessly
ambitious. But if you are free of the image of ambition and all the
rest of it, and I am not, the trouble begins. What then will you do,
who are free of that image, with me? You can’t just say, «Well it is
not my business» – because we are living together, we are in the
same world, in the same community, in the same group and so on.
What will you do with me? Please just listen to this. Will you
discard me, will you turn your back on me, will you run away from
me, will you join a monastery, learn how to meditate? Do all kinds
of things in order to avoid me? Or, you say, «Yes, he is here» –
right? He is in my house. What shall I do? What will he do with
regard to me, who has an image?
Q: First I would ask you politely to listen.
K: But I won’t listen. You people! Haven’t you lived with
people who are adamant in their beliefs? You are like that. You are
so…
Q: It is best not to waste one’s time.
K: We are going to find out sir. You see this is really a
hypothetical question because you have got images and you live in
those images, and the other person lives in those images. That is
our difficulty. Suppose I have no images, and I haven’t, I have
worked at this for fifty years, so I have no image about myself, or
about you. What is our relationship? I say please listen to me, but you won’t. I say please pay attention, which means care, to attend
means infinite care. Will you listen to me that way? That means
you really want to learn – right? Learn, not from me, but learn
about yourself. That means that you must infinitely care about
yourself, not selfishly, care to learn about yourself – right? Not
according to me, or to Freud, or to Jung, or to some latest
psychologist, learn about yourself. That means, watch yourself and
you can only do that in your relationship with each other. When
you say, «You sitting on that platform, you have gradually
assumed, at least in my eyes, a position of authority, you have
become my guru». And I say to you, «My friend, just listen, I’m not
your guru. I won’t be a guru to anybody. It is monstrous to be a
guru». Therefore it means, please are you listening when I say this.
Or you say, «I can’t listen to you because my mind is wandering.»
Do you follow all this? So when you listen, you listen with care,
with affection, with attention, then you begin to learn about
yourself, actually as you are. Then from there we can move, we
can go forward, but if you don’t do that, keep on repeating, «Oh I
have got my image, I don’t know how to get rid of it» and so on and
so on, then we don’t move any further. Right?
Now you have an image with regard to sex, that you must have
a girl, or a boy, you must be a Christian – you follow? We are so
conditioned. Now I say to you please listen, are you aware that you
are conditioned? Aware. Don’t choose parts of the conditioning.
Right? Totally aware of your whole conditioning. One will explain
what it means to be totally aware of one’s conditioning, not only at
the conscious level but the deeper levels – right? We are
conditioned much more at the deeper levels than at the superficial levels – right? Is that clear? One is conditioned very deeply, and
superficially less. Now can the mind – are you listening? – listening
with your heart, not with your little mind, with your mind, with
your heart, with your whole being – then is it possible to be totally
aware of all this, the whole of consciousness? Do you follow? To
be totally aware implies no observer: the observer is the past and
therefore when he observes he brings about fragmentation. This is
clear, isn’t it? When I observe anything, trees, mountains, you, my
wife, my husband, my children, my neighbour, and the politicians,
when I observe from the past, what I observe brings about a
fragmentary outlook – right? I only see parts, I don’t see the whole.
So I realize that, I see when I observe from the past there must be a
fragmented outlook – right? This is simple. So I have an insight
that says, don’t look from the past. That means, don’t have an
observer who is all the time judging, evaluating, saying this is
right, this is wrong, I am a Christian, I am a Communist – you
follow? – all that is the past. Now can you listen to that, which is a
fact, which is actual, which is not theoretical. So you are facing
actually ‘what is’. Are you? Facing in yourself what actually is
going on? And can you observe another without the past – without
all the accumulated memory, insults, hurts, so that you can look at
another with clear eyes? If you say, «I don’t know how to do it»,
then we can go into that.
As we said, any form of authority in this matter is the reaction
of submission to somebody who says he knows. That is your
image. The professor, the teacher knows mathematics, I don’t, so I
learn from him, so gradually he becomes my authority. He knows,
I don’t know – mathematics, geography and all the rest of it. But here, psychologically I think I don’t know how to approach myself,
how to learn about it, therefore I look to another, the same process.
But the other is equally ignorant as me, because he doesn’t know
himself. He is traditional bound, he accepts obedience, he becomes
the authority, he says he knows and my dear chap you don’t know,
you become my disciple and I will tell you. The same process. But
it is not the same process psychologically. Psychologically the guru
is me. I wonder if you see that? He is as ignorant as myself. He has
a lot of Sanskrit words, a lot of ideas, a lot of superstitions, and I
am so gullible I accept him. Here we say there is no authority, no
guru, you have to learn about yourself. And to learn about yourself,
watch yourself, how you behave with another, how you walk – you
follow? Then you find that you have an image about yourself, a
tremendous image. And you see these images create great harm,
they break up the world – right? The Krishna conscious group, the
Transcendental group, and some other group, you follow? And
your own group; you have your own ideas, you must have sex, you
must have a girl, you must have a boy, and all the rest of it, change
the girl, change the boy, every week. And you live like that. And
you don’t see the tremendous danger and wastage of life – right?
Can we move from there?
Now we come to the point: how am I to be free of all image
making? That is the real question. Is it possible? So I will not say it
is, or it is not, I am going to find out. I am going to find out by
carefully watching why images are made. I realize images are
made when the mind is not giving its attention at the moment
something is said. Right? At the moment of something that is said
that gives pleasure, something that is said that brings about displeasure, to be aware at that moment, not afterwards. But we
become aware afterwards and say «My god, I must pay attention,
terrible, I see it is important to be attentive but I don’t know how to
be attentive, I lose it and when the thing takes place it is so quick
and I say to myself I must be attentive.» So I beat myself into being
attentive – right? I wonder if you see this. And therefore I am never
attentive. So I say to myself, «I am not attentive at the moment
something is said which gives pleasure or pain.» And I see that I
am inattentive. You understand? I wonder if you see this? I have
found that my whole mind, make-up is inattentive, to the birds, to
nature, to everything, I am inattentive, when I walk, when I eat,
when I speak, I am inattentive. So I say to myself, «I am not going
to be concerned with attention, but pay attention to inattention» –
you understand? Do you get this?
Q: Yes.
K: I am not going to be concerned with being attentive, but I am
going to see what is inattention. And I am watching inattention – do
you understand? And I see I am inattentive most of the time. So I
am going to pay attention to one thing at a time, that is, when I
walk, when I eat, I am going to eat with attention. I am not going to
think about something else – you understand? I am going to pay
attention to every little thing. So what has been inattention
becomes attention. I wonder if you see that?
Q: By fragmentation you mean choice?
K: No. Fragment means broken up.
Q: I mean by fragmentation you mean choice?
K: No sir. Fragmented. Sir is not thought a fragment? Or is
thought the whole? There is a fragmentation taking place when I have an image and you have an image. In that relationship, that
relationship is broken up, fragmented, it is not whole.
So I am now paying, watching inattention. That is, I am
watching I am not attentive. I look at a bird and never look at it,
my thoughts are all… I am now going to look at that bird, it may
take me a second but I am going to look at it. When I walk I am
going to watch it. So that out of inattention without any effort there
is total attention. You understand? So when there is total attention,
when you say something pleasant there is no image forming, or
unpleasant there is no image forming because I am totally there.
My whole mind, heart, brain, all the responses are completely
awake and attentive. So aren’t you very attentive when you are
pursuing pleasure? You don’t have to talk about attention, you want
that pleasure. Sexually, when you want it, you are tremendously
attentive, aren’t you? And attention implies a mind that is
completely awake, which means it doesn’t demand challenge. It is
only when we have images that challenges come. I wonder if you
see this? And because of those images, challenge comes and you
respond to the challenge inadequately. Therefore there is constant
battle between challenge and response, which means the increase
of images and the more it increases the more challenges come, and
so there is always the strengthening of images. I wonder if you see
this? Haven’t you noticed people when they are challenged about
their Catholicism, or whatever it is, they become more strong?
So by being completely attentive there is no image formation,
which means conditioning disappears. Right.
BROCKWOOD PARK 3RD PUBLIC TALK 13TH
SEPTEMBER 1975

May we go on talking about what we were saying the other day?
We were saying, I think, that the crisis in the world is not outward
but the crisis in consciousness. And that consciousness, as we said,
is its content – all the things that man has accumulated through
centuries, his fears, his dogma, his superstitions, his beliefs, his
conclusions, and all the suffering, pain and anxiety. We said unless
there is a radical mutation in that consciousness, outward activities
will bring about more mischief, more sorrow, more confusion. And
to bring about that mutation in consciousness, we said a totally
different kind of energy is required – not the mechanical energy of
thought, of time and measure. And when we were investigating
into that we said, there are three principles: fear, pleasure and
suffering. We talked about fear at some length. And also we went
into the question of pleasure, which is entirely different from
enjoyment and the delight of seeing something beautiful and so on.
And we also touched upon suffering. The three active principles in
human beings: fear, pleasure and suffering.
I think we ought to go this morning into that question of
suffering. It is a nice morning and I am sorry to go into such a dark
subject. As we said, when there is suffering there can be no
compassion, and whether it is at all possible for human minds, for
human beings right throughout the world to put an end to suffering.
For without that ending to suffering we live in darkness, we accept
all kinds of beliefs, dogmas, escapes, which bring about much
more confusion, more violence and so on. So we are going together this morning to investigate into this question of suffering, whether
the human mind can ever be free from it totally, and also we are
going to talk about affection, love and if there is time, this whole
question of death.
Why do we accept suffering, why do we put up with it –
psychologically we are talking about, not physiological suffering.
Physiological suffering can be controlled, put up with, and it
becomes much more important that such physical suffering does
not distort clarity of thought. We went into that too. Because for
most of us, when there is a physical pain, a continued suffering, it
distorts our thinking, it prevents objective thinking, it becomes
personal, broken up, distorted. And physical suffering, whether in
the past, or the fear of having it again in the future, if one is not
actively aware of this whole process of suffering then neurotic
habits, neurotic activities take place. We went into that briefly the
other day.
So we are asking if it is at all possible for human beings to end
suffering, deeply at all the levels of our existence, psychologically?
And when we go into it in ourselves deeply, one sees one of the
major factors of this suffering is attachment – attachment to ideas,
to conclusions, to various forms of ideologies which act as
security, and when that security is threatened there is a certain kind
of suffering. Please as we said the other day, we are sharing this
thing together, we are looking into this question of suffering
together. You are not merely, if I may point out, listening to a talk
and gathering a few ideas and agreeing or disagreeing, but rather in
communication sharing the problem, examining the question, the
issue, actively; and so it becomes our responsibility, yours as well as the speaker’s, to go into this question.
Then there is also the attachment to persons. That is, in our
relationship there is a great deal of suffering. That is, one may be
free from this conditioning of fear and so on, and the other may not
be, and hence there is a tension, and that tension arises not only out
of attachment – the word attachment means holding on, not only
physically but psychologically, depending on something – and this
attachment in relationship, in which there is no freedom. One may
be free and the other may not be free, and hence the conflict. One
may be a Catholic and the other may not be a Catholic, a
Communist and so on and so on, and hence the conflict that breeds
continuous strain and suffering. Then there is also the suffering of
the unknown, of death. The suffering of losing something that you
were attached to in the past, as memory. I do not know if you have
not noticed all these things in yourself, and whether it is possible to
live in complete relationship with another, without this tension,
which is brought about through self-interest, through self-centred
activity, desire pulling in different directions, and living in a
relationship in which there may be contradictions, one may be free,
the other may not be, and to live in that situation demands not only
what is called that absurd intellectual thing that man has created
which is tolerance, but it demands a much greater thing which is
affection, love and therefore compassion. We are going to go into
that.
We are asking whether man can end suffering. Christianity has
not solved it; it has made a parody of suffering – forgive that word.
The ancient Hindus, being very clever, invented the whole idea of
karma, which is, if you do something now you will pay for it next life – so behave. And as most human beings don’t behave they
maintain suffering.
So there are various varieties of explanations for suffering, and
how to go beyond it, how to rationalize it, how to suppress it, how
to escape from it. Now we are asking something entirely different:
that is, not to suppress it, not to evade it, or rationalize it, but when
there is that suffering to remain totally with it, without any
movement of thought, which is the movement of time and measure.
Are we all following each other somewhat? One suffers, one loses
one’s son, the wife runs away with somebody else, and the things
that you are attached to – the house, the name, the form, all the
accumulated conclusions – they seem to fade away, and you suffer.
And can one look at that suffering without the observer? We went
into that question of what the observer is. We said the observer is
the past, the accumulated memory, experience and knowledge.
And with that knowledge, experience, memory he observes the
suffering, so he disassociates himself from suffering. He is
different from suffering and therefore he can do something about
it. Whereas the observer is the observed. It requires a little care and
attention in looking at this question, that the statement, that the
observer is the observed. We don’t accept it. We say the observer is
entirely different, and the observed is something out there separate
from the observer. Now if one looks very closely at that question,
at that statement, that the observer is the observed, it seems so
obvious. When you say you are angry, you are not different from
anger, you are that thing which you call anger. When you are
jealous, you are that jealousy. The word separates. That is, through
the word we recognize the feeling, and the recognition is in the past, so we look at that feeling through the word, through the
screen of the past and so separate it, and therefore there is a
division between the observer and the observed. So we are saying
that when there is this suffering, either momentary or a continuous
endless series of causes that bring about suffering, to look at it
without the observer. That is, you are that suffering, not that you
are separate from suffering. To totally remain with that suffering.
Then you will notice, if you go that far, if you are willing to
observe so closely, then a totally different mutation takes place.
That is, out of that suffering comes great passion. If you have done
it, tested it out, you will find it. It is not the passion of a belief,
passion for working for some cause, passion for some idiotic
conclusion: it is totally different from the passion of desire. It is
something that is of a totally different kind of energy that is not the
movement of thought, which is mechanical.
And we have a great deal of suffering in what is called love.
Love, as we know it now, is pleasure, sexual or the love of a
country, or the love of an idea, and so on and so on – all derived
from pleasure. And when that pleasure is denied there is either
hatred, antagonism or violence. And can there be love, not just
something personal between you and me and somebody else, but
the enormous feeling of compassion? Which means passion for
everything, for everybody – passion for nature, passion for the
earth, compassion for the earth in which we live so that we don’t
destroy the earth, the animals, you know, the whole thing. And
without love, which is compassion, suffering must continue. And
we human beings have put up with it, we accept it as normal.
Every religion has tried to find a way out of it. But very organized religions have brought tremendous suffering. We used to say: there
were two friends one day walking down the street, and one of them
picks up something off the pavement, looks at it and is radiantly
happy and puts it into his pocket. And the other says, «What have
you picked up?» He says, «I have picked up part of truth and would
you like to look at it?» He says, «I would». And the other fellow
recognizes it as truth, so he says, «My friend, what are you going to
do with it?» And the friend says, «I am going to keep it.» «Don’t
keep it but let us organize it.»
So in religious organizations throughout the world they have
brought a great deal of harm, there have been religious wars,
endless persecution, tortures, burning people, especially in the west
– it wasn’t the fashion in those days in the east. And we are saying:
when there is not the acceptance of suffering, or putting up with
suffering, but to remain motionless with that suffering, then there
comes out of it a great compassion. And from that compassion
arises the whole question of creation. Which is, what is creation?
What is the creative mind? Is it a mind that suffers and through that
suffering has learnt a certain technique, and expresses the
technique on paper, marble, paint? Is creativeness the outcome of
tension, the outcome of a disorderly life? Does creativeness come
through fragmentary activity of daily life? I don’t know if you are
following all this? Or we must give a totally different kind of
meaning to creativeness, which may not need expression at all.
So one has to go into this question within oneself very deeply
because one’s consciousness is the consciousness of the world. I do
not know if one realizes that. Fundamentally your consciousness is
the consciousness of the speaker, of the rest of the world, basically, because in that consciousness there is suffering, there is pain, there
is anxiety, there is fear of tomorrow, fear of insecurity, which
every man wherever he lives goes through. So your consciousness
is the consciousness of the world and if there is a mutation in that
consciousness it affects the total consciousness of human beings. It
is a fact. So it becomes tremendously important that human beings
bring about a radical transformation or mutation in themselves, in
their consciousness.
So now we can go into the question of this thing called death,
which is one of the major factors of suffering. May we go into it? It
is a very complex question, like everything else in life we want a
quick answer, we want a definite answer, an answer that will be
comforting, an answer which will be totally satisfactory,
intellectually, emotionally, physically, in every way, complete
satisfaction. We want immortality, whatever that may mean, and
we want to survive, both physiologically and psychologically. And
we avoid death at any price, put it as far away as possible. So we
have never been able to examine it closely. We have never been
able to face it, go into it, understand it, not only verbally,
intellectually but completely what it means. We wait until the last
moment, either that last moment an accident, a disease, old age and
when you can’t think, when you can’t look, you are just gaga, then
you become a Catholic, Protestant, you believe in this – you
follow? So what we are trying this morning is to understand, not
verbally, but actually what it means to die, which doesn’t mean we
are asking that we should commit suicide. But we are asking what
is the total significance of this thing called death, which is the
ending of what we know as life? Right? We are moving together?       In enquiring into this question we must also find out whether
time has a stop. The stopping of time may be death. You
understand? It may be the ending and therefore that which ends has
a new beginning, not that which has a continuity – right? So first
can there be an ending to time? Can time stop? What is time – time
not chronological by the watch, as yesterday, today, and tomorrow
the 24 hours, but the whole movement of time as thought and
measure? That movement, not the chronological time but the
movement of thought, which is time, which is the whole process of
comparing, which is measurement, can all that process stop? You
understand? Which means can thought, which is the response of
memory, experience as knowledge, and knowledge is always in the
past, knowledge is the past, can that whole momentum come to an
end – not in the technological field, that is so obvious we don’t even
have to discuss that – can this movement come to an end? So one
has to find out what is time as we know it? Not the watch, let’s
forget that. The time as hope, time as something that has happened
to which the mind clings, the attachment to the past, or a projection
from the past to the future, as a conclusion, and time as a
movement of achievement, from alpha to omega. This whole
movement in which we are caught. If you say that there is no
tomorrow psychologically you would be terribly shocked, because
tomorrow is tremendously important, because tomorrow you are
going to be happy, tomorrow you will achieve what you want, and
tomorrow will be the fulfilment of yesterday’s hopes or today’s
hopes. Tomorrow becomes extraordinarily significant – the
tomorrow which is projected from the past as thought – right? So
we are asking: can all that momentum come to an end? Time has created through centuries the centre which is the ‘me’. Time is not
only the past as attachment, the hope, the fulfilment, the evolving
process of thought until it becomes more and more refined and so
on and so on, but also that centre around which all our activities
take place, the ‘me’, the mine, ‘we’ and ‘they’, both politically,
religiously, economically and so on and so on. So the ‘me’ is the
conclusion of time adding to itself and taking away from itself, but
there is always this centre which is the very essence of time. We
are asking: can that movement come to an end?
This is the whole problem which perhaps we will go into
tomorrow if we have time and the occasion arises, this is the whole
problem of meditation, not sitting down and doing some mantra
and repeating some words and doing some tricks, that is all silly
nonsense. I am not being intolerant but it is just absurd. And it
becomes extraordinarily interesting to find this out. And in
enquiring into this, then what is death? Can that be answered in
terms of words, or must one look at it not only verbally but non-
verbally? There is death – the organism by misuse, by abuse, by
over indulgence, drink, drugs, accident, all the things that the flesh
is heir to dies, comes to an end, the heart stops, the brain with all
its marvellous machinery comes to an end. We accept it. We are
not afraid of the physical organism coming to an end but we are
afraid of something totally different. And being afraid of that
basically we want to resolve that fear through various forms of
beliefs, conclusions, hopes. The whole of the Asiatic world
believes in reincarnation. They have proof for it – they say so, at
least. That is – watch this thing, it is extraordinary – that is the thing
that has been put together by time as the ‘me’, the ego, that incarnates till that entity becomes perfect and is absorbed into the
highest principle, which is Brahman, or whatever you like to call it.
You are following all this? Does this interest you? I don’t know, it
doesn’t matter.
And time has created the centre, the ‘me’, the ego, the
personality, the character and so on, the tendencies, and through
time you are going to dissolve that very entity, through
reincarnation – you understand? You see the absurdity! Thought
has created something as the ‘me’, the centre, and through
evolutionary process, which is time, you will ultimately dissolve
that and be absorbed into the highest principle. And yet they
believe in this tremendously. The other day I was talking to
somebody, who was a great believer in this: he said if you don’t
believe it you are not a religious man, and he walked out. And
Christianity has it own forms of continuity of the ‘me’, resurrection
– you know – Gabriel blowing the whistle and so on. So we have all
these principles. And when you believe in reincarnation what is
important is that as you are going to live next life, and you suffer
this life because of your past actions, therefore if you do not
behave in this life righteously, according to the highest principles,
next life you are going to pay for it. This is a tremendous belief and
naturally they don’t behave, they just carry on like everybody else –
cruel, bitter, angry, jealous, vain, arrogant, full of antagonism,
bitterness – just like everybody else. So what is important is, if one
actually, really basically is committed wholly to that belief, it
means that you must behave rightly, accurately, with tremendous
care now. And we don’t do that. That demands super human
energy.       So there are several problems involved in this: what is
immortality, and what is eternity, which is a timeless state, and
what happens to human beings who are still caught in this
movement of time? That is, we human beings live an
extraordinarily complex, irresponsible, ugly stupid life, we are at
each other’s throats, we are battling about beliefs, we have
authority, politically, religiously, which has suppressed all
freedom, and our daily life is a series of endless conflicts. And we
want that to continue! And because our life is so empty, full of
meaningless words, we say, is there a state where there is no death,
immortal, immortality – which is a state where there is no
movement of time? I wonder if you see? That is, time through
centuries has created the idea of the self – the self, the ‘me’
evolving. It has been put together through time, which is a part of
evolution. And there is inevitably death, and with the ending of the
brain cells thought comes to an end. Therefore one hopes there is
something beyond the ‘me’ – the super consciousness, the super
ego, a spark of god, spark of truth, that can never be destroyed, and
therefore that continues. And that continuity is what we call
immortality. That is what most of us want. If you don’t get it
through some kind of fame, you want to have immortality sitting
next to god who is timeless. The whole thing is so absurd.
So is there a continuity – sorry – is there something which is not
of time, which has no beginning and no end, and therefore
timeless, eternal? And our life being what it is, we have this
problem of death, and if I, a human being, have not totally
understood the whole quality of myself, what happens to me when
I do die? You understand the question? That is, a man, a human being, who has totally resolved the centre, the ‘me’, through
understanding himself, through studying himself, enquiring into
himself, not according to any philosopher, any psychologist,
analyst those are all too childish, understood himself and therefore
understood the world, because he is the world, and is that the end
of me? I have not understood. If I have understood myself totally
then that is a different problem, which we will come to. If I have
not understood myself totally, not intellectually, I am not using the
word ‘understand’ intellectually but actually aware of myself
without any choice, all the content of my consciousness, if I have
not deeply delved into my own structure and nature of
consciousness, I die – what happens?
Now who is going to answer this question? I am putting it
purposely. Who is going to answer this question? Because we think
we cannot answer it, we look for someone else to tell us – the
priest, the books, the people who have said, «I know», the endless
mushrooming gurus. If one rejects all authority, and one must,
totally all authority, then what have you left? Then you have the
energy, because you have rejected that which dissipates energy –
gurus and hopes, fears, and somebody to tell you what happens, if
you reject all that, which means all authority, then you have
tremendous energy. With that energy you can begin to enquire
what actually takes place when you have not totally resolved the
structure and the nature of the self – the self being time and
therefore movement and therefore division, the ‘me’ and the not
‘me’, and hence conflict. Now what happens to me when I have not
ended that conflict? You and I and the rest of the world, if the
speaker has not ended it, the rest of us, what happens to us? We are all going to die – I hope not soon but sometime or other. What is
going to happen? When we are living as we are living, are we so
fundamentally different from somebody else? You may be more
clever, have greater technique, have greater knowledge of
technique, you may be more learned, you might have certain gifts,
talents, inventiveness, not creativeness – the difference between
inventiveness and creativeness are two different things. You and
another are exactly alike basically, your colour may be different,
taller, shorter, but in essence you are the same. So while you are
living you are like the rest of the world, in the same stream, in the
same movement – right? And when you die, what happens? You go
on, in the same movement. I wonder if you understand what I am
saying?
It is only the man who is totally aware of his conditioning, his
consciousness, the content of it, and moves and dissipates it, he is
not in that stream. Am I making this clear? That is, I am greedy,
envious, ambitious, ruthless, violent – so are you. And that is our
daily life – petty, accepting authority, quarrelling, bitter, not loved
and aching to be loved, the agonies of loneliness, irresponsible
relationship – that is our daily life. And we are like the rest of the
world. It is a vast endless river. And when we die, when I die I’ll be
like the rest, moving in the same stream as before, when I was
living. But the man who understands himself radically, has
resolved all the problems in himself psychologically, he is not of
that stream. He has totally stepped out of it.
So there are two things involved. The man who moves away
from the stream, his consciousness is entirely different, therefore
he is not thinking in terms of time, continuity, or immortality. But the other man, or the woman, are still that. So the problem arises:
what is the relationship between the man who is out and the man
who is in? What is the relationship between truth and reality?
Reality being, as we said, all the things that thought has put
together. Reality means in essence, the root meaning of that word,
is things. And living in the world of things, which is reality, we
want to establish a relationship with a world which has no thing,
which is impossible.
So what we are saying is: consciousness, with all its content, is
the movement of time. In that movement all human beings are
caught. And even when they die that movement goes on. It is so.
This is a fact. And the man or woman, the human being (not man
and woman, cut that out) – the human being who sees the totality of
this, that is, fear, pleasure and the enormous suffering which man
has brought upon himself, and created that suffering for others, the
whole of that. And the nature and the structure of the self, the ‘me’,
the total comprehension of that, actually, then he is out of that
stream. And that is the crisis in consciousness. We are trying to
solve all our human problems – economic, social, political – within
the area of that consciousness of time. I wonder if you see this?
And therefore we can never solve it. We seem to accept the
politician as though he was going to save the world – or the priest,
or the analyst, or somebody else.
And, as we said, the mutation in consciousness is the ending of
time, which is the ending of the ‘me’ which has been produced
through time. Can this take place? Or is it just a theory like any
other? Can a human being, you, actually do it? And therefore when
you do it, it affects the totality of consciousness. Which means in the understanding of oneself, which is the understanding of the
world, because I am the world, there comes not only compassion
but a totally different kind of energy. And this energy, with its
compassion, has a totally different kind of action. That action is
whole, not fragmentary.
So we began by talking about suffering, the ending of suffering
is the beginning of compassion, and this question of love, which
man has reduced to mere pleasure, and this great complex problem
of death. They are all interrelated, they are not separate. It isn’t that
I am going to solve the problem of death, forgetting the rest. The
whole thing is interrelated, inter-communicated. It is all one. And
to see the totality of all that, wholly, is only possible when there is
no observer, and therefore freedom from all that. Right?
Do you want any questions? Or do we stop?
Q: I’d like to ask a question. You said towards the beginning
that it is important for each individual to transform his
consciousness. Isn’t the fact that you say that it is important for that
to be done itself an ideal, which is the very thing to be avoided?
K: Sir, when you see a house on fire, isn’t it important that you
put it out? In that there is no ideal. The house is burning and you
are there and you have to do something about it. But if you are
asleep and you are discussing what the colour of the hair of the
man who set the house on fire, then…
Q: Sir with respect…
K: Please, no respect is necessary. (Laughter)
Q: The house on fire is in the world of reality, isn’t it? It is a
fact. We are talking about now the psychological world.
K: Isn’t that also a factual world? Isn’t it a fact that you suffer? Isn’t it a fact that one is ambitious, greedy, violent – you may not
be, but the rest – that is a fact. So you see, we say the house is a
fact, but my anger, my violence, my stupid activities are something
different. It is as real as the house. Because the house, if I don’t
understand myself, dissolve all the misery in myself, the house is
going to become the destructive element.
Q: Sir, your message and the message of Jesus Christ seem to
reach toward the same thing, although stated differently. I had
always understood your message and Jesus Christ’s message to be
quite different in content.
K: My message and whose, sir?
Q: Jesus Christ. About two years ago I was a Christian so it is
very difficult to get rid of statements that Jesus made that no man
cometh to the Father but by me. Although I find more sense in your
message at the moment, how do you equate this?
K: All right sir, it is very simple. I have no message. Right? I
am just pointing out. That is not a message.
Q: But why are you doing it?
K: Why am I doing it. Wait a minute, I’ll answer it. First of all
let us answer the first question. There is a great doubt amongst
those who have gone into this question whether Jesus lived at all.
There may have been a Jesus but we won’t go into all that. Why do
we want a message? You understand? Why do we want somebody
to give us something when everything is in you? You understand?
Q: It is wonderful.
K: No, it is not wonderful. Please. It is not wonderful. Please do
look at it. You are the result of all the influences, of the many
cultures, many words, propaganda, influences, you are that. And if you know how to look, how to read, how to listen, how to see – the
art of seeing, the art of learning, the art of listening – everything is
there, right in front of you. But we don’t have the energy, the
inclination, or the interest. We want somebody to tell us what there
is on the page. And we make that person who tells you what is on
the page into an extraordinary human being. We worship him, or
destroy him, which is the same thing. So it is there. You don’t want
a message. For god’s sake. Do look at it, please.
Is the book important? Or what you find in the book? What you
find in the book after you have read it you throw it away. Now
what you find in these talks, you listen, find out, go into it and
throw away the speaker. The speaker is not at all important. He is
like a telephone. Right?
The other question is: why do you speak. Does that need
answering? Would you say to the flower on the wayside, «Why do
you flower?» It is there for you to look, to listen, to see the beauty
of it and come back again to look at the beauty of. That is all.
Q: We have the message in ourselves, we are the guru.
K: We have a guru in ourselves. Have you? Please listen. Guru
means in Sanskrit, the root meaning of that word means, heaven.
Have you a heaven in yourself? My lord, I wish you had! Have you
a heaven in yourself? Or yourself is so confused, so miserable, so
anxious, how can you use such words – heaven. You substitute god
into heaven, heaven as god and you think you are quite different.
Before people believed that you had god inside you – right? – light
inside you, or something else inside you. But when you see
actually that you have nothing, just words, then if there is
absolutely nothing, then there is complete security. And from that everything happens, flowering.
BROCKWOOD PARK 4TH PUBLIC TALK 14TH
SEPTEMBER 1975

This is the last talk. And this afternoon you will have Mr. Ravi
Shankar playing the sitar at 3 o’clock.
We have been talking about various human problems during the
three talks and discussions, not merely accepting or denying certain
ideas or conclusions, but rather examining closely, and committed
to that examination, of our various problems, political, religious,
social, and the problem of fear, pleasure and suffering. We also
talked about yesterday morning, compassion, love and death. And I
do not know if you have taken all those things seriously, or merely
verbally, intellectually. And if one has then unfortunately it will
remain at the verbal level without any deep action or commitment.
I would like this morning, if I may, to talk about the whole
question of what is sacred, what is the meaning of religion and
meditation. When we enter into this very complex question we
must examine, I think, what is reality and what is truth. Because
man has been concerned throughout the ages to discover, or live in
truth. And he has projected various forms of images, symbols,
conclusions, images made by the mind or by the hand, and
imagined what is truth; or tried to find out through the activity and
the movement of thought, what is truth. And I think we would be
wise, if I can use that word without bringing a lot of emotionalism
into it, if we could differentiate between, what is reality, and when
we are clear what is reality, then perhaps we shall be able to have
an insight into what is truth. And to have this insight into what is
truth, religion and the many religions throughout the world have said that there is an enduring truth, everlasting truth. And mere
assertion of what truth is has very little significance. One has to
discover it for oneself, not theoretically, not intellectually, or
sentimentally, but actually find out if one can live in a world that is
completely truthful. And we mean by religion, not the organized
religions which are really sectarian, however many they may have,
we mean by religion, gathering together all energy to investigate if
there is anything sacred. That is the meaning we are giving – not
the propagandists’ religion, not the religion of belief, dogma,
tradition, or rituals with their hierarchical outlook. But we are
using the word religion in that sense, to gather all together, all
energy, which then will be capable of investigating the possibility,
or if there is a truth which is not controlled or shaped or polluted
by thought.
And to do that one must go into the question of what is reality.
The word reality means, the root meaning is thing, a thing. And so
to go into that question of what is reality, one must understand
what is thought. Because all the things that thought has created –
our society, our religions, our so-called revelations – all that is
essentially the product of thought. It is not my opinion or my
judgement, but it is a fact. All religions when you look at them,
investigate, observe without any prejudice, are the product of
thought. That is, you may perceive something, or have an insight
into truth, you communicate it verbally to me, and I make
statement into an abstraction and make that into an idea, and live
according to that idea. I don’t know if you see? And that is what we
have been doing for generations: drawing an abstraction from a
statement, and living according to that abstraction as a conclusion. And that is generally called religion. So we must find out how
limited thought is, and what are its capacities, how far can it go,
and be totally aware that thought doesn’t spill over into a realm in
which thought has no place. Are we meeting each other?
Please we are not only verbally communicating with each other,
which means thinking together, not agreeing or disagreeing,
thinking together and therefore sharing together, not the speaker
gives and you take, but together we are sharing: therefore there is
no authority. And also there is a non-verbal communication. And
that is much more difficult because unless we verbally see very
clearly the full meaning of words, how the mind is caught in
words, how words shape our thinking, and can go beyond that,
there is no non-verbal communication, which becomes much more
significant. We are trying to do both. Both communicate verbally
and non-verbally. That means that we must both be interested at
the same time, at the same level, with the same intensity, otherwise
we shan’t communicate. It is like love. Love is that intense feeling
at the same time, at the same level. Otherwise you and I don’t love
each other.
So we are going to observe together what is reality, what are the
limitations of thought, and whether thought can ever perceive truth,
or it is beyond the realm of thought. Right? May we go on?
I think we all agree, at least most do, even the scientists, that
thought is a material process, is a chemical process. Thought is the
response of accumulated knowledge as experience and memory. So
thought is essentially a thing. There is no sacred thought, no noble
thought. It is a thing. And its function is in the world of things,
which is technology, learning, learning the art of learning, the art of seeing and listening. It is in that area is truth, is reality – right?
Are we meeting each other? Unless we understand this rather
complex problem, we shall not be able to go beyond it. We may
pretend, or imagine, but imagination and pretension have no place
in a man, in a human being who is really serious and is desirous to
find out what is truth.
As long as there is the movement of thought, which is time and
measure, in that area truth has no place. And reality is that which
we think and the action of thought as an idea, as a principle, as an
ideal, projected from the previous knowledge into the future,
modified and so on. All that is in the world of reality. And we live
in that world of reality – if you have observed yourself you will see
how memory plays an immense part. Memory which is
mechanical, so thought is mechanical, it is a form of computer, a
machine, as the brain is. And thought has its place. I cannot speak
if I have no language, if I spoke in Greek you wouldn’t understand.
And learning a language, learning to drive a car, to labour in a
factory and so on and so on, there thought is necessary.
Psychologically thought has created the reality of the ‘me’. Me, my,
my house, my property, my wife, my husband, my children, my
country, my god – all that is the product of thought. And in that
field we have established a relationship with each other which is
constantly in conflict. So that is the limitation of thought.
And unless we put order in that world of reality we cannot go
further – right? I hope we are following each other, at least a little
bit. We live a disorderly life in our daily activity. That is a fact.
And is it possible socially, morally, ethically and so on to bring
order in the world of reality, in the world of thought – right? And who is to bring the order in the world of reality? I live a disorderly
life – if I do – and being disorderly can I bring order in all my
activity of daily life? The daily life is based on thought, our
relationship is based on thought, because I have an image of you
and you have an image of me, and the relationship is between those
two images. The images are the product of thought, which is the
response of memory, and experience and so on. Now can there be
order in the world of reality? This is really a very important
question. Unless there is order established in the world of reality
there is no foundation for further enquiry. In the world of reality is
it possible to behave orderly, not according to a pattern set by
thought, which is still disorder? So is it possible to bring order in
the world of reality? That is, no wars, no conflict, no division,
order implies great virtue, virtue is the essence of order, not
following a blue print, then that becomes mechanical. So who is to
bring order in this world of reality? Right? So man has said, «God
will bring it. Believe in God and you will have order. Love God
and you will have order». But this order becomes mechanical
because our desire is to be secure, to survive, to find a way of
living, the easiest way of living – let us put it that way.
So we are asking: who is to bring order in this world of reality
where there is such confusion, misery, pain and violence and so on,
a world of reality which thought has created, can thought bring
order in that reality? So who is to bring order in the world of
reality? The communists say, according to Marx, that control the
environment, then there will be order in man. According to Marx,
the State will wither away – you know all that stuff. And now they
have tried to bring order but man is in disorder, even in Russia! So one has to find out, if thought is not to bring about order, then what
will? I don’t know if this is a problem to you, if it really interests
you. So one has to say can thought, which has made such a mess of
life, and thought cannot bring clarity into this world of reality, then
is there an observation in the field of reality, or of the field of
reality, without the movement of thought? Are we meeting each
other about this? A human being has exercised thought, he says,
there is disorder, I will control it, I will shape it, I will make order
according to certain ideas – all the product of thought. And thought
has created disorder. So thought has no place in order. So how has
this order to come about?
Now we will go into it a little bit. Can one observe this disorder
in which one lives, which is conflict, contradiction, opposing
desires, pain, suffering, fear, pleasure and all that, can one observe
that, this whole structure of disorder without thought? You
understand my question? Can you observe this enormous disorder
in which we live externally as well as inwardly, without any
movement of thought? Because if there is any movement of
thought then it is going to create further disorder – right? So can
one observe this disorder in oneself without any movement of
thought as time and measure, that is, without any movement of
memory? Right?
Now we are going to see whether thought, as time, can come to
an end. Whether thought as measure, which is comparison, from
here to there, all that is involved in the movement of time, can that
time have a stop? This is the very essence of meditation. You
understand? So we are going to enquire together if time has a stop.
That is, if thought as movement can come to an end. Then only there is order and therefore virtue – not cultivated virtue which
requires time and therefore not virtue, but the very ending of
thought is virtue. Now this means we have to enquire into the
whole question of what is freedom. Can man live in freedom –
because that is what it comes to? If time comes to an end it means
that man is deeply free.
So one has to go into this question of what is freedom. Is
freedom relative? Or absolute? If freedom is the outcome of
thought then it is relative. When freedom is not bound by thought
then it is absolute. We are going to go into that. Outwardly,
politically, there is less and less freedom. We think politicians can
solve all our problems, and the politicians, especially the tyrannical
politicians, they assume the authority of god – they know and you
don’t know. That is what is going on in India, the freedom of
speech, Civil Rights, have been denied, like all tyrannies. And
democratically we have freedom of choice, we choose between the
Liberal, Conservative, Labour or something else. And we think that
having the capacity to choose gives us freedom. Choice is the very
denial of freedom. You choose when you are not clear, then there
is no direct perception, and so you choose out of confusion, and so
there is no freedom in choice – psychologically we are talking
about. I can choose between this cloth and that cloth and so on and
so on; but psychologically we think we are free when we have the
capacity to choose. And we are saying that choice is born out of
confusion, out of the structure of thought and therefore it is not
free. And we accept the authority of the gurus, the priests, because
we think they know, and we don’t know. Now if you examine the
whole idea of the guru, which is becoming rather a nuisance in this country, and in America, and the world over – I am sorry I am
rather allergic to gurus! I know several of them, many of them,
they come to see me. They say, what you are saying is the highest
truth – they know how to flatter! But they say, we are dealing with
people who are ignorant, and we are the intermediaries and we
want to help them. So they assume the authority, and therefore
deny freedom. I do not know if you have not noticed that not one
single guru has raised his voice against tyranny.
So a man who would understand what freedom is must totally
deny authority, which is extraordinarily difficult, which demands
great attention. We may reject the authority of a guru, of a priest,
of an idea but we establish an authority in ourselves – that is, I
think it is right, I know what I am saying, it is my experience. All
that gives one the authority to assert, which is the same thing as the
guru and the priest.
So can the mind be free of authority, which means tradition,
which means the accepting another as your guide – except in the
technological field it is natural there – as your guide, as somebody
to tell you what to do. If you reject that authority, as one must if
there is to be freedom, and man must be free, if he is not he is
becoming a serf, a slave and denying the beauty and the depth of
human spirit. Now can the mind put aside all authority – in the
psychological sense? If you put aside the authority of the
policeman you will be in trouble! That requires a great deal of
inward awareness. One obeys and accepts authority because in
oneself there is uncertainty, confusion, loneliness and the desire to
find something permanent, something lasting. Right? And is there
anything lasting? Anything that is permanent, created by thought? Or thought gives to itself permanency? And in investigating that,
mind desires to have something it can cling to, some certainty,
some psychological security. This is what happens in all our
relationships with each other. I depend on you psychologically
because in myself I am uncertain, confused, lonely and I am
attached to you, I possess you, I dominate you. So is freedom
possible, living in this world, without authority, without the image,
without the sense of dependency and therefore independency? So
is freedom from something? Or is freedom per se?
Now can we have freedom in the world of reality? You
understand my question? Can there be freedom in my relationship
with you? Can there be freedom in relationship between man and
woman? Or is that impossible? Which doesn’t mean freedom to do
what one likes, or permissiveness, or promiscuousness, but can
there be a relationship between human beings of complete
freedom? I do not know if you have ever asked this question of
yourself? You might say it is not possible, or it is possible. The
possibility or the impossibility of it is not an answer. But to find
out whether freedom can exist, absolute freedom in our
relationships. And that freedom can only exist when in our
relationship there is order – right? Order not according to you, or to
the man or the woman, but order in the sense of the observation of
disorder, and that observation is not the movement of thought,
therefore the observer is the observed, only then there is freedom in
our relationship.
So then we can go to something else: having observed the
whole nature of disorder, order comes into being in our life. That is
a fact, if you have gone into this that is a fact. From there we can move and find out whether thought can realize its own movement,
see its own limitations and therefore stop? We are asking: what
place has time in freedom? Is freedom a state of mind in which
there is no time – time being movement of thought as time and
measure? Thought is movement, and thought is movement in time,
from here to there and so on and so on. That is, can the mind and
the brain, which is part of the mind, can the brain which has
evolved through centuries, with all the accumulated memory,
knowledge, experience, is there a part of the brain which is not
touched by time? Do you understand my question? Our brain is
conditioned by various influences, by the pursuit of desires, and is
there a part of the brain that is not conditioned at all? Or is the
whole brain conditioned – and therefore human beings can never
escape from conditioning? They can modify the conditioning,
polish the conditioning, refine the conditioning, but there will
always be conditioning if the totality of the brain is limited,
conditioned, and therefore no freedom – right?
So we are going to find out if there is any part of the brain that
is not conditioned. All this is meditation – we will go into that
presently. As we said this is meditation, to find out. Can one be
aware of the conditioning in which one lives? Can you be aware of
it? Conditioning that you are a Christian, that you are a Capitalist,
that you are a Socialist, that you are a Liberal, that you believe in
this and you don’t believe in that, that you are ten different things,
that you are god, no god, there is no god, that there is only
knowledge and so on and so on and so on – all that is part of the
conditioning. Can a human being be aware of that conditioning?
That is, can you be aware of your consciousness, not as an observer but you are that consciousness – can you be aware of that? And if
you are aware, who is it that is aware? Is it thought that is aware
that it is conditioned – therefore it is still in the field of reality,
which is conditioned? Or is there an observation, an awareness in
which there is pure observation? Is there an act, or the art of pure
listening? Do you understand? I am asking, do listen to this a little
bit. The word ‘art’ means to put everything in its right place, where
it belongs, the meaning of that word ‘art’ means that. Now can you
observe, see purely, without any interpretation, without any
judgement, without any prejudice, just to observe? And also can
you listen, as you are doing now, can you listen without any
movement of thought? Which is only possible if you put thought in
the right place. And the art of learning, which means not
accumulating, then it becomes knowledge, and thought, but the
movement of learning without the accumulation. So there is the art
of listening, the art of seeing, the art of learning, which means put
everything where it belongs. And in that there is great order.
Now we are going to find out if time has a stop. Now this is
meditation. As we said from the beginning of this talk, and the
previous talks and discussions, it is all in the field of meditation.
Meditation isn’t something separate from life, from daily life.
Meditation is not the repetition of words, a repetition of a mantra,
which is now the fashion and called transcendental meditation, or
the meditation which can be practised. Meditation must be
something totally unconscious. I wonder if you see this. If you
practise meditation, that is, follow a system, a method, then it is the
movement of thought, put together in order to achieve a result, and
that result is projected as a reaction from the past and therefore still within the area of thought. Is this all becoming too much?
So can there be in the brain a mutation? It comes to that. We say
it is possible. That is, it is only possible, a complete psychological
revolution, a mutation is only possible when there is a great shock
of attention. You understand? Attention implies no control. That
means have you ever asked whether you can live in this modern
world, or in the ancient world, in the modern world because you
are not living in the ancient world, can you live in this world
without a single control – of your desires, of your appetites, of your
fulfillments of desires and so on, without a single breath of
control? Control implies a controller – right? And the controller
thinks he is different from that which he controls. But when you
observe closely the controller is the controlled – right? So what
place has control – in the sense of restraint, suppression, controlling
in order to achieve, controlling to change yourself to become
something else? All that is the demand of thought. And so thought
by its very nature being fragmentary divides the controller and the
controlled. And we are educated from childhood to control, to
suppress, to inhibit, which does not mean to do what you like. That
is impossible, you may do what you like. That is too absurd, too
immature. But to understand this whole question of control
demands that you examine this desire which brings about this
fragment, the desire to be and not to be.
So find out whether you can live without comparison – you
understand? Therefore without an ideal, without a future – all that
is implied in comparison. And where there is comparison there
must be control. And can you live without comparison and
therefore without control – do you understand? Have you ever tried to live without control, without comparison? Because comparison
and control are highly respectable. The word ‘respect’ means to
look about. And when we look about we see that all human beings,
wherever they live, have this extraordinary desire to compare
themselves with somebody, or with an idea, or with some human
being who is supposed to be noble, and in that process control,
suppress. Now if you see this whole movement, then you will live
without a single breath of control, that requires tremendous inward
discipline. Now discipline means actually to learn, not be
disciplined to a pattern like a soldier. The word ‘discipline’ means
to learn. Learn whether it is possible to live without a single
choice, comparison, control. To learn about it, not to accept it, not
to deny it, but to find out how to live.
Then out of that comes a brain which is not conditioned. And
therefore there is a brain which is totally unconditioned. We won’t
go into all that. So meditation then is freedom from authority,
putting everything in its right place in the field of reality, and
consciousness realizing its own limitation and therefore bringing
order in that limitation. So when there is order there is virtue,
virtue in behaviour.
From there we can go now into the question whether time has a
stop. Which means can the mind, the brain itself and the mind be
absolutely still? Not controlled – please, if you control thought in
order to be still then it is still the movement of thought. So can the
brain and the mind be absolutely still – which is the ending of time?
Now man has always desired, throughout the ages, to control and
bring silence to the mind, which he calls meditation, which is
contemplation and so on and so on. Can the mind be still? Not chattering, not imagining, not be conscious of that stillness,
because if you are conscious of that stillness there is a centre which
is conscious of that stillness, and therefore that centre is part of
time, put together by thought, therefore you are still within the area
of reality and therefore it has no ending in the world of reality, of
time. I wonder if you get all this? I must go on.
Because man has made what he thinks is sacred – all the images,
whether made by the hand or by the mind, all the images, in
churches, in temples, in the Muslim mind, all those images are still
the product of thought. And therefore in that there is nothing
sacred. So to find out – not to find out – out of this complete silence
is there anything sacred?
I began by saying – we began by saying that religion is not a
belief, is not propaganda, is not rituals, authority and all the rest of
it, but religion is the gathering of all energy to investigate if there is
something sacred which is not the product of thought. We have that
energy when there is order, when there is complete order in the
world of reality, in which we live – that is relationship, freedom
from authority, freedom from comparison, control, measurement,
which is all order – then the mind and the brain becomes
completely still naturally, not through compulsion. And is there
anything sacred? If one sees that anything that thought has created
is not sacred, nothing – all the churches, all the temples, all the
mosques in the world have no truth. I was once asked in India
when Ghandiji was going around, I followed him one year, and he
was saying all people can enter temples – because there was
division in India and only the Brahmins could enter. And they
asked me «What do you say to that»? I said god is not in temples, it doesn’t matter who enters. And that was of course non-acceptable.
So in the same way we are saying that anything created by thought
is not sacred. And is there anything sacred? Unless human beings
find that sacredness their life has really no meaning, it is an empty
shell. They may be very orderly, they may be relatively free, but
unless there is this thing, something that is totally sacred,
untouched by thought, life has no deep meaning. And is there
something sacred? Or everything is matter, everything is thought,
everything transient, everything impermanent? Or is there
something that thought can never touch, and therefore
incorruptible, and therefore timeless and eternal and therefore
sacred? You understand? And to come upon this the mind must be
completely, totally still, which means thought, time comes to an
end. And therefore in that there must be complete freedom from all
prejudice, opinions, judgements, you follow – completely. Then
only one comes upon this extraordinary thing that is timeless, and
therefore the very essence of compassion.
So meditation has a significance. One must have this meditative
quality of the mind, not occasionally but all day long. And that
implies another thing, which is: this something that is sacred, not
imagined, not fantastic, affects our lives not only during the
waking hours but during sleep. And in this process of meditation
there are all kinds of powers that come into being. One becomes
clairvoyant, the body then becomes extraordinarily sensitive. Now
clairvoyance, healing, thought transference and so on, becomes
totally unimportant. All the occult powers become so utterly
irrelevant and when you pursue those you are pursuing something
that will ultimately lead to illusion. That is one factor.       Then there is the factor of sleep. What is the importance of
sleep? Is it to spend the sleeping hours dreaming? You understand
my question? And what are dreams? And is it possible not to
dream at all? What are dreams, why do we dream, and is it possible
for a mind not to dream, and therefore during sleep the mind being
utterly restful a totally different kind of energy is built in. You
understand? I don’t mind if you do not understand.
During waking hours, if one is completely attentive to our
thoughts, to our actions, our behaviour, totally aware, then are
dreams necessary? Or are dreams a continuation of our daily life in
forms of pictures, images, incidents, and therefore continuity of our
daily conscious or unconscious movements? So when the mind
becomes totally aware during the day then you will see that dreams
become unimportant, and being unimportant they have no
significance and therefore there is no dreaming, there is only
complete sleep. That means the mind has complete rest, and
therefore it can renew itself. I wonder if you are following this.
Test it out. If you accept what the speaker is saying then it is futile,
but if you say,’ I am going to find out if during the day I am very,
very awake, watchful, aware’ – aware without choice, we went into
all that, what is it to be aware – then out of that awareness when
you do sleep, the mind becomes extraordinarily fresh and young.
Youth is the essence of decision – right? Action. And if that
action is merely centred round itself, round the centre of myself
then that action breeds mischief, confusion and so on. But when
you realize the whole movement of life as one, undivided, and are
aware of all that, then the mind rejuvenates itself, and has immense
energy. All that is part of meditation.       Do you want to ask any questions?
Q: Last night I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking of people
who were camping. I was worried for the campers.
K: Is that the question, after all that one has said this morning?
Probably next year we will arrange different things for the
campers. You see sirs, look at what you are saying. We are talking
of the highest things and you talk about not sleeping well.
SAANEN 3RD PUBLIC TALK 15TH JULY 1976

Questioner: Excuse me. Before you begin can we meditate
together?
Krishnamurti: The lady asks before we begin to talk, would it
be possible to meditate together. I am afraid that word meditation
has been so misused, there are so many systems of meditation, the
Tibetan, the Chinese, the Hindu, the Buddhist, I don’t know what
you mean by meditation. To me personally meditation is something
that cannot be cultivated, practised, follow a system. It must come
naturally, like a flower that blooms, you can’t force it. So I don’t
know what you mean by meditation together.
Q: Talk together.
K: Talk together? We have been doing that for the last two
times that we met here. Would you please sit down and we can go
on.
We were talking the last time that we met here, the day before
yesterday, about whether there is any possibility in the whole
structure and the nature of the mind, in which is included all the
feelings, sensations, matter and so on, is there a field where
thought, which is of time, has never touched. And it is very
important, it seems to me, to find that out, not from what the
speaker has told you but for yourself. To find out, or to discover
naturally and easily without effort, through deep investigation and
objective, non-neurotic observation, whether there is that area
where all the conditioning doesn’t exist at all. Because as we said
the other day, when we live as we do in the area of knowledge,
which is our conditioning, then all action, whatever it be, however noble, however idealistic, must invariably be mechanical.
For centuries upon centuries our brains have been cultivated to
comply, to accept, or go to the opposite, not to comply not to
accept, which is the same pattern, both the negative and positive.
And therefore living in that area naturally all our actions must be
mechanical, because our actions are based on either reward or on
punishment. The reward which thought has projected, or the
punishment which thought has projected, and thought is the
response of knowledge and therefore mechanical. I hope we are
meeting this. This is very important to understand because is there
an area where there is non-mechanistic action, non-computerised
action – not an idea? So it is very important to find out because our
lives, as one observes, most unfortunately, are repetitive, both
sexually, and in every direction, they are repetitive and
conformative, or suppressing, or yielding to various demands, both
psychological and physiological. And so when you observe your
actions it is essentially based on the past as memory, which is
mechanical; and to discover for oneself, not repeat what others
have said, but for oneself – that is, oneself being the total essence
of humanity. That one must have absolutely clear, that you are not
a separate individual; you are the result of centuries of
conditioning, like everyone else in the world. Conditioned in
sorrow, to accept sorrow, to live with fear, to live with great
anxiety, guilt and all the rest of it. So you are, in essence,
humanity. And when you observe your own activity, both
physiological and psychological, then one observes it is
mechanical, always operating from the background of knowledge.
Knowledge has its place, driving a car, doing certain skills, and so on and so on, which we don’t have to go into. So there knowledge
is essential. But knowledge in action, psychological action,
becomes mechanical. Are we understanding each other? Please this
is very important because we are going to go into something that
you have to carefully examine, logically, sanely.
Because one finds, as you observe throughout the world, very
few human beings change radically. They change from one pattern
to another pattern, from one religious sanction to another religious
sanction, they become Tibetan monks, or Hindu monks, which is
the same old pattern repeated over and over and over again. And as
one observes one asks: why doesn’t a human being, living as he
does in confusion, disorder, always in conflict, always struggling,
why doesn’t he change basically? I don’t know if you have asked
that question of yourself. Which is: why don’t you, as a human
being, change most profoundly? Because one sees that one must
change, to change not only the society, the corruption, the misery,
the confusion, all that is going on outwardly, which is contributed
by our inner state, which is our confusion, our disorder, and
constant effort, effort, effort. Why do we live in this state? Do you
understand my question? Why?
We have infinite knowledge about ourselves, from
philosophers, psychologists and others. There are many facts and
analysis of human beings. And we read them, we listen to them,
but we go on in our own way, in the same old pattern. Why? Why
don’t you, as a human being, radically dispel all this? When you
ask that question of yourself, you will say probably, «I haven’t got
enough energy to battle with all this». Is that so, that you have not
enough energy? One has plenty of energy if one wants anything – if you want to climb those mountains, you climb; if you want plenty
of money, you work; if you want your sexual appetites satisfied,
you will drive; if you want to fulfil your ambitions, you are at it
day and night; if you want to find some comfort in some religious
teacher – and those are not religious teachers at all, there is no
teacher and the taught in religious matters, please understand this
basically. They travel miles, go through great discomfort, live in
utter poverty, they have got plenty of energy; but somehow that
energy is dissipated in doing all this, in doing something that is not
at all worthwhile. The doing of something which is repetitious, of a
pattern which is not their own, it is a new pattern but it is still a
pattern. So it is not a question of lack of energy. Right? Would you
agree to that? Would you see that?
And is it a direction? You understand? To have a direction in
life. Like you have a direction if you want to become an executive,
a foreman, an expert, you have an end in view, a directive. And is
there a directive in the psychological field at all? Please this is very
important for us to understand. We are used to directives,
purposiveness, an end. And we are asking: is there in the
psychological field a purpose at all, an end in view, to be satisfied,
to be conquered, to be achieved? So one must go into that question
very deeply. That is: biologically there is an end – to keep the body
healthy, eat the right food, not to destroy its native intelligence, to
have food, clothes and shelter, and biologically to be secure,
otherwise the brain can’t function actively. So there is that
biological necessity, which becomes a purpose, an end. Now we
are asking: is it the biological instinct, moving towards the
psychological state which says, «I must have a purpose, what is the meaning of life, what is the end, what is it all about?» So
biologically it has made the movement in the psychological area.
And in the psychological area there may be no end at all. Do you
understand? It may be our illusion, moving from one biological
instinctive movement to a psychological field in which all
movement is meaningless. So we are going to examine that.
We said human beings as they are conditioned now, demand,
seek, pursue an end, apart from the biological one. And we are
asking if there is a psychological end at all, which may be
enlightenment, god, noble life, you know all the rest of it. We are
questioning all that. What is the psychological field? You
understand? Inwardly, what is that? Is that filled by the movements
of thought, the things of thought? Is that psychological field, which
is our consciousness, human consciousness, with its content, is that
the result of human struggle, pain, suffering, anxiety, which are all
the movement of thought? So is that psychological field filled with
the things of thought? And thought being matter. Please you may
not have gone into this deeply, or you may have heard some
scientists talking about it, but when one observes one can see very
well that thought is a material process because knowledge is stored
up in the brain, which is matter. So thought is a movement in time,
a process of matter – right? Sensation, which is the response, and
all the rest of it. So there is in the brain a movement of thought all
the time operating mechanistically, endlessly going on and on and
on, while you are awake and also while you are asleep, dreams, all
that is going on all the time. And that is our psyche. You
understand? Realizing the confusion within that area, thought says,
«Is there a purpose? Is there an end? Is there a goal? Is there a freedom?» Do you understand all this? I hope we are meeting all
this, are we?
Please for this morning, or a few mornings, put away all your
prejudices, all your anxieties, and demands, sexual, this, that, and
just listen. I am telling you something lovely, something which is
effortless, something very beautiful. Just listen to it. Don’t fight it,
nor accept it, just, as you listen to the river, just listen and then you
will find if this is serious, true, it will take place, then it will
blossom.
And our action is from this area of knowledge and therefore
action is never complete, it is always regretting, always foreseeing,
and not being able to fulfil, so there is always frustration – right?
So we are asking: why do human beings, living in this chaos,
misery, why is it they don’t change? Some of you have listened to
the speaker, unfortunately, for fifty years – why in the name of
heaven haven’t you changed – radically, not superficially, just
dropping one church, or this or that, is all trivial stuff? So one
demands why. We said it is not the lack of energy, you have got
plenty of energy to come here, sit in this hot tent, travel all round
and come and listen, you have got plenty of energy. Is it the lack of
will? Will implies – no, let’s begin slowly.
What is will? I will do this. I won’t do that. I must and must not.
What is this will, which plays such a tremendous part in our life?
Please go into it with me, not accepting what the speaker is saying,
find our for yourself in heaven’s name what will is, because that
plays such an extraordinary part in our life. I must give up
smoking. I must not do this, and so on. What is that will? It is a
movement, isn’t it? Obviously. A movement in a direction, in a particular direction, either the negative direction, or the positive
direction, but it is a direction. Please listen carefully. When there is
a direction there is time involved. I am here and I must be there. I
am angry, I must get rid of anger. So will is a movement in time –
right? Please. And what is the essence of that will? What brings
about, or what generates that will? You understand my question?
As long as you have a directive, an end, you must have a will. So
what is the nature and the structure of will? When you say, «I will
do that» – what is that? And when you say, «I will not do that», or
mustn’t do that, the movement, what is it that takes place? Is it
opposing desires, the desire that says, «I will», and the desire that
says, «I will not»? So desire, desire strengthened, concentrated, is
will. Right? Opposing, or completely unified.
So what is desire? Please listen. You understand? We are used
to being conditioned to exercise will. You smoke, begin to smoke
gradually, it comes into a habit and you find it is necessary to give
up that habit and you say, «I must fight it. I must get rid of it» – for
various biological, emotional, or psychological reasons. So will is
the essence of desire. And what is desire? We are examining this
because we are trying to find out why human beings don’t change
after millenia. You understand? Why live in this miserable way?
We said we have got plenty of energy. Now we are asking: is it
the lack of will? And we are examining the nature of will, the
structure of it, how it is formed, how it comes into being. So we
said desire is the essence of will. So what is desire? Please examine
through my words, the speaker’s words, the issue in yourself.
Desire is sensation, plus thought, plus the image which thought
creates. You understand? Sensation, seeing something, then the thought taking over the observation, then thought creating the
image. Sensation, plus thought, plus the image – right? That is
desire. From that all our activity of will takes place.
So the question is: as long as there is a will there is a directive
and therefore movement towards that direction, positive or
negative. And that is the pattern which you are used to. Having
sensations, thought, and thought plus sensation creating the image,
the image that I must be that, the image that I must not be that –
you follow? All that is will. And we have exercised that will
endlessly. The Socialists, the Communists, the religious people, the
non-religious people, this movement is all the time going on. That
is our conditioning. Which is: in the psychological field this
movement of desire plus thought and image is constant. And as
long as that mechanistic process goes on there cannot be change,
there cannot be psychological, deep revolution. So how can this
movement come to an end? You understand my question? I wonder
if you understand all this? Is this becoming a bit difficult? You
understand?
I am a human being, I have lived in the pattern of agony,
suppression, quarrels, violence, bitterness, and an occasional
feeling of tenderness, an occasional sense of something which I
dreamt of, or I feel immense, all that, I have lived like that, as a
human being. And I say to myself, «Why am I living this way? I
know I will die. There is always death, but I live during that fifty,
twenty, thirty, eighty years in a squalid pigsty way – why?» Is it a
lack of – I won’t come to that yet. Is it lack of energy? I see I have
got plenty of energy when I want to do something. Is it lack of
will? And I begin to examine the will, the whole nature of will. And that is my habit, conditioning. Now I am questioning if I can
break that habit, if that habit can be broken? That is, not to operate
on will at all. You understand? Will only comes into being – please
listen – comes into being when sensation, which is natural, which is
acceptable, which is normal, sane, when that sensation is taken
over by thought and that thought creates the image. So is it
possible to be completely, wholly with sensation and no
interference of thought?
You understand what I am saying? You see a beautiful house, a
beautiful woman, a nice man, see the hills and the glory of the
earth, when you observe there is tremendous sensation if you are at
all watching. And then thought comes along and says, «Yes, how
marvellous», from that begins the image-making, the picture-
making, the imagination. Now is it possible to have this complete
sensation, which is normal, healthy, sane, and not let thought seep
in? You understand? When thought seeps in you have the
projection of tomorrow. I don’t know if you see that? You see
something extraordinarily beautiful, and all your senses are awake,
then thought comes along and says, «I must have it tomorrow»,
which is the image-making, the pleasure – you follow? – the delight
of something beautiful, thought has taken over, created an image
and therefore there is tomorrow – you understand? So the tomorrow
is the process of time, which is thought. So in the psyche there is
only sensation, no tomorrow. I wonder if you see this? This is a
little bit complex, is it? I see some people are not – let me explain it
more.
We live in the hope of tomorrow – right? Tomorrow to us is
tremendously important, as yesterday, the images of yesterday, all that is as important, the past, as tomorrow. So we live in the past
and tomorrow becomes tremendously significant. So
psychologically we are saying: what is tomorrow? There is
tomorrow which is Friday, we have to do certain things, but
psychologically we are asking what is tomorrow? Tomorrow is a
directive. Please do see the beauty of this. Tomorrow is a directive,
the end, the goal; and so tomorrow psychologically assumes a great
significance. And psychologically, inwardly, the tomorrow is the
movement of thought in time, the movement of thought as a
material process in time. Tomorrow is a measurement – right?
Where there is a measurement there must be illusion. Oh, come on!
I am afraid you don’t see all this.
Look: measurement means comparing, doesn’t it? I am not so
beautiful as you are. I am not so intelligent as you are. Right? I
want to be as intelligent as you are, which is measurement,
comparison is measurement. So thought is a process of
comparison, so thought is measurement. Which is: the directive
from ‘what is’ to ‘what should be’ – right? Now is there such a thing
as tomorrow in the psychological world? If I live with tomorrow
then it is a mechanistic process – right? Because thought has
created tomorrow psychologically. That may be an illusion
altogether. So I must, as a human being I must find out, because
that is the pattern, that is conditioning, that is the accepted norm of
existence, which may be totally absurd. Because I am concerned as
a human being with the radical transformation, and we are
examining the will, the will in action. And will in action means
tomorrow, the directive. And is there such a thing as tomorrow,
psychologically, apart from biologically, physically? I need time, tomorrow, if I need to learn a language, if I have to learn to drive a
car and so on and so on. So is there a tomorrow? There is no
tomorrow when there is only sensation, and no image and no
thought. I wonder if you capture it? Do you get it? You see people,
specially so-called religious people, the monks throughout the
world, have said, «Sensation is totally wrong, control it, because
sensation leads to desire, and desire means the woman or the man.
God cannot accept a man who has desire» – you know, you have
heard all this stuff put in different words. «Therefore suppress
desire, therefore control all your sensations, because if you don’t
you are in the devil’s hands.»
So we are saying something quite opposite. Which is: sensation
is natural, sensation must exist, does exist, it is a fact, If you don’t
have your sensations fully alert you are paralysed. You may be
paralysed because we have learned the art of suppression. So there
are all your sensations. When the sensations meet the movement of
thought then there is tomorrow, because thought is a fragment.
Thought is a fragment because it is based on yesterday’s memory.
Thought is never whole. So sensation totally is whole, therefore
there is no tomorrow. Do you understand all this? No, don’t agree
with me. Please do it. See what happens when you do look at those
hills, at anything. Look at it with all your senses fully awakened.
Senses, not only your brain, your mind, because mind is part of the
sensations, with all your sensations. Then you will see thought
comes along and the image making begins, and tomorrow will
happen. But when there is only complete sensation, without the
movement of thought, there is only now, no tomorrow. Oh, I
wonder if you see this?       So is it because we have no energy that we don’t change? And
we see that we have got energy, whenever we want to do
something we break everything to do it. And is it the lack of will?
We see the mischief of will. So there is an action which is born, not
out of will, but out of the perception of this movement of will. You
understand? So there is an action which is not born from an image,
which is fragmentary, but an action born out of total awareness,
which is total sense of sensation. Please, this is very important all
this. Don’t misunderstand – if you misunderstand it is not my fault.
Then if it is not the lack of energy, then will has no place, then
why is it that human beings haven’t changed? Is it that they are
always thinking of reward and punishment, which is the motive for
our operation? We are brought up from childhood on that basis,
reward if you are good, punished if you are not. Reward if you
struggle, climb the ladder you are rewarded, you become the
President, or god knows what else, or the Bishop. So our
conditioning is based on reward and punishment, which is the
motive. A motive based on reward and punishment. Motive means
a movement. The word itself means a movement. You see what is
implied? The moment you have a motive the movement is time. So
you say, «I will take time to change.» If it is not reward or
punishment, then it is «I am going to heaven» or whatever, reward.
So where there is a motive there is a direction, and that direction is
set by thought, and so tomorrow. So as long as there is a motive all
action is incomplete, isn’t it? If I love you because you give me
food, this, that, and the comfort and all the rest of it, it is my
motive, it isn’t love.
So is there an action without motive? You understand my question? The moment I have a motive as a human being, whatever
I do is partial, fragmentary, which will bring about regret, pain,
suffering and all the rest of it. So I am asking as a human being: is
there an action without a motive? Don’t translate it into saying
love, because that word is so abused, so heavily laden, don’t bring
in that word, we will discuss it another time. So is there an action
in which there is no tomorrow, no will, only total energy? When
you have total energy you have total action. You understand? I
wonder if you get this?
Look: we are fragmented human beings. We go to the office, or
the factory, or garden and that is a field by itself. And our family is
a field by itself. My ambitions, my desires is another
fragmentation. So we live in fragments – right? That is a fact. And
so any action born of that fragmentation must be inevitably
incomplete, and therefore always destructive, frightening,
regretting, in sorrow and all the rest of it. So I say as a human
being: is there an action in which all this doesn’t exist? You
understand? You must ask that question. You are not asking it. I
am asking it. If you ask it, not superficially because this is a
tremendous thing this, to discover, you will find as a human being,
a human being who represents the whole world of humanity, you
will find there is an action which is not of tomorrow, the ideal, the
directive, but an action that springs from that total energy which is
total sensation.
So then for what reason further is it that human beings have not
changed? You understand? We said it is lack of energy – is it lack
of energy? Is it will? Is it incomplete action, with which you are
familiar? And is there another thing that is impeding why human beings don’t fundamentally change? Is there another? Of course
there are many others. We will take the fundamental things, not
superficial fragmentary things; energy, will, complete action and is
it that in all of us there is a longing for something other than ‘what
is’? You understand my question? A longing of something beyond
all this mess, a happiness, a deliverance, something that thought
has never touched – you understand? Something eternal, nameless –
it doesn’t matter what name you give it. Is that one of the reasons
that we don’t change? You understand my question? I live a
miserable, sordid life. And I see it round me, everybody more or
less the same pattern, and my parents, grandparents, past, past, past
parents, have lived the same way. And I feel I cannot escape from
this. I feel that I am chained, bound. And I want something beyond
all this. And that may be one of the reasons I don’t change. It is
very important.
Questioner: (In Italian.)
K: One moment. You understand? The priests throughout the
world, the Christian, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Tibetan priests,
always said there is a promise of something greater. Do this and
you will go to heaven, and if you don’t you will go to hell. Which
is interpreted in the Hindu in a different way, and so on and so on,
which is irrelevant. So our minds are conditioned heavily by
something other than ‘what is’. The other is the promised land, the
never-never land, the heaven, the enlightenment, the nirvana, the
moksha of the Hindus. Because I don’t know what to do with this,
the ‘what is’, and my whole longing is that.
Put it in different ways: it may be the Communists may want
perfect a State, perfect environment, it is the same problem – you understand? It is the same issue only put in different words – the
tomorrow. So that may be – I am asking – one of the fundamental
reasons why human beings don’t change, because they have this –
the perfect highest principle, called in India Brahman, Nirvana by
the Buddhists, heaven by the Christians and so on and so on. That
may be one of the fundamental reasons why human beings don’t
change. The perfect ideal, the perfect man or woman. Which
means the ‘what is’ is not important but that is important. The
perfect ideal is important, the perfect state is important, the
nameless is important. So don’t bother with ‘what is’, don’t look at
‘what is’, but translate ‘what is’ in terms of ‘what should be’. You
understand all this? I hope I am getting at you. So we have created
a duality: the ‘what should be’ and ‘what is’. And we are saying that
may be one of the greatest reasons why human beings don’t
change.
When there is this division between ‘what is’ and ‘what should
be’, the highest, then there is conflict – right? The Arab and the
Jew, division. Wherever there is a division there must be conflict,
that is a law. So we have been conditioned in this division, to
accept this division, to live in this division, the ‘what is’ and ‘what
should be’. The ‘what should be’ has been brought about because I
don’t know how to deal with ‘what is’. Or the ‘what should be’ is a
lever – you understand? – to get rid of ‘what is’. So it is a conflict.
So why has the mind created the ‘what should be’? You understand
my question and not be concerned totally with ‘what is’? Why has
the mind done this? Why has thought done this?
Thought, if it is at all aware, knows it has created ‘what is’, and
thought says, «This is a fragment, this is transitory. That is permanent» – you understand? This ‘what is’ is transitory and
thought has created the highest principle which it thinks is
permanent – thought thinks that. This is impermanent, that is
permanent. Both the creation of thought. Right? God, saviour – all
created by thought, the ‘what should be’.
So thought has created this division, and then thought says, «I
cannot solve this, but I am going to approach that» – when you see
the truth of this, that doesn’t exist. Only this remains. I wonder if
you see this? Right? Do you see this? Thought has created the
perfect ideal, the perfect State, the perfect Nirvana, the perfect
Moksha, the perfect Heaven, thought has created it, because it does
not know what to do with this, with ‘what is’, with my sorrow, with
my agony, with my impenetrable ignorance. So thought has created
this division. Do you see the truth of it? – not the verbal agreement,
not the acceptance, the logical acceptance of this, but the truth of
it? Then if you see the truth of it that doesn’t exist, the ideal, the
perfect, that doesn’t exist. Because you know nothing about it, it is
merely a projection of thought. So you have the energy then to deal
with ‘what is’, instead of losing that energy in there, you have the
energy to deal with what is happening. You see the difference? Oh,
for god’s sake! Do you see it? So you have this energy to deal with
‘what is’. Then you have to learn how to look at ‘what is’ – you
understand?
To observe ‘what is’. Therefore you have no longer the duality
of ‘what should not be’, only ‘what is’. You are beginning to see the
implications of it? When there is no ‘what should be’, the highest
principle, you have only this. This is a fact. That is not fact. So we
can deal with facts. When there is no duality there is only one thing, say for instance, violence. There is only violence, not non-
violence. Right? The non-violence is ‘what should be’. So when
you see the truth of it there is only violence – right? Now you have
the energy to deal with that violence.
What is violence? Go into it with me for a moment. Violence:
anger, competition, comparison, imitation – imitation being I am
this, I must be that. So violence psychologically is comparison,
imitation, various forms of conformity, essentially comparison – I
am this, I must be that – that is violence. Not just throwing bombs,
physical violence, that is something quite different. That is brought
about by our rotten society, immoral society, we won’t go into that.
So there is only violence, this thing. What is important there?
What is the nature of it – you understand? We have described, more
or less, what is violence. You may not agree with the description,
but you know what we mean by violence; jealousy, anger, hatred,
annoyance, arrogance, vanity, all part of that structure of violence.
That violence comes with the picture, with the image I have, that is
part of my image. Now can the mind be free of the image? You
understand? As long as there is an image, a picture, I must be
violent. The picture is formed through sensation, plus thought and
the image – you are following this? So a human being realizes that
as long as there is this image created through sensation plus
thought, as long as that image, which is me, exists I must be
violent. Violence means me and you, we and they. You know. So
violence is there as long as this image exists. And that image is
sensation plus thought. So there is no image if there is only
complete sensation. So we can deal then with ‘what is’ – you
understand? I wonder if you understand this?       Look: I am angry, or I hate somebody – I don’t but we will take
that as an example. I hate somebody because he has done
something ugly, hurt me and all the rest of it. My instinctual
response, being a fairly intelligent, fairly normal human being, is to
say, «I mustn’t hate him, it is bad.» I now have two images: I hate,
and I mustn’t hate. Two images. So there is a battle between these
two images. One says, control, suppress, change, don’t yield, yield
– you follow? – that goes on all the time as long as two images
exist. And I know the images are formed through – I have realized
this very deeply – through sensation plus thought. That is a fact. I
have realized that. So I put away non-hate – you understand? I have
only this feeling of annoyance, anger, hatred. What is that feeling,
created through the image, by some action of another – right? You
have done something to the image, which is me. And that image is
hurt, and from reaction of that hurt is anger. And if I have no
image, thought, sensation, if I have no image you don’t touch me –
you understand? There is no wounding, there is no hate, which is
‘what is’. Now I know, I am aware of what to do with the ‘what is’.
You understand? Have you got something of this?
So I have found human beings don’t change because they are
wasting their energy; don’t change because they are exercising their
right of will, which they think is extraordinarily noble, which is
called freedom of choice; and also they don’t know what to do with
‘what is’ and therefore project ‘what should be’, and also maybe
because that, the nirvana, the moksha, the heaven, is far more
important than the ‘what is’ – you follow? These are the blocks that
human beings don’t change, why they don’t radically transform
themselves. If you have understood this deeply, you understand, with your blood, with your heart, with all your senses, then you
will see that there is an extraordinary transformation without the
least effort.
Q: There is also a lack of will – pathological. I wish to know if
effort of will has a place in life.
K: Has will a place in life.
Would you give me two minutes rest?
Has will a place in life. What do you mean by life? What do we
mean by life? Going to the office everyday, having a profession, a
career, the everlasting climbing the ladder, both religiously and
mundanely, the fears, the agonies, the things that we have
treasured, remembered, all that is life, isn’t it? Right? All that is
life, both the conscious as well as the hidden. The conscious which
we know, more or less. And then all the deep down hidden things
in the cave of one’s mind, in the deepest recesses of one’s mind. All
that is life. The illusion and the reality. The highest principle and
the avoidance of ‘what is’. The fear of death, fear of living, fear of
relationship, all that. What place has will in all that? That is the
question.
I say it has no place. Don’t accept what I am saying please. I am
not your authority, I am not your guru. All the content of one’s
consciousness, which is consciousness, is created by thought,
which is desire and the image. And that is what has brought about
such havoc in the world. Is there a way of living in this without the
action of will? That is the gentleman’s question.
I know this, as a human being I am fully aware of what is
exactly going on within my consciousness’ the confusion, the
disorder, the chaos, the battle, the seeking for power, position, safety, security, prominence, all that business; and I see thought
has created all that – thought plus desire and the multiplication of
images. And I say, «What place has will in this»? It is will that has
created this. Now can I live – please listen carefully – can I live in
this without will? Biologically, physiologically I have to exercise a
certain form of energy to learn a language, to do this and that.
There must be a certain drive here. I see all this. And I realize, not
as a verbal realization, as a description, but the actual fact of it, as
factual as a pain in the leg. I realize it and I say this is the product
of thought as desire and will. Can I, as a human being, look at all
this, transform this without will?
So what becomes important is what kind of observation is
necessary. You understand? Observation, to see actually ‘what is’.
Is the mind capable of seeing actually ‘what is’? Or does it always
translate the ‘what should be’, the ‘what should not be’, I must
suppress, I must not suppress, and all the rest of it? Right? So there
must be freedom to observe otherwise I can’t see. If I am
prejudiced against you, or like you, I can’t see you. So freedom is
absolutely necessary to observe. Freedom from my prejudice, from
my information, from what I have learned, to look without the idea
– you understand? Just a minute I haven’t finished. To look without
the idea. As we said the other day, the word ‘idea’ comes from
Greek, which means to observe – not the meaning we have made of
it. The root meaning of that word is to observe, to see. When we
refuse to see we make an abstraction and make it into an idea.
So there must be freedom to observe, and in that freedom will is
not necessary, there is just freedom to look. Which is – may I put it
differently – if one makes a statement can you listen to it without making it into an abstraction? Do you understand my question? I
make a statement, the speaker makes a statement as, the ending of
sorrow is the beginning of wisdom. The speaker says that. Can you
listen to that statement without making an abstraction of it? The
abstraction being, is that possible? What do we get from it? How to
do it? Those are all abstractions and not actually listening. So can
you listen to that statement with all your senses? Which means
with all your attention. Then you see the truth of it. And the
perception of that truth is action in that chaos. Got it?
SAANEN 7TH PUBLIC TALK 25TH JULY 1976.

This is the last talk: there will be dialogues starting on Wednesday
for five days.
We have been talking over together for the past six gatherings,
so many human psychological problems, and I would like this
morning, if I may, to talk about something that I think is quite
important. The word meditation has been so misunderstood, at
least I think so, both in the east and in the west. The word itself
means to think over, to ponder over, to enquire into, and not all the
things that we have made of it. It is a very complex problem, as all
human problems are, and meditation has very little meaning if you
have not laid the right foundation for meditation. The very laying
of the foundation, which is righteous behaviour, to be free from
fear and so on, in the very laying of that foundation is meditation.
Meditation isn’t something away, isolated from daily activity, it is
all-inclusive. I think this must be understood right from the
beginning. It is not something that you do for 20 minutes in a
morning or afternoon and at night and then forget all about it and
then carry on your daily mischievous life. When meditation takes
place it is something extraordinary and we must investigate it
together, we are going into it together, sharing it together.
I am not telling you how to meditate – that is too silly, that is too
infantile. Because one of the first things is that one must be free, to
be completely a light to oneself – you understand? A light to
oneself. And this light cannot be given by another, nor can you
light it at the candle of another. If you light it at the candle of
another it is just a candle, it can be blown out. But whereas if we could find out what it means to be a light to oneself then that very
investigation of it is part of meditation.
So we are going together to investigate first what it means to be
a light to oneself, and see how extraordinarily important it is to
have this light. We are so accustomed, and our conditioning is, to
accept authority. The authority of the priest, the authority of a
book, the authority of a guru, the authority of someone who says he
knows, and so on. In all spiritual matters, if one may use that word
‘spiritual’, in all those matters there must be and there should be no
authority whatsoever, because otherwise you can’t be free, you
can’t be free to investigate, to find out for yourself what meditation
means. So if you are really deeply interested in this question,
because this question of meditation, not how to meditate, that is
again too childish, but the movement of meditation, the act of
meditation, the flow of meditation, to discover what it means,
authority, that is to find out from another, what and how to
meditate, is one of the questions of authority. Where there is
authority there can be no freedom, either in the tyrannical world of
dictatorship, the totalitarian state – there is no freedom; in the same
way if there is no freedom from authority, that is, the word
‘authority’ means one who originates something, the author, the
word comes from the word author, the one who begins something,
originates something, and the rest of the people follow it, make it
into an authority and then it is dead. So one must be very careful if
you really want to go into this question of meditation, to be
completely, wholly, inwardly free from all authority, from all
comparison. I don’t know if you can do it. Including that of the
speaker – especially that of the speaker, that is me, because if you follow what he says it is finished. Therefore one must be extremely
aware of the importance of authority in one direction, that is the
doctor, the scientist, the man who – and all the rest of it; and
understand the total unimportance of authority inwardly. Whether
it is the authority of another, which is fairly easy to throw off, or
whether it is the authority of your own experience, knowledge,
conclusion, which becomes your authority, which then becomes
your prejudice. So one must be equally free from the authority of
another and also one must be free from conclusions, which become
one’s own authority, from one’s own experience. We shall go into
that word ‘experience’ presently. From one’s own understanding, «I
understand therefore I am right». All those are forms of authority.
You understand how difficult this is going to be if you really want
to go into this extraordinary complex question; otherwise you can
never be a light to yourself. When you are a light to yourself you
are a light to the world, because the world is you, and you are the
world. I wonder if you see that?
So that is the first thing to understand: that there is no one to
guide you, no one to tell you that you are progressing, no one to
tell you that or to encourage you. You have to stand completely
alone in meditation. You understand what it means? And this light
to yourself can only come when you understand, or investigate into
yourself what you are. That is self-awareness, to know what you
are – not according to psychologists, not according to some
philosophers, not according to the speaker, but to know, to be
aware of your own nature, of your own structure, of your own
thinking, feeling, find out the whole structure of it. Therefore self-
knowing becomes extraordinarily important. Not the description given by another, but actually ‘what is’, what you are, not what you
think you are, or what you think you should be, but what actually is
going on. Do you know how difficult that is? Have you ever tried
it? To be aware actually of what is taking place, inside, inside the
skin as it were, because we observe through the knowledge of the
past – right? So what you have acquired as an experience, or what
you have gathered from another, with that knowledge you
examine, therefore you are examining yourself from the
background of the past, therefore you are not actually observing
‘what is’. So there must be freedom to observe. And then in that
observation the whole structure and the nature of oneself begins to
unroll. You are following all this? Please give for this morning at
least an hour’s attention. Because very few people will tell you all
this because they have self-interest, they want to form
organizations, groups – you follow, the whole structure of that
business. So please, if you don’t mind, give your complete attention
to what is being said.
So to understand oneself there must be observation, and that
observation can only take place now. And the now is not the
movement of the past which observes the now. You see the
difference? I can observe the now from the past, from my past
conclusions, prejudices, hopes, fears and all the rest of it. Which is
an observation from the past of the present, and I think I am
observing the now. But the observation of the now can only take
place when there is no observer who is the past. You understand
this? So observation of the now becomes extraordinarily important.
Which, as we said the other day, the movement of the past,
meeting the present must end there, that is the now, But if you allow it to go on then the now becomes the future, or the past, but
never the actual now. I hope you understand all this.
So observation can only take place in the now; in the very doing
of it when you are angry, when you are greedy, to observe it as it
is. Which means not to condemn it, not to judge it, but to watch it
and let it flower and disappear. You understand the beauty of it?
Oh, come on! Traditionally we are educated to suppress, or to
move within a certain direction. What we are saying is: to observe
your anger, your greed, your sexual demands, whatever it is, and to
observe without the past so that the anger flowers and disappears,
withers away. And when you do that you will never be angry
again. I don’t know if you have ever done these things: do it some
time and you will discover it for yourself. To allow, through
observation, in which there is no choice, just to observe your greed,
your envy, your jealousy, whatever it be, and in the very
observation of it, it is flowering and undergoing a radical change.
The scientists are saying too that when you examine through a
microscope, the very act of the observation of the cell, or whatever
it is, undergoes a change. You understand this? The very
observation without the background brings about a change. You
understand?
So to be aware of oneself without any choice, and to see what is
actually happening in the now, is to allow the whole movement of
the self, the ‘me’, to flower, and as you observe it undergoes a
radical transformation, if there is no background, if there is no
observer who is the background. You have got this somewhat?
Have you understood it sirs? Go at it!
So in doing that, obviously authority has no place. The man who says, «I know, I will do this or do that» – that is out,
completely, for ever. So there is no intermediary between your
observation and truth. We are going to find out presently, what
truth is, if it can at all be described. So in doing that one becomes a
light to oneself, so then you don’t ask anybody at any time how to
do something. In the very doing, which is the observing, there is
the act, there is the change.
So that is the first thing to learn – because we are learning – the
first thing to learn is, that one has to be a light to oneself. And it is
extraordinarily difficult to resist the tradition that you must be
guided. You understand? That is why gurus from India are
multiplying like ugly mushrooms, all over the world. Sorry but
they are really bringing old tradition and putting it in different
words and offering it. It is the old. In India this has been going on
for thousands of years. I have seen many of the so-called pop
gurus, they have come to see me, and they leave with great respect
but they go on their own way.
So freedom to observe, and therefore no authority of any kind,
is essential.
Then the search for experience, which we all want, must come
to an end. I will show you why. We have every day various kinds
of experiences. We have had sexual experience, experiences of
various kinds through books, through – you know the whole
demand for experience. The word ‘experience’ means to go
through, to go through and finish, not to record it. The recording of
it becomes a memory, and that memory distorts observation. Say,
for instance, if one is a Christian, you have been conditioned for
two thousand years, in all your ideologies, beliefs, dogmas, rituals, saviours, and you want to experience that which you call whatever
it is. So you will experience it because that is your conditioning. As
in India they have various gods, hundreds of them, and they are
conditioned to that and they have visions of them, because
according to their conditioning they see. So the demand for
experience, when you are bored with all the physical experiences,
we want some other kind of experience, the spiritual experience,
the greatest demand to find out if there is god, to have visions and
all the rest of it. You will have visions, experiences, according to
your background, obviously, because your mind is conditioned that
way. And to be aware of that, and to see what is implied in
experiences.
What is implied in experiences? There must be an experiencer
to experience. Right? The experiencer is all that he craves for, all
that he has been told, his conditioning. And he wants to experience
something which he calls god, or Nirvana, or whatever it is. So he
will experience it. But the word ‘experience’ means recognition,
recognition implies that you already know, therefore it is not
something new. So a mind that demands experience is really living
in the past, and therefore can never possibly understand something
totally new, original. So there must be freedom from that urge for
experience. Do you understand? You know this is going to be
tremendously arduous, to go into this kind of meditation, because
we all want rather easy, comfortable, happy, you know, an easy
going life. And so when something difficult, which demands your
attention, your energy, you say, «Well that is not for me, I’ll go
another way.»
So no authority; no demand for any kind of experience. That means there is no experiencer – you understand? Are we sharing
this together somewhat? Then to observe your fears, your
pleasures, the sorrows and all the complexities of daily living in
relationship, to observe all that. To observe very carefully. And we
said to observe implies that there is no observer, therefore there is
no question of suppressing, denying, accepting, but merely
observing your fear, because when there is a fear it always distorts
perception. When you are merely pursuing pleasure – again that is a
distorting factor. Or when there is sorrow – again that is a burden.
So the mind which is learning what is meditation must be free of
this, and understand the daily, everyday relationship, which is
much more arduous. Because, as we said, our relationship with
each other is based on our own image of the other and so on. So as
long as there is an image-maker, that image-maker prevents actual
relationship with each other – right? So this is essential before we
can go very deeply into the question of meditation. And that is why
very few people meditate properly, rightly. They just play as an
amusement, something that you add to that which you already
have.
Now when that is carefully well established deeply – which is
part of meditation – then we can proceed to find out whether
thought can be controlled. You understand? Wherever you go
either in India, or in a Zen monastery, or various forms of
meditation, Tibetan, you know they are bringing all the stuff over
from Asia because we are all so gullible, so ready to accept
something you think is new, it is just as old as the hills. You give
up Christianity and take on that burden – you follow? It is the same
old game.       So the question is: whether thought can be controlled. All
systems of meditation, systems being practice, method, day after
day, day after day, they all assert that thought must be controlled,
because thought is the disturbing factor for a still mind. You
understand all this? Are we meeting each other somewhere? Is
there a common ground between us? So thought, they say, must be
absolutely held so that it cannot possibly chatter, go off. Therefore,
they say, in order to control it various systems are necessary: the
Zen system, the Tibetan system, the Buddhist system, and the
various forms of Hindu meditation, which is in essence: control
your thought. Right? I do not know if you have gone into this
question at all. If you have, and if you have read something about
it, or listened to gurus – if you have any gurus and I hope none of
you have gurus, at least you won’t at the end of the talk – they all
insist, because I have listened to all of them, they have come and
told me a great deal about it, they asked the speaker to join them –
oh, I won’t go into all that rubbish. They all insist that thought must
be controlled and therefore thought must be held. One of the
systems is Mantra yoga – you have heard of that. You know,
Transcendental Meditation. Give it a good name like
transcendental and then you change that into something
marvellous. The word ‘mantra’, the root meaning of it is a sentence,
a formula, a word that will bring about concentration – you
understand? It can be Coca-cola (Laughter) – don’t laugh please,
don’t laugh, you are caught in it, that is what I am objecting to, you
are caught in it. It can be that drink, it can be another word, or a
Sanskrit sentence, given to you by your guru for a hundred and
fifty dollars and so on and so on and so on. The idea being to help to bring about concentration so that your thought is completely
held – you understand?
Now when you look into it, who is the controller? You
understand? You want to control your thought, you see the
importance of controlling your thought, and you say «I will try to
control it», and all the time it slips away. You spend forty years in
controlling – you understand? Every moment it is slipping away.
So you have to enquire: who is the controller? And why is it so
important to make such tremendous efforts to control? Effort – you
follow? Which means conflict between the thought that moves
away and another thought which says, «I must control it», which is
a battle all the time, struggle, conflict. All that goes on. So we must
enquire into who is the controller? You understand? Is not the
controller another thought? Right? So one thought, which assumes
the dominance, says, «I must control the other thought». One
fragment trying to control another fragment. Please see this very
carefully, because if you don’t see it what we are going into you
will miss.
That is, thought has divided itself as movement, chattering,
thinking about various things. When you want to look at
something, concentrate, it goes off thinking about your shoes or
something or other. And another thought which says, «I mustn’t do
that, I must control it.» So both are thought. One assumes the
dominance and tries to suppress the other. See this. See the validity
of what is being said, not because I say it, it is so. That is, thought
says, ‘It would be marvellous if I could control the thought which is
wandering, so that I can experience Nirvana.’ – or whatever it wants
to experience. So there is a division – please observe it – between the controller and that which needs to be controlled, and so there is
a conflict between the controller and the controlled. And there are
various systems that will help you to control. One of the systems
is: become very slowly aware of everything you are doing, your
breathing, your posture – oh, it’s all too… I can’t bear with that kind
of stuff.
So what is important is to find out whether there is only
thinking, not the thinker and the thought, and so the thinker
controlling thought. So there is only thinking – you understand?
Whether you think about boot laces or about god, or about your
wife, or about some future happiness, or whatever it is, it is still
thinking. So we are concerned not with how to control thought, but
with what is the whole process of thinking? Now if one is aware of
all that, then there is only thinking. You understand? Not the
thought which is wandering, and the controller which says, «I must
control it». So there is only thinking. Why should it stop? You
understand? If there is only thinking, why should it stop? So
thinking is a movement, isn’t it? Thinking is a movement, a
movement in time, from here to there and so on. Thinking is a
movement as time. Now, can that time come to an end? That is the
question; not how to stop thinking. Have you understood my
question first? We have laid emphasis in meditation, people have,
the gurus and all the rest of that group have laid emphasis on
control. Where there is control there must be effort, there must be
conflict, there must be suppression. And where there is suppression
there are all kinds of neurotic behaviour and so on and so on.
So is it possible – please listen – is it possible to live without any
control? You understand? Which doesn’t mean to do what you like, be completely permissive – you understand? We are asking a much
more serious question, which is: in your daily life, psychologically
can you live without any control whatsoever? You can. We have
done it. Please this is a very, very serious thing because we don’t
know a life, in which there is no shadow of control. We all know
only control. So to understand a life without control, one must go
into it very, very deeply. That is, control exists where there is
comparison. I compare myself with you and I want to be like you,
because you are more intelligent, more bright, more spiritual, god
knows what else. So I want to be like you, so I make an effort to be
like you. If there is no comparison whatsoever psychologically,
what takes place? I am what I am. I don’t know what I am but I am
that. There is no movement towards something which I think is
more. So what takes place? When there is no comparison what has
taken place? Am I dull because I have compared myself with you,
who are clever, bright, and therefore I have become dull? Or the
very word ‘dull’ makes me dull? You understand? I wonder if you
understand all this?
You know when you go to a museum you look at various
pictures, and you compare them, Michelangelo – you know various
artists and say «This is better than that» – we are traditionally
trained that way. In the school we say we must be better than ‘A’,
and you struggle, struggle to be ‘A’. And college examinations and
the whole movement of that is comparison, make effort. Now we
are saying that when you understand the movement of
measurement, and when you see the unreality of it,
psychologically, then you have ‘what is’. You understand? You
have exactly ‘what is’. You can only meet ‘what is’ when you have energy. That energy has been dissipated in comparison – right? So
now you have that energy to observe ‘what is’. To observe the now
with that energy. Therefore ‘what is’ now undergoes a radical
transformation.
So thought has divided itself as the controller and the
controlled. But there is only thinking. There is no controller, or the
controlled, but only the act of thinking. Thinking is a movement in
time as measure. And can that naturally, easily, without any
control, come to an end? You understand my question? When I
make an effort to bring it to an end, thinking is still in operation. I
am deceiving myself by saying that the thinker is different from the
thought. So my question is entirely different. Which is: there is
only thinking. The thinker is the thought. There is no thinker if
there is no thought. And therefore can this thinking, which is a
movement in time, come to an end? Which is, can time have a
stop? Now I’ll show it to you if you’ll go into it.
We said time – please pay attention, if you are tired take a rest
and I will stop too, if you are not tired we will go on – time is the
past. Right? There is no future time. There is future time only when
the past meets the present, modifies it and moves on. So time is a
movement from the past, modified but still moving on. We are
saying that movement must stop. You understand? Which is the
whole movement of knowledge – right? Which is the whole
movement of that which has been known. Unless you are free from
that movement there is no freedom to observe the new – you
understand? So we are saying that movement must stop. Now you
can’t stop it by will, which is to control. You can’t stop it by desire,
which is part of your sensation, thought, image. And so how is this movement to come to an end, naturally, easily, happily, so that it
comes to an end, without your knowing?
Have you ever given up something that gives you great pleasure
at the moment, dropped it instantly? Have you ever done it? You
can do it with pain and sorrow, I am not talking of that, because
you want to forget it, put it away. But something that gives you
immense pleasure. Have you ever done it? To drop it instantly
without any effort. Have you? I’ll show you. The past is always our
background. We live in the past. He has hurt me, he has told me, I
want this – you follow? – our whole life is spent in the past. The
incident of now is transformed into memory, and memory becomes
the past. So we live in the past. The movement of the past – can
that stop? That is what we are asking. You understand? Now it can
stop only – this is not a trick, this isn’t something you repeat and
say, «Yes, I have stopped it», that is too damn silly – it means that
the past, which is a movement, and the now which is non-
movement – you understand? You have understood this? I have just
discovered something.
The past is the movement, modified through the present, to the
future. That is the movement of time. The past is a movement,
always moving, moving, moving, moving, going forward, meeting
the present and moving. The now is non-movement, because you
don’t know what the now is; you only know movement. Right?
When that movement meets the now there is no movement at all –
you understand? Please this is not a verbal communication, it has
to be felt, known deeply, understood. You see the immovable is the
now. The now is the past meeting the present, we said that, do you
remember? – the past meeting the present and ending there. That is the now. So the movement of the past meets the now, which is
immovable, and stops. You understand? So thought, which is a
movement of the past, meets the present completely, and ends
there. This has to be meditated over, thought over, you go into it.
So the next thing is: the mind, which is not only matter, which
is the brain, which is also sensation, which is also all the things that
thought has put into that mind, which is consciousness, in that
consciousness there are all the various unconscious demands. And
we are asking: can that totality of consciousness be observed as a
whole, not fragment by fragment? Do you understand my
question? Because if we examine fragment by fragment it will be
endless. It is only when there is an observation of the totality there
is an ending to it, or leading to something else. You understand? So
can this totality of consciousness be observed, totally? It can if you
will do it. Which is, when you look at a map, you are looking at it
with the desire to go to a certain place. So there is a direction. So
when you are seeking a direction it is very simple – right? You are
in this town, you want to go to Bern, or Zurich, or Geneva,
whatever it is, and the direction is there. So to observe the whole
map is to have no direction. That is simple. See how simple it is,
for god’s sake don’t make it complex. So in the same way, to look
at this whole consciousness is to have no direction. Which means
to have no motive, because the moment, when you look into a map
and want to go from here to there you have a motive for going
there, your pleasure, this or that. So your motive gives the
direction. But when you can observe totally anything, yourself or
your consciousness, it is to have no motive and therefore no
direction, then you see the whole, as you see when you look at a map wholly. Right? Then you don’t misplace Germany with Italy,
or Italy where England is. So you look at the whole map when
there is no direction, which means no motive.
So to observe your consciousness wholly there must be no
motive, no direction. And is that possible when you have been
trained to do everything to act with a motive? There is no action
without a motive – that is what we are trained to do, educated for,
all our religions, everything says you must have a motive. But the
moment you have a motive, which is either pleasure or pain,
reward or punishment, that gives you a direction and therefore you
can never see the whole. If you understand that, see that actually
then you have no motive. Not, «How am I to get rid of my
motive?» You understand? You can only see something totally
when there is no direction.
All this is part of meditation, so that there is no centre from
which a direction can take place – you understand? The centre is
the motive. If there is no motive there is no centre, and therefore no
direction. Therefore what then? Then there are all the systems of
yoga – you know what yoga means? Yoga means to join. I think
and I have been told too, it is quite a wrong meaning. It had
originally, as I suspected, something totally different. Which is:
total harmony. Not by doing exercises, breathing, you will get
harmony, but the way of living itself is harmony – you understand?
And you can only do that when you have understood relationship –
you follow?
Are you following all this? So the mind – I must go into
something else here too. In doing all this, in living that way daily,
you have certain powers – you understand? In Sanskrit they are called siddhis, which is, you become clairvoyant, because your
body becomes astonishingly sensitive, your mind becomes very
clear, you can read other people’s thoughts, you have certain
capacities which you have never had before, telepathy, and you
know, all the rest of it. Now we have been through all that. But to
be caught in any of that means you can’t go further – you
understand? If you are caught in all that rather childish stuff – and
it is quite childish – if you have a very sensitive body, you
understand, you can almost hear what people are thinking, all that,
and it gives you certain power, certain capacities, but if those
become important then you have lost the whole thing.
And also they are now talking about, unfortunately, these
people who know nothing, they are talking about Kundalini – I
won’t go into all that.
So now the mind is prepared. You understand? It is prepared to
observe without any movement. You have got it? Because you
have understood authority, you have understood all the rest of it – I
won’t go into all that. It stands completely alone, to be a light to
yourself, therefore no impingement. Therefore the mind is not
registering, the brain, which we went into the other day. So the
mind now is without a single movement – right? Therefore it is
silent; not imposed silence, not cultivated silence, which has no
meaning, but a silence that is not the result of stopping something,
stopping noise. You understand? It is a natural outcome of the
daily living. And the daily living has its beauty. And this beauty is
part of this non-movement. I must talk about beauty.
What is beauty? Is it the description, is it the thing that you see,
the proportions, the heights, the depths, the shadows, a picture by Michelangelo, or a statue of his? What is beauty? Is it in your eye?
Or it is out there? Or it is not in your eye, or out there? You
understand what I am talking about? We say that is a beautiful
thing, beautiful architecture, marvellous cathedral, and a lovely
painting – it is out there. Or is it in the eye? Because it has been
trained, it has been observing, it is seeing that which is ugly, that is
not proportionate, not having any depth, no style? Is it out there?
Or is it in the eye? Or it has nothing to do with the eye, or with that
outside? I am asking. Beauty is when you are not – right? You
understand? When you look, it is you are looking, you are judging,
you are saying «That is a marvellous proportion», «That is so still,
it has got depth, it has got such grandeur», but it is all you looking,
giving it importance. But when you are not there, that is beauty.
You understand? Oh, you don’t. And when that beauty is there, that
expression of it may never take place. You understand? But we
want to express it because that is self-fulfilment. I am an artist, I
am a great – you follow? Therefore beauty may be when you as a
human being with all your travail, your anxieties, pain, sorrow, are
not there, then there is beauty.
So the mind now is still, without a movement. Then you ask –
we are investigating, not investigating because all investigating, all
movement has stopped – then what is there when movement stops?
You understand? Is compassion a movement? One is
compassionate, one goes and does something for another, goes to
some Indian village and helps the people because you are
compassionate – so all that is various forms of sentimentality,
affection and so on, but we are asking something much more
important, which is: when there is no movement then what takes place, what is there? We are asking is it compassion? Or is it
beyond all that? Which is, is there something that is totally original
and therefore sacred – you understand? Because we don’t know
what is sacred. Our images are sacred, whether you go to a church,
a temple or a mosque, our images are sacred, but the images are
put together by thought. So thought is a material process,
movement; so when there is no movement is there something
totally original, totally untouched by humanity, untouched by all
the movement of thought? Therefore that may be that which is
original and therefore most holy. You understand? This is real
meditation. To start from the very beginning not knowing – please
if you start with knowing you end up in doubt. You understand? If
you start with not knowing you end up with absolute truth, which
is certainty. I wonder if you capture this. Because we began by
saying we must investigate into ourselves, and ourselves is the
known, therefore empty the known. So from that emptiness all the
rest of it flows naturally.
So where there is something most holy, which is the whole
movement of meditation, then life has a totally different meaning.
It is never superficial, never. You may have ten suits or a house,
but if you have this nothing matters. Well sirs, that is it.
Questioner: May I ask a question?
K: Yes sir.
Q: Is a motive necessary in business, and if so how does one
choose the right motive?
K: What is the right motive in earning a livelihood. That’s right,
sir?
Q: Yes. Is it necessary to have a motive?       K: I’ll show you. What is the right motive in earning a
livelihood. Which means: what is the right livelihood, that’s right
sir?
What do you think is the right motive in earning a livelihood?
Not what is the most convenient, not what is the most profitable, or
enjoyable, or gainful, but what is the right livelihood? Now how
will you find out – please just listen – what is right? Because you
asked what is the right livelihood. What is right? The word ‘right’
means correct, accurate – you understand sir? Accurate. It cannot
be accurate if you do something for profit or pleasure – right?
Accurate, therefore correct, therefore right. Now what is right?
Now just a minute. This is again a very complex thing.
Everything thought has put together is reality – right? The tent has
been put together by thought, it is a reality. The tree has not been
put together by thought, it is a reality. The illusions are reality. The
illusions that one has, the imagination, all that is a reality. And the
action from that illusion is neurotic, which is the reality. So we
must see first, when you ask this question what is the right
livelihood, you must understand what is reality – right? Reality is
not truth – we will go into that a little later, if we have time. So
there is reality. Now what is correct action in this reality? Now
how will you discover what is right in this reality? Discover for
yourself, not to be told, if I tell you go and do this, then you might
regret it and then curse me at the end of it. So we have to find out
what is the accurate, correct, right action, or right livelihood in the
world of reality. Reality includes illusion, don’t escape, don’t move
away, illusion and the activities of illusion, like belief is an
illusion, and the activities of belief are neurotic, believing in nations and all the rest of it is another form of reality but an
illusion. So taking all that as reality, what is the right action there?
You understand? Who is going to tell you? Nobody, obviously.
So when you see – please listen sir – when you see reality without
illusion, which is also reality, the very perception of that reality is
your intelligence – right? – in which there is no mixture of reality
and illusion and all the rest of it. So when there is observation of
reality, which is reality of the tree, reality of the tent, reality which
thought has put together, including visions, illusions, when you see
all that reality, the very perception of that is your intelligence – isn’t
it? Right? So your intelligence says what you are going to do. I
wonder if you get this? Do you understand this? Intelligence is to
perceive what is, and what is not. To perceive ‘what is’ and see the
reality of ‘what is’, which means you don’t have any psychological
involvement, psychological demands, which are all forms of
illusion. To see all that is intelligence; and that intelligence will
operate wherever you are. Therefore that will tell you what to do.
Now: then what is truth? Reality we said – right? Then what is
truth? Certainly not reality. So there is truth. One has to go into it, I
haven’t time now. There is truth. Then what is the link between
reality and truth? You understand? The link is this intelligence.
That intelligence that sees the totality of reality and therefore
doesn’t carry it over to truth. And the truth then operates on reality
through intelligence. Got it?
SAANEN 5TH PUBLIC TALK 22ND JULY 1975.

We talked over together the last time, which was on Sunday, the
whole question of fear. I think we ought to go into the problem of
pleasure, enjoyment and that which is not pleasure, which is joy.
It’s really quite a complex problem because it involves a great deal
and to understand this problem, this question, which man has been
pursuing centuries upon centuries – the pursuit of pleasure – we
ought to consider what is freedom with regard to pleasure, what
part does intelligence play with regard to pleasure, and beauty
which incites pleasure.
What is freedom? Many books and theoreticians and so-called
philosophers – the word philosophy means the love of truth, not the
love of words and theories – many philosophers and others have
written a great deal, I believe, about pleasure, and about freedom.
The Communist world denies freedom, all dictatorship,
totalitarianism denies the necessity and the demand of freedom,
they call it a bourgeois idiosyncrasy without any reality. I am using
the word reality in the sense which we have been talking about.
And religious people have said, there is no freedom in this world,
you have to find it in heaven, or withdraw from this world into
some kind of monastic world and seek freedom inwardly – freedom
from everything that one has observed in oneself and in the world
about one. If there is no freedom of expression, of thought, of
speech, then one lives a life of slavery. But that freedom of
expression has led to a great deal of danger, damage, a freedom to
express oneself without investigating totally, completely what is
expression and what is it being expressed, and who is it that is expressing it – without considering that, merely to demand freedom
of expression does lead to a great deal of mischief and confusion.
And in enquiring into this question of freedom, is that freedom
total, whole or is freedom partial, that is, freedom from something
which is invariably partial? That is: if I want to be free from
something, it is only a reaction which cultivates the opposite. And
the opposite invariably contains its own opposite – so in that there
is no freedom. Are we moving together in this?
In the opposite – whether it is the Communist opposite as an
antithesis – the opposite can never give freedom, because the
opposite has its root in that which has been considered its own
opposite. So in that there is no freedom. So is freedom away from
reality, reality being that which thought has brought about, which
thought has put together, which thought reflects upon, which
thought has created the idea of freedom and then seeks it as
something separate from itself – or is freedom not from something
but from reality? That is to give reality its right place.
As we said the other day, the word ‘art’ means, to put everything
in its right place, where it belongs. So in enquiring into freedom, is
that freedom totally away from reality, though in reality there must
be a certain order of freedom? If in the world of reality there is no
freedom at all, then we are complete slaves. But when there is
order, that is to put everything where it belongs in the world of
reality, then there is a certain quality of freedom there. But that
freedom is not the total freedom. Right? This is not a theory, this is
not a speculative conclusion, but when one observes the whole
demand of man for freedom, he has always sought freedom in the
world of reality. Please, see that. He has always sought out this sense of self-expression, choice, identification – always in the
world of reality and there he says: I must have freedom. And that
freedom has created a great deal of confusion, chaos, individual
pursuits and so that freedom, without order in the world of reality,
becomes meaningless. But freedom, that is, total complete
psychological freedom, is not within the field of reality. And in
enquiring into this question of freedom one asks, what is
intelligence? The word ‘intelligence’ in the dictionary says: to read
between the lines in the printed page and to keep the mind very
alert, but also read between linear expressions. I wonder if you
understand – between two thoughts – and thoughts are always
linear, linear, vertical or horizontal. And intelligence, also the
dictionary says, is to keep a very alert mind. Is that intelligence?
We are asking: what is intelligence? Because in understanding
what is intelligence, we should be able to put pleasure where it
belongs, otherwise the pursuit of pleasure becomes dominant in
life. I wonder if you are meeting this?
Is intelligence merely to keep a mind extraordinarily awake,
which is necessary, and is it merely to read between two thoughts,
between two lines, between two words, between two symbolic
conclusions? Or does intelligence come about through the orderly
action in the field of reality and that orderly action in the field of
reality gives intelligence to perceive? Am I conveying something
at all or is it altogether Greek or Chinese? There must be freedom
for perception. To see clearly, you must be free. You cannot see
clearly, if you are not able to read between the lines, to have a clear
undistorted mind and therefore there is the act, the total act of
perception and that act of perception is intelligence.       I am investigating as we are going along. Because I see very
clearly that in the world of reality in which we live, we live a very
disorderly life, and to escape from that disorderly life, we resort to
all kinds of absurdities. But if we do not bring about order in the
field of reality, the field of reality being the activity of thought,
seeing its limitation, seeing it cannot possibly go beyond its
limitation however much it may expand, it is still limited and that
thought, which has created a disorder in this world of reality, that
thought itself cannot possibly bring order in that reality. To see all
that is intelligence.
The word ‘intelligence’ is not merely just a word, it doesn’t come
by merely offering opinions or definitions about intelligence. You
can play that game endlessly – but without that quality of
intelligence, which is the act of perception, and the act of
perception is to do what it sees immediately – that is intelligence.
That is: a man who has ideals is unintelligent – forgive me –
because his action is fragmented by what he calls a future
achievement, according to the goal, the ideal and therefore he is
not acting. If a man has a belief and acts according to that belief, it
is not action. But a man who perceives acts instantly, such a man is
an intelligent human being, because he sees the danger and acts.
He sees the falseness and acts. Not: tell me how to act, or, I’ll take
time to act. When you see a dangerous animal, you act instantly.
So the action of perception is the movement of intelligence. Have
you got this? Please, don’t accept my word or my argument, or my
logic – just see it for yourself. Like a man who has been brought up
in a culture which says: you must be nationalistic or a patriot, fight
and kill etc, etc. If you see that, what it has done in the world, all the calamities, the misery, the suffering, the brutality of division –
if you see this clearly, you act. Therefore you are no longer held
within the boundaries of a particular country. I wonder if you see
this. So such an action is supreme intelligent action – right?
Then also we must consider what is beauty in relation to
pleasure. We asked what is freedom with regard to pleasure,
because we all say: I must be free to pursue my pleasure. If I am
thwarted, I’ll become violent and all the rest of it. And in the
understanding of pleasure, what is the relationship of intelligence
to the pursuit of pleasure? The pursuit is one thing and pleasure is
another. The pursuit of pleasure is the movement of thought in
time. All right? May I go on?
So there must be an understanding, there must be the ordering
of beauty in relation to pleasure. So what is beauty? You know
again this is a very, very subtle question, because we all have
opinions, unfortunately. We say beauty is this, beauty is that or this
is not beautiful, and that is beautiful – and so on – this is ugly, that
is beautiful. We are so entrenched in our own conclusions, in our
own experience, in our own accumulated prejudice which we call
knowledge – and if you could put aside all that, what you think is
beauty, what other people have said about beauty, what you have
experienced and hold that memory and say: as long as beauty
conforms to that experience which I have had as beautiful, that is
not beautiful. So if you could put aside all that, which is quite
arduous – because that is freedom. If I cling to my experience of
beauty and somebody comes along and says: look, that is not
beautiful, I won’t give up my beauty, because I have experienced it.
I know, what it means. So if we could liberate ourselves from those various forms of conclusions, then what is beauty? Is beauty in the
world of reality or is it not within the movement of thought as
time? Please follow this carefully, we are investigating together, I
am not laying down the law. I am not as stupid as that, I have no
opinions about it, I have no conclusions about it, I am just asking
myself: does beauty lie within the movement of thought as time?
That is, within the field of reality. There are beautiful paintings,
statues, sculptures, marvellous cathedrals, wonderful temples – if
you have been to India, some of those ancient temples are really
quite extraordinary, they have no time, there has been no entity as a
human being who put it. Those marvellous old sculptures from the
Egyptians, the Greeks and to the modern. That is, is the expression
the creative feeling? Does creation need expression? Please, I am
not saying it does or does not, I am asking, enquiring. Is beauty
both the expression outwardly and the sense of inward feeling of
extraordinary relation which comes when there is complete
cessation of the ‘me’ with all the movements? I wonder if you
follow this?
So before we begin to enquire what is beauty, we have to go
into this question of what is creation? What is the mind that is
creative? Can the mind that is fragmented – however capable,
whatever its gifts, talents – is such a mind creative? If I live a
fragmented life, pursuing my cravings, my selfishness, my division
as the artist and everything is non-art world, my life, my activity,
my thoughts, my self-centred ambitions, pursuits, my pain, my
struggle – is such a mind – I am asking, please – is such a mind
creative, though it has produced marvellous music, marvellous
literature, built cathedrals and temples and mosques – and poems – English literature is filled with it, as other kinds of literature. Is a
mind that is not whole, can that be creative? Or creation is only
possible when there is total wholeness and therefore no
fragmentation? A mind that is fragmented is not a beautiful mind
and therefore not creative. I wonder if you get this?
No please, this is not my conclusion. I am not the Delphic
Oracle, I am enquiring with you, we are enquiring together, taking
the journey together into this enormous problem of what is called
beauty. And does such a mind that is whole, whole in the sense –
not fragmented, not contradictory in its action, not contradictory in
its activity, not self-centred, caught in the movement of thought in
time – all that – is such a mind, which always demands expression:
my painting, my work, my picture, my poem, my everything else –
which is identifying the expression with himself as the entity who
expresses – is such a mind creative? Or a mind that has never
known or lives in fragmentation? Fragmentation implies
contradiction and therefore conflict, struggle. And you will say:
that may be marvellous, but we have to live in this fragmented
world, we haven’t got that extraordinary feeling of totality – and so
on. There is division then between the artist, the businessman, the
scientist, the writer and you are just as destructive in this division
as anybody else. I wonder if you see this thing, not accept my
feeling about it.
So is beauty the expression of a marvellous building, the outline
of an extraordinary structure? Is beauty the poem – however
romantic, however usual, whatever its content, written by a poet
who himself is ambitious, greedy, wants to have success, sensitive
in one direction and totally insensitive in other directions, is such a man really creative and can such a man, though he may express the
feeling of what he thinks is beauty in words and which we accept
as beauty, is that really beauty?
So to find out what beauty is – the inward sense of it, not the
expression of it: when you see the mountain which is beautiful, we
don’t have to be told that it is beautiful – and when you paint that
mountain and exhibit it, the thing that is painted is not the
mountain. So we have to go very deeply into the question of what
is beauty, because apparently all religions have denied beauty.
Have you ever watched monks in Europe in a monastery – they
may have a lovely old, ancient monastery – but have you watched
them? They are immersed with their own prayers, they are
everlastingly looking at the book, they are caught in a routine and
so on. Once in the mountains in the north of India I was following
a group of monks, Hindu monks – they didn’t know I was behind
them but if they knew, they would have walked and turned round
and done all kinds of silly superstitious respect. I was walking
behind them: not one of them looked at the sky nor the beauty of a
tree, nor the sound of the water, because they were chanting and
never dared to look at anything that might incite a desire – a desire
for a woman, a desire for great pleasure – nothing.
Only I have been told, in recent years the landscape was painted
in Italy with the saints. So religions, because they said: beauty is
associated with pleasure, therefore if you are pursuing god you
cannot pursue pleasure, therefore don’t be caught in beauty. You
understand? This is happening. Beauty and love and pleasure.
We said a human being who is selfish – selfish being ambitious,
greedy, worldly, worldly in the sense wanting a name, position, recognition, popularity, money, a status – all that is included in that
word selfishness for the moment. A mind that is selfish, is it
creative or is it only a mind that is totally unselfish that knows this
feeling of total creation – not as an artist as nothing, total? That is:
there is beauty only when there is total abandonment of the ego,
the ‘me’, because the ‘me’ is the product of thought. Having created
the ‘me’, the ‘me’ thinks it is different from thought. Haven’t you?
And that ‘me’ may have certain capacity, talents, gifts and that
expresses itself and which we greatly admire, buy pictures, worth
millions, because it has financial value later on. But we consider all
that creative. It is like a person who is teaching or concerned with
creative writing. Creativeness comes only when there is no me.
Then there is beauty. That requires great sensitivity of the body,
the mind, the whole entity.
So pleasure has been identified with beauty: the beautiful
woman – the beautiful, which is lovely. So love and beauty and
pleasure apparently have gone together. And one questions that
whole concept, because it is a concept: that love is beauty and the
pursuit of beauty is pleasure. So one has to go into this question of
what is pleasure. You understand? Freedom which is an enormous
thing, enormous issue; then there is intelligence. We said,
intelligence is an act of total perception – not a cunning mind that
reads between the lines or having a very alert mind. You can have
a very alert mind by taking drugs, by various forms of stimulation –
but that’s not an alert mind, that is gradually becoming a dull mind.
And also this freedom, intelligence and this quality of beauty with
which is identified love and pleasure.
So is love pleasure? You understand? We have associated love with pleasure, with the desire – and what is pleasure and why does
man everlastingly pursue that pleasure? If you have watched
yourself, if you have gone into, looked at yourself even for ten
minutes, ten seconds – this is one of the great principles, like
suffering, pleasure, fear. And why does man pursue to the very end
of his life or beyond it as coming nearer to God – the ultimate
pleasure. Why? And what is pleasure? Is there such a thing as
pleasure? Please go into it.
There are three things concerned with pleasure: joy, enjoyment
and pleasure. This is so, look at it. You are going to find out what
is the relationship between the three of them. Joy – real enjoyment
of a lovely day, the enjoyment of seeing the mountains, hearing the
great thunder rolling among the hills – and the mind that is
pursuing the pleasure as that which has happened yesterday, with
that lightning. So what is pleasure? Is there a movement of
pleasure when you can say: this is pleasure; or you only know it
after? You recognize it as pleasure when it is over, which is the
movement of thought as time. I wonder if you see this thing! So is
there a moment, when you say: «My god, this is great pleasure!»
But only when thought, when that incident which has been called
pleasure in quotes has been registered in the brain and then the
awakening of thought and recognizing that as the like, pleasure and
pursuing it – sexually – in so many ways. So what is the
relationship of thought to pleasure? – pleasure being emotions,
great feeling, sentimentality, feeling tremendously sentimental,
gooey, romantic, ideological. What relationship has pleasure to
thought, or is pleasure the movement of thought only? There has
been a pleasure – what we call pleasure – a flattering, someone flatters you: «Marvellous, how beautiful, what a lovely writing that
is, what a marvellous speech you have made!» That is pleasure.
And you listen to that and you like the flattery of another, which
means you are not really concerned with the truth of perception but
the flattery of someone who says: what a marvellous fellow you
are. Then thought picks that up, pursues it and you who have
flattered are my everlasting friend and I seek more and more
flattery. That is the pursuit of pleasure which also acts in the other
opposite way, which is – you hurt me and I pursue that hurt,
thought pursues that hurt, and you are my enemy or I don’t like
you, avoid you. It’s the same principle. So is thought the pursuer,
not pleasure? I wonder if you have seen that?
We are not pursuing pleasure but thought is pursuing pleasure.
And when you, when thought pursues something, it must be in the
field of time: therefore, yesterday the sexual pleasure, the
remembrance of it and the pursuit of it. Seeing the pleasure, all
pleasure, in quotes, the mountains, the sunset and the thunder
rolling among the hills and thought pursuing that sound, pursuing
that marvellous light of an evening on the snow. So it is the
movement of thought as a remembrance in time that is the pursuit
of pleasure. I wonder if you get all this?
I pursue a Guru – not I, I have an abomination of Gurus, because
they are the new priests; before you accepted the Catholic
domination – you were told exactly what to do and you did that –
now you are bored with that and you take on new Gurus and you
will get bored with that and then you will go on to the Gurus of
China or Japan, or Russia – it is the same pattern.
So: can thought not pursue? You understand? You flatter me – and I listen to it – and that’s the end of it. Thought then doesn’t
carry it over. You have said something which may be right or
wrong, I listen to it – there is a reaction and that is the ending of it.
The light on those mountains yesterday evening, with all that great
sense of space, stillness and great strength, see it and end it, so that
thought doesn’t come and say, what a lovely thing that was, I am
going to pursue it. I wonder if you understand?
That means to be totally awake to the whole problem of
pleasure. And what is the relationship between pleasure and
enjoyment? You enjoy a good meal – if you do – and you want the
repetition of that enjoyment tomorrow. Right? So there is the
enjoyment of the moment, and thought pursuing that enjoyment of
the moment as a movement in time. I wonder if you see that. What
is the relation of pleasure to joy? Is there any relationship at all? Or
the joy comes unexpectedly, not invited. That which is invited is
pleasure as thought in time. I wonder if we are getting this?
So, is love pleasure? Tell me, sirs? That is, we said: the pursuit,
the hunter, is the thought. So is love to be hunted by thought? And
which it does, as we live now – and is that love? Has love any
relationship to thought? Please, sirs, go into it. And if it has no
relationship to love, then what is my relationship to another whom
I so-called love? To find out all this, not from another, because
each one is concerned with his own life. His own life is the life of
the world and the life of the world is you – because you suffer, you
are anxious, you pursue pleasure, there is suffering, you have fear,
so has another. So you are the world and the world is you – and this
is your life. Don’t waste it, for god’s sake, don’t waste it. And to
find out what it is to be totally free.       So freedom, intelligence, beauty and love and the pursuit of
pleasure are all interrelated, they are not separate things which we
have made it: «I must be beautiful – not only physically attractive,
sexually appealing». This is our education, our conditioning, and to
see all this as a whole not as fragments, not as broken up – as
freedom something separate, intelligence something separate and
so on – to see the whole of it as a whole – that is the act of
intelligence, that is beauty, that is love, that is freedom.
Here all this is important to understand and live – not merely
intellectually, understand verbally, because we are going to deal
with something which is the total truth and total creation, which is
death. And to understand this problem which has torn man, which
man has pursued, tried to understand the problem, overcome it –
unless we lay the foundation, which we have been doing, because
in comprehending what death is, we shall see what the meaning of
life is. At present our life has no meaning – actually as we live it.
Has it? If you are honest to yourselves, deeply, has it any meaning?
Meaning in the sense: total significance. It might have a meaning
in order to earn money and livelihood and all that – but that must be
related to the whole of life. If you are merely concerned with the
earning of a livelihood, unrelated to the rest of our existence, then
that earning a livelihood does cause great mischief, then we
become totally competitive – all that is happening in the world.
So we have this problem of death, and later on perhaps we will
talk about meditation and all that. We have got two more talks,
haven’t we? Two more. We’ll have to cover those two things in
next two days that we meet here. But you know, if you have no
sense of beauty – not painting and all the rest of it, paint your face and long hair and short nose and the latest fashion, you know – but
the feeling of beauty which can only come about when there is
total abandonment of selfishness, the total abandonment of the ‘me’
which thought has created. That means: there is only beauty, when
thought is silent. You understand this? I’ve got it! Not when
thought is chattering about the thing that is painted, only when
thought is completely silent, then there is beauty. But when you
say: how is thought to be silent, which is what you will ask – then
you have lost beauty. And the gurus and all the professionals are
supplying ‘how to make thought silent’. Therefore they never had
beauty. And when you pursue them, you are denying beauty. For
god’s sake see this.
So the whole meaning, the whole substance of life is this, if you
can capture it and live with it; and if you do live with it then you
will affect the consciousness of every human being. You can’t help
it.
SAANEN 6TH PUBLIC TALK 24TH JULY 1975.

We said we would talk about the very complex problem of what is
death. I think we should look at this question not as something
separate from other factors of life, like suffering, love, fear,
pleasure and the chaotic world we live in and the confusion for
most people. We should not separate this factor of death from the
rest. We should take it, I think, as a whole process from being born
to dying, a total, a whole movement of life.
And before we go into that we should also understand, I think,
not verbally, the question of authority also. As the world is
becoming more and more confused, more and more disturbed,
authoritarian governments are gradually creeping in, in the East
and so on. And when a political life is dominated by terrorism, by
imprisonment, by all the totalitarian methods of propaganda which
breeds fear, one has to be, I think, very much aware of this
question, that it does breed great fear and so for those who live in
those countries fear becomes part of their lives. And those who are
seriously concerned with the whole of life should go into this
question of authority. We are so eager to accept authority, the say-
so of somebody, intellectual, so-called religious or psychological;
so we submit ourselves to their concepts, to their description, to
their way of thinking. And specially when we are considering this
question of death, we should bear this in mind, that there is no
authority whatsoever, including and specially of the speaker.
And we also should apprehend, that is hold, participate in the
question of what is creation, which we went into the other day
when we last met here. That which has continuity, which is thought, as movement in time – as long as time has no stop, there
cannot possibly be creation. Time must have a stop to bring about
that creative feeling, that creative action. And it is always very
difficult to understand what it means for time to have a stop
because we are going into the question of death, which is the
ending of time in a totally different way. So we should understand,
not intellectually, but feel our way, investigate, whether there is a
possibility of time coming to an end. I do not know if you have
ever thought about it. Poets have written about it, talked about it.
Novelists have said there is an ending to time. But one does not
accept all these romantic theoretical suppositions, one wants to find
out for oneself what it means for time to end.
We said, thought is movement in time. That time is a bondage
in the world of reality. We went into that. And whether time as
measure, as movement of thought, can ever possibly end – either
consciously or deep down. One may theoretically accept the
possibility of time coming to an end, consciously one can work at
it, one can imagine, one can almost feel the ending, but the
movement in the semi-conscious state, in that dim consciousness,
time is part of the structure. Because after all, all our conditioning
is a result of time – it may be one day or ten thousand years. We are
conditioned in so many ways, influenced through propaganda,
influenced by books, by talks, by radio; everything around us is
trying to penetrate deeper and deeper and deeper. And the more
authoritarian the world becomes, with more penetration, the
technological penetration of propaganda is becoming more.
So we are the result of all that which is fairly obvious, which we
do not have to go into in great detail. You can believe in god, because that is your conditioning. But a Communist says: «That’s
all nonsense» – because that is conditioning. So, we are all
conditioned. One can consciously eliminate, if one is at all serious
and aware and alert, one can consciously put away all that. That is
fairly simple, and not fall into another trap of conditioning. But the
unconscious movement – that is, in the deep layers of one’s
consciousness, deep recesses of one’s mind, there is the movement
of time, the hope, the events of the past are deeply embedded. And
whether that time as a whole, both as the conscious and at the
deeper level, can totally come to an end? One can ask this question
verbally but to penetrate into that, not intellectually, you can’t do
this intellectually which is the structure of words, the
comprehension of words, the realization intellectually that words
have no significance, but yet be caught in words.
And to go into that question of time coming to an end – because
if it does not come to an end there is only variety in continuation, a
modified change in continuity which is time. Thought can adjust
itself to any environment and shape itself according to various
influences and demands. One must have noticed all this around
you, and to find out whether time has a stop, which is a
tremendously important question, because that stops one’s
evolution, as we know it, which is a process of time: gradual
growing, gradual becoming, gradual fulfilment, gradual activity of
desire – all that is part of the continuity of time.
So we are going to go into this question of authority, which we
have done a little bit, of the mind, thought, the brain adjusting itself
to all environment whatever it is, because the brain needs security
and therefore thought will adjust itself to Communism, to Catholicism, to whatever it is. And as long as there is a continuity,
which is a movement of time as thought, unless that movement,
however expressive, however capable, technologically perfect,
unless that movement comes to an end there is no creativeness,
because if we continue the same pattern – not only the same pattern
but in a different mode – there is a constant continuity.
So that is the question. And is it possible, not consciously,
because if you do something consciously, then it is part of the
process of thought, to find out whether time has an end, not
cultivated, not through the action of will to stop thought? Will is
part of thought, will is part of desire, and when there is an action of
will, then there is no ending of thought.
So we are going then to find out, what does it mean to die?
Because that may be the absolute truth, that may be the ending of
all time. Please, we are sharing this together, I am not taking a
journey by myself. Is death something separate from living? Is
death something totally opposite from existence? Is death the
ending of all that one has built in oneself, that one has experienced,
that one has observed, gone into? Does it all end? You understand
my question? Or is death not something separate, but part of living
though we have separated it, put it far away from us because we
are frightened of it, we never even talk about it? Or is it part of the
whole movement of life? Is it part of love? We are going to find all
these things out.
First of all one has to consider what various religions and so-
called people of ancient times have said about death. Because the
modern generation does not talk about death. No books are written
about it. Nobody says: «Live properly in order to die properly». Death is something to be avoided, something which you do not
want even to look at. You may pass a cemetery or a crematorium
and then shut your eyes and say: «How ugly it all is» – and move
on.
So if we are serious we are going to look at it, we are going to
face it, not avoid it, not speculate about it, not demand comfort and
no tears. The Asiatic world, specially in India which at one time
exploded over the whole of Asia, as Greece exploded over the
western world, said there is an entity, called the ‘self’, the ego, the
‘me’, that gathers experiences through life after life, which is called
reincarnation, goes through life after life, perfecting itself and
ultimately arrives at the highest principle which is Brahman. They
all call it different names. That is their whole concept. And people,
specially in the Asiatic world, believe that most intensely. They
said that they have proof that you exist, that what you are now, is
the result of your past and that your future as an entity depends on
how you behave now, what your actions are now. That will
determine what you will be. Though the believers say this, they do
not act, they just believe which is a very comforting, nonsensical,
meaningless thing.
And you have in the western world also a concept of that kind.
The Christian believes that you must be buried and ultimately
Gabriel blows a trumpet and you go to heaven. You know all that
business. And the ancient Egyptians – from what one has been told
and one has been told accurately by professionals – that they
believed in this reincarnation. It is a very old concept, it is a very
old belief which gave man a great comfort, because they have said:
«After all I live only eighty, forty, fifty years and accumulate so much – and what is the point of it all, if I don’t continue?»
We want to find out what is the truth of this. Not a speculative,
imaginative acceptance of tradition – tradition being that which is
handed over from generation to generation, and also that word
means; betrayal, betraying the present by the past. So we are going
to find out. Please don’t accept at all what the speaker is saying
under any circumstances, because you are very easily influenced –
because it is your life.
Before we go into that, you must also understand very deeply,
not verbally, that you are the world and the world is you. Not an
idea, but a deep understanding of it, the truth of it. What you are in
essence, deeply, the world is. You are like the rest of the world,
you have your problems, your suffering, your tears, your pleasures,
your fears, your anxieties – all that is like anybody else, whether he
lives in China, Japan, in Russia or America. Basically you are that,
you are the world. And at the peripheral existence you are
conditioned. And according to that conditioning your temperament
is, your idiosyncrasies are, the way you behave – all conditioned by
the culture in which you live on the outside, at the peripheral level
– but basically you are like the rest of the world. Right? Please that
is something you have got to understand. Therefore you are not
different from somebody who is greedy, envious, accepting
authority, afraid, competitive, violent. That is the world and you
are part of that.
So what is death? There is old age, disease, accident, poisoning,
various forms of physical destruction of the organism. That is a
fact. I don’t think one is afraid of that. One accepts it, doesn’t one?
As you grow older, as you may have an accident, you walk across a road and a bus strikes you or a car and that is the end. One
accepts, if one is at all rational, sane, that the organism comes to an
end naturally or unnaturally. That does not cause so much fear.
What causes fear, it seems, is that the ego, the ‘me’, that has
acquired so much, that has lived such a strenuous life, that has
accumulated knowledge, that has accumulated all kinds of
movement, it has accumulated and there is the ending of all that. It
is that, that one is afraid of if one observes that.
So what is the ‘me’ that clings to what is the known? You
understand? The unknown is the death and I cling to the known.
The ‘me’ says: «I know, I have lived, I have acquired, I have
experienced, I have suffered enormously, I have been through all
kinds of delights». And that ‘me’ is resisting, frightened, avoiding
this thing called death. Right? This is so. Please, we are going
together, I am not dragging you like a train!
So one has to enquire, investigate, what is the ‘me’? Is it the
result of thought? Is it put together by the movement of time? Does
it exist by itself, apart from thought? First of all, does it have a life
of its own, independent of thought, or has thought put it together
and that self thinks it is independent of thought? You understand
the question? Do you understand the question? Thought we said is
the movement of time. Thought in the world of reality separates
itself from that which it has put together. Thought has built this,
but that has become independent of thought. The mountain or the
tree is not put together by thought, but it is independent of thought.
And thought has built the ‘me’, obviously. And the ‘me’ has
separated itself from the thought which has built me.
Now what is the reason for building the structure, called the ‘me’? Why has thought done this? You are following all this?
Please, move with me, don’t go to sleep because this is really an
extraordinarily important question, all this, because it is our life.
We have to take this desperately seriously. Why has thought
created the ‘me’? If you see the fact that thought has built the ‘me’,
if you say, the ‘me’ is something divine, something that existed
before all time – which many do – we have to investigate this too.
So first we are asking, why has thought created the ‘me’ – why? I
don’t know, I am going to find out. Why do you think thought has
created the ‘me’?
There are two things, aren’t they? One is, thought demands
stability, because it is only where there is security there can be a
satisfying answer to the brain. That is, where there is security the
brain operates marvellously either neurotically or reasonably. So
one of the reasons is that thought, being insecure in itself,
fragmented in itself, broken up in itself, has created the ‘me’ as
something permanent; the ‘me’ which has become separate from
thought and therefore thought recognizes it as something
permanent. And this permanency is identified through attachment:
my house, my character, my wish, my desire, all that gives a
complete sense of security and continuity to the ‘me’. Isn’t that so?
We are investigating. You are not silent, just listening to me, you
are going into it with the speaker. And the idea that the ‘me’ is
something before thought – is that so? And who can ever say that it
existed before thought? You understand my question? If you say it
existed before thought – as many do – then on what reason, on what
basis do you assert that? Is it an assertion of tradition, of belief, of
not wanting to recognize that the ‘me’ is a product of thought, but something marvellously divine – which again is a projection of
thought that the ‘me’ is permanent?
So one observes, putting away the idea that the ‘me’ is
everlastingly divine, or everlastingly timeless or whatever it is, that
is too absurd, but one can see very clearly that thought has built the
‘me’ – the ‘me’ that has become independent, the ‘me’ that has
acquired knowledge, the ‘me’ that is the observer, the ‘me’ which is
the past. The ‘me’ which is the past, passes through the present and
modifies itself as the future, it is still the ‘me’, put together by
thought and that ‘me’ has become independent of thought. Right?
Shall we go on from there? Please, don’t accept the description, not
the words, but see the truth of this thing. As you see the fact of the
microphone, see that thing. That ‘me’ has a name, a form. The ‘me’
has a label, called K or John and it has its form, it identifies with
the body, with the face, with the whole business. So there is the
identification of the ‘me’ with the name and with the form, that is
the structure and with the ideal which it wants to pursue, or the
desire to change the ‘me’ into another form of ‘me’, with another
name. So this is the ‘me’. That ‘me’ is the product of time and
therefore thought. That ‘me’ is the word. Remove the word, what is
the ‘me’?
So that ‘me’ suffers. The ‘me’, as the you, suffers. So the ‘me’ in
suffering is you. The ‘me’ in its great anxiety is the great anxiety of
the you – therefore you and I are common. That is the basic
essence. Though you are taller, shorter, more clever, have a
different temperament, different character – all that is the peripheral
movement of culture, but deep down, basically, we are the same.
So that ‘me’ is moving in the stream of greed, in the stream of selfishness, in the stream of fear, anxiety and so on, which is the
same as you in the stream. I wonder if you get this? Please, do not
accept what I am saying, see the truth of it. That is: you are selfish
and another is selfish, you are frightened and another is frightened
– basically – you are aching, suffering, tears, greed, envy – that is
the common lot of all human beings. That is the stream in which
we are living in the present. Right? That is the stream in which we
are caught – all of us. We are caught in the stream while we are
living. Please see that, that we are caught in that stream as an act of
life. That is, the stream is selfishness. Let’s put it this way – in that
stream we are living, the stream of selfishness. That word includes
all the descriptions which are just now given. And when we die,
the organism dies but the selfish stream goes on. You understand?
Just look at it, take time, consider it. Suppose I have lived a very
selfish life: that is, self-centred activity: my desires, the importance
of my desires, the ambitions, the greed, the envy, the accumulation
of property, the accumulation of knowledge, the accumulation of
all kinds of things that we have gathered – which I have termed as
selfishness. And that is the thing I live in. That is the ‘me’. And that
is you also. In our relationship it is the same.
So while living, we are together flowing in the stream of
selfishness. Got it? This is a fact, not my opinion, not my
conclusion. If you observe it, you see it. Then you go to America,
you see the same phenomena, in India, all over Europe, modified
by the environmental pressures and so on – but basically that is the
movement. And when the body dies, the movement goes on.
So there is this vast stream of selfishness, if I may use that word
to include all the things implied in that word, is the movement of time and when the body dies that goes on. Go slowly in this. I am
going to go into this a little more.
And I die, my wife tearful, upset, lonely, missing the
companionship, having no money – you follow – still like the rest
of the world. And she goes to a medium, seance, because she wants
to get in touch with me, because she is lonely, unhappy, suffering,
no money – all that. And the medium there gets into contact with
what it calls the ‘me’, the husband and says: «Your husband is here,
he has a message for you. He says, he is perfectly happy. Look
under the drawer and you will find the testament». This phenomena
is repeated differently in a different way all over the world. Either
it is the medium picking up the intimations, unconscious
intimations of the wife and repeating it. One can do that very
simply if you have observed there is such a thing as transmission of
thought. You must have played with it, you must know it, it has its
own reality. Or out of that stream of selfishness the thought of K
still exists and the thought manifests. So there it is.
We live in that stream in our daily life till we die, and when we
die that stream continues. That stream is time. That is, the
movement of thought which has created suffering, which has
created the ‘me’, which the ‘me’ has now asserted itself, being
independent and divides itself from you, but the ‘me’ is the same as
you when it suffers. So the ‘me’ is the word. The ‘me’ is the
imagined structure of thought. In itself it has no reality. It is what
thought has made it, because thought needs security, certainty. So
it has invested in the ‘me’ all its certainty. And in that there is
suffering and all the rest of it. In that movement of selfishness,
while we are living we are being carried in that stream. When I die, that stream exists.
Is it possible for that stream to end? You understand? I die
physically, that is obvious. My wife may cry about it, but the fact is
I die, the body dies. And this movement of time is going on, of
which we are all part. That is why the world is me and me is the
world. And will there be an end to this stream and is the
manifestation of the ending of the stream, is it the manifestation of
something totally different from the stream? I wonder if you follow
all this? Are you interested in all this? Which is: can selfishness
with all its decoration, with all its subtleties, come totally to an
end? And the ending is the ending of time, and therefore there is a
totally different manifestation of that ending – which is no
selfishness at all. I wonder if you have understood this a little bit.
You see there are several things involved in this: in that stream,
is there a ‘you’ and a ‘me’? You understand? When there is
suffering, is there a ‘you’ and ‘me’ – or is there only suffering? I
identify myself as the ‘me’ in that suffering which is the process of
thought. But the actual fact is, you suffer and I suffer, not me suffer
something independent of you who are suffering. I wonder if you
see that. So there is only suffering: not I suffer and you suffer. You
suffer because my son, my wife, my husband, my neighbour, my
relative is dead. I suffer because my wife has turned away from
me. I suffer because there is loneliness. I suffer because I can’t
fulfil, because I can’t get everything I want. I want position, power,
money, sex – in that order – and I suffer. Don’t you also suffer in
the same way? So the suffering is the same as ‘me’. It is not, «I
suffer something separate from you». You understand? That is a
tremendous thing to find out.       So there is no individual suffering. There is individual blindness
– but that is a physical phenomena. But the suffering is the same as
you and me. Therefore there is only the factor of suffering. Do you
know what it does when you realize that? Out of that non-
personalized suffering, non-identified as the ‘me’ who is suffering,
separate from you – when there is that suffering – out of that comes
a tremendous sense of compassion. I wonder if you see that.
The very word suffering comes from the word ‘passion’. So I
have got this problem now: living, there is selfishness, dying, there
is selfishness. And that is the stream of time as a movement of
thought. And that stream of selfishness can manifest itself, which is
happening all the time. That manifestation of that selfishness may
have a name – as John Smith, K and somebody else. But if there is
no name, if there is no naming of that suffering as belonging to me
– what is then the individual at all? You follow? I wonder if you
see this? There is suffering and that suffering has been given a
name, a form as K , K is me – and that name and form becomes the
individual, separate from the stream of suffering. And that
individual says: «I am different from you. I am cleverer, I am duller
or you are more clever or this and that». If there is no naming the
form, then is there an individual at all? The word individual means
‘indivisible’ – a human being who is not fragmented, indivisible in
himself. That he is the whole – whole being healthy, sane, rational,
holy. And when that takes place, when there is living is there an
ending of time as movement of thought and suffering now? You
follow the question? Can I as a human being, living, knowing in
that stream I exist as selfishness, can that stream, can that
movement of time come totally to an end? Both at the conscious as well as the deep level? You understand my question after
describing it?
Now how will you find out? How will you find out whether you
who are caught in the stream of selfishness, can completely step
out of it, which is the ending of time? And therefore death is the
ending of time as a movement of thought, if there is this stepping
out of that. Can you, living in this world with all the beastliness of
it, the world that man has made, which thought has made – the
dictatorship, the totalitarian authority, the destruction of human
minds, the destruction of the earth, the animals – everything he
touches he destroys, including his wife and husband – now can you
live in this world completely without time? That means no longer
caught in that stream of selfishness? Can you?
Now who is going to tell you whether you can or cannot? You
understand? Or will you take time? You understand? If you take
time, you are still in there, still in the stream. So the whole idea of
gradual change, gradual evolution, gradual process, is still the
continuity of suffering, continuity of selfishness. So do you
actually see that? See in the sense clearly as you see the speaker
sitting on the platform.
You see there are many more things involved in this which we
have not time to go into. But there is such a thing as great mystery
– not the things invented by thought – that is not mysterious. The
occult is not mysterious, which everybody is chasing now, that is
the fashion. The experience which drugs give is not mysterious.
This thing called death and seeing all this, the description and
much more involved in it and the mystery that lies when there is a
possibility of stepping out of it. Which is: as long as one lives in the world of reality – which we do – can there be the ending of
suffering in that world of reality? Wait, wait, wait. Think about it.
Look at it, look at it! Don’t say: «Yes» – or «No». If there is no
ending of suffering in the world of reality, which is order, if there
is no ending of suffering, which is selfishness in the world of
reality, it is selfishness that creates disorder in the world of reality,
if there is no ending to that, then you have not understood or
grasped the full significance of ending time. Therefore you have to
bring order in the world of reality. That is, in the world of
relationship, in the world of action, in the world of rational and
irrational thinking – the fear, the pleasure – all that is in the world
of reality.
So can one living in the world of reality as we are, end
selfishness? You know it is a very complex thing ending
selfishness, it is not just: «I won’t think about myself». It is a very
complex thing and very subtle. One may think one is not selfish,
but deeply there is this root of it which shows itself in its peculiar
ways. So to be enormously aware about all this, that means, being
sensitive. You cannot be sensitive if you drink, if you take drugs,
smoke, obviously. Or you cannot learn by going to college how to
be sensitive. You cannot learn how to be sensitive from another.
One has to be aware of one’s insensitivity.
One is sensitive to one’s desires, to one’s hurts, to one’s
demands, but we are talking of being totally sensitive – both
physiologically as well as psychologically. That means one has to
have an excellent body, not a drugged body by alcohol or
overeating or all the rest of it. So one has to be aware of this
selfishness in the field of reality, because this selfishness in the field of reality is creating chaos. And you are the world and the
world is you. If you change deeply you affect the whole
consciousness of man.
SAANEN 7TH PUBLIC TALK 27TH JULY 1975.

We have been talking over together the many issues of our daily
life. We have talked about education – perhaps not completely – we
have talked about the world as it is with all the misery, confusion,
suffering, dictatorship and a lack of freedom, and we also talked
about fear – whether it is at all possible to eradicate it totally, not
only the conscious but the deeper recesses of one’s own mind, and
we talked about thought, pursuing pleasure, and the things that
thought has created, both outwardly and inwardly. Both the
outward and the inward structure of thought is the world of reality
in which we live. And we also talked about, considerably at length,
I think, about death and the meaning of love – apart from the thing
we call love which is the pursuit of pleasure and the fulfilment of
desire. We talked about this whole process as a unitary movement,
not to be fragmented – and thought invariably fragments all our
existence. We talked about all this. We also asked, why thought is
fragmentary, why all its structure in the technological world as
well as in the psychological area, why thought must be fragmented,
inevitably. And we said it comes about when thought has created a
centre and that centre separates itself from thought and therefore
thought becomes fragmentary.
We have talked about all this and we would like, if we may, this
morning to talk about the quality of energy which comes about
through meditation, and the quality of energy which is totally
different from the energy of meditation and the energy which
thought has created. This is what we are going to talk about this
morning, as this is the last talk and we are going to have discussions or dialogues on Wednesday morning for the next four
or five days.
There are two kinds of energies. I think they are separate. One
is the energy of conflict, of division, of all the movement of
thought. Thought has built outwardly a tremendous structure,
technologically, socially, morally. That thought in its movement,
which is time, has gathered together momentum, a tremendous
vitality of force. And that energy is totally different from the
energy which comes about through the understanding of the right
area of thought and moving away from that area, which is the
movement of meditation.
We know very well and fairly clearly after these days of talking
over together and also by observing what is going on in the world:
the division, the wars, the utter lack of consideration, callousness,
brutality, violence and immense suffering brought about by this
division, ideologically as well as psychologically. That energy has
built the world of reality. I think this is fairly clear when one
observes it, not only outwardly but also when one is aware of what
is going on inwardly.
Now we are asking: as that energy has not solved any of our
problems psychologically, and unless one solves this psychological
problem of correct living – correct living implies accurate living,
not a living according to a pattern or according to an ideal or to
some gathered experience as knowledge, but that energy which
thought has brought about has not solved human relationship. Now
is there another kind of energy. We are inquiring together. We are
not laying down, we are not the authority, we are just together, you
and the speaker are investigating into a question which is: is there another kind of energy which is not the energy of thought in its
movement as time, is there another kind of energy which will solve
the problem of relationship, the problem of death, the whole human
existence with all its complex problems? Because our existence is
not very simple, it is getting more and more complicated, more and
more complex. And we want a single answer to all this complexity:
‘Tell us what to do and we will do it’. Or is there a way of living
which is not the mere movement of thought with all its conflict? Is
there a way of living in which there is no conflict, in which there is
a unitary movement of mankind? And is there an energy which is
not time-binding and which may uncover something that is really
sacred? This is what we are going to enquire into together. The
speaker is not talking to himself. We are sharing together this
problem, knowing that thought, because it is fragmentary, is not
the factor of the unification of mankind. Politically that is essential
and no dictatorship, no Socialist or Communist government is ever
going to produce this unity. Otherwise we will be destroying each
other, which is what is going on.
So we are going to enquire into the origin of an energy which is
not the movement of time. I do not know if we can do this together
with such a large audience, because this requires a great deal of
attention, a great deal of care, and no possibility of illusion, no
possibility of deluding oneself that one has this peculiar energy. So
one has to understand first that there must be no kind of self-
hypnosis, no illusion, no deception, no hysteria. So we have to find
out what is the cause of illusion. Right? If we are to enquire into
this question, whether there is an energy which is not that of
thought, one must be absolutely clear that one does not create illusion. The word illusion means sensuous perception of objective
things, involving belief. So a mind that is caught in belief must
inevitably bring to itself illusion. And there must be illusion as
long as there is a desire – desire being something to which we cling
to, which we long for, which we subjectively run after. All these
factors produce illusion.
So if we are to enquire together into the question one must be
free of having no end, no goal, no belief and therefore no illusion.
Can you do this? Because we are going to go into something very,
very complex and unless one’s mind is very clear on this point that
illusion, deception, imagination, a desire for some kind of energy,
if there is any of that wave, or movement in one’s enquiry, then you
are going to end up in an asylum – which most people are doing
already. This is very, very serious, it is not a thing that you play
with.
So we are going to enquire with a mind that is not going to be
caught in any form of deception. Deception arises only when there
is a desire to achieve something, or to realize something, or to
come upon something. Is this clear? So is there a different kind of
energy? And to find that out accurately we must have naturally put
order in our daily life. Because if there is no order in our daily life,
enquiry into that is merely an escape, like taking a drug, drink,
anything, it is just an escape and that escape becomes actual and
illusory. Right? We mean by order in the world of reality, which is
order in the world of relationship between you and another,
between man and woman and so on – that relationship is society.
Please, listen to all this. It is your life. And if there is no order in
that life, in the field of reality in which we live, you cannot possibly – do what you will – come upon that energy which is not
the product of thought.
We mean by order, a movement of total comprehension of the
activity of thought which we have discussed perhaps ad nauseam
for the last seven talks. To perceive totally as a whole movement of
thought which has brought about in reality utter confusion. Perhaps
this is the first time some of you are hearing all this, so I am afraid
we can’t go over all the things that we have already talked over
together. But what we are saying then is that thought has brought
about confusion. Thought has brought about division between
human beings. And yet thought wants unity. Please follow this.
And so it has created a centre, a centre that will hold things
together, not only a centre in oneself but a centre in governments.
You follow? After all dictatorship is a form of centre, trying to
hold a group of people. Religions have made that centre, hoping to
hold man together – Catholicism, Hinduism and so on, and so on,
and so on. Thought has created a centre and that centre has become
independent of thought and that centre exists hoping to create,
bring about a complete unity of mankind. You are following this?
You watch this in your own relationship. In the family there is a
centre, the centre is the family and trying to hold that family
together.
And thought in the field of reality, wanting unity, security,
stability has brought about instability, insecurity. There is no
cohesive movement, no co-operation. And when we are talking
about order, we mean unity in the field of reality. Is this clear? So
unless that sense of harmonious existence happens in the world of
reality, you cannot possibly enquire into the other. Then your enquiry will be distorted because it is an escape, your enquiry then
will pursue illusory imitations which then you will accept as
reality. Right?
So we are going to see whether one’s mind, whether one’s life,
daily life is accurate, which means care, which means attention,
which means diligent application not negligence. There is a
difference between diligence and negligence. Diligence means
care, accuracy, mean what you say and live a life that is completely
correct, orderly, with care. Contrary to that is negligence. So
having laid the foundation of order in reality, then we can proceed
to enquire into the question whether there is or there is not an
energy which is not the movement of reality, which does not mean
illusory. Right? That means there must be freedom to enquire, no
attachment to a belief, to a person, to an idea, to a country, to a
leader, because if you are attached, held to your opinion, to your
judgement, to your conclusion, to your leader, to your guru, to your
priest – all that – that very attachment denies freedom of enquiry.
These are obvious facts. As a scientist: if he is to enquire very
deeply, he cannot be bothered with the country, with the nation,
with the border – he is completely absorbed in what he is doing.
So then the mind now is capable of enquiring. I hope your mind
is capable. Capable means, having an instrument that can be
actively, swiftly able to perceive, to see without distortion. And
that distortion will take place as long as there is the observer. The
observer is the past, the conclusions, his memories, his desires, his
will. As long as there is that observer, whatever he perceives must
be distorted. If I am a Hindu or a Catholic, or a Communist or
whatever it is, or addicted to beliefs then perception, that is, seeing, becomes, clouded, distorted, not accurate.
What we have been talking about for the last six gatherings here
is part of meditation. Meditation is not something separate from the
understanding and the action in the world of reality. That is part of
meditation. The meaning of that word meditation means to ponder
over, to think about, to go into. That is what we have done, which
is – we are saying – part of meditation. But unfortunately for most
people meditation is something apart from life, apart from daily
existence. We think by meditating we will achieve an experience
which will alter our structure of thought and from there act in the
world of reality. You understand? That is, I hope by meditating I
hope to have a certain experience or understanding or realization
which will then function in the world of reality and therefore bring
order there. This is what most people are doing right through the
world, unfortunately introduced by the gurus from India. See the
fallacy of this. «First seek god, or whatever it is and then
everything will be all right». But you have never enquired who is
the seeker. The seeker is the observer, is the thing put together by
thought.
So meditation is the understanding of order and accuracy in the
world of reality. That’s part of meditation. Meditation also means
much more; not just bringing order in reality. Anybody can do that,
any sane, rational, healthy human being can do that without
meditating. But through meditation it gives beauty to the order in
daily life. Are you following all this? Are you following
somewhat?
So what is meditation? A mind that is free from all illusion, that
is not attached to belief, to persons, to ideas, to conclusions. Complete freedom is absolutely necessary to proceed further.
What place has will in meditation? You understand my
question? What place has will in trying to meditate – or in
meditation. What is will? It is the action of desire for something. I
desire to be rich – god forbid! – and I work for it. I exercise my
will, my desire to achieve all the things that money will give. I
work for it. That is, will is a movement of desire as thought. Will is
thought. Will is desire. Desire is thought. They are not separate.
Desire, the action of will, the movement of thought are one. And in
meditation if there is the action of will that will is a form of
resistance, and therefore that will is still the movement of thought
as time and division. I wonder if you get this. Don’t be bored. Do
not yawn yet, give me another ten minutes or half an hour, before
you yawn. You understand my statement? We are asking, what
place has will in meditation? We say: there is no place for will, for
will is desire. Desire means to achieve something or to cling to
something, or demand enlightenment, beauty, love, all the rest of
it.
And in that movement of meditation there are a whole
complexity of activities. First of all let us look into the word
‘Yoga’. Right? You know something about it, don’t you? Yoga in
Sanskrit means ‘join’, the root meaning of it. And there are different
kinds of Yoga – the highest Yoga being Raja Yoga – ‘King of
Yogas’ in which there is only the activity of the mind, the activity
of living a right kind of life, accurate life. It has nothing whatever
to do with exercises, postures, breathing and all that business.
There are different kinds of Yogas and they have also said: «What
the speaker is saying is another form of Yoga». You can wipe out all that rubbish and start again.
Then through meditation – because all this implies a highly
sensitive mind, a highly sensitive body, therefore no drugs, no
drinks, no tobacco – you follow – anything that makes the mind
dull, which is repetition. Any practice will inevitably make the
mind dull. Right? That is why when the gurus come to this country
and bring their superstitious, traditional, conventional, conditioned
practices of various kinds, they are destroying your brain, they are
making your mind dull. And you need a very clear, active, subtle,
sensitive mind and you cannot have that if you keep on repeating,
repeating, repeating. You understand this, naturally. Then your
mind becomes mechanical, which it is already, and you are making
it more mechanical. So, put away, if I may suggest altogether this
whole idea of following somebody and accepting their systems.
Many gurus have come to see the speaker and they have brought
out all their arguments. They say: «What you are saying is the
highest truth, but we translate this truth to others, because they
can’t understand you». You understand the game they play?
So therefore first: no acceptance of authority. Please, do see
this. When you don’t accept authority there is the activity of
freedom, which is intelligence. Then that intelligence will bring
about right political activity which is not dependent on party
politics, on their leaders, dictatorship and all that business.
So then in meditation because the mind has become
astonishingly sensitive, there is all this field of clairvoyance, right?
Field of healing, field of investigating into occult things, hidden
things. Right? Unfortunately it is becoming the fashion now to talk
about the occult, the hidden, the mysterious, all that. When the body is sensitive, the mind is active, accurate, therefore all these
things come about. But they are totally irrelevant. They are
playthings. Please, the speaker knows something of all this and
there is great danger in all that, unless you really want to pursue
that like a child with a toy. It has no value.
Now we can proceed to enquire, after clearing the ground
accurately, with the question: is there an energy, a something,
which is totally different – not the opposite, because the opposite of
the energy of thought is still its own opposite, is still the movement
of thought. Therefore we are using purposely a word that is totally
different. Now we can proceed.
And also there is the whole question, brought over from India,
of the energy which they think will come about through awakening
the various centres in the body which is called ‘Kundalini’. Have
you heard all about this rubbish? It isn’t rubbish if you know what
it is, but as you don’t know, you are playing with rubbish. Please
forgive me if I talk frankly about all these nonsensical, unreal
things, unless you have gone into it. You cannot go into it unless
you have brought order in your life. They have brought this word
called ‘Kundalini’ from India. It is now a fashionable thing to
pursue. When it becomes common it has lost its reality, its
worthwhileness. You understand? When everybody is trying to
awaken their beastly little what they call ‘Kundalini’ it becomes too
silly. A truth, when made common, becomes vulgar and therefore
no longer truth.
Now we can proceed. No action of will, therefore no action of
deception, illusion, no attachment to belief, to dogmas, to rituals, to
all the myths that man has put together through thought. Then what takes place to a mind that has done this – not imagined it has done,
actually has done? To such a mind there is that quality of silence, a
silence that is not between two noises, the silence that is not
between two thoughts. Please, watch it in yourself, you will see
this. A silence that has not been put together by thought because it
desires to be silent. Because there has been order in our daily life,
because there has been no conflict as will, there is no division
politically, religiously, no practice. Out of all that comes a natural
intelligence, natural sensitivity and therefore a mind that is
astonishingly quiet. That is, a mind that has put a stop to time –
mind has not put it – but it has inevitably come about. You
understand what I am saying? Time is movement of thought as
measure. Time is thought. And thought as measure is from here to
there, psychologically as well as physically. And when there is this
movement of time as achievement, as experience, as gaining
something, it is still the activity of thought, and therefore it is
fragmentary, not whole. From that, when the mind has perceived
the totality of thought – that is the totality of the movement of
thought, all its varieties, all its movements, all its subtleties hidden
and open – when the mind is totally aware of all that, then time, to
such a mind, comes to an end, therefore there is complete
quietness. Right?
Perception can only take place in silence. You follow this?
Please. Are we sharing this together? Or am I pursuing my own
investigation? You understand? If you want to hear what the
speaker is saying, you have to listen, you have to pay attention. If
you want to listen, if you don’t want to, that is quite a different
matter. But if you want to listen you have to pay attention. That means care. That means you have to listen, listen without any
prejudice, without conclusion, comparing what you hear with what
you already know. All those inhibit, prevent listening. So, when
you want to listen, you must be completely silent, naturally. When
you want to see the mountains, the flowing of the water in the
river, there must be total observation, not the observer observing.
Right? So there is this silence.
And what is the unifying character, what is the unifying
movement, so that it brings about no division between man and
man? Because that is a tremendously important question. You
understand? When the world is divided – nation against nation,
people against people, ideas against ideas – democracy – so-called
democracy against autocracy and so on. When there is this
tremendous division taking place in mankind, in human beings
outwardly as well as inwardly, what is the unifying factor? Is there
is no unifying factor we are going to destroy ourselves – unifying
factor being co-operation. You understand all this? So what is that
unifying factor in meditation? Because that is one of the most
urgent absolute necessities. Politics and politicians are not going to
bring this unity, however much they may talk about it. It has taken
them thousands of years just to meet each other at Bonn or
Moscow or in Washington or some other hideous place – thousands
of years. Think of such a mentality that is going to bring unity to
mankind.
What is that factor? You understand? We are talking about a
totally different kind of energy which is not the movement of
thought with its own energy. And will that energy which is not the
energy of thought bring about this unity? You understand? Are you interested in this? It is your problem, isn’t it? Unity between you
and your wife, unity between you and another. You see we have to
bring about this unity, thought sees the necessity of this unity and
therefore has created a centre. Like the sun is the centre of this
universe, holding all things in that light, so this centre created by
thought hopes to bring mankind together. Great warriors try to do
this, great conquerors. They did it through bloodshed. Religions
have tried to do it, and those religions who have tried to do it
brought about more division with their cruelty, with their wars,
with their torture. Science has enquired into this, and because
science is knowledge, the accumulation of knowledge, and the
movement of knowledge, which is thought being fragmentary
cannot unify. You understand all this?
So is there any energy which will bring about this unity? This
unification of mankind? And we were saying: in meditation this
energy comes about, because in that meditation there is no centre.
The centre is created by thought. But something else totally
different takes place – which is compassion. That is the unifying
factor of mankind: to be, not that you will become compassionate
which is again another deception, but be compassionate. That can
only take place when there is no centre, the centre being that which
has been created by thought, thought which hoped by creating a
centre it could bring about unity – like a federal government, like a
dictatorship, like autocracy. All those are centres hoping to create
unity. All those have failed and they will inevitably fail. And there
is only one factor and that is the sense of great compassion.
And that compassion comes, when we understand the full width
and depth of suffering. That is why we talked a great deal about suffering – suffering not only of a human being, the collective
suffering of mankind. You understand, sirs? Don’t understand it
verbally or intellectually, but somewhere else, in your heart feel the
thing. And as you are the world and the world is you, if there is this
birth of compassion then you will inevitably bring about unity, you
can’t help it.
Let us move further. That is: does this energy reveal that which
is sacred? Mankind has always sought something sacred, knowing
that nothing in this world is sacred – this world in which there is all
the movement of agony, suffering, lack of love, despair, anxiety,
competition, ambition, ruthlessness – anything, we are saying now,
anything that thought has created is not sacred, obviously. The
things that have been put in the churches, in the temples, in the
mosques is not sacred, but yet we worship it. We worship the
word, the symbol, created by thought and we pray to that. So we
project that which is sacred according to our conditioning. If I was
born in India – tradition and all the rest of it – I project that
sacredness in a statue or something, a symbol, in the temple. And
the Communist deny all that, but they have their own sacredness
which is the State. For that they are willing to sacrifice, kill and all
the rest of it. So anything that thought has put together is not sacred
– your Christ, your Jesus, your saviours, the Hindu Gods – nothing!
So in meditation, because the mind is absolutely quiet and
therefore compassionate, is there something sacred? If you do not
find it, life has no meaning. You understand? Has your life any
meaning? Except pleasure, money and power? That has very little
meaning. Your daily existence has very little meaning. Right? And
you try to find a meaning by joining communes, this or that, doing something – which is still the movement of thought. So when you
see totally, when you perceive totally all the movement of thought,
and whatever thought creates is nothing sacred.
So we are going to find out when the mind is completely quiet
and therefore has that quality of great compassion, then is there
anything that is sacred? That is, not supernatural? When the mind
does not project anything, then the mind is still. You understand? If
it does not project according to his conditioning, that which is
called sacred, then the mind is still. Now in this stillness is there
anything sacred? Or is there anything sacred, holy out of this
silence?
You know there is mystery. All religions have said: there is a
mystery, you cannot go beyond a certain point – logically, sanely.
That is why they have created temples that are very, very dark. The
Cathedrals have coloured windows and all the rest of it, but it is
very dark, quiet, hoping thereby to create through thought a sense
of great mystery or great myth.
When you understand this movement of thought as a whole, you
have no myth, you have no mystery, no enquiry through reality a
mystery. So when you have put away all that, then is there a
mystery which thought cannot touch? You understand? That which
is mysterious, not in the sense of the mystery that thought has
created, that great sense of mystery which scientists are also
enquiring into that mystery, that mysterious thing is sacred. It has
no symbol, no word. You cannot experience it, because if you
experience there is still the experiencer who is the centre, who is
the ‘me’ who will experience, therefore still division. That division
is still the movement of thought. So the experience of ‘it’ is not possible, but it is there when the mind has gone through this whole
business of existence with clarity, in which there is no fear and the
understanding of that enormous thing called death and suffering.
And out of that comes great compassion.
And then when the mind is totally still in this compassion – your
mind cannot be still without compassion, do understand this – then
out of that comes something mysterious which is the most sacred.

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