Jiddu Krishnamurti The Future Is Now

3
– Discussion With Buddhists, Varanasi –
Chapter 1 1st Discussion
With Buddhists Varanasi 7th November 1985
First  Participant  (P1):  [The  chief  participant  in  these  discussions  with
Buddhists (P1) is Pandit Jagannath Upadhyaya.] So far as I have understood,
you say that life has no purpose or aim and therefore there is no path to tread.
Therefore each person is faced with every moment by itself. If the moment is
to be understood, then the same moment is the moment of action, knowledge
and desire. Is this understanding correct?
KRISHNAMURTI  (K):  If  I  may  point  out,  we  are  not  discussing  what  is
correct or not correct. Sir, this is a subject that requires a great deal of inquiry.
P1: If you say that this is not a question of correctness or otherwise, you
are creating a problem for the people who want to understand.
K:  No.  On  the  contrary,  I  am  saying  that  Panditji  and  all  of  us,  including
myself, are going to investigate. I don’t say, `That is right, this is wrong’, but
together we are going to go into it.
P1: How can there be a human being who does not decide what is correct
or incorrect, what is good or not good?
K: We will come to that. I don’t say there is no goodness. Goodness may be
entirely  different  from  your  goodness  and  my  goodness.  So  let  us  find  out
which is really the good – not yours or mine, but that which is good…
P2: …in itself.
K: Yes.
P1: You are introducing an uncertainty into one’s way of looking at things or
one’s philosophical outlook.
K: Yes, but if you start with certainty, you end up with uncertainty.
P1:  This  also  sounds  very  paradoxical  –  that  you  start  with  certainty  and
end up with uncertainty.    4
K: Of course. This is daily life. So, sir, because you raised a question which
implies time, thought, action, could we begin by first going into the question of
what is time? Not according to the Buddha, or to some scripture, but what is
time? He will interpret it one way, the scientists will say that it is a series of
small actions, thoughts and so on. Or you might say, well, time is death, time
is living, or thought is time. Right? So, could we, for the time being, put aside
what other people have said, including the Buddha, including what I have said
or haven’t said – wipe all that out – and say, `Now, what is time?’
Is this the only problem we have in life – time – not only a series of events,
but being born, growing, dying, time as the past, future and present? We live in
time. The moment we hope, it is time – I hope to be, I hope to become, I hope
to become enlightened; all that implies time. Acquiring knowledge implies time,
and the whole of living from birth to death is a problem of time. Right, sir? Am I
making myself clear? So what is it that we call time?
P1:  You  have  spoken  about  this  many  times,  but  I  want  to  say  that  the
moment which is knowledge, action, as well as desire, is a moment in which
there is no time. K: Wait, wait. Can you divide this instant from the rest?
P1: In the instant of attention or observation, there is no time.
K: What do you mean, observation and attention? Sorry to be so analytical.
But if we are to understand each other we must be clear about the meaning of
these two words – attention and observation. What takes place actually when
you  observe?  –  not  theoretically.  When  you  observe  that  tree,  that  bird,  that
woman, that man, what takes place?
P2: In that moment of observation, if it is real observation…
K: Is it? I am asking. When he uses the word observation, what does he
mean by that? I may mean one thing, he may mean another, she may mean
yet another thing.
P2: But you are asking Panditji what he means by observation.
K: And what he means by attention… Sir, may I ask a question? Could we
start to discuss, to have a dialogue, a conversation on a word, which is really   5
very, very good deliberation? You know the meaning of that word deliberate?
The word comes from libra which in Greek means balance, weigh. You have
the same thing in the Zodiac – Libra. And from libra comes the word liberate.
And  also  it  comes  from  the  word  ‘deliberare’  which  in  Italian  means  `to  sit
down,  talk  over,  take  counsel  with  each  other,  weigh  together.  It  is  not  you
offering an opinion and I offering another opinion, but both of us taking counsel
together, both of us weighing because we want to find the truth of it. Not I will
find it and then tell you – that does not exist in that word deliberate. Sir, when
the  Pope  is  elected  in  Rome,  in  the  Sistine  Chapel  in  the  Vatican,  they
deliberate  –  the  doors  are  locked,  nobody  can  get  out,  they  have  their  own
places for toilet, restaurant, food; everything is arranged for a fortnight or for
some days. Within those set days they must settle. That is called deliberation.
So could we start, both of us, as though we know nothing?
P3: It is difficult for Panditji.
K:  It  is  not  difficult.  I  know  nothing;  our  knowledge  is  merely  memory.
What’s the point of it? I am saying knowledge may be the greatest danger in
the  world;  it  may  be  the  greatest  hindrance.  To  further  knowledge  we  are
adding, the scientists are adding. That which is added to is always limited.
P2: Of course. If it is complete, you cannot add to it.
K: Yes. Therefore your knowledge is always limited, and if you discuss from
that limitation, you end up in limitation.
P2: And the so-called certainty is that limitation.
K: Yes, limitation.
P1: We have heard quite a bit from you and understood certain things; but
if the understanding has to be at a deeper level, then someone like you has
the responsibility of making that known, since we are at different levels.
K: All right, all right. But the man says, K says, leave your moorings, let us
float together.
P1: How can we counsel together when we are at two different levels?    6
K: I don’t admit that. I don’t admit that we are at two levels.
P1: We have a complaint against you that…
K:…that I am a poor surgeon!
P1:…physician,  yes.  Because  there  are  all  the  difficulties  and  conflicts
outside. People like me who have the privilege of coming to you receive some
light, but the physician is not able to say how to cope with those things which
are outside and solve the difficulties there.
K: So you want to solve first the difficulties out there, and then approach the
problems in here. Is that it?
P1: No, I want to solve them both together.
K: I do not admit the division.
P1: Yes, I accept that.
K: The world is me, I am the world. Now, from there how do we solve the
problem?
P1: Let us say I don’t make a difference between outer and inner things.
K: First make sure of that. Do you actually see that, or is it theoretical?
P1: For me it is theoretical.
K: Sir, first of all, theory to me has no value. Forgive me, sir. I see what is
happening in the world – war, nationalities, killing, all the appalling things that
are happening – actually happening. I am not imagining it; I see it happening
under my nose. Now, who created it?
P1: Human beings.
K: Do you admit that we all of us have created that?
P2: Yes, of course.
K: All right. So, if all of us have created it, then we can change that. Now, in
what manner will you bring about the change? Sir, I met the other day in New
York, a scientist, a doctor who has become a philosopher. He said this is all
talk, the real question is: can the cells in the brain bring about a mutation in   7
themselves  –  not  through  drugs,  not  through  various  genetic  processes,  but
can  the  brain  cells  themselves  say:  This  is  wrong  –  change!  Do  you
understand, sir? Can the brain cells themselves, uninfluenced, undrugged, see
what they have created and say: This is wrong – mutate!
P1: But you distinguish the brain from the mind.
K: Yes, may be silly, but I have made a difference because the brain is the
very centre of our sensations.
P4:  Sir,  that  was  my  question  the  day  before  yesterday  also:  Should  we
wait for that mutation?
K: You can’t. It will go on.
P4: Will it come automatically?
K: No
P4: So we should try for that.
K: What will you do, sir? You see that a mutation is necessary. Right?
P4: Yes, everyone agrees with that.
K: Now, what will change that? – in the cells, not just ideas. The very cells
of  the  brain  contain  all  the  memories  of  the  past.  Can  those  cells,  without
pressure, without influence, without chemicals, say: That is the end of that; I
will change?
P2: No: If there is no influence, no pressure, it means it is taking place by
itself.
K: No. Listen to it. The brain cells hold all the memories, all the pressures,
all the education, all the experience, everything – it is the centre of knowledge.
Right?
P2: Yes, it is loaded.
K: Loaded with knowledge of two and a half million years. We have tried
everything  –  chemicals,  torture,  every  form  of  experience  to  bring  about  a
change inside the skull; we have not succeeded. There is genetic engineering,   8
there  is  every  form  of  experiment  being  done  to  change  this  inside,  they
haven’t succeeded. They haven’t so far; they may in a thousand years. So I
say to myself, why does this brain depend on all this – chemicals, persuasion,
pleasure? Is it waiting to be released? I say, `No, sorry, that is another form of
escape.’
P2: Waiting for something else.
K: Yes. So, can the brain cells, with all the past memories, put an end to all
that now? That is my question. What do you say, sir?
P1: I have another question. I have to teach my students and I do it through
a logical process – rationally so many things are explained. At the same time I
realize the limitation of that, especially having come into contact with you – that
this is all artificial, theoretical, very limited. Then, when we come to you, we
hear what is good, and we go from one fine point to another, but I find at the
end  of  it  all  that  we  are  still  nowhere  near  the  truth.  So  it  just  means  that
instead of going round in that circle of logic we go round in this, but it makes
no difference.
K: Yes, sir, these are all just explanations and we move from that logic to
this logic. So, do we see that logic has a limitation? Now, can I leave that logic
without going to another logic, because I see at the very beginning that logic
has limitation – whether it is superfine logic or plain common sense?
P1: No, the two cannot be compared because the other is entirely logical,
which we understand is limited, but here it is not just logic as we get bits of
insight, bits of light; but we keep moving around with these little bits. There is
no comprehension.
K:  All  right.  If  that  is  so  –  which  I  question  –  is  it  that you want complete
insight? Your question implies that. P1: We should be satisfied with what we
are getting, but we need that happiness which shapes thought. We get little
bits of insight, not the whole.
K: I am not talking of happiness; I am talking of insight. Will you listen to it?
I will present the whole, I will show you logically the whole. Will you listen – not   9
say  yes,  this  is  right,  this  is  wrong?  Sir,  practically  every  writer,  painter,
scientist, poet, guru – they all have a limited insight. You and I come along and
say, `Look, this is limited, and I want the real, complete, full insight; not partial.’
Right?
P1: We need to understand this. What is full insight? Is it an experience?
K: No, I doubt if it is an experience. It is not an experience.
P2: Then it has to come from within.
K: No, you see, you are already stipulating what should happen.
P2: It cannot be anticipated.
K: You cannot lay down laws about it. You cannot say it is experience; it is
not.
P2: You were going to tell us how all this will be a whole.
K: Not all this; the parts do not make the whole. I am as damned logical as
any of you. I am just saying, you are approaching it wrongly. That is my point;
don’t  say  it  is  an  experience;  it  is  based  on  knowledge.  What  is  based  on
knowledge is invention, not creation.
P6: Sir, he is not saying it is experience based on knowledge, but it has to
be real, proved.
K: It is not that I experience something; it is real. I don’t understand your
difficulty.  Somebody  comes  along  and  tells  me  a  story.  I  listen  with  rapt
attention. It is a beautiful story, lovely language, style; I am enraptured by it, I
listen to the story, and it goes on and on day after day, and I am consumed by
the story. So the story ends by saying, `It stops here.’
P5: The story doesn’t end for us; the problem continues.
K:  You  are  my  friend.  I  want  to  tell  you  that  people  have  limited  insight,
which is obvious. Your friend here says, I will tell you in what manner you can
have the whole insight. Will you listen to him? Don’t argue,just listen. You give
rice to the beggar; he didn’t expect anything from you, but you give it. In the
same way, he is giving me a gift and he says, `Take it, don’t ask me why you   10
are being given it, who is giving it; just take it.’ So I am telling you, insight is not
dependent  on  the  intellect,  it  is  not  dependent  on  knowledge,  it  is  not
dependent  on  any  form  of  remembrance,  and  it  is  not  dependent  on  time.
Enlightenment is not dependent on time. Time, memory, remembrance, cause
– they don’t exist; then you have insight, complete insight. Sir, like two ships
passing each other at night, one says to the other, `This is it,’ and passes on.
What will you do?
P4: Sir, does it come through gradual practice or is it instantaneous?
K: Practice means memory, time.
P4: So it can only be instantaneous.
K: Oh no, no, sir, just listen. He tells me this and he disappears. He has left
with  me  a  tremendous  jewel  and  I  am  watching  the  beauty  of  it.  I  am  not
saying, why did he give it to me, who is he, and so on. He has given it to me
and he said, `Take it, my friend, live with it, and if you don’t want it, throw it
away.’ And I never see him again. I am enthralled by the jewel and that jewel
begins to reveal things I have never seen before, and that jewel says, `Hold
me more closely, you will see much more.’ But I say, `I have got my wife, my
children, my college, my university, my job; I can’t do this.’ So you put it on the
table come back in the evening and you look at it. But the jewel is fading, so
you have to hold it, you have to cherish it, love it, watch it, care for it.
I  am  not  trying  to  convince  anybody  of  anything.  We  see  that  our
knowledge is very limited, and knowledge may be the very danger, it may be
the poison in all of us.
Sir, I met the other day, just before I came to India, three computer experts
–  the  very,  very  latest.  They  are  going  deeper  into  artificial  intelligence.  And
artificial  intelligence  can  do  most  of  the  things  that  human  beings  can  do  –
argue, have tremendous knowledge, much more than any of us. It will include
British  knowledge,  European  knowledge,  French  knowledge,  Russian
knowledge,  all  the  Upanishads,  all  the  Gitas,  all  the  Bibles,  the  Korans,
everything, and it will act – it will tell you what to eat, what not to eat, when to   11
go to bed for your health, when you cannot have sex, everything you can do; it
has  already  begun.  And  what  is  going  to  happen  to  the  human  brain  if  that
machine  can  do  everything  I  can  do,  except  have  sex  or  look  at  the  stars?
What  is  the  point  of  the  human  being?  And  the  entertainment  industry  –
football, tennis, all these things – here too, unfortunately, it is very strong. So if
man  is  caught  in  all  the  entertainment,  which  includes  all  the  religious
entertainment, then where is man? Sir, this is a very serious question; it is not
just casual talk.
P2: This question would not arise if there is mutation in the brain which is
then far ahead of the present brain, because the present brain is memory and
the machine has a far better memory.
K: A little chip like that holds 600 million words.
P2: All the libraries of the world will be in the machine.
K: They have got it, haven’t they? Therefore, why should I go to the library,
why should I listen to all this stuff? Therefore, entertainment. P2: Or mutate.
K: That’s it. This is the question I have been asking.
P2: So we are back to the question.
P1: Does meditation have a place in all this?
K:  Yes.  Sir,  is  there  a  meditation  which  is  not  contrived,  which  is  not
deliberate, which does not say practise, practise, practise, which had nothing
to do with all this? Because, that way I practise to become a rich man, I have a
deliberate  purpose.  So  it  can’t  be  meditation  as  we  do  it  now.  So,  perhaps
there is a meditation which has nothing to do with all this – and I say there is.
P2: Shall we stop here?
K: Yes, we stop – like the story.    12
Chapter 2 2nd Discussion
With Buddhists Varanasi 9th November 1985
Krishnamurti  (K):  Is  there  something  sacred,  something  long-lasting,  and
not conditioned by commerce? Is there something in India, in this part of the
world?
First Participant (P1: There is certainly something in this country which is
not influenced by external factors.
K: That was not my question. Is there something here which does not exist
anywhere else – not influenced, not corrupted, not made ugly by all the circus
that  goes  on  in  the  name  of  religion?  Is  there  something  already  here,  for
which – if it exists – one has to give one’s whole mind and heart – to preserve?
You understand, sir?
P1: I cannot say, because in some sense I have not experienced this in a
tangible  way;  nor  can  I  say  whether  other  people  have.  But  my  study  of
ancient texts gives me a certain certitude that there is something which can be
experienced in a clear way.
K: I’m asking, Panditji, if there is something enduring, which is not bound by
time, evolution and all that. It must be very, very sacred. And if it exists, then
one must give one’s life to it, protect it, give vitality to it – not by doctrines and
knowledge,  but  by  the  feeling  of  it,  the  depth  of  it,  the  beauty  of  it,  the
enormous strength of it. That’s what I’m asking.
P1: We desire to find such a thing, but have not been able to do so. And
our  experience  is  such  that  we  find  ourselves  tangled  in  many  theories,  in
many  traditions,  many  systems.  Occasionally  we  hear  a  clear  voice  that
speaks about this in a compelling way. That voice comes from you, but we are
in some way unable to reach it. The whole phenomenon is like some huge fair
with a lot different chaotic voices offering solutions.
K: You’re not answering my question: is there or is there not? Not tradition,
not a kind of historical process of ancient culture diminishing, being destroyed   13
by commercialism, but the great impetus which was set going by some power,
some  intelligence?  That  power,  that  intelligence  –  does  it  exist  now?  I’m
repeating the same thing in different words.
P2:  If  I  have  to  answer  your  question,  then  I  would  say  that  what  you’re
talking about – that thing – is life.
K:  I’m  asking  a  very  simple  question;  don’t  complicate  it.  India  exploded
over  the  whole  of  Asia,  like  Greece  exploded  over  the  whole  of  Western
culture. I’m not talking about India geographically, but as part of the world. It
spread  like  wildfire.  And  it  had  the  tremendous  energy of something original
something enormous; it had the power to move things. Does that exist here, or
is it all in abeyance? Does it exist at all now?
P3: I don’t know, sir. I think it exists.
K: Why? Why do you think that?
P3: Sometimes it appears, but not usually.
K: It’s like a breath of fresh air. If that air is constantly flowing, it’s always
fresh.
P3: It is always flowing, it is always fresh, but the contact with persons is
not always there.
K:  I  understand  that,  but  it’s  not  good  enough.  P2:  Why  do  you  want  to
connect it geographically with this part of the world?
K:  Geographically  –  I’ll  tell  you.  All  ancients,  as  far  as  I  understand,
worshipped mountains. The gods came from there for the Greeks; and for the
ancient Sumerians, again the mountains, the sense of something holy there.
Then  you  come  to  the  Himalayas  –  it’s  all  in  the  Dakshinamurti  Stotra.  The
monks  lived  there,  meditated  there.  Is  it  there  still,  or  is  it  being
commercialized?
P3:  It  is  there,  it  cannot  be  commercialized.  The  commercialization  is
something else.
K: Is it there?    14
P3: Yes.
K: Why do you say yes?
P3: Because it is there. It is…
K: Sir, you are there, physically. I can theorize how the body is constructed,
but you are still there – to touch, to feel, to see, to actually see you are sitting
there. Is there such a thing?
P3: Yes, it is there, actually there. It is there.
K: It is no good telling me, `It is there, it is there.’ If it is there, why has this
part  of  the  world  been  so  corrupt,  so  appalling?  You  don’t  realize  what  I’m
saying.
P3: From the beginning I am saying that it is there, but the relationship, the
contact, with the masses…
K: I’m not talking about the masses. It’s you, you…
P3: With the persons…
K: With you…
P3: It is diminished. K: Why has it decreased, why has it diminished, why
has it become something small?
P3: People are not interested.
K: So what does that mean?
P3: They’re more interested in commerce.
K: Yes. So it’s gone. That doesn’t matter. Let’s leave that question. Or is it
this  tremendous  self-interest  –  self-interest  in  the  form  of  knowledge,  in  the
form  of  Buddhism,  Hinduism?  It  is  all  basically  self-interest.  And  that  self-
interest  is  increasing  tremendously  in  the  world,  and  that  is  the  door  which
shuts the other out. You understand?
Sir, some time ago three very clever people – they were scientists – came to
Brockwood, and we were talking. They are trying to find artificial intelligence. If
they  can  find  that,  then  we  are  all  gone.  Your  knowledge,  your  Vedas,  your   15
Upanishads and your Geeta – everything is gone, because the machine can
repeat it much better than you and I can ever do.
P1: The question which you just posed presents a wonderful opportunity to
ask a counter question. And the counter question is: What you say appeals to
us, but how are we, in today’s society, going to find it, experience it, and share
it?
K: You can’t experience it. To experience it there must be an experiencer.
He has had a thousand experiences; he adds another to it – that’s my whole
point. It’s not an experience; it’s not something that I and you experience. It’s
there like electricity. I can admire it, worship it, but it’s there.
P1: Human beings have only one gift, that is the ability to experience, and
you are snatching that away. After that what are we to hold on to?
K:  I’m  not  snatching  anything  away,  but  I  see  that  experience  is  a  very
small affair. I experience; then what? Experience gives you knowledge of how
to  climb  a  mountain.  We  depend  on  experience,  but  that  thing  can’t  be
experienced. You can’t experience  water;  it  is  there.  I  can  experience  sex;  I
can experience something hitting me; I can experience somebody praising me.
P4: Water is there, but I only know it through experience of it.
K: You only know because you perceive it. You know the quality of it; you
float on it; but all that is part of your knowledge of it.
P2: But if I had no knowledge, I wouldn’t have any experience.
K:  What  you  call  experience  is  based  on  sensory  perception.  And  our
sensory perceptions are partial, never complete. Now, to observe with all your
senses alert – that’s not an experience. Sir, I look at that piece of cloth and say
it’s red, because I’ve been conditioned to call it red. If you’d been conditioned
to  call  it  purple,  you’d  call  it  purple.  The  brain  is  always  conditioned  by  our
experience, by our sensory responses – how to argue, how to deny and all the
rest of it.
If  I  happen  to  be  a  Catholic  my  whole  attitude  towards  religion  is  Jesus,
Virgin Mary and all the rest of it. You are a Hindu or Buddhist – sorry, I’m not   16
comparing – and everything is from that conditioning. Therefore, when you say
experience, or you must learn this or do that, it’s all from a brain which has
become small, conditioned.
P3:  We  again  come  to  that  point  we  discussed.  We  understand  about
conditioning, self-interest, and so on. There is the possibility of moving away,
and then we just stop there.
K: Why, sir?
P3: Or should I say that the moving away is not absolutely possible? K: Or
remain where you are – you understand? – and not move away. Remain where
you are and see what happens. That is, sir, you never stay whole, abide with
what is.
P3: Yes, that is obvious.
K: Wait, sir, wait, wait. We never stay there. We’re always moving, moving.
Right? I am this, I will be that – it’s a movement away from what is.
P3: Either we stay where it is, or stay out of the movement.
K: What is the movement?
P3: Change, force…
K: Then we have to understand what is time, the movement in time.
P3: Yes.
K: We have to enquire what is time – that which we live daily: time as past,
time  as  present,  time  as  future.  So  what  is  time?  You  understand,  sir?  It
requires a lot of time to learn Sanskrit, to enquire into the earliest doctrines,
various  literatures  –  what  the  ancients  said,  what  the  Buddha  said,  what
Nagarjuna said, and so on. To learn a skill requires time, to cover a distance
from  here  to  there  requires  time.  Everything  we  do  requires  time.  Then  we
must inquire: What is time?
P4: Time is the means of achieving.    17
K:  Yes,  success,  failure,  acquiring  a  skill,  learning  a  language,  writing  a
letter,  covering  a  distance  from  here  to there  and  so  on.  To  us  that  is  time.
What is time?
P4: It’s a movement in the mind, a subtle, incessant movement of the mind.
K: Then what is the brain? What is the mind? Don’t invent. Look at it. What
is the brain? P5: It’s very difficult to make out the difference between the brain
and the mind. The involuntary, almost incessant way of thoughts pouring into
unknown stimuli, is what accounts for time.
K:  No,  sir,  you  are  not  listening.  There’s  time  by  the  clock:  to  cover  a
distance, to learn a language, it requires time. And also we have lived on this
earth for two and a half million years. There’s been a tremendous evolution,
which is time. What do you mean by time?
P4: All that you’ve just mentioned is physical time. But the real problem of
time seems to hinge on how it works within the psyche. There is something
unresolved that we want to resolve.
K:  Sir,  before  we  talk  of  the  mind,  if  I  may  humbly  suggest,  what  is  the
brain?
P4:  The  brain  is  possibly  the  physical  base  or  biological  structure  of  the
mind.
K:  The  brain  is  the  centre  of  all  our  action,  centre  of  all  our  sensory
responses; it is the centre of all thinking, inside the skull. What is the quality of
the  brain  that  is  asking  the  question:  what  is  time?  How  do  you  receive  the
question?
P1:  We  have  understood  after  discussing  with  you  that  it  is  only  total
attention that will bring about a total transformation. That’s where the problem
begins.
K: Would you mind if I say something? Time is the past, time is now; and
the  now  is  controlled  by  the  past,  shaped  by  the  past.  And  the  future  is  a
modification  of  the  present.  I’m  putting  it  dreadfully  simply.  So  the  future  is   18
now. Therefore the question  is:  If  all  time  is  contained in the now, all time –
past, present and future – then what do we mean by change?
P1: The word `change’ does not have any meaning. K: No, wait. The now
contains  all  time.  If  that’s  a  fact  –  a  fact,  not  a  theory,  not  some  kind  of
speculative conclusion – that all time is contained in the now, this is the future,
this  is  the  present.  There  is  no  movement  towards  or  for.  There  is  no
movement.  Movement  implies  time,  right?  So  there  is  no  change.  Change
becomes idiotic. Then I am what I am: I am greedy, and I say yes.
P1: There is a wide difference between you and us; we may be saying the
same thing.
K: Oh, no, no. I don’t admit anything of the kind.
P1: You are saying that all time is now. I also say the same thing: All time is
now. But my saying and your saying are two totally different things.
K: Why?
P4: Because he says it from logic and speculation.
K: That’s it. That means time is operating.
P1: How can we remove this difficulty?
P4: Panditji, answer the question: How can we break this stream in which
we flow?
P1: The stream is broken through logic. There is a big gulf between you
and us. I understand what you’re saying speculatively. The problem is: How do
we  remove  this  gulf?  Because,  we  have  reached  a  certain  meeting,  in  the
sense of understanding.
K: I’ll tell you. No, I’ll show you. Please, I’m not a guru. Is this a fact? – time
is  now;  all  time  is  contained  in  now,  at  this  second.  Really,  this  is  a  most
extraordinary thing: to see that the future, the past, is now. Is that a fact – not
an idea of the fact?
P4: There are two things: perceiving and conceiving. Now I am conceiving,
not perceiving. K: So what’s the point of it?    19
P4:  No  point,  but  I  would  like  to  go  on  from  here  –  from  conception  to
perception.
K: Conception is not a fact.
P4: Conception is not a fact; perception is a fact, and we are all caught up
in  conception,  in  time.  The  simultaneity  of  conception  and  time  has  to  be
broken. One has to get away from…
K: Who gets away?
P4: I mean, for perception to operate.
K: The very word `operation’ means time.
P6: Just a minute. If I may come in at this point and say one thing: If all time
is in the now, then there is nothing else.
K: Which means what?
P6: That you stop looking.
K: Now you’re already preconceiving.
P6: I’m not preconceiving. If all time is now…
K: That may be the most extraordinary thing, if you go into it. That may be
the essence of compassion. That may be the essence of amazing, undefinable
intelligence. You can’t say all time is now if it isn’t a reality. The other things
don’t matter. I don’t know if I am making myself clear.
Sir, if all time is contained in the now, there’s no movement. What I do now,
I’ll do tomorrow. So tomorrow is now. What am I to do if the future – tomorrow –
is now? I’m greedy, envious, and I’ll be envious tomorrow. Is there a possibility
of ending that greed instantly?
P1: That is very difficult.
K:  It’s  not  difficult  at  all.  I  see  that  if  I  am  greedy  today,  envious  today,
tomorrow I’ll be greedy and envious unless something happens now. It is very
important that something happen now. So can I change, mutate, now?    20
There is a movement which is not of time if there is a radical mutation. You
understand, sir? Two and a half million years ago we were barbarous. We are
still barbarous; wanting power, position, killing each other, envious, comparing,
all that. You’ve put me this challenge: All time is now. I have no escape points,
I’ve no gates through which I can escape from this central fact. I say to myself:
My  god,  if  I  don’t  change  now,  tomorrow  will  be  the  same,  or  a  thousand
tomorrows. So, is it possible for me to totally mutate now? I say yes.
P4: Can you tell us how?
K: Not how, sir. The moment you say how, you are already in the process
of time: I tell you this, this, this, and you say I will do this, this to get to that.
You can’t get it because you are what you are now.
P6: That means that in the listening to that statement of yours, `All time is
now`, there is a quality of acquisitiveness.
K: Of course.
P6: So the listening has to be purified.
K:  So,  sir,  there  is  no  knowledge,  there  is  no  meditation,  there  is  no
discipline.  Everything  stops.  May  I  put  the  question  differently?  Suppose  for
instance  I  know  I’m  going  to  die.  There  is  a  time  interval  between  now  and
death: that is, I will die on the first of January. (I’m not actually going to die on
the first of January!) Doctors have told me say, that I have terminal cancer and
I can’t survive the first of January. So I’ve got a couple of months to die. If all
time is now, I am dying. So I don’t have time; I don’t want time. So death is
now. Can the human brain live with death all the time? You understand? I’m
going to die – that’s certain. And I say, For god’s sake wait a minute. But if I
realize the fact that all time is now – that means death and living are together;
they  are  never  separate.  So  knowledge  is  dividing  me  –  knowledge  that  I’m
going to die at the end of January – and I get frightened; I say, Please, please,
wait, wait, wait, I’ve got to leave a will, I’ve got to do this, I’ve to do that. But if I
live with death, I’m doing it  all  the  time;  that  is,  I  draw  up  my  will.  I’m  dying   21
now, that means I’m living. I’m living and death is next door; there’s no divorce
or separation between living and dying.
Can you do this, sir, or is it impossible? That means death says, `You can’t
take anything with you.’ Your knowledge, your books, your wife and children,
your money, your character, your vanity, all that you’ve built up for yourself –
everything goes at the end with death. You may say there’s a possibility you’ll
reincarnate. But I’m asking you: Can you live now without the least attachment
to anything? Why postpone this – which is attachment – until the sickbed? Be
free of attachment now.
P6: May we sit silently with you?
(K assents)
P1: You had started  the discussion with the question: What is this thing,
and, is there this thing in this country? Is this that thing?
K:  (nods,  then  after  a  long  silence)  See,  it’s  not  difficult.  It’s  so  simple.  I
don’t want personally any reputation; I don’t want a sense of `I know and you
don’t know.’ By nature I’m a very humble man, very shy, respectful, gentle. So
what do you want? You understand, sir? If you can start at that level… Right.
That’s enough. Let me tell you a joke.
There were three holy men in the Himalayas – of course, it has to be the
Himalayas! Ten years pass, one of them says: `Oh, what a lovely evening this
is!’ Another ten years pass and the other man says, `I hope it will rain.’ Another
ten years pass and the third man says: `I wish you two would be quiet.’    22
Chapter 3 3rd Discussion
With Buddhists Varanasi 11th November 1985
KRISHNAMURTI (K): Sir, I would like to ask several questions. Is there a
line, a demarcation, where self-interest ends and where a state which is not
self-interest begins? We all have self-interest; it is in knowledge, in language,
in science, in every part of our life. In every way of our life there is self-interest,
and that has created havoc. And how far does it extend? And where do we
draw the line and say: here it is necessary, there it is not necessary at all? – in
daily life; not in science, in mathematics, in knowledge. I am talking factually,
not theoretically.
First Participant (P1: This question is very difficult to answer if you lay down
certain conditions, like the difficulties we meet with in society; but if you do not
lay down conditions, then I shall try to answer.
K: All right, I remove the conditions. Not remove; life is this. I am not laying
down the condition, I am not laying down the law, the way you should think,
but life shows me that in every work in every part of the world self-interest is
dominant. We play with religion, we play with K as a plaything, we play with all
kinds of things, but the thread of self-interest is very, very strong, and I ask
myself,  where  does  it  begin,  and,  is  there  an  end  to  it.  Where  does  it  start,
where does it end, or is there no end at all? God is my self-interest, so are
ceremonies,  scholarship,  science.  The  man  in  the  corner  who  sells  tobacco
there, is full of self-interest. P1: There is some book learning that underlies my
answer, but I will try to answer from my experiences as an individual human
being.
K: Yes, as a human being – even from your books, from your studies, you
must have, they must all have, asked this question in different ways.
P1: When I try to understand myself, look at myself as I am, factually, then I
put myself into certain categories. When I try to discover myself in action, in
my relationship to other people, then I find an element of self-interest, and I   23
can,  with  some  effort,  try  to  be  free  of  this  self-interest,  and  I  do  unburden
myself to a certain extent.
K: But that is also self-interest.
P1:  When  I  try  to  establish  my  existence,  my  being,  then  my  actions
become more self-centred, and to the extent to which I unburden myself, the
self-interest decreases.
K: No, you are missing my point. I want to make it very, very simple. The
more simply we think, the  better  the  action,  the  better  the  way  of  looking  at
things. From childhood the problems begin – I have to go to school, I have to
read  and  learn,  I  have  to  learn  mathematics.  The  whole  of  life  becomes  a
problem because, basically, I meet life as a problem. In the English language a
problem  means  something  thrown  at  you.  Problema  comes  from  Greek;  it
means something hurled at you and you have to reply to it. So, from childhood,
my brain is conditioned to live with problems and solve problems – and those
problems can never be solved. I keep this going, problem after problem; all my
life becomes a problem, living becomes a problem. And I say, I don’t want to
live that way, it is wrong to live that way. So I am asking myself, does self-
interest create the problem, or can the mind, brain, be free of problems and
therefore tackle problems? You see the difference? I don’t know if I am making
myself clear. It is a fact that I have to go to school, learn, read, and so on. My
brain gradually gets conditioned to living with problems, the brain becomes the
problem  –  everything  becomes  a  problem.  So  I  come  to  you  to  solve  the
problem the brain has, which may be linked with self-interest.
P1: Creating or receiving problems and trying to solve them has become a
rule of life for us, and this way of doing things nurtures my being.
K: Therefore your being is a problem. But you are missing my point. Your
being is the identity with the country, with the literature, with the language, with
the gods; you are identified, therefore you have taken root in a place, therefore
that  becomes  the  being.  There  is  no  separate  being  apart  from  that  –  no
spiritual being, god-being – I don’t believe in all that; I am entirely sceptical. So
I say to myself, why have I, or you, made life, which is meant to be lived like a   24
tree growing beautifully, into this? I can’t live that way, I won’t live that way.
Whether god exists, etc. – I am totally indifferent to all that, I totally discard all
that, and I say to myself, I won’t live the way you are living; I won’t. I will go
away  to  the  mountains  rather  than  live  that  way.  You  have  destroyed  living,
you have destroyed living by knowledge, by science, by computers – you have
destroyed  my  living.  I  can  retire  into  the  mountains,  but  that  makes  no
meaning.
P1:  Why  are  you  so  keen  to  safeguard  what  you  call  living?  Suppose  I
betray it, I break it, what difference does it make?
K: I am not saying I want to live; that is not my point. I say, why do I live this
way? I am not safeguarding it by asking this. Why have I to go through all this
appalling  process?  Sex  becomes  a  problem,  eating  becomes  a  problem,
everything is a problem. And I don’t want to have problems, which does not
mean  that  I  deny  life.  I  don’t  want  problems,  therefore  I  meet  problems.
Because my brain won’t work in problems, I can meet all problems.
P1:  As  I  understand  it,  you  are  saying  that  problems  should  not  enter,
problems should not constrain your being. You don’t want to deny life, but you
want not to be affected by problems.
K: No, no. You have thoroughly misunderstood me. I am saying, from birth
to  death  life  is  treated  like  a  problem:  school,  college,  university,  then  job,
marriage, sex, children – one of them is naughty or a genius and I utilize or
exploit that boy and keep going all my life. Death then becomes a problem.
Then I say, is there a living further, reincarnation and all that? You see what
humanity has done? This is life. Why can’t my brain be simple enough, free
enough to say this is a problem and solve it? That is, the brain is free to solve
it, not add another problem to it.
P2:  If  I  may  say  so,  sir,  the  problem  does  not  come  from  outside;  the
problem arises in this brain, which feeds on this problem, which creates this
problem. Why doesn’t it immediately destroy it at that very instant?
K: Because it has not solved any problem.    25
P1: Does the brain have that capacity of ending?
K: Yes, but I must distinguish, make clear one point. The brain is the centre
of  all  our  nerves,  all  our  sensations,  all  our  reactions,  our  knowledge,  our
relationships, quarrels and all that. It is the centre of our consciousness, and
that consciousness we treat as mine – my consciousness. I say, it is not mine;
it is not personalized as K. And it is not yours because every human being on
earth  goes  through  this  torture  –  pain,  sorrow,  pleasure,  sex,  fear,  anxiety,
uncertainty, hoping for something better and so on; that is our consciousness.
So that consciousness is not yours; it is human. It is humanity. I am humanity –
not all of you plus me. I am humanity.
P3:  It  seems  to  me  that  we  know  of  two  kinds  of  action:  one  which  is
thought  out  by  the  brain,  calculated,  and  which  therefore  invariably  contains
the seed of self-interest, is motivated by self-interest. I don’t think the brain is
capable of doing anything that does not contain in it the seed of self-interest,
because  it  is  the  instrument  meant  for  that  purpose.  But  there  is  also
spontaneous action which we experience occasionally, which is born just out
of love, not as a product of thinking. And because man does not know what to
do with this kind of action, because there is nothing he can do about that kind
of action, he has cultivated the other – he has cultivated what his brain can do
well,  what  it  can  calculate,  what  it  can  achieve,  and  the  whole  world  is
therefore filled with such activity, such action. And that has become our life.
And the other, which is the vital, is occasional.
K: I am not coming to that for the moment. The mind is different from the
brain  –  totally  dissociated  –  has  no  relationship  whatsoever.  Love  has  no
relationship with self-interest. Don’t bring in love for the moment. The fact is
that love may exist. We may have sympathy, empathy, affection, pity – but that
is  not  love,  so  I  leave  that  aside.  That’s  all  for  the  moment.  Love  and  self-
interest  cannot  exist  together.  Problems  and  love  cannot  exist  together.
Therefore  problems  have  no  meaning  if  the  other  exists.  If  the  other  is,
problems are not.    26
P3: I am not sure if they cannot co-exist. They are independent; but I think
even a person who has self-interest and who has problems, occasionally acts
without the interference of the brain – out of love. So I would not say that the
existence  of  the  brain  denies  love  completely.  K:  Sir,  I  say  it  is  like  having
occasionally a bad egg. I want a good egg every day – not occasionally. So I
am asking you all, where does self-interest begin and where does it end? Is
there an end to self-interest? Or is all action born out of self-interest? Don’t tell
me,  `occasionally;  I  am  not  interested  in  that.  Occasionally  I  look  out  of  the
window and that window is very narrow; I am in a prison.
So  please  follow  me  for  a  minute.  There  is  a  tremendous  order  in  the
universe. A black hole is a part of that order. Wherever man enters he creates
disorder. So I say, can I, as a human being who is the rest of humanity, create
order in myself first? Order means no self-interest.
P4: Sir, the problem is, it is not easy to deny on the basis of a common
consciousness the nucleus that comes to shape itself as the limited self, the
acquisitive  self,  for  which  all  the  problems  are  real,  not  imaginary.  I  mean  I
have  disease,  I  have  death  –  in  what  way  could  these  be  considered  as  no
problems?
K:  Are  you  saying  that  the  self  is  the  problem?  Why  do  we  make  it  a
problem? Why do you say the self is the problem? perhaps we make it into a
problem and then say, how am I to get out of it? We don’t look at the problem.
We don’t say, the self is the problem, let me understand it, let me look at this
jewel without condemning it. The very condemnation is the problem. Do you
follow what I mean? Therefore, I won’t condemn it, I won’t suppress it, I won’t
deny it, I won’t transcend it; but let me first look at it.
P4: Sir, consider a person who has a thorn in his body and is feeling pain.
The pain of the thorn is similar to the constraints and problems impinging upon
the self.
K: No, sir. If I have a thorn in my foot, I look at it first, I know the pain. I ask
myself, why did I tread on it, why wasn’t I aware of it? What is wrong with my
observation, my eyes? Why didn’t I see where I was going? I know if I saw it, I   27
wouldn’t touch it. Therefore I didn’t see it. When the pain is there, then I act. I
didn’t see the thing that was in front of my foot. So my observation is at fault.
So I say, what happened to my brain which didn’t see that? Probably it was
thinking of something else. Why was it thinking of something else when I am
on the path? So you see, sir?
P5:  But  in  the  case  of  psychological  problems,  the  observer  and  what  is
observed are hopelessly entangled.
K: No. We are going off to something else. Let us stick to one problem, one
issue. Where does self-interest begin and where does it end, and is there an
ending to it at all? And if it ends, what is that state?
P6:  May  I  hazard  an  answer?  Probably,  self-interest  begins  with  the  self
itself and the self comes with the body.
K: I am not sure.
P6: They go together. The idea of `I’-ness and my coming into being, they
go together.
K: You say so, but I don’t say so.
P6: To my mind the very notion of self begins with the coming into being of
this body, and the self and self-interest go together. Self-interest can only end
when  the  self  ends.  And  a  part  of  the  self  remains  so  long  as  the  body
remains. So, in an ultimate sense, it can only end with death. Short of that, we
can  only  refine  self-interest  with  the  gradual  perceiving  of  it,  but  we  cannot
wholly deny it so long as the body exists. That is how I see it.
K: I understand. They are discovering in science that when the baby is born
and suckling, it feels secure and it begins to learn who are the friends of the
mother, who treat her differently, who are against her; it begins to feel all this
because the mother feels it. It comes through the mother – who is friendly, who
is not friendly. The baby begins to rely on the mother. So there it begins. It felt
very safe in the womb, and suddenly, put out in the world it begins to realize
that the mother is the only safety. There it begins to be secure. And that’s our
life. And I question whether there is security at all.    28
P2: Sir, in the Mexican earthquake, babies were found alive eleven days
after being buried completely under the earth and there was no damage to the
newborn ones. And the Mexican ambassador was telling me, the child, when it
was taken out of that dark place, behaved exactly as it does when it comes out
of the womb.
K: It was like being still in the womb.
P3: Sir, the instinct of self-preservation is there in the animal too, but when
it evolved into man, he started creating problems. The animal does not create
problems.  If  we  believe  what  the  scientists  say,  that  man  evolved  from  the
animal,  then  he  has  all  the  instincts  which  the  animal  has.  The  essential
difference is that man has in addition the ability to think, and this ability to think
has also created all those problems. And what you are asking is, can we use
this ability not to create problems but to do something entirely different?
K: Yes, sir that’s right.
P7: The brain is the source of all problems. It has created the self and also
all the problems. You suggest that the brain can end the problems. Then what
is the difference between that brain which has ended and the mind?
P6: You said that the brain is the source of problems and out of the brain
comes the ending of problems. With that ending, the brain that remains thinks,
perceives,  receives  intimations.  What  is  the  actual  difference  between  that
brain and the mind? K: I understand, I understand. Just a minute. See, you are
asking a question that involves death. Before I can answer that question I must
answer  what  death  is.  There  is  an  Italian  proverb  that  says:  All  the  world  is
going to die, perhaps even I too! Do you see the joke of it? So, what is death?
We know what is birth, mother, father, all the rest of it, and the baby is born
and goes through this extraordinary tragedy. It is a tragedy; it is not something
happy, joyous, free. It is a bigger tragedy than any Shakespeare ever wrote.
So I know what is birth. Now, what is death? I am asking this; you tell me.
P1: When we were discussing time the other day, you spoke of a `now’ in
which was all time, both living and death. The brain, having the capacity to see   29
the flow of living, also has the capacity to reveal that ending which is death.
That is the answer.
K: I said, living is attachment, pain, fear, pleasure, anxiety, uncertainty, the
whole bag, and death is out there, far away. I keep a careful distance. I have
got property, books, jewels; that is my life. I keep it here and death is there. I
say, bring the two together, not tomorrow, but now – which means end all this
now.  Because  that’s  what  death  is  going  to  say.  Death  says  you  can’t  take
anything with you; so invite death – not suicide – invite death and live with it.
Death is now, not tomorrow.
P1: There is something lacking in this. I may be able to invite death now
and the brain may be still for a time, but the whole thing comes back again;
then the problem of life comes back.
K: No, no. I am attached to him, he is a friend of mine, I have lived with him,
we  walked  together,  We  played  together,  he  is  my  companion,  and  I  am
attached to him. Death says to me, You can’t take him with you. So death tells
me, Free yourself now, not ten years later. And I say, Quite right, I will be free
of him. Though I am still his friend, I am not dependent on him at all. Because,
I can’t take him with me. What’s wrong with that? You are not arguing against
that?
P5: Which means, sir, you have to end all gratification…
K: No, I am not saying that. I said, attachment.
P5: All attachment…
K: That’s all.
P8: Sir, is it possible to end that so long as the two bodies exist?
K:  Oh,  yes,  sir.  Our  bodies  are  not  tied  together;  they  are  two  separate
bodies. Psychologically I take him as a friend and get slowly attached to him
inwardly. I am not attached to him outwardly because he goes one way and I
go another – he drinks, I don’t, and so on. But still he is a friend of mine. And
death comes and says you can’t take him with you. That is a fact. So I say, All
right, I will be detached now.    30
P3: Sir, isn’t it that the problem comes not because you get pleasure from
your  friend  or  your  wife,  but  because  you  begin  to  use  that  pleasure  as  a
fulfilment for yourself, and therefore you want a continuity of that and you want
to possess that person?
K: Yes. Therefore, what is relationship? I won’t go into it, we have no time.
You  see,  sir,  you  are  not  meeting  my  point.  I  asked  you  where  self-interest
begins and ends. Is ending more important than anything else? – ending? And
what is then that state in which there is no self-interest at all? Is it death? –
which means an ending. Death means ending – ending everything. So it says,
`Be  intelligent,  old  boy,  live  together  with  death.’  P3:  Which  means  die  but
keep the body. The other death is coming anyway.
K: Body? Give it to the birds or throw it into the river. But psychologically,
this tremendous structure I have built I can’t take with me.
P3: Is it an instinct, sir? Is it an inheritance through the genes?
K: Yes, probably. But animals don’t think this way; I have watched several
animals.
P3: No, therefore I am not sure if it is an instinct.
K: That’s all I am saying. Don’t reduce it to an instinct, sir.
P8: What was the joke you were going to tell us?
K: A man dies and meets his friend in heaven. They talk and he says, `If I
am dead, why do I feel so awful?’    31
– Varanasi 1985 –
Chapter 4 1st Public Talk
In Varanasi 18th November 1985
I WONDER WHY you are all here. Why have we all gathered here on the
banks of the Ganga? If one asked that question seriously, what would be your
answer? Is it merely that you have heard this man talk several times before,
therefore you say, let’s go and hear him? What is the relationship of what he
says to what you do? Are they two separate things? – you just listen to what he
has  to  say  and  carry  on  with  your  daily  life?  Have  you  understood  our
question?
We  two,  like  two  old  friends  sitting  under  a  tree,  are  going  to  talk  over
together not some abstract, theoretical problems, but our daily life which is far
more important. We have got so many problems: how to meditate, which guru
to follow – if you are a follower – what kind of practice you should do, what kind
of  daily  activity  you  should  go  through,  and  so  on.  And  also,  what  is  our
relationship to nature – to all the trees, the rivers, the mountains, the plains and
the valleys? What is our relationship to a flower, to a bird that passes by? And,
what is our relationship with each other – not with the speaker but with each
other  –  with  your  wife,  with  your  husband,  with  your  children,  with  the
environment,  with  your  neighbour,  your  community,  the  government,  and  so
on? What is our relationship to all this? Or are we just isolated, self-concerned,
intensely interested in our own way of life?
We  are  asking  all  these  questions  as  true  friends,  not  as  a  guru.  The
speaker has no intention whatsoever to impress you, to tell you what to do or
to  help  you.  Please  bear  this  in  mind  right  through  the  talks.  He  has  no
intention whatsoever to help you. I will tell you why, the reason, the logic of it.
You have had a great many gurus, thousands of them, a great many helpers –
Christian,  Hindu,  Buddhist,  every  kind  of  leader  –  not  only  political,  but  so-
called religious. You have had leaders of the major kind and the minor. And
where are you at the end of this long evolution?    32
We are supposed to have lived on this earth for a million years, and during
that long evolution we have remained barbarians. We may be cleaner, quicker
at communication, have better hygiene, transportation and so on, but morally,
ethically and – if I may use that word – spiritually, we are still barbarians. We kill
each  other  not  only  in  war,  but  also  by  words,  by  gestures.  We  are  very
competitive.  We  are  very  ambitious.  Each  is  concerned  with  himself.  Self-
interest  is  the  dominant  note  in  our  life  –  concern  with  our  own  well-being,
security, possessions, power, and so on. Aren’t we concerned with ourselves –
spiritually,  religiously,  in  business?  Right  through  the  world  we  are  all
concerned  with  ourselves.  That  means  isolating  ourselves  from  the  rest  of
humanity.  That  is  a  fact;  we  are  not  exaggerating.  We  are  not  saying
something that is not true.
Wherever you go – the speaker has been all over the world and still goes
round – what is happening? Increase in armaments, violence, fanaticism and
the great, deep sense of insecurity, uncertainty and separateness – you and I –
is a common note of mankind. Please, we are facing facts, not theories, not
some kind of distant theoretical, philosophical statements. We are looking at
facts.  Not  my  facts  as  opposed  to  your  facts  but  facts.  Every  country  in  the
world, as you must all know, is gathering armaments – every country, however
poor, however rich. Right? Look at your own country – the immense poverty,
disorder,  corruption,  you  all  know  that,  and  the  gathering  of  armaments.  It
used to be a club to kill another, now you can vaporize mankind by the million
with one atom bomb or neutron bomb. An immense revolution is going on, of
which we know very little. The technological process is so rapid, that overnight
there is something new. But ethically we are what we have been for a million
years.  You  understand  the  contrast?  Technologically  we  have  the  computer
which  will  out-think  man,  which  can  invent  new  meditations,  new  gods,  new
theories. And man – that is, you and I – what is going to happen to our brains?
The  computer  can  do  almost  anything  that  human  beings  can,  except,  of
course,  have  sex  or  look  at  the  new  moon.  This  is  not  some  theory;  it  is
happening now. So, what is going to happen to us as human beings?    33
We want entertainment. Probably this is part of your idea of entertainment,
coming  here,  sitting  listening  and  agreeing  or  disagreeing,  and  going  back
home to carry on with your life; it’s a part of entertainment, as going to church,
the temple, the mosque, or football or cricket in this country. Please, this is not
an  entertainment.  You  and  I,  the  speaker,  must  think  together,  not  just  sit
quietly and absorb some strange atmosphere, some punya; sorry, it is not like
that at all.
We  are  going  to  think  together  sanely,  logically,  look  at  the  same  thing
together.  Not  how  you  look  and  I  look,  but  together  observe  our  daily  life,
which is far more important than anything else – observe it every minute of our
day.  So  first  we  are  going  to  think  together,  not  merely  listen,  agree  or
disagree,  which  is  very  easy.  One  wishes  strongly  that  you  could  put  aside
agreement and disagreement! That is very difficult for most people who are too
eager to agree or disagree. Our reactions are so quick, we classify everything
–  religious  man,  irreligious  man,  mundane,  and  so  on.  So  if  you  could,  this
morning  at  least,  put  aside  completely  agreement  and  disagreement  and
merely observe together, think together. Will you do it? – Put aside altogether
your opinion and my opinion, your way of thinking and the other person’s way
of thinking and merely observe together, think together.
Agreement  and  disagreement  divide  people.  It  is  illogical  to  say,  `Yes,  I
agree with you’ or, `I do not agree with you’, because you are either projecting,
holding  on  to  your  opinion,  your  judgement,  your  evaluation,  or  discarding
what is said. So could we this morning,just for amusement, for entertainment if
you  like,  forget  our  opinions,  our  judgements,  our  agreements  or
disagreements and have a good clear brain – not devotional or emotional or
romantic,  but  a  brain  that  does  not  get  involved  in  all  the  complications  of
theory, opinion, admission and dissension. Could we do that?
So  let  us  proceed.  What  is  thinking?  Every  human  being  in  the  world,
everyone from the most ignorant, most crude, from the very, very small person
in  a  little  village  to  the  most  highly  sophisticated  scientist,  has  something  in
common  –  thinking.  We  all  think  –  the  villager  who  has  never  read  anything,   34
never been to a school, college or university, and most of you here who have
been educated. The man who sits in the Himalayas by himself, he also thinks.
And this thinking has been going on right from the beginning. So you must first
ask the question: what is thinking? What is it that you think about? Will you
answer  that  question  first  –  not  from  books,  not  from  the  Gita  or  the
Upanishads or the Bible or the Koran.
What is thinking? We live by thinking. Our daily action is based on thinking.
You  may  think  one  way,  and  another  may  think  another  way,  but  it  is  still
thinking. So, what is it? Can you think if you have no memory? Can you think
backwards and forward, – what you will do tomorrow or the next hour, or what
you have done yesterday or this morning? – which in the technological world of
the  computer  is  called  architecture.  So  we  must  find  out,  together,  not  the
Indian way of thinking or the European way of thinking, or the particular way of
thinking of the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Christian or any other sect,
but what is thinking. Unless we really understand the process of thinking, our
life is always going to be very, very limited. So, we must very deeply, seriously,
examine this whole process of thinking which shapes our life. Man has created
god by his thinking; god has not created man. It must be a very poor god who
created these human beings who are fighting each other perpetually. So, what
is thinking and why have we made problems of it?
Why do we have problems in our life? We have plenty of them – political
problems, financial problems, economic problems, the problems of one religion
against another, problems by the thousands. What is a problem and what is
the  meaning  of  the  word  problem?  According  to  the  dictionary,  it  means
something thrown at you, a challenge, something you’ve got to look at, face.
You can’t dodge it, you can’t run away from it, you can’t suppress it; it’s there
like a sore thumb. Why is it that all our life, from the moment we are born till
we die, we have problems – about death, about fear, about a hundred things?
Are you asking this question, or am I asking it for you? From the moment you
are born you have problems. You go to school – there, you have to read, write,
and  that  becomes  a  problem  to  the  child.  A  little  later  he  has  to  learn   35
mathematics, and that becomes a problem. And the mother says, `Do this, and
don’t do that,’ and that becomes a problem. So from childhood we are bred in
problems, our brain is conditioned in problems; it’s never free from problems.
As  you  grow,  become  adolescent,  have  sex,  learn  how  to  earn  money,
whether to follow society or not – all this becomes a problem. And in the end
you  yield  to  society,  to  the  environment.  Every  politician  in  the  world  solves
one problem and thereby creates other problems. Haven’t you noticed all this?
The human brain – what is inside this skull – itself has problems. So can the
brain  ever  be  free  of  problems  to  solve  problems?  Do  you  understand  my
question?  If  the  brain  is  not  free  of  problems,  then  how  can  it  solve  any
problem? This is logical. Right? So, your brain, which carries memories, which
has acquired tremendous industrial knowledge, has been nurtured, educated,
to  have  problems.  We  are  asking  now  if  that  brain  can  be  free  of  problems
first, so that it can then solve problems. Can you be free of problems first? Or
is that impossible? Our brain is conditioned in the various narrow religions; it is
conditioned  by  specialization,  by  the  environment  in  which  we  live,  by  our
education, by poverty or richness, by the vows you have taken as monks. (I do
not know why, but you have taken them and it becomes a torture, a problem.)
So  our  brains  are  extraordinarily  conditioned  as  businessman,  housekeeper,
and so on. And from that narrow point of view we look at the world.
So we have to go into this question not only of having problems but also of
what is thinking. Why do we think at all? Is there a different way of action? Is
there a different manner of approaching life, of daily living, that doesn’t require
thinking  at  all?  First,  we’ll  have  to  look  very  closely,  together;  find  out  for
ourselves, and then act. So, we are going to go into that. What is thinking? If
you didn’t think, you would not be here. You have made arrangements to come
here at a certain time, and you have also made arrangements to go back. That
is  thinking.  What  is  thinking  philosophically?  Philosophy  means  the  love  of
truth, the love of life – not passing some examination at a university. So let us
find out, together, what is thinking.    36
If you had no memory of yesterday, no memory at all of any kind, would
you think? Of course not – you can’t think if you have no memory, right? So
what is memory? You did something yesterday, and that is registered in the
brain,  and  according  to  that  memory  you  think  and  act.  You  remember
somebody flattering you, remember somebody hurting you, saying ugly things
about  you.  That  is,  memory  is  the  outcome  of  knowledge.  Now,  what  is
knowledge?  This  is  rather  difficult.  We  all  accumulate  knowledge;  the  great
scholars, the great professors, scientists, acquire tremendous knowledge. So
what is knowledge? How does it come about? Knowledge comes when there
is experience. You are in an accident in a car – that becomes an experience.
From that experience you have knowledge. And from that knowledge you have
memory. From memory you have thought. Right? So, what is experience? It is
that  incident,  the  accident  in  a  car,  which  is  registered  in  the  brain  as
knowledge. Experience, knowledge, memory, thought: this is logical – not my
way of looking at it or your way of looking at it.
So,  all  experience,  whether  it  is  god’s  experience  or  your  experience,  is
limited.  The  scientists  are  adding  to  it  more  and  more  every  day,  and  that
which is added to is always limited, right? I know little, and I must know more –
you  are  adding.  Your  experience  of  something  is  always  limited  as  there’s
something more to be added. So experience is limited, knowledge is limited –
for  ever.  Therefore,  memory  is  limited,  and  so  thought  is  limited,  right?  And
where  there  is  limitation,  there  is  division  –  as  the  Sikh,  the  Hindu,  the
Buddhist,  the  Muslim,  the  Christian,  the  democrat,  the  republican,  the
communist. They’re all based on thought, and therefore all the governments
are limited, all your activity is limited. Whether you think most abstractly or try
to  be  very  noble,  it  is  still  thinking,  right?  So,  from  that  limited  quality  of
thinking, as thinking is always limited, our actions are limited. Now, from that
you begin to enquire very carefully: can thought have its right place and have
no  other  place  at  all?  You  understand  my  question?  So,  is  there  an  action
which is free of limitation? That is, thinking being limited, we have reduced the
whole  universe  into  a  very  small  affair.  We  have  made  our  life  into  such  a
small affair, like thinking – I must be this, I must not be that, I must have power.   37
You follow? We have reduced the enormous quality of life into a very small,
petty little affair.
So, is it possible to be free of thought? Which means, I must think to come
here; if I am a bureaucrat, I must think in terms of bureaucracy; if I go to the
factory and turn the screw, I must have certain knowledge. Why should I have
knowledge about myself? – the higher self, lower self and all that? Why should
I  have  knowledge  about  that?  It’s  very  simple  –  it’s  self-interest;  I’m  only
concerned with myself actually. We may pretend to have brotherhood, we may
talk about peace, play with words, but we’re always self-centred. So, from that
arises  the  question:  With  this  self-centredness,  which  is  essentially  deep
selfishness, can there be a change at all? Can we be utterly selfless? So we
have to enquire: what is the self?
What are you apart from your name and profession, your vows, following
some guru? What are you? Or I’ll put it another way – are you your name, are
you your profession, are you part of the community, part of the tradition? Don’t
repeat  what  the  Geeta  says,  what  the  Upanishads  say  or  somebody  says;
that’s futile. Actually, what are you? Is this the first time this question has been
put to you – what are you? Aren’t you your fear, aren’t you your name, aren’t
you your body? Aren’t you what you think you are, the image you have built
about  yourself?  Aren’t  you  all  that?  Aren’t  you  your  anger?  Or  is  the  anger
separate from you? Come on, sirs, aren’t you your fears, your ambitions, your
greed,  your  competition,  your  uncertainty,  your  confusion,  your  pain,  your
sorrow  –  aren’t  you  all  that?  Aren’t  you  the  guru  you  follow?  So,  when  you
identify yourself with that, aren’t you all that? Or are you something higher up –
superself, superconsciousness? If you say you have super-consciousness, a
higher self, that’s also part of thinking; therefore, what you call higher thinking,
higher self, is still very small. So, what are you? I’m saying, you’re a bundle of
all  that  is  put  together  by  thought.  Whatever  you  think,  you  are.  You  may
invent all kinds of stuff, but that invention too is what you are. Right? Putting it
all together it is called me, myself, my ego, my personality, my higher self, my
god. And I invent all this kind of stuff. Who has put all this together? Or is there   38
only one structure? Who has divided all this? Who has said I’m a Hindu or I’m
a  Muslim?  Is  it  merely  propaganda?  Who  created  the  division  between
countries? Thought? Or is it desire, the longing to be identified, to be safe?
I’m  asking  you  most  respectfully,  who  has  created  this  division?  Is  it
thought? Of course, but behind thought there is something else. Who is doing
all this, apart from thought? What is the desire, what is the urge, what is the
movement behind it? Security, isn’t it? I want to be secure; that’s why I follow a
guru. I want to be secure in my relationship with you, with my wife – she is my
wife,  –  secure,  protected,  safe.  The  desire,  the  urge,  the  response,  the
reaction, is for safety – I must be safe, secure.
We all want security, but we never question: is there security at all? Is there
any place where I can say I’m safe? You distrust your wife, your wife distrusts
you.  You  distrust  your  boss  because  you  want  his  place.  It  is  all  common
sense. You may laugh at it now but each human being in the world wants to
have  a  place  where  he  can  be  safe,  secure,  where  there  is  no  competition,
where he is not pushed around, where he is not harassed. Don’t you want all
that? But you never ask: is there security at all? If you want security, you must
also ask the question: Is there security at all?
Then the question arises: Why do you want security? Is there security in
your thinking? Is there security in your relationship – with your wife and with
your children? Is there security in your job? You may be a professor, carefully
protected, but there are higher professors; so you want to become the vice-
chancellor.  So  where  is  security?  There  may  be  no  security  at  all.Just  think
about it, sir, see the beauty of that – having no desire for security, having no
urge, no feeling of any kind in which there is security. In your homes, in your
offices, in your factories, in your parliaments and so on, is there security? Life
may  not  have  security;  life  is  meant  to be lived, not to create problems and
then try to solve them. It’s meant to be lived, and it will die. That’s one of our
fears – to die, right?
So, this morning, have we learned from each other – not helped each other
–  have  we  learned,  have  we  heard  at  all  what  the speaker  is  talking  about?   39
Have you heard with the ear, seen the facts of the world which is you – for the
world is you? Or are they all ideas? There is a difference between fact and
idea; the idea is never the fact. The word `microphone’ is not the microphone,
this thing in front of the speaker. But we have made the word the thing. So the
Hindu is not you – the word is not you. You are the fact, not the word. So, can
we see the word and see that the word is not the thing? The word `god’ is not
god. The word is different, totally, from the reality.
So, we are asking most respectfully: what have you learned this morning,
actually learned, so that you will act, not say yes, quite right, and go home and
carry on as before. The world is in great chaos. I don’t know if you realize it;
there is great trouble in the world, great misery. You are confused, therefore
you are creating all this in the world around you. If you don’t alter yourself, the
world cannot alter, change. Because, in the world, everywhere you go, every
human being goes through the same phenomenon as you are going through –
uncertain, unhappy, fearful, insecure, wanting security, trying to control, saying
that your guru is better than my guru, and so on. You understand, sir?
The speaker is not an optimist or a pessimist. We are presenting you with
facts, not newspaper facts. We are talking together about your life, not the life
of a guru, or an emperor, or somebody or other. We are talking together about
your life. Your life is like that of the rest of the world. Human beings are terribly
unhappy, uncertain, miserable, unemployed by the millions, in poverty, hunger,
sorrow, pain,just like you; you’re not different from them. You may call yourself
Hindu or Muslim or Christian or what you like, but consciously, inwardly, you
are just like the rest of the world. You may be dark brown, they may be light
brown,  have  a  different  government,  but  every  human  being  shares  this
terrible world. We have made the world – you understand? We are society. If
you want society to be something different, you have to start, you have to bring
order to your house, the house which is you.    40
Chapter 5 1985 2nd Public Talk
In Varanasi 19th November
MAY WE GO on with what we were talking about yesterday? As we said,
we  are  taking  a  long  journey  together,  in  a  train  a  very  long  journey,  right
throughout the world, and that journey began two and a half million years ago.
During  that  long  interval  of  time  and  distance,  we’ve  had  a  great  many
experiences,  and  those  experiences  are  stored  in  our  brain,  either  in  the
conscious or in the unconscious, deeper layers of it. And, together, you and
the speaker are going to examine explore. Not that the speaker alone talks –
we’re talking together. The speaker is putting it into words, and the words have
a very significant meaning – not just the vocabulary, but the depth of the word,
the significance of the word, the meaning of the word.
As you and the speaker are taking the journey together, you can’t just go to
sleep. You can’t just say, `Yes, I agree’ or `I disagree’. We went into that; we
are  not  agreeing  or  disagreeing.  We  are  merely  looking  out  of  the  window,
seeing  what  extraordinary  things  man  has  gone  through,  what  experience,
what pain, what sorrow, what unbearable things man has created for himself
and for the world. We are not taking sides, pro and con, left, right or centre –
please understand this very carefully.
This is not a political meeting, this is not an entertainment; this is a serious
gathering.  If  you  want  to  be  entertained,  you  should  go  to  a  cinema  or  a
football  match.  This  is  a  very  serious  meeting  as  far  as  the  speaker  is
concerned.  He  has  talked  all  over  the  world:  unfortunately  or  fortunately  he
may have created a reputation, and probably you are coming here because of
that  reputation,  but  that  has  no  value  at  all.  So,  we  are  going  to  examine
together, sitting together in that train, taking an infinitely long journey. We are
not trying to impress you, we are not trying to force you to look at something.
We are looking at our daily life and all the background of a million years.
One must listen to all the whispers, hear every moment, see everything as it is
– not as you would wish it to be but actually what you see out of the window of   41
the train as it goes along – the hills, the rivers, the stretch of water and all the
beauty around you. Shall we talk about beauty for a while? Would it interest
you? It’s a very serious subject, like everything in life. Probably you have never
asked what beauty is. For the moment we are going to enquire into what it is
because you are passing in that train the most wonderful scenery – the hills,
the  rivers,  the  great  snowclad  mountains,  deep  valleys,  and  not  only  things
outside you, but also the inward structure and nature of your own being – what
you think, what you feel, what your desires are. One has to listen to all this –
not  only  to  our  own  inward  thoughts,  feelings,  and  our  opinions  and
judgements, but also to the sound of what other people are saying – what your
wife is saying, what your neighbour is saying; listen to the sound of that crow,
feel  the  beauty  of  the  world,  the  beauty  of  nature.  Not  just  say  yes,  right,
wrong, this is what I think, this is what I should not think, or merely follow some
tradition, but very quietly, without any reaction, see the beauty of a tree.
So together, we’re going to talk about beauty. What is beauty? Have you
been  to  museums,  some  of  you?  Probably  not.  I  won’t  take  you  around  the
museums; I am not a guide. But instead of looking at the pictures, and statues
of the ancient Greeks, ancient Egyptians, Romans and the moderns, we are
looking, asking, inquiring, demanding to find out what is beauty. Not the form,
not  a  woman  or  a  man  or  small  child  that  is  extraordinarily  beautiful  –  all
children are – but what is beauty? I’m asking the question, sir. Please answer it
to yourself first, or have you never thought about it? Not the beauty of a face,
but the beauty of a green lawn, of a flower, of the great mountains with the
snow  covering  them,  and  the  deep  valleys,  and  the  still  tranquil  waters  of  a
river. All that is outside you and you say, `How beautiful that is!’ What does
that word `beauty’ mean? It’s very important to find that out, because we have
so  little  beauty  in  our  daily  life.  If  you  go  through  Benares  you  will  know  all
about it – the filthy streets, the dust, the dirt. And seeing all this, as also the
tenderness  of  a  leaf  or  the  tender  generosity  of  human  beings,  you  enquire
deeply about this word that is used by poets, painters and sculptors, as you
are asking yourself now. What is this quality of beauty? Do you want me to
answer it or will you answer it? The gentleman says, you answer it because   42
we don’t know. Why? Why don’t you know? Why haven’t we enquired into this
enormous  question?  You  have  your  own  poets,  from  the  ancient  people  to
now. They write about it, they sing about it, they dance, and you say you don’t
know what beauty is. What a strange people you are!
So, what is beauty? The same question put in different words is what are
you? What is the nature and structure of you, apart from the biological factor?
That is very closely related to what is beauty. When you look at a mountain,
snowcapped, deep valleys, blue, deep hills, what do you feel, what’s your real
response to all that? Aren’t you, for a second or for a few minutes, absolutely
shocked  by  it,  by  the  greatness,  the  immensity  of  the  green  valley,  the
extraordinary  light  and  the  blue  sky  against  the  snowclad  mountains?  What
happens  to  you  at  that  moment  when  you  look  at  that  –  the  grandeur,  the
majesty of those mountains? What do you feel? Do you, for the moment, or for
a few minutes, exist at all? You understand my question? Please don’t agree;
look  at  it  very  closely.  At  that  moment  when  you  look  at  something  grand,
immense,  majestic,  for  a  second  you  don’t  exist  –  you’ve  forgotten  your
worries, your wife and your children, your job, all the messiness of your life. At
that moment you are stunned by it. For that second, the grandeur has wiped
out  all  your  memory,  just  for  a  second,  and  then  you  come  back.  What
happens during that second when you are not there?
That  is  beauty  –  you  understand?  –  when  you  are  not  there.  With  the
grandeur, the majesty of a mountain or a lake, or that river early in the morning
making a golden path, for a second you’ve forgotten everything. That is, when
the self is not, there is beauty. Where you are not, with all your problems and
responsibilities, your traditions and all that rubbish, then there is beauty. Like a
child  with  a  toy,  as  long  as  the  toy  is  complex  and  he  plays  with  it,  the  toy
absorbs  him,  takes  him  over.  The  moment  the  toy  is  broken,  he’s  back  to
whatever it was he was doing. We are also like that. We are absorbed by the
mountain; it’s a toy for us for a second, or for a few minutes; then we go back
to  our  world.  And  we  are  saying,  without  a  toy,  without  being  absorbed  by
something greater, can you be free of yourself? You understand my question?   43
You  don’t  understand  this;  you’re  too  clever;  you  are  covered  with  a  lot  of
knowledge, experience, and so on. That’s what’s the matter with all of you –
too much learning. You’re not simple enough. If you are very simple, deeply
simple in yourself, you will discover something extraordinary.
We have talked over beauty for a while. Now let us look at ourselves. We
have  created  the  world  –  you,  the  speaker,  his  forefathers,  the  past
generations.  What  is  it  all  about?  –  killing  each  other,  maiming  each  other,
dividing: my god, your god.  Why  is  this  society  so  ugly,  so  brutal,  so  cruel?
Who  has  created  this  monstrous  world?  I  am  not  being  pessimistic  or
optimistic, but look at the world, the things that are going on outside of you:
poor  countries  buying  armaments,  your  country  buying  armaments,  and
immense poverty, competition – who has created all this? Will you say god has
created it? He must be a messy god. So who created this society, who put it
together?  Haven’t  you  put  it  together?  Not  only  you,  but  your  father,  your
great-grandfather, the past generations of a million years – they have created
this  society  through  their  avarice,  envy,  competition.  They  have  divided  the
world economically, socially, religiously. Face the facts, sir. We have put this
society together, we are responsible for it – not god, not some external factors,
but each one of us has created this society. You belong to this group and I
belong to another group; you worship one god and I worship another god: you
follow one guru and I follow another. So we have divided society, and we have
divided it not only socially, but also religiously. Geographically we have divided
the world – Europe, America, Russia; we have divided culture – western culture
and eastern culture; we have divisions in government – socialist, democratic,
republican, communist, and so on. You understand, sir, how our brain works?
It  divides,  divides,  divides.  Haven’t  you  noticed  this  fact?  And  out  of  this
division comes conflict.
So  you  have  created  this  society;  you  are  this  society.  So,  unless  you
change radically, you’ll never change it. The communists have tried to change
it, forcing man, secretly, viciously, to submit to various forms of compulsion.
You must know all this: this is history. So where there is division, there must   44
be conflict; that’s the law. And apparently we like conflict, we live in perpetual
conflict. So we must go back and find out what is the cause of all this. Is it
desire? Is it fear? Is it pleasure? Is it the avoidance of all pain and therefore
guilt? Let us begin to find out for ourselves what is desire. That is the basis –
desire to have power, desire to achieve, desire to become somebody. We are
not against desire, we are not trying to become somebody. We are not against
desire,  we  are  not  trying  to  suppress  desire  or  transcend  desire,  like  the
monks. We must, together, understand what is desire.
Are you interested to find out what is the root of desire? Do you want me to
explain? But explanation is not the thing, the description is not that. When one
describes a marvellous tree, the description is not the tree. We use words to
convey something to each other, but the words, the descriptions, are not the
fact. The word `wife’ is not the wife. If you can understand that simple fact, you
will treat her better.
So, what is desire and why does it dominate us? What is its place, what is
its nature? Monks the world over suppress desire or want to transcend desire
or identify it with certain images, certain symbols, certain rituals. But what is
desire?  Have  you  ever  asked  that  question?  Or  do  you  yield  to  desire,
whatever the consequences?
We  live  by  sensation,  don’t  we?  –  better  food,  better  house,  better  wife.
Sensation is a part of life, so is sex – it’s a sensation, a pleasure, and we have
a great many pleasures, pleasure of possession and so on. Sensation is an
extraordinarily important part of our existence. If you have no sensation you
are dead, right? All your nerves go, your brain withers. We live by sensation,
sensation being touch, feeling, like running a nail suddenly into your finger –
that’s  sensation;  you  call  it  pain.  Tears,  laughter,  humour  are  all  part  of
sensation.  You  want  more  power,  more  money,  and  `the  more’  is  part  of
sensation.  Every  second,  every  response  –  intellectual,  theoretical,
philosophical – is part of sensation. We live by sensation – be clear on that –
that is, by the senses responding: good taste, bad taste; it’s bitter, it’s sweet.
Sensation is natural, it is inevitable, it is part of life.    45
What happens when you have a sensation? When you see something very
beautiful  –  a  car,  a  woman,  a  man,  or  a  lovely  house  –  what  happens?  You
have  seen  that  lovely  house,  seen  the  gardens,  seen  the  beauty  of  the
landscape,  and  how  the  house  is  built,  with  styled  grace  and  a  sense  of
dignity.  Then  thought  comes  along,  makes  an  image  of  that  sensation,  and
then  says,  `I  wish  I  had  that  house.’  At  that  moment  desire  is  born.  When
sensation is given a shape, a form, then, at that second, desire is born. When I
see  something  I  don’t  have,  like  a  house  or  a  car,  then  sensation  becomes
dominant.  When  thought  gives  it  an  image,  when  thought  comes  along  and
says, `I wish I had it’, at that moment desire is born. Right? You understand
the subtlety of it, the depth of it? When thought gives a form, a structure, an
image to sensation, at that second desire is born.
Now the question is, can sensation not be caught by thought, which is also
another  sensation?  You  understand,  sir?  After  sensation,  take  time  before
thought  gives  it  a  shape  –  have  an  interval  between  sensation  and  thought
giving it a shape. Do it, and you’ll learn a lot from that. So I’m saying, when
there  is  time  in  between  sensation  and  thought  –  an  interval,  long  or  short  –
you’ll  understand  the  nature  of  desire.  In  that  there  is  no  suppression,  no
transcending. Sir, if you drive a car, not knowing the mechanism of it, you are
always  a  little  nervous  that  something  might  go  wrong.  But  if  you  have
dismantled that car and put it together very carefully, known all the parts, then
you’re  master  of  the  machinery,  then  you’re  not  afraid,  for  you  can  put  it
together  again.  So,  if  you  understand  the  nature  of  desire,  the  way  desire
begins, then you are not afraid of it, then you know what to do with it.
There’s  something  else  which  you  and  the  speaker  should  talk  over
together.  We  have  lived  for  thousands  of  years,  and  we  have  never
understood the nature of fear. What is the source of fear, what is the cause of
fear?  We  have  apparently  never  ended  fear  –  biological  fear  as  well  as
psychological  fear,  inward  fear  –  fear  of  death,  fear  of  not  having,  not
possessing, fear of loneliness – we have so many fears. Out of these fears you
create gods, you create rituals, spiritual hierarchies, gurus, all the temples of   46
the world. And we’re asking, what is fear? Not your particular form of fear, not
my fear and your fear, but fear? As I said, if you understand the machinery of a
car, you’re not afraid of it. So if you know, realize, understand the nature of
fear,  the  cause  of  it,  the  root  of  it,  then  you  will  transcend  fear,  and  fear  is
gone. We are going to do that this morning.
We are asking, what is fear, what is the cause of it – not how to end it, not
how  to  transcend  it,  control  it,  suppress  it,  and  run  away  from  it,  as  you’re
doing, but what is the cause, the source of it? Think it out, sir, go into it for a
minute. Take your fear, your particular fear, or fears; what is the root of them?
– security? desire for more? If you haven’t found it, you ask somebody like the
speaker what the cause is. Will you listen?
Will you actually listen? I will explain, but the explanation is not the thing.
Does the word `fear’ evoke fear in you? Fear is a fact; the word is not the fact.
So the explanation is not a means to end fear. We have to examine then what
is  time,  because  time  is  fear:  tomorrow  something  might  happen,  my  house
might fall down, my wife might turn to another man, my husband might go off –
and I’m in fear. Fear of the past, fear of the future, fear of the present: I have
been  that,  I  won’t  be  that,  but  I  am  not  that  now  –  that  whole  process  is  a
movement in time. From here to there is a movement, and it needs time. All
movement is time.
The past shapes the present. The past is operating now, and the future is
shaped  by  the  present  –  modified.  Circumstances  change,  certain  incidents
happen,  so  the  past  is  modified,  changed,  altered,  and  the  future  is  what
happens now. All time – the past, the present and the future – is contained in
the  now.  This  applies  to  life;  it  is  not  just  a  theory.  You  were  something
yesterday; an incident takes place today that changes, modifies, slightly alters
the past, and the future is what you are now, modified. That is, the past, the
present and the future are now; tomorrow is now. If there is no mutation now,
you’ll be exactly the same as you’ve been before. I think I am a Hindu, with all
the  circus  romp  behind  it,  and  I’ll  be  a  Hindu  tomorrow.  That  is  logical.
Therefore  what  you  do  now  matters  much  more  than  what  you  will  do   47
tomorrow. So, what are you going to do if tomorrow is now? That is a fact; it is
not  my  theory  or  your  theory,  it’s  a  fact.  I  am  greedy  now,  and  if  I  don’t  do
anything  about  it  now,  I’ll  be  greedy  tomorrow.  Can  you  stop  being  greedy
today? Will you? No, of course not. So you will be what you have been. This
has been the pattern of humanity for millions of years.
You don’t mind killing. Be honest. You don’t mind killing, you subscribe to it,
you want your country to be strong. Right? Don’t be ashamed of it – this is a
fact.  And  so  you  gather  armaments.  If  you  don’t  stop  being  an  Indian  now,
you’ll be an Indian tomorrow. So I’m asking, what will you do now? Stop being
an Indian, will you? Do you know what the implications are? – not the passport,
not the paper – but not being associated with any religion, any group; they are
all phoney anyhow. Is that possible? Will you do it? Do you see that if there is
no mutation now, today, you’ll be exactly the same tomorrow? This is not being
optimistic or pessimistic; this is a fact. Do you understand the seriousness of
it? If there is no radical mutation now, I’ll be the same tomorrow.
So time is a factor in fear. And fear is a common factor of all mankind. Can
that fear – not one branch of it – but the root of fear be totally demolished? –
that is, to have no fear of any kind. The speaker says it is eminently possible;
that  it  can  be  done  radically.  The  speaker  is  saying  that  fear  can  be  totally
ended. Don’t say it is for the illumined one and all that nonsense. You can end
it if you put your brain, your heart into it – completely, not partially. And then
you will see for yourself what immense beauty there is in it; a sense of utter
freedom – not freedom of a country or of some government, but the sense of
the enormity of freedom, the greatness of freedom.
Will you do it – today, now? From today, seeing the cause of fear, end it. As
long as there is fear – biologically, physically, psychologically – it destroys us.
So, if one may ask, after listening to this fact, not theory, what are you going to
do? Time is the factor of fear and thought; so if you don’t change now, you
won’t ever change. It is constant postponement.    48
Chapter 6 3rd Public Talk
In Varanasi 22nd November 1985
WE ARE GOING TO talk over together a great many things this morning,
and, as we said, we’re not the only speaker; you and the speaker are sharing
all the issues that we are going to discuss. We are participating in them, not
just listening casually. In the last two talks we’ve dealt with many things: fear
and all the travail of man, the problems that we have, which we never seem to
resolve; we went into that carefully. The problems exist because our minds are
filled with problems; therefore there is no freedom to look at any problem. Also
we went into the question of thought – why thought has made this life so utterly
impossible. Thought has brought about a great deal of conflict, wars for two
and a half million years, which means practically every year we kill each other
–  in  the  name  of  god,  in  the  name  of  patriotism,  my  country  against  your
country, our religion against your religion, and so on. And we also talked about
the nature of thought, why thought divides men or brings them together to do a
certain project, like going to the moon. To build that rocket, you probably had
to have over 300,000 people, all of them doing their little job perfectly. Either
we  get  together  in  a  crisis  like  war  which  is  born  of  hatred,  or  we  come
together  on  some  national  issue,  or  when  there  is  a  great  calamity  like  an
earthquake, or volcanic eruption. Apart from that, we never get together.
Now,  this  morning,  if  I  may  most  respectfully  suggest,  we  should  all  get
together, as we are all sitting together, and gather energy so that we can think
out very clearly the various issues we are going to raise together. That means
to activate our brains which are rather sluggish, slow, monotonous, repetitive.
So  we  are  together  keeping  our  brains  alert.  We  have  not  only  to  keep  the
physical organism active because that gives energy, but to have a very clear,
active  brain.  Not  a  specialized  brain  as  a  philosopher,  as  a  scientist,  as  a
physicist,  and  so  on.  Those  specialized  brains  become  very  narrow.
Philosophy, according to the dictionary, means the love of truth, the love of life,
the  love  of  wisdom  –  not  just  adding  more  and  more  theories  or  quoting
somebody and explaining what they have quoted.    49
I don’t know if you’ve ever gone into the question of learning, what it is to
learn. Now we are going to find out together what it means. We generally take
learning  to  mean  memorizing.  All  through school, college and university you
memorize. And that memory can be used to earn a livelihood, to gain power,
possessions, prestige, patronage, and so on. Is there another kind of learning?
We  know  the  ordinary  kind  of  learning  –  at  school,  college,  university  or
learning a skill to become an excellent carpenter or a plumber or a cook. So,
what is learning? Have you ever thought about it? When you’re memorizing,
your brain is filled with memories. That’s simple. Memory multiplies, keeps you
somewhat alert, you learn more and more and more. So the speaker is asking
you  –  is  there  a  different  kind  of  learning  altogether,  which  is  not  merely
memorizing.
This is a very important question because the brain records every incident,
every kind of memory. When you’re hurt it is recorded, but you never enquire
who  is  hurt;  we’ll  come  to  that  presently.  So  the  brain  is  recording;  see  the
importance of that. It has to record, otherwise you and I wouldn’t be here. So
the  brain  is  constantly  recording  discarding.  Now,  is  it  necessary  to  record?
You have an incident in a car – an accident; it is instantly recorded, because
you are hurt or your car is damaged. The brain has the capacity, the energy,
not  only  to  record  but  also  to  safeguard  itself.  And  we  are  asking:  is  it
necessary  to  record  everything?  Or  can  we  record  only  that  which  is
necessary and nothing else? Have you put this question to yourself? The brain
records for its own security, otherwise you and I wouldn’t be sitting here. You
have recorded how long it took you to come here and so on. We’re asking, is it
necessary to record certain things, and totally unnecessary where the psyche
is involved? You understand my question, sir? Is it necessary when you are
flattered or when you’re insulted to record it? Is it necessary to record these
things?
The recording builds up the psyche. This is a very serious question. The
psyche,  which  is  made  up  of  various  elements,  characteristics,  ethos,  is
contained  in  the  brain,  which  we  call  consciousness.  In  that  consciousness,   50
memories, fears, etc., are contained. So we’re asking again, is it necessary to
build  up  the  psyche?  The  psyche  means  the  self,  the  self  being  all  the
memories,  the  activities  of  thought,  imagination,  fascination,  fear,  pleasure,
sorrow,  pain.  It  is  recording  that  makes  up  the  whole  psyche,  the  `I’,  the
persona.
So we’re asking, Is it necessary to record so as to build up the self? Have
you  ever  thought  about  this,  looked  at  it  or  investigated  it,  gone  into  this
question  of  recording  as  you  would  into  various  philosophical,  religious
matters? It may be necessary to record certain things and totally unnecessary
to  record  others  –  see  the  beauty  of  it  –  so  that  the  brain  is  not  always
conditioned  in  memory,  so  that  the  brain  becomes  extraordinarily  free,  but
active. That is the first question.
So,  learning  is  not  to  record.  We  have  discussed  this  matter  with
psychiatrists in New York. They were fascinated with the idea of not recording,
so that the brain cells themselves mutate. Our brains are built up of cells and
so on – I’m not a professional – and in the brain cells are the memories. And we
live on those memories – the past and all the remembrances that one has. And
the older you get the more you go back, further and further, till you die. And it
is important to learn to find out whether the brain needs to record everything.
Forgetting, and not recording, are two entirely different matters. When you are
hurt, not physically but psychologically, inwardly, you say `I am hurt.’ You are
all hurt, aren’t you? From childhood till you grow old and die, you are being
hurt  all  the  time.  You  say,  `I  can’t  stand  any  more  hurts,  I’ve  been  hurt  so
much. I’m frightened.’ I build a wall around myself, isolate myself – all these are
the consequences of being hurt.
Now, who is being hurt? You say, `It’s me.’ Then what is `me’? You just say
`me’, `I’, the ego, any word that comes, but you don’t investigate who is the `I’,
who is the persona. Who are you – a name, a degree if you are fortunate or
unfortunate enough, a job, a house or a flat, and a title after a name? There
are the images you have built about yourself, so that when you say you are
hurt, the images about yourself are hurt. But all those images are you – you’re   51
a  physicist,  you’re  a  doctor,  you’re  a  philosopher,  you’re  an  MP,  or  an
engineer.  Have  you  ever  realized how someone is always introduced by his
profession? So the self, the psyche, the persona, is the image which you have
built about yourself.
You have built an image about your wife, and she builds an image about
you – and these images have relationship. See what is happening. The images
have relationship – not the persons but the images – and you live on that. So
you never know your wife or your husband or your friend. Or you don’t care to
know, but you have the image. So the question is: can you live without a single
image? See the implications of it, the beauty of it, the freedom of it.
We ought to talk over together why we make all this effort in life. Why do
we  make  such  an  immense  effort  to  do  anything?  We  make  tremendous
efforts to meditate, to live, to fight, to battle with one another – opinion against
opinion, judgement against judgement, I agree with you, I disagree with him.
Why all this effort? For what? – for money, for your family, for affection, to feel
that you must be loved by somebody?
When  you  ask  that  question,  then  you  must  ask,  what  is  love?  Is  love
effort? – I must love you, therefore I am going to make an effort about it. Can
there be love when there is ambition? Sir, please, this is serious; this is not for
somebody who doesn’t care, who just wants his own way. Is love ambition, is it
greed, is it self-centredness? Is love the opposite of hate?
You  know,  we  have  always  been  fighting  –  the  good  fighting  the  bad,  all
through life. You see it in paintings symbolizing the good and symbolizing the
devil. In Greek mythology and other mythologies it is the white bull against the
black bull or good fighting evil in different shapes, symbols and so on. We still
do that – the good fighting the bad. Is the good separate from the bad? Is the
good born out of the bad? If the good is related to the bad, then it’s not good. If
the good is born of, comes from, the bad, then it’s not good. That is simple,
isn’t  it?  But  if  the  bad  is  totally  divorced  from  the  good,  if  there  is  no
relationship between the good and the bad, then there is only the bad and the
good, totally divorced from each other. Therefore they can’t fight.    52
So then we have to enquire, what is the good? And you have to ask, can
love contain hate? Or, has hate nothing to do with love – therefore there is no
relationship between the two, therefore they can’t fight each other? This is an
important question for you to understand, go into. You always say, `I have not
been good today, but I will be good tomorrow,’ or, `I have been angry today,
but I will not be angry tomorrow.’ This is the relative relationship between the
good and the bad. Love has nothing whatsoever to do with jealousy; love has
nothing  whatsoever  to  do  with  hate.  Where  there  is  hate,  pleasure,  anxiety,
and  so  on,  love  cannot  exist.  And  the  speaker  questions  whether  you  love
anybody at all.
What is love? How does it come about? Do you really ask that question, or
am I asking it for you? Can love exist where there is sorrow? Most of us are in
sorrow of some kind or other – failing in an exam, failing to be successful in
business  or  in  politics,  or  in  your  relationship  with  your  wife,  or  in  your
relationship with somebody upstairs – which may be your guru or some other
imaginative  figure.  So  when  you  can’t  succeed  you  are  depressed,  you  are
sorrowful.  Or  you  are  sorrowful  because  you  live  in  a  small  little  village  and
you don’t know how to read and write, you don’t know how to drive a car, or
you have no hot bath or you wear one dirty cloth. The man in a position high
up on the ladder – he suffers too.
So, everyone on this earth – everyone – from the richest to the poorest, from
the  most  powerful  to  the  least  powerful,  suffers.  Suffering  is  not  yours,
because everyone suffers. It’s not my suffering; it’s suffering. I wonder if you
understand that? My son dies and I get terribly upset. I weep and I say, `My
god, I’ve lost my son,’ and that becomes a perpetual problem. I weep every
time I see a little boy or a little girl. And I go through the pain of loneliness,
sorrow.
If  there  is  sorrow,  there  is  no  love.  Please  realize  this.  If  I  suffer,  suffer,
suffer, it’s part of self-pity, self-concern, it’s: `My sorrow is different from your
sorrow’, like `My guru is stronger than your guru’, or `My god is different from
your  god’.  So,  is  there  an  end  to  sorrow?  Or  must  mankind  go  through  this   53
sorrow all its life? The speaker says it can end. Otherwise there is no love. I’m
shedding tears all the time, I suffer, and you come along and tell me, `Every
human being on earth suffers; it is not your suffering, we all share it.’ I refuse
to accept such a statement because I love my sorrow, I’m happy in my sorrow,
and I want to be separate in my sorrow.
To get a feeling of this requires a great deal of enquiry, persuasion, talking
over, saying, `It is not quite yours. Have a little bit of it, but it isn’t quite yours’.
That  means  no  self-pity,  and  it  means  you  are  really  sharing  the  burden  of
sorrow for all the rest of mankind. Go on, sir, think about it, look at it; you are
part of humanity; you are not separate from humanity. You may have a better
position,  better  degrees,  better  money,  but  you  are  part  of  mankind,  your
consciousness is part of mankind. Your consciousness contains all the things
that you have thought about, imagined, feared, and so on. Your consciousness
is  that,  and  that  is  also  the  consciousness  of  mankind.  Mankind  has  fear,
sorrow,  pain,  anxiety,  tears,  uncertainty,  confusion.  Every  human  being  on
earth has all this, and you are like the rest. So you are not individuals. I know
my body is different from your body – you are a woman, I’m a man. But we are
in the world as one unit. When you feel that relationship, you are the rest of
mankind.  Then  something  totally  different  takes  place,  not  just  words,
imaginings, but the feeling of it, the enormity of it.
We ought to talk about death. Sorry, on a lovely morning, sitting under the
trees,  quiet  –  no  train  crossing  the  bridge  –  to  talk  about  death  may  seem
morbid, may seem ugly. Now together, we’re going to examine it, share it – not
you just listening and I talking. So, what is death? Why are we so frightened of
it? Why do we keep death for ten years later or twenty years later or a hundred
years later? Then, you have not only to ask what is death and dying, but also
what  is  living.  What  is  your  life?  –  office  from  nine  to  five,  as  a  clerk,  as  a
governor,  a  factory  worker  or  whatever  it  is,  for  the  rest  of  your  life,  except
when  you  retire  as  a  gaga  old  man.  And  your  life  is  breeding  children,  sex,
pleasure,  pain,  sorrow,  anxiety,  problem  after  problem  –  illness,  doctors,
caesarean operations, pain in giving birth. This is your life. Do you deny that?   54
And you call this living. You support it, you enjoy it, you want more and more
of it. Right? And you put death as many years away as possible. And in that
distance  of  time  you  are  building  up  the  same  pattern  over  and  over.  Your
children, your grandchildren, all live in that same pattern which you call living.
So I say to myself, why not bring that which you call death into living? You
can’t take anything with you – not even all that your guru has said and all that
you have tried to live up to, nor your furniture, your wife, your children, nor all
the  silver  you  have  collected,  all  the  money  in  the  bank.  So,  as  you  cannot
take anything with you, why not let life and death meet? You understand what
I’m saying? Why not let death come today? Not suicide – I’m not talking about
that.  Why  not  be  totally  free  of  attachment  now  –  which  is  death?  Be  totally
detached – today, not tomorrow. Tomorrow is death. So, why can’t I be free of
my  attachments  now  so  that  living  and  dying  are  together  all  the  time?  I
wonder  if  you  see  the  beauty  of  it.  That  gives  you  an  immense  sense  of
freedom.  So  living  and  dying  are  together,  always.  It’s  not  something  to  be
frightened about. If the brain can do that, then there is a totally different quality
to  the  brain.  It  has  no  hooks,  it  has  no  sense  of  the  past,  the  future,  the
present. It is living – it is really an endless way of living. That is, every day is a
new day. Don’t mistake what I’m talking about – the future is now.
There is no `I shall be born again next life’. That is an idea to which you’re
attached. It gives you great comfort, but if you believe in reincarnation, then
you must act rightly now, because next life you are going to pay for it or be
rewarded. It’s a very comforting idea, but it is meaningless. Because, if you act
rightly now, righteousness has no reward. Righteousness is righteousness, not
what  you  are  going  to  get  out  of  it.  That  is  a  merchandizing  attitude,  a
mechanical attitude.
We  should  talk  about  religion.  What  is  religion?  Sir,  this  is  one  of  the
important questions in life. There are temples all over India, mosques all over
the world, churches all over the world and their priests beautifully decorated,
beautifully  garbed,  all  medallions  and  so  on.  This  has  been  one  of  the
problems  from  the  most  ancient  times:  the  priest  and  the  king  –  the  priest   55
wanted  power,  the  king  also  wanted  power.  But  the  priest  was  stronger
because  he  was  the  one  who  wrote,  read,  and  the  king  had  to  obey  him
because he was supposed to be the wiser man. And gradually the king said,
`This is not good enough,’ and so there was a war between the priest and the
king. This is historical; you will find it in different books.
The word `religion’ had a very complicated meaning at one time, but now it
has  become  a  symbol,  a  ritual,  a  superstition.  Is  this  religion,  or  is  religion
something  entirely  different,  something  which  has  nothing  to  do  with  rituals,
with symbols, because all these have been invented by man? Because priests
wanted  power,  position,  they  put  on  new  hats,  new  clothes  and  grew  long
beards or shaved their heads – and all this is called religion. To an ordinary,
thoughtful,  fairly  intelligent  man,  it  is  rubbish,  total  rubbish.  If  he  discards  all
that, really discards it totally, puts away being a Hindu with all its superstitions,
symbols, worship, prayer, then he is a serious man; he is not a wordmonger.
Sir,  the  speaker  is  not  laying  down  the  law.  Let  us  talk  about  it,  let  us
investigate,  let  us  go  into  it  together.  Our  brains  are  chattering  all  the  time.
Haven’t  you  noticed  it?  –  Chattering,  chattering,  chattering  or  imagining,
perpetually in action. There is never a moment of silence. And silence is also
repetition  –  `Ram,  Ram’  or  whatever  you  may  repeat.  When  you  repeat
something mechanically, as you repeat the word, gradually the brain, through
repetition, becomes dull and quiet; and that quietness is something marvellous
to you. You think you’ve achieved some tremendous thing and you go around
repeating  this  to  others,  and  the  poor  gullible  people  say,  `Yes,  yes’.  Your
meditation  is  a  series  of  achievements.  Can  you  discard  all  that  nonsense?
For the speaker it is complete nonsense, it is like going to the circus.
We have to enquire what is meditation and what is silence. Silence allows
space.  You  can’t  be  silent  in  time.  We  have  to  go  into  this  question  of
meditation, space, time, and whether there is an ending to time. We are not
telling  you  how  to  meditate.  Don’t  ask  how  to  meditate.  It  is  like  telling  a
carpenter how to build a beautiful cabinet. If he is a good carpenter, you don’t
have to tell him. Your meditation now is achievement.    56
The  word  `meditation’  means  `to  ponder  over,  think,  weigh,  look  at
carefully’. It also means `to measure’, from ma in Sanskrit. When you compare
– `I was this today, I’ll be that tomorrow’ – that is measurement. Measurement
has  no  place  in  meditation.  Measurement  is  necessary  in  all  technologies  –
whether you build a chair or the most complicated rocket to go to the moon.
We are saying, meditation implies total freedom from all comparison and
measurement – and this is difficult. Meditation is something that is marvellous if
you know what to do. The meditator is different from meditation. As long as
you  are  the  meditator,  there  is  no  meditation,  because  the  meditator  is
concerned  about  himself  –  how  he  is  progressing,  what  he  is  doing.  In
meditation there is no meditator at all. See for yourself the beauty, the depth,
the  subtlety  of  it.  The  practice  of  meditation  is  not  meditation  –  sitting  and
making the mind more and more dull, and saying, `Yes, I’ve spent an hour.’
(By  the  way,  sir,  don’t  touch  my  feet  –  that’s  most  undignified,  as  a  human
being. You can hold my hand, but not the feet; it’s inhuman, undignified.)
So  meditation  is  something  that  cannot  be  practised  as  you  practise  a
violin,  a  piano.  To  practise  means  you  want  to  reach  a  certain  level  of
perfection.  But  in  meditation  there  is  no  level,  nothing  to  be  achieved.
Therefore  there  is  not  a  conscious,  deliberate  meditation;  it  is  a  meditation
which is totally undirected, totally – if I may use the word – `unconscious’. It is
not a deliberate process. Let’s leave it at that. We can spend a lot of time on
this – an hour, a whole day, the whole of your life to find this out.
Now let us talk about space. Because meditation is that – space. We have
no  space  in  the  brain.  There  is  space  between  two  struggles,  between  two
thoughts, but it is still within the sphere of thought. So, what is space? Does
space contain time? Or does time include all space? We talked about time. If
space contains time, then it is not space. Then it is circumscribed, limited. So,
can the brain be free of time? Sir, this is such an important, immense question;
you don’t seem to gather it.
If  life,  all  of  life,  is  contained  in  the  now,  do  you  see  what  it  means?  All
humanity  is  you.  All  humanity  –  because  you  suffer,  he  suffers;  his   57
consciousness is you; your consciousness, your being, is him. There is no you
and me that limits space. So, is there an end to time – not to the clock which
you wind and it stops, but to the whole movement of time?
Time  is  movement,  a  series  of  incidents.  Thought  is  also  a  series  of
movements. So time is thought. So we are saying, if space contains time, it is
not  space.  So,  is  there  an  end  to  time?  Which  means,  is  there  an  end  to
thought;  which  means,  is  there  an  end  to  knowledge;  is  there  an  end  to
experience?  –  which  is  total  freedom.  And  this  is  meditation.  Not  sitting  and
looking – that’s childish. This demands not only a great deal of the intellect, but
insight. The physicist, the artist, the painter, the poet and so on have a limited
insight.  We  are  talking  about  a  timeless  insight.  This  is  meditation,  this  is
religion, and this is the way to live, if you want to, all the rest of your days.    58
Chapter 7 Discussion With The Campers Varanasi
21st November 1985
KRISHNAMURTI (K): This is supposed to be a conversation between us.
You are going to question me, question the speaker; we are going to have a
discussion,  a  deliberation,  take  counsel  together,  weigh  together,  consider
together,  balance  things  together.  It  is  not  that  one  person  answers  your
question or your queries; not that the speaker considers and then you agree –
that  is  rather  childish  –  but,  rather,  we  are  going  to  have  a  conversation
together. probably, you are not used to this – really to talk to somebody openly,
frankly;  probably  you  never  do,  even  to  your  wife  or  husband  or  somebody
closely related. You put on your mask, you pretend. If you could, put aside all
that this morning and consider what questions we have, what we would like to
talk over together, what you are most concerned with; not just some absurd
stuff, but rather, what you really want to find out.
Before  we  begin  to  discuss  –  how  do  you  approach  a  question?  You
understand what I am asking? How do you regard a question, a problem; how
do you weigh the problem; how do you come very close to the problem? We
cannot expect the speaker to answer your question because in the question
itself may be the answer. Do you understand? So, whatever the question we
are  going  to  discuss  this  morning,  let  us  examine  it  first,  not  wait  for  an
answer. Have we understood this fact, or is it mysterious?
I have got a question for you – I am not going to answer it – Why do you
separate living, your daily living from your ideas of the spiritual? Why do you
divide  the  two?  Why  do  you  separate  the  so-called  religious  life  and  the
monotonous, lonely, daily life? You answer my question.
First  participant  (P1):  Because  it  needs  a  different  kind  of  energy.  The
spiritual  life  and  the  ordinary,  mundane  life  involve  two  different  kinds  of
energy.    59
K:  That  is,  two  different  kinds  of  energy  –  one  for  the  so-called  spiritual,
religious life, and another kind of energy for the mundane life. Now, I am not
going to answer the question. Let us find out if what you are saying is a fact.
You say that those people who are religious, who put on those funny robes,
need a kind of energy quite different from that of a man who travels around
and makes money or of the poor man in the village. Why do you divide the
two? May I put that question? Energy is energy, right? – whether it be electrical
energy or motor-driven energy or solar energy or the energy of a river in flood.
So why do you divide energy? Is it that the man with a beard, strange clothes,
has more energy, or that he is trying to concentrate his energy on a particular
issue? You understand, sir?
P2: There are various kinds of energy: one is the energy of thought, which
can  be  stilled;  there  is  another,  the  energy  of  insight,  which  does  not  get
stilled,  and  there  is  yet  another,  the  energy  of  mind  which  brings  about
compassion and other things.
K: Certainly not.
P2: Pardon, sir?
K: Sir, we are talking it over, I am not laying down the law. Would you mind
listening.
P2: What is the relationship of the three aspects of energy, of thought, of
insight, and of mind?
K: You answer it. P3: May I sir?
K: Why not? You have a right to answer him.
P3: Just because we want to be comfortable, we divide energy into various
compartments. I do not think there can be many types of energy. Energy can
be only one.
K:  Yes,  I  should  have  thought  so  myself.  You  see  how  we  divide
everything.  We  divide  spiritual  energy,  mental  energy,  the  energy  of  insight,
the energy of thought.    60
P3: Then it gets so complicated.
K: I know it complicates it, doesn’t it? Why not be very simple? The energy
of the body, the energy of sex, the energy of thought, it is all energy. It is one
thing; only we divide it. Why? Find out, madam, why do we divide it?
P4: We are conditioned to divide it.
K:  Yes,  sir.  Why  are  you  conditioned?  Why  do  you  accept  this  division?
India-Pakistan, Russia-America – why do you divide all this? Tell me.
P5: The division is a reality.
K: Of course it is a reality. Why do you make obvious statements, sir?
P5: There is a difference between the truth and the reality. K: All right, what
do you call reality?
P5: What we see.
K: Therefore, you say that reality is right in front of you, right? – It is what
you see visually, optically. Is the tree a reality?
P5: Yes, sir.
K: All right, is what you think a reality?
P5: Sometimes we have to think. K: Is your wife a reality? I am asking you
a question: what do you mean by `my wife’?
P6:  There  is  the  psychological  attitude  that  I  have  towards  my  wife  and
there is the reality of my wife who has her own psychology.
K: Are you saying, sir – if I may put it in my own words – that the image of
your wife, the image which you have built up, is different from your wife; is that
it?
P6. It may happen sometimes that the image coincides with the reality of
what my wife is.
K:  Have  you  looked  at  your  wife?  Have  you  seen  her,  enquired  into  her
ambitions, her anxiety, the pain of bearing children and all the rest of it? Have   61
you considered what the wife is? You have built an image about her, haven’t
you?
P6: Not necessarily.
K: I do not say necessary or unnecessary. It is a fact that you, if you are
married, or if you have some friend, build an image about her? Don’t you? Not
necessarily, but it takes place, right?
P6: Yes, sir.
K: I am not trying to brow-beat you, sir, but each one has an image about
the other. You have an image about me, otherwise you would not be here. So
we  create  an  image  about  another,  depending  on  our  temperament,
depending  on  our  knowledge,  depending  on  our  illusions,  depending  on  our
fantasies,  and  so  on.  We  build  an  image  about  people:  you  have  an  image
about  the  prime  minister,  you  have  an  image  about  the  person  who  is
speaking to you. So we are asking a much deeper question, which is: can you
live a daily life without images?
P7:  The  images  that  we  build  up  are  generally  in  relationship  with
ourselves. I build up an image around me. K: Yes, you have an image about
yourself.
P7:  Yes,  and  if  we  can  achieve  that  state  which  you  have  been  talking
about  –  effacing  the  centre,  the  self  –  then  the  images  would  automatically
drop. Then one can live without the image.
K: So, when you talk about relationship, what do you mean by that word?
Sir, please, just listen quietly before you answer. Take a little breather. What is
your relationship with another? You understand the word `relationship’? To be
related  –  I  am  related  to  him  through  blood:  he  is  my  father,  my  brother,
whatever it is. What do you mean by that word `relationship’? Carefully, sir, do
not be so quick; go slowly.
P7: I am not using the word `relationship’ in that sense.
K: I am talking in that sense.    62
P8: My care and concern for my friends, for my parents, for my children,
including hatred – all that is included.
K: Do you really care? Or is it just an idea that you should care? If I may
politely ask you, what do you mean by the word `related’ – not what meaning
you give to it, the meaning according to the dictionary.
P9: Contacts through the actual, not through words or images.
K: Sir, I am asking you a question; do not kick it around. What do you mean
by related? I am related to him – what does that mean?
P10: I think when I say I am related, I become a part of that. K: Are you a
part of your wife?
P10: Yes, partially.
K: Not total or partial. I am asking, what do you mean by the word `related’?
P11: Sir, being associated with day-to-day life, a network of expectations from
each other, duties and obligations.
K: Oh, God, you make it so very complex, don’t you? I am just asking you
what you mean by that word per se – for itself – not what you think it should be.
P12: Close touch; getting attached; to have something in common. If I have
an image about you, then I have a relationship with you.
K: Do you have a relationship with me?
P12: Yes.
K: In what way? I am asking this seriously, sir; do not throw it aside.
P12: When I am looking at you without an image, I have relationship at that
moment with you.
K: You really have not thought about it, sir. You are just throwing out words.
P13: I think we have diverted from the original question.
K: I know, I know. So, sir, let us go back. I will come back to this word; it is
a very important word in our life.    63
Why do we divide the spiritual and the mundane? We divide India against
Pakistan;  we  divide  various  religions  –  Christianity,  Buddhism,  Hinduism  and
so on; we divide, divide, divide. Why? Do not answer; just look at it, sir. We are
taking counsel together; we are looking at the same problem together – why do
we divide? Of course, there is a division between man and woman; or, you are
tall,  I  am  short;  you  are  brown  or  white,  I  happen  to  be  black  –  but  that  is
natural, isn’t it? I won’t go into all that. So why do we divide?
P14: Because we have different ideas and different feelings and different
interests, and we want to stick to them. K: Why do you want to stick to them?
P14: Because we are selfish and we have self-interest.
K: Do not reduce everything to selfishness. Why do we divide, I am asking.
Who is dividing?
P15:  The  mind  itself  first  divides  into  the  inner  perception  and  then  the
outer perception.
K: Sir, is that your own experience, or are you quoting somebody?
P15: Half-half.
K: Could we please be serious for a while and face these facts? Why have
we divided the world around us – Pakistan, India, Europe, America, Russia and
so on? Who has made all these divisions?
P16: I think it is ego, it is thought.
K:  Are  you  guessing?  Why  don’t  we  look  at  the  facts  first?  We  have
different  ideologies,  different  beliefs:  one  section  of  the  world  believes  in
Jesus, the other section believes in Allah, some other section believes in the
Buddha, another section believes in something else; who has made all these
divisions?
P17: It is we, mankind.
K: That means you.
P17: Yes, sir.
K: You have divided the world.    64
P17: Yes, sir.
K: Why? Why have you divided it?
P18: Fear and security.
K: Are you sure of what you are saying! P19: We divide ourselves because
we derive pleasure from this division.
K:  If  you  are  being  killed  by  the  other  party,  is  that  also  pleasure?  Don’t
make casual remarks because this is not an entertainment; I am not here to
entertain you.
So if you will kindly listen, I am asking you a question: who has divided the
world into this? Has not man done this? You have done it – because you are a
Hindu or a Muslim or a Sikh or some other sect, right? Man wants security, so
he  says,  I  belong  to  the  Buddhists:  that  gives  me  identity,  that  gives  me
strength, that gives me a sense of place where I can stay. Why do we do this?
Is it for security; because if I lived as a Hindu in a world of Muslims, they would
kick me around? Or if I lived as a Protestant in Rome, I would find it awfully
difficult because Rome is the centre of Catholicism, right? Who has done all
this  –  made  this  colossal  mess?  You  have  done  it,  he  has  done  it,  she  has
done it. What will you do about it?Just talk about it? You don’t want to act; you
say, Let us carry on.
P20: You have no intention to help us but, when we are here, we find that
you help us. How does that happen?
K:  Too  bad.  I  do  not  want  to  help  anybody.  It  is  wrong  to  help  another,
except  surgically,  with  food,  and  so  on.  The  speaker  is  not  your  leader;  we
have said it a thousand times all over Europe, America and here.
P20: You may not help us, but you make us understand things.
K: No! We are having a conversation together. In that conversation we may
begin to see things clearly for ourselves. Therefore nobody is helping you; it is
a conversation.    65
P21: Yes, sir. K: Don’t say, `Yes sir’. Did you hear what I said – that the
speaker is not here to help you in any way? He is not your guru, you are not
his follower. The speaker says all that is an abomination.
P22:  Why  is  there  so  much  cruelty  in  nature  that  one  being  has  to  eat
another in order to survive?
K: A tiger lives on smaller things, right? So the big things eat little things.
And you are asking why nature is so cruel.
P22: No, sir. Why is there so much cruelty in nature?
K:  First  of  all,  why  is  there  so  much  cruelty  in  nature?  –  that  is  natural,
perhaps. Don’t say there is cruelty in nature. Why are you so cruel? Why are
human beings cruel?
P23: I want to get rid of my pain and sorrow; therefore, if anybody hurts me,
I also react or respond in a similar manner.
K: Sir, have you ever considered that all human beings suffer – all human
beings  in  the  world,  whether  they  live  in  Russia,  America,  China,  India,
Pakistan, wherever it is? All human beings suffer.
P23: Yes, sir.
K: Now, how do you solve that suffering?
P23: I am interested in my own suffering.
K: What are you doing about it?
P23: I have come here to be enlightened by you.
K: What shall we do together, sir, together? Not I help you or you help me;
what shall we do together to get rid of sorrow?
P23: I don’t know, sir.
K: Are you sure?
P23. Yes sir. K: No, no, answer carefully; this is a very serious question.
Are you sure you don’t know how to be free of sorrow?
P23: Yes, sir. I do not know how to get rid of my sorrow.    66
K. Just a minute, just a minute – remain in that state. Would you listen sir,
please? He said a very serious thing. He said, `I really don’t know how to be
free of sorrow.’ When you say, `I don’t know,’ is it that you are waiting to know?
You understand my question?
P23: Yes, sir.
K:  I  don’t  know  but  I  may  be  expecting  some  kind  of  answer.  Therefore
when I am expecting, I step out of not knowing.
P23: What does it mean – stay in not knowing?
K: I will tell you what it means; I am not helping you. It is a very serious
matter when you say I am not helping you, because we have been helped for
so many thousands of years. Sir, when you say `I don’t know,’ what does that
mean? I don’t know what Mars is. He is an astro-physicist, and I go to him to
find out what Mars is.
P23: But I am not interested in Mars.
K: I know you are not interested in Mars; nor am I. But I am taking that as
an example. I don’t know what Mars is, and I go to an astro-physicist and say,
`Sir, tell me what Mars is.’ He tells me that Mars is various combinations of gas
and all the rest of it, and I say, `That is not Mars; your description of Mars is
different from Mars.’ So I ask you, when you say `I don’t know,’ what do you
mean by that – `I don’t know’? I am not waiting for an answer – which may be
crooked,  which  may  be  false,  which  may  be  illusory,  therefore  I  am  not
expecting, right? Are you in that state – `I don’t know’?
P24: We are stunned when we remain in that state. K: Remain in that state.
I don’t know how to swim in the Ganga.
P25: I cannot do anything about it.
K: You cannot. When you do not know what is the cause of suffering, how it
can  be  ended  –  you  don’t  know,  right?  So  remain  in  that  state  and  find  out.
When  you  put  a  question  you  expect  an  answer,  don’t  you?  Be  honest,  be
simple. You expect an answer from a book, from another person or from some
philosopher – somebody to tell you the answer. Would you put a question and   67
listen  to  the  question?  You  understand  what  I  am  saying?  When  you  put  a
question,  would  you  wait  for  the  question  to  reveal  itself?  I  know  if  I  can
understand the question properly, I will find the answer. So the answer may be
in the question.
That is, I put a question to you; don’t try to find an answer, but find out if
you  have  understood  the  question  –  the  depth  of  the  question  or  the
superficiality  of  the  question  or  the  meaninglessness  of  the  question.  Would
you look at the question first? So I am suggesting, sir, if you put a question to
the speaker, the speaker says the question itself has vitality, energy, not the
answer because the answer is in the question. Right? Find out. The question
contains the answer.
P26: An intelligent mind can put a right question. I feel I am not intelligent at
all so how can I ask a right question?
K:  You  cannot.  But  you  can  find  out  why  you  are  not  intelligent.  He  is
intelligent,  I  am  not.  Why?  Is  intelligence  dependent  on  comparison?  You
understand, sir? Did you listen to my question?
P27:  Many  times  we  find  an  answer  to  our  question,  but  we  require
somebody else’s approval of that answer.
K: So the answer is not important but the approval of another is important.
P28:  The  correct  answer  is  important,  and  therefore  approval  of  the  correct
answer is required.
K: By whom? By your friends, who are equally unintelligent? By whom do
you  want  the  approval  –  public  opinion?  the  governor,  the  prime  minister  or
high priests? From whom do you want approval, sir? You don’t think at all; you
just repeat, repeat.
P29: Sir, I remain with the situation `I don’t know’, but it is tiresome.
K: Why is it tiresome?
P29: I try to find out.    68
K: Don’t try to find out. Here is a question: Why has man – why have we –
made  such  a  mess  of  the  world,  mess  of  our  lives,  mess  of  other  people’s
lives? You understand, sir? It is a mess, it is a confusion; why? Listen to the
question, go into the question.
Have you ever held in your hands a marvellous jewel? You look at it, don’t
you?  You  see  the  intricacies  of  it,  how  beautifully  it  is  put  together,  what
extraordinary  skill  has  gone  into  it,  right?  The  silversmith  must  have  had
marvellous hands. The jewel  is very important; you look at it, you cherish it,
you put it away in the case and look at it, don’t you?
P29: I want to have it.
K:  Yes,  you  have  it  in  your  hand,  sir;  I  am  saying  you  look  at  it.  Your
marvellous picture is painted by somebody or other and you look at it. It is in
your room, it is yours – you just do not hang it and forget it; you look at it. In the
same way, if I ask you a question, look at it, listen to the question. But we are
so  quick  to  answer  it,  so  impatient.  So  I  am  suggesting,  sir,  look  at  it,  take
time, weigh it, see the beauty of the question. It may be an utterly unimportant
question. Do it, sir. Then you will find that the question itself has a tremendous
energy.
P30: Why do we not change?
K: Why, sir? Why don’t you change.
P30: I don’t know, but I do not change.
K: Are you satisfied where you are?
P30: No.
K: Then change!
P31: Sir, I would like to ask a question, please. There is a teacher in a class
in which some boy is naughty. In order to put him right, he has to punish him.
Should he go through that exercise of punishment, which means violence?
K: What do you mean by the word `violence’? Don’t be quick, sir. What do
you mean by violence? Hitting each other – would you call that violence? I hit   69
you, you hit me back – that is a form of violence, isn’t it? The grown-up person
hits his child – that is a form of violence. Killing another is a form of violence,
harassing another is a form of violence, trying to imitate another is a form of
violence, right? Would you agree to that? Imitating, conforming to the pattern
of  another  –  that  is  violence,  right?  So  I  am  asking  you,  how  will  you  stop
psychological violence and physical violence? Don’t say people; how will you
stop it?
P32: Sir, why is there variety in nature?
K: Thank god! Why do you bother about nature? Why are you concerned
with nature?
P32: I am seeing the variety.
K: Don’t you see the variety here?
P32: I see it even outside.
K: What are you going to do about it? P32: I want to know why.
K: Sir, I would request you to study yourself first, know yourself first. You
know about everything outside you, but you know nothing about yourself. This
has  been  an  old  question.  The  Greeks  have  put  it  in  their  own  way;  the
Egyptians, the ancient Hindus have said too – know yourself first. Will you start
with that?
P33: I am always putting this question to myself. Why am I in the bondage
of physical pain? I keep on asking this question, but I don’t get any answer.
K: You may be going to the wrong doctor. Sir, I know people who go from
doctor to doctor. They have plenty of money, so they are trotting around from
one doctor to another. Do you do that, or is it psychological pain?
P33: Physical as well as psychological.
K: Which is important? Which is a greater pain?
P33: When the physical pain is extreme, surely it is the physical pain that is
important.    70
K:  Sir,  you  have  not  answered  my  question.  To  what  do  you  give
importance?
P33: At the moment when I am suffering, I give importance to that.
K:  You  have  not  answered  my  question,  sir,  have  you?  I  am  asking  you
which is more important – psychological pain or physical pain?
P33: What do you mean by psychological pain?
K:  I  will  tell  you.  Pain  of  fear,  pain  of  loneliness,  pain  of  anxiety,  pain  of
sorrow  and  so  on  –  all  that  is  in  the  psyche.  Now,  to  what  do  you  give
importance – to the psychological or to the physical pain?
P33: Psychological. K: Do you, really?
P33: Yes, sir.
K: Are you being obstinate, sir? If you give importance to the psychological
pain, who is going to be the doctor?
P33: I.
K: What do you mean by `I’? You are the pain. You are not different from
the `I’. The `I’ is made up of pain, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, fear, pleasure –
all that is the `I’.
P34: If I have understood that there is urgency to be aware all the time,
how is it that I remain in that state only for a very short while during the day?
K: Because you don’t understand what it means to be aware.
Sir, here is a question. It is a fact that the various centres of the KFI [The
Krishnamurti Foundation, India] constantly and continuously stress and spread
that they are the centre of K’s teaching. So now when we have the Buddha’s
teaching,  Christ’s  teaching  and  Krishnamurti’s  teaching,  are  these  so-called
teachings  of  K  going  to  meet  the  same  fate  as  those  of  the  Buddha  and
Christ? Have you understood the question?
Sir, K has thought a great deal about the word `teaching’. We thought of
using the word `work’ – ironworks, big building works, hydroelectric works, you
understand? So I thought `work’ was very, very common. So we thought we   71
might use the word `teaching’, but it is not important – the word – right? The
teachings of the Buddha nobody knows. I have asked them about the original
teachings of the Buddha, but nobody knows. And Christ may have existed or
may not have existed. That is a tremendous problem, whether he existed at
all. We have discussed with great scholars about that. I would not go into it.
And  will  K’s  teachings  also  disappear  like  the  rest?  You  understand  my
question?
P35: I have not said it.
K: Of course you have not said it; somebody has written it. Therefore it is
interesting. The questioner says – probably you also think – that when K goes,
as he must go, what will happen to the teaching? Will it go as the Buddha’s
teachings, which have been corrupted? You know what is happening; will the
same fate await K’s teaching? You have understood the question? It depends
upon you, not upon somebody  else.  It depends upon you – how  you  limit  it,
how you think about it, what it means to you. If it means nothing except words,
then it will go the way of the rest. If it means something very deep to you, to
you personally, then it won’t be corrupted. You understand? So it is up to you,
not up to the centres and information centres and all the rest of that business.
It depends upon you, whether you live the teachings or not.
P36: Has the truth its own power?
K: It has, if you let it alone.
P37: Sir, that question was put by me. May I clarify the question – what I
mean by that?
K: Yes, sir, what is the question?
P37: Now, my question is this: You have so many times repeated for 70
years that you do not convince anybody of anything, you are not a teacher,
you do not teach anything to anybody. Now I say that the centres of the KFI –
whose  president  you  are  –  they  invite  the  public,  `Come  here,  here  are  the
teachings  of  Krishnamurti;  you  study  here  what  he  has  to  say.  He  has   72
discovered so many things. Please come here and try to study.’ You say you
work as a mirror; when I use the mirror, does the mirror help me? K: Yes.
P37:  It  does  help  me,  the  light  is  helping  me.  Are  these  things  not  your
teachings? So there is no harm if you say you are teaching something, you are
clearing something. You yourself say that you work as a mirror; anything which
works as a mirror is definitely helping me.
K: Yes, sir.
P37: That is my question.
K: Sir, in all his talks K has emphasized the fact that he is merely a mirror –
right? – that he is merely a mirror reflecting what your life is. And he has also
said you can break up that mirror if you have seen yourself very clearly; the
mirror is not important. But what has happened throughout the world? They all
want to be on the bandwagon. You know what that means? All want to share
in the circus.
So I say, please don’t bother,just listen to the teachings; if somebody wants
to form a little centre in Gujarat, let him do it, but he has no power to say that
he represents K, that he is a follower. He can say anything he likes, he is free
to do what he likes. We are not imposing on anybody that they should do this
or do that. Say, for instance, he starts by buying videos and all the rest of it
and collects a few friends in his house. That is his affair. We are not saying,
`Don’t do this, do that.’ If anybody did that, I would say, `Sorry, do not do it.’
But they like to do it, they like to be interpreters, gurus in their little way. You
know the game you all play. So if you want to do that, you are welcome to do
it. The Foundation – unfortunately, I happen to belong to it, or fortunately – says
you are free to do what you like – you understand, sir? Buy books, read books,
burn books of K, do anything you like. It is in your hands. If you want to live it,
live it; if you don’t want to live it, it is all right, it is your business. Is this clear
once and for all?
P37: Yes, sir.    73
K: The Foundation has no authority over your life, to tell you what not to do,
or to say: `This is the centre from which all radiation goes,’ like a radio station
or  a  television  station;  we  are  not  saying  that.  All  we  are  saying  is:  Here  is
something which may be original, or may not be original; here is something for
you to look at. Take time to read it; take time to understand it. If you are not
interested, throw it away; it does not matter. If you like to live that way, live it. If
you  do  not,  just  drop  it.  Don’t  make  a  lot  of  noise  around  you.  Do  you
understand what I am saying, sir? Don’t make a circus of it, a song-and-dance
– don’t say that you have understood and will tell others all about it. Right, sir?
It is time to stop. Now, if I may ask, what have you got out of this morning’s
talk,  discussion?  Nothing  or  something?  I  am  just  asking,  sir,  what  has
flowered in you after this morning? Like a flower blooms overnight, what has
bloomed in you? What has come out of you?
P38: That we should have the habit of thinking together.
K: Did you really think together?
P38: Yes, I did.
K: Together – you and I – or were you talking to yourself?
P38: I was talking to myself also.
K: Yes. So I am just asking – you don’t have to tell the speaker anything – I
am just asking politely, if I may: We have met for over an hour, talked together,
said  many  things  according  to  our  opinions;  at  the  end  of  the  journey  this
morning, where are you? – where we started, where we ended, or is there a
new flowering? I am not going to say where you are. That will be impudence
on my part, right?
It is an extraordinary world, sir! You don’t seem to realize it is a marvellous
world, the earth – beautiful, rich, vast plains, deserts, rivers, mountains and the
glory of the land. This is an unique country. But human beings are set to kill
each  other  for  the  rest  of  their  lives.  If  you  go  on  like  this,  you  will  keep  on
repeating  the  pattern:  killing,  killing,  killing.  You  may  repeat  the  most   74
marvellous poems in Sanskrit (I do too), but all that is not worth a cent if you
don’t live it. That is all, sir.    75
– Rishi Valley 1985 –
Chapter 8 2nd Dialogue With Teachers
Rishi Valley 7th December 1985
Krishnamurti  (K):  May  I  raise  a  very  difficult  question?  How  would  you,  if
you  had  a  son  here  or  a  daughter,  want  to  educate  them,  to  bring  about  a
holistic life?
You’ve  got  so  many  students  here  –  capable,  intelligent.  Through  what
means,  what  kind  of  attitude,  what  kind  of  verbal  explanation,  would  you
educate them in a holistic way of living? I mean by `holistic’, whole, unbroken,
not splintered up, not fragmented, as most of our lives are. So my question is,
if I may put it to you, how do you bring about a holistic way of living, an outlook
that’s not fragmented in specializations?
First Teacher (T1): Sir, first we must be holistic ourselves.
K: That’s understood, sir. But first of all, you are educators here, including
myself (if you will permit me). I am happy in Rishi Valley, I like the place, the
beauty of it, the hills, the rocks, the flowers, the shadows on the hills. I am one
of the educators here; parents send me one of their children and I want to see
that they live a life that is whole. Whole means good.
`Good’,  not  in  the  ordinary  sense  of  that  word;  not  the  traditional  word
`good: a good boy, a good husband – that’s all very limited. The word `good’
has much greater significance when you relate goodness to wholeness. Good,
then, has the quality of being extraordinarily generous; good has that sense of
not wanting to hurt another consciously; good, in the sense that it is correct –
not only for the moment, correct all the time. Correct in the sense that it does
not depend on circumstances; if it is correct now, it will be correct a hundred
years  later  or  ten  days  later.  Correctness  with  goodness  is  not  related  to
environment,  circumstances,  pressures  and  so  on.  From  that  comes  right
action. So, goodness and a holistic way of living go together. In what manner
am I going to see that the boy grows in goodness and a holistic way of living?
Do we rely on each other? Is it an individual problem, or is it a problem of the   76
whole school, the whole body? So the action must be comprehensive – not that
that  gentleman  thinks  one  way  and  I  think  another  way  about  goodness;  it
must be a cohesive action. Now, is that possible?
Sir, in the word `holistic’ is implied not the orthodox, the organized, but that
quality of religion which we will go into presently. How am I, living here as an
educator, to bring this about?
T2:  The  first  thing  we  have  to  do  is  to  make  the  child  feel  secure  in  his
relationship.  It  seems  to  me  that  unless  the  child  feels  secure  in  his
relationship, with me and the place, nothing can happen.
T3: I want to find out whether what you say is really what I want to do. If I
feel that is really what I want to do, then I must find out what I mean by that,
what is the content of my feelings.
T4: Would it be necessary, if you and I are working together in the school,
to find out, not what I mean by that or what you mean, but rather find out if
there is something that is valid for all of us? Not because we stick to an idea or
come together around an idea, but in the investigation we say together, «This
is it.»
K:  Sir,  do  we  understand  what  it  means  to  live  a  holistic  life?  Or  is  it  a
theory?  T3:  Sir,  perhaps  we  merely  understand  by  contrast.  We  see
fragmentation in ourselves…
K: If you see fragmentation or breaking up in yourself, then you have the
problem of how to get rid of it, how to be whole. I don’t want a problem about it.
Then I have already broken it up.
T3: Despite that, the fact remains that we are fragmented.
K:  Just  a  minute.  I  know  I  am  fragmented;  my  whole  thinking  process  is
fragmented.  And  also  I  know  I  mustn’t  make  a  problem  of  it  because  then
that’s another fragmentation.
T3: My feeling of fragmentation is itself a problem – I don’t make a problem;
I see a problem.    77
K:  I  understand.  I  realize  I  am  fragmented,  but  I  don’t  want  to  make  a
problem of it.
T3: But, sir, doesn’t it mean that when I see that I am fragmented, it is a
problem?
K: That’s what I want to get at, which is – I see I am fragmented: I say one
thing and I do another, think one thing and contradict what I think. And I also
see very clearly that I mustn’t make a problem of it.
T3: Perhaps I don’t see that clearly.
K:  That’s  what  I  want  to  discuss.  If  I  make  a  problem  of  it,  I  am  already
further fragmenting.
T3: But there is an in-between stage.
K: I don’t want that. I am fragmented, broken up in different ways. If I make
a problem of it, saying to myself, I must not be fragmented, that very statement
is born out of fragmentation. Something born of fragmentation is another form
of  fragmentation.  But  my  brain  is  trained  to  make  problems.  So  I  must  be
aware of the whole cycle of it. So what am I to do?
T1:  You  say  to  that,  `I  should  not  make  a  problem  of  it.’  Do  we  have  a
choice, or is it automatic? When we see the fragmentation within us, we say, `I
would not like to make a problem of it.’
K: See the truth, not `I will not make a problem.’ I see the fact that if I make
a  problem  of  it,  it’s  another  fragmentation.  That’s  all.  I  see  it.  I  don’t  say,  I
mustn’t get rid of it or I must get rid of it, so what am I to do?
T1: Is there anything to be done in this case?
K: I am going to show you presently. Don’t be so eager, if you don’t mind
my saying so.
T1: The way I see it, there is nothing to be done except actually watching,
observing.
K: Just a minute, sir. Don’t come to that conclusion. What am I to do?
T1: Observe.    78
K: Don’t tell me, sir. These are words. Seeing that I am fragmented, aware
that whatever I do is another kind of fragmentation, what is left for me? You
don’t put yourself in that position; you have already come to a conclusion. So
conclusion  is  another  fragmentation.  I  have  this  question:  Is  there  a  way  of
living  holistically  in  which  is  involved  the  quality  of  a  religious  mind,  deep
goodness,  without  any  mischief,  without  any  duality?  Am  I  making  it
complicated?
T5: No, sir.
K:  Why  not,  sir?  My  whole  being  thinks  dualistically.  It’s  always  in
opposition in the sense that I want to do this and yet I mustn’t do it; I should do
it, but I don’t like to do it, and so on. It always takes opposing positions. So,
what is left for me? I see all this at a glance, or through analysis. And I see it is
like that. Then my question is: what am I to do? Don’t tell me: you should or
shouldn’t – I don’t accept anything from you; I am very sceptical by nature.
T1:  You  are  asking  the  question:  what  am  I  to  do?  When  there  is
observation, no question arises.
K: Are you doing it?
T1: Yes.
K: Are you doing it? If you are not doing it and you say we must try, you are
in  contradiction,  therefore  duality,  therefore  fragmentation,  and  hence  no
goodness.
T6: As soon as you say or think about a holistic state of goodness, you are
already in contradiction.
K:  No,  you  are  not  in  contradiction.  You  are  only  putting  it  into  words.
What’s your action when you want to educate your student in this goodness?
The school has a certain reputation, a certain eclat – a feeling about it. And
there is a certain atmosphere in this valley. And I sent you my son, hoping that
you will help him to grow in this holistic way of life. I am communicating, I am
not contradicting.    79
T5: It is in the way I posit the question that the contradiction arises.
K:  I  understand.  We  are  trying  to  investigate  the  question,  not  lay  down
laws about it. At least I’m not. I really want to find out what way I can help the
student. I may not be holistic. Don’t say: first I must be holistic, and then I can
teach. Then you are dead. Then that will take an eternity. If you say: I must
first be holistic, then you have stymied yourself. Sir, I am not saying anything. I
really don’t know what to do with these children whose parents want them to
join the IIT [Indian Institute of Technology] or something or other. And I’ve got
the tremendous opposition of society – the father, the mother, the grandfather,
wanting the boy to have a job and all that. How am I to bring this about? You
don’t answer me.
T4: Krishnaji, I am not answering the question how am I to bring this about;
I’m looking at fragmentation.
K:  What  does  that  mean?  Follow  it  out  –  I  am  fragmented,  the  boy  is
fragmented. Right, sir?
T4: Right.
K: Then what’s the relationship between me and the boy?
T4: We are learning together.
K: Don’t use phrases quickly. What’s my relationship with the student who
is fragmented like myself?
T7: I am not different from him.
K: Of course you are different from him – you teach maths; he doesn’t know
any. Don’t say you are not different from him.
T4: There is no relationship at all if I am fragmented.
K:  please,  sir,  answer  my  question:  I  am  fragmented,  and  I  am  your
student. What’s our relationship? Or, is there any relationship at all? Or, are
we on the same level?
T5: It can only be a fragmented relationship.
K: What is actually my relationship?    80
T5: There doesn’t seem to be any.
K: That’s all. How can fragments have a relationship?
T6: Why not?
K: Are you really asking me that question?
T6: Yes. K: You answer it, You ask me a question, and I am too eager to
reply to it. So it goes on between you and me: I answer it and then you counter
it; then I counter it, and so on. He asks me a question and he expects me to
answer  it,  and  I  say:  I  won’t  answer  it  because  in  the  question  itself  is  the
answer. So, can we look at the question and wait for it to flower? My question
is very, very serious. The question itself contains the answer if you let it flower,
if you let it alone, not cover it immediately with a response. Your response is
already conditioned, already personal. So leave the question. If the question
has depth, significance, vitality, then the question unfolds.
Now, sir, is there truth? Does truth exist? You don’t know, if you’re honest;
so we leave the question. Let’s look at the question, and the question begins to
unfold: Is there truth, or only active, vital, illusion? I won’t go into that. If the
question has depth, if the question has a sense of great vitality – because you
are  asking  the  question  in  great  inward  searching  –  let  the  question  answer
itself. It will if you leave it alone.
Now I am coming back to my original question.
T8: I have a child come to me. I am fragmented, he is fragmented. So there
is no relationship?
K: Are you sure there is no relationship, or are you just saying it?
T8: I think I am sure there is no relationship in the fragmented state, and I
find that any response that I give to the student would itself be a fragmented
response.
K: Yes. Stop there. Then, what will you do? Whatever relationship I have is
still fragmented. Is that a reality or a verbal statement?    81
T8:  It  seems  a  reality  to  me.  K:  Either  it  is  real  in  the  sense  that  the
microphone is real; that’s not an illusion. The word microphone is not that. I
don’t know if you get the quality of it.
So we must come back. What am I to do, sir? You tell me.
T8: Am I fooling myself that I can give a holistic education?
K: We are going to find out, you and I, whether it is possible to do it or not.
The  first  statement  is:  we  are  fragmented.  Let’s  stick  to  that.  We  are  both
fragmented, and I don’t know what to do. What does that mean to you – I don’t
know; I don’t know what to do? Then, I must investigate. When I say, I don’t
know, I really mean I don’t know. Or, am I waiting for somebody else to tell me,
so I will know? Which is it?
T8: At the moment the latter.
K: Is there a state of the brain when it says: I really don’t know? I am not
waiting for him to answer, or expecting someone else to tell me. All these are
states when I am waiting for an answer. But no one can answer this because
they are all fragmented. Therefore I am waiting, watching, looking, observing,
listening to the question. I don’t know what to do. Then I ask myself, `What’s
the state of my brain which says: «I don’t know»?’
T5: At that point of time, it’s not functioning.
K: `I don’t know’. Or are you waiting for it to know?
T5: Waiting for it to know.
K: Therefore, you are waiting to know; you will know. Therefore your brain
is not saying, `I don’t know.’ It’s all very logical, you know.
T3: The brain doesn’t say it doesn’t know.
K: That’s it, that’s the first thing – the brain never acknowledges or remains
in  the  state  `I  don’t  know’.  You  ask  me:  `What  is  Ishvara?’  and  I  promptly
answer. You have read, or you believe or you don’t believe; Ishvara comes as
a symbol to you. But if you ask, `What is the element which created this?’ it’s a
tremendously interesting question: What is the beginning of life? What is the   82
life in the seed that you plant? The life of man – what is the origin of that life,
the very cell? I am not going into this now – it leads off somewhere else, it’s too
complicated.
So I don’t know how to deal with that boy or with myself. Any action I do,
any  movement  of  thought,  is  still  out  of  fragmentation,  right?  So  I  leave  it
alone. May I proceed?
T6: Please, sir.
K:  What  is  love?  Is  it  related  to  hate?  If  it  is  related,  love  then  is  still
fragmentation. Do you understand what I am saying, sir?
T6: Love is not the opposite of hate.
K: What is love? It has nothing to do with pity, sympathy – all the rest of it.
What is love? You don’t know. Is that state of not-knowing love?
I don’t know what to do with that boy or girl; we are both fragmented. I can
teach  him  mathematics,  geography,  history,  biology,  chemistry,  psychiatry,
anything – but that’s nothing. This demands much deeper enquiry, very much
deeper. So I say, what is it that is completely holistic? Certainly not thought –
thought is experience. It’s certainly not sympathy, not generosity, not empathy,
not saying: `You’re a nice chap.’ Love has – what?
T5: Compassion.
K:  Love,  compassion  –  that  is  the  only  thing  that’s  holistic.  I’m  just
discovering something for myself. I say, love isn’t thought, love isn’t pleasure.
Don’t accept this; for god’s sake that is the last thing you should do. Love is
utterly  unrelated  to  hate,  jealousy,  anger  –  all  that.  Love  is  completely
unbreakable. It’s whole and it has its own intelligence.
T5: I have heard you say this before in different ways.
K: To know. Can you ever say about a person – `I know’? I know my wife?
T3: You shut off that person in some way.
K:  Yes.  If  I  say,  `I  know  you’  –  what  do  I  know  about  you?  So,  to  say  `I
know’ is fragmentation,    83
Sir, I asked a question, which is: can I help the student or talk to him? I
know I am fragmented, he is fragmented. And I also know, have a feeling, that
love is whole, that compassion, love, have their own intelligence. I am going to
see if that intelligence can operate.
T6: You say that love has its own intelligence; you say that love is holistic,
it’s not fragmented. Isn’t that just an assumption?
K: It’s not an assumption. Love is not an assumption – my god!
T6: Maybe it is, because I don’t know.
K: Remain there. You don’t know. Wait, find out; don’t answer. I don’t know
what the insides of a modern car are like. (I have, as a matter of fact, stripped
old cars.) So I want to learn about it. I go to a garage man and he teaches me
because I want to know how it works. I take the trouble; I take pains; I pay him,
if I have the money, or work with him till I know every part of that car. That
means I wish to learn, but I’m not sure you want to learn.
T2: But Krishnaji, this very wanting to learn…
K: Don’t translate into fragmentation. I don’t know how those cameras work,
and you say, learn about it. I ask him, and I become his apprentice; I watch
how he does it; I learn about it. Then I say: I know how to work that camera.
But  human  beings  are  not  like  cameras;  they  are  much  more  complicated.
They  are  like  a  messy  machine;  and  I  want  to  know  how  their  brain  works.
Either I become a biologist, a brain specialist, or I study myself, which is much
more exciting. So I learn how my brain works – there is nobody to teach me.
T2: There may be – I listen to you.
K: I don’t trust them. All their knowledge is from books or from their little
selves.  So  I  say,  I  am  going  to  investigate  this  whole  way  of  living,  not  just
parts of it.
So  let’s  come  back:  what  am  I  to  do  or  not  do?  The  question  is  much
deeper than merely the boy and the girl whom I’m educating. It might be that I
have not really understood what it means to lead a holistic life; not understood
intellectually even.    84
T2: If you mean intellectually, I would say yes.
K: No, no, no. Are you sure?
T2: I’m sure – intellectually.
K: So you have separated the intellect from the whole. Sir, listen; when you
say you have understood intellectually, it means just bananas.
T2: I don’t just say; I’ve understood intellectually.
K:  I  say,  sir,  you  are  not  listening.  When  one  says,  I  understood
intellectually, it means absolutely nothing; when you say  intellectually’,  that’s
another fragment.
T2: Yes, sir.
K:  So,  I  don’t  use  the  words:  `I  understand  intellectually.’  That’s  a  crime!
What  am  I,  an  educator  at  Rishi  Valley,  understanding  partially,  verbally,  a
holistic way of living and knowing that the student and I are both fragmented –
what am I going to do or not do? Are you listening?
I’m here, I’m responsible to the parents for that girl or boy. They have sent
them here because you have a good reputation, you look after them and all
that. He comes along and tells me: It’s all right, but what matters is a holistic
way of life, not intellectually but the whole psyche, the whole entity which is
now  fragmented;  if  that  can  be  made  whole,  then  you  have  the  most
extraordinary education. He tells me that and he goes away, and I don’t know
what  to  do.  I  understand  the  verbal  meaning  of  whole:  not  fragmented,  not
broken  up,  not  saying  one  thing,  thinking  something  and  doing  quite  the
opposite – all that is fragmentation of life. And I don’t know what to do; I really
don’t.  Deeply,  profoundly,  gravely,  seriously,  I  don’t  know  what  to  do.  Am  I
waiting  for  somebody  or  some  book  to  tell  me,  or  hoping  something  will
accidentally come along and give me, unfortunately, `insight’? I can’t wait for
that, because the boy is growing up and kicking around.
So, what shall I do? I know one thing absolutely for certain: I don’t know. All
my inventions, all my thinking have collapsed. I don’t know whether you feel
that way. I don’t know – so the brain is open for reception. The brain has been   85
closed by conclusion, by opinion, by judgement, by my problems; it is a closed
thing. When I say, I really don’t know, I’ve broken something; I’ve broken the
bottle – I can drink the champagne.
I begin to find out – when the bottle is broken. Then I find out what love is,
what  compassion  is,  and  that  intelligence  that’s  born  of  compassion.  It’s
nothing to do with the intellect.
Sir, we never come to the point when we say: I don’t know. Right? You ask
me  about  god,  I’ve  an  immediate  answer.  You  ask  me  about  chemistry,  out
comes the answer – the tap is open.
You see, I’m one of those idiots, sir; haven’t read a thing, except…
T2: And doesn’t think also.
K: The brain is like a drum; it’s all tuned up. When you strike it, it gives the
right note.    86
Chapter 9 3rd Dialogue With Teachers
Rishi Valley 17th December 1985
First Teacher (T1): Is a new mind the same as a good mind, a mind that is
flowering in goodness? If so, what is goodness? And, in particular, what is the
relationship of a new mind to an awareness of the wholeness of life? What is
the whole of life? Can we explore this in some depth?
KRISHNAMURTI (K): I wonder how you regard life. What do you consider
is the origin of life, the beginning of all existence? Not only of human beings,
but also the whole world, nature, the heavens and the stars? What is creation?
We  are  not  asking  what  invention  is.  Invention  is  based  on  knowledge.
Inventing more and more, is naturally based on knowledge. And what is our
life in relation to the whole of it? Not in relation to a particular specialized brain
but  in  relation  to  the  whole  world  which  is  a  total  movement,  including
ourselves, including humanity?
I  would  like  to  discuss  that  with  you  first.  Then,  is  there  a  difference
between our physical brain – the biological thing which is inside the skull – and
the mind? Or does the brain contain the mind, or is the mind totally different
from the brain?
And the third question, or movement – I would prefer it to be a movement,
not  a  question  –  What  would  you  call  goodness,  the  flowering  in  goodness?
Not static goodness, but a movement in goodness?
T1: What is life?
K: Yes, what is life? Not life in a particularised form like the ape, the tiger,
the squirrel, the tree, all that. What is the beginning of life?
And the other question is: Does the brain contain the mind, or is the mind
totally divorced from the brain? If the brain contains the mind, then the mind is
part  of  matter  –  right?  –  part  of  the  nervous  responses.  It  is  a  physical
phenomenon. And the mind surely is something totally different.    87
So, if the brain includes the mind, then it is part of our nervous, biological
reactions  of  fear,  sorrow,  pain,  pleasure,  the  total  consciousness.  Then  it  is
part of human creation. If the mind is part of an evolutionary process, then it is
part of time.
T2: May I ask a question?
K: Sir, you don’t have to ask me.
T2: Through logic, suppose we find that the mind is different from the brain;
and logic itself is part of the brain?
K:  Of  course  logic  is  part  of  the  brain,  and  logic  can  come  to  a  wrong
conclusion because it is still part of the brain.
So, what is life? What is the source of all this energy? What is the thing that
shoots out, making all this – the world, the earth, the mountains, the rivers, the
forests, the trees, the bear, the deer, the lion, the ape, the monkey, and us?
Is  time  involved  in  goodness?  If  time  is  involved  in  goodness,  it  is  not
goodness. Please answer me. Do you understand my question?
T3: Sir, there doesn’t seem at the moment to be a connection between the
two.  When  the  scientists  talk  of  the  origin  of  things,  I  believe,  the  generally
accepted  theory  is  that  there  was  the  big  bang,  an  enormous  explosion,
stemming  perhaps  from  some  primal  energy,  stemming  perhaps  from  some
infinitesimal  atom.  And  after  this  came  the  whole  multiplicity  of  things,  the
stars,  the  planets,  the  earth.  There  doesn’t  seem,  at  first  sight,  to  be  any
connection between that scientific explanation and goodness.
K: I am asking, sir, is time involved in goodness?
T3: Time is certainly involved in the evolution of things. That is obvious.
K: Is goodness part of time, cultivated or brought about through time?
T3: It doesn’t seem, if one looks at the scientific view of the origin of things,
as if goodness is involved in that at all. It seems completely neutral – not good,
not bad, not anything.    88
K:  I  understand  that,  but  I  am  asking  you  a  question  –  not  a  scientific
question. The question is: If time is involved in the cultivation of goodness, is
that goodness at all?
T3: Seems to be a different order of question.
K: I am asking you a different question. What is goodness? What do you all
think is goodness?
T3: There seems to be a version of goodness which is usually opposed to
badness or evil…
K:  Yes,  the  whole  duality  business.  Go  on,  sir.  What  is  goodness  here?
What do you think is goodness?
T4: Virtue can be practised in time.
K: I am not talking about virtue. To me virtue is a cultivation.
T5: Sir, when we say he is a good man, we generally mean that he doesn’t
harm  others.  He  doesn’t  act  always  out  of  self-interest,  gain…  It  is  a  quality
accumulated in time.
K: Is it? Is goodness the opposite of badness – if such a word exists? Is
good  the  opposite  of  bad?  T5:  Sir,  what  you  mean  by  this  question  is,  is
goodness a reaction to the bad and accumulated over time?
K: Yes, all that is implied in the question. One’s reaction, one’s education,
one’s culture, environment; all that is tradition – what you read in books and so
on. Always the good and the bad. The good fighting the bad, always, from the
ancient Egyptians to modern society. There was always the good and the bad,
the good god and the bad god, the bad guy and the good guy.
I am saying, if I may, that if the good is born out of the bad, then it is not
good.
T3: It is usually looked at the other way round – that the evil is a fall from the
good.    89
K: Sir, I am asking you, is the good related to the bad? Is good the opposite
of bad or the reaction which had become the good? Do you understand my
question? Or has good nothing to do with, is totally divorced from, bad?
T5: Sir, while I would be able to answer the first question, I am not able to
answer the second. The first question being, is the good related to the bad? I
would  say  no,  because  if  I  try  to  be  good,  then  automatically  the  bad
continues.
K: Sir, are you saying that the ideas of the whole evolutionary process of
the  good  and  the  bad,  from  the  most  ancient  times,  are  totally  mistaken?
That’s what we are saying. Do you understand? Come on, sir.
T5: Yes. That’s the implication.
K: That the good cannot fight the evil. Right? And throughout the history of
man,  good  is  always  fighting  evil.  Great  paintings,  great  art,  the  whole  of
human  existence  is  based  on  this  principle.  And  you  and  I  come  along  and
say, `Look, there is something wrong with this. Good is totally different from
bad; there is no relationship between them; therefore they cannot fight. Good
cannot overcome evil.’
T3: There is no progression either.
K:  Are  we  saying  something  totally  revolutionary?  Or  is  it  some  sort  of
fantasy or imagination of ours?
T6:  One  of  the  problems  we  face  is  that  we  have  grown  used  to  using
particular words in a particular way.
K: Our whole religious conditioning, our whole religious literature, is full of it.
There is always hell and heaven, good and bad.
So are we saying something totally revolutionary? And is it true? Something
revolutionary may not be true. If it is true, it has nothing to do with the brain.
T1:  The  implication  seems  to  be  that  goodness  exists  prior  to  man.  It
seems to mean that goodness is inherent in the universe.
K: Maybe.    90
T1: It seems to mean that.
K: We are asking the question in relation to what is the brain. What is the
mind? Can the mind penetrate the brain?
T1: Again this will imply that the mind is prior to the brain.
K:  Of  course.  Let  us  call  that  `intelligence’  for  the  moment.  Can  that
intelligence  communicate  through  the  brain?  Or  can  the  brain  not  have  any
relationship with that intelligence?
T7: Is the brain born of that intelligence?
K:  I’m  not  prepared  yet  for  that  question.  I  am  asking  you  the  question.
Don’t listen to me, sir. I’m not telling you; you and I are enquiring.
T1: I don’t want an answer. K: Are you finding out for yourself? Or are you
listening to the man? Or is what the speaker says clearing a way for you to
see?
T1:  This  question  seems  to  direct  our  attention  to  the  universe.  Or  to
nature.
K: That’s what we want to get at. Slowly. Is the universe – our idea of the
universe – different from us? It’s all one movement – the stars, the heavens, the
moon, the sun; one tremendous energy. Our energy is very limited. Can that
limitation be broken down and we be part of that enormous movement of life?
T1: Would you call this enormous movement `nature’?
K: No, I wouldn’t call it nature. Nature is part of us.
T1: This total movement.
K: Is there such a movement? Not `I join the movement’ because I am such
a small speck. I think I can be very clever; I think I can do this, do that. Can all
that  be  broken  down  and  be  part  of  this  enormous  movement?  I  call  this
goodness.  I  may  be  wrong.  The  window  which  is  so  narrow  now  must  be
broken  down,  and  then  –  no  window  at  all.  I  don’t  know  if  I  am  expressing
myself.    91
What then is life? Is it that immense intelligence which is energy, supreme,
unconditioned, uneducated – in the sense of the modern term – something that
has no beginning and no end?
T5: Are you implying that creation does not involve time?
K: Invention involves time. Now they are trying to find a cure for cancer. All
the books, magazines talk about new methods, to cure cancer. The discovery
involves  time  and  knowledge,  built  on  what  the  previous  person  has
discovered. I learn from you, you learn from him. Creation cannot involve time.
I  don’t  know  if  you  see.  T8:  When  you  are  talking  about  time,  you  mean
psychological time.
K: Of course, psychological time.
So goodness is not involved in time, therefore it is part of that intelligence
which is universal movement. I’m using words I may withdraw later.
Here I am then with a thousand students. As a good educator, I want to see
that they understand all this. Not intellectually, not theoretically, not as some
fantastic idea, but so that there is real transformation – no, not transformation –
so that a real mutation takes place in their lives.
T1:  When  you  say  `immense  intelligence’,  the  word  `intelligence’  implies
some quality of awareness.
K: It may not.
T1: But then, what is the quality that is intelligent?
K: Probably it has no quality. It is intelligence. You see what you are doing.
You are giving it a virtue, a significance, so that you can understand it. I may
not be capable of understanding it. I don’t know. You see, it may be something
incredible  or  it  may  be  nothing  at  all.  I  can’t  approach  this  with  a  mind  that
says, show me your qualifications, show me your degree.
So what am I to do after an educational conference? What am I to do, as
an  educator,  to  bring  about  a  mutation?  Not  a  transformation;  there  is  a
difference. Transformation means from one to another, from this to that.    92
T9: Sir, can we come back to something we skipped over some time ago?
We talked about the ending of the limitation we are trapped in; that ending and
something else happening. Can we go back to that? For there seems to be
something  in  that  we  quickly  skipped  over.  K:  My  brain  has  been  educated,
has lived in tradition, whether ancient or modern tradition, my brain has been
mauled about, informed, beaten, by all the conditioning that has gone on for
centuries. Can that be broken down? Is that your question? Are you sure?
T9: Yes. All of those things that make it possible for this brain to have any
relationship with goodness.
K: Let’s break it down to one word: consciousness. Can we?
T9: Yes.
K: Or `limitation’ or `conditioning’, Can all that be broken down? Not through
time – that is important. If I use time, I am back in the circle. Do you see that?
T9: Yes, sir.
K: So it must be broken down. Instantly. Not in comparison to, or in relation
to, time.
T10: Again, you mean psychological time.
K: Yes, of course. Psychological time is different from ordinary time. I don’t
know  if  you  see  that.  Do  you?  Time  by  that  clock,  time  by  the  sun,  time  to
cover a physical distance. We don’t know each other, but if we meet often, we
will.  Or  we  may  know  each  other  instantly.  So  there  is  physical  time  and
psychological  time.  We  are  talking  of  psychological  time.  It  takes  time  for  a
seed to grow, for a child to become a man. We apply that kind of time to the
psyche. I am this, but I will be that; I am not brave, but give me time and I will
be. We are talking of time in the field of the psyche.
T1: Can the limitation of consciousness be broken?
K: That is the question. Can the limited brain – which is knowledge – break
down the whole field of the psyche? Can the brain break it down – the limited   93
brain? However much it has evolved, this brain will always be limited. T1: By
it’s knowledge.
K: It is limited by its physical structure, by its very physical environment, by
its tradition, education, knowledge, pain, fear, anxiety. Can that limitation break
itself down?
T9: Or, can anything else break it down?
K: Wait, sir. Stick to the one question. Can the limited brain break down its
own limitation?
T8: Sir, you said good is not related to bad.
K: Don’t begin all that. Let’s stick to the one question: Can the smallness of
the  brain  break  down  its  own  pettiness?  Or  is  there  another  factor  that  will
break it down? God? Saviour? Vishnu? It can invent god and wait for him to
clear it up. Do I make myself clear? Both of you have put that question. After
putting  that  question,  what  is  the  state  of  your  brain?  After  putting  that
question,  what  has  happened  to  your  brain?  The  question  is  important,  has
weight,  has  great  significance.  Tell  me,  what  is  the  state  of  your  brain  after
putting that question? It is very important to find out.
T11: It is not depending on god. It is not sure.
K:  Are  you  listening?  You  have  been  asking  a  question.  It  may  be  very
important, or it may not have any meaning at all. So, I am asking myself: What
is the state of your brain after putting that question?
T11: After listening to the question – `Can the petty brain break down its
own pettiness?’ – what first arose in my brain was: I doubt it, I doubt whether
the petty brain can break down its pettiness.
K: Your brain is acting.
T11: Then it said, `I don’t know.’
K:  But  you  are  still  saying  something.  Your  brain  is  still  active,  saying,  `I
don’t  know,  I’m  waiting.’  T11:  Sir,  why  did  you  use  the  words,  `You  are
waiting?’    94
K: Don’t bother. Your brain is active. So what is happening?Just watch, sir.
One of them puts this question to me. How do I receive this question? How do
I interpret the question? If I interpret the question, I’m not listening to it. So, am
I actually listening to the question? Or, as the question is put, do I immediately
respond  to  something,  in  which  case  I  am  not  listening  at  all?  It’s  a  verbal
communication and I pass it by.
So, do I listen? That implies a certain quality of quietness – a thoughtless
movement,  a  thoughtless  looking.  What  is  the  state  of  your  brain  when  a
serious question is put? If your brain is at all active, then the question has no
meaning. Am I making myself clear?
Someone puts that question to me. What is important is how I receive it, not
the  answer.  I  listen  very  carefully.  The  question  is,  `Can  the  narrow,
conditioned  brain  break  down  its  conditioning?’  I’m  listening  to  the  question.
I’m  still  listening  to  the  question.  Am  I  actually  listening  or  just  saying  I’m
listening? If I’m actually listening, then there is no movement in the brain at all.
Of  course,  there  is  a  nervous  response  –  hearing  through  the  ear,  etc.  But,
apart  from  the  verbal  communication,  there  is  no  other  movement.  I’m  still
listening – that is the breaking down. I don’t know if you know what I’m talking
about.
T. Because the brain is not acting.
K: Don’t translate it. I don’t know if I am making myself clear – that the very
state of listening is the state of ending of a certain thing.
So, is that happening? If that is happening to you, then how am I, as an
educator, to make those students, for whom I’m responsible, listen? How am I
to  help  them  to  listen  to  what  I  have  to  say?  T6:  There  is  a  difficulty  here.
When  you  explain  something  in  person,  it  seems  clear.  But  tomorrow
morning…
K: Then you haven’t heard. You’ve heard the hiss of a cobra, haven’t you? I
used to hear them very often when I walked alone here. I used to see them.   95
And I know a cobra now. Even tomorrow, I will know a cobra. That is an actual
fact. Right? Here some kind of sensitivity, watchfulness, alertness is needed.
How am I, as an educator, having heard all this, having absorbed it in my
blood – it’s not as if I just heard you, therefore I learnt it, it’s not just that – but
after having heard all that, how am I to see that the students listen to me? You
make them listen to you in mathematics, learning a book, biology, history, etc.
Suppose I come to a class and I say, `Please sit down and listen.’ They’re
looking out of the window, they are pulling each other’s hair. In that state of
mind, can they listen? Or, do I say, `Keep quiet for ten minutes’? But these ten
minutes are gone in battling; the brain saying, `I must listen, who the hell is he,
asking  me  to  listen?’  And  all  the  rest  of  it.  So,  how  do  I  cajole,  bring  round
these students to listen?
Sir, how do you make your – I was going to say `victims’ – listen to you?
How does a doctor or a psychiatrist make a patient listen to him? The patient
is  all  the  time  concerned  about  getting  cured.  He  has  a  particular  disease,
mania, etc., he wants to be free of it. Tell him what to do and he will do it. Here
it is not like that. We are all equals; there is no doctor, nobody to tell you. We
are in a state of listening, of enquiry. How do we persuade one person to listen
to another? Answer the question.
T5: Either of the two ways, sir. Either I entertain him, or I force him.
K:  Yes.  I  don’t  want  to  do  either  –  force,  fight,  or  beat  him  up.  T5:  Or
entertain?
K: It is all the same. I want them to listen, so that it is all part of their blood.
So, how do we proceed, sir?
T8: Must I not listen to them? To what they have to say?
K: They have very little to say, sir. They’re quarrelling, muttering, saying,
`Give me this, that,’ etc.
So, I am asking you as educators, `How do I bring them round to actually
listening to what I have to say?’ See how long it has taken us to listen to each
other. You are willing to listen, to find out. You think K has something to say,   96
we  have  invited  him  here.  Therefore,  there  is  communication  already  taking
place.  But  with  those  students  it  is  different.  They  are  forced  to  come  here,
their  parents  praise  Rishi  Valley.  They  come  after  swallowing  the  bitter  pill,
coated  with  sugar,  of  course.  And  so  this  goes  on.  Here,  with  you,  it  is
different. You don’t want to do a thing to persuade them. It is marvellous. Put
that question to yourself and see what you can do.
T9: Sir, I think it is obvious that we cannot answer this question; and yet
this seems to be central to all that we mean to do. That actually is quite a good
summary of the conference.
K: I understand what you are saying.
T1: Perhaps here we come back to the beginning – that it requires an action
which is creative.
K: Now you’ve said it. Leave it there. Work it out. That creativity is not born
of  knowledge  or  previous  experience.  Keep  that  in  mind.  If  it  makes  use  of
knowledge, then it becomes invention, just a new way of doing the same thing.
We are asking a very, very serious question. I think it may be that we are all
so terribly informed – about everything. Maybe we are so educated that there is
no space for anything new to take place; full of memories, remembrances. All
that may be a hindrance. Now, don’t ask, `How am I to get rid of it?’ Then we
come back to the same thing.
Suppose you tell me I’m a liar. And I give you all the reasons why I’ve lied –
which is another lie. I hear the word `lie’ and I react. I think I’m an honest man.
I may not be, but I think I am. Those are two different things. Or, I think I am a
truthful  man  and  an  incident  takes  place  which  makes  me  untruthful.  That
instant of discovery – seeing I’m a liar – changes everything. That is my point. It
changes me so that I’m no longer dishonest. I’ve experimented with this. So it
is possible. No, I can’t even say that.
Can  I  listen  to  you  when  you  tell  me  I’m  a  liar  and  not  bring  up  all  the
reasons? In that act of listening, there is a breakdown.    97
T3: Surely if the statement is true, there is a breakdown. If I’m not a liar,
then there isn’t.
K: No, sir. The word `lie’ is good enough for me. You understand? I know
the reasons why I’ve lied: a little bit of cowardice. I lied because I don’t want
them to discover this or that. And when you call me a liar, then I see the actual
fact that it is so. I don’t go into all the reasons why I’ve lied. And you tell me,
`You  are  that.’  And  I  listen  to  you  without  saying  whether  you  are  right  or
wrong, not putting up a barrier. In that very instant when I am listening without
barriers, the thing goes. Something happens. That is the only action, which is
inaction.
T3: But the statement itself may be false.
K: May be false. But good enough for me to see that there is some truth in
it.
Now,  where  are  we  after  four  days?  Are  we  together?  What  have  you
absorbed? And is that absorption common to us all, or are we trying to unify all
the schools – being but parts – trying to put them together? Which means that
they will always be apart. Or is there a feeling that we are all one, so that our
education is not based on American, Indian or English conditions?
So, are we merely a body to supply demands? Or are we to bring about a
different human quality, a different human activity of the brain? Are we united
in that? Are we together in this? Are we together so that nothing can break us
apart? From that, an action which is totally different can take place.    98
– Madras 1986 –
Chapter 10 2nd Public Talk
Madras 1st January 1986
ON A WEEK-DAY, to see so many people seems rather absurd, doesn’t it?
Last time we met here – it was Saturday – we talked about what is love. You
may  remember  if  you  were  here.  We  are  going  to  enquire  together  –  and  I
mean together – into this whole problem; it’s very, very complex. If you don’t
mind,  you  have  to  think  –  not  just  agree;  you  have  to  exercise  your  brain,
thinking it out. So we are going to enquire together into this problem of what is
love.  Together.  You  and  I  are  walking  up  the  same  street;  you  are  not  just
following the speaker; you are not saying: `Yes, this sounds good; so do the
Upanishads and so does the Geeta,’ and all that bilge.
First of all, one has to doubt, be sceptical of your experiences, conclusions,
thoughts.  Doubt.  Question  –  not  accepting  a  thing  from  any  book,  including
mine; I’m a passer by, not important. And we are going to enquire together to
see what is clear, and what is not clear. We are together examining, doubting,
never accepting what the speaker has to say. This is not a lecture to guide, to
instruct,  to  help;  that  would  be  too  stupid.  We’ve  had  that  kind  of  help  for
generations upon generations and we are what we are now.
We must start from what we are now, not what we have been in the past or
what we will be in the future. What we shall be in the future is what we are
now. Our greed, our envy, our jealousy, our great superstitions, our desire to
worship somebody – this is what we are now. So we are together walking up a
very long street – it requires energy – and we are going to go into this question:
What  is  love?  To  enquire  very  deeply,  very  profoundly  into  it,  we  must  also
enquire: What is energy? Every gesture you make is based on energy. While
you are listening to the speaker, you are exercising energy. To build a house,
to plant a tree, to make a gesture, to talk, all these require energy. The crow
calling, the rising and setting sun, all this is energy. The cry of the baby out of   99
the womb is part of energy. To play a violin, to speak, to marry, have sex –
everything on earth requires energy.
So we start: what is energy? This is one of the questions of the scientists.
And they say: Energy is matter. It may be matter, but previous to that, what is
primordial energy? What is its origin, the source? Who created this energy?
Careful.  Don’t  say  `god’,  and  run  away  with  that.  I  don’t  accept  god;  the
speaker has no god. Is that all right?
So  what  is  energy?  We  are  enquiring,  not  accepting  what  the  scientists
have to say. And, if you can, abandon all that the ancient peoples have said;
leave it at the roadside. We’ll take a journey together.
Your  brain,  which  is  matter,  is  the  accumulated  experience  of  a  million
years, and all that evolution means energy. And so I’m asking myself – you’re
asking yourself is there an energy which is not contained or stimulated or held
within  the  field  of  knowledge,  that  is, within  the  field  of  thought? Is there an
energy which is not put together by thought?
Thought gives you great energy: to go to the office every morning at nine
o’clock; to earn money, a better house. Thinking about the past, thinking about
the future, planning for the present, gives tremendous energy: you work like
blazes to become a rich man. Thought creates this energy. So then we have to
enquire  into  the  very  nature  of  thought.  Thought  has  planned  this  society
which has divided this world into communist, socialist, democrat, republican;
the army, the navy, the air-force – not only for transportation, but also to kill. So
thought  is  very  important  in  our  lives  because  without  thought  we  can’t  do
anything; everything is contained in the process of thought.
So what is thinking? You work it out, don’t listen to me. The speaker has
talked about this a lot, so don’t go back to my books, don’t say, I’ve heard all
this before. Here you forget all the books, all the things you have read, for we
must approach this each time anew.    100
Thinking  is based  on  knowledge. And we have accumulated  tremendous
knowledge: how to sell each other, how to exploit each other, how to create
gods and temples, and so on.
Without experience there is no knowledge. Experience – knowledge stored
in  the  brain  as  memory  –  is  the  beginning  of  thought.  Experience  is  always
limited, because you are adding more and more to it. So experience is limited,
knowledge  is  limited,  memory  is  limited.  Therefore,  thought  is  limited.  The
gods  whom  thought  has  created  –  your  gods,  your  thinking  –  will  always  be
limited.  And  from  this  limitation  we  try  to  find  the  source  of  energy  –  you
understand? – we try to find the origin, the beginning of creation.
Thought has created fear. Right? Aren’t you frightened of what may happen
later – losing your job, not passing your exams, not climbing the ladder? And
you’re frightened of not being able to fulfil, of not being able to stand alone, of
not being a strength unto yourself. You always depend on somebody, and that
breeds tremendous fear.
It’s one of the daily facts of our life that we are frightened people. And fear
arises because we want security. Fear destroys love; love cannot exist where
fear is. Fear on its own is a tremendous energy. And love has no relationship
to fear; they’re totally divorced. So, what is the origin of fear? To question all
this is to be alive, to understand the nature of love. Thinking has created fear –
thinking about the future, the past, of not being able  to adjust quickly to the
environment, what might happen: my wife might leave me or might die; I’ll be a
lonely man; what will I do then? I have several children; so I had better remarry
someone  or  other;  at  least  she’ll  look  after  my  children  –  and  so  on.  This  is
thinking of the future, based upon the past. So thinking and time are involved
in  this  –  thinking  about  the  future,  the  future  being  tomorrow.  And  thinking
about that causes fear. And so time and thought are the central factors of fear.
So time and thought are the principal factors of life. Time is both inward – I
am  this,  I  will  be  that  –  and  outward.  And  time  is  thought;  they  are  both
movements.    101
Then what place have death, pain, anxiety, suffering, loneliness, despair,
all  those  terrible  things  I’ve  gone  through?  –  All  the  travail  that  man  goes
through – is that all our life? I’m asking you: Is this all your life?
This  is  your  life.  Your  consciousness,  if  you  examine  it  very  carefully,  is
made  up  of  its  content:  what  you  think,  your  tradition,  your  education,  your
knowledge, your time, your fears, your loneliness. That is what you are. It’s a
fact  that  your  suffering,  your  pain,  your  anxiety,  your  loneliness,  your
knowledge,  are  shared  by  every  human  being.  Every  human  being  on  this
earth goes through sorrow, pain, anxiety, quarrels, coaxing, wanting this, not
wanting  this.  So  you  are  not  an  individual;  you  are  not  a  separate  soul,  a
separate atman. Your consciousness, which is what you are – not physically,
but psychologically, inwardly – is the consciousness of mankind.
We are trying to find out, to enquire into, what is life. We’re saying that as
long as there is fear of any kind, the other cannot exist. If there is attachment
of any kind, the other cannot exist – the other being love. So we are going to
see  what  the  world  is  and  enquire  into  what  is  death.  Why  are  we  all  so
frightened of death? You know what it means to die; haven’t you seen dozens
of  people  killed,  or  hurt?  Have  you  ever  enquired  very  deeply  into  what  is
death? It’s a very important question, as important as what is life. We said life
is all this rot – knowledge, going to the office every day at nine o’clock, etc.,
battling, not wanting this, wanting that. We know what living is, but we have
never enquired seriously into what is dying.
What is dying? It must be an extraordinary thing to die. Everything is taken
away from you: your attachments, your money, your wife, your children, your
country, your superstitions, your gurus, your gods. You may wish to take them
into the other world, but you can’t. So death says, `Be totally detached.’ That’s
what happens when death comes:  you  have  no  person  to  lean  on.  Nothing.
You can believe that you will be reincarnated. That’s a very comfortable idea,
but it’s not a fact.
We are trying to find out what it means to die, while living – not committing
suicide;  I  am  not  talking  about  that  kind  of  nonsense.  I  want  to  find  out  for   102
myself what it means to die, which means, can I be totally free from everything
that man has created, including myself?
What does it mean to die? To give up everything. Death cuts you off with a
very, very, very sharp razor from your attachments, from your gods, from your
superstitions, from your desire for comfort – next life and so on. I am going to
find out what death means because it is as important as living. So how can I
find out, actually, not theoretically, what it means to die? I actually want to find
out, as you want to find out. I am speaking for you, so don’t go to sleep. What
does  it  mean  to  die?  Put  that  question  to  yourself.  While  we  are  young,  or
when we are very old, this question is always there. It means to be totally free,
to be totally unattached to everything that man has put together, or what you
have put together – totally free. No attachments, no gods, no future, no past.
You don’t see the beauty of it, the greatness of it, the extraordinary strength of
it – while living to be dying. You understand what that means? While you are
living,  every  moment  you  are  dying,  so  that  throughout  life  you  are  not
attached to anything. That is what death means.
So living is dying. You understand? Living means that every day you are
abandoning  everything  that  you  are  attached  to.  Can  you  do  this?  A  very
simple fact, but it has got tremendous implications. So that each day is a new
day.  Each  day  you  are  dying  and  incarnating.  There  is  tremendous  vitality,
energy there because there is nothing you are afraid of. There is nothing that
can hurt. Being hurt doesn’t exist.
All  the  things  that  man  has  put  together  have  to  be  totally  abandoned.
That’s  what  it  means  to  die.  So  can  you  do  it?  Will  you  try  it?  Will  you
experiment with it? Not for just a day; every day. No, sir, you can’t do it; your
brains are not trained for this. Your brains have been conditioned so heavily,
by  your  education,  by  your  tradition,  by  your  books,  by  your  professors.  It
requires finding out what love is. Love and death go together. Death says be
free, nonattached, you can carry nothing with you. And love says, love says –
there  is  no  word  for  it.  Love can exist only when there  is  freedom,  not  from   103
your wife, from a new girl, or a new husband, but the feeling, the enormous
strength, the vitality, the energy of complete freedom.    104
Chapter 11 3rd Public Talk
Madras 4th January 1986
WILL YOU KINDLY participate in what he’s talking about? Will you not only
follow  it,  but  together  participate  in  it,  not  just  think  about  it  or  casually  pay
attention  to  it?  One  or  two  things  must  be  made  very  clear.  This  is  not  a
personality cult. The speaker has an abomination of all that; everything he is
saying is contradicted if you personally worship an individual, or make him into
a god. What is important is to listen to what he has to say, share it; not only
listen, but actually participate in what he’s saying.
We have talked about life, the very complexity of life, the beginning of life.
What  is  life?  What  is  the  origin  of  all  this  –  the  marvellous  earth,  the  lovely
evening and the early morning sun, the rivers, the valleys, the mountains and
the glory of the land which is being despoiled? If you say the origin of all this is
`god’, then it’s finished; then you can trot along quite happily because you’ve
solved  the  problem.  But  if  you  begin  to  question,  doubt,  as  one  should,  all
gods, all gurus – I don’t belong to that tribe – if you begin to question all that
man has put together through a long evolution down the corridors of history,
you find this question asked: What is the beginning? What is the origin? How
has all this come about? I hope you’re asking this question; don’t just listen to
the speaker, but share it, tear it to pieces. Don’t please, accept anything he
says. He’s not your guru; he’s not your leader; he’s not your helper. This is the
platform, that is the beginning of this talk.
This is a very serious talk, and unless your brain is actually active, one is
afraid that you won’t be able to follow. It would be useless for you and for the
speaker to listen to a lot of words, but if we could together take a very long
journey, not in terms of time, not in terms of belief or conclusions or theories,
but  examine  very  carefully  the  way  of  our  lives,  fear,  uncertainty,  insecurity
and  all  the  inventions  that  man  has  made,  including  the  extraordinary
computers  –  where  are  we  at  the  end  of  two  million  years?  Where  are  we
going, not as some theory, not what some wretched book says, however holy   105
it  is,  but  where  are  we  all  going?  And  where  have  we  begun?  They’re  both
related to each other: where are we going, where we began. The beginning
may be the ending. Don’t agree. Find out. There may be no beginning and no
ending, and we’re going to investigate into that together.
From the beginning of time, right down to the present day, man has always
thought  in  terms  of  religion.  What  is  religion?  Man  has  always  sought
something more than this world. Men have worshipped the stars, the suns, the
moons and their own creations; there has been tremendous endeavour, effort,
energy, spent on ancient temples, mosques and the churches, of course. They
have  spent  tremendous  energy  on  this.  What  is  the  spirit  of  man  that  has
sought something beyond the world, beyond the daily agony; the travail, work,
going to the factory, to the office, and climbing the ladder of success, making
money,  trying  to  impress  people,  trying  to  command?  Are  you  agreeing  to
this? It is a fact whether you agree or not. They’re all seeking power in some
form;  they  want  to  be  at  the  centre  of  things  –  in  Delhi,  or  here,  or  in  other
places. They want to be there.
We’re  asking:  What  is  religion;  what  has  made  man  give  enormous
treasures to a temple; what made him do all this? What was the energy that
was given to all this? Was it fear? Was it seeking a reward from heaven, or
whatever  you  like  to  call  it?  Was  seeking  a  reward  the  origin?  You  want  a
reward; you want something in exchange; you pray three or five times a day
and  you  hope  in  return  that  some  entity  will  give  you  something,  from  a
refrigerator to a car to a better wife, or better husband, or you wait for grace,
something  that  you  can  hope  for,  cling  to.  This  has  been  the  history  of  all
religions.  God  and  money  are  always  together;  the  Catholic  Church  has
tremendous treasures. You have it here, too, in your various temples, puja and
worship and all that triviality; all that is really nonsense. We are trying to find
out by enquiring very, very deeply what religion is; it is obviously not all this
moneymaking stuff. We are asking: What is that, which is nameless, which is
the supreme intelligence, which has no relationship with all our prayers, with
all  our  gods,  temples,  mosques,  churches?  That’s  all  man-made.  Any   106
intelligent  man  must  put  all  that  aside  and  not  become  cynical,  not  become
merely sceptical, but have a brain that’s really active, a brain that enquires into
everything, not only the outside world. Have we got a brain that is enquiring
into  its  own  thoughts,  into  its  own  consciousness,  into  its  own  pains,
sufferings, all the rest of it? Have we got such a brain?
Here, we must separate the brain from the mind. The brain is the centre of
all  our  nerves,  our  knowledge,  all  our  theories,  opinions,  prejudices;  from
college, university, all that knowledge is gathered in the skull. All the thoughts,
all the fears are there. Is the brain different from the mind? If you seriously pay
attention  to  what  the  speaker  has  asked,  is  there  a  difference  between  the
brain,  your  brain,  what  is  inside  the  skull  with  all  the  knowledge  you  have
gathered, not only you, but your forefathers and so on, for two million years,
which is all encased in there – is there a difference between that brain and the
mind? The brain will always be limited. Don’t agree; this is much too serious.
And  is  the  mind  different  from  this,  from  my  consciousness,  from  my  daily
activities,  from  my  fears,  anxieties,  uncertainties,  sorrow,  pain  and  all  the
theories  which  man  has  gathered  about  everything?  The  mind  has  no
relationship  with  the  brain;  it  can  communicate  with  the  brain,  but  the  brain
cannot  communicate  with  it.  Don’t  agree,  please,  that’s  the  last  thing  to  do.
The speaker is saying the brain is the keeper of all our consciousness, of our
thoughts, of our fears, and so on, and on, and on. All the gods, all the theories
about gods and the unbelievers, it’s all there. Nobody can dispute that unless
he’s  a  little  bit  odd.  This  brain,  which  is  conditioned  by  knowledge,  by
experience, by tradition, cannot have any communication with the mind which
is totally outside the activity of the brain. That mind can communicate with the
brain, but the brain cannot communicate with it because the brain can imagine
infinitely; the brain can imagine the nameless; the brain can do anything. The
mind is too immense because it doesn’t belong to you; it’s not your mind.
We are going to investigate – together, please bear in mind always together
–  not  only  the  nature  of  religion,  but  also  the  computer.  You  know  what  the
computer is? It’s a machine; it can programme itself. It can bring about its own   107
computer; the father computer has its own son computer which is better than
the father. You don’t have to accept this; it’s public; it’s not something secret,
so watch it carefully. That computer can do almost anything that man can do. It
can make all your gods, all your theories, your rituals; it’s even better at it than
you will ever be. So, the computer is coming up in the world; it’s going to make
your brains something different. You’ve heard of genetic engineering; they’re
trying,  whether  you  like  it  or  not,  to  change  your  whole  behaviour.  That  is
genetic engineering. They are trying to change your way of thinking.
When  genetic  engineering  and  the  computer  meet,  what  are  you?  As  a
human being what are you? Your brains are going to be altered. Your way of
behaviour is going to be changed. They may remove fear altogether, remove
sorrow, remove all your gods. They’re going to; don’t fool yourself. It all ends
up either in war or in death. This is what is happening in the world actually.
Genetic engineering on the one side and the computer on the other, and when
they  meet,  as  they’re  inevitably  going  to,  what  are  you  as  a  human  being?
Actually, your brain now is a machine. You are born in India and say: `I’m an
Indian.’ You are encased in that. You are a machine. Please don’t be insulted.
I’m not insulting you. You are a machine which repeats like a computer. Don’t
imagine  there  is  something  divine  in  you  –  that  would  be  lovely  –  something
holy  that  is  everlasting.  The  computer  will  say  that  to  you  too.  So,  what  is
becoming of a human being? What’s becoming of you?
We  have  also  to  enquire  –  this  is  a  very  serious  subject,  don’t  agree  or
disagree,just  listen  –  into  what  is  creation.  Not  the  creation  of  a  baby,  that’s
very simple, or the creation of a new something or other. Invention is totally
different from creation. Invention is based on knowledge. The engineers can
improve  the  jet;  the  movement  is  based  on  knowledge  and  the  invention  is
also based on knowledge. So we must separate invention from creation. This
requires your total energy, your capacity to penetrate. Invention is essentially
based on knowledge. I improve the clock; I have a new gadget. All invention is
based on knowledge, on experience; inventions are inevitably limited because
they’re  based  on  knowledge.  Knowledge  being  ever  limited,  inventions  must   108
always be limited. In the future there may be no jets, but something else that
will go from Delhi to Los Angeles in two hours; that’s an invention based on
previous  knowledge  which  has  been  improved  step  by  step,  but  that’s  not
creation.
So what is creation? So what is life? Life in the tree, life in the little grass –
life, not what the scientists invent, but the beginning of life – life, the thing that
lives? You may kill it, but it’s still there in the other. Don’t agree or disagree,
but see that we are enquiring into the origin of life. We are going to enquire
into  the  absolute  –  something  that’s  really  marvellous.  It’s  not  a  reward;  you
can’t take it home and use it.
What  is  meditation  to  you?  What  is  meditation?  The  word,  in  common
language  in  the  dictionary,  means:  to  ponder  over,  to  think  over  and  to
concentrate,  to  learn  to  concentrate,  not  let  your  brain  wander  all  over  the
place. Is that what you call meditation? Be simple, be honest. That is what?
Every day taking a certain period and going to a room and sitting down quietly
for  ten  minutes  or  half  an  hour  to  meditate?  Is  meditation  concentration,
thinking about something very noble? Any conscious effort to meditate is part
of your discipline of the office, because you say: If I meditate, I’ll have a quiet
mind,  or  I’ll  enter  into  another  state.  The  word  `meditation’  also  means  to
measure,  which  means  compare.  So  your  meditation  becomes  mechanical
because you are exercising energy to concentrate on a picture, an image, or
an idea, and that concentration divides. Concentration is always divisive; you
want to concentrate on something, but thought wanders off; then you say you
mustn’t wander off, and you come back. You repeat that all day long, or for half
an hour. Then you come off it and say you have meditated. This meditation is
advocated  by  all  the  gurus,  by  all  the  lay  disciples.  The  Christian  idea  is:  `I
believe in God and I’m sacrificing myself to God; therefore, I pray to save my
soul.’ Is all this meditation? I know nothing about this kind of meditation; it’s
like an achievement; if I meditate for half an hour, I feel better. Or is there a
totally  different  kind  of  meditation?  Don’t  accept  anything  that  the  speaker
says, at any price. The speaker says that that is not meditation at all. That’s   109
merely  a  process  of  achievement.  If  one  day  you  have  not  been  able  to
concentrate,  you  take  a  month  and  say:  `Yes,  I’ve  got  it.’  That’s  like  a  clerk
becoming  a  manager.  So  is  there  a  different kind of meditation which is not
effort,  which  is  not  measurement,  which  is  not  routine,  which  is  not
mechanical? Is there a meditation in which there is no sense of comparison, or
in which there is no reward and punishment? Is there any meditation which is
not based on thought which is measurement, time, and all that?
How can one explain a meditation that has no measurement, that has no
achievement, that doesn’t say: `I’m this, but I’ll become that’? `That’ being god
or  superangel.  Is  there  a  meditation  which  has  nothing  to  do  with  will  –  an
energy that says: `I must meditate’? Is there a meditation which as nothing to
do with effort at all? The speaker says there is. You don’t have to accept it. He
may be talking nonsense, but he sees logically that the ordinary meditation is
self-hypnosis, deceiving oneself. And, when you stop deceiving, stop all that
mechanical process, is there a different kind of meditation? And unfortunately,
the speaker says: Yes. But you can’t get at it through effort, through giving all
your energy to something. It is something that has to be absolutely silent. First
of all, begin very humbly, very, very humbly and, therefore, very gently and,
therefore, no pushing, driving, saying: `I must do this.’ It requires a tremendous
sense  not  only  of  aloneness,  but  a  sense  of  –  I  mustn’t  describe  it  to  you.  I
mustn’t describe it because then you’ll go off on descriptions. If I describe it,
the description is not the real. The description of the moon is not the moon,
and a painting of the Himalayas is not the Himalayas. So, we’ll stop describing.
It’s for you to play with it, or not play with it, going your own way with your own
peculiar achievements through meditation, reward and all the rest of it. So, in
meditation which is absolutely no effort, no achievement, no thinking, the brain
is  quiet;  not  made  quiet  by  will,  by  intention,  by  conclusion  and  all  that
nonsense; it is quiet. And, being quiet, it has infinite space. Are you waiting for
me  to  explore?  And  you  will  follow  what  I  explain?  What  kind  of  people  are
you?  So,  is  your  brain  ever  quiet?  I’m  asking  you.  Your  brain  is  thinking,
fearing,  thinking  of  your  office  work,  of  your  family,  what  they  will  do,  your
sons, your daughters; thinking, which is time and thought. Is your brain ever   110
quiet?  Not  made  quiet  by  drugs,  whiskey  and  various  forms  of  drugging
yourself.  You  drug  yourself  when  you  believe.  You  drug  yourself  and  say:
`Yes, this is perfectly right, the Buddha has said that, therefore it must be right.
You’re  drugging  yourself  all  the  time;  therefore,  you  have  no  energy  of  that
kind that demands the penetration of something immense.
So, we’re now going back to find out what creation is. What is creation? It
has nothing to do with invention. So what is creation, the origin, the beginning?
What is life? Tell me what you think of it. What is life? Not going to the office
and all the rest of it, sex and children, or no children but sex and so on and so
on  and  so  on.  What  is  life?  What  gives  life  to  that  blade  of  grass  in  the
cement?  What  is  life  in  us?  Not  all  the  things  that  we  go  through  –  power,
position, prestige, fame, or no fame, but shame; that’s not life; that’s part of our
mishandling of life. But, what is life?
Why are you listening to me? What makes you, if you are listening at all,
listen  to  the  man?  What  is  the  motive  behind  your  listening?  What  do  you
want?  What’s  your  desire?  Behind  the  desire  there  is  a  motive.  So  what  is
desire?  Desire  is  part  of  sensation,  isn’t  it?  I  see  this  beautiful  clock  or  ugly
clock;  it’s  a  sensation.  The  seeing  brings  about  a  sensation.  From  that
sensation, thought comes and makes an image of it. That is, I see this clock,
rather  nice,  I  would  like  to  have  it.  The  sensation  of  seeing,  then  thought
coming and making an image of that sensation; at that moment, desire is born.
It’s very simple.
Is  there  a  brain,  your  brain,  which  is  not  muddied  up,  muddied  by
environment, by tradition, by society and all the rest of it? So what is the origin
of life? Are you waiting for me to answer it? This is much too serious a subject
for you to play with, because we are trying to enquire into something that has
no name, no end. I can kill that bird; there is another bird. I can’t kill all birds;
there are too many of them in the world. So, we are enquiring into what makes
a bird. What is creation behind all this? Are you waiting for me to describe it,
go into it? You want me to go into it? Why
(From the audience: To understand what creation is.    111
Why do you ask that? Because I asked? No description can ever describe
the origin. The origin is nameless; the origin is absolutely quiet, it’s not whirring
about making noise. Creation is something that is most holy, that’s the most
sacred  thing  in  life,  and  if  you  have  made  a  mess  of  your  life,  change  it.
Change  it  today,  not  tomorrow.  If  you  are  uncertain,  find  out  why  and  be
certain. If your thinking is not straight, think straight, logically. Unless all that is
prepared,  all  that  is  settled,  you  can’t  enter  into  this  world,  into  the  world  of
creation.
It ends. (These two words are hardly audible, breathed rather than spoken.)
This is the last talk. Do you want to sit together quietly for a while? All right,
sirs, sit quietly for a while.    112
– Longer, Unedited Versions –
Chapter 4
RAJGHAT 1ST PUBLIC TALK 18TH NOVEMBER 1985
I hope you can all hear.
I  wonder  why  you  are  all  here.  If  you  are  asked  that  question  seriously,
what would be your answer? Why we are all gathered here on the banks of the
Ganga – of course, sacred river – and therefore partially for that reason you are
here.  And  I  wonder  what  other  reasons  you  have  to  come  and  listen  to  this
person. Is it merely reputation? Is it merely that you have heard this man talk
several  times  before;  therefore  you  say,  let’s  go  and  hear  him?  What  is  the
relationship of what he says to what you do? You understand my question?
What  is  the  relationship  of  what  he  says  and  what  you  do?  Are  they  two
separate things? Or, you just listen to what he has to say, and carry on your
daily life? You understood our question?
So, we two are going to talk over, together, not some abstract theoretical
problem,  but  rather  we  are  going  to  talk  over  together,  like  two  old  friends,
sitting under these trees, our daily life, which is far more important than some
theoretical,  very  knowledgeable  abstract  problems.  We  may  come  to  those
much later. So, shall we, as two old friends, talk over our problems? We have
got  so  many  problems  –  how  to  meditate,  which  guru  to  follow,  if  you  are  a
follower, what kind of practice you should do, what kind of daily activity you
should go through; and so on, and also what is our relationship to nature – all
the trees, the rivers and the mountains, the plains and the valleys – what is our
relationship to nature? To a tree, to a flower, to a bird that passes by, and what
is our relationship with each other – not with the speaker – but with each other,
your  wife,  your  husband,  your  children  and  all  the  environment,  as
government, neighbour, community and so on? What is our relationship to all
this? Or, are we so isolated, so self-concerned, so intensely interested in our
own way of life? Please, I am asking – we are asking all these questions as
two  friends.  The  speaker  means  as  ‘friends’,  not  as  a  guru.  You  have  had   113
enough gurus in this country (they are really not worth it). And the speaker has
no intention whatsoever to impress you, to tell you what to do, or to help you.
Please  bear  this  in  mind  right  through  the  talks:  he  has  no  intention
whatsoever to help you. I will tell you why – the reason, the logic of it.
You  have  had  a  great  many  gurus,  thousands  of  them,  a  great  many
helpers,  Christian  helpers,  Hindu,  Buddhist,  every  kind  of  leader,  not  only
politically, but so-called religiously (I do not know what that word means at the
moment, we will go into that word) and you have had leaders of major kind and
the minor, and where are you at the end of this long evolution of two million
years old? Where are you? Where are we – you, and all of us here? We are
supposed to have lived on this earth two and a half million years, and during
that long revolution and the evolution, we still remain barbarians. We may be
cleaner, quicker communication, better hygiene and so on, transportation – but
morally, ethically – if I may use that word – spiritually, we are still barbarians.
We kill each other not only in a war, but by words, by a gesture. We are very
competitive.  Am  I  talking  to  myself  or  are  we  together  in  this?  We  are  very
ambitious. Each is concerned with himself. Self-interest: that is the dominant
note  in  our  life:  ‘self-interest’  that  is,  concerned  with  one`s  own  well-being,
security, possession, power and so on.  Aren’t  we  concerned  with  ourselves,
spiritually,  religiously,  business  and  so  on,  each  one  right  throughout  the
world,  whether  Russians,  Americans  or  Europeans,  and  so  on,  we  are  all
concerned  with  ourselves:  that  means,  isolating  ourselves  from  the  rest  of
humanity.  That’s  a  fact.  We  are  not  exaggerating.  We  are  not  saying
something that is not true. Wherever you go – the speaker has been all over
the world at a certain time and still goes round. Some of you have come a long
way, so has the speaker, a very long way, and when you go around the world
and see what is happening – increase of armaments, violence, fanaticism, and
the  great,  deep  sense  of  insecurity,  uncertainty  and  the  sense  of
separateness, ‘you and I’. Right?
This  is  the  common  note  of  mankind.  Please,  we  are  facing  facts,  not
theories, not some kind of distant, theoretical, philosophical statement. We are   114
looking at facts, not my facts opposed to your facts; facts. Every country in the
world as you must all know, is gathering armaments – every country, however
poor  or  however  rich.  Right?  Look  at  your  own  country  –  immense  poverty,
disorder, corruption – you all know that – and gathering of armaments. It used
to be a club to kill another, now you can vaporize mankind by millions, with
one atom bomb or neutron bomb. We have come from the club, arrow and so
on,  till  we  have  the  atom  bomb.  And  we  have  progressed,  technologically,
immensely  –  revolution  is  going  on,  of  which  we  know  very  little.  The
technological process is so rapid, overnight is already over – something new!
And, ethically we are what we have been for a million years. You understand
the contrast? Technologically, like a computer, which will outthink man, it can
invent  new  meditations,  new  gods,  new  theories.  We  were  talking  the  other
day  with  three  or  four  very  prominent  computer  people.  The  computer  can
think  backwards  and  forwards  which  is  called  ‘architecture’.  (I  am  not  going
into  it  for  the  moment).  And  this  fifth  or  sixth  generation  of  computers  is  so
quick, so extraordinarily capable, it can invent, it can produce, it can change
and so on. (I won’t go into all that.)
And man, that is, you and I – what is going to happen to our brains? You
understand  something?  If  the  computer  can  do  almost  anything  –  of  course
except looking at the new moon, it can do almost anything that human beings
can – this is not some theory. It is happening now. So, what’s going to happen
to  you?  What’s  going  to  happen  to  us,  as  human  beings?  We  want
entertainment, probably this is part of your idea of entertainment: coming here,
sitting, listening, and agreeing or disagreeing, and going back home, carry on
your  own  life.  This  is  part  of  entertainment,  as  going  to  church,  temple,
mosque or football, cricket in this country. Please, this is not an entertainment.
You and the speaker must think together. It’s not just to sit quietly and absorb
some strange atmosphere, some ‘Punyam’. Sorry, it is not like that at all. We
are going to, sanely, logically, think together, look at the same thing, together.
Not how you look and I look, but together, to observe, not only our daily life,
which is far more important than any other – our daily living, every minute of
our day. So, first, we are going to, together, think, not just merely listen, agree   115
or disagree, which is very easy. One wishes strongly that we could put aside
agreement and disagreement. That is very difficult for most people to do. We
are  too  eager  to  agree  or  disagree.  Our  reactions  are  so  quick.  We  classify
everything, as a religious man, irreligious man, mundane and so on and so on.
If  you  could,  this  morning  at  least,  put  aside  completely,  agreement  and
disagreement, and merely observe together, think together. Will you do it? Put
aside  altogether  your  opinion  and  my  opinion,  your  way  of  thinking  and  the
other  person’s  way  of  thinking.  Could  we  do  that?  Only  for  an  hour.  Don’t
bother. Don’t be too long at it, because agreement and disagreement divides
people.  It’s  illogical  to  say,  yes,  I  agree  with  you  or  I  don’t  agree  with  you,
which  means  you  are  either  projecting,  holding  to  your  opinion,  your
judgement, your evaluation, or you disagree, say ‘I am sorry, I don’t agree with
you’. Another form of personal interest and discarding. Could we do that, for
this  morning,  just  for  fun?  Just  for  an  amusement,  or  entertainment,  if  you
want:  to  forget  our  opinions,  or  judgements,  our  saying,  agreement  or
disagreement, just have a good, clear brain, not devotional and emotional or
romantic, but a brain that thinks clearly – if it is at all possible. A brain that does
not  get  involved  in  all  the  complications  of  theory,  opinion,  admission,
dismission?  Could  we  do  that?  Probably  you  have  never  done  it.  So,  let  us
proceed.
What is thinking? Every human being in the world, everyone from the most
ignorant, most crude, from the very, very small person in a little village to the
most highly sophisticated scientist, they have something in common. Haven’t
you  noticed?  Thinking.  They  think.  The  villager  never  read  anything,  never
been  to  a  school,  college,  university,  but  probably  most  of  you  here,  are  or
have been educated. Right? So you think and the villagers think. Right? The
man who sits in the Himalayas  by  himself,  he  also thinks. So, every human
being  in  the  world  thinks.  Right?  And  this  thinking  has  been  right  from  the
beginning of time.
We must ask the first question – as we are going to ask several questions –
what  is  thinking?  What  is  it  that  you  think  about?  What  is  thinking?  Right?   116
Would  you  answer  this  question  first,  not  from  books,  right?  Not  from  some
Gita or the Upanishads or the Bible or the Koran says. What is thinking? Sir,
one may go to a college, school, right up to university and be a bureaucrat, or
a chief minister or prime minister, or the lowliest of the villagers, they have all
something  in  common,  apart  from  many  other  things  which  we  will  go  into,
what  is  thinking?  We  live  by  thinking.  Our  daily  action  is  based  on  thinking.
Unless  we  question,  solve,  and  hold  to  it,  find  out.  If  you  are  a  physicist,  a
labourer, or any kind of human being on this earth, we all think. You may think
one way, and another may think another way, but it’s still thinking. Yes. So,
what  is  that?  Can  you  think  if  you  have  no  memory?  You  cannot  think
backwards and forwards, what you will do tomorrow, or the next hour, or what
you  have  done  yesterday,  or  this  morning.  You  can  think  forward  and
backward. That is called technologically, in the computer world, ‘architecture’,
and the computers can do it. So we must find out together, not the Indian way
of thinking or the European way of thinking. I do not know if you follow what
the speaker is saying; or the oriental way of thinking which is the Buddhist, the
Hindu, the Muslim, the Christian and all the sects. Right?
So, what is thinking? Tell me, please. What is thinking? Why do you think?
Are you stumped? No answer? You will discuss with me tomorrow or I believe
the day after tomorrow, we are going to have a dialogue together. Unless you
really understand the process of thinking, unless you really understand it, our
life is always going to be very, very limited. So, we must very deeply, seriously,
as  a  physicist,  as  a  scientist,  examines,  we  must  examine  very,  very,  very
closely this whole process of thinking, which shapes our life. Man has created
god by his thinking. God has not created man. It must be a very, very poor god
who created these human beings who are fighting each other perpetually. He
must be a rather silly old god. So, what is thinking? And why have we made
problems  of  it?  Right?  We  have  problems  about  thinking.  So  we  also  must
examine closely, why we have problems. Do you understand? Are we together
into  this  a  little  bit?  At  least,  following  each  other,  or,  have  you  all  gone  to
sleep?    117
So, first, why have we problems in life? What is a problem? We have plenty
of  them:  political  problems,  financial  problems,  economic  problems,  the
problems  of  one  religion  against  the  other,  the  problems  of  –  oh!  You
understand? Haven’t you got problems by the thousand? What is a problem
and the meaning of that word ‘problem’? What does that mean? The meaning.
According  to  the  dictionary  it  means  something  thrown  at  you,  a  challenge,
something you have got to look at, face. That’s what a problem means. Right?
Are we together in this, or am I talking to myself? So first, the word problem
means something thrown at you. You can’t dodge it, you can’t run away from
it, you can’t suppress it. It is there, like a sore thumb. Why is it, that all our life
from  the  moment  we  are  born  till  we  die,  there  is  a  problem  –  about  death,
about fear, about a hundred things? Right? Are you asking this question, or
am  I  merely  asking  it  for you?  You  don’t  seem  to  react  to  all  this.  From  the
moment  you  are  born,  after  a  while,  after  several  years,  you  go  to  school.
There you have to read, write. That becomes a problem to the child. And later
on  you  have  to  learn  mathematics,  and  that  becomes  a  problem.  And  the
mother says, ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that’, that becomes a problem. Right? So,
from  childhood  we  are  bred  in  problems.  Right?  Am  I  saying  something
strange? You all look so damn serious! I am sorry to use that word, but you do
look  very  serious,  probably  only  this  morning.  So,  from  childhood,  we  have
cultivated a million problems. Our brain is conditioned in problems. It is never
free  from  problems.  As  you  grow,  become  adolescent,  sex,  how  to  earn
money, what to do, to follow society or not, revolt or not, and at the end you
yield to society, to environment. So, all this becomes a problem.
Every  politician  in  the  world  solves  one  problem  and  thereby  creates
another problem. Haven’t you noticed all  this? So, the human brain, what is
inside the skull, itself has a problem. Do you understand? So, can the brain
ever be free of problems, to solve problems? Do you understand my question?
If the brain is not free of problems, then how can it solve any problem? Do you
understand? This is logical. Right? So, the brain, your brain, that which is in
the  skull,  which  carries  memory,  (I  am  not  going  into  details),  which  has
acquired tremendous knowledge, that brain has been nurtured, educated, to   118
have problems. So, we are asking now: can the brain, your brain, can it ever
be free of problems first, and then it can solve problems. It’s logical. Right? So,
can you be free of problems first? Or is that impossible? You understand my
question?  Our  brain  is  conditioned  as  Hindu  and  the  various  divisions  in
Hinduism.  We  are  –  the  brain  is  conditioned  as  a  Buddhist,  as  a  monk,  the
brain  is  conditioned  in  various  narrow  religions,  the  brain  is  conditioned  by
specialization. Oh Lord! Aren’t you interested in all this? I am asking myself,
looking at you – aren’t you interested in all this? Or is it the habit of going to a
meeting and listening, and saying, yes, quite right, quite right. You are a funny
people, all right.
So, let us begin. Our brain is conditioned by the environment in which we
live, by your education, by your religion, by your poverty or richness, you have
taken  vows  as  monks  –  don’t  know  why,  but  you  have  taken  them  –  and  it
becomes a torture, a problem. So our brain is extraordinarily conditioned, as a
business man, as a house-keeper, and so on, and from that narrow point of
view, we look at the world. So, we have to go into this question, of not only
having problems, but also, what is thinking?
Why  do  you  think  at  all?  Is  there  a  different  way  of  action?  Is  there  a
different manner of approach to life, to the daily living, that does not require
thinking  at  all?  Oh,  you  don’t  know  all  this.  So,  first  we  have  to  look  very
closely, together – not I am explaining and you accept, that would be silly – but
together find out for ourselves and then act, not say, yes, quite right. Act. We
are  going  to  go  into  that.  What  is  thinking?  Don’t  you  think?  Otherwise  you
would  not  be  here.  You  made  arrangements  to  come  here  at  a  certain  time
and you have also made arrangements to go back. That is thinking. Thinking
philosophically  –  philosophy  means  the  love  of  truth,  the  love  of  life,  not
passing  some  exam  in  a  university.  So,  let  us  find  out  together  what  is
thinking. If you had no memory of yesterday or what will happen tomorrow – no
memory at all, of any kind, will you think? You understand? Oh, come on sirs –
would you think and act thereby if you had no memory? Of course not. What   119
are you hesitating about? You can’t think if you have no memory. So what is
memory? Now you are stumped.
What  is  memory?  You  did  something  yesterday  and  what  you  did  is
registered  in  the  brain,  which  becomes  a  memory,  and  according  to  the
memory  you  think  and  act.  Right?  So,  what  is  memory?  How  does  it  come
about?  You  remember  somebody  flattering  you,  you  remember  somebody
hurting you, saying ugly things about you, or flattering you because you have
written  a  book,  so,  you  remember  –  memory.  That  is,  the  memory  is  the
outcome  of  knowledge.  Right?  Oh,  Lord!  That  is,  you  insulted  me;  it  is
registered in the brain as a memory. That insult or flattery or whatever it is, is
registered which becomes the memory. That is, the knowledge of that incident
becomes memory. I have an accident to a car, that accident is registered in
the  brain,  in  the  brain  cells,  and  then  it  says,  yes  that  is  memory,  I  had  an
accident  and  I  must  drive  carefully.  Right?  So,  out  of  knowledge  comes
memory. Right? Clear? From memory, thought.
Now,  what  is  knowledge?  This  is  rather  difficult.  We  all  accumulate
knowledge,  the  great  scholars,  great  professors,  scientists,  acquire
tremendous knowledge. Do you understand? What is knowledge? How does it
come about you have knowledge? Haven’t you thought about all this, looked at
all  this?  Knowledge  comes  when  there  is  experience.  Right?  You  have  an
accident  in  a  car,  that  becomes  the  act,  the  accident,  that  becomes  an
experience. Right? Right? From that experience you have knowledge and from
that knowledge you have memory; from memory, you have thought. Right? Be
careful. Don’t agree yet or disagree. I am going to pull the rug from under your
feet. So, what is experience, which is, that incident, right, or accident in a car,
which is registered in the brain as knowledge? Right? And so on – knowledge,
experience – knowledge – memory – thought. Clear? This is logical. Not my way
of  looking  at  it  or  your  way  of  looking  at  it.  So,  all  experience,  whether  it  is
god’s experience or your experience, is limited. Yes? Right? Would you agree,
would you see that? All experience! Because, you look at it, the scientists are
adding every day more and more and more. Right? That which is added to, is   120
always limited. Don’t agree. Look at it, look at it. I know little, and I must know
more, you are adding! Right? That which you add to, must be limited. Oh Lord!
Right?
Q: Right.
K: So, experience is always limited. Your experience of god – I don’t know
what  that  means,  but  it  doesn’t  matter  –  your  experience  of  something  is
always limited; there is something more to be added. So, experience is limited,
knowledge is limited – for ever, not just future knowledge, it is always limited.
Therefore,  memory  is  limited  and  so  thought  is  limited.  Right?  Thought  is
limited. And where there is limitation, there is division. Right? As the Sikh, the
Hindu,  the  Buddhist,  the  Muslim,  the  Christian,  the  Democratic  party,
Republican  party,  Communist.  You  understand?  They  are  all  based  on
thought.  Therefore  all  governments  are  limited.  All  your  activity  is  limited,
whether  you  think  most  abstractly  or  try  to  be  very  noble,  it  is  still  thinking.
Right? So, from that limited quality of thinking – and thinking is always limited –
our actions are limited. Right?
Now,  from  that  you  begin  to  enquire  very  carefully:  can  thought  have  its
right place and have no other place at all? You understand my question? No,
no. Don’t go to sleep, please. I need thought to come here. I have to get up at
a certain time and all the rest of it. You have too. You have to sit there. So, is
there an action which is free of limitation? You think it out. Think it out, look at
it carefully. That is, thinking being limited, we have reduced the whole universe
into a very small affair. You understand? We have made our life into such a
small affair. I think, I must be this, I mustn’t be that, I must have power, I must
not!  You  follow?  We  have  reduced  the  enormous  quality  of  life  into  a  very
small petty little affair. Right? So, is it possible to be free of thought? That is, I
must  think  to  come  here.  If  I  am  a  bureaucrat,  I  must  think  in  terms  of
bureaucracy.  If  I  go  to  the  factory  and  turn  the  screw,  I  must  have  certain
knowledge. Why should I have knowledge about myself? You understand my
question?  The  higher  self,  lower  self  and  all  that  stuff?  Why  should  I  have
knowledge about it? It is very simple. I am self-interested. I am only concerned   121
with myself actually. We may pretend to have brotherhood, or may talk about
peace, we may do every kind of verbal explaining in many words, but we are
always  self-centred.  Right?  So,  from  that  arises  the  question:  can  the  self-
centredness, which is essentially deep selfishness, can there be a change at
all? You understand? Can we be utterly selfless? Go on, sir.
So, we have to enquire: what is the self? Right, sirs? What are you, apart
from  your  name  and  profession  and  your  vows  and  following  some  guru  or
leader,  what  are  you?  Tell  me.  Apart  from  your  profession,  apart  from  your
name  –  or  put  it  the  other  way  round:  are  you  your  name;  are  you  your
profession? Or, are you part of the community, or are you part of the tradition?
The Hindu, that is a tradition, a name! So, what are you? Don’t repeat what the
Gita says, the Upanishads say, or somebody else says. That’s futile. Actually,
what are you? God! Won’t you try to know it? Is this the first time this question
is being put to you? What am I? Aren’t you fear? Aren’t you your name? Aren’t
you your body? Aren’t you what you think you are? The image you have built
about yourself – aren’t you all that? Aren’t you your anger, or do you say ‘Anger
is  separate  from  me’?  Come  on,  sirs.  Aren’t  you  your  fears,  your  ambitions,
your greed, your competition, your uncertainty, your confusion, your pain, your
sorrow? Aren’t you all that? Aren’t you the guru that you follow, and all the kind
of  stuff  you  put  around  your  neck?  So,  when  you  identify  yourself  with  that,
that is, your fear, your pleasure, your pain, your sorrow, your affection, your
rudeness – all that, aren’t you all that? Or are you something high up, super-
self,  super-consciousness?  If  you  say  you  are  super-consciousness,  higher
self, that is also part of thinking; therefore what you call the higher self is still
very small. So, what am I? Don’t go to sleep sir! What’s the time, sir?
Q: Nine thirty five.
K: We have talked for nearly an hour.
Q: Yes sir. Yes sir.
K: Good. God! I don’t know whether it’s worthwhile.    122
I am saying, you are a bundle of all that. Right? Put together by thought, I
am  a  Hindu,  I  am  a  Brahman,  I  am  not  a  Brahman,  or  anti-Brahman,  and  I
want  to  be  prime  minister,  I  want  to  have  a  bigger  position,  I  want  power,
position. Right? Don’t say, no. You want all those. You want to be nearer to
god,  or  your  guru,  and  therefore,  what  he  says,  you  follow,  and  you  are
uncertain, confused, lonely, in sorrow, in pain, anxiety. Right? You are all that.
Whatever you think, you are. Right? You may invent all kinds of stuff, but that
invention too is what you are. Right?
So another very, very complicated question I won’t go into now, because it
is nearly time: who has put all this together? Putting it all together is called me,
myself, my ego, my personality, my higher self, my god, you know, atman, I
invent  all  this  kind  of  stuff.  Who  has  put  this  together?  You  understand  my
question?  Or  is  there  only  one  structure?  You  understand?  We  have
separated all this. One day I am quite certain, second day I am uncertain, third
day – I mean third day, it’s a long interval – I want, I aspire to be very noble, fifth
day I say, I must be fearless and so on. Right? Moving from day to day. What
kind of human beings we are! I am a Hindu, Buddhist, and all the rest of it!
Who has divided all this? You understand my question? Who has said, ‘I am a
Hindu’,  or  ‘I  am  a  Muslim’?  Is  it  merely  propaganda?  Division  between
countries – who created this division? Oh come on, sirs.
Q: Socrates.
K: Socrates?
Q: Thought.
K: Thought: Are you sure? Or is it the desire, the longing to be identified, to
be safe?
Q: These are also thoughts.
K: Would you listen before you put that? Of course, thought, but there is
something else in it. I am asking you most respectfully, who has created this
division? It is thought, of course, but behind that thought there is something
else. I am a Russian, or a Muslim and I hold on to that. Right? For the rest of   123
my life I am a Muslim, or a Catholic, or a Hindu, or whatever it is. Who is doing
all this, apart from the thought? What is the desire, what is the urge, what is
the movement behind it?
Q: To become.
Q: That’s right.
K: To become; what do you mean, to become what?
Q: Different from what I am sir.
Q: It’s security.
K: That’s it. Security. I want to be secure, that is why I follow a guru. I want
to  be  secure  in  my  relationship  with  you,  with  my  wife:  she  is  mine.  Right?
Secure. Right, sirs? Secure, protected, safe, some place I must have. At home
– it is rather difficult in a factory or in a bureaucratic structure. The desire, the
urge, the response, the reaction is ‘safety’, ‘I must be secure’. Right? K, so and
so  name,  B.A.  You  are  a  crazy  crowd.  Or  an  MP,  Member  of  Parliament!
Politics matter very much here, in this country. So, it is a form of security. We
all  want  security,  but  we  never  question,  is  there  security  at  all?  Is  there
anywhere I can say I am safe? You distrust your wife, your wife distrusts you.
You distrust your boss, because you want his place. It is all common sense
You like to be gurus – for god’s sake! So, each human being in this world – you
may laugh at it now – each human being in the world wants to have a place
where he can be safe, secure, where there is no competition, where he is not
pushed around, where he is not harassed. Don’t you want all that? If you are
honest, for a change, don’t you want all that? Yes, but you never ask: is there
security  at  all?  We  want  something  –  it  may  be  illusory.  I  want  god,  but  we
have  created  god.  So,  you  want  security,  and  you  also  must  ask:  is  there
security at all? If you want security, you must also ask the other question. You
can’t say, I want security and hold on. Is there security at all?
Then, the question arises: why do you want security? Is there security in
your  thinking?  Is  there  security  in  relationship?  Not  with  me,  with  your  wife,
your children. Is there security in your job? You may be a professor, carefully   124
protected  once  you  become  a  professor,  but  they  are  hapless.  You  want  to
become Vice Chancellor? You know the game. So, where is there security? Or
there may be no security at all. Just think about it, sir! See the beauty of that!
having no desire for security, having no urge, no feeling of any kind, in which
there  is  security  in  your  vows,  in  your  offices,  in  your  factory,  in  your
parliament  and  so  on.  Is  there  security?  Life  may  not  have  security.  Life  is
meant to be lived. Not create problems and then try to solve them, not to have
sorrow, pain. It is meant to be lived, and it will die. That is one of our fears, to
die. Right? We will go into all that.
So,  for  this  morning,  have  we  learnt  from  each  other  –  not  helped  each
other  –  have  we  learnt?  Have  we  heard  at  all  what  the  speaker  is  talking
about? Heard with the ear? Have you seen the facts of the world, which is you,
the world is you, have you seen the facts of all that? Or are they all ideas?
There is a difference between fact and idea. The idea is never the fact. The
microphone, this thing in front of the speaker, the word microphone is not the
thing. Right? The word is not the thing, but we have made the word the thing.
You understand what I am saying? So, the ‘Hindu’ is not you. The word is not
you. You are the fact, not the word. I wonder if you see all that. So, can we see
the word and see that the word is not the thing? The word ‘god’ is not god. The
word is different totally from reality. Right?
So,  we  are  most  respectfully  asking:  what  have  you  learnt  this  morning,
actually  learnt,  so  that  you  act?  Not  say,  yes,  quite  right,  quite  right  and  go
home and carry on. So unless we act, the world is in great chaos – I don’t know
if you realize it. There is great trouble in the world, great misery. And the world
is you, because you are in misery, you are confused, you are all this, therefore
you are creating the world around you. You understand what I am saying? If
you don’t alter, the world cannot alter, change. In the world, everywhere you
go, every human being in the world goes through the same phenomenon, as
you are going through: uncertain, unhappy, fearful, insecure, wanting security,
trying to control, trying to say ‘that guru is better than my guru’ and so on, and
so on, creating wars. You understand sirs? The speaker is not an optimist or a   125
pessimist;  we  are  presenting  the  facts,  not  newspaper  facts.  We  are  talking
about facts of our life, not the life of a guru or the emporer or somebody other.
We  are  talking  together  about  your  life.  Your  life  is  like  the  rest  of  the
world.They  are  terribly  unhappy,  uncertain,  miserable,  unemployed  by  the
millions. Poverty, hunger, sorrow, pain just like you – you are not different from
them. You may call yourself Hindu or Muslims or Christains or what you like
but  consciously,  inwardly  you  are  like  rest  of  the  world.  You  may  be  dark
brown  and  they  may  be  light  brown,  different  government  but  every  human
being shares this terrible world. We have made the world. Do you understand?
Not  Lenin  or  Marx,  we  have  made  the  world.  We  are  society.  If  you  want
society to be something different you have to start, you have to bring order to
your house. The house is you. Alright sirs?    126
Chapter 5
Rajghat 2nd Public Talk 19th November 1985
May we go on with what we were talking about yesterday morning? As we
said, we are taking a long journey together, in a railway, a very long journey,
right throughout the world, and that journey began two and a half million years
ago.  And,  during  that  long  interval  of  time,  and  distance,  we’ve  had  a  great
many experiences. And those experiences are stored in our brain, conscious
or deeply unconscious, deep layers of it. And, together, you and the speaker,
are going to examine, explore. It’s not the speaker alone talks, we’re all talking
together, only the speaker is putting it into words. And the words have a very
significant  meaning,  not  just  vocabulary,  but  the  depth  of  the  word,  the
significance of the word, the meaning of the word. And, as we said yesterday,
you  and  the  speaker,  are  taking  the  journey  together,  you  can’t  just  go  to
sleep. You can’t just say yes, I agree, or disagree. We went into that. We are
not agreeing or disagreeing. We are merely looking out of the window, seeing
what extraordinary things man has gone through, what experience, what pain,
what sorrow, what unbearable things man has created for himself, and for the
world.  We  are  not  taking  sides,  pro  and  con,  please  understand  this  very
carefully. We are not taking any side, either left or right or centre. This is not a
political meeting, this is not an entertainment, this is a serious gathering. If you
want to be entertained, you should go to a cinema, or football, but this is a very
serious meeting, as far as the speaker is concerned. He has talked all over the
world,  unfortunately  or  fortunately  he  may  have  created  a  reputation,  and
probably you are coming here because of that reputation, but that’s no value at
all. So please, together we are going to examine, sitting together in that train,
taking  an  infinitely  long  journey.  We  are  not  trying  to  impress  you.  You
understand?  We  are  not  trying  to  force  you  to  look  at  something.  We  are
looking at our daily life, and all the background of a million years, let’s keep it
to a million years, good enough, and one must listen to all the whispers, hear
every  movement,  see  everything  as  it  is,  not  as  you  would  wish  it  to  be,
actually what you see out of the window as the train goes by.    127
And, you have to keep awake to see everything that you’re passing, hear
every whisper, hear every sound, the beauty of the hills, the rivers, the stretch
of  water,  and  all  the  beauty  around  you.  Shall  we  talk  about  beauty  for  a
while?  Would  it  interest  you?  Yes  –  don’t  say  yes,  yes,  it’s  a  very  serious
subject, like everything in life. So please, probably you’ve never asked what is
beauty – not the beauty of a boy.
So to listen, not only to our own inward thoughts, feelings, and our opinions
and judgments, but also to hear the sound of what other people are saying, not
your  gurus,  that’s  all  rather  childish,  but  what  other  people  are  saying,  what
your wife is saying, what your neighbour is saying, to listen to the sound of that
crow, to feel the beauty of the world, the beauty of nature. So, we’re going to,
for  the  moment,  to  enquire  into  what  is  beauty.  Right?  Because  you  are
passing in that train the most wonderful scenery, the hills, the rivers, the great
snowclapped mountains, deep valleys, not only things outside of you, but also
the inward structure, the nature of your own being, what you think, what you
feel, what your desires are. One has to listen to all this, not just say yes, right,
wrong, this is what I think, what I shouldn’t think. Or just merely follow some
tradition,  either  modern  tradition,  with  the  psychology,  physicists,  doctors,
computer  experts,  and  so  on,  but  also  to  listen,  very  quietly,  without  any
reaction,  to  see  the  beauty  of  a  tree.  So  we’re  going  together  to  talk  about
beauty.
What is beauty? Have you been to museums? In the old middle-ages, or
Renaissance,  of  the  great  painters,  have  you  seen  them,  some  of  you?
Probably  not.  I  won’t  take  you  around  the  museum,  I’m  not  a  guide.  But
instead  of  looking  at  pictures,  paintings,  and  the  statues  of  the  ancient
Egyptians,  Greeks,  and  Romans,  and  the  moderns,  we  are  looking,  asking,
enquiring, demanding to find out, what is beauty? Not the form, not a woman
or a man, or a small child that’s extraordinarily beautiful, all children are. So,
what is beauty? I’m asking the question sir, please answer to yourself first, or
you’ve never thought about it. Not the beauty of a face, but the beauty of a
green lawn, of a flower, of the great mountains, with the snow covering them,   128
and the deep valleys, and the still tranquil waters of a river. All that is outside
of you. And you say how beautiful that is. What does that word beauty mean?
Because it is very important to find that out because we have so little beauty in
our  daily  life.  If  you  go  through  Benares  you  know  all  about  it.  The  filthy
streets, the dust, the lorries. And you ask yourself, seeing all this, not the mere
tenderness of a leaf, or the tender generosity of human beings, but to enquire
very deeply, this word that is used by poets, painters, sculptors, and you are
asking yourself now, what is this quality of beauty? Do you want me to answer
it, or will you answer it? Go on, sir.
Q: You answer it.
K: Why?
Q: Because we don’t know.
K: The gentleman says, you answer it because we don’t know. Why? Why
don’t you know? Why haven’t we enquired into this enormous question? You
have your own poets, from the ancient people until now. They write about it,
they sing about it, they dance, and you say, I don’t know what beauty is. What
a strange people we are. But, if you ask who is your guru, who is your god, I
believe  there  are  300,000  gods  in  India,  pretty  good,  in  Europe  or  America
there is only one god. With you there are 300,000 more. You can choose any
of them to amuse yourself.
So what is beauty? It’s the same question sir, put into different words. What
are you? What is the nature and the structure of you, apart from the biological
factor.  What  are  you?  Pass  some  exams,  get  a  degree,  a  job,  become  a
physicist, a scientist, a treasurer for a government, what are you? That is very
closely related to what is beauty. When you look at a mountain, snowcapped,
deep valleys, blue deep hills, what do you feel, what’s your real response to all
that? Don’t you know? Aren’t you, for a second, or a few minutes, absolutely
shocked by it? The greatness, the immensity, the blue valley, the extraordinary
light, and the blue sky against the snowcapped mountains. What happens to
you the moment you look at that – the grandeur, the majesty of the mountains,
what do you feel? Do you for the moment, or for a few minutes, exist at all?   129
You  understand  my  question?  Please  don’t  agree,  look  at  it  very  closely.  At
that  moment  when  you  look  at  something  grand,  immense,  majestic,  for  a
second you don’t exist, right, you’ve forgotten your worries, and your wife, and
your children, your job, all the messiness of one’s life. At that moment you say
you are stunned by it, which is, for that second, the grandeur has wiped away
all your memory, for a second, then you come back. What happens during that
second? Go on sir – what happens when you are not there? That is beauty.
You understand? When you are not there. Don’t agree sir. Don’t shake your
head, yes, yes. So, there, the grandeur, the majesty of a mountain, or a lake,
or that river early in the morning, making a golden path, for a second you have
forgotten  everything.  That  is  when  the  self  is  not,  there  is  beauty.  You
understand what I am saying. When you are not, with all your problems and
responsibilities, your traditions, and all that rubbish, not your family, then there
is beauty. Right? When you are not there, like a child with a toy, as long as the
toy is complex and he plays with it, the toy absorbs him, right, takes him over.
The moment the toy is broken, he’s back to whatever it was he was doing.
And we are like that. We are absorbed by the mountain, it’s a toy for us for
a  second,  or  for  a  few  minutes,  and  we  go  back  to  our  world.  And  we  are
saying,  without  a  toy,  with  nothing  to  absorb  you,  take  you  over,  you
understand what I’m saying – you know how a child behaves when you give
him  a  toy?  Or  haven’t  you  watched?  The  toy  becomes  to  the  child
extraordinary, he’s amused, and he plays with it. For a few minutes or a few
hours  or  a  few  days  the  toy  takes  him  over.  Right?  You  understand  my
English? So the mountain has taken you over. Right? And, can you, without
being absorbed by something great, be free of yourself? You understand my
question?  You  don’t  understand  this  –  you’re  too  clever,  that’s  what’s  the
matter with all of you – too much learning. You’re not simple enough – if you are
very  simple,  not  in  clothes  –  deeply  simple  in  yourself,  you  will  discover
something  extraordinary.  But  you  are  covered  over  with  a  lot  of  knowledge,
experience, and so on.    130
So  let’s  move.  We  are  going  to  talk  over  together  many  things.  We’ve
talked  over  beauty  for  a  while,  not  the  poet’s  beauty,  not  the  poem,  the
literature, the essays, the beautiful novel, or the good thrillers. Probably you
don’t read thrillers – do you – oh, you are too holy! So let’s look at ourselves.
We have created the world. You, the speaker, his forefathers, past thousand
years  of  generations  and  time.  Right?  So,  what  is  all  this  about?  You
understand? You understand what I’m saying? What is  all  this  noise  about?
Killing each other, maiming each other, dividing my god, your god. Why is this
society  so  ugly,  so  brutal,  so  cruel?  Yes  sir,  why?  Who  has  created  this
monstrous world? I’m not being pessimistic or optimistic, but look at the world,
the  thing  that’s  going  on  outside  of  you.  Poor  countries  buying  armaments.
Right?  Your  country  buying  armaments,  and  immense  poverty,  competition.
Right? Who has created all this? Will you say god has created it? He must be
a messy god. So who has created this society? You are always talking about
society. Who created it, who put it together? Lord you people! Haven’t you put
it  together?  Not  you  only,  your  fathers,  your  great  grandfathers,  the  past
generations of millions of years, they have created this society, through their
avarice, envy. Right? Through their competition, they have divided the world:
economically,  socially,  religiously.  Right?  Face  the  facts  sir,  for  god’s  sake.
You and the speaker, and his fathers, and fathers, back, back, back, and your
fathers,  as  far  as  you  can  go,  we  have  put  this  society  together,  we  are
responsible for it. Right, or do you deny this fact?
So we are responsible for this. Not gods, not some external factors, but we
each one of us has created this society. You belong to this group and I belong
to another group. You worship one god and I worship another god, you follow
one guru, however silly and stupid they are, and I follow another. So we have
divided  society.  Right?  And  we  have  divided  not  only  socially,  but  also
religiously. Right? Just look at it sir, for god’s sake look at it. Geographically we
have  divided  the  world  –  Europe,  America,  Russia  –  we  have  divided  the
culture – Western culture and Eastern culture; we have made governments –
labour, democratic, republican, communist. You understand sir, how our brain
works – divides, divides, divides. Haven’t you noticed this factor? And so, out of   131
division comes conflict. Right? You have divided yourself as the good and the
bad – I won’t go into all that, it’s too complex. For god’s sake – you probably
have never thought about any of these things.
So, we have created this society, so you are this society. You understand?
You are the society. So, unless you change radically, you’ll never change the
society.  Communists  have  tried  this,  forcing,  compelling  secretly,  viciously,
destroying  millions,  to  force  man,  his  psychology,  his  being,  to  submit  to
various forms of compulsion. You must know all of this. This is history – daily
newspaper.  And  so  where  there  is  division,  there  must  be  conflict.  Right?
That’s law. And we like conflict, apparently, so we live in perpetual conflict.
So we must go back and find out, what is the cause of this, all this. Is it
desire, is it fear, is it pleasure, is this the avoidance of all pain, and therefore
guilt? You understand all this, or am I going too fast? So let’s begin to find out
for  ourselves  what  is  desire.  Right?  That’s  the  basis.  Desire  to  have  power,
desire  to  achieve,  desire  to  become  somebody.  Right?  We  are  not  against
desire,  we  are  not  trying  to  suppress  desire,  or  transcend  desire,  like  the
monks,  like  most  of  you,  transcend,  control,  suppress,  we’re  not  going  into
that.  We  must,  together,  understand,  what  is  desire.  Right?  What  is  desire?
Are you working as hard as the speaker? Or you just say, well let’s listen to
that  man,  it’s  a  nice  day,  a  nice  morning.  So,  we’re  asking,  what  is  desire?
How does it come about, what is it’s source? Not how to suppress it, how to
control it, or let it go, but the root of it. Aren’t you interested in that? Aren’t you
interested  to  find  out  what  is  the  root  of it? Do you want me to explain? As
usual. Sir, explanation is not the thing. Right? The word is not this – I may call
it  a  microphone,  and  you  will  call  it  microphone,  but  the  word  is  not  that,
therefore  explanation  is  not  that,  the  description  is  not  that.  When  one
describes a marvellous tree, the description is not the tree. So we are going to
use words to convey to each other, but the words, the description, is not the
fact. Right? So, at least one learns that. The word is not the thing. Right? My
wife, the word wife, is not the wife. If we can understand that simple fact, you
will treat her better.    132
So what is desire, and why does it dominate us? What is it’s place, what is
its nature? You understand? What is desire? You understand? All the monks
all the world over, suppress desire, or wanting to transcend desire, or desire is
identified with certain images, certain symbols, certain rituals. Right? You’re all
there some of you, the monks and all the rest of it. What is desire? Have you
ever  asked  that  question?  Or  do  you  yield  to  desire,  whatever  the
consequences?
So  we’re  going  together,  together,  not  wait  for  me,  for  the  speaker  to
explain,  but  together  we’re  going  to  look  at  it.  Right?  We  live  by  sensation,
don’t we? There’s a train going across the bridge: you hear it, you identify it.
So we live by sensation – better food, better house, better wife. So sensation is
life. Right? Part of life – sex is part of life, it’s a sensation, pleasure. And we
have a great many pleasures. Right? Pleasure of possession, and so on and
so on. To us, sensation becomes extraordinarily important, part of life, right,
part of our existence. If you have no sensation, you are dead. Right? All your
nerves  go,  your  brain  withers,  and  so  on.  So  we  live  by  sensation.  Right?
Sensation  being  touch,  feel,  sensation;  like  putting  a  nail  suddenly  into  your
finger, that’s sensation, pain you call  it. When you see something ugly, how
can you smile at it, that is part of sensation; tears, laughter, having humour, it’s
all part of sensation. Then what happens, we have this sensation. You see a
beautiful house – which is it you want, more power, more money? The more;
the more is part of sensation. Right? Right sirs? You’re so hesitant, aren’t you?
So, what happens when you have a sensation? When you see something very
beautiful, a car, a woman, a man, or a lovely house, what happens? You see
the  house,  there  is  a  sensation,  then  what  takes  place?  Go  slowly,  you’ll
understand  it.  You  see  that  lovely  house,  clean,  with  beautiful  gardens,
flowers,  everything  kept  beautifully,  that’s  sensation  when  you  see  it.  Then
what takes place? Sensation is natural. Right? It is inevitable, it is part of our
life. Then I explain, you’ll agree and say quite right, quite right, and go home,
do the same thing.    133
So then, what takes place? You have seen that house, seen the garden,
seen the beauty of the landscape, and how the house is built, with style, grace
and  sense  of  dignity,  then  thought  comes  along,  makes  an  image  of  that
sensation, and then says, I wish I had that house. You follow this – no, you
don’t. You see that house there – there is sensation. Just wait a minute, wait a
minute before I go further. Sensation, then thought comes along and creates
out of that sensation the desire to have that house. Right? Or something else.
You see some politician riding in a big car, or cyclist ahead, and all the rest of
that business, and you say, by Jove, I wish I had some power. That is, you
have  seen  that,  sensation,  then  thought  comes  and  says,  I  wish  I  had  that
power.  Right?  At  that  moment  desire  is  born.  When  sensation  is  given  a
shape, a form, then at that second desire is born. Do you understand what I
have said? May I repeat it again, do you want it repeated?
Sir,  you  put  a  pin  in  my  thumb,  that’s  a  sensation  of  pain.  And,  every
record,  every  response  is  part  of  sensation.  Right?  Intellectual,  theoretical,
philosophical – sensation. We live by sensation. Be clear on that. We live by
sensations,  that  is,  senses  responding,  good  taste,  bad  taste,  it’s  bitter,  it  is
sweet, and so on, we live by sensation. And when we see something which we
have  not  got,  like  a  house,  like  a  car,  like  some,  you  know,  that  sensation
becomes dominant when thought gives it an image. You understand? When
thought comes along and says, I wish I had it. At that moment desire is born.
Right? Don’t look at me as if I am some crazy nut. You understand the subtlety
of  it?  The  depth  of  it.  When  thought  gives  a  form,  a  structure,  an  image,  to
sensation, at that second desire is born.
Now the question is, can sensation not be caught by thought, which is also
another sensation. You understand sir? Sensation, and give it time for thought
to give it shape, that is an interval between sensation and thought giving it a
contour. Right? Do it. See what is implied in it when you do it, not say yes, yes
I agree with you.
Q: If you put a pin in my hand there is pain.    134
K: There is pain, then what thought does – no, wait sir, look at it, go slow,
don’t rush. I have pain in the thumb, in the finger, then, I want that pain to be
stopped, so I go to a doctor or whatever I do. Right? Right sir? I want that pain
stopped. Are we asleep? Yes. Sir, pain is another form of sensation. Right?
Then thought says I must stop it. You don’t say, let me look at that pain. Right?
Haven’t you done all this? If I’m ill, which I’ve sometimes been, I say, all right,
wait  until  you  feel  –  see  what  it  means,  what  pain  means,  what  pleasure
means.  Don’t  you  do  that,  or  is  it  immediately doctor?  What? Immediately a
doctor. My god.
Q: The whole response of pain – the pain and a doctor.
K: Yes sir, give an interval. You understand? Not say but I must go to a
doctor, too quick. Give it an interval, a time, and you learn a lot from that.
So, I’m saying, when there is time in between sensation and thought, an
interval, a long interval, or short interval, you’ll understand the nature of desire.
In that there is no suppression, no transcending. If you have a car, and when
you drive it, not knowing the mechanism of it, the internal combustion of it, the
machinery of it, you are always a little nervous that something might go wrong.
Right? But if you know, if you have dismantled that car, as the speaker has
done, totally dismantled it, don’t get nervous, or something or other, when you
dismantle it, and put it together very carefully, know all the parts, then you’re
master of the machinery, of that machine. Right? Then you’re not afraid, you
can put it together again. You understand? So, if you understand the nature of
desire, the way desire begins, then you’re not afraid of it, then you know what
to do with it.
Q: You give yourself a pain…
K: I’ve explained sir. Sir let’s move to something else.
There’s something which you and I, the speaker, should talk over together.
We  have  lived  for  thousands  of  years,  and  we  have  never  understood  the
nature  of  fear.  Right?  What is  the  source  of  fear,  what  is  the  cause  of  fear.
Right?  We  apparently  have  never  ended  fear,  biological  fear  as  well  as,   135
certainly  much  more,  psychological  fears,  inward  fears:  fear  of  death,  right,
fear  of  not  having,  not  possessing,  not  being,  fear  of  loneliness.  Right?  We
have  so  many  fears.  Don’t  you  know  it?  Don’t  you  know  your  fears?  No?
You’re  a  rummy  crowd  –  not  know  your  own  fears.  Out  of  these  fears  you
create gods. Right? Out of these fears you create rituals, spiritual hierarchies,
gurus,  all  the  temples  of  the  world  are  out  of  fear.  Right?  And,  fear  of  your
wife,  fear  of  your  governor,  fear  of  your  policeman,  you  know,  we’ve  got
thousands of fears. And we’re asking, what is fear, not your particular form of
fear. You understand, you understand sir? Not my fear and your fear, what is
fear?  If  you  understand  the  machinery  of  a car,  you’re  not  afraid  of  the  car.
Right? You know how to run it, when it should be serviced, and looked after
and all the rest. So if you know, realize, understand, be with the nature of it,
the  cause  of  it,  the  root  of  it,  then  you  will  transcend  fear,  the  fear  is  gone.
Right? We’re going to do that this morning.
We’re asking what is fear, what’s the cause of it, not how to end it, not how
to transcend it, control it, depress it, and run away from it, as you’re doing. So
what is the cause the source of fear? Think it out, sir, go into it for a minute.
Take your fear, your particular fear, or fears, what is the root of it? Security,
desire for more, it’s all, you understand? So, if you haven’t found it, you will
ask somebody, like the speaker, what is the cause of it? Will you listen, to it,
listen, actually listen, as you listen to your boss, who might throw you out, give
you less money, you listen? You listen with all your heart, with your fears, with
your apprehension, you might lose your job, therefore please tell me what to
do. Will you so listen to what he is saying? Or you say, yes. So I’ll explain. May
I?  But  you  know  how  to  do  your  job  in  an  office.  Right?  So  I’ll  explain.  It’s
rather complex, and you like complexity. But, the explanation is not the thing.
Right? The word fear is not fear. Right? The word is not the thing.
What is fear? What is the cause of it? Is the word fear the cause of fear?
You understand? The word fear, does that evoke fear in you? Are you sure?
So fear is a fact. And the word is not the fact. Right? Don’t look puzzled, sir, it’s
simple, very simple. The word tree, is not the tree. So the explanation is not a   136
means to end fear. So we have to examine then, what is time, because time is
fear – tomorrow something might happen, my house might fall down; my wife
might turn to another man; my husband has gone off and I’m in sorrow – fear.
You  understand?  Fear  of  the  past,  fear  of  the  future,  fear  of  the  present,
anything might happen. So the past, the future and the present is caught in the
wheel of time. Right? Right? Yesterday, today, and tomorrow is time. Right? I
have been that, I won’t be that, but I am not that now. Right? I have been, I
shall be, but I am not. So the whole process is a movement in time. Movement
means time. From here to there is a movement, and that means time to come
from this place to that place needs time. So movement is time. All movement
is time. Right? By the clock – come nearer sir, if you’re in the sun sir, you too
come and sit, there’s plenty of room for god’s sake. Don’t be nervous, come
close – so the past, the present, and the future is a movement which we call
time. I was young once, now I’m ninety – this is time.
So what is time? What is time? It took you time to come from Benares to
here. It’ll take time for you to get back. So, there is time by the clock. Right?
There is time to cover a distance, there is time as the past, the present, and
the future. Right sir? All this is time. Right? The past shapes the present, right,
circumstances and so on. Please, this is very difficult, don’t agree or disagree,
just listen, find out. The past is now operating. Right? And the future is shaped
by  the  present,  modified,  circumstances  have  changed,  certain  incidents
happen,  so  the  past  is  modified,  changed,  altered.  Right?  And  the  future  is
what happens now. Right? So all time, the past, the present, and the future, is
contained  now.  Ah,  this  puzzles  you  –  go  slowly,  I’m  not  in  a hurry. Sir, this
applies to life, not just to theory. You are a Brahmin, oh sorry, you don’t like
Brahmins here. You were something yesterday, an incident takes place today
that changes, modifies slightly, alters the past circumstances, the past, and the
future is what you are now. Right? Modified. That’s clear, isn’t it? Or is this still
a puzzle? That is, the past, the present, and the future are now. If there is no
mutation now – you understand the word mutation – if there is no mutation now,
you’ll be exactly the same as you’ve been before. Right? I think I’m Indian, with
all the circus behind it, and I’ll be Indian again tomorrow. Right? That’s logical,   137
and that being Indian divides me from Muslim. Right? And I’ll quarrel with him,
not only for his land, increase of population and all the rest of it. So tomorrow
is now. I can’t go on explaining it to you. You understand this? So what you do
now matters, much more than what you will do tomorrow. Right?
So what are you going to do? If tomorrow is now, that’s a fact, it’s not my
theory or your theory, it’s a fact: I am greedy now, if I don’t do anything about it
now, I’ll be greedy tomorrow, that’s all. Can I stop being greedy today? Right?
Will you? No, of course not. So you will be what you have been. This is the
pattern of humanity, for millions of years. You don’t mind killing, be honest, you
don’t  mind  killing.  You  subscribe  to  it,  you  want  your  country  to  be  strong.
Right? Don’t be ashamed of it, this is a fact. And so you gather armaments,
you may not actually do it, you do it through tax, through buying a stamp, you
support. Right? So, if you don’t stop being an Indian now, you’ll be an Indian
tomorrow. So what are you going to do now? Oh you people, stop, you stop
there. I’m asking what will you do now?
Q: Stop being an Indian.
K: Will you? You know what the implications are – not the passport, not the
paper. Not to be associated with any country, not to be associated with any
group, with any religion – they’re all phoney anyhow. Is that possible, will you
do it? Not you sir. Will you see the importance that if there is no mutation now,
today,  you’ll  be  exactly  the  same  tomorrow.  This  is  not  optimistic  or
pessimistic,  this  is  a  fact.  For  two  and  a  half  million  years  we  have  killed
people.  Right?  As  Buddhists,  as  Hindus,  as  Christians,  perhaps  Christians
have killed more than anybody else. You’re not Christian so I can easily say
that! I’ve tackled this question in front of the Christians. So you understand the
seriousness of it – don’t play with it. If there is no radical mutation now, now, I’ll
be the same tomorrow.
So time is a factor in fear. Right? I’m afraid of what might happen tomorrow.
I am afraid of not passing an exam. Right? A girl or a boy, wanting to pass
some examination in order to have a better job, more money, a better chance,
better this, says I’m going to work, work, work to pass that exam. I might not –   138
fear comes in, and so on. Fear is a common factor of all mankind – it’s not you,
of all mankind. So can that fear, you understand, fear, not one branch of it, can
the root of fear be totally demolished? That is, to have no fear of any kind. The
speaker says it is eminently possible. That it can be done so radically. Either
you  kill  the  speaker,  or  you  worship  him,  which  are  both  the  same.  You
understand? And that’s what you’re doing now. So, that’s one of the factors of
our life. And we have lived with fear for a million years, or more and we still
carry  on.  So  the  speaker  is  saying,  fear  can  be  totally  ended.  Don’t  say  it
illumines one, and all that nonsense. You can end it if you put your brain, your
heart into it, completely, not partially. And then you will see for yourself what
immense  beauty  there  is  in  it.  A  sense  of  utter  freedom.  Not  freedom  of  a
country, or some government, but the sense of enormity of freedom, greatness
of freedom. Right? Will you do it, today, now? From today, seeing the cause of
fear, end it. It is time. Time means thought, time is a movement, isn’t it? We all
agree, and thought is also a movement. Don’t be dazzled by all this, it’s very
simple.  Time  is  movement,  thought  is  movement,  so  time  is  thought,  and
thought is time. Thought is based on knowledge, memory, experience, and so
on, and time is also very limited in our life. As long as there is fear, biologically,
physically, psychologically, it destroys us.
So,  if  one  may  ask,  after  listening  to  this  fact,  not  theory,  what  are  you
going to do? Time is the factor of fear and thought, so if you don’t change now,
you won’t ever change, ever again. This constant postponement. Right.    139
Chapter 6
Rajghat 3rd Public Talk 22nd November 1985
This is the last talk. We’re going to talk over together a great many things
today, a great many things, and as we said, we’re not the only speaker. You
and the speaker are partaking, sharing together, the whole problem, or issues
that we are going to discuss, talk over. As we said you are participating in it,
not just listening casually or something that you must listen to, but together we
are  going  to  talk  over  many  things.  We’ve  dealt,  in  the  last  two  talks  and
discussion,  with  many  things:  fear  and  all  the  travails  of  man,  the  problems
that we have, those problems which we never seem to resolve. We went into
that yesterday. The problems exist because our minds are filled with problems
because there is no freedom to look at any problem.
This is not the time to go into it now – we went into it very carefully. And
also we went into the question of thought: why thought has made this life so
utterly impossible. Thought has brought about a great deal of conflict. Wars for
two and a half million years – that means practically every year we kill each
other, in the name of god, in the name of patriotism – my country against your
country,  my  religion  against  your  religion  and  so  on.  War  after  war,  not
perhaps in Benares – here you’re fairly off the real world, but we’re facing wars
every  year.  And  we  also  talked  about  the  nature  of  thought,  why  thought
divides man, or brings them together to do a certain project, like going to the
moon.  To  build  that  rocket,  probably  you  had  to  have  over  300,000  people,
everybody doing their little job perfectly. Either we get together in a crisis like
war, which is born of hatred, or we come together for some national issue, or
we  come  together  when  there  is  a  great  crisis  like  earthquakes,  volcanic
eruptions, natural incidents and so on. Apart from that, we never get together.
Now  this  morning,  if  I  may  most  respectfully  suggest,  that  we  all  get
together, as we are all sitting together, and gather energy so that we can think
out  very  clearly  the  various  issues  we  are  going  to  raise.  Together.  That
means you are actively thinking, actively hearing, to activate our brains which   140
are  rather  sluggish  –  forgive  me  for  pointing  this  out  –  sluggish,  slow,
monotonous, repetitive and so on. So we together this morning, keeping our
brains alert – I’m not insulting you – I’d like to insult you, but I won’t. That’s only
a  joke!  To  keep  not  only  the  physical  organism  active,  because  that  gives
energy:  different  forms  of  walking,  swimming,  and  different  forms  of  yogic
asanas and so on; but also to have a very clear, active brain, not a specialized
brain  as  a  philosopher,  as  a  scientist,  as  a  physicist  and  so  on.  These
specialized  brains  become  very  narrow.  I  know  some  friends  who  are
scientists  here  –  I  hope  I’m  not  insulting  them.  Or  the  doctors,  or  the
philosophers  who  talk  about  talks  –  see  the  joke?  –  talk  about  talks,  either
Plato, Aristotle, various Greek philosophers or your own. Philosophy actually
according to the dictionary means ‘the love of truth’, ‘the love of life’, ‘the love
of wisdom’. Not theories – adding more and more theory, or quoting somebody
and explaining what they have quoted. All the universities, colleges, schools all
over are conditioning the brain.
I don’t know if you’ve ever gone into the question of learning, what it is to
learn.  Now  we’re  going  to  find  out  together,  what  it  means  to  learn.  We
generally take learning to mean memorizing: go to school, you memorize how
to read and write, you memorize mathematics, you memorise.. and so on. All
through school, college, university, if you’re lucky to reach that level or unlucky
to reach that level, you memorize. And that memory can be used actively: to
earn a livelihood, to gain power, possessions, prestige, patronage and so on.
So what is learning? Is there another kind of learning? We know the ordinary
kind  of  learning  –  school,  college,  university,  or  learning  a  skill,  become  an
excellent  carpenter  or  a  plumber  or  an  excellent  cook.  There  are  several
friends  of  mine  here  who  are  very  good  cooks  and  also  very  good
philosophers, and psychiatrists and physicists – they are all there – here – not in
that direction.
So,  what  is  learning? Is there another kind of learning that is not merely
memorizing? Have you ever thought about it? When you’re memorizing your
brain is filled with memories. That’s simple. So memory multiplies, keeps you   141
somewhat  alert,  you  learn  more,  more,  more.  We’re  asking  you  –  is  there
another kind of learning, not merely memorizing? As we said, we are together,
our brains are active. So the speaker is asking you: is there a different kind of
learning altogether?
Q: (Inaudible)
K: Don’t define it yet, think, look at the question. Is there a different sort of
learning which is not memorizing? This is a very important question because
the  brain  records  everything,  every  incident,  every  kind  of  memory.  When
you’re hurt, it is recorded, but you never enquire who is hurt. We’ll come to that
presently.  So  the  brain  is  recording.  See  the  importance  of  that.  It  has  to
record,  otherwise  you  and  I  wouldn’t  be  here.  So  the  brain  is  constantly
recording,  discarding.  Now  is  it  necessary  to  record?  You  understand  my
question? You record an incident in a car; an accident. It is instantly recorded,
because you have pain, or you are hurt, or your car is hurt. So the brain has
the capacity, the energy, not only to record, but also to safeguard itself. Right?
We’re asking: is it necessary to record everything? Or only record that which is
necessary – and nothing else? Have you put this question to yourself, including
the psychiatrists, including the physicists and so on. Have you ever considered
this  question?  The  brain  records  for  its  own  security  otherwise  you  and  I
wouldn’t be sitting here. We recorded how long it would take to come here and
so  on.  We’re  asking,  it  is  necessary  to  record  certain  things,  and  totally
unnecessary where the psyche is involved. You understand my question, sir?
Is  it  necessary  when  you  are  flattered  to  record  it?  Or  when  you  are
insulted? Is it necessary to record those things? Because the recording builds
up  the  psyche.  Are  we  talking  over  together  or  are  you  just  saying,  yes  it
sounds  rather  good?  This  is  a  very  serious  question.  Because  the  psyche
which is made up of all elements, characteristics, ethos, is contained there in
the brain which we call consciousness. In that consciousness, all the activities
of  memories,  fears,  etc.,  are  contained.  So  we’re  asking  again,  don’t  go  to
sleep, please: is it necessary to build up the psyche? ‘Psyche’ means the self.
The self being all the memories, activities of thought, imagination, fascination,   142
fear, pleasure, sorrow, pain. It’s recorded. Which makes up the whole psyche,
the ‘I’, the persona. Is it necessary to record so as to build up the self? You
don’t think about any of these things. So I’m asking you: have you ever thought
about it, looked at it, or investigated as you would into various philosophical
matters, gone into this question of recording? If I didn’t record how to drive a
car – the speaker has driven a car 120 miles an hour two years ago – if there
was no recording, I couldn’t drive. So it is necessary to record certain things
and totally unnecessary to record other things. See the beauty of it – so that
the brain is not always conditioned in memory; so the brain becomes totally
free, but active.
So that’s the first question: learning is not to record. We’d like to discuss
this with a psychiatrist if one is here. We have discussed this matter in New
York. They were fascinated with the idea of not recording. So the brain cells
themselves  mutate.  Do  you  understand?  Oh,  no.  Our  brains  are  built  up  of
cells  and  so  on  –  I’m  not  a  professional  –  and  in  the  brain  cells  are  the
memories.  And  we  live  on  those  memories;  the  past,  all  the  remembrances
that one has, and the older you grow, the more you go back further and further
till you die. And it’s rather an important question to find out, to learn to find out:
whether  the  brain  needs  to  record  everything.  Not  forgetting.  The  difference
between forgetting and not recording are two different things. So when you are
hurt – not physically but psychologically, inwardly, what is hurt? You say: I am
hurt. Haven’t you heard that phrase. Is it new to you? We are all hurt. From
childhood till you grow old and die, you are being hurt all the time, till you say,
‘I can’t stand any more hurt. I’ve been hurt so much, I’m frightened’. I build a
wall around myself, isolate myself, all the consequences of being hurt. Who is
being hurt? Answer this, sir. You are all hurt. Every human being on the earth
is somewhat hurt, from childhood; the scolding, the slapping, all that goes on
with children. All of us have had hurts. Now, who is hurt?
Q: It is me.
K:  Don’t  just  answer  me,  please.  Think  it  out.  You  say,  ‘It’s  me’.  What  is
‘me’? You just say, me, ‘I’ – any word that comes. But you don’t investigate who   143
is the ‘I’. Who is the persona, who is the personality, who are you? A name, a
degree, if you are fortunate, or unfortunate enough to have one, a job, a house
or a flat – measly little flats like living in boxes – and a title after a name – ISA,
MSc.,  or  MAD.  You  all  like  MAD.  So  the  image  that  you  have  built  about
yourself,  and  the  images  you  have  built  about  things  which  is  yourself,  so
when you say you are hurt, the images are hurt, about yourself. Are you clear?
No, please, don’t be clear about the explanation. But all those images are you.
You’re a physicist, you’re a doctor, you are a philosopher, you are an MP, or
an engineer. Have you ever realized that they always introduce someone as,
‘He’s the engineer, he’s the cuckoo.’ Always introduced by his profession. Do
you understand, sir, it’s all crazy.
So  the  self,  the  psyche,  the  persona  is  the  image  which  you  have  built
about yourself, and the image you have built about your wife and she builds an
image  about  you  and  these  images  have  relationships.  Right?  See  what  is
happening.  The  images  have  relationships,  not  the  person,  but  the  images.
Right? And you live on that. So you never know your wife or your husband or
your  friend.  Or  you  don’t  care  to  know,  but  you  have  the  image.  So  the
question is: can you live without a single image about the prime minister, about
persons  like  him  and  me?  Can  you  live  without  a  single  image?  See  the
implications of it, the beauty, the freedom of it.
There are so many things to talk about. May we go on? Not just say, ‘Yes,
go on’, but you are partaking in it, you are actively thinking together. Right?
Not just say, `Yes, let me listen to what you have to say’. Which means you
don’t really listen at all.
So we ought to talk about together – why all this effort in life? Why do we
make such an immense effort to do anything? You understand my question?
Why make effort? I’ve been through all this – don’t answer quickly. I’ve been
put through the grind by scientists, philosophers, by various forms of religious
cuckoos, every kind of person, so don’t say anything quickly. Why do we make
such an effort in life? You make tremendous effort to meditate – we’ll come to
that presently – we make a tremendous effort to live, to fight, to battle against   144
one  another,  opinion  against  opinion,  judgement  against  judgement,  I  agree
with you, I disagrees with him. Why all this effort? For what? For money? I am
asking  you  sir,  keep  awake.  For  money?  For  your  family?  Please  listen
carefully. For your affection, that you must be loved by somebody? Why all this
effort?  When  you  ask  that  question,  then  you  must  ask,  what  is  love?  That
stumps you. Is love effort? I must love you, therefore I am going to make an
effort about it. Is love an effort? Then you have to enquire, what is love? Do
you mind enquiring into this? Do you know what love is? Apparently you don’t,
because you are all very silent. What is love? Can there be love when there is
ambition?  Sir,  please,  this  is  serious.  This  is  not  for  somebody  who  doesn’t
care,  who  just  wants  his  own  way.  Is  love  ambition,  is  it  greed,  is  it  self-
centredness? Is it ambitious achievement? Is love the opposite of hate?
You know, sirs, we are always fighting from the beginning of time. You see
this in various caves in France, Greek mythology, the good fighting the bad, all
through life. Right? Do you understand what I am saying? The good fighting
the  bad.  You  see  it  in  paintings  as symbolized  the  good,  as  symbolized  the
Devil. Or as in Greek mythology or other mythologies it is the white bull against
the black bull or the good fighting the evil in different shapes and symbols and
so on. We still do that, the good fighting the bad. Don’t you do it? Is the good
separate from the bad? The good guy and the bad guy. Is the good born out of
the bad? Don’t look suddenly grave, sir – it’s all a game to you. If the good is
related to the bad, then it’s not good. If the good is born of the bad, comes out
of the bad, then it’s not good. That is simple, isn’t it? But if the bad is totally
divorced from the good, no relationship between the good and the bad, if there
is  no  relationship  with  each  other,  then  there  is  only  the  bad  and  the  good.
Totally divorced from each other, therefore they can’t fight.
So  then  we  have  to  enquire,  what  is  the  good?  Are  you  interested  in  all
this? Therefore, you have to ask, can love contain hate? Or hate have nothing
to do with love? Therefore there is no relationship between the two, therefore
they can’t fight each other. You understand – this is an important question for
you to understand, to delve into, to go into, because you are always saying, I   145
have not been good today, but I will be good tomorrow. Or, I have been angry
today,  but  I  will  not  be  angry  tomorrow.  This  is  the  relative  relationship
between the good and the bad.
So  love  has  nothing  whatsoever  to  do  with  jealousy.  Love  has  nothing
whatsoever to do with hate. Where there is hate, pleasure, anxiety and so on,
love  cannot  exist.  Yes,  sir.  And  the  speaker  questions  whether  you  love
anybody at all. And what is love? How does it come about? Don’t you ask that
question? Do you really ask that question, or am I asking it for you?
Q: The question is with us.
K: What question?
Q: Whether we love.
K: Yes. Whether you love. Can love exist where there is sorrow? Careful,
sir, don’t answer me. Most of us are in sorrow of some kind or another. Failing
an  exam,  failing  to  be  successful  in  business,  or  in  politics,  or  in  your
relationship with your wife or in your relationship with somebody upstairs. You
understand – upstairs – which might be your guru or some other imaginative
figure. So when you can’t succeed, when there is no success in you, you are
depressed, you are sorrowful. Or you are sorrowful because you live in a small
village and you don’t know how to read and write – thank god – and you don’t
know how to drive a car, or you don’t have a hot bath or you wear one dirty
cloth. The speaker has been through all that. You’re all fairly well-to-do and so
on. So he suffers. The man in position, high up the ladder – nobody pulls down
the  ladder  but  he  is  high up.  He  suffers  too,  because  there  are  a  few  more
steps  to  go  up.  So  everyone  on  this  earth,  everyone  from  the  richest  to  the
poorest,  from  the  most  powerful  man  to  the  least  powerful,  they  all  suffer.
Every woman on earth suffers. Men have pleasure, woman suffer. So suffering
is not yours, because everyone around you suffers. It’s not my suffering – it’s
suffering. I wonder if you understand that? My son dies and I get terribly upset.
I weep and I say, I’ve lost my son, and that becomes a perpetual problem. I
weep every time I see a little boy or a little girl. And I go through the pain of
loneliness, sorrow, all the rest of it. Do we ever consider, sorrow is not mine,   146
it’s  everybody’s,  which  doesn’t  minimize  sorrow  –  it’s  there.  And  can  that
sorrow end? As long as I am suffering because I’ve lost my wife, or I’m not as
great as I thought I was, or I’ve got pain in my joints, or something or other, I’m
always suffering. I’m asking, can that sorrow end? If there is sorrow, there is
no love. Please realize that. If I suffer, suffer, suffer, it’s part of self-pity, part of
my concern, it is only I am suffering, nobody else, my sorrow is different from
your sorrow, my god is different from your god, my guru is stronger that your
guru. It becomes a joke.
So is there an end to sorrow? Or mankind must go through this horror all
his life? Yes, sir. The speaker says it can end, otherwise there is no love. If I’m
shedding tears all the time because I’ve lost my son and he’s the only son I’ve
had, to me the son represents me, my continuity, my property, however small
it is, I had hoped he would become prime minister, have a better house, more
learned, get more money. You know? We all think the same way, don’t play
around with this. So I suffer. And you come along and tell me, `Every human
being on earth suffers, it’s not your suffering old boy, we all share it.’ I refuse to
accept such a statement because I love my sorrow. I’m happy in my sorrow,
and I want to be separate in my sorrow. So it requires a great deal of enquiry,
persuasion, talking about it, to say, ‘Look, have a little bit of it, but it isn’t quite
yours.’  That  means  no  self-pity  and  that  means  you  are  really  sharing  the
burden  of  sorrow  for  all  the  rest  of  mankind.  Go  on,  sir.  You  don’t  know
anything about it. Think about it, look at it. You are part of humanity, you are
not separate from humanity. You may have a better position, better degrees,
better money, profession, you are part of mankind, your consciousness is part
of  mankind.  That  is,  your  consciousness  contains  all  the  things  you  have
thought about, imagined, fears, and so on. Consciousness is that and that is
the  consciousness  of  mankind.  Mankind  has  fear,  sorrow,  pain,  anxiety,
shedding tears, uncertain, confused, every human being on earth. And you are
like  the  rest.  So  you  are  not  –  listen  carefully  –  so  you  are  not  individuals.  I
know my body is different from your body. You are a woman, I’m a man. But
we are in the world as one unit. That relationship when you feel you are the   147
rest  of  mankind  then  something  totally  different  takes  place.  Not  just  words,
imagination, but the feeling of it, the enormity of it.
So we’ve talked a bit about that. Then we ought to talk about death. Sorry,
on  a  lovely  morning,  sitting  under  the  trees,  quiet,  no  trains  crossing  the
bridge,  we  are  very  quiet  on  a  lovely  morning. And to talk about death may
seem morbid, may seem ugly, may seem something not to be talked about.
They are writing books in America on how to die happily, doctors are doing it,
telling their patients how to die happily. Now together we’re going to examine
it,  share  it.  Not  just  you  listen  and  I  talk. That’s childish. So,  what  is  death?
Why are we so frightened of it? Why do we keep death for ten years later, or
twenty years later or a hundred years later? Why living and death? Then you
have not only to ask: what is death and what is dying but also what is living?
You understand what I am saying? What is living? What is your living? Office
from  nine  to  five,  as  a  clerk  or  a  governor  or  whatever  it  is,  as  a  factory
worker? Nine to five for the rest of your life, except when you retire, a ga-ga
old  man.  And  your  life  is  breeding  children,  sex,  pleasure,  pain,  sorrow,
anxiety,  problem  after  problem,  illness,  doctors,  caesarean  operation,  pain
giving  birth.  This  is  our  life.  Do  you  deny  that?  No.  And  you  call  this  living.
Don’t look at me as if I’m a strange man. This is what we call living. And you
support it, you enjoy it. You want more and more of this. Right? So this is what
you call living. And you put death far away, as many years away as possible.
And in that distance of time you are building up that same pattern, over and
over – your children, your grandchildren live in that same pattern which you call
living. Don’t deceive yourself saying that nature struggles so we must struggle.
Monkeys struggle so we are monkeys. There is a very famous author I used to
know and he wrote, ‘Perhaps we should be behind the bars, not the monkeys’.
So this is what we call living. And I say this to myself – we are sharing this
together – why no bring that which you call death into living, together. You can’t
take anything with you, even your guru, even all that he has said, all that you
have tried to live up to. You can’t take it with you. Your furniture and your wife,
your children, all the silver you have collected, all the money in the treasury,   148
none of it can you take with you. That’s one thing certain: death, and you can’t
take anything with you. Except – we won’t go into that. So as you cannot take
anything with you, why not let the two meet? You understand what I’m saying?
Why not death come today? Not suicide – I’m not talking about that. After all,
I’m  attached  to  my  wife  or  to  my  furniture  (more  like  it)  or  to  my…  Sorry  to
laugh, you are a crazy crowd. So I say to myself or you say to yourself, I’m
attached to something or other: to my shirt or to my robe, or to some guru or to
some fantasy, some symbol, to which I’m attached. Death comes along in ten
years and says, ‘Old boy, you can’t take that with you.’ So why not get totally
free  of  attachment  now?  Which  is  death.  You  understand  what  I’m  talking
about? Totally detached, today, not tomorrow. Tomorrow is death.
So, why can’t I be free of my attachment, now? Therefore living and dying
are together all the time. I wonder if you see the beauty of it. Not ten years
later  or  forty  years  later.  That  gives  you  an  immense  sense  of  freedom  –  to
your  profession,  to  everything  about  you.  So  living  and  dying  are  together,
always. It’s not something to be frightened about. So if the brain can do that,
then there is a totally different quality to the brain. It has no hooks. It has no
sense  of  the  past,  the  future,  the  present.  It  is  living.  I  can’t  go  into  it  now
because  it  is  really  an  endless way of living; every day is a new day; every
morning is a son of the morning.
And also we should talk about religion. Don’t mistake what I’m talking about
– what K is talking about. The future is now. Therefore there is no ‘I shall be
born  next  life’.  That  is  an  idea  to  which  you’re  attached,  it  gives  you  great
comfort, bla bla, all the rest of it. But if you believe in reincarnation then you
must act right now, act rightly now, because next life you are going to pay for it
or be rewarded. If you believe in reincarnation, as most of you probably do –
it’s  a  very  comforting  idea  but  meaningless,  because  if  you  act  rightly  now,
righteousness has no reward. Righteousness is righteousness, not what you
are going to get out of it. That’s a merchandise attitude, mechanical attitude. I
won’t go into all that as there is no time because we have some other things to
talk about.    149
What is religion? Sir, this is one of the most important questions about life.
There  are  temples,  all  over  India,  mosques  all  over  the  world,  churches  all
over  the  world,  and  their  priests  beautifully  decorated,  beautifully garbed, all
medallions  and  so  on.  This  has  been  one  of  the  problems  from  the  most
ancient of times. The priest and the king. The priest wanted power. The king
also wanted power. But the priest was stronger because he wrote, read, and
the king had to obey him because he was the wiser man – or he was supposed
to be. And gradually the king said, ‘This is not good enough’ and so there was
a  war  between  the  priest  and  the  king.  This  is  historical  –  you’ll  find  it  in
different ways. And the king won. And said, ‘You keep to your place.’ But the
priest also wanted to have power. You know all this, don’t you? It’s happening
right now. And the popes have three crowns – spiritual, terrestrial and so on.
So there was a conflict in parliament between the priest and – I won’t go into all
that – so the priest was put out. So they had to be religions. Religions has been
built. I won’t go into the word ‘religion’. It had a complicated meaning at one
time, but now it has become a symbol, a ritual, a superstition. In this country,
it’s a superstition, a ritual, worshipping a symbol. This is repeated all over the
world,  over  and  over  again  –  a  mixture  of  these  three.  And  is  that  religion?
Parsi,  Hindu,  Muslim,  Christian,  Buddhist  –  is  that  religion?  Or  is  religion
something entirely different? I’m sorry to upset all of you. But is that religion?
Going to the temple three times a day, the Muslim calling five times a day and
the  Buddhist  and  so  on.  Is  that  religion  or  is  religion  something  entirely
different? It has nothing whatsoever to do with rituals or symbols. Because all
this has been invented by man, because the priests wanted power, position,
so  he  put  on  new  hats,  new  clothes,  and  grew  long  beards  or  shaved  their
heads.  So  all  that  is  called  religion.  To  an  ordinary  thoughtful  man,  fairly
intelligent, he will say, that is rubbish total rubbish. If he discards all that, really
discards, totally puts away being a Hindu, with all his superstitions, symbols,
worship, prayers, all that stuff. And the Christian does, and the Buddhist, then
what is religion? He is a serious man, not just a wordmonger – not warmonger
but wordmonger. So what is religion? We’re talking over together – the speaker   150
is  not  laying  down  the  law,  no  authority,  he  says,  let  us  talk  about  it,  let’s
investigate, let’s go into it.
Our  brains  are  chattering  all  the  time.  Never  a  second  when  it  is  quiet.
Haven’t  you  noticed  it?  Chattering,  chattering,  chattering,  or  imaging,  or
perpetually in action. You know that, don’t you? There is never a moment of
silence.  And  that  silence  is  also  a  repetition:  ‘Ram,  Ram’  or  whatever  you
repeat. When you repeat, repeat, repeat, your brain becomes very dull. Right,
do you agree to this? When you repeat something mechanical and you repeat
the  word,  something  or  other  and  gradually  the  brain  through  repetition
becomes dull and quiet and that quietness is something marvellous to you. Do
you understand what I am saying? Are you all asleep? Or are we awake to talk
to each other?
This repetition either physically, or sexually, constant repeat repeat, makes
not only the body, the organism dull but also the brain. And when it becomes
dull, you think that’s quiet. If you discard all that nonsense – for the speaker it’s
complete nonsense like going  to  a  circus  –  for  the  speaker,  not  for  you.  But
we’re sharing it, talking about it together. I am not persuading you, influencing
you to do this or that.
So we have to enquire what is meditation, what is silence. Silence allows
space. You can’t be silent in a tiny space. Right? Space. So we have to go into
the question of meditation, space, time and whether there is an end to time.
Not,  ‘Tell  me  how  to  meditate.’  You  understand,  sir?  We  are  not  telling  you
how  to  meditate.  Your  meditation  now  is  achievement.  The  meaning  of  the
word ‘meditation’ is to ponder over – in a dictionary you will find this – to ponder
over, think over, weigh, Look at it carefully. Also it means ‘measure’, ‘ma’ in
Sanskrit. Measure. So meditation as it is now, repetition, making the mind dull,
and then saying, ‘At last’. Because it is dull, and being dull it becomes quiet.
And  you  think  you’ve  achieved  some  tremendous  thing.  And  you  go  round
repeating this to others. And the poor gullible people say, ‘Yes, yes.’ So we’re
going to consider all this now.
It is five minutes past ten. Do you want to go on?    151
A: Yes, yes.
K: Am I working or are you working?
A: Together.
K:  Are  you  sure?  Meditation  as  is  generally  practised  is  to  cultivate  this
dullness.  Right?  And  therefore  gradually  make  the  brain  subservient,  quiet.
And when you feel quiet, you say, ‘My God, everything is achieved’. For the
speaker that is not meditation at all. Don’t ask how to meditate. It is like asking
a  carpenter  how  to  build  a  beautiful  cabinet.  If  he  is  a  good  carpenter,  you
don’t have to tell him. So we are not asking how to meditate, but we are asking
what  is  meditation?  Two  different  things  altogether.  Not  how,  but  what  is
meditation.  As  is  generally  practised,  it  is  a  series  of  achievements.  Right?
And you say ‘Buddha is enlightened’. I don’t know what that means but that
doesn’t matter.
So,  when  you  compare  which  is  meditation  –  ‘ma’  as  I  said  in  Sanskrit
means  to  measure.  ‘I  was  this  today,  I’ll  be  better  tomorrow’.  That  is
measurement.  Measurement  has  no  place  in  meditation.  Measurement  has
great  place  from  the  Greeks  onwards;  measurement  is  necessary  in  all
technology  –  in  all  technology,  whether  you  build  a  chair,  or  the  most
complicated trajectory to go to the moon. Measurement is necessary. So we
are  saying,  meditation  implies  total  freedom  from  all  comparison  and
measurement.  Now  this  is  difficult.  Because  meditation  is  something
marvellous if you know what to do – not you, meditation.
The meditator is different from meditation. As long as there is a meditator,
there  is  no  meditation.  You  understand  all  this?  Because  the  meditator  is
concerned about himself – how he is progressing, what he is doing, ‘I hope I
will be better tomorrow’, anxiety, in meditation there is no meditator. Once you
have seen this, sir, for yourself, the beauty, the depth, the subtleties of it.
So  the  practice  of  meditation  is  no  meditation.  Sitting  on  the  banks  and
looking as you know – making the mind more and more dull, and saying ‘Yes,
I’ve spent an hour, marvellous’, and you prostrate, touch his feet. By the way,   152
please don’t touch my feet. That’s most undignified, as a human being. You
can  hold  my  hand  any  amount  you  like,  but  not  the  feet  of  somebody,  it’s
inhuman, undignified. So meditation is something that cannot be practised, as
you practise a violin, a piano. In singing you practise; that means that you want
to  reach  a  certain  level  of  perfection.  And  in  meditation  there  is  no  level,
nothing to be achieved. Therefore it is not a conscious, deliberate meditation. I
wonder  if  you  understand  all  this.  There  is  a  meditation  that  is  totally
undirected,  totally  if  I  can  use  the  word  –  unconscious.  It  is  not  a  deliberate
process. Let’s leave that. We can spend a lot of time on this. An hour, more – a
whole day. The whole of your life to find this out.
And also we have to talk about space. Because meditation is that. Space –
we have no space in the brain – do you realize that Sir? No space. Space there
is between two struggles, between two thoughts but still within the sphere of
thought and so on. What is space? Does space contain time or time includes
all space. We talked about time. May I just briefly go over it, though it’s nearly
quarter past ten. Don’t blame me afterwards for keeping you here. Time, I will
put it very briefly – if you don’t understand it, I am sorry – time is yesterday, all
the memories, all the incidents, all the quarrels, the uncertainties and the long,
two and a half million years of memory, all that is yesterday. And the present is
the  environment,  what  is  happening  now.  All  the  past  is  circumstances,  by
time, by events, now. And the future is this modified, this reshaped in time as
the  future.  So  the  past  modifying  itself  in  the  present  becomes  the  future,
right? So all time, the future, the present and the past is contained in the now.
This  is  a  tremendously  revealing  thing,  because  it  demands  action,  not  just
agreement, say I’m going home, go on with your life. The whole of time, the
future, the present and the past is now. So action changes now, not tomorrow,
I will be good tomorrow. So all action, all thought, all time is now. We went into
that,  I  won’t  go  into  it  further.  So,  what  is  space?  Don’t  imagine  it,  because
then  it’s  just  thought  imagining  space  is  this,  the  heaven.  I  must  tell  a  very
good joke. May I?
Q: Please.    153
K: This happens to be hell and the devil is there in the distance – I am not
pointing at anybody. The devil is far in a corner, you know Christian devil with
two horns and tail, and there are two people talking together. One says to the
other: It’s very hot here, hell, very hot. The other fellow says: Yes, very hot, but
dry heat. No joke? Funny people. All right sir. I’ve got lots of jokes. I can’t bring
any more.
So  what  is  space?  If  space  contains  time  then  it’s  not  space.  Then  it’s
circumscribed, limited. Right? So can the brain be free of time? Sir, this is such
an important, immense question. You don’t seem to gather it. If life, all life is
contained  in  the  now  –  you  see  what  it  means?  All  humanity  is  you  –  all
humanity.  Because  you  suffer,  he  suffers,  anxiety,  pain  and  so  on.  His
consciousness is you. Your consciousness, your being is him. You understand
– there is no you and me which limits space.
So, is there an end to time – not to the clock which you wind and it stops – to
the  whole  movement  of  time.  Time  is  movement.  A  series  of  incidents,
movement.  Thought  is  a  series  of  movements,  so  time  is  thought.  So  we’re
asking – if space contains time, yesterday, tomorrow and all the rest of it – it’s
not space. So, is there an end to time which means is there an end to thought,
so  which  means  is  there  an  end  to  knowledge,  so  is  there  an  end  to
experience  which  is  total  freedom.  And  this  is  meditation.  Not  sitting  on  the
banks and… that is all too childish. This is real, demands great deal of not only
the intellect, but an insight – don’t use that word again, please – an insight into
all  this.  The  physicist,  the  artist,  the  painter,  the  poet  have  limited  insight,
limited, small. We are talking about a timeless insight. So this is meditation.    154
Chapter 7
Rajghat 1st Public Question & Answer Meeting 21th November, 1985
This  is  supposed  to  be  a  conversation  between  us.  You  are  going  to
question  me,  question  the  speaker,  we  are  going  to  have  a  discussion,  a
deliberation,  take  counsel  together,  weigh  together,  consider  together,  to
balance  things  together,  it  is  not  one  person  answering  your  questions,  or
queries, but rather together we are going to have a conversation.
Probably  you  are  not  used  to  this,  to  really  talk  to  somebody  openly,
frankly.  Probably  you  never  do  it,  even  to  your  wives  or  husbands,  or
somebody closely related, you never talk openly, frankly. You put on a mask,
pretend.  If  we  could  put  aside  all  that  this  morning  and  consider  what
questions  we  have,  what  we  would  like  to  talk  over  together,  what  you  are
most  concerned  with,  not  just  some  absurd  stuff,  but  rather  what  you  really
want to find out. So we are going to have a deliberation. That word means to
weigh together, balance, take counsel with each other, to consider with each
other. Not the speaker considers and then you agree or disagree, that’s rather
childish.
So can we, this morning, talk over together as though we were really true
friends.  Not  that  I  am  sitting  on  a  platform  because  a  platform  indicates
somebody high up, it is there for convenience so we can see each other. So
before  we  begin  to  discuss,  how  do  you  approach  a  question?  Do  you
understand what I am asking? How do you regard a question, a problem, how
do you weigh the problem, how do you come very close to the problem? So
we are going to consider together whatever the question is, however silly the
question  is,  or  how  absurd  the  question  is,  we  are  going  to  talk  about  it
together.  Is  that  clear?  Right?  You  can’t  expect  the  speaker  to  answer  your
questions, because in the question itself may be the answer. You understand?
Not you put a question to me and then I answer it. That’s rather meaningless.
But how do you regard a question, what is your approach to the question, how   155
do you consider, weigh, take account of the question? Because in the question
itself may be the answer; not question and then wait for an answer.
So whatever question we are going to discuss this morning, let us examine
the  question  first,  not  wait  for  an  answer.  You  understand,  sirs?  Have  you
understood this? Or it is too mysterious?
I’ve got a question, a question, I am not going to answer it. Why do you
separate  life,  the  living,  daily  living  from  your  ideas  of  the  spiritual?  Why  do
you divide the two? May I put that question? Right? Why do we separate so-
called religious life – all the monks and the robes and all that – and the daily
monotonous  lonely  life;  why  do  we  separate  them?  Please,  answer  my
question.
Q: Because it gives us energy.
K: So we want energy, is that it?
Q:  It  needs  a  different  kind  of  energy. The spiritual  life and the ordinary,
mundane life involve two different kinds of energy.
K:  That  is,  two  different  kinds  of  energy,  one  for  the  so-called  spiritual,
religious life, and the other, the mundane life, another kind of energy. Now I
am not going to answer the question, let’s find out if what you are saying is a
fact.  Right?  Is  it  a  fact?  You  state  this,  you  say,  well  those  people  who  are
religious put on those funny robes, they need quite a different kind of energy
than a man who travels around, makes money and all the rest of it, or the poor
man in the village. Why do you divide the two? Energy is energy, whether it be
the  electric  energy,  or  the  motor  driven  energy,  or  the  solar  energy,  or  the
energy  of  the  river  in  flood  –  energy.  You  have  the  energy  to  come  here,
energy to go for a walk, energy to do all kinds of funny things you do. So why
do you divide energy? Is that, the man with the beard and strange clothes, has
he  more  energy?  Or  he  is  trying  to  concentrate  his  energy  on  a  particular
issue? You understand, sirs? Energy is energy. Hydroelectric energy, piston
energy  in  a  car,  the  dynamo  energy,  the  solar  energy,  right?  They  are  all
energy, aren’t they?    156
Q: There are various kinds of energy: one is the energy of thought, which
can  be  stilled;  there  is  another,  the  energy  of  insight,  which  does  not  get
stilled,  and  there  is  yet  another,  the  energy  of  mind,  which  brings  about
compassion and other things.
K: Sir, would you mind making your statement short?
Q: There are various kinds of energy: one is the energy of thought which
can  be  stilled,  there  is  another  energy  of  insight,  which  does  not  get  stilled,
and another energy of mind which brings about compassion.
K: Certainly not. We are talking over, I am not laying down the law.
Q: The relationship of the three aspects of energy: of thought, of insight and
of mind.
K: You answer it! Why not? You have a perfect right to answer him.
Q: Just because we want to be comfortable, we divide energy into various
compartments. I do not think there can be many types of energy. Energy can
be only one.
K: I should have thought so myself. You see how we divide everything. We
divide  spiritual  energy,  mental  energy,  the  energy  of  insight,  the  energy  of
thought.
Q: It complicates it.
K: I know, it complicates it, doesn’t it. Why not be very simple about it. The
energy of the body, the energy of sex, the energy of thought, it’s all energy, it’s
one thing, only we divide it. Why? Find out, madam, why do we?
Q: We are conditioned to divide it.
K:  Yes.  Now,  sir,  why  are  you  conditioned?  Why  do  you  accept  this
division?  You  understand  sir?  India,  Pakistan,  Russia,  America,  why  do  you
divide all this? Tell me.
Q: It is a reality.
K:  Of  course  it  is  a  reality,  you  go  to  war.  Why  do  you  make  obvious
statements, sir?    157
Q: There is a difference between the truth and reality.
K: All right. What do you call reality?
Q: What we see.
K: Therefore you say reality is right in front of you, what you see visually,
optically. Is the tree a reality?
Q: Yes, sir.
K: All right. Is what you think a reality?
Q: Sometimes we have to.
K: Is your wife a reality?
Q: Yes, sir.
K: What do you mean by a wife?
Q: He says in real life…
K: No, no, I am asking him a question. What do you mean by my wife?
Q: There is a psychological factor.
K: What do you mean psychological? Sir, we haven’t finished that question.
Q: There is a psychological attitude that I have towards my wife, and there
is the reality of that wife who has her own psychology.
K: Sir, are you saying, sir, if I may put it in my own words – you will allow me
to put it in my own words? The image of your wife, the image which you have
built up is different from the wife – is that it?
Q: Could be.
K: What do you mean ‘could be’?
Q:  It  happens  sometimes  that  the  image  coincides  with  the  reality  of  my
wife is.
K:  Have  you  looked  at  your  wife?  Have  you  seen  her,  enquired  into  her
ambitions, her pain, and anxiety, bearing the pain of children and all the rest of
it? Have you considered what the wife is? Or you may have lived with her for   158
ten, or five, or fifty years and built an image about her, haven’t you? Right?
Right, sir?
Q: Not necessarily.
K: I do not say necessarily, or unnecessarily. Is it a fact that you have, if
you  are  married,  or  if  you  have  some  friend,  you  build  an  image  about  her,
don’t  you?  Not  necessarily,  but  it  takes  place.  Right  sir?  I  am  not  trying  to
brow-beat you, sir, but each one has an image about the other. You have an
image about me, haven’t you? No sir? Otherwise you wouldn’t be here. So we
create an image about another depending on our temperament, depending on
our knowledge, depending on our illusions, depending on our fantasies and so
on.  We  build  an  image  about  people.  You  have  an  image  about  the  prime
minister, you have an image about the person who is speaking to you. So we
are asking a much deeper question: can you live a daily life without images?
Q:  The  images  that  we  build  up,  they  are  generally  in  relationship  with
ourselves. I build up an image around me.
K: Yes, you have an image about yourself.
Q: And if we can achieve that state about which you have been talking –
effacing the centre, the self – then the images would automatically drop. Then
one can live without images.
K: So when you talk about relationship, what do you mean by that word?
Q: By relationship…
K: Sir, please just listen quietly for five minutes before you answer, take a
little  breather.  What  is  your  relationship  with  another?  Relationship.  You
understand the word? Just listen. To be related. I am related to him, he is my
father, my brother, my sister, whatever it is, what do you mean by that word
relationship?
Q: It is..
K: Careful, sir! Don’t be so quick. Go slowly, we have plenty of time. You
understand the word relationship, to be related, either through blood – he is my   159
father, my brother, you have come out of the same womb, my father and my
mother produced us. What do you mean by that word relation?
Q: I am not using the word relationship in that sense.
K: I am talking in that sense.
Q:  My  care  and  concern  for  my  friends,  for  my  parents,  for  my  children
including hatred – all that is included.
K: Do you really care? Or is it just an idea that you should care? Sir, did
you understand , if I may politely ask you, what do you mean by the word, the
word,  to  be  related?  Not  what  you  have  given  meaning  to  it,  the  meaning
according to the dictionary, what do you mean by that word relationship?
Q: Contact through the actual, not through words or images.
K: Sir, I am asking you a question, don’t kick it around. I am asking you
most respectfully what do you mean by related. I am related to him, what does
that mean?
Q: I think when I say I am related, I become a part of that.
K: Are you a part of your wife?
Q: Yes, partially.
K: Not total, or partial. I am asking sir, most politely, what do you mean by
that word relationship?
Q: Sir, being associated with day-to-day life, a network of expectations from
each other, duties and obligations.
K: You make it so very complex, don’t you. If you would kindly listen, I am
asking you what do you mean by that word, per se for itself, not what you think
it should be.
Q: Close touch; getting attached; to have something in common. If I have
an image about you, then I have a relationship with you.
K: Do I need an interpreter, we are talking in English. I don’t know Hindi or
any Indian language, I only know several European languages. But the word   160
relation has a great significance. I am asking you, if I may, what do you mean
by that word.
Q: To have something in common.
Q: To have a relationship.
K: All right, sir, let him shout.
Q: I have an image about you.
K:  Do  you  have  a  relationship  with  me?  In  what  way?  I  am  asking  you
seriously, sir, don’t throw it aside.
Q: When I am looking at you without an image I have relationship with you
at that moment.
K: You really haven’t thought about it. You are just throwing out words.
Q: I think we have diverted from the original question.
K: I know, I know. I am not so dumb as I look! So, sirs, let’s get back, I’ll
come  back  to  this  word,  it  is  a  very  important  word  in  our  life.  Why  do  we
divide  the  spiritual  and  the  mundane?  Just  listen,  sir,  please  just  listen.  We
divide  India  against  Pakistan,  we  divide  various  religions,  Christianity,
Buddhism, Hinduism and so on, divide, divide, divide – why? Don’t answer, just
look  at  it  sir,  we  are  taking  counsel  together,  we  are  looking  at  the  same
problem together. You understand, sir. Why do we divide? Of course there is a
division between man and woman, you are tall and I am short, or I am tall and
you are thin, whatever it is, but that’s natural: you are tall or brown, or white, or
pink, or yellow, I happen to be black, all right. But that’s according to the sun,
according to heritage and so on, genetic issues – I won’t go into all that. Why
do we divide?
Q:  Because  we  have  different  ideas  and  different  feelings  and  different
interests, and we want to stick to them.
K: Why do you want to stick to them?
Q: Because we are selfish and we have self-interest.    161
K:  No,  don’t  reduce  everything  to  selfishness.  Why  do  we  divide,  I  am
asking.
Q: There is something most curious.
Q: I think we have to divide because when I do not have an image about
my wife I am being spiritual, but when she is violent, she is being real, so there
is a division between the real and the spiritual.
Q:  Energy  as  such  is  different  from  scattered  energy.  When  an  atom  is
bombarded  by  energy,  the  atom  gets  scatters,  the  scattered  energy  has
properties  different  from  that  the  old  energy  with  which  the  atom  was
bombarded. A similar thing happens in the psychological field.
K: Which means what?
Q: Different kinds of energy manifested in psychological fields are different
from each other.
K:  So  who  is  dividing  all  this?  Who  is  dividing  all  these  various  forms  of
energy?
Q: The mind itself first divides into real perfection, then the outer perfection.
K: Is that your experience? Or are you quoting somebody?
Q: Half-half.
K: Could we please be serious for a while and face these facts: why have
we  divided  the  world  around  us  –  Pakistan  and  India,  Europe  and  India,
America and Russia and so on, who has done all this division?
Q: I think it is the ego, it is thought.
K:  Are  you  guessing?  Are  you  guessing?  Why  don’t  we  look  at  the  fact
first? We have different ideologies, different beliefs, one section of the world
believes  in  Jesus,  the  other  section  believes  in  Allah,  some  other  section
believes  in  the  Buddha,  other  sections  believe  in  something  else  –  who  has
done all these divisions?
Q: It is we, mankind.    162
K: That means you.
Q: Yes, sir.
K: You have divided the world, why?
Q: We have inherited it.
K: Sir, just listen, please listen. Why have you divided?
Q: Fear and security.
K: Are you sure, what you are saying? What do you say?
Q: We divide ourselves because we derive pleasure from this division.
K: If you are also being killed by another party, is that also pleasure? You
don’t..
Q: Because I want identity.
K: You want identity. Identity with what?
Q: (Inaudible)
K:  No,  I  am  asking  you,  identity  with  what?  No,  no,  I  am  asking  you  a
question, lady, you want to be identified, don’t you, to have identity. With what?
With the earth?
Q: Everyone wants to prove that I am better than the other one.
K: Quite right. Now, look, would you listen for a few minutes, sir? The world
has divided itself, right? Europe, America, Russia, India, Muslims, that’s a fact.
Who has divided it? Don’t make casual remarks, it is not an entertainment. I
am not here to be entertained. So if you will kindly listen, I am asking you a
question. Who has divided the world into this? Has not man done this? You
have done it because you say, I am a Hindu, or a Muslim, or Sikh, or some
other sect. Who has done all this? Man, hasn’t he? Man. Man wants security,
so  he  says,  I  belong  to  Buddhism,  that  gives  me  identity,  that  gives  me
strength, that gives me a sense of a place where I can stay. So what is the
basis of this? You understand my question, sir? Why do we do this? Is it for
security? Because if I lived as a Hindu in a world of Muslims, they would kick   163
me around. Right? Or if I lived as a Protestant in Rome I would find it rather
difficult, because Rome is the centre of Catholicism. Right? So I am saying to
you  sir,  if  I  may  politely  request  you,  who  has  done  all  this?  This  colossal
mess. You understand? You? Right? You have done, he has done it, and she
has done it. And what will you do about it? Just talk about it? So we will stop.
That’s all. You don’t want to act, you say, let’s carry on.
Q: Sir, you have no intention to help us, but when we are here we find that
you help us. How does that happen?
K: Too bad! I don’t want to help anybody. It’s wrong to help another, except
surgically, food and so on. The speaker is not your leader. Right? He has said
it a thousand times all over Europe, America and here.
Q: You may not help us, but you make us understand things.
K:  No,  we  are  having  a  conversation  together,  in  that  conversation  we
begin to see things clearly for ourselves. Therefore nobody is helping you, it is
a conversation.
Q: Yes, sir.
K: Sir, sir, did you hear what I said? Yes, sir, but did you hear what I said?
That the speaker is not here to help you in any way. Right sir? He is not your
guru, you are not his follower, all the speaker says is an abomination. Right
sir?
Q: Why is there so much cruelty in nature that one being has to eat another
in order to survive?
K: Is that your question, sir? A tiger lives on small things, so the big things
eat little things. And you are asking why is nature cruel.
Q: Why is there so much of cruelty in nature?
K: First of all why is there so much cruelty in human beings? Not in nature,
of  course,  that  is  natural,  perhaps.  Why  are  you  so  cruel?  Not  say,  there  is
cruelty in nature, why are human beings cruel?    164
Q: I want to get rid of my pain and sorrow, so if anybody hurts me I also
react, or respond in a similar manner.
K: Sir, have you ever considered that all human beings suffer? All human
beings in the world. Right?
Q: I suffer.
K: You are a human being, aren’t you? So I am saying all human beings
suffer whether they live in Russia, America, China, India, Pakistan, wherever,
all human beings suffer. Now how do you solve that suffering?
Q: I am interested in my own suffering.
K: What are you doing about it?
Q: I have come here to be enlightened by you.
K: What shall we do together, sir? What shall we do together, together, not
I help you or you help me, what shall we do together to get rid of sorrow?
Q: I don’t know.
K: Don’t you really know?
Q: No.
K: Are you sure?
Q: Yes, sir.
K: Be careful answering, sir, this is a very serious question: are you sure
you don’t know how to be free of fear and sorrow?
Q: Yes, sir.
K: You don’t know.
Q: I don’t know how to get rid of my sorrow.
K: Just a minute, just a minute. Remain in that state. Would you listen sirs?
He asked a very serious question, he said, I really don’t know how to be free of
sorrow.  Right?  I  don’t  know.  When  you  say,  I  don’t  know,  is  it  that  you  are
waiting to know? You understand my question, sir? I don’t know but I may be   165
expecting some kind of answer, therefore when I am expecting I step out of
‘not knowing’.
Q: I don’t understand.
Q: He says when we are expecting an answer we have moved away from
the field of ‘not knowing’. And he says, stay with not knowing.
Q: What does that mean?
K: I will tell you what it means. I am not helping, I am not helping you. Sir,
that is a very serious matter when you say you are not helping me because we
have  been  helped  for  so  many  thousands  of  years.  When  you  say,  I  don’t
know, what does that mean? I don’t know what Mars is – you know Mars, the
star – so do I work on that to find out?
Q: No, I don’t.
K: Sir, I don’t know what Mars is. He is an astro-physicist, I go to him to find
out what Mars is. For god’s sake, sir.
Q: But I am not interested in Mars.
K: I know you are not interested in Mars, sir, nor am I, but I am taking that
as an example. I don’t know what Mars is, and I go to an astro-physicist and I
say, tell me what Mars is, and he tells me Mars is various combinations of gas
and all the rest of it. And I say, that is not Mars, your description of Mars is
different from Mars. Right? So I ask you, most respectfully, when you say, I
don’t know, what do you mean by that? I don’t know. I am not waiting for an
answer,  which  may  be crooked,  which  may  be  false,  which  may  be  illusory,
therefore I am not expecting. Are you in that state? I don’t know.
Q: We are stunned when we remain in that state.
K: Remain in that state. I don’t know how to swim the Ganga.
Q: I can’t do anything about it.
K: You can’t. When you don’t know what is the cause of suffering, how can
it be ended when you don’t know? Right sir? So remain in that state and find
out. Sir, just a minute, sir. When you put a question, you expect an answer,   166
don’t you? Be honest, be simple. So you expect an answer from a book, from
another person, or from some philosopher. Right? Somebody to tell you the
answer.  Right?  Would  you  put  a  question  and  listen  to  the  question?  You
understand what I am saying? I put to you a question, I have forgotten what it
was.  Let  me  think  of  another.  Why  has  Karshi  become  so  important?  You
understand that question? Why has Karshi, which is this place, this land, why
do you consider it important? Answer it, sirs.
Q: Because of its ancient temples.
K:  In  Jerusalem,  in  Israel,  they  have  found  a  building  8,000  years  old,
would you all worship that?
Q: No.
K: Why?
Q: Because all the gurus, the priests have lived here.
K: So have they there, in Israel, priests and things – 8,000 years old, why
don’t you go there and worship it?
Q: There are people there to worship.
K: You are not thinking. So when you put a question would you wait for the
question to reveal itself? You understand? I am asking you, most politely, I put
a  question,  I  know  if  I  can  understand  the  question  properly  I  will  find  the
answer. So the answer may be in the question. You are bored, are you, sir?
Q: Not at all.
K: Would you experiment with what I am saying? Will you really do it? That
is, if I put a question to you, don’t try to find an answer but find out if you have
understood the question, the depth of the question, or the superficiality of the
question, the meaninglessness of the question. Right? Would you look at the
question first, take time. Or you are ready to answer. So I am suggesting, sir, if
you put a question to the speaker, the speaker says,  the question itself has
vitality, energy, not the answer, because the answer is in the question. Right?
Find out. Sir, did you hear what I have said? Have you understood what I said,   167
sir? Don’t be nervous. If you say, go to hell, it’s all right. I am asking you a very
simple fact: you ask me a question, and I say to you, in that question is the
answer. The question contains the answer.
Q: (Inaudible)
K: Would you listen, sir, please. You can ask your question afterwards. Will
you do that?
Q: Yes.
K: Don’t say meekly, yes. It is very important.
Q: An intelligent mind can put the right question. I feel I am not intelligent at
all so how can I ask the right question?
K: You can’t! But you can find out why you are not intelligent. I can find out
why  I  am  not  intelligent.  He  is  intelligent,  I  am  not,  why?  Is  intelligence
dependent  on  comparison?  You  understand  sir?  Sir,  did  you  listen  to  my
question?
Q:  Sir,  many  times  we  find  an  answer  to  our  question,  but  we  require
somebody else’s approval of that answer.
K: So the answer is not important but approval of another is important?
Q: A correct answer is important therefore approval of the correct answer is
required.
K: By whom? By your friends who are equally unintelligent? By whom do
you want the approval? Public opinion? The Governor? The Prime Minister?
Or the high priests? From whom are you wanting approval? Sir, you don’t think
at all, you just repeat, repeat, repeat.
Q: I want to ask another question. I remain with the statement that I don’t
know, but it is tiresome.
K: Why is it tiresome?
Q: I am trying to find out.    168
K: Don’t try to find out. Here is a question: why has man, you, why have we
made such a mess of the world? A mess of our lives, a mess of other people’s
lives? You understand, sir, it is a mess, it is a confusion, why?
Q: Because..
K:  Madam,  would  you  kindly  listen  for  a  minute?  I  am  talking  to  that
gentleman. Why have human beings throughout the world made such a mess
of the world? You understand, sir? Why? Don’t – listen to the question, go into
the question. You understand? Have you held ever in your hand a marvellous
jewel?  A  priceless  jewel.  You  look  at  it,  don’t  you?  You  look  at  it,  see  the
intricacies of it, how beautifully it is put together, what extraordinary skill has
gone  into  it,  the  silversmith  must  have  marvellous  hands.  That  jewel  is  very
important.  Right?  You  look  at  it,  you  cherish  it,  you  put  it  away  and  you
occasionally look at it, don’t you?
Q: I want to hold it.
K: You have it in your hand, sir. For god’s sake. I am saying you look at it. If
you have a marvellous picture, painted by somebody or other, and you look at
it. It’s in your room, it’s yours, you don’t just hang it there you look at it. In the
same way, if I ask you a question, look at it, listen to the question. But we are
so quick to answer it, so impatient. So I am suggesting, most respectfully, look
at it, take time, weigh it, see the beauty of the question – or it may be an utterly
unimportant  question.  Do  it,  sir.  Then  you  will  find  the  question  itself  has
tremendous energy.
Q: Why do we not change?
K: Why, sir? Why don’t you change?
Q: I don’t know, but I don’t change.
K: Are you satisfied where you are?
Q: No.
K: Then change.    169
Q:  I  would  like  to  ask  a  question.  There  is  a  teacher  in  a  class  in  which
some boy is naughty, in order to put it right he has to punish him. Should he go
through that exercise of punishment, which means violence?
K: What do you mean by the word ‘violence’?
Q: Well…
K: Don’t be quick, sir. What do you mean by violence? Hitting each other?
Would  you  call  that  violence?  I  hit  you,  you  hit  me  back.  That  is  a  form  of
violence, isn’t it? A grown-up person hits his child, that is a form of violence.
Killing another is a form of violence. Harassing another – harassing, you know
what  that  word  means  –  that’s  a  form  of  violence.  Trying  to  imitate  another,
imitate, is a form of violence. Right? Would you agree to that? Imitate, conform
to the pattern of another, that’s violence. Right, sir? Are you listening to what I
am saying? So I am asking you, psychological violence and physical violence.
So how will you stop it? You, don’t say the teacher, you, how will you stop it?
Have  you  listened  to  what  I  have  said?  Sir,  please  have  the  courtesy,
politeness,  to  listen  to  somebody  else’s  question.  Don’t  always  say,  keep
everybody out and just your own problems.
Q: Why is there a variety in nature?
K:  Why  are  you  bothered  about  nature?  Why  are  you  concerned  with
nature?
Q: I am seeing the variety.
K: Don’t you see the variety here?
Q: I see it, even outside.
K: What are you going to do about it?
Q: I want to know why.
K: Sir, I request you kindly to study yourself first. You understand? To know
yourself  first.  But  you  know  about  everything  outside  you,  but  you  know
nothing  about  yourself.  Sir,  this  has  been  an  old  question,  sir.  The  Greeks   170
have put it in their own way, the Egyptians, the ancient Hindus have said too:
Know yourself first. Right? Will you start with that?
Q: Sir, I am always putting this question to myself, why am I in the bondage
of physical pain. I keep on asking this question but I don’t get any answer.
K: You may be going to the wrong doctor. Sir, I know people who go from
doctor to doctor to doctor, they have plenty of money, so they trot around from
one doctor to another; and do you do that? Or is it psychological pain?
Q: Physical and psychological.
K: Which is important?
Q: I beg your pardon?
K: Which is the greater pain?
Q: When the physical pain is extreme surely it is the physical pain.
K: Yes, I know. But I am asking you sir, politely, to what you pain do you
give importance?
Q: I find myself…
K: You haven’t answered my question. To what do you give importance?
Q: At the moment when I am suffering, I give that importance.
K:  You  haven’t  answered  my  question,  sir,  have  you?  I  am  asking  you,
which is more important the physiological pain or the physical pain?
Q: What do you mean by psychological pain?
K:  I  will  tell  you.  Pain  of  fear,  pain  of  loneliness,  pain  of  anxiety,  pain  of
sorrow and so on, all that is the psyche. Now to what do you give importance?
To the psyche or to physical pain?
Q: The psyche.
K: Do you really?
Q: Yes, sir.    171
K:  Are  you  being  obstinate,  sir?  So  if  you  give  importance  to  the
psychological pain who is going to be the doctor?
Q: I.
K: What do you mean ‘I’? You are the pain. You are not different from ‘I’.
The ‘I’ is made up of pain, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, fear, pleasure – all that
is the ‘I’.
Sir, there is a question here, sorry it is all rather messy. You don’t listen to
anybody do you, why bother to listen to me.
Q: If I have understood that there is urgency to be aware all the time, why is
that I remain in that state only for a very short while during the day?
K: Because you don’t understand what it means to be aware.
Sir, here is a question.
QUESTION: It’s a fact that the various centres of the KFI constantly and
continuously  stress  and  spread  that  they  are  the  centre  of  K’s  teaching.  So
now  when  we  have  the  Buddha’s  teaching,  Christ’s  teaching  and
Krishnamurti’s teaching, are these so-called teachings of K going to meet the
same fate as those of the Buddha and Christ?
You  have  understood  the  question?  Are  you  bored  with  the  question?  I
don’t mind. I am bored with it myself.
Sir, K has thought a great deal about the word ‘teaching’. We thought of
using the word ‘work’ – ironworks, big building works, hydroelectric works, you
understand? So I thought work is very, very common. So we though we might
use the words ‘teaching, but it is not important the word. Right? Your question
is, will the teachings of the Buddha, which nobody knows, I have asked them,
the original teachings of the Buddha nobody knows; and Christ may exist or
may not have existed. It is a tremendous problem whether he existed at all.
We have discussed with great scholars about that – I won’t go into that. And
will  K’s  teaching  also  disappear  like  the  rest?  You  have  understood  the
question? Right? Right sir?    172
Q: I have not said it.
K: Of course you have not said it; somebody has written it, therefore it is
interesting. The questioner says – probably you also think – that when K goes,
as he must go, what will happen to the teaching? Will it go like the Buddha’s
teaching,  which  is  corrupt,  you  know  what  is  happening,  will  the  same  fate
await your teaching? You have understood? It depends upon you. Right? Not
upon  somebody  else,  it  depends  upon  you:  how  you  live  it,  how  you  think
about it, what it means to you. If it means nothing except words then it will go
the  way  of  the  rest.  Right?  If  it  means  something  very  deep  to  you,  to  you
personally, then it won’t be corrupted. Right? You understand sir? It won’t be
corrupted. So it’s up to you, not up to the centres and information centres and
all  the  rest  of  that  business.  It  depends  upon  you,  whether  you  live  the
teachings, or not.
Q: Has the truth its own power?
K: It has, if you let it alone.
Q:  Sir,  that  question  was  put  by  me.  May  I  clarify  the  question  –  what  I
mean by that?
K: Go ahead, what is the question?
Q: Now, my question is this: you have so many times repeated for 70 years
that you do not convince anybody of anything, you are not a teacher, you do
not teach anything to anybody. Now I say that the centres of the KFI – whose
president you are, while you are still living – they invite the public, ‘Come here,
here  are  the  teachings  of  Krishnamurti;  and  you  study  here  what  he  has  to
say. He has discovered so many things. Please come here and try to study.’
You say you work as a mirror, when I use the mirror, does the mirror help me?
It does help me, the light is helping me. Are these things not your teachings?
So there is no harm if you say you are a teacher because you are teaching
something, you are clearing something. You yourself say that you work as a
mirror; anything which works as a mirror is definitely helping me.
K: Yes, sir.    173
Q: That is my question.
K: So, what is the question? Sir, in all his talks K has emphasized the fact
that he is merely a mirror. Right sir? That he is merely a mirror reflecting what
your life is. Right? And he has also said you can break up that mirror if you
have  seen  yourself  very  clearly.  The  mirror  is  not  important.  But  what  has
happened throughout the world? They all want to be on the band-wagon. You
know what that word means? All want to share in the circus.
So I say, please don’t bother, just listen to the teaching; if somebody wants
to form a little centre in Gujarat, let him do it, but he has no power to say that
he represents K, that is a follower. He can say anything he likes, he is free to
do what he likes. We are not imposing on anybody that they should do this, do
that. Say, for instance, he starts, buys videos and all the rest of it and collects
a few friends in his house. That is his affair. We are not saying, ‘Don’t do this,
do that’. If anybody did that, I would say, ‘Sorry, do not do it’. But they like to do
it, they like to be interpreters, gurus in their little way. You know the game you
all play. So if you want to do that, you are perfectly welcome to do it. But the
Foundation  –  unfortunately  I  happen  to  belong  to  it,  or  fortunately  –  the
Foundation says you are free to do what you like. You understand, sir? But
books, read books, burn books of K, do anything you like. It is your hands. If
you  want  to  live  it,  live  it;  if  you  don’t  want  to  live  it,  it  is  all  right,  it  is  your
business. Is this clear once and for all? That the Foundation has no authority
over your life, to tell you what to do, or what not to do. Or to say, this is the
centre from which all radiation goes, like a radio station or a television station,
we are not that. All that we are saying is, here is something, it may be original,
may be not original, here is something for you to look at. Take time to read it,
take time to understand it. If you are not interested just throw it away. It doesn’t
matter. You have wasted 25 rupees, that’s all. But if you like to live that way,
live  it;  if  you  don’t,  just  drop  it.  Don’t  make  a  lot  of  noise  around  it.  You
understand what I am saying, sir? Don’t make a circus about it, a song and
dance about it, that I have understood and you haven’t, I’ll tell you all about it.
You understand what I say sir?        So  it  is  time  to  stop.  Now,  if  I  may  ask,  what  have  you  got  out  of  this
mornings’ talk, discussion? Nothing or something?
Q: I am looking at the question» I understood the question but the thinking
stops.
K:  Good!  I  am  just  asking,  sir,  what  have  you  all  got  out  of  it,  what  has
flowered in you after this morning? Like a flower blooms overnight, what has
bloomed in you? What has come out of you?
Q: That we should have the habit of thinking together.
K: Did you really think together?
Q: Yes, I did.
K: Together, you and I – or you were talking to yourself?
Q: I was talking to myself also.
K: Sir, you don’t have to tell the speaker anything. I am just asking, politely,
if  I  may:  we  have  met  for  over  an  hour,  talked  together,  said  many  things
according to our opinions, at the end of the journey of this morning, where are
you?  Where  we  started?  Where  we  ended?  Or  is  there  a  new  flowering?
That’s all sir. I am not going to say, oh, you haven’t, or you have. That would
be impudence on my part. Right sir.
May we get up presently?

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