Los Alamos (Usa) National Laboratory
1st Colloquium 20th March 1984
Creativity In Science
Thought Can Never Be Creative
Introduction by M.R.Raju
It is a privilege for me to introduce our speaker today… but, Mr Krishnamurti
need  no  introduction.  He  is  a  world-renowned  teacher.  He  has  been  giving
lectures  around  the  world  for  nearly  sixty  years  now.  The  more  than  thirty
books which he has had published are never out of date; they maintain their
freshness.  Dr  Oppenheimer  was  a  philosopher-scientist  and  a  Sanskrit
scholar. It is a most happy occasion, on the day of the official beginning of the
Spring today, to have Mr Krishnamurti as our colloquium speaker. On behalf of
the  Laboratory,  I  want  to  express  our  appreciation  to  him  for  accepting  our
invitation, in spite of his busy schedule. So without taking any more precious
time from the speaker, I invite Mr Krishnamurti to give his presentation. The
title  of  the  presentation  is  «Creativity  in  Science».  Thank  you  very  much  for
your attention.
Sir, may I request you to present your talk?
K: If I may say so, this is not a lecture. This is a conversation between you
and  the  speaker.  The  subject,  I  believe,  is  Creativity  in  Science.  Science,
generally,  means  knowledge,  accumulated  knowledge  through  two  or  three
hundred  years,  and  increases  more  and  more  knowledge.  And  what
relationship  has  creativity  with  knowledge?  That  is  the  subject  I  have  been
asked to talk about.
What  is  knowledge?  It  is  acquired  through  thousands  of  years  through
experience,  stored  in  the  brain  as  knowledge  and  memory.  And  from  that
memory thought arises. So knowledge is limited always, whether now or in the
future. And so thought is always limited. And where there is limitation there is
conflict.  So  what  place  has  creativity  with  regard  to  science?  Is  there  a   4
relationship  at  all?  Please,  we  are  thinking  together,  we  are  questioning  the
very  source,  the  very  accumulative  process  of  knowledge.  Science  means
knowledge  –  Latin  and  so  on.  And  can  creativity  in  its  deepest  sense,  in  its
profound  activity,  what  place  has  creativity,  or  creation  with  regard  to
knowledge?  We  have  given  tremendous  importance  to  knowledge,  from  the
ancient  times,  from  China,  India,  before  the  Christian  civilization  came  into
being  they  were  tremendously  respectful,  worshipped  knowledge.  And
knowledge,  as  we  said  before,  is  always  limited  because  it  is  based  on
experience and so memory, thought, is limited. Thought has created the most
extraordinary things in the world – all the great monuments, from the ancient of
times,  great  art,  vast  technology  in  the  present  day,  and  the  creation  of  a
nuclear bomb and so on. Thought has brought about an extraordinary state in
the world. Thought has created god, built the vast cathedrals of Europe, all the
things that are in the museums – poetry, statues, and all the marvellous things
that  thought  has  done.  Because  thought  is  the  outcome  of  knowledge,
knowledge  is  science,  expressed  technologically  or  otherwise.  Thought  also
has  created  wars  –  and  we  are  faced  with  another  war,  maybe.  And  human
beings for the last five thousand or more years have been killing each other in
the  name  of  god,  in  the  name  of  peace, in  the  name  of  their  own  particular
tribal  country.  Man  has  destroyed  other  human  beings,  now,  in  the  present
civilization  where  we  are  gathered  here,  where  they  are  producing  these
enormous destructive things. That is the result of science which is knowledge.
So what place has knowledge, science, in creation? Creation has been one
of  the  most  complex  problems.  Various  religions  say  this  is  the  source  of
creation, god, and so on. Each tribal country, which is called nationalism has
its own particular expression, has its own tribal gods. And science which has
produced  extraordinary,  marvellous  things  in  the  world,  communication,
computers, medicine, surgery, all that has been the result of thought, going to
the  moon  and  so  on.  So  can  thought  ever  be  creative,  in  its  most  profound
sense?  What  is  creation?  Must  creation  be  always  expressed,  manifested?
That  which  is  manifested  must  be  limited.  We  are  the  result  of  tremendous   5
years, or centuries of endeavour, conflict, struggle,  pain, sorrow, we are the
result of all that. Our brains have infinite capacity, but it has been conditioned,
not  only  religiously,  but  also  nationally.  You  are  all  Americans,  Chinese,
Russians,  and  so  on.  We  have  divided  the  world  geographically,  religiously,
culturally;  and  also  we  have  divided  human  beings  –  the  caucasians,  the
blacks and the browns, like us. And so thought has brought about tremendous
conflict between human beings – that is a fact – not only between individuals,
but also collectively. We have also suffered through wars, through pestilence,
every form of disease. And science has been able to help or cure some of all
that.  But  also  science  has  produced  most  destructive  instruments  of  war.
Before  you  killed  a  man,  perhaps in a war, two or three hundred people, or
more,  now  you  can  destroy  the  whole  world.  Again  based  on  ideals,
ideologies, tribal glorification, which is nationalism.
Taking all that, what we are after 45,000 years as homo sapiens, what are
we,  what  have  we  become?  And  in  this  confusion,  because  most  human
beings are terribly confused, though they may not admit it, uncertain, not only
seeking physical security, but also they want inward psychological security, in
their relationships, with regard to the future and so on. So taking all this into
consideration,  our  brains  are  specialized,  conditioned  by  knowledge,  and  so
our activities are conditioned, limited. Wherever there is limitation there must
be  conflict.  When  you  divide  the  world  into  the  Americans,  the  Asiatics,  the
Europeans,  the  Jew  and  the Arab,  there  must  be  conflict;  not  only  wars  but
conflict between individuals, between man and woman.
Considering  all  this,  what  place  has  creation?  Knowledge  can  never  be
creative. We are going to question all this. Knowledge can bring about a better
physical world, externally, and when we give such extraordinary importance to
knowledge, which is the intellect – to us intellect is vital, important, essential,
but intellect is also limited. We never look at life holistically, as a whole, not as
a scientist, a physician, psychiatrist and so on, we are human beings first. And
as  human  beings  what  are  we,  what  have  we  become?  After  millenia  upon
millenia, are we civilized? I know you are all a very affluent society, you have a   6
great  man  cars,  marvellous  country,  beautiful  roads  and  so  on,  but  we,  as
human  beings,  what  are  we?  And  it  is  human  beings  that  are  capable  of
creation, not only as scientists but also in our daily life. Because after all what
is  important?  We  have  forgotten,  or  we  never  had  the  art  of  living,  not  as
scientists,  as  human  beings.  We  are  perpetually  in  conflict.  And  conflict,
struggle, pain, anxiety, uncertainty, can such a brain be creative? Or creation
is something entirely different?
Please as we said, we are thinking together, if that is possible. Not that the
speaker  thinks  and  tells  you  all,  but  do  we  together  as  human  beings  think
about these matters now? That is, to forget our professions, our vocations of
imitation, and as human beings, can we be creative? First if we understand the
significance of that then we can turn to science, religion and so on. Can we, as
human  beings,  look  at  the  world  as  we  have  made  of  it?  I  wonder  if  one
realizes whether we are individuals at all. Because our consciousness, which
is  made  up  of  our  reactions,  physical,  biological  reactions,  our  beliefs,  our
faith, all the prejudices that we have, multiplication of opinions, the fears, the
insecurity, the pain, the pleasure, and all the suffering that human beings have
born for thousands of years. All that is our consciousness. Our consciousness
is  what  we  are.  And  in  this  confusion,  in  this  contradiction,  can  there  be
creation? And we share the consciousness of the entire humanity because you
suffer, you have pleasures, beliefs, conclusions, opinions, and all the religious
dogmas and faiths, which is shared by all human beings on this earth. So one
questions  whether  we  are  individuals  psychologically.  You  may  be  different,
you  may  be  tall,  you  may  be  short,  but  as  human  beings  with  our
consciousness,  are  we  different  from  the  rest  of  mankind?  We  have  never
questioned all this. We trot along all the days of our lives accepting, imitating,
conforming. When we rebel, we rebel outwardly: there have been revolutions –
Russian, French, and thousands of revolutions have taken place. But inwardly
we remain more or less as we have been for thousands of years. So taking all
this,  not  intellectually  but  as  a  whole,  are  we  creative?  Or  creation  is
something entirely different? You can invent a new method, discover, explore,   7
break up the atom and so on and so on. It is all the activity of thought, cunning,
capable,  deceptive,  creating  illusions,  and  worshipping  those  illusions.  After
all, all religions are based on that. Thought has created god. The speaker is
not  an  atheist  but  thought  has  created  wars,  murdered  in  the  name  of  god
millions of people, and thought has created all the things in the cathedrals, in
the churches, in the temples, in the mosques.
So  can  thought  be  creative?  Because,  as  we  said,  thought  is  limited
because  it  is  based  on  knowledge,  and  knowledge  is  the  result  of  vast
experience. And so we are asking a really very fundamental question: whether
thought can ever be creative? It can invent, it can produce new weapons of
war,  surgery,  medicine  and  so  on.  And  in  our  relationship  with  each  other,
man, woman, what place has thought in that? Is thought love? I know we say
not, but if we look at ourselves and our relations with each other – husband,
wife, and a boy and girl and so on – our relationship is based on the image you
have built about her and she has built about him. That relationship is based on
So thought has been extraordinarily capable of certain things, and thought
has  also  brought  about  the  destruction  of  man,  of  human  beings,  like
ourselves,  dividing  them  into  ideologies  –  the  Russian  ideology,  democratic
ideology and so on. So please, thought can never be creative because what it
can  manifest  must  be  limited.  And  where  there  is  limitation  there  must  be
conflict  –  between  man  and  woman,  between  ideologies,  between  the  Arab
and  the  Jew,  between  the  American  and  the  Russian,  this  division,
geographically,  nationally,  religiously.  And  conflict  can  never  under  any
circumstances bring about a creativity of creation.
So  if  thought  is  not  the  ground  of  creation  then  what  is  creation?  When
does it take place? Baking a bread is also creation, of a certain kind, having
babies, also creation, and so on, all the way up. But surely creation can only
take place when thought is silent. You may totally disagree with this. I hope   8
you do! I am sure you do! Because to us thought is extraordinarily important,
which means the intellect, which is only part of a human being.
So  the  speaker  says,  creativity  can  never  take  place  where  there  is  the
activity  of  thought.  And  the  question  then  arises:  can  thought  be  quiet,  can
thought be tranquil, put aside for a while? Then who is it that helps thought to
put it aside? It is still thought. I dont know if you are following all this. So it is a
very complex process. And they have tried every method to quieten thought –
drugs,  tranquillizers,  and  also  they  have  tried  every  form  of  meditation  –  the
Zen meditation, the Tibetan, the Hindu, the Buddhist, and all the latest gurus
with  their  nonsense,  they  have  tried  everything  to  quieten  the  thought.
Because  thought  has  its  place,  but  psychologically,  inwardly,  can  there  be
certain  silence,  quietness?  And  love  is  that  silence,  is  that  quality  of  great
strength, quiet energy.
So we are asking, is love the only factor that is creative? Not sex. I know
we have reduced love to pleasure. And we have to ask what is love? If you
once  comprehend,  perceive  that  thought  can  never,  under  whatever
circumstances,  be  creative  because  thought  is  limited  –  of  that  there  is  no
question.  If  we  once  see  the  truth  of  it  then  we  can  begin  to  ask,  is  there
another  instrument,  another  way  of  looking  at  life?  Then  we  can  begin  to
enquire: what is love? What is compassion? What is intelligence? Intelligence
is part of that thought; intelligence has created Los Alamos. And what is the
nature of love? Is it desire? Is it pleasure? Is it creating images – images about
your  wife,  your  husband?  Is  it  the  images  of  ideologies?  So  to  find  out,  to
discover, to come upon that extraordinary thing called love one must have a
very  clear  understanding  of  our  daily  life.  And  that  means  psychologically,
inwardly,  we  have  no  freedom.  We  talk  about  freedom,  specially  in  this
country, where you have experts to tell you what to do – specialists. I do not
know but you must be aware of all this: how to bring up a baby, how to have
sex, how to beautify yourself, what kind of exercise, and you have specialists
in religions, in science, and so on. And this you call freedom. And as our time
is very, very limited we cannot possibly go into the question more deeply: what   9
is  freedom.  Without  freedom  there  is  no  love.  But  we  are  not  free.  We  are
anxious, we are frightened of death, frightened of the future, we have carried
this burden of fear for thousands of years. We are talking about psychological
fears first, and physical fears later.
So can such a brain which is so conditioned as a computer, can such a
brain  love?  And  creativity,  whether  in  science,  in  biology  and  so  on,  where
there  is  great  activity  of  thought  with  its  own  peculiar  intelligence,  can  that
thought create, be creative? If not then how does creation take place? They
have  asked  this  question,  religious  people  have  asked  this  question,
theologians. If you go to India, they will invent their own theory about creation;
so do the Christians, Muslims, and all say, god, or some biological reason.
So we are saying that creation is only possible where there is love. Then
what  is  love?  Love  is  not  desire,  love  is  not  pleasure.  Love  is  not  religious
entertainment.  To  understand  the  complexity  of  desire,  the  complexity  of
sorrow, and the enormous thing that we call death, all that is part of our life,
our  daily  living.  So  is  there  freedom? Have  we  love?  If  there  is  love  we  will
never kill another human being, never. And this whole world now is collecting
armaments, every country wants the latest instrument of destruction. America
is supplying it, England, Russia, Germany, and each country is producing its
own deadly instruments; and amongst this chaos we want to have the spirit of
creation, creativity. On one hand you produce most destructive instruments of
war, on the other you talk about love, peace, and so on. We live in a state of
contradiction,  and  where  there  is  contradiction  there  must  be  conflict  and
therefore there can never be creation, or creativity. It is only when the brain is
quiet, not controlled quietness. When the brain is absolutely silent, though it
has its own rhythm. Man has enquired into this from the ancient of days: can
the brain be utterly still for a while? Not everlastingly chattering, not probing,
not enquiring, not searching, but quiet, still.
And  to  understand  that  stillness  one  must  understand  what  is  meditation
and so on. Meditation is not conscious meditation, because that is what you   10
have been taught – conscious deliberate meditation, sitting cross legged, lying
down, or repeating certain phrases, and so on. That is all deliberate conscious
effort  to  meditate,  which  is  part  of  desire.  And  the  speaker  says  such
meditation is nonsense. It is like desiring a good house, a good dress, and you
desire  to  have  a  good  peaceful  mind,  which  is  the  same  thing.  Conscious
meditation destroys, prevents the other form of meditation. To go into that we
havent time, because that requires extraordinary perception, without the word,
without image.
And so science is the movement of knowledge, gathering more and more
and  more.  The  more  is  the  measurement,  and  thought  can  be  measured
because thought is a material process. And knowledge has its own insight, its
own limited creation, and therefore it brings conflict. But we are talking about
holistic perception, in which the ego, the me, the personality doesnt enter at
all. Then only there is this thing called creativity. Right sirs.
[Comment by M R Raju]
We have some time for a few questions, maybe for about fifteen minutes or
so. If anybody would like to explore the subject further by asking any specific
Q: I was commenting that one category that you seem not to have dealt
with in too much detail is the category of the will as opposed to thought. And
could it not be that the problem, the source, the root problem, the source of the
conflict is wrong use of the will rather than wrong thought?
K: You have understood the question? What is will? Is it not the essence of
desire? And the gentleman asks: do not will and thought go together.
Q:  I  would  make  a  distinction  between  the  will,  the  capacity  to  make
choices and thought. I would say they are not one and the same, there is a
distinction  between  them.  And  the  problem  is  in  the  will  rather  than  in  the
thought. The thoughts, to a large extent, flow from the will.    11
K: Thats what I am saying, it is the same thing. Desire, we are saying, is
Q: I would make will a little more fundamental than simply desire. Its at the
very heart of our personality, of who we are, this capacity to make choice, to
make choices. Let me ask another question.  I  have  another  issue  that  I  am
really  concerned  about  and  that  is  that  there  may  be  more  than  just  human
thought and human experience. There may be a bigger aspect to reality. And
there may be other wills involved besides human wills. And that there may be
a factor of what we might call supernatural evil at work in the world. And there
may be a bigger conflict than many people may have given much thought to,
much consideration to.
K: So sir, what is the question?
Q: OK. I am saying that regardless of how much attempts we make to quiet
our thoughts.
K: Sir, you cant quieten thought. I carefully explained. We havent time. Sir,
what is the question.
Q: OK. As a human being how can I protect myself from supernatural evil?
How can I protect from Satans authority in this world?
K: Supernatural evil, and protection from that. What is the relationship of
the good with the evil? Are we good? What does goodness mean? And what
do we mean by evil? Is evil related to goodness? Is love related to hate? If it is
related then it is not love. If good is related to evil then it is not good. And are
we  controlled  or  shaped  by  external  super-evil?  I  know  this  is  an  old,  old
theory; there is something beyond us which we havent created that controls
us, that shapes our life, and so on.
Q: Well let me pose another question. Ill make it very brief.
A: No, no.    12
K: I am sorry, sir. Lets have some fun, shall we?
Q:  I  have  had  trouble  understanding  what  you  mean  by  creativity.  Could
you dwell on that a bit?
K: I dont mean anything by creativity, it was posed to me. Sir, whom are we
questioning? Are you questioning the speaker, or questioning what he said, or
are you questioning yourself? Which is, together we are questioning the whole
problem of existence, with its creation, with its destruction, with its pleasures,
the whole of life we are questioning. And we try to find an answer outside the
question. But the answer lies in the question, not away from it. That depends
how you regard the question. If we want a solution to the question, as most of
us do, we have problems. And we are seeking solutions to the problems. Our
brain is trained to the solution of problems from childhood. When a child goes
to  the  school  he  has  mathematical  problems,  problems  of  how  to  read  and
write. So our brains from childhood have been conditioned to the solution of
problems, and so we never understand the problem itself, we want a solution
for it.
So what is a problem? The gentleman said the problem is will, and thought.
Now who is going to answer that question? Or what is creativity? You can read
books upon books, listen to professors, specialists, and then has one really,
deeply, inwardly grasped the truth of something? What is truth, what is reality?
The tiger is a reality, thought has not created it – thank god! Thought has not
created nature. So reality is what we are, what we have made of ourselves.
And  we  are  incapable  apparently  of  facing  what  we  are,  and  transforming,
bringing  about  a  mutation  in  what  we  are  –  actually,  not  verbally,  not
theoretically. And then find out for oneself what is creation, what is creativity,
what is love, what is the essence of compassion which is intelligence. To find
that out for oneself, not selfishly because we are the rest of humanity. Thats a
marvellous  thing  to  discover  that,  that  we  are  the  rest  of  humanity,
psychologically, inwardly, though outwardly, externally we may be different. So
when  we  understand  this  thing  for  ourselves,  not  be  told  everlastingly  by   13
professors, psychologists and so on, so that we have a clear perception of life,
and the art of living, then we will ask nobody to tell us what to do.
Q: Sir, you say that we are the rest of humanity. I am different from you,
and I want to tell you that I am glad I am not you and I want to tell you that
there is a difference between each person and the rest of humanity, that we
are all individuals. You keep implying that we should be individuals, but then
you say that we are the rest of humanity. We are not, I am not you, and I am
glad of that.
K:  May  I  answer  that  question?  The  gentleman  said,  I  am  glad  I  am  not
you,  that  he  is  different  from  everybody  else.  Is  that  so?  We  will  have  to
enquire,  not  say,  «Yes,  I  am  different  from  you».  Dont  you  suffer?  Dont  you
have conflicts, dont you have problems, dont you quarrel with each other? You
have beliefs, dont you, conclusions, fears? Go to India, or Egypt, or anywhere
else in the world they have exactly the same thing psychologically, inwardly.
They suffer. Its right sir.
Q: I do not suffer when you suffer.
K: What sir?
Q: I do not die when you die. I do not feel what you feel.
K: I do not die when you die, I do not feel what you feel. But go beyond that
a  little  bit  further,  deeper.  When  I  die,  what  is  death?  You  answer.  Dying,
biologically,  physically  one  dies.  Men  on  this  earth  have  died  by  the  million.
And when you die and I die what does that mean? Who dies? The name, the
person,  the  qualities,  the  images  he  has  built  about  himself?  What  dies?
Please sir, one has to go into this, not just say, «Well I am different from you»
and just stop there. Of course we are different from you. Biologically we are
different.  You  are  tall,  I  am  short,  or  I  am  black  or  you  are  blue.  Of  course
there is a difference. You are a woman, I am a man. But inwardly, go into it.
What are we, of which we are so proud? A series of memories we are, arent
we, remembrance of things past. We are a bundle of memories. And to find   14
out  if  there  is  something  sacred,  real  truth  beyond  all  these  words  and
impressions and reactions, there must be that quality of investigation, without
prejudice, without a conclusion. Sir to go into these matters very carefully one
has to have – not in one talk, you cant understand all this – it requires a great
deal of enquiry on the part of all of us, not assertions – I believe and that is
good enough for me. We must question the very nature of belief, the nature of
conclusion, our ideologies.
Q: Can you give some concrete examples of creativity from your point of
view – some examples, maybe? I, for example, would say, that Einstein was
creative  in  a  certain  way.  Can  you  give  some  examples  from  your  point  of
K: I have no point of view. I wouldnt have a point of view. I really mean it. It
is not just clever response. Because I am not an Indian, I dont believe all that
kind of stuff – not believe – I reject all that. Not that I am vain and superstitious
and all that business. But I say, look what has happened to our human beings.
And each one has a point of view, and he sticks to that point of view. And so
there  is  perpetual  division,  conflict.  And  out  of  that  conflict  creation  cannot
Q: You indicated that when we become very quiet the brain would have its
own rhythm. Could you speak about that?
K: Look sir, have you ever been, if I may most respectfully ask, have you
ever been quiet? Literally really quiet, both physically and inwardly. The brain
to be absolutely quiet – have you ever tried it? And the gentleman asks… right
sir, you asked something sir?
Q:  I  wanted  to  understand  more  clearly  the  reference  you  made  to  the
rhythm which the brain exhibits.
K: The brain is a muscle. Right? An extraordinary muscle, with immense
capacity, infinite capacity. You can see what we human beings have produced.
But  when  the  brain  is  quiet  in  the  sense  psychologically,  inwardly,  which   15
means no measurement – I wont go into all this. To have no measure, which
means the brain doesnt compare so that there is no more. You understand?
May  I  put  the  question  differently?  Or  rather  state  something.  The  now,  the
present, the now, contains the past and the future. The future is the present.
The  future  is  what  we  are.  Right?  It  is  so  obvious.  I  am  greedy  for  power,
position, aggressive. I am  that,  now.  And  the  future which  is  tomorrow,  or  a
thousand tomorrows is what I am now. If there is no radical change in the now
the future is what I am. Right? I wonder if you see. So death – I wont go into
Q: Sir, you said many things that were true today such as limitations of the
human  thought,  and  about  the  all  importance  of  love.  But  I  am  a  little
disappointed that you have not told us the real answer to these things.
K: Oh, yes, I have answered.
Q: The answer has been given to us by the infinite God who is the only
creator. He has sent Jesus Christ to this earth who has shown us what love is
by dying on the cross for us. And he is love, and he is the personification of
love, and without knowing him you cannot know love.
K: Sir, I dont want to know what god is. I dont want to know. What do you
mean by knowing? Knowing implies remembrance. This morning we met, you
have seen the speaker, his face, you remember it. You may not remember it.
And the remembrance is the image you have built about the person. But the
person, the thing may be totally different from the image you have built about
him.  It  is  so  obvious.  And  we  have  built  this  extraordinary  thing  called  god,
each  civilization,  the  past,  the  present  and  the  future,  have  their  own  ideas
about  what  god  is.  I  believe  in  India  there  are  300,000  gods,  and  in  the
Christian world there is only one god. There you can play with 300,000 gods –
choose any god you like and have fun. Please I am serious. It sounds rather
silly but it is a fact. And when there is no fear inwardly – you understand – of
dying,  of  insecurity,  no  fear  whatsoever,  psychologically  and  therefore
biologically,  then  there  is  freedom.  You  understand?  And  in  that  freedom   16
which is the essence of energy, and that energy may be called various names,
who cares.
Q: He said, «Be still and know that I am God», and Jesus Christ also said,
«If  you  keep  my  commandments,  ye  shall  know  the  truth  and  the  truth  shall
make you free».
K: I dont quite understand your question.
Q:  The  question  is,  how  you  can  have  freedom  without  knowing  Jesus
K: I dont understand your question, sir.
Q: Jesus Christ said, «I am the way, the truth and the life», he is the only
way, the only truth, and the only life. Without him there is no truth and no life
and it is the only way.
K: Sir, forgive me, 2,000 years ago this was stated according to the Bible
by  disciples  who  wrote  the  thing  after  sixty  years  or  more  afterwards.  This
statement  existed  long  before  –  every  prophet,  every  guru,  from  the  most
ancient days have stated this. But what has that to do with our daily life? All
the statements of all the religious books – there is a very complex problem in
this. Those who live on books – here you have the Bible and the Islamic world
has the Koran, and the Indian and the Chinese world, there are a thousand
books, or half a dozen books is good enough. So those who rely on one book
become  terribly  dogmatic.  If  you  have  watched  it  carefully;  they  were  called
heretics and burnt in the past. And those who depend on Marx, Lenin, and you
can  see  what  is  happening  there.  And  if  you  have  several  books,  all  called
religious books, they are not so dogmatic, assertive. In India, for example, you
can  be  a  good  person  without  believing  in  god,  not  doing  any  ritual,  and  all
rituals become a form of entertainment anyhow, religious or otherwise.
So  sirs,  if  one  is  dogmatic,  assertive,  confirming  ones  own  conclusions,
then that is what is creating so much trouble, horror in the world. The Russians   17
will not yield an inch in what they believe, their ideology; and those who are
Christians and so-called democratic will not an inch either. So there is a war.
And so please we are not stating anything, we are just observing and moving,
not  static.  Therefore  one  has  to  have  extraordinary  vitality,  energy.  And  we
waste our energy in all the absurdities. Is that enough sir?
Q: As I listened, I was thinking that our thoughts and our knowledge can
bring us to the crux of the problem, bring us to the foot of the problem. And
what I wanted to ask you, sir, is whether you considered it creativity when we
stand at the foot of the problem to be able to divorce ourselves from all our
knowledge, and all our past that has brought us to the problem, to walk away
from that?
K: No, sir, we cannot possibly put away all our knowledge. You must have
knowledge to go from here to your house. You must have knowledge to write a
letter.  You  must  have  knowledge  to  speak  English,  or  French,  or  Italian,  or
Russian. Knowledge is necessary. Otherwise we wouldnt be sitting here.
Q:  In  other  words  we  wouldnt  recognize  the  problem  unless  we  had
K:  Knowledge  is  necessary  at  a  certain  level,  and  I  am  questioning  very
deeply  whether  knowledge,  psychological  knowledge  is  necessary  at  all.
Psychological  knowledge  –  you  understand  what  is  implied  –  the  self  is  the
essence  of  knowledge,  which  is  accumulated  through  various  experiences,
incidents,  and  so  on.  All  that  is  knowledge,  psychological  knowledge.  And
therefore that is unnecessary. One can exist only in that state of freedom when
you have relegated knowledge to its right place. Psychologically no recording
of reactions. Suppose you insult me, why should I record  it,  why  should  the
brain  record  that  insult,  or  if  you  flatter  me,  why  should  you  record  it?  The
recording creates the self, the me, and so there is a division.
Q:  Then  my  question  is:  is  it  creativity  to  come  to  recognize  a  problem,
having all this knowledge that has brought you to where you are, to be able to   18
take a different step. To not be bound by what you know, but be able to walk
away from that?
K: Yes sir. What you are, is all this.
Q: Yes, you are the recorded messages.
K: Can there be freedom from all that. Then there is real creativity, thats
what he says.
Q: Thank you.
K: Is that enough, sir?
Raju: Thank you very much, sir.    19
Los Alamos (Usa) National Laboratory
2nd Colloquium 21st March 1984
Creativity In Science
Creation Comes Out of Meditation
K:  There  are  here  fifteen  questions  –  which  shall  we  take  first?  Shall  we
take  the  first  one?  «What  is  meditation  and  how  is  it  related  to  creativity?»
Could we take that first?
Meditation is a very complex business. This is a dialogue between us. And I
said  it  is  a  very  complex  business.  The  word  meditation  implies  both  in
Sanskrit and in English, not only the brain concentrating on a certain subject,
but also it implies a great deal of attention. But primarily meditation means, in
Sanskrit,  to  measure.  And  also  in  English  etymologically,  I  believe,  it  is  to
measure.  The  whole  question  of  becoming  is  involved  in  it,  which  is  to
measure: I am this, I will be that. I am greedy, but I will gradually become non-
greedy,  which  is  a  form  of  measurement,  which  is  form  of  becoming.  Both
becoming in the affairs of the world and psychologically becoming. That is the
whole question of measurement. The Greeks, the ancient Greeks – you know
all about that, I dont have to go into it – were the originators of measurement.
Without  measurement  there  would  be  no  technology.  And  the  Asiatics
specially  in  India,  said  measurement  is  illusion,  measurement  means
limitation. I am translating, they didnt exactly say this, they put it differently. So
measurement  means  comparison,  to  compare  what  is,  what  should  be,  the
ideal, the fact, the fact becoming the ideal. All that is implied in meditation.
And also in meditation is implied, the meditator and the meditation. If there
is  any  difficulty  in  understanding  what  the  speaker  is  saying  jump  on  him,
please.  Because  it  is  a  very  complex  business.  And  specially  some  of  the
Indian gurus have brought this word into America and made a lot of money out
of it. They are multi-millionaires, I have met them. They are appalling beings,
they are all out for money.    20
So  to  enquire  into  meditation,  you  have  to  enquire  first  not  only
measurement,  but  also  this  constant  becoming  something,  psychologically.
Human beings are violent, and the ideal to be in a state of non-violence, which
is to become.
Q: Do you set goals for your meditation?
K:  I  am  saying  what  is  implied  in  the  whole  structure  and  the  nature  of
meditation. It is not how to meditate but what is meditation, rather than how. I
hope I am making myself clear. And also there is a question involved in that:
who  is  meditating?  And  most  of  the  systems  of  meditation,  whether  the
Japanese, and the Hindus, and so on, Tibetan, there is always the controller
and  the  controlled.  Right?  Are  we  meeting  each  other?  So  there  is  the
controller  controlling  thought,  to  quieten  the  thought,  to  shape  thought
according  to  a  purposeful  direction.  So  there  is  the  controller  and  the
controlled. Who is the controller? Please, all this is implied in meditation, not
merely  to  control  ones  thought  as  is  generally  understood  in  meditation,
whether it is Zen meditation, or the most complex forms of meditation which
take place in India, and elsewhere, there is always the director, the entity that
controls  thought.  So  they  have  divided  psychologically  the  thinker  and  the
thought. So the thinker separates himself from the whole activity of thought,
and therefore in meditation is implied the controller controlling thought so as to
make thought quiet. That is the essence of meditation, to bring about a state of
brain – I wont use the mind for the moment – to make the brain quiet. Ill explain
a little more and go into that.
So there is a division between the controller and the controlled. Right? Who
is  the  controller?  Very  few  people  have  asked  that  question.  They  are  all
delighted to meditate, hoping to get somewhere – illumination, enlightenment
and quietness of the brain, peace of mind and so on. But very, very few people
have enquired: who is the controller? May we go on with that? The controller is
also thought. The controller is the past, is the entity, or the movement of time
as  the  past  and  measure.  So  there  is  the  past  who  is  the  thinker,  separate   21
from the thought, and the thinker tries to control thought. Human beings have
invented god – sorry, I hope you dont mind. You wont be shocked if I go into all
A: No, go ahead.
K: Human beings, out of their fear, invented god. And they tried to reach
god, which is the ultimate principle, in India it is called Brahman, the ultimate
principle. And meditation is to reach the ultimate. So meditation is really very,
very  complex,  it  is  not  just  merely  meditating  for  twenty  minutes  in  the
morning, twenty minutes in the afternoon, and twenty minutes in the evening –
which is taking a siesta, not meditation at all. So if one wants to discover what
is meditation one has to ask: why does one have to meditate? One realizes
ones brain is constantly chattering, constantly planning, designing – what it will
do, what it has done, the past impinging itself on the present, it is everlasting
chattering, chattering, whether the scientific chatter – sorry! – or ordinary daily
life chatter, like a housewife chattering endlessly about something or other. So
the brain is constantly in movement. Now the idea of meditation is to make the
brain quiet, silent, completely attentive, and in that attention find that which is –
perhaps you will object to this word eternity – or something sacred. That is the
intention  of  those  who  really  have  gone  into  this  question.  The  speaker  has
gone into this for the last sixty years or more. He has discussed this question
with the Zen pundits, with the Zen patriarches, with the Hindus and Tibetan,
and all the rest of the gang. I hope you dont mind my talking colloquially, do
And  the  speaker  refutes  all  that  kind  of  meditation  because  their  idea  of
meditation is to achieve an end. The end being complete control of the brain
so  that  there  is  no  movement  of  thought.  Because  when  the  brain  is  still,
deliberately  disciplined,  deliberately  sought  after,  it  is  not  silent.  It  is  like
achieving something, which is the action of desire. I dont know if you follow all
this. May I go on?    22
So one has to enquire also, if one is interested in all this, what is desire?
Not  suppress  desire,  as  the  monks  and  the  Indian  sannyasis  do,  suppress
desire,  or  identify  desire  with  something  higher  –  higher  principle,  higher
image, if you are a Christian with Christ and so on. So one has to understand if
one  wants  to  find  out  what  is  meditation, one has to enquire into desire. All
right, sirs?
Q: Is desire the same as will?
K:  We  will  go  into  that  in  a  minute.  What  is  desire?  Why  man,  human
beings, a person, is so dominated by desire – desire to become rich, desire to
become – you know various forms of desire. We are slaves to desire, which is
a reaction. So what is desire? This is part of meditation. You understand? This
is  what  the  speaker  is  saying  about  meditation.  That  is,  unless  one
understands  the  movement  of  time  –  right,  may  I  go  into  all  this?  You  are
interested in all this? May I go on?
A: Please, yes.
K: It is fun if we begin to go into it. But if it merely intellectual excitement it
has no value. So this very enquiry into what is meditation is part of meditation.
So  we  are  enquiring  together  what  is  meditation,  what  is  desire.  Desire  is
perception, contact, sensation. Right? The seeing  something,  a  woman  or  a
house, or a garden, or a lovely painting. Seeing, coming into contact with it,
touching  it,  from  that  arising  sensation,  then  what  takes  place?  You
understand?  Seeing,  contact,  sensation.  Thats  what  actually  takes  place:
when you go into a shop and you see a shirt that you want to buy, you see it,
touch  it,  feel  it,  sensation,  then  what  takes  place?  That  is  where  the
importance  comes.  Then  thought  gives  shape  to  sensation,  which  is,  «How
would  I  look  in  that  shirt?»  You  understand?  So  there  is  seeing,  contact,
sensation,  then  thought  using  the  sensation  as  a  means  of  self-gratification.
Right? So can there be a hiatus, a gap between sensation, which is natural,
healthy  –  unless  one  is  paraylsed,  of  course  –  between  that  sensation  and   23
thought coming in and using it as a means of gratification. Have I made this
Q: Gratification being the desire to possess it?
K: Desire to possess it, how would I look in it.
Q: In relationship to myself.
K: So thought creates the image of you in that shirt. That is desire and the
intensification of that desire is will. I must have that.
Q: So will is the actual realization or the implementation of desire?
K: Desire, yes. Please, sir, this is a dialogue, it is not a matter of accepting
Q: You dont mind if we speak out?
K: No. If this is clear, whether it is possible to keep a wide gap, as it were,
between sensation, which is healthy, normal, and thought creating the image
of you in the car, of you in the shirt, creating the image which is the beginning
of desire. I wonder if I am making it clear.
So that is one part of meditation – to understand the nature of desire, not to
suppress it ever. I dont know if you understand the discipline  this  requires  –
discipline in the sense not conformity but the discipline of understanding, the
discipline of learning.
Q: You are not going to turn off desire but merely to examine it more.
K: To be aware of this whole movement of desire, how desire arises, and
so on.
Q: You are also saying to know it so well that you are able to impose a gap
and  the  next  step  does  not  necessarily  follow.  To  stop  the  step  of
implementation.    24
K: If you do it actually as we are talking about it, if you do it actually you will
see what goes on. Which is, seeing, sensation, contact, then thought giving an
image  to  that  sensation,  and  fulfilling  that  desire  with  all  its  complications,
conflicts and so on. So where there is a gap between sensation and thought
creating the image, that is silence. I dont know if you follow all this. Dont agree
with me, that is fatal.
Q: You make meditation sound like a very active enterprise and I think we
normally think of meditation, or achieving a quiet mind, as being an inactive
K: You can take a drug to quieten the mind, you can concentrate – I wont go
into  that  for  a  moment.  You  can  do  various  forms  and  tricks  to  quieten  the
mind,  quieten  the  brain.  It  is  a  brain  that  is  dull.  But  a  brain  that  has
understood  the  implications  and  the  complications  of  meditation,  the  brain
becomes an extraordinary instrument.
Q: So the quiet mind is not the empty mind?
K: Sir, emptiness. To have an empty mind means, full of energy. Emptiness
is energy. Please, we must go into this step by step – you dont mind, sir.
Q:  The  quiet  mind  is  perceiving  things,  is  receiving  sensory  information
from outside, but it is not manipulating those things?
K: Yes. So also it has to understand time, not scientific time in the sense of
a  series  of  moments.  What  is  time,  not  as  a  special  subject  studied  by
scientists or by others, but what is, in our daily life, time? Because unless we
lay  a  foundation  in  our  daily  life  thats  firm,  still,  then  meditation  becomes  a
form of illusory deception.
So I must understand desire, there is the understanding of desire. And also
the understanding of time. What is time?
Q: A means to become. Isnt time just a means to become something?    25
K: Time is not only to become something. I am this, give me time and I will
become  that.  I  am  violent,  give  me  time,  space,  an  interval,  so  that  I  will
become a non-violent human being. That is part of time. And also time in our
daily life is the accumulation of vast knowledge. Right? Time is also the future.
So there is time – I am not a specialist please, forgive me if I am not.
Q: Is time the perception of cause and effect?
K:  Where  there  is  a  cause  the  effect  can  be  eradicated.  So  what  is  the
source of time – time as a human being, not I was, I am, I will be? Time is also
a movement to achieve the ultimate. I have one life, the whole Asiatics believe,
I have one life and if I die I must have another life, it is called reincarnation, so
that I will become better and better and better, life after life until I ultimately
reach the highest principle, god or whatever you like to call it. So that is part of
time. I am this, but I will be that. Is becoming a deception? You understand,
sir, psychologically.
Q: I dont understand – becoming is a deception?
K: Yes. An illusion, if you like, to use a better word.
Q: I will have to work hard to understand that.
K: Yes, sir, that is part of meditation. Meditation is something extraordinary
if you understand it.
Q: It seems to obvious. We see ourselves change, so how can you say that
becoming is an illusion?
K:  I  am  greedy.  Suppose  I  am  greedy,  and  my  tradition,  religion,
intelligence says, minimize the thing, dont be everlastingly greedy, it is silly. So
what has happened? I am, but I will be. You understand? I am violent, I will be
non-violent.  That  is  a  movement  in  time.  And  in  that  movement  I  am  still
violent. I dont know if you understand. It is a dialogue between us, please.
Q: We cannot change.    26
K: Just listen to what I have said first. I am violent, and my tradition and all
the people around me, the environment, tells me, religious books and so on
and so on, society tells me, I must be non-violent. But I am violent. So what
happens? There is a conflict between what is and what should be.
Q: I see what you are saying.
Q: Does that mean then that if I am violent and I want to make this change,
this movement to non-violence I am making a violent act.
K: There is no change at all.
Q: You mean that…
K: You are jumping on me too quickly! Lets slowly go into it.
Q: It seems to me that there may be a change in degree. But you say that
there is no change at all, it seems to me that denies the possibility of change in
K: Give me a chance, just a minute. I am violent. Human beings are violent
– that is an historical fact. After ten thousand, or fifty thousand years, we are
still violent human beings, derived from the animal and so on. The fact is I am
violent.  That  is  a  fact.  The  non-violence  is  non-fact.  Right?  Its  an  ideal,  its
something, it is not. But this is a fact. But when I first pursue non-fact it creates
more problems. So there is conflict between the fact and the non-fact. So what
is important is to be free of violence, not achieve non-violence. I dont know if
you  see  that.  So  when  I  am  trying  to  achieve  non-violence  I  am  sowing  the
seeds  of  violence  all  the  time  until  I  reach  that.  Which  I  call  a  deception,  a
delusion, an illusion. Right? I dont know if you follow this?
Q:  I  dont  see  the  difference  between  an  absence  of  violence  and  non-
K: To achieve non-violence is a deception, I said. So my problem – problem
means  something  thrown  at  you,  the  word  etymologically  means,  something   27
thrown  at  you.  Now  this  is  a  question  I  have  to  resolve,  violence.  What  is
violence? Not only physical damage, to hurt somebody, it is also to get angry,
also to hate. Right? Violence is also conformity. Yes, sir. Listen. Violence is
also conformity. And violence is a vocation of imitation. I know it goes against
all  you  think.  So  I  have  to  understand  violence.  Why  is  there  violence?
Because  I  am  conforming,  imitating,  angry,  jealous,  and  I  am  aware  of  the
whole structure of violence. Aware, and give complete attention to that. When
you give complete attention to that, it is like a flame burning out the violence.
Sir, as scientists, you give complete attention to something, and you find an
answer to it. Right? It is only inattention that creates the problem. I dont know
if you follow all this.
Q: Sir, if I give complete attention to sensation, will I burn out desire?
K: Yes, sir. Of course. Not burn out – you see. If you agree to that, if you
see the logic of it, then why have we given such extraordinary importance to
desire? The whole American public is told, «Fulfil». Right? «Dont inhibit» Thats
terrible.  «Dont  control,  let  go,  do  what  you  like.»  And  we  are  creating  such
havoc in the world. Thats a different matter.
So when there is complete attention, which means gives your total energy
to that fact of violence, that energy dissipates violence, the whole of it, not part
of it. You understand? That is also meditation.
Q: It seems to me that there has to be another objective. You surely would
not  advocate  that  the  sole  objective  of  meditation  would  be  to  achieve  non-
violence? I mean, thats negative. You must seek something else. What else
do  you  seek?  It  seems  to  me  that  you  have  discussed,  or  mentioned  one
objective: to achieve non-violence.
K: I took that is an example, sir.
Q: However it is confusing me. If you give complete attention to violence in
order to find non-violence…    28
K: Ah, I am not doing that. I want to understand the nature of violence, as
you  want  to  understand  the  nature  of  the  atom  you  have  given  your  whole
attention to the blasted thing. Of course. You have studied it, you went into it,
you broke it up, Einstein, Oppenheimer and all the rest of them.
Q: I think there is something that is really puzzling me – this whole concept
of  giving  complete  attention  to  anything  is  to  me  something  that  is  almost
inconceivable, and I would disagree that we have given our attention…
K: How do you mean inconceivable, sir?
Q: I dont know what you mean.
K:  What  is  the  difference  between  attention  and  inattention?  If  you  are
disciplined along a certain line you give a great deal of attention to that. The
rest of the time you are inattentive. This is a fact, a natural human fact. If I am
terribly interested in something I give my attention to it, the rest of the time I
am not attentive.
Q: You may give attention to many different things.
K: Sir, attention matters – not to different things.
Q: It is the attention itself that matters?
K: Of course.
Q: Rather than what you are putting the attention on?
K: The moment…
Q: But it is the notion of complete attention.
K: All right, sir, let us forget the word complete. Attention means complete.
And also one has to understand oneself. Right, sir. This is the importance of
meditation: time, desire, all the things I am. What am I? If I dont understand
myself I may be deceiving myself all the time. I used to know a friend, who was
an Indian, highly educated, been to Cambridge in England, and had a good   29
position in India, and he became a judge. One morning he woke up and he
said, «I pass judgement on these people, what is truth?» And it is part of the
Indian tradition, specially among the Brahmins, to leave the family, and all that,
and find out through meditation what truth is. He said that. So he went into the
forest and all that, and for twenty five years he meditated to find out what truth
was. So somebody brought him to one of the speakers talks and he came to
see the speaker afterwards, and he said, «Look, for twenty five years I have
been  deceiving  myself».  You  understand,  sir?  You  understand?  Think  of  the
courage of that man, etc. So we talked about it a great deal.
Now unless I understand myself, what is the self, the ego, the person, the
persona, the ethos and so on, I may meditate for the rest of my life and may
be  deceiving  myself.  You  understand?  I  may  be  living  in  a  vast  series  of
illusions, thinking those are real. So I must understand myself. Therefore I can
understand myself not according to some psychologist, Freud and all the rest
of it – I must understand myself, not through somebody.
Q: You can never be sure that you are not deluding yourself.
K: I am going to show you, sir. I must know myself, not according to any
philosophy, according to any scientist, according to any psychiatrist and so on,
not according to any system. I am understanding the system, not myself. You
see the difference? Now how do I understand myself without any deception,
otherwise I have played a wrong game, at the end of it I am deceiving myself.
So how do I learn to understand myself so completely so that there is not a
shadow  of  deception,  self-illusion?  Is  that  all  right,  may  I  go  on?  This  is  a
dialogue please.
Q: What do you do with feeling in there?
K: Feeling is thought, isnt it. If I feel I have to recognize the feeling. Leave
that for the moment.
Q:  Sir,  do  we  come  back  again  to  attention  in  terms  of  understanding
myself?    30
K:  No.  You  are  too  quick!  I  want  to  understand  myself.  And  I  must
understand  myself  so  thoroughly  that  there  is  not  a  slightest  deception,  a
tremendous integrity and honesty. Right? Otherwise there is no point. Can you
go  along  with  this?  Honesty  and  integrity.  I  realize  there  must  be  honesty,
integrity  and  specially  scepticism.  In  the  Christian  world,  the  whole  of
Christianity  is  based  on  the  Bible,  the  Saviour  and  so  on,  and  Christianity
doesnt  allow  any  doubt.  Right?  The  religious  Christian  –  any  doubt,  any
scepticism. If there was scepticism and doubt the whole thing would collapse.
When we were in Italy, I know Italian somewhat – and I heard the Pope say, he
was preaching something or other, «You must have more faith». And a friend of
mine  who  was  sitting  next  to  me,  said,  «Look,  this  is  what  they  are  doing,
cultivating faith to destroy any kind of enquiry». So tremendous honesty, which
is very difficult, sir, and great integrity.
Q: Another definition of faith in Christianity is trust, which is not a matter of
destroying enquiry only, but having trust.
K: Trust in whom? Who do you trust? Do you trust your wife, do you trust
your husband, do you trust your president? Why do you trust? What do you
mean by trusting? If there is doubt you are enquiring, asking, demanding.
Q: You can trust and still enquire about the nature of God.
K: Sir, trust means what? If I have a wife, I trust her because I love her. I
know she wont do anything ugly to me, and I know I wont do anything ugly to
her because I love her. Where there is love there is trust. You dont trust by
itself, it means loving. Please, lets come back.
So I must know myself. Without knowing myself deception of every kind is
possible.  Right  sir?  You  agree  to  that?  Honesty,  integrity  and  scepticism,
doubt. And that doubt must be kept on a leash – you know what a leash is, a
dog kept on a leash, it must occasionally be free of the leash so that it can run.
But if you keep it on the leash all the time it has no vitality, it isnt a dog any
more. So we must have that quality. Right. Now how do I understand myself?   31
This is part of meditation, you understand, sir? I understand myself through my
relationship  to  the  environment,  to  my  wife,  to  my  father,  all  that.  In  my
relationship I see my reactions.
Are  we  following  each  other?  Is  that  all  right  so  far?  Do  you  approve?
Because without relationship I dont exist, I cannot exist, I may withdraw into a
monastery, but still I am related – related to the past, related to a concept of
what Jesus says and so on, so I am always related. Right? In that relationship
which is a mirror I see myself as I am, not as I should be, but actually what I
Q: In terms of reactions?
K:  All  my  reactions.  So  that  requires  an  extraordinary  watchfulness.  I
wonder if you can do all this? So relationship is the mirror in which I see myself
as I am, which is far more important than what I should be, because what I am
can be transformed – not transformed, that word transformed means moving
from one form to another form, but bring about a mutation. Ill use that word. So
that is the mirror. So I am watching the mirror in my relationship. The mirror is
my relationship. So I see that I am creating an image about people all the time.
I have created an image about my wife. I have lived with her for forty, twenty,
ten  days,  I  have  already  created  an  image  about  her,  and  she  has  already
created an image about me. Right? So these are facts. So our relationship is
between these two images. Right? Are you nervous if I say all this? Is your
wife here too?
Q: If one measures oneself against the mirror of society – I may not have
put that quite the way you would have done – the focus of my question is, what
happens to ones self image if one changes the society?
K: Now just a minute, sir. Who created the society? We created the society.
We  are  aggressive,  we  are  violent,  we are greedy, our society is ourselves.
Society is not different from me. I am not a communist.
Q: If we move from one society to another.    32
K: It is the same. Its like I am a Catholic and I become a Buddhist, it is the
same  movement.  I  have  changed  the  name  but  Buddhism  is  much  more
intellectual,  much  more  subtle,  much  more  etc.,  etc.,  than  Christianity.  So
moving  from  one  religion,  or  one  state  to  another,  is  the  same.  I  am
questioning,  I  am  saying,  to  understand  oneself  one  has  to  see  what  our
relationship is to nature, the trees, the world of nature, the reality of nature, the
beauty, the depth and the glory of nature, and also the society. I am related to
society.  And  I  say  I  am  different  from  society.  I  say  we  are  not  –  we  have
created this society. Right? Thats a fact, sir, isnt it? Let me finish this. Just a
minute,  please.  We  have  created  this  society.  Thought  has  created  this
society, the culture of a particular society. We are the result of all that, it is our
action that has created this society. We are greedy, we are aggressive, violent,
we  are  possessive,  uncertain,  wanting  security,  physical  as  well  as
psychological. So we have this society, which is corrupt as we are corrupt –
sorry, you may all not be. So it is our product. So unless I, part of this society,
change radically, psychologically, there will be no change in society. Thats a
fact. The Communists – if I may use that word, may I? – I used to have a lot of
Communist  friends  at  one  time,  card-carrying  communists,  not  easy-chair
communists!  They  were  real  Communists.  And  we  used  to  discuss  a  great
deal in Paris and other places, and they would go up to a certain point and
then say, «Sorry, Marx is the limit». Like the Fundamentalists in this country –
the bible is their limit. You cant discuss with them, it is finished.
So we are discussing meditation. And in that meditation what is creativity?
Thats the question. Now in relationship I see myself as I am. And also I see
any  movement  to  change  what  I  am  –  please  understand  this,  its  a  little  bit
complex  –  any  movement  to  change  what  I  am  is  still  in  the  same  pattern.
Right? I am – all right, let me put it differently. Who is it that is to change it?
Right? I am greedy. Suppose I am greedy. In what manner do I change it? To
change means to something else. Right?
Q: So wanting to not be greedy is another form greed?    33
K:  Thats  just  it.  Not  wanting  to  be  greedy  is  another  form  of  greed,  of
course.  So  how  does  that  fact  change?  I  discover  in  my  relationship  how
greedy  I  am,  how  possessive  I  am,  sexually,  and  all  the  rest  of  it,  the
attachment, with all the complexity of attachment, fear, jealousy, anxiety, hate;
in that word all this is contained. All right, sirs? You are following all this? We
are together in this, or am I just talking to myself?
Q: Sir, you have indicated that watchfulness is needed to see these things.
But how can we help the watchfulness to be strong enough to see?
K: You cant help it. Sir, why are you a scientist? You want to be that. You
spend years. I dont know how many years you spend to become a scientist,
and  you  wont  even  give  five  minutes  to  this.  I  think  to  ask,  if  I  may  most
respectfully point out, to ask how, is to ask for a system. Right? And system
inevitably has a destructive quality inherent in it, entropy and the rest of it. So
in my relationship I discover myself. Right?
And then the next question is: what is attention and what is concentration?
You are following all this, does it interest you, all this? Dont be polite. I dont
care if I go.
Q: Could we go back one notch to what we were talking about, the greed in
various things, and trying to change them. Is that in the context of changing
the  sensation  or  changing  the  fulfilment  of  it?  You  say  you  are  greedy,  you
mean you have the sensations. It looks like you can eliminate the fulfilment but
still have the feeling.
K:  No,  that  is  a  different  question.  What  is  the  feeling  of  greed?
Possessiveness.  Right?  You  have  a  marvellous  house,  I  want  that  kind  of
house too.
Q: Thats the sensation then, want. Then you go out and get it.
K: Yes, here in America its, buy, buy, buy.
Q: Go for the gusto!    34
K: Yes. Then I have to go into the question of concentration and attention.
What is concentration?
Q: Concentration implies exclusion.
K: Go into it, sir, look at it carefully. In a school the child is told from the
teacher to concentrate – dont let your thoughts run away with you, dont look
out of the window – you follow? If you are a religious Christian you focus on
Jesus, or Christ, or whatever it is. If you are an Indian you do the same thing
with different names. We are a slave to names. Right, sirs? So concentration
implies  exclusion.  I  am  concentrating  but  thought  keeps  on  wandering,  so  I
have to control it. Right, sir? And then the question is: who is the controller?
The controller is the controlled. I wonder if you see that. Right sirs?
Q: Controlled – you mean controlled by his desires?
K: No sir. The observer is the observed.
Q: One thing I feel compelled to offer as a Christian – you mentioned that
Christians concentrate on Christ, and although I attempt to be a Christian I am
not a perfect one certainly, but one belief in Christianity is that one does not
focus  on  an  individual.  And  one  thing  that  separates  Christianity  from  other
religions is that it is more altruistic. Instead of focusing on the self, Christianity
focuses outwards, sacrificing yourself for others.
K: More altruistic, as you put it…
Q: I think there is a spread of feeling for all humanity.
K: Sir, lets leave out altruistic. We are trying to find out what is meditation
and  creativity,  for  the  moment.  We  can  talk  about  the  various  forms  of
religions, they are put together by thought, there is no question about that. All
the  rituals,  all  the  dogmas,  all  the  beliefs  and  all  that,  is  put  together  by
Q: Maybe I wasnt making myself clear.    35
Q: Lets not get into religion, please.
Q: I wasnt trying to defend a point.
Q: No, lets stick with the subject. OK?
Q: I think this relates to the subject. What is the difference between self and
K: Forgive me if I brought in Christ.
So we are talking about concentration. Concentration implies focusing your
energy  on  a  particular  subject  which  is  thought  trying  to  concentrate  on
something. But thought is also vagrant, all the time wandering off. So there is
conflict in that. Right? Back and forth. So one has to understand, if you are
really interested in all this, what is conflict, why have human beings lived after
so many thousands of years perpetually in conflict? It seems normal and you
will  say,  «Yes,  it  is  necessary  to  be  in  conflict  to  progress».  What  is
progression? Are we progressing? Perhaps technologically, amazingly you are
progressing.  Otherwise  are  we  progressing  psychologically?  Obviously  not.
We  are  what  we  have  been  for  the  last  forty  thousand  years  or  more.  So  I
have  to  understand  what  is  concentration,  which  means  exclusion,  which
means  I  live  my  life  excluding  everything,  avoiding  everything,  resisting
everything. You follow sir? So there is constant battle. And a brain in conflict
wears itself out, loses its energy. Right? Agreed? This is so obvious, logical.
So is it possible to live without conflict? You understand sir? You understand
the depth of meditation, what is implied? Is it possible to live without conflict?
The  speaker  says,  yes.  The  speaker  says,  I  am  not  boasting,  he  is  not
boasting or trying to be an example – he has a horror for all that kind of stuff –
he  says,  yes,  it  is  possible,  he  has  done  it.  What  is  concentration?  Why  is
there duality in us? Saying one thing, and doing something else, contrary to
what you have said. And I am greedy, which is a contradiction. Right, agree
sir? So in us there is duality all the time functioning. So duality is the cause of
conflict. Is there duality at all?    36
Q: There is duality in…
K: Just listen one moment. We have to stop. Is there duality at all? There is
duality; you are a woman, I am a man. I am tall, you are short or you are tall, I
am short, or you are fair, I am dark, and so on; there is duality. There is sun
rising, sun setting, darkness, light. There is duality. But psychologically is there
duality at all, or only what is? You understand, sir. There is only violence, not
the  opposite  of  it.  The  opposite  of  it  is  non-real,  but  we  have  made  the
opposite as real. And hence there is duality. I dont know if you are following all
this.  Heaven  and  hell,  devil  and  god,  you  know,  the  whole  psychological
movement  of  duality  we  are  discussing.  And  we  are  saying,  the  speaker  is
saying, there is no duality psychologically, there is only what is. And if there is
understanding  of  what  is  then  there  is  no  duality.  And  therefore  there  is
cessation  of  all  conflict  psychologically.  Because  meditation  implies
tremendous energy required, not just sitting in some silly corner and repeating
something or other. There is a lovely story of a patriarch, wise and all that kind
of thing, and a disciple comes to him and sits cross legged in front of him and
closes  his  eyes.  And  the  patriarch  says,  «My  friend,  what  are  you  doing?»
«Meditating,  sir».  He  said,  «Oh,  is  that  so?»  So  he  picks  up  two  stones,  the
patriarch picks up two stones and rubs them together. The noise wakes him
up, and the disciple says, «Sir, what are you doing?» «I am trying to make a
mirror out of these two stones.» And the disciple says, «Sir, you can rub them
for  the  rest  of  your  life  you  will  never  make  a  mirror.»  And  so  the  patriarch
says, «You can sit like that for the rest of your life…»!
So concentration. Then what is attention? In concentration there is always
a centre. Right? The centre is the me – me concentrating. I dont know if follow
all  this.  Concentration  emphasizes  the  me,  the  self.  And  attention  has  no
centre  whatever.  When  I  am  attending  there  is  attention.  It  is  not  «I  am
attending».  So  where  there  is  attention  the  centre  with  its  periphery,  with  its
diameter, with its extension and so on, there is none of that. And out of that we
have to enquire what is a silent brain. We have laid the foundation; that is, to   37
understand  oneself  so  completely  there  is  no  fear,  psychologically,  no  fear
whatever. Otherwise fear will create all kinds of illusions.
Q:  You  talked  about  the  mind  and  the  brain,  and  you  made  very  careful
distinctions between them.
K: I am coming to that, sir. I am taking a breather, sir, sorry! Where there is
attention  there  is  silence.  But  that  silence  is  like  a  flame.  You  understand?
Alive, burning – not burning anything away, it is like the sun, etc. So attention
means complete cessation of the self. You try it: when you are attending you
have  forgotten  yourself,  there  is  no  self.  The  self  exists  only  when  there  is
inattention,  when  there  is  no  attention.  Love  is  attention.  I  dont  know  if  you
see. Not sex, not pleasure, not desire, which Americans have reduced to sex,
pleasure  and  all  that.  So  attention  means  silence  and  that  silence  is  love.
Without love there is nothing.
So then one asks: is there anything sacred, which thought has not touched
at  all?  You  understand?  Is  all  life  a  material  process?  I  dont  know  anything
about god, I am not going to invent god, you understand. When there is no
fear there is no invention for god, the origin of things. We will find out the origin
of  things  when  there  is  absolutely  no  fear,  and  the  desire  for  any  comfort,
security. Right? Because they are all illusory. You understand? So when the
brain is completely silent, and has that extraordinary energy, because it has
now  stopped  chattering.  I  dont  know  if  you  follow  all  this?  It  has  stopped
chattering – please this is all logical, sane, rational, it is not some exotic Indian
rubbish! I was brought up, when I left India at the age of nine. The speaker
hasnt  read  any  single  religious  book,  or  any  philosophy,  or  any  psychology.
You may say, «You are a peculiar freak». A biological freak, I am not.
So where the brain is absolutely quiet, and therefore empty of images, and
it  has  got  that  energy,  and  is  there  anything  sacred,  which  means  is  there
anything that thought, man, in his endeavour, in his search, in his conflict, in
his suffering, hopes for something. You understand? You understand all this,
sir? Then if he hopes then he will create, then he will project out of his hope   38
something which he immensely wants. So that is a deception. All this implies
an  insight.  Insight  is  not  the  result  of  remembrance.  If  it  is  based  on
remembrance  it  is  just  another  continuity  of  memory,  thought.  So  insight  is
unrelated to thought, memory, experience and time, something in a flash you
see the whole thing. This happens to all of you; if you are scientists that insight
is partial. Forgive me for saying so. Like an artist, it is partial. We are talking of
insight as an holistic movement. These are not words, please. To me they are
not anyhow.
So  is  there  something  that  is  beyond  time,  beyond  measure,  beyond  all
mans  urges,  desires,  and  so  on.  If  one  finds  that  life  has  a  tremendous
meaning.  Right,  sir?  The  speaker  says  there  is.  I  cant  prove  it.  Now  this  is
meditation,  and  out  of  that  is  creation.  Love,  compassion,  has  its  own
intelligence  and  that  compassion,  love,  intelligence  is  creativity.  Because  its
creativity  does  not  bring  about  destruction  on  the  one  side,  building  on  the
other. I dont know if I am making myself clear.
And there is the last question. «If you were a director of the laboratory, with
responsibility  for  the  defence of the country, and recognizing the way things
are, how would you direct the activities of the laboratory and research?» Thank
god  I  am  not!  But  if  I  am,  would  I  put  this  question?  Is  the  question  a  right
Q: It is a question which is trying to find a connection between your theories
and your beliefs of mankind and what we are all trying to do, and the practical
everyday problems that exist.
K: Yes sir. Everyday problems: earning a livelihood, sex, having children, or
not  having  children,  vocation,  which  is  now  becoming  imitation,  everyday
problems  of  quarrels,  disagreements,  pain,  hurts,  suffering.  This  is  our  daily
existence. And our brains are trained from childhood to solve problems. And
we  are  saying,  the  solution  prevents  the  understanding  of  the  problem.
Seeking a solution prevents the understanding of a problem. Sorry, because
our brains are trained to solutions. I have a problem with my wife, and I would   39
say, «What is the solution?» Divorce, or go to a lawyer, or adjustment, or run
away. You know all that kind of stuff. But the problem is what – my assertions,
my wishes, my fulfilment, and hers. Lets understand that, discuss it, finish with
it. But if I am seeking a solution I never go into the question. The causation of
problems  can  be  ended  not  through  a  solution  but  the  understanding  of  the
problem itself. Sorry this requires a great deal.
So  the  question  is:  if  I  am  director  –  it  is  a  wrong  question  because  this
should  have  been  put  right  at  the  beginning,  not  now  –  at  the  beginning  of
killing  man,  one  human  being  killing  another  human  being  in  the  name  of
religion, in the name of the country, in the name of god, in the name of the
crown,  and  loyalty,  my  country  as  opposed  to  your  country,  my  ideology
opposed  to  your  ideology,  I  am  a  devout  Marxist  –  I  am  not  –  Leninist,  and
another  is  Catholic,  and  so  we  are  at  war  with  each  other.  That  is  the  real
question, not at the end of all this, what should I do? We have brought about
this. We have divided the world – you are a Christian, I am a black, you are
white, you are a caucasian, I am Chinese, or whatever the beastly thing is. We
have divided, fought each other from the beginning of time. And the western
civilization has killed more people than any other civilization. This is a fact, I
am not against it, or for it.
Sir  a  group  of  people  like  you  in  Los  Alamos,  have  given  your  time  for
destruction, and also some of you do other things – laser, sun rays. You know
all that. You are doing benefit on one side, a great deal of benefit, on the other
side  you  are  destroying  every  human  being  on  earth  because  you  have
recognized my country, my responsibility, my defence. And the Russians are
saying exactly the same thing on the other side. India is saying the same thing,
which has immense poverty, building up armaments. So what is the answer to
this?  The  answer  to  that,  sir,  for  me,  I  may  be  wrong,  subject  to  your
correction. As a group of people who have gathered together in Los Alamos
for  one  purpose,  and  if  another  group  who  says,  look,  lets  forget  all
nationalism, all religions, let us as human beings solve this problem, how to to
live  together  without  destruction.  If  we  gave  time  to  all  that,  a  group  of   40
dedicated, absolutely people who are concerned with all the things we have
been talking about then perhaps something new can take place.
Sir, we have never faced death. Oppenheimer, he knew Sanskrit, he said,
«I  have  become  death».  You  know  that  very  well.  And  we  dont  understand
death,  either  –  which  I  havent  time  to  go  into  now.  But  we  have  become
destroyers,  and  also  benefit  human  beings  at  the  same  time.  Right  sir?
Please, I am not asking you to do anything, I am not a propagandist. But the
world  is  like  this  now.  Nobody  is  thinking  about  a  global  outlook,  a  global
feeling for all humanity – not my country, for gods sake.
Sir, if you went around the world, as the speaker does, you would cry for
the rest of your life. Pacifism is a reaction to militarism. Thats all. The speaker
is not a pacifist. He says, lets look at the cause of all this, the beginning of all
this. And if the causation is there, if we all see together, the causation, then the
thing is solved. But each one has different opinions about the causation and
sticks to his opinion, his historical dialectism.
So sirs, there it is.
Q: I think you have convinced us…
K: I am not convincing you of anything.
Q: Quite right. I think we have seen from the silence of the audience, that
you seem to have given us energy to understand the appreciate the problem.
K: No, sir, its not me.
Q: But what I mean is that when once we really try to understand this and
do  something  in  that  direction,  somehow  we  seem  to  lack  the  necessary
energy. So we are still not able to make as much progress as we would all like,
but I would like to hear a few comments from you as to what it is that is really
holding us. We can see it, we can see the house on fire, but still we are not
able to do anything about stopping the fire.       K: The house on fire, we think it is out there, it is in here. We have to put
our  house  in  order  first,  sir.  Sorry,  we  have  talked,  they  are  looking  at  the



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