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books which he has had published are never out of date; they maintain their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
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,
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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