Mind Without Measure
4th Public Talk
7th November, 1982
In Ending, There Is a New Beginning
It is necessary to talk about suffering and whether there is an end to suffering, and the meaning of death. That is part of our life. We should go also into the question of religion, what is implied in religion, what is a religious mind, and meditation. We will talk over together as two friends who have known each other for some time, not opposing each other, not defending or accusing, but enquiring, probing gently, because one discovers what is true only when there is no certainty. Those who begin with certainty end up in uncertainty. Those who begin with uncertainty, questioning, asking, doubting, probing, those end up with absolute certainty, not relative certainty.
So, what is suffering; can it end? And if there is suffering, can there be love? Human beings throughout the world have suffered incredibly. The last two world wars and the previous 5,000 years in which there have been wars, practically every year, man, woman has shed innumerable tears. Man has suffered and is going on suffering. The poor in this country suffer. There is disease, pain, and the anguish of human existence. Life is not pleasant; life is a turmoil, agony. One becomes more and more aware of all this. One begins to see very clearly that all human beings bear the same burden, share the same sorrow; not a particular sorrow, not the sorrow of one's son dying or brother dying, or the wife or the husband leaving, but the sorrow which man has accumulated for thousands of years. Your sorrow is the sorrow of mankind, the sorrow of all human beings, whether you live in Russia or China or in this unfortunate country.
We are questioning, asking the causes of sorrow, the pain of sorrow, the grief, the anxiety that comes with sorrow, the utter loneliness of sorrow. Like pleasure, sorrow is narrowed down as mine. When we are concerned with our own particular sorrow, we neglect, we disregard, we are not concerned with the sorrow of mankind, whereas our consciousness is the consciousness of humanity. One must understand this very clearly because, in understanding the nature of our consciousness, what we are, we begin to see that our pain, our loneliness, our depression, our joys, our beliefs, are shared by all humanity. You may believe in one kind of god and he may believe in another kind of god, but belief is common, belief is general, and that is our consciousness. That is what you are. The language you speak, the food you eat, the climate, the clothes, the education, the constant repetition of certain phrases, the loneliness, the ultimate fear of death, is the ground on which all humanity stands. You are the humanity. Your consciousness is not individual. It is the consciousness of all mankind with their myths, superstitions, with their images, fears, and so on. This is important to understand, not intellectually, not verbally, but with your heart, with your mind, because, when we come to the question of what is death, we must first understand the nature of our consciousness, the nature of what we are actually; not what we should be, but what we actually are in daily life. That actuality is shared by each and every human being in the world.
When we are enquiring into the nature of sorrow, we are not discussing your particular, narrow, little pain and agony but the agony of mankind and you actually are mankind. This enquiry is not selfish. This enquiry opens up tremendous possibilities. Kindly listen, find out for yourself the nature of sorrow, why human beings all over the world have gone through tortures, sorrow. What is sorrow and why has not mankind put it off, thrown it off? Please ask this question of yourself. Why must you have some kind of sorrow, some kind of grief, pain, the sorrow of loneliness, though you may be married, have children? You are lonely people. You have separated yourself enormously. When there is a great grief, you realize how lonely you are. We are asking, is one of the causes of sorrow this loneliness? Loneliness is the result of our daily life. Each one of us, from the highest to the lowest, is completely convinced that he is a separate soul, separate entity, and all his activity is self-centred. The daily activity of this self-centredness will inevitably bring about solitude, loneliness, separatism, division. We are asking, is this isolation in our way of thinking, in our way of life, one of the causes of sorrow?
And, is attachment the cause of sorrow? I am attached to my wife, to my son, to my memories, to my beliefs, to my experience. I am attached to that. I believe and I am attached to that belief, and when that belief is questioned, doubted, shaken, there is uncertainty, pain. Is that one of the causes of sorrow? Is it possible to be free of all beliefs, not one particular belief or one particular ideal, but to be totally free of all ideals, all beliefs? Please don't ask, `If one is free of belief and ideals, what do you replace it by?' That is a wrong question. See the truth that any belief, any ideal, divides people. I believe that god exists or does not exist. I believe in certain ideology - communist, socialist, capitalist, whatever it is, for which I am willing to fight, kill people. We believe because it gives us some sense of security. You may believe in god, as most of you do, because it gives you a sense of protection, guidance, security. The mind has invented, the brain has invented, various forms of security - nationalism, religious figures, and the so-called sacred books. They have all given a certain quality of security. Actually, there is no security at all. It is an illusion. To realize that belief, ideals and so on are very, very destructive, that they separate man from man, and to see the truth of it, is to become intelligent. Only in intelligence there is complete security, not in your beliefs, in your myths and ideals. To discover this intelligence - and that intelligence is not yours or the speaker's, it is intelligence - is to see the false as false and end the false. To see `what is' actually, not imagine and run away from it but to see actually what we are, and in that exploration there is the awakening of intelligence.
So we are asking, is pain, the anguish, sorrow, brought about by our isolation of mind, of thought, of action? Is sorrow the result of our daily attachment, how we are attached to people? Please wake up to all this, see the truth of all this. Please explore the nature of attachment. It breeds anxiety, fear, pain, jealousy, hatred. All these are the consequences of attachment. You are attached to your wife or to your husband. See the consequences of it. You depend on each other, that dependence gives a form of security. When that person leaves or dies or runs away from you, you are then in pain, in agony, you have suspicion, hatred and sorrow. Don't you know aIl this? It is nothing new. This is an everyday fact of life. It may not happen to you, but it is happening to others, millions of others. In their relationship, there is sorrow, fear, agony.
We are asking, is attachment one of the causes of this sorrow? I am attached to my son and he dies, and then I invent various forms of comfort. I never remain with sorrow. To remain, not to escape, not to seek comfort, not to run off to some form of entertainment, religious or otherwise, but to look at it, live with it, understand the nature of it - when you do that, sorrow opens the door to passion. You are not passionate people because you have never understood the nature of sorrow and the ending of sorrow. You have become very dull. You accept anything, accept sorrow, accept fear, you accept being dominated by politicians, by your guru, by all the books and traditions. That means you never want to be free and you are frightened to be free, frightened of the unknown. You invent various forms of consoling, illusory images and hopes.
Now, after saying all this about sorrow, looking at it, when my son dies, I realize how I am attached to him, that I have lost him for ever and remain with that sorrow. Do you understand this? It is like a flower. It blooms, it opens up, and it withers away. It dies at the end of the day. It may die at the end of the week, but it withers away. You must give it an opportunity to flower - the flowering of sorrow and the ending of sorrow. Then you have passion, vitality, energy, drive. Where there is sorrow, there can be no love. A mind, a brain, that is in agony, that is lonely, self-centred, how can it love? Love is not emotional, love is not sentiment, romantic, fanciful, comforting thing. It is tremendously vital, as strong as death. When there is sorrow, love is not. Most human beings in the world suffer and never resolve the problems of suffering. So they do not know what it is to love. We have now reduced love to pleasure, sexual attachment and so on, to various forms of pleasure.
We ought to ask, is love pleasure, is love desire, is love thought? Can love ever be cultivated? Without love, the sense of compassion, the flame of it, the intelligence of it, life has very little meaning. You may invent a purpose for life, perfection, you know all the rest of that business, but without this fundamental beauty of love, life has no meaning. Actually, your life, when you look at it, going to the office every day for the next 50 years, what does it all mean? - bringing little money, little power, breeding children, wrong kind of education and so perpetuating this incredible cruelty in the world. You may read all the books in the world, visit all the museums in the world, listen to talks like this from a different kind of speaker, but if there is not this quality, that extraordinary sense of beauty with its great sensitivity, life has very little meaning. Without this you become more and more mischievous, more and more chaotic in the world. Do you love anybody? Does that love contain jealousy, possessiveness, domination, attachment? Then that is not love. It is just a form of pleasure, entertainment. Where there is sorrow, there cannot be love, and therefore no intelligence. Love has its own intelligence. Compassion has its quality of this pure, unadulterated intelligence. When there is that, that intelligence operates in this world. That intelligence is not the result of thought; thought is a small affair. When you hear all this, when you see the truth of all this - If you do - does the perfume, the sense, of being completely loving happen, or do you go back to the old routine?
Also we ought to talk over together the question of death. Like love, hate, pain, sorrow and fear, death is part of our life. You may postpone it, you may say I have ten years more to live, but at the end of it there is death waiting. All humanity fears death or rationalizes it away saying that death is inevitable. To understand the depth and the full significance of that extraordinary incident which we call death, you must understand the nature of our own consciousness, the nature of what you are. If you do not understand what you are actually, not descriptively, then death becomes a dreadful thing.
If we are to go into the question of death, we must understand what you are - a name, a form, man or woman, with certain qualities, certain tendencies, idiosyncracies, desire, pain, anxiety, uncertainty, confusion. Out of this confusion, you invent something permanent - the Absolute, the Brahman or God. But what you actually are, is the movement of thought. That thought may invent the idea that you have got the spark of divinity in you, but it is still the movement of thought. So what are you apart from your physical reactions, differently educated, rich and poor? Actually, when you look at yourself, what are you? Aren't you all this? If there is something permanent in you, then why seek permanency in something else? Do you understand my question? As we said, begin with uncertainty, begin with not knowing. This is what you are. You know your face when you look in a mirror. Also, inwardly, you are all the struggle, the pain, the conflict, the misery, the confusion. That is what you are actually. That is the state of all human beings. So your consciousness is not yours but is the common ground on which all human beings stand and share. If that is clearly seen, then what is death?
Death is the ending of everything: My pleasures, my memories, my experiences, my attachments, ideals, beliefs - all that end. But we do not like the ending; to us ending is pain. So we begin to invent, search for comfort in reincarnation. Don't you? You never ask what is it that reincarnates in the next life. What is it that reincarnates - your memories, your experiences, your hopes, a better life, better house? This is what you are now. You are going to incarnate in the next life. If you really, actually, deeply believe, feel that next life you are going to be born, then what you are doing now is all important. What you are doing now, what you think, what you feel, how you react matters enormously because that is going to shape your next life. But you don't believe. The actuality is your life now and you are not willing to face it. Death is something to be avoided. You always ask what happens after death. But you have never asked what happens before death, what happens now in your life. What is your life? - working, office, money, pain, striving, climbing the ladder of success. That is your life. And death puts an end to all that. So, is it possible, while living, to end - end your attachment end your belief? To end, the beauty of ending something voluntarily without motive, without pleasure - can you do it?
In ending, there is a new beginning. If you end, there is something, the doors are opened, but you want to be sure before you end that the door will open. So you never end, never end your motive. The understanding of death is to live a life, inwardly ending.
Also now we ought to talk over together religion and meditation. What is religion? What is religion for most of you? - beliefs, rituals. If you are a Christian, you believe in a saviour, in a particular saviour, with all the rituals, with all the marvellous, beautiful architecture inside the churches, the great cathedrals. Have you seen a cathedral performing a mass? It is a great sight, with great beauty, with utter precision, to impress the poor people who believe and do all the rituals, puja, daily, and above all believe in god. That is what you call religion, which has absolutely nothing whatever to do with your daily life. All religions, organized or unorganised, have said, `Don't kill, love someone.' But you go on killing, you go on worshipping false gods which is your nationalism, your tribalism. So you are killing each other. That is what you all call religion. To find out the nature of a religious mind, you must put away all those childish things. Will you? Of course not. You will go on doing your puja, your ceremonies, become slaves to the priests. Religion has become a form of entertainment. Can you put away all that and not belong to any religion, neither be a Christian, Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim? Leave all that; that is a propaganda of centuries. Like a computer, you are being programmed. When you say, `I am a Hindu', you have been programmed for the last 5,000 years. When you are enquiring into the nature of religion, you must be free from all this. Will you? When there is freedom from all that is false, illusory, then you begin to enquire into what is meditation; not before. A mind in conflict, a brain in struggle, cannot possibly meditate. You may sit down for 20 minutes every day, but if the brain is in conflict, pain, anxiety, loneliness, sorrow, what is the value of your meditation? We are going to enquire into what is the meditation, not how to meditate. You have asked, `Tell me how to meditate', which is to give you a system, a method, a practice. Do you know what practising every day does to your brain? Your brain becomes dull, mechanical, it is tortured, making effort to achieve some silence, some state of experience. That is not meditation. That is just another form of achievement like a politician becoming a minister. In your meditation, you want to achieve illumination, silence. It is the same pattern repeated; only, you call it religious and the other calls it political achievement. There is not much difference.
What is meditation, what does that word mean? If you look up the dictionary, you'll find it means to ponder over, to be able to think clearly, not with confusion, not with personal objectives, but clearly, to think. It needs clarity. Meditation also means measurement, to measure. We are always measuring, which is comparing - I am this, I will be that, I will be better - which is a form of measurement. The word `better' is measurement. To compare yourself with another is a measurement. When you tell your son or somebody that you must be like your elder brother, that is measurement. We live by measurement; we always compare. That is a fact. Our brain is conditioned to measure - I am this today, I hope I will be different in a year's time, not physically but psychologically. That is a measurement.
Now, to live without measurement, to be totally, completely, free of all measurement, is part of meditation. Not that `I am practising this, I will achieve something in a year's time.' That is measurement which is the very nature of one's egotistic activity. In schools we compare, in universities we compare. We compare ourselves with somebody who is more intelligent, more beautiful physically - there is this constant measurement going on. Either you know it consciously or you are not aware of this movement of measurement. Meditation is the ending of measurement, ending of comparison, completely. See what is implied in it - that there is no psychological mark. Tomorrow is the measurement of what is in time. Do you understand this? So measurement, comparison, and the action of will must end completely. There is no action of will in meditation. Every form, every system, of meditation is an activity of the will. What is will? I will meditate, I will sit down quietly, control myself, narrow down my thoughts and practise - all that is the action of desire, which is the essence of will. In meditation there is no activity of the will. Do you understand the beauty of all this? When there is no measurement, no comparison, no achieving or becoming, there is the silence of the negation of the self. There is no self in meditation. So a mind, a brain, that is in the act of meditation is whole. The whole of life is meditation, not one period of meditation when you meditate. Meditation is the whole movement of living. But you have separated meditation from your life: It is a form of relaxation like taking a drug. If you want to repeat, repeat Coca Cola or any other cola which has the same effect to dull the mind, whereas in meditation, when there is no measurement, when there is no action of the will and mind, the brain is entirely free from all systems. Then there is a great sense of freedom. In that freedom there is absolute order, and that you must have in life. Then, in that state of mind, there is silence, not wanting, desiring to have a quiet mind, but there is freedom from measurement. In that freedom there is absolute order, there is silence.
Then, is there something sacred, not invented by thought? There is nothing sacred in the temple, in the mosque, in the churches. They are all the inventions of thought. When you discard all that, is there something sacred that is nameless, timeless, something that is the outcome of great beauty and total order which begins in our daily life? That is why meditation is the movement of living. If you do not understand the basis of all this that is our life, our everyday reactions or behaviour, your meditation has no meaning whatsoever. You can sit on the banks of the Ganga or some place and do all kinds of tricks with yourself. That is not meditation. Meditation is something that is of daily life. It is your movement of life, and then there is in that movement freedom, order, and out of that flowers great silence. Only when you have come to that point, one finds there is something absolutely sacred.
1st Public Talk
20th November, 1982
The Human Condition
From the very beginning, we ought to establish our relationship. This is not a lecture as it is commonly understood. A lecture is a discourse on a particular subject by way of instruction. This is a conversation between you and the speaker. The speaker is not telling you what to do, what to think, how you should behave and so on. But he is having a conversation between you, as a person sitting there, and the speaker, here. He is sitting on a platform for the convenience of others, but he has no authority. This is a conversation between two people concerned with what is happening in the world, what is happening to man, not a particular man, but man in the world. What is man doing to man, what he has done to other men. And we are going to talk over together amicably, dispassionately, objectively. So please, together, we are going to think of what is exactly happening in the world, not in any particular part of the world, but what is happening to man on the earth.
To have a conversation with another, a friendly, serious communication with each other, we must learn how to listen. We hardly ever listen to another. We carry on with our own thoughts, with our own problems, with our own particular ideas and conclusions, and so it is very difficult to listen to another. And we are suggesting that you listen. There is an art of listening.
We are going to talk over together a great many things: the state of war, divided nations, divided groups, human relationship. We are going to talk over together the problems of fear, pleasure and all the complexity of human thought. And we are going to talk over together whether sorrow can ever end, and the implications and the complexities of death. And we are also going to talk over together what is religion, what is meditation, and if there is anything sacred, eternal. We are going to talk over together all these things. And one must have the art of listening to all this; not what you think with all your traditions, with all your knowledge, but to listen to another who is telling you something. And then communication becomes simple, easy. But if you are not thinking together, which is a quite an arduous task, then you and the speaker will be thinking in two different directions. So there is an art of listening, not translating what the speaker is saying but to listen to the word, the content of the word, the significance and the depth of the word. The speaker is going into many of these problems step by step, slowly, clearly, objectively. And one must listen to the word as both of us perhaps understand English; we are using ordinary, daily language. There is no jargon, there is no specialized subject about which we are talking. We are talking of human beings and their problems, not a particular human being, but humanity as a whole.
Is this all right sir? Is this all right? Can you all hear?
K: Yes? Yes!
As I said, the word has great depth, the meaning of it, and as we are speaking in English, using the daily language without any mysterious words being used, it is important that you and the speaker establish a right relationship. He is not a guru. He is not going to inform you what to think, how to think, but we are together going to observe the activities of human being rights throughout the world: why they have become what they are, after 40 thousand years of evolution, why man is killing each other, destroying each other, exploiting each other, why man has divided the world into nationalities as the Jew, the Arab, the Hindu, Muslim and so on. We are going to look at all this because it is important to look, to observe, not from a particular point of view as a Bengali, as an Indian, or as a European or Russian or Chinese or American. We are going to look together why man has become what he is: cruel, destructive, violent, idealistic; and in the world of technology are doing astonishing things of which most of us are unaware; why after thousands of years of wars, shedding tears, why a human being through a long period of time, why he is actually behaving in this manner. So, please, we are thinking together, not agreeing together, nor resisting what is being said, nor accepting, but observing, looking as you would look at a map, exactly what is going on.
Man has divided the world into nationalities; man has divided the world into the Catholic, the Protestant, the Hindu, the Muslim and so on, religiously. Where there is division, as the Arab and the Jew, the Hindu and the Muslim and so on, where there is division, there must be conflict. This is a natural law, which is what is actually taking place in the world. Why is there this division? Who has brought this about?
Please, I hope you are thinking together, you and the speaker. You are not just listening to him, merely accepting or rejecting what he is saying. This is your problem, the problem of humanity. And as we are human beings, at least we hope so, as we are human beings, we must consider all these questions. Doubt, investigate, never accepting what the authorities or what the gurus or the sacred books, including the speaker, never accepting, questioning, doubting, asking. If you merely accept or reject you remain where you are without bringing about a radical mutation in this whole psyche, in the whole content of consciousness. So, please, if one may ask most respectfully, please let us think together. You are walking down a lane, not in the lanes of Calcutta, but in a nice, quiet wooded place with clean air, and we are talking over together as two friends the problems which, as a human being, he faces and the problems of humanity. So we are talking together; we are listening to each other. It's a dialogue between you and the speaker. Dialogue means conversation between two people; as there is such a large audience, that is not possible. But one can talk to each other though there are 1000 or 2000 people here.
So why has man - it includes the woman naturally - become what he is in spite of great experience, in spite of great knowledge, in spite of vast technological advancement, why have we remained more or less what we have been for 40,000 years, why? Is it because our mind, our brain is programmed, like a computer. The computer is programmed by the professionals and it can repeat, perhaps much quicker than man, more rapidly, giving infinite information and so on. Is it that every human being in this world has been programmed to be a Bengali, to be a Muslim, to be a Hindu and so on, so on, so on? So is your brain programmed - that is, to think in a conventional, narrow, limited way? Because our brain within the skull is limited, but it has the capacity of extraordinary invention, extraordinary technological advancement. Perhaps most of us do not know what is actually going on in the biological world, in the technological world, in the world of warfare, because most of us are concerned with our daily living, with our own particular problems, with our own fulfilments, and so we generally forget the vast advancement humanity is making in one direction, in the technological world, and totally, completely neglecting in the psychological world, in the world of human behaviour, in the world of consciousness.
So we are together going to discover the causes of all this. That is why human beings, being programmed as Christians for 2,000 years, believing certain doctrines, certain beliefs, stating there is only one saviour, and the Muslim also has been programmed for the last 1000 or more years to believe in certain principles, calls himself Muslim, and the Hindus have been programmed perhaps for the last three to five thousand years. So our brains are conditioned. I wonder if one ever realizes how our brain is acting, thinking, looking. So, where there is limitation, there must be conflict. We are going to go into all this. That is, our brains are conditioned to be this or that, to behave in a certain manner, to enjoy, to suffer, to have great burden of fear, uncertainty, confusion and the ultimate fear of death. So we are conditioned to that.
And there is a whole group of people, professors, scholars, writers who say, including the communist with their guru Marx, they say the human brain will always be conditioned. It can never be free. You can modify that conditioning by environmental influence, by law and so on. It can always be modified, changed here and there, but actually the human brain can never be free. Please understand the implication of that. Therefore the totalitarian governments are controlling human thought, they are not allowing them to think freely and if they do, they are sent to the psychiatric ward, and so on, to concentration camps. But we are asking please do pay a little attention to this. It is most important for you to find this out for yourself which is, whether the human brain which has been conditioned through experience, through knowledge, whether that brain can ever be free to have no fear, no conditioning. Where there is conditioning, there must be conflict because all conditioning is limited. Right? Is this clear? Are we meeting each other?
K: Just a minute, sir, please; you ask questions perhaps at the end of the talk if there is time. But I'm asking - but the speaker is asking if you are following him at all, or at the end of the long day you're tired and may not be listening at all. So he may be talking to himself. So please be good enough since you are here to pay attention to what is being said because it's your life, not the speaker's life. It is your daily conflicting, confused existence with all the sorrow, with all the pain and grief. So, please in talking over together, you are aware of your own thinking, your own reactions, your own responses, how they are limited, how they are conditioned, how you depend on past knowledge. And so our life become very narrow, rather sloppy, confused and there is the fear of insecurity. If one is aware at all of one's own activities - our inward activities, your thoughts, your feelings, your reactions, then you will find out for yourself how conditioned you are, how limited you are, and when you recognize that fact, then you realize the consequences of that conditioning, that limitation. Wherever there is limitation as a Hindu or Muslim, there must be conflict. Wherever there is a division between husband and wife, there must be conflict. And human beings, throughout the world, after all this evolution are still in conflict with each other, not only the conflict of war, the preparation for war, the new machines that are killing, may kill millions of people with one blow.
So, please most respectfully, consider all this because we are concerned with your life as a human being. And that life, our daily living, has become extraordinarily complex, extraordinarily dangerous, difficult, uncertain. The future of man is really at stake. This is not a threat; this is not a pessimistic point of view. The crisis is not only physical but the crisis is in consciousness, in our being. So please in talking over together, become aware of all this. So in becoming aware, you begin to discover: you begin to find out for yourself how your life has become such pain, such anxiety, such uncertainty. If you are so aware, you can then proceed further, deeply, more and more but if you merely listen to the words - and words have very little meaning; words have certain significance, but if one lives in words, as most people do, in symbols, in myths, in romantic nonsense, then we make life more and more difficult, more and more dangerous for each other. So please be good enough to listen, to find out, to question, to doubt, so that your own brain becomes aware of itself.
So we are asking why human beings who have developed the most marvellous technology the world has ever known: easy communication, electricity, sanity and so on; we don't have to go into all that. But psychologically, inwardly, we remain as we have been more or less for the last 40,000 years. Inwardly, I wonder if one realizes that: we have systems, we have ideals, we have all the so-called sacred books which are not sacred at all, they are just words. Why human beings, which is you, have not radically brought about a change, a psychological revolution, and we are going to enquire into that. And whether it is possible to bring about total mutation in the brain cells themselves.
I hope this is clear that we are talking about human condition and whether that condition can be radically changed, bring about a mutation in that, not transformation. Transformation means transforming from one form to another form. But we are talking about the radical change of human behaviour so that he is not terribly self-centred as he is, which is causing such great destruction in the world. If one is aware - and one hopes that you are - aware of your conditioning, then we can begin to ask whether that conditioning can be totally changed so that a man is completely free. Now he thinks he is free to do what he likes. Each individual thinks he can do what he likes, all over the world, and his freedom is based on choice, because he can choose where to live, what kind of work he can do, choose between this idea and that idea, this ideal or that ideal, change from one god to another god, from one guru to another, one philosopher from another. This capacity to choose brings in the concept of freedom. But in the totalitarian states, there is no freedom, you can't do what you want to do. It is totally controlled. So choice is not freedom. Choice is merely moving in the same field from one corner to another. Is this clear? I hope you are following all that is being said. So our brain being limited, we are asking is it possible for the brain to free itself so that there is no fear, completely no fear? We have right relationship with each other - man, woman. Right relationship with all the neighbours in the world.
So we are going to ask the nature of our consciousness. Our consciousness is what you are: your belief, your ideals, your gods, your violence, fear, myths, romantic concepts, your pleasure, your sorrow, and the fear of death, and the everlasting question of man which has been from time immemorial, whether there is something sacred beyond all this. That is your consciousness. That is what you are. You are not different from your consciousness. So we are asking whether the content of the consciousness can be totally changed.
First your consciousness is not yours. Your consciousness is the consciousness of all humanity, because what you think, your beliefs, your sensations, your reactions, your pain, your sorrow, your insecurity, your gods and so on is shared by all humanity. Go to America, go to England, Europe or Russia, China, human beings suffer: they are frightened of death, they have beliefs, they have ideals, they speak a particular language but the thinking, the feelings, the reactions, the responses generally is shared by all human beings. This is a fact not merely the invention or speculation of the speaker. This is a fact that you suffer; your neighbour suffers; that neighbour may be thousands of miles away, he suffers. He is insecure, as you are. You may have a lot of money, but inwardly there is insecurity. So is a rich man in America or the man in power, they all go through this pain, anxiety, loneliness, despair. So your consciousness is not yours any more than your thinking is not individual thinking. Thinking is common, is general, from the poorest man, the most uneducated, unsophisticated man in a little tiny village to the most sophisticated brain, the great scientist, they all think. They may think differently. Their thinking may be more complex, but thinking is general, shared by all human beings. Therefore it is not your individual thinking. This is rather difficult to see and recognize the truth of it, because we are so conditioned as individuals.
All your religious books whether Christian or Muslim or another religious books, they all sustain and nourish this idea, concept of an individual. You have to question that. You have to find out the truth of the matter. And we are investigating together, and we see that every human being in the world, however miserable, however low the structure of society, and the great philosophers of the world, great scientists all think. And again human consciousness is similar, is shared by all human beings. Therefore there is no individual, outside, peripheral. He may be more educated, he may be taller, he may be shorter, outside, outside the skin as it were, he may be different. But inwardly he shares the ground of all humanity. This is a fact if you examine it very closely, but if you are frightened, if you are caught in the conditioning of being an individual, you will never understand the immensity and the extraordinary fact that you are the entire humanity. From that there is love, compassion, intelligence, but if you are merely conditioned to the idea that you are individual, then you have endless complications because it is based on illusion, not on fact. The illusion may be thousands of years, but it is still illusion. You are the result of your environment; you are the result of the language you speak; you are the result of the food you eat, the clothes, the climate, the tradition handed down from generation to generation; you are all that. You are the product of the society which you have created. Society is not different from you. Man has created the society, the society of greed, envy, hatred, brutality, violence, wars; he has created all that and also he has created the extraordinary world of technology.
So you are the world and the world is you. So you are the world and the world is you; your consciousness is not yours, it is the ground which all human beings share; all human beings think. So you are actually not an individual. That's one of the realities, truth that one must understand, not accept what the speaker is saying, but question your own isolation because individual means isolation, to separate himself from another, like nations isolate themselves as Indians, all the rest of it. And they think in isolation there is security. There is no security in isolation. But the governments of the world, representing humanity of each country, they are maintaining this isolation, and therefore they are perpetuating wars.
So if you recognize the truth, the fact that you are not an individual - you may be short, you may be tall, but inwardly there is no division. We all share the same problems. When you recognize that truth, and I hope you do, then the problem is, can you, as a human being representing all humanity, bring about a fundamental, psychological revolution? You might say if I, as a human being, change, will it affect in any way the rest of mankind? That is the usual question. I may change; I may radically bring about a mutation in the mind which we'll go into presently. If I do change, if there is a change in a particular person, how will it affect the whole consciousness of mankind? Please do put that question to yourself. Even as a single isolated human being, which you are not, even if you think so, you are asking, if I change, what effect has it in the world? You know they are making experiments in the scientific world, of which perhaps some of you may have heard. We were talking with one of those people who are experimenting that certain rats in a particular place, say for instance, a group of rats in London: they are experimenting with that group of rats. If one generation of rats learn a particular lesson very slowly, it takes many generations to learn completely but the next generation learns much quicker. It is not genetic transformation; it is not genetic action, but a generation of 5 or 10 rats, the last generation, the latest generation learns the lesson far quicker, in a couple of days. Now they are doing the same experiment in Australia, same experiment in America and other places: those rats which have learnt much quicker in London affect the whole group of rat's consciousness. You understand this? Am I making it clear?
K: No. Now easily you say, 'no'. One group of rats, one generation learns a lesson very slowly. The next generation learns a little faster and so on. The last generation - say 25 generations - the last generation learns the lesson in a couple of hours. Now what they have learnt in a couple of hours is transmitted to all the rats in the world. They are experimenting with that. And it is not a genetic transformation, but a group consciousness is being affected. You understand this? That is simple enough. I'm not going to explain further. If you don't understand, you'd better study.
So the question is: if you change fundamentally, you affect the whole consciousness of man. Napoleon affected the whole consciousness of Europe. Stalin affected the whole consciousness of Russia, and human beings all over the world like the Christian saviour, he has affected the consciousness of the world, and the Hindus with their peculiar gods have affected the consciousness of the world. So, when you as a human being radically transform psychologically, that is, be free of fear, have right relationship with each other, the ending of sorrow, and so on, which is radical transformation - which we shall go into presently - then you affect the whole consciousness of man. So it is not an individual affair. It is not a selfish affair. It is not individual salvation. It is the salvation of all human beings of which you are.
So, first then we must enquire what is relationship? Why in human relationship with each other there is such conflict, such misery, such intense sense of loneliness. We are going to enquire together into that. Enquire means to investigate, to question, to doubt, about our relationship between man and woman, between your nearest neighbour and the farthest neighbour. Why is there such conflict? From the past history, from all the knowledge that has been acquired, studied, man has lived in conflict with each other. But relationship is existence. Without relationship you cannot exist. In that existence there is conflict. But relationship is absolutely necessary. Life is relationship; action is relationship; what you think brings about relationship or destroys relationship. The hermit, the monk, the sannyasi, he may think he is separate, but he is related: related to the past, related to the environment, related to the man who brings him some grains, some food, some clothes. So life is relationship. Without life, without that interaction in relationship, there is no existence. So we are going together to explore why human beings live in conflict with each other? Why there is conflict between you and your husband, between the wife and the man? Why? Please ask this question of yourself. Though the speaker may put the question, you are putting the question. Find out. Let's enquire together, because where there is conflict in relationship there is no love, there is no compassion and there is no intelligence. We will go into the word 'intelligence', 'compassion', and 'love'. But one wonders whether in this country, as in other countries, there is love at all?
So we are exploring together what is relationship? Are you actually related in the sense - of course, blood relationship and so on - you may be related to a man, woman, sexually, but apart from that, are you related to anybody? Relation means non-isolation. That is, the man goes to the office everyday of his life, to a factory, to some form of occupation, leaving the house at 9 o'clock or 6 o'clock, spending the whole day working, working for 50, 60 years, and then dies, and there the man is ambitious, greedy, envious, struggling, competing, comes home and the woman, the wife is also competitive, jealous, anxious, ambitious, going on in her own way. They may meet sexually, talk together, care somewhat, have children, but they remain separate, like two railway lines never meeting. And this is what we call relationship, which is an actuality. This is not the speaker's invention. It is not his opinion or conclusion, but this is a fact of everyone's life, the perpetual dissension between two people, each holding to his opinions, to his conclusions. The word 'conclusion' means putting an ends to an argument. 'I conclude that there is god'. Therefore I've put myself in a position, I have ended the argument; I conclude. So, please do not conclude, that is, bringing something to an end, argument. We are not concluding; we are observing the fact. The fact is, however intimate that relationship may be, there is always conflict. One dominating the other; one possessing the other; one jealous of the other. And so this is what we call relationship.
Now, can that relationship which we know now, can that relationship be totally changed? Ask yourself this. Why is there conflict between two human beings, whether they are highly educated or not at all educated. They may be great scientists, but they are ordinary human beings, like you and another - fighting, quarrelling, ambitious. And why does this state exist? Is it not because each person is concerned with himself? So, he is isolating himself. In isolation you cannot have right relationship. You understand, this is so terribly obvious. You hear this, but you will not do anything about it because we fall into habit, we fall into a rut, into a groove, into a narrow little life, and we put up with it, however miserable, unhappy quarrelsome, ugly it is. So, please enquire, question, doubt whether it is possible to live with another with complete harmony, without any dissension, without any division.
If you really, deeply, enquire, you will find that you have created an image about her, and she has created an image about you. These two images - you understand the image? - the image is the picture of living together for 20 years, the nagging, the cruel words, the indifference, the lack of consideration and so on, and on. Each has built an image about the other, a picture about the other. These two pictures, images, words, are in relationship with each other. You understand all this? So where there is an image about another, a picture about another, there must be conflict. I am sure you all have an image about the speaker. I am quite sure of it. Why? You don't know the speaker. You can never know the speaker, as you don't know your husband, your wife. But you have created an image about him. That is, religious, non-religious, he is stupid, he is very clever, he is beautiful, he is this, he is that. And with that image you look at the person. The image is not the person. The image is the reputation, and reputations are easily created, reputation which may be good or bad. But the human brain, the thought creates the image. The image is a conclusion, and we live by images. And the image, the imagination, the making of pictures has no place in love. We don't love each other. We may hold hands; we may sleep together, do this and the other, ten different things, but we have no love for each other. If you had that quality, that perfume of love, there would be no wars. There will be no Hindus, Muslims, Jew and Arab. But you listen to all this and you will still remain with your images. You still wrangle with each other, quarrel with each other, dissent. You understand, our life has become so extraordinarily meaningless. I wonder how many of you realize this. We are put together by thought. Your gods are put together by thought. All the rituals, all the dogmas, the philosophy are all put together by thought, and thought is not sacred.
Thought is always limited, which we will talk about perhaps tomorrow, why thought is limited. And so thought has created the image, about you as the audience, about you as the wife and the husband, about you as the Indian and you as the American and so on. It is these images which are unreal, that are separating humanity. If you never call yourself an Indian, and I never call myself a Russian, or an American but we are human beings, we should then have no wars. We should have global government, global relationship, but you are not interested in all that. You remain mediocre, forgive me if I use that word. The word 'mediocre' means a man who has only climbed half way up the hill, who has never climbed right to the top, psychologically, not in the business world or the technological world. You hear all this and if you don't change radically, you are bringing about destruction for the future generation. So, please give ear, give thought, attention to what is going on outside you and also what is going on, which is much more important, inwardly, for the inward psyche conquers the outer environment, as you see it in Russian. We give such importance to the outer: we must have right society, right laws, feed the poor, be concerned with the poor, which we are not saying we should not be, but the inward thought, inward feelings, inward isolations are separating man against man, and you are responsible for this. Each one of us is responsible for this. Unless you change fundamentally, inwardly, the future is very dangerous. They are preparing for nuclear war, which means if a nuclear bomb - the neutron bomb - falls over New York, 10 million people are vaporized. There is no existence of those 10 million people; they have vanished completely from the earth, and those who remain are wounded, their eyes melt. And there is only one doctor for 10 thousand people. They are preparing for all this, and this country too. And you are responsible for all this. Unless you fundamentally bring about a change in your daily life, to have right relationship with each other, to live correctly, not ambitious and so on, then only there is it possible for the ending of conflict between human beings.
Right, sirs. May I go?
2nd Public Talk
21st November, 1982
The Movement of Becoming
May we now continue with what we were talking about yesterday evening? We were saying, weren't we, that this is a conversation between us, not a lecture. A lecture is a discourse on a particular subject intended to give you information. But this is not a lecture. We are talking over together, amicably, in conversation, observing what is happening in the world, not only externally, outside of us, but also we were talking about what is happening to man inwardly, psychologically. And as one observes in the world outside, there is greater and greater chaos practically in every country and in this country it is fairly obvious, it is blatant, it is palpable. And where there is uncertainty, disturbance, the lack of political credulity, knowing that the politicians all over the world are making things far worse, knowing that religions throughout the world have lost all their meaning, seeing all this, there are those who have called themselves the fundamentalists: they are those who go back to the Bible or to the Koran or to the various scriptures, so-called religious, thinking that if they follow those books, there will be less chaos. This is what is happening the world over, going back to the past, holding on to certain beliefs, tradition, and these books are incorruptible; they speak the truth and so on. Most of us are doing this in some way or another. In a world that is very, very chaotic, very disturbing, dangerous and the preparation for wars, one naturally wants some kind of security, outside of us or inside. There is not much security in the outward world. You may be very rich, you may be very powerful politically, or you may be one of those gurus who are making a lot of money, or you might find security in some dogma, in some belief; but in none of these is there absolute security. Man wants security. We must all have security - security in the sense of food, clothes and shelter. But also we want security inwardly, something that will give us assurance, stability, a sense of strength, and there to there is no security, in any belief, in any dogma, in any ideal. And not finding security in any of these, man turns to the past, and hopes thereby to find some ray, some kind of words, traits to hold on to.
I do not know if you have noticed that the more you cling to some kind of conclusion, reasonable conclusion, logical conclusion or the conclusions of certain authorities, where there is conclusion there must be lack of energy because when you come to a conclusion, which means after discussing, arguing, come to a point which you think is right, conclude it, then you shut the door for further enquiry. And that is what is happening in the world. We all want conclusions: whether there is god, whether there is going to be any peace and so on and when you conclude, which means to bring about an end to various arguments, suggestions, ideas, then when you have those conclusions, you are bound to lose energy, because you have shut the door against further enquiry, further exploration. And perhaps that is what is happening in this country and the world over. That is, lacking obviously security inwardly and outwardly, security in the sense, something on which we can totally rely, on which we can depend, which will give us comfort, a sense of well-being; not having that, we cling to some traditional conclusions and thereby lose that creative energy of enquiry. Enquiry means to penetrate, to investigate, to explore, to open the door to find out further. But most of us have not that energy, that drive, and so we fall back upon something which we call tradition or some book or other.
And in these talks today and the next weekend, we are not giving any formula, any panacea, any sense of certainty, but together, you and the speaker are in friendly conversation, exploring, so that we release our own energy and not depend on anybody, on any book, on any person or any idea, belief. It seems to the speaker, that we are not releasing the creative energy to bring about a new culture, a new way of life, because the old Brahmanical culture of this country has completely disappeared. A culture - we are not saying what is good or bad - a culture that has existed perhaps five to three thousand years has completely gone overnight, disappeared altogether. And one questions, asks, why human beings who have lived with a particular culture for so long, that culture has disappeared. Perhaps it was not a culture at all; it was a series of words, traditions, without any life behind them.
So, together in exploring the condition of our mind and heart, in investigating the nature of the brain which is the centre of all our actions, of all our feelings, of every thought, whether it is possible, surrounded by chaos, uncertainty, danger, whether each one of us can release that creative energy, and we are going to go into this very carefully this evening.
As we said yesterday, there is an art of listening and there is an art of learning. Most of our learning is the accumulation of knowledge: not knowing mathematics or biology or physics, gradually we accumulate a great deal of information about physics and store it up in the brain which becomes our knowledge about physics, mathematics or what you will. That is what we do, and that is what we call learning, accumulating a lot of knowledge about various subjects as an engineer, as an astronomer, and if you will, unfortunately as a politician. We accumulate knowledge in order to act skilfully in the world as a carpenter, as a mason, as a doctor. That's what we do - knowledge accumulated from which we act either skilfully, or not skilfully, efficiently or inefficiently.
So we must enquire together what is knowledge? What place has knowledge? What place has knowledge in our relationship with each other? Please, we are enquiring into this, don't merely just listen to the speaker. If you merely casually hear the words that the speaker is using, then it will become very shallow, empty. We are already full of other people's knowledge. But you have never perhaps questioned what is the place of knowledge in life, apart from having an occupation, becoming a good scientist, doctor, engineer and so on. We are asking a very serious question which is, what place has knowledge in human relationship?
Let me talk, if you don't mind, and then perhaps if there is time you can ask questions. Is that all right?
We are asking, what place has knowledge in human relationship? Knowledge is always in the past. There is no future knowledge. Knowledge implies the process of time as the past. Right? That's clear? And this knowledge, both in the scientific world and in human existence is based on experience. And this experience is gathered for millions of years, or for the last 300 years with the scientists. And that knowledge is used to accumulate further knowledge, further exploration, but always knowledge is in the past. There is no question about that. And knowledge is never complete about anything. Right? Are we going together in this? Please we are not agreeing; you are not just listening, we are thinking together. We are saying that knowledge is incomplete always. There is no complete knowledge about anything. That's a fact. So, our knowledge is stored in the brain as memory, and the response of that memory is thought. That is experience, either inherited or accumulated in the present, that becomes knowledge, then that knowledge is memory, which is the past, and from that memory, the reaction is thought.
Is this clear? Can we go on from that? So thought is always limited. Right? I have accumulated - one has accumulated, say for example, scientific knowledge. That knowledge is being added to all the time: more and more and more they are discovering. And so scientific knowledge is never complete. Right? So thought, whatever it does, is limited. Perhaps some of you will reject this, but if you would kindly investigate it, go together to look at it, not take a definite stand about it, but let us think it over together.
We are saying categorically and definitely that knowledge being limited, because there is no complete knowledge about anything, knowledge always goes with the shadow of ignorance. And any thought born of knowledge must inevitably be fragmentary, limited, finite; but thought can invent something immeasurable, something beyond all, infinite, but it is still the movement of thought. Right? A person can invent god because he feels god is necessary for his comfort, for his security, but that god is the product of thought which is limited. Please we must be very clear on this point, not that you agree with the speaker which will be useless, but if you for yourself see the fact, the truth, that thought under all circumstances, whatever the thought of the scientist is, or the great philosophers, it is always bound, narrow, limited.
Thought has invented nationalities, and thought having created them, brings about division between people - the Muslim and the Hindu, the Jew and the Arab, the Communist, the Socialist, the capitalist and so on. Thought has invented all this. Our society, however corrupt it is, as it is in this country, not that corruption doesn't exist in other countries, but in this country one can see so blatantly, and this corruption is invented by thought. All the ritual is the product of thought, whether the military rituals or the religious rituals, they are all forms of entertainment invented by thought. And thought has created problems like war, like conflict and so on. Then thought tries to solve these problems. Right?
Are you following all this? Are you interested in all this? Could you tell me? Perhaps a little bit. Probably you have not thought about it at all. You have not gone into all this. You've just accepted thought as the only instrument man has. And that instrument has created havoc in the world. A good carpenter, when he finds his instruments are useless, throws them away and tries to find new instruments, but we don't. We see that thought, politically, religiously, as human beings between each other, thought has created innumerable problems. And thought politically, religiously says, 'I will solve it.' And in that solution, you are producing more problems. So life is becoming more and more complex, more and more full of problems because we think that thought is the only instrument; and that thought is limited. Right? Is this clear, not verbally clear, but clear for yourself, so that we can then ask, is there a new instrument? You follow? We find all over the world even the greatest scientist, greatest - whatever they are, are beginning to question - because the speaker has talked with many of them - are beginning to question the nature of thought. Thought is a material process because thought is held in the brain - in the very brain cells themselves. So thought is a material process. So whatever thought thinks about or invents is the result of a material process. So when thought creates god, it is still a material process. Thought is not sacred. So, if this is very clear, not verbally but deeply, profoundly, then we can ask is there a new instrument. Not higher consciousness or lower consciousness, I don't mean that at all; that is another invention of thought. The higher consciousness and bring it down to the lower consciousness. You know all that game one plays, which is still the product and process of thought.
So, we are going to find out together if there is a new instrument totally different from thought, which thought has not touched at all, because whatever thought touches must be limited, and being limited it must inevitably create conflict, bring about fragmentation, as it has done in the world: religious fragmentations, political fragmentations and so on. Is this clear? Can we go on from that? Right sir? Well if you are merely accepting the words or just accepting the words, you can't go much further, but if you are really deeply concerned with humanity, deeply concerned with what is happening in the world, profoundly concerned with the future of man, that is, future of your children, grand-children, you must inevitably ask this question, if you are at all serious, deeply concerned, if you have great affection for humanity. But you see most of us have not the energy to enquire, have not the drive, the passion to find out, so we turn to Marx, Lenin, or the Bible or the Koran and those will never give energy for the discovery of the new instrument which is so absolutely necessary in this world, which is degenerating day by day, destroying itself.
So please, together, we are going to find out without any shadow of doubt, by questioning the very nature of thought, by questioning, doubting, asking, probing and finding out for ourselves that thought, at whatever level is fragmentary, limited, finite, and this limitation has conditioned the brain. The brain has got extraordinary capacity, as can be seen in what is happening in the technological world, extraordinary capacity, but the capacity has only been developed in one direction, that is, the technological world: the doctor, surgeon, mathematician, the computer experts and so on. But the human problems, which is our conflict with each other, our sorrow, pain, grief and endless conflict, the technological world can never solve, they are not concerned with it at all. No politician, no system, no method is concerned with all that. So we, as ordinary human beings, are going to find out for ourselves if there is, or if there is not a new instrument which is not touched by thought, which is not the result of time, which is not caught in the process of evolution, which is thought.
We are going to ask, we are going into it, step by step, if you are willing, if you are serious. You must be series, which doesn't mean you must not laugh, which doesn't mean you must torture your body as the religions advocate. You must have great alertness, attention, capacity, sensitivity, you cannot be committed to any group, to any belief, to any dogma. You have to have a mind that is really a global mind, not a petty little mind concerned with one's own little problems. In the greater, the lesser disappears. That is, in the greater humanity, the few little human problems are solved, but we are trying to solve human problems without understanding the vast complexity of the human brain and mind and heart, then you will never solve any problem. So please give your attention, care to find out for yourself, not repeat what the speaker says. The speaker has no value. He is just a telephone, but what he says perhaps may have importance. So please find out.
Have you ever tried to observe yourself, your wife, the tree across the road and that animal that goes by, without the word? Have you ever tried to look at a tree without naming it, without bringing all the past pictures about a tree - just to observe the tree without the word, which is thought, to look at it. Have you ever done it? No, of course not. Have you ever looked at your wife or your husband or your limited politician, have you ever looked at them without the word, without the picture, without the symbol? Will you look at the speaker without the word - will you? Without all the rubbish and all that reputation which is loathsome anyhow, look at him without the image that you have built about him. Can you do it? Perhaps it will be easier to look at the speaker that way because he doesn't know you, and you don't know him. So perhaps it is easier, but to look at your wife, at your husband, at the tree, at the animal without the picture, the image, the word, which is not identification with the tree, of course. Obviously if you identify yourself with the tree, you are the tree. Right? Are you following all this? Or am I talking to myself?
So first, to be aware whether you can see, observe, look, without a single word, picture, because then you will awaken your sensitiveness. We are not sensitive; we have accepted; we are not sensitive to the dirt, to the squalor, to the misery, to the poverty. We just accept it. The poverty of this country can never be solved, it's not ever going to be solved unless you drop your nationalism completely. It will be solved only when you have understood the global relationship of man to man. Then there will be no frontiers. But you are not probably interested in this.
So, we are saying that the first essential quality in the investigation, in the enquiry, if there is another instrument, the first thing is, one has to be extraordinarily sensitive. That is, all religions have said suppress your senses. Right? Suppress your feelings, everything, suppress it, so that we have gradually lost the sensitivity of the senses. The speaker is saying quite the contrary. We live by senses, and perhaps some have developed a particular sense. But the speaker is saying to awaken all your senses to their highest degree so that you look at the world with all your senses. You understand what I am talking about? To look at the world with that immense feeling when all the senses are fully awakened. In that there is a great extraordinary sense of energy, beauty. So that in the investigation of another instrument, we see the first thing is that the man who has become dull through repetition, through tradition, through the oppression of the environment - the environment is not merely nature, the environment is the politician, the guru, all that's going on around you. And we are oppressed by all that. So we have gradually lost all sensitivity, all energy to create. And we are using that word create, not creating a picture, a poem, literary works, but we are talking of creation in the sense of bringing about something totally new. And to have that capacity, the drive, the beauty, one must have great sensitivity. And you cannot have great sensitivity if every sense is not fully functioning, fully aware.
Now why have we destroyed our senses? You understand my question? Religions have said, the Christian world and the scriptures of this country, and the religious leaders have said, 'suppress desire, suppress your feelings; don't look at a woman; torture yourself, then only will you find god, or nirvana or moksha or whatever you want. Only then, you will be illumined,' - which is utter nonsense. How can you destroy the most extraordinary instrument that we have, the body, with all its senses, the body which is - if you have gone into it - such an extraordinary instrument. So these people say, 'suppress desire; don't yield to desire but if you have desire, identify it with the saviour, with Krishna or whatever the religious gods be in the world.' I wonder if you have realized in this country, somebody calculated, there are three hundred thousand and thirty gods. Perhaps it is better than having one god, you can have more fun with the many. Right? Don't be so serious!
So we must understand the nature of desire; it is very important in the investigation of a new instrument, realizing the old instrument, which is thought, is not solving any human problems. So in the investigation of that, we have come upon this thing called desire. What is desire? Why have people said, 'suppress it, deny it, if you cannot identify it with something greater'. It is always a problem of struggle. So we are not advocating suppression, avoidance, escape and all that, of desire. We are investigating together the nature of desire, how desire arises, why we are caught in it, why it has become so extraordinarily powerful. Right? So we are together going into the question of what is desire?
What is desire? You see a pleasant object, a beautiful object, a beautiful woman or a man, you desire him or her or that object. That is so. You see a nice car, polished, good lines, powerful, and you touch it, get inside, feel the pleasure of owning it, if you can afford it - perhaps not in this country, never mind. And the desire is there. First the object creates the desire or desire exists apart from the object - you are following all this - which is the object 'car' creates the desire, or desire exists and the objects may vary. So we are not discussing the objects of desire: to be a powerful minister or prime minister, Governor, executive or a talented violinist, but we are enquiring into the very structure, nature of desire. If we understand that, not verbally but factually then there is never a question of suppressing it, never a question of controlling it. Please listen carefully to what the speaker is saying. We have controlled, never understanding who is the controller. We have controlled desire. We have controlled our sex. We are brought up to control. And where there is desire, we are trying to understand it, explore it, probe into it, not control it. If this is clear, then we can go together into the understanding, the truth of desire. What place it has in life, or no place at all? So we cannot possibly start with any conclusion. That is 'suppress desire' or 'let desire run rampant?' But we are together slowly, hesitantly, carefully probing into this which has become an extraordinary factor in life and a torture too. So we are asking: what is desire? What is the origin, the source of desire? Please, you are thinking with me, not just listening to the explanation the speaker is going to give. You are thinking, actively participating in this search of the origin of desire, whether the object creates the desire, or it is independent totally of all objects. Is it clear? Can we go on? Please sirs, and ladies, it is very important to understand this, to go into it very, very deeply, to capture the whole movement of desire, the implications of it, the depth of it, the reality of it.
If you had no senses, there would be no sensation. Sensation arises when you see something in the window of a shop, a shirt, a robe, a radio, or whatever or what you will. You see it, visual perception. Then you go inside that shop, touch the material, and from the touching of it there is a sensation. Right? This is simple. You see the car, you touch it, you look at the lines, the polish - not the beauty of Indian cars but some of the European cars are extraordinarily beautiful, like an aeroplane, it is extraordinarily beautiful. And you touch it, you touch that shirt you see in the window, a blue shirt, and by the very touching there is a sensation. This is quite obvious. There is sensation. Then what happens? We are thinking together. You are not accepting what I am saying. You touch that shirt, look at that radio, television, whatever it is and the very touching, looking creates a sensation. Then if you observe very closely thought says, 'how nice it would be if I had that shirt on me, if I stepped into that car.' At that moment when thought creates the image out of the sensation is the origin of desire. Right? Are you following all this?
I see a beautiful tree which man hasn't created. He has created the cathedral, the mosque, the temple and all the things therein. He has created all that, but he has not created the tree; he has not created nature, but man is destroying nature. So you look at a beautiful tree. You wish it were in your garden. And you see it; there is the sensation of the dignity, the shadows, the light on the leaf, the movement of the tree. Then sensation arises. Then thought says, 'How nice it would be if I had that tree in my garden.' When thought creates the image of that tree in your garden, at that second, desire is born. Right?
So the question then is; it is natural to be sensitive, to have sensations, otherwise you are paralysed. You must have sensation; you must have sensitivity in your fingers, in your eyes, in your hearing and looking, and when you are sensitive you watch, you look and out of that looking, watching, observing, sensation inevitably arises, it must, otherwise you are blind, deaf. Now when there is sensation, then thought creates an image and at that moment desire is born. Right? Have you found this to be so? Or you are going to repeat just what the speaker has said? Or go back to your tradition and say, 'we must suppress desire' or, 'what you are talking about is nonsense. All our religious books have said...' - I don't know why you read all these religious books, anyhow. So if you really go into this question of desire, which is so important in life, then you will find out for yourself the origin, the beginning of desire. Now the question is to look at a car, at a shirt, at a woman, at a picture, there is arising of sensation, and find out whether thought can be in abeyance, not immediately create a picture, immediately create an image of you in that shirt, or in that car and so on. Can there be a gap between sensation and thought impinging upon that sensation? You understand this question? Find out. It will make your mind - brain alert, watchful.
And also we ought to talk over together, in the investigation of a new instrument, whether man can ever be free from fear? We are all frightened about something or other, frightened ultimately of death. We will talk about that perhaps next weekend, if we have time. We are all frightened about something, either of the past, of the future or the present, the living present, uncertain of the living activity, the process of the present. We always have this fear. Aren't you afraid? Perhaps you are not afraid of your wife, because you may dominate her and so on, or you may be afraid of the politician. Have you ever noticed how you behave in front of a minister? Have you ever noticed it? How you crawl in front of him, go almost on your knees to him as you do to a guru? Haven't you noticed all this? So one has this burden of fear. Man has never solved the problem; he has escaped from it; he has various means of suppressing it, denying it, escaping from it, but he has never solved this problem. And when there is fear, dreadful activities take place, all kinds of wrong actions take place. Your whole body, your whole mind shrinks when there is real danger of fear. So this is a problem we must solve, not theoretically, but actually, finish completely with fear. Is that possible? Right? We are going to enquire together into that question, not take any dogmatic stand or say, 'it cannot' or 'it can'. We are together probing, looking into the nature of fear, the cause of it, the root of it, the beginning of it, not the various branches of fear, nor the many, many leaves of fear. You understand this? We are looking or trying to find out what is the root of fear? When we find that out the branches wither away, the leaves disappear; they dry up. So please, if you are not tired, give your attention to this question: whether it is possible to be totally, completely free of fear, so that when you walk out of this place, you are really free of fear, fear of - you know, death and all that. That means you must apply your brain, be active in the investigation of it.
What is the cause of fear? Where there is a cause there is always an end to that cause. Right? This is logic; this is natural. I may have pain, the cause may be cancer. And if I discover the cause, the pain will end, or it will be terminal. It may kill me but I must discover the cause; like all good doctors, they want to know the cause, so they investigate through the symptoms the cause. So we are looking together, not at the symptoms of fear, dark, frightened of the dark, frightened of your parents, or grandparents, frightened of your husband or wife, frightened of the politician and so on. Those are all symptoms, the objects of fear, but we are asking what is the root of it? It is like cutting down a tree, and I hope you never cut a tree down. It is like going to the very root of things. Now we are going to look at it.
So first we are asking, is the cause of fear time? T-I-M-E. Look at it carefully. Don't accept whatever the speaker says, question it, doubt it, ask. The speaker has no authority. He is not important - the person, but what he says is - find out. Is time one of the major causes of fear. That is, time being tomorrow, what might happen tomorrow or what has happened yesterday or many thousand yesterdays, or what might happen now? You understand my question? Is time the factor of fear, one of the factors? I may have done something wrong last week and what I have done has caused pain, and I hope it will not recur again. That is the word 'hope' implies the future. Are you following this? So time by the watch, time by the sunrise and sunset, time as yesterday, today and tomorrow, time as yesterday's memories, experiences, modifying itself in the present and proceeding to the future. All that is time - physical time, to cover a distance from here to there, from one point to another point, from this place to go to your home, that requires time. So there is physical time, and there is so-called psychological time, the inward time. That is, I hope I will get a better job at the end of the year. I hope I will be better, nobler or whatever it is, sometime later. I hope I meet a nice man tomorrow. So the word 'hope' implies time. Right? Or another is the idea of 'better'. I am this, but I will be better. I am violent but I will become non-violent. So this process of 'what is' and transforming 'what is' to something else is a process of time. Right? Is this clear?
So time is a factor of fear. I am living; I am full of energy but something, an accident might kill me? I am well, but there is always death. So there is this sense of time, and interval. That interval is translated as the better, as hope, as self-improvement and so on. I want to fulfil; I may not be able to fulfil. I apply for a job; I may not have the capacity for the job. So there is fear. So time is one of the factors of fear. Right? We are not saying how to wipe away time. We are enquiring into the nature of fear. Then, is not thought, is not the process of thinking another factor of fear? Look at it. I think I may die. I think that god exists, but you come along and threaten my belief. I am frightened. So thought, thinking of the past incident, hoping that pain will not recur again, thinking about it and wishing that it will not happen again, is the movement of thought. Right? So thought and time are the very root of fear. You cannot stop time, the physical time, from here to your house you require time, you cannot stop that. Time to learn a language. To learn any technique requires time. And we see that time is one of the factors of fear as well as thought. Right? So thought is a movement. Isn't it? Time is a movement. Are you understanding all this? Are we together or you and I are far apart? Sir, I don't know what has happened to your brain, to your capacity to investigate. Let's go on.
Is there actually factually psychological time at all? You understand my question? Is there in me, in my feeling, actually, is that time invented? No, I'll show you what I mean. It's quarter past seven, oh - quarter past six. Are you tired? Shall I go on with it?
Audience: Yes, yes.
K: You mean to say you are not tired?
A: No, no.
K: Ah, no, sir, just listen. I'm asking a serious question, don't just laugh it off. Why?
K: No, no sir, just listen to the question. Don't immediately answer. If you have been working, investigating, active, exercising every capacity that you have to find out, you would be tired; you should be tired. Which shows you have just listened casually, played around with words.
So I'm asking you, the problem of time is very important, as the problem of thought. We live by time. All our knowledge is based on time. The struggle to become less violent, to struggle to become something, which is all measure. I mustn't go into all this. Are you following all this? Sir, look: I am this; I am what I am. That is 'what is'. I am unhappy, violent, lonely, depressed, anxious, that's what one is; that is a fact. Then comes the idea I must become something else from 'what is'. That 'becoming' is time, as becoming from a clerk to a manager, that requires time. That same process of thinking we have brought over into the field of the psyche, into the field of consciousness, into the field of feeling, thinking. That is, I am violent, I will become non-violent, which is you are allowing time to come, interfere. But when you say, 'I am violent, I am going to understand it, look at it, watch it, go into it very quickly, deeply,' there is no time. But if you are trying to become something else, there is time. Right? The becoming, which is measure, that demands time. Say for instance, if you compare yourself with somebody, more intelligent, more bright, more etc., if you compare, comparison is measurement. If you don't compare at all with anybody, including your great gods and saints and gurus and all the rest of it, don't compare at all, then what happens? You are what you are, from there you start. But when you are comparing, trying to become something else you will never understand your self, what you are.
So time is a becoming. A becoming which is non-fact. That is, I am violent, I must become non-violent. The non-violence is not a fact, has no reality. You talk a great deal about it in this country. It doesn't exist. What exists is violence. And if you forget the non-violence then you can tackle violence, go into it. And the understanding of violence can be long or very quick, either the investigation can take time because you are lazy, or you say, 'Well, I'll investigate it tomorrow, it's not important', and so on. But a man who is concerned with violence, which is spreading all over the world, more and more, destroying humanity, if he is concerned and wanting to understand the depth of violence he will understand it instantly.
So where there is a becoming you must have psychological time. That becoming is illusory. The fact is what exists, what you are at the moment: your anger, your reactions, your fears, look at it. So time is a major factor of fear, and also thought. You cannot stop physical time. When you begin to understand the nature of time inwardly, the becoming, and not becoming, and understand the whole movement of thought - understand it, not suppress it, deny it, how am I to control thought. Those are all absurd questions, because who is the controller? The controller is another part of thought. I won't go into that, we haven't time. So if you really, deeply are concerned with the nature of fear and the total ending of psychological fear, one has to go into the question of time in depth and also the nature and structure of thought. But if you say, 'Please tell me a method to get rid of fear,' then you are asking a terribly wrong question, because the very question implies that you have not understood yourself, you have not looked at yourself.
So we will talk about sorrow, love and compassion. We will talk next Sunday perhaps, on what is religion? What is the nature of the religious mind, and what is meditation, and if there is something sacred beyond all thought. We must investigate all that, because that is all life: death, the conflict, pain, sorrow, pleasure, fear, meditation, all that is our life, and we don't understand all that. And to understand it one must have vitality, strength, and you will not have that energy if you are merely repeating words, if you cling to some belief, to some conclusion, that destroys all energy. Energy implies freedom, not what you like to do but freedom. Only then can you have extraordinary energy. Right, sir.