Mind Without Measure
3rd Public Talk
27th November, 1982
The Ending of Sorrow
May we go on with what we were talking about in the last two talks? First of all I would like to remind you, if I may, this is not an intellectual entertainment, nor some kind of romantic ideological rubbish. We are dealing with our daily life, with our relationship with each other, and also what is happening in the world, and the turmoil, the disorder, the lack of care. People are treated brutally, and governments seem to have no control over the populous. This is happening all over the world, but more so in this country. And we ought to talk over together this evening why human beings who have lived for over forty thousand years, why human beings are behaving as they are? What's happened to them? What's happened to each one of us that we don't lead an orderly sane, balanced life? We have created this society which is immoral, unethical, corrupt, destructive. We have created it. Each one of us has contributed to it. And if there is to be a radical change in the social structure, we have to begin with ourselves, not with politics, not with Marxism or some kind of retreat from the present. We have to put order in our own house first. We are disorderly, violent, confused, lonely, all that. And so please, we are going to talk over together this evening not only what is order, total order, if there is any kind of love, what is compassion, whether sorrow can ever end, the sorrow of human beings right throughout the world. So we are going to talk over together these things.
As we pointed out in the last two talks this is not a lecture - lecture being, being informed, directed about a particular subject. We are talking over together, you and the speaker, our problems, amicably, without any resistance, not agreeing but exploring, investigating, seeing why we live such disorderly lives and why we accept things as they are. We are not advocating or talking about physical violence, physical revolution. On the contrary, such revolutions have never produced a good society. We are talking about human behaviour, why man is what he is. We cannot blame the environment; we cannot blame the politicians or the scientists. That is a very easy escape. But what we ought to be concerned with is why, we somewhat intelligent people, somewhat educated people with families, with all the daily work that one goes through, why we lead such disorderly lives? What is disorder? Please, as I said, this is a conversation between you and the speaker. So please take part in it, don't just casually listen but share in it, partake in our conversation. We cannot talk to such a large group, but you as a human being, you and the speaker can talk over together.
So our question is: what is disorder? A confused mind, a confused life, cannot find what is order, because the brain is confused, we are uncertain and to merely search for an order, an orderly life is rather thoughtless, foolish, whereas if we could together find out for ourselves what causes disorder in our lives, and so what brings about a society which is utterly disorderly. So please, we are talking over together. You are sharing the problem with the speaker. It's not that you are merely listening to some ideas but sharing, partaking in the conversation between us. That must be quite clear from the beginning, that you are as much responsible for what is happening in the world. And we are going to investigate together why we live such disorderly lives, and what is our responsibility towards what is happening in the world.
What is disorder? What is the nature and the structure of disorder? There is disorder - isn't there - where there is contradiction: say one thing and do something totally different; think one thing and act quite the opposite. I wonder if one is aware of that. Then, there is conflict, disorder, when we are pursuing ideals, whether political ideals, religious ideals or our own projection of what we think we ought to be. That is, where there is division between what is actually going on and try to change that according to a certain pattern, certain ideals, certain attitudes and convictions, that is, where there is division between actually what is happening in ourselves and neglecting that and pursuing an ideal, that is one of the causes of disorder. Another cause is to pursue in a psychological, so-called inward life, pursue authority: the authority of a book, the authority of a guru, the authority of so-called spiritual people. We accept very easily the authority in our inward life. Of course you have to accept the authority of the scientist, of the technocrat, of the doctor, the surgeon, but inwardly, psychologically, why do we accept authority at all? Please, this is an important question to ask. We'll come back to it. We are asking what are the causes of disorder? We said pursuing an ideal is disorder, accepting authority of another in the world of spirit, in the world of the mind, inward psychological state. And one of the other causes of disorder is this everlasting attempt to become something inwardly. So these, perhaps and other causes bring about disorder. So we are going to investigate each one of them.
Why do we have ideals at all? There are the political ideals, and in the communist world the theoretician translating Marx or Lenin according to their inclination, their study, their historical search. So we are asking - and I hope you are asking too - why do we have ideals at all? And what is an ideal? The word 'idea', originally the root meaning of that word is to observe, to see, to look. But we have translated it as a projection of a particular concept, brought about by thought, and that is the ideal, and the ideal is far more important and the pursuit of that ideal becomes all consuming when you totally neglect 'what is', 'what is' is important, not the ideal. We are using the word 'what is' in the sense what is actually happening both outwardly and inwardly. When we are violent, as most human beings are, to have an ideal of non-violence has no reality, has no validity, but what has validity, reality is the fact that we are violent and to deal with that violence, not in terms of ideals and patterns, but to understand the cause or causes of violence. Perhaps in this country the pursuit of non-violence, which is an illusion, has deprived us of our energy to look actually at what is going on. I hope we are talking over together this problem. We never look at 'what is'. We want to change what is taking place to something else. This has been the process for centuries upon centuries. The political ideals, the religious ideal, the ideals that one has created for oneself, an end, a goal, and the goal, the end, the ideals become extraordinarily important and not what is actually happening? That is, 'what is' being transformed into 'what should be'. There is the struggle, there is disorder. Whereas if we understand, give our attention to 'what is', that is, 'what is' is violence, hatred, antagonism, brutality, and to deal with it.
So, we are concerned to discover the causes of disorder. So we are saying one of the major factors in life, which is disorder, is trying to transform or change 'what is' into 'what should be'. The 'what should be' is totally unreal, but 'what is' is all important. If I am greedy, to enquire into what is the nature of greed, whether that greed can really have an end or must it continue, but to have the ideal of non-greed seems so utterly nonsensical, and yet we are brought up on this. So to see the illusory nature of 'what is' is the beginning of intelligence.
Then, there is division in us; there is duality, the opposite. Is there an opposite at all? There is opposite as light and darkness, there is tall and short, different ways outside, but basically is there an opposite to greed, to violence? You are following all this I hope. We are asking if there is an opposite? That is, in the world of the psyche, in the world of the spirit, psychologically, is there an opposite at all? We say there is the good and the bad, the good and the evil. I do not know if some of you have been to Europe and various caves there, about thirty thousand, forty thousand years ago, man still had this problem: in their paintings there is the evil on the one side in various forms, and there is the good on the other, and there is battle between the two. We are asking, please think together in this matter; not accept what the speaker is saying but question, ask, doubt, enquire if there is an opposite at all, apart from the physical side of it, inwardly. Is good, the good, is it the opposite of evil? If it is the opposite then the good has its root in its own opposite. Is this clear? Have I to explain everything? All right. I'll explain. The good and the bad. If evil is the opposite of the good, then that evil has a relationship with the good. Right? Because it's the opposite. The opposite is put together by thought. Either the good is totally divorced from evil or it is the outcome, the opposite, the invention of thought as the good. Are you following this or not?
So what is the good? Let's enquire into that. What is the good? According to the dictionary, which is the common usage of that word, it means good behaviour, good in the sense, being whole, not fragmented, but having that sense, or understanding the nature of wholeness of life, and in that there is no fragmentation as the evil. But if the evil is the outcome of the good, then that evil has a relationship with the good. Right? Are we following this at all with each other? Yes? Good. So we are enquiring together if there is an opposite in our life? If there is hate and love, can love have a relationship with hate, with jealousy? If it has a relationship with love, then it is not love. Obviously. If I hate someone, I hope I don't - if I hate someone, and at the same time talk about love, it is incompatible, the two don't meet. So we are questioning if there is an opposite at all, but only 'what is'. Where there is an opposite, there must be conflict. I hate and also I think I love. The opposite of hate is not love. The opposite of hate is still hate. Right?
So that's one of the factors in our life of disorder: the ideal, the opposite and the acceptance of spiritual, so-called spiritual authority. There is the authority of law, the authority of a government, the authority of a policeman, the authority of a good surgeon. But psychologically, inwardly, why do we accept authority? - the authority of the priest, the authority of a book, the authority of a guru. Why? When we follow somebody and are guided by somebody, guided in what to believe, what not to believe, to accept his system of enlightenment and so on and so on, what is happening to our own brain, to our own inward search? You understand my question? I follow you as my guru, you're not, but I try. You are my guru. You tell me what to do, what to think, what to believe and the various steps I must take to attain whatever they call it - enlightenment. And I, rather gullible, want to escape from my life which is disorderly corrupt, insecure, I trust the guru. I give him my life and say 'I surrender; I give part of my life in attaining that enlightenment', whatever it is understood to mean. So why, why do I do that? - which you are doing in different forms. Why? Is it not because I want some kind of security, some kind of assurance that I will have some day some kind of happiness, some kind of release from my daily worries and miseries. The guru gives you an assurance, and you feel satisfied. But you never question the guru; you never doubt what he is saying; you never discuss with him; you accept. That has been the condition of human beings right throughout the world for millions of years. The interpreter between god and you, between that which is holy and you, he assumes he knows it; he assumes he has realized it and he is going to tell you what to do. And you, wanting comfort, security will accept him without a single doubt. Have you ever talked, discussed with your guru? Have you, if you have one? Never, I am quite sure of it. He wouldn't have it. He would say, 'You know nothing about it; I will tell you.'
Now, to question spiritual authority, whether it is the Christian authority or the spiritual authority of Islam with their book or you with your guru with his statements, to question, to doubt it, so that you rely entirely on yourself, to be a light to oneself, a light that cannot be lit by another. That requires your questioning, your asking, your demanding not only the outer, the spiritual authority but of yourself, why you believe so that your own mind becomes clear, strong, vital, so that there is energy for creative activity. But when you follow somebody your brain becomes dull, routine, mechanical which is the very destructive nature of the human mind - of the human brain. So please we are not telling you what to do, but see what you are doing. See why this disorder exists in our life, and when you begin to investigate into that disorder, then out of that disorder comes order. When there is the dissipation of the whole causes of disorder, there is order. Then you don't have to pursue what is order. Order is virtue: order means freedom. So we have to enquire also into what is freedom. You understand what we have said that where there is order in our life, total order, that order is virtue and that very order is freedom.
The word 'freedom' is misused by everybody. There is freedom from something, and there is freedom. Freedom from something is not freedom. We will go into that. I am a prisoner, prisoner of my own ideas, of my own theories, of my own concepts and so on, and my mind - brain is a prisoner to that. And then freedom is to be free from my prison, to fall into another prison. I free myself from one particular conditioning and unknowingly or unconsciously fall into another conditioning. So freedom is from something, from anger, from jealousy, all that; that is not freedom at all. Freedom means to be free, not from something. This requires a great deal of enquiry, which is, our mind, our brain is conditioned like a computer. As we said the other day we are programmed, programmed to be a Hindu, programmed to be a Muslim, Christian and so on. The computer is programmed. So our brains have been programmed for thousands of years, which is our conditioning. Freedom is not the dissolution of that conditioning but the ending of that conditioning. Where there is an end to my conditioning then only is there freedom. I wonder if you are understanding all this? Are we together in this at all? So without having that freedom there must be disorder. So, the ideal, the opposite, the pursuit of spiritual authority, and accepting the conditioning we are Hindu, Muslim, and so on, all that brings about disorder. When there is an end to that, there is order. You will say that is impossible: it is impossible not to follow somebody because we are so uncertain, so insecure. And you are willing to follow somebody so easily, which means your brain is becoming dull, inactive. You may be active physically but psychologically, inwardly, you cease to be active.
Then we ought to talk over together suffering, whether there is an end of sorrow. When there is an end to sorrow, then only there is love, then only there is compassion. So we are going to enquire together into this question, whether it is possible to end all sorrow. What is sorrow, grief, pain, the feeling of loneliness, the sense of isolation? So we are enquiring, you and the speaker together, not intellectually or verbally, but to find out for ourselves, for each one of us whether sorrow can ever end? What is the nature of sorrow? What is the cause of sorrow, which is pain, tears, a sense of desperate loneliness, what is the cause of it? We are going together to enquire into it. So sir, please share with the speaker. Don't just go to sleep; enquire with him why human beings from time immemorial have suffered and are still suffering, not from physical pain, some fatal disease or feeling utterly rejected. We are talking about the nature of suffering inwardly - the pain, the tears, and the escape from it. I wonder if we have ever realized that for the last five thousand years there have been wars, killing each other and how many people have cried, shed tears, for those who have been killed, maimed. I was - the speaker was once taken to a hospital by a friend, another doctor, where the results of war were in hospital. People had no arms and legs. Some had no eyes. Imagine how their mothers must have cried. The pain, the anxiety, the hope, all that constitutes sorrow. And this sorrow has existed in all the days of our life, and we never seem to be free of it, completely ending sorrow. So together, if you will, we'll go into this, because there is an end to sorrow. Sorrow comes with the loss of somebody, with the death of somebody, my son, I have lost him. There is grief and tears and a great sense of loneliness. Then in that state of shock, in that state of pain and anxiety, loneliness, I seek comfort; I want to escape from this agony; then I escape through every form of entertainment, whether it be drugs, alcohol, the temple, the mosques or the church, I want to escape from this. So I begin to invent all kinds of fanciful concepts. Whereas I have lost him, he is dead, gone. And there is that pain. Can one remain with that pain, can one look at that pain, hold it, you hold it as a precious jewel, not escape, not suppress, not rationalize, but to look, to look at the sorrow in oneself, not analyse it, not rationalizing it, not seeking the cause of it but as a vessel holds water so hold this thing called sorrow, the pain. That is, I have lost my son, and I am lonely, not to escape from that loneliness, not to suppress it, not to intellectually rationalize it, but to look at that loneliness, understand the depth of it, the nature of it. Loneliness is total isolation which is brought about through our daily activity of selfish ambitions or ideological ambitions, competition, each one out for himself. Those are the attributive causes which bring about loneliness. But if you run away from it, you will never solve sorrow.
The very word 'sorrow' has etymologically passion, the word 'passion'. Most of us have no passion. We may have lust; we may have ambition; we may want to become a rich man, we devote our energies to all that. But that does not bring about passion. Only with the ending of sorrow, there is passion. It is that total energy, not limited by thought. So it is important to understand the nature of suffering and the ending of it. The ending of it is to hold that sorrow, that pain. Look at it. It's a marvellous thing to know how to hold the pain and look at it, be with it, live with it, not get bitter, cynical, but to see the nature of sorrow. There is beauty in that sorrow, depth in that sorrow.
So we ought also to talk over together what is love. What does that word mean to you? If you were asked in a drawing room, in your room, what is the meaning of that word to you, what would you answer? You might if you are an intellectual, say, 'What do you mean by that? I love playing golf. I love to read. I love my wife. I love god.' Is that love? Do you love your wife? Do you love your husband? Do you love your friend? So we are enquiring into what is love. This is really very important to enquire into because without love life is empty. You may have all the riches of the earth. You may be a great banker, great scientist, mathematician, great technician, capable of great technology, but without love you are lost, an empty shell. So together we are going to find out not what love is, but what is not love. That is, through negation come to the positive. You understand what I am saying? Through negating what is not, that very negation is the positive. Is jealousy love? Jealousy in which there is attachment, anxiety, in jealousy there is hate, is that love? You are attached to your family; you are attached to a person or an idea or a concept or a conclusion, you are attached. What are the implications of attachment? Suppose I am married; I am attached to my wife. What does it mean? Where there is attachment, there is fear. Where there is attachment, there is suspicion. Where there is attachment, there is possessiveness. Because through attachment to an ideal, to a concept, to a belief, or to a person, when there is attachment, with all the consequences of jealousy, anxiety, hatred, suspicion, surely all that is not love.
So to understand the nature of love, is it possible to be totally free from attachment? Please ask this question of yourself. You are all attached to something or other. If I may suggest, most respectfully, become aware of the consequences of that attachment. If you are attached to an ideal you are always on the defensive or aggressive. If you come to a conclusion and to hold on to that conclusion is to end all further enquiry. The communist, the socialist and so on, they have all come to a conclusion according to Marx, Lenin, and so on. They have stopped. They have brought an end to their thinking capacity, to their enquiry, to their doubt. So, where there is attachment, there must be pain. I am attached to my wife and she may run away, she might look at another man or she might die. So in attachment, there is always fear, there is always anxiety, suspicion, watching. Surely that is not love, is it? So can one be totally free of all attachment? It's up to you, but when you are attached, there is no love, because in that attachment there is fear. Fear is not love. And the ambitious man who wants to climb the ladder of success has no love, because he is concerned with himself, with his achievements, with his gathering of power, the position, the prestige. How can such a man love another? He may have a family, children, but that's all normal, natural to have children - but in that man there is no love. And when you say I love god or the highest principle, is that love? That god, that principle, the highest principle 'Brahmin' is the result of thought. God is invented by man. I am sure you won't like this. But you are attached to that concept - god exists. Then you ask, 'Who is the creator of all this misery'. God hasn't created this, has he? If he has, he must be rather an odd god, he must be a strange sadistic god. So, all the gods in the world are invented by thought.
And to find out what love is, as we said there must be an end to sorrow, an end to attachment, end to everything we have committed to inwardly. Where the self, the ego, the 'me' is, love is not. You hear all this my friend, you hear all this, and you will walk away from here with the same attachment, with the same convictions and never enquire further because the more you enquire into all this, the more life becomes dangerous because you may have to give up a lot of things naturally, not as self-sacrifice, naturally, easily you may have to give up. If you understood the nature of attachment and are free from it, if you tell your wife, 'I am no longer attached to you', she may perhaps throw a brick at you or say 'what nonsense'. So you have to realize that when you see the truth of something, you are standing completely alone. And you may perceive that, and from that you are frightened. You may believe, you may see the truth in the nature of attachment, but as you don't want to quarrel with your wife or husband, you accept. So gradually we become hypocrites.
And also we should discuss, if there is time, the nature of intelligence. Compassion has its own intelligence. Love has its own intelligence. We are going to enquire into what is intelligence, if you are not tired. Surely it cannot be bought in books. Knowledge is not intelligence. Please, this may be a little arduous to go into, so please give your attention, if you are willing; I'm not asking you to force yourself to do something that you don't want to do, because where there is love, compassion, it has the beauty of its own intelligence. Compassion cannot exist if you are a Hindu, a Catholic, Protestant, a Buddhist, or a Marxist. Love is not the product of thought. In understanding the nature of love, compassion, which is to deny all that which is not. To see that which is false as false is the beginning of intelligence. To see the truth in the false is the beginning of intelligence. To see the nature of disorder and end it, not carry on day after day, but end it. The ending is the immediate perception which is intelligence.
So we are enquiring into what is intelligence. Cleverness is not intelligence. Having a great deal of knowledge about various subjects, mathematics, history, science, poetry, painting, to be able to paint and all the rest of it, that is not the activity of intelligence. The investigator into the atom, he may have extraordinary capacity of concentration, imagination, probing, questioning, asking, hypothesis after hypothesis, theory after theory, all that is not intelligence. Intelligence is the activity of the wholeness of life, not broken up, fragmented. And that intelligence is not yours or mine, it doesn't belong to any country, to any people, like love is not Christian love or Hindu love and so on. So, please enquire into all this. Because our life depends on all this. We are unfortunate, miserable people, always in travail, always in conflict. We have accepted it as a way of life. But in enquiring into all this there is the awakening of that intelligence. When that intelligence is in operation, in action, there is only right action.
Tomorrow we will talk over together death, meditation and if there is something beyond all thought, if there is something enduring, something sacred, something immeasurable. We are going to discuss that tomorrow. Right, sirs.
4th Public Talk
28th November, 1982
The Meaning of Daily Living
This is the last talk. We have been talking about so many things, so many human problems and we ought to consider this evening several things more, seeing what the world is, what is taking place in the world - the corruption, the violence, the total disregard for the people by the politicians, and the gurus have nothing to say any more except repeat some worn out phrases and slogans. Considering all this, we ought together, you and the speaker, think together, not agree, not disregard or reject, but together think because thought has built this world. Thought has been responsible for all the miseries of human beings, though it has created in the world of technology most extraordinary things. And it seems so utterly urgent and necessary that we should think together, cooperate together, find out for ourselves because there is no leader any more, there is no politician, no guru. We are utterly totally responsible for ourselves. And so as the crisis is great we should be able to think together, and apparently that is one of the most difficult things to do because each one of us has so many opinions, so many conclusions which prevent our coming together. To think together means to put aside all your personal prejudices, bias, opinions and various forms of conclusions which actually prevent communication with each other. If we could, this evening, put all that aside, even for an hour, and think together to find out for ourselves the truth, the actuality of life, to look at it without any bias, not as a communist, marxist, socialist or belonging to some sect or religion or nationality, but together look very closely at our lives.
Nobody is going to change our lives; no environment, no authority, no book. So we have to look together at ourselves as we are and explore deeper with great depth the meaning of existence, meaning of our lives, the significance of our activities. So please, if one may point out this is not a lecture, the speaker is not telling you what to do but together, you and the speaker, enter into the realm of thought. Because thought has brought about great technology and also great wars, great misery, great sorrow, and thought has also brought about great hygiene, surgery and all that. So please together this evening we are going to penetrate into the whole existence of man, not one aspect of it, not as a religious man or a worldly man, as a scholar or as a monk or as a woman or man; but together look at the whole existence of our life: going to the office day after day for the next forty, fifty years and then dying at the end of it, or going to the factory with all that noise, ugliness and brutality of it all. We should be able to look at this whole existence of our life, of each one's life, to look at it, to observe it, not direct it, not to ask ourselves what is the goal, what should I do. But first to get acquainted, to understand ourselves, to understand what actually we are, why we do certain things, why we belong to this or to that. So it is important that we look at our life.
If you observe closely, our life is fragmented, broken up. Either you are a businessman or a doctor or a surgeon, or an engineer and in your own life, personal life there is always this division between you, however intimate, and another. There is always this division, this struggle, this pain. Of course there is some kind of joy, pleasure, but that is also part of life. Our life, as it is now, is broken up, fragmented and this fragmentation takes place because our thinking is also fragmentary. Our thinking which is the outcome of knowledge, and knowledge is always limited, and knowledge always goes hand in hand with ignorance, there is no complete knowledge about anything, and so our thinking which is born out of knowledge is always limited, under all circumstances, whether you are a scientist, or a psychologist, or an engineer and so on. So thought, thinking, is limited, circumscribed, and what is limited must inevitably in its action create fragmentation. You are following this? Thought itself is the cause of all division, of all fragmentation, and unless one understands the nature and the structure of thought you cannot go very far. And to go very far you must begin very near, which is you: how you think, what you think. And to discover for yourself that thought always is limited; it can invent god, the immeasurable, the nameless, the supreme, but it is still the product of thought. And so thought is one of the major factors of our conflict, of our misery, or our sorrow. We have gone into it briefly during the other talks, but unless one understands this basically, very deeply, not intellectually, not verbally, or argumentatively, or logically, unless you understand the nature of thinking and then begin to discover for yourself a new instrument, a totally different instrument. Because the only instrument we have now is thought. And thought has created incredible problems, most complex problems, and thought tries to solve those problems, and thereby increases more problems. You must have noticed this, politically, religiously and so on.
So we must find together a new instrument, and that is what we are going into when we talk about death, religion, meditation, and to understand, to discover, to come upon something that is not man-made, that must be something beyond time, beyond all measure. We are going to discover it, we are going to talk about it, communicate with each other. But we must understand the position of thought, the value of thought, the activities which thought brings about in which there is division, there is fragmentation. If this is very clear we can look at our life, at our own personal circumscribed life. Because it is much more important what happens before death rather than what happens after death. Is this clear? We are always enquiring what happens after death but we never enquire what is happening before death, not at the last day or the last minute but the way we live for thirty, forty, fifty years or more and then die.
Time - please listen to all this, if you care to - time is death. Time - we are talking about time which is the inward time, the psychological time - the time that has created the idea of thought. I hope to become something, I hope to become rich, I hope to become a saint, or a spiritual person. Time is a movement, apart from the time by the watch, by the sunset, and so on or the time from one point to another. Now all that requires time - to learn a language and so on. We are saying that time, the inward time, the psychological time of hope, of achievement of that which is to change it to become something else. All that involves time both physically and psychologically. We are talking about the psychological time, a time that is inside the skin as it were - that time is death. To think in terms of time is to bring about division, as we pointed out, fragmentation, and make the future - give the future greater significance than the present.
Are you following all this a little bit? Yes? When I ask 'yes', you are not encouraging me. Please, you are not encouraging me, I am asking if we are together walking together in the same road, in the same lane, perhaps hand in hand, not that you are walking ahead of me or behind me, but together we are walking on the same pleasant lane full of shadows, scented air, and the beauty of the trees. So when I ask, please, it is only to find out whether we are walking together, thinking together, cooperating together.
As I said - the speaker said time which is a movement, invented by thought - psychological time is invented by thought and thought itself is the product of time, that is, it is the product of time because man has acquired knowledge through long evolution, evolution implies time and when we think in terms of time we divide life, we fragment life. I am a Hindu, you are a Buddhist, I am Muslim, you are a Christian and so on. This fragmentation is the result of thought which itself is limited. And psychological time is invented by thought. When you say, I am, I will be, I am this but I will one day be different, that gap between 'what is' and 'what should be' or what you want to be, is time. When you have such time there must be fragmentation. And life which is being lived now, in that life we have separated death from living. Right? I'll go into it.
As we said we never enquire deeply what happens long before death? What happens to our life? But very few people ask that. They are all concerned with what happens after death - whether you will live, whether you will meet your brother, and so on and so on. But not the long period thirty, forty, or fifty years which is far more important than what happens after. So we are together going to examine, observe what our life is. Because if we don't understand that profoundly, then when you meet death - which I hope you won't for a very long time - then you are frightened, then you are totally blind to everything.
So we ought together investigate our life which we live daily, whether it has any significance at all, whether it has any value, depth, beauty. What is our life, what is your daily life? Perhaps you go to the office from nine to five for the rest of your life. Have you ever thought what a tragedy it is, and working for what. You will say, my responsibility, my duty to my family, I must earn money, therefore I go to the office from nine to five for the next sixty years. Then you retire, to die. That is one of the factors of our daily existence. There in the office, or in the factory, you are struggling, you are competing, you want to become the manager: the clerk wants to become the executive, the priest wants to become the Bishop and so on. You come home, weary, insulted, bored, and you come home. What do you call home? Just the roof, half a dozen rooms or one room? What is a home? Have you ever thought about all this? What does that word home mean to you? Just to live there, eat, sex, children, quarrelling, discussing, arguing, bullying each other, or withdrawing from it all - becoming a monk, a sannyasi? You can't withdraw from life, you may put on different robes, but life is where you are, what you are. And during these forty, fifty years, there is constant struggle, constant conflict, pain, a little joy, the pursuit of pleasure, and facing the inevitable death. That is our life, to put it in a nutshell. You can't deny it, it is so. Now this is the life of every human being on earth, whether they live in an affluent society or under a dictatorship or in a totalitarian state, whether they are Marxist, Leninist or democrats. This is their life - pain, struggle, conflict working from morning till night. Do you know what happens to such human beings, their capacity to think?
How can you think clearly, think as a human being, who is actually the rest of humanity? This is the state of every human being, that is his consciousness. So you are actually the rest of mankind. This is not a logical conclusion, this is a fact. We went into it the other day, because you must understand this fact otherwise you won't understand as we talk about death, furthermore you won't understand the significance of it. Which is your consciousness with its content; the content is the belief, the dogmas, the name, the form, the pains, anxieties, loneliness, despair, depression, desire, all that is you. All that is what you are, actually. This consciousness is the consciousness of all human beings. This is logical but if you merely reduce it to logic and then conclude then it has no value. But if you feel the depth of it, the extraordinary beauty of it, the strength of it, that you are the rest of mankind. That is a fact and when you feel it in your blood, in your heart, in your mind then you are no longer an individual. I know it is difficult for you to swallow this or even to think about it because you are conditioned to be an individual but you are not. You may be tall, you may be short or clever and so on, on the peripheral level, on the outside, but inside you are like the rest of mankind.
So if you are the rest of mankind - you are the mankind - then what is your responsibility to man? What is your responsibility to what is happening in the world? Probably you have never asked this question of yourself. You say my responsibility is to my family, to my country. But the idea of your country is just another invention of thought. So please examine your daily life. And when you ask the question, what is your responsibility to the rest of mankind? The rest of mankind is destroying itself. You may live safely in Calcutta - I doubt it. In this filthy city, poverty ridden country, each one is destroying the other and exploiting and all the rest of it. So you have to find out for yourself what is your responsibility, what is right action in front of all this? You can't escape from it. You may limit yourself to certain immediate responsibilities, but you are a human being who is the rest of mankind, so you are also responsible for mankind. So your consciousness is not yours, it is shared by all human beings living on this earth. They all go through every kind of misery, every kind of suffering - pain, anxiety, despair and the feeling of utter loneliness.
So if you are at all aware of what is happening in the world, then you will have to ask yourself what is your responsibility, what is your action. And as we have not time to go into that, what is right action in front of this perhaps we would talk about it in Madras and other places and if you are interested read some rotten book, it will tell you about it.
So now you think you are an individual, you think you are separate from the rest of mankind. And then you ask, what happens to me after I die? Do I not incarnate? So let us examine that very closely. What are you? When you say I want to be born next life, I believe in reincarnation and so on, what is it that is going to be reborn? What are you? Please examine it. Let's examine it together dispassionately. You are the name, the form, the body; you are what you think, you are the result of your education, if you have one. And the education is so rotten, it only conditions you to become some engineer, clerk, or this or that. They don't educate you to understand the beauty, the wholeness of life. They only give you a lot of knowledge so that you can act either skilfully or not in the world. That is not education. That is one part, a very small part of education. Education is the cultivation of the whole human being, the unfoldment, the flowering of a human mind, not crippled by specialization. Again, we haven't time to go into that. So what are you? Are you a series of words - please listen - a series of ideas, a repetitive memory, a continuity of conviction? That is, all this is a verbal structure. Right?
But you say, 'That is not all, there is something much deeper' - that is what you will say - when you say, there is something deeper, god or Atman or whatever you like to call it, the soul, as the Christians do, and you call it by another name, when you say, 'I am not all that, I am much more, there is a fragment of light in me', when you say there is something more than mere physical attributes, more than mere conclusion, concepts, beliefs and words, words, words, you say, there is something more beyond, more than that; when you say you are more than that, it is also the invention of thought obviously. So you are put together by thought. Obviously. You call yourself a Hindu, and another calls himself a Muslim and so on. All the division is the result of thought. So you are actually a series of memories, a series of reactions and responses based on your knowledge, your experience, your quality of mind. That is what you are, which is essentially death. Right? You are living in the past and the past is death. All knowledge is in the past and therefore when you live with knowledge, which is the past, and as the past is over, gone, what are you? Go on look at yourself, don't look at me. Look at yourself as you would look in a mirror. So that is what you are. And you say, if I die, incarnate in another life, which is to carry the same thing over to the next life a lot of words, a lot of experience, a lot of memories, better houses or if you want more money and so on. But if you do believe in a future life, that is next life, then what you do now matters more because next life you will pay for it. This is your conviction. This is what you cling to: a lot of memories which are dead, gone, ideas which are also finished, they are also dead. So your content of your life is what? That is why this country which believes in so many things, so many beliefs, so many superstitions, believes in reincarnation. That is why here there is slow dying.
Now, the question then is, what is death? Please ask this question, what is death? That is, you are just a vast reservoir of memories, words, pictures, symbols. Your consciousness is the rest of mankind. You are not an individual. What you think, other people think, your thinking is not individual. There is only thinking. So when you realize you are not an individual - you may have a different form, different shape of head, jobs and so on, those are physical peripheral activities - but inwardly you are like the rest of man. So what does death mean then? Are you following this somewhat? Look sir: suppose I am all that, which is a fact - name, form, education, physical responses, psychological reactions, all the inherited racial memories and personal memories, which is all in the past. I am all that and all human beings are that, all human consciousness is that. So what does it mean to die? Ask these questions, sirs? Now we are living, active. You may be repetitively active, mechanically active, as most people are, but you are active, you have got life, you have got feelings, you have got responses, sensations, and when death comes all that is wiped out. The brain cells themselves, for lack of air and so on, decay. That is what we call death, which is to end all the things you have held, your jewels, your house, your bank account, your wife, your children, all that you end, your attachments, that is death. But you want to carry it over to the next life, which is just an idea, vision, fulfilment. So please listen: while living to end attachment, for example - because when you die all attachment ends. But can you invite the ending of attachment? You understand this, you are following this? That is ending, ending is death. So can you, living vigorously, actively, end your attachment, end a particular habit voluntarily, easily, quietly, because then, where there is an ending, there is a totally different beginning? Not as a human being with all your peculiar ideas and so on - when you end something like attachment, there is a different activity going on. So to incarnate in the present now - you understand this - that is creative activity. It is up to you sirs if you want to do all this.
We ought to talk over together what is religion. What is a religious life, what is a religious mind? Shall we go into it, even those of you who have got sannyasi robes and all that. Shall we go into this? I am not tired, to me this is - never mind what it is to me. The origin of that word, etymologically, is not clear. Originally it meant to bind yourself to some higher principle, bind yourself to some noble idea. But even that is discarded now. So the root meaning of that word is not clear. So we can forget the dictionary meaning, which is the common usage of that word. Now, we are going to enquire, together, what is religion, what is a religious life, what is meditation, and if there is anything that has not been touched by thought. The present religions, all throughout the world - do you call those religious? Do you? You are a Hindu, you believe, your religion says this and that, your books, you worship an idol, the Muslim does not, he has his own form of worship. The Christian has his symbol - the rituals, the dogmas, the beliefs, the superstitions all that. The hierarchical structure of a religious society, right, you follow all this? You call all that religion. Your belief is god: unless you believe in god or some supreme principles it is considered that you are not religious. But your gods have been put together by thought. Right? Because our life is so miserable, so uncertain, so ugly, we say to ourselves there must be something more, something which is protecting, which is giving, which is creative. So thought creates the idea based on books, tradition, being programmed to believe in god - programmed - that surely is not religion. Do you agree to that? Of course not. But that is not religion: your belief, your worship, going to the temple, to the mosque, to the church, repeating some phrases, utterly totally divorced from daily life.
To understand the daily life, to bring about a radical change in that life, to have a brain that is not superstitious that is actually facing facts, facing what one is, and going beyond 'what is', that is the beginning of a religious mind, not all the superstition, not the torturing of the body. That is what tradition has done: you cannot come to illumination or god, without brutalizing, destroying, denying your body. But inside the flame of desire is there, burning. So to understand the whole meaning of daily living, which is the understanding of relationship, relationship with each other, to love, to have that quality of love which is not, that I love my wife or some other thing, to have that perfume, that beauty, that flame. That is religion. That is a religious mind. And with that understanding that all religions as they exist now, with their constant repetition of phrases, rituals, genuflecting and so on and so on, is not religion. But to live a life that has no conflict, that has the sense of compassion with love with intelligence - compassion is intelligence - that is the religious life.
But that is not enough. We have to understand much deeper things, which is, what is meditation? Is it sitting in a certain posture, closing your eyes and repeating some phrases - mantra. The word mantra means, I believe, in Sanskrit, to ponder over, consider, not becoming. You understand? Meditate on that, not becoming, which means - I wonder if you understand this. When you are not becoming, what are you? And also that word mantra, ponder over not becoming, and also resolve, put away all self centred activity. That is the real meaning of that word mantra. Now look what you have done with it. You repeat some words and call that mantra. So as we said, a religious life is that - not becoming inwardly, anything.
Then we must go much deeper than that. Meditation means, the word, to ponder over, to think over, according to the dictionary. And we are adding to that to ponder over, think over and we are adding to that the ending of measurement. I will go into it. You are not tired? Are you really interested in all this? Oh, god, you are not. I wish you were. I wish you would give your life to this, not to what is being said but give your life to find out how to live correctly, truly, orderly, and an orderly life cannot exist without love and compassion. Give your life to that, not to some cult. So what is meditation, not how to meditate. When you put the 'how', when you use that word 'how' that means give me a system, please tell me what to do, show me the path. So if you can remove that word 'how' altogether from your mind, then look at it: what is meditation? Systems, methods, practices, certain forms of discipline, breathing correctly, deeply and so on, is not meditation. It is just you are practising something. Somebody told you if you do this, you will get that. It is an exchange, a market place where the guru sells you something and you practice. So we are going to see what meditation is.
Meditation is not the practice of any system. Because when you practise a system your brain becomes atrophied, becomes dull. It is not alive, active. So if you are really deeply concerned with meditation then there is no system, no method, practising, every day sitting half an hour quietly, is not meditation. It may relax you. It is like going to bed, lying down after a good meal. Sorry to make you put it at that level. It is. So if you deny all that, intelligently because you see the absurdity of practising a method because it brings up a routine, your mind is already caught, is mechanical, and you are making it more mechanical, more drugged, more conditioned. Whereas in meditation there must be freedom: freedom from fear - we went into all this. Freedom from envy, greed, sorrow and all the wounds one has received from childhood, psychological wounds and the hurts. One should be free from all that.
So we have to enquire, first, what does it mean to be aware. Three things: what does it mean to be aware, what does it mean to concentrate, and what does it mean to attend? Because this is implied in meditation. To be aware: to be aware, to be conscious of your environment; to be aware how you talk, how you walk, how you eat, what you eat; to be aware how you speak to another, how you treat another; to be aware as you are sitting there, to be aware of your neighbour, the colour, the coat, the way he looks, without criticism, just be aware. That gives you great sensitivity, empathy, so that your body is subtle, sensitive, aware of everything that is going on around you. To be aware without any choice. You understand this? To be aware, see where you are, looking at the speaker, looking all around you without a single choice, just to look, to be aware.
Then concentration. When you concentrate what happens? To control all thought except one thought, which is to concentrate on something, concentrate on a book, concentrate on what you are doing, concentrate, which means, shut off all other thought except one thought, to centralize all thinking to a particular point. That is what generally, concentration means. That is, while you are trying to concentrate, all other thoughts are wandering, pushing, coming in and out, and so you build a resistance to every other thought except one thought, or one page, one symbol, one idea. Look at it? That is generally what is called concentration. That's clear.
Then attention. Have you ever attended to anything? Given your whole energy, listened totally to another, completely attended, not like a soldier who is drilled to attend but if you understand the nature of awareness, concentration, then attention. To attend completely. If you are attending now completely to what is being said, in that attention there is no centre as the 'me'. You understand this? Are you so attending to what is being said? That is, giving all your energy, your listening, vibrantly alive to attend. If you are, then you will find there is no centre as the 'me' attending. Then when you are attending so deeply the brain becomes quiet, naturally. There is no chattering, there is no control. The idea of controlling thought, who is the controller to control thought, it is another part of thought, isn't it? One part of thought says, I am the witness, I am going to control my thought. The controller is the controlled. You understand all this?
So in meditation there is no controller, there is no activity of will, which is desire. Then the brain, the whole movement of the brain apart from its own activity, which has its own rhythm, becomes utterly quiet, silent. It is not the silence cultivated by thought. It is the silence of intelligence, silence of supreme intelligence. In that silence that which is nameless comes, nameless is. That is sacred, immovable, is not touched by thought, by endeavour, by effort. It is the way of intelligence which is the way of compassion. Then that which is sacred is everlasting. That is meditation. Such a life is a religious life. In that there is great beauty.
1st Public Talk
25th December 1982
The Nature and Content of Thought
I don't know why you are all here. I wonder why you have gathered here. We have an important question to ask: why each one of us is here, with what intention, with what purpose, and at the end of the talk, what you have gathered for yourself? We are going to talk over together a great many things relating to our daily life, relating to all the events that are taking place on this unfortunate earth. So this is not a lecture. A lecture generally means gathering information, collecting some data with a view to instruction. So, this is not a lecture as it is commonly understood, but this is a conversation between us. A conversation between two friends who are concerned not only with what is happening in the world externally, environmentally, but also what is happening to the human being.
We are going to talk first, about what is happening to our brain, to our conduct, why human beings who have lived on this earth, perhaps a million years or a more recent discovery, between 30,000 or 40,000 years, why after all this so-called evolution, passing through so many wars, one religion after another, one government after another, why we human beings throughout the world have so degenerated, without any stamina, without any integrity. And we are, as I said, going to talk over together, you are not merely - if I may point out most respectfully - you are not merely listening to a series of ideas or some form of conclusions or some new principles and values, but together you and the speaker are going to examine closely, hesitantly, carefully, what is happening in the external world, and what is happening to us in our own daily life, the inner life.
So, please, we are having a conversation together about all this. If you hold on to your opinion however slight, or dogmatic, stubborn or obstinate or come to some definite conclusions, then it will not be possible to have a conversation, or communicate with each other. That must be clearly understood from the very beginning of these talks, that you and the speaker are going to examine, not from any religious point of view or as a communist, socialist, marxist, conservative, left and right, or belonging to any nation. We are going to examine. To examine one must have a free mind, not an opinionated mind, not a traditional mind, not belonging to any sect, to any order, to any religious group or to any institution. Then one cannot possibly examine closely what is happening in the world outside us. There are the threats of war, nuclear or the conventional war: the decline of all religions; there is no moral activity, but most of us are living superficially, intellectually, never examining, never questioning, doubting all that is going on in the world.
And to examine, to probe, to observe, requires a very clear mind and heart, a brain that is not held by any tradition, or a brain that is already conditioned, a brain that has evolved through millennia. And if we are not aware of the activities of our own brain, our own sensory responses, examination and the observation of what is going on in the world, becomes almost impossible. So, please, even for this evening, let us talk together like two human beings, friendly, not imposing any ideas on each other, any dogmatic argumentative, conclusions, but as two friends who have known each other for some time, sitting under a lovely tree in a cool climate and looking at the world.
What is the world? What is it that is happening out there? Who has created it? Why has man become what he is, thoughtless, careless, indifferent - without any love, brutal, violent? Why have we become like this? You might blame it on our inheritance, you might blame it on the environment, on the culture, on the society. But who has created this society? Each one of us, the past generation after generation, and the present generation is contributing to it. So, we have created this world, and there is no escape from that fact. Each one of us has contributed to that chaos, to the mess that is going on, the disorder, the anarchy.
So, thought has divided the world into nationalities, and nationalities are one of the causes of war, nationalities devised by thought in its search for security has divided the British, the French, the Indian, the Muslim, Pakistan, the Russian and so on, and thought has created war through this division. And the preparations of war for killing other human beings, thought has been responsible for this. In its search to be safe, secure, to find somewhere or other a sense of safety, it begins with the family, community, then a large group and a wider group hoping thereby to find some kind of safety, protection, security, and so it begins with the small and ends up in nationalities. And all the governments are supporting this crazy system of dividing people into nationalities, into groups - as the Hindus and the Muslims the Chinese and the Russians, the Americans and the British and the French of course, and so on. Thought has been responsible for the division of religions - the Christian, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Muslim and so on. Thought has created the marvellous cathedrals, the great mosques and the lovely temples.
And thought has put in these temples, mosques and churches the things that are invented by thought - the rituals, the dogmas, all the ceremonial vesture, thought has been responsible for. And thought has created the problems of division, the problems that arise through division, between the Jew and the Arab, one group against another group. Thought has been responsible for the extraordinary development of technique, technology. Very few of us know actually what is going on in the technological world, the terrible things they are doing biologically, inventing great instruments for the destruction of man - vast unlimited movement of technology. And thought has organized mass killing in the name of peace, in the name of the country, in the name of god. So there is great conflict going on for which thought is responsible.
We will presently investigate together what is thinking, what is the nature of thought. But first we must examine the activity and the result of thought, thinking. Thought has brought about great hygienic benefits, communication, rapid transport and all that. The brain is infinitely capable; and that capacity, that energy of thought has created this world of technology, with all the problems it involves, social, environmental; and thought also has created havoc in our daily life, in our relationship with each other, between man and woman. So, we are saying that thought is responsible for all the misery it has brought about in the world. Please do not deny or accept what the speaker is saying. He is putting that forward for you to examine, to question, to doubt, not to accept nor to agree, but to look, to examine, to care. Thought has also done great things for humanity.
So, we must together examine very carefully what is the source of thought, why thought has created such havoc in the world, whether thought can ever have as its companion love, or love is entirely different from the activities of thought. So, please, together without any sense of authority, without any sense of belonging to any group - either the Marxist, Capitalist or democratic, belonging to no religion, no sects, totally uncommitted. Then only is it possible to examine and to go beyond the present confusion and chaos. So, please listen, not agree, but listen to find out. We have to be both the teacher and the disciple. The word disciple - the meaning of that word disciple means he who learns. And also we must be the teachers. The very act of learning gives us the responsibility to teach. So, we are going together to learn, not hold on to our old traditions, to our old opinions and conclusions, that prevents us from learning, not from the speaker but learning through observation, learning through the investigation of the nature of thought and the nature of the brain, not the physiological brain but the activities of a brain that is conditioned. So, first of all, we are going to look together, why the brain which has evolved through thousands of years, which has gone through every kind of experience, pleasurable, painful, and every kind of incident, accident - why that brain had become so limited, not limited in one direction, which is in the technological world. It is not limited there at all. It is moving with extraordinary rapidity. So in one direction, in the direction of technology, the brain has infinite power. That is obvious.
The brain has put man on the moon, invented terrible things to kill human beings, and also technology has given man great comfort, hygiene, communication, and so on. But the brain is limited because it cannot go in any other direction but that direction. That is, it is incapable at present of going inwardly. And if it can go in one direction with such extraordinary vigour, extraordinary energy that has been put into the technological world, if it can go in the other direction, that is not in the direction of amusement, entertainment but in the world of the psyche, the psychological world, then it has an extraordinary infinite capacity, both outwardly, that is the technological world, and the inward, the psychological world. But we have not given that same consideration, the same enquiry, the same doubt, scepticism, questioning, demanding, challenging into what we are. So, we are going to enquire together into the whole psychological world, why after all these thousands of years, why we live in conflict with each other, why man has become so miserable, unhappy, anxious, uncertain, hypocritical, dishonest, corrupt, suffering a great deal. That is our inner world, the world of the psyche, the psychological realm into which very few have investigated deeply, profoundly. And the psychologists, the theoreticians, the analysts, psychotherapists, they have not solved any of our human problems. They have written vast volumes about it, but we are still what we are.
So, how do we investigate into something that is yourself, that is your consciousness? You are both the unconscious and the conscious, the whole realm of the inward activity which dictates the outer activity. If that inner activity is not in order, then you create a society as we have done, which is totally in disorder; as any fool can see. You cannot create outward order unless there is inward order. We are not going to discuss what is order now. We will as we go along. But one has to realize this fact, that the outward chaos, war, confusion, the brutality, the violence, the hatreds, is the result of our own life, our own disorder, the conflict in our own consciousness, the disorder of our daily life, the disorder in our relationship with each other, the perpetual row that goes on between human beings. And can all this misery, confusion, conflict, anxiety, and so on, can it ever end? This question is far more serious than the nuclear war, or the neutron war, whatever war that be, whether it is possible to change radically the content of our consciousness. The crisis is there, not in the world. Please understand all this. The crisis is not in the world, not the nuclear war, not the terrible division, the brutality that is going on. The crisis is in our consciousness, the crisis is what we are, what we have become. Unless we meet that crisis, that challenge, we are going to perpetuate wars, destruction, and there will be outward chaos.
I wonder if we realize when there is great disturbance outwardly, uncertainty, insecurity, we turn to tradition, turn back to tradition, like the Muslim world is doing. They go back to the Koran, and in the Christian world they go back to the bible. Fortunately in the Hindu world there are so many books they can't go back to the books, but they go back to tradition, to tribalism. They have now got tribal gods at every corner because the world has become uncertain, dangerous. And we are all doing the same. We want to belong to some group, some sect, some local god. The other day we were told by a friend who has investigated into the gods of India. He told us there are 330,000 gods in this country - I suppose it's better than having one. Then you can have fun with them all. Now how does one enquire into the psychological world? That is, into the world of consciousness, the content of that consciousness is what you are. That is not a dogmatic statement. That is not a conclusion, that is a fact. What you are is the content of your consciousness: your beliefs, your opinions, your experiences, your illusions, superstitions, your gods, your fear, your pleasure and the loneliness, the sorrow, and the great grief and the fear of death. That is what you are. That is, the content of your consciousness is what you are. You can divide that consciousness into various parts, invent a super consciousness, super-super-super, but it is still the content of your consciousness. You can meditate, sit cross-legged, do all those things, but it is part of your consciousness. And the content of your consciousness is put together by thought. Please examine this. The speaker asks most respectfully, don't throw it out and say I agree or I don't agree. Just examine it, find out. Please do not stick to your old opinions, conclusions or what the books have said.
We are saying the content of your consciousness is put together by thought, by thinking, thinking that you are a Hindu or a Christian, Marxist, Maoist or whatever you want to think. Thought which is limited has brought about limitations in consciousness. It can expand consciousness by thinking that it can expand and experiment in expansion. But it is still the activity of thought. Right, sirs? Are we together in this? We are not saying dogmatically. We are saying please examine it, don't agree, but question whether your consciousness which is the activity of the brain, brain with all its sensory responses, brain which is the centre of thought, whether that thought has not brought about fear, whether that thought which is also movement in time, whether that thought is not responsible for the whole content of our consciousness.
And we are also saying, thought is limited because it is the outcome of knowledge. It is the result, the end product of experience, knowledge stored in the brain as memory and the response of any challenge is thinking. And knowledge is always limited. There is no complete knowledge about anything. Right? The scientific knowledge is limited. Every kind of knowledge in any field, biological, sociological, technological and the world of religion with all their gods, and all gods in the world are invented by thought. Examine it please. Don't reject it. Don't say he is preaching whatever he is preaching. He is not. Examine it. All the gods on earth man has invented, thought has invented, and then thought worships that which it has invented and this you call religion. That word religion, when we talk about it, the root meaning of that word is quite difficult and it has not been established what the root is of that word. So, thought is limited and whatever its activity is always limited, and being limited, it must inevitably create problems, not only problems in the technological world but also the problems in human relationship, which is far more important to understand than the technological world because we human beings are perpetually in conflict with each other, agreeing, disagreeing, believing and not believing, one dogmatic opinion against another opinion, one idea, one ideal against another ideal. It is perpetual war between human beings. It is created by thought. And having created the problems then thought tries to solve them and so increases the problems, which is what is actually happening.
If one sees that, not intellectually, not as an idea or a conclusion but as an actuality, as a fact, then one can ask a totally different question, which is, the only instrument that we have, which is thought - please understand the nature and the content of thought, thought is all sensory responses, all the imagination, all the sexual symbols, the sexual pictures, and so on, the feeling of depression, elation, anxiety, all this is the result of limited thought, because thought is the outcome of limited knowledge. There is no complete knowledge about anything. Then, if thought is not the instrument to solve human problems, then what is the instrument? You understand my question? Are we together understanding this, or am I just talking to myself, or are you listening to what is being said? It is up to you. Take it or leave it. This is really a very important question to ask, because thought is a worn out instrument, a blunt instrument. It may be clever, it may solve certain problems, but the problems it has created in human beings and between human beings, the instrument that we have used to solve our problems in our daily life in relationship, that instrument is blunt, limited, worn out. Unless we find a new instrument, there can be no fundamental, radical change of the human psyche. So, we are going together to enquire into the nature of that instrument, the quality of it, the structure of it, the beauty of it. But before we can enquire, one must be absolutely clear that the instrument which we have now as thought, has reached its tether. It cannot possibly solve our human relationship. And in that human relationship there is conflict and out of that conflict we have created this society through our greed, through our brutality, through our violence.
Unless one is absolutely, irrevocably clear that thought is not the instrument to solve our human problems - we have tried every method of solving our human problems: surrendering ourselves to some ideals, to some guru, to some concept, to some conclusion - we have done all these things, we have followed all kinds of leaders: political, religious, various quacks who are gurus. We have done everything, and we are still what we are, slightly modified, a little more observant, a little more kindly, but basically, millennia after millennia, we are what we have been from the beginning of time. And the instrument that we have had, which is thought, that instrument can no longer solve our problems. If this is very clear, and that requires great observation, questioning, doubting, asking, never accepting authority: the authority of the books, the hierarchical structure of our society, the authority of institutions, the authority of those who say, I know, you don't know, I will tell you. A mind which is enquiring into the nature of a new quality and structure of a new instrument must be entirely free from authority; not the authority of the policeman, not the authority of the governments, however rotten they are, however corrupt, thoughtless. So, a mind that is enquiring into something that requires great sensitivity, freedom, that demands a brain that is stable, not wobbly, sloppy.
I don't know if you have noticed how our minds are sloppy. We go from one guru to another, especially in this country. We tolerate anything: the dirt, the squalor, the filth, the corruption, the tradition that is dead, and all the temple buildings which are absolutely meaningless, spreading all over the world. I believe they are building temples in America. What a lovely idea. And Europe. One nonsense going to the other kind of nonsense. You watch all this and you observe all this, and a mind, a brain that enquires must be extraordinarily free, and have great sensitivity. I don't know if you have noticed how limited our senses are - senses - which is, the observing optically, visually, hearing, to hear another so completely that you understand immediately what is being said, to have sympathy, empathy, the feeling of cooperation, feeling of affection, feeling of love. We have not got it here. But you love god. You love going to a temple, putting on ashes, belonging to some tribal god, because you are frightened, and where there is fear there is no freedom of enquiry.
So, please we are going into this very, very seriously if you will. This is not an entertainment, this is not something you come for one day and forget the rest of the year. We are concerned. We are talking about our daily life, our conflicts, our loneliness, our despair, and none of those can be solved by thought. Then what is the instrument that will solve our problems? Don't wait for the speaker to tell you. Then the speaker becomes your guru, your leader, and the speaker does not want to be your guru, your authority. But together, as two human beings, concerned, caring, concerned with humanity, because after all you are the rest of humanity, because your consciousness with its content is the rest of humanity. The rest of humanity has also the same consciousness as yours. They suffer. Every human being in the world suffers, is anxious, uncertain, confused, in tears, lonely like you. Your consciousness is not yours, it is the rest of mankind. So you are mankind. It is not a mere intellectual, logical, analytical conclusion. It is a fact to be felt, realized, lived, that you are not a separate human being, that you are not an individual. That is a hard pill to swallow because we all think we are separate individuals with our own little brains. That is our conditioning to think that each one of us is separate, but we are not. We are the result of thousands of years of humanity - their suffering, their loneliness, their despair, their excitement, their joy, their sex. What you think, others think. The great scientist thinks, so does the uneducated villager, poor, hungry, labouring from morning till night, he also thinks. So thinking is not your individual thinking. It is only thinking. You may think in one way, another may think another way. It is still thinking.
So the thinking consciousness is shared by all human beings. And when one really realizes that, the fundamental truth of it, then our whole activity changes. Then you are concerned with the whole of humanity, which means your son, your neighbour, your wife, your husband, your man who is miles away.
So sirs, let us stop this evening and continue tomorrow evening in our enquiry, and ask whether there is a different kind of instrument, a different kind of activity which is not the activity of thought. Don't invent. Let us find out. Don't come to any conclusion but enquire, question, doubt. To have a subtle mind, quick mind, a brain that is active, not bogged down by tradition, by conclusions, by ideals, so that you and the speaker can talk about it, enquire into it very, very deeply.