Way of Intelligence
Seminar New Delhi
5th November 1981
The Future of Man
P.J.: Most people see that in the human mind there is a shrinkage of space available to us to explore because of the various pressures which operate on it, an incapacity to face complex situations, the violence and terror. I would suggest that we do not go into specific problems of fear or the future of man, but lay bare the structure of the human mind, bringing us face to face with the structure of thought. It is only then that it is possible for each one of us to investigate into these complexities which occupy our consciousness.
K: We have talked over the movement of fear together. How do you listen to those statements? How do you read those statements? What is the impact of those statements on you? We said desire, time, thought, the hurts, the whole of that is fear, and you tell me that very clearly in words which are common. You have communicated to me the truth of it, not the verbal description of it. How do I listen to that statement? I am not opposing it or comparing what you say with something I already know, but I am actually listening to what you say. It has entered into my consciousness, that part of consciousness which is willing to comprehend entirely what you are saying. What is the impact? Is it a verbal impact or a logical one, or have you talked to me at a level where I see the truth of what you have said? What does it do to my consciousness?
P.J.: We are speaking of the future of man, the danger of technology taking over man's functions. Man seems paralysed. You have said there are only two ways open to him: either the way of pleasure or the way of an inner movement. I am asking you the `how' of the inner movement.
K: When you ask `how', you are asking for a system, a method, a practice. That is obvious. Nobody asks `how' otherwise. How am I to play the piano? It is all implied - practice, a method, a mode of acting. Now when you ask `how', you are back again to the same old pattern of experience, knowledge, memory, thought, action.
Now, can we move away from the `how' for the moment and observe the mind, or the brain? Can there be a pure observation of it, which is not analysis? Observation is totally different from analysis. In analysis there is always the search for a cause; there is the analyser and the analysed. That means the analyser is separate from the analysed. That separation is fallacious; it is not actual, the actual being that which is happening now. Observation is totally free of analysis. Is it possible just to observe without any conclusion, any direction, any motive - just pure, clear looking? Obviously, it is possible when you look at these lovely trees; it is very simple. But to look at the operation of the whole movement of existence, to observe it without any distortion, is entirely different from analysis. In that observation the whole process of analysis has no place. You go beyond it. That is, I can look at that tree without any distortion because I am looking optically. Now, can I look at, is there any observation of the whole activity of fear without trying to find the cause, or asking how to end it, or trying to suppress it, or running away from it? Is it possible just to look and stay with it, stay with the whole movement of fear? I mean by staying with it, to observe without any movement of thought entering into my observation. Then I say, with that observation comes attention. That observation is total attention. It is not concentration; it is attention. It is like focusing a bright light on an object, and in the focusing of that energy which is light on that movement, fear ends. Analysis will never end fear; you can test it out. That is, is my mind capable of such attention, which is to bring all the energy of my intellect, emotion, nerves, to look at this movement of fear without any opposition or support, or denial?
P.J.: Thought arises in observation, and does not stay with observation of fear. Then what happens to thought? Does one push it aside? What does one do? Thought does arise, which is also a fact.
K: Just listen. The speaker explained not only the personal fears but the fears of mankind in which is this stream, in which is included thought, desire, time and the desire to end it, to go beyond it, all that is the movement of fear. Can you look at it, observe it without any movement? Any movement is thought.
P.J.: You may say movement is fear, but in that observing, thought arises, which is also a fact.
K: Please listen. I said, desire, time, thought; thought is time, and desire is part of thought. You have shown the whole map of fear, in which thought is included. There is no question of suppressing thought; that is impossible. I said, first look at it. We don't give attention to anything. You have just said something about thought. I listened to it very, very carefully; I was attending to what you were saying. Can you so attend?
P.J.: For an instant of attention thought is not; then thought arises. This is the state of mind. There is no doer because that is pretty obvious. It is neither possible to remain immovable nor to say that thought will not arise. If it is a stream, it is a stream which flows.
K: Are we discussing what is observation?
P.J.: Yes, we are discussing observation. In that observation I have raised this problem because that is the problem of attention, of self-knowledge, the problem of our minds, that in observing, thought arises. So, then what? What does one do with thought?
K: When in your attention thought arises, you put aside fear totally, but you pursue thought. I do not know if I am making myself clear. I observe the movement of fear. In that observation, thought arises. The movement of fear is not important, but the arising of thought and total attention on that thought. There is this stream of fear. Tell me what to do: How am I, caught in fear, to end it? - not the method, not the system, not the practice, but the ending of it. You say analysis will not end it; that is obvious. So, what will end it - a perception of the whole movement of fear, a perception without direction?
J.U.: You made a statement about observing the movement of fear. I do not accept the distinction you have made between analysis and observation. I do not agree with your rejection of analysis. It is only through analysis that the entire structure of tradition and the weight of memory can be broken. It is only when that is broken that an observation is possible. Otherwise, it would only be a conditioned mind which would be observing. By your insistence on observation as distinct from analysis, perhaps there is the possibility or probability of the type of accidents or sudden happenings occurring, of which other people have spoken. Therefore, there can be the opportunity in which the shaktipata, the transmission of power takes place.
P.J.: Is that the nature of looking at fear? I am answering part of this question. Is the nature of observing or looking at fear or listening to fear of the same nature as looking at a tree, or listening to a bird? Or are you talking of a listening and a seeing which is optical observing plus? And if it is plus, what is the plus?
A.P.: I see a great danger in what Upadhyayaji has said. He says there cannot be observation unless it is accompanied by analysis, and if there is observation without analysis then that observation may have to depend upon an accidental awakening of an insight. He speaks of that as a possibility. My submission to him is that unless observation is cleansed of analysis, it is incapable of freeing itself from the fetters of conceptualism, the processes in which we have been reared, the process where observation and conceptual understanding go together. It is difficult to bring simultaneously into operation, unconsciously and consciously, a process of conceptual comprehension. Now, observation that is not cleansed of wordy comprehension distinguishes itself from pure observation. Therefore, in my opinion, it is very necessary to establish that analysis is an obstacle to observation. We must see this as a fact that analysis prevents us from observing.
K: Sir, do we clearly understand that the observer is the observed? I observe that tree, but I am not that tree. I observe various reactions as greed, envy and so on. Is the observer separate from greed? The observer himself is the observed, which is greed. Is it clear, not intellectually, but actually, that you can see the truth of it as a profound reality, a truth which is absolute? When there is such observation, the observer is the past. And when I observe that tree, all that past association with that tree comes into being. I name it as oak, or whatever it is; there is like or dislike. Now, when I observe fear, that fear is me. I am not separate from that fear. So the observer is the observed. In that observation there is no observer to observe because there is only the fact: the fear is me, I am not separate from fear. Then, what is the need for analysis? In that observation, if it is pure observation, the whole thing is revealed, and I can logically explain everything from that observation without analysis.
We are not clear on this particular point that the thinker is the thought, the experiencer is the experience. The experiencer, when he experiences something new, recognizes it. I experience something. To give to it a meaning, I must bring in all the previous records of my experiences; I must remember the nature of that experience. Therefore I am putting it outside me. But when I realize that the experiencer, the thinker, the analyser, is the analysed, is the thought, is the experience, in that perception, in that observation, there is no division, no conflict. Therefore, when you realize the truth of that, you can logically explain the whole sequence of it.
K: Let us go slowly. I am angry. At the moment of anger, there is no `me' at all; there is only that reaction called anger. A second later, I say, I have been angry. I have already separated anger from me.
K: So, I have separated it a moment later; there is me and anger. Then I suppress it, rationalize it. I have already divided a reaction which is me, into `me' and `not-me', and then the whole conflict begins. Whereas anger is me, I am made up of reactions. Right? Obviously. I am anger. What happens then? Earlier, I wasted energy in analysing, in suppressing, in being in conflict with anger. That energy is now concentrated; there is no waste of energy. With that energy which is attention, I hold this reaction called fear. I do not move away from it because I am that. Then, because I have brought all my energy to it, that fact which is called fear disappears.
You wanted to find out in what manner fear can end. I have shown it. As long as there is a division between you and fear, fear will continue. Like the Arab and the Jew, the Hindu and the Muslim, as long as this division exists there must be conflict.
P.J.: But, sir, who observes?
K: There is no `who observes'. There is only the state of observation.
P.J.: Does it come about spontaneously?
K: Now, you have told me it is not analysis, it is not this, it is not that, and I discard it. I don't say I'll discuss it. I discard it. My mind is free from all the conceptual, analytical process of thought. My mind is listening to the fact that the observer is the observed.
P.J.: You see, sir, there are two things in this. One is that when one observes, when there is the observing of the mind, one sees the extraordinary movement in it. It is beyond anyone's control or capacity to even give direction to it. It is there. In that state, you say, bring attention on to fear.
K: Which is all your energy...
P.J.: Which actually means, bring all attention on to that which is moving. When we question in our minds, the response immediately arises. In your mind responses do not arise; you hold it. Now, what is it that given you the capacity to hold fear in consciousness? I don't think we have that capacity.
K: I don't think it is a question of capacity. I don't know. What is capacity?
P.J.: I will cut out the word `capacity'. There is a holding of fear.
K: That is all.
P.J.: That is, this movement which is fluid becomes immovable.
K: That is it.
P.J.: Fear ends. With us that does not happen.
K: Can we discuss a fact? Can we hold anything in our minds for a few seconds, or a minute? Anything? I love; can I remain with that feeling, that beauty, that clarity which love brings? Can I hold it; not say what is love, what is not love, but just hold it, which is like a vessel holding water? You are all sceptical. You see, sir, when you have an insight into fear, fear ends. The insight is not analysis, time, remembrance, all that. It is immediate perception of something. We do have it. Often we have this sense of clarity about something. Is this all theoretical?
J.U.: Sir, I find that when you speak of clarity, there is that moment of clarity. I accept that. But it must come as a result of something that happens. It must move from period to period, from level to level. My clarity cannot be the same as your clarity.
K: Sir, clarity is clarity, it is not yours or mine. Intelligence is not yours or mine.
P.J.: Sir, I would like to go into something different. I will start with one statement: In observing the movement of the mind there is no point at which you say I have observed totally and it is over.
K: You can never say that.
P.J.: So, you are talking of an observation which is a state of being; that is, you move in observation, your life is a life of observing...
K: Yes, that is right.
P.J.: Out of that observing, action rises; analysis arises; wisdom comes. Is that observing? Unfortunately, we observe and then enter into the other sphere of non-observing and therefore have always this dual process going on. None of us knows what this observing is. None of us can say we know what a life of observing is.
K: No. I think it is very simple: Can't you observe a person without any prejudice?
K: Without any concept? What is implied in that observation? You observe me, or I observe you. How do you observe? How do you look at me? What is your reaction to that observation?
P.J.: With all the energy I have, I observe you. No, sir, it becomes very personal. Therefore, I won't pursue this.
K: So I move away from it.
P.J.: I can't say that I do not know what it is to be in a state of observing without the observer.
K: Could we take this example? Say I am married. I have lived with my wife for a number of years. I have all the memories of those twenty years or five years. In what manner do I look at her? Tell me. I am married to her; I have lived with her, sexually and all the rest of it. When I see her in the morning, how do I look at her? What is my reaction? Do I see her afresh, as though for the first time, or do I look at her with all the memories flooded into my mind?
Q: Either is possible.
K: Anything is possible, but what happens actually? Do I observe anything for the first time? When I look at the moon, the new moon coming up with the evening star, do I look at it as though I have never seen it before? The wonder, the beauty, the light, do I look at anything as though for the first time?
Q: Can we die to our yesterdays and our past?
K: Yes, sir. We are always looking with the burden of the past. So, there is no actual looking. This is very important. When I look at my wife, I do not see her as though I have seen her for the first time. My brain is caught in memories about her or about this or that. So I am always looking from the past. Is it possible to look at that moon, at the evening star, as though for the first time without all the associations connected with them? Can I see the sunset which I have seen in America, in England, in Italy and so on, as though I am seeing it for the first time? Don't say `yes'. That means my brain is not recording the previous sunsets I know of.
Q: Very rare. How does one know that it is so? You are asking, can you see the moon and the evening star? Maybe it is the memory of the first time which makes you look.
K: I know what you are asking; that leads you to another question. I am asking, is it possible not to record, except what is absolutely necessary? Why should I record the insult I may have received this morning, or the flattery? Both are the same. You flatter me saying it is a good talk, or she comes and says you are an idiot. Why should I record either?
P.J.: You ask a question as if to say we have the choice of whether to record or not to record.
K: There is no choice. I am asking a question to investigate. Because the brain was registering the squirrel on the parapet this morning, the kites flying, all that you said in our discussion at lunch, so it is like a gramophone record playing over and over again. The mind is constantly occupied, isn't it? Now, in that occupation you cannot listen; you cannot see clearly. So one has to enquire why the brain is occupied. I am occupied with god, he is occupied with sex, she is occupied about her husband, somebody is occupied with power, position, politics, cleverness, etc. Why? Is it that when the brain is not occupied there is the fear of being nothing? Because occupation gives me a sense of living? But if I am not occupied, I say I am lost. Is that why we are occupied from morning till night? Or is it a habit, sharpening itself? This occupation is destroying the brain and making it mechanical. Now, does one see that one is occupied actually? And seeing that, remain with it, not saying, I don't want to be occupied, it is not good for the brain? Can you just see you are occupied? See what happens then.
When there is occupation there is no space in the mind. I am the collection of all the experiences of mankind. The story of all mankind is me if I know how to read the book of me. You see, we are so conditioned to this idea that we are all separate individuals, that we all have separate brains, and the separate brains with their self-centred activity are going to be reborn over and over again. I question this whole concept that I am an individual; not that I am the collective. I am humanity, not the collective.
1st Seminar Madras
2nd January 1979
The Nature of A Religious Life
Achyut Patwardhan: What is the nature of a religious life? A paradoxical situation has developed during the last fifty years or more; there has been an explosion of knowledge that has led to specialization, with the result that the wholeness of life is lost in the multiplicity of information. The problem has become more acute because development of knowledge leads us further away from the religious life. Can we explore this problem?
P.J.: Is the problem one of perception which is total? When there was not this plethora of knowledge, was man's capacity to see the whole greater than it is today? Is it the extension of the frontiers of knowledge which has made the problem more difficult, or is it that knowledge which has made the problem more difficult, or is it that the basic problem of man is his incapacity to see in a total sense? Is it that the very nature of seeing is fragmentary, whether there is vast knowledge or limited knowledge?
G.N.: There is also the modern view that with knowledge we are ascending in terms of living conditions, comfort, equality, which some people feel has made for a greater sense of well-being and awareness. This is the ascent of man through knowledge, through specialization.
P.J.: But Achyutji's statement suggests that when knowledge was not so intricate, so complex, then man's capacity to see wholly was to that extent greater.
A.P.: What I felt was that there is an assumption that if we could know more, we would come nearer to the heart of wholeness. The assumption itself is totally illusory because the greater the knowledge, the further away we move from the centre.
P.J.: But when you say illusory, is it actually illusory or conceptually illusory?
David Shainberg: I think that is a completely erroneous assumption. I don't think anyone ever thought that technology or knowledge would bring greater happiness. It is all within the operation of knowledge - more knowledge, more technology, leading to an instant response, a greed, a curiosity. Curiosity is a form of greed. Knowledge operates from one greed to the next: You want to know more and more. It is the same with technology. This I think is complete illusion. We don't think technology will ever provide happiness. An engineer is infatuated with creating more and more. With the facility of aeroplane designing, we can get from Delhi to London in a few hours. Nobody thinks that this is going to make you happier.
P.J.: Today, in a developing country like India, in making technology available to a vaster number of people, there is an inbuilt assumption that you are going to bring happiness.
D.S.: I think you will have to evaluate what you mean by happiness.
P.J.: Happiness is not the same thing as seeing this wholeness. These two are totally different.
D.S.: That's it. Technology may not be looking for a deeper form of happiness, but looking for more comfortable living.
P.J.: What is the basic question here?
S.P.: Are we saying that in the pursuit of a so-called religious life, we are using the intellect, and the intellect itself is fragmentary and, therefore, it cannot comprehend the holistic?
A.P.: I don't want to start with the assumption that the intellect is an inadequate tool. I say it is the only tool I have. Whatever powers of understanding I have, have been secured largely by the development of my intellect, and I say that whatever I have gained through the intellect seems to lead me away from my religious base, from that centre.
K: What do you mean by a religious life, and why do we deny the influence of knowledge on a religious life? Bronowski maintains that only through knowledge is there the ascent of man. He traced the development from the stone age to the modern age and pointed out that man has evolved from savagery. That is, the ascent of man is only possible through knowledge, and you are saying knowledge is detrimental, or prevents or distorts a religious life.
A.P.: A religious life is absolutely essential to restore sanity to human existence. When we approach the question of a religious life in the context of contemporary society, we are not seeking a religious life in terms of what the church did or the people who went in search of Brahman did.
K: Sir, would you define what you mean by a religious life, the nature of a mind that is religious?
A.P.: A religious life is that perception which gives us a view of human well-being undistorted by contradictory, self-destructive tendencies. We are not seeking some kind of a theoretical moksha, or a metaphysical moksha. What we want is a capacity to see human well-being as an indivisible fact, and ourselves as agents of that human well-being.
K: You are saying that a religious life is concerned with human dignity, human well-being, human happiness. Right?
A.P.: Yes, sir. Development of the human potential.
K: When you use the word `religious', I wonder what the depth of that word is, the significance of that word, the quality of the mind which says that it is enquiring into a religious life. Sir, you said that knowledge is the major factor which prevents a religious life. Let us hold on to that for a few minutes. Does knowledge interfere with a religious life? Does a religious life have no knowledge, or, having knowledge, does not allow that knowledge to interfere with a holistic life?
A.P.: Without a religious life, knowledge seems to lose its direction.
K: Yes sir, you have more or less defined what you mean by knowledge. But I have not quite understood what you mean by a religious life.
A.P.: A religious life is a life in which one feels that no harm would come to another through one's knowledge, one's capacity. It really means that you are part of humanity, that through you humanity is fulfilling itself.
P.J.: I find this very difficult to understand.
K: We are discussing not what a religious life should be, we are investigating, exploring into the nature of a religious life. Therefore, you cannot presuppose that you must not hurt another.
A.P.: Sir, it is out of deep anguish - when you see that man's knowledge is becoming an instrument of his own destruction - that you come to a religious life.
P.J.: I cannot say that. I would say that what has led me to even enquire has been sorrow, loneliness, inadequacy. These are the three things which have led me to enquire. I don't even know the nature of a religious life.
K: I think we are not enquiring. We are making statements. What do you mean when you say that we must not hurt another human being?
A.P.: Is it possible for knowledge not to be a source of destruction?
P.J: Achutji, before you can come to this question, what do you do with the nature of the self which is so inadequate that it cannot even pose this question? It cannot pose the question about humanity.
A.P.: I feel that for a man like me who is witness to appalling cruelty, appalling threats to human well-being arising out of human knowledge, there is no self here at all. I am not bothered about the self. I am bothered about a situation of which I am an integral part. I cannot separate myself. I am part of that.
Ravi Ravindra: I find all this a little too abstract. I say I wish to be religious, and also I wish to be in contact with some knowledge or at least not be destroyed by it. So, this is a problem of knowledge. This is one way in which I would like to raise it, because the question of general human knowledge is too abstract. Now, how can I be religious and still be a physicist? As a physicist, there are certain sets of laws, certain operations that I teach and I see that some of these relationships in terms of energy or time do not necessarily relate to my sense of time or energy or momentum, as I experience it inwardly. And one way of understanding a religious life is by a balancing of what I see as external time or energy, and what I see as the flow inwardly; time and energy moving. In the rare moments I can see them related to each other. At the moment, I am in touch with the religious life. Now, the question that arises from this is, how does one continue with activities like physics and lead a religious life?
K: I would like first of all to find out what you mean by a religious life. Achyutji has pointed out, that it is not to hurt a human being and also that it has to be holistic, if you can use that word; that is, a life that is complete, whole and not fragmented. And he also said that knowledge misused, as it is now, is destroying humanity, and knowledge also prevents or becomes a distraction to a religious life. But we have not yet gone into the question of what you mean by a religious life.
D.S.: Krishnaji, is there not something wrong with even the whole of religious life? If I take the proper drug, I am going to be religious; the religious life is traditional nonsense.
K: I would like to go into it a little more. Achyutji has pointed out that man wants happiness. Happiness at what level? Physical level? At the psychological level so that he has no problems, no conflicts and so on? And at a still higher level, if you can so call it, a sense of absolute relaxed peace? Would you call that a religious life? Is that what we want? That is what every human being craves for because he knows what knowledge has done in the world. Then the question is, what place has knowledge in our human existence, in our human daily life? Let us for the moment forget the religious life; let us find out if it is possible to live a daily life here on this earth, which is ours, with an extraordinary sense of freedom from all problems. Can you start from that?
P.J.: My only query would be, is it valid that there should be a movement `towards', once you posit this movement?
K: I am not positing anything; I am enquiring.
P.J.: I was saying, is it valid for any movement `towards'? To meet the movement `towards' is a denial of the religious life.
S.P.. I would put it this way: That I who am in contradiction, moving from this to that, want to end the conflict. So, it is a very valid thing which I am seeking, and when you say a movement from here to there is an invalid movement, I ask the question: How do I end this whole turmoil?
P.J.: But there is a movement.
K: I am not moving from here to there.
P.J.: There is no movement `towards'?
D.S.: Krishnaji, you are moving in the sense that you are saying: Can we live in peace?
K: No. All that I am saying is, this is my life.
S.P.: It is not finished. I will say a person who says this is my life, this is not how I want to live, naturally asks the question: Is there something different? That movement is valid.
K: I do not even ask if there is something different. I live in conflict, misery, confusion. This constant battle is going on inside and outside. It is terrible to live that way, and I say, please help me to live differently.
S.P.: Seeing that, most people ask the question: Is there anything different?
K: The validity lies in their escape from it.
S.P.: Before they escape, the movement is there.
K: The movement away from the fact is an escape.
S.P.: So, that is the insight which man has to have. But before he has that insight, both are facts.
K: I am facing facts. The facts are, my life is in a dreadful mess. That is all.
R.R.: Sir, the fact also is that I wish to change it.
K: First, I must acknowledge the fact. To change it may be an escape from the fact.
D.S.:Is not your statement, `My life is a dreadful mess,' a kind of value judgment that you make?
K: I am not making a value judgment. It is a fact. I get up at six o'clock, go to office for the rest of my life, ten hours a day. There is insecurity, the terrible mess of living. That is not a value judgment; it is a fact.
D.S.: I think there is a kind of judgment in it the way you say, `It is a terrible mess.'
K: It is not a value judgment. It is a fact which I observe in my life. There is a constant struggle, there is fear. That is a fact which I call a mess.
P.J.: I say that is a fact. Now what relationship has the query about the religious life to this?
S.P.: There have been people who have talked about the religious life, and I see a person who I think leads a religious life, and when I see, I cannot remove that impression from my consciousness.
K: That may be your tradition, your wish, an illusion you are living in because it is tradition.
Rajesh Dalal: Sir, there is an actual position of a man who is in contradiction. Recognising the contradiction as a fact, he says I want to change it, but does not know what to change into.
K: The changing into is a movement away from the fact. I find I am in conflict with my wife or husband or whatever it is, and I want to understand the nature of the conflict, not change it into something else. Now, how do I change this fact that I cannot get on with my wife? To me a religious life is a life in which all these problems have completely ceased.
D.S.: That is an assumption.
K: No. It is not a fact to you; it is a fact to me. So I say, don't let us jump into what a religious life is. Here I am, a human being, caught up in this rat race, and I say to myself: How am I to change this? Not into something else, because I am intelligent enough to know that changing into something else is an avoidance of `what is'.
D.S.: That is where the subtle leap takes place. Is the mind or the brain changing into something better?
K: I am not changing into something better. Better is the enemy of the good.
D.S.: You are dodging this subtle point that right here it happens.
K: Sir, I see very clearly, logically, rationally, that the movement away from the fact does not bring about the understanding of the fact. That is all my point.
R.R.: But sir, I see my conflict, I have also heard J. Krishnamurti say, there is a state of non-conflict. Perhaps that is my trouble - I have heard that.
K: He has always said, `Face the fact, don't move away from the fact.' There is another way of living. This man says very clearly the other way cannot be found or come upon or reached or moved into unless you have faced the fact and resolved the fact.
S.P.: But the true state is that this statement has been conceived by the mind as an idea.
K: Therefore, it is valueless. As long as it is an idea, it is valueless. Let us be clear. The fact is I am afraid: I don't face the fact that there is this feeling arising, but I create an idea about the fact and act according to that idea. I say don't do that, look at the fact without making it into an abstraction. Stay with fact, don't move away under any circumstances.
S.P.: I don't act from that idea, but the idea is there. It is in my consciousness.
K.: Our conditioning is, hearing a statement and making that statement into an idea. Now, you make a statement to me; I hear it and from that form a conclusion or an idea. I say don't do that, but just listen to what is being said.
M.Z.: Suffering as such is not an idea; suffering is real.
K: No. I want to go into it more clearly and not say real or not real. When there is suffering, is that suffering a concept, an idea, a remembrance, or is it an actual moment of suffering? Please find out. At the moment of sorrow, there is nothing else. It is possible to remain with that movement without making an abstraction of it and say, `I am suffering.'
M.Z.: Sir, would you say that it is a continuation of suffering the moment it moves into an abstraction?
K: It is not suffering; it is just an idea of suffering. I am very clear.
A.P.: If we may compare this suffering with pain, there is an impulse of pain followed by another impulse of pain, followed by a third impulse of pain, etc. Therefore, that pain may be intermittent but it is repetitive and, therefore, it can never become an idea. It is a physical pain.
K: Physical suffering is of a different nature. Repetition of psychological pain is the memory of that which has happened. Go into it slowly. You have physical pain; you have a toothache and you do something to stop it, but it recurs. Now, the continuation of pain is the registration of a first pain in the mind, in the brain. It is simple enough, isn't it?
P.J.: It can become psychological.
A.P.: The moment you register, it becomes psychological.
P.J.: But the physical pain as such is of a different nature from psychological pain. The psychological pain seems to be the shadow of physical pain. It does not arise for any one particular reason. It shows itself with many faces: One day I am depressed, one day I am alone, one day I feel inadequate. These are all manifestations of that deep, inner inadequacy, pain, which is psychological. The point is, Krishnaji posits that at the very instant when pain arises, there is action which comes through the cord of continuity, that which connects this pain or suffering to the next pain. And he implies that there can be a cutting of it the instant it arises. Now, I would like to go into the nature of this cutting.
M.Z.: Can you say that the cutting is between the actual pain and the leap of abstraction?
K: Is that what you are saying, Pupul?
P.J.: I say, sir, that you seem to imply that at the instant of the arising of psychological suffering, there is a cutting so that continuity ends.
K: No, there is no cutting.
P.J.: Is there no action at all?
K: I think it is fairly simple. Are we discussing physical pain or psychological pain? I sat in a dentist's chair for four hours - drilling, all the rest of it. When I got out of that chair, there was no registration of that drill.
D.S.: But you remember it now.
K: Suffering is an actual fact. It takes place at the moment of arising. Apparently we don't seem to be able to see anything else but that suffering. When you are not moving away from it at all, there is no registration of it. Have you listened to the statement? That is, when there is no movement away from that moment, that thing called suffering, there is no registration of that, no remembrance. Can the mind, the brain, remain absolutely with that feeling of suffering and nothing else?
S.P.: At this moment, I have no quality of suffering in my mind. When you ask this question, there is no reality to it. The mind is operating, but it does not catch the quality of it. You are asking, can the brain remain with the moment of suffering? It is not an idea, it is an actual fact that all human beings are suffering. It is not I alone who am suffering.
R.R.: Sir, are you suggesting that this fact does not register for you because you are not running away from it?
K: In the second of suffering there is no registration. It is only when thought takes it up and moves away from the second that registration takes place. At this movement you are not suffering but there is suffering around you, there is immense suffering. Are you in contact with that? Or is it an idea that human beings are all suffering?
S.P.: There is no contact.
Krishnan Kutty: It is only an idea that humanity suffers.
K: Explore that. What does it mean? An idea is not factual. Then why do you have it?
S.P.: What is the nature of this contact?
D.S.: How are we in contact with that?
K: We are not in contact with that. It is there. Let us put it differently: Do you feel that you are the rest of mankind, that you are the whole of mankind?
K: I am not talking about sometimes, sir.
P.J.: I would like to go back. There is something else at the moment of suffering. Can there be no movement away from it? That is what K said. The movement away from there is the movement of registration.
K: The movement is the registration.
D.S.: I want to raise another question: To what degree is the very act of being in the condition of suffering, or conflict, some implication of movement? Someone suffers because someone who was important to him dies. He is already caught in a movement. You suggest to Dr. Ravindra to look at it as a fact, a condition in which there is no conflict.
K: No. I am saying, sir, all human beings suffer. That is a fact, and in investigating the whole thing - or rather, not investigating, but having an insight into it, which is not an investigation - you see that suffering continues. When it is registered, then the whole problem arises: How am I to escape from suffering, and all the rest of it? I am asking, investigating: Is it possible for a non-registration to take place?
D.S.: I am not arguing with you. The fact of suffering, to me, seems to be already the act of registration.
K: Of course, that is our conditioning. If I am aware of this conditioning, aware of what is actually taking place, then the very perception of that ends it.
D.S.: That is the paradox.
K: Not paradox; that is a fact.
P.J.: You have asked whether there can be an insight into the movement of suffering. Then the question arises, can there be a total non-movement away from it? What is the nature of this insight? Let us negate what it is not. It is obvious that it is not in the nature of thought.
K: Go on step by step. It is not a movement of thought. It is not a movement of memory. It is not a movement of remembrance. Which means what? A complete freedom from the known.
P.J.: How does this freedom from the known arise which is insight? How does insight take birth?
K: Freedom from the known can only take place when one has observed the whole phenomenon of working in the field of the known. Then, in the very investigation of the known, from that comes freedom from the known. It is not the other way round.
P.J.: What is the nature of this insight?
K: I say, the nature of this insight is freedom from the known first, which implies no remembrances of the past. It is not a state of amnesia; it is complete, total attention in which there is no memory operating, no experience operating.
D.S.: Sir, the movement that I come upon is the tangle of a movement of registration; it is the movement of memory. You will register it if you are attached.
K: I have an image about myself and you come along and insult me, and that is immediately registered. If I have no image, you can call me anything you like.
M.Z.: But sir, we were talking about the pain of sorrow.
K: Shock, a psychological shock.
M.Z.: Am I correct in understanding that in the registration of pain there is the impact, the shock, and we experience it as pain?
K: It is the continuation of remembrance of that shock.
M.Z.: There is the fact of registration. So, what you suggested was that the blow as pain remained, without the vibration entering into it as registration. Then something else happens. Would you call this the action of insight? You also talked about remaining with the pain, with the blow, not moving into registration.
K: Consider a millpond which is absolutely quiet, and you drop a stone into it. There are the waves, but when the waves are over, it is completely quiet again; the normality is the non-registration, because there is no stimulus at that point.
M.Z.: Normality is not quiet. Why don't you call the waves normality?
K: I purposely used the word `mill-pond'. That is its natural state - quietness. You drop something into it and there are waves. It is an outside action.
M.Z.: Take the fact, you have a shock for various reasons. Can the mind remain with that shock, not let waves arise - which is the registration - but remain with the shock?
S.P.: Normally what happens is that there is a shock and the observation of that shock is in the nature of duality, the observer feeling the shock.
K: I have a shock. For the moment I am paralysed; I can't move. My son is dead. That's tremendous shock and a day or so later begins the whole movement of saying, `I have suffered, I have lost, I am lonely.; that movement takes days. I am suggesting, can one remain entirely with that pain? Then the waves won't come in.
S.P.: Do you mean to say, if it is understood there would not be loneliness, pain?
K: No. I am only saying, do you look at suffering holistically, which includes everything, or do you break it up as suffering, pain, pleasure, fear, anxiety. That's why I am suggesting that a religious life is a life which is holistic, in which there is total insight into the whole structure and nature of consciousness and the very ending of that. Have we answered this question or not at all?
P.J.: We have started probing into the question.
K: Where are we now after probing? After probing I must come to something.
P.J.: I can remain with the nature of probing.
K: Which means I probe into the whole nature of knowledge and place it, put it in its right place, and, therefore, it is no longer interfering with my perception. Knowledge is creating havoc in the world, destroying humanity, and without living a religious life, knowledge inevitably destroys humanity.
We are saying that the very ascent through knowledge is the destruction of man, and to prevent that destruction, knowledge must be put in its right place, and in the very placing of it, is the beginning of the religious life. That is what our investigation so far has come to.
2nd Seminar Madras
3rd January 1979
The Nature of A Religious Life
K: We said that according to scientists like Bronowski and others there is the ascent of man only through knowledge. Achyutji pointed out that knowledge is destroying the world. We were enquiring into this question of what is a religious mind and what you would consider a religious life.
A.P.: Sir, the trouble is that with the advancement of technology, knowledge has become diversified, specialized; the mind tends to lose the sense of wholeness with the result that the fragmented mind of man is the source of mischief. Knowledge is preventing us from seeing the whole. Is it possible for us to understand the process by which we can glimpse the religious mind?
K: Sir, you said just now that knowledge is preventing a holistic outlook, holistic in the sense of an outlook that is whole. I wonder if that is so. Or is it that the intellect has become so supremely important that it has brought about a deep fragmentation? Is it that the worship of the intellect with all its activities has brought about a sense of the breaking up of the whole nature of man? I am just putting that forward to be discussed, not as a theory. Would you accept that? Because, the intellect implies the whole movement of thought, the cognition through, the understanding through, thought. When you use that word, the implication is, thought has understood what is being said. Thought which is the instrument of the intellect, being essentially limited, has brought about this cleavage, this fragmentation of man. Thought is not the movement of a religious mind.
D.S.: You said thought is not the movement of a religious mind. Certainly the religious mind thinks.
K: Let me explain that. Thought, I said, cannot contain the religious mind. Thought in itself being a fragment, whatever it does will bring about fragmentation, and a religious mind is not fragmentary.
P.K. Sundaram: Knowledge, in so far as it is mediated by the mind, must be considered essentially as transitive - it always wants an object. It is intentional, it must go forth from itself to find an object for itself. When it does so, naturally it dissects. Thought always dwells on dualities without which it cannot even live. So, the religious mind must transcend duality, the duality between thought and object.
K: I am questioning whether there is duality at all.
P.J.: Sir, what do you mean when you question the fact of duality?
K: I question whether duality exists.
S.P.: But we are living in duality.
K: The opposite may be an illusion.
S.P.: The thinking process itself functions in duality.
K: Let me expand it a little more. Has the fact an opposite?
S.P.: Will you say thought is a fact?
K: Thought is a fact. What it has invented, apart from technology, is an illusion - the gods, the rituals. What is considered a religious mind - is an illusion, illusion being a perception with a certain direction, a prejudice, a fixation. We are saying that a fact, that is, anger or envy, has no opposite.
P.J.: I question this whole business of duality and fact. We use the word `illusion' because you have introduced the word.
K: I use the word `illusion' in the sense - sensory perception of external objects which is coloured, which is destroyed by belief, by prejudice, by opinion, by a conclusion. I would call that an illusion.
P.J.: I will use a phrase which you used in another context. My face is observable in the mirror; Achyutji's face is also observable. I divide my face from that of Achyutji's face; there are two. That too is a part of consciousness within me. How can you say that the two which are within me are an illusion? It is this separation which divides us, which brings into being the problem of becoming which moves away from being. It is in this movement to become that all the other processes of comparison, opposites, want, not want, the more, the less, exist.
K: How do you perceive Achyutji, how do you observe him? How do you look at him?
P.J.: When you ask that question, the response comes from the thirty years I have been hearing you.
K: Put away all the thirty years. How will you now observe Achyutji? What is the process of observation? If that observation is pure - in the sense, without any kind of motive, distortion, prejudice, so that there is nothing between your perception and the object which you perceive - then that very perception denies duality.
R.R.: I don't have that pure perception.
K: That's the problem. The whole question to me is: there is only the fact. A fact has no opposite. But we accept duality: I am angry; I must not be angry.
R.R.: But in my perception I see Achyutji separate.
K: Which means what? Your perception is conditioned. Can you observe putting aside that conditioning?
S.P.: Would you say that so long as there is conditioning, there is duality?
K: I would.
S.P.: Then is not duality a fact?
K: No. It is the conditioning that decides duality.
P.J.: It decides?
K: It says there is duality.
P.J.: You used a phrase: put aside. What is implied in it?
K: Putting aside implies there is no `you' to put aside.
R.D.: Is putting aside an illusion?
K: No. Let me explain. The perception of sorrow and the moving away from that perception is the continuation of sorrow. That continuation which is memory, which is remembrance of an incident which was sorrow, creates duality.
And can the observation be so complete that there is no observer and the thing observed, only observation? `Putting away' means to be aware of this whole movement away from the fact, which creates duality. Then there is pure observation in which there is no duality.
D.S.: Krishnaji, are you saying that in the act of seeing Achyutji, there is an awareness of the very act of making the separateness?
K: Yes, that means your awareness is conditioned by the past and tradition and all that, therefore there is duality.
D.S.: But is there an awareness of this whole movement?
R.R.: What you have just said is a theoretical idea to me.
K: Why is it a theoretical idea?
D.S.: Because that is not my perception.
K: How would you get that perception - not my perception, but perception? If you would examine that, then perhaps we could go into the question of non-movement in which there is non-movement of perception.
R.R.: Non-movement of perception? You mean a perception that does not move? Please explain that.
K. We are saying that when there is perception without the observer, then there is no duality. Duality occurs when there is the observer and the observed. The observer is the past. So, through the eyes of the past the observation takes place and that creates a duality.
P.J.: The only point in question then is, when you said `When there is perception without the observer,' you used the word `when'.
K: Yes, because he says to me that it is a theory to him.
P.J.: That's why I ask: How is a person to come to a state in which the `when' has ceased?
Uma: I am observing, I find my observation is interrupted and I also know that it is interrupted because I don't have the energy to be in that state of observation.
K: Why don't you have that energy? Perception does not need energy. You just perceive.
D.S.: There is validity when she says you lose energy. But is it a question of losing energy or is there a subtle kind of commitment when I look at Achyutji, much as I am attached in some way to creating duality? In other words, I want him to be there so that somehow or the other I can go on relating to him as a separate entity? That's where I think the energy is dissipated, because I am attached to creating him as an object. It is something I need; the mere presence of him is a duality, is a drug which satisfies me. That is where my energy gets dissipated. It is because in most cases it is a commitment to duality.
K: Not commitment. It is your tradition or conditioning. Your whole outlook is that.
D.S.: It is much easier for me in some sense to create the duality because then I know.
P.J.: Still we have not come to the core of the problem.
G.N.: There is a core of memory functioning. We are trained in memory functioning and it is always in some way associated with knowledge, and when you have memory functioning and knowledge, duality occurs.
K.K.: Why is it that all these are becoming problems? We are all the time converting facts into problems. We are all the time in the world of duality because we are all the time ordered by ideas. For me it is quite simple; I see that we can't remain with the fact because we are haunted by ideas.
G.N.: The difficulty is, we are acquiring knowledge all the time and knowledge is being converted into memory, and in this process there is duality creeping in. It may be a problem, it may not be. There is something more than that.
A.P.: I see that man can survive only as an indivisible whole, but the weight of my knowledge and the requirements of my daily living are stressing separateness, and separateness is so overpowering that it seems to eclipse the perception that man's well-being is indivisible. Do you think I am creating a problem because I am stating it? The problem is implicit in the human situation.
K: What is a problem? What is the meaning of the word?
A.P.: A contradiction.
K: No. A problem is something not resolved, something that you have not worked out, something which is bothering you, worrying you, that goes on day after day, for many years. He is asking: Why don't we resolve something that arises as a problem immediately and not carry on and on?
P.J.: Sir, what he has said is unacceptable. There are many other issues involved here. The issues are that it does not need Krishnaji to tell me that there is a source of energy, perception, which I have not touched. Without touching that, this partial solution of the problem keeps on existing, keeps me within the framework of time, for eternity. I know that the very imperatives of the human situation demand that there must be a source of energy which, once touched, will physically transform our ways of thinking.
K.K.: Will that become an ideal, an idea?
K: What do you call an idea?
D.S.: An idea is a thought that displays or presents a constructive perception. It presents or shows the way of ordering of a perception. It has to do with display, with show.
K: The root meaning is `to observe'. Look up a dictionary; you will see it means `to perceive', which means, to perceive that flower and not make an idea of that.
R.R.: It is not the sense in which it is generally used.
P.J.: Even if you take its present usage, idea is something which I move towards.
K. I hear a statement from you or from Dr. Shainberg. Why should I make an idea of it? Why can't I see a flower, that thing that is there and only observe it? Why should there be an idea?
P.K.S.: Without seeing it as a fly, I don't see the fly at all.
K: That thing that is moving there, sir, I may not call it a fly; I may call it something else but it is that thing.
D.S.: The whole act of perception in the nervous system is by an organization of that form.
K: Organization, yes. Not of that form. But I name it a fly.
S.P.: Are you saying you can see the form without naming?
K: Why can't you?
P.K.S.: Sir, is not the perception of the form on the same level as the perception of the fly?
K: Can I observe you or you observe me without forming a conclusion, without forming an idea of me?
P.K.S.: That is possible.
K: We started out discussing the place of knowledge in religious life. Let us start from here again and move around. We said knowledge is destroying the world without this religious mind. Then we started asking what is a religious mind. Now, what is a religious mind?
P.J.: The first question that arises out of that is, what is the instrument I have?
K: First of all, I use intellect, reason, logic. I do not accept any authority.
P.J.: And the senses?
K: Of course, that's implied. Logic, reason, all that is implied, sanity without any illusion, without a belief dictating my enquiry. That means a mind that is free to look.
P.J.: The difficulty is in your very statement of what you have said; you have annihilated the whole premise.
K: Which is what?
P.J.: Which is the structure of human consciousness.
K: So, what is human consciousness?
P.J.: The structure of human consciousness is thought, belief, movement, becoming, identity.
K: And dogma. So, consciousness is the whole movement of thought with its content. I am a Hindu, I believe in puja, I worship, I pray, I am anxious, I am afraid - all that is this whole spectrum of movement.
P.J.: What place has the word `sanity' which you use in this totality?
K: One's consciousness is an insane consciousness.
G.N.: Do you imply that sanity is not caught in make-believe?
K: Sanity means sane, healthy, no make-believe. I don't pretend I am healthy, I don't pretend that I do puja and that it will lead me to some heaven. I say that is nonsense. So, sanity means a healthy mind, a healthy body, a healthy inwardness.
G.N.: If one is not sane, can one enquire?
K: How can I be sane when I am a businessman and go off to do puja? It is insanity.
P.J.: Are you saying that this consciousness which has all these elements can never enquire?
K: That is what I am saying. So, my consciousness is a bundle of contradictions, a bundle of hopes, illusions, fears, pleasures, anxiety, sorrow and all that. Can that consciousness find a religious way of life? Obviously it cannot.
S.P.: You say sanity is necessary for the mind to start enquiry, but this consciousness which is enquiring is full of contradictions.
K: Such a mind cannot even understand or even be capable of enquiry. So, I'll drop the enquiry into a religious life, and enquire into consciousness. Then my enquiry is sane, logical.
P.J.: In all the traditional ways of approaching this whole content of consciousness, it is symbolized by one word `I', and the enquiry is into the nature and the dissolution of the `I'.
K: All right. Let us work at it. We say in religious life there is a total absence of the self. Then my enquiry is whether the self can be dissolved. So I say: What is my consciousness? I begin from there and see if it is possible to empty totally that consciousness.
P.J.: What is the nature of that emptying?
K: I am doing it now. Can I be free from my attachment? Can I be free from my absurd daily puja ? Can I be free from my nationalism? Can I be free from following some authority? I go on, and my consciousness is totally stripped of its contradictions. I hope that silences you.
Let us start enquiring whether it is possible to be aware totally, holistically, of our consciousness. If it is not possible, let us take fragment by fragment - but will that bring about comprehension of the total perception of consciousness?
P.K.S.: Will you not be open to the charge of being intellectual in your enquiry?
K: No. I put my heart into it. With my whole being I am enquiring. My heart, my affection, my nerves, my senses, my intellect, my thought, everything is involved in this enquiry.
R.R.: Sir, will you state the conditions of this enquiry?
K: You are a scientist. You observe and that very observation changes that which is being observed. Why can't you do that with yourself?
R.R.: Because my attention wanders.
K: Which means what? When you are looking, in spite of your acquiring knowledge, you put that aside when you are watching. The very watching is the transformation of that which is being observed.
R.R.: Sir, maybe I am not expressing it rightly. If I observe myself, I think it is a fact for me that my attention wanders.
K: Let us begin step by step. I am watching myself. I can only watch myself; `myself is a bundle of reactions. I begin with things which are very near to me, such as puja. I see it, I look at it, I watch it, and I don't say, `Well, it pleases me because I am used to it.' I see it is absurd and put it away for ever.
R.R.: It does not seem to work like that.
K: Is it because of your habit?
R.R.: Yes, that is right.
K: So go into habit. Why do you have habit? Why do you have a mind functioning in habit which means a mechanical mind? Why is it mechanical? Is it because it is very safe to be mechanical, secure? And has this repetition of puja which gives you security, any real security in it or have you invested security in it?
R.R.: I give it security.
K: Therefore, wipe it away.
R.R.: This is where the difficulty is. I can see my mind is mechanical or caught in habit, but that does not seem to lead to what you seem to suggest, of cutting away.
K: Because your mind is still functioning in habit. Do you have a habit? Are there good habits or bad habits, or are there only habits? And why are you caught in them?
So let us come back. We are saying, consciousness that is in turmoil, in contradiction, wanders from one thing to another. There is a battle that is going on. So long as that consciousness is there, you can never have pure perceiving. Is it possible to bring about in consciousness a total absence of this movement of contradiction?
S.P.: I can see the truth of repetitiveness, the mechanical action of puja, and it is out of my system. Speaking of other things, many fragments, the truth of them can be seen and negated. Even then the problem remains, which is the ending of the content of consciousness. There can be an ending of a fragment but the problem is that of ending the totality of consciousness.
K: Are you saying that sequentially you see fragment by fragment? Then you can never come to the end of the fragmentation.
S.P.: That is what we see after ten, fifteen years of observing.
K.: You can't. Therefore, you must say, is there an observation which is total? I hear the statement that through fragmentation, through examining the fragmentation in my consciousness which is endless, it cannot be resolved that way. Have I listened to it? Have I understood it deeply in my heart, in my blood, in my whole being, that examining fragmentation will never solve it? I have understood that; therefore, I won't touch it. I won't go near a guru. All that is out because they all deal with fragments - the communists, the socialists, the gurus, the religious people, everything is fragmented, including human beings.
S.P.: Have I to see all the implications at this point or have I to work it out?
K: No, no. Working out is a fragmentation. I can't see the whole because my whole being, thinking, living, is fragmented. What is the root of this fragmentation? Why has one divided the world into nations, religions? Why?
S.P.: The mind says it is the `I-ness' which acts.
K: No, that is intellectual. I said to you, listen. How do you listen to that statement? Listening with the intellect is fragmentation. Hearing with the ear is fragmentation. Do you listen with your whole, entire being, or do you just say `Yes, it is a good idea'?
George Sudarshan: I feel very stagnant, checkered by this attack on knowledge. It is not knowledge which is causing fragmentation but its function. So, let me go back to the question: What is a religious life? It is cessation of the contradiction between causality and spontaneity. Most of the world around is causal: That is, this being so this happens, if this has happened, it must have been because of such and so. All this is comparison, copying. If you can't copy a system, then you cannot talk about a law or the system, and, therefore, there is much of the world which is of our experience, which we talk about in terms of causality. On the other hand, fortunately, we are also subject to the experience of spontaneity, experiences of movement with no cause, without time, in which there is only functioning. Much of the problem of life is, in fact, reconciling these two things because, somehow or the other, one feels these two are both real experiences and one would like to resolve the contradiction. As far as I have observed, it appears to me that when you are in the spontaneous mode of functioning, there is in fact no possibility of it being broken down. When you are happy, you are happy; then there is no question of anxiety about it. If at any time you feel that you would like to continue this mode, then, of course, the mode has already ceased. When you want to maintain an experience which you already have in time, corruption has set in, and it is only a matter of time before it will come to an end. Therefore, the whole question of how to end fragmentation is wrong. We cannot logically conceive it, we cannot dictate the rules, we cannot legislate it, we cannot write a manual about it. Therefore, in a certain sense, when it comes, it comes by itself. That is, in fact, the only true mode of existence.
K: So, what do we do? Say I am fragmented and carry on?
G.S.: It is not a question of `I am fragmented and let us carry on'. In the fragmented mode you try to perceive.
K: Being fragmented, I live a fragmented life and recognise it, and so leave it?
G.S.: Would you tell me how to end fragmentation, the process?
K: I will tell you, sir.
G.N.: No, not ending fragmentation by process, because once you say process, it can become mechanical.
K: Quite right.
S.P.: What Krishnaji is talking about is the ending of time as a factor to end fragmentation.
D.S.: One of the things that is emerging clearly for me is that something about the very framework of thought conditions and limits and fragments it.
K: Right sir, thought is fragmentary.
D.S.: And that framework?
K: Thought is not in that framework. Thought is always fragmentary. So, what is the root of fragmentation? Can thought stop?
G.S.: Just stop?
K: Not periodically, occasionally, spontaneously. To me all that implies a movement in time.
G.S.: As long as you are thinking, that is movement.
K: I said so. Thought is the root of fragmentation. Thought is a movement and so time is a movement. So, can time stop?
G.S.: May I make a slight distinction? You say thought is the cause of fragmentation. I ask, where did that thought arise - in the unfragmented state or the fragmented?
K: In the fragmented state. We answer always from a fragmented mind.
K: I said, generally. And is there a speaking which comes of a non-fragmented mind?
G.S.: I am not sure I am following your terminology.
K: We said thought is fragmented, that it is the cause of fragmentation.
G.S.: What I am saying is that we see fragmentation and thought together. To say that one is the cause of the other is not true.
K: Cause and effect are the same.
G.S.: So, they are aspects of the same entity?
K: Thought and fragment are the same movement, which is part of time. It is the same thing, whether it is one or the other. So, I can ask, can time stop? Can psychological time, inward time, stop? Can the whole movement stop completely? There is a cessation of time. Time is not. I don't become time or my being is not in time. There is nothing, which means, love is not of time.
3rd Seminar Madras
4th January 1979
The Nature of A Religious Life
N. Vasudevan Nair: What is the choice before mankind, sir? In the enormity of his grief, man faces the world, which is a very devastating experience. He crawls on all fours to catch a blade of grass, he suffers, he is lost. Can there be a complete rebirth or has he to undergo the pain of one birth after another?
K: Are you asking, sir, what is the challenge before mankind?
N. V.N.: What is his choice? To be born or not to be born? To be or not to be?
K: Would you say that is a real question: What is the challenge for mankind in the present crisis?
N. V.N: No. That is not the real question. The real question is, to be or not to be.
K: I don't quite understand the question, sir. Please explain. What is the real question which we have been discussing for the last two days? We all see, quite obviously, the deterioration of mankind not only in this country but in every country, and we have not only to stop it but also to bring about a re-birth - not the old pattern but a totally different way of life. Is that the question we are asking? We also see that science, Karl Marx, Gita, the Upanishads, Mao and all the organizational propaganda and institutions have completely failed. And we are asking: Is there a way of living which is totally religious in the sense that we are using the word? And we are trying to investigate what is that religious life. Because historically, as one observes, a new culture, a new way of painting, music, living, comes out of a deep, profound religious life. What is that religious life which is not sentimental, romantic, devotional, because all that is utterly meaningless? What is a truly religious mind? That is what we are trying to investigate in this group.
As Achyutji pointed out, knowledge, whether it is Marxian or scientific or the accumulated knowledge of mankind in any field, is destroying man, and to end that destruction, a new way, a religious way, has to be found. Is it possible to find a religious way in the modern world with all the technological advancement, with all the crumbling relationships?
P.K.S.: Earlier we came to the conclusion that a religious life is the very antithesis of fragmentation. We spoke of two things which are mutually incompatible as far as I can see: One, complete emptying of the mind, and the other, the removal of fragmentation. But fragmentation is the opposite of totality. Totality is richness, not emptiness. You spoke of emptying the mind. Are we going to fill the mind or empty the mind? This incompatibility I am not able to follow.
Prof. Sanjivi: Now, that is the pertinent question which I also wanted to pose before you. Is emptying the mind practicable? Is it possible, relevant, in day-to-day life?
K: We are trying to examine a way of life which is non-fragmentary, which is holistic, whole, and perhaps that would lead us to a truly religious life. We said that because thought in itself is limited, all its movements are fragmentary. Thought itself is fragmented. Would you accept that?
San: Sir, there is one difficulty in accepting this. Even this thought is the result of a fragmentary thought. Is it not?
K: No. This is not a thought; it is a statement.
A.P.: It is an insight.
San: Even if you call it an insight, is it not the result of a fragmentary personality?
K: No, sir.
G.N.: We have a lot of knowledge, and from that knowledge there is a way of functioning. What is the difference between knowledge and insight? What is the nature of insight? A religious life, you say, is a sane life. There is some connection between that and insight which is not just knowledge, which is not a memory function. Is it possible to communicate this distinction?
A.P.: I would like to add that insight is different from conclusion. When there is knowledge, there is conclusion. When there is insight, it opens a door. So, we must also understand the difference between a conclusion which comes from knowledge and an insight, which is qualitatively different.
K: Are we trying now to explore what is insight?
D.S.: We should also discuss the question of how a fragmented mind can investigate.
K: First, let us see that the movement of thought must inevitably be a broken up process. You are asking whether this statement is not also a fragmentary statement. It is.
Uma: I see the movement of thought; I am observing it, I am perceiving it. Even as I observe, I become very silent. But at the same time, I see the need for change, the urgency of change, and the very content of observation prevents that. There is conflict because I want to change and I see it is all in the movement of thought.
K: All that is the movement of thought, and that very movement is a fragmentary movement. The point and the question is, can that fragmentary movement end? What do you say, sir?
D.S.: Krishnaji, I am rattled. Even the question `Can this end?' comes out of another fragment.
K: She used the word `perception'. She watches, she perceives her own life, and in that perception she discovers that there is conflict, that there is fragmentation, and the need for change in herself. So, the essential point here is perception, the seeing of this whole movement of thought. Is that what you are trying to say? Could we then discuss what perception is, not theoretically but actually? Could we go into that and move from there?
San: I think the relevant and useful thing for us to discuss today will be what the technique behind it is and how it is possible as a practicable solution in day-to-day life.
P.J.: Sir, could we start the investigation into the religious mind with the query, how can thought end?
San: I, for the time being, accept your suggestion that the solution to all the problems would be the cessation of thought, the stopping of the thought process. How does one achieve that?
K: Would you say a religious life is the ending of all movement of thought, the ending of all problems?
San: That's how I have understood you.
K: Sir, it is much more complex. Shall we discuss that?
R.D.: One difficulty arises in almost all of us - that is, the `I' and thought. When we use the word `thought', we seem to externalize it as if it is there as a kind of object we don't perceive. Insight is to see from within. Is it possible for one to see from within?
K: You have put so many questions. Where shall we start? Do we all see or understand, either verbally or intellectually or deeply, that thought, in itself being limited whatever its activity, is broken up? Do we see it, or intellectually agree with it? The next question that arises would be, is it possible to stop thought, and if it is stopped, then what is my activity in my daily life? Can thought be stopped, and who is it that stops it? If there is an entity which can stop it, that entity is either outside the field of thought or created by thought itself. I am an outside agency and I am going to stop it. If that agency is outside - heaven or god or whatever - then that very outside agency is created by thought. So, our problem then is: Can thought realize itself as limited, and, therefore, being limited, limit itself to a certain activity in daily life? Now, the next question is: Can thought become aware of itself, and in that very awareness put itself in a particular corner, as it were, and from that corner act? But it can't.
D.S.: Let us look at it from another angle then. If I want to put a nail in the wall, I take a hammer and hit the nail. If I want to go rowing in a boat I use an oar and row. What happens to thought? Thought does not see itself in such a fashion. In other words, thought has a function like a nail to a hammer or an oar to a boat. What happens if thought arrogates or takes on more than it is supposed to take on? You were saying thought has a limited function.
K: No sir. This is the question: Can thought become aware of itself as being limited?
R.D.: Can thought intellectually think that it is limited?
K: It is still another thought that says I am limited. So, let us move out of that for a while. Can your consciousness become aware of itself?
P.J.: What is the difference between thought becoming aware of itself and consciousness becoming aware of itself? Does consciousness itself have a capacity to reflect itself?
K: Has consciousness the capacity to observe itself, not reflect itself? Is there in consciousness a seeing or an element that observes itself as is? It is very important to find out if there is observation. Is there an observer observing, or there is only pure observation?
P.K.S.: If consciousness can observe itself, then I think we are introducing a duality within consciousness itself.
K: Sir, consciousness is full of duality. I do, I don't, I must not, fear, courage - the whole of that is consciousness. That's why it is so difficult. I say one thing, you say another. We never meet.
M.Z.: Are we admitting that thought is capable of recognising a fact?
S.P.: Is awareness of consciousness part of consciousness?
K: I would like to discuss it. Is there an observation without the observer? Because if there is, then that observation operates on the whole of consciousness. It is important to discuss this question of observation. We are missing a very important thing, which is, there is only observation, not the observer.
D.S.: If I know that there is observation without the observer, I have already introduced an observer.
K: Why is there not pure observation? It is because you are introducing an observer into observation. So, who is the observer? Am I introducing the observer into observation? I am saying: As long as there is an observer different from his observation and what is observed, there must be duality. As most of us observe with the observer, we, therefore, have to examine what the observer is. I want to come to a point where I can carry this out in my daily life. How can I observe without the observer? Can I observe my actions, my wife, my husband, my children, the whole cultural tradition, without the observer? Who is the observer to whom you give so much importance?
P.K.S.: Sir, you seem to be dogmatically accepting the distinction between the observer and observation as though there is an observer apart from observation.
K: No. I said we have established this in our life - the observer, `I am observing', `I am looking', `My opinion is that', and so on. That is the whole build-up through generations, the idea that the observer is different from that which he is observing. I observe this house. Obviously the home is different from me, from the observer.
P.K.S.: The object is different from the observer but observation is not.
K: I am coming to that. There is an observation of that thing called a tree. There is an observation, and I say it is a tree, and so on. Now, we are talking about psychological observation. In that observation, there is a duality - I and the thing I am observing. It is the observer who brings about this distinction. Now, what is the observer?
S.P.: The whole collection of experience and identification is the observer. The observer has many depths.
K: That is, knowledge, the past; the past being accumulation of knowledge, experience of mankind - racial, non-racial. The observer is the past.
A.P.: With one addition - the observer is the past plus the sense of continuity.
K: The continuity is the observer who is the past meeting the present, modifying itself and continuing the present.
San: The observer has depths which are very difficult to fathom.
K: I don't think so. I know the observer has depth, the depth being knowledge of centuries.
P.J.: The nature of the observer is the field of consciousness. What is the totality of the observer, the totality of consciousness?
K: You talked about totality of consciousness and whether there can be an observation without the observer. Now, when you say there are depths to the observer, I say the observer himself is the field of consciousness. The totality of the observer is itself the field of observation. You can keep on expanding the observer endlessly.
Look, Pupulji. Make it very simple: Can I observe my wife or my husband without all the accumulation that I have had during my twenty years of life with her or him?
P.J.: I may say `yes'.
K: That would just be agreeing. We are not meeting the point. Can I observe my wife or husband with whom I have lived, and about whom, during the course of those twenty years, I have accumulated knowledge, as she has about me? Can I observe her without the accumulated knowledge?
San: As it is, it is not possible.
K: The observer is the past, whether it is the totality of consciousness, infinite depth and so on. Can you observe your wife, husband, as though you are seeing a human for the first time? Then your whole relationship changes.
S.P.: There is one difficulty. There have been occasions when one can see a husband or a friend without any movement of the past. So, one sees it is possible to see that way. When you say the entire relationship is changed for ever, then the difficulty arises.
K: All right. Have we communicated to each other that the observer who is the past and, therefore, time-bound creates the distinction between himself and his wife - dominating her, pushing her? So, the past is always operating. And, therefore, his relationship with her is based not on affection, not on love, but on the past.
S.P.: We have affection.
K: I question it. Can we have affection if there is the operation of the past?
San: There is only one way out.
K: I am not seeking a way out. I want to understand the problem in which I live. There is no way out. All I am concerned with is how I approach a problem, because the approach is going to dictate the understanding of the problem.
P.K.S.: Then the question arises: Is the observer able to observe the past?
K: That constitutes the ego, the `I', the self, the `me'.
P.J.: You say: Can the observer observe the past? That is the essential nature of the enquiry. Is it possible for an observation to be there without the observer?
San: Is that the question or something different: (a) Can you make an observation without the burden of the past; or (b) Can there be an observation without the observer? I find a world of difference between the two.
K: Sir, this is the problem with all of us. Can I observe a thing without all the burden of the past? Because, if it is possible to observe totally, then that observation is not time-bound, it is not a continuity. The moment you do it, don't you fall into a new mode of existence; something totally irrevocable?
P.J.: How is it possible?
S.P.: At this point, what does the mind do? What can it do? There is no movement of thought.
K: That's why I am enquiring into the process of observing the observer. The observer is the past. Can the observer see the movement of the past as it operates? Is there an observation of the past - the hurt, for example? Is there an observation of the movement of hurt, the whole cycle of hurt, psychologically, biologically, physically and so on, the hurt which involves resistance, agony, pain, all that? Can there be an observation of that hurt, that observation telling the story of the hurt, revealing itself? Is it impractical?
S.P.: Again, we are taking a fragmentary view of the whole thing.
D.S.: Everything you see in some way is the action of the observer. So, every question arises in the condition of the observer.
K: If I tell you a simple fact, that love is not of time, then duality, the observer, everything ends. Now, what is a religious life? Obviously, all things that go on in the name of religion are not religion - all the rituals, the puja, the gods, all that is out. Then what will it be? All that is thrown out, which means you are throwing out yourself, the `me'. So, the essence of religion is the total absence of the `me', of the `self.
San: What is it you mean by self? Is it ego?
K: Ego, which means my characteristics, my desires, my fears.
San: But is it not the mechanism of observation - an instrument to observe?
A.P.: Would you accept it if I say that the self is only an adhesive, it has the quality of making things stick to it.
K: The description is not the self. I want to see what the self is. Can that self be washed off? Can I get rid of my jealousy, anger? As long as that is there - fear of this or that - I have no religious mind. I can pretend to be religious by going to a temple. You have to see that you are selfish. The self is jealousy, envy, greed, authority, power, position, domination, attachment. End it. And can you be selfless, can you live without the self and live in this world? Is that what you asked?
San: Not exactly that. We left at the point that the solution of all problems is to stop thinking, stop the whole process of thinking. It will be more fruitful if we find a technique for this.
K: Sir, the word `technique' signifies practice, a continuous repetition and that makes the mind mechanical. A mechanical mind can never have love. Please see that any system will make the mind mechanical. If you see it intellectually, probe it further. We have had systems galore and nobody has come to anything with these systems.
D.S.: The fact is that we have talked about it many times. Inevitably the question is: Is there a system? In the very nature of the observer arise the questions: How can I be religious, how can I be unselfish, how can I be this, how can I be that? Everybody wants to get another drug; everybody is trying to get there.
K: Yes sir, every body wants to be something else. Everybody is doing something. So, all I say is: Start where you are.
D.S.: You stick to that?
K: I do.
D.S.: But you talk of being unselfish.
M.Z.: Envy, jealousy and all this is where you are.
D.S.: In all that he has said, there is a subtle suggestion that you can get rid of jealousy, envy.
K: No sir. That is your comprehension, rather misinterpretation. I am saying: Start near. Because, if you know this whole history of man which is you, it is finished.
D.S.: You just don't change that.
K: It is a book, a vast book, and I read it. I am not trying to change it. I want to read the whole history instantly.
S.P.: Without movement in time, how can you read?
K: I just want to know the whole content of myself. My whole consciousness is its content. And I am investigating. You can investigate something when you are free, when there is no prejudice, belief, conclusion.
R.D.: Then there is no investigation at all of the history. The history is the prejudice, and you are saying, `Read it.'
K: Then it is finished. I have come to the end of the chapter.
S.P.: Then you are not really interested in investigating the content but in stopping?
R.D.: There are people who are seeking systems. I see intellectually that a system will not end the problem at all. So, I don't seek. Now the question is, what do I do? I am learning and observing, but my tool of observation is still the intellect. And I am sitting and observing with you. The tool is inadequate - investigation through knowledge. I see this now; I see something very practical. I have denied systems, denied practice. Where am I?
K: If you have put away systems, practice, what is the quality of your mind?
R.D.: It is enquiring, investigating.
K: You are not answering my question. What is the state of your mind when you have put away systems? Look, sirs, you have seen something false, and you have dropped it. You have put away systems. Why have you put them away? Because you see they are silly, you logically see it. Which means what? Your mind has become sharper, more intelligent. That intelligence is going to observe, put away everything that is false. That intelligence sees fragmentarily or sees the wholeness of it. When you put away something false, your mind is lighter. It is like climbing a mountain and throwing away that which you don't need. Your mind becomes very, very clear. So your mind has the capacity of perceiving that which is true and that which is false.
Discard everything that is false, which is, everything that thought has put together. Then the mind has no illusion. Sir, that is the whole book, I am not reading anything but the book. I began with the first chapter which says: Be aware of your senses. And the next chapter says: Human beings have their partial senses, exaggerating one sense and denying the others. The third chapter says: See that all the senses can operate; that means there is no centre of a particular sensory operation. And the fourth chapter and so on. I am not going to read the book for you. Read it and explore the nature of the religious life.