Way of Intelligence
Seminar Rishi Valley
1st February 1980
Intelligence, Computers and The Mechanical Mind
K: We have been talking about the relationship between the brain and the computer: are they similar or intrinsically different, and what is the difference? There is very little difference as far as I understand. The brain which is the storehouse of memory, knowledge, is programmed according to a particular culture, religion, economic conditions and so on. The computer is also programmed by human beings. So there is great similarity between the two. The computer people are enquiring, if I understand it rightly, what is the difference then between the brain and the computer which also has been programmed, which is learning, correcting itself and learning more and more? It also is the storehouse of a certain kind of knowledge. Then, what is the essential difference between that and the brain? Or is there a totally different activity of the brain which is not comparable to the computer?
Q: No computer has feelings. There is a difference between animate matter and inanimate matter. No computer has feeling of any kind or consciousness. So, there is a fundamental difference between the two.
K: Then what is consciousness?
Sriram: They have produced a computer programme and it was a psychiatrists' programme. They set up a booth into which people could go and communicate with this computer through the screen and they would say things to the computer such as I am having difficulties with my wife, she doesn't understand me; and the computer would produce answers and questions and psychoanalyse them. And when these people came out they were convinced that the computer understood them better than anyone else. And they wanted to go back to it, to be analysed by it again, and this was a machine which was not supposed to have feelings or understanding.
K: But there are people who say the brain has a quality which is totally different from the computer. I accept it, and if I may explain it a little more, our brain works on the basis of experience and knowledge, and the brain or thought has created the psychological world. So the brain and the psyche are the same essentially but we have divided them. Thought has created the psyche with all psychological problems. Knowledge is the basis of all this. And the computer can produce exactly the same thing.
Sir, could we for the moment forget the computer and examine the brain in ourselves - how it operates, what is the relationship between the capacity to think and the psychological structure - and then go back to the computer? As far as I see, I start with scepticism; for scepticism is the essential capacity to doubt what you are observing, what you are feeling. Now, I have this brain which has been cultivated through millennia. It is not my brain; it is the brain of humanity. Therefore, it is not I who am investigating. There is no `me' at all. I don't know if you have come to that point.
A.C.: Sir, the brain is the only instrument we have for investigation. The brain as you have said is Limited, stupid. It is good with memory responses.
K: Which is generally called intelligence.
A.C.: Even people who work with the computer know how stupid it is.
K: Don't bring in the computer yet.
A.C.: Once you see the similarity between the brain and the computer, and you see how stupid the computer is, it is very easy to see the limitations of the brain. But the human brain is the only instrument we have. How can it possibly investigate what is beyond it?
K: Absolutely not.
A.C.: Then what exists?
K: Only the movement of thought.
A.C.: Which is the brain?
K: Which is the brain, limited.
A.C.: How can it investigate?
K: Wait. First let us recognise that the brain has evolved from the primitive up to now. It is not my individual brain; it is the brain of humanity. It is so, logically. Therefore, the idea of the `me' is imposed by thought to limit itself to an action.
A.C.: The idea of the `me' as an individual?
K: To limit itself because it cannot possibly conceive the totality of humanity. It can conceive in theory but in reality it cannot see the wholeness of it. So, we recognise that thought which has created and cultivated the psyche is more important than the operations of the brain.
A.C.: The cultivated brain is much more dangerous because the psyche has at its disposal a very efficient instrument.
K: Psyche in the dictionary means the soul, the ecclesiastical concept of an entity which is not material. Thought has created the psyche and thought has also imagined or conceived that psyche as different from the brain. For me both are the same. The brain with all the activity of thought born of knowledge, etc. has created the psyche.
A.C.: Are you saying the brain is also the seat of emotion?
K: Of course, the seat of fear, anxiety, etc. The brain and the psyche are one. Follow the consequences. Do you see factually, not theoretically, that the brain with all the activity of thought, born of knowledge, is part of the same movement as the `psyche' and that thought has created the `I', the `me', separate from the rest of humanity, and thought has made the `me' more important than anybody else?
G.N.: Are you saying that thought creates the psyche and thought divides the brain from the psyche, but brain and psyche go together?
K: That is right, and in that process is created the `I'.
G.N.: And that makes the brain mechanical?
K: All knowledge is mechanical. Knowledge is a mechanical process of acquisition. I mean by mechanical, repetitive, which is experience, knowledge, thought, action. From that action you learn and you are back again. This repetitive process is mechanical, my brain is mechanical. Now is my psyche mechanical?
Q: Why are we making the division between the psyche and the brain?
K.: Thought controls the psyche - `I must not feel this.' `I must become that.' So the becoming is the psychological process invented by thought. And so the whole process is mechanical.
A.P.: There is a mystique about human existence.
K: I have no mystique.
A.C.: I think the crucial thing is why the brain, the psyche, is mechanical. I find no difficulty in accepting this.
K: They have also found that the brain, when it is in danger, produces its own mechanical reaction which will protect it. These are material processes. So, thought is a material process. Do you agree? Do you agree that the psyche is a material process? That is the crux.
A.C.: I think what he is saying is that when the brain sees the totality, then thought ceases, the `I' ceases.
K: I don't think the brain can see the totality. That is the point. The brain is evolved through time, time being knowledge, from the most primitive to the highly sophisticated. There is evolution in time, in knowledge. That is a material process. That thought has created the `I' with its psychological mess. I am not saying it is mystical and all that. Would you agree?
SAT.: Now, what could be a non-material process?
K: That which is non-matter, that which is no-knowledge, that which is not of time, that which has nothing to do with the brain. But it is speculation for you. Let us start with something factual.
So, do we admit that all thinking in any form is a material process, whether we think of the eternal, of god or the supreme principle, it is material process? If you agree, then we can proceed. It takes a long time to come to this: The psyche, the brain, the I, are all a material process.
A.C.: I want to know where you are taking me.
K: I am going to help you to take the first step. I have only come to a point which is very simple. I said that the brain has evolved in time. Therefore, it is evolved with knowledge. So, knowledge is time, and time and knowledge are a mechanical process. And thought has created the psyche. Follow it; if everything is movement, thought, psyche, time - it is all a material movement - the brain cannot stand this constant movement. The brain functions with knowledge, and it must have security. See how the brain rejects the idea of constant movement. Watch it, watch yourself. You want a place where you can rest. The brain says I must have some place where I can stay put. So that becomes the `I'. Sir, if I am a beggar everlastingly wandering, there must be some place where I can rest, some place where there is security. Can the brain accept this constant, endless movement? It cannot accept it; in that there is no security. It is eternally moving within the area of time, knowledge.
A.C.: Is it a question of accepting?
K: No. See how the brain works. As a child needs security, the brain says, I can't keep this eternal movement. So, I must have some point where I can stay `quiet'. That is all.
A.C.: That point you call the `I'.
K: A fixed point. It does not matter; a house, a belief, a symbol, an attachment. Do you get it? So, whether it is illusory or actual, it needs a fixed point.
A.C.: Then what?
K: The brain cannot live with perpetual movement. Therefore, it must have a fixed point. There is danger in not accepting the movement which is life. See physically what happens. Can you accept life as a perpetual movement within the area of time and knowledge? Verbally you can, but actually can you say life is constant movement?
Q: Is the brain itself responsible for this movement?
K: It is. The brain is thought, knowledge and the psyche.
Q: It creates the movement which it cannot stand.
K: It is movement itself.
Q: The instinct of the brain is to move towards security; and it is this instinct to avoid danger and to attach itself to security which makes it fix on something.
K: Of course. Would you accept this whole movement within this area as energy caught within this?
Q: Is it energy or does it require energy?
K: It is energy, caught in movement. Right? And that energy is a material process. And a human being cannot live in the world and have a brain that is constantly in movement - he would go mad.
A.C.: It seeks permanence, does not find it any more.
K: Realizing this constant movement, it seeks security, a movement where it can be sure. That is all I am saying.
A.C.: Is it important?
K: It is important to establish that the `I' is the centre where it finds security. Call it whatever you like. Then it begins to discover it is insecure, and, therefore, it finds another security. There is only search for security. Take a child with a toy, and the other child says I must have that toy. That attachment to that toy and the pleasure of the toy is the beginning. The beginning is from the beginning of man.
A.C.: The question is that energy.
K: No, I said energy trapped.
A.C.: How can you open the door in which energy is trapped?
K: Now comes the real question. How long we have taken to come to this! Can we proceed from here?
A.C.: You said energy is trapped in knowledge. Are you making a distinction between energy and thought?
K: No. The whole thing is energy trapped. Thought is energy, knowledge is energy, the whole movement is within the area of knowledge and time. That is all I am saying.
A.C.: Then the next question obviously is that since thought and knowledge are limited, can energy stop expressing itself as thought?
K: No, no, it cannot. Otherwise, I can't go to the office.
A.C.: I talk of energy expressing itself as psychological memory.
K: I know what you are trying to say, which is, can the psyche have no existence at all? Don't agree. If there is no content to the psyche - anxiety, attachment, fear, pleasure, which makes the psyche, which are all the products of thought - then what is life?
A.C.: Which is the product of energy?
K: Which is the product of energy trapped in time. You see that clearly. Therefore, thought is saying I must create order in this area. Therefore, that order is always limited; therefore, it is contradictory; therefore, it is disorder.
A.C.: I am still not clear about energy and thought. It appears to me that you were saying that thought is limited but energy is not.
K: I said energy is trapped. I didn't say any more than that.
A.C.: You are saying energy is trapped, but if it is not trapped, it would be different. That is what I am asking. There is difference between energy and thought.
K: That is theory.
N.S.: Are you saying there is an energy which is not trapped in thought?
K: I am going to show it to you. That question can only arise when we have seen this in its completeness. I am not sure we see this.
N.S.: You said that thought is energy and that energy is trapped in thought.
K: No, I didn't say that. The brain is the product of time, time is knowledge, experience - time, knowledge, thought. Thought is a material process. All that is energy. All that energy, that whole movement, is endless within this area. Therefore, the brain cannot stand it. It must have security. It finds it in knowledge or in illusion, or in an idea, whatever it is. It is always moving within this area. What is the next question?
A.C.: The next question is energy is trapped, and is there an opening for that trapped energy?
K: It is trapped. I don't say there is an opening.
A.C.: Does it not imply that?
K: No, sir. A trap is set to catch a fox.
A.C.: It implies that something outside the trap can set the fox free.
K: No. You miss my point. In here thought is trying to create order; that very order becomes disorder. That is what is happening actually - politically, religiously; that is the whole point. It is becoming disorder, more and more, because we are giving importance to thought. Thought is limited. Now, does the brain realize this? Does the brain realize that whatever it does is within its own limitation and, therefore disorder? We are stating it. And the next question is, is that theory or actual realization?
A.C.: How can the brain which is all this realize it actually?
K: Realize its limitation, that is all. Sir, what do you mean by the word `realise'?
A.C.: What I mean is, the brain is only capable of thought; it realizes it as knowledge.
K: Do you, as Asit, realize it in the sense that you realize pain? I know I have pain, there is complete knowledge of pain. Does the brain see its tremendous limitation? Let us begin again. What is perception? What is seeing? There is intellectual seeing; I understand, comprehend, discern. Then there is seeing through hearing, verbal hearing and capturing the significance. Then there is optical seeing. Now, is there a different perception which doesn't belong to any of these three? I am asking; I am not saying there is. I am sceptical. First see this: I see how my mind operates - intellectually, through hearing, optically. That is all I know. So, through these media, I say I understand or I act, which is a material process. Get the point? That is all. Now, is there any other perception which is not a material process?
Sriram: Therefore, that is not part of the brain.
K: I don't want to say that yet.
Sriram: Is there another kind of perception which is not of the brain?
K: Look, I understand through the intellect, reason and logic, and then there is hearing which is not only verbal but going beyond the words. Go step by step: Intellectual, audio, visual, optical, then touching or gestures, all these are material processes. That is all I am saying. Then I am asking myself, is there a perception which is not this? There may not be, but I am sceptical, so I am asking. Answer it.
A.C.: I can ask this question, but I can't answer it.
K: You will answer it presently. I want to find out. Don't say you can't answer. I won't accept it. Because by saying that you have already blocked yourself.
A.C.: May I ask a question? In order to see something you have to be outside of it.
K: We are coming to that. Look, so far we have said this is the only medium through which we understand. I don't know anything else. But I want to be quite sure this is the only way I understand.
A. C.: When you say that, after you have understood completely that this is the only perception we know, that very statement has put you outside. Otherwise what does the word `understanding' mean?
K: Is that the only medium through which I understand? Punishment, reward, all that is implied in this intellectual, optical, audio... all that. I know that these are the factors that help my brain to say, `Yes, I understand.'
A.C.: Are you saying that understanding is also the same process?
K: Wait sir. It is all within that. I see this is a material process and, therefore, it is still here. Don't go back to that, we are pushing away from it. So, I come to that point, my brain comes to that point, and it stops. Because it is questioning. It has questioned all this and that is the only thing - the brain, the material process. Now you come along and say let us enquire if there is any other process. And I say, `This is the only process I know. There may be no other process. Show it to me.' Don't repeat. You are going to repeat the same thing over and over again. I am trying to stop you from repetition. So, you are stuck. Remain stuck there. See what we have done? We have activated the brain to a tremendous extent. I don't know if you follow this. I wonder if you see.
Alan Hooker: Taking the brain to its limit.
K: Yes, we are taking it to its very limit. So, it is a tremendous thing. Now answer it.
A.H.: What is the question?
K: Is there a perception which is not of time? Perception so far has created disorder in our life. Is there a perception which will clear all that? Which means, is there a perception out of time? I am asking you.
Q: We are stuck.
K.: Be stuck there, be stuck. I wish you were. When you are really stuck, another perception is taking place.
Q: But we are generally trying to get out of it.
K: No, that is still the same old process - you are not stuck.
Sarjit Siddhoo: After listening to you, there has been a great movement within the mind, in the brain, but as you have brought us to this point, this movement seems to have stopped.
K: Is that it? Movement means time. Is there no movement in the brain? You get my point? Are you still moving? When you say you are stuck, it means all movement has stopped. Do you see it?
Q: In trying to answer this question, does it not continue that movement?
K: No, if you are stuck, there is no movement. It is like being stuck in quicksand - the body can't move.
S.S.: Unfortunately, that movement has stopped and that silence is there very briefly. Then we are back again in the same movement.
K: No, no. Then you are not stuck.
Q: Are you suggesting that stopping is a permanent state?
K: I am not suggesting anything. I am just saying you come to the point when your brain is being so tremendously activated that you can't go any further, you can't move back or forth.
A.C.: Only one question remains. Have you activated the brain?
K: Are you asking whether K has activated the brain, the brain which is not yours, nor mine, nor his? What do you say? Yes, we have activated it.
Seminar Rishi Valley
4th December 1980
Intelligence, Computers and The Mechanical Mind
K: Asit and I have been talking about the relationship of the human mind to the computer. He is involved in the manufacture of computers. And we have been trying, in different parts of the world, wherever we met, to find out what is intelligence. Is there an action which the computer cannot possibly do, something far more penetrating than anything man can do externally. And our conversation has been going on for several years. So I thought this morning we should meet and go into this matter.
A.C.: The Americans are developing super computers, and we as human beings have to, in a sense, do the same thing. We have to be more intelligent than the technology of the Americans to counteract the threat of that technology. And the technology is not only in computers, it is also in genetic engineering, cloning, biochemistry, etc. They are trying to control genetic characteristics completely. Since the brain has no nerves, during brain surgery the patient is conscious. One can communicate with him. I'm sure it's a matter of time before computer-brain interfaces are created. Then, in Russia, there is a great deal of research being done on the ability to read thoughts and transmit them to someone else. I would like to speculate a little bit, I am using the word `speculate' in the sense of seeing certain problems now which are solvable technologically in the next few years. I think it is important to do this because you are not merely talking to us but you are also talking to those in the centuries to come, to whom all this will be a reality. For example, consider the role of the teacher today. You can get a small computer, you put a magnetic strip in it and it will communicate in French with you, put another strip in and it is fluent in Arabic, Japanese, instantaneously. Suppose the strip could be put into a human brain; the problem is only the interface between the brain and the strip, because the brain operates as an electrical circuit. Then what happens to the role of the teacher? The next point is that in affluent societies, because of the tremendous increase in physical appliances like motor cars and washing machines, the body has deteriorated. Now, since more and more mental functions are going to be taken over by computer, the mind is going to deteriorate not only at the level of what you are talking about, but even in ordinary functioning. I see this as an enormous problem. How does one face this problem in a world which is moving in this direction?
K: If learning can be done instantaneously, if I can be a linguist when I wake up in the morning, then what is the function of the brain? What is the function of the human being?
P.J.: Is it not a problem of what is humanness? What is it to be a human being apart from all this?
K: Apparently, a human being, as he is, is a mass of accumulated knowledge and reactions according to that knowledge. Would you agree to that? And as the machine, the computer is going to take charge of all that, what then is the human being? What is the function of a school then? Think a great deal about this. This is not something that needs quick response. This is tremendously serious. What is a human being if his fears, his sorrows, his anxieties are all wiped away by chemicals or by some implanted electric circuitry? Then what am I? I don't think we get the fullness of it.
P.J.: If you take a strong tranquillizer, your anxieties are temporarily over. That is not arguable. But if you can clone, you can do anything. We are missing something in all this. I don't think we are getting to the central thing. There is something else also involved in this.
K: Look, Pupulji, if my anxieties, fears, sufferings can be allayed and my pleasure increased, I ask then what is a human being? What is our mind?
A.P.: Do I understand that while, on the one hand, man has developed these extraordinary capacities, there is also a corresponding process of deterioration in the mind which is a side-effect of super mechanization?
A.C.: If you have a car and you stop walking, your body will deteriorate. So, if the computer takes over mental functions, the mind deteriorates. I mean just that.
K: I don't think we understand the depth of what is happening. We are arguing over whether it can happen. It is going to happen. Then what are we? What is a human being then? And then, when the machine, the chemicals - I am using the word `computer' to include all that - when the computer is going to take us over completely and we no longer exercise our brains, they physically deteriorate, how shall we prevent that? What shall I do? I must exercise my brain. Now it is being exercised through pain, through pleasure, through suffering, anxiety, all the rest of it. But it is working. And when the machine and chemicals take over, it will cease to work. And if it is not working, it will deteriorate; because we have problems, it acts.
Can we start with the assumption that these things are going to happen, whether we like it or not? They are happening, unless we are blind or uninformed. Then, let us enquire if the mind is deprived chemically of its problems or by the computer, whether it can survive at all.
A.P.: I am not quite clear about one point. There is in each human being a feeling of a void, of emptiness, which needs to be filled.
K: It will be filled by chemicals.
A.P.: It cannot be filled. No, sir.
K: Oh yes, it will be.
A.P.: I am questioning that. There is a strange void in every human being. There is a seed that is groping.
R.B.: What he is saying is that there will be other forms of LSD without the side-effects which will fill that gap.
K: Take a pill and you will never feel the void.
A.P.: At some point you have to see that there is something which will remain untouched.
A.C.: What if you don't find that?
A.P.: Before you come to that, the finding of that, at least you must posit a need for that.
K: I am positing a need.
A.P.: What is the need?.
K: The need is for chemicals, and the computer is going to destroy me, destroy my brain.
A.C.: I am saying something slightly different, that is, if this technology continues, there won't be any void in any human beings because eventually they may die out as a species. At the same time, as a human being, I feel there is something else which I don't know but want to find out. Is there something which is different, which needs to be preserved? Can I understand intelligence? How am I going to preserve that against all these dangers?
K: Asit, it may not be preservation at all. Look, sir, let us take for granted that chemicals - the computer - is going to take man over. And if the brain is not exercised as it is being exercised with problems of anxieties, fears, etc., then it will inevitably deteriorate. And deterioration means man gradually becoming a robot. Then I say to myself, as a human being who has survived several million years, is he to end like this? It may be so - and probably will.
A.C.: It seems to me that the movement of this technology is a very evil thing because there is a certain goodness which is being destroyed.
A.C.: The technology is created by human beings. There seems to be a movement of evil, and the evil thing is going to take over.
K: Is that evil? Why do you call it evil?
A.C.: Evil because it is destroying the world.
K: But we are destroying ourselves. The machine is not destroying us. We are destroying ourselves.
A.C.: So the question is how is man to create this technology and yet not be destroyed by it.
K: That is right. The mind is deteriorating because it will not allow anything to penetrate its values, dogmas. It is stuck there. If I have a strong conviction or opinion, I am deteriorating. And the machine is going to help us deteriorate faster. That is all. So, what is a human being to do? Then I ask, what is a human being, deprived of all this, if he has no problems and is only pursuing pleasure? I think that is the root of it. This is what man seeks now, in different forms. And he will be encouraged in that by the machine, by the drug. The human being will be nothing, but involved in the pursuit of pleasure.
A.C.: And the computer and television will provide the pleasure right in his home. We are saying there are not only computer scientists but there are also genetic scientists and multinationals engaged in entertainment electronics and they are going to converge to a point where man will end up either by destroying the capacity of the human brain or as a human being in a constant state of pleasure without any side-effects. And the pleasure will be obtained through the computer and chemicals, and direct relationships with other human beings will gradually disappear.
K: Perhaps no chemists, no computer experts have gone so far as yet but we have to be ahead of them. That is what I feel. So, what is it that man has pursued all through his existence? From time immemorial what is the stream he has always followed? Pleasure?
A.C.: Pleasure, but also the ending of sorrow.
K: Pleasure, avoid the other, but essentially pleasure.
A.C.: He pursues pleasure and at some point he sees the need not merely for pleasure, but in the negative sense, the ending of suffering.
K: Which means pleasure.
A.C.: Is the ending of suffering pleasure?
K: No. You are missing my point. I want pleasure at any price and suffering is an indication to me that I am not having pleasure. Dispute it; don't accept it.
A.C.: What I am saying is, historically man has always pursued pleasure.
K: Which means what? Go on, analyse it.
A.C.: The self has pursued it.
A.P.: When you say `self', are you talking of the physical self or the psychological self?
K: Both. I want to survive physically and psychologically, and to survive, I must do certain things, and to do certain things, they must be pleasurable. Sir, look into this very carefully. Ultimately man wants pleasure. The pursuit of god is pleasure. Right? Is that what is going to be encouraged by the machine, drugs - that man will be merely an entity that is concerned with pleasure? Is the conflict to find a balance between the two? Pleasure is the most destructive thing in life.
I don't think you understand the significance of this. The conflict between good and evil has existed from time immemorial. The problem is to find a balance or a state where this conflict does not exist, which is pleasure. And pleasure is the most destructive thing in life. Right?
A.P.: In terms of what you are saying, does the search for freeing the mind from bondage come into the realm of pleasure?
A.C.: We, in fact, reduce everything to that: That is what human beings have done. Attachment, bondage create suffering. That is why we want freedom. Can we see that all human actions ultimately end in wanting happiness or pleasure, and they are enormously destructive? They have ended up in a technology which is also a pursuit of pleasure, which is self-destructive. There must be some other movement of the mind which is not seeking pleasure, which is not self-destructive, I don't know if there is, but there must be.
K: Asit, let us get this clear between ourselves, you and I. It is a fact that human beings historically up to now have always been in conflict between good and bad; their ancient paintings indicate a struggle. The spirit of conquering pervades, which ends up in pleasure. I have looked at it and I realize instantly that the whole movement of man has been this. I don't think anybody can dispute this. I am saying the whole of it, not only physical, but also psychological. Self-preservation is also part of that movement. That is a fact. Is that destructive of the mind, of the brain?
R.B.: Sir, what do you mean by good and evil when you say it is trying to balance the good and evil which is pleasure?
K: You have seen those cave paintings, fifty thousand years old, paintings in the caves of France and Spain. There you see man struggling against the bull.
R.B.: Yes. It exists everywhere in some form or other.
K: Yes. This conflict between the two - what is called good, what is called evil - has existed from time immemorial. Right? And man has invented the good and the evil. Watch it, watch your own mind. Don't theorize. Look at yourself if you can, and see what is good and what is evil. The fact is never evil. Right? Anger is anger. But I say it is evil, Therefore, I must get rid of anger. But anger is a fact. Why do you want to name it bad and good?
R.B.: Whether you name it bad or not, it can be terribly destructive.
K: It can be very destructive, but the moment I have called it bad, it is something to be avoided, right? And the conflict begins. But it is a fact. Why do you call it anything else?
P.J.: Take the pursuit of black magic. Would you say the pursuit of that in its very nature is evil or not?
K: What do you call black magic?
P.J.: Black magic is the pursuit of something with the intention of destroying another.
K: Which is what we are doing, though we may not call it black magic; but what is war?
P.J.: Let me go slowly; you are rushing us. What I speak about brings into operation, supposedly, powers which are not physical powers.
K: I had seen here at Rishi Valley some years ago, under a tree, a figure of a man or a woman in which they had put pins. I asked what it was about, and they explained it to me. Now, there was the intention to hurt somebody. Between that and the intention to go to war, what is the difference?
You are losing an awful lot, you are missing an awful lot. You are all so damn clever, that is what is wrong with you. Light is neither good nor bad. Which means what? Look, sir, the computer, the chemicals, are taking over man. This is neither good nor bad - it is happening. Of course, there is cruelty; of course, there is kindness. It is obvious. The mother beating up a child and somebody having compassion and saying, don't hurt anyone - there is a difference, that is obvious. Why do you call it good or bad? Why do you call it evil? I am objecting to the word, that is all.
Can we move to something else, which is, pleasure is always in the known. I have no pleasure today but day after tomorrow it might happen. I like to think it will happen. I don't know if you see what I mean. Pleasure is a time movement. Is there pleasure that is not based on knowledge? My whole life is the known. I project the known into the future modifying it but it is still the known. I have no pleasure in the unknown. And the computer, etc. is in the field of the known. Now the real question is whether there is freedom from the known. That is the real question because pleasure is there, suffering is there, fear is there, the whole movement of the mind is the known. And it may project the unknown, theorize, but that is not a fact. So, computers, chemicals, genetics, cloning are all the known. So, can there be freedom from the known? The known is destroying man. The astrophysicists are going to space from the known. They are pursuing the investigation of the heavens, the cosmos, through instruments constructed by thought, and they are looking through those instruments and discovering the universe, watching what it is; it is still the known.
P.J.: A very interesting thing struck me just now. The present mind of man, in the way it is functioning, is threatened. It is being destroyed. Either the machine takes it over and it is destroyed, or the other freedom from the known will also destroy its present functioning. The challenge is much deeper.
K: Yes. That is what I said. You got it. What Pupul is saying is, if I understand rightly, the known in which our minds are functioning is destroying us. The known is also the future projections as the machine, drugs, genetics, cloning all that is born out of these. So both are destroying us.
A.C.: She is also saying the mind of man has always moved in the known, in pursuit of pleasure. That has resulted in technology which will destroy it. Then she is saying that the other movement, which is freedom from the known, will also destroy the mind as we know it now.
K: Yes. Freedom from the known? What are you saying?
A.C.: There are two movements, she says. The movement of the known is leading to greater and greater destruction of the mind. The way out is freedom from the known, which is also destroying the movement of the known.
K: Wait. Freedom is not from something. It is an ending. Do you follow?
A.C.: Are you saying, sir, that this freedom from the known is of such a nature that you are not destroying this movement, that thought has its place, mind has its place? Are you saying in that there is freedom?
K: I say there is only freedom, but not from the known.
P.J.: I say the mind is functioning in a particular way, what we call the human mind operates in a certain way. That human mind is put under pressure by technological advances. This other, freedom from the known, also is totally destructive of this function of the mind. Therefore, a new mind - whether born of technology or one which is free of the known - is inevitable. They are the only two things; the present position is out.
K: Let us be clear. Either there must be a new mind or the present thing is going to destroy the mind. Right? But the new mind can only exist actually, not theoretically; it can only exist when knowledge ends. Knowledge has created the machine and we live on knowledge. We are machines; we are now separating the two. The machine is destroying us. The machine is the product of knowledge; we are the product of knowledge. Therefore, knowledge is destroying us, not the machine. So, the question then is, can knowledge end? Not can there be freedom from knowledge? Then you are avoiding or escaping from knowledge.
A.C.: The question is, can knowledge or the action born of knowledge end? Action out of knowledge can end. Knowledge can't end.
K: It can.
A.C.: Action out of knowledge?
K: Action is freedom from knowledge.
A.C.: Knowledge can't end.
K: Yes, sir.
P.J.: What do you mean when you say all knowledge ends.
K: Knowledge is the known, except technological knowledge. Can that knowledge end? Who is to end knowledge? The person who ends knowledge is still part of knowledge. So there is no entity apart from knowledge, which can end knowledge. Please go slowly.
A.C.: There is only knowledge?
K: There is only knowledge, not the ending of knowledge. I don't know if I am making myself clear.
A.C.: So, sir, there is the tremendous force of self-preservation and there is only knowledge. And you are asking, can knowledge end, which means self-annihilation?
K: No, I understand what you are saying. I am leaving now, for the moment, the ending of the self. I am saying the computer, which includes all technology, and my life are based on knowledge. So there is no division between the two.
A.C.: I follow that.
K: This is a tremendous thing. And so long as we are living in knowledge, our brain is being destroyed through routine, the machine, etc. So, the mind is knowledge. There is no question of saying it must free itself from knowledge. See that. There is only the mind which is knowledge.
I am going to tell you something. You see, you have blocked yourself. Don't say it is impossible. If you say it is impossible, you couldn't have invented the computers. Move from there. The mind when it says it must be free, whatever it does, it is within the field of knowledge. So, what is the state of the mind that is completely aware, or knows, or is cognizant that it is entirely knowledge?
I have moved. Don't you see it? Now what has taken place? Apparently knowledge is movement. Knowledge has been acquired through movement. So, knowledge is movement. So, time, all that, is movement.
A.C.: You are speaking of the state of mind when time comes to a stop.
K: That is freedom. Time is movement. Which means what? It is very interesting, sir. Let me put it together. Mind has invented the computer. I have used the word to include all that technology, genetics, cloning, chemicals. That is born from the knowledge which man has acquired. It is still the known, the product of the known, with its hypotheses, theory and refuting the theory and all that. Man has also done exactly the same thing as the machine. So, there is no division between the two. The mind is knowledge. Whatever it does will be born of knowledge - man's gods, his temples are born of knowledge. Knowledge is a movement. Can the movement stop?
That is really freedom. That means perception is free from knowledge and action is not of perception, not out of knowledge. Perception of the snake, the danger is action, but that perception is based on centuries of conditioning about the snake. The perception that I am a Hindu, which has gone on for three thousand years is the same movement. And we are living in the field all the time. That is destructive, not the machine. Unless that machine of the mind stops - not the computer - we are going to destroy ourselves.
So, is there a perception which is not born out of knowledge? Because when this movement stops, there must be action.
A.C.: In other words, it is to act in the world, but nothing sticks, no marks are left. Nothing takes root.
K: Which means what? A perception which is not of knowledge. Is there such perception? Of course, there is perception which cannot be computerized. Is this enquiry born out of the instinct for pleasure? We are all enquiring.
P.J.: I don't know whether it is for pleasure or for something else.
A.C.: It doesn't matter whether the computer can do it or not. It is essential that we do it.
P.J.: Which leads to the position that there is something to enquire into.
K: You see how deep-rooted it is!
A.C.: The question is, what is the mechanism of the mind, what is the structure of the mind which operates with perception, with insight, with no accumulation.
K: But look what we have done - to come to that point, which is perception without record, how long it has taken. Why? Because we function in time.
A.C.: In other words, what you are saying is that you don't have to go through this process. If we have come to this point, and do not act, it is very dangerous, much more dangerous than not having a discussion at all.
K: That is what I am saying. It is a tremendous danger. Have you come to a point where you see what the mind has invented? - the machine which is the computer, drugs, chemicals, cloning, all this. It is the same as our minds. Our minds are as mechanical as that. And we are acting always in that area. And, therefore, we are destroying ourselves. It is not the machine that is destroying us.
P.J.: One can say at the end of it, tapas, tapas, tapas. It means we have not done our homework.
K: I am not sure if you are not back in time. You know, sir, a pianist once said, if you practise, you are practising the wrong thing.
P.J.: It is not a question of practice.
K: Pupulji, there are all the teachers. What are they going to do? Drop a bomb here? You follow what I mean? We are handling a bomb. It may go off any moment. I don't know if you realize this. It is a tremendous thing.
A.C.: It is far more dangerous.
K: This is really frightening. I wonder if you realize it. What will you do? This is real revolution.
A.C.: And not only for teachers and students.
K: Of course, of course.
A.C.: I wanted to ask you, does the mind which has gone with you up to a point, the mind which reaches this point, become much more vulnerable to evil?
K: I understand what you mean. We won't discuss it now. So, sir, the question is stopping movement, ending movement, not ending knowledge. This is the real question.
Seminar Rishi Valley
30th December 1980
Intelligence, Computers and The Mechanical Mind
K: Would you accept that intelligence is not the product of thought? If intelligence is the product of thought, then intelligence is mechanical. Thought can never be non-mechanical.
A.C.: Intelligence can be the product of thought. The computer scientists believe it.
K: That's why they are investigating intelligence through thought.
A.C.: They want to know what is intelligence, and therefore, they want to know what is the thinking process, because the thinking process for them is linked to intelligence.
K: I am not saying it is so, or not.
A.C.: So we have to enquire into what is thought and what is intelligence?
K: If you once admit that intelligence is not the product of thought, then the thinker has no importance.
A.C.: I think you are going too fast. If intelligence is not the product of thought, then thought has no importance. But negatively, it is important because, without understanding it, intelligence cannot come about.
K: Yes. Thought is a mechanical process; therefore, keep it in its right place. But you want to find out what is intelligence. Don't introduce thought into it. Can we go into what that intelligence is which is never touched by thought?
A.C.: Yes, I understand, How does one enquire into what is intelligence?
K: Not by using thought to enquire. If you use thought you are blocking yourself.
A.C.: I follow, in the sense that you are saying, don't use thought or the thinking process to enquire into what is intelligence.
K: Because intelligence is not the product of thought.
A.C.: I don't know that. If you say, don't use thought to enquire, then what do you want?
K: That's just it. Let us go into it. But let us be quite sure that thought cannot produce intelligence. Thought has produced the atom bomb, it has produced war. But you are enquiring into something which thought cannot enquire into. You are enquiring into what is intelligence. We say it is not a product of thought. If it is, you are operating with thought.
A.C.: I accept this; that's clear. I accept that you cannot use the tool - the thought process - to enquire into intelligence. Then how do you enquire?
K: But first we must be quite sure that we accept that.
A.C.: I can see that. Now - for then everything would be intelligence, everything that is thought. And it is not intelligence.
K: Of course.
A.C.: I see that there is no such thing as inefficient thought, good thought, bad thought, that is quite clear.
K: What the computer experts are doing in Japan is to enquire into thought.
A.C.: That is why they are stuck because they never reach intelligence.
K: Yes, The Indians have tried to suppress thought, control thought.
A.C.: Why have they said that?
K: Because they feel if thought stops, the other may exist. Meditation to them is that.
A.C.: That means they had an insight into this other thing?
K: No. Look sir, perhaps the Buddha may have seen that intelligence is not thought. The other have spoken of how to suppress thought, control it. To them that is meditation. Which means what? That which is intelligence cannot be found through thought; therefore, suppress it.
A.C.: Do you feel that they have some insight into this whole thing? If someone told you, suppress thought, contain it, wouldn't you feel that the person had some insight into it? Can one refine thought?
K: Thought is as the child of a barren woman. Which means what?
A.C.: It's not creative. The computer scientists are trying to create a computer like the human brain, but they can`t do it because they don't know the thinking process. I wonder whether Indians who are supposed to have investigated for five thousand years into the human mind, nirvana and the other, could get together to create this.
K: Which two getting together?
A.C.: The Indian mind and the mind of technology.
K: Listen, the Buddha might have said there is intelligence that has nothing to do with thought. The rest of them read it or heard it; they translated that or repeated that.
A.C.: So, there is no meaning to their investigation.
K: It is the original man who said, `Look, I don't know what it is all about, but I'm going to find out.' That is research.
A.C.: I follow; you have answered my question. We come back. You are saying the computer scientist is approaching it wrongly; he is approaching intelligence through the thinking process and he can never find it and, therefore, he is stuck.
K: Which means the thinking process is mechanical.
K: Ah, be careful. Because thinking is based on knowledge. Right? Knowledge is limited.
A.C.: Even if they understand the thinking process, they still want to understand intelligence. So we come back to the question: How does one enquire into intelligence?
K: You can't because your enquiry is with the brain. The brain is conditioned to think. Is this clear?
A.C.: Are you saying that if you really saw this clearly you don't enquire using the thought process? Then, is there any enquiry into intelligence? Intelligence is, it exists.
K: No, no. Then you have to enquire into what it is to investigate. Can I discard the use of the brain, of thought - which is the brain, which is mechanical? There may be a part of the brain which is not mechanical - I don't know - but we can leave that for the moment. Intelligence is not the product of the brain as thought.
A.C.: Then one discards thought.
K: Not discards, one can't discard that. I want a baby. I can't produce a baby. So, what have you left when you are no longer using the brain to enquire?
A.C.: But you talk of seeing and listening. Would you call that the use of the brain?
K: Seeing is not the use of the brain. But I have seen the world through my thinking. I have seen what it has done in the word - atom bombs, destruction, etc., which is all the movement of thought. It has done evil things and good things. We will use evil and good for the moment. But that is not intelligence.
A.C.: I follow.
K. Thought can never beget intelligence. Therefore, I say to myself: I wonder whether I am approaching it wrongly.
A.C.: You have shown me that you cannot reproduce human intelligence that way but you can simulate thought that way, and you can get to know the thought process that way.
K: Yes, that's simple.
A.C.: That in itself could be dangerous.
K: That's what is happening. The computer will be able to think much better, quicker.
A.C.: That in itself is dangerous.
K: The fighter pilots have something inside the brain or outside. The moment they think and look, they shoot accurately.
A.C.: Yes, they will look at the target and then the shooting takes place.
K: If you are really clear that thought under no circumstances can have intelligence, then what is the instrument that will investigate? We have used thought to investigate; now I have discarded thought, in the sense that thought has its place but when I am enquiring into intelligence thought has no place. Thought cannot investigate into intelligence. If you tell this to computer experts they will say, what the hell are you talking about? Then what is the instrument which is not thought that can perceive, investigate, look into intelligence?
A.C.: Seeing? Observing?
K: Don't use those words. Use your own words. Then it will have more clarity.
A.C.: There is nothing else except thought.
K: That's it. So the battle. And that's why they are stumped; they are moving in the same circle. They use thought and they want to enquire into the process of thought. The process of thought is very clear - it is based on memory, memory is based on knowledge and so on. The brain is conditioned to that; it has operated for a million years on that basis and now these experts come along and try to investigate intelligence with their brains which are highly trained. But their enquiry is still based on knowledge which is limited. Therefore, their investigation can never find out. Now, is there any instrument that will see what intelligence is - or is there no instrument at all? Do you see what I am talking about? I have so far used the instrument of thought to investigate. Now we have discarded that. But I am still searching for an instrument to investigate. That means I am still in the same groove.
A.C.: There is only thought.
K: There is no process of investigation. Now, what is it that is not contaminated by thought, that has no past, no future, no time element in it? The time element is thought. The quality of mind that is not of time, not of tomorrow, not of yesterday, not of memory - that mind is an intelligent mind.
A.C.: Why do you call it that?
K: That is intelligence.
A.C.: Why is that intelligence?
K: I will show you in a moment. First of all we have given up thought, and there is no instrument that can investigate.
A.C.: Yes, for the instrument would be thought.
K: Thought may be waiting surreptitiously, unconsciously, to catch something. It cannot investigate that. If you admit that once, then what has happened to your brain? What has happened to your enquiry? You want to discuss intelligence. The moment you deny thought totally, that is intelligence.
A.C.: I don't know what intelligence is.
K: Why does one think one doesn't know?
A.C.: Because obviously...
K: Ah no, you are not answering my question. Because you are saying thought must know what intelligence is. But thought can never know.
K: Knowing means feeling, accumulating, acting.
A.C.: I see that.
K: If you follow that, there is no instrument of enquiry.
A.C.: I follow that.
K: Therefore, what? That state of the mind that has put away thought; it is not enquiring. So, what has happened? We will use another word - insight. Insight is not remembrance, it is not the accumulated knowledge which is thought. It has nothing to do with time. To see something instantly has nothing to do with time.
A.C.: I see that. Are you saying that intelligence - insight - that state of mind does not exist if you approach it through the thought process?
K: If you are clear - as clear as in the knowledge that a cobra is poisonous - that thought can never under any circumstances reach intelligence, you wipe away all enquiry. These people are using thought to create a machine that can think, a super computer, artificial intelligence. They are working to create a brain which will be like ours, which will be mechanical. They are using their brain, with their tremendous knowledge of the brain, to produce a brain which is based on thought.
A.C.: In fact, they are using the model of the human brain to copy it.
K: Which is thinking. I follow that. Do you see this as a fact? To see it as a fact is to see that thought under no circumstances can have the other. If thought is no longer the instrument of enquiry, then you have nothing else with which to enquire. You can't enquire. Then what is intelligence, that is not based on enquiry? Look sir, I want to enquire into truth. I don't know anything about it. I don't want to depend on anyone to find out. So, I have to discard all the past. I want to find out what is supreme intelligence - that is what they all want to find out - not casual intelligence. We want to find out what is supreme intelligence. So, can I discard everything that I know? The only instrument I have is thought. I can think clearly because I have been trained to think, not sentimentally but objectively. Thinking which can produce so-called intelligence is then on the same level as thinking that has produced war. Therefore, it is not intelligence. So, under no circumstances will thinking have a perception of that. I must be absolutely clear. If I am not clear, unconsciously, deeply, then thought is going to interfere.
Before anything else, I want to clear the board. Is that possible? I see that what they are doing won't get them there. They will create mechanical, artificial intelligence which is like human intelligence that is capable of destroying the world. Right? Thinking, and all the instruments thought has invented to investigate into that - meditation, various types of silence, various types of self-denial - are out. The technologies won't accept that but true enquiry is that. And they haven't found it. They are anchored to Jesus or to the saint, which is thought, and from there they move through thought. They won't accept that thought can under no circumstances come to that. Then what have I left to see that thought, under any circumstances, can produce intelligence?
A.C.: I understand that. It is not enough to see that thinking is not intelligence.
K: That is fairly simple, but the implications of it, the inwardness of it...
A.C.: When you say that intelligence is not the product of thought, it is clear.
K: Because you have applied your brain.
A.C.: But that is not enough. It does not mean that thought has found its proper place. To see something is not enough.
K: No. To see that you don't know - we all think we know - to see that thought cannot produce intelligence which is non-mechanical, you didn't use thought. Thought is limited. You accepted the fact; there was no thinking; you understand.
A.C.: I understand. My problem is slightly different. It is not enough to see that thinking is not intelligence.
K: To accept that is fairly simple, but the implications of it?
A.C.: That's what I want to know.
K: If you pointed this out to the computer scientists, what would their reaction be? They would treat it as mystical. Yet, these are the people trying to find out.
A.C.: Yes. These people are trying to find intelligence. But other people are also trying to find that - the people whom you have been talking to.
K: They can't, they haven't. They react with thought. You have to apply your brain.
A.C.: To see something is not enough.
K: To see that you don't know - they all say they know. Progress in the last twenty years has been so rapid. They know; they wouldn't accept they don't know. I want you to see this.
A.C.: The person who has listened to you, who sees what you say, does not become intelligent. I am talking of myself.
K: But you don't have to investigate; it is all there. They want to investigate the point they want to reach. Their minds want to investigate where they want to go. When you see that thought is not the instrument, what will produce intelligence? Are you seeing the whole of it? Or are you seeing only in one direction? I don't know whether I am conveying something. That means, can the brain observe something whole without any kind of fragmentation? Intelligence is not fragmentation. The brain that investigates is fragmented, broken up. Whatever words you use, it functions in a very small field of knowledge. So, this cannot see it. Do you really feel this in your blood?
A.C.: What does that mean, sir?
K: This is something in which organized religions have no place. Why?
A.C.: Because we see what has happened with organized religions.
K: No, that means you are approaching it through reason - you see what is happening and from there you come to a conclusion.
A.C.: I follow what you are saying; it is possible.
K: You don't have the insight to see that is wrong. So, when you say that you are using reason, logic, you are turning to thought and through thought you come to a conclusion. Can you have insight which says without logic this is wrong? And having seen that it is wrong, use logic then?
A.C.: I follow that.
K: In the same way, sir, thought cannot do this. We use logic to communicate and we say it is quite clear. It is not Logic has made it very clear; so what do you do? We may have discussed it, gone into it, but you are still following the same way of thought - logic, reason, facts. Right? Do you see that?
A.C.: In order to see that...
K: First see that clearly and then it comes naturally. Don't put it the other way round. Don't say, to live like that I must do this.
A.C.: To see needs the right environment.
K: This is our environment. Wherever you are, that is your environment. If you are in a hotel room in London, that's our environment.
A.C.: If I am with you, it's different. If I am not with you, it's totally different.
K: Of course.
A.C.: The environment is different.
K: No, not the environment. Here I am forcing you to look. "Forcing', in quotes, pushing you. There no one is pushing; they are all thinking the same way.
A.C.: So, it becomes very important, and that is the trap: to have to be pushed.
K: Yes. It is very important to go to a doctor, a right doctor if I can find him. I am stimulated. When the stimulation is gone, you are back to what your environment is. To see this is no stimulation. Either you see it or you don't see it. We have discussed this for over an hour and we are beginning to see the nature of it. If you had another couple of days here, steadily working, thinking, you'd be in it.
A.C.: That's what I meant when I was talking to you, that's what I meant by environment.
K: But if you treat it as a-drug...
A.C.: Of course, I see that when I am with you it is different from when I am not with you. When I am away, it is completely overwhelmed and overpowered, but it does come back when I am with you. What can I do to see that it stays?
K: As you have other things to do, I would meet you very often till you are soaked in it, soaked in the sense that you understand what I mean, not just repeat what I say. You are born in it. How will you transmit this to your associates? Would they listen to you?
A.C.: No, they won't listen. This research into artificial intelligence will go on. Through thought they are going to produce a super computer better than `most people's brains'. They will do it and they will end up creating a world which will make the human mind obsolete. That is the threat to the human race.
K: Will they consider that they have reached the mystery of intelligence then?
A.C.: Yes. They will be able to reproduce anything that is mechanical, reproduce the thought process. That is the human brain, and that is frightening. What is most exciting is to investigate the nature of this intelligence and what can happen, not artificial intelligence. And I have been asking why in this environment I can feel a total change taking place.
K: Suppose we were to discuss every day, could you stand it?
A.C.: I could stand it, but to carry it out is the problem. The problem is when I go out of the door.
K: That means you haven't seen this. To see the danger of that, of thought, of the whole mechanistic process, the inwardness of it, is the very source of intelligence.
31st December 1982
Intelligence, Computers and The Mechanical Mind
Asit Chandmal: Sir, for the last two and a half years we have been talking about computers, the way they are progressing and the impact technology could have on the human mind and, therefore, the species. We have discussed its sociological impact and whether the computer can ever be like the human mind. The Government and the top computer scientists of Japan have decided to create a computer which will replicate the processes of the human brain and they have earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars for this project. They call it the fifth generation of computers. They say that they will do it by 1990 and that the computer will speak and understand many languages. Now, the problem they are facing is this: They don't know what is intelligence.
There is enough knowledge about the hardware with which computers are built. The brain is matter made up of hydrogen, carbon and other molecules and it operates essentially as an electrical circuit and through chemical reactions. The computer is made of silicon molecules and it also operates essentially as a collection of electrical circuits of chips. So they can now make these chips smaller and smaller and faster and faster, they can put away more memory, more logic, than human beings ever can. They can put in a tremendous amount of logic circuits, but still the computer cannot, does not respond the way a human being does because it thinks out things sequentially; it cannot perceive immediately, it can't work in parallel.
So they say that if we can understand how the human mind works, we can simulate it in a computer. They admit they do not understand the human mind, the brain or intelligence. They say in order to understand intelligence, we must understand the thinking process, because then we could understand intelligence. They also do not understand how creativity operates. What is creativity? Most people say that the human mind has the ability to make a leap. So they are looking into what is intelligence and what is the thinking process and what is creativity because they feel that if they can understand this, they can reproduce it in a computer and that will give it intelligence and creativity. And you are saying that intelligence has nothing to do with thought. We know only the thinking process and they are going to find out about that and put it into a computer.
K: You are almost certain they will do it?
A.C.: They call it a major attack on the unknown, which is the mind, and they say this is our perception of the future - future industry, future technology and all that. The Americans are very worried about it. So IBM, all of them, are putting hundreds of millions of dollars in similar research.
K: The Americans are doing it too!
A.C.: There is an organization in America which most people don't know about, the National Security Agency. It has ten square miles covered with computers. It is so big it has its own university. It has more Ph.D's than all the universities in Europe, all geared towards defence work. They are also working on such computers but they don't get publicity. There is an incredible amount of money, and highly educated specialists are working on creating a machine which will perform like the human mind. So what I want to ask you is this: If they succeed in doing this, then as I see it, the present human mind has to eventually die out: it is obsolete; it cannot compete. In terms of evolution, it can't survive. So what is our response to this? Then again, if the present human mind is different from merely being a thinking machine, what is the difference? Is it creativity, is it intelligence, and if so, then what is creativity and what is intelligence? So shall we take the first question sir: Are our minds merely programmed thinking machines, are our minds mechanical?
K: Where do we start in discussing, in exploring this?
A.C.: I think we should start from the way we actually operate in our daily life. All action is based on thought and thought is a material process. It seems to me fairly clear that such a mind has to die out because it will be replaced by superior technology.
K: Would you differentiate between the mind and the brain or would you only use the word `mind' to convey the wholeness of the human mind?
A.C.: I am using the word `mind' in terms of what a human being is. He has a brain with thought, emotions and all the reactions.
K: So you are using the word `mind' in the sense that it includes all the reactions, emotions, remembrances, the confusion, desire, pleasure, sorrow, affection. If all that is the mind, then what is the relationship between that and the brain?
A.C.: What do you mean by the brain?
K: Is that brain an individual brain, or a result of the entire evolutionary process of the human being?
A.C.: Physically, it is a separate brain. But are you saying that the cells in my brain or someone else's brain have the same content?
K: Is the brain, which has evolved, my brain or the brain of this tremendous evolution?
A.C.: It is obviously evolution.
K: So it is not my brain; not my thinking. It is thinking. Whether it is a poor man or a rich man or a professor, it is thinking. You may think differently, I may think differently, but it is still thinking. Are you saying then that thinking is an integral part of the brain?
A.C.: It seems to be.
K: That is, that thinking has created all the human problems as well as technological problems. And thinking is trying to solve those problems and finds that it cannot.
A.C.: And it says that it cannot because I am not thinking well enough.
K: Thinking itself says that: It is general to all mankind, whether it is the top scientist or the poor ignorant villager, and that thinking has created war, division of people, churches, temples, mosques. It has created all those divisions and it tries to create one god, who is not divisible. In human relationship thought has created problems and it has not solved them. It cannot because thought itself is limited. Thought is the result of experience, knowledge, memory. Knowledge is never complete. Therefore, thought can never be complete.
As knowledge is limited, thought must be limited, and that limited thought creates the problems. All limitations must create problems and then that very thought which has created the problem tries to solve the problem. So it cannot solve the problem.
A.C.: Are you saying that problems are created because knowledge is limited and the instruments of knowledge are limited?
K: And thought is limited because of knowledge.
A.C.: Are you saying that thought is limited because it has not been able to know everything?
K: Thought is the result of vast experience, memory, all that. You have seen the computer. It is a form of computer which has had a great deal of experience, a great deal of knowledge, and thought and knowledge are limited.
P.J.: What is the distinction between thought and mind?
K: They are both the same movements.
A.C.: In other words, you are saying that all new knowledge is essentially contained in the old knowledge and is a result of thought.
K: Of course. All knowledge is the result of thought.
A.C.: Are you saying that discovering a new thing in physics or mathematics is not creativity; is the same limited knowledge increasing?
K: Look, we must keep creation out for the moment, for it may have different meaning to you or to her. Let us be clear; all knowledge is limited. Scientists are adding; that will go on for the next thousand years, but still whatever is being added to must be limited because there is always something more to be added.
A.C.: Is it limited at any given point of time?
K: Of course. So, knowledge must always go with ignorance. Thought is born of knowledge. If you have no knowledge, you wouldn't think. You may reach a total state of amnesia or whatever it is called; you will be completely blank.
A.C.: As you are saying that all knowledge is limited, I have to ask this question of creativity as we know it. Today, if somebody composes a new symphony or writes a new equation in physics, would you say that it is not creativity in the true sense?
K: I won't call that creativity. I may be wrong. I am not laying down the law.
A.C.: In that case, sir, you are in fact saying that our minds, as we know them and as they operate in our daily life, are entirely mechanical. In which case, that is what the Japanese are going to do - build a computer which has a vast storehouse of knowledge, and an extremely `intelligent', logical - deductive and inductive - brain much better than the human brain. So, what happens to our brain?
P.J.: The human mind - which Krishnaji says is both the individual mind and the mind of mankind - has itself been a storehouse for the mind of mankind to probe into and draw out of. The memory bank of the computer can never be the memory bank of the racial mind.
A.C.: Why do you say that?
Q: The racial mind is the result of evolution. So, in a sense, while all the options within it may still be limited, all the options of the memory of mankind are available to it.
A.C.: It may have more options, more memory than the computer, but essentially it is still doing the same thing - operating out of memory and knowledge.
K: Of course, of course.
A.C.: Computer scientists are saying that we can put a much vaster storehouse of knowledge in the computer by networking computers, etc. Now, superficially, that is true; no human being can remember everything in the encyclopaedia. So, outwardly, the memory of the computer is much better. In a much deeper sense, since it does not have subconscious or racial memories, the human brain can have much more access to knowledge and more memory, but it is still the same thing - access to more memory.
K: Yes, sir, move from there.
A.C.: And you say any act of that mind is not creative including the composing of symphonies, Einstein's discovery, writing poetry - none of that. It is all a projection of knowledge, memory, may be just permutations and combinations.
K: Of course, of course.
A.C.: The moment you accept that, the computer will definitely become superior to man, the human mind, in this function.
A.P.: What you say is tantamount to saying that the evolutionary process of the brain has come to an end.
A.C.: That is correct.
A.P. Now, I question this.
A.C.: I am saying that the mind as it is, the brain as it is, has come to an end because that particular brain is going to be replaced by a brain, the computer, which can perform these functions.
A.P.: This is just a hypothesis.
A.C.: It is not a hypothesis. Already it is performing a lot of functions far better than the human mind. It can't do all of them, so they are working on that. Why should you believe that matter made of hydrogen and carbon molecules is inherently superior to something made of silicon molecules or that the human brain's electrical circuits are inherently and forever superior to those of computers?
K: Achyutji, Asit, would you agree on one point - that the computer has a cause as the human brain has a cause? Then what has a cause, has an end. Now, is there something which is causeless? If there is such a thing as a movement which is causeless, that is creation.
R.R.: What you are saying is that there is an extraordinary mind.
K: No I have not gone into it, yet. After forty or fifty thousand years, we have reached this point - the brain. The computer has reached this point. Between the two, there is not much difference; both are created by thought.
A.P.: I am not willing to concede that that which the human brain has created has come into total possession of all the faculties of its creator: Is that what you are saying, Asit?
K: No, sir. He does not say that. The computer cannot see the stars and look at the beauty of the stars.
R.R.: But it can simulate it.
K: Of course. But it hasn't the perception of the human eye looking at the heavens and saying what a marvellous night this is.
R.R.: Why do you concede that point, Asit?
A.C.: I did not concede it. In fact, they can simulate all that.
K: Of course, they can simulate it.
R.R.: Are you saying that because emotions are also the result of sensory perception and thought?
K: Is there a perception which is not the product of thought?
A.C.: Does the human mind have such a thing?
K: Probably not.
A.C.: The computer hasn't got it either. But they will have in twenty or thirty years' time - the computer will be superior to human beings.
K: Of course, I am inclined to agree with you.
P.J.: I am inclined to question you, sir.
A.P.: If we observe the human mind which has gone into the making of the computer, you are assuming that it has exhausted its potential by creating the computer: Having created, having given birth to the baby, the mother dies. That is what you are saying.
K: No, no.
A.P.: I refuse to accept it.
A.C.: Why do you refuse to accept it? Having given birth to nuclear weapons... those weapons will wipe out human beings.
A.C.: So, having given birth to computers which are now designing and making new computers which will make better and faster computers, why do you say that they won't be able to destroy man who has made them?
R.R.: And even if they did not destroy, why cannot the baby have all the potentialities of the mother?
Rupert Sheldrake: So why do I need, the Japanese need, all the top computer scientists and the Japanese Government and twenty-five international companies need, to produce these computers if computers can already do it?
A.C.: This is the target. Computers cannot already do it.
R.S.: The fact is, it is a target but it is nothing. Alchemists for the past so many years have tried to create gold but they have failed. We are talking about what amounts to in the mind as fantasy.
A.C.: Do you know what they are trying to do? Genetic scientists have got together with computer scientists. They are saying, why are you using silicon? The human brain has hydrogen and carbon molecules. So let us take hydrogen and carbon molecules, let us use brain cells to make computers: Another approach is: Our genes are programmed so that some cells become an eye, others become the nose and so on. If you can break that genetic code, you could programme it to become a brain or a computer. There is a lot of research going on in that.
R.S.: I know about this research. I regard that as fantasy too, because I think the whole thing is based on false premises about the nature of the brain, about the nature of life and so on. But this would be sidetracking the main issue. I think I would rather come back to the point that in relation to producing bigger and better computers which may supersede certain powers of human beings, what is involved is human activity, call it thought or whatever you like. And these computers are the product of human activity. There is no doubt that many things human beings make exceed human capacities, but there is a limit. Machines can do many things which human beings can't do. Nevertheless, they are the products of human beings and it seems to me unlikely that in any sense these things would supersede human beings. They may supersede particular faculties of human beings.
A.C.: What are the things they will not be able to supersede?
R.S.: They have not yet superseded the ability to invent the fifth generation of computers.
A.C.: Yes, but the Japanese cannot do it without computers. It is being done by the Japanese and by computers. And, if you actually measure it, perhaps 20 per cent of the effort will be human, 80 per cent will be that of the computer.
R.S.: Well, everything we do today in the modern world is aided by machine.
A.C.: What is it in a human being that you think cannot be done by machines in the next twenty-five or fifty years?
R.S.: Well, it is a subject which we are now coming to - creativity. Let us take a smaller point - humour. And one of the most striking things is that most of us are not behaving like desiccated calculating machines. Most people lead their lives with a certain sense of humour. You see people laughing about all sorts of things. I have never seen a computer laugh.
A.C.: If you heard the computer laugh, would you accept that it can do what human beings can?
R.S.: No. You can get a tape recorder to laugh.
A.C.: What will convince you?
A.C.: You have made up your mind.
R.S.: I am prejudiced.
A.C.: Why are you prejudiced? If you see a baby, you will say that the baby will be capable, when it grows, of doing a lot of things which computers cannot do. But if a group of people design a new type of computer, you will say that computers will never be able to do what the baby can do. Why? What is it in that baby that persuades you?
R.S.: You see, there are a lot of things which we recognise and understand directly without being able to put everything into explicitly stored-up recognition programmes. I can recognise many different kinds of flowers, trees and animals. If I have to say how I recognise them, what is it that makes me recognize them, it will be very difficult for me to tell you. I think it will be difficult for you, too.
K: But, sir, when you recognize, it is based on memory.
A.C.: They are working on pattern recognition. There is tremendous research going into it today. Computers are beginning to recognise some things visually.
R.S.: But there is a certain intuitive sense.
A.C.: What is intuition?
R.S.: It is notoriously difficult to say what intuition is.
A.C.: It is just a word. Unless you know what it means, you cannot use that word.
R.S.: No. You don't have to be able to spell out in mathematical formula whatever words mean.
A.C.: Spell it out in words. What is intuition?
R.S.: Intuition is grasping something more, seeing something more, insight into something which involves a direct kind of knowledge which does not have to go through a process of words, thought and action.
A. C.: How do you know it has not gone through the process of word or thought? It could have done it subconsciously in your mind, the brain has been working on it, and it emerges instantaneously, and you call it intuition. It does not mean that it has not gone through the process of thought.
R.S.: It may have gone through such processes. If, for everything I say, you are going to postulate hidden processes...
A.C.: I am not postulating.
R.S.: Yes, you are.
P.J.: Sir, the problem seems to be that if the brain is a closed circuit only, then what Asit says is true. But the `but' comes in because the whole reason for our being here is, can there be an acceleration of the very capacity of the brain so that it ceases to be a process? Is the brain a closed circuit?
R.S.: The trouble is, it takes a long time to answer these questions. I have my own theory about biology which would deny most of these basic premises. You see, the conventional theory of biology, including the conventional theory of the brain, starts from the assumption that there are simply mechanical, chemical or physical processes within the organism. Now, only 99 per cent of biology is based on this assumption, and therefore, the kind of language in which we speak is based on that kind of thinking.
I disagree with the assumption, firstly, that the brain is a closed circuit. Secondly, that it works entirely mechanically or chemically or electrically and so on. So, I think we have a theory of life which says that living organisms are nothing but machines, and then we have a theory which says it has nothing to do with machines. Why can't we model them by machines? This is the basis of your argument, and it seems quite reasonable on the face of it, but there are a number of assumptions.
P.J.: He posited three things: Whether the brain as it is today is a closed circuit; what is intelligence; and what creativity is.
A.C.: I didn't say the brain was a closed circuit.
K: May I ask a question, sir? Would you consider that the brain has infinite capacity? Don't say `no' right away. Let us use the word `capacity'. I don't like the word `capacity' because for us capacity is educated knowledge and all that. But if I can use that word, the brain has infinite capacity. Look what it has done in the technological world, including the computer.
A.C.: You can't say that thought is limited and then say that the brain has infinite capacity.
K: Yes, I am going to come to that. Thought has limited the brain, has conditioned the brain. Would you agree? I am a Hindu, I believe in all the superstitions, all the nonsense. Right?
A.C.: You are separating thought and brain.
K: No no I want to find out if the brain can ever be free from its own limitation, thought, knowledge, emotion. All right, call it thought. Can the brain which has been conditioned by thought, if that conditioning is somehow freed, it has got...
A.C.: You can't say that.
K: It may. You are understanding now? You have been to the moon, the brain has created cruise missiles, it has had extraordinary technological movement. Agreed? Now, is there an instrument which is not thought? This is not romantic speculation. I am just asking; I am not saying there is or there is not. You understand my question? Thought is a worn-out instrument. I think it has reached its limit, tether, because it has not solved the human problem. So, is there a way of looking which is not thought but which can instead of going out there, going to the heavens and all that, turn inwards? That inward movement is the infinite.
R.R.: Still it has not solved the human problem.
K: I am going to show it will. No, thought will not solve the human problems. Either it is a fact or it is not a fact. On the contrary, it is increasing human problems. Right?
Q: Your question is: Is there anything other than thought which could be an instrument?
K: Yes, you may not agree with what I am going to say presently. Then, perhaps, that instrument can look both outward and inward, and that is infinite.
Q: Psychologists try to discover what is within; at least they profess to do this.
K: I know, sir, what they say is all mechanical.
Q: I accept what you say.
K: Don't accept, sir. I hesitate to accept what I say too. I want first to be quite clear that thought has not solved human problems. It has solved technological, not human problems - my relationship with my wife, my relationship with the community, my relationship with the heavens, and all the rest of it. And thought tries to resolve these problems and it has made things worse. It is so obvious. So I am now asking, is there something which is not thought, which is not mechanical?
A.C.: You are asking in other words what Pupulji was asking the other day: Is there a sensory perception without thought?
K: Yes: Will you listen to something? Life is a movement, going out and coming in, like the tide. I create the world, and the world then controls me. And I react to the world. It is movement. Would you agree to that? Now, if you see the same thing as I see - not that you must - it is a movement out and in, this is our life, action and reaction, reward and punishment. Can this movement stop?
P.J.: You have to move out of your closed circuit of the computer to even face that question.
K: No not move out of the circuit. This is our life. Now, as long as this movement exists, I am caught in time, that is evolution.
R.S.: Why not just say that is life, evolution?
K: Yes, and that is: I am evolving. This movement gets better, worse, it is always movement. So, as long as this movement exists, I am mechanical.
Q: Only mechanical?
K: Yes, I see a woman and I want her: I see a garden, I want it. It is action and reaction, reward and punishment, punishment and reward. Where is intelligence in that? As long as you are caught in that, your intelligence is out; it is a mechanical intelligence: You hate me and I hate you back.
A.C.: I follow that.
K: If you accept that, intelligence is something totally different from thought.
R.S.: If what you are saying is what I think it is, perhaps you could say it is cause and effect, action and reaction, instead of `mechanical'.
K: Yes, yes.
R.S.: Now there is a certain kind of low level activity, what people ordinarily call intelligence, which perhaps we can better call ingenuity, where, in order to get something you want - but you may not be able to get it in a straightforward way - you may have to resort to some fairly original way, some new kind of competence, making some bogus documents and so on. There is a certain kind of ingenuity which is not purely mechanical. It is subsumed down to a certain mechanical set of desires and within that is the framework of certain inventiveness. So the framework may be one of action-reaction but within that we exhibit considerable ingenuity and inventiveness.
K: I would not call that intelligence.
R.S.: No. But in ordinary language it is often called intelligence. An intelligent businessman is one who would think of ways of getting more of what he wants.
K: Yes. I would not call that intelligence.
R.S.: I would call it ingenuity or inventiveness.
K: Call it inventiveness. I won't call it intuition because that is a different thing.
R.S.: No, ingenuity.
K: To be ingenious is solving problems of god, problems of heaven, problems of painting, etc. It is within the same area, in the same field. I may move from one corner to the other corner of the same field and I call that ingenuity and I say all that has nothing to do with intelligence. Intelligence is something totally different.
Q: Will you elaborate on what we call intelligence?
K: I don't want to elaborate. Ingenuity, choice, cleverness, moving from one point to another, from one corner to another but within the same field, that is what we are doing.
P.J.: That is the field of the known.
K: Yes, yes. I don't want to use that word for the moment.
A.C.: I was just wondering why we have evolved like that.
K: It is essentially based on reward and punishment.
A.C.: But I am asking what is the reason in particular that we have evolved like that?
K: What was the cause of it?
A.C.: It must have had tremendous advantage.
K: Of course, it is completely secure. Secure in the sense, at least for the time being, but the time being creates wars. So we don't have to elaborate. Would you go along up to this point that this is not intelligence?
K: Right. Then let us enquire what is intelligence. If this is not a theory, if it is out of my system, that means the movement of reaction has stopped, and that is the movement of time. Agreed?
A.C.: When you say time, I don't understand.
K: Time in the sense I have evolved in this process.
Q: That is the movement of life.
K: Yes. And that is unintelligence. Therefore, don't call it intelligence. So, what is intelligence? As long as I am in this field there is no intelligence; it is adaptability.
A.C.: But one has to respond.
K: We will find out. If this is not intelligence, then we have to go into something quite different. Agreed? If I totally deny, not verbally but actually, this is not intelligence, then what happens to the mind which has been caught in this? Do you understand my question? As long as we are functioning in time, cause, effect, action, reaction, which is this movement of the tide going out and coming in, as long as my whole attitude to life is that and I refuse to move out of that, there is nothing to be said. But if I see that, that will not solve the problems of humanity; then I have to look in another direction.
P.J.: What is this looking?
K: My eyes have always been seeing in this direction only. And you come along and tell me, look in other directions. I can't because my eyesight has been so conditioned that I don't even turn round to look. So I must be first free of this. I can't look in any other direction if I am not free of this.
P.J.: I want to ask you a question. Can I look at my own instrument? Can perception look at its own instrument? Can perception, which is a flow, see itself?
K: Don't call it an instrument.
P.J.: A faculty.
K: No, I won't even call it a faculty.
P.J.: Can perception perceive itself?
K: Can perception see itself as perceiving? Perception seeing itself in action, in seeing itself a perception.
P.J.: Don't bring in action.
K: Perception seeing itself perceiving - then it is not perception.
P.J.: You see, you posed a question which is totally unanswerable - that this movement, which is moving, reflects the movement... can I see the falsity of it and end it? I have always thought that a wrong question. It can never see that because perception is self-contained.
K: Would you say this movement is the wandering of desire?
P.J.: Yes. This movement is the wandering of desire.
K: Can this desire be seen as a whole, not the object of desire, but desire itself? Can it see itself as a movement of attraction?
P.J.: Instead, even without bringing in attraction, can desire see itself?
K: To understand if desire can see itself, one must go into desire. Desire exists only when thought comes into sensation.
A.C.: This question is very important. We are operating in that field. Anything operating in that field...
P.J.: Can never deny that field.
K: Of course. There is this movement. As long as I am in that movement, you cannot ask me to see it as the false and deny it.
P.J.: Therefore, where do I look?
K: You don't have to look. The thing is, stop this movement. Find out, discover for yourself how to end this movement. Is that possible at all?
P.J. I think it is possible to cut.
K: Be careful when you use the word `cut'. Who is the cutter?
P.J.: Without the cutter.
K: Therefore, what does that mean? Go on. Don't complicate the issue. Just see who is the cutter. There is no cutter. Then what happens? If there is no entity who can cut, stop, then...
P.J.: It is just perceiving.
K: That is all. There is only perceiving. There is not the perceiver perceiving nor the perceiver investigating what he is perceiving. There is only perception, right? Perception of that which is false.
P.J.: The perceiving throws light on the false. There is only perceiving.
K: There is only perceiving. Stick to that. Then we will enquire into what is perceiving. What is perception without the word, without the name, without remembrances, perceiving something which one calls intuition? I don't like to use that word, forgive me. Perception is direct insight.
P.J.: Is the question one of being completely awake?
K: Would you call that attention?
P.J.: To be completely awake is attention.
K: That is all.
P.J: That the computer can never do.
K: Asit is taking it in, he is not answering. Sir, is there an end to thought? Time must have a stop, right?
A.C.: I understand.
R.R.: Can I ask you a question: What happens when we perceive with insight?
K: There is this perception of insight and the brain cells themselves change. Can your thought ever stop when your brain has been conditioned in time, in this movement... cause, effect, action, reaction and all that suddenly stops? Hasn't the brain undergone a radical change? Of course it has.
R.R.: I have to ask you this question again. If there is such a seeing that the brain cells change, what happens after perceiving it?
A.C.: Only the physical brain has changed and I am afraid it dies.
K: That is why we are going into the question of consciousness.
A.C.: Does this end with death? Then all that will be different from the computer...
K: Sir, how will you translate all this to your friends who are computer experts?
A.C.: They are going to continue doing what they are doing - trying to produce super-computers.
P.J.: The question then comes in. How can man so accelerate the other to bring into being this new perception?
A.C.: One can only see this movement and do nothing else.
K: That is all.