I want a permanent relationship with my friend, with my wife, with my …


I want a permanent relationship with my friend, with my wife, with my whatever it is, and the demand for a permanent relationship is the system, is the tradition, is the structure which is going to establish in that relationship a sense of permanency.

[3rd Public Talk Saanen
July 11, 1968]

…a relationship in which there is complete freedom…

Here is the question: whether a human being, you, the individual, living in this world, going to the office, keeping a house, having children and so on and on, living in a very, very complex society, living intimately in a relationship, whether it is possible to be free and yet live in this world, live with a man, a woman, a relationship in which there is complete freedom, in which there is no domination, no jealousy, no obedience; and therefore perhaps a relationship in which there is love. Now is this possible?

First of all, I don’t see how one can see anything clearly – the trees, the stars, the world which man has created, which is yourself – the world is yourself, the society is yourself – whether you can see all that clearly if there is not freedom. If you come to it with an idea, with an ideology, with fear, with hope, with anxiety, with guilt and all the rest of the agony – obviously you cannot see. And when one is young one doesn’t see all this, therefore one revolts. The revolt that’s going on among the students throughout the world, they are young, fresh, they want things changed – quite rightly – to break up the society, to create a different kind of society. But the politician steps in and the older generation are scared stiff and want their security, their car, and all the rest of it. They vote for the man. And so it goes on.

[2nd Public Talk Saanen
July 09, 1968]

…What relationship has pleasure to love?…

What relationship has pleasure to love? Or, pleasure has no relationship with love at all; or, is love something entirely different? – love, which is not fragmented by society, by religions, as profane and divine. Now how are we going to find out? How are we going to find out for ourselves, not be told by another? Then if somebody tells you what it is and you say ‘Yes, that’s right’ it is not yours, it isn’t something you have discovered, felt profoundly for yourself. What relationship has self-expression, with its pleasure, to beauty and to love? There is a need of truth for the scientist, he must know the truth of things; and for the human being – not the specialised philosopher, the scientist, the technologist, the technocrat – but as human beings involved in living, concerned with our daily life of earning a livelihood, the family, and so on, is truth a necessity, or is it something that you discover as you go along and never stationary, never permanent, always new, moving?

[6th Public Talk Saanen
July 18, 1968]

…a habit which one slips into a particular form of relationship…

And most of us, lacking this extraordinary quality of love, slip into ‘righteous’ habits – and habit can never be righteous. Habit is not good or bad habit; there is only habit, a repetition, a conformity to the past, which is the tradition, which is the outcome of a great deal of inherited and acquired knowledge and instinct. And if one pursues or lives in habit inevitably there must be the increase of fear. And that’s what we are going to talk over together this morning: how a mind, entrenched in habit – and as most of our minds are – must always live with fear. I mean by ‘habit’ not only a repetition, a habit of convenience, a habit which one slips into a particular form of relationship between a husband and wife, between the community and the individual, between the nations, and so on and on. We all live in habits; tradition, well-established line of conduct, behaviour, well-respected way of looking at life, or having opinions so deeply entrenched, deeply rooted, as prejudice. And as long as the mind is not sensitive, alert, quick, it isn’t capable of living with life which is so fantastically fluidic, so constantly undergoing change. And psychologically, inwardly, we refuse to follow the movement of life because our roots are deep in habit, tradition, in what has been told to us, in obedience and acceptance. And it seems to me it is very important to understand this, and to break away from it. Because I don’t see how man can live without love. Without it we are destroying each other. We are living in fragments and one fragment is in aggression with the other, one in revolt against the other, and habit, in any form, must inevitably breed fear.

[7th Public Talk Saanen
July 21, 1968]

…that image establishes a certain relationship…

I do not know if you have ever observed your relationships, if you ever observed your relationship with your wife or with your husband. This is a very dangerous subject because if we observe very closely there might be a different kind of life, therefore we never observe. What we observe is the image that we have built about each other, and that image establishes a certain relationship between man and woman. And that relationship between the images is what we call actually being in contact, in relation with another. So when we are enquiring into this question of unconditioning, freeing the mind from its own conditioning, first of all, is it at all possible? If it is not possible then we are forever slaves. If it is not possible then we invent a heaven, a god – ‘There alone can be freedom, but not here.’ And to free the mind from its conditioning – and I say it is possible, it can be done – one must become aware, aware how you think and why you think, what your thoughts are. To be aware. Not to condemn it, not to judge it but just to observe, as you can observe a flower. It is there in front of you. It is no good your condemning it, it is no good your saying I like it or dislike it – it is there for you to look at. And if you have the eyes, you will see the beauty of that flower. In the same way, if you are aware of yourself, without condemning, without judging, then you will see that the whole structure and the cause of your conditioning, and if you pursue it deeply then you will discover for yourself that the mind can be free.

[1st Students Talk San Juan
September 10, 1968]

…the contact between these two images is called relationship…

First, to see actually, not shyly, or with reluctance, or with pain, or with resistance, what life is actually at this moment, at this every day. It is that – a travail. And can we look at it, can we live with it, be in intimate contact with it, and to be in direct relationship with it? Here comes the problem: to be directly in relation to something there must be no image between you and the thing you observe. Right? Are we following this? The image being the word, the symbol, the memory of what it was yesterday, or a thousand yesterdays. That is, sirs, to put it very simply: the relationship that one has with one’s wife or husband is a relationship based on an image – the image being accumulated through many years of pleasure, sex, nagging, dullness, repetition, domination and so on, so on, so on. You have the image about her, and she has the image about you, and these two images, the contact between these two images is called relationship. And obviously that is not relationship, but we have accepted it as relationship. So there is no direct contact with another human being. In the same way there is no direct contact with the actual, with ‘what is’. There is always the observer – please do follow this a little bit, it may be a little complex but it is not if you listen quietly – there is the observer and the thing observed, and there is a division between this. And this division, or the screen in between is the word, is the memory, is the space in which all conflict takes place. That space is the ego, is the ‘me’. The ‘me’ is the accumulated image, memory, thought of thousand yesterdays, so there is no direct contact with ‘what is’. You either condemn ‘what is’, or rationalise ‘what is’, or accept it, or justify it – all verbalisations, and therefore there is no direct contact. And therefore there is no understanding and the resolution of ‘what is’

[3rd Students Talk Claremont, California
November 17, 1968]