1st Question & Answer Meeting 17
Without beauty and love there is no truth
1st Public Questions Saanen
July 23, 1985
We are a bit early! I have been told there are so many people who are sad at leaving, ending Saanen. If one is sad it is about time that we left! And as has been announced we are leaving. This is the last session at Saanen.
There are several questions that have been put, you can't possibly expect all those questions to be answered - there are too many. Probably it would take several days to answer them, and I don't think we will stand several days more. And the speaker has not seen these questions but they have been very carefully chosen.
Before going into these questions which you have put, may I put you some questions? May I? Are you quite sure?
Why do you come here? That is a good question. What is the raison d'etre, or the cause of your coming? We are asking the question. Is it curiosity? Is it the reputation the man, the speaker has built for the last eighty years? Is it the beauty of this valley? The marvellous mountains, the flowing river and the great shadows and lovely hillside, or the telesiege? What has brought us here? If it is serious, that is, we are concerned with our daily life, the way we are living it, the problems that we have, probably of every kind, old age, death, sex - you know the whole invasion of problems our brain is so used to. Does one expect, if one may ask seriously, for someone to tell how to live, how to examine, what to do, is that the reason you are here? Or is it that one wants to see what one is actually as we are sitting here, and examine that very closely and see if we can go beyond that - is that the reason?
So as you cannot possibly answer all those questions, one asks - I am asking you, the speaker is asking you, what is it all about? You understand? The speaker has been in this valley for twenty eight years and the thing has been going on in this Saanen for twenty five years. A great deal of time, of our life. And, if one may ask the question of you, what at the end of it all, what remains, what is the content of our life? Is there any breaking of the pattern? Or the pattern or mould is being repeated over and over and over again. You understand my question? The constant concentrated habits that one has, seem so difficult to break. The habit of thought, habit of one's everyday life. When we look at all that after twenty eight years, or twenty five years, is there a breaking of that pattern in which we live? Or just carry on day after day, adding a little more, taking away a little more, and at the end of one's existence regret, feel guilty that one has not lived differently? Is this the process that we are going through? I am asking the question. Here are all the questions you have put to the speaker! What is it all about? Our life. All the things that are happening around us, the appalling things that are happening in Afghanistan and so on, is it all just out there, far away from this lovely land and so on? Where are we as individuals in this whole pattern of existence? Right? I am asking you. What is the residue that remains in the sieve? You know what a sieve is? When you wash vegetables or rice, other things. So what remains in us?
So I have stopped asking questions. Are we aware what is happening to us in our daily thought, or is one aware of every emotion, reaction, response, habits? Or is it just flowing by like a river?
Which would you like to answer first of these questions?
1st QUESTION: What do you mean by creation?
2nd QUESTION: Various teachers, gurus, say that essentially they are giving the same teaching as you. What do you say?
You understand these questions?
3rd QUESTION: What is guilt? One is desperate because the actions that caused the guilt can never be eradicated.
Right? I can go on reading these questions. Which would you like to be answered first? The gurus? What is creation? Oh, I forgot, guilt? Can we start with the various teachers? Right?
Various teachers, gurus, say that essentially they are giving the same teaching as you. What do you say? Various teachers, gurus, say that essentially they are giving the same teaching as you. How do you respond to the question, to that statement? Right?
I wonder why they compare themselves with the speaker. I wonder - one questions why they should even consider that what the speaker is saying is what we are also saying. Why do they say these things? I know this is a fact, both in India, Europe and in America, there are various trumped gurus, various groups, that say, 'Yes, we are also going to the same thing, along the same river as you are doing.' This has been stated to me, to the speaker personally and we have discussed this matter with these gurus, with these local, or foreign - what do you call them? - leaders. We have gone into this question.
First of all, why do they compare what they are saying with K? Why do they maintain that? You understand? What is the intention behind it? Is it to ride the same band wagon? You understand? Is it because they think they may not be 'quite quite' but by comparing themselves with K they might become 'quite quite'?
So in talking over with them, with some of them, we went into it. First of all, I doubt what they are saying and I doubt the speaker's own experiences. There is a doubt, disbelief, not saying, 'Yes, quite right, we are in the same boat.'
So if we could approach this question with doubt, with a certain sense of scepticism on both sides, those who say we are along the same - rowing the same boat on the same river, perhaps they are far ahead and the speaker is far behind but it is still the same river. So in speaking with them, as they doubt, question, demand, and as you push further and further and further, deeper and deeper, they come to an end. And at the end of it, the speaker has heard many of them say, 'What you say is perfect, is the truth. You embody truth' and all that business. So they say, etc. And they salute and go away saying, 'We have to deal with ordinary people so this is only for the elite.' I said, 'Double nonsense!' You understand?
So why do we at all compare, not only between various - 'my guru is better than your guru' - right? Why can't we look at things as they are? Questioning, doubting, asking, demanding, exploring - right? - never saying our side is better than your side, or this side is better than that side, or that we are all doing the same thing. The other day I heard, 'What you are speaking so am I speaking, what is the difference?' I said, 'None at all.' We use the same language, English or French, a little bit of Italian, we use the same language, but the content, the depth that lies behind the word may be quite different. We are so easily satisfied with explanations, with descriptions, with a sense of, you know, all the eclat, all the glory, all the paraphernalia, and we are impressed by all that. Our brains don't work very simply. That is one of my questions I would like to ask you.
Have you watched, seen how your brain works? Watched as an outsider watching your brain in action. You understand? Have you ever done it? Or the brain is carrying on in its old habits, beliefs, dogmas, rituals, or business and so on, just mechanically carrying on. If I may ask, is your brain like that? Silence! Have you ever watched one thought chasing another thought, a series of associations, a series of memories, holding on to your own experience? The other day, in America, a person whom we have known for some time said that that person lived according to his experience, his experience has told him-right? His experience was real, actual, very deep, and that experience is all important to him. (Noise of aeroplane) - we can't compete with that! - And we said why don't you doubt your experience, it may not be actual? It may be actual, it may be imaginary, it may be romantic, all the sentimentality and all the rest of it, why don't you doubt that very thing that you say, 'My experience tells me'? - inwardly. And one has not seen that person again - do you understand?
So is it not necessary to be aware of all these things: why they compare, why they say we are all in the same boat. We may be in the same boat, probably we are, all of us. But why assume we are in the same boat with you? You understand? Is it the desire to - oh, I don't know. You know all about it don't you? So can we not accept any guru, any leader, including especially the speaker? Never accept anything psychologically except that we have watched ourselves in our relationship, we have watched our speech, the voice, the tone of the voice, the words we use - all that. Can one be all day, or some time of the day, be aware of all that? And then perhaps you don't need any guru, any leader, any book, including that of the speaker. Then there is something totally different taking place when one is really attentive - right?
May we go to the next question? Good Lord!
2nd QUESTION: Guilt. I don't have to read the question. It is all rather mixed up here.
Why do we feel guilty? You know what that word means. Culpability. Culpa. Why do we feel guilty? Many people do. It tortures their life. Then it becomes an enormous problem and that is the background of guilt with many, many people. Guilt in not believing, guilt in not being with the rest of the group. Guilt - you know the feeling of guilt, not the word, the feeling behind that word that we have done something wrong and feel guilty about remorse, anxious, and therefore frightened, uncertain. And this guilt is a very distorting factor in our life. This is obvious. So why do we have this feeling? (Noise of train) At Brockwood there are no trains! (laughter) No aeroplanes. We can talk quietly together. But you will miss these mountains. Probably that is why you are sad.
We are asking: why do we have this feeling of remorse? Is it that we have not done something which is correct, which is not pragmatic, which is put together by environment, against which we have to go? The guilt of a man who feels, or a woman who feels, he hasn't supported the war of his own country. You know the various forms of guilt and the causes of it. We are asking: why does this feeling exist? Is it because we are not responsible? You understand? We are not responsible, demanding the excellence of ourselves? You are following my...
Now, just a minute, is it, the speaker is asking, is it that we are lazy, indolent, inattentive and therefore slightly irresponsible? And facing that irresponsibility we feel guilty? I have followed somebody, suppose I have followed somebody, my guru, who has indulged in all kinds of things, sex and so on, and I too have, as he does, but he changes his mind, he has become old and he says, 'No more.' and his disciples say, 'No more.' You understand? One has done all these things to follow that guru and the guru has got rather old and says, 'No more' and I feel by Jove I shouldn't have done this, I have been wrong. You follow? The whole issue of guilt. Why and how do we deal with it? That is more important.
How do we know, or feel, have the remorse, of being not what we are? And therefore doing things which cause us damage, and therefore (noise of aeroplane) - the mountains echo more noise; they create more noise - So let us find out how to deal with it. Let's find out what to do about it, shall we? Not investigate the causes of it - we know. I have done something which is not proper, which is not correct, which is not true and I realise later the action which has produced that, is rather regrettable, unfortunate, causing unhappiness to others and I feel guilty. And various forms of the same thing having different causes - right? So what shall we do when we have guilt and how to deal with it - right? How would you deal with it? What is your approach to it? You understand my question? How do you come near the problem? Is it that you want it resolved, that you want it wiped away so that your brain is no longer caught in that? So how do you approach it? With the desire to resolve it? You understand? To be free of guilt? How do you come to it? That is very important, isn't it? - how you approach a problem. If you have a direction for that problem, it must be solved that way, or that way, as long as there is a direction - you follow? - or a motive, then that motive or direction directs the issue. You understand? So do we approach a problem like this guilt without any motive? You understand my question? Or always approach any problem with a motive? Right? I wonder are we meeting this thing together? Is it possible to approach a problem without any sense of the background knowledge which is motive and look at as though for the first time? Can we do that? You understand?
So there are two things involved: how you approach and what is a problem. Right? You have problems - don't you? - many, many of them -why? Not only problems of money, sex (noise of aeroplane) - it is a lovely morning, clear blue sky without a cloud and they are having fun! (laughter) What is a problem? Not that we are condemning the problem or saying it must be solved this way or that way, we are questioning the problem itself, the word, and the content of that word, an issue, something which you have to answer, whether it is a business problem, family problem, sexual problem, spiritual problem - sorry, quotes - 'spiritual' problem, problems of whom to follow, leader, political - it is a problem. Why do we have problems? (Noise of aeroplanes) - could we ask them to go somewhere else? All right.
So first let's examine the word 'problem'. According to the dictionary, a problem means something thrown at you - right? Something propelled against you - right? A challenge, a thing that you have to answer - right? The meaning of that word is, something thrown at you. Right? And we call that a problem. Why does our brain have problems? You understand my question? May we go into it a little bit? Right? Please don't accept anything the speaker says, anything. But let's examine it together. Let us explore into this question, the problem.
From childhood when you are first (noise of aeroplane) - can we all shout at him to buzz off?! - from childhood, when you send a girl or a boy to school, he has to learn how to read and write - right? Read, write and the child has never read or written, so writing, reading becomes a problem to him - right? And as he grows up his brain has been trained to problems - right? Obviously. School, I have to learn mathematics, chemistry, biology, science, physics, then the whole college, high school, college, university, the whole process of that, learning all that is a problem and so the brain is conditioned in problems - right? This is a fact. My wife becomes a problem, to her I become a problem, business, God, everything is a problem. How to live, what to do, etc. and so on and so on. So our brain, your brain is conditioned, educated to live with problems. This is a fact, not an invention by the speaker - right? It is so. So our whole life, living, becomes a problem. Right? So can we look at this as a fact, not as an idea, or a theory, but as a fact and see what we can do. Whether the brain can be free to solve problems, not approach it with a mind that is already crowded with problems. You understand my question? No? I have been to school. I have been to a school, there I am not interested in anything the teacher is saying. I am looking out of the window, enjoying myself. He bangs me on the head and I come to. And he says, 'Write'. He holds my hand, guides it and I say, 'Good Lord, I must learn' - you follow? - it becomes a problem to me - right? And I have to learn not only reading, writing, mathematics, geography, history, politics, you know, so my whole education - I am not against education but I am pointing out - my whole education becomes a tremendous problem. And if I can pass a Ph.D., become somebody, it is still a problem. So the brain from childhood is conditioned to live with problems - right?
Now, our question is: is it possible to be free of problems and then attack problems - you understand? There are problems. But I cannot resolve them unless the brain is free. If it is not free, in the solution of one problem other problems are created, like in politics. I don't know if you are aware of it. The poor chaps solve one problem and there are a dozen problems involved in it. And they can't deal with a dozen problems, they move away from that and tackle something else and keep on with this - right? So the speaker is asking: can we be free of problems first - uncondition the brain which has been educated to live with problems - right? Is it clear? At last!
Now let's proceed. Is it possible? Answer me. Is it possible to be free and then tackle problems. (Noise of aeroplanes) - Good Lord what a noisy place this is! - How do you answer that question? Do you say it is possible? Or do you say, no it is impossible? When you say it is possible or impossible you have already blocked yourself. Right? You have already closed the doors. You have prevented yourself from investigating, going into the question. Right?
So we are saying, to free the brain from its educated world of problems, it is conditioned, can that brain be unconditioned? First I must understand the question, what the question involves. Investigate that. Then come to the point can it be free from its conditioning - you understand? What do you do? Or not do? Don't go to sleep, please. What do you do, or not do? (Noise of train) That is, how do you listen to the noise of that train, the rattling, how do you listen to it? It is there. How do you listen to it? Do you resist it? Or, I won't tell you further. Do you resist it? Or do you say, 'It is part of life, let it through.' You understand? This noise is going on: the rattle, the vulgarity, all the music -so-called music - it is pouring - right? Do you resist all that? Or let it flow, flow away - you understand?
So here is a question: is it possible to free the brain from the condition of this education which has brought about a state in which the brain is conditioned, and to be free of that conditioning? May I go into it - right? I am going into it, the speaker is going into it not to convince you of anything, just to show. You pass by a window and you look at the window, the shop, look at all the dresses and all the things that are in it, and you go away from it and look at another shop. You are window-shopping. You are not to do anything. Just find out what he is saying, listen to what he is saying. Not accepting or denying, just look, listen. The brain is conditioned to this whole culture of problems, it is conditioned to that. That is a nice word - culture of problems. And is the conditioned brain different from the observer? You understand my question? Is the brain, my brain different from me who is analysing, looking, tearing, examining, accepting, not accepting, is that observer - right? - the person who says, 'I am looking at it', is he different from the brain? You understand my question? It is a very simple question, don't complicate it. Is anger, greed, envy, different from me? Or I am anger. Anger is me. Greed is me. The quality is me. There is no difference. But culture, education, has made us separate the two - right? There is envy. I am different from it, I must control it, or indulge in it - right? And thereby there is conflict. I don't know if you are following all this. Or is violence me? Violence is not something different from me, 'me' is violent. Do you see this? Do we see this? Once one realises this fact there is no difference between the quality and me, then there is a totally different movement taking place - right? There is no conflict. You understand? There is no conflict. As long as there is separation there is conflict in me - right?
Now I've realised this, that I am the quality. I am violence. I, the 'me', is greedy, envious, jealous and all the rest of it. So I have abolished altogether this division in me. I am that. Not I am the Supreme - Sanskrit - I won't go into it. I am that quality. So can I, can my brain remain with that fact, stay with that fact? You understand my question? Can I stay, can my brain, which is so active, so alive, thinking, watching, listening, trying, effort, can that brain stay with the fact that I am that? You understand? Stay with it, not run away, not try to control, because the moment you control there is a controller and the controlled, therefore it becomes effort - right? Please understand, it's very simple. If you really grasp this truth, this fact, you eliminate altogether effort. Effort means contradiction. Effort means I am different from that - you know, all that business. So once you see the actual fact, not the idea but the actuality that you are your quality, your anger, your envy, your jealousy, your hate, your uncertainty, your confusion, you are that. Not verbally acknowledge, or verbally agree, then we don't meet each other. But if you actually see this fact and stay with it - can you? When you stay with it, what is implied in that? Attention - right? No movement away from it - right? Just stay with it. Not, if you have acute pain you can't stay with it, but if you psychologically stay with it, inwardly say, yes, it is so. That means no movement - right? I wonder if you are following. No movement away from the fact. So when there is no movement away from the fact the essence is no conflict. Then you have broken the pattern of the brain - right? Because it says, 'I must do something. What is the right thing to do? Who will tell me the right thing to do' - you follow? 'I must go to a psychiatrist' - you know all that stuff that takes place. But when once you hold the jewel (noise of train) - oh! - it is like holding a jewel, marvellously put together, carved and you are holding it, you are looking at it, seeing all the inside, outside, how it is put together, the platinum, the gold, the diamonds, all that, you watch it, because you are the jewel, you are the centre of all this, most intricate, subtle jewel of which you are. The moment one sees that fact the whole thing is different.
So, guilt - sorry we have gone away from it. We had to. Guilt. It is not a problem - you understand now? It is a fact. It is not a something to be resolved, something to be got over. You have done something, which is a fact, and you feel guilty, that is a fact, and you stay with it. Like a jewel you stay with it, a rather unpleasant jewel, but it is still a jewel. So you stay with it. When you stay with it, it begins to - please listen - it begins to flower and wither away. You understand sir? Like a flower, if you keep on pulling, see if the roots are working properly, the flower will never bloom, but once you see the fact, which is the seed and then stay with it, then it shows itself fully. All the implications of guilt, all the implications of its subtlety, where it hides, it is like a flower blooming. And if you let it bloom, not act, say, 'I must do, not do' then it begins to wither away and die. You understand? Please understand this. With every issue you can do that. About God, about anything. Then you have an insight into all that. That is insight. Not merely remembrance, adding. Is this clear? If you discover it, if this is so, it is something psychologically enormously a factor that frees you from all the past struggles and present struggles, and efforts.
3rd QUESTION: What do you mean by creation?
Shall we go into that? It is a rather complex problem. I will read the question again. What do you mean by creation? - what the speaker means. I would like to put you that question.
A lot of people talk about creation - right? They are all talking about it. The astrophysicists and the philosophers, and the theoretical philosophers - right? God created and so on. This is a very serious question. The ancient Hindus, the ancient Hebrews have put this question, not merely recent scientists. This has been a tremendous problem, an issue that they want to understand. May we go into this? Are you interested in this?
What is creation? When you ask that question you must also ask the question, what is invention? Is invention creation? Do you understand? I, in a laboratory, a scientist in a laboratory, is experimenting. Right? And he comes upon something new. He patents it. Right? And makes money out of it and all the rest of it. The invention, that is to invent something new, is that creation? Careful please, don't agree or disagree, just look at it. Invention is based on knowledge - right? You are following this? It is based on somebody else's previous experiments, all those experiments are knowledge in the present and you add to it. This is so. The man who invented the jet, without the propeller. First he knew all about the propeller, internal combustion machinery and the propeller, then that knowledge was not enough. He put aside that knowledge, waited, and then got an idea from the knowledge - you follow? First he had to have knowledge about the propeller, internal machinery, then a new idea came in, which is the jet - right? I may be putting it incorrectly, or exaggeratedly, but this is so. That is, the theoretical physicist, or scientist of every kind, first have knowledge, even minute knowledge - right? - or a great deal of knowledge, from that a new inspiration comes. And that inspiration is an invention. So we are adding all the time - right? And is that creation, which is based on knowledge, and the consequences of knowledge? You understand? Is that creation? Or creation has nothing to do with knowledge? You understand my question? Either creation is a series of inventions in the universe, black hole or they discover something new and they are adding, adding, adding to that previous knowledge. And obviously when they look at Mars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and go beyond, they know what the - what Venus is made of, various gases and so on and so on and so on, but what they have translated as gases that is not Venus. You understand? Come on Sirs. The word Venus is not Venus. The gases made up, which constitutes Venus is not that beauty which you see early in the morning, or late in the evening. Right?
So we are asking: is invention totally different from creation? Which means creation has nothing whatever to do with knowledge. You are going to find this rather difficult, if you don't mind, if you will kindly, if you are not too tired, if you have still the energy to investigate, we will go into it. We are asking - we know what invention is. Don't accept what the speaker is saying, that would be terrible. It would destroy you. Merely say, yes, yes, yes. It would destroy your brain, as it has been destroyed by others. The speaker has no intention to destroy your brain, or add to the already damaged brain. (laughs) Right? So he says have scepticism, question, don't accept or deny, just find out. We know what is invention, at least to the speaker it is very clear. That doesn't mean it is clear to you. We are asking what is creation? We have to answer this question in ten minutes!
What is creation? Is it related to man's endeavour? Is it related to all his experiences? To the million years of duration of time? Please examine all this. Which means, is it related to war, to killing, to business, to all the memories that man has accumulated, acquired, accumulated, gathered? If it is, then it is still part of knowledge - right? Therefore it cannot be creation. Right? So what is creation? Is it related - please listen, listen, don't do anything about it, you can't - is it related to love? That is, love is not hate, jealousy, anxiety, uncertainty, the love of your wife, which is the love of the image that you have built about your wife, or your husband, your girl friend, or the image you have built about your guru for whom you have great devotion, or for the image in a temple, mosque, and churches. So we are asking: is love necessary for creation? Or is love, which is also compassion, is that love, compassion creation? And is creation or love related to death? You understand all these questions? You understand? I am sorry to say do you understand - I withdraw that. You're just listening.
So is love free from all the human beings that have given specific meaning to that word, free from all that? Is love related to death? And is love compassion and death? All that is creation. Can there be creation without death? That is ending. Ending all knowledge - Vedanta. You have heard that word, I am sure. The word Vedanta means the end of knowledge, not all the theories, commentaries and all that. That is not. But the end of knowledge which is death, which means no time, timeless, which is love. You understand? I'm sorry, I won't repeat that. Stupid of me to repeat!
So love, death. Love means compassion. Love, compassion means supreme intelligence, not the intelligence of books and scholars, experience. That is necessary at a certain level but that intelligence, quintessence of all intelligence, when there is love, compassion. There cannot be compassion and love without death, which is the ending of everything. Then there is creation. That is the universe, not according to the astrophysicists and scientists, but the universe is supreme order. Of course. Sunrise and sunset. Supreme order. And that order can only exist when there is supreme intelligence. And that intelligence cannot exist without compassion and love and death. This is not a process of meditation but deep, profound enquiry. Enquiry with great silence, not I am investigating. Great silence, great space, that which is essentially love and compassion and death, there is that intelligence which is creation. Creation is only - is there when the other two are there, death and love. Everything else is invention.