3rd Question & Answer Meeting 5
Why has man after thousands of years not found peace?
3rd Public Questions Saanen
July 26, 1984
This is the last meeting here. We have been handed over many, many questions and some of them we are going to answer this morning. But before we go into that how can one live in this world, in the modern world, which is becoming more and more complex and dangerous, how can one live totally honestly? What is honesty? Not honesty as some preconception, to some ideological concept, or to some fanciful imaginative, romantic, sentimental perception, but rather not to have any illusions. No illusions whatsoever. The word 'illusion' - we looked it up carefully in the dictionary - comes from the word, root word ludere, to play. We play with illusions, which have nothing whatsoever to do with our daily life. Perhaps the more imaginative one is, the more romantic and so on, and cannot possibly face this modern world, which is fairly corrupt, and if one can use the word, immoral, where money and power play an immense part, how can one live now, every day, with total honesty?
One wonders if each one of us has asked this question: to live totally an honest true life. To go into that a little bit - there are many questions before you can - what is integrity? Integrity is related to honesty. Integrity is the quality of a brain or one's existence which is whole, holistic, not fragmented. Our lives are fragmented. (There are two young people in front of me, rather serious.) Integrity, not something that one has conceived to be true, conceived, thought out to be true and live according to that. That is a form of a way of living which is fragmented because thought has invented a concept, an ideal, something according to which one lives, which then brings about fragmentation. One conceives something to be true, logical, sane, conceives the idea, and tries to live up to that - right? That naturally brings fragmentation, a break. You have conceived something to be true, imagined, experienced, and one tries to live according to that, which has nothing to do with actual fact. And so there is always this fragment, fragmentation going on in our lives. And that partly brings about dishonesty. The idealist is really quite a dishonest man. Forgive me for saying this. Because he is living according to a preconceived way of life. 'I must live according to that pattern' - which is nothing to do with daily life and so there is conflict. That breeds hypocrisy. So is it possible to live in this world with total honesty, integrity, a sense of doing the right inwardly, not externally but first inwardly, to see that one's behaviour, one's conduct, one's way of thinking is completely free of illusions, not dependent on some fanciful concept or on persons and so on. That requires tremendous integrity. So that one never says anything that is not true to yourself. What is true to oneself is rather difficult too because one may say, 'It is my opinion and that is true.' And if one lives according to one's opinions and therefore come into conflict with other people who have also strong opinions, there is a battle going on - right? These are all daily facts. And is it possible to have such clarity, to see things exactly as they are, not according to one's wishes and desires and all the rest of that business, but to have such a clear, logical sane, brain, that is not persuaded by personal desires, motives and dependence?
And it demands we should also go into very briefly, which we talked about the other day, time. May we go into it a little bit? We are friends now after ten days, no, three weeks, we are friends now so we can talk together quite easily, casually and with great sense of humour and a sense of friendship, so that we can both of us look at things together. As we were saying the other day time is the past, all the memories that one has accumulated, all the experiences and so on, which is the background. That background is operating now, as you sit there. We are sitting there here, and when you listen to the words you translate those words into a certain meaning, and that meaning depends on your past knowledge and so on. So the present contains the past. There is no question about that. That is sane. And also the future, the tomorrow, is contained in the now. Which is the future is part of the past - right? Together? Are we together? The past, modified in the present, proceeds tomorrow, which is the future. So tomorrow is now. I am - one is angry for whatever reasons, if that anger is not understood, put an end to, I will be angry tomorrow again. Or perhaps not tomorrow, next week. So the future contains in the now - right? Is this clear? So the now contains all time. Right? Are we together in this a little bit? The future, the past and the present is now. And the now is both time and thought - right? Thought, which is memory stored up as knowledge and so on, which is the past, knowledge is always the past, and that past passes through the present, incidents, pressures, modifies itself and goes on. So the past is the future and the future is now - right? And can one understand this whole process, this movement? It is a movement, isn't it? From the past, through the present to the future is a constant movement, a cycle. And that cycle is our life. And can one remain - please we were thinking about it early this morning, looking at it - can one remain in the now, which is all time, without any movement? You understand? Movement is time - right? To go from here there, or to learn a language, it requires time. Any movement in any direction, horizontal, vertical and so on, or symmetrical, is time, any movement. And to have this sense of living totally in the now, without any movement, either of thought or of action - you understand all this? To see that time, thought is contained in the now, and that any movement away from it is caught again in time and thought. I don't know if you follow all this.
So integrity, honesty, and a sense of wholeness is a quality of brain in which there is no movement except the brain has its own rhythm. This is all Greek probably. This is very serious this because we are always acting, going round and round and round in circles. We never break the circle. And this constantly going round and round not only makes the brain quite dull but also it breeds a mechanical way of life. And a mechanical way of life is not honest, it is repetitive. So to find out what is the deep abiding, unshakeable honesty, which is integrity, a wholeness, is to discover a state of brain in which there is no movement at all. This, of course, is part of meditation, which we have talked about, which we won't go into this morning.
And that non-movement has its own action in life, because to us action is doing something, achieving something, fulfilling something, in something, which is a movement from the centre to the periphery. I don't know if you follow all this. And that is what we are used to. And where there is no movement there is a wholeness, and from that wholeness there is action which can never bring about conflict. Right? I don't know if you understand all this. I wish you would. Not that I am helping you, which would be terrible but if we could work together, see this thing, it will radically bring about fundamental change. For the brain has become so conditioned, so small, it has lost its infinite capacity because the brain has infinite capacity. Look what the technological world are doing, what extraordinary capacity has gone into it - computers, submarines, aeroplanes, you know, extraordinary things they are doing. And as the brain has that tremendous capacity in one direction, the brain is not exercising itself in another direction, which is inwardly. You understand? And when both externally and inwardly, both of them operating together there is something tremendous.
Let's go on.
First Question: How can one come to this tent without a motive, a desire to come here, to listen to you, I must have a motive to come here. How does one live without motives?
Why do we want to be without motives? Who told us that we mustn't have motives? If you have heard the speaker say motives are very destructive, then you are merely repeating what he has said. But if we could together find out what is motive, what is the significance of motives, why we have motives, not say we mustn't have it. But if you discover its meaning then we can have them or not have them. But if you say that the speaker has said one mustn't have motives and therefore how am I to live without motives, that is a wrong question altogether.
So let's find out together what is a motive, why we have motives. Why? We are not saying we must not have them: we are saying why do we have them? The meaning of that word 'motive' means motion, to move. That is to make us move. One comes to this tent with a motive, obviously. That is, the motive is to listen to somebody. And so you come. But you have never questioned what is your motive, why you have that motive, why you have that desire. And if you are not clear about desire and motive, then you have to enquire what is my intention in coming here. Either to be helped - we all want to be helped, it is all our pain, anxiety, misery, all the terrible things we live with. And unless we go into it rather deeply, together, I am not - together, then you will have all the time motives. A motive is a direction - right? I have a motive to come here, my motive is to - for various reasons. Which is what? I have already set - the brain has set a direction - right? To understand this man, or to say, 'Oh, he is a stupid man, he doesn't know what he is talking about.' To criticise, to accept, to obey, to contradict, all that is occupying your mind - the brain, therefore you are not listening - right? Listening is an art, as we talked about it the other day. To listen to somebody with all your being, not to interpret what he says. But if you listen, that is the greatest miracle. Whereas if you have a motive you can't listen - right? Simple as that.
And if one has a desire, which is part of the motive, why are we slave to desire? You see we don't enquire. We accept I have a desire to come here. We don't say, 'Why have I desire? What is desire?' - you understand? Drive, push, enquire, doubt. What is desire? We talked about it the other day. We will go into it briefly.
Desire is born out of sensation - right? I want to come to this tent because I will meet my friends, I haven't seen them for a year. It is a good opportunity for me to meet them, and I would also listen to K and also mountains, scenery, I will have a good time. And the talks will be thrown in! (Laughter) That is part of our desire. Desire is, is it not - no, I won't tell you. What is desire? Not that we are saying that we shouldn't have desire, or suppress desire, or encourage desire, desire to fulfil, desire to become something, outwardly and inwardly. So desire, what is desire? To go into that one must ask: what is sensation? Right? How does sensation arise? - right? Through seeing something, a beautiful chalet, nice bathrooms and all the rest of it, and a lovely view, the view, the chalet brings - seeing it brings a sensation. That's natural. And also then thought says, 'I wish I owned that chalet' - right? Which is what? Thought giving shape to sensation. Thought giving an image of yourself in that house. Clear? Right? At that moment when thought brings the image of you in that house, at that second desire is born. Right? Clear? Are we - right? So desire is given shape - no, sensation - thought gives sensation to desire. Thought creating the image, you in the car, you owning that picture, or seeing a beautiful man, woman and so on, then thought creates the image out of that sensation, at that second desire moves, is born. This is quite simple if you see this. It doesn't require tremendous brains.
And then the question is: can sensation and thought with its image of sensation be kept apart for a while? You understand? Not immediately take shape. You have understood?
There is a chalet the other day I saw - one saw, at Gstaad, very nice, beautiful, oval, modernised inside and everything as it should be. You looked at it. You live in a flat in one of the big cities and you say, 'My God, I wish I had that chalet' - I am not wishing personally, but one wishes. And desire then works to achieve that chalet, buy that chalet, or becomes envious - you know all the process that goes on - right? Now the seeing that chalet is a sensation - right? Seeing the good taps, the bath tub, the showers, the dining room, you know the whole modern kitchen, and you don't have to wash dishes, you put it - you know, all that goes on. Then thought comes and says, 'I wish I could live there'. 'Or rent it out, I can get a lot more money, specially in the winter!' (Laughter) All that is instantaneous - you understand? There is no interval between sensation and thought giving shape to that sensation - right? Now is it possible to keep them apart for a while? You understand? That requires great attention to see sensation and thought immediately taking, giving a shape to it. And to watch thought, the quickness of thought, and to slow down that thought. You understand? So that the slowing down and the sensation, if one watches it carefully, desire has it place - right? Well, I have gone into it.
Now we have motives. Motives to get rich, motives to be happy, motives to fulfil, desire to have one's roots, to identify oneself with something. This is the everyday business of one's life. And the motive is always changing. Therefore motive gives shape to our life - right? Desire. Desire, motive and so on. So the past - see it - so the past is giving shape to our life - right? The motive is the past. You understand? So the past, which is the motive, which is giving a direction, is giving the mould of our life. Right? Therefore we are the past. Clear? Of course. The past is memory - right? Which is tradition, all the rest of it. So we are the past. We are memories. A whole series of memories, a bundle of memories, and that is the self, the ego, conscious and the other thing is unconscious. There is no unconscious, there is only total consciousness, not breaking it up, as unconscious and conscious. I won't go into that.
So to break this cycle is to understand time. You understand? - which we went into. But as we have motives, which has almost become normal in our life, how can one live without a motive? And we have accepted motives. We never question our motives, or invent new motives, or justify one's own motives. You understand? But we never say go into this whole question of desire, motive and fulfilment - right? So that brings us to the point, can one listen so completely to another, not interpret what the other fellow is saying, or the woman, but to listen so completely, not only hearing with the ear, but also hearing with the inner ear, as it were so that you are giving total attention. Where there is attention you don't have to have motive - right?
Second Question: To begin with most of us must consciously be attentive, but does this attention become a constant spontaneous state of action?
There is a desire there, motive. You understand? You see this? How can I maintain this attention constantly? Continuously. That means you have already a motive - right? So let's enquire: what is attention?
And also what is not being attentive, inattention - right? Inattention and attention. What is attention? What is the relationship of attention to awareness? Right? You understand? We are aware of the tent, of the people and so on. In that awareness, which is to see the whole thing, as you enter in the tent you see. And in that attention, in that awareness there is choice. Ah, they're my friends there, I don't know those people there. I wave to the friends and I don't to the others. And in that awareness I say, 'That is a nice shirt, and that is a rather ugly one. He has got a rather nice face, and she looks quite nice and intelligent. I am surprised she is here' (Laughter) It is quite funny. (Laughter) So in that awareness there is choice - right? There is choice. They are there and here. So that choice prevents total awareness. Can one be aware without choice? You understand? You do it now as we are talking. Please don't look at me but watch yourself and see if you can be aware without any choice. You have to choose between good material and bad material - right? You have to choose between a good car and a bad car, second hand car and so on and so on. We won't go into that. You have to choose. But in awareness can one be free of choice altogether? Just to be aware and not say, 'I don't like this shirt, I do like that shirt, he is nice to me' - you follow? All that activity going on. To be so completely aware without choice is attention - right? Is that clear? Are we together in this? We are together in this only if you do it. If you are completely aware that you choose, that you have like and dislike, that you have motive, and see how these motives, like and dislike, my friend and not my friend, you know all that thing that goes on, then you are not aware fully. You are aware fully when you have no choice naturally - right? That state of awareness is attention - right? That state of attention has no me in the middle of it. Clear? Choice always has a centre from which you choose - right? That is the ego, the me, the self, and all that. Whereas if you observe and be aware without choice, that awareness expands to total attention. In that attention there is no self, there is no me, I like, don't like - you follow? All that business.
So, now what is inattention? Is inattention distraction? You understand? We are distracted by the noise, by the train, by, you know various forms of distractions. Why do we call it distractions? You are following all this? Are we together in this? Why do we call it distraction? Because I don't want to be distracted from this, from what I am doing - right? Where the doing is attention? And if I become, if there is attention where there is inattention, the inattention is attention. Oh lordy! Why do we call it inattention? I don't think there is such a thing as inattention, or distraction. There is only complete attention or not attention. That's all. Right? I would not, personally we wouldn't say there is any distraction. There is a train going by, I am aware of it. And there is no choice, I want to listen to that man - you understand? I am just listening to that sound. So there is only attention, and why shouldn't there be inattention, what is wrong? We are working all day and we sleep at night - right? Would you call sleeping inattention? You understand? One goes for a walk, looks at all the trees, the mountains, the perfume on a sunny day of the pines, and the running river, the sound of it, that is all attention, if you are attending. And why should there be no attention, you take a relax - you follow? We want to be something all the time. We want to have a continuity of something, which we think is right. And therefore that which has continuity is not right. Right? I wonder if you understand this? Are we together in this? We want a continuity, don't we? Continuity of happiness, continuity of relationship, continuity of so many, many things, which is what? Continuity of memory - right? And if there is no continuity we feel lost, we feel empty. Why shouldn't we be empty for a while? Why shouldn't we be nothing? Even for a few minutes. But to us that is frightening because we know continuity - right? So attention has no continuity. There is only attention. One doesn't say, 'I must be continuously attentive' - then it is a mechanical process. Attention is something living, not a conclusion that I must be attentive. That becomes too childish - right?
Third Question: Could you tell us something more about this vast intelligence of which you speak? Is it an untapped capacity within the brain, or is it some disembodied force to which we may become open?
Lovely question, isn't it?
There is ordinary intelligence, isn't there? You wouldn't be sitting here if you hadn't intelligence, would you? You took a train, you walked, you went by a car, you went by a bus and so on, which is the exercise of intelligence to come here because you wanted to come. Or it is intelligence to write a good letter. It is intelligence to put the computer together. It is intelligence that has put man on the moon. And it is not intelligence that puts a flag up there! (Laughter) Right? And it is intelligence that has made the computers, missiles, the atom bomb, the neutron bomb, the hydrogen bomb and all the things they are investigating about cancer - you follow? Liver trouble and so on and so on and so on. That all requires intelligence. And that intelligence is the outcome of thought - right? Right? But that intelligence is limited because it is the outcome of very careful, logical, experimental, systematic working it out, which is thought - right? And thought is limited therefore all measurement, which is technology, is limited; they are adding more and more and more every year - right? Where there is the 'more' it is limited - right? Are we together? Or the better is limited. I am better than yesterday. It is very limited.
Now, is there an intelligence which is not limited? I am asking you, I am - we are not telling each other. We recognise the common intelligence - earn money, do business, go to the factory, get up in the mornings, you know, all the rest of it. That requires certain intelligence, which is limited - right? Because it is the outcome of thought. And thought born of knowledge, and as knowledge is limited always in the future or now, so thought is always limited. And the intelligence of thought is limited. That is simple. And is there intelligence which is not limited? Right? Now who is going to find out? How will you find out? How - not how - how do you enquire? You understand? How do you probe into this, knowing that thought has created intelligence which is limited? The artist, the poet, the great sculptures, the great literary people, painters and so on, all their things are limited naturally - though the artists may not accept that. Scientists have accepted it because they are adding more and more and more every year, getting more and more knowledge about biology, about everything. So is there an intelligence which is not additive? You understand the word adding, adding, adding to it? How can one probe into this?
To go into it together - I am not telling you what to do, please. I am not your guru. I am not your leader. I am not your helper. That's not cruelty because we have been helped by so many people for thousands of years and this help has made us weak. This help from seeking from so many directions is making us feeble. We cannot stand on our own feet, observe and be responsible - right? If you are seeking help how can you be responsible? Or if you are dependent, how can you be responsible?
So how do we - is it possible to probe into this? Into that intelligence which is not limited? That intelligence we don't know - right? It is not the speaker has talked about it, he may know it, or he may not know it, that is irrelevant. But how shall we come upon it? To enquire into it, I must enquire into my whole existence - right? That means my existence, daily existence not some illusory existence on another plane, on another dimension and so on, super ego, super consciousness, all that ideological nonsense.
So I must probe into my life. Obviously the first thing is where there is conflict there is no intelligence. Right? If I am in conflict all the time with people, with ideas, with theories, opinions - right? - so is there an end to conflict? Which means is there an end to conflict and other problems so that the brain is free? Right? Are we together in this, at least verbally? You can see the logic of it, the sanity of this. The brain is conditioned and conditioned to conflict - I am taking that one issue. The brain is in conflict. Where there is conflict it is impossible to see things clearly. Right? I see things very clearly that thought is limited and whatever it does is limited, technologically, or spiritually, so-called spiritually, is limited. And one sees also conflict being the way of life, struggle, being somebody, achieving something and so on and so on and so on, is conflict. And conflict distorts perception - right? If I am quarrelling with my wife, or my husband, or with the neighbour, I cannot see things as they are. I won't go into it more.
So there must be, if I see the truth of it, that very truth frees the brain from conflict. That is intelligence. Right? Seeing the truth of something and let that truth act - right? I see very clearly as long as there is conflict in the brain it is not possible to see things clearly. That very perception ends conflict - right? Because it is so. It is so - a snake is dangerous. A wild animal is dangerous. It is so. There is no two ways about it. Right?
So where is conflict, where is the root of conflict? What makes the brain live in endless conflict? Is there a remedy for it? Not drugs, not alcohol, not some kind of fanciful imagination. Is there a perception that frees the brain from conflict and therefore that brain is now moving or living in quite a different state - right? And what is that state? You are following? We are not analysing, we are just observing.
Very briefly, we have got so little time, very briefly: the analyser is the analysed. Now there is the analyser separate from the thing he is analysing. I am analysing myself, suppose. I have separated myself from the thing which I am observing - right? I am angry or jealous or neurotic, probably neurotic more. I am neurotic and then I say, why am I neurotic as though it was something outside of me - right? I am neurotic because the brain is neurotic - right? My whole being is neurotic, it is not I am different from neurosis. So the observer, the analyser is the analysed - clear? Like the experiencer is the experience. Of course. It is rather difficult. Need I go into this? The thinker is the thought - right? That's clear. The thinker who says 'I am separate from thought' and therefore he controls thought, shapes - right? But the thinker is thought itself. So the thinker is the thought. The analyser is the analysed.
Now move the next step, which is: the experiencer is not different from the experience. He thinks he is different and therefore he says 'I must experience'. To experience you must recognise it - right? Otherwise it is not an experience. But to recognise it is to already know it. I wonder if - so the experiencer is the experience. The thinker is the thought. The analyser is the analysed. Right? Probably the analysts and therapists and so on won't agree with this. But it doesn't matter. Probably, I said, they may.
So there has been - if there is no conflict it means there is only the fact - right? Right? There is only the ending of conflict. It is a fact. Or not a fact. Then what takes place in relationship? You understand? That is when there is no conflict inside my brain, inside the brain, it is not my brain, it is the brain of all of us - that we won't go into for the moment. This brain is now without conflict - right? Because I have watched it, worked, looked at it and therefore in my relationship there is no conflict - with the woman, the man - right? Then when there is no conflict in relationship then what is it? Is it not love? Right? When there is no conflict - you understand? You are all so dazed about all this. When there is no conflict between you and me, you understand, there is no difference between you and me. You may be a woman and I am a man and so on. You may be tall, short, black, white, purple, or whatever it is, but when there is no conflict there is total relationship with you and me. That is love. Right? Love is not jealousy. Love is not desire. Love is not pleasure. Pleasure means conflict. Desire means conflict. I want to do something, you might want, my wife wants to do something else. Where there is love she can do what she wants but there is love. You understand? The whole transformation has taken place. Where there is love there is compassion. And where there is love and compassion that is intelligence. That intelligence gives - in that intelligence there is absolute security, not relative security. You understand? That is intelligence. But one has to be tremendously watchful, which we have been now. And that intelligence is limitless, it is not yours, or mine, it is intelligence. Love is not my love and your love, it is love. Yes sirs. That love may be for one or the many, it is still love. Where there is love there is no hate, there is no enemy. Sir, don't you know all this?
So that is intelligence. You can't talk endlessly about it unless you do it. One can talk about it, as I have been doing. If you go into it much deeper - I don't know if there is time for it.
You know, have you ever thought, looked at a drum? A drum is tuned to its highest excellence, the right tone. And when you strike on it, it gives the right note. Right? It is tuned. So the brain when it is tuned it gives the right note, the right response. I wonder if you capture all this. And it is not tuned, like the drum is not, when it is in conflict, it is slack. So to have the brain tuned. Not you tune the brain, because you are part of the brain. I won't go into all that. So is it possible, like the drum which is tuned to its highest excellence, to have the brain so tuned that it gives the right note all the time. Yes sirs.
Fourth Question: Why do the teachings you put forth have so little effect on us? (Laughter) Why do the so-called teachings - I am adding the word 'so-called' - have so little effect on us?
Are you asking the question of the speaker? Or are you asking the question of yourself? Many people have asked this question of the speaker. And the speaker says to you: have you asked that question of yourself? Why a truth has so little effect on you, on us, why? One can give a dozen reasons - right? Laziness, indifference, weariness, boredom, holding onto one's habit, being conditioned, and saying it is awfully difficult to get rid of conditioning, what am I to do about it, tell me about it, and so on and so on and so on. So you are never asking this question of yourself: why some of you who have listened to the speaker for years and years and years, why have you not changed? The speaker is asking you the question. You are not asking the speaker. I am reversing - the speaker is reversing the table on to you. He is challenging you if you will kindly - that challenge is respectful, not impudent. So he says: why have you not, having heard, heard, heard, read, video and all the bla, why have you not changed? Will more suffering help you to change? Because we have suffered for a million years, a thousand years, one day of suffering is enough. So will suffering help you, more suffering? Obviously not - right? More pressure? Obviously not, you have had tremendous pressures, environmental, monetary, every kind of pressures, impressions, and more threats, will it change you? Hell and heaven - threats. That has not changed us. More leaders, better leaders, wiser leaders, better gurus than the old guru! What will make us change? Nothing, except your own perception - right? Nothing from the outside can ever change us. The communists tried this. The totalitarians have said this, let us organise the outside so marvellously etc. you know, all the rest of it if you have followed the communist theories and so on, hoping by external arrangements the psyche will change. Right? That is one of their deep tenets. And it has not happened. On the contrary.
So what will make each one of us change? Not superficially, adjusting to some words and some ideas, that is no change at all, but something profoundly, radically change. If you do not rely on the outer then you have to rely entirely on yourself. And because we cannot rely on ourselves we seek help, we seek all the gurus, read books and all the rest of it because we have never been able to look at ourselves, work this out for ourselves. Which doesn't means we become more and more selfish. On the contrary this demands great responsibility - you understand? That you are totally responsible for yourself whatever you do. It is no good blaming environment, heritage, my mother and father were like this therefore I am like that. Society is ugly so I am caught in society - you follow? This demands that you work. Either you work hard, you work very hard to earn money - right? Spend years and years, day after day, night after night, year in and year out, to get money - do you realise how you all work, all the human beings work? And we don't work an infinitesimal of that energy inwardly. And we have become feeble, irresponsible. So we don't change because we don't want to - simply. If you want to do something you do it.
Sirs, we have answered most of the questions. It is nearly twelve o'clock. Really there is no question at all. There are no questions at all, and therefore no answers. You are the problem. You are the trap. One is caught in this prison and you have to work like - I was going to say hell - you have to work, observe and all the rest of it must come from your heart and your mind, then you are a total human being, free. Where there is freedom there is no fear. Or rather where there is fear there is no freedom. And when there is freedom you don't need any god - right? Right sirs.