An energy that has never known corruption
Beliefs dissipate energy
1st Public Talk, Rajghat
November 25, 1972
Shall we talk seriously? I think we have a central problem and I think that's the only problem that's confronting man at the present time. It is that we have created a sick society and a society that's corrupt, violent, utterly insane. And it has been created by minds that are sick, and the very same sick minds are trying to resolve the problem. They come to the problem not only of social change but also inward change, psychological change, they come with a conclusion, a formula, a mind already made up either according to some specialist - religious or economic or social. This is a fact that we approach the human problem, such as society, and all the problems connected with it - religious, social, moral, political, geographical, national and so on - we come to it with a mind that is distorted, that has accepted certain speculative abstractions, that is incapable apparently of looking at facts as they are. I think this is the world over and especially in this country. Here one observes that speculations have become extraordinarily important, and our minds, already being conditioned in speculation and abstraction, find it terribly difficult to face actually 'what is'. And if we can, this evening, if it is possible in an hour, to observe the fact and have the energy to go beyond the fact, not run away from the fact in some abstraction but to watch the fact with that energy which is necessary to go beyond it. That is, the fact, the 'what is', is that human beings right throughout the world are violent, are divided both nationally, religiously, politically and all the rest of it. And where there is a division there must be conflict. And we have accepted this as our norm, as our pattern, as our everyday condition of life.
Now, the question is how to face 'what is' with that energy which is not the energy of will, determination, choice and the energy that has been dissipated, gathered and face it. I am going to explain this. This needs considerable explanation. I think most scientists who have thought about all these things agree that 'what is' is the most important thing, but they have not been able to find a way out of it, go beyond it. They admit, as we all do, that man is brutal by nature, aggressive, ambitious, divisive, seeking his own particular satisfaction through ambition and so on. That is a fact because we can observe it in ourselves and we can observe it in others. That being so, how is one to go beyond these facts, the 'what is', which needs a pristine energy, not the energy gathered by will, by effort, by a series of determined choices? Right? Are you following this?
Now, let me here repeat again: we are sharing this together. We are not laying down anything. We are not speculating. We are together investigating the problem. Together, that is, you are not listening to the speaker merely, but together explore the possibility if the mind can go beyond 'what is'. Right? You have understood my question? That is, we are working together, thinking together, exploring together, sharing together this problem. And the problem is very simple, to put it very simply, is the human mind as it is, conditioned heavily and any activity within the field of that conditioning leads to further conditioning and further confusion and misery. That's a fact. And we are together going to investigate. That is, trace out if there is a possibility of going beyond this conditioning that human beings are caught in. Is the question clear? Clear not verbally but to you inwardly. Intellectually you may see this fact, verbally you may hear a description of the fact but being aware of the fact yourself is quite a different thing. Right? So, we are not indulging in description but be concerned with 'what is' which is the described. Right? Are we meeting? We are following each other?
One observes that the human mind, your mind, and one's mind is conditioned by the culture it lives in, whether it is the Indian, Muslim, Christian or whatever culture it be, it is conditioned, shaped by that culture and the response to that culture according to one's temperament, idiosyncrasies. The idiosyncrasies and temperament depend on the conditioning which is the result of the culture in which we have been brought up. Right? That's fairly clear, isn't it? Must I repeat that again? If I am born as a Hindu or a Muslim or a Communist, from childhood my mind is shaped according to the pattern, to the thoughts of my parents, of the society, the community I live in, their religious prejudices, their economic conclusions, their abstractions about life. My mind is conditioned that way. And the reaction to that conditioning depends how deeply my conditioning is, how strong is the shape of my mind which has been nurtured, shaped, controlled by the environment. That is a fact. That is 'what is'. No amount of theories, no amount of escapes, no amount of desires will solve this problem. We must accept that as a fact. Not accept it only but see it. Right?
Now, how am I to deal with this fact? How am I to deal with 'what is' actually, which is myself: myself being the world and the world is me. We are not separate. And that is me and that is you. And seeing 'what is', my ambitions, my greed, my confusion, sorrow, how is the mind to go beyond it? That is the problem. You understand? Please, watch your own mind. Let's do it together. The 'what is' has become so important and man has not been able to find a way out. He tries to find a way out through a speculative abstraction about God, or through an intellectual conclusion or through a belief or through rationalisation. All these, the belief, the speculative abstractions are still within the field of the conditioned mind. Right? I may imagine what God is, but my imagination is the process of my mind, of my thought, which is the result of the culture, the condition, the environment, the social tradition, morality, all that. It is the result of all that. So, I am asking, can the mind or is the mind capable of going beyond itself? If it cannot, it must always live within this prison. If it cannot, there is no question about freedom. There is no freedom. I may imagine there is a freedom and as long as I live within this conditioning there is no freedom. Now, what is your mind to do with it? How can it go beyond it? Right? Is the question clear? This is what all human beings are asking. I mean the serious ones not the hysterical, religious, social entities. They are playing with hysterics. But the really very serious ones are asking this question whether the mind is capable of going beyond itself or must it always live within the conditioning, modified, changed, but always within that conditioning. Right?
Now, together we are going to find out whether the mind is capable. That means that we don't say that it is or that it is not. But we are going to investigate together whether the mind can do it. To do that, you must have energy. Right? Because the more energy I have - the mind has the more capable of meeting 'what is'. If it is escaping or deviating or running away from 'what is' it is dissipating energy. If it is living in an abstraction or an intellectual, speculative observation, it is a wastage of energy. So, the mind must have no formula, no speculative abstractions, no belief, no suppositions or imaginations because they dissipate energy. Right? Right? You see that. Because the belief is a conclusion which comes with fear. A belief is handed down through tradition and I accept it because I know nothing. I am afraid not to have something. So, a mind that has belief or accepts a belief or lives in a speculative assertion is wasting energy. Right? Are we doing that? Are you doing that? Have you got beliefs, conclusions, opinions, abstractive, speculative assertions? If you have, you cannot face 'what is'. Right? Now, the mind has consciously or unconsciously these speculative conclusions: economic, social, moral, theocratic, spiritual and so on and so on. Speculative abstraction in which mind is caught. Are you aware of this? Are you conscious of it? Just to say yes, I have. Not become complicated about it, but say yes, I have conclusions, I believe, I believe there is God, I believe in the Gita. I don't know what else one believes. Right? Just to be aware that you have this belief, a conclusion, an idea which has been handed down. Now, to be aware of it without rationalising it, without escaping from it, just to say to oneself that you have these, that means you are facing 'what is' without wastage of energy. You've got it? You've understood this? May I go on?
Now, when the mind has energy which has never been dissipated, then it can go beyond 'what is'. The energy that we know is the energy of dissipation. Are you following all this? We only know energy that is being dissipated, wasted, we don't know what energy is which has never been dissipated.
K: No sir, don't agree with me. No, no, no, please don't agree with me. That is the last thing to do. If you agree with me you will repeat it. That will become the new belief, the new theory. The word 'theory' means observation. The mind that has an insight: when you have an insight into this, you don't have to have a belief, you don't have to have a conclusion. Right? So, I am asking myself, we are investigating together, sharing this problem together. I am asking: is there an energy which has never known corruption? Don't translate it into God. You follow? An outside agency. You know? I wish you didn't know any other language but only English. I wish you had never read a book about all this. If you are a Sanskrit scholar or speak Hindi or any Indian language, when you hear what the speaker is saying about energy, your mind will translate what is being said into the language you already know. Which has a Sanskrit meaning and therefore a definite substance, a definite meaning. So, you are translating what is being said into what you already know. Therefore, you are distorting. You follow? Whereas if you could only listen to the English and not translate into Hindi, Sanskrit or into Sanskrit terminology, then there is a direct communication. I have - one has discussed certain matters with scholars - Latin, Greek scholars and Sanskrit pundits and so on. They are always comparing. They say 'Yes, what you say has already been said.' And they quote. They don't listen to the English only, but they translate what is being said into their terminology, into a Sanskrit word which is loaded. You understand? And, therefore, there is no communication. Whereas communication means sharing, thinking together at the same time, at the same level, with the same intensity. Otherwise there is no communication. Right?
So, what I am asking is, we know or we are aware that we are wasting energy and we see, observe, have an insight that to go beyond 'what is' you must have immense energy. How is this energy to be brought about? By not escaping, by putting away conclusions, beliefs, dogmas and all the rest of it? Then the problem arises who is the entity who is putting these away? You are following all this? May I go on? We are sharing this? When I say I must put away my beliefs, who is the 'me' that says I must put this away? Is not the 'me' a conclusion which says I must do this. Right? So, you are putting away one conclusion by another conclusion - right? - by one determination over another determination. So there is conflict. Right?
So, energy which is brought about through conflict is a wastage of energy. So, can the mind observe without the wastage of energy of conclusion, banishing by another conclusion? You have got it? Are we doing this now as we are sitting here? Do you have an insight into this fact that energy which is not the outcome of friction, conflict, can only go beyond its conditioning. And what we know or aware of is the control of energy. Right? Which is the action of will, which is the rationalisation of an idea which we think is true, and according to that will banish or put away beliefs, conclusions. Therefore, in that there is conflict and that is a wastage of energy. Therefore, any action of will is a wastage of energy. Do you have an insight into that? Not say, repeat after me or come to a conclusion, but you have an insight into this fact that any action of will, which is resistance, is a wastage of energy. And therefore, the mind which has employed, exercised will in all activities comes to an end. So it acts only with insight. That is insight is action. After all, when you see danger you act instantly, don't you? The perception of danger is to have an insight into that danger. It is only the man who is not sensible or blind to danger, he is damaged. Right? So there is an energy which is derived from insight, not from a conclusion, strife, by an act of will. And it is this energy which is the insight, has the power, the force necessary to go beyond 'what is'.
Now let us discuss this. Let's talk it over together as a dialogue between two people who are concerned about this. You understand? We have always acted according to choice and will. We have always acted from a centre, 'the me' which separates itself from 'the you' and thereby isolating itself and therefore in conflict with you. 'The me' is a verbal statement of a non-fact. 'The me' is not. That's an idea, a verbal statement, a conclusion, an abstraction, a verbal description of something that has no reality. And we accept that and act according to that 'me' which is the product of the past, the culture and so on and so on and so on. So, where there is the 'me' as an abstraction, which is not real, there must be conflict between you and me in relationship. Right? Now, we recognise this. We say 'yes, that is so'. The next question is: how am I to go beyond the 'me'. Right? 'The me' with its ambitions, greeds, jealousies, anxieties, fears, pleasures, remembrances, imaginations, you know, all that. How am I, how is the 'me' to go beyond itself? Right? Is that the right question? Isn't that a wrong question altogether? How can the 'me' - see this please - how can the 'me' says to itself 'how can I go beyond myself?' And because it cannot, they have a speculative, hierarchical principle of various gods. You understand? There is the higher self and so on because they don't know what to do with the 'me'. They say it is wrong to have the 'me'. The 'me' must be killed. They have all kinds of phrases for it. And not being able to do it they invent an outside agency - the Brahman, the God, whatever you will, an outside agency - that will wipe away the 'me'. Therefore, they say concentrate on that abstraction. You are following all this? On this the whole religious world is based.
Now, we are asking, we are saying you have put a very wrong question altogether. The 'me' is the invention of thought and thought says 'how can I go beyond myself?' Thought doesn't see that it's a wrong question to have put at all. That is, to observe the 'me' without any movement of wanting to go beyond. You have understood this a little bit please? To observe the activities of me: the imagination, the contrivances, the remembrances, the doubts, the desires, the 'me', my house, my property, my attachments, my guru is better than your guru, you know all that business that goes on, the 'me', just to watch it without any movement of thought wanting to go beyond it. Then you have energy. Then there is tremendous energy that comes into being. Because you are not - the mind is not wasting its energy through the desire to go beyond, through the desire to achieve something extraordinary. You have understood this? Can we discuss this? (pause)
You see, it means I will have to go on because you are not asking questions. Can the mind be totally attentive? And what does this total attention mean? Can you attend to something completely without any movement of desire, which is thought? Any movement of feeling, without feeling, which means a mind that's highly sensitive and be completely attentive? Is this attention a matter of practice? Can I practise day after day to be attentive? See, I have put a wrong question and that's what we are always doing. One sees the necessity or the obvious fact that attention is necessary. Then one proceeds to say 'how am I to get it.' And there are dozens of people who will give you methods, pills or various drugs to be attentive. So, is it possible to be attentive instantly without any urge, without any motive, without any desire to be attentive? You follow sir, what I mean? Can you do it? No. Sir, look: one can do it. It doesn't matter if it is for a fleeting second.
You see, attention is summation of total energy. Don't repeat it after me, please. Don't let that be a new slogan. It is summation of total energy. And we have this total energy when there is a great crisis in one's life. When one faces death or when one faces the fact that someone whom you loved or liked is dead, or you lost, you have deep attachment, when you have a tremendous crisis, a shock, you are totally attentive at that second. That attention comes about through a shock. Right? Through a compulsive incident, through an extraneous accident. What we are asking is: can the mind be totally attentive without any motive, without any desire to go beyond. Just be attentive? Because wanting to be attentive is a wastage of energy. Right? Because there is the desire as the 'me' wanting to be attentive. Therefore, there is conflict between the idea of being attentive and the fact I am not attentive. You understand? So, what is important there is not that I must be attentive, but the fact that I am not attentive. That is, the 'what is', is non-attention. The abstraction is that I must be attentive. You see that? Therefore, attention is a state - it doesn't matter for a second - a state in which every movement of the 'me', or as desire, nothing except attention. I wonder if you get it. Therefore, in that attention there is no control of any kind. You have understood sir? Control implies a controller. We are back again into the 'me' controlling over something which I don't like or I must have or I am supposed to have and hence the conflict between the controller and the controlled. You are following all this? Whereas the controller is the controlled. When you see that, control altogether disappears - control being suppression, imitation, conformity and so on.
You want to ask questions about it? Come on, sirs.
K: So, you are saying sir, are you? - you are being stimulated by the speaker or by reading a book, to be attentive and when you go outside and face daily life, everything boils over. Is that it? So, now, just listen to this sir. Just listen. Don't do anything but just listen. Is attention to be stimulated? You understand? Or attention is the natural outcome of your insight. You've understood? Sir, look: there is violence, there is turmoil, there is choice, there is action of will, insensitivity and I am not generally - one is not generally aware of this. When one is aware of it, then in that awareness comes a conclusion that 'I must not be in turmoil.' That is the action of will trying to achieve a state of non-turmoil. Right? Now, that is resisting turmoil and trying to achieve a non-fact, which is a state in which there is no turmoil. There is only one thing which is 'what is', which is turmoil. Right? There is only turmoil, not a state of non-turmoil. That's an abstraction, an idea, an ideal. Therefore, there is only one thing. Right? Now, how are you to face the turmoil? That is the problem. Not while you are here or when you leave but how do you observe this turmoil? If you observe this turmoil with the intention of going beyond it, then you are not observing the turmoil. Are you? You want to go beyond it. You don't want to learn about turmoil. You understand? All you are concerned is 'for God's sake, let me go beyond it.' Now, to have an insight into turmoil there must be freedom to observe. Right? Freedom to observe in which there is no conclusion, no opinion, no judgement. Just freedom to observe. Got it, sir?
Q: It’s hard.
K: You see, that's one of our other fallacies, that it is hard. No, it is not hard. What is happening is you are not listening, learning about 'what is'. You are not listening to 'what is' nor learning about 'what is'. You understand sir? Now, may I go into this fact, which is what is learning? What is learning? Have you ever thought about it sirs? What is learning? Is learning the accumulation of knowledge? Eh? No? What do you say?
K: No, sir. I am asking a question: what is learning? What do you mean by learning? Learning, sir? The act of learning, what does it mean? I learn a language. Right? Italian, French, Hindi, whatever it is. I learn a language which means I learn the vocabulary, the words of that language. I store up the words in my memory. Right? There I am accumulating knowledge about a language. Having learnt it, I speak. That's one form of learning. Is there any other form of learning?
Q: Learning is life, sir? There is no form of learning unless you make a form.
K: No, sir. I understand that but I am just asking. There are two facts. Learning a technique. I am just exploring, sir. I am learning a technique which necessitates accumulation of knowledge. Right? That's obvious. Now, I am asking is there any other form of learning? Or is all learning limited only to technological knowledge: accumulation of technological knowledge through experience, personal, social and all the rest of it? So, I am asking, what is learning? If learning is so limited to technological knowledge, then learning becomes very mechanical. Right? Now, is there a different learning? So, I am asking, what is learning? Learning from who? From a book, from a guru, from the speaker, from my neighbour, from my wife, learning? Or is learning a constant movement without accumulation in relationship, without the image? You've understood?
Look, sir, I need technological knowledge to go from here to my house, how to bicycle, how to drive a car, how to work a computer and so on, or how to run, how to work in a factory, for that I need experience, knowledge, memory to function in a particular technological job. That's part of my life. I don't exclude that from my life. That's part of my life. And also it's part of my life - relationship. The major part, that's my whole life because without relationship there is no life. Relationship in life means action.
So, what is learning in relationship? You are following all this? I am just exploring. I am not saying it is so or it is not so. I am exploring. What is learning in relationship? Because all my life is based on relationship, conscious or unconscious, superficial or deep, from which action takes place. Right? So, action born out of knowledge is one thing - you are following? - and is there an action not born out of the accumulated knowledge, experience of the past? You are following? So, I said what is learning in relationship, in life, because life is relationship. In that relationship, if the mind has accumulated knowledge then it becomes mechanical. And is there a learning in relationship in which there is no accumulation at all? You are following this? Is there in relationship no image at all? If I have an image in my relationship with you, about you, my relationship is based on a mechanical conclusion of past events, which is knowledge. And, therefore, my relationship to you is an abstraction, is a conclusion, but not actually 'what is'. You are following? So, is there a learning in relationship which is a movement without accumulation?
Just a minute, just a minute? I am investigating. Have a little patience. So, is there an action which is the action of constant learning without the accumulation as knowledge and experience which then becomes mechanical? You follow? Is learning in relationship without knowledge, love?
So, one asks who is the teacher and what is it that we are learning? You've understood my question? Who is the teacher from whom you are learning? If you are learning how to ride a bicycle, you need a teacher. Right? How to drive a car you must have an instructor. How to work a computer, you must have an expert who knows about computers, or if you are doing an assembly job you have to be told, have experience, knowledge. So, you need a teacher to teach you how to ride a bicycle and no teacher at all in any other field. Have you understood this, sir? Because what is there to learn? Is enlightenment the summation of accumulation, of experience? You are following all this? Or there is never a moment in which accumulation takes place. You see this? If there is an accumulation between you and me in our relationship, that accumulation is an abstraction. You follow, sir? Is not real and all our relationship is based on accumulation, whether it be sexual, whether it be pleasure, all the rest of it. So, when you see this, have an insight into this, you need only the expert to teach you how to ride a bicycle, and you need no teacher at all in learning of relationship in which there is a constant movement which is without time. And that is love. I wonder if you get all this.
Q: Sir, could you kindly tell us what you mean by relationship?
K: She doesn't understand the meaning of relationship. Nobody does either! I am going to - wait, have patience. What do I mean by it? Why do you ask me what I mean by it? What do you mean by relationship? Be patient. Answer quietly. What do you mean by relationship? You are related to your father, to your mother, to the teacher who is teaching you mathematics, or related to your friend who is sitting next to you, or if you are married you are related to your husband, what does that mean, to be related? You are the daughter of your parents. Right? What is your relationship to your parents? Is your relationship to parents based on obedience? Don't say no. Just look at it. Examine it. Is your relationship based on your parents of fear, or saying 'they know much better than I do. They are the authority. I know nothing, I must learn and therefore, in the meantime I must obey.' So your relationship to the parents, for most people when they are young, most relationship to their parents is based on this - a relationship of fear. Most of them, I don't say all of them. Of fear, of obedience, acceptance and all the rest of it. Is that relationship? When you are afraid of me and therefore you must obey me, therefore you say 'please tell me what to do' - have we any relationship at all, though you are my daughter?
Relationship exists only, doesn't it, when I have no authority over you, though you are my daughter and I care for you, I don't want you to fit into my pattern of what I think you should be, when I cultivate in you independence, freedom because I care, therefore, I say please. I talk it over with you. Then relationship means a communication with you in which there is care. Not the care that exists now, which is to make you conform to the pattern which I think is good for you, which is the social environment, tradition, the culture. You've got it? So, relationship is only possible between two human beings when there is absolute freedom. And that freedom is not to do what you like or what I like. That's not freedom. But the freedom comes when there is care, when there is concern, when I am really concerned about your health, your body, your mind, how you behave, what you do - not to tell you what to do.
K: Right. The first, riding a bicycle, is technological information, knowledge. Right? That's one thing completely. Now is there any psychological accumulation and why do we have to have psychological accumulation? You have cheated me, you have flattered me, you have been saying things against me - you haven't, but suppose you have. I psychologically store up those memories. Pleasure, pain - you follow? I associate you with the image I have about you which I have gathered through the fact that you have flattered me or insulted me or hurt me. Right? So, my relationship with you is based on the accumulation which I have gathered about you. Right? Therefore, is that relationship at all? If that exists, there is separation between you and me which denies relationship. You follow, sir? So, is it possible to live - please listen to this - live daily life without the psychological accumulation at all, though you rob me? You follow? You have cheated me. You have taken away my wife, my watch, my car or something or other, so that I can meet you knowing that you have taken away my car. You follow? If I have a car or doesn't matter whatever it is. Not to allow - not allow - not to have the image acting instead of the movement of freedom in relationship, though I know that you have been naughty. You have understood, sir? Is that possible? And it is possible only when you insult me at that moment to be totally attentive. It is only a state of mind which is not attentive that builds images. Got it? Got it, sir? No, not verbally, do it.
Q: Is me given?
K: Is me given? What do you mean given, sir? Given by whom? By society?
Q: Is me innate?
K: Ah! Is me innate? Innate means what? The word 'innate'. What does that word 'innate' mean? Part of me? Part of my - innate. The birds fly. That's innate in their nature. Right? Is that right, sir? Tigers kill, that's their instinct, their necessity, that's their nature, innate in them. Now is the 'me' innate at all or the 'me' is brought about by the culture I live in, by my demands within that pattern and is the 'me' an abstraction or an actuality? You are following all this? There is no actual 'me.' I have a name, I have a passport, I have unfortunately a reputation but apart from that, what is the 'me'? It is a non-existing abstraction. It is not as factual as the microphone. It is there. The 'me' exists where there is resistance. The 'me' exists where there is imitation. The 'me' exists where there is conformity, where there is fear and the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain, that is the 'me' that has all these qualities. If I have none of these qualities, the 'me' is not. I don't know if you follow all this?
Q: Is there a permanent base to ‘me’?
K: What, sir?
Q: Is there a base where all these attributes exist?
K: Is there a permanent base. That's what the gentleman says. The base is permanent. Is there a 'me' that's permanent? This is good old India back again! Have you found out, sir, just a minute - have you found out for yourself, not what books say, not what anybody says, have you found out for yourself if there is a 'me', permanent 'me'? You might like it, you might wish it, you might imagine it, but is there such a thing as a permanent 'me'? Aren't you changing all the time, your body every seven years, I've been told, changes. There is constant change both outwardly and inwardly. There is nothing permanent. I like to think I have a soul. I like to think there is something in me that is timeless, that can never die. That's a great comfort. But it is not a fact, as a fact that the microphone is in front of me. The 'me' is your attachment to your furniture, to your sari, to your shirt, to your wife, to your husband, to your house, that is the 'me' and that 'me' can be known very easily without the invention of a super 'me'. You see, we won't face these facts. We don't know how to go beyond the 'me', therefore we invent a super 'me' that will help 'me' to go beyond. We play this game endlessly, like a man who is violent everlastingly talking about the ideal of non-violence. In the meantime he is having a lovely time being violent!
I think we had better stop. An hour and a half isn't it? If it doesn't rain tomorrow afternoon we meet again.