Are you aware?
A mind that seeks truth must be free of the observer
5th Public Discussion, Saanen
August 05, 1973
Shall we go on discussing, or rather talking over what we were discussing yesterday morning? We were talking about fear, and whether the mind can ever be free of it, because fear is a dreadful thing, it really paralyses one, and from fear all kinds of neurotic behaviour and action takes place. And we went into the question of what is fear, what is the nature of it, and if one could, not merely verbally but really realise the intricacies of fear, not the many branches of it, the varieties of fear, but actually the root of it, the basis of it, the radical source of fear, then perhaps if one has given complete attention to it then one sees, as we discussed yesterday, that fear is a movement of thought and thought as time. I do not know if one has really realised it, if one has deeply felt the truth of it, and if one has, one would have seen that possession is a form of fear, and non-possession is another form of fear, which is the movement of thought which says, I must possess and then through pain it says, I must not possess, it is still the movement of thought. And there are various expressions of fear.
And it seems to me if one could really go into this question of the whole problem of whether the mind can suppress thought, whether the mind can put an end to thought, put an end to time, and whether it is at all possible to be free of the movement of time as thought and also know, or realise thought has its place, its function, and when it moves out of that area then fear and all the complications begin. I think we more or less touched that.
And we said yesterday morning we would go into this question of total observation. I think that is where more or less we left off. Shall we go on with that? Please, if you have some other question or some other thing you want to discuss, please say so because I don't specially want to go on with my own
Krishnamurti: Would you please explain why you said yesterday thought cannot be arrested, stopped Yes, sir. There was no contradiction, I'll show it to you in a minute. The gentleman says, in what you said yesterday: that thought is a movement, and that movement can never be stopped - that seems to be a contradiction, that's what the questioner says.
K: That's what we are discussing sir. That's what we are going to take up in a minute. Can thought be stopped, arrested, put an end to, and who is it that wants to put an end to it, that desires, seeing all the complications of this movement in expression as fear, as attachment, detachment, as escape and non-escape, and all that movement, what is the entity, or the energy, or the outside agency that will put an end to this movement? Surely it is another fragment of thought. That's fairly clear, isn't it? So thought can't come to an end. No, please, to realise that, to realise thought has its function, obviously. When we are talking together it is the function of thought, because it uses language, the language which has been learnt, memory, stored up and it is the movement of thought in time, obviously. That must go on. But we are saying the moment thought leaves that area then all our problems begin - the problem of possession, non-possession, fear, pleasure, and the pursuit of pleasure, achievement, competition, you know, the whole psychological complexities begin. Now can the mind keep the two things separate, but yet harmonious - like two rivers running together?
That is only possible when we understand the structure and nature of ourselves. Whether one can know or understand the extraordinary thing that we call ourselves, the 'me', the 'I', this battle that is going on all the time in us. Because life is, after all, living, in which a job - earning a livelihood, love with all its fears and its tenderness, and the question of death, and also if there is anything beyond all this, which the religions have asserted unfortunately through priests and beliefs, and dogmas and worship of symbols and all that, which becomes so utterly meaningless, whether there is something totally sacred. One can understand all this as a total movement, not of time, as a living thing, if one can know about oneself. To observe oneself and to go beyond oneself, now can we discuss that this morning? Do you want to discuss that?
That is, we have discussed I don't know, for the last five or is it four discussions, I've forgotten - but the last time we met here, yesterday, we said we'll talk about fear, and we went into it fairly sufficiently, and this morning if we could go into this question whether the mind can know itself, its activities, its verbal structures, and non-verbal structures, its despairs, its pleasures, its continuous demand to be - if we could go into that and go beyond that, we might be able to come upon something which is not put together by thought as movement in time - something that may be, not permanent, that has nothing whatsoever to do with time. So may we go into that? Right?
Now I want to know myself. Please this is a discussion, not a talk by me. I want to know about myself. I behave very strangely, I am antisocial, I dislike my fellow human beings, or I have got peculiar tendencies, both sexual and otherwise; I have all kinds of urges. Now can this mind know all that? Or shall I blame my parents - my parents who have quarrelled, who don't get on well together, who have bitterness, and anger, you know all that goes on in a restricted family when they are not properly responsible in their relationship. All that and the environment - shall I put it all on the environment, on the parents? There have been a lot of books written about it, the far, deep cry, and blame - they have gone even into the crying in the womb, and the Asiatics have gone much beyond that, they say it is the past life. So your present state, the psychologists and others blame on the environment, parents, and the indefinite past; and they have written volumes about all this. The latest volume is much the best! And we get terribly excited about it. But the fact remains: we are what is actually going on. It is no good blaming the parents and the environment, it is finished, they have produced you and me, whether they wanted it or not, here we are. And we must obviously, which is most reasonable and sane, start from 'what is', not go back and say, 'Well, this is the result of my mother and father who didn't put me on the pot rightly'. Right? 'Who didn't behave in front of me rightly', and so on. I think it is all so useless, because I have to take what I am and deal with it, which is most practical, sane and objective. And that can produce immediate action. But if I keep on blaming the environment, and my parents, and you know, the past, I can go on playing that game everlastingly, and never change 'what is'. Right?
So can we in this talking over together stop all the blaming, or saying the environment, the parents, the past, has made you this. All right, it has made me this, I want to start from here. Right? Can we do that? So I want to know what is going on now, not what has produced it. I don't have to go to Africa to study the gorillas and the apes in order to understand myself. I can start with myself because myself is the result of the culture, the environment, the parents, the society, the tradition, all the superstitions, the beliefs, the propaganda of two thousand years, or ten thousand years, I am the result of all that. Right? And therefore I am the world and the world is me. That's not a verbal statement but an actual fact. And I feel that most urgently. Now, we'll start from there. Can we start from there?
So you are not blaming the parents. (Laughs) Please see the importance of it. You are not blaming anybody for your actual behaviour, for your neurotic thoughts, for your antisocial or neurotic activity; it is there. Now the problem from that arises - I'm giving a talk, nobody is discussing! I'll stop in a minute - the problem arises from there: what is the mind to do with 'what is', how is it to go beyond 'what is'? Right? Am I - when I'm talking about 'I' it is quicker - is the mind aware of its neurotic behaviour, aware of its sexual demands, perverted or otherwise, its ambitions, its crude violence and subtle forms of violence? Is it aware of its gestures, words, drive, instincts? Is one aware of it? Are you aware of it? Come on sirs, let's discuss this. If one is aware of it, what is one to do? You understand sir? This is the major problem in life - not being able to solve this we then look to extraneous outside agency to solve this, blame it on the environment, on education, on the parents, on the culture, wrong education, you know, all that arises.
So what is one to do with 'what is'? And does the mind know what is actually going on? Is the mind aware when I make a gesture? Is the mind aware of its occupations - whatever they be: sexual, religious occupations, Jesus, Krishna, or whatever it is, its ambitions, corruptions, you know, is it aware of this? Are you aware of this? If you are not, what is going to make you aware? More experience? Please, go on, discuss with me.
Q: (Inaudible) (Sound of train)
K: Let the train make its noise, sir. We are saying, are you aware of all this? And if you are not, what will make you aware of it? More suffering?
Q: How else? Suffering makes you aware. If everything goes well you don’t observe yourself. When there is suffering then you observe yourself.
K: I see, if everything goes well, you don't observe yourself. When there is suffering, then you observe yourself. So you need more suffering, is that it? You need somebody to goad you, is that it? So what is your mind going to do if it is aware of itself with 'what is'? And if it is not aware of itself, will any form of outside incidents, accidents, happenings, sorrow, disease, will that make you more aware? As that gentleman pointed out, suffering will do it; if everything is going smoothly we won't be aware. It is only when we are suffering that the sudden shock of it and the paralysis of sorrow and the coming out of it, then escaping from that, finding reasons and the cause and all that business, why you suffer, does that make you aware?
So what makes one aware? What makes one aware of what is going on within and without?
Q: When you come to yourself.
K: When I come to myself. Now, I haven't come to myself, but what is going to make me? Please understand this problem because we are all in that. We are either being forced by environment, by another, by a book, by something or through something or other we are being forced to be aware. Right? Therefore what does that do? When I am forced to be aware - you understand? - what happens to my mind, what takes place?
Q: You become aware of...
K: No, sir. Do watch it. Please watch yourself. When you depend on external stimuli to be aware what takes place?
Q: I get blocked. K: You are blocked. When your awareness depends on a stimuli what takes place in your mind? Do examine it, sir, don’t answer me. I am forcing you now. (Laughs) Right? I am forcing you, I am stimulating you, I am urging you. Wait, sir, what takes place?
Q: I depend on the stimulation.
K: Wait a minute, madame. There is somebody ahead of you.
K: That means what? When there is a stimulation from outside what takes place? You are saying you depend on that stimulation. Right? So you depend on the priest - right? - on a book, on a belief, on a person, environment, culture, and because you have depended on the environment, culture, people, and so on, what has taken place? Listen, what has taken place? You are not aware. Isn't it very simple? So I've discovered something, you have discovered something, which is, when you depend on a stimuli, on pressure, influence, threat, punishment, reward, then you depend on it and that very dependence causes fear and so gradually you are totally unaware.
Q: When the mind says, I must not depend...
K: Wait, wait. I am coming to that sir. I'm coming to it in a Just look what has happened. I have depended on you to be stimulated, to be aware - whether you, the symbol, the church, whatever it is - I have depended on you. And therefore I become attached to you, I must possess you. Right? And the possession becomes much more important than being aware. Just a minute, sir I'll finish this. So at the end of all this I am totally unaware. I accept because I have been educated, my culture says depend on stimuli and so on, so at the end of it all I am a dull, unaware person accepting things which others say is right, including the politicians, including all the rest of it. Yes sir?
Q: Isn’t it a paradoxical situation of our relationship to fear.
K: It comes to that, sir. So what am I? And am I aware of what I am independent of any stimuli? Because the moment I depend on it I am lost. Right? That's clear.
Now why am I not aware? Aware of what is going on within me, all the intricacies, the explanations, the cause, the descriptions, I am aware of this area. And if you are not, who is going to do it? If you depend on it you are destroyed. So do you see all this? Do you realise what is happening to the human mind? Instead of education making you much more aware, more alert, more observant, on the contrary it is destroying - except in a certain area. Religions, all that, are making the mind accept, imitate, conform, and not be aware. Now do you see that? When you follow an authority that is exactly what is gong on - right? - the authority of the church, temple, whatever it is, the book, including the speaker's authority. Are you aware of this, aware of what is happening to you when you depend, on alcohol, LSD, pot, and so on and so on?
Now, not being dependent on stimuli then what is - please listen - then what is the quality of awareness? You understand? It is not dependent on sorrow because again it is an incident outside, it is not dependent on any stimuli, but it is aware, it is aware of what is going on. What is the quality of that awareness? Come on, sir
K: Curiosity. It is really very interesting this, if you go into it. We have depended on outward or every kind of stimuli and that has made us unaware. That's a fact. The more I drink, the more I become unaware. But at the beginning it kind of stimulates me and I gradually - you know what takes place. Now what is the quality of awareness that is not the result of any stimuli and is that possible?
K: Don't use sir, please, if I may most respectfully suggest, don't just use words, find out! So I must first realise that so far I have depended on external stimuli to become aware, to find out why I suffer and so on and so on, so on, and I see the absurdity of it, the foolishness of it, what it does to one, therefore it falls away from me, completely falls away from the mind, it is no longer dependent.
K: Please, just examine what takes place. You are dependent, aren't you? You go to church, you read a book, you are sitting there listening to this poor chap talking, you are stimulated by music, cinema. And I am asking you if you are not stimulated by an outside agency then what is the quality of this awareness - which means you must be totally free of the external stimuli - are you?
K: No. Therefore are you aware - please proceed - are you aware that you are dependent on external stimuli, and do you realise the destructive quality of it - non-verbally, but actually realise it, as a poison you realise it? And when you do it is finished, isn't it?
K: Not sometimes, for god's sake! Yes, sir.
Q: Most of us have got an image of you and are dependent on it. What are we going to do with it?
K: I am destroying that image. The gentleman says most of us have got an image of you.
K: Dependence, same thing. Most people here are dependent on you. And what are you going to do about it. I can't do anything about it, but you can do a lot about it. Because I abhor, to me authority in any form in this field is poisonous, therefore I won't go near it.
Q: But even without being an authority you are stimulating us, that is there.
K: Therefore I am asking, sir, are you aware that an outside agency is stimulating you? Is all life - please listen, not only now in this tent - is all life a movement of stimulation and response to that stimulation? Q: Possibly.
K: Do find out, please. Then what takes place? Then we are merely entities of chance - isn't it? - of happenings, of incidents, of words, of ideas, which are all just meaningless. Are you aware of this? Look sir, if you are dependent on the speaker to be stimulated to think - whatever it is - stimulated, what takes place? You depend on the speaker, the speaker becomes the authority, you create an image, put a candle in front of him, or do whatever you want to do, and you are stuck, you are crippled, you are destroyed. Therefore are you aware of this?
And from that I am going to ask another question: is all life, living, dependent, like this? - stimuli, reaction, and from that reaction other series of causes and effects, and therefore just endlessly moving in a vicious circle without an ending. I don't know if you follow all this?
Q: That is our life.
K: That is your life. Now what are you going to do about it? To me - I wish I could talk about myself, I don't, it's no good talking about myself. To depend on an external stimuli does not bring a quality of awareness that is clear - you understand? - that is sharp, intrinsic, in itself it is like a blossoming of a thing without any roots. You understand? Oh for god's sake! So are you aware that you are being stimulated by the speaker to think differently, to act differently and therefore gradually he becomes the image, the symbol, the perfume, the goal, you know, and therefore you are just like another group of people stimulated by another beastly little guru, or another priest. That's all.
So I am asking, are you aware of this? And if you are, then you are no longer stimulated, therefore what is the quality of that awareness that is not the product of a stimuli? You understand? Come with me, please, I want to move.
Q: I am aware of external stimuli off and on, then I say I must be aware.
K: No, don't, not, 'I must be aware'. Are you aware, sir, of that noise of the aeroplane? You don't say, 'I must be aware'. Are you aware of the song of that stream? Are you aware of the shirt, or whatever the lady has put on, the colour of that person sitting next to you - what she looks like, what he looks like, whether they are suffering - are you aware of all this? Not, 'I must be aware', that has no meaning.
Q: I am attached to myself.
K: No, sir, sir, look, you mean to say you don't see those, you are not aware of those hills and mountains?
Q: I am aware of them.
K: You are aware. So you say, 'I am not aware because I am attached'. However much I am attached to myself I look. No, sir, don't make this so childish for god's sake! All right, I see you can't run with something that is so good.
So instead of blaming the past, see that education, that society, the economic condition, the culture, the whole educational system has made our minds astonishingly dull and unaware. Right? Because it is said, depend, read books, go to - you follow?. Now, being aware of it naturally it drops off, if you are interested in it. From there let's proceed.
Without blaming my parents or the past I see what I am. Now the problem then is: what am I to do with 'what is'? You understand? What am I to do with my neurotic thoughts, habits, with my superficial verbalisation of life, my suffering, my inanities, my absurd trivialities, my angers, jealousies, greed, what am I to do, how am I to go beyond it? You understand, sir? Now tell me what to do.
Q: Look at it.
K: The gentleman says, nothing. You say look at it. What do you mean by 'nothing'? Just accepting things as they are?
Q: Really look.
Q: Just be aware that you are not aware.
K: Oh lord! I was told yesterday that I was terribly patient! (Laughter) I don't know, I can't be otherwise, I wish I could be otherwise with people who won't even look at things, what is put in front of them. Now what am I to do with 'what is'?
Q: Why does one ask the question of what to do if one is aware?
K: I am not aware, sir. Look, sir. I become aware - just listen - I become aware that I am violent, sexually, inwardly, my thoughts are violent and I am really an extraordinary bundle of angers, fury, jealousy, hurts - you follow? I see all that. Through awareness I see that. Now what am I to do with that?
Q: You can’t do anything.
K: That's what the gentleman says here, 'You can't do anything'. Therefore I accept it? I just go on being violent, and all the rest of it? Which is what you are all doing. Wait a minute sir. This is what you are doing, more, or less, but that's the pattern. Now when you say, 'Do nothing', what do you mean by that? You may have a seed in that saying, 'Do nothing' - may have some truth in it when you say, 'Do nothing', so let's examine it. What do you mean, do nothing?
Q: Awareness. Make no effort.
K: Make no effort. You are telling me, don't make effort. Are you?
Q: If you see the point of awareness then you are aware, and you avoid violence.
K: Ah, that's it. I can't avoid it, it is there. And it is making me - please, sir - it is making me behave - not me - behave, because it is there I behave violently. Please, sir, you haven't understood. May I explain? Through awareness I realise I am violent. Right? Now that is what is left with me through awareness. You understand? Now what am I to do, how am I to go beyond that violence? How do you answer it, sir, don't look to him, how do you answer it?
Q: You are that violence itself.
K: So what will you do?
Q: You see it is not separate.
K: So what will you do after you have seen violence is not separate from you, you are violent?
Q: Violence goes.
K: Then what sir, you can't just leave it there.
K: Are you doing this, or just verbally stating it? Yes sir?
Q: I wanted to ask first what is the entity that wants to be aware and if it is, does violence remain?
K: No sir, we have been into that but perhaps you were not here before. Oh, god!
K: So, sir, what does it mean to be aware? Who is it that is aware? Is awareness something different from the observer? We went into that the other day very carefully. The observer is the past. When the past is aware it is still of the past. So in awareness, if you have gone into it, if you have enquired, if you have made the research, seen the beauty of it, in that awareness there is no observer at all because in that awareness there is no choice. That is something which you haven't found out, you will accept it and try to imitate it, but if you come to it, discover it for yourself, then how will the mind - please listen to this for a few minutes - how will the mind which has become so extraordinarily conditioned to violence - I am taking that as an example - how will that mind, or that 'what is', how will that deal with it? You understand?
Q: Violence is only when you are not aware, if you are aware it is not there.
K: Are you aware, really, of your violence without the observer? And you never say, 'I am violent' - you understand? There is only violence, not, 'I am violent'. Are you in that position? Or there is violence and the entity who observes that there is violence? And I am afraid that is the fact. So there is a division between the observer and the observed, and you never realise the observer is the observed. And that can only take place when there is an awareness in which there is no choice, just observe.
Q: What can you do with that?
K: I am coming to that, sir. You understand, sir, every scientist has come to this point, 'what is', both human and otherwise. He says, 'How am I to go beyond it?' You follow? This has been the everlasting problem from time immemorial: I know I am violent, what am I to do, how am I to go beyond it? Not being able to go beyond it - please listen to this - they have invented an outside agency. You understand, sir? They say, god, society, compulsion, law, you know, all that. And if you see the absurdity of all that then you have the problem: there is violence and the entity who is violent. Right? So there is a division between the entity who is violent and what he calls violence. You follow? There is a division, the observer and the observed. And that has been a battle between those two, conflict. Now is the observer different from the observed? Find out, sir. Is the observer different from the observed which he calls violence, or are they both the same? What do you say sir?
Q: There is one part of myself which is violent and aware of it.
K: So one part of you is aware and the other part is not, and the one part that is not, is aware of the other part which is violent, so there is a division, which is the observer and the observed. You put it ten different ways, it comes to the same thing. I see you can't go beyond it, so you are stuck with it.
Q: What can we do?
K: I will show you what you can do. For god's sake! I must be patient, I am usually patient but this is getting on my...
Look sir, I'll go into it if you don't mind. One has depended on outside stimuli to become aware - suffering, accidents, pain, books and so on. And I see - this mind sees what that stimuli has done - it made it dependent. Where there is dependence there must be possession and therefore more fear. If you depend on alcohol, LSD and so on you must have more of it, you know the whole dependency. So I see where there is a dependence on a stimuli the mind becomes dull, utterly unaware, I see that. And therefore seeing it, seeing the truth of it, it goes away. As I see poison in a bottle I never touch it because I see the reality of it, as when I see a precipice I don't jump, I run away from it, or move away from it. So it is finished. Then through awareness it has been put away. Now I have become aware of myself, of my whole movement of myself, the activities of myself. One of the activities is violence. I realise I am violent. Now, is violence different from me? Or I am violence? Is this an actual fact, or a theory, or a verbalisation of what I would like it to be? You are following all this? Or are you going to sleep? I'll shut my eyes and go on.
So what takes place? I am now questioning whether the observer is different from the thing he observes, which he has called violence, are the two, the observer and the observed, or put it differently, the thinker and the thought, are they two different states, different entities? Obviously they are not. The thinker is the thought. Without thought there is no thinker. Without the word, which is necessary for expression is there a thinking? Avanti signor?
Q: (In Italian)
K: No, no. He says - must I translate that? Look, sir, is the observer different from the observed? Let's stick to that, not introduce the word 'mind'. That is what he is objecting to. I have introduced the word 'mind', so I will take away that word. Is the observer different from the observed? I am questioning this, you understand? I have been aware of external stimuli, I have rejected it, now I am asking, I am aware and I have the problem of violence, and I am asking: is violence different from me, from the observer, or are they both the same? If they are different there will be conflict, one trying to overcome the other, trying to pacify the other, trying to become peaceful, and all that. So where there is division there is conflict. So I see that - between nations and so on. I see that. Therefore from that perception, insight, from that realisation, the two are one, both logically, objectively and the realisation of it is, the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought. Now that is what I have realised, so what takes place? The observer is the observed, the experiencer is the experienced - I am changing it. Now what shall I do, me, or the mind, the fact that I am violent, in that there is no division. What takes place?
Q: Violence ceases when you realise you are violence.
K: So when you realise that you are violent violence ceases? Is that a theory, is that a theory, is that an idea, or is it a fact that you, who have listened to this thing, and have realised the experiencer is the experienced, the observer is the observed, therefore the observer, being violent himself, what takes place? Does violence cease?
Q: Violence ends.
K: I understand sir. Then violence dies, then violence ends.
Q: If you are violence and are aware of it, it ends.
K: Right. Is this an idea, or a fact?
Q: To follow your words is an idea
K: I am asking you sir. I am putting it in front of you. Just a minute, sir.
Q: Therefore it is not a question of time at all.
K: Therefore I am asking you, are you translating what is being said into an idea, and then making that idea a reality and therefore the mind conforms to that idea, or do you see the fact, the truth of it, that the observer is the observed, the violence is the observer? Wait a minute. What takes place then? Watch it sir, watch it. What takes place when there is a perception, clear, pure perception, unadulterated by thought, when there is a perception that the observer is the observed, violence which the observer put it over there realises the observer in himself is violence. Then what takes place, non-ideationally but actually? I am only concerned with violence. What has happened to that violence?
Now may I go into it a little bit? Suddenly I get angry for some reason or other. And that anger has been remembered previously. I have known that anger previously. Because I have known it, it names it as anger, the present anger. Please follow this a little bit. It names the present anger from the past memory. It does it because it is a habit, also in doing that it strengthens the past, it does it because it doesn't like something new, therefore it feels secure in the past, therefore by naming it as anger it gives to the mind, to the observer more security. So the present anger is absorbed by naming it into the past. The past is the observer, and the observer next time he is angry says, 'Yes, that's anger again'. So the observer is always keeping himself divided from the present, and that division brings conflict - I must not be angry, why shouldn't I be angry, it is reasonable to be angry under these circumstances, righteous anger and all the rest of it. And this division gives a certain occupation to the mind. So he sustains the observer. The observer sustains himself by recognition of the present by naming it. So the observer becomes stronger and stronger, healthier, more secure. And the battle goes on, in which we are educated, which we have accepted, to which we say, 'That's right, we must always overcome anger', suppress it, control it, shape it, use that energy in doing something else, in running up and down the street - you follow? - do anything but and so on.
Now, one sees all that by observing, by being aware, watching, one is aware of all this. Then out of that awareness you see there is no division between the observer and the observed. It is a trick of thought which demands security. Please don't madam, please. And by being aware it sees the observer is the observed, that violence is the observer, violence is not different from the observer. Now how is the observer to end himself and not be violent? Have you understood my question so far? I think so. Right? The observer is the observed, there is no division and therefore no conflict. And is the observer then, knowing all the intricacies of naming, linguistically caught in the image of violence, what happens to that violence? If the observer is violent, can the observer end, otherwise violence will go on? Can the observer end himself, because he is violent? Or what reality has the observer? Right sir? Is he merely put together by words, by experience, by knowledge? So is he put together by the past? So is he the past? Right? Which means the mind is living in the past. Right? obviously. You are living in the past. Right? No? As long as there is an observer there must be living in the past, obviously. And all our life is based on the past, memories, knowledge, images, according to which you react, which is your conditioning, is the past. And living has become the living of the past in the present, modified in the future. That's all, as long as the observer is living. Now does the mind see this as a truth, as a reality, that all my life is living in the past? I may paint most abstract pictures, write the most modern poems, invent the most extraordinary machinery, but I am still living in the past!
So can the mind understand the danger, the destructive nature of living which has become the past? That is the observer. When the observer is not, then what is there? Is there 'what is'?
K: The gentleman says, yes. Please sir, you haven't The observer is the observed. Right? We have made that perfectly clear. When the observer is the observed, the observer being the past, and when the observer is not, what is?
Q: The present.
K: What do you mean by that word 'present'?
Q: Something new.
K: What do you mean by the present? Is that just another invention, another verbalisation of non-reality? Do you live in the present?
Q: I don’t know.
K: Then why use the word 'present'? If one doesn't live it, there is no meaning. What does it mean to live in the present? The total understanding of the truth of the past, and that insight into the past which is so complex and yet which is so terribly simple. Then time as the past, time as the present, which is time as the past going through the present, modified in the future, that time element comes to an end, then the present is not present. You understand? It is something totally different.
Now, is there violence when the observer is not? Right, sir? So I have to understand myself as the observer. Right? Myself which is the result of time, age, thousands and thousands of years of experience, knowledge, the past, which has conditioned the mind, evolved to become what it is now: dependent on stimuli, running away from sorrow, battling within himself and outside, killing. I saw a picture on the television the other day of the result of a bombing. There were children writhing in pain and the mother crying. Somebody's leg had been torn away, bleeding to death. You have seen it, I am quite sure. And that's our civilisation, our marvellous culture - you may paint pictures, build lovely cathedrals, and all the rest of it. And that's our life, that's our daily living moment. And as long as the observer exists which is the past we will have all this going on. Right?
So a mind that seeks truth must be free of the observer. Right? You listen to it, don't make a picture of it, don't make the speaker into an authority, or a stimulant, but see the fact for yourself. See it actually as it is. Then out of it comes a marvellous flower - a flower that blossoms in goodness, in an extraordinary movement of love, which is not emotionalism.
You know tomorrow if you are so inclined let us talk about a much more complex thing, of which you are all so frightfully frightened - the future and death. Right? Because to understand it, see what is involved in it, does bring freedom from death. We will go into it tomorrow morning.