Can a conditioned mind free itself?
The essence of goodness is a mind that is not in conflict
1st Public Discussion, Ojai, California
April 10, 1979
Krishnamurti: I believe this is a discussion, rather - I don't like the word 'discussion' - but rather a dialogue. The meaning of that word 'dialogue' means conversation between two people. And it would be good if we could talk over some human problem and go into it very deeply to the very end, and not merely offer opinions, arguments, opposition and so on. Could we have a good dialogue together? So please, you choose the subject you want to talk about, or want to investigate, and let's go into it.
Q: Why do you think that so many people killed themselves in Vienna last autumn because somebody told them to do it?
Q: The Jonestown massacre.
Q: Why do you think it happened?
K: The massacre in Jonestown, why. Are you really interested in that?
Q: Sir, could we examine further whether it is actually possible for a mind that doesn’t see clearly to bring about a transformation in itself?
K: Is it possible for a mind that does not see clearly to bring about not only clarity but a deep mutation, is that possible.
Q: Could we discuss attachment in relationship?
K: Could we talk over together attachment in relationship.
Q: Could we talk over why do human beings get caught in various networks of escapes rather than facing or responding to the whole (inaudible) of life.
K: Why do we get caught up in the network of escapes.
Q: Sir, what is the challenge of the man/woman relationship?
K: (Laughs) What is the challenge between woman and man.
K: You should know. (Laughter)
Q: The right place for sex.
Q: Is there such a thing as soul?
K: Is there such a thing as soul.
Q: Is there such a thing as a soul mate and if so how do you meet your soul mate? (Laughter)
K: Soul mates? (Laughs) It's really so quite a (laughter) How do you meet a soul mate? I am sorry to laugh but it is quite amusing. (Laughter)
Q: Why is it that even though you have been speaking a very long time, fifty years, it seems to be that so very few people are really understanding deeply what you mean?
K: You have been speaking for over fifty years, why is it so few people throughout the world seem to be transformed? Is that the question?
Q: What is the beginning of division in consciousness?
K: What is the beginning of division in consciousness. Yes. May I - now would you enough questions have been asked so which shall we choose among those questions which will be worthwhile going into? Attachment
Q: Whether a transformation is actually possible.
K: Whether a mind which is clouded, dull, uncertain, can such a mind transform itself.
K: Now which question do you want to discuss?
Q: The last one.
K: Why a mind that is not clear, uncertain, can such a mind transform itself? That's what you want to discuss, go into.
Sir, when we talk about not having a clear mind what do we mean by that? Do we mean such a mind is conditioned, enclosed, resisting, incapable of being not only free within itself but also go beyond itself? So we must be clear what we are talking about. A mind that is conditioned, can such a mind free itself? I think that would be a simple way of putting it. Would you agree to that, sir?
K: Do we know, or aware, that our minds are conditioned? And what do we mean by being conditioned? I am not giving a talk, so please, we are two friends talking over together, trying to find out seriously whether a mind that is heavily conditioned can ever be free itself. We are asking what do we mean by being conditioned.
Q: In order to find that out we must see what is the origin of conditioning – right?
K: What is the origin, the beginning of conditioning.
Q: We find that a conditioned mind has a pattern to which it always comes back to, and all responses seem to be out of that pattern.
K: Yes sir, that's one aspect of it. What do we mean by being conditioned? And the gentleman asked, what is the origin of our conditioning.
Q: Any experience, no matter how enlightening, as long as there is any memory that is retained, one would call conditioning.
Q: Any experience.
K: Any experience. Would we say that human beings from the very beginning of time are conditioned by their immediate experiences? Immediate experience of danger, of security, of physical uncertainty, of survival, seeking protection, and not completely finding that protection, being anxious, afraid, both neurologically and physically. Surely that is the beginning of human conditioning, right from the very beginning.
Q: I think you made a jump there. The primal conditioning, food, clothing and shelter, to be secure physically, this is fairly clear. But when fear comes into that there is another dimension (inaudible)
Q: The beginning is physical necessity.
K: Physical necessity. Human beings right from the beginning of time have to have food, clothes and shelter. In the very searching of it, in the very hunting of it, in the very demand for food, going through various experiences in acquiring food, there began the conditioning. Conditioning, being hunted and hunting, the experience of fear, the experience of uncertainty, the lack of safety and so on. That is the beginning, obviously, of human mind being conditioned. Physically most of us have this urge to be protected, find safety, security, certainty. Right? Obviously. So that is the beginning of it.
Q: Isn’t it healthy to have an urge to live in safety and security?
K: Is it not healthy to have such an urge, to have food, clothes, shelter, that's a natural demand of every human being right throughout the world, whether rich or poor, that's natural. That's granted - don't let us And that is being prevented by various categories of division: class division, national division, religious division, economic division, oil division, and so on, so on, so on. That - please let's go slowly - that is, physical demand for food and clothes, has that - I am asking you, please investigate together - spilled over into the psychological field? That is, one has food, clothes, and shelter, one needs it, but also one thinks one needs psychological safety, psychological security, psychological dependence, psychological anxiety and so on, so on, so on. So I am asking - please listen to this - I am asking, I am not stating, I am asking you to find out if the physical needs with all their reactions have not entered into the arena, area of the psychological field.
K: Just find out, sir, find out before you say, yes or no. This is important because if we don't find this out then we mix the two. That is, one needs food, clothes and shelter, with all its problems, with all its reactions, the work, the job, and so on. Now I am asking, that very same urge, has that entered into the psychological field, the inward field, inside oneself, which says, 'Yes, not only I need protection, physical protection, security, safety, clothes and all that, but also I need somebody on whom I can depend, from whom I can have protection, security, safety'. You understand? The same movement has entered into the psychological world.
Q: Is it not psychological urge too to want food or shelter? Is it a separate thing?
Q: Isn’t the desire for food and shelter a psychological urge as well as a physical urge?
K: We are going to find out that's what, I want to go step by step, sir. One needs food, that's natural - right? - the desire for food, but that same desire might have entered into the psychological field and says, 'I need company, I am afraid to be alone.'
Q: He says the desire for food is itself a psychological desire.
K: Is it? Is desire for food, is it psychological desire?
K: I need food. This morning it was very cold, one had to put on a coat. So that's not desire.
Q: What I mean is, possibly it is not a psychological desire for you but is it for normal people, ordinary people, (laughter) a psychological desire too.
Q: We want to find out what is the origin of thought in a wrong place.
Q: He says for us, food becomes psychological need.
K: Ah, for us food becomes a psychological need - why?
Q: I have had...
K: Just a minute, sir, go into it, don't answer it immediately, find out: why do I psychologically need food? You understand my question?
Q: Something else is missing.
K: I don't quite get it.
Q: Sir, it may be that the body needs a certain amount of food but psychologically I want more than it needs.
K: That's it. I need sufficient food, but my tongue dictates what kind of food I need, the most tasty - that becomes psychological. So one has to distinguish (laughs) - this is very simple all this, I don't know why you are making a fuss about this. (Laughter)
K: Sir, look, we are discussing, we are talking over together as two friends about the problem of being conditioned. Don't forget, please, don't go off to something else. Our minds are conditioned by our culture, by our race, by our climate, by our food, by our beliefs, and so on, so on. We are conditioned, our minds are conditioned through education, through experience, through knowledge and so on. And the question is: can such a mind free itself from its conditioning? That's the real central issue. Let's stick to that and not go off about food (laughs) and
Q: How about conditioning and memory.
K: Memory, that's knowledge. So we are conditioned by knowledge, which is experience, which is stored up in the brain as memory, thought, all that. By all this we are conditioned. The question is: can we go beyond, can the mind go beyond its own conditioning? You understand this question, sir? It is a very serious question because there are those, very scholarly, very well-known people who say that it cannot, you can modify it, you can bring about certain changes within the conditioning, but it is impossible to go beyond, to break through, to be free of one's conditioning. You understand? This is not just a game we are playing, this is a very, very serious question. So we are saying, are you aware that your own mind is conditioned? This is very important, please answer my question. Are you aware that your mind is conditioned?
K: No, no! (Laughs)
Q: That is the only mind we know.
K: That is the only mind we know. Now just listen carefully please. When you say, that is the only mind we know, are you different from that mind? You understand my question? Look: suppose my mind is conditioned because I was born in India, educated abroad in England and in France, and Italy and so on, so on, so on. In their culture, the Eastern culture and the Western culture, and partly living in America, the Western vulgarism and so on, so on, so on. So this mind is conditioned. How do I know - please listen - that it is conditioned? Because you tell me? Or I discover - the mind discovers, not 'I discover', but the mind discovers that it is conditioned by the culture of India, of Europe and partly, very lightly by the American.
Q: But are you different from the mind?
K: Wait! Please follow this for two minutes and then you can ask. How do I know that my mind is conditioned? I have accepted, I have lived that way for thirty, twenty, forty, a hundred years. I have lived that way. How do I know my mind is conditioned?
Q: Because of unhappiness.
K: Unhappiness? That means if I am happy in my conditioning there is no problem.
Q: But we are not all the time happy, sorrow is coming always.
K: So you are aware of your conditioning, sometimes being happy, sometimes being unhappy. Is that it? Go into it, sir. Is that it?
Q: For example, I am born in Finland and I may feel homesick, so it tells me that I am conditioned to live in Finland, and that sorrow tells me.
K: So you are aware that you are homesick. Is that the indication of your conditioning? That's only a part. Right? You are conditioned by your religion, you are conditioned by your literature, the propaganda that is going on, the books that you read.
Q: In relationship when you’re talking with people or
K: All that is your conditioning. You are not answering my question. Please be patient with me. I am asking you, how do you realise that your mind is conditioned?
Q: By watching it.
Q: By being alone.
Q: By the repetitiveness of it.
Q: If I see that it is conditioned by reflecting on it, and looking at the thought I am conditioned, aren’t I looking at a thought which is imagination essentially? But I am not seeing it with any of the senses, or with sense.
K: That is - let me repeat the question, please. What he says. What he says, perhaps it is true, we are going to find out. He says, I think I am conditioned - I think. So the thinking is separate from being conditioned. You understand the difference? I wonder if you understand.
Q: When we think, the very act of thinking is the act of memory.
K: Yes, sir, thinking is the act of memory, is the response of memory. And memory says to me, I am conditioned; but that is not the actual realization that I am conditioned. See the difference? I think I am riding a camel, actually I am sitting here. (Laughter) I think I am conditioned.
Q: Sir, is not the memory itself conditioning?
K: Wait, sir. First see (laughs) You are all first see the position we are in, actually, and then we can proceed step by step. I think I am conditioned, but I am not sure. So there is a division between the thinker who says, I am conditioned, and the actual realization that the mind is conditioned. That is, I can think I am hungry but actually I may not be hungry. Make it as simple as that. Is this clear?
Q: If you go on thinking and think hard enough
K: No, my lady, you are missing my point.
Q: Sir, it seems like there is a kind of innate drive to be free.
K: This is very interesting how you cannot see this very simple point. I think I love you, (laughter) I may not actually love you. The actual feeling of loving is different from the thought that I love you. Is that simple, clear? Right? Keep to that a little, please. Perhaps you will understand this better. So the realization of being conditioned is different from the idea that I am conditioned.
Q: In what way is it different?
K: In what way it is different? One is actual, the other is imaginary - maybe, I don't know.
Q: Imagination is the only thing I know.
K: So is the tree imagination?
K: No, it is an actuality, you are sitting there, you can touch it. The idea you cannot touch, it is not as real as the tree. So I am asking, please have patience with this till you find out for yourself that thought imagines or conceives that it is conditioned, but the actual fact of being conditioned is different. Let me put it round the other way, perhaps you may get it. Thought is the response of memory. Right? That's very simple. Memory itself may be conditioned. You understand? It is, obviously. No?
Q: But sir, thought is so devious, and so clever that it says that...
K: It is not clever, not clever, just
Q: All right.
K: Be simple, sir, begin simply and you can work very, very deeply if you want to go into it. I want to find out if my mind is actually conditioned. And I say yes, it is conditioned because I have lived in India, born in a certain category of social status, educated here, there and so on, so by its very living it has been conditioned. Obviously. Now can the mind - please listen - can the mind realise that it is conditioned, or have I to tell the mind that it is conditioned? (Laughs) You see the point? If I tell the mind that it is conditioned then I am playing with words!
Q: Isn’t it the same also that if I tell my mind and thought that I am conditioned, that really I am not seeing it directly?
K: That's right, that's right. Can you see directly that your mind is conditioned?
Q: Sir, if I watch my action in life and see that action coming from memory, then I know I am conditioned.
K: That's all, that's all. So you realise through action that your mind is conditioned. That is, you say, I am an American, and you are proud of that, etc., etc., or when the Indian says, I am an Indian, it is part of his conditioning. When a man says he is Catholic, it is part of his conditioning, two thousand years of propaganda that you are a Christian and all the rest of it, this pressure has been imposed on your brain for two thousand years, and you say, yes, I believe.
K: Sir, wait. Look at it, sir, look, look, look at yourself.
So we are asking: can such a mind free itself from its conditioning? That's the basic question: can the mind, which was born in India, with all the superstitions, you know all that business, can that mind free itself from that? Obviously it can.
Q: I have to see the actualisation of the narrowness and limitations surpasses my unfreedom. I have to actually see the limitations of my conditionings.
K: That's right, that's right.
Q: So I can change it.
K: Of course you can change it.
K: I was, the person, the speaker was born in India, with all the conditioning there, I can say, well, nonsense, and drop it.
Q: What is the spiritual world?
K: What is the spiritual world. The spiritual world is beyond all conditioning.
Q: If I think the conditioning is on a spiritual level, or if I think that it is not actually physical, then won’t that throw me off?
K: Of course. But, sir, please, you are missing. Go step by step, you will find out for yourself. If you are born in America and you are conditioned to the American pattern of society, you know, all that goes on in America, believing this, and not believing that, and so on, so on, so on, your mind by your education, by your parents, by your friends, your mind is conditioned by the culture in which you are living. That's simple. Now can you break that down and go beyond - if you want to.
Q: It’s an extraordinary awareness.
K: That doesn't need great awareness, it needs simple observation.
Q: What am I going to do?
K: What - what am I going to do with regard to what?
Q: My conditioning.
K: Sir, I am born in France, the French culture, they think they are the most intelligent race in the world, supreme, la France, la voix, and all the rest of it! And I have been brought up in that. See what happens: I look down upon others, I create a division between myself and others, I have a sense of superiority, I am extraordinarily intellectual because I have passed lycee and all the rest of it, and I think I am better than anybody else. Now that's my culture, I can break that down!
Q: But sir, that is fairly easy like with nationality.
K: I am going into that. (Laughs) You are all so impossible, you don't want to go step by step. So can I drop my French culture, Indian culture and see what happens.
Q: What you’re saying is if you stay with experience, it’s not a conditioning. But it’s probably the conditioning that we already have, just we reinforce it all the time.
K: Sir, we are saying, sir, conditioning divides people: you are a Catholic and I am a Protestant, you are a Baptist, I am a Lutheran, you are Buddhist, I am a Hindu. It is so obvious, this division is destroying people. No? Hundred years war, thirty years war, you know, all the rest of history, you can see it. The Jew against the Arab, the Arab against the Jew, they are the same people but one has been conditioned by Islam, the other by Judaism, so they are at it. And you see this phenomenon going on right under your noses and we don't see the absurdity, the cruelty of it, and say, look, for god's sake, drop your nationalism, drop your Judaism and Islam and let's talk as human beings. They won't, because they are going back to Islamic law - you follow? - maintaining this division. So one sees this, at least being intelligent I drop it. So watch it. I drop nationalism, the culture in which I have been born, I don't call myself a Hindu or a Jew or an Arab, I drop that. That's fairly easy. The outward expression of this conditioning is fairly easy to drop, but inwardly it is quite a different matter.
Now if you haven't dropped the outer you can't go to the inner. You can pretend you are going to the inner. I don't know if you see that. Because I must test this, that I have dropped it. You follow? That's the proof of my freedom from that conditioning, I have tested it. I have tested it by saying, I am not a Hindu. I don't go to their temples, to their beliefs, to their books, nonsense, I put it aside. I also put aside the Christian I don't belong to any of that, which is an actual act, not just a theory. Right? Because I don't want to deceive myself therefore I am very clear on that matter. So I now say, I am conditioned. Am I conditioned psychologically? You understand? You understand my question? Are you? Go on sirs.
Q: There are patterns of knowledge which we seem to be trapped in.
K: So why have human beings given such extraordinary importance to knowledge? Please listen carefully. Knowledge, which is the accumulation of experience, whether the accumulation of experience of the scientist, or of the businessman, or of the artist, why have human beings - please listen to this, find out - why have human beings given such extraordinary importance to knowledge?
Q: Could it be that we don’t know where its place is?
Q: Knowledge works in the physical world. It is useful. It has worked for us.
Q: Because it is necessary in life’s conditions.
Q: There seems to be security in knowledge.
K: What do you mean by knowledge? I insist on going slowly, otherwise you will go off. What do you mean by knowledge?
Q: Accumulated memory.
K: No, sir, go into it a little bit, don't immediately answer, go into it. To know. What do you know?
Q: Past experience.
Q: Imitation, knowledge is imitation.
Q: I know how to act in certain situations in order to get the result which I want.
K: Yes, so you know how to act in certain situations because you have learnt previously how to act in that particular situation. Right? Right, sir? So what you know is the past. You have experimented, found and remembered and stored up - right? - and that has become your knowledge in that field. Like a technician, a plumber is excellent in that field because he has worked and so on, so on, so on. Right? So that is his knowledge. Which is, through skill, through practice, through action, he has acquired certain information about that, and stored it up and that has become the knowledge. Right? So knowledge is always in the past. You can modify that knowledge, you can enlarge that knowledge, but it is always in the past. Right? Please, careful, go into this very, very carefully because it is really very important for a human being because if we are always living in the past, as we do, which is to act from knowledge - you understand what I am saying? Please follow this, for your own sake - if I have skill, if I am skilful in becoming a carpenter, a plumber, or a businessman, or a politician, or a scientist and working along those lines I have acquired certain information, I have learnt certain things and I know now how to be a good plumber, or a good scientist or a good carpenter or a good professor, doctor, surgeon and so on, which is, I have acquired knowledge. From that I act. Right? Right, sir? That's simple. So knowledge is always in the past. Obviously. Right?
Q: Isn’t there a form of knowledge, inner knowledge, that goes beyond time, and is actually prior to the condition of being a human being?
K: Yes. Is there knowledge which is not of time. But, I will come to that, you see, you are Unless I understand this knowledge I can't find out the other. You want to jump to the other without knowing this. That's an escape. I refuse to enter into a theoretical world. So I say, now I live my life is the past. See how strange it is. I live in the past and meet the present - right? - the present happening, the present incident, the present event, which modifies my past knowledge and I proceed. So knowledge is always modifying itself but having always its roots in the past.
Q: But knowledge is modifying itself in the present. That is the present aspect of knowledge, when it is modifying itself.
Q: When knowledge modifies itself, it is in the present.
K: But it is modified. I said that. The past meets the present, the past modifies itself and still it is the past.
Q: While it is modifying, it’s the past in the present, you see.
K: Modifying itself is progress.
Q: While it is modifying itself it is the past in the present.
K: Of course, it is the same thing we are saying. So one realises that all our actions come from the past; or the past projecting an idea, ideal, and acting according to that. Obviously. And, my knowledge: I am married, I am not, but I am married and my knowledge is based on my experience with my wife, sexual, comforting, security and so on, so on, which has become my knowledge, which is my remembrance that she is my wife, or my girl, whatever it is. So please follow all this carefully. That's my conditioning. Right? The past knowledge has conditioned the mind. Now the question is: can the mind be free of the known, knowledge? You understand? It cannot. Please follow this carefully. It cannot free itself from the known because it must know how to get to my home, how to do my job, how to do various necessities of life. So knowledge has its place. Now you say, why is there knowledge continuing psychologically? You follow what I am saying? I wonder if you get this.
Q: You mean
K: Wait, wait, wait. (Laughs) Golly, you are all too I am describing, you are just following, you don't follow the actuality, you are merely following the description - if I may point out.
Q: What is the place of the psychological realm by itself?
K: Without memory?
Q: If it is free
K: Without remembrance?
Q: If it is free
K: Please, you have asked a question, listen to it. What place has the psychological realm without knowledge? Is that it?
K: No, please you have asked a question Ah, you're going on, you don't you've asked a very good question, you don't stop there, you are moving. What place has knowledge in the psychological world? Right? Now may I ask you something? Is remembrance of your wife, or your husband or your girl, which is in the psychological field, is that love?
K: How do you know? You see you are so eager to answer!
Q: Sir, love must be for the whole of life.
K: That is an idea still, sir, I am just asking a very simple question. You are not really answering it, or you are trying to - not you, sir - we are trying to evade it. You see we say, knowledge is necessary at a certain point, at a certain level - going home, driving a car, doing your job, being a plumber or a cook or a carpenter or a businessman or a scientist, knowledge there - which is partial - is necessary. Right? I am asking, is knowledge necessary in the psychological field at all? I am asking, just listen to the question first before you jump on me.
Q: What do you mean by the psychological field?
K: I am going to tell you. That is, anger. I get angry. At the moment of anger there is no remembrance as being angry. Right? Have you followed this? At the moment of getting violent you don't say, 'I am angry', it's only a second later. Which is, the recognition of that feeling which you have had before. Right? You follow this, sir? So the recognition emphasises, gives strength to the present response, reaction. I don't know if you are following all this. Are you getting tired?
Q: How can you have anger without thought first?
K: Is that so? You call me a fool; I get angry. Which is what? I have an image about myself that I am a great man or that I am not a fool, and you call me a fool. The image is the response which gets angry. Right? You are not quite sure.
K: Wait, slow. We are asking, what is the content of the psyche? You understand, sir? What is the content of your psyche, that is, your psychological world?
K: You are too quick. Ask yourself, if you will forgive me, ask yourself please, what is the content of your psyche, what is the content of your psychological world.
K: No, madame. Oh lord.
Q: The problems of the world.
Q: The images.
Q: Sorrowful evolution of humanity.
K: Isn't the content of your psyche your belief in god, or your not believing in god? Isn't the content of your psyche that you must be somebody? Isn't the content of your psyche the desire to be happy, the conflicts, the joys, the pleasures, the fears, the anxieties, the greed, the envy, the violence - isn't that the content of your psyche? That you must achieve enlightenment, that you must meditate in a certain way, that you are an American, or that you are black, that you are white, that you are purple - you follow? Isn't that the content of your psyche, the content of your consciousness?
Q: It’s just the result of your past experience again.
K: Yes, yes, we have said that. So we are saying, can your psyche, with its content, anger, jealousy, hatred, hurts, envy, greed, you know, all that, can that be free, can that totally be emptied? Right? The content of your psyche is I and you, we and they, I, a Catholic, you, a heathen - it's this whole phenomenon of the world. You don't see this.
Q: It is the ideas that we have that separate us.
Q: Is the psyche in control of the ideas that we have which separate us.
K: Obviously. Beliefs, your ideals, your concepts, your conclusions, your opinions, all that divides us.
Q: My hurts, my memory, my experience.
K: Of course, sir. So I am asking a very, very serious question. And there are a great many people - please listen to this - a great many scholars, writers, philosophers who have given their life to this, and they say, 'It cannot. Accept this condition, make the best of it, don't be violent, do be a little more kind - you know. But you cannot escape from this prison.'
Q: Sir, when you asked the question can the mind be free of its content, then we are conditioned to think ‘how’.
K: Of course. The moment you say, ' how', it is part of our condition that demands a system.
Q: But there is one question along those lines: if it was possible to free oneself would it be done point by point?
K: I am going to come to that, madame. (Laughs) The content of my consciousness, my psyche, is the various divisions in itself, conscious, unconscious, anger, not angry, be good and at the same time be violent, there is contradiction, opposition, resistance, desire to go forward and recoil, hurts, all that is my consciousness, my psyche, that is me. I am that. Now I am asking, is it possible to take one of these, one aspect of me, one aspect of my psyche, one aspect of my consciousness, take that and unravel it and finish it. As there are so many things in my consciousness, in my psyche, in the self I am, is it possible not to go bit by bit, part by part, but totally? You understand my question? Are you interested in all this?
K: Please - you understand? - great minds have applied to this - don't... We are fortunately laymen, we are simple people, we are not specialists, we are not great authors, well-known people, just ordinary people. And the specialists have said, impossible.
K: Just listen, sir. They have said, no. And we laymen, ordinary people, say, yes, let's find out. You know what that means? You don't even see the colossal impertinence on our part! (Laughter) The courage, the denial that they may be wrong. You follow? All that is implied. That you are not willing to be subjugated by specialists, that you are not going to be threatened by these great scholars and intellectuals, you are willing to go against the current that's
K: Sir, did you listen to what I said, please, sir? Are you in that position?
Q: If there is fear, does that mean we are not?
K: The other night on television in an interview of a great writer, a great authority in this country. I won't mention names, don't worry. (Laughs) And he was ascertaining, 'It is so, it must be', and all the rest of it. And listening to it, one says, why do human beings accept authority. You follow, sir? Why do human beings subject themselves to this enormous weight of knowledge? You are not seeing what you are up against when you really go into this. So can you find out, in spite of what Freuds, Jungs, and all the scholars, intellectual people, say, look, I want to find out if the psyche with its content can be completely ended. Or must this everlastingly go on. You understand? The Hindus have said, life after life, it must be gradually wiped away, life after life, you cannot possibly do this in this life, but you need time, you need many, many, many lives to do this. And the Christians have also said you cannot do this, only in paradise you will be - whatever, heaven, when you are resurrected, when you meet your god or your Christ and all the rest of it. It is the same thing.
So we are asking, being laymen, non-specialists, ordinary people, can you, is there a possibility of freeing the psyche completely, putting everything aside, its own content?
Q: That means to end the psyche itself?
K: Yes, sir.
Q: But sir, without any system what is the happening in the consciousness when it comes to an end?
K: What happens to consciousness as we know it when it comes to an end. Right?
Q: What is the actual happening.
K: Yes, yes. What happens. Find out! Sir, there is a mountain here called Topatopa, six thousand five hundred feet; you sit here and say, what is beyond that.
Q: I don’t mean, sir, that. I mean when my mind is able to come to an end, what is needed – I am not asking for a system – what is needed to be done in my own mind?
K: That's the point, sir. First, can you see clearly the facts, that your mind is conditioned by your culture? That's a fact. By your religion, by your language, by the food you eat, by your wife or your girl or husband, whatever it is. Can you see that fact?
Q: Sir, it seems to be that we see quite many facts, but we don’t see the root of all this conditioning.
K: I'll show it to you in a minute. But you see, you are too But first sir, do you see these facts in your psyche?
Q: You mean all the time.
K: Some of the facts, many of the facts, as many as you can: your anger, your jealousies, your hurts, your anxieties, your fears, your pleasures, your beliefs, your opinions, your judgements, your egotism, your violence, your arrogance - you follow? - the whole of that.
Q: I think that I want to step out of it.
K: Not you - you are that, you can't step out of it. You see, that's just the point.
Q: Then if you are that how are you...
K: I am going to show you in a minute! You see you are always wanting to go ahead without starting.
Q: But, sir, the difficulty is there, that I don’t know if I see all my conditioning.
K: At least you can see one, sir.
K: Now take one - what? Take one aspect of the content of this psyche, of this consciousness, of this egotism, which is all the same. So take one aspect of it, one quality of it, one reaction of it. Go on, sir, take it.
Q: Desire to get enlightenment.
K: (Laughs) Now just a minute, sir. You get hurt, don't you? Not physically, inwardly. Right? Don't you get hurt? No?
K: That is a common factor of every human being. Right? You are uncertain about it, sir? You get hurt. You call me a fool and I get hurt. My mother says to me, you are not as good as your brother, you are not as clever as your elder brother, so I get hurt. Right? This is a common factor! Right? Now take that one thing and go into it very, very deeply, and see if you can be free from the past hurts and never to be hurt again, without resistance. Find out. You see you don't go into this. If you go into this one thing completely you may end the whole thing.
Q: If you go into one thing completely you may wipe it all away?
Q: Sir, it seems the awareness or the attention itself dissolves it.
K: Look, sir, may I ask you - forgive me - do you get hurt? You have been hurt - not physically, you have been hurt, haven't you? Why are you Yes, sir?
K: Why? What causes this hurt, and who is hurt?
Q: We have images of ourselves so we get hurt because we are not so good as we thought.
K: No, madame. You get hurt, don't you? We have said yes. Now we say, what is it that is hurt?
Q: One’s ego.
K: What is this ego? All right, I have to tell you and you will agree! (Laughter) Or disagree! You don't investigate, you don't look. One gets hurt because one has an image about oneself. Right? If I have an image about myself as being extraordinary this and that, a great man and a reputation, blah, blah, blah, and you come along and you say, 'Don't be a fool', I get hurt. Right? Right? Which is what? I have an image about myself. Right? The image created by all of you, (laughs) and also created by myself, my image I have about myself and when you call me a fool that image reacts, that image gets hurt. Right? Now listen carefully. Can I live without that image? Can I live without any image? That I am good, that I am happy, that I must find god, that I must be a great success, I must determine - you follow? - no image at all. Then nobody can hurt you and you can't hurt anybody. Can you? See the logic of it first, the reason. You get hurt because you have an image-the image created by your parents, by your society, by your friends and by yourself, whether the image is small or big is irrelevant. So that image gets hurt when you say something ugly and it builds a wall of resistance round itself, it doesn't want to get hurt more and so there is fear, anxiety, a withdrawal. And you see this logically step by step and the consequences of it, and you say well, right, finished. I won't have any, there will be no image.
Q: Is that an act of will?
K: No, mere perception. The danger.
Q: What if we haven’t clear perception?
K: You see it, sir, I've explained it to you.
Q: Logically it’s easy to see.
K: Do it, do it!
Q: It comes back, sir.
K: No, if you see danger you act. If you see a dangerous snake, a rattler, you jump, you do something.
Q: I become aware...
K: No, not aware, don't use the word, just see the rattler. And the rattler, which is a danger, and getting hurt, image, and you see it is impossible to live that way, getting hurt, and restraining, fighting, quarrelling, so the whole of that you see clearly, and it is finished.
Q: But only a very small part of you sees that and sees it clearly. I understand what you say very well, but a great part of me apparently does not understand what I am doing.
K: That's the whole point, sir, why doesn't it? Why doesn't the whole of you say, 'Yes, that's right, finished', only a part of you.
K: Just, listen madame, why?
Q: It seems that only a part got hurt.
K: Sir, when you see a rattler, only part of you acts? Why? The whole of you acts. Why.
K: Why? Why, sir? Because you see mortal danger. Right? Danger. You don't see the danger of having an image about yourself, totally. Why don't you see it? You don't see it because part of you says, I like my image, it's nice to have an image, I am rather a clever chap, (laughter) I am rather clever, I look rather beautiful, I like that. Part of me, which is not pleasant, I say, yes, I want to get rid of that. Now just a minute, sir. What time is it?
Q: Ten minutes to one.
K: We will stop in a minute. Sir, when you hear a statement like this, that the image gets hurt, do you listen to it, or do you make an abstraction of it, an idea of it? When you tell me you get hurt because you think you are a great man, and I listen to you because you have stated something which is very important - you follow? - and I listen to you, not only with the hearing of the ear but also hearing inwardly: the actual fact that the image gets hurt. What we do is, we listen, create an idea, and act on that idea and so we have gone away from the fact. The fact is I have an image, and that will always be trodden on by somebody much cleverer than me, so I am always nervous, anxious, fearful, resisting, isolating myself. I see the danger of that, so it's finished. That means I listen with all my heart and mind, with my blood I listen, as you listen to the rattler. Right, sir? As you listen with all your energy otherwise you are going to be killed.
Q: How do you know the rattler will kill you unless you remember that the rattler kills?
K: Have you ever met a rattler? (Laughter) I have, high in the mountains. You don't remember it, you see the danger there, instantly. That's So we better stop. Sir, we have spent an hour and a half, what have you understood out of this? Are you free from your conditioning? Even the most simple conditioning, smoking, (laughs) being identified with some belief. It's like a man who wants to climb the Everest, he must climb with few things, not carry all his burden. Right, sir.