Can a human being step out of the stream of consciousness?
Humanity is caught in the stream of self-interest
2nd Buddhist Scholars Discussion Madras
January 13, 1985
Krishnamurti: Dr Sudarshan, sir, yesterday we talked about an ordinary man, fairly well educated, not too educated fortunately, no special profession. He starts looking at the world, outside world. It is like a great river flowing. As it enters the sea it is in a turmoil because it has got great volume of water for the last million years. And this turmoil, the conflict, the various deltas, the whole vast river entering into the sea, that is the world. He follows up that river - he is not any kind of religious or... just an ordinary man - and follows up that river. And as he follows it up and up and up, up the mountain, he comes to a point where the river begins. He has had, he has observed various techniques, various disciplines, science, physics, judges, judgement, the whole human existence is this vast river, and he comes to the beginning of that river on a great hill, great mountains - it is very small there. And there he is, after a million years, and he is alone, self-centred up there. It is like a funnel, wide at the beginning and very small at the end. And he realises all that river was himself, not in any theological or theoretical, hypothetical sense, because he has followed that river up and up and up and up, to the very small few drops of that river, and there he discovers he is that river, he is the world. And the world is based - the movement of all that is self-centred, self-interest. And it is the end of that funnel, the narrow small funnel.
From there he begins to work and discovers slowly the enormity of that funnel on the other side. It is immensely wide, much wider than the river, and he doesn't know quite how to move from there. He has read and people have said that there is an enormity beyond this limited self-interest. He doesn't know anything about it; he is rather a sceptical man, very questioning, doubting, and doubting his own experiences, his own thinking, his own way of life, and he has never disciplined himself. This is important for him. He has never disciplined because he has just been following the river from the beginning, from that enormous delta up the river into the ocean, he has followed it up. And the very following it up is not a discipline. I don't know if I am making myself clear. And he has reached that very small hole, which is self-interest, and he doesn't know how to go beyond that, he is stuck. And that's where we left off yesterday. Right?
And there have been teachers before him, authorities, great many scientists telling him what to do, what he is composed of: the atoms, the cells, how the origin of man began, and from the ape to the present state of brain, this long endless of time. He accepts all that, that is obviously natural, but he has come to a point where he discovers there is no authority, no spiritual authority whatsoever, because he has left all that, he has climbed to the origin of the river. And there, there is no guide, there is no helper. We were talking in somewhat detail the whole question of being helped spiritually, inwardly. And he discovers there is nobody to help. As he climbed he hoped somebody would help him but he discovers that there is not a single person in heaven, or in any book, or in any guru, or in any philosophy, and he is stranded up there, aware of his loneliness, all the rest of it. And he can't stay there. There is a pull, wanting to climb more, but there is nothing to climb either. He has come to that point. I wonder if I have made myself clear. Have I?
Questioner: Yes, I think so. I think we went a little further yesterday, talking about how the self-interest can go. You said that it has to be a constant watching and doubting.
K: We will come I want to begin again.
J. Upadhyaya: (In Hindi)
K: He has understood, sir?
Q: He says that you have explained the whole thing very clearly but he would like to ask whether each individual who is in this river, in this stream, has to remain utterly helpless – you correct me, Achyutji – utterly helpless. It is the river of hope, of desire, of anxiety, and all that. Or whether there is a possibility for him to – not to be completely dragged in that stream, but to create some kind of a raft – would you say?
Q: An island or log.
Q: Something by which he can be out of it. He is not entirely out of it and yet he can stand apart from it.
Q: This calls for some energy, some – he calls it ‘purushartha’ – that means some special attribute of his own understanding.
Q: Or special (inaudible)
Q: That means it does not come from outside, it comes from within him. And it is that which helps him to discover that rock and to hold firmly to that rock while people are being dragged against their will in that stream, and he watches that, he is a witness to the people being dragged in the stream. But can he find some energy within him which will help him to cleave to that rock?
Q: Or which is that rock.
Q: Which is that rock.
Pupul Jayakar: Krishnaji you also said one more thing. And that standing up in the stream
Q: on the island in the stream.
PJ: still is not separate from those who are being swept away.
Q: Yes. But he is not being swept away. That is his point. He can stand on that rock and observe the whole process. He can stop being dragged in that. At the same time he is not out of it.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: There is a mixed metaphor. He says that this man is like the traffic policeman in a traffic island, and by his hand he is directing that traffic, but himself not part of the movement of that traffic.
K: Sir, I said, subject to correction, he is always moving up the river. There is no island, because he is moving, and that very moving gives him the strength.
Q: But he is not being dragged down. He is moving up.
K: You are missing the whole thing. He has been in all that noise, all the travail, all that. He is moving away, moving, going up.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: (Laughs) Again a mixed metaphor. He says it is not a rock or an island but it is a small boat.
K: No, I would rather stick to this metaphor, if you don't mind, because it conveys an awful lot of meaning, and I may be mistaken. As I said yesterday, I doubt this whole movement of going up the river. I have gone up the river. I watched all this movement round me, and I realise I am part of that movement - which we said yesterday very carefully - I am not different from that movement. I am that movement. I am that humanity. Not humanity and me, but I am that because I have wandered all over that and I discover that. And as I move up the river - because it is a movement, it is not a static state - as it is a movement up the river, that very movement creates its own discipline. The man who is static needs discipline. I don't know if you have But the man who is constantly moving up and up and up, he is following the river and therefore there is no island because he is moving. And the river won't allow islands to be formed. I may invent islands. I may invent rocks to hold on, but the river won't permit me do that, because he sees the implications of all that.
Q: No, sir, what I understand is: that as you have described the stream of life, everyone is being dragged down.
K: Because he is not moving.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: He says that there is some seed within man himself. Man seeks some special kind of happiness and it is because of that he there is the desire for sexual...
K: That is natural.
Q: Yes, natural, but at some point he feels like transcending it, to be without it. There is something in him which takes him out of all the
K: He may be tired of it. Don't make it something spiritual.
Q: I am not.
Q: May I say something, sir? Krishnaji, may I say something? He says the effort is to rise out of the flow. Every effort is, he says, man’s natural effort is to rise outside the flow.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: Within man, he says, there is the urge to rise above these sordid sorrows and worries and everything, and every bit of his...
K: When does that happen?
Q: No, that is, he says, sex.
K: No, I question
Q: Sex, he says, is that the totality of his tissues is making a great effort to move out of that vortex of sorrow, etc., out of the flow in the flow. But he is never out of it. And he wants to insist that this man, by any act that he is doing, is not trying to get out of this but he is part of that stream.
K: Sir, he has spent his youth in that, at the mouth of the river: sex, power, you know all the business, and he sees it is a habit, a condition, and he is bored with it. Don't give her some kind of spiritual... He is so exhausted and bored with the whole circus. Right? This is what is happening, sir. From boredom, from laziness, he says, 'By Jove, I must move somewhere'. Not something inwardly pushing him; he starts from there.
Q: You mean boredom takes him right up to the top?
K: No, I don't say that. He moves out of that.
Q: Out of the stream.
K: He is not Sir, have you ever watched the Nile or the Ganga entering into the sea? The greater the volume of water the greater the delta, the little streams, they are tremendous - he is that. He begins there. You understand? We are all that. We want sex, we want power, we want etc., etc., etc. And he says to himself, 'My God, that is enough'. Why impute something in him that is going to reject all this? I said then he begins - please, carefully - I said he begins to move from there.
Q: Sir, one thing I have not understood – this is my question.
K: Sir, I am saying he wants to see where the river begins.
Q: This is my question.
K: Wait a minute, sir, wait, let me finish.
Q: As you have put it, you have described the stream which is dragging the people, everybody along with it, and then you say...
K: No. If he wants to remain there, he is there, but he is curious enough to find out the origin of the river. That's all. I followed, sir, the Rhine up and there it was - I have forgotten, five thousand feet high in the Alps - few drops, very slow, from the glacier, a few drops, and it became bigger and bigger and bigger, miles it flowed. So he is following that. The moment he stays there at the mouth of the river, he likes it there, the vast majority they like it there. They like drugs, they like sex, they like power, position, knowledge, everything, they like it - don't they? What are you talking about?
Q: I think nobody denies that. All that is said is: there is some energy which makes him follow the river to the...
K: Curiosity. He wants to find out. Why not be simple about it? He is curious, he wants to know. He has been through all that awful business and says, 'My God, I am bored with this stuff'. Aren't you bored with sex when you have had enough of it? (Laughs) And then you climb. (Laughs) Sorry!
Q: But Krishnaji, there seem to be two different metaphors which are so similar that they are clashing with each other. One is your metaphor of the person finding himself at the foaming mouth of the river, recognising the river, feeling curious about it, he is not taken up with the...
K: He has been through it.
Q: Yes. He is there but having been there sufficiently long and experienced some of the thing, he becomes curious and then he asks where from?
Q: There is another metaphor that Punditji has brought up, which is a slightly different metaphor. It is the metaphor of the suffering humanity in which the river is not the river of the happening of one person’s experience but of seeing the whole world and feeling compassionate about all the people being dragged down. The great misery which is called Buddhism, which talks about the world as a sad place, as a...
K: I know it's a sad I know all that.
Q: separate place. And then one talks about saying that wouldn’t it be nice if these poor people instead of being swept by, there would be somebody to give them the way, somebody to give them a help and so on.
K: Pat him on the back.
Q: Or at least a traffic policeman.
K: No, I don't want all that.
Q: No, what I am saying is that there are two metaphors running at the same time. They both talk about the river but they are talking about two different rivers.
K: I am talking of one river.
K: My river is the river of everybody. Don't introduce sorrow - I have been that is sorrow, that is pain, that is anxiety, that is loneliness, despair, hope, all that.
Q: Sir, you would not describe your river as the river of sorrow?
K: And also it's the river of pain, the river of fear, the river of all that.
Q: It is all part of sorrow.
K: Why reduce everything to sorrow?
Q: Krishnaji, I am with you. I like the idea of not talking about sorrow but of talking about things as they are.
K: As they are. That is all I'm
Q: Not the theory of the sorrow of the thing.
K: Nothing. Punditji, I am not trying to beat you down but (Laughter)
Q: (In Hindi)
Q: He wants to know, sir, what is the place of the arising of sexual desire.
K: Oh. Sir, procreation.
K: Biological - all the glands are prepared for that. For God's sake!
Q: He doesn’t agree
K: Oh, he doesn't agree.
Q: He doesn’t agree.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: There is an ecstasy in which there is self-forgetfulness
Q: Joy, pleasure.
Q: which is joy.
K: Sex, that is sex.
Q: That is what he says is sex, and this, he says, is not a biological but a psychological factor.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: He says
Q: It is from ordinary states heightened.
Q: that particular impulse pulls a man out of the common run of urges.
K: Which, sex?
Q: This urge for that ecstasy or self-forgetfulness.
K: Wait a minute, sir. For God's sake. I can take a drug and forget all about myself. I can go to a concert, Beethoven, and listen - Ninth Sympathy or the Fifth Sympathy - and forget entirely myself. Or go to a temple and do puja - I can forget myself. Why
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: I am mankind. I have a lot of things in common with mankind, but I am an individual also.
K: I question that.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: I have a lot of features in common with mankind. I am humanity and yet that humanity is given a particular form in me.
K: We said all that yesterday. We said yesterday: I am humanity. We went into about consciousness and all that. I am humanity. I am not different from the rest of you; I am the whole of mankind. Right? We discussed that - or didn't we?
Q: We’ve discussed that.
K: And I have been through all that: sorrow, pleasure, pain, sex, drugs - please I haven't been. I'll come my thing I will come a little later. I have been through all that and I am bored with it. Don't impute some strange inward impulse. I am bored with all that. To me that has no meaning. I have been in it. I have been involved in it. I have cursed, I have obeyed and I disobeyed - I have done all that. Then, as I am bored - I am using the word 'bored' specially - I begin to question: is my life just damn boredom? A meaningless boredom.
JU: (In Hindi)
K: And I begin to move. No, I am beginning to move from the - up the stream. No, this is very important - I am moving. This is static. I don't know if I am making
Q: This is static because it is just a repetition.
K: Repetitions, mechanical, habitual, all the rest. The moment I move because I am bored with the whole thing, I realise movement has no discipline. This is where we are going to come into contact conflict with all of you. Where there is a movement there is no discipline. I am walking up the hill because...
PJ: Taking this language, it's exactly opposite to what you used to say. Forgive me for saying so, sir, you are propounding something. It may be purely a semantic thing but you are using it a totally different, opposite...
Q: But isn’t that irrelevant?
K: Would you kindly let me finish?
PJ: But sir, if I don't say it now it won't be said. This is the point to say it.
PJ: There is a point at which you raise a thing; afterwards it becomes
K: All right, go on.
PJ: The point is, you used to say the river of humanity flows. Unless I step out of the stream - listen to me.
K: I know what you are going to
PJ: Unless you step out of the stream, unless the mind - I use the word 'mind' now - is a rock...
K: I know nothing about all this.
PJ: Please listen, sir.
K: You impute all this.
PJ: I don't. I am using your words.
Q: But he may have used a different metaphor. It is a question of metaphor and vocabulary.
PJ: What is the actual difference in terms of change in consciousness?
Q: I think, Pupulji, I can solve this question because I have listened to Krishnaji’s language and struggled with it for a long time, and I now no longer pay any attention to the word meanings (laughter) because he means different things different times. Previously when he talked about movement, it was an ordered movement, it was an entailed movement, it had a law, it was a slave thing, and therefore there was time. Only a thing which is moving according to prescribed law can be used for time. This movement, he says, it comes by itself...
K: That's right. That's all.
Q: ...it comes because it is bored, it has no law. And a movement without law is creativity, is freshness, it is Swatantrya, it has no time that can be associated with it.
K: That's right, sir, you have got it. He is my disciple. (Laughter)
K: Forgive me, sir! You are not my disciple. (Laughter)
Q: No, what I am saying is that therefore because of this one, both those statements are really the same, even though the words are different. People have accused me that I am now preoccupied with language, but in language there is something called the surface meaning and the deep meaning. The deep structure of language and the surface structure. If you said, ‘I threw a stone at the...’, I mean, ‘a stone broke the window’, and ‘I broke the window’, they sound different – the subject is different, the object is different, but in fact they are really the same. So these two are really the same.
Q: No, but I am concerned with our friend because he is trying to make a distinction between the common run of humanity and his something special that he talks which is not special. I have not understood, sir. If you have understood
Q: No, no, not understood, but I understand one mistranslation. His samanya and vishesha are not general and particular. They are not... So we have to understand what is the technical context in which he does it, and the only way we will find out is not by listening to the word, this word, but by ask him to therefore to say something specific about human life.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: What he is trying to say, sir, is that you have been pointing out how the self comes into being as part of a process of activity of the brain cells, and this activity of the brain cells leads to thought, and then thought leads to the self and the stabilising of the self. This process we have understood. And this is the process of all the people who are in that current.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: He now wants to know that this is the course that we have seen. How come that out of this, without getting out it, some person arises who is able to end thought and he has love and he has insight and all this, how does this man, he is not different from this, he is also in it, but he is watching, therefore he is different and he is part of this, how does this come? This is what he wants to know.
K: I haven't come to that yet.
Q: He hasn’t come to this yet.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: He says that when you talk about the differentiated, the special, the Vishesha, the second variety, it is not by giving up the previous awareness. You have that awareness and you also have something else.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: (Inaudible) a certain enhancement
K: I don't know what you are all talking about.
Q: I have not understood, sir. I can’t translate because I have not understood.
K: Let me finish what I want to say and then you can jump on me. I have got this, sir. I am not - leave the top and all the rest of it - I have just began. There, I am bored with all that. I have been through all that. I am not a spiritual, holy, none of that; I began there. And I got bored and I have become very sceptical - this is important - sceptical, doubtful, questioning. None of this has any meaning to him so he moves, naturally, it is not a seeking some high altitude. He moves, and in this movement he is becoming aware the difficulties of movement. You understand?
Q: Yes, sir.
K: I wonder if you understand. Difficulties of movement leaving this.
K: So he begins to question why he is finding it difficult. Then he talks about renunciation and he says, 'I don't want any of renunciation. I don't believe in renunciation'. So he says, I understand now why it has become a habit: sex, drugs, high position, language, and knowledge - it is all here - I am a little part of it because I have also collected a lot of memory. I have also married, children - you know, all that turmoil. And he says and somebody like Punditji or X comes along: you must do this, you must do that, in order to reach that. I say, 'For god's sake, I don't want your advice'. You understand? That is the position of an intelligent man now. Right? He questions everything - Buddha, Christ, and all the churches; he says, 'For god's sake, I don't want any of it'. So he is moving. And he says, am I really moving? Or am I still there, pretending I am moving. Which means have I really understood all that: the biological part, the psychological part, the brain part, the physical reactions, biological necessity, the glands. He says, 'Am I really moving or am I pretending I am moving?' And in asking that question he becomes terribly honest. I don't know if you follow what I mean. Right?
K: Really deeply honest. No pretence, no - really no Then begins humility. Right? And with that he is moving, learning, watching. He says I am not different from all mankind, am that, but I am watching. And he is climbing, moving. I'll carry the metaphor if you don't mind. And he says, 'There is no discipline for me. I won't accept any enforcement, any effort, any of that. I have had all that there'. Right? So, he keeps on moving, moving, moving, and the movement is learning, not accumulating knowledge. I don't know if you see the difference.
K: And he comes to a point at the origin of the river and he says, 'By Jove, all this, this tremendous effort I have made' - effort, climbing, physical climbing, not psychological climbing - he says, 'has been utterly useless because it was there and it is up here. I needn't have moved up here. Because I am self-centred there, I am self-centred here'. Right? That's all. I have come to that point.
Explain that, quietly, very simply.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: He says that after listening to this latter part of what you have said, he has understood what you are saying and he has also understood his own limit of comprehension, limit of understanding – his own. Up to where he has come. He wants to describe that state where he has stopped.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: What he says is that yesterday we started with how this stream is there and we are there. He says that it does not concern him at all how he happened to be in that stream or whether the stream is eternal or anything. He is concerned with the fact that the stream is there and he is there.
K: But he is part of that stream.
Q: Part of that stream. But now he says that being in the stream I have the urge to get out of the stream, and that is my limit. That is his limit. That is what he says.
K: No. Is he bored with the stream?
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: He says there is no desire to get out of it but to get transformed.
K: I have no desire.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: He says that I am not concerned with the origin of the stream and don’t feel like going up to find out
K: No, then remain there.
Q: But he wants to get out of the stream.
K: Well, don't!
Q: But Krishnaji, it seems to me that there are irreconcilable differences in the starting point, in the cosmologies. The stream that you talk about is the totality of all the happenings that I am.
K: I am that.
Q: Right, right. His stream is an external stream. He is immersed in that stream. He sees that stream as...
K: I am that stream. I can't...
Q: No. So these are two different streams, so he is trying to somehow or other recognise that he is in the stream but the stream is not himself.
K: That's all
Q: So there is what I’m saying, because of that difference...
Q: I am afraid, doctor, I don’t agree. Because when he started, he started with a question which he wanted to ask. The question concerned existence. If that question concerned existence then I think they are in the same stream.
Q: And he says the stream is the self.
Q: The stream is the self, that is what he said. And I personally feel – to be fair to him – that the stream that Krishnaji has described and the stream that he refers to as existence is the same. Self-interest is the core of it, as I understood him. Have I misunderstood you, sir?
Q: But there is a difference in
K: Careful sir, careful. Listen to
Q: No, I want to know if what I have said reflects what he is saying, or he has something different.
K: Listen to Dr Sudarshan, he says he may be right. He says - right, sir? - that K says you are that stream, you are not different from that stream. Right? That's all, first.
Q: While Punditji’s stream is one in which he finds misery, and therefore he wants to transform it. Krishnaji says I recognise I am the stream, I am in it, I have been it for sufficiently long, I am bored with it.
(Gap in recording)
PJ: I want to transform, I want to step out. That is also part
K: part of this.
PJ: But you can't say it has no place; it is part of the stream.
Q: No, but what Krishnaji has led us, a step ahead out of this. He says that this business of wanting to transform and wanting to change, all this also is like the various other things of pleasure and things that we have done. So ultimately you come to a point where you feel that there is movement without progress and with this situation you are bored.
PJ: But you see the whole point is, this boredom he talks about, which says, 'I am bored', or whatever, 'and I want no change'.
K: No. I'm going to - wait, just a minute. Half a minute.
PJ: If you say, 'I am bored', and there is no movement to transform...
K: Not transform. I don't want to transform. I don't know what it means.
PJ: That is what I said. We don't know these things.
Q: Perhaps some confusion has arisen because of using the word ‘origin’, you know, in the metaphor, because you said this is everything. Of course it is desire for transformation, it is everything. Then the question is: what is this everything? What is the very substance of this ‘everything’? It is a many branched thing, this delta, but is there a single root from which all these branches have come?
K: It is still water.
K: Whether it is up there or down here, it is still water.
Q: It is still water.
K: That's all.
PJ: What I am questioning is, this state of your saying that I am bored with all this and there is nothing beyond. I do nothing but stay with this.
K: Wait a minute, wait a minute.
PJ: That is what you said.
K: I said No wait. Would you let me finish?
Q: You said, I think – you should pursue this point... (inaudible)
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: He wanted to say something. He didn’t know that you were adding.
K: Sir, I am that. That thing is not different from me, both biologically, psychologically, in every way, atom, cells, all that is me. And I am that. So I am humanity. That has to me tremendous meaning. And I am there and I say, is there any change at all possible? I thought change existed in climbing the hill and going to the source, but I find I am still there. I have never left it. I thought by going up to the source I would find the whole explanation but that explanation is there, which is my desire, all the rest of it. And there as well as up here it is self-interest. Right? And I see self-interest has created terrible mess, obviously. This doesn't need a great deal of insight - everybody's self-interest, fighting each other, nations and so on. Then out of that observation I say, is there any change at all possible? Not transformation. Transformation means changing from one form to another. Right, sir? I am not going to use that word, although I have used it. So I am concerned with change. Right? What does change mean? From this to that, or is change ending this? I don't know
Q: Yes, quite right.
K: Changing from this to that implies time, and so I go into time and all the rest of it. So I may question: is there any change at all?
Q: But you would say there is ending.
K: Wait. You are saying it.
Q: Are you saying there is no such thing as change, or ending, or anything?
K: No, you are going ahead of me. I have reached a point when I say, after all this movement and struggle, pain, listening to the master, change the master, change the gurus, getting more knowledge - all that has been done. And I come to the point: I see if there is no change man will be destroyed as he goes on. So I ask myself, what is change? Right? Change implies time, and man has not changed through time. Right?
Q: Man has not changed.
K: Right, sir? So, I question: is there change at all? Or there is only ending. Which means (sound of aeroplane) Which means, ending means dying. Can I die to everything every day, and not pick up after dying the same thing? I don't know if you have understood, sir? I die today, to everything I have known, which is death. Or I die but carry on the same thing till I die next day. You follow what I mean? So, I question if there is a continuity at all, or simply dying. And then I will see what happens. The man who has been there has come to that point. That's all. I can go on further, explain that. Right?
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: Let us get this clear
K: What does he think?
Q: Sir, what he says is that he goes with you the whole way. And he says that therefore there is no change but there is only ending.
K: You know what that means?
Q: Yes, sir. He has taken the whole of it. But he says that in that stream itself is the seedling of a beginning, because the stream is continuity.
Q: So when everything ends, according to this one, everything ends with the stream business.
K: Quite right.
Q: And the stream contains within it the seed
Q: and the sprouting of the seed.
K: No. The stream is my consciousness, the human consciousness. As I am the humanity, I am that consciousness. Right? And if I die to that consciousness I am not in it. No, not, 'I am not in it' - it is out. I don't know how to put it.
Q: Sir, what he says is that there is a continuity to the stream of consciousness independent of my ending it.
K: Sir, that consciousness is sorrow, fear, greed, envy, etc., etc., which is the essence of self-interest. Right? Now, after travelling all that, down there, I come to that point. And I say is it possible for a human being, who is entire humanity, to step out of it?
Q: Now you have again changed the metaphor.
K: Same thing. It is the same thing. I am that stream. Humanity I am. Humanity suffers, goes through hell, and that stream goes on because as long as human beings are not moved out of it, that stream will go on.
Q: When there is a stepping out
K: Wait a minute. Have you understood what I said? As long as humanity, which is me, if I am in that stream, that stream will go on.
K: As I am humanity, if that person who is humanity steps out of that stream, that stream will go on. But he is no longer - he - that person, that something, is out of it, therefore he can - not help - he has compassion, he has intelligence, therefore that acts.
PJ: But, sir, may I ask
Q: Sir, you said you started by telling us that here is the stream and this stream, you watched that you are in the stream. And then somebody says how does it all go and start moving up, up the narrow funnel-point.
Q: You said, sir.
K: I said that
Q: I understand. Now, what I say is that if you do that, then you also said that this process, there is no getting out or anything, you are just observing, and you can get bored. That is the point you came to.
Q: Then you said boredom is ending if you understand it.
K: Sir, sir, I belong to that, and I get bored, sceptical, all the rest of it, and I recognise this boredom is part of everybody. Therefore I am everybody. Everybody's consciousness is my consciousness, and that consciousness from the beginning of human existence has been going on. And he questions whether he can ever get out of it. Not get out in the sense step out or find nirvana or... He says can I step out of it? Can one human being step out of it?
Q: Step out? I can’t...
K: Leave it, leave it, leave it. Abandon it. Not keep on going with that stream. That is all. What is the difficulty in that?
PJ: Sir, at one moment you say there is no individual.
K: Because I am that
PJ: I am humanity.
Q: I am that stream.
PJ: I am humanity What steps out?
K: Nothing. (Laughter) No, no. No, I mean this. I mean this.
Q: When there is a stepping out...
K: I mean this. Let me explain. I have taken this as something perpetual. Which it is: time
Q: The moment you use the word ‘consciousness’ it becomes perpetual.
PJ: No, but you see what he has said? That instant
K: Can I use the word 'insight'? - a glimpse, seeing the whole thing as a unit, a unitary movement that is going on. And he is walking along the lane after seeing it is a whole unitary movement and suddenly realises there is nothing. This goes on. Nothing beyond that. Nothing. Nothing in the sense, not a thing. 'Thing' is thought, which is a material process. So he says, that is the end of thought.
Q: And in that nothingness...
K: That is nothingness.
Q: There is no duality between the stream and...
K: He has been through conflict, he has been through hell, he has fought , he has struggled. Does it make any sense, sir?
PJ: Ending and stepping out are the same.
K: Stepping out. I am wrong in using those words, stepping out. That stream is self-interest. That is, self-interest is perpetuating all the time, whether it is me or you or - humanity is perpetually caught in that. And that is thought, etc., etc. He says, 'By Jove' - no movement, and therefore when there is no movement you are out of it. Not 'out of' it - that is a word. There is no longer - there is something else.
Now, K comes along - K - and says he has never been in all this.
Q: He has never been in all this.
K: Jealous, anxiety. Pain, sex and all that, that is physical, like going to the toilet. (Laughs) You understand, sir? He never moved, say I am that I don't know, sir, that is what I want to get at. Punditji, I think - I use the word 'think', forgive me if I use that word - is it possible, except biologically, never to have the psyche as the centre? You understand? You understand my question? The moment you see that, you are out, you are finished.
JU: (In Hindi)
Q: He wants you to repeat this. Explain it a little. Repeat.
K: Sir, we have idea of a path, a goal, achievement. A path demands discipline, control, sacrifice, oh, the horror of all that. But he somebody like K comes along and says, don't go through all this stuff. Be aware of nature, be aware of all the senses, and the senses create the self, etc., etc. See it as a movement, and a flash that you are out of it. I don't know how to put it. It is not climbing, climbing, sacrificing, giving up, discipline, practice, oh that is wrong. I am lazy, I don't want to practice.
Q: Would I be understanding you if I said
K: K, you are trying - K.
Q: You say that all this that we have described is consciousness.
K: Yes, we've said that.
Q: You said that. Now what you...
K: Which is part of self-interest.
Q: Yes, which is self...
K: Keep to self-interest.
Q: Then last you said, what I understand...
K: See the futility.
Q: You say, now, from this you push out time, no time in this. There is no place for time in all the understanding of this. The moment that goes, it ends.
K: Yes. And I doubt it. (Laughter) You understand, sir? I question it, whether I'm deceiving myself.
Q: Yes, of course.
K: No. Therefore I began by questioning everything; I end up by questioning.
K: No, you are missing something. I began questioning, doubting and asking. Not asking somebody, asking. I end up doubting, questioning and asking.
Q: So have I moved at all?
K: Asking. I don't know. I have said, by Jove... Now I leave that question alive. I don't say, is there an answer? That question itself destroys I wonder if...
Q: No conclusion.
K: No, sir. I have got a quick back.
Sir, Punditji, you and I have a dialogue. You put a question, I answer it. Then you answer that question. We keep this up: asking, answering. We come to a point when the question itself is the answer. The question itself is so vital it bursts the...
Q: I think it would be helpful if you will describe that particular state once again. You had mentioned earlier that K questions this one, K has never experienced this one but he questions even that not questioning, that not experiencing. Then he said that question continues to remain, and the question is the answer. Could you say a little more? Just say again the same thing, but it would be helpful.
K: K comes along, some strange man from the dark Himalayas, and says, 'Why do you go through all this stuff? The Buddhas, the Christ, the disciplines, the sacrifice, the renunciation, control, don't do all that, there is something else'. Which is, just see this, the futility of it. Right? And when you really see the depth of that futility and you ask why it has come - you understand? - and live with that question, don't find an answer, then that question itself opens and withers. Like a flower, if you leave the flower alone, watch it carefully, nurture it, the flower blossoms and withers. At the end of it there is no flower at all. I don't know... Right? Which is nothing.
PJ: May I go into it? This you have talked about, about the flower, we know that, we have talked about it. You said something else, and that is, in seeing this whole stream and in questioning and an ending, the stream continues to flow. The question remains.
K: That's it, that's it.
PJ: And it is such a powerful, potent question...
K: I don't put the question casually. It is my blood.
PJ: It is such a powerful, potent question...
K: That's it.
PJ: ...that when it remains, it has an explosive energy independent of - it is like letting loose...
K: It is nothing to do with me, it is like a fire that is burning.
PJ: It has enormous...
K: Sir, I am sure you do that in science. You come to a point and you put the question and wait, don't you? Look at it, wait, and you have a sudden flash. Right, sir?
Q: Yes, there is a similar thing in connection with geometry. At one time people asked question can Euclid’s eighth postulate, about parallel lines, could it be derived from the other postulates, because it looked like a rather artificial technical assumption. And many people tried for a very long time, and finally all these efforts came to an end when people discovered that there could be non-Euclidean geometries, in which you say through a point which is not on a line you cannot draw any parallel line, or you can draw more than one parallel line. This would make non-Euclid geometry. So the question arose: how many geometries are there? Only these three? I mean, are there other geometries? And the question could not be well formulated because what is meant by ‘how many geometries’? When if you construct one other geometry you can ask is it a good geometry or a bad geometry. The question was finally answered by studying something entirely different. Said, in each geometry we will find out what are the transformations which lead to the geometry invariant. For example, in plain geometry if you contract, expand into space, or contract into space, or replaced, moved to space, this way or that way, or rotated it, all the relations in geometry remain the same. So this is called the invariance group of the geometry. Eventually it was discovered quite by accident that instead of asking what is the geometry, what are the geometries, you simply say geometry is that which is invariant under a group.
K: Which is?
Q: Unchanged by a group. Initially the group was transforming the geometry because you thought you knew what the geometry was. After some time, one said, well geometry is that which is left invariant by the group. So the group then became. That of course was a technical question which could be handled. So the question of how many geometries are there, what are geometries, receded into another question. The question disappeared. Instead you said, how many groups are there which will classify geometry? So it sounds somewhat like that. One talked about transformations, one talked about properties, about ending, beginning, and all kinds of things, and suddenly the whole question ends, saying there is nothing which is transformed except the question itself.
Q: Eleven ten, sir.
Q: Very nicely put.
Q: It’s time – ten past eleven.
K: Shall we continue tomorrow, sir? You are not bored? (Laughter)
I'll become a pundit! (Laughter)