Can goodness, love and truth be born of discipline?
What love is not
4th Public Talk, Saanen
July 15, 1979
We should go on, I think, with what we were talking about the last three meetings here.
Each trade, each skill, has its own discipline. If you are a carpenter it has a particular discipline, scientist, architect and so on, each function has its own discipline. And human beings throughout the world are used to this idea of discipline, not only in the technological field but also in the psychological realm. And we are, through education, through our culture, in every form of relationship there is, as we have accepted, a certain discipline. I would like, if I may, to go into this question rather deeply: why human beings need discipline at all. Please carefully listen. Don't jump to any conclusion and say there must be no discipline, we must live in a permissive society, as we are now, and any form of restraint, any form of holding, is inhuman and therefore the other extreme.
As we were saying the other day, we must all have the capacity not only to be able to listen, to observe together, but also think together, which apparently is much more difficult because we are so trained through our religion, through our culture, to think individually, separately. And so there is always diversity of opinion, judgement, evaluation - your belief opposed to another belief, ideals opposed to other ideals and so on. These differences, contradictory, opposing, keep the individual separate and when there is separation there must be conflict, which is so obvious: national conflicts, racial conflicts, class conflicts, ideological conflicts and so on, so on. Now we are asking, we are thinking together if that is possible - I think it is possible when you put aside your own particular opinion, your particular evaluation, experience, conclusions and feel the necessity of thinking together. Right? Please do this as we are talking, not when you go home or later on, but now as we are sitting together let's find out if it is possible that we can communicate with each other so that there are no barriers.
The speaker is only sitting on the platform not to assume any authority but it is convenient because you can all see the man. That is the only reason he is sitting on the platform. And is it possible to think together about this whole question of discipline, effort, and whether it is possible at all in life to live without a single effort. Effort means strife, struggle to become something, to achieve something, not only in the psychological realm, but also in the physical realm. Is it possible to act without effort, to have a relationship with each other in which there is no strife whatsoever, between two people, and no conflict within oneself, to think clearly without the determination to think clearly? All that implies conflict. Can we together think out this question, and as we are thinking it out eliminate as we are going, so that we can together put aside through our clarity of perception, clarity of hearing, clarity of thinking, that very movement sets aside the contradictory elements. That's what we are going to discuss this morning, if we may.
Like the soldiers throughout the world are highly disciplined people and that very discipline encourages violence. I don't know if you have not thought about this. A soldier is trained, day after day, month after month, suppressing his personality, suppressing his desires, conforming to a pattern, and there is this very, very strict discipline. And that discipline when it is in action against somebody it is violent. That is war. Obviously. The word 'discipline' means to learn, not to conform, not to suppress, not to imitate but to learn.
Now, in our thinking together we are going to observe whether there can be an action in our daily life without this quality of conformity, without this quality of imitation to a pattern, to an idea, to a nationalism, and so on and so on. I hope you are following all this. For some this may be totally new so please have the goodness to listen. To listen implies that you are interested in trying to find out. You know you have listened to yourself probably many times. You have listened to others but one always listens partially. And when you listen partially you don't listen at all. When you listen, you listen. Right?
Now we are going to find out why man has submitted himself to a series of disciplines, not only in the physical world, technological world, but also psychologically. And is this discipline helping man to free himself from his idiosyncrasies, his conflicts, his problems, his relationship and so on? You understand my question? Right? Are you all very hot?
Can one listen without effort, first? Not to the speaker only but to learn the art of listening, which means not creating an image about the speaker, about the person who is speaking - your wife, your husband, and so on - not to have an image when you are listening. Right? Not to have a concept, not to hold on to one's own knowledge and as you are listening interpret what is being said according to your knowledge. All this denies actual listening. If you want to see something very clearly you must give your attention. Attention implies not concentration, just observation, to see what is actually happening. Like a good scientist looking through a microscope, he must look what is actually taking place. But if he has a hypothesis, a conclusion, with that he is looking, then he is incapable of pure observation of what is going on. Right? Please. Therefore there is the art of listening, the art of observing, seeing, then there is the art of thinking together. From that arises the art of learning. We will go into all this presently.
We are now going into the art of thinking together. You and the speaker having put aside their personal problems, issues and all the rest of it, so that we can think together, to observe our problems. Not the problems that the speaker imposes but the human problems. Right?
So we are saying: why has man throughout the ages lived in a constant state of conflict? Whether he is seeking god, whether seeking heaven, whatever he does, both in our relationships outwardly and inwardly with each other, there is this constant struggle, strife. How has this come about? Why can't we live completely without a single shadow of strife? You understand my question? Please put that question to yourself and let's find out the true cause of it, together.
Strife must exist where there is division. That is obvious - division between the guru and the disciple, between our nationalities, as long as there is a division of any kind there must be conflict. This is obvious. Right? Do we see that? As long as one thinks one is superior to another there must be conflict. As long as one asserts one's opinions, judgements as opposed to another's opinions, another judgement, there must be division and conflict. In relationship between two people, each pursuing his own ambitions, his own fulfilment, his own desires, division exists and therefore there is conflict. Right? I hope you are following. You are observing it not verbally, not intellectually but actually as it is taking place in your daily life. Right?
Now we are asking: why has this division come into being? There is the sunset and sunrise, darkness and light, the stars in their great brilliancy and beauty and the dark earth, there is the man and a woman, there is nature and technological improvement. All at that level, which is actual. And inwardly, if you observe carefully, inwardly there is also division: I must/I must not, I have been/I shall be, I shall achieve/I may not achieve. So there is always this inward division as well as outward division. Right? Right sir? Some of you at least agree or disagree with me.
We are asking why. How has this come about? Is this the normal state, natural healthy state? Or it is really abnormal. Really non-existent. This is what we are going to find out. You are following all this? First of all we are asking: is this normal? - this division. And why does this division exist, between god and man, the good and the bad, the better - and so on, this constant division, comparison, conformity to a pattern, and so on and so on? Is this normal? We have accepted it as normal. Like war - please follow - like war, like the man who says, 'I know, you don't know', 'I interpret god and you listen'. We have accepted nationalism, division of classes, hierarchical outlook, as being normal, healthy, necessary, because we think that is progress. Right? That is evolution, that is achieving the good. Right? Now we are saying is this normal? We are questioning to find out together - together - not the speaker says something and you accept or reject, but together we are investigating into this question, which means we are thinking together, not you think and I accept, or I think and you accept, or you reject or I reject, but together we are thinking and exploring. Right? Please. Because we want to point out that there is a way of living without a single effort, both physically as well as psychologically. Right? So is this normal? We say yes, it is normal because everything struggles to exist. Nature is in constant battle of survival - the tiger killing the deer and so on and so on. That struggle, strife is normal. Because it exists there it must exist naturally here. And without struggle, without comparison, without competition, you cannot progress. Perhaps that may be so in the technological world but we have accepted it also psychologically - right? - that the more knowledge we have the greater the ascent of man. Right? The more one knows about the universe, about the environment, the more and more, the more cultivated, the more educated, the more enlightened the human being becomes. All that implies struggle.
Why is there this division? Have we taken it over from the actual fact that I must struggle with the earth and cultivate it to produce what one can eat? Is it the struggle in the outward world for sheer existence, has that concept, or that actuality slipped into the psychological world? You are following all this? Or is this too brainy, all this? I don't think it is too brainy, it's just clarity of explanation - right? - verbal clarity. We must begin with verbal clarity otherwise we cannot communicate with each other. If you say that is all too complicated for me, too highbrow, too intellectual, you stop investigating, finding out for yourself why human beings have lived like this, through millennia, struggling. Is that the reason? We see nature in struggle, in conflict, we see to learn a new language implies a certain amount of strain, conflict, attention, to learn a skill requires effort, so perhaps that movement has been accepted in the psychological field. That is one fact. We are asking that. Or is it that human beings throughout the world have emphasised in their culture, in their religion, in their activity, the ego, the me, separate from you? Do you follow? So, culture, religion, economics, politics, everything has educated man to the idea, to the concept of the me and the you. Therefore there is a division. And in the me there are innumerable divisions. Right? The 'me' not wanting and wanting. The 'me' that says, 'I shall be, I have been, I must be in the future.' So is that the reason why - is that the cause of this division which is brought about by culture, religion, and so on and so on? That is second. Or is it that each human being is seeking salvation individually, seeking security individually, seeking Nirvana, heaven, illumination, by himself? And the idea that when you reach that then you are all one? You follow?
So this has been what we have been taught, encouraged, learnt, conditioned. Right? And a man - or rather when I say a man there might be ladies who are opposed to man and all the rest of it - why has a human being not gone into this question? No saint has gone into it. No religious teacher has gone into it. They say ultimately you will be without effort, but you must make effort to reach the ultimate, therefore you must struggle, you must conform, you must discipline, you must starve, you must fast, you must - you know, all the rest of it - you must follow, accept authority. Seeing that, one begins to question it. One asks: is it possible? One sees the causes of this division - political, religious, national, the Arab, the Jew, the Hindu, the Muslim - you follow? - all that, the totalitarian, the capitalist, they are all the same.
So, is this normal? Or we have so given to this individual, isolated, self-centred problems, seeking security there and never finding it because when one is isolated one can never be secure. Right? I wonder if you see that? Now when one country is isolating itself from another country how can they co-exist? There must be wars - you know the whole thing that is going on. But yet we, as human beings, are isolating ourselves in all our activities, and trying to find in that isolation, security, and have a relationship with another who is also seeking, isolating himself - there must be inevitably conflict. And therefore no security. Right? Security implies a state of mind in which there is no conflict. You following this? Right sir?
Is this an illusion, this division, a delusion that man, thought has invented? Or is it an actuality in the sense real, true? Right? Is it the result of thought? You understand? We have the capacity to think, at least most people have, to a limited or to a wide extent. To think clearly. Or think in illusion created by thought. Right? Are you following all this? Thought, as we have been saying, is the response of memory, experience, knowledge. Right? You have stored up through experience certain knowledge, that knowledge has become memory and that memory responds as thought. This is obvious, we don't have to discuss this point. Which is, knowledge is the past, experience is the past, memory is in the realm of the past, and so thought being in the past is limited. Right? I wonder if you see all this. Yes sir? Please don't agree. Watch it. It is so obvious. So thought is the movement of the past, movement modifying itself in the present, going on, but always rooted in the past. Therefore it is limited. Right? Isn't that so? Please, come on.
So has thought invented this idea as the 'me' separate from you? You are following all this? Has not thought created nationalities? Has not thought created the Catholic and the Protestant? Has not thought created the Jew and the Arab, the Muslim and the Hindu, and so on? Has not thought divided this? Right? It is obvious. So in this division thought hopes to find security. Right? Of course. If you found no security in isolation you would have some other quality. You are following? So I am asking: as thought is limited, because it is the response of the past and therefore it must always, under all circumstances, be limited, and has thought brought about this isolating existence of each one, separate, in order to be secure in this isolation? You are following all this? Are we following this?
And what thought has created is also actual: the tent, the electric light, the whole technological field - that is actual, real. And is the 'me', the ego, real? You understand? Thought has created the world of technology, architecture, poems, statues, beautiful gardens, excellent carpentry, great cathedrals, and also thought has created the things in the cathedrals. Right? I wonder - obvious. All the rituals, dogmas, the whole circus that goes on in every church, in every temple, in every mosque, this is the whole process of the movement of thought. Right? So I am asking, we are asking: is the 'me', the ego, actual? Or is it an illusion? A delusion that has been brought about by thought, thought being limited? You understand? In its limitation it has created the thing which is limited. Do you see this? Or you are rejecting this? Because we are thinking together. And we are saying where there is division there must be conflict, there must be strife, there must be this constant battle going on outwardly and inwardly. Right? Take a very simple example: man and woman. In all relationships, as it exists now, there is conflict. Right? Would you agree to that? At last! (Laughter) At last everybody agrees about something!
You have accepted that conflict, that strife in relationship, and you either escape from it through entertainment, drugs, various forms of fulfilments and all the rest of it, run off to a monastery, to gurus and all that, or - you know all that is happening. And one has never asked in that relationship whether you can live with another perfectly peacefully, not indifferently, not callously, not caring for each other, but caring for each other, being tremendously affectionate, being responsible but without a sense of conflict. Right? Now can we think this out together now? Not go home and think it out - now sitting here, can we together think it out so that you can totally end this conflict in relationship?
Questioner: It could depend...
Krishnamurti: Wait, wait.
Q: only for me and also for the other one.
K: I am going to go into that, sir. Un momento per favoure. We will go into it.
First of all do we see actually, not verbally, actually that which is happening in our relationship? Right? That is obvious. Go slowly, go slowly. Why has this division in relationship taken place? Go on. Don't say, 'If we loved each other it would be all right'. But we don't love each other. That is obvious. So don't bring that in, it has no meaning. But the actual fact is conflict. I am saying why? Isn't it fairly obvious that each one - man, woman - each one is exploiting each other, each one using each other, trying to fulfil sexually, non-sexually in each other, and each one being ambitious in different directions, pulling away all the time from each other and meeting perhaps in bed and thinking we love each other. Now I say: what is the root of all this? Ask yourselves: what is the root of this? Apart from man, woman, nature - you know, difference in sexes, apart from that why is there this division between you and me, between the woman and man, in their relationship? Is it - we are asking, please enquire with me - is it our culture, our education, which has so emphasised the 'me', so strongly, and the 'you' equally strongly? You follow? That is, my ego and your ego. Right? The ego being created by thought, thought which is limited.
Now when you look at yourself as an ego, the self, the self-centred entity, what is it? Actually, what is it? Is it the name, the form, the shape, the idea, the concept, the image? Right? That is the 'me', with all the tendencies and all the rest of it. Essentially it is the product of thought. Do you see that? Or do you say, 'No, no, that is not it. It is god, in me, and god in you'? You see, that is too silly. To maintain this division man has invented so many concepts - the Hindus have extraordinary concepts, the Atman and so on, so on - I won't go into all that. You follow? To maintain this division and to continue in the strife and no way out of it, man has invented gods and all the rest of it, the saviours, the - all that nonsense to me.
So, can you observe this 'me', which is created by thought, observe it without introducing the movement of thought in that observation? Have you got it? Please see first of all the logic of it. The logic. Thought is the response of knowledge and memory, which is the past. So thought is the past, modifying itself all the time, but it is rooted in the past. And therefore it must always be limited, narrow, can never be whole. Right? And thought has created the division in its action, the 'me' and the 'not me', the 'you' and 'I', 'we' and 'they'. And has also created various kinds of divisions: the technological action, the personal action, the ideological action, the supreme action and so on, so on. Right? That's a fact. Now can you observe that fact - please listen carefully - can you observe that fact without thought entering into that observation?
Q: It is the only instrument I have to use.
K: One moment sir. I am coming to that, sir. First go slowly. The gentleman says it is the only instrument that I have and therefore how can I look without employing that instrument? You have understood? Right? That is a wrong question you have put. Because we have not clearly understood the limitation of thought. If you see clearly the limitation of thought, so you recognise the instrument is itself limited - right? And is it possible not to employ that instrument? If you find a particular drill cannot dig a hole, you find other means to dig a hole. But if you say, 'I have only this instrument' - then you cannot dig a hole. You understand? So do we realise the instrument itself is useless to investigate into this question of conflict? That is the whole point. You understand? I wonder if you understand this?
Sir, we see we are so used to a particular form of action, which has not produced results but we hold on to it. We don't say as it has not produced results I will put it away, throw it out, let me find out another. You follow? That is our struggle. You want to employ the instrument of thought, and through thought you hope to resolve the problem, but thought itself is limited and therefore it is not the instrument. Right? Do we see that? Do we see in our relationship that there is conflict, each one having his own image and therefore division, and these images have been created by thought and thought is limited and cannot solve the problem.
Now, we are acquiring a new instrument, which is to observe without the old instrument interfering. You have got this? This is You see you won't let go the old instrument. You think that old instrument will help you, but you don't see that old instrument has created such tremendous problems in life, and you keep on employing that instrument. Once you see that then you are looking in other directions. Right? It is like a good carpenter, the chisel doesn't work therefore he either throws it away or buys a new one, or sharpens it, but he is rejecting it. But you won't, because we are not clear, we don't think clearly. Or we are afraid if the new instrument comes things might break up. Frightened. Which means you have already projected, thought has already projected an idea that it might not. You are following all this?
So can you, after this, can you observe without the old instrument of thought the actual relationship of two images, between two people and the division that exists? Look at it, observe it, see it. Then what takes place? You can only do that when you have put aside the old instrument.
Look sir, if I want to understand what you are saying I must listen to you, I must listen to you with affection, with care, with attention, because I want to find out what you are saying. But if I say, 'Yes, I agree with you. I have heard this before.' Or, 'You are saying something new which is impossible', you are not listening. So listening implies sir, a great sense of attention, love, care. But if you haven't got that your old instrument is in operation. And then you say, 'How am I to pay attention? Tell me the method, the system'. Then thought invents the system, then you become a prisoner to the system and you go on with that. Whereas if you see the importance, the danger of separation in relationship - the real danger, we are destroying each other. Right? The terrorists, the capitalists, all the rest of it - we are destroying each other because each one of us feels he's separate. And if you see the danger then you will listen, you are already in a state of acute listening to find out if there is a way out of this. Right?
Are you listening that way? That means to observe silently. Silence means not just going off to sleep or this or that. Silence is tremendous attention. That attention is complete energy. All the energy that you have, with all your mind and heart. That is attention. Then you listen, and that very listening, that very observation dissolves the limitation of the instrument.
But we have not touched upon this question of discipline, because if one understands the nature of discipline - the 'me' and the thing to be achieved. You understand? To achieve that I must discipline myself. If I am to reach god, whatever god may be, which again is the invention of thought - do you accept all this? (Laughter) You see, we discipline ourselves to be good. You tell the child, 'Be good. Don't do this, do that'. Is goodness born out of discipline? Have you ever asked that? Is love born out of discipline? Is charity, humility, generosity born out of discipline? And is truth to be found by discipline? Enlightenment through discipline? Which means conformity to a pattern, which is conforming, the ego, the 'me', to another pattern, that pattern invented by another ego. You are following all this?
So when you see all this, the basic question is: can one live in this world without the 'me', without the ego, without all the things thought has created - gods, you know, psychologically? Thought has created the postman - right? - the engineer. You need the postman, you need the engineer, but you don't need the things that thought has created in its desire to be secure psychologically. And in that there is no security. Security exists only when there is no division. Right?