Can love exist in the field of reality?
Is it possible for the stream of selfishness to end?
2nd Public Talk, Saanen
July 15, 1975
May we go on where we left off on Sunday morning? We were saying that human beings right throughout the world whatever their nationality, their political structure or social behaviour, there must be a radical fundamental transformation psychologically of man - including woman of course. And knowledge - that is, the accumulated experience stored up in the brain as memory - that knowledge has in no way, except at the peripheral, irrelevant side has not changed man deeply. Knowledge has not in any way basically brought about a change in human behaviour.
We said that. And what is the quality of energy, we went on to ask, that will change man, if it is not knowledge, if it is not all the theories, the book learning, the innumerable assertions of the priests and the politicians and the analysts and the psychologists has not changed man, then what will? What is the energy? What is the nature of that energy and how will it act in human behaviour? That's what we were talking about last Sunday. If one sees this very clearly, that thought which has created the modern as well as the ancient civilisations, thought which is the response of memory, thought which is physical as well as chemical, if that thought which has built the whole human structure of behaviour, technological knowledge, technological activity and the science and so on and so on, the movement of that thought, which is time, which is measure, is the world of reality. I think that was fairly clear.
In that world of reality there is not only the illogical reality but logical, sane, rational reality. Now to see this very clearly, not theoretically, not in abstraction but to see it actually as it is, out of that perception comes beauty and from that beauty, action. Now we are going to investigate that.
That is, what is rational and irrational reality that thought has brought about, which confuses man in his outlook, which distorts his activity? And therefore he does not see very clearly, because in clarity - please listen to this - in clarity there is tremendous stability, psychologically and therefore will bring about physical security. That is, to see very clearly the whole movement of thought, what it has done, the absurdities, the silliness, the incorrectness of thought and the correctness of thought, to see that very clearly brings about not only that quality of perception which puts everything in its right place and therefore in that there is stability. And when there is clarity there is beauty, not the expression of beauty, not the painting, the crowded museums and all the rest of the music, and all that, but the quality of a mind that sees clearly. In that clarity that mind has the depth of beauty.
So - hot, isn't it - I said we said: thought thinks correctly and incorrectly. The incorrectness of thought is the utter denial of freedom, both politically, religiously and socially. When thought is incorrect - we are not laying down any dogma, we are just observing how thought in its activity creates obscurity because it is not clear. And therefore in that lack of clarity, in that lack of being totally correct, there is no freedom. And this lack of freedom is shown in the structure of belief which thought has brought about through fear. Right? We all believe in something. Belief has no validity at all of any kind. Belief implies a projection of incorrect thinking, from a desire for hope out of despair. Right? I haven't prepared the talk, so I am going along with you.
When one believes in nationality as something totally different from the rest of humanity, that is incorrect thinking. When you state that separate countries according to nationalities, according to religious structure or economic structure - that is incorrect thinking, therefore in that there is no clarity and no stability.
Now if you see clearly the danger of belief - when you see the sun rise in the east and set in the west, you don't believe, it is so! But we have fear brought about by thought and we believe in the most extraordinary things. If you examine not only the economic world and the Communist block direct as credulous, as brutal, as violent as the believers in something which is Utopian, which is godly, which is divine, which is Jesus, which is Christ, which is all the rest of it - or, in India, it is the same pattern. Now do you see this clearly: that belief which is incorrect thinking, which has no basis, but it has a basis of desire, fear, which again is a movement of thought, if you see that clearly belief has no place whatsoever. Therefore you won't fight me because I believe in something else and you believe in something else - we have no belief. I wonder if you see this? The importance of this. Belief implies opinion, judgement, evaluation, which prevent the clarity of perception. Right? Is one aware of this? Is one aware that one has beliefs and one clings to them and for those beliefs we are willing to kill, to destroy other human beings? - not only the deeply rooted beliefs but pragmatic beliefs. Now is one aware of this? Does one see this clearly? Therefore the mind therefore thought denies the incorrectedness - if there is such word as incorrectedness - thought sees the valuelessness of belief, sees it and therefore in that perception there is stability. You never wander away into belief. Which is stable. I wonder if you understand this? Therefore freedom in the world of reality can only exist when there is correct thinking. Right?
So what is correct thinking? Not according to the speaker or according to you - correct means accurate. Accurate means order, therefore thought in the world of reality - which we went into on Sunday morning, so we won't go on repeating the old thing. We said thought, whatever it thinks about, whatever it has created, constructed technologically, psychologically and in relationship, all that area is the world of reality: the thought that has invented gods, the whole system of religious beliefs, dogmas - all that is the movement of thought as time and measure which operates in the world of reality. Reality means - I looked it up in the dictionary yesterday - reality comes from the word 'res', which means thing, a thing. And thought is physical, chemical, therefore it is a thing.
So we have to find out in observing - and this observation needs freedom in the world of reality. May I go on? I am exploring, so don't jump on me yet. Later on you can. There are two kinds of freedom: the freedom in the world of reality and freedom totally outside of reality. If we deny freedom in the world of reality then we become slaves to politicians, to ideologies, to dictatorships, to totalitarianism, to the whole structure of authority. Right? And you must have freedom in the world of reality, even to think correctly. As the world is becoming more and more dangerous for human beings, people are depending for guidance, for authority politically, religiously and so on. So people who are insecure, uncertain, do not see clearly, inevitably bring about dictatorship, totalitarianism of the gurus - please understand - of the gurus, of the politicians, of the priest of the drug addicts. So there must be freedom in the world of reality and there is no freedom if there is no clear perception. So I, you, must have clear perception, what is correct thinking, accurate thinking and not accurate thinking.
I might ask: what value has correct thinking in the world of reality? I may think very correctly - in the sense we are talking of correct, orderly - what value has it in a world that is confused, uncertain, unstable, disorderly, what value has it if you see clearly? That's an inevitable question.
To answer that properly, correctly one must consider consciousness and its content. May I go on? You don't mind my talking like this? The content of consciousness, which is what you have, what each one has, that content is brought about by the priest, the politician, by experience, by knowledge, by grief, by pain, by attachment, by sorrow, by hope, by despair - all the reactions, all the things that one has acquired, attached to, the despair, the anxiety, the hope - all that is the content, if you observe your own mind, your own consciousness. And that consciousness of every human being, with all its content, is affected by the words - please follow this carefully - by what you read, by what you are told, how you are educated, propaganda, all the religious, political, economic, Marx, Engels, Mao, everything. If you think correctly in the world of reality, you are bringing about, are you not, an incident, a happening in that consciousness. I wonder if you understand what I am saying?
Look: Lenin, Mao and the priests in the name of Jesus - if he existed - have affected our consciousness. Have they not? The philosophers with their theories, with their ideas, with their tricks, have affected our consciousness. Whether you are aware of it or not, this is unimportant, it has affected. Hitler has affected you, your consciousness, Mussolini, Stalin. Every strong violent incident, happening affects consciousness, or even the most humble. Now if I change, if there is clarity in the field of reality, I affect the whole of consciousness of man. You understand. It's bound to. I am affecting you now, either rationally or irrationally? So to the question: what value has a human being who thinks in the field of reality very correctly in the face of this monstrous confusion? - the correct answer is: that where a human being changes radically in the field of reality, correctly, he affects that consciousness, as irrational thinking affects consciousness. Right?
So one realises that freedom in the world of reality is necessary for clarity. Please follow, this is really deeply important. That means freedom from total authority - not the technological authority, not the authority of the surgeon, doctor and all the rest of it - the psychological authority. So the acceptance of authority is incorrect thinking, whether the authority of the guru, the priest, the politician, you follow, psychologically. So one begins to see clearly that in the world of reality, which is the field of thought, the operation or the process of thought, thought has created authority, belief as the means of its own security, of its own certainty, and clings to things which have no validity at all.
I once saw a person who had been brought up in the Catholic world, in that very narrow, restricted Catholicism, and at the age of forty that person left it. And he came to see me casually one day and he said: The only thing I am afraid of, though I have left my church and all the dogma etc. etc., I am afraid of hell. (Laughter) It sounds very funny - but you see the depth of wanting complete security, psychologically, will bring about the most extraordinary activity of attachment to something totally unreal, illogical, insane.
So can you, listening to this, see, be aware of this attachment to authority, to belief, to knowledge as guide? So then you begin to see that in the world of reality there must be order, and this order is not possible, if there is no freedom. Please, listen. These are just words, but feel it in your heart and mind - then you will have this freedom.
So disorder is authority, in the sense we have been using that word which is logical, which is sane, which is not incorrect, and disorder is brought about by belief, your belief, my belief, your opinion, my opinion, your judgement, my judgement and the assertions of all the priests and so on. So our consciousness is in total disorder. And to be aware of this disorder - not through words or descriptions of the speaker but actually be aware of it and see where your thought is totally incorrect, and finish with it, not carry on day after day. Then it has no meaning. Then you are fit for an asylum.
So the mind then, thought then, brings order in the world of reality, you understand? - because order means stability, security psychologically, which then will bring about security and order outwardly - not the other way round, I wonder if you see that?
That is: all the organised religions have said that there is no order in this world, you cannot have order in this world, there is only order in heaven. Each religion puts it a different way, but basically that's that. And the environmentalist, the Marxist, the Communist say: control the environment, shape the environment by thought (of course you can't shape it in any other way) then that will change man. You understand? The religions say: there is no order in this world, cannot be, there can be a minimum of order - but there is order in heaven, not here. And the others - the Communists, Socialists, the Materialists, the Humanitarians, Marxists say: change the environment, then that environment will change man - which has not happened, which will never happen. And there is the other, which is what we are talking about, which is: there must be order in this world, in the world of reality, otherwise there is no security in this world of reality. And this order can only come about when there is correct thinking, not neurotic thinking - right? Does this order take place in you, as you are listening? That is the vital question - you follow? Otherwise you are just playing games with me and I refuse to play games with you, I don't want to play games with you. Right?
So then what is order in the world of reality? We know what creates disorder: belief, separativeness, psychologically - you may be taller, you may be this or that. I am not talking of that physical division, but psychological division. Where there is division there must be conflict. Where there is division between me as the observer and the observed, which is division, there must be conflict. I am going to go into this presently.
So wherever there is psychological division, as the Arab and the Jew, the Hindu, the Muslim and so on, and so on, and so on - there must be conflict. That is law! That is order, that's correct thinking in the field of reality. So how can there be order? That is, order being the freedom from disorder, because I have understood what is disorder, how disorder comes about through wrong thinking, through various forms of ideological pursuits and the attachment to those pursuits. All that creates disorder. I have understood it, I have seen it, I have eschewed it, put it completely away, finished. Therefore out of that complete sense of freedom from disorder, there is order which cannot be systematised, which cannot be put into a pattern, because it's a living thing, though in the world of reality. Are you following all this?
And now we must go much deeper and find out, what creates disorder. I understand what order is but the basic root of disorder - because if I have not solved it, if I have not understood it, if I have not penetrated very deeply into it, there must be constant order and disorder. Right?
There are three fundamental principles of disorder. I am investigating, please go with me. One is suffering, the other is fear and the third is the pursuit of pleasure. Now which shall I begin with? Which shall I examine first? Examine, which is to observe, not to analyse. I wonder if you see the difference between observation and analysis. Analysis implies time. Analysis implies the analyser and the analysed, the division and all the things involved in analysis. And perception is entirely different from analysis: you perceive that which is and let that which is reveal itself, which is quite the opposite of analysing 'what is'. You understand this? Analysis implies, as I said, we must go into this a little bit, analysis implies the analyser and the analysed. I analyse myself or a professional analyses me. It's the same thing. He may have a little more advanced knowledge than I have, but it is on the same principle. The analyser, is he different from the analysed? Who is the analyser. He is the past with all the knowledge which he has acquired, and learned through recent psychologists and all the rest of it, that he is separate from the thing he is going to analyse. So he creates a thought, it is all the process of thinking still, thought creates this division and then begins to examine that which is to be analysed. And so there is always a distance, a separateness between the analyser and the analysed. And this process can go on indefinitely and it's a game of the people who indulge in all that kind of stuff. And also analysing implies time. I must analyse layer after layer, dreams and so on, and so on, and so on, indefinitely. All that involves time, a peculiar kind of energy which is dissipated in words, never penetrating profoundly, because analysis can never go deeply. Whereas perception is quite a different thing. It sees instantly the whole of it, sees the division, sees the futility of the analyser, understands who is the analyser, sees the whole structure of the analyser and the analysed, and sees how this division has been created and therefore there is only the realisation that analysis has no place whatsoever - but only perception, seeing - right?
So can I, without analysis, see the whole structure and all the depth of it - not just the words of it - of suffering, fear and the everlasting pursuit of pleasure? These are the three basic principles on which we function. Right? This is so. So which shall we start with?
I think I will start with suffering. Because suffering - not only physical but psychological - when there is that suffering, everything is in operation: your body, your nerves, your brain, you are completely held within that. Haven't you noticed it? Or you haven't suffered. Your body is nearly paralysed, your mind is held, your nerves, your thought, everything is concentrated. Isn't that so? So suffering of the loss of someone, suffering because one is utterly, desperately lonely, there is that suffering when you realise you are not loved and want to be loved, there is suffering when you realise, that nobody can help you, you are completely isolated, that you have lost all relationship with everything, that there is no answer - you want an answer, but you know very well inside yourself, that there is no answer. You may run away seeking comfort, drugs or God knows what else - drugs, the Bible or the Gita or the Guru - but the thing remains.
So suffering, both physical and psychological is a factor that makes man, or woman, completely held. And being enclosed in that suffering, one tries to get away, minimise, we say: Time will cure it. Or go to church, you know the various things that we indulge in to escape from that factor of extraordinary concentration, of total energy - which doesn't take place where there is fear and where there is the pursuit of pleasure. It is only when there is this extraordinary suffering which we all go through - in that suffering all thought is held - right?
So Christianity has made suffering into a parody - you know what is happening. And the Hindus, the ancient Hindus, knew what suffering was and gave a rational explanation. They say: this is what you did in your past life, called Karma, which is, you acted wrongly. The word 'Karma' means - it has a root meaning, which means to act, to do. Therefore they say: in your past life you did wrong, therefore you are paying for it now. Be careful now, next life will be better. You know the prop is of a better life next life which you all want and they are very clever at it.
And what is a man who is suffering out of loneliness, out of desperation, out of realising that there is no security, knowing that you have lost everything that you held, in death, and thought itself at that moment is paralysed. Have you noticed all this, have you been aware of it? If you have, which means there is no movement of thought in any direction: no hope, no desire for comfort - you know very well those are all escapes, which is correct thinking. So what takes place in a mind which has known this suffering and which has not found an answer, because to find an answer is incorrect thinking. I wonder if you see that? Because this very suffering is the product of thought - because I am attached to you and you desert me - that's a paralysing action. I have lost you, in whom I invested my comfort, my desire, my sexual appetites - everything in you. I have lost you, you are dead and I call that suffering. What is a mind that sees the incorrect thinking of escape - escape is incorrect thinking, to rationalise is incorrect thinking, to accept is incorrect thinking, or to deny is incorrect thinking - but only the fact which is 'what is', what takes place in that mind, knowing suffering is a distorting factor? There is not only personal separate suffering, as you and me, and also there is the suffering of mankind, the whole of suffering, the suffering that has been brought about through wars, millions of mothers have cried and wives or whatever they are. There is this vast cloud of suffering, personal suffering and also the universal suffering, the global suffering through economic lack of money, lack of food, lack of education, ignorance, poverty. All that is vast human suffering, which is part of my consciousness - right? Please follow this. Part of my consciousness, not only my suffering but also the suffering of human beings right through the world.
So then what is the quality of a mind that has faced this? What is the quality of your mind, when you face this fact? That there is no escape, that there is no rationalisation, that any movement of thought is furthering the confusion of sorrow? In seeing the reality of that - I am not using the word 'truth' purposely - seeing the reality of this suffering, what takes place? Now, who is going to answer you? This is not a clever trick on my part. Who is going to answer this question? Because all of us have suffered to a minor degree or a great deal, either become embittered or cynical, depraved and ugly, run off into some monastery, which is all incorrect thinking, and therefore bring about greater confusion, which is part of suffering. So realising all that, what takes place in the mind? If you answer, answer correctly, because you are speaking out of the depth of your suffering, not out of your escape, or words and explanations, abstractions - because we have to test this, you can't just accept words and live on words and explanations - that has no meaning. You can't test explanations, but you can test the reality of suffering and actually what takes place.
So one has to go into the question: what is love, hasn't one? For most of us suffering is an act of love, right? I love you, you don't love me. I love you, you have gone away. I love you and I am attached to you and you spurn me, you go away and I am lonely. I have never faced that loneliness, now I realise that loneliness. And all this movement of attachment, pleasure, despair, jealousy, anxiety, hate, is what we generally call love. No? And we translate this love as human or not human, divine - it's the same process. And I see suffering is one of the acts of what we call love. My god, just realise it, sir, you understand? I love you and therefore I suffer - just think of such a thing. So I have to go into this question very deeply: what is love?
Has love any relationship to thought? Has love any relationship to jealousy, to hate, to envy? But yet I am in it. That's the world of reality I live in. Has love any pleasure and is love enjoyment? Please this is very complicated, don't just say: I love you and you love me and it is a beautiful world. That's all romantic nonsense. So I must go into this question because it is terribly related, very intimately related to suffering. So I must understand the nature and the structure of love and what place has thought in it. If love has no remembrance then what is my relationship to you, whom I love? You understand?
So suffering leads me to realise that it is one of the acts of sorrow, and therefore I must have a clear perception of what love is, not the description, not the word, not all the romantic sentimental nonsense but the actuality of it, which is: I love and with it goes hatred, jealousy, anxiety, and with it goes loneliness, despair, attachment and the fear and the anxiety that one must be detached and the struggle and the envy and all that. Are you following all this, it is your life! So what place has thought in the world of love? So is love in the field of reality? You follow? Field of reality in which I enjoy sexually, the remembrance of it, the demand for it and the looking forward to it, the picture, all the encouragement of modern civilisation with all the nakedness, with their exploitation of nakedness. All that is called love.
So: what relationship in the world of reality, which is the world of thought, and can love exist in the field of reality? Then what is the relationship between you and another? You understand the question? If it is in the field of reality, which it is, as it now is, then suffering is inevitable. I can go to church and think suffering is somebody else's - all that is silly nonsense, but I realise suffering exists in the field of reality - reality is that which thought has brought about, that which thought has created, cultivated, structured and holds it up, and nourishes it by constant remembrances. And I also see very clearly, that as long as love is in the field of reality, which is sustained by thought, sustained in our relationship with each other - man, woman whatever it is - there must be constant suffering. I see it clearly as I see you sitting there; you are as real as the perception. Then what is love? Is it at all related to suffering? What is love? Then what is compassion? The word 'compassion', the word 'com' means - with, together, altogether, completely, totally. Passion is totally. It means for the whole, not just for one or two - for the whole. Can thought bring about in the field of reality this sense of complete compassion? No, no, don't say No. You have to find out. And how does this extraordinary thing, that passion, that compassion, that love, which is not in the field of reality, how does it come about? Because once when one has seen the mystery of that, because that is a great mystery - not the mystery of a conjurer, the mystery that the church has created, or the religions who have organised the mystery - but the mystery of compassion, and that can only come - I won't go into it. First we must go into this question of love in the field of reality. And in that field of reality, in which there is 'love', if we don't understand it, live it freely, completely, the full significance of all this, sorrow is inevitable. Therefore as a human being whose consciousness is crowded with all its content - because the content makes consciousness. It is not two different things - the content is consciousness and consciousness is its content. And I live with that content. I am the content. And that content is put together by thought. That thought says I can hold love in that content. And holding it in that content, in that consciousness inevitably brings suffering.
Now do I, listening to you say this, and you are saying it not verbally only, but you are saying it because you know what you are talking about - do I realise, do I see this totally? Therefore I have to go further into finding out whether love can exist in relationship, you understand sir? Or it is the love which thought has created in relationship? You understand? Thought is memory, experience, knowledge. Thought is physical and chemical. Thought is measure and time. Therefore out of that thought there is remembrance - you and me - remembrance of what you have given me, what you have told me, sexually you have given me pleasure, all that, and that says, thought says: I love you, and we are satisfied to live that way - all of us say: That is enough, please, just leave it alone.
As long as thought holds you in that field of reality, I hope in that there will be no trouble, no disturbance, no breakage. That is what we call love, right? And thought, being in itself fragmentary, it must inevitably create disturbance, wanting to hold it and yet, because in itself it is broken, it must break up. Obviously you can see this. So then what is relationship in reality? In the world of reality? In the world of reality must there always be conflict between you and me? Wife and husband, boy and girl? Must there always be conflict? You follow? Because this conflict means sorrow, either superficial, passing or deeply abiding, a wound that has been deeply carved out. And has love no relationship whatsoever with the world of reality? Don't translate it as the Christians and the Hindus: love of god and love of something else.
After investigating this, I am asking myself: is love not in the field of reality at all and therefore no suffering? I wonder if you see that? Not, my not suffering, but humanity not suffering, because I am part of that humanity, I am part of the world and the world is me. If my mind can solve, can understand this, can see the truth of it - the truth that love is outside the field of reality - then because one human being has seen it, it affects the content of consciousness of other human beings, therefore it becomes tremendously important that you see it. Therefore from that one asks: if suffering is in the field of reality, and if thought is the factor that gives energy to suffering, then how is it possible, because suffering is a distorting factor, it is a burden, it darkens everything, how is it possible to live in the field of reality and yet have relationship and not suffer? You understand all this? I'll show it to you, I'll go into it.
May I say just something? You have seen the picture haven't you? I'll describe it if you want it, again. You have seen the picture: the shadows, the lights, the depth, the variety of colours, you have seen the picture of suffering, and the relation to the act of love which brings that suffering. You have seen the picture of relationship in the field of reality, which we call love, which brings suffering. And you have seen or been explained the relationship between thought and suffering, and thought which sustains, through memory, what is called love, the pain, the pleasure, the remembrance - all that. All that is within the field of reality, which is the movement of thought as time and measure. Measure being: I was happy, I am not, I should be, I am not, which is the movement of thought as measurement. Now if you have seen the picture clearly, not distorted, because thought can distort the picture, and you see how thought can think incorrectly and run away from it. Now can you remain with that picture, not try to alter it, not try to bring in a different shape and colour, a different framework, different environment and so on, and so on. Just totally remain with it. That means to remain with it, without any movement of thought away from it: verbally, escape from it, rationalise it - just remain with that picture, which means, you are that picture, not you are looking at the picture, you are the observer and the observed - remain with it. Then find out what happens.
I'll go into it with you the day after tomorrow, when we meet? Then I'll go into it. But this is something you have to live not just verbally play tricks with each other. You have got to see this thing completely. And see then what happens to a mind, to a human being who has seen the total content of suffering, not only the physical suffering, the pain of yesterday, the ache and the loneliness of that pain of yesterday, and the ache and the loneliness psychologically - all that. And see what takes place, meeting that twenty four hours till we meet. Then we can have communication at a deeper level - no, not at a deeper level - at the only level that matters.