Can the mind remain with hurt?
Can the mind regenerate itself?
2nd Public Talk, Bombay
January 20, 1974
If we may, we'll continue with what we were talking about yesterday. I wonder why you are there. I wonder why you sit there trying to understand the speaker, what he has to say instead of trying to understand oneself. It's far more important to understand oneself rather than understand somebody else. It's much easier, much more practical. And since we are here together, you have to listen to what the speaker has to say.
There are several ways of listening: either you listen with conscious effort, determined to find out what the speaker has to say, or listening in order to confirm your own particular point of view or your prejudice or your knowledge, or you listen with curiosity, with a sense of intellectual excitement or entertainment, or you listen quite differently. One's active brain has been employed throughout the day in the office, in the house, wherever one works; consciously you have been working, reading, struggling and the conscious mind, the everyday mind, at its superficial level, is rather tired, worn out and it is much more difficult for that conscious mind to listen properly. And the deeper layers of the mind, not so active, not so employed during the day, is very sensitive, much more alert than the conscious mind. And it is that alert, sensitive layers to which the speaker is talking to. That is much more receptive, much more alert, aware of all the implications involved. And if one could listen, not with a determination to understand what the speaker has to say, but listen with ease, with a sense of alert casualness - if one can use that word - then, perhaps, one will understand much more what the speaker has to say than trying vainly to comprehend.
So, as we are going to talk about this evening rather complex problems, please don't make it more complex for yourself by trying merely to understand the words. Words are necessary for communication, but there is also a non-verbal communication. But the non-verbal communication requires the deeper layers of the mind quickened, sharpened, challenged so that it is capable of perception, capable of intensity at the same time, at the same level as that of the speaker.
We were saying yesterday that the so-called religions throughout the world are dead; they have become mechanical repetition - a series of ideologies, abstractions, rituals, meaningless words. And religion, not in the accepted sense of that word, religion is the gathering of all your attention to perceive and therefore act instantly without the interval of time between seeing and an abstraction, which is a conclusion, and carrying out that conclusion into action. We were saying also religion is the source of all creation. And when we merely continue in a series of beliefs, ideas and conclusions, rituals and so on, that creative energy comes to an end. This creative energy, which has nothing to do with the mechanical energy or the energy of friction, energy of the conflict between dualities, this energy is free from any kind of conclusion, any ideation. And a mind that is free can only understand and live in this creative movement.
I'm quite sure you haven't understood it, what has been said, and we will explore it together, which mean sharing together, taking part in the journey. So, it's your responsibility to share and that means you must take an active part, not only in listening to what is being said, but also investigating your own mind, your own thoughts, your own reactions as we go along. Words are necessary, but the words don't convey the whole content. The content of our minds can be understood and explored and observed when the word is not the thing, when the description is not the described. The word 'tree' is not the tree; the word 'tree' is a symbol to signify the actual, but most of us are satisfied with the word, most of us are satisfied with explanations, with descriptions. So we get caught in the symbol, in the description, in the idea, which prevents us from looking actually at the tree.
When you observe your life - if you have ever observed it closely - we are, we human beings are wounded, hurt, not only physically, but deeply, psychologically. Our education at school, college and university is a tragedy. It is the process of getting hurt. Have you noticed for yourself that you have been hurt, and do you know you are hurt? That is, when you are in school compared with another bright boy or girl, you are hurt. You are hurt in your family. We are bruised through comparison, through constant endeavour to be something other than what you are. And this hurt goes on throughout life. And when a mind is hurt, it becomes violent, it resists, it does not want to be hurt anymore. Therefore it seeks escape through drugs, through various forms and therefore it builds up a resistance. Have you noticed this in your daily life? How can a mind that is hurt, brutalised, made insensitive through competition and all that is going on around us and within us, how can such a mind be free? And freedom is the very essence of religion, freedom from the many tortured activities that cripple the mind.
Please, please, don't take photographs if you don't mind. The speaker is not important. If you want to take photographs, take a photograph of a lovely tree and if you are taking photographs here, you are not paying attention. It's a waste of your time. So please, I beg of you, don't take notes, don't take photographs and if you are not interested, just get up and go home or go to a cinema. We are serious people - at least the speaker is - and if you are not serious then there is something very, very wrong with you. When the house is burning and if you are not serious about that house that is burning, then mentally, emotionally, physically there is something insane. So, please, kindly refrain from all the things that you usually do when you go to a meeting. Pay a little attention, because it's your life. This life, one has already wasted so much; there is so little left and not to waste what is left becomes extraordinarily important, because we are concerned with the regeneration of the mind. That is, to be reborn now, not in some future date. And it is the function of religion to bring about this regeneration, not all the nonsense of beliefs, Gods, temples, worship, pujas - you know, all that goes on - that will not bring about regeneration, a new birth. What brings about a total, psychological transformation is to observe oneself and discover for oneself the destructive, the degenerating energy that is crippling the mind.
You see, we are tortured human beings. Observe yourself, please. We are tortured human beings. We are always in conflict; we are always struggling and we expect this tortured mind to find reality. So, first, it is absolutely necessary to free the mind from all its tortures. That's simple, isn't it? You are tortured human beings, aren't you? Aren't you? We are always in conflict, we are always struggling, we are always unhappy, a sense of frustration, a bitterness, anxiety; and how can such a mind bring about something new? And it is the function of religion to help to wipe away all those tortures, all those hurts, so that the mind is fresh, young, innocent. So, the first thing is to realise that we are, as humans, greatly hurt by words, gestures, by comparison, imitation, conformity, by accepting tradition and therefore betraying the present. And to find out what it is that is hurt - you understand? - what is it that is hurt in you? You have an image about yourself, haven't you? Please, watch it, observe it, listen to what is being said. You have an image about yourself that you are this or that, that you are inferior or superior, that you are rather stupid, that you are rather clever, that you are capable and being capable, frustrated. So you have built an image about yourself. It is that image that gets hurt. Which is, thought has built this image; and in all relationship, in human relationship, the image that you have built about yourself or about another, that image about yourself is constantly bruised, constantly hurt. Please, watch it in yourself.
So, the question is: can the mind be free of the machinery of making images and what to do with all the hurts that the image has received? Right. Understood? That is, I have built an image about myself. That image has been wounded, hurt. That's one question. And is it possible never to be hurt, because a mind that is hurt is a distorted mind? It can never see clearly. All its activities are neurotic, unbalanced. So, that is the problem. I have the image which has been hurt, the image which I have built about myself and is it possible never to be hurt again. Because a mind that is hurt is incapable of perception, seeing directly and, therefore acting instantly. So, if the question is clear, then not to be hurt becomes much more important than the hurts that one has collected. Right? That is, can thought prevent itself naturally, without resistance, without struggle, not to create images? You've understood this? That is, thought is always fragmentary, thought divides as the thinker and the thought. Thought creates duality; thought is responsible for the image that it has created which gets hurt. So can thought prevent itself naturally, without effort, prevent itself creating any image about itself or about another? Right? Because, please, this is very important, this is your life, not the speaker's life. It's your daily life, your daily agonies, your daily suspicions, your daily anxieties, bitterness, anger, jealousy, hate. It is of that we are speaking, not of some ideals, conclusions, which have no meaning whatsoever.
So, can thought which is the response of memory, response of experience, response of knowledge - knowledge, experience, memory and where there is memory and the response to that memory is thought, response of that memory. Right? Can the mind not be hurt? You must see for yourself how dangerous it is to be hurt; how destructive, a mind that's hurt. And there are so many ways it gets hurt, by a single word, by a look, by a gesture, by your casual attention to something that another says seriously. So you must realise for yourself the extraordinary danger and the potency of a hurt. Now, can thought prevent making an image which gets hurt? I'll show it to you. You are sharing this with the speaker; you are not just merely listening casually; you are sharing it . And sharing implies attention, care, affection.
Someone calls you a fool. You hear the word, then the activity of thought, which is cerebration, then action. You hear, sensory, then cerebration, that is thinking, and the action which is the hurt. Now, can you listen to the word 'fool' without reacting, hearing, the activity of the mind which is thought and ending there? You've understood this? You call me a great man. That's also a wound because your idea of greatness has no meaning. It is your conditioning, your idea that gives to a person greatness. But greatness is not yours because you are not great. It's only then you can talk about greatness. You call me great and that is a wound, as much as a wound as when you call me a fool. Now, can this mind listen to that word 'great' and completely be free of any imprint on the mind through that word? Do you understand my question? The imprinting, the mark is the hurt. So, can the mind listen to that word and not leave a mark on it? That can only happen when you are totally attentive at that moment. When you say I am great or a fool, I listen, because there is no image. There is only the act of listening, not the association that thought brings about when you use the word 'great' or 'a fool'. You just listen and there is no listener. Please follow this. The listener is the image, the listener is the past, the listener is the structure which thought has put together. It is the listener that gets hurt, but not listening. So the mind will never get hurt if there is no listener and there is no listener when you give total attention when somebody says you are a fool or a great man. This you must understand. That is, the division brings conflict; division between India and Pakistan brings conflict, between a Hindu and a non-Hindu - division brings conflict. Anything - political, economic, social, religious division will inevitably breed conflict. That is a law. And in us, there is the division as the 'me' and the 'not me'. Division as the 'thinker' and the 'thought', the 'idea' and the 'actuality'. You are following all this, I hope. There is the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experienced, the good and the bad and so on. We are talking of psychological division - not that you are a woman, I am a man, we are not talking about that. There are different colours, you are tall, you are young or old, or all that. So there is division both outwardly and inwardly. The division between what you say and what you do. So there is contradiction.
Now, these are all facts. Is there duality at all? You understand? That is, is there the observer different from the observed? If that is so, then there is duality and therefore there is conflict. Right? Now, is the observer different from the observed? I observe the tree. Of course, the tree is different from the observer; I am not the tree. Right? Obviously, I would be idiotic to say I am the tree. But when I observe my anger, my jealousy, my stupidity, my greed, the observer is different from the observed. In that division, conflict begins. The observer then tries to control greed, tries to change greed, tries to rationalise greed or suppress it, control it, and all that. So there is conflict between the observer and the observed. Now, the fact is greed. Can the mind look at that greed without the observer who brings the duality? Is this all becoming rather difficult? No?
K: Yes? I'm afraid you have to lump it because I can't explain it more than I have, because you are not following. You are not following with your heart, with your mind, you are not watching yourself, you are merely listening to the words of the speaker.
Look, sir, a mind is hurt and the mind is in conflict, always struggling. This has been going on for centuries upon centuries - the constant battle within. The battle is between the observer and the observed. And a mind that is crippled in conflict cannot possibly be free. You may be politically free; you may say what you like, but we are talking of freedom at a much deeper level. As long as there is conflict, all action becomes distorted. So it is very important to understand the ending of conflict. That is, can the mind observe the fact of greed without the observer coming into it? That is, sir, let me explain a little more. We are greedy, I'm greedy. I want money, power, position - I'm envious of those who have that. I want to get what they have. And that envy is burning in me. And if that envy is not fulfilled, flowered, given expression, I become bitter, distorted, angry, jealous, violent. That's a fact, a fact in every human being. Now, can the mind wipe away all conflict? You have to ask this question. Probably, you have never asked it. We have accepted conflict as a natural human thing. Now, I am asking, can you live without a single conflict? Conflict implies a mind that is fragmented in itself, a mind that has been hurt and one doesn't want to be hurt, therefore resists and so on. Can my mind observe greed without the observer?
Now, I will show it to you. The observer separates himself from greed because he says to himself 'I am superior than greed'. I know I should not be greedy; it is not sociable or whatever reasons he explains or rationalises greed or envy or jealousy, and therefore he, the observer, is different from the observed. The observer is the past. Please, listen to it. The observer is the past. When he uses the word 'greed', he is employing a means of identification through the word and therefore strengthens the greed. So through the past memories of greed, he faces the present greed with the past conclusion. So he divides the present from the past and creates a duality; and hence separation and conflict. If that's clear then can the mind, when that sensation of what is called greed arises, envy or whatever it is arises, can the mind look at it without naming it, because the moment you name it, it's already in the past and therefore duality and then conflict. Can the mind observe that hurt, that envy, that sense of all that goes on, without the observer? The moment you ask 'how is it to be done' you have created a duality. You've understood this? You have listened and you say yes, that is perfectly right, it's so logical, clear but how is this to be done? When you put that question 'how' - who is putting the question? Please listen. Who is putting the question? The question is put by the thinker who says 'I must not be greedy' because he feels that it's not right or whatever ethical reason he may give, so he has created by that very question, by that very asking, a duality. But if you listen - this is where the importance of listening comes in - if you listen to what is said totally, that is, not only with your conscious mind, but with all the layers, where the real root of this can take place. If you listen - which means - you don't have to do a thing. You understand? Whatever you want to do with greed will be done by the observer who has separated himself from envy and wants to suppress it, control it or justify it. And when he puts the question 'how', he still is working, functioning in the same old pattern. So can you just listen? You are greedy. Can the mind remain with that fact without a single movement away from it? That is, I am envious; that is a fact. Can the mind remain with that feeling without any movement away from it? The movement away from it is employing a word that I am greedy; that I must suppress it, that I rationalise it, 'what is wrong with being greedy', 'I must be greedy in order to survive in this beastly world' and so on, so on, so on. So, can you remain - I am asking, just listen, you don't have to do a thing, you can't do a thing. That is the beauty of listening. You can't do a thing about the crow that is cawing away, can you? You just listen and you stop listening when you resist it. So, in the same way, just listen. Let the seed of this truth take place and that seed will act. But it can only act if you are serious, if you are really clear, if you have employed your energy in listening.
So, that is one of the fundamental things you have to understand, that there is no duality, psychologically, there is only 'what is'. And not being able to solve 'what is', we have resorted to 'what is not', which is a withdrawal from 'what is'. 'What is' is violence. Right? That's a fact and non-violence is a non-fact. Can the mind remain completely without a single movement of thought with that fact? Now, then you have energy, complete energy to go beyond the fact. You've understood some of all this?
So, a mind that is hurt from childhood till we die, hurt by so many ways, our whole culture is a process of hurting each other. Our whole education is within that realm, within the field of being hurt and from childhood through every form of relationship - husband, wife, the indifference, the callousness, the brutality and so on and all that - all are indications that we are hurt beings. Now, can the mind observe the hurt? Which means you must have looked at your hurt, you must have observed your hurt, you must see the hurt, then only you can ask the question: can the mind remain with that hurt without a single movement of thought, without a single gesture of thought? Are you doing it now? Are you aware of your hurt or many hurts, the hurt that you have received from your wife or your husband, the hurt that you have received from your boss, from a passer-by, the hurt that you have received or you have cultivated through ambition, through competition, are you aware of all that? When you are aware of all that, of the hurts, then ask the question, find out for yourself without any excuse, without any rationalisation, just to remain with that hurt. That doesn't mean you accept the hurt. It is there. But to give your attention to it. When you give your attention totally there is no observer, therefore no conflict and then you have the energy which is necessary to go beyond it. Have you understood this? Then that is the beginning and the ending of freedom - the beginning, the first step and therefore it's the last step.
Now, this type of attention in which the observer is not, but only the fact and therefore no duality - I am angry, that is a fact, not that I should not be angry - that's a non-fact. This is essential because when you consider the whole problem of reward and punishment, fear and pleasure, all this is involved in that. I haven't time to go into all that now because it is nearly quarter past seven. So when you once understand this completely with your heart and with your word, with your mind and with your tongue that there is only 'what is' and not 'what should be'. Look, sirs, this country is going through a dreadful time. It is in a state of degeneration, there is immense poverty, great sorrow, corruption, total indifference, callousness and to solve all this, no politician can do it, no scientist, to solve it, it's your responsibility - yours. Now, can you look at that responsibility, look at the fact and then what takes place? Then if you and I see the fact of starvation, the fact, what takes place? Then what is action? Then there is starvation, you and I observe that fact. Not what to do about it, not what plans we can evolve to get rid of starvation. Therefore what becomes important is that we all see the fact. You understand? Not how to solve it. I wonder if you understand all this.
Sir, the planning comes after seeing, not planning first and then seeing. Have you understood this? All the planners don't see. They don't see, they don't feel, it isn't there in their blood. They plan - socialist plan, capitalist plan, communist plan. They are concerned much more with planning than the fact. When we are all concerned with the fact, all of us, not just one or two, then we'll solve it.
So, in the same way, religion is the transformation of man, the regeneration of man. And religion is the summation of all energy, the energy that transforms 'what is'. And that energy is the outcome of no conflict. We only know energy through conflict, through friction, through division; but the energy of a religious mind is entirely different. Such a mind is concerned only with 'what is' and perception of 'what is'. To see without the see-er, to observe without the observer; therefore the observer is the observed.
Look, to put it very simply: your gods in the temples, in the pictures and all the images in your houses are built out of your thought. That's a fact, isn't it? You have created them out of your fear, out of your, whatever you call devotion, out of your pleasure, you have built them, carved them out with your hand or carved them out of your mind. That's a fact. Therefore that is not truth. Face that, look at it, look at it without the observer who says 'what shall I do without these beastly gods'. He gets frightened, therefore he'll do nothing, he'll carry on. But when he observes that they are the gods of his own mind, therefore he is worshipping himself. Right, sirs? When you worship your gods, you are worshipping yourself and when you see that, then all the gods disappear. Then you have a mind that is completely, psychologically free and it's only in that freedom that absolute sense of reality comes into being.