Can there be a regeneration of the mind?
A total regeneration of the mind
2nd Public Talk, Bombay
January 22, 1978
If we may, we will continue with what we were talking about together yesterday evening. We were saying, weren't we, that one of the factors of conflict between man and man is desire and also we are educated, conditioned to live and accept this conflict between the opposites. We talked about that yesterday evening. And also we talked about the responsibility of every human being, the responsibility that must be accepted by everyone if one is at all aware or sensitive or informed what is happening in the world. As we were saying yesterday, we are living in a society that is totally and utterly immoral. And there must be, if humanity is to survive at all, a moral revolution, not a revolution according to a pattern, according to some ideal, because morality is not a blueprint. It is a living thing. It is not laid down by any particular religion or sanctioned by any particular group, but rather, it must be understood as a living thing to be lived in our daily life. We never seem to accept that fact. We are always running away from our daily responsibility, the responsibility between human beings, between man and woman, wife and husband and so on. We seem to either deliberately avoid it and so become rather hypocritical in our life - that is saying one thing and doing something totally opposite to what you have said. So we gradually become a rather hypocritical group of people.
And also we were saying yesterday that a regeneration of the mind is necessary. Though technologically man has advanced extraordinarily, perhaps to destroy himself and destroy the earth and the air and everything else; and the regeneration can only be possible when we are aware, know, appreciate the state or the condition in which we live. It seems to me, if I may point out, that most of us either in business or in some kind of profession, or just ordinary people like you and me, we seem to forget that we are concerned with a life that is becoming more and more intricate, complex and so unclear, uncertain. It is only clarity that brings about innocence and we will talk about that clarity perhaps, if time allows later on.
Regeneration is possible when we have abandoned or put aside totally our usual religious, moral, evasive attitudes. We talked about it yesterday also. We said - perhaps some of you may remember - that we human beings who have lived perhaps two or three million years or more, morally, psychologically we're about just the same as we were two thousand or five thousand or ten thousand years ago. We have the same problems - sorrow, pain, grief, the utter lack of love, fear and so on. We don't seem to have come to grips with it and gone beyond them. We are still living in all this common factor of all humanity. As we said yesterday again that you is the essence of all humanity because you suffer, go through all kinds of miseries, unhappiness, disappointment, despair and pursuit of pleasure and so on. So you are the common factor of all humanity. And if perhaps, if you change radically, you do affect the consciousness of mankind, that is also a truth, a fact.
So, we are talking about not only a moral regeneration but a total regeneration of the mind; mind being not only the quality of intelligence, the capacity to understand, perceive, and also the capacity of the brain that is not wounded, that is not damaged, that is not living under constant pressure. And a sense of deep abiding love for nature, for trees, birds, rocks, the stray dogs and a love of each other. When we talk about mind we include all that, not merely an intellectual capacity.
And we were saying yesterday with regard to desire, the capacity of the brain to make images. That is, we said the movement of desire is perception, the seeing, the contact, the sensation, and thought bringing about an image and from that flows, moves desire. That is an obvious fact. And desire is one of the factors of conflict in our daily life, as comparison which is the conflict of dualities. We went into that very carefully yesterday and we won't go into it again today. But I think we should consider seriously the capacity of thought to make images, pictures, symbols, words. And we live in the world of words, symbols, images. And, as we said, we are going to examine that fact. Please bear in mind as we again if I may repeat, that we are partaking in our exploration. I am not speaking to you as a lecturer giving certain ideas, but on the contrary we are sharing together our problems, sharing, partaking, inviting each other to look at our major problems in life. And when we do look, as we said, it is possible without any effort whatsoever to bring about a transformation. That's the point. That one has to learn the art of observation. Art means the capacity to put everything in its right place. That is the real meaning of that word 'art' - to put everything in its right place so that the mind is liberated, is freed from constant disorder.
So, we are going to talk over together - together, I mean together - partaking in understanding what we mean by observing, whether we observe at all. The trees, the birds, your wife or your children - observe. And what does observation mean? Because we are going to go into something when we find out what it means to observe and actually learn the art of observation. We are going to go into the question of why the brain, thought, brings about images and in those images we live, with those images. From which arises fear. We are going to go into that together. So first what do we mean by observing? The art of observing, the art of seeing. We talked about yesterday the art of listening; whether we listen at all to anybody or we are always occupied with our own thoughts, with our own problems or if we do hear another, it is always translated according to the pattern, pictures, images that we have about that person. So there is never actual listening of another.
So, we are now talking over together this question: what it means to observe. Because if we all know how to observe, perhaps we may be solve all our problems. To observe, to see. Perception is not only visual, optical, but also a great deal of psychological interference with what we observe. We observe through many conclusions. Right? Please go into it as we are talking, observe your - see how you look at things. You have some conclusions and you look with those conclusions, or you have some experience and from those experience you have cultivated a memory and that memory looks, which is the past looks, because memory is always the past, as knowledge is always the past, and with the eyes and memory and remembrance of the past you look. That is a fact. So, you are never actually looking. Right? So you are always looking with a distortion, with a conclusion, with an opinion and so you never see actually what is. Your desire, your conflict interferes with observation. So we are asking: is it possible to observe without the interference of the past? The past is the observer. Right? All right, I see I am not making myself clear. Let us bring it down to much more reality, which is: when you look at your wife or your girlfriend or your husband or your guru - if you have one and I hope you haven't got any - when you look at them, you have already formed a picture, an image and that image looks, that picture looks, that conclusion looks. So, there is never a direct observation of anything, of your relationship with another. Right? So the past is the observer. The past being the experiences, the accumulated memories which have become knowledge stored in the brain cells and that knowledge, that experience, that memory looks, and so there is always an observation which is distorted. So we are asking can you look, observe nature, the birds, the rocks, the stray dog, your wife, your husband without the picture you have created about that person. Can you do that? Then only it is possible to observe actually your relationship. Can you observe the speaker, this speaker, without the image, picture you have built around him? And if you cannot, your communication with the speaker and his communication with you is distorted. You don't actually listen so completely. You can only listen completely to something new, but if you come with your old habits, with your old memories, with your old - you know all the rest of it, you cannot possibly listen totally. In the same way if you come with a picture of the speaker, his reputation and all the blah that is round it, you cannot possibly have a direct communication with each other, because I have no picture about you because I don't know you. Even if I knew you I wouldn't build a picture about you because we must go into the word 'know' and 'knowledge'. Sorry to complicate all this.
Can you ever say you know a person? Can you ever say you know your wife or your husband? Or your guru or your whatever it is - your boss? You have knowledge about him, superficial knowledge - what he looks like and so on, so on, so on - or she. But one can never actually say 'I know', because the person is a living thing. And when you say 'I know', you are then caught in the image that you have created about that person. I hope you see all this. So then you look at the person with a totally different mentality that you are actually looking - a person or the nature, the beauty of the sky - as though for the first time. Now, we are asking why do we as human beings live in the past and all our activity stems from the past - why? You understand my question? We are the past. Just a minute sir, don't agree or disagree, let us examine. We are exploring. You are exploring as much as the speaker is actually exploring now. So it is not a matter of agreement or disagreement. You are looking. Why do we live in images, images being symbols and words? Why the past, which is made up of our memories, of our experiences, knowledge, why is that so dominant in our lives - the past? Is it because - please find out for yourself, though I may talk about it - find out for yourself if it is the truth, if it is the fact. Is it because the past is more secure, more certain and the future is totally uncertain? So the past knowledge - and all knowledge is the past - however great that knowledge be, we live in the past and the past is more secure, more certain, we are aware of it, we are in contact with it, and that gives us a great sense of security. Right? Isn't that so? Right. And so the past meets the present - the present incidents, accidents, experiences - modifies itself and goes on. Right? The past meeting the present, modifies itself and goes on to the future, that is our life, that is the flow of our life, of our everyday life. Right?
Now we are asking why does the brain, which is the mind and so on, why does the brain live in the past? I am going to go into something - I hope you won't mind, perhaps a little complex but if you don't understand, say so and we will go and explain much more. Our brains are damaged. Our brains are deformed. I will explain why; first listen. Our brains are not functioning at their highest level. Where there is pressure, the brain must be marred, must be distorted. Right? When there is any kind of pressure, there must be distortion. Right? That is so. If I am pushing you always in one direction, your whole conditioning is deformed and all conditioning is a form of damage. So when the brain is constantly under pressure, as yours is, then it is deformed. Right? Think it, go into it. You are under pressure aren't you? Economic pressure, social pressure, pressure of propaganda, the pressure of religion, pressure of gurus, pressure of the ideals, pressure of your wife, husband - you are constantly under pressure. No? And so where there is pressure, the brain must be deformed. Are we aware of this? Are we aware that we live under pressure? Which is in this country, over population, poverty, constant ruthless competition, division, all those act as a pressure - economic, social, tradition. So our brains are damaged, are deformed. Now is it possible not to be deformed. That is one of the questions we have to ask and find out if it is possible or not. I hope you are following all this.
Sirs, if I may ask, are we investigating together or you are merely listening to the speaker? Are you actually investigating your own self, the way you think, the way you feel, the way you act, are they not under pressure? Right? They are under pressure, and when there is pressure on the brain it must yield and if there is enough vitality in the brain it can reject, it can not be moulded by pressure. Right? I wonder if you understand all this! Doesn't matter; find out. So, it is very important to find out for ourselves whether you live under a pressure - the pressure of jealousy, the pressure of greed, the pressure of comparing, pressure of imitation, the pressure of obedience - watch yourself please - the pressure of competition. So life as we live is under great pressure, strain, which must naturally affect the brain. And so our conduct, our behaviour, our way of thinking is distorted. Right? Now, we are asking is it possible not to live under pressure so that the brain is clear, and therefore totally undamaged, undeformed. I don't know if you gone into the question of clarity, having a clear mind. Not confused mind. Lawyers have a good mind, clear mind but that is a speciality. But in their relationship with each other, with their wife and children, they are confused. So we are saying a total clarity of the mind is the essence of innocence. Perhaps, we will talk about it later. So we are asking is it possible to live a life in which there is no pressure whatsoever, so that the brain is not deformed, so that one acts freely, innocently, totally. Because most of us are neurotic. It is obvious when you sit down here, some of you should come up here and sit here with me. And you observe how neurotic we are in our action, in our behaviour, in our peculiar expressions of seeking religion - whatever god and all that you seek - there is this deformation of the mind, of the brain, from which there can never be right action.
So we are going to find out what it means to have right action under all circumstances, wherever we are, whether we are a business man, a sannyasi - you wouldn't be a sannyasi if you knew what right action is. Right. That is very simple. And right action in your relations with your wife, with your children, with your husband, with your neighbour, and to find that out very deeply, actually, one has to find out if one is living under pressure and to be free of any pressure. Out of that comes right action. We said yesterday desire, with all its conflicts is one of the factors of pressure. We explained what desire is - I am not going to go into that. We also explained the conflict between the opposites, which is also a pressure. There is only what is. There is no opposite. Right? This is difficult to perceive, this is difficult to go into because we have always lived with the opposites. We have never said to ourselves let me look at what actually is. The word 'actual' means that which is happening now. To see actually what is happening, not have the educated, cultivated ideal, which is the opposite. So, you discard the opposite entirely - not that there is not the woman and man, sunlight and darkness - but the psychological structure in which we live which admits duality. But when you observe, look, there is only what is, the actual thing that is happening. So, desire, conflict in ourselves of these opposites, and fear. Fear is one of the great pressures on our mind, on our brain. Right? Are you following all this? What am I to do?
Is this all totally new to you? Is this all something that you haven't gone into yourself and found? Or you are just waiting to be told? Sir, when you are waiting to be told out of your confusion, out of your uncertainty, you create authority. You understand? You are responsible for creating authority and then having created the authority you just obey like so many sheep. There is no actual discovery for yourself. You are all second-hand human beings. And what we are saying is - please in the name of heaven share this, partake in this, examine, explore together in this, it is your - as much your responsibility as that of the speaker to find out and not just sit there and accept or not accept.
So, we are saying fear, as desire, conflict, is one of the factors that deforms the brain. So we are going to examine why we live in fear and whether it is possible to be totally, completely, utterly be free of fear, not only biological fear - the fears of getting hurt and so on - but the psychological fears which mankind has accumulated through centuries, through millennia, whether it is at all possible to be completely rid of it. And we say it is possible. We are not talking second-hand. It is possible.
So we are exploring together fear, which means what are you afraid of? What is actually your fear? Is it that you are lonely, and therefore afraid or you are so withdrawn from humanity through your own isolating process that you have lost contact with another, that you have lost contact with nature. You are so withdrawn because you have been so hurt. Please examine all this, explore it, not analyse it. My lord! As we said: analysis is paralysis. (Laughter) You laugh - it is a good phrase. But you are educated to analyse. All the psychiatric societies, groups, psycho analysis - all the process of analysis. But you have never asked who is the analyser. You take it for granted. Is not the analyser the analysed? Examine it, go into it, find out. The analyser is the analysed. If he is to analyse, if the analyser is to analyse, he must know what he is analysing. Right? So you are part of the analysis, like the thinker is the thought - without thought there is no thinker. Like the experiencer is the experience and so on. I won't go there is no time perhaps to go into this question of analysis. We have discussed this point with great many psychotherapists - they go up to a certain points and abandon it, because for various reasons - economic, social, their wife and responsibility, so they go so far to a certain point and no further. And probably you do the same. But we are asking that by observing fear without analysis, it will tell you the whole structure and nature of fear, not that you tell fear what it is, but if you can observe fear without analysis, it reveals its content. Right?
Do you know fear? Or you are aware of fear after it has happened or project what might happen. You are following? No? I am asking you, if I may, what is fear? You are afraid of darkness, perhaps, you are afraid of loneliness, you are afraid of not being happy, you are afraid of so many things aren't you? If you are a sannyasi you are afraid of not achieving enlightenment in this life. If you are a husband you are afraid your wife might look at somebody else, and so, so on, so on. Right? There are so many fears. And there is the fear - bodily fear. Having had pain you are afraid of that pain or that disease recurring. So there are all these kinds of fears - fear in dreams. I mustn't go into that. Because there is a tremendous lot to be said about sleep and dreams. Sorry, I mustn't go into it because it is slightly distracting.
So, are we concerned with the many expressions of fear or are we concerned with fear itself? Not the object of fear but the root of fear. You understand? Which is it that you are investigating with me? Is it the many expressions of fear - fear about something, fear about my boss, fear about my losing the house, fear of death, fear of not being happy, fear about my not becoming a success, and so on - fear about, which has many expressions. Or are you concerned with the root of fear? You understand my question? Which is it that you want to investigate with me? The expressions, the objects of fear - fear of losing your wife, fear of death, fear about this, about that - or the root of fear itself? Be quite clear what we are investigating. If you are investigating your particular fear because you are lonely, because your husband has run away, or this or that, or you are afraid then you are looking at a particular form of fear. Right? Whereas we are asking if one can understand the very nature and the structure of fear then the expressions, fear about something, comes to an end. Right? So, let's be clear. We are investigating not the expressions or about fear, but fear itself. Are we together in this? Because, please it is very important to understand fear. We have lived with fear for millennia, and out of fear we have created the gods, all the circus that goes on in the name of religion. We invent so many things, so many images out of fear which are not real, which are not actual. So it is very important to understand and be free of fear. And that's why we are investigating together into this question. It is not for amusement. It is not for intellectual entertainment. Because in investigating this thing together, you may be walk out of this place completely free of fear. That is what the speaker wants you to do. To walk out as a free man with light and laughter, joy inside you, with a song. I am sorry - rather...
So we are investigating into fear. To go into the root of fear we must understand why the brain, thought, lives in images. Please follow this a little bit. Why you live and create images, pictures about future, about your wife, your husband, about the speaker and so on. Why you create pictures. Because if you do not create pictures, image, is there fear? Go into this very carefully. So we must first go into the question why thought breeds these complicated, complex pictures, images, in which we live. Right? So we must ask what is thought. You understand? Please, are you coming with me, are we going together? No? We are investigating into fear and to go into that very deeply you must enquire into why thought creates the picture of a future or of the past, which breeds fear, and what is thought. Unless you understand this you will not come face to face with fear. You will avoid it. You will run away from it. Because fear is a living thing. You can't control it, you can't put a lid on it. Right? So, we are investigating now not fear, but thought which creates the images about which it is frightened. Right? Am I only working or you are also working together with me? That is up to you.
What is thought? What is the origin, the beginning of thought? Right? You must answer that question, not just say well - looked into some book and try to find out. There is no book that will tell you what is the origin. We are going to find out what is the beginning of thought. Right? Animals, the higher form of apes have a form of thinking, some form of calculated intelligence. So, we are asking what is the beginning, the origin of thought? The first man - you understand - the first ape man, how did he begin to think? Because in us there is the origin of thinking. Are you all following this? Or is this becoming too complex? Right. The origin of thinking is the registration, the imprint on the brain of an incident. Like a tape recorder recording on the ribbon what is being said. So similarly the brain records everything that is happening in us and around us. This is a fact. And the recording is necessary for its survival, for its security. Otherwise you wouldn't know how to talk, and so on - I won't go into all that, rather unnecessary details. So recording, which is the function of the brain to survive, and to survive it must think ahead or think about the past which will help for it to act skilfully in the present. Right? So, the origin of thinking begins with the recording of an experience, of an idea and so on - recording. And therefore, having recorded the past pain, physical past pain, then thought says 'I mustn't have that pain again tomorrow', and so it is frightened of tomorrow. It has created a picture of tomorrow having a pain and so it is frightened of that. You are getting this? See the connection between creating an image and fear, and how the brain registering, holding to some biological, physical pain, then thought says 'I hope I will not have that again.' Right? So, image-making, thought making pictures is the beginning of fear. Right? Oh, I wish you would see this. You understand sir? Suppose I have a very good job in a good business and there are cleverer people below me who are going to push me out. So I have an imagine of what might happen tomorrow - the clever boys coming pushing me out. So, I imagine there is an image, thought is making an image of what might happen to me and so I am frightened. You follow this? So, thought with its pictures and images causes fear. That is one factor. Thought which is the movement of time is another factor of fear. That is what might happen in the future. Right? I am living, I am quite safe, not diseased, but I might die tomorrow. So, the tomorrow is the movement of thought as time. Bene? Right sir? I am going to watch you. I hope it will help me. Time being not only by the watch, by the sun, but also time as inward time, psychological time. That is, I am not what I should be but I will be tomorrow. The tomorrow then becomes tremendously important. Right? So I am frightened that anything might happen between now and tomorrow. I wonder if you see all this. So, thought is a movement in time and movement means time. To go from here to your house means time. To become psychologically something implies time. So as long as there is time, there is fear. And thought is the movement of time. Right? Not how to stop thought. You understand this? Right sir? Not stopping thought. If you stop thought who is the entity that is stopping thought? It is still thought. Clear? Right? Right sir?
So, you have to understand the nature and the structure of thought in order to be totally, completely free of fear. It is thought that is making fear. It is thought that says what might happen or what has happened in the past, and I am afraid of that. Right? So, that is why it is important to investigate the whole movement and the nature of thought. Thought, as we said, has its origin in registration. Right? Now, please listen, is it possible to register only what is absolutely necessary and nothing else? You've understood my point? That is, I insult you - or rather the other way better - you insult me (laughter), you insult me and it is registered. And that registration, which is memory, is going to react next time when I meet you, which is totally unnecessary. Right? Why should I register insult or flattery? When you do so register your reactions, your responses are distorted. Right? So I am asking you, is it possible not to register psychologically, inwardly, but only register how to speak a language, how to drive a car, how to do your business and all the rest of it. Only register that and nothing else. Then there is no fear at all. I wonder if you see this! No sir, don't agree. It is one of the most - it requires deep penetration, an insight, an inward look to find out whether your brain can be free to register only which is obviously necessary, and not build the psychological structure of the 'me', which is in essence the root of fear. You may intellectually or verbally understand this, but that isn't good enough. But you have to go into it very deeply to understand this. That is, thought, the origin of thought which is the registration, like a tape registering your voice, so brain is registering. It has been trained, it has been educated through school, college, university and to suddenly come upon this non-registration - except where it is necessary - is a tremendous task, which means you have to watch -without analysis, without direction - watch whether the brain not receiving insults, flattery, hurts - you follow? - to be so tremendously alert. Then you will see for yourself, you can test it under all circumstances, that the psychological fears come totally to an end.
So, you have investigated this with me this evening. Have you has that fear ended - in you? Not in me. Don't bother about me. Because it is so. I won't tell you my It doesn't matter. That's totally irrelevant. Have you, together, investigated, explored, therefore partake in this exploration this fact of fear? If you have not, then you have not listened. If you have listened with your heart, with your mind, with your, with all your blood listened, then that very listening is a miracle that would wipe away fear, because you have understood the whole structure and the nature of fear. So, it is very important to understand and to live - I am using the word 'understand' not verbally but I am using, we are using the word 'understand' which implies action, which implies perception and action, not perception and then act much later. I wonder if you understand this. Action means the do-ing now. That is what it means. The active present of the verb 'to act' which means you are acting now. Not 'I will act' or 'I have acted'. So, are you listening, perceived in this exploration the whole movement of fear? The whole movement - both biological, the physical fears as well as the psychological fears and the nature of fear. How thought through image, picture, which is time, creates this feeling of fear, uncertainty. Right? Have you explored and found the truth of it? Have you an insight into it? Have you touched the very root of fear and therefore it is like cutting down a tree, it is finished. Are you in that state? Or when you leave here you are going to be afraid of your wife, your husband, your all the rest of it. Then you have wasted your time. Don't waste your life, for heaven's sake, don't waste your life. This is the only life we have! What you do now matters enormously. Therefore, if you act through fear, you are lost.
Fear and love cannot exist together. In this country there is no love. They have devotion, reverence, but no love. Devotion to your guru, to your gods, to your ideals, is self-worship. Right? You understand? Is self-worship, because you have created your guru, your ideals, your gods. You have created them, thought has created them, which is your grand fathers ancient and you accept it because it satisfies you. So it gives you comfort. So what you are devoted to - the god - is you are devoted to your self. Right? Swallow that pill and live with it!
So, we are asking, as love cannot exist with fear, and as we live as you live in fear the other thing is not. And when you have the other thing you have all life, and then do what you will, it will be right action. But fear can never bring about right action, as desire can never bring about right action, or conflict. So when you understand fear, the root of fear, go down to the very depth of fear then the pressure on the brain is not does not exist. Therefore the brain again becomes fresh, innocent, not something jaded, moulded, shaped, made ugly as it is now. So please, if you have not understood this now, go home and spend an hour with yourself, quietly to find out. You may cry, you may sigh, you may shed tears but find out how to live without a shadow of fear. Then you will know what love is.