Can thought perceive the whole?
Can a human being undergo a deep, radical transformation?
2nd Public Discussion Brockwood Park
September 02, 1976
What shall we talk over this morning?
Questioner: A written question was handed into you, which briefly says: when our energy is not dissipated by thought, when we are free from thought, what governs our actions? On what basis do we live?
Krishnamurti: The question is: when we do not waste our energy through the conflict of thought, through opposing desires and self-contradiction, how is that energy utilised? How does one live with that energy in daily life? That's one of the questions.
Q: What happens when fear is so great that it destroys the capacity of observing?
K: When fear is so great there is a one is paralysed, or lack of capacity and one loses observation.
Q: I was going to ask if we could discuss observation, including the art of listening, and why do we find that so difficult?
K: Why do we find it so difficult to listen - the art of listening, and observing.
Q: Could we go on could we go on discussing what we were last time?
K: Which was what, sir?
Q: Discussing (Laughter)
K: I've forgotten too! (Laughter)
Q: Could we go into the problem of dreaming?
K: Could we discuss the problem of sleep and dreaming.
Q: What is our motive for being here?
K: What is your motive for coming here and listening to these talks.
Q: Motive and effort.
K: Motive and effort involved in coming to these talks. I should think you would be able to answer that better than I.
K: What is one to do in a world - why the minority group in this country, or in other parts of the world, how are they to survive, and what do you say about it.
Q: Could you say something about enlightenment?
K: What is enlightenment, and what does it mean to you.
Q: What do you mean by communion? Can say something about communication and communion?
K: What do you mean by communion. What is the relationship between communication and communion. That's enough, please. Could we take that first question? Which was - could you kindly repeat that question?
Q: When, through awareness one passes beyond the action of thought, what then governs our daily life?
K: May we take up that question? That is: when one understands the nature and the structure of thought, and the things that thought has put together in this world - as racial minority, as colour difference, national divisions and so on - when thought recognises its limitation and remains within that limitation and so there is freedom from thought, then what takes place? And what is the action of that in our daily life?
Q: I believe the questioner also said that within normal thought there is a pattern established. When we are free of that pattern...
K: Yes, yes. Shall we deal with that question? Perhaps we will include all other questions in it. Can we go on with that question?
I wonder if one realises, for oneself, how thought is very limited, though it pretends that it is not limited. I wonder if one realises that first: that all our thinking - politically, religiously, socially, in all directions, at every level of our human existence, do we as human beings realise that thought is very limited - limited in the sense that it is the outcome, or the response of knowledge, experience and memory, and therefore it is time-binding, and therefore limited? Do we see that? Thought is a fragment, it is a fragment because it is the outcome or the response of a past knowledge - therefore it is limited. Do we meet this? Do we want to discuss this? Shall we go into that first?
Can thought perceive the whole? The whole in the sense, the whole of human existence, both the conscious as well as the unconscious, the various divisions which thought has brought about, various divisions in religion, in political thought and so on and on. So thought is a fragment because it is based on knowledge, and knowledge is experience stored up as memory in the brain. I think most of us would accept this, that thought is very limited. Could we - from there? And thought, whatever it does, whatever its actions, its capacities, its inventions, are still limited, divisive. That is, it has divided the world into nationalities, into minorities, into colour prejudices, you know, all that; the divisions between Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, it is the result of thought. Right? I think this is fairly obvious for those who at least think about it.
Next question is: do we see that as a reality? Because we must differentiate between reality and truth, which we are going to now examine. Do we see the reality - reality in the sense, what is actual, not 'what should be', or 'what might have been', but actually 'what is' - do we see actually what thought has done in the world, both technologically with all its vast extraordinary development and what thought has also done - wars, antagonism - all the rest of it. That is a reality, including the illusions that thought has created. I wonder if we see this? You understand my question? Do we see the reality of thought and its action? The reality that thought has created as war - that's a reality. The reality which thought has created as belief - 'I believe in god', or, 'I don't believe in god'. Thought which has created the divisions between human beings, that's a reality. So the things that thought has created are a reality, including the things that thought has created which are illusions, which are neurotic. So all that is a reality. Right?
Thought has not created nature, the trees, the mountains, the rivers. So thought has created the reality, an area in which we live - jealousies, anxieties, fears, pleasures - all that is a reality in our daily life. Right? When one recognises it and goes beyond it; is that possible? You understand my question? I recognise that one recognises that thought has created all the shambles, all the misery, the confusion, the extraordinary conflicts that are going on in the world which are reality, the illusions to which the mind clings, which is a reality, the neurotic actions which one indulges in, is a reality. When one comes to that point and realises most profoundly, then what takes place? You understand my question?
What takes place when I see, when one observes actually, that thought has divided man? Right? Isn't that so? - that thought has divided man against man, for various reasons of security, pleasure, sense of separate existence, hoping through that to find - etc., etc. So when you realise it, have an insight into it, into this reality, what takes place? You have understood my question? Come on, please, this is a dialogue, it's not a talk by me alone.
K: Sir, sir, please answer my question, if you don't mind let's stick to one thing. Do we realise the nature of thought?
Q: I was going to answer the question.
K: What is the answer the question.
Q: Well, I think that when you become aware of this reality then it becomes unnecessary.
K: No, no. Does it?
K: No, please. When one realises - what do we mean by the word 'realise'? Which means you actually see the fact, or you have an insight into the fact of the movement of thought, what thought has done in the world. Right? The beautiful things, the appalling things, the technological - what thought has done in the world. When you have an insight into it then what happens to your consciousness? Do you understand my question? What actually takes place when you realise something? And how do you realise it? I realise, see, observe, have experience, being bitten by a snake. It's a fact. So what has taken place then? Experience, pain, the suffering, and so intelligence arises and says, 'Be careful of that snake'. Right? Intelligence arises, doesn't it? The awakening of intelligence is the realisation that thought, whatever it has created, is a reality. So the realisation of reality, or having an insight into reality, is the awakening of intelligence. You get it? Have you got it? Not I. So you see the limitation of thought. And to see the limitation with all the implications is an intelligence, isn't it? I wonder if you see this. Right? Can we go on from there?
So, what is the relationship between reality, intelligence and truth? You follow? Are you interested in all this? Not verbally, or you know - part of your blood.
K: We said that.
How does one realise thought is limited? That was the question first. He asked that question. We said thought is limited because it is fragmentary, it is fragmentary because it is based it is the response of memory, and memory is very limited. Memory, though it is limited, must be orderly. I wonder if you see all this. Thought must function sanely, rationally, in the world of knowledge, which is the technological world. But when that thought operates in relationship, in human relationship, there is disorder, which is a reality. I wonder if you see that. Because thought creates the image about you and you create image about another. Thought is the process of creating these images. Right? So thought creates in relationship disorder. No? So disorder indicates the operation of thought in relationship. Right? And when thought operates in the field of knowledge it is orderly. Technological world it must be completely orderly.
So do we realise, do you realise, or have an insight into the operation of the whole movement of thought? - its nature, its structure, its activity, both the conscious level as well as at the deeper level, the whole movement of thought. Which is part of meditation - not the control of thought but the awareness of this movement of thought, and seeing its limitation. Can we move from there? I know you are eager to move to something when you haven't actually done it. I am keeping to the one fact, which is, unless this is so you can't go much further.
Q: Sir, I think we should discuss this point more until it is very clear how this perception can take place of the whole movement of thought.
K: Right. How do you see the whole movement of thought? How do you see the totality of something? How do you see the totality of yourself? Let's begin with that - much better. How do you see the totality, the dreams, the division between conscious and the unconscious, the innumerable prejudices, fears, anxieties, grief, sorrow, affection, jealousy, antagonism, faith in something which is non-existent but you believe, and specially the Christians have this thing, faith - so do you see the totality of all that, not fragmented, not each fragment? You understand what I am saying? No? So is it possible to see the totality of all this? What prevents us from seeing the whole movement of this? - my attachments, my prejudices, my beliefs, my experience, my desires, contradictory, conflict, misery, confusion - you follow? - the whole of that. What prevents us from seeing the totality of this? It is only when we see the totality of it there is a complete action, otherwise it is a fragmentary action. Are we meeting each other now?
Our life is fragmented - I go to the office, I am a different person there, fighting, ambition, all the rest of it, I come home I am a different person there, and I go to church - if I go to church at all - I am a different person there, and so on, I am fragmented, broken up. And so our actions are broken up, and therefore contradictory, and therefore each action brings its own anxiety, its own regrets, its own confusion. So to end all that I must see the totality of it. Right? Totality of my life - my actions, my desires, my relationships, my longings, my fear, all the rest of it. Now what prevents it?
K: Thought has created all this, hasn't it?
Q: When I look at jealousy I am looking from the point of jealousy at jealousy. I think that both things are different.
K: Yes, that's one point. That is, the observer is the observed, which we went into. I don't want to go into that thing over and over and over again. It gets rather boring.
K: Yes, sir. Fear. Does fear prevent you from seeing the totality of life, of your life?
K: 'Me' that thought has produced. But the 'me' is the totality of all this, isn't it? - my fears, my anxieties, my sexual demands, this, that, ten, umpteen different things is me. What prevents You are not answering my question.
Q: When I have got the energy
K: When you have got the energy. Haven't you got the energy? Haven't you got the energy to come and listen to these unfortunate talks? You have taken the trouble, you know, money, all that, to come. You have got plenty of energy when you want to do something.
K: I am asking you a question, please answer. What prevents you from seeing the total existence of your life, of your daily life?
K: You are not answering my question.
K: I don't want anything, sir. I am asking you a very simple question. I am asking you: what is it that prevents you from seeing the totality of your life? You say it is lack of energy. You have got plenty of energy when you want to do something. When you want to earn money you spend the rest of your life earning it.
Q: We don’t want to see ourselves.
K: Is it that you don't want to see the totality of it, or is it that there is no capacity to see? And capacity implies culture, cultivating, doesn't it? So you will take time to see the totality of your life, take another year to find out.
Q: Nothing could be more total than...
K: You don't answer. Is it fear? Is it that you don't want to see it? Is it your habit, your tradition, your conditioning?
Q: The fragment is trying to look at the whole.
K: I am asking you - are you saying the fragment cannot see the whole? So you are using thought to see the whole. Is it? And you know at the same time thought is a fragmentary affair, so through the fragment you hope to see the whole - is that it? So you don't realise actually that thought is a fragment. By putting many fragments together, which thought does, which it calls integration, and hoping thereby to see the whole, it can't. So do we realise that thought cannot see the whole?
Q: Is it we understand it , I understand it, but I don’t realise it. Realising it is something that
K: He says, I understand it but I don't realise it. When you use the word 'understand' what do you mean by that word? Intellectually, verbally understand.
Q: I see the truth of what you are saying.
K: If you see the truth it is the whole. No, please, don't answer me, would you kindly look at it for a minute. Don't answer my question; please find out, please listen to what I am saying. Listen, you understand, listen, not translate what I am saying into your own terminology, don't interpret it, just listen as you would listen to the wind, the wind among the leaves. Just listen to it. I am asking you: what prevents a human being, like yourself, to see the total movement of your activities which bring sorrow, pain, the whole of it, at one glance?
Q: I think if you are really confused in yourself, how can you get it together?
K: Yes. So you are saying, you are saying, sir, aren't you: I am confused therefore I cannot possible see the totality.
Q: Not unless I have the stillness to actually see it.
K: Yes, that's right, the same thing, sir. You say: to observe something my mind must be quiet. Right? So your mind is not quiet, therefore you are not observing. So you are saying one of the factors is, to see something as a whole my mind must be quiet. Then the question arises, how do you make the mind quiet? By repeating words? By controlling the thoughts? Then arises, who is the controller? So you understand? You go round and round in circles.
K: We are being lazy instead of changing, doing something about it, we are really very lazy people. Is that it?
K: May I put a question differently? Please don't answer me because it just Are you aware, if I may ask that question most politely, without any disrespect, are you aware that you are conditioned? Are you? Totally conditioned, not partially conditioned. Your words condition you - right? - education conditions you, culture conditions you, the environment conditions you, propaganda of two thousand years or five thousand years of priests have conditioned you. So you are conditioned right through. When you say, 'I believe in god', that is part of your conditioning - like the man who says, 'I don't believe in god'.
So do we realise that this is a fact: a total conditioning? Then when you realise it what takes place? Do you then say, 'I must uncondition it'? You follow? Then who is the 'I' - and that 'I' is part of your conditioning. So what do you do? Please stick to one simple thing here.
I realise I am conditioned: conditioned as being a Hindu, broke away from it and become something else, and join Christianity, or whatever it is, I am conditioned - conditioned by culture, conditioned by the food I eat, conditioned by the climate, heredity, by my activity, by environment - my whole being is shaped, conditioned, moulded. Do I realise it? That means do I see the actual fact of it, not the idea of it, but the actual reality of it? That is, it is so. It is raining. It is a lovely day. It is a fact. It is a windy day. In the same way do I see the absolute reality that my mind is conditioned? Then when I realise it, when there is the realisation totally that I am conditioned, then what movement takes place? That's what I want to find out. You understand my question now?
Then do I say, 'Yes, I am conditioned, it is terrible, and I must uncondition myself'? Then you begin the conflict. Right? The 'I' then becomes part the 'I' thinks it is separate but it is part of that conditioning. So what takes place when you see that?
Q: No movement.
K: No movement. That means what? Go slowly please. Don't throw words at each other. What takes place when I realise that I am entirely conditioned? Action ceases, doesn't it? I go to the office, but the action to change my conditioning is not there.
K: So I am saying, sir, please. Look: I have to go to the office, or the factory, or become a clerk or secretary. I have got to work. I work in the garden, or teacher or do something. That is so. But I realise that I am conditioned. My concern is what happens when I realise totally this state? I cease to act in that state, don't I, there is no action. I am a total prisoner. I don't rebel against it, because if I rebel I am rebelling against my own conditioning - right? - which has been put together by thought, which is me. I wonder if you see all this. So in that area of conditioning there is no action.
K: Just listen. There is no action, therefore what takes place?
K: Sir, do it, do it. Find out what takes place.
Q: You become free inside.
Q: You get very tired and sad and hopeless.
K: Yes, sir, you are tired of the whole thing. So what do you do when you are tired of the - wait, take it up - when you are tired of the whole thing, what do you do?
Q: One gives up.
K: Take a rest from it, don't you? When you are tired of something, when you are tired you go and lie down, sit quietly. But you are not doing it.
So then only when the mind is quiet you see the totality of your life. Right? But our minds are chattering, trying to find an answer, beating, beating, beating, beating on this conditioning and therefore there is no answer. But if you say, all right, I'll look at it, I have seen the whole movement of thought, which is my life, and whatever movement other than the conditioning is unreal. You understand what I am saying? So I remain the mind remains with the totality of its conditioning, it remains, it doesn't move. Do we communicate something with each other to each other?
So then I will go back and see: thought is a fragment, therefore it is limited. It is fragmentary because it is based on knowledge, experience and memory, which is the movement of time. Right? So thought, whatever is caught in the movement of time is limited. That's obvious. Whatever it is, whether it is a machine, anything that is caught in the movement of time is bound to be limited. So thought is fragmentary and limited. And we think through thought we will see the totality. That is our difficulty. We don't say, thought cannot see the totality, therefore thought becomes quiet. If I can't see through my eyes - you follow? - I become quiet. So thought becomes quiet. Then I perceive the movement of what actually is going on, the totality of it. As we said the other day, when you look at a map you see the totality of the whole map - right? - various countries, the colours, the hills, see the totality. But if you have a direction you don't see the totality. That is, if you want to go from here to Vienna you have the line, you see that, and you disregard the rest. But here, as long as you have a direction, a motive, a purpose, then you cannot see the totality. Are we meeting each other now?
So have you a motive for coming here, for enquiry, for trying to understand yourself, have you got a motive? That is, I want to understand myself because I am terribly worried about my husband, and I hope by coming here I am going to solve it. Or I have lost my wife, or my father, or my son, but I am going to find out whether I can meet him in some other place, or what it means to suffer, so I have a motive. So as long as I have a motive I cannot listen properly. You understand? As long as I have a prejudice I can't listen to what you are saying. Or I have read all the books that you have written and I can repeat all of it, and I repeat, and obviously that prevents from listening.
So, one cannot see the totality of one's life because we have never thought about it, we have never given even a single second to look at this totality because we are caught in our little fragments. Right? Now we are together trying to explore, look at this whole unfortunate, confused, miserable, occasional happiness, all of that, we are trying to see wholly. It is possible to see it wholly only when you have no direction, no motive, which is extremely difficult because we want to be happy, we want to be rich, we want to have a good relationship with another, we want to have our pleasures fulfilled. You follow?
So what happens then, that is the next, from the same question, what happens then when you realise, when you see actually the total existence as you see it in a map, clearly outlined, everything clear, everything in its place, orderly? You understand? The word 'art' means putting everything in its right place. That is the real meaning of the word 'art'. So having put everything in its right place, then what takes place? Putting my office in the right place, my relationship in the right place - you follow? - everything in order.
Come back. What happens then?
Q: One lives intelligently.
K: Do you? Do we?
Q: You don’t have to think about what you are going to do about it anymore.
K: No. You see you are ready to answer, you haven't got the other thing, you are ready to answer. Have we put our house in order? Not the house, you know, the deeper house, have we put everything in order? We are in disorder, aren't we, unfortunately. We are in disorder. Now just keep to that disorder, let's understand that disorder. Because out of the investigation of that disorder, order comes - right sir? - not try to bring order. I wonder if you Through negation comes order.
Look, politically, if there is disorder in the country, out of that very disorder tyranny grows. Right? That's happening in India, that's happening all over the world. Where there is disorder, that very disorder creates the authority. Now we are in disorder, why? Would you tell me why you are in disorder - not invent, just see why this disorder exists in me - why does it exist? Because I have contradictory desires - right? - I want peace and I am violent; I want to love people and I am full of antagonism; I want to be free and I am attached to my wife, to my children, to my property, to my belief. Right? So there is contradiction in me, and that contradiction means confusion. Right? I am attached to my wife, to my husband, to my children. I am attached because I am lonely, I am desperate, I can't live with myself, I feel frustrated, miserable, in myself, so I cling to you. But deep down that fear of loneliness goes on. Right? So there is contradiction in me. So can there be freedom from attachment, which is not love? So can there be freedom from attachment, not little, by little, by little - freedom?
Q: Yes we can.
K: You can? I am not asking you personally, sir, of course it can be. But is it so, are you free?
K: Then what is the point of discussing? Then it becomes a verbal discussion - what is the point of that? We are here - serious people, I hope - trying to understand and bring about a transformation in our daily life, transformation in our mind, in our consciousness. And if there is one thing which I completely see - for example, attachment, what is involved in it, jealousy, fear, pleasure, companionship, clinging to each other, possessiveness, and therefore losing, all that is implied in attachment, which is one of the causes of my confusion. So I can I cut it, instantly be free of it?
Q: We want to be free of attachment
K: No. Sir, attachment - attachment to things you like, attachments to things you don't like, all of it, sir, don't break it up too much.
K: Attachments to your faith, attachment to your belief, attachment to your gods, attachment to your church - attachment, sir. You understand what it means, you don't have to explain it more. That's one of the causes of confusion, one of the causes of disorder. And to bring order by investigating disorder I find it is attachment - one of the factors. So cut it! Because we are afraid to cut it, because what will my wife say when I tell her I am not attached? (Laughter) Because we translate, when there is freedom from attachment, the wife or the husband understands - or the girl or the boy - that you are free from her, or from him, and therefore she clings to you and so you are frightened to hurt her, and all the rest of it follows. Let me finish, sir. Freedom from attachment means tremendous responsibility. You don't see that. Right?
Look: we have built this place, Brockwood, for the last seven years. We have worked at it, several of us. Plenty of energy, work, thought - you follow? - create this thing. If we are attached to that thing then we are creating confusion. You understand? So the speaker is not attached, completely - I can leave tomorrow. And I mean it, I have done it - not to Brockwood but other places. But being detached means great consideration, great responsibility to see this operates properly. You understand? Not that I walk away from it.
So when there is freedom from attachment there is love. You understand? No you don't. That means responsibility, so that means order. So can you - realising one of the factors of confusion in our life, of our disorder and misery, is this attachment to ideas, to beliefs, to ideals, to one's country and so on, to wife, all that - can one be free of that attachment? Not tomorrow, now. Because that is, you see the reality of it, what it does in life. I am attached to my country and therefore I am willing to kill every other human being for my love of my country.
Q: You must feel responsible for your country but you must not be attached.
K: No, that's not the point I am making. The point we are making is, sir - not the country, leave the country. You see how quickly we go off to something. I am talking about attachment to your wife, to your husband, to a belief, to a faith, to an ideal, for which you are willing to kill people. So there is disorder. Out of this disorder there arises confusion, and therefore in you there is confusion. And one of the factors is attachment. Can you break it, get away from it?
Q: Sir, I think part of the problem comes in when you say, ‘Can you break it’, that means, you know, we
K: I understand. Of course, sir. That is a quick way of expressing, of saying the observer is the observed. We have been through all that. Can you end the can there be an end to attachment? Let's put it that way if you prefer it.
Q: Mr speaker, I figure every one of us, I think, would consider ourselves individuals
K: I question whether they are individuals.
K: No, don't say yes.
Q: I am saying I would like to think I am an individual.
K: You like to think.
Q: I am not collective
K: Look, sir please! The word 'individual' means indivisible, non-fragmented. That is, a human being who is fragmented is not an individual. But 'individual' means one who is indivisible in himself. Please sir, that's what it is.
Now just take this, attachment. When you see the whole movement of attachment - jealousy, anxiety, hatred, division, possessiveness, domination - you follow? - all that is implied in that word 'attachment' - to see the whole of it is intelligence, isn't it? To see the whole of it. So intelligence says, 'Be free of it', not you say, 'I must be free of it'. So intelligence then dictates, tells what is right action, wherever you are. You understand? Whatever your life is, whether in the office, or at home, or anywhere, if there is this intelligence at work then there is no problem, because this intelligence is supreme order, which has come because you have looked into disorder in our life. Out of that investigation into disorder, which is, one of the factors is attachment, in the observation of that disorder the awakening of intelligence comes. You follow? Intelligence is awakened. And intelligence is not yours or mine, it is the intelligence. Therefore it is not my individual intelligence telling me what to do - then it is not intelligence. But when we have seen our disorder in our daily life, how it comes, observing it, investigating it quite impartially, objectively, without any motive, out of that investigation is the awakening of this marvellous intelligence, which is also love. You understand?
Q: Sir, this will take time because...
K: Does it take time?
Q: It doesn’t take time, as time is the produce of thought.
K: Does it take time to cultivate love? Do you cultivate love? Say, 'I must be kind, I must be generous, I must be thoughtful, I must be considerate, I must give' - and do all those things, you know, day after day, day after day, day after day, at the end of it you will have this marvellous flower called love?
Q: But how can one realise everything in one day?
K: That's just it, sir. It is not in one day - now.
K: Sir, when you say it is difficult you have already made it difficult. It may be the most easiest thing in the world, you don't know; but you have already come to it saying, 'It is difficult, it is arduous, I need tremendous energy', but you don't say, 'I really don't know', then you are free to look. You understand? But you have already come to it with a conclusion. And the conclusion is the bondage, is the barrier which prevents you from actually seeing instantly.
Q: Is intelligence free of thought when there is no emotion?
Q: Sir, is this supreme intelligence insight?
Q: Is supreme intelligence perception?
K: Is that the question, sir? If you like to put it. What does it matter if you have got it, words don't matter. You see, you people don't work at this. What, sir?
Q: Could we return to what you were saying about bondage?
K: Yes, sir. Look, I want to go on. You don't know what the beauty of all this is. All right, it's up to you.
Let's begin again. Thought has created this disorder, hasn't it? - my house, my property, my wife, my country, my god, my belief, my sorrow, my pleasure - thought. Thought has also created the centre which holds all these activities, the 'me'. Thought has created the 'me' in which all these activities go on. Right? Thought has created this. And thought has created the problems, and thought says, 'I will solve these problems'. And thought has never done it. Right? Politicians right throughout the world say, 'We will solve all these problems with very careful thinking' - party politics, TUC, the whole game. And they won't solve it because the problems are getting worse and worse and worse. So thought has created all these problems; thought is me; thought is my problem; thought is the disorder in which I live. Right.
So I see thought cannot solve the problem. Right? Do you see that, sir? Thought cannot solve my problem between me and my wife. Right? Right, sir? The problem between me and my wife is that I think I am separate from her, I have an image about her - right? - that image has been put together through thought for ten years, or two days, or fifty years. Right? And she has an image about me. Right? I dominate her, I bully her, or I do this and that - all that, sexual pleasure, antagonism, all those are images between her and me. Right? Right? So these images create disorder. Right? So I can never see my wife or my girl or my boy completely, wholly, what he is. You understand? Right? So can there be freedom from image-making? You understand? I see I have an image about my wife, about the politicians, about my neighbour, about my children, whatever it is, I have an image about them, or about her. The image has been put together when she says to me, 'You are an ass', or she bullies me, or she wants something from me, etc., etc. All that. All those activities create an image in me about her. Right? This is simple. I want to get on with it. And she has an image about me. So our relationship is between these two images. Correct? Which is what? The images of thought; thought has built them.
So thought has built these images, and thought which is fragmentary, which is destructive because it is fragmentary, tries to solve this problem. It can only solve it when there is no image-making, then I can look at my wife, and she can look at me as we are. Right? You understand? So is it possible not to create an image when she calls me something or other, when she nags me, when she says, 'Do this', out of irritation. You follow, all this. You know it very well, you are all married people so I don't have to tell you all this. You may not be married - you have your girl or - it doesn't matter, sir, don't bother.
And I am asking you, can you be free of the image you have about her? Because if you want right relationship there must be no image between you and her, or her about you, obviously. So how to end the image-making? You understand my question? The image-making is mechanical. Please listen to this carefully. It is mechanical because when the wife says to me something ugly, it is registered. Or when she says something, or say, 'You are a marvellous man', it is registered. Right? You understand? The registration is the image-making. Right? When you tell me a flattering thing, or insult, it is registered in the brain through hearing and all the nervous system, and it is registered in the brain. And so the brain through thought creates an image. Now is it possible - please listen carefully, if you are interested - is it possible not to register? You understand my question? When somebody tells you that you look most beautiful, or you are a great person, not to register it. The moment you have registered the image begins.
K: Let me finish, sir, let me finish. And when she tells you, or when you tell her something or other insulting, it is registered. So I am asking: is it possible not to register the insult or the flattery?
Q: Yes, by listening with attention.
K: You have heard me say that before, therefore he is repeating. Don't repeat what I have said - find out for yourself, sir. Personally I don't read all these things. Look, you can do this all for The whole of history of mankind is in you. You understand? You are the repository of a thousand years or more, a million years of human endeavour. You are that. Everything is in you if you know how to read it. So please read this thing. That is: can this image-making end? Find out. First see how important it is that it should end, see the immense necessity both socially, in every way, how important it is for human beings not to have an image - say he's an Indian, he's a Russian, he's an American, he is a beastly this or that. Not to have single image. Therefore there is no minority or majority. I wonder if you see all this.
K: Is that possible? Not to register. This is very important, please listen, if you don't mind. You have to register when you do technological things - right? - when you learn a language, it is tremendously important to register it, the words, the verbs, the irregular verbs and all the rest of it, you have to register it. It is very important when you are learning something - how to drive a car and all the rest. And also it is very important to learn very quickly about something and retain it: but not to register when there is - in relationship between human beings. There it is much more important than the other. The other is fairly simple. Here it becomes tremendously important because conflict between individuals comes to an end - between wife and husband, man/woman, between nationalities, between groups of people - you follow? - this continuous conflict between people. To end that, as you are the total repository of all human endeavour, if you can put away image-making then you are a total human being. You understand? So is it possible for you to end the image-making?
Q: I often find that I register something which I don’t want to register. I don’t want to register something so
K: Then don't register it.
Q: But it happens so fast I can’t stop it.
K: Just a minute. See what takes place. Registration is a mechanical process - right? - because our minds have become our brains have become, at least part of it, mechanical. We live a mechanical life, don't we? Repeat the same pleasure sexually, or repeat the same old tradition - if you are a Catholic you go to church - you follow? - the same thing - repeat, repeat, repeat. Which is, we have made our life into a mechanical process because in that there is great security. Right? Do you see that? Being mechanical gives a great certainty.
So, we are asking can this mechanical process - in certain areas it is completely important - but in human relationship it is totally dangerous, totally dangerous, absolutely dangerous, not relatively, absolutely dangerous. So can you end the danger? Do you see the danger? If you see the danger it is over. When you see the danger of a precipice you don't go near it. When you see the danger of a wild animal you avoid it. But we don't see the danger. We don't see the danger of nationalities because they breed war. The selling of armaments - look what is happening for god's sake for your world, what we are making of it.
Q: I think we do see the danger but we are unattached from it. You say we affect the whole consciousness of the world, that’s what you say...
K: Not what I say, sir.
Q: But that is what you have said, on occasions, that you are the consciousness of the world.
K: I have said it, but don't you see that?
Q: Yes, but you see we are just a very small part, we’re a very finite part.
No, sir, look. Oh, I don't want to go into all this, it's fairly simple, isn't it? You are an Englishman because you have been conditioned from childhood to think that you are an Englishman, you are a Catholic because you have been trained from childhood to think that you are a Catholic with all the beliefs, all the superstitions, the nonsense that goes on. And you are a Hindu - the same thing, conditioned. Every human being right through the world is conditioned. That is the common factor, therefore you are the world.
So is it possible not to register? That means have a mind that is totally innocent. You understand? That can never be hurt, nor ever be flattered. So is it possible? To find that out, to see what it does in human relationship if you have an image about somebody. You have an image about me, haven't you? Therefore that is what's preventing you from understanding the poor chap.
So we are saying, is it possible? I say it is. Not because an idea. In my life as a speaker, it is so. I wouldn't talk about things if it isn't an actuality, I wouldn't be a hypocrite. I abominate all that kind of stuff. So I say it is possible, it is so, it can be done. Then you will tell me, 'Please tell me how to do it'. Wait, listen carefully. 'Please tell me how to do it'. The moment you say 'how' you want a system. That very system implies mechanical process. Right? So you are asking a person who denies mechanical process, asking him, 'Tell me a mechanical process'. You understand? So we lose our communication. So I say, please don't ask how. See all the implications of that word 'how' - mechanical, method, system, practice, which you do, which you think which you are doing when you talk about meditation, which is all nonsense, which we will go into. So don't ask ever 'how', but look. You understand? Look at your image, become conscious of it, aware of it, see what it does. When you see what it does, are you looking at it from the outside, or you say, 'That is me, I am that. I am the image. Image is not different from me'. Right? Do you see that? So the observer is the observed. And then what takes place? There is no movement to make further image. Do you see that? If you see that, the thing is over.
So when we are confused, to seek the light out of confusion is to further the confusion. Right? I wonder if you see that. I am confused, whatever I do out of that confusion will still be confused. Whatever my choice, will still be confused. So first is this possible to clear this confusion in myself? It is possible when there is - I am taking these two examples: attachment, image-making - when there is freedom from these two there is clarity, absolute, complete clarity. Therefore there is no choice. So out of understanding what is disorder comes order. But to seek order when I am confused, as the politicians and all the people are doing, will lead to further confusion. Right? I think that's enough for this morning, isn't it?