Can we together create a good society?
What love is not
2nd Public Talk, Saanen
July 10, 1979
May we continue with what we were talking about on Sunday morning? Will that be all right?
I wonder if you have thought any more about what we were talking on Sunday morning. Whether you have gone into it deeply by yourselves and have come to a certain point, beyond perhaps which you may not be able to go, and if so we could go into it much further. What we were saying on Sunday morning was that we must have the capacity to think together. The capacity comes naturally and inevitably if one sees the importance and the necessity in a corrupting world, that to think together does not imply agreement or disagreement, but putting aside one's own particular point of view, one's own particular prejudice, opinion, judgement and having the capacity thus to think together. Because when we think together there is no division, you are not thinking separately from the speaker. Sorry I've got slight hay fever. Don't give me medicines. If we are able to think together, the division between you and another comes to an end. There is only thinking, not your way of thinking or another way of thinking, just the capacity to think together. But that is not possible if you don't put aside your own particular conclusions, your own vanity, your own personal demands, otherwise there is no coming together.
The word 'together' means walking together, being together all the time, not you walk ahead and the other walks behind, but walking together means we are both going along the same way, not thinking different things, observing the same thing, not translating what you observed in your own particular inclination or prejudice, but observing together, listening together, walking together.
I wonder if you realise, when that takes place what happens between two human beings? There is great demand, a great urge in this present permissive society that each one of us must fulfil, sexually, emotionally and so on - the desire to fulfil. And with it goes naturally the whole problem of frustration. Please listen carefully to what I am pointing out. Don't accept or deny what we are talking about but we are thinking together, and I mean thinking together.
When one is seeking fulfilment in another or desiring to be and become and therefore act, which is a form of fulfilment, then in that movement there is frustration, all kinds of neurotic ideas, neurosis and so on, so on. But when we think together, that is, you have dropped your particular opinion, judgement and so on, and the other has also dropped his, there is no division and therefore there is no sense of fulfilment - I wonder if you get this - and therefore no sense of frustration. Please this is not a verbal conclusion, an idealistic concept, something to be achieved, but the realisation of the actual fact that as long as we are not thinking together about everything - politics, religion, economics, personal relationships, and so on - thinking together, there must be division, and out of that division there arises the desire to fulfil and the inevitable sequence of that is frustration with all its neurosis and all the inevitable reactions. When we think together all that comes to an end. I wonder if you are following this.
If one may ask, you have, perhaps some of you, listened to Sunday morning's talk and have you inwardly dropped your personal opinion, your conclusion, your experience? Or you hold on to them, consciously or unconsciously, and make an effort to think together? And of course that is rather childish, which only maintains a certain verbal communication, but in actuality there is division and therefore there is conflict. When we think together conflict comes to an end. I wonder if you see this? Please you must get this. Because we human beings for millennia upon millennia have lived with conflict - struggle, strife of various kinds, physical, psychological, emotional, exploiting each other - the whole human relationship is based on that. And in thinking together, relationship undergoes a fundamental change because there is no division. If you are ambitious and another is not ambitious, there is division. If you believe in god or in Jesus or Krishna, whatever it is, and the other doesn't there is division and therefore there is conflict. You may tolerate each other, that is what is happening now, but division exists - nationalism and so on. So if we could during these talks - I don't know how many of them, I believe ten or so - if we could, a group of us, all of us if we can, at least a few of us, apply our minds to find out if we can absolutely think together. Therefore when we do that the relationship between us completely undergoes a change. Right? I wonder if you see this?
And also we were saying on Sunday, psychologically thought has accepted the progressive evolutionary process and therefore it is always trying to become something, or be something. And we talked about time, if there is - please listen, play with it - if there is psychological time at all tomorrow, if there is psychologically the future. If there is not then what is the relationship between two human beings who have no future? You understand? You are following my question? Not my question, it is your question. You may not have put it to yourself but it is being put forward. So you have to look at it.
We have, throughout the centuries, religiously, politically, and in different ways, have accepted this idea of gradualness. Right? That is obvious. Gradually I will become perfect, gradually I will be less this and more that. In this gradational conclusion and evolution measurement has become important. Naturally. You follow all this? That is measurement - what one was, what one is and what one will be - which is a measurement. Measurement is time and we are questioning, questioning together, if there is psychological time at all. There is chronological time obviously, because we are going to meet, if you want to, the day after tomorrow morning, that is obvious. If you want to go and play golf or go to the cinema, or whatever it is, there is the day after tomorrow. But psychologically, inwardly, is there time? Or thought has invented time, psychologically, because it is too lazy, indolent and also because it doesn't know how to deal with what is actually happening. Therefore it says give me time. One does not know how to be free of envy, but I'll think about it, I'll work at it and gradually get rid of it - if you want. But if you like to keep it that's all right.
So this has been our conditioning. Right? You are following this? Not verbally, please watch it in your own self. This has been your conditioning and somebody comes along like the speaker and says, 'Is this so?' You have accepted it, this has been the tradition, educated tradition, not a superstition, because all people have - scientists and others have talked about the ascent of man through accumulation of knowledge, which is time, and so on - you have accepted it. And the speaker comes along and says, 'Look, you may be all wrong, question it'. So he says perhaps there is no psychologically tomorrow. You understand it? No, see the importance of this question. What happens to you if you put that question very seriously, not as an idea but as an actuality? Actuality means that which is happening now. Right? If you put that question to yourself then what is the quality of the mind that does not think of tomorrow psychologically? You follow? You have got my question? Right? What happens if there is no future psychologically - there is a future: you have to go and have your lunch, you have to sleep, you have to do this and that - but psychologically if there is no future, what is your relationship with another? You have got this? You have understood this? Have you solved this question which was put forward yesterday? What is your relationship with your wife, or girlfriend, or with your etc., if there is no tomorrow? If you have tomorrow, psychologically, then you create the image, you pursue that image about her or him, you have the memory cultivated in relation to that person, and you act according to that memory, to that experience. You pursue that. Right? So, when there is psychologically a future then it becomes mechanistic. You follow what I mean by mechanistic - routine, repetition, acting on remembrance. Now if there is no psychologically tomorrow, what has taken place in your relationship? In your relationship, not as an idea, in your actual relationship to your wife, to your husband, to your friend, to your boy, to your girl, what actually takes place? You understand this? Are you interested in this? Which means you have not only investigated the concept, the conditioning of psychological future and have understood the whole significance of it, rationally, sanely, logically and said, 'That may not be'. So you have hesitantly moved away from your conditioning. And when you put this question your mind is free to observe, is no longer tethered to your conditioning that there is a future. You have got it? What is your relationship to another when tomorrow psychologically is not there?
Perhaps we could approach - I don't want to answer this question, we'll find out for ourselves as we go along. I know you are waiting for me to answer it, which would be there is no point, it would become verbal, rather silly. But if you could pursue that thing in a different direction perhaps we will catch the inward significance and the beauty and the truth of it.
The ancient Hindus and the Greeks formulated a concept of a good society. Don't get bored with this. They said a good society is this, this, this. The Greeks said a good society is justice and so on, so on. The ancient Hindus said a good society is only possible if there are a group of people who have renounced the world - please, careful, I am not asking you to do it, anything, I am pointing out - who do not own property, who are outside society, and being outside society they are responsible to the activities of the society. You follow? Not that they withdraw, but being outside society they are morally incorruptible, because they didn't own property of any kind. And they were morally, ethically, religiously clear. They would not kill and so on and so on, so on. And for a certain time, probably, that existed. Then it, like everything else, it degenerated into what the world knows as a Brahmin.
The Greeks had the same idea: that a good society must exist in the world. And it was an idealistic, formulated, ideological society. Ideas - you understand? - ideals, and according to them they formulated very carefully, the Aristotelian and so on and so on, society, but never existed.
Now we are saying - please listen - can we bring about a good society, not ideologically, not as a utopia, not as something to be done, achieved, but a society, which means a relationship between two people is society. You are following all this? Can we as a group create such a good society? Now wait a minute. The Greeks formulated, the Hindus formulated and probably the Chinese, but we are not formulating anything. We are not saying the ideal - society must be this, this, this. We are not saying that because that becomes a utopia, an ideal to be pursued - you are following all this? - something to be done. We are talking about a good society which can only come into being when you as a human being, representative of all mankind - I'm coming to that, hold on to it - are responsible to another human being. When we say you are the whole of mankind, psychologically you are. Right? You may have a different shape of head, lighter skin or darker skin, better food therefore you are taller, in a temperate climate, your name may be different, but psychologically we live at the same level - sorrow, pain, anxiety, frustration, a sense of hopeless loneliness, great sorrow. You follow? This exists right through the world. This is a fact, it is not an idea which you accept. If you go to India you see the same phenomena there as here. They are darker people, over-populated, poverty but psychologically they are anxious, insecure, confused, miserable, worship something which they imagine, just like here. So there is great similarity. And psychologically it is the same movement, varied, modified, but the source of this movement is the same for all mankind - right? You see this? Not as an idea but as an actuality, that is, what is happening. Right? So you are the rest of mankind. If you see that you won't give such tremendous importance to yourself - your personal anxieties, your personal fulfilment, you know all the self-centred egotistic problems, because you are like everybody else. But you have to solve it. Right?
So, we are saying - I am getting rather tired, are you? - we are saying a good society can come into being immediately, not something to be achieved in the future. That good society can come into being only when we think together, which means no division between you and another. Then our whole conduct changes. Right, do you see that? Then one does not exploit the other, either sexually, or in various psychological subtle ways. Right? At least verbally follow this. But verbally means nothing, like following empty air, holding empty ashes in your empty hand.
So, we are saying a good society, which must exist in this terrible world, in this murderous world, immoral society, if a group of us can think together, therefore I asked: what is the relationship of you to another if there is no psychological future? You see, you understand what has happened? Do you What has happened to a mind - please listen - what has happened to a mind that has been accustomed, trained, educated, conditioned to accept the whole pattern of a life which is based on the future? That has been your way of life. In that is involved the constant effort to become, to achieve, competition, comparison, imitation - the struggle. If intelligently you don't accept that way of living, which means that you do not accept in your relationship with another, future, then what takes place in your mind, what has happened to your mind?
This is an important question if you can solve it for yourself - not solve it. If your mind has that quality that is not acting - please listen - from an ideological point of view, having an ideal and acting according to that ideal, which means division, therefore no ideals whatever, and therefore no attempt to achieve something other than understand what is actually happening. Have you understood this? Are you all asleep? Audience: No.
Krishnamurti: You come and tell me that there is no tomorrow. I listen very carefully to what you say because perhaps you have something, a way of living in which there is no conflict. You come and tell me that. First I ask myself: am I listening to you? Am I actually absorbing what you are saying? Or am I translating what you are saying into an idea and accepting the idea - follow it carefully - and rejecting or accepting that idea and then say, how am I to live according to that idea? You follow? That is what you are all doing. Whereas the man says don't do that, but just listen. Listen to the fact that you have lived this way, see all the consequences of living that way, what are the implications, logically, step by step. You have lived that way and therefore you have become, your mind has become completely mechanistic - routine, repeat, repetition, following. If you see that very carefully, he says to me, find out for yourself what happens if you do not think in terms of the future. What happens to you in your relationship with another? With the other is equally thinking with you. You understand? He also says, 'Yes, I see that.' So let both of us think together. I drop my opinions, drop my prejudices, so on, so we are together thinking. Do you follow? Then what happens? Because we have all of us want, desire, long for a good society, where we don't hurt each other, kill each other, maim each other, go to war against each other, live in perpetual insecurity, frightened. We all want a society of a different kind. Some have said - please listen - some have said you can have such a good society if you alter the circumstances, the environment. The Communists, the Socialists, all the rest of the world, says change all that through law, democratically if you can, if you cannot, totalitarian - suppress, conform, force, but change the environment. They have tried it in ten different ways - that has never happened. Man has not changed. Either as a Christian human being, or a Hindu, he has not changed radically. Why? Is it an economic reason? Is it a matter of belief? You believe in Jesus, another doesn't. Why? Why has there been in the world thousands and thousands of years this constant division? The Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians - you know, the whole division - why? Is it because no two human beings have ever found out how to think together? You understand my point? You and I can't think together. I want to. The speaker says, 'For god's sake let's think together, because we will create a different world altogether.' But you say, 'Sorry I want my opinions, I like my opinions, I cannot let go my experiences, my pleasures.' So it keeps that division going.
Now we are saying: can you put aside all your stupid, you know, worthless things - opinions, experiences, they are dead, gone, finished, and say, 'Let's think together.' So our minds, not your mind is different from mine, there is only one mind when we are together - you understand this? - then what is the relationship of that mind to another mind in daily life? Go on sirs.
Questioner: Is that a rhetorical question, sir? Because if not I would like to reply but I don’t want to interrupt your talk.
K: I can't hear, sir - somebody, have you heard?
Q: He says, is it a rhetorical question.
K: No it is not a rhetorical question.
Q: Can you say you want to get an answer from the audience, not from yourself?
K: That is why I am waiting sir.
Q: I am giving you one now sir.
K: Oh no, not one answer.
Q: I can only give you my answer. I can’t answer for anybody else
K: Ah! Then we are not thinking together. No, no, that is the whole point sir. Please forgive me. There is no your point of view and my point of view.
Q: I never said point of view, sir.
K: Your way of expressing it.
Q: No sir, what I wanted to say was just this: you said if there was no psychological time what is your relationship with another? My answer to that is: wait till Thursday and I can tell you because right now I cannot tell you. I have quarrelled with my wife for twenty years
K: So, are you saying, sir, that I cannot tell you about it now. I have done this for twenty years, I cannot tell you now but perhaps later on in the future?
Q: On Thursday sir. In the past I have listened to you in the way that is not listening at all. Right now I feel maybe I am on your wavelength, but I need a little bit of time to experiment with this. I cannot give you the answer immediately and tell you what is my relationship with another when I have not had the opportunity to observe what is happening in daily life. Sitting here
K: That is what I am saying sir. Yes sir, I have understood your question. I haven't had the opportunity to put this question to myself, I must have time and then I will answer you. I say you are off. I say you are then not meeting. I love you. And what happens to such a mind that says, I have no division? Now, not I will think it over, I will work at it - then you are
Q: It’s open.
K: No, you are not meeting my point, sir.
Q: Well you cannot possibly know what happens.
K: Comment, madame?
Q: I think if you are thinking together you can’t know what happens.
K: Do you know what your relationship is with another now?
K: You don't know what your relationship with another is now - with your wife, your friend, your girl or boy, do you know what it is now?
K: You don't know?
Q: We know but (inaudible)
K: I am asking you. So you know?
Q: Of course.
Q: I don’t know.
K: The lady says she doesn't know. Will your boyfriend and husband accept that? (Laughter). You are playing games.
Let's put the question differently. What shall we do together to bring about a change in the world? We all say change is necessary. We see things are degenerating, you know what is happening in the world, terrible things are happening in the world. And what shall we do together - please listen - to change this?
Q: We have to change ourselves
K: No, wait, wait. I am coming to that. Don't say change ourselves. You have had fifty years.
Q: Fifty two.
K: Fifty two! (Laughter). You have had fifty two years, why in the name of heavens haven't you changed? So it means you are accepting the future. Something will happen to make you change. My question then, ask sir: what shall we do together? - please listen. Though you have listened to the speaker for fifty two years or ten years, or five years, what shall we do together to bring about a new society?
The Catholics at one time in history, they were terribly united. Anybody who disagreed were tortured, inquisitioned, burnt. But for a time they held it, because they had the same belief, same - you know all the rest of it. Now all that is gone - nobody believes in anything. And we see the society as it is. What shall we do together? When one is put that question, each one has different plans - right? - different ideas, different concepts: do this, don't do that, we must all join together to elect a new president, a new politician - you follow?
So I am asking: will a belief bring us together? Right?
K: It can't. Wait. Will authority bring us together?
K: I promise you a reward.
K: You will reach Nirvana if you do this.
K: Or if you don't do this you will go to hell. Reward and punishment, on which we have lived.
So what will bring us together? Belief won't, authority of any kind is rejected, the reward by another as a means for you to change is also rejected. And if you say you are going to be punished in heaven for not obeying, you say 'Go away, don't be silly', and you pass him. So what will make us come together?
Q: Try to listen.
K: But you won't listen if you are prejudiced. Right? So will you drop your prejudice? We come back to the same thing. Will you drop your personal desire for some extraordinary evolutionary utopia, enlightenment? Drop your idea of what meditation must be? Can you let go all that? And will it take another fifty two years, you say, 'Yes, at the end of it, I am dying but I hope I will give it up.' You follow? So what will bring us together? You put that question.
Q: We have not asked, I don’t know why.
K: Only when we are able to think together. Right sir? When you and I see the same thing. Not you see the thing differently and I see it differently. When both of us see something actually happening as it is, then we can both look at it. But if you say that is not happening, only it is imagination, or it is this, that or the other - you follow what I am saying? So what will make us come together? I am not talking sexually, in this permissive world that is the most silly obvious thing, and we think that is being together.
Let's put the question differently: if there is no tomorrow psychologically, the future, what is my action towards another? The future implies no ideals, and no past either. You understand this? If the future you deny psychologically, you also must deny the past. I don't know if you follow this? Gosh! Will you let your past go? Your hurts, the wounds that you have received, the unfulfilled desires, the anxieties - which is the past. Psychologically if there is no future, it implies psychologically there is no past. I wonder if you see this! You can't have one and reject the other, they are the same movement. And that is our difficulty. Our difficulty is to let go, either the past or the future, because we are frightened. I won't go into that now but look at it, what we are doing. We want to change the world. It is necessary for our grandchildren. You know sir, if you love somebody with your heart, with your blood, with your whole being, love somebody and you have a small child whom you love do you want him to enter into this world? So what shall we do? But you are not interested in this.
Q: But do you think it is really possible to do it totally? Is someone that you know that has done it?
K: Is this possible to it this totally, the gentleman asks who has heard me fifty two years. And do you know anybody who has done this. It would be impudent on my part - please listen - impudent, impolite, incorrect to say I know somebody. What is important is: are you now? Not do you know somebody. That is escaping from yourself when you say, 'Well show me somebody, a result.' The speaker is not interested in results. If he is then he will be disappointed, he will be exploiting, he will enter into quite a different world.
So what shall we do together? You see, if you understood that word 'together'. You know when you hold your hand with another whom you like, you may be holding hands and each person thinking differently. Right? But they are not together. Together means having the same quality of mind. When they love each other it is the same quality. You understand? To love somebody so completely - oh, you don't In that there is no future is there? You don't say 'I will love you tomorrow'.
So what shall we do to bring about a feeling that we are not separate, we are together, the feeling, the quality, the feeling of it - you understand?
It is quite phenomenal that this gentleman has heard me fifty two years, another gentleman over there for twenty years and some of you have heard me for ten, five, or for the first time - what will make you change? Being hit on the head? Offering you a reward? What will make you change so that you say, 'Look, it is the greatest importance in life to be together'?
Q: Letting go of fear.
K: No fear. Is that it? Or is it - please listen - or is it we think we are secure in our separateness?
Q: Yes sir.
Q: It must start (inaudible)
K: Just listen madame to what I have said. Each one of us thinks, because we have a particular name, a form, a job, a bank account, belong to a particular nation, particular group, we are safe, secure. And I say: are you secure? Obviously you are not. So you follow? You want to be secure completely in your isolation, and the moment you are isolated you cannot be secure. That is what each nation is saying. We must be secure, we must build up arms, we must protect ourselves against you. So each human being wants to be secure in his isolation. Oh for god's sake! And when you are isolated you can never be secure.
Isn't that a fact?
K: Therefore if it is a fact, don't be isolated. You see you won't accept the fact and say it is so, and yet you keep to the fact, hold on. It is a hopeless generation, is that it? No sir.
So we are pointing out there is complete, total security when we are together. You understand? When we are thinking together. And only out of that can come a good society, which is righteous, which is moral, which will have peace - you know. In that there is security, not in what you have now.
Basta. We will meet the day after tomorrow, I believe, don't we?