Can you have insight if there is a centre?
What is correct action in a deteriorating world?
6th Seminar, Brockwood Park
September 18, 1979
As this is the last discussion or dialogue or whatever it is, do we sum up the whole thing, or do we want to investigate further into what we've been discussing? (Pause) No answer.
Questioner: Could we investigate further please.
Krishnamurti: Could we investigate further? I think you were not here for the last two discussions. What we were saying was that there is actually no individuality at all. And if - when, not if - when the individuality is understood, its nature, its activities and its institutions, is there an ending of that individuality, because the individual is really the whole world, in essence, so there is no individuality. And if there is no individuality, does he carry the memories, the recording, the various forms of remembrances, do they exist when the individuality comes to an end. We went into that very carefully.
And, if you want to go still further, can the individual ever be complete, whole? But individuals seek that, try to integrate themselves and imagine or work, think, that they have become the whole. Isolation, which is, the activities of the individual can never be complete, can never be whole. And when the individuality comes to an end, which is, it requires a great deal of investigation, which we did, and what is the quality of the mind that is no longer centred in itself? What is the action of a mind that is not self-centred. That's the whole point.
We said, to perceive this whole movement of the individual and its activities and its organisations, is to have an insight into the whole movement of it. And that very insight is out of time. I don't know if we have understood that. Insight is not a remembrance, is not a calculated, investigated, investigative result, it is not a process of recording and acting from that, and it's no longer the activity of thought, which is time. Therefore insight is the action of a mind that is not caught in time.
I don't know how far one has understood this, or gone into it even verbally or intellectually. And then, if there is that insight and that intelligence, and we said intelligence goes, must always go with love and compassion, then what is the action of such a mind, in a world of violence, of degeneration and all the things that are happening around us? What is the action of such a mind? We've come to that so far.
And we also said, is there an action in which thought as the actor - is there an action without the actor? Can we discuss a little bit, that? The actor is the observer, the actor is the self-centred accumulation of activities, the various forms of various remembrances, recollections, the whole process of recording, as the individual. And from that we have acted. And that is separative, exclusive, and isolating. When there is isolation there must be conflict, obviously. So is there an action which is not individualistic in the sense we have described it and therefore without the actor?
All this may sound rather intellectual, verbal and perhaps nonsensical, but if one examines very closely, and really earnestly and goes into it deeply, it is not. And the individual has always sought experience. Experience, not only a doctor or a surgeon who has had a great deal of experience and therefore skilful with his hands and mind and so on, that's one kind of experience. Any other kind of psychological experience implies that there is a centre which is experiencing. I don't know if you are following all this.
And the experience must be recognised, which means it has already had an inclination of it. So a mind that is free of the individual - may I go on? - has no experience. Won't somebody catch me in this?
Q: Because it’s experience that stabilises the sense of individuality.
K: Sir, look - experience as a good driver, as an engineer, as a skilful surgeon, a carpenter, he has accumulated a great deal of knowledge and according to that knowledge he skilfully acts, performs. And that's one kind of experience. The so-called spiritual experience the word 'spiritual' I don't like to use - the so-called psychological experiences only exist when there is a centre from which the experiencer is experiencing. I wonder if you
David Bohm: Why is that necessary, you see - why is it necessary to have this centre.
K: The centre has been formed, has been accumulated through generations.
DB: That means memory.
K: That's memory. That is, the tradition, the various impressions, pressures, all that has created the centre.
DB: And the memory of all the pain and pleasure?
K: Memory involves pain and pleasure, obviously, which we talked about the other day. So I'm saying, sir, asking, we have always sought mystical experiences. Right? So-called spiritual experiences, something more than the ordinary, sensory self-limiting experiences, something more. I question that whole mystical search and experience.
DB: If it's not an experience, then how do you distinguish...
K: That's just it. If it is not an experience, the doctor asks, then what takes place?
DB: Yes. Do you have a feeling, you see, does experience include the feeling, or a sensation - does it?
K: No. Ah, this is really - are you interested in all this?
K: Why? (Laughter) Sir, we've had every kind of experience. Right? We have had different kinds of experiences: sensory, emotional, romantic, experience of so-called love, intellectual, all that, experiences of cultivating knowledge. Right?
DB: You mean something you do, something you go through?
K: Yes, there is something we do.
DB: Yes, and we experience...
K: And there are experiences which the so-called mystics have. Right?
DB: What do they experience, what do they claim they are experiencing?
K: I don't think it is an experience.
DB: But they say, some people say...
K: I know some people say it is an experience, suddenly the whole world is me.
K: Suddenly the universe and me don't exist.
DB: Now why is that wrong, could we see?
K: Wait, I'm coming to that. I want to first get the thing clear. There is a sense of universal harmony, universal something or other. That means there is a recording taking place. Right?
DB: It may.
K: No, it must.
DB: If they have a sense of it.
K: Yes, that's my whole point. As long as there is a centre which is experiencing this spiritual, this super para-consciousness, dimension, that experience is still limited, it's still within the area of thought.
DB: Suppose you were talking with such a person, and he might say, 'I think it's unlimited.' Or 'I feel it to be unlimited.'
K: I understand, the moment you say it's...
Q: It’s a memory, it’s remembrance...
K: The moment you verbalise it, it's no longer actual, the fact. I don't know
Q: So in other words, you can’t experience timelessness, you can’t experience it, that’s out.
DB: And you can't verbalise it.
K: No, not only verbalise, you cannot there is no sense of experiencing, it is. I don't know how to put it.
Q: You’re saying, it seems to me, there is no sense that I am experiencing it.
K: Yes, that's right. Nor the feeling that it's something that has taken place which is new.
Q: So one can be distrustful of someone who says, ‘I have experienced...
Q: ...timelessness’, etc. I mean that wouldn’t mean
K: This is rather a ticklish question, you must go carefully into it.
Q: You mean it’s a bit like the humble person who cannot by definition be conscious of his own humility.
K: That's right, sir. The moment you are conscious of your humility, you're not humble. You see all the saints throughout the world, recognised and unrecognised, have stated, I have met several of them, have stated that they have realised, or as they call it, self-realised, or that they are enlightened. I think those statements contain an element of vanity - I'm sorry. (Laughs)
DB: Then there is the question, suppose there is one who is truly enlightened, how is he communicate this? How would you distinguish those two cases?
K: Now wait a minute, sir. How will you communicate to me a love which is not individualistic, a compassion that is totally different from social work, devoting one's life to something which is all that? How will you convey it to me, because I only know the self-centred 'love' - in quotes. How will you express that, which is something beyond, which is an enormity - how will you convey it to me? You can only convey it to me if I am listening to you, if I abandon my own attachments to my sainthood, and we meet at the same level. But I won't meet you at the same level. I can't, I won't, because I am held by my experience. You follow, sir?
So is this timeless quality of mind - this sounds, you know, please forgive me if I - timeless quality of mind, that intelligence, let's call it that intelligence, is it something one can transmit to another?
DB: You're saying the other could listen to it.
K: For you, that intelligence is a fact.
K: How will you convey it to me? You can verbalise it, you can say it is not this, it is not that, or it is this, it is that, but you can't the essence of it, the quality of it, the beauty of it, the potency of it, you can't give it to me.
Q: What is he to do?
K: Therefore what is - I'm coming to that, sir - what is my relationship to him?
Q: And he to you.
K: He has a relationship, I have no relationship. I don't know if I'm making myself clear.
Q: Will he be able to bring a relationship from you to him?
K: No, no. Sir, he has that quality of intelligence which is not brought about by thought, which is not the result of evolutionary exploration, evolutionary achievement. We have gone into it a little bit. He has it. That intelligence implies love, compassion, he has that enormous sense of great vitality and beauty. And I have this limited, self-centred love, in quotes. That is my life: sensory, romantic, imaginary, sex, fear, pleasure - all that is my love. How will he convey it to me? He can't. Wait a minute. He being intelligent has relationship with me. But I can't reach him.
Q: Can he do anything about that?
K: Wait, sir. Look first - you're all (laughs) If you love me and I don't love you, what will you do? Even physically. You might say how terrible, you might get depressed, and all the rest of it - it's all self-centred. I live with that self-centred activity, that's my life. And how will he convey it to me? Because he has that intelligence, compassion, love, he has communication with me, he sees my degeneracy, my conflicts, my misery, all that. I can't see it. All that he says to me is, 'Please listen to what I have to say.' 'Take time, look at it, let's examine it.' He's pointing out to me. Either I go with him or not. Right, sir? That's the actual fact.
So experience in that sense - let's be clear - experience in driving a car, building, an architect who has got great deal of experience, skill and all that, that's one kind of experience. Is there any other kind of experience?
Q: Sir, can we clarify that point. I think the distinction between the functional experience, the engineer...
K: Yes, we have described that.
Stephen Smith: That seems fairly clear at first but there seems to be a subtle problem there, because the engineer may have some conception that he is doing something worthwhile, so there is a psychological attachment to it.
K: I don't quite follow, sir.
SS: Well - the skill may also have a psychological component, in other words, he may be proud of being an engineer. So that's the psychological component.
K: Of course. I want to question the whole concept, or the whole idea that truth can be experienced, illumination can be experienced. You follow, sir?
DB: It depends what do you actually mean by an experience? What happens when you experience something?
K: What happens when you experience - what, knowledge?
DB: Well, anything that could be experienced - pleasure, experience sunset, you could experience...
K: Wait - what happens when you experience...
K: Wait, no, not something.
Q: No, I mean...
K: When you experience, no, what happens? Is insight an experience? Right?
DB: I'd say no.
K: Obviously not. Right, sir? Because that is, having an immediate insight into it, into something, into the whole nature of whatever it is, is immediate and timeless.
DB: I could imagine that after an insight somebody might become excited and have an experience and say, 'This was a great insight.'
K: Ah, then it is not.
DB: Then it's gone.
K: It's not. Then he is out.
Mary Zimbalist: Sir, are you saying that experience implies a centre and insight implies no centre.
K: No centre. And so, is - you see, let's begin, put it round differently. When one meditates, is it a deliberate act - you know what I'm saying? I don't know if you've meditated at all. If you have, I mean, meditation, you can meditate over how to build a house, a carpenter can meditate about his, you know, but I am not talking of that kind of meditation. We're talking about meditation, that is, trying to catch something other than the ordinary, daily, sensory experiences. Right? Now is meditation a deliberate act?
Q: In order to achieve something.
K: No, deliberate, I want to, I meditate, I meditate Tibetan form of meditation, this meditation, that meditation and so on, which are all deliberate acts. Right?
So these kinds of meditation strengthen the self, the centre. By Jove, you understand what we are saying?
Q: We can also say that it was a deliberate act to come through that door to investigate with you.
K: No, no, no. Do look at it, sir. Then what is meditation if it is not a deliberate act. You know - we have not gone into all this, you see. Conscious meditation, taking a posture, certain posture, breathing carefully, concentrating, controlling, exercising one's will and determination, all that is self-centred movement to achieve a result. Right sir? And the result is already predetermined. Peace, whatever it is.
So such meditation is the strengthening of the will of the 'me' - obviously. So such meditation encourages isolation and therefore conflict, individuality, you know, whole business of it. Now is there a meditation which is not that? Please, go into it.
Q: Sir, there is some kind of contradiction, how is it possible for that which is not insight which is not from the centre to act when the centre acts, because the centre acts all the time, how is it possible for that without the centre to act at the same time.
K: It can't.
Q: Right, so how does insight act?
K: Insight can only take place when the centre is not.
Q: The problem seems to be that we build an image of insight. It becomes like an ice cream, it is this, that and the other.
K: No, sir, his question is, if I understand it rightly, one is self-centred, and perhaps a moment of not being self-centred, or being self-centred and putting that aside for the time being, and observing and perhaps an insight takes place. Is that it? Right? Then what happens when there is such insight. There is a recording of it, the memory of it...
Q: It gets translated into an experience.
K: Yes, that's it... memory of it, which is experience, and, so what is happening?
SS: You've lost the insight.
K: You've not only lost the insight but you have cultivated the memory of the insight.
Q: You are strengthening the centre.
K: Yes, back again. I don't know if you see all this.
Q: So how is one not to strengthen the centre?
K: We've been through that.
Q: You see, any action of the centre strengthens the centre, it’s clear. But even when there’s insight, the centre is so strong it takes over and translates the insight and experiences the insight and strengthens the centre. So that either way...
K: I don't quite follow this. Do you understand? Would you tell me?
Q: I think he’s basically saying, how is one to weaken the centre.
K: How to what?
Q: How does one dissolve the centre. I think that’s what
K: Is that it?
Q: No, that’s going too far. What I said was, if there’s no insight then the centre continues its own way, strengthening itself. But even if there is an insight, the centre is so strong that it experiences the insight and also therefore continues to strengthen itself.
K: That's right.
Q: So there’s no escape. It’s like a closed circle.
K: Yes. Sir, you cannot have insight if there is self-centredness. Right? You cannot have it.
Q: So whatever you have, that is not insight if the self is there at all.
K: We went into it, sir. Insight implies no recollection, it is not the result of argument, dialectical approach, opinion against opinion. We said insight is immediate perception, it has nothing whatever to do with thought - right? - with time. That is clear.
Now: but that may happen to one, occasionally, and thought takes it over as an experience, remembers it, and goes after it, says, 'I must have more of insight.' Then it's no longer insight. Right? Are you saying, can insight and self-centredness exist at the same time or at different times. Is that what you're asking?
Q: No, he’s saying, it seems like there’s no escape, if there is an insight and the centre takes over, then you’re back in the same...
K: We have discussed this, that as long as there is self-centred activity going on, you may have occasional insight into something but that will not bring about a radical illumination of the centre. That's all.
Q: Are you saying, sir, that if one has an insight and then this, the centre comes in to make its take-over bid, is there some action which can in a sense prevent?
Q: Maybe a better question is, why does the centre take over the insight?
K: Why does the centre take over insight. Why, go into it, sir. Why.
Q: It’s automatic, the whole essence of my action is the centre.
K: Yes, and so that it is like a tremendous wave, swallowing a little action which you call insight, for the moment.
Q: The centre does that because it thinks that is its business.
Q: We know all that, but I can go on for 50 years having little insights and the centre continues to strengthen itself and so on.
K: Are you asking, sir, let's forget about insight for the moment, is it possible to eliminate the centre? That is the real question.
Q: That appears to me is our job. It is how can we end self-centred activity? Nothing about the other business at all.
Q: But I’m not sure if that question is really an impossible question, it’s really a question that can’t I am not sure if that approach is, asking that question approaches the answering the question. I’m not sure it does. If I ask that question, I agree it’s a good question, but I’m not sure whether it approaches the answer of the question, by asking that question. Do you see what I mean?
Q: Because when you say how can you eliminate self-centred activity, you say that insight brings about this elimination?
K: No. I did not say that. Oh, for god's sake! What, sir?
Professor Wilkins: I'm a bit confused about this insight. I think I can see something by thinking about humility. I mean, humility is a state of being.
K: Yes, sir.
W: Out of this state of being, so to speak, obviously the humble person acts. But, as you say, the humble person is not conscious of their own humility or they'd just be a fraud. Now I can follow this, but if one considers the example of an insight in the case of scientific work, then that insight is followed by thoughts, and one has some consciousness, well, one is conscious of the fact that one was thinking one way before the insight and another way after.
K: That's it. What has happened then?
W: You might say you're in a different state of being.
K: Which is what? Your whole way of thinking has been transformed, with regard to that particular thing.
K: Now we want to know if there is such an action as insight which will totally eliminate the self-centred activity, so that my brain, my thinking is entirely different.
W: Fundamental psychological insight.
K: Yes. So that even my brain cells are changed.
Q: Sir, I’m confused for the moment, if you don’t mind me saying so. Are you now saying that we want to know if there is this psychological insight that will end self-centred activity? Is that what you just said?
K: Yes, sir. That was the question between Professor Wilkins and myself: is there an insight into the whole psychological movement of the centre, not just parts of it, into the totality of the centre, an insight into it? And therefore, as he pointed out, scientifically you see something and your whole mind has changed.
Q: My concern is, if that is so, I’m going to start looking for it.
K: No, no, no, no.
Q: And where am I going to look for it?
K: No, I'm not looking for it, that's what - we eliminated the idea of looking for a result, looking for an experience and so on. The question is very simple, sir. The question is: is there an insight into the whole psychological self-centred activity that will put an end to them?
Q: If there is this insight, it cannot come from the self-centredness.
K: No, it cannot.
Q: Where does it come from?
K: I'll show you. As he pointed out, sir, a scientist investigates, comes to a certain point, and perhaps not the same moment, a sudden insight into it. He has approached it one way and that insight has completely revolutionised his activity. But that implies, there must be a period of preparation - right? - period of examination, analysis, whatever it is.
And as you are analysing, exploring, investigating there is a moment when you stop exploring, and perhaps the next day, or a little later, there is a sudden insight into the whole of it. Which means that there must be a period of preparation - call it, of evolution, growth, coming to it. Right?
Q: It seems that this is a very tricky place because, when we’re taking a journey, we take a map of the place that we think, where we’re going.
K: Yes, sir, yes, sir.
Q: And here we’re talking about taking a map of where we are, not where we think we’re going. It seems the problem is that we build an image of where we think we’re going and that becomes a very inviting place that we think we’re moving towards.
K: No, but I'm not, I'm not thinking about where I'm going.
Q: You may not be, sir, but it seems that we are.
K: Sir, you have not quite followed what we're saying. Please, just follow what he's saying, sir. He said, the Professor said, I've been investigating along a certain line, which means he has spent some days, weeks, months, years along there, on that road. And suddenly, next day or a few minutes later, there is an insight into the whole of it and his way of thinking, looking, observing is in a totally different direction. Right?
Q: Would it help to use his map idea, he’s been pouring over this map, tracing all sorts of possible paths...
K: That's right.
Q: And then suddenly the map stops.
K: The same thing, same thing. That means, a period of preparation, period of investigation, a period of examination. Right?
Scott Forbes: Sir, are you saying that scientific insight and this other insight you are talking about are qualitatively different things?
K: Yes. No, but leave that for the moment, sir - look at it, sir. Is insight to be prepared? To have - not to have - for insight to take place, must there be a preparation to come to it?
DB: I don't think the scientist could attempt to prepare for insight either, that would defeat its own purpose. But I think he becomes puzzled, at a certain point he feels that he isn't making sense and therefore thinking has to stop.
Q: He goes for a walk in the country and forgets all about his problem (laughs), and then something... (Laughter)
K: That means, sir - you haven't answered my question, that means you have been thinking, working, analysing, observing for a year, whatever, a few days. And there is sudden insight. Right? I am asking, does insight need preparation? You follow my
DB: Sometimes we have been also working here, you see, people have been working.
K: But insight doesn't take place. (Laughter)
DB: It may be wrong at first.
MZ: Can one say then that preparation does not lead to insight, it isn't a progression. But a certain amount of work of some kind has to be...
K: All that - Maria, all that implies preparation.
MZ: Yes, but as a scientist...
K: Yes, yes, I know, all that implies previous activity.
Q: Well, is there a difference between the notion that previous activity inevitably leads to a point where...
K: Oh, of course not.
Q: ...which we see is not so.
K: I can prepare, doing the wrong things, playing the wrong note all the time and hoping to be a great pianist. It's impossible!
MZ: But are you suggesting that a mind would suddenly come to insight for reasons unexplained at the moment, without having given attention to these things, without having investigated oneself, without attention, without self-awareness. It wouldn't just come out of the blue.
K: You see, I feel preparation has nothing to do with insight. Preparation, analysis, examination, observing, taking - all that. I don't think insight comes out of that.
MZ: But you have spent a lot of time describing the observation that the mind must go through to obviate its self-centredness. And at a certain realisation of that, then perhaps that stops, and into that, insight may or may not come.
K: If I prepare - I'm using the word 'prepare' which we now understand, I'm using the word 'prepare', is preparation a means to insight? It can't be.
K: No, wait. And certain preparation, you're saying, is necessary, which we have done here, we have spent six days in this room discussing all this. Have we got it? Have we understood the importance or the unimportance of self-centred activity? We have discussed it, practically one is sick of it - and we have spent six days at it, which has been the preparation. Have you got the insight into the whole nature of it, and therefore a totally different movement taking place?
MZ: It seems to me that that is a separate question. It may or may not have happened to people. But if you are saying that that, the insight, we have been leading up to the insight, that inevitably insight has to occur if we have followed and given attention. Then it would seem to me that that is a method, but if you are saying that attention has to be given to what goes on in the mind at a very profound level, before there's any possibility...
K: Is it our minds are not quick enough? Quick, to grasp something immediately, not deceive ourselves, saying, 'I've grasped it,' but to grasp something which is absolutely so, quickly, immediately. Why doesn't...
K: Why doesn't it take place?
Q: Isn’t that because we’re thinking?
K: No, no. Why doesn't it take place in one, when we see the whole movement of self-centred activity, what is consequences, all that, why don't we see the danger of it, drop it, instantly. Immediately, not instantly - immediately. Is it our minds are so heavily conditioned, is it that we are lazy, we haven't enough vitamins, whatever it is, that we have not immediate response to something which is true?
Q: Sir, if I say this thing hasn’t taken place in me because I can see my mind isn’t quick enough, I mean, what do I do at that point?
K: No, we're coming - sir, you say something which is so true, which is so actual, and you have explained it carefully, why am I not capable of seeing it immediately, and say, 'Yes', and finish with it. Why?
Q: Is it that we are almost always operating from centre and consequently looking at something else? I’m talking about, from the point of view of – when an artist tries to create a picture, he brings to this thing which he is trying to make, a lot of attitudes, will, etc. which come from the centre, and in the conjunction of effort, will, etc., he is very often blinded to the...
K: I know. Sir, why isn't there in you the immediate response?
Q: Obviously the mind is dull and lazy, that’s why there is no immediate response.
K: No, there's something deeper than that - you're just talking - just find out, sit quietly for a minute and find out why you, when somebody, Dr Bohm or Professor Wilkins says something, which is absolutely true, you don't jump and say, 'Yes, I'm with you, it's part of me.' Why?
Q: There seems to be a deep, inner...
K: Sir, do, I said, do listen to the question, sir, and find out for yourself. (Pause)
Q: Mind is in the centre.
K: No, madame. Is it we're insensitive?
Q: Sir, we don’t really feel all the suffering that is going on around everywhere.
K: Is it that we don't listen? Is it we're taking a posture, a position, a certain concept and hold onto it? Why are our minds so slow? Is it our minds have become so mechanical? See, you don't find out! Professor Wilkins says something to me, and I've listened, and I say, 'Quite right, sir, that is so.' And it implies that my mind is not attached to anything. And that attachment makes my mind dull. It is like being anchored and trying to explore the universe.
Q: So your mind is free to listen, in other words.
K: I'm asking, sir, why don't you, why doesn't your mind respond immediately to danger? You do to physical danger, there is immediate response.
Q: Because one’s action has jumped the tracks of thought.
K: Sir, don't you want to find out for yourself why you don't respond so completely as when there is physical danger, why you don't respond to psychological danger, immediately. Psychological danger is this self-centredness, which is isolation, with all its misery, everything - why don't you say, 'Yes', and ah!
Q: Time seems to come in.
K: Oh god. Sir, find out, sir, don't tell me. Q: I don't have the sense of the same urgency.
K: Look, but what, sir, when you have physical danger there is immediate action.
Q: But with the psychological, I don’t have the same sense of urgency.
Q: Because I don’t really feel it.
Q: Physical danger seems to actually threaten one’s existence, so one reacts quite strongly to that, but the other, we don’t see it threatening our whole existence, really.
K: Isn't the other much more dangerous?
Q: Well, in the sense it’s dangerous because it actually threatens us, and so we don’t really want, I mean, in a sense, we don’t want to lose us. Do you see what I mean?
K: Not quite, I don't understand what you mean.
Q: Well, in physical danger you’re actually going to disappear, so you react pretty quickly because you don’t want to disappear.
K: But why don't you react with the other?
Q: Because it means you have to disappear (laughs) – in a sense it means that you have to disappear.
K: I don't...
MZ: The self is bound to cease to be, one loses the sense of self.
K: So you don't see the danger of the other?
MZ: To some the loss of self is a greater danger, than the psychological danger.
Q: That’s like Professor Wilkins said, we don’t want to disappear.
K: Not, sir, it's not a question that I don't want to disappear. I see the danger of being self-centred. The real danger. And say 'Yes', physical danger, it is as dangerous as that, so I say, I move away, there is an activity which says 'No'. Is it that we are insensitive?
Q: Yes. We don’t see it, we are insensitive.
K: We have explained everything carefully, step by step by step. What it does: self-centredness breeds isolation, conflict, wars, all the rest of it. We know the tremendous danger of it, which is lack of security, sense of deep, abiding loneliness, you know, we've described all that.
Q: But we’ve got used to this, whereas the physical danger you mentioned gives one a shock and breaks the continuity, whereas in this other thing, we’re just trapped in this continuity.
K: But why can't I break it?
Q: We are terrified of letting go. I know I am. Fear.
K: But I do know it's the danger, you don't say letting go when you catch a rattler or a cobra or a viper, you drop it instantly.
Q: See, we are insensitive and we believe this psychological side that you’re talking about, it’s for the man next door, not for me.
K: No, sir, the man next door doesn't - we're not talking about the man next door. I'm talking about me.
K: We've spent six days, rather intensively, for nearly two hours every day. Where are we, at the end of it?
Q: Maybe there’s a notion of time that if I spend a few more days or years at this something will happen.
Q: I don’t understand why you bring in the notion of time?
K: I do.
K: Because you have spent six days in this argument, explaining, contradicting, one understands, one doesn't understand, then going back and forth, back and forth. At the end of it, I say to myself, where am I in all this? What have I understood, is there any deep change or I'm going on back to the old pattern. That's all. (Pause)
So what will make us change? Right? What will make you, sirs or ladies, what force, what shock, what pressure will make you say, 'My God, I must drop this.' Love apparently doesn't. Right? Will more experiences help you to break this continuity? Suffering? We've been through all that, we've had enormous amount of suffering, enormous sense of pleasure. And yet we go on day after day, day after day, the same pattern, the same way of thinking, looking, observing.
Is it that we're obstinate?
SF: Sir, implied in many of your questions is that we are unwilling to change, and implied in many of the answers that we give is that we are unable to change. Now is it one or the other or both?
K: Don't ever say 'unable', then you are doomed.
Q: That is what we say in different ways.
K: I mean it's no question of When you want to do something you have capacity. You didn't know anything about all this video-tape business - you learnt it, you wanted to do it. But if you say, 'I can't do it' and sit back, then it's...
Mary Cadogan: That's a different kind of learning.
Q: Isn’t it a different kind of learning, as Mrs Cadogan says.
MC: It's a different kind of learning - if Scott wants to learn about the video, because that is known, it's there which means experience. You are talking to us and we are feeling a movement towards something which is unknown - we're back in the problem of the conditioned mind listening to something which is unconditioned, and although you say we are not unable, there are moments, when as Scott suggests, it seems that we are unable rather than unwilling. Can you say more that comes from this unconditioned, can we connect more?
K: Is it unwilling or unable? That's one question, isn't it?
K: Am I unwilling?
MZ: You've said that will does not play a part in all this, why do you bring will into this?
K: No, forget will, long ago, about something else, meditation, I brought it in.
MZ: You say we're unwilling.
K: No, he said that, he used that.
SF: I don't want to bring in will - it's a question of if I can, why don't I, why am I holding back, why am I not doing it?
MC: Because there seems a great intensity in this room, a great intensity in this room to move.
MC: Move away from all this. So it doesn't seem to be an unwillingness but...
K: Are you saying, we are unable to do it, we may move along up to a point, but beyond that we can't step.
Q: Sir, it’s like, I know how to learn about video, if I want to learn about video I know how to learn. But I don’t know how to learn about this.
K: About what? Psychological structure?
Q: I don’t know how to learn about – I can learn to understand video...
K: Yes, sir, you've said.
Q: I can’t learn, I don’t know how to learn to dissolve the centre.
K: Ah, is that it? You don't know how to learn, how to dissolve the centre. You don't know what to do about the centre?
Q: Yes, I don’t know what to do.
Q: I may want to.
K: Sir, we spent six blasted days at this.
Q: I understand – sir, it’s not a problem of understanding or following the logic of it, that’s quite clear. But, how to do it, I understand the contradiction contained in that question.
K: I understand. I'm just asking, is it lack of energy? Say Professor Wilkins explains to me very clearly, both the doctors, both scientists explain to me the nature of the self-centredness, I've listened to it very carefully, and they point out all the dangers to me, very, very carefully. Because I'm very interested, I've spent my money and come here, and so I want to listen, I want to understand what they are talking about. And I find at the end of it, I can go up to a certain point, and beyond that I can't, I don't seem to be...
K: No, I am not stuck - I don't seem to be able to jump, I don't seem to be able to go further. So I say to myself, it's not their fault. Right? They've made it abundantly clear, it's not their fault. Therefore what is it that is blocking me?
Q: There’s enormous pleasure in postponement – there is pleasure in that.
K: Yes. No, sir. We've gone beyond all that kind of silly stuff.
Q: It’s not that...
K: Sorry, I know what you're saying but I've gone beyond all that. I want to understand them, I want to find out why it is like this with me.
Q: You said something about obstinacy and people have said that they are willing, but surely this is an illusion, that they are not willing, they are self-centred, self-willed, and obstinate, they are holding themselves back.
K: But I'm not. I have listened to you very carefully. You have mapped it out so clearly that - I'm not a fool, I can see it! But yet that step which I have to take, I can't, I somehow, something is holding me back.
Q: Sir, isn’t there a deep fear of being alone, that this requires...
K: We've been through that, sir, I've finished with all that, fear of - I'm not afraid, I don't mind facing loneliness, I don't mind being thrown out on the garbage heap, as useless citizen, all that, I don't care for any of that, I say I've listened to these two very carefully and I can't jump, I can't swim across the river, whatever phrase you like. Therefore I say to myself, 'What's wrong?' Right?
Q: Are you saying then, you’ve ended attachment?
K: What, sir?
Q: Ended attachment, and there’s no fear?
K: No, please sir, you're missing - I say to myself. 'I am not, I am not afraid, and I mean I am not afraid. I don't care. I don't mind losing my life in it. I don't! I don't mind being poor.' So I say, 'What, but yet I can't make that other bank'. What am I to do? What is wrong with me? Is it that I'm insensitive - fear and all that, it's too small.
Q: That’s gone.
Q: May I put this to you, that’s gone, fear, attachment – you’ve got rid of that. Do you love your fellow humanity?
K: Oh, I'm not interested in that, sir. I have love. You're missing my point, sir.
Q: I’m afraid I am.
K: I am one of the listeners to those two, 'X'. 'X' says, 'I have followed you step by step by step by step. I know what you're talking about.' I'm quite intelligent. I've followed all the details, all the subtleties. But there is something that is preventing the final explosion. I say, what is wrong? What is wrong with me? I am examining, 'X' is examining himself. He says, 'Am I so dull, so insensitive?'
SS: Perhaps there may be some sense of sorrow, which is not particularly personal sorrow but...
Q: ...which is a shared sorrow.
K: Yes, yes, they have explained carefully, about sorrow, fear, pleasure, death, love, every blasted thing.
Q: Sir, if I examine myself, I tell myself, and I say I’m sensitive, I’m insensitive...
K: I don't think you are examining yourself.
Q: So one is satisfied with the explanation.
K: I am not satisfied with it. I say, 'Look, why don't I cross to the other bank?'
Q: It seems I can’t maintain the attention at a certain point.
K: Are you asking yourself this question?
Q: I’m asking it with you.
K: Sir, what's your answer? More explanations?
MC: You say, Krishnaji, that if we see the cobra, we drop it, we jump away. Then you said, what step, or why don't we take the psychological step away from the cobra. You see, it's easy, it's direct to take a step away from the cobra. When it comes to the psychological step, it seems as if there is nothing we can do except at a certain point, just to be.
K: All right, I'm coming to that. Have we reached a certain point when I can't do anything?
Q: It seems so.
K: Wait, go on into it.
Q: Sir, in this case it also seems that I am the cobra, so that...
K: No, don't be clever - it's not that. It's not that at all. Look, Mrs Cadogan says - what did you say?
MC: We seem to reach a point when we don't want explanations, and all the explanations...
K: ...are finished.
MC: We've probed and all this has gone on and on, and so forth. But we don't, we can't just get up and walk away as we can from the cobra. We seem simply to be in the state where we can't move away. Can we expect to go further than that now or
K: That means what? The activity of wanting to do something
MC: It's not there.
K: It's not there. Right? Just see that. That is, I've been wanting to do it, do it, do it. I've reached a point where explanations are up to my ears, I'm fed up with all that, and I realise - realise, actually realise that I cannot do anything. Which means what? This is not an explanation. Which means what?
Q: That there is an insight then.
K: No, sir, just look at it, sir. I've been doing, doing, doing, following, observing, examining, analysing, listening, learning, all that. I've come to the point, I say, 'By Jove, I realise I can't do anything.'
Q: That’s the end of me.
K: I can't move. Because if I move I'm back again to the whole thing. Have I realised that? Realised, not just verbally say, 'Yes'. Have I actually seen with my whole being that I can't do a thing. Which means what? I'm out of the centre!
K: Ah, wait, wait, there it is! When there is the realisation the activity has always been from the centre, and the centre cannot possibly reach the other goal, the other side, other dimension, whatever you like to call it, across the river, it says, 'All right,' finished. I don't think
So I have come to that point when I realise completely, when the mind realises completely there is nothing you can do.
MC: Krishnaji, here you've nudged us and pushed us, and helped us over the precipice , and I feel that we come near to that, but you seem to ask for something, you still seem to ask for some, almost some step, but you're not, it is that, only that.
K: All movement of thought has come to an end. Because thought said, I'll get there, I must do this, I must investigate, I must etc., etc., and suddenly it realises, 'By Jove'
Do you mean to say I've taken six days of exploration, to come to this point? Why couldn't we have seen this the first day? You follow? What's wrong? What is...
MC: But although you say, although you imply, you know, the timelessness of this, that it's timeless, it's instant, there seems to be this something happening through this all working together with you. Can you give us more in the sense that you're talking to us, and you're still using words, but you're talking of something which is not in our immediate perception. Are you able to give us any - I'm trying, this is difficult to say, because I know that you dismiss memory but do you not have something you can say to us about the process as it happened in your make-up.
K: Oh, oh! Oh. (Laughter)
MC: I mean, we can only ask!
MC: No, I don't want to miss.
K: We haven't got time for that, we've got ten minutes.
MC: You are talking to us all the time about this thing, and I just feel that sometimes one would want to ask you this kind of question. You say there's no preparation, or predisposition.
K: It has nothing to do with preparation, it has nothing to do with anything. To go into about myself, it would take a long time.
Q: Ah, well... (Laughter)
K: I am avoiding it. (Laughter)
MC: I Know.
K: I don't think that is profitable, now. Perhaps another time.
But if I am here and I want to know why, why. Have I reached that point when I can do nothing? That means psychologically, nothing. You understand what that means? Not a thing. That means, no activity of thought. If I've come to that point, actually, I've got it, it's finished!
I think we better stop now, don't you?