Education, meditation and death
Can the mind be free of every motive to investigate?
3rd Public Discussion, Saanen
July 29, 1977
I am sorry you have such a nasty morning.
We are going to have a dialogue, that is, an enquiry together as two friends who know each other fairly well, talking over their problems, and therefore without any aggression, without any assertion, but as a friendly enquiry into our problems. So what shall we talk over together, have a dialogue about, this morning?
Questioner: What is the relationship between self-knowledge and education, education not only of children but of grown-ups as well?
Krishnamurti: Shall we discuss that? Would you like to discuss That is, he says what is the relationship between self-knowledge and education. Education not only of children, students, but also educating ourselves. What is the relationship between education and self knowledge? Do you want to discuss that, talk it over together?
Q: Sir, I was wondering if we could discuss the relationship between discontent and meditation.
K: What is the relationship between discontent and meditation.
Q: Sir, can we talk about meditation and death?
K: What is the relationship between meditation and death. The Brockwood people have got together on this, I see! (Laughter)
Q: Can you speak about the heart entering the mind?
K: Heart entering into the mind. Is there any difference between heart and mind? That is, affection, care, consideration, non-aggression, and so on and so on, which are supposed to be the qualities of the heart, can that enter into the mind. But both the mind and the heart, when they are really harmonious, they are one.
So shall we talk about, have a dialogue, about the relationship of self knowledge and education, not only of the student but also of the grown-ups; and what is the relationship between death and meditation; and discontent and meditation? Shall we start with those three, or have you another question? All right.
What is the relationship between self-knowledge and education? One asks, if one is talking over together, two friends, what do we mean by education, and what do we mean by self-knowledge? We must be clear before we find a relationship between the two, we must be clear what we mean by education, what we mean by self-knowledge. So what do we mean by education? Most of us know how to read and write. Most of us have some kind of degree, college, school, college university, where you are acquiring a great deal of information about many subjects, or branch off into a particular subject and specialise in that subject, developing a skill so as to function in the world - if you want to function in the world. That is what we call education. That is the accepted norm, the meaning of education. But we question it. Right? We are questioning if that is all of education. Or is education not only the cultivation of various subjects and so on and so on, gathering knowledge, but also be concerned with the totality of man which apparently no school, no college, no university, is concerned - at least, as far as I know.
So what do we mean by education? If you are merely satisfied with the acquisition of knowledge, memory, the cultivation of memory, and then use that memory skilfully in a particular branch of any livelihood, and so on, and so on, engineer, scientist, philosopher - the word 'philosopher' means the love of truth, the love of life, not speculative, theoretical, verbal, intellectual expressions. So proper education apparently would mean not only the cultivation of knowledge but also the cultivation of the whole of man. Right? Now is that possible in a school, in a college, in a university - the cultivation of the total human existence, human being? I believe we neglect all that field, all that side, and cultivate extraordinary capacities, technological and so on. We know this.
Now the questioner asks, what is the relationship between self-knowledge and education. So we have more or less verbally expressed what we mean by education.
And what do we mean by self-knowledge? This 'know thyself' has been a catchword, or a slogan, for millennia; the Greeks said it, the ancient Indians said it. And what do we mean by that word 'know yourself'? Can you ever know yourself? Please, we are questioning, I am not laying down any law. Please, we will discuss this. Can we know ourselves ever? Can I say to myself, 'I know myself'? Is that ever possible? And when you say, 'I know myself', in it is involved a certain conceit, a certain sense of arrogance of achievement - right? - that one has really, deeply investigated into oneself and has come to a conclusion. And that conclusion gives you the assurance that you know yourself. Right? This is what we call knowing yourself. Now I want to question that.
So we are questioning both the self knowledge and education, and their relationship with each other in a school, college, university, and daily life. Is that all right? I am talking, why don't you? Please, have a dialogue, let's have a dialogue about it. One sends one's children to a school - the State demands it and so on and so on, so on, so on. So you send them. And they are taught there something totally different from their daily life, from childhood. As they grow up the contradiction grows more and more and more. This is inevitable, you must have seen this in your own life. That the acquisition of knowledge has become tremendously important because that gives one a social security - social security being you can earn a livelihood, in that there is a security, a job, all the rest of it. So the cultivation of knowledge, which is memory, gathering information and storing it up in the brain as memory, and using that memory skilfully, which will earn us a livelihood, and neglecting the whole area of human existence.
When you send the children to the school, they are being trained to conform. Right? Would you question any of these statements? They are trained to conform, conform to the left ideologies, central ideologies or extreme right ideologies, religious, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu. So they are being very carefully conditioned - right? - both at home and at school. And as they grow up they live within that conditioned area. Right? Am I saying something extravagant? I hope you are going to discuss. They live in that conditioned area, they accept all the traditions of that society - wars, you know, the whole business.
Now he says to me, the questioner says, what is the relationship between self-knowledge and education. There is none as we understand education means now. It is only when you don't quite fit into the society you are called neurotic, you have a problem. And then you go to the analysts, or the psychotherapists, and they try to somehow help you to conform. So what is relationship between the two? When do we begin to enquire, if we do at all, into the whole structure and the nature of the self? Do we ever do that?
Q: Is it possible if I don’t know myself? When I don’t know myself then I begin to enquire.
K: But do we ever say, I don't know myself? Do we ever question, ask, what is it all about - my action, my living, the wars, the conflicts, the misery, the relationship between man and woman, the everlasting struggle? We never ask what is this human being who is caught in this? We only ask that question to understand oneself when we are in a tremendous crisis. Right? Please, I am not...
Q: I think that education is developing skill, and know thyself is clarity.
K: I understand, madam, but we are talking first what is actually happening in the world. Not your theories or my theories, but what is going on with your children and other children. Right? In that, in schools, there is neither compassion, nor clarity, nor the communication of that clarity and compassion through skill. That doesn't exist. It only exists as a theory because you have heard me talk about it. Or you might have read about it somewhere. But actually - you know, for god's Deal with facts - not what you or I think education should be. If we know what the facts are then we can move from there. But if we start with theories then we are lost - you have your theory, and somebody else has his theory, and we'll never get together. If we take what actually is happening in all the schools throughout the world - the speaker has been to many, many schools in the west, and here, and all the rest of it, there are five schools in India with which we are concerned, and Brockwood and so on, Canada and Ojai, California. So please let us deal with facts.
K: Sir, there are exceptional schools, please. There are one or two rare schools, perhaps in Germany, perhaps in England, one or two, who are concerned with the total education of man. Right? Don't let us say, your school is better than mine. (Laughs)
To educate, we said, as it actually takes place, is to cultivate memory. That memory is used skilfully, that, knowledge in earning a livelihood. So society demands that every human being have some kind of skill to earn a livelihood, or help the student to conform to a particular ideology, and so on and so on, so on.
So we are asking: what is the relationship between the two - self knowledge and education? We know what education more or less is, except there are exceptional schools. I don't know any but there are, let's hope for humanity's sake, there are exceptional schools. When do we ask this question, that is, I want to know myself? When do we ever ask, if we are at all thoughtful, when do we ask it, do we ever ask it? Do we say, 'I must know myself', otherwise there is no education. When do we ask it?
Q: When we suffer.
K: When you suffer, then you - no, do you ask? When do you ask? When you suffer. Then what takes place when you suffer? Do you say, 'Why am I suffering? What is the root of suffering'? Or do you say - please, I am just asking, I am not laying down - or do you say, 'I want to escape from it, I want comfort, I am lonely, desperately lonely, I have lost everything, I have lost the person I thought I loved, I am left completely lonely in this world'? Right? Then there is suffering, and that suffering makes you seek comfort, rely on somebody, come to a conclusion, and so on and so on, turn to god, or whatever you prefer. So you really never ask yourself actually, if you are truthful to yourself, never ask oneself, 'What am I, what is this?' Right?
Now we are saying, let us examine both and see their relationship, if there is such a thing as separate education and self-knowledge as something separate. I don't know if you see. Are the two things separate? You understand? We have divided it as education and self knowledge. Then we try to find a relationship between the two. But I question very seriously whether the two are separate.
K: You yourself, our friend says, you yourself have separated, the physical, the psychological and so on. So this leads to somewhere else, that is, is the psychological enquiry, does it affect psychosomatically? You know what that is? If there is psychologically perfect health, psychologically - you understand? - perfect health in the sense no conflict, sanity, no me and you, psychologically there is no division, that does surely affect the physical: one is much more healthy, vigorous, all the rest of it.
So we are now asking, please, what is the relationship between the two, and is there a division at all between the self enquiring into what is the 'me' and education? Are you meeting this question, sir? Right.
How am I, as a teacher - not sitting on the platform, I don't mean that - in a school, how am I to convey to the student both the acquisition of physiological facts - right? - knowledge, mathematics, history, geography and all the rest of it - and also in the very teaching of those subjects cultivate the enquiry to look at himself as the representative of all that. I wonder if I am making myself clear.
If I am a teacher of history, how am I to help the student not only to know the meaning of history, which is the story of man - follow what I'm - and also help him to understand himself who is the man. Are you catching what I am saying? Right? Does this interest you? Or you say, for god's sake let's talk not about education because I have no children - just a minute sir - and drop that subject and let's talk about our personal problems? Which is it? Are you interested in this?
K: Be sure, because this is not entertainment.
So how am I, a teacher in a school, to help him to understand himself through the subject which I am teaching, which is history? Right? We have talked a great deal about this in various schools so I am rather good at it! (Laughter) Sorry, I didn't mean that!
History is the story of man. Right? The wars, the kings, the tyrannies, the so-called cultural evolution of man from the Stone Age, all the rest of it. How am I to teach him history so that through history he is understanding himself, which is the total development of man? Right? Right, sir? Now how am I to do it? If you are the teacher, put yourself in the position of a teacher, and how are you to teach history that way? Mathematics, or physics, anything? That's the only way to cultivate self-knowledge and at the same time acquire knowledge of various subjects, so that they are not separate, they are always moving together, flowing together.
Q: Sir, I don’t know myself, can I be a teacher
K: Can I be a teacher of this kind if I don't know myself first? Right? So you are saying, let the house burn while I am... That is, I must understand myself first before I do anything. You see the falseness of it?
Q: No, I...
K: No, please sir, no, look at it, sir. Must I wait till I have complete knowledge of myself before I teach in a school?
Q: Not in a general school but in a school of this type.
K: Wait, wait. In a school of this kind - all right, I'll accept that for the moment. Which means what? I can't teach till I know myself wholly. If that is so then the children, the students, are being thrown to the wolves. Hai capito? Not knowing the importance of self knowledge, or what is the right kind of education, we are saying a teacher who is interested in both, in the very teaching of it he is learning himself. Hai capito? In teaching history and his relationship to the student, the student and myself, in the very act of teaching I am discovering how I am acting, how I am thinking, what my motive is, so there is constant enquiry, not only into the history and teaching but also as I am teaching I am discovering myself. That's what we are trying to do in the various schools. I won't mention schools. Don't get interested, I am not doing propaganda. That is, when the teacher is really interested in self-knowledge and education, and tries to find out how to teach through history - I am taking one particular subject - through history to find out what he is and learn at the same time the whole story of man. This can be done surely if the teacher is really interested in this.
Q: I think a lot of people here are in the situation that they are not teaching it but they are in a school to become a teacher. And this school is not interested in knowing oneself, it is only interested in
K: I know, that is why we want to have special teachers' educational centre and so on - I am not going into all that. We are going to do it.
Q: What I mean is I am in the situation myself. There is a lot of interest in such a centre. I would like to discuss what do you do at this centre?
K: Madam, how can one answer such a question? I have a son - I haven't, but suppose I have a son. I can't afford to send him to the right kind of school because I haven't the money, my husband and I have separated. This is a common occurrence in modern society, the breaking up of the family, and I am left with two or three children. Right? What am I to do? Go on, sir, it's your job, enquire. I have to earn money to support them, work like a slave for these four children, or two children, or one child, and educate them, in the right sense, because one has talked about it. As there are no such schools, except very, very few, what are you going to do? You follow, sir? Go into it. You should think before you have children, before you get married, of the whole thing, not afterwards. Right? We are always thinking what shall we do when it is a fait accompli, not before. You say, 'I am going to get married' - if I want to marry - or have children, what is going to happen to them? That is the self-knowing. You understand? But not say, 'Well, I have got four children, for god's sake, what am I to do'. There is the State that will help you and so on. Or there are special schools where you can have scholarships - you know all that. So don't let's enter into that.
So what is a teacher to do? A teacher of the right kind, not who just says, I am bored with all the other work, at least I can become a teacher. And therefore he wants - you follow?. Generally the teachers are those who can't get into business, who can't earn a lot of money, who this and that and that, join, become eventually teachers. I don't mean there are not exceptions. There are exceptions, thank god! Right?
So what shall we do now? How shall I teach history, mathematics, if I am a teacher, so as to convey both the acquisition of knowledge and also at the same time to know oneself? I think if the teacher is really interested in it, it is a creative thing, you discover; you don't say you are going to teach in this way or that way, then the teacher gets bored. But if he is creative, interested, it flows out of him. Right.
Q: The best teacher is one who knows there is no separation between him and what he teaches.
K: Yes, that is what we are saying. Are we saying something different from you?
K: Ah, all right. The other question is - is that enough, Narayan, have we discussed sufficiently that point? - the other question is: what is the relationship between discontent and meditation? We will come to you afterwards. What is the relationship between discontent and meditation? What do you think? As we said, discontent most of us have. Either it becomes an all consuming flame - right? - or it is soon satisfied, smothered, by getting married, by having a job, by having children, or by joining some society, community, or becoming some ideologist. You follow? That flame which should be burning is gradually smothered. That is a fact. One is totally discontented with society, with the establishment, with short hair, grows long hair, you know the whole thing that goes on. So can discontent never be smothered? Never. Though one may have children, wife, never that flame wither away, die, become ashes. Go on sir, investigate into yourselves as we are talking. Right? Dialogue. I don't seem to have any dialogue. That's one problem - whether it is possible to keep this discontent at its highest excellence. Right? That is, excellence means to reach the top of the mountain. Mediocrity means to go half way. Right? We are explaining what the dictionary says.
And meditation. What is meditation? Real, not all the childish stuff, not all the immature gurus with their immature disciples, but what is real meditation? We said that, we said real meditation is to empty the content of one's consciousness. That is, no jealousy, no anger - you follow? - the whole content, without effort. We went into that.
So can these two move together, or must they be separate, or the very discontent, keeping that flame alive is a form of meditation? You get it?
Q: Sir, it seems very often that discontent is channelled against somebody or something, or some group.
K: That's right, sir.
Q: How can we feel discontent without making a cause?
K: If discontent has a cause - you are following? - then the effect of it is to be satisfied by joining this or that, or doing this or that - if there is a cause. Now is there a discontent without cause? I wonder if you see this. Suppose one is discontented, not with society, with my wife, or with my group, or with my friends, but discontent. Don't you know that? No? Not with something, or I want something and I can't get it therefore I am discontent. I want to be a great man, and I can't because I haven't the capacity and I am terribly discontent, frustrated. So I channel, there is a channelling that particular discontent along certain lines so that it is gradually diminished and dies. We are asking: is there a discontent without cause?
Q: It has to have some relation with actuality, I can’t just
K: The actuality is, sir, the actuality is I am discontent with my society, I am discontent with the pattern which society has given me, or I am discontent with the education I am getting, I am discontent. I don't want to have a job, go to university and get a job, but I want to do something entirely different - wander the world with a little money, or help along. So that way you will observe, if you have gone into it sufficiently deeply, that gradually this discontent withers away. Right? Haven't you noticed this? There are some people who are ardent leftists, extreme leftists, the moment they get married and a job the thing quietens down. We happen to know many of such people. Of course there are exceptions - don't jump on the exceptions.
So we are asking: discontent is to keep that thing alive, flaming. Which is to be discontent with tradition - the tradition of war, the tradition of belonging to a group, the tribal instinct of the tradition of saying, my group and your group, we and they. Now in enquiring into all that which is the outcome of discontent, is a form of meditation, isn't it? Which is, in enquiring why I accept, one accepts, a religious authority, or even political authority, or ideological authority, in enquiring into that one discovers one accepts it because one is frightened to stand by oneself - the fear of loneliness. So that fear of loneliness is smothered by saying, 'I must be with you, I must' - you follow? - escape. So the understanding of that fear is part of meditation. I don't know if Right? So the highest form of discontent is freedom. Right? The excellence of discontent brings freedom. Right? Do it, sir, not verbally accept it. See the depth of such a thing.
So discontent and meditation go together. Right? If you are content with the system, a guru, or when ancient people have described, you accept it and practise it, you are smothering discontent. But if you say, look, what do you mean by it, why should I accept any system of meditation? Who are you to tell me how I am to meditate? You know, there are lots of teachers who are giving lessons how to meditate, which is the acceptance of authority. When you question it, the flame is keeping alive. I don't know if you understand it. You understand this, of course!
Q: Discontent is freedom, you said.
K: Ah, no, discontent brings freedom.
Q: Because discontent is nearly suffering.
K: No, you see, discontent, he says, is nearly suffering. Because you suffer because you can't get something out of discontent. I am married to a woman I don't like, I am discontent.
So - right? - now let's go on to something else, which is, he said, what is the relationship between death and meditation. Right? Are you interested in all this? Not interested, is it part of your life? You see, what you know let us approach death with total discontent. Right? Will you? That is, not accept any form of comfort, any form of explanation, approach it with any idea, or be afraid to see, understand what death is. So is there a tremendous discontent to find out? Which means there is no fear. Right? There is no seeking of comfort, no me, what is going to happen to me. So can we approach it that way?
One may be married, have children. The man goes out and may have an accident, killed, and the wife is left alone with children. She feels terribly lonely. Right? Don't you know all this? Lonely, desperate. And she is not really concerned about death, the whole meaning of death, but she is concerned about herself and what is going to happen to the children - you follow? - who is going to support them. I have lost somebody whom one loved, and so on and so on. One never says, all right, I want to find out what death is. You understand what I am talking about? Can we go into this that way? Which is, approach it with total discontent, not knowing where it will lead me. Right? Can you do that? There is no hope. You know, I don't know if you know what it means to have no hope - not to be depressed, not to say, my god, I am lost. But hope is born out of despair. Right? When there is no despair there is no hope. Right? I wonder. Why is there a despair? Because one is left alone. This sense of great loneliness. One may have a lot of money, children will be properly educated, you may have a house, or whatever it is, there is this intense feeling of desperate loneliness. Don't you know it all? Don't you know it? You may have friends, you may live with lots of people in a group, and there is occasional intimation of this extraordinary sense of isolation, loneliness, without any relationship with anybody. Haven't you had all this? You see, then, specially when we are young, one doesn't know what to do. Right? One has no sense of direction, no somebody whom you can trust. Nothing, you are just left absolutely alone. Has it ever happened to any of you?
Then there is the fear of that loneliness. And fear being much stronger than loneliness, you escape from it. Right? You know all this. You escape from it, you run away from it, you smother it, you do everything not to be frightened, or you say, 'I must face this loneliness'. And when you force yourself to face this loneliness there is nothing, it doesn't respond, it is no answer because you are building a wall of resistance against it. I wonder if you know all this! No? We are talking about something very common to every human being.
And the question then is, to understand what loneliness means. To go into loneliness, what does it mean, how does it come about? Right? Don't we in every day of our life, in our activity - of course there are always exceptions, so don't let's talk about the exceptions - isn't there in our daily life, our activities are always isolating ourselves? No? You understand what I'm saying? One goes to the office, or the factory, or some kind of work, there, you are climbing the ladder of success, you want to become something, higher, and higher, which is a form of isolation, isn't it? No? When a local priest wants to become the archbishop it is the same pattern, or a communist, or a commune leader wants it.
So through these activities one is gradually enclosing oneself, building a wall round oneself. We are doing it! Do face this! Every day we are doing it. And one day suddenly this loneliness becomes real. One has carefully brought it about - my wife, my god, my country, my ideal - isolation. And my success, my ambition, I must be something better than what You follow? All this is a form of bringing about isolation, which is the ultimate expression of loneliness. Right? This sense of having no relationship with anybody, or with anything, even nature doesn't tell you, you have nothing with it. So can one look at that loneliness, not escape from it, not try to cover it up, nor try to fill it with companionship, with knowledge, with, you know, a dozen things, but just to observe that loneliness? Observe - we went into that - without direction, without motive, without wanting to change, just to observe completely that sense of intense loneliness. Right? Can - will you, are you doing it as we are talking?
Q: Krishnaji, I don’t think we do it as you talk. We listen to you and then think of putting it into practice.
K: Oh no, no, we have been through all that. Don't put anything into practice, that's what we've always said, least of all what we are talking about. You can put into practice what other people say. Here, at least while you are in the tent please don't put anything what the speaker is saying into practice, then you are dead.
So we are saying, can you live with that loneliness, observe it without wanting to go beyond it, suppress it, run away from it, without giving it any direction, which means - listen to it carefully - which means thought has created that loneliness by your activities, and thought then says, 'I must escape from it'. So can you look at it without any movement of thought? Hai capito? Without any movement of thought. Then you will see for yourself it doesn't exist at all. You have gone beyond it - not you, it doesn't exist. Then a totally different kind of thing comes about, which is you are alone. Alone is different from loneliness. Alone means, the word itself means 'all one'. It doesn't mean all of you I am. (Laughs) Right?
Right. Now he says, death and meditation, can you approach death without any single movement of thought? That is what it means. When one actually, physically, biologically dies that is what is going to happen. Right? I wonder Are we clear? You may be lonely, you may be greedy, envious, all the rest of it, belonging to right, left, centre, extreme right, extreme left, all that, but when death comes it says, 'Don't argue with me, old boy, you are finished'!
So can we come to it having finished all this? You understand? That means, having no fear, having no attachment. That's is what death is going to tell you at the end, it says, 'My dear chap, you can't have your house, you can't carry your money with you, your bank accounts are closed, you are leaving your wife, your favourite chair, everything you are leaving behind.' Right? So can you do it now - leave your favourite chair! (Laughs) Now to do that, leave no attachment of any kind, to a belief, to a dogma, to a conclusion, and leave your fears, your pleasures, your attachments now, then what is the relationship of that to meditation? Right? To leave, say for instance, to put away attachment without conflict - if you have a conflict then you cultivate detachment, which is the opposite. I wonder if you understand this? Detachment then leads to indifference, callousness. Right? I wonder You are following this? So being attached, not to become detached, callousness, indifference, brutality, violence, all the rest of it, but without effort to cut loose everything. You understand? That is, to loosen the threads of attachment without effort, that is part of meditation. Right? Because the investigation of attachment shows that you are dependent on somebody, or on something. When you are dependent on something you become that. Right? When one is attached to one's favourite chair you are that favourite chair. Right? So to enquire into it, without compulsion, without motive, is a form of meditation. Right?
So the understanding of death comes through meditation. Which is, death means ending of your pleasure, complete ending of your pleasure - sexual, religious, etc., etc., etc. And death doesn't argue with you, doesn't give you, say, 'Old boy, I'll give you another day' - or a week. It says, 'Look, it is there, at your door'. So the investigation into attachment, fear and so on, is the movement of meditation, which is the enquiry into the whole structure of thought. Right? Sir, they are all linked together. You understand? So when you are enquiring into attachment, you are attached because you are lonely, you are attached because you haven't solved this enormous feeling of guilt, loneliness, separation, wanting to be something, and being incapable of fulfilling what you want, therefore feeling frustration, bitterness, anger, hate - all that. To enquire into it without any motive, if you have a motive, to enquire why you have a motive. That motive is the response of your conditioning. Enquiring - you know, if you observe it will tell you everything. But we are so eager to read the book, the book of ourselves, we are so eager, we want to know everything very quickly. But if you just observe, the book, the thing will tell you instantly everything. And I really mean it. It will tell you everything about yourself. It will tell you, if you observe without direction, without motive, without fear and all the rest of it, the whole story of yourself instantly, not chapter by chapter, page by page, it shows everything, wholly. Do it! Q: (Inaudible)
K: Are you saying, sir, if I understand it rightly - I can't hear it properly - are you saying: what is the relationship between discontent, and affection, and love. Is that it, sir?
Q: My problem is I don’t understand what you mean by discontent without a cause.
K: The questioner says, I don't understand what is discontent without a goal.
Q: A cause.
K: Without a cause. The cause is a goal! You see the truth of it? That was quick! (Laughter) The gentleman doesn't understand what is discontent without cause. Sir, what do we mean by a cause? You put a pin into my knee there is pain, that is the cause. Pin, pain, connects through nerves to the brain and the response is pain. There is the cause and the effect. Just follow this, two minutes. There is the cause and the effect. They are never separate. We have separated them. Right? Do you see that? Cause, effect, the effect becomes the cause for the next effect. I wonder if you see that. Right? So it is a chain, it is one continuous chain - not cause something, and effect something else. Follow it closely, a little bit. I am coming to something, I just saw something. There is a cause and effect, the effect becomes the cause, and so it is a continuous chain in which action is always limited. So the cause becomes the means, or is the means different from the cause? Sir, this requires a little bit - think it over with me, will you follow it?
One has observed cause, effect. One smokes endlessly, the effect is cancer in your lungs. So the cause creates the effect, the effect becomes the cause for the next effect. So it is a constant chain. So action is always within this field of enclosure. Right? So the means of action is never free from the cause. I wonder if Are you getting something? Oh, yes, I see it. Right? One wants to create a beautiful society, a lovely society, therefore the cause is that, and to create that I must destroy lots of people because they are in the way. So the means doesn't matter, the end matters. Right? The end matters, therefore the means doesn't matter. So the cause without means, the effect is to destroy you. Whereas there is only means, no cause and effect. I wonder if you see that! No, no. Don't agree with me. I am not quite sure. There is only means, no cause and no effect.
Q: What do you mean by ‘means’?
K: Wait. I'll find out. Means - the doing. Right? The doing. The very doing is the means. I have got it now, I can go.
When there is cause the means is not important, the effect is important. So you are only concerned always the cause and the effect, and never realising the effect becomes the cause. So we are never concerned with the means, never. And the means is the doing - not to achieve an end, but the doing.
Q: The action. The doing...
K: One moment.
Q: The doing is the action?
K: Is the actual. That means the doing is the means. The doing is without a cause and effect, therefore the means is all important. Yes, sir, I have got it. I'll battle with you.
So the gentleman asks: I don't understand what you mean by discontent without cause. If there is a cause for discontent, then discontent then is the effect, but it is not discontent at all. I wonder if you see that. If I have a cause to be angry, because you hit me or you said something to me, the cause, and the effect is always a result - I hit you back, or I call you by a name, or I wait till I am stronger than you then... all the rest of it. So in that process there is no means. The means is the very fact of discontent, not the cause and the effect. I wonder if I am making myself clear? Have I explained this question, sir, to you, who asked this question?
Q: No. I haven’t understood.
K: I know, I have gone too far. I am saying when there is a cause for discontent it is not discontent. That's very simple.
Q: Would you say that cause and effect are on the level of the ideal and the means are on the level of time?
K: Sir, look, what is action? Just look at it, just, please look at it for a minute. I must stop, what time is it?
Q: Ten to twelve.
K: I must stop talking. What was I going to say? (Laughter)
K: Action. If you are acting because you have a cause, that is, you have an idea, or a principle, or a conclusion from which you are acting, that acting is not action. Action, the meaning of the word action means doing, now. Not doing according to a principle. I wonder if you see. It is very simple. We have translated action as doing something according to a cause, a principle, an idea, a conclusion, or an ideal, a belief, a something. Either action based on the past or on the future, therefore it is not action; action means doing - active present. Verbally, in the verb, not having done, or will do, but doing. Therefore the doing is the means. Got it? All right. I must stop.
Sirs, look, this is meant to be a dialogue and I am talking all the time!
Q: What do you mean by dialogue?
K: I have explained, madam, perhaps you were not here at the beginning. A dialogue means a conversation between two friends, between two people who are interested in the same subjects seriously, want to find an answer, not quarrel over words, ideas, but two really good friends who say, let's talk about this.
Q: I want to suggest that it is impossible. I think the microphone, I feel, is in the way.
K: If the microphone is not here I don't think you would hear.
Q: I decided I would come here so we could talk.
K: Qu'est-ce qu'il dit? What is she saying, sir?
Q: (In French) We are in a position of inferiority in the dialogue because