Ending disorder now
Why has man after thousands of years not found peace?
4th Public Talk, Saanen
July 15, 1984
May we continue where we left off on Thursday? I am afraid they are all standing there - apparently there is no room. Do we extend the tent? It can't be done this morning, it will have to be next year.
We were talking about freedom. I won't go into all that again this morning because we have only two more talks. So we have to go into several other things like order, what is the nature of order, disorder, and what it means to change. And we should also consider this morning what is fear, and whether it is possible for human beings who have lived on this earth for more than fifty five thousand years, why human beings have never been free from fear. And also we ought to talk over together the whole question of suffering, the pain of sorrow, anxiety, loneliness and all the innumerable travail that human beings are heir to. And we also should talk over the next two days: what is love? What is compassion and the nature of intelligence? And also we should talk over together what is death, what is religion and the nature of meditation. We have got a lot of ground to cover. Is that all right?
So we will begin this morning: what is the nature of order? And if one may again remind you, we are not doing any kind of propaganda, propagate any theory, any concept, a new philosophy, a new concept of life, or substitute for all this, faith and so on. And also this is not personality cult. And also if we may remind you, doubt is necessary. Doubt your own experiences, doubt, question, your own thinking, your opinions, your judgements, your evaluations, whether we can look at the world and at ourselves totally impersonally, objectively so that we see things as they are, not as we would like them to be. And the speaker is not an authority, because we are going to discuss, or talk over together this problem of order and authority, or disorder - they go together. What is the nature of order? We live in disorder, both externally, outwardly, with all the things that are going on in the world, all the demonstrations for peace and at the same time cultivating, preparing, inventing new means of destruction of humanity. There are political divisions, religious divisions, economic divisions and so on. So outwardly through this division there have been thousands of wars, and religions have added to this division. And inwardly, psychologically, in the area of the psyche, we are also in conflict. And so we should talk over together why, after all these thousands of years, why we accept and live in disorder.
It is an important question to ask whether one can live in perfect order? And to understand that deeply, not superficially adjusting, arranging, reorganising, but much more deeply, what is the cause of conflict, division, why human beings, who are supposed to have evolved through thousands and thousands of years, whose brain, that which is within the skull, why there at the very centre there is such disorder. Disorder exists where there is contradiction - right? We are talking over together. Where there is division, where there is the process of duality, opposing elements, opposing desires, contradictory thoughts. This division in which we live, you and I, we and they, this division is the basic cause of disorder. Right? Do we see this? Not merely verbally or intellectually but actually see in ourselves the opposing contradictory pursuits. Where there is love there is also apparently antagonism, hatred, jealousy. Where one wants to live peacefully there is also in us the opposite of that, violence. Man has lived - human beings have lived on this earth with constant violence. We are as human beings violent, aggressive people. And apparently we have never solved the problem of violence. And probably we are not even aware that we are violent. If we are, as most of us should be, then we pursue a thing that is the opposite of violence, which is called non-violence. That is a fact. And violence has no opposite. It is violence. Even though thought says we must pursue non-violence, live peacefully. So in us there is the dualistic process going on. Agree? Do we see this together? I am violent - will you go into the nature of violence? And at the same time I have an ideal and I pursue that ideal, which is I must not be violent. Or I rationalise my violence, say it is necessary in a world as it is now, socially, morally, religiously and so on, we must be violent, we must be aggressive, we must be ambitious, otherwise we will be destroyed. That is one aspect of the violence. And also we say at the same time, if you are at all slightly aware of what is happening, we say there must also at the same time, or perhaps a little later, be a pursuit of that which is not violent. So there is this dualistic process in us going on all the time - right? We see that? Right? Would you agree to this? Not agree but see the fact of it.
I am glad there are some children here. It is so nice to see children, isn't it? It is beautiful to see children. And unfortunately through education, through the corrupted moral society they are dragged into it, willy nilly through their education, through their social economic environment, they are destroyed. Probably the parents know all this. And they are also in despair, the parents, seeing their own children who were so nice and gentle at the beginning of life, become gradually violent, conforming to the group, and all the misery of life begins. That is another matter. That is, is it possible to educate children without all the pressures and the ugliness of life on them? The society is too strong, they are sucked into it, because we think society is something different from us. You understand? When you see all this you want to cry. Society is what we have made of it, each one of us, society is not different from us because we have created it. It hasn't come into being miraculously, some strange chance has brought this society about, but that is not a fact. The fact is each one of us who are so confused, uncertain, each one seeking his own security, his own fulfilment, his own ambitions, his own urge to gratify his particular pleasure, desire, we have created this society, we are of it. And we don't seem to realise that unless we, each one of us, radically, deeply change, which we will talk about presently, the society will go on as it is, murderous, divided, creating wars. I am sure you have seen the pictures on television of all the terrible things that wars have brought about. But apparently we are rather indifferent to all that, because inwardly we carry on as we are - confused, contradictory, fragmented, and so we are always contributing to the horror of things that are going on in the world.
We were talking about order. And we said the cause of disorder, which is what is fact, not order, so we must deal with fact, the fact is that we live, each one of us, in disorder, what is the cause of this disorder? Is it division in ourselves? Contradiction in ourselves? Concern with ourselves, we are so self-centred? Our own self-centredness is essentially bringing about disorder. When each one is thinking about himself and from that self-centred activity life becomes very narrow, small, and that very limited state of brain will inevitably cause division. Right? That is the basic cause of disorder.
And we talked about the other day, and for several days, about the nature of time. Please don't get impatient. We must talk about it again. We said time is the past, time is the future, and that future is now. The future is what you are now. Right? If I am violent now, the future is, tomorrow, or a thousand tomorrows. And if I do not radically change now the future is now - right? Have you understood this thing? Please don't let me talk to myself. We must share this together, it is not my truth and your truth, truth has no person, no path. And this is a fact, this is the truth that all time, the past, the future and the present are contained in the now. It is logical, rational, it is intellectually irrefutable. But you may not like it. And most of us live in like and dislike, we don't want to face something actually, we would rather slur over things. As we are - I hope we are serious people, at least for this morning, which is a tragedy, at least for this morning let us look at this thing together: that time, the past, the present and the future, are in the now.
Suppose one is self-centred, which becomes very, very limited. That self-centredness may identify itself with something greater but it will still be self-centredness - right? You understand? Right sir, come with me, will you? Do we agree to that? If I identify myself with my country, with my nation, with my religion, with my superstitions and so on, that very identification is the continuation of self-centredness - right? I have only used a different set of words, but essentially this identifying process is self-centredness. Bien? Are we together in this? Right? It is a strange business this, isn't it? Please the speaker is not trying to convince you of anything. On the contrary, doubt, question, discuss, don't accept. But examine with a critical, sharp brain. Which is, one lives in disorder. That is a fact, you can't deny it. You may cover it up, you may run away from it, but we human beings live in disorder - hating, loving, anxious, wanting security, knowing there is insecurity because we live constantly with the threat of war, and also the threat of death. So we live in disorder. Will time solve that disorder? You understand? We have lived on this earth, archaeologists and biologists, they say we have lived on this earth for forty five thousand years as human beings walking on two legs, during those long periods of evolution we are now what we are, in conflict, in disorder. Time has not solved that problem - right? This long duration has not solved that problem. So we have to - we may have misunderstood time. That is, we hope another forty thousand years, acquiring great deal of knowledge, ascending through knowledge, we will eventually come out without any conflict, without any disorder. Right? You understand this? So we may have misunderstood the meaning of time, because we rely on time. I have been this, or I am this, give me time to change. And we have had forty thousand or fifty thousand years of time and we are very primitive still. That kind of thinking in time may be wrong - you understand? There may be a new way of looking at it, a new approach to this whole problem. Which is, time is not a duration, a movement from this to that - right? You need time to go from here to your house and so on, but psychologically, inwardly - if you don't like psychology, inwardly, if you don't like that, inside the skin - we have accepted time as a duration in which we will eventually emerge as human beings who are extraordinarily sane, rational, healthy, no conflict. And time has not shown that. You have had forty thousand years and if you wait another forty thousand years you will be exactly the same. This is logical.
So let's look at the whole meaning of time. Time is the past, the whole content of our consciousness and if you don't like the word consciousness, the whole world of reactions, which is the past. The past with all its memories, inherited, acquired, racial, environmental memories which we have gathered for thousands of years. And that time, that past, is now. You are the past - right? Agree? Oh! Right? You are the past, you are all the accumulated memory of the past, you are memory. That memory needs time to accumulate. And the future, tomorrow, and a thousand tomorrows, is what you are now - clear? Obviously. So the future is now. And is it possible - please understand this - we live in conflict and not allow the old time to interfere but this new sense of all time now. You understand what I am talking about? Do you understand this? I live in disorder - suppose I live in disorder, which I have become aware of. And I say to myself I will gradually work at it, think about it, go into it, which means all time, which is tomorrow - right? I will work at it, go into it, I will explore it, find out the cause of it - right? All that takes time - right? At least please agree to that, see that fact. And I see that is a false way of approaching time so I put that aside completely. Which means I am breaking - the fact is breaking the conditioning of the brain, which has accepted the old pattern of time. You see? You understand this?
I can't go on about it if you don't understand it, it is your business. I can't keep on repeating this, it rather becomes futile if you don't see it after many explanations. So as I have put aside the old way of thinking in terms of time, I now look at time as it is. All time is now. Either I change completely now, which is to uncondition the brain, which has been accustomed to the old time, and I break that because I see the fact and the falseness of it. And in that very perception I have brought - there has been a radical change, which is, I must in the very perception act instantly. You understand this? I act without time, which is the thinking process doesn't take place. Vous avez compris? Oh gosh!
I will go into it. It is very fascinating this, if you go into it. Time - thought is time - right? Agree? Do you see that fact, that thought is time? Because thought is the accumulated response of memory. That memory has been accumulating through time, that memory is the outcome of knowledge. To accumulate knowledge you need time - right? You need time to accumulate knowledge. You are not paying attention sir. I don't want to waste your time or my time. So please kindly pay attention, if you want to.
We said time is necessary to accumulate memory. Time is necessary to accumulate knowledge and knowledge comes from the accumulation of experience - right? Experience is limited, so knowledge is limited, and memory is limited, so thought is limited. Now I said thought is time. And if we exercise time, which is thought, to change what I am now it will be futile - you understand? But if I see - if there is perception, not I see, if there is a perception of the fact that all time is contained in the now, then what takes place? You understand the proposition? I am violent, I live in disorder and I perceive that disorder. And I also see the fact, the truth, that all time is now, so my perception must be so acute, so clear, and that clarity is not the product of time. So we must discuss what is perception. What is it to see clearly? - not only ourselves as we are, but also to see what is happening clearly in the world. What is happening clearly in the world is this extension of division - nations, religions, sects, gurus, and so on, the whole lot of them, politically, religiously, though they talk about peace, unity, they want them all to join their unity - you understand? I won't go into all that.
So outwardly there is this immense disorder, and the ultimate expression of that disorder is war, killing each other. And we also live in disorder. And that disorder is brought about through time, we have lived with it for centuries, so time in the old sense is not going to solve it. So what is perception? Can you see something very clearly if you have prejudice? Obviously not. Right? If you are personal - I get hurt, please don't tell me anything. My opinions are so strong, I have thought this out and I stick to what I have thought out. All these factors, which are personal, not objective, clear, they prevent perception. Right? It is like putting on coloured glasses. Your lenses, photographic lenses, they take the picture in and print it on the film, but if the film retains the pictures it cannot see any more - right? It cannot take any more pictures. Have you understood this? It is a simple fact. So what we do is retain it, which is you can't see any more. But if you retain, look at it and put it back, finish with it. That means you have to have a very clear, strong active brain, so that there is no personal prejudice, no attachment to a thing. When there is such perception, that perception is not a factor of time, and therefore when there is disorder you see it instantly, the cause, and all the rest of it is division, there is the ending of it immediately, which does not mean that it will continue again and pop up the next day. When once you see a danger, a poisonous snake, you don't play with it. That is the end of it. But we don't see the danger because we are so prejudiced, we are so narrow minded, our own concern.
So disorder can only end not tomorrow, now. As you are sitting there, observe your own disorder, see whether you can see that disorder, perceive it clearly, with all the ramifications of that disorder. When you perceive it completely there is the end of it. And that perception is not possible if you are prejudiced, if you are personal.
And we ought also to talk over together the question of fear. I am sure this will interest you. What we have said may be what you may consider, all that has been said, really very intellectual. I know you will say this. It is not intellectual. Intellect is necessary, as emotions are necessary, but when one predominates the other then the trouble begins.
So we ought to talk over together fear. Together - you understand? Explore together what is the cause, what is the nature, whether it can end completely. Or must we carry on for the rest of the human existence living in fear? If one is aware at all, conscious, we have many, many fears. Fear of darkness, fear of living, fear of public opinion, fear what my neighbour might say, fear of my wife or husband or the girl or the man, fear of insecurity, fear when you have security economically fear that you might lose it, fear - we have got so many fears. Why haven't we solved these fears? You have solved the problem of war - that is to continue war, and you have applied your brain to prepare for war. All the vast generals on both sides, or a thousand sides, they are all preparing for war, plans, submarines, airplanes, - all the rest of it. They have exercised their brain to produce all that. And why hasn't that same brain applied, apply to this enormous sense of fear man has from the beginning of days - why? Which means why have you and the speaker not gone into this question seriously, as you do go very seriously when you are hungry, when you are ambitious, when you want more money, you work at it. Why have we not gone into this question of fear? The psychologists, the therapeutists, have explained the causes of it, in different ways. If we could put aside all that they have said, because after all it is all what they have said, it may be merely verbal. They might be as scared as you - probably they are! I met several of them, I know they are scared like you, about something or other. And why have we not solved this question? And is it possible to end the fear? We are going to go into that. Apply not only your feelings, your emotions and your brain to work at this, not escape from it, not try to rationalise it but to see why we are incapable, or allowed ourselves to become incapable.
What is fear? And you know when there is fear, the nature of it, how it throbs, how your physical organism shrinks, how your brain becomes addled, almost paralysed. Don't you know all this? Am I describing something abnormal? It is a fact. It affects your sleep, it affects your daily life, it brings suspicion, anxiety, depression and you cling to something and hope that won't change, and that won't bring fear. Either we deal with the root of fear, or we trim the branches of fear - right? Right sir? Which do you want to do? Trim the branches of fear - please one is asking this seriously, don't neglect what the speaker is asking. Do you want to deal with the branches of fear? There are a thousand fears. Like a lovely tree - a tree, which is the most beautiful thing, one of the most beautiful things on earth, it has got many branches, many leaves; likewise fear, which is so ugly, it has also got many branches, many leaves, many expressions. Do you want to deal with that, the expressions, the surface, outside? Or do we go together into the root of it? Personally, the speaker doesn't want to trim the branches, which is so futile. So let's together find out what is the cause of fear. We know all the expressions of fear. So if we can find the root of it the expressions can wither away. So what is the cause, or causation of fear.
If one asks you that question: what is the cause? - would you answer it? The cause? Or do you expect someone to explain the cause of it? The explanation is not the fact - right? You may paint a marvellous picture of the mountain, hung in all the museums of the world, but that picture is not the mountain. The word, fear, is not fear - right? But the word 'fear', may evoke fear. So we are not dealing with the description, with the word, but the depth and the strength of fear. And we are trying to find out together, not I explain, you accept but together find out for ourselves so that it is you discover it, therefore it is your truth not somebody else's truth. You can't live with someone else's truth, you can only live with truth. So what is the cause of it? The cause of it - I will go into it. Is it thought? Is it time? Is it thought? Let's look at it. I am living - one is living now. And thought says, 'I might die tomorrow', or 'I might lose my job', 'I have my money in the Bank, but the Bank may fail', 'I am all right with my wife but she may turn to somebody tomorrow', 'I have printed a book and I hope it will be a great success', which means fear. 'I want to be known' - which is the most childish thing in the world - 'I want to be known and somebody is known already much more than I am'. So there is this thinking, that is, thinking I might lose, I might gain, I might be lonely. So thinking is one of the factors of fear - right? I am all right with my friends, with my wife and my children but I also know, I have experienced this sense of desperate loneliness. Don't you know it? A sense of deep frightening loneliness. And I am frightened. Have you ever examined what loneliness is? Why it has its cause? Don't you know - don't you have this feeling of loneliness? Am I talking something, saying something abnormal? Eh? You must all be saints. Sir, what is this loneliness which causes - you understand sir? - which causes attachment, holding on to something however illusory, however false, however meaningless. I hold on to my wife. I hold on to my club, to my god, to my ritual, to my friends because if I let go I am utterly lonely. Have you ever gone into that question: why human beings are so frightened of loneliness? They may live with a group, they may follow some guru and all the rest of that nonsense but strip them of all their decoration and they are what they are, lonely. Why? Why are they, what is loneliness? Not to have any relationship with anything, with nature, with another, with the friend or woman or the man with whom I have lived, all that somehow has withdrawn, I am left utterly empty, lonely - why? What is this feeling of utter despair? I will explain but the explanation is not the fact. The word is not the thing. If that becomes very clear that the word is not the thing, you Mr.Smith is not Mr.Smith, the word is not you, when you say, 'My wife', or 'My husband', that is - you understand? I am glad you understand that at least.
So explanation is not the reality, the truth. So look at it, let's look at it without the word, without the word 'loneliness'. Can you do it? To look at that feeling without using the word 'lonely', or 'despair'. Loneliness comes when all our days are spent in self-centredness. The very activity of self-centredness is producing loneliness - right? Because it is narrowing my whole, or the vast extraordinary existence of life into a small little me. And when one realises that there is that feeling, 'My god, how lonely I am'. And to face it, to be with it completely, not move away from it, then there is a radical change.
So we must come back to this question of fear. We said thought is one of the causes of fear, obviously. I am thinking about death because I am an old man, or young, or you see some hearse going by with all the flowers, horses, cars. What a civilised country this is, with all the noise of death. And I see thought is one of the causes of death - one of the causes of fear - right? Do you see this? An obvious fact, right? Right sirs? And also time is a factor of fear - right? I am afraid what might happen. I am afraid of something I have done which others are using as a blackmail, you follow? I am afraid of that. So time and thought are the root of fear. Time and thought. There is no division between thought and time, thought is time - right?
Now the problem is - I am sorry, I won't use the word 'problem'. The question is: thought is necessary, time is necessary - right? To go from here to there time is necessary. And thought is necessary to drive a car, to take a bus, take the train. Thought is necessary, time is necessary at that level. Right? Now I am saying as thought and time are the root of fear, is thought and time necessary? Vous avez compris? There it is necessary. But psychologically is thought and time necessary? Right? Is it? As long as time and thought, if you think are necessary, in the psychological world, in the world of the self, in the world of psyche, in the world of inside the skin, then you will be perpetually in fear - right? If you perceive that, if there is perception that thought is the root of fear and time, perception, not acceptance, then thought and time are necessary at the physical level, inwardly it is not necessary, therefore you are watching then. You are watching, the brain is actively watching itself every minute to see that thought and time do not enter into its realm. This requires - you understand? - this requires great attention, awareness, so that the brain, which has accumulated fear for centuries, or for one day, that brain sees where it is necessary, where it is not necessary, therefore it is watching like a hawk so that thought and time doesn't enter into the whole process of living. You understand? This is real discipline, this is learning. As we explained the other day, discipline means, the root meaning of that word is disciple, the disciple is one who learns, who is learning all the time, he never says, 'I have learnt' and stays. The brain is watching itself all the time so that it is active, so there is no time for it to move or to change. You have understood something? It is now quarter to twelve, we must stop.
You see sirs, and ladies, our difficulty is, we listen to a lot of things, we know a great deal, we have searched, asked, read, we have sought the advice of others, we have wandered the earth to find out, to find out what it is all about, but we never ask of ourselves, we never demand of ourselves serious, deep questions. We always ask superficial questions. And so we make our life very superficial. But if you asked questions, questions that demand answers from yourself so that you exercise your brain, your feelings, your whole attention is given to that question, then you begin to discover for yourself without being told by anybody, including the speaker. And so when there is freedom from fear you don't want gods, you don't want anything from anybody in the world, then you are really a free man.