Fear is a destructive poison
A mind that seeks truth must be free of the observer
4th Public Discussion Saanen
August 04, 1973
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk about this morning? For a change it has stopped raining! So.
K: The lady wants to discuss education.
Q: What is responsibility in relationship?
K: Responsibility in relationship.
Q: Compassion and expenditure of energy.
K: Compassion, expenditure of energy.
K: (repeating question) Many people depend on me financially and what is the right, intelligent, way of living, and a livelihood?
K: (translating) You have divided dependency as the outside and the inside, and most often we find excuses for depending on the outside and disregard the dependence inwardly. Is that right more or less, sir?
K: The questioner says I would like to ask a little more about that education. Who will educate the educator?
Now which of these?
K: He's a politician! (laughter) So which of these shall we take? Sir?
K: As long as we come with our own particular problem we are not capable of listening to what you are saying. Now which of these shall we take? Fear?
K: Do you really want to go into the question of fear?
K: You know it would be rather interesting in discussing this question of fear, not only going into it very deeply, both at the conscious as well as the unconscious levels, but when we leave this tent, or this gathering, to be really, deeply free of it that'd be marvellous - completely be free of fear. And let us talk over together to see if it is at all possible to be free completely, absolutely of fear. It would be rather interesting if we could do that.
So there are two things involved in it: first freedom, and fear. Right? What is freedom? Please, this is not a talk by me, therefore it is a dialogue. What is freedom? Does the mind, our whole being demand freedom? Or freedom only in certain things, freedom from pain, sorrow, anxiety, guilt and all that, but not from pleasure. You understand? We want to keep our pleasures and be free of those things that give us pain, make us feel inferior and so on and so on. Now, I think it would be right, or beneficial if we could discuss this morning both these points: what is freedom, when you say freedom from fear, what does freedom imply? Is it just from fear, or is freedom something much greater than from a particular annoyance, from a particular fear, from a particular anxiety, guilt and so on and so on, so on?
So shall we discuss first, talk over together first fear and then freedom, or the other way round? Or do they both go together? I think they both go together. So let us concern ourselves if the mind can be really, very deeply free of this thing called fear. Are you really interested in this, are you sure you are interested in it? Because if we go into it really deeply we have to investigate so many things which are involved in fear. And to investigate it one's mind must have no opinions, no conclusions - whether one can be or cannot be free from fear, you must come to it afresh, if that is possible.
What is fear? And at what level does fear exist? Does it exist only at the conscious, at the unconscious level, or is fear part of our physiological nature - the fear to survive, the fear of not being able to acquire enough food - the whole biological, physiological fears? Then there are all the psychological fears, and can these fears be eliminated one by one, or can the mind cut at the very root of fear so that it is dead, gone, finished? So that is what we are going to discuss this morning.
What is fear, and what is it that we are frightened about? One may be frightened of loneliness, one may be frightened of not having a good position in the world, one may be frightened of not achieving something that you want. One may be frightened of death, one may be frightened of illness, one may be frightened of not being able to carry out what you want to do, however ignominious, or great, or neurotic; fear of not being loved, and when you do love, fear of losing; fear, the racial fears, the fears inculcated into us, or rather educated fears of heaven and hell. So there are all these various forms of fears, and most of us, I think, have some of these fears, or most of them. Now shall we take one by one these multiple fears, or shall we find out the root of it? You understand? Go to the very root of it, and perhaps in the understanding, having an insight, in seeing to the truth of it, the thing withers away, you don't have to fight it, you don't have to have courage, you don't have to resist fear. Right? Shall we do that?
That is, you may have a particular fear, a very neurotic deep rooted fear of something - darkness, or precipice, or living alone, and so on, and if you want to resolve that one particular fear now, and you are only interested in that, then it would be futile to discuss the elimination of all fears. You understand what I am saying? So you must be very clear, if I may point out, what it is you want, what it is you think is important: to eliminate one particular fear in which your mind is caught, or to eliminate altogether absolutely fear? Right? If I had to face that problem I would want to root out fear, not one fear, one particular fear, but I would want to be completely empty of this fear, of all fears. Now which is it you want?
K: I see, I understand, sir. (repeating the question) We are not generally concerned with the riddance of all fears but the fear that happens at the moment - the tent might fall down. I live on the banks of the river and there might be a colossal storm and wash that house away. It may be only the fears that happen incidentally, everyday of our life.
All these are included - the immediate fears and the hidden fears, which the mind has never discovered, and the fears that the mind has, or has had and is afraid that it might have again tomorrow. Or the fear of death, which is in time, in the future. We are including all those fears, not one type of fear.
K: (repeating the question) Why shouldn't we live with fear, it is part of us? Yes, yes, sir, I understand. Why do we ask that we should be free of fear?
Yes, sir, I understand. It is part of us, we have been brought up, we have been conditioned, from childhood, from the animals, from the higher form of apes and so on, who are always constantly living in fear, and we have inherited those fears, it is part of us, why bother about it, live with it. I think that is fairly clear. What does fear do?
K: (repeating the question) Fear may help you to protect your life.
No, sir, look what happens when you have fear. We are going to find out, sir, we are going to go into it, but if you say, please I am only concerned with the incidental fears, that is the fear that tent may fall down, I may walk out and break my leg, casual fears, I am only concerned with that and not with all these complicated deep-rooted fears, I am not interested in it. Either that, or you are interested, you want to find out, you want to investigate into this whole question of fear, both physiological as well as psychological, both the fears of the past and the future, the fears that lie very, very deeply hidden in the deep unconscious. I include all that, both the biological, physiological as well as psychological fears. The fears that may help me to survive - physically survive - the fears that may - not 'may' - that do prevent clarity, that bring about total darkness, a sense of utter, helpless inaction. We include all those fears. May we go on from there? May we? From there.
So we are trying to discuss the nature and the structure of fear both outside the skin and inside the skin, both the outward forms of fears and the undiscovered fears, the totality of fear. Right. Let's start. Now how do you set about it? How do you set about discovering fear? Have you any fears, or you are free of them? So how do you investigate this question?
Q: Look at what you are afraid of.
Q: Try to see the fear in yourself and look at it.
K: How do you look at it? I am afraid - suppose one is, I, I'll use my - suppose I am afraid of public opinion, how do I look at it? What is the reason that makes me look at it? Please go with me into this. What makes me look at it and what is the reason why I should look at it? Why?
Q: I want to get rid of it because it is painful.
K: Please, just look at it. You say, 'I want to get rid of it because it is painful'. Is that the reason you look at it, because it gives you pain; but would you look at it if it gave you pleasure? Please do consider what I am saying. Because it gives you pain therefore your motive is not to suffer, not to be entangled, not to be caught, not to live in this terrible fear of something. So your motive is to get rid of it. Right? Are you following? And when you have a motive doesn't it distort your observation of fear? What do you say, sirs? I have a motive. My motive is to get rid of fear because I see that it causes pain, when I am frightened I am paralysed, there is no action, it's living in a darkness and it is very painful, and it is a kind of desperate isolation, a feeling that you have nothing to rely on, nobody to go to. And it causes great disturbance, pain, and the motive then is to get rid of it - the natural, instinctual motive is to push it away from you. When there is such a motive is it possible to observe fear? I see as long as I have a motive to get rid of it, to hold it, or to overcome it and all the rest of it, any form of motive must distort the observation of anything. Motive is a movement - the meaning of that word is to move - move in a particular direction. I don't know if you see it. The moment I want to get rid of fear I am moving in a particular direction. And fear is not just one kind, it is a tremendous thing, it's very complicated. Therefore I must observe without a direction, without a motive, without a purpose. Please, I am just going step by step.
That is, I want to look at fear because if I can look at it very clearly, freely, observe it without any movement, that is motive, a direction, then I am capable of looking. And I have a motive - my motive is, I do not want to have fear because it brings catastrophe, pain, I want to get rid of it. So my mind is only concerned with getting rid of fear, not with the investigation of fear. That's all. You can keep your motive but you won't be able to investigate fear.
Q: How do we get rid of motive?
K: We are doing it, sir. We are doing it. I am saying as long as I have a motive, a direction - you understand? - if my observation is directed in one direction, in one particular point, then I am not observing. That's all I am saying, nothing more. And if you see that then we can investigate very, very deeply. Not how to get rid of the motive, but see how motives prevent investigation. That's all. Right?
Now fear: there is physiological fear and psychological fear. The physical fears are: I may not have enough bread-and-butter, I must go and work, I might lose my job, I must have more money, all the physical demands which bring about a sense of fear, of not being able to survive. Then there is the other problem, psychological fears, which are much more complex, much more diversified, much deeper, which may control the physical survival. You understand what I'm saying? If I am not concerned about physical survival, I am only concerned with achieving the highest form of liberation, I am not bothered whether I live physically or not, my whole direction is there, therefore I am not afraid - one meal a day is good enough. Have you tried all that? That is, not be frightened of the physical survival, but only trying to find out the highest form of freedom. And therefore you kind of don't pay too much attention to the physical.
Now, which shall we deal with first: the physical survival with all its fears, or the psychological fears which prevent the physical survival? I'll show you just one example: nationalism, which is so rampant now all over the world, is preventing actually the physical survival of human beings. Right? The nationalism, which is my country, my god, you know, the spirit of nationalism is preventing the survival of all human beings, not of a particular group, or a particular individual. Now nationalism is a psychological product. Right? Take a country like India: it never existed before, nobody talked about nationalism, now they are wallowing in it, and so they are creating wars and all the rest of it. Not only India, but every country is doing it. Psychological fears dominate the physical fears, they prevent the survival factor of human beings, not one group of human beings, of total human beings because psychologically I am attached to an idea of my country, to a flag - the Jew and the non-Jew - and they are preventing, which is psychological, they are preventing survival. So I see - if you will correct it, I would be delighted if you correct it - that the emphasis or the investigation of psychological fears will bring about the survival of the physical and eliminate physical fears. Right? Don't agree with me, please. Think it out.
K: Aren't you afraid of losing that which you possess emotionally - no? There it is. Now can you investigate that fear - taking that one fear of losing psychologically something you hold dear, either a person, an idea, an ideology, a belief, a conclusion, an historical fact - you follow? - all those are psychological possessions of your mind, as, you are a German, and all the rest of it. Now aren't you afraid of losing that? And can't you investigate it? Of course one can investigate it. I am afraid - suppose - I am afraid of losing my nationality - terrible, isn't it? I am afraid of not being a Hindu. All right. I can investigate it very, very carefully. I can investigate it because I want to find out the truth of it - what lies behind the fear of losing this idea of not being a Hindu.
Q: These are psychological fears, but there are physical fears too.
K: Yes, madam. You see you are all discussing one particular form of fear, and therefore we don't proceed any further. I want to deal with the whole factor of fear, not just one fear. And you keep on breaking it up and saying there are physical fears, there are psychological fears and so on and so on, so on. And when you are tremendously afraid you can't investigate.
Now while you are sitting here you are not tremendously afraid, you are not in a black cloud, so you can now investigate that black cloud. How shall we deal with it? You all have different points of view, you all have different opinions about fear - how to get rid of it, or how not to get rid of it, that you cannot or can investigate - now how shall we all meet together and investigate this thing together?
Look sir, I am tremendously interested whether the mind can ever be free of fear - fear of every kind, physical, psychological, known, unknown - I want to investigate it, I want to find out whether the mind can ever be free of it, or must it always live in some kind of fear - live in a certain kind of fear so as to force it to behave in a certain way, force it to accept certain forms of economic society, force it to accept certain beliefs? I want to deal with all of that. And I say it is possible to investigate, not as something outside but as part of my life, of my daily existence. Can we do that together? Don't agree and then pick it up later on and say, 'What about my grandmother dying?'
Now what is fear? I have known it, you have known it. How does it come, what brings fear? I was ill yesterday, it caused me great pain, and today I am free of it, and I hope to goodness that it won't come tomorrow. Right? Just watch it. Pain yesterday, physical pain yesterday, no pain today, tomorrow pain - might come. What 'might happen', that is, in time, is one of the factors of fear. Right? Last week there was pain, and this week there is no pain, but the remembrance of that pain of last week, the remembrance of it and hoping it will not happen next week, the interval between last week, this week and next week, which is in the field of time, so time is one of the factors of fear. Right? Do please, look at it, just don't tear it to pieces, just look at it first. Time as movement of thought, which says, 'There was pain last week, there is no pain this week, I hope there will no pain next week.' Thought remembers the pain of last week, thought being the memory of that pain, the memory which has left a mark on the brain - please, don't be bored with this, listen to this - there was pain last week, the remembrance of it is the memory of that pain. That memory is stored up in the brain, then that memory acts as thought and hopes next week there will no pain. Right? That's fairly clear and simple. That is, thought in movement, in time, is one of the factors of fear. Wait. Just listen to it. I've just You understand?
Now psychologically it is the same thing. I possessed - the mind possessed that idea, is afraid to lose that idea, is losing that idea and is afraid what might happen if it loses that idea. Thought again is this movement in time, which is fear. You see you are not listening, you are not interested in this. I know your I can see. Look sir, you ask questions and then look somewhere else. This is tremendously important if you understand this.
K: Madam, look, I said to you just now, please, we are dealing with the whole of fear, including that gentleman who said, 'I am afraid to get up and speak'.
K: Of course, I am going to do it. You see you have already come to a conclusion. We want to deal with the whole nature of fear. Now why is that gentleman afraid, or lady, afraid to speak here?
Q: I don’t know.
K: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Don't say, you don't know, find out. Let him find out. Why is he afraid of speaking in the tent? Look, why is he afraid - I am not saying it is so. He is afraid because probably he can't put it into words, he is shy, has never put it into words in public, and he may state what he wants to say wrongly, and may be corrected by another, and therefore he feels shy.
Look, madam, either you deal with small, petty little fears, or you deal with fear. If you deal with the totality of fear then you can deal with the petty little fears. But if you begin with the little fears you will never come to the big fears, or understand the totality of fear.
K: Sir, did you hear what I said? Did it mean anything to you?
K: Then why do you ask that question?
K: I said, sir, movement of thought - movement of thought, which is pain a week ago, no pain, next week might be pain, a movement of thought in time is one of the factors of fear.
Q: Another one is...
K: Wait, wait. Madam, you are only concerned verbally to understand it, aren't you? Because you haven't understood this thing, you have already jumped to something else. I am saying, if you see this one factor we can go to the next factor. But absorb this, see whether it is false or true. If it is true, drink it; if it is false, put it away.
Q: One of the factors...
K: Wait sir, have I understood that factor? Verbally?
Q: Not only verbally.
K: That means you have the movement of thought from the past, to today, to tomorrow, that movement being a factor of fear, that movement has stopped. That is understanding, not verbally - playing with words. If you had really done that you wouldn't have stated the next statement - another factor. Because you haven't fully grasped this thing, because that means the mind is completely motionless, out of time. Oh, you don't see this. You see that's
Now let's go back. I want to deal with one factor at a time, not all the factors. This may contain all the factors. This one factor, if I really understood the depth of it, may resolve all the other factors, and may bring about complete cessation of fear. But you don't even give it a chance to flower, you say, 'No, there are other factors. Let's drown this, let's take up a newer factor.'
So please consider this factor, not intellectually, not verbally, consider the factor as it is: how the mind works. Having a pain a week ago, today there is no pain, perhaps there will be pain tomorrow. The 'perhaps there will be pain tomorrow' is fear of the past pain, which is the reaction of a memory, which is all the process of thinking. So thinking is the factor, is the only factor of fear.
Q: I am free of fear because I don’t think.
K: You see, that is just a joke with you. You just repeat that. Is it so with you? You are free of fear because you don't think?
K: You see, that's all his superficial answer, it is a game with him, just a verbal game. And I am not free of fear because of your words. You say, take a tranquilliser and you will be free of fear. What kind of an answer is that to a serious man?
I want to find out whether fear can end - fear of death, fear of survival, fear of physical pain, fear of not being able to talk in public, fear of losing my wife, my children, job. It is part of my life, it is not a joke with me. It is something dreadfully serious because when there is fear there is darkness, an absolute sense of non-action, a kind of paralysis takes place. And if you like to live in a paralysis that is your affair, and play with words and try to be clever, that's your affair, but if you are a very serious man the question of fear is tremendous; and seriously ask whether it is possible to end it at all. Therefore you investigate it, say, what is fear, how does it come? I see how it obviously comes in a very simple form - the past, through the present to the future. And that is the movement of thought. And somebody says, 'Take a tranquilliser and you will be free from fear'. I say, for god's sake, what
K: So either you are serious in your intention to be free of fear, really completely, or you are not, you just want to play with words. If you want play with words, please play it somewhere else. Now if you are serious I am suggesting that you look at this fact: that thought as movement in time may be the real cause of fear, all fears, not just one fear. Is that the truth? Is that a falsehood, or merely a verbal cunning, clever statement? It is not a clever cunning statement but it is a fact, it is an obvious fact. That is what is taking place in each one of us, this movement: I have possessed you, you are here, I possess you and I may lose that possession. The thought of the future and the thought of losing, having possessed, is a movement in time which is thought. So I say to myself, I see that very, very clearly. Is all my life based on this, on this principle, on this truth - I have a job, I had it and through competition, through all this civilised structure of society I might lose it, I might fall ill, and I have responsibilities. So the movement of thought in time. I am ugly, I don't know how to behave properly, I will learn to behave tomorrow. It is the same movement, of thought recognising the fact of unrighteous behaviour, then looking at it and projecting the idea of righteous behaviour - again a movement of thought in time. I am violent, I am violent because society is violent, the world is violent of which I am. I have been educated to be violent, violence is part of my inheritance from the animal, from the ape. And it is abiding in me, it is part of me. And intelligently I observe it and I say, I must be non-violent, that is tomorrow. Again the process of time, thought through time.
So the movement of thought, which is time, is perhaps the greatest factor of fear. I see the truth of it, it isn't a verbal statement, it isn't a clever cunning adjustment of words but it is an obvious fact. Now how am I then what is the mind to do with this habitual movement of thought? You understand? I have been brought up to accept public opinion; one day I discover how stupid it is. Then I am frightened - again the same thing. So I say to myself, what am I to do? What am I to do when this is a fact? Unconsciously there have been stored up all the racial fears - I am a Jew, you know, persecution, all that, or I am a Protestant, persecution, I am a non-Brahmin, persecution. You follow? So there is all that racial traditional fear stored up in the unconscious. And in the unconscious are the fears of not succeeding, of not being able to succeed and so on, it is all there stored up. Now what is the mind to do with all that? How is all that to be exposed to the light? You are following all this? Does this interest you? How will you expose all that? Through analysis, tearing off peel by peel, looking, looking, observing, analysing, all that involves time. How shall I do it? Come on sirs it is your job to discuss this thing, it is part of your life.
Q: Look at the fact when it happens.
K: And looking at that fact when it happens may take a long time. So what shall you do? You understand sir? I am hungry, I want to be fed now, not tomorrow or another day. I want to have my meal now. And there must be freedom from fear completely now, not tomorrow.
K: Therefore what am I to do?
Q: First you must stop all movement of time.
K: (repeats the question) First you must stop all movement of time. How am I to do it?
Q: Stop thinking.
K: (laughs) Time is thought, time is not separate from thought. Time is movement in time. So time is thought and movement. So don't separate it all and say this is one...
Now, I am pointing out to you what am I to do with this fact?
Q: Observe it in yourself.
K: Right, sir. Now I say to myself, I have observed this in myself, I have observed this movement of thought as time, and that brings fear. It is very clear. That's a fact. Now what am I to do? How am I to completely
Q: We don’t know what to do with it.
K: Now who will answer your question? You understand my question, sir? You say, I really don't know what to do - right? - then who will answer it? Me? I am asking a very serious question. You are confronted with this - right? - with this fact. Whom will you ask what to do?
K: (translating) He says, nobody can answer it therefore let things go on as they are.
K: Wait, sir, look what you are saying. I understand that very well. Look what happens, sir. What am I to do with this fact? I don't know what to do, shall I ask somebody? He can't answer it, he will quote me some book, or say, believe in this and you will forget this, or go to church and pray - you know all that. I say, for god's sake, there is nobody to answer this. I can't answer it. Wait. You are missing my point, sir. You are confronted with this fact. Right? And you have nobody to ask what to do. Then what will you do? Just accept the fact, just going on living as you are?
Q: Fear has now gone.
K: Fear is gone - has it completely? I want to find out for myself. I am not saying you are not free, you may be. I want to leave this tent - I, I am talking, I - one must leave this tent being completely free of fear. You may be for the time being, but when you go outside, when you go back to your home, the whole thing begins. The mind says, I must end all that so that I can live humanly, intelligently, sanely, not just verbally. And I have come face to face with this fact, a fundamental fact, now what am I to do?
K: Madam, please, what am I to do? Just ask this question, nobody is to answer it, because you have to find the answer yourself. That is where you need energy, passion to find out - not just talk, talk, talk.
Q: I can’t do it.
K: You can.
K: I'll show it to you. You see, again you are waiting for somebody to tell you!
Look, sir, I realise, this mind realises fear is a dreadful thing, it paralyses you. It makes you ugly, it brings about violence, physically, inwardly; you become superstitious, you'll accept any illusion, you will run away from it at any price. So fear in any form is the most deadly thing - not verbally, but it is like taking a poison, seeing how destructive that poison is, and realising that poison. In the same way fear is that, not verbally, but actually when you have faced this fear you know what the whole thing is. So I see that very, very clearly - what a deadly thing it is. Then I say to myself, what is fear. I don't want replies - you follow? I don't want opinions, or people saying this, I want to find out because I don't read books, I don't want to read books about all these matters, I don't want to listen to anybody to tell me what fear is, I want to find out. I don't want to suppress it, I don't want to put it away, I don't want to overcome it, I want to understand it, look at it, have an insight into it, feel for it. So the mind asks: what is fear - the little fears, big fears, the fears of death, fears of losing somebody, fears of what my neighbour might think, all kinds of fear, including fear of getting up and wanting to talk and afraid of talking in this tent and so on. So I say, what is fear, basically, both the racial, inherited, the fears that have been acquired, the fears that are deeply laid in the unconscious, in the layers of my consciousness, the whole content. I want to find out, I don't want to be told, because somebody telling me has very little meaning, because if somebody tells me then I make that into an idea and then conform to that idea, hoping to get rid of fear. That means conformity which is another form of fear. So I see all that.
So my mind being serious, not merely caught in words, seeing what fear does, my mind is now capable of looking. The mind then says, what is fear - the basis, the basic movement of fear, which produces so many deadly flowers, in all its corrupt branches, flowers that are ugly - what is the root of it? Is it thought? So perhaps I investigate thought, the mind looks at thought. Thought is memory, the response of memory is thought. Thought, memory is experience. I am watching. Watch it in yourself, please. Memory, experience and the accumulated knowledge - or rather experience, accumulated knowledge, which has become memory, which is the conditioning factor, and from that any reaction is thought, all reaction from that is thought. Right? That is clear, that is simple. Everybody knows this.
Now thought thinking about the pain last week, not having pain this week, hopes it will have no pain next week. The memory of last week, remembering that and hoping it will not have pain next week and fear begins. I see that very clearly. It is part of me, not verbally, it is absolutely a fact, like a precipice, like a poison. So thought, I see, is a movement. Please listen to this, thought is a movement so thought can never be still. I have discovered that. The very movement is thought. So thought cannot be stopped. It can only be stopped by another thought, suppressing one thought by another thought, and the other thought is still a movement. So I see thought can never come to a standstill. Right? So thought is a movement of time, so thought is time. Right? You know, that is burning into me, that's a reality, not a verbal statement, it is you know, it is part of my blood. And thought can never be stopped. Right? But the mind says then, how is thought, which breeds fear, how is that to stop? You are following? So the mind says there must be other means of stopping thought - controlling it, giving it a direction and so on.
So when the mind realises, actually realises, that thought cannot be stopped, then what takes place? You are following all this? At least some? That is, I see, the mind sees very clearly that thought is movement, therefore movement is time. Movement is time, going from here to there physically is time; psychologically changing from 'what is' to 'what should be' is time. Any movement of thought is time. And any movement of thought except with regard to technological knowledge and so on, must inevitably breed contradiction, fears. That is as absolute a fact as breathing. The mind says then, what am I to do with this terrible thing which is always moving, moving, moving, moving? It cannot be stopped. And the mind says, time must have a stop. You are following all this? Otherwise I am caught always in this movement. So it realises all this, so what has happened to that mind?
Q: It questions.
K: It has questioned all along this morning, for the last hour and a half. What has happened to the mind that has realised the truth of all this - the truth, not the verbal statement, not the description, but the thing itself?
K: No, sir, no, sir, just look at it, sir. Have you come that far? Sir, have we come that far together, at least taken the journey together, shared the thing together - no? That all movement of thought breeds fear, whether little fears or big fears. The little fear of not being able to get up and talk here, in this tent, the big fears of death, the big fears of losing that which you possess, either money, the wife, whatever it is. All that is the movement of thought that must inevitably breed fear. So time breeds fear. Time is thought. The mind says, yes, I see that. Now, do you see it? Right? Is it mere observation of an idea, and therefore it is a motive, a distortion, or do you see it as you see sunset, sunrise? If you don't, why don't you?
K: I am asking you, sir. Do it. Please, why don't you? Why don't you see this thing as a tremendous reality as you see a precipice, as you are aware if you lose your job, or something you possess, lose it, why don't you see this as vitally, as something that is so burning? What's wrong?
K: (repeating the question) He says I think we see this fairly clearly, perhaps not so intensely as you point out, perhaps even so, but there is something behind which says, 'Oh, I can't do it'.
There is no question of doing it. You see how you have translated what we have said into some kind of action? I am not talking of action. Action comes much later, but your instinctual response is: what am I to do? I say it is not a question of doing something, first look. You don't ask that question when you are standing on a precipice, 'What am I to do?' I say, first look, is this a reality to you, a burning, vital, intense thing that you have got there? And if you haven't, what's wrong? Don't you hear words? Doesn't fear mean anything, or you just say, 'I'll put up with it, all my life I have put up with it, now I'll go on putting up with it'. Then you and I have no relationship because one man is burning, he says, 'For god's sake I must be free of this thing, this burning'. And the other says, 'Well, my dear chap, go off by yourself and solve it, I am not really interested'.
So what takes place in the mind that has seen the truth of this, the truth, not the details, the truth of this fact - movement, time, thought, sees that - you know, you cannot erase it, wipe it away, it is there. Now what happens to the mind when it sees the truth or the falseness of this statement? What is the quality of that mind that has seen this?
Q: Sometimes we see this clearly and at other times we don’t.
K: So you are saying, we see this thing clearly at moments and the rest of the time we don't, we lose it. Do you do that when you are walking along a high dangerous mountain, and there are precipices, you lose it? No.
Q: There are moments when there is no thinking.
K: Comment, madame? - no. The lady is saying moments arrive when there is no thinking at all. We are not talking of that. It is not a question of not thinking. I said just now thought cannot be quiet, thought is movement.
Look, sir, I'll put it to you: you know the whole problem of control, which is part of our culture, part of our religion, part of our education, part of the family system, part of your whole background - control. That is, control thought. That is, one thought controlling another thought. That is the whole idea of control. Right? And to me, you see such control is movement of thought - one thought dominating another thought, but it is still movement, and therefore thought can never be arrested, put an end to. And our whole system of thought is to control, put an end to. I don't know if you see this. It is contradictory, what is being said, what one has accepted. Right, sir?
K: (repeating the question) One is tired at the end of this long talk. The mind is tired, I can't absorb anymore.
What time is it? I think we had better continue tomorrow morning.
Q: No, no.
Q: You have not talked about freedom.
K: Freedom, madam, listen to it. Freedom is the ending of time. Swallow that! That's just it, madam. That's the whole problem. By just listening in this tent you are not going to solve this whole problem, you have to work at it, you have to watch it, you have to see. I think we had better to stop today and we will continue with this tomorrow because it is really a very, very complex problem, and as it demands, as I said, that you must know how to look. Please look! If you know how to look into yourself it is all there. You understand? You don't have to read any of the psychological or philosophical books, it is all there. You may read all the technological books, scientific books, mathematics and so on, that one must. But to understand this whole question of fear one must go into it in oneself, and therefore one must know how to look at oneself. And that is our greatest difficulty: to look with clear eyes, never distorting 'what is', never distorting 'what is'. You understand? Just to look at 'what is', and then it's like, you know, then it unfolds, everything comes out, all your unconscious, everything boils out if you know how to look. We will do it tomorrow.