Fragmentary action and total action
There is insight when thought is absent
4th Public Discussion, Saanen
August 05, 1972
We said this morning would be reserved for the young people. I wonder what we mean by young people. What do we mean by youth? Youth is supposed to be vigorous, enthusiastic, vital, with their weakness and unpredictability, with their curiosity and quick decision. That is more or less what is implied in youth. Youth is supposed to start a new kind of revolution, outwardly, and they are attempting to do it, right throughout the world. Youth has experimented with drugs; hard and soft drugs. And they're generally supposed to be anti-establishment. Am I correct? Am I giving the right description?
And they've started student revolutions, demonstrations, they've formed communes, gone to India, Asia, in search of reality, walked across the Continent of Europe and Turkey, Afghanistan, and landed in India - I've met many of them there. And they are supposed to be seeking new truths, having been fed up with the old. They are trying - again right throughout the world - to bring about a different kind of government, more honesty in politics. And there are all those who are called 'Jesus freaks', the people who get terribly excited about Jesus, and so on. I think that covers the field, doesn't it? Right? No? You're uncertain? More or less.
So what would you like to discuss after laying down the ground rules, what shall we do? May I unroll it a little bit, may I? How does the youth, the young people, respond to the modern challenge? The challenge being not merely social reform, not merely a political revolution with a different kind of politics, honesty, more or less incorruptibility, there are all these vast changes technologically and physiologically taking place, there is the breaking up of religions, and it's a tremendous challenge. And how does youth respond to it? Is that right? Is that a fair question? You're supposed to be young and how do you respond to it? Respond to the total challenge, not just form a little commune, or take to drugs, or say, 'Well, the old people don't understand young people,' there is the, what is it, gap - generation gap. But there is this enormous challenge. And how does youth, you, young people respond to it? Go on, sirs - discuss it.
Do you form a commune? Withdraw from society, from the whole structure, and buy a piece of land, if you're lucky enough, and establish a commune there, a commune being - a new kind of commune being - no authority there, all working together freely? But soon they find they can't work freely, they may exchange their wives and children, all the rest of it but they need some kind of order, and gradually authority steps in, and they break away. Right? Haven't you noticed all this? Right? Good.
And they vote for McGovern, or a new leader or whatever it is, politically, because they're fed up with the other gang. Or they join a monastery - very few - go off to India, and I've met there are, I believe, fifteen or twenty thousand young people, foreigners in India. And I have met several of them. They put on Indian clothes, grow long hair - you know that's one of the things Indians can beat you at that because they've got tremendous long hair, and long beards. And there are some of them quite clean and some of them quite dirty, just like the rest of us. And you find them at various Ashramas, retreats, practising what the guru teaches, you know, all the rest of it. And they are anti-war, and few of them are anti-all wars, or perhaps they're anti-war of this kind but they may have their own favourite wars.
So there is this enormous challenge, you understand - the world broken up, fragmented, injustice, political chicanery, economic division - there is this vast house of fire. And how does youth respond to it? By acting fragmentarily? Joining the Red Revolutions, beating Mao, more Mao than Mao himself? So what is when you face this enormous challenge, what's your response?
Questioner: Sir, I think it’s very important to find out how to be alone.
K: He says it's very important to find out how to be alone. We'll come to that, sir, if you don't mind. How do you respond to this, actually - do you respond fragmentarily or do you respond totally to the whole problem? You understand my question? What, sir?
Q: I don’t understand the question.
K: You don't understand my question. There is political action, there is business action, there is artistic, literary action, theatrical action - all fragmented, not interrelated. And I, being a youth - what shall I do? Take part in politics and forget the rest? Or become anti-establishment, and revolt against the whole thing? Or run off to some fanciful Jesus mythology. You follow? And apparently that's what we're doing, not a total action. I don't know if I'm making myself clear. Now how do you react to this - is that a fair question?
Q: Sir, I’m going to become a schoolteacher and be working in schools, so that we put a stop to the kind of fragmentary education that’s going on.
K: So the questioner says, I'm a schoolteacher, education now is fragmentary, and I want to teach differently. In my teaching I want to include the whole problem of existence, not just passing some stupid little examinations. Right? Please, this is a dialogue, a conversation between you and me - we must both go together - what do you say?
Q: Sir, you’re asking us all the questions we’ve been asking ourselves.
Q: So we are trying to seek the answer ourselves – that’s one of the reasons why we’re here.
K: Good. That is, you're asking all these questions yourselves, education, how to bring about a different kind of education so that there is a new generation, new kind of educated people - right, sir? - who are not merely caught up in technology, who are, may be, interested in technology, but also interested in the whole problem of existence. Now how do you as a youth respond to this? Take one fragment and devote your life to it? - school, new kind of education, or just a political action, irrespective of all the other? Or do you take the whole thing and consider what is a total action, in which all these are included? You follow, sir, what I mean? Right? How do you respond to that - is it a fragmentary response or a total response? You know what I mean by total. Right. Yes, sir?
K: He says, 'What do you mean by total action?' He doesn't understand that word 'total', a whole action. Do you want me to explain it. Why? Sir, look: I am a politician - God forbid - I am a politician, then I am not interested in anything but politics - left, right, centre, extreme right, extreme left, and forget all the implications of existence. Or I might be a businessman, and I forget everything else except making money. Or I might be interested in religion and get caught up in one of the sects, whether it is a large sect or a small sect, they are all sects. Or I might say, 'I must be alone, I must leave all this and go away by myself.' Now all those are fragmentary actions, aren't they? Now if you deny all such fragmentary action, then what is a total action? You've got it?
Q: I think for the most part we do see that they are all connected. For the most part, I think most young people see that each field is connected, you know, art, politics, education, religion. I think people have a lot of ideas, a new idea born
K: So, are you saying, sir - we see this, most young people are aware of this, at least intelligent youth - they are aware of this, so they're waiting for a new idea to be born. Is that what you're suggesting?
Q: More or less, yes.
Q: We see this intellectually, not actually.
K: Oh, you want an intellectual concept, is that it?
Q: Yes, not actually. You see that actions are fragmentary, and then you don’t want that, you see fragments are false.
K: So, you see the fragmentation of the world, and fragmentary activity. And you're saying, 'What is a total action?' Isn't it? You are enquiring, what is an action which will include all this, an action which will be whole at each in each action? Is that what you're asking?
Q: Sir, many of us are involved in trying to create a self-image before we are being moulded into images that possibly our parents created for us, or we create self-images of others and we place them into those categories and then deal with them as such, rather than as human beings. Would you discuss that?
K: You mean, sir, that we just follow or live, accept the images that our past generations have given to us?
Q: And we create synthetic self-images of ourselves.
K: We create synthetic images of ourselves - all images are synthetic, anyhow. Now is that one of your is that the problem? Yes, sir?
Q: We don’t know how to act totally, so that now what we do in the meantime...
K: Wait, we'll find out now, this morning, talking over together, what it means to act totally. But we must first see how we act now, otherwise asking, what is total action, has no meaning. We must see how we are acting now. And we are acting fragmentarily. Right? That is a fact. So I want to find out why this fragmentary action exists - I'm sorry, I have to go into this. It's not an intellectual investigation but an actual enquiry - investigation means to trace it right through, not just stop in the middle of it. You understand? You must have sustained interest to go into it and trace it right to the end.
As a youth - I am not a young man, I'm 77 - so I'm saying, if I'm a youth, I would be concerned, seeing this fragmentary action, I'd say, how am I to act, which will be so intelligent, and it will respond to every challenge - political, religious, business - an intelligence that will be whole.' Of course, intelligence means a wholeness, a sanity, a healthy thing. How is the mind, which is so fragmented, to acquire this intelligence, that will act intelligently politically, religiously, economically, psychologically and so on? Right, sir? Do you see that? Fragmentary action, however vital, however enthusiastic, however popular, is unintelligent. Right? Do you see that?
Q: Sir, I’m frightened so I see it fragmentarily – I can’t see even that totally, I can only see it as fragments.
K: But first, sir, see the fact, the fact acting fragmentarily, is an unintelligent action. Let's begin with that. I act politically, forget about psychology, forget about religion - I act, I have got blinkers and I only think in terms of politics, politics means government, government means my party, or the tyrannical party - I join that. I'm only concerned with that and not with the rest. Now such action is unintelligent action. Right?
Q: But my mind is fragmented
K: Wait, we'll come to that. You see the statement.
Q: I see it as a
K: Wait, you see it intellectually, which is a fragmentary but you see it, you understand it. Now, I, you, or young people, live and act fragmentarily, and do you see it as not an intelligent action, related to yourself? You follow? And do you see it as being stupid action, or is it still a concept, an idea? Which is it? Is it still an idea or is it an actuality, which you yourself see in your life? Look, sir, this opens up a tremendous lot I mean of I don't know if you want to go into all this. Are you thinking in terms of formulas, concepts, ideation - which are fragmentary, aren't they? I have an idea that I must act wholly - that's just an idea, somebody has told you, and you think that's a very good idea but it is not an actual fact to you, but it is only an idea. A fact becomes real when you have pain, doesn't it? In that there is no formulation, a concept, you have actual pain.
Q: It seems that my mind to avoid the pain takes what you say and translates it into...
K: Wait, sir, I took that only as an example. Sir, when you are hungry, really hungry, that's not a formula, a concept, it's an actuality, it's not an abstraction, it is a fact that you are hungry.
Now, is it a fact to you that fragmentary action is unintelligent action, or is it just an idea? Right, sir? Which is it? Is it just an idea or is it, say, 'By Jove, that is so, I see it. I see it intellectually, I feel it emotionally and it is so.' That means, for you it is a fact, not an idea. I can't explain more than that.
Q: I see it but I continue to act...
K: Wait, wait, wait, wait! Wait, first see it. Now you say, 'I see it as an intellectual idea, but I don't relate it in my daily life.' So you have a gap between the idea and the action. Right? That's what all people are doing, which is fragmentary action, therefore it's stupid action. So I'm asking, is youth, that's you, devoted a whole morning for this, do you see for yourself when there is this challenge - the challenge, the house is burning, the house, politically, religiously, socially, it's burning - and do you respond to it, that challenge, partially or wholly, wholly being intellectually, emotionally, with your body, with your nerves, completely? Or do you say, 'Well, I have a religious idea, I believe in Jesus, therefore I will act according to my belief.' Therefore such action would be fragmentary, wouldn't it? Right? Or I believe in Communism, Marxism, and I, being committed to that idea, I will act, when this challenge comes. Which is also fragmentary, isn't it? Right?
And I'll act wholly, thinking I'm acting wholly, when I go and join a commune. There I can live with half a dozen people, fairly co-operating, being friendly, being affectionate to each other and all the rest of it, and I won't accept any authority because if I accept authority I'll go back to the old establishment. And gradually if I don't accept authority there, gradually disorder comes in. And that breaks it up. Right? All such activity is fragmentary, and therefore that is stupid.
Q: Sir, on a financial level most of the time is being spent making money, making a living and it stays the same.
K: Yes, sir, we're coming to
Q: Can we move together, both economically and intelligently, in a practical way?
K: It is. I want to find out, sir, how to live so that when I earn money - that means, I must have food, clothes and shelter. Right? And in the demand of it, in the necessity of it, that doesn't become fragmentary action. You follow that? And also I see there must be a social revolution, a new kind of order must come into the world. Right? And I must find out how to bring about that order. Is it a total order that would be order everywhere or only in a particular direction?
So the challenge is, that you respond totally, wholly, and not fragmentarily. You've got it now? Have you understood? Now how do you get this total action, how do you come by it?
Q: By seeing the fragmentation.
K: By seeing the fragmentation you come upon the action which is whole. And do you see it, or do you see it as an idea?
Q: I see that I see it as an idea.
K: Wait, you see it as an idea.
Q: And I’m seeing it, I’m watching it.
K: You're watching it as an idea. Right? Then how will you feel it, how will you incorporate that idea with your feeling, with your vigour, with your, you know, with your whole being - how do you relate your whole being to that idea?
Q: Sir, isn’t wanting to relate to that idea with your whole being, isn’t that rather like having a technique that you will practise, in order
K: Quite right, sir - I'm just asking for you to investigate it. Are you interested in all this, young people? Or are you thinking of having a nice walk on this lovely morning?
Q: Sir, I think the difficulty being interested is somehow all this about social ideas. I feel a difference when we talk about personal fragmentation then I can really feel inside of me what is distracting, but not this idea of social activity seems
K: Sir, first of all, do you see what's happening in the world? Right? How do you respond to it? Not as an idea, not as a concept, how do you say, 'By Jove, the house is burning, what am I to do?' Not as an individual, as a Christian, as a Buddhist and all that stuff - as a human being, do you see this thing burning and what is your response? Do you respond to it as an artist, or as a whatever it is? Or you say, 'All that is silly, I must respond with my whole being.'
Q: I respond in different ways.
K: Madame, please just listen - look, we human beings are conditioned, aren't we? Whether the young or the old - they're conditioned. Please listen to this. They are conditioned according to the culture they live in. They can react to that culture and form their own conditioning but it's still conditioning, isn't it? Now from that conditioning there comes character, there comes temperament, which is character, and according to that temperament you act, and you call that individual action. Are you following this? Please do follow this. I know the child is crying - in fun, let it cry, but do please pay attention to this. You understand what I said?
I am conditioned as a Hindu, brought up in a certain class, very orthodox, very religious, superstitious and all the rest of it. That's my conditioning. And when I meet this challenge I act according to that conditioning which is my character, my temperament, my idiosyncrasy and I say, 'I am acting as an individual.' And you are acting also on the same principle. Therefore you say, 'Now how are two individuals, you conditioned and I conditioned with my temperament, my characteristics, and you with your idiosyncrasy, how are these two people to co-operate?' You follow the problem? And I say that is not possible, co-operation or working together or living together, having good relationship with each other is not possible as long as my conditioning, your conditioning exists, which makes me act fragmentarily. You get it? It makes me act according to my temperament and I think it's marvellous.
Q: But what people say is all the different groups say we should have the same conditions, the same ideals.
K: Which is another conditioning.
Q: It’s conditioning but it’s the same, so we can co-operate.
K: They don't co-operate, they soon break up. They are breaking up also, they are criticising the government, they are having trouble, being put in mental hospitals because they criticise the government. So you must first see the importance of being conditioned, we act thinking that we are free according to our temperaments, characters, idiosyncrasies.
Q: You speak one language and I speak another – you have certain kinds of behaviour and I have other kinds. But that isn’t what prevents us
K: Wait, sir. But first see that predominates our behaviour, our relationship. I'm answering that question of that lady there. So what we are saying is, do you respond to this enormous challenge as a conditioned human being, with its peculiarities, and those peculiarities have become so important because you say, 'They are mine I am an individual, I have identified myself with it.' Do you respond to the challenge according to your cultural conditioning, or do you respond without that conditioning? You've got the question? I'm putting the same thing in different words.
Q: I think we respond to our conditioning. I think that most of us feel that we can conceive it first, and then we try to make our lives more rounded because we can’t conceive of a full, total action.
K: I know that, we can't. We want to conceive it first and then act according to it, that's what I'm objecting to. We want the picture of it, the description of it, the verbal explanation of it, but the picture, the description, the word, is not the thing. Right? So I am saying, how do you respond? If you don't respond totally you are creating great mischief in the world, though you're young - growing a beard, long hair, is not a response; taking drugs is not a response, total response; or running off to form a little community - that's not a total response. Or joining God knows what, you know all that. I say that's not total response, that is a response according to your tendency based on your conditioning, and therefore it has no value at all.
Q: But sir, living in a city, having to go to work...
K: I'm coming to that, sir - let's take that up.
Q: in order to survive I need plastic products, so what can you do?
K: I'm coming to that, sir.
Q: Sir, you have to go in the old people’s patterns and past.
K: So what shall I do? Wait a minute, sir.
Q: So you do something on your own. You go in the country, you get together a couple of people, and you have time to find out things, you make experiments
K: The gentleman says - just a minute, sir.
K: He's off, I know this chap.
Q: And then you might have time to do something about one's responses. But living in a small little town, it's very difficult.
K: Right. Now this is what he is saying - I live in a city, or one lives in a city and there you have to earn a livelihood, follow the old method, live in the old pattern of going to the office from eight to five, for the rest of your life. And you have no time, no time to think. So you abandon that and form a little community where you have time to think. Try to find out in that little community how to live totally. Right? Wait sir, wait sir. This is the problem.
Q: You are seeing this from the psychological point of view.
K: Not at all. The questioner says you only look at it from a fragmentary point of view, which is a psychological point of view.
Q: Of course.
K: You say of course. Of course.
Q: In this sort of discussion isn’t there is a certain danger if you put the problem...
K: I don't put the problem, I have not put the problem.
Q: When you say, my point of view, then we have just to survive in this society without working...
K: We're going to find out, sir but you've
Q: Then it’s a challenge as big as the one you’ve told.
K: I said at the beginning, earning a livelihood is a problem, which is not psychological. I said at the beginning, you have to live in this world, you can't run away from it - that's not psychological. You accused me of fragmentary psychological activity, while you yourself are fragmentary.
Q: If you say...
K: Wait, I don't say anything. I beg your pardon, sir.
Q: To go again and try to awake this question of whether it is possible to act completely in my daily life, to go into the question of whether it’s possible to go into a school, an establishment type of public school where it is just a gigantic machine, where kids are being programmed, whether it is possible to go into such a school and somehow actually do something.
K: The question is, I'm a teacher in a school that is mechanical, that is over-weighted, you know all the rest of it. And how am I to act there totally, without being crushed by this vast structure? Wait, madam. Where I have to teach fifty boys in a class, or sixty, and the boys being rowdy and all the rest of it, how am I to deal with that? How am I to act totally in those given circumstances. Right, sir? Now this is not psychological, is it?
Q: No, but I can see...
K: Wait - what am I to do? I live I must answer this question, please. I earn my livelihood at teaching in a school, in a system, that is overburdened, that is mechanical, that in every class there are fifty to sixty students, they have no order, each crushing, all the rest of it. How am I, given this condition, to teach wholly? Can you do it there? Wait sir, find out. Can you do it there? Where - you know all the system, how it works, but then I do - can you do it there?
Q: Let’s say that I’ve not so far succeeded, in fact I’ve been fired.
K: Quite right, sir. You can't do it.
Q: It can’t be done.
K: It can't be done. Look, teaching fifty boys in a class, where you want to teach them, what, mathematics, and you're not merely concerned with teaching mathematics, you're concerned with their mind, bringing about their intelligence, making them behave properly, the whole of it - with fifty boys you can't do it. Therefore you're fired - wait - therefore what will you do? Wait, sir, find out - what will you do? Just go into another profession? Or say, 'By Jove, teaching is the most important thing, because that deals with young people, creating new - all the rest of it, tremendously important, I'll find out with others, with the few who feel this thing, and start a school.' Wait - which means tremendous energy, which means you are giving your whole life for this, not just casually casual action. Now wait a minute, we'll answer that gentleman who says, 'I live in a city and I have to earn there a livelihood, I have no time, therefore I withdraw and form a little commune.'
Q: No, not withdraw
K: Wait - all right, go away.
Q: You are changing the words: you are putting it into a ‘little commune’...
K: No commune, a few people living together.
Q: But why...
K: I don't condemn it, sir.
Q: Then why did you use the word ‘little’?
K: Call it big. Call it small, big, it doesn't matter - I go into a commune, where I have time.
Q: That it is a fragmentary kind of thing.
K: No I don't sir, wait. Please sir, would you mind letting me finish what I'm saying? I have no time to think in the present business livelihood affair, I go away with a few friends if I can, and live together, cultivating our own garden, or living in town, come back to that, earn a livelihood, live together and have time to think how to bring about this total action. Right? That's what you said. Is it my intention when I go and live with a few people, is it my true, real intention to find out a way of life in which there is total action? I don't say, I've no intention - is it my real intention? I abandon or call it what I go away from the present structure of society, and try to live a life in which I comprehend this total movement of existence. The monks have tried to do it, various communes have tried to do this; they either accept an authority of a person, or the authority of a belief, or the authority of the necessity of working together. Or does one go, discarding all authority, belief, person, or the necessity that we must live together in order to give me time to think - do we discard that and therefore find out for yourself what is the way of existence, living, that will not be fragmentary, that will act, both economically, psychologically and more, in a whole manner? So it depends on you what your serious intention is, whether psychologically as well as outwardly, inwardly as well as outwardly, you want to live differently. Come on, sir, you are one of the young people.
Q: Sir, are you saying that the making of a commune or going to business or doing any of these things that come from thought, it is no action at all but realising this is action.
K: Yes, sir.
Q: It is not just giving up, but on a practical level...
K: You do it, you do it on a practical level, but that practical level depends on your intention, on the depth of your honesty.
Q: But it might be a defensive action.
K: It may be, you have to live, find out.
Q: Doesn’t all intentional behaviour have some idea behind it?
K: That's just it, sir - you follow? How do you respond to all this, sir? You're young, you see how we've spent this morning, someone saying, 'Oh, you're only concerned with psychological', somebody else saying, this that and the other - when you see all this, what do you how do you respond? Run off to a church, join a political activity, become a Communist, Mao, this or that, or lead a completely irresponsible life because your father, some friends will give you money, therefore you don't care?
Q: So there’s nothing you can do?
Q: Do I not first have to see my own conditioning?
K: That's what I've been saying during all these talks, madam. Sir, look at it - you see or act what you think is a total action when this challenge is given to you. And I don't see it, I act fragmentarily. What is your relationship - I want to act fragmentarily, you want to act as a total human being, including physical survival, psychological understanding and all the business of it, and also want to find out something beyond all this? And I say, 'Look, please, I'm only interested in political or a narrow, or big, or little action.' What is your relation, how can you co-operate with me? I'm young, I'm just like you, long hair, short hair, whatever it is, sex-ridden, or not driven by sex - I'm like you. So I say to you, 'Where do we meet? At what level? At the verbal level, intellectual level, psychological level, or in the level of earning a livelihood?'
Q: At the psychological level, but very few people do this. But what you have to do all the time is to live on the practical level, so you have to play the game.
Q: You have to live on a practical level, so in the meantime you live on the practical level, you sleep in the barn tonight or you sleep in a hotel, or try to take the transit car, you do whatever you have to do. But if you say, ‘I sleep in a barn, that’s a great revolution,’ it’s not, you know. I’ve slept in barns a lot of times. I go out to the country so that I have more time. So I go out to the country – big deal – but don’t make me into an idea of communes, to take over the world.
Q: It’s a question of money If you don’t have a lot of money
K: Sir, I know a young boy, twenty one - I saw him in India. He made his way across the continent, hitch-hiking from California to New York, took a boat from there as a sailor, came to India, worked in India, across India, and I met him on the seashore. To him what was important was to find out what truth was. You may say, how silly that is - he wanted to find out. Therefore he gave his life to it, he didn't talk about practical life and he didn't say this - he worked. Wait, sir. Wait, sir.
Q: Last night I (inaudible)
K: Please, sir - would you mind.
Q: It was by a policeman – very nice. He said go into any of the big cities. (Inaudible)
K: If you have money or if your parents have money or friends give you money, then you have no problem. Or you have the problem of depending on somebody, your parents. Then you can play around with all these ideas. And most, some of them do.
So we are coming to the point again: are you aware as young people, and also the old people - there isn't much difference in this - that any kind of fragmentary action is really the most unintelligent, mischievous action? That's what the old establishment has done. Right? That's their way of life: keep the business world in one way, religion for Sunday, and politics on Thursday, you know, all the rest of it. And you are doing exactly the same thing only call it by a different name. And I say you, as the youth, which is supposed to be vigorous, enthusiastic, though in spite of the weakness, in spite of unclarity and all the rest of it, you're supposed to have tremendous vitality to act - act, knowing what the older generation have done. And you are as confused as the others. Therefore there is no generation gap at all. Sir, do you see that makes me realise how hypocritical one is - you deny the old establishment and you are doing exactly the same thing as they do, only in other words. So as we are young - not I, sorry, I don't belong to you - as you are young you have to create a new world. You are responsible for a new world. And if you say, 'Well, I'm only concerned with money or with only psychological things, or only' - it has no meaning.
Q: If you are concerned with total action, you don’t act fully, I mean...
K: I understand. Sir, one realises, you realise, we act fragmentarily. Right? Let's stick to that thing. Do you realise it as an idea or as a fact?
Q: Yes, as a fact.
K: If it is a fact, then you are already acting non-fragmentarily.
Q: Yes, for a long time I have been concerned with acting totally and that is preventing me from acting totally because it is a concept.
K: Yes, quite. You're saying, as long as it is an idea, there is no total action. Why do you see it as a concept, as a formula, as an idea - why do you see that? Why does that thing happen first? You follow? You understand my question sir? Why do you see everything as an idea first? Is it because intellectually we are overdeveloped? Is it because we are afraid what total action might involve, therefore an ideation, a formula, over there, which I am going to live presently, therefore I continue the way I am. So I'm asking, why do we always see the thing in words first, words being idea, thought, formula, and then which then becomes a remembrance? Why do we do that? Why don't we see it right away, non-verbally?
Q: Because we’re sitting here listening to you talk about it – I mean, if we had never heard of you in our lives and had just come upon it all by ourselves, it’d be one thing, but we are listening to you, therefore...
K: Look, you say, if I hadn't listened to you and I came upon this myself, it would be much better. A friend also said this yesterday - he said, 'I must find this out by myself - I wish I could do it.'
Q: For most of us here, we never had any idea that anything else was possible but that same kind of fragmentary existence. So then you come along and you say something else is possible and so then we sit here and listen to you talk about it, but we have only the words.
K: Sir, why should you listen to another? Here you are listening to me, why are you listening to me? Why don't you find it all out for yourself? Come on sir, answer it.
K: No madame, I'm not saying that. Look, he says, 'Why have I got to listen to you? Why can't I find it out by myself?'
K: Answer the question, madame.
Q: Sir, for the same reason that you can’t follow – the same reason – if I could find out for myself I could...
K: Why can't I find out all this by myself?
Q: Is it an idea that there is something to find out at all?
K: All right - why can't - I don't know how to put it, sir - let's put it this way. For the first time, perhaps, you hear, non-fragmentary action. Wait a minute. Why didn't you think of it yourself and live it, work at it, and live non-fragmentarily? Why didn't you do it? Why do you have to listen to somebody? And what's wrong with listening to somebody?
Q: I didn’t say there was anything wrong with it.
K: I'm putting it sir, I'm going the other way, putting it the other way.
Q: Sir, I’m happy to listen to you – you’re not a conclusion of mine.
K: But the others are not. They say, 'I wish I could come upon this by myself.'
Q: We all wish that.
K: Which means, sir - listen to it, listen to it - which means, I want to find out everything by myself. Right? Can you?
Q: It’s the only way of finding out.
K: Of course, the only way - but if you put it that way, it's wrong, isn't it?
Q: You have to learn.
K: I haven't conveyed it properly, then. When I say to myself, 'I have to find out the whole thing by myself, and not listen to anybody,' that very statement is a false statement, that's all I'm saying. Because then you become tremendously important. You don't say, 'Well, I will find out, somebody will tell me, not tell me, I'll move, I'll walk,' and in the process of that I'll discover or not discover. But to say, 'Well, I will only move till I find out by myself,' then you're dead.
Q: Sir, it seems that the problem is with the ‘I’ who sees the fragmentation is itself a fragment.
K: Yes, sir, yes, sir.
Q: So if I see it is a fragment...
K: That's why I said, sir: how do you see this thing?
K: I understand, madam. What are you to do? Look, sir, I want to convey something to you. I want to convey, not that you must accept it, as a friend I want to tell you something. First of all verbally, then non-verbally. I say to you, which is I want to convey to you that acting without a formula is complete action. I say, 'This is in my heart,' as a friend I say, 'Look, if you do this, you will live a totally different kind of life. Whether you have to learn a livelihood, whether you have to paint, you lead a totally different life'. To you, you receive it as an idea. I say, 'Don't receive it as an idea, but move with me, don't turn it turn what I'm saying into words, into a formula which you are going to accept and follow presently.' But move together, see the thing together, which is, don't live in formulas. I want to tell you this, not because I want you to join my group or - I just want to convey this to you. But you don't receive it, you see - you immediately turn it into an idea. And are ready to fight over that idea - psychological, business, non-business, all the rest of it.
So how am I - see my difficulty, sir - you're there and I'm sitting here: I want to convey this to you non-verbally, through words. You understand what I mean? I want to convey to you that there is an action which is immediate perception, and therefore non-formula. And I tell this to you, seriously, with all my affection - I feel it strongly. I'll do anything to convey it to you. But you receive it as an idea. And I say, 'Don't do it, it is this idea that is separating, it is this idea that is fragmentary.' So can you listen to me who wants to tell you that there is an action which is totally complete only when there is no ideation or a formula or a prejudice. Then you say, 'I am prejudiced, everything turns into words for me. What am I to do?' I say, 'Don't do anything about it, but just listen.'
You see, sir, I have no formulas, I don't have a concept and then act, but only I see, act. I don't say, 'By Jove, if I act that way I'll lose my popularity, I'll have nobody, or I won't have money', all the mentation that goes on, which prevents direct action.
So you, being young, can you listen with a mind that is young, or is your mind already the old mind, which always thinks in formulas, in categories, in divisions, in fragmentation? Young mind means, you know, it sees, acts. And that acting is rational always, whether you've got to live in a commune, whether you have to live in a town, whether you're a You follow? It is altogether total.
What's the time now? Is the youth meeting over?
Q: Can we have another day for the youth?
K: Sir, every day is a youth meeting. This is what we've been saying for the last three weeks: how to communicate without the word, and therefore the idea.