How do you observe your fears?
Can a human being undergo a deep, radical transformation?
1st Public Discussion, Brockwood Park
August 31, 1976
This is a kind of dialogue - dialogue being a conversation between two friends about something which they are deeply concerned with, and not a mere discussion of ideas, arguments, and so on. But this is a dialogue so that we can converse together over something which we are deeply concerned with.
So what would you like to have a dialogue about? And I would suggest, if I may, that we confine ourselves - and this is just a suggestion because you can do what you like - that we concern ourselves with the actual transformation of our own consciousness, how to do it, how is it possible to go into it very, very deeply, in detail. Could we do that this morning? Take one thing, like transformation of a human consciousness, which is the consciousness of the world. I hope you understand that, it is the consciousness of the world. Each human being is in essence the totality of human experience, knowledge, misery, confusion, all that he is of which we are, each one of us. So if we can be deeply involved and committed seriously to this question: is it possible to bring about a deep fundamental change in the psyche? Could we stick to that? Would you approve of that, or do you want to talk or have a dialogue about something else? You are perfectly welcome to talk about anything you want.
Questioner: Could we discuss the question of laughter in the transformation of consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Discuss laughter.
Q: I’ve also observed that people who are sensitive, spiritual, have great difficulty in seeing the importance of laughter. Serious people seem to have lost the capacity of laughter.
K: Yes. Do you want to discuss or go into this question of laughter? To laugh. Serious people seem to lose the capacity to laugh. That's one question. Would you like any other question?
K: (Repeating) There is a lot of false morality, false assumptions, what it is to be moral, and when we wipe away all the false morality and there is true morality what is its place, or what is its relationship to truth?
K: Between morality and truth. Is that it?
K: Yes, what is the place of morality, if I may put it I hope I've put it correctly, if not please correct me. What is the place of morality in investigating into what is truth.
K: I understand. Anything else?
Q: Could you go into the structure of thought?
K: Thought. Structure of thought.
K: (Repeating) To be an optimist or a pessimist - are they not both a process of thinking? Could we say are they not both the two sides of the same coin?
Q: You have explained how the thinker and the thought are not separate and have said that when we accept this a different creative process comes into being without a sense of I. Can we know more of this process and what happens?
K: Yes. Now, can we stop there? (Laughter) Could we take these three or four things? That is, laughter - we seem to lose the capacity to laugh when we become so-called very spiritual - whatever that word may mean. Then there is the question of the structure of thought, the nature and the structure of thought; then there is that question of morality and what is its place and what is its relationship to truth; and - what other question was there? - optimistic and pessimistic. So shall we take one of these questions because all these questions are concerned with the actual transformation of consciousness, and your question too, which is, when the observer, the thinker is the thought, the analyser is the analysed, then, we said, all conflict comes to an end, and thereby there is a totally different dimension of observation, or existence, or whatever you like to call it. Now which of these would you like to take as one question, go into it completely to its very end, deeply - which of these questions do you want to take up?
Q: The last question.
K: Is that really a very serious question?
Q: The last question.
K: Oh, the last question, which is, the observer - I think it is a good question, may we take that up?
K: The questioner says, asks, when we realise, not verbally, actually, that the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought, and the analyser is the analysed, when that actual fact takes place, then there is a different dimension because that ends conflict. Would you please go into that much more. Is that your question, sir? And you want to discuss that.
Q: And what happens.
K: And what happens.
Q: Is this going to be discussed on a personal level, or an intellectual level?
K: That's what we are going to, sir.
K: No, this is not a confessional. (Laughter) This is not a group therapy, this is not exposing our personal experience to each other, because personally, if you want to do that you are perfectly welcome but I won't be here, because to me this is an absurd exhibitionism and all the things involved in it - I've been to some of them, and I know what the game is.
So, if we may, may we discuss this question?
K: We are going to go into all that madam, just, please, that question will answer, I think, most of our problems, if we can go into this really with attention, deeply. Please, this is worthwhile. So let's go into it.
First of all we are clear about the question, aren't we? That is, the observer is the observed, and the thinker is the thought, and so on, when that actually takes place, not as a theory, not as a verbal assertion, but actually as an actual fact, then what comes into being, and what happens when there is no conflict whatsoever? Now we are going to discuss this, go into it.
First of all, let's forget the observer is the observed - put that aside, but take the fact, which is, we know we are in conflict, most of us are in conflict, most of us are in confusion, most of us have this constant inward struggle. Right? That's a fact, isn't it? Could we start from there? This contradiction, this conflict, this sense of constant inward battle that is going on in each human being has its outward expression in violence, in hate, in this lack of a sense of fulfilment and therefore deep antagonism, all that follows. Right? So where there is division in oneself there must be deep-rooted conflict, as between nations, as between classes, as between the dark people and the light people, and the black people, and the purple people, and so on, so on, so on. So wherever there is division there must be conflict. That's a law, it can't be helped. Isn't that so? Do we see that first? Realise it, not, the speaker may describe it and you might translate what is the described into an idea and accept the idea. You see the difference? Please, this is important, give a little attention, please.
We realise there is inward conflict and that inward conflict must invariably express outwardly - outwardly in relationship with each other, outwardly in violence, in wanting to hurt people, in wanting to defend oneself against somebody, we and they, and all the rest of it. Now when you hear that, is it an idea, or is it a fact? You understand my question? Do you translate what you hear into an idea and then accept the idea, or do you actually see your own conflict and the result of that conflict? You understand?
Q: Sir, the problem is that if I look at something...
K: Wait, I am coming to that. First do we realise it?
Q: But for me I can only realise it intellectually.
K: That is ideationally. That is what I am trying to point out. Our conditioning is, or our tradition is to translate what we hear into an idea, into a concept, into a formula, and live or accept that formula, which prevents us from actually seeing 'what is'. You understand? This is simple. Isn't it? Say, for example, one is hurt from childhood - right? - hurt in so many ways. Does one realise, become aware of this hurt, or you say, Yes, it is pointed out that I am hurt therefore I am hurt. You understand? I wonder if you get this. This is very important because throughout the world we translate the fact into an idea and escape through the idea and not face the fact. Right? So what is it you are doing now when you hear that you are in conflict, and being in conflict the outward result is violence, brutality and all the rest of it - is that a fact, or is it a conclusion which you will accept? That's clear, isn't it, from what I am saying? Now which is it for you? This is very important because if it is an idea then we are lost - your idea and my idea. But if we can face the fact then it is something entirely different. Then each one of us has a communication there. We are dealing with facts, not with ideas.
Now if that is so, if you really see for yourself that being in conflict in oneself, you are bound to create conflict outwardly - bound to. Right? Now when you realise that, what has brought about this conflict inwardly? You understand? There are several factors involved in this. There is a whole group of people who say, change the environment, change the social structure through revolution, through blood, through any way change it, and that will change man. You understand this? This is a communist theory, this is the materialistic theory: change the environment - the socialist theory - change the environment, the social structure, then through legislation, through parliament, through careful analysis and so on, or through revolution, physical revolution, change the environment, the structure of society then that will change man. Then he will be loving, he will be kind, he will not have conflict, he will be a beautiful human being. And they have tried this umpteen times in different ways: the communists have done it, they have not succeeded in making man different. The whole Christian world has postponed the change of man into something else, as the Hindus and so on. So the fact is we are in conflict, human beings. And the fact is out of that inward conflict, psychological conflict, he must produce outward conflict. It can't be helped.
K: I understand. Sir, I'm just pointing out, sir. Go slow. Have a little patience, sir. I am showing, pointing out something. That is, if there is conflict inwardly there must be conflict outwardly. Now if a man is concerned seriously with the ending of conflict both outwardly and inwardly, we must find out why this conflict exists. You understand? This is simple. Why does it exist? Why is there this contradiction in human beings: say one thing, do another, think one thing and act another - you follow? - why do human beings have this division in themselves? You understand my question, why?
One of the reasons is having ideals. That is, the idea which is the opposite of 'what is', what actually is, project through thought an idea, an ideal, so there is a contradiction between 'what is' and 'what should be'. That is one of the factors of this conflict. Then the other factor is, we do not know what to do with 'what is', how to deal with it, therefore we use conclusions hoping thereby to alter 'what is'. That's the other reason. And inwardly also there are contradictory desires - right? - I want one thing and I don't want another. I want to be peaceful and yet there is violence in me.
Q: I think this is the product of the separateness of the soul rather than the cause of why you are suffering.
K: But you must find out the cause of conflict, mustn't you, too?
Q: Yes, but these things are the product, not the cause.
K: All right. If you say, these are the results, the symptoms, not the cause, what then is the cause? Look, sir, either you want to go into this very deeply, or superficially. I would like to go into it very deeply, so please have a little patience.
We are asking, what is the fundamental cause of this conflict - the fundamental cause, not the symptoms, we can explain a dozen symptoms, the cause of this enormous human struggle inwardly. Wherever you go in the world - the East, Middle East, America, here, anywhere, there is this constant battle going on and on and on. Right? Why? What is the cause of it?
Q: Is it a lack of security?
K: One of the suggestions is, the lack of security. Look at it, please. Just look at it. Lack of security, physical as well as psychological. Right? The lack of security.
Q: The fear of...
K: Please, if you examine one thing at a time, not a dozen! We say one of the reasons of this conflict is that there is no security for us, deeply. That may be one of the basic reasons of conflict, the lack of security, both psychologically as well as biologically, physically as well as inwardly. You understand? Now what do you mean by security? Food, clothes and shelter. Right? If that is not given to us then there is conflict - because you have it and I haven't got it. That is one reason. The other is psychologically I want to be secure inwardly. Right? In my relationship, in my belief, in my faith, in all my action - you follow? - I want to be completely secure. Now is that possible? Or we are asking a question which is totally wrong? Please follow this.
Psychologically we want to be secure, having a relationship that will be completely secure, with my wife, with my husband, with my girl, or boy, we desire to be completely secure - is that possible?
K: Wait. Careful now. Think about it a little bit. We say it is possible and we have made it possible, haven't we? I am quite secure with my wife, and she is quite secure with me - with the man. But inwardly there is struggle going on. Now this security we seek psychologically is what? What is it we are seeking? Psychologically to be secure with a person. You understand my question? I want to be secure with my wife, or with my girl. Why?
Q: Because without her I am lost.
K: Wait. So what does that mean? Without her I am lost. What does that mean?
Q: I am alone.
K: Which means what? Go on.
K: Don't conclude immediately, go into it, sir. You say, I am lost. Why are you lost? Because you are afraid to be alone. Isn't it? Now, why? Do listen. Why are you frightened to be alone?
Q: Because I cannot face myself.
K: You haven't answered my question, sir. Look.
K: We will come to that presently. I am asking you, why are you frightened to be alone? Look into yourself before you answer it, sir, please. This is a serious thing we are talking about, not throwing off words. We are asking each other: I want permanent relationship with another, and I hope to find it, and I am saying, why do I ask for a permanent relationship with another? You say, I am frightened to be alone, to be insecure. So I am using the other, the woman or the man, as a means to find my anchorage in that. Right? My anchorage in another, and I am frightened if that anchorage is loosened. Right? Why? Penetrate a bit more deeply.
Q: It isn’t something like being hungry.
K: Is it like hunger? The moment you give a simile like that you get confused and then you go off to hunger. Find out why you want a relationship to be permanent, a relationship to be secure. Someone suggested because you are frightened to be alone. Why are you frightened, what is involved in this fear? Please look into yourself before you answer it.
K: Sir, look, sir, we are asking something very simple: why is a human being frightened to be alone? Why are you frightened to be alone?
Q: When I am with somebody I feel I have something, and when I am without this person, it could be a wife or friend, I feel nothing. And I don’t like to feel nothing because it frightens me.
K: Which means what, sir?
K: Go slowly. Insecurity. You say, I am frightened of being insecure, so you exploit another to be secure, which you call love. Please remain with this fact, put your teeth into it to find out. If you can find this out, you will find a great many things.
I want to be secure because without being secure - please listen - without being secure my brain can't function properly. You understand? Efficiently. So the brain demands security. So I want security out of you, and so I depend on you. Right? I am attached to you because I need to be secure, the brain demands it. And if anything happens in my relationship to you I get uncertain, I get frightened, I get jealous, I hate. Right? Doesn't this happen to all of you?
K: Sir, you have not understood what I said. Because then what you're saying, sir. All right, I won't discuss, sir - it becomes impossible. So I am frightened to be alone, frightened of losing my security, and I say, why, what is behind that fear? Is it I am frightened to be lonely, to be alone, not to have something on which to depend because I cannot depend on myself, I am frightened of myself, I am frightened to face myself. Right? I don't know what I am, therefore I think I know what you are, therefore I depend on you because I don't know what I am, myself.
Q: That’s incorrect.
K: Incorrect, right sir.
Q: When I am alone and I am drifting around, and (inaudible)
K: Yes, sir that is what we are saying. I don't see where we are disagreeing in this. My god! (Laughter)
Q: Sir, is it really possible to understand completely why we are in conflict, because we are ourselves in conflict. I see that somehow I have separated myself from myself but apart from that I can’t see why there is conflict.
K: We are seeing sir, we are examining why we are in conflict. Look, I don't know myself, about myself - all my structure, all my nature, my hurts, my ambitions, my greeds, my arrogance, and violence, all that. All that is me. Right? And I have not examined all that. I have not gone into myself very, very deeply. So I want security in spite of all that in something - in furniture, in a house, in a belief, in a faith, in a wife or a husband. I want security. God! This seems so simple. Don't you all want security?
Q: Is there any evidence that security doesn’t exist?
K: I am going to show you. It doesn't exist. You don't allow me, let me finish it, go into this! You see you want to jump to conclusions. That gentleman asked, please describe the nature and the structure of thought. He asked that question. The structure of thought. This is the structure of thought: that we want security because we know very well there is no security. You understand? An earthquake can take place tomorrow we will all be wiped out. Or anything can happen. There is no such thing as security, psychologically. If we realise that once very deeply, that there is no such thing as psychological security then we will not be in conflict. But we don't realise it, we want security in somebody else - we want security physically: having a house, money, position, prestige. I may not have money, a house, but I want prestige, that's my security. I want to be great, and I work for it to be great, I may be poor but I want to be a great man, a famous man. That's my security. And the other says, my security is in faith - I believe, and it may be neurotic - and all beliefs are neurotic. And there is security in neuroticism.
So man is seeking all the time security, and we never realise there is no such thing. Right? Because my wife may run away from me, but if she runs away I hate, I am jealous, but I am going to find another woman, or man, and I cling to that. So this goes on all the time. So I am asking, why do human beings demand security knowing very well, deeply, inwardly, there is no such thing? Why has the world divided itself geographically, nationally, as Hindus, Buddhists, all the rest of it, why? Because they want security. It feels very secure if you are an Englishman.
Q: It doesn’t seem possible to be secure.
K: That's what I am saying, sir.
Q: It seems to me that if this is causing disagreement then we ought to stop there.
K: First, therefore, can we see, observe, that there is no security at all psychologically, therefore no attachment? It doesn't mean promiscuity. (Laughs) It is impossible to be attached to a human being. What are you attached to when you are attached to a human being? You are attached to the image that you have created about that human being, not to the person but to the image that you have about her or him. Please, this is so obvious.
Q: Biologically it seems I need security.
K: Biologically I need security. Right? I need food, I need clothes, I need shelter, but that is made impossible by my desire to be secure inwardly. Which is, I am a Nationalist, I believe I am a great Englishman, cut out every other You follow? So we divide the world and thereby destroy our own security. You don't see all this.
K: No, sir. Look, sir, we say physically you must have security. Right?
Q: No, I don’t need to be secure. When I am secure I feel very insecure.
K: Mustn't you have food and clothes and shelter? You have clothes, you have food. Millions of people haven't got food, clothes. Why is it?
Q: When we have got nothing we change our minds.
K: That is just what I am saying, sir. Because psychologically we have established security in nationalities, in division, the biological, physical security is being denied. This is…
So let's proceed. Do we see, not as an idea, but as an actuality, that there is no psychological security? Or are you frightened of it? Frightened of this enormous fact?
Q: I feel insecure in myself.
K: I am showing it to you, sir, now. Please, we said there is no such thing as security, do you see that? Not as an idea, not as a conclusion, but an actuality, like the microphone. Do you see it?
K: That's just it, why don't you?
K: We are coming to that, sir, please. Would you please I am asking, when we come to the point that there is no psychological security, you know that is a tremendous thing to observe and realise because then our whole activity changes. Do we realise it, or is it an idea with which you are going to be convinced? You understand my question? Why don't you see it as a reality? It is a reality you are sitting there, and it is a reality I am sitting here. Why don't we see it as actually as that? Is it part of our conditioning, part of fear - fear being, 'My god, I'll lose my wife, I'll lose my friend', because in that person I have invested all my hope, my cravings, my demands, sexually and other things, and I suddenly realise there is no such thing as security. You know what it means? That's freedom. And we don't want freedom. We would rather know the state of slavery than the state of freedom. Right.
So, let's proceed. There it is. I do not see that there is no security. I want security, I depend on security in another because it gives me comfort, it gives me a sense of being together, I am then not lost, I am not afraid to be alone, then I am not lonely. For all these reasons I cling to you. And I call this whole process of relationship, love. I am not being cynical, please. And that's our conflict: knowing deeply, inwardly this fact, and holding on to non-fact. Right? That's our problem. Seeing something as being truth and holding on to something which is not truth. Now how do you bring about the cessation of this division between this and that? You understand now? That is, I observe very clearly that I need security because I am so deeply uncertain in myself, I am so lonely, I am so lost, confused, and I cling to you. That's one fact. That's a fact also. The other fact is you have heard somebody say, There is no such thing as security, my friend, and also you say, By Jove, that is so, deeply, inwardly you know it is so. So there are these two facts. So what will you do? How will you bridge these two?
Q: I must look at my fear.
K: Right sir. You must look at your fear. How do you look at your fear? We have come to that point now. You see. That is, human beings are frightened. How do you observe that fact?
Q: We laugh to hide our fear.
K: Of course, that's laughter. We laugh to hide our fear. Please, I am asking you, without escaping, if you can, how do you observe your fear?
Q: Through relationship.
K: Through relationship. We have discovered through relationship that I am frightened of losing, frightened. So how do you look, or observe, or are aware of that fear?
Q: When I observe I am not frightened.
K: Are you sure of that? Or it's just an idea?
Q: No, I am sure.
K: Which is so. You are sure of it. That means you are sure of something, it is not a fact.
Q: Sir, when I try to observe fear I can’t observe it.
K: I am going to go into that, sir, follow it. I'm going to go into that, sir. How do you observe? How do you observe your wife? Have you ever observed your wife, or your husband, boy or girl, have you? What do you say, have you? Observed. How do you observe them? There is visual perception, the face, the colour of the hair, colour of the eyes, the eyebrows and so on, so on, so on, and that's a physical observation. You see that. Then how do you observe her non-physically?
K: Don't ask me. Are you sure of that? My god! Just theories you indulge in. Haven't you got an image about your wife?
K: Yes, we said that, through interaction, through habit, through nagging, through domination, possession, hurts, you have created through interaction between man and woman, an image about her and she has built an image about you. That's a simple fact, isn't it? Would you see that?
K: Interaction is very complicated, we know that. So each person creates an image about him or her, and you look at each other through those images, don't you? You have hurt me, I have a picture of that, I have been hurt by you. You have hurt my image about myself. Right? And that picture I hold. So through images we are related. How terrible all this is!
Now we are asking, how do you observe all this? Do you observe it as something outside of you, or part of you? You understand the difference? If it is outside of you then you have to do something about it. Right? Conquer it, suppress it, run away from it, explain it, analyse it and so on, which is all conflict, isn't it? But if there is no division you are that, aren't you? That's a fact, isn't it? You don't do it, that's why you just...
K: Somewhere else. That's right, sir. I am asking you, how do you look at yourself? We have described what you are - anger, hate, jealousy, neuroticism, peculiar habits, idiosyncrasies, vanity, arrogance, a bundle of god knows what. And you say, 'Well, how do you look at this bundle?'
Q: You feel it.
K: You feel it. Now, you are that bundle, aren't you? You are not different from that bundle, are you? This is our conditioning, this is our training, this is our education, which says, I am different from that, and that's one of our greatest difficulties. We don't see that is me, anger is me, isn't it, sir? Arrogance is me, vanity is me, but I like to think it is something outside of me.
Now, the question was, which that gentleman raised, when you see that all that bundle is you, actually, not as an idea, reality, that you are that. That is, the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought, what we have analysed is the analyser. Right? So the question was: what happens when this actuality takes place? You understand sir?
Q: You have a good laugh.
K: Have a good laugh? Well, you have laughed, right, and then what? Oh, sir, do let's be serious, this is not a joke.
Q: Then there is action.
K: No. Is this a fact to you, that there is no division between yourself and the various qualities or things that you have accumulated, you are all that - is that a fact? Then the questioner says, assume it is a fact, then what is the state, what happens? Look at his question. Suppose this is so, then what happens? You want a description of what happens, so you are caught again in a description. You don't say, now I am going to find out, I will put my teeth into it, I am going to find out why this division exists in me, this self-contradiction, why I cannot see that as I see anger is me, why cannot I see that the whole characteristics, the idiosyncrasies, the vanities, the hurts, is part of me, is me? Why don't you see that? If you see that, then what is the action? There is no action, there is no action. You understand? We are used to action, to do something about ourselves, therefore we say, the thing we observe, we separate ourselves from that observed because we think we can do something about it - right? - suppress it, conquer it, analyse it, dissect it, a dozen things. That's part of our education, part of our tradition, part of our culture, but the reality is, that which you observe in yourself is you. Right? When that really takes place all action stops with regard to yourself, which we can't accept because it is quite the contrary to all our ideas, our conditioning. So what happens when you don't waste your energy in conquering, in disciplining, in suppressing, what happens, with all that energy? It is all there now, isn't it? Instead of wasting it you have got it.
K: Yes, sir, wait. Don't go into my definition. Just look at what is taking place. I started out by realising that the inward conflict expresses itself outwardly. That's a fact. I started out with that. I realised that. It is not an idea, it is an actuality, it's a burning reality to me, that this fact that as long as there is conflict in me I will have conflict with my wife, with my friends, with everything in life. I realise it, it is a fact. You can't take it away from me. Then I say, why does this conflict exist. Because there is contradiction, the contradiction is wanting security and finding no security. That's one factor. And another factor is that I am frightened to be alone, frightened to be lonely, therefore I escape through you, through words, through pictures, through worship, through every form of entertainment, whether it is religious or otherwise. I escape. So I don't escape, I want to find this out, I will not escape, so I look.
So I see why this division exists - fear - fear of being completely alone. What is fear? And how do I observe that fear? Is that fear out there and I am looking at it; or the fear is me? If it is out there I can cut it, like a tree, I can operate on it. But if it is here, if it is part of me, part of my thinking, what can I do? You understand my question? So our conditioning is to act on something which we see outwardly, which is fear. When that activity ceases I am lost. So I am frightened. So I say, now I will look at that fear. How do I look at it? I look at it as part of me, it is me that is afraid - me, the psyche, inwardly. Can I look at it, can I observe it? I can only observe it if I have a mirror. You understand? As I can observe my face in the mirror, so I can observe myself in my relationship - you understand? The relationship with another is the mirror in which I see my fear. You understand this?
So in that relationship I see my fear. Then I say to myself, I am part of that fear therefore I am going to just observe it, not act upon it. You understand? Observe it. Therefore there is only one factor which is really important, which is the clarity of observation. That clarity is prevented when the past, which is me, my knowledge, all the past, prevents me from looking. You understand? The observer is the past - his memories, his hopes, his fears. So as long as the observer is observing fear he will not go beyond fear, but when the observer is the observed then you have collected all that energy which you have wasted in struggle, in suppression, in anxiety and all that, you have got now tremendous energy which has not been wasted. When there is that tremendous energy is there fear? It is only when there is the dissipation of energy there is fear. Then out of that what comes next - you are eager to find out what comes next because you don't do it first.
There is lots more because then there is the total freedom to observe, and silence. Observation means silence, doesn't it? If my mind is chattering I can't observe you. Right? If my mind says, I don't like that colour, I don't like that face, I prefer black or brown, or purple, I can't observe you. So I must first be aware of my prejudices, put them away and then be free of them and look. But you don't want to do all that, you want to reach instant heaven! Which is transcendental meditation.
Q: I find it impossible, when I try to look at my...
K: No, wait sir, wait, look. When you feel angry, at the moment you are not aware that you are angry. Just watch it, sir. At the moment of anger your whole adrenaline and everything is in operation. And you are angry, at that moment you are not aware that you are angry. Then later on comes the thought, I have been angry. Right?
K: Wait, give me two minutes. I am going to go into it. I will show you, sir, please. You know anger, don't you?, or most of you, unfortunately. So at the moment of that feeling, that sensation, there is no recognition of it as anger. Right? Then comes the recognition that I am angry, I have been angry. Now how does that recognition take place? Because you have been angry before. So when you say, I have been angry, you have recognised it because you have been angry before. So the past is dictating what you should do. Right? Careful. Listen. Watch it in yourself. When you are angry, at the actual moment there is no feeling of anger, then thought comes along and says, I have been angry. Thought is essentially the movement of the past. Right? Now can you stop that movement of that past and not name it? You know what jealousy is, and when you have been jealous, at the moment there is this feeling. Why does thought take it over? You understand my question? Why does thought come in and say, 'Well, I have been jealous', or, 'I am jealous', why?
Q: Fear of losing.
K: Yes, why does it happen? Why don't you say, yes there is that feeling, and leave it alone? Why do you say, I have been jealous? And act from that jealousy, hate and all the rest of it, anger.
Q: One identifies with it.
K: Why do you identify?
Q: You have the feeling.
K: Why does this identification with a feeling take place?
K: Yes. And also it is my house, my wife, my name, my form, my country, my god, my faith - you follow? - it is part of your tradition, culture, which says, 'me', mine. So all the past comes over and takes charge. Now we are asking, are you aware of this movement of the past taking charge of things? Are you aware of it, actually, not as a theory, as an actuality. Which means that you live in the past. Therefore you are dead.
Q: One can’t be aware of it until it happens.
K: That's just it, sir. That is just what I am saying.
Q: Then if one has a sensation and one realises then that you are angry, and then you try and observe that anger, there seems to be nothing to observe.
K: That's all. It is gone. Don't be anxious about it, it is gone! (Laughter)
Q: But you say one should see the totality.
K: That's what I said. The totality - say for instance, sir, the totality of hurt. You understand? Human beings are hurt from childhood, school, college, you know, the whole business of existence. You are hurt, which is, you have an image about yourself which is hurt. Do you see that as an actuality? If you see that as an actuality, that the very essence of you is hurt, then what will you do about it? There are the past hurts, and you want to prevent future hurts. Can the past hurts be wiped away so that you can never be hurt, which doesn't mean that you become like a stone. Never to be hurt. You see you have never asked these questions, ask them.
Q: If you lose fear are you not hurt?
K: Sir, why are you hurt? You who are hurt, what is the 'you'? The image you have about yourself, no? I am a Christian, I am a Buddhist, I am a Hindu, I am proud, I am vain - you follow? - all that is you. Or you think you are god, or a superior spiritual something inside you which is above all this - which is again a process of thought. Right? So the process of thought is hurt. And how do you prevent future hurts? Not by resistance, not by withdrawal, not by becoming more and more hard. Do you want to wipe out your hurts, or do you love your hurts?
K: No, do please. Do you want to keep your hurts? There is great pleasure in keeping them because that gives you vitality, energy to hurt somebody else. If you want to be free of all hurts what will you do, so that you are never under any circumstances in your relationship with the world, or with your friends, never to be hurt. Do you know what it means? To have a mind that is incapable of being hurt. Hurt - also the other side is flattery. Both are the same. So is it possible to end this being hurt? Do you want to find out?
K: I had better stop.
Q: Please go on.
K: All right, all right. Do you really want to go into this?
K: All right, sir, I'll do it for you. But do it. You understand? Not just live with words and ideas, but do it, because then you are free, then you blossom in goodness, you flower in goodness then.
What is hurt? I am going to go into it. Don't go verbally but actually look at yourself and go into yourself. You are hurt. Your parents hurt you when you are a child, your friends when you are a child or a boy hurt you, psychologically, then in the school they hurt you by saying you must be as clever as your brother, or your uncle, or your headmaster, or whatever it is, and then college you pass exams and if you fail you are hurt. And if you don't get a job you are hurt. Everything in the world is put together so that it hurts you. Our education which is so rotten hurts you. So you are hurt. Do you actually realise that you are hurt? And see the results of being hurt - you want to hurt others. From that arises anger, resistance, you withdraw, become more and more inwardly separate. And the more you are inwardly separate, withdrawing, the more you are hurt. So you build a wall around yourself and pretend that you are very fine, you know, but always within the wall. These are all the symptoms. So you are hurt. And if you really, deeply realise that you are hurt, not only at the conscious level but deep down, then what will you do?
Now how does this hurt take place? Because you have an image about yourself. Suppose if I have an image about myself that I am always sitting on a platform talking to an audience - thank god, I don't - and if the audience disapproves or doesn't come, I am hurt because I have an image about myself. So the fact is, as long as I have an image about myself that image is going to be hurt. Right? That's clear, isn't it? Now is it possible to live without a single image? Which means no conclusions, which is a form of image, no prejudice. You follow? All these are images. And at the moment when you insult me, which is at the moment you say something contrary to the image which I have about myself, then you hurt me. Now at that moment when you are saying something that is harmful, hurtful, if I am aware of what you are saying, give my total attention to what you are saying. You understand? At the second when you want to hurt me by saying something I give my attention to it, then there is no registration taking place. You understand this? It is only when there is inattention the registration of hurt takes place, or flattery.
Now can you give, when somebody says you are a fool, can you at that moment give your total attention? If you do then there is no hurt. The past hurts have gone in that attention. Attention is like a flame that burns out the past and the present hurt. Have you got this? Right.