How is one to have complete order?
The movement of desire
2nd Public Talk, Brockwood Park
August 27, 1978
May we continue with what we were talking about yesterday morning? Before we go into that may I point out that one should have quite a bit of scepticism, doubt, not accepting what the speaker is saying but questioning, investigating, enquiring into what he is saying or what we are thinking ourselves, if there is any truth, if there is any falsehood or if what is being said is factual, which is applicable to daily life. So if one merely accepts words, as most of us do, we are collectors of words and phrases, and thereby we miss a great deal. So what we are talking about is that self-knowledge, that is knowing oneself, is the greatest importance, not according to some psychologist, analyst or according to the speaker but knowing oneself actually as one is. Not denying nor accepting what is but observing, looking into oneself very, very deeply. And whether what you find in yourself, not according to somebody else, but actually for yourself what you see and what you perceive in your actions, in your reactions and so on, to be aware of that, to know oneself. Knowing oneself implies, doesn't it, not having known and recognising 'what is'. That is, to discover oneself anew each time, not according to a remembrance of something that you have seen before in yourself and recognise it, and keep on recognising all the time. I hope I am making this clear.
That is, I want to know myself because if I don't know myself there is no possibility of right action, right behaviour, or I have no foundation for any clarity. One can deceive so immensely, live in a kind of illusory world, a make-belief world, but to know oneself so completely frees the mind from all its entanglements, from all its worries, its everlasting chattering and so on.
In that enquiry, we were saying yesterday, we are driven by language. Language uses us rather than we use language. We went into that fairly thoroughly yesterday. And also we said that the speaker not being here, you yourself are speaking to yourself and listening to yourself to find out what exactly is going on within yourself, within the skin, within the psychological area of yourself. We know very well what is happening around us, at least if you are fairly well informed, but very few of us know exactly where we are, what our reactions are and if it is possible to go beyond them.
And also we were saying yesterday that the basic root of fear in which most of us live, is time. Chronological time as yesterday, today and tomorrow, and also the whole movement of thought. Those are the two factors which bring about fear. And the other factor in that is remembrance. The remembrance of a past fear and holding on to that remembrance and projecting a future fear. We were talking about that yesterday.
So if we may we would like to go into further factors of ourselves. Most of us, psychologically, live in disorder. I do not know if you are not aware of it. We are driven by, not only language, but also by a great many pressures from outside: economic, social, political, national, the religious beliefs and so on. But psychologically the greatest pressure is desire with most of us. As we said yesterday, please we are communicating with each other. You are not merely listening to the person who is talking, who is not at all important. What is said is important, not the person. It is like if you have a telephone you don't give great importance to the telephone, you keep it clean but what is said through the telephone becomes all important. Similarly the person who is speaking here is not at all important. I would like to point this out over and over again: the person is not important at all. But what is said is important. So your admiration for the person, or your dislike of the person, or your this, that, all that nonsense is of very little importance. You don't, if you have a good telephone you don't smash it, you keep it clean, you respect it. But the telephone itself is of no value at all, but what is said through the telephone becomes significant. Similarly here the person is not important. Have you understood that clearly and definitely?
We are saying we live in disorder, psychologically. We may have an orderly room, do proper exercises, do so-called yoga - I won't go into that word, what it means, how it began and all the rest of it, it is not the moment. But we keep order outwardly, apparently, but there is disorder, astonishing disorder in the world. Perhaps that disorder is brought about by each one's psychological disorder. Disorder means contradiction in oneself, thinking one thing, doing another, saying one thing and do the opposite to what you have said, or being uncertain, not clear, contradictory, and so on. All that indicates disorder. And also where there is contradiction there must be effort, where there is division there must be conflict and so on. All that is a state of disorder in which we live. That is an obvious fact.
And to bring about order psychologically what is one to do? I hope you are challenging yourself and not accepting my challenge. Knowing consciously, aware that one is in disorder psychologically, what is one to do? How is one to bring about order? Because without order psychologically as well as outwardly one must live in chaos - as the world is becoming more and more chaotic, destructive, violent, which shows a great deal of disorder in the world. And perhaps that disorder is projected by each one of us because we live in disorder.
So we are asking: how is one to have complete, total order in oneself, is that possible? Where there is order there is tremendous energy. Where there is disorder there is the dissipation of energy, wastage of energy. So we are going to enquire together - I am not enquiring into myself but together we are enquiring, exploring into this question: what is order and can there be order without understanding disorder? So we are enquiring together to find out this actual state, the fact that we live in disorder - is that a fact, not a verbal description of the disorder? The word is not the thing. The description of the disorder is not actual disorder. The description of a mountain however beautifully painted, the beauty of the valley, the light, the snow, the lines against the sky, the whole sense of dignity, beauty of that mountain can be described most beautifully but the description is not the actual fact. For most of us description is sufficient. And so we are caught in the description, not with the actual fact. So when we are asking: what is disorder? - is that an idea of what you think should be order and in comparison with what you think should be order there is disorder, which again is total disorder. I hope you are following all this. So we are going to find out what is disorder, and having an insight, a quick perception of the whole structure of disorder, then out of that comes order. That order is not according to a pattern, according to a blueprint, according to some sage, or some philosopher, or some religious quack. And most religious priests and hierarchy and all the rest of it are super quacks. Even the new pope, I hope. (Laughter)
So (laughs) are we aware first that we live in disorder? Not the definition of that word but the actual fact of contradiction, of division, me and mine and you and yours, we and they and all that division that goes on within ourselves - the constant conflict. All that indicates disorder. And how do you observe that disorder? Say for example, as we took yesterday, attachment in any form is a factor of disorder, and also a factor, as we pointed out yesterday, as we discovered yesterday, a part of fear. So attachment to a person, to an idea, to a conclusion, to a past memory, to a piece of furniture and so on and so on, does breed disorder. Do we see that fact?
And the freedom from attachment, without becoming isolated, callous, indifferent, does that bring about certain order? Because what we are talking about is, that when we have put everything in order then there is a great deal of energy, tremendous energy. And one needs that energy to go most profoundly into oneself. So we are asking, discovering for ourselves, first the disorder in which we live and the nature of that disorder which is part of attachment, fear, and pleasure and so on, and without directing it in a particular direction hoping that will bring order, but just to be aware of this disorder without any movement away from it. Are we meeting each other? Is the speaker making the thing clear? That is, may I go into it? All right.
Suppose I live in disorder, inwardly, I may have marvellous order outwardly but inwardly perhaps I am in great disorder. And I ask myself, what am I to do? Is that disorder different from me? Or I am that disorder? You understand this question? Please, this is really important to understand because if the disorder is different from me then I can do something about it, then I can change the pattern, move from one corner to another corner, or bring psychological order by suppressing, by control, by this and by that. I can do something about it. But if the disorder is not different from me, which is a fact, that the disorder is me, then the problem arises, what happens then? You are following all this? You are not listening to me, you are listening to yourself. Then perhaps you will bring about a change. But if you merely listen to the speaker, you can listen to him for the rest of your life, and I hope you won't, and if you merely listen to him you won't change. But if you yourself see that you live in disorder and that disorder is not different from you, fundamentally, basically you are that disorder, then what takes place? Before, you could do something about it because you separated yourself from it and you operated on it, and therefore in that there was constant conflict, betrayal, one day you could do it, the next day you couldn't do it and so on and so on, fluctuating from day to day. Whereas the fact is, you are that disorder. That is a fact, not a conclusion which the speaker has come to and is trying to impose it on you, which he is not. We are not doing propaganda of any kind, trying to convince you of anything. But when the disorder is me I can't do anything about it, which means I can't operate on it as I used to before. So I remain in this total disorder. Are you doing this as we are talking? Or is it just a verbal accumulation? Which is, I am not different from that disorder. That disorder exists because I have divided myself from what I have called disorder. That is one of the major factors of disorder. I have discovered that. Wherever there is a separation between me and psychologically what I observe, that division is one of the major factors of disorder. That is, when I call myself a Hindu, or myself a Muslim, or a Christian, Catholic or a British or a French, or German, or whatever it is, the division is a factor of disorder - the Jew and the Arab, you have got an obvious example, everyday that is happening. So psychologically when there is division between disorder and myself, I am encouraging and cultivating disorder. Whereas the fact is the disorder is myself and therefore the realisation, the truth of that brings order. Are you following this? You are all very silent. It's up to you.
Questioner: I am waiting for it to happen.
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says he is waiting for it to happen. I'm afraid you will have to wait a long time then! (Laughter) It is a fact, it can't happen to you. You yourself see what is going on, therefore the actual fact, the truth of the matter frees the mind from disorder. The cause of this disorder is the separation as me and different from disorder. You understand?
So, similarly can we bring order in our life? That is, to learn the art of putting everything in its right place. That is order. But you cannot put things in their right place unless the man who puts the thing in the right place is also very orderly. You understand? Naturally. So we are trying to find out what is order, and what is disorder. Disorder can be dissolved only when the division between me and the other ceases to be, psychologically. And one has to learn the art of putting things in their proper place. Money, which most of us, if we have lots of it, cling to it, if you have little of it you want more of it, and so on and so on. Money has become tremendously important in the world. And also sex has become tremendously important. I am not going to talk about it, it is important. You know how important it is in your life. And when you give something such great importance that very fact that you are giving a particular thing great importance is disorder. Right? If I give tremendous importance to exercise, so-called yoga, then I am putting that totally out of proportion. So putting everything in its proper place implies giving everything its right value. Right? Can we do that? Do we want to do that? Or is it all much too difficult? Or you say, 'Please, we have lived for so many years in this mess, let me go on. Don't interfere with this mess'. And so you accept the mess and you are accustomed to it. You say we've become comfortable with this mess, and we don't want to alter it. But a man who is seriously concerned not only with the world outside of us but also inwardly, to give money, sex, everything its proper place is to learn the beauty of freedom. Without that there is no freedom.
So then the next problem is: we live under great pressure, more and more. Pressure - institutional pressures, political pressures, economic pressures, social pressures, and so on and so on and so on. And we said perhaps the greatest pressure in most of us is the desire that wants to act, the pressure of tremendous desire. Right? Are we following all this? May I go on?
K: I hope you are watching all this in yourself. Because you can listen to these words for the next ten years, fifteen years, twenty years but at the end of that you say, 'I am where I was'. Because you don't apply, you don't say, 'I am going to find out'. You merely live at the level of words.
The next thing is: why is there such a tremendous pressure of desire in most of us? The pressure of sex, the pressure of desire for sex, desire for experience, desire to be popular, famous, desire to - you know, all the rest of it, what the activities of desire are. Desire for enlightenment, which is the most stupid desire! Because enlightenment doesn't come through desire. You may go to all the highest peaks in the Himalayas but you will never find illumination there. It is where you are, not in India, or in Japan, or in some other place - or even Rome. (Laughter) Sorry to talk about Rome because I have just heard this morning about the Pope being elected! (Laughter)
So, if one is aware in oneself, of oneself, one sees how desire is so extraordinarily strong - desire for power, to dominate people, you know all this, I don't have to go into details. You know it all very, very well. And we live under this pressure. And so not only physiologically one becomes ill, the strain of it, but also psychologically it is a great travail, it is a great problem. I desire, say for example, to be the most marvellous person, and it is a constant strain to become somebody, to be somebody, to achieve a result. So one can see desire, without being understood, the whole nature and the structure of desire, is one of the factors of disorder. Right? Please do we see that? Please don't accept what I am saying, that is totally unimportant. Is that in yourself a fact which you have discovered for yourself, seeing that desire in all its multiple forms and multiple expressions does breed confusion, does breed disorder. Right? And most people have said control desire, suppress desire, or fulfil desire, go to the extreme of desire - they have done all these tricks. Talk to any monk and they will tell you we must suppress any desire, carnal desire, or any form of desire in order to serve god or Jesus or - whoever god is. And so there is always this suppression, control, constant conflict - you desire something, you suppress it, you rationalise it, you control it, you run away from it and so on. So what we are trying to do, what we are saying is: let's find out the nature of desire, how it arises, and whether we can give desire its proper place, and not in any way suppress it, control it, destroy it. Right? We are going to go into that.
So one must find out the whole nature and the structure of desire. Find out for oneself, not be told what is the nature and the structure of desire. Then if you accept it you will come back next year or the next thirty years and say, 'Well, that is exactly where I am, I began and you have left me where I was after thirty years'. Because one has lived on words, not actually gone into it for yourself. Why has desire become so extraordinarily important? It is encouraged through education, in every form, society, all things around us encourage this process of desire. I want to find out why desire has become important in oneself and what is desire. So I must first understand the nature of sensation. Right? Sensory perception, senses. I must understand the way of the senses. May we go on?
The senses being touch, smell, taste and so on. And we never function with all the senses in operation. I wonder if you understand this. No? Taste becomes so extraordinarily important, if you are a gourmet, if you like good food, wine and all the rest of it, taste becomes extraordinarily important. Or if you are sensitive, music. Only music becomes important, hearing a lovely sound and the space between sounds, and the quality of sound. Or something. So our senses are broken up, fragmented, we never see anything with all our senses completely. Right? Are we understanding each other? Can you look at something, the movement of the sea, the way of the clouds, the wind among the trees, to look at it all with all your senses fully flowering and looking. Can we do that? Then when you do that you will see as a test - you are not accepting what I am saying, test it for yourself - then you will see that there is no centre from which you are observing. There is no division caused by the centre who says, 'I am different from that'. When you observe things totally, a woman or a man or a child, or your girl friend, husband, wife, with all the senses awakened then there is no one particular sense demanding an action. You are following all this? Are you doing it as we are talking about it? So senses have their right place, but they become destructive, divisive and conflicting when one particular sense is developed and the others are dormant or semi-dormant. Whereas when you observe something entirely with all your senses then there is no division in yourself.
So desire is part of these sensations, is the beginning of sensation. Right? That is a fact, isn't it? See a beautiful woman or a man or a child, or a car, or a mountain, or a lovely proportioned house, or a garden, and perception, sensation and the desire arises. Right? And the desire, that sensation, perception, sensation creates the image and then desire begins to operate. That is the whole movement of desire. This is a simple, obvious, daily fact which you can observe if you are paying attention.
So where does the conflict, the trouble, the confusion begin in the movement of desire? Right? You are following? Say, for example, I see a beautiful tree, or a lovely garden. I have got a piece of land and I'd like to have such a beautiful garden myself. That is, there is perception, sensation, the image-making which is thought - right? - and then thought pursues that which it has observed, which it has pleased. So wherever there is the movement of thought with regard to sensation then desire brings conflict. Are you understanding this? Is this clear, or am I to? No, no, I see it is not. I have to repeat it differently.
There is perception of a beautiful house, well-proportioned, all the rest of it. Then there is sensation. That is normal, that is essential, otherwise I am blind, my senses are not acute, aware. But the trouble begins the moment thought creates the image of owning a house like that and working for it, identifying oneself with that house and so on. So where thought begins to interfere with the perception then there is division, then desire begins. You've followed this? Is this clear? No, not what I am saying, for yourself. Are you also working as hard as we are all working? It is hot in here. Are you working as hard? I hope so. It doesn't matter. It is up to you.
So the question is: it is natural to have the perception, sensation, that is natural, but can that moment stop and not thought come in, and create an image and pursue that image which becomes desire? You understand what I'm saying? You understand my question? That is, perception, sensation is normal, healthy, but when thought comes in, creates the image then the image is pursued as desire, then the trouble begins. Haven't you noticed it in yourself? You can see a beautiful car and there is sensation and the image of you driving in it, driving it, the power you have and all that. But whereas seeing the car, sensation, and stop there. Can you do it? You try it and see what is involved in it. In that there is no control. You see the whole implication of desire, how it arises, how thought then creates the image and pursues it. Whereas perception, sensation and looking at the car - or the mountain, the girl, or the boy, or whatever it is. Then there is no conflict, there is no suppression of desire, then you have the enormous energy that has been used up by the movement of thought as desire. Is this clear?
So the next point is - we are investigating into ourselves - why do we live so greatly on remembrances? You understand my question? Why human beings live in the past, which is to remember? Right? You all look so puzzled. You have had a pleasant day and you remember it, and it is stored up as a memory, and you delight in that memory, you live in that memory; or you live in a sexual memory, or the memory of some achievement that has been possible for you. So remembrance has become extraordinarily important for all of us - as experience, as knowledge. I am asking, we are asking, why? Do you understand? Not that we must not remember, of course you must remember how to drive a car, where your home is and so on and so on, the technological knowledge one has acquired, but psychologically why has remembrance such importance in our life? Right? You are asking this question yourself. So what is remembrance? What is the factor of remembrance? There was an incident that was pleasurable or painful, an event that brought a smile or a tear, and that is registered in the brain. Right? Naturally. This is simple. And that registration becomes the memory, that registration is the remembrance of that delightful event, or that painful event. Now the question is: why should we register psychologically anything? You understand my question? I have put a question: why should the brain register an event which was painful or pleasurable? It may register things that are dangerous - right? - like a precipice, like a dangerous animal, or dangerous snake, or a dangerous person, a crook and so on, it may register. Those are all obvious daily facts. But why should the brain register the hurt, the flattery, the insult, the feeling that you are this and all the rest of it, why should there be registration psychologically at all? You have got the question, haven't you? Are we meeting each other? Is it time for me to stop?
K: Dites moi, je vous prie, quant il est midi et demi.
Now we are asking: it is one of the factors of the brain to register, of necessity. I must register technological knowledge if I am working with machines and so on and so on. And also if I write or if I am a surgeon, a doctor and so on, it must be registered. But we are asking: why should one psychologically register anything at all? At least see the question first. Is it necessary? Does it bring a clarity? Does it bring greater energy, freedom and so on? Or psychological registration is one of the factors that destroys real joy. I'll go into it presently.
We said the brain in its activity must register certain things, it is necessary. But we are asking: psychologically, inwardly why should the brain register? Is it a habit that we have fallen into, that when you insult me I register it immediately? When you flatter me, I register it immediately. Why? When you flatter me you are my friend, when you insult me you are not my friend and so on and so on, so on. Now we are asking: can this registration stop psychologically? See what it means. Then that means regeneration of the brain. So the brain becomes extraordinarily alive, young, fresh because it is not registering that which is not necessary. I wonder if you follow all this. Now, is that possible? Intellectually one can see the beauty of it, verbally. You say, 'By Jove, it must be most extraordinary intellectually to have no psychological registration'. It doesn't mean one is a vegetable, or empty, or all that, but there is a freedom, an extraordinary sense of elation, an extraordinary sense of youthfulness, the brain doesn't get old, worn out. So one must find out if it is possible. Because as we grow older the brain gets more and more mechanical, more and more fixed in a groove, in a track, and becomes hard, brittle, not pliable, quick. Now is this possible, not to register psychologically at all? You have got the question? Is the question clear? Yes?
Now, let's proceed to find out. Find out, it doesn't mean that I am going to tell you and then you discover it and say, 'Yes, it is so'. Then you will come back thirty years later where I am - 'I am still where I started.'
We said the brain needs security, safety to function efficiently. It must register certain facts, how to drive a car, write letters and so on and so on, technology and so on. Then the brain has realised that putting order, giving order to register only things that are necessary, which is to bring order. Right? Then we can proceed to find out why the brain or the psyche, psychologically registers. Does it bring safety, avoids danger? Does it prevent further hurts, further destruction, further obstructions? Or we have cultivated unconsciously the habit of registering. We have registered there, so why not here? From there we have moved to here, psychologically, from outwardly it is necessary but psychologically, from there we have moved to here. And is that necessary at all? A very simple example: from childhood we are hurt psychologically, by parents, by other children, by the school, college, university, if you are lucky and so on and so on - we are hurt, we are wounded psychologically. And that wound is registered. And having been hurt there is resistance, isolation, fear and all the rest of it. Now is it necessary when you insult me to register at all? You understand my question? Is it possible to prevent registration? You are understanding my question? I hope! Right? It is possible only when you are insulting me, or flattering me, for all my senses to be awakened and listening. You understand this? Then there is no reception at all. Is this all Greek? (Laughter) I see the importance to have fresh, young, bright, clear brain. That is utterly important. Is it possible to maintain that clarity, that precision, decision with that beauty of all that is implied till I die? It is not possible when there is registration of things which are not absolutely necessary. Right? So one has to find out why any form of psychological registration which becomes memory, remembrance, is it possible not to do it? One discovers, if you go into it deeply, it is possible. It is possible only when you are really attentive at the moment of insult, at the moment of flattery. Right? Have you tried this?
The other day a man said to me, 'You are a damn fool, you are stuck in a rut' - rather impolite but there it is. (Laughter) So I went to my room and I said, 'Is that a fact? I want to find out.' One may be stuck in a rut and one may be a damn fool. One investigates it and by watching very carefully you don't register that you are you don't register, you listen to the word, you listen to the fact whether you are or not, whether you are stuck in a rut. Are you stuck in a rut? You understand? Are you? No, find out, don't answer me please. Somebody calls you what somebody called me, I hope more politely, and you want to find out if it is so. You neither deny nor accept but just watch it, find out. If you are stuck in a rut, it is fairly obvious, you'll soon find out you are in a rut.
So registration does not take place when you are alert, awake, totally aware with all your senses open, there is nothing to be registered psychologically. Will you do it? No, you won't, because pleasure has become immensely important for us. Right? If you observe yourself very carefully you will see what great part, perhaps the greatest part, pleasure plays in our life. The pleasure to find god, or illumination, the pleasure to be free, the pleasure to have money, possessions, lovely wife or husband, you know and all that business, pleasure of sex, pleasure of power, the politicians with their pleasure of immense power. And so the registration of pleasure in most of our lives is tremendous. Right? And the pursuit of pleasure has become a dominant factor: that is the remembrance of a past pleasure and the pursuit of that past pleasure as remembrance and desire behind it and searching out, asking, demanding, wanting. Our whole religious organisations are based on that. It is a vast entertainment, it gives great pleasure, which is great sensation, that you are in the presence of holy things and so on.
So we said, the registration of pleasure, of an event that gave you great delight, is registered and the pursuit of it in our life.
Now the question is: what is pleasure? When you are enjoying something, at the moment you don't say, 'How pleasurable it is, how lovely' - you are in it. Only a second later thought comes along and says, 'What a lovely time that was, how beautiful that was, what a great sensation it gave me, what a lovely experience', so there is registration has taken place, then thought is in operation. You are following all this?
We are talking about all this because it is part of knowing oneself, not from books, not from words, not from description, but actually knowing oneself. Knowing doesn't mean accumulating memory about oneself and from that accumulation observe. If you observe through accumulation you are only accumulating what you have already known. But whereas if you are observing afresh each time then it is like a vast river with a volume of water flowing, moving.
So what is pleasure? Is it time, is it thought as fear? We said the root of fear is time. The root of fear is thought. Thought which is remembering - remembrance - remembers certain events that caused fear, registered, the remembrance of it and the next time this whole remembrance is projected. You are watching? So is pleasure time and the movement of thought? Or they are both the same, thought and time are essentially the same? So thought is the movement of pleasure, which doesn't mean you can't look at a beautiful tree and enjoy it, a beautiful person, a painting or a lovely valley with all the purple shadows in it. Look at it but the moment it becomes registered and remembrance, it is no longer delight, it becomes a pleasure, which is the remembrance of things that have happened before. Now if you see the whole nature of this, completely, then pleasure has its place, delight and therefore psychologically, inwardly there is no registration of that event. The mind then, the brain then becomes extraordinarily alive, young, fresh without any neurotic reactions.
Finished. I've stopped just in time. Please, if I may request you, don't clap, it's such a you're clapping for yourself, not for me - or clap when I am not here. (Laughter)