Is it possible to live without a single problem?
Is it possible to live a life without a single problem?
2nd Public Talk, Bombay
January 23, 1983
We are a bit early, so we'll wait till quarter past six, if you don't mind.
It's pretty hot, isn't it. I suppose you like living in Bombay.
Please have patience; we have got two more minutes.
All right, sirs. May we continue with what we were talking about yesterday evening. We said, didn't we, the present condition of national divisions, racial divisions, linguistic divisions, religious divisions, national divisions - as Muslim and the Hindu, the Jew and the Arab, the American and the European, the Russian, and so on, the Chinese - and this tribal division which is called - national, glorified tribalism - called nationalism, it has brought about great many wars. Where there is division, we said, there must be conflict, not only division between man and woman in their relationship but also division - racial, religious and linguistic division. And we went into the question, why has this constant conflict between man and man exist, what is the root of it? What is the cause of all this chaos, anarchy - almost anarchy - bad governments, arming each group, each nation, preparing for wars, thinking one religion is superior to the other, one guru more important than the other and so on. We have seen this division throughout the world, and also historically it has existed for many, many centuries. What is the cause of it? Who is responsible for it? And we said, thought has divided man against man, thought has also created the most extraordinary architecture, painting, poetry and the whole world of technology - medicine, surgery, communication, computers, robots and so on. Thought has brought about health, good medicine, various forms of human comfort. But thought also, as we said yesterday, has created this vast division between man and man, man against man. And we asked, what is the cause of all this? Who is responsible for all this? And we said, where there is a cause, there is an end. Like when you have a certain disease the cause can be found of that disease, the disease can be cured, so wherever there is a cause, there is an end to that cause. That is obviously a fact. And if thought has created this confusion, this uncertainty, this perpetual danger of war, if thought is responsible for that, then what is to happen if thought is not used. And also we said yesterday this is not a lecture to instruct, to inform on a particular subject. We are together investigating, exploring, asking, to find out why man - of course the woman included - why man throughout the world lives and perpetuates conflict, not only within himself but outwardly, in society, in religion, in economy and so on. If thought is responsible, which is fairly obvious, that thought is responsible for the mess, for the division, for all the misery of human beings. If one recognises that fact, not a theory, not some philosophical outlook or philosophical statement but if one realises the actual fact of it that thought however clever, however crafty, however erudite, thought is responsible. And if it is responsible then what is man to do? That is where we left off yesterday.
We said also that thought has created marvellous cathedrals, temples and mosques and all the things that are in the temples, mosques and churches are the invention of thought. Thought has created god, because thought seeks to find security. Finding uncertainty, insecurity, conflict in this world, then thought invents an entity, a principle, an ideal which may give security, comfort, but that comfort, that security is the invention of thought. I think it is fairly obvious if you think about it very deeply, if you observe your own thinking, that thought however subtle, however stupid, cunning, crafty has created this division and this conflict.
Then we can ask a question: why does this conflict exist, why have we lived with conflict from immemorial times, between the good and the bad, in 'what is' and 'what should be', the actual and the ideal, there is this division. So, let us enquire why, not only conflicts, why there is division as the good and the bad, the evil and that which is beautiful, holy.
Please, as we said yesterday, we are thinking together, not agreeing, not accepting but having observed the state of the world, having observed your own society in which you live, your own governments, your own economic condition, and the various gurus with their assumptions; when you have observed all this objectively, rationally, sanely, why does man live in conflict? What is conflict?
Please, bear in mind, if I may remind you over and over again I shall, that we are having a dialogue together. You and the speaker are having a conversation together. You are not just sitting there listening to some ideas, to some concept, to some words, but you are sharing. You can only share, partake if you are actually concerned. But if we merely treat what is being said as a series of ideas, conclusions, suppositions, then our dialogue ends, and therefore there is no communication between you and the speaker. But if you are concerned, as every human being is concerned, at all awake to all the things that are happening in the world - the tyranny, the search for power, accepting power, living with power; all power is evil, ugly, whether the power over your wife, or the wife over the husband, or the governments throughout the world. Where there is power, with power goes all the ugly things with it.
So, we are asking why man lives in conflict. What is conflict? Not only between two people - man, woman - but also one community against another community, one group against another group and so on. What is the nature of conflict? Please, we are thinking together so don't go to sleep, because we are talking about very, very serious things, which is not a philosophy, but investigating our daily life - the life that we lead day after day, year after year till we die. So please have the goodness, the responsibility of sharing this concern together. We are asking, what is conflict? Why do human beings live with conflict? I do not know if some of you have seen those caves in south of France where twenty-five, thirty thousand years ago, there is a picture of man fighting evil in the form of a bull and so on. For thousands of years we have lived with conflict. To meditate, it becomes a conflict. So everything that we do or don't do has become a conflict. Does conflict exist where there is comparison? Comparison means measurement. One compares oneself with another - he may be bright, intelligent, a man in position, power and so on. Where there is comparison there must be fear, there must be conflict.
So can one live without comparison at all? We think by comparing ourselves with somebody, we are progressing. You want to be like your guru or beat your guru, go beyond him. You want to achieve enlightenment, position, you want a following, you want to be respected and so on and so on. So where there is a becoming psychologically, there must be conflict. Right? Are we together thinking about this? Whether it is possible to live a life, in modern life, without any comparison and therefore without any conflict? Don't say it is not practical.
So we are questioning the psychological becoming. You understand? A child becomes an adult, then grows into manhood. To learn a language we need time, to acquire any skill we need time. And we are asking - please find out for yourself - we are asking, is becoming psychologically one of the reasons of conflict? 'What is' to be changed into 'what should be'. I am not good but I will be good. I am greedy, envious but perhaps one day I will be free of all this. The desire to become, which is measurement, which is comparison, is that one of the causes of conflict? And is there another reason, which is, there is duality. This is not philosophy. We are examining something to understand the nature of conflict and to find out for ourselves if it is possible to be totally, completely free of conflict. Conflict wears out the brain, makes the mind old. A man that has lived without conflict is an extraordinary human being. There is tremendous energy, which is dissipated in conflict. So it is important, if one may point out, the necessity of understanding conflict. We see measurement, comparison brings about conflict. And also we have stated that there is duality, or some of your philosophers have stated that, posited that there is duality and that one of the reasons of this conflict is because of this duality. There is duality - night and morning, light and shade, tall and short, bright and dull, morning sun rising and sun setting - physically there is duality - you are a woman and another is a man. But we are asking - please think together with the speaker, not accepting what he says, think together, because then we can co-operate together, then we can do things together. It is important that we do think together, which means you must put aside your opinions, your conclusions, your experiences, but if you stick to your opinions, conclusions, experiences and another also sticks to his, then there is no co-operation, there is no thinking together, there is division, there is conflict. So, please I beg of you, think together, let's think together, because this is very serious.
Is there psychological duality at all? Or is there only 'what is'? I am violent, that's the only state, violence, not non-violence, the non-violence is just an idea, it's not a fact. So where there is violence and non-violence, there must be conflict. And in this country you have talked endlessly about non-violence and probably you are also very violent people. So, the fact and the non-fact. The fact is human beings through out the world are violent. That's a fact. Violence means not only physical but also imitation, conformity, obedience, accepting, and various other forms of violence. That is 'what is', the other is not. But if you are conditioned to the other, that is, to pursue while you are violent non-violence, that is to pursue away from the fact, then you must have conflict. But whereas if one dealt with 'what is', that is, I am violent, I am not seeking non-violence, which is nonsense because while I am seeking non-violence I am being violent, I am sowing seeds of violence. Right? Don't go to sleep please.
So there is only one fact, that is I am violent. So, in the understanding of the nature and the structure of violence there may be the ending of violence, but the ending of violence is not a problem, as we went into yesterday. Our minds are trained, educated to solve problems - mathematical problems, economic problems, political problems and so on. We are trained, educated. Our brains are conditioned to deal mechanically with problems. And we make of life, as we said yesterday, a series of endless problems psychologically and so on. We went into that yesterday, we are not going to go into it more, because there is lots more to be talked about. So there is only fact, not the opposite. If this is very clear, that the ideal, the principle, that which you call the noble, are all illusions. What is fact is we are violent, ignoble, corrupt, uncertain and so on. Those are facts and we have to deal with facts. Facts, if you face them, they do not create problems. It is like that.
So, I discover that I am violent. And I have no opposite to it, I reject totally the opposite, it has no meaning. So I have only this fact. Now, how do I deal with fact? You understand my question? How do I approach the fact? How do I look at the fact? What is my motive in looking at the fact? What is the direction in which I want the fact to move? I must be aware of the nature and the structure of the fact, to be aware without choice of the fact. Are you doing this as we are talking? Or you're just happily listening to a lot of words and picking up here and there some words that will be convenient and suitable, and not listening totally to your own enquiry. How does one then deal with fact? That is, how do I observe the fact that I am violent. That violence is shown when I get angry, when I am jealous, when I am trying to compare myself with another. If I am doing all that, then it is impossible to face facts. A good mind faces facts. If you are in business, you face facts and deal with the fact, change the fact. You don't pretend that you will do something else away from the fact, then you are not a good businessman. But here we are so ineffectual, we don't change, because we don't deal with facts, psychologically, inwardly we avoid them, we escape from them, or when we do discover them we suppress them and so there is no resolution of any of them.
Now, from that we can go to something else which is important: what is a good mind? Have you ever asked? Is a mind good when it is full of knowledge? And what is knowledge? Go on, sir, enquire me, with the speaker. We are all very proud of having knowledge. Scholastic knowledge through experience, knowledge through incidents, accidents. Accumulated memory is knowledge. Right? Accumulated experience, and experience can never be complete. So is a good mind a mind full of knowledge? Is a good mind, a free, comprehensive, a global mind? Or is a good mind parochial, narrow, nationalistic, traditional? You understand all this? That is not a good mind, obviously. A good mind is a free mind. It is not a contemporary mind. A good mind is not of time, a good mind isn't concerned with time, with environment. It can deal with environment, it can deal with time, but in itself, it is totally free. And such a mind has no fear. The speaker is telling this because our minds have been so educated, so trained that we have nothing original, there is no depth. Knowledge is always superficial. So, when we are concerned with the understanding of the human being, his mind, his action, his behaviour, his responses which are limited because his senses are limited, and to understand a depth, the nature of conflict and whether it is possible to be completely, wholly free of it, one must have a good mind, not just verbal, accumulation of words, which doesn't mean a clever mind, a crafty mind, which most of us are. We have very crafty minds, but not good minds. We are very cunning, crafty, subtle, cunning - you know - deceptive, dishonest, but that's not a good mind.
So, is it possible for us living in this modern world, with all the activities, the pressures, the influences, from newspapers, from constant repetition - our minds are being programmed like a computer - you are a Hindu, that's your being programmed for the last three thousand years and so you repeat. Such a repetition indicates not a good mind, a strong, healthy, active, decisive, full of personally alertness - such a mind is necessary. Because only then is it possible to bring about a psychological revolution and so a new society, a new culture.
And in listening to the speaker - as I hope you are listening, perhaps you are not, it doesn't matter if you are not listening - but those who are listening, the art of listening is to listen, to see the truth of it and act. For us, we see something to be true, we understand it, not only logically, reasonably, we understand things very clearly but we don't act. There is an interval between perception and action. Right? Between the perception and action all other incidents take place therefore you will never act. Right? If you see that violence in you is a fact and not try to become non-violent, which is non-fact, but if you perceive the nature of violence, the complexity of violence - and you can see the complexity of violence, if you listen to violence, that is, listen to your own violence, it will reveal the nature of itself, not descriptively - you can know it for yourself. But if you perceive your violence and act, then there is the end of violence, completely. Whereas perception and interval and action is conflict. I wonder if you understand this.
As we said yesterday, a chattering mind is an unhealthy mind. A chattering mind perpetually talking, talking, talking, thinking, not only about business problems, mathematical problems and so on, but problems of one's relationship with your wife, with your husband, with your children, with your neighbour - perpetually occupied, and such occupation will inevitably wear down, whittle down the capacity of the brain. One knows this, it is obvious. So is it possible not to chatter? And when we realise that it is chattering and ask the question: is it possible to stop it, then we make a problem of it. And our brains are trained to solve problems. So we think we solve by saying 'I must not chatter', and try to control, and then the problem arises: who is the controller? Is the controller different from the controlled? So problems arise and you are ready to solve them. That is what is happening politically in the world over. They have innumerable problems. And their brains, like ours, like yours, trained to solve problems. In solving one problem, they have multiplied others or increased other problems. And this is called government. All over the world this is going on.
So, to see something, the fact that I am violent, and to let the story of violence reveal itself. It will if your mind is quiet. But don't make a problem of it - how is the brain to be quiet? Then you might just as well take a drug or what you call meditation, which is an escape from life, and we have the other problems in meditation which all become so utterly stupid, meaningless. So, is it possible to look, to observe, to find without any choice, to look at your greed, envy, ambition, your arrogance. Have you noticed how many people are arrogant? Not the politician, they are of course, that's understood - they want power, position, prestige. Where there is power there is evil. Absolute power is absolute evil, as has been said. Now, are you arrogant? You understand? The man who is trying to become something psychologically is arrogant. I am ignorant - not ignorance of books, I don't mean that, that is notthat is still ignorance. You may read the Gita, the Upanishads or the Bible or the Koran, repeat them endlessly but you are an ignorant human being, because ignorance means not understanding the depth of yourself, not what you are. And a person is arrogant when he tries to become something which he is not. Are you following all this?
You know, we all want to achieve a state of happiness, perpetual, unending happiness. And that can only come about through enlightenment, whatever that may mean. And so a disciple puts on strange garbs and all the rest of it, he is trying to become enlightened. The becoming is the movement of arrogance. Yes sir, look at it. It denies totally the sense of humility. When you are facing facts then you have to be totally humble, not cultivate humility. Only the vain cultivate humility. Right, sirs? When they are vain, arrogant, they may cultivate humility but their humility is still arrogance. Go into all this, sir. So, when one discovers for oneself that one is arrogant - arrogance may be that you are a great scientist, won a noble prize, are well-known, or you are a writer, want to be known because more books are sold, more money, you know the whole business of it. So we are all treading the same path of becoming and therefore being utterly dishonest, pretending what we are not. Whereas a good mind faces the fact. The fact that I am violent, arrogant. Nobody has to tell me that I am arrogant, it is so obvious. The way you talk, the way you behave; if one is at all awake one sees the nature of arrogance. Now, to see it, to comprehend it and to hold it, not try to escape from it - it is so. So when there is perception of that which is, that is arrogance, that very perception demands immediate action. That is intelligence. If I see something dangerous and I don't act, that's stupid, whereas arrogance, violence is a tremendous danger for a healthy, sane, rational, passionate mind. And if there is the perception of that, that very perception demands immediate action. That is the ending of it. Perception doesn't demand analysis. I don't know if you have gone into all that. Perception of something actual, understanding it, looking at it, ending it - from there you can reason. That very reasoning will be logical. But if you begin with logic, reason, find out the cause, then you will take time and the cause will multiply. It is so obvious all this. Right, sirs?
So, we come to the point: is it possible to live a life without a single problem? We are not talking of mathematical problems and so on, but problems of relationship. To have no problem in relationship, is that possible? Enquire, please enquire with the speaker. You have problems, haven't you? - with your wife, with your father, with your mother, with your children. Why? Because we are concerned with daily living, if the daily living is not in order, you can meditate till you are blue in the face, that meditation will have no meaning, it is merely an escape. You might just as well take a drug and enjoy yourself. But if you do not put your house in order, which is your relationship, then if that house is not in order then your society will not be order. You must begin near to go very far. The near is your relationship. Why have we problems there? Please enquire with me, don't let me explain, talk endlessly. Let us together, please I request you most earnestly, investigate why we have problems with your wife, with your husband, with your children, with your neighbour, with your government, with your community and all the rest of it. Which is, what is relationship?
Life is a movement in relationship, living. There is no escape from that. You may become a hermit, take vows, put on strange garbs and all the rest of it, thinking yourself extraordinarily exceptional, but you are related. And relationship is to understand it is the most important thing in life - not god, not all the scriptures, but to understand the depth, the meaning, the beauty, the quality of relationship. Are you getting tired by listening to the speaker? Are we drowned by a lot of words? Are you being drowned by a lot of words? Or do you catch instantly the depth, the beauty, the quality of relationship, without more explanations, more analysis, but see the extraordinary importance of relationship. So, as you don't see the beauty of relationship - where there is no relationship, there is disorder - so let's look at it together.
You know, there is something curious, perhaps not relevant, but you know most of us have homes, have houses, flats, and we own them, we possess them, it is our home. Right? We never realise that we are also guests in that house. Right? You understand the meaning of that? To be a guest in a house, in your own house. Do you understand what it means? Must I explain it? You know, that means one must be a teacher as well as a disciple. There is no teacher outside of you. You are the teacher and also you are the disciple who is learning from the teacher. Not from the teacher as a guru, that is all silly, but you are learning and teaching. You are the owner of your house and also you are the guest of your house. That means you look after the house, you care for the house, you care for whoever is in the house because you are a guest. Oh come on, sir, you don't see all this! So let's go back. The speaker has travelled all over the world for the last sixty years, different countries, different houses, wherever he is, he is a guest. That means he is always adjusting himself, like a river full of water, a great volume of water behind it and every boulder, every rock, it goes round it - you understand? - a guest is like that. Let's get back.
Relationship is one of the most important things in life. Right? It is obvious. And why have we made it such a confusion, such misery. And having created conflict we say, it has become a problem and we are ready to solve it, because our minds are trained, as in business, as in science, mathematics, we have problems there, so we are trained that way - so, there are problems in our family, so we are going to solve them. By solving them we will have more problems because your mind is trained to solve problems and never free to look at the beauty or the depth of what relationship is. So let's go into it, if we may.
What is relationship? The very word implies being in contact with another. Not physical contact, not sexual contact, that you all know, but to be in contact mentally, emotionally, psychic, inwardly to be in contact with another, so that there is no division in that contact. You understand? That is relationship. But we haven't got that contact. You are ambitious and the wife also is ambitious. You want this and she wants something else. She may be right and you may be wrong. She wants to live in a marvellous house and you say, please, for god's sake. She wants to be popular and you don't care. You are a scholar, a professor in your own little groove and she has also - so you never are in contact with each other, except sexually. Right? This is a fact. Why? And you call that relationship. One image - your image about her or her image about you. You are not kind, you are brutal, you are this, you are that - you know. So, where does love come into all this? You understand my question? When one says to one's wife, 'I love you', what does it mean? If you ever say it. I don't know if you say it at all. I doubt it. But if you do say it, what does it mean, to love another? Relationship means to love another. What does that word mean? We use that word in advertisements. You see it: I love Coca Cola or I love this and I love that. I love god. I love my guru. What does that love mean? Is it based on reward and punishment? Look at it sirs, because we are always caught between the two - reward and punishment. I follow the guru because he is going to promise me heaven, give me comfort. I don't do this because he is going to punish me. So we are caught in this. Is relationship a reward and punishment process? Is love a movement of that? Sir, think it
Or, we never meet - your wife and your husband never, except physically, never psychologically meet. And because we never meet there is conflict. Right? That is, to meet your wife or your husband, your children, your neighbour at the same time, at the same level, with the same intensity - that is love. You understand this? Do you understand this, sir? Not physically - I don't mean that. To meet somebody, you must meet him, if he is also willing, at the same time, at the same level, with the same intensity. Then that is relationship. But if you are ambitious, you follow that path, becoming noble, ignoble - you know all the rest of it - and she also follows another path, naturally, you may be married, you may have children and all the rest of it, but you never meet. And that breeds a sense of desperate loneliness. Don't you know all this? When I have no relationship with anyone - with my wife, with my boss, with my foreman - when I have no relationship at all with anybody, because I am self-centred, my actions are self-centred, my wife is also self-centred, so that self-centredness, the lack of relationship, brings about great loneliness. And discovering that loneliness, then you make out of that loneliness into a problem: what am I to do when I am lonely? Right? And your brain is ready to solve the problem. But you never rest with that loneliness, you never enquire the cause of it.
So where there is love, there is no loneliness. Unless you love your wife, which is the most extraordinary - your husband or whatever it is - where there is love in your heart, then there is no problem. Because you haven't got it you have a thousand problems. Having stated that, don't make it into a problem. Look at the fact. The fact is that we are not sensitive, that we don't have the depth of beauty - not pictures, painting, I don't mean that - the depth of beauty. And the fact is that we don't love. To look at it, to remain with it, to see that is so, not evade it, not try to rationalise it, it is so. That I don't love my wife. You know what that means to say that to yourself. You should cry. I want to cry for you.
So, sir, it is like two parallel lines never meeting and therefore increasing conflict day after day till you die. And to see the fact that there is no love in your heart, to have the mind in your heart - mind in your heart, not the heart in your mind. You see the difference? Because we are so clever, we'll make we think love then can be achieved, cultivated. Love is not something to cultivate. Either there is or there isn't. If there isn't, look at it, hold it, realise what you are, without love in your heart. You are just one just then becomes a machine: insensitive, vulgar, coarse, only concerned with sex and pleasure. Sir, please, I am not harassing you, I am not scolding you, I am just pointing out what has happened to you. Your knowledge, your books have destroyed you because love is not bought in the books, it does not lie with knowledge. Knowledge and love don't go together. When you say 'I know my wife', that is your knowledge, which is your image about her. That knowledge is put together by thought, and thought is not love.
So having stated all this, do you have love in your heart or is it something romantic, nonsensical, impractical, valueless - it does not give you any money - that is so. So, having heard all this, is there a comprehension of the depth of that word so that your mind is in the heart, and then you have right relationship. When you have right relationship, which means love, you can never go wrong, you can do what you like, then everything is right.