Is the mind capable of seeing thought?
Religion is the gathering of our total energy
2nd Public Discussion, Brockwood Park
September 05, 1974
Krishnamurti: I'm sorry the weather is so bad. What shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner: Wherever we left off last Tuesday.
K: Where did we leave off last time?
Q: We were asking questions: can the mind be aware of all this happening within the field of thought and wait with that, with the question. What then are we to do?
K: Oh, yes.
Q: Can we leave the field clear and not just keep answering the questions but stay with it?
K: I think we were saying the last time that we met here, that thought is in itself divisive and brings about fragmentation of life. This fragmentation of life into nationalities, classes, religious sects and groups, has created in the world, economically, socially and morally, an utter chaos. I think we all are aware of this mess round us. And perhaps also we are aware of this mess inside of us, this confusion. And if we are aware of it, what are we to do? I think that was where we left off.
I think we should be very clear about the whole structure and nature of thought before we can answer what to do. Right? This is a dialogue between two of us, as friends we are talking over together this problem, therefore you are sharing in it. We are taking a journey together, I am not talking to myself.
Thought is the response of memory. I think we are agreed to that - that we see that - not agree - that is a fact. If there was no memory there would be no thought. Memory is experience, knowledge, and knowledge is always in the past. Right? And thought is measure, thought is time. And from the ancient Greeks to the present time, measure has played an extraordinary part in our life - measure technologically, because otherwise without measurement there would be no technology, there is measure as comparison, as conformity, measure as the ideal, the prototype, the perfect example, and measuring ourselves to that example. This has been the process of thought right through the world. Again, there is no question about it. It is not the speaker's opinion or your opinion, it is a fact. Can we go on from there? Right?
And if you are really interested in this, it is rather amusing. You go the east, India and other parts of Asia, and you notice that measure, they have a special word in Sanskrit which is - 'ma' is to measure - and they said measurement is illusion. Are you interested in all this? Does it amuse you, or is it? (Laughs). And to find the immeasurable, because they said if you do not find the immeasurable what is measurable is always within the area of imprisonment: there is no escape from that limitation, from that bondage of time. So they said - the ancient people - that one must go beyond the measure, and therefore control thought. You follow this? Control thought; and the very controlling of the thought projected the immeasurable, which is the product of thought. So they were also caught in the measurement of thought. They thought they could get away with it through meditation, through conformity, through control, through suppression, all through the process of thought. And we see now whether you go to the east or to the west, the orient or the occident, this world is based on thought - all our activities, all our technological, scientific development is based on thought, our gods are the result of thought - the whole Christian world is based on thought, as the Hindu, the Muslim and the rest of it. And thought, being in itself dividing, divisive, fragmentary, whatever it does must be fragmentary. Right? Whatever it does, whether it tries to invent a future which is perfect, as an ideal, the perfect prototype, it is still within the measure of thought. And seeing what thought has done in this world - war, the dividing of nations against nations, man against man, ideologies against ideologies, beliefs against beliefs, seeing all this, the violence, the brutality, the suffering, the starvation, the lack of co-operation right through the world to solve the human problems, as inflation, starvation, and there is no co-operation, so what is a mind to do when it is aware of all this? You understand?
What is your mind to do - because we must act - life is action, you can't just sit still and do nothing. You can't escape into some monastery, or some retreat in India, or enter some Zen monastic order, we have to act - and what is a mind to do, being aware of all this? You have understood? Really this is not a problem for a - what is it today? - Thursday morning, it is the problem of life, it is the problem of our everyday life. What am I to do in my relationship with another, what am I to do with the ideas that I have? What is my relationship to the community, to the human beings, and what is my relationship to my friend, my wife, husband, children and so on? Because life is relationship, as action. So seeing all this, what is a mind, aware of this whole problem, not a particular problem, not a particular area but the whole area. Is the mind capable of seeing this whole as a whole, not in part? I don't know if I am making myself clear.
Is my mind, your mind capable of seeing, being aware of the whole structure and nature of thought and its activity, what it has done, and see it as a whole? Can the mind see it as a whole? Because the mind itself has been the product of thought, of experience, of knowledge, and therefore the mind itself can only see something partially. I don't know if you have gone into this question at all. So we are asking: can the mind, your mind, see, perceive, observe, the whole? The whole movement of thought as time, measure, and thought which has its roots in the past, going through the present and therefore modifying the future, all that is involved, and more, in observation. Can the mind observe the whole of it? Do you understand my question? I wonder if I am making this thing clear because I feel it is rather important to understand this. Our minds are educated to observe, or see, or feel, partially. One thinks about oneself and not of another, or one thinks of oneself in relation to another according to the image that one has about oneself. And therefore we are trained, we are educated, it is our habit to draw a circle round ourselves and another to include the other in our circle. So we are accustomed to look at life partially, as a fragment, and we are asking whether the mind can see non-fragmentarily?
Q: It has to recognise the fact that it is fragmented, that it doesn’t know that it can’t answer the question, because the question can’t be answered from the past.
K: The gentleman says, can the mind be aware that it is looking fragmentarily at life? I look at life as an Englishman, with his particular training, education, culture, environmental influence, economic conditioning and so on and so on. And the Frenchman looks at it in his own way, and the Dutch and the German and the American and (laughs) so on and so on. We are trained from childhood to look at life that way. Are we aware of this conditioning? That is what he is asking. Unless we are aware we cannot possibly look at the whole.
That implies the question also: what is the relationship of the individual to the whole? What is my relationship, as an individual, to humanity? Humanity being the human being there, not ten thousand miles away. If I know what my relationship is to the man over there then I know what my relationship is to the man ten thousand miles away. So all this is implied. Can the mind, being conditioned, educated, has lived in a culture that maintains division, not only as an artist, as a writer, as a businessman, as an economist, as a socialist, as a scientist, but also division in belief - my god and your god - so can my mind, your mind, be aware of this fact, not try to change it, not try to translate it, not try to break it down, be just aware of it, as one is aware that it is raining.
Then the question arises, if you are aware: who is it that is aware? You understand my point? Is it one of the fragments that is aware of the other fragments and so assumes, that fragment which is aware of other fragments, assumes the authority of direction? You follow? You understand what I am saying? Is this clear?
Q: The last one about authority, could you please repeat that?
K: Could I repeat it. Just a minute, I'll have to think it over.
Q: Is the mind aware of the other fragments.
K: Oh, yes. We are fragmented human beings. Right? I am an artist, I am a poet, I am a businessman, I am - oh, I don't know, a dozen things, broken up. And among these fragments one fragment, which thinks it is superior, which assumes the ideal, the authority, the perfect prototype, the supreme self, the inner self, that assumes a position of authority and then dictates what it shall do, what other fragments shall do. That is what we are doing, if you observe it. And is that fragment, which has assumed a superiority of the authority, is it any different from the other fragments? Please this is dreadfully serious, don't play with this otherwise it has no meaning.
And why has one fragment assumed a position where it can guide the other fragments? And what is that fragment? It is still the product of thought, surely. No? And the other fragments are also the product of thought - my wife, my house, my country, my god, my belief, my progress, my conflict. So can one be aware without the authority of one fragment - you follow? Do go into it, you will see it. It is a great deal of not only fun, intellectually, it is an extraordinary thing when you go into it.
Q: If one were totally aware, surely we wouldn’t feel fragmented.
K: If one were totally aware there would be no fragmentation. That is a conditional awareness - if I am aware, if I am good. That has no meaning. Either you are, or you are not. Please.
Q: We have got no idea of what we are searching for, we are not satisfied with ourselves, we always want something more.
K: We are not satisfied with ourselves. Why should you be satisfied with yourself? Please, you say, 'I am not satisfied with myself' - why? You have got a better house, better job, you are not so beautiful - not you, somebody - not so beautiful as somebody else? What is your dissatisfaction based on? Because you want something and you can't get it?
K: Isolation, sorrow. Wait a minute, sir. Does sorrow make you dissatisfied? Does isolation make you dissatisfied? Good Lord! Is isolation the result of comparison? You have an ideal and you want to be according to that ideal and you can't be, therefore you are dissatisfied. Through comparison you are dissatisfied - right? - through measurement you are dissatisfied. Does sorrow bring dissatisfaction? Is isolation dissatisfaction? Go on sir. That questioner said, I am dissatisfied. With what? With what you are? And why are you dissatisfied with what you are? Do investigate it, please. I am dull in comparing myself with you who are clever, who are bright, who are intelligent, aware, clear. I am dissatisfied because through comparison I have found that I am dull. Right? Why do I compare? Is it the result of my education, from my school days there has been comparison - you must be as good as that, your marks are not as good as somebody else's. So I have been trained from childhood to compare. I compare myself physically with you, I am dissatisfied because I am not so nice looking, I am not so bright, I haven't got long hair, short hair, or this or that. I am dissatisfied intellectually because you are bright, and so on and so on so on. Why do we compare - with the ideal, or with a person, or with an example - why? Am I dull if I do not compare? You follow? Go on sir, enquire into it, act upon it, you see, otherwise it has no meaning. Can one live a life without comparison? I never compared myself with anybody, why should I? Not that I am being superior and all that, it doesn't enter into my mind to compare myself with somebody, it seems so silly. Does comparison imply imitation and therefore conflict - you follow? All this is involved in this.
So when you consider all this, can the mind observe itself non-fragmentarily? Which is, to observe the whole movement of thought. And that brings up the question: is not the observer, the one who says, 'I must be aware', is that entity, or the observer, the observed? Is not the ideal projected by thought, and to conform or adjust myself adequately to that ideal, it is still myself. I don't know I am playing tricks upon myself. So I have to solve this question: is not the observer the observed? Is not my gods, my religion, all that, projected out of myself? Therefore I have created the gods. I don't know if you see all this. And the mind that is seeking experience, the experiencer is the experience. It is very difficult to grasp this because we want experiences. So can you be clear for yourself that the observer is the observed, and therefore can you be aware non-fragmentarily? The fragment is created, or comes about when there is the observer different from the observed. There are whole schools in Asia, and perhaps in Europe and in America, where people are training themselves to be aware, get a certificate or a degree in being aware. So they practise awareness, and they never have questioned who is the entity who is aware. Is the entity that is aware different from the thing he is watching? Sir, go on, please. This is a fundamental question which you must answer for yourself, not be persuaded by the speaker, or by anybody. If you are persuaded or you are caught in the network of propaganda then you will also be caught in another network of propaganda. Whereas if you see this fact, the truth of this, the absolute truth of this, then you eliminate altogether this frightful conflict that goes on in oneself and outside.
So can the mind be aware of itself, which is the result of centuries of thought and its divisive activity, can the mind be aware without an entity that is being aware? (Pause).
I must proceed, I can't If you are so aware, then in that awareness there is no fragmentation at all, obviously. From that arises: there is no choice. It isn't a state of perfect understanding, that passeth under you know all that, it is just being aware of all the things that are happening outside and inside, without judgement, without justification, without rationalisation, just to observe. Then what takes place? Go on, sir. Justification, rationalisation, suppression, are various forms of dissipation of energy - aren't they? I wonder if you realise that. That is, I am aware of my conditioning, as a Brahmin, as a Hindu, and all the rest of that nonsense. And I try to rationalise it, or say it is quite right, I must be conditioned, it is necessary to live in this world, otherwise you are destroyed - all those reasons. That is, every form of rationalisation, explanation, justification, suppression and so on is wasting energy which is necessary to be totally aware. You understand? Awareness means an intensification of attention, complete attention, therefore any dissipation is a wastage of energy. And it is a wastage of energy when I say, 'I must uncondition myself'. Because when you say, 'I must uncondition myself', who is the entity who is saying 'I must be unconditioned'? The entity who is trying to uncondition himself is also conditioned - like the analyst who analyses you also needs analysing.
So it is absolutely necessary - if you could go much deeper into this question - to realise the truth that the observer, the experiencer, the thinker is the thought, is the experience, is the observed.
Q: It is not possible for me to say that the observer is the observed because the moment I say it, it is no longer so.
K: You don't have to say it, sir. You don't have to verbalise it.
Q: I mean if I can state it, it is already...
K: Agreed, sir, but one realises the truth of it. One has the insight of it, insight into this question. That is, when I try to imitate, or conform, or adjust myself to an ideal, is the ideal different from me who have created the ideal? You follow? Obviously it is not, but I have created it and I try to conform to it and there is a battle going on between what I am and what I should be. And therefore when one realises this you eliminate altogether this conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be'. Then you can deal with 'what is'. You follow? I wonder if you see this.
Q: I find that when I say, look at the colour of that cloth that you are seated on, well, there is no observer there.
K: No, sir
Q: I can’t find an observer anywhere, and that’s if there is one.
K: Oh, yes there is. Seeing a colour outside you doesn't demand an observer, but when you are hurt, when somebody says something ugly about you, or to you, then there is the observer and the observed. Obviously.
Q: If I stay with the pain then it is the same.
K: The lady says when there is complete attention there is neither the observer nor the observed. Quite right. I mean, I am not saying you are right, I mean if it is so, it is so. And you want to maintain that attention. Right? Now, look: who is the entity that wants to maintain that attention? See what has happened? Do watch it, please watch it. One can be totally attentive for a few seconds, or for a few minutes, or for some time, then the memory of it remains, the memory of that attention. Then the thought says, 'I must have that attention all the time'. Right? So there you are. Then you begin to practise attention, never realising that at the moment of attention there is no observer. What has happened is, that attention has passed, the memory remains, which is dead, and you want to revive the dead thing to life. And we play this game. Now being aware, being attentive, totally, doesn't matter for a few seconds, end it, forget it. Then be attentive, or aware of inattention. You understand? Be aware that you are not being completely attentive, and that very awareness of inattention is attention. You understand this? So you don't have to battle. I wonder if you get this.
So we come to the point: when the mind has been trained, educated, to waste its energy in non-facts - educated, trained, accepts the ideal, the 'what should be' and struggles to achieve that, and that is a wastage of energy - like nations trying to be brotherly, you follow? - it is so silly, it has no meaning. So you need all your energy, all energy to go beyond 'what is'. You understand this? I am violent, as a human being I have inherited this sense of violence from the animal, from the society I live in, from the economic environment, from various urges, unsatisfied urges, comparison, all that has made me violent. And I need a great deal of energy to go beyond it, but I waste my energy by either expressing that violence fully, or I have the ideal of non-violence, which is I try to change my violence into non-violence. Please follow all this. Or I suppress it, which breeds further violence. All this is a wastage of energy, and that energy which is being wasted through all these processes, the mind needs to go beyond this violence. So to go beyond the fact that I am violent needs all my energy. Right? Which means all my attention: attention implies the summation of all energy, intellectual, emotional, physical - complete attention. That is the summation of energy. And when the mind is so completely attentive with its energy, is there violence? Do go into this.
Q: You need a lot of energy to see, but you don’t actually use up the energy when you see?
K: No, do you waste energy when you observe? Obviously not, when you observe without the observer. Oh, that's
So we come back: can the mind observe the whole phenomenon of thought which has created this monstrous, ugly, brutal world, not as a fragment but as a human being who has contributed to this? We have made this world, with our greed, with our anxieties, with our demand for security, with our beliefs, with our gods and so on and so on, we have made this. And can my mind, which has made this world, see the whole phenomenon not as a fragment apart from myself, as part of me, which doesn't mean I become depressed. The moment you are depressed there is the entity who is depressed. You follow? All that follows. The mere fact that you are the world, and to go beyond that fact you need all your energy.
Q: Would you say that if you don’t think about these things, you just stay watching that thought, then you are not concerned with the observer?
K: Obviously not. When you are doing a job you are not concerned with the observer and the observed. Obviously. But to do the job perfectly, efficiently, excellently, whatever you are doing - washing dishes, we have done all this, I am not preaching to you - whatever you do excellently, needs attention - whether in a factory, in an office, washing dishes, whatever one does, gardening, and when there is this extraordinary quality of attention the work is done more efficiently, it doesn't become mechanical. You know all this.
Q: If you see what you are doing, that attention to the work does it solve the world problem?
K: No, no, of course not. Sir, of course, to what you are doing. In the 'what you are doing', what is its relationship to the world. You follow? Everything is interrelated.
Now having said all this, where are we? What is the place of the mind in relationship? May I go on with it? You are following, you are interested, may I go on? This is a dialogue, a conversation, and I am taking all the - it becomes one-sided, I am afraid!
Q: Is that the same question as the question about the observer?
K: It is the same question as the observer - all right. It is not quite. You see, what is relationship, and what is love, what is death - you follow? - there is so much. What is relationship? To be related, I think it comes from the word 'to respond', like responsibility - relationship. What is diligence in relationship, you understand? The word 'diligence'. What is diligence in relationship - not religion, diligence? I am related to you - my wife, husband, mother, sister, neighbour, what is the quality of diligence in that relationship? Diligence - the negligence and diligence. I think that is related also to religion - negligence, diligence, religion. The root is the same, I think. So I am related to you and I see one cannot live without relationship. Right? Obviously. May we go on with this? I may withdraw into a monastery, but still I am related. I may renounce the world as many monks do in the west or in the east, but I am still the world. And I cannot deny the world so I have to find out what is my relationship to the world, which is the world of human beings? What is my relationship to you - wife, husband, friend, companion, whatever it is. And what is the place in that relationship of diligence, or have we accepted a relationship with negligence? I wonder if you see this. I am related to you - you are my companion, you give me pleasure, sex, ten different things, you have nagged me, you have bullied me, you have possessed me, and I possess you, I am attached to you, and you are attached to me, and I am attached to that attachment, and so on and so on and so on. And what part in that relationship, which means responsibility, has diligence? That is a good word. Or am I diligent to my concept of you? And therefore I neglect you? You understand this? Come on, sirs. I have a son, and I want him to be something. I send him to the best school if I have the money, because the best school gives him a certain standard, certain way of articulating words - that snobbism of that group. And I want him to be something. So my relationship to my son is based on my idea of what he should be. Right? Is that negligence or diligence?
Q: Obviously it is negligence.
K: Obviously it is negligence because I am projecting onto my poor son that he should go to the top school and so on. It is the image I have which I am projecting onto him. And the image which I have I have inherited through my education, through my class difference, through my way of speaking and so on and so on. I am a snob and I want him to be a blasted snob. So my relationship is based on an idea, on an ideal, on a concept and that is absolute negligence.
Q: Is that image that I have of my son different from me and if the image is not different from me when I am even being negligent to that image of my son? Do you understand?
K: You haven't Please listen to this, you will get this very simple fact. So my responsibility is to the idea that I have. You understand? My responsibility is to the concept, to the ideal, to the image I have built about my son.
Q: I am not able to see my son for what he really is.
K: No, I don't know what he is. I am not even concerned with what he is. I want him to be something in this world.
Q: Sir, I find the amazing thing about one’s son is that one doesn’t know where he comes from.
K: One doesn't know where he comes from. Reincarnation.
Q: No, it is quite amazing, I found with my son I used to think, well, where did he come from? It is quite an amazing this.
K: Sir, that is a wastage of energy. Look I have a son, you know how sons are born, you don't have to go into all that. I have a son, whether I want it or not there he is - or a daughter. I am taking facts as they are. Now what am I to do? I see the absurdity, the total irresponsibility when I want him to be something other than what he is. I don't know what he is, but I want him to be something, to conform to the monstrous world he lives in.
Q: If I see him with attention then I see him for what he is.
K: I don't know a thing. I am starting anew about relationship. Please follow this.
Q: Doesn’t diligence in relationship mean that you are nothing but a lover?
K: Yes, sir. So what am I to do?
Q: I see that is negligence. You come into relationship with some of these people who take drugs, they are dirty, etc., etc. When does that become negligence, when you say, ‘I can’t live like that, I wont live with them’ – is that negligence?
Q: Or is that saying I just can’t live like that?
K: That's right.
Q: But you are caring, you are feeling for them going into a desert.
K: I agree but what are you to do?
Q: That is my question. I can’t leave you but I can’t stay with them.
K: Quite right. Why should you? Why should I stay with somebody who smells? (Laughter). Is it lack of my love for him? No, sir, this is much more complex. Let's take it a little deeper, not smell, dirty, long hair, all that.
One has this problem, that is, in relationship responsibility is implied - responsibility to what? You follow, sir? To the child? Or to the image that I have about the child? I feel responsible for my family, if I have one, and what is my responsibility? It is a very difficult question to answer, you understand, sir? It is not just something you play with. My wife wants this, that - you follow? - all those things. And I want also lots of things. And my responsibility is to live with the family and comply or disregard trivial things, and be responsible not to the image that I have about her, about him, but responsible to behave. You follow, sir? I wonder if you understand this. That behaviour is based not on an ideal but to behave without the sense of being conscious of behaviour. You understand? Am I making any sense?
K: No. The gentleman says, no. I am glad!
So that brings up the question: what is virtue, what is morality? Is virtue something of which you are conscious, which you have deliberately cultivated? You understand my question? I am vain, arrogant, and all the rest of that business, and I cultivate deliberately humility. In the cultivation of humility, I am asking myself, is it really humility at all, or is it a covering up of my vanity? If I am aware of my vanity - aware, in the sense the observer is the observed, therefore there is no cultivation of humility - when I am aware of my vanity, that vanity ends. It doesn't become something else. I wonder if you see this.
Therefore I come back to the question: relationship implies, not to the image I have built about another or about myself, but responsible to co-operation. You understand this? That is implied in relationship, isn't it? Not only to my wife, to my children, but the essence of co-operation.
Q: If one doesn’t understand themselves how can there be relationship?
K: Obviously, sir. How can there be relationship if one doesn't understand oneself. To understand oneself means to be aware of your images that you have built about yourself, and about another. And if you are aware then you begin to enquire, see how you have built the image - either inherited, acquired, or cultivated.
Q: What creates the image?
K: What creates the image. Very simple! You and I are related, and you say something hard, brutal, you hurt me. Right? You have hurt the image which I have built about myself. Right? That is very simple.
Q: Why do I protect that?
K: No, wait. First see what I have done. You say something brutal, or unkind, or unflattering, and the image which I have about myself is hurt. And that hurt remains. Why does one create an image at all? It is a form of self-protection, it is a form of security, it is a form of resistance, it is a form of not wanting to be invaded by you, it is a form of wanting to maintain myself within the walls of resistance, and so on. So I have created an image about myself and you hurt me, hurt that image. And in that relationship between you and me, in which there has been hurt, and I have hurt you, consciously or unconsciously, so there is a wall between us, and we say we are related. So can we prevent the hurt and can we prevent also the image building? You follow? If the mind doesn't build an image about itself it can never be hurt. Right?
Q: Is that not an image?
K: No, no, no, no.
Q: The mind that can’t be hurt?
K: No, sir, look: in my relationship with you, you have hurt me, by doing something. What is hurt - the image I have about myself obviously. Now why do I create that image?
Q: How can an image be hurt?
K: Oh, sir, don't you know? If you call me a fool, wouldn't you be hurt?
Q: I? Would I be hurt? You said the image is hurt?
K: The image is you. The 'I' is you. The 'I' who says, 'I am much better than you think I am, I am much more noble' - I am this, I am that, I am desperate, I am ugly, I am beautiful, I am this, that is the 'me', the 'I', which is the image, which is put together by words, by thought, by incidents, accidents, experiences, all that, that is 'me', which is an image.
Q: Is an image of oneself the same as vanity? Is it the meaning of vanity to have an image of oneself?
K: No, sir. You are not following, you are going off somewhere. Look, sir, in your relationship with your friend or with your wife, have you not an image about her, or him?
Q: Sorry, I didn’t quite get that. Can you say it again?
K: Have you not an image about your wife, or your husband? Of course.
Q: It seems to be the very fragment of the self, doesn’t it?
K: That is what I am saying, sir.
Q: Son how can
K: I am showing it to you.
Q: Are you? Can such a thing come to an end?
K: I am showing it to you.
Q: Or is it just nonsense? It is some kind of weird monkey talk? Where does it end?
K: You are not even listening to what is being said, sir.
Q: Yes, I am listening.
K: I am showing you, sir: I am related to you, as a brother, as a wife, or a husband, or a girlfriend, boyfriend. And in that relationship you nag me, you possess me, you hurt me. And that hurt is in the image I have about myself. Right? This seems so clear.
Q: You say ‘I’ and ‘you’, but you don’t mean Krishnamurti and this man.
K: Oh, for god's sake!
Q: But why do you use those words?
K: All right, I will say 'one'. (Laughs).
Q: Can we go on?
K: One is hurt. And that image is hurt. So the point is this: can the mind stop building an image, and if it stops building an image there is no hurt at all. Now is it possible to stop an image, to stop building images?
Q: I have only just thought about it – a dozen, I don’t know.
K: Oh, you don't know, therefore find out.
Q: What starts is fear.
K: Partly. We said that - security, fear, uncertainty, all that is implied. I have built an image about myself, and I see why I have built it; in order to protect myself because I am afraid, I am lonely, I am suffering, and I have the image that I must not suffer, and so on and so on, so on. I have an image about myself, not only one but a dozen images. Now is it possible for the mind not to build images? Is that possible? I don't know if you have ever asked even this question. Image means formula, concept, symbol, word, all that is implied in the image.
Q: It is not possible as long as one seeks pleasure because the opposite, the image has been created by pain.
K: By pain, by pleasure, by fear, by
Q: He just spins it out all the time, like a spider spins out a web, for god’s sake! It’s a load of crap!
K: Yes sir, I am trying to answer all the questions. So I say to myself, is it possible to stop building images? Stick to that one thing, sir. You say something which is pleasurable, or painful and instantly image is formed. Can that, at that moment of flattery or insult, be aware? Be totally attentive at that moment? Then is there the building of an image at all? You follow? It is only the mind that is inattentive at the moment of action that builds an image, but when the mind is attentive at the moment of challenge and response, at that precise moment when it is attentive there is no formation of an image.
Q: Sir, when I think of the art of acting – theatre, acting – it forms a part in normal life spontaneously where you actually produce images without being bound by them.
K: Sir, did you listen to what I said just now? That where there is attention there is no forming of image. Because in that attention all your energy is there, therefore you listen to the hurt and to the flattery without a single response of either pleasure or pain. You just observe.
Q: Sir, an actor has to be very attentive to act.
K: Sir, I am not talking about actors, I am talking about you and me and relationship. Sir, this is really a very serious matter this, this is not something you play around with actors and all the rest of it. This is your problem, because in our relationship with each other we are always in battle, we are always in conflict: husband, wife, girl, boy, it is everlasting fight. And a man who is serious, wants to find out what it is to live without conflict has to understand what it means to be related.
K: Yes, sir. That is a different problem altogether. If you are a teacher... Is it time to stop? One o'clock? Let's finish this one thing quickly. No, sir, I must finish that question, if you don't mind.
Q: If you are a teacher you have to form ideals for the children.
K: That is what I am trying to answer, sir. If you are teachers, we have to form ideals for the children, for the student - why? When you were children you had ideals formed for you - why? What is the importance of ideals at all? Sir, you are all Christians, right? At least you have been. And your ideals have been to love your neighbour, not to kill you neighbour, whether that neighbour is ten feet away, or ten thousand miles away, not to kill him. You have this marvellous ideal: you have had the greatest war, the greatest number of people you have killed. And what value has your ideal been? Why don't you face the fact that human beings are violent and change that? Wars are brought about through nationalism, through economy, through all kinds of reasons, face that and change that, and not have ideals.
Q: That is an ideal.
K: It is not an ideal, sir.
Q: You are doing the same thing for us that the teachers do for the children.
K: No, you are missing the whole point.
Q: Am I not violent because my image is threatened?
K: That is part of it, sir. This is not an ideal, I am not talking of ideals. I have very carefully explained: thought is divisive, thought divides, as long as thought creates an image, an ideal, that factor of ideal brings about division. That doesn't mean ideals. That is an insight into the structure and nature of thought. Insight. Insight is not an ideal, it is seeing the fact, it is not an ideal.
We'd better stop.