Is there security at all psychologically?
What love is not
3rd Public Talk, Saanen
July 12, 1979
I've got a bad cold.
Shall we go on with what we were talking about the day before yesterday? Shall we? It seems to me that we never seriously think things through. We go half way and give it up. And I think we are not sufficiently serious enough to go into this. I would like to discuss or talk over with you, if I may, not only what we have been talking about, thinking together, but the problem of security, why human beings throughout the world seek psychological security. One needs physical security. We must have food, clothes and shelter. And apparently throughout the millennia man has not been able to organise his society so that everybody could have enough food, clothes and shelter. There have been many, many revolutions to bring this about, totalitarian, this and the other but apparently they have not been able to succeed. And is it because we seek physical security, and that desire for physical security has psychologically taken over the physical demands? You understand my One needs physical security and that is the function of a good society. Which we will go into presently: what is a good society. And why have not human beings been able to arrange, and they have capacity to organise, enough energy to see that all human beings have enough food, clothes and shelter. That is one problem.
And the other is: each human being seeks psychological security, inward security, relying on belief, holding on, hoping thereby in a belief to find security, in an ideal, in a person, in a concept, in an experience and does he ever find security in any of this? You understand my question? And if he doesn't, why does he hold on to them? You understand my question?
If one may, let us think over together this question. That is, if you are willing, put aside your particular vanity, your particular prejudice, your own conclusions and let's think over this problem together. Which means you are not accepting what the speaker is saying, nor are you accepting your own conclusions because you have none, you have put them aside. So let us think this over very carefully, and this may be one of the factors, that human beings are so frightened. Why does the mind cling to a particular memory, to a particular experience, hold on to a belief which has lost all meaning, why? Let's talk it over together.
Either he is incapable of seeing the facts, or he likes to live in an illusion, in a make-belief which has nothing whatsoever to do with actuality: the actuality being what is taking place now. Or he separates the experience, the idea, the ideal, the belief as being not accurate but holds on to them because intellectually he is incapable of investigating. You follow? Now if we may proceed step by step.
Have you any belief that you hold on to? And if you hold on to a belief, what is that belief? How does it come into being? Either through centuries of propaganda, as most religions have done, that is their metier, that is their investment. For centuries a belief has been created and one accepts it naturally from childhood, and it is easier to follow what has been the tradition rather than to break away from it. You are following all this? If you have no particular beliefs, then ideals. The word 'idea' I believe comes from the Greek, which means to see, to observe. You understand? Not observe and then from it a conclusion, which becomes an idea. The word 'idea' actually means to observe. Now have we ideals, which is the future? The future which is going to be achieved. The ideal has been projected from the experiences of the past, from certain conclusions which have been gathered and from that you project an ideal, historical, worldly, or personal. Right? That is the past projecting a concept as an ideal, which is in the future, and conforming to the future, to that ideal. It is the same movement from the past, modified through the present, and the future. Right, that is clear, isn't it? Now if you see that, that when you have an ideal there must be a contradiction in your daily life because that ideal is something non real - right? - non factual. But the factual is what is happening and hence a conflict, an adjustment, an imitation, a division. So there is constantly approximating one's action to something which is not factual. I wonder if you see. That is illusory, this is actual.
Now after explaining that very carefully we can go much more into details. Do you actually see this fact? Or are you already translating it into an idea? You are following? Please observe yourself. That is, if one has an ideal, and you see the nature of the ideal, how the ideal comes into being. Lenin, all the Marxists, Maoists, have these ideals, after studying history and coming to their own particular conclusion about history and then projecting the ideas, and then making human beings conform to that idea. So have you, as a human being, thinking this out very carefully, do you see the falseness of it and therefore letting it go? Or you feel if you have an ideal you are doing something, you are active, you are accomplishing, fulfilling your ideals. And that gives one a great satisfaction, vanity, a sense of purpose. You are following all this?
So after talking over together - together - does one put aside ideals? If you do, then you say, is it possible then to face actually what is happening? Not in contrast to the ideal and measuring what is happening according to the ideal, but have the capacity to face what is actually going on. In that observation of what is actually taking place there is no conflict, you are watching. I wonder if you see this. Are we together in this or am I Please bear in mind we are thinking this out together.
It is very important that we not only learn to listen properly, but also have the capacity which comes naturally if you are interested, in being able to see that is false and it is finished. I will put aside my opinion, I won't let that interfere. And can we together put aside all our ideals? Because we are thinking this out together, because we are enquiring into the question of security. We think we are secure when we pursue an ideal, however false it is, however unreal it is, which has no validity, it gives a certain sense of purpose. And that sense of purpose gives a certain quality of assurance, satisfaction, security. Right? Can we go along? Not go along verbally but actually you have put aside your ideals.
So now we are enquiring into the question of security. And why do human beings, right throughout the world, hold on to experience? Please ask yourself. Not only sexual physical experiences but also so-called spiritual experiences, which are much more dangerous. You walk along by yourself or with others, you suddenly have some kind of ecstasy, some kind of delight and that experience you store it, hold on to it. The thing is over - right? - there is the memory of it and one holds on to that memory, which is called experience. The actual word 'experience' means to go through. To go through and finish with it, not carry on in your memory that which has happened. Now specially in so-called psychological experiences, or religious experiences which are very, very subtle in their happenings, the human mind takes delight in something which is not ordinary. Ordinary being that which is happening everyday. And that which has happened suddenly, or which has happened after unconsciously working at it and then happening - I hope you are following all this - and holding on to it - why. Does that give one a certain sense of having experiences, known? That which is something not ordinary and that gives one a delight, a great pleasure, and in that experience there is a certain quality of security because you have experienced something totally other than 'what is'. Right, are you following all this?
And does belief, ideal, experience, remembrances, do they give security? Actual security, as physical security. You are following all this? Or does the mind like to live in a certain area of illusion? Please we are thinking over together, we are not doing propaganda or trying to convince you of anything. But we are trying together to find out why human beings hold on to illusions, which are obvious to another. Now is it, as we said, it gives them a great sense of superiority? 'Ah, I have had something which you fellows haven't had'. That is the whole gamut of the gurus, you know this - 'I know, you don't know.' And why do human beings live in this way? Why do you or 'X' live this way? Please think it out. Let's think it over together because your experience is personal, enclosing, self-centred and the other is the same. So there is always your experience is different from mine or another, and mine is better then yours so there is always this division going on. So are we, in thinking this out together, holding on to our experiences, our beliefs, our ideals, our conclusions, knowing that they are merely verbal structure, knowing that they are merely a thing that is gone, finished, in the past? Why do we hold on? Is it we want to live with certain illusions in which we take delight? So does security lie in illusions? Apparently a vast majority of people in the world like to live in illusions, whether it is scientific illusions or the religious illusions, or economic illusions, or national illusions. They seem to like it. And perhaps we are serious, not wanting mere entertainment, we are deeply concerned with the social structure which is destructive, dangerous, and we human beings say we must bring about a different quality of mind and a different society.
So we are asking: why do we find security in illusions? Please find out. And why is it that we cannot possibly face facts? Say for instance, envy is the common lot of all mankind. Right? Envy being comparison, measurement from what I am to what you are. This is measurement. Now in thinking over together why is it not possible to end that completely? I am asking. I am not saying it should or should not. The fact is the reaction which we call envy. That is the fact. But the non-fact is I should not be envious. Right? Do we meet this? The fact of this reaction which we call envy is what is happening, but the mind has projected the concept that one should not be, which is unreal. So you are struggling to move from the fact into non-fact. I wonder if you see all this! Right sir? Are we meeting each other? Whereas to face the fact without the non-fact. Are we meeting? I don't know. Are you all tired this morning?
So we have been so trained, educated to accept non-facts as being far more important than the actual. And in the non-fact we think we shall have found security. Right? Now when you hear that, is it an idea, a concept, or you are really listening and therefore you see the non-fact and - finish with it? I wonder if you see this? Right?
So we have to go into the question: what does it mean to listen? You have listened now for nearly half an hour. Have you listened actually for half an hour to what is being said, which is what you are saying to yourself, not what another is saying. Right? Are you listening so completely, you see the illusion actually and see the absurdity of living in an illusion and finish with it? Which means can we stay with the fact and have no relationship to non-fact? Because our minds, as we said, are conditioned to non-facts. Just see what we have done.
The other day a man said to me: 'I can't bury my son in the campo santo, what is it - cemetery because he is not baptised'. You understand? Do you understand what I am saying? Not baptised, you know going through all that nonsense. And he was horrified, miserable, unhappy that his son couldn't be buried there, in the 'holy ground' as he called it. You follow? Just, no, please sir, this is very serious. You may laugh at it, you may set it aside because you say it is nonsense, but you have your own nonsense.
So can we hear, observe so closely, so attentively, give all our attention to this and therefore all illusion has gone? And this illusion is part of our conditioning. If you are a Catholic, look at the illusions you have, or a Hindu and so on and so on. We don't have to go into all that. Now a mind that has sought security in non-fact has dropped that, has discovered there is no security there, then - please follow this - what is the state of the mind that is observing what is happening, the actual? You understand my question? Have I made my question clear? Do please!
All right. Suppose I have no - not suppose - it is finished, I have no illusions. Which doesn't mean I am cynical, which doesn't mean I am indifferent, or I have become bitter, but illusions no longer play a part in my life. Then I ask myself: what is the quality of the mind, your mind, together, what is the quality of our mind which is facing that which is happening? You understand my question? Do you understand my question sir? What is the state of your mind that is freed from all kinds of illusion? National illusion, scientific illusions, of course all the absurd illusions of religions, and the illusion that you have been carrying as your own experience. Right? What is the quality of a mind that is free? It is only such a mind that can observe what is happening, naturally. You follow this?
Now the question then is: the mind is seeking security - right? - it wants security, it has not found security in any illusion - right? - but yet it says 'I must have security.' I wonder if you are following all this. So it says, 'I must find security in my relationship.' Obviously. 'I have let go the beliefs, ideals - ah, I'm tired (laughs) - the experiences, the remembrances, all the nationalistic nonsense, all that, they are all gone'. But one's mind is not free from the idea of security. And from that may be the beginning of all fear. So it says, 'Is there security in my relationship with another?' Go on, you are the people who are caught in this. Is there security in the image I have created about my wife or my husband, my girl? Obviously not. Because that image is the projection of past experience. Right? And the past experience has brought about this image, and according to that image I act, which is the future. Right? Am I making this awfully difficult? So the mind is now saying: there is no security in any form of image. Right? Not in relationship but in any form of having an image which thought has created from the past experience. Right?
So if you have not an image, then what is relationship in which the mind is still seeking security. Right? Come on sirs! Is there a relationship between two people when they are not absolutely thinking together? In thinking together there is complete security. Right? That is, one has let go all his opinions, judgements, experiences and all that, and the other has also, so they can think together. Right? That is the actual relationship in which there is no division as my personal thinking and yours. Right? So we are saying: there is security psychologically, total security when the mind is freed from all illusions, and doesn't seek security in any form of relationship as attachment. Right? Because attachment is one of the illusions in which we think we will find security. I am attached to you. I am attached to this audience. I come here, the speaker comes here and wants to talk, express himself, fulfil himself, and therefore finds a certain security in that. Which is, the speaker is exploiting you for his own security. And when the speaker is honest and fairly decent he says what rot it is and he moves away from that kind of nonsense.
So in attachment we want to find security. And when you don't find it in a particular attachment you try to find it in another attachment. One is married to one for twenty years and you are bored and you suddenly (laughs) run off with somebody else which is what is happening in the society, and there you are hoping to find some kind of security, excitement, sex and all the rest of it. See what we are doing sirs. Or you are attached to your present lady or man and are satisfied - right? - which is another security. I wonder if you see all this. I wonder if you see how your mind is playing tricks on yourself all the time. This is called love.
So we are saying: is there security at all psychologically? Think it out. One has invested the desire for psychological security in belief, in ideal, in experience, in remembrances, in attachment, in god and so on, so on, so on. And is there security? Or it is all illusion? I mean one can have tremendous comfort in any kind of illusion: that Jesus is going to save you, marvellous! Comfort, save you from what, god knows, but it doesn't matter! And so on and on and on. The Hindus have it, the Buddhists, the same pattern is repeated throughout the world. Which means we never face the fact but rather live in non-fact.
And when we do that our minds are torn apart. Right? We become very cruel, we think conflict is inevitable, it is part of life. When you put aside all that, now how do you put aside all that? That is the point. You understand? You have listened to this for three quarters of an hour, and in what manner, if you have discovered your particular illusion, in what manner have you set it aside? You understand? Please follow this. Is it an act of determination? Is it an act of choice, seeing that this is illusion, I prefer that? Is it an outcome of somebody else's concept imposed upon you? Is it your own clarity of observation. That is, you yourself see it.
Then the question arises: How do you see it? You are following all this? You are not getting tired? One sees one is caught in an illusion, an ideal. How do you see this phenomena? Is it a reasoned-out conclusion? A clarity of verbal explanation? Is it that you are being skilfully persuaded? Or you yourself see this fact. Now we are asking: how do you see it? Do you see it merely as visual perception, the facts in the world, and therefore from visual perception, reading books, newspapers, magazines, discussing, you have come to the realisation that ideals are rubbish. That is merely an intellectual process and therefore it is merely, you are living in a concept and therefore non-fact, however logically, sanely, rationally you may observe it and then say: 'I will drop it'. But the dropping of it is not actual because you have other illusions around the corner. But whereas we are saying - please listen to this - if you observe without any remembrance in your observation - I must make this clear otherwise you will think I am crazy. We are talking over together the question of seeing, whether you have come to the conclusion that illusions are nonsensical and therefore you won't be involved in them. Or do you have an insight to the whole movement of illusion? You understand my question? I can take - one can take one kind of illusion, belief, investigate it, go into it, and say, 'Well, it is finished.' And investigate your ideals and so on, so on, so on. That doesn't really free you, does it? Investigate that but does it really free you when you have rationally, logically, sanely investigated into the various forms of illusions? Which means, how do you investigate? You investigate through thought. Right? Thought has created these illusions and with thought you are examining these illusions, which again is a trick you are playing. So thought can again create other illusions and say, 'I won't have these illusions'. But thought has not understood the very nature of illusion and the creator of illusions.
Now if you see thought itself is the creator of illusions - you are following all this? - then when the mind itself sees that thought is the creator of illusions then you have an insight into the whole nature of illusions. It is that insight that is going to dissolve all illusions. I wonder if you have got it. Should we discuss, or go into the question of insight? We have got seven minutes.
Sir, insight is not intuition. Intuition may be a refined form of desire. Don't accept what the speaker is saying, investigate it. Intuition or apprehension may be the unconscious projection, which is taken as something extraordinarily real. Right? So we are saying insight is not related to any form of desire. 'I want to understand. I must go into this.' The motive behind is desire wanting to comprehend. Right? Desire is saying, 'This, I must find this out.' So if you want to go into it very carefully, insight is not the activity of desire. Insight is not the projection of past experience. Insight is not a remembered action. That is, I am going to show you something. That is: when you see that all religious organisations, instantly, not logically, step by step, which you can do afterwards, if you see that all religious organisations are based upon thought and therefore have nothing whatsoever to do with actual, the sacredness of religion, you have an insight into it. You understand what I am saying?
Now is your action the action of insight with regard to illusion? You understand my question? Or you are still analysing it? You are still mentally active in exploration? Or you see instantly the nature of illusion and finished. You are following the difference? One is determination, choice, a subtle form of conclusion and action. So action takes an interval, there is a time interval. We are saying: in insight there is immediate perception and action, in which there is no regret, no turning back, it is so. Have you got this? Sir, if you want to go into this, one has to be very careful not to deceive yourself, because our minds are so quick in their capacity to deceive. I can say, 'Yes, I have got insight into this.' And out of that insight you act, and then you find 'I wish I hadn't done that.' Regrets - you follow? - all the sequence follows. But insight is something entirely different. There is no time interval between insight and action, they are both together.
Now after explaining all this, which is a verbal form of communication, have you listened so carefully that you see instantly the whole structure of illusion? That is wisdom. Right sirs. May we go?
Sir, when we sit together like this, fairly quietly and silently, listening, is the silence contrived? Or you are so concerned, not to solve your own personal problems which will inevitably finish when you have understood the act of listening, the act of observation. The act of listening, in that there is no desire, just you listen. But if you listen to Mozart and say, 'By Jove, what a lovely I had a lovely evening the other day listening to that music and I want to play it again,' you have lost something. And if you listen so completely, then the thing itself is like a seed dropped into the earth, it flourishes, you don't have to do a thing about it. In the same way if you observe closely, in which there is only observation - only observation - not the observer saying 'I will observe', then in that observation and listening there is a strange quality of attention which is insight. Right sirs. Right. Is that enough?