Meditation, a quality of attention that pervades all of one’s life
A wholly different way of living
17th Dialogue, San Diego, California
February 28, 1974
J. Krishnamurti was born in South India and educated in England. For the past 40 years he has been speaking in the United States, Europe, India, Australia and other parts of the world. From the outset of his life's work he repudiated all connections with organised religions and ideologies and said that his only concern was to set man absolutely unconditionally free. He is the author of many books, among them The Awakening of Intelligence, The Urgency of Change, Freedom From the Known, and The Flight of the Eagle.
This is one of a series of dialogues between Krishnamurti and Dr. Allan W. Anderson, who is professor of religious studies at San Diego State University where he teaches Indian and Chinese scriptures and the oracular tradition. Dr. Anderson, a published poet, received his degree from Columbia University and the Union Theological Seminary. He has been honoured with the distinguished teaching award from the California State University.
A: Mr Krishnamurti, in our last conversation we came almost up to the point where we were about to begin another, on the subject of meditation. And I was hoping that today we could share that together.
K: Right, sir. Sir, I don't know if you are aware of the many schools of meditation - in India, in Japan, in China, the Zen, and the various Christian contemplative orders, those who pray endlessly, keep going day after day; and those who wait to receive the grace of God - or whatever they call it. I think, if I may suggest, we should begin, not with what is the right kind of meditation, but what is meditation.
A: Yes. Yes.
K: Then we can proceed and investigate together, and therefore share together this question of meditation, the word meaning ponder, hold together, embrace, consider very, very deeply. The meaning of all that is involved in that one word meditation. If we could start with saying that we really do not know what meditation is.
A: Very well.
K: If we accept the orthodox, traditional Christian or Hindu or Buddhist meditation, and there is, of course, the meditation among the Muslims as the Sufis. If we accept that then it's all based on tradition.
K: What some others have experienced and they lay down the method or the system to practise what they have achieved. And so there are probably thousands of schools of meditation. And they are proliferating in this country: meditate three times a day; think on a word, a slogan, a mantra. And for that you pay $35 or $100 and then you get some Sanskrit word or some other Greek word and you repeat, repeat, repeat. Then there are all those people who practise various forms of breathing. And the practise of Zen. And all that is a form of establishing a routine, a practice that will essentially make the mind dull. Because if you practise, practise, practise, you will become a mechanical mind. So, I have never done any of those things because personally, if I may talk a little about myself...
A: Please do.
K: ...I have watched, attended, went into certain groups of various types, just to look. And I said, 'This isn't it.' I discarded it instantly. So if we could discard all that: discard the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Christian, and the various importations of meditation by the gurus from India, and the contemplative, all that as a continuance of a tradition, which is the carrying over of what others have said, and other's experiences, other's illuminations, other's enlightenment, and so on. If we could totally discard all of that, their methods, their systems, their practices, their disciplines. Because they are all saying, truth, or God, or whatever they like to call it, is something over there. You practise in order to get there. That is a fixed thing - according to them. Of course, it must be fixed. If I keep practising in order to get there, that must be static.
A: Yes, of course. Yes, I quite follow.
K: Therefore truth isn't static, isn't a dead thing.
A: No, no, I quite see that.
K: So, if we could honestly put away all that and ask what is meditation.
K: Not how to meditate. In asking that question, what is meditation, we'll begin to find out, we'll begin to meditate ourselves. I don't know if I-?
A: Yes, you do. You make yourself very clear. We're back again to, to the distinction between an activity, the goal of which lies outside the activity, in contrast to the activity...
A: ...the end of which is intrinsic to itself.
K: Yes, sir.
K: So, could we start with saying I do not know what meditation is?
A: Yes, yes. I'm willing to start there.
K: It's really marvellous if you start from there.
A: It certainly is.
K: It brings a great sense of humility.
A: Also one intuits even from afar a freedom.
K: Yes. Yes that's right. I don't know. That is a tremendous acknowledgement of a freedom from the established known, the established traditions, the established methods, the established schools and practices.
K: I start with something I don't know. That has, for me that has great beauty. Then I am free to move.
K: I'm free to flow, or swim with, in the enquiry. So, I don't know. Now then, from that we can start. First of all, is meditation divorced from daily living? The daily conduct, the daily desires of fulfilment, ambition, greed, envy, the daily competitive, imitative, conforming spirit, the daily appetites, sensual, sexual, other forms, intellectual and so on. Is meditation divorced from all that? Or does meditation flow through all that, covers all that, includes all that? Otherwise meditation has no meaning. You follow?
A: Yes, I do. This raises an interesting question I'd like to ask you. Perhaps you'd be good enough to help me clarify this. Now, I've never personally undertaken meditation with respect to its ritual character in some traditions or its...
A: ...its monastic and radically methodical approach. I've read rather deeply in the literatures that have emanated from those practices. And I'm thinking for instance of what I've understood from my study of, what is called the hesychast tradition, where, what is called the Jesus prayer is uttered by the monks, particularly on Mount Athos, 'Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me a sinner.' This is repeated over and over with, as I understand it, the hope that someday it will become so automatic that, perhaps as a modern day depth psychologist would put it, the unconscious comes into possession of it, so that what I am doing, whatever that may be, is itself focused entirely on that prayer. The claim being that when this is achieved, when I no longer have to utter the prayer, in that sense, the prayer is uttering itself in me.
K: The same thing, sir, is expressed in India in a different way, which is mantra. You know that?
K: Repetition of a sentence or a word. And the repeating loudly first, then silently. Then it has entered into your being and the very sound of it is going on.
K: And from that sound you act, you live. But it's all self-imposed in order to arrive at a certain point. I, say for instance when you said the prayer which you just now repeated, sin - I don't accept sin. I don't know what sin is.
A: I can just imagine the horror on the faces of those whose ears catch those words.
K: That means they are conditioned according to a belief, that there is a Jesus, that there is a sin, that they must be forgiving - all that. It just carrying on a tradition.
A: This speaks to me very personally. The basis for the decision that I made years ago not to do one of these things was embodied in your statement a little earlier, namely that it is expected that out of this word, or out of these words...
K: ...out of breathing, all that.
A: ...will come somehow this permeation of my total being. And the question that arose for me at the time was, and I'd like you to clarify whether you think this question was correct, what arose in my mind was, that statement itself whether the mantram or the Jesus prayer is itself a finite expression.
A: Therefore, aren't I doing something strange here.
A: And if I somehow attain to anything that's worth attaining to it would probably be in spite of that rather than because of it. That perhaps was thinking about thought. But I didn't feel it at the time. I thought that I was making an intuitive response to it.
A: And therefore I simply wouldn't go ahead.
K: You wouldn't go ahead.
A: Yes. Please go on.
K: Quite, quite right sir. So you see, all that implies that there is a path to truth - the Christian path, the Hindu path, the Zen, the various gurus and systems, there is a path to that enlightenment or to that truth or to that immeasurable something or other. And it is there, all you have to do is keep on keep on walking, walking, walking toward a saint. That means that thing is established, fixed, static, is not moving, is not living.
A: It flashed into my mind the Biblical text in which God is described as the lamp unto my feet, and the light unto my path. It doesn't say he is the path. But rather he's the lamp...
K: ...to the path, quite.
A: Right. As a lamp to the feet, and a light to the path. But it doesn't say that God is the path. That's very interesting.
A: But maybe nobody really looks at those words closely.
K: You see, sir, how you are looking at it already. You see the truth of that statement. The feeling of it.
A: Yes, yes.
K: So, that's one thing. Does meditation cover the whole field of existence? Or is it something totally apart from life? Life being business, politics, sex, pleasure, ambition, greed, envy, the anxiety, death, fear, all that is my life, life, living. Is meditation apart from that or does it embrace all that? If it doesn't embrace all that meditation has no meaning.
A: Something just came to me that I'm sure would be regarded as incredibly heretical. But you know that the words of Jesus himself, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life', when understood in the context of what has been revealed through these discussions we've had, takes on, in relation to something else he said an incredibly different meaning from what we've been taught. For instance, when he asks Peter who he is, that is, 'Who am I, Jesus?', and Peter says, 'Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God', he immediately turns to him and says, 'Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you.' Nothing to do with flesh and blood, 'But my father which is in heaven', which he says elsewhere, is one with him. And he's one with the father. And then he prays in his prayer that the disciples be one with him as he and his father are one. That they all may be one. So if you look at that, I'm almost stuttering over myself because this, what I'm about to say, I'm aware of, theologically speaking would be, looked on as fantastical, when he says, 'I am the way, the truth and the life', if it's seen in the context of that one as act, as act, then the whole business utterly is transformed. Isn't it?
K: Quite, quite.
A: I'm going to be swallowing hard about that for a long time. Please go on.
K: So if it is divorced from life then meditation has no meaning. It's just an escape from life, escape from all our travails and miseries, sorrows, confusions. And therefore it's not worth even touching.
A: Yes. Right.
K: If it is not, and it is not for me, then what is meditation? You follow? Is it an achievement, an attainment of a goal? Or is it a perfume, a beauty that pervades all my activities, therefore it has tremendous significance? Meditation has tremendous significance.
Then the next question is: is it the result of a search? Joining Zen group, then another group, one after the after, one after the other, practise this, practise that, don't practise, take a vow of celibacy, poverty, or don't speak at all, fast, in order to get there. For me all those are totally unnecessary. Because what is important is the seeing, as we said yesterday, the false, not I judge the false as true or false, but the very perception reveals the truth or the falseness of it. I must look at it. My eyes must look at it without any prejudices, without any reactions. Then I can say this is false, I won't touch it. That's what happens. I won't. People have come to me and said, 'Oh, you have no idea of all the things.' They have said, 'You must.' I have said, 'Nothing doing.' To me this is false because it doesn't include your life.
K: You haven't changed. You may say, 'I'm full of love. I'm full of truth. I'm full of knowledge. I'm full of wisdom.' I say, 'That's all nonsense. Do you behave? Are you free of fear? Are you free of ambition, greed, envy and the desire to achieve success in every field? If not, you are just playing a game. You are not serious.' So, from that we can proceed.
K: That meditation includes the whole field of existence, whether in the artistic field, or the business field. Because, to me, the division as the artist, business, the politician, the priest, the scholar, and the scientist, you know, how we have fragmented all these as careers, to me, as human beings are fragmented, the expression of this fragmentation is this, business, scientist, the scholar, the artist. You follow?
A: Yes, yes, yes. I'm thinking of what goes on in the academy with respect to this. We are always saying to each other as academicians, 'For heaven's sake let's, let's find an ordering principle by which to bring all this into some kind of integration, so the student can really feel that he's doing something meaningful. And not just adding another freight car to the long train of what he doesn't even see.'
K: Quite, quite.
K: And meditation must be, or is, when you deny all this - systems, methods, gurus, authorities - a religious question.
A: Yes, profoundly religious.
K: Profoundly religious.
A: Oh, yes.
K: Now, what place has an artist in not only the social structure, in its expression of the religious? You understand? What is an artist, sir? Is he something apart from our daily living? The beauty of living. The quality of the mind that is really religious. You follow? Is he part of that? Or is he a freak, outside that? Because he has certain talents? And the expression of that talent becomes extraordinarily important to him and to the people.
A: In our culture it often seems that the expression of that talent brings him into conflict with certain conventions.
K: And also expressing that conflict in himself.
A: Of course. Yes, we have a long tradition in western civilisation of the artist as an outsider, don't we.
K: Yes. Something outside. But he is much more sensitive, much more alert to beauty, to nature, but apart from that he is just an ordinary man.
A: Yes, of course. Yes.
K: To me, that is a contradiction. First be a total human being. And then whatever you create, whatever you do will be beautiful.
A: Of course.
K: Whether you paint, or whatever you do. Don't, let's divide the artist into something extraordinary. Or the business man into something ugly. Let's call it just living in the world of the intellect, or the scientist in the world of physics, and so on, so on. But first there must be human being. You follow, sir? Human being in the sense, the total understanding of life, death, love, beauty, relationship, responsibility, not to kill. All that's implied in living. Therefore he establishes a relationship with nature. And the expression of that relationship, if it is whole, healthy is creative.
A: This is very, very different from what many artists conceive of as their task. Especially in modern times artists have this notion that they are in some sense reflectors of the fragmentation of their times.
A: And so they make a statement which holds up the fragmentation as a mirror to us, and what has this got to do with anything else but reinforcing the fragmentation.
A: Yes. Yes I quite understand what you are saying.
K: You see that meditation covers the whole field of existence. Meditation implies freedom from the method, the system, because I don't know what meditation is. I start from that.
K: Therefore I start with freedom. Not with their burden.
A: That's marvellous. Start with freedom and not with their burden. This business of holding up fragmentation to us from that perspective is really nothing more than a species of journalism.
K: Journalism, absolutely.
A: Isn't it. Yes, yes.
A: Of course, yes.
K: Therefore, lie. So I discard all that. So I have no burden. Therefore the mind is free to enquire what is meditation?
K. I have done this. You follow, sir? It is not verbal expressions. I don't say anything which I haven't lived.
A: Oh that's very, very obvious to me as one sitting here conversing with you. Yes.
K: I won't. That is hypocrisy. I am not interested in all that. I'm really interested in seeing what is meditation. So I start - one starts with this freedom. And freedom means freeing the mind, emptying itself of the burdens of others, their methods, their systems, their acceptance of authority, their beliefs, their hope, because its part of me, all that. Therefore I discard all that. And, now I start by saying, I don't know what meditation is. I start. That means the mind is free, has this sense of great humility. Not knowing I'm not asking. Then somebody will fill it.
K: Some book, some scholar, some professor, some psychologist comes along and says, 'You don't know. Here, I know. I'll give it to you.' I say, 'Please don't.' I know nothing. You know nothing either. Because you are repeating what others have said. So I discard all that. Now I begin to enquire. I'm in a position to enquire. Not to achieve a result, not to arrive at what they call enlightenment. Nothing. I don't know if there is enlightenment or not. I start with this feeling of great humility, not knowing, therefore my mind, the mind is capable of real enquiry. So I enquire. First of all I look at my life, because I said in the beginning meditation implies covering the whole field of my life, of life. My life, our life, is first the daily conscious living. I've examined it. I have looked at it. There is contradiction and so on, as we've been taking about. And also there is the question of sleep. I go to sleep, eight, nine, ten hours. What is sleep? I start not knowing. Not what others have said. You follow, sir?
A: Yes, I do.
K: I'm enquiring in relation to meditation which is the real spirit of religion. That is, gathering all the energy to move from one dimension to a totally different dimension. Which doesn't mean divorce from this dimension.
A: No, it's not like those monks going up the hill, no.
K: I've been up those hills.
K: So, what is sleep? And what is waking? Am I awake? Or, I am only awake when there is a crisis, when there is a shock, when there is a challenge, when there is an incident, death, discard, failure. You follow? Or am I awake all the time, in waking during the daytime. So what is it to be awake? You follow, me sir?
A: Yes, I am, I am. Since you are saying that meditation must permeate, obviously, to be awake cannot be episodic.
K: That's it. Cannot be episodic. Cannot be something stimulating.
A: Can't be described as peak experiences.
K: No, no. Any form of stimulation, external or internal only implies that you are asleep and you need a stimulant, whether it is coffee, sex, or a tranquilliser. All keep you awake.
A: Have a shot to go to sleep and have a shock to wake up.
K: So, in my enquiry I am asking, am I awake? What does it mean to be awake? Not awake to what is happening politically, economically, socially, that is obvious. But awake. What does it mean? I am not awake if I have any burden. You follow, sir? There is no sense of being awake when there is any kind of fear. If I live with an illusion, if my actions are neurotic, there is no state of being awake. So I'm enquiring and I can only enquire by becoming very sensitive to what is happening in me, outside me. So is the mind aware during the day completely to what is happening inside, outside of me.
A: Upon every instant.
K: That's it. Otherwise I am not awake.
A: I was just thinking about something that has always given me a great sense of wonder. At home we have some birds and, of all things, a cat too.
K: Of course.
A: But they love one another. That is to say, the birds don't run around in the room with the cat, but the cat supervises the birds. When the birds are put to bed in the evening the cat goes into that room and stays with them, maybe an hour or two, watches. Just seems to have the feeling that it must look after the birds. And in the day time, I've often watched the cat sit and look at the birds with an immense intensity, and the ordinary reaction is, 'Well for heaven's sake, haven't you seen them before?' What is this everlasting intensity, but she's looking.
K: That's right, sir.
A: And her eyes are always with that jewel-like...
A: ...intensity and clarity. Cleaner than flame. And it never stops. And when she sleeps, she really - yes. When you asked me what is sleep, there must be a relation between the wonder that we feel for the cat's ability completely to sleep. And when she awakes she's completely awake.
K. That's right, sir. So in asking and enquiring what is sleep, I must also ask what is to be awake.
A: Of course.
K: Of course. Am I awake? Or is the past so alive that it is dictating my life in the present? Therefore I am asleep.
A: Would you say that again? It's very important.
K: I don't know how, I'll put it differently. Am I awake? Is my mind burdened with the past? And therefore bearing a burden I'm not awake to the present.
A: Not awake in the present, exactly.
K: Not awake as I am talking.
A: That's right.
K: Because I'm talking from the background of my past, of my experience, of my failures, my hurts, my depressions, therefore the past is dominating and putting me to sleep now.
A: To sleep. It's a narcotic.
K: Narcotic. Therefore what am I to do with the past? You follow, sir?
A: Yes, I do. Yes, yes, yes.
K: Past is necessary.
A: Of course, yes, the whole field of knowledge.
K: Knowledge. Past is necessary. But when the past covers the present, then I am asleep. So is it possible to know what the past is and not let it overflow into the present? That question and the reality of it brings its own discipline. Therefore I say, yes, I know what it means. I can live, I can keep awake totally and widely and yet operate in the field of knowledge. So there is no contradiction. I don't know if I am conveying it?
A: Oh you are. You are, you are.
K: So both are moving in harmony. One doesn't lag behind the other. One doesn't contradict the other. There's balance.
A: Well, what I am seeing here, if I am following correctly is, on the one hand we have knowledge and the grasp of its necessity with respect to know-how in practical affairs.
K: Of course.
A: On the other hand we have seeing, understanding. And the act of meditation is the nexus...
K: That's right, sir.
A: ...between them so that there is no interruption of flow in the activity...
K: That's right.
A: ...of understanding and knowing.
K: That is part of meditation.
A: Of course.
K: You follow?
K: See what is taking place. Then what is sleep? I have understood now what is means to be awake. That means I am watching. I am aware. I am aware without any choice, choiceless awareness, watching, looking, observing, hearing, what is going on and what is going outside, what people tell me, whether they flatter me, or they insult me. I am watching. So I am very aware. Now, what is sleep? I know what is sleep: resting, shutting your eyes, going to bed at 9 or 10 or later. What is sleep? And in sleep, dreams. What are dreams? I don't know what the others say. I am not interested in what the others say. You follow, sir? Because my enquiry is to find out whether meditation covers the whole field of life, not just one segment.
A: My enquiry is from the point where I say, 'I don't know'.
K: I don't know. That is right. So I'll proceed. I dream. There are dreams. What are dreams? Why should I dream? So I have to find out why I dream. What are dreams? Dreams are the continuation of my daily sleep. Which is, I haven't understood - see what is taking place, sir - I have not understood my daily life. I watch my daily life. My daily life is in disorder; so I go to sleep and the disorder continues. And the brain says, 'I must have order otherwise I can't function.' So if the mind doesn't put order during the day, the brain tries to bring order during the night.
A: Through the dream.
K: Through the dreams, through intimations. When I awake I say, 'Yes I have a certain feeling this must be done'. So, see what takes place. When the mind is awake during the day it has order, it establishes order, in the sense we have discussed previously.
A: Yes. In that sense of order.
K: Order which comes out of the understanding of disorder. The negation of disorder is order, not the following of a blueprint.
K: Or a pattern, all that's disorder. So during the day, the mind, the brain has established order. So when I sleep the brain isn't working out how to establish order in itself in order to be secure. Therefore the brain becomes rested.
A: I see.
K: Therefore the brain becomes quiet, sleeps without dreams. It may have superficial dreams when you eat wrongly, you know, all that kind of thing. That I am not talking about. So, sleep means regeneration of the brain. I don't know if you follow?
A: Yes, I do. I wonder if I could ask you a question about dreams here, that might introduce a distinction between dreams in terms of their nature. Sometimes we report that we've had a dream which points to future event.
K: That's another thing.
A: That's entirely different from what you are talking about.
K: Yes, yes.
A: So we could say that...
K: Sir, that, I think we can understand that very simply. You know the other day we were walking high up in the hills in India and there was a river flowing down below. And two boats were coming in the opposite direction and you knew where they were going to meet.
A: Of course.
K: When you go high enough you see the boats coming together at a precise point.
A: But that's very objective. That has nothing to do with my subjective unfinished business.
A: Which is the other thing you were talking about.
K: That's right.
A: Yes, I quite see, I quite see. Right. What an amazing thing it would be to have all your business done and go to sleep. And if order should present you with...
K: Yes, sir.
A: ...an understanding.
K: Of course.
A: Then the understanding never stops from waking through sleeping.
K: That's right.
A: Yes! Of course. Of course. Marvellous. Marvellous.
K: So you see, that way the brain is regenerated, keeps young. No conflict. Conflict wears out the brain.
K: So, sleep means not only order, rejuvenation, innocence, but also in sleep there are states in which there is absolutely freedom to enquire, to see into something which you have never seen with your eyes, physical eyes.
K: Of course.
K: So we have described sufficiently into that. I see that. So do I - does the mind live that kind of life during the day?
A: That would be rare.
K: Otherwise it is not meditation.
A: Otherwise it is not meditation, of course, of course, of course.
K: And I don't want to play a game, a hypocritical game, because I am deceiving nobody. I am deceiving myself and I don't want to deceive myself. I don't see the point of deceiving myself because I don't want to be a great man, little man, big man, success. That's all too infantile. So I say, am I living that? If not, what is happening? And it gives me energy to live that way because I have no burden of the others. I don't know?
A: This is very remarkable. It reminds me of a story that is told about a swordsman and his three sons. And he was an old, old swordsman in old Japan and he wanted to pass on the responsibility for his art to his sons. And he asked the sons each to come into his room and he would speak to them and he would decide.
K: Quite, quite.
A: He was a man of knowledge in terms of the sword, but he also was a man of understanding. And unbeknown to them he put a ball on top of the lintel and as they passed in, they, of course, were quite unaware of that. The youngest was called in first, and when the youngest walked in his father had arranged for this ball to drop, you see, and the ball dropped and the son, in a flash, cut it in two with his sword when it fell down. And his father said, 'Please wait in the other room.' The second son came in, ball fell on his head but precisely as it touched his head he reached up and he took it in his hands and the father said, 'Please wait in the other room.' Eldest son came in. He opened the door, and as he opened the door he reached up and he took the ball. And the father called them in and he read out the youngest son and he said, 'Very brilliant. You've mastered the technique. You don't understand anything.' He said to the second one, 'Well, you're almost there. Just, just keep on, keep on.' And he said to the eldest son, 'Well, now you can begin.' And it seemed to me that's just exactly - imagine! It's like the word 'prajna' which means 'pra' - ahead, 'jna' to, to know, to know beforehand, in the sense, not of some work of prediction that we do based on the study of rats in the lab or something but understanding is...
K: Yes, sir,
A: ...ahead and behind in the total movement of that one act.
K: Yes, sir.
A: Oh yes of course.
K: So I see this, because I do not separate meditation from daily living. Otherwise it has no meaning. So I see the importance of order during the waking hours. And therefore freeing the mind - the brain from conflict, all that, during sleep, so there is total rest to the brain. That's one thing. Then, what is control? Why should I control? They have all said control. All religions have said control. Control. Be without desire. Don't think about yourself. You follow? All that. I say to myself - this is what they say - can I live without control? You follow, sir?
A: Oh yes, yes. One has to start that question too at the very beginning.
K: I am doing it. That's what we are doing.
A: Yes. My statement is a reflection. Just a mirror to that, yes.
K: Is it possible to live without control? Because what is the control? And who is controller? The controller is the controlled. When I say, ' I must control my thought', the controller is the creation of thought. And thought controls thought. It has no meaning. One fragment controls another fragment, and yet therefore remain fragments. So I say, is there a way of living without control? Therefore no conflict. Therefore no opposites. Not one desire against another desire. One thought opposed to another thought. One achievement opposed to another achievement. So, no control. Is that possible? Because I must find out. You follow, sir? It's not just ask a question, just leaving it alone. I've got energy now because I am not carrying their burden anymore. Nor am I carrying my own burden. Because their burden is my burden. When I have discarded that I have discarded this. So I have got energy when I say is it possible to live without control. And so it is a tremendous thing. I must find out. Because the people who have control, they have said through control you arrive at Nirvana, heaven - to me that's wrong, totally absurd. So I say, can I live a life of meditation in which there is no control?
A: When intelligence breaks out, as we looked at before, then with it comes order and that order...
K: Intelligence is order.
A: And intelligence is that order. The seeing is the doing.
K: The doing, yes.
A: Therefore there is no conflict at all.
K: You see, therefore do I live a life, not only is it possible, do I live it? I've got desires: I see a car, a woman, a house, a lovely garden, beautiful clothes, or whatever it is, instantly all the desires arise. And not to have a conflict. And yet not yield. If I have money I go and buy it. Which is obvious. That's no answer. If I have no money I say, 'Well, I'm so sorry. I have no money. And I will get sometime, someday. Then I'll come back and buy it.' It's the same problem. But the desire is aroused. The seeing, contact, sensation and desire. Now that desire is there, and to cut it off is to suppress it. To control it is to suppress it. To yield to it is another form of fragmenting life into getting and losing. I don't know if I?
A: Yes, yes, yes.
K: So to allow for the flowering of desire without control. You understand, sir?
A: Yes, I do.
K: So the very flowering is the very ending of that desire. But if you chop it off it'll come back again. I don't know?
A: Yes, yes. It's the difference between a terminus and a consummation.
K: Quite, yes. So I let the desire come, flower, watch it. Watch it, not yield or resist. Just let it flower. And be fully aware of what is happening. Then there is no control.
A: And no disorder.
K: No, of course. The moment you control there is disorder. Because you are suppressing or accepting - you know, all the rest of it. So that is disorder. But when you allow the thing to flower and watch it, watch it in the sense be totally aware of it - the petals, the subtle forms of desire to possess, not to possess, to possess is a pleasure, not to possess is a pleasure, you follow? - the whole of that movement of desire.
K: And that you to be very sensitive, watchful, very sensitive, choiceless watching.
A: This image that you have referred to metaphorically with the plant itself, could we pursue that in our next conversation through the continuation of concern to look further into meditation.
K: We have not finished meditation.
A: We haven't, no
K: There's lots more involved.
A: Good, good.