Meditation, order and space
Can the mind regenerate itself?
4th Public Talk, Bombay
January 27, 1974
This is the last talk. I think we said that we were going to talk about meditation.
If one observes what is going on in the world, and if one is aware of what is happening to oneself in that world, one must see there must be a different kind of energy, a different kind of mind that is capable of transforming itself, regenerating itself and perhaps help to bring about a different kind of culture. And this energy, which is not mechanical nor has it any cause and therefore a motive, is very important to come by.
(Shall I come forward, sir? Is that all right? Is that all right now? Let's start it all over again.)
Meditation is a very misused word and that word is spreading all over the world. It is being imported in other countries by some of the gurus and swamis and yogis from this country. They should really be exported and not at all imported. You should keep that word and their circus here. But it's very important to understand not only the meaning of that word but also the deeper significance and the full implication of that word. The word itself means to ponder over, to think, to get inward insight into things. And in a world that is disintegrating, degenerating, if one really wants to go into this question of meditation seriously, first, in matters of the spirit, one should not follow anybody. In this world that is so confused, that has lost all direction, that is in great conflict, misery, in this world one has to be a light to oneself. And so, depending on another in these matters obviously prevents being a light to oneself. Being a light to oneself doesn't imply a sense of conceit, an immense self-confidence, but rather the denial of what is not true, the denial of obedience, the denial of authority. The denial of authority doesn't mean that you don't obey the laws of the country or the authority of law, but all sense of spiritual authority. Because, as you see, we have followed, man has followed in his search for happiness, for enlightenment, for a measureless and timeless sense of beauty - and that word which is so often used as truth - in his search for all this thing, he is being led by others. The other is the image of himself. The other is the concept of his own demands and pleasures and fears. And when you follow somebody, you are really destroying not only yourself but creating a world in which there is gradual disintegration of morality. I do not know if you have not observed this in your life: how utterly second-hand we have become. And being a light to oneself becomes extraordinarily important because there is nobody to guide you. There is nobody that can tell you or give you a sense, a freedom from your sorrow, misery, confusion.
So, it is so obvious that in spiritual matters, if I may use that word 'spiritual', that you shouldn't follow anybody, no one, including the speaker, because truth is something, as beauty, love, that has no fixed abode. It is not to be found in any temple, any mosque or any church. Those are put together - the images - by the mind or by the hand and therefore they have no reality. They are a symbol of a mind that is seeking, a mind that is unhappy, confused. And when you follow somebody, as you do most unfortunately, your own mind becomes dull, incapable of questioning, incapable of being highly sensitive and therefore intelligent. So, when we are enquiring into the question of meditation, it is absolutely imperative that you follow no one. That means, one must be free of fear, free from the desire to experience a reality.
As we said the other day, and I will repeat again if I may, what we are going to investigate together demands a very serious mind, not a flippant mind, not a mind that is distracted in its investigation, but a mind that is not thwarted, pushed aside, distracted, but intent on its own investigation. And in this investigation you and the speaker are sharing. Please realise that, we are sharing together in the investigation of what is meditation. And therefore, when you are investigating - doesn't matter into what, in the field of science, economics and so on - the mind must be free, not be tethered to any particular concept, belief, but free to look, to enquire, to question. And that becomes utterly impossible when you are merely listening to a series of words with which you might agree or disagree with their conclusion, and if you are prejudiced, then you are incapable of really, completely, the whole problem of meditation, because it is very complex and very subtle.
So, when we are enquiring into this question what is meditation, not how to meditate, it is only a mind that is incapable of enquiry, investigating that asks 'how'. But a mind that is looking, observing never asks that question 'how'. Because 'the how' implies a mechanical process. So a man who is really serious - and he must be serious, it is only the most earnest that are capable of existing, living, and specially when we are enquiring into this question, there must be freedom which is the first and last step.
I do not know what you think of meditation, what you have done with regard to meditation, the practices, the repetitions, the casual attempts at concentration and so on and on and on. But if we are together to investigate this question, we must first establish order. Order is necessary for austerity. Order is austerity. The word 'austere' means harsh, severe, shaped, controlled. But such austerity of the monk, of a man highly disciplined according to a pattern, as a soldier is, such a mind is not an orderly mind. It's a mind that is shaped according to a particular mode, pattern, therefore it's not free. And order in our daily life is not something of an abstraction, a formula, according to which you live. Please, this is very serious and if you really want to go into this question of meditation, you have to understand this first reality. Order is mathematics, not merely numbers; the highest form of order is the highest form of mathematical mind. That means, the mind must be capable of reasoning, not according to our wishes, according to your pleasure, but capable of clear thinking and therefore capable of reasoning objectively, sanely. Sanity is absolutely necessary and most of us are rather insane, unbalanced, disorderly. Sanity means whole, healthy. The word 'whole' means not only a non-fragmented mind but also whole means healthy and also it means holy, H-O-L-Y. All that is implied in that word 'order'. Unless the mind, behaviour, conduct is established in order, every enquiry into this question becomes distorted. Therefore, one must find out for oneself, not from another, not follow a pattern set by another, not a blue-print which you copy, imitate, and that is not order.
So one must enquire into this question of what is order. We are going to, as we said just now, share this question. Sharing implies that you give attention to what you are listening to, that we both of us share, partake in this problem. That means you have to find out for yourself what is order and be totally established in that, deeply rooted in that. Because order is virtue and virtue is a living thing, not to be cultivated. A living thing cannot be put or grasped, a living thing is moving, alive, active, full of energy, movement, ceaselessly in movement. That is virtue. And so we are going together to enquire into this question of what is order. The speaker is not going to tell you what is order. You have been told throughout the ages what is order by others and you have tried to copy that order. And when you copy, imitate, that very factor of imitation is disorder. We are going to go into it. I must go fairly quickly because there is a lot to talk about meditation, it's not just a few words and a few sentences, it's an immense thing. It covers the whole of life. Meditation is not something separate from daily living. It isn't something you do for ten minutes a day and go and do the rest of the day your mischiefs, cruel, indifferent, callous, brutal. Meditation is the whole movement of living daily.
So, what is order? How will you find out? No one to tell you. Neither the politicians, your priests, your books, your gurus, none of them can tell you because they have told you thousands of times, and look where you are! Which is, you live in disorder. Disorder means fragmentation of life, contradiction, say one thing, do another, have ideals and never live that reality. Ideals are an abstraction without a reality. So you live a disordered, confused, contradictory life. That is a fact. It's not my opinion or judgement. And this disorder cannot be transformed into order. If I live a disorderly life, I must understand that disorder: why there is contradiction, why I say one thing and do another, why I follow, why I obey. All that has brought about disorder in one's life. Why we say one thing and do another. I do not know if you have ever thought about it. That is, to see 'what is', to observe in oneself 'what is', and that's the only factor. And the opposite of that is an abstraction of 'what is', and therefore unreal, non-factual. Please follow this for a minute. There is contradiction which is the conflict of duality, because we do not face actually 'what is'. 'What is', let us say, I am violent, there is violence. That is a fact. The non-fact is non-violence. Right? It's an abstraction of violence, away from violence, and the mind that is not capable of observing the fact and remaining with it and going beyond it must be in disorder. Because such a mind is in conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be'. Right? Are you following all this?
So, a mind that is disorderly - disorderly being self-contradictory, caught in the conflict of the opposites - such a mind is a disorderly mind. So, you have to find out for yourself if there is an opposite or only 'what is'. Is there an opposite to envy? The opposite is non-envy. That non-envy is an abstraction which is moving away from 'what is'. 'What is' is envy, there is no opposite to it. But the mind or thought does not know what to do with 'what is' and tries to solve it by having a formula of non-fact and thereby hoping to deal with 'what is'. So a mind that is in conflict is a disorderly mind. Conflict implies division between this and that. Conflict implies choice between this and that, between 'what is' and 'what should be'. There is conflict where there is division, where there is division between people, between Bombay and Mysore, between Pakistan and India, between communism and all the rest of it. Where there is division there must inevitably be a conflict. That is law. And in ourselves we are divided: the higher self, the lower self, the various contradictory desires, pursuits of pleasure, avoidance of fear, we are businessmen and week-ends we are religious men and so on and on and on and on. So, where there is division in us, there must be conflict. Where there is conflict, there is disorder.
Now, to observe that disorder, to see it, not try to change it - please understand this. When you see a beautiful mountain, with the deep valleys and the rushing streams and the quiet, tranquil meadows and the still, abundant trees, you cannot change it. It is there. To look at that extraordinary beauty and feel the relationship between the observer and the observed. In the same way to look at this confusion, to look at this disorder, just to look. When you look with a prejudice, with the desire to change it, with the desire to go beyond it or to suppress it, then that very suppression, that very desire to control it, that very desire to go beyond it is the furtherance of disorder. But to look at it without the observer. And this is going to be rather difficult because probably you have never done all these things; probably you have never exercised your brain; you have never gone into this with tremendous energy to find out. Because we are second-hand people, dull. And this requires tremendous attention.
We said to observe, to perceive. Now, when you look at your neighbour, your wife, your husband, your friend, you look through the image you have built about him or her. And can you look, observe, see without that image? The image is the observer, the image is the past. So the observer is the past. And can you observe this disorder in which you live, can you observe it without the eyes of the past? Which is to observe without condemning, without judging, without evaluating, just to look. Look sir, you are listening to the speaker. If you are prejudiced you are not listening to the speaker. If you are comparing what he is saying with what you already know or have been told, comparing, then you are not listening to the speaker. Listening means to pay attention to what he is saying. And to pay attention is to give your mind wholly to what is being said. So, in the same way, to observe this disorder, to observe without any distortion and there is distortion when there is the observer, who is the past. And out of that observation comes order and therefore that order is a living thing, is not mechanical cultivation of habits. So that the mind must be rooted, established totally, completely in order; otherwise your meditation has no meaning.
Then you must enquire into time. Are you interested in all this? Have you observed your disorder? As you are sitting there, have you observed what a disorderly, conflicting, miserable, unhappy life you lead? Have you observed it for yourself or are you accepting the description and applying the description to what you think you are? You understand? It doesn't matter. So one must enquire into time. Because time implies achievement, time implies moving from here to there, time is movement. You need time to go from here to your house. That's a movement in time. And when the mind is eager to go from this to there, which is enlightenment, truth, happiness, bliss and all the descriptions which you have read in books which you ought to throw away and find out for yourself. So, you must find out what is time. There is chronological time - yesterday, today and tomorrow. You can't change that. You have to go to the office tomorrow; it's Monday, yes, you have to go to the office tomorrow. You have to catch a bus at a certain time and so on. Time by the watch, time as movement from here to there. Now, is there any other time? Because time means measure. Measurement is thought and when thought is in movement, in action, it is creating the bondage of time. Do you understand all this? I am afraid you don't. Right, sir, I'll go into it a little bit.
In meditation, what you are concerned is to achieve something. Aren't you? To achieve an experience, the experience which others say they have got. And those who say they have got it lay down a system, a practice, a method and you practise, that needs time - day after day, making the mind repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, practise, practise, practise, control, shape, all that requires time. To achieve what you want, which you have invested in the person whom you call your guru or your God or whoever he is. So, time is a movement in the psychological field from here to there. Therefore time means measure. The whole of the Western world, from the Greeks, have based their life and technology on measurement. These are facts; you don't have to question this. Because thought is measure and the whole of the Western world is based on thought. The whole technological world is measurement and the Asiatic world, including India, said measurement is illusion and you can never measure reality. And they sought the immeasurable through measure. Are you understanding all this? That is, they sought - not you, the ancient people, you are just copying whatever you are. The ancients said measurement is illusory, and to find the immeasurable there must be no measurement. But they used thought, which is measurable, to achieve the non-measurable. So, they are both the same, as now that is what is happening in this world. You are being sucked in, in the wake of Western civilisation, aren't you? Western civilisation is based on consumerism, apart from art and all the rest of that, the main current is consumerism. Right? Isn't that so? Come on, sirs! And you are being sucked into that. So thought is time, thought is measure. When you say 'I must be like that', that is measurement and in that movement, mind is caught, that is 'to become' - I am this, I shall become that.
So, one asks can thought come to an end? That is, thought is the response of knowledge. Thought is the response of the accumulated knowledge as memory, and that knowledge you must have: how to drive a car, how to speak a language, how to write, read or do some technological thing. You must have that knowledge and that knowledge is measurable. And can that thought come to an end or not project itself into a field where there is no measure at all, and therefore no direction and therefore no will? You understand the problem? Thought has created this world, the world of confusion, the world of division, the world of sorrow, and this mess that we human beings live in. That is, thought can only function within the field of the known, obviously. It cannot function in the field of the unknown, it doesn't know what it means. Now, can thought function logically, sanely, healthily, objectively in the known and only there and nowhere else? That is, can the mind be free of the known and yet function in the known? This is meditation. This is real attention. And can thought, which can never enter into something it doesn't know, how is it - not 'how' - is it possible for thought to move only in the known and not go beyond it? That is - do please listen to this - meditation has nothing whatsoever to do with control because when you control thought, the controller is different from the controlled, and there is division and hence conflict. The controller says 'I must control thought' and thought wanders off all the time. And so there is a conflict going on between the controller and the controlled. And that's a wastage of energy.
So, the problem then is, can the mind - please listen to this - live, function in daily life, behave righteously, orderly in the sense we have used that word, without a breath of control? This is one of the real problems you have to face because you have been taught to control, to suppress, conform. Now, can the mind, can you, can the mind behave orderly, in the sense we have used the word, without a single effort, single conflict, control? Therefore you must understand the whole movement of thought. Thought has created the controller. So it is playing a trick upon itself. So, can there be no control at all in your conduct, because meditation is concerned with life, with living, with behaviour also.
So, you have to find out - please do listen to the beauty of this - can you find out for yourself how to live without a single shadow of control? Which means you have to understand the movement of desire. Desire is the outcome of sensation, contact: seeing, contact, sensation, desire. I see a beautiful car, want it. A house and so on. Seeing, contact, sensation, desire. Now, can the mind see this process, aware of this process, and not move further away from the expression or the fulfilment of that desire? You understand? This is meditation in which there is no control and therefore there is no will. So, there is order, time, which is thought, measurement, the sense of achievement comes totally to an end, therefore no seeking. When you are seeking truth, as you call it, seeking, how do you know when you find it? You understand? I'm asking a question: how do you know that you have found truth when you have searched for forty years or two days? You can only say 'I know it because I have experienced it'. That means, I have known it in the past and therefore I recognise it now when it happens. So that is involved in time. Isn't it? That is, you have known something in the past and then you recognise it now. That is time. And a mind that is seeking will find what it wants to find; like all the gurus, that is the trick they have played on you. And a mind that is completely in order, therefore austere in the sense the beauty of orderly life brings its own austerity, not imposed. And time which is the whole movement of thought.
Then there is the other problem in this question: freedom implies space. So, you have to find out what is space. You understand? You know, everything must have a space. A tree must have a space to grow, even the tiniest, lovely flower must have space in which it can blossom. Every bird that flies in the sky must have space. And if you have watched of an evening, birds sitting on a wire, how they allow space between each other. Haven't you noticed all this? You must have space. And have you space in your mind? Or is your mind crowded, occupied, full of problems, full of desires, failures, hopes, fears, commitments, activity? The brain is constantly occupied. So one has to find out what space means. The less space you have outwardly, the more violent you become. This is what is happening in cities. So you must go into this question of space. The 'I am' - 'I am' - has a very small space. The 'I am' lives within the space it has created through resistance. The space it has created to ward off further hurts, further disillusionment, further misery, further anxiety, it has enclosed itself. So, the mind that is concerned with 'I am' - my improvement, my achievement, my success, I am loved, I am not loved, you know, me, me, me - that has a very small space. And living in a small space, it is violent. No? If you live in a small space, a whole family in two or three rooms, you become very violent, don't you? You become indifferent. They have made experiments, I have been told, where they put rats in a very, very, very small space, many, many of them. Because they have no space, they lose all orientation, they kill each other, the mother kills the baby and so on, so on, so on. That's what is exactly happening to you. You are killing your babies, your children, by this education, by this conformity to the pattern of society, by sending them to war, by having divisions between this country and that country, between this state and that state, you are destroying your children because you have no space in your mind. So, can the mind be free of the 'me' so that it has immense space? You have to find this out, as the speaker said from the beginning; you have to investigate, it is your life, you have to find it, you have to come up on it, you have to live it, you have to love it.
Then also you have to find out the whole business of dreams and sleep. Sleep is essential. Where there is order, in the sense we have used it, then the brain does not, while it is asleep, try to bring order in itself. If the mind, if you, if our whole activity is lived in order, which is in virtue, righteous behaviour, therefore complete, absolute order, then the brain, when there is sleep, is not trying to create order in itself. That's one factor. Then dreams are a continuity of what you have lived during the day. And if you have lived during the day with watchfulness, with awareness, attention, then the brain can gather energy, rejuvenate itself and be fresh, young, for the next day. And there is much more. Because when the mind, the brain is quiet, not only in sleep but during the day, quiet, that means function, when it has to function in the field of knowledge but the rest of the time quiet. And out of this comes a different kind of energy. The energy that is totally different from the energy of thought, the energy of conflict and contradiction. This energy can only come when there is vast space - space within the mind, the mind then is total energy.
And that total energy is a mind that has this quality of utter, complete silence. That silence which is not induced, practised, controlled, driven, tortured. Then only the mind comes upon something that is nameless and timeless. And after all, the root of all this is compassion and love. If you have not that, if the mind isn't well, deeply established in that - which we went into the other day, what love is, which is not pleasure and love is - where the mind is ambitious, greedy, envious, jealous and hatred, there is no love. So, when the mind is rooted deeply in that love which is compassion, then silence gives birth to something that can never be put into words. Any man who puts it into words does not know what he is doing. Any man who says 'I know', such man does not know, because the 'not knowing' is the greatest humility and without humility there is no love and no order.
I don't think it is necessary to ask any questions, is it?
K: What, sir? What do I say about what, sir?
Q: Ancient minds those who have been born in India like Shankaracharya, Vivekananda and all that they have said the same thing.
K: Oh! Have they? Are you quite sure?
Q: Yes, sir.
K: You see, that gentleman has not listened to what I have said. He has been comparing. That is all you can do. You can't think for yourself. You quote some Shankaracharya, who is he? Or Vivekananda, who are they? What matters is what you are, not what they are. What are you? Answer that sir, what are you? Instead of quoting somebody. And do you know, have you lived, have you found what order is? When you compare what the speaker has said with those whom you have mentioned, then what they have said is not what the speaker is saying.
K: What, sir?
Q: How can there be development without ambition?
K: Oh, lovely! How can there be development without ambition? What do you mean by development - technological development, technological growth, progress? Do you know what that word 'progress' means? Originally, I believe it meant to be prepared, armed to enter the enemy's country. You understand what that word means? Progress, to go forward into an enemy's country fully armed. Now, you call progress, development, where? In what field, technological field? Of course. But are you progressing, evolving, growing in goodness or are you just static, dead human beings, playing with words? Answer that, sir? Don't ask me questions. Find out whether you are flowering in goodness or you have better bathrooms. Goodness, the flowering of it, is not a matter of time. You are good or not, you don't progress towards goodness. That is what the idealists have done through centuries and therefore they have never been good, including the people you quote.
K: Madam. The questioner says mustn't you desire, mustn't you move from something more desirable?
K: Sometimes there is a movement from experience which is utterly desirable which has gone and mustn't you pursue that desirable experience. Is that it, madam? No? Then what?
K: Sir, please. I must stop it's half past seven. What, sir?
K: Does investigating imply closing your eyes? And that's all you can ask at the end of an hour and half! (laughter) Sir, just listen to that question. He says: does investigating imply closing the eyes. When you investigate a tree, you look at the tree. You look at the shadow, the branch, the lovely movement of the leaf, you observe the shape of the limb, you look. To investigate your relationship you look at your relationship, you look at your wife and your image, you look at yourself, sir.
So that's enough. Please sirs, I have finished. What is important is not these small questions, but what is important is to find out how to live differently. You never asked that question: how am I to live differently, to live with peace, to live in order, without violence? You never asked that question because you are full of violence. We are animals and we are concerned with the transformation, with the regeneration of the human mind, which is your mind. And if you are merely concerned with what some book, some other person said, then you are not living, then you are not concerned with the transformation of society or of yourself.