Meditation, the timeless and love
On being conditioned
4th Public Talk, Brockwood Park
September 02, 1979
This is the last talk or meeting together. I don't quite know what to talk about. It is a good beginning! I think if we are really serious we will take life as a whole, not just what suits us, what is most convenient, what is most profitable or pleasant, but life is such a complex affair, with all the travail, all the struggle, conflict and a great many pressures and demands on one's life. And we seem to take one particular point of view, or choose what is most satisfactory and pursue that. We never apparently seem to take life as a whole thing - our education, our jobs, our way of living, our relationships, love - whatever that word may mean; perhaps we might go into it this morning - and the possibility of living a very good life.
And religion throughout the ages has played an extraordinarily important part in our life. One may discard it, one may says that is all nonsense, superstition, but man, human beings throughout the world have searched or enquired if there is something far beyond all this sensory excitement, sensory pleasures, sex and the ordinary routine of life. We have always asked about this. The more one is serious, the more one is delving deeply into one's life, one invariably asks if there is something far greater, beyond this existence with its complexities, with its boredom, with its loneliness. And I hope we are serious enough this morning at least that we can go into this.
And if I may ask and point out don't make this place, please, into a resort; something you come here for ten days and make a - you know, all the rest of it. Please don't do it. It is not worth it. There are other places where you can have a much better time. And if you take drugs and all that, don't come here, it is not worth it.
So how shall we, as human beings, set about this? You understand? How shall we begin to enquire if there is something far greater, something that is really enduring, something that is very, very immovable, something that can't be transient, changing according to circumstances, according to cultures and so on? How does one begin to enquire into this demand which man, human beings throughout the world from time immemorial have sought? Right? Can we go into this together?
If we can, the first thing is to find out how we listen, not only to what others say but to listen to oneself, listen to all the thoughts, all the emotions and the problems and the anxieties, to listen to it, without any kind of distortion, without any kind of direction. Just to listen as you would listen to a beautiful concert. So that one begins to discover as one listens the distortions that mind or thought, in its activity, twists what is actual. You understand? Because thought is always seeking more, so it moves away from the actual.
So could we this morning - as I said I didn't know quite what I was going to talk about - but since we have started on this, could we this morning so listen, not only to the speaker, which is not very important really, but the speaker is only acting as a mirror in which one sees oneself. And when you observe yourself the mirror is not important, then you can break it, throw it away, bury it, whatever you like. So could we, this morning, together investigate into this enormous complex problem of what is the meaning of life and if there is something beyond time, beyond the tomorrow, beyond the enormous burden of memory? If there is something far greater than mere superficial sensory existence. And to enquire into that we must have a certain quality of freedom, not attached to any particular experience, nor longing or asking something more. Because then you are already moving away from the actual observation - right? Could we please do this, this morning?
That is, we are enquiring into what is called religion. We have enquired into what is fear, pleasure, suffering and somewhat into the whole question of death. And I think we should also enquire very deeply into this question of what is religion. Because man has lived by that. Man has said, in his search to find out something away from the normal, which is not abnormal, which is not neurotic, something beyond the actual - the actual happening, the actual pain, the actual grief, the actual anxiety, the actual sensory sexual demands and their experiences, if there is something far more. Right? That has been the enquiry of man and that he has called the search for god, search for truth, search for various forms, in Asia, which is called Nirvana, Moksha, Liberation and so on and so on - Enlightenment. This has been the constant deep demand of serious people. And in its search he gets caught. He joins one religion, abandons it, then goes to another, abandons that, so he is caught in various traps in his search. By the end of his search when he is about to die he says, 'I have found nothing' - you follow? 'I have been to this guru, that guru, this temple, that church, followed the various cantankerous superstitious priests and so on and so on.' At the end of it all, as he is about to die, he realises there is nothing, there is nothing but ashes.
So could we in our enquiry, if you are serious, leave all that? Because all the religions, which man has organised, are put together by thought. And thought, as we went into it the other day, is limited, because it is based on knowledge and knowledge is always with ignorance. There is no complete knowledge. Right? Therefore there is in it the quality of ignorance, and therefore thought is born from knowledge, experiences and therefore everlastingly limited. And all the things that thought has created - the churches, the technological advancements, science, literature, painting and the things in the churches, in the temples, in the mosques, are all put there by thought, there is no question about it. You may say the saviour put it there but it is still the movement of thought. And so on. Could we see that very clearly, not verbally, intellectually, or being persuaded, see this fact that all the things that thought has created though illusory is a reality. Wait a bit, I am going to go into this. I am using the word 'reality' in the sense 'this is real'. The microphone in front of this person is actual, real, you can touch it. And the things that thought has created which he has called religion, and organised that which he calls religion, is an actuality. The ritual is an actuality, the various fanciful robes they put on are actual, so it is real. And the symbols, the ideas, are actual - aren't they? - as well as illusions, because thought has created illusions. You are following all this?
So illusions, fanciful ideas, all the rituals, everything that thought has put together is actual. The guns, the submarines, going to the moon, and so on and so on are all actual realities. But that reality is created by thought - right? Thought has not created nature. So nature is actual, real but it is not the product of thought. But thought can use the nature, making a chair, which becomes a reality. Right?
So in going into this matter of what is religion, if there is something beyond, one must distinguish between the actual, the reality - reality, in that is included illusions - right, you are following all this? - and nature. Those are all realities, but thought has not created nature. So if one is very clear on that matter, then we can proceed to find out: this human search for something infinite, beyond time, is that man-made, thought-made, or is there something which is not the product of thought? You are following all this?
Please, we are investigating together. Please bear in mind this central fact all the time, that we are examining together. You are not accepting what the speaker is saying. He has no authority whatsoever. Therefore we are both of us seriously committed to this enquiry. You may drop off in the middle of it. That is equally right. But when once you start enquiring, go as far as you can. Probably one's own minds are not strong enough, clear enough. That is why I said at the beginning one has to listen to oneself, where one is blocked, where one is attached to an experience, to a desire and so on. So one must put aside those if you are enquiring. And in that enquiry there must be freedom to observe. You can't say, 'Well, I believe in god or Jesus, or Krishna' - or whatever it is, and then enquire, you can't. That is playing tricks. You can play tricks upon yourself, but when you are enquiring seriously you must play the game.
So is there something that is not produced by thought? Right? Which means: is there something which is beyond time? Please go slowly, we are going to enquire. We are accustomed to the idea of evolution, physical evolution first of all. That is, the seed, the acorn producing the oak, it takes infinite time, a great many years. And that same concept or actuality is taken over psychologically. That is, psychologically one must have time to learn, to understand - right? - to capture that which is much more advanced. So we are used to the idea of evolution, time - right? So we must be very clear if there is psychological time at all. There is physical time. Please you must give attention to this a little bit if you are interested in the enquiry. There is physical time from here to go to that house; it takes exactly three minutes. So time is necessary physically to cover from a certain point to another certain point. That is time to cover the distance.
Now we have taken over that concept, that conclusion psychologically. I am ignorant, one is ignorant, one doesn't know, I don't know myself, I need time. Now time is psychologically put there by thought. Do you actually need time to be free say, for example, of greed? I am taking that as an example. Do you actually need time? That is, several days, time being the future. Do you need the future, time, to be free of jealousy, whatever it is, anxiety, greed, envy? Do you need time actually? No, no, don't shake your head. But we are used to that. When I say, 'I will get over it' - the will is time. You understand? I wonder if you do. Don't be so dazed.
So it is our habit, our tradition, our way of living to say, 'I will get over my anger, my jealousy, my sense of inadequacy' and so on and so on. So the mind has become accustomed psychologically to the idea of time, that is tomorrow, or many tomorrows. Now we are questioning that. You understand? We are saying that is not necessary. Time is not necessary to be free of greed - right? That is, if you are free of time and you are greedy there is no tomorrow. You attack it. You act, you do something immediately. I don't know if you are following all this? So psychologically thought has invented time as a means of avoiding, as a means of postponing, as a means of indulging in that which it already has. I don't know if you are following all this - right? So thought psychologically has invented time out of laziness and so on and so on.
Now, can you be free of the idea of tomorrow, psychologically? Please do go into it, look at it. Take your own anxiety, or whatever it is, your sexual indulgence, if you want that, or if you think through certain sensory activity you will reach whatever you want to reach, which is, the reaching is the movement of time. Can you see the truth of it and the very perception of that ends it? I wonder if you have got this? Right? Are you doing it as we are talking? Or is it just an idea?
So the mind has enquired into time, which is very complicated, we are making it very brief, that the concept that tomorrow is a means to an end psychologically is illusory. Therefore there is only perception and action without the interval of time. I wonder if you get this? One sees the danger of nationalism, the danger, because of wars and so on, and so on, the very perception is the action and the ending of the feeling of being attached to a particular group. Right? Are you doing it? When every evening the television says, 'British, British, British' or the French and French and French, whenever one is in France, and so on. To see that this division brings disaster and then 'Give me time to be free from the conditioning which I have had from childhood, that I am British - or this, or that', to see that without the idea of time and therefore action. You are following this? I wish you would do this. Therefore that ends conflict. You understand? The struggle that I must be free. We are together in this somewhat? I see you are not because this demands really a very serious mind, a mind that says, 'I want to find out'.
So meditation is the ending of time. You understand? Because that is what we have done just now, we have meditated, we have meditated to find out the nature of time. Time is actual, necessary to go from here to there, but psychologically time doesn't exist. To discover that is a tremendous truth, tremendous fact, because you have broken away from all the traditions. You understand? Tradition says, 'Take time, you will reach god if you do this, this, that'. And also it means hope, the ending of hope. You understand? I wonder if you understand this? According to Dante's Inferno, it means the ending of hope - you understand? Whereas we are saying hope implies the future. That is, one is depressed, anxious, hopeless sense of inadequacy, give me hope to advance, to learn, to be free. So when you see that there is psychologically no future, then you are dealing with facts, not with hopes. I wonder if you see this? Because hope is time - right?
So what we have done in the enquiry into time is the beginning of meditation. It is part of meditation. And to find out if there is something beyond time - beyond time, one mustn't carry any problems with us - right? - because we are burdened with problems - right? Aren't we? Personal problems, collective problems, international problems, and so on. Why do we have problems? Please ask yourself: why do you have problems? - sexual, imaginary, problems of not having jobs and so on, problems of inadequacy, problems of saying 'I want to reach heaven and I can't', and all the rest of it - you know, problems. Why do we have them? Is it possible - please listen - is it possible to live a life without a single problem? You understand what that means? As each issue arises to dissolve it instantly, not carry it over. The carrying it over, which is the movement of time, creates the problem. I wonder if you see this? Right? If I have a problem - if one has a problem, first of all why has one a problem? What is a problem? A problem is something that you have not understood, resolved, finished with, but which you worry over, you are concerned, you cannot understand it and you struggle and struggle day after day, day after day, day after day. So the mind is crippled by this process - do you understand? So if there is no time - do you understand? - there is no problem. I wonder if you see this? Do you really see this, actually in your heart, not up here in your mind, but in your heart, do you see that the man or the woman who has problems is caught in time? But as an issue arises if the mind is free of time it deals with it instantly, finished. I wonder if you see this. The moment you have the idea of time, say, 'I will resolve it', 'I will take time'. The movement away from the fact is the problem. Are you all asleep?
So if we are to enquire into this there must be no problem whatsoever, which is, the mind must be free to look. Right?
A problem arises when our relationships are not understood. Right? Whether it is intimate, or impersonal. Why have we not understood relationship and seen the depth of it or the futility of it and go on with it? But apparently we have never resolved this problem of relationship - right? You know all about it, don't you? Why? Is it you love and you are not loved? Is that a problem? Come on, sirs. It is, it is a problem. Or you love and the other doesn't love - right? Or in your relationship with another you are possessive, you are dominant, you know, dependent, you want something from her or from him - sex, pleasure, comfort. Somebody said to the speaker the other day, 'If I leave who will wash my clothes?' Do you understand? I wonder if you understand all this?
So what is relationship, out of which we have made such a tremendous problem? It is to be related to another - relationship means related to another. To one or to many, or to the whole of mankind - right? To the one, or many or to the whole of mankind - you understand? Oh, you don't! Why is there not in this relationship peace? A depth of understanding of each other which brings about love - do you understand? Why isn't there? The relationship between two people - man, woman - with their sex is called love - right? Right? Oh, for god's sake don't let us be hypocrites, let's face these things. It is called love and is it love? Or is it the demand of sensory satisfaction, the demand of companionship, the demand which is born out of loneliness, the demand that says 'I cannot be alone. I cannot stand this immense solitude in myself, therefore I must have somebody on whom I can depend' - psychologically only. You need the postman, the porter and all the rest of it, but psychologically in relationship between man and woman why is there this tremendous division - you understand? And is one aware of this? Aware of this great division between you and another, whom you say you love. Do we need to go into that, is it necessary? Apparently it is, all right.
Have you noticed between two people their thinking, their feeling are never the same - right? One is ambitious, the other is not; one is aggressive, the other is not, one is possessive, the other is not; one is dominant and the other is docile, which means what? Each one is self-centred in his activity - right? Are you following? Observe yourself. Self-centred in yourself and the other too is self-centred, so there is division. Where there is division there must be quarrels, there must be antagonism, there must be all kinds of things going on between nationality, when there is division there is chaos - right? And this division we call love - right? You don't face it.
So in enquiring into something beyond time there must be complete sense of relationship, which can only come about when there is love. Right? Love is not pleasure, obviously. You cheapen it. Right? Love is not desire, love is not the fulfilment of your own sensory demands. Are you following all this?
So without love, do what you will, stand on your head and sit in meditation for the rest of your life cross-legged, put on fancy robes, do anything you like, without that quality there is nothing. So if the person wants to find something beyond time, there must be right relationship completely so that no problems exist. And this quality of great affection, love, which is not the result of thought - right? - that must exist.
Then we can proceed to find out. You see how difficult it is. Because most of us are so indulgent with ourselves, most of us are so petty - right? - so small in our outlook. So your mind must be free from all this self-centred anxious movements - right? Because that creates the problem, and when the mind has problems it cannot possibly see clearly. The mind that is everlastingly chattering, such a mind is not a quiet mind - right?
Then the problem arises: how am I to stop chattering - you understand? Listen to that very carefully. You realise your mind is chattering, then you say, 'How am I to stop it?' The moment you have put the question you are already entered into the time element. I wonder if you see that. Yes? So the 'how' means time, and because you ask the 'how' the other fellow invents the system, invents the method, the practice, put on the yellow robe, blue robe, or whatever it is. So see the mind chattering and you are not different from that chattering. Your mind is chattering and your mind is you. So when you have that principle, that actual truth that you and the problem are one, you and the chattering are one, then all your effort to change it comes to an end. Then you are facing the fact that your mind is chattering, that you are chattering. So when you so observe what takes place? In that observation you have brought all your energy to observe. That energy has been dissipated by saying, 'How am I to stop it?' You understand this? I wonder if you understand this? Can we go on?
So the problem is: can the mind, that is, the mind being the senses, the feelings, the reactions, the emotions, the intellect, all that is the mind - right? Can that mind, including the brain, can that mind be absolutely quiet? You understand my question? Because that is part of meditation, to bring about, as people try to do, to bring about through various systems, methods, controls and so on, so the mind is absolutely quiet because it is only when the mind is quiet completely that you can hear, that you can see. So the various forms of meditation - the Tibetan, Hindu, the nonsensical T. M. meditation - you know, Transcendental Meditation, a nice word spoilt, isn't it? Transcendental is ruined by this cheap nonsense. All these various forms of meditation have tried, through control, through relaxation, through self-hypnosis, by repetition, repetition, to bring about a quiet mind, which means - listen to it - which means allowing time to bring this. You understand? One's mind is not quiet now, but I will practise, I will control, I will be aware and through time it will come about - right? But when there is the understanding of the truth that time is illusory, you can't change it, time will not change - you understand? - then you are faced with the fact that your mind is chattering.
When you are observing a fact completely with all your energy, the fact changes. You will see, if you do it, you will see it. Because you have brought your energy into the observation, and that energy has been dissipated when you are trying to change 'what is'. Look, I will show you! Human beings are violent - right? - for various reasons, we won't go into it for the moment. And human beings have invented non-violence - right? The non-violence is a non-fact. Are you following this? The fact is violence but when you try to pursue non-violence you are pursuing a non-fact and also pursuing, allowing time. And when you realise time does not change, bring about change, then you are faced with the fact, which is violence. Not how to change it. There is this fact of violence. Now can the mind observe this fact of violence without any direction, without any pressure, just to observe it? You understand? Observe it. In that observation the mind has pulled together all its energy - right? So that energy is like light, focused on the thing called violence and that violence dissipates. Don't go to sleep, please.
In meditation, which is to bring about a mind that is absolutely quiet, any form of effort is futile - right? I wonder if you understand this? To make an effort to meditate which means time, which means struggle, which means achieving something which you have projected. So can there be an observation without effort? Without control? Please listen carefully. I am using the word 'control' with a great deal of hesitation because we live in a permissive society - right? And one does what one likes, the more idiotic the better - drugs, sex, putting on clothes that are so meaningless - you follow? The sloppiness of it all. And the speaker is using the word 'control' in the sense when there is pure observation there is no need to control. Don't deceive yourself by saying, 'I am observing purely therefore I have no control' and indulge yourself, which becomes nonsensical. Unless you hear carefully that a mind that is under control, that control brought about by thought, that thought being limited and out of its limitation it is desiring something, and therefore it says, 'I must control', such a mind has become a slave to an idea - you understand? - not to a fact, to a concept, to a conclusion. Like those religious people who believe very strongly about something or rather, they are incapable of talking about anything else, thinking freely. The speaker was once travelling in India, in a train, and there was a European, an Englishman in fact, and a very learned Indian was in the same compartment. The Englishman was telling the Indian that their religion was all nonsense, stupid - you know, went on at it, for some time. And the Indian said, politely, 'But you also have your beliefs, don't you? You believe in Christ and the Virgin Mary'. 'Oh,' he said, 'that is a fact'. (Laughter). That is the end of the conversation. And most of us are that way.
So we are saying: a mind that is in conflict, either brought about through control, through will, which is desire, a mind that has problems, a mind that has not resolved relationship and therefore no love, such a mind is incapable of going beyond. You understand? It can only go to what it thinks is beyond within its own circle. And it might invent that it is going beyond, but it is not. Right? So if we are serious, if we have come to this point, that the mind, all the senses, the brain and all the things that man has been caught in are put aside because there is this tremendous sense of love with its intelligence, then we can proceed to find out. Right?
That means a mind that is quiet, not only physically quiet but the quietness is not necessarily sitting in a certain position, you can lie down, do what you like but the body must be absolutely quiet. Right? Uncontrolled, because then you impose and there is conflict. And the mind being free and therefore absolutely quiet can observe. It is not 'I am observing' - you understand? Then if there is 'I observing' there is duality, there is separation but there is only observation without the 'I'. I wonder if you see all this? The 'I' is made up of many things - past remembrances, past experiences, past problems, present problems, anxiety - the 'I', that is me, that is you. If we have gone that far the 'I' is now absent. You understand? It is not 'I' who is observing, but there is only observation.
Then what takes place? You understand, sirs, this is real meditation now, what we have done. The sense of enquiry into your self, self-awareness, knowing all its problems, knowing all the desires, pressures, conflicts, sorrow, pain, all that, be aware of all that. And that awareness can only come into existence when you are observing your reactions in relationship - right? You can't observe yourself by just going off and sitting under a tree. You can somewhat observe it, but it is only in relationship all your reactions arise. So the mind is now in a state where there is no problem, no effort, no control, and essentially no will, because will is the essence of desire. I don't know if you have got it? Right? I will, I want, I must. That is, desire demanding something which is in time. Right? And to achieve that I must exercise will to gain it. So the mind is free of all that.
If you have gone that far then what is there? Man has sought something sacred - right? - something holy, something imperishable, incorruptible, timeless - it doesn't matter what. And he says, 'I have worked, I have taken my life, I have understood my life completely, now what is there?' You understand? What more, what is there beyond? Because all search must end too - you understand? Because the moment you are seeking how do you know what you find? You understand what I am asking? You are seeking - god, truth, or whatever it is you are seeking - it may be your own pleasure, it may be your own sexual urges, it may be your own ending to certain problems and so on, you are seeking. In that search is implied several things. First of all when you find it you must recognise it - right? In that search it must be satisfactory, if not you will throw it out. It must answer all your problems, and it won't because the problems are created by yourself. So the person who says, 'I am seeking', is really quite unbalanced, because he is playing tricks upon himself. So all that now is totally in abeyance, finished. Then the mind is absolutely quiet in pure observation. Now anything beyond that is merely a description - you understand? - is merely putting together words to convey something which is incommunicable. You understand?
So all that one can do is not to describe that but to meet another with the same capacity, with the same intensity, at the same level - you understand what I am talking about? What is love? It is to meet another with the same intensity, at the same level, at the same time. You understand? Isn't it? That is love. I am not talking of physical love, I am talking of love, which is not desire, which is not pleasure, to meet somebody with the same intensity - right? - with the same sense of time and with the same passion. That is love.
Now if there is that love in another and you have this quality of mind which is silent, there is communication - right? - without words. That is a communication which is really communion, complete sharing of something which is not capable of being put into words. The moment you put it into words it is gone, because the word is not the thing.
So at the end of these talks, four talks and two question and answers, where are we? Where is each one of us with regard to what you have heard, what you have learned, what you have seen for yourself? Are they just mere words for you to carry? Or is there a deep fundamental change so that you are free of all your problems, free of fear and there is that perfume which can never die, which is love. And out of that action, from that comes intelligence and action. Do you understand? Right, sirs.