Observation is the total denial of analysis
To observe without distortion
2nd Public Talk, Ojai, California
May 04, 1980
The day after tomorrow the speaker will answer questions; written down, please, not questions from the audience. Please write them down and we will try to answer them.
I wonder why you are all here. I think we ought to consider that this is not an entertainment, this is not something you go to on a Sunday morning, or a Saturday afternoon, to be entertained, to be stimulated, to be talked at. As we pointed out yesterday, we have got a great many problems confronting us: political, religious, economic, social, and also personal problems. And few of us are free from any kind of authority - religious, psychological, social. Apparently we have become incapable of being responsible for ourselves. The psychologists, the scientists, the preachers, the priests, the religious organisations tell us what to do. And happily the Indian gurus are no longer in favour in this country. That wave has passed. And there are people too eager to tell you what is enlightenment, how you should reach it, how to meditate, what to do, and so on and so on and so on.
Here we are doing nothing of that kind. The speaker means it. Here, if you are serious, we are thinking together, which does not mean that you accept what the speaker says; it does not mean that you have your own particular point of view, your own particular experience and hold on to it; then thinking together becomes utterly impossible. It is absolutely necessary, seeing what the world is: utter confusion, terrorism, kidnapping, the totalitarian states with their image of how society should be run, and the other side with their image are also very clear on this matter.
And so as you observe without any prejudice, that the world is in a great crisis. The crisis must be answered. Human beings have created this crisis by their lives, by their beliefs, by their parochial attitudes, by their so-called individualistic freedom, which is no longer free but controlled. We have created this conflict in the world. And I am sure most of you, if you have observed, would recognise that fact: that society has come into being by human greed, human behaviour, human illusions with their many, many images, with national divisions, religious adherence, accepting some doctrines, beliefs, dogmas, rituals. And so there has been throughout the world a series of wars, conflicts, brutalities, cruelties and so on.
And as we said yesterday, there are very few people who say, let us really solve this problem: this problem of conflict between man and man, between human beings. There are many explanations for this conflict - some historical, some factual, some imaginary, some based on their concepts, images and so on. But when the speaker says observe, he is not analysing. Please, let's be very clear on that point.
Analysis, specially psychoanalysis, like Communism, is an unfortunate incident in our life. All right? Please, if I may point out, what the speaker says, don't get irritated with him, don't get angry with him, don't throw a bomb, don't shoot, but let us talk it over together. Because life is very complex, and requires that we investigate it, that we look at it. You may not like what you see, you may disagree with it, you may say, what you are saying is nonsense; or contradict it angrily. But we are merely observing what is taking place first. In that observation analysis has no place whatsoever.
We'll go into it. Please have patience. And if you are really serious don't just attend one talk and say, I have understood it, or he's talking nonsense, and walk away; you have to listen to the whole, you have to read the whole book. You have to, as the commercial people say, you have to buy the package! Not just one part of it, which may suit you, which may be pleasant, but you have to buy - an unfortunate word - you have to buy, if I may use it, the whole thing. So please, if you are serious, attend all the talks and go to the very end of it. This is not an invitation to have more people; just a person who is serious has to listen to the whole story, read the whole book. And then see if it is right, true, false, or illusory. But just reading the first page and saying, it is all nonsense, or the first chapter, which may not please you, and throw the book away. The book is your life. A very, very complex life. And you have to have the patience, integrity, observation and the responsibility of reading this book, which is yourself, so completely, so thoroughly, as a whole, so that we can go beyond the book - the book which is yourself.
So as we were saying, the world is in conflict. The world, which is the economic, social, religious, political, social, is created by all human beings, whether in this country, or in Europe, or in India and so on. We are responsible for it. And a few people, the intellectuals, the psychologists, the psychobiologists, the scientists have said let us solve this problem of human conflict. And we, who are not professionals, we are just ordinary human beings with all our anxieties, fears, pleasures, sorrows, the fear of death and so on, we have to resolve them. It becomes more and more necessary that we resolve them otherwise human beings are going to destroy each other. This is again a fact which is actually going on.
So it behoves us that we think about the problem together. To think together implies that you and the speaker must be free of our particular narrow, provincial parochial attitudes, beliefs, dogmas, experiences, so that we can meet each other. So what is the problem? As we asked yesterday, we are asking it again today: what is the problem? The problem is essentially a crisis in our consciousness, a crisis in our mind, in our brain, in our heart. That is the heart of the matter. And as we said also yesterday, and I hope you don't mind the thing being repeated, that our brain, which is the centre of all of our existence, our brain has evolved through time, through millions and millions of years. Through those years it has created for itself every form of self protective device. It has sought, if you go into it yourself and not merely repeat what psychologists and the brain specialists talk about, it has always sought security, otherwise it can't function. Right? It must have security. So it begins to create images, it begins to create illusions in which it takes safety. So it has created a certain pattern of existence for itself, which is our life. And it has developed through time, and therefore there is always this question of acquiring knowledge, using that knowledge to be secure in life. You are following all this, I hope.
Because after all knowledge is the most important factor in our life: knowledge with regard to some technological activities, knowledge about the psyche, about ourselves. That knowledge has been acquired through millennia, stored up in the brain, the brain with all its cells and so on. As we said yesterday, the speaker has not read any of these books, thank god! He has observed the activities of human beings, the activities of his own brain; which is through observing reactions; pleasurable, painful, sensitive, and so on and so on. So it is a direct perception, not acquired second-hand. And this is important in our communication with each other.
So this brain has acquired tremendous knowledge, so it has to be completely secure. Whether that knowledge is illusory, actual, fanciful, imaginary, pleasurable and so on, it has created a pattern of existence for itself so that it can never be harmed, wounded, both physically as well as psychologically. This is important to understand because we live with images. Our religions are nothing but images, created by the mind, by thought. And that which has been created as a holy image you then begin to worship it. But it is essentially the desire, the necessity for it to be secure, to be safe, to be protected. But knowledge is always accompanied by ignorance. Right? Because knowledge can never be complete. Please see the importance of this: knowledge can never be complete. You may acquire great information about the world, about matter, about the heavens - not spiritual heavens, I don't mean that - heavens, the skies, the universe, but whatever knowledge science has acquired and transmitted through generations, it is still within the area of ignorance, within the area of shadow, of the shadow which is non-knowledge.
So see what we have done; how the brain has tricked itself into security in knowledge, and holding on to that knowledge and yet it has never discovered for itself that knowledge can never be complete and therefore whatever action that takes place from that knowledge must be incomplete. I hope you are following all this. Please, we are not intellectual. Intellect has its place, the capacity of the intellect is to observe, distinguish, discern, but if that intellect becomes the whole of life, as it is now becoming, covering the whole field of life; that is, a part, which is the intellect is a part of the whole of human existence, but when a part takes supreme importance then inevitably all action must be fragmented, incomplete and therefore conflict. I hope you are following all this. Right, may I go on? No, I can go on, but as we said, we are thinking together. Because the speaker is not selling you anything - thank god! He is not asking you to follow him, all that tommy rot. The speaker says, the world is in such a misery, confusion, turmoil, for God's sake, let's think together. And to think together implies we must be free to observe, not I observe and tell you, or you observe and say, oh, you don't see it properly. But together observe. Right?
As we said, analysis has no place in observation. Analysis is the discovery of the cause and the effect. Right? (It's all right, sir - the bird. Perhaps it likes us!) Please understand this, and go into it carefully because observation is entirely different from analysis. Observation is immediate: you see the tree; but if you begin to analyse you never see the tree. Right? Understand this. That is, to observe means seeing, being sensitive, aware, and without any movement of thought. Just to observe. I wonder. Right? I am going slowly. When I said 'without thought', I am going to go into it. Be patient.
So observation is not analysis. Analysis implies the analyser who is analysing something outside of himself. The analyser thinks he understands, has superior knowledge and he is analysing something outside of himself. But if you observe very carefully, the analyser is the analysed. Right? You follow this? If you see that, not as an idea, but as a fact. You understand? Like anger is not different from you, you are anger. When you are angry, at the moment of anger there is no division between the I and the anger. But later on, a few seconds later, you say, I have been angry. So you have separated yourself from that reaction which you have called anger. So in the same way when you analyse yourself, or being analysed by another, the analyser is part of the analysis, part of the thing which is analysing, it is not separate from the analysed. Right? Please understand this, go into it in yourself as we are talking. This is thinking together. I am not - the speaker is not telling you what to think, which is generally what people do: the professors, the analysts, the preachers, and all the rest of it; we are not doing that. What we are saying is, as long as there is a division between the analyser and the analysed there must be conflict. Right? But that is an illusion, it is not a fact. The fact is the observer is the observed, psychologically. Right? I observe that tree, but the tree is not me, I am not the tree. But psychologically, inwardly, the reaction of anger, greed, jealousy, is me. I am not separate from that. But we have separated it in order to do something about it. Vous avez compris? I mean, you understand? I feel violence, and I create the idea of non-violence, and I will do something about the violence. But the fact is I am violence, I am not different from the fact. Then a totally different movement takes place. You understand? I wonder if you understand.
We are now thinking together to eliminate conflict. You understand? As long as there is a division between the observer, psychologically the analyser, and the analysed, there must be conflict. As long as there are divisions between people there must be conflict: religious, economic, social, political. There must be conflict as long as there is a Jew, as long as there is an Arab, there must be conflict. So wherever there is division psychologically there must be conflict. That's a law.
So in thinking together we see that wherever there is analysis, psychoanalysis, psycho-therapy, all that, in that process there is division, and it must breed conflict. And observing is the total denial of analysis. I wonder if you understand this. Our whole conditioning is to analyse. Right? Our education, everything is either do, don't do, this is right, this is wrong, this should be, this should not be, and so on and so on and so on. And recently, in the last hundred years, psychoanalytical processes have come into being, like communism, which are both unfortunate things to happen. Because really if you observe, both are the same. I won't go into it now, it's too long. They have analysed history and come to some conclusion - you follow - historical conclusion, according to that they have built a pattern, the theories, with their image, with their analysed state, and created totalitarianism. And the psychologists with their analysis and so on have created the same pattern in a different field. You don't see it, but it doesn't matter.
So what we are saying is, together observe. Now observe the conflict. Right? So what is the conflict? Now, how do you observe conflict? You understand my question? You, as a human being, if you will permit me, the speaker, to say so, you as a human being are in conflict; whether you are aware of it, or you have neglected it, or you don't want to look at it, or you think god, somebody is going to save you, you are essentially in conflict. And, as we said yesterday, how do you approach this problem? You understand? How do you look at the problem? That is, how do you come to it, how do you look at it, how do you approach it, how do you observe it? You see we are talking over together. I am not telling you how to observe it. I am only asking you how you come to it, how you receive it, how you look at it. If you observe, are aware, are you aware of this conflict without any choice? A choiceless awareness. You understand? Or becoming aware of this conflict you say, I must resolve it. You understand? When you say, I must resolve it, you have already separated yourself from the fact. I wonder if you see that. Are you following me, some of you? Come on, sirs, let's move! Please, together we are thinking, together alone we can resolve this problem. Nobody else in the world can.
So your approach to the problem matters enormously. If you have a motive, that motive dictates the direction which the problem must take. You understand? So your approach must be free from motive. Your approach must be free of the desire to resolve it. See the difficulty. If your approach is conditioned by your education, by your desire, by your pleasure, you can never solve it. So the mind must observe this problem free from all its motives, desires, and trying to resolve it, because you are the problem. Right? Have you understood? You are the problem; not, conflict is the problem. Right? Can we go from there?
Please, conflict is you. I am not telling you this. You, in your observation, you have discovered it, in your thinking together we have discovered the fact conflict is not outside, it is inside, and that conflict is you. You may say, I am god, or somebody is going to save me. You know, we have played this kind of trick for millennia. You understand? For God's sake, let's grow up.
So the problem now is our consciousness. You understand now? Our consciousness, which means the way you think, the way you live, the way you believe, the way you react, your behaviour, your thinking, all that is your consciousness, which is your life. That consciousness is you. Please, this is really important to understand, give your attention for a few minutes. The whole of that consciousness is essentially you. The content of that consciousness makes consciousness. You understand? The content of consciousness of a Protestant, is what he believes, his rituals, his images of religion, Jesus and all that, and his nationalistic, his particular attitudes, opinions, his relationship with another, his hurts, his anxiety, his sorrow. Right? And the Catholic with his content of his consciousness, and the Hindu with his, and the Buddhist and so on, the Arabs and the Jews. You follow all this? That consciousness is put together by its content. And as long as that content remains the conflict must go on. Have you got this point?
This content has been put together through time; it isn't one day's acquirement. Our brain is the result of time, evolution. Our brain is not your brain and my brain, but the brain of mankind. This is difficult for you to see, and even recognise, because we have been so conditioned that it is my brain. You understand? And it is your brain. But if you observe, human beings right throughout the world go through enormous turmoil, poverty, anxiety, insecurity, confusion, psychologically wounded, fear, fear of being hurt, physically, fear of psychological hurts, fear of death, and the enquiry, what is there beyond. And the innumerable images man has created in the name of god, and worshipping those images right through the world. That is the content of our consciousness. And as long as there's that content, which is always divisive, which is always fragmented, our action must be fragmented. Right?
We are thinking together, I am not telling you. So the problem then is: is it possible for the content of that consciousness to be dissolved? You understand? Go into it a little bit. That is, one of the contents of that consciousness is the psychological wounds that we have received from childhood. You know them, don't you? You are all familiar with them. That's probably one of the major conflicts, major factor, in our consciousness. We will go into that completely together so that together we dissolve it immediately. You understand, it is not analysis but pure observation. Analysis implies a concept from which you are working. You understand? Right sir? In observation there is no concept.
So we are thinking together. Human beings from the very beginning of time, have been hurt inwardly: by a casual remark, by a look, by a word, by being sarcastic, by denying what you hold dear, what you consider the most important thing in your life, and somebody comes and treads on it, you feel terribly wounded. Right? And we are asking: the consequences of that wound is to resist, build a wall round yourself, which is to isolate yourself. Observe all this, please, observe. We are not analysing, we are just observing the story, reading the story of the hurt, reading, which is not analysing. You understand? Come on, right?
You resist, fear enters into it, not to be hurt more. So gradually that hurt has helped you to isolate yourself. Right? See the fact. The consequences of that isolation is more fear, more anxiety and so on and so on and so on - the consequences. So the fact is that you are hurt. And what is hurt? You understand my question? What is the thing that is hurt? Are you all interested in all this?
K: It's your life anyhow. If you are not interested I am sorry for you. What is the thing that is hurt? Is it your psyche, is it your - we are observing, we are not analysing, observing - psyche, or basically the image that you have built about yourself? You understand my question? The image one has built about oneself; I might build an image about myself, saying, I am a great man, I have an audience, you know, blah, blah, blah, I travel all over the world, how important it is, and so on. I have reached some state. You follow? I have built an image about myself, as you have built an image about yourself. I haven't got it, but it doesn't matter. Because from childhood I have never wanted an image - it is too stupid.
So having created an image about oneself: noble, ignoble, or inferior or superior, whatever it is, ugly, beautiful, with fanciful decoration, and romantic, sentimental, you know the image that each one has, that gets hurt. Right? So can you - we are talking over together please - can one be free of the image? And who is the creator of the image? You are following all this? Oh lord, you see you are not thinking together, I am telling you, asking the questions. It doesn't matter. We are thinking together, I hope.
Who is the creator of this image? Because in that image there is safety. You understand? There is security, there is what you would call identification: national identification, religious identification, economic identification, a Democrat, Republican, this image has been created from childhood. Right? Through education and so on. Who is the creator of all this?
As we said, knowledge is the factor of this image. Right? I wonder if you meet it. Our experience at all levels of life, as a carpenter, as a scientist, as a housewife, home-builder as it is called now, and so on and so on and so on, we all have created images for ourselves. And when that image is questioned, doubted, somebody puts a pin into it you get hurt. As long as you have an image about yourself you are going to get hurt. Like a man who says, I have achieved enlightenment - you follow - and he is talking about environment, preaching about environment, such a man knows nothing about environment - about enlightenment. It is just his concept. You follow?
So is it possible then to live a life, a daily life, without this image, and who creates this image? It is the result of knowledge. Obviously. Knowledge that you have, the mind, the brain, has acquired through centuries, and that knowledge has been translated as the image, and that image predominates. But that image is always living within the field of ignorance. I wonder if you see that. Because knowledge can never be complete. Right? So whatever knowledge psychologically one has acquired, it is surrounded by the shadow of ignorance. Right? So the problem is - are you interested in all this - so the problem is: is it possible to be free of psychological knowledge and yet not identify the technological knowledge psychologically? You understand? I wonder if you see this. I'll go into it. We are talking together as two friends, enquiring into the problem of conflict, and seeing the necessity, the absolute urgency of ending conflict; because if we don't end it, you and I, the speaker, are going to destroy the world. Which we are doing now.
So the question is: experience, knowledge, memory - see the sequence of it - first, experience, then out of that experience acquiring knowledge given by others or by oneself, and that is stored up in the brain as memory. Right? That memory, that knowledge, that experience, creates this image. But that knowledge has never acknowledged the fact that it is incomplete. You understand? It must live in the shadow of ignorance, however much it may advance, or ascend. Right? It must be in the field of ignorance. And therefore it must be in conflict. Right? So is it possible for that enormous knowledge that one has acquired - knowledge technologically, the tremendous knowledge which we have acquired technologically, as a carpenter, as a plumber, as a bureaucrat, as a politician and so on and so on - that knowledge not to be identified with the psyche and so the psychological knowledge is maintained. You are following? No, you are not following.
I'll explain it. Technological knowledge is necessary, absolutely, because otherwise we can't do anything. Why should we have psychological knowledge? You understand my question? We have. The knowledge has become the image. And that image is going to be hurt, and from that hurt, the consequences of that hurt, is isolation, more conflict, more fear, more misery, more destructive activity. So we are asking: why should there be any psychological knowledge at all? You understand, sir? Why? Go into it. Let's talk about it, let's look at it. Is it the fear - please listen - is it the fear of not being anything? You follow? All our education says be something. Right? Or become something; successful, noble, brave, put away cowardice, become holy, meditate. You follow? So all knowledge is purely technological. Right? Why should we have the other? I don't know if you are thinking together, observing. Which means what? To have no psychological knowledge - you understand sir, what it means? And is one, in that observation, discovering the utter emptiness of life? You understand? The utter meaninglessness of life, and so deeply feeling, that creates the image and hold on to that image. You are following all this? Is it that, that because if you have no image you are nothing. Which means not-a-thing. You understand? Nothing means not-a-thing. That is, not a thing is created by thought, by the mind. I wonder if you follow all this? No, this is too much.
So is that why we acknowledge being hurt and hold on to it because that is something that we have, some precious thing that we hold on to; as your belief, your unbelief, in some religious dogma, image and so on, you hold on to that because without that what are you?
So can we, in thinking over together, see this simple fact that our life as it is, is utterly meaningless. Right? You are unwilling to face it. Utterly meaningless, and so deeply meaningless so you create all the images, the beliefs, the dogmas, the rituals, the popes, the gurus, and you are going to get hurt. And a man who sees this, observes it, immediately is free of it. Right? I wonder if you see it. You are free of image.
So the next question is: who is the creator of all this mischief?
What time is it, sir?
K: An hour passes very quickly. Shall we go on with it?
K: Sir, ladies, please, we are thinking together. We are not selling you anything, we are not doing propaganda, we are not guiding you, we are not telling you what you should do; nothing of that kind, for God's sake. We are trying to be grown up. And that means the capacity to observe all this mischief that man has created for himself, for others, and feeling the responsibility of it, both physically and psychologically, we think together to resolve it. Not just discuss it, play around with words, and throw about words. Actually enter into the problem so completely that you are that - you are that problem anyhow.
So we are asking: who is the creator of all this mischief? So we must go into it very carefully. Man has given, human beings have given - when I say man, please I am including the woman, don't let's get agitated about that! Gosh, words have become so loaded that we can never talk freely about anything. Human beings have given tremendous importance throughout the ages to thought. Right? Thought has created the wars; thought has created the content of the churches and the architecture; thought has created society; thought has created the whole complex technological world; thought has created the division between the Arab and the Jew, between the American and the English, the German, the Italian, the Hindu, the Buddhist: thought has created this. And we have lived with it, this division, which we have accepted as normal, natural, healthy, and thought is the maker of all this division, and therefore where there is division there must be conflict.
Our intention, our meeting together, these few mornings, is to eliminate conflict. Please see, only when you are free of conflict can there be love. Not all this nonsense talked about love. It's only the mind and the heart that is really free from all conflict, then it is only possible to know what compassion, what love is.
I think we had better stop, hadn't we? I know we want to go on, we'll do it next Saturday, or the day after tomorrow in questioning. Sir, this is a very complex problem, which is the whole movement of thought. I'll go into it briefly and we will go on another time.
Once you observe that thought has been responsible for this division, for the religious images, attributing to it all kinds of virtue and so on, right through the world. When the speaker goes to India, as he does every year, he says, you are the most superstitious people on earth. And when he comes here he also sees exactly the same thing. The image-worship, the preachers, the gurus - you follow? So thought has built the world, both technologically, psychologically and the world of mischief, turmoil, anxiety, fear, destruction - you follow - thought has been responsible. So we have to enquire: what is thinking? What is the nature of thinking? Because we live by thinking. Everything you do is the result of thinking; your relationship with another, intimate or not, is in the movement of thinking. And if we do not understand the nature and the structure of thinking we will keep repeating the patterns of conflict, changing one pattern to another, hoping that pattern will solve the conflict, but these patterns, whether communist, capitalist, democratic, etc., etc., etc., are created by thought. So thinking becomes extraordinarily important. And to find out what is this thinking that is making this enormous misery in the world. Do you understand, sirs?
You must think if you do anything; if you are going home, or catching a bus, driving a car, there must be thinking, either it is automatic, purposeful, clear -otherwise you can't do anything. And thinking is the central factor of our being. That's a fact. Round that we build all kinds of pleasure, pain, fear, love, jealousy, that is the core, that is the heart of our existence. And what is thinking? And what is memory? If you have no memory there is no thinking. You understand? A man in a state of amnesia! So memory is the core of it. Right? Memory of your wife, or your husband, or girl friend, or whatever it is, your memory. That memory is put together through experience. Right? Which becomes the knowledge. So your brain, the brain, which is not yours or mine, it is the brain of human beings, which is a marvellous thing if you see the fact, it is not your petty little brain, but the brain that has been cultivated, grown, evolved, lived, suffered, pleasure, pain, that brain is our common factor. In that brain are the many cells which hold memory, like a computer. That memory is the result of experience, knowledge.
So in the world, the technological world, that memory is absolutely necessary, otherwise you can't write a letter, otherwise we can't speak English to each other, you may if you know French or Latin, and so on, that's a different matter. So memory at a certain level is absolutely necessary. And thinking, which has made this world into what it is: immoral, ugly, brutal, destructive, what place has thought? You understand? If it is only important in the technological world, then what place has thought? You understand what I am saying? I wonder if you do. Has it any place at all? No, we are thinking together, don't agree or disagree.
Look, sir - I must stop, we'll go on, I'll just stop in a minute.
Are you also working with me together? Aren't you tired? No, you are not tired because you are not talking. You are not putting tremendous vitality into it. Right? You are not putting all your energy, your heart, your mind into it, that's why you are not tired. Because to you conflict is natural, you have accepted it, you don't want to break it, resolve it. So if you don't mind we will continue tomorrow, not tomorrow, whenever it is.