Observing fear as it happens
How can one be a light to oneself if there is any kind of dependence?
4th Seminar Brockwood Park
September 16, 1978
May we go on with what we were talking about the other day, the day before yesterday morning. How difficult it is, we said, to face facts, facts being that which is actually taking place now. The word 'actual', not the potential or the possible but as in French, what is now, what's going on. And for most of us it's very difficult to face that, without any distortion or deviation or the division between the observer and the observed, the actual thing that's going on, and the one who is watching that which is happening. That's what we came to in our talk the other day. Shall we go on from there?
Mary Zimbalist: Sir, you said something the other day which I hope you'll go into a little bit more. You said, thought is a deviation which had many implications in seeing the fact that.
MZ: ...thought is a deviation.
K: That's right. We said, yes, we'll go into that presently. May we go on with this, do most of us want to? Can we, each one of us face the fact, the actual reaction which we call fear. That's what we're discussing, the whole question of fear. Watching it without the interference of thought, which naturally distorts or moves away or deviates from that which is actually taking place
And is there the division between that which is happening psychologically, inwardly, and the one who is observing what is taking place? That's the question we must seriously go into, because where there is division between the observer and the observed, or the thinker and the thought, there must be conflict, there must be contradiction, there must be either control, suppression or running away - the observer imposing what he thinks is right according to his values, his tradition, his conditioning. So we must really understand this question very carefully and deeply, whether there is such a division between the actual reaction that is going on within us when there is fear, and the one who says, 'I am afraid,' and so there is separation from the entity or the thinker that says, 'I am different from fear.'
Because, you see, this is a question which leads into rather complex things, which is, if the division exists, then the doer, the actor, the observer, the thinker can operate on that which he is observing. Then he can control, shape, alter. And that's what, traditionally, we have been doing. And we're asking now, is such a division between the observer and that which is actually going on, is it a reality. We have made it into a reality because it's become our tradition, our habit to divide: 'me' and the 'not me', we and they, my belief and your belief and so on, so on, so on. Now is this an actual fact, that that which is happening, can it be observed without the observer, without the one who says, 'I can do something about it.' Then if it can be done, then you will remove entirely and completely the whole question of conflict between this and that. I hope I'm making myself clear
Please don't listen to me, I'm nobody. But let us, each one of us, find out the truth of it.
David Shainberg: How about the question, Krishnaji, that when something is happening you actually can't observe, you cannot observe? In other words, if I get up and I have an inclination to run down the road, or I have an inclination to hit someone, that inclination, if I observe it, has already happened, therefore the observation has already actually happened.
K: That's it, it's already happened and therefore there is the observer created But as it is happening, which is the fact, that's what we are discussing, not after it has happened or before it will happen, but actually as it is happening.
Sir, if we are interested, if we are concerned with the question of struggle, conflict, then we must find out if it is at all possible to eliminate in life every sense of conflict, in oneself, in one's relationship and so on, so on. Is that possible? We say - I say it is possible only when the division between - psychologically the division between - the observer and that which is actually going on, when there is no such division, then you eliminate altogether conflict. When there is such division, the observer then can analyse that which is happening, and go into the whole process of analysis and so on, which we won't go into for the moment. But if it is not, if there is no actual division, then that which is happening undergoes a radical transformation. That's all my point
MZ: Sir, in that observation, would you define, maybe say that there is a certain degree of thought in that?
MZ: But what is it...
K: You've made a statement - just let's make it clear. When there is division, then thought is in operation. Thought then can say, 'I will control it, I will run away from it, I will suppress it, I will analyse it,' and go through all that process. When there is no observer, who is the very essence of thought which is the past - I don't know if you are following all this - then there is only actually what is happening. Can that actuality, the fact, be observed without the movement of thought? If the movement of thought takes place, then you're acting from the past, and therefore distorting it, deviating it, run away from it and so on, so on, so on. Full stop
MZ: Sir, but can we describe that examination? We need the qualities of thought which are from the past, which are value judgements, which are associations. If we can say that when the observer and the observed are not separate, that those qualities are not present, then what is going on?
K: Find out! Don't ask me. I'll tell you, if we can discuss this, you see, if you say, what's then going on, then you're asking an abstract, hypothetical question.
MZ: No, I'm trying to find out if there is a, quote, thinking, not the one who is thinking.
K: There is no - according to me - I may be totally wrong, I may live in an illusion, etc., etc., but I don't think so, when I say, then there is no operation of thought at all. Then there is pure observation. Just a minute. And in that observation the thing which is being observed undergoes a change, a movement, a mutation
S: No, I think you're wrong there.
S: I think it's that observation - I think there is pure happening. It follows, this is followed by observation. But the pureness is in the happening, not in the observing.
K: I don't follow this.
S: In other words, if I say to you, 'What do you see in this room?'
K: Just a minute, sir. What is it you don't agree with?
S: I think that the happening is the primary thing, and observing is something that follows on
K: I see. That is, the happening at the moment of anger, there is no observer. Only the observer comes into operation, into function, a moment or a second later. Obviously. Then the operator, the doer, the thinker acts upon it, and then the whole problem of conflict arises. Now can you observe that happening without the whole rigmarole of thought coming into it?
Q: Only if one is interested and not on the defensive, against the fact.
Q: Only if one is really interested to see, not on the defensive against the fact at all.
K: I don't quite understand, sir.
Q: This happened to me following your last talk.
K: Not my thought. I won't - please forgive me.
Q: Sorry, I didn’t make myself clear. I was accused of something, a fact, that I’d done something I should not have done.
K: No, you see, the moment you say, 'I should not have done'.
Q: No, I was accused of something that they said I should not have done. You see. And I looked at that moment at what was being said. And it was true, what was being said. My relationship was with the truth of this observation.
K: Sir, no, not my relationship with truth. I am angry. Right? Suppose I am angry - there is anger, not I am angry - there is anger. Can I, is there an observation of that feeling, that reaction, without the whole movement of thought coming into it? That's all my question
Scott Forbes: Sir, for the most part there isn't. Most of the time there isn't. Most of the time there is the anger and then the observer looking at that anger, and thinking that it's separate. So could we take a look at the process by which we move from that state of the observer being different from the observed, to where the observer would be the observed. In other words, that the observer being the observed is not the normal state, is not the normal frame of mind, is not the normal consciousness. So could we take a look at how that could come about?
K: Scott, would you consider for a moment, observing that which is happening now, just to observe. Can you do it? Can I observe my jealousy, can one observe jealousy as it is taking place, not say it's right or wrong, or rationalise it, why it should not be, but just to, as it arises, as a flower blooms, just to watch it.
SF: But when you ask, can I observe...
K: Not I.
SF:... there already is the division.
K: No, that's faon de parler, I mean that's a way of talking which is - please - not I - all right. There is jealousy. Is it possible to observe that reaction which is called jealousy without the movement of thought?
Q: In other words, can there be constant awareness.
K: No, I don't want to in other words. You see, the moment you go off into something, then it becomes - 'what is awareness' and so on - complicated.
Q: Sir, the moment you use the word ‘observe it’, ‘can one observe it’ or whatever, there’s a duality implied.
K: I've said that, sir, observer implies a duality. Agreed. But try it, Shankar. Just a minute. You are jealous, aren't you - sometimes. What is your actual feeling now?
K: Wait, bafflement, puzzle - can you watch that puzzle, that state of the mind which is in puzzle, just watch it, not say, 'I must be clear, what he's talking about,' just watch it, see.
Q: There seems to be a physical resistance to that.
Q: There seems to be at some point a physical resistance to that, to that watching.
K: Why? Is it physical? The gentleman says there is a certain resistance, physically, to watch. Because you're not comfortably seated? Or it is happening in the bus? Or when you're walking?
K: Are you saying there must be certain relaxation to observe?
Q: No, that’s not what I meant. Some disturbance that you feel in the body, a physical reaction.
Q: To the watching.
K: Why should there be?
Q: I don’t know.
K: I'm asking, sir, why should there be a physical reaction to watching? Maybe, I don't know - please, all of us this is supposed to be a discussion in which each one of us takes part, not one or two and the rest keep silent and listen.
Q: I was going to ask you, actually, when you, for instance, I think you were saying, that if you’re looking at fear, just trying to watch it, you’re saying there’s a physical resistance. Is this what you’re saying?
Q: Not especially of fear.
Q: Because I would have thought the reason is because you want an answer, the mind always seems to want an answer to a problem instead of just opening out.
Q: I think it’s exactly that. When you start staying with something, at some point there’s like a refusal, physical refusal you feel in the body.
Q: We can’t hear back here – sorry.
Q: I’m sorry. It seems that at some point when you kind of started to stay with the fact, there is a physical refusal in your body to go along with that.
K: Because that refusal may be the result of strain. Just a minute. Don't say, no. Or your body's not comfortable. Or there is a certain sense of resistance to the intensity of watching.
Q: Perhaps, yes.
K: Physical resistance to watching intensely. Because perhaps is it that we're not used to watching anything intensely? The moon, the sky, the trees, whatever it is? To watch. Now, can we put the question differently - apparently this seems to be rather difficult, all this. Why should thought interfere with anything, psychologically? Would you am I putting
S: Somehow or other time comes in.
K: Ah, no. Just a minute, sir.
S: There is the experience of jealousy, the immediate of that seems to be, well, if I indulge the jealousy, what's the result of it.
K: All that's implied in thinking, isn't it sir? I'm asking, can I, is there an observation - the moon - without the interference of thought?.
Q: It is a state of mind. It’s a state of mind, awareness.
K: No, no, no, don't, please, sir, don't introduce state of mind, awareness. I'm just asking, can you watch the moon without thought drawing a curtain across it? No?
K: Occasionally? All right. Can you watch a movement of cloud, occasionally. Now can you watch your reactions in the same way?
Q: Yes, this morning I have occasionally the experience of...
K: Not you, sir - just to watch something without any movement of thought.
MZ: Sir, a subjective experience inside oneself, isn't that of necessity a kind of thought?
Q: Because it’s inside, it’s not an outside thing that you can just look at and not indulge in thought about it.
K: Because it doesn't affect us.
MZ: Well, it...
K: Unless we are loony.
MZ: ...is in a sense an abstraction, it's going on in the mind.
K: So can I - can there be an observation without abstraction? Put it ten different ways.
Q: Would it be called observation?
K: Do I give up, or do you give up? (Laughter)
SF: There can be and there sometimes is, but it's infrequent.
K: Sir, may I ask another question. Has it ever occurred to you, whether it is possible to live without any conflict?
Q: That’s totally different.
K: No, it is not, it's not.
Q: I am not the moon, there is a division.
K: No, sir. I moved the same thing, which is, we live in conflict. Right? Now I'm asking a question related to what previously we talked about, the conflict between me, the duality - I'm asking a question: is it possible to live - if you have ever asked yourself - without conflict? Have you? Between yourself, your wife, between yourself and somebody else and conflict within yourself
Q: Yes, when one says, why should there be conflict, one is implying...
K: What, sir?
Q: When one says, why should there be conflict, one’s implying that there mustn’t be.
K: Have you ever asked yourself?
Q: Not until you suggested it the other day.
Q: Not until you suggested it was possible the other day.
K: So, I suggested it. All right. Have you found out whether that is possible or not possible?
Q: It is possible
K: No, then it is not - you're already saying, it is possible, then you've blocked it. Or if you say it's not possible, you have blocked it. But to find out whether it is possible to live without conflict implies there should be no division. Right?
Q: I do not agree.
K: What don't you agree with?
Q: The division between me and the moon...
K: Ah, no, moon... sir, I took
Q: Yes, you talked about the moon.
Q: There’s no conflict there.
Q: No, there’s no conflict, that’s right, but there is division.
K: No - the moon doesn't very much affect us, unless we are peculiar, neurotic - the moon does affect them. But if we're not peculiar, I said it's easy to look, one may look at the moon intensely for some time, because it doesn't affect us deeply. But can I equally observe - can there be observation of our reaction without any shadow of thought? That's what we're discussing
From that arises whether it is possible to live a life without any sense of conflict. And conflict exists wherever there is division. Right? Right, sir? The Jew, the Arab, the Dutch, and the Malays, and the English and so on - the division: national division, psychological division, religious division and so on. So as long as there is a division in oneself there must be conflict. That's obvious, sir. Right? You agree, sir? If you say so, how is one to eliminate that conflict? They have tried different ways, that is, identify yourself with god, god will save you, abandon yourself to god, some principle, or surrender yourself to something greater, forget yourself. We have tried all those various systems which we hope will eliminate this conflict. Right? But it hasn't. Right? So I'm asking a question, which is, as long as there is division in the observer and the observed, there must be conflict, because there is division. Right?
Now, is that division artificially created by thought or is it actual? You follow my question? If it is actual - you understand? - which is not an illusion, not a fancy, if the division is actual, then I must live for ever in conflict. One must live. Right? If the division is not true, accurate, factual, then as there is no conflict - right? - then the very thing which is being observed undergoes a change. I cannot put it more differently
Q: Sir, what one is observing is often thought itself, so are you saying that the change comes about in thought itself?
K: Yes, sir. Can you observe - not you, can thought - please, just listen for fun - can thought observe itself?
Q: We acknowledge thoughts going through our minds.
K: No - not through our - just sir, I'm asking a question which is, is there an observation of thought by thought? Or can thought itself be conscious of its own movement? One thought can say, I'll watch the other thought moving. And so control it, shape it and so on. But I'm asking a different question, which is: can thought be conscious of itself as a movement?
David Bohm: Are you saying that the whole of thought is conscious of thought?
K: What, sir?
DB: Are you saying that the whole of thought is conscious of thought, not one part of thought?
K: That's right. Thought.
DB: I mean, yes, the essence, of all thought.
K: Of course, thought is the whole of thought.
DB: Yes, but usually we say one part of thought is conscious.
K: Of course. You've understood what Doctor One thought is part of the whole. So can thought, which is the whole, be aware of itself?
DB: That raises the problem, you see, you have said before that thought is always fragmentary.
K: Yes, sir. No. Thought is fragmentary. Right?
DB: Yes, but not always?
K: Wait. Can thought which is fragmentary, can that thought be aware of itself?
DB: But then that thought is the whole.
K: No, wait, particular thought. Let's leave the whole for the moment, because that leads to a little more complex Say you have a particular thought - no. You have a particular thought, a thought, a thought. Can that a thought be conscious of itself. Not, another thought is conscious of it
DB: So that thought doesn't move, that thought has to be conscious of itself - right? - but if it moves it cannot be conscious of itself. It becomes another thought.
K: I don't quite follow this.
DB: If you say thought is to be conscious of itself...
K: I'm asking, sir - let's leave out thought. Can consciousness be aware of itself?
K: Consciousness being the whole content of its thought - I see I don't want to bring in 'whole' and all that.
SF: Can any kind of consciousness be aware of itself, or must it be a particular kind of consciousness. In other words, could the kind of consciousness which...
K: Look, Scott, just a minute. You know what your consciousness is, do you?
SF: No, not fully, no. Most of the time I'm just caught up...
Q: ...it’s operating.
K: No, if you look - please, just listen. Your consciousness is made up of its content. Right? The content is your jealousy, anxiety, fear, love, hate, sexual demands, the whole human endeavour, struggle, pain, pleasure, sorrow, death, and so on. The whole of that is made up of all these little parts. Right? Now can that consciousness be aware of itself? Or is that not possible?
MZ: And would you differentiate this from thought, is this something different?
K: No, I've moved away for the moment.
SF: It must be. You are saying the whole of it, the whole consciousness must be aware of itself, no particular aspect of it.
K: Yes, put it that way if you like.
MZ: But what in the world can that mean, the whole of consciousness being aware of its whole self - what does that mean?
K: I don't know (laughs). What does it mean to you?
Q: There are two ways...
K: No, what does it mean to you? Don't ask me.
Q: To me it means a confused entity looking at itself.
K: I give up.
Q: To me it means a confused entity looking at itself.
Q: Krishnaji, can I just ask: isn’t this a matter of seeing something, understanding something false which is going on in the mind and that coming to an end, and then the possibility of something else? I mean I can’t, if I think now about being aware of my whole consciousness, and I make effort to be aware of my whole consciousness, I mean, that’s just, you know, that has no meaning.
K: You know we began by asking - Thursday morning, which is the day before yesterday - can we observe a fact. Right? The fact, we mean by fact that which is actually taking place, not a second later, or a minute later, but actually that which is going on, which is happening, not happened and then observe. But the very happening itself. Right? That's what we were discussing. Let's stick, let's forget all that we've said
Now that's all I'm asking. I'll put it in ten different ways. So that is the central issue that we're trying to talk over together, and find whether it is possible to look at, to observe that which is actually taking place. That's all
John King: Krishnaji, can I just ask, would you say that really it's simple to do this, really in essence it's simple to do this. Would you just say it's a simple thing to do? This is what you're saying, how I interpret it or it looks like to me: a thought comes into the mind, that's all. There is the thought. That's the fact, there's no movement, nothing, just aware of the fact.
K: It's more than that, sir.
JK: Is there more?
DB: May I ask, when you say observe what is actually happening now, at first it appears that what is happening takes time, when thought comes in, then another comes in. Is that what you were talking about when you say what is actually happening?
K: (Laughs) I'm lost with all this.
Q: Can I...
K: Good sir - come in and join us.
Q: Is what you’re saying, that there must be a form of immediate apprehension in observation which is then followed rapidly by thought but which precedes thought?
K: That's right.
JK: Do you apprehend a feeling, then you move away from that feeling, by a thought.
K: That's right. That's right. Can you as the Professor has pointed out, Mr Wilkins, can you apprehend that which is happening. It seems so extraordinarily difficult. What's the Am I cuckoo, or what?
S: I experience the fact that there is so much movement which rarely knows what is happening. If something's happening it's really happening.
K: Let me. Sir, look.
S: Really happening.
K: No - we have been envious, haven't we? Now wait a bit. You know what the feeling of it is. Can you - is there an observation of that envy as it arises, just to observe that which is happening, this, called envy.
S: Can I put it a different way? What about, let's just start with the envy. Now a real, living, actual event, envy, is before any observation, in other words, it really happens.
K: That's what the Professor said, sir, that which is happening.
K: Now can...
S: Stay with that.
K: That's what I stay with that.
S: No observing.
K: Whillikins. All right, I'll use another word - stay with that. (Laughs)
MZ: Don't bring time into it.
JK: It's just being a feeling, isn't it?
Q: You just feel it.
JK: It's just being a feeling.
MZ: Therefore physically and psychologically there is something that may be called envy. Is that right?
Q: Just a feeling, surely just a feeling. And as soon as the thought comes in...
K: Sir, we began by asking, we were talking about fear. Can you - is there an observation of fear as it is happening? That's all. To put it very ,very simply, after a lot of words. (Laughs)
Q: Well, the funny thing is, as soon as I observe, it seems to go, it’s hiding, it disappears.
K: Now does it disappear so that it doesn't return, ever?
Q: I don’t know.
K: Ah! Or is it something, because you are observing with attention and it goes.
K: Wait, wait. So it's only when there's inattention fear comes.
Q: Very much so.
K: So, then what is that attention?
Q: It’s like space, isn’t it?
Q: It’s like space.
K: No, it's not like - what we're saying: what is that attention?
MZ: Is it you have simply taken the focus off the sensation of fear and onto, and focusing on something called attention. Therefore the fear diminishes. It's like looking at that wall instead of looking at that wall.
K: No, no. As the gentleman, as he pointed out, Maria, please, don't explain it away, just see what he said. He says, when I attend to that fear, it disappears. And I ask, we asked, does that fear return, in another form. So doesn't that indicate - I'm just asking - that when there is attention, fear is not. So can I attend fear, which is taking place, with that attention? You follow, sir? We're putting it ten different ways
Q: Can I put it this way?
K: No, I want to stick, not your way.
Q: No, I know, but if I am confused, and if I stick with my confusion, now the confusion may disappear but I don’t know any, I still don’t know anything, I’m still in the same state.
K: No. I am - one is confused. And I watch, and I attend to that confusion, look, attend, give attention to that confusion. For the moment it is not
K: So I've learnt something, which is, when there is attention, confusion is not.
S: Yes, but did he put his finger on something important there, which is the fact that the way you say it, when there is attention, confusion is not, but equally there is something there that is not thought, in other words, there's a new state.
K: That's all, sir.
S: Yes but that new state is really thought. He seems to be going away from that.
K: What's that?
S: He said he was in a new state, when confusion...
K: Not, he was in a new state.
S: Right. Yes.
Q: But sir, you asked, what is this attention, this most extraordinary thing, this attention – I don’t know what it is, I can’t find out, but I know it is an extraordinary thing. I do not know what it is.
K: We can go into that, sir. Let me put the question differently. Can you, when there is fear, can you - is there an attention of that fear - attention. That's all I'm asking, we are discussing. When there is attention, will there be fear? So does attention contain or hold thought?
Q: Krishnaji, it is implied when you say can there be attention there, that there is no movement of thought. So...
K: You have to find this out, sir. That is, I'm asking, is there in that state of attention any movement of thought?
Q: It merely seems to me that this attention doesn’t belong to me, it’s a non-physical or...
K: It is not yours, that's all - I agree. It's nobody's.
MZ: But Krishnaji, could what do these things could we examine what this (inaudible) means because here is the brain, that is say, feeling fear or whatever the emotion is. Now the attention comes about. What is going on in the brain? The brain is looking at it.
K: Would you want to discuss that?
MZ: Yes, because
K: Wait, Maria, please, for god's sake, go slowly. I don't know, you may be interested, but the others may not be interested. So I'm asking. When there is attention, she asked, what is going on in the brain. Don't you want to find out what goes on?
Q: I’d rather understand how attention comes about, rather than what is happening.
K: Wait. Gee Whillikins! We can come to all this slowly, please!
Q: Does this attention use the brain?
K: Is attention to be learnt, practised and repeated?
Q: No. It’s there.
K: I attend, there is attention about something and that thing disappears. Then I say, 'By Jove, I've learnt something, I'll attend, I'll keep on attending, and practise attention'. Then it's nothing, then it's gone. Right?
So, Maria asks, what is the quality or the state of the mind, the brain, when there is total attention. Right sir? Are you interested in this?
Q: It’s very active, I think.
Q: Highly active. The brain is highly active in that state of attention.
K: I don't know, we're going to enquire, sir, we're going to - don't let's state anything definite. What do you say, Dr Bohm, and, sir, you're all experts at this. What is the quality or the state of the brain when there is total attention
Q: Does the brain become quiet?
K: The brain, you suggest, becomes quiet. Ah! Wait, sir, wait. Does attention spring from quietness or you're answering, you see you are.
K: No, Tunki, Tunki, don't - I don't know - we are enquiring, old boy.
Q: Sir, it’s a funny thing, as soon as I have intention, why does everything disappear?
K: Wait, sir - that's not the problem, sir. Please, we're asking...
Q: I want to look at it.
K: What is the state of your brain, the brain, when there is complete attention?
Q: State of nearly nothing, quietness?
K: Why are you looking at me? The bird in the cage?
Q: You mean general overall attention, or is it attending to something?
K: I want to find out - one wants to find out what attention means, and if there is such a thing as attention, what is happening to the brain. That's all our question. Right? Right, sir? Pundits? (Laughter)
DB: I think we must say that, the brain, the people who do research on the brain don't really...
K: What, sir?
DB: The people who do research on the brain don't understand attention, and they admit it openly.
K: What? I don't quite follow.
DB: I said that the people who work on the brain do not understand what attention is, and they admit it.
K: You see, are they working on the brain objectively, something over there, or the brain here?
Q: They work objectively.
K: Ah, then we'll have gone off to something else.
Q: But children have attention naturally, don’t they?
Q: As children.
K: I don't know about children, don't bring in children!
K: This is impossible to discuss! I want - don't you want to find out, sir, for yourself, what this attention is, and what is the quality of the brain - your brain, not objective brain under a microscope, and operation and all the rest of it - what is the quality of it when you are totally attentive.
Q: It doesn’t produce...
K: Don't say - please, sir - we haven't...
S: Don't we have the most evidence for inattention?
S: I said we can look at inattention, because we don't have attention.
K: All right, look at your inattention.
MZ: Are we talking about a focused attention? In this case on inattention, if you like, or something. Or are we just talking about something without focus called attention?
K: Are you attending when one is speaking to you?
K: I'm speaking to you now. Are you attending?
K: What do you mean by attending?
MZ: The attention is focused.
K: No - what do you - Maria, just listen carefully. Don't say, attention - just listen carefully. You are listening now to me, which means - I hope - you're attending. What do you mean by that word 'attending'? Don't say focusing, just find out. Which means you are listening to what I have to say, we both of us know English, therefore you are able to understand the words, and you know the words are not the thing that he is trying to convey - right? - so you're not caught in words. And you are listening with your ears, and also observing what is being said through your optical nerves and so on, so on, so on. So your whole nervous, physical organism is alert, listening, watching. Right? Would you call that attention?
K: Keep it simple, don't say 'well' - there's lots more I can add.
MZ: That's it, that's rudimentary attention, it seems to me.
K: Just keep to one thing.
MZ: In that is left out what to me is the whole of...
MZ: Well, emotion...
K: What would you call?
MZ: The cerebral whatever it is that's going on in my mind. My eyes are not important, I can pay as much attention if I close my eyes. But what is being said is registering in the brain. And some process is going on.
K: You see, you're going off, you're doing something which - it's impossible to talk with everybody! I'm asking, when you listen totally, is there registration?.
K: I cannot - one says yes, one says no, you say yes. Is there? Find out before you answer.
Q: Is the first stage one of a positive, open-minded receptiveness?
K: Yes, sir.
Q: That is the initial.
K: Yes. Open-minded, that's a rather difficult word, 'open-minded' generally means a mind that is like a sieve, everything pours in, everything. You follow? (Laughs) But I'm asking something very simple, sir
Q: It seems that there is a sensory sensation (inaudible) and then the words take a quite different place.
K: Sir, I'm asking, do we attend to anything, attend?
Q: If we were attending now, we would understand you.
K: Not me.
Q: Well, we would understand what is being said.
K: You'd understand your own - you'd understand what attention means, not what I mean by attention. Do you know what attention is? Maria says, attention implies focusing. You are focusing on what I am saying, and therefore you think you are attending. I say that is not attending. I may be wrong, but I want you to question me, presently. That is, when I listen to you, in attention, something that you are saying seriously, there is immediate - there is no registration - immediate understanding
MZ: How can there be no registration?
K: Wait, wait, find out what I've said!
Q: I think perhaps our problem is that our thought is so quick, it comes in so quickly.
K: I know.
Q: And in a way that seems to be the problem, it’s so quick.
K: Is it that we don't listen?
Q: Yes, I think we always move away one step.
K: Wait a minute, lady. Do you listen to the fact, to this statement, just, I'm making a statement: can you observe - is there an observation of that which is actually taking place. That's the question, that's a statement. Do you listen to that? Or do you say, 'Well, what does he mean by attention, what does he mean by fear', just a minute, just wait - what does he mean by observing. So you're off
Q: Yes, that’s what happens I think.
K: Whereas, can you listen to that statement, and the impact of that statement, and in that attention is there any registration at all? There is a verbal communication, we have understood each other - English - but is there the registration of the statement, the meaning of that statement, the effect of that statement in your observation, all the rest of it.
Q: Are you implying, to do something with what you’ve said. You made a statement. Now I’ve got to understand the statement.
K: No. No, no. Wait a bit, sir. I say to you, I love you. Do you say 'Just a minute, just a minute, just a minute. Let me understand what you mean by it. You mean love, what, sexual?' You don't go through all that circus?
Q: No, but..
K: No, I'm asking.
Q: You said, can I observe something.
K: I'm asking, no, I'm asking something. When a woman or a man comes up to you and says, 'I really love you.' And he means it, not just some kind of trick to catch you or something or other. When there is a statement made like that, with full meaning, 'I really love you,' - do you go through all this mental process?
K: I don't know, you may, probably you do.
Q: The funny thing, at such a moment, there is a complete...
K: No, sir - I'm asking - it's not what is taking place. I'm asking, if I may - I'm not being impatient, sir, but you're not answering my question - how do you listen to a man or a woman who tells you from his heart and means it, that he loves you. What takes place? Do you register that statement? And remember it? And say, 'Yes, I remember you told me you loved me.' You follow, sir?
So I'm asking, in registration - I mean, in attention, is there any registration at all? In attention, when there is attention, there is already a focusing, but it is not the focusing of concentration.
Q: Does it help at all to draw a parallel between this giving out of attention and the giving out of love?
K: Aren't they both the same, sir?
Q: Yes, that’s what I’m getting at.
K: Yes, aren't they both the same? When a man or a woman comes to you and says, 'I love you,' because he's so tremendously - you follow? And you say, 'Yes, that's jolly nice, but tell me all about it.'
Q: I have much more interest in the lack of attention, because that’s the problem.
K: What, sir?
Q: I have more interest in the lack of attention because that’s the problem.
K: Lack of?
Q: Lack of attention.
K: Lack of attention.
Q: Because that’s the problem
K: No, that's not the problem.
Q: It’s my problem.
K: No, sir, it's not your problem, it's all our problem.
Q: All right.
SF: Krishnaji, could we say that when someone comes up and says very sincerely that they love you, could we say that there is an impact?
K: Yes, and then what?
SF: Well then, how does this impact differ from a registration? In other words, this has an effect, there is an impact of some kind.
K: Look, Scott, just listen to me. Would you listen to me for a minute, a second. When I say to you, I really mean it, 'I love you,' is there an impact?
K: No, do! Is there? Or what - tell me your own thing, what takes place?
Q: There seems to be something – that one wants to hold on to it.
K: Yes. So, you're not listening to what I'm saying, you're listening to your own reactions, your own responses, say, 'How very nice of him - he's a nice man, he's a beautiful man, I'm so glad.' But you haven't received what he has told you
S: No, I don't agree with that, I think something has happened, something actually happens when you say it, something happens, some things are (inaudible) forward. There's a whole - it's a million events have occurred!
K: That's right, sir. As he, Mr Wilkins pointed out, attention may be love. And when there is attention which equals love, do you register? Now, most of us are inattentive, not attentive. Can you move inattention to attention. You follow? That's your question, sir. Can you make inattention by some miracle, turn it into attention. Or be aware of not attention, that very awareness is attention. Capito?
K: You know, we are going off from every you see how we refuse to face a fact. That's all I'm getting at. We refuse to face the fact that we are frightened, frightened animals or human beings, or lovely human beings. We are frightened. Can we look at that fear? Can we pay attention to that fear. (Pause)
Q: Well, to do that, one must be in step with fear, to pay attention to it, and then if one’s in step, there’s no step before, there is no step afterwards.
K: Sir, that's not - you know what fear is?
K: Both physical and psychological. Can you observe that fear as it is taking place. That's all.
Q: I’m always afraid when I’m not attentive.
K: So you're afraid of not being attentive. Now face that fear.
Q: That’s attention itself.
K: No, look at it, sir, don't say 'attention', look, this, that - just find out if you can look at that fear.
Q: If I’m afraid of losing attention, I’m seeking a reward of attention, surely.
K: Of course, of course, then it's all gone. What were you going to say, sir?
S: It seems to me that what just happened here is there was attention when you said what you said, and then somebody said they started trying to hold onto it. And it seems to me that that's where the fear is. Right when you said, 'I love you', a thousand things are happening. Right in there is the fear.
K: I don't quite follow.
Q: There is fear in what happens when there is attention.
K: Look here, Dr Shainberg, my question is very simple, I'm going to keep on persisting (laughs). You're all deviating from that question. Can you look at your fear? Stay with it, stay with it in the sense, no thought deviating from that fact, the fact being that which is going on, that which is happening, the actual, the actual is the now. Can you watch it - use the word 'focus', whatever word - can you observe that thing without any movement, both physical and non-physical.
Q: Sir, the difficulty is, as soon as I do that, it disappears.
K: Which means, sir - we've been through that, sir. We've been through that. It disappears because you're attentive at that moment
S: Then what happens?
K: Then, does that fear recur, come back? Then you say, I must be attentive and it will disappear. So you play this game. So we have learnt a trick for the moment, that being attentive to that thing, it disappears. You have learnt the trick, so you practise that trick, but fear hasn't gone
K: Which means what, you have merely learnt a trick, a mental trick. I want - one wants to find out, if one is at all awake, intelligent, to say is it possible to be free of fear altogether, not this superficial trick of attention and disappearance and coming back and that's all too - I want to ask you a much more serious, fundamental question which is, can fear disappear altogether, never to return. Otherwise I'm playing games
Q: You automatically enter into the field of desire, I think.
K: No, fear, I don't want to enter - please, sir, stick to one word, and then go into it. When you say desire, of course desire has its fears. There are many forms of fear, desire and so on. Don't - we're talking of fear at the very root of it, the fear at its very root
S: Suppose I say no. To me the answer is no.
K: Then what will you do, just live in fear?
S: I don't know.
K: But that's what you're doing, when you say I don't know.
S: That's a fact - I don't know.
K: So, no, when you say, 'I don't know', the thing goes on, under you (laughs), like you're on a bridge which says I don't know but the water of fear is flowing. Now can you stop that water - fear - end it
Q: If presumably that fear cannot be stopped, well then we automatically accept it, I can’t stop it, let it go. And then that’s when it disappears. But that is something we can’t attain.
K: You see, you're talking of attainment, you're talking of stopping, I am not. I say I want to understand the whole movement of fear, how it arises, what is its structure, nature, the whole works of fear, I can't stop it, because who is the entity that's going to stop it?.
Q: Something different from fear
K: Is it? You see, you just invent these things, you don't - we've been through that, the entity that wants to stop it is part of fear. So he's playing a trick, he's mesmerised, living in illusion, when you say, 'I'll stop fear,'
Q: Sir, being attentive twenty four hours a day.
K: I never said that, sir.
Q: But I am saying that, that will end the trick, because then it won’t come back.
K: So be attentive the whole twenty four hours.
T: Sir, isn't it related to doing nothing? I mean as you said
K: Do nothing - Tunki, you pick up a phrase out of its context and say, 'Do nothing.' I didn't say
T: Our fears are usually based on , we have or we are something and we don't want to lose it or something which gave a certain idea or comfort. We don't want to lose it. Or some memory of pain - we don't like it to happen.
K: Look, Tunki, this is my point. May I repeat it again. One is afraid, there is a great deal of fear in life, of many, many, many kinds. We are not dealing with the many kinds, but fear itself. Just a minute. And what is this fear, how does it come into being, whether it is possible to end it, not I stop it, whether it is possible to end it. That's my whole question. How does it arise, what is the root from which it springs. Right? What is its beginning. I know what the ending is, darkness, you know, all the rest of the ugliness of fear.
So I want to find, is it possible to find out the root of fear. What do you say is the root of fear?
Q: The sense of identity.
K: No, root, sir, root. Identity takes place when there is fear. Because I'm afraid to run, afraid of this thing, I must cling on to something which will get rid of it. I'm asking, please, sir, what is the beginning of fear
Q: Being inattentive?
K: No, don't use...
Q: Sir, isn’t it when you feel insecure in any way, that fear?
K: Is it that the root of fear the desire for security? The root of fear, to find some absolute, indestructible security? And as there is no such thing, so, you're back again: what is the beginning, the root, the source of fear?.
K: Who says it?
Q: I do.
K: What, sir?
K: Now have you found this out for yourself? Or are you repeating what this person has said. What do you say, sir?
S: I say that, when you say to me something that I really listen to you, there is an event, that at that moment fear is born, and that's all I can say.
K: No, look sir.
S: That is an event.
K: No, no - don't call it 'event'. Just between the two of us, talking casually or seriously, I say, look, Dr Shainberg, what is the beginning of it? It seems to be, everyone has it, the child, the grown-up man and the dying man, and every human being has some kind of this tribulation, this movement, which we call fear. We both of us agree what it is. And I say, look, what is the beginning of it? Like a river, you know where it begins, the source, it gets wider and wider, or narrower and narrower and dies. But we're talking about the river, which widens, goes on. And I say, where does it begin?
Q: Deception, isn’t it deception? Illusion.
K: Is it from illusion? Illusion of what, who has created this illusion? Who has created this deception? And that gentleman said, the real root of fear, the source, is thought.
Q: Fear comes with time, the idea of time.
Q: My thought is time, that’s...
K: No, no, thought - just hold on - for a second - is that so? I've stated many times, I may be wrong, but I've stated it, and I want you to prove that I'm an idiot and live in an illusion, that the whole movement of fear comes from thought. Thought which says, I must have security, thought says I must be attached otherwise I'm lost, thought would say, where is there security and invents beliefs, gods, Jesuses and Christs and the Buddhas, you follow? All that. So we say, the root of fear is thought. Show it to me, sir
S: Well, my sensitivity is that you can say that to me, and that doesn't add one inch to my illumination of the fact that when you say to me 'I love you'...
K: Ah, no, you're not listening to this. No! You're not listening to it. It is as potent as 'I love you.' It is as vital as the other. Which is, thought is the source of fear. Do you listen to it? No. You've all kinds of conclusions - that's all. I said I may be wrong. I want you to show me I'm wrong. Which means that you first must listen. And you can't listen if you say sorry, I disagree with you, you have your this and your that and you are off
Q: I think the only suggestion I have about your being wrong is that maybe that the thought, that it is lack of love which precedes the thought, rather than the other way round.
K: All right. If it is the lack of love, then how am I to get it?
Q: That’s a miracle.
K: Ah, no, I think there is. It's not a miracle. I won't say Jesus will save me, mankind has not been saved by any Jesuses.
Q: But I’m not suggesting the miracle impossible, but it seems to me that you are suggesting that there is a possible miracle.
K: There is, but we don't capture it, we don't listen to it.
Q: If there is really deep listening now, there is no fear, but the moment it is I’m wondering what’s happening.
K: No, my lady, that's not what I'm saying.
Q: Fear comes in.
K: No, but that's not I'm saying, the source of fear of every kind that human beings have is born from thought. Will you listen to that statement, as you would listen when I say I really love you? Because it's too simple, your mind immediately says, 'No, that's too damn simple, it's not, it is much more complicated than that'
S: Actually my mind says it's too complex.
S: I say, if you want to know what my mind actually says, 'That's too complex.' I am still in my fear.
K: Yes. So - no.
K: I'm interested to find out the source of it, not the river that is flowing - the source.
MZ: Sir, in the thought being the source, is implied, behind that is the self-preservation.
K: I said - is it self-preservation. We said that. Self-preservation, all right. Is that the source of it, that is, security, physical security. Is it possible to have complete physical security? Never to be ill, never to have to go to the dentist (laughter) - I have been there a dozen times - never go to the dentist, doctors, the organism functioning healthily all the time, which is to have complete physical security. Is that possible?
Q: That’s what thought is trying to do but thought fails.
K: Thought says I must - that's right, sir - thought says that - I'm asking, we're pointing out something, sir, I want to find - perhaps if you can tell me what the source of fear is and I listen to you with great attention, because I want to, really want to find out if fear can disappear totally from my whole thinking, living, acting. Then you say, thought is the source of it. I listen to you, I don't dispute it, I don't say it is right or wrong, I'm going to find out. But first I must listen to it without any abstraction. Then I see how extraordinarily complex it is, and in the complexity of it, I may lose its simplicity
So I say, thought is the fear. Thought is fear. Thought is time. Thought is measure. I have lived, I have had no pain, now I go to the dentist and have pain. It has measurement, and therefore I'm frightened. And thought is time, because tomorrow - I've had pain yesterday and I hope to god tomorrow I won't have it. Time. Right?
I'm afraid of death, which is, I'm living now, death may happen. Or I invite death and live with it. Life and death, I say, are together, I can play all those kind of tricks. But it's still thought. Thought has invented all the churches, all the contents of the churches, the symbols, the Jesuses, the rituals, the dogmas, everything. And the Christian world, Jesus will 'save' me, save quotes. Then I'm afraid of that - Jesus doesn't exist, good lord, who's going to save me? You follow, sir? Thought has built the most marvellous cathedrals, and the most absurd religious illusions inside it
So. Show me, as we said, I may be totally wrong. Show me.
T: Sir, it seems that thought combined with the instinct of self-preservation.
K: No, show me if I'm wrong, Tunki.
T: Well, you can think of something else which means...
K: No, I'm asking you a simple question - answer it directly. If I'm wrong, I like to destroy what I think is true. It may not be true but you may show me that I live in illusion. I'm willing to examine it
Q: First I listen.
K: Or, if this is true, why don't you take it.
Q: There is some vague...
K: No, no, don't argue with this - why don't you, if it is true, then what is truth you also must take. If you want to find out the ending of fear
Q: What is the source of animal’s fear?
K: What, sir?
Q: What is the source of animal’s fear?
K: Not animals - please, sir, it may be thought, it may be they have their own instincts, their own heredity - don't enter into animals, please!.
DB: I think it's the truth, what you say. What's the next step?
K: What, sir?
Q: I think what you say is the truth. So what is the next step.
K: Next step is, if that is the truth, and I say it is the truth - don't accept it, please, for god's sake, I'm not your guru, or your philosopher or your analyser. I say, that is the truth. Then, the whole question arises, can thought come to an end
T: But for me it's not the truth.
K: Tunki, I'm asking - don't go off to something else, Tunki, old boy!
T: When you question whether it is thought which makes fear, I mean, it's not fully so.
K: What is not fully so?
T: There are things which we don't like, I mean, say, you know, pain, this is not out of thought.
T: There are things which we don't want, we don't like.
K: We don't what?
T: We don't want, we don't want, we don't like.
K: We don't like and what?
T: Say pain, something painful, physical pain.
K: Look. Can you - you've been to the dentist?
Q: Yes. I have also great fear of dentists.
K: Can you at that moment of pain, just remain with that pain, not think about it and say well, my god, tomorrow, I'll just say yes, he's drilling, pulling' (laughs) - all the stuff that goes on - hold it. For the last two months I've done this! So, just a minute, I am asking you, Dr Bohm asked a question, which sir, they don't, they won't listen, they go on with their own ideas! Dr Bohm asked if that is so, that is, thought is the source of all evil (laughs), fear - then what is the next question. The next question is, this movement of time as thought, and thought as movement of time, can that stop?
Did you listen to that? Won't you ask naturally that question? If thought is the very root of this fear, then can thought come to an end? Not how can I stop thinking. Now will you tell me the way or the method to end thought, but if you see the truth that thought is the root of this fear, all fear, then your next question would naturally be, healthy question: can this movement of thought as time, time as movement of thought, can this whole movement come to an end, unwind itself?.
Q: I find myself asking another question, which in a sense, Krishnaji, is the other side of the side of the coin, it’s the same question. How does thought begin?
Q: How does thought begin?
K: Oh, that's very simple, sir. What is the beginning of thought. I don't have to tell you, you can watch yourself. The pleasant experience is registered, brain, unpleasant thing is registered. So all registration is the beginning of thought
Q: Yes, but they keep registering.
K: No, therefore you ask, is it possible to end registration.
Q: If thought is always past or future, if you only operate in the actual, you’re not actually beginning thought.
K: I haven't understood, sorry. What does she say, sir?
Q: She was saying that thought is the past and the future, so
K: ...it's time. I said it's time.
Q: Yes, but if you are operating in the actual, you are operating without thought. But I think the problem is, for me the problem is, that I am continually up against registration.
K: Sir, we are asking first, sir - is that statement, the root of fear is thought, is that statement valid. You haven't found that out. Or am I imposing on you a statement which may be false, which may be inaccurate, and therefore illusory. So you're caught up in that illusion, if you accept. If you don't accept, and say, 'Look, is that so?' and go into yourself, find out
Q: Shouldn’t one distinguish between different types of fear, psychological fear and other types of fear which may be natural like survival fears or...
K: Yes, sir.
Q: ...fire and that kind of thing?
K: I said fear. If violence comes tomorrow and hits me, all right, I'll take it. But to be afraid that it might. Dr Shainberg you have disagreed with it. I know if you agree with it, all your analytical structure collapses. Forgive me
Q: Does agreement...
K: No, wait - forgive me, he's talking, he's going to say something.
Q: I don’t have anything to say. (Laughter)
K: What? Would you please, this is really important. I must stop now because I said we must stop at one o'clock and now it's past one. We'll continue tomorrow, but this is really an important question. If fear comes from the very beginning of thought, which is, the beginning of thought is registration, the registration is the memory, collected through millennia, or the memory gathered in the last few days, from that arises thought.
Then the whole question arises, is there a possibility of not registering psychological events?
Q: Do you think it is possible, sir, that I register because my listening is focused.
K: No, no, Mr Jenkins, please, I'm asking a question, sir. You have to think about it, you can't just say yes or no. It is something, a scientist puts forward, you don't say, yes, right, wrong and no, I don't accept (laughs). You follow? He puts it out for you to study it and say, 'Look, you're wrong, you're nonsense. What you're saying is so absurd.' I haven't said the whole of it, I've just stated one simple fact: as long as thought moves psychologically, there must be fear. That's the root of it. And thought is the whole movement of registration in the brain. So can - I'm asking a question - is it possible not to register, psychologically, anything?
Q: That can only happen if you have understood.
K: No, no, no. Sir, just, not if you have understood.
K: When you have understood - no. Just see the truth of it. Either the truth or the falsehood. Then from truth you can argue, you can explain, it will always be true. But if it's false, equally your explanations will be false
I think we'd better start tomorrow, don't you?