Seeing is the action of intelligence
There is no freedom without knowing yourself totally
2nd Public Talk, New Delhi
November 12, 1972
We were saying, if I remember rightly, that our whole culture and all its activities are basically founded on thought. And we were enquiring together what is the relationship between thought and action, and what is the relationship of thought in our daily activity. Before we go into all that, may I again point out that this is not a meeting or a gathering or entertainment, either so-called spiritual or intellectual. We are very serious, because the world demands not only that human beings be serious with the problems which are serious, but also it behoves us to be serious in ourselves to find out if there is a way of living which is so entirely different, so completely, radically revolutionary. Not in the physical sense of that word 'revolution', but rather the psychological, the inward revolution of the mind, so that it acts and lives in a totally different manner.
To find that out, as we are going to, during this talk and the next two talks, it is important to find out, as we said yesterday, how to listen. Because I think that the whole problem of existence lies in the act of listening, in the act of observation. These two things are the most important things: to listen with immense care, with a great deal of affection, and to observe the world and ourselves actually without any theory, without any conclusion. The word 'theory' means actually, according to a dictionary, observation and insight. Theory means insight and observation. When you observe and have an insight into something you draw a conclusion from that insight and act according to that conclusion. And all our philosophies, all our teachers and gurus and all the rest of it have an insight, and from that insight they draw a conclusion of how to live or what to do. And from conclusion they move using insight. What we are trying to do is to observe without drawing a conclusion, but move from insight to insight and therefore from action of insight all the time. I do not know if I am making myself clear, because it is very important that we understand each other.
Our lives mostly are based on ideas, conclusions and speculative theories - the ideals and with those ideals, speculations, conclusions our life is moulded. I do not know if you have not noticed how we function, live with a concept, which is a conclusion and from that conclusion act. And to find out an action which is not the result of the past, not the result of a conclusion, not the result of some speculative proposition, but in observing, which is to have an insight and from that insight act, never drawing a conclusion. We are going to go into that, if we may, this evening, because our minds and brains are burdened with memory. Memories are experiences and knowledge and therefore conclusions, which are the past: I have concluded not to do this or to do that. And when the mind, the brain is burdened with tradition, with experience, then it cannot possibly see very clearly. Experience and knowledge have their place. If you had no knowledge of English you and I wouldn't be able to speak or communicate with each other. If you had no knowledge of where you live you'd be wandering all over the place. If you had no knowledge, of technological knowledge you'd not be able to function in modern society. So knowledge is necessary - experience which has been accumulated both in the field of science, in the field of technology, to function such knowledge is necessary. But to act in our daily life, in our relationship from an accumulated knowledge becomes a mechanical relationship. We are going to go into that, don't look so puzzled, we'll go into it.
First of all, most of you probably have read a great deal - the Upanishads, the Gita, the Bible, the philosophers, the various teachers and their knowledge. Your minds are crowded with these and when you listen you are trying to compare what they have said and what is being said. Therefore, you are not listening; you are merely comparing, measuring which is the function of thought. Thought is the response of memory, the accumulated knowledge of your own or of others. And when you listen - doesn't matter to what - specially to listen to those things that are intimate, serious, profound, the instinctive reaction is to compare what is being said with what you already know. Because what you already know is much safer, is more secure and what is being said may be uncertain, insecure. Therefore, the mind is comparing, measuring, judging - right? Therefore, the act of listening ends. So, can you listen during these talks with a mind that is not burdened with other people's knowledge and experiences, or your own conclusions and opinions, and listen very quietly, freely, easily without any effort? Otherwise, you are not listening, are you? If you want to tell me something serious and my mind is chattering away, interested in something else, it won't listen to you. If it is to listen to you it must pay attention. Attention means with a mind that is highly sensitive, alert, watching, listening, not concluding, comparing, then we can communicate with each other. As we said yesterday, communication means thinking over together, sharing together, exploring together, creating together. And that can only be done if you are serious enough to listen to find out, not what the speaker is saying but also to everything about life.
You know, there is so much sorrow in the world, so many people have shed tears, so many people are suffering, not only physically but inwardly. There is immense sorrow, misery, confusion, outwardly and also inwardly. We suffer an awful lot. Not only we get hurt mentally, emotionally, the more so if you are sensitive, and this world outside is sorrow, is confusion. And what is our relationship to this world? And we can only answer that question seriously and intelligently if we know for ourselves what this enormous suffering is human beings go through. I am sure most of us have shed tears very often, at trivial things and at things that matter. And apparently we have never been able to resolve this. We keep on suffering and we accept sorrow as the way of life, as we have accepted conflict, confusion as the way of life. And one has to find out if one is at all serious, explore together, which we are doing now, why human beings suffer, not physically only but inwardly, this weight of sorrow in the world and in us. You know, the sorrow of people who have been born whose children are maimed, who have to go day after day hungry, uneducated, no opportunity and therefore escape into some stupid kind of religious ecstasy or hysteria. And there is all that sorrow: the sorrow of division between man and man, the national divisions, the economic divisions, the religious divisions which prevent the feeding, clothing and sheltering all humanity. This is so obvious. And we human beings are spending so much money on war material; each nation spending immense amount of their revenue on the means of war. That is, to see that is sorrow. See how ignorant, how stupid we are, that is sorrow. And also the sorrow that exists when you lose someone whom you love or you think you love, the sorrow of loneliness, emptiness, insufficiency. We all know this and we put up with it, not knowing how to get out of it all, not knowing what to do.
And if we may, this evening we will go into this, we will explore together if the mind and the heart can ever be free from this confusion, sorrow and conflict - not tomorrow, not in later years to come, but as we are exploring, sitting together quietly, listening to each other non-verbally as well as verbally, to find out for ourselves a way of living in our daily life in which sorrow, conflict and confusion comes to an end. After all that's what we all want, don't we? We want to live quite differently: a harmonious life, not fragmentary life. That is, the intellect has been cultivated so much at the expense of all other instincts and activities, so there is disharmony. And to bring about natural harmony without effort is obviously the responsibility of each one of us. Now, we will together, we are going to explore and I mean that, together, because we have built this confusion, this world of sorrow, misery and chaos together. And together, that means you and I together can resolve this unhappy condition. And to do that you must begin with yourself, not with the world, because the world is not interested: the world wants more food, more clothes, more shelter, more power, more corruption and all the rest of it. That's what the world wants. And a serious man - and I hope you are serious - a serious man is concerned in the dissolution of this enormous misery.
As we said yesterday, and as we are saying now, thought divides, as it has divided people into nations, into castes, into racial divisions, economic, political and so on. Where there is division there must be conflict. That's a simple fact. If you and I are divided inwardly, if you believe in one thing and I believe in another, if you are conditioned in one way and another is conditioned in another way, this conditioning, this belief, this experience divides people. Where there is division there must be conflict and therefore suffering. That's a fact, not my invention, not my opinion or my conclusion. But when you observe yourself and your relationship with the world, and your relationship with your neighbour, with your intimate person, you'll find where there is division there must be this enormous conflict and suffering. And this division exists because of thought. Thought is time, because thought is the product, is the response of memory, knowledge, experience; always the past. When you are experiencing there is no time, there is no past. In the act of experience time ceases. Look! You are following all this? For God's sake, do follow. Because, you see, when we leave this tent after exploring together, you must be a different human being, a human being that's harmonious, a human being that has no suffering and no conflict at all.
So, thought divides and thought has no insight. Thought can draw conclusion from an insight. Whereas, you have an insight, in that moment of insight time doesn't exist at all. You see, unfortunately, I can't give you examples. I don't think in terms of examples. That's why it is difficult when we go into deeper things to talk without examples. Look sir, you have an insight when you see, observe how nationalities have divided people. You have an insight, don't you? Right? You say, 'By Jove, how true that is'. From that you draw a conclusion that there must be no nationalities at all. And then after drawing a conclusion you devote your life to that conclusion, to see that this is brought about. Right? So your action is always derived from a conclusion. Whereas, we are pointing out an act of perception, of insight and a continuous insight and continuous action. Therefore to have an insight, to observe the mind must be free of opinions, conclusions, judgements, which are the past. Are we meeting each other? Are we communicating with each other, at least a little?
So, what is the relationship of thought to action? Living is action, relationship is action. Without action you cannot live. Whether you talk, whether you eat, whether you do anything, that's action. What relationship, we are asking, has thought to action? Thought has created ideas, ideals, conclusions and from those conclusions you act. You are following this? Ah, no, you are not. All of you have ideals, haven't you? No? Haven't you? Yes? Now, you have ideals. I haven't got any, but you have and therefore our communication ceases. So, we are going to explore why you have ideals and if you act according to those ideals, is that action at all, or is it incomplete action, therefore no action? You have ideals, many of them. These ideals are projected by thought, aren't they? Eh! That is, you are violent and you say 'I must not be violent' - the ideal of not being violent. So there is the fact of being violent and the ideal of not being violent. So there is a time interval - right? - time interval between the fact and 'what should be'. The 'what should be' is the ideal and you think you are acting according to an ideal when actually what you are doing is being violent - right? What is the function of an ideal? Has it any value at all? Or is it a postponement or an avoidance of facing the fact and altering the fact instantly? Do you understand this? You have an ideal of non-violence and you are violent. You think gradually day after day by practising non-violence you will achieve a state of mind in which violence has ceased to be. Right? What actually takes place? You are being violent every day and hoping to change violence according to the pattern you have set. Therefore, such action is inaction. I wonder if you get it. Tant pis! I cannot help it if you don't get it.
Look, sir, if you are hungry you want to be fed now. You have no ideals about food. You may like certain kinds of food, but you want to be fed now. Why don't you do the same with regard to violence? Why do you have ideals about violence? Why don't you end it? Whereas if you have an ideal you are postponing the act of understanding and putting an end to violence. It is the act of a lazy mind, not an idealistic mind. Can you do it? Now, that is insight - isn't it? To see the significance of an ideal, to have an insight into it, that insight frees you instantly from violence. But whereas if you conclude that you must not be violent, then this conclusion becomes the ideal and therefore incomplete action. You've got it now? I wonder why you haven't thought out all these things for yourself, why you depend on somebody else to tell you all this? You see what great sorrow there is in this: that you should be told by somebody else about a simple fact like ideals. Isn't that a great sorrow? Therefore you depend on somebody else and that dependence breeds fear, and fear breads sorrow. Do you understand all this? Our education, our books, our teachers have helped you to depend on somebody else: the guru will tell you what to do, the Upanishads say this and that or the Gita this and that, so you are never capable of looking at things for yourself, understanding them and going beyond them.
Insight, which is, the actual word is theory, as we said, the word 'theory' means observation, having insight into something. So what relationship has thought to action? Has it any relationship at all, except in the field of technology? Do you understand my question? Have you understood my question? I see thought creating an ideal or an idea about action prevents action, which I've just explained. So what relationship has thought to action? Is there any relationship for a harmonious, total action? Or thought will always prevent the harmonious total action? You are following? So, is there an action in which thought doesn't enter at all? You are following all this? Do please. Avanti, come together, let's move, don't let's stop in one place.
I see thought brings about incomplete action and that incomplete action breeds conflict, sorrow, pain, confusion. That's obvious. Thought in technology is absolutely necessary, but thought in relationship with each other and therefore action, in that relationship thought has no place, because thought divides. So, we are going to find out together if there is an action in which thought doesn't enter at all and therefore an action that is complete, not fragmentary, not contradictory, that's whole, healthy, sane. You have understood my question? We are going to find out, because you are used to action based on idea and therefore division in action, contradiction in action. Now what we are saying is, asking is, is there an action in which this contradiction, this conflict, this division doesn't exist at all, an action which is total, harmonious, non-fragmentary? You have understood now? By Jove, I have to work hard to point out something which you ought to think, which you ought to learn for yourself. We are learning together, aren't we? Right? We are learning together. You cease to learn when you are accumulating knowledge. You understand? Here, now, we are learning together. And after having listened and learnt you have accumulated and go out and say, 'I must think over it, I must find out more about it', which is, you have gathered - please listen to this - you have gathered information, your mind, your brain has received certain memories and from those memories you are going to act, think further. Don't do that. But we are saying learn. Learning is a movement, an endless movement.
Now, to find out an action that is complete, non-contradictory, an action which doesn't breed further conflict, to find that out you have to find out the two active principles in life, which is pleasure and fear. These are the two principles that drive us. Right? Look into yourself, please. What you want is the continuous, persistent pleasure and the avoidance at all times of fear. Right? Be simple about it, don't be complicated. We will make it complicated, later on as we go, you will see how complicated it is. But keep it very simple. So we have to learn what this thing is that we pursue, which is called pleasure. What is the thing that we are trying always to avoid, cover up, control?
So, we have to enquire into this question of pleasure, because that's one of the factors of our life, major factor. What is pleasure? Find out, sir, think over together now. We are sharing this question together, put your heart and mind to find out, not say 'Well, resist it or avoid it'. Is pleasure joy, is pleasure ecstasy, is pleasure enjoyment? A man who pursues power, to him the achievement of power is a great pleasure. The man who is trying to achieve enlightenment - there is no such thing as achieving enlightenment - but the man who is pursuing the achievement of enlightenment that is great pleasure. The man who conquers himself, has tremendous control over himself, it gives him immense pleasure. Though he may suffer, though he may go through agony, the outcome is pleasure in having conquered. You are following all this? The action of will, when you say 'I will not', or 'I will,' is based on pleasure. Which is resistance, building a wall round yourself, not to be hurt, or resisting what you think is right, resisting your pride, your vanity, all that is an indication of pleasure. Are you following all this? Watching it in yourself? So, what is pleasure? Why does the mind pursue pleasure? Is there in pleasure security? Is there in pleasure a timeless quality of joy? Is there in pleasure love? And yet the mind, your desire, your will is constantly directed towards pleasure. That is, when you see something very beautiful you enjoy. Don't you? When you see a tree, when you see the sunset on a sheet of water, when you see the movement of a leaf in the wind, when you see a cloud full of light and glory, don't you enjoy it? Say 'How extraordinarily beautiful that is'. That enjoyment is turned into pleasure by thought. Haven't you noticed it? Come on, sir. You understand? That is, you saw that cloud with its extraordinary shape, full of light and glory and you enjoy that, there is tremendous delight in seeing it. A second later thought says, puts into words and says 'How beautiful that was'. Thought says 'I must have that experience again tomorrow'. Whether it is of a cloud or sex, or any other pursuit of pleasure is the pursuit of thought of an incident, an experience that's over. Right? You understand this? You understand this simple fact, sir? So, can you enjoy, look at that cloud with all its beauty and shape and light and finish it, not let thought come in? Do you understand? Because the moment of perception is timeless. Oh, come on, sir! Whereas the pursuit of pleasure is in the field of time. Pursuit of pleasure is the bondage of time. So a mind that pursues incessantly pleasure lives in time and therefore is incapable of enjoying. Enjoyment implies instant perception and action. I enjoyed the beauty of a sunset, marvellous to see the colours, the light on the wall, but the mind says 'I must repeat that enjoyment again'. Sexually, it's the same pattern repeated. And when that pleasure is denied, you get angry, you become violent. You are following all this? You become petty, violent, stupid, vulgar. And our actions are based on that, consciously or deeply. And where there is the pursuit of pleasure there must always be the avoidance of fear. Right?
What is fear? We are exploring together your fear, not my fear. There is the fear of losing a job. Do you understand, in a country like this, over-populated, hungry for one job thousands come. The fear of losing a job, the sorrow of it, do you understand, sir? You people who have got permanent jobs, you are not concerned with the man who is going to lose his job. You are secure, at least you think you are secure till somebody comes along and pushes you out because he wants that job. Then you get frightened. So the mind - please listen to this - the brain demands that it be completely secure, otherwise it cannot function efficiently. That's obvious, isn't it? It must be, it must feel secure, otherwise it can't operate, otherwise it can't function. So the brain demanding security will find it in anything: will find it in neuroticism, in a belief, in a conclusion, in a guru. You are following all this? It demands security, as a child demands security. And so the brain demanding security will invent some security which will be satisfactory, the security of a belief, whether it is neurotic, real, logical, irrational, it doesn't matter. The belief sustains it, doesn't it, sir? Haven't you noticed all this? A myth invented by thought gives security: the Christian myth, the Hindu myth and the Islamic and so on, they are all based on myth, not reality, but yet the brain demanding security invests in that. And fear is the denial of that security - right? You are frightened, aren't you? - of many things, not only of losing a job, of getting old, of losing your vitality, frightened of tomorrow, frightened of death, frightened of what your neighbour might say. There are dozens and dozens of fears. And we live with them because we don't know what to do. So we escape from them. Do follow this, sir, do watch it. You run after gurus and go to temples, do pooja and all the things because basically you are frightened. And the man who runs away hasn't solved the problem. To that which he has run becomes much more important than the fact of fear. You are following this? I run away to something and that something is more important than the thing from which I am running. And is it possible - please listen, go into it with me now - is it possible for the mind to be free from fear altogether? The fear of yesterday's physical pain not happening again tomorrow, the fear of the unknown, or the fear of losing the known, the fear of not coming to that point when you really understand the whole movement of life. We are going to go into that and find out whether the mind can ever be free from fear. And it is only when the mind is free from fear then there is light.
Now will you tackle fear one by one? Do you understand my question? You may have ten fears, the agony of it, the darkness of it, the pain of it, the sorrow of it, you may have ten fears, will you analyse each one and try to get rid of each one? That would take time, wouldn't it? Analysing each fear, tracing the cause of that fear and going into it and all the rest of it, it would take years and years. That's what you are doing. So is there a way - please listen - of ending fear without analysis? You must understand this whole business of analysis. You know, I will be brief, it's 7 o'clock.
In analysis there is the analyser and the analysed. Right? The analyser is the past and the analysed is the present. The analyser examines the present with the memories, the experiences, knowledge, the conditioning of the past. So the analyser is the conditioned entity, is the past and he tries to understand the present. The word 'analysis' means breaking up. And the analyser is conditioned and what he analyses will also be conditioned and therefore can never be resolved. And - oh, I haven't time to go into all this. There's so much to talk about. Now, please have an insight into the whole movement of analysis, into the whole structure of analysis, have an insight into it and you will never analyse. Once you see the truth of it, it's finished. That is, when you analyse there is the analyser and the analysed. The analyser is the past. There is the division between the analyser and the analysed. And therefore each analysis must be totally complete, otherwise there is conflict. Right? You are following all this? And analysis implies time. So analysis paralyses action. Come on, sir! Paralysis through analysis. If you have an insight into that you will never go through analysis at all, because then you see instantly. You are getting this?
So will you analyse, examine, explore each fear, or is fear one, is fear a tree with many branches? So if you understand the whole structure of fear you don't have to analyse. You are getting the point? You are following all this? Are you tired? Don't please be tired. Just listen to this, absorb what is being said through your skin, through your eyes, through your ears, through your heart, because a mind that lives in fear is a dead mind. It may theorise, it may construct a beautiful, ideological world, but such a mind is a dull, stupid, useless mind. So, we are going to find out. Trimming the branches, cutting the leaves will not solve the entire fear. So is there a central factor of fear, which, when you have an insight into, when you understand - and I am using the word 'understand' not intellectually, verbally, but totally - when you understand the root of fear then it is over, then you don't have to analyse, trim the branches, you are then cutting at the very root of it. You have understood what we are saying? Don't go to sleep. I see several of you are yawning. You are a rummy crowd and a sorrowful crowd. I want to weep for you.
What is the root of fear? Is it - we are exploring, we are not stating, you understand? - we are not drawing, coming to any conclusion, we are exploring. And as you explore you will see something that will wipe away fear. What is the root of fear? Either it is to be and being. Do you understand? To put it very, very, very simply the root of fear is the uncertainty of security - right? Look into yourself. When there is complete security there is no fear, is there? - physically, emotionally, intellectually. You know, when you see things very clearly - and the seeing very clearly is security. Do you understand? Mind demands security, your whole being demands security, physically as well as psychologically. And when there is insecurity there must be fear. Right? Now, follow this carefully: is there physical security at all? Anything might happen. Right? You might lose your job, your wife may run away - I hope not - a dozen things might happen to you. You laugh? I hope she will run away then. You're all so petty minded, bourgeois minded, my God! The mind demands security in relationship. In everything it wants to be sure, certain. It never asks: is there a state of mind in which permanence doesn't exist at all? You follow it? And yet it must have security - see this - security in the sense of being certain, clear, healthy, giving this sense of complete security. When that is assured there is no fear. Can anybody assure you that, anybody, government, politics - you follow? - your guru? Nobody can give you that certainty. Right? So there is always in the sense of insecurity, fear. And yet the mind, the brain must have security to function rationally, effectively, sanely.
Now, where does this security lie? You follow my question? It does not lie in belief. It does not lie in the acceptance of any authority: your guru, your knowledge, your experience, your own self-confidence, authority, because authority can be taken away and somebody - you know, you follow? So neither in belief nor in authority nor in another, nor in your demand for permanent relationship - right? - nor on depending on anybody, neither in belief, nor in authority, nor in opinion, nor in experience, nor in your own rationalised conclusions. Now, when you see it doesn't lie in any of these - please listen to this - when you see that it doesn't lie in any of these, what is the factor that is seeing it? You understand? Who is seeing it? You have negated everything that breeds fear - right? Who is the entity that says 'It doesn't lie in there, it doesn't lie in the church, in the temple, in the image, in the saviour, it lies nowhere'. What is the entity that says 'It is not there?' Isn't that intelligence? You know that word 'intelligence' means, according to dictionary, a mind that's very alert - listen to this - and a mind that can read between lines. You see the beauty of it? 'Interlegere' is to read between the lines. You are following this? Now, when you deny, no belief, no dependence, no authority, are you denying it verbally or actually? Have you put it away and the act of putting away, is it not the act of intelligence? Right? Therefore, your security is in intelligence, not in these things. Come on, sir!
So, intelligence is the absolute security, not the intelligence of a cunning mind. I'm not talking of that intelligence, not the intelligence of a mind that can deal with facts and twist them and contrive and you know, do all kinds of things, that's not intelligence. We are talking of an intelligence of a mind that sees the false as the false and moves and sees the fact as fact. It is a fact that as long as there is authority in your mind, in your heart, as long as there is a belief, as long as you are following somebody, as long as you are uncertain of today or of yesterday, or of tomorrow, there must be fear. That's a fact. And when you have an insight into this fact, the insight is intelligence and that intelligence is complete security. Now, have you got that intelligence, as you are sitting there, listening to this unfortunate speaker - you have listened for an hour and a quarter - has this intelligence come into your being, because you have denied, the mind denies the falseness of belief? You see the truth of authority, you see the brutal quality of a mind that's comparing, judging, following. If you see that, if you have an insight into that, that very insight is your complete security. Therefore, there is no fear. The mind then is acting with intelligence. It is not your intelligence or my intelligence, it is not the intelligence of somebody else, it's intelligence, immeasurable. You can't say 'I have got a little intelligence'.
So, when you have this, when you see the falseness of analysis, when you see the nature of sorrow, the nature of fear, the nature of pleasure, this seeing is the action of intelligence. And when there is that intelligence, that is the beginning of a much longer road, but without that intelligence you cannot possibly tread the other road. (pause)
It's good to sit quietly, it's like taking a shelter under a tree after a long walk. We have taken a long journey together, explored together this human problem of existence and it is good to sit quietly under the shade of intelligence and breathe the clean air of delight.