Stepping out of the stream of selfishness
Is it possible for the stream of selfishness to end?
1st Public Discussion, Saanen
July 30, 1975
I believe that we are going to have a discussion, but really it is a conversation, a dialogue. A discussion, the meaning of that word means, I believe, according to the dictionary, argument. We are not going to argue. That is a game that can be played very efficiently in politics, in clubs, in debating societies. And a discussion implies investigating what is true among opinions. That can be everlastingly amusing, merely to discuss which is the most truthful opinion - but all opinions are really prejudice and therefore they can never be true. So we are going to have together, these next five days, every morning - if you can stand it, a dialogue. A dialogue means conversation - conversation between friends, between two people or several people who are interested as friends, talking over things amicably, with a serious intention to find out, or rather to investigate their problems, so that at the end of that investigation they are free of the problem, not carrying on endlessly discussing about their problems.
So if you would consider what would be worthwhile to talk over together, as two serious, friendly people talking over their problems, not only of the world outside, but also inwardly. So, avanti.
Questioner: Can you speak of relationship, understanding, compassion? Can we be free of exclusiveness?
Krishnamurti: Can we be free of this division that brings about exclusiveness. That is one subject.
Q: I think you were talking over about being free of selfishness and about the possibility of stepping out it. Evidently ‘I’, or the ‘me’, cannot step out of it, so what happens, or what takes place when something like that is going on?
K: I understand. You talked the other day about the stream in which we live daily, the stream of selfishness, using that word to convey anxiety, fear, pleasure, political pressures, economic conditions, the anxieties, suffering, all including in that one word. The question is, how can that 'me', who is caught in that stream, step out of it, and can the 'me' ever step out of anything?
Q: I do not find an urge to serve other people or society at large. Is there anything wrong with me?
K: I have no urge to serve people or help people, or society. Is there anything wrong with me.
Q: How can I improve my tolerance against noise? I feel I hear noises that are not natural.
K: How can I live with noise without suffering too much from noise.
Q: (In French)
K: When one suffers one loses all one's energy, and how is it possible not to lose that energy, and to meet the suffering.
K: Which of these questions shall we take: relationship, the stream of suffering in which we live, and how to step out of it, and if you do step out of it what is action in the world of reality, that is, what is the action in our daily life? And the other is, noise - but I'm afraid that is (laughs) - and when one suffers it seems that one loses all energy, and having no energy one cannot actively end suffering. Now which of these would you like to take up?
Shall we take that question, and perhaps the other questions will be included in it, that is: all of us, most of us, are selfish, selfish being, in that word we include sorrow, pain, physical suffering and psychological suffering, anxiety, competition, greed, envy, brutality, violence, the desire for power, position, and all that, in that word we include all that. That is, the word 'selfishness', self-centred movement. How can one step out of that stream in which we all human beings live? And if one can step out of it, what then is the action in the world of reality, in the daily existence? Would you like to discuss?
If we may, let's go into this very carefully, seriously and not come to any conclusion, but observe the whole phenomenon of selfishness, perceive the totality of it. So let's go slowly into it and hesitantly, and therefore not come to judgement, opinions, conclusions. Is that all right? - so that we can slowly go into it. It is a very important and rather interesting question this, because if we can go into it very deeply perhaps we shall understand all other problems involved.
First of all, is one aware of the stream of selfishness in which one lives, in one's daily life? You are? One is aware, not condemn it, not evaluate it, not rationalise it, just to be aware that one lives in this conditioning.
K: The lady says I can only see my point of view.
K: We are going to go into that presently. Please, first, slowly, let's go into it. What is perception? What is seeing? I see you sitting there, and you see me sitting up here. There is visual perception, sensory seeing - right? That sensory seeing is transmitted to the brain and it responds according to its conditioning. Be simple about it, don't complicate it. I see that red dress or shirt. I see it visually, then it is communicated through visual perception to the brain, the brain which says, that is red, it says I don't like red, or I like red. Right? Wait. Slowly. It may be obvious, but go on into it, you will see how complex it becomes. So the appreciation or the depreciation of red, is conditioned by the culture, by the society, by my pleasure and so on. So my response is according to my conditioning. Right? That is simple enough. So I am always perceiving, seeing things according to my opinion, my judgement, my conditioning - the conditioning being social, environmental, ethical, cultural, and also my own pleasures, fears and so on, all that is my conditioning - through that conditioning I see. That's simple.
Now wait a minute. Am I aware of this process - aware in the sense, conscious? Am I conscious that I am responding to things according to my conditioning? Is one aware of this, as an American, Catholic, Protestant, Communist, Socialist, Hindu, Buddhist, whatever it is? So that is the first thing, isn't it - no? Are you aware of it? Yes? Now what do you mean by being aware of it? Are you aware of it as an outsider looking in, or you are aware of it directly?
Q: One is aware of it directly but doesn’t want to stop immediately to react.
K: We are going to find out. Let's go step by step. Am I aware of my conditioning and the responses of those conditionings, which I call my temperament, my idiosyncrasy, my opinion, my judgement. Am I aware of this? Or I am aware of it because you are telling me of it? You are telling me about it, therefore I am aware of it? Vous avez compris? There are two states, isn't it - I tell you about it and then you acknowledge what I say, and then say, 'Yes, I am aware of it'. Or you are aware of it for yourself without my telling you. The two states are entirely different. Which is it? If the speaker didn't point it out, then it is your own, it is direct awareness; but if the speaker points it out and then you become aware of it, it is through the stimulation of the speaker, and therefore that stimulation fades and you are lost. Right? Is this Avanti.
Now am I aware, without your telling me, or indicating, that my whole response to life is according to my conditioning? And if I am aware who is it that is aware? The observer? And when the observer is aware then there is a process of duality - the observer and the observed - right? Is that what is going on with you? Go on sir.
Q: I am aware – just
K: You are aware just for a moment?
Q: Yes (inaudible)
K: All right, sir, it doesn't matter. You are just aware partially, or you are aware of something. You are aware of the tent, you are aware of the people sitting here, you are aware of your response to the colours, to the proportions of the tent, to the sky and so on. Now is there in that awareness a division as the observer and the observed? Begin slowly. Don't talk about the whole.
Q: Why do we separate the two? (Inaudible)
K: We are going to go into that, madame. First see how our minds work, how we respond. That is - I'll begin again. I am aware I am conditioned. I am aware that I am conditioned because I have been told; or I am aware that it is a fact, a reality, it is so. Right? It is so. And the next question is: am I observing that conditioning as an observer watching a tree, a car, the stream? Or there is no observer but only that state of conditioning. Vous avez compris? You understand? This gets a bit more complicated, doesn't it, no? It will get much more! Avanti. (Laughter) You hope so.
So which is it: am I aware, are you aware looking in from the outside, or you are inside? See the difference?
Q: When I am aware of myself being conditioned it is usually because I am aware of the past, something that has just happened, and I look back on it and I see it. That is me looking at the past. But I can’t try and be aware, I can’t describe being aware.
K: Are you looking at the present through the past? The past is the observer, isn't it? - the memories, the remembrances, the hurts, the pains, the conclusions, all that is stored up in the brain. Right? And that brain responds. And it responds according to the accumulated knowledge of pain and all the rest of it. Right? So are you observing from the past, or is there only observation? You have understood? Please, be simple about this.
Q: Sir, as I sit here I listen to you, I understand you, the words, but I don’t have a sense of the discrepancy that you suggest between the words that you say and the invention, the meaning behind it and that state of listening. There is no intermediary, sir.
K: I will show it to you, sir. See how complicated it is becoming? First of all let's be clear that the word, the description, the explanation, is not the thing. Right? Just go slowly. The word 'tent' is not the tent. I can describe the tent, I can describe the various colours, but the colours, the tent are not the words, are not the description. Right? The explanation is not the explained. That must be very clear. Right? So the word is not the thing. So when I use the word 'suffering', that is an explanation, a word that contains all other factors, which we just now said. But the word 'suffering' is not its content. Right? Please, avanti, we'll... So, the word is not the thing. Am I aware of the word, because I listen to it, and am I also aware that the word is not the reality? Come on. And am I looking from the past, from my remembrances, from my hurts, from my conclusion, from my hopes, which is the past? So am I looking with the knowledge of the past, am I aware that I live in the stream of selfishness? You have got it? Are you beginning to understand this?
Sir, please, this needs discipline. You understand? Discipline in the sense, listening with attention and going on, not dropping it in the middle of it and picking it up later. Right? So am I aware that I am looking from the past at this stream of suffering in which we live, this stream of selfishness, which is our daily occupation? Are you aware of it?
Q: I am aware intellectually only.
K: That means you are aware, as the gentleman points out, of information, that is words. You are only aware of the words, not of the fact. The fact being that which is. That which is, is the truth. So I am looking at the fact through a verbal description, and the verbal description is not the fact. Right? So there is a lack of communication between you and the speaker. He wants to go much beyond the word, beyond the information, beyond the knowledge, and you say, 'I can't do it'. So which means words have become tremendously important. Right? For a Christian the cross has become tremendously important. For a Hindu it is something else. The cross, the symbol, the word, he is a prisoner to that, and is he aware of that prison?
Q: It’s culture. It is a part of my culture.
K: Yes sir, I have explained that. It is part of culture, part of your religion, part of your ethics, part of your economic condition, part of your clothes, part of your climate. I have explained all that. Just a minute, sir, just a minute. Go into this slowly, please. Are you aware that you are caught in words, that you are a prisoner of words? The word 'communist' - I mean you'll shiver if you are a capitalist. And if you are a communist then 'capitalist' is something dreadful, so on and on. Are you aware how we respond to words?
Q: In awareness there is solitude.
K: No, no, madame, please, I am not talking of solitude, I am talking about matter-of-fact things, and then we can go much further. If you don't understand this then the further you go it becomes a sheer nonsense, a verbal illusion.
So are you clear that we are prisoners of words?
Q: Sir, there is another factor of words. Fundamentally I have organised my reality around words.
K: I understand that, sir.
Q: Where does that organisation (inaudible)
K: Have you understood my first question, sir, before we take up your question?
Q: I hope so.
K: Not, 'hope so'! When I am drowning I want to be saved, I don't say, 'Well, I hope I am going to be saved'. (Laughter) This becomes a play. I want to find out what this whole process of living is. Do we live at the verbal level? And if you have noticed something very interesting - all the books in the European world are printed from right to left, which is linear, and Chinese, Japanese are up and down. Now, we think along that line, linear line, because we are used to reading books, so our thinking is also that - line, and therefore it is very superficial. We are caught in this superficiality of words. When the tyrants use the word, like the dictators, like the communists, 'Democratic proletarian state' it is sheer nonsense. We are caught in these words. So please, are you aware that we are prisoners of words?
Q: You are jumping from one thing to another.
K: Please I am not jumping from one thing... Are you conscious, do you know, do you recognise, is it so to you, that we live as prisoners of words? That's all I am Be simple.
Q: I didn’t say ‘prisoners of words’ because we are using words to express ourselves ever since we’ve been here. It’s our way of communicating. We are conditioned, OK?
K: Not 'OK'. (Laughter)
Q: I mean that is a fact, isn’t it?
K: It is a fact but am I aware of it?
Q: We are.
K: All right. Let's move from there. If you are aware of it, then words are necessary to communicate, but words don't block you.
Q: They shouldn’t.
K: Shouldn't - don't! You see how again we play with words.
Let's go further. Am I aware of my conditioning - conditioning being cultural, religious, economic, the school, education, all that? Am I aware that my brain from which I respond, am I aware of this conditioning?
K: Please, madame, vous avez ecoutz, listen. I am talking about something, and you are talking about something else. I am asking you, do you recognise these trousers as blue? And I am saying, do you recognise that your minds, your brains are conditioned? Now just a minute, go slow. Please do listen to this, this is really important. Are you aware that you are conditioned? If you say, 'Yes', are you aware as a description, aware of the description or the reality of it? You have understood? You hear the description and then you say, 'Yes, I am aware of the description,' but not the reality which is my conditioning. So which is it?
Q: I find that when something has just happened that it arouses a response of a different quality, and then when I look at it, when it has just happened I can see it unilaterally and I can perceive it emotionally, I can really see it. But when I try and look at something which is deeper, which is more into the past, then I can see the emotions get in the way..
K: Sir, sir, I am not Be simple (Laughs) I describe to you the tent, the structure of the tent. Are you aware of the description or the actuality? That's all. Don't bring in emotions and all the rest. Are you aware of the description of the tent, or the tent itself?
Q: The tent itself.
K: Oh, that is very simple, sir. I look up and see the tent! It isn't complicated. So am I aware of my conditioning, or the description of the conditioning? This is so simple! Nom de chien! Which means, I look at my conditioning, not the description, the description can be thrown away. I look at my conditioning. Now. Proceed then. How do I look at that conditioning? Am I looking at it from the outside, or I am that conditioning? Vous avez compris? You have understood? So the description has led me to the realisation, I am that. So the description has gone. So I am now living with the reality of that conditioning because I am that conditioning. There is no observer saying. 'I am conditioned'. I am that. Right? Right? Is this clear? Can we proceed from there?
Now, that conditioning is the result of my parents, the society I live in, the education, climate, etc., etc., I am that. Now how do I look at it? How do I perceive it? As an observer looking in, or there is no observer but only the fact? Now I'll show you. There is this fact, which is the microphone. I can look at it without naming it. Right? It is there. And I call it 'microphone' in order to communicate to you because we both have agreed to call it microphone, not a giraffe! So it is very simple. Now there is an observation of that conditioning without the word, without an observer from the outside, I am that. Can we proceed from there? By Jove, it takes a long time! So that conditioning we've called it selfishness. Right? We have called it selfishness.
K: The word 'selfishness' is already a judgement.
K: Watch this carefully. The word 'selfishness' is condemnatory, evaluated. But we said Please, you don't listen! We said that word includes everything - judgement, evaluation, suffering, pain, everything is included in that word, and I use that word to communicate it with you. That's all. I am not using that word as a condemnation. You may translate it and say, 'You are using it as a word to condemn it', I am not. I am just describing it. Right? Shall we proceed further?
Now human beings right throughout the world, whatever their position, whatever their status, whatever their culture, whatever their political points of view, economic and so on, so on, live in this stream. Right? From the highest to the lowest. Right? Whether it is in India, Russia, America or China, this is the main stream, the essence of human suffering, human greed. We are not condemning it, we are pointing it out - and this is the stream in which we are caught, we live. We are born in this stream. We are born in it, we are nurtured in it, we are sustained in it by society, everything. Now the question then is - please listen - am I aware of this stream? Not the description but the reality that I am selfish - right? - that all my actions revolve round this centre of suffering, centre of selfishness - are you aware of it? Or do you say, 'Yes, I live like that'?
K: I haven't would you explain, sir, you've heard it. What did she say?
Q: That if one sees the fact, then one automatically engages in politics in order to give everyone the same chance.
K: We are not going into what to do yet, we will come to that, madame. We will come to find out presently what to do. That is the question he asked: being caught in this stream of selfishness, if one can step out it, then what is that human being to do in the world of reality? - in the world of reality being politics, religion, all that.
So are you aware, conscious, know, that you live in this stream? I am not condemning the stream, I am not saying it is wrong, or right, this is a fact. Are you aware of this fact? Whether you live in Gstaad, or in a little village, or in a capital, it is the same movement of mankind. If you are aware of it what happens? You understand? What takes place in you if all human beings, whether black, white, purple, yellow, brown, whatever they are, they are living in this everlasting suffering, selfishness. What is your response?
Q: Krishnaji, will you be in despair?
K: No, what takes place in you?
Q: You get a shock, you get a terrible shock.
K: You see sir, wait a minute. I am going to point out something to you. I am going to point out. Don't accept it, just listen to it. When you perceive this whole movement, not details, but this whole stream of mankind, what happens to the brain? You understand my question? Before, I have lived, saying I suffer, my pleasure, my pain, my anxiety, my position, me first and everybody to hell afterwards. So you suddenly realise you are like everybody else - you may be a little more clever, but the same suffering, the same anxiety, the great pressures of existence and so on, it is a tremendous jolt to the brain, isn't it? No?
K: No, watch it, please! Listen to what I am saying. You are already going ahead of me. Before, I lived in a little circle and the brain had the habit of living in that circle. The brain accepted that circle and it said, I must adjust myself to this circle, to this suffering, to this selfishness, because in that I am secure. And somebody comes along and says, 'Look, this is happening to everybody', and you get a shock, don't you? Now when you perceive this, the brain cells themselves undergo a change. Now it is getting complicated.
Q: Is this change because of fear?
K: No, sir, no, sir, just a minute. I have accepted fear. I have lived in fear, like millions and millions of people, they have accepted suffering, like millions and millions of people; they have accepted anxiety, pleasure, you know, death, everything and the brain has conditioned itself to that. Right? And you come along and tell me, look, my friend, this is happening to everybody, whether they live in India, Japan, China, Russia, under tyrannies, under democracies, whatever it is, or the neo-communists - whatever it is, this has happened to every human being. If you are at all sensitive, awake, it must affect the brain cells. So the brain, which has accepted, which has become habituated, gets a shock, a jolt. And that jolt brings about a change, a transformation in the cell itself, so you look at the whole thing totally differently. Oh, for god's sake, move!
Now let's proceed. So I am aware that every human being in the world goes through this horror, this selfishness. And is it possible for a human being to step out of that? Right? You understand my question? I am like everybody else - I have suffered, anxious, I want position, money, power, sex, and I want to be recognised - you follow? - this whole phenomenon of existence. And you come along and point out to me that as long as you live in that stream there is no solution for human problems, whether they are economic, political, religious, whatever, as long as you live there, there is no issue. And I say, 'Yes, I realise it' - not verbally. It is a shock. You come and jolt me, shake me. 'Discussion', the root meaning of that word, is to shake. You understand? To shake - and I hope you are being shaken!
So is it possible for a human being to step out of it? For you to step out of it? That means, do you see the totality of this stream, the whole implications of that stream - politically, religiously, economically, socially, as a person, as a human being, ethically, morally, the injustice, you know, the world is monstrous! So is it possible Do you see it as a whole, or do you only see it partially - because I am committed to political action and nothing else - I can go and talk to Mr Wilson and Mr Giscard D'Estang, or Mr Brezhnev - if he will allow me (laughs) - they would pay no attention. And since you are paying a little attention, I don't say you are paying complete attention, as you are paying a little attention, do you see this fact as clearly as you see the tent, as you see your face in the mirror? Do you see it as clearly as that? That's what I mean by being aware of this tremendous stream in which human beings are caught.
Now wait a minute. From that arises That is the world of reality, that is the world in which we live, that is the world which thought has created. Right? We went through that. I'll go into it a hundred times, explain to you if you want it, but that is the reality in which we live. And the question was: who is it that gets out, and is it possible for me to make an effort to get out? You understand? Do you understand the problem? All right, I'll go into it.
I am caught in that stream. I recognise it completely. I see it, not only visually but inwardly, psychologically, I see the whole structure of it, the nature of it, the brutality, everything, wherever I go I see this. And I say to myself, I must get out of it because I want unity of mankind, I want right political action, I want human beings to live happily, and so on, so on. I want to live that way. So I say I must get out. Then the problem is, how am I to get out? You understand? How? Shall I make effort, shall I exercise my will and say, 'I won't belong to that', or shall I run away, and meditate, take drugs, you know, play with communes, and become a socialist, bomb-thrower, a terrorist, this and that? What am I to do? Come on sir, discuss it, go into it with me.
Q: Whatever I would do would already be based on my thoughts, that is on the past, from the world of reality.
K: So the gentleman says, whatever I do - please listen to this - whatever I do is still part of the stream.
Q: So I should be inactive?
K: So I should get inactive, the lady suggests. You see how our minds go to the opposite. I want to do something to get out of that stream, and somebody says, you are part of that stream, you have built that stream, and your thought says, get out of it. So your thought is merely creating another stream. And you say to me, if I can't do that what shall I do, be inactive? Wait, un instante, let's finish the question, sir. Do I realise, does my brain realise that whatever I do, whatever it is, join new religions, new meditations, new awakening, kundalini, whatever I do, I am still in that stream, because that stream is created by thought and that thought now says, get out of it. So when I move with thought I am still in the stream. I wonder if you see this.
Q: When I see this, the thought of getting out of it does not arise.
K: When I see this, the gentleman says, the thought of not getting out of it arises.
Q: Not arises. I accept it.
K: You say you accept it. Now wait a minute. Why do you accept it? You are not answering my question. Who is there to accept it? When you are that, what are you accepting? I am light brown - wait a minute, listen to me - I am light brown, and when I compare myself with you who are lighter, then I get dissatisfied, perhaps, with my brown because that is not so popular as the other. So in comparison I accept what I am. You are missing the point, oh god! In comparison I accept. Why should I accept, which is a fact? I am that, why should I accept it, it is so.
K: Ah, now you are saying, yes. Before you said, 'accept'. I neither accept, therefore there is no acceptance or denial, it is a fact.
Now let's move to the next.
Q: If I stop thinking and stop doing what will then happen?
K: Stop thinking and stop doing. Who is it that stops thinking? You don't get it. Please, just please listen to what I am saying. Before you have accepted that you could do something about the stream, the brain had been conditioned to the fact that you could do something about that stream. That is part of our conditioning. You come along and say, 'Look, whatever you do with regard to that stream is still in the stream, because that stream is created by thought', and you show all the processes. And I say it is so - right? - that whatever thought does is still part of the stream. Do I see that as a fact, not as an idea? Then if I see it as a fact what happens?
Q: Just you must love, and you must live.
Q: Love and live.
K: Oh, no, no! Love and live?
Q: You must go through suffering, she says.
K: We went into suffering, we went into the whole question of suffering the other day. In that suffering there is a tremendous gathering of all energy in that suffering. I don't know if you know what it means. That you have suffered and there is no movement, either of thought, psychologically, nothing, you are paralysed. I won't go into all that now, because it's a...
So do you recognise, understand, aware, conscious, see, that whatever you do with regard to that stream is still within the stream?
Q: I can only live now.
K: No, no, wait! You are all going ahead of me. Do you see this? Do you see the truth that whatever you do in that stream, or with regard to that stream, is still part of the stream, do you see the truth of it?
K: Of course. I said, whatever you do. Before, I made efforts, I said, I mustn't be selfish, I must devote my life to god, or I must serve others, or I must help others. I said, no, I must retire from this monstrous world and go into a monastery. And I said to myself, I must take drugs - I have never taken drugs - I must take drugs, I must take drink, I must do this, I must do that. Always action within that stream. And you come along and say, 'Look what you are doing, don't be silly, don't be an ass, look what you are doing'. What you are doing is still playing in the stream. Whatever you do - become a Catholic, go to Japan to learn Zen, etc., etc., you are still within this enormous stream which thought has built, or which thought as time and movement has created. Do I see it? Or am I still talking about words? If I see it then what is it, what takes place? If I see the totality of that movement - politically, religiously, economically, socially, ethically, morally, the tyranny - you follow? - political tyranny, there has been the tyranny of the priests, the tyranny of gods, the tyranny of books (laughs), everything is in that stream. Do I see that, be totally aware of it? If I see the totality of it, the brain then has a great shock, and therefore in that very shock there is a transformation of the cells, which then is out of the stream. If I don't see it I can go on discussing endlessly about this.
Then if the brain cells have shaken themselves away from the tradition and are free, then how does such a brain act in the world of reality? Now have you seen this, shall we move from there? (Sound of train) There's another train, thank god. So how shall I - I happen to be out of that stream, there is no 'I' - and that is the main thing. There is no centre as the 'me' that steps out of the stream. When the 'me' steps out of the stream the 'me' is still the stream. If I see the truth of that and therefore the brain accepts the truth, then what shall I do, I as a human being, not I, as a human being what shall he do politically? Right? Let's begin politically. What shall he do?
Q: Care about the others.
K: Care about the others. The missionaries said that. (Laughter) They went to Africa with a bible and a gun. Or rather with a bible, and later on came the gun, and later on the business man.
Q: What is the point if you step out of yourself?
K: How extraordinary. There is no yourself to step out of. You are part of that stream. You don't see that. Wait a minute. I must go on.
What shall a human being do who really has seen the truth of this stream, and therefore the brain cells have undergone a transformation, and therefore they no longer belong to the old tradition? That's a fact, not just... Either you play with it, or actually live it. Then what happens? What shall he do politically? Wait a minute, careful. Is it political action, religious action, business action, economic action, separate? Or again is it the whole thing? You understand? I wonder if we are meeting each other.
Q: For me it is necessary not to be attached to anything.
K: To the stream?
Q: To anything.
K: We went through that. We went through that the other day. Is attachment love? When you are attached can you love? Silence!
K: Ah, no, no, just words.
Q: If you are attached there is no love.
K: So, fact the face that when you are attached there is no love. Because attachment implies dependency, fear, jealousy, anxiety, a sense of loss and therefore hate the person, all that you call beautiful love. And you say, no, that is not really love, but we go on that way. That is part of the stream. Madame, ecoutz, either you see the reality, no, don't just accept it. It is so. Then move from there.
Attachment to the country, attachment to an idea, attachment to a conclusion, attachment to a belief, attachment to a principle, are all the same, they still belong to the stream. So I am saying, what shall a man do when he is no longer selfish? How shall he act politically, how shall he act in relationship with each other, man and woman, how shall he act with regard to labour? You follow? What shall he do?
Q: I don’t know.
K: That's right, you don't know. Right? So what are you playing with?
K: You cannot stop being in the stream?
Q: No! You act as a whole in the instant.
K: Oh, that's just a theory. I am fed up with theories.
Q: It is not a theory.
K: Madame, I am fed up with theories, that has been filling my mind with theories, with speculations, that has been the game of tradition. I said all that is part of suffering. I don't want to play with words, with theories.
K: How does she know?
Q: If you step out you act differently.
K: That's just a theory. I am pointing out to you, madame, you are speculating on something which has no value. A man who will step out of it will act differently. That has no meaning, I am still in the stream. I want to find out how to get out!
So I can only remain with the fact that we live in this stream, and we cling to it, we mesmerise ourselves that it is a marvellous stream, that stream is love, attachment and so on. I live in that. And anything beyond that, any hope, is mere speculation. And please, I say to myself, please, don't speculate. I am hungry, don't give me words, the menu of a marvellous dinner. I want to be fed.
Q: (In French)
K: Dites moi en Francais. We depend so much on the physical. Our whole structure and thought and psychology is based on the physical condition.
K: And so the physical becomes extraordinarily important - right? - the physical pleasures, the physical observance, physical comfort, physical satisfaction, physical stimulation and so on, so on, so on. But we don't realise also that thought is a physical phenomenon and a chemical process. So thought is a physical and chemical process as the organism is, so it is not separate. Ah, if you see this then quite a different action takes place between the physical and the psychological. If I see the whole structure: how the physical depends on food, clothes, shelter, and for that security we will do anything, kill anybody, wars. And psychologically, which is the movement of thought in time, is part of the process of the physical as thought, which is chemical. So the whole structure is physical and chemical and that has created that tremendous stream of selfishness. Is one aware of this extraordinary process - how we divide the physical, the psychological, the spiritual, the businessman, the politician, the artist - you follow? - all a movement of the fragmentary process of thought? Is he an artist? As we explained, the word 'art' means to put everything in its right place, where it belongs, that is the meaning of that word. Is the artist creative when he lives a disorderly life? You work it out, sir. Is he a religious man who believes? Is such a believer a religious man? Or is religion something outside the world of reality?
So. Let's stop this morning. We will go on tomorrow morning. The question is: is one totally aware, cognisant, apprehensive - in the word 'apprehendere' which means to hold together - that we live and exist, act in this stream? This stream is the past, this stream is the present, this stream is the future modified through the present. This is our life, this is our reality and we think we can solve politically, economically, socially, all the problems, in the stream. And nobody has succeeded in the stream. The politicians play a game with us, they think - it doesn't matter who it is - that they are going to solve the problem. So are we, you and I, aware of this stream completely, and that whatever movement we make is still within the stream? Sir, see this as a reality, as something true, then you will see how it affects the brain cells. Because the brain won't accept anything which doesn't give it security. It has lived in the traditional world, which is the stream, and has accepted it and says, please, don't disturb me, let me live in that stream, with the followers, with the gurus, the whole business. And you come along and tell me, nothing whatever you do in that stream is going to free man from his misery.
Q: Is that true? Is that a fact?
K: Is that a fact. Are the politicians doing something to save you and me from sorrow? Are the priests doing anything, is anybody doing anything outside the stream or within the stream?
Q: You say in order to step out of the stream you have to live an ordinary life.
K: I did not say that. (Laughs) No, madame. Juste! I have explained everything, madame. Listen, look. I have to live in the world of reality - food, clothes, shelter, money, I have to live there.
Q: That is a compromise. That’s the first compromise.
K: I am not, sir, I am not compromising anything.
Q: You don’t have to, you have explained it to her.
K: I am explaining to her, sir. Most human beings live in that field of reality. And the problems are getting more and more complex, and they have not been able to solve them, they are getting worse and worse.
Q: But don’t you admit this is change different from one thing to other?
K: No, madame, I explained all that. Look, please. What is a human being to do, confronted with all these facts, that the politicians, whoever they are, are not going to solve the problems, they pretend. The religious people are not going to solve this problem of human suffering, human selfishness. Nor the analysts, nor the psychologists, not the philosophers - they have all tried for centuries. And besides, why should I accept them as my authority? They might be as foolish as I am - why should I accept them, as cunning, deceitful as I am. So I say to myself, they cannot solve this problem. So who will solve this problem? God? - god is an invention of thought, whether it is a Christian god, or Hindu god, or the Muslim god. So I say to myself, thought is in action all the time, thought has created this world in which I live, the world of nationalities, wars, brutality. Thought has done all this, and my mind is caught in that stream of thought. And whatever thought does in that stream will pollute further the stream. That is the thing I have to be shocked into. Then the brain operates differently. Right sir, tomorrow morning.