The action of intelligence
Can there be complete freedom from thought?
2nd Public Discussion Brockwood Park
September 14, 1972
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner: Are questions necessary at all if we have understood you rightly in the first place?
K: Quite right. Are questions at all necessary if we see things very clearly - obviously not. So what shall we talk over together this morning?
Q: Could we talk about what happens when you put the question: why aren’t you sufficiently interested to see the division between the observer and the observed?
K: Right. Do you want to discuss that? Why is it that we are not sufficiently interested, or sufficiently aware, or see the futility of division in ourselves outwardly, which causes conflict and misery? That is the question, isn't it? Shall we discuss that? I wonder what you want to discuss. Please, let us talk over something which is really a problem to each one of us.
Q: What about the ending of thought?
K: Ending of thought. Is that a problem to you? No.
Q: What is emotion?
K: What is emotion. I thought we went into that the other day.
Q: The desire to be certain about anything.
K: Can we be certain about anything.
Q: Sir, sometimes I am watching my thought processes, or not watching them, I become aware of what I am doing and I see quite clearly but then I turn away from them. There is a moment of clarity and then again there is confusion. I do not understand how clarity becomes confusion. Why it begins at all.
K: Well, sir, there are half a dozen things, which do you want to discuss, talk over: love, education, responsibility, ending of thought, all the machinery of thinking, why is it that we don't see the danger, the damage, the conflict, the wars that come about when there is division, both inwardly and outwardly. I wonder which is the best thing to take out of this and go at it.
Q: I think that question about the division between the observer and the observed.
K: Yes, I think so too. Shall we discuss, talk over this question of the observer and the observed - shall we? And perhaps then we can come to the question of ending of thought, love, education and all the rest of it.
Why is there this division between the perceiver and the perceived? I perceive the tree, the cloud, the person, all the politicians with their whatever they are, and I see, I perceive both visually, psychologically, having an insight, that division as the perceiver and the perceived does bring conflict invariably, that is obvious. The perceiver is a Muslim, a Christian, a Communist and he separates himself from the non-communist, non-Catholic, non-something else and where there is division there must be conflict, both outwardly and inwardly, that is clear. Right? And inwardly there is the division as the perceiver and the perceived. The perceiver sees he is angry, anger is something which he perceives, not at the moment of anger. When the anger is over then the perceiver says, 'I have been angry'. So he creates the division between himself and the state of anger. And from that division arises control, suppression, justification and all the rest in order to justify or to deny anger - right? And in this there is conflict - no?
Q: It is surely anger that created the division.
K: At the moment of anger, sir, is there any division?
Q: Not right at the moment, sir.
K: That's all. A second later the thinker comes into operation. He says, 'I have been angry', and when he says, 'I have been angry', he knows from past experience that he has been angry, and therefore he identifies from past memories the anger which is now, which is in the present. Haven't you noticed this? At the moment of jealousy, the intense feeling of jealousy, there is no separation, is there? Or at the moment of great happiness you don't say, 'I have been happy' - in that state there is no division. It is only when a moment later, or a second later the division takes place - right? Shall we go on from there?
Now why does this division take place? I am jealous, at the moment of jealousy, at that second there is no division; at the moment of hate, at the moment of anger, at the moment of envy, there is no separation. A second later separation takes place - why?
Q: Because of the memory.
K: No, please, don't answer me. Find out for yourself why the separation takes place in each one of us.
Q: Because we have been educated not to be angry.
K: That's right, which is, not to be angry or to justify anger.
K: Yes, sometimes. Or justify jealousy. So the perceiver comes and says, 'My habit is not to be angry, I must not be angry'. Right? No? So separation takes place when the past comes into action - no?
Q: Not only the past but because of your imbalance.
K: Put it any way you like - yes, all right. Imbalance takes place when the past with all its memories, with all its activities, with its experiences comes into operation and says, 'I must not be angry'. No?
Q: Or justifies.
K: That is the same thing. Again you say, 'My anger is justified'.
Q: It may not only be the past that is concerned with the person who has been angry, he may be concerned with what the consequences of his anger are going to be in the future.
K: Yes, which is still from the past.
Q: But isn’t it something from the past that created that moment of non-separation.
K: Sir, look at it in yourself. At the moment of jealousy, or of anger, or of envy, or of hate, whatever it be, happiness, at that second there is no division, is there?
Q: No, but if the thought, ‘She doesn’t love me’, created that non-division, then it was something out of the past that created that non-separation.
K: Yes, sir, that's what I don't know if you are saying the same thing.
Q: Yes but if someone is yelling and shrieking at you, really having a go at you, they get very angry with you, they are bawling at you. Right? They are throwing things all over the place.
K: What has that to do with what we are talking about, sir?
Q: Well the thing is when I leave here I won’t be sitting in a nice, neat, tidy tent.
K: We are trying to find out, sir, aren't we? why there is this division in human beings, and how does this division come about; why there are so many fragments in us - anger, jealousy, competition, contradictions - those are all various fragments of which we are made up. And I am asking: how do these fragments come into being? Not that somebody shouts at me, but I want to find out for myself why these fragments exist. Is it education, the culture in which you have been brought up, the whole religious concept of god, the devil, the sinner, you know, all that?
Q: You were asking the other day how could one see without this fragmentation?
K: That's right sir, that's right. First of all to find out how to observe, how to have a mind that is not fragmented so that it can look without fragmentation at the fragmentation as it takes place. Right? That's what we are trying to find out. Don't we know we are fragmented? Let's begin from there. Right? Are we aware that we are fragmented? - the family, the nation, the ideals and 'what is', the suppressions, the controls, the business man, the artist, the military - you follow? - the church and so on, division - outwardly the nationalities, linguistically, and inwardly all these broken up entities that we are - are we aware of it, first? Come on, sir.
Q: Yes, I see this.
K: You see it. Now just a minute. How do you see it? Let's go into it - please, if you are serious, let's go into it step by step. When you say, 'I see it' - what do you mean by that word 'seeing'? Is it an intellectual concept?
K: Go slowly sir. I am not saying - we are enquiring. Is it an intellectual concept, an idea which you accept and you say, 'I see the idea, I see the concept', 'I understand verbally what you mean', which is intellectually, but that is not seeing, that is only accepting the words. When you say, 'I see', it must be actual, it must be as actual as I see you sitting there and me sitting here, otherwise it is just an idea and therefore of no value. So when you say, 'I see I am fragmented', we must be very careful in the usage of that word. When I am hungry, I don't see I am hungry, I am hungry. So in the same way, am I aware that I am fragmented?
Q: Only in the moment of a challenge.
K: All right, only in the moment of a challenge. We are challenging now. If the challenge is strong enough, if the challenge is important enough and if the challenge is urgent, a shock to you, then do you see it? Not as an idea, not as a concept, not as something somebody has told you, but actually you see it.
Q: The moment that you are seeing it, it does not exist.
K: Wait sir, wait, we'll come to it, go step by step.
K: You're saying: is it an idea? Please, this is really quite important - if you would give a little attention without answering me immediately. Which is, I have heard you say I am fragmented. What you say sounds reasonable, sounds true and I apply that to myself because I see the truth of what you are saying, so I say, 'Yes, I am fragmented', but I don't see it myself. Right? So is it a discovery for myself that I am fragmented? A discovery - you understand? Something which I have found, or I have found it because you have told me, then it becomes an idea.
Q: I don’t quite understand the word ‘fragmented’. Could you express it another way?
K: Broken up, contradictory, I say one thing and mean something else. I think I have an ideal and act the opposite, I say, 'I must be peaceful' and I am boiling with violence. I say, 'I must be charitable' and I am tight-fisted - whatever you like. So am I aware that I am contradictory in myself?
Q: No, but you are aware of a kind of an alienation, a pain inside oneself, that is all.
K: Yes, that is the same thing.
Sir, take an ideal which most people have, which is not 'what is', is it? 'What is', is entirely different from the ideal. Right? Isn't that so?
Q: Do we call them ideals when we cannot see?
K: No madam. Look, I have an ideal that eventually we will all be brotherly, and in the meantime I am hating you. The ideal is over there, the fact is, I dislike, I hate. Right? So what is important, the ideal or 'what is'? Come on sir. Obviously 'what is'. So why do we have ideals?
Q: I have given them up.
K: Good! Sir, don't Please sir, it is one of the most difficult things to face actually 'what is' without any distortion of the ideal: either the ideal which I have experienced in the past, which has established itself in my brain as memory, which says, 'I must not', and therefore I am not facing the fact. No, this is really a very complex problem if you want to go into it very seriously. Which is, the division between the ideal and 'what is'. The ideal may be in the future, or the ideal has been in the past, which I have forgotten, which has established itself in my unconscious and acts, or prevents the perception of 'what is'. So when you understand this, this contradiction, and you say, 'How is the mind to be free of contradiction totally?' - that is the real issue, not the observer and the observed, which we will come to later, or the perceiver and the perceived, but this quality of a mind in which there is contradiction. So I ask myself: why does contradiction exist? One of the factors is ideals, obviously. The other factor is measurement.
Q: If I am experiencing pain and I say, ‘I don’t like this’...
K: Quite, the same thing sir. We said, ideals, which is 'I don't like it', 'I must not', 'I must be', or comparison. Right? Which is measurement. As long as I am measuring myself, comparing myself with you who are more intelligent, bright and all the rest of it, there must be contradiction, from 'what is' and 'what I should be' - no? Oh, come on sirs! So can the mind be free of all comparison?
Q: Isn’t that an ideal?
K: No sir, no. No. I have explained. We asked: why does this division exist in the human mind? We say one of the factors for its existence is an ideal, either in the future, or deeply embedded in the unconscious. And one of the factors of this contradiction is comparison, measurement. When I compare myself with you, you are important, not what is a fact. Right? When you compare in a school one boy against another boy, you are sacrificing, you are destroying B who is not so clever as A. Right? These are all simple factors! So that is one of the reasons why this division exists. This division exists also because we are educated in this. You are always comparing, in the business world, in the artistic world, in the world of psychology and in the world of religious organisations, there is the priest, the archbishop, bishop, you know - the racket of it all! Right?
So does this contradiction exist in me? Because as long as there is contradiction I am in conflict. Contradiction means division, division between the perceiver and the perceived. Now having heard this, is it a fact to you? Which means can you put aside completely every form of ideal - both conscious ideals of which you are aware, and the unconscious, so that you are only facing every minute 'what is'? This is an extremely serious thing to do this, because then you have no illusion, then you are tremendously honest. Right? Because you admit only the fact. If I lie, I lie - you follow? If I am jealous, that is the fact. Not rationalise it, condemn it, or justify it. So when we see the fact you have tremendous energy to go beyond it. I wonder if you see this. Because I'm getting
Q: The thing is how we can see the fact.
K: Yes sir. You can't see the fact.
Q: The way you put the question for example, immediately my mind uses thought to discover what you are saying.
K: Yes, I understand, sir. It is not what I am saying. As I said sir, it is not important what the speaker is saying. What is important is to use the speaker to find out if what he is saying is false or real, if what he is saying is actual, which is yourself, what is actually going on within you.
Q: So we use you as a mirror.
K: Right, in a way, right, as a mirror, reflection - look at it.
Q: Is it only when we stop striving to become...
K: No madam, that is a different question, please listen to what I have said. Are you aware that in you there is this contradiction brought about by ideals, by comparison, by wanting to be something, are you aware of this, as something actual, as you are aware of pain? If you are not, why?
Q: No, I am not aware of this as a fact.
K: No, do please listen. The gentleman says, 'No, I am not aware of this as a fact' - don't you hear? Is it you are not paying attention? Is it because you don't see the danger of it?
Q: You are afraid of the effect.
K: You are afraid what would happen if you stop comparing yourself with somebody else?
Q: We don’t see the danger.
K: Look, why don't you see the danger?
Q: Could it be that we are dull?
K: Wait, wait. Now, you say, could it be we are dull? Now just look at it, just listen to this. How do you know you are dull? No. How do you know you are dull? You only know you are dull because you are comparing yourself with somebody else.
Q: No, because I can’t understand you.
K: Wait. Therefore say, 'I am not dull', don't say, 'I am dull', only 'I don't understand', which is entirely different. When you say, 'I am dull', you say it because you compare yourself with somebody who is clever, who is bright, who is intelligent and you say, 'My goodness, how dull I am'. We are not talking of dullness, we are talking about a mind that says, 'I don't see the danger, I don't understand why contradiction isn't all right, I have lived with it for the last fifty, twenty, ten years and what is wrong with it?'
Q: Part of the difficulty is that at one level it is all right, and it is very difficult to switch that off when one is looking at something at a deeper level.
K: Yes. Good point. At one level, you say, comparison, measurement is necessary, obviously. When I am buying a house I must compare, when I am choosing between two cars I have to compare, and so on. And this process of comparison is carried over psychologically to a deeper level. So the question is: why don't we carry this through, why don't we see where it is necessary and there end it? Why carry it in further? You understand my question?
Q: Doesn’t it help if we see that our psychological reactions which constitute ‘what is’ are mechanical?
K: Ah, no sir. No. Now look, look, they are not mechanical. May I go on with this? I compare myself with somebody and in this comparison, measurement, inevitably contradiction comes. Right? Because I don't know what I am, but I am comparing myself with you, which means I must be like you, or go beyond you. So I have created a contradiction in me. That is a fact. So I say to myself, 'Why do I compare, let me see if I can put aside comparison' - comparison, measurement is necessary at one level. Right? We are not discussing that level. Let me see if I can put aside comparison. Why do I want to put it aside? What is the motive behind my desire not to compare? Is it to be myself? Right? Am I prepared to face myself, whatever it is - you are following all this? Which means I take facts only, whatever is me I am going to take it - fact. Therefore - listen to this - in comparing myself with you who are cleverer, brighter, nobler, I am wasting the energy. Right? Now I have energy because I don't waste it through comparison, I have energy to observe 'what is', whatever that is. Now what am I? I am one of the habits which is comparison. I don't know if you see this. Do you see this? I have removed one habit - right? - which is comparison, and I have also put aside ideals, conscious as well as unconscious. So I have energy now to face whatever it is, which is me. Are you following all this? Are we meeting with each other? Now, I have got energy. What, sir?
Q: I am not clear about the levels, material and psychological.
K: No, we have said that sir. I have to choose, measure, compare between two materials when I buy a pair of trousers, I have to compare, measure when I am buying a house; I have to compare, measure when I am buying a car. (laughs) Right? Now the same habit I carry through psychologically. In the field of psychology, which is myself, I say I am measuring myself with you who are bright. And I say to myself, 'Why do I do this? Is this a habit, is it a part of my education, part of the culture, the society I live in?' If it is, it is rubbish, I won't measure myself. I want to find out. Oh, come on sir. Is that clear so far?
So I have got energy now. You understand sir? I wasted that energy in comparing.
Q: Well I don’t know what I am unless I compare myself with somebody.
K: I am going to find out sir, what am I? If I don't compare myself with you, who are a saint, who are the chief executive, who are the archbishop or whatever it is, a saint, your guru, or whatever, if I don't compare myself with you, what am I? I don't know. Right? Isn't that a fact? I only knew myself in comparison with you. Right? In comparing myself with you I have said, 'How dreadfully dull I am'. Right? If I don't compare with you, am I dull? I don't know. Come on sirs.
Q: Are you saying that if we go into comparison carefully without comparison, we shall get rid of one of the fragments of our fragmentation?
K: That's right sir. Wait, wait careful now. Are you going to get rid of fragments one by one? That will take a long time, won't it?
Q: I don’t know.
K: Right, right. You don't know. I have got many fragments: I am jealous, envious, ambitious, greedy, violent, occasionally happy, suffering, believe in god, or not believe in god - these are my various fragments. Am I going to put them away one by one?
Q: That would take too long.
K: Therefore there must be a different way of looking at all this.
Q: It seems that when we look we see the habit of comparison. I say that I see that I am comparing myself with another, perhaps that comparison will come to an end and I don’t know what I am and I look. But it seems that there is some difficulty, in the act of looking there is a distortion.
K: That's right.
Q: At that moment it seems as if one fragment of the mind is looking at the rest of the mind...
K: That's right?
Q: ...so the fragment that looks is a loaded fragment, it is senseless, it cannot see that that fragment is more important than the other fragment.
K: Why does the mind give to one fragment greater importance than to the other fragments? You have understood? You have understood my question sir? Oh my Lord! Are we travelling together, or we are going somewhere else? The mind has given to one fragment greater importance, it is the judge - why? Why has that fragment assumed greater importance over other fragments, though it is also a fragment - you understand? - why? You are all so puzzled, aren't you?
Q: It gives oneself a sense of permanence.
K: Which is what? Go ahead sir.
Q: Well, I am here now so I must be here tomorrow.
K: Which is, what he is saying, it gives a permanency.
K: Wait, wait. One fragment has assumed greater permanency than the other fragments. That fragment has a greater sense of security, greater sense of certainty, greater sense of clarity - why?
K: Do look at it before you answer it sir. Take the question in first.
Q: It has a greater emotional power behind it.
K: A greater emotional power at that moment to hold that thing as permanent.
Q: We always want to feel that the entity that looks is something, and we are not prepared to face the possibility that it is nothing.
K: You are going to find out sir, you're going to find out in a minute.
Q: It begins to measure again.
K: Yes sir. So look at it.
Q: Without the observer sir.
K: That's right sir. No, it is a marvellous thing, sir, if you go step by step into it, you will see it yourself. That brings total freedom from fragmentation, you will see it in a minute. Why does one fragment assume the power or prestige over the other fragments? Is it part of our education? Because intellectually we are terribly cultivated. To us the intellect is extraordinarily important and we say, 'Oh, well he is not so bright, you know, he is rather dull'. But the man who is very bright we say, 'What an extraordinary brain he has got!' Have you noticed this? The intellectual capacity has been cultivated. To us the intellect has become a tremendous thing. And the intellect is different from emotion, the intellect has power to argue, to discuss, to create, to build, and the emotion becomes rather sentimental, vague, unreal, therefore words become extraordinarily important, which is part of the intellectual playthings.
So is it - go step by step - is it that we are educated to give to one fragment, the soul - you understand? - the soul or the body greater importance? We are educated in this. To us the artist has greater value than the business man, the musician is much more important than the cook. You follow? Is it that our whole education emphasises one fragment?
Q: I think sir that you talk about education as if it were something out there, that was imposed upon us. Whereas I really feel that we are willing to be educated in this particular way. There is a kind of social contract among all the selves that this part of us will be pre-eminent.
K: Yes sir. So you are saying our education is not over there, here, it is here. And part of our education is to find out now how to learn to look at things differently.
Q: But we can’t, because we are not educated, we are indoctrinated.
K: That's right sir, that's perfectly right. We are indoctrinated by the church, by the society, by the culture we live in. And one of the indoctrinations is, that there is an entity which is far superior than the other fragments, which is will. Right? A man of character, a man of will, he will stand up against anything - you follow? - the hero.
So can the mind be without the perceiver, who is the superior entity - right, you understand this? - who is the past, can the mind observe 'what is' without the superior entity? The superior entity is the image which society has built - the Establishment. Right? (laughs) So can the mind observe without the observer, the perceiver, which is the past? And when it is observing with the eyes of the past then it is wasting energy, therefore it cannot face 'what is'. You've got it? So where there is no comparison, no ideal, no superior entity which guides, which dominates, which has will to say, 'I will' and 'I will not', which are all factors of division and therefore conflict. When you see this as you feel pain, when you feel this intensely everything drops. Now does this take place as we are sitting here and listening? Or you are not completely paying attention, you are only half listening and therefore half learning and therefore not learning at all. (laughs) Come on, sirs.
Q: There is nothing left to do.
K: There is nothing left to do?
Q: ‘I will’ and ‘I will not’ – if you abandon that there is nothing left to do.
K: No madam, I don't abandon it. I see the truth of all this and therefore when I see something as true, then the false goes.
Q: It can be so much more subtle though than the sort of description of will which says ‘I see’ or ‘I don’t see’.
K: Of course, much more subtle.
Q: What I want to ask you is: is it true to say that as long as there is any conception of looking, or watching, one is still caught in this fragmentation.
K: Of course. As long as there any conceptual observation...
Q: ...that I am looking.
K: Yes. Any conceptual, verbal, intellectual perception - there is fragmentation, obviously.
Q: Even the shadow.
Q: Don’t we now come to face the problem of fear in this question of will?
K: We don't listen or learn because of fear? You know why do we take so long to learn about something like this which is so clear, which is so simple, which gives you such a tremendous practical way of life and gives you tremendous energy? Why do we refuse all this?
Q: It’s because I’m used to that kind of thinking.
K: But I'm saying, sir, that kind of thinking is all right at one level but at the other psychological level it has no value at all. Why don't you learn that? Why do you keep on repeating it? Why don't you say, 'Yes, let me learn, I don't know this, you say I am going to learn a new language, a new way of looking, let me learn' - you don't do that.
Q: Isn’t that a fragmentation?
K: Of course sir, that is the what we are saying, it is part of fragmentation.
Q: But I mean separating the material life and the...
K: No. Sir, I am not separating. You see, it is not separation. The two must go together. I have to choose between two materials, I have to choose between two cars, between two houses, between the kind of pen I will use; and also at the same time can the mind be free of comparison - the two moving together?
Q: In other words what you are saying is that at different times...
K: Ah, no, no. Not one time you compare and another time you do not compare. Oh Lord! Sir, please see it is not a question of time. When you choose a tie you compare, don't you? And when you see comparison breeds conflict within you and outside of you, what will you do? Keep them in watertight compartments? Or let both of them live together harmoniously? You have got it?
Q: In choosing between two cars I am bound to end up in some sort of fragmentation.
K: No, not necessarily. He says when I compare two cars I am bound to be psychologically comparing.
K: No, sir. First get the idea, get the feeling that you are always comparing. Right? And see the fact that comparison is a distorting factor in life. Right? See that fact, only that. Then we will discuss when comparison should exist and all the rest. Come on sir, this is...
Q: It is rather like searching for truth in a lot of nonsense really.
Q: Your concept is so obvious and so simple.
K: Your concept is so obvious and so simple - is it a concept? (laughs) I have no concept. For god's sake, let's move away from that! I have a horror of concepts because it has done so much mischief in the world - the Arab concept - you understand sir? - the whole of the Arabian world is anti everything else, anti Israel and all the Jews and so on. And the Hindus have a concept, which is an idea, a Hindu is a concept, is against Muslim - you know. So can the mind live without concepts? Therefore free to live. When you have concepts you are not living, you are living in an idea. Oh come on sir, this so simple.
Q: So we mustn’t get a concept of what you mean?
K: No sir. Learning is not a concept. To learn what it is to have about the ending of thought is not a concept, you are learning.
Q: I didn’t imply that.
K: Oh, I beg your pardon.
Q: I said that to live without a concept, one has a concept of living without a concept.
K: Then you are playing with words.
Q: Then it becomes a habit.
K: Of course, of course sir.
Q: Could you continue with what you mentioned before: that we are only half listening.
K: Yes. Sir, look, I want to learn a language. What is necessary to learn a language? First of all I don't know the meaning of the foreign words, French words, or Latin or Russian words. So I am curious, I must give time to it, I must be patient, I must have the ear to listen to the sound as it is pronounced by the native of that language. I must listen and I must look at the word printed on a page. Right? I must give attention to it. If I say, 'Well, I'm tired today I won't listen but I must listen' - there is conflict - you understand? Whereas if you say, I want to listen, I want to find out, I want to learn, that requires attention, that requires passion, that requires energy. If you haven't got it you say, 'Well, I'm not interested; I don't want to learn'. Why do you sit here then? Such a waste of time!
Q: In learning there is no sense of extension...
K: That's right sir. In learning there is no extension of the 'me'. I learn, how can you bring the 'me' into it?
So let's come back. Which is: we began by asking why the human mind is fragmented. Is it the culture, the society, the religion, the various beliefs, dogmas, ideals that have brought about this division in ourselves, which is education? Is it that we are always comparing ourselves with somebody? He has got a beautiful face, he has got a lovely sense of beauty, he has got very great intellectual capacity - we are always comparing, comparing. Therefore we destroy ourselves and put the other on a pedestal, which brings about a fragmentation. Can the mind live without comparison? Just try it sir, learn about it, and not make it a formula.
Q: It’s all fragments until you put out the ideals, then you see the violence in yourself.
K: If you see the violence in yourself, you're asking, can
Q: It is frightening to live without ideals.
K: Now wait a minute. You see violence in yourself and to have no ideal is very frightening. Then, which means, the ideal is an escape from your violence. Right? Then you are not frightened if you can escape from violence through an ideal, you are not frightened. So ideals act as an escape from 'what is'.
Q: To be vulnerable.
K: That's vulnerable. Now I want to find out - please listen to this - I want to find out whether I can face violence as it is without any ideal. I want to learn. I see, I have learnt what ideals do, they offer an escape from the fact of violence, so I say, 'I want to resolve completely violence, so I won't escape through ideals'. Now I am faced with violence in myself. Right? Now is that violence a word? Wait sir, wait, don't say 'No', let's go into it step by step. Is it a word to which I have become so accustomed that I say, 'I am violent' - I use the word before I have the feeling. You are following? Does the word encourage the feeling of violence? Look at it, please look at it. Why do I use that word violence? Because I have had that feeling before and have used that word, and that word is convenient to identify the past with the present - you are following all this? So I am using the word as an identity, as a remembrance of an experience of violence which I have had and so use that word now. So what takes place when I use the word and identify that present experience with the past, what takes place? I strengthen that violence - no? So can I observe that feeling without the word? And if I don't use that word and identify that feeling with the past, does the feeling exist?
Q: I hit somebody then.
K: Wait. No please, you don't hit somebody. Just listen. I am violent, angry and I say, 'I am angry'. When I am learning I say, 'Why do I use that word anger?' Why do I use words all the time with regard to certain feelings, why? Is it because I don't know what to do with the feeling, I don't know how to go beyond it, therefore I resort to the past and so thereby strengthen the feeling? You are following all this? Come on, sir. So can I, can the mind, when this feeling of violence arises, not use any word at all? If I don't use the word, and if the past doesn't project itself on the present, does that feeling of violence exist at all? I am learning, you understand? I am not saying that feeling should exist, should not exist. I am learning.
Q: The mood exists, because it is this we become aware of, the comes later
K: Yes, that's right, that's right. So can you observe your violence without the label?
Q: What if the mood leads to action before you have awareness?
K: If the mood leads to action before awareness, what am I to do? If the mood leads to action before awareness takes place what am I to do? Why need you ask me? That is what you generally do. You write off a letter, or hit somebody, or use a word and so on and so on.
Q: I think I saw something when you were talking. I feel violent, then half a second later I say it is violence, I put it off into a category.
K: That's right.
Q: Which creates the opposite category of non-violence. And these two categories in my mind have to necessarily be in conflict, have to be violent. But the idea of non-violence is contradictory, it creates the idea of violence.
K: Quite right sir. Therefore we are only saying, freedom from violence, not becoming free from violence in order to be non-violent. Freedom from violence.
Sir, what we have said is very simple. What is the difficulty? Is it that you don't listen? Is it that you are not paying attention to what is being said? Is it that you want to keep your violence, put garlands round it?
K: 'One of our difficulties is that attention is devoured by a process. Then awareness becomes a process, mechanical'. Now why does the mind become mechanical? We have made our life mechanical. Right? Sex, relationship, habit is mechanical, the way of our thinking, which is comparison, ideals, is mechanical. Why does the mind become so easily mechanical, a process that goes on, why? Having - listen to it, sir - a mechanical habit makes life easier, doesn't it? So the mind is seeking an easy way of living. Right? I believe in god - finished. You follow? Believe in god, believe in god, carry on. Or I say, 'I am an Englishman' or a Dutchman or god knows what else, that is a mechanical habit, that is the easiest way of living. Which means what? The mind is seeking security - no?
K: Conformity, of course. Conformity, security. Because when I conform with the rest of the world I am perfectly safe. So the mind is seeking security through conformity, through habit, through processes, through continual assertion of something totally unreal, because essentially it wants to be secure. Right?
Q: Isn’t this related to what went just before?
K: Right, sir, it is.
Q: The force of the social system has a most powerful influence on the individual and generally we feel that it is much easier to float with the river than battle against the tide.
K: Right sir. Now, please listen. We are asking, why don't we learn? Is it the new learning may be very disturbing, it may change the whole pattern of our existence? Therefore we are frightened, therefore we say, 'Please make that new way of living a habit', 'Tell me how to live in habit in the new way'. And you tell me, 'Sir, sorry, you can't make the habit of a new way, you have to learn it, you have to keep moving'. And that is what is taking place. You won't listen because of habit. And we say that way of living is the most disastrous way of living. Look where you are, what it has done: wars, misery, confusion - you know what is happening in the world. And you say, 'It is all right it is only happening in Munich, not here' - you follow? My house isn't burning, somebody else's house is burning. So you say, 'Please leave me in my habits'. Or 'Please introduce me to a new habit, but make it a habit, so that it will be completely secure'. So you are seeking security, and quite rightly too because the brain cannot function without complete security. Right?
Q: I don’t understand.
K: I have just said sir, if you had no house, no home, no shelter and no food, the brain deteriorates. So it must have shelter, food, clothing, of any kind, even a little room - you follow? - it must have, so that it feels secure, like a child. You must feel secure otherwise everything goes wrong for the poor child. Broken families and all that takes place and the child goes to pieces. So the brain must have security, but it has sought security in things that are not secure. It has sought security in god, which is an idea, it is not a reality. In the name of god probably Christians have killed more people than anybody else. Right?
Q: Sir, dismissing those ridiculous beliefs in politicians, in god, in all those ideals, surely people here can see that it is absolutely ridiculous to believe in all that nonsense. So my question is: how can I if my brain needs security, how can I provide it when the very activities are destructive?
K: I'll show it to you. If the brain sees those factors are destructive, what has taken place in the brain? What has given to the brain the capacity to see all those things are false? Go on sir, answer it. Wait. Watch it sir, don't use words yet. The brain has seen, the mind has seen god, nationalities, religious divisions, are disastrous for human relationship, what is the capacity that makes the brain see that? What is that capacity, sir?
K: What is that capacity you have, that says, 'That is silly'?
Q: It is just a directness.
K: Is it not intelligence? Of course it is. When you say, 'It is stupid to be a nationalist, stupid to belong to any organised religion' - it is your intelligence says that it is stupid. Therefore in intelligence is security. Wait, you are not listening!
Q: But it will also tell me that to be a business man you must exploit people.
K: Ah, no, no, No, it won't tell you. It won't tell you. If your intelligence says, that is stupid, your intelligence also says, we must have money, we must have better - you follow? Let intelligence operate not your idea of intelligence.
Q: I think that is baffling, that last one, if you don’t mind me saying so.
K: What sir? (laughter)
Q: This question of security, the intelligence says...
K: Ah, no. that's not Is that intelligence? Now wait a minute, sir. Go into it. Is that intelligence? I will be a better business man, I will have more money, I will cheat, I will do everything - is that intelligence?
Q: It is the opposite.
K: Why do you say it is the opposite? What tells you? Sir, listen to it - what tells you it is the opposite?
Q: I can see it is destructive.
K: What makes you see it?
Q: It just is. I look at it simply and I see it.
K: That's right sir. So you see we have sought security in things which are not intelligent. Right? And we are learning to seek security in intelligence and let that intelligence operate. That intelligence is not yours or mine, it isn't the communist, or the Catholic, it belongs to nobody, it is intelligence. When that intelligence operates, in that action there is security. Got it sir?
Q: So education is contrary to what you have just said.
K: That's right sir. That is just it.
Q: What we have called intelligence, what we were trying to look on as intelligence is unintelligence.
K: That's right sir.
Q: So we are standing on our heads.
K: Ah no, we have been standing on our heads, now we are standing on our feet. (laughter)
Q: It’s like when you think things for yourself, understand for yourself, people, especially when you are young, people say you are being selfish.
K: Ah, no, no, no. What were you going to say sir?
Q: There is one question that worries me. If we come here to listen to you sincerely, lecture after lecture, but go away and can’t put this into practice – what is wrong?
K: Sir, I'll tell you what is wrong. Don't put anything into practice. The moment you put it into practice it becomes mechanical. But if you see the facts of it - you understand? - if you see the truth of it, it acts.
Q: That is what I mean, we don’t see it, otherwise...
K: That's right sir, why don't you see it? Is it that you are not listening properly? Is it that you are frightened? Is it that you have not enough energy to listen? Is it that you don't see the world and everything collapsing, burning - you follow? - you don't see it, you don't feel it, it is not in your blood?
Q: We might be just too far gone.
K: Ah. (laughter) Yes, we might be too far gone. Our brains have gone to pieces, that might be true.
Q: I don’t know about other people here, but I’m not too far gone. I can see that clearly the world is collapsing, there is terrible destruction, and people are fighting with each other in various ways and I ask myself where do I come into this, how do I fit in? I obviously can’t just provide for myself, it is meaningless for me to provide for myself.
K: No, sirs, just listen to this. Just listen to it. The world is fighting. Right? Killing each other. There are the Catholics, Protestants, Communists, Hindus, Muslims - you follow? - appalling things are going on. My guru is better than your guru. Right? All that kind of thing is going on. What is my relationship to all that? Right? I think - not think - I see all that is most destructive, which is, my intelligence says it is destructive. Now what is that intelligence to do and what is its relationship to all that is taking place? Right? What is the relationship? Careful. Look at it carefully sir. What is the relationship of that intelligence to a world that is non-intelligent, which is insane?
Q: There is no relationship.
K: Therefore, wait. No relationship. Right? How can sanity have relationship with insanity? No, it can't. Therefore what will you do? You must do, you must act, you must live, what will you do? What will that intelligence do?
Q: Act the same.
K: Wait. Do watch, put your See it sir.
Q: I don’t know.
K: Why do you say I don't know?
Q: Because I find myself here in this tent examining this question, my whole being is fixed on this question of what will I do. I see clearly destruction.
K: I understand, what will you do? I'll show you sir. Go into it, take time, look at it. What will you do? You say intelligence is sanity. They are living unintelligently therefore insanely. And you say sanity has no relationship with insanity. Right? Then what will sanity do?
K: Madam, are you listening to the question he has asked? The question he has asked is: what am I, who have seen the unintelligent world as it is, the insanity that is going on, intelligence says, I am finished with that, I have no relationship with it. He has asked that question and we are asking, what is that intelligence to do? Because it must act, it can't say, 'There is tremendous intelligence' - it must act. Go slowly sir. Are you acting, or intelligence is acting? If you are acting, you belong to that. Listen sir. If you say, well what am I to do?, then you are putting a wrong question. What is the action of intelligence, is quite a different question. You don't say, what am I to do. Right? If you say, what am I to do, you are still playing with insanity. I wonder if that is clear.
Q: Is intelligence different from me?
K: Of course, for god's sake, we have moved away from that altogether.
Q: Are you saying, how do I act intelligently, is this what I should have said?
K: No, on the contrary. I am saying, what is the act of intelligence which has discovered that the world is insane? Right? Do you see the difference sir? What is intelligence to do?
Q: It is choiceless.
K: Do listen sir. See what we have discovered. If you say, what am I to do with intelligence, then you belong to a group of people who use intelligence unintelligently - you get it? Whereas if you say, what will that intelligence do? Right? How is that intelligence to act? Why do you even ask that question? Why do you ask that question? Because you are not sure of your intelligence. Do look at it. You are not sure of that intelligence. If there is that intelligence it will act: but if you are not sure of that intelligence then you ask the question: how will that intelligence act?
Q: In other words we are so egotistic that we think this intelligence cannot act without us.
K: Yes, that is right sir. That is right sir. You have got it sir? So look what happens. Quite right, sir. There is the responsibility of intelligence, intelligence is responsible to act, intelligence has the responsibility of action. Right? When I say, I have the responsibility to use action, then I am playing, I am going to use intelligence in my corrupt way. Whereas intelligence operating has its own action. Now have you that intelligence, is there that intelligence operating in you? Clear - you follow? - not uncertain, not saying, I am not quite sure, I don't know if I have got it, I am a bit hot under the collar but I am not sure. Which means you don't follow anybody, no guru, no authority, no system. You follow sir? All that is involved in that intelligence. When there is that intelligence there is sanity. Right? Then a sane mind will act sanely. You don't have to ask, what am I to do. Got it? Right?