The action of total awareness
What is correct action in a disintegrating world?
1st Public Discussion, Brockwood Park
September 09, 1975
I am sorry the weather is like this.
This is a dialogue between two friends, talking over their problems, who are concerned with not only their own personal affairs, but also with what is happening in the world. Being serious, these two friends want to, or have the urge to transform themselves and see what they can do about the world and all the misery and confusion that is going on. So if we could this morning spend some time together having a friendly conversation, not trying to be clever or trying to oppose one opinion against another opinion or belief or conclusion, but together examine earnestly and deeply some of the problems that one has. And so communication becomes rather important. And any one question is not only personal but universal. So if that is understood then what shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner: The compilation of your biography has caused much confusion and quite a lot of questions. I have boiled them down to a few. May I at least hand them over to you?
Krishnamurti: Do you want to discuss the Biography, written by Mary Lutyens - do you want to go into that?
K: No. Thank god! (Laughter)
Q: Briefly and then finish with it.
Q: I would propose that you go into the question of correct and incorrect thinking as that is a problem. Both kinds of thought, or thinking processes are mechanical processes.
K: I see. Now wait a minute. Shall we discuss this? Do you want to talk over? Have many of you read the Biography? Some of you. I was just looking at it this morning. (Laughter) Most of it I have forgotten (laughter), and if you want to talk over the questions that Anneka Korndoffer has put, shall we do that briefly?
Basically the question is: what is the relationship between the present K and the former K? (Laughter) I should think very little. The whole question is - if you want to go into it very deeply - how was it that boy who was found there, 'discovered' as it was called, how was it that he was not conditioned at all from the beginning, though he was brought up among a very orthodox traditional Brahmin family with their superstitions, arrogance and extraordinary religious sense of morality and so on? Why wasn't he conditioned then? And also during all those periods of the Masters, Initiation and so on, so on, so on, so on - if you have read any of them - why wasn't he conditioned and what is the relationship between that person and the present person? Right? Are you really interested in all this?
K: I am not. The past is dead, buried and gone. And - I don't know how to tackle this (laughs). One of the questions is: do the Masters as they are explained, not only in the Theosophical world, but the Hindu tradition and the Tibetan tradition maintains that there is a Bodhisattva - do you understand all this or it's And that he manifests himself rarely and that is called in Sanskrit, 'Avatar', which means manifestation. And this boy was discovered and prepared for that manifestation. And he went through all kinds of things. And one question that may be asked: must others go through the same process? Isn't it? Christopher Columbus discovered America in sail boats, dangerous seas and so on. And must we go through all that to go to America? You understand my question? It is much simpler to go by air. (Laughter) That is one question.
What is relevant and irrelevant in all this is the whole structure in which he was brought up is totally irrelevant, and what is relevant is the present teachings, and nothing else. So if you are interested in wanting to find out the reality of the whole past - and I don't know why you should be interested in it - if you are and if the idea that the Bodhisattva - you know this is a very ancient tradition that there is a state of consciousness, let us put it that way, which is the essence of compassion. And when the world is in chaos that essence of compassion manifests itself. That is the whole idea behind the Avatar and behind the Bodhisattva. And there are various gradations in all that - Initiations, various Masters and so on. And also the idea that when he manifests all the others keep quiet. You understand? (Laughs) And he, that essence of compassion, has manifested at other times. So what is important in all this is, if one may talk about it briefly: can the mind passing through all kinds of experiences, either imagined or real - because truth has nothing to do with experience - one cannot possibly experience truth, it is there, you can't experience it - but going through all those various imagined or illusory or real states has not left the mind conditioned. The question is: can the mind be unconditioned always - not only in childhood and therefore gradually get rid of the conditioning, but start unconditioned? I wonder if you understand this question. That is the underlying problem or issue in these questions.
So as we say, all that is irrelevant. I do not know if you know anything about the ancient tradition of India and Tibet and therefore China and Japan at one time, that the awakening of certain energy, called Kundalini (laughs), if you are interested in all this. And there are now all over America, and in Europe, various groups trying to awaken their little energy called Kundalini. You have heard about all this? Haven't you? And there are all kinds of groups practising it. I saw one group on a television where a man is teaching them how to awaken Kundalini, that energy, and making all kinds of tricks and all kinds of words and gestures, which all become so utterly meaningless and absurd. And there is apparently such an awakening, which I won't go into because it is much too complex and probably is not necessary or relevant.
So I think I have answered this question, haven't I?
The other question which was put is: is there a non-mechanistic activity? Is there a movement - movement means time - is there a state of mind, active, which is not only not mechanical but not in the field of time? That is what the question raised involves. Do you want to discuss that, or something else?
Somebody also put a question on a paper which was sent to us: what does it mean to be aware? Is awareness different from attention? Is awareness to be practised systematically, or does it come about naturally? That is the question. Any other? If you like to talk about something
Q: Would you go into the question of what it is to find one’s true will?
K: Ah, finding out one's true will.
Q: Finding out true (inaudible)
K: True? Is it will? W-I-L-L.
K: That's it. That was his question, sir. What is one's true will.
Q: What is the difference between denial and suppression?
K: What is the difference between denial and suppression.
Q: I lose all my awareness when I am alone.
K: So can we talk over together awareness, begin with that and explore the whole thing, including the will, W-I-L-L (laughs), the will of one's own destiny, the destiny, the will in a certain direction? Is that what you mean sir? Don't you?
Q: Well I am not sure.
Q: What about earnestness and effort?
K: Earnestness and effort, yes. We are now discussing awareness. Does choice indicate freedom? Please this is a discussion. I choose to belong to this society or that society, to that cult, or to the other, to a particular religion or not, I choose a particular job - choice. Does choice indicate freedom? Or freedom denies choice? Please let us talk over together. This is not...
K: But we choose and we think because we have the capacity to choose that we have freedom. I chose between the Liberal Party and the Communist Party, or the Conservative Party. And in choosing I feel I am free. Or I choose one particular form of guru or another, and that gives me a feeling that I am free. So does choice lead to awareness?
K: Go slowly.
Q: Choice is the expression of conditioning, is it not?
K: That is what I want to find out.
Q: It seems to me one either reacts out of habit, or one responds without thinking.
K: We will come to that. We will go into what does it mean to respond without choice. We are used to choosing. That is our conditioning.
Q: Like and dislike.
K: All that. All that is implied in choice. I choose you as my friend, I deny my friendship to another and so on, so on, so on. I want to find out, one wants to find out if awareness includes choice. Or is awareness a state of mind, a state of observation in which there is no choice whatsoever? Is that possible? One is educated from childhood to choose, and that is our tradition, that is our habit, that is our mechanical, instinctive reaction. And we think because I choose there is freedom.
And what does awareness mean? To be aware. It implies, doesn't it, not only physiological sensitivity, physical sensory sensitivity, but also a sensitivity to my environment, to nature, sensitivity to other people's reactions, and sensitivity to my own reactions - not I am sensitive and to every other person I am not sensitive. That is not sensitivity.
So awareness implies, doesn't it, a total sensitivity - to colour, to nature, to all my reactions, how I respond to others - all that implies awareness, doesn't it? I am aware of this tent, the shape of it and so on, so on, so on. One is aware of nature, the world of nature, the trees, the beauty of trees, the silence of the trees, you know the shape and the beauty and the depth, and the solitude of trees. And one is aware also of one's relationship to others, intimate and not intimate. Whether in that awareness there is any kind of choice. That is a total awareness, not only neurologically, physiologically but psychologically, to everything around me: to the influences, to all the noise, and so on, so on. Is one so aware - not only to the beliefs of one's own but of others, the opinions, judgements, evaluations, the conclusions? All that is implied - otherwise one is not aware. And can you practise awareness? By going to a school, college, or going to a place where there is a guru who will teach me how to be aware, is that awareness? Which is, is sensitivity to be cultivated through practice? Come on, sirs.
Q: That is selfishness.
K: Yes, yes, that is unless there is total sensitivity, awareness merely then becomes concentration on oneself.
Q: Which excludes awareness.
K: Yes, that is right. So can we practice, please, follow, you know, there are so many schools, so many gurus, so many ashramas, retreats, where this thing is practised.
Q: When it is practised it is just the old trick again.
K: Of course, I mean, I want you to I mean this is so obvious. One goes to India, or to Japan to learn what it means to be aware. The Zen practice, you know all that. Or is awareness a movement of constant observation - not only what I feel, what I think, but also aware what other people are saying about me - if they say it in front of me, to listen, and to be aware of nature, of what is going on in the world? That is the total awareness. Obviously it can't be practised.
Q: It is a non-movement.
K: No, it is a movement in the sense, alive.
Q: It is a participation.
K: We'll come to Participation implies action. If there is action through choice, that is one kind of action. If there is an action of total awareness, that is a totally different kind of action, obviously. So is one so aware? Or we indulge in words of being aware? You understand? To be aware of the people around one, the colour, their attitudes, their walk, the way they eat, the way they think - you know, aware - without indulging in judgement.
Q: Has judgement something to do with motive? If you have a motive...
K: Of course. Motive comes into being when there is choice. That is implied. When I have a motive then the choice takes place. I choose you because I like you, or you flatter me, or you give me something or other. And the other doesn't, therefore there is choice and so on.
So is this possible, this sense of total awareness?
Q: Is there a degree of awareness?
K: Is there a degree of awareness. That is, is awareness a process of time?
Q: Can one man be more aware than another?
K: Why should I enquire if you are more aware than I am? Just a minute, let us go into it. Why this comparison? Is it not also part of our education, our social conditioning which says we must compare to progress? - compare one musician against another, one painter and so on, so on, so on. And we think by comparing we begin to understand. Comparing means measurement, which means time, thought, and is it possible to live without comparing at all? You understand? One is brought up, educated, in schools, colleges, and universities to compare oneself with A who is much cleverer than myself and try to reach his level. This constant measurement, this constant comparison, and therefore constant imitation, which is mechanical. So can we find out for ourselves whether it is possible to be totally sensitive and therefore aware?
Q: Can you know if you are totally aware or not?
K: Can you know if you are aware or not.
Q: Totally aware.
Q: Can we think our thoughts? Can we be aware of our awareness?
K: No. (Laughter) Can we be aware about our awareness?
Q: You can be aware when you are not aware.
K: No, do watch it in oneself. It becomes speculative, verbal, but when you are aware, do you know you are aware?
K: Find out! Test it madame, test it. Do you know when you are happy? The moment you are aware that you are happy it is no longer happiness.
Q: You know when you have got a pain. (Laughter)
K: Ah, wait! That is a different matter. When I have got pain I am aware that I have pain and I act, do something about it. But we are talking That is one part of being aware. I mean unless I am paralysed totally, then I am not aware that I have pain. Most people are, in other directions.
So we are asking ourselves, not asking somebody else to tell me I am aware, I am asking, one is asking oneself if there is that quality of awareness. Does one watch the sky - you follow? - the evening stars, the moon, , the birds, and people's reactions, you know, the whole of it? And what is the difference between that awareness and attention? In awareness is there a centre from which you are aware? You understand my question? When I say, I am aware, then from a centre I move, I respond to nature, from a centre I respond to my friends, to my wife, husband, whatever it is. Right? If there is a centre from which I respond - that centre being my prejudices, my conditioning, my desires, my fears and all the rest of it - then in that awareness is there a centre? You are following? So in attention there is no centre at all, obviously. Now please listen to this for two minutes. You are now listening to what is being said, and to what is being said you are giving total attention. That means you are not comparing, you do not say, I already know what you are going to say, or I have read what you have said, therefore I etc., etc. All that is gone, you are completely attentive and therefore there is no centre and that attention has no border. I don't know if you haven't noticed it.
So by being aware one discovers one responds from a centre, from a prejudice, from a conclusion, from a belief, from a conditioning, which is the centre. And from that centre you react, you respond. And when there is an awareness of that centre, that centre yields and in that there is a total attention. I wonder if you understand this! And this you cannot practise. That would be too childish, that becomes mechanical.
So we go to the next question, which is: is there an activity which is non-mechanistic? That means, is there a part of the brain which is non-mechanical. Do you want to go into this? No, no, please, this isn't a game (laughs). First of all one has to go into the question of what is a mechanical mind. Right?
Is the brain, which has evolved through millennia, is that totally mechanical? Or is there a part of the brain which is not mechanical, which has never been touched by the machine of evolution? I wonder if you see. Am I making
Q: What are you trying to say?
K: That we are going to discuss, sir, that's what we're going to discuss.
Part of this mechanical process is, functioning within the field of conditioning. That is, when I act according to a pattern - Catholic, Protestant, communist, Hindu, whatever it is - according to a pattern set by society, by influence, by my reading, and accept that pattern or a belief and so on, then that is part of the mechanical process. The other part of the mechanical process is, having had experiences of innumerable kinds which have left memories, and act according to those memories, that is mechanical - like a computer, which is purely mechanical, though now they are trying to prove it is not so mechanical. That is irrelevant for the moment.
Then mechanical action is, accepting tradition and following tradition. One of the aspects of that tradition is acceptance and obedience: to government, to priests, you know, obedience. And the mechanical part of the brain is following consciously or unconsciously a line set by thought as the goal and purpose. All that and more is mechanical. And we live that way.
Q: Is thought of itself mechanical?
K: Of course. That is the whole point.
K: We'll come to that in a moment, sir. Keep to that question, sir, don't Hold on to that question. So one has discovered for oneself, not told by others as then that becomes mechanical. If one discovers for oneself how mechanistic our thinking, our feeling, our attitudes, our opinions, all that, are, if one is aware of that, which means thought is invariably mechanistic - thought being the response of memory, experience, knowledge, which is the past. And responding according to that pattern of the past is mechanistic, which is thought. Right?
Q: All thought?
K: All thought, of course. Whether noble thought, ignoble thought, sexual thought or technological thought, it is all thought.
Q: Part of the great genius also?
K: Absolutely. Ah, wait, wait we must go into the question of what is a genius. No, we won't go into that yet.
Q: So if all thought is mechanical, the expression which you often use ‘clear thinking’ seems to be a contradiction.
K: No, no. Clear thinking is to see clearly, obviously, clear thinking is to think clearly, objectively, sanely, rationally, wholly.
Q: It is still thought.
K: It is still thought. Wait, of course it is.
Q: So what is the use of it? (Laughter)
K: What is the use of clear thought. If there was clear thought I wouldn't belong to any political party. I might create a global party (laughter), because obviously - that is another matter.
K: That's right, sir. To go into this requires very careful, hesitant - you know, one has to enquire into this - not say 'Yes, there is', or not. 'I have experienced a state where there is no mechanism' - that is all too silly. But to really enquire and find out you need a great deal of subtlety, great attentive quality to go step by step into it, not jump.
So we say most of our lives are mechanistic. The pursuit of pleasure is mechanistic. Right? But we are pursuing pleasure. Now how will I find out, or how will we find out if there is a part of the brain that is not conditioned? How will you find out? This is a very, very serious question - you understand? - it is not for sentimentalists, or romantic people, or emotional people, this requires very clear thinking. And when you think very clearly you see the limitation of thinking.
Q: Are we going to look very clearly at the barriers which interfere with an unconditioned mind?
K: We are trying to understand, or explore together the mechanistic mind first. Without understanding the totality of that, you can't find out the other. We have asked the question: is there a part of the brain, part of our total mind in which is included the brain, emotions, neurological responses, the total brain, is that completely mechanistic? And when I put that question to myself I might imagine that it is not, because I want the other, therefore I deceive myself. I pretend that I have got the other. So I must completely understand the movement of desire. I don't know. You follow all this? Not suppress it, because then it but understand it, have an insight into this - which means fear, time and all that we talked about the day before yesterday.
So we are now enquiring: is our total activity mechanistic? That means am I, or you, are we, or is one clinging to memories? - the Hitlerian memories and all that, the memories of various pleasurable and painful experiences, the memories of sexual fulfilment and the pleasures and so on, so on. That is, is one living in the past?
Q: Always I am.
K: Of course! So all that you are is the past, which is mechanistic. So knowledge is mechanistic. I wonder if you see this?
Q: Why is it so difficult to see this?
K: Why is it so difficult to see it. Because we are not aware of our inward responses, or aware of what actually is going on within oneself - not imagine what is going on, or speculate what is going on, or repeat what is going on because we have been told by somebody else, but actually being aware.
Q: Aren’t we guided to awareness by experience?
K: No. Now wait a minute. What do you mean by experience? The word itself means to go through - to go through, to finish, not retain. You have said something that hurts me. That has left a mark on the brain and when I meet you that memory responds. Obviously. And is it possible when you hurt me, say something cruel, violent, or justified, to observe it and not register it. You understand? Try it sir. You try it, test it out.
Q: It is very difficult because the memory has already been hurt sir, we never forget it.
K: That's it. Don't forget. Do go into this. From childhood we are hurt, which happens to everybody, in school, at home, in college, in university, the whole society is a process of hurting others. One has been hurt and one lives in that, consciously, or unconsciously. So there are two problems involved: the past hurt retained in the brain, and not to be hurt. That which has given you, and the memory of hurts, and never to be hurt. Now is that possible?
Q: If you are aware.
K: No, go into it sir, go into it. You will discover it for yourself and find out. That is, you have been hurt.
Q: The image of myself...
K: Go into it slowly. What is hurt? The image that you have built about yourself, that has been hurt. Why do you have an image about yourself? Because that is the tradition, part of our education, part of our social reactions. There is an image about myself and there is an image about you in relation to my image. So I have got half a dozen images and more. And that image about myself has been hurt. You call me a fool, and I shrink, and it has been hurt. Now how am I to dissolve that hurt and not be hurt in the future, tomorrow, or the next moment? You follow the question? There are two problems involved in this. One, I have been hurt and that creates a great deal of neurotic activity, resistance, self protection, fear, all that is involved in the past hurt; and also how not to be hurt any more. Right?
K: Go into it, sir. Look at it. You will see, find out. You have been hurt, haven't you - I am not talking to you, sir. You have been hurt, haven't you? And you resist, you are afraid of being hurt more. So you build a wall round yourself, isolate yourself, and the extreme form of that isolation is total withdrawal from all relationship. And you build a wall and you remain in that but you have to live, you have to act. So you are always acting from a centre that is hurt and therefore neurotically acting. Right? You can see all this. You can see this happening in the world, in oneself. And how are those hurts to be totally dissolved and not leave a mark, and also in the future not to be hurt at all? Right, the question is clear, is it?
Now how do you approach this question: how to dissolve the hurts and be concerned with that, or how not to be hurt at all? Which is the question you put to yourself? Put to yourself. Now which do you want answered? To dissolve all the hurts, or no more hurts. You understand? Which is it that comes to you naturally?
Q: No more hurts.
K: (Laughs) Don't guess. If you say 'I will find out if it is possible not to be hurt at all' - then you will have to solve the problem of past hurts, won't you? I don't know if you see that. But if you say, 'I will try to dissolve my past hurts', you are still living with hurts. I wonder if you see. Right? So if you see that: if it is possible to have no hurt, then you have solved the past hurts. Bene? Shall we go on? So the question is: is it possible not be hurt? Which means is it possible not to have an image about yourself?
Q: If we see that image is false...
K: Not false or true. Don't - you see you are already operating in the field of thought. So is it possible not to have an image at all about yourself, or about another, naturally? And if there is no image, isn't that true freedom? You see it? Let's go. We are doing it slowly.
Q: Sir, if what happens to you is of no importance to you, then it doesn’t matter, and it won’t affect you and it won’t hurt you. If you have managed to get rid of your self-importance...
K: Yes, sir. The gentleman says if you can get rid of your self importance, your arrogance, your vanity, your etc., etc., then there won't be hurt. But how am I to get rid of all that garbage which I have collected? (Laughter)
Q: I think you can get rid of it by being entirely aware of the relationship between yourself and your physical body and your thinking. How you control your physical body and...
K: I don't want to control anything! - my body, my mind, my emotions. That is the traditional, mechanistic response. Sorry! (Laughter)
Please go into this a little bit, you will see. First of all the idea of getting rid of an image implies there is an entity who is different from the image, and therefore he can then kick the image. But is the image different from the entity who says I must get rid of it? So they are both the same. Therefore there is no control. I wonder if you see that. Therefore when you see that you are no longer functioning mechanistically.
Q: Surely by destroying one image we are immediately building another one?
K: We are going to find out if it is possible to be free of all images, not only the present one but the future ones. Now why does the mind create an image about itself? Go on sirs. Why do I create an image about myself? I say I am a Christian, that is an image. I believe in the Saviour, in Christ, in all the rituals, you know, all that, why? Because that is my conditioning. Go to India and they say 'What are you talking about, Christ?' (Laughter) 'I have got my own gods, as good as yours, if not better'. So that is his conditioning. If I am born in Russia and educated there I say 'I believe in neither. The State is my god and Marx is the first prophet' and so on, so on, so on.
So the image formation is brought about through propaganda, conditioning, tradition. Right?
Q: Sir, is that related to the fact that out of fear one behaves in a certain way which is not natural for one to behave, and therefore one is not being oneself? And that is making the image that you are talking about.
K: The image is what we call oneself: I must express myself. I must fulfil myself - myself is the image according to the environment and culture in which I have been born. I believe there was a tribe in America, among the Red Indians where anybody who had an image about himself was killed, was liquidated. (Laughter) Because that led to ambition and all the rest of it. I wonder what would happen if they did it to all of us! (Laughter) It would be a lovely world, wouldn't it?
So: is it possible not to create images at all? That is, I know, I am aware that I have an image, brought about through culture, through propaganda, tradition, family, you follow, the whole pressure.
Q: We cling to the known.
K: That is the known, tradition is the known. And my mind is afraid to let that known go, the image go, because the moment it lets it go it might lose a profitable position in society, might lose status, might lose certain relationships and so on, so on, so it is frightened, and it holds to that image. The image is merely words, it has no reality. It is a series of words, a series of responses to those words, a series of beliefs which are words - I believe in Christ. Or in Krishna, or whatever they believe in in India, or Marx. They are just words ideologically clothed. And if I am not a slave to words then I begin to lose the image. I wonder if you see how deeply rooted words have become significant.
Q: If one is listening to what you say and realise that one has an image about oneself, and that there is a large discrepancy between the image one has of oneself and the ideal of freedom...
K: It is not an ideal.
Q: Freedom itself.
Q: Then knowing that there is a discrepancy can one think of freedom knowing that it is just an idea?
K: That is why sir - is freedom an abstraction, a word in abstraction, or a reality?
Q: It is free of relationship, is it not?
K: No sir, please, we are jumping from so many things. Let us go step by step. We began by asking whether there is any part of the brain, which means any part of our total entity, that is not conditioned. We said conditioning means the image forming - the image that gets hurt and the image that protects itself from being hurt. And we said there is only freedom, the actuality of that state, not the word, not the abstraction of that, but the actuality of that word when there is no image which is freedom. When I am not a Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Communist, Socialist - you follow? - I have no label, and therefore no label inside. I am a global politician - sorry! (Laughs) So.
Now is it possible not to have an image at all? And how does that come about?
Q: Isn’t it all to do with the activity...
K: No sir. Just look. Please, don't, we come to a point and go off to something else. I want to find out, one wants to find out whether it is possible to live in this world without a single image.
Q: When there is no observer there is nothing observed and yet one comes across something in this silence.
K: Madame, is this an actual fact that there is no observer in your life - not occasionally? Please, please, go slow - we go off into something. Is it possible to be free of the image that society, environment, culture, education has built in one? Because one is all that. Right? You are the result of your environment, of your culture, of your knowledge, of your education, of your technological job, of your pleasure, you are all that.
K: All that comes a little later, please.
Q: If you are aware of your conditioning does that free you?
K: Now are you actually, not theoretically or in abstraction, actually aware that you are conditioned this way, therefore you have got an image?
Q: If you don’t have the image then you don’t know what your place is.
K: If you have no image then you do not know what your place is. Wait, listen to that carefully. If you have no image, you have no place in the world. Which means if you have no image you are insecure - go step by step, please - that you are insecure. Now are you, having a place in the world, secure?
K: Be actual.
Q: Sir, when you see that the image that you have built, you think you are attached to, when you see that it is just a load of words...
K: So you are finding security in a word, and therefore it is not a security at all! You understand, sir? We have lived in words and made those words something fantastically real. So if you are seeking security, it is not in an image, it is not in your environment, in your culture. I want security, I must have security, that is essential - food, clothes, and shelter. I must have it, otherwise I can't function. Now that is denied totally when I belong to small groups. Right? When I say I am a German, or a Russian, or an Englishman, I deny complete security. That is, I deny security because the words, the labels have become important, not security. I wonder if you see. Right? We meet this? This is what is actually happening, the Arab and Israel, both want security. Right? And both are accepting words, and all the rest of it.
Now we come to the point: is it possible to live in this world, not go off into some fantastic realm of illusion, or monasteries and all the rest of it, live in this world without a single image and be totally secure?
K: I am going to we are going to go into this, madame, I'll show it to you!
K: All right then, you can have you have got your security, then hold on to your security. Please go with me. I'll show you that there is complete security, absolute security, not in images.
Q: To be totally aware every moment, then your conditioning does not exist.
K: Not, if you are aware. (Laughs) Are you aware that you have an image and that image has been formed by the culture, society and all the rest of it? Are you aware of that image? And you discover that image in relationship, don't you? How you react in relationship with each other. When you tell me something ugly and I get hurt, that is, the image is hurt. The image is me, carefully put together by words: I am a Christian, I believe in this, I do not believe in that, this is my opinion - you follow? Now we are asking ourselves whether it is possible to be free of image? That means sir - listen to it carefully - that means when you say something to me that is vulgar, hurting, at that moment to be totally aware of what you are saying and how I am responding. Totally aware, not partially - I like what you said about me, it is pleasant and I hold on to that, and what somebody else says which is unpleasant, I get hurt. But to be totally aware of both, the pleasurable image which I have and the unpleasurable image which has been put together. To be aware totally at the moment of the reaction to your insult or praise. At that moment you don't then form an image. There is no recording in the brain of the hurt, of the insult or the flattery, therefore there is no image. That requires tremendous attention at the moment. Which demands a great inward perception - you understand, sir? - which is only possible when you have looked at it, watched it - you follow? - worked. You don't just say, 'Well tell me all about it. I want to be comfortable.'
Q: Who watches all this?
K: Now who watches all this. If there is a watcher then the image is continuous. If there is no watcher there is no image. Obviously.
So: in that state of attention both the hurt and the flattery, or the pleasant things, are both observed, not reacted to. Both observed, and you can only observe when there is no observer, who is the past. It is the past observer that gets hurt. So I observe - not 'I', there is only observation when there is flattery and insult, then it is finished. And that is real freedom.
Now, follow it. In this world, if I have no image, as you say, I shall not be secure. One has found security in things, in a house, in a property, in a bank account, that is what we call security. And you have also, one has found security in belief. I believe - if I am a Catholic living in Italy - I believe in that. It is much safer to believe what ten thousand people believe. There I have a place. And when my belief is questioned I resist. And Protestantism grew out of that and so on, so on.
Now can there be a total awareness of all this? So that my mind is tremendously active. You understand? Not say, 'Well, I must be aware', 'I must learn how to be' - play games. It requires you are tremendously active, the brain is alive.
Then we can move from that to find out if there is in the brain a part that has not been conditioned at all, which is a part of the brain which is non-mechanistic. I am putting a false question, I don't know if you see that. Do see it quick No, no, do see it. Please just listen, two minutes. I am on fire, sorry, excuse me.
If there is no image which is mechanistic, and there is freedom from that image, then there is no part of the brain that has been conditioned. Full stop. (Laughs) You understand? Then my whole brain is unconditioned.
Q: It is on fire!
K: Yes, therefore it is non-mechanistic and that has got a totally different kind of energy. Not the mechanistic energy. Right? I wonder if you see this. Please don't make an abstraction of it because then it becomes words. But if you see this, that your brain has been conditioned through centuries, saying survival is only possible if you have an image which is created by the circle in which you live, and that circle gives you complete security. We have accepted that as tradition, and we live in that way. I am an Englishman - you follow? - I am better than anybody else, or a Frenchman, whatever it is. Now my brain is conditioned, I don't know whether it is whole or part, I only know that it is conditioned. There is no enquiry into the unconditioned state until the conditioning is non-existent. So my whole enquiry is to find out whether the mind can be unconditioned, not jump into the other because that is too silly. So I am conditioned by belief, by education, by the culture in which I have lived, by everything, and to be totally aware of that, not discard it, not suppress it, not control it, but to be totally aware of it. Then you will find if you have gone that far, there is security only in being nothing.
Q: What about images in relationship? Don’t belong to a community. I quite agree with you. You don’t want any psychological image but you must have a physical image for your physical survival. And even if you want to drop it you can’t because the other one puts it on you.
K: Sir, if I want to survive physically, if one wants to survive physically, what is preventing it? All the psychological barriers which man has created. Right? So remove all those psychological barriers, you have complete security.
Q: No, because the other one puts it on you, not yourself.
K: Nobody can put you into prison.
Q: They kill you.
K: Then they kill you, all right. (Laughter) Then you will find out how to meet death - not imagine what you are going to feel when you die, which is another image. Oh, I don't know if you see all this.
So nobody can put you psychologically into prison. You are already there. (Laughter) We are pointing out that it is only possible to be totally free of images, which is the result of our conditioning. And one of the questions about, in the biography is that whole point: how was one, that young boy, whatever he was, how was he not conditioned right through? I won't go into that because that is a very complex problem, I am not going into that. If one is aware of one's own conditioning then the whole thing becomes very simple. Then genius is something entirely different.
That leaves the question of what is creation - right, sir?
Quelle heure est il, midi? Une heure! I think we’ll better continue on Thursday because it is one o’clock. Sorry.