The word is you
What relationship has the human mind to the timeless?
1st Public Questions, Brockwood Park
September 04, 1973
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over this morning together? It is really not a discussion but a dialogue, conversation between two or more people: a conversation between people who are really serious, who are dedicated to the discovery of what freedom means, what authority means - you know the whole problem of existence, what is involved in it. I wish we could talk over these things together simply and very clearly. So what shall we what would you like to talk about?
Questioner: The nature of thought.
K: Nature of thought.
Q: I have a question for you. You talk about approaching this with a serious mind, and I’d like to ask you whether in attempting to discuss with you, in attempting to ask a question, or just a dialogue, there is on my part at least a kind of self flattery. Now with this self flattery there, just in participation, how can there be seriousness?
K: How can there be seriousness if one is flattering oneself in asking questions and talking things over.
Q: Despite all of this sincerity the self-flattery seems to be a mechanism.
K: It seems to be a mechanism, this flattering oneself. Perhaps we can go through that flattery too. Finish with it and get on with it.
K: What does it mean to observe without the observer.
Q: Sir, at the basis of all this there seems to be a word, at least a reality to which the word points, and it seems that between those two points it needs a certain quality of seriousness to do it, to want to do it. Now if one hasn’t got that quality of seriousness, if one hasn’t got that passion that you talk about, as I think most of us haven’t because we haven’t gone beyond the word, you know, is there any possibility of viewing this question from where we stand, in ourselves so that we will want to look and really will want to enquire deeply into these things.
K: Need I repeat that question? Right. Shall we talk first about the nature of thinking, which was first asked? Why is the mind caught in a verbal dilemma, verbal cage, and how can the mind be serious if it is merely functioning at the verbal level? Shall we discuss that? Would it interest you? Has it any value?
K: Don't say 'Yes' casually but let us...
He wanted to know what is the nature and the structure of thought, and whether thought can disentangle itself from the verbal network it has created for itself and functions so superficially, and cannot go very deeply. Would that cover this? Shall we discuss that; would that have some meaning?
Sir, first of all to discuss such a subject one has to go into the question: why does the mind shape or form words, symbols, images? Is it the very nature of thinking - we are asking, please I am not laying down anything - is it the nature of thought to fragment, to bring about a fragmentation between the observer and the observed, between the word and the non-word, between the action and the formula - you follow? - is it the nature of thought? Thought in itself must function in a formula, in a framework of words, images, knowledge. I do not know if you have ever realised, if we have ever realised that we always have a formula, a conclusion, a verbal conceit? You have seen probably on television, and other places, a whole group of children being trained, trained to conform to the pattern of that particular State, or that particular ideology, whether that ideology be Catholic, Communist, Hindu and so on and so on. And we are all trained in that, aren't we? Please, let's I am not giving a talk - I will do that on Saturday and Sunday. Now we are trying to talk over together as two friends who are really concerned about all this, and find out whether the mind must always function with formulas.
K: That's right, that is what we said the other day. It is so, isn't it? I see children, students, and I say they must do this, this, this.
Q: The lady said there was a difference between a concept derived from that tree, and a concept derived from an ideal that I have about something, because the ideal never has been, the tree is actually a fact.
K: Yes, that's right sir. Is that what she said? Why do we function with formulas?
K: Now, now, look at it this way, all right. As he said, look at that plant. Why do you form a verbal conclusion about that plant? Why can't you look at it non-verbally? Go slowly, we'll go into it very deeply a little later. Why can't I look at that plant without a formula, without giving it a name, a category, a formula, why can't I observe without all the movement of thought, words and emotions, all that popping in? Why can't I just observe?
Q: There is one thing, if you want to communicate with somebody else you have to have words.
K: Wait a minute! We'll come to that. Then I say to you, 'Look at the plant'. That is - whatever the name of that plant is. But can I observe without the word, the plant, the tree, the mountain, the river, the beauty of a tree and so on? Just observe.
Q: There’s the desire to grasp the plant in some way.
K: Or is it that we have so cultivated our memory, cultivated verbally this whole verbal structure, created by thought, that we look at everything through the screen of thought?
Q: Sir you are talking about habit.
K: That's partly it.
K: I know, please, I agree but
Q: Can you observe without being conscious that you really are observing?
K: Can you observe without being conscious that you are observing. Let's begin again slowly. We are going off.
The question is, we began: what is the nature and the structure of thought? Can the mind be free of this verbal structure, that was what you were saying, and not be caught in a series of words, formulas, repetitive memories. Right?
Q: That is not quite what I asked.
K: All right, put it your own way, sir.
Q: It was a step before that sir. In order to ask that question it demands a certain amount of seriousness in one already to want to enquire. That is part of enquiry what you ask. I want desperately to find out and that quality of passion is missing.
K: I see, I understand, I beg your pardon. How do we get - that is a different question, isn't it? - how do we have this passion for enquiry? How do we have this passion to find out? Let's begin with that, shall we?
K: I don't think there is an answer to that question: what brings about passion. What brings about passion? Let's begin with that shall we? Let's begin with that. What brings about passion in one?
Q: An unfulfilment
K: You are so quick to answer.
Q: I happen to have asked that question to myself.
K: Yes sir, we are asking it now. I am not passionate - not in the lustful sense - I haven't got the feeling, the energy, the passion, the vitality, the intensity to go into something very serious, I haven't got it, and I see that quality of passion, energy, vitality is necessary. Like a scientist, if he hasn't got this passion he is not a scientist. Now how does it come about? Shall we enquire into that?
K: At last! (Laughter). Now let's differentiate between passion and lust. That is clear, isn't it? We know that, so we can put that aside, shall we? All right.
Q: One inspires the other.
K: Look at it. You say that lust can inspire passion. Can it? Sensual desire, not only sexually, sensual desire to possess a good house, a good something or other - possessiveness, you understand? - lust, lusting after what - not only man, woman, lusting after property, power, position, prestige; that is entirely different surely from having intense passion. No?
Q: It is, yes.
K: I don't know! Sir, please. No, I don't want to enter into that. Please, sir. That becomes personal - let's leave that out. Let's leave that out, let's look at this. So, we are talking of passion, a sustained passion which has not a motive, which is not stimulated, which is not the outcome of something. Because if it is the outcome of something then it dies. I can lust after a house and if I get it, it is over and I may lust after something else. But passion isn't like that. Right? So how does it come about?
K: Look, the word 'passion' comes from the word 'sorrow'. The root meaning of passion is sorrow. And we all suffer, we all go through various categories of suffering, stages of suffering, but apparently that doesn't produce passion. Right?
K: Sometimes. Has it produced in you who have suffered - if you have suffered, I hope you haven't - if you have suffered has it produced passion?
K: Let us go not in me or in you
Q: Is it when there is no longer any attempt to escape from suffering?
Q: If you see a conflict and you want to investigate what is the essential nature of conflict is, don’t you have a motive then?
K: Sir, we are not discussing what is conflict and how to end conflict and so on. We are trying to find out why does one - the average person, you and I - why do we not have this passion?
Q: Even if I look at a scientist I am not at all sure that he doesn’t have, in a more higher way perhaps, lust.
K: He may have lust, for wanting to be famous. I am talking sir, of a man who is passionate, not lustful. That is clear. Now we say, how does it come about?
K: That's not an answer is it? I am not attentive therefore I am not passionate. That leads me nowhere!
Q: Aren’t we all passionate underneath?
Q: Sir, could it come about by seeing the injustice in life?
K: Is righteous anger passionate?
Q: Sir, perhaps one cannot approach it from the point of passion. Passion is energy and if one approaches from the point that energy is being dissipated, by stopping the dissipation you come to energy, so instead of asking can one have passion, we can start with the lack of passion which is dissipation of energy.
K: We are coming to that slowly. We are coming to that.
Q: But are we all assuming that we all know what passion is?
K: We are not. Suppose I don't know what passion is. I see passionate people, people who are dedicated, they may be dedicated to some kind of illusion, some kind of stupidity, some kind of state and so on, but I am talking of we are questioning a passion that is not attached to action.
Q: Not possessed.
K: Not possessed.
Q: Have we even established that passion is related to sorrow?
K: I said sir, the root meaning of the word passion means sorrow, from a dictionary, that is all. I did not say - I am just looking at the dictionary, and when I looked at it, passion means, the root meaning is that it derives from sorrow. You see sir, it is so difficult to converse, or have a conversation with you if you have an opinion. If you have a formula: passion is this, passion isn't that, passion is not... you follow? - you don't come to it afresh. We are enquiring, you understand, sir?
K: But we are not talking about childhood and that suppression in childhood, please! For the love of
K: Look here, sir. He suggested there is a great deal of wastage of energy in all of us. We waste a great deal of energy. And one of the great outlets of wastage of energy is having concepts. Right? Shall we start with that? Having concepts. Having formulas. Having opinions, judgements. I see that house, I say, 'It is terrible!' Or I see that house: 'How luxurious!' You follow? I have opinions, judgements, and isn't that a wastage of energy? You see sir what is happening in the world? The Catholics, in the olden days, not very long ago, they burnt people, tortured people, Inquisition and all the rest of it, anybody who thought contrary. Right? The Communists in Russia are doing it, anybody who thinks contrary is sent to a mental hospital. And this being trained, educated in a formula: 'My country is the greatest, the Soviet is the most marvellous, Mao is the greatest god on earth' - and so on and so on, these formulas condition the mind. Right? Please, that is obvious. Now is that not a fundamental reason for wastage of energy? That is, conforming to a pattern is a wastage of energy. Don't agree to this, please. And you are doing it.
Q: Very often a pattern helps.
K: Therefore you say a pattern helps. Helps what?
Q: Helps channelise the energy.
K: Does it? Does it? Watch it, sir, watch it! Pattern helps, channelising energy.
Q: Can do.
K: Can do.
K: Makes you dull.
Q: The pattern that is necessary at this particular period of time.
K: Conditioning the mind to a pattern is necessary at this particular time. So did the Russians say that, the Catholics said that, everybody has said that at the time it is necessary; and therefore you are saying that at this time it is necessary.
Q: I am asking if it is, I am not saying it is.
K: Sir instead of asking, let's find out. Where pattern, conformity, formula, being trained to operate in a certain manner, is that a wastage of time? Or in certain directions it is necessary and in that field there must be certain conformity and so on, that is not wastage of energy. But whereas when the mind is in relationship with human beings, whether it is a child or a grown up man, when it functions with a formula it is wasteful of energy. That is all we are talking. Right?
Q: Do you not see, do not all of us see, tremendous danger of 1984 becoming very close and all this idea of computerisation, making each one of us in this tent suspects in the eyes of the authority, all authority, whatever it is, that will undoubtedly arise. How do you feel about that?
K: (Laughter). Sir, CID - you know what CID is, Criminal Investigation Department. They have followed me, FBI and so on and so on and so on. We all may be conditioned in a certain direction, perhaps that is going to happen. We are now trying to discuss - please let's keep to this - what is passion, will it come about when there is no wastage of energy, and what is wastage of energy? Keep to that simple thing.
K: Madam, that's a statement. We are trying to converse together, explore together what it means. If you make a flat statement, one is stuck. Look sir, I see conforming to a certain pattern is not a wastage of energy, keeping to the left side of the road is not a wastage of energy, on the contrary if I kept to the right side of the road when the country says keep to the left, there is going to be an accident and that is a wastage of energy, and so on and on and on and on. And it is a wastage of energy when I function with formulas in my action in relationship. Right? I see a group of children, students, I saw it last night, and you saw it here in the tent, and I saw it on the television, where in Russia, everybody is being - you know - put through the mill, to conform. To me that is a wastage of energy.
Q: I don’t know anything else, sir.
K: I know that is what we are saying. Of course we don't know anything else. We are so conditioned to accept formulas, to live with formulas, to function within concepts, conclusions, that is all we know, and we are monkeys. How do we break through that? As the gentleman pointed out, by 1985 we all may be so suspect by then - you know - the big brother will be with us.
Q: Sir, could we look at it like this? Between seeing and acting, I think the time creates an ego, which draws the conclusions
K: That is right sir. Where there is a division between action and idea it must be a wastage of energy. Right sir? The idea as we know is a concept - concept or a conclusion derived from perception. Seeing, drawing a conclusion from seeing, and acting according to that conclusion. That is essentially a wastage of energy. And when there is no wastage of energy then there is passion. I don't know if you get it.
Q: This ego is created at that very moment. We feel it is permanent but if we watch it we learn it is created.
K: Look sir, let's go through it. Let's go into it. Do I, or do you, function from a conclusion? Children must work in the garden, students must do this, or, you know, formulas, you understand all this, dozens and dozens of formulas we have. Have you? Come on sir, have you?
Q: We have any amount of them.
(Sound of aeroplane).
K: Let the aeroplane have its voice. You have any amount of them, the lady says. And do you see that having these formulas is a wastage of energy?
Q: The conditioned formulas.
K: Wait sir, wait. I am just - step by step we will go into it. I have a formula, I function with formulas, from formulas, I look at you and I say you are an Englishman, or a German, or a Jew, or an Arab, or a Hindu, or some blasted race. (Laughter). Wait a minute, please. And from that I look at you - you follow? - I look at young people and say they must work, they must build, they must put their hands in the earth. I agree they should put their hands to the earth, it is marvellous to work with the earth, but I want to force them, I want to compel them - you follow. sir? Now, I am saying to you, asking you, having these formulas, opinions, judgements, is that not wastage of energy? If it is a wastage of energy, why don't you break through it? Why do you keep on formulating?
Q: I don’t see how that is a wastage of energy.
K: I'll show it to you. I'll show it to you. I see a snake, a cobra, a real poisonous snake, the seeing there is immediate action, isn't it? Right? That is not a wastage of energy, is it? Right sir? Now I see I am greedy, and I then begin to say, 'I must be greedy, I must not be greedy', I rationalise it - you follow? I don't say, 'greed', see the whole complex network of the action from greed, and seeing is acting, ending it instantly.
Q: Sir I’d like to say that you are almost skipping. You are saying that seeing is action therefore you are already at the end.
K: No, sir. Look sir. No, sir. Please listen sir. When I see a dangerous snake and there is instant action.
Q: You have to reach into your memory.
K: Wait. I know it, sir. I know it, sir. Please just listen. I see a snake, a dangerous snake and there is instant action. That instant action has taken place because generations have said, 'Beware of snakes' - my mind, the mind is conditioned to snakes, and acts instantly. Follow this up. The mind is conditioned for generations to say, 'Well, be greedy, but get over it gradually'. Have the ideal of non-greed or non-violence - but do it gradually. The gradual freeing oneself from violence is a wastage of energy. And we keep this going - you follow sir? Now, you have - you may - some of us have these formulas. You listen to what is being said and you will go on with those formulas, and then at the end of it you say, 'I have no passion'. Right?
So, can you observe, be aware that one has these formulas, concepts, opinions, judgements, which denies freedom - you follow? - and it is only when there is freedom there is energy, there is this passion, obviously. Now are you aware of your conclusions?
K: Now wait sir, I'll answer that question. You will that, sir. We have to face that question here.
Q: I know sir.
K: I have worked in the garden, put my hands in the earth, planted trees, dug, all kinds of things and for me - you follow? - it is a great joy to work with the earth. How am I to show the student the necessity of doing it without compelling him? That is the problem. Right sir? I see the garden - it is necessary to work. Now how am I, without bringing about the compulsive authoritarian drive, to make that student do it naturally? Right?
Q: Let him go hungry.
K: No, no. You see? You understand sir? How am I to do it?
Q: Also how are we to show them
K: No. No. No. No. You show them and they say, 'Go ahead and do it'. (Laughter).
Q: Isn’t there a responsibility in freedom?
K: Please madame don't emphasise. Look at it. It is necessary - essential - to work with the earth. How am I as a teacher in a community, how am I to help them to do it without any form of authority, without any form of compulsion, any form of imitation? Right? How am I to do it?
Q: I don’t know.
K: I'll show it! We'll go into it sir. Does this interest you?
K: Why? Going away from ourselves? All right.
First of all, as we have done here, I would discuss it with them, talk over it. I would, as we have done, talk about authority, the dangers of authority, whether it is the authority of the older, authority of the priest - authority. Then because they are not used to freedom, but are used to reaction - you follow sir - therefore they say, 'All right, no authority, we will do what we like'. Right? So we say, 'You can't do what you like, etc., etc., this is a community, we all have to live together, if each one did what they liked nothing would happen'. So we discuss, go into it; they begin to see. Then we talk about conformity, imitation, how destructive it is - right sir? - how the mind seeking security will conform, through fear, through reward, through punishment, it will conform; so push all that aside, open the door to all that. Right sir? Some of them see it, some of them don't. So we keep on and on, so that the mind, they themselves begin to see the importance of action without compulsion. Right? They do, some of them do, some of them don't. If you have a large number of students, out of a hundred there might be ten. So can we awaken their intelligence, which will then direct them, direct them to work with the earth, you follow, awaken their intelligence? That is the real problem. Not that they must work in the garden, in the vegetable - or whatever it is, get up at a certain time, go to bed at a certain time. If we can awaken their intelligence then the problem is solved.
Q: Why do you want to awaken their intelligence? Why don’t you leave them alone?
K: Wait sir. Why don't we leave them alone. I wish we could. But society has ruined them, ruined the parents, the grandparents, the generations after generation after generation, each generation has been ruined by their previous generation. And now you have got a product called a baby, a child who if you leave him alone he does everything opposite, contradictory. Did you see that cartoon in one of the magazines in New York: two little children, brother and sister are standing looking down from a window, and the brother says to the girl, his sister, watching the hippies go round, 'There goes the Establishment'. (Laughter).
So our problem is - not only with the students, but also with ourselves - we are brought up to obey, to conform, to imitate, to compete, ambitious and all the rest of it, and all these are words as a formula which condition our thinking, and can the mind be aware of these formulas and be free of them?
Q: Don’t we have to have the passion first?
K: No, I haven't got the passion. I see - please - if I have the passion then there is no problem.
Q: Do you know that you are free when you are aware?
K: No sir, please don't go into freedom and awareness. I am just asking you one thing. You have formulas, haven't you? For god's sake, let's be honest about this. Of course you have them. I am a Hindu and I have got a dozen formulas - how to meditate, how to sit when I meditate, what I should think when I meditate, how to control my thought and so on and so on and so on. Or if I am a Communist, the State is all important, the individual is not and so on and so on. I have got dozens of formulas. And I see very clearly such formulas in relationship destroys relationship, wastes energy. Obviously. Now can you see your formulas and put an instant end to them? If you can't then you are wasting energy, you will never have passion.
Q: Now sir let me bring you back a little to what we were discussing before. Let’s translate what we were talking about this garden, the children in this garden, to a national community anywhere in the world today. And then I question aren’t a few of these formulas really absolutely necessary, just for survival. Let’s talk about the Chinese society first. There you are with eight hundred million people...
K: I agree sir.
Q: Sir, let me finish please. And then let’s say, let’s remove all political ideologies and so on and let’s just talk about the fact of survival. We have to feed eight hundred million people and therefore we have to instruct them in agriculture – divide the country into so many areas and therefore we have decided that some of this area should be devoted to wheat, corn and so on and so forth.
K: Of course sir.
Q: We have four seasons a year and therefore during the winter time our efforts should be concentrated and so on and so forth because the computers and the science have decided. So I tell the people, you people in the north are to plant – whatever the case may be. Now this is a formula and this is a conclusion, as much as it is a conclusion to tell the children here to go and garden.
K: Not at all. I agree sir. I agree with you when you say the computer, political things aside, the computer says plant this in the north, that in the east, that in the sun and so on, that is perfectly right. That is a necessity for survival.
Q: And it is a necessity for survival here as well for children...
K: Wait sir, now wait a minute. Now what happens? You have a group of students and they must survive. How will you bring about their survival intelligently? Not just survive.
Q: Yes, I know.
K: Sir, this is a problem, we have to meet it day after day as it arises. Not say well they must do this and they must not do that. This is - you know this, sir. So let's come back, sorry.
I have a formula or a thousand, or a dozen formulas, why does my mind refuse to be free of them? I know logically, that it is a wastage, I know in relationship with other human beings it destroys affection, love and all the rest of it, and it creates wars and all that. Why doesn't my mind break from it?
K: In an illusion I take security, and that illusion causes me fear, and I know it has no reality, and yet I go on.
Q: Because everybody else does.
Q: You have got to identify with something.
Q: By looking at the formula I no longer have to observe ‘what is’.
K: Sir, please you are not answering my question, sorry.
Q: We feel safe.
K: You feel safe in a formula. Right? Now what is a formula? What is a formula?
Q: The course of action.
K: The course of action. Now wait a minute. A formula in which you take security is the course of action. And before you talk about action, what is a formula?
K: You are saying: words?
Q: An idea.
K: Just hold on a minute. Are they words?
Q: They are distinct movements in the brain.
K: They are distinct movements in the brain. Look. I see the children, the students, and I say, 'They must work in the garden'.
K: No. I am asking you please what is a formula? What is the nature of a formula? Wait. Do you know what that word 'form' means? It comes from the word 'form'. Form means to give shape to something.
Q: An idea.
K: Wait! Idea means to see. Don't get away, please sir, do give me two minutes. Formula means form. Form means to give shape, give a contour to something. We give a contour, a shape by words - right? - to a thought. Thought is the word. Right? Thought is not different from the word. I am a Hindu, the word makes me the Hindu - no? With all the memories, all the images, all this business, all that. So the form means giving shape to, by word to a perception. Right? I see the tree, that bush, and the mind forms, gives shapes to a thought, a word. And the mind is caught in that word. Right? This is step by step. Are you following? So formula is a series of words which gives shape to an abstraction - that's right - right sir? Seeing, abstraction, the abstraction is the movement of thought in words. Right? Oh come on sirs.
Q: This formula creates in my inertia the necessity of doing something.
K: No, I think formula makes me more inert. Please the basic meaning of idea is seeing. The seeing is the acting and my mind refuses to act instantly because it has got formulas, conclusions, opinions, and therefore there is conflict between action and the conclusion. I conclude I must not be violent. But I am violent. Right? I conclude that I must not be violent. The conclusion of not being violent is the postponement of dealing with violence immediately.
Q: Sorry sir, can you repeat that?
K: I don't know what I said, I'll have to repeat it differently. I am violent. I am violent because society has helped me to be violent, from the higher apes I have learnt violence, all that. My whole structure of thought, being, is violent, and it has produced appalling misery in the world - division and so on. So observing, watching, learning, history shows that I must not be violent. The religion says, 'Don't be violent'. So there is the conclusion of not being violent but I am violent. Now - that conclusion is the postponement of coming directly into contact with the feeling of violence and ending it instantly. That is my whole point. So conclusions, formulas, ideologies are idiotic and wasteful.
K: Don't accept this. This is how I live, this for me is reality, not just a verbal statement. If I am violent I look at it, I go into it instantly.
Q: Why does violence end if you are in contact with it?
K: I am showing it to you madame. Why does violence end if you are in contact with it. I am going to go into it.
First of all, see this fact, that being violent, my mind has been trained to an ideology of not being violent. Right? Right sirs? I accept that, which means a gradual postponement of what should be done now. Evasion, escape. Escape, evasion, running away from 'what is', is a wastage of energy - I realise that for myself, not for you. I see that. Now what takes place? I have no ideology of non-violence. So I am violent, the feeling. Now what takes place? I am violent. What does violence mean? Anger, jealousy, all that, imitation, conformity, copying, ambition, all that is a form of violence. Now I am investigating, looking, at that word, the significance of that word, the nature and the structure of that word. Why does the mind identify itself when that feeling arises with a word which is called violence? You are following this? You understand? Are we sharing this together?
K: No sir, no, no. No. I'm going to show I'll come to it sir. We will see it in a minute.
Q: I’m sorry...
K: No sir, please don't be sorry for anything. Please sir. Now I want to find out why the mind, when this feeling arises, uses that word. It uses that word because it has had that feeling before, and each time that feeling arises it is identified by a word which is called violence. Now why does the mind do this? Are you following all this?
Q: Why does thought do it?
K: Watch it sir, we are going into it. Why does the mind use that word? Is it a habit? Or by identifying through the word it strengthens that feeling, and gives it more vitality for it to continue, and also it gives it a sense of pleasure.
K: Wait sir, I am going into it, watch it in yourself sir. In the process of recognition of that feeling through a word, the mind has strengthened that feeling, it rationalises, or does something, all kinds of things it does. Now can the mind look at that feeling without the word? You understand sir? By looking at it with the word I have recognised it and strengthened it. Right sir? Now can the mind look at that feeling without the recognition of it?
K: Wait sir, wait, go slow, do it. Do it as we are talking and you will see it in a minute. I understand what you are going to say. Go slowly sir. That requires enormous attention, doesn't it, you understand sir?
Look, you call me a fool and I become immediately violent because I have an image about myself that I am not a fool, I am a great man. And I become violent. In that moment the mind operates with such rapidity, it says, 'That's violence'. The recognition takes place instantly. I am asking myself: you call me a fool, the feeling arises and is it possible to look at that feeling without recognition through a word of that feeling?
Q: Can you look...
K: Look! Look at it sir. Look. This demands tremendous attention, tremendous discipline - discipline, not conformity - discipline in the sense that you are watching to learn what is going to happen. The learning of what is going to happen is discipline. That is, I have become violent because you have called me a fool and I reject totally the ideology of non-violence, totally, not partially. It has no meaning to me. So I say why does the mind with such rapidity recognise that feeling through a word? Why does it want to recognise it at all? Come on sirs.
K: Watch it in yourself sir. Please watch it in yourself and don't answer.
Q: Are not animals in the same boat?
K: I am not talking of animals, I am talking about you.
Q: Surely one is conditioned to do this.
K: Please observe it. I am conditioned that way. Now can my mind be free of that conditioning, which is the verbal recognition of that feeling and say, 'Let me look at it let's observe without the word'?
Q: Then you take the life away from it.
K: Please, do it!
Q: Yes, but this takes the life out of it. It has no life.
K: Look madame, aren't you violent? Not you. Aren't you violent, sexually? Ambitious, greedy, possessive - you know, violent? You want your opinions carried out, you want a position, authority, all that is a form of violence. Now it arises in you and the usual conditioning is to run away from it by having an ideology about it. Right? Say I must not be violent, the ideal of non-violence is marvellous, so many people have preached about it, and it is excellent and I will gradually become non-violent in the meantime you are fully violent! Now you reject completely the ideology of not being - 'what is', is violence. Now move from there. Can the mind observe that feeling without the word?
Q: Sir, if you are calling me a fool, and at that moment I choose to observe there is in me...
K: Sir, you are missing something. That word is you.
Q: That’s right. That’s why...
K: The word is you. The word is violence, the word is me. I am getting at it slowly. Go into it sir, do it with me.
Q: Is the point to observe what...
K: Look sir, you call me an idiot, I agree with you, because you are my boss! You call me an idiot, my reaction, all my cockles rise and say 'I am not an idiot' - you know, anger. Now can I look at that feeling without resorting to the verbal expression of that feeling? Come on sirs.
Q: If one observes...
K: Wait, wait! I am going to find out. So I am asking is the word different from the feeling? Or is the word creating the feeling? Or if the word is not, is there the feeling?
K: Yes sir, I understand.
K: Yes sir, I understand. But sir, look, mustn't the feeling arise? Mustn't the feeling arise?
K: Wait, I am asking sir, do look at it a little more. How quick we are, do take time. Mustn't the feeling arise? The feeling won't arise if you are not sensitive. The feeling won't arise if you are not sensitive. You put a pin into me, I am - you follow? - I am sensitive enough to feel the pain. It is only a paralysed leg won't feel the pain.
Q: But we are paralysed.
K: Wait sir. I am going into it. You call me a fool. The feeling arises because I have an image and so on. The feeling - if I had no feeling at all what would happen? I am dead! You are looking at it the other way round sir.
Look sir, you flatter me, say, 'You are a marvellous man'. And I am delighted. You are my friend and all the rest of it. And if I listen to that flattery having been dead, not hearing at all, then there is no problem - you understand? - if I am dead.
Q: You can hear but it does not actually touch the image.
K: Wait sir, I am going into that. My god! I am being sensitive, that word awakens a lot of things. Right? If I am not sensitive, dull, blind, deaf, then it is no problem. Then that feeling arises, that feeling arises because I have an image about myself. And I say, why do I have that image, because society - all that has been created in me, that is part of my conditioning, I'll reject that image, I really reject it.
Q: Then the feeling won’t arise.
K: Wait, wait! How do you know? Look sir, look sir, it was a lovely morning this morning - right? - marvellous, the sky was clean, blue, fresh, young. Right? There was a great delight in looking at it, through the leaves - you know, all that. What is wrong with that? There is nothing wrong with that. Wait a minute.
Q: But you ask what is wrong with that.
K: There is nothing wrong with that, is there?
Q: That is life, which is a quality of joy in oneself. Things are something outside...
K: No sir, you are complicating it so much. I am just taking it so simply. I delight, there was that beauty in the air, fresh and the glory of a morning. Now that is spoilt by my wife, friend, who says, 'Oh, go and wash the dishes' - it irritates me. I want to remain looking out of that window and enjoy myself and then somebody comes along and says, 'Get the heck out of here and go and wash dishes'. And I go and wash dishes - the thing has gone - you follow? The feeling of irritation arises. Now can I look at that irritation without the word - that is all, stick to that simple thing. I understand your problem sir. Let us begin let us look at it simply first and then complicate it. Don't complicate it first and then...
Now, here it is: can I look at that irritation without the word? And therefore without the person who irritated me - you follow? Can I look at that feeling? I can. Wait. I can, you are saying?
Q: No, it’s much too difficult.
Q: Surely you can do anything you want to.
K: Ah, no! Not I look at anything if I want to.
Q: You must look, if it is there it is there.
K: Look. Because I am irritated I begin to get annoyed with her, or with that person, I begin to get irritated, I become rude, I say things which are ugly, therefore conflict arises. And I want to live without a single conflict.
K: Why - it is a wastage of energy. It is like a marvellous motor running beautifully: I have got a marvellous mechanism, the organism of the body, the organism of the mind, the brain is a marvellous instrument, most beautifully sensitive, alive and I want it to function without the least friction, because the more it functions without friction the more energy etc. etc. That is real passion. Wait a minute.
Q: To look at something you have to be still.
K: Are you still?
K: Then why - don't say you have to be still.
K: Madame we are pointing out, I am irritated - can I observe that irritation without the word, without the formula, without anger and so on - which means can the mind observe that irritation out of silence. Put it any way you like. Can you do it? Not speculate about doing it.
Q: Can conflict ever be creative?
K: Can conflict ever be creative - that is what the modern literature says they can. They are in conflict with their wives, with their society, with their ambition, they are frustrated in themselves, they are contradictory, there is great tension, out of that tension they write a book. And that book becomes very popular and they call him a creative writer. You know the game that one plays, this is all very simple.
Now I am asking sir, let's come back to this thing - to observe means to observe silently. Can the mind observe the violence it has brought about in itself silently, without the word? When there is the word, which is the formula, the ideology, then there is division, then there is conflict and rationalisation, in that conflict you do all kinds of idiotic things, that is a wastage of energy, and that prevents this extraordinary sense of passion coming into being.
Q: What about terror, for instance a very long standing fear, say of a phobia, a fear of spiders, that you’ve had over years, and you know you are wasting energy, it’s very clear. But there is absolute terror.
K: I understand that sir. The question is - I must repeat it - one has absolute terror, say for example of a spider. You see the spider and you get terrified. And you don't know what to do with it, and that goes on year after year, year after year. How is that terror to be put away. Right? That is the question isn't it sir? How do you think? What do you think? Did that terror arise because your mother - not your mother, you understand sir - put you on the wrong pot? You understand what I am talking about? Analysis, go back, back, back, analyse your grandmother, mother, pre-natal condition. No. You are afraid, you are terrified by some animal, darkness, a word, by somebody, terrified. Now how will you meet this? You understand sir? Analysis is one thing and what we are doing is not. Right? To me analysis is not an answer, it is an evasion. It is a postponement, it has no validity when you want to act - paralysis is analysis - right. Let's move from there. Now how is the mind to be free of some terror? Come on sir.
Q: One is not different from terror.
K: No sir, don't. Look I am in terror, don't verbalise and say that terror is not different from the observer. I know nothing at all about all that. I am terrified.
Q: You watch the spider.
K: Look haven't you been terrified ever?
Q: Can I speak to you from my experience?
K: Sir he has expressed his feeling, just a minute sir. He has expressed it and we are discussing. Haven't you experienced terror? You have said something, and the person is going to use it to destroy you, to hurt you. That is a form of terror, and every time you meet that person and you know he is going to do some harm to you. Or you meet an idea, a priest, a concept that unless you do this you will go to Hell - you follow? - the Catholic idea of heaven and hell, and that is instilled into you from childhood. You may have left the church and all that but yet this feeling of going to hell is tremendously strong. Now how will you meet that?
Q: With understanding.
K: Tell me sir, what to do, don't use words. What am I to do, I am terrified?
Q: Admit the terror first instead of just reacting to it.
K: Are you helping him sir. Are you helping me?
Q: Don’t run away from it.
Q: Face it.
K: Face it, don't turn away from it.
Q: Accept it.
K: Now just a minute. What takes place when I meet that spider or that man, or that woman? I am terrified at that moment. At that moment I am paralysed right through. Right, sir? Why am I paralysed? What has made me paralysed?
Q: The image...
K: Wait - don't! What has made me paralysed?
K: Look at yourself. Aren't you afraid of something?
K: Wait a minute. Aren't you afraid of something, terrified by something - loosing a job, loosing your wife or your son, or your house, or god knows what - terrified? So what do you do at that moment? You are paralysed, you can't do anything, can you? You can't say, 'Understand', 'You are the word and the word is you'. (Laughter) Take milk and everything will be all right! There is no meaning to all that. At the moment I am paralysed, I can't do anything at that moment, right? The spider, the man, or the woman goes away, then I realise I am terrified, not at the moment. See what has taken place sir? At the moment I am paralysed, which I call terror. Right? Later on I become aware of that terror, a second later it may be. Now what takes place then? I perspire. It has happened - you follow sir? - I am not talking verbally, it has actually taken place when I was walking and a dog came and held my ankle. Never mind. Now, so what takes place later. My whole body becomes aware, alive. Right? And the terror is a remembered thing. Right? Which has happened. I am out of it, then I say I have been terrified, now I am going to prevent myself from future terrors. I don't if you - right? Now I am going to prevent future terrors arising, therefore I won't meet that person, I am going to be very careful not to walk anywhere near the spiders. I am going to be very careful of dogs. You follow? Which means what? Watch it sir. Which means what? I am not going to meet you any more, I don't want to meet you.
Q: Because you don’t want to see him, you will bump into him in the street.
K: I know sir but I am going to avoid it. No. I don't bump into him at all because I am much more aware than he is. (Laughter). Oh, you don't meet all this. I see him far ahead therefore I turn, go away. Do watch it sir. Please watch it sir, what happens. When I say, I won't meet you, I'll be awfully careful of the dogs, I will be awfully watchful of spiders - what have I done? No, no, please! What have I done?
Q: Made a formula.
K: No! I have built a wall, a wall against you, haven't I? A wall against the dog, a wall against the spider. Right? That wall is going to make me more frightened. So I have learnt something. Any form of resistance brings about greater danger of terror. Right? I haven't solved the problem of terror. It is still there but I have built a wall, and that wall, I hope, is going to prevent it, but it won't. So I realise building a wall is a great stupidity. Right? I won't build it - finished. There is action. You see sir? I see actually building a wall against you does not free the mind from the terror. So the seeing is the ending of building that wall. If it has been built already, I won't build any more.
Then my question is: what am I to do with the walls which I have built? See sir what happens. I won't build anymore - right? - what takes place when you won't build anymore? Is there any wall, old or new? Of course not, sir. When there is no action of the wall, the Berlin wall, if it doesn't exist, old or - you follow? - so you have no resistance, I have no resistance against you. I have learnt that, I have acted on that. So what takes place? Come on sirs, I am talking. What takes place?
Q: What happens with somebody who has lost his memory by an accident?
K: That is a different question sir. What happens to a man who has lost his memory, amnesia. What takes place? That is a different question. Doctors, nurses if you are well enough, or a friend - that is a different question.
Q: If you don’t build a wall you are alone with your fear, you have got no protection from your fear.
K: Have you stopped building the wall? Not you, madame. Have you sir, I mean have we stopped building that wall of resistance? Because you see though you have built that wall, terror still exists, it would be stupid, neurotic on my part to keep on building the wall. So there is the ending of building. If I don't build a new wall, the old wall is not. Right sir?
K: If you stop building the wall a new wall, you can only build a new wall on the old wall. If you are not building, the old wall is not. Come on sir, this is simple.
Q: One gets frightened that one will be hurt.
K: No madame, we have been - you see how they go back and forth. I am afraid of you, terrified of you. At that moment I am paralysed. Follow it sir, step by step and you'll see it for yourself. Then you realise you are terrified and you say, 'By Jove, I must be hereafter very careful not to meet that man again' - or the spider, or whatever it is. So I have built a wall against you, hoping thereby to get rid of my terror, but it is there, I am always watching, in spite of the wall. So I see the wall does not prevent or free the mind from terror. So the ending is important, the ending of building that wall is finished. Do you see that?
K: If you see it, it has ended. Then what takes place?
Q: Do you mean...
K: Wait! What takes place? If I have no resistance what takes place?
Q: Then you confront...
K: Wait! Look sir, I used to be frightened of you, terrified. And I increase that fear, terror, by building a wall. I don't build a wall anymore. Which is, I built the wall in order to protect myself against you. Now I don't protect myself, what takes place?
Q: (Inaudible). (Laughter).
Q: I don’t know, I’ll find out.
Q: It has a different meaning now sir.
K: No, sir, I have no terror.
Q: You see that without the terror
K: Oh for the love of The moment I resist, fear exists.
Q: Fear is gone.
K: You see, the moment I resist fear exists.
Q: When I met you and felt the original fear, what is the image...
K: Of course, of course, you make an image, ideas, reputation, all kinds of things
K: Of course, of course, of course, of course.
Q: Trying to...
K: Don't try. Do it.
Q: If you do precisely what you are advocating now, fly to East Germany and convince them to take down that wall and you will have the thanks of the entire German nation.
Q: But the wall’s there
K: Sir, sir. There is a wall between Pakistan and India. There is a wall between the Arab and the Jew, there is a wall between the British and the French and the Italians, there is a wall between... and you are the Italian, the French, the German, the Hindu, the etc. Remove the wall and you will see what happens.
Now let's go back. Passion exists only when there is no conflict. Conflict exists when there is fragmentation in myself and when my mind is incapable of looking at life as a whole. Right sir? Why does my mind What is Why does my mind not look at life as a whole? Why does it say, 'I am terrified here, I have pleasure there and I want to be ambitious'. You follow? - fragmented. Why?
What time is it? I think we'd better stop and continue on Thursday, don't you?