Thought and time are always together
That benediction is where you are
2nd Public Talk, Bombay
February 03, 1985
May we go on with what we were talking about yesterday evening? I suppose you are here for me to talk, aren't you? So we'll have a talk. It's really not a talk at all but a conversation between us, a conversation between two friends, friends who are peculiar in themselves, friends who have known each other for a very long time, friends who are not trying to impress each other, who are not trying to convince each other about anything. They are just friends, who have played golf together, who have taken walks and looked at the sky and the beautiful evening and the pleasant trees and the green lawns and the beautiful mountains, and they are talking over their intimate problems, problems which they have not been able to solve, issues that are confusing, living in a modern world with all the difficulties and turmoil and the vulgarity of it all. They are concerned what human beings are going to become, why they have taken a million years to be what they are now: unreasonable, superstitious, believing in anything, gullible, and caught in organizations.
So these two friends, which are you and the speaker, are going to talk over things together. That is, you don't listen to the speaker, you are entering into his spirit, into his enquiry. So, you and the speaker have to exercise your brains as much as possible, not accept anything he says. Be sceptical, reasonable, question, enquire and if you will, together we will take a long journey not only outwardly but inwardly, into the whole psychical world, the world of thought, the world of sorrow, the world of fear and all the travail of humankind. And so this is not a lecture to inform, to convince, to instruct, but rather, two together have a dialogue, a sense of conversation, never holding on to one's own particular form of belief or convictions, but exchanging, changing as they go along, not hold on or clutch to one's own experiences, superstitions and so on. So, you are that person, you are that friend with whom the speaker is talking, is having a conversation. So there is not a question of doing any kind of propaganda, not trying to convince you of anything at all, but on the contrary, asking you to doubt, question, enquire reasonably, logically, sanely, if that's possible. And as friends, they listen to each other.
Listening is an art which very few of us are capable of it. We never actually listen. The word has a sound and when we don't listen to the sound, we are always interpreting it, trying to translate the word into our own particular language or particular tradition, but we never listen acutely without any distortion. So I would - the speaker suggests perhaps respectfully that you so listen. Not interpret what he says or translate what he says into your own particular terminology or according to your own knowledge, but listen. When you are telling a story, rather exciting story to a little boy, he is listening with tremendous sense of excitement, curiosity, full of energy. He wants to know what is going to happen. Who is the villain? Who is the heroine? And he is waiting excitedly to the very end. And we grown-up people have lost all that capacity of curiosity, the sense of energy to find out, the energy that's required to see very clearly things as they are, without any distortion. And we never listen to each other. You never listen to your wife, do you? You know her much too well, or she you. There is not a sense of deep appreciation, friendship, amity, so that you listen to each other, whether you like it or not but you do listen. And if you listen so completely, that very listening, that very act of listening is a great miracle, because that listening, like seeing, observing, is very important.
We never observe. We observe things that are convenient, friendly. We observe if there is a reward or punishment. I don't know if you have not noticed our whole upbringing, education in our life, daily life is based on an extraordinary one principle - reward and punishment. Right? You meditate in order to be rewarded. You progress in order to be rewarded, and so on. So, here there is no reward or punishment. We are talking over things together. It's very important to understand this. When one is seeking a reward, both physically and psychologically, in that search for a reward there is also the punishment - if that reward is not satisfying. So, please, can we listen to each other, per se, for itself, not for something else. To listen as you would listen to a marvellous music or to the song of a bird, with your heart, with your mind, with all the energy that one has. Then one can go very far. So we are going to talk over together where we left off yesterday evening.
Most human beings, all of us, seek security, and it takes many, many forms. Security is very important. If you are not secure, both physically and psychologically, your brain cannot function adequately, fully, energetically. We must have security. But physical security is denied to millions and millions of people who have hardly one meal a day. And we, so-called educated, welltodo people who have taken various forms of beliefs and so on, we are all the time seeking, either consciously or not knowing a kind of security which would give us complete satisfaction. But we never enquire what is insecurity. You understand my question? We want security, and it is necessary, both biologically and psychologically there must be security. And in the search of security we never enquire into what is insecurity. You understand? If we can find out together what is insecurity, why we are insecure, then in the unfolding of it, in the causation of it, security naturally comes about. Are we together in our conversation? We never enquire why we are insecure. We are always wanting security, the more, the better. So what is insecurity? Why are we insecure in our relationship to each other? In the external world there is tremendous disturbance, turmoil and agony is going on in the world. And each one wants his own place, each one wants his own security, he wants to escape from this terrible state of insecurity. So, can we together enquire why we are insecure? Right? Can we do that? Can we do it? Can we go along that line? Not what is security; because your security may be in illusion, in some fantastic, romantic concept. Your security may be in some image, in tradition, or security in a family, in a name. And there is always uncertainty in trying to find security. Right? Can we go along?
So why are human beings - you and people like us, we are laymen, not specialists - why are we insecure? What does that word mean? In our relationship, to your wife or your husband, there is a sense of not complete security, not complete sense of everything is all right. There is always this background of sense of a feeling that everything isn't quite right. Everything is so confused, uncertain. So, if we could enquire why the human brain, which is all the time seeking security, and it must have security otherwise it can't function properly. Right? Have you noticed that? You agree too easily. You nod your heads as though it was something Please, keep your head still and enquire with me to find out why human beings are insecure. Insecure about what? About not having a job? In a country that is overpopulated, like this country, fifteen million people are born every year - overpopulated - and education is rotten in this country. If there is one job, there are probably ten thousand people for it, and capacity, technological capacity and so on. In all that there is a certain state of enquiry, not only research, but one feels in achieving that there is certain security. Right? And in their relationship there is always this sense of insecurity. Right? Don't you know all this or am I inventing all this? So why, what is insecurity? If we were not insecure we wouldn't talk about gods, we wouldn't talk about security. Because we are insecure we seek the opposite.
Have you ever listened to sound? That crow. Sound. The universe is filled with sound, the earth is full of sound. And we seek silence. Meditation is to find some kind of peace or some kind of silence. But if you understand sound, in that hearing the sound, there is silence. Silence is not separate from sound. You won't understand this because you never listen to sound. Have you ever sat under a tree when the air is very still, quiet, not a leaf dancing? When it is absolutely quiet. Have you ever sat under a tree like that and listened to the sound of the tree? If there was no silence there would be no sound. You don't understand all this. So, the sound of insecurity, the sound, makes us seek security because we have never listened to the sound of insecurity. You understand? If you listened to the implications of insecurity, which makes us invent gods, rituals and all that stupid nonsense, if you listen to the whole movement of insecurity then out of that insecurity there comes naturally security. But if you pursue security as something separate from insecurity, then you are in a conflict. Right? I wonder if you understand this. Please, do understand this a little bit. You know, of an evening when the stars are clear - not in Bombay - when the stars are clear and there is only one star in the sky and there is absolute silence, but you listen, if you listen to that silence, in that silence there is the sound. And there is no separation between sound and silence. They both go together. In the same way, if you understand insecurity, the causation of it. The cause of insecurity is our own limited, broken, psychological state, and when there is a way of living that is holistic then there is no such thing as security or insecurity.
So we are going to talk over together, if you will, what is holistic way of life. The word 'whole', which means complete, the word 'whole' means in which there is no fragmentation, there is no broken up, they have no fragments - fragments as a businessman, as an artist, as a poet, as a religious cuckoo or a businessman and so on, which in our life we have divided. You belong to a special group with your garlands and strange dress and the other wears some other kind of costume. We are constantly categorizing, putting them into some drawer so that they are this, they are communists, socialists, capitalists and so on. Now, our life, if you observe closely, our life is broken up. Right? Our life is fragmented. And if we understand the nature why we human beings who have lived on this marvellous earth for thousands of millions of years, or one million year, or fifty thousand years, why we are so fragmented, so broken up.
One of the main causes of this breaking up into pieces is, as we said yesterday, that we are, that the brain is slave to thought. Thought being limited, as we went into it yesterday. Wherever there is limitation there must be fragmentation. When I am concerned with myself, with my progress, with my fulfilment, with my happiness, with my problem, I've broken the whole structure of humanity into me. You understand this? So, one of the factors of the why human beings are fragmented, is thought. Please, give your attention to this. And also one of the factors is time.
Have you ever considered what is time? According to the scientists who are concerned with time, it is a matter, it is a series of movements. So movement is time. Right? You understand this? Time is not only by the watch, chronologically - time as the sun rising, sun setting, time when there is dawn, and the snow on the mountains and the deep valleys, that is also time. The darkness of a night and the brightness of a morning. And also there is psychological time, inward time: I am this, I will become that. I don't know mathematics but one day I will learn all about it. That requires time. To learn a new language requires a great deal of time - three months, six months or two months. That is also time. There is time to learn, to memorise, to have a skill, and there is also time as the selfcentred entity saying, 'I will become something else'. Right? So, the becoming psychologically implies time also. So we are enquiring into what is time. Not only the time to learn a skill but also the time which we have developed as a process of achievement. I don't know how to meditate, I'll sit crosslegged and one day I will learn how to control my thought. One day I will achieve what meditation is supposed to be, so I practice, practice, practice. Then you become a mechanical monkey because whatever you practice you become mechanical. We won't go into meditation now because that's a very complex question, which we will talk about later.
So, time. Time is the past, the present and the future. Right? Time, that is the past: all my memories, all the memories, experiences, knowledge, all that human beings have achieved which remains in the brain as memory, which is the past. Right? That is simple. That past is operating now in the present. Right? Is that simple, clear? The past - all the memories, all the knowledge, all the experience, the tendencies and so on - the background. And that background is operating now. So you are the past. And the future is what you are now, perhaps modified, but the future is the past, modified. Right? See this, please understand this. And so, the past modified in the present is the future. Your tradition as a cultural country for the last three to five thousand years, this vast accumulation of knowledge, culture, all the things human beings have been struggling, enquiring, having a dialogue, all that is splashed in the present, because the economic conditions demand, and past is broken up, modified and is going to be the future. Right? This is a fact. So, the past modifying itself in the present is the future. Right? So, in the present if there is no radical change, tomorrow will be the same as you are today. So the future is now. I wonder if you understand this. You understand this? The future, not the future of acquiring the knowledge, but the psychological future, that the psyche, 'the me', the self, is the past, memory, and that memory modifies itself now and goes on. So the future and the past are in the present. So all time - the past, present - is contained in the now. Right, sir? It's not complicated, please. It is logical.
So, if you don't, if the human brain doesn't change now, instantly, the future will be what you are, what you have been. Right? So is it possible to radically, fundamentally change now, not in the future? So, we are asking, one of the factors of insecurity is time and thought. Bien? Are we together in this a little bit? Are we moving together slightly, one step at a time? It's very simple this, don't complicate it. We are the past. There is no question about it. And that past gets modified in reaction, in challenges, in various ways. And that becomes the future. Look, you have had a civilization in this country for three to five thousand years. That is the past. And modern circumstances demand that you break away from the past. And you have no culture anymore, now. You may talk about past culture and enjoy the past fame and past long years, centuries, but all that past is blownup, scattered by the present demands, by the present challenge. And that challenge, that demand is changing you into an economic entity. So the past being challenged by the now becomes the future. So all past and future in the now. So all time is in the now. I wish you would understand this.
So we are saying that thought and time are the major cause of fragmented human beings. And also we want roots, identification. Identification with a group, identification with a family, identification with some guru and that is why you put on these strange garments. I know you won't go away from that, but that is your job. So, we want to be identified with a group, with a family, with a nation and so on. And war, the threat of war is a major factor in our life because war may destroy our roots psychologically, therefore we are willing to kill others. And also we want to be identified - you understand? - identified with a name, identified with a family and so on. So these are the major factors of our fragmented lives. Now, do you listen to the truth of it or do you listen merely a description of what is being said and carry the description, not the truth of it? You understand? The idea of it and not the fact of it. Vous avez compris, I mean, you have understood? Say for instance, the speaker says all time is now. If you understand, that is the most marvellous truth. And do you listen to it as a series of words and therefore a sound or a word or an idea, an abstraction of the truth as an idea, or do you capture the truth of it, not make an abstraction of the truth? You understand, sir? What are you doing? See, live with the fact or make an abstraction of the fact into an idea and then pursue the idea, not the fact? This is what the intellect does. Intellect is necessary. Probably we have very little intellect anyhow because we have given ourselves over to somebody. Intellect implies, demands reason, logic and seeing things very, very clearly, discern. And also the capacity of the intellect is gather information and act upon that information. And when you hear a statement like this, that all time is now, and a statement like, you are the entire humanity, because your consciousness is one with all the others - how do you listen to those statements? Do you make an abstraction of it as an idea? Or do you listen to the truth of it, to the fact of it, the depth of it, the sense of immensity involved in that. Ideas are not immense but a fact has got tremendous possibility.
So, a holistic life is not possible when the cause, which is thought, time, and the desire for identification and for roots, they prevent a way of living that is whole, complete. Now, you hear this statement, then your question then will be, how can I stop thinking? A natural question, isn't it? Right, sir? How shall I? I know time is necessary to learn a skill, language and so on, a technological subject, time is necessary to research, but I've just begun to realise that the becoming from 'what is' to 'what should be' involves time and it may be totally wrong. It may not be true. So you begin to question or do you say, 'Yes, I don't understand what you are talking about but I will go along with it'? Which is actually what is taking place. I wish we would be very honest to ourselves. Honesty is one of the most important things, like humility. A vain man cultivating humility - you understand? - a vain man putting together humility, that humility is part of vanity. But humility has nothing to do with vanity, with pride. It is a state of mind, brain, that says, 'I don't know, let me enquire'. Never saying, 'I know'. Do you understand all this?
So, now, you've listened to the fact that all time is now - fact - you may not agree or you may agree. That's one of our dreadful things, agreeing and disagreeing. Why should we agree or disagree? If a fact is that sun rises in the east, that's a fact. You don't agree or disagree. The sun has set, it's a fact. So can we put aside from our language, from our conditioning of agreeing and disagreeing so that we can both look at facts? So there is no division between those who agree and those who don't agree. You understand? There is only seeing things as they are. You can say, 'I don't see', then that's a different matter. Then we can go into why you don't see and so on. But when we enter into the area of agreement and disagreement then we become more and more confused.
So, the speaker has said our lives are fragmented. That's a fact. Our ways of thinking are fragmented. You are a businessman, earn lots and lots of money and then you go and build a temple. Right? Or give it to charity. See the contradiction. And we are never honest to ourselves, deeply honest. Not honest in order to be something else or to understand something else. To be unquestionably clear, absolutely a sense of honesty, which means no illusions. If you tell a lie, you tell a lie and you know it, and say, 'I've told a lie', not cover it up. When you are angry, you are angry. You say you're angry. Don't find causes or explanations of it or how to get rid of it. So, this is absolutely necessary if you are going to enquire into much deeper things, as we are doing now. Not make a fact into an idea but remain with the fact. That requires very clear perception.
Now, having said all this we say, 'Yes, I logically, intellectually understand this'. That's what you will say. And, how am I to relate what I have logically, intellectually understood to what I have heard, what is the truth? You understand? So, you've already created a division between the intellectual understanding and action. Right? Do you see this? So, listen, just listen, don't do anything about it. Don't say, 'How am I to get something? How am I to put an end to thought and time?' - which you can't, which would be absurd because you are the result of time and thought. So you will go round and round in circles. But if you listen, not react, not say, 'How?' but actually, as you listen to some lovely music, a call, to the sound of bird - listen - that time is all in the now and thought is a movement. So, thought and time are together always, they are not two separate movements - one constant movement. That's a fact. Listen to it.
Then, identification. You want to be identified because in identification as a Hindu or a Muslim, Christian, whatever it is, you feel secure. That's a fact. And that is one of the causes of fragmentation of our lives - like time, thought, identification. And also wanting security and therefore taking roots in a particular country or in a particular family, community, a group. These are - listen to it, don't do anything - these are the factors of our fragmentation. Now, if you listen to it very carefully, that very listening creates its own energy. Right? Do you understand? If I listen to the fact what is being said and there is no reaction because I'm just listening to it, then that implies gathering all your energy to listen and that means giving your tremendous attention to listening. And that very listening breaks down the factors of, or the causation of fragmentation. If you do something then you're acting upon the fact. But if you merely - if there is an observation, without distortion, without prejudice, that observation, that perception which is great attention, then that very attention burns away the sense of time, thought and all the rest of it.
Is it time to stop? It's just an hour, no, not yet. It's five minutes past seven. So I'll stop at quarter past seven.
And also one of the factors of our lives, in which we live in fragmentations, is fear. Right? That's a common human factor. Human beings from the moment of time, a million years or fifteen thousand years ago, they have been frightened. And they've never solved the problem. If you were not frightened at all, there would be no gods, no rituals, no prayers. It's our fear that has created all the gods, all the deities, all the gurus and their absurdities. So, can we go into this question, why human beings live in fear and whether it is possible to be entirely free of it, not occasionally, not sporadically, but to be aware of the objects of fear and also to be aware of the inward causes of fear. You understand my question? You may say, 'I'm not afraid', but all your background indicates that the background is structured on fear, because you all believe in god, don't you? Thank god there is one at least that doesn't. Or many may not believe in god. God is invented by human beings because they are afraid. All the rituals, all the fancy clothes priests put on, at the background there is fear.
What is fear? Not what causes fear, which we will go into presently, but what is fear? Aren't you afraid? If you are really honest for a change, won't you say, 'I'm afraid'? No? Afraid of death, afraid of losing a job, afraid of your wife or husband, afraid of public opinion, afraid, not being recognised by your guru as a great disciple. Afraid of the dark, afraid of so many things. We are not talking about the cause, the objects of fear. I'm afraid 'of' something. We're enquiring into the fear itself, per see, for itself. I may be frightened, one may be frightened of public opinion. It's about fear. I may, the speaker may be frightened because next year he may not have this large audience and all the absurdities of all that. So, we are asking, what is the cause and what is fear without the cause? Is there such thing as fear without the cause? Or, the word 'fear', the sound of fear evokes in us fear. You understand? You all look so - I mustn't look at you. You understand? Say for example, communism - 'communism', if you hear that word you react to it, if you're a capitalist. Even if you are a socialist you react to it. And when you hear the word 'fear', you react to it. Don't you? Of course. Now, is the word creating the fear, or the word is different from the fear? This is not complicated. It's simple. The word is not the thing. Right? The word 'lamp' or the word 'microphone' is not the actual microphone. The word is not the thing. Right? So I'm asking, we're asking, the word 'fear' is different from the fact, or the word creates the fact? Vous avez compris? You understand? So one must be clear about this. If there was no word, as the word 'fear', would there be fear? No, careful, go into it, sir, go slowly into it. You see, sir, the word 'love' is not that flame. Right? And similarly the word 'fear' may not be actual, the sense of being gripped, living in a sense of nervousness - you understand? - the fear. You know what fear does to people. They live in darkness, they are all the time frightened, frightened, frightened, and their lives become so shattered, and so on. So we are asking, the word is not the fact, the word is not the thing. That must be quite clear. The 'microphone' is not the actual thing in front of the speaker. So what is the cause or causations of fear?
Now, just a minute. I've asked you this question, the speaker has asked you this question: what are the causes of fear, and so on. He's put to you this question. How do you listen to that question? Because that question itself has a vitality of it's own, energy of it's own. Right? Because it's a very serious question. It's not merely an intellectual question. Intellect enters into it, but the question itself - what is the cause of fear? - if you remain with the question and not try to find an answer, the question itself is beginning to unfold. You understand? Do you understand? No. Suppose I tell you in all seriousness, 'I love you'. Don't become romantic. (Laughter) Suppose I say that to you with my heart. How do you listen to it? Do you listen to it, or all your reactions come into it? Because perhaps you have never loved at all. You've married, have sex, children, and perhaps you don't know what love is. Probably you don't. It may be a fact. If you loved there would be no gurus, no images, no division. We'll go into that another time.
So what is the causation of fear? Listen to it, if I may most respectfully suggest, listen to it. Put that question to yourself and don't try to find an answer. Because if you try to find an answer, which is, let me find out the cause and then I'll kill it out, that means then you are different from fear. Right? You follow this? Are you different from fear? Or you are fear. When you're greedy, is the greed different from you? When you're angry, is anger different from you? You are anger, you are greedy. So you are fear. Of course. If you once admit - see the fact that anger is you, greed is you, fear is you, consequently. So, but now you have separated yourself from fear and say, 'I must do something about it'. And you have done something about it for fifty thousand years. You have invented gods, puja and all the rest of the nonsense.
So, listen to it, listen to the question and don't react, don't say, 'How?' The word 'how' must completely disappear from our minds, brains. Then you're asking for help, then you are depending on somebody, then you lose all your vitality, independence and sense of stability. So will you put this question to yourself and not expect an answer? Put the question, let the question itself - you've planted a seed in the earth and if the seed is alive, then it will go through concrete. Haven't you seen a blade of grass in the pavement? What extraordinary vitality that blade of grass has, to break through heavy cement. In the same way, if you put this question to yourself and hold it, then you will see the cause of it. The cause is very simple. I can explain, that's not the point for the moment. What is important is to put the question and let the question, because you are serious, you want to find out how to breathe, how to live properly, so you have put the question, let that question itself answer, like the seed in the earth. Then you will see that the seed flowers and withers. You understand this? But if you pull all the time to see if it is growing - you've planted some seed in the earth, as we've planted in our heart and mind the sense of what is fear, but if you keep on pulling at it and asking it, then you are losing energy. But leave the question alone and live with it, then you will see that there is a cause for fear - not the word, not the explanation but the actual truth of it. The causation of fear is thought and time. Isn't it? I have a job, but lose it tomorrow. I have lived with pain and it's gone now and I'm afraid it might come back. Right? You don't know all this?
So, time is the future and the past, as I explained now, and also, thought. Thought and time are the two factors of fear. You can't do anything about it. Don't say, 'How am I to stop thinking?' - too silly question, because you have got to think to go from here to your house, to drive a car, to speak a language. But time may not be necessary at all psychologically, inwardly. That's I won't go into that now, it's too complicated.
So we are saying fear exists because of the two major factors of time and thought, in which is involved reward and punishment. Now, I've heard this statement made by you. And I have listened to it so immensely, because it's a tremendous problem this, which man has not solved at all and therefore he is creating havoc in the world. I've listened to you, listened to the statement. And you have also told me, don't do anything about it, just put the question and live with it, as a woman wears the seed in her womb, so you have put this question. Let that question flower. In the flowering of that question there is also the withering away of that question. It's not the flowering and then the ending - the very flowering is the ending. You understanding?
Sir, learn the art of listening: to your wife, to your husband, listen to the man in the street - his hunger, his poverty, the desperation and the lack of love. Listen to it. When you listen, at that moment you have no problems, you have no turmoil, you are just listening and therefore there is no time in the act of listening.
That's enough for this evening I think, don't you?