Thought has put together the whole structure of the ‘me’
The seed of a million years
2nd Public Talk, Madras
December 23, 1979
May we continue with what we were talking about yesterday. We were saying how important it is to think together so that our minds meet. Because the mind, as we pointed out yesterday, is the whole conglomeration of the past with all its innumerable, thousand experiences, sorrows, pleasures and the agony of life that is fragmented and broken up. And to think together requires, if one is at all serious, that one should put aside, each one of us, our own particular point of view, our conclusions, theoretical acceptance of something which we fancy exists, be free of beliefs and dogmas and all that, so that we can freely, happily, diligently meet each other. Because, as we pointed out yesterday also, it is easy to think about something, about that noise that is going on there. But to think not about something, but to have that capacity to think impersonally, objectively, not according to circumstances, so that our minds are capable of meeting each other freely and in that freedom enquire into the whole problem of existence.
So, if we could, this morning, this evening, meet as we did yesterday.
(Music) I wonder if we can compete with that. (Laughter) It's good to have some humour and not get irritated with it. Let's get on with it.
We said our mind, not only the objective, superficial mind which is consciousness, but also all the deeper layers of our minds, of which we are very rarely acquainted or familiar with all the activities that are going on, below the ordinary, daily activities of life. Our mind and brain is the result of a million years. It has evolved through time, through various civilisations.
(Music) (Laughter) I hope the gramophone will break down! (Laughter) What a strange world we live in.
Our brain and our minds and our senses, our emotions and all the responses that lie therein are the result of a million years, evolved, grown, multiplied, but it is the mind of humanity, it is the mind of each one of us, it's the mind with which we live every day of our life. Please, as we said yesterday, and again I hope if you will allow me to repeat it, that we are not here to exchange ideas, opinions or agree or disagree, but to see logically, reasonably, sanely the fact, not the fact expressed by the speaker but the fact of what we are, which is the mind, with all its confusions, travail, sorrow, mischief, dishonesty, corruption, all that, is the whole of our mind, grown through time. This is a fact if you observe very closely, that your mind is the result of circumstances, of your culture, if you have a culture, apparently it doesn't exist, nurtured by the religion with all its superstitions, rituals, with the education that one has had, that's our mind. It's not your mind and my mind but it's the mind of man, the mind of every human being, which is obvious.
And man, including the woman, man, throughout the ages from time nameless has always enquired deeply - if one studies history - if there is a reality, a truth that transcends all time, all circumstances, that is ageless and deathless - this has been his search, asking, groping, enquiring and in these enquiries he has created civilisations, new civilisations, because all civilisations whether new must be born out of religion, not out of Marx or Mao or some clever philosopher, but out of religion. We explained the meaning of that word etymologically. It means gathering together - please listen - not people gathering together as we are, but gathering together - I'll explain presently - collect, be diligent, scrupulously attentive in this enquiry. Not to find, not to achieve enlightenment, not to become something - the meaning is now accepted etymologically that religion means gathering together all your energy so that that energy can, given the right environment, right circumstances, right physical, mental, emotional balance, it can explode. That's the meaning of religion, not all that tommyrot that's going on, nonsense, of saviours, gurus, the images put in the temples and so on. That's not religion. We like to think it is religion because it's pleasant to escape from our daily routine, grind, to escape into some emotional, imaginative, superstitious sensations. We are not attacking anything, neither your religion nor your gurus, nor the society you belong to, nor your sect, nothing. As we said yesterday, we are not doing propaganda, or trying to convince you of anything, and I really mean it. Nothing. But together observe the facts, if we can. To observe a fact means that one must be free to look, to look at your own gurus, to look at your own wives, children, husbands, to look at the beauty of the earth, the skies, and the marvels of trees and the bird on the wing. To look at it. And to look at them one must be free.
So, our minds are the result of a thousand experiences and man, as we said, has been searching for this eternity, not immortality; immortality is merely the continuity of one's own ignorance. You accept all this? You won't. I'll show you presently. And there is this deep-rooted, deep-laden, seed which man has not cultivated, nourished, looked after, cared for, which is the beginning of that which he has sought. But we have cultivated every other faculty, if you observe in yourself. We have cultivated through time the idea of the individual, of the 'you' and the 'me', 'we' and 'they'. This has been handed down from generation after generation. Is that so? Is it a reality? Or a fiction? Or something thought has carefully cultivated? Please, as we said yesterday, please don't resist. I know you all believe in individuality, your fulfilment, your immortality, your birth after this and after that. You are rooted in this individual concept. Now we are asking if that is so, because we have also cultivated various other things. And by questioning everything that is, that we hold both consciously as well as unconsciously, in questioning objectively, sanely, rationally, and not wanting to change it, seeing things as they are, what actually is, and not moving away from that, or escaping from that or wanting to go beyond it - with that close scrupulous attention one comes - there comes intelligence. The intelligence, the meaning of that word etymologically means, to be able to understand, to be able to discern, to be able to see without direction, without pressure what actually is going on, and in the pure perception of what is going on, there is insight into what is going on, that insight is the movement of intelligence. Not cleverness, not erudition, not experience but the immediate perception of what is true. And the perception of what is true can only take place if there is no direction, no motive, the pure, unadulterated, unpremeditated observation.
So, that intelligence wipes away the centre from which we are acting, the 'me' - we are going to go into that. So we have, as we said, cultivated throughout the centuries this idea of the self, the 'me' that must evolve through time, many births, or saved by some saviour and live everlastingly in light. You are following all this? Now, we are questioning that. I mean questioning, enquiring whether it is true or it is an illusion created by our desire, created by thought and have accepted that image, that idea, that network from the times past. You are following all this? I hope you are not going to sleep. I really mean it, this is very serious. You are not here to admire the speaker, you are not here to bask in some atmospheric spirituality. You are here to find out, not the speaker finds out and tells you, but you who are listening, find out.
So we must enquire into what it is, what has created it, the 'me', the self. You know, you understand the word self. You, your anxieties, your problems, your sexual demands, your fears, your hopes, your depressions, moods, the sorrows, the pains, the jealousies, the hatreds, the violence, the fear of fulfilment and not being able to fulfil - the constant competition with each other. That word 'competition' means etymologically, to compute, which means to help to grow, the meaning of that word, help to grow - the meaning of that word: to help to grow, to increase, not what we are doing now, fighting each other. Right? Please understand all this.
So, we are enquiring diligently, with a great deal of serious attention, whether this self, the 'me', which has been handed down through generation after generation from the ancient of times, whether that 'me' is an actuality in the sense that it has its root in truth. You are following all this? We must distinguish between reality and truth. Reality is everything that thought has created. Please, listen, please - are you following all this? Reality is everything that thought has created - the microphone, your beads, which you are wearing, the houses you live in - all that is created by thought. Obviously. But nature is not created by thought, the trees, the mountains, the waters, the birds. You can write poems about it. But thought has not created them. Thought has created the chair out of the wood of a tree, but the tree is not the product of thought. Please follow all this carefully, otherwise you'll miss the whole thing. So reality is that. Truth has nothing whatsoever to do with thought. The relationship between truth and reality is one way - reality cannot touch truth, but truth can employ, use thought. You understand carefully?
So we are enquiring whether the 'me' which has been created, to which mankind has clung, creating around it innumerable philosophies, whether that is rooted in truth or it's merely a reality - reality being, created by thought. Right? So are you not created by thought - the 'me'? The 'me' is your name, your form, your ideas, your concepts, your prejudices, your desires, your ideas, your longings, your aspirations, your sorrows, your degeneration. All that, this vast structure of the 'me' is put together by thought. Nobody can deny it. But thought has invented the super-self - you understand this? - which is still thought. So one has to be very alert in this enquiry that thought is the result or the response of memory, memory is the accumulated experience as knowledge, not only the experiences of your present day but also the experiences of your fathers, grandfathers, generations after generation past. That is the knowledge one has, that's our brain, our whole structure is that. And this self, created by thought, and thought itself being limited as we explained, because knowledge is limited, there is no complete knowledge about anything, there can never be, that's obvious. And that knowledge is the result, whether in science, in our relationships with each other is based on experience accumulated, which is stored up in our brain cells as memory. This is natural, is so, whether you accept it or not, it is so. You can discuss, if you wish with professors, with brain specialists, but not with your philosophers, not with your gurus because they have already made up their mind. But if you really want to know, enquire, you can discuss with them. They will offer you their opinions. But to find this out for oneself, which transcends all information, all philosophies, all gurus.
So, we are saying thought has put together the whole structure of the 'me'. The 'me' is the result of our senses, of our desires, of our reactions, and thought making an image out of these reactions as the 'me'. Right? You are following all this? Please, observe it in yourself, not what I am saying. Then it has no value. Then you could be at just another lecture and you agree, agree or not, but if you yourself see this, which is basically we are all the same - including the philosophers, the gurus, the gods and all that, we are essentially, basically the same, which is, we suffer, we are anxious, we have pain, we are terribly lonely people from which we try to escape. Our relationship is based on this. You may love your wife, you may sleep with her, but relationship means - the meaning of that word, to relate, which means to look back, to refer to. Are you following all this? Or am I going too quickly? Please tell me - am I going too quickly? It doesn't matter.
So we have cultivated memory, which has developed extraordinary technology - terrifying, beneficial, but it is still based on thought, and thought being the result of the response of knowledge, knowledge can never be whole, therefore thought is partial - please take this in - partial, limited, and that which it has created, it will always be limited, will always be divisive. And thought has created the idea of the separate individual and therefore is always divisive. You are following this? No, look into yourself, sir. Don't look at my words and my face or my gesture. Look into yourself and you will see the truth of it. Because each one is struggling, competing with another, wanting to fulfil. And this divisive activity which is self-centred is breaking up the world. Divisive as a nationality, as a race, belonging to some guru, belonging to some god, belonging to some sect, wearing different robes, and, you know, divisive. And the mind, thought is seeking the whole. You understand? And it will never be capable of it, because in itself it is divisive, because knowledge can never, never, never be complete, it always lives within the shadow of ignorance. Right? Have you understood this? Understood in the sense that you have seen this in yourself as an absolute truth, fact.
Then the question arises: since it is so deeply rooted in all of us: free enterprise, individual enterprise, competition - as I explained, the word means to grow, to help to grow, not to fight each other, the competing countries. Oh sirs, you don't know what you are all doing! Can this self-centred structure be dissolved? You follow? Look, as we said yesterday, the mind, the brain, is seeking security. You are seeking security in your relationship, in your jobs, security with your wife, husband. Security means that you are safe, certain, in a state - not the state of a country, state of mind. The brain must have complete security, otherwise it can't function. That's why it specialises - you are following all this? - as an engineer, scientist. Then it is completely safe, safe in having the capacity from that knowledge, and therefore competition arises - beating down each other politely, conveniently, comfortably or respectfully or traditionally. And the gurus are doing it: one says I am better than the other, I am nearer, I have the way and the other fellow hasn't got the way. He is a cuckoo, you come to me. Sirs, you don't So, can this structure which dominates all our life till we die, and after death - there is the desire, thought, that says, will I live? And the philosophies that have been worked into it, the beliefs, the reincarnation - you follow? - the whole of that is based on thought. And thought cannot dissolve it, because it is part of itself. I wonder if you see that! It's like a person who wants to meditate. His meditation is the continuity of thought. There is no ending to thought. He attempts to end thought. Therefore he disciplines - again the activity of thought. To discipline, to control, to follow, to imitate, systems, practices, all that is the movement of thought.
Now, the question is whether that self which is creating so much mischief in the world, because in itself it is divisive, the nationalities - divisive, the groups, the sects, the races - you follow? - everything in the world is now divisive, divided, broken up, and that is because of thought. Can that thought dissolve the structure which it has created as the 'me'? Go into it carefully, sirs. It means if you understand, this is a total, complete, psychological revolution. It isn't just - you are not playing with words. There is only one - not way - before I begin, say, explain - how do you approach this problem? You understand the problem? The problem is the self, the self-centred with its self-centred activity, which has created such division in the world, division in our intimate relationship - the man, woman - division between, in ourselves, the constant contradiction in ourselves, the wanting, not wanting, discipline - you follow? - the whole travail, the struggle. How is all that to be dissolved? That's the problem. You understand the question? Because otherwise we can never be, to put it mildly, happy, can never be whole, you can never be sane. A man who thinks he is separate from the others, he is not sane. Sanity means to observe clearly, to see what is going on, to see the facts, not to invent facts. Now, how do you approach the problem because on your approach the problem is resolved. How you approach it? You understand my question? That is, if you approach with a motive, however noble, however pleasant or idealistic, that motive distorts the action with regard to this problem. You understand? So, has one a motive? Motive means 'movement'. Now, so please enquire carefully what your approach is to the problem, to any problem, whether you approach with all the knowledge you have in the resolution of that problem, or you approach with a motive that I wish, perhaps it'll help me to get a better job or I'll be free of sorrow - you understand? Or I'll reach nirvana, whatever it is, moksha or god or whatever it is.
So we have to find out accurately what your approach is to any problem and especially with regard to psychological problems, the problems in oneself. So what is your approach? Right? Not clear, sir? When you say 'clear', verbally, or actually? That means you want to find out if there is an answer to this question, if there is a resolution to the question, which means you do not know the answer. If you know the answer, it is not a problem. If the answer you have come to through some divination, divination which again is doubtful - or if you have studied some philosophies, or upanishads or various books and come with that knowledge, you are approaching with knowledge which you have acquired which is the past. Right? So your approach dictates the resolution of the problem. Please see the importance of this. This is the beginning of intelligence - you understand? - to see not only verbally, logically, but to see the fact that psychological problems can only be solved in the manner how you approach it. If you approach it in any form of motive, try to escape from it, the problem will always remain. It's like having a cancer. If I had a cancer I can't escape from it. The doctor tells me, 'On the table, old boy, otherwise you are going to die in a week.' So I have to look at it very carefully. So I must approach this question. So in the very approach is the beginning of intelligence, the intelligence that'll give you insight into the whole phenomenon of the 'me'. You understand this? Are you all being mesmerised? Sirs, this is a very, very, serious problem, you understand? It will change the whole, our whole relationship with each other, because now it is based on 'me' and 'you' - two separate individuals with their images of each other, with their memories of each other. And so sustain the separation though they come together, all the rest of it, they are separate. You and your guru are separate. They may say, 'Oh no, we are all one, and I am up the ladder and you are down below'. But actually as long as this individual activity goes on, they must be separative and therefore there must be conflict: nationally, racially, collectively, economically, socially, every way.
Is that intelligence - which is not cleverness, which is not logic, but in the observation of these facts we have used logic, reason, sanity, but intelligence is not reason, is not cleverness, is not analysis. It is the quality of a mind that sees instantly the truth, the fact as it is. This intelligence is not of the book, is not of experience. Oh you don't if you understand this, if there is this quality of intelligence, everything comes like water down the river.
So your approach matters enormously, and it is only the sea of intelligence can wash away the 'me', nothing else: changing names, going to various disciplines, belonging to masters, monasteries, nothing. Nothing will wipe away this structure which thought has created as the 'me', which is creating so much mischief in the world, because in itself it has no love. It can never Thought is never love.
And so we are examining the nature of thought and its activity, not how to stop thought, but seeing the movement of thought, what it has done in the world outwardly, and also what it is doing inwardly - you understand? - the two are not different. It's like the sea going out and coming in - ebb and flow, coming in and going out. But thought - please listen - thought has separated it, the outer and the inner. The inner is the result of the outer. If you want to change society, which is corrupt, which is immoral, which is destructive, which is totally ugly as it is, one has to change the individual who's created this society, the human being - not the individual - the human being who has created this society. You understand this? But what are we doing? The politicians, the economists, the communists, the socialists, the Maoists, all those people they want to change the structure of society. To bring about a change in the structure they invent a new structure. But it's the same mind. Oh, come on, sirs, look at it. And we fall prey to all that so thoughtlessly.
So we come to a point when we see together - not I see and you don't see and then I have to explain it to you - together we see this thing. That is, we have together thought, we have exercised our brains, neither accepting nor doubting, neither saying this is right or wrong - you can't say it's right or wrong when you see something actually. It is so.
From that question arises another, which is, what is human relationship? Because all society is based on human relationship. Right? Because the human beings are immoral, our society is immoral, human beings are corrupt beyond measure, we create a society that is utterly corruptible. So, we come to a point when we ask, what is our relationship? Not yours and mine, we'll come to that later, but your relationship with your wife and husband and children. As we explained, the word etymologically means 'to refer to', 'to look back'. You understand what the significance of that means? Our relationship with each other is based on memory, that is, refer to something that has happened - sexually, something, either insult, flattery, something that has happened, stored up in the brain. You have your experience sexually in relationship with each other and he is the same. You are following all this? So our relationships are based on remembrance. Just think of it, sirs. Which means what? Is love a remembrance? Don't accept or - find out, sirs. Is love a remembrance? Is love the result of thought? You understand? When you say you love your wife, I wonder if you ever do, perhaps not in India, but they do abroad, I don't know what that means, and you don't know what it means either. So we are asking - please, sirs, be serious, this is terribly important in life. Life is relationship, because all life being relationship, if it is based on memory, then it's only partial - right? - your relationship based on knowledge, which means that sexual knowledge, the pleasurable knowledge, the irritations, the possessiveness, the jealousies, the hatreds, the anxiety between two people, the agony of not being loved and loved - you know all that. All that is based on memory. Right? Do look at it, sir, for god's sake, look at it. When we say, I mean we are asking, if that is a fact, which it is, then what is your relationship? Just words - a piece of paper that says you are man and woman, married, either in a church or this or that. Sir, go into it, find out sirs, don't sit there, that is, if there is no relationship except on memory, see the tragedy of it, see the sadness of it, see the appalling condition which we have made ourselves into. Which means thought has brought about this relationship and therefore thought excludes every kind of affection and love. And therefore there is this constant struggle between man and woman. Thought cannot bring about love. You can't practise it, you can practise politeness, even that's doubtful. Politeness requires care, concern for another. So, whole generation after generation of people without love - you understand, sirs? So your children are not loved, your education has no meaning, everything is degenerating. After a million years we are like this.
So, when one observes this very closely, attentively, with care, there is not only the pure perception of these facts, but out of that perception comes this ocean of intelligence. Sir, intelligence and love go together. Without love, we cannot have intelligence. And it is that intelligence that gives place to division, to quarrels, to all the misery and confusion that we live in.
Now, you have listened for an hour. Where are you? I know you are sitting there. But where are you? Sir, don't ask the question - where are you? Has your mind understood the nature of itself, conditioned by a million years, by experience, by knowledge? And that seed which man has carefully hidden - you understand? - the seed of religiosity - not all the beads, that's not religion. But this tremendous demand on man from the timeless ages to find that which is eternal, nameless. That is inborn. Everybody is asking, asking, asking and therefore they get caught in the gurus, and all that nonsense - join churches and this and that. But they never develop this seed, this marvellous seed of religiosity, and that can only flower and cover the beautiful earth when there is this intelligence.