What can we do in this world?
A different kind of intelligence
1st Public Talk, Brockwood Park
August 28, 1982
I hope you are not as nervous as I am! (Laughter) Each time that one talks and goes through all this nervousness, apprehension, one doesn't quite know what one is going to say, at least I don't.
I think one should be aware of what is happening in the world, and not be depressed by it, or optimistic or pessimistic, but to observe impartially, dispassionately what is actually going on. Technologically the Far East is gaining more and more rapidly, advancing more than the Western countries, probably. And the economic situation right throughout the world is very shaky, uncertain. Socially there is a great deal of confusion, uncertainty. And religions throughout the world have played very little part in our daily life, they have lost actually their meaning altogether, though the organisation, the religious organisations maintain status quo, talking about superficial things, not fundamental realities of life. And what is going to happen to man in the future, to all of us and our grandchildren or whatever they are, what is going to take place?
One has to look at all this very carefully, not draw any conclusion either left or right, or centre, politically, or in any way take sides, not be committed to any political, religious body but be concerned with what is happening to man. They are preparing for war, armaments are being sold by industrial countries all over the world, their economy depends on it. And killing man seems to be fashionable, seems to be heroic. They are praised, their names are put in the cathedrals, and apparently killing other human beings in the name of religion, patriotism, country, has become all important. Nations are divided - the British, the French, the American, the Russian, the Indian, Japanese and so on. There is an economic war between them all, not only physical war but economic, and other forms of destructive attitude towards life. These are obviously, for any thinking man, these are the facts. And when one observes all this one asks what a human being, like you and me, what can we do in this world? This becomes a rather serious question. Some of us join some other group, commune, or follow some leader, putting on different kinds of robes and so on, which doesn't really, fundamentally affect the whole movement that is going on in the world towards destruction, towards war, in which the human existence has very little value. And when one asks: what am I to do, facing all this? And we must ask this question together. We must think this out together, not accept what the speaker says, but together, you and the speaker. And asking this question: what are we to do in this mad world which is becoming more and more insane, more and more violent, appalling things are happening of which we don't know - chemical warfare, biological warfare, nitrogen bomb and neutron bombs. These are going on, the scientists are preparing all this. If one country invents something more than the other, the other competes with the other. Scientists are maintaining all this. And the philosophers are merely spinning a lot of words.
Now what shall we, as human beings, living in this world, with our families, our children, what is our action, what is our responsibility? Just to turn our back on it? Retreat into some monastery? Into some ideological conclusions? Inventing new ideologies? None of these have solved our human problem, confronting this frightening state, dangerous world in which we are living.
So please, you are not just listening to the speaker expecting to find out what his answer is to all this, what is his activity, his responsibility, but that is a wrong question, if one may point out. It is: what is our responsibility? - not the speaker's responsibility only. It is what is the responsibility of each one of us. And the world is aflame, burning, thousands are suffering in the name of country, patriotism, and all that nonsense that is going on in the world. So we ought to, during these few talks here and questions, we ought to think together over this matter. We're together, not being committed to anything - to no group, to no politics, to no religion, to no country, and together find out what we, as human beings living in this dreadful world, what is our responsibility, what is our natural response to all this horror that's going on.
First of all, all human beings throughout the world, East, West, or Middle East, are going through a great many difficulties, a great many problems: starvation, overpopulation, bad governments, governments committed to their own particular ideologies, governments and the people who rule us are mad about power, position, prestige, helping the terrorists by selling armaments. The other day one heard on the television 80% of the armaments this country produces are sent abroad and 20% are kept for their own self-defence. This is happening right throughout the world. And human beings have suffered endlessly for millennia upon millennia, and they have found no answer to all this. And more and more we are becoming dependent on outward environmental control, trying to find answers in outward activity, through governments, through special laws and so on and so on. All outward, peripheral activity. And apparently the answer doesn't lie there, neither in politics, nor in separate nationalities, nor in the various religious organisations, sectarianism. There is no answer there at all. But we are always seeking answers for fundamental human disturbance in the outward symptoms by trying to deal with superficial symptoms without going very, very deeply into why human beings throughout the world are behaving as they are, callous, indifferent, totally concerned with themselves.
Please bear in mind that we are thinking together, not merely listening to the speaker, but be concerned with our responsibility, with our activity of our minds and our hearts about all this.
First we ought to look, I think, at the consciousness of mankind. Why this consciousness, which we are, why it has become what it is. Each one of us thinking that our consciousness is ours, our particular inheritance, our particular evolution. It belongs to each one of us, and we are confined to that limitation. This is what each one of us thinks: it is our consciousness, each one with our particular isolated consciousness. Right? That is a fact. Each one thinks what you are is you are special, inherited result, yours. Now we are going to question that. Is that yours? Is it your consciousness? Or the consciousness of all humanity, which you are. That is all human beings throughout the world, wherever they live, under whatever clime, under whatever government, religion, they go through great fears, anxieties, sorrow, misery, some vague happiness. This is the common lot of every human being. Right? Of every human being. Even though they may be highly placed, living in great houses, or in a hut in poverty, mankind goes through this. So there is the common consciousness of which we are. So it is not your consciousness. You suffer, you are uncertain, great anxiety, loneliness, depression, seeking something beyond all this, calling it god, outside agency, and so on, so on. Every human being - please do realise this, not a verbal association or verbal comprehension, or some intellectual conclusion but an actuality, a reality that we, each one of us, is the rest of mankind. Please, this must be really grasped because from that we are going to find out what to do then. If we are not clear on this point - clear in the sense not verbally or intellectually but in our feeling, in our hearts, in our depth of our being, in our blood - that every human being whether they live in the totalitarian states or in the so-called democratic world, capitalist or the other, left or right, Indian, Japanese, black, white, purple, whatever the race and religion, every human being goes through this, as each one of us does: agony, tears, laughter, worshipping something that thought has invented. This is the ground on which all human beings stand. You cannot possibly refute it. Logically, intellectually if you will, this is a fact, though on the periphery, on the outside you may be more educated, living in an affluent society, better hygiene, better fed, perhaps a little better government, it is all the peripheral activity. But deeply, fundamentally, each one of us is the whole of mankind. Right? Do we actually comprehend this? Or our brains refuse to accept such an idea, refuse to see the fact because we are so conditioned that my life is mine, my consciousness, my thoughts, my activity for which I am solely responsible. Your brain refuses to face this enormous reality that we, as human beings, are the rest of mankind.
We can endlessly discuss this, pros and cons. We can endlessly analyse whether we are separate from all other human beings, consciously, in our consciousness. You may be tall, you may be short, you may be pale, you may be white or semi-white, or brown, black and so on, those are all peripheral, outside activities. But deep inward states, we are like the rest of mankind, so you are the mankind. You are the rest of humanity. Right? Please, this requires, this is real one has to be industrious with regard to this. Work it out so that when this is absolutely, irrevocably clear then we can proceed to enquire what we human beings can do.
When we ask that question what we can do, we are still thinking what I can do. You understand? We are not thinking as a total human being. We are thinking as isolated entities asking this question what I can do. Right? Which is a wrong question because we are still concerned with ourselves as a separate isolated human being. Of course we are isolated, you are different from me, you are tall, I am short, or I am brown, or you are white or you are black, or whatever it is. But when you shift the superficiality of all this, and when you delve deeply into oneself, into oneself which is our consciousness, then you begin to discover that you are like the man next door, or very far away, going through various agonies, depressions and anxieties, loneliness and sorrow.
Very few of us ask such questions. We are all so highly educated as individuals, separate, isolated from each other, as countries are divided. And so when we ask what to do, we are asking as an Englishman, a British, French, belonging to certain government, or belonging to certain groups and so on. But we never comprehend deeply the reality that basically we are all one. Can we move from there? Not - we can move, talk about other things very easily but if this ground is not actual on which we can stand firmly, nothing can shake us from that, then we can find out what is our responsibility as a whole human being, not as an isolated human being. We are going to go into it more and more as we go along. We are thinking together about these matters. Please the speaker must insist on this. The speaker is anonymous, he has no authority, he, as a person, he doesn't exist. He is merely, observing, we are both observing together what is happening. So please don't pay any attention, or give any importance to personality. It is like a telephone, you don't respect the telephone, put garlands round it, worship it. You listen to what it has to say. The telephone may be black, white - it has many colours now, I believe! (Laughter) But when you give it importance it becomes too absurd and childish.
So we can proceed. Technologically - please understand this question, I am going to go into it - technologically man has turned his mind towards perfecting more and more technology - computers, armaments. So technology is moving more and more to the East, to the Far East. That is, man has given importance to technology - right? - better instruments of war, better communication, better means of killing another human being and so on. I won't go into all that - we all probably, you all know about it. So man has given time, energy, money, his capacities towards that, improvement of technology. Please see this, what is happening in the world. So his consciousness has moved towards greater technology. Right? He has given his thought, his energy in that direction. So our brains are becoming more and more technologically minded, gadgets. Please, we are not saying you shouldn't have that, we are saying that is inevitable, that is what is happening. And man has given very little time, energy, thought in any other direction. He doesn't say, 'I am going to find out for myself what I am, why I behave like this. What is beyond all this?' We haven't given a thought to it. You understand the two? That is man has given enormous time and energy towards the conquering of environments, which is the sky, heaven, and the world. And we have not given that equal energy or time or vitality to enquire within ourselves - you understand? - what we are, why we behave like this, is there anything ultimate, is there any existence without cause, which is the enquiry of something far greater than all technology, all human thought. You understand? You see the picture? Technology is invading our whole consciousness and we are not giving enough energy and time to the other. And if there are a few who do they are submerged by the other. Please see the actuality of all this. I hope this is all clear, that we are all understanding each other in what is being said.
One may give energy, time, to the enquiry of that which is material, and that which is far beyond all material explanations, if there is something eternal, beyond all sorrow. Very few of us give time to it. And when we do, perhaps one or two here and there, then the other world submerges it. So if more, if all of us who are listening here give time, energy to the enquiry of something beyond all this, then we are adding to that consciousness something which is not technological world at all. Are you understanding? Am I making this clear?
Suppose you give your time, energy, your capacities, to real enquiry, not accepting belief, and all that childish stuff, but deeply enquiring. Enquiry is different from analysis. Enquiry is to observe and pursue that observation. So when one human being does this you may add to the whole human consciousness a certain quality to it. And that quality is soon destroyed, or submerged, or diminished by the other. But if there were a thousand people who are concerned with this, not forming a group and all that kind of silly stuff, but actually giving your whole life to this, then you are adding to that consciousness, to the human consciousness a quality of something beyond all words, beyond all thought, beyond all conclusions, which is something eternal. You understand?
So if this is clear then we can ask: what are we to do? Not before. It merely then becomes a superficial activity. If each one of us said to ourselves, because that is an obvious fact: the world is now becoming technologically-minded, I don't know if you are aware of all this - Japan is becoming the centre of know-how, the centre of technology. The Japanese government is investing billions and billions of money to investigate into computers. They have already almost conquered the West by their cars, by their watches, by their cameras, by their gramophones, everything. Other far-Asiatic countries are pursuing them, are cultivating this. And not in opposition, not as a reaction to that, but man cannot live on technology alone, and its products, one has to go into something that is immeasurable. So if all of us who listen to all this give time and energy to this enquiry then that very enquiry will answer that question: what am I to do? Right? So we are going together to find out how to enquire, how to observe.
First of all, to observe is not to analyse. When you observe a flower you see the beauty, the quality, the colour, the perfume, the untouchable beauty of it. And after that you can analyse. You can look at the flower, tear it to pieces if you want to - I hope you won't - tear it and then look at it. Analysis is a dead process. Observation is not. Analysis implies the analyser and the analysed. The analyser thinks he is separate from that which he analyses. This is the whole psychology that the analyser is separate from the analysed. Right? It is not a fact. The analyser is also the result of the past, his memories, his experiences, his knowledge, and that which he observes he thinks he is separate. Right? Look, I will make it much simpler.
I am envious. Envy involves jealousy, comparison, imitation, conformity. And I am envious, it gives me pleasure in fulfilling my desire. And you come and say, 'Look, envy is an ugly thing, it is really quite destructive.' So in me there is immediately the analyser saying, 'The envy is different from me. I am going to control it, I am going to shape it. I am going to mould it. I am going to put it away - or keep it.' But when you examine it more closely the analyser is the analysed, envy is part of me, I am not different from envy - right? Anger is not different from me, I am anger. But my conditioning has been that my anger is different from me, because then I can control it, then I can shape it, then I can rationalise and give a dozen explanations why I am angry. But anger, envy and so on, is part of me, I am anger. So when there is a division between the analyser and the analysed there is conflict. There is struggle, there is pain, there is every form of substitution, or transcending it and so on, so on, but when the analyser is the analysed the whole problem undergoes a radical change because there is no conflict. Then you are really observing. Is this clear? Are we getting clearer between ourselves?
Please don't look so solemn. (Laughter) Is this clear for ourselves? Because we have lived with conflict, all our relationships are based, bring about conflict, from childhood we live with conflict - the more, the better. This measurement, which is the space between 'what is' and 'what should be', which is the measurement, which is time, is bringing about great conflict in us. I am this, but I will be that. Either in the business world or in the artistic world, or in our daily life. This conflict we accept, we say that is normal, healthy, it brings about progress, all that blah, blah, blah. But if you are enquiring into whether the brain, whether the mind can be free from conflict then you have to go into this question whether the observer, the analyser, is entirely different from the analysed, or the analyser is the analysed and therefore the ending of conflict. And therefore observing what takes place when there is no conflict. Because if I am envy, I am envy. I don't say, 'I should not' or 'I am' but I observe the movement of envy. Right? Observe without any pressure, without any future to that which is being observed. This requires a great deal of attention, a great deal of energy to look so clearly. Then the whole conditioning of man who has accepted conflict as the way of life disappears completely.
Human beings in the world in which they have lived for so many million years, not four thousand, five hundred years ago. Not the fundamentalist's idea which is rather absurd, they have lived for so many, many years, centuries upon centuries, they have accepted conflict, they have accepted hate, they have accepted to wound each other, kill each other and when one realises that our consciousness is not mine, my thinking is not mine, thinking is common to all mankind whether they are poor, uneducated, completely ignorant and superstitious, they think. Or the great scientists, they think. Thinking, it's not yours or mine, it is thinking. And one begins then to discover that observation is far more acute, direct, has a quality of decision - not analysing, tearing everything to pieces to find out why we act this way and go back to your grandmother, or your mother or your father. That too becomes rather - if I may, I hope there aren't any psychologists here - rather immature. Please, we have discussed this matter with many psychologists. So don't if there are any psychologists here please don't get hurt. Just look, listen, observe what we are saying. We may be totally wrong, subject to all your correction, but enquire, look at it. Where there is observation there is no analysis. Just to observe as you would observe a beautiful mountain, you cannot alter it, its grandeur, its majesty, its great beauty. Just to observe. In observation there is beauty.
So with such quality of observation we are going to look. Not what I think is observation, but together to observe. You understand? Are we together in this a little bit? To observe, say for example, the hate that is spreading throughout the world, one human being wanting to hurt another by a gesture, by a word, by a look, by something that you write or say: hate. It is spreading throughout the world. The poor man who has hardly anything to eat in the East hates when you go by in your car, have clean clothes - you understand all this? And see what the recent wars in this country and other parts of the world are doing, they are cultivating hate in the name of god, in the name of country and all that, patriotism and all that childish stuff. So observe this hate. Do we hate anybody? Rather an odd question to ask but it's right. We are going to go into all this. Do we hate somebody? Because if somebody you hate for various reasons, he might have hurt you psychologically. Anger is part of hate. When you observe, not analyse, this hate, why human beings have cultivated diligently this hate, through wars. Can one, in oneself can one honestly, without any sense of hypocrisy, dishonesty, say, 'I have observed my hate for another' and it is observation which is like a flame of attention wipes away that hate.
And most of us from childhood are hurt, wounded by parents, by teachers, being hurt through comparison, better marks, better - you know the whole business of modern education. You are getting hurt. And to observe that wound, or many wounds - there are not many wounds, there is only one wound, one hurt, that is, hurt. You may be hurt by this person, or that person, for this reason or for that reason, but the hurt is same. Can you look at that hurt, observe it, not try to transcend it, go beyond it, all the rest of it. Because when you observe the hurt you will see all the consequences of that hurt. It is a wound that is continuous, though it may be submerged, it is continuous, it is producing various results, results of isolation, fear, so gradually resistance, and further isolation.
So when you observe very closely this hurt, which is to observe, to give your total attention to that observation, it is like fire that burns out, that cleanses the wound. So we are proceeding still further into the enquiry of observation, which is to observe our relationship with each other. Observe our relationship whether intimate or not. What actually is our relationship? Is that of dependence, is it that I need somebody to fulfil my desires, to escape from my loneliness, to biologically, sexually to appease my demands? Please you are enquiring - I am not enquiring. We are together enquiring, please don't say I am enquiring and just listen to me. You are enquiring into your relationship. You may not want to, that is a different matter. You can shut your ears or leave the tent, the marquee, but since you are you have to listen to it, willy nilly.
So what is your relationship? Just to observe the quality of that relationship. Is it attachment? An escape from loneliness? A sense of dependency? So is your relationship - please listen to this for a minute, if you are interested - has your relationship a cause? All right? You understand my question? Has it a motive? If there is a cause, cause means a pressure, a motive which is a movement of intention, conscious or not, that which has a cause must inevitably end. You understand? If I have a cause to love you - think of the horror of that - if I have a cause to love you because you are all sitting in a large audience and it gives me great pleasure which is my cause, my motive, then the consequences of that are ugly. So, I depend on you. And where there is dependence there is fear. So I am discovering where there is a cause there must be an ending. If I have a cause in my relationship with my wife, with my husband, with my children - cause, then that relationship must create conflict inevitably. And there is always an escape from that conflict - god, football, (laughter) psychologists, and so on, so on, so on, divorce - you know the whole process of it. So when you look at one's relationship, it is mere, as it is now, except on rare occasions, a form of self-exploitation of each other and in that there is great ugliness and brutality and violence and quarrels and all the relationship of which most of you know.
So can one observe this fact? We have analysed it briefly, which we can go into it much more deeply but can one observe this extraordinary fact of self, of dependence, attachment? So one asks: is attachment love? Is love possession? My wife, my girl, my husband - attachment. Is that love? If that is love then it has a cause. Right? Because I depend on you because you satisfy me, gratify me and therefore where there is a cause our relationship must inevitably end up in conflict. So has love a cause? You understand my question? Please ask these questions!
So one has to observe closely the nature of relationship and love. Love has now become very trodden upon - you know what it has become, sex, pleasure, a form of entertainment. And where there is the cause to love, love has gone. So can human beings - please ask this question - can human beings live without a cause? Not political cause or some other cause, I am not talking of such causes. To live in one's life, daily life without a single cause. Is that at all possible? Or we are so conditioned that as we have lived for thousands of years on causation and its effect, it is very difficult to observe a life without causation. You understand the implications of that question?
If the speaker comes here and talks because he has got a motive - propaganda, fame, notoriety, bigger audiences, therefore gratifying to the speaker, all that business, then the speaker has a cause. And then what takes place? He is in a terrible pickle! (Laughter) He then depends on you. He wants your flattery, your criticism, you know, all that. He doesn't want your criticism, he wants your flattery, he is dependent, attached, and so he is perpetually in a state of anxiety and therefore he is a monster, he is exploiting you. So, then we may ask: why is he speaking, what is the cause? There is no cause. Find out what it means to live without a single cause, because love has no cause. Right?
So we have examined, observed hate in the world, perpetuating, governments are perpetuating it, human beings are perpetuating it. When I say 'I am British' I am perpetuating hatred because British means, or French or German, whatever it is, a process of isolation. Where there is isolation there must be conflict. I go and kill somebody, organised murder. And we looked at, observed the wounds that one has received from childhood. To observe it so that it is totally cleansed, wiped away, which means to be vulnerable, which means sensitive. A sensitive person is not wounded, he is sensitive. Right? Because then a sensitive person is attentive, watchful. And when there is attention there is no space for getting hurt. And also we looked at, observed, relationship, which is very important in our lives. We cannot possibly live without relationship. You may go off into the mountains by yourself but you are related. Related means you are carrying all the tears of the world, the laughter, the pain, the anxiety, the loneliness, it's there. You may physically wander off but you are carrying all that weight on your shoulders, as relationship is extraordinarily important, we live by relationship. We cannot possibly escape from relationship, but we dictate what that relationship should be. And so we get caught, we kill each other in our relationships. So one has to enquire very, very deeply, the nature of relationship and love. Where there is a cause there is an ending, a conflict, a brutality in that relationship. So one has to find out what love is. If it has a cause, 'I love you because...' Good god, then it is a trade. And to find out much more is to find out, to live without a cause. You understand the implications of that? There is no ending to such a life, such a way of living. Right, we'd better stop now.