What has happened to mankind?
A different kind of intelligence
2nd Public Talk, Brockwood Park
August 29, 1982
May we continue with what we were talking about yesterday? Before we go into that may the speaker remind you this is not a weekend entertainment. You are not here just to be amused, or intellectually excited about it. This is in no way a form of entertainment. We are rather serious and I hope you are also serious.
We were saying yesterday that human consciousness, that is what we are, not superficially but deeply, there is a common ground upon which we all stand. Our consciousness is more or less similar to the whole of mankind. Wherever you go there is always sorrow, anxiety, uncertainty, great sense of deprivation, a pursuit of pleasure and the endless pain of a thousand years of tears. This is the common lot of all human beings, whether they live in different climates, whether they live in China, in Russia, or in America, or in different parts of the world, this is the common lot of all human beings. And this is the consciousness, with its content, of all individuals who think they are separate, but they are similar to all mankind. I think this is irrefutable, both logically, intellectually and factually, this is so. It is not a dogmatic statement but when one closely observes what human beings are actually, not ideologically, not in fantasy, or romantically, but actually: each one of us suffers, each one of us is in a great deal of trouble, in sorrow. We are uncertain, insecure, frustrated, wounded, and wherever you go this is so with all human beings. Though superficially they are divided by nationalities, by different cultural religious differences, but those are outward coatings of an inward travail, inward agony, pleasure, joy and so on. So when you consider this carefully, what place has individual in it at all? We are conditioned to individuality, we are conditioned to think that we are separate from another. We have separate souls, whatever that may mean. We must succeed separately. So is that mere conditioning, or is it an illusion, or it is something that superficially - because we are different superficially, you are tall, I am short, or I am black and you are brown and so on and so on - superficially we may be different at the peripheral level, but that does not constitute individuality. You may have a different capacity from another. I may be an artist and you may be a politician - those are outward dressings, outward coating. And we take the outward effects, outward appearance as individual.
As we said yesterday, we are not merely listening to the speaker but we are thinking together over this matter. The speaker is not laying down any dogmatic statement. We are questioning, we are enquiring, and doubt, scepticism, is part of this enquiry. Not only doubt what one thinks, doubt one's beliefs, one's conclusions, not merely doubt what the speaker says - that would be quite easy, and it becomes rather superficial - but to doubt one's own behaviour, the way one lives, the whole religious structure, to doubt it, question it; to doubt all nationalities, why we kill human beings who are like us, why we tolerate wars and so on. Scepticism has a place in our enquiry. And we are enquiring together, not the speaker is enquiring and then you follow him. Or you say it is absurd and move away from it. But rather we are together going into this matter. It is not a one-sided affair. So if that is very clear that we are together enquiring into the question: what has happened to man who has supposed to have evolved through millions of years? And through that evolution, through that time, period, we have more or less remained as barbarous as before, killing each other, constantly in conflict, divided religions and so on.
So as we said yesterday, our consciousness, which is what we are, is the consciousness of mankind. And we are concerned whether that consciousness with all its content - the beliefs, the conclusions, the faiths, the acceptance, the fears, the pleasures, the agony, the loneliness, the despair, sorrow and the constant enquiry if there is something more beyond all this - is the content of our consciousness. This is what we are. And thought, as we said, is not individual thought. Thought is common to all mankind. So again very obvious. And thought has created all this world in which we live. Not nature, not the tiger fortunately, not the lovely trees or the mountains, but the society in which we live, thought has created all that. And having created it then thought tries to solve the problems involved in that society, of which we are. We are society, society is not different from us. What we are, the society is. If we are ambitious, greedy, envious, competitive, violent, we create a society which is what we make of it. So as one observes, these are all obvious facts if one has looked into it. And I hope one hopes that you are doing this, not accepting what the speaker is saying but enquiring together into this very serious matter. And this is not a weekend seriousness, for a few days, for this morning, for an hour or so you are a bit serious and then forget all about it, back into the routine, into the tradition, into the habit, into the mechanical process of living. We are enquiring together why human beings - you and those people who live miles and thousands of miles away, have made society as it is, and whether it is possible to bring about a radical change in that society, which means radical change in ourselves, because we are society. The world is not different from us. We have made this world. Unless our world, which is the world which is within us, in the psychological area, if that world is not transformed we will go on killing each other in the name of god, in the name of religions, for patriotic reasons. And all that indicates we are thinking in terms of isolation - the British, the French, the Tibetans and so on - thinking in isolation, and hoping to find security both physically and psychologically, in this isolation try to find security. There can be no security in isolation. It is so obvious. There can be no security in religious isolation. There is no security in communes because they are isolated. There is no security when we think we are separate from the rest of mankind.
Isolation is a very complex problem because we are all conditioned to live and function in isolation. That is our tradition, that is our culture. If you are an artist, you are an artist separate from everybody else, business man, or the priest - separate. And religions throughout the world are cultivating this separatism. This is a very serious matter, please do pay attention to this because things in the world are getting worse and worse. People are preparing for war. This is not a threat by me but it is there. And we human beings are caught up in it. The politicians will not listen to any of this because they cultivate isolation, because the vast majority of people in the world think and believe, have faith that when there is separate nationalities there will be peace. And history has proved there is no peace in isolation, and yet we carry on. You have had a war in this country. There is war going on in different parts of the world because everybody ideologically, nationally and individually are working for themselves, thinking in terms of security in isolation. And, as we said yesterday, to observe this fact, this reality, to perceive it, not emotionally, not as an intellectual concept but as an actuality, a burning reality, that as long as we are thinking in terms of isolation there must be conflict. Conflict in our relationship, as we pointed out yesterday. And this isolation brings about hatred. This isolation brings with it this sense of separate entity who must work for himself, cultivate his selfishness, pursue his own trade, his own capacity. That is what the scientists are doing. The scientists, they are interested in one or two things - really great scientists are concerned with matter, what is beyond matter - but those who are employed by the government, the scientists are maintaining war, as the priests throughout the world are maintaining war. Right? These are all facts.
So as we said yesterday, to perceive these facts is not to analyse the fact. That which one observes, to observe. And we went into that question briefly yesterday: what does it mean to observe? Observe what is happening out there, outside of our skin, the society, the world as it is, where technology is advancing so rapidly, it is almost destroying human brain. And the East, as we pointed out yesterday, that is the Far East is now going to be completely mechanised, technologically advancing far more than any other country. As you know in Japan - cars, radios, televisions and all the rest of it. And the brain has been occupied mostly with that. And now if we do not wisely, carefully, intelligently observe the deeper quality of the brain, the deeper quality of human being, then the brain will naturally deteriorate, as it is deteriorating now. The brain has got infinite capacity but it is limited now as we live. It is limited by our desire to fulfil as an individual, it is limited by the travail, the agony, the despairs, the loneliness, the terrible state human beings live in, all that - by all those activities the brain is limited. When that limitation is broken down it has got infinite capacity. Right? And we are enquiring into that, whether it is possible to break down, to be free from this conditioning of, as we said, from hate, because human beings hate each other; you may not hate your neighbour but you hate anybody who interferes with your particular ideas, or you tolerate them, which is the same form.
And we went into the question also of human beings wounded psychologically. To observe that wound and not carry on and on for the rest of one's life. See the consequences of being hurt psychologically, what it breeds - loneliness, resistance, more fear. To observe it. And observation is like a flame which is attention, and with that capacity of observation the wound, the feeling of hurt, the hate - all that is burnt away, gone, if you observe attentively.
And also we talked yesterday about relationship, human relationship, intimate and not intimate. How we are in constant conflict with each other in our relationship, man, woman. I am sure we know all this. But we tolerate this conflict. We have put up with it, we are educated to accept conflict. And conflict we consider is necessary, a form of progress. So, where there is conflict there cannot be love. We talked about it briefly yesterday also. Conflict has a cause and has love a cause? If I love you because you give me food, sex, comfort, dependence, I feel attached to you for various reasons - economic, social, health - is that love? Please we are asking this question - the speaker may ask it but you have to ask this of yourself. Has love a cause? The two words are contradictory because our present so-called love has a cause and therefore in it there is always the seed of conflict. So what has a cause can end, an effect can end.
And we ought to talk over together this morning so many other things involved, like fear, pleasure, loneliness, whether sorrow can ever end. You know man has never understood, or finished, end sorrow. After millions of years he is still living with sorrow and fear, pursuing something which he thinks is real, true and he is always disappointed, and to achieve that reality, that truth, he must struggle - conflict is necessary to achieve that which is beyond all time. So we are trained, we are educated, it is our habit, our tradition to struggle, to live in conflict. Conflict is not only personal but the conflict with other people, with other nations. We are asking what is the root, the cause, of this conflict? Please you are asking this question with me. Please don't wait for an answer from the speaker. We are both together examining the cause of this endless conflict between human beings: conflict of religion, conflict of nationalities, the destruction of human beings who believe in something different from you, the conflict of ideologies, conclusions. Can this conflict ever end, or must human beings everlastingly live with it?
What is the root of this conflict, the cause? If one can find out the cause then the effect can naturally be sterilised, wiped away or end. But if we don't find the cause, the deep-rooted cause, then you may try to effect, try to alter the cause. You understand? If I don't find cause for my unhappiness I live always in my unhappiness. If I don't find cause for my sense of loneliness I'll always tolerate it, put up with it, be frightened with it, go through the various travail involved in loneliness. But if I can find the cause of it I can end it. So we are trying together, we are not accepting what the speaker is saying. The speaker is totally anonymous, it is not important what the speaker is, but what he says is important.
So, what is the cause of this conflict? First of all look at the ideologies man has created: the Russian ideology, Marx, Lenin ideologies, Mao Tse Tung ideologies, the Christian ideologies, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Tibetan, the American democratic - is one of the causes of this conflict ideologies? You understand? Please ask yourself this question. You are a Christian, which is an ideology, with your form of worship, mass and all the tradition that goes with it, the peculiar dresses and so on, and I as a Hindu - I am not - I as a Hindu, if I am one, have my own peculiar ideologies, my own beliefs, my own faith, my own superstitions. So we are in conflict with each other, we tolerate each other but yet there is the strain between us. You believe in one thing and I believe in another. There is the whole totalitarian ideologies and the democratic ideologies. These ideologies are at war. Right? So we are asking, is one of the roots of conflict any form of ideology, any form of intellectual conclusions based on study, based on enquiry and come to a conclusion, and you come to a different conclusion, studying the same thing, and so we are at each other. Right? So we are finding out whether ideologies are one of the causes of this conflict in the world, and also in ourselves. Which is I conclude something from my experience. I have had an experience of a peculiar kind, I hold on to it. And you have another. So there is a difference, there is conflict. Can one then, if ideologies are one of the root causes of conflict, can one live without ideologies? Go on sir, work it out, think it together. Do it, please, as we are sitting here, enquiring, do it. See whether one can be free, if you think ideologies are one of the root causes of wars, disturbance, conflict, whether those ideologies are necessary at all. Ideologies are the projection of thought. That thought may have enquired, studied, accumulated a great deal of historical knowledge and come to a conclusion and holds to that conclusion. Another does the same thing. So there are two different camps, dividing each other, arming each other, killing each other. Right? And we are doing the same thing in our private life, in our relationship with each other.
So can one be free of all ideologies? We see the cause of it. The cause is we think that with ideologies, with ideas, with ideals, we will be secure, we will be safe. And we discover that ideologies in themselves created by man will inevitably bring about conflict. Right? There is the cause, which is, the cause is isolation. Isolation may be two hundred million people on one side and ten million people on the other. Or two people on one side and ten on the other. So having discovered the cause, which is, the desire to live according to a pattern, traditional pattern, or ideological pattern, or a noble pattern, such ideologies will inevitably bring about isolation. And that may be one of the major causes of conflict. Now when one has observed this fact, and the causation of it, to be free of the cause, that is be free of the desire, of the urge, that in ideas, in conclusions, in concepts, ideals, there is safety. Come on sir. Either it is a fact, or it is not, it is a wrong conclusion. Conclusion, you understand, again, which means separate (laughs). I don't know if you see that. The moment we come to a conclusion it breeds isolation. I believe in Christ and you don't. I believe in the Buddhist way of life and you don't. So there is this constant struggle, which means the brain has accepted a pattern of living according to some ideal, a concept, a symbol, and there is the illusion in that there is safety, so I cling to it. But when you point out to me the nature of this movement, either I reject it entirely, which is natural, or if I am at all sensitive, at all aware of the world as it is now, then I begin to enquire. Then I begin to see that the facts are much more real than the conclusions about the facts. Right? So can one be free of the cause of this ideological concept of life? Which is really a very, very serious question, because from Plato, Aristotle, and from the ancient Indians, ideals have become extraordinarily important, and we live according to the Greeks and their conclusions - though we have expanded, we have narrowed it down and so on. So this same thing - this whole idea of living according to an ideal, which must breed conflict. Right? Which is, the fact is, 'what is', not 'what should be' - the 'should be' has no fact whatever. 'What is' is a fact. Right?
So we are asking also: are there other factors of conflict in one's life? We are asking this question because - not because - we are asking this question naturally: is there a way of living in our daily life, a peaceful, vibrant, active life, not just sleepy life, to be free from all conflict, to have no problems? Problem is another factor of conflict. Right? We are trying to find out a way of living entirely different from what we are living now. The world is becoming more and more insane. And those who want to be sane, is rather difficult in this world.
So is fear one of the causes of conflict in one's life? We said ideals may be one of the factors of conflict because it takes away from us facing the fact. And we are asking: is fear one of the factors of conflict? Is isolation, which is part of fear, is that a cause of conflict? Isolation - me and you, we and they, the enemy and the allies. You understand? This perpetual process of isolation. Identify with one group against another group, the Buddhist group, the Christian group. You understand? This seems so absurd! And is fear a major factor? What is the cause of fear? Because, as we said, when you discover the cause, the effect can be wiped away. But we are always dealing with the effects. I am afraid of that person, or I am afraid of thunder, or I am afraid of my wife, husband - a dozen forms of fear. And we want to wipe away the effects of fear. We never question whether fear can totally end, which is to find out the cause of it. Right? Can we go along together with it?
Please, you are asking this question of yourself, not merely listening to the speaker. You know we always want to be led, that is one of our beastly nature. We all want to be told what to do - Marx tells you what to do, Christ tells you what to do, the psychologists tell you what to do, the politicians tell you what to do, the gurus and - you know all that business. We are always looking for leaders - a better political leader than the present one. And the better political leader is always not good enough but the next one will be better. And so we keep this idea. So we are asking - there is no leader here, please let's be clear on this point. There is no leader as far as I am concerned. You can create the speaker into a leader, which will be utter folly, but the speaker is not a leader. We are together co-operating to discover the cause of all this misery of man. You have had a thousand leaders. They have all failed. Right? So it isn't that we must have self confidence, or that we must rely on ourselves - we have also done that, that hasn't lead very far. Whereas if we can co-operate together in our enquiry, find out why the human beings are what they are now. You see there is perpetual misery, conflict, and we say fear.
Fear is one of the causes of conflict. What is the cause, the root of fear? We are not talking about the branches of fear, or trimming the branches of fear but the very root of it, the tree that has many branches, many leaves, many flowers, we are not concerned with that, but the root of it. Is it this eternal seeking of 'I am living in isolation'? Which is living on the periphery. You have certain characteristics, certain culture, certain way, certain tradition, and you are satisfied with that - you are British - all right? We'll tolerate this? And in France we are French. Go to Spain it is the same. Go anywhere in the world, it is the same assertion. Outwardly and inwardly we are isolated - my desire, my fulfilment, my wanting - all the rest of it. So is that one of the causes of conflict, isolation? Obviously. Politically, as long as you remain British and the French, and all the rest of it, there will be no global relationship and therefore there will be no peace in the world at all. Right? Tell that to the politicians and they will say 'Buzz off'. (Laughter) And we elect these politicians!
So we are finding out ideologies, isolation, and now we are enquiring into whether fear is one of the factors of conflict in our life. Obviously it is. I am afraid of you because you are cleverer than me. You are more beautiful than me. You know, this constant comparison. So is comparison one of the factors? Of course it is. Can one live a life without any comparison, which means no measurement? 'I am this, but I will be that' - that is a measurement. 'I will be that' breeds fear. Right? Oh I don't know if you follow all this.
So, what is the root of fear, the cause? Is it time? Is it thought? Is it desire? So if these are the causes - if they are - we are saying is desire one of the causes of fear. We will go into it. Is it thought that is the root of fear? Is it time? Time being a movement from 'what is' to 'what should be', time being the state of the brain that says, 'I am this but I will pursue the ideal'. And is thought the root of fear? The remembrance of pain of yesterday, hoping that pain will not occur again. Thinking: is that one of the causes of fear? Don't say, 'If I don't think what shall I do?' That is not the point. The point is we are trying to enquire whether thought breeds fear. Of course it does. Is desire the ground on which fear flowers? So we have to enquire into these factors. What is desire? What is thought? What is time? Shall we go on? You are not tired?
What is desire, which shapes our life, which has such extraordinary vitality, drive? We live by desire, the objects of desire may vary from time to time but we are not concerned with the objects, we are concerned with the root of fear. Which is, we are asking whether desire is one of the factors, and not desiring that or this, but desire itself. Right? What is desire? We have to enquire what is sensation, both tactical, touching - what is sensation? What is the function of the senses? Are the senses separate in themselves? And if they are separate you cannot help to do anything about it. But is it possible - please listen to this, you may not of thought of it - is it possible to operate with all your senses fully awakened? You understand my question? I may be very good in seeing clearly with my eyes, or I have a very good taste about wine, or I am sensitive about this or that. But I am asking: is it possible to have all your senses heightened and fully operating together? Right? Do you understand my question? Have you ever looked, have you ever tried - I am not asking, please, I am asking this politely - have you ever tried to look at a tree with all your senses? Or at the sea with all its beautiful waves and colour and depth and the tremendous vitality of it. To look at something with all your senses, that is to have total sensation, not partial sensation.
And sensation - yes - what is sensation? Pain, physical pain, physical discomfort, ill health, and also psychologically the sensation, the feeling of being hurt, being lonely, the sense of depression, and elation, the sense of deep inward loneliness of man. When we talk about man we are also including the woman, so don't get excited about it! (Laughter) We live by sensation, only partially. And is sensation, is that one of the causes of desire? I desire a car, a suit, a shirt, or a robe, or a dress. Look in the window. I perceive, optically perceive and I go inside and touch the material, it is good material - which is sensation. Right? So I am beginning to discover that, seeing, touching, contact - from that sensation. Right? Right? Seeing visually, contact, sensation. Then what happens? Then thought arises and says, 'How nice if I could get into that car and drive fast'. Or in that shirt, in that dress, in that... So thought creates the image of me having that shirt, or something else, when thought creates the image then there is the beginning of desire. Are you following all this? Go into it sirs.
This is part of meditation, if you are interested in it, not just sitting cross-legged and going off into some fantasy. This is part of meditation, to enquire very deeply into the nature of conflict, into the nature of desire. Not what other people say about desire. The whole concept, the Christian concept of suppression of desire - as we have come to serve the Lord, have no desire, except one desire to be like him - or whatever it is.
So, seeing, contact, sensation, then thought creates the image, at that moment is the birth of desire - right? - with all its problems. Controlling it, not controlling it, accepting it, enjoying it, with all the consequences of pain, trouble, and it may also included in it, it may be one of the causes of fear, because I may not get what I want - I am depressed by it, frustrated by it, I am afraid I can't get it, and so on. So I discover that one of the causes of fear is desire. I am not asking how to be free of desire, I see the cause. I perceive the cause. By the very perception of the cause something will take place. I am not going to say I must be free or not free of desire - that is very important to comprehend this. Then who is it that is going to suppress desire? Desire itself, surely, isn't it? I suppress desire because I want another form of desire. So it is the same movement. So we are saying we are not discussing, or going into the question of suppression at all, or escaping from it, or transcending it. We see the movement of desire, observe it.
Then we say is time the factor of fear? Time. I might die tomorrow, or ten years later. I am all right now but god knows what will happen tomorrow. Tomorrow is time. Right? There is time by the universe, that is the rising of the sun and the setting of the sun, night, day and all the rest of it. And also there is the inward time. The inward time which is, I have had happiness another day and I hope I'll have it in the future. Or I have had an experience, I cling to that experience and hoping nothing will disturb it. Or I have had pain, both psychological and physical, and I hope that will never happen again. Time is a movement. Right? And thought is also a movement, thought which is born of knowledge. Knowledge is the result of experience. We are the result of thousands of years of experience, thousands of years of knowledge, psychologically. And you need time to learn a language, to acquire various capacities. So there is time outwardly, there is time inwardly. And thought is also the result of time, the accumulated knowledge of centuries stored in the brain as memory, and that memory responds as thought. This is all facts, it is not my invention, it is so.
So, desire, isolation, thought, time are the factors of fear, the root cause of fear. Now, how does one deal with a cause? You understand my question? I have found out for myself the cause of fear. And is it possible to dispel that cause without effort? The moment I bring effort into it, it is another form of conflict. Right? So is it possible to be entirely free of the cause, or the causation which breeds all this? It is possible only - please we are talking over together - it is possible only when you observe the fact. That is, when there is the realisation that the cause is producing all these effects. And also one knows where there is a cause there is an end. If I have a cause for tuberculosis, that is the cause and I cough and all the rest of it. Now there is medicine to cure tuberculosis, there is an end of it. Where there is a cause the effect can be wiped away. So I am asking: I have found the cause, now how am I to deal with it, what is to happen with it? You understand my question? Any movement on my part, that is, any movement of desire to say, 'I must be free of fear, I must be free of this cause', that is another form of desire. Right? So I realise any movement of thought, any movement of the urge to be free, is part of the same thing. So can I observe without any movement of thought or time, just to observe? And remain with the cause, not move away from the cause. You are following all this? That requires tremendous close attention.
So one has to enquire much further into the nature of attention. It's not for the moment, today - we will do it another day. But to be aware of the cause and to have no choice about the cause - to go beyond it, suppress it, run away from it - just to look at it, hold it. When you give your whole attention to that cause, that very attention is like a fire that dispels the cause. Right, that is enough for today.
May I get up now please?