What is disorder in one’s life and what is death?
The essence of goodness is a mind that is not in conflict
5th Public Talk, Ojai, California
April 21, 1979
In India instead of having a loudspeaker they just wear garlands! May we continue with what we were talking about the last weekend? And I hope some of you who were here will tolerate certain repetition, a rsum of what we were talking over together. And I hope seriously, most earnestly, that some of you are really serious and not make these meetings into a kind of entertainment, a picnic place, an intellectual amusement.
We were saying the last two weekends that we must have a different kind of society, a totally different religion - if I may use that word 'religion' which is for a great many people an anathema - a totally different kind of religion and a society that is essentially good. The word 'good' is rather shy-making, and an old fashioned word, but as we explained very carefully during the last four talks and discussions, good, or goodness, is absolutely essential to create a new society. Goodness, in the sense that we live together in a world which is ours, this earth is ours, not the American, or the Russian, or the Indian, or the European, it is ours, to be lived in, happily, without violence, without the contradictions of various beliefs, dogmas, rituals, gods, without the national, economic divisions, and a good man, a human being can only create a good society. A good society is not born out of theories, either the Marxist or Mao or some other theories; it comes into being only when human beings are essentially good, orderly, peaceful, honest in themselves. It is only then you can have an extraordinarily just society. A good man needs no - goodness needs no justice because justice is good. It is only the dishonest people, the criminals, the terrorists that need laws, controls. So we were talking about that.
And this morning we must go into, as we have done in previous talks, fear, pleasure, and other things. So this morning if you will we will go together into the question of what is order, not only outside, external to us, but also what is order inwardly. And also we must go into the question of what is love and we must enquire together into the whole structure and nature of death. And when we are investigating together we must have one mind. Our minds must be together, that is, one must have certain quality of seriousness, willing to listen to another, not projecting one's own opinions, judgements and prejudices, one must be willing to listen so that we can both together investigate these enormous problems of our daily life. And perhaps if there is time we can go also into the question of what is meditation.
So first, can we have during this hour, and perhaps a little more than an hour, one mind, a mind that thinks together, that enquires together, that explores and sees the same thing together, not you see something different and the speaker sees something different, but together see what is actually going on, what is happening and whether it can be transformed, whether it can be brought about - a radical psychological revolution. So it must be if one may point out and ask if we can, whether it is possible to have one mind, because when you have one mind thinking together we can go very, very far. But if there are different opinions, judgements and distractions then our minds don't meet. What we are trying - what we are actually doing is that we investigate together, not I investigate and you listen, but you and the speaker together investigate into this problem of order, disorder and the whole complex problem of love and the full significance of the meaning of the word 'death'. And if there is time we can also go into the question of what is meditation. Perhaps we can deal with that tomorrow. So please bear in mind, if you will, that we are investigating, therefore we have one mind, so that we both of us seriously, precisely, very, very carefully investigate, explore what is order.
In a world that is so utterly disorderly - we mean by that word 'disorder' contradiction, dishonesty, lies, each one pursuing his own pleasure, his own fulfilment, ambition, seeking success for himself, or for his family, or for his nation, or for his particular psychological belief, or as many are doing now, the psychologists and so on, the therapists, they learn from a particular - they follow a particular line and accept it, and for the rest of their life they follow it because their whole investment is involved in it, including cars and swimming pools and all the rest of it. So each one, as you will observe, is pursuing his own particular, limited demands, desires and that is creating chaos in the world, whether it is a religious pursuit or the pursuit of a particular guru with all his absurdities, with his traditions, with his disciplines. So there is this vast splitting up of our human - human endeavour to bring about a world in which we can all live in order, without violence, without this terrible sense of insecurity and danger. So can we, together, have one mind, not that you agree with the speaker, because when you investigate there is no agreement; it's only when in investigating, exploring, your personal desires, your personal activities, all those are affected then you stop investigating. Then we break away. But if we are both interested, as we must be, living in this insane world - it is quite insane - we must be able to think together, have one mind to find out if we can live in this world with great order, peaceful, without any sense of violence. So that's what we are going to do together.
The speaker is not investigating but you and the speaker together are walking the same path, the same road, you are not going south and the speaker is not going north, we are both of us going together, therefore we must both observe the same thing together. Do you understand this? So please, if you are at all serious and are concerned with the world and one's own life, please give some serious attention to what is being said.
What is order? It is very important to find this out. The army with their extraordinary discipline has certain order. The priests, the monks, the so-called religious sects with their discipline, if you are practising those, brings about a certain order within their group. And every activity demands its own discipline: if you are a plumber it has its own discipline, if you are a scientist it has its own discipline, if you are an artist it has its own, and so on, so on. And the word 'discipline' means to learn, not to conform, not to conform to a pattern set by society, or set by yourself, or set by the pope, by some religious group or some other person. The word 'discipline' means the disciple who learns, who does not merely follow, imitate, conform. But that word 'discipline' has become rather an ugly word, specially in this country where you have no sense of discipline, you want to do whatever each one wants to do, from the age of five till you are about ready to die.
So order according to various groups and types and characteristics has its own meaning. To find out what is true order, actually in one's life, we must find out not what is order, but what is disorder. Because if one understands the nature of disorder, really, from that comprehension, from that insight, from the total holistic view of disorder, then from that arises order. You understand? It is not that one seeks order, then you follow a blue print, then you look to somebody else to tell you what you should do - that is again what is happening in this country, also in the rest of the world: the priests, the scholars, the psychologists, the psychotherapists, all of them tell you what to do. And instinctively you say, 'They know better than I do' and you follow and thereby bring about what you consider order. Whereas that acceptance of authority, acceptance of a certain type of psychology and so on, so on, is bringing about disorder. The very following of another is disorder. Whereas if we can enquire together seriously, find out what is the nature and the structure of disorder, not in the world but in us, because we have created the world, we have created this society, there is no such thing as the society independent of us, we are responsible for that, we have created it - 'we' in the sense all human beings with their many, many ancestors and so on, generation after generation, we have created this society. And in this society, if one observes very carefully, there is not only immorality, that is in the sense of doing exactly what each one wants to do - most people are pursuing pleasure, hooked on pleasure.
So we must enquire into what is disorder. From the negating of disorder you come to the positive which is order, not the other way round. Is that clear? Am I making this clear? That is, we want rules and regulations, a set pattern, or we rebel against that set pattern and create our own pattern. And if everyone creates his own pattern, his own way of living, naturally there must be disorder, each person must be in opposition to another. So what is disorder? Do you understand? Please understand this. From investigating the nature of disorder, not only verbally, intellectually, but deeply, actually in one's life, from enquiring into disorder and bringing about an understanding and therefore from disorder order, then that order is living. I hope you understand this. It is dynamic, it is actual in one's life.
So what is disorder? You are following all this I hope. What is disorder in one's life? May one ask, is your life in perfect order? If you are asked that question seriously by a good friend of yours, what would you answer if you are at all thoughtful, if you are at all concerned with this mad world, what would your answer be? If you were honest one would say, our own lives are in disorder: disorder being contradiction, say one thing and do another, think one thing and conceal what you think in order to conform, imitate, compare. All this brings about disorder, obviously. The very nature of desire is disorder. Are we all following this? We went into the question of what is desire. It is important to come back to that because desire may be the cause of this disorder, which doesn't mean we must suppress desire, we must understand the nature of it, how it is built up, what is its movement. The word 'structure' means movement. So we must understand the nature of desire. And we may find that in the very root of desire there may be disorder.
So we must again go into that question: what is desire which drives most of us, which is canalized in some form of fulfilment, which is our very nature, drive, the desire - what is desire? We said during the last talks that desire comes into being when there is perception, the seeing, contact, sensation. Right? Then thought comes into that field, into that movement of sensation, with its image, and then begins the urge of desire. I'll show it to you. You see a beautiful car, or a beautiful woman or a man, or a beautiful house, with a lovely, shady garden full of perfume, a sense of great beauty and peace. You see it: the seeing - visual, optical, then the very smelling, the very touching, creates the sensation - I hope you are following all this - then thought says, I wish I were living in that house, and thought then creates the image of you living in that house and enjoying yourself, having parties, whatever you have, good meals, good dishes, lovely furniture and beautiful curtains, the whole movement of thought enters into the field of sensation, then desire is born from that. You understand? That is, seeing a beautiful lovely architectural house, beautifully built, good space and proportion, and lovely garden. The perception, the contact, the sensation. Then thought comes in creating the image: you in the house, and then desire to have that house. You have understood this? This is very simple. We must understand this because the monks throughout the world have denied desire, they have suppressed it, desire for a woman, desire for man. They say if you come to serve god you must give all your energy to god - and you know all the things they have said, rather absurd, unrealistic, because when you do accept that then you burn with your desires inside. Outwardly you may be very peaceful, quiet, but inside you are boiling. I know, the speaker knows many monks throughout the world and they have talked.
So this is very important to find out whether desire is not the root of this disorder, which doesn't mean that one suppresses desire, but if one understands the relationship between sensation and the activity of thought capturing that sensation then one can have the sensation but not let thought create the desire. I wonder if you follow this. One can see the house - lovely, well-kept, clean, very dignified proportioned house. The seeing-please listen - the seeing, contact, sensation, and not let thought come into it. One can see a beautiful garden, that's the end of it; but the moment thought comes in and says, I must have it, then desire begins. If one sees the truth of that, the inward nature of that, then perhaps that is the beginning of order. Are we following each other? You may not be able to do this, because we never observe very carefully, slowly, precisely the movement of this whole structure of desire. You see it and you want it instantly, there is no interval between the seeing, contact, sensation, an interval between thought. You follow? So that in the holistic observation, then desire has its minute place. You understand? One needs food and clothes and shelter, that is essential. Right? You are following all this? But we are saying when the contradictory desires - desire for pleasure, desire for your particular experience, desire for god, desire for various gods, and various beliefs and so on, that is the very nature of contradiction. Are you following? That is, if we both of us have one mind, if we both of us see the actual fact that we are driven by desire, each one of us, whether the desire for pleasure, desire for success, desire for various forms of fulfilment, which are all born out of desire, then if you see actually how desire comes into being then you are concerned then with the movement of thought. You're following this? You understand this? Are we following this together? Yes, or no?
Krishnamurti: Then we are saying that thought also may be one of the factors that contributes to disorder. We are saying something so totally contradictory to everything you have heard, so please give your mind to this. We are saying, thought, the whole thinking process, may be the cause of disorder. I am going to go into it. We pointed out how desire may be one of the factors of disorder because contradictory desires in our life, opposing desires, one desire fighting another desire, struggling, you know all that, and also we are saying thought may be in itself the cause of great disorder. We are going to go into it, don't accept what the speaker is saying, we are investigating together. That is we have one mind to investigate, not saying you are wrong, you are right, but together we are having one mind, investigating, looking into this nature and the structure of thinking.
Thought arises only out of memory. If you had no memory there is no thought. Memory is the residue of experience which has knowledge. Right? Knowledge, accumulated knowledge of the plumber - (sound of P.A.) this is so active - the accumulated knowledge of the plumber, the accumulated knowledge of the scientist, the accumulated knowledge of the various forms of disciplines and scholars, and also one's own accumulated knowledge of various experiences, so we are the result of the collective experience, knowledge and added to that, our own particular knowledge. So knowledge is that which has been accumulated through various skills, through various disciplines, through various studies and so on, so on. So this knowledge is stored up in the brain, obviously. And with that knowledge we act, we think, we operate. So all our activities, all our architecture, everything that we have done is based on thought. Right? Please this is very important because we are going to enquire after we have this, what is the nature of love. Please together find out, give some time and your energy and your earnestness to go into this because it affects one's life seriously if you go into it, and therefore it may bring an extraordinary sense of order, and therefore where there is order there is freedom, where there is order there is peace. It is only the disordered man that has no peace. The man who is neurotic, who thinks this, or who is selfish, utterly concerned with himself, he is not living in order.
So we are saying that one of the factors of this disorder may be desire, and the other factor may be the very movement of thought because thought, as we pointed out, is born out of knowledge. The primitive man has knowledge, it may be very, very, very limited, and the most sophisticated person has also a great deal of knowledge, may have a great deal of and his memory is still born out of knowledge, whether a little knowledge or great knowledge it is still born out of knowledge therefore out of the past. Please follow this. Out of the past, therefore thought is limited, therefore its actions are limited. It may imagine that its actions are complete, whole, but it is actually limited because it is based on knowledge, and knowledge is never complete, whole. Of course not, you see that, right? Therefore all our activities which are based on thought and therefore limited, incomplete, partial, must create disorder. You understand this? - must inevitably. I must be quiet, I am putting too much energy into all this.
So if you see the truth of this then one comes to ask: what place has thought? If thought is limited and therefore creates disorder, anything that is limited must create disorder. Right? If I am a limited Hindu, with my beliefs, with my dogmas, with my little rituals, with my little gods, I must create disorder round me. But I may have a great deal of knowledge about architecture and the way to build but that knowledge is not limited. You understand? I use it, build up. But when I use psychologically knowledge - I don't know if you are following all this - then it is inevitably limited. You understand this? I wonder if you do. I am afraid you don't.
Let's go into it a little bit. An excellent architect has a great deal of knowledge, he has acquired, he has built many houses, cathedrals, halls and so on, that knowledge has been accumulated, he has read, he has worked at it, he has had experiences of various types of houses and halls, and so on. So with that knowledge he builds houses. There, knowledge is necessary, obviously. But psychological knowledge - you follow? - the knowledge that I want this, that I have experienced this, I believe this, this is my opinion, all that, the psychological residue of one's experiences, and the experience of mankind stored up in the brain, from that there is thought and that thought is always, ever limited, and any action born from that must inevitably be limited and therefore not harmonious, contradictory, divisive, conflicting and so on. Right?
So thought itself may be the root of disorder, psychologically. You are understanding? See the beauty of it, sir, the fun of it, and also the logic of it, if you are willing. So, then one asks: has thought any place in relationship? You understand? Relationship being intimacy with another, or superficial, be in contact with another physically, emotionally, intellectually. Right? Is our relationship with each other based on thought? We are asking this question, we are together exploring this, with the same mind to find out. If our relationship is based on thought, which is on remembrance - right? - then our relationship must be limited. Obviously. Therefore in that limitation there is contradiction, you and I, me and you, my opinion, my ambition, you are not treating me - you follow? - my sexual demands, and you oppose and so on. So we are asking - please, this is serious because we are going to enquire, what is the nature of love. You understand? Because if you don't understand this basic thing, which is, desire, thought, then order - the very essence of love is order. We will go into it in a minute. Why am I putting so much energy into all this?
So. If thought, being limited, creates disorder, as desire does, then what place has thought in our relationship, not in walking, in talking, driving a car, building a house, earning money, shelter, clothes, but in our relationship, man, woman, what place has thought? Please enquire, go into it, together, don't wait for me to tell you. If thought is the ruling factor in our relationship then thought being limited, our relationship must be very, very limited and therefore contradictory, opposing, destructive. So is our relationship based on thought, on remembrance? Of course it is, if you are honest. So then one asks: is love merely a remembrance? A sexual remembrance? Is love the remembrance of a pleasure? For god's sake, please pay attention to all this, this is your life! And here, in this country, one uses the word 'love' so - so meaningless!
So I am asking - we are asking together because we are having the same mind to find out, because this may bring about order in our lives, then one may be able to live with an extraordinary sense of happiness. Happiness is not pleasure, it is order, therefore with order comes freedom, and with order, freedom, there is responsibility. So we are asking: is love a remembrance, is love desire, is love pleasure? Is love attachment? Please, sir, ask yourself - ask! And if it is a remembrance with which goes attachment, then there is anxiety, conflict, jealousy, anger, hatred - right? And all this you call love. Right?
So love may be - the word 'love' is not - the word, isn't the actual; the word 'tree' is not the tree. You understand? So the word 'love' is not the actual reality of it, which is, a relationship which is not based on remembrance. Is that possible? You may have a relationship with another, apparently in this country, for a couple of years, or three years, and drop and have another relationship. You know, this extraordinary change - wives and husbands, or girls and boys. So I am asking, we are asking together: is love merely a fulfilment of desire? You understand? Desire we explained very carefully. Is love the pursuit of pleasure? Which is what you all want. And if it is based on remembrance then there is a contradiction, it is limited, therefore it is disastrous in our relationship, and therefore we create a society which is utterly destructive. You see, sir? So we are saying love is not desire, love is not the pursuit of pleasure, love is not a remembrance, it is something entirely, totally different. That sense of love, which is one of the factors of compassion, comes only when you begin to understand the whole movement of desire, the whole movement of thought. Then out of that depth of understanding, feeling, a totally different thing called love comes into being. It may not be the thing which we call love, it is totally a different dimension.
What time is it, sirs?
Questioner: Twenty five minutes after twelve.
K: Twenty five after twelve? Une heure pas! We have talked for nearly half an hour? Or one hour? I am sorry. There is so much to do. You are not tired?
K: We were also talking the other day, the nature of suffering, grief, pain. What is the relationship of love to sorrow? You understand? You follow? How can a man who is suffering for himself, for his wife, for his family, psychologically, who is suffering, going through agony, how can he have love? It's only when sorrow ends there can be the beginning of love. You understand? You don't understand all these things. And we went into the question of sorrow, we won't go into it now because we want to deal with something else, which is death. You understand? This morning we were talking about desire, order and disorder, disorder may be - is one of the factors of desire, and thought, and what we call love. You understand? What we generally, commonly, use that word 'love'. So these three factors may be the cause of our deep disorder. In the understanding of that, seeing the truth of this, then out of that comes love and compassion. And that compassion can only come into being when there is no sorrow.
Then we must go into the question of what is death. Are you all tired? What is death? I wonder why we human beings are so interested in death. You understand? Or are you not interested in death? Only old people are interested in death. And one must go into this very carefully, not only to find out whether human beings can be free from the fear of death, but what is implied deeply in ending, which is death - ending. Right? Have you ever ended anything, without motive, without coercion, without pressure, without giving up something in order to have something else? You understand? Ending. Have you ever ended a particular form of pleasure without any motive, without any suggestive demands? Just take for instance, attachment - attachment to a friend, to a family, to an idea, to a belief, to something or other. Can you end attachment completely? That is what death is, part of it. Right? You understand all this? Are you following all this? Can you end it without arguing? You can't argue with death. Doctors may prolong your life, I don't know why, but they want to prolong it, they want to help you to live longer. You have never asked what for. So we must first find out, not what is death, but what is before death. Right? You understand? What is before, not after or during, because what is before is more important than what is after. Right? I wonder if you Can we go on with this together?
So what is your life? Actually. If you look into it very carefully, if you have ever done, what is your life? Not the American way of life, (laughs) but your daily life of a human being living in this part of the world, what is that life? Is it not one of travail, labour, struggle, conflict, anxiety, fear, guilt, holding on to your own little experience, to your own little knowledge, and exploiting that knowledge for your own selfishness? The sense of frustration, unhappiness, great sense of guilt, anxiety and so on, isn't that your daily life? To escape from that you go to analysts, psychologists, theraputists, or gurus, or take drugs and whisky, you know, escape, escape from this. Or you have a little experience and go round preaching. You become a little guru. (Laughter) You might well say, 'That's what you are doing'. One must have a sense of humour, that is, one must have the capacity to laugh at oneself occasionally, or very often! (Laughter) So when one observes what actually is going on with one's life, look at it, how full of shadows, light and misery, confusion, uncertainty, tears, you know this, and what is it that we are ending? You understand?
And there are those who say, 'This is merely a peripheral existence, deep down in oneself there is divinity, there is the essence of all mankind which is far beyond this petty consciousness.' I do not know if you know all these various explanations, which I am not going to go into. So we are asking, is this what we are afraid of ending? You understand my question, sirs? And if one doesn't end this - please follow the consequences, slowly, carefully, I am going into the whole thing very carefully - if one doesn't end all this pettiness, shallowness, meaningless life, both outwardly and inwardly, if one doesn't understand it, resolve all the things that one is caught up in psychologically, then what is death? You follow? Sir, this is a complex problem, let me go into it a little bit, carefully.
As we pointed out earlier in these talks, you as a human being, psychologically, are similar to other human beings. Right? Psychologically. Because every human being goes through this sorrow, pain, anxiety, loneliness, despair, depression, guilt, violence, whether they live in the most extreme Orient and as you come extreme West every human being has this burning inside him, so we are similar. There is this vast movement of energy. Right? Which is like a vast stream, river. And either you contribute to that energy, to that stream, which is, you contribute if you don't end your attachments, your fears, your anxieties, guilt, violence, end it, if you don't end it you are contributing to this vast stream of energy. Right? That's clear. Obviously. But if you are not ending you are contributing to it, so this vast energy of the stream goes on, the river. See the logic of it. Please apply your mind to it. We are not talking of beliefs, comforts, we are not doing anything of that kind, we are observing very closely, we are not offering comforts because that leads to illusion, that's meaningless. Every religion has given comfort to human minds and therefore they have not penetrated deeply into this problem.
So there is this collective human river of confusion and sorrow. And when you have not ended it, your own sorrow and all the rest of it, you are part of that stream. When there is an ending of all that, the consciousness that we know of, as it is - you are following this? - the consciousness is its content. Right? Are you following this? One's consciousness is your anxiety, your grumbling, your guilt, your - all this is you, your consciousness. The content of that consciousness makes it; without this content the consciousness as we know it, is totally different. You understand? Not being able to empty our consciousness of its content we then begin to invent a super consciousness, higher consciousness, subliminal consciousness and so on, so on, so on. It is still the movement of thought. So we are saying that as long as human beings don't end their confusion, and go into it and resolve it and end it - right? - that is, if you are attached, your pain, your anxiety - you follow? - the fear of losing and so on, so on, psychologically, if you don't end it you contribute to that stream. And when you do die - not you, please - when one dies that's the ending of not only your organism and the brain with all its content, the stream goes on because you are part of that stream. You are following all this? You are part of that stream, therefore that stream manifests itself in the baby, in the man, in the adolescent with varieties of names and characteristics - you are following all this? I wonder if you are. Careful, please. You must apply your mind to this. So that stream is enduring, and from that stream there is manifestation. When you have a baby that's a manifestation. And in that baby as it grows over all the human collected misery, confusion, begins. Obviously, you can see it in each one, through education, conformity, society, all that. So we are asking, can you, as a human being, be aware of the stream, of which you are, and not contribute one iota to that stream? You understand the question? If you contribute you are part of it, if you don't contribute, not one single movement of - you follow? - of problems, sorrows, anxieties, loneliness, none of that, that means you are out of that stream. Then death is merely the ending of the varieties and the peripheral activities. You understand all this?
So can a mind, realizing all this, seeing the depth of this, seeing the implications of death, the ending, and while living, which is the period of time from adolescent, from baby to dying, during that given life, end every day as the problem arises. You follow? Psychologically end everything every day. Because it is very important. Because ah, there is so much! As we grow older our brains get worn out. Obviously, you can see it. Right? Haven't you noticed in yourself, as you get older your capacity to think clearly, to be aware, to attend, the sharpness has gone. So one of the problems, if you go into it, is, is it possible to keep the brain young? You understand? Not get old, worn out. Are you following all this? Ask yourself: is it possible for a brain not to get damaged, first - through drink, alcohol, you know, smoking, you know all that is going on with your lives, not to have friction, because that wears it out. To resolve a psychological problem immediately, not let it go over to the next day. You are following all this? So that this constant movement of a psychological problem, or even mathematical or any other problem, this constant usage - you understand? - wears the brain out. We won't go into the question of what the brain is, because it is very interesting. I am not a specialist or I am not a brain specialist, I have talked , enquired into a great deal in myself and also talked to others who are specialists. So we are asking, can the brain from the moment it is born till it dies be totally fresh, young, undamaged, unhurt? And it is possible only when every issue is resolved instantly. You understand this? You understand what I am Every issue: your sexual problems, your anxiety, your guilt, your inhibitions, your this or that, end it, every day - you understand? - not go to a specialist to make you end it, they don't end it because they themselves are blind. Right? It is like a confused person helping others to be unconfused. It's a lovely game you are all playing! So we are saying something, which is, death and living are very close, they are not fifty years ahead, but together. You understand? Live with death, that is the ending of everything that you hold psychologically dear, or every problem that you have, psychologically. Then you will see your brain and your mind - no, sorry - your mind has a totally different quality, there is a totally different dimension, which is the dimension of truth, it is not your personal, but it is absolute truth. Which we will go into when we talk about meditation. Right? I think that's enough, don't you?