What is the correct action in life?
Thought can never change man
2nd Public Discussion, Ojai, California
April 13, 1976
Krishnamurti: I believe we are going to have a dialogue this morning, a conversation between two friends about a serious subject. And if we could this morning take one subject, one problem, or one issue and go into it thoroughly perhaps that would be worthwhile. So what shall we talk over together seriously and see how far we can go into it deeply, not theoretically, not in abstraction, but an issue or problems that we have to face psychologically every day. So what subject or what issue can we take that will by pursuing it step by step cover the whole field of existence?
Questioner: Sir, I am sorry to be asking you a question about violence, I have had it with me for over a year and I have never been able to ask you. I thought I would clarify it for myself but up till now it is not really clear. The question is very simple: the physical survival of a man or a whole community, not the psychological survival, the physical, if he is threatened with annihilation by the force of arms of another party, what then is the right action? This pertains to the Middle East.
K: Yes, sir.
Q: I would like to ask why thought persists.
K: Why thought persists, continues, is that it?
Q: What is the relationship between feeling and action?
K: What is the relationship between feeling and action; and the other question was, what is a community or a group of people or a nation to do when a stronger nation uses arms and violence to suppress it.
Q: Is there another way to avoid conditioning, and in relation to this question, how does it relate to the school that is being started here?
K: Is there any way of not conditioning a child. Yes, sir?
Q: Sir, could we talk about education, especially the education of the young child?
K: Could we talk about the education of the young child.
Q: Is there a possibility of relationship between a man and a woman in a transformed state, and specifically if desire and the interference of the mind wasn’t operating would there be sexuality?
K: I couldn't quite catch the whole question. Could you make it brief?
Q: Yes. Without the interference of thought or desire would there be sexuality between people living in the transformed state, living together, life.
K: Has somebody heard it?
Q: Sir, she wants to know is there a possibility of a relationship between a man and a woman in freedom, and if they are both free, then is there any sexuality.
Q: Without desire operating.
K: Yes, yes.
Q: Thank you.
Q: Sir, what about resistance towards fear?
K: Resisting fear. Now that's enough, basta. Yes, sir?
K: What is the question, sir?
Q: What is important to me is to be the wholeness of love, and understanding, unimpaired, to express the vitality of that without the duality of subject and object.
K: Have you understood the question?
Q: He wants to know, I think, even if he hasn’t exactly asked the question, he says what is important to him is a feeling of love without the duality of subject and object. I don’t quite know what the question is.
K: A statement was made which is, that he feels that love and compassion should exist in life and how to express it in action. Now that's enough. Now which do you think is the most important question in all these questions?
Q: Action in life. What is the correct action in life?
K: Action in life. What is the correct action in life. Could we take that and into that question put all the other questions, including one nation oppressing another nation, supporting one nation with arms against another nation, weaker, and all the questions of love and affection, and how to resist fear, though we have talked a great deal about fear, it is not a question of resisting it, and so on. Can we go into that, taking that one question: what is the correct action in life? Right? Would you like to begin with that and include all the others? May we?
The word 'correct' means accurate, right. When we use the word 'correct', the meaning of that word, the root meaning of that word also implies accurate, right, meticulous action in life and what is right action from that. Right?. What do we mean by action? Let us stick to this one thing, it will include everything if we go into this really earnestly and seriously. What do we mean by action? You know this has been one of the great problems of life. The religious people have said, right action is to have a highest principle and act according to that principle. The Indians call it Brahman, and the Buddhists and so on, various religions have said, right action must conform both morally, spiritually, in every direction according to the principle of the highest thing.
And in the modern world what do we mean by action - to act, to do. Is action in the active present - please listen to this - is action in the active present, or is it an action dependent on the past according to the future, or is action based on the past ideas, conclusions, knowledge? You understand? The word 'act' means to do, now. That is the word, the significance of that word is to act now. Now what do we mean by action in our daily life? Is it based on a principle, on an ideal, on a conclusion; the Arab and the Jew, the Hindu, Muslim - you follow? - on the conditioning of the human mind according to the culture, tradition and so on? And is action based on a past memory, experience, knowledge? So what do we mean by action, which means, what is your action in daily life based on? What is the motive, what is the purpose, what is the intention, what is the background of action?
K: Is it based on self-centred activity? Please, this is a very, very serious question because we are going to find out if there is an action which is not mechanical. We will go into that but first we must be very clear for ourselves what do we mean by action. Coming here to the meeting is an action, thinking is an action, going to the kitchen and washing dishes is an action, digging the garden and so on, going to the factory, going to the office - what do we mean by action? Is action fragmented - you understand? - the action of the artist, the action of the poet, the action of the engineer, the action of man and woman in relationship? Those are all fragmented actions, aren't they? Right? Please, come with me, move. So you may go to the office and there be ambitious, envious, play all kinds of tricks and come back home and be very affectionate - both are activities. And they are self-contradictory, so it is fragmentary and therefore conflicting: I say one thing and do another, think something and put a totally different meaning into words. All that is action. The action that is going on killing baby seals, wiping out the whales - a lovely civilisation you have! - forming a community, commune, fighting with each other, wars, everything is action. So what do we mean by correct action? Knowing what the world is, how it is fragmented: the Arab, the Jew, the Muslim, the Hindu - you follow? - the Catholic, the Protestant, the communist, the socialist and so on, so on, so on.
First of all, do we see or are aware what is actually going on in the world? Or have we shut our eyes and live in a small world of our own desires, our own pleasures, our own activity, and say, what is right action in there? Do you follow? So what do we mean by correct action?
Can there be correct action if that action is based on an ideal? Let's take that for example. Can there be correct action according to an ideal? What is an ideal? Please go on. I am not please, this is a dialogue.
Q: Residue from the past.
K: You say, an ideal, what is that, what do you mean? You have ideals, haven't you, conclusions, haven't you?
Q: ‘What should be’.
K: What should be, all right. What should be, from 'what is'. Right? 'What is' and 'what should be' - that's a fragmented action, isn't it? Why do human beings have ideals at all, 'what should be'?
Q: I think that ideals are a memory of an orderly action according to an order whether it be...
K: Which is, 'what should be'.
Q: In a sense, however, there are ideals as a memory of the order of the universe.
K: (Laughs) No, sir, look, please, let's be simple, don't let's bring in the universe, let's begin slowly. I am angry, one is angry - the 'should be' is, not to be angry. One is not brotherly but one should be brotherly. Right? So why do we have this 'should be'?
Q: To postpone change.
K: Do look at it, look at it. Please, if I may suggest as a friend, look into yourself and find out why you have a 'should be'.
Q: We pretend.
Q: We don’t like ‘what is’.
Q: Because you are not the real thing.
Q: Because one doesn’t know what to do with what is going on in oneself.
K: That is, what are you saying, you do not know what to do with 'what is', is that it? Do please give a little attention.
Q: We are avoiding looking at ‘what is’.
K: Therefore, look, one avoids 'what is' because one doesn't know how to deal with 'what is'. If you knew how to alter the 'what is' you wouldn't go to 'what should be', would you? Please, it's a dialogue.
Q: Power of ‘what is’ I will never be able to change though, I mean I don’t kill baby seals but people do, and I can’t change that. What can I do?
K: What? I can't hear.
Q: She says she doesn’t kill baby seals, she is resigned to not being able to change certain things.
K: So you are resigned, you accept.
Q: I don’t.
K: You don't accept.
Q: I don’t accept it but I am upset. Things happen that I can’t change.
K: I am not talking of changing something out there, changing yourself. We are asking, what is correct action in daily life. That was the question he raised and we said what is action. I can't go back if you don't pay attention to it. Let's go on.
We say our action is based on, one of our activities is based on 'what should be'. Right? I am asking you, why you have invented the 'should be'.
Q: Because we are fragmented.
K: That's not an answer (laughs).
Q: We have certain ideas on how we think things should be handled.
Q: Because I feel insecure.
Q: I don’t remember ever inventing this, I am this.
K: How does it come about? Why do human beings have this 'should be'?
Q: They are frightened of ‘what is’.
Q: Fear of ‘what is’.
Q: Because he doesn’t understand life in the moment, in this moment, now.
K: Sir, are we answering this question theoretically, or observing ourselves and finding out why you have an ideal, why you have a 'should be', which is in the future, why?
Q: Because we think we can achieve some desirable goal.
K: Yes, we are all saying the same thing, sir, the 'should be' is the goal, the purpose, the end and so on. I am asking you, please, consider this, don't move away from it, I am asking you why you have such an ideal.
Q: It takes you to the future.
Q: People think they will receive some reward in the end as virtue if they were to conform to what we think is correct action, as opposed to conforming to what may be considered incorrect action though you will be punished. I think that has a lot to do with it, that you are going to receive a reward from what is considered right action.
K: I understand that, sir, I understand that. But we are saying, apparently we don't...
K: Have you got an ideal or not?
K: Be simple. Why?
Q: We want a psychological time.
Q: Whenever I feel that things should be other than they are it is because I have been taught that I am not what I should be. That I am in some way not adequate, not up to
K: I understand all that, madam. So you are saying, out of inadequacy, out of insufficiency, out of not being able to solve the problem 'as is', we have an ideal as a means of either escape, or as a means of transforming the 'what is' into 'what should be'. So I am asking you - you are the most extraordinary crowd.
Q: Because it affirms us.
K: Affirms what?
Q: I feel more important if I have an ideal.
Q: So that we can be something because we are not able to impartially observe ourselves.
Q: We are not living in the here and now.
Q: We don’t like what is happening in the world, we don’t like violence or unhappiness or suffering. And the world is suffering, there is conflict and wars and wrong doings all around us. We believe that it doesn’t have to be if we have all the ingredients in the world right here, right now to change the world if a group of people get together and decide, it can be done.
Q: I have an ideal because if I don’t have an ideal then I won’t be anything. Then I would be nothing. I would be nothing.
K: So you have an ideal because without an ideal you would be nothing. Right? How is that ideal put together?
Q: Thought generates a picture of the good in some way.
K: Sir, look, please, let's be simple about this. The gentleman asked, the first question, what is the correct action in daily life. What should one do to act correctly, accurately, rightly in a world that is so utterly confused, in a world of conflict, in a world of violence, in a world in which relationship is so fragile, what is the right thing to do?
Q: Pay attention.
Q: Listen to each other.
Q: Change ourselves.
Q: Be still.
Q: ‘Should be’ is a form of escape. Right? No? (Laughter)
K: You should know, whether you are escaping from 'what is', you should know, unless one is totally neurotic.
Q: We are.
K: Unless one is totally neurotic you wouldn't know how even to find out what is correct action. But not being wholly neurotic we are investigating that problem. What is the right action in human relationship, what is the right action with regard to society, what is the right action when there is conflict, violence and so on and on and on, what is the right thing to do? Isn't it a problem to you? How do you set about finding what is right action? Would you accept authority in saying, this is right action, obey this?
Q: I guess so.
K: Will you? Please look at it.
Q: I would sometimes, yes.
K: So you accept authority.
Q: That is not justifying that but that is true.
K: So you would accept authority to find out what is right action. So you are not free to find out, you have already established in your mind that there must be authority who will tell us what is right action. What happens then? Please follow that one particular issue: if you accept authority and say, authority will tell us what to do, what is the correct action, what is the result of that?
Q: The authority becomes important rather than the actuality.
K: Do look at, sir.
Q: You don’t accept the fact that you already know, that you can look within yourself and find an answer.
K: If you follow the sanction of a society, the sanction of a church, the sanction of a guru, what happens to your mind? There is no freedom, is there? And mustn't you have freedom to find out what is correct action? For god's sake!
Q: Yes, true.
K: So when you accept another as an authority to tell you what to do, or what is the right action, you are denying right action. Ideal is your authority. Right? And that authority is created by an attitude of mind which says, the present, the 'what is' I am not able to solve, or I don't know what to do with it, I want to run away from it. And you project the opposite of 'what is'. The 'should be' is the opposite of 'what is'. Right? So you have conflict. Out of that conflict can there be right action? You are following all this?
So what is a man to do, or a woman, who wants to find out what is correct, accurate, right action in life? Have you ever given your life to find out, or even ten minutes to find out what is right action? No, I am afraid you have not.
Q: Sir, you say that all ideals are essentially the same process of authority in the sense that it imposes upon you...
K: I did not say that, sir. What I said was, if you make an ideal as the authority then there is a contradiction in your life, it is the opposite of 'what is', isn't it? And therefore there is conflict in that. And where there is conflict how can you find out what is right action? So I want to find out as a human being, living in this world, in this almost insane world, what is right action.
Q: Observing without the observer.
K: I say is one's action based on the past, past memories, past experiences, knowledge? This is a very important question, go into it with me, please, for a while. If one's action is based on the past then I am living in the past. Living in the past one meets the present and modifies the present and creates a future. Right? I live according - one lives, not I - one lives according to a principle, established either through pleasure or through compulsion or through environmental influence or through ignorance, one projects from the past a principle, which is 'what should be', and one tries to live according to 'what should be'. Right? This is what is happening in our daily life: I must not be angry, I must be this, I must not do that, I wish it didn't happen that way. So we are always living in the past, meeting the present and modifying the present and that we call action. Right? And in that process action is never complete. Right? Are we meeting each other - at least this one thing? One has had an experience and that experience either pleasurable or dangerous or distasteful, and according to that experience one tries to live and meets the present, doesn't understand the present, becomes confused in the present and creates a future confusion. Right? Do we see this in our life? Right? May we go on from there?
We are trying to find out what is correct, right, accurate action. Accurate means care, attention, otherwise you cannot be accurate. Right? If you want to measure something you must pay tremendous attention to it - right? - otherwise you will not measure correctly. So to act correctly you must give to action great attention. Right? But you cannot give great attention to action if there is an idea which is established in the future. Or you say, I have a measure of my own and I am going to measure accurately something else. You follow? So to find out correct action, right action, accurate action, there must be care. Right? Is that clear? Please, this is a dialogue. Care. Do you care - care, love, committed, to find out what is right action, or is it just theory? Care, you care as the mother cares for the little baby - you understand? - wakes up in the middle of the night and spends day after day, day after day, month, caring - do you so infinitely care to find out what is right action? You understand, sir? We know a man, he was a high judge, supreme honour of the great Courts. One morning he woke up and he said, 'I am passing judgement on people and I don't know what right judgement is. I know according to legality, I know what it means to pass a judgement, but what is true judgement?' You understand? So he called his family - this is an accurate story because I saw him, I am not exaggerating, this is what happened - he called his family, he said, 'I am going to find out what is right judgement, what is the truth in judgement.' So he said, 'I must give up everything, give up my position, my money, and family, this is to me tremendously important in life because I am a judge.' He gave up everything and for twenty five years lived by himself and tried to find out what is right judgement. And somebody brought him to one of the talks the speaker was giving and he came to see us the next day and said, 'You are quite right. Because what I have been doing is mesmerising myself, thinking I have found the right action, because I never started right from the beginning to be free from tradition' - you understand? - 'to be free from any possibility of deception. And there must be no illusion in my enquiry'. You follow? And illusion exists when there is a desire to arrive at the right decision. You understand? Oh, you don't understand this.
So to find out what is correct action you must care infinitely. If you do then you and I can have a dialogue. But if you say, well, you know, throw any old idea into the basket and pick something out of it thinking that is right action, I am afraid we shan't meet each other. But if you are really concerned then we can look at it. To start with, there must be freedom of enquiry, to enquire - no prejudice, no conclusion. Can you do that? Otherwise you can't enquire, or find through that enquiry what is right action. That's simple, isn't it, but extremely difficult to do because you don't want to give up your prejudices, your conclusions, your ideals. So there must be freedom not only to enquire into what is correct action, there must be freedom to pursue constantly, right to the very end, till you find the right action.
So, to find out there must be care, there must be attention. Right? So one has to begin by finding out what is action. Everything is action: getting up, sitting down, walking, looking at the skies, the trees, talking, being miserable, going to the office, quarrelling, violence, everything in human relationship is action, even in the technological world it is action.
Q: But not my action.
K: Is your action different from that of another? Yes, sir, you have to enquire. Is my action of which I am very proud, or I want to find out what is correct action, is my action different from the action of yours. If my action is based on anger, it's like yours; if my action is based on ambition, it's like yours. Right? If my action is based on envy, it's just like any other, only I express it in trousers, the other expresses it in knickerbockers or in something else. So there is no 'my action' and 'your action', there is only action. You can't accept that easily because we think my action must be totally different from your action, because I think I am an individual. Am I an individual? As we talked, as we expressed, told the other day, individual means indivisible, not fragmented, not broken up, whole, such a person is an individual. But most of us are fragmented, broken up, contradictory. So I want to find out what is action. Action, not right action, I'll come to that presently. What do we mean by action? There are such varieties and multiplications of action. So is there an action not contradictory, not fragmented, but whole, which at any level of existence will be whole always? You understand my question? We know fragmented action. Right? Are you clear on that? Right. And fragmented action must lead to conflict - broken up. So I am asking myself as a human being, I say, is there an action which is whole, complete, not contradictory, not fragmented, not a business action, family action, artistic action, commercial action, technological action, but action as a whole. You have understood my question?
So my enquiry is not only into fragmented action but observing the fragmented action both outwardly and inwardly, which is the same movement, one says to oneself, is there an action which is not fragmented. That is, I do something at the office, something totally different at home - you follow? - totally different religiously and morally and so on, so on. Is there an action which is whole? The word 'whole' means healthy, that means physically healthy, then it also means sane, sanity, not neurotic - neurotic being, based on some belief, conclusion, ideas - reasonable, logic, clear. That means sane. And also 'whole' means holy, H-O-L-Y, sacred. You follow? That word 'whole' means all that. And one's mind says, I must find an action which is whole. We know what is fragmented action, the action of a Muslim against the Hindu, the Jew against the Arab, violence and so on, so on, those are all fragmentary actions. Right, sir? Now I want to find out if there is an action which is whole. Right? Are you interested in this, does it mean something to you? For god's sake! Now how am I to find out, how is one to find out when your mind is fragmented? You understand?
Q: When the mind is fragmented? I didn’t understand that.
K: Is your mind not fragmented, or are you saying, is the mind fragmented?
Q: He doesn’t understand what your question is.
K: He doesn't understand my question. Sirs and ladies, you know what fragmented action is. Right? Kind, and the next minute unkind, generous and not generous, brutal and occasionally kindly, affectionate, saying one thing and doing another - the politicians are doing that beautifully and we are doing in our daily life also. Those are all fragmented actions. When every religion has said, don't kill, and we have killed everything, and Christians probably have been the greatest killers in the world. You understand? So there is fragmented action. We know that and the result of all that. The dolphins are one of the most intelligent animals in the sea, and they are destroying them. And the people who destroy them go home and say, 'I love you'.
Q: Being annoyed is a fragmented action too, isn’t it?
K: Of course, sir, everything is fragmented action. So I am saying, we know that. Now what is then an action which is not fragmented?
Q: There is one action, sir, as the action is overpopulation of the world, all over the world we have one common action and this has started to over-populate the world.
K: I know.
Q: This is the cause of all the troubles we have, to a great extent.
K: Yes, sir, I know, overpopulation. They are doing something at last in India, when it is probably too late. Overpopulation all over the world, there are five billion and in the next five years - you follow? - geometrically progressive. That's also action, fragmented. Now when a human being realises that, this fragmented action, and asks, is there an action which is not fragmented.
Q: Action without choice.
K: Action without choice - the same thing.
Q: There is action in the family, the fragmented action.
K: We have done that just now.
Q: It seems to me that so long as there is action there has to be someone who is performing the action. And so long as there is someone who is performing the action there seems to be a centre of desire.
K: Quite right, sir.
Q: So long as there is a centre of desire...
K: As long as a human being is fragmented, his actions will be fragmented. That's what you are saying.
Q: How can one escape that?
K: I am coming to that, sir, we are going into it! (Laughs) Not escape from it. We are going to understand and resolve this problem.
Q: Is there an unfragmented action possible?
K: We are going to find out, sir.
Q: An action based on love is not fragmented.
K: Action based on love is not fragmented. Is that an idea? Is that a theory? Is that 'what is'? So when you say, action based on love is not fragmented, you have already fragmented it.
Q: It is an impartial observation of ‘what is’.
K: Which is, sir, if we say, look, all that I know is, what I call love, in it there is fragmentation. Is there love in which there is no fragmentation? Then it is not a theory, I am enquiring, I am finding, I am caring to find out.
Q: Sir, the growth of a tree, that’s a type of action, would you say it’s a fragmented action?
K: We said the other day - sir, that cannot be answered. Let's get on. Now a human being says, there is the actor and the action. Right? The actor is the fragmented human being and whatever he acts must be fragmented. Right? Whatever he does: his god, his love, his relationship, his activity, everything he does must be fragmented if the actor himself is fragmented. Right? That's simple law. It is a fact. So can there be a human being, you, who is not fragmented and therefore his action complete, whole? Now we are going to find out. Because we have no ideal in examination, no conclusion, no prejudice, I am what I am. There is this human being who is fragmented, is he aware that he is fragmented or is it just an idea that he is fragmented. You follow the difference? Is he aware in himself that he is fragmented? Or he has been told he is fragmented? Which are two different activities - you understand? Now which is it? Do you know, or aware, that you are fragmented?
Q: I am aware that I am fragmented.
K: Wait, wait, madame, first, do you know, are you aware, conscious, any word you like? If you are, then what will you do with that fragmentation, how do you look at that fragmentation? Please, do pay attention, you will find if you pursue this. How do you look at that fragmentation?
Q: With undivided attention.
K: No, how do you look at it, sir, don't theorise about it, do it actually and find out how you look at yourself as a fragmented human being.
Q: It is undesirable.
K: So you say, undesirable, so have already you are looking at the fragmentation and say it is undesirable, you have already condemned it.
Q: Without judgement.
K: Therefore can you look at your fragmentation without judgement?
Q: Without making it pure?
K: Without judgement.
Q: Without making it better?
K: I beg your pardon?
Q: With hope.
K: With hope, which is another judgement. Do please give a few minutes attention to this.
Q: Sir, but if one realises one is fragmented, one can only know one is fragmented by means of contrast, by having an ideal of what being whole, a unit is and what is fragmented.
K: No, sir, look, don't you know when you are fragmented, when you say one thing and do another?
K: Is that not fragmentation, I say one thing and do something else? On a simple basis, start with that not with heavens, and
Q: It is synonymous with inconsistency?
K: Inconsistency, contradiction - simple words!
Q: What about the resistance that kind of occurs that I feel right here right now, that feels fragmentary. I wish it should go.
K: Sir, do look at yourself. I am asking a question, whether you are aware that you are a fragmented human being, aware in the sense watching, looking, that you have a black beard, white hair, purple, whatever it is, watching. You look, you are tall or short. In the same way can you look at yourself and see whether there is fragmentation?
Q: But who is looking? Isn’t who is looking a fragment also?
K: I am coming to that, sir, of course.
Q: Then how do you do that?
K: I am going to go you are so if you will kindly have a little patience you will find out because one must go into this very carefully, sir. I said at the beginning you must care, you must love the thing you are looking at and find out.
Q: If I find that I am a fragment, don’t I have to accept that as what I am and ‘what is’ right now?
K: When I see I am fragmented, I have to accept it, haven't I. Why do you accept it? Just look at it. Then from that arises: are you looking at it, or rather, how do you look at it? Take trouble, please! How do you look at it?
Q: Without fear.
K: Are you looking at it with judgement? Are you condemning what you see, saying, 'I mustn't be fragmented, how awful, I know it will lead to all kinds of trouble therefore I mustn't be fragmented'? How do you look at your own fragmented activities, with what eyes, with what ears?
Q: Realising that even if you are fragmented still you have to act.
K: Of course, sir, we are coming to that. So if you are observing with conclusions, with prejudice, with all kinds of reasoned thoughts, then you are still fragmented, aren't you? So can you look - please listen to this - can you look without any condemnatory attitude, rationalised, just look? Then is there an observer different from the thing he is looking at? If you eliminate condemnation, prejudice, judgement, rationalisation, which are all the past activities - you follow? - then is there an observation in which the observer is not? The observer being condemnation, judgement, prejudice, despair, hope, saying, how terrible - all that is the observer's activity, therefore he prevents you from looking at 'what is'. This requires sanity, reasoned thinking. So there is only the observation, the thing, not the observer looking. You follow? When you look without the observer who is the past, who is the judgement and so on, what takes place?
K: Experiment, do it, please, don't tell me. When there is no division between the Arab and the Jew, what takes place? What takes place?
Q: Conflict ends.
K: Conflict ends.
K: Not acceptance, sir.
Q: There will be nothing to accept, the conflict would be over.
K: Yes, the thing is gone. You understand? When there is no Muslim and Hindu, communist and socialist, and all the rest of it, outwardly, there is no conflict, is there? - and therefore complete action outwardly.
Q: We have to cease to exist as what we think is an individual.
K: Now, please I am going to show you, I am going to look at something. You understand? There is now the Catholic, the Protestant, the Baptist, you know, the division, division, division, all over, not only in the religious world, in the so-called religious world, but also the political world, the geographical world, racial world, there is division. That has caused untold misery. Right? That has brought appalling destruction. Now do you see the truth of that? The truth, not: I am a Jew, I must still be a Jew, I'll accept this. Do you see where there is division there must be conflict. See it, have an insight into it. And therefore the moment you have an insight into the truth of that then you are acting wholly, aren't you? Is this clear somewhat?
Q: Sir, any sense of self is divisive, isn’t it?
K: Yes. But I don't want to go to that ultimate fact, you know, that is... Now let's look at it the other way. Thought, we said, is a fragment, do you see the truth of that? Thought is a fragment, it is not the whole, and thought has divided the world: you are a Christian, I am a heathen, you are godly and so on, you know, I don't have to keep on repeating this endless rubbish. So thought being fragmented in itself, whatever it does, it breaks up. That is a truth. Do you see the truth of it? Right? So is there an action which is not touched by thought? And therefore it will be whole.
What is the root of all this contradiction? You understand my question? What is the root in one's life that brings about this contradiction? The 'me' and the 'not me', 'we' and 'they', my belief against your belief, my experience against your experience - what is the root of this division? We are still asking what is the correct action in life. And we say, what is the root of this division.
Q: The action of thought itself, the word.
K: We went into that sir, go a little deeper than that. We have said that. Thought itself is a fragment and therefore whatever it does creates fragmentary activity. Now we say, go a little further. Is there - no, what is the root of all this?
Q: Desire for profit.
K: Oh, no. The desire for profit, the desire for punishment - to avoid punishment, rather. We are nurtured, our culture is based on these two principles: reward and punishment. Right? No? Do this, you will go to heaven, do this, you will become successful, do this, you will be the president of the country, if you don't do that you will be punished. So our culture is based on this principle of reward and punishment. That's again fragmentary. But I am asking you, what is the root of all this movement of fragments, breaking up, what is the source of all this?
K: You don't even think it out first. I am just asking a question and you are ready to jump (laughs). What is the root of all this, sir?
Q: Having a motive.
K: We have been through all that. We said as long as you have a motive, a cause, there must be fragmentation. Where there is a cause there must be an effect, therefore there is a division. It is not one unitary movement. You understand? Now I am asking - please listen, I hope you aren't too cold - what is the root of all this?
K: We are trying to escape from 'what is'.
K: Are you answering this, please, I am not being rude or impatient, are you answering this from your investigation and discovery, or are you just throwing off some words? We want to know what is the root of all this, the root of this misery, confusion, contradiction, unhappiness.
Q: If there is no action then there is no conflict.
K: If there is no action then there is no conflict. What? We are saying, sir, life is action, you can't live without action. May I go on asking the same question?
Q: Psychological time.
K: Have you discovered that?
Hello kitty, come up here. That's right. (Laughter)
Q: Separation from the moment.
K: Have you discovered that?
Q: The origin of thought.
Q: Absence of thought.
Q: When one feels insecure
K: Go on, sir, go on.
Q: That’s because we are insecure, afraid.
K: Are you saying the basic cause is insecurity? And because we have reduced the world and ourselves and everything around us to such a confusion, which breeds such insecurity and therefore out of that insecurity all fragmentation takes place - is that what you are saying? Why have we reduced this world like this, what has made us? Why do human beings behave as they do? May I ask this, why do you behave as you behave?
Q: Because that’s our action.
K: Do please listen to this. Why?
K: Why do you support wars, why do you support all the killing that is going on? Why? No, do please go into it, don't answer me.
Q: Because I don’t see it going on.
K: Because I don't see it is going on. You mean to say you don't know they are killing each other - throwing bombs, terrorists, innocent people being killed by the hundred?
Q: I see it on the surface
K: But don't you - you mean you see it there but you don't feel it, is that it? Would you feel if your - not your - if one's son, wife, husband killed? What a world this is!
Q: Fear of my psychological
K: No, I am asking, sir, please, don't be bored by this question, repetitive question, because you are not answering me: why do human beings behave like this?
Q: Sir, we base our action on thought and it is always inadequate.
K: Yes. So what do you do, what are you going to do about it? If you realise that your thought and all action based on thought is inadequate, incomplete, contradictory, causing great misery, what are you going to do about it? Just escape?
Q: See it.
K: Run away into some commune where you won't think at all, you know, carry on? What will you do?
Q: Reunite this half with the other half.
Q: Reunite. We have fallen, when we are fragmented we are only half of what we are, to become whole we have to be reunited with our true inheritance.
K: That's another idea, isn't it? Are you doing it?
Q: I am working on it.
K: Not 'working on it' - you people! You see that gentleman said a very simple thing.
Q: Believing that we have not been separated. We are not separate...
K: Sir, he said thought being inadequate and the inadequacy brings about this confusion, misery, the slaughter of human beings and nature and everything, what are you going to do about it? What will you do as a human being? Join societies?
Q: See it.
K: That would prevent killing?
Q: What would I have to do?
K: I give up! You sir, you see what we answer?
Q: We have to find out if there is an action that is not based on thought.
K: So what are you going to do?
Q: Clearly, as thought I can do nothing. Q: Find out.
K: Find out what? You are not relating to yourself as a human being who is the world. Right, sir? You are the world, and the world is you, we have created this world, haven't we?
Q: We’re relating to thought instead of relating to our organism.
K: So please, if thought is inadequate, and realising, if I may point out something, which is, all thought leads to sorrow. Then what will you do?
Q: (Inaudible) find the cause.
K: Please listen to what I just now said: all thought, because all thought is fragment, all thought leads to sorrow. If you see the what takes place?
Q: You live it.
K: Do you live it?
K: That means you are no longer, you are only giving thought its right place and therefore psychologically free of all thought?
Q: It’s very logical.
K: Not logical, sir, of course it is logical, but does that take place?
Q: I feel it is logical, I do not think it takes place.
K: Look sir, logic goes only so far. Right? Logic is necessary, logic implies clear thinking. Clear thinking. Clear thinking has pointed out thought is inadequate, thought being inadequate can't solve the problems, human problems, so what will you do when you realise that? You in yourself, you are the total human being - you follow? - of all humanity you are, you are the result of all human suffering, of all human agony, despair, fear, hope - you are that, so you are the world and the world is you. Right? Do you realise it, do you see the truth of it, the feel of it? Therefore you give up all You follow? Right? Then you realise that your thinking is inadequate. How do you realise it? As a rational process? As a logical conclusion?
Q: You see the whole thing.
K: You realise it, you feel it, it is so in you, then what is next?
Q: That’s what I
Q: Action takes place
Q: We don’t know what is next.
Q: We have an idea.
K: What time is it?
Q: Twelve thirty.
K: No, sir, look, may I - it is twelve thirty we must stop - may I just finish this? Sorry - not to take it away from you, but we must conclude this. If we realise that all thinking is inadequate to solve our problems, not as a logical conclusion, not as an aphorism, but truth, that it is a law that thought is inadequate because thought is fragment, thought has created the world and divided the world, all that is seen and also realising that you are the world and the world is you, fundamentally, basically, because go where you will there is suffering, tears, misery, confusion, hunger, misery - you understand? - it is the common thing in humanity. So you are the world and the world is you. And when you realise that thought, which is thought of mankind, is inadequate to solve the problem, the human problem of living, existence, relationship, fear, all that, then what happens?
Q: We have to go beyond thought.
Q: You were saying, before you were asking a gentleman here if, when he said he didn’t feel when there was a war or killing, and you asked what about if your wife or son was killed.
Q: All right. Maybe it will come to feel the same way killing anybody the way we feel about our son or husband or...
K: No, madame, that becomes a theory.
Q: I don’t mean a theory, I mean deep inside that you really feel the same. Could that be possible?
K: May I finish? I said let me conclude.
How do you realise this truth? Is it an intellectual acceptance of an obvious reasoned fact, a theory that one has proposed and you accept it as a theory, or do you make from this statement, that you are the world and the world is you, and that thought is inadequate, an abstraction of it, an ideal, or do you live with it? You understand my question? If you live with it, not make an abstraction of it, as an idea of it, that thought is inadequate to solve our human problems, in spite of what the politicians say. Every philosopher says thought is necessary, they have built marvellous schemes, systems, but you, you are not a philosopher, nor am I, we are just ordinary human beings, and we realise thought is so inadequate, for god's sake it is so what am I to do when it is inadequate? We say, live with it, hold it, like a jewel, look at it, don't you tell what it should do, look at the jewel that you have, it will tell you what to do. You understand what I am saying? But we are so eager to tell it what to do. You understand? You read a story, a thriller, it's all written there, you don't have to tell it what should be done, so in the same way here is the most extraordinary jewel you have, to realise that you are the world and the world is you, and thought is totally, absolutely inadequate to solve our human problems of relationship - to see that and live with it every minute of the day, then you will find the correct action.