What is the relationship between the inner and outer confusion?
Why does the mind live in time?
3rd Public Talk, Brockwood Park
September 06, 1980
There are a lot of people - aren't you? (Laughter) I wonder why you all come. The last two talks that we have had here we talked a great deal about relationship; we talked about taking life as a whole, so we are going to start with that this morning.
One wonders why, observing what is going on in the world, why there is so much disorder, why man is destroying man. Why are they building up such enormous expenditure on armaments? Why have people divided themselves into tribal, romantic nationalism? Why religions throughout the world, the organised religions, the accepted religions, have also divided themselves - the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Christians, the Muslims, and all the rest of it; why is there such division in the world? And we are inclined to think that an outside agency has created all this mess: god, or some other supreme entity, having created man, has let him loose on the earth. And what man has done is quite incredible and shocking, not only to the other man, but also to himself. Why in the world there are so many neuroses, neurotic people. Why is there this constant battle between man and woman? Why is there this inward disorder which naturally must express itself in outward disorder?
If we could this morning and tomorrow morning, go into this question, not only why we have become like this after millions of years, slightly modified, slightly more tolerant, less vicious - which I question - we ought to, together, as we said, go into these problems. Tomorrow we will talk about what is religion, what place has, in religious life, a career, marriage and all the things that we go through? But this morning if we could think together. As we said, it is not a talk by the speaker when you listen to him disagreeing or agreeing, but rather together examine all this, our lives. Our lives which have produced the society in which we live. The society is not created by some extraordinary events but by the extraordinary lives we lead, not only by us but also by the past generations. If we could go together into it. That is, think it out together, not only think it out but also go beyond the realm of thought. As we pointed out over and over again, that thought is born of memory, memory is the result of knowledge and experience. And thought therefore is always limited, for knowledge is everlastingly limited because there can be no complete knowledge about anything. And thought born out of that must also be very, very limited. And the world in which we live, our daily life, our careers, our anxieties, fears and sorrows, are the result of our thinking, are the product of our daily activity.
So if we could together this morning take life as a whole: our education, our occupations, our hobbies, work, and all the travail that exists inwardly - the psychological conflicts, the anxieties, the fears, the pleasures, the sorrows, all that, to take all that as a whole; and not let thought occupy itself with one particular part, with one particular pattern, or cling to one particular experience and look at life from that point of view. Could we this morning together go into this? Together, not I go into it, you listen, but together enquire very seriously why we live the way we are living. Why there is so much disorder in the world, and also this disorder in ourselves. Is the world disorder different from our disorder? Please, let's talk together as though we were two people, not this large audience but two people sitting quietly in a room, or in a garden or walking along in a wood, amicably, hesitantly enquiring into this. Why there is disorder outwardly and disorder inwardly. Are they two separate disorders? Or are they one unitary process? It is not disorder out there different from the disorder in me. But rather this disorder is a movement which goes outward and comes inward. It is like a tide going back and forth endlessly. And can we begin to bring about order in our life? Because without order there is no freedom, without complete order, not occasionally or once a week, but in our daily life to have this complete total order not only brings freedom but there is then in that order, love. A disordered, confused, conflicting mind cannot have or be aware what love is.
So should we not go together into this question of what is order? Can there be absolute order? We are using the word 'absolute' in its right sense - complete, total, not an order that is intellectually brought about, an order that is based on value, not order that is the outcome of environmental pressures, or adaptation to a certain norm, certain pattern. But when we are talking about absolute total order, in that there is no division as disorder at all. We are going to enquire into that. I hope we understand this: we are enquiring whether there is an order in which there can never be disorder. Not that we have disorder and occasionally have order, but order, complete, total. So let us together - together go into this question.
Why is the mind, which includes the brain, our emotional responses, sensory responses and so on, why does the mind, our mind accept and live in disorder? If you observe your own mind, that is your own life, which is based on your mind, your thoughts, your emotions, your experiences, your memories, regrets, apprehension, why is that mind, which has all this in its consciousness, why does it accept disorder? Which is not only the neurotic disorder, the acceptance of disorder and living with disorder, getting used to disorder, why does the mind have this sense of division, this sense of order, disorder, this constant adjustment? You understand? I hope we are meeting together - are we? Is this inevitable? Is this our natural state? If it is natural then one must live with this conflict from the moment you are born till you die, in this disorder. And if it is unnatural, which obviously it is, what is the cause of it? What is the basis of it, what is the root of all this? Does the basis depend on our particular attitudes, on our particular desire? One wants to find out what is the basis of this disorder, the root of it. To find out, how do we approach it? You understand my question? Please, how do we approach this problem? The problem being, we live in disorder, both outwardly and inwardly. How do we approach the problem in order to totally resolve it? What is your approach? You understand my question? Are you approaching to find order out of disorder, therefore your approach is already directed? You understand? Because I am in disorder - suppose I am in disorder - I have the desire to bring about order, and that very desire dictates what the order must be. Right? Whereas if I approach the problem of disorder as though I want to find out the root of it, then my direction is not diverted, wasted in various intellectual, verbal, emotional directions, but my whole attention is directed to the cause of it. You are following all this?
So how do you, as a human being, living in this world, both outwardly and inwardly in disorder, what is your approach? Because we must be very clear what our approach is. If it is clear then let's find out together what is the root of it. Is it self-contradiction? Is it desire that has created this division in us because wherever there is division there must be conflict, and therefore the conflict means disorder. Right? Conflict is disorder, whether it is minor, major, or conflict that brings about a great crisis. So is our conflict self-contradictory, saying one thing, doing another, having ideals and always trying to accommodate ourselves to that ideal and therefore conflict? Is it our desire to become something? You are following all this? Or this conflict is created by thought? Because thought in itself, as we said, is limited and therefore it breaks up as the outer and the inner, the 'you' and the 'me', thought striving to become something which it is not. This constant division, becoming, contradicting, conforming, comparing, imitating - psychologically, is that the various expressions of a central cause? You understand? Are we clear so far?
So what is the central cause, the root of all this? Please, you are thinking together, therefore you are exercising your mind, therefore you are aware of how you approach the problem, you are aware of your own contradictions, your own conflicts, your own divisions, your own apprehensions. And in that consciousness, which is made up of division, conflicts, beliefs, non-beliefs and so on, so on, is one aware of all that? Or one is only aware of a fragment of it? A fragment being that which demands an immediate response. If I am concerned about my livelihood I am not concerned about anything else because that is an immediate demand. I need money, food, I have children, responsibility, therefore my approach to this whole problem will be directed by my desire to have a job. Or I have been thinking along a certain pattern, along a certain direction, and I am unaware that I am caught in that pattern and therefore when I approach this question I am always approaching it according to the pattern which my mind has established. Or if I am emotional, romantic, all that business, then my approach will be sloppy, not precise, not exact.
So one must be very clear for oneself how we approach this problem, because if we approach it with any pattern at all we shall not be able to solve this problem. Therefore is our mind free from patterns, from ideas, from a direction? You understand my question? Please go into it with me, with us, together. Are you aware first of the confusion of the world which is becoming worse and worse and worse every day? And the confusion in us which we have inherited, to which we have added, the society in which we live which is so utterly confused, there is such immense injustice, millions starving and the affluent society on the other side. Tyranny and democratic freedom to vote, to think what you like, to express what you like.
So as we pointed out the other day, we human beings, our minds and our consciousness, is the consciousness and the mind of the world. Wherever you go, in the most remotest part of the world, there, man is suffering, anxious, uncertain, lonely, desperate in his loneliness, burdened with sorrow, insecure like the rest of the world. Psychologically, as we have pointed out over and over again, you are the humanity, you are not separate from the rest of mankind. This idea that you are an individual with a mind specially yours, which is an absurdity because this brain has evolved through time, the brain of mankind, and that brain is part of mankind, genetically and so on, so on. So you are the world and the world is you. It is not an idea or a concept, a Utopian nonsense, it is a fact. And that mind is utterly confused. And we are trying to discover for ourselves the root of it. Right?
What is the cause of this division? As we said, wherever there is a division, with man, woman, between nation and nation, with a group and a group, this division of belief, ideals, concepts, historical conclusions, and materialistic attitudes, all these are divisions. The Arab and the Jew, you know. This division must inevitably create conflict. That is a fact. And we are saying: what is the cause of this division in us as well as in the world? Through division we thought or we imagined that there can be security. Right? Where there is division as the British there is certain physical security; as the French, the German - you know all the rest. Each group holding together as an idea, as a concept, under a flag, think there is security in this isolation. Right? And this isolation must inevitably create division - the Arabs and the Israelis say 'I must be secure' - as a group, and all the rest of it. So do we understand, realise, very, very deeply the truth of this, that as long as there is division there must be conflict? Because in that division we think there is, in this isolation, in this seclusion, we think there is security and obviously there is no security. You can build a wall around yourself as a nation but that wall is going to be broken down.
So what is the cause, the root of this division? Right? Please. Which is, each one, each human being in the world thinks, lives according to the pattern that he is separate from another. Right? His problems, his anxieties, his neurosis, his particular way of thinking and so on, so on. The centre of this is this idea that 'I am separate from you'. Right? Could we go along there?
Now, is that a fact? As a fact as the microphone, is that a fact that we are separate individuals, totally different from another? You may be tall, you may be short, black hair, white and all the rest of it, it is division, but inwardly are we different? Inwardly we go through all the - you know. And those who live in the Far East, they go through exactly, or similar, like yourselves. So there is no division psychologically. And as long as we accept that idea that we are separate you must have conflict and therefore division, and confusion. Right?
Are we thinking together, or you are accepting this as an idea and then saying to yourself, 'Let us examine the idea, whether it is true or false' - the idea - you see, you understand what I am saying? You hear a statement like this, that as long as you think you are separate from another human being psychologically, there must be conflict and disorder. That is a fact. When you hear that, do you make an abstraction of it as an idea and then see how that idea can be carried out? I don't know if you follow this. Or it is a fact. If it is a fact then you can do something about it. But if you are merely making an abstraction of a fact into an idea then we are getting lost, because you have your idea and I have my idea and so on, so on, so on. But it is a common fact upon which we stand as human beings, that as long as there is division inside, me and you, there must be conflict and disorder and confusion. But our minds are so conditioned, for millennia, thousands of years, we have been conditioned by what other people have said, that we are separate, by religions that have said we are separate, that each individual must save himself - you know the whole pattern repeated over and over and over again. Being so conditioned it is very difficult to accept something which perhaps is true - I am using the word 'perhaps' because I am being not dogmatic. But it is a fact. (Laughter) I am willing, the speaker is willing to go into it analytically, with argument, intellectually, reason, at the end of it, if you are willing too, we come to the same fact. Then it will not be dogmatic. We are not dogmatic about this tent, it is a fact.
So are we, if we want to understand the nature of confusion and the ending of confusion, completely, not relatively, are we aware of this fact? If we are aware then the question arises: what shall I do? You understand? I know I am divided, that's a fact, that we have accepted. Now how am I to put away this division? Now please follow this a little bit, carefully, if you will.
Is the fact of this division different from the observer who is observing the fact? You understand my question? No? No, I will explain a little. I observe greed. I am greedy. Is that greed which I observe different from me, from the observer who says, 'I am greedy'? You understand my question? Or greed is the observer? Right? So there is no division between the observer who says, 'I am greedy' and acts upon greed - right? - saying, 'I must not be greedy. I must control it. I must suppress it. I must go beyond it' - whatever. So there is a division, and that division is conflict and therefore disorder. But the fact is, the observer who says 'I am greedy', that observer is greed itself. Right? Have you gone so far? If you have gone so far, then I am asking: is this confusion, this division, different from the observer who is me observing it? Or this confusion, this division, is me? My whole being is that. Right? I wonder if you've come to that point, otherwise we can't go much further. Please, avanti! (Laughter) This is really important if you can really understand this once and for all, the fact. If you understand it, it will make life totally different, because in that there is no conflict. That I will point it out when we...
Suppose I am attached to a person. In that attachment and the consequences of that attachment are innumerable: pain, jealousy, anxiety, dependency, the whole sequence of attachment. Is that attachment to the person, which brings about a division - I am attached to you - right? - as an audience. Thank god I am not! (Laughter) But I am attached to you. Please, do pay attention to this. I am attached to you. In that attachment there is division immediately. Right? Now is that attachment, the feeling of dependence, clinging, holding on to somebody, different from me? Or I am that? You understand? I am attachment. So if one realises that conflict ends - you understand? It is so. Not that I must get rid of it, not that I must be independent, detached. Detachment is attachment. Do you understand? If I try to become detached I am attached to that detachment. Right? I wonder if you follow all this!
So am I very clear that there is no division when I say 'I am attached' - I am attached, I am the state of attachment. Right? Therefore you have removed completely all conflict, haven't you? Do you realise that? I am that. I wonder if you understand this. Right? May I go on from there?
So I, me, is confusion, not that I realise I am confusion, or that I have been told I am confusion, but the fact is: I, as a human being, am in a state of confusion. Right? Any action I do will bring more confusion. Right? You understand my question? So I am in a state of total confusion. And all the struggle to overcome it, suppress it, to be detached, all that is gone. Right? I wonder if it has! See how difficult it is for our minds to be precise in this, to learn about it, to be free, to have the leisure to learn.
Then what takes place? I am confusion; not, I realise I am confusion. You see the difference? I am that. Therefore what has happened? All movement of escapes, suppression, have completely come to an end. Right? If it has not, don't move from there. Be free first of all escapes, of all verbal, symbolic escapes but remain totally with the fact that you are, as a human being, in a state of confusion. Right? Then what has taken place? We are two friends talking this over, this is not a group therapy, or any of that nonsense, or psychological analysis. It is not that. Two people talking over together, say now we have come to that point, logically, rationally, unemotionally, therefore sanely. Because to be sane is the most difficult thing. So we have come to that point: that is, I am that. What has taken place in the mind? Right, can we go on from there?
Before, I wasted energy in suppressing it, trying to find how not to be confused, going to some guru, some other - you follow? - all that I have done which is a wastage of energy. Now when there is the realisation I am confused, what has happened? Go on sirs, come with me. My mind therefore is completely attentive to confusion. Right? My mind is in a state of complete attention with regard to confusion. Right? You are following this? Are you? Therefore what takes place? It is when there is complete attention there is no confusion. Right? It is only when there is no attention then confusion arises. Confusion arises when there is division, which is inattention. I wonder if you get this! Right?
So where there is total attention without any dissipation of energy, saying, 'How am I to get this total attention?' - that is a wastage of energy. Right? But you see that where there is confusion and that is brought about by inattention, then that very inattention is attention. You get it? Come on, sirs. You have got something, right? Now with that attention, we are going to follow, we are going to examine not only fear, pleasure, suffering. Right?
Because it is important to be free of fear. Mind has never been free of fear. You may cover it, you may suppress it, you may be unaware of it, you may be so enchanted by the world outside that you never are aware of your own deep-rooted fears. Right? And where there is fear there is no freedom, there is no love, there is discontent. You are following all this? Please sirs, don't let's waste time on all this. So you must have the capacity to run - not physically but inwardly run, jump, not go step by step like a snail.
One sees what fear does in our life. If I am afraid of you because you bully me, because you oppress me, because you dictate what I should do, you have told me as the priest that I must do this - you know, all the rest of it, and I am not doing it and I am not doing it because I am discontent with something else and therefore fear. You understand? So discontentment also has fear with it. Right? And fear brings darkness to the mind. Right? You know we are not talking of a particular neurotic fear, but we are talking about fear itself, not about something. Right? When we understand the root of fear, fear about something disappears. You understand what I am saying? If I am afraid of the dark, that is my particular fear and I want that particular fear to be resolved. I am not concerned with the whole field of fear. But if I understand the whole field of fear the other thing doesn't exist. I wonder if you see that.
So we are now concerned not with a particular form of fear - a man who is afraid to face the public, a man who is afraid, or a woman who is afraid of something or other, but we are concerned with the whole field of fear. Can that fear be dissolved completely, so that the physical fear - you understand? - we will go into this little by little - the physical fear and the complex fears of the psyche, the inward fears, right? The physical fears one can deal with fairly simply. Right? But if you are attached to physical fears and are concerned only with resolving the physical fears then you are attached to that which then will create division and therefore conflict. You follow all this? So if we understand first, first the psychological fears then you can deal with the physical fears, not the other way round - clear? See the reason of it. Because if I am concerned only with my fear, which is: I have got cancer or some disease, or some incident that has warped my mind, and therefore I am frightened, and I am only concerned with that and I am asking, first solve that please before you go into the other. You understand? Whereas we are saying first deal with the wider fear, the depth and the nature and the darkness of fear, then you will yourself resolve the particular physical fear. Right? Don't start the other way - the physical first and then the other. That is what we all want to do. You understand? Give me bread first, we will talk about the other.
So we are saying psychological fears are far more important. That makes us such ugly human beings. When there is fear we become violent, we want to destroy in the name of god, in the name of religion, in the name of social revolution and so on, so on. Now can we as human beings who have lived with this fear for immeasurable time, can we be free of it? Right? We have asked the question. Now how do you approach the problem of fear? Do you approach it with the desire to resolve it? You understand? If you do you are again separating yourself from the fact of fear. I wonder if you get this. Right? Can we go on?
So are you approaching it as an observer who is afraid and wants to resolve it? Or you realise that you are fear? Right sir? Can we go on from there? Have you given your total attention to this fact? That you, as a human being, who is the rest of humanity, and that human being is frightened, lives in fear, consciously or unconsciously, superficial, psychological superficial fears, or deep hidden fears. The hidden fear becomes completely open when you are attentive. You understand? Are you following? Can we go on? Don't agree with me, please. You are investigating, you are looking at yourself, not agreeing with the speaker, the speaker is not important. And I mean it, he is not important. What is important is that you walk out of this tent without a single shadow of fear. So when you become aware of fear, do you escape from it? Do you try to find an answer for it? Do you try to overcome it? If you do you are dissipating, therefore you are dividing, and therefore conflict about fear, how to be free of it. You follow? All that arises. But if you realise that fear is you, therefore there is no movement to be made. Right? No movement to be made, you are that, and therefore all your attention is directed, is that, in that attention fear is held. Right?
Are you getting tired? It is up to you. You see as long as we try to overcome, the very overcoming has to be overcome. You understand? But if you say, 'Yes, it is a fact and I realise it, I won't move from that', then the thing dissolves completely, not relative, not one day and then next day full of fears. It is gone, when you have given complete attention to it. Similarly with regard to pleasure. Careful now! We have to be very careful here.
I don't know if you have noticed right from the time of man, one thing that has driven him everlastingly forward is pleasure, the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of sorrow. You understand? You see the pictures, the paintings, the ancient writing, the symbols, everything says, 'Pursue that, avoid that'. As though you can divide life, fear, pleasure, sorrow, job - you understand? They are all one. Aren't they? But see what we have done. Our mind has been conditioned, accepting, living in this norm of constant pursuit of pleasure. God - if you have that image, is the essence of pleasure. You name it differently but your urge is to attain that ultimate sublime pleasure so that you will never be disturbed, you will never be in conflict, and so on, so on, so on. And we must understand it, not suppress it, not run away from it.
Why has pleasure, like sorrow, like fear, become so all important in life? Like sorrow - do you understand the word 'sorrow', the suffering of man, the suffering of centuries, war after war, destroying human beings, destroying nature, destroying animals, whales, everything. Man not only suffers but causes suffering. That is part of us, part of our consciousness. And we try to avoid that because we haven't solved it but we think pursuit of pleasure is the main thing. We at least can have something accurate, something real that will go on. Right? So that becomes dominant and fear, sorrow, anxiety, all that in the background; not only sexual pleasure, the remembrance, the pictures and all the rest of the thing that goes on in the mind, if you watch it, see what is happening. Your own minds become full of that, not the actual act but the whole build-up, and that building-up is called love. So pleasure, love, suffering, fear are all entangled, all interrelated.
So the question is: will you take fear, pleasure, sorrow, separately? You understand? One by one. Or will you have the capacity to deal with the whole of it? You understand? Because our minds, being broken up, take one by one, and hoping to resolve one by one that we will come to the end of breaking up, the fragments. Now how will you deal with the whole of it? You understand my question? Deal with your disorder, pleasure, fear, sorrow as a total movement of life. You understand my question? Please, come with me, not as something separate - as a whole. Can you do it? That is, can you look at yourself as though it were in a mirror, psychologically, as a whole being, or you only look at a part? Do you understand? Go with it sir. How do you look at yourself? Your job is different, your wife and children are different, your religion is different, your particular way of thinking is different, opposed to so many other ways, you have your own experience which is different from others, your own ideals, you own intentions, ambitions, all that - you follow? Can you take all that as one unitary movement? You understand what I am saying? Come on sirs. That is the only way to solve the whole thing, not through fragments. Right?
Now how will a mind that has been broken up for generations upon generations, how will that mind, the brain, the emotions - mind, how will that mind approach or realise the totality? Right? Which is more important? Not more - which is necessary - you follow what I am saying? Will you approach it fragmentarily, the whole of life, business first, money first, house first, wife, children, sex, bit by bit? Or the whole of existence? Can your mind see the whole of it at all, is it capable? Or are you striving to see the whole of it? If you are striving to see the whole of it, that is finished, you will never have it, because then you create a division, conflict, confusion. But when you see that life is one movement and to see that you need, you need to learn - you understand? - learn, not from me, learn from yourself by observing. Learn to observe the division and see the futility of approaching that, the obvious fact, you can't - through one fragment you can't approach the whole universe. You must have a mind that is capable of receiving the whole universe and that is possible only when the mind is clear of confusion, fear. Then there is no shadow of division, as the 'me' and 'you', my country, your country, my dogma - all that. That means when there is complete freedom then there is a perception of the whole. And from that, comprehension; from that, intelligence. That intelligence can act in the world, to get a job, to get no job, to do anything. But now we approach it as parts and therefore we are creating havoc in the world. Right?
Finished for this morning. May we go on tomorrow when we meet again?