What is your future?
A good human being is one who is not fragmented
1st K School - Students Discussion, Rishi Valley
December 12, 1983
You know we have been talking with the teachers, educators, for the last ten days, wouldn't you like to know what we discussed?
Students: Yes sir.
Krishnamurti: We talked about what is going to happen to you, as students. What is your future? And also we talked about, the danger of the world, tremendous catastrophes that are going on in the world, the nuclear bomb, the wars, the overpopulation of this country, disease, poverty, tremendous unemployment throughout the world. And there are about, I believe, forty wars going on at the present time. And you, when you leave this place, you are going to face all that - overpopulation, unemployment, and if you are going to pursue a career, for that career of a particular job there are about another thousand or three thousand people after that. So we talked about that. We said how are you as students going to face all that - intelligently or just follow the routine, the pattern, getting a job, if you can, getting married, settling down. You may be awfully clever, but cleverness is not intelligence. We talked about that.
We also talked about also whether Rishi Valley, the educators here, could help you to be free from fear, which we are going to talk about now. Whether you are afraid, not only pass examinations, but general fear - fear of your parents, fear of the teachers, fear of your friends, and so on. We talked a great deal about that. And also we talked about whether you can be a good human being. The word 'good' means 'unbroken human being', not fragmented, a whole being. We went into that very carefully.
And I thought you should know what we discussed, because it is your responsibility also, to help the teachers to see that you have no fear here. That when you leave you are really - not clever boys and girls, because there are millions of clever boys and girls - but who are really intelligent. We went into the question of what is intelligence, we will go into that with you, if you will permit us during the next three talks. So let us talk over together this morning, whether you can be free of fear. Shall we? That's what you wanted, didn't you?
And what is your future? This is a very serious question - not only your future, but also the future of the educators, the teachers here - and so, what is the future of mankind, the future of the world. They are destroying animals all over the world. I believe over fifty million whales have been killed. Elephants are disappearing, there are very, very few tigers left, and the dolphins - you know the dolphins, do you? Yes? Have you been told about them? They are marvellous animals. I used to know a friend who had a private dolphin - you understand? - in his backyard. He kept it there until the government found out that he had it and they asked him to remove it, put it back in the ocean or into a larger tank. They are extraordinary animals, great intelligence. I won't go into all that because I don't want to entertain you with stories.
If I may go on with what I am saying about the future of you, what is your future, the future of the educators here, and so the future of mankind. That is very important to discuss. Now don't keep silent, please. Discuss with me, question, argue. Don't sit there without expressing yourself, whether you express it badly or well, it doesn't matter. It is good to express yourself verbally, clearly, if you can. Because we are going to have a discussion - after I have talked. See if your minds are active. The other day, nearly two months ago, I was in California, and there was a car in front of me - I was being driven by a friend - there was a car in front of us, on the sticker on the bumper, said 'Question all authority' - and you are going to question this morning with me. You are going to argue, doubt, don't believe - question so that your brains become active, not just merely gather information and memorise it, pass some silly exams, and you get an equally silly job.
So, we are going to talk over this morning, first - we will come to the question of fear later - what is your future. This applies from the smallest kid here, child, to your 'A' level or 'O' level, or 12th or whatever it is. What is your future? If you are lucky enough to pass some exams, enter college or university and then seek a job, if your father is fairly powerful politically or locally, then you fall into the trap of what he has created for you, comfortably or uncomfortably, and then settle down for the rest of your life, struggle, conflict, unhappy, miserable, caught in a wheel like a rat, and that is what your future is going to be. Wars, tremendous unemployment, even though you may have a good job, if there is a war - not in India but in Russia, or China or in Europe - all of you will be affected. Face all this, look at it all.
Teacher: How do you connect the problem of career with the war, and even a mediocre person will go and take up something as a career.
K: What is the relationship between war and a career and - what else?
T: He implied a mediocre person.
K: Are you mediocre? All of you? You know what that word means? The word etymologically, that is, the root meaning of that word, means going half the way up the hill and never going to the top of the hill. You understand that? You might have a good job in (inaudible), in Madras, in Bombay, or in Delhi - or even in Europe and America, if you go there to make money - you will still remain mediocre. You may be excellent in your job, but your thinking, your feelings will be mediocre, ordinary. And education throughout the world is turning out mediocre people, without any integrity, without any quality of beauty, sensitivity and so on. So the question the girl or boy asked: what is the relationship between war, career, and mediocrity. Right? Was that the question? Don't be nervous.
T: Is that your question?
K: That was your question, wasn't it? No? Good. What do you think is the relationship of a war in India, with Pakistan or China or with another country, and your own particular job. What is the relationship between the two or is there no relationship?
K: Ecoutez - I mean - I was going to speak French. Come over here. You don't mind sitting next to me?
K: Good of you. Now what is the question?
S: I said like there's no connection because both are trying to earn a living. You said a person in Pakistan and a person in India - what is the connection between the career, I thought that was what you were trying to say.
K: I am not trying to say - you are trying to say. (Laughter) Don't be nervous - you can say what you like.
S: I am saying both are trying to earn a living, that's all.
K: Yes sir - and what is the relationship between earning a livelihood and war? That was your question - wasn't it?
S: No, what I was trying to say was that even if you are educated, I mean even if you are after a career, you are not going to, and the person who is not after it, both are going to experience, I mean the war or whatever it is.
K: Do you understand what she says?
T: She says, sir, everybody is going to experience the war, in spite of the career.
K: Is that it? Are you experiencing the war in Lebanon, what is going on there?
S: I don't understand.
K: You know there is a war in Lebanon. One group against another group, Christian - Muslim and Syrians against Israel, and so on and so on. There is tremendous murder going on there. Right? Are you related to that?
S: Not at the moment. But may be
K: What do you mean not at the moment?
S: Like if is in India, or if it is
K: No darling, just listen. Are you related to what is happening there, or not at all?
S: Yes, in some way.
K: In what way?
S: Like because it is I mean it is happening in a place and you know of it, but
K: Yes. Then what is your feeling about it, what is your relationship?
S: Sir, it's mediocre people like us who are creating war in that way.
K: Would you come over here? I like a boy and a girl - that's better. What sir? Don't be nervous, it's all right - I am also nervous - sit comfortably, that's it. What were you saying?
S: Sir, that it is mediocre people like some of us who are creating wars like that.
K: You are right. Mediocre people - he is saying - create wars. Do you understand what he said? He said mediocre people like us - including him, including you - he said we are responsible for creating wars. You agree to that? Why? It is easy to agree, but why?
S: Sir, we have also some ideas inside us which we don't want broken. And to defend these ideas, we fight.
T: We have some ideas and we don't want them to be broken and so for these ideas, we fight.
K: That's right. You are perfectly right. You have ideas that you are Indian. Right? That you are a Hindu and across the border the Muslim thinks he is a Muslim, because that is an idea. And also there is the whole totalitarian countries like Russia, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Rumania, Hungary and so on - all those countries, including Russia, have one set of ideas. Right? And democratic countries have another set of ideas - they are fighting with each other. So, would you consider all ideas are mediocre? Use your brain. Would you consider all ideas, all ideals are mediocre, which create wars? Come on old boy, argue, discuss, don't accept what I say. Do you understand? Think it out. Think out for yourself if ideas, ideals, are separating people - like India, Russia - you follow? - nationalities. Nationalities are creating wars. Right? Agree? So don't be national.
S: If I be a national I will be helping creating a war.
K: That's right. So, would you stop being national, calling yourself a Hindu, or a Parsi, or a Muslim, or a Sikh - you know all that business. But you may say 'Yes, I like the idea, he is quite right', but inside be a Hindu still. That would be hypocrisy, wouldn't it? So would you? If you are not, then you are moving away from mediocrity. So you see sir, wars are created by tribes. Wars have existed in this world for the last six thousand or seven thousand years, wars practically every year all over the world, and we are still having wars after all these long centuries of evolution, and these wars are caused by ideals, religious ideals, national ideals, and ideals created by thought - which is, I am a Hindu, you are a Muslim, I am a communist, you are a democratic and so on. This is the world you are going to face, whether you have a good job or not. So what is your future? Answer my question sir. What is your future? You understand?
You are the result of long series of movement in evolution, you are here now. Your brains have evolved from the very minute cell to this very, very complex brain. You have studied biology and so perhaps... And this brain has become mediocre, because we are frightened, we are nationalistic, we want to follow the same old pattern - right? - so we have become mediocre. You may be very clever. If you are an engineer, or if you are a scientist and so on - but your thinking, your feeling is very primitive. So you are still mediocre. Now what will you do about it? Will you break through the pattern? If you don't break through the pattern now, your future is what you are now. Right? Clear? You understand what I am saying - that if I don't change now, my future will be exactly what I am now, slightly modified. So
S: Sir, can one be part of the system of examination, job, etc., and yet not be mediocre?
K: It all depends. You might never pass exams, you might never go through college, university and job, and yet remain mediocre, or you might go through all that process and may not be mediocre, it all depends on the quality of your brain - how you think, what you feel, what you - sense of appreciation of the world. Do you understand what I am saying, have I made myself clear?
S: Then there seems to be a contradiction between the physical reality and what we want.
K: What is the physical reality?
S: Having a job - after doing examinations.
K: You have to go through examinations - let's take that. That is actuality, that you have to do. Right? And where is the other? What is the other?
S: You feel that it is not the most important thing.
K: I personally don't. But your fathers may, your government may, your society may. I never passed through any examination at all. I am still alive. So what is the contradiction?
Where do you come from?
S: Where exactly does mediocre stand for us get past it?
T: I don't get it.
S: For us to get over that state, where do you draw the line?
K: Ah! Do you know you are mediocre? Or you are to proud to acknowledge that. If you are honest to yourself - are you honest to yourself, any of you? If you are honest to yourself, you may ask yourself - are you mediocre? Wanting to follow the same old pattern.
S: Perhaps I want to.
K: Then you are mediocre - accept it.
S: Of course. I mean
K: But if you don't want to, that is what the girl asked, if you don't want to, how do you break through this. Right? You tell me. Don't let me tell you. But you tell me how to break, how to go beyond it.
S: This routine of job and then marrying and all that, they perhaps give you a security, sir.
K: Yes. So, are you seeking security?
S: No one wants to be alone, so that's the ultimate, like no one would like this routine of job and then marriage and everything. Everyone wants to have that because no one would like to be alone.
K: Now just a minute - what do you mean by that word 'alone'? Careful, careful. Just think out the word, what it means - alone. You know the word 'alone' means 'all one' - that is the dictionary meaning, the root meaning of that word, 'alone' means 'all one'. You mean isolated.
K: Each person feels isolated - why?
S: Because I think everyone wants company, at least I do.
S: We come back to fear, sir.
K: That's all. Which means what? Because you are afraid - go on, pursue it, sir, don't stop there. Find out.
S: You are afraid, and you want someone to share that feeling with you.
K: Which means So you want somebody to support you, encourage you, give you comfort, say 'You are doing very well, old girl, go on', and so on. Right? So, you depend on somebody - why? Go on, think it out.
S: Because, again it comes back to fear - because you are scared.
K: So, you are scared, you are frightened therefore you depend. Now when you depend on somebody like that what happens? Think it out.
S: You don't use your own
K: No, think - see the consequences of that. You know what I mean, consequences? Now, what does that mean? I am attached to you, you are my friend, and what happens? In being attached to you I become...
S: My security lies in you.
K: In you. Which means what? I am dependent on you. Go on, pursue it, go into it.
S: Again that's the thing, because if attachment breaks then there might again be sorrow - so again there is fear.
K: So when you are attached the consequences are fear - right? - pain, jealousy - when I am attached to you and you might look at that person I get jealous of you. Right? So I am jealous, I get angry. In all that where is there security? Because you are seeking security through dependence and that very dependence denies your security. Right? See it? Use your brain - don't stop there. So how do you find security? Every human being, all of you here need security. Right? That means what? When you say security and you agree, what does that mean?
S: Deeply it means that I want to have no fear.
K: No sir - security.
S: I want to feel secure.
S: Protected, we want to feel protected. We want protection.
K: You have protection. Security, what does it mean? Go on. To be secure. Right?
S: You hold on to something, not stand by yourself.
K: No. You know, look - you are all secure here, aren't you? Secure, you have a room to sleep in, a bed, clothes, soap, water to wash, and good food - is it good food here?
K: You all agree? (Laughs) Do you all agree you have good food?
S: Mediocre food. (Laughter)
K: Mediocre food. (Laughter) Would you like to have it improved?
Audience: Yes, sir.
K: You see how quickly you react to that. (Laughter) So food is very important, isn't it?
K: To be secure (laughs) means to have food, clothes, shelter and money. Right? Food, clothes, shelter, house, a room, and some money. If that is assured you are physically secure. Right?
S: I need some company.
K: Yes, yes - company, friends - you call all that security. Now, that woman there, carrying that burden, very poor, she has no security. Right? From day to day to day, she lives - frightened, hungry, dirty, but she carries on. So, is there security when people are divided into communities? Which means - when a nation is divided against another nation
S: there will always be opposition.
K: There will always be opposition, there will always be wars. Therefore nationality is denying your security. Right? Do you see that? Do you see? So, will you be free of nationality? Don't say 'Yes, sir', and then go back to nationality.
S: No, I can't say that sir, because you might feel it but then deep inside you say, 'OK, I am a Hindu' - I mean you have that feeling
K: Then wipe it out because that is going to cause war.
S: Sir, I don't think security means only food, shelter and (inaudible). If you have food and everything, you are not secure.
T: He is saying that he thinks that security is not only food, clothing, shelter and all that.
K:I agree. What is next? First you must have physical security. But that physical security is denied to people when there is war.
S: Sir, a small community understands you better than a large community, so nationality does protect you.
T: A small community understands you better than a big community, so nationality is useless.
K: What are we talking about? Do you understand what she said?
S: She is saying that a small community, being a nation or one country, will help you than being free, because being a member of a small society will help you.
K: I don't understand your question.
S: To help you understand the people better, that's what he means.
K: This is a small community - right? - here, where we live. Do we understand each other, help each other, be affectionate to each other?
S: Not to all, to some.
K: So sirs, come back to our question: what is your future? What is the future of each one of you? And if I am your parent, I would be very, very concerned about it. I might try to get you a job, get you to marry and all that kind of stuff in India, but what is your future?
S: Sir, how are we supposed to know our future?
T: He says, how is he supposed to know his future.
K: You can't. But you can know what you are now. Right?
S: I think it depends on your way of thinking and your parents way of thinking.
K: The parents way of thinking, and the way you think now. If you think in terms of nationality - Hindu, Buddhist and so on, Muslim - then the future will be what you are now. Agree? Oh, you're not - come on sirs.
S: Excuse me sir. Sir, remember you used the word, break down the barrier (inaudible) We break down the barrier, where do we go?
K: Somebody has to translate for me.
T: She says that you used the word break down the barrier and go out. Once you break down the barrier, where do you go?
K: Once you break down the barrier, where do you go? What is the barrier before you go, what do you call a barrier? Nationality is a barrier?
K: Why not? That's causing war. You don't you think that is causing war?
S: It is.
K: So, that is a barrier. Then if you don't belong to any nationality, then what are you? A human being, aren't you? Yes? Which is what?
S: Sir, even if there is no nationality here (inaudible) but even then there is the question of examination, job, marriage later on
K: Yes sir, but our whole attitude, our whole way of living would be different, wouldn't it? Wouldn't it? I might get married you might get married, have a job, but our whole outlook may not be limited.
S: (Inaudible) and the rest of the world goes their own way, then we are the ones to suffer, aren't we?
S: She says that if only the students in Rishi Valley follow this and the whole world goes the other way, then they would be the ones to suffer. I mean we would be the ones to suffer.
K: If all of you here followed or thought out, or worked out, and are free of nationality and the rest of the world doesn't do what you are doing - right? - then what happens to you?
K: What happens to you? (Laughter) Think it out. Either you will be smothered - right? - you will be destroyed by the majority, or the majority might join you, because they might see you have sense. They might see how logical it all is; they might join you.
S: They may not realise it.
K: Then you carry on your way.
S: Sir, what happens if the majority thinks that they are making sense and not us?
K: The majority - just a minute, sir - the majority thinks he is making sense. Is it sense to have wars every year?
S: That's what they think.
K: I know, I know, they think their way of living is very sane, rational and - rather stupid. (Laughs) They are (inaudible) that, old boy - I have discussed with them. They say, leave us alone. Right? And you come along and say how stupid way of living, perpetually in war. Right? And you say don't be nationalist. Either I say I accept you, I begin to put away my nationality. But very few people do this, they talk about it - you understand? - but very few people actually say no, I won't be a Hindu, I won't be a Muslim, I won't be a Catholic or a Protestant - nothing.
T: He says we can't really dissolve this barrier, because we have to pay taxes, we have to follow certain duties
K: Of course sir - when you buy a stamp, part of it goes to support war. Right? If you telephone from here to your home, what you pay goes to support the war. So what will you do? Not telephone, not write letters? Or would you attack the thing much deeper? Attack the thing deeper, which is, nationality, which is the separate religious groups - I am a Hindu, you are a Muslim, I am a communist, you are a democrat - you follow? This division throughout the world, is destroying the world. Right? You see it, it is happening there - in Beirut - see this. So to think that way is mediocre, to live that way is mediocre.
Now let's come back. You are frightened. Let's talk a little bit about fear. We are going to talk four days together, I hope you don't mind. Four days we are going to talk to each other - the day after tomorrow and so on. Now what is fear? You tell me. You think out carefully and tell me what is fear.
S: Sir, fear is what happened in the past, something that (inaudible)
S: What he says, sir, is that like fear is something which has happened in the past and you doesn't want to repeat it for the fear
K: That's right. So, you have done something in the past that has caused pain and you want that not repeated, and so that causes fear. Right? Right? Now, you are afraid also of the future - you might have an accident, you might fall ill, you might be scolded. So - just a minute, sir - you are afraid of the past, you are afraid of the future. Right? Are you afraid now sitting here? Careful, think it out.
S: Yes, sir. Like there is
K: (Inaudible) Let's begin again. You are afraid of the past, you are afraid of the future - are you afraid now?
S: You mean at the present?
K: At the present.
S: Yes, I am afraid of the future.
K: No darling - you don't mind my calling you darling? (Laughs) You are afraid of the past - right? - I have done something and I am frightened of it. And also I might be frightened of the future.
S: What is to happen.
K: What might happen. What might happen, what will happen. So, you are afraid of the past, you are afraid of the future. As now, the present is now - you are sitting here.
S: We might be afraid of what people may think of you.
K: That is future.
S: Right now, sitting here, like you'll be...
K: Are they doing that now? You don't know. At present - right? - be careful in your thinking - right? - precise. Future, past, and there is the present, which is now, sitting here. You are not frightened sitting here. So, is fear always in the future or in the past? Think it out, think it out carefully. Always in the future, always in the past, not in the present.
T: He says he has a fear of the present.
K: Are you afraid now, sitting there?
K: Of what?
S: Afraid of people around me.
K: Careful, careful, you have not thought it out. Think it out sir, before you say anything.
S: It is not actually fear. It is your opinion.
K: You are afraid what might happen, you are afraid what has happened. Right? So, at present sitting here, you might think of the future and get frightened or think of the past and get frightened. Right? So fear is in the future or in the past, but never in the present. What do you say to that. Ah, no, don't agree. Right? So, what are you frightened of?
S: Of what might happen.
K: Or what has happened.
S: Or what has happened.
K: Now, which means what? Careful, think it out.
S: I don't want anything to happen.
K: No darling, sir, think it out, first. What might have happened, what might - no - what has happened, first. What does that mean? The memory, the remembrance of something unpleasant, the remembrance, memory. Right? And the future is what might happen also from the past, the future, which means it might happen. So, both are the process of thinking. Clear? Be clear - careful, careful. Don't accept a thing anybody says, think it out. You understand? I am afraid of the past. That is, something happened two days ago which gave me fear and I think about it. Right? It has happened, finished, but I think about it. Right? The thinking about it causes fear. Thinking about what has happened.
S: Yes, sir, it causes fear.
K: Thinking about what might happen, which is the future. Thinking about the past, thinking about the future, causes fear.
S: Yes, sir.
K: Clear? I am thinking for you; you are not thinking.
S: Yes, sir, I am.
K: So, thinking about the past, thinking about the future creates fear. So thinking creates fear.
S: So are you trying to say, why think?
K: No, I am trying to point out to you the cause of fear, which is thinking about the past, thinking about the future, the thinking itself is the movement of fear. Then what will you do with thinking? You have to think. You have to think. To get from here to there and go to... This is a little too difficult. You understand what I am saying? So, you work it out carefully; take time. Thinking about the past, thinking about the future, causes fear, pain. Fear is pain.
S: Thinking spontaneously will not cause fear, because the present has no fear.
K: Wait a minute. Are you thinking spontaneously?
S: I don't think you can.
K: She says thinking causes...
S: But all thinking is from the past, you can't think spontaneously.
K: That's right, you've got it. All thinking is from the past, all thinking is not only the past but also the future. Right? This is a little difficult, may I So what will you do about thinking? You have to think - you put on your clothes, you have to think, when you clean your teeth you have to think, when you comb your hair you have to think, when you comb your hair and go to the barber to cut it short, you have to think. Right? Right? Right? So you have to think. So, then what? Thinking causes fear but yet you have to think.
S: But then
K: Find out, find out, find out. Thinking about the future and the past causes pain, fear, but you also have to think - put on your dress, put on your trousers, to listen to the educators, who inform you about mathematics - you have to think. So, where do you have to think, which does not cause fear? You understand my question?
S: Like when you form an opinion about it
K: Opinion about what?
S: Like suppose there is something which you are not certain about. It can happen
K: No, you are not - listen quietly, first get the principle that thinking about the past, and the future causes fear, but yet you have to think.
S: Sir, now we are not feeling afraid, sir, but in the future we might feel afraid of the now - which is the past.
K: Yes. But in the future you might think by Jove, I am going to fail in the exams - might frighten you.
S: No sir, someone said that we are not feeling afraid now.
K: You are not afraid now. Sitting there you are not afraid, of course.
S: Sir, but if we are not afraid now, in the future why should we be afraid - now it's the past then. (Laughter)
T: It is a bit complicated. If you are not afraid now, why should you be afraid of the future, which is now.
K: You are a clever boy! Think it out sir, think it out. You are saying, thinking about the future causes fear. But, what? Next step - tell me - he said something very good, sir, tell me.
S: If I am frightened of the future, why should I be frightened now, in the present.
S: He said, now I am not afraid, in the future the now will become the past, and you have said, only the past and the future can cause fear, but if now I am not afraid and in the future this will become the past, how can it cause the fear, if now does not cause fear? Is that right?
K: That's very clever, sir.
K: Have you understood this? Think it out, think it out. Listen to it carefully.
S: in the future, this will be the past.
K: Quite right, sir, quite right. The future is the present.
T: I think he meant
K: Yes, sir, that's what he means.
T: No, I don't think he got the feeling of that.
T: Yes, but he is saying something now; listen to that.
K: He has said the future is fear, but present I am not afraid, therefore the present is the future, therefore I have no fear: that is what he said.
S: The present will be the past in the future.
K: The present will be the past in the future, therefore the future there is no fear. He said - please, listen to it carefully, you are all Listen to him very carefully. At present - please, sir, find out, listen to it carefully, it is very interesting - at present I am not afraid, the future is the present, and if I am not afraid now, in the future I won't be afraid. Quite right. That means I am living always in the present.
S: Never in the future or in the past.
K: That's right. Got it sir? I don't know if you have understood this. That is, listen carefully, use your brains, don't go to sleep, this isn't a mathematical class (laughter) - where you can go on, repeat, repeat. He is saying something very interesting. At the present moment I am not afraid; the present becomes the future, therefore the future has no fear, which means, I am living all the time in the present.
S: Yes, but sir
K: Listen carefully, see what it means. Can I live always in the present?
S: No sir, but
K: That's what he said, sir - I am not saying, agree or disagree, listen to what he said. Find out the truth of it, or the falseness of it. If I am not afraid now, the future is what I am now. Which means, can I always live now, in the present. Do you understand? Which means - I will explain a little more - which means, the future and the past are contained in the present.
K: What? Careful - don't repeat what I said, find out.
T: He is saying, I may not be good in Telegu now, so I might project it to the future and say what am I going to do in the future. I am not good now at mathematics, or Telegu now, what will I do in the future? He is questioning, whether the present can be a source of fear.
K: Sir, apart from theories, are you frightened, factually are you frightened - of the past, future - frightened?
S: Yes, sir.
S: Now, when you said bring the past and the future into the present
K: No, not 'bring'. I said the present contains the past and the future.
S: Then won't the past and the future bring fear into the present.
K: Yes. So, you have to eliminate fear now. Got it? You people - you see, you say something true, and stop - you don't proceed. You said - go on, repeat what you said. It is very good Do you realise all of you up there who are much older don't talk - why?
S: Because maybe, they are not interested, or maybe they don't want to speak.
K: Why? Or they are cynical - this is all childish stuff, we have gone beyond all this, we will pass our exams and get on with the stuff. Right? Right?
S: Or we are listening.
K: Or we are listening. Are you?
S: I am.
K: Right. What do you mean by listening? (Laughter)
K: Come, sir, what do you mean by listening?
T: When you say something, I am observing.
K: Do you differentiate between hearing by the ear, and listening?
S: Listening is learning also.
K: Sir, forgive me if I may repeat again - do you differentiate between hearing and listening?
S: Yes sir - listening is where you take it in, and analyse it, but hearing is where it just falls on one ear and let it go out the other. (Laughter)
T: Listening is where you take it in and analyse, whereas hearing, you allow it come into one ear and let it out of the other.
K: So you are saying listening, in the process of listening you are analysing, questioning, doubting. Right? Is that listening? You are telling me the past is fear and the future is fear - I listen to you, I hear what you are saying, there it's different - I listen to you. I am not interpreting what you are saying, I am listening. Which means I am absorbing what you are talking about, and wait till I find out the truth of it. I am not analysing as I'm listening, I am listening
S: Taking it in.
K: Taking it in, and wait till I completely listen, then I can proceed to analyse. But if I listen and analyse, I am not listening to you. Right? Do you see that?
Are you going to sleep or you are awake?
S: I think listening can cause fear.
K: Ah! - you are right. Listening might awaken the memories of yesterday, or might awaken the future - therefore you listen, find out if you are afraid, but first you must listen.
S: When you are in the process of listening you might not be afraid, it might only be afterwards that you are afraid.
K: Oh yes, of course. But first you must listen. Have you ever listened to the song of a bird? Have you? Yes? Yes, sir. You are listening and seeing that bird on that branch, singing. And then afterwards you say that bird is - whatever the name of the bird - but you are listening. Do you listen to your educator?
S: When it is boring you don't listen and when it is interesting...
S: He says when he feels bored he does not listen, but when it's interesting
K: So, the boy says when he is bored he is not listening. (Laughter) Quite right, quite right. Which means the educator is boring.
S: Not always sir.
K: He is being polite - 'not always sir'. (Laughter)
T: Only sometimes! (Laughs)
K: (Laughs) Only sometimes.
Now sir - just a minute, come back. Do you want to be free of fear? Do you want to be free of fear? Or do you like it?
S: Having a fear can help you.
T: Having a fear can help you. He thinks it is a motivation.
K: When you are afraid, have you listened to your teacher? When you are frightened, do you ever listen? Of course not. You can't listen. Right? Now, I am asking you, I am asking all of you, whether you really want to be free of fear.
S: Yes sir, but then you will have some kind of fear.
K: Darling, just listen. Do you want to be free of it, don't say, there might exist afterwards.
S: Yes, sir.
K: Do you really want to be free? What will you do to be free? You know you go to a temple, Tirupati temple, or some temple and say, 'Please god, I'll give you something, you give me something else'. (Laughter)
S: A business deal.
K: Business deal. Right? A good business deal - it is really a rotten business... The priests get a lot out of it. So, do you want to be free? So completely free - not only now, but all through life.
S: Otherwise you will be going through a lot of conflict. Like your parents might say something and you might not accept it or you might. So, there will be a lot of conflict.
K: Yes, dear. But I am saying - do you want to be free in spite of all that?
S: If you do not know something, you have a fear that you do not know - something will happen to you. And because of that fear, you learn that thing. And so it's a healthy fear.
T: You are afraid you don't know something, so because of that you learn something.
K: Is learning - I know the game.
T: He is continuing with that.
K: He is continuing with that, he has not moved. Are you saying, through fear we learn?
S: I may be learning
K: Yes sir, yes sir. That is what you are saying. Through fear, that is, if you don't listen to the teacher, he might beat you up or he might give you less marks, or he might write to your parents. Therefore, being afraid, you listen to him.
S: I don't think it is always that we are afraid of something and we do it.
T: He says it is not always so.
K: It is not always so. My god, you are all too clever. I am asking you a very simple question, you don't answer me. Do you want to be free of fear?
S: Yes, sir.
K: Do you?
K: No, be serious - not just 'Yes', and let's get on with it.
S: No, I want to.
K: Then, what price do you pay for it? Not coin, not go to the temple say 'I want to be free, I'll pay you ten rupees'. But if you say I really want to be free from fear, deeply - right? - then we'll work together.
S: Yes, do what you really want to do and not do it for the sake of others.
K: Yes. And also, if you want to be free, you, we three will work it out. You understand what I am saying? Work it out, step by step, so that at the end of it you are completely free of fear. Right? If that is what you want to do, what will you pay for it? Not money.
K: What will you do? What will you - you know, give a flower. You must do something to show your seriousness, your integrity, not just say, 'Well, I would like to be free from fear, tell me all about it'.
S: Be your true self, I think, like not try to put up...
K: I understand, but let's go into it - don't say, I must do this, I must not do that - let us go into the whole question of fear and see if you can step by step, end it. As each step taken, it is ended.
S: He is saying you destroy the fear by learning what is fear.
K: By learning. Right? What do you mean by learning?
K: Wait, listen old boy Don't answer me before I have finished my sentence. What do you mean by learning? Is memorising learning? Right? Answer that. Is memorising mathematics, repeating day after day, day after day the same thing, till you have memorised it, is that learning? That is what you call learning. But I question, I doubt if that is learning. Learning is much more active than merely repeating. Now, what is the time?
S: Sir, if you don't have fear you might cause trouble to others.
K: By being free of fear, you might cause trouble to others. So you will be a doormat. So I am afraid I might hurt him, therefore I'll keep my fear.
S: Not that sir, if you are free of fear, you might go and burn houses. You are not afraid of anybody. (Laughter)
K: If you are not afraid, you might go and burn up the school. (Laughter) Try it. (Laughter)
Now we had better stop, it is now a quarter to eleven - we have done an hour and a quarter. Do you like this kind of meeting?
K: We will have it. We will meet again the day after tomorrow. So we will go on with this. First of all, I hope you enjoyed yourselves, have a good discussion - to discuss, you understand, not just listen and say, 'Well, I agree with you', that is silly. Let us sit quietly for a few minutes, shall we?