What makes our lives so fragmented?
Is there an intelligence which has no cause?
2nd Public Talk, Saanen
July 13, 1982
If I may we will continue where we left off yesterday the day before yesterday morning.
I think it is important to realise not merely verbally or intellectually that our tradition is to follow, either political leaders, religious leaders or psychological specialists. We want to be told what to do, and we naturally follow. Following somebody, it doesn't matter who it is, is totally detrimental to freedom, obviously. Perhaps most of us do not want to be free, not merely outwardly but inwardly, to be completely free, and so there is a great tendency to follow people, to follow what somebody says, including that of the speaker. So if one really wants to investigate into this whole problem of the world outside of us and the world inside, one must, it seems to us, totally deny every form of authority, inwardly and not to follow anybody. And one must repeat that over and over again if you don't mind because our tendency is to repeat what another says, try to say, 'We understand you but it is so difficult. We have listened to you for so many years and we have not changed', and all that kind of thing, which implies that you are really, if I may most respectfully point out, that we are not investigating, exploring, examining critically what we are, what we have become, why the world is in such a terrible mess. And being confused in an uncertain world and a dangerous world, we want leaders - political, religious, new kind of philosophy, but all those have betrayed us. And as we said the day before yesterday it is important to relate what we are to the world, and the world to us, and to understand this interrelationship between the world and ourselves, and that investigation, the real relationship and the realisation between the world and ourselves inwardly doesn't depend on anybody. There is no guru, nor all the popes in the world will help us. We have to investigate, go into this problem of why there is this division, this conflict in all of us.
And as we said yesterday the day before - sorry - we have divided, broken up life. There is the political area, business area, the religious area, and the ideological, utopian concepts, and our own relationship with each other, it is all broken up, it is all fragmented. And the politicians never see this fragmentation. They have their own ideas, their own concepts of what government should be and so on, totally disregarding the whole psychological area of man. People think politics will solve all our problems - better government, better environment, better leadership and so on.
(Sound of aeroplanes) I am afraid we’ll have to bear up with this noise of the aeroplanes for a while.
So we have broken up our lives and most of us are unaware of this. So we said yesterday the day before yesterday, every form of isolation - nationally, economically, religiously - in that isolation there is no security. You can see that very, very clearly throughout the world. They are building up our armaments and so on - we went into all that yesterday, carefully - I can't repeat. Qu'est-ce-qu'il-ya? Day before yesterday.
And as we said: where is one to begin? Seeing all this most obvious activity that is going on in the world - dangerous, destructive, degenerating, vulgar, coarse - where should one begin with all this? And what kind of action is necessary, not at the peripheral level, but at the psychological level, because man has always tried to alter the periphery, the outward things - better system, better government, better this and so on, but as we pointed out the day before yesterday man has lived for thirty thousand, or a million years, and we are more or less the same as we were at the beginning of time. If we go along in that direction we shall never bring about a different world. And seeing all this where shall one begin? That is where, more or less, we left off yesterday the day before.
Questioner: Let’s call the day before yesterday, yesterday.
K: The day before yesterday. Sorry.
Do we realise, or aware, know, recognise, that each one of us has different departments, broken up - business world, the world of teaching, the world of, if you are a professor, scientist, businessman, politician, or rather disillusioned religious man - are we aware in our life how fragmented we are? And we said what is the cause of this, what is the origin which makes our life so fragmented, so broken up? Please, as we said the day before yesterday, this is not a lecture that is giving you some information about something, but rather that together we are looking at this problem, together - not I look at it and the speaker tells you, or you tell the speaker - together we are observing this phenomena. So please, if one may point out, don't merely listen to the speaker but observe the thing ourselves so that it is yours, not the speaker's. We said, what is the origin of all this division? - in ourselves and in the world. In ourselves being our relationship with each other, with the world, and the colossal, almost destructive separatism in the world. We said, is it thought? Is thought the origin of this division, of this fragmentation in our life? We are asking, so we are both of us criticising, questioning, examining, not the speaker pointing out - then it becomes another circus. But whereas if both of us realise how necessary it is to see what exactly is happening outside of us and inside of us, and look at it very objectively, dispassionately, not say, 'I like this, I don't like that' - without any bias one realises that our life, the whole process of living, which is a very complex affair, has become more and more fragmented. Now we are asking, what is the beginning of it? Who has brought about this fragmentation? Please ask yourself, don't rely on the speaker. We are asking, is it thought? Or is it natural in life to be fragmented, because that is the way we have lived - I am an idealist, you are not, I believe in this, I don't believe in that. Right? So is thought the origin of this division? Where there is division there must be conflict - right? - Arab and the Jew, and Russian, German and so on, so on. And also there is division in us - I am, I should be. I am what I am but I will become.
So there is this constant division. And that may be the way of life - live in it, constant conflict, constant destruction, having destroyed, build, and that which you have built, destroy - as the animals live in conflict, so we live in conflict, and you may say that is natural way of life, it has been like that for a million years or thirty thousand years, it is so. Or you question is that the way of life, and when you begin to question, not accept the tradition of this fragmentation then you begin to ask, how did this come about? Is it thought? - because that is the only thing we have. We have lived on thought, all our activities are based on thought, all the armaments, the wars, the brutality, the vulgarity, the hatred, all that is based on thought - the marvellous technology and so on. And when one asks, is thought the origin of this terrible way of living, one must enquire what is the nature of thought? Is thought itself divisive? Is thought itself, in itself, a fragmentary process? Is thought, which has done so extraordinarily well in the technological world, in beautiful architecture, the extraordinary things thought has done outwardly, and inwardly there is only one instrument we have, which is thought, and if thought is the instrument, the process that brings about this division, this fragmentation, this conflict in us, is that so? We are examining it together, you are not, please don't accept whatever the speaker says, he may be totally wrong. If you accept you will make him into an authority, which is an abomination to the speaker. Whereas together let's look at it amicably, hesitantly, with a sense of co-operation.
You know, it is one of the most difficult things to co-operate. We co-operate round a person, or round an idea, or we co-operate when we hate somebody, like hating another country everybody joins in. If there is a war they all co-operate to destroy somebody else. We are talking about co-operation in a totally different sense - not round a person, not round some authority, an idea, a concept, but the feeling of wanting to co-operate, the feeling, not co-operate about something, or for something. Here we are co-operating together in that sense of investigating, looking at this question, which is, is thought in itself a process that divides the whole world outside of us, and the world inside of us? Is this clear? If this is clear, and if thought is the origin of it, the cause of it, then we must investigate what do we mean by cause? You understand? Cause for action is a ground, is a motive, is a reason - cause. I act because I have some prejudice, some idea, some concept which is the ground, which is the cause, the reason, the motive for my action. Where there is a cause the effect can be changed. Right? But in changing the effect, the very changing becomes the cause. I wonder if you follow all this. We are investigating together the meaning of that word, because it is very important. Cause means doing something with a motive. Cause implies a process of time which produce the effect. Cause implies the whole movement of the past, which may alter the future. Right? This is not an intellectual game we are playing. We are understanding the nature of cause. When I am afraid, which is the cause, I do all kinds of silly things, and I try to alter the silly things I do, not discover the cause of my fear. But when I do discover the cause is it possible to dissolve the cause without the effect, without a future effect? You understand this? I wonder if it is clear.
Is this clear? Shall we go on with it? So it is important, it seems to us, to understand the cause. I have cancer - I haven't got it - I have cancer and the cause of that is practically unknown yet. The moment they discover the cause cancer will end, but the ending of cancer has its other problems, of other diseases. You understand? So is there a possibility of dissolving the cause without a future effect? I have done something wrong, of which I am ashamed. I discover why I did that thing which is not correct, and I am concerned with altering that which is not correct because I have not discovered the cause of it. But when I do discover the cause of it and dissolve that cause, there is no effect, which, if I do not dissolve it, the effect can become the cause of another problem. You have understood now? Right sir?
So we are asking, is thought the cause of this division? Is thought in itself divisive? And therefore whatever it does must be divisive, separative. So let's go into the question of what is thought, what is thinking, what is the origin of this thinking process? - the origin, the beginning of it. Are you interested in all this? Because you see, sirs, we live in a very dangerous world, this dangerous world man has made. There is terror, uncertainty, there is tremendous sorrow in the world. And that has been going on for thousands of years. Any observant, dispassionate, mind that says, 'Is there an end to all this?' - not my end, my ending of my suffering but the ending of suffering of man. And we went into it day before yesterday, that our consciousness is similar to all the consciousness of the world of human beings, so we are totally humanity. We went into that carefully, it is no good going back again. We are the entire humanity because our consciousness is not my consciousness, the consciousness that has evolved through time, evolution, and it has come to this present condition. And is there a possibility of totally understanding this whole consciousness and transform it? That is why it is important to understand the nature of thought because thought is the instrument of all our action. Thought has put all the content of our consciousness - our beliefs, our ideas, our hopes, our aspirations, fears, anxieties, loneliness, depression, you know, sorrow - it is all the result of thought. Of course, love is totally another matter. Thought is not love, nor the remembrance of past things which gives pleasure and that is called love. So we will go into that at another time.
So we must, realising what the world is and what we have become, it is not a vain question, not a selfish question to ask, is thought responsible for all this? Do you understand what we are enquiring? Because the whole world is emphasising thinking, the whole world is acquiring more and more knowledge. Psychologically and outwardly knowledge has become all-important. And what is knowledge? Scientific knowledge, business knowledge, the knowledge of music, composition. And there are those scholars and scientists who say through knowledge alone man ascends, grows, becomes. Please see in our own lives how important knowledge is playing, because we have to live in the world to do certain jobs, and to do a good job in any direction you must have knowledge. And knowledge can never be complete about anything. It is so obvious. Knowledge means accumulation of experience, of tradition, gathering all kinds of information which has been stored up, learning about it, and having a degree and function. So knowledge has become extraordinarily important. And we never question can knowledge be complete at any time about anything? Obviously not. Therefore knowledge must always go hand in hand with ignorance. Right? Please see the importance of this. There is no complete knowledge about myself. There can't be, because to understand oneself is a tremendous movement all the time. It isn't I have understood, gathered information, and accumulated from that information a great deal of knowledge and hold that knowledge. Then when I say 'I know myself', which is a false statement because I can never know myself completely because there is always the shadow of ignorance. The more I delve into myself, the more I discover. But knowledge is accepted as the chief instrument of our life, but knowledge is never complete. Therefore our thought can never be complete because knowledge comes through experience, and you store up that experience as knowledge, which then is held in the brain as memory, and that memory acts, which is thinking. This is normal, reasonable, rational. There is nothing to dispute about it, you can't prove it. They are trying to prove it, to build a computer that is exactly like a human mind, human brain. Probably they will succeed because the computer, which is mechanical intelligence based on how it is programmed, and we have been programmed, never completely.
So, thought born of knowledge, born of experience, stored in the brain as memory, the remembrance of things past, that is thought. And so thought in itself is fragmentary - it is not my thinking and your thinking are separate, there is only thinking. I may think about the tent and look at it with different eyes - it's in proportion and so on, you may think of it differently, but thinking is common to both of us. Whether you are very, very poor, highly educated, or totally ignorant, thinking is going on. So thought is the origin, the beginning of this division in our life - you are German, I am French, you are British, I am Russian - that is, we have geographically divided the world by thought. That is, thought tries to seek security in isolation, in fragmentation. Right? Have you got this? Thought seeks security in isolation. Because it is fragmented it is the process of its own division. Right? Is this clear to all of us? I am not explaining. Please don't accept the explanation. The reality is not the explanation. You may paint a most beautiful mountain with all the shadows, and the depth of light, and the beauty of light, but that picture is not the actual mountain. So please this is your own understanding, your own observation from which you are learning. You are not learning from the speaker. You are learning through observation of what is going on. So you can throw away the speaker. The speaker is not important - I must emphasise this. But what you see, what you understand, and from that understanding to discover that thought is the origin of all this.
So, the cause is knowledge, which is incomplete. You understand? Now we asked the other day, is there a way of living without cause? You understand? Please this requires a lot of investigation, not acceptance or denying. Everything we do is based on a cause. Every action, every emotion, every ideation has a cause in thought. And can that cause be altered without trying to change the effect? You understand? This is really important to understand this. I am exploring with you. This is something new for me too, for the speaker - I have just heard it the other day when he spoke - the causation. I want to find out, like you, we are trying to find out together, co-operating together, man has lived always with a cause. I hate somebody because he has hurt me and I try to alter the effects of hate - right? - but I never enquire what is the cause of my hate. The cause of my hate is he has done something wrong to me. That is the cause. Now can I alter the cause, which is he has done something wrong to me, totally forgetting him, he is the effect. You understand? Following all this? Not be concerned with him at all, but the hurt, which is the cause of my hatred, my anger, antagonism, wanting to hit him back. And the cause is the image I have about myself, and that image has been hurt, and that image is me. Right? Surely. I have an image about myself that I am a great man, or whatever you like, or some kind of silly person, illusion and so on. I have got an image very carefully put together by thought about myself. The 'myself' is the image. Right? I am not different from the image. Thought has separated me from the image because it can only think in terms of division, so it says 'I am different from the image', but the fact is the image is me. That image has been hurt by someone, and the cause of that hatred is the hurt which is part of that image. So I am not concerned about another who has hurt me, I want to find the cause of it, which is my image about myself, and the cause says, 'Can that end?', not be concerned with the person who has hurt me. I wonder if you follow all this - it is simple enough.
So the causation is the image. Now, can that image end? Please ask this question of yourself. You certainly have an image about yourself - beautiful, clever, depressed, I belong to this group, will help me - you have an image about yourself. And that image has been put together by thought. And the cause of that hurt is the image. Now if I say to myself 'I must end the image in order not to be hurt', then that becomes a cause, not to be hurt. So I begin to see how not to be hurt - keeping the image. You understand? So the cause remains and the hurt will remain. But whereas when I look when there is the observation of the fact that the image is hurt and the realisation, the truth that the image is hurt, and the dissolution of that image has no cause. It doesn't say, 'I must get over my hurt'. You understand? There is no ground, no motive, no reason, to dissolve the image, but the mere fact of observing the truth that as long as there is an image it will be hurt. Is this clear? We will approach it as we go along, in ten different ways.
So I am asking, we are asking, co-operating together to find out a way of life where there is no cause. Please sir, this is a tremendous question - don't just throw it out. I have lived so far, all of us have lived so far responding to the causes, treating the symptoms and never going to the root, which is the cause. We have accepted causation. That is our tradition, that is our conditioning. And there are those extraordinarily clever, erudite people who say you can never change a conditioning. You can modify it, you can alter it, but the condition of man will always remain. That means he will always suffer, he will always be in a state of anxiety, fear and so on. But we are trying to observe and ask, this condition in which we live has been brought about by various causes, the main cause is the desire to be secure - secure outwardly and secure very, very deeply inwardly, to have no doubt, no uncertainty, to be completely secure. That is how our mind works. Because inwardly there is uncertainty - please follow this - insecurity because I can't depend on anybody, I have discovered that, even in my most intimate relationship I can't depend. And my desire from childhood is my condition which says 'Be secure, for god's sake' - either in ideas, in knowledge, in property, or no property, which is another form of security - go off into the mountains, or into the monastery, that is another form of security, be attached to Jesus, or Krishna, or somebody. So we are inwardly insecure, the cause of it we are going into. The cause of insecurity and the demand to be secure. You understand? That we all want security, popularity, know.
Now, why is it that we are insecure? Begin inwardly first, please. You understand? The outward things are controlled, shaped by inward action. Our psychological demands control the outward circumstances. Right? We have created the society, the society in which we live. We are responsible for it, not the present generation, a thousand generations of human beings have produced this, of those generations I am a part of it. So we have produced this. And we say one must be secure. Why? Because inwardly we are uncertain, confused. Right? If I am very clear why should I demand security? So we are going to find out the cause of this urge, this longing for security - what is the cause of it? I feel secure in putting on a certain robe. I belong to a certain group, I feel safe. I feel safe when I say 'I am British', or Swiss. Inwardly too, when I say 'I am a great man', or I have a job which satisfies, and so on and so on and so on. So, what is the cause of this uncertainty? This deep sense of insecurity. We all want security - right? So what is the cause of it? Go on, sir. What is the cause of my insecurity? My feeling of loneliness, of my feeling totally dissatisfied with everything, discontent like a flame that is burning in me about the things man has done, which I don't want to do but I don't know how not to do. You understand? I am burning, I am anxious, depressed. I want to change the world but I don't know how. I want to stop wars, and politicians won't listen. The speaker has tried it. So, why is the brain, which can only function in complete security fully, knowing it can only function in that way yet it is constantly living in uncertainty, insecurity - what is the cause of it? Don't look at me, please look at yourselves and find out.
What do we mean by security? Secure from what? Secure from danger. Right? Secure from any form of interference. Right? Secure to pursue my own way, to be safe in my desire for fulfilment, inwardly. Outwardly I need to be secure, otherwise you and I wouldn't be here - you must have food, clothes and shelter, naturally. But that which is natural is being denied by the division of nationalities. Any intelligent man sees this, that there can be only security for mankind if there is a global relationship, and interrelationship economically, socially - a global relationship, not an isolated security.
So we are seeking - please follow this - we are seeking security for ourselves. Which is, ourselves is the rest of mankind. Right? Because my consciousness is like yours, you suffer, I suffer, we go through terrible times, so do I - all human beings psychologically are of the same ground. It is this terrible illusion that we are all separate entities. So is there security in isolation? Go carefully. Who has brought about this isolation? Having brought about this isolation it protects itself and that protection is called security. And we see more and more observable, this tribal seclusion, isolation is destroying the world. Right? America against Russia, Russia against Afghanistan - you follow? - all the horrors that are going on. You have your guru and I have my guru - I haven't got one but you have your guru, your priest, your authority. So, if one realises, sees the truth - please, just listen to this for a few give your attention to this: if you really see in your investigation that in isolation there is no security. Now thought has brought about this isolation, of course. Now how do you see the truth of the fact that isolation is most destructive? Who sees it? Does thought see it? You understand my question? You have heard this statement that any form of isolation - any form - is destructive, will inevitably bring about total insecurity. You hear that statement. Which is, first you hear through the sensory ear, then you hear those words which have significance inwardly. Right? And you say, 'Yes, I hear it. I see that.' Now what do you mean by seeing that? Seeing the statement by saying 'I understand it', 'I understand what it means' - right? - do you understand the idea, the words, or the actual fact? See the fact. Which is it? Please look at it. The word, which is spoken in English, we speak in English therefore there is the understanding of the word, the conclusion of the whole statement - are you observing the abstraction of that fact as an idea, or without abstraction, observing the fact? I observe the fact that I have pain, physical pain. There is no abstraction about it. I don't say I am perfectly well when there is agony. When there is real pain there is no abstraction. But our brain is traditionally conditioned to make abstractions. That is, I hear the statement, I make an abstract of it, that is the idea of it, the concept of it, the conclusion 'By Jove, this is so', and I hold on to that conclusion which is totally different from the fact. Now what is it that you are doing? What is it that we are together doing? Observing the fact only, without abstraction, without the idea. When you so observe, that is, observing without the desire to transcend it, the desire - please follow - the fact that as long as I have an image about myself it is going to be hurt. I am that image. Right? I am that image. But my condition of my brain says, 'I am different from the image'. So I see the fact that there is this division. Right? I say, why is there this division? There is this division because thought has separated the fact from me. The me is the fact. The me is the enemy. Right? The me with the image gets hurt.
So security, as long as I live in isolation there must be uncertainty. From that uncertainty comes the desire to be secure. The cause is thought has made me insecure - not 'made me' - thought has brought about the sense of division - I am British, you are French, my guru, my guru is different than yours, my god is different, I will be saved only through that way, and so on and so on and so on. It is all the product of thought. And thought has brought about this isolation, and where there is isolation there is total insecurity. And being insecure, the urge to be secure. Now, to see this whole thing, to observe the whole thing, as you would observe a beautiful mountain without any reaction, just watch. When you so observe the very cause disappears, doesn't it? Because it is so. It is so, a fact, that thought has brought this isolation. Having brought it about there is confusion, conflict, isolation and therefore in that isolation there can be no security, therefore I seek some You follow? If one remains with that fact completely then the causation doesn't create an effect. Got it? We are wanting to change the effect but not see the cause and let the cause disappear.
From this one begins to enquire, what is intelligence? Because this is intelligence, you understand? To see the false and discard the false is intelligence. Right? Is that clear? I see and there is perception that nationalism is destructive. To perceive that is intelligence. I perceive this whole religious structure which man has built, with all the rituals, dresses - thought has built it - and to see the fact that it is not religion is intelligence. To see the fact that thought has created isolation outwardly, and also inwardly. And the cause of this is thought which is fragmented in itself. And to see that is obviously intelligence.
Now proceed that way, going more and more deeply you will see that we live in a world that is so utterly impractical, utterly unintelligent. To see that, not just verbally say it is unintelligent. So to discover, not to be told what is false, what is illusory, to see it, not to act upon it, just to see it, that very perception of the false denies the false. I don't have to fight against it. You understand? So I see step by step the way of intelligence is acting. It is not my intelligence, it is not yours, it is intelligence. Right, sirs.
May I get up now?