What will bring about change in the brain?
Two Conversations with Pupul Jayakar, 1983
1st Dialogue, Brockwood Park
June 24, 1983
Pupul Jayakar: Krishnaji, there is a strange phenomena happening in the world today where the East reaches out to the West to find sustenance, and the West reaches out to the East for - in inverted commas - 'wisdom', to fill some vacuum which exists. Would you say there is an Indian mind which may have the same directions, or contain the same elements of sorrow, greed, anger, etc., but where the ground from which these spring are different?
Krishnamurti: Are you asking - if I may, sorry to interrupt - are you asking whether the Eastern thought, Eastern culture, Eastern way of life, is different from the West?
PJ: Well obviously the Indian way of life is different to the West.
K: It is.
PJ: Because the conditionings of the two are different. But they in a sense complement each other.
K: In what way?
PJ: In the sense that the East, or India more specifically, lacks perhaps that precision of carrying an abstraction to concrete action.
K: Are you saying they live more in abstraction?
PJ: Yes. They are not so concerned about action in the environment, action as such.
K: What would you say they are concerned with?
PJ: Today, of course, there is a great change taking place, it is very difficult to say what the Indian mind is. Because the Indian mind today is looking at one level for the same material comforts...
K: ...progress in the technological world
PJ: Yes, progress in the technological world.
K: and applying it in daily life, and so on.
PJ: And consumerism.
K: Consumerism, yes.
PJ: It has percolated very deep into the Indian spirit.
K: So what ultimately is the difference between the Indian mind, Indian culture, and the Western culture?
PJ: Perhaps still, in spite of this material overtone, there is a certain edge to the delving process, if I may put it. When it goes into the field of...
PJ: No, not parapsychology - parapsychology is very developed in the West. But I am talking about this delving into the self, the delving into the within, the insights into things. For centuries the Indian mind has been nurtured on a ground of this feeling. Whereas, from a certain time in the West, there was a movement away. And there has always been a movement away right from the time of the Greeks towards the outer, the environment.
K: I understand. But the other day I heard on the television - a very well known Indian was being interviewed - he said the technological world now in India is humanising the Indian mind.
PJ: No - I understand that.
K: I wonder what he meant by that, humanising. Instead of living in abstractions, and theories, and complexity of ideations and so on, the technological world is bringing them to earth.
PJ: And perhaps it is necessary to some extent.
K: Obviously it is necessary.
PJ: So if these two minds have a different essence...
K: I question that very much, whether the Indian thought - I am sorry, I don't mean that - whether thought is ever East or West. There is only thought, it is not Eastern thought, or Western thought. The expression of thoughts may be different in India, and here it may be different, but it is still a process of thought.
PJ: But is it also not true that what the brain cells contain in the West and perhaps the centuries of knowledge and so-called wisdom in the East have given a content to the brain cells which make them perceive in a different way?
K: I wonder how accurate what you are saying - I would like to question what you are saying, if I may. I find when I go there, there is much more materialism now than there used to be.
K: More concerned with money, position, power and all that. And of course there is overpopulation, and all the complexity of modern civilisation. Are you saying that the Indian mind has a tendency to an inward search, much more so than the West?
PJ: I would say so. I would say just as the Western mind has a...
PJ: ...not only technological but environmental...
K: Yes, environmental, economic and so on - ecological.
PJ: Movement outer. There is the inner environment and the outer environment and I think if you take it that way I would say the outer environment is the concern of the West, and the inner environment has been the concern of the East, of India.
K: Has been the concern, but it has been the concern of a very, very few people.
PJ: But it is only the few people who create the culture. How does culture come into being?
K: That is a question we should discuss, rather. Before we go to that, is there really a distinction between the Eastern thought and Western thought? I would like to establish that. Or there is only this extraordinary phenomenon of the world being divided into the East and the West.
PJ: But what has divided it?
K: Geographically, first. Politically, economically, as a much more ancient civilisation - if I can use that word - than the West. All that is the Indian mind - if we can use that word 'mind' with regard to all that. The Western world is much more concerned, as far as I can see - I may be mistaken - is concerned with worldly affairs.
PJ: But what turned it in that direction?
K: Climate. Climate - much more, very much more, it is a colder climate, and all the inventions, and all the modern technology comes from the Northern part of the world, the northern people.
PJ: Yes, but if it was only climate then...
K: No, it is not only the climate.
PJ: Mexico, Africa, Equatorial Africa...
K: Of course not, of course not.
PJ: ...would have the same mind.
K: No, no
PJ: But it is not that. That's not the answer.
K: It is not only the climate. It is climate and the whole so-called religious way of life in the West is very, very different from the East.
PJ: That's what I am saying. Somewhere along the line people of one racial stock, seemingly, divided.
K: Divided, yes, from Sumaria and so on.
PJ: Divided. And the direction in which the West turned was the discovery of their dialogue with nature, out of which arose technology, out of which arose all the great scientific finds, truths. India also had a dialogue with nature and with the self...
K: But of a different nature.
PJ: ...of a different nature. The dialogues were in themselves of a different kind.
K: So are you trying to say that the Eastern mind, Indian mind, is more concerned with religious matters than the West? Here in the West it is all rather superficial, though they think it is rather deep. And there, in India, tradition, literature and everything says the world is not so important as the understanding of the self, the understanding of the universe, the understanding of the highest principle, Brahman.
PJ: This swiftness with which the mind can start the enquiry is perhaps different to the West, where enquiry, insights, the great insights have been in different directions.
K: Of course. But here in religious matters, doubt, scepticism, questioning, is absolutely denied. Faith is all important here. In Indian religion, in Buddhism and so on, doubt, questioning, enquiry becomes all important. So
PJ: Out of this today somehow both the cultures are in crisis.
K: Yes, of course. Would you say not only cultures, but the whole human consciousness is in a crisis.
PJ: Would you distinguish human consciousness from culture?
PJ: In a sense they are the same.
K: No, basically not.
PJ: So the crisis at the very root is making them search somewhere away from themselves. They feel an inadequacy and so they turn to the other culture. It is happening in both countries.
K: Yes, but you see, Pupulji, I am questioning whether in their search from their materialistic outlook - if I may use that word - they are being caught by all kinds of superstitious, romantic, occult ideas, and these gurus that come over here, and all the rest of it. What I want to find out is whether human consciousness, if it is in a crisis, as it is, whether it is possible not only to resolve that crisis, without war destroying humanity, whether human beings can ever go beyond their own limitation. I don't know if I am making myself clear.
PJ: Sir, may I just
K: Of course, this is a discussion.
PJ: The outer and inner is like the material and the search within. It's two mirror images of these two directions in which man has moved. The problem really is that if man has to survive the two have to be...
K: They must live together.
PJ: Not live together, but a human culture come into being which would contain both.
K: Now what do you mean by the word 'culture'? What do you mean by culture?
PJ: Isn't culture everything that the brain possesses?
K: That is, would you say the training of the brain and refining the brain?
PJ: The training of the brain and the refinement of the brain.
K: And the expression of that refinement in action, in behaviour, in relationship, and also a process of enquiry that leads to something totally untouched by thought? I would say this is culture.
PJ: Would you include enquiry in the field of culture?
K: Of course.
PJ: Isn't culture a closed circuit?
K: You can make of it that way, or you can break it and go beyond.
PJ: But to take culture as a closed circuit, today culture as it exists...
K: That's why I want to understand what you mean by the word 'culture'.
PJ: As we understand it today, Krishnaji, it is our perceptions, the way we look at things, our thoughts, our feelings, our attitudes, the operation of our senses - you could keep on adding to this.
K: That is, the religion, faith, belief, superstition.
PJ: The outer and the inner, which keeps on growing. It may be growing but it is all growing within that contour. It remains a contour. And when you talk of a search which is no way connected with this, would you include it in...
PJ: Well, enquiry, search, observance
K: I understand.
PJ: you can use any word.
K: Of course, of course.
PJ: But would you put it into the field of culture? You would.
K: Of course. Would you say - I am just trying to clarify the matter - would you say the whole movement of culture is like a tide going out and coming in, like the sea, going out and coming in. And the human endeavour is this process of going out and coming in, and never enquiring whether that process can ever stop. You understand? What I mean is we act and react. That's the human nature. Act and react, like the ebb and flow. I react, and out of the reaction act, and from that action react - it's back and forth. Right? Now I am asking whether this reaction of reward and punishment can stop and take a totally different turn? We function, we live, and our reactions are based on reward and punishment. Right?
K: Both physically, psychologically and every way. And that's all we know, deeply. Now I am asking whether there is this reaction of reward and the avoidance of punishment, and so on, like the tide - is there another sense of action which is not based on this action/reaction? You understand what I am talking about?
PJ: As this action/reaction is an impulse of the brain cells, it can never be...
K: It is our conditioning.
PJ: And it is an impulse of the brain cells.
K: Yes, of course.
PJ: It is the way the brain cells respond, and the way they receive through the senses and the way they...
Now the question you ask...
K: Our question is really, we are enquiring into what is culture.
PJ: What is culture, and we went into that.
K: A little bit.
PJ: Little bit. It can be expanded much further, but still it remains within the same field.
K: The same field but you can enlarge the field.
PJ: Would you say then that culture is that which is contained in the brain cells?
K: Of course.
PJ: Anything else?
K: All our past memories.
PJ: Yes, so if you take all that is there anything else?
K: I understand. Now this is a difficult question because one must be careful, very careful. If there is something else - if - then that something else can operate on the brain cells which are conditioned. Right? If there is something in the brain, then the activity of that something else can bring about freedom from this narrow, limited culture. But is there something else? Within the brain.
PJ: But even physiologically they are saying, Krishnaji, that the operation of the brain cells today is a very, very, very minute portion of its capacity.
K: I know that. Of it's capacity - why?
PJ: Because conditioning limits it, and it has never been free of those processes which
K: limit it. Which means thought is limited.
PJ: Yes. It has put all its eggs in one basket.
K: Thought is limited. And we are all functioning within that limitation, because thought, experience is limited, knowledge is limited for ever, and memory, and thought. So thought is limited.
PJ: What place have the senses and the perceptive processes in this?
K: No, that brings another question which is: can the senses operate without the interference of thought? You understand my question?
PJ: As they operate today, Krishnaji, they seem to have one root. The movement of the senses as they operate is the movement of thought.
K: That's all - therefore it is limited.
PJ: So when you ask a query, is it possible for them, what does one do with a question of that type?
K: I am enquiring. I am enquiring with a lot of hesitation and a certain amount of scepticism, whether the brain - which has evolved through thousands of years, experience, untold sorrow, loneliness, despair, and all the rest of it, and its search to escape from its own fears through every form of religious endeavour - whether those brain cells in themselves can ever change, bring about a mutation in themselves. Otherwise a totally different new culture...
PJ: But if they don't bring about a mutation in themselves and there is nothing else...
K: Yes, I understand your question.
PJ: You see this is a paradox.
K: This is also an everlasting question. I mean, the Hindus raised it long ago, many, many centuries ago - you probably know much more about it than I do - but they raised this question, which is: is there an outside agency, god, the highest principle and so on and so on, the higher self - that's a wrong way of - 'higher self' - we'll use it for the moment.
PJ: The highest principle, may be.
K: Whether that can operate on the conditioned brain.
PJ: Or is it, sir, that can it awaken within the brain? There are two things. One is an outside...
K: ...agency operating.
PJ: ...agency, or energy operating. Or from within the brain cells, the untapped portion of the brain cells, an awakening which transforms.
K: I understand. I understand this question. Let's enquire into it, let's discuss it. Is there an outside agency, outside energy let's call it for the moment, that will bring about a mutation in the brain cells, which are conditioned? Right?
PJ: May I say something?
PJ: The problem is that energy really never touches the brain cells. There are so many obstacles one has built that the flow of energy from nature, from...
PJ: Energy never seems to touch and create.
K: What are we two discussing, Pupulji?
PJ: We are discussing the possibility of a human culture.
K: A culture which is not...
PJ: ...either of India or of the West, which contains all mankind, if I may say so.
K: All humanity which is not Western, or Eastern or...
PJ: And the division between the outer and the inner end. And insight is insight, not insight into the outer or insight into the inner.
K: So what is the question?
PJ: So for that the instrument is the brain cell, the tool which operates is the brain cell.
K: Is the brain.
PJ: The brain. Now something has to happen in the brain.
K: Yes. I say it can happen. Without the idea that there is outside agency that will somehow cleanse the brain which has been conditioned, or invent an outside agency, as most religions have done. Right? Or can the conditioned brain awaken to its own conditioning and so perceive its own limitation, and stay there for a moment? I don't know if I am making my point clear. You see, we are all the time, are we not, trying to do something, which is, the doer is different from that which is being done. Right? I realise, for example, suppose I realise that my brain is conditioned and so all my activity, my feelings, and my relationship with others, is limited. I realise that. And then I say that limitation must be broken down. So I am operating on the limitation. But the 'I' is also limited, the 'I' is not separate from the other. If we can bridge that, that the 'I' is not separate from the limitation which he is trying to break down. Right? Both the limitation of the self and the limitation of the conditioning are similar, they are not separate. The 'I' is not separate from its own qualities.
PJ: And from what it observes.
K: And one part observes the other part.
PJ: When you say that we all the time trying to do something...
K: Operate on the other.
PJ: ...operate on the other
K: After all, our whole life is that, apart from the technological world and so on. I am this and I must change that. So the brain is now conditioned in this division. The actor is different from the action.
PJ: That of course, yes.
K: And so that condition goes on. But when one realises the actor is the action, then the whole outlook changes altogether.
Let's come back for the moment. We are asking, Pupulji, are we not, what brings about a change in the human brain?
PJ: That is really the crucial point. What is it that makes it end?
K: Yes. Let's go into it a little bit more. Man has lived on this earth for a million years, more or less. And we are as primitive as we were before, psychologically. And we have not basically changed very much. We are killing each other, we are seeking power, position, we are corrupt - everything that human beings are doing in the world today, psychologically. And what will make human beings, humanity, change all that?
PJ: Great insight.
K: Wait. Insight. Now is so-called culture preventing all this? You understand my question? The Indian culture, take Indian culture, few people, like great thinkers in India have gone into this question. And the majority of the people just repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat - just tradition, a dead thing, and they are living with a dead thing. Right? Now, and here too tradition plays a tremendous part...
PJ: Yes, because it is the other way - a few have great insights into science, and then the rest is...
K: So looking at all this, what would make human beings radically bring about a mutation in themselves? Culture has tried to bring about certain changes in human behaviour. Right? I mean religions have said behave this way, don't do this, don't kill, but they go on killing. Be brotherly, and they are not brotherly. Love one another, and they don't - you follow? There are the edicts, the sanctions, and we are doing everything quite the opposite.
PJ: But cultures have collapsed really.
K: That's what I want to find out. Whether it has collapsed and it has no value at all any more, and so man is now at a loss. If you go to America, for example, they have no tradition. Right? Each one is doing what he likes, he is doing his thing. And they are doing the same thing here in a different way. So what will bring about a mutation in the brain cells, which then
PJ: What you are saying really is that it doesn't matter whether the Indian matrix is different, or the Western matrix is different, the problem is identical - the mutation in the human brain.
K: Yes, let's stick to that. I mean after all Indians, even the poor Indians suffer as they suffer here - lonely, despair, misery, all that is just the same as here. So let's forget the East and West and see what prevents this mutation taking place.
PJ: Sir, is there any other way but perceiving the actual?
K: The actual. That is what we have been maintaining for sixty years, that the 'what is', the actual, is more important than the idea of the actual. The ideal, the various concepts and conclusions have no value at all because you are away from the facts, from what is going on. Apparently that is tremendously difficult because we are caught up with ideas.
PJ: But in perceiving the actual there is no movement of the brain.
K: That's all I am saying. Facts, if one observes very carefully, in themselves bring about a change. I don't know if I am making
Human sorrow is not Western sorrow or Eastern sorrow. Right? It is human sorrow. And we are always trying to move away from sorrow. Now, could we understand the depth and the meaning of sorrow - not understand intellectually but actually delve into the nature of sorrow - and sorrow is not yours or mine. So what is impeding or blocking the human brain from enquiring deeply within itself?
PJ: Sir, I want to ask one thing: you used the word 'delving', you used the word 'enquiring' into oneself - both are words connected with movement. Yet you say the ending of movement...
K: Of course, of course. Movement is time, movement is thought, the ending of movement - can that really end, or do we think it can end? You understand my question? After all, the people who have somewhat gone into this kind of thing, both in the past and the present, have always divided the entity that enquires and that which is to be enquired into. That's my objection. I think that is the major block.
PJ: So when you use the word 'enquiry', you use it as perception.
K: Perception, observing, watching. Now we will go into that in a minute, if we have time. But I want to come back to this, if I may: what will make human beings alter - very simply put - the way they behave? Very simply put. This appalling brutality, what will change all this? Who will change it? Not the politicians, not the priests, not the people who are talking about the environment, and the ecologists and so on, so on, so on. They are not changing the human being. Who will change it, if man himself will not change, who will change it? The church has tried to change man - right? - and it hasn't succeeded. Religions have tried throughout the world, to humanise or make man more intelligent, more considerate, affectionate and so on - they have not succeeded. Culture has not succeeded.
PJ: But you say all this, Krishnaji, but that in itself does not bring man to that perception of fact.
K: So what will make him? You perhaps, say for instance, you and another have this perception, I may not have it, so what affect has your perception on me? Again if you have perception and power, position, I worship you or kill you. Right? So I am asking a much deeper question: I want really to find out why human beings, after so many millennia, are like this. One group against another group, one tribe against another tribe, one nation against another nation. The horror that is going on. A new culture, will that bring about a change? Does man want to change, or he says, 'Things are all right, let's go on. We will evolve to a certain stage eventually.'
PJ: Most people feel that.
K: Yes. That's what is so appalling about it. Eventually, give me another thousand years, we will all be marvellous human beings. Which is so absurd. In the meantime we are destroying each other.
PJ: Sir, may I ask you something? What is the actual moment of facing the fact? What is it actually, the actuality of it?
K: What is a fact, Pupul? We were discussing the other day with a group of people here. Fact is that which has been done, remembered, and that which is being done now.
PJ: Being done now.
K: Being done now, acting now, and that which has happened yesterday, and remembered that fact - remembrance.
PJ: Or even arising of a wave of fear, horror, anything.
K: Yes, yes.
PJ: Now how does one actually...
K: I am saying - no, wait a minute. So let us be clear when you say 'what is', the fact. The fact of yesterday, or last week's incident is gone, but I'll remember it. Right? There is remembrance of something - pleasant or unpleasant - happened, which was a fact, is stored in the brain. And what is being done now is also a fact coloured by the past, controlled by the past, shaped by the past. So can I see this whole movement as a fact?
PJ: The seeing it as a fact...
K: The whole movement - the future, the present, the past.
PJ: The seeing it as a fact is seeing it without a clich.
K: Without a clich, without prejudice, without bias.
PJ: Or without anything surrounding it.
K: That's right. Which means what?
PJ: Negating, first of all, negating all the responses which arise, surround.
K: Negating the remembrances. Just keep to that for the moment.
PJ: The remembrances which arise out of it.
K: Out of the fact of last week's pleasure or pain, reward or punishment. Now is that possible?
PJ: Yes, that is possible.
K: Possible - why?
PJ: Because the very attention itself...
K: ...dissipates remembrance. Now that means, can the brain be so attentive that the incident which happened last week, the fact it happened, and end the fact - end it, not carry on in memory. My son is dead. And I have suffered. But the memory of that son is so strongly has such strong strength in my brain that I constantly remember it.
K: Rises and disappears. So can the brain say 'Yes, my son is dead' - that is the end of it.
PJ: Does one say that? Or when there is a rising...
K: And then ending? Which means an endless arising and ending.
PJ: No but, there is an arising.
K: Which is a remembrance. Let's keep to the word currently.
PJ: Which is a remembrance. Out of that there is a movement of pain.
PJ: The negation of that pain ends not only the pain but the arising.
K: Which means what? Go into it a little bit more - what does that mean? My son is dead. I remember all the things that he - etc., etc. There is a photograph of him on the piano or on the mantelpiece, and there is this constant remembrance. Right? Flowing in and flowing out. That's a fact.
PJ: But the negating of that pain and the dissolving of this, doesn't it have a direct action on the brain?
K: That's what I am coming to. Which means what? My son is dead, that's a fact - right? - I can't change a fact. He is gone. It sounds cruel to say it, but he is gone. But I am carrying him all the time. Right? The brain is carrying him as memory, and the reminder is always there. I am carrying on. I never say he has gone, that's a fact. But I live on memories, which is a dead thing. Memories are not actual. And I am asking - the ending of the fact. My son is gone. It doesn't mean I have lost love, or anything. My son is gone, that is a fact.
PJ: What remains when a fact is perceived?
K: May I say something without being shocking? Nothing. My son is gone, or my brother, my wife, whatever it is - gone. Which is not an assertion of cruelty or denying my affection, my love. Not the love of my son, but the identification of love with my son. I don't know if I'm
PJ: You are drawing a distinction between love of my son...
K: ...and love.
PJ: And love.
K: If I love my son in the deepest sense of the word, I love man, humanity. It's not only I love my son, I love the whole human world, the earth, the trees, the whole universe. But that is a different matter. So you are asking a really good question, which is: what takes place when there is the perception, pure perception of fact, without any bias, without any kind of escape and so on, to see the fact completely, is that possible? When I am in sorrow of my son's death, I mean I am lost. It is a great shock. It is something terrible that has taken place. And at that moment you can't say anything to the person. Right? As he comes out of this confusion and loneliness and despair and sorrow, then perhaps he will be sensitive enough to perceive this fact.
PJ: I come back always to this one thing: this perception of the fact, doesn't it need a...
K: a tremendous attention.
PJ: ...a great deal of watching?
K: Watching, of course. Of course.
PJ: You can't tell a person who has just lost...
K: No, that would be cruel. But a man who says, my son is dead, what is it all about, death is common to all humanity, why do we... A man who is sensitive, asking, enquiring, he is awake, he wants to find an answer to all this.
PJ: Sir, at one level it seems so simple.
K: I know. And I think we must keep it simple, not bring about a lot of intellectual theories and ideas into it.
PJ: Then why is it - is the mind afraid of the simple?
K: No, I think we are so highly intellectual, it has been part of our education, part of our culture. Ideas are tremendously important, concepts are essential. It is part of our culture. The man who says, please ideas are not very important, facts are, he must be extraordinarily simple.
PJ: You see sir, what you are saying, in the whole field of Indian culture the highest is the dissolution of the self. And you say, you talk of the dissolution of the fact, which is essentially the dissolution of the self.
K: Yes. But the dissolution of the self has become a concept. And we are worshipping a concept - as they are all doing, all over the world. Concepts are invented by thought, or through analysis and so on, come to a concept, and hold that concept as a most extraordinarily important thing.
So come back to the point: what will make human beings, throughout the world behave? Not behave my way or your way - behave - don't kill, don't be afraid, don't - you know, have great affection and so on, what will bring it about? Nothing has succeeded. Knowledge hasn't helped him. Right?
PJ: Isn't it because fear is his shadow?
K: Fear, and also we want to know what the future is.
PJ: Which is part of fear.
K: Yes. We want to know because we have - it is simple - we have sought security in so many things and they have all failed. And now we say there must be security somewhere. And I question if there is any security somewhere at all, even in god. That is a projection of one's own fears.
PJ: What is the action of this dissolution on the brain cell, on the brain itself?
K: I would use the word 'insight'. Insight is not a matter of memory, not a matter of knowledge and time - which are all thought. So I would say insight is the absence, total absence of the whole movement of thought, as time and remembrance and thought. So there is direct perception. It is like I have been going north for the last ten thousand years - my brain is accustomed to enter the north. And somebody comes along and says, that will lead you nowhere. Go east. When I turn round and go east the brain cells have changed. Because I have an insight that the north leads nowhere. Wait, I will put it differently.
The whole movement of thought, which is limited, and which is acting throughout the world now, it is the most important action, driven by thought, thought will not solve any of our problems, except technological. Right? If I see that, I have stopped going north. And I think the ending of a certain direction, ending of a movement that has been going on for thousands of years, at that moment there is an insight, which brings about a change, a mutation in the brain cells. One sees this very clearly. But one asks what will make humanity change. What will make my son, my daughter change? They hear all this, they read something about all this, from biologists and so on, psychologists, and they continue their old way. Is the past tradition so strong? I have thought about myself for the last thousand years and I still am thinking about myself - I must fulfil myself, I must be great, I must become something. This is my condition, this is my tradition. Is the past so tremendously strong? And the past is incarnating all the time. Right? Is that part of our culture, to continue in our condition?
PJ: I would say that is part of our culture.
K: Look at it, I mean, I have been watching this very seriously, how tradition has a tremendous stronghold - not tradition of superstition, I am not talking of that - but a continuity of something of the past moving, moving - you follow? - the past carrying on in its own momentum. And we are that. Culture may be part of our hindrance, religious concepts may be our hindrance. So what is the brain to do? They are saying one part of the brain is the old, and another part of the brain is something totally new, and that if we can open the door to the new there might be change. Because according to this specialist we are using very, very small part of our brain.
PJ: Obviously when there is attention the fragment has ended.
K: Yes, that's it. We can talk about it like this - what is attention, we can describe, go into it - at the end of it a listener says, 'All right, I understand all this, but I am what I am. I understand this intellectually, verbally but it hasn't touched the depth of my being.'
PJ: But isn't it a question of that first contact with thought in the mind.
K: I don't quite follow that.
PJ: I have a feeling, sir, that we talk about observing thought. It is an entirely different thing to the actual state of attention.
K: That is, thought being aware of itself.
PJ: Yes. That one instant.
K: I understand that. We are going away from I am afraid we going away from a central issue. The world is becoming more and more superficial, more and more money-minded, if I may use - money, power, position, fulfilment, identification, me, me, me, me. All this is being encouraged by everything around you. Right? Now you, who have travelled, who have seen all this too, what do you make of all this business? There are these extraordinary intelligent people, clever people, and the most stupid people, the neurotic, the people who have come to a conclusion and never move from that conclusion, like the Communists - the totalitarian world is that - they have come to a certain conclusion and that is final.
PJ: But those are all commitments which you can't touch. You can only touch the people who are not committed.
K: And who are the people who are not committed?
PJ: I would said today that is the one sign of health.
K: Are they young people?
PJ: Today, as never before in the last twenty or thirty years, there are people who are not committed to anything.
K: I question - I really would like to
PJ: Really, sir, I would say so. On the one hand you see this tremendous deterioration of everything, on the other somewhere this movement away from a commitment. They may not know where to turn, they may not have a direction, they may...
K: But don't belong to anything.
PJ: They don't belong to anything.
K: There are people like that, I know.
PJ: I mean they may...
K: You see, they become rather vague, they become rather confused.
PJ: Yes, because they turn these into concepts. It is so easy to turn what you say into a concept.
K: Of course, of course.
PJ: And to have axioms which contain what you say. But a culture which is so living because it is only living on insight
K: I wouldn't use the word 'culture'.
PJ: Well, because you started with the word 'culture' as something which contains more than just the... therefore I used it. But it is a human culture which perhaps will be the culture of the mind that dwells in insight.
K: Culture being - yes.
PJ: In such a state, if I may ask, what happens to all the civilisations which the world has seen and known and contains?
K: Gone. The Egyptian civilisation
PJ: No, they may have gone but they are still contained in the human race.
K: Of course, of course, it is the same
PJ: But when you wipe out...
K: Which means, Pupulji, actually, what is freedom? Are we aware that we are prisoners of our own fantasies, imaginations and conclusions, ideas - we are prisoners to all that. Are we aware of all that?
PJ: I think we are.
K: Pupul, if we are aware, if you are attentive to all that, the thing is burnt out.
PJ: This is, of course, at some point where we can't... because - you don't admit an in-between state.
K: That is impossible.
PJ: This is the whole problem.
K: It is like a man who is violent and trying to be non-violent, in-between state he is violent.
PJ: No, not necessarily. Isn't that also a question of this whole movement of time?
K: Time and thought and so on, which is what? Limiting. If we first acknowledge, or see the fact that thought in any direction is limited, in any field - surgery, technology, computers and so on, and also thought enquiring into itself, thought being limited, your enquiry will be very, very, very limited.
PJ: The difference is, sir, I might see that, but the attention necessary for it to remain alive in my waking day is not there.
K: No. I know.
PJ: It is the quantum, the capacity, the strength of that attention which...
K: You see how do you have that passion? How do you have sustained movement of energy that is not dissipated by thought, by any kind of activity? And I think that only comes when you understand sorrow and the ending of sorrow, then compassion and love and all that. That intelligence is that energy which has no depression, none of the human qualities.
PJ: You mean it neither rises nor falls?
K: No. How can it? To rise and fall you must be aware that it is arising and falling, and who is it aware, and so on.
PJ: No, not even that way. But is it possible throughout the day to hold that...
K: It is there. You don't hold it. It is like a perfume that is there. That's why I think one has to understand the whole conditioning of our consciousness. You know what I mean? I think that is the real study, real enquiry, real exploration into this consciousness, which is the common ground of all humanity. And we never enquire into it. Not we enquire as a professor or a psychologist enquires, and we study it, but we never say look, I am going to study this consciousness which is me, I am going to look into it.
PJ: No, one says that. I can't say that one doesn't. One says that.
K: But one doesn't.
PJ: One does it.
PJ: I won't accept that sir. One does it, one attends, one enquires.
K: And then what? Have you come to the end of it?
PJ: No, suddenly one finds that one has been inattentive.
K: No, I don't think inattention matters. You may be tired, your brain has enquired enough, it is enough for today. There's nothing wrong with it. But you see, again I object to this question of attention and inattention.
PJ: But that is the basic question in most of our minds. Basically if you ask...
K: I would not put it that way. I would say that where there is this ending of something totally there is a new beginning which has its own momentum. It is nothing to do with me. That means one must be so completely free of the self. And to be free of the self is one of the most difficult things because it hides under different rocks, different trees, different activities.
I think that's enough.