What will make you see the danger of conditioning?
Is there a way of living completely free from pressure?
3rd Public Discussion, Ojai, California
April 11, 1978
Krishnamurti: I think it would be good if we could talk over together as two friends who are not too opinionated, too dogmatic, too assertive or aggressive, but rather in friendly spirit without any animus or antagonism, talk over together their daily problems, not some abstraction, not some theoretical ideas but rather their daily, unhappy, sorrowful, frustrating life. So could we have a dialogue about such matters. So what would you like to take up this morning?
Questioner: Sir, how does materialism affect clear thinking? There’s a lot of thought in people’s minds about the material world, and we are told by certain people that we should give up material things in order to find clearness of thought.
K: Does a material way of life or existence - money, work and so on, does it affect a different way of life - is that it, sir?
Q: Well not so much that but as to say if you are thinking on ideas in general, the problems in your life, when I make a decision about something or when I try to find an answer to a particular question.
K: I don't quite follow your question, sir.
Q: It’s hard for me, I’m nervous speaking to you, I guess, but, as I see people and as I see myself, when I try to make a judgement or to form an opinion, I find that it is coloured and shaded by my desires in the physical world.
K: Your opinions, your ideas, your thoughts change according to the environment and so on - is that it?
Q: Yes, I think so.
K: All right, sir. Good lord!
Q: The life that we have put together – wired together – the game that we all play is material, which is materialism such as that gentleman was talking about. Is it possible to be clear and yet have to continue along the way we are going now?
K: Could one live a clear life, with clarity, the way we are living - is that it, sir?
K: Obviously not.
Q: Obviously not.
Q: (Inaudible) one’s life out there in relation to what’s going on now. Do you give up everything?
K: No, we will discuss that, sir. We will go into it.
Q: There is a large amount of time I spend looking for someone to help, and then there are periods of time when there is apparently a communication between someone and myself, and there is a communication, a rapid-fire of communication between a large number of series of people and it seems to be communication but it always comes out: help, help me in the way I need it. What is the difference between helping in the way I see it and the helping the way a person asks for? What is the quality of help?
K: What is the quality of help. Please sir, I am not the chairman, (laughs) You decide... Yes, sir?
Q: Sir, I’d like to know if we can discuss today these questions and begin with: can intelligence, not mental capacity, and maturity not related to time grow through right questioning and right enquiry? And if it can grow, will this growth ever bring forth a flower that is a total transformation of the mind?
K: What is the question, sir, I can't quite make out.
Q: It’s: can intelligence and maturity, intelligence that is not linked to capacity and maturity that is not related to time, can these things grow through putting the right question.
K: Ah, I see. Is there maturity, right thinking which is not involved in time by constant questioning. That's enough, sir, one question at a time. You don't mind?
Q: I don’t mind.
K: All right, sir.
Q: I find desire for transformation leads to tremendous conflict, yet without transformation I keep projecting violence and hatred. What is the solution, is transformation here and now possible?
K: Can transformation, a different quality of mind come about without conflict - is that it?
K: That's enough, please.
Q: You said biologically there is demand by the brain for security and order, I want to know at what point does this demand begin to create disorder and insecurity, and why at that point does the brain not see the logic of it, the danger of it?
K: I'm afraid I can't make out. Will somebody else
Q: There is a biological demand by the brain for security and is there a conflict that results?
Q: I want to know at what point does the brain begin to create disorder?
K: Just let's keep to that. How does disorder come about - is that the question? At what point, or what is the beginning of disorder. Yes, sir?
Q: Could we go into this problem of acting with integrity in a society that is becoming desert, that is rapidly deteriorating and is fragmented, and the problems of being an oasis in that desert?
K: Could we go into the question of integrity in a society which is rapidly declining, deteriorating.
Q: I want to find out: is it possible to come sweetly without effort upon inaction?
K: Is there a way of living which means action which doesn't involve effort - is that it?
Q: Well, a way it seems to me to imply forming a corridor.
K: Yes, quite right.
Q: I want to find out if it possible.
K: Is it possible to live a life without deep conflicts - is that it, sir? Is that your question?
Q: May I try again? Is it possible to come sweetly, effortlessly, without decision – that’s a good word – upon an ending to former activity.
K: I am afraid I can't make it out, sir.
Q: Without decision, without choice.
K: Without choice. Right. Sir, look there are so many questions what shall we take? Yes, sir?
Q: Boredom. What is boredom?
K: What is boredom. Yes, can there be an end to boredom.
Q: Sir, I must find out, when my mind is quiet, action comes with a word, and I do not know how to go beyond the word, because my answers always come in words and thoughts. I don’t know how to go beyond the word. Do you understand?
K: Not quite, sir.
Q: I reason in words, and I find that words are useless, and I don’t know what to do about it.
Q: He wants to know how to go beyond the word.
K: Is it possible to go beyond the word. Is that it?
K: How. Now, look, which of these questions shall we take so as to cover most of the questions?
Q: The one about integrity.
K: About integrity.
K: Boredom. (Laughs) No, which question which would include all the others so that we can go into that one question which will cover all the others.
Q: Is it possible to be without conflict?
K: Yes, I think that may be, may we take that up, sir? Do you want to say something special, sir?
Q: Just along these lines, I want to know if there is any action we should make at all from the centre, an ego centre?
K: Yes, sir. Could we take that one question and go into that, which is: is it possible to live a life without choice, without conflict, without division? Could we discuss that? Is that what you'd like? Would that cover all the other questions, including what does it mean to help others and so on. Could we take that? Would you agree to that? I am not particular about that question, any question would do which would cover all the others. So if in exploring this other questions will be answered then it would be worthwhile. If you all agree then we can go into this one question. Right? May we? Shall we?
K: Right. First of all why is there choice? And what does choice mean? To choose between this and that, between certain material for a cloth and other materials, why is there this emphasis, this constant choice going on? And we are asking, we think that where there is freedom there is choice, choice to go from one job to another, from one town to another, from one idea to another, from one belief to another, from one guru, system, this and that to another. So why is there choice? Please, we are exploring it, I am not telling you what to think, or trying to persuade you to think in a particular direction. So we are asking, what do we mean by that word 'choice'? Choose between this road and that road, between the right action, what is right action, what is this constant endeavour on our part to choose? When does this choice come into being, what is the beginning of choice? Please, I am not talking by myself, so please join me in the game. (Laughs)
Q: Would it be out of confusion?
K: We are going to find out, sir. You are saying, are you, where there is choice, or rather choice springs from confusion. That is, if one does not know a particular road, then you ask somebody, then there is no confusion, but if you are confused between this road and that road then you have to choose. Are you saying, sir, that where there is confusion there is choice? Is this, if I may most respectfully ask, is this out of your own discovery, or you have read about it? Because otherwise if you are merely repeating what somebody has said, including the speaker, then you are not entering into the game, you are not playing tennis, (laughs) you are not playing the game.
Q: I know you have said it but before I knew about you I saw this.
K: Good. So you are saying where there is confusion there is choice. Where there is clarity there is no choice. So what do we mean by that word 'confusion', disorder, uncertain. What do we mean by confusion? Please, sir.
Q: When one is confronted by two or several different things and one doesn’t know which one to try.
K: That's right, sir, out of that comes choice. But we are asking, what is the origin of disorder, what is the origin of confusion.
Q: Conflicting desires.
K: Conflicting desires, opposing desires - does that make for disorder?
Q: That is disorder.
K: That is disorder. We are trying to find out a common meaning so that we all see the same thing together. What is the origin, how does disorder arise?
Q: From thought.
K: Now, may I ask, does one live in disorder? Right? What do you mean by that word 'disorder' in your life? Is your room untidy, you have not put things where they belong, socks, shirts or whatever it is, and so there is disorder in your room; there is disorder in the world. Right? One group against another group, one nation against another nation, one set of ideas, opinions against another and so on and on and on. So we are asking: what is the origin, the beginning of disorder?
K: Thought. It is suggested by that lady that thought is the origin of disorder. Is that so?
Q: Thought manufactures possibilities.
K: What, sir?
Q: Thought creates the possibilities, the ideas.
K: Yes, but before you go jump straight off into thought, is one aware, if I may ask - this is not a group therapy or a confession, but one should ask oneself - do I live in disorder, both outwardly and inwardly. Then what does that mean, not the origin of it yet but what does it mean when you say, yes, I live my life inwardly as well as outwardly in disorder? Right? Are we aware of that disorder? Or is it just an idea we're saying we live in disorder? You understand? Which is it we are talking about: the idea of disorder, or the actual disorder?
Q: The actual disorder.
K: The actual disorder. Now are we aware of it?
K: Quite right. (Laughs) Now if one is not aware of actual disorder in one's life how is one going to be conscious of it, who is going to make you conscious of it? Another war? Somebody telling you, hitting you on the head? Somebody forcing you to see that you live in disorder? How will one become aware that one lives in disorder? Is it a deception - you follow? - one deceives oneself so easily, thinking yes, I live in disorder. So deception, a conclusion, an idea, is not the actual fact of disorder. So is one actually aware of this disorder? If one is then we can proceed from there. You understand my question, sir?
Q: Would we not have to know first what order is?
K: No, first disorder. When we understand the whole nature of disorder, out of that comes order. You don't have to seek order. I don't know, all right, sir, let me put it this way: if we negate what is not order - negate, see what is not order then out of that perception comes order. If I see what is disorder, disorder is conflict. Right? Disorder is constantly deceiving myself, constantly living in a confusion, in illusion, escaping from actuality, thinking that I have achieved something when actually I am rather silly. All these deceptions bring about disorder and other factors. Now am I aware that I am living in an illusion? I am taking that for the moment. Illusion being something which is not actual. You understand? Deceiving myself, hoping that I will be different and acting actually differently. So am I aware that I am living in an illusion, in a make-belief?
Q: Sir, if we are aware that we are in the illusion when we question it, but other times when we don’t question it we are not aware that we are in the illusion.
K: Yes, sometimes we are aware that we live in disorder and then question it, at other times we are not aware that we are in disorder. Now wait a minute, sir, please, let's look at that question. Which is, sometimes I am, sometimes I am not aware of disorder. Do you consider generally - not you particularly, sir - do you consider living in disorder is a danger? Actual danger, like meeting a rattler, or some poisonous insect or a dangerous animal, then when you are faced with that animal, or insect or snake, you know it is the most dangerous thing. So in the same way, does one realise living in disorder is essentially dangerous? Not say, I occasionally am aware of the danger: you are not occasionally aware of the danger of a rattler, you are constantly aware of the danger of a rattler. So in the same way, is one aware of the danger of disorder? By disorder we mean confusion, self-contradiction, saying one thing, doing another, thinking one thing and hoping differently; disorder comes where there is division, where there is duality - me and you, we and they, my belief and your belief, my god and your god, my guru and your guru and so on and on. So do we realise where there is division, nationalistic, religious, belief, ideals, wherever there is a division, between man, woman and so on, so on, there must be conflict. And the essence of conflict is disorder. If this is clear we can proceed. You may question it, I am not saying I am right or wrong, we are putting this forward for you to examine, explore, find out.
Q: By division don’t you mean more than a separation?
K: By division, do you mean, doesn't division mean more than separation. Both, separation, division in the sense psychologically.
Q: Somehow a value judgement – superiority or inferiority.
K: Yes, sir. Superior, when I think I am superior, I know and you don't know, that is division, that is separation. But if we both start not knowing and enquiring there is no separation. So we have made it clear that where there is psychological division, belief, nationality, gods, rituals, my country, your country and so on, so on, so on, that division brings conflict and the essence of disorder is conflict, nationally, politically, all the rest of it. Are we together in this? I am not asking you to believe what I am saying. (Laughs) Yes, sir?
Q: Most people never get to that point, it seems.
K: Ah, most people never get to that point. You asked that question, I didn't ask that question. When a question was asked, sir, what is the origin of disorder, why is there conflict, what do we mean by helping somebody who needs help, all that is involved when we talk about disorder. You asked it, I didn't. I observe, personally, throughout the world there is constant psychological as well as physical difference, and out of that, division, out of that corridor of opposites, power (sound of bells) - shall I go on in spite of that?
K: You can hear it all right?
K: Bene! One noise, I hope, is not fighting another noise! So we are asking, is one aware first of all of one's life being in conflict, is one aware that this conflict arises from disorder and disorder exists because of division in oneself - I desire one thing and I am opposing that very desire; I want to achieve something and I know I can't, I want to be the queen of England, I can't, and so on and on and on. So I am asking, is one aware of this? If one is aware, when one is aware what is the next step? You understand my question? I am aware - suppose I am aware that I live a disordered life then what is the next thing I have to do? One knows that one lives in disorder - one deceives oneself, one says one thing, one tries to be friends with another all the time wanting to exploit that another and so on, so on, so on, so on. Then what is the next thing?
Q: It is important to recognise the danger.
K: It is important to recognise the danger of it.
Q: Can we go into that just a little bit?
Q: Danger – go into it a little bit.
K: I told you there are now three noises - your noise, my noise and that noise! It becomes rather difficult. I believe that's a tape recorder. (Laughter) Can't that tape go wrong, something go wrong with it? (Laughter)
Q: It seems to me that we can’t go any further until we recognise the danger of it.
K: Yes. You cannot go further till one recognises the danger of it. Now, wait a minute, sir. What do we mean by the word 'danger'?
Q: (Inaudible) bring you further from what you’re originally seeking.
K: That's right, sir, that's right. What do we mean by danger? A car is coming towards you as you are crossing the road and you might die and all the rest of it, so you move away from it. Self-preservation - the instinct to preserve one's being, both physiologically as well as psychologically. Now is not conflict similar to that? Let's keep it very simple. Is not conflict similar to a car rushing towards you?
Q: Sir, it is similar, obviously. But then there is something in danger, there is danger for instance to the health from smoking – right? – one smokes and still continues to smoke although one is aware of the danger.
K: Ah, smoking. One is aware of the danger of smoking, it might lead to cancer of the lung, but the taste, the habit, the custom, the tradition, the advertising, all that helps you to keep up smoking, so there is contradiction, wanting to give up smoking, seeing the danger of it and yet going on with it. Now, which is the most dangerous thing there, the most? Smoking, obviously. Then can you - please listen, sir - can one give up smoking without effort? The body has got used to the nicotine, all the rest of it and it demands it. I don't personally, I have never smoked in my life but I mean we are taking that. So what shall we do? How do you give up something, a habit, not only physiological but also a deeply psychological habit, custom, routine, without the slightest effort? You may never have asked this question, we are asking it now.
Q: Can you become so conscious of it that you drop it?
K: Yes, sir. Find out. Have you dropped a habit? I am talking, not unpleasant habits, (laughs) that's easy, well, you say beastly thing, and you drop it, but the most pleasant habit, have you ever dropped a pleasant habit easily without effort?
Q: Does one have to see the habit before you can drop it?
K: Obviously. Obviously, if one doesn't see it then you are playing with words. If you actually see a habit, a habit that has been formed for a long time, to give it up completely, to drop it.
Q: You don’t resist a habit.
K: Then what will you do? You don't resist it. Go on, sir, explore it. You don't resist it, you don't fight against it, you don't suppress it, you don't run away from it.
Q: You become aware of it.
K: No, see what happens, sir, please look, look. You say you become aware of it. Right? Then you don't suppress it, then you don't run away from it, then you don't wish to change it even.
Q: It is in front of you.
K: Yes, therefore there is no resistance. Right? Now please watch it. If you do all this what has happened to your mind which has been working in habits, in routine? You understand my question? What's happened to a mind that has lived in habits, that has functioned in routine, in methods, in system, under pressure, when it realises that to be free of any habit, no suppression, no running away from it, no trying to reason it out, not trying to say, 'Well, I must get rid of it' - all that implies conflict. So does one realise this? First that the mind is conditioned to function in habits, because then it thinks there is security in habits. But when one realises very clearly that a routine is a mechanical thing, it isn't alive, and is there a way of abandoning that habit without any pressure? After asking that question - you understand? - we have said, is one aware of the habit, then seeing that it is no good escaping from it and all the rest, does one see this? Right? Not as a theory, actually does one see it is no good escaping?
Q: We have tried that, that’s no good. We know that.
K: Then what takes place?
Q: The mind becomes quiet.
K: The mind becomes quiet. Is that so?
Q: I begin to question the habit, sir.
K: No, sir, you have questioned. When one becomes aware that one lives in habit you have already questioned it, you are questioning it right from then. Why do I live in habits, why does my function run along a particular groove and so on, so on. You have already, by becoming aware of your habit you are already questioning it. When you are questioning it you see it is no good running away from it, no good suppressing it. So what has happened to your mind? Go slowly, sir. If you understand I have become aware that I have a habit, a belief, a tradition, an acceptance of authority and so on, so on, it's a habit: my country and your country and all that. You have questioned it and you see the danger of it. Do you see the danger? What is it that sees the danger? You understand my question? One sees the danger of war, the cruelty of it, the bestiality of it, the futility of it, the whole thing. When you actually see that what is making you see that it is terribly stupid?
Q: The fact.
K: No, what makes you see, sir - just a minute, please look at it before you answer it, what makes you see the car coming, running towards you and you hop out of the way? What makes you do that?
Q: That is self-preservation.
K: Wait, that's good enough. Which means what? There is an act of intelligence there; it is the most stupid thing to stand in the way. Right? That's an act of intelligence. Now when you see the danger of war, the futility of war, the ugliness, the whole of it, the very perception, is it not intelligence? Right? That's all I am asking. So intelligence says, don't suppress, don't run away from it, it is there, look at it, hold it, don't make an abstraction of it, look at it. The very questioning, awareness, seeing the danger of it, the perception itself is intelligence. Right? That intelligence that says, drop it, don't do anything. You understand what I am saying? As you didn't argue with the car coming towards you, you got out of its way. That is an act of intelligence. In the same way if you see the futility of religions as they are now, the very seeing of it is intelligence. The man who says, 'Well, I am sorry I don't want to listen to your nonsense', and goes on with his own life, he is - he is what he is.
Q: I see the need to give up the habit, intelligence tells me that.
K: Ah! There is no giving up.
Q: Do you abandon?
K: No, there is no giving up. The moment you say, 'I must give up', it's an effort, a conflict.
Q: I don’t mean it in that way sir, but I see the danger of the habit, yet – and this is the problem – there is pain, there is resistance in abandoning the habit. I am used to living in a pattern and it means I have to give up that pattern and there may be pain in giving up the pattern.
K: No, sir. Please forgive me for contradicting you - a minute, I hope you don't mind. I am not really contradicting you but we are trying to - look, you have said that, please listen to what the other chap has to say. He says when you see something dangerous, that very seeing is intelligence. Right? When you see the danger of habit, it is intelligence that is saying, it is not worth it. So which is dominant, the habit or the intelligence? You understand my question? Which is the dominant factor? When you see a car coming towards you, intelligence says, move - which is the dominant factor there?
Q: Intelligence obviously.
K: Obviously! But to you the other is not a dominant factor.
Q: Isn’t there a danger here of becoming against habits, like every time you see a car from then on, you jump?
K: That's not a habit. Surely, that's not a habit. (Laughter)
Q: I mean that’s a ridiculous example, but I meant to give you an example.
K: Therefore, sir, you are asking a question which one has to go into much deeper. Why does the mind or the brain function in habits? Right? What is the nature of habit? No, I must go into it a little more deeply - shall we? Do you want to go into it more deeply?
K: All right. Are you aware, is the brain or the mind aware of the beginning of a habit? Or is it aware after forming a habit, wanting to get rid of it and then fighting it? You understand my question? There are two questions involved: one, is one aware of a habit being formed? If one is then you don't enter into the other. The other being, forming a habit, fighting it, trying to get rid of it, and then conflict and the misery then all the rest of it. So to go beyond that, is one aware, the beginning of a habit?
Q: One is aware of the beginning of a habit too, certain things...
K: I am asking, sir, please, be good enough to find out do you know when habit is beginning.
Q: I am aware of it, yes.
K: No, you are not meeting my point, if I may ask, sir. I am not trying to tell you what to think, but I am saying, am I aware a habit beginning, or I have been so conditioned that I only live in habit? As most of us are, we are so conditioned that we live in habits - I believe, I don't believe - you follow, sir? - all that. So which is it now? Are we discussing a mind that is so heavily conditioned by habits, habits being belief, you know, all the rest of it, and how to be free of it, and to be free of it without any conflict, and to be free of it without conflict implies seeing the total danger, not of a particular habit but the whole structure of habit. Is one aware, the danger of habit? That awareness implies intelligence. Then that intelligence says, finished. The moment you see the danger, it is finished. As the car coming towards you, the danger, you move. You don't stand there and argue with the car: I am going to run away from it, how shall I run away from it, what shall I to, is it right to do, is it wrong to do - there is no argument. There is direct perception, action. Here there is no direct perception and action, because you are conditioned. That's one problem.
The other is: is there an awareness of the beginning of a habit, both physically as well as psychologically? Now which is it we are dealing with? Are we dealing with a mind that is constantly functioning in habits? That is, I am a Catholic, I am a Protestant, I am a whatever it is, I am a Hindu, Buddhist - you follow? - I am an American, all the rest of it, which is all conditioned habit. If you say, how is one to be free of that, first one must see the extreme danger of it, not theoretical danger but the actual danger as that of a car coming towards you. Do we actually see the danger of it? Or is it all a theory? When there is seeing the danger, that very seeing is intelligence. Right? And intelligence says, move. There is no conflict. I wonder if I am making myself clear, sir.
Q: I do understand what you are saying on that, yet the conditioning is still there.
K: Now, wait, wait, wait a minute. So do we see the danger of conditioning? The danger of being conditioned as an American with all the affluence, with all the problems, with all the separate nationalistic - all that problem, does one see the danger of being conditioned?
Q: (Inaudible) I don’t know.
K: I don't know, sir, I am asking. Then if you don't see it, now wait a minute, sir, what will make you see it? We have had terrible wars - right? - most appalling destruction both outwardly and inwardly: maimed, blind, tears, agony, despair, that hasn't shown us the danger of nationalism. I am taking that as one issue. Or the danger of dividing the world into groups. We don't see that. Our economic conflict that is going on between countries, that's a danger. If we all got together and said, for god's sake, let's all work together, it is finished. But we don't see the danger of it. So what will make you or help you to see the danger of it, of being conditioned?
K: Go into it, sir, look at it carefully, go into it a little bit. If you go to the Arab and say, 'Look, my friend, you are conditioned therefore you are fighting, he would say, 'Get the hell out of here'. Right? 'I am an Arab. The Jews have destroyed my country', and so on, so on, so on. So what makes you - please listen - question the danger of conditioning? Is it because you have leisure? Leisure, you are not immediately in war, you are not immediately challenged about anything, so you say, 'Well, I have time to think about this'. Right? So you only apparently respond when something is tremendously dangerous, either act according to your conditioning, or totally differently from your conditioning. You understand? Now which is it? You don't see all this!
K: Which means, does it mean we are only concerned with being immediately safe, secure? You understand my question? Therefore we don't think about the world, we are not concerned what is happening in the Middle East, Far East, in Europe and in Russia, we are only concerned with our little world of our own making. Right? Is that it?
Q: I keep going back to the simple idea of the car coming at one, and the perception and intelligence and the action of moving away. There is no thought involved there, is there?
Q: There is no thought there.
K: No, but that's a form of conditioning which has helped you to preserve yourself physically.
Q: Like that in itself?
K: That itself is part of your conditioning. That's a natural, healthy conditioning.
Q: Is there no emotion there also?
K: No, sir, only there is danger. Look, sir, you haven't experimented with the rattler. Right? You don't say, 'Let me go and play with it and learn', but you have been told for a thousand years or more, be careful of snakes. That is part of your conditioning, which is intelligence, which is natural, which is healthy, but the others are unhealthy, dangerous, and we don't see the danger of it because we are so concerned with the immediate security. Right?
Q: Sir, then also, for me personally in my experience I lack the capacity to be able to see the chain of events that is going to bring this destruction upon me. With your example of the car, that’s immediate, that’s easily understood and it is completely within the capacity of my intelligence, but say, when I do an action as I recently had an accident on my bicycle, I had a bag and I placed it around the front, near my spokes in the front wheel and it eventually got caught. I lacked the capacity to see the chain of events.
K: So what makes you see the danger? That's what I am trying to get at.
Q: Waking up.
K: What will make you wake up?
Q: A catastrophe.
Q: By seeing that the conflict is what give us pain and agony.
K: My lady, yes, I agree, but what...
Q: But we are conditioned to see pain and agony as important to life. We do not see life without pain.
K: Yes, all right lady, but what will you do about it?
Q: Until you become tired of the pain and the agony you suffer.
K: So you are saying, through suffering, through pain, through sorrow you will awaken.
Q: No, you are in love with this, nothing will awake you. The point is, each of us thinks we are conditioned about nationality, we are conditioned to enjoy suffering from the day we are born, we are taught that this is what life is. So we all cling to it, we are secure in our agony.
K: So you like your suffering, you like your agony, you like your sorrow, you like the danger - all right, have it.
Q: I don’t like it.
K: That's the very essence of neuroticism.
Q: Essence of Americanism.
Q: We’re talking about when we see things and it might be worthwhile if we examined different ways of perceiving things. The point about the car is that you can see it and then act. You don’t have time for thought, and when you start talking about smoking and about how we give it up effortlessly, and things like that, I think we have to examine different ways of perceiving things in a different perspective.
K: All right. So you are saying there are different ways of seeing the same thing. Is that it?
K: You see it in one way, another sees it in another way, I see it in another way and so on, so on so on. Which is our conditioning, obviously. If I am a Hindu, brought up as a Hindu, with all the superstitions, caste, and so on, so on. I see it only that way. That's my conditioning. And you see it your way because of your conditioning. And the opposing conditionings are our problem. So please look at it. We said, let's go deeply into the whole movement of habit-forming. Right? Now just take one incident, small, but it covers a great deal, one incident: you are hurt - right? - psychologically, in the school, in college, university, you are hurt. The hurt comes into being when you compare. Right? When the teacher, or the mother, or the parents say, 'Be as good as your uncle, you must be as clever as your brother', or your aunt, or grandmother. So through comparison you are hurting a person. Right? I wonder if you see that, do we? Oh, come on! No?
K: Oh, my! You don't see it?
K: You see it. Right. Now the hurt has become a habit. Right? Which means that in order to prevent yourself from being hurt further you resist, you build a wall round yourself. In building a wall round yourself you are afraid of being further hurt. And gradually you isolate yourself. Right? Now that is a habit, isn't it? Just take that, a great habit which humanity has learnt: to be hurt and then resist, build a wall round yourself in resisting, isolate yourself, and never explode. (Laughs) Right? So that's become a habit. How will you break that habit? Do please listen to it quietly. Let me talk for two minutes. I am not preventing you from talking, from expressing, from anything, I am just pointing out. Are you aware of being hurt, going through all the resistance building and isolating yourself, are you aware of this? Which is a habit. No? Are you aware of this?
K: Because I point it out to you, you say, yes, I am aware of it, or are you aware of your hurt for yourself? From that hurt all kinds of neurotic, illusory actions take place. Right?
Q: The next question might be: are we aware of the danger of isolation.
K: We are coming to that, sir, first see how we have come to isolation, how we have developed slowly, carefully this sense of being isolated. America is isolated, Russia is isolated, the Jews, the Arabs, the Hindus, are isolated. So do you realise, see, conscious that from being hurt this whole movement takes place?
Q: The problem is, that hurt hurts.
K: I am coming to that, sir. Wait. What is it that is hurt?
Q: My image.
K: The image that you have about yourself. If I think I am a very great man and you come along and say, don't be an ass, I feel, good lord, I am hurt, because I have an image about myself, a reputation, this, that and the other. Or I want a reputation because I think I have found something and nobody will listen to me and so on, I want a reputation. And if I am not respected, if I am not popular, then I am hurt. So the image is hurt. Right? From that hurt all the other things take place. Are you aware of this as a habit? Which is a habit, a tremendous habit. Now, then do you see the danger, the real danger of isolation? Then you have no relationship with anybody. You may pretend, you may say, I am married, I love you, I am this, I am that, I am really in communication with all of you, but if I am hurt isolation is inevitable. Now. To see the danger of it, will you see the danger of it through sorrow? You understand? More sorrow, more pain, more agony?
Q: By the fact, the answer, has not, you name it, that’s what the result is, and it’s immediate and destructive.
K: Yes, lady, but we are asking the same thing: what will make you see the danger? Propaganda? All the magazines telling you, don't be isolated? It wouldn't be a popular magazine anyhow! (Laughter) So please, I am asking you, this is a serious question, what will make human beings awaken to the tremendous danger which they are creating, which they are building?
Q: No matter what we do we are creating a conflict. To get rid of it.
K: Perhaps if a few of us understood the nature of conflict and so end conflict in ourselves it may affect the whole world. You don't see all this! So the question then is: what will make you see the danger? Apparently nothing. Right?
Q: Sir, to overcome the prejudice just to increase the quality and quantity of thought, so thinking about and trying to understand in general and not into particular things but to have and hope that people are going to begin to start just thinking and trying to understand, to create the desire for themselves.
K: Yes sir. Sir, look, look, some of you, unfortunately or fortunately, have listened to me for many years, or you are hearing it for the first time, what will make you see the danger of this thing, isolation? Talk, my talking endlessly, your attending the talks endlessly?
K: Will earthquakes, lack of water, fire? What will make man transform himself?
Q: When I see that a three year old child is conditioned, it makes me want to act.
K: If you have a two years old child, how you educate, how you bring him up, whether you are conditioned, therefore you will condition the child, it's so obvious, all this. You are not answering my question, if you don't mind my repeating this: what will make you change, drop all this nonsense, which is so fundamentally dangerous for your life, for your children, for the whole world?
Q: You have to see it, you have to say it is isolation.
K: You see it! I am pointing it out to you.
Q: I know, but why do you have to say, it’s isolation? As soon as you say that don’t you breed isolation?
K: Yes, sir, I am using the word 'isolation' to convey all that.
Q: So if you say, isolation, and you breed too, so why is it necessary to say, ‘I am isolated’ – just realise it, not put it into words.
K: Then realise it, sir, without my saying it, see the danger of the way we are living, which doesn't mean you go and join a little community. That doesn't solve anything. The danger of the way we are living, totally, economically, socially, religiously, politically, in every way the most desperate danger. You don't see it?
Q: Then if a few people feel like this, and find each other and they make their own group, again it’s another group!
K: I know, I know, that's just it. Don't join any groups - I am not telling you what to do. Keep out of all groups, keep out of all institutions, keep out of all following anybody.
Q: Sir, doesn’t it come down to individual interest?
K: If you like to put it that way. What will make you take interest in this?
Q: To be serious.
K: All right. (Laughs) You have changed the word! What will make you serious?
Q: Sir, confronting your own fear.
Q: Same thing.
Q: Let’s start change.
K: Yes, sir, that's what we are saying.
Q: But to see it.
K: See it sir.
Q: Our isolation allows us no contact, no relationship with anything, not even to danger. This is perhaps why we don’t see the danger so what will make us see is intelligence.
K: Do it. So will you drop your hurts, will you drop your isolation?
Q: Sir, I see that the natural instinct, or natural conditioning that perceives intelligence, which is awareness. Intelligence is awareness, which is a natural innate thing within us all that is in conjunction with natural environmental things, and to interpret that into a thought and awareness is intelligence, which can be divided, I think, possibly into a positive and negative.
K: Wait. There is no positive intelligence or negative intelligence, good intelligence or bad intelligence. Intelligence is intelligence.
Q: But rationalising a habit is an intelligent awareness.
K: No, sir. It is not. Rationalising is another form of escape from habit.
Q: So what will make us see?
K: What will make you see, sir? Do you ask it from another or from yourself, for yourself?
K: Then what is your response? If you are really honest - not that you're I am not saying that you are not - but if one is really honest, and says, 'Why don't I see the danger?', what's your response to it? Go slowly, sir, go slowly. What's your response to it? Your actual response.
Q: My response is that I feel sad that I can’t see it.
Q: My response is that I am afraid.
K: Afraid. We dealt with that, sir, fear, we went into it, but that gentleman asked, I am asking him, do you ask this question of yourself? If you do, what's your response? Now wait a minute, sir. To see danger one must be sensitive, mustn't one? Now how will you become sensitive? Wait, no please, don't Go into it. How will you become sensitive, both physically as well as psychologically, inwardly as well as outwardly, how will you become extraordinarily sensitive to all the danger?
K: Wait. What, sir?
Q: Giving up the fight.
K: No, don't give up anything, sir. We have talked about it. To give up implies conflict, doesn't it?
Q: When we want, I don’t know how to say it – when we give up our wants the conflict ends.
K: No, don't give up, sir.
Q: Well, if we want to give up, then there is conflict, so the only thing we can do is just lead a life of destructiveness.
K: Yes, sir. Now we said to see something - look, when a car comes towards you, you are sensitive. You are not blind, you are not deaf, you are not dumb, your body isn't rigid, paralysed, you move, which implies a certain quality of sensitivity. Now you don't see the dangers of other much more serious things. So I am suggesting you will see the danger if you are sensitive - right? - psychologically. Now what will make you sensitive? Just listen to it, sir. What will make you sensitive?
Q: By using one’s senses.
K: She says by using your senses. You have used your senses, haven't you?
Q: You have to be willing to experience the feeling from the danger, or whatever, your reaction to it.
K: Experience. That means, must you be killed?
K: Must you get drunk to find out what it is to be sober? Answer me, sir. You all take drinks.
Q: You don’t have to do it to experience it.
K: Must you experience at all? I won't enter into that, it's a much larger field.
Q: Sir, a new way of living might create suffering for me and I may be afraid of that suffering, I think fear does enter in here.
K: That's right, sir. You are afraid, by giving up your conditioning you may be in greater danger. So what is that? Thought has projected an idea of danger and you are afraid of that idea, but you don't see the danger of conditioning. So please, what will make you see the danger, not a particular danger, the danger of the way of our living? I am suggesting, first, to be aware of the danger one must be sensitive. Right? Which means psychologically you mustn't take drinks, drugs, do things that make you dull. Right? What makes you dull?
Q: To have ideas.
K: Go into it, sir. Don't just throw out. What makes one dull?
K: Do please listen! Just look at yourself, sir. Are you dull because you compare yourself with somebody else, and therefore say, I am dull? Right? I am just asking this. Do you compare yourself with somebody who is extraordinarily bright and clear and all the rest of it, and say, my god, how dull I am compared to that man, or that woman. So I am asking, has that dullness come into being through comparison? Or, if you don't compare what takes place? So we have found one factor, that is, we become dull, or we are made dull through comparison. Is that so? So will you stop comparing? That's all.
Q: Or when I compare, will I notice I am comparing and not believe it?
K: You'll find out, first stop comparing. Comparing means measurement, to measure one's image against another image. Can you, can one stop comparing? My god! See what happens when you are not comparing? You have thrown off an enormous burden that is making you dull, heavy. Then imitation makes you dull, insensitive - I won't use the word 'insensitive' - imitation. Right? You know what that word means. Can you drop imitating somebody, following and so on, so on. So if you do these things actually then it is - see? - you are extraordinarily sensitive, alive without any pressure, without any burden.
So we will meet again the day after tomorrow if you want to meet.