Where does one find complete security?
Why has the brain got caught in the narrow circle of the self?
3rd Public Talk, Saanen
July 14, 1983
Shall we continue with what we were talking about the day before yesterday? I think we ought to, if I may point out seriously, that you are not seeking help from the speaker. There is no help outside of ourselves. If that is clearly understood that no political or religious or every type of guru with their systems and theories, trying to help people, or trying to do good - we have had all those things before during the last millennia upon millennia. So there is no help from outside. There is no, if I may use the word - the Christian word - salvation - it is rather an ugly word - outside, through anybody, through any system, through any theological concept, either of the Communist or the Democratic and so on. So one has to completely rely on oneself. Totally be responsible for ourselves - what we do, what we think, and not blame all that we do on others, or the environment, or on heredity, or on genetic process. We have played with all those things endlessly in different forms. We have pursued every kind of philosophy. And we have great faith in something or other. That is always something outside - a symbol, a person, a conclusion, an idea. And they have all failed because after millennia upon millennia we are what we are now. It is not the past generation that has produced the chaotic world, they have helped, but we are also adding to it.
So if we could together bear that in mind - no book, no theory, no person, no symbol, including the speaker. I am not excluding the speaker because one has to be very careful not to be influenced by him, not to be stimulated by him, not to rely perhaps on his clarification. And if that is absolutely, fundamentally clear, that there is no outside help to discover what we are, what human beings have become after all these centuries of evolution - brutal, violent, you know the whole business. You cannot blame it on anybody, or go back to the past and try to find out the various causes and there are multiple causes, and we can quarrel over those causes endlessly. But the fact remains: we are what we are now, after millennia of evolution, thousands of years of evolution. So if that is clear as two friends talking over together, we are two friends, actual friends. That is what the speaker feels about friends. And we can talk about things, neither influencing each other, nor dominating each other, having no faith in each other, but as two friends who have known each other for some time who are discussing, talking over the human problem, because that is far more important than the technological problem. The psychological problems, unless they are resolved, always overwhelm the technological issues, problems - right? You may have a marvellous technological world, mechanical world, the computer, but the human psyche overcomes the computer. It may bring about a series of good laws - the computer - that you should do this, do that and so on, but the psyche, each one of us, can overwhelm, or transcend and do what it wants in spite of the computer. Right? I think this is very clear.
So please we must begin with doubt, with a certain quality of scepticism so that we question everything in human existence, apart from the physical, you can't question a surgeon if he says you have got cancer. You may question it, you may ask him but several doctors will tell you, 'Old fellow, you have got it'. Then you accept it, you can't doubt that. You can try various cures, all the quacks in the world will join you but eventually you have to accept their statement. But in the psychological world, which is much more complex, needs great sensitivity, its great intricacies, subtleties, and that demands a mind, a brain, that is very clear, not confused, not self-centred. You cannot examine, look at the whole complex of self-pursuit unless you are critical about it, unless you are questioning, doubting, asking. But the present religion in the Western world denies any question or doubt - you mustn't have doubt, you must have faith. And so that quality of doubt, which is most vital to human existence is denied. Whereas in the Buddhist and the Hindu world doubt is one of the pillars of enquiry.
So please, we are going to talk over together - together, one must keep on repeating this because there is the human tendency to accept, to be led, to be helped. By reading some book or other, you think it is going to do you good. So one must be very clear that one cannot rely on anybody, which means one has to be a light to oneself, which does not mean self-assertive attitude, having tremendous confidence in oneself. It does not mean the pursuit of one's own desires, one's own fulfilment and so on. To be a light to oneself means standing totally alone psychologically. The word 'alone' means all one. From Latin, Greek and so on, that word means all one, together, whole, not fragmented. But we translate that aloneness into isolation. We are afraid to be isolated and therefore we don't understand the meaning and the depth of that word - to be alone. It includes the whole of time, the past and present which is now, alone. We will go into all that presently. I hope we are together in all this.
Doubt what the speaker is saying. And also doubt very much more your own reactions to what you hear the speaker saying. Doubt, the seed of doubt, not what you doubt, but the seed. Let it move, let it flower, let it grow till it finds what is truth. And to be alone, to enquire into the nature of that, to find out the truth of that, not the statement of it, the truth of the statement. You understand? Hearing the statement and then accepting the words of that statement but not discovering for oneself the depth of that word. I hope we are all getting together on this. It is very hot here.
As we were saying the other day, we have sought security in the things of thought - right? - in the things that thought has put together, which is in the community, in the family, in the community, in the larger community and so on. Security in isolation, security in the country, in the nation, in belonging to something, belonging to this group or to that group, belonging to that church or not - you follow? - belonging. And we have sought security in that.
So one discovers for oneself that there is no security in isolation - right? Now is that a fact? Or just a theory? See the distinction? If it is a theory, there are multiple theories but if you examine your own desire to be secure and you will find, if you pursue it, one has sought security in isolation. The isolation may be enormous but still isolation. This process of isolation is fragmentation - right? Are we saying something extraordinary? Or we are following each other? Where there is the pursuit of security in isolation - in the Arab or Jew - you follow? - outwardly - the pursuit of isolation and seeking security in that isolation is fragmentation. And then the problem arises: how can the fragments be brought together? That is a wrong question altogether - right? - because the search for security in isolation is the cause. If one is free of that cause there is no fragmentation and therefore there is no search in isolation. Either the isolation of the family, or the self-centred isolation. I wonder if you get all this? Are we... somebody say yes or no!
Audience: Yes, yes.
K: See what is actually happening in the world. I am asking my friend to look very closely at what is happening. The family, community, the larger community, the nation - isolating processes. And therefore in that isolation there is the search for supreme power, politically religiously - you follow? The whole sense of achieving, gaining power. And so there is more and more confusion, more and more problems, more and more destruction. This is very clear if you go into it, not casually, not reading a lot of books but to see the fact of it in oneself. So one has to enquire much more to find out what it is that we are... why we are seeking security. Not that we should not have security. Physically, as we said, there must be security. For the baby to grow up there must be security. For the man to live at least temporarily happily he must have security, he must have food, clothes, house. But this process of isolation is denying all that to everybody. Each government is concerned with itself, with its own economy, with its own people. Saving through the war its own people, not the other people. I don't know if you heard the other day a general talking about the last war - the war in the little island far South. He said, the general said, 'I do not like to kill people but we must kill them but primarily we must save our people.' And they are trained for that. So if one sees the enormous significance, the fact, the truth, that in isolation there is never security, no security whatsoever. Do we see this before we go any further? It is very difficult to break down the condition of the brain which has been taught, educated, conditioned to be, to live, to seek its own fulfilment in isolation.
Now what is security, apart from physical security? What is it to be secure? Please ask this, we are together in this - two friends, sitting down in a quiet room, overlooking a nice valley, a lovely morning, being serious at the same time, and asking each other: what is security, to be secure? Is there security in relationship? You ask yourself that question. One wants security in relationship otherwise if there is no security, which implies trust, confidence, love and all that, and yet we want security in each other. And each other, each one is pursuing his own isolation, his own self-centred activity - right? We want security to have a peaceful life - right? Not to have any conflict, not to have any bother, no problems, just to live. And that is not possible either. So we are asking: what is security? Where do we find it? Not in some theory - right? - not in some image that thought has projected and made it holy, not in any symbol which is the activity of thought. I don't know if you are following all this.
So where does one find total, complete security? The brain needs security. But at present the brain is confused. One philosopher says this, the other scientist says that, one guru, one teacher, the hierarchical church says something else and so on. The brain actually, after these thousands upon thousands of years, is confused. And in that confusion it says, 'I must be secure.' So it then invents a new illusion. You understand? I have dropped this illusion as I find there, there is no security. Then I find another illusion and I hope to find security in that. This is what we are doing. So where do you find security? Unless the brain is completely secure, completely certain, unconfused, it must be in a turmoil - right? And if you examine your own life, your own existence, my friend, you will see how confused we are, how uncertain - cannot rely on anything - right? So where do you find security? Not outwardly obviously. And will you find security in the psyche? You understand? In the 'me'? In the self? No? Let's find out, don't say no. Let's find out.
Then we have to ask: what is the self? What is the 'me', the whole psychological structure? What is the 'me'? The 'me' - is it a series of conclusions? It is. I believe, I am convinced, I have faith - right? I am this. And so on - expand it. So where, if it is not to be found there outside, and is it possible to find out security inwardly? Please ask these questions. I am asking my friend - both of us are defenceless, we are not defending each other and therefore resisting each other. It is not there, outside, and I hope to find it on the inside, somewhere inwardly - right? Which means I must have more confidence in myself. That is how we translate it. What does confidence in myself mean? In my experiences? In my knowledge? In my prayer? Which is, the me is put together by thought. I have faith in something, I believe in something, I belong to something. All that is the movement of thought - surely. Right? Please let's be very clear on this matter. Thought has created the mess outside, the confusion, the terrible things that are happening in the world; and also thought has created the 'me' - right? We are clear? It is not some kind of divine explosion that created me. From childhood I have been taught, educated, trained - 'me' is the first. Right? So we are examining whether there is security in the 'me'. And the 'me' is put together by thought. We must be very clear on this point. When I say I believe in god and I have faith in god, my security in god: who has created that god? Please be factual. Don't, I am not attacking. I am not attacking my friend. That would be too silly. And he is not attacking me either. But together we are questioning, doubting, asking - right? My friend says, 'You have faith in god.' I say perhaps I have. And being friends we discuss. We don't say, 'I believe. I am going to stick to it.' We say, 'Look, who created this idea of god?' Then he asks, 'But how did all existence come into being' - right? And the scientific answer is more reasonable than all the theories and speculations, belief in god and so on. We came from the ocean - you follow? We have taken millennia upon millennia, four, five, ten million years, to evolve to the present state. That means time has taken to bring about a human being - not within the last four thousand, five hundred years, according to some religious people. Four thousand, five hundred years ago the Egyptians invented the calendar. You understand? That means they must have had tremendous evolution before. You can't invent a calendar just on the spot.
So, he says to me, look carefully, the thing that you have created, thought has created, seeking security, being frightened of death and so on, you have created that, thought has created that. And thought then worships that, tries to find security in that, contrary to what you are doing, contrary to your life. I don't know if you are following all this? I may believe in the most extraordinary things, like god and all the supreme intelligence - you know - highest principle, but it has to be a reality in my life, otherwise it is of no value. Please I am not preaching, advocating atheism. I am questioning. We are questioning each other the fundamental issue, which is: the urge and the demand, and the necessity for security. And we find we have sought security in illusions - right? Now what happens? Please look at it carefully. If you see something false, to be actually factually false and you hold on to that false - right? - you are not intelligent. I don't know if I am making it clear. If I tell my friend, look, this is not actual, this is just an invention. And in that kind of invention, illusion, some romantic, sentimental nonsense, there is no security in that.
So please understand - to see the false as the false - right? Which means you have already discovered what is true. Is this clear? If I see something false, some illusion as illusion. The word 'illusion' means, in English, to play with something, 'ludere'. Something which is not real. So I tell my friend, look, you live with false things. And when he sees the false things as false what has happened to his brain? You understand my question? The brain has accepted for centuries something which is not actual, which is, the vast majority of mankind believes in god because god is their security. But god is the invention of - all the rest of it. When my friend sees that and I see that the conditioning of the brain has broken - you see? I have been going North all my life and you come along and point out to me that the North is an illusion - there is North, I am talking - is an illusion, he shows it to me and as we are friends we talk it over and I say, by Jove, that is right and I turn and go East. Which means what? I have broken the system, the habit, the condition of the brain, which has been going in one direction, suddenly it breaks away from it and goes in another direction. Therefore there is the breaking of a conditioning. I wonder if you understand this? Right?
Not... we are going to go into the whole conditioning, we will go into that a little later but I have broken the habit of pursuing an illusion. Therefore the cells themselves have changed. You understand? The brain cells in themselves have changed because it hasn't fallen, it has pursued a habit and has broken the habit. Not through enforcement, through will, through any action, but pure, logical, sane, seeing the fact - right? I am working very hard for you, aren't I?
So where is security? Surely not in experience - right? Be quite clear on all this. Not in knowledge because knowledge is never complete - right? Knowledge is based on experience: scientific experience, hypothesis, theory, then proving that theory, hypothesis to be true or false, in the scientific world - right? So where is there security? Please go into it. I'm sorry, I hope you are not bored. If you are, it is your affair. It is really a very serious question we are asking, not a casual something or other. It is a demand of the brain to be secure. It hasn't found it there, outside, in an outside agency, outside gods, or it can invent there is a god in me. (laughs) Lots of people do, millions do.
Audience: I do.
K: There is a gentleman says he does. And he is going to hold to it. It is not a discussion. We will do that when all the talks are over.
But we have to find out whether there is complete security or not. We have to be very, very clear of the process of thought. Thought - I will go into it again - thought is a limited process, a materialistic process because thought is based on experience, experience is sensory - right? - reaction, reflection, and from that arises experience and that experience is limited and from that limitation, knowledge, so knowledge is always limited, whether in the scientific world or in the psychological world - right? It is so. I mean it is so simple. And so memory is limited, because it is based on time, the duration of time. I will go into the question of time presently. And thought is limited. There is no thought without memory - right? And your memory, remembrance is small, limited. You may remember all the things from your childhood - I hope you don't. Then your brain is nothing but memories and therefore those memories are limited and so thought is invariably limited. And so whatever it does is limited. Your prayers are limited. All the things in the church and all that is limited, put together by thought. Right? It is so obvious. What are you all resisting this for? I know why you are resisting. Very simple. You are frightened. That's all. You might lose your job. We were talking the other day to some priest, we were having a good discussion, we were friendly. And he said, 'All right, I agree with you but how am I to live?' (Laughter) Please don't laugh at it, that is for most of us too. Please understand this very simple thing: when you see something false, when you see the limited activities of thought, and what it does in the world - because where there is limitation there must be conflict - right? If I keep on repeating, 'I am a Christian', 'I am a Buddhist', I am this, I'm that, it is very limited. And that very limitation must bring about conflict. And in conflict obviously there is no security. Unless you love conflict and say that is part of your being, all right, then that means something is - there is a hole in your head! (laughter)
So we must come back to this point: when you see the false as the false and abandon the false, not just say, yes I see the false as the false and just remain. But you see... when you see that which is not true, which is not actual, which is false, illusory, when you see it, t is the ending of that illusion. Not that you will conclude to end it, the very seeing of the fact, that very seeing of the fact is the ending of that illusion. So what has happened to the brain which has been conditioned to the false, then when it breaks, there is a mutation in the brain cells themselves. I wonder if you see this. You understand? Suppose I have a very strong habit. Habit is of different kinds. Habit - 'I believe' is a habit. A conclusion to which I stick to is a habit. Go on, we won't go into the question of habit. When I break a habit, when there is the seeing of the futility of a habit, there is the breaking of it and there is a change in the very structure of the brain. So what has taken place when I see that which is false as false, the very ending of that, what has happened? You are not doing it as we are going along. If you do it as we go along, my friend, then what has taken place? Please don't discuss with me, just find out. Hasn't the brain become clear? It has put away the burdens which are false. Seeing that which is false, seeing is acting. When you see something dangerous, you act. So the seeing is the action. Now what has happened to the brain that sees?
We will approach it differently. Most of us want to become something - right? In the physical world we want to be something, to become something. I am just a clerk in a big office, in a corporation and gradually I work up. If I am good, capable, I become the manager. From the manager I step up more and more till I become the executive and the president. I have become through time to be the president. This is the physical process. Now we extend the same movement into the psychological realm. I am this but I will become that. It is the same movement. It is not different. Both require time. Time to become - right? What is becoming? I can understand in the physical world. I can earn more money, better car, better house, more pictures - if I have the money I buy a Rembrandt or - you follow? - I drink more. You know, the whole business of it - the modern culture! We mustn't go into the question of culture now, we will do it another time. I become there something. And I extend the same movement, that same movement into becoming something. One day I will be enlightened - right? Enlightened, become, reach the highest principle, god, whatever you call it, by righteous behaviour, step by step, by step, by step I'll become something - right? That is the whole system of religious thought - right? I go to the guru and the silly guru teaches me. I will one day become like him, which means power, I will have disciples.
So follow all this very carefully, I am telling my friend. So what is it that is becoming? When I say psychologically I will gradually experience enlightenment, and gradually build it up, what does that mean? Is there a becoming? Question that. Not that I should become something psychologically but we must question - is there anything to become? Myself, my experience, my memories, my projections of what I should be, which means I must have time for all this. So man has said that to become wise, enlightened, become, you know, all that, you must have... it is a process - right? And we are saying quite the contrary. I am saying to my friend, that sounds nonsensical - you know the whole Buddhist concept, you wouldn't know Buddhism, doesn't matter, I'll just go into it. The Buddha went through a series till he ultimately reached enlightenment - which I question. Is enlightenment, understanding, perception, a matter of time? What is time? Time is a movement - right? Time to go from here to your house, to your chalet, to your flat, to go to Montreux or Lausanne, or wherever it is. It is a movement in time, to cover the distance - right? You need to have physical time to go from here to your house. That is time. And to become something requires time. You have set a goal for yourself, in the physical world you have set a goal for yourself to become the manager and you require time. And also you have set a goal to become something - right? - to become non-violent. Let's take that for example. Right? You are violent, my friend and I, we are saying, we both, we are - perhaps you are not but I may be - we are violent. And to be free from violence needs time. To become non-violent needs time - right? We are questioning that, doubting that. You follow? You have to doubt this whole idea of becoming non-violent, which they have preached a great deal in India. The fact is violence - right? I am angry, I am jealous, I am furious, I hate somebody, I want to be somebody more powerful. That is a fact. But non-violence is non-fact. So what am I doing? Pursuing, cultivating a non-fact. And to achieve non-fact requires time. (laughs) See the absurdity of it! And millions upon millions believe this. And because they are so powerful, the millions elect all the politicians.
So come back: so the fact is I am violent. But to achieve non-fact requires time. So to stay with violence needs no time. To understand, to observe, to perceive the nature, the structure and the causation of violence needs no time. Because it is a fact. If I look at it carefully, it will reveal the whole thing. But if I am pursuing non-violence I am not observing. Right? So please understand something: perception does not require time. I am violent, I say to my friend - suppose I am really violent - I say what do you mean by that word? You are not physically violent, I haven't seen you in all these years hit somebody; I haven't seen you angry but you are a violent man. And you say tell me what that means to be violent. Violence can exist only when there is contradiction in me - please understand all this - there are two separate activities in contradiction with each other. You understand? I say one thing and do another, think one thing and act totally differently from the fact, that is a contradiction. That creates the opposites. So he tells me, look, you have discovered something: where there is contradiction, opposites, there must be conflict. That conflict indicates violence. Violence - I won't go into more details of violence, which is imitation, conformity. Comparison is essentially violence, right? When I compare myself with you who are much brighter, much more this and much more that, I am envious of you, I am antagonistic to you, I am jealous of you. Jealousy, conformity, antagonism, is violence because it is clear when I have put away the non real - non-violence - I can see this very clearly, all the intimations, the complexity of violence. And when there is a perception of this there is the ending of that. That violence is not separate from me. You understand? Must I go into this?
When you are angry, is anger different from you? When you are sexually excited, is that excitement different from you? Right? So is violence, comparison, different from you? Or you are all that? My friend has been trained from childhood to compare. He goes to his school, there he is given marks, compares right through that process till the university, if he is lucky enough, or unlucky enough. Then when he comes to a job he is still comparing, fighting, struggling, right? And we say all that is a form of violence, of course, aggression, and so on. Now, seeing the fact of that, not the non-fact of violence, which is non-violence, but the fact that I am violent, seeing the entirety of violence. I can only see that... there is a perception of that only when the non-fact is completely put aside. When there is no pursuit of non-violence of any kind, then my whole attention - the whole attention - not my - the whole attention is on the fact. Then the fact moves, reveals, shows what it is. And that very perception is the ending of it because there is no conflict as violence being separate from me. Violence is me, as anger, as your reactions, as when you have pain in your tummy, or toothache, or headache, that is you. You are not separate from all that. Where there is separation there must be conflict, as the Arab, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist.
So, there is security only in intelligence. We won't go into the question of what is intelligence as our time is up. It is intelligence that says that is false - right? Because you have examined it, you have looked at it, you have doubted it, you have questioned it, but if you say, 'I accept the false as the truth', then you are unintelligent. But the moment when you look at the falseness of things and see clearly the false as the false, that perception is the beginning of intelligence. Right? Now to go into that intelligence profoundly, which we shall as we go along, that is security. Intelligence of that kind is supreme security. (Pause)
I hope we still remain friends! (laughter)