Where is security found for the brain?
The seed of a million years
3rd Public Talk, Madras
December 29, 1979
May we continue with what we were talking about last weekend? We were having a conversation between you and me, the speaker, about the nature of the mind and its extraordinary capacities. And we human beings through millennia after millennia have reduced this capacity to a very narrow limited field. This vast energy of the mind has created technologically astonishing things. They have been to the moon, under the seas, they have invented most diabolical things. They have also brought about great benefits like surgery, medicine. And this vast energy, which we'll go into very carefully a little later on, has been curtailed, limited, narrowed down into our lives - as our lives which are basically, if one observes it closely, a field of struggle, a field of conflict, an area in which human beings are against each other, destroying each other; they are not only destroying human beings but also they are exploiting the earth, the mines and the seas. The word 'exploit' means to use another for one's own profit. This exploitation goes on in every field of life. The oppressor becomes the oppressed, as it is happening in this country.
And one wonders why human beings live the way we are living - the battle, the conflict, the confusion, the utter misery, sorrow, pleasure, and joys that soon fade away and we are left empty-handed, bitter, cynical, not believing in a thing or we turn to tradition, which is perhaps the safe thing to do. And even that tradition is now losing its grip. And if you observe very closely, the mind is now living not only physically but much more psychologically, on commentaries, books, scriptures, the Bible and the Koran. What happens to a mind that lives on books, which we are all doing not only in the schools, in colleges and universities, but also religiously. I am using the word 'religious' in the ordinary sense of the word. And when one lives by the book, you live by words, by theories, by what other people have said. And when one lives in that fashion degeneration obviously must take place, or you go back to the book, as the Islamic world is doing, and use that as an authority - brutal, dogmatic, cruel and destructive. And in this country too, the Indians, the Hindus, whatever your name be, you have lived by the book, what other people have said, which you have accepted - the commentaries and the commentaries on commentaries and so on and so on and so on. And when faced with crisis, this civilisation which has existed perhaps for three thousand years or more, collapses, degeneration takes place, corruption at all levels of life - the industrialised gurus, the politicians, the businessmen, the religious people, the whole thing is collapsing. I have asked one has asked various people, what is the cause of this decay, this degeneration; they have really no answer. They give you examples of degeneration, but one never, as far as it has been possible to find out, one has discussed with various pundits, scholars, professors and all the rest of it, they don't seem to find the root of this decay. I do not know if you have thought about it - probably you haven't - if you have, if you have given serious thought to it. Would it not be true to say, if one is really honest, that you have lived on other people's ideas, other people's doctrines, other people's beliefs, as now you are living with the western world's materialism, they are really not materialistic any more than you are - money-minded the world has become; we'll do anything for money, which means power, position, and so the cause apparently, subject to correction and further investigation, is that when one lives a second-hand life, a life on words, ideas, beliefs, your mind naturally withers, the totality of the mind. You may be an excellent lawyer or a good carpenter - I doubt if any of you are carpenters here - but you are all very good lawyers, professors, businessmen and so on.
So we are together thinking over this problem, that is, a mind - mind - we mean by that word all the active senses with their neurological reactions - the mind - all the emotions, all the desires, the various technological, professional knowledge and the cultivation of memory, which is the capacity to think clearly or confusedly. And this mind from past millennia has been seeking that germ which man has planted from the beginning of time, which has never flowered, that germ, that seed of real religiosity, because without religion there can be no new civilisation, no new culture. There may be new systems, new philosophies, new social structure, but it will be the same pattern repeated over and over and over again; which is the exploiter becomes exploited, which is happening in this country.
So why have human beings with their extraordinary minds - I am using the word 'extraordinary' in its deliberate sense, not exaggerated at all - why human beings with their extraordinary brain and mind have become like this? Living in narrow grooves, narrow activities, selfcentred impulses, actions, urges. Why? Please, sirs, as we pointed out the other day, we are thinking together. This is not a speech or a lecture or a sermon but you are exercising your mind, your brain, with the speaker to find out if it is possible to break through this, the narrow groves in which we have settled, not only in our relationship with each other as man and woman, but also the society which we have created, the society which is so corrupt, which is so immoral, which is so destructive. You understand all this, sirs?
So what shall we do? You, as a human being living on this marvellous, beautiful earth and all the beauteous mountains and landscapes and the seas and the waters, and the lovely hills and mountains - it's not poetic, I am just pointing out - what can we do together to break through? That is, not to create new systems, new social systems, new social, religious orders, new set of beliefs and ideals and dogmas, new rituals, because that game has been played over and over and over again. So to bring about a different world, if you are at all serious, the quality of goodness has to come into being. The word 'good' means to be whole, not broken up, not fragmented, but a human being that is good implies there is no sense of division. He is in himself complete, whole, without any sense of conflict. And this mind, which has lived a millennia, has not brought about a society which is good because we human beings are not good. Please bear in mind the meaning of that word. Not a good actor, good book, good meal, but that word implies to be whole, it originally comes from - the word 'good' means god - not the invention the human minds have created about god, but that sense of wholeness. The word 'whole' means healthy, sane and holy. That's the meaning of that word.
How can we transform this mind with its emotions, senses and that extraordinary brain which has evolved through millennia, carrying thousands of experiences, knowledge, and every part of the brain is full of memories, not only the inherited memories, the genetic memories, but also the memories that are acquired recently, it is all there as knowledge. And as knowledge is always limited, there is no complete knowledge, it's always limited and therefore thought will inevitably, everlastingly, do what you will, will always be limited. There is no infinite thought, there is no complete thought. I don't know if you have not observed all this in yourselves, but thought has become most important in our lives. All our meditations are based on thought and desire. All our activities are based on thought. All our sexual relationship is based on thought. The past memories, the past pleasures, the pictures that you have created, the remembrance of all this is the operation of thought - the gods, the scriptures, the Bible, Koran, everything on earth that man has created is brought about by thought. Going to the moon has to be thought out precisely. Every part of that machinery has to be perfect. I believe three hundred thousand people were employed in it; everybody thinking accurately to produce the rocket, to produce a submarine, to produce a gun and to create war.
So thought being limited and our actions being limited and out of this limitation comes all our anxiety, all our fears, all our conflicts and sorrows. And this thought, in its movement, is using an extraordinary amount of energy - to build a house, to have a beautiful garden you must have spent a great deal of energy. The way you go to the office every day from nine to five, or whatever time you spend there - the boredom, the routine, the ugliness, all that, the extraordinary amount of energy used. And thought cannot be altered. It is there. Please follow all this. Please, we are talking over together, I am not talking to myself. We are sharing, partaking the thing together, which is our present crisis - not the economic, social, merely, but the crisis in our consciousness, in our very being. And we don't seem to pay very much attention to it, we just want to live for the day or for the year or fifty years and then die. It is a crisis in our consciousness, not the crisis of the exploiter being exploited, not the crisis of a new system, crisis of a war and so on. It's a crisis in the very being of human beings. You may not be aware of it. But you are, as you must be if one is at all serious and concerned and sufficiently informed, sufficiently educated, somewhat intelligent.
And how can this, in what manner can this consciousness be transformed? You understand? Our consciousness - you, are the result - the consciousness is the result of all the things that have happened to you as a human being, not as an individual, as a human being, whether he lives in America, Russia or whatever it is. This content of his mind, his action - his consciousness, action, belief, fear, pleasure, dogmas, superstitions, illusions, belief in god or not belief in god, authority, obedience and the submission to established authority and the everlasting search to escape from all this. And so the escape is god, the book, the cinema, the meditation, the guru, the temple, the football, and cricket in this country. You are doing all this. We have established a very good network of escapes, but we haven't solved the problem.
So, together, please, if you will, this evening and the last two evenings that we have met here, last Saturday and Sunday, and today and tomorrow, and another weekend, let's think of this thing together. That is, put our hearts and minds into this to find out.
First of all, the mind, the brain needs security, like a child clings to the mother, is seeking security to be safe and the brain can only function excellently, efficiently, precisely when it is completely safe. Our education helps to find this safety, this protection in careers, in jobs, in specialised human beings. Please follow all this, you are in it. A doctor, a surgeon, if he is honest, good, he is safe there. His brain has been educated for ten years to be an excellent doctor, and in that the brain has found complete safety. And an engineer, a scientist. So careers, jobs, systems are offering security, like nation - you understand? - is offering a security. A family as a unit is offering security to the brain. And that brain is not yours or mine, it is the brain of human beings, which has evolved through millennia; and in this security, if you have observed, there is total insecurity. You are following all this? You find security in a nation, as an Indian, whatever that word may mean, which is another invention of thought, with its flag and with all that nonsense that goes on with it. One has found security in that, which means isolation. Please, follow all this - isolation. Another nation does exactly the same thing. So you two are at war perpetually, economically, socially, morally and religiously. You are following all this? But the brain needs an enormous sense of protection, safety, security. Where does one find it? You are following all this? Not in the family, you know what the family is, you must know it very well - perpetual quarrel, perpetual fighting each other, angry. You follow what is happening with all of you? There is no security in the family. There is no security in the nation. There is no security in careers, because there are a thousand people after that career. There is no security in your temples, in your gods, in your beliefs, in your dogmas, none in the books. Books are words, and your brain is now living on words, finding safety there - in words. I wonder if you realise all this!
So where is there security, which the brain must have. There is no security in tradition which is, you know, going back - 'tradere', which means to hand it down. There is no security in that. There is no security in your wife or in your husband. You may like it, you may want to hold on, be attached but in that there is no security either. So one asks, you are asking, I am not asking, you are asking, is there any security at all - you understand? - for the brain to feel safe, protected, to have a sense of complete certainty?
There is security, complete, whole security. We'll go into that - just a minute. We have sought security in discipline. Right? Go into it carefully, please. We have sought security in discipline. The ordinary word or the ordinary translation of that word, which is commonly used, is 'submission to established authority'. The soldier obeys; in that obedience there is safety in war. In the school, the discipline is to conform to the pattern - university. So the brain is trained - please watch your own brains, for god's sake - your brains are being trained through ages to conform to established authority. Either authority is the tradition, the authority of a superior who has more knowledge, the authority of power, the authority of one who says I know, you don't know, the authority of an ideal, the authority of the priest, the authority of Christ, Krishna, Buddha, all that. So our brains - please watch your brains - are trained, subjected, submit to established outside order or inside order, inside discipline - essentially to obey. The word 'discipline' means to learn, comes from the word 'disciple'. Disciple is one who is willing to learn, not submit himself to some authority, but having the urge, the intent, the beauty to learn. And so what we have done is to make that word, which is to learn, to conform, to obey, because there there is safety, not in learning - follow all this, please - not in the capacity to learn, but the capacity to obey, the capacity to conform, to imitate. You understand this?
So our brains have been trained through education to conform to Marx, to Engle - you follow? - conform, and in that conformity there is safety, and so there is conflict. You understand? There is rebellion, revolt against authority, and that very revolt creates its own authority, and so the mind moves from one authority to another, one knowledge to another. And we think discipline - in the ordinary sense of the word we are using - we think that discipline will bring order. You are all waiting to have order in this country, to have a good dictator. Right? Because there is such disorder. So you are all saying, 'we must have discipline'. Aren't you saying all that? And the politicians are shouting it.
So let's enquire into what is order. You understand, sirs? Now, please listen carefully. Forgive me if I sound rather emphatic. If you have observed, we said the brain has extraordinary energy, of incalculable energy, and that energy now is being used in a very narrow, limited way - right? - obedience, fear, pleasure, the sense of individual importance, and caught in extraordinary conflicts between each other, and the eventual thing called sorrow and finally death, the ending.
Now, we have examined carefully the quality of a mind that is whole, that is good, which means holy, H O L Y, not the holiness of priests or the temples. There is no holiness in it. So, we say, we are saying this energy is being misused and that is why there is such tremendous crisis in our lives. We are coming to a great crisis or we are in it, which is our consciousness, the content of our consciousness is our consciousness, content being fear, anxiety, action, exploitation, grief, misery, confusion, pride, envy, all that is our consciousness. And we are asking, can that consciousness be transformed totally, something totally beyond? And we are saying, it can. That is, it can be transformed, and there is a different kind of security, not the security which thought has created, which is not security. And if in listening to what is being said, and you are following it carefully, you are awakening that intelligence. You are following this? In that intelligence there is complete security. I am using the word - we are using the word 'intelligence' in a different sense. The word 'intelligence' means ordinarily the capacity to understand, to discern, to subtly read between the lines - 'intelligere' means to read between the lines, from Latin, Greek and so on. I won't go into the etymological meaning. So, we are using the word 'intelligence' in its purest sense, not the intelligence of a clever man, argumentative, opinionated, wanting to discuss, trying to find out, through opinions, what is truth and all that, that is not intelligence. That's mere cleverness, which is the operation of thought. We are saying, intelligence is not the product of thought. Intelligence, please, I am going into it now, please, listen. Intelligence is the observation of these facts, the facts that discipline has been made to submit - right? - submit to authority. If you see the falseness of that, if you see what are the implications in that word 'discipline', which is to conform to authority, submitting everything to accept that. If you see, if you understand that, that is, if you understand the truth of that, that is to learn, if you see the truth of that, you are awakening intelligence. So you'll no longer submit to external or inward authority. I am not saying you shouldn't pay tax - don't jump into that - or the policeman, you can't drive on the wrong side of the road.
So, if you observe how discipline has become - the ordinary word, 'discipline' as a means of security - right? - and you see in that discipline conformity creates conflict, and if you see that, observe it closely, that very observation is the awakening of intelligence, which is to learn. Learning is a movement, not a static state. All right? So, we are going to examine what is order. To find out the order that has been created by man through thought, with the desire to be secure and is there security in that order, if there is not, then the discovery of that which is disorder is the awakening of intelligence. You are following all this? So when there is this intelligence, in that there is complete and total security. It is the function of all of us here, to think this out together - what is order.
I hope you are all working as hard as I am working. I don't know why I work so hard for you all. I know you will go back home and do exactly the same thing as you did before, which means that you don't take anything seriously. As long as you have little jobs, little house, a wife and a few children, and god knows what else, it doesn't matter what happens, just a little corner of the vast field of humanity. So we are now enquiring into what is order, which one must have. All religions throughout the world have laid down certain rules. If you want to achieve god, oh god, you know, you must be a celibate, you must be poor, you must have the capacity to obey. Haven't you noticed all this? And the church, Roman Catholic and other churches say, this is the law, and as long as you obey you are going to realise that extraordinary thing called god - if there is such a thing. That's order. Joining an organisation - please listen to all this - spiritual or worldly, joining it, you feel safe, and the organisation says, you must do this, you must do that, you must not do this, and you are trained to obey, and this obedience is called order. You go to the office, I don't know why you go to offices. No sir, don't laugh. Just think of it. Going every day of your life for the next fifty, sixty years. See the tragedy of it all. And you say, if I don't go, how shall I support my family, how shall I educate my children, I must have money. So I must be stupid. We don't want to find a new way of living. We have created this society, we human beings, and we won't change it. Too bad!
So organisations, societies, ashramas, gurus offer a peculiar kind of order. And most people, intelligent people are rebelling against it, throwing out all that kind of order. But in their rebellion they are creating an order which is also disorder. You see it, sir - drugs, drink, sex, all that is in a permissive world. So what is order? Order - please listen - in which there is no conformity. No - I am using the word carefully, please, attention - I am using the word, 'no discipline', discipline in the sense submitting to authority, but discipline in the real meaning of that word - to learn. When the mind is learning, it's creating its own discipline, not discipline of conformity, the discipline that comes through attention. That is - sir, when you are learning, as we are doing now, I hope you are, when you are learning now, as we are, your mind is soaking in, if you are alive, if you are sensitive, if you are really hearing what is being said, it is absorbing without any compulsion, without any reward, without any punishment, because we have gathered here to be serious, and your seriousness is awake, wants to find out.
So there is order where there is intelligence. The word 'intelligence' which the speaker has explained, there is no order if there is mere compulsion, obedience, conformity - you are following all this? - joining organisations, spiritual, this and that, ashramas, dictatorships of the gurus and all that, in that there is no order. And because human beings have done this for millennia, somebody will tell us what to do. I don't know but tell me, please. That is the cry. And that very thing has created disorder.
So, one finds the fact of disorder - you understand, sir? - the fact of disorder, which is our life. In understanding that disorder in our life objectively, that is, not trying to change the disorder to your own particular comfort, or this or that; to observe, to see this disorder in our life, disorder being contradiction, say one thing and do another, the cultivation of hypocrisy which we have indulged in, the contradictory desires, contradictory ideals, this desire for power, position, all that's creating in our daily life, disorder. If you see that clearly as a fact, then that clear observation brings about intelligence. And that intelligence, wherever it is, is creating order. You are following all this? For god's sake follow it! It's your life, sirs.
So. The mind, the brain, has always sought in this confusion, the confusion created by itself, nobody has created it, you and we all have contributed to this disorder and if we see this in our life, daily life, the conflicts, the antagonisms, the pride, the arrogance, the vanity - you follow? - if you see that very clearly and out of that clarity of perception comes order. That order is a living thing. It is not a blueprint: shall I do this, shall I not do this, what shall I do tomorrow - it's not a blueprint, because intelligence is like a tremendous river.
So the awakening of intelligence is the beginning of total happy security of human beings. Nowhere else will you have security except in that, and the moment there is that security, which means all the energy which has been expended in these conflicts, in these ideas where you thought, where thought believed you could find security, which has all been wastage of energy, is now centred in intelligence. You understand, sirs? That is, in our relationship with each other, in our daily, everyday relationship with each other - man and woman - in that relationship there is enormous wastage of energy in conflict, in each one asserting his own importance - you are following all this? - each one acting in his own selfcentred way, dominated by desire. And so there is no love, no generosity, no real consideration for each other. So relationship has become a hideous thing from which everybody wants to run away, either through divorce or trying to find another man or woman, but the same pattern is repeated. There is a man we know who has married eight times - eight times, you understand? - because he wants a relationship where he can feel safe, happy. He hasn't found it. And you won't either, because relationship means, the word means, it comes from the word 'to relate', to look back, to refer to, the meaning of that word is that, to look back in memory - you understand? She's my wife, my husband, she has hurt me, she has possessed me - you follow? All that is to look back, memory, and our relationship is based on memory. Right? That is obvious, isn't it? So in that relationship there is no love, no happiness, nothing but this disastrous division. You hear this very clearly, you will go on doing the same thing tomorrow, or tonight. So what will - please listen! - what will make you change? A crisis, a knock on the head, sorrow, tears? All that has happened, crisis after crisis, we have shed tears endlessly and nothing seems to change man because you are relying on somebody else to do the job, your masters, your gurus, your books, your professors, your clever, cunning people who have new theories, new all that. Nobody says I am going to find out. Because the whole history of mankind is in you, and we never read our book. You understand, sir? It is all there, but we never take the trouble, the patience and the persistent enquiry, and we prefer to live in this chaos, in this misery.
So what will make you change? Sir, please ask yourself, burn with that question! Because we have fallen into the habit of meditation and we won't break that habit, because we are always thinking we are going to get something. Sir, conscious meditation is no meditation. You understand what I am saying? To deliberately sit down, repeat mantras, means nothing, that's not meditation. That's a cheap escape. So what will make you change? You understand, sir? Your house is burning and apparently you don't pay attention. So, you see, if you don't change, society remains as it is and the clever people are coming along and say, society must be changed, which means new structure and through that structure hope to change man. You follow all this? And then say, yes, we are doing both - change man, and the new structure. The structure then becomes more important than man, as all revolutions have pointed out.
So, after listening for an hour and five minutes or ten minutes, is there a learning, is there an awakening of intelligence, is there a sense of order in our lives, or we are going back to the same routine? So, sirs and ladies, if you have that intelligence, that goodness, that sense of great love, then you will create a marvellous new society where we can all live happily. It's our earth, not Indian earth or the English earth or the Russian earth, it's our earth where we can live happily, intelligently, not at each other's throats. So please give your heart and mind to find out why you don't change, even little things. They say, don't smoke. You get up immediately, begin to smoke. Sir, please, pay attention to your own life. You have got extraordinary capacities, sirs. It's all waiting for you to open the door.