Without meditation there is no religious mind
Can the human condition change radically?
6th Public Talk, Bombay
February 07, 1982
This is the last talk. I am sure you are glad of it - so am I.
It is I think necessary to make a short rsum of all the talks we have had here, which will be five talks. We said society is corrupt, immoral and degenerated and that society, we have created it, each human being, with his greed and ambition and corruption, with his lack of consideration, lack of love. And we have created this society and to bring about a change in that society, which is so necessary, it is important that we, as human beings change radically, not superficially, not environmentally but in the whole psyche of man. And we have been talking about the necessity of transformation in the very brain itself, which has been conditioned for thousands and thousands of years. And is it possible, we asked together, whether we can change at all. Human beings have been more or less, for the past millennia upon millennia, what we are now - in conflict, in pain, in sorrow, killing each other, thousands upon thousands of wars and we seem to be perusing the same path.
And we asked ourselves in our conversation together whether the human condition can ever be transformed. We said there are a certain group of philosophers who said the human condition can never be changed, it can be modified but it cannot be radically transformed. They have their logic, reason and innumerable examples for their assertions. We are talking together whether it is possible for us to change, admitting that we are conditioned, admitting that we are the past, the present and the future, becoming aware of our conditioning, religiously, politically, economically and so on, to become aware of that, to become aware of the consciousness of which we are. This consciousness which with its content is one's life, one's behaviour, one's conduct. And if one becomes aware of the content of our consciousness, can there be in that awareness, in which there should be no choice, can there be a radical transformation?
So we took, first, the human hurt: that we are hurt from childhood, through schools, colleges and universities, and the whole progress of man's evolution is to get more and more hurt and from that hurt he acts neurotically, not reasonably. And we asked if that hurt - and there are a great many accumulated hurts - whether those hurts can be completely wiped away from one's consciousness. We talked about that a great deal, what to do. We are not going over that again this evening.
And also we talked about relationship. The relationship between man and man, between human beings whether they are near, intimate or far away. We hardly have any relationship with each other, man and woman, married or not married, they pursue their own particular line. Like two railway lines never meeting - perhaps they meet in bed but that is about all. Because the man pursues his ambitions, his greed, his pleasure, so does the woman. So there is no contact, actual relationship between each other. That relationship is the building up of images about each other and these images, we think, have a certain relationship. So actually we have no relationship. Which is obvious.
And also we talked about fear. We went into it a great deal, whether human beings - you, each one of us - can ever be free from fear. Basically, psychologically, most of us are afraid of so many things: fear of loss, fear of not achieving and so on and so on. We went into the whole movement of fear - comparison, desire for security, time, thought. We said thought is the root of fear. And together we went into the question of what is thought because all of us live by thought. You came here because you wanted to, which is directed by thought, all the technological world with all its complexities and subtleties is the product of thought. And all the things that are in churches, temples and so on are put there by thought. And we examined what thought is. Thought is the response of knowledge as memory. We went into that very carefully. And most of our actions are based on thought and thought is always limited - do what you will, thought is everlastingly limited because knowledge, which is the outcome of experience, is also limited. There is no complete knowledge about anything. So thought with its action must bring about division. Whatever is limited is divisive, separative. So we went into the question together, the movement of thought, which is time. And we talked about time also. That we are the past, the present and the future - we are all that. That is, we are the masters of time. And this is important to understand and we went into it considerably.
And also we went into the question of love, compassion, the ending of suffering. All this has been necessary because that's our life, that's our everyday life of pain, pleasure, anxiety, insecurity and sorrow.
And this evening we ought to talk over together, what is order. Because without putting order in our house, not only externally but basically order in ourselves, meditation has no meaning. And we are going to talk over together what is meditation. Not that we should meditate first and then order, but order prior to meditation. We will go into that.
So we are now considering together what is order in our lives, and order outside in the world. The order outside in the world can only come about if there is order in ourselves, in the whole structure of our being - complete, total order. So we are going to talk over together what is order.
Please, as we pointed out throughout these talks, this is not a lecture, this is not something the speaker is telling you what to do or what to think, how to act and so on, which is the intention of a lecturer - to inform you what he thinks. But as we pointed out earlier, we are together examining our lives - together we are trying to find out order. The meaning of that word and the significance of that word, and we are going into it together. Please be clear on this point. That we are not trying to persuade you what is order, a blue print, a pattern which you must follow, but rather, together we are investigating, examining - observing, rather - it will be better to use the word 'observing' - without direction, without motive, to observe. To observe a tree without the word. Which is, the word interferes or blocks or prevents the observation of something clearly. So most of us words become all important. But words, explanations are not the actuality. The symbol is never the real.
So, what is order? To examine, to come to that point which is total order, is virtue. And as most of us live in disorder, which is confusion, conflict, the conflict of dualities - all that is disorder. Where there is conflict there must be disorder, as there is disorder when one nation separates itself from another, builds up armaments ready to kill each other. That is disorder. Religions have contributed to this disorder. You have, one has been told there are about three hundred thousand gods in this country and these gods are invented by thought. And each worshipper is against the other worshipper. So religion with their separative, authoritarian, traditional pursuit, authority, have also brought about a great deal of confusion in the world. These are facts. It is not the speaker's opinion or judgement. This is what is actually going on. The insistence on the part of the Christian western world of a saviour, faith, and on the Eastern world, the Islamic world, the Hindu world and the Buddhist world, each pursuing, maintaining, sustaining, nourishing their separative ways. So there is not only economic disorder, national disorder but also there is disorder in ourselves.
As we said, conflict, contradiction is the essence of disorder. We never see 'what is', but we always trying to transform 'what is' into 'what should be'. That is duality. There is violence, that is a fact, and the projection of an idea as non-violence is its opposite. So, then there is conflict between 'what is', which is violence and the idealistic nonsense which is non-violence. So there is always this conflict between what is actual and what is not actual - the ideal, the conclusion, the philosophical assertions. So we are only - there is only 'what is', there is no duality. The duality is an escape from 'what is' and that contributes to disorder. The man who pursues an ideal instead of understanding what actually is, himself, his life, so he brings about in himself this contradiction, this hypocrisy, this lack of integrity. Integrity is to remain with 'what is' and not the everlasting pursuit of something which is non-existent.
So, we are looking together at this confusion, which is disorder. And in this disorder we are trying to find freedom, we are trying to find what is truth. And volumes have been written about all this. Volumes have been written to escape from actuality, what is taking place now, what is taking place in your mind, in your heart, in your activity. As we do not diligently apply to the understanding of that disorder, we create more disorder.
So together, if it is possible to observe this disorder holistically. We explained yesterday what it means to be whole. That is, a human being who is not fragmented, not broken up, saying one thing and doing quite the opposite, thinking one thing and acting quite the opposite. This contradiction in our life is one of the major factors of conflict and therefore there is no possibility of observing our life holistically, that is, as a whole movement - which we talked about yesterday.
And we said yesterday evening, death is part of this life, not something to be avoided, something put away in the distance. But when one observes life as a whole movement, which has its own extraordinary beauty, when you observe it as a whole, with all the movements of pain, sorrow, pleasure, then death is part of our life. Death is the ending and the ending brings about totally a new dimension. The negation of all the content of consciousness is a religious mind.
So we are going together - first put the house in order, our house, which is me, you. If you cannot put it in order, which every serious man must, considering what the world is, what is happening around you, if you do not put your house in order, that is, to understand disorder, to understand the nature and the movement of disorder, which is your daily life, you will degenerate, obviously, which is taking place. You will pursue false gods. You will pursue all kinds of gurus with their nonsense. So it behoves us, if we are at all serious, to consider the nature and so observe disorder, not try to change disorder - observe it, remain with it, hold it, look at it. That is, to diligently bring all your energies to look at it, to look at the disorder. And when there is total perception of that disorder then there is total order. And that total order is complete virtue.
One hopes that we are following each other. We're not merely listening to a series of ideas, words, we are examining our own minds and our own hearts, and see for ourselves directly, not persuaded, not pushed around but to see directly for ourselves that we live in disorder, and to hold it as a precious jewel, look at it. Then out of that clear perception, order comes. And when there is total order, there is no order. I don't think you understand this, so I will leave it there for the moment. Because when you negate totally disorder - totally, with the whole mind and heart see what disorder has done to man, then order is a living thing. And in that order there is virtue and freedom. When there is freedom because you have put your house in total order, freedom has no order.
Now we ought to consider this evening, what is religion? Because religion has transformed man. Religion has brought about a new culture, a new order of things, both historically and actually. When you observe the religions that exist in the world, without any motive, without any critical, destructive cynicism, all religions throughout the world are the inventions of thought. Thought has created gods because thought is insecure in itself, limited in itself, therefore it projects an idea, a concept of something total, whole, complete. But all the scriptures of all religions are put together by thought. And thought is not sacred. Thought may worship the symbol which it has invented, by going to a temple, and all the things that are in it have been put there by thought, but not by some outside agency - man has done it, because out of his fear, out of his insecurity, out of his sorrow. So, please observe it, don't accept what the speaker is saying. He said you must have scepticism, doubt. Doubt your religions, question, don't accept. But observe how the world is divided by religions and each religion has its own particular form of sects by the hundred. So the religions, as it is now, is not religious.
So we are going to find out together when you totally deny, negate, that which is false because thought, as we have pointed out, is limited, because knowledge is limited, and whatever thought does as action, invents both technologically as well as psychologically, must be limited. So all the gods and all the temples, churches and all that are the product of thought, invented by thought, the rituals - all that. Now to find out what is a religious mind, one must totally negate all that, which means to have no fear whatsoever because these are the religious are born out of fear. When there is no fear at all, there is no need for god.
So, what is a religious mind? You understand my question? A human being, who has lived in illusion, and becomes aware of the illusion, either examines it carefully what that illusion is, how it is born and why one clings to that illusion, and when one negates that illusion - which is the gods, the temples, the whole circus that goes on in the name of religion is an illusion, totally unreal - when you negate the false, in that negation of the false there is truth. You understand all this? So one must have a clear mind to understand, clear heart to understand what is a religious mind. Your putting on sannyasi robes, putting on whatever you put round your neck is not you are not a religious man. It is mere pretension. You are what you are, with all your troubles, anxieties, loneliness, despair. By putting on these strange unfamiliar, dramatic, theatrical dresses doesn't show you are religious. I know you will laugh but you will continue to do the same thing tomorrow (laughter), because it doesn't mean a thing to you. You really do not want to find out a way of living which is truly religious, without gods, without following somebody, none of that, you are completely integrated, you have got such deep integrity. So we are going to examine together - not those people who have put on sannyasi robes, they can not examine because they are stuck their own particular groove - but those who are out of that class, out of that orbit, can examine closely what is a truly a religious mind.
To find that out we are going to examine together what is meditation. Without meditation, there is no religious mind. Without meditation, which is the outcome of total order in your house - it is not the other way round, meditate first and then order. If you meditate without order you are merely living in a series of fantasies, imagination, romantic illusions. So to find out for ourselves what is truly, actually a religious mind we must observe the nature of meditation.
Why should we meditate at all? Is it necessary to meditate? The classical meditation is practise, control; control thought so it quietens down, practise, follow a system, discipline, torturing yourself to meditate. And to meditate classically is to take certain postures, sit cross legged, do all that circus that you go through. Here, if I may, if one may tell you a story of a teacher who was sitting on the banks of a river and he was looking at the flowing waters, the beauty of the waters, the ripple of the waters, the line of the bank, the pure waters flushing against it, and as he is looking, a man comes, a disciple saying, 'Master, please teach me what truth is'. So he takes a position - the disciple - sits cross legged and closes his eyes. And the master, or the teacher - I am afraid not the guru - picks up two pieces of stone and is rubbing one against the other. And the disciple who has come to meditate and find truth from the master, hears this peculiar noise of two stones rubbing. He opens his eyes and sees the master rubbing two pieces of stone. And he says, 'Master what are you doing?' He says, 'I am rubbing two pieces of stone in order to make them into a mirror by rubbing'. And the disciple says, 'Master, if I may tell you, you will never make a mirror by picking up two rocks and rubbing. You can do that everlastingly, you will never succeed'. And so the master says, 'Sitting like that, shutting your eyes and thinking you're meditating, you will never meditate'. Do you have humour? Does humour exist in your lives? To laugh, not at somebody, not at some joke, stupid joke, but to have laughter in your eyes, in your mind, in your mouth. Laughter. That is necessary. If you don't know how to laugh at yourself you will never be able to laugh at all.
So, we are together observing what is meditation. Practice, the everyday practice, practice makes the brain mechanical, dull, which it is already when it practises. You understand this? It is only the dull mind that practises meditation, not an active, alert, watchful, vital mind. It is the mind that says, I am going to, through practice, get something, achieve some spiritual heights. So, any system of meditation is merely following a pattern, convenient, satisfying, but it has no meaning whatsoever where meditation is concerned. Because meditation requires, as we have said, total order in your life. And because we do not know how to bring about that holistic order, we invent all kinds of tricks and entertainments. And part of meditation, classical, which probably you do, is a form of entertainment. It doesn't affect your life whatsoever.
So, if you deny, as we said, negate that which is false, then in that false you find what is truth. You have negated all the systems of meditation because you yourself see that these systems are invented by thought, put together by a clever man, or unclever man generally, unintelligent man, not a spiritual man, put together, and you are gullible, we want to have some deep satisfaction, some love, something that is stable, permanent, everlasting because our lives are so shoddy, so uncertain, we want something that is immutable, non changeable, and we think we will get it if we do certain things. Those things are invented by thought and thought in itself is contradictory. So any form of structure in meditation put together by thought is not meditation, whether it is Zen, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian - it is not. You understand what this means? A total denial, negate totally everything that man has invented, psychologically, not technologically, you can't deny that - here it is right in front of me. But all the things that man has created in search for truth, and writes about it. And we, wanting all the escape from our weariness and sorrow and agony, we fall into that trap.
So, one must totally deny all postures, all breathing, all activities of thought. When you have done that, negate all that, then the question arises: can thought come to an end? That is, thought as time. Can time have a stop? The time - not the external time but the time which is becoming something, becoming enlightened, becoming non-violent, a vain man tries to becomes humble. This whole pattern of becoming, psychologically, is time. Time, we said is also thought. Can thought come to an end? Not through discipline, not through control, because who is the entity who disciplines the meditator - you understand? You follow this?
There is always in us this sense of duality - the controller and the controlled, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experienced, the thinker and the thought. There is always this divisive duality in us. Probably it is brought over from physical observation, that is, there is duality, there is light and shade, dark and night, and there is man, woman and so on - there is duality. We have probably brought that over into the field of the psyche. So there is is there a controller which is different from the controlled? Please, go into this very carefully. In meditation, classical, the ordinary, the much talked-about, made a lot of propaganda and all the gurus who are propagating it, coining money, they are always concerned with the controller and the controlled. They have always said, control your thoughts, because thereby you will end thought or have only one thought. But we are enquiring into who is the controller. You might say he is the higher self, he is the witness, he is something which is not thought. But the controller is part of thought. Right? Obviously. So the controller is the controlled. Thought has divided itself as the controller and that which he is going to control. It is still the activity of thought. You follow all this? Right? It is a strange phenomena, that thought has invented gods and then thought begins to worship them, have you noticed that? That's self-worship. You understand?
So, when one understands the wholeness of this movement of the controller is the controlled, then there is no control at all. This is a dangerous thing to say to people who have not understood this. You will probably say he is advocating, the speaker is advocating, no control. I am sure you will say that, because you really have no control either. But we are not saying that, we are saying, where there is the observation that the controller is the controlled, the thinker is the thought, then if you remain with that whole truth, with that reality, without any further interference with our thought, then you have totally different kind of energy. So, meditation is the summation of all energy, not the energy created by thought through friction, but the energy of a state of mind in which all conflict has completely ceased.
Religion, the meaning of that word etymologically, probably means gathering together, gathering together all your energy so that you can act diligently. A religious mind acts diligently. That is, caring, watching, observing. In that observation there is affection, compassion. And concentration is another invention of thought. In school you are told to concentrate on the book. You learn to concentrate, trying to exclude other thoughts, trying to prevent yourself from looking out of the window. There is, in concentration, there is resistance, narrowing down this enormous energy of life into a certain point. Whereas attention, which is a form of an awareness in which there is no choice, a choiceless awareness, in that attention all your energy is there. When you have such attention there is no centre from which you are attending. Whereas in concentration there is always a centre from which you are attending. Right?
Then also we ought to talk over together space. We have no space, both physically, the way one lives in the modern world, apartment on the top of another apartment, there is no space outwardly. And inwardly we have no space at all, because our minds our brains, are constantly chattering, active. So, meditation is to understand or come upon that space which is not put together by thought, space as 'the me' and the 'not me'. I hope you are understanding all this. Are you getting all tired? I am surprised. Because without space, not invented space, the idea of space, but actual space, that is, vast distance, limitless distance, our observation, unhindered is this perpetual movement, without any barrier, that is vast space. And in that vast space there is no time. Time has stopped long ago - time as thought, because thought has understood, or the observer or observation has seen that thought has its place and thought has no other place. You understand? Thought has space, has... Thought has, as knowledge, time, space. When you want to learn a technique and do not know how to become a carpenter but I need space, that is, time to learn the skill as a good master carpenter. There I need time. But psychologically there is no accumulation of any past event. There is always that awareness that cleanses the brain from any accumulation as memory. Memory is necessary at a certain level - at the psychological level, that is, 'the me' progressing, 'the me' achieving, 'the me', conflict, all that has come to an end long ago because you have put your house in order.
Then the mind - or rather let's talk about the brain - the brain has its own rhythm but that rhythm has been distorted by our extravagance, by our ill-treating the brain through drugs, through faith, through belief, through drink, smoking and all that has distorted the brain. It has lost its own pristine vitality. So, meditation is the sense of total comprehension as a whole of life and from that, right action. And meditation is absolute silence of the mind, not relative silence or the silence that thought has projected and structured, but the silence of order, which is freedom. Only when that total, complete, unadulterated silence then there that is which is truth, which is everlasting from everlasting - this is meditation.