Your consciousness is not separate from humanity’s
The shared consciousness of humanity
2nd Public Talk, New Delhi
November 07, 1983
May we continue with what we were talking about yesterday evening. We were saying, weren't we, that we all have images, not only psychological images but images outside of us. And these images separate man from man - the national image, the religious images, and so on. They have been one of the causes, perhaps the major cause of war. Ideals have divided man, ideologies, the left, extreme left, extreme right and the centre, they are all ideologies and they have separated man. Ideas - the original meaning of that word 'idea', from the Greek, meant 'to observe', not to make an abstraction of what one observes - ideas, ideals, beliefs, faith, a particular devotion to a particular ideal, image and so on, throughout the world for the last millennium, they have divided man against man. And we still carry those ideals, those images, conclusions. And we seem to be never free from any of those things. One asks why, if one is at all aware of what is happening in the world, what is happening in ourselves psychologically, inwardly, inside the skin as it were, why do men, intelligent, have studied history, why do such people carry ideals? Why do you, if I may ask, if one may ask most politely, why do you have ideals? Are we aware, if we have them, that they separate people and therefore bring about conflict? Is it because in those ideals, conclusions, opinions we find security, however fleeting, however transient they be, we find a certain sense of protection, certain sense of achievement, trying to achieve something. And that gives us a great deal of energy. I do not know if you have not observed the deeply committed idealists, how dangerous they are. And if one is aware that these images created by the hand or by the mind, by thought, have been again a great contributory factor to war. That is, to kill man by another man, inhumanity, bestiality, and that has been the lot of man for thousands upon thousands of years, and we are still going on with it, though we are supposed to be more advanced, more progressive, but we are really, inwardly, psychologically quite primitive, quite barbarous, barbarians. I hope, one hopes you do not mind the speaker using all these words - they apply.
And, as we were saying yesterday, in relationship, however intimate, however casual, however passing, in that relationship we create images about each other. You certainly have an image about the speaker otherwise you wouldn't be sitting here, and so the image becomes far more important than what is being said. What is being said becomes irrelevant when the image, the reputation, all that nonsense intervenes, acts as a block so that you don't actually listen to what the speaker is saying. So could we this evening put aside our opinions, our images and look, because where there are images there is no humility. The essence of humility is to be free of all images. You cannot cultivate humility, because we are arrogant people, proud in our knowledge, in our achievement, in our thinking. And so knowledge prevents us from being extraordinarily aware of the depth and the beauty of humility. It is only when there is such humility one begins to learn about oneself, about the world, and ask if there is something far beyond the measure of thought. And as we were saying yesterday, we have lived with conflict all the days of our life. Till we die everything has become a conflict. And one of the causes of conflict, as we said, is the formation and the cultivation and the nourishing of these images. And, as we said yesterday too, you are not hearing a lecture, a sermon, but together as two friends who are concerned seriously with the world, the appalling state it is in and our own confusion, our own anxiety, fear, and our own sorrow, that is our daily life. To understand that daily life, hypothesis is not necessary, no theory, no conclusion, because those conclusions, theories, hypotheses, suppositions are unreal. What is real is our daily life. And if our daily life is confused, is in disorder, our society, our environment becomes also disorderly, confused. We have said all this yesterday.
And also we said that our brains, which evolved through millennia upon millennia, our brains which is the centre of all our thinking, which is the centre of all our reactions and actions, it is the centre also of all of our consciousness. That brain which has extraordinary capacity in one direction, in the direction of war, science, medicine, surgery, hygiene, transportation and so on, it has got extraordinary capacity, far more perhaps than the computer, though they are trying to find out the ultimate mechanical intelligence, which is the computer. I don't know if you have gone into that question, or even talked to people about it. They are trying to bring about a computer that can think, act, invent gods, and all the human beings do, much more rapidly, instantly, though perhaps it cannot look at the beauty of the sky or the evening light or the solemn stillness of an evening. So our brains in one direction, materially, technologically has been capable of doing the most astonishing things, and in the other direction, psychologically, inwardly, the brain has remained more or less what it has been for thousands of years - primitive, brutal, violence and so on. And we are concerned not with the technological aspect of the brain and its capacity in that direction but with the conditioning of man, of human beings who have lived for so long upon this beautiful earth and are still very violent, without any sense of compassion, without any love and so on. Whether that brain, that is your brain, can be free from its own conditioning. That is to understand the whole content of its activity, whole content of its consciousness with its reactions, its inventions of gods and so on - the whole content. The content is what you are, what every human being in the world is: his fame, his belief, his anxiety, his guilt, his remorse, his fears and the pleasure pursuit, and the burden of infinite sorrow, and the search for permanent security. This is our consciousness. Nobody can deny that. You may add more to it, or take away something, but it is still a consciousness with all its reactions and responses, all the things that man throughout his existence has collected through experience, through knowledge, through thought. That is our consciousness. That is what we are.
I hope, one hopes, that you and the speaker are sharing this thing together, not merely listening to what he is saying, which is also important, but far more important that we look at the thing together. Not the speaker looks and then conveys it to you either to accept or deny, but rather together intelligently, sanely, with a sense of affection look, look what we are, not what we should be. The 'what we should be' is unreal. It has no meaning, whether you are going to be a great man in the next life or a saint, all that stuff is unreal, it has no validity, it has no stability. And if we lay our foundation on something unreal, a world of make-belief then we are escaping, running away from reality of our daily life.
And we are thinking together. Please, this is important. Not I think and then convey it to you, but rather that you and the speaker are treading the same road, taking the same journey however slowly, however carefully, observing every detail, not skipping anything, avoiding anything. Then we can communicate with each other. Then there is no resistance. It isn't the speaker knows and you don't know, but together to understand this extraordinary complex society which human beings have created, and their own life, their own house which is in such disorder. If we see it together then you don't want a leader, either politically, religiously or any other direction. If you see it for yourself the fact, not translate the fact according to your tradition, to your desire, but to look at the fact without any reaction. Then by looking at the fact very carefully, then the fact then reveals its whole content. Right? So please be good enough to think together.
Our concern is whether the human brain which is so conditioned, whether that brain which has such immense capacity and which has been held by condition, and as long as that condition exists it has no holistic energy. You understand the word 'holistic', a scientific word which means 'the whole'. And to find out for oneself by careful observation, not analysis. When you analyse, who is the analyser? Right? Is the analyser different from the analysed? You may analyse a tree, or the leviathan of the seas, the waves, the dolphins - one does not know if you have seen the beauty of a dolphin. I won't go into all that for the moment, that's not my business. Those you can analyse by careful study something outside of you. So when you analyse yourself who is it that is analysing? You understand my question? Is the analyser different from the analysed? I'll show it to you. Why does one have to explain a very simple thing? One hasn't got to explain the beauty of a sky, the beauty of an evening star, the love of a person; you don't analyse, you love. You see, if you begin to analyse love and find out you love somebody because it gives you comfort, it gives you a sense of security, then that is not love. So, please find out for yourself the significance of analysis. Apart from the professional psychiatrists, psychologists, apart from them you have to learn, understand your whole structure of yourself. If you depend on a therapist, psychotherapist, or psychiatrist and so on, then you are always depending on somebody. But if one can discover for oneself the truth of all this, then there is no dependence on anybody. That gives you tremendous energy, vitality and clarity.
So it is not a question of analysis. We are not analysing the content of consciousness. We are observing. If you observe as though it was something outside of you then there is a gap between you and that which you observe. What you observe, is it not yourself? You can't separate yourself from what you are. You may analyse, but that separation is still the analyser who is also being analysed. You follow all this? So analysis is totally irrelevant. What is relevant is observation, how you observe yourself. If the observer is examining what he sees, or translating what he sees, then the observer separates himself from the thing which he is observing. Are we getting nearer what I am trying to explain? That is, when you are angry, is that anger different from you? When you are jealous, as most people are, is that jealousy different from you? You are that jealousy, at that moment, when you are full of that feeling, which includes hate, antagonism, violence, at that moment, at that second you are that. Then a few seconds or minutes later you say, 'I have been jealous'. Then you begin to analyse jealousy. You follow? You have separated yourself from the fact. So the observer is the past - right? - the past accumulated knowledge about jealousy. And that accumulated knowledge is the observer who says, I am different from that feeling which I have had some time before. Right? So, can you observe is there an observation without the observer? You understand all this? I don't know why I have got to explain all this silly thing but we will.
When you look at your friend, or your wife, or your husband, or your girlfriend, can you look, observe, without a single thought? You can't. To observe your wife and so on is not possible because of all the knowledge you have acquired, gathered about her and she about you. That knowledge prevents you from looking. Right? That is simple. If I have met you before, I have a certain image of you and the next time I meet you I project that image. Therefore I don't meet you at all. Whereas to observe without knowledge - you understand? If I want to understand you, I can't say, he is a Hindu, he is a Sikh, he is this, he is that, German, British, that prevents me from understanding you. My opinions about you prevents me from understanding you. Therefore if I want to understand you with all my heart and mind I put all that aside. Then I observe. Are you doing that? Are you doing that now as we are talking, or you are going to do it some time later? The 'later, sometime' becomes an impediment. What is to be done is to be done now, not tomorrow. So, if that is at least slightly clear, and I hope, one hopes that is more clear than your faces show, we can proceed. We can proceed to examine, to observe - I won't use the word 'to examine' - to observe the content of our consciousness which is what you are, what each one of us is. This consciousness is shared by all humanity. Right? You go to the far west, California, there the human beings like you, in a different affluent world, they are like you - angry, jealous, violent, insecure, uncertain about themselves, just like you. Right? You come nearer, Europe, though they be German, British, Czechoslovak or Yugoslav and so on, or the amusing Italians, they are all like you. They worship their own particular god, and you worship your own particular god, out of fear. If you are free of fear you don't have gods. Right? We will go into that later.
So this consciousness which you think is yours is shared by all humanity. Right? That is a fact. You don't need to have to have proof. You talk to an Englishman, he may be proud, reserved and so on, but when you get behind it he is just like the rest of mankind. He is unemployed, he goes to church hoping somebody will help him, somebody will give him a sense of sense of security. Right? Just like you, the rest of the world is. Right? You have to see that fact. It is not the speaker's invention. It is a fact. So, if your consciousness, which you have thought is yours, you find that it is shared by all humanity then you are no longer an individual. Right? That's a shock to you. You are no longer an individual. Right? And humanity throughout the ages has thought each person is separate, is a separate soul, separate atman and you know, all that stuff. And the whole sociological structure is based on that; you and me. You who have power and I have no power - you follow? - but when you realise the fact, the reality, the truth that all human beings share the same consciousness, because all human beings go through great travail, great trouble, great confusion, they hate, they quarrel, they are jealous, they are sexual and so on and so on. So you are no longer an individual. You understand that? You may like to think you are an individual - individual freedom, individual success, individual god, my own path different from yours. Do you understand all this? Therefore to realise that fact that you are no longer individual means a tremendous psychological change. It is not mere verbal description but it is a fundamental, radical revolution in the psyche that you are the entire humanity. Right? When one realises that, you will never kill another human being. It is like it is our earth, it is not Indian earth, it is not European earth, or the Russian earth, or the American, it is our earth, and we are the rest of humanity. You understand what that means? It gives you a great sense of compassion, a great sense of responsibility.
So let's proceed. To observe, not as you observe a fish in an aquarium, but to observe what we are. First of all, to observe we must understand the nature of thought, which we went into briefly yesterday, and also the nature of time. This becomes serious, please. Not that what we have said a few minutes ago was not serious, it was, it still is, but this requires a great deal of attention, a great deal of, not concentration - concentration is deadly to attention. It requires attention for you to look, to give your energy, the whole of your being to find out. We said thought is limited yesterday because thought is based on knowledge, and knowledge is based on experience. You see in the scientific world, through constant experience, one hypothesis after another, one theory after another, breaking it down, trying to prove it, accumulating more and more and more knowledge. No scientist worth his salt will ever say knowledge is complete. Right? No book, no religious book can ever be complete. It is written down by thought. The words used are the symbol of thought. So, please observe for yourself that your knowledge, your experience is always, will everlastingly be conditioned, limited. That is a fact. So your thinking is also limited. And any action born of thought, which is limited, must inevitably create conflict between you and another. Right? Because the very nature of thought is divisive, because it is limited. You follow? Not what the speaker is saying but you yourself are observing, seeing the fact, the truth for yourself that thought will always be limited because it is based on knowledge, based on experience. And as thought itself is a fragmentary is a fragment - right? - because it is limited, therefore the solution for all our problems is not through thought. I wonder is you you get it?
What is a problem? The meaning of that word, not the problem itself but what We say problem - what does that word mean? The root meaning of that word is 'something thrown at you' - you understand? - something which acts as a challenge to you. Right? That is the meaning of that word, from Latin and Greek and so on - I won't go into it - it's something actually thrown at you. That's a problem. And our brains from childhood have been trained, educated to solve problems. Right? A child goes to the school and he has to learn mathematics - that becomes a problem to the child; then geography, then history, then - you follow? - biology and physics - everything becomes a problem. So his brain, which is your brain, is conditioned to solve problems. Right? So you never solve problems. You understand? I wonder if you understand this. If my brain is conditioned to solve problems I look at life as a problem; so I am always trying to solve problems of my life. Right? As the politicians are doing throughout the world, they are trying to solve problems, and so increasing problems. And they have never solved any problem because their brain - are there any politicians here? Forgive me! So their brains are trained, educated from childhood to solve problems, and therefore they have never solved any problem. On the contrary, they have increased problems. No, don't laugh at the politicians - you are also a politician. The politician is not different from you. So please understand this very important factor, that as long as your brain is trained to solve problems, as the brain itself become a problem, it can never solve it. You understand? So is it possible to have a brain that has no problems? Then only it can solve problems. You understand this? Please capture this. Please understand this at depth, not superficially. To live a life without a single problem. That means to be free the brain being free of its education to solve problems so that it can look at problems, because it is only when there is freedom it can observe. You know that word 'freedom' also implies affection, love. A mind burdened with problems can never love. I don't know if you understand all this. At least some of you do, I hope. Understand not intellectually but actually, and then put it in life.
So, our consciousness is not separate from the rest of humanity. That is a tremendous revelation, greater than any other revelation in any sacred book, because it then brings about a tremendous radical change. You are humanity. You understand this? So if you are, if your house is not in order, the rest of humanity is not in order. You understand? So, let us together examine - sorry - let us together observe the content of our consciousness, of ourselves.
One of the factors is thought and time. Thought has become the major factor. It is the only factor, because it has accumulated the whole content of our consciousness. Thought, as we said, is born of experience, knowledge, stored in the brain as memory, and from memory thought exists. This whole process is instantaneous. And that thought is limited. Right? This is clear, simple. Then we must look at time, because for us time is extraordinarily important - the tomorrow with its hope, with its danger, with its sense of achievement - the tomorrow. That tomorrow may be a hundred tomorrows, but it is still tomorrow. That tomorrow is the time of yesterdays. Right? Do you understand all this? Yesterday - when you say yesterday, it is already the past and therefore it is part of time. When you say, 'It's twelve o'clock', it means it's past eleven o'clock. So yesterday and many thousand yesterdays are the result of a continuous movement of time. Right? Right, sir - you understand? Time, not only physical time, but psychological time - I will be; I am not, but I will be. That is time. I am not good - would any of you say that? You won't. I am not good but I will be good. I am ignorant but I will be learned. This life has been unsatisfactory, miserable, perhaps next life. The next life is what you are now. Right? If you don't change now you will be what you are tomorrow. Only we postpone to the next life - if there is next life - but we won't go into that for the moment.
So, time to achieve, to learn, to become, to become a success, to find enlightenment, to meditate. Time, both chronologically as well as psychologically is tremendously important. Right? Because your whole life is based on time. Your business, your learning about technology, learning about computer, learning a new language, learning how to drive a car, how to play a violin, or this or that, that requires time. Please listen to this carefully. To learn a language requires time. To learn about any technology requires time. That same requiring time is extended to the psychological field. You understand? I need time to learn how to drive a car. So I also need time to learn about myself. It is the same movement. Right? Are you following this? So we must understand the nature of time. There is time outwardly - right? - sun rises, sun sets. Sun rises at a certain time in the winter, sets at a certain time. Sun rises at mid summer at a certain time, sets at a certain time - spring, autumn and so on. All that is external time. But also we have an internal time which is based on becoming. Right? I have an ideal of non-violence, which you are so fond of, and in the meantime I am violent, and one day I am going to get there. Right? In the meantime I am going to be violent. So non-violence is a fallacy. It sounds good. All your saints have preached it, even the recent ones, and you like that. But the fact is that you are violent. That is fact and non-violence is a non-fact. Right? Face it. If you are pursuing non-violence you are really avoiding the actual fact of your being violent. And to face that is more important than the pursuit of non-violence. However much you may talk about non-violence you are actually terribly violent people.
So, there are these two factors in our life, major factors: thought and time. Right? You can't deny that, that's a fact. Are they separate? Is not thought time? Right? You are following all this? Please, I am not teaching you. I am only pointing out - not even pointing out, we are thinking together. We are both of us sharing the food, sharing the food that has been put before us. It is the food that matters, and the food, if it is properly balanced food, nourishes. And this food is thought and time, which you must share with the speaker. That means you must understand the nature of time, which is also very complex, as thought is. We are pointing out, both are movements. Thought is a movement and time is a movement. So they are one. It is not thought is separate, time is separate. Thought has created time. Right? I am this, I will be that. That movement is brought about by thought. I will be, I will achieve my ideal. That is a movement of thought including time. When you say, 'I will achieve', achievement means time. Right? I hope you see all this, together.
So these are the major factors of life: time plus thought. And to look, to observe the content of our consciousness, which is shared by all humanity, and therefore you are the rest are humanity. That's a marvellous thing if you understand it. That you are the rest of mankind. That you are not separate from the rest of mankind. So we can examine so we can observe our content, the content, which is shared by all living things. Sir, you understand? Then that thing is sacred. That is the most the holiest of things, because then there is no separation, there is no division. Then your wife is you and you are the wife. Oh, you don't
The thing we worship is not love. Your scriptures, your books, your gurus, your temples, in there there is no truth. Truth is to be found in the understanding of your whole being. And is it very near - you don't have to go very far to find truth. You don't have to go to Kashi, to Mecca, to Rome. It is there where you are. Forgive the speaker for his passion.
So let us observe one of the contents of our consciousness. From childhood we are psychologically being hurt. That is a fact. The parents hurt, society hurts, the school with their examinations, with their marks, with their comparison, hurt the child. Right? This is a fact. And we carry this hurt throughout life. And that hurt makes us build a wall round ourselves, so as not to be hurt any more. Have you not noticed this? Have you not been hurt from childhood? All of us? Of course - obvious. It shows in your face. And what is it that is hurt? You say, 'I am hurt' - what is 'you' that is hurt? The image that you have built about yourself. Right? That is hurt and you have identified yourself with that image. If you had no image you would never be hurt. Right? Which means you have no identification with anything. You follow all this? Where there is identification, with a family, with a country, with an ideal, you are always going to be bruised, shaken, hurt, frightened.
So can you live - please, this is a very serious question - can you live without a single image? Otherwise you will always be hurt and also you will never have the beauty of humility. So, to become aware of your image that is hurt and in that awareness be intensely aware without any choice - don't choose, you can't choose in awareness. If you are aware of your now, as you are sitting under a tent, a marquee, if you are aware of all the colour as you come in, the shape of the tent, the person sitting next to you, the clothes he is wearing - just to observe. Not say, 'I don't like that colour', or like the man I am sitting next to, he smells or he is not clean, or his shirt is not the colour I like. Then your awareness is limited. But if you are aware without any choice, without any direction, then that awareness reveals everything. So, to be aware of the image that you have about yourself, about another, that image of nationality, identified with a nation and so on, that image, as long as you have it, is going to have grief, (loud bang) - sorry - pain, gets hurt. So the question is: can you live without any image? One can. (Loud bang) They are having a lot of fun, aren't they?
If you understand, if you see the fact - fact that as long as you have an image and identify with that image you are going to have great problems. And your brain is trained to solve problems, therefore you are caught in problems. But if you see the fact, not as a problem, that as long as you have an image it must be shattered by somebody, therefore you get hurt. Which means one of the contents of our consciousness is fear. Shall I go into it now?
It is a very complex problem because we have lived with fear all the days of our lives. It is a dark shadow. It is something humanity has borne, carried for millions of years. Each one, we know what fear is: fear of the past, of things (loud bang) Fear of the past, the remorse, the guilt, the things that have been done that shouldn't have, the regrets. Fear is very complex. And to understand fear, not verbally, not merely intellectually, but to face the fact that each one of us is scared, frightened. And we have never been able to solve that problem. We carry it with us as our shadow. Fear means to be alone, to find oneself lonely, unloved and seeking love, fear of what might happen, lose my job, I will be one of the unemployed. There are people, sir, in the world that do not know what work is. For the rest of their life they will never work, not because they are crippled but because society, governments are so limited, so narrow, so brutal that thousands upon thousands, like in England nearly four million people are unemployed, and in this country god knows how many - those people are afraid. You may have a good job, you may have security, but there is always this fear of tomorrow. Not only the fear of tomorrow but the fear of death, fear of never being whole, complete. So fear is an extraordinarily complex problem, not to be dealt with in a few minutes. It is a vast area of our life and in that area you must tread very slowly, carefully, tentatively. It is not how to end fear, but in the very understanding the depth of it, the quality of it, there is an end to that fear completely that can never return, a freedom absolute, psychological freedom from fear. Then no god, no prayer, no scripture exists. It is only the fearful mind, fearful brain that seeks security in things illusory.
So, as it is now a quarter past seven we'll have to stop. We'll go on, go into all this next Saturday and Sunday.