Your image of yourself prevents relationship with others
The transformation of man
5th Small Group Discussion, Brockwood Park
May 19, 1976
Krishnamurti: You know, we were talking about the necessity of human beings changing, and why they don't change, why they accept these intolerable conditions of human psyche. I think we ought to go, or approach the same thing from a different angle: who has invented this unconscious?
Shainberg: Who has invented it? I think the unconscious, there is a difference between what we call the unconscious and what is the unconscious. The word is not the thing.
K: Yes, the word is not the thing. Who has thought it up?
S: Well, I think the history of the thinking about the unconscious is a long and involved process. I think it began...
K: May we ask, have you an unconscious?
S: Have I? Again, we are into a language problem here.
S: Have I an unconscious.
K: Are you aware of your unconscious? Do you know if you have an unconscious that is operating differently, or trying to give you hints, you know, all that, are you aware of all that?
S: Yes. I am aware of an aspect of myself. I look at it a little differently: I look at it that there is an aspect of myself that is aware incompletely. That is what I call the unconscious. It is aware of my experience, or aware of the events in an incomplete way. That's what I call the unconscious. Now it uses symbols and different modes of telling, of understanding, in other words a dream where I am discovering jealousy - in the dream - right? - that I wasn't aware of.
K: Quite, quite, quite. But would you also give importance, Dr Bohm, to a feeling that there is such a thing?
Bohm: Well, I don't know what you mean by that. I think we can there are phenomena that there are some things we do whose origin we are not aware of. You see, we react, we use words in a habitual way.
S: We have dreams.
B: We have dreams, I mean I suppose we...
K: I am going to question all that because I am not sure...
S: You are not questioning that we have dreams?
K: No. But I want to question, or ask the experts, if there is such a thing as the unconscious. For me somehow I don't think it has played any important part in my life at all.
S: Well, it depends on what you mean by the unconscious, right.
K: I will tell you what I mean. Something hidden, something incomplete, something that I have to go after consciously or unconsciously, you know, go after and discover it, unearth it, explore it and expose it.
S: Right, right.
K: See the motive, see the hidden intentions.
S: Right, right.
B: Well, could we make it clear that there are some things people do where you can see they are not aware of what they are doing, but some things of the nature of thought.
K: I don't quite follow.
B: Well, people, for example, this Freudian slip of the tongue, you know, that somebody makes a slip of the tongue which expresses his will, intention, you see.
K: Oh, yes, yes, yes, I didn't mean that. Quite.
S: That would be an unconscious - that is what people would think of as the unconscious.
You see I think there are two problems here, if I can just put in a technical statement here. There are those people, and there has arisen in the history of thinking about the unconscious, people who think that there are things, like the unconscious is a thing and that there are things in the unconscious which are there and must be lifted out. Then I think that there is a large group of people now who think of the unconscious as areas of behaviour, areas of response, areas of experience that are not clear, all the connections, we aren't aware, totally aware of all that goes into what happened; so that in the daytime you might have, let's say, an experience of stress, or like you would say, disorder, you didn't finish with the experience and at night you go through reworking it in a new way.
K: Reworking. I understand all that.
S: You have new So that would be the unconscious in operation. You get other let's say, from the past or from previous programmes of action.
K: I mean, the collective unconscious, the racial unconscious.
B: There's also, let's say somebody has been deeply hurt in the past, and you can see his whole behaviour is governed by that. But he doesn't know, he may not know it.
K: Yes, that I understand.
S: But his response is always from the past.
K: Always, quite. What I am trying to find out is why we have divided it, the conscious and the unconscious. Or is it one unitary total process, moving? Not hidden, not concealed but moving as a whole current. And we come along, these clever brainy birds come along and split it up and say there is the unconscious and the conscious, the hidden, the incomplete, the storehouse of racial memories, family memories, genes, all that.
S: The reason that happened, I think, is that, well just partially explained, is the fact that Freud and Jung and these people that were seeing patients, out of which grew so much of the knowledge about the unconscious, would see patients, people who had separated it, had fragmented off this movement that you are talking about.
K: That's what I want to get at.
S: Right. In other words, a woman who says that she is - the whole history of hysteria, you know, where patients couldn't move their arm, you know.
K: I know.
S: You know about that. And then if you open up the memories and then they eventually can move their arm. So they put two and two together, I know they don't think it worked that way but that is the way they did it. Or there were people who had dual personalities.
K: What I am trying to Is it an insanity - not insanity - is it a state of mind that divides everything, that says, there is the unconscious, conscious? It is a process of fragmentation also.
B: Well, wouldn't you say that certain material is made, even Freud has said, that certain material is made unconscious by the brain because it is too disturbing.
K: That is what I want to get at.
S: It is fragmented.
B: I mean that is well known in all schools of psychology.
S: That's right. That is what I am saying. That it is fragmented off and that then was called the unconscious. What is fragmented is the unconscious.
K: I understand that.
B: But I meant, would one say that the brain itself is on purpose in some sense holding it separate to avoid it?
K: Yes, avoid facing the facts.
S: That's right.
B: Yes. So that it is not really separate from consciousness.
K: That is what I want to get at. You see?
S: Right. It isn't separate from consciousness, the brain has organised in a fragmented way.
B: Yes, but then it is a wrong terminology to call it that. The word 'unconscious' already implies a separation.
K: That's it, separation.
B: To say there are two layers, for example, the deep unconscious and the surface consciousness, that structure is implied. But now this other notion is to say that structure is not implied, but rather, certain material wherever it may be is simply avoided.
S: That's right. That is the way I think about it.
K: I don't want to think about somebody because he has hurt me. That is not the unconscious, it's I don't want to think about it.
S: That's right.
K: I am conscious he has hurt me and I don't want to think about it.
B: But there is a kind of a paradoxical situation arises, because eventually you become so good at it that you don't realise you are doing it. I mean that seems to happen, you see.
K: Yes, yes, yes.
B: People become so proficient at avoiding these things that they cease to realise they are doing it.
S: That's right.
B: It becomes habitual.
S: That is right. I think this is what happens. That these kinds of things, the hurts...
K: The wound remains.
S: ...the wound remains and we forget that we have forgotten.
K: The wound remains.
B: Yes, I think we remember to forget, you see! (Laughs)
K: We remember to Yes. (Laughs)
S: We remember to forget and the process, actually the process of therapy is helping the remembering and the recall, to remember you have forgotten, and then to understand the connections of why you forgot, and then the thing can move in a more holistic way, rather than being fragmented.
K: Do you consider, or feel that you have been hurt?
K: And want to avoid it? Or, being hurt, resist, withdraw, isolate, the whole picture being the image of yourself being hurt and withdraw, all that - do you feel that when you are hurt?
S: Yes, I feel - how to put it I think, I think it is...
K: I am interested in this, let's go into this.
S: Yes, I feel there is definitely a move not to be hurt, not to have that image, not to have that whole thing changed because if it is changed it seems to catapult into that same experience that was the hurt. You see it may not This is hurt but this has a resonation with that unconscious which reminds me. You see, I am reminded of being hurt deeply by this more superficial hurt.
K: I understand that.
S: So that I avoid hurt, period.
K: Can the brain have a shock? Of course, the biological, physical shock, but the psychological brain (laughs), if we can call it that, must it be hurt? Is that inevitable?
S: No, I don't think so. It is only hurt with reference to something.
K: No. I am asking you: can such a psychological brain, if I can use those two words, never be hurt under any circumstances? Given you know, family life, husband, wife, bad friends, so-called enemies, all that is going on around you and never get hurt? Because apparently this is one of the major wounds in human existence - to get hurt; the more sensitive you are, the more aware, you get more and more hurt, more and more withdrawn. Is this inevitable?
S: You're asking me?
S: I don't think it is inevitable, but I think it happens frequently, I mean more often than not. And it seems to happen when there is - how can I describe it - an attachment is formed and then the loss of the attachment. You become important to me, what you think. You become important to me, I like you, or I get involved with you, then it becomes important to me that you don't do anything that disturbs that image.
K: That is, in that relationship between two people the picture that we have of each other, the image, that is the cause of hurt.
B: Well, it also goes the other way: that we hold those images because of hurt, I mean.
K: Of course, of course.
B: Where does it start?
K: That is what I want to get at.
S: That is what I want to get at too.
K: No, he pointed out something.
S: Right. I know he did, yes.
B: Because the past hurt gives a tremendous strength to the image, the image which helps us to forget it - right?
S: That's right.
K: Now is this wound in the unconscious? We'll use the word 'unconscious' in quotes for the time being - is that hidden?
S: Well, I think you are being a little simplistic about that, because what is hidden is the fact that I have had the event happen many times, it happened with my mother, it happened with my friends, it's happened before, in school, where I cared about somebody and then the image - it's like you form the attachment and then the hurt.
K: I am not at all sure through attachment it comes.
S: I think it is something. May be it is not attachment, that is the wrong word, but there is something there that happens. What happens that I form a relationship with you where an image becomes important? What you do to me becomes important.
K: You have an image about yourself.
S: That's right. And you are saying that I like you because you are confirming my image?
K: No, apart from like and dislike, apart from like and dislike, you have an image about yourself.
K: I come along, put a pin in that image.
S: No, first you come along and confirm it.
B: The hurt will be greater if you first come along and be very friendly to me and confirm the image, and then suddenly you put a pin in me.
K: Of course, of course, that's - of course.
B: But even somebody who didn't confirm it, if he puts the pin in properly he can produce that hurt.
K: That's what I
S: That's right. That's not unconscious. But how come, like you said, why did I have the image to begin with? That is unconscious.
K: Is it unconscious? That is what I want to get at. Or it is so obvious that we don't look? You follow what I am saying?
S: I follow what you're saying, yes. I am with you on this.
K: We put it away. We say it is hidden. I question it, whether it is hidden at all; it is so blatantly obvious.
S: I wonder if all the ingredients of it are. I tell you, I don't feel all parts of it are obvious.
B: I think that we hide it in one sense, you see, say we say that this hurt means that everything is wrong with the image, but we hide it by saying everything is all right, you see, for example. In other words, the thing that is obvious may be hidden by saying it is unimportant, that we don't notice it.
S: Yes, we don't notice it, but it like I get the feeling as we are talking, personally I get the feeling there is a kind of, I ask myself what is it that kind of generates the image, what is that hurt?
K: Ah, we will come to that, we'll come to that. I am trying... we are enquiring, aren't we, into the whole structure of consciousness.
S: Right, right. That is just what we are enquiring into, that's what I was coming
K: Into the nature of consciousness. We have broken it up into the hidden and the open. It may be the fragmented mind is doing that.
S: That's right.
K: And therefore strengthening both.
K: The division grows greater and greater and greater.
S: The fragmented mind is...
K: ...doing this. Now most people have an image about themselves, practically everybody.
S: Right. Practically everybody, yes.
K: It is that image that gets hurt. And that image is you, and you say, 'Well, I am hurt'.
B: Well, it is the same as we were discussing this morning.
B: You see, if I say I have a pleasant self-image, then I attribute the pleasure to me - right? - and say, that's real. Then if somebody hurts me then the pain is attributed to me and I say, that's real too - right? It seems that if you have an image that can give you pleasure then it must be able to give you pain.
K: Pain, yes.
B: There is no way out of that.
S: Well, the image tends to be self-perpetuating, like you were saying about difficult relation.
B: I think people hope that the image will give them pleasure. Right?
K: Pleasure only.
B: Only pleasure, but the very mechanism that makes pleasure possible makes pain possible because you see the pleasure comes if I say, 'I think I am good', and that 'I' is also sensed to be real, which makes that goodness real; but then if somebody comes along and says, 'You are no good, you are stupid', and so on then that too is real, and therefore very significant. I mean it makes it hurt. Right?
K: The image brings both pleasure and pain.
K: Put it very, very simply.
B: I think people would hope for an image that would bring only pleasure, but it can't be done.
S: People do hope, I mean there is no question about it. People not only hope for the image but they invest all their interest in their image, they see themselves as they say, 'I should not be this way because I am in fact the image'. So that they go both ways at the same time. That is the most curious thing about the mind. I am the image but when I discover that I am not the image then I should be that way because I really am that. So it works both ways.
B: But the image, you see, I think that if you make the self-image and you get what is implied in that; that is to say everything depends on having the self image right, you see. In other words...
S: That's right, everything.
B: ...the value of everything depends on this self image being right. So if somebody, you know, shows it's wrong, therefore everything, you know, is no good, everything is wrong.
S: That's right.
K: We are always giving new shape to the image.
S: That's right.
B: But I think that this image means everything, you see, this is where there is so it gives it tremendous power.
S: The entire personality is directed to the achievement of this image. In other words, everything else takes second place.
K: Are you aware of this?
S: Yes, I am aware of it.
K: How? What is the beginning of this?
K: Please, just let me summarise first. Every human being practically has an image about himself, of which he is unconscious, or not aware.
S: That's right. Usually it's some sort of idealised...
K: Idealised, or not idealised, it is an image.
S: That's right. It is an image, it's idealised and they must have it.
K: They have it.
B: They have it.
S: They have, I mean, they must get all their actions towards 'must have it'. In other words to accomplish it, to realise it.
B: I think one feels one's whole life depends on the image.
K: Yes, that's right.
S: Depression is when I don't have it.
K: We will come to that. Then the next question: how does it come into being?
S: Well, I think it comes into being when as children there is this hurt and there is the feeling that there is no other way in which this hurt can be assuaged. Really it works in the family in some way. You are my father and I understand through my watching you that if I am smart you will like me. Right?
K: Quite. We agree.
S: I learn that very quickly. So I am going to make sure I get that love, so I am going to go from here to there. I am going to become that.
K: That is all very simple. But I am asking: the beginning of it. The origin of making images about oneself.
B: You see if I had no image at all then I would never get into that, would I?
K: Yes, that is what I want to get at.
B: You see why does...
S: If I never made images.
B: Yes. If I never made any image at all, no matter what my father did that would have no effect, would it?
K: I think this is very important.
S: That is the question.
K: Very important.
B: Well, no. Yes, I am saying may be the child can't do it, but suppose so.
K: I am not sure, I am not at all sure.
B: Perhaps he can, but I am saying at least under ordinary conditions he doesn't manage to do it.
S: You are suggesting that the child already has an image that he has been hurt.
K: Ah, no, no. I don't know. We are asking.
B: But suppose there were a child who made no image of himself.
S: OK, let's assume he has no image.
B: Then he cannot get hurt.
K: He can't be hurt.
S: Well, now, there you see, I think you are in very hot water, psychologically because a child...
K: No, we said, 'suppose'.
B: Not the actual child, you know, but rather suppose there were a child who didn't make an image of himself so he didn't depend on that image for everything. You see the child you talk about depended on the image that his father loves him.
S: That's right.
B: And therefore everything goes when his father doesn't love him, everything has gone. Right?
S: Right, right.
B: Therefore he is hurt.
S: That's right.
B: But if he has no image that he must have his father love him, then he will just watch his father.
S: The child who is watching his father... But let's say, let's look at it a little more pragmatically: here is the child and he is actually hurt.
B: Well, wait, he can't be hurt without the image.
S: Well, that's...
B: What is going to get hurt?
K: OK, there is no (laughs) It is like putting a pin into the air!
S: No, no, wait a second, now wait, but I am not going to let you guys get away with this! (Laughter) Here you have got this child, very vulnerable in the sense that he needs physiological support. He has enormous tensions.
K: Sir, agreed to all that. Such a child has an image.
S: No, no image. He is simply not biologically being supported.
K: No. Eh?
B: Well, he may make an image of the fact that he is not biologically supported. You see you have to get the difference between the actual fact that happens biologically and what he thinks of it. Right? Now you see I have seen a child sometimes dropped suddenly, and he really goes to pieces not because he was dropped very far but because that sense of...
K: Loss, insecurity.
B: ...security from his mother was gone. It seemed that everything had gone. Right? And he was totally disorganised and screaming, but he dropped only about this far, you see. But the point is he had an image of the kind of security he was going to get from his mother. Right?
S: That is the way the nervous systems works.
B: Well, that is the question, is it, I mean the thing we are discussing, is it necessary to work that way? Or is this the result of conditioning?
K: That's what - yes.
S: Yes, I would say yes.
K: This is an important question.
S: Oh, (laughs) terribly important.
K: Because when you've watched, been in America or in this country, children are running away from their parents, thousands are running away. The parents seem to have no control over them. They don't obey, they don't listen, they don't - you follow? They are wild.
K: And the parents feel terribly hurt. I saw on the TV what is happening in America. And the woman was in tears - you follow? She said, 'I am his mother, he doesn't treat me as a mother, he just orders me, give me a bottle of milk', and all the rest of it. And he has run away half a dozen times. And this is growing, this separation between the parents and the children is growing all over the world. They have no relationship between themselves, between each other. So what is the cause of all this, apart from sociological, economic pressures and all that, which makes the mother go and work and leave the child alone, and he plays, you know, all that, we take that for granted, but much deeper than that? Is it the parents have an image about themselves and the parents insist in creating an image in the children?
S: I see what you are saying.
K: And the child refuses to have that image but he has his own image. So the battle is on.
S: That is very much what I am saying when I say that initially the hurt of the child...
K: We haven't come to the hurt yet.
S: Well, but that is where I am trying to get at: what is in that initial relationship? What is the initial relationship between child...
K: I doubt if they have any relation. That is what I am trying to point out.
S: That's right, that's right. I agree with you. There is something wrong with the relationship. They have a relationship but it is a wrong relationship.
K: Have they a relationship?
S: They have a...
K: Look: young people get married, or not married. They have a child by mistake, or intentionally they have a child. The young people, they are children themselves, they haven't understood the universe, cosmos, order or chaos, they just have this child.
S: That's right. That is what happens.
K: And they play with it for a year or two and they say, 'For god's sake, I am fed up with this child', and look elsewhere. And the child feels left, lost.
S: That's right.
K: And he needs security, from the beginning he needs security.
K: Which the parents cannot give, or are incapable of giving - psychological security, the sense of 'you are my child, I love you, I'll look after you, I'll see that throughout life you behave properly - care'. They haven't got that, that feeling.
K: They are bored with it after a couple of years.
S: That's right.
K: Is it that they have no relationship right from the beginning, neither the husband, nor the wife, or boy or girl? It is only a sexual relationship, the pleasure relationship. In accepting that, they won't accept the pain principle involved with the pleasure principle.
S: That's right. They won't, and not only that, they won't let the child go through that.
K: The child is going through that.
S: Yes, but they do things that they don't let the child have the pleasure that goes all the way, nor do they let the child have the pain that goes all the way.
K: What I am trying to see is that there is actually no relationship at all, except biological, sexual, sensory relationship.
S: Yes, OK.
K: I am questioning it, I am not saying it is so, I am questioning it.
S: I don't think it is so. I think that they have a relationship, but it is a wrong relationship, that there are all kinds of...
K: There is no wrong relationship: it is a relationship, or no relationship.
S: Well, then we will have to say they have a relationship. Now we will have to understand the relationship. But I think that most parents have a relationship with their child.
B: Wouldn't you say it is the image that is related? You see, suppose the parent and child have images of each other, and the relationship is governed by those images, now the question is whether that is actually a relationship or not, or whether it is some sort of fantasy of relationship.
K: A fanciful relationship.
K: Sir, put it: you have children - forgive me if I come back to you - you have children. Have you any relationship with them? No, in the real sense of that word.
S: Yes. In the real sense, yes.
K: That means you have no image about yourself.
K: And you are not imposing an image on them.
S: That's right.
K: And the society is not imposing an image on them.
S: There are moments like that.
K: Ah, no, no, that is not good enough - like a rotten egg! (Laughs)
S: No, this is an important point.
B: If it is moments, it is not so. It is like saying a person who is hurt has moments when he is not hurt, but it is sitting there waiting to explode when something happens.
K: Happens, yes.
B: You see. So he can't go very far. It is like somebody who is tied to a rope, as soon as he reaches the limits of that rope he is stuck.
S: That is right.
B: So you could say, I am related as long as certain things are all right, but then beyond that point it sort of just blows up. You see what I am driving at?
S: I see what you are driving at.
B: That mechanism is inside there, buried, so that it dominates you potentially.
S: In fact what you just said is fact.
S: I will verify that that is what happens. In other words, there are, it seems that there are but it does seem that there are moments in which they are...
B: Well, it is like the man who is tied to a rope and he says there are moments when I can move wherever I like, but I can't really because if I keep on moving I am bound to come to the end.
S: That does seem to be what happens, in fact, that there is a reverberation in which there is yank-back.
B: Yes. Either I come to the end of the cord, or else something yanks the cord and then - but the person who is on the cord is really not free, ever.
S: Well, that's true, I mean, I think that is true.
B: You see in the same sense the person who has the image is not really related ever, you see.
K: Yes, that is just the whole point. You can play with it.
K: You can play with the verbal but actually you have no relationship.
S: You have no relationship as long as it is the image.
K: As long as you have an image about yourself you have no relationship with another. This is a tremendous revelation - you follow? It is not just an intellectual statement.
S: Let me share with you something: I resent this
K: I see that.
S: You see that. I mean I get rather angry with you. (Laughter) There is a real - and we have seen this in other places.
B: It always happens in analysis, doesn't it?
S: It happens in analysis. But I was thinking we had psychotherapy - in the meeting with the psychotherapists, this came up. There is a tremendous resentment to say that because I have the memory of times when I do have what I think is a relationship, yet I must be honest with you and say that after such relationship there inevitably seems to be this yank-back.
B: The yanking of the cord, yes.
S: Yes. The yank-back. So that I must, I mean resent... (Laughter) There is that. There is no question that the image - there is a place where you say you have a relationship with somebody but you will go just so far.
K: Of course, of course. That is understood.
S: And that's where the image comes in.
B: That's right. But then really the image controls it all the time because you see the image is the dominant factor. If you once pass that point, no matter what happens, the image takes over.
S: That's right. The image like that stuck for (inaudible)
B: Yes, it goes
S: It goes right down.
K: So, the image gets hurt. And the child, do you impose an image on the child? You are bound to because you have an image.
S: You are trying to.
B: You have to.
S: Well, you are working at it and the child picks it up, or he doesn't pick it up.
K: No, no. Because you have an image about yourself you are bound to create an image in the child.
S: That is right.
K: Ah, sir, that is it. You follow, you have discovered?
K: And society is doing this to all of us.
B: So you say the child is picking up an image just naturally, as it were, quietly and then suddenly it gets hurt.
K: Hurt. That's right.
B: So the hurt has been prepared and preceded by this steady process of building an image.
S: That's right. Well, you know, there is evidence, for instance, we treat boys differently from the way we treat girls.
K: No, no. Look at it: don't verbalise it too quickly.
B: You see if the steady process of building an image didn't occur then there would be no possibility, no basis, no structure to get hurt. You see that it. In other words, the pain is due entirely to some psychological factor, some thought which is attributed to me in saying, 'I am suffering this pain'. Whereas I was previously enjoying the pleasure of saying, 'My father loves me, I am doing what he wants.' Now comes the pain: 'I am not doing what he wants, he doesn't love me'.
K: Simple. Yes.
S: But what about the initial hurts? I mean the child
K: No, if you once... No
B: I think we have gone beyond that point.
K: Beyond that point.
S: I don't think we touched on the fact of the biological situation of the child feeling neglected.
B: Well, that is still - oh you mean - if the child is neglected, I mean, I think that he must pick up an image in that very process.
K: Yes. Of course. If you admit, once you admit, see the reality that as long as the parents have an image about themselves they are bound to give that image to the child, an image.
B: It is the image that makes the parent neglect the child.
S: Well, you are right there.
K: It is right.
S: There is no question as long as the parent is an image-maker and has an image, then he can't see the child.
K: And therefore gives an image to the child.
S: Right. You condition the child to be into something.
B: Yes. And at first perhaps through pleasure, then he will get hurt. But if he begins by neglecting him, you see I think the process of neglect is also the result of an image and he must communicate an image to the child as he neglects the child.
S: Which is neglect.
B: Yes, that neglect is the image which he communicates.
K: That's right. And also the parents are bound to neglect if they have an image about themselves.
B: That's right.
S: That's right. They must. Right.
K: It is inevitable.
S: Because they are fragmenting rather than seeing the whole.
B: Yes, the child will get the image that he doesn't matter to his parents.
S: Except in that fragment.
B: In the fragment they like and so on.
S: That's right. So if you are this way, I am with you, if you are not that way...
K: But you see society is doing this to every human being. Right? Church is doing it; churches, religions, politics, everything, culture around us is creating this image.
S: That is right.
K: And that image gets hurt, and all the rest of it.
Now, the next question is: is one aware of all this, which is part of our consciousness?
S: Right, right.
K: The content of consciousness makes up consciousness. Right? That is clear.
K: So one of the contents is the image-making, or may be the major machinery that is operating, the major dynamo, the major movement. Being hurt, which every human being is, can that hurt be healed and never be hurt again? That is, can a human mind which has accepted the image, which creates the image, put away the image completely and never be hurt. And therefore in consciousness a great part of it is empty, it has no content. I wonder...
S: Can it?
I really don't know the answer to that.
S: I know the answer only that I believe you could.
K: Who is the image-maker? What is the machinery or the process that is making images, making images? I may get rid of one image and take on another: I am a Catholic, I am a Protestant, I am a Hindu, I am a Zen monk, I am this, I am that. You follow? They are all images.
S: Right. Who is the image-maker?
K: You see after all if there is an image of that kind, how can you have love in all this?
S: We don't have an abundance of it.
K: We don't have it!
S: That's right. We have got a lot of images. That is why I say I don't know. I know about image-making.
K: It is terrible, sir, to have these... You follow?
S: Right. I know about image-making and I see it. And I see it even as you are talking about it. I can see it there and the feeling is one of, it is like a map, you know, you know where you are at, because if I don't make this image I will make another.
K: Of course, sir.
S: If you don't make this one you will make another.
K: We are saying is it possible to stop the machinery that is producing the images? And what is the machinery? Is it wanting to be somebody?
S: Yes. It is wanting to be somebody, it is wanting to know where, wanting to have, to reduce, well, somehow or other it seems to be wanting to handle the feeling that if I don't have it I don't know where I am at.
K: Being at a loss?
K: You see how clever. You see, being at a You follow? The feeling that you are at a loss, not to rely on anything, not to have any support, breeds more disorder. You follow?
B: Well, that is one of the images that was communicated to it as a child, to say that if you don't have an image of yourself you don't know what to do at all.
K: That is...
B: You don't know what your parents are going to do if you start acting without an image. (Laughs) I mean you may do something and they will just simply be horrified.
S: That's right.
K: The image is the product of thought. Right?
S: It is organised.
K: Yes, a product of thought. It may go through various forms of pressures and all the rest of it, a great deal of conveyor belt, and at the end produces an image.
S: Right. No question. I agree with you there, yes. It is definitely the product of thought and that thought seems to be like, you know, the immediate action in knowing where you are at; or in trying to know where you are at. It is like there is a space.
K: Can the machinery stop?
S: Can the machinery stop.
K: Can thought which produces these images, which destroys all relationship, and therefore no love - ah, not verbally, actually no love. Don't say, 'I love my...' - when a man who has got an image about himself says, 'I love my husband', or wife, or my children, it is just sentiment, romanticism, fanciful emotionalism.
K: So: as it is now there is no love in the world. There is no sense of real caring for somebody.
S: That is true. People don't.
K: The more affluent the worse it becomes. Not that the poor have this. I don't mean that. Poor people haven't got this either; they are after filling their stomachs, and clothes and work, work, work, work.
B: But still they have got lots of images.
K: Of course. I said both the rich and the poor have these images, including Brezhnev and Sakharov, or whoever it is.
K: And these are the people who are correcting the world. Right? Who say well, this must... you follow? They are the ordering of the universe. So I ask myself, can this image-making stop: stop, not occasionally - stop it. Because then I don't know what love means, I don't know how to care for somebody. And I think that is what is happening in the world because children are really lost souls, lost human beings, I have met so many, hundreds of them now, all over the world. They are really a lost generation. You understand sir? As the older people are a lost generation. So what is a human being to do? What is the right action in relationship? Can there be right action in relationship as long as you have an image?
K: Ah! No, sir, this is a tremendous thing - you follow?
S: That is why I was wondering. You see it seemed to me you made a jump there. You said all we know somehow or other is images, and image-making. That is all we know.
K: But we have never said, can it stop.
S: We have never said, can it stop. That is right.
K: We have never said, for god's sake, if it doesn't stop we are going to destroy each other.
B: You see, you could say that now the notion that it might stop is something more that we know, that we didn't know before. You see, in other words...
K: ...it becomes another piece of knowledge. (Laughs)
B: But I was trying to say that when you say 'all we know', it is the same thing as before. I feel that a block comes in.
S: Oh, you are back to that. Right.
B: You see, in other words it is not much use to say, 'all we know'.
S: Because he said, can it stop - that is more than what...
B: If you say, that's all we know, then it can never stop.
K: He is objecting to your use of 'all'. (Laughs)
B: That's what it is.
S: I am grateful to you.
B: That is what's one of the factors blocking it.
S: Well, if we come down to it, I mean: what do we do with that question, can it stop? I mean there we are, we have got this question: can it stop.
K: I put that question to you. Do you listen to it?
S: I listen. Right.
K: Ah, do you listen?
S: It stops for a...
K: No, no. I am not interested whether it stops. Do you listen to a statement: can it stop? We now examined, analysed, or examined this whole process of image-making, the result of it, the misery, the confusion, the appalling things that are going on: the Arab has his image, the Jew, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Christian, the non - you follow? - the communist. There is this tremendous division of images, symbols, all the rest of it. If that doesn't stop, you are going to have such a chaotic world - you follow? I see this, not as an abstraction, as an actuality, as that flower.
K: And I feel as a human being, what am I to do? Because I, personally I have no image about this. I really mean I have no image about myself: a conclusion, a concept, an ideal, all these are images. I have none. And I say to myself, what can I do. When everybody around me is building images, and so destroying this lovely earth where we are meant to live happily, you know, in human relationship, and look at the heavens and be happy about it. So what is the right action for a man who has an image? Or, there is no right action?
S: Let me turn it back. What happens with you when I say to you: can it stop?
K: I say, of course. It is very simple to me. Of course it can stop. You don't ask me the next question: how do you do it? How does it come about?
S: No, I want to just listen for a minute to, when you say, 'Yes, of course'. OK, Now, how do you think it can?
K: Five minutes, we have only five minutes.
S: OK. Well, let's just touch. How can it stop? I have no Let me put it to you straight. Let's see if I can get it straight. I have absolutely no evidence that it can, no experience that it can.
K: I don't want evidence.
S: You don't want any evidence.
K: I don't want somebody's explanation.
S: Or experience.
K: Experience, because they are based on images.
K: Future image, or past image, or living image. So I say: can it stop. I say it can, definitely. It is not just a verbal statement to amuse you. To me this is tremendously important.
S: Well, I think we agree that it is tremendously important, but how?
K: Not 'how'. Then you enter into the question of systems, mechanical process, which is part of our image-making. If I tell you how, then you say, 'Tell me the system, the method, the practice, I'll do it every day and I'll get the new image'.
K: Now I see the fact that is going on in the world.
S: I have got it. I am with you, yes.
K: Fact. Not my reactions to it, not my romantic, fanciful theories, what it should not be. It is a fact that as long as there are images there is not going to be peace in the world, no love in the world - whether the Christ image, or the Buddha image or the Muslim -you follow? - there won't be peace in the world. Right? I see it as a fact. Right? I remain with that fact. That's all - finished. As this morning we said if one remains with the fact there is a transformation.
Which is, not to let the not - thought begins to interfere with the fact.
B: The same as the morning, to say more images come in.
K: More images come in. So our consciousness is filled with these images.
S: Yes, that is true.
K: I am a Hindu, Brahmin, I am my tradition I am better than anybody else, I am the chosen people, I am the Aryan - you follow? I am the only Englishman - you follow? - all that is crowding my consciousness.
B: When you say, to remain with the fact, one of the images that may come in is that it is impossible, and that it can never be done.
K: Yes, that is another image.
B: You see, in other words if the mind could stay with that fact with no comment whatsoever.
S: That's right. Well, the thing that comes through to me when you say that, is that when you say remain with the fact, you are really calling for an action right there. To really remain with it is that the action of perception is there.
K: Sir, you don't why do you make it so much? It is round you. You are involved in it.
S: But that is different from remaining with it.
K: Remain with that.
S: To really see it.
K: Yes, that's all.
S: You know how that feels? It feels like something carries forward because we are always running away.
K: So our consciousness, sir, is this image, conclusions, ideas, all that.
S: We are always running away.
K: Filling, filling, and that is the essence of the image. If there is no image-making then what is consciousness? That is quite a different thing.
B: Do you think we could discuss that next time?