Poona, India, 1948
Poona India 8th Public Talk 17th October, 1948
We have touched upon many things during the course of these Sunday talks, but it seems to me that one of the most important questions to discuss and find out the significance of is that of time. The lives of most of us are rather sluggish like still waters, they are dull, dreary, ugly and insipid; and some of us, realizing this, bury ourselves in political, social or religious activities, and thereby we think we can enrich our lives. But surely, such action is not enrichment, because our lives are still empty; though we may talk about political reform, yet our minds and hearts continue to be dull. We may be very active socially or may dedicate our lives to religion, yet the meaning of virtue is still a matter of ideas, of mere ideation. So, do what we may, we find our lives to be dull, they are without much significance; for mere action without understanding does not bring about enrichment or freedom. So, if I may, I would like to talk a little about what is time, because I think the enrichment, the beauty and significance of that which is timeless, of that which is true, can be experienced only when we understand the whole process of time. After all, we are seeking, each in his own way, a sense of happiness, of enrichment. Surely, a life that has significance, the riches of true happiness, is not if time. Like love, such a life is timeless; and to understand that which is timeless, we must not approach it through time, but rather understand time. We must not utilize time as a means of attaining, realizing, apprehending the timeless. But that is what we are doing most of our lives: spending time in trying to grasp that which is timeless. So, it is important to understand what we mean by time, because I think it is possible to be free of time. It is very important to understand time as a whole, and not partially; but I will have to deal with it as rapidly and as briefly as possible, because I have many questions to answer and this is the last evening of these talks. So, I hope you will not mind if I am very brief and to the point.
It is interesting to realize that our lives are mostly spent in time - time; not in the sense of chronological sequence, of minutes, hours, days and years, but in the sense of psychological cal memory. We live by time, w are the result of time. Our minds are the product of many yesterdays, and the present is merely the passage of the past to the future. So, our minds, our activities, our being are founded on time; without time we cannot think, because thought is the result of time, thought is the product of many yesterdays, and there is no thought without memory. Memory is time; for there are two kinds of time, the chronological and the psychological. There is time a; yesterday by the watch and as yesterday by memory. You cannot reject chronological time, which would be absurd - then you would miss your train. But is there really any time at all apart from chronological time? Obviously, there is timE as yesterday; but is there time as the mind thinks of it? That is, is there time apart from the mind? Surely, time, psychological time, is the product of the mind. Without the foundation of thought there is no time - time merely being memory as yesterday in conjunction with today, which moulds tomorrow. That is, memory of yesterday's experience in response to the present is creating the future - which is still the process of thought, a path of the mind. So, the thought process brings about psychological progress in time; but is it real, as real as chronological time? And can we use that time which is of the mind as a means of understanding the eternal, the timeless? Because, as I said, happiness is not of yesterday, happiness is not the product of time, happiness is always in the present, a timeless state. I do not know if you have noticed that when you have ecstasy, a creative joy, a series of bright clouds surrounded by dark clouds, in that moment there is no time: there is only the immediate present. But the mind, coming in after the experiencing in the present, remembers and wishes to continue it, gathering more and more of itself, thereby creating time. So, time is created by the `more; time is acquisition, and time is also detachment, which is still an acquisition of the mind. Therefore, merely disciplining the mind in time, conditioning thought within the framework of time, which is memory, surely does not reveal that which is timeless.
So, there is chronological time, and there is the time of the mind, the time which is mind itself, and we are always confusing these two issues. Obviously, chronological time is confused with the psychological, with the psyche of one's being; and with that chronological mentality we try to become, we try to achieve. So, this whole process of becoming is of time; and one must surely enquire if there really is such a thing as becoming, becoming in the sense of finding reality, God, happiness. Can you use time as a means to the timeless? That is, through a wrong means can the right end be achieved? Surely, the right means must be employed for the right end, because the means and the end are one. When we try to find the timeless in terms of becoming, which implies disciplining, conditioning, rejecting, accepting, acquiring and denying, all of which involves time, we are using the wrong means for the right end; therefore, our means will produce a wrong end. As long as you are using the wrong means, which is time, to find the timeless, the timeless is not; for time is not the means to the timeless. Therefore, to find the timeless, to realize that which is eternal, time must stop - which means the whole process of thinking must come to an end; and, if you examine it really closely, widely and intelligently, it is not as difficult as it appears. Because, there are moments when the mind is absolutely still, not put together, but still of itself. Surely, there is a difference between a mind that is made still, and a mind that is still. But those moments of stillness are mere remembrances, and remembrances become the time clement which prevents the further experiencing of those moments.
So, as I said, for thought to come to an end and for the timeless to be, you must understand memory; for without memory, there is no thought; without memory, there is no time. Memory is merely incomplete experience; for that which you experience fully, completely, is without any response, and in that state there is no memory. At the moment when you are experiencing something, there is no memory, there is no experiencer apart from the experienced, there is neither the observer nor the observed; there is only a state of experiencing in which time is not. Time comes in only when experiencing has become a memory; and most of you are living on the memory of yesterday's experiencing, either your own, or that of your guru, and so on and on. Therefore, if we understand this psychological functioning of memory, which springs from chronological action, we cannot confuse the two. We must see the whole problem of time without apprehension and without a desire to continue; because, most of us desire to continue, and it is this continuity that must come to an end. Continuity is merely time, and continuity cannot lead to the timeless. To understand time is to understand memory, and to understand memory is to become aware of our relationship to all things - to nature, to people, to pro- perty, and to ideas. Relationship reveals the process of memory, and the understanding of that process is self-knowledge. Without understanding the process of the self, at whatever level that self is placed, you cannot be free of memory, and therefore you are not free of time; and hence the timeless is not.
Question: Have dreams any meaning? If so, how should one interpret them?
Krishnamurti: What do we mean by `dream'? When we are asleep, when the body is asleep, the mind is functioning; and when we wake up, we remember certain impressions, symbols, word-expressions or pictures. That is what we mean by dreams, is it not? - those impressions that are recollected upon waking, those symbols, intimations, hints to the conscious mind concerning things not fully understood. That is, during our waking consciousness the mind is completely occupied with earning a livelihood, with immediate relationships, with amusements, and so on. So, the conscious mind leads a very superficial life. But our life is not merely the superficial layer, it is going on at different levels all the time. These different levels are constantly trying to convey their meaning, their significance, to the conscious mind; and when the conscious mind is quiet, as during sleep, the hints and the intimations of the hidden are communicated in the form of symbols, and on waking, these symbols are remembered as dreams. Then, having dreams, you try to interpret those dreams, or you go to a psychoanalyst to have them interpreted for you. That is what actually takes place. Perhaps you do not go to the interpreter, because it is too expensive, and it does not lead you to hope; but still you depend on interpretation, you want your dreams to be explained, you look to their meaning, you search out their significance, you try to analyze them; and in that process of interpretation, of analysis, there is always hope, doubt and uncertainty.
Now, need we dream at all? There are dreams which are very superficial. When you overeat at night, naturally you have violent dreams. There are dreams which are the result of the suppression of sexual and other cravings. When they are suppressed, they assert themselves while you are asleep, and you remember them as dreams when you awake. There are many forms of dreams, but my point is this: Heed one dream at all? If it is possible not to dream, then there is nothing that needs to be interpreted. Psychologists - not that I have read them, but I know several - have told me that it is impossible not to dream. I think it is possible not to dream, and you can experiment with it for yourself and therefore put aside the fear of interpretation, with its anxieties, with it uncertainties. As I said, you dream because the conscious mind is no aware of what is actually taking place every minute, is not aware of all the intimations, hints, impressions and responses that are constantly coming on. And is it not possible to be passively aware so that everything is immediately perceived and understood? Surely, it can be done. It is only when there is passive awareness of each problem that it is immediately resolved, and not carried over to the next day. Now, when you have a problem and that problem causes considerable worry, what happens? You go to bed and you say, `I will sleep on it'. Next morning when you look at the problem you see it can be solved, and you are free. What actually happens is that the conscious mind having searched and worried, becomes quiet; and then the unconscious mind, which goes on working on the problem, gives its hints, its intimations, and when you wake up the problem is solved.
So, it is possible to meet every problem afresh, anew, and not carry it over. You can meet every problem, anew, with quickness, with rapidity, only when you do not condemn, when you do not justify, because only then can the problem tell you its whole significance; and it is possible to live so alertly, so passively aware, that each problem gives its full significance as it arises. You can test this out for yourselves, you do not have to accept another's word for it. But the whole conscious mind must be alert, watchful, so that there is no part of it that is sluggish and that has therefore to be quickened through dreams, through symbols. Only when the conscious mind is aware, not merely at one depth or in one layer, but fully and entirely, is it possible not to dream.
Dreams are also self-projections, the interpretation through symbols of different experiences. Also the conversation one has with people in a dream is obviously still self-projection - which does not mean that it is impossible for thought to meet thought, for one identified thought to meet another identified thought. This is too vast a subject to go completely into now; but one can see that as long as we deal with problems partially and not fully, as long as there is conditioned response to challenge, there must be these intimations, these hints from that part of the mind which is alert, either through dreams, or through rude shocks. As long as problems are not fully understood, you will dream, and those dreams need interpretation. Interpretations are never complete, for they always arise out of fear, anxiety; there is in them an element of the unknown, and the conscious mind always rejects that which is unknown. Whereas, if one can experience each challenge completely, fully, then there is no necessity for dreams nor for an interpreter of dreams.
Question: What is the meaning of right relationship with nature?
Krishnamurti: Sir I do not know if you have discovered your relationship with nature. There is no `right' relationship, there is only the understanding of relationship. Right relationship implies the mere acceptance of a formula, as does right thought. Right thought and right thinking are two different things. Right thought is merely conforming to what is right, what is respectable, whereas right thinking is movement, it is the product of understanding; and understanding is constantly undergoing modification, change. Similarly, there is a difference between right relationship, and understanding our relationship with nature. What is your relationship with nature? - nature being the rivers, the trees, the swift-flying birds, the fish in the water, the minerals under the earth, the waterfalls and shallow pools. What is your relationship to them? Most of us are not aware of that relationship. We never look at a tree, or if we do, it is with a view of using that tree, either to sit in its shade, or to cut it down for lumber. In other words, we look at trees with utilitarian purpose; we never look at a tree without projecting ourselves and utilizing it for our own convenience. We treat the earth and its products in the same way. There is no love of earth, there is only usage of earth. If one really loved the earth, there would be frugality in using the things of the earth. That is, Sir, if we were to understand our relationship with the earth, we should be very careful in the use we made of the things of the earth. The understanding of one's relationship with nature is as difficult as understanding one's relationship with one's neighbour, wife and children. But we have not given a thought to it, we have never sat down to look at the stars, the moon or the trees. We are too busy with social or political activities. Obviously, these activities are escapes from ourselves; and to worship nature is also an escape from ourselves. We are always using nature, either as an escape, or for utilitarian ends - we never actually stop and love the earth or the things of the earth. We never enjoy the rich fields, though we utilize them to feed and clothe ourselves. We never like to till the earth with our hands - we are ashamed to work with our hands. There is an extraordinary thing that takes place when you work the earth with your hands. But this work is done only by the lower castes; we upper classes are much too important apparently to use our own hands! So, we have lost our relationship with nature. If once we understood that relationship, its real significance then we would not divide property into yours and mine; though one might own a piece of land and build a house on it, it would not be `mine' or `yours' in the exclusive sense - it would be more a means of taking shelter. Because we do not love the earth and the things of the earth but merely utilize them, we are insensitive to the beauty of a waterfall, we have lost the touch of life, we have never sat with our backs against the trunk of a tree; and since we do not love nature, we do not know how to love human beings and animals. Go down the street and watch how the bullocks are treated, their tails all out of shape. You shake your head and say, `Very sad'. But we have lost the sense of tenderness, that sensitivity, that response to things of beauty; and it is only in the renewal of that sensitivity that we can have understanding of what is true relationship. That sensitivity does not come in the mere hanging of a few pictures, or in painting a tree, or putting a few flowers in your hair; sensitivity comes only when this utilitarian outlook is put aside. It does not mean that you cannot use the earth; but you must use the earth as it is to be used. Earth is there to be loved, to be cared for, not to be divided as `yours' and `mine'. It is foolish to plant a tree in a compound and call it `mine'. It is only when one is free of exclusiveness that there is a possibility of having sensitivity, not only to nature, but to human beings and to the ceaseless challenges of life.
Question: While talking about right means of livelihood, you said that the profession of the army, of the lawyer, and of government service, were obviously not right means of livelihood. Are you not advocating sanyasism, withdrawal from society, and is that not running away from social conflicts and supporting the injustice and exploitation around us?
Krishnamurti: To transform anything or to understand anything you must first examine what is; then only is there a possibility of a renewal, a regeneration, a transformation. Merely to transform what is without understanding it, is a waste of time, a retrogression. Reform without understanding is retrogression, because we do not face what is; but if we begin to understand exactly what is, then we shall know how to act. You cannot act without first observing, discussing, and understanding what is. We must examine society as it is, with its weaknesses, its foibles; and to examine it we must see directly our connection, our relationship with it, not through a posedly intellectual or theoretical explanation.
Now, as society exists at present, there is no choice between right livelihood and wrong livelihood. You take any you can get, if you are lucky enough to get one at all. So, to the man who is pressed for an immediate job, there is no problem. He takes what he can get because he must eat. But to those of you who are not so immediately pressed, it should be a problem, and that is what we are discussing: what is the right means of livelihood in a society which is based on acquisition and class differences, on nationalism, greed, violence, and so on? Given these things, can there be right livelihood? Obviously not. And there are obviously wrong professions, wrong means of livelihood, such as the army, the lawyer, the police and the government.
The army exists, not for peace, but for war. It is the function of the army to create war, it is the function of the general to plan for war. If he does not, you will throw him out, won't you? You will get rid of him. The function of the general staff is to plan and prepare for future wars, and a general staff that does not plan for future wars is obviously inefficient. So the army is not a profession for peace, therefore it is not a right means of livelihood. I know the implications as well as you do. Armies will exist as long as sovereign governments exist, with their nationalism and frontiers; and since you support sovereign governments, you must support nationalism and war. Therefore, as long as you are a nationalist you have no choice about right livelihood.
Similarly, the police. The function of the police is to protect and to maintain things as they are. It also becomes the instrument of investigation, of inquisition, not only in the hands of totalitarian governments, but in the hands of any government. The function of the police is to snoop around, to investigate into the private life of people. The more revolutionary you become, outwardly or inwardly, the more dangerous you are to government. That is why governments, and especially totalitarian governments, liquidate those who are outwardly or inwardly creating a revolution. So, obviously, the profession of police is not a right means of livelihood.
Similarly, the lawyer. He thrives on contention: it is essential for his livelihood that you and I should fight and wrangle. (Laughter). You laugh it off. Probably many of you are lawyers, and your laugh indicates a mere nervous response to a fact; and through avoidance of that fact, you will still go on being lawyers. You may say that you are a victim of society; but you are victimized because you accept society as it is. So, law is not a right means of livelihood. There can be right means of livelihood only when you do not accept the present state of things; and the moment you do not accept it, you do not accept law as a profession.
Similarly, you cannot expect to find right means of livelihood in the big corporations of business men who are amassing wealth, nor in the bureaucratic routine of government with its officials and red tape. Governments are only interested in maintaining things as they are, and if you become an engineer for the government, you are directly or indirectly helping war.
So, as long as you accept society as it is, any profession, whether the army, the police, the law, or the government, is obviously not a right means of livelihood. Seeing that, what is an earnest man to do? Is he to run away and bury himself in some village? Even there, he has to live somehow. He can beg, but the very food that is given to him comes indirectly from the lawyer, the policeman, the soldier, the government. And he cannot live in isolation, because that again is impossible; to live in isolation is to lie, both psychologically and physiologically. So, what is one to do? All that one can do, if one is earnest, if one is intelligent about this whole process, is to reject the present state of things and give to society all that one is capable of. That is, Sir, you accept food, clothing and shelter from so- ciety, and you must give something to society in return. As long as you use the army, the police, the law, the government, as your means of livelihood, you maintain things as they are, you support dissension, inquisition and war. But if you reject the things of society and accept only the essentials, you must give something in return. It is more important to find out what you are giving to society than to ask what is the right means of livelihood.
Now, what are you giving to society? What is society? Society is relationship with one or with many, it is your relationship with another. What are you giving to another? Are you giving anything to another in the real sense of the word, or merely taking payment for something? As long as you do not find out what you are giving, whatever you take from society is bound to be a wrong means of livelihood. This is not a clever answer, and therefore you have to ponder, enquire into the whole question of your relationship to society. You may ask me in return, `What are you giving to society in order that you be clothed, given shelter and food?' I am giving to society that of which I am talking today - which is not merely the verbal service any fool can give. I am giving to society what to me is true. You may reject it and say, `Nonsense, it is not true'. But I am giving what to me is true, and I am far more concerned with that than with what society gives me. Sir, when you do not use society or your neighbour as a means of self-extension, you are completely content with the things that society gives you in the way of food, clothing and shelter. Therefore you are not greedy; and not being greedy, your relationship with society is entirely different. The moment you do not use society as a means of self-extension, you reject the things of society, and therefore there is a revolution in your relationship. You are not depending on another for your psychological needs - and it is only then that you can have a right means of livelihood.
You may say this is all a very complicated answer, but it is not. Life has no simple answer. The man who looks for a simple answer to life has obviously a dull mind, a stupid mind. Life has no conclusion, life has no definite pattern; life is living, altering, changing. There is no positive, definite answer to life, but we can understand its whole significance and meaning. To understand, we must first see that we are using life as a means of self-extension, as a means of self-fulfilment; and because we are using life as a means of self-fulfilment, we create a society which is corrupt, which must begin to decay the very moment it comes into existence. So, an organized society has inherent in it the seed of decay.
It is very important for each one of us to find out what his relationship is with society, whether it is based?n greed - which means self-extension, self-fulfilment, in which is implied power, position, authority - or if one merely accepts from society such essentials as food, clothing and shelter. If your relationship is one of need and not of greed, then you will find the right means of livelihood wherever you are, even when society I is corrupt. So, as the present society is disintegrating very rapidly, one has to find out; and those whose relationship is one of need only, will create a new culture, they will be the nucleus of society in which the necessities of life are equitably distributed and are not used as a means of self-extension. As long as society remains for you as a means of self-extension, there must be a craving for power, and it is power that creates a society of classes divided as the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the man who has and the man who has not, the literate and the illiterate, each struggling with the other, all based on acquisitiveness and not on need. It is acquisitiveness which gives power, position and prestige, and as long as that exists, your relationship with society must be a wrong means of livelihood. There can be right means of livelihood when you look to society only for your needs - and then your relationship with society is very simple. Simplicity is not the `more', nor is it the putting on of a loin cloth and renouncing the world. Merely limiting yourself to a few things is not simplicity. Simplicity of the mind is essential, and that simplicity of the mind cannot exist if the mind is used for self-extension, self-fulfilment, whether that self-fulfilment comes through the pursuit of God, of knowledge, of money, property or position. The mind that is seeking God is not a simple mind, for its God is its own projection. The simple man is he who sees exactly what is and understands it - he does not demand anything more. Such a mind is content, it understands what is - which docs not mean accepting society as it is, with its exploitation, classes, wars, and so on. But a mind that sees and understands what is, and therefore acts, such a mind has few needs, it is very simple, quiet; and it is only when the mind is quiet that it can receive the eternal.
Question: Every art has a technique of its own, and it takes effort to master the technique. How can one reconcile creativeness with technical achievement?
Krishnamurti: You cannot reconcile creativeness with technical achievement. You may be perfect in playing the piano, and not be creative; you may play the piano most brilliantly, and not be a musician. You may be able to handle colour, to put paint on canvas most cleverly, and not be a creative painter. You may create a face, an image out of a stone, because you have learned the technique, and not be a master creator. Creation comes first, not technique, and that is why we are miserable all our lives. We have technique, how to put up a house, how to build a bridge, how to assemble a motor, how to educate our children through a system; we have learned all these techniques, but our hearts and minds are empty. We are first class machines, we know how to operate most beautifully, but we do not love a living thing. You may be a good engineer, you may be a pianist, you may write in a good style in English or Marathi or whatever your language is; but creativeness is not found through technique. If you have something to say, you create your own style; but when you have nothing to say, even if you have a beautiful style, what you write is only the traditional routine, a repetition in new words of the same old thing. So, if you watch yourself very critically, you will see that technique does not lead to creativeness, but when you have creativeness, you can have technique within a week. To express something there must be something to express, you must have a song in your heart to sing. You must have sensitivity to receive in order to express, and the expression is of very little importance. The expression is important only when you want to convey it to another, but it has very little importance when you write for your own amusement.
So, having lost the song, we pursue the singer. We learn from the singer the technique of song, but there is no song; and I say the song is essential, the joy of singing is essential. When the joy is there, the technique can be built up from nothing; you will invent your own technique, you won't have to study elocution or style. When you have, you see, and the very seeing of beauty is an art. The expression of that seeing becomes beautiful, technically perfect, when you have something to say. To have a song in your heart, that is the important thing, not the technique - though technique is essential. What is important is to be creative. It is really an important problem, because you are not creative; you may produce children galore, but that is merely accidental, that is not creative. You may be able to write about creative thinkers, but that is not being creative. You may watch, you may be spectators at a play, but you are not the actors. Since the mere learning of a technique is more and more emphasized, you have to find what it is to be creative.
How is one to be creative? Creativeness is not imitation. Our whole life is imitative, not only on the verbal level, but inwardly and psychologically also; it is nothing but imitation, conformity and regimentation. Do you think there can be creativeness when you are thinking according to a pattern, a technique? There is creativeness only when there is freedom from imitation, from regimentation, which means, freedom from authority, not only external authority, but the inward authority of experience which has become memory. Again, there cannot be creativeness if there is fear; for fear produces imitation, fear creates copy, fear engenders the desire to be secure, to be certain, which in turn creates authority; and there cannot be creativeness as long as the mind moves from the known to the known. As long as the mind is held by technique, as long as the mind is engaged in knowledge, there cannot be creativeness. Knowledge is of the past, of the known; and as long as the mind moves from the known to the known, there cannot be creativeness. As long as the mind is moving in a series of changes, there cannot be creativeness, because change is merely modified continuity. There can be creativeness only in ending, not in continuity. Most of us do not want to end, we all want to continue, and our continuance is merely the continuance of memory. Memory can be placed at the level of the Atman, or at a lower level, but still it is memory. As long as all these things exist, there cannot be creativeness. It is not difficult to be free of these things, but one needs attention, observation, intention to understand; then, I assure you, creativeness comes into being.
When a man wishes to create, he must ask himself and see what it is he wants to create. Is it motor cars, war machines, gadgets? The mere pursuit of things distracts the mind and interferes with generosity, with the instinctive response to beauty. That is what we are all doing with our minds. As long as the mind is active, formulating, fabricating, criticizing, there cannot be creativeness; and, I assure you, that creativeness comes silently, with extraordinary swiftness, without any enforcement, when you understand the truth that the mind must be empty for creativeness to take place. When you see the truth of that, then instantaneously there is creativeness. You do not have to paint a picture, you do not have to sit on the platform, you do not have to invent new mathematical theorems; for creativeness does not necessarily demand expression. The very expression of it begins to destroy it. That does not mean that you must not express it; but if the expression becomes more important than creativeness, then creativeness recedes, For you, expression is so important - to paint a picture and put your name at the bottom! Then you want to see who is criticizing it, who is going to buy it, how many critics have written about it and what they say; and when you are knighted, you think you have achieved some, thing! That is not creativeness, that is decay, disintegration. Creativeness comes into being only when the mind, with its prompting's and corruption, ceases; and for the mind to come to an end is not a difficult task, nor is it the ultimate task that you should undertake. On the contrary it is the immediate task. Our lives are in the present, with its miseries, with its confusion, its extraordinarily mounting sorrow and strife. So, the only thing is for the mind, which is thought, to come to an end, and then, I assure you, you will know creativeness. There is creativeness only when the mind, understanding its own insufficiency, its own poverty, its own loneliness, comes to an end. Being aware of itself, it puts an end to itself; then that which is creative, that which is immeasurable, comes subtly and swiftly. To put an end to the process of thought is to be passively aware of one's own insufficiency, one's own poverty one's own void, emptiness, without struggling against it; only then there comes that thing which is not the product of the mind; and that which is not the product of the mind is creativeness.
Question: You are telling us every day that the root cause of our trouble and ugliness in life is the absence of love. How is one to find the pearl of real love?
Krishnamurti: To answer this question fully, one must think negatively, because negative thinking is the highest form of thinking. Mere positive thinking is conformity to a pattern, therefore it is not thinking at all - it is adjustment to an idea, and an idea is merely the product of the mind, therefore unreal. So, to think this problem through completely, fully, we must approach it negatively - which does not mean denial of life. Do not jump to conclusions, but follow step by step, if you kindly will. if you will follow this experience deeply and not merely verbally, then as we proceed you will find out what love is. We are going to enquire into love. Mere conclusions are not love; the word `love' is not love. Let us begin very near, in order to go very far.
Now, do you call it love when in your relationship with your wife there is possessiveness, jealousy, fear, constant nagging, dominating and asserting? Can that be called love? When you possess a person, and thereby create a society which helps you to possess the person, do you call that love? When you use somebody for your sexual convenience, or in any other way, do you call that love? Obviously it is not. That is, where there is jealousy, where there is fear, where there is possessiveness, there is no love. You may call it love, but it is not love. Surely, love does not admit of contention, of jealousy. When you possess, there is fear; and though you may call it love, it is far from love. Experience it, Sirs and ladies, as we go along. You are married and have children, you have wives or husbands whom you possess, whom you use, of whom you are afraid or jealous. Be aware of that and see if it is love. You may see a beggar in the street, you give him a coin and express a word of sympathy. Is that love? Is sympathy love? What does that mean? By giving a coin to the beggar, sympathizing with his state, have you solved the problem? I am not saying that you should not be sympathetic - we are enquiring into the question of love. Is it love when you give a coin to the beggar? You have something to give; and when you give it, is that love? That is, when you are conscious of giving, is that love? Obviously, when you give consciously, it is you who are important, not the beggar. So, when you give and you express sympathy, you are important, are you not? Why should you have something to give? You give a coin to the beggar; the multimillionaire also gives, and is always sympathetic to poor humanity. What is the difference between you and him? You have ten coins, and you give one; he has umpteen coins, and he gives a few more. He has got that money through acquiring, multiplying, revolutionizing, exploiting. When he gives, you call it charity, philanthropy; you say, `How noble'. is that noble? (Laughter). Do not laugh, Sirs, you also want to do the same thing. When you have and you give something, is that love? Why is it that you have and others have not? You say it is the fault of society. Who has created society? You and I. Therefore, to attack society, we have to begin with ourselves. So, your sympathy is not love. Is forgiveness love? Let us go into it and you will see. I hope you are experiencing as I am talking, not merely listening to words. Is forgiveness love? What is implied in forgiveness? You insult me, and I resent it, remember it; and then, either through compulsion or through repentance, I say, `I forgive you'. First I retain, and then I reject. Which means what? I am still the central figure. I am still important, it is I who am forgiving somebody. Surely, as long as there is the attitude of forgiving, it is I who am important, not the man who is supposed to have insulted me. So, when I accumulate resentment and then deny that resentment, which you call forgiveness, it is not love. A man who loves obviously has no enmity, and to all these things he is indifferent. So, sympathy, forgiveness, the relationship of possessiveness, jealousy and fear - all these things are not love. They are all of the mind, are they not? As long as the mind is the arbiter, there is no love; for the mind arbitrates only through possessiveness, and its arbitration is merely possessiveness in different forms. The mind can only corrupt love, it cannot give birth to love, it cannot give beauty. You can write a poem about love, but that is not love.
So, the mind is the product of time, and time exists when love is denied; therefore, love is not of time. Love is not a coin to be distributed. Giving you something, giving you satisfaction, giving you courage to fight with - all these belong to the field of time, which is of the mind. Therefore, mind destroys love. It is because we as so-called civilized people are cultivating the mind, the intellect, the verbal expression, the technique, that there is no love; and that is why there is this confusion, why our troubles, our miseries multiply. It is because we are seeking an answer through the mind that there is no answer to any of our problems, that wars succeed wars, disasters follow disasters. The mind has created these problems, and we are trying to solve them on their own level, which is that of the mind. So, it is only when the mind ceases that there is love, and it is only love that will solve all our problems, like sunshine and darkness. There is no relationship between the mind and love. Mind is of time, love is not of time. You can think about a person whom you love, but you cannot think about love. Love cannot be thought about; though you may identify yourself with a person, a country, a church, the moment you think about love, it is not love - it is merely mentation. What is thought about, is not love; and there is emptiness in the heart only when the mind is supremely active. Because the mind is active, it fills the empty heart with the things of the mind; and with these things of the mind we play, we create problems. The playing with problems is what we call activity, and our solution of the problems is still of the mind. Do what you will, build churches, invent new parties, follow new leaders, adopt political slogans, they will never solve our problem The problems are the product of the mind, and for the mind to solve its own problem, it has to stop; for only when the mind stops is there love. Love cannot be thought about, love cannot be cultivated, love cannot be practiced. The practice of love, the practice of brotherhood, is still within the field of the mind, therefore it is not love. When all this has stopped, then love comes into being, then you will know what it is to love. Then love is not quantitative, but qualitative. You do not say, `I love the whole world; but when you know how to love one, you know how to love the whole. Because we do not know how to love one, our love of humanity is fictitious. When you love, there is neither one nor many: there is only love. It is only when there is love that all our problems can be solved, and then we shall know its bliss and its happiness.
October 17, 1948
Poona, India, 1948
Poona India 8th Public Talk 17th October, 1948
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