Rajahumundry 2nd Public Talk 27th November, 1949
It is very obvious that all problems require, not an answer, a conclusion, but the understanding of the problem itself. For the answer, the solution to the problem, is in the problem; and to understand the problem, whatever it is - personal or social, intimate or general - a certain quietness, a certain quality of unidentification with the problem is essential. That is, we see in the world at the present time great conflicts going on: ideological conflicts, the confusion and struggle of conflicting ideas, ultimately leading to war; and through it all, we want peace. Because, obviously, without peace one cannot create individually, which requires a certain quietness, a sense of undisturbed existence. To live quietly, peacefully, is essential in order to create, to think anew about any problem.
Now, what is the major factor that brings about this lack of peace within and without? That is our problem. We have innumerable problems of various types; and to resolve them, there must be a field of quietness, a sense of patient observation, a silent approach; and that is essential to the resolution of any problem. What is the thing which prevents that peace, that silent observation of what is? It seems to me that, before we begin to talk of peace, we ought to understand the state of contradiction; because, that is the disturbing factor which hinders peace. We see contradiction in us and about us; and, as I have tried to explain, what we are, the world is, Whatever our ambitions, our pursuits, our aims, it is upon them that we base the structure of society. So, because we are in contradiction, there is lack of peace in us, and therefore outside of us. There is in us a constant state of denial and assertion - what we want to be, and what we are. The state of contradiction creates conflict, and this conflict does not bring about peace - which is a simple, obvious fact. This inward contradiction should not be translated into some kind of philosophical dualism, because that is a very easy escape. That is, by saying that contradiction is a state of dualism, we think we have solved it - which is obviously a mere convention, a contributory escape from actuality.
Now, what do we mean by conflict, by contradiction? Why is there a contradiction in us. You understand what I mean by contradiction - this constant struggle to be something apart from what I am. I am this, and I want to be that. This contradiction in us is a fact, not a metaphysical dualism, which we need not discuss. Metaphysics has no significance in understanding what is. We may discuss, say, dualism, what it is. if it exists, and so on; but of what value is it if we don't know that there is contradiction in us, opposing desires, opposing interests, opposing pursuits? That is, I want to be good, and I am not able to be. This contradiction, this opposition in us must be understood, because it creates conflict; and in conflict, in struggle, we cannot create individually. Let us be clear on the state we are in. There is contradiction, so there must be struggle; and struggle is destruction, waste. In that state we can produce nothing but antagonism, strife, more bitterness and sorrow. If we can understand this fully and hence be free of contradiction, then there can be inward peace, which will bring understanding of each other.
So, the problem is this. Seeing that conflict is destructive, wasteful, why is it that in each of us there is contradiction? To understand that, we must go a little further. Why is there the sense of opposing desires? I do not know if we are aware of it in ourselves - this contradiction, this sense of wanting and not wanting, remembering something and trying to forget it and face something new. Just watch it. It is very simple and very normal. It is not something extraordinary. The actual fact is, there is contradiction. Then why does this contradiction arise? Is it not important to understand this? Because, if there were no contradiction, there would be no conflict, there would be no struggle; then what is could be understood without bringing into it an opposing element which creates conflict. So, our question is, is it not, why is there this contradiction, and hence this struggle which is waste and destruction? What do we mean by contradiction? Does it not imply an impermanent state which is being opposed by another impermanent state? That is, I think I have a permanent desire. I posit in myself a permanent desire, and another desire arises which contradicts it; and this contradiction brings about conflict, which is waste. That is, there is a constant denial of one desire by another desire, one pursuit overcoming another pursuit. Now, is there such a thing as a permanent desire? Surely, all desire is impermanent - not metaphysically, but actually. Don't translate this into something metaphysical and think you have understood it. Actually, all desire is impermanent. I want a job. That is, I look to a certain job as a means of happiness; and when I get it, I am dissatisfied. I want to become the manager, then the owner, and so on and on, not only in this world, but in the so-called spiritual world - the teacher becoming the principal, the priest becoming the bishop, the pupil becoming the Master.
So, this constant becoming, arriving at one state after another, brings about contradiction, does it not? Therefore, why not look at life, not as one permanent desire, but as a series of fleeting desires always in opposition to each other? Hence the mind need not be in a state of contradiction. If I regard life, not as a permanent desire, but as a series of temporary desires that are constantly changing, then there is no contradiction. I do not know if I am explaining myself clearly; because it is important to realize that wherever there is contradiction there is conflict, and conflict is unproductive, wasteful, whether it is a quarrel between two people, or a struggle within; like war, it is utterly destructive.
So, contradiction arises only when the mind has a fixed point of desire; that is, when the mind does not regard all desire as unmoving, transient, but seizes upon one desire and makes that into a permanency - only then, when other desires arise, is there contradiction. But all desires are in constant movement, there is no fixation of desire. There is no fixed point in desire; but the mind establishes a fixed point because it treats everything as a means to arrive, to gain; and there must be contradiction, conflict, as long as one is arriving. I do not know if you see that point.
It is important to see, first of all, that conflict is essentially destructive, whether it is the communal conflict, the conflict between nations, between ideas, or the conflict within the individual. It is unproductive; and that struggle is utilized, exploited by the priests, by the politicians. If we realize this, actually see that struggle is destructive, then we have to find out how to bring about the cessation of struggle, and must therefore enquire into contradiction; and contradiction always implies the desire to become, to gain, the desire to arrive - which after all is what we mean by the so-called search for truth. That is, you want to arrive, you want to succeed, you want to find an ultimate God or truth which will be your permanent satisfaction. Therefore, you are not seeking truth, you are not seeking God. You are seeking lasting gratification, and that gratification you clothe with an idea, a respectable sounding word such as God, truth; but actually you are each one seeking gratification, and you place that gratification, that satisfaction, at the highest point, calling it God, and the lowest point is drink. As long as the mind is seeking gratification, there is not much difference between God and drink. Socially, drink may be bad; but the inward desire for gratification, for gain, is even more harmful, is it not? If you really want to find truth, you must be extremely honest, not merely at the verbal level, but altogether; you must be extraordinarily clear, and you cannot be clear if you are unwilling to face facts. That is what we are attempting to do at these meetings - to see clearly for ourselves what is. If you do not want to see, you can walk away; but if you want to find truth, you must be extraordinarily and scrupulously clear. Therefore, a man who wants to understand reality must obviously understand this whole process of gratification - gratification not only in the literal sense, but in the more psychological sense. As long as the mind is fixed as a `permanent' centre, identified with an idea, with a belief, there must be contradiction in life; and that contradiction breeds antagonism, confusion, struggle, which means there can be no peace. So, merely to force the mind to be peaceful is utterly useless; because a mind that is disciplined, forced, compelled to be peaceful, is not at peace. That which is made peaceful is not peaceful. You can impose your will, your authority on a child to make him peaceful; but that child is not peaceful. To be peaceful is quite a different thing.
So, to understand this whole process of existence in which there is constant struggle, pain, constant disagreement, constant frustration, we must understand the process of the mind; and this understanding of the process of the mind is self-knowledge. After all, if I do not know how to think, what basis have I to think rightly? I must know myself. In knowing myself, there comes quietness, there comes freedom; and in that freedom there is discovery of what is truth - not truth at an abstract level, but in every incident of life, in my words, in my gestures, in the way I talk to my servant. Truth is to be found in the fears, in the sorrows, in the frustrations of daily living, because that is the world we live in, the world of turmoil, the world of misery. If we do not understand that, merely to understand some abstract reality is an escape, which leads to further misery. So, what is important is to understand oneself; and understanding oneself is not apart from the world, because the world is where you are, it is not miles away; the world is the community in which you live, your environmental influences, the society which you have created - all that is the world; and in that world, unless you understand yourself, there can be no radical transformation, no revolution, and hence no individual creativeness. Don't be frightened of that word `revolution'. It is really a marvellous word with tremendous significance if you know what it means. But most of us do not want change, most of us resist change; we would like a modified continuity of what is, which is called revolution - but that is not revolution. Revolution can come into being - and it is essential for such a revolution to take place - only when you as an individual understand yourself in relation to society, and therefore transform yourself; and such a revolution is not momentary, but constant. So, life is a series of contradictions, and without understanding those contradictions, there can be no peace. It is essential to have peace, to have physical security, in order to live, to create. But everything we do contradicts. We want peace, and all our actions produce war. We want no communal strife, and yet that hope is denied. So, until we understand this process of contradiction in ourselves, there can be no peace, and therefore no new culture, no new state; and to understand that contradiction, we must face ourselves,not theoretically, but as we are, not with previous conclusions, with quotations from the Bhagavad Gita, from Sankara, and so on. We must take ourselves as we really are, the pleasant as well as the unpleasant, which requires the capability of looking at exactly what is; and we cannot understand what is, if we condemn, if we identify, if we justify. We must look at ourselves as we would look at that man walking on the road, and that requires constant awareness - awareness, not at some extraordinary level, but awareness of what we are, of our speech, our responses, our relationship to property, to poor people, to the beggar, to the scholar, and so on. Awareness must begin at that level, because to go far, one must begin near; but most of us are unwilling to begin near. It is much easier - at least we think it is much easier - to begin far away, which is an escape from the near. We all have ideals. We are experts at escape, and that is the curse of these escapist religions. To go far, one must begin near. This does not require some extraordinary renunciation, but a state of high sensitivity; because that which is highly sensitive is receptive, and only in that state of sensitivity can there be a reception of truth - which is not for the dull, the sluggard, the unaware. He can never find truth. But the man who begins near, who is aware of his gesture, of his talk, the manner of his eating, the manner of his speech, the ways of his behaviour - for him there is a possibility of going very extensively, very widely into the causes of conflict. You cannot climb high if you do not begin low; but you do not want to begin low, you do not want to be simple, you do not want to be humble. Humility is humor, and without humor you cannot go far. But humor is not a thing which you can cultivate. So, a man who would really seek, who would know what truth is, or who would be open to truth, must begin very near, he must sensitize himself through awareness so that his mind is polished, clear, and simple, Such a mind is not pursuing its own desires, it does not worship a homemade ideal. Only then can there be peace; for such a mind discovers that which is immeasurable.
Question: Why don't you feed the poor instead of talking?
Krishnamurti: It is essential to be critically aware, but not to pass judgment; because the moment you pass judgment, you have already concluded. You are not critically aware. The moment you come to a conclusion, your critical capacity is dead. Now, the questioner implies that he is feeding the poor, and I am not. I wonder if the questioner is feeding the poor! So, put yourself this question, "Are you feeding the poor?". I am trying to enquire into the mentality of the questioner. Either he is criticizing to find out, and therefore is at perfect liberty to criticize, to enquire; or he is criticizing with a conclusion, and therefore is no longer critical, is merely imposing his conclusion; or, if the questioner is feeding the poor, then his question is justified. But, are you feeding the poor? Are you at all aware of the poor? On the average, people in India die at 27; in America and New Zealand it is 64 to 67. If you were aware of the poor, this state of things would not go on in India.
Now, the questioner wants to know why I am talking. I will tell you. To feed the poor, you must have complete revolution - not a superficial revolution of the left or of the right, but a radical revolution; and you can have radical revolution only when ideas have ceased. A revolution based on an idea is not a revolution; because an idea is merely the reaction to a particular conditioning, and action based on a conditioning is not productive of fundamental change. So, I am talking to produce, not mere superficial change, but fundamental change. This is not a matter of inventing new ideas. It is only when you and I are free of ideas, whether of the left or of the right, that we can produce a radical revolution, inwardly and so outwardly. Then there is no question of rich and poor. Then there is human dignity, the right to work, opportunity and happiness for each one. Then there is no man with too much who must feed those with too little. There is no class difference. This is not a mere idea; it is not a utopia. It is an actuality when this radical revolution is inwardly taking place, when in each one of us there is fundamental change. Then there will be no class, no nationalities, no wars, no destructive separatism; and that can come about only when there is love in your heart. Real revolution can come only when there is love, not otherwise. Love is the only flame without smoke; but unfortunately we have filled our hearts with the things of the mind, and therefore our hearts are empty and our minds are full. When you fill the heart with thoughts, then love is merely an idea. Love is not idea; but if you think about love, it is not love: it is merely a projection of thought. To cleanse the mind, there must be fullness of heart; but the heart must be emptied of the mind before it can be full, and that is a tremendous revolution. All other revolutions are merely the continuation of a modified state.
Sir, when you love somebody - not the way we love people, which is only thinking about them - , when you love people completely, wholely, then there is neither rich nor poor. Then you are not conscious of yourselves. Then there is that flame in which there is no smoke of jealousy, envy, greed, sensation. It is only such a revolution that can feed the world - and it is up to you, not to me. But most of us have grown accustomed to listen to talks because we live in words. Words have become important because we are newspaper readers; we listen habitually to political talks which are full of words without much meaning. So we are fed on words, we survive on words; and most of you are listening to these talks merely on the verbal level, and therefore there is no real revolution in you. But it is up to you to bring about that revolution, not the revolution of blood, which is a modified continuity which we miscall revolution, but that revolution which comes into being when the mind is no longer filling the heart, when thought is no longer taking the place of affection, compassion. But you cannot have love when the mind is predominant. Most of you are not cultured, but merely well read; and you live by what you have learned. Such knowledge does not bring about revolution, does not bring about transformation. What brings about transformation is understanding everyday conflicts, everyday relationships. When the heart is empty of the things of the mind, then only that flame of reality comes. But one must be capable of receiving it; and to receive it, one cannot have a conclusion based on knowledge and determination. Such a mind, being peaceful, not bound by ideas, is capable of receiving that which is infinite, and therefore it creates revolution - not merely to feed the poor or to give them employment, or to give power to those who have no power; but it will be a different world of different value, not based on monetary satisfaction.
So, words don't feed hungry men. Words to me are not important; I am using words merely as a means of communication. We can use any word as long as we understand each other; and I am not giving you ideas, I am not feeding you words. I am talking so that you can see clearly for yourselves that which you are, and from that perception you can act clearly and definitely and purposefully. Only then is there a possibility of cooperative action. Talking merely to amuse ourselves is of no value; but talking to understand ourselves, and thus bring about transformation, is essential.
Question: In your Talks in 1944, the following question was put to you: "You are in a happy position. All your needs are met. We have to earn money for ourselves, our wives and families. We have to attend the world. How can you understand us and help us?" That is the question.
Krishnamurti: I tried to answer the question, I did not evade it; but perhaps I may have put it in a way that appears to the questioner as evasion. Life is not a thing to be settled with `yes' or `no; life is complicated, it has no such permanent conclusion. It is like your wanting to know if there is or is not reincarnation. We must go into it. In discussing it, you think I am evading because your mind is fixed on one thing, either `there is' or `there is not'. So, from your point of view, it is obviously an evasion; but if you look into it a little more clearly, you will see that it is not evasion.
Now, the questioner wants to know, since my needs are provided by others, how can I understand those who are struggling with life to provide for their families and themselves? What is the implication of this question? That you are privileged and we are not; and how can the privileged class understand the un-privileged? So the question is: Can the privileged person understand the un-privileged?
First of all, am I privileged? I am privileged only when I accept position, authority, power, the prestige of asserting myself to be somebody - which I have never done; because to be somebody is highly immoral, unethical and unspiritual. To be somebody denies reality; and it is only the one who is somebody that is privileged. He exploits and denies, but I am not in that position. I go about speaking, and for that I am paid as you are paid for your job; and I am treated exactly on that level. My needs are not very great, because I do not believe in great needs. A man who is burdened with many possessions is thoughtless; but the man who avoids possessions, and the man who is identified with a few possessions, are equally thoughtless. So, I earn my living as you earn yours. I speak, and I am asked to go to different parts of the world. Those who ask me to go, pay for it. If they do not ask, if I do not talk, it is alright. For me, talking is not a means of self-expression or exploitation. I do not find gratification in it; it is not a means of exploiting you or getting your money, because I do not want you to do any charity, to believe this or not to believe that. I am talking merely to help you see that which you are, to be clear in ourself. For in clarity there is happiness; in understanding there is enlightenment. There is happiness in discussing together, for in that discussion we can see ourselves as we are. This relationship may act as a mirror, for all relationship is a mirror in which you and I discover ourselves.
But the questioner wants to know how I can understand and help those who are earning money in order to maintain their families. In other words, the questioner says: "You don't have a family. You don't go through the daily routine of the school, to be insulted by the boys. You are not in a position to be heckled by the wife. So, how can you understand me, who have to encounter all this horror every day?"
Perhaps I understand because it is very simple, and it may be that you do not understand. It may be that you are not facing the thing as it is. When you go through the turmoil, the responsibilities, how do you go through them? Why do you go through the routine of going to the office? You call that a responsibility, a duty. Why do you put up with ugly things in life? Why do you put up with your wife and children, or why do you love them - if you do love them? Sir, think it out for yourself. Don't answer me. Don't laugh at it. That is one of the easiest ways of brushing it aside - to make a joke of it. Apparently your wife and children are merely a duty, a responsibility, and so you find life a hollow bore. And I say to you, why do you put up with all that? You say: "I can't help it. To run away from it is impossible. I would like to be free of it, but society would condemn my action. What would happen to my children, to my wife, to my husband?" So, you say it is your karma, it is your duty, it is your responsibility, and you postpone the problem. You do not want to look at the thing as it is. It is only when you think it out without fear, when you directly face it, that you will see that you have a different relationship with your wife, with your child. Sir, it is because you don't love your wife and children that you have this horror of family life. You have made sex into an enormous problem because you have no other relationship mentally, emotionally, morally. You are bound by your religion, by society, and the only other release possible to you is to have success; and as you are caught, bound and held, you rebel against it; you want to be free, and yet you are not. That is the contradiction, and therefore you struggle, which is such a wasteful thing. And, after all, why have we to live in the routine of an office to earn money, to have a job? Sir, have you ever tried not doing anything, really giving up, not calculating? Then you will see that life will feed you. But renunciation with a calculation is not renunciation. Renunciation with an end in view, giving up in order to find God, is merely the search for power. It is not renunciation. To renounce, you cannot look to tomorrow. But you see, we dare not think in these terms. We are respectable people. We have cultivated minds. We play a double game. We are not honest with ourselves and therefore with our families, with our children, with society. Being inwardly uncertain, insecure, we cling to outward things, to the position, to the wife, to the husband, to the children, and they become a means of gratification. I want somebody to be with me, to encourage me, generally the wife or the husband; so we use another for our own gratification. Surely, all this is not very difficult to understand. It is difficult only when you merely examine the superficial side of it. Most of us do not want to go deeply into these questions, so we try to evade them. Sir, a person who evades, who avoids looking at what is, will never find reality. The religious person is one who sees directly what is, he does not seek reality away from that. Reality is in your relationship with your wife and children, in the way you earn money: it is not somewhere else. You cannot earn money through wrong means; you must have a right means of livelihood. Truth is not away from that, but is to be discovered in everyday action; and because we avoid all these things, our life is a misery. Our life is empty, has no meaning, except to breed children, earn a living, master a few words of Sanskrit, and do some puja. This we call existence. This we call living, an empty thing without much significance. Surely, to point out all this is not evading the question. To understand it, obviously you and I must go into it. I am not your guru; because, if you choose me as your guru, you will make me into another escape, and what you choose out of your confusion must also be confused. So, truth is a thing to be discovered from moment to moment, in every movement of life; and to understand that, you and I can talk it over, think it out together. I am not imposing something on you which you will never look into. We are talking it over to see our problem clearly, with the dignity of human beings, not with the desire to worship each other.
So, what is important in this question is whether I can really help you to understand yourself. I can help you only if you want to understand yourself; if you don't, the problem is simple: I cannot help you. That is neither wrong nor right. It simply cannot be done. But, if we both want to understand and therefore you and I have a relationship in which there is no fear, no subservience, then you can discover yourself as you are. That is all relationship can do - to offer a mirror in which to discover oneself; and the more you understand, the more there is quietness, tranquillity in the mind; and in that peace, in that silence, reality comes into being.
Question: What is the purpose of prayer?
Krishnamurti: To answer this question, we must go into it fully, because it is a complex problem. Let us see what we mean by prayer, then we will find out its purpose. What do you mean by prayer? When do you pray? Not when you are happy, not when you are delighted; not when there is joy or pleasure in you, You pray only when you are in confusion, when you are in trouble, and then your prayer is a petition. A man in trouble prays, which means he is begging he wants help. He is petitioning, he is asking to be comforted. (Laughter.) There is nothing to laugh at. So, the man who is content, the man who is happy, the man who sees very clearly and understands reality in the action of everyday - such a man is not in need of prayer. You don't pray when you are joyous; you don't pray when there is delight in your heart. You pray only when there is confusion, or your prayer is merely a begging petition, a demand for help, for comfort, for alleviation. Is it not? In other words, you are in confusion, and you want some outside agency to get you out of that confusion. You want somebody to help you; and the more there is of the psychological element in your problem, the more urgent the demand for outside help. So, either you pray to God, or, if you are a modern person, you go to a psychologist; or, in order to escape from that confusion, you repeat a lot of words. You attend various prayer meetings where you are shepherded together and mesmerized into a certain state and you think you have the answer. These are all actual facts. I am not inventing, I am just showing the implications of what you mean by prayer. As we go to a doctor when in physical pain, so when we are in psychological confusion we escape into mass hypnotism, or petition some outside agency for help. That is what we do, is it not? I am thinking aloud for you, that is all: I am not imposing anything on you. So, our prayer is addressed, not to truth, but to an outside agency, which we call a guide, a guru, or God. That is, when in pain, when in psychological con- flict, we turn to somebody. It is the natural instinct of a boy turning to his father for help. When I do not understand my relationships with people, when I am in confusion, I call somebody to help me - which is a natural instinct, is it not?
Now, can an outside agency help me? Not that there is no outside agency - we will go into that another time; but, can an outside agency help me when I have a problem, when I am in conflict, in confusion which I have created myself? I have created conflict in my relation ship with society. I have done something which brings about conflict. Surely, I am responsible for that confusion, not another; and until I understand it, what is the value of my turning to an outside agency? The outside agency may help me to get out of it, may help me to escape from it; but as long as I do not understand my turmoil, I will create another. That is what we are doing: We create a confusion, find some way to get out of it, and plunge into another confusion. So, until I understand the maker of confusion, which is myself, until I clear that confusion for myself, merely turning to an outside agency is of very little value. I know you won't like this, you will resist it, because you do not want to look at things as they are; but surely I have to look at myself clearly in order to understand the cause of confusion. So, that is one fact.
Then we know the simple way of escaping from what is by denying it. We either cover it up through a repetition of words, or escape from it by going to a mass prayer meeting. We know these various ways. You go to a temple and repeat a lot of words; you keep on repeating, and you think you are transformed. You have an answer, you have found a conclusion. It is merely a way of evading the problem. You have not looked at the problem. What happens when you pray? What do you do when you pray? You repeat certain words, certain phrases. What does it do to the mind when you constantly repeat certain prayers? By the repetition of phrases, the mind is made quiet. It is not quiet, but it is made quiet. There is a difference between a quiet mind, and a mind that is made quiet. The mind that is made quiet by repetition is compelled, hypnotized into silence. Now, what happens when the mind is hypnotized into silence? What happens when the mind is made artificially quiet? Have you thought it out? Think it out, and see where it leads. You have to pay a little attention, experiment with yourself, and not be distracted by those who come in and go out. Those of you who are interested, sit near.
Now, what happens to a mind that is made quiet? That is, you have a problem, and you want to find an answer. Therefore you pray, which is a repetition of certain phrases, and through that the mind is made quiet. What is the relationship between that hypnotized mind and the problem? Please follow this a little. You desire to find an answer to the problem, and therefore use, chant certain words to make the mind quiet; that is, you want a satisfactory answer to the problem, an answer that will be gratifying, not an answer that may contradict you. So, when you pray and make the mind quiet through words, you are looking for an answer which will be satisfying. You have already conceived the answer, which must be satisfactory; therefore, you will find a satisfactory answer. Please see the importance of this, Sir. You create what you want through dulling and making the mind quiet; by forcing the mind to pray, you have already established what you want: an answer which will be satisfactory, peaceful, completely satisfying. Therefore, the mind which is seeking an answer to the problem through prayer will find the answer which is satisfactory. Therefore it is settled, and you say the answer is from God. That is why political leaders shout that they represent God, or that God has spoken to them directly: because they have identified themselves with the country, they get a satisfactory answer.
So, what happens to a mind that is unwilling to understand the problem and thus seeks the answer from an outside agency? Consciously or unconsciously, it gets a satisfactory answer - otherwise it would reject the answer. That is, those who pray are seeking satisfaction, and are therefore incapable of understanding the problem itself. When the mind is made quiet through prayer, the unconscious, which is the residue of your own satisfactory conclusions, projects itself into the conscious mind, and therefore your prayer is answered. So, when you pray, you are seeking an escape, happiness; and the outside agency which answers you is your own gratification, your own conscious or unconscious identification with the particular desire which you want to gratify.
So, I have a problem. I do not want to escape from it, I do not want an answer, I do not want a conclusion. I want to understand; because the moment I understand something, I am free of it. So, need I go through the process of hypnotizing myself, in order to understand, or of being hypnotized by words, forcing the mind to be quiet? Surely not. When I have a problem, I want to understand it. Understanding can come only when the mind is no longer judging the problem, that is, when the mind can look at it without condemnation or justification. Then the mind is quiet, not made quiet; and when the mind is quiet, then you will see that the problem unfolds itself. If you do not condemn, if you do not try to find an answer, the mind is quiet; in that quietness the problem reveals its own answer, not one satisfying to you. Therefore the truth of the problem comes from the problem itself; but you cannot see the truth of the problem if you approach it with a conclusion, a prayer, a petition, which intervenes between yourself and the problem.
So, the man who wants to understand any problem can understand it only when the mind is quiet, not taking sides. When you want to understand the problem of unemployment, of human misery, you cannot take sides. But your politicians want you to take sides. If you are to understand the problem, there can be no sides, because the problem is not a matter of opinion, it does not demand an ideology. It demands that you should look at it clearly so as to understand its content; and you cannot understand the content of a problem if you have a screen of ideology between you and the problem. Similarly, prayer without self-knowledge leads to ignorance, to illusion. Self-knowledge is meditation, and without self-knowledge there is no meditation. Meditation is not fixing the mind on some object: meditation is understanding what is in relationship. Then the mind need not be forced to be quiet. Then the mind is extremely sensitive, and therefore highly receptive. But to discipline the mind to be quiet destroys receptivity.
Perhaps we shall discuss this again next Sunday. To understand a problem, you must understand the creator of the problem, which is yourself. The problem is not apart from you. So, to understand yourself is of the highest importance; and to understand yourself you cannot withdraw from relationship, because relationship is a mirror in which you see yourself. Relationship is action, not abstract action but everyday action: your quarrels, your anger, your grief; and as you understand all that in relation to yourself, there comes quietness of mind, a tranquillity. In that tranquillity there is freedom. Only with that freedom is there the perception of truth.
November 27, 1948
Rajahumundry 2nd Public Talk 27th November, 1949
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