New Delhi 1963
New Delhi 6th Public Talk 10th November 1963
I would like this evening to talk about something with which you may be familiar. Probably you are familiar with the word and not with the fact. And to go into it, as we shall during this evening, we must have a critical capacity. Most of us accept very easily - we accept authority, tradition and the easy way of life - and thereby lose the critical observation. And when we do observe, our criticism is very superficial, casual, or it is made from a particular point of view, and therefore becomes narrow, cynical, or merely destructive. Destruction is good - one must destroy to create. But casual criticism or a gesture or a word does not lead anywhere. And this evening, at least for this hour, one should have the capacity critically to observe, not what the speaker is saying but the natural, spontaneous responses that arise within each one; and one should observe those reactions and not accept them or casually put them aside. One should observe so that one may be able to go into that process which is called meditation.
Without right meditation - not the traditionally accepted, monotonous, repetitive, so-called meditation which is utterly futile and juvenile - , if there is no right meditation, life becomes very superficial. I mean by `life' the whole content of it, the extraordinary beauty, the sorrow, the anxiety, the utter shallowness, the lack of sensitivity, the despair, the hopes, the fears, the agonies, the total process of living. And we are going to go into that this evening. But if you would take the journey together, there must be really critical observation, never accepting a thing: either what the speaker says or what you observe of your own reactions. Because it is only a very sharp, clear, healthy, sane mind that is capable of meditation. If we merely accept, we destroy all feeling. Acceptance is a form of imitation; and meditation is not imitation, it is not repetitive. You have to accept certain obvious things, like keeping to the left side of the road, paying taxes and so on; it is the obvious, superficial authority. But we are talking of authority at quite a different level: the psychological acceptance of authority which comes into being when there is the search and the demand for security, and therefore we accept.
Please observe your own minds in operation rather than merely casually listen to the speaker. Because if one is not aware of one's own process of thought, one will not be able to follow or be able to criticize with an extraordinary passion. Because passion is necessary and there is no authority when there is passion.
As most of us are merely yes-sayers, we do accept; and when we do accept, all feeling is made dull. We are not affected deeply, we have no feeling when we observe the things about us - the tree, the squalor, the poverty, the ignorance, those in power who destroy. For most of us feeling is subtle; when we feel very strongly about something, that very feeling breeds sorrow. When you see the poverty, the utter callousness of people - whether they be the high politicians or the low cunning operators in a particular party, they have no feelings - when you do feel and when you observe yourself, you will find there is a great deal of sorrow involved in it. There is grief not only when there is the feeling about your own particular little sorrow of not having a good position, of being insulted by your boss every day, or by the loss of a particular person, but also when there is the feeling, as a human being, for the whole world, for another human being. To see how power destroys and corrupts, and to feel very strongly, passionately, about these things, every form of acceptance must be put aside.
And it is only when you begin to feel very strongly, out of that feeling there is love. It is only in that state that you can co-operate, because we live by co-operating and we destroy each other when there is no co-operation - and that is what is happening throughout the world. We have intellectually, verbally, cultivated our brains, our thoughts; but we do not feel strongly. And when we do feel very strongly, we do the most stupid, silly things: trying to convert people to a particular form of belief, or joining a peace march, or this, or that.
I am talking of something entirely different. We are talking about feeling, for itself, without sorrow. Because the moment there is sorrow, there is a feeling that you must do something immediately; then that feeling loses itself in organization. You observe all this in yourself. And then the feeling gets dissipated, lost. Love cannot be organized; and it is only a man who loves that can co-operate. The world needs co-operation, the feeling of co-operation; there is the necessity, the urgency, to co-operate - not according to a particular pattern, not with the Government or against the Government, not with a particular authority or with a particular system. We co-operate when we agree; but our agreement is merely, generally intellectual, verbal. Love does not agree; love is not an idea with which you agree or disagree. You do not agree with the heat of the sun; it is there burning, destroying, creating, making things new.
So there is co-operation right through life, not at one level of life only but right through - this feeling of working together efficiently, living together, not dividing the earth into yours and mine, into America, Russia, India and all the stupid, political, national, linguistic divisions - , feeling together. Unfortunately, only hate brings us together. When we are attacked we all come together, but hate is not love. It is only when a man really feels when he sees the squalor, the dirt on the road; feels the inward poverty of the politician; sees the utter cupidity of the saints and their followers - to feel for all these is part of meditation. Meditation is not just a word. I am sure that word has awakened in you the traditional form, the traditional way of meditation.
You see, we need a fresh mind, a new mind, because it is only a new mind that can create, bring about, a new world - not the traditional mind, not the mind that accepts and performs a routine day after day. We need a mind that is in revolution, not a mind that is merely in revolt. There is a difference between revolt and revolution. One can revolt against something: that revolt is merely a reaction; it is life revolting against a particular form of society, a particular order, a psychological insistence of a particular society. But revolution is, something entirely different. To deny completely the whole psychological structure of society, not just parts of it but the totality of it, needs an extraordinary capacity to be critical. And you can only criticize sanely, when there is real feeling. As we were saying, what is necessary is a mind that is incorruptible, a mind that is made new.
Now, we are going this evening to go into this question and to bring about that mind instantly. Because it must be brought about instantly; it cannot take place in time - then corruption sets in. That instant mutation is revolution, not revolt. And the enquiry sanely, logically, through the observation of every process of your own thinking and feeling - to observe - is the beginning of meditation. A mind that is not made new, that has the whole weight of the past, merely reacts; it can never be still, quiet. So we are going into a problem which is extremely subtle, which needs all your attention, and therefore not accepting or denying what the speaker is saying. You need merely to observe at the highest capacity of critical awareness in which there is no choice, no comparative condemnation.
For most of us, to meditate is a problem of conflict, because thought wanders all over the place, and to make that thought quiet is a battle, is a conflict. And when there is conflict, there is no understanding. It is merely a battle between `what should be' and `what is; and a mind caught in this battle cannot possibly ever know what is the right way, the right process of meditation. So we must understand this whole process of thinking - not how to still thought, not how to control thought. Every schoolboy knows how to control thought. When he wants to look out of the window, and the teacher says, "Look at your book", he is frightened and looks at the book. We have known that art of concentration. But to enquire into this whole process of thinking - to find out whether thought can ever be still - demands attention, and we are going to go into it.
As I have pointed out, meditation is an extraordinary thing. There is an extraordinary beauty in it. It gives the mind a sensitivity and heightens its sharpness so that your whole life is lived completely, fully, in the active present. For most of us do not live totally, with all our conscious and unconscious state and beyond. We only touch at the periphery, and this peripheral touch we call living - with all its agonies, contradictions, bestialities, cruelties, flatteries, insults and all the rest of human existence. That is where we touch. We are talking of a meditative mind that is totally aware, not only of the peripheral movement but of the whole content of consciousness, and thereby goes beyond it. Otherwise that is no meditation; otherwise it is mere self-hypnotism, caught in a series of ideas, in images, in a conditioned projection of Christ or Buddha or Sri Krishna or your particular guru, seeing visions and getting terribly excited about those normal conditional responses which have no meaning at all.
So we are talking about something entirely different. We are talking about a meditative mind that is in the full flow of life without fear and therefore without hope, without despair, and therefore seeing beauty, living in a state of complete co-operation and therefore in a state of love. That is what we are going into.
As we said just now, we have to understand or to find out the beginning of meditation. If you do not understand the beginning you will not understand the end, because the end is in the beginning, not away, not at a distance. Therefore you have to understand completely what the beginning is completely, with all your being. So, if I may suggest or request, please don't say at the end, "You have not taught me how to meditate. I haven't a silent mind. So what am I to do?" - those are questions that are utterly immature. Those questions indicate a mind that has not gone into itself and discovered the whole process of its own thought, the flowering of its whole being.
All we know is the observer and the observed - which is, the experiencer, and the thing experienced, or the thinker and the thought. That is all we know. That is a fact which you will find out for yourself when you observe yourself: the thinker trying to control thought, the thinker trying to shape thought, the thinker trying to impose discipline, trying to understand this thing, this thought, that wanders away from moment to moment. And so we know only the contradiction and the conflict between the thinker and the thought. Please, you are not listening to me, to the speaker: you are observing yourself. What the speaker says is of very little importance. What is important is to observe how your own mind is operating, and merely to listen to the speaker so that he acts as a mirror for your observation and nothing else. And you will see how this process, this conflict, is our life.
From the moment we are born till we die, this battle goes on, day after day, endlessly: the thinker accumulating, chastening his thoughts, refining or controlling; and what he wants is completely to control all thought. So the thinker lives in a state of sterile decay, because he has controlled all thoughts. That is all what your meditation means: just to control your feelings, your thoughts, the duties, the responsibilities, the ugliness of your life. And in that framework you try to meditate. Therefore you may alter your character a little bit, here and there; you may become a little more quiet, more considerate. But character - which is really the reaction to a particular society - however necessary, will not bring in the freedom of a mind that can meditate, of a mind that is in a state of an extraordinary ecstasy: and there is that ecstasy.
So the question then is: is it possible to remove totally this conflict between the thinker and the thought? Please see the problem, understand the problem, first. If you exercise will to bring about a complete harmony between the thinker and the thought, between the innumerable experiences of the past and the present movement of experiencing which is the response of the past in the present, if you merely exercise a decision, exercise will to control, who is the entity that exercises that will? It is still the thinker. You may call it the higher self, the atman, or give it all kinds of superficial or traditional names, but it is still within the field of thought. Therefore what is within the field of thought is not the real. Thought is merely the response of memory. You have been brought up to believe in the atman, and another man might not be brought up to believe in anything. You are just conditioned. Because you use the word `atman' or the word `God,' you are not godly. To find God, to realize that extraordinary thing, you need a mind that is astonishingly new, innocent, a mind that has that energy which is not contaminated by conflict.
So what is necessary, is not will but being aware of this duality, of this contradiction between the thinker and the thought - just to be aware, just to see, just to observe. You will find that really to observe is one of the most difficult things, and that very observation itself is discipline - not the discipline enforced.
So meditation then is the observation of yourself: just to observe the movement of your own being, to observe your thought; not to correct thoughts, not to put them in certain categories of good or bad, but just to observe. When you so observe, you will see that there is no thinker and the thought, that there is only a state of observation - not that you observe. This is very important to understand, because most of us - not most of us, all of us - are secondhand human beings. Sirs, please do not take notes; just listen, listen with your hearts, not with your minds only. We are secondhand human beings. There is nothing new, original, pristine, uncorrupt. We are all put together by society - which again is a fact. How can a secondhand mind, though it has had a thousand experiences discover something that has never been touched by thought? How can a secondhand mind discover the energy that has never known what it is to be in conflict, that is something beyond time, beyond all forms of the known? Do what you will, meditate for the rest of your life traditionally, you will never free that mind. You will never bring about a new mind unless you have totally, completely understood the whole process of experiencing and thinking. It is only when you have really understood the problem of experiencing and thinking, that the mind can be still.
For most of us experience is very necessary. We are fed up with our daily experiences, daily going to the office, with the usual sexual enjoyments. We are fed up with the traditional acceptances and we want something more. We want to experience something much more. So what do we do? We take drugs - that is the latest craze. We take drugs which will give us heightened sensitivity, which will expand slightly our consciousness; and in that state we have extraordinary feelings - there is no distance between the flower and you, between the sky and you, between the tree and you; there is no distance between you and your feeling, between you and the state of being; you are completely unidentified and are one with all that. Not that I have taken that drug, but I have talked to people who have. But that experience is still within the field of time, within the field of consciousness. That does not bring about that extraordinary freedom from the known.
So you have to understand experience. Please, from the moment I began the talk this evening till now, it has been a process of meditation. If you have not understood this, you won't go any further.
A mind that is made up of experience is a secondhand mind, because there is nothing new in experience - however deep, however wide the challenge may be. Because when there is a challenge, you respond according to your conditioning. If you are a politician, you will obviously respond as a politician to a demand, to a challenge that asks you to respond totally. You as a politician will respond according to your party politics, to your country, to your fears, to your desire for power or to remain in your position, and all the rest of the stupid nonsense that goes on in this world. If you want a wider, deeper, more extensive experience, you will experience according to your conditioning, whatever that be.
A mind that has understood experience and therefore is free from the demand for experiencing, is in a state where there is no experience. It is only the mind that has no experience, that is an innocent mind. And it is only the innocent mind that can observe that which is beyond the measure of time. Therefore meditation is the understanding of experience. Do follow all this. A mind that is freeing itself from experience is alight, afire, without a shadow; it is completely a light to itself. How can such a mind demand experience? It is only the mind that is seeing, wanting, desiring, hoping, escaping - it is only such a mind that wants more and more experience. So meditation takes place when the mind understands and is freeing itself from all experience.
But to free oneself from all experience, to understand experience rightly, one has to understand the conscious and the unconscious mind. The conscious mind - we know what it is: the educated, the technological, the present mind that has learnt how to read and write, to go to the office, to follow the leaders, to accept the traditional forms of belief in gods and goddesses and all the rest of it. That is the superficial mind. Then there is the whole unconscious mind - the unconscious mind with its motives, with its collected and collecting, accumulated and accumulating impressions, the residue of a particular race, all man's endeavour. It is there, hidden, deep down in you. You may be a Hindu; outwardly, you may smoke, you may drink and you may carry on, highly civilized; but deep down, you have still whole centuries of propaganda, centuries of assertions, centuries of beliefs. You are conditioned deep down, as a Hindu. That demands exploration. That demands understanding. That demands that you must be totally free, that all conditioning must be broken down.
Now the question is: is it possible to enquire into the unconscious? I have not the time to go into it too deeply, but I hope you will follow this. Unless you understand the unconscious completely - do what you will consciously - your meditation or your enquiry or your seeking God or trying to become non-violent and all the rest of it has no meaning, because the unconscious shapes our thought and our feeling. So you have to enquire into it. You understand? You have to find out about the unconscious, about something of which you don't know. You don't know your unconscious; you may have some hints, some intimations of it, through dreams and so on. You don't know the depth of it, the contours of it, the frame, the boundaries of it. You have to know this. And to find out about the unconscious, your conscious mind must be completely quiet.
The conscious mind is in constant battle; the conscious mind is ambitious, greedy, envious, frightened, licking the boots of those in power, showing respect to those people in power and not showing respect to anybody else; the conscious mind is only put together by the psychological structure of society. That conscious mind must be completely quiet - that means, you must be free from ambition, not verbally; you must be free from the desire for power, position, prestige: you must be free from fear and therefore in a state of complete humility; it is only then the superficial mind is quiet. Then you will find, when the superficial mind is quiet, the whole content of consciousness comes into view. You understand?
By analysing the unconscious - you know the analytical process - , you will never solve this problem. In the analytical process there will always be the analyser who is conditioned, and therefore whatever he analyses is still conditioned. Therefore the analytical process has no value, nor has the self-introspective process any value. But what has value is for the conscious mind to be aware of the psychological structure of the particular society in which it is caught, and to be free of that psychological structure. Only then will the conscious mind be quiet, completely quiet; but the unconscious mind is not yet quiet. Then you will see, the conscious mind is very quiet, not at any given moment but all the time - as you are going to the office, as you walk home, as you bicycle, as you go in a bus. This quietness is not enforced. Because you understand how important it is for the superficial mind to be quiet, the necessity of it, the urgency of it, the superficial mind is quiet. You cannot make it quiet - because then it becomes stupidly dull, inactive, and is not aware; and all the beauty of life slips by.
So the conscious mind, by observing the necessity of quietness, is quiet. Then the unconscious projects all the things, all its contents; as you observe a tree, as you observe a woman, as you observe a man, as you observe a child, as all the responses, the motives, the hidden dark corners of the mind spill out; and they are understood immediately because the conscious mind is not judging, is not evaluating, is not comparing. It is there, watching, completely still, because it is no longer seeking, no longer wanting experience. Then you will see, if you have gone as far as that, that the whole content of consciousness is empty.
These are not words. Don't repeat it afterwards and ask, "How is the conscious to be emptied?" Either you are doing it or you will never do it. If you are doing it, you will go on for the rest of your life. If you are not doing it now, you will never do it; because this is not an act of memory, this is an act in the living present. Because you understand, that very understanding is an action which goes on and on in spite of you, whether you like it or not.
Such a mind is not a mind which is concentrating, because what is there to concentrate upon? It is aware, it is attentive. A mind that is concentrated on something narrow, exclusive, itself becomes exclusive and therefore inattentive; it is merely focussed on a particular thing. What we are talking about is a mind that has understood this whole problem of experience - the contradictions, the conflicts, the miseries - and therefore has become completely attentive and is in a state of complete attention. Such a mind can then concentrate; then it won't be exclusive. As I said in the beginning, all this is part of meditation - all this from the beginning till now. Then you will see, from this - naturally as a flower opens - there comes a stillness, a quietness of the mind. And such stillness of the mind is absolutely necessary for a man who would discover what is true.
Such a mind has no belief, is not seeking, is not wanting more experience. Then out of that complete quietness - in which thought is not, but the mind is completely aware - out of that stillness there comes quite a different movement. Please, you will naturally translate what I am saying, what we are talking about, into your own terminology - samadhi and all the rest of the words which you use. The moment you translate what is being said into your own terminology, you have stopped meditating. You, have to break down all the words, all the terminologies, all the traditions, all the things that man has put together in his fear, in his hope, in his despair.
Then you will see that the mind is completely alone, there is a quality of incorruptibility. And a mind that has completely understood and is free of the whole psychological structure of society - only such a mind is innocent and can see that which is eternal, which has no name, which cannot be put into words, which cannot be experienced.
November 10, 1963
New Delhi 1963
New Delhi 6th Public Talk 10th November 1963
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