Bombay 3rd Public Talk 26th February 1967
We were talking the other day, when we met here, about the necessity of a total revolution - a revolution both inward and outward. We were saying that order is essential to have peace in the world, not only order without, but primarily order within. This order is not mere routine. Order is a living thing which cannot possibly be brought about by mere intellection, by ideologies, by various forms of compulsive behavior. We were saying, too, that thought, which has been the old, cannot function without the pattern which it has established in the past. Thought is always the old. Thought cannot possibly bring about order, because order, as we said, is a living thing. And it is thought which has brought about disorder in the world.
We went into that sufficiently, I think, the other day. We said we must consider not what order is, but rather what brings about disorder. Because the moment we can understand what disorder is and actually perceive it, and see, not merely intellectually but actually, the whole structure of disorder, then in the total understanding of that disorder order will come about.
I think this is important to understand. Because, most of us think that order can be brought about by repetition, that if you can go to an office for the next forty years, be an Engineer or a Scientist functioning in a routine, you are bringing about order. But routine is not order: routine has bred disorder. We have disorder both outwardly and inwardly. I think there is no question about this. There is general chaos, both outwardly and inwardly. Man is groping to find a way out of this chaos, asking, demanding, seeking new leaders, and if he can find a new leader, political or religious, he will follow him. That is, man is willing to follow a mechanically established routine, a purpose, a system.
But when one observes how this disorder has come into being, one sees that wherever there has been authority, especially inward authority, there must be disorder. One accepts the inward authority of another, of a teacher, of a guru, of a book and so on. That is, by following another - his precepts, his sayings, his commands and his authority - in a mechanical way, one hopes to bring about order within oneself. Order is necessary to have peace. But the order which we create in the pursuit of, or in following, an authority breeds disorder. You can observe what is happening in the world, especially in this country where authority still reigns, where inward authority, the demand, the urge to follow somebody is very strong and is a part of the tradition, a part of the culture. That is why there are so many asramas, little or big, which are really concentration camps. Because, there you are told exactly what to do. There is the authority of the so-called spiritual leaders. And like all concentration camps, they try to destroy you, they try to mould you into a new pattern. The communists in Russia, the regimes of dictatorship, brought about concentration camps to change opinion, to change the way of thinking, to force people. And this is exactly what is happening. The more there is chaos in the world, the more there are the so-called asramas which are essentially concentration camps to twist the people, to mould them, to force them to a certain pattern, promising them a marvellous future. And the dullards accept this. They accept this, because, then they have physical security. The boss, the commissar, the guru, the authority tells them exactly what to do; and they will willingly do it, because they are promised heaven or whatever it is, and in the meantime there is physical security. This type of mechanical obedience - all obedience is mechanical - does breed great disorder, as one observes from history and from the everyday incidents of life.
So, for the comprehension of disorder one has to understand the causes of disorder. The primary cause of disorder is the pursuit or the seeking of a reality which another promises. As most of us are in confusion, as most of us are in turmoil, we would rather mechanically follow somebody who will assure us of a comfortable spiritual life. It is one of the most extraordinary things that politically we are against tyranny, dictatorship. The more liberal, the more civilized, the more free the people are, the more they abhor, they detest tyranny, politically and economically; but, inwardly, they would accept the authority, the tyranny of another. That is, we twist our minds, twist our thoughts and our way of life, to conform to a certain pattern established by another as the way to reality. When we do that, we are actually destroying clarity, because clarity or light has to be found by oneself, not through another, not through a book, not through any saint. Generally the saints are distorted human beings. Because they lead the so-called simple life, the others are greatly impressed; but their minds are twisted and they create what they think is reality.
But actually to understand disorder one has to understand the whole structure of authority, not only inwardly, but also outwardly. One cannot deny outward authority. That is necessary. It is essential for any civilized society. But what we are saying is about the authority of another, including that of the speaker. There can be order only when we understand the disorder that each one of us brings about, because we are part of society; we have created the structure of society, and in that society we are caught. We, as human beings who have inherited animal instincts, have to find, as human beings, light and order. And we cannot find that light and order, or that understanding, through another - it does not matter who it is - because the experiences of another may be false. All experiences must be questioned, whether your own or of another. Experience is the continuation of a bundle of memories, which translates the response to a challenge according to its conditioning. That is, experience is, is it not?, to respond to a challenge: and that experience can only respond according to its background. If you are a Hindu, or a Muslim, or a Christian, you are conditioned by your culture, by your religion, and that background projects every form of experience. And the more clever you are in interpreting that experience, the more you are respected, of course with all that goes with it, all the circus.
So we must question, we must doubt, not only the experience of another, but also our own experience. To seek further experience through expansion of consciousness, which is being done through various forms of psychedelic drugs, is still within the field of consciousness and, therefore, very limited. So a person who is seeking experience in any form - especially the so-called religious, spiritual experience - must not only question it, doubt it, but must totally set it aside. A mind that is very clear, a mind that is full of attention and love - why should such a mind demand any more experience?
What is true cannot be invited. You can practise any amount of prayer, breathing and all the rest of the tricks that human beings do in order to find some reality, some experience; but truth cannot be invited. That which is measurable can come, but not the immeasurable. And a man, who is pursuing that which cannot understood by a mind that is conditioned, breeds disorder, not only outwardly, but inwardly.
So. authority must be totally set aside; and that is one of the most difficult things to do. From childhood we are led by authority - the authority of the family, the mother and the father; the authority of the school, the teacher and so on. There must be the authority of a scientist, the authority of a technologist. But the so-called spiritual authority is an evil thing, and that is one of the major causes of disorder, because that is what has divided the world into various forms of religions, into various forms of ideologies.
So to free the mind from all authority there must be self-knowing, that is self-knowledge. I do not mean the higher self or the Atman, which are all the inventions of the mind, the inventions of thought, inventions born out of fear. We are talking of self-knowing: knowing oneself actually as one is, not as one should be, to see that one is stupid, that one is afraid, that one is ambitious, that one is cruel, violent, greedy; the motives behind one's thought, the motives behind one's action - that is the beginning of knowing oneself. If you do not know yourself, how the structure of your mind operates, how you feel, what you think, what your motives are, why you do certain things and avoid other things, how you are pursuing pleasure - unless you know all this basically, you are capable of deceiving yourself, of creating great harm, not only to yourself, but to others. And without this basic self-knowing there can possibly, be no meditation, which I am going to talk about presently.
You know, the young people throughout the world are rejecting, revolting against the established order - an order which has made the world ugly, monstrous, chaotic. There have been wars; and, for one job, there are thousands of people. Society has been built by the past generation with its ambitions, its greed, its violence its ideologies. People especially the young people, are rejecting all ideologies - perhaps not in this country; for we have not advanced enough, we are not civilized enough to reject all authority, all ideologies. But in rejecting ideologies they are creating their own pattern of ideology: long hair, and all the rest of it.
So, mere revolt does not answer the problem. What answers the problem is to bring about order within oneself, order which is living, not a routine. Routine is deadly. You go to an office the moment you pass out of your college - if you can get a job. Then for the next forty to fifty years, you go to the office every day. You know what happens to such a mind? You have established a routine, and you repeat that routine; and you encourage your children to repeat that routine. Any man alive must revolt against it. But you will say, "I have responsibility; placed as I am, I cannot leave it even though I would like to". And so the world goes on, repeating the monotony, the boredom of life, its utter emptiness. Against all this intelligence is revolting.
So, there must be a new order, a new way of living. To bring about that new order, that new way of living, we must understand disorder. It is only through negation that you understand the positive, not by the pursuit of the positive. You understand, sir? When you deny, put aside, what is negative; when you understand the whole sociological and inward disorder that human beings have created; when you understand that as long as each human being is ambitious, greedy, invidious, competitive, seeking position, power, authority, he is creating, disorder; and when you understand the structure of disorder; that very understanding brings about discipline - discipline not of suppression, not of imitation. Out of negation comes the right discipline, which is order.
So, to understand oneself is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom does not lie in books, nor in experience, nor in following another, nor in repeating a lot of platitudes. Wisdom comes to a mind that is understanding itself, understanding how thought is born. Have you ever questioned or asked: What is the beginning of thought, how does thought come into being? That is a very important thing to understand. Because, if you can understand the beginning of thought, then perhaps you can find out a mind that is not burdened with thought as a repetition of what has been. As we said, thought is always old, thought is never new. Unless you discover for yourself - not repeat what somebody says, it doesn't matter who it is - unless you find out for yourself the beginning of thought - like a seed which puts out a green leaf - you cannot possibly go beyond the limitations of yesterday.
And to find out the beginning of thought there must be the understanding of yourself, not through analysis. Analysis takes time, like taking off the peels of an onion bit by bit. We think we can understand through analysis, through introspection, through the pursuit of a particular idea that has arisen and examining the cause of it - all that takes time. Now when you use time as a means of understanding, then time breeds disorder. Therefore, time is sorrow. You understand? If you take time to be rid, in yourself, of violence, you have established that you must be free of violence as a goal, as an ideology, and that to reach that ideal you must have time, that you must cover the space between violence and that state in which there is no violence. When you have time to rid yourself of violence, you are sowing the seeds of violence all the time - which is an obvious fact. If you say to yourself, "I will not be ambitious when I reach the top of the heap", you are in the meantime sowing the seeds of ruthlessness of an ambitious man. So, the understanding of oneself is not dependent on time; it must be instantaneous. We are going into that a little bit.
We are saying: the world, as it is now, is in chaos. There are wars, repetitive activity, the business of the churches - all that has bred much mischief in the world, and the continuation of all that is disorder. To bring about order, we must understand the structure of disorder. And one of the major structures of this disorder is authority. You pursue authority because of fear. You say, "I don't know; you know, please tell me". There is no one that can tell you. When you realize that, and when you realize that you have to find out everything entirely by yourself, inwardly, psychologically, then there is no leader, no guru, no philosopher, no saint that will help you, because they are still functioning on the level of thought. Thought is always old, and thought is not a guide.
So we are going to find out the origin, the beginning of thought; and this is important. Please listen to this, not just merely to the words. You know what it is to listen? You listen, not in order to learn. Do not listen to learn, but listen with self-abandonment so that you see for yourself the true or the false.
It means that you neither accept nor reject. It does not mean that you have an open mind like a sieve in which everything can be poured and nothing remains. On the contrary, because you are listening, you are highly sensitive and therefore highly critical - not the criticism based on your opinion as opposed to another opinion; that is the process of thought. Please listen as you listen to those crows, without like or dislike. just listen to the sound of that boy hammering at something, without getting irritated, without losing your attention. When you listen so completely, you will find that you have nothing more to do. It is only the man who is standing on the banks of the river that speculates about the beauty of the current. When he has left the bank and is in the current, then there is no speculation, then there is no thought; there is only movement.
To understand what we are going to go into - which is the origin, the beginning of thought - one has to understand oneself; that is, one has to learn about oneself. Acquiring knowledge about oneself and learning about oneself are two different things. You can accumulate knowledge about yourself by watching yourself, by examining yourself. And from what you have learnt, from the accumulation you begin to act; and therefore, in that action you are further acquiring. You understand? What you have learnt, what you have accumulated is already in the past. All accumulation is in the past, and from the past you begin to observe and accumulate more. Whereas learning is not accumulation. Learning is: as you watch, you are moving with the action itself; therefore, there is no residue in your learning, but always learning. Learning is an active-present of the verb, not the past-present. We are going to learn but not from what has been accumulated. In learning a language, you have to accumulate. You have to know the words, you have to learn the various verbs and so on; and after having learnt, you begin to use them. Here it is not at all like that.
Seeing a danger brings about an immediate action. When you see a danger like a precipice, there is an immediate action.
So what we are going to do is to find out, to understand the beginning, the origin of thinking. And to do that, you have to listen and go with it, which means you must give attention. Attention is possible only when you are deeply enquiring - which means, you are actually free to enquire and you are not bound by what some people have said and so on.
Now all life is energy, it is an endless movement. And that energy in its movement creates a pattern which is based on self-protection and security - that is, survival. Energy, movement, getting caught in a pattern of survival, and the repeating of that pattern - this is the beginning of thought. Thought is matter. Energy as movement, that movement caught in the pattern of survival and the repetition of survival in the sense of pleasure, of fear - that is the beginning of thought.
Thought is the response of accumulated memory, accumulated patterns - which is, what you are doing as a Hindu, a Muslim, a Parsi, a Christian, a Communist, a Socialist and so on. We function in patterns, and the repetition of that pattern is the repetition of thought, repeating over and over again. That is what you are doing as a Hindu, a Muslim, or a Parsi - the pattern established by repetition as survival, in the framework of a culture which is Hindu, Muslim or Parsi. This is actually what is going on within each one. Thought has always established a pattern and if the old pattern is not suitable, it establishes another pattern. If Capitalism is not right, then Communism is right; that is a new pattern. Or if Hinduism or Christianity is not convenient, you form another pattern.
So the repetition of that pattern conditions the brain cells themselves, which are matter. Thought is matter. One can discover this for oneself. You must discover it, not because the speaker is telling you - that has no value whatsoever. it is like a man who is hungry being told how marvellous the food is, and being fed on theories. That is what is happening in this country; you are fed on theories and ideologies - the Buddhist ideology, the Hindu ideology, the Sankaracharya ideology and all the rest of it. Therefore, your minds are empty. You are fed on words; that is why there is disorder. That is why all this must be thrown away, so that we start anew. To start anew one must understand this whole structure of thought. Now, you understand this structure of thought only when you begin to understand yourself as a living movement - not "having understood you add more to it; then it becomes a dead thing. You are a living thing within the framework of a culture; and that culture, that tradition, that authority holds you. And within that framework of consciousness is disorder. To understand this whole process and to go very much further - which we are going to do now - is meditation.
Meditation is not the repetitive formula of mantras, of breathing regularly, of sitting in a certain posture, practising awareness, practising attention - these are all utterly mechanical. We are talking of a living thing. And you have practised these mechanical things for centuries upon centuries. Those who have practised them are dead, and their visions are projections from their own past, from their own conditioning. But we are talking of a living meditation, not a mechanical repetitive disciplinary meditation. Unless you know what meditation is - like unless you know what death is - there is no new culture, nothing new is born.
You know, culture is one of the most marvellous things, not the dead culture about which you talk endlessly - the Indian culture, the Hindu culture; that is buried, gone, finished. The living culture is what is actually taking place now. To see the confusion, the mess, the terrible misery, sorrow now, and out of that to grow and to flower - that is culture, not going back to your dead parents.
So we are going to find out together and take a journey together into this question of "what is meditation?". You can only ask that question when you have gone through knowing yourself. You cannot ask, "What is meditation?" unless you know yourself, unless you have an understanding of yourself, unless you have looked at yourself as much as possible. As I said "looking at yourself" is instantaneous; the totality of yourself is revealed in the instant, not in time. You can actually see with your eyes a tree, a flower, a human being next to you. You cannot see the totality of that tree or the totality of the human being next to you, if you have an image about that tree or about that person. This is obvious. It is only when the image is not, that you can see completely. The image is the observer, is the centre from which you observe. When there is a centre from which you observe, there is a space between the observer and the observed. You do not have to pay such enormous attention to what is being said, you can observe this yourself. As long as there is an image about your wife, about your husband, about a tree, about anything, it is the image which is the centre which is looking. So there is separation between the observer and the observed. This is important to understand. We are going into it presently.
First of all, let us remove erroneous ideas about concentration. It is one of the favourite sayings of the meditator or the teacher who practises or teaches meditation, that people must learn concentration - that is, to concentrate on one thought, drive out every other thought and fix your mind on that one thought only. This is a most stupid thing to do. Because, when you do that, you are merely resisting, you are having a battle between the demand that you must concentrate on one thing, and your mind wandering to all kinds of other things. Whereas you have to be attentive not only to the one thought, but also to where the mind is wandering, totally attentive to every movement of the mind. This is possible only when you don't deny any movement, when you don't say, "My mind wanders away, my mind is distracted". There is no such thing as distraction. Because, when the mind wanders off, it indicates that it is interested in something else.
So, one has to understand the whole question of control. But, unfortunately, we cannot go into this this evening, as there is no time. We, human beings, are such controlled, dead entities. This does not mean that we must explode in doing what we want to do - which we do anyhow secretly. But there comes a discipline with love. So I will go into it very quickly.
Meditation is not control of thought. Meditation, when thought is controlled, only breeds conflict in the mind. But when you understand the structure of thought and the origin of thought, then thought will not interfere, as I have explained to you just now. Therefore, you will see that thought has its place - which is, you must go to the office, you must go to your house, speak a language; there thought must function. But when you have understood the whole structure of thinking, that very understanding of the structure of thinking is its own discipline, which is not imitation, which has nothing to do with suppression.
The cells of the brain have been conditioned to survive within a given pattern, as a Hindu, a Muslim, a Parsi, a Christian, a Catholic, or a Communist. As the brain has been conditioned to survive for centuries upon centuries, it has the pattern of repetition; so that the brain itself becomes the major factor of restless enquiry. You will see it for yourself when you go into it.
So the problem is to bring about absolute quietness in the brain cells themselves, which means no seeking of self-importance and of self-continuance. You understand? We must survive at the physical level and we must die at the psychological level. It is only when there is death, at the psychological level, of a thousand yesterdays, that the brain cells are quiet. And this does not come about through any form of manipulation of thought, repetition of mantras - all that is immature. But it comes about only when you understand the whole movement of thought, which is yourself. So the brain cells become extraordinarily quiet, without any movement, except to respond to the outward reactions.
So the brain itself being quiet, the totality of the mind is completely silent, and that silence is a living thing. It is not the product of any guru, of any book, of any ashrama, of any leader, of any authority, or of any drug. You can take a drug, a chemical, to make your mind quiet, or you can mesmerize yourself to be quiet. But that is not the living stillness of a mind that has gone into itself deeply, and therefore is tremendously attentive and highly sensitive. It is only such a mind that can understand what love is. Love is not desire or pleasure. All that we have is desire and pleasure, which we call love. "I love my wife", "I love my God", and so on - all that is based on fear, pleasure and sensation.
So a man who has understood and really gone into this will bring about order, first, within himself. If there is order in oneself, there is order in the world. If each one of you will really bring about order in oneself, you will have a living order, a new society, a new life. But to do that, you have to destroy the old patterns of life. The old patterns of life cannot be broken except through understanding yourself; and out of that understanding comes love.
You know, man has talked about love endlessly: love your neighbour, love God, be kind. But, now you are neither kind nor generous. You are so concentrated on yourself that you have no love. And without love there is only sorrow. This is not a mere aphorism for you to repeat. You have to find that, you have to come upon it. You have to work hard for it. You have to work with the understanding of yourself, ceaselessly, with a passion. Passion is not lust; a man who does not know what passion is, will never know love. Love can come into being only when there is total self-abandonment. And it is only love that can bring about order, a new culture, a new way of life.
February 26, 1967
Bombay 3rd Public Talk 26th February 1967
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