Saanen 6th Public Dialogue 7th August 1972.
K: We have two more discussions, this morning and tomorrow morning, two discussions altogether. So what shall we talk over this morning?
Q: Sir, I spend one third of my life, approximately a third of my life, sleeping every twenty four hour period. And as I have got older I have found that the ability to sleep with harmony with myself seems to be less and less so that the quality of the rest that I get doesn't really prepare me too well for my day.
K: Would you like to discuss what is the function of sleep?
Q: Could we talk over the problems of existence.
K: Problems of existence - that's what we have been talking about for the last ten days, haven't we?
Q: Sir, how can we gather enough energy for meditation.
K: How to gather enough energy to meditate. Do you want to discuss meditation? Be quite sure, please, because it is a very serious subject, and don't kind of say, "Well, that's a nice subject to talk about". If you are really interested in it, we have not only to go into the question of energy, harmony, and what is the function of sleep - all these are involved in meditation, not just sitting cross-legged and going off into some fantasy. So do you really want to discuss this?
Q: Could we talk about education in the same way?
K: Could we not deal with education in the same way?
K: Whom are you educating? The children or the educator?
K: Wait - both. Is the educator capable of really educating the child? No. You say no? She agrees - no. Which is, the educator has to understand the whole problem of existence, not in departments, not classified as technology, science and so on. He has to understand, if he is to be a really good, efficient, worthwhile educator, he has to understand the whole problem of existence. Now during the last three weeks, we have been talking about existence - we have not perhaps mentioned the word education, but the educator is being educated here in this tent, if he would listen. Shall we go on with the other - which is part of our education.
Q: Sir, have we not been talking about meditation the last three weeks?
K: Yes, sir - he says, haven't we been talking about meditation for the last three weeks.
K: The capacity to understand existence, does it depend on individual, biological structure, or on his tendency, character and idiosyncrasy, or does the understanding of existence...
Q: Is it common to all human beings.
K: Is it common to all human beings - I should have thought it is common to all beings. I may have my peculiar tendency, my peculiar idiosyncrasy and character, but surely understanding must go beyond all that. So it is common, it's not restricted according to one's character, body, and so on.
Q: Can we talk about death.
K: Death - you're quite young, aren't you? She wants to discuss death.
Q: And to talk about health and disease, accident.
K: Health, disease, accident and all that kind of thing. Now how can we put all this together - health, disease, death, education, thought killing feeling, sleep, meditation, and death? How can we put all this together.
K: Curiosity. Put it all in.
Q: Isn't it all in meditation?
Q: For me, the house is still burning and I feel that there are many people who have clear eyes in the world. But the people in power can't bring about a change. How can we bring about a change in the people in power?
K: Yes, I understand, madam. There are some people who see clearly, but that is very limited and how to affect, how to bring about a change of heart in the people who are in power.
Q: What is the meaning of freedom?
K: What is the meaning of freedom? Lots of it now.
Q: Sorrow and education.
Q: For the ending of the image is it sufficient to have love?
K: Is the ending of the image, is it sufficient to have love? All right, sir.
Q: Is meditation an effort?
K: Yes, sir, meditation and good old effort. Throw it all in, sir, let's all get together.
Q: Sir, it seems to me that we have every variety of motivation to understanding, except the very simple one of curiosity, the desire to find out. Why does the motivation prevent us from understanding these questions, and why do we have so little curiosity, desire to find out?
K: Look, sir, all these things are involved, aren't they - curiosity, death, education and sorrow, sleep, the whole mechanism of thought, feeling, and so on - all these things have a central issue, they have a central point from which we can start. Can we do that?
Now what is the central point, the root which has the trunk and many branches and leaves. If we could understand this whole process of living, which is the root, then we'll deal or have the capacity to deal with all the branches, with all the leaves, with the dying leaves and the new leaves, and the spring leaves and old leaves. Now what do you think is the central issue?
K: Don't jump, and say, love. It may be love, but consider it for a few minutes. I want to find out if there is a source, a fountain, waters that once drunk will bring about such intelligence that will reply, answer, solve, all the problems. You understand my question?
I want to find out if my mind can live both at the level of knowledge and also at the same time, move with knowledge the unknown, so that both of them are living together, moving together, in harmony? You have understood my question? Now if I can find that out, then I'll have answered all your questions - you'll have answered for yourselves all the questions. How to deal with the known, known being the accumulated knowledge of centuries, and also at the same time, enter or allow the unknown to move also, so that the two together function, in harmony. Would that answer all your questions?
K: Don't say, 'Yes' too quickly and then bring up later on, what about physical existence. I've a problem, one has a problem, which is, sleep, death, education, strong emotions, passions, controlled by thought and thought gradually getting stronger, and destroying all one's feelings, sensitivities, intuition, curiosity - all these are the problems of life. If I have a mind that's very clear, not corrupted, not polluted, not distorted, then such a mind will answer all these questions.
Now what is that mind - don't say it is this or it is that, because the description is not the described, the word is not the thing. So I want to find out, what is that mind that whatever problem it faces it resolves it and goes on, it doesn't become a burden, it doesn't become something to worry about endlessly.
Now can we together this morning spend a little time in trying to find out what is the quality of that mind - mind being, the brain, the feeling, the whole physical organism, the total thing, not the body, the emotion, the intellect, the brain, divided, but the total entity. Now how do you set about trying to find out? Existence implies jobs, food, clothes, and shelter; existence implies all this travail, this battle, this struggle, the pain, the anxiety, the guilt and the sorrow. Existence implies relationship between two human beings; existence implies the hours we spend in sleep; existence implies love, which is translated as jealousy, hate - all that, and sleep, death, and meditation - all that is involved. I want to find out for myself, not having read a book, and I don't want to read any books about all this - I want to find out what that mind is, I'm very curious. Shall we discuss that? Please don't be casual about it.
K: I don't want your encouragement, you understand - I do this in my walk. Now how shall I find out, a mind so clear, a mind that has no conflict - not an ideal, actually has no conflict - a mind that can be completely quiet, a mind that when it sleeps, makes itself new, that lives in complete absence of the 'me', which is the essence of conflict. Now how am I to go about it, because I'm curious, I've got enough energy, I am not frightened, whatever the consequences of my enquiry is, I don't depend on anybody, for money, food - it doesn't interest me. If you give me food I'll take it, if you don't, it's all right, I'm not interested. My whole concern is this.
Q: Sir, I'm not curious - I'm scared, I want to attain it.
K: He's not curious but he wants to attain it. I don't want to attain it. How can my stupid little mind attain that - it can't, can it, because I think in terms of attainment, in terms of success, in terms of getting something. That's my motive. But I say, I've no motive, I want to see what such a mind is like. You see the difference?
Q: If there is such a thing.
K: I'm going to find out, sir. That's just it, I don't know if it exists, because I have no guru, thank god, I have no teacher, I don't accept any description or whatever another says about that - I brush all that aside. They may be an illusion or they are racketeers, so I'm not interested in them. I just want to find out, if there is such a mind.
Now how am I to begin, how am I to start? Please, go on, help me. Where am I to start? At the unknown end, which I can imagine and therefore not real? Or where am I to begin to discover this mind that can respond without contradiction, without effort, without denial, sacrifice, forcing? Where am I to begin?
Q: Begin by asking why all these problems have arisen?
K: Would you begin by asking why all these problems come into being. Look, sir, we've talked for ten days or three weeks, we've been through all that. I start enquiring if there is such a mind, and to find out I must start not knowing. I don't know a thing about it, do you? Come on, sir. You may have read what people have said, you may have heard what people have said, I discard all that. All that I know is, I don't know. Are you also in that position, that you don't know if such a mind exists, and if it is at all possible to come upon it. You don't know - don't pretend, that's all. I don't know. A mind that says, "I don't know", therefore it is free to enquire.
There is freedom, that is the first step and the last step. Take it slowly. When I say, I don't know, I do not depend on anybody, on any circumstances, on any environment, either of the past or of the future. When I say, I don't know, I really completely mean it - I don't know. Are you in that position? Or you have your hidden masters, your hidden guides, your hidden memories, and pretend that you don't know.
Q: I think that I really don't know whether I know or not.
K: Please, this is too serious, don't play with words. Can you honestly say to yourself, I don't know whether there is such a mind? And therefore I'm free to enquire. Therefore enquiry demands that you be free first. Free first, not at the end - free from your Zen, free from your meditations, your systems, your gods, your myths, your gurus, your concepts - out, out of the window all that. You're neither a Christian nor a Buddhist nor a follower of Jesus - out. Then you're free to enquire. That means the mind is not frightened, frightened to be alone.
Now I'm going to enquire, because I don't know what's going to happen. I'm not looking for a result. I don't want to find it or not find it, because my insistence is that mind must be free to enquire, and therefore never a moment of distortion. There is distortion when there is a motive. I've no motive, I don't care. I don't care, if that mind exists, doesn't exist, my enquiry in motiveless, endless, and has no authority whatsoever, past or present, therefore it's free to enquire. Come on, sir, will you move with me.
Now what am I enquiring into? I'm free to enquire - enquire what? Sleep? You're all very silent.
Q: Free to look?
K: Free to look - look at what? The tree, the mountain, the green, lovely, sparkling meadows.
Q: It's automatic to...
K: Don't speculate.
Q: I'm not speculating. When there is something you see immediately that creates space, and the mind has to be empty all the time.
K: When you say, "I don't know" the mind is empty. When it says, "I'm enquiring," it says, "What am I enquiring into." Am I enquiring into death, which is part of living? Am I enquiring into sleep, which is part of living? Job, fear, what am I enquiring into?
Q: The fact that I'm bored...
Q: ...and I'm asking myself whether it is possible to live differently, and I really don't know.
K: You don't know, so why don't you start from there? I don't know how to end conflict. I live in conflict, contradiction, all the rest of it - we won't go into all the details of it - I live in conflict, I'm enquiring into that because I don't know what's going to happen. Wait. I'm enquiring into conflict, with a mind that says I really don't know if I can ever to beyond it. But you start with a mind which says, "I really don't know. I live in conflict but I don't know how to solve it." Wait, go step by step into it. But you start with not knowing, and therefore you start with freedom.
Q: If you enquire further into an idea...
K: You're going to find out, sir - don't verbalize it yet.
K: No, madam. We had all these questions, hadn't we: life is death, sleep, conflict, suffering, education, thought opposing feeling, feeling opposing thought. We've had all these questions. I said, where am I to start, in the resolution of all this - in the understanding of all this - where am I to start? I say I really don't know whether I should begin here or there, therefore not knowing, I meet them all. You get it? Because I don't know, therefore I have the capacity to look at them all. This is not mystifying - how can I go on with all of you? You know, this is really a marvellous subject if you go into it - with two or three people we could do a great deal, but with so many contradictory problems and all the rest of it, it becomes extraordinarily difficult.
I don't know what meditation is, I don't know what death is, I don't know if life can be lived without strife, without any kind of strife. But I am free to enquire. Now I'm going to enquire, being free, what is the significance of sleep? I'm taking that. The sleep which most of us have is a disturbance. No? Isn't it a disturbance, with dreams, with pictures, nightmares, all kinds of things are going on, aren't they?
Q: There are other kinds of sleep, too.
K: Do you know it?
K: What is that?
Q: When I did not know anything about dreams and all that.
K: So, when the brain gets tired of dreams it becomes quiet, is that it?
Q: Yes, probably - yes I suppose.
K: You're enquiring, you can't suppose.
Q: He has to suppose because you can't ask him while he's asleep, he's awake now and he has to answer you.
K: That's what I mean, sir. Look, we're enquiring into the question of sleep. I'm asking myself, during the day, my whole day is a disturbed existence. I'm disturbed all day long, I've got a job where I'm insulted, I accept great confusion during the daytime. And at night the same movement is going on, it isn't a break, which is translated into dreams.
Q: You asked if there is another kind of sleep.
K: I don't know - I'm going to find out. I see that during the day my life is disturbed, my brain is in conflict, I'm pushed around, I'm dominated or I dominate - it's a constant threat, constant pain, constant pleasures and so on. It is the same movement carried on when I go to sleep, that is when I dream. So I say to myself, "I'm enquiring, can I during the day bring order in my life, because when I sleep dreams are a means of bringing about order." Have you noticed, just before you go to sleep sometimes the brain says, "What kind of day have I had? It's time to bring about order before going to sleep." Have you noticed it? Oh, no, don't tell me - come on. Some of you have, therefore before you sleep, the brain tries to put order. If you don't put order, then while you sleep the brain is trying to create order, which are dreams, interpretations, all the rest of it. Is that clear? I'm enquiring, I don't want to know what happens - I see this fact.
Now can I bring order during the day in my life - if not I'll dream, if not my brain will have no rest? And it must have rest, otherwise it's like a machinery that's working for seventy years, it wears itself out. So it must have complete rest.
Q: Scientists say that dreams are necessary. Scientists also say that there are states between dreams. Now we can enquire as to whether the mind is so completely tired it has given up trying to put order, really it's too exhausted.
K: That's right.
Q: And I think what you are asking is, there is a third kind of sleep.
K: Yes. I put my life in order during the day. I have - not you. To me it's tremendously important this, not to have conflict. So I have the order and this order can be brought about only when I see how chaotic the disorder is. Through the understanding and examination, enquiry into disorder, order is brought about. Order isn't a pattern, which I follow regularly, a blueprint which I accept blindly and go on. Order is something that comes out of the understanding of the insight of disorder. Therefore my life during the day is orderly. Then at night, what takes place? Sleep then is without dreams. Am I telling you and therefore you're accepting it, or is it a fact to you?
Q: You are telling us because the very fact that...
K: Therefore leave it.
Q: That's why we can only talk about the day, the waking state.
K: That's all - so my enquiry goes much further than yours. Because I think I have brought order in my life, and I know if there is disorder what to do; and I say the brain then, when it sleeps, is absolutely rested. And what happens during rest, and further, that's my enquiry, it's not your enquiry, therefore I won't go into it. I know it's exciting for you to listen to what happens but that's of no value.
Q: Some scientists have made experiments where they keep somebody awake.
K: I know, sir, I know all that.
Q: And then they conclude from that that you have to dream. Of course that only shows you are disorderly during the day and then you...
K: So my question is, have you put order during the waking hours of your life?
Q: Obviously not because I dream.
K: Therefore obviously not, therefore why don't you put order?
Q: I don't know how.
K: Wait, I'm telling you.
Q: But there's so much to cope with. Isn't there disorder to cope with?
K: No, there isn't. The lady says there is so much to cope with - there isn't. What you're coping with is disorder.
Q: Well there's this disorder to cope with. Isn't there disorder to cope with?
K: No, disorder has many forms but it is disorder - sexual disorder, mental disorder, disorder in our relationship with each other, disorder in my body, disorder - psychological, physiological, psychosomatic, whatever it is - disorder. Why don't I bring order into all that?
Q: Sir, because I don't know how and I want you to tell me.
K: I'll show it to you, sir. Are you aware of this disorder?
K: Now watch it, sir. You are aware of this disorder - what do you do about it?
K: Look at your own disorder - not that gentleman's disorder. His disorder is your disorder. He says, "I'm in disorder, I don't know what to do with it." Why not? What is disorder - contradiction, isn't it? Basically, disharmony - disorder - I think one thing, do another, say one thing, act in a different way, I feel and I mustn't feel, I want peace, I'm violent, which are all contradictions. Therefore my life, which is disorderly, is the result of contradiction. When a neurotic person believes in something and holds on to that, for that person there is no disorder, because he says, "This is so." I believe tremendously in Jesus or Buddha and that's finished - I've no disorder. Because that to me is real, everything else is unreal.
So if there is to be order you have to examine disorder in your life, which is brought about by contradiction, which is not seeing actually 'what is', wanting to change 'what is' into something else. That is disorder. Come on, sir.
Q: As I walk along I am aware of a centre which is the essence of disorder. And I want to change it, I still want to get rid of it and find order.
K: Do listen to what I am saying - you are aware of your disorder, disorder basically implies contradiction, which is, not facing 'what is', not looking and moving away from 'what is'. When you move away from 'what is', that is disorder. When you try to go beyond it, that is disorder. When you try to suppress it, that is disorder. But when you look at 'what is', you've all the energy to go beyond it. That is order. Have you got it - not my verbal explanation, actually, have you got your teeth into it.
Q: Sir, what about compromises? It is sometimes necessary...
K: What about compromising - sometimes it is necessary. All right, compromise. Why do you make a problem of it - I have to compromise in putting on trousers, I have to compromise when I have to put on leather shoes. Why do you make a problem of compromise - because one has a principle that you mustn't compromise?
K: Wait - follow it up. One can compromise about little things, but is there compromise when you see the fact that war is caused by nationality, one of the causes. Is there any compromise there?
Q: Yes, the consequence if you won't fight is that they take your passport and nationality.
K: Then let them take my passport, but fortunately they've given me one. And if they say you can't travel, all right, I don't travel, I stay where I am.
Q: But I might starve.
K: If I starve, I starve, all right - you people are so frightened. Let's move. So I've brought order in my life, daily living, waking hours, there is order and therefore the brain is absolutely quiet, incorruptible in that state. And when it wakes up, it's got vitality - that is, not yours, but what I am saying.
Now I am enquiring because I don't know - I am enquiring into meditation. What does it mean? I see at first, the mind must be absolutely quiet, because if it is not quiet it cannot see clearly. That's all.
K: No, I see if I want to listen to you, I must hear what you are saying - I can't be distracted. I want to listen to you, therefore my attention is effortless, because I'm curious, eager to find out what you want to say. Therefore there is no effort. I see very clearly that to listen, to see, the mind must be completely quiet. That's all. And my interest is to listen to you, my interest is to see clearly, therefore the mind is quiet.
Q: I think we're going to enter some difficulty...
K: Lots of difficulties.
Q: ...at this point because we're going to start talking in contradiction as words. In order to listen, the mind is quiet, but listening, listening to what - sound? That sound emphasizing the quiet - so once again. So you said that the mind must be quiet in order to listen, but that's a contradiction in terms - quiet for listening.
K: No, sir.
Q: The words are contradictory but not the actuality.
K: All right, if you have understood it, then it's simple. To see clearly...
Q: ...there must be no colour in the mind.
K: That's all, sir. And to make the mind quiet is absurd. To force the mind to be quiet is absurd - it's not quiet. Or to follow a system which will make the mind quiet, is absolutely silly - whether it is offered by the greatest guru or the lowliest of the gurus.
So I see, in my enquiry into meditation, I see, there is an insight into the quality of a mind that is quiet. Have you? No? You haven't, have you? Why not? If you want to see the tree, your girl, the mountain, hear what others are saying, you have to be quiet, haven't you? What is the difficulty? Therefore your difficulty is, you don't want to listen, you don't want to see.
Q: You see for an instant and then it disappears.
K: Why does it disappear - you see it for an instant, it disappears. All right, let it disappear. You want to have the whole thing, don't you? You're so greedy. Just one second of perception is enough.
So I'm enquiring into meditation. I see my body must be quiet, relaxed. Then in that state of relaxation, the blood goes much easier to the brain. Therefore they advocate sitting in postures, you know, sitting cross-legged, all that game. Or you can lie down or do anything, walk, it doesn't matter. So the body must be sensitive, alive, quick, supple, mustn't it? Is your body quick, supple, sensitive? Obviously not, because you overeat, not enough exercise, smoke, drink - carry on, and yet you say, "Now I'm carrying on my daily life, I want a quiet mind. Tell me how to work at it." So you want all your pleasures and get the other pleasure. Too childish all this! Now, the problem is, can thought be still? Mind means thought, the whole mechanism of thinking. How is thought to be still?
Q: You just said that thought is still, when you are really interested to observe.
K: Yes, sir, I'm examining - is your thought quiet?
K: Therefore you're not enquiring.
Q: That's right. There is a part of me which just sits there.
K: Therefore you're not enquiring - I say I'm enquiring. I say, can thought be quiet, operate when necessary, logically, sanely, impersonally, vitally, and the rest of the time - quiet, not all the time operating?
Q: Sir, if you are enquiring, it is already quiet.
K: Sir, if you're doing this thought is quiet, but you're not doing it, are you? No, therefore we are enquiring - I'm enquiring for you. Look, all our life is spent in thinking, isn't it? Most of our life is the activity of thought. Thought is going on endlessly, consciously or unconsciously. Is that so or not? Now how do you bring this mechanism to an end for a while?
K: Therefore what do you do about it - therefore don't talk. I want to find out, I want to put my blood into it to find out, if thought must all the time go on. Or I say, "Is there an interval between two thoughts. Or is thought one continuous movement taking different forms?" You're not enquiring, you've never done any of this.
Q: There's an interval between thoughts.
K: There is an interval between two thoughts. The lady says yes, I know that interval, she says. Now what happens in that interval? Is it an interval of tiredness - please enquire - don't say no or yes - an interval caused by tiredness, by boredom, by daydreaming, or is it a conscious interval?
K: I am asking the question for you, not for me.
Q: You're not asking it for everybody?
K: I'm asking for everybody who is here.
Q: Then you say you're asking for you, that's for you. Are we moving together?
K: No, we're not, for the simple reason, you have never gone into this question: whether the mind, which is the instrument of thought, which is, thought being memory, experience, knowledge and all that - all the time operating? And I say I am enquiring for you. Do you find any time that this thought naturally comes to an end? Or is there an interval between two thoughts? Or if that interval is laziness, slackness, tiredness, or are you aware of this interval? And if you are aware of this interval, then what takes place?
Q: There's energy in that interval - that's what energy is.
K: Energy is in that interval. To pick up again another thought? Are you guessing? Unfortunately - this is our trouble - you've not gone into this.
Q: We recognize what solution and what you are saying at the same time.
K: So you recognize it.
Q: As far as I'm concerned, what you are saying is, if I give my whole mind and everything I've got to enquire, then my mind is still.
K: I didn't say that, sir. I simply said, if you want to listen to somebody you have to be fairly quiet, haven't you? That's all.
K: Wait. And I want to listen, listen, not I want to - is there a listening without a word?-
Q: There may be.
K: I give it up. Experiment, sir, do it now, find out if you can listen without a word. Find out what is the quality of that listening, and find out whether that quality is imagined or real.
Q: Sir, when one tries to do this, the weakness I have is that the mind gives instructions to itself.
K: Yes, sir, that's part of thinking. You see, I wish you had never heard the word 'meditation'. I wish you had never heard what it is to be quiet. I wish you'd never heard what may happen beyond, when the mind is quiet. If you had never heard any of these things, but only had to deal with your life as it is - as it is - that is, our conflict, our misery, our sorrow, in the resolution of that, the other thing may happen. But you haven't solved it, but you want the other. That's why I said, if you could start with not knowing. I don't know if there is a reality which is not touched by thought - I really don't know. I don't really know if there is a mind which is so religious - not in the orthodox sense of that word - religious, that is capable of seeing what is sacred. Is there anything sacred in life? Will you enquire into this? Can we go together into this to find out if there is anything sacred in life? If we don't find it life becomes meaningless. No?
Q: Maybe that's why it is meaningless. It is now and I don't know anything else.
K: You people don't know, can't move. Look, I'll go on. I want to find out if there is anything sacred in life - sacred not in the image which man has created, not in an idea that there is sacredness, not in the religious books or their idols, because all that has been put together by man. Jesus, Buddha, they've all been put together by thought, by thought which is in agony, which is in despair, which is tremendously in sorrow and pain and fear, and therefore it says, 'That is sacred.' Isn't that clear? And I say that's not sacred, obviously. I used to know a friend - as he was walking one day in the woods he saw a piece of wood which had the face of a human being. So he took it home and put it on the mantelpiece. He looked at it and said what an extraordinary thing that is, because it had vitality - rain, people walking on it, had produced this shape. And one day he brought to it, that piece of wood, a flower, and put it beside it. And it still looked more beautiful. So every day he added a flower, and gradually within a year that became the most sacred thing in his life.
Therefore that is not sacred. I can make that piece of wood into the most sacred thing, like the altar put together, or, you know, the Christians, their myths, their idols are just the fantasy of the mind. That's not sacred. I want to find out if there is anything sacred in life; that is, in living, dying, in love. Are we walking together? Now how do I find out, because I see that if there is no discovery of that beauty, life becomes rather shallow and empty? I can invent a lot of things, sit meditating endlessly about something, all that becomes very, very superficial and rather childish and stupid. So I say, out. I push away all that. Then what is sacred? Is love sacred - the love that has anxiety, fear, jealousy, that dominates, that possesses, the human relationship which is called love which is sex, pleasure, pain, anxiety, all that - is that sacred? I don't know - what do you say?
Q: Obviously not.
K: Obviously not, why?
Q: Because you have shown it to us.
K: I didn't show it, sir, watch it. You say, why. I'll show you. That piece of wood became sacred. So thought made it sacred. Thought has made love into what it is. So thought cannot make anything sacred. Come on, sir. Whether it is the Buddha, Christ, Krishna, whatever it is, an idea - thought cannot make anything sacred. You understand the beauty of this, sir. To discover that, to come upon that - feeling, thought can never make the tree beautiful, the mountain beautiful, your face lovely, thought cannot make it, therefore thought, which is the response of memory, thought which is measurable can never be sacred.
So that which is sacred is the moment when thought is not. And at that moment, thought says, "I'll measure and I want more of it" then it becomes pleasure. And thought pursues endlessly pleasure. And so all the temples, all the churches, all the mosques are put together by thought for pleasure, therefore there is nothing sacred in it.
Q: How can...
K: Wait, I'm showing it to you. So can the mind be without thought, and use thought when necessary? Which means, the mind being empty of thought can use thought, and live with thought, in harmony, not one and the other. And this is meditation. So that the mind has no illusion; and illusion arises when you want to achieve. When you say, "I must attain that," and then you can invent something which you will attain and think you've got it. But always if you can remember that piece of wood on the mantelpiece - you follow?
So my mind, so the whole of my mind is sacred - not it's content is sacred. I wonder if you're meeting all this - but that quality of mind that's completely empty. And out of that emptiness, space and silence, thought can operate. This is all my description, you understand - it's not yours.
Now if a few of us see this together, and it is not mine or yours, but it is so, then we create a new generation. And then you won't be bothered about changing the people, changing the heart of the people in power. They are not worth changing. Any man who is in power is corrupt.
Have we any of us travelled together? Up to a point. Is that good enough?
K: Let them destroy. They are destroying.
K: They are destroying the world, all the politicians put together are destroying the world. What are we going to do - wipe them out? You and I vote against them - 90% of the people want that kind of thing, they want power, position, prestige. We want to change the heart of others, without changing our own hearts. Don't bother about the others, begin with yourself. That sounds a cliche but it isn't.
Q: I would like to clear up a point. You said, I think, that nothing is sacred. And then you went on to say, about the pursuit of pleasure and I didn't understand how you connect that.
K: I don't remember that, sir. I can't repeat it.
Q: You were talking about the enquiry into what is sacred. Then you followed on and you said that nothing is sacred.
K: I know - I've got it, I understand. Look, sir, when there is happiness or great enjoyment, you learn a great deal. It is only when the mind is happy, relaxed, enjoying, you learn a great deal. And in enquiring into what is sacred, perhaps there is a second when you see, when the mind sees itself completely without being anything. That moment is the most extraordinary moment. And having seen that thought comes along and says, "I must have more of it", and that is the beginning of pleasure, and not enjoyment. You understand? Joy is something beyond pleasure. But once having smelt, tasted it, thought says, "I must have more of it". Don't you know this? You have had sex and once you have had it thought says, "Let's go on with it". You see a beautiful sunset, at that moment there is no thought at all. There is complete enjoyment of that beauty. Then thought comes along a few minutes later and says, "Let's go back to that mountain, it was such a lovely thing." So thought is always avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure. This is so simple.
To find out what is sacred the mind must know the total content of itself. And its content makes consciousness. You understand, sir? Consciousness is its content. If there is no content there is something else, isn't there? If my content of my mind is worry, resentment, wanting to fulfil, bitterness, anxiety, fear, afraid of so many things, wanting to do this and that, that is the content of my consciousness. When the content is not, there is something entirely different. And we try to make one of the contents into the sacred thing. You understand? That's why one must know the total content, consciousness or unconscious. And that's another problem.
Saanen 6th Public Dialogue 7th August 1972.
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