Saanen 6th Public Dialogue 6th August 1973.
We said we would talk about this morning - and a lovely morning it is - about the question of love and death. Right? I think that is what we said we were going to talk about. I would like to talk about it, discuss it with you, as two persons involved in a very serious matter. Both of us are really deeply interested in this question, and find out the reality of it - not the verbal statement, not as an intellectual idea, something that you spin out intellectually, but actually find out if these things can be lived in daily life. Otherwise it has no value at all. So I would like to talk about it, discuss with you in that way.
I have never considered that love and death are two separate things. And for most of us death is the ending of life, or the ending for a new beginning. And to find out for ourselves whether the mind can ever be free from this thing called death and incarnate each day anew. And that is what we are going to discuss, if we may, this morning. Perhaps you think it is rather a gloomy subject to discuss on a morning when there are plenty of shadows and sunshine and shining leaves and sparkling waters, clear blue sky; but I don't think that it matters because it is part of existence, it is part of our daily life.
So how shall we talk about it? What does death mean to you? Have you ever considered the question at all? Or merely postpone that dreadful event and carry on, knowing all around you there is death. When you see all those victims of the recent wars, in the Far East - whether the Americans have perpetuated them or not, that is not the point, because what the Americans have done it is our responsibility, it is not America, it is our responsibility because we are contributing to war all the time, to destruction. In buying whatever one buys you are contributing to war, the tax, each nation is supporting war and therefore we are all responsible for it. And when you see all that appalling suffering, misery, destruction, destroying marvellous trees by a bomb, and the poor child not knowing what it is all about, crying on the roadside, when you look at all that, what is death? You must have considered it, you must have thought about it. For most of us does death mean the ending of life - is that what we are frightened about? And what is our life, of which you are so frightened, what is our daily life to which we cling to so enormously?
Please do let's talk it over, don't let me make a long speech.
Q: Death is the cessation of desire.
K: Cessation of desire. Does that mean death to you, sir?
Sir, look, may I ask you, have you thought about it at all, have you enquired into it, have you made research into this enormous problem which has confronted man from the beginning of time? And you are confronted with it when you see a death in a coffin going down the road, there is death; when you see a brutal film and a man is shot, and that is death; and all the deaths that have happened in the wars. You must have looked at it all, history is full of deaths. What does it mean to you?
Q: As you have pointed out, we cling to this life, this life of some pleasures and great suffering, fears, anxieties and all the rest of it, and that is all we know. And we want to find something more.
K: Look, please, do consider it this morning: what does death mean to you - to you?
K: Not only the ending of the body, what does death mean to you? Don't you know what death means?
Q: Death is the ending of what we are.
K: I am so sorry you don't know what death means. Sir, you see somebody die, put in a coffin, lots of flowers, put in a hearse and taken to the cemetery. You look at it. Have you ever looked at it, have you ever observed it? What does it mean that man dying, or a woman, in a coffin, don't you react to it? Don't you say, "What does it all mean, what does living mean, and what does dying mean?" Don't you ask that question?
K: We are doing both sir. You see that death - your friend, your son, my brother, my uncle, whatever it is, I see death, a friend dying. And what does it mean to me, to you, somebody dying, a man killed so brutally and uselessly in Vietnam, what for? And what is living? What is life? Don't you ask this?
All right sirs, let's begin. What does living mean to you? The actual living, the daily living - the office, the factory, the quarrels, the ambitions, the everlasting struggle in relationship, the brutality, the violence, the hopes, the distractions, the pleasures, fears, all that is living, earning a livelihood. No? You agree to that?
Q: That is part of it.
K: Partly. What is the other part?
K: Sir, we are dealing with what actually is going on - the intellectual reasoning, the technology, the great immense progress that science has made, medicine, anthropology, and my daily living, sorrow, endless conflict, with occasional joy and pleasure, vast memories, remembrance of things that are gone - all that is my life, isn't it, sir? All that can be said is: I always live in the field of the known, in the field of the past. That's our life, isn't it? Not only partly, put everything in that area - your ambitions, your frustrations, your desire to be identified with something, your struggles, your conflicts, having no love, wanting to be loved, loneliness, the expression of your technological knowledge, whether you can do it better, your relationship with your wife, husband, girl, whatever it is, the immense fears, the things that are hidden, which you read about in books, and try to identify from the books what is happening to yourselves. Isn't that all your life, no?
Q: Life is time, and death perhaps is going out of time.
K: I don't know, that's your idea.
Q: I am asking.
K: We are going to find out madame. The moment you say, "perhaps life is time and death is going beyond time", it is like saying, the grass is green. Let us begin please. How we try to avoid facing facts.
Your life, and the life of human beings throughout the world, is a constant struggle, to earn a livelihood, to stay alive, disease, pain, trying to be moral, trying to behave properly, and rejecting behaviour and trying to do something totally different, worship this god, or that god, or be an atheist, or communist, socialist - that's all our life, isn't it, the whole field of it? And we cling to that, don't we - no? Because that is the only thing we know. Everything is a speculation, isn't it.
So the mind avoids death because basically it doesn't know what is going to happen; basically, radically it says, "I know the living" - which is however troublesome, however painful, however pleasurable, however agonizing, destructive, that is all I know. And I hold on to that. I don't know the other: I can speculate, I can invent, I can rationalize, I can have marvellous beliefs about it, but the fact is I cling to the known. No? My furniture, and I am the furniture when I identify myself with that piece of furniture when I say, "It is mine", I have identified myself with that furniture, and therefore the furniture is me. No? When I have identified myself with my house, that house is me, and so on. So the mind is always seeking security - right - in relationship, in something permanent. Land is permanent, realistic, having a house, having a piece of furniture, calling that person my wife, or my husband, this sense of stability, security. The mind is always demanding it and that security is within the field of the known - right - the known being knowledge, experience, memory. Are we together in all this?
So one can say, by observing, that living is a great travail, with occasional flashes of something else, and death is the unknown. And so there is a battle between the living, the known, and death the unknown. Can we proceed, please. The ancient people, Egyptians and others, tried to carry over into the other world which they believed in, all their pieces of furniture, ivory, beautiful masks, lovely jewelry and everything, slaves, paintings. The Asiatics, including India, said, there is a permanent entity as the 'me', the soul, that will through righteous behaviour in the present, improve itself in the future live, so they believed in reincarnation - next life. And by that they meant a better life - always a better life. And though they believed that, they said, what you sow you will reap in the next life. But all those were just words because their behaviour in daily life was just ordinary, brutal, envious, you know, all that. So the belief didn't matter a hoot. What mattered was their enjoyment, or their pleasures, what is in the field of the known. Now when you observe all that, from the ancient of time to the present day, those who believe in the resurrection, and those who believe in reincarnation, those who only worship the present, whatever that may be, or worship the State and so on, are always living in this life which is the known.
So let's begin with that. What is it that is known, to which we cling? You are following, sir? I cling to my life, why, what for?
Q: Because I am afraid of emptiness.
K: Do you know what that means, or is that just a lot of words? Are you clinging to that? Look, sir, why does the mind cling to the known and avoid that thing which is called death? The doctors, the medicines, can keep the body going for another fifty years, drug it when it is terribly painful, cancerous. And they can keep the body surviving much longer, with the agreement of the patient, or with the agreement of the relatives. Now why does the mind, your mind, your desire, everything, why does it cling to this?
Q: I think I enjoy my life.
K: Is that the only thing you have, you just enjoy your life and therefore you cling to it?
Q: I realize there is also pain.
K: So you realize there is pain, there is frustration, there is everything including enjoyment, so you cling to that. What makes the mind cling to something which is so transient? You follow sir? I might have pleasure today, and out of that pleasure the pain comes tomorrow, and I know this enjoyment is so fleeting, gone, but yet I cling to it - why?
Q: It is the only thing I know.
K: Why does the mind cling to something that is so transient?
Q: It is the only thing we have got.
K: What have you got? You don't examine it even, you just state it. What is it you have got - old age, all the trouble of old age, disease, pain?
Q: It is the only thing we know.
K: I know that very well, sir. I am asking, why the mind, your mind, clings to something that you call the known, with all the bubbles, with all the pain, with all the fury inside that? Is it because the known gives it security?
Q: It is life.
K: So you call life this battle, this process, is that it?
Q: We do.
K: Yes, sir, I know we do.
Q: Your question is impossible to answer.
K: No. No, sir. If in death you found something permanent, secure, you would love that too, wouldn't you? So the mind wants security, however fleeting, however painful, however destructive, violent, enjoyable, all that, in that there is some security, some sense of survival, some sense of knowing. The known gives to the mind a sense of safety. Right? That's obvious, no? And so the mind clings to it. Now, wait a minute, can you know death in the same way as you know living, to which you cling? You understand?
Q: That is the problem. First we don't know death...
K: Just listen to what I have said before you ask that. I know what living is, I have lived it for thirty, forty, or eighty years. I know all the content of it, the beauty of the hills, the meadows, the movement of the leaves, the tranquil seas, I have known all that, seen everything of it, I know it, I have felt it, I have lived it, I have suffered, I have been through all kinds of experiences, moods, pleasures, pain. I know that very well, so I cling to that. Can I also know in the same way as I know this area, this thing called death, can I know that too? Then, you follow, if I know both then there is no problem. You understand what I am talking about? Have you understood what I have said, sir? Wait. Listen. Can I know as I know living, what it means - death? You understand my question?
K: Don't say, no. I know what living is. Right? We all know it. And can I also know this thing called death? I don't know, I am going to find out. I have never said, I will find out what living is, I have accepted it. You understand, sir. I have accepted it, with all the pain, with all the dirt, with all the squalor, with all the brutalities, fasting, starvation, everything, I know what all that means. Now can I also know this enormous thing, and mysterious thing, called death? Can I know it? And by asking that question I am going to find out. Right? I am going to enquire. Are you following? I am going to enquire. Now let's enquire. You understand, sir? I have really never enquired into living, into this whole process of existence, I have accepted it, I have suffered in it, I have gone through hell with it. And can I also know this thing called death, investigate it, because I have never investigated living, only I have accepted it, and I have accepted death and never investigated it. You understand, sir? You see I have a problem: I have not investigated living, what it really means, I have not investigated what death means. Right?
So we are going to investigate both. You understand? The living and the dying. Is all existence, is all living this battle - battle means pleasure, pain, all that? In enquiring, you understand, I see that is not living, that is a terrible state to be in. Right sir? Oh, for god's sake, come with me. I have investigated it, I have explored it, I say, why should I live, why should human beings live this way, this is so totally wrong? And I will find a way of living entirely different from that. My investigation into the living, into existence has shown me the way that one lives, the way that one thinks, has no meaning. And by investigating very, very deeply, I find out that there is a meaning entirely different. I find out for myself, I have gone into it. And I say death, I must also enquire into it, I must find out what it really means - not be frightened, not put it away, not have explanations, say there is incarnation - nothing. I am going to enquire, find out. Right sir. Are you following what I am saying? It's too hot to repeat all this.
K: No, sir. I said a few flashes of something else, which is joy, pleasure, enjoyment, delight, kindliness, generosity. I included all that, it is not something else outside. Must everything be explained. Look sir, let's proceed.
As a human being, living in this world, one has investigated into what is so-called living. This living is a constant pursuit of pleasure, avoiding pain, laborious work year after year, the responsibility of a family, sexual pleasures, the pain, the birth, the frustrations, the agonies, the despairs, the repentance, the forgiveness, all that is what we call living. And I won't accept that as living. We human beings have accepted it, go with it, but I say, this is not living. So I have investigated it, gone into it, found in investigating my mind has kept without any motive, therefore no direction, therefore it has found a meaning - whatever that meaning is - leave it for the moment. And I have been frightened of death because I have never enquired into it, gone into it, found out what it means. And I want to find out, and I have gone into it. You follow? Now my mind, this mind, has enquired into the living, and what it means to die. So it says, both living and dying are the same. I say that, not you. Right? So let us enquire in both fields - the living field, the living area and the dying area. You understand now. Don't let's go back and forth. Have you understood my question, please?
Have you enquired deeply into the meaning of living? I know you have accepted living as pain, you know, all that. Is that living?
Q: You have to die to it.
K: No, sir, don't die to anything, just watch it sir. Enquire, find out. You have got a mind, you have got a tremendous experience, you have got all kinds of knowledge, find out whether this is living - going to the office, you understand sir, this terrible thing man has made of life. That is not living. And you can find the meaning of living only when you discard totally the structure which man has put together - man, woman, all that. Right? Oh, come on. So unless you find the meaning of living deeply, and therefore merely accept existence as it is, then you are incapable of enquiring into death. You follow what I am saying? Because in the enquiry of living you will find how to enquire into death. They are not two separate things.
Q: We don't put passion into all this, into this enquiry, as you do, we just play with it. How do we get that passion?
K: Sir, you are missing the whole thing. Listen, sir, please listen. Don't ask what to do, don't say, I must reject, I must accept. The life that you lead, is that a living? Is that a way of an intelligent, sane, human being, is that the way to live? What do you say? Why don't you answer that?
Q: It is not living.
K: All right, if it is not living what are you going to do about it? Do you accept this way of living? If you don't, what is the next step?
Q: Dying to living.
K: Don't quote me please.
Q: I want to find out another way of living.
K: How do you find out? If this is not the way of living, and you want to find another way of living, how do you find out? You can only find out by enquiring, can't you? Through enquiry, which means a mind that is capable of looking without any direction, that means without any motive. When you have a motive it is directed, and therefore distorted. Right sir? So that mind must enquire into the living and say, this is a terrible way to live, it is a meaningless life that one leads, to enquire into that you must have a mind that says, I have no motive in my enquiry, therefore I am free to enquire. Right? Like a scientist, he looks through a microscope or whatever he does, and he doesn't come with a motive, he is only looking at what is taking place under the microscope, or whatever he does. So similarly I have this problem. I will not accept this way of living under any circumstances. I don't want to live that way. Therefore my mind says, how am I to enquire into this, is there a different way of living? To find a different way of living, and therefore a different meaning to existence, I must come to it with a mind that says, I am not prejudiced, I am not frightened, I don't know what is going to happen, but I am going to find out. That means a mind that has no fear what it is going to discover. Right?
So in the same way the mind has to enquire into death. And if you are frightened you can't enquire. Right? If you say, "Oh, I must survive, I must have a next life to write a beastly little book", or become a little better - it has no meaning. My mind - please listen to this - to enquire into these two aspects of living it must be capable of enquiring without a motive, it must also be capable of looking, enquiring, making deep exploration, there must be no fear. Right, sir? So that is the primary importance in enquiry - no motive and no fear. Right?
May I go into this a little more? Don't accept a thing that the speaker is saying. He has no authority. He is not your guru. You are not his followers. Right? We are enquiring.
The way we are living has no meaning, and I want to find out what is the meaning of living, if there is a different way of living. I see there is a different way of living when there is no division in action, in thought, in the observer and the observed. You are following all this? When there is no division, I am not a Hindu, or a Muslim, or a Jew, or an Arab. Right? I won't belong to any sect, any group, or commit myself to any action. Right? So what do I do? I live somehow. Living, earning some money, having some clothes, some shelter becomes irrelevant, I will somehow find it, I won't make that into the most primary thing. So I begin to enquire. I see the truth that where there is division in myself, in my action, in the division of tradition, of nationality, governments, there must be conflict. That is an absolute truth - right - not as an idea, in myself. Thinking one thing, doing another, that is a contradiction, division, therefore it will inevitably produce conflict. And that's our whole life - different varieties but that is the whole pattern. Now I say to myself, I enquire, why does this division exist, is it artificial, inherited, traditional, reasonable, logical, or is it something godgiven? I see it is none of that. Thought has created this; thought has created this division, both outwardly and inwardly. So I say thought. Right? You are following all this, please. Thought: man has lived by thought, and thought has created it. Thought has put together all this terrible world, with their priests, with their gods, with their social structures, you follow, the whole thing.
K: I include all that, the whole thing. Of course. I may have a feeling, unless I recognize that feeling there is no feeling. I won't go into that for the moment.
K: Is there?
K: Sir, the tiger kills the deer, that is its way of living. The deer may object to it. That is the natural way of living for the tiger. Right? Please, watch this in your life, not tigers and nature, look at in yourself.
So I see thought has bred this world, made the world what it is, and I am part of that world, and that world is me. And thought is responsible. So I am concerned now with the investigation of thought. I see thought is necessary otherwise I can't speak, thought is necessary to drive a car, thought is necessary to function in a factory or in a business, thought is necessary in the employment of the knowledge which I have acquired. I see in that area thought is necessary. I see thought is totally unnecessary in relationship, with its image. Therefore is it possible to live with thought functioning in a certain area, and thought not functioning in relationship, because thought is not love? Right? Oh, come on, I must move.
I see all that so I have found something. I have found a deep meaning, I have found a way of living where thought functions normally, objectively, logically, sanely, and there is no psychological movement at all - the psychological movement as the 'me', which is put together by thought, by words, by experience, by knowledge. So the psychological entity is not. So I see that is the way to live. I am not telling you how to live. That is the way to live, for knowledge to function efficiently, and it cannot function efficiently when the psychological element is projected in the field of knowledge. And there will be battle always as long as there is the 'me', the self. The self is put together by thought - the word, the remembrance, the attachment, all that is the basis of thought. So I see yes, I have discovered that, that is the way to live, not as an idea, but as an actuality. Right? Not for you. If you have lived that way, if you have enquired, gone into it profoundly, it is yours, then we have relationship, then it is real fun, great delight to discuss, talk over the real thing.
In the same way I want to enquire what is death. I don't know what it means. I know what people have said about it. My son has died, my wife, husband, boy, girl, I know that. I have shed tears, felt lonely, the misery, the appalling sense of wastage of life. Right? So I am going to find out what death means. Can my mind enquire into something that it doesn't know? I don't know what death means. I have seen it. I have seen death touch every life from the poorest to the most famous, from the most indulgent, stupid, superficial to the man who thinks he is very deep, death has touched everybody, everything. Right?
So I am going to find out, my mind says, what is death? I have seen death, I have lived with it, I have watched it, I have seen my son, my brother, die with disease, or killed by a bomb. I have lived in the same room, I know what it means for another to die. Right? I am not frightened. That is the fundamental thing in enquiry. Are you coming with me? Of course you can't. I am not frightened. And having no fear I have no beliefs, whether the entity lives or doesn't live after dying. I am going into it. The 'me', who is so afraid of death, the 'me' is the known. The 'me' is the known when it is attached to the furniture, to the house, to the family, to the name, to a country, the 'me' is the known. And that 'me' is frightened when it enquires into death because it sees it might come to an end. I don't mind my body coming to an end, but that inward sense of the 'me'. And I have given lots of names to it, the soul, the atman, and so on and so on. All put together by thought. Right?
So the mind is not frightened because it has seen that there is nothing permanent. Right?
Q: I see all this intellectually, I see it but fear exists.
K: Therefore what does that mean? You don't see it! Obviously, sir. You don't say that: I see the precipice and I will jump. You don't say when you see a danger, "I see danger" and go on with the danger, do you? Come on sirs.
K: Sir, may I say something to cover your point. When you hear a statement you translate it into an idea, which everybody does, and then there is a division between the idea and 'what is'. Right? Now if you could listen without the formulation of an idea, or a conclusion, then there is only 'what is'. You understand, sir. Can you listen without forming a conclusion?
Q: It is very difficult.
K: That is real active enquiry. So I see, the mind sees the 'me' is not permanent, it has just been put together by transient thought. The 'me' is just a series of words, memories, which have no substance, reality. The mind now is not frightened, it is going to enquire what death means.
What does death mean? Dying to the known? And if I don't die to the know what happens? You understand, sir, my question? What happens when the mind doesn't die to the known? The known is the 'me', with all the nature and the structure of the 'me', with all that. If it doesn't die to that known what happens? It goes on, doesn't it. Like a stream - please listen to this - like a stream that is going on. In that stream all human beings are caught. Right? Are you following this? But they never said there must be an ending of the known. They accept it. They can't entirely get out of it - they try to put one foot out of it, one foot in it, but they are all caught in that stream of so-called life, which continues because the mind has never pulled itself out of it. So - please listen - when there are the seances, the mediums, when there are manifestations of your husband, wife, children, and all the rest of it, it is from that stream. Are you following all this? Are you swallowing all this? You see what I am saying and you are so easily accepting. As long as you are caught in - and you are caught in that trap, in that stream, you may die, but that stream is the world and the world is you, and when you get in touch with your elder brother when he is dead, it is there, from that stream. Therefore a man who is free of that stream, he can never be caught by a medium. You understand? Yes, sir, think it out, go into it, you will see the truth of it.
Now what does it mean to die? Because I have seen death. I know I will die - disease, old age, and all the trouble of old age. All that, dying. The organism, misused for so many years through drugs, drink, indulgence, the misery of disease, pain, and ending up in being drugged, kept alive for a few years longer. What has happened? And that is what you call death. I say to myself, that is such an absurd way of dying. Right? I know the organism will die, keep it as healthy as possible, you know, all the rest of it. I know it is going to die. Is that what the mind is frightened about? What is it frightened about? Frightened about losing the identity with the furniture. Right? The furniture is the wife, the book, the photograph, the money, all that, which is the embodiment of furniture. Are you following all this? So the mind asks, what am I attached to the furniture for? You understand sir, furniture includes the whole of it. I am using that one word to convey the whole of the urge to possess, attachment, domination, all that is included in that word, it is a very good word, furniture. I do not know if you have not friends who are terribly attached to a piece of wood, beautifully shaped, handed down from parent to parent, an old antique. You are that. Or the beautiful car which you have just bought. So why does the mind identify itself with that? And therefore being identified with that, that is the mind. Right? Is that what the mind is frightened about, losing the furniture? Enquire, sir, enquire.
Why does the mind desire identification with something - with my wife, with my girl, with my boy, with my house, with all the things that I have remembered, the pleasure, the pain - why is the mind so identified with it, and therefore the mind has become that - why? Don't throw up your hands, we are going to enquire, find out. Is it because it has to be occupied with something? You are following? Occupied with the house, with sex, with knowledge, it doesn't matter what it is, it has got to be occupied, because if it is not occupied what takes place? You are following all this? I am occupied with that furniture, I keep it polished, I look after it, it is mine, nobody must touch it, you know all the rest of it, it is occupied with that - it may be occupied with sex, or with cooking, or with god, with the State, they are all the same, occupation of every kind is the same. There is no noble or ignoble occupation. We are just discussing occupation. Ignoble occupation may produce one result, and noble occupation may produce another result. We are not talking of the results, we are talking about why the mind needs to be occupied. You see when it is occupied it feels it is alive, it is moving, it is working, it has a sense of reality. Right? It's a dialogue on my part, with myself. And I say, why is it occupied? Because it says, when I am not occupied, what happens?
Q: It doesn't exist.
K: Wait. You are saying the wrong thing. He says it doesn't exist anymore. You are saying the wrong thing. You haven't explored it, you have already come to a conclusion. Why is it occupied? It sees it is occupied because if it is not occupied what happens? You see the answer? It deteriorates, because you are occupied your mind is deteriorating. You understand? There is nothing fresh in that occupation, therefore your minds, because they are occupied so everlastingly, are deteriorating, becoming dull, soft, not active, vital.
Q: Non-occupation is...
K: Sir, I didn't say non-occupation. Please listen. He put it that way and you are taking him up. It is a wrong answer. I said the mind is occupied. I know that. I see every mind around me is occupied. I must be aware, I must think of god, I have become a Catholic, I must begin from morning until night to do this, that and the other thing, I am a Hindu I must - you follow? I am a socialist. I am occupied - earning a livelihood and so on. Now why is the mind occupied? What happens to the mind that is not occupied? Have you found that out?
Q: It sees.
K: Have you found out for yourself what happens to a mind that is not occupied?
Q: It is empty.
K: How do you know?
Q: I know.
K: You know it.
Q: It is empty when it is not occupied.
K: All right. What is wrong with that?
K: Oh, you people just throw out words. Sir, what happens to the mind that is not occupied? Look sir, you are not answering my question because you are dealing with ideas, not with reality, not with actuality, which says, "I have explored it, gone into this thing, what happens to a mind that is occupied, what happens to a mind, life that is occupied with pain, pleasure, with success, with boredom, with loneliness, problems." If it is not occupied with problems, is it an empty life? If it is not occupied with pain, pleasure, with your gods, and all that, is it a deteriorating life?
K: Don't say, no, you don't know about it. You are just indulging in words. Therefore when the mind is not occupied is that an empty mind, a dull mind, a deteriorating mind? Find out! Test it for yourself. Put it to the test: say, I am occupied with what, money, or sex, or pleasure. If you are not occupied what happens with money? Then it picks up another occupation, doesn't it. And it says I want to find out never to be occupied, what takes place?
Q: It is filled with love.
K: Who fills it? You know, sir, or lady, somebody wrote me a letter the other day saying that when I talk about sir, I am only concerned with man, and therefore I am not a feminist. And I must be a little odd because I am always referring to man. So crazy the world is, isn't it!
Look sir, or lady, my life, your life, one's life, has been occupied with the kitchen, with the furniture, with the husband, with sex, with children, earning a livelihood, pain, pleasure, anxiety, dread, disappointment, hurt. That's occupation. You have never said to yourself, all right, I know it is occupied, what happens if I am not occupied about anything?
Q: I don't know because I have never thought about it.
K: Why haven't you? So you are occupied and you die being occupied. And that is all you call living, therefore dying and living is occupation. You never say, all right, I know I am occupied, I will find out what it means not to be occupied. You are occupied because occupation is one of the activities of the mind which is the 'me'. Right? I am occupied with my god, I am occupied with my State, with my - all the rest of it. That occupation is a form of identification of myself with that, and that gives me the feeling that I am alive, the 'me' is fully active. Now I see and I have looked at it, and I have seen what a terrible thing occupation is. Right? I have seen it, not just verbalized it. Therefore what happens to a mind that is not occupied?
Q: I don't know what happens to a mind that is not occupied.
K: It's a lovely day, isn't it.
Q: Perhaps something new.
K: Just words. Sir, I am hungry and you give me words to eat. So I don't want your words, I want food. You are not hungry, therefore you are filling your hunger with words. I want to find out what happens to a mind that is not occupied ever, not just one occupation, no occupation.
K: I give it up. I want to share this with you, because it is only sharing together that we discover. But you don't share. You are already full of ideas therefore you have nothing to share. If you are somewhat enquiring, somewhat empty, somewhat searching, then you will share. But you are not unfortunately, therefore you are throwing out words, words, words.
So I ask myself what is a mind that is occupied, and what happens to it if it is not?
Q: If you cut out occupation what is there left?
K: I did not say, cut off occupation. You see how you have translated it. Sir, I very carefully went into all this. I am not going to go over it again for your inattendance.
Q: When my mind is aware there is a feeling.
K: What happens to a mind that has enquired into life - the living - the living which has been so occupied from morning until night, and at night dreaming and the interpretation of those dreams. It has been occupied endlessly. There is never a moment of non-occupation. And it is also occupied with death - what will happen, and therefore there too there is never a moment of non-occupation. So the enquiry is what happens when the mind is not occupied at all? What takes place? Is it emptiness? That emptiness, is it degenerating? Is it emptiness at all? Or there is only observation and nothing else? And that observation is not the occupation of the observer occupied with the observed observing. What is there? If there is only observation then what takes place? What is there to observe? The trees, you, me, what is there to observe? Is there anything to observe? Or only there is absolutely nothing. And that is the fear of everybody, to be absolutely nothing. And because you want to be everything you are occupied with everything. And all your problems arise from that - the total of not being, nothing.
Now if you have gone into it with the speaker, and shared it, then you will see that life and love and death are the same thing. And the understanding of it is the understanding of that extraordinary thing called life, the living - not this living but living entirely differently, living without occupation, therefore no conflict. And a mind that is not in conflict is free from death.
That's enough for this morning, I have talked as usual.
Saanen 6th Public Dialogue 6th August 1973.
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