Brockwood Park 1975
At Brockwood Park, 1975 (film Interspersed with Music)
Life is really very beautiful. It is not this ugly thing that we have made of it. And you can appreciate its richness, its depth, its extraordinary loveliness only when you revolt against everything, against organized religions, against tradition, against the present rotten society, so that you, as a human being, find out for yourself what is truth, not to imitate it but to discover.
It is a tragedy, I think, that man lives in constant conflict with himself and with the world. This conflict expresses itself in so many different ways - the conflict between two human beings, the conflict between ideals, the conflict between two beliefs, the conflict between two gods and gurus. This constant conflict which man has lived in is very destructive, it is not creative at all. Quite the contrary. It is a wastage of energy. And man apparently, you, have never been able to solve this problem at all. Conflict in relationship is really between two images - the image you have built about another, and the images he has built about you. So in relationship conflict is essentially between these two images. And can one live a life without this image - the image, the symbol, the conclusion, that you may have drawn from your experience. And I think it is possible, really it is possible to live without a single conflict. And that is possible only when you have no image about yourself - image as being great, or inferior, or something noble, or ignoble and so on, not to have a single image about yourself or about another.
Have you ever wondered why it is that as people grow older they seem to lose all joy of life. Why do so many of us as we grow into so-called maturity become dull, insensitive, to joy, to beauty, to the open skies and the marvellous earth?
You can cultivate pleasure, you can pursue it, you can subtly, consciously or unconsciously, maintain this pursuit, but pleasure is entirely different from joy. You cannot invite joy, you may experience a period of joy, and cultivate the memory of that experience and turn it into pleasure, but it is no longer joy. Joy cannot be invited, as you can invite pleasure. So the memory of joy remains, and the cultivation of that memory gradually becomes pleasure and prevents the joy coming in. So one has to be very much aware of these two, that joy cannot possibly be invited at any time, consciously or unconsciously. But pleasure in different forms can be pursued, sustained and nourished. So when this is very clear, the difference of the two, then joy becomes a natural event, and it happens quite often, when the whole principle of pleasure is understood.
Yesterday evening I saw a boat going up the river at full sail, driven by the west wind, it was a large boat, heavily laden with firewood for the town. The sun was setting and this wood against the sky was astonishingly beautiful, the boatman was just guiding it, there was no effort for the wind was doing all the work. Similarly, if each one of us would understand the problem of struggle and conflict then I think we would be able to live effortlessly, happily, with a smile on our face.
Our life, our everyday life is based on two principles: fear and pleasure, reward and punishment. From this arises this constant struggle. From this also arises the whole question of behaviour because our behaviour, that is conduct, how we treat others and treat ourselves, the manner of our speech, the activities of our daily life, are based on these two principles. And as long as these two principles, which is, fear and pleasure, reward and punishment, there must be not only contradiction in ourselves, and therefore in our actions, but also in our relationship with each other. And struggle and effort, to become something, to achieve something - psychologically we are speaking - becomes one of our major problems of life. I don't know if you have noticed how every human being right throughout the world, it doesn't matter where you go, whether you go in the Far East, Near East, or in the West, man is caught in this web, in this trap of endless struggle, struggle not only to live securely, physically, but also psychologically, the battle that goes on within oneself, which is most destructive. I do not know if you have noticed this in yourself, how your life, your daily life, is based on this extraordinary principle of fear and pleasure, and therefore one is trying to dominate the other, and from this arises this endless conflict. Is it possible to live a life without this constant battle, without this constant struggle, inwardly as well as outwardly?
To really understand this you have to see what you life is first. That it is a struggle, that it is terribly frustrated, painful. Be aware of that, be conscious of it. Then don't escape from it, don't run away from what you see, don't try to explain it, don't try to rationalize it, but stay with what actually is, that you are struggling, there is battle going on inside yourself, to be different, or to become different and so on. Just watch that. And in that watching, in that awareness you will find that by the very act of that attention the struggle comes to an end.
Silence has many qualities, there is the silence between two noises, the silence between two notes, and the widening silence in the interval between two thoughts. There is that peculiar quiet, pervading silence that comes of an evening in the country. There is the silence in a house when everybody has gone to sleep and its peculiar emphasis when you wake up in the middle of the night and listen to an owl hooting in the valley. And there is that silence before the owl's mate answers. There is the silence of an old deserted house, and the silence of a mountain. The silence between two human beings when they have seen the same thing, felt the same thing and acted. The meditative mind contains all these varieties, changes and movements of silence. This silence of the mind is the true religious mind, and the silence of the gods is the silence of the earth. And strangely that morning it had come through the window like some perfume, and with it came a sense, a feeling of the absolute. As you looked out of the window the distance between all things disappeared, and your eyes opened with the dawn and saw everything anew.
Love like most human issues is a very complex problem. I think we should approach it simply and look rather deeply into this question. Love isn't pleasure, nor desire, nor is it the romantic, fanciful affair. And we have made it either idealistic or a sexual affair. And I think when you go into it rather deeply you will find that when pleasure is identified with love it becomes very personal, and therefore it causes a great deal of harm. It brings about hurt, jealousy, anxiety, and pain. And in the pursuit of pleasure there is always fear. And where there is fear naturally there cannot be love. And you are really destroying the world by your pursuit of pleasure, by your constant demand for the fulfilment of your own particular desires. And so you are limiting the extraordinary width and depth of love. And when you see this it naturally comes about, that is when you are not pursuing pleasure sexually, or ideologically, or make it into something romantic, as divine and human, then that quality which one may call love comes into being. I feel that is the only solution for this miserable confused, conflicting world.
That is one of the most extraordinary things in the world: man has never been able to resolve this question of death, he has never learnt about it. He has run away from it, or worshipped it from a distance, or frightened about it, we have never gone into it. We have never said, let's find out, let's learn what it means to live and what it means to die. We know what it means to live, a routine, as it is now, a great deal of suffering, a great deal of pain, and great boredom of life which demands the search for entertainment - night clubs, drink, drugs, and every form of amusement exploited. We never learn what it is to live without conflict, without struggle, without pain. And one must learn it, and it is part of our existence, as we must also learn what it means to die, because we are so frightened of death. Nobody talks about it, nobody says to you, find out what it means to live a life in which death and life are not separate, they go together, like love and life go together, like love and death go together. They are all together, they can never be divorced, put aside, broken away from each other, as we have done. So to learn about death, not believe in something after death, as the whole of Asia does, or believe in some resurrective processes and so on, but actually without any fear, without seeking comfort, learn what is means to live and what it means to die. And then you will find that life isn't merely a mechanical process in relationship but life is something immeasurable.
Philosophy means the love of truth, not according to some theory, or speculative concepts, or imagination, but to lead in daily life a truthful life. That truth is not according to some system, some guru, some pattern that traditionally has been established, but in the understanding of oneself, not according to some psychologist, or analyst, but understanding yourself in daily life, to see what you are, exactly, without any distortion, without any despair, or regret, just to see in your daily relationship what you are. What you are is the truth. Now that truth is denied when you follow somebody - follow a guru, follow a priest, follow a traditional concept of heaven or hell, or saviour and all the rest of it. Those are all the products of one's own thoughts, therefore one has to be free from this spiritual authority - if one may use that word 'spiritual'. Authority destroys, destroys not only truth but your understanding of truth. So don't follow anybody with regard to your understanding what truth is. Don't follow what the speaker is saying either; but what the speaker is saying is merely, to observe yourself, to understand yourself as you are. Therefore 'what is', is to be understood and gone beyond. And that is the whole problem of existence. That is, to understand our relationship with each other, however intimate, however distant, and in the understanding of that relationship comes the reality of one's own existence.
Brockwood Park 1975
At Brockwood Park, 1975 (film Interspersed with Music)
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