Bombay 4th Public Talk 29th January 1978
We have been talking over together the many problems of our daily living, such as relationship, fear, pleasure and the sorrow that man carries throughout his life. And we also talked over together the question of what is love. I think we ought to also talk over together what is meditation, what is the meaning of it, whether it is necessary, and what is the intention of a person who wants to find out what is meditation. But before we go into that, if I may, I would like to point out certain obvious facts which may escape your perception. Most of us are heavily conditioned, most of us follow the easy path of tradition without much thought, the repetitive beliefs, the repetitive conclusions and what the ancient people have said and so on. We are bound a great deal to tradition. And we think that along the traditional way there is some kind of future, hope for man. Tradition implies - the very meaning of that word - to hand down, to pass on, to give from generation to generation a certain set of ideas, systems, beliefs and worship. And also that word has a very definite meaning, which is betrayal; to betray; to betray the present. And, for most of us it is very difficult to break down the walls that generations of the past have built around each human being. Unless we do break down all our beliefs, all our ideas and conclusions, we cannot possibly start with a clean slate, and one must start with a clean slate to find out for oneself what is truth. And, the entity that breaks down tradition is part of the tradition, is not separate from the tradition.
So, the problem arises how is one, knowing that one is heavily, deeply conditioned as a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian and so on, whether it is at all possible to uncondition oneself, to break down this conditioning and not enter into another conditioning. To find that out, to break down, one must go into the question whether the entity who wishes to break down the tradition is different from the tradition itself? You understand my question? Please, let us go into this as two friends talking over together. That is, is the observer of the tradition different from the tradition itself? That is the question, first. That is, the entity that wishes to break down the enormous conditioning, the weight of it, is that entity different from the quality of the conditioning itself? Or the entity that wishes to break down the conditioning is part of the conditioning, therefore there is no division between the entity that wishes to break down the conditioning and the conditioning? They are one, not separate. You understand my statement? We think and our conditioning says that the 'I', the person who makes the effect, who breaks down the conditioning, is something totally different from the conditioning. But, when you observe closely, you will see that the entity, the being that endeavours to break down the conditioning is part of that conditioning itself. So, you have a great problem. I hope we are participating in what we are talking about.
You know, one of the most interesting and amusing things is to find out what is the process of our thinking, how we approach a problem. The approach is far more important than the problem itself - how you come to the problem. And the approach to the problem either breaks down the problem or increases the problem. So we must be very clear when we talk about the observer is not different from the observed, which is a fact if you go into it very carefully, how you receive, how you approach, how you participate in that question. That is, a person who is angry, is he different from the person who says 'I must not be angry'? Or the observer is the observed and therefore when the observer is the observed you eliminate altogether conflict? Please understand this very carefully. I'll explain it in ten different ways because we are going to go into something that is very, very complex that must be approached with clarity, and there is no clarity, if there is conflict. So, from the very beginning we are saying that it is important to find out for yourself whether the observer who watches his conditioning is different from that which is conditioned. All right.
Suppose I was born in India - I was born in India - brought up as a Hindu with all the superstitions, pujas, beliefs, illusions, god is in me, god is outside me, god is all in me, you know, that tremendous weight of tradition. Now, is that tradition different from me who is observing that tradition? Do you understand my question? If it is different from me, then there is a division between me and the conditioning. Then I can operate on that conditioning, break it down because I want to go beyond my conditioning. But am I, who is endeavouring to go beyond the conditioning, different from the conditioning itself? If I can solve that problem, then I remove altogether - there is a removal altogether of conflict. You understand? I hope so. Because, when we talk about meditation - as we are going to - any form of effort on the part of the meditator denies meditation, because the meditator is more important than meditation. And to find out, to understand what the meditator is about, is far more necessary, far more important than to say 'Please teach me how to meditate'.
So, we are saying: is the conditioned different from the man or the person who says: 'I want to break down my conditioning.' If he wants to break down his conditioning, then there is conflict. Because the person or the idea that he must break down, thinks he is different. So we are saying both are conditioned. Both. Now, that is the problem first. How do you approach that problem? Is the problem different from you? Or you are the problem? Now, if you are the problem, that is your whole outlook on life, your whole activity, your whole existence is basically, fundamentally conditioned, if you go into it very deeply. And there is no spot, there is no somewhere in that conditioning, some light, some divinity, some energy outside us, that is going to break down the conditioning. The whole human mind is conditioned through education and this modern education is destroying our minds, our brains, through tradition, through beliefs, through the assertion that 'I am different from that which I observe.' That is part of the tradition. So, the entirety of your existence is conditioned.
Now, how do you, if you are at all aware of this problem and if you are somewhat alert to this problem, how do you approach it? You understand my question? What is your reaction, response to this fact? Do you see the fact, or do you make the fact into an idea, and creating the idea, then follow the idea, not the fact? I wonder if you see this. Now what is it your are doing? How do you approach this question, which is basic, which you understand? Because if you are really going into the question of what is meditation, which is very complex, and one has to go to the very root of it, and you cannot possibly understand what it means to meditate if there is any kind of effort. What we are saying goes against all tradition. So, how do you approach this question? Is it a fact to you, like that tree is a fact, like the person sitting next to you is a fact? But the person sitting next to you, you may like or dislike, or you may have an image about that person, a picture about that person, so, there is a division between you and the person sitting next to you. And in that relationship there is a conflict. Obviously. Isn't there? Let me put it differently, because this is really a very basic question which you must absolutely understand. Am I becoming too serious?
Isn't there conflict between you and your wife or your girl friend, between you and your guru and all the rest of it? Isn't there conflict? Isn't there conflict in yourself? Now, is that conflict different from the observer who says 'I am in conflict'? Or the observer is the very root of conflict? Please don't agree unless you see the fact. This is a microphone. Right? We all name it as a microphone. If we named it as a giraffe, we would all say that it is a giraffe. But we have all agreed that it is a microphone. That is a fact, put together by thought. Right? So, anything put together by thought is a reality. I want to expand this question slowly. Are you following all this?
Nature, that tree is not put together by thought. So, what you make of that tree is put together by thought. A chair made out of wood is put together by thought, but nature is not created by thought. Right? That is clear. No? And anything that thought has created is reality. And thought creates also illusion, and therefore that is also a reality. And thought says: 'I am different from the thing I act upon', because thought has created the observer who is the essence of the past, the observer then says 'I am different from that which I observe'. So he translates what he sees in terms of the past, but the past as the observer is the observed because he translates what he sees in terms of the past. Have you got this? Or are you all asleep? Please, if I may beg of you, we are sharing this thing together. You understand? We are participating in this. If you don't, you don't. Leave it alone. But see the fact. So, the fact is your entire structure, both physiologically as well as psychologically is conditioned. That is a fact. Now, to break down the psychological conditioning, we invent, thought invents the observer who is going to break it down. Thought itself is conditioned. Therefore, whatever it does is conditioned. So we have lived and accepted as tradition duality, the 'me', and the not 'me', we and they. Thought itself is fragmented, because it is the result of memory, experience, knowledge, and knowledge is always limited, and knowledge is always in the past, is the past. Therefore, anything born out of that knowledge, experience, memory is limited, fragmentary. But thought says 'I can investigate the immeasurable, the divine, etc., etc.' But thought itself is fragmentary, it cannot investigate that which is immeasurable, nameless. You get this?
So, we are going to go into this question of whether there is a stop to thought, whether there is an ending to thought, which means, you have to come to the question freely to enquire, not with all your superstitions, your saying 'God has made me, he is in me and he will tell me what to do', and all that stuff. That is just belief, there is no purpose or meaning. So we have to approach this question with a free mind, free mind being without your prejudices, your conclusions, your ideas. That's fairly simple. If you are serious, you can put aside your conclusions, your opinions, your judgments so that your mind is capable of investigating.
So, first we are going to investigate together the question of time. Because it is very important to understand time. There is time by the watch, there is time according to the sun rising, the sun setting, the moon rising, the moon setting, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Time implies movement. To get from here to my house takes time. I have to cover so many miles. That's the movement of time. So, all movement implies time. A tree from the acorn to become an oak takes time. And is there - please listen - is there psychological time at all? You understand? Me breaking down my conditioning which will take time; me that will become better, that will take time; me that is in despair because I have no money, nobody to love, nobody to care for, I am ignorant and I will take time to throw away my ignorance. You understand? I am in despair and there is hope in me, that will take time. All movement is time. Is there such movement, psychologically, inwardly? You understand my question? I wonder because it is part of your tradition to accept time as a means of enlightenment. You must practise, you must prepare, you must struggle, you must follow a guru, follow what he says in order eventually to attain whatever you are going to attain. That involves time. We are questioning, I am questioning, if there is such psychological time at all? Or thought has invented it because thought does not know how to solve problems which it has created.
Are you understanding all this? Look into yourself and see you are greedy or ambitious or jealous. You say that will take time to get rid of it. I am jealous and if I am jealous, I want to be free of it because it brings a lot of antagonism, fear, hate, all the rest of it. It is burdensome, an ugly thing, and I want to get rid of it. So - please follow this carefully - is that jealousy different from me or jealousy is me? And therefore when I realize that jealousy is me I have eliminated time altogether? Then I have a totally different problem. You understand? Come on sirs, help me. I am doing all the work. You understand my question? If I am different from my jealousy, then I can operate upon it, suppress it, rationalize it, say 'why shouldn't I be', and so on and so on. In that process, there is a conflict. Conflict is part of the movement of time. But when there is the realization of the fact that jealousy is me, that is the fact, in that there is no time. So, what then takes place? When the observer is different from the observed, then the observer can act upon it. When the observer is the observed, then what takes place? You understand my question?
We are saying: what takes place when the observer is the observed which is anger? You can test this out for yourself. Don't accept a thing the speaker is saying, because if you accept, repeat, then you are second-hand human beings, which you are. So, please have the courtesy, the dignity, the intensity not to accept anything psychologically. So, we are investigating together this question, when the observer is the observed, the anger is not different from me; I am anger. Before, I thought I was different from anger, and therefore I could act upon it. But I see the fact, the truth, that I am anger. Then, what takes place? Before, the observer wasted his energy by separating himself from that which is observed and trying to operate. Therefore, there was conflict, struggle, pain, time. All that is involved which is, in that process he was wasting all energy, a great deal of energy. When he does not do that, he has got immense energy. You understand? This is a simple fact. So, there is tremendous energy. With that energy, the problem comes to an end. It is only when you are not energy, that you become jealousy. I wonder if you understand all this. I am not going to repeat it, I can't repeat. I'll tell you differently, if you wish.
As we said yesterday, there is wastage of energy when there is disorder. There is wastage of energy when there is conflict. There is conflict between the observer and the observed when the observer thinks he is different from that which he is observing. But when there is the realization - not you realize - when there is the realization of the fact that the observer is the observed, you have all that energy. And when there is great energy there is not the fragmentation of an energy called jealousy. Got it? That can only be done when you put it to the test, not agree. Next time or now, when you are jealous, go into it, look at it. That is, how do you approach jealousy? As we said, are you approaching jealousy or greed or violence and so on, from the point of view of an observer who is different from that which he is observing? If you are different, then you are wasting energy in your conflict with that which you are observing; whereas if the observer is the observed, therefore, you have got that tremendous energy which is not being wasted. Therefore, where there is energy which means total attention - ah, I've got something else - when there is that total energy, which means complete attention, there is no jealousy. Only when you are not attentive you are jealous. Only when you are not attentive, you waste your energy. Get it?
So, we are saying psychologically there is no tomorrow. This requires great meditation to understand this. There is no tomorrow, which means tomorrow, psychologically, implies a movement towards that thing which thought has created and is pursuing. One of our conditionings is that if I practise a system, I will achieve nirvana or heaven or whatever it is. There are two things implied in this: practice: what does practice mean? Doing something over and over and over and over again. That is what you mean by practice, sadhana and all the rest of the Sanskrit words. Do you know what happens to a mind that is practising, practising, practising? It is a dead mind. You might have a bright mind but keep on practising, your mind becomes mechanical and destructive. Sorry. So, you practise, practise a system. The word system comes from the root 'stare', 'to stand' not move. A system means it is not a movement, it is not a dynamic thing, it is not a living thing. So, when you practise a system, you are dead. Right?
So, listen, go into it very carefully, you will see the entity that practises has invented the practice to safeguard himself, to find in the practice security. And through that security, he hopes to achieve something or other, which is so absurd. Right? That's one thing. In meditation, you have to find out, participate or enquire into the whole movement of time, that is, the whole concept of psychological evolution. We are saying psychologically there is no evolution. There is only 'what is'. I have said enough but there is a lot more to be said about it.
And also you have to enquire into the question of space. Most of our minds are occupied. Right? Occupied with something or other. If you are a very religious man, you are occupied doing mantras, pujas and beliefs. Occupied. Like a housewife is occupied with her meals, with her cleanliness, with her utensils. Have you found something? The man who is occupied with god is the same as the woman occupied with her meals. One is not higher, nobler than the other. Both are occupations. The man who is in business is the same as the man who is occupied, a sannyasi, with repeating his mantras and thinking, thinking, thinking. Sorry!
So, when the mind is occupied, there is no space. Everything lives in space. Nothing can exist without space. If you have ever watched of an evening how the birds are sitting on a telephone wire, have you watched that? They have an equal space because if they are too close, they cannot fly. So, as long as the mind is occupied with something or other, there is no space, and the mind must have space to understand, to look, to observe. Now, how do you approach this question? Please listen. You know your mind is occupied with something or other, psychological sexual pictures, psychological demands and all the rest of it. Your mind is occupied - I don't want to go into details - with something or other. How do you approach this question: whether your mind can stop, end occupation? How do you approach this question? Are you approaching it as an observer who is different from the occupation or the very observer is the movement of occupation? Because, if you are occupied, there is no space, and you must have space. Without space you cannot possibly live. They have tried putting lots of rats together in a very, very, very small space. They have found the rats kill their own babies, because they need space, otherwise, they destroy each other. That is what happens in big cities. I won't go into it. So, how do you approach this question? Your mind is occupied, your thoughts are occupied, your feelings occupied, and you realize that you must have some space to breathe, to look, to observe, to have some freshness. Now, how do you approach it? Is your intention to break it down, the occupation, or the very observer is occupation? You understand my question? No, I am not going to go into details all over again. I have got lots more.
So, meditation implies order. When there is order there is no dissipation of energy. Only when there is disorder there is dissipation of energy. Order in your relationships, in your daily relationship with your wife, with your husband, and that order can only exist when there is love, not images of each other. I have gone into this very carefully in previous talks. So, there must be order in your relationships, in your daily life, because that gives you the energy to understand what is beyond order. If you have not order, don't meditate. That will lead you to illusions, to superstitions, to all kinds of fanciful images. Therefore, it is very, very important to establish order in your daily life, which is going to be your immense problem, because you and your wife or your friend or your boss are demanding something of you. Your wife wants something from you, and you don't want it, you want to possess her, own her, and she is going to break it down. There is jealousy, antagonism. All that creates disorder in your daily life. For god's sake, see this. And your going to temples, to ashrams , has no meaning whatsoever if you have no order. Because we don't have order, we try to escape, go to temples, do pujas , and all the nonsense that goes on. So, that is the first thing to realize if you want to go into the depth of meditation, because you need great energy, not the energy of this idea of kundalini. I won't go into that and those people who talk about kundalini know nothing about it, because the speaker knows a great deal about it. Full stop. I am not going to discuss that with any of you.
You need tremendous energy, not mechanical energy. There is a division - let's understand this: mechanical energy and non-mechanistic energy. Mechanical energy has always a cause. It needs a cause to make it move, like petrol. An internal combustion machine needs petrol. Therefore, it depends on something; that is mechanistic. Our minds have become mechanistic - go to the office everyday at nine o'clock, come back, sex, whatever you do, that becomes a routine. So, our life, by education, by circumstances, by over-population, by so-called culture has become mechanistic. That is a fact. Face it. When you practise, practise, follow a system, that is mechanistic. Now the energy that is not mechanistic is when you put everything in its right place. When you put your handkerchief in the right drawer or your socks in the right place, or your kurta, or whatever you put on, in the right place, then you are free, you have time, you have energy, you do not go round searching. That is as simple as that. Understood sir? Look, you have to start from great simplicity, then the flower blooms. But you start with great certainties, great beliefs and you end up with uncertainty. So, a person who is serious, earnest, and those who are earnest and serious are the only people who are living. The others live a mechanical life, therefore, they are almost dead.
So, if you want to go very deeply into meditation, there must be complete order, not sporadic order, order one day, disorder the next day, but order right through life. That is, I have to repeat this, I hope you don't mind. The art of listening, the art of observation, the art of learning - art means, according to the dictionary, the root of it, to put everything in its proper place. Right? Sex in its proper place, business in its proper place, money in its proper place. Then, you will ask 'what is the proper place, tell me what is the proper place'. You become then mechanical. But you have to find out, to put your relationship in its right place, which is not to be jealous, not to possess, not to dominate - love. You don't know anything about it. So, you have to find out how to listen, not with the hearing of the ear, but listening with your heart, with your mind, with your whole being. If you so listen with complete attention, there is nothing more. But we do not listen. And the art of seeing. The observer is the observed. That is the art of seeing. Then, there is the art of learning. Learning which is the accumulation of knowledge becomes mechanical. But there is a learning, which is to have an insight instantly into things and act immediately, in which there is no time interval. I won't go into it. I have explained all this.
So, art means to put your life, your whole existence, your daily activity in its proper order, not according to any blueprint, not according to your guru, not according to your books, not according to some ashram , but to learn the art of putting everything in its right place. Will you do it? When you go home, when you see your wife or your husband or your girl friend, see what your relationship is, actually, not invent it, whether you dominate, whether you possess, examine it, look at it, then give it order.
Then there must be this thing called love, not lust. Sex has its place, but you cannot through sex or through that excitement achieve some extraordinary state, which is all sheer nonsense. When you have put order, which means no disorder in your life, there is energy. Then that energy can begin to enquire into what is time. I have gone into it. Then we can enquire into what is space, which is to put occupation in its right place. You understand? I wonder if you do. You must be occupied. You understand? A businessman must be occupied with what he is going to do, but to give occupation, whether it is the housewife or husband or businessman or the so-called sannyasi, to put this tremendous occupation in its right place, then you are free of occupation. Then you have space in your mind.
Now, from that space, thought finds its right place. Because, now thought is all over the place. It is part of your tradition that says, thought must be controlled when you meditate. You have never asked who is the controller. If you have asked, who is the controller, you will say it is my divine something or other. That divinity, if it exists, is the invention of thought. Obviously. Because you cannot hold the sea in your hand, you cannot hold the air in your fist. You think you have got divinity inside you. That is your tradition, that is your upbringing, but you have never asked because you dare not ask. If you ask, you will get frightened, because you think that divinity is going to operate, somehow guide you, protect you, help you to earn more money, less money. You follow? So, thought being fragmentary, thought must find its proper place. Which is, to think when necessary, not to think when it is not necessary, not to control thought. Again, the problem arises, is the controller different from that which he is controlling? Wait! I have been brought up - suppose - I have been brought up in the tradition that I am different from thought. So, I try to control thought in my meditation, or in my school or in my college, everywhere we are taught there is 'me' that is controlling thought, and thought has created the 'me'. Right? Do you see that? Thought has said, it has not said so verbally, but in its realizing that thought is in constant movement, changing, undergoing, modifying itself all the time, thought has said there must be something permanent, and the permanent is the thing that thought has put, which is the 'me', which is the divinity, which is something super-super-superconsciousness, it is still thought. I wonder if you see this?
So, thought, when it realizes its limitation, has its right place, which is - please go into this with me, it may be a little complex but this requires that you understand this - thought is a movement born of memory, experience, knowledge, stored up in the brain. The very cells of the brain hold memory. So, thought is a material process. So there is nothing divine about thought, but thought can invent divinity, and thought can then worship that divinity. All the temples, all the churches, all the mosques are created by thought, and having created them, thought says 'I am going to worship it', which is self-worship. Right So when thought has its right place only - please go into it, share it, partake of it, be with it - that is, as long as long as the brain is registering like a tape, then thought operates everywhere. But when thought realizes, please understand this, when thought itself realizes that the registration is the beginning of thought and when there is no registration thought has its right place.
That is, sirs, you are always talking about silence, peace of mind. What you want is peace of mind from worries. When you have a piece, it is a very small thing: a piece of wood, a piece of stone. So, we are enquiring into something very complex, which is to have silence, complete, total, utter silence of the brain, and therefore of the mind. And that silence can only be born, not cultivated, not practised, there is no system, but when thought sees itself as the movement born out of registration and therefore limited. Then the question arises: is there a possibility of not registering at all, but only registering what is absolutely necessary? That is, it is absolutely necessary when you drive a car, to think, or it may be instinctual, but you have thought of it, to learn a language, to play the piano, to do your business, to do whatever you do, thought is necessary. But why is there, what is the necessity of registering your hurt? What is the necessity of registering your flattery? What is the necessity of possessing somebody psychologically? So, you begin to understand that it is possible, and to test it, not accept it, not repeat it, that it is possible not to register at all but only register what is absolutely necessary. Then, out of that comes silence, which is born out of space. A little mind, having no space, can practise meditation, practise silence; then that silence is between two noises, between two thoughts, between two things. But the silence we are talking about is born of order in daily life and the understanding of the movement of time, time as movement, time as thought. Then space; then out of that space comes a silence which can never be put into words.
Now, if you have come as far as that, actually, not in theory, not in practice, not as a hope, but in your daily life have come to that point, there is absolute silence, because you have put occupation in its right place, therefore there is space and so on. And if you come as far as that, movement as time comes to an end. So, there is an ending to time; there is an ending to thought because you have put everything in its right place, therefore, there is complete order in you. And when there is complete order, then you are part of the universe, not some sublimated universe, but the universe of order, because the sun rises, the sun sets. The universe is run on order, stars, heavens, beauty of the world is based on order. And out of that silence, out of the order comes compassion, because it has no cause. Compassion has no cause, no motive. It does not begin with something and end with something. There is compassion. And with it comes clarity, because you have put everything in order. And clarity implies innocence. Mind, because it has everything in order, and because there is that extraordinary perfume of compassion, there is clarity. And with that clarity comes skill. We have skills; the businessman has skill, the doctor has skill, the carpenter has skill, the cook has his skill, the lawyer has his skill, but those skills encourage the self. If you are a very good engineer, it enhances your importance, your ego. Now, is there a skill which does mot cultivate the 'me'? I suppose you are not interested in all this.
So, meditation is the flowering which has no motive, which does not seek anything, because it is without time, without the self, the 'me; there is no belief, nothing. Meditation is to come upon this quality of nothingness, absolute nothing. Nothing is not negation, is not a negative thing. Nothing means not-a-thing, not a thing put there by thought. So, the mind, the brain, is no longer a plaything of thought. So there is a totally different dimension. Don't please translate it according to your books, according to your gurus, according to your tradition. If you do, you are lost. You have to test it in your daily life. If you have no compassion, if you have no love in your heart, to love a tree, to love a woman, to love a man, to love a child, to love your children; if you love your children, you will have a different world, you will have a different education. They would not become all engineers, all lawyers. You follow? You would create a different world, different culture but you have no culture. Culture means that grows, multiplies, flowers and bears fruit.
So, meditation is the exploration of the self, and in the exploration of the self, the 'me', not the super-consciousness - all those are such idiotic, nonsensical, meaningless - the ending of the self, the ending of your selfishness disguised in so many ways. The ending of that is the beginning of meditation.
Now, please, I want to sit quietly for two minutes or a minute. Don't mob me. Afterwards you can mob me, but let me sit quietly for a minute. You don't mind?
Bombay 4th Public Talk 29th January 1978
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