Ojai 5th Public Talk 15th April 1978
I wonder if we should apologise for the weather!
We have been talking about the pressure that one bears in so many ways, which obviously must distort our thinking, our whole life. We talked about the linguistic pressure, the idealistic, the fears, the pleasures, the desires and so on. I think we ought also to talk about other things, perhaps somewhat much more seriously. We are apt, I am afraid, to take one part of what we have been talking about and try to investigate that one part, or try to understand that one segment of life. I think we ought to understand the whole of the field of life, the whole area of our existence, from the beginning of our birth until we die.
So we ought to consider what is the wholeness of life, what is the structure and nature of our whole consciousness, its content, and what is the state of the mind that is free from all pressures and therefore can act correctly, truly, without any distortion. And that's what we are going to perhaps this morning investigate together into this question: what is the wholeness of life, the totality of life, not one part or one segment, or one fragment, a broken piece, but can we understand and go into this whole problem, not as one problem which is detached from other problems, but see that all problems of our life are totally, completely interrelated, acting upon each other, shaping the problem according to circumstances, environment and our pressures. So that's what we are going to do this morning, if we may, together, and I mean again, let me repeat, together, to investigate, find out whether one can perceive, observe, or be aware of the whole of existence - economic, social, ethical, religious, spiritual, death, love, sorrow, and the implications of meditation, and what is there in meditation that is so important. That's what, if we may, we will go into together.
The other morning, in the other place, we were talking about correct action, action not based on some memory, some hurt, fear, or an action which is based on what one likes to do, which are all, it seems to one, distorting, deforming the actual action. We talked a little bit about it; we said that action is only - the active present of that word, to act, is always now, at the moment. And we said, the past modifies that action, and if one has a future ideal one is acting according to some Utopian, conceptual, theoretical ideas and therefore it is not action. Right action is when neither the future nor the past interfere with the present. That is, when time comes to an end, which is now.
So we have to enquire into the question of what is time. May we? Is that all right? Shall we go on with this? Because that is part of our life, and perhaps that may be the whole of our life, this complex problem of time. What is time? Time surely is a movement from this to that, both physically as well as psychologically: one moves from here to one's home, that will take time, to reach a certain place, it will take time, that's a movement from here to there. And also there is the psychological time from the past, through the present, to the future. The past being modified through the present, but the past modified continues into the future. That's a movement. Is that fairly clear. And this movement is essentially the movement of thought. One is here in this hall, and it will take time to go home. And also psychologically 'what is', the actual, and 'what should be' - the pursuit of 'what should be' is a movement from 'what is', to 'what might be', 'what shall be', 'what must be'. That's a movement of thought. Thought has created the 'what is', the actual, the real, whether that reality is illusory or actual - all right, may I go on, are we all following each other? And thought projects 'what should be', that's the ideal. So there is the movement from 'what is' to 'what should be', which is the movement of time, in any direction, vertical or horizontal, subliminal, or linear, in line. That is the movement of thought. If you have noticed for yourself you will see that thought has created, brought about the actual, the real, 'what is' - my anger, my jealousy, my fear and so on and so on and so on, 'what is' - and moves to 'what should be'. Right? That movement is still time and thought. So our minds are occupied with this, with time and thought, this constant movement, this constant chattering, constant occupation, which is a movement - from the kitchen, bathroom to meditation, to relationship, jealousy, it's a movement, that's our whole life, from the moment we are born until we die, a constant restless chattering, endless movement. You must have noticed this. That is the nature of time. That is, perhaps, the whole of our life; in whatever direction we move it is still the movement from a centre to something thought has projected. Right?
That is, we are always acting from a centre. You must have noticed too, if you are at all aware, if one is at all serious, there is always a centre from which you are moving. And that centre is made up of the things which thought has brought about - the 'me', with all the desires, urges, reactions, with all the longings, the loneliness, the misery, the confusion. And from that centre we move, we act, and thinking takes place from that centre. Again this is obvious if you have observed yourself a little.
So there is this problem: time as movement, time as thought, and thought which has created the 'me', the centre, so the centre is moving constantly. Right? I want this, I don't want it, I must have it, I must not have it, I am unhappy, I must be happy, I want more, I want less - it is this endless movement of time and thought. That is the whole movement of our consciousness: I must get that, I must not get that, I want to be successful, but I am not capable of being successful - therefore there is a sense of unfulfillment, misery, confusion, jealousy, and so on. This is again very obvious. I hope we are thinking this out together.
Now, let's make this very clear: we are not analysing, we are merely observing. When you analyse there is a division between the analyser and the analysed, so that division creates conflict, the analyser saying, this is not right, this should be that. But the analyser is starting from a centre. right? The centre which is the accumulation of the past, past information, past knowledge, past analysis and that analyser is then analysing, but the analyser is the analysed. I wonder if you see this. Please, this is really very important. If you really, deeply see this, not because the speaker says so, if you see the rationality, the truth of it, that the analyser is the analysed, the thinker is the thought, the experiencer is the experience - if you once see that, analysis comes totally to an end. Then a different process comes into being. Can we go on with this? Have we understood, please I am not persuading you to think in any particular direction, I am not trying to pressure you to buy this, or not buy that, I am not a commercial person, I am not selling you a thing. But unless one understands this fundamental principle, that is, the analyser, the thinker, the experiencer, is the experience, is the thought, is the analysed. Once you have that insight into that then one can observe without analysis, let the map unfold and tell you what it is. I wonder if you see. Is this somewhat clear?
That is, we are used to tell what it should be, what it must be, describe, go into it, but we never allow the fact to tell us - no, no, the fact to reveal itself. You are always telling the fact what it must do, we never let the fact tell its story. It can only tell its story if you are listening, if you observe. Right? Then you listen with care, with attention, watching every detail, every movement, which has nothing whatsoever to do with analysis. Perhaps this may be rather difficult because most of us are highly educated, conditioned, accepting analytical process as the way out of our confusion, out of our misery, out of our neurotic habits, we are so conditioned by that, that we have never questioned it, we have never said there may be a different way altogether. One of the unfortunate facts is that we like to obey, we like to follow, we like somebody who says, 'I know, I will tell you all about it'. And you being rather gullible, if I may say so, accept it, you never question. And to question there must be doubt, a scepticism, healthy, normal scepticism, but to have this normal scepticism, doubt one must be free of fear. And also doubt must be kept on a leash, like you keep a dog on a leash, doubt must be kept on a leash, one must know when to let it go, run at full speed. And also when it shouldn't run. All this needs a great sense of awareness, attention. Right?
So when there is no analysis whatsoever - you understand, this is quite difficult for a mind that has been analysing all its life, when all the propaganda says, analyse. When the professional people, the analysts, are encouraging analysis, we laymen we are so caught in that we just accept it. But I think there is a totally different way of looking, which can only come about when one realizes the whole nature and the structure of analysis, and therefore you abandon it, let go, not fight it but letting it go, then there is only observation of the fact, and the fact tells you what it is; not you tell the fact what it is, but the fact, the 'what is', the actual, the real, tells you what it is. Then it opens itself up completely, both the unconscious as well as the layers below the conscious. I wonder if you follow this. Are we following all this a little bit?
That's what we are doing now, we are observing without analysis the whole movement of time; not only the chronological time by the watch, but also the whole psychological time which has been invented by thought - I am in despair, one day I will have hope and fulfil. You understand this? I am not good, but I will be good. The 'better' is the enemy of the good. Right? Isn't it? Goodness has no future. Right? It is good, not, it will become good. So the flowering of goodness can only take place when there is no time. At least, please, even grasp intellectually, see the reason, the logic of it, and then let the logic end and observe what is going on. You follow? Don't, if I may point out, don't let reason function all the time, because reason is just thought, and thought in order, in sequence, but when the sequence is not proper there is disorder, illogical, unreasonable, neurotic, but when the sequence is right, which is mathematics - I won't go into that for the moment - when the sequence is right then reason finds there is an action which is not based on logic, reason, conclusion. I wonder if you are getting all this.
So we are observing only the fact that thought is time, thought as time created the centre, from that centre we act. And therefore all action is illogical, is not accurate. That's one problem, whether it is possible to act, to live - please listen, find out whether it is possible to live, act, without a centre. Do you understand? One has to find out, one has to investigate, not accept it, because it demands a discipline which comes out of observation - not the discipline that you impose. You know the word 'discipline' comes from the word 'disciple', disciple who is learning. Right? Not the disciplined mind, but the disciple who is learning and the very act of learning has its own order. Whereas for most of us discipline has become an imposition, conforming to a pattern, like a soldier, highly disciplined to kill. The Roman soldier, somewhere I was told, perhaps in Italy, the ancient Roman soldier was trained to kill for twenty-five cents, it only took twenty-five cents to train him. So little. But now it has gone up into millions. That is civilization.
So we are not imposing any will in observation. Do you see that? We are not saying, 'I must observe', then there is the pressure, then your observation is distorted. So one must learn the art of observing without pressure. And in that observation one asks, is it possible to have no centre at all? And what then is action without a centre; what then is life without a centre? Please ask yourself that question, not me asking you to ask. You understand, having a centre is the very essence of sorrow. Right? Need that be explained? It has to be explained? Right. The centre creates the tomorrow, thought which is the centre, which is the movement of time, creates the tomorrow. And in the tomorrow there is hope, in the present there is despair. Right? In the present there is ignorance, in the tomorrow there is knowledge. In the centre is the attachment. Right? Am I making this clear? The centre is attached to you, and in that attachment there is pain, there is anxiety, there is fear, there is jealousy. I am attached to you, and you may leave me, you may go after somebody else, or look at somebody else, or sleep with somebody else, so in that attachment there is sorrow, there is pain, there is tremendous sense of not only guilt but anxiety. Right? This again we are observing, we are not analysing. So that centre is the essence of sorrow. Is that clear? No, not verbally clear but for yourself, in observing yourself that centre is the state of sorrow.
So you ask the question: is there an action which is not of the centre and therefore which is not of sorrow? You understand all this? Don't go to sleep, please! This is a very serious question. One observes very cautiously, hesitantly, listening to the centre, what the centre is saying; it is saying, 'I am the cause and the essence of misery, confusion, sorrow'. And the question is then: can I live without sorrow, is there a living without sorrow? Do you understand my question? Come on sirs! That is, is there a living without attachment? Is there a living without loneliness? Most of us are lonely, loneliness is the essence of isolation. And most of us whether we know it or not are actually creating, functioning in isolation. Right? So one asks, is it possible to live without isolation? Not the isolation brought about from hurt, the hurt which makes you build a wall round yourself and therefore isolate yourself. We are asking a much deeper question, which is, this sense of great loneliness, sense of deep unfathomable dissatisfaction, discontent: the dissatisfaction with everything. Have you been through all this? Do you understand all this? Not dissatisfaction with one particular thing, but the flame of dissatisfaction, not with the object of dissatisfaction, not the cause of dissatisfaction, but the very burning of it.
And one asks, as the centre is the cause of all this, attachment with its anxiety, fear, and the struggle to be detached, and the pain of detachment, and the worry, the anxiety of being detached, wondering if you are isolating yourself, and then plunge into relationship hoping in there you will find no isolation. And this isolation, this sense of completely away from everything, realizing that, there is a sense of deep sorrow, isn't there. Right? Please, don't be mesmerized by the description. This is not a romantic, emotional extravaganza. Don't be stimulated by the speaker, he is not your opiate, or your drug, or your stimulant. Then you depend on the speaker, then the anxiety and all the rest of it. Whereas if you watch yourself, if you watch this whole movement of life from the centre, all the travail and all the anxiety, the guilt, the misery, and the deep sorrow.
So one asks, not another, there is no other whom you can ask. The other is you, who is also in sorrow. So can you ask if there is an ending to sorrow, and the ending of that centre which is the essence of sorrow, then what is action, then what is life. You understand my question? If there is no centre, and therefore no sorrow, no travail, no anxiety, then what is action?
And also you have to go into the question of space, not the scientific romance of space, but actually in our minds is there space at all. You understand my question? Or it is so occupied, so cluttered up, so full of knowledge, experience, wanting, occupied, occupied. When the mind is so completely occupied there is no space. Right? And the problem then is: can occupation end, being occupied? When the mind has leisure, leisure, then it is not occupied. You know the word 'school' comes from the word 'leisure'. You can only learn when you have leisure. You cannot learn when your mind is fully occupied, cluttered up like a disordered cupboard in which you put everything, then it cannot take in, it is full. So it is only when there is leisure, that is when there is no occupation, when the mind is not occupied then you have leisure, then you can learn. That is, our minds are occupied - with god, with mischief, with sex, with money, with god knows what, you know better than I do. It's occupied, and therefore there is no space at all. And you must have space to see. If you are too close you can't see, there must be space, a distance, a hiatus. Now in our minds there is none of that, because the mind is filled with the movement of this centre, the mind is filled with the movement of time - I will be, I must be, this must not be, I wish it weren't - time, time, thought.
Then the question arises: is it possible to end the movement of chattering? Not through volition, not through will, then you have divided this chattering into the will which is controlling the chattering. Part of the chattering is also the will. I wonder if you understand this. And without any sense of pressure, to observe the chattering, and let the chattering tell you all the story it has, and it has very little to tell you, I don't know if you have observed it. When you observe it and listen to the story of that chattering, the chattering it's telling, it's so trivial, it's nonsense, superficial, nothing at all to tell. But if you exercise pressure on it, it becomes active, it becomes deeper and deeper and deeper - at least you think it is deep. I wonder if you get all this.
So we are asking: is there a way of living without chattering, having space, not created by thought, science fiction space, but space which is the ending of occupation? Right? One is occupied with so many things: one is occupied with meditation, when you practise meditation you are occupied. Right? And therefore you have no space. Oh, I wish you would see all this.
And we are occupied with one of the factors of life, which is death. Right? Whether you are old or young there is this great occupation, consciously, or unconsciously, with death. Aren't you? The older you get, diseased, weak, feeble, a little bit gaga - perhaps we are gaga from the very beginning - and there is this great occupation with what happens after death, the whole revelation of reincarnation, the hope in that, is it true, is it not true, it must be, it must not be, there is evidence, there is no evidence - you know the thing that is going on in the world now. You know the word 'reincarnate' means reborn. Right? You understand? To be reborn. Why are you reborn next, after death, why don't you be reborn now? You understand my question? I wonder if you do. Incarnate now. (Laughter and clapping) No, no, this is not an emotional applause, or agreement, this is very, very serious. Listen to it, please. We are so occupied with death, books have been written, we read them, we are frightened of death. We see the cemetery and we say, 'My gosh' - we go through all that. And there is this eastern, Indian-India has played a tremendous part throughout the world in so-called religious and spiritual matters, and one of their concepts is, ideas is, or what they think reality is, that you, the centre, which is you, will be born next life. If you are living rightly now, next life you will have a better opportunity, either to become a millionaire, which is generally understood, or marvellous priest, or a marvellous enlightened human being. Which implies, doesn't it, what is important is not the future, but what you are now, what you do now, how you act, how you behave, what you think, what you feel now, this life. Right? And the believers in reincarnation don't pay attention to that, they say, 'I believe in that', and in the meantime lead their shoddy little life. You understand what I am saying?
So to incarnate without the future. I'll go into it in a minute. So we are occupied with this tremendous thing called death, from the most ancient civilizations to the present sophisticated abnormal civilization. Right? Every age is concerned about this, much more than how is it possible to live rightly. You understand? To live with tremendous dignity, grace and love. You know they are all occupied with what happens hereafter. And most of us also are occupied with that. To end this occupation totally, not when you are young, or when you are old but to end this occupation completely, which means to end the fear that is involved in this occupation. Why are we, if one may ask - why is one so occupied and frightened about death? Would you answer to yourself. This is not a group therapy or confessional - too many to confess - but would you ask yourself why you are afraid of death. I can understand the fear of pain, disease, the agony of some disease, cancer and others, but the ending, why is one so frightened of an ending? You are not frightened about the ending of sorrow, are you. On the contrary. Please listen carefully. The ending of death, and the ending of sorrow - the one which is the ending of sorrow you want, you crave it, you want it, you want to find out; and also the ending of one's life, when the brain, through an accident, disease, old age, lack of oxygen and so on, becomes senile, and gaga, and the ending of that. You follow my question?
Why is there fear of ending anything? Ending - please listen - ending your relationship with another. You understand this? Then you have to ask, what is your relationship with another which must continue, which under law, tradition, custom, habit, says, continue. Right, sir? And that continuity also through divorce, I divorce and continue with another.
I wonder if you are gathering all this. I am not informing you, I am not telling you, I am not giving you ideas, knowledge, but this you observe as you move, as you live. You want the ending of sorrow, the ending of pain, but the continuity of pleasure, and the ending of life as death. So we have to find out what it means to end, terminate. Right? If one grasps the significance of ending, the truth, the extraordinary quality that comes when you end, to find out what that quality is, you must enquire what it is to end. You understand? Are you asking these questions? Please do ask. What is it to end? And what is to continue? You understand? When we talk about ending, we must go into the question of what is continuity.
I am getting tired. Not tired, I don't think we are meeting each other, are we?
K: Are you sure?
K: I don't want your encouragement, that's not it. I just want to be clear that we understand each other.
So these two things are involved - ending and continuity. What is it that continues? The centre? Which is thought in action, accumulated experience, knowledge, the centre is the essence of all that. Right? And thought says, I must continue. Right? We want continuity only without pain. Right? Without anxiety, without the agony of uncertainty, without sorrow, without all the rest. Which is - please, continuity in pleasure, avoid everything else, pain, anxiety, guilt, hurts, fear, sorrow, but let me have this one thing. Right? Is that accurate? The description, is this an accurate description of a human mind that is only pursuing that, and saying, please take everything away from me. So that is what we call continuity. Right? The continuity of something which I have known, which one has known, delighted, taken a delight in it, the remembrance of it, and pursuing the remembrance of it, which is the great movement of continuous, endless pleasure. Is that what we want to continue, if you actually look and are honest with yourself? That pleasure may be enlightenment, in seeking god, in becoming a priest, in becoming a success, in owning something, possessing something, persons, ideas, furniture, house. Right? The continuity of the centre, with its misery, with its confusion, with its sorrow, with its fears, with its guilt, hurt. We never observe the centre and its content. Right? There is no observation, or listening to the story of the centre of that, the story which is the centre is showing you. You understand? The centre is telling you the story, which is fear, pain, anxiety, pressure, loneliness, agony, despair, hope, longing, isolation, death. You follow? Right? That is the centre, that centre says, I must never end, which is death. Right? Death is not only the organic death when the brain has not sufficient oxygen, withers away, and dying, through accident, through old age, disease and so on. We accept that as something natural, inevitable, but we don't accept the ending of this centre. This centre which is the essence of sorrow, we don't want sorrow, but we say, well I would rather have pleasure; but in the pursuit of pleasure sorrow is its shadow. Do you understand what I am saying? For god's sake.
So what is there to continue, what is there to end? You understand my question? And when there is an ending, total ending, there is a beginning. Do you see this? When one ends attachment, with all the implications of it, completely ends, then there is a totally different state, different beginning. So the ending is the beginning of incarnation. You understand? I wonder if you see this. Do listen, find out, sir, find out, go into yourself and find out. In dying there is the beginning, there is a total renewal, there is an incarnation, that is, to be born, not as Mr Smith - you understand? - with all the misery, confusion, sorrow. The ending of that is a beginning of something totally new. So is that possible, to totally end? Not a hankering, a longing of some deep memory. You understand? The ending totally of all that.
The question is then: how is to end? You understand? I see it must end, or you may not see it must end, if you see it, observe that it must, that is the only way of living because if you continue with all your memories, it leads nowhere, it leads to what is called death. But if you see the truth of this continuity, then will you ask the question: how is one to end attachment? Take one simple thing, like attachment, how is one to end attachment? You understand my question? How to end attachment without conflict, without will, without the pressure of the wife, the husband, the insurance man, and so on and so on, without the pressure of anything, is there an ending?
You understand, sir, this question is very complex, because our whole conditioning, which is the brain is conditioned - right? - conditioned after millions and millions of years. This brain is very, very old, it is very ancient. And it is asking itself - not you are asking it - it is asking itself, if you observe it, it is asking itself, can this conditioning, which is the very centre, end? Can this conditioning ever disappear, vanish, be abandoned? So the brain says, can I ever be free. You understand? Or must I enter from one conditioning to another conditioning, from one guru to another guru, from one sect to another sect, from one group to another? You follow? This is a very complex question, which is, can this conditioning with its centre, is very ancient, is very old, has been operating from childhood to now, it is of tremendous depth, so it is facing a new question, not an old question. Do you understand what I am saying? Right? It's asking itself a tremendous question. It realizes that it is conditioned, shaped, controlled, under great pressure from the ancient times, from the beginning of the anthropoid ape. You understand? Which means, can the registering process on the tape, which is the brain, the brain is registering like a tape recorder, and it's so used to registering continually, registering everything, unpleasant, pleasant, happy, joy, ecstasy, experience, it is used to registering, and it is asking, is there an ending to registration. You understand my question? Which is, can I observe - the brain is talking to itself, I am not talking to myself - the brain is saying to itself, can I observe without registering? Do you understand my question?
You know, this is meditation, you understand, sir? For the brain to find itself conditioned, for consciousness which is the essence of the brain with all its content, misery, confusion, can all that end, otherwise there is no beginning, there is nothing new under the sun - which means, no registration whatsoever. Is that possible? One sees that, so one says, now, I see that, the brain says, yes that is so obvious. Now is it possible not to register? Not to register a hurt. You understand? Not to register somebody saying, a marvellous chap you are, that was a wonderful speech - I have been often told that. So can there be no registration whatsoever? You understand? Then what is the state of the mind, the brain that doesn't register?
It registers because in the registration, in recording there is security. And when there is no registration is there security at all? You follow all this? Because the brain can only function in security, efficiently or not efficiently, it may find security in some stupid belief, and hold on to it, in that stupid belief - all beliefs are stupid anyhow - but in that particular stupid belief it has found security - in some romantic, conceptual, mystical - you follow? And when you take drugs, whatever you do, when you take drugs it brings out certain experiences, and in those experiences there is security. And so the more you take, the more you are in illusion.
So the brain asks itself: there has been security, at least I thought there was security in those things which I have held - belief, you understand, the whole thing. And is that security, it is asking itself. Is there security in belief? You believe in Christ, or whatever you believe in, and in India they believe in something else, that belief is based on your conditioning for two thousand years you have been conditioned in that, and for five to ten thousand years they have been conditioned there. So conditioning is both the same, one is not superior to the other. So the brain says - it realizes there is no security in belief, but where am I to find that security, if there is an ending. You understand all this?
What time is it? Quarter to one.
Where is there security? The centre is created by thought, thought is so limited, conditioned, so narrow, a broken down thing, and it has discovered that in that broken up thing which has created this whole world in which we live, if there is no security there, then where is there security. You understand? Because it can only function effectively, sanely, rationally, skilfully when there is complete security. Because most of us are insecure, uncertain, confused, our actions are neurotic, confused, mischievous. You follow? And it says, I have seen - please listen to this - I have - the brain says, I have seen - thought doesn't say this - the brain itself is in operation, the brain says, I have seen that, there is no security in all this. Right? When is it capable of saying that? Do you understand my question? You understand my question?
K: When is it capable of saying, yes, I have seen all that, there is no security in all that? When it has very carefully observed, reasoned, logic, and seen that it is really empty. The perception of that futility is intelligence, isn't it. Be quite clear on this point. Right, sir? To see the illusory nature of that centre, to see the falseness and the unreality of that centre, which is verbal, which is memory, which is the past, and so on, to perceive that is intelligence, isn't it. Are you quite sure? I mean, suppose you go to a politician, and if you talk to him about the absurdity of nationality, and dividing the country into parties, into little parts, and his whole life is vested in that he won't even listen to you, he will say, you are fantastic, you are not practical, you are not this, you are not that. Right? I have talked to many politicians, I know that. Their idea is, be practical, factual, you must deal with the workers, that is you. You are confused, you are - you follow - and you help him to be confused also. So the brain is saying, I can only function when there is absolute security. I realize that I have lived in illusory security. Is that so, to you? And if it is, then that perception is the very act of intelligence. That intelligence is complete security. Right? See the sequence of it, not just casual observation, see clearly the sequence of what we are saying, therefore it is orderly. Because it is orderly it is the essence of intelligence. You understand? It is the disordered, not sequential mind that is stupid, dull, not intelligent.
So the brain has discovered for itself, not somebody has told it, that's too stupid, the brain has discovered for itself the quality of security that can never be destroyed, can never be changed, it is immovable, everything else is movable. I've finished.
I wonder if we are going to meet tomorrow, because if it rains, what happens?
Q: We can meet here.
K: We meet here? All right, sir.
Ojai 5th Public Talk 15th April 1978
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