Madras 4th Public Talk 7th January 1979
I wonder often why we come together like this, listening to a speaker, half serious, curious and not really wanting to change one's life totally. One has become rather mediocre, without a flair, without any quality of genius. I am saying genius in the sense, not of any particular talent or particular gift, but the genius of a mind that comprehends the totality of life, which is our life, a vast complex, contradictory, unhappy existence. And one listens to all this, to what the speaker has to say, and one goes away with partial understanding, with no deep intention and serious attention to bring about a deep psychological revolution. And one wonders often why human beings tolerate the kind of life one leads. You may blame the circumstances, the society, the political organization, but blaming others has not solved our problems. We drift and our life seems such a waste, either going to the office from morning till night for the next fifty years or so and then retire to die or vegetate or grumble or fade away quietly.
And when one looks at one's own life with all its extraordinary beauty, the vastness of what man has achieved technologically, one wonders why there has been so little beauty in our life. I mean by that word not merely the appearance of beauty, the decoration of the outer, but that quality of great communication with nature. If one loses contact with nature, one loses relationship with other human beings. You may read poems if you are so inclined, you may read all the beautiful sonnets and the lyrical swing of a lovely poem, but imagination is not beauty. The appreciation of a cloud and the love of light in that cloud and a sheet of water along a dry road, or a bird perched on a single branch - all that enchantment we rarely see or appreciate or love because we are occupied with or own problems, with our own worries, with our peculiar ideas and fixations, and are never free. And beauty is this quality of freedom which is totally different from independence.
When you listen to all this, I wonder what you make of it. Whether we see a dog and love that dog or a rock or a stray cloud passing by, when we have not that sense of extraordinary communication with the world which brings about great beauty, we become small human beings, mediocre, wasting our extraordinary life and losing all the beauty and the depth of existence. But I am afraid we must get back to realities. Though that is also real, extraordinarily real, the branch, the shadow, the light on a leaf, the fluttering parrot, that's also actual, real, and when we understand the swaying palm tree and the whole feeling of life, then there is a great sense of depth to beauty. But we are not interested in all that. Are you? I am afraid we are not. We listen, and let it slip by. You may sound romantic, sentimental, but beauty is not romantic, not sentimental, nor emotional. It is something very, very solid, like a rock in the midst of a fast flowing stream. So, we will leave that for the moment and come back to what we were saying yesterday, and I think some of it must be repeated, and I hope you won't mind if one repeats it.
We were saying, weren't we, that where there is tradition, there is no culture. Tradition handed down from generation to generation, certain concepts, beliefs, values, principles, all laid down intellectually, and such abiding tradition of 3000 years or 10 days old, in that soil culture cannot possibly blossom. Culture means to grow, to develop, not merely the intellectual side of life, but the whole totality of one's own life. Not merely to function in one direction completely, politically or have certain genius with regard to words or with stone or painting but to develop, cultivate one's mind and one's heart. That's not possible where there is tradition, that is, values handed down - in that soil nothing can grow. And that is what we were saying yesterday.
And also we were saying time which is a very complex thing must be investigated, must be considered. We said time is movement in division. Right? Yesterday, today and tomorrow. The knowledge which man has acquired, both scientific, so-called religious, and experience is the past, and that past meets the present, modifies itself and goes on - the future. That's the whole movement of time. And we were saying yesterday too that our minds are so conditioned to accept time as a means of comprehension, as a means of becoming, developing, evolving. Our whole life from childhood is based on this idea of becoming, growing, evolving. In a certain sense, both biologically and physically, time does exist: the acorn growing in to an oak, that needs time. And we were saying that psychological time does not exist at all. The idea that through time psychologically, which is ethically, morally, spiritually, if one can use that word spiritually without being romantic or nonsensical, to really understand the religious mind, time is a destructive element. That is what we talked about yesterday more or less.
If one may, we must investigate what is order. Order - please just listen, don't agree or disagree but like the wind, breeze comes, so in the same way just listen - order is sequence in space. You understand that? No. We said order cannot exist without sequence, and there must be space. We are going to examine that because our life is disorderly, confused, contradictory. We are talking very simply. And where there is contradiction, there is no order. Where there is confusion, conflict, there is no order. And our life, as we live it daily, is a mass of contradiction, confusion and conflict and dishonesty. Right? That's a fact. And one wonders if order can be brought about in this confusion. Because without order there is no efficiency, both intellectual or if you have capacity you must have order. Order has nothing whatever to do with sentiment, with romance. Order is very, very sequential, logical, sane. So, we are going to enquire into what is order, whether we can have order, not a blueprint, not something laid down by tradition or by a guru or by a leader or by our own little desires and compulsions, but we are going to enquire in what is lasting order. Are you interested in this? How to bring about order in our life so that there is no opposite, duality, contradiction, dishonesty - politically, religiously or in our relationship with each other. You are interested in this? Or do you want me to talk about meditation? And you can go often into some kind of illusion and think that we are meditating. Because you see without bringing about order in our daily life, do what you will, there can be no meditation. So we are laying the foundation of what is meditation.
If one realizes actually what our daily life is, how disorderly it is, how contradictory it is, controlled by various objects of desire, seeking power, position, living in arrogance and vanity, and yet at the same time talk about the people, the goodness and read books and you know, you play around with all that - all that indicates, doesn't it, a terribly dishonest life, a life of total contradiction, like an excellent lawyer who is capable of arguments and beating the other side and going off to some temple miles away to worship. You understand the contradiction? And they are totally unaware of that. So, the first thing is to realize how disorderly our life is. To be aware, not how to bring order is disorder. Please listen to this - not how to bring order in disorder, but to understand the nature of disorder. Right? When I understand the nature of disorder, then out of that comprehension, out of that obvious fact, comes the beauty of order, not imposed or disciplined or suppressed or conformed, but in the very investigating of disorder, naturally out of that investigation order comes. Right? You understand this? Now, let us do it.
First, let us be aware, as human beings who have got such extraordinary capacity, look what they have done technologically - immense things have been done. And as human beings who are so extraordinarily capable, who have thought out almost every form of concept, principles, ideas, religious projections, invented rituals that are really most beautiful some of them but have no meaning at all. And the human mind - I don't know if you have gone into your own mind, if you have, you can observe it - what great quality it has. And to challenge such a mind, to demand that it shall operate at its highest excellence. Will you do it as we are talking so that your mind - your mind being not only the various forms of sensory activities, your mind being the emotions, affection, love, care, attention, the intellectual capacity, and that sense of great love - all that is the mind, the wholeness of the mind, to challenge that. Do you understand what I am saying? That it shall operate at its highest, at its greatest excellence.. Because if you don't challenge it, we live in disorder. You are following this?
So we are enquiring into what constitutes why human beings centuries upon centuries have accepted to live in disorder, politically, religiously, economically, socially, and in our relationship with each other. You understand? Why? Why have we accepted to live this way? From whom do you expect the answer? Do you understand? A challenge implies that you respond, that you respond with your highest capacity, and not wait for the speaker to respond and so how to respond. You follow? You understand what I am saying? I have challenged your mind, the speaker has said: exercise your highest capacity, exercise all your energy to find out whether it is possible to live in a world that is degenerating, corrupt, immoral, whether you can live a sane, a life that is completely whole - that is your challenge. You understand? What is your response to it? Whole, the word 'whole', means first healthy, both physically, psychologically, with all the capacities of your mind, and that is sanity. And the word 'whole' also means holy, sacred. That is the whole of life.
So we are asking whether you as a human being are aware of the total disorder and degeneration out in the world around you and in yourself, the degenerating process going on. Are you aware of it? Aware in the sense, observe what is actually taking place, not imagine what is taking place, nor idea of what is taking place, but the actual happening: the political, the religious, the social, the moral degeneration of man. And no institution, no guru, no higher principles, are going to stop this degradation. Are we aware of it? If we are, then what shall we do? Right? Right sir? What shall we do? What is your action - not in some future date - what is your immediate action? Will you join some sect, will you follow some guru or will you go back to your old tradition, repeat something or other, which is to escape from the actual fact of the brain that is getting old, degenerating. Or will you, together, you and I, investigate, explore why human beings have become like this? It is happening the world over, it is not just the speciality of this spiritual land. Sorry to use the word 'spiritual', because you are so proud of your own culture. It is like a politician saying we are very old, our culture is ancient, then that gives him a certain sense of dignity, but in his heart he is - you know what it is, I don't have to tell you. So, what shall we do? I would suggest that we first look at our life - actually what it is, what is happening in our life, because our life in action is society. Right sir? You get it? Agreed? Our life in action is our society, and you cannot transform that society unless you transform yourself. That's so obvious. The communist, the liberal, the socialist will not alter it. Or your reading the Gita or the Upanishads will not alter it, or becoming terribly interested in what Buddhism has to say, or follow Zen meditation - none of those will solve it.
So let us look at what is happening in our life, our daily life. Our daily life is based on relationship. Without relationship you cannot possibly exist. Right? What is our relationship with each other, not you two sitting together, I don't mean that, but with your wife, with your husband, with your boss, with your factory worker, with your neighbour, what is the relationship with each other? In that relationship, is there order? Not self-centred activity, opposed to another self-centred activity - you follow that? That's contradiction. I may be married, have children, sex and all the rest of it, and if I am self-centred, concerned about my own success, my ambition, my status, worrying about my - all the rest of it - and she is also concerned about herself, her problems, her beauty, her looks, you know, and all the rest of it - how can there be any kind of relationship between the two people? You understand all this. If you have one belief and the other has another kind of belief or another kind of conclusion, another kind of dogma, there is no relationship. Haven't you noticed all this? So, is it possible to bring order in our relationship, with your wife and husband, not with the universe, not with cosmos, not with god. God is an invention of the intellect. You can have extraordinary relationship with those things that you have invented, deal with illusions. But to have relationship with your wife and husband and children so that there is no conflict between us, that's where order begins. Right? Right sir? Now, how will you bring order there? Because order is - please listen to it, listen to the beauty of it at least - order is sequence in space. We are going to examine this, what we mean by space, what we mean by sequence, what we mean by order.
If we have no relation with each other, there is fear. Either one dominates the other, either they separate but only come together in bed. So we live a brutal life with each other. Haven't you noticed all this? Don't you have all this? And in what way shall we bring order so that it is enduring - not one day order, the next day disorder? What brings about this contradiction in relationship? What brings this division between you, your wife, your husband and your children? Division is disorder. Right? Right sirs? Muslim and the Hindu, the Jew and the Arab, the communist, totalitarianism and freedom. These opposites are the essence of disorder. Right? So what brings about disorder in our human relationship, with the most intimate and not so intimate? Have you ever thought about it? Come on, sirs. Or are you frightened to look at this disorder, because, when you become aware that your wife and yourself, and the husband or the wife become aware of this disorder, either they accept it and live with it or they analyze it, go into it, and investigate it, and that may bring about a tremendous change, and there is the fear of change. You are following what we are saying? Right sir? There's my friend at least that I can talk to!
What brings about this disorder? I am saying something, please listen carefully, we are investigating. I am not saying it is right or wrong. Is it desire? I mean by desire, the sensory responses, with its images thought has created, and the action, the urge of that desire? You understand me? I mean by desire, the speaker means by desire - please investigate it as we go along, don't accept what he is saying - the perceiving, the seeing, sensory seeing, contact, sensation, and with the sensation goes the images which thought has created, and desire. You have understood this? Is this fairly clear? You see a nice thing: the seeing, the touching, the smelling, the tasting and the sensation, the sensation which is identified with the image which thought has created, and desire is the outcome of it. Right? Clear? So we are asking: is one of the factors of this contradiction this lack of relationship? I am using the word 'relationship' in its right sense - to be wholly in contact with each other, not merely sensory contact, not merely sexual contact, but in contact holistically, wholly with another. Is that prevented by desire?
So we are investigating, is desire love? Because with desire goes fear and one of the factors of disorder is fear. Right? So, we are saying: the factor of disorder is desire and fear and the incessant pursuit of pleasure. We have explained what desire is. With desire goes will. Will is the action, concentrated action of desire. Right sirs? Just investigate. And we function, our life is based on desire, will and fulfilment, and with it goes frustration. And out of this comes fear, various forms of fear: fear of not being successful, fear of losing a job, fear of being lonely, fear of not having loved, or given to you, fear of losing attachment, fear of darkness, fear of physical pain, and so on and so on and so on. You are familiar with all this, aren't you?
So we are saying: the major factor of disorder is the operation of desire, always with the picture of achievement, and fear, the fear that has not been resolved by human beings - fear of death, fear of loneliness, fear of not having the capacity to act greatly, and so on and so on. And also one of the causes of disorder is this incessant pursuit of pleasure. So we are going to examine those three things very carefully because our concern is to bring about order, and to bring about order one must understand this confusion in which we live, and the confusion is this activity of desire with its changing objects. You may not, when you are young, you may not want to have a great status, a great position, great wealth, but as you grow older the thing changes, as you approach death, you want enlightenment, god and all the rest of it. So, the objects of desire change constantly. And fear which is one of the major factors of disorder in our relationship, intimate and not intimate, and the longing, the private personal pursuit of pleasure. So, these are the major, deep factors of disorder in our life. We have explained the process of desire - seeing, touching, tasting, smelling, the sensory responses, from that sensory response sensations, with contact, then thought, saying, how marvellous it would be if I could have that. Which is the thought creating the image of a car with you driving it and having fun. So that is the movement of desire.
We are saying: what is fear? Please go with me, find out for yourself because we have lived generation after generation with fear. We have good brains. We have got capacity to resolve fear, not to live with it. To live with it is to live in darkness. To live with it is to deny the beauty of total existence, the beauty of the earth, the beauty of the sky. So, we have to understand it, not intellectually but delve deeply into the very roots of fear.
Fear is time. Look at it carefully. There is physical fear: the bodily pain, the remembering of that pain and hoping that pain will not happen again, that is duration of time. Right? You are following this? Please, if you don't give your mind to it - because it is very important for us to understand this, because the mind demands that human beings be free, because when you are free, life becomes totally different. And a person who is burdened with fear can never be free. And when the mind is enveloped with fear, there is no possibility of clarity, of insight, or pure unadulterated perception of things. So, we are saying that time is the movement of fear. I have had pain last week, the remembrance of that pain, physical pain, and there is the fear that it might come back again. Right? That is one fear. The physical fear of getting hurt, having pain, or having been ill and hoping it will never come back again.
Now, can you - please listen to this - can you, when you have pain, physical pain, when it is over totally forget it, totally non-register it? You understand my point? Have you understood what I have said? I am sure most of us have had some kind of physical pain of different kinds, varieties, multiple kinds of physical pain. When it happens, to observe it and not let that pain be registered in the brain. Will you do it as we are talking? Now let us look at it for a minute. The brain's capacity consists in registering everything that has happened to it, like a computer, it is registering. You must have noticed, obviously. The happening to the physical is registered, and then that registered happening is a remembrance, and that remembrance, that memory of that pain brings about fear that it might happen again. We are asking a very simple thing but very subtle. Go into it. You will see it for yourself. Having physical pain and not let it become a memory. You understand sir? Do you follow what I am saying?
Now. Just a minute. You hurt me by calling me a name, or praised me, as yesterday somebody did - not to register the pain or the insult, so that your brain is fresh. When you register, it is the movement of time. Right? So, we are saying, fear is the movement in time. I can understand physical pain. I know I can look, observe it very carefully when it is happening, be very, very attentive or let it happen and not be associated with it at all. I am telling you something which actually happened to the speaker. I am not inventing this. Then, fear is what might happen, or what has happened and the remembrance of it and projecting that remembrance into the future and saying: I am afraid. Do you understand? That is, the movement from the past through the present to the future. Most of us are afraid of, what? Look at yourself sir, investigate what you are afraid of. You may not be afraid of sitting there now. Obviously. But when you leave here, the fears come back, conscious or deeply hidden. What are your fears? Fear of death, fear of loneliness, fear of not achieving enlightenment, fear of not being very successful and having a lot of money, fear of being dominated by another, whether it is the husband or the wife - what is one afraid of? And can you analyze it? Please listen. In analysis several things are implied. There is the analyzer and the thing which is going to be analyzed. Right? In analysis is implied time. You follow? I have to analyze all the time, that includes time. And every analysis must be complete, otherwise, I remember, the remembrance continues, and with that remembrance you analyze, therefore, it is never complete. You understand? It does not matter. First of all, in analysis, there is the analyzer and the analyzed. The analyzer is the analyzed, right? That is, thought has divided itself as the analyzer and the thing to be analyzed. So, it has created a division. Thought in its very process is limited and therefore fragmentary and therefore has the capacity to divide. That which is limited is always capable of division, that which is whole is never, can never be, divided. I wonder if you capture all this? Please don't look at me like a guru.
So, we are saying analysis will not solve the problem. You can discover the cause, and the discovery of the cause and the effect of the cause, and the effect becomes the cause for the next happening. So this is a constant chain, the cause becoming the effect, the effect becoming the cause. Right? In that circle there is no answer. You will have to think it out for yourself if you are so inclined, because we are so used to analysis which prevents direct perception. So we are asking: what is the cause of this extraordinary fear that human beings have, both conscious as well as deep hidden fears? If you observe or look into fear, fear is never actual. Do you understand? Only you are recording either when it is over or might happen in the future. Right? I don't know if you understand this. All right, let me put it differently. Why am I working so hard for you? The other day a man asked me when I went out of the talk, he said to me: you ask us why we come, what reason, curiosity or this or that. He said: why do you speak? Do you want to know why I speak? Because sir - oh, forget it, it doesn't matter, it's not important.
Like pleasure, at the instant of pleasure there is no recording. It is only a second later that recording takes place. Haven't you noticed it? Have you? Sexual, any form of pleasure, as it is actually happening, you are totally unaware that it is called pleasure. If you have been angry, I hope you haven't, if you have been angry, at the moment of that feeling, it is just a feeling, but when you begin to name it, which is a second later, it becomes anger. Then you say, I must control. I must not be angry, and all the rest of it. So please just listen: at the moment of a pleasurable thing happening to you, there is no recording, the brain is not functioning. Only a second later, thought comes along and says: how marvellous that was, that meal was so good, that sunset was so lovely, I must have more of that kind of food, or I must see more sunsets with such delight. You follow? Are you aware at the moment of fear, at the second of the thing arising, and as it arises not to let thought come into it, recognize it from its past experience, say, that's anger, but to realize thought has no place at the moment of action? You understand all this? That requires great alertness. So, if the mind is so alert, at the moment of arising of the feeling called fear, to realize it, and the very realization of it, the truth of it, prevents thought from interfering. Have you understood this? Are you doing it?
So fear and pleasure go together. Have you realized that too? You cannot have one and deny the other. So, to delve into both, see the whole movement of fear and pleasure, and the desire which is involved in fear as well as in pleasure, see the whole nature and the structure of it, not intellectually, verbally, but actually as you see this microphone - then you come to the question that the fear or the pleasure is not different from the observer. The observer is fear. Please listen to it. There is no thinker without thought. Thought has separated the thinker and itself as being separate from the thing which it has created. Right? So, the thinker is always trying to control, shape thought. So, fear is not separate from the observer, yourself, you are part of it. And when you say, I must control it, I must have courage, I must escape from it, I must dodge it, I must analyze it, you are playing a game with yourself. Whereas if you recognize that fact, the truth that this fear is you, you are the result of time, you are the result of thought put together by various... I won't go into all this. It is fairly simple. So, fear is you, and when you have realized that, you cannot possibly act, and therefore you are observing it purely. When you observe, the very thing which you are observing undergoes a radical change. Are you doing it? Will you do it? Will you observe without the observer because the observer is the past and the observer will prevent clear, objective, direct perception. So, realizing that, the observer says: I have no place in observation, and therefore the observation is pure. When you observe fear without the observer, which is the past, then that very fear which is being observed, undergoes a radical change. It is no longer fear. At least, will you memorize this? Intellectually see what is implied? That fear and the avoidance of it or the suppression of it or the transmuting it or saying, I must struggle with it, all that will not wipe away fear because you have done all these things and it has remained with you for millennia. And we are saying something entirely different. We are saying the fear is you. You are the result of time, and can there be observation of that fear without time, without remembrance. Just to look. That is, can you look at your wife or your husband as though you are looking at them for the first time in your life without all the remembrances of the sexual pleasure, the nagging, the bullying, dominating, without any of that, to look? Because, knowledge prevents you from looking, and it is the freedom from knowledge that will end fear completely, not partly, not this fear, that fear, but the root of fear.
And in the same way, can you look at pleasure? Right? You have lots of pleasures, haven't you? Sexual pleasure, pleasure of having money, pleasure of having a position, pleasure of being somebody politically - you know all that business - pleasure of having power, pleasure of having a good mind, pleasure of having a good body, the pleasure that comes through comparison with its fear, the pleasure of imitating somebody and becoming more than that which you are imitating. Right? All these extraordinary forms of pleasure; pleasure to find enlightenment, which is the ultimate pleasure of seeking god, which is really a tawdry affair. So, can you investigate into yourself the whole nature of pleasure? Because, as we said, pleasure is the movement of desire, broken up in time. To observe it minutely, precisely, with great precision, to observe, not to analyze.
So, we are saying: the cause of disorder is desire, fear and the everlasting pursuit of pleasure. It does not mean suppressing the delight of seeing a beautiful thing, the delight and the enjoyment of a lovely sky, looking at the morning star, bright, alone, or seeing across towards the southern cross towards the South - the very seeing of the heavens is a great delight. But the moment thought says: I must go back again on the balcony, look at that Venus, the morning star, then begins the whole pursuit of pleasure. Just to look.
So, we are saying these are the causes of disorder. When you have understood that, not intellectually but actually finished with it, so that you have joy in your heart. Joy is not pleasure, but the moment you remember the joy and say, I have had a most marvellous moment of joy, how I wish I could get back to that, then it becomes pleasure, and you have lost it. This is the sequence in out life to establish order with our family.
What is space? It is twenty five past six. I think you are too tired. I cannot deal with space. It requires a great deal of investigation. Space in the mind. That means never a mind that is occupied with any problem. But our minds are so occupied, so crowded with belief, with pursuit, with all kinds of things, confusion, illusion, so, there is no space. So, where there is no space, there cannot be sequence and order. And if there is no order in our daily life, for heaven's sake, realize this, in our daily moments of everyday life, your meditation is merely an escape from your ugly life. And escape into meditation only leads to illusion. So one must lay the foundation to find out that which is beyond thought, that which is immeasurable, that which has no word. But that cannot come into being without this sense of great order in which there is total freedom.
Madras 4th Public Talk 7th January 1979
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