Ojai 4th Public Dialogue 19th April 1979 'On Transformation'
K: Do you think it is worth while to have these discussions?
K: Because apparently we never resolve any question or come to the very end of it. We have so many questions, each one saying what he wants to - irrelevant. So could we, as this is the last discussion, could we talk ever together, as two friends, have a dialogue and choose a subject which is common to all of us and go to the very end of it, step by step. Could we do that? Would that be worthwhile? Then please choose your subject.
Q: You have been talking to people for over fifty years, and also there are these schools, this one and those in other countries, in all of this time, out of this talking, out of these schools has there come about the total radical transformation of even one single human being?
K: You have had schools here in this country, Canada, England and five or six schools in India, and you have been talking for over fifty years and has there been one single human being who has been transformed? Do you want to discuss that?
Q: Sir could we have a discussion as to what is impeding this transformation. We are coming here, I think, many of us very serious, who want to transform.
K: Could we discuss seriously what do you mean by transformation.
Q: No. What is it that impedes this transformation?
K: What impedes transformation. What impedes human minds from really bringing about a mutation in themselves? Do you want to discuss that?
K: So do you want to discuss, talk over together, and go step by stop if we discuss anything together, to the very end of it: which is: if you want to chose that subject, is it possible to bring about a radical transformation and what are the things that block us?
Q: And not only that. Can we talk about observation without the observer?
K: That is a very good question: the art of seeing without the observer. Perhaps we can include that question sir in discussing about is it possible to bring about a change and what is preventing us. Right? Shall we discuss this step by step and go to the very end of it, not stop in the middle of it and talk about something else? Could we do that?
K: At last. First of all what do we mean by change? What do we mean by bringing about a transformation, a mutation in our consciousness? That is what it means. What does it signify, what is tho meaning of change, mutation? They are all the same words - transforamtion. What do we mean by that? May I proceed a little bit?
Is it change if you know what you are changing into? Do you understand my question? If one knows what you must become, is that change?
K: Go slowly sir. Think it out carefully. If one has an idea, a concept, a conclusion, an end to which you conform, to which you change to, or from this to that, is that change? Or is it a continuation of the same thing but modified? You have understood my question? One may project what one should be, the projection of that is from one's own desire, from one's own belief, from one's own demands and you project that. And when you want to become that you are becoming what you are, perhaps slightly modified. Is that clear? So when we have an object, or an end in view, projected by our own experience, from our own knowledge, from our own belief and conclusions and opinions, such movement is not change at all. Let's talk that over before we take the next step.
If one says "I must change myself in order to be good" - that goodness is a concept, is an idea, or a series of conclusions to which you are conforming, or to which you think you are changing from this to that. We are asking: is that change at all?
K: It is part, is it not sir, of a continuation of what has been? If one desires a new experience - I am taking that as an example - and strives after that experience, and when you do experience that thing after which you are striving, you must be able to recognize it, you must be able to say "This is the something which I am feeling, which I am experiencing," which means that you have already recognized it and therefore recognition means that you recognize again that which you have already experienced. I wonder if you see that. Right? Are we meeting each other there?
Q: It is easy - well I can understand it intellectually and then it is easy to deceive yourself that you are not doing that and go on wasting a lot of time.
K: I quite agree, sir. Therefore, do we see this fact, as a fact, not as an idea? That to change from this to that, that being a projection of this, then it is not change at all. It is like moving always in the direction of north, going further and further and further but in the same direction and therefore it is not change; but it is a change, a mutation when you are going north and you go diametrically opposite, south, or east, or west. You have moved from one direction, from one dimension to totally another direction, another dimension. That is a change. But if you keep on going in the same direction of course there is a modification, there is a change of scenery, change of experience, but it is in the same direction. Is that clear sirs? Can we go on from there?
Let's talk it over.
Q: I know what the mind does project.
K: Of course, of course.
Q: It says, OK, the change I want is to go south.
K: Of course. Therefore find out sir. Look one is going north and you realize going the same direction is no change at all. So you say then change means going quite the opposite, which is south. But if you keep on going south it will be the same thing.
Q: It is no change.
K: Just go slowly, slowly. Right? So one has discovered something very serious, which is to have no direction.
K: Just go step by step sir. The first step is that one desires, one wants to change. That is a fairly intelligent demand if one is at all aware. Then one asks: what do we mean by change? Generally it implies from the known move in the direction of the unknown. I am using different words. I don't know what the unknown is but I try to move towards it. But it is the same direction. So to discover change implies not having any movement towards any direction. Which doesn't mean you stay in the same place. I wonder if you get this?
Q: You don't stay in the same place but it seems like you have to stop or begin.
K: All right. If you stop - you have been going north - and if you stop, why do you stop? To go in another direction?
Q: Because going north is...
K: Listen. Find out sir. One stops going east and if you stop going in that direction what takes place, actually?
Q: You cast about for another direction.
K: Yes. That is right sir. You are looking for directions, whether it is south, south-east or south-south-west and so on - always moving in a direction. And we are saying such movement doesn't bring about a change at all. See how very complex this is first of all, and requires a little subtlety, which is: the mind has always moved in a lateral, horizontal or vertical, with all the degrees, variable degrees. Right? So it is now conditioned to move within that circumference, horizontal, linear, vertical, and the various degrees between linear, horizontal and vertical. That is what we are used to and that is what we call change, and that is what we call progress. Right? I wonder if you see this?
Q: Does the mind have to move to take care of the biological process?
K: We will come to that sir, we will come to that. First just see this, see the significance of this, the meaning of it, the inwardness of it.
Q: Is this not our habitual thoughts, the outer and the inner?
K: I know. Of course that is what we said. This is our life, this is where we live. One is pushed in this direction by various influences, desires, purposes, and if that isn't suitable one is driven in another direction. And this constant movement from one degree to another degree is called progress, change and all kinds of things, acquiring knowledge, moving. Right? So we are asking if that is change at all? We are discussing change in the sense of a deep fundamental mutation, transformation, psychological revolution. That is what we are talking about. We must bear that in mind constantly.
Q: The trouble is the idea of not moving, not taking a direction and not standing still.
K: That is just it. Wait sir. Find out. See what is implied in it. You know sir this is a very serious question because - I mustn't go into this too deeply, too quickly - if this is clear that any directional movement is not change, is not mutation, the very word is something totally different. Is this clear? Can we go on from there? Sir, not verbally, for yourself.
Q: Sir, it doesn't seem clear because if we have no direction then don't we become rather apathetic?
K: No. Wait, wait. Listen to this. Isn't apathy going the same direction? See that sir. You asked a question: if you have no direction don't you just collapse, isn't there apathy, no activity. You see? Which means one is really apathetic when you are moving in the same direction. It is routine, mechanical. I have learnt a lesson, one has learnt a lesson and you keep on repeating it. One is a Freudian, carry on; a Gestalt, or some other latest psychologist and you follow that line, it is much easier. But to say: look, let's find out if there is any possibility of movement - just listen to it - of movement in which there is no direction.
Q: Sir, would enlightenment have anything to do with what you are talking about? That if we are aware that we are already are a part of that which is, there is no direction.
K: There is a danger in that sir. That is what the Hindus have been for three thousand years, or five thousand - we are inwardly Brahman, God, the Highest Principle, and through various lives and experiences we are going to peel off our ignorance until we achieve that ultimate thing. That is a supposition, that is a belief, that is an idea. And also it is directive. Right? This is really rather difficult. You have chosen a very, very difficult subject.
Q: What is the nature of direction?
K: Physical direction is: go towards Ventura, or Santa Barbara or Los Angeles, take a road and go, because your house is there. There is a direction. And if you are educated, have degrees, that is a direction to get a particular job - professor, scientist, psychologist and so on and so on and so on. So please culturally we are conditioned to function in a direction, in a particular, or obscure, or meditative, cosmic direction. Right? You become a first-class engineer and for the rest of your life you pursue that. You are a brilliant physicist and there you are - Nobel prize and all the rest of it. You follow. And the religious groups have certain concepts, follow that. This is a very, very difficult subject you have chosen. If you want to go into it very deeply you have to apply your mind to this, not just romantic entertainment.
K: So we are asking: transformation implies, does it not, uprooting that which has been, not modifying that which has been.
Q: Are you implying that we cannot know change?
K: That's right. The moment you are aware that you have changed you are not changed. That's the beauty of it. If you see this.
Q: There is no pleasure, no fear.
K: Haven't you noticed the moment you say, "I am very happy" - have you not noticed this? Something has escaped from you.
Q: What we call change, what we call growth, dissipates the capacity for transformation.
K: Yes sir. There is biological growth. Right? From the child to adolescence, manhood and dying, the whole process. You see you have got something terribly difficult which you have entered into. Which is: there is biological process of evolution, the cultivation of the mind, the brain. And that perhaps, that idea that man grows from childhood to adolescence and so on, that may be our idea of change too. You follow? Being a child, growing into - psychologically you may have the same idea. And this biological growth and evolution and decay will also have psychologically the same thing. So we are saying: transformation implies non-movement as time and measure.
K: We are always measuring, aren't we? I have been, I shall be. Right? I don't know if you have gone into this. Tho whole western philosophy and psychology is based on measurement, both technologically - right - if you have no measurement you can't produce a man-of-war, or an aeroplane. You must have the rule, the measurement. Right? The whole of the western civilization is based on that. Because thought is measurement. Right? Do you see that? Anything that moves from here to there is a measurement. Is this too difficult? Sir this is the real meaning of meditation, to go into it.
So the eastern world has also said in the ancient days, measurement is illusion. To discover the immeasurable there must be no measurement. Naturally. But they employed thought to achieve the immeasurable. You must control, you must meditate, you must sacrifice, you must behave, all the pattern laid down through measurement, which measurement is thought. Are you following all this?
Q: It seems to me sir that a sort of physical measurement is necessary...
K: Of course. Physical measurement is necessary; to build this chair you must have measurement.
Q: When I think I am religious I might quit measuring to build a chair.
K: Oh, no, no, no. The religious man may measure and build a chair. No, you are mixing up so much. That is why sir you are not thinking consecutively. That's the worst of it.
Q: What is the nature of time in its movement from the past to the present?
K: Look sir, we started out asking: what is change? As long as there is the more, which is measurement, the comparison which is measurement, I have been, I shall be - is a measurement. Right? So long as there is this faculty of the mind to move from this to that and to that and to that, which is a continuation of measurement, there cannot be change.
One wants to change because one sees that one is ignorant. You may have a great deal of knowledge of outward things, how to go to the moon and create a bomb and build a man-of-war, or become an excellent plumber, electrician or a physicist - one realizes that must be done. And also one says to oneself: how am I, how is one to change? And what does it mean to change? That is what we are concerned with. What does it mean to change? And we have always changed from this to that, from that to that. In the same direction. That is clear. Right sir? Whether the direction be north, south, east, west or south-south-east or southwest, it is always directional. Right? Now is that change? We think it is change. But is that basic change? Or that is not change, but to have a mind that has no directional movement at all, but has movement.
Sir, look, we expend our energy in a particular way, sexual, ambitious, competitive, greedy, engineering, success. Right? And we are saying all these have not changed man. Right? Would you agree? They have modified - they build better roads, better cars, better aeroplanes, better way to kill and so on and so on and so on. But psychologically, inwardly man has not changed. He has been afraid from the ancient of days until now. He has been violent from the ancient times until now. He has been envious, brutal from immemorial time. So man has not changed deeply. And one asks why? Right? Man being you and I, human beings - why? Is it because he has always considered movement must be directional, growth must be directional. It is biologically. You follow? You plant an acorn it will be an oak. It will take time. So why has not man, human beings, changed fundamentally? I am asking you why?
Q: Because we haven't wanted to.
K: Oh, you have plenty of energy. When you want something you get it, whether it is sex, money, position, anything you want, you have immense energy.
Q: Pardon me. She said, because we haven't wanted to. We haven't changed because we haven't wanted to.
K: If you wanted to, what will you do? It comes to the same thing, you see.
Q: You wouldn't know it if it did happen.
K: Sir look: if you wanted to changed what would you do? I am asking you. You would exercise will. You would say, "Well, I must achieve that" - which means you are already moving in a direction, which you have done for a thousand years.
Q: What we have said is that the only thing we know is that we don't change, what is not changing.
K: Madam, that is what I am asking you: why you, human beings, have not changed? You are not meeting the point. Find out sir, look, look. You may smoke, that has become a habit, nicotine and all the rest of it. And you know it is very harmful to your health, for your brain, for your heart but you still go on. And you don't say, now let me observe why I don't drop it. If you drop it because of your health, because of some other reason, you are not actually dropping it. Right? You may drop it but the motive is not to change radically, just drop the cigarette. You understand what I am trying to convey?
Q: Could you explain that a little better?
K: A little better. All right.
Why do you smoke? It must have tasted for the first time rather unpleasant. Right? But people around you smoke, it tastes perhaps good - so the commercials say so. So first you smoke and it is unpleasant and then you get in the habit of it. Then doctors come along and say it is very bad for your health, for your lung, cancerous, for your brain, it does, etc., etc. All the doctors are saying this. And for what reason will you drop smoking? You are frightened and so you say, "By Jove, I will have pain therefore I mustn't smoke". But the desire to smoke may be stopped. But you have other desire. Do you follow it? Which has its own habits. So you are always moving - we come back to the same point - you are always dropping one thing and picking up another and this is the modern world. Go from one guru to another, one better guru than the other, or one religion better than the other, one sect is better than the other, and so on and on and on. Which is always from one centre to another centre. Right? Is this clear? Let's move sir.
So we are saying: any movement of thought projected in a particular direction, and achieving that end is not basic transformation of man.
Q: What you are saying is that we mustn't look for gratification.
K: Yes sir. No - you see you have reduced it to some little affair. Gratification. Why do you want to be gratified? Who is to gratify? You follow? Why?
So change implies non-movement of thought. You see. Because thought says, "I want that. I have had that and I have had sufficient, I must have that." And so it is constantly moving from this to this to this. And that is what we call change generally. And we are saying, no, that is not change at all. Change implies when thought has no object towards which it is moving. It has projected enlightenment. Right? God - whatever it has projected and says it must be achieved, therefore I must sacrifice, I must do this, do that, but it is in the same direction.
Q: One can see that this is what one has done, moved in direction. One can see that movement in direction is all tho same and yet...
K: Wait, wait. Is that so? Have you seen it verbally, intellectually or as truth?
Q: Apparently one has not because...
K: That is the point. Let's stick to that. Why? You say - may we talk to each other? You say I see verbally, intellectually clearly this thing.
Q: And I can also see factually that this is what I did do in the past. That is a fact.
K: Yes, that is a fact. And I say why don't you see it as a whole, with your whole being? Why prevents you?
Q: It seems that at the moment of movement there is no awareness of movement.
K: Yes, go on sir, explain a little more.
Q: At the moment that the movement in a direction is taking place there is no awareness that this is movement.
Q: You mean there is no awareness of direction when the direction is taking place.
K: I am not sure.
Q: There is no centre.
K: I am not at all sure what you are saying. I am not saying you are wrong, but I am not sure. Which is I want - one wants to be a congressman and, you know, you work for it. You know the direction you want to go, you are aware of all the implications, all the mischief, etc., etc., you are going in that direction. You also want to be enlightened and you read books and you study what is implied and you say, to achieve to enlightenment I must do certain things - celibacy, poverty, etc., etc., etc. So you conform to that pattern, if you want that. And you know you are deliberately doing this.
Q: At the very moment of wanting it.
K: You may be unaware of it, because - you have understood his question? - at the moment of wanting enlightenment - I am taking that word, please that word has lost its meaning, every Tom, Dick and Harry of a guru talks about enlightenment, it has lost its vitality, its depth, its beauty. So we will use that word as it is used commonly, enlightenment. Now you seek enlightenment, one seeks enlightenment. What was the cause of the search? You may be conscious of it, or unconscious of it. Right? So before you move towards enlightenment obviously a sane man asks, "Why do I want it?" What is the reason? "Am I bored with life? Am I bored with my job? Am I bored with my wife, my girl friend?" and so on and so on. "And I have experienced so many things but this may be totally different kind of experience, so I would like that." So consciously or unconsciously there is a cognizance of this movement. You may not be actually aware of this whole structure of this movement but obviously, whether one is aware or unaware this movement takes place from being this to that. So, if I may point out, one cannot possibly say one is not aware of it.
Q: We are aware even though we may be unconsciously aware. You see my difficulty?
K: I understand sir. That means you are being driven in a particular direction without knowing it. See the danger. You are being coercised, pressurized, driven, brainwashed in a particular direction.
Q: It is like when we become angry, at the moment of anger you are not aware, it is only after you say, "I was angry".
K: Yes, that is right. But we are talking of something different from that. That is, sir, don't you know when you are greedy?
K: No, wait. See the reaction. You see something in the window and you want it. What has taken place? The seeing of that dress, that trouser, that coat, that car, that woman, that man, or whatever it is, seeing, the sensation, the contact and say, "I like that, that's exciting." - which is thought creates an image of you sitting in the car and driving. You follow? This whole movement is obviously either it is so quick or you observe as it is arising. That is seeing, contact, sensation, thought creating the image of you in the car and driving it - all that is so quick.
Q: One can see that.
K: Yes if you observe. If you are very aware of this movement, then you can see how it arises. And also you can see that the moment that thought comes in with the image the trouble begins.
Q: Further than that - there is nothing further than that.
Q: The seeing.
K: I am only saying the seeing, the contact, sensation, if that is all then it is very simple. But the moment thought takes over and creates the image then you want it.
Q: I understand that. You said before we may be unconsciously aware. Could you just describe...
K: Unconsciously aware in the sense one is not aware of the quickness of this movement. It takes over so quickly, in a second it is there. But if you slow down the process...
Q: Having the energy.
K: ...slow down the whole process, then you see like a cinema at the movie, the film, you can turn it very fast or very slowly, then you will see everything in action. That is all I am pointing out.
Q: In slowing down does the thing that moves become aware of its own movement?
K: Yes sir.
Q: How do you slow it down?
K: Sir, look, there is no 'how', because the moment you have a 'how' you have fallen into a system, you have fallen into a direction, you are lost. You have begun the same game again. But see, sir - look, I want to see something - one wants to see a picture of a painting. One goes to a museum and sees some painting and you want to see the whole of it so you look very, very carefully don't you? Every part of it, detail, different depths, different quality of colour and the movement of colour, you watch it slowly, you watch it and then you go further back and see the whole thing. There is no slowing down because you want to see the details. You understand? Therefore there is no effort made to slow down, you want to see it clearly, that is all.
So we are talking about change: why haven't you changed? What is the block, blockage, the impediment that prevents you from changing? That is the question we are asking, let's stick to it. Is it fear?
Q: Partly the unknown.
K: Is it laziness? Is it the mind has so conformed to a pattern of living that it refuses, and says, "This is all right, why do you want to change it?" Because change might imply insecurity. Therefore you say, "Look, sorry I can't be insecure." Do you follow? There may be many, several reasons for not changing. And the reasons are fairly logical, fairly clear and so you say, "Please, what is wrong?"
Q: Does that mean that we don't actually see the danger of it? The danger that if we dared to change...
K: Sir, isn't it very dangerous, the way we are living? To the things of the earth, to the things of the air, to the things of the sea, isn't it dangerous the way we are living?
Q: Are we afraid of dissolving ourselves and losing ourselves?
K: Yes, sir. We are so selfish that we don't want to change. That is the basic reason. You see if you go into this very carefully a great many things are involved in this, extraordinary things if you go into it. Which is, first of all to live without any comparison. Right? Can you live without any comparison, both physically as well as psychologically? Find out what it means to compare. Which is, one is this, the example is perfect, I must become that. Or, compare oneself with something higher, both economically, socially, physically. Right? This comparison is measurement, isn't it? So stop measuring. Can you? Never to compare. See what happens to a mind...
Q: The 'never' is here. When you say 'never', the 'never', is here happening now.
K: Don't compare. Finish.
Q: No direction.
K: No, no direction, don't compare. I am taking that example. See what that means. What is implied, what a mind is that has no sense of comparison. We think through comparison is evolution, growth, progress, change. We say, on the contrary, comparison is merely a projection in the same direction. I am this, I must become that. Right? The example of nobility, greatness, spiritual and all the rest of that - to have no sense of comparison. Doesn't that bring a tremendous freedom?
Sir, look, in a school when you compare A with B what happens to A ? You destroy A , don't you? You are always telling him, "You must be more clever, you must be like B who is clever, who is bright and active, and you are lazy." Fight, compare, competition. So if you don't compare what takes place? You have never tried these things.
Q: The mind doesn't move in that direction anymore.
K: So what takes place?
Q: There is a change.
K: No, no. You are too quick. You don't investigate. You compare, don't you sirs? Don't you? No? You are all so silent. Obviously. Now if you don't compare, what takes place?
Q: We have to look at everything by itself.
K: Sirs, look, if you don't compare, that is a change, isn't it?
Q: There is space.
K: Don't compare. That is an absolute change, because your minds have been comparing, comparing, comparing. And knowledge is comparison too; more knowledge, less knowledge - the professors with their immense knowledge, history, physicists, biology and so on, great knowledge. Knowledge is progressively comparative.
Q: We compare 'what is' with our knowledge.
K: Yes. But you compare one material with another material. Quite right, you should, one is poorer than the other. For the money you choose the better and so on. But we are talking psychologically, not to have this burden of comparison.
So when you don't compare you have stopped wasting your energy in a particular direction - haven't you? Right? You have that energy. So what takes place? So you have discovered that when you drop completely comparison you have this immense energy, quick, alive.
Q: If we don't take that energy and waste it.
K: Wait, wait Madam, you are too quick, you don't do the thing step by step. As we said, go slowly, you will discover things for yourself, which is important. Not what I have discovered and tell you, that is silly. But to discover all these things for oneself, first hand.
Q: The moment the idea of non-comparison comes in it sets up a whole new chain of comparison. The mind is comparing that which is suggested by you.
Q: He says we make an idea of non-comparison.
K: Of course, of course. Sir when you go to a museum and watch several pictures - Picasso, Michelangelo - I withdraw Picasso (Laughter) - Michelangelo and so on and so on. When you are all the time comparing you never observe one completely. Because in comparison when you are comparing, somebody has told you this is a better painter than that and you want to accommodate yourself to the better, to the man who specializes in pictures he says, "This is the best picture" - so you are conditioned - you follow? By propaganda, by other people and so on and so on. So you never look at a picture completely, forgetting who has painted it. In the same way if you are always comparing you never look at yourself completely. Right? You understand sir?
Q: Are you saying that as long as there is comparison there is division?
K: No, not only division but there is never total observation of the thing which you are looking at.
So, let's proceed. What is blocking you, each one of us, from change? Radical change. Is it we are always dealing with parts - you understand sir? Or, taking the whole structure of our psychology and ending it, not bit by bit by bit, taking one part after another. Is that one of our difficulties?
Q: It seems that the self can take refuge anywhere and that as one moves step by step, dealing with an aspect here, an aspect there, the self will take refuge somewhere else.
K: Yes sir, so it will take the rest of our life.
Q: In fact it will never take place.
K: That's right.
Q. So how can we move to the centre.
K: I am going to show you, sir.
Q: Relationships are a...
K: In relationship, sir, what is your relationship with another? Intimate or not intimate. Be actual. Put your teeth into it and find out. Is it sexual? Is it comfortable? Is it convenience? Is it that you are using another for your own benefit? Is it that it gives you satisfaction? Fulfillment? A sense of well being because being together and so on and so on? Which is, we are exploiting each other. Is that it? See, you are all too frightened to go into this.
Q: We are not afraid, sir.
K: Wait sir, I am going to show you something. That is only part, isn't it? Just look. Observe the part and go through the part completely to the end and then you will cover the whole. Look I will go into it. Take relationship, go into it thoroughly.
One is related to another through attraction, sex, convenience, comfort, encouragement, escape from loneliness. So all these and other reasons make you attached to a person, or to a thing. That is, you have a great longing because you feel lonely, desperately depressed by yourself. And you do not know how to solve that, so you accept another to escape from this. Right? That is, you are the centre always from which you are moving. Right? That is clear, isn't it? Are we meeting? That is, you have an image of your own loneliness, your own anxiety, your own sense of importance, your own impediments, your own inhibitions and so on and so on and so on. And you do not know how to solve this inside you, so you either go off to somebody to solve it - psychologists and so on and so on - or you get attached to somebody to escape from this.
Now we are saying, go through the part - this is only a part, relationship - go through a part completely to the very end, that means not theoretically, not verbally but actually end your attachment, completely. You follow? Completely end it. Face wholly your loneliness. That may be why you got into sexual habits and to escape from the loneliness that becomes the pattern, mechanical. So face this extraordinary sense of loneliness.
Q: I think most people encourage it.
K: Yes, sir.
Q: You say go slow.
K: I am doing it. I have taken one part, relationship - right? I am going through that part. I am related, is it because I am lonely, I am frightened to be, I want comfort, I want somebody to help me. You follow? Psychologically, all this. I need a postman, I need a plumber - that is not what we are talking about.
So through the part I can go step by step and drop it as I go along, not just theoretically, play with it and carry on. Drop it, seeing I am lonely. I am going to understand what this thing is, to be lonely. Why am I lonely? Is it all my activities are self-centred? My seeking god, my seeking a position, power, my seeking clairvoyance, my desire to heal others. You understand? Is this all a means of avoiding actually what I am? Which is my extraordinary sense of idiocy - I am taking that. My vanity. So if you can drop those things actually, then what? Then I have discovered a state in which there is no direction at all. There is only dropping away of everything that I have held. You understand what I am talking about? Can you do this?
One holds furniture, a piece of furniture and you identify with that piece of furniture and you are that furniture. I was told by a lawyer once, a man and a woman were seeking a divorce and they had been wrangling about this and that, this property, that property - you know - they go through all that mess - and they had settled most things and the last day tho woman said, "I must have that" - it was an ashtray! And they fought over it and the woman wanting it and the man wanting the ashtray. It was an ashtray - you understand - nothing important. So the lawyer took the ashtray and broke it. You understand all this?
Q: How petty.
K: We are petty sir. So we are saying, change implies a state of mind that is not moving from a centre to another centre. Right? Can you do it? That is a centre which is lonely and moving to a centre which is not lonely. Right? Do you understand this? The centre is lonely and to move to a centre which is not lonely is still the movement of loneliness. Just see that. See the truth of it. If you see that then you enquire why this loneliness. Is it that my actions are self-centred which are isolating me all the time? You understand sir? Do you follow all this? I am ambitious, I am greedy, I am this, I want that, I must have this - all that. In the world outwardly and inwardly. So the essence of loneliness is this movement of isolation. Right? So is there an action which is not self-centred? Right?
Q: Are you asking that now?
K: Yes sir.
Q: One of the things that slows us down is our need for security, is it not that that slows us down.
K: Now wait a minute sir, this is an important question again. You must have physical security, obviously, clothes, food, shelter. But security we mean not only that but inwardly we want security. And we never question whether inwardly there is security at all. Inwardly one has found security in a belief. Right? In god, in some fanciful idea. Is that security? You may find security in your wife, in your girl friend, husband, boy, is that security? And when you have security in a person see how dangerous it is. If you have sought security in that woman, or in that man, then you become attached, jealous, angry, you follow? The whole agony begins. Don't you know all this?
Q: If there is no security then there is no need for security.
K; That's right sir. When you see psychologically there is no security, the very seeing is intelligence. Right? Obviously. In that intelligence there is tremendous security.
Q: Sir, you asked if there is an action that is not self-centred. Could we return to that question? The only action I know that is not self-centred, is surrender.
K: Now, just a minute sir. The only action which is not self-centred is to surrender. Surrender to what?
Q: To everything.
K: Wait sir, look carefully. Go into it slowly sir. The Christian world has said, surrender to God. See the danger. Which is, surrender to the idea of God, surrender to what people have said about God, Christ - you follow? - surrender. So I am asking: to whom are you surrendering?
Q: The higher being within you.
K: The higher being - you see, that is you have created the higher being.
Q: What about to 'what is'?
K: I am concerned at 'what is' - it is there. You don't surrender to the sunshine. Marvellous. You see we use words that are so meaningless when you examine it.
Q: Perhaps we should discuss this in terms of psychological pressure.
K: Are we, in discussing the psychological pressures, are we having a dialogue about why human beings don't change? Sir, all right, take that one fact of pressure. Are you being pressurized by the speaker here?
K: Go carefully sir. Are you being pressurized? Are you under pressure by the government, by institutions, by your education, by your priests, by your gods, by your beliefs? By the newspapers? So can you be free of pressure?
Q: You will be pressurized by external circumstances, they won't go away.
K: No, wait. Yes maybe you may have pressure because you are in a crowded city, underground tube or whatever it is called. So physically, but psychologically. Come sir, can you be free of pressure? From your wife, from your husband, from your girl, from your own urges? After all your own desire is a tremendous pressure.
Q: Yes. You can be freed of that pressure psychologically.
K: Are you saying you are free from psychological pressures?
Q: No, that is why I am here.
K: Therefore what well you do when you realize - please just take that - when you realize that you are under pressure by your wife or girl friend? Will you stop that pressure? Your own sexual demands, your own loneliness and say, "Well, I can't".
K: You see sir, we never - if I may point out sir, I hope you don't mind - if I may point out we never look at a thing, at ourselves without saying "I am...", just to look. You follow? I am attached. All right. Let me look at it. Let me find out what it means. You say, "No, I mustn't be attached, I mustn't". You understand. We are always moving away from that thing.
Q: But when I look I don't see anything. There is nothing there.
K: Find out, is that so?
You see sir. Mutation implies non-movement of the activities of the self. Which means all measurement as comparison, measurement of the more, you understand, the more, the less, the desire to fulfil, all that is movement in measurement. So a mind that has no measurement of any kind, that doesn't say I am ignorant, I am going to be enlightened. Find out sir, slow down the whole mechanism of thinking, and observe.
Q: One would easily end up with pressure.
K: Observe. Observe.
Q: Which means that all our activity ceases.
K: Oh no. Then activity may begin. Our activity is completely destructive when it is self-centred - obviously. Look what is happening all over the world.
Q: At the moment of observation, doesn't the activity of the mind...
K: Activity, sir that again is very difficult - we must first find out what action is. What is action? Do we act from a centre? From a belief? From a concept? From a principle? From an ideal? Which is always a centre. Right? Do we act from that? And the nobler the principle - which is still the centre - we think that is extraordinary. So there is action without the centre.
You see sir, let me put it differently, if you don't mind listening. We consider all self-centred action positive. Right? Achievement is a positive thing. We create a dynamo which is very positive. And to be psychologically active and act from a centre, to be a businessman, to be this or that, is very active, positive action, which has resulted in chaos in the world. Right? In misery, confusion. So there is an action which is non-positive. I wonder if you see this.
Q: Is observation part of this?
K: Pure observation without any movement is action. Observation is action. If one observes very clearly attachment, watch it, not do positive action about it, through negation, negation is the most positive, not the other.
Q: When one is observing, totally observing the action, is that the end of all that activity?
K: Yes. So: have you changed? At the end of an hour, is it?
Q: One o'clock.
K: After an hour and a half have you caught the truth that change is non-movement in any direction? Right sirs. Even intellectually grasped it. That means, change implies absolute observing 'what is'. You understand? Observing one's greed, one's loneliness, despair, depression, watching it without any desire to change this or that, just watch it. Sirs, you are watching this shade. You can't change the shade. You can't change that shadow. But we want to change the shadow which is ourselves. Just to watch it, and the very watching of it is the ending of it.
Ojai 4th Public Dialogue 19th April 1979 'On Transformation'
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.