Saanen 1st Public Dialogue 25th July 1979
For the next five days, every morning here, we are going to have a dialogue. A dialogue means conversation between two people. Two people who are concerned about their life, about their way of living, the world about us and serious enough to resolve their problems, and so they are investigating together through a dialogue. Dialecticism is the art of investigation, the truth, of opinions. The truth of opinions, that is called dialectics. And opinions, our judgements, personal evaluations, points of views and I don't think you can find truth through those means. But perhaps if we are serious enough and concerned and committed to the investigation of our own problems, not theoretically, not in abstraction but actually that which is happening. And two friends are talking over together about their problems, investigating and hoping thereby to resolve their problems. I hope that is clear. This is not a talk by the speaker but together have a conversation, a friendly, not antagonistic, not opposing points of view but together go into our problems. So that is the intention of these morning meetings here for the next five mornings. And I hope we will do that.
Now what shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner: Sir, is it possible to observe thought as it occurs in the present, or when there is observation the thought is already past?
K: Is it possible to observe thought as it is happening, or to observe thought as it has past? To observe what is thinking as thought arises, and observe that; or investigate thought which has already happened?
Any others? Please, let's put lots of questions and see which is the best of them and take one and work it out completely together. Go to the very end of it. So that is the first question.
Q: I was struck by an automobile when I was seventeen years old and I have had a great deal of difficulty with energy. And I have listened to you for quite a few years and understand about not identifying with the problem. I wonder if you could go into personal mental cripples, like me.
K: Could you discuss, have a conversation about physically being incapable, or having pain and does that affect the mind. Does that affect the quality of thinking, quality of feeling, quality of affection?
That is two questions. Go on sirs.
Q: (Inaudible - about the psyche.)
K: The psyche of the mind and universal psyche. Is that it?
Q: The difference between the 'me' and the individuality.
K: All right sir. The me and individuality.
Q: Would you speak a little bit more about action which is not based on recording?
K: Would you talk, or discuss, have a conversation about what is action, whether there is an action which is precise, accurate, and does not bring about further actions which will demand greater sorrow, greater problems and so on.
Q: What is the relationship between love and death?
K: What is the relationship between love and death. Now just a minute, just a minute!
Q: Could you speak more about the relationship between fear and dependence? I am concerned about dependence in my own life and my relationship with my girl-friend. Sometimes I see it and yet it still continues. Somehow I don't become free of it. Many times I think of just leaving and going away to live on my own. Yet somehow I sense that is not the answer. And yet there are other times when I see my own dependence and yet I am not free of it. And there is tremendous fear.
K: You must make the question, please, short.
Q: The relation between fear and dependence.
K: Fear and dependence. What is the relationship between fear and dependence.
Q: Ambition and why we are so insensitive in our daily life.
K: Ambition and insensitivity in our daily life.
Now just a minute. Which of these questions shall we talk over together? That gentleman asked, is it possible to observe thought as it is taking place, or observe thought as it is over? The other question is, one is physically affected through an accident, a disease, certain forms of illness and does that affect the mind? And the other questions is, what is the relationship between love and death? And you said, is the personal psyche, or the universal psyche? And that gentleman asked, what is the relationship between fear and dependence? And your question sir, which was action, is there an action which is so totally complete that doesn't leave regrets, anxiety, pain and sorrow and all that. Now which of these questions would you like to talk about?
Q: If we discussed dependence would that cover many of the questions?
K: If we discussed dependence would that answer many of the questions. Or would you discuss action, action in daily life, the doing, the way of behaviour, the way of conduct, the way of a relationship in which all action takes place, is there an action that is so totally complete that it doesn't leave a sad remembrance? Is that the question? Shall we discuss that, or do you want to discuss something else? Would you like to discuss action?
K: It is whatever you want. All right, let's talk about action. Perhaps in that we will include thought, what is the relationship between love and death, fear and dependence, and physical illness affecting the mind, and the psyche and universal. Can we do this? Do you want to do this?
K: Right. What do you mean by action? What do we mean - please, this is a conversation, don't go to sleep, this is a conversation between you and the speaker together. I am not investigating and you are just listening; together we are gong to find out if there is an action which is so whole, complete, total that is doesn't leave a single shadow of pain, regret, grief, hurt and all that - right? So what do we mean by action? Please sirs, join with me.
Q: Action must be a creation.
K: Action must be a creation? You see you are now making a statement like, action must be creation, and it is finished. There is no dialogue. But if you say - that is why I am asking please don't offer opinions right off, what you think is action and hold on to it. Let us take it, examine it together - right sirs.
So the first thing is to find out what we mean by that word action. The doing. Do we mean that which has been done, or that which will be done, the action in the past, or the action in the future, or the action which is now taking place. This is action. Action isn't moving from here to there physically, or taking a hammer and a nail and putting it in a wall, or driving a car. Actually action means that which is happening - right sir? Not the action which has happened, or the action which is going to happen. All this is also action: that which has happened, that which is happening, and that which will happen - right? Do we agree to this, please? So what is the action that has happened? What is it the result of? What is the motive of that action? What is the impetus? What is the conclusion from which an action takes place? You are following all this, or are you getting tired already?
Action has some kind of motive, pleasant or unpleasant, rewarding or painful, or under pressure, driven by various influences. So one has to find out what we mean by action. Is there an action which has no motive, which is not under pressure, which is not frightened and therefore act, which is not rewarding and therefore painful? So one has to look at the word very, very carefully, if you are willing. This is a conversation - right?
Most of our actions, as one observes, are based on a remembrance - right? Or on a desire, or on personal reward, or punishment, or an action based on an ideal, or on a belief, and so on. Right? So please watch this, let's examine it together. If an action is based on an ideal, on the future, that action is conforming, adjusting, or imitating the ideal - right? Therefore is that an action which is whole, complete, without leaving any mark of hurt, regret, and so on? You follow? So what is our action, yours and mine, the speaker's, in investigating, what is our action based on? Pleasure, fear? Go on sirs, examine it. I am investigating, you are all silent.
Q: It is based on necessity.
K: Necessity. That is sir, I need food so I go to the market, if I have money, buy it, that is an action. I need clothes, if I have money I go and buy them. Shelter and so on. So on necessity, the needs, physical needs, and then psychological needs - right? Right sir?
Q: Do psychological needs exist?
K: That is the question which we are going to find out. There are physical needs and actions, and actions based on what we consider psychological needs. One needs somebody to give one comfort, therefore dependence and action based on that dependence - right? I need somebody to tell me how to live a different life and I depend on that person.
Q: Is it possible for an action not to have a cause?
K: Is it possible for an action not to have a cause - we are going to go into all this. Go step by step please. You see when you make a statement like that: is there an action without cause, you are asking a question which is hypothetical, and the answer must also be hypothetical. But if we go step by step, slowly, examining, and doing it as we are going along, then there will be no theoretical problems at all. Right? So please in discussion, in dialogue, don't jump to something. See what our actions are based on first, what is actually going on; either physical needs, food, clothes, shelter and the labour required to earn the money to have those, and psychological needs. It is a fact. This is what we have, physical as well as psychological and our actions are based on these two. One recognizes physical needs are absolutely necessary, either you work - factory, digging in a ditch, teaching, carpentry, science, business, doctors, not politicians!, and so on, and that is necessary. As society now is organized we all have to work from morning until night for years and years and years. Just look at the tragedy of it. You may not like it but it is a fact. One goes to the office, factory, whatever one is doing physically to earn money, from the age of twenty, fifteen, until you are almost dying, day after day to the office, and so on and so on. That is how our society is organized. That is a fact.
Q: Do you call that action or is it reaction?
K: Do you call that action or reaction. It is both because I need food and if I don't get proper amount of money, labour, I am jealous, anxious, and all the rest of it begins. Therefore it is a reaction. So there is the physical need. Then one's actions are based on psychological needs. Please go into it.
Q: Psychological needs are different from desire?
K: We are coming to that sir. Are psychological needs different from desire? Perhaps not. Or they are. Let's examine it. Let us first see, or recognize and accept as a fact that we need, apparently man needs, human beings need - the need may be false, we will find out - the need for action based on psychological needs. That is, one needs belief, one needs certain forms of conclusions, certain opinions, points of view. You need nationalities, hierarchical approach. You need all this. Please don't deny it, it is a fact for most people. You may not, and say, "I have no psychological necessities", that would be a most rare thing to say. Right?
So we must find out for ourselves: do we have these things as a need? Belief, opinions, judgements, conclusions, images, religious and otherwise, religious and images created by the hand and by the mind - you follow? Are these needs?
Q: What about despair? Does action come from despair?
K: What about an action that comes from despair? Sir, look, first let's look at ourselves sir. What are our psychological needs, and are there actions born of those needs?
Q: Sir, I think from what I have heard so far it seems that the necessity has to be there for an action. There is always a necessity for action in some way or another.
K: You are saying there must be some kind of necessity, need, for action. We said for physical needs there must be. But we are questioning whether we need, or are there necessities, psychologically, for action. I question it. I am not saying you must accept it. I say I doubt it. I am not sure. You understand? I am examining it. One is not dogmatic, I don't take a position, I don't refuse to move from one conclusion.
What we are trying to find out is, what is action. You see action in the physical needs, and action based on various forms of opinions, judgements, conclusions, convictions, experiences, beliefs, dogmas, dependence and so on and so on, psychologically. And the speaker says he questions it, you understand?
Q: First of all if action is not based on these and it were based on true observation then there may not be so many problems. But most action is based on desires, on our conditioning, and on our needs. So what is the right means to base on action on?
K: You are asking, are you sir, please if I am putting your question wrongly please correct it - are you saying that we need psychological...
Q: No, I am saying that all action is not based on needs. What would determine what is a correct need, instead of desire and so on?
K: Yes what is the correct need. Just wait a minute please. What is one's correct need physically - right?
Q: In other words, is there a strict separation between the one and the other? Is there a right separation between the two or...
K: Is there a strict division between the psychological needs and the physical needs. Now to answer that question, do physical needs go over to the psychological needs? I need a house - one needs a house, or a room to stay in, then in that room one gets attached to the furniture, the attachment to the furniture is a psychological need - right? Because without that furniture I feel a bit uncomfortable. So is there demarcation at all? You see unless you please go into this step by step you won't answer this question so quickly.
We are talking over together as two friends, investigating together, as a dialogue, as a conversation, what is action. We have said so far there are the actions based on the needs, on physical needs. One needs a shirt, a pair of trousers or a dress, one needs that, unless you are a nudist, then it's all right! You need to have food, and to have food you have to work, have enough money to go to the market and so on. And you need a roof, a house, but the need for a house becomes very important. One isn't satisfied with a room, one wants a beautiful room, one wants pictures in it and old antique furniture, if you can afford it. Then as you have invested money in the antique furniture, in a lovely room, with a lovely vase and pictures, you are attached to it. And then you say, "I need those." Right? "I can't live without a picture in the room" - and it must be either a copy, an original and so on and so on. That is, gradually I begin to depend on those things. So the furniture is me - right? Do you question that? I am attached to the furniture and I don't want you to spoil it - don't put it in the sun, don't scratch on it, I hold it dear. And that furniture has become me. Right? And I act from that.
So we are going the next step: is there a necessity for psychology to exist? Are there psychological necessities? We say, yes, it is a fact. The necessity of a belief, the necessity of dependence, the necessity of sex, the necessity of ambition, achievement, success - right? And on all that my actions are based. That's obvious, isn't it - right? Is this all wrong? Please look at it in yourself. One goes to India - sorry! - because one feels the need for instruction, for wisdom, for knowledge, for enlightenment, because the western world is too worldly, not interested in religion, and they go to India where there is dirt, romance, and squalor and gurus. Then you say, "I need those". You follow? This is actually what is going on.
So we are now questioning why we consider that psychologically we need things. Right? That is what we are investigating. Don't go back to the physical needs, we have finished with them. Now do we need beliefs?
K: The gentleman says, no. That means you are free of beliefs. Now see what we mean by belief. Belief in something that cannot be proved. I believe - one believes in god - it can't be proved. One believes in heaven - it can't be proved. One believes that there are people living on the Moon - not on the Moon, somewhere else, one believes that, it can't be proved. So we believe in nationality - right? No? You are French, German, English, Indian, and god knows what else. Follow it step by step. Either you relinquish all this as you go along and say, "Sorry, I am not a nationalist" - finished.
Q: May I ask a question? Don't we have to ask ourselves first where those needs come from?
K: We are going to find out, we are going to go into that. How do these needs arise, what is the cause of them? We are going to find out in a minute if you have patience. So beliefs have become necessities. Talk to the Catholics, to the Protestants, to the Christian world that believe in Jesus, a saviour and all the rest of it, they believe. Right? And you go to India, they also have their gods, they believe. So why do they believe in something that cannot be proved - you understand? - that has no validity. Why do they believe?
Q: Because they love that form of action.
K: The gentleman says because they love that kind of action. Why do they love that kind of action?
Q: It gives them security.
K: Go into it please. Enquire into yourself. You believe, don't you, if you are honest, in something or other. Or you don't believe and you go to the other extreme, which is the same. You understand? "I don't believe in god, I am an atheist". And both take a stand. You understand? You know what I mean, 'take a stand'? That is, both remain convinced of their conclusions.
Q: Sir, belief in oneself is the same thing.
K: Belief in oneself. All right, let's take that, belief in oneself. What is oneself? What is oneself?
Q: My contents.
K: No, investigate it, please talk it over with me.
Q: We try to find security in something else, like a belief.
K: Sir, the gentleman says, "I believe in myself", so what is the thing you believe in?
Q: My fear.
K: Just look at it sir, look at it, examine it. Do you believe you exist because you have a body?
K: Yes. Do you believe in yourself because you have certain emotions, certain conclusions, certain points of view, certain way of behaving, certain idiosyncratic activities, name, form, bank account, or no bank account? All that you believe in? You don't even... please examine it. When you say, "I believe in myself", I say it is a strange thing to say, what do you believe in? In the knowledge that you have acquired?
Q: Which is myself.
K: That is what I am examining madam.
Q: May I suggest that we take an actual example. Most of the people who are present in this tent believe that you are enlightened.
Q: How do you know?
K: Sir, we are not talking who is enlightened, who is not enlightened and how do you know. But we are talking about a man who says, "I believe in myself", I say, what is this strange conclusion? Then I say, who is yourself in whom you believe?
Q: Let's us say that I believe that you are enlightened.
Q: All right, sit down again!
Q: Let us say, I don't believe you are enlightened. I don't believe that you are going to help me. I don't have to believe that you will in any way help me.
Q: Why are you here?
K: I am sorry sir, I don't quite understand.
Q: I would suggest that I, being this person, am the only one who can find out. I don't think any of this is very important.
K: Sir, one has to find out for oneself who he is. Now, two friends are meeting and talking over, and say, look, who am I, in whom I believe so strongly? Right? He says, let's investigate it. Don't say, I am god, and stick to it, or I am the environmental reactions, or this or that. Don't hold on, or take a position, let's enquire into it, let's go into it. Not that I am superior, you are inferior, or you are superior, or I am inferior. Two friends. So I say, I am asking, who is this entity, myself, in whom you believe?
Q: A piece of the absolute truth.
K: Oh, a piece of the absolute truth. You see, and then you are finished. There is no discussion possible.
Q: Well if you say you believe in yourself, doesn't that generally mean that a person lives life, he has certain challenges in life, he has overcome some of these challenges. And from overcoming these challenges or whatever the experience was he forms a certain image of himself and when says he believes in himself, or she believes in herself, it is that image that they believe in.
K: Is this dialogue worthwhile?
Q: If we could go on.
K: As we are going on, is it worthwhile? It is a lovely morning, you could go out for a walk. So I am asking you please, is it worthwhile going on with this dialogue?
Q: I don't know.
K: You are quite right sir.
Q: Let us go back to action.
K: I am coming to it.
Q: What is oneself, that is the real question, I think it is worthwhile.
K: That gentleman asked, amongst other questions, what is action? Is there an action that doesn't bring sorrow? Is there an action that doesn't breed contradictions? Is there an action that is so complete, so whole, that it is finished without leaving nay shadow of regret, of saying to oneself "I wish I hadn't done it", and so on? That is the question two people are discussing, you are the one and the speaker is the other. We are having a dialogue about it.
Q: Action issues from spontaneity.
K: Action is born out of spontaneity. Are we ever spontaneous? You see!
Q: Sir, this is my action: what am I to do?
K: I am going into it sir, that is just simple. The gentleman asks, I have had an accident, a car accident, my body is affected, and it is affecting my mind, what am I to do? Right? He is asking that question because he has to find out, because he is in pain, he is confused, he says, "Tell me what to do". Right? Are we in that position, any of you? Or is it all so casual a dialogue that you will listen and you will do nothing about what you have listened to?
You know we have spent fifty minutes and we haven't come to any point. So I am asking, is it worth going on like this? So what shall we do?
Q: Let's investigate the point that we arrived at when we discovered something instead of going to something else.
K: Sir, that gentleman is concerned about himself, his pain, his anxiety, his nervous reactions from this motor accident. He is concerned. He doesn't want theories, he doesn't want about enlightenment, all that business. He says, tell me. Right? And are you in that position? I hope you have not had an accident, but are you in that position and say, "Look, I want to find out. I want to give my life to find out if there is an action which is really whole" - right sir? Are you giving your life to it? Or you are just sitting on the river bank and looking at the waters go by, never entering in the stream?
Q: There is no complete action.
K: Very few are concerned really about it. I am just questioning whether these dialogues are worth it at all.
Q: Why don't we change from discussions. You are one and we are a thousand. So technically discussion is not really possible. Perhaps you have to announce them in another way.
K: The gentleman says, you are one and we are a thousand, and you can't really have a conversation with a thousand people. Just listen. You can't have a conversation with a thousand people because there are a thousand opinions, a thousand ways. That is why I said at the beginning sir, please let's think together. Let's us put aside our problems, our opinions, our judgements, our way of thinking, our conclusions, put all those aside and let's think together. You won't even do that. And when we meet two, or half a dozen, it will be the same problem. We have done all this; in India, in Holland, in America, small groups, big groups, but nobody gives his life to find out.
Q: Can you not just discuss one problem?
K: I am doing one problem.
K: That is the one problem I am discussing still. That is, when a body is affected by an accident, why does it enter into the psychological mental state - right sir?
Q: Yes, sir.
K: Haven't you such problems?
Q: Is it a false means of protection from facing?
K: Look: my nerves have been shattered through an accident - right? A car has run over my leg and that leg is paralysed, I can't walk properly. And that affects my thinking because I can't get a proper job - right? You don't see all this. I depend on somebody to help me, so gradually I become anxious, I become frightened, I develop nervous ticks, and what am I to do?
Q: The question is, is my body myself?
K: That is what we are discussing madam. We talked about it, but you all refused, you want to go off in different directions.
Q: Sir, I would like to suggest that there are a lot of us here who are in the same situation as the gentleman, but not physically, but in other ways also.
K: Yes, sir. The gentleman says there are a lot of us here in that position, but not physically - right? Now how will you talk over it, have a dialogue?
Q: The conversation is very useful for me.
K: Look sir, one's problem is both psychological and physical - right? One is affected physically and therefore the nervous organism has been upset, crippled and it affects one's thinking, one's feeling, and one is frightened. That is one problem, which is the result of a physical accident. And the other is, equally one is crippled psychologically - right? Psychologically one is crippled by belief, dogmas, and all the rest of it, dependence, attachment, fear and so on. Now can we see these two facts first, not move away from that? The fact one is physically crippled and the other psychologically blunted, crippled. Now what shall we do? Or you say, I am perfectly healthy, therefore I will walk out. That's all right too, you understand? You understand what I am saying? Are you in that position, and say, "Sorry I am not crippled physically, I am not mentally, psychologically, there is no ugliness, there is nothing crippled, and therefore I am perfectly healthy" - right? That is a very rare person.
So we have got these two questions. What is the action - please follow it - what is the action with regard to the one who has had physical calamity, which is affecting his nerves and therefore his brain, his thoughts, his emotions and all the rest of it, a result of an accident. And the other psychologically crippled and equally frightened, equally nervous, equally inhibited, equally anxious and developing neurotic attitudes - right? Both are similar. One you think is physical, the other is psychological, but both are similar. Right sir?
Now what is the action with regard to this one thing? Physically affecting the nerves and the brain, and the other, crippled by tradition, crippled by belief, crippled by attachment, crippled by various pressures, job, you follow, they both come to the same thing. Right? Do you see that, please? These two are not separate, they are one. Right? One is physical, one is psychological. The physical brings about the psychological results, which is what has happened to most of us, which is psychologically we are crippled. Now what is the action? Right sirs? Shall I go on with it?
Audience: Yes, yes.
K: Ah, you see. Conversation, you and I are together sharing it.
Q: Sir, from this would I have an insight?
K: Just a minute madam. Look, I will go into it. But we are going into it together. Not I go into it, you listen, then make an idea of it and then pursue it. We are doing it together now - right?
Shall we go into it. That is, we are having a conversation between you and me. Don't bother about that gentleman, please. He is tired, he has had an accident, he is in pain, he must be quiet, leave him alone, don't project your ideas onto him. Gosh!
So what is action with regard to this one thing? Human beings are crippled - right - both psychologically and physically. Some are extravagantly crippled in both ways, others are medium, partially, and what is the action which will correct this thing? Is this clear?
K: Now let's talk it over together. Why do we - no, wait a minute. Which is most important, this psychological aspect of this, or the physical aspect of this?
K: If I know, or am aware, that I am psychologically crippled, and because I am psychologically crippled it gradually affects my body. I have nervous responses, my nerves are on edge, I gradually develop a sense of isolation - you follow? And all the rest of it follows. If I am physically, it is the same thing. So I am saying which is more important to consider first? The psychological state of being crippled, or the physical state of being crippled? You understand? To which do we give importance? I know the man who has had an accident, he says, for god's sake don't talk to me about psychology, I am in pain, I have had an accident.
Q: I am psychologically aware.
K: I am asking you sirs, and ladies, to which do you give importance? To the physical or psychological?
Q: Both of them.
K: Careful, careful. If I am physically affected would I consider psychology? See the difficulty. I have been run over, I am crippled and it is affecting my mind. My mind has already been affected by society, by my parents - you follow? Only this incident has added more to it.
So which is more important? I don't neglect the physical - right? I say I will go into it. I will go into after I have understood whether I am crippled psychologically, or the physical is making me crippled, psychologically. So I am investigating being psychologically crippled, the result of a physical accident, the result of living in a monstrous society, the wrong kind of education, wrong kind of acquiring knowledge and so on and so on, that has crippled my mind. So I see psychologically if I can understand the whole structure of the psyche then I can attend to the physical. But the man who is in pain, he says, "No please give me some kind of drug, some kind of opiate, some kind of thing that will quieten me down" - right? Then the doctor is important, not me - right? But if his psychological state, psychological crookedness, unclarity, crippleness, I think that can be cleared - you follow? That can be completely made whole. Then with that clarity of mind I can attend to my physical ailments. Do we agree to this?
K: Madam I can't hear. Perhaps somebody who has heard, sitting near to you, can explain what you have said. (Pause) Nobody is willing to translate so I can't help you.
So I am saying myself, being crippled psychologically can they be made whole? That is the question, which needs action. I can't sit down and say I will make it whole. Or go off into a monastery. It can't be down. It needs action, I have to do something. Right?
Q: Sir, I am sorry to interrupt but I feel that now we are putting our foot into an old, old trap. And the trap is that we sit here and watch you perform. We are perfectly sure we know it, we have seen you do it a hundred times. We know that in half an hour you can totally break out of all psychological problems, and probably physical and spiritual and everything else. Unfortunately sir, maybe I am odd man out, if so I may sense a certain hostility on the part of some members of the audience, who may feel that I am throwing a spanner in the works. They want to watch you break out onto 'Cloud 9' - if so I don't want to interfere with them, I am happy to leave.
K: Go on sir. I am listening to you.
Q: I can leave immediately.
K: Come on sir.
Q: Ten minutes ago, after having spent fifty minutes, you came to a point where you felt that we were all just pussy-footing around with the thing, talking theoretically, not really having the least bit of gumption to get into this thing. All we wanted to do was to take a ride and watch you do the trick. Then in despair perhaps you seemed to have washed your hands of the whole thing, resigned yourself to the fact that we were a lot of useless nincompoops, and decided to have a dialogue with yourself, which is what you have been doing for a long time. If so it seems to me that it can only harm me because watching you have a dialogue with yourself is very entertaining, may be a bit instructive, I have seen you do it a lot of times, but it is not going to get me anywhere.
K: No, sir. Quite right.
Q: Since it seems this is the only choice: either we have got to have the gumption...
Q: ...guts to have a dialogue with you, which means we have got to care about this thing. It means we have to stop saying how much benefit we are getting and please go along and carry on and nobody should interrupt and so forth. I mean even when our friend interrupted and said that he feels that most people here look on you as an enlightened person, you didn't want to go into all that, but it is perfectly true. We do look on you as an enlightened person. Unfortunately the fact that we do so means that we can't listen to you at all. And I don't think we are listening to you.
K: That's all. Yes sir, I know this.
Q: So now just tell me what I should do, put me out of my problem because to carry on sitting here, I feel I just have to listen while you do your act, it is a marvellous act, I want to be in that chair, I don't want to listen to you do it, I know you can.
K: Sir. I have made it perfectly clear, all along I have said please, there is no authority, don't say the other is enlightened, and all the rest of that business. I say, look at yourself, be serious, be committed, put your whole mind into it - right?
Q: Quite right sir.
K: I have been saying this at every meeting.
Q: I don't blame you at all sir.
K: I have been saying there is no authority. I have been saying, please, the speaker is not at all important. You are important as a human being, let us talk about that. But apparently we don't do that. So what shall we do?
Q: I don't know.
K: I do know.
Q: You do? What is it sir? Give me any answer other than having a dialogue with yourself.
K: No, I don't want to have a dialogue with myself. I can in my room, or on my walks, or with some few people, I can have that dialogue. That is not the kind of dialogue one wants. What is important, what is necessary, is that you,all of you, put your mind, your heart into this, not say, you are enlightened, we will listen to you. Wipe all that out. Right sir?
Q: Quite right sir.
K: Sir look at it. I keep on, the speaker keeps on insisting on this, every day of his life: don't follow, don't imitate, don't conform, think it out, observe. But our whole conditioning is the other - right?
Q: We have to an authority, there are too many people here.
K: Is it a question of too many people? Sir there are not too many people if you really want to find out for yourself, then your whole attention is drawn and you are examining.
Q: Somebody must be in charge, so it stops us from really listening.
K: I am not the chairman. I am not taking the chair for each of the audience. I say, please let's work together, I say, let's think together. Putting the speaker on a platform has no meaning because it is only for convenience, forget all that and let's think together. But you won't even do that. What am I going to do?
Q: I experience you are doing it again. You are expressing your frustration, expressing perhaps your disappointment about the audience as it has been for years and years and years. I think the same thing will probably happen tomorrow and the day after. I will be finished quickly. I have been waiting to meet you, in person for quite a while. I have read a book written by ? about his meeting with you maybe forty or fifty years ago, the same frustration, the same anxiety, the same disappointment you expressed to him then that you are expressing now. What I experienced in the book was a man of real love, of real humanitarian concern. What I experience now is an older man who makes side comments, who is frustrated, who says what is going on. I think that we can continue but it is not going to change. There has to be a different format. The question has to become more pertinent, more vital.
K: Right sir. You say the question should become more vital, more personal, more intense, I will do it.
Q: Why don't you stop speaking and leave us to it?
K: Delighted! Why don't you stop speaking and leave us in the tent. Is that what you want?
Q: I think a few minutes ago we were talking about psychological and physical division and how they were both a kind of... the psychological was a form of the physical process. The first point that I thought was important was that everybody had realized that they had this psychological incapability. How many people realized or even looked at our psychological shortcomings. How many people realize exactly what that all involves? That is the point.
Q: How can they acknowledge the fact that they are psychological cripples?
K: You can't. Unless I say I am blind, please help me, then I can do something. But if you say, no I am sorry I see quite clearly, there is no point.
Q: Most people were saying that they realized they were psychologically crippled but at the time I felt the question was what to do, how to get over it.
K: I will point it out to you and you will have to do it yourself. Is that right? Will you listen then and do it?
Q: What happens?
Q: How do you know?
K: What am I to do?
Q: Just leave it now.
K: No, please, this is a serious question. You won't even have the courtesy to listen, to find out what the man is saying. And then see if it applies to you. If it applies to you then say let me put my energy, my guts, my whole heart into it to be free of it. You don't do that. What am I to do?
Q: Some of us do that Krishnaji. I have done it.
K: If you do it so much the better.
Q: We can't.
K: I can't do what you are saying?
Q: Can we ask why the people who cannot do that and keep on coming here year after year, they come here to say they cannot do it, but why can't they do it? Can they tell us why they can't do it.
K: Sir. It will be another dialogue with myself. Will you listen why you cannot go into it yourself, go into the cause, break the cause and move out of that? If it is pointed out will you do it?
Q: It won't work.
K: I don't know but will you do it? I want to be a good carpenter and I go to the man who is an expert, a master carpenter, or I learn from a scientist because I want to be a scientist, I want to learn, I want to have a clear mind. But apparently you don't. Or you go half way and stop. Will suffering help you? Will somebody hitting you on the head? Offering you a reward of heaven if you do this, this, this?
So one says to oneself perhaps somebody amongst you will catch this - right? Like grain thrown out, it might fall on the rocks, or on a fertile field, or just die by itself, but the man who is throwing out the grain he can't help it. You understand, he does it. He does it, maybe out of affection, compassion, love and all the rest of that business. And so he is not concerned where the seed drops - right?
Q: We must put some fertilizer on ourselves.
K: I am doing it sir. I am doing that. Will you listen? Will you say it is my problem, I have got to solve it? I will put my life into it, my energy into it, my guts, my feelings to find out. Will you do it?
Q: Sir, I would like to ask the gentleman a question: why does it not work? Could you answer that question?
K: Please sir let's get on with what I am saying. You expect your energy to change somebody else, it can't. Will you, as a human being, listen and put your whole energy into this, as you put your energy into earning a livelihood, when you want sex, when you want this, or that, you put your guts into it. Why don't you do it?
You see at the end of nearly two hours, an hour and a half, we haven't even discovered for ourselves, not I have a dialogue with myself and give a performance like an actor, I am not that. I would walk out of this tent if I felt it was hopeless and you will never see me again. I mean it. But I feel somebody amongst you will take the coin, somebody will say, yes, I have got it, let me go with you. And I will go on doing this all my life. Somebody will catch some fire. If you don't, you don't. That is not my business.
Look sir, an hour and a half. What have we done? You, not me. I am very clear what I am doing. Whether there are two people listening, or a thousand listen, I will go on, or nobody listens, it doesn't matter, I will go on. So leave me out of it. But if you are willing to listen, go into it, we will go together into the very depth of it. But you must give your energy. It is like those people, having their own particular guru and coming here, and saying, yes I will listen to you. Or having their own opinions, conclusions and not letting them go. Our relationship is together - you understand? You and the speaker together take a walk into the whole psychological world. It is not my performance, it is you have to act. Right?
So shall we go on tomorrow? If we go on tomorrow let's do it properly: that you are really serious and want to go into it to the very depths, you, not me. Right sirs.
Saanen 1st Public Dialogue 25th July 1979
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