Saanen 1st Public Talk 11th July 1982
There are two entertainments going on near here - the tennis and the circus! This is not an entertainment, either politically or religiously, or any kind of stimulation. And so we have to together consider what is happening in the world and our relationship to it and our action in that relationship. So please bear in mind during all these talks, if one may over and over again point out, this is not an entertainment of any kind.
And also one would like to point out we are together going to examine, investigate, criticize, be sceptical, question, never accepting anything the speaker says, but what he says must be examined, questioned, investigated, so that he doesn't become an authority of any kind. To merely quote him is pointless, or to allow yourself to become a follower of the speaker, which again would be utterly meaningless. So please, if I may point out most seriously, the person is not important. The person, K, is not at all important. What is important is that we together, the speaker means together, investigate, examine, be very critical, exercising your own capacity to observe, to doubt, to question, so that we understand the same thing together, not that you are understanding the speaker but we are together understanding what has happened to man - not according to the speaker, not according to what he says, not accepting his perception, his values, his investigation, but rather together, you and the speaker exercising our capacity to think clearly, to observe clearly, not according to the speaker but to observe what is happening in the world, and our relationship to the world and to understand not merely ideologically or verbally what has happened to man after these twenty five thousand years, or fifty thousand years, or a million years. What has happened to us? This is really a very important question to ask.
We have evolved through a million years. If you do not accept a million years, at least twenty five thousand years, we have evolved, grown through time, accumulating a lot of experience, knowledge, and what has happened to us as human beings? What has happened to man after all these centuries upon centuries? Please together we are investigating, you are not looking at the picture I am drawing. Because that is the only problem in the world now: either we are going to destroy ourselves through hatred, through antagonism, through brutality, nationalism and so on, or question, not only the political world, the religious world, the world of entertainment, the world of philosophy, the world of morality and discover for ourselves why we are what we are. We have become violent, brutal, savage, fighting each other in the name of peace, in the name of our country, in the name of honour, hating each other, there is the economic war, the religious war, the actual physical war. We are producing armaments, the industrial countries - as one heard the other day one country is producing so much that they are exporting 80 per cent of their armaments and 20 per cent keeping for their own defence. The investigator asked, "What happens to the 80 per cent?" They said, "We don't care as long as it goes out." So that the so-called enemy buys your armaments which you have produced, and then kills you, which you have produced. This is actually happening. That is man.
So one asks oneself why we have become like this, perpetual conflict, both inward and outward, politically, religiously, economically and in our relationships with each other, the people who hate and do all kinds of mischievous things, the religious leader talking everlastingly about peace. And there is no peace on earth, there is no justice on earth, but only war, killing each other by word, by a phrase, by an idea, conflict between ideologies. I am sure we know all this. The East and the West, the Totalitarians and the so-called Democratic, but when you observe dispassionately, without any bias, the national patriotic spirit dividing people, killing each other. This is what man after millenia upon millenia has become. That is, through evolution he has become what he is now, through various cultures, through great technology, marvellous architecture, great paintings, music but inwardly he is more or less the same as he has been for millenia. That is a fact. It is not a statement by the speaker which you have to accept. It is an obvious daily observable, dispassionate fact. If time has brought us to this level, to this condition, and we proceed to depend on time, evolution, we will continue the same pattern of hate, of wars, of destroying each others, hatred, wanting to be violent, terror and all the rest of it. This has been going on historically, psychologically, for the last ten thousand, or fifty thousand years, this tribalism. So we must first observe this, then discover for ourselves, see the fact that evolution, which is time, has brought us to this state - right? Time has brought us to this state. And if we proceed along the same way as we are doing now, that is accepting evolution, we will continue the same pattern. We must be clear on this subject.
Tradition, which is the past, tradition of war, tradition of nationalism, the tradition of isolation, isolated communities, which are all forms of tribalism, savagery, including that tribalism, and this is our tradition. Each country must look after itself at the expense of other countries. Patriotism is extolled, praised, called a new spirit, and there is internationalism, which is absurd if you look at it. How can isolated countries have any relationship internationally? They are isolated. They look at the world from their isolated point of view. These are all everyday actual facts.
So one asks, and I hope you are asking this yourself, if we go along this pattern, this tradition, modern or ancient, we will perpetuate wars, nationalism, isolation. If that is very clear that we will inevitably follow the same pattern if we accept that we are going to bring about a psychological transformation through time - you understand all this? We shall go into what we mean by time - if we accept the psychological change, the self-centred activity which can be transformed through time, it is a fallacy, it is an illusion. Don't accept what the speaker is saying. That is, he is saying we have accepted this tradition of tribalism, isolation, nationally, economically and religiously, and if we pursue that same direction, the same path, we shall be as we are now in spite of time. You understand this? Is this clear between us?
So what shall we do? That is the real problem. There is no other problem, economic, war, all the horrors that are going on in the world, this is the central problem. The central problem, which is man has become like this through evolution, through time, broken, violent, terror, always ready to kill another at the drop of a hat, hating others, antagonism, which is perpetual conflict in himself and in the world. We have lived like that, religiously, economically, politically, psychologically, inwardly. We have lived like this for fifty thousand years. Nobody enquires into that, why we live like this, why we are willing to kill another in the name of god, in the name of ideologies, in the name of patriotism and so on and so on. We are no better than we were fifty thousand years ago, only we are more civilized, we have better bathrooms, better means of killing others, better literature, music. Those are all peripheral activities, forms of entertainment, but inwardly in our depths, in our hearts, in our minds, we remain what we have been through evolution, through time and we have not fundamentally changed. That is a fact, isn't it? We have peripheral advantages, better communication, better hygiene, better doctors and so on, medicine. That is the peripheral activity. But at the centre, deep down in ourselves we are actually what we are, have been, after these long centuries of evolution. Is this clear? You are not accepting what the speaker says?
First see the tragedy of it all: we are highly intellectual, or tremendously emotional, romantic, worshipping images, which the tribes do, only we worship in a more pleasant place, better architecture, but it is the same spirit. And outwardly this is the state. Inwardly in our consciousness, in our way of thinking, which is isolating, each one of us thinks that he is separate from another. Outwardly we have produced a world that is isolating itself, each group, each community, each religion, each country. And in this isolation they are seeking security. Which is what is happening - the Britisher says we must be secure in our isolation, and other countries are doing exactly the same thing. That is, they feel in isolating themselves by a name - British, German, French, American, Russia - enclosing themselves with a certain frontier, which is the isolating process, they feel they are secure. Of course. And inwardly we are doing exactly the same thing. Each one of us feels he is isolated, he is separate, divided from all others. He has encouraged this isolating process through religion - religions have said you are separate, you are a separate soul, that soul must be saved. In our education we are educated to be separate, to be isolated, seek your own success. And our own conditioning is along the lines of me, my centre, myself, my isolation and through that isolation I hope to find relationship. So there is this isolating process outwardly and inwardly which is bringing tremendous conflict. Please don't agree with me for god's sake. Look at each one of us - we have our own problems, our own desire to fulfil, to become, to be something, to be a great artist, to be a great painter, to be a great writer, to become something, which is me becoming in isolation - right? And you are doing exactly the same thing, to become something, in isolation, through your ambition, through your greed, through your drive of desire. And another is following exactly the same pattern.
So please look at it: we want to be secure outwardly and inwardly through isolation - right? That is a fact, an irrefutable fact. You mightn't like it but it is so. Each one is seeking his own salvation, his own happiness, his own isolating process of self-centred activity. So one questions whether there is any kind of radical change in isolation? You understand my question? Or we are looking at the whole thing, at this whole process, outward and inward, from a peripheral point of view - you understand? Are we looking at this vast movement of life, which includes all this, from only a superficial ideological, intellectual point of view, which is all peripheral, looking at the whole of life at the edges of it - you understand? You understand what the speaker has said? Am I looking, observing, criticizing from a very, very superficial - from the extreme edge of the psychological field and saying, "What shall I do about it?" - you understand? Please we must be clear on this. Am I in my investigation, examination without any bias, objectively, dispassionately, am I looking at all this, this isolating process, from extreme borders, the peripheral dimension, from there I am looking? And when I look that way I say, "What am I to do?" You understand? It is like looking at a player, tennis or golf, or an actor, and from there looking at life, from the stage. Are we doing that? Or do we enquire into much more deeper issues? Which is: is my consciousness - we will go into that - is my consciousness, my thinking, is it separate, my thinking, is it separate, isolated, is my consciousness only mine and not yours? You understand my question? Are you following all this?
We have accepted thought as individualistic. We have accepted through tradition, through education, through religious dogma, religious assertions, that our consciousness, our thinking, is our own. It is not yours. You have yours and I have mine. Is that so? Is that an actual irrevocable fact? Or it is an illusion? I am not saying one way or the other. We are examining, we are criticizing, we are sceptical, doubting, whether this is a fact, therefore we must always live in conflict. Or this isolating process of thought, with its consciousness, is mine and not yours? Or this whole way of thinking is illusory, is deceptive, is not a fact? This is not an intellectual entertainment. Please one must repeat this over and over again. Or you are not accepting what the speaker is saying. Then it becomes too silly altogether, to quote him, to say, "I am his follower. I have read his books" and all the rest of it, and just repeat, repeat, repeat. But if you see this fact that outwardly this isolating process is going on, economically, politically and religiously. And inwardly we think our thinking is individual, mine, my thinking separate from your thinking, my philosophy is different from your philosophy, what I have understood is different from what you have understood. My cravings, my longings, my desire, my relationship, my god, everything is mine. So we are asking is this a fact? Are we really, fundamentally isolated? British, French, German, Swiss, Italians, Americans - we are far away from Burma, Japan and India, so I won't mention those. It is the same pattern repeated all over the world. The tiniest hamlet in the world, the smallest group - they say "It is ours, mine. I am separate from you. My god is separate from your god".
So let us enquire into this. That is: we are enquiring, questioning, criticizing this tradition. You are not following the speaker. Don't at the end of it say, "Do we understand you?" You have to understand the problem, the issue yourself. There is no authority to help you to that. So please put away altogether this idea of following somebody, worshipping somebody, following somebody, but look at it. It is your life.
So this isolating process inwardly and outwardly has brought about great conflict. That is a fact. In our relationships, intimate or otherwise, outwardly we are in perpetual conflict. After a million years, or twenty five thousand years, there is something wrong in this. You understand? There is something radically amiss. So we are asking: is this an illusion or a reality? We are approaching it. We are not saying it is. We are approaching the central issue - right? Now how do you approach an issue? Crumbs it is hot!
How do you, if I may ask, you are asking yourself, I am putting it into words, how do you approach a problem, an issue, something that has to be resolved? How do you approach it? Because we are approaching the problem, the central issue. Which is: I have to repeat it again: is it a fact that we must always live in isolation, outwardly and inwardly? And this isolation though apparently it gives security will inevitably destroy, which is happening. And inwardly, psychologically we are isolating ourselves. We think our thinking is separate from your thinking. This is the issue. And the speaker is asking how you approach it, how you come to it? You understand? Please understand the word 'approach'. Approach means coming very near, coming into contact. How do you approach this issue? If you approach with a motive - this is important - then that motive directs your investigation. Right, do you see? If I say "I want to find out if this is a fact or an illusion, but I like to believe it is a fact." That is my motive. I have found comfort in that isolation and I approach the problem anchored to a prejudice, to a concept and my investigation then is directed by my concept, by my desire, by my fear and so on and so on. So I must be very clear in my mind how I approach this thing. Please take time, we have got six talks, if you can stand it. How do I look at this thing? How do I hear this whole movement, with all its complicated problems which are growing more and more? How do your look at it? How do you come to it? What is your approach? How close do you get to it? Or is it just an idea? You understand? It is just an idea that I must examine. Or I must examine, investigate, doubt every examination, every question, every conclusion, so that I come to it as though I was really deeply wanting to find a solution. You understand? I want to find out why human beings through so-called million years of education and so on have come to this point: to live perpetually in conflict. Is it isolation that is producing this, inwardly and outwardly? Or life then is inevitable, that is to live in conflict? You understand the question?
Now how do you come to it? You, not me. How do you look at it? How do you listen to the movement of it? The movement of war, the brutality, the appalling things that are happening in the world, technologically? Do you read it and brush it off? The wars, the insults, the Pacific, the South Atlantic, and the Eastern Mediterranean, just pass it off? Or do you say, "What has happened to man to become like this?" Right? So either you examine from the peripheral activity, or you enquire into the very consciousness of man. That is what we are going to do. Is my consciousness, my thinking, separate from yours? Consciousness being my belief, my faith, my experience, my ambition, my god, the philosophy which I have learnt from another, or that I have learnt about myself, my greed, my envy, my hatred, my psychological wounds, my pleasures, my sorrow, my pain, my utter loneliness, all that is my consciousness - right? Please be quite sure of this. That is my consciousness. Consciousness is its content, like a pot is useless, it has no meaning unless you put something into it. So my consciousness is all that: the battle, the conflict, the pleasure, the hurts, the wounds, wanting to hurt others, my arrogance, my sense of haughtiness, the wounds I have received all my life and from there I want to hurt others, and I hate others, that is all my consciousness. Right? Be quite sure of this, not because I tell you. I am only, the speaker is only voicing that which is so.
So this has been my tradition, through school, college, university, through my studies, through my longing, through my loneliness and so on, that is my consciousness. I go abroad to the Far East, or to the Near East, or the Far West, or near West, and I see human beings are exactly the same - right? They suffer, they are anxious, they are in conflict, miserable, unhappy, lonely, poverty - you understand? - their gods, their beliefs, their rituals, exactly, more or less, the same - right? So my consciousness is common to all mankind at the centre. At the periphery you are taller, fairer, I am darker, I am brown, I am a carpenter, you are a scientist, you are the Pope or you are the great man and so on and so on. All that, but inwardly it is the same content. Right? Is this so? Question it, enquire, put your guts into it, find out. Don't you suffer? Aren't you in conflict, lonely, seeking, longing for some comfort, somebody to look after you, to say you are doing marvellously, go on? In the East every human being is doing the same, they are crying over their son's death and you are crying here. So is my consciousness separate from that of yours? Peripherally, outside you are different, you are far more educated than I am, much cleverer, you have a good business sense and so on and so on and so on. But move away from that, you and that man in the Far East, Near East, or anywhere, you have the same problems. You want the solution of the peripheral problems - you understand? How to earn more money, how to have a better house - peripheral. And that has become far more important than the enquiry at the centre. And therefore you insist on being an individual. You get this? Insist that you are an individual because you are always thinking at the peripheral, at the outside, never going into the depth of the thing.
So if my consciousness with all its content is similar to yours - right? - whether you live in Switzerland or in America, or in India, or wherever you are, as a human being your consciousness has the same movement of conflict, of misery, so are you an individual? Are you separate from me? Or at the depths we are similar? The waters of a great river has ripples, on the top and we are concerned about the ripples, building a bank, this and that, controlling, but at the depths we are all the same water. Is that so, or not? You have to enquire, go into it, put yourself...
Evolution, which is the process of time, has been concerned at the peripheral level, at the outside level - better doctors, better health, keeping young, you follow? And inwardly the pot is boiling. It is not your pot or my pot. Right? Is this a fact, or just an idea? An intellectual concept which you accept? Please see the deep significance of this. If you and I, living in India, living in America, or Russia, our consciousness is the same as yours - right? - then where is there isolation? At the peripheral level yes because you are taller, shorter. So if that is so, that you are essentially, deeply, humanity, not Mr.Smith by himself, or Mr.Cragnolini by himself.
So if my consciousness is the common ground on which all human beings stand, then I am the entire humanity. That is logical, that is a fact. My thinking, which I have considered separate, mine, my thinking is common to all mankind. Thinking. You must be clear on this too. We said consciousness is similar. The variety, the outward appearances are different, the peripheral activity is different, but at the core we are all alike. Therefore I am humanity, not as an idea, an actual fact because I have worked at it, discovered it, it is mine - not mine, I have found it. You have to find it yourself, not accept what some other silly man says. The speaker may be totally wrong, trying to hypnotize you into something which is non-fact. You have to go into it, and find out. Then if I see that I am humanity then that means that I am the world and the world is me. Therefore I don't belong to any group, to any guru, to any religion, to no nationality. I have no religion, religion in the orthodox sense of that word. Are you like that? The moment you say, "My consciousness is the rest of mankind", you have dropped away the entire tradition of the past. Right?
So then, if you are the world and the world is you, and you are the whole of humanity in consciousness, not in your capacity as a carpenter, technician, or a musician or a surgeon, then what is your responsibility to the rest of mankind? You understand? I am mankind, I am the world, but what is my responsibility to the world? I don't say I am mankind, my consciousness is like yours, and just remain there. You follow? I wonder if you understand? May I go on? We have talked for an hour. May I go on? You are going on with yourself not with the speaker. How am I, seeing the truth of all this, not as an idea, a conclusion, as an ideological Utopian concept but as an actual fact, as factual as we are sitting in this hot tent, then what am I to do? What is my action, not in relationship to the world because I am the world? I don't know if you understand all this? What is my activity which will not be related to the peripheral activity - you understand? I must go on being a carpenter, I must go on being a surgeon, or a professor. I have to do it as long as I live in this terrible world. But inwardly, psychologically, which is far more important because the psyche always overcomes the outer - right? - when the Communists started out with their evolution they said no soldiers, equality - we were all excited at the time. And now look what is happening. I don't have to go into all that, you know it. So what is my activity, not in relationship to the world? Please understand this deeply. Activity in myself, in myself is the rest of mankind. I am asking what is the activity of my consciousness? You understand? Not in relationship with you, we will come to that a little later. What is my relationship to politics, to war - we will come to that later. But what is my activity when I understand I am the world, my consciousness with its content is like the rest of mankind - right? So where do I begin? You understand my question? Where do I begin? Out there? Or in there? In there I mean psychologically, not some kind of illusory inward, actually inward. So I enquire what am I to do? Is my thinking mine? Right? Or is thinking common? You understand? Thinking, not thinking about something: thinking about god, thinking about my achievement, the very act of thinking, is that individual, yours and mine? Separate? Oh, no, please go into it carefully.
Apparently thinking is common to all mankind - right? They think. They may find a lot of excuses for thinking but now tradition says it is individual thinking. Again is that so? Is your thinking separate from my thinking? You may want a better car. I may want a better shirt. But thinking is the same - right? Right? You are doubtful. Don't accept what I am saying. Is thinking separate from my thinking? Or thinking is common? Then if it is common, what is thinking? Thought - our tradition says your thinking is separate from my thinking. Nobody has enquired into the question of thinking - right? So we are now saying thinking is common to all mankind because thinking is born out of knowledge, experience, memory - right? This happens to the most humble village man, and to the greatest philosopher - right? So thinking is common to all mankind. It is not my thinking, and your thinking separate. So thinking and consciousness are the same, because all the content of my consciousness is the product of my thinking. I think I am separate so the content of my consciousness is the conflict, the loneliness, the despair, the anxiety, suffering, I must resolve it.
So we have discovered for yourself, I am not telling you, that consciousness with its content is the movement of thought. Right? Of course, it is logical. So I see all this, where shall I begin? At the periphery or at the centre? We have been educated to work along the peripheral lines, and we see if you work along the peripheral lines there is no radical change at all. So I have to begin at the very centre, looking at the very centre and see its activity - right? Are we clear on this? Not how am I to get a job - I can't tell you I am afraid. How to stop the war - that is impossible. They are all idiots. How to solve the economic problem - it is possible only when there are no nationalities, no economic divisions. All these peripheral problems can be solved when there is a global outlook, not nationalistic outlook, which is isolated, conditioned outlook. It is only when we see we are all humanity, we are all one, life is one, life is sacred, not my life and your life.
So seeing all that, where shall I begin? I won't begin there, at the peripheral level. So I am beginning to enquire: is my thinking fragmentary? You understand? Is my activity fragmentary? - inwardly. I may say outwardly I am the world but inwardly is my activity fragmentary, broken up? Is that so? So I begin there. You understand? Is it possible to find out a way of living which is whole, not fragmented? I don't say there is, or there is not. I want to find out, enquire, question, doubt, never accept any conclusion I may come to even.
So what is it that breaks up life, life, the movement of living? You understand? What is it that breaks it up as mine, yours and all the rest of it? Please enquire, what is it? Don't reduce it to one word, it is very complex. Why do I live a broken up life, so divisive - you understand - so fragmented, so separate, broken up, why, what makes my life that way? We have got plenty of days to think it over. Study it, not accepting, looking, exercising your brain to find out.
Sirs, we were asking what makes our life so broken up inwardly? What is the root of it, what is the cause of it? If you find the cause then it is simple to dispel it - you understand? if I find the cause of my disease then it can be cured, or may not be cured. So I must find the cause. When I find the cause the effect can be changed, therefore the cause itself disappears. You understand? We give importance to the cause because we see the effects of the cause - right? But if I understand the cause, why my life is so broken up, so contradictory, so hypocritical, saying one thing and so on and so on, why, what is the root of it? So I discover that all my life is based on thinking. My gods are the product of my thinking, the rituals - everything is based on thought - right? You are clear on this? Then is thought the cause of this, this constant struggle between the broken parts: I want, I don't want, I must, I must not, I must become something and there is fear in it, and so on? You understand? Please see the importance of this. If thought is the cause of this conflict, if that is the cause, contradiction, living one way, actual living, and thinking something else. If thought is responsible for this then what is life, living, in which thought doesn't divide? You have understood this? Are we together in this? I see that thought has created nationalism, obviously. Thought has created god - go slowly, you may not agree with this. Thought has created all the rituals, the symbols of religion, the robes, the non-robes, the wanting to put on a robe of a different colour, it is all the product of thinking. So is there a causeless way of living? You understand my question? A living that has no cause because the moment you have a cause it is broken up. You understand this? This requires a great deal of enquiry. The cause is now thought, thought has broken up the world geographically, nationally, religiously, thought has broken up me separate from you, my soul and your soul. My salvation is through there and your salvation is through there. The activity of thought has produced this - right? Thought is knowledge, experience, which is the past movement. So there is nothing sacred in thought. And all the things it creates are not sacred. You understand what this means? We have worshipped the things which thought has created as sacred, in the East, in the West, in the North and in the South. That is a deception of thought. Thought creates it and then worships it. So there it is, right away there is the breaking up, the divisive process begun.
So that divisive process in religion is brought about by thought and thought itself my be divisive, may be itself broken up because knowledge is never complete. Knowledge always goes with ignorance. So is there a way of living, please enquire, I am not telling you to do it, find out, put your mind, your heart to find out, is there a way of living which has no cause? Love has no cause - right? Love is not thought. But love that has hatred is thought.
I think we had better stop and continue on Tuesday. The day after tomorrow? May I get up? Will you get up too? It is finished.
Saanen 1st Public Talk 11th July 1982
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