Ojai 2nd Public Talk 20th May 1984
If one may remind you again, this is not a lecture. Lectures are meant to convey or give instructions, information and guidance. So this is not a lecture, but we are going to take a journey together into an extensive field of the psyche in the psychological realm, though there have been a great many descriptions, investigations up to certain point, but in these talks, if one may remind you, we are going together as two friends to take a long journey into the area of the whole psychological states - if we have time and if we can go to the very end of it, not stop in the middle of something which you may not like, or dislike, one must take the journey to the very end of things.
We must also see that thought has done the most extraordinary things in the world, technological world: from the neutron bombs, missiles, the computers; and the whole area of communication, rapid travel and so on. Thought has been responsible for all that. Also great surgery, medicine, and health - if that is possible - and so on. But also thought has brought about great wars: in the last perhaps hundred years we have had two terrible wars, which is also the result of thought because thought has divided humanity, geographically and nationally. And also thought has divided humanity in the world as Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Moslems. And as we were saying: where there is division as American and Russian, European and South Africans and so on there must be conflict, there must be war: people are killing by the thousands, killing has been going on for the last six thousand historical years, practically every year there is a war And man during all these forty, fifty thousand years, this long duration of evolution, has not stopped killing each other or destroying nature, more especially now.
Thought has not created nature - the tiger, the wolf and the marvellous trees and flowers. But thought has created division between man and woman. Though biologically they are different, thought in their relationship has brought about great conflict, misunderstanding, quarrels, disputes, antagonism, hatred. So thought has bred conflict not only externally, outwardly, in the world but also inwardly in the whole psychological world, which is far more important to understand than the reorganization of outward structure of society.
Society is what we have made of it. With our greed, with our ambitions, corruption, competition and all the rest of it. So we have made the society which is disintegrating, becoming dangerous as we are, as human beings are degenerating and becoming dangerous: killing, kidnapping, terrorizing. We went into this yesterday and we said also that thought, thinking, has been responsible for the religious divisions, as Christians with all the subdivisions, thought has been responsible for the things in all the temples, churches and mosques.
Thought is the result of memory: if we had no memory there would be no thinking. Memory is based on knowledge and experience. There is no complete experience about anything, there is always the more, and where there is more there is measurement and measurement is never complete, whole. So knowledge is limited, now and always in the future, you can add to it, expand it, but that very expansion is limited, so thought is limited. And being limited, as selfishness, egocentric activity is limited, so thought, whatever it does, must inevitably create conflict because anything that is limited, any concept whether religious or ideological, any ideal will always be limited and therefore it must breed extraordinary conflict between human beings.
We were talking about that, yesterday, and we must go on taking the journey together as two friends who are concerned with the way of life: to find out for themselves without any gurus' authority and all that rubbish; find out for themselves a way of life which is an art, an art that will bring about in human beings a great deal of quietude, affection and an art of life.
These two friends, you and the speaker, are taking a long extensive journey together, together. Please bear this in mind all the time. He is not speaking for his own pleasure, because if he does he can do that in his own room if he wants to, but as two friends exploring hesitantly without any bias, sceptically, doubting, questioning, exploring and observing objectively without any bias - together, because we are concerned with our own lives. And this enquiry into this psyche is not selfish activity, does not encourage or expand self-centred egotistic movement. On the contrary, both religiously and through education throughout the world the egocentric activity has been emphasized: Christians believe in souls, separate from the rest of humanity, so do the Hindus with their atman and so on. And this great emphasis on individuality has brought about great harm, great competition, cruelty. So one must - you and the speaker - are going to question all this: whether we are individuals at all, or we share the common humanity of sorrow, fear, pleasure, anxiety, depression, and the fear of the unknown - death. This is the common lot of every human being on this earth. Every human being on this earth has invented their own gods, hoping thereby there could be some kind of security, a way out of fear, praying in their own way to end their own complexity, their own pain and anxiety - this is shared by all human beings. Not by you as an American or an Italian or Russian or English or an Indian, but it is shared by every human being on this earth. You may intellectually, my friend, accept the logic of it: but what is logic, reason, is merely superficial, but when actually in one's blood, in one's whole being feels the truth of this, that our consciousness is shared by all humanity. You may believe in one kind of god, or in one kind of saviour and so on but that belief - believing - is shared by every human being: to believe in something. So you are humanity. This is a great truth. It is a great something when one actually, in one's heart and in one's blood and in one's guts - realizes this, then we would think of the world totally in a different way. To kill another is to kill oneself, to hate another is to hate oneself and so on.
And, as together - you and the speaker - are taking a journey, we ought to enquire into what is discipline and what is
Ojai 2nd Public Talk 20th May 1984
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