Ojai 2nd Public Question & Answer Meeting 24th May 1984
Glancing through the questions we never seem to ask questions concerning our daily life. And there have been a lot of theoretical, ideological questions that really have no meaning at all. One wonders why one doesn't ask questions about one's own life, depression, anxiety, a sense of deep loneliness and so on. Aren't we really concerned with our daily life, or is it just that we live in a make-believe world, and try to find answers to some romantic, sentimental, idealistic, religious beliefs. I wonder why one asks, if I may, why don't we ask such questions directly, simply about oneself?
We all want to end war, at least some people do. And pacem in terris, that is, peace on earth, in Latin, is not possible, apparently, in this world, in spite of demonstrations, in spite of all the preaching of the priests and religious books and so on, we can never have peace in this world apparently. And we never ask if one can live peacefully in our daily life, without any violence, without all the innumerable multiplying problems, live a clear, simple, strong life. Apparently that is not possible, and we don't ask that question.
May I raise a question? Why do you come? Please, I really mean it, why are you all here? When the speaker is in India and talks to between five to eight thousand people at every meeting, they come there, most of them understand English, and most of them come to be in the presence of a religious person - at least quotes, 'religious person'. They don't quite understand what the speaker is talking about, I am sure they don't. But they must come as it is the tradition, it is the fashion, the reputation, the image, and all that nonsense - I was going to use a strong word! And perhaps you come here out of curiosity, or to spend a nice morning under the trees, and the dappled light, or take a sun bath and listen to the poor chap. And so you go on that way. All this doesn't actually deeply, profoundly change us. What makes human beings change? This is really a very serious question. Why do we behave as we do behave? Is it possible that suffering, pain, anxiety, a sense of desperate depression, out of which one finds oneself almost impossible to get out of; and with terrible ambitions, and the competitions, and all that kind of thing that is going on, can we change all that, each one? And you will inevitably ask, does it really matter if I change, if one changes, will it in any way affect the whole human endeavour, and their mischief, and their superstitions and violence? And one thinks that is a wrong question to put. That is, you will change only if it affects the rest of the world. And if it doesn't it doesn't matter very much how one lives.
One wonders if you have ever considered how one man can change the whole human consciousness, human beings. One man. As a bad example of a neurotic and insane person like Hitler, who has done such tremendous harm to the world, he has changed or affected the rest of the world, their consciousness, their behaviour. And you might also say, has the Buddha, 2,500 years ago, has he in any way affected the world? Or the Christians believe in the saviour, in Jesus and all that, have they really changed the world, changed human minds, human behaviour, endless suffering? Or have the priests throughout the world prevented this change? You understand my question? One has no direct - direct - teachings of the Buddha, or that of Jesus. His teachings apparently were interpreted after sixty years, so there is no direct teachings. And perhaps that has prevented human beings from acting rightly. So one wonders all along the long journey of one's life why profoundly human beings don't change their ways of life. Is more suffering necessary? Is more violence necessary? More experts and so on? Or we haven't got the energy, the drive, the passion, the intensity to change the pattern of one's deep behaviours?
Please do ask these questions of yourself. And here there are many questions given. Questions imply problems. And problems ought to be solved. Not in the resolution of one problem a dozen other problems arise. The ending of a problem of any kind. And apparently we don't seem able to do that, either politically, economically, socially and so on, or religiously. It is a perpetual reorganization. When that reorganization doesn't function properly, reorganize it, keep on reorganizing every organization. I don't know if you have not noticed this. And this is called progress. This is called bringing about order in the world. Can one put aside all organizations, spiritual specially, if one can use that word that has been so spoilt, not belong to anything at all, not be caught in any box, in any system, and work, look, observe, perceive one's own behaviour, change?
And why doesn't one do all this? Why does one depend on others? Please do ask these questions most seriously if one may request you.
1st QUESTION: There are moments of awareness in which there is great clarity, and fear, division, and the experiences are absent. But the moments are brief. What is necessary to allow a sustained clarity, intensity, and the wholeness of being?
Whom are you asking this question? This is apparently a serious question. It looks serious. Whom are you asking? And you want a reply from somebody. That somebody is the speaker here, for the moment. If the speaker doesn't satisfy you with the answer you will trot off to somebody else. And if that somebody else isn't good enough you will go after somebody else. You keep this going. And that means, doesn't it, we depend on others to tell us what to do, what to think, how to find clarity, sanity, a wholeness of life. Always, apparently, we depend on somebody. We never look into this question, ask ourselves, and see if we can, for ourselves, totally independent of others, find out if it is possible to be absolutely unconfused, to be absolutely clear, not momentarily, not occasionally when you have nothing else to do, but is it possible? Not the continuity of clarity - you understand? Suppose one is clear for a moment, and that clarity for a second banishes away fear, experiences and all that; then that memory of that clarity is not the fact of clarity. Right? I wonder if you see this? Suppose I am walking in the woods, not in California, here, it is too strong the sun, suppose one is walking among the woods and listening to the birds, and to the spot of light, and the beauty of the foliage, and for a moment there is absolute clarity. And that clarity has left an imprint on the brain, it says, "By Jove, how clear it was." Then one wants that clarity to continue, don't we? Like pleasure, you want it to continue. The continuity is the movement of memory. Right? I must go into al that.
It involves time, doesn't it? Anything that continues must have time, the implication of time. And time will not allow clarity. It is the freedom from time that is clarity. Let's go into this again, if we may.
Say for example one wants security, psychologically. And one for a few seconds, or for a few days, one has this feeling of being absolutely safe, protected, solidly secure. Then that disappears after a few days. But the memory of that feeling remains. And we want to continue that which has happened two days ago. Right? This is what we are all caught in. That is, the duration of an experience which has finished, and the memory of it we want - the memory wants continuity of that thing which has happened. Right? So if we could look at this question: time by the watch, by the sunset and sunrise, time as day and night, time of year and so on, that is there is time. And thought is also time. Right? You are following this? Time is a movement of thought from the past to the present and the future, which is a movement of time. This movement has its own continuity. Right? Are we together following this? And the brain, which has evolved through time, says, continuity is essential because for it to continue it is essential. Physically, biologically, it is necessary. But psychologically it wants also to continue. So the brain becomes confused when there is no continuity. Right? You are following this? Are we together somewhat in this?
And one questions whether there is psychological continuity at all. You understand my question? We are questioning, I am not stating: is there psychological continuity at all? That is, moments of clarity which banishes, puts aside all fear, all problems, and all the travail of life, it happens in a moment. And the brain says, it must continue. Because it only thinks in terms of time, a continuity. You understand? Biologically it is necessary to continue day after day. Right? The same house, same food, same clothes, same roof over the head. Psychologically also we want in relationship security to continue. Right? Are you following all this? Is there in relationship security at all? Which is a duration of long period of time. When there is the demand for that there is conflict. I wonder if you understand this.
Relationship, as it is very important, it is a tremendously important thing in life, relationship, one cannot possibly exist in this world without relationship, whether you are a monk, a sannyasi, a wanderer, you are always related to the past, or to a person, or to a concept of the future. It isn't just a mere physical relationship. As relationship is very seriously important in life there are moments in which relationship has great depth, silence and a sense of tremendous well-being. Don't you know all this? The speaker hasn't to go through all this, but he will go through it. And that, those moments of deep sense of fullness, wholeness, is registered, recorded in the brain, and the function of the brain is to record and keep it going. And so the memory begins to play an important part.
So one questions whether there is security at all in relationship? You understand my question? We want it. We think it is absolutely necessary, but is there any? - Please ask yourself. Security means permanency, and is there anything in life permanent? Death is always there, but let's leave death alone for the moment. Is there anything permanent in life? We want to have something permanent. Apparently religious people say god is permanent. That's a marvellous invention but it has very little meaning. So we are seeking in relationship security and permanency. That very concept - please listen to this for a minute - that very concept of demanding security and permanency is translated as attachment. Right? So there is deep attachment to another. It may be for a month, or for a week, or for fifty years. And during this state of attachment there is all the conflict of jealousy, suspicion, fear, gain and loss, you know, you know all this, don't you. So the demand in relationship to have a sense of permanent continuity in which there is security leads to attachment and all the complexity of attachment. If one sees that, perceives the fact of that, perceiving it, as you perceive the tree and you don't, unless you are blind, you don't go against it, knock yourself. So if you see this fact that the demand in relationship for permanency, security which inevitably leads to a great deal of conflict and attachment, fear and so on, then that very perception burns away the demand for security. You understand? Is this clear, this question? That at the moment when we think in terms of time, a sense of continuity, then intensity, clarity and the feeling of wholeness disappears. You have understood, captured all this?
You have listened to this, is it all nonsense? Do you say, what the devil are you talking about? Or is it sanity, reason, logical, and if you, if I may most respectfully ask, if you see this very clearly, the fact that we do demand in our life, in our daily living, psychologically a sense of continuity, a sense of security, it must inevitably bring conflict. Right? Do we see this, perceive this fact? And we are saying if we perceive the truth of this, that very perception burns away the demand for security and permanency. Therefore then what is our relationship with each other? You understand? You understand my question? Suppose the speaker or you have not this sense of security and permanency, that doesn't mean anything, suppose, then what is relationship? You understand? What is my wife and my husband, or girl friend, or boy friend, whatever it is? Do please ask this, think it out, let's work it out. What is one's relationship with another, intimate, or otherwise? Is there just, what, a gap? Or when there is no permanency, demand for permanency and security with all its complexity, is it possible a new awakening, a new sense of what is love? Do you understand my question? Permanency and attachment, with all its pain and pleasure and anxiety and fear, is not love. And in the absence of that entirely, deeply, profoundly, the other is like a flower that blooms. Right? Is this possible? It is possible when you hear all this, is it possible in your daily life? Love is not thought, desire, sensation; love has totally a different quality. And that is totally absent when the other, security and all the rest of that, is the demand of every human being.
2nd QUESTION: What is judgement? How is one to determine the line dividing opinion, and the perception of fact?
It's a good question. What is fact, and what is opinion? And where is the dividing line between the two? Why do we have opinions? The meaning of that word, opinion, means judgement, evaluation, preconceived concepts, you know, the whole assertive, dogmatic opinions that each one has. Why do we carry so many opinions? Please enquire into this. Why do we have opinions at all? We have opinions about everything. And apparently they are so strong, and we think that is freedom, to have a thousand opinions about everything. That gives you a sense of freedom, at least you think you are free, independence. It's my opinion, I am right. So we have a thousand opinions.
And what are facts? What is fact? Fact is that which has happened. Right? That which has happened. An incident or an accident is a fact, which took place yesterday. And fact is also what is happening now. Right? What is happening now, you and I are sitting here having a conversation, a dialogue, or a question and answer and so on, that's a fact. What is not a fact is what may happen tomorrow. Right? Are we coming together in this? What may happen when you leave this place and go off, go off to your car. So fact is that which happened, that which is happening; and fact is not what will happen. That's clear. What will happen is decided by what is happening now. Right? I wonder if you see this. The future is in the present. Right? The future, what you are now is the future, modified, but basically what you are now. So the future is in the present. Right? And the past is also in the present. Right? So the present contains all time. Please don't play with this as a theory, it is meaningless. It becomes a slogan if you repeat that, at least it loses its meaning. But if you see that the past has a continuity in the present, and the future is the past modified in the present, the past modified through the present, so the present, the now, contains all time. Right? And if you don't change now you will be exactly the same tomorrow, slightly modified. So the future is in the present. This is really quite important to understand because what is action? I mustn't go into that.
So why do human beings cling to opinions and not facts? You can conclude from a fact an opinion. Right? A fact can be made into an opinion, but the opinion is not the fact. I may have an accident in a car and you come along and see it, and have umpteen opinions about it, but the fact is I have an accident. So why do we have opinions at all, about government, about religion, about this, and about that, about literature, about poems, you follow? Why? Is it a kind of game? Is it a kind of wastage of energy? Is it another form of chattering? Which is all a waste of time, waste of energy. Whereas if you stick to facts, which is, what has happened, what is happening, that's only facts. I am looking at the tree. That's a fact. Why do I have to have an opinion about that? If I am a lumber merchant, thank god I am not, and I say, that's a valuable tree, let's cut it down - that's a different matter. But to have constant opinions about everything seems to one such a stupid waste of energy and time, you know, it is so useless.
And judgement, the question is: what is judgement? A judge passes a sentence on somebody, criminal, or some innocent man. There was a judge once whom the speaker happened to know. He was high up in law and became a judge. And one morning after many years of judgement, he said, "What am I judging? What is truth? I am passing a judgement about everything according to precedence and so on, what is truth? Unless I find that out judgement has no meaning". So as was customary in India in those days - about 50 or 80 years ago - he called his family and said, "I am going to withdraw from the world, go off into the forest, into some distant village, meditate and find out." We are telling you the facts of it, not opinions about it.
After 20 years or 40 years - I have forgotten the exact time - somebody brought him to listen to one of the talks that K was giving and he came to see the speaker afterwards, and he said ,"You know what I have been doing these 40 years? I started out to find truth meditated, did all kinds of things and I see now that I have been mesmerizing myself. I have been living an illusion." Right? You understand all this? For an old man to acknowledge such statement and say that is a fact, that needs a great deal of perception.
So, What is judgement? What is justice? Is there justice in the world? Please ask this question of yourself. Is there justice in the world? You are born in a good family, money, education, prosperity, success, and the other lives in a small ghetto, no future except poverty, constant struggle. Right? Where is justice in that? The Indians have a very good explanation, the Hindus, which is Karma. You understand? Don't, please, that word Karma means to act. Not all these things ???? to it. To act rightly, at the now. If you act rightly now, the future is right. So, ought you act mischievously now, you pay for it next day or next life.
Now, is there justice in the world? A crook can employ a clever lawyer and get away with it. This is happening everyday. You are clever, I am not. You are beautiful, I am not. You are extraordinarily alive, I am not. This is facts. So, where is there justice? There is so called legal justice which is totally different from actual justice. Justice can only be found where there is freedom and compassion. Without that freedom and compassion which in its movement is intelligence there is justice. Otherwise, there is no justice in the world. This is, please, not an opinion, not a theory, but when you have this feeling of great compassion which is quite a deep question. Then there is, in that compassion, there is justice.
3rd Question: There are many people who have considerable difficultly with the fact of homosexuality. Teachers, for centuries have avoided this enquiry. Could please, even briefly put some light on this question? I have travelled 2000 miles to ask this question.
Krishnamurti: There are many people who have considerable difficulties with the fact of homosexuality. Teachers, for centuries have avoided this question. I have travelled, oh, Could you please, even briefly put some, answer this question? I have travelled 2000 years, miles (laughter) to ask this question? Sorry, quite right, I have travelled 2000 years. This has been a question for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. It isn't something new. How would you, we are not taking sides in this matter. We don't condemn it or approve it or disapprove it. These are facts. Right? As heterosexuality is a fact. Homosexuality exists in the world, in different parts of the world very common, other parts of the world it is practically unknown. So how do you answer this question? What is the question? Why do we make it into such an enormous problem? Apparently we don't make heterosexuality a problem at all, but we make this into a problem, why? It is a fact. So should we enquire into this question, into heterosexuality, and homosexuality differently? Not condemn one or the other, or approve one and deny the other, but enquire why sexuality, both, has become so colossally important. Right? Why? You answer this question. On television, in magazines, every best seller, has this element in it, in detail, every day. You are following? I don't have to tell you all this. Everyday it is emphasised - sexuality, I am not talking about homo or heterosexuality, just sexuality. Why have human beings given such great importance to this? And if it is not important you feel there is something wrong with you, that you are neurotic, that you have to fulfil, you know dozens and dozens of explanations by the psychologists, by the experts, by the sexualists. Why? Is it pleasure? Remembrance in the pictures of sexuality - you understand? Why has man given throughout the ages such extraordinary importance to this? If you are deprived of it you feel something terrible has happened. And you can voluntarily say, I won't have any, I will become a celibate, and join a monastery, or not join a monastery, or remain a celibate with all the problems of celibacy. Right?
So what is the question? Why has this thing been given such a place in life? It is part of life. Right? Part of walking, seeing, running, laughing, tears, it is part of life. But why has this one thing taken importance. And it is being encouraged very carefully. Right? By the entertaining industry. Please go into all this. And the psychologists have also encouraged this: fulfil. And some mothers feel there is something wrong with their daughter or son who doesn't have a boy or girl friend after the age of twelve, thirteen. This is all what is happening in the world, especially in this country. In the traditional countries like India, and others countries, there still they say, please wait, don't indulge, wait until you are twenty or twenty two, or whatever it is.
So seeing all this, what does one learn from all this? Learn, not morally, not morality, not celibacy and so on, but what does one learn from all this? Come on, sirs! Religions throughout the world, the ancient - I won't call them the very ancient - the Hindus, the Buddhists, Christianity, have always said, be a celibate, if you want to follow God be a celibate. Why? And they take vows of celibacy, join monasteries, become a monk, a wandering monk, as they do in India, and go through tortures with this. Right? They have taken a vow, they must stick to it. I don't know why they take a vow first but once you have taken a vow you have to follow that which you have accepted. But psychologically, inwardly, the glands, everything is functioning, and you have a terrible time. The speaker has talked to many, many of them. They go through hell. Religion has done that. You know all this, don't you?
And one asks: why has man said to himself, to achieve the most sublime you must be a celibate? Do you understand? That is, you must torture yourself, go through agonies and then you will be nearer god. It seems so childish, the whole thing. Sorry! I have met many, many sannyasis, in India, monks. I won't go into the details of it, they have tortured themselves in every way. Because the popular opinion is that to reach god, to reach the highest, you must live a life of absolute abstinence. Which means human beings have never understood what is austerity. May we go into that? You are not bored with all this? I don't mind if you are bored. Probably you don't want to go into all this, it may disturb you very much. Please don't be disturbed because we are dealing with facts.
What is austerity? You know the root meaning of that word, as we explained the other day, to be austere means to have, in Greek, a dry mouth, not from drinks, but a dry mouth, which is to be harsh, to be sharp, to be dry. And so gradually the human being has this idea it must be austere, and has made himself into ashes. You understand? When you are forcing yourself day after day, month after month, year after year, driving yourself you end up as dry human being. And if you indulge in the other direction you have the same problem.
So can one live a life without conflict? You understand? Neither extremes, which imply conflict, and the sensory demands and the suppression of sensory demands. Can one live without a single battle, effort, struggle between the two? You understand my question? That requires a great deal of enquiry into the whole problem of desire, will, wish, and the biological urges. Do you understand? Do you want to go on with this?
There is a very good question at the end - I just saw it! How is one to live on this earth - please listen to it - how is one to live on this earth without harm or destruction to its beauty, without bringing suffering and death to others?
But we must finish our question which we were talking about previously. Could we bear another quarter of an hour? Are you working the same as the speaker is working, or are you just listening? Is your brain as active, working, enquiring, doubting, intense to find out a way of living which is something totally different?
We were saying, to live a life without conflict requires an investigation into the whole question of desire, which is a very, very complex problem. Do you really want to go into all that? I am not asking out of encouragement, I am just asking. It is a very serious thing that we are undertaking. It is no good just merely listening and repeating, that has no meaning at all. But seeing what the facts are in this world, what is actually taking place in the world, not only in this country but in every country, in so-called every culture, and conflict in man is increasing more and more and more, not less and less. Man means woman and man, so please don't get excited about it - why don't I talk about women. Unless one understands very deeply the movement of desire, not the description of it, not the explanation of it, but to enquire why desire becomes so extraordinarily important: desire to become successful, desire to have money, desire for sex, for excitement, for amusement, the tremendous urge and the speed of it, and the demand for its fulfillment. Again religions have said you must suppress desire, which means another battle, another conflict, another torture. You know religion has played havoc with human beings. And they are still doing it, not only in the Christian world but in the whole world, the Islamic world, look what they are doing in Iran and Iraq. Don't talk of it.
So what is desire? Please understand we are not trying to suppress it, or encourage it, but it is a fact. The fact is that we are driven by desire. And to thwart it is pain. Right? A sense of not being able to fulfil, so at any cost, at any price we want the fulfillment of desire. You may say desire for god, desire for understanding, it is still desire. Shall I go into all this?
When you look at a tree and the beauty of the tree, the light upon the leaf, and the mountains beyond it, the valleys, the shades and the dappled light, and see that enormous beauty of the earth, that is sensation. Right? I won't go into the question, is beauty sensation, I am not going into that, that's another problem. No, not a problem, that is quite another thing, very interesting if you go into it: is beauty sensation? When you see all that, the earth and its beauty, it is a sensation. Right? Seeing with the optical eyes, with the eyes, and the seeing, the very seeing arouses the sensations. Right? Seeing a beautiful woman or a man arouses various kinds of sensations. Then that sensation is correct, isn't it, normal, healthy, natural, unless one is paralysed, blind, and deaf, dumb. That is when one is sensitive one is acutely aware of all this. And you see this. There is perception of all this. Then what takes place? You are looking at those hills. The seeing of those hills arouses certain sensations. Then what is the next step to that? Enquire, please, look at it. Does then thought come in and say, what a beautiful thing that is? Right? Thought then creates an image out of that sensation. Right? I am not saying anything that is not factual, this is not supposition or fictitious. Sensation - contact, sensation, then thought makes an image of that sensation. Right? Are you following? When thought makes an image out of that sensation then desire is born. Sensation is not desire. Sensation is sensation. But when thought comes and says, yes, what a lovely thing that is, what a lovely dress that is, nice shirt - being a man - nice shirt, or a woman says, nice dress. Goes inside, touches it, feels it, puts it on, and then thought says, how beautiful I look. That's a nice shirt on me. Then desire is born. You understand this? This is a fact. It is not something theoretical, it is a fact.
Now the question is, if you go into it much deeper, sensation, seeing a beautiful painting, beautifully framed and beautifully lit, marvellous, that is a sensation. Then the thought says, I wish I had that in my room. Then when the thought assumes the authority over sensation desire is born. Now the question is: can sensation and thought be kept apart? Go into this. Not through will, through compulsion, effort and all that, we are asking a very serious and simple question. Sensation is natural, thought is also somewhat natural, with its image. That's what happens. Now can there be a gap, an interval, a hiatus, so that sensation and thought are separate? You understand? See what is implied in it. It requires tremendous attention, great watchfulness. Seeing, sensation. The speaker has seen some most beautiful things in the world, beautiful cars, beautiful people - please I am not using that in the common sense - beautiful people. So it is natural to look at this world, this enormous beauty, the destruction, what human beings are doing to the earth, and see some of the most beautiful gardens in the world, houses, palaces, and so on, we have lived in them and all that. And never to be identified with any of it. Oh, you don't know all this. Never ask, I wish I had it. You understand? That requires great perception, watchfulness and clarity.
And all that implies a sense of great inward learning, which is discipline. Learning is discipline, not conformity.
3rd QUESTION: How is one to live on this earth without harm or destruction to its beauty, without bringing suffering and death to others?
Have you ever asked this question? Actually? Not theoretically but actually put that question, face it. Don't run away from it, not explain, it is necessary, and all the rest of it, but look at it, confront it. Have you ever asked such a question? Not en masse, make a demonstration against some politician who wants to destroy a National Park or this or that. To ask such a question, that means you are burning with it, it is something tremendously real, not just a fanciful question to pass the time of day. To live on this earth with its extraordinary beauty, and not to destroy it, and to end sorrow, and not kill another, not kill another human being, not kill a living human thing. There are those people in India, a certain sect: their transportation is to walk, they take no trains, no aeroplanes, no carriages, nothing but walk, and they put on a mask not to kill an insect by breathing. You understand? There is a whole group of them. Some of that group came to see the speaker and they walked 800 miles from April to January, and never taking any transportation except walking. And they won't kill.
And there are those who kill, kill for sport, kill for amusement, kill for profit - the whole meat industry. Right? Destroy the earth, to dump poisonous gas, you know all that is happening in this country, pollute the air, the waters, and pollute each other. This is what we are doing to the earth and to ourselves.
And the questioner asks: can we live on this earth with its great beauty and not bring suffering to others or death. It is a very, very serious question. To live a life without causing suffering to others, or causing death to others, that means not killing a human being, not killing any animal for sport, for your food. You understand all this? This is the question.
There were a certain class of people in India at a certain time, they never ate meat. They thought killing was wrong. They were called at the time, Brahmins. And the western civilization has never enquired into whether killing is right, whether killing any living thing is justified. The western world has destroyed whole races of people. Right? This country has destroyed the Indians of this country, wiped them out because they wanted land, and all that. So can we live on this earth without killing, without war? I can answer it, but what value has it to you, because you are killing? I am not advocating vegetarianism. Some author wrote some time ago, a cutting was sent to me, he wrote saying: "vegetarianism is spreading like some foul disease in this country". Even if you kill a cabbage. So where do you draw the line? Do you make a problem of it? Do you understand my question? If you are against war, as certain human beings are, including myself, against war, killing other human beings for whatever reason, then you cannot post a letter. Right? The stamp you buy, the food you get, all that, part of it goes to defence, armament. If you buy petrol - gas in this country, part of that goes, your taxi, part of it goes, and so on and so on. So what will you do? If you don't pay taxes you are fined or sent to goal. If you don't buy stamps you can't write letters, you can't travel. Right? Are you following all this? It amuses you? So you drive yourself into a corner. And living in a corner seems rather futile. So what will you do? If you say, I won't travel, I won't write a letter, all this helps to maintain the army, and navy, and armaments - you follow the whole racket of it. Or would you approach it differently? Why do we kill? Religions, especially Christianity, have killed probably more people on earth, they have tortured people, called them heretics, burnt them. You know all the history of it. The Muslims have done it, the Islamic world has done it, probably the Hindus and the Buddhists are the only people - their religions forbid.
How can one live on this earth without killing another and causing suffering for another? To go into this question very deeply, really, it is a very, very serious question, is there that quality of love that answered this question? If you love another, if you love another human being, are you willing to kill that human being? Would you then kill anything, except you need certain food, vegetables, nuts and so on, but apart from that would you kill anything? Go into all these questions, sir, and live it, for god's sake, don't talk about it.
What is dividing the world is ideals, the ideology of one group against another group. This eternal division, apparently an everlasting division, between man, woman, and so on. They have tried to bridge this through logic, through reason, through various institutions and foundations and organizations, and they have not succeeded in any way. This is a fact. Knowledge has not solved this problem either - knowledge in the sense, accumulated experience and so on. And thought has certainly not solved this problem.
So there is only one issue out of it: to discover or find out what is love. Love is not desire, love is not possession, love is not selfish, egocentric activity, me first and you second. And apparently that love has no meaning to most people. They may write books about it, but it has no meaning, so invent that quality, that perfume, that fire, that compassion, and compassion has its intelligence, that is supreme intelligence. When there is that intelligence which is born of compassion, love, then all these problems will be solved simply, quietly. But we never pursue the question to the very end. We may pursue it intellectually, verbally, but to do it with your heart, with your mind, with your passion, behind it, then the earth will remain beautiful. And then there is a great sense of beauty in oneself.
Ojai 2nd Public Question & Answer Meeting 24th May 1984
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