Brockwood Park 1984
Brockwood Park 2nd Brain Seminar 10th June 1984
A: I would like to say few words today, at the beginning of the Seminar. I would be somehow nice if we could have a friendly dialogue in the sense that when we go into the questions we have a certain hesitation, rather than assert things. And somehow all of us together could go into whatever the questions that we are going to discuss. And yesterday we were saying, we opened up the Seminar by asking whether thought can help us to understand the brain. And also we went into the question of whether it is possible for the brain to not have psychological recording. And finally we opened up very briefly the question of insight. And I think that is where we stopped. So I wonder what question would we like to start with.
It seems to me the question doesn't seem so clear of whether the brain can be in a state of not recording. I think perhaps that might need a little bit of clarification. What do you think?
K: Sir, I would like to ask whether we are discussing speculatively, theoretically, or actually? Actually in the sense of applying, apply in the sense, functioning not theoretically but with facts. Right? Could we do that? Am I proposing something outrageous?! Because to me theories, speculations, whether psychological, spiritual, have no meaning to me. What has significance to the speaker, to K, is dealing with facts. Facts being that which has happened, that which is happening, not what will happen.
E: So is the brain a fact now?
K: Of course.
E: How so?
K: Because it is functioning. Functioning in the sense that it wants to communicate something verbally, and also perhaps non-verbally.
E: All right communication is fact.
K: Is a fact.
E: But when you call it the brain that is an inference, a theoretical inference. But when you describe that as the brain doing something or other, that is a theoretical inference.
K: That is a fact.
E: No because there is inference between the fact of communication now and when you used the word brain, because the brain is associated to communication through a long series of observations which are not now.
K: Of course, of course. Which is now taking place. Now observation has been, I said that, the fact is what has been, what is now. What has happened, what is happening now - right?
D: May I ask if you mean that insight has really something to do with brain? Or would it be apart from brain?
K: Are we discussing insight, or are we establishing first whether we are theoretically discussing, or discussing - I have pain, suppose I have pain.
C: That's the fact.
E: OK Now the question is, how are we going to address such a fact?
K: Fact. No, how am I going to be free of my pain? That's all I am concerned with.
C: No, no. You have made a jump though. First you have your pain, that is your fact.
K: Wait sir. The fact is I am in pain.
K: Full stop. And also the fact that there must be freedom from the pain.
C: What do you mean there must be?
K: It is human nature. What are you saying? There must be.
A: What K might say, you see when you are in pain you somehow want to get rid of it.
K: That is all, a fact.
C: The thing I am trying to say is that the fact is the pain, the next fact is...
K: ...is also wanting to get rid of it.
C: Ah, that's two facts.
K: Those are both facts.
C: Right. Those are the facts.
K: But wait a minute. Are we discussing about pain, not having pain, which becomes a theory?
E: I would like to discuss pain as a fact. I want to go back to the fact that you used the word brain as related to pain.
K: Of course. Otherwise if the brain didn't function I wouldn't know what pain was.
E: But sir, isn't that an inference? How is that happening now? The fact is you used the word brain is because there have been people in the past who...
K: I would like to get at this, I don't quite understand this. I am not disputing.
E: Maybe I am not understanding you correctly, but when you say, "I experience pain", it is clear to all of us that this is now. Now I come around and say, "Pain has to do with brain". Now the relationship to juxtapose these two words, brain and pain has a long series of intermediate steps, which required work from the past of people who actually pointed out the existence of such a thing as brain, which is not something we are doing now. We are not opening up a skull and saying this is brain, and cutting the brain in parts and doing all the kinds of things...
K: Don't do it with me please!
E: I won't. So you see what I am saying, the moment I invoke the word brain, I am bringing with it a huge edifice of inferences and relationships which are not now.
K: Yes, sir, which is all the past.
E: So how is the fact that you use the word brain now consistent with your desire to deal only with present facts? Could you clarify that?
K: I don't quite follow. I am trying to understand this.
E: Can I say it in some other way?
K: Please understand between us: I am not resisting anything.
E: Absolutely. OK.
K: I am enquiring.
E: May I phrase it some other way?
E: You are trying correctly, as far as I am concerned, to establish the ground of what are we dealing with. And you say, can we deal with facts now and not theories about things. Fine. So the next moment you say brain, which I am claiming cannot be said unless we invoke theories.
K: I agree.
E: OK So how are these two things consistent?
K: The brain is the result of long evolution - right?
E: That is also a theory.
K: No, it is a fact.
E: Can we say that from what we are experiencing now?
K: That is a fact.
B: If I have a pain in my hand, there is a pain. But to talk about the brain is to talk about something I have read in a textbook. There are a lot of nerve cells and...
K: Yes sir, if I had no brain I wouldn't feel it.
B: But what we are saying is...
K: Nerves and all the rest of it.
E: That you don't know from the observations you are having now.
K: I don't understand your point.
B: We don't experience the fact of anything being in here, I don't experience the nerves, the connections.
K: Tell me simply, sir.
A: Yes, simply.
K: Sir, I am a stupid man so tell me simply.
A: What we are trying to say is that there are facts that are actually taking place now, and some facts that are in the future.
K: Not future, I said past. I said the past with all the memories, etc. etc. are also facts.
C: That's a jump. What we are saying is that really all you have is the fact of your pain, and then you have the fact that you want to be free of the pain.
K: That's all.
C: But when you make the statement, "the brain is responsible for the experience of pain", you have entered a whole new world of language. When using the word brain it connects you to assumptions that people have made about what a brain is, what a brain does.
K: I know nothing about that.
C: Well then you can't use the word. All you have got as fact is pain and that is all you have got.
K: Wait sir. All right. All that I have is pain.
C: You have got pain.
K: Pain. And also the fact I must be free of pain.
C: That is all you have.
K: That is all I have. All right proceed from there.
E: No, no. The point is, and I really appreciate it honestly, that to have these conversations and we are all biologists or scientists, so supposedly the enquiry has something to do with what science can contribute to it, maybe not but maybe yes, it's open. If there is something that science has to contribute, then it must address to what science can say. Things like brain, or atoms or whatever.
K: Yes, I understand.
E: So if you rip that apart and say, all we have is the moment you experience now.
K: No, I don't rip that apart.
E: OK. So we have to evoke brain, therefore we have to jump out of the immediate experience of now.
K: Yes, sir, agree.
D: So that in order to be free of pain we need nowadays to do something with the brain, with medicine or...
K: Yes, I go to the doctor, he gives me a pill and I take it and the pain is gone.
D: Yes, it influences the brain. Is that a fact, this process of getting free from pain, getting pills, or something, is that a fact or is that a theory?
A: Could we say that whatever goes inside the brain is the fact whether it is an illusion, whether it is a pain, or so on, but perhaps the difference is whether it is actually taking place in this moment or not.
K: Is that it? Is that it?
B: Could we ask you have the pain which is the fact, and the fact of you wanting to be rid of the pain, does knowledge and science have anything to do with the very next step? Does knowledge and science come in in the next step?
E: What is the relationship between the actual fact and...
K: ...and knowledge.
E: ...and knowledge.
K: Keep it to that. At last! What is the relationship between what is happening now, pain, and knowledge.
E: Such as brain, etc.
K: What do you mean by knowledge? Go slowly. I am not a scientist.
E: I am only an apprentice.
K: I am a human being. I am not a scientist. What do we mean by knowledge? What is knowledge? Knowledge is accumulation of various experiences, incidents. And those experiences can be enormous or very small. And all those experiences have become knowledge - right? Knowledge stored in the brain as memory. That's all. And from that thought.
E: Yes, absolutely.
E: I would add one more thing, which is, scientific knowledge is accumulated by language agreement between people. This is the fact, do we agree, yes we agree and so we put it aside and move to the next. So there comes this network of assumptions and presuppositions.
K: It is all that. I said that. Knowledge is all that. Now what place has knowledge, what is the relationship of knowledge to pain? It is not a question, it is a fact. If there was no knowledge I would have no pain.
E: Can you go slowly now please? You must go slowly at this point.
K: Please sirs, you are all scientists, you are all experts, I am not. I am saying, knowledge is stored in the brain, or in the heart, or wherever you like to call it, stored - right? And we function with that knowledge, as a carpenter, as a surgeon, as a psychologist, we function with what we have learnt as knowledge, accumulated.
K: I communicate with you in English, or French if you want it, or Italian, or Spanish. I know those four. So we can communicate with each other. So there is knowledge, accumulated, and what is the relationship of that knowledge to action? Let's put it that way. Not pain, let's leave pain for the moment. Would you agree?
K: There is this knowledge - right? And I have to act. Is action born of knowledge?
A: It seems to be that way.
E: That is the question you are asking?
K: I am questioning. Apparently it seems so - right? Agreed? So, of course.
D: In the brain, not always.
K: Leave the brain for the minute, we will come back to it a little later, if you don't mind.
E: It is not so clear because if I look at that I see that knowledge has something to do with it but with action, with the manifestation of a present situation.
K: So we have to enquire what is action before we...
E: To me it doesn't follow that it is just knowledge that...
K: Now wait sir. There is knowledge, we have come to that - right? What is action? Either action according to a memory, knowledge, from the past, or action which is an idea in the future, or an ideal. Either according to the past, or according to the future. I will do this. Right?
E: But what about the actions that your description doesn't cover? In my experience is those actions that seem to be born out of nowhere.
K: Wait, I am coming to that. Out of language.
E: Out of nowhere.
K: We will come to that in a minute. Right? Action born from the past, memory, I have done this, I will do that tomorrow. So what we know of action is born of the past or of the future.
A: So action involves information.
K: Information - right? Agreed?
K: Then that is a limited action.
D: Yes, limited.
E: It is limited by the knowledge you have.
K: Or knowledge which you have accumulated, which the race has accumulated.
A: The present, the past and the future, that is the...
K: When action is based on the past or on the future that action must invariably be limited.
D: Is there another kind of action?
K: Just a minute, we will come to that.
D: I am interested in that.
K: So is there an action which is not limited? Because if action is limited it must create conflict.
B: Maybe I haven't quite gone that distance. I don't quite go that whole distance. If every action born of knowledge must be limited...
K: No, I didn't say that.
B: Action born of knowledge must be limited.
K: Action - we first of all said action according to the past or to the future is limited.
E: By definition because you are acting on a limited resource of knowledge.
B: I pick up this glass and drink the water, now is that limited, does that lead to conflict?
K: No, no.
E: I am not sure about the leading to conflict but it is limited in the sense for example you are not a left hander but a right hander. And you pick it up with your right hand and not with your left hand, but I pick it up with my left hand. Why do you do that and I do this is because we have accumulated a different style of approach and it is limited. That is why you pick it up with your hand and not with your foot.
B: But can there be an action in that which is just a simple, mechanical self-contained action which begins and ends and that is the end of it?
E: OK Why is the limited action leading to conflict?
K: That's it.
E: Not necessarily, it can.
K: I am going to explain why. If I am thinking about myself all day long, which most people do, it is a very small action, a limited action. Right? When I am associated or identified with a nation, it is a very small action. Therefore there are wars. One of the reasons of war is nationalism, based on economic division, and so on and so on. Those are all very limited. Right? Agree?
B: Well these are psychological actions.
K: Even physical actions.
B: Well yes but are they to do with simple things like digging a hole, lighting a fire? Let's make a distinction between that and the larger actions which are motivated by nationalism or relationships.
A: It seems you know that you might have an action within the limitation that can be also be rational, it might not necessarily create conflict.
K: Of course.
A: It seems we understand. But I think you are addressing another question, which is, psychologically, when your action is based on the limitation there is conflict.
K: Just a minute. When I am thinking about myself, I am digging a hole for myself, it is small. Right? When I am thinking about my future, my problems, you follow, it is all enclosed, small.
A: So it is limitation that creates conflict.
K: Yes, naturally. Right? You are doubtful.
E: Yes, I am doubtful because it seems that when you say that if the knowledge has me has reference point it will create conflict.
K: That's all.
E: Question: does it have to have that me reference by necessity? Or is there not a possibility of a limited action, limited understanding, but which does not have me has a reference point?
K: There may be limited action, sir, when I am digging a hole, to take his example. But we are talking about a much wider issue.
E: No, even wider issues for example...
K: No, let me finish what I want to say. Any action born out of limitation must inevitably create conflict. If I am a scientist and I am only concerned with my career, with my investigation, with my research, you follow, and it is a very small affair. And I don't care a hang what happens outside in the world.
E: But is that a limitation of thought or it is a limitation of...
K: It is a limitation of thought, limitation of capacity, limitation of environment. I include everything.
D: How can you widen this?
K: Just a minute. We will come to that. You understand sir, are we communicating with each other?
E: I understand what you are saying but again you seem to me to be shifting from the nature of knowledge to the nature of a kind of knowledge.
K: No, no. We started with knowledge, we agreed. And I said, what relationship has action to knowledge?
E: And you said every action born of knowledge is limited and it creates conflict.
K: Yes, because knowledge is limited.
E: Yes, but again I am trying to examine that step of the relationship between the limited actions born of limited knowledge, which we agree is limited, to the conclusion that such actions necessarily lead to conflict.
K: I'll show it to you.
E: You invoked an extra quality to knowledge which is self-centred knowledge.
K: No, wait. We said knowledge and action - we both understand that - and action born of any limited knowledge the action also must be limited. Next step: such action breeds division. Let's take it step by step. Where there is division there must be conflict. Just a minute, he is working it out!
E: I must say that I can see the conflict arising only when this extra quality of having an absolute reference point to the division arises, such as me.
K: I say this, sir.
E: The division in itself is not conflictive. It the division plus a solid reference point that makes the division divisive.
C: Suppose you work in the laboratory and your knowledge is limited and you are working on this chemical, or whatever, you forget about everything outside. Now you may say there is no self in that but that phase a lot of conflict for the world. Your starting point is so limited, you don't take into account the whole environment, you don't take into account the implications of what you are doing.
E: I don't see that. Let's transport that metaphor to an ecological metaphor. If I take foxes. Foxes like rabbits. Is the limited inclination of foxes to chase these other animals a limitation because they do not take into account the entire eco-system. It doesn't seem to be the case. The eco-system is a very harmonious totality. Every part of it has a limited part but they all work as an harmonious totality.
K: We don't.
E: I mean the eco-system, not human beings. Human beings add something extra. What you are pointing out is something extra to knowledge, to limited knowledge, which is a solid reference point of 'me-ness'. This the fox does not do. It simply does what it does.
C: What is the distinction between difference and division. You seem to put differences and division into one part.
K: Sir, division, all right, let's stick to the word division.
C: No, let's make a distinction between difference and division.
A: What do you mean by difference and division?
C: In other words, foxes are different from rabbits.
E: And they only know how to chase rabbits.
C: And they only know how to chase rabbits. And that is a difference but that is not a division.
K: No. That tree is different from me.
C: And there is no conflict necessarily.
K: Of course not.
E: OK So we agree then that this step from knowledge that is limited and creating divisions or distinctions does not necessarily lead to conflict. Because for example the fox being limited in his knowledge of the world doesn't create conflict.
K: Sir, see what is happening in India, or in Beirut, or the Arab and the Israel.
E: Sir, I have been through a civil war myself.
K: Yes sir, I know that. So what happens? What has brought about this division?
E: It has been brought about by the division plus this sense of me being right.
K: Yes. That's all.
E: No, no, please understand me. I am not denying that point, I entirely see it, I think. But it seems to me that we have to separate that extra, which is the 'me-ness', or the self-centredness, from knowledge as such. Knowledge as such can exist in a limited way.
K: I understand. Knowledge as such in those books.
E: No, no, knowledge as such as, for example, my knowledge that I can pick up this glass of water, or larger knowledge of how to run an economy.
K: Of course, that is understood.
A: Are you trying to say...
E: I am trying not to put what seems to be a distinction of knowledge for a particular kind of knowledge...
C: I can't quite go along all the way on that, particularly with the foxes. I don't think that is a good analogy between foxes and humans. I think maybe we are going off the track.
A: Let's return to the question that all our actions seem to be born out of knowledge. There seems...
K: Yes, sir. And that knowledge, as we already said, is limited. So action is limited - right? Of course. Let's start from that.
And the next step for me: that as knowledge is limited, action is limited. And that is one of the reasons, or one of the causes of human division, in their relationship, the me, my ideas, my ambition, his ideas, his ambition, his competitiveness and my competitiveness, my aggression, and so on. This constant division is naturally breeding conflict in the world. That's all.
A: The next question would be...
K: Wait, wait. Let's agree to that. Right? And I say, for god's sake let's stop this conflict because it is killing human beings, the Russians, the Americans, the democrats, the totalitarians, you know all the game. The Arab and the Jew, the Muslim and the Hindu, the Sikh and - I say we are destroying each other - right? And I say to myself, is there an action, seeing all this, which is not limited? That's all. Which transcends this, goes beyond this, otherwise we can't solve this. I stick to my Indian, and he sticks to his Arab, and we fight - right? So can we communicate dropping your Arab and my dropping my Hindu, and as human beings let's solve this problem, not to kill each other. Right? So is there an action which is not divisive, which is not limited - right? Would you agree to that? Now how are we going to find that out? That's all my point.
E: It seems to me that you are asking two questions at the same time. If the hope to find a way in which this strife can be stopped.
K: That's one question.
E: We are fully agreed it is something absolutely essential, necessary. It seems to me there are two possibilities of answering. One, is the one you propose, which is: can we have an action which is not born out of limitation? But the other possibility is to say, is there not a possibility of learning action born out of knowledge, therefore limited, but which is not centred in defending the point of view of me.
K: Of course, of course.
E: Both are equally valid to me.
K: Of course, both are valid, and both are contained in this one question.
E: Both are contained in the same question?
K: Of course.
C: Now wait a second. Both are contained in this same question but there is another question: now we are all scientists sitting here in a sense, and one of the things that has come out of science, or investigation of the brain in a scientific way has been the fact that we never perceive anything except with reference to what we already know.
K: I question that.
C: I know you question it. But it seems to me that there is some sort of edge of discussion here, then if that is true then the only way we can discover an unlimited action, the only road that we can take is through that kind of situation.
K: I understand.
C: If that is not true then it may be possible to have an unlimited action. Now how can we discuss, you question if there is all this other statement to the effect that it questions you.
K: Yes sir, what are you trying to say sir?
C: Well I am saying that there is some question among scientists as to whether it is possible to have an action that is not born out of knowledge.
B: You are saying that perception...
K: Keep to that, keep to that.
C: Action goes from perception.
E: There are two separate questions therefore. One is, can we actually discover actions which are unlimited, and two, is that action something that can be possibly related to what science is.
K: To human existence, which is part of science.
C: You see what I am interested in is the fact that we really only know limited action.
K: That's all.
C: That's all we know.
K: Agree. Agree. Don't go on! And somebody, he comes along and says, perhaps there is an action which is not limited.
C: Exactly, yes.
K: Unless I am totally blind, and deaf and dumb and stupid, I listen to it.
D: I just wanted to go back, not to the brain because - yesterday I talked about small children. There is a stage in children where action is not that limited. It begins of course the limitation then, but in the beginning they have some quality of action which is not that limited. They are open to the whole of the environment, to the family, to other children. They don't distinguish between nationalities.
K: Babies, children don't. Later on they are trained.
K: But they are educated to hate the black and purple and blue.
D: May I still say one thing: when we grow older we have still this brain of the little child in our brain, in our mature brain. We have it, we know it, and as I see it we have in our brain - I beg your pardon, I am talking about brain - we have this part which can act, we know it, which can act quite unlimited, but not that limited. So I think we have to, as a scientist I am saying that, we have to find again being adult we have to find this childlike view. You understand me?
K: Yes, I understand you. Yes sir. You are also saying the same thing in a different way that there is in all of us a divine spark.
D: Yes, exactly.
K: It comes to the same thing! Please I am not laughing at it. Millions of people feel that there is in them something far superior than this ordinary brain, far superior to environment, economics, etc.
C: Krishnaji, if you take a small child, take a child of three months, an experiment that was done with a child three months old. And these children were hooked up to where they were sucking a breast. If they sucked that breast there was a picture on the wall... no, no, listen.
K: I am listening!
C: There was a moving picture on the wall, if they sucked this breast in a certain way - these were three month old children - the picture came into focus. In other words, the child responded at three months old positively to the picture coming into focus.
K: I understand.
C: There is something built into the organs which responds to focussing.
K: I understand all that sir.
A: May I say something, K raised a question as to whether there is an action not born out of limitation. How are we going to find out?
B: I think David added the question is there a perception, could there be any perception that it doesn't require knowledge?
K: Yes sis, yes sir.
E: OK Let's stick to that one.
D: But in the little child there is this kind of perception. Little children are still perceiving. I a little child.
E: Yes, but a little child is different but not because it is different, it is less limited.
A: Can we go back perhaps to the original question? We said there might be - let's perhaps say what is perception.
E: Let's continue with the investigation of how can we know, or come to know, this unlimited action, unlimited perception.
C: Is it possible? That's the whole question. Science says no, there is no such thing as unlimited action.
K: All right, finished.
D: No, science says yes.
K: Just a minute sir. There are millions of people in the world who say there is god. You come along and say that is just the invention of thought. The other says, all right, go to hell, I will go on worshipping. That's that. We are not in that position, I hope.
E: So let's investigate.
K: So we have to explore it. We have come to a point where we have said action born of limited knowledge is divisive, and therefore conflict arises where there is division. That's all we have stated. Then the next question arose: is there an action which is not limited? Right?
C: OK. Right.
K: Now, how are you going to find out?
A: Do you have any suggestions?
K: Go into it. I am asking, you are the scientists.
E: Well I said before, I agree entirely with David, from the point of view of the scientific framework there is no way to approach that question. But at the same time, as a human being, by examining my own being...
K: You are a human being, not a scientist. Thank god! We can talk as human beings.
E: I see, I am a human being. Fine. But also I happen to have this craft as a scientist.
K: Yes, yes, sir. That is of secondary importance.
E: Secondary important, all right. But as a human being when I observe my mind I do notice that there are certain actions I do which do not seem to come out of knowledge.
K: That's it.
E: But seem to be born out of themselves.
K: We will find out.
E: OK This is observation now.
K: Yes. So it may be false, it may be true.
E: It is observation.
C: Before we go on, I want to present him this question: is it conceivable, or isn't true, that in our scientific investigations very often when we think that this action is born out of an unlimited, it seems to appear that on further investigation we discover how limited it was. More often than not.
E: There is nothing I could counter to that.
K: I want to find out if there is an action which is not limited.
K: Which is not consciously or unconsciously connected with knowledge. The same thing.
C: Same thing, fine, there we are! That means that you have to be available from my most astute going after it to find out if I can find a way to show to you that really did come out of your knowledge.
K: I am willing.
K: What is your response sir to that question?
E: Oh, I think I said all I know.
K: I know what you said. But let's go a little deeper than that.
K: We are asking a question, is there an action in which there is no limitation? Right? The self is limited, the me - right? The self is knowledge. Go slowly. I'll explain. The self is a bundle of memories. Right? So as long as that self is acting there is limitation. Right? So is there an ending to the self, ending not continuing? That is the first question. To end the whole, may I use the word consciousness, with all its memories, with all its fears, sorrows, pain, anxieties, depression, faith, belief, the whole content of consciousness is the movement of thought. Right? Agree? That is the self. Right? That is knowledge. We said the self is a whole series of memories, it is a bundle, and as long as that action is born from there it is limited, therefore conflict. Agree to that?
E: Yes, yes, no problem.
K: So can the self end? It is only then there is action which is not limited. It is a logical step.
B: Yes, absolutely.
K: Can the self end? And the self is so deceptive, it can hide behind the most holiest things - right? And the most extraordinary imagination, and in the scientific - it can hide like a cockroach! Can that self end? Sir, the word mantra, you have heard that word, means that. The original root meaning of that word is ponder, think over, meditate on not becoming. And also put away all self-centred activity. The meaning of that word is that, the root meaning. You understand what I am saying?
E: Yes, I understand.
K: Meditate on not becoming, which is an immense factor. That means there is no psychological evolution - right? For the me. There is no me to evolve.
K: But we think there is me continuing, in heaven, in hell - you follow? I write a book, there it is, immortal! Or you throw it in the waste paper basket. So can the self, which is a whole series of memories and time, can that completely end, knowing that it is the most deceptive thing - right sir? Find out! I say it can totally end and live in this world.
E: Well, if indeed it can end, and you are saying you are still in this world...
E: It means that for example this person who has no self and who is in this world, drives a car.
K: Of course there he has to use self.
E: But then that means that that knowledge is there.
K: Of course.
E: So that action out of knowledge is limited.
K: Of course. But we said also...
E: So what is - now this is the question I am asking you...
K: It is simple, sir, it is simple, you can see it. Don't ask me, it is simple.
E: No, let me put it this way...
K: Sir, I have to write a letter, which means a great deal of knowledge writing the letter, sequence, the word.
K: It means tremendous knowledge is involved in writing a stupid letter. That knowledge is necessary.
E: Then its self-centred action.
K: It is not.
E: Why not?
K: If the self is not that is not.
E: But how could it not be self-centred action according to your definition of self, it is a bunch of memories.
K: Not my definition. At least we agreed. Don't say.
E: Wait a second, we agreed but I repeated at least a couple of times that at least to me there was a difference between knowledge, and self-centred knowledge, and that not all knowledge was self-centred knowledge. And there was a possibility...
K: Wait. I said sir, the self is knowledge.
E: Yes, so if there is no self there is no knowledge, that follows.
K: But I can use it. Just a minute, careful. So we have to enquire into something totally different, which is: what is intelligence?
E: OK. I am willing to enquire into that, but why do we have to do that?
K: I tell you why in a minute. I will show it to you. Where there is intelligence, that intelligence can use knowledge. And intelligence is not born of knowledge.
D: From where is it?
K: Take is slowly. You may all disagree, tear it to pieces, but I will go into it. Right?
So we have to enquire: what is knowledge? If knowledge can say, well I will use this, and nowhere else, knowledge has a certain place, but psychologically, etc. etc. it has no place whatsoever.
A: From what you say it seems to me that being free from the self doesn't mean that you are completely free of knowledge.
K: Sir, I said to drive a car, to write a letter, to talk a language - right?
E: Yes but we are back to the question.
K: That is why...
E: We have to be careful then.
K: We have settled all that.
K: What is intelligence? Is it born out of knowledge, born of thought? Sir, it required tremendous knowledge to go to the Moon. Tremendous - right? The work of three hundred thousand, or ten thousand people, co-operating, making every part perfect, to go the Moon. That is the intelligence of thought.
E: Yes, and then you are asking the question where does intelligence come from.
K: No, that intelligence is limited.
E: It is clear, yes. Yes, so when I examine what happens is that in thought there is intelligence that is proper to thought, which is limited, like when I resolve an equation.
K: Yes, limited.
E: And there is also an intelligence which seems again to have a quality out of nowhere.
K: We will come to that in a moment. We will come to that.
E: All right. Therefore to me there is the two intelligences.
K: Yes sir. Let's wait. There is the intelligence which thought has brought about.
E: In the logical sense.
K: No, rational, illogical, clever, cunning. The businessman is very intelligent in his business. A terrorist organizes beautifully to kill somebody.
E: There is an intelligence to build itself as ego.
K: So there is so-called ordinary intelligence born of thought, therefore that intelligence becomes cruel, kindly, you follow, the whole series of human activity, which is limited. Then is there an intelligence which is not born of thought? I say there is, I may be cuckoo. I say there is. And that intelligence can only come about - if you want to go into it I will go into it.
E: Yes but we have gone into investigating the nature of intelligence.
K: Yes, that's it.
E: Out of the quandary or the paradox of what you said before, in order to find out unlimited action I have to finish with the self, which was a collection of memories. But if I am finished with the self as a collection of memories it seems, from what we said even before, that there would be no knowledge, therefore that this person could not write a letter.
K: I didn't say that. On the contrary he can write a letter.
E: But if he writes a letter which requires thought...
K: That is why I said sir, let's enquire into intelligence which will then say, "I will use knowledge, and no one else".
E: I see. So intelligence is now the mediator.
K: Don't use the word mediator. Keep the word for a minute.
E: Right, so what is intelligence?
K: What is intelligence? If we say thought with its extraordinary capacity has created a certain intelligence, building a cathedral, most beautiful houses, gardens, furniture, implements of war - right? It is all the result of thought. The atom bomb - right? Such intelligence is limited. Agree? Now is there an intelligence which is not limited? Right? Now how do you enquire into this? Exercising thought...
C: Well we seem to...
K: Wait, wait, wait!
E: The same way you would investigate action which is unlimited, namely by observing, by completely observing without thought.
K: Is that possible, first?
E: Well it seems that it is possible.
K: Not a theory.
E: No, no, no.
K: Let's be clear. That perception is not based on thought.
E: Yes, right.
K: Keep that perception going.
E: Do you agree with that?
C: I don't agree, no.
K: Convince him please!
E: You mean it is not possible for you in a day that you are walking out of your house and all of a sudden, it is a very sharp beautiful day, and you open the door and you see the tree, and there is a moment when you simply see the tree, there is no thought coming in. The quality of the experience is that there is no thought, there is a gap in your thoughts and there is absolute purity of perception. There is a complete sense of present-centredness. The treeness of the tree is right there. And then thought comes up again. Isn't that an experience for you?
C: Well I think - I am going to play the devil's advocate. The devil's advocate is this, that I think in that very experience there are elements in which there is a sense in which we project out our knowledge.
E: Wait a second. I didn't say there was no knowledge. I said there was no thought.
K: Please just a minute. Is there a perception without the word?
C: Without the word?
C: I think...
K: Just answer step by step sir.
C: Well your step by step is sometimes - well you set up a question that is already a trap.
K: I am not trapping you.
C: Perception without a word, yes.
K: Without the network of words.
C: But there is a sense in which perception without the word is already based in some sort of knowledge.
K: No sir. I am just saying, look we have been through all this. Can you look at me without all the image, all the nonsense, just look at me?
C: I don't think we can, no.
E: Are you saying scientifically?
C: I am saying actual fact, I think in some way we are always operating out of some knowledge.
E: Can we take this slowly.
C: Very slowly.
K: I understand.
E: I can look at you, I think, I can look at you, or a tree, whatever, and not have thought.
K: Yes, sir, that is all I am saying.
E: Fine, fine. Question: when I see the tree, nevertheless I see a tree, I don't see a cat.
K: Of course not.
E: No, what he is saying, which I think is important, that that is knowledge.
K: Important sir, I have got it.
E: It is limited knowledge.
K: All right. Begin to move.
C: So there was a point.
K: I understand this.
C: But there is an important question here, Krishnaji, what is the relationship of intelligence to the actuality that I am saying you can't have a perception without knowledge?
K: We are going to find out, sir.
C: That's what I want to get at.
K: We are coming to the same thing in a different way. What is this intelligence, if there such intelligence, which is not cultivated by thought - right?
A: But it uses thought.
E: We don't know if it uses it yet. We have come to the point of seeing that there is an intelligence that seems to come out without based on a train of thought.
K: Yes, that's all I am asking. Is it temporary? Is it something casual, perchance? All those. Or is there an intelligence which is not intermittent, which is not fiction, theoretical and so on? Or imagination, deceptive, illusory, you know all the implication of all those words. I say there is.
E: How do we find that out?
K: Now I am coming to that. You are all - I am ninety years old. I have been at it for a long time!
What place has all this, what place has love in all this? Is love desire? Is love pleasure? Is love sensation? Right? Is it?
D: No, limited love.
K: Don't - love is love, not limited, unlimited. Go slowly sir. Is love desire? All the rest of it.
E: Why do we need to examine love now?
K: I will tell you in a minute, we will come to it! The ball is in my court!
E: So you are now asking us to examine the nature of love because it seems to be necessary to answer the question, of how to we get to examine, to understand...
K: Not get. How does that intelligence exist? I say it cannot exist without love.
D: What is love?
K: We are saying what is love. You understand? I say that intelligence which is not born of thought which is limited, that intelligence is the essence of love. Therefore I say, is love desire? Is love ambition? Is there love when there is pleasure and so on and so on. Or is love something outside of the brain? Do you understand sirs? Let me finish. You can jump on me afterwards. It is still my court!
E: OK that's the question.
K: And which means compassion. Where there is love and compassion there is that intelligence, which is not the product of thought. And that is not intermittent. That doesn't come and go. And that love is not the opposite of hate. Love has no opposite. Right? And compassion, love cannot exist if there is any form of attachment. I am a Catholic, or a Hindu, or a Sikh, and I am attached to my god, attached to my anchor and say I have compassion, then it is not compassion. Limited.
D: Yes, it is limited, yes.
K: Right Sir? Now proceed. Wait, wait! Get ready. To me, or to K that is the only thing that matters. If that does not exist the rest is all limited. And therefore you will have perpetual conflict between each other, between the world and so on and so on. That's all.
C: Are you ready for me?
K: Wait sir, have you understood what the speaker has said? What K said?
C: I think I have but I have a question.
K: Wait, wait. Have you felt it, smelt it, have you tasted it, have you swallowed it before you kick it?
C: I don't want to kick it.
K: Wait a minute, I am asking you.
C: I say, I think I have.
K: Sir, it means unconditioning the whole human, or the structure and the nature of thought. Right?
E: Now we have grasped that, and listened to that.
K: Now proceed. It is in your court!
C: May I ask you a question: a few minutes ago I brought up the fact of this three month old infant that drives the focus.
K: Sir, just a minute. I have seen it with my eyes actually, I don't have to look at that.
C: Fine. What I want to say is what can we say about that here we have a three month old infant that I told you about and this in a way is the basis for desire. In other words the desire for that focus.
K: Yes sir.
C: That is the essence of desire at three months old.
K: Yes sir.
C: Now given that back, the desire is so central to the brain, we will use that word, what is the relationship of what you have just said to this basic fact that desire is so...
K: Yes, sir, I will tell you. Then you have to ask what is desire.
E: I have another question which is related. We might be able to handle both of them at the same time. Which is that I have heard you, I have grasped it or felt it and then I have the question, how do I know it is true?
K: You don't know.
E: I don't know.
K: Which means?
E: Which means I have to investigate it.
K: With what?
E: Well this is exactly the point, with what? The only way I know is to observe very carefully what happens in my experience, which means that what I see is not the continuity of that intelligence but the intermittency of that intelligence. So how can you, beyond saying, actually make it possible for people to see that it is not just words?
K: Therefore you have to go into the whole question why, what is the place of desire.
E: Yes, that is why the two things are related.
K: What is the place of desire, and why has desire become so important in our life. You follow the whole movement of desire.
K: Have we time?
C: A few minutes. Not really.
E: It is up to you. I am happy to go on.
K: There are people waiting for lunch!
C: Well I mean this is a crucial issue.
K: Yes sir I will come to that.
A: We have got five minutes.
K: If there is no becoming psychologically, you understand sirs, there is no self. Theoretically it sounds all right.
C: You keep going back to this, in theory it sounds all right, but...
K: To see the reality of it and cut it.
A: How do you see that?
K: I mean he tells me, he has been at it for a number of years, he says, look, there is no becoming. Is it this becoming has spilled over from the physical becoming, becoming a clerk, stepping up the ladder - you follow? Is that movement spilled over into the other field and therefore you are still thinking in terms of becoming psychologically, inwardly. And don't let it spill. Expand from there. Then is there a becoming? I will be. I must not. I am comparing myself. So the ending of measurement. You understand? Complete ending of measurement, which is comparison.
Sir, is there an end to knowledge?
C: Well is there an end to desire?
K: No, sir. Is there an end to knowledge?
E: I don't see that.
K: Ask that question sir.
D: I think there is an end.
K: If we are functioning all the time within the field of knowledge it is very limited. Is there an end to something?
E: Is there an edge, a place where it is no longer there. Yes there is.
K: Sir, which means what?
D: That means we are not coming forward always with this kind of knowledge.
K: Sir, could I put another question? Can the brain stop chattering? Completely, empty? Only act when it is asked, like a drum, highly tuned, but it is always empty, it is only when you strike on it that it gives a note. Right?
D: What is emptiness?
K: That is what I am saying: is there an end to knowledge? Of course. That's another matter.
Brockwood Park 1984
Brockwood Park 2nd Brain Seminar 10th June 1984
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.