Bombay 1st Question & Answer Meeting 5th February 1985
Krishnamurti: Several questions have been put. I haven't looked at them. I think it is important to put questions, to really enquire into the nature of the questions, and why we put questions, and to whom do we put the question. Do we put the question to find an answer from somebody, or do we put questions to ourselves? If we put questions to ourselves, from what depth, or superficially, do we put the questions to ourselves? And where do we find the answer to our questions, to our problems, to our various complex way of life? Is it something outside of us or is it something that we have to delve very deeply to find out?
I don't - we don't know what these questions are. We will go into them presently. Is the question important, and does the answer to the question lie in the question itself? I hope we are meeting this question. Is the answer outside the question or the answer is in the question itself? Are you understanding my question? And how do we approach a question? With a desire to find an answer, with a motive, or put a question without a motive. Is that possible? I don't know if we are meeting each other, are we? Or is it too early in the morning? I hope you had a nice sleep.
We're asking whether the answer is outside the question or in the question itself. If it is outside for somebody to answer, then the question is not significant. But if the question is serious, and therefore the question itself has the answer. Right? We're going to find that out, because we're going to investigate the question, not the answer. Can we go along with this?
Suppose one has a problem. We are always wanting to find out the solution of the problem, the resolution of it. But if we begin to understand the nature of the problem, what are the implications of the problem, how the problem arose and investigate the problem, in that very process of investigation of the problem, the solution is in the problem. We're going to do that, may we? We're not going to answer the question. Probably the answer will come out when we look at the question closely.
1st QUESTION: In spite of all my love, care and attention, I don't know where I lack in bringing up my daughter. Good Lord! Can you throw some light on the best way of educating the child?
K: Right? Are you all parents? Probably you are not. If you are not parents you might want to be. We ought to enquire together into what we mean by educating a child. What do we mean by education? We are all very well educated - apparently. And what is the nature of a mother or a father in bringing up the child? That's really the question. You may love the child or you may not. You may want the child, as he grows up, to become an engineer or a scientist, a physicist or to have some kind of career like your own. And generally that's the ambition of parents. Right? Do we see this? And the parents generally want their children to follow their own particular pattern, or establish a pattern of life that is suitable for their livelihood and so on and so on. So we ought to talk over together the question: what is education? Why has education become so incredibly difficult? Why, as they grow up and if they are fortunate enough to go to college and university and get a degree, then search for a job, get married, have children, and the whole circus begins. Right? The whole problem begins.
So the question is, what do we mean by education? Is it a holistic education or only career-minded education? You understand my question sir? For the child, and all the problems of bringing up a child, if one has affection, tenderness, care - we always want to use the child either as a kind of doll - you understand what I am saying? Don't you know what a doll is? Don't we use our children to satisfy ourselves? No? Gosh, you are rather silent this morning. I'm asking, do we educate a child to face the whole problem of life, the whole complex, divisive way of life, or do we educate them to have a good memory, remember a lot of knowledge that they have accumulated during the fifteen, twenty or thirty years of education and then exercise those memories to acquire a skill and a job? And we neglect totally the other side of life, the psychological side of life. And we are asking, is education lopsided or holistic? You understand my question. Right?
What is holistic education? And what is partial education, limited education? The limited education is what is being done now - memorizing, memorizing, memorizing, not learning. There is a difference between learning and memorizing. Memorizing is fairly, comparatively easy: go to a school, learn all about history, geography, physics, science and so on; and you memorize, book after book, what the educator says. So it's stored up in the brain as knowledge, acquired through books and so on. That's what modern education is. And all through life that is in operation. We are asking, why do we neglect the whole area of the psychological field which is immensely important? Right? Is our education merely concerned with earning money, a job, livelihood and so on or is it concerned with helping a human being to live a way of life in which there is no division as the world and the psychological field? You understand? Is this possible? Is there any school or any university in the world where they are doing this? That is, to cultivate the brain as a whole, not a part of it. Are we meeting somewhere together? We are asking, is it possible for the cultivation of the whole brain, not part of it?
To understand this we have to investigate the whole structure of our consciousness, if you are willing to go into all that. The speaker - he is not saying this out of vanity or some kind of freakishness - has never read any philosophical book, nor read the Gita, the Upanishads and all that business. Why should you? Why should you be burdened with all the knowledge of what previous writers, previous thinkers, previous people who have experienced so-called religious experiences and so on, why should you read all that? Because we are asking, aren't you the story of mankind? You understand my question? Aren't you the history of mankind? Aren't you as a human being the book of mankind. If you know how to read that book, then you don't have to read any other book, except perhaps learn technological knowledge to earn a livelihood. Are we thinking together a little bit?
How do we approach this question: whether it's possible to cultivate the entire brain and not one part of it alone? That's the real question of education. Is it possible for the brain, which has lived over three million and a half years, according to the latest scientific statements, that brain which has accumulated tremendous knowledge, that brain which began with the animal and all the fears and the anxieties of an animal is still within our consciousness. Right? No, don't agree - please don't agree to anything I'm saying. Just listen to it. Our consciousness, our brain, contains all the animalistic reactions, fears, all that. That's part of our hereditary, because we have come from the ape and so on. And that is part of our consciousness. Right? Just listen to it. You may not agree, but find out. Now, we have been trained, educated to function only with part of the brain. That is, acquiring a great deal of memory, knowledge about particular subjects and with it's discipline to earn a livelihood. Right? To become an engineer, to become a specialized scientist, a physicist or psychologist. Right? We are trained that way, educated that way. And therefore we are only using part of the brain. Obviously. And the other part, the psychical part, is uneducated, is left alone. So our education is lopsided. Right? May we go on?
The poor mother has asked this question, it becomes rather complex. So is it possible, not only to cultivate knowledge, memory and also at the same time or at a different period cultivate, understand the whole psychological content of a human being? You understand? Both of them running together. Clear? Is this possible? The speaker thinks that is the only right kind of education. Not just the one kind of education, but to understand the other side - which is the psychological world - you are mankind, you are the history of man; you are the story of mankind. Obviously. Because you have suffered, you have gone through all kinds of trouble like every other human being, you are one with the rest of the world. So can you read the book of mankind, which is you? You understand my question? Can you, as a human being, not only educated in one direction but also as a human being you are the entire history of mankind; not the history of kings and queens and dates, but the experience, the sorrow, the pain, all that tremendously complex psychological world - can you read that book as you read an ordinary book? And we are not capable of doing that because we have depended on others to read that book for us. I don't know if you follow all this. Right sir? One depended on a guru, on a priest of a psychologist - unless you are a neurotic, but perhaps most of us are slightly neurotic. Can we read that book without distortion? Because if you are a good scientist or learning the beginnings of science, you have to be very precise, very clear, follow every discipline involved in that particular subject. So similarly, one has to read this book without any kind of distortion. Right? Is that possible? Is it possible for each one of us - not depending on any other to help us to read that book - is that possible, to read without any distortion? You understand my question?
As you see your face in the mirror when you comb your hair or shave, is there a mirror in which everything is reflected very clearly, distinctly, so that the book reflects in the mirror? You understand? You understand what I'm asking? Oh my lord, don't go to sleep, please. Suppose I don't know how to read that book, because my brain is slightly distorted, my prejudice, my nationality and so on. It is distorted. Therefore I can hardly read that book clearly. So can I be free of the prejudices I've accumulated? The book may be full of prejudices - probably it is - full of theories, suppositions. So I must be able to read it without all that, otherwise I can't read it. Right? So is it possible for me to be free of my prejudices, opinions, the conclusions which I recently have gathered - because the book may be full of tradition. You understand? Therefore I must be free of tradition to read tradition. Vous avez compris? You have understood this? Yes? It's rather interesting if you go into it.
I am answering the poor lady. She loves her child. She wants to bring up her daughter carefully, well educated and during the educational period she acquires all the nonsense of society. Right? She acquires all kinds - you know what is happening in the world, I don't have to go into all that. And she wants to know what to do. We'll first of all finish that 'what to do'.
Do we really love a child? Do you really love your daughter, your son? What does that love mean? If you loved your daughter or your son really deeply, then would you allow that child to grow up and be caught in this tremendous conflicting and insane world? Would you allow your son to join the army if you really loved him? Go and kill another, get maimed? We were taken into a hospital in America by a very well known doctor. It was a hospital very, very few people see, not allowed in. And there were people without arms and legs, without eyes, shattered faces, lopsided, wounded - appalling sight. That's the result of war. And their mothers have said, 'We loved our children', and they end up there, in that hospital. I wonder if you realize all this. Some have gone insane, put in straight jackets. So what do we mean by love? Do you want them, your children whom you love, to enter this insane world? It's a tremendous problem. But you have to enter into that world. You have to have an occupation. You have to earn a livelihood. You can't just withdraw from the world, because you are the world. So, the mother asks, 'what shall I do?' - knowing that society is so corrupt, so extraordinarily unbalanced. Every one is out for himself, self-interest. And the mother, what is she to do? Or the parent? So does love stop after a certain age? You've sent your child to a school, to a college and perhaps to a university - if you are lucky, if you have enough money - and let him go. We then get him married, and settled down. Right? That's what most parents are concerned about. And this is called love. We are questioning whether that is love at all. I'm not saying anything derogatory or impolite or disrespectful, but we question whether that is love. If you really, deeply loved, it would mean something totally different. There can be no love if there is self-interest. Right? This is a fact. If I am concerned about myself all the time, which we are, how can there be love? You may talk about it, romanticize about it, go to a cinema and see all that nonsense - about love and sex and you know all that business. So one has to go into this question of what is love, what is our relationship to the child, what's our relationship to the world and so on. That's one side of it.
And we are talking about whether you can read the story of mankind, the book that you are - if I can use that word - can you read that book? Not just at the beginning of the book, first chapter or a few lines of it but go through to the very end of it. It is possible only in the mirror of relationship. Right? Because in that mirror of relationship you see what you are, your reactions and responses, not only biological responses but also all the responses of ambition, greed, envy, flattery, insult. You follow? The whole content of your consciousness is revealed if you are very watchful, watching very closely, without any distortion. Then it is a movement, a holistic movement, learning a subject, that subject having its own discipline, like mathematics and so on, and also, as one is related always in life with everything - I am related to you, I am related to another - so, in that mirror, watching carefully without distortion, that requires tremendous interest and energy. Can this both be done? You understand my question? That is real education. Then you don't have to read a single book about the psyche. You can read lots of books about other things
2nd QUESTION: Why is it that we are not able to sustain attention for more than a couple of minutes?
K: Ask yourself your that question.
First of all, why do you want to sustain something all the time? You want to sustain pleasure all the time. Right? You want gratification. You want certain conclusions to be continuous. You want certain relationships to be lasting, sustained, nourished. Why this desire to have a continuity? You understand my question? You want to sustain attention. Why? Because somebody has told you attention is very important? Or you have discovered for yourself the nature of attention? Therefore you have to enquire what is inattention. You understand? What is important, is not attention but what is inattention, not attending. Right? We have divided the two. You follow? Not having complete attention and also lacking that, which is inattention, not attending. Now which is important? Important in the sense, on which should we look? Is not inattention more important than attention? Would you agree? Because if I understand what is inattention, then there is attention. Right? So what is not-attending?
We are talking over together now, are you attending all the time or only part of the time? Please, just look at it, answer, look at it for yourself, go into it for yourself. Are you really paying attention to what is being said now, or only for a few seconds or a few minutes and then go off to something else? Is there a sustained attention? Of course not. So it's important to understand why there is inattention.
Is there such a thing as inattention? You understand my question? Are you interested in all this? Inattention is distraction. Right? That's what you call distraction. Is there a distraction at all? I want to think about something and then that very thought goes off to something else, and going off I call distraction. Right? Is not thought itself a distraction? I wonder if you see that. I want to concentrate on this subject and I can do that only for a few minutes, and then thought goes off to something else, and the thinking about something else, instead of what I am supposed to be thinking about, is called distraction. But if I don't call it distraction but follow that. You understand? I'm concentrating on reading a chapter and I watch, I see that thought is also going off to something else. Then I say, that is a distraction. But I won't call it a distraction. To me that doesn't exist at all, personally. To me there is no distraction. Because I follow what you call distraction. I don't say, 'I must read this chapter or these few lines', but whatever direction thought moves, watch it, so that there is no sense of distraction, which means no division. I wonder if you see this. So that there is a watching, attention and non-attention. Then non-attention is attention.
See how we are distracted by words. The word 'distraction' is a very destructive process because you want to concentrate on something and therefore the other, moving away from that, is called distraction. Thought is always moving. It's never static. It's always in action - whether you are asleep, whether you are awake or day-dreaming or doing something or other - it's in action, it's in movement. And thought is a material process. I wonder if you have understood this. Because thought is based on memory, experience, knowledge and that's stored in the brain and the brain contains millions and millions of cells and those cells hold memories. This is a scientific fact. And they are always in movement. So one begins to discover the brain has its own rhythm, not the rhythm of thought. I wonder if you follow.
Now we're asking, is it possible to watch? To watch, to be absolutely watching all the time? That's really another form of asking, can I sustain attention? Is attention brought about through effort? And if you make an effort, is that attention? That is, practice attention. Lovely idea. Practice, day after day, watching your body, the movements, you follow, all the game you play with, and at the end you say, 'Yes, I've learnt attention'. Is attention a form of acquiring memory about attention? You understand my question? Is attention gathered through practice, through various forms of psychological training or there is attention only, not inattention? If you understand inattention, there is attention. And it's never sustained. Because why should you attend all the time? Then you can look at the stars. And also that requires attention. So, there is no distraction.
Q: Excuse me Krishnaji, may I ask one short question...
K: Come over here.
Q:... with regard to...
K: What sir?
K: I would like to understand your question, sir. It's s not quite clear.
Q: He wants to put a subsidiary question. He wants to ask you a question.
K: All right, go ahead, sir.
Q: You said that when we see or behave with somebody we can know what we are. But suppose if we are alone. When we are alone and just thinking, then is it not possible to know who we are?
K: Ah, when you are not related to anybody, is it possible to know yourself? Is that the question sir? You've asked the question sir, may I go into it? Are you alone at all?
K: No sir, just a minute. Do you know what that word 'alone' means? The etymological meaning of that word 'alone' means 'all one'. (Laughter) Just a minute sir, just a minute; I was only joking. I'm only playing with that word sir. Forgive me. (Laughter) Are we alone? Or you're always related to something? It may not be your wife or husband, you may be single, but you are related. You are related to nature, of which you are a part. You are related to the world. You are related to your mother, to your father, to your - and so on. There's no such entity as being single. Biologically you may be single, physically unrelated, but psychologically you are related to the whole of mankind. And then we say to ourselves, we are lonely - I mean single - and with all the problems of being single. Then I try to have a relationship with another and yet remain single. You understand? I may get married, have children, go to the office and all the rest of it, but I remain single because I am pursuing my ambition, and all the rest of it. So there is no person in the world, including the most lonely hermit, he's related, related to the past. Right? The tradition, to all the knowledge he has acquired and so on and so on.
3rd QUESTION: Does suffering and enjoyment have any bearing on the previous life and deeds of present life?
K: You are talking about reincarnation aren't you? and also that implies the word karma - cause and effect. Karma, I've been told, the root meaning of that word is action. May we go into this question? Seriously you want to go into it? Not that the others have not been serious.
What is action? Action means to be acting. Right? Not, I have acted or will act. Action means now. Right? Action implies, for most people, a past remembrance, a motive or a future intention or future ideal and so on. Either the past is directing, shaping the action, or the future shaping the action. Right? So that's not action. I wonder if you see this. Right? Action means the doing, the active present. But the active present is denied when you have a motive, a cause for action and a future action. So you are really, when you depend on the future or on the past, you are not acting. I wonder if you see this. For most of us acting is based on memory, on a motive. Let's be quite clear and honest about it. I flatter you because I want something out of you, I love you because you have given me something and so on. You play this game.
Now, the questioner asks, have I lived on this earth before and because I haven't done things properly the last life, therefore I am suffering now, and if I understand what is right action now, next life I have a better chance, a better house, a better wife, better refrigerator. (Laughter) Now, this is really a very serious question. I don't know if we should go into this.
What is the 'self', what is the 'I' that says, 'I must continue'? That there is a continuity from the past through the present to the future. That's one thing. Then the other is the cause - cause-effect which is part of karma. I have sown a certain seed, good or bad, and that flowers, smells bad or good, and the effect is that. Now, is cause permanent and the effect also permanent? Or the effect becomes the cause? Right? And that has another effect, which then becomes the cause. So causation is a movement. Right? I wonder if you understand. It's rather interesting if you go into it very carefully. The cause is, I suffer from disease, one of the causes. Suppose I've a bad stomach, because I've eaten the wrong food, drank too much and so on. So, if I don't eat properly, the effect is pain. Then I say, that pain must be controlled. I take a pill. But the cause still goes on, because I'm eating the wrong food. So, there is the continuity of cause and a superficial effect. Right? But if I see the cause as eating wrong food, I change it, the effect is health. Health is not a result. It is living properly. I don't know whether you follow all this. Logically it is all this. So, the cause is never permanent or the effect. The effect becomes the cause and so it's a chain, it's a movement. And the question really is, if you're interested, can this movement stop? You understand? This movement, which is, cause-effect, effect becoming the cause and so on, and this movement is of time. Naturally. Right? So I'm asking, need there be any causation for action? Right? You all look so sleepy.
Is there an action, per se, for itself, not for something? To understand that I have to go into the question of reward and punishment. The human being lives on this principle - reward and punishment - like all animals do. Right? If you've had a dog, you reward him when he does something properly. When you say, 'Come to heel' and you gradually train him through reward and punishment, giving him a biscuit when he comes to you, and you don't give him a biscuit when he doesn't. So he learns to depend on reward and punishment. And then gradually you say, 'Come to heel' - he does. You follow? And on the same principle we work. I haven't done things properly this life or past life. I'm paying for it now but the next life I'll be rewarded if I behave properly. Right? So its reward and punishment. Same principle. Now, can you act, live without a motive, without this principle of reward and punishment? Go into it sirs. See what the implications of it are. Not reincarnation, we'll go into that later. That's a very trivial matter. At least for the speaker - it's nonsense - I won't go into it now. Because one has to go into this question, what is continuity, what is ending and what is it that continues. You understand? These three things are implied, which takes some time to go into. We will go into them in the next two talks.
So I'm - we're asking, is there action without cause? Go into it sirs, see for yourselves how extraordinarily interesting it is, not just whether you believe in re-incarnation - that's rather silly, but to find out an action which has no cause, which has no motive, which has no self-interest. If there is self-interest, it's limited. If there is a motive, it is still further limitation. So action is never complete and therefore breeds problems, like you are doing politically.
So I'm asking, is there an action per se, for itself? There is, which is love. Love has no motive. Love has no reward or punishment. It's love. When there is that quality of love there is right action. Right action is not born out of clever thought. Right action takes place when there is the sense of holistic love - I can love my wife and love mankind, because it's love. It's not love to one and denied to the others. I wonder if you understand this. That's real compassion. And when there is that compassion, there is intelligence. And that intelligence has no opposite to it.
4th QUESTION: Is it possible to be aware with all your senses - eyes, ears, brain, nerves, etc., and so on, simultaneously?
K: Anything is possible. But how do we, as human beings, function? With all our senses or only with partial senses? You understand my question? Senses are very important - aren't they? Otherwise you couldn't live, touch, feel, taste, see, watch and so on and so on, hear, with all the senses fully awakened. But our senses are not. They are only partially awake. Right? Because it has been one of the doctrines of religions all over the world, to control your senses. Right? To control your senses so as to have energy for god. Right? Sexual senses, the sense of hearing - don't hear anything which it doesn't say in the book. Right? Don't listen to anything, because it may arouse suspicion, doubt, questions - don't listen. And another interesting thing, have you noticed: those people who live by the book - Muslims and the Christians - are very bigoted, narrow. I hope you do not mind my saying this? And those who have lots of books like Hindus, they play around. They are not so bigoted; they are tolerant; they absorb. And they consider that absorption great capacity, which it is not, it is just indifference. So, is it possible to be aware simultaneously, of all the senses in full action - aware?
Have you noticed a sunset with all your senses? Have you noticed the movement of the sea, the blue light and the movement of a wave, with all your senses? You haven't. Have you watched your wife with all your senses? No. Now, when you watch with all your senses, what takes place? You can't answer that question, because you have never done it. So we must not say what happens when all the senses are awake, functioning fully, but why is it that we are always partially responding, except perhaps sexually - partially responding - why? You understand? Partial responses of the senses. Why? Is it that we have given importance to one or two senses? Right? I'm asking you. Or we haven't even thought about all this? So if you begin to be aware of your senses, not choosing one sense better than the other sense but aware without choice, the whole movement of senses, not one part of it, but to watch our reaction to every sense, the taste, the hearing, the seeing, the smelling, the feeling, all that.
We live by that. We live by sensation. Right? And thought takes over the sensations. Haven't you noticed it? I don't want to go into all this, but it doesn't matter, let's go into it. You see something beautiful in the shop, a nice shirt, or a nice sari, or whatever you see in the shop. There is perception, seeing, going inside the shop, touching it, which is sensation - right - seeing, contact, sensation. Then thought comes along and says, 'how nice to have that shirt on me, it looks nice'. Right? So thought creates the image of you in that shirt or in that sari. Right? Then desire is born. I wonder if you are following the whole sequence of this? We are always fighting desire. The religions all over the world say, suppress desire, don't fight it, suppress it, get rid of it. You can't. Desire for god is the same as desire for a shirt, sorry! Because both are based on desire. So, seeing, contact, sensation. And not to allow thought - careful, I'm not saying you can't allow it. See the truth, the moment thought comes and builds an image, then desire is born, which is a fact, simple, observable, a daily fact. Now, sensations are normal, healthy, otherwise you would be dead. And to watch very carefully thought not building an image. You understand? And not letting thought create an image out of the sensation. I wonder if you understand this? I see that shirt in the shop. Then I go inside and touch the material and say, 'What beautiful material, hand made'. And then thought comes along and says, 'How nice it would be if I had it. I'll put it on. Nice blue'. Right? And when thought creates the image, then desire is born. Sensation has no desire. Of course. Sensation. I wonder if you see this? It's really important. Then to be aware of thought making a shape out of sensation, giving it an image, then the conflict of desire. Now, is there an observation, which requires great, clear, correct, without any distortion, without any compulsion, to see thought. You follow? Not allow thought to react immediately, so that there is a gap. You understand? You follow? Do it, do it and see what happens.
Q: May I ask a question sir?
K: Yes sir.
Q: A question further to what you have said that. Why every sensation or ever reaction of the brain is always in terms of a thought?
K: What is it? I haven't understood the question. Why everything turns to thought?
Q: Why every sensation turns into thought.
K: I know, that's what we are saying. Every sensation, why is thought interfering with every sensation. Right?
Q: Yes, that's the question.
K: Why do you think it does? You answer that question. Don't ask me. I'll tell you later. Don't ask another any question; find out. You are so lazy; that's what it is. We live by thought. Right? That's the only instrument you have now. And thought has created the most amazing things in the world. Thought has brought about tremendous chaos in the world; which is war, separated nations, separated economy. Thought has created religions and separated the religions. Right? So thought has done immense harm in one direction and great good in the other direction, like having better sanitation, communication, marvellous surgery. Have you seen the news - they have invented an artificial heart and implants and so on. They are doing incredible things. So thought is the way of our life. And that thought is very limited, therefore it is creating chaos in the world.
We never ask is there another instrument? Is there another perception which is not thought? Right sir? Now that requires a great deal of going into, not just verbally, but doing it. There is that instrument which is insight, in which there is no memory, no time, no future, it's instant perception. And that perception is action, not separated. I won't go into it now because that takes too long.
K: Sir, I've got a question here.
Q: Can we come out of this world of thought by any effort.
Q: Can we come out of this world of thought through any effort?
K: Can you come out of the world thought with effort? Right? Who is the maker of the effort? Does not the maker of the effort, thought also say, 'If I get out of this I'll have a better reward'. You see we put these questions without thinking it out for ourselves. And the speaker is not going to help you. Doesn't want to help you. But we can talk over together. We can have a dialogue together so that both of us see the same thing clearly.
5th QUESTION: I don't follow doctrines and commandments of divine souls. So I feel fear that they may do something wrong to me. I always feel uneasy and live in a fearing condition. Please guide and advise me.
Divine souls doing something wrong to you? Sir, we've got the most extraordinary ideas. Perhaps they are pathological and neurotic - that somebody evil, evil souls, are controlling us, shaping us, telling us what to do. And there are good souls, divine souls, saying, 'Don't do that'. Advising the opposite of the evil birds. Why are we so frightened of curses, of some people doing us harm psychologically, black magic? You know all that dark side of this country. You know it very well - the dark side of this country. Not that the other countries don't have dark sides, but it's not so pronounced. Why are we always caught in this, somebody doing me harm? Aren't you doing harm to others? Aren't you doing harm to those poor people who have one meal a day?
Sir, really the question is, there is good and bad, right? Let's keep to that simple thing. The good and the bad. The noble and the ignoble and so on. Is good related to the bad? Now, careful, don't say, find out. Is the good related to the bad? If it's related then it's not good. Right? So, is the good conjured up by thought? Careful. So sirs, society says, this is good. The commandment says, 'Don't do this', 'Don't do this', 'Don't do this'. And religions all over the world lay down a moral way of living; don't kill, don't steal, don't do this, all religions have done it. And we do quite the opposite of all that. 'Don't kill', we kill. Right? 'Don't cheat', we cheat. 'Don't have double standards' and so on. We all do the opposite. So why do you bother about commandments, whether they are divine or not divine, whether they are straight from the horse's mouth - you know that phrase? All right, I won't use that phrase. Straight from some saint or some god or other. Why do we accept these commandments? It seems so absurd - which means, trying to live something which is not natural. So, why don't we change what is natural? Not follow commandments. I'm greedy. All right, I'm greedy. And I'm also envious and all the rest of it. I'm envious, which is part of greed. I like to be envious, what is wrong with it. But the commandment says, don't be envious, don't look at another man's wife and so on and all the rest of it. Why am I greedy? That's my problem, not somebody else's problem. So, why am I greedy? Because my whole education is to have more, more, more: more money, more this, more that. Right? Isn't that so? The more, the better, which means comparison, which means measurement. Right? Measurement. I compare myself with you. You are bright, intelligent, beautiful, etc., I am not. So in comparison with you I become dull. If I don't compare with you, am I dull? I am what I am. I can move from there. But if I am always comparing myself with you, I become exhausted, fighting you, jealous of you. Right? So, I won't compare at all. Have you ever done it? Never compare yourself with anything.
You know, if you have been to museums, on one side there is Michelangelo and on the other side some other, and so on. Can you look at that picture without comparing it with another picture? Can you see that old, ancient picture, looking at it without any side distractions, which is comparison? Just look at it. Can you look at your wife and yourself without comparing. Have you ever tried to do this, to live a life without any comparison? That's real freedom, the beginning of freedom, when there is no measurement of your becoming something, except in the business world perhaps - but even then. But inwardly, psychologically, there is no measurement. Which means, that you don't get better and better in violence. You understand? Which is called non-violence. I wonder if you see the joke of this. Better and better in violence - which is what you are all doing. So if the brain, which has been conditioned to measurement, to comparison, can put that completely aside then there is that quality of freedom. And it's only when there is that depth of freedom or just freedom, there is also love in it. It isn't just you are free - that's nonsense. When you are aware that you are free you are no longer free. When you say, 'I know', you no longer know. You understand all this? We'd better stop.
Bombay 1st Question & Answer Meeting 5th February 1985
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