Saanen 2nd Public Talk 10th July 1985
May we continue with what we were talking about the other day? I think it is important to realize that this is not a personality cult. The person called K is not important at all. But what is important is what he is saying, not what he looks like, his personality, and all the rest of that nonsense. So please, if one may point out carefully and definitely, that the person who is speaking on the platform is in no way important. So this is not a personal cult with all the nonsense that goes with it.
We talked about the other day various forms of conflict, what is the cause of it, why does one throughout the beginning of mankind, two and a half million years ago or so, why man, including of course the woman, why have they lived in conflict and have never solved that problem at all? And throughout the ages, during this long period of evolution, of many, many millenia we are still in conflict with each other, between man and woman, between human beings, between a group of people, between nations, sexes, religions, this has been going on for thousands of years. I am sure one is aware of all this.
Either we are utterly indifferent to what is going on, the terrorism, the brutality, the appalling cruelty, all that hideous things that are taking place in the world - who is responsible for all this? As we said the other day, this is a serious gathering, not just spend a good morning under a tent, or listen to somebody, but this is a serious, active, co-operative, definite gathering.
We were asking too this morning, who is responsible for all this? The responsibility, which implies care, attention, to what is not only - what is taking place outwardly in the world, but also inwardly in all of us, who is responsible for this? Are the politicians responsible? That is, let them do what they want to do, because we have elected them in the so-called Democratic society. In the Totalitarian states they are not elected, they just come to power and dominate the whole. All that is going on in the Communist world. So again who is responsible? The religions? The Islamic world? The Christian world? The Hindu world? Buddhist and so on? Or are we responsible, each one of us? Please do consider this. Is each one of us, living in this world, in this environment, not only in lovely Switzerland but also all over the world, is each one of us, you, sitting there and the speaker here, are we responsible for all this? When you put that question to yourself - I hope we are doing that - are you responsible for creating this appalling world, dangerous world, the brutal world and the terrifying? If you have gone to various countries you see all this, enormous poverty, and those who are terribly rich, high position, born to it and for the rest of their life they have got their riches, castles, mansions and so on. There are millions upon millions of poor people, starving. Who is responsible? If you are responsible because you are, as we are, responsible for creating this society, we have created this society around us, the culture, the religion, the gods, all the rest of that ritualistic repetition and sensation. Because we are angry, greedy, violent, disorderly, hating and only limiting our affection to a very, very, very small few, and we, each one of us, have created this society in which we live. Is that so? Is each one of us responsible? Or you say, "I am sorry I am not." Or you are indifferent to the whole thing as long as we are safe in a particular country, protected by frontiers.
So we come to a very serious question. What is order? And what is disorder? Please we are discussing, or going together over this question. We are deliberating over this question. Not that you will accept, or in any way acquiesce to what the speaker is saying, then that would be utterly futile. But if we could together take a very long journey, not only intellectually, verbally, but much more profoundly. Why the society, which we have created, each one of us, which is creating such terrible disorder, cruelty and all that, are we responsible for all that? And are we different from society, the thing that we have created? Or must there be order first at the house, at our house? Not only in the outer walls of a house, and garden, or the valley, but also the inward world in which we all live, the subjective world, the psychological world. Is there disorder there? You understand my question? I hope the speaker is making it quite clear. As long as we live, each one of us, in disorder - we will go into the question of what is disorder in detail - as long as we live in disorder psychologically, subjectively, inwardly, whatever we do will create disorder. The Totalitarian states have said by changing the society, the environment, forcing them, compelling them, will change humanity, the human brain. They have not succeeded. There is constant dissent, revolt and all the rest of it.
So if you see this, that we have created this disorder and this disorder is the society in which we live then what shall we do? Where do you start? Do you want to change society? The social reform, the do-gooders, the men who want to alter laws, through terrorism, through compulsion, through, all the rest of it? Or do you put your own house inwardly in order? Is the question clear? If it is not clear we will go over it again. That would be rather an empty waste of time.
So how shall I, or you, put our house in order? Because that is the only place I can start, not outward reforms, outward change of laws, form United Nations. There if I may digress a little bit, we were invited to speak there last year and this year. One of their big shots got up after K had spoken and said, "At last after forty years of working in this Institution, very hard, I have come to the conclusion that we must not kill each other." (Laughter) Forty years! And we do the same, hoping something will happen out there, something that will compel us, force us, persuade us, drive us. And we have depended on the outer, outer challenges, outer wars and so on.
So what shall we do? It is no good joining little communities, following some guru. That is total irresponsibility. Giving, surrendering oneself to somebody, who calls himself enlightened, lead you to... whatever he will lead you to, generally money and so on. So how shall we start inwardly and bring about order? Order implies no conflict, doesn't it? No conflict in oneself, completely no conflict. We went into the question the other day, what is the cause of conflict? Volumes have been written about it. Psychologists, psychiatrists, therapeutists and so on have explained verbally, millions of words have been spilled over, and yet we remain, all of us, in conflict. Where the mind, the brain is in disorder, which is the essence of conflict, that brain can never be orderly, simple, clear. If that is taken for granted as a law. Law of gravity, the law the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. That where there is subjective or inward conflict there must be disorder. Look into it please carefully. [Noise of train.]
And what is the nature of disorder? Not what is order, because a confused mind can invent order and say, "That is order." A brain that is caught in illusions, as most people are, then it will create its own order out of confusion - right? So what is the nature of disorder? Why do we say there must be order and then be in disorder? You understand? Why do we separate the two? You understand? We say we realize we are in disorder, which is fairly simple, and then we are seeking order out of it - right? That is, the politicians know there is disorder - right? And they are seeking order - right? Is this clear? Of course. Not only the politicians, each one of us, we know our life is in disorder. Go to the office in the morning from nine until five - what a life you lead! Nine to five, or twelve to midnight, or whatever it is, and struggle, fight, ambitious, greedy, aggressive, climbing the ladder, and come home and be very docile - right? Or submit to your wife, or husband, or whatever it is. So there is disorder in this. Then there is disorder and all the time the brain is seeking order, all the time because it cannot live in disorder. It cannot function clearly, beautifully, exquisitely, its highest capacity when there is disorder. Therefore there is a slight search for order - right? In all of us. So we are asking: why is there this division? You understand? Order and then living in disorder. I don't know if you are following all this - right? Don't be puzzled, there is nothing - it is very simple. We live in disorder, that is certain. Why bother about order? Right? Let us see if we can clear up disorder. Then if you clear it up then there is order. There is not this conflict between disorder and order. You understand?
Look: it is fairly simple this. We are violent people, aggressive, not only physically but also psychologically, inwardly. We want to hurt people. We say things brutally about others. Violence is not merely physical action, activity, but also violence is psychological, aggressive, imitative, comparing oneself against another and so on, all that is a form of violence. Right? We are, by nature from the animal and so on, violent. And we don't stay with that, recognizing I am violent, but we invent non-violence - right? We say, "I mustn't be violent" - you understand? Why bother with not being violent? You are violent. Let's see, stay with that, hold with that, not move away from that, then we can examine it together and then see how far we can go to dissipate it. But if you are constantly struggling to become non-volent then you can't solve the problem. Because when you are trying to become non-violent you are all the time sowing the seeds of violence. You understand? Right? I am violent, I hope one day to be without violence, that one day is pretty far away and during that interval I sow, I am still violent, perhaps not so much but still violent. So I say don't let me bother with not being violent, let's understand violence, what is its nature, why it exists, is it possible to be free of it completely? Right? That's much more interesting and vital than pursuing non-violence - right?
So similarly it is important to understand disorder, and forget about order. Because if we understand and move out of that intellectual, verbal understanding, then we can find out to live a life which is completely non-violent. Right? I hope we are clear on this matter.
So what is disorder? Because the brain is not seeking order, it is not concentrated, attentive to discover what is disorder. This is a dialogue between you and the speaker. Don't wait for him to answer that question, then you will just repeat. But if you can discover, find the truth of it, it is yours, then you can act. But if you merely listen to what the speaker is saying then you repeat, you don't know, "I don't understand, it is so difficult" and all the rest of that nonsense. Right? So what is disorder? To say one thing and think another - right? To act in one way and hiding your own thoughts, feelings, in another way. That is only a very simple matter. That requires great honesty, to say things what you mean. Not what others have told you what you mean. Right? Probably all of you have read a great deal so your brains are full of all the other people's knowledge, other people's concepts, prejudices, added to your own. So you repeat. But you never sit down, or walk in the woods, and find out what is disorder. And to find out one has to have tremendous honesty. Face things as they are. If I am afraid, I am afraid, I don't pretend I am not afraid. If I have told a lie, I say I have told a lie, not defend it, cause, you know all the game around it. So if each one can face exactly what one is, not what one should be. Are we together in this? We are walking the same road together, for the time being? So gradually, or instantly, you find out for yourself the causation of disorder. That is, there must be disorder where there is conflict of any kind - right? Either physical, or subjective, or psychological. And conflict exists when there are two opposing factors in life, the good and the bad - right? Is the good something totally separate from the bad? Or is the good partly bad? You understand? Am I making myself clear? No.
What is bad? And what is good? Obviously to kill another is bad, in the name of God, in the name of etc. etc., another human being. And what is good? To be good. Are you waiting for my description? Probably you have never gone into all this. Is - we will go into this rather interesting subject. Is the good separate from the bad? Or does the good have its roots, its beginning of the bad - you understand? I won't ask if you understand. It is silly on my part. There are two elements in human beings, the good and the bad. The bad I say to be angry. The good is not to be angry. But I have known anger - right? And when I say I mustn't be angry, I will be good, the good is born out of my anger. No? When I say, "I must be good" because I have known the bad. Right? If I don't know the bad I am the good. Not the goods! I am the good. You understand this? I wonder if you understand. That is as long as I am violent I don't know what is the other. If I am not violent then the other is. So is the good born out of the bad? And if it is born out of the bad, the good, then it is not good. Right? Are we together in this? It seems rather mystifying, but please it is not. It is very simple. That is why I said please let us think simply, clearly, without prejudice, without taking a bias.
So love is not hate - right? If love is born out of hate then it is not love. Is that clear? If I - I don't, the speaker does not hate anybody, but suppose he does, then he says, "I mustn't hate, I must love", that is not love. It is still part of hate. It is a decision, it is an act of thought. And thought is not love. I won't go into that now, for the moment, we will go into it.
So can we, each one of us, feeling the responsibility that we have created this society in which we live, which is monstrous, immoral, beyond imagination, what we have done, can each one of us living in this world, in this society, be utterly free of disorder? That means to be free of complete end of conflict, end of this feeling of duality in us. Duality, the opposing elements in us. So is it not a matter of being tremendously aware - you understand? Aware of every thought - right? Can we?
So that leads up to a certain point: what is thought? What is thinking? If you are asked: what is thinking, what would be your answer? Thinking. You are thinking now. But I am asking you, the speaker is asking you: what is thinking? And you begin to think. And all our life is thinking and sensation - right? Sensation, it is my clock, the child says, "My book", "That's my swing" - so what is thinking? By thinking mankind has sent a rocket to the moon. But that thinking also put a flag up there, which is so... you follow? Go all the way up to the moon and put a flag. [Laughter] No don't. See what thought is doing. Tremendous invention, concentration, co-operation of thousands of people, training and they go up there and do the most... [Tape turns over] And so thought has created the whole world of technology - right? Astonishing things they are doing, of which we have very little imagination, or we know very little about it. The computer, the extraordinary submarines and so on and so on. All that has been done by thinking - right? And it has built the most extraordinary buildings - right? So when you write a letter you have to think, when you drive a car it is almost automatic but you have to think what... and so on. So thinking has become extraordinarily important for all of us - right? Thinking is part of our programme. We have been programmed. I am a Catholic, you are a Protestant, I am a Muslim, you are a Hindu, you are a Communist, I am a Democrat - you follow? It is part of our conditioning - right? Which is, we are being programmed, newspapers, magazines, the politicians, the priests, the archbishop, the pope, you know the whole thing, we are being programmed. So thinking is what? Why do you think? Why do you think at all? Why don't you just act? You can't. First you design very carefully what you are going to do, is it right, and wrong, is it should be, should not be, and then your own emotions, sensations say it is all right, all wrong, and you go and do it. All this is a process of thinking. Right? Should I marry, should I not? That girl is right, that girl is... [Laughter]... or the other way round. So thinking has done an extraordinary amount of harm, war - right? Hate, jealousy, wanting to hurt others. So what is thinking? The good, so-called good and so-called bad thinking - right? Right thinking and wrong thinking, but it is still thinking. Right? Oriental thinking and Western thinking, but it is still thinking. What is thinking? Don't wait for me. Put yourself that question. What is thinking? Can you think without memory? (Coughs) - sorry. You cannot think without memory. Then what is memory? Go on. Put your brains into it. Remembrance? Long association of ideas, long bundle of memories. Then you ask: what is memory? I remember the house I lived in. I remember my childhood. That is what? The past. Right? The past is memory. You don't know what will happen tomorrow but you can project what might - it might what, what it might do. That is still the action of memory in time. Right?
So what is memory? How does memory come? This is all so simple. [Noise of train] Memory cannot exist without knowledge. Right? If I have no knowledge of my accident in a car which happened yesterday - it didn't - that accident is remembered. But previous to that remembrance there was the accident, which was the knowledge - right? The accident becomes a knowledge, then from that knowledge is memory, yes, memory. If I had no accident there would be no memory of an accident. You can imagine other people's accidents. So knowledge is based on experience - right? So experience is always limited. I can have more experience, more varieties of experience, not only physical, sexual, but also so-called inward, experience of some illusory god and so on and so on. Right? So experience, knowledge, memory, thought. Right? So knowledge - experience being always limited, always, I can't experience, experience the immensity of order of the universe - right? I can't experience it. But I can imagine it. It is marvellous! So experience is limited and therefore knowledge is limited, whether in the future or now because all knowledge is being added, more and more - right? Scientific knowledge is based on that. From before Galileo and so on and so on and so on, there has been added, added, added. So knowledge is always limited whether now or in the future - right? So memory is limited. So thought is limited. Right? This is where the difficulty is. Thought is limited. Thought has invented gods, saviours, rituals, Lenin and Marx and Stalin Limited, their knowledge. So thought, whatever it does, noble or ignoble, religious or non-religious, virtuous or not virtuous, moral or immoral, it is still limited. Whatever thought does. Right? Are we together in this?
So can thought bring about order? Because thought itself being limited maybe the source of disorder. I wonder if you capture this? You understand my question? Very interesting. Go into it. Anything that is limited must create disorder. If I am a Muslim, which is very limited, I must create disorder. If I am an Israeli, it is limited, I must create disorder. Or a Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and all the rest of it. Right? So is thought the very root of disorder? Go into it. Please be sceptical, don't accept a thing that the speaker says. Find out, investigate, not tomorrow, now sitting there, go into it, find out. Put your passion into it, not your fanaticism. Then you will begin to discover.
So we have lived so far after two and a half million years, or less, or more, as human beings, in a state of violence, disorder, conflict, and all that is brought about by thought - right? All of it. So I begin to enquire, one begins to enquire: is there something else which is as active, as clear, as precise and energetic as thought? You understand? One discovers, say, K discovers that thought is very limited, long ago. Nobody told him but he discovered it, or came upon it. And then he begins to ask is there another instrument like that? Right? Thought is within this brain, within this skull - right? The brain is the holder of all thought, all memories, all experience. It is also all emotion, sensation, nervous responses. It is the vast memory that is held there, racial, non-racial, personal, you follow, all that is there. And the centre of all that is thought. It may say, "No, it is something else", it is still thought. When it says it is seeking super consciousness, it is still thought.
So one asks, K asks is there another instrument, not this, another instrument, or not an instrument, a way, a movement which is not of this kind? Right? Are you asking that question? Right? If you are asking it who is going to tell you? Is thought going to tell you? Be careful please. This demands great subtlety, skill because thought can be very deceptive. It says, "All right I have understood thought is limited" but it is still active. And then it begins to invent. "I know thought is limited but God is limitless, and I am seeking God." Thought is limited but it invents the rituals, the Middle Ages' robes, of the monks and the priests and all the rest of it.
So to find that out, can the brain - this is a very - can the brain use thought, act thoughtfully when it is necessary - right? - and otherwise no thought? You understand? Can the brain when necessary use thought? Or live with thought both when you drive a cars, when you eat, when you write a letter, when you do this and that, it is all the movement of limited thought. That is when necessary thought can act. But otherwise why should it chatter all day long? You understand?
So is there another instrument which is not at all thought? Which is not put together by thought, or conceived by thought, or manufactured subtly by thought? You understand? Find out. That requires the understanding of time. May I go into it? You aren't tired? Well you have paid for it so it is up to you!
You have to understand what is time. Not the time of the rising of the sun and the setting, which is also time. The time of the new moon and the full moon. The time of day from morning until evening, twenty four hours. Time is also all that happened in one's life which are a thousand yesterdays - right? And all that might happen tomorrow. Time is horizontal and vertical - right? The going up and linear. And time which is the past, time now, sitting here, and time also is tomorrow. So this is the cycle in which we are caught. A thousand yesterdays, many days in our life, and before I die there will be some more days. So this whole movement, the cyclical movement is time - right? Are we? Right? Time is necessary to evolve from the little seed to the big tree - right? From the little baby to the grown up man. There is the physical time and also there is psychological time. I am this, but I will be that. To become that I need time - right? You are following all this? So the brain lives in time. The brain has been cultivated, grown, evolved through time, from the most primitive now to the most sophisticated, it took time. So this whole movement of life as we know it is time - right? Right? Is that all?
Then we know what was yesterday. You may remember your childhood, you may remember your life twenty years ago and ten days ago, which is the past - right? Following? Which is the past. That past is the present, slightly changed, slightly modified by present circumstances. Are you following? Or am I talking to myself. Don't go to sleep. Another ten minutes please. Don't go to sleep or get bored. It is your life we are talking about, not my life. It is your life, your daily life. What it actually is, not what it should be. Your daily, monotonous, lonely, desperate, anxious, uncertain life. And that life is part of the movement of time. Time is also that time coming to an end when I die. So we are concerned with time. I will have a better job if I keep at it. If I get more skilful I will have more money. Right? All that is time. And yesterday, many yesterdays, being slightly modified by circumstances, by pressures, is now - right? Do you see that? All that has happened from a thousand yesterdays becomes slightly polished, slightly modified and goes to the future - right? The past modifying it self through the present becomes the future - right? So the future is now. I wonder if you see this. Right? This requires - please just give it a little time. That is I lived in India, with all the cultural superstitious beliefs, dogmas, traditions, immense traditions of three to five thousand years old, immense traditions, you were brought up on that and you lived there in that little small circle of Brahminism - right? And if one wasn't awake you remained there all the rest of your life until you die. But circumstances, economic circumstances, travel, this and that, makes you drop this - right? So the past tradition of three to five thousand years is now changed through modification, which is through economy - right? I have to earn more money. My wife, my children, must have more clothes. But the past is still moving which becomes changed through circumstances - right? And the change goes on into the future. That is clear. So you ask: what is the future? Ask yourself: what is the future? What is your future? Is what you are now is your future, modified, but it is still the future. Right? So there is a continuity from the past, slightly changing, to the future. Right? We have lived on this earth as human beings, homo sapiens, for two and a half million years - right? And we were savage then and we still are savages, but with clean clothes, shaved, clean, polished, but inwardly we hate each other, we kill each other, we are tribalists, and all the rest of it. We haven't changed very much. Right? You understand this? So the future is now. I wonder if... Because what I have been I am still modified, and I will go on like that. So the future is now. Unless I break the cycle the future will be always the now. I wonder if you understand this? It is not very difficult. Please don't make it difficult. It is very simple. I have been greedy for the last thirty years and that greed becomes modified because I can't earn so much, satisfy myself so I am still greedy but it goes on - right? So unless I stop greed now tomorrow will be greedy. I wonder. It is very simple.
So our question then is: can 'what is', the past, change completely end, then you break the cycle. When you break the cycle the cells in the brain themselves change. We have discussed this matter with brain specialists - don't bother with all that. You see Sir, I have lived 80 years - I am 90, the speaker is 90, don't sympathize with me for God's sake, just 90 [laughter] - all that has happened during these 90 years, or 50 years, or 10 years, or even 10 days, is the past - memory, experiences, talking here, there, small audience, big audience, reputation and all that nonsense, all that is in the past. And he feels important sitting on a platform, his reputation, and he must keep up that reputation, otherwise... So he wants this reputation, sitting on the platform, all that business, to continue - right? But he may get old - not may, he is old - and he may lose the audience because his brain might go gaga [laughter] - no listen to it carefully please listen, it is not a matter of laughter, it is funny but just look at it. His brain may go senile and he will be stuck. So what happens? Unless he is free of the audience now, his reputation now - you understand? - end it. And he may go gaga next year, all right, but he has ended it. You understand? The brain has broken the cycle of time. Which means the brain is composed of millions and millions of cells, those very cells mutate. There is a different species of cells because you have moved away from a certain direction to another direction. You follow? That is, you have been going North all your life. Somebody comes along and says, "Look there is nothing in the North, for God's sake don't waste your energy on going North, go South or East." The moment he turns East he has broken the pattern. You understand? The pattern which the brain cells have set, he has broken it and gone East. It is as simple as that, if one does it. But you can play with words endlessly, write books endlessly. But once you see the nature of time, that we have changed through these millions of years very little. We are still killing each other in a more diabolical way - right? The atom can wipe us out in a second, vapourised. We don't exist, nothing exists. But it is the same when a man killed another man two million years ago. We are still doing that. Unless we break the pattern we will do that same thing tomorrow. You follow? This is very simple. They killed with a club two thousand years ago, later on they invented the arrow. The arrow, they thought would stop all wars. Then there came the Roman Legion and all that. Then we have the present day. Terrible means of destruction - right? The same thing as two million years ago, we are still doing, killing. That is the pattern the brain has accepted, has lived with, the brain has created the pattern. And if the brain doesn't realize for itself, not through pressure, compulsion, doesn't realize that time has no value in the movement of change. I wonder if you see - right? Then you have broken the pattern. Then there is a totally different way of living.
May we get up? You can't sit here for ever, it is time for lunch!
Saanen 2nd Public Talk 10th July 1985
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