The Ending of Time
Longer, Unedited Versions
Ojai 7th Conversation with David Bohm 17th April, 1980 `the Ending of Time'
Krishnamurti: Shall we start from where we left off?
Dr Bohm: All right.
K: Or something new?
B: What do you suggest?
K: I don't know.
Are we saying sir that human beings are still behaving with the animal instincts?
B: Yes, I think we were discussing that the other day and the animal instincts, it seems, may apparently be overpowering in their intensity and speed, and especially with young children. It may seem that it is only natural for them to respond with the animal instinct.
K: So that means that we are still, after a million years or ten million years, or whatever years, we are still instinctively behaving like our ancestors?
B: Well in some ways. Probably it is complicated by thought, the animal instincts have now become entangled with thought and it is getting in some ways worse.
K: In some ways far worse.
B: Because all these instincts of hatred now become directed by thought and sustained by thought so that they are more subtle and more dangerous.
K: And during all these many, many centuries we haven't found a way, a method, a system or something that will move us away from that track. Is that it?
B: Well that is one point, yes. That is one of the difficulties, surely. When people begin to get angry with each other, their anger builds up and they can't seem to do anything about it. They may try to control it but then that doesn't work.
K: 'X', as we were saying, behaves, let's suppose, naturally, which is not responding to the animal instincts. What place has such insight, we will call it, in human society?
B: Yes, well...
K: None at all?
B:... in the society as it is it cannot be accommodated because society is organized under the assumption that pleasure and pain and fear are going to rule, except when you control it. Say, friendliness is a kind of animal instinct too, people that become friendly for instinctive reasons.
K: People have become?
B: Friendly sometimes for reasons similar to animal instinct and may become enemies for similar reasons. So I think that some people would say that we should be rational. If we want to answer your question you see there is a period during the 18th century, the age of reason, when they said man could be rational, he could choose to be rational, bring about harmony everywhere.
K: But he hasn't.
B: But it got worse, it led to the French revolution and to the terror and so on. But after that people didn't have so much faith in reason as a way of getting anywhere, coming out of it.
K: So where does that lead us? We were talking really about insight, that it actually changes the nature of the brain itself.
B: Yes, we discussed that yesterday: by dispelling the darkness in the brain, it allowed the brain to function in a new way.
K: Yes. Thought has been operating in darkness, creating its own darkness and functioning in that. And insight is like, as we said, a flash which breaks down the darkness. And then that insight, clearing the darkness, then does it act, function, rationally?
B: Yes we went into that: man will then function rationally in a sense of perception - we discussed - rather than by rules and reason. But there is a freely flowing reason. You see some people identify reason with certain rules of logic which would be mechanical.
K: Which would be mechanical, yes.
B: But reason as a form of perception of order.
K: So we are saying, are we, that insight is perception?
B: It is even the flash of light which makes perception possible.
K: Right, that's right.
B: It is even more fundamental than perception.
K: So insight is pure perception and from that perception there is action, which is then sustained by rationality. Is that it?
K: That's right.
B: The rationality being perception of order, I would say.
K: So would you say: insight, perception and order?
K: That order is not mechanical.
K: Because it is not based on logic.
B: There are no rules.
K: No rules, let's put it that way, it's better. It is not based on rules. Then that means insight, perception, action, order. Then you come to the question: is insight continuous, or is it by flash?
B: We went into that and said it was a wrong question.
B: We have to look at it differently.
K: So it is not time...
B:... not time-bound.
K: Not time binding, yes we said that. So now let's get a little further. That means we said, didn't we, insight is the elimination of darkness which is the very centre of the self, which is the self creates this darkness. Right? And so insight dispels that very centre.
B: Yes, with the darkness perception is not possible.
B: It's blindness in a way.
K: Right, then what next? How - no! I am an ordinary man with all my animal instincts, pleasure and pain and reward and punishment and so on, I hear you say this, and I see what you are saying has some kind of reason, logic, and order.
B: Yes, it makes sense as far as we can see. Right?
K: It makes sense. Then how am I to have it in my daily life? How am I to bring about - you understand these are words which are difficult, all these words are time-binding - but is that possible?
B: Yes, without time, you see.
K: Is it possible for me, with my narrow mind, with my etc., to have this insight so that pattern of life is broken? As we said, sir, the other day, we have tried all this; every form of self-denial and yet that insight doesn't come about. I may have once in a while a partial insight, but the partial insight is not the whole insight so there is still partial darkness.
B: If it doesn't dispel the centre of the self, it is not adequate. It may dispel some darkness in a certain area but the source of the darkness, the creator, the sustainer of it is still there.
K: Yes, still there. Now what shall I do? This is a wrong question. This leads nowhere.
So we have stated the general plan. Right? And I have to make the moves, or make no moves at all. I haven't the energy. I haven't the capacity to see it quickly. Because this is immediate, not just something I practise and get it. Right? I haven't the capacity, I haven't got that sense of urgent immediacy. Everything is against me: my family, my wife, society, everything. And does it mean that I eventually have to become a monk?
B: No. Becoming a monk is the same as becoming anything else.
K: That's right. So becoming a monk is as becoming a businessman. Quite. That's rather good! I see all this, verbally as well as rationally, intellectually, but I can't capture this thing. And you don't help me. You, 'X' doesn't help me, I am just left. Is there a different approach to this problem? I am always asking the same question because I am caught in the same pattern. So I am asking myself is there a totally different way - I am using that word for the moment - a totally different way of moving, or approaching, the whole turmoil of life? You follow sir?
K: Is there a different manner of looking at it? Or is this the only way? You follow?
K: We are saying as long as the centre is creating darkness, and thought is operating in that darkness, there must be disorder, there must be everything as society now is. And to move away from that you must have insight. Insight can only come about when there is a flash, a sudden light which abolishes not only darkness but the creator of darkness.
K: Now I am asking - that seems so absolute. Right? - and I am asking myself is there a different approach to this question altogether?
B: Well possibly. When you say it seems absolute, do you want a less absolute approach?
K: It is so.
B: It is so, but I mean, it was not clear what you meant by it seems so absolute.
K: I mean there is no other.
B: There is no other way.
K: Yes, there is no other way.
B: But you say maybe there is another way. Are you suggesting that there is another way?
K: I am asking if that is the only way, then I am doomed.
B: You can't produce this flash at will.
K: Oh, we have been through that, it can't be produced through will, through sacrifice, through every form of human effort. That is out, we have finished with all that. We finished with all that two or three weeks ago.
And also we came to a point, to 'X' this insight seemed so natural and why is it not natural to others? That was one of the points we raised.
K: Why is it natural to 'X' and not so to others? If we could find that sir.
B: Yes. Well let's say that if you begin with the child, it seems natural to the child to respond with his animal instincts, with great intensity which sweep him away. Darkness arises because it is so overwhelming.
K: Yes, but why is that with 'X'?
B: First of all it seems natural to most people that this would happen, that the animal instincts would take over.
K: Yes, that's right. That seems so natural.
B: Very natural and they would say the other fellow is unnatural.
B: Right. And therefore that is the way mankind has been thinking, saying that if there are indeed any other people they must be very unusual and unnatural.
K: That's it. That is, human beings have been acting according to this pattern, one pattern, responding to hatred by hatred and so on. There are those few, perhaps many, who say that is not. Why has this division taken place? If this is natural, that is, hate, what is one battling against?
B: Yes, if you say pleasure and pain, fear and hate, are natural, then the people say we must battle to control it because it will destroy us. You see they say the best we can hope for is to control it with reason or with another way.
K: But that doesn't work.
B: We have gone into all that.
K: So I must...
B: Now you say, someone else says the other way is natural.
K: If that is natural, are the few, the privileged, by some miracle, by some strange chance event?
B: Yes, some people, many people say that, many people would say that they are unusual in some way.
K: No, that goes against one's grain. I wouldn't accept that.
B: Yes, well if that is not the case then you have to say why is there this difference.
K: Yes, that is what I am trying to get at. Because 'X' is born of the same parents.
B: Yes, you say they are fundamentally the same but why do they behave differently?
K: Differently, yes. This question has been asked many times, over and over again in different parts of the world. Now why? Why is there this division? I can't find out.
Q: Is the division really total? You see because even that man you say responds to hatred with hatred, he nevertheless sees that it doesn't make sense. He also sees that it is wrong. But even so he says it is natural, he at the same time say it is not natural, it should be different.
K: It should be different but he is still battling with ideas, with thought.
Q: That's right but it is not entirely natural. If it were entirely natural he would say, 'OK, that's just the way we live'. He wouldn't even try to get out of it. You see what I am saying?
K: Yes, I understand that. But he is trying to get out of it by the exercise of thought which breeds darkness.
Q: But he doesn't understand that.
K: And we have explained to him.
Q: Well I just want to say that the division does not seem to be so entire. You see.
K: Oh yes sir, the division is entire, complete. We talked about this the other day.
Q: Well why are people not saying 'Well look here, let's live that way, let's kill each other and let's enjoy it to the last moment'?
K: Because they can't see anything except their own darkness.
Q: But they want to get out of it.
K: Now wait a minute sir. Do they want to get out of it?
Q: At least they say so.
K: Do they actually realize the state they are in and deliberately want to get out of it?
Q: I think so.
Q: They are ambivalent about it. They want to go on getting the fruits of it but they have a sense it is wrong, that it leads to suffering for them.
B: Or else they find they can't help it. You see when the time comes to get angry, or pleasure, they can't get away.
K: They can't help it. We have been through it.
Q: But they want to get out of it, they can't help it. They are helpless, there are forces which are stronger than even their will.
K: So what shall we do? Or this division is false.
B: That's the point. We had better call it a difference between these two. This difference is not fundamental. One idea is to say it is a difference which is absolute, there is nothing in common.
K: I don't think there is anything in common.
B: Why? But if you say the difference is false, or the division is false, you say fundamentally they are the same, but a difference has developed between them. It would mean if you say the division is false, yet you say fundamentally, you mean fundamentally they are the same, but a difference has developed between them. Perhaps one has taken a wrong turning.
K: Let's put it that way, yes.
B: But the difference is not intrinsic, it is not structural, you know, built in like the difference between a tree and a rock.
K: Right. Yes.
B: A tree cannot become a rock.
K: Yes, as you say there is a vast difference between a rock and a tree but it is not like that. Then what? Are we trying to find out sir, let's be simple, are we trying to find out: there are two, they start from the source and one has taken one direction and the other has taken another direction. Right? But the source is the same. Why haven't all of them moved in the right direction?
B: Yes, we haven't answered that. We haven't managed to answer that.
K: Yes, we are trying to answer that. Let's get back to that.
B: I was just saying that if you understand that, then going back to the source you do not have to take the wrong turn. In some sense we are continually taking the wrong turn, so if we can understand this wrong turn, then it becomes possible to change.
K: Yes sir. That is, we start from the same source. 'A' takes one turn...
B: We are continually starting from the same source, not going back in time to a source.
K: Just a minute, just a minute.
B: There are two possible ways of taking your statement. One is to say the source is in time, far back in the past, we started together and we took different paths. The other is to say the source is timeless and we are continually taking the wrong turn, again and again. Right?
K: Yes. We cut out time, therefore it is constantly the wrong turn.
B: Constantly the wrong turn, yes.
Q: Which means there is the constant possibility of the right turn.
K: Yes, of course. That's it. We are getting a little more clear. That is if we say the source from which we all began, then we are caught in time.
B: You can't go back.
K: You can't go back. That is out. Therefore it is we apparently are taking the wrong turn all the time.
K: Constantly, let's put it that way. Constantly taking the wrong turn, why? The one - I am just going into it a little bit - the one who is not operating, the one who is living with insight and the other not living with insight, these are constant. And the man who is living in darkness can move away at any time to the other. That is the point: at any time.
B: Then nothing holds him, except taking the wrong turn constantly. You could say the darkness is such that he doesn't see himself taking the wrong turning.
K: Is this right sir? Are we pursuing the right direction, right question? You have that insight, suppose you have that insight, and your darkness, the very centre of darkness has been dispelled completely. And I listen to you. I am a serious, fairly intelligent, not neurotic, human being, I listen to you. And whatever you have said seems so reasonable, rational, sane. I question the division sir, you follow? I question the division. The division is created by the centre which creates darkness. Right?
B: Yes. It is the same as the other divisions, it is thought.
K: Thought has created this division. The other man says there is no division. I don't know if I am?
B: Yes, well in the darkness thought creates this division.
K: You say, you who have the insight, etc., you say there is no division.
B: From the darkness a shadow is thrown, it makes a division.
K: Yes. And I won't accept that because in my darkness there is nothing but division. So I, living in darkness, have created the division. I think that is right. As I have created it in my thoughts...
B: I am constantly creating it.
K: Yes, constantly creating division, that's right, constantly creating division and so I am always wanting to live constantly in a state in which there is no division. Right?
K: But that movement is still the movement of darkness. Right?
K: How am I to dispel this continuous, constant darkness? That is the only question because as long as that exists I create this constant division. Right?
K: You see, this going round and round in circles. Which is, I can only dispel the darkness through insight, and I cannot have that insight by any effort, will and so on and so on, so I am left with nothing. Right? So what is my problem? My problem is to perceive the darkness, to perceive the thought that is creating darkness and to see that the self is the source of this darkness. Why can't I see that? Why can't I see it even logically?
B: Well it's clear logically.
K: Yes but somehow that doesn't seem to operate. So what shall I do? I realize sir, for the first time that the self is creating the darkness which is constantly breeding division. I see that very clearly.
B: Yes and the division produces the darkness anyway.
K: Vice versa, back and forth. And from all that everything begins. Now I see that very clearly. What shall I do? So I don't admit division. Right sir?
Q: Krishnaji, aren't we introducing division again, nevertheless, when we say there is the man who needs insight?
K: He has insight. 'X' has insight and he has explained to me very clearly how darkness is banished. I listen to him and he says, your very darkness is creating the division. Actually there is no division, no division as light and darkness. So can you, he asks me, can you banish, can you put away this sense of division?
B: You seem to be bringing back a division by saying that, by saying that I should do it, you see.
K: No, not 'should'.
B: In a way you are saying that the thought process of the mind seems to spontaneously produce division, you say try to put it aside, at the same time it is trying to making division.
K: No sir. I understand that question. But can my mind put away division? Or is that a wrong question?
Q: Can it put away division as long as it is divided?
K: No, it can't, so what am I to do?
Q: We are introducing division again.
K: No, no, no. Listen: he says something so extraordinarily true, which has immense significance and beauty and my whole being says 'Capture it'. It is not a division.
Q: The division seems to be immediate, you know when I feel there is something which I want to capture.
K: No, no. I recognize that I am the creator of division. Right sir? Because I am living in darkness and so out of that darkness I create. But I have listened to 'X' who says there is no division. And I recognize that is an extraordinary statement. So in saying that to me, who has lived in division, constant division, that very saying has an immediate effect on me. Right?
B: I think that one has to - well if you say, put away the division...
K: I will leave that, I won't put it away. That statement...
B: Which statement?
K: That there is no division.
B: That there is no division, yes. No division, right.
B: And therefore there is no need to think division.
K: No. No. I want to get at this a little bit. I am getting somewhere with it.
Your statement that there is no division, because you have this insight, etc., etc. That very statement has a tremendous effect on me. I have lived constantly in division and you come along and say, after discussing, you say there is no division. What effect has it on me? You understand my question? It must have some impact on me otherwise what is the good of talking, you are saying anything.
B: But then you say there is no division. That makes sense. And on the other hand it seems that the division exists.
K: I recognize the division, but your statement that there is no division has a tremendous impact on me. That seems so natural, isn't it? When I see something that is immovable, it must have some effect on me. When you say, 'It is so' - you follow sir, what I am trying to get at? I respond to it with a tremendous shock. I wonder if I am conveying anything.
B: You see if you were talking about something which was say in front of us and you said, 'No, it is not that way' and then you see we would look at it and say, 'No, it's not that way', you see, and then that would, of course, change your whole way of seeing it. Now you say this division is not that way. We try to look and see if that is so. Right?
K: I don't even say, 'Is that so?' You who have very carefully explained the whole business, and you say at the end of it that there is no division. You understand? And I am sensitive, watch very carefully and all the rest, realize I am constantly living in division, when you make that statement it has - I think it has broken the pattern. I don't know if you follow what I am trying to explain.
Q: You say at least for that moment it breaks the pattern.
K: It has broken the pattern, because he has said something which is so fundamentally true: there is no god and man. Right sir, I stick to that. I see something in that. Which is, we said the other day where hate exists the other is not. Right? But hating I want the other. Right? So constant division - division is born out of darkness. And the darkness is constant. And you come along and tell me, because I have been very carefully listening to you, I am not just a casual listener, I'm not just a person who just says, 'I have come this afternoon, tell me all about it' - it has been my life time. And you make a statement which seems so absolutely true. You follow sir? That enters into me therefore this act has dispelled darkness. The act of his statement dispels the darkness. I wonder if I am capturing something. I think it does. I am not making an effort to get rid of darkness but you are the light. That's right sir, I hold to that.
So it comes to something which is: can I listen with my darkness, in my darkness, which is constant, in that darkness can I listen to you? Of course I can.
Q: Krishnaji, is it then still darkness?
K: No, no don't bother. I am living in constant division which brings darkness. Somebody, 'X', comes along and tells me there is no division old boy, look at it.
B: Right. Now why do you say you can listen in the darkness?
B: You have just said you can listen in the darkness.
K: Yes sir.
B: Right. That needs some...
K: Oh yes, I can listen in darkness. If I can't I am doomed.
B: But that is no argument.
K: Of course that is no argument but that is so. If I am constantly living darkness...
B: That's clear. We have gone into it, constantly living in darkness is not worthwhile. But now we say that it is possible to listen in the darkness.
K: Yes sir. Yes sir. Listen. It isn't that - of course sir.
Q: This holds with what you say that there is no division.
K: Listening is not division.
Q: Right. If that were I could not listen.
K: But I am in division. No, sir, you are missing the point. He says there is no division. He is the flag to me. I wonder if I am making it clear? Oh no.
Q: Can we make it a little bit more clear?
K: He, 'X', says insight, he explains very, very carefully to me what insight is - I won't go into all that over and over again. He explains to me very, very carefully. I am sensitive, I have been listening to him in my darkness but that is making me sensitive, alive, watching. That is what I have been doing. We have been doing that together. And he makes a statement: there is absolutely no division. And I know that I am living in constant division. That very statement has put the constant movement to an end. I wonder. Yes sir.
Otherwise if this doesn't take place I have nothing. You follow? I am perpetually living in darkness. A man, a voice in the wilderness and listening to that voice has an extraordinary effect in wilderness.
B: Listening reaches the source of the movement, whereas observation does not.
K: Yes sir, I have observed, I have listened, I have played all kinds of things all my life. And I have done everything that human beings have invented, or is inventing. And I now see there is only one thing, that there is this constant darkness and I am acting in the darkness, in this wilderness which is darkness, whose centre is the self. I see that absolutely. I mean absolutely, completely, you can't argue against it any more. And you come along and tell me this. Sir, see what happens? Yes, sir. In that wilderness a voice says there is water. You follow? It is not hope, there is immediate action in me. Yes. Which is, sir, would you say one must realize, understand, any word, that this constant movement in darkness is my life. Would I admit that sir? You follow what I am saying? Can I realize with all my experience, with all my knowledge, with all my etc., of a million years, suddenly realize that I am living in total darkness? Nobody will admit that. Because that means I have reached the end of all hope. Right? My hope is also darkness. You have cut the future altogether. You understand? So I am left with this enormous darkness and I am there. No, sir. That means, the realization of that is the ending of becoming. Right? And I have reached that point and 'X' tells me, naturally sir.
You see all of them, all the religions have said this division exists. God and son of god.
B: Yes, well they say it can be overcome.
K: It is the same pattern repeated.
B: Yes. I don't know whether the Indian religions haven't said this.
K: I wouldn't know but I have discussed with some pundits, I doubt it. No, no, I doubt it very much. It doesn't matter who said it but the fact is somebody in this wilderness is saying something and in that wilderness I have been listening, listening to every voice. Right sir? And my own voice, which has created more and more darkness. Yes, this is right. That means sir, does it: when there is insight there is no division.
K: It is not your insight or my insight, it is insight. In that there is no division.
K: Which means sir, do I understand this, that the ground, which we talked about...
B: What about the ground?
K: In that ground there is no darkness as darkness, no light as light. What is that? On that ground, or in that ground, there is no division and so it is not - we have been through all that, just recapture it - it is not born of will or time, or thought and all that. So in that ground...
B: Are you saying light and darkness are not divided?
B: Which means to say that there is neither.
K: Neither, that's it, that's it. There is something else. You see, you come along and tell me this extraordinary fact. To me it is an extraordinary fact. I realize it with all my being that what you say is true - true not merely verbally but it is so. And I see - not I see - there is a perception that there is a different movement which is non-dualistic.
B: Non-dualistic means what? No division?
K: No division. I won't use non-dualistic - they use that in India. There is no division.
B: But nevertheless there is movement.
K: Movement, of course.
B: What does that mean, now without division?
K: Movement, I mean by that movement that it is not time. That movement doesn't breed division. So I want to go back to the ground. Lead to that.
If there is neither darkness nor light, which is really a tremendous division. Right? On that ground there is no division. That ground is not god, or the son of god, there is no division. So what takes place? Would you say sir, that the ground is movement?
B: Well it could be, yes. Movement that is undivided, without division.
K: No. I say there is movement in darkness.
B: Yes but we said there is no division of darkness and light, and yet you said there is movement.
K: Yes. Would you say the ground is endless movement?
K: What does that mean?
B: Well, it is not clear - it is difficult to express.
K: I think one can go into it, let's express it. I am off somewhere else, just a minute, come back.
What is movement sir, apart from here to there, apart from time, is there any other movement?
K: There is. The movement from being to becoming, psychologically. There is the movement of distance, there is the movement of time. We say those are all divisions. Is there a movement which is non-divisive - no, which in itself has no division? There is when you have said that statement. You follow sir? When you have made that statement that there is no division, it is that movement surely? Right?
B: Well, you are saying that when there is no division then that movement is there. Right?
K: Yes. And I said, 'X' says that is the ground.
K: Would you say - these are words - it has no end, no beginning?
K: Which means again time.
Q: Can one say that movement has no form.
K: All that, no form, we are not talking. I want to go a little further. What I am asking is; we said when you have stated that there is no division, which means no division in movement.
B: Yes. It flows without division, you see.
K: Yes. When you accept that you have pointed out to me something, it is a movement in which there is no division.
K: Do I capture the significance of that? You understand what I mean? Do I understand the depth of that statement? A movement in which there is no division, which means no time, no distance as we know it, no element of time in it at all. So I am trying to see sir is that movement, is it pushing man - wait a minute, I am just using wrong words - is it surrounding man?
B: Yes, enveloping.
K: Enveloping man. You understand?
K: I want to get at this. I am concerned with man, with mankind, humanity, which is me. You have made, 'X' - it doesn't matter - 'X' has made several statements and I have captured a statement which seems so absolutely true: that there is no division. And which means there is no action which is divisive.
K: I see that. And also I see: is that movement without time, etc., it seems that is the world. You follow?
B: The universe.
K: The universe, the cosmos, the whole.
B: The totality.
K: Totality. You know, isn't there a statement sir in the Jewish world, 'Only god can say, I am'?
B: Well that's the way the language goes. The language is built that way. It is not necessary to state it.
K: No, I understand. You follow what I am trying to get at?
K: What am I trying to say?
B: Well that only this movement is.
K: You see sir, can the mind be of that movement? Because that is timeless, therefore deathless.
B: Yes, the movement is without death.
B: In so far as the mind takes part in that it is the same.
K: You understand what I am saying?
B: Yes. But what dies when the individual dies?
K: It has no meaning even because then once I have understood there is no division...
B: Then it is not important.
K:... death has no meaning.
B: It still has a meaning in some other context.
K: Oh, the ending of the body, that's totally trivial. But you understand? I wanting to capture the significance of your statement saying there is no division, has broken the spell of my darkness, and I see that there is a movement and that's all. Which means death has very little meaning.
K: You have abolished totally the fear of death.
B: Yes, I understand that when the mind is partaking in that movement then the mind is that movement.
K: That's all. The mind is that movement.
B: Would you say that matter is also that movement?
K: Yes sir, I would say everything. In my darkness I have listened to you. That's most important. And your clarity has broken my spell. When you have said there is no division, you have abolished the division between life and death. I don't know if you see this?
K: One can never say then 'I am immortal'. You follow sir? It is so childish.
B: Yes, that's the division.
K: Or, 'I am seeking immortality'. Or, 'I am becoming' - you have wiped away the whole sense of moving in darkness. I wonder if you get this? Yes, sir.
Q: What then would be the significance of the world? Is there a significance to it?
K: The world?
Q: With man.
B: Society, do you mean?
Q: Yes, it seems that when you make this statement, there is no division, and life is death, what then is the significance of man with all his struggle, with all his...
K: None. He is in darkness. What importance has that? It is like struggling in a locked room. That is the whole point.
B: Significance can only arise when the darkness is dispelled.
K: Of course.
Q: The only significance is the dispelling of the darkness.
K: Oh no, no. No.
B: Aren't we going to say that something more can be done besides dispelling darkness?
K: All that you have done to me, who has listened very carefully to everything that you, who have insight, etc., you have dispelled the centre. So in darkness I can invent a lot of significances, that there is light, there is god, there is beauty, there is this, that, it is still in the area of darkness. Caught in a room full of darkness and I can invent a lot of pictures. I want to get something else. Which is: is the mind of the one who has this insight, therefore dispelled darkness and therefore has understanding of that ground, which is movement without time and so on, then that mind itself is that movement.
B: Yes, but it isn't the totality. The mind is the movement but we are saying movement is matter, movement is mind.
K: Yes sir. Yes sir.
B: And we were saying that the ground may be beyond the universal mind. You were saying earlier that the movement, that the ground is more than the universal mind still, more than the emptiness.
K: We said that, much more.
B: Much more. But it contains - we have got to get it clear. We say the mind is this movement.
K: Yes, mind is this movement.
B: We are not saying that this movement is only mind.
K: No, no, no.
B: That is the point I was trying to get clear.
K: Mind is the movement - mind in the sense the ground.
B: But the ground goes beyond the mind, is what you said.
K: Now just a minute: what do you mean by beyond the mind?
B: Just going back to what we were discussing a few days ago: we said we have the emptiness, the universal mind and then the ground is beyond that, yes.
K: Would you say beyond that is this movement?
B: Yes. The movement from which - the mind emerges from the movement as a ground and falls back to the ground, that is what we are saying.
K: Yes, that's right. Mind emerges from the movement.
B: And it dies back into the movement.
K: That's right. It has it being in the movement.
B: Yes and matter also.
K: Quite. So, sir, what I want to get at is: I am a human being faced with this ending and beginning, and you abolish that.
B: Yes it is not fundamental.
K: It is not fundamental. You have removed one of the greatest fears of life which is death.
K: You see what it does to a human being when there is no death? Which means the mind doesn't age, the ordinary mind I am talking about. I don't know if I am conveying this.
B: Let's go slowly. You say the mind doesn't age, but what if the brain cells age?
K: I question it.
B: Yes. How can we know that?
K: Because there is no conflict, because there is no strain, there is no becoming, movement. You follow?
B: Yes, well this is something that it is hard to communicate certainty about.
K: Of course. You can't prove any of this.
B: But the other, what we have said so far...
K:... can be reasoned.
B: It is reason and also you can feel it yourself. But now you are stating something about the brain cells about which I have no feeling for. It might be so, it could be so.
K: I think it is so. I want to discuss it. Does a mind, which has lived in the darkness - a mind which has lived in the darkness is in constant movement.
K: Therefore there is the wearing out of the cells, decay.
B: We could say that this conflict will cause cells to decay but somebody might argue that perhaps even without conflict they could decay at a slower rate. Let's say if you were to live hundreds of years, for example, in time the cells would decay no matter what you would do.
K: Go into this slowly.
B: I can readily accept that the rate of decay of cells could be cut down when you get rid of conflict.
K: Slowed down.
B: Slowed down.
K: Decay can be slowed down.
B: Perhaps a great deal.
K: A great deal. Ninety per cent.
B: That we can understand. But if you say a hundred per cent, then it is hard to understand.
K: Ninety per cent. Wait a minute. It can be very, very greatly slowed down. And that means what? What happens to a mind that has no conflict, ninety per cent, or eighty per cent, what is that mind - mind in the sense of what is the quality of that mind which has no problem? You see sir suppose such a mind lives in pure air, unpolluted, etc., etc., the right kind of food and so on and so on, why can't it live two hundred years?
B: Well it is possible, some people are said to have lived up to a hundred and fifty, living in very pure air and good food.
K: But you see those very people who have lived a hundred and fifty years, if they had no conflict they might live very much longer.
B: Yes, they might. There was a case I was reading of a man in England who lived to a hundred and fifty, it was recorded. And the doctors became interested in him, they invited him to London and wined and dined him and then he died in few days.
K: Poor devil!
Q: Krishnaji normally you say that anything that lives in time also dies in time.
K: Yes but the brain, which has had insight has changed the cells.
Q: Are you implying in a way that even the organic brain...
K: Yes sir. We said that. We went into that.
Q:... does not live in time any more.
K: No, don't bring in time yet. We are saying that insight brings about a change in the brain cells, we said that. Which means the brain cells are no longer thinking in terms of time. Right sir?
Q: Psychological time?
K: Of course, that is understood.
B: If they are not so disturbed they will remain in order and perhaps they will break down more slowly, we might increase the age limit from one hundred and fifty to two hundred provided you also had healthy living all round.
K: Yes. That all sounds so damn trivial, all that.
B: Yes, it doesn't seem to make much difference. It is an interesting idea.
K: What if I live another hundred years, what?
B: Yes, well the men who lived to one hundred and fifty beyond that there was nothing unusual.
K: What we are trying to find out is: what effect has this extraordinary movement on the brain, you understand sir?
B: Yes. If we say the brain in some way directly enveloped in this movement.
K: Yes, it is.
B: That would bring it to order. But there is a direct flow, physically.
K: Not only physically.
B: But also mentally, both.
K: Yes, both. It must have an extraordinary effect on the brain.
Q: You talked earlier about energy, Krishnaji. An energy, not the everyday energy but some very...
K: We said that movement is total energy, we have been saying all that. Now this insight has captured, seen that extraordinary movement and it is part of that energy. I want to come much closer to earth, which is I have lived with the fear of death, fear of not becoming and so on, suddenly I see there is no division and I understand this whole thing. So what has happened to my brain? You follow?
Sir, see something. You see this whole thing as not verbally, you see it as a tremendous reality, truth, not just with all your heart, mind, you see this thing. That very perception must affect your brain.
B: Yes. It brings order.
K: Not only order in life but...
B: I mean order in the brain.
K:... in the brain.
B: The brain cells now - people can prove that if you are under stress the brain cells start to break down. It is proved. And if you have order in the brain cells then it is quite different.
K: I have a feeling sir, don't laugh at it, it may be false, it may be true. I feel that the brain never loses the quality of that movement. I don't know if you see.
B: Once it has it.
K: Of course. I am talking of the person who has been through all this and so on.
B: So probably it never loses that quality.
K: Therefore it is no longer involved in time.
B: It would no longer be dominated by time. The brain, from what we were saying, is not evolving in any sense, it is just confusion. You can't say that man's brain has evolved since the last ten thousand years.
B: You can't say there was any real evolution in the last ten thousand years of the brain because if you go back it is the same. You see science, knowledge, has evolved but people felt the same about life several thousand years ago as they do now.
K: Sir I want to find out: which is in that silent emptiness what we went through, is the brain absolutely still? You understand my question?
B: Well not absolutely because...
K: In the sense no movement.
B: Yes we have discussed this before. You see the blood is flowing inside the brain.
K: Yes, we are not talking of that.
B: What kind of movement are we discussing?
K: I am talking of the movement of thought, movement of any reaction.
B: Yes. There is no movement in which the brain moves independently. You were saying there is the movement of the whole but the brain does not go off on its own, like thought, you see.
K: You see you have done a tremendous act, which is you have abolished death, which is a tremendous thing, in significance, you follow, sir? And so I say what is the brain, the mind, the brain, when there is no death? You follow? It has undergone a surgical operation.
B: We talked about the brain normally has the notion of death continually there in the background and now that notion is disturbing the brain constantly.
K: Yes sir.
B: Because the brain foresees that death and it is trying to stop it.
K: The ending of itself and so on and so on.
B: It foresees all that and says it must stop it and it can't.
K: It can't.
B: And therefore it has a problem.
K: Constant struggle with it.
B: In the background.
K: So all that has come to an end. What an extraordinary thing you have done. You follow what I am saying. How does that affect my daily life? Because I have to live on this earth. How does it affect my life? My daily life. My daily life is aggression, this everlasting becoming, successful, all that has gone. What an extraordinary thing has taken place. You follow sir?
The last day tomorrow, Saturday. We will pursue this but we have understood a great deal today.
B: In bringing in this question of daily life you might bring in the question of compassion.
K: Of course, of course, all that. You see sir, is that movement - you see compassion becomes rather - is that movement compassion?
B: It would be beyond.
K: That's it. That's why one must be awfully careful.
B: Then again compassion might emerge out of it.
K: Of course if you haven't got that. We had better stop.
The Ending of Time
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Ojai 7th Conversation with David Bohm 17th April, 1980 `the Ending of Time'
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