The Way of Intelligence
Chapter 2, Seminars Madras 1981
The Way of Intelligence Chapter 2 Part 2 2nd Seminar Madras 15th January 1981 'In Listening Is Transformation'
J.U.: In Varanasi, you have been speaking over the years. Two types of people have been listening to you. One group is committed to total revolution at all levels and the other to the status quo, that is to the whole stream of tradition as it flows. Both go away, after listening to you, satisfied. Both feel that they have received an answer to their queries.
You say that when all thought, all self-centred activity, the movement of the mind as the `me' has ended totally, there is a state of benediction, endless joy, bliss, which is beauty, love, a state which has no frontiers. Now the man listening to you with the mind rooted in the status quo, takes a stand on what you have said regarding the eternal, goes back to the tradition of the great teachers who have also posited a state of eternal bliss, joy, beauty, love. He then posits that that alone is important. For him a transformation of society today is unnecessary. You can make a slight change here and there, but these changes are transient and of no importance. Neither a transformation in man nor in society is important. But you go on to say that when all thought, all self-centred activity, has ended, then there is a direct contact with the great river of sorrow, which is not the sorrow of individual man. From this will arise a karuna, compassion, beauty and love, which will demand transformation here and now. Only this will end the emphasis on eternal bliss which ultimately is an illusion. I do not feel that there is a place for the concept of eternal bliss, benediction, in your teaching.
K: Just what is the question?
P.J.: Today more and more people are hearing you and they see a contradiction - that the man who stands for the status quo and the one who stands for revolution, takes your teachings and amalgamates it into his. That contradiction needs clarification. What does your teaching stand for?
K: Let us take it one by one. J.U.: I am a student. I am learning, and in this process of learning I see a contradiction when you posit a state which is beyond.
K: Cut that out..
J.U.: I can't cut that out; it figures very much every time you speak. When you posit a state beyond, which is bliss, etc., that is the contradiction. Therefore, I say that the stream of sorrow and the compassion which arises upon direct contact with that stream is the only reality.
K: I don't quite see the contradiction. I would like that contradiction explained to me.
A.P.: What I feel is that Upadhyayaji goes with you up to the point that there is no such thing as personal sorrow because personal sorrow posits the personal sufferer. So, there is the substance of human existence as sorrow. Out of this perception, arises compassion which becomes love. He is bogged down when you say that the perception of sorrow is the birth of compassion.
P.J.: No, no. He is seeing the contradiction in Krishnaji making any statement about the `otherness', because the mind picks on that.
K: First of all, I don't quite see the contradiction, personally. I may be wrong, subject to correction. One thing is very clear, that there is this enormous river of sorrow. That is so. Can that sorrow be ended and, if it ends, what is the result on society? That is the real issue. Is that right?
J.U.: There is this vast stream of sorrow. No one can posit when this sorrow will totally end.
K: I am positing it.
J.U.: There can be a movement for the ending of sorrow but no one can posit when that sorrow of mankind can end.
A.P.: We know life as irreparably built on the fabric of sorrow. Sorrow is the very fabric of our existence, but you have said that the ending of sorrow can be attained.
K: Yes, there is an ending to sorrow.
A.P.: This is not a statement about the sorrow of man ending at a certain time and date; it has no future or past. It is a statement that this state can end this instant.
K: I don't understand all this.
P.J.: Sir, Upadhyayaji says there is a contradiction in your positing the `other', and he is asking why is there this contradiction?
K: I don't think it is a contradiction. I think we all agree that humanity is in the stream of sorrow and that humanity is each one of us. Humanity is not separate from me; I am humanity, not representative of humanity. My brain, my psychological structure, is humanity. Therefore, there is no `me' - and a stream of sorrow. Let us be very clear on that point.
P.J.: Are you saying that there is no stream of sorrow independent of the human? Upadhyayaji suggests that there is a stream of sorrow which is independent of sorrow as it operates in individual consciousness.
K: No, no. The brain is born through time. That brain is not my brain. It is the brain of humanity in which the hereditary principle is involved, which is time. My consciousness is the consciousness of man; it is the consciousness of humanity because man suffers, he is proud, cruel, anxious, unkind, this is the common ground of man. There is no individual at all for me. The stream of sorrow is humanity; it is not something out there.
G.N.: I see a child being beaten. That perception is the moment of pity. How do you say that when I see a person beating a child I am also that sorrow?
K: Before we move to the specific, let us get the ground clear. The ground is, there is no individual suffering. Pleasure, fear, anxiety, vanity, cruelty, etc., all that is common to humanity. That is the psychological structure of man. Where does individuality come into this?
G.N.: I am different from that suffering of the child.
K: What are you trying to say?
G.N.: I am saying that there is a stream of sorrow; there is violence. I see something out there.
K: Outside yourself? Let us stick to that. It is outside me. Which is what? What are you? You are part of that stream.
P.J.: The fact is that I see myself separate from that child, that man. The state of consciousness within me which leads to that perception is also the state of consciousness which in another situation acts in a violent way.
G.N.: I see a certain action going on in front of me. The perception of the fact that a child is being beaten gives rise to another action. Therefore, there are two actions.
K: We are not talking about actions.
P.J.: The problem arises because we see ourselves as a fact, we see ourselves seeing the child being beaten, but we don't see the same consciousness in being rude to someone else.
K: But humanity is part of that child, part of the act of beating that child. We are part of all this.
J.U.: Krishnaji has said something which is of utmost importance. That is, there is no such thing as individual sorrow, that individual sorrow is the sorrow of mankind. Now, that should be investigated, understood, not as a theory but as an actuality. One sees the stream of sorrow, the stream of mankind, one sees that it has a direction, it has movement.
K: That which is moving has no direction. The moment it has a direction, that direction creates time.
J.U: A stream which is flowing may appear as a stream, but it is made up of individual drops, and when the energy of the sun falls on that stream, it draws up individual drops, not the whole stream.
P.J.: You see what is implied in it? It is a very interesting question. Does it mean that when there is the ending of sorrow, does it arise in the individual drop or in the whole stream? Upadhyayaji says that when the light of the sun falls on the stream of water which is flowing, which is composed of individual drops, it draws up drop by drop.
K: Take a river; it has a source. The Rhine, the Volga, the Ganga, all the rivers of the world have a source. The source is sorrow, not the drops of water. Has our sorrow a source, not the source of individual drops that make up the stream but is the very stream the source of our sorrow? To me, individuality does not exist. My body may be tall, dark, light, pink, whatever colour; it may have certain inherited genetic trappings. Basically, there is no such thing as an individual. If you accept that as a fact, you cannot then say that the source is made up of individual drops.
B.K.: You said the source is sorrow. If we translate this into human terms, that really means human beings are born of sorrow, and are condemned also.
K: No. I am not condemning. I am saying what is a fact. You cannot condemn a fact.
P.J.: You say there is the stream of sorrow. I am questioning it.
K: I want to start with a clean slate. I am not a Vedantist, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim. And I watch, I observe what is happening around me. I observe what is happening inside me. I observe that the `me' is that.
P.J: I observe what?
K: I observe what is going on. I observe how war is being fought, why it is being fought, I read about it, investigate it, think about it. Am I a Hindu against the Muslim? If I am, I produce war. I am going step by step. So I am the result of thought.
P.J.: You have leaped.
K: No. I am the result of experience, knowledge stored up in memory, that is, I am the result of thousands of generations. That is a fact. I have discovered that as a fact, not as a theory.
Sat: When I say I know, that I have gone through the whole of mankind, who is saying it?
K: Am I saying that as an idea or as a fact which is happening in me, in my brain cells? I am only concerned with I what is happening around me and in me. In me is what is happening out there. I am that. The worries, the anxieties, the misery, the confusion, the uncertainty, the desire for security, the psychological world which thought has built, is mankind.
P.J.: Sir, if it were so simple; we would be floating in the air. How is sorrow important? The importance is in the movement of sorrow, the movement of violence, as it arises in me. How is it important whether that movement is part of mankind or part of my brain cells?
K: I quite agree. You are concerned with sorrow; I am concerned. My brother dies and I shed tears. I watch my neighbour whose husband has gone; there are tears, loneliness, despair, misery, which I am also going through. So I recognise a common thread between that and my woe.
P.J.: How is it important?
K. It is important because when I see there is a common factor, there is immense strength. Have you understood that? I say that if you are only concerned with your individual sorrow, you are weak. You lose the tremendous energy that comes from the perception of the whole of sorrow. This sorrow of the individual is a fragmentary sorrow and, therefore that which is fragmentary has not the tremendous energy of the whole. A fragment is a fragment and whatever it does, it is still within a small radius and, therefore, trivial. If I suffer because my brother is dead and I grow more and more involved, shed more and more tears, I get more and more depleted, I lose contact with the fact that I am part of this enormous stream.
P.J.: When my brother is dead and I observe my mind, I see the movement of sorrow; but of that stream of human sorrow, I know nothing.
K: Then stop there. We are not talking of the stream of sorrow. My brother dies and I am in sorrow, I see this happening to my neighbour on the left and on the right. I see this happening right through the world. They are going through the same agony, though not at the moment I go through it. So, I discover something, that it is not only me that suffers but mankind. What is the difficulty?
P.J.: I don't weep at the world's sorrow.
K: Because I am so concerned with myself, my life; my relationship with another is myself. So I have reduced all this life to a little corner, which I call myself. And my neighbour does the same; everybody is doing the same. That is a fact. Then I discover that this sorrow is a stream. It is a stream that has been going on for generations.
J.U.: The particular and the stream, are they one?
K: There is no particular.
J.U.: The particular is experienceable, is manifest, but even when we say we see the stream, we see it as particulars put together. As long as the self is, the particular will have to be.
K: I understand that. I keep to this fact: My brother dies; I shed tears; I am desperate. It is a fact. It is not a theory, and I see my neighbour going through the same thing as I am. So, what happens? Either I remain caught in my little sorrow or I perceive this enormous sorrow of man. J.U.: Even when I see this in a man who is a thousand miles away, I see it as separate.
P.J.: What is the factor, the instrument, which enables one to see directly?
K: See what has happened to my mind, my brain. My brain has been concerned with the loss of the brother. The visual eye sees this enormous suffering in my neighbour here or a thousand miles away. How does it see it? How does it see the fact that my neighbour is me, who is going through hell? The neighbour all over the world is my neighbour. This is not a theory; I recognise it, see it. I walk down the streets; there is a man crying because he has lost his son. I see it as a fact, not a theory.
J.U.: When Krishnaji talks of a thousand miles away, seeing people dying and the sense of sorrow which he sees as sorrow, it is not individual. He can do it because he has negated the self totally; K has negated time totally. There is no movement which is fragmentary in him. When my brother dies, I can't see with the same eyes. K is standing on the bank of the river and watching and I am floating in the river.
K: What has happened? Go through the actuality of it. My brother dies and I am shocked. It takes a week or two to get over it. When that shock is over, I am observing. I see this thing going on around me. It is a fact.
P.J.: You still have to tell me with what eyes I must see.
Mary Zimbalist: The stream of sorrow is so intense that in it there is not the fact of being particular. There is pain and sorrow; it is so strong, and one is part of the universality, not the individual or whatever it is that is causing sorrow. One can perceive in some extraordinary way, transforming it. One can at that moment see the enormity of it because it is enormous, and not enclose ourselves.
K: Am I so enclosed that I don't see anything except me and something outside of me? That is the first thing to be established. I want to go back to this point - sorrow of my brother dying - there is only sorrow. I don't see it as a stream of sorrow; there is this thing burning in me, I see this happening right and left and it is happening to all human beings. I see that too, theoretically. Why can't I see it as a fact, as me suffering and, therefore, the world suffering? Why don't we see it? That is the point we have come to.
P.J.: I don't see it, the sorrow of another. That passion, that intensity which is born in me when there is sorrow arising in me, does not arise when I see the sorrow of another.
K: All right. When you suffer, you close your ears and eyes to everything else. Actually, when my brother dies, everything is shut out and that is the whole point. If the brain says, `Yes, I won't move from that, I won't seek comfort,' there is no movement. Can I hold it, perceive it? What happens to the mind? That is my point. If you remain with sorrow, you have denied everything.
J.U.: That is so only for Krishnaji.
K: Panditji, throw K away. This is a fact. We never remain with anything completely. If the brain remains completely with fear, everything is gone. But we don't, we are always searching, moving, asking, questioning. Sir, my brother dies, I shed tears, do all kinds of things, and suddenly realize that there is no answer in reincarnation, going to the gods, doing this, doing that, nothing remains except the one thing. What happens then to the brain that has been chattering, making noises about sorrow, chasing its own tail?
B.K.: There is always some other interference.
K: There is no interference when you observe something totally; to observe totally is not to allow thought to interfere with what is being perceived totally.
J.U.: Sorry for going back to my original question. You have said when all duality has ended, when sorrow has ended, happiness will be there.
K: When sorrow has completely ended, then there is compassion.
J.U.: The perception that human existence is sorrow gives rise to compassion.
J.U.: The perception of the fact that human existence is sorrow is the ending of sorrow, and without the ending of sorrow, there is no compassion. That is your position.
K: I will make my position very clear. There is only the stream of mankind.
A.P.: The perception of the stream is not compassion; the ending of sorrow is that perception.
J.U.: Is there bliss after ending sorrow? Will everyone be happy?
K: No. I never said that. I said the ending of sorrow is the beginning of compassion, not bliss.
S.P.: He is objecting to your talking about the `other'.
K: All right. I won't talk about the `other'. It is irrelevant, I agree.
P.J.: You must take the question as Upadhyayaji stated it in the beginning. He said people come to hear your talks, and at the end of the talk you say, `Then there is benediction, then there is a state of timelessness.' He says that makes them go away thinking that that is the final state.
K: To them `that' is a theory which they have accepted.
A.P.: Sir, I will go a step further. I can say that Upadhyayaji has listened to the fact that the substance of human existence is sorrow and the perception of this is compassion. This is also a theory and he seeks corroboration of this when you say this, and that also gives him satisfaction. I say this satisfaction and that satisfaction are on the same level.
K: I quite agree. I would like to ask something: Are we discussing this as a theory, as something to be learnt, studied, informed about, or is it a fact in our lives? At what level are we discussing all this? If we are not clear on this, we will mess it up.
The speaker says sorrow is an endless thing that man has lived with, whether it is his neighbour or a child being beaten and so on. And can it end? You come along and tell me it can end. I either treat it as a theory or I say, `Show me the way, show me how to end it, the manner in which it can end.' That's all I am interested in. We never come to that point. He says to me I will show it to you. Am I willing to listen to him completely? I am willing to listen to him because I want to end this thing. So he says to me, `Sorrow is the stream, remain with the stream. Don't be in it, don't be of it, under it or over it, but remain with it without any movement because any movement is the cause of sorrow.' I don't know if you see that. So he says, `Remain with it. Don't intellectualize, don't get emotional, don't get theoretical, don't seek comfort, just remain with the thing.' That is very difficult and, therefore, we play around with it. And he also tells us that if you go beyond this, there is some beauty that is out of this world. I listen to the `out of this world' and create a contradiction. Do you follow?
Sir, I still insist it exists; it is not a contradiction. I don't know why you say it is a contradiction. If you found something astonishingly original which is not in books, not in the Vedas, if you discovered something of an enormous nature, would you not talk about that, knowing that man will do exactly what he has done before - catch on to that and neglect this? He would do it, sir, because it is a part of the whole thing; it is not there and here. It is part of the tree. The tree is the hidden roots, and if you look at the beauty of the roots, you talk about them. It is not that you are escaping, not that you are contradicting, but you say the tree is the root, the trunk, the leaf, the flower, the beauty of the whole thing.
The Way of Intelligence
Chapter 2, Seminars Madras 1981
The Way of Intelligence Chapter 2 Part 2 2nd Seminar Madras 15th January 1981 'In Listening Is Transformation'
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