Bombay 10th Public Talk 12th March 1961
This is the last talk of this series. We have been discussing for the last few weeks that the present world situation demands a new mind that is dimensionally quite different, that is not directive, that does not function merely in particular directions, but wholly. Such a new mind is the real `religious mind'. The religious mind is entirely different from the scientific mind. The scientific mind is directive, it breaks through from the piston engine to the jet engine through various physical barriers, in direction. But the religious mind explodes without direction, it has no direction. And that explosive nature of the new mind is not a matter of discipline, is not a thing to be got, to be reached, to be obtained; if you are reaching, obtaining, gaining, having that as a goal, then it becomes directive and therefore scientific. The religious mind comes into being when we understand the whole structure of our whole thinking, when we are very familiar with knowing oneself, self-knowing. One has to understand oneself, all the thoughts, the movements, the envy, ambitions, compulsions and urges, fear, sorrow, the aspirations, the clogging nature of belief and dogma and the innumerable conclusions to which the mind comes, either through experience or through information. Such self-knowing is absolutely essential, because it is only such a mind that can, because it has understood itself, wither itself away for the new `to be'.
Logic, reason, clear verbal thinking is not sufficient; it is necessary, but it does not get anywhere. An ambitious man can talk, same as a politician who is generally very ambitious, about non-ambition, about the dangers of ambition - that is verbal logic but has no significance. But if we would understand, if we would enquire into ourselves, we must not only go through the verbal explanation but also drop away alI explanations completely because the explanations are not the real things. I know several people who have listened for years to what is being said, they are experts in explanations, they can give explanations far better than the speaker verbally, logically, clearly. But look into their hearts and their minds, they are ridden, confused, ambitious, pursuing one thing after the other, always the monkish activity. Such a mind can never comprehend the new mind.
I think it is very important that this. new mind should come into being. It does not come by wish, by any form of desire, sacrifice. What it demands is a mind that is very fertile, not with ideas, not with knowledge - fertile like the soil that is very rich, the soil in which a seed can grow without being nurtured, carefully watched over; because if you plant a seed in sand it cannot grow, it withers away, it dies. But a mind which is very sensitive is fertile, is empty - empty, not in the sense of nothingness,but it does not contain anything else except the nourishment for the seed. And you cannot have a sensitive mind if you have not gone into yourself far, deeply enquiring, searching, looking, watching. If the mind has not cleansed itself of all the words, of conclusions, how can such a mind be sensitive? A mind which is, burdened with experience, with knowledge, words - how can such a mind be sensitive? It is not a matter of how to get rid of knowledge, that is merely direction; but one has to see the necessity for the mind to be sensitive. To be sensitive implies, sensitive to everything, not in one particular direction only - sensitive to beauty, to ugliness, to the speech of another, to the way another talks and you talk, sensitive to all the responses, conscious and unconscious. And a mind is not sensitive when it has a bloated body, eating too much, when it is a slave to the habit of smoking, the habits of sex, the habit of drinking, or the habits which the mind has cultivated as thought - obviously such a mind is not a sensitive mind. Do see the importance of having a sensitive mind, not how to acquire a sensitive mind. If one sees the necessity, the importance, the urgency of having a sensitive mind, then everything else comes, adjusts itself to that. A disciplined mind, a mind that is conformed, is never a sensitive mind. Obviously, a mind that follows another is not a sensitive mind. Only that mind is sensitive which is exquisitely pliant, that is not tethered to anything.
And a mind that is fertile, not in the invention of new ideas, does not relish or indulge in explanations as though in themselves words are a reality. The "word" is never the "thing". The word "door" is not the door; these two are entirely different things. But most of us are satisfied with words and we think we have understood the whole structure of the universe and ourselves, by words. Semantically we can reason logically, verbally, very clearly; but that is not a fertile mind. A fertile mind is empty like the womb before it conceives; as it is empty, it is fertile, rich - which really means, it has purged itself of all the things that are not necessary for the new mind to be. And that comes into being only when you see the urgency of having such a mind, a fertile mind without any belief, without any dogma, without any frustration and therefore without hope and despair, without the breath of sorrow which is really self-pity. Such a mind is necessary for the new mind, and that is why it is essential to enter into the field of self-knowing.
We know several people who have listened to these talks for thirty, forty years and have not gone beyond their own skins inwardly, outwardly; they are incessantly active. Such people are racketeers, exploiting and therefore very destructive people, whether they are politicians or social workers or spiritual leaders who have not really deeply, inwardly, penetrated into their own beings, which is after all the totality of life. You and I are the totality of life, the whole of life - the life: the physical life, the organic life, the automatic, nervous responses, the sensation, the life that pursues ambitiously its end, the life that knows envy and so everlastingly battles with itself, the life that compares, competes, the life that knows sorrow, happiness, the life that is full of motives, urges, demands, fulfilment, frustrations, the life that wants to reach ultimately the permanent, the lasting, the enduring, and the life that knows that every moment is a fleeting moment and that there is nothing permanent or substantial in anything - all that is the totality of you and me: that is Life. And without really understanding all that, mere explanation of all that has no value at all; and yet we are so easily satisfied with explanations, with words - which indicates how shallow we are, how superficial our life is, to be satisfied by cunning words, by words which are very cleverly put together. After all, the Upanishads, the Gita, the Bible, the Koran are just words, and to keep on repeating, quoting, explaining the same is still the continuation of the word; and apparently we are extraordinarily satisfied by these - which indicates how empty, how shallow, how easily satisfied we are by words which are ashes.
So it is absolutely essential to understand oneself. The word "understanding" has nothing to do with the word "explanation". The description is not the understanding, the verbal thing is not the understanding. To understand some thing requires a mind that is capable of observing itself without distortion. I cannot understand, look at these flowers if my attention is not given to them. In attention there is no condemnation, there is no justification, no explanation or conclusion. You understand? You observe; and such a state of observation comes into being when there is the urgency to understand, to look, to observe, to see, to perceive; then the mind strips itself of everything to observe. For most of us observation is very difficult, because we have never watched anything,neither the wife, nor the child, nor the filth on the street, nor the children smiling; we have never watched ourselves - Now we sit, now we walk, talk, how we jabber away incessantly, how we quarrel. We are never aware of ourselves in action. We function automatically and that is how we want to function. And having established that habit, we say, "How can I observe myself without the habit?" So, we have a conflict, and to overcome the conflict we develop other forms of discipline, which are a further continuation of habits.
So, habit, discipline, the continuation of a particular idea - these prevent understanding. If I want to understand a child I have to look, I have to observe, not at any given moment only but all the time, while the child is playing, crying, doing everything. I have to watch it; but the moment there is a bias I have ceased to watch. The discovery for oneself of the biases, the prejudices, the experiences and the knowledge that prevents this observation is the beginning of self-knowledge. Without that enquiry of self-knowledge you cannot observe. Without stripping the "I" of the glasses of prejudices and the innumerable conditionings, can you look? How can the politicians look at the universe, the world, because they are so ambitious, they are so petty, concerned with their advancement, with their country? And we too are concerned with our service, wife, position, achievements, ambitions, envies, conclusions; and with all that we say, "We must look, we must observe, we must understand." We can't understand. Understanding comes only when the mind is stripped of all these - there must be a ruthless stripping. Because, these engender sorrow, they are the seeds, the roots of sorrow; and a mind that has roots in sorrow can never have compassion.
I do not know if you have ever taken up one thing and gone into it and probed into it - such as, envy. Our society is based on envy, our religion is based on envy. Envy is expressed in society as "becoming", socially climbing the ladder of success. Envy includes competition and that word "competition" is used to cover up envy; our society is built on that. And the structure of our thinking is built on envy with its comparisons and competition to be something. Take that one thing, envy, understand it and go right through it. Put your teeth into it and strip the mind of envy. And it requires energy, doesn't it? to go through envy, to watch it in operation outside of us and inside the skin, to watch the expression of envy, the fulfilment of envy and the frustration of envy which include ambition, jealousy, hatred, and to take that and go right through it not only semantically verbally, logically, precisely in thinking but also actually strip the mind of all envy so that it does not think in terms of competition of reaching, gaining. I am sure you have not done it - not only people who have come here for the first time but also the people who have heard me for thirty years. They have not done this, they skirt round it, explain, play. But to take stock of themselves, day after day, every minute, ruthlessly, to penetrate into this appalling thing called envy - that requires energy. That energy is not commitment to non-envy, you understand? When one is concerned with the understanding of envy, there is no duality as non-envy to which one is committed, as violence and non-violence. The desire to become non-violent is a directional commitment, and that directional commitment gives you energy. Don't you know that when you are committed to some form of activity - saving the Tibetan children, saving the Indian nationality, or something else - , it gives you an extraordinary vitality. The people who have fought for this unfortunate country, who have been in prisons - they have had extraordinary energy to do all that, because they were committed to something. This commitment is self-forgetfulness in something; it is a substitution and the self is in identification with that something, and that gives energy. But to enquire into envy which is non-directive, requires a totally different form of energy, because you are not committed to non-envy, you are not committed to a state when you have no envy. In the search to go into envy you need an astonishing, potent, vital, energy which has no relation to any form of commitment. Do please understand this: because you are enquiring ruthlessly into yourself, never letting a single thought go by which has the quality of envy, that energy comes which is non-directional, which does not come through commitment. That energy comes only when you begin to understand yourself, when the mind is stripping itself of all the contradictory processes which mean conflict.
The mind in conflict has no energy. Rather than have conflict, it is much better for it to live in a state of non-conflict whatever it be - ambitious, sluggish, lazy, indolent, idolatrous. There, you are wherever you are; you are stupid, that is all. But a mind which is stupid saying, "I must become clever, spiritual" and all the rest of it - such a mind is in conflict. And a mind in conflict can never have understanding it has not the energy to understand. Please do see this: a tortured mind, a mind caught in this duality has not the energy to understand; it is wasting itself in conflict. But the mind that is enquiring into itself, seeking out the corners, the recesses, the deep hidden regions of the mind in which the mind lurks, looking, looking, looking - in that, there is no conflict because it moves from fact to fact; it does not deny the fact or accept the fact, it is so; and that engenders an extraordinary energy without motive. Do experiment with this, Sirs, see it. Take as I said one thing like envy or ambition or what you will and work it right through. Not to strip the mind of envy - which you can't do-; then it becomes conflict, a duality, and your conflict takes away the energy; it is like a man who is violent trying to become non-violent. All the saints, the Mahatmas and the great ones of the land have been battling in themselves all day long, and that battle creates an energy which is not the energy of purification. But to have the energy of purification, you have to go into one thing, to observe, to understand, to see whether you can find out.
The mind is a vast thing, it is not just a little spot in the universe, it is the whole universe; and to investigate the whole universe the mind requires an astonishing energy. That energy is greater than all the rockets because it is self-perpetuating, because it has no centre from which to move. And you cannot come by this energy unless there is real enquiry into the movement of the mind as the outer and the inner, the inner with its division as the unconscious which is the storehouse of all the racial inheritance of the family, the name, the motives, the urges, the compulsions; and that enquiry is not a process of analysis. You cannot enquire into something that is nebulous, that is unknown, that is not predictable; you can theorize about it, you can speculate about it, you can read about it, but that is not the comprehension of the unconscious. Or you can look at it through Jungism, Freudism, or with the help of the latest analyst or psychologist; or you can go back to the eternal books like the Gita or the Upanishads - that does not give you the understanding of the unconscious of which you are a part.
What brings about the understanding of the unconscious? We are not trying to understand the unconscious. We are understanding more or less the conscious mind, its everyday activity. But the unconscious thing that is hidden, dark, from which all urges, compulsions cleavages, the intuitive, compulsive fears come in - how do you understand that? We dream either at night or during the day; the dreams are the hints of that unconscious, the intimations of the things which are hidden, taking new forms, symbols, images, visions and all the rest of it; and merely interpreting these visions, symbols, pictures is not the solution.
I do not know if you are following all this. Until the mind understands the unconscious as well as the superficial mind, there is no understanding of oneself. You understand the issue, Sir, of what I am saying? The mind is the conscious as well as the unconscious, the hidden. The conscious mind has recently acquired education as an engineer or as a physicist or a biologist or a professor or a lawyer; it is being imposed upon by the necessity of circumstances, it acquires a certain level of capacity. But behind the depth of the unconscious, there is the storehouse of experiences, of the culture, of the story of man; the story of man is there. So you are the story of man, and how do you go into that? Can the conscious mind go into it? Obviously not. The conscious mind cannot enter into something of which it is not aware. The conscious mind functions on the top, it may receive the intimations, the hints through dreams, from below, from the unconscious, from the hidden; but that conscious, open, surface-mind cannot enter into the deep recesses of the unconscious. And yet, the mind has to understand the totality of itself. You follow the issue?
Understand the question, first - not what the answer is. If you put the question to yourself, the question is put because you already know the answer. Otherwise you won't put the question. Do please see the importance of this. An engineer or a scientist puts a question because he has a problem and that problem is the outcome of his knowledge; and the problem exists only in the exploration of that knowledge and because of that knowledge he has the answer. For example, because of the scientific knowledge about the jet engine and all its implications, the problem arises: how to cover the distance from the Earth and go to the Moon. If we had not the knowledge we would not have the problem. The problem arises because of the knowledge, and the answer is already there because of the knowledge. Enquiry into the knowledge, how to find it out - that is the problem.
So I am putting to you the same question differently. The mind is both the conscious and the unconscious. We all know the conscious. The unconscious has deep, hidden recesses containing hidden desires, hidden wants, hidden longings. How can the superficial mind enter into that, uncover it, and wipe it all away and be refreshingly innocent, fresh, youthful, innocent, new? That is the quality of the new mind. Having put the question, you already know the answer, otherwise you would not have put the question.
I can analyse the unconscious by taking one experience at a time and analysing it very carefully, but this analysis does not solve the problem; because, the unconscious is a vast treasure-house and it will take a lifetime to go into one experience after another, and also it requires an extraordinary mind to analyse as the problem gets more complicated if I miss the true analysis. Yet it is imperative to cleanse the unconscious - whether it is possible or not, it is irrelevant now. The unconscious is the story of man, the historical story, the cultural story, the accumulative story, the inherited story, the story that has been adjusting, that has adjusted itself to contradictory urges, demands, purposes; it is the story of "you". You perhaps know yourself on the top very superficially; you may say, "I am a lawyer", or "I am a judge", on the surface. But there is the whole mind and the whole story; and the whole entity has to be cleansed. How will you do it? If it is a problem to you and you say, "I have got to find this out", then you will find tremendous energy to find it out.
How do you look at anything? How do you observe anything? How do you observe me? You are sitting there and seeing me, and how do you see me? Do you see me as I am? Or, do you see me verbally, theoretically, traditionally as an entity who has a certain reputation as the Messiah and all the rest of it? Bc clear yourselves how you observe the speaker who is sitting here. Obviously, you are looking with various eyes and various opinions, with various hopes, fears, experiences - all that is between you and the speaker and therefore you are not observing the speaker. That is, the speaker says one thing and what is heard is interpreted in terms of your knowledge of the Gita or the Upanishads or your infinite hopes, and fears; therefore you are not listening. You follow this? So, can the mind strip itself of its conclusions, of what it has heard, of what it has known, of what it has experienced, and see the speaker and listen to him directly without any interpretation?
What is actually happening to you directly, now, as you are listening? Now if you are listening, if you are observing, stripping the mind of all the stupid conclusions and all the rest of it, then you are listening directly, seeing the speaker directly. So your mind is capable of observing negatively - negatively, in the sense that the mind has no conclusions, has no opposites, has no directive; it looks; in that observation it will see not only what is near but also what is far away. You understand? Some of you have driven a car, haven't you? If you are a very good driver, you see three hundred to four hundred yards ahead and in that seeing you take in not only the near - the lorry, the passenger, the pedestrian, the car that is going by - but you also see what is far ahead, what is coming. But if you keep your eyes very close to the front mudguard, you are lost - that is what the beginners do. The mind can look far as well as very near, it sees much more than the eye, when you are driving.
The mind cannot observe, see what is near as well as what is far away if there is a conclusion, if there is a prejudice, if there is a motive, if there is fear, if there is ambition? Now, that state of mind which observes is the negative mind, because it has no positive and the reaction to the positive. It just watches, it is just in a state of observation without recollection, without association, without saying, "this is what I have seen, and this is what I have not seen", it is in a state of complete negation and therefore there is complete attention of observation. So your mind, when you observe, is in a state of negation. It is simply aware, not only of the thing very far but of the very near - not the ideal, there is no ideal in observation; when you have an ideal you cease to observe, you are then merely approximating the present to the idea and therefore there is duality, conflict, and all the rest of it. In that state of negation in which there is no reaction as the opposite of the positive, in that state of awareness, in that state of observation there is no association, you merely observe. And in that state of observation there is no observer and the observed. This is important to understand - understand in the sense of experiencing it, not verbally seeing the reason and the logic of it - because the experience of the observation in which there is no observer and the observed is really an astonishing state. In that there is no duality.
Sir, can you observe that way? You can't because you have never gone into yourself, never played with your mind, and the mind is never being aware of itself as thinking, watching, hoping, looking, searching; if you have not done that, obviously you can't come to this. Don't ask how to do this, don't ask for an answer. It requires hard, logical, steady work which very few of us are willing to do, to bring about a mind which is in a state of negation, which has stripped the totality of itself, both the conscious and the unconscious, of the story.
All that is important is: the mind has to be in the state when it can see, observe. It cannot see because of all its foolish conclusions, theories. But as it is interested in observing, it wipes out all these with one stroke. The wiping away of the totality of the mind, the conscious and the unconscious, is not an act of discipline, sacrifice. In that state of mind there is neither the conscious nor the unconscious. It is the unconscious that prevents you from seeing, observing, looking, because the moment you look, fear comes in - you may lose your job, or ten other different things which the unconscious is aware of, but the conscious is not aware of; because of fear, the mind says, "I won't look,I won't see". But when there is an intense urge, an intense interest to see, to observe, there is no longer the interference of all the stories of man, all the stories have been wiped away; then the mind is in the negative state when it can see, observe directly. Such a mind is the new mind. Such a mind has no direction and therefore it is not the political mind, it is not the Indian mind, it is not the economic, the scientific, the engineering mind, because it has exploded without direction, it has broken through everywhere, not merely in a particular direction. So, that is the religious mind.
The religious mind does not touch politics the religious mind does not touch the economic problems, the religious mind does not talk of, is not concerned of divorce, of non-divorce the temporary reforms, pacifying this part or that part because it is concerned with the totality and not with the part. So when the mind is functioning in particular directions saying, "I must be peaceful, I must not be angry, I must observe, I must be more kind", those partial directive activities do not result in a new mind.
The new mind comes into being without a direction and explodes. And that is hard, arduous work; it requires constant watching. You can't watch yourself from morning till night, vigilant, never blinking; you can't. So you have to play with it. When you play with something, you can carry on for a long time. If you do not know how to play with this sense of awareness lightly, you get lost; there again begins the conflict: how am I to be aware, what is the method, what is the system? As you are playing, you learn. So learning is not a matter of accumulation; the moment you accumulate you have ceased to learn. The mind which is full of knowledge can only add to itself further knowledge, further information. But we are talking of something in a totally different dimension, and you have to learn about it, and therefore it is not a problem; if it is a problem it has. come from your knowledge, and therefore it has the answer in the knowledge. But the state of the new mind is not within the field of knowledge, it is something entirely different. It is that state of creation which is exploding all the time. You do not know a thing about it, you cannot say that it is a problem to you, because it is a problem to you only when you know about it: and you do not know anything about it. Therefore to understand a thing knowledge has to come to an end. They are coming to that in the West, they are beginning to understand that knowledge is not at all enough; they know most things of life. but that is not leading them anywhere; they know about the universe, how it came into being, they know about the stars, they know the depth of the earth, the depth of human relations, the physical organism they know, they have added to the knowledge. They say we must not hate, we must be kind, we must be brotherly; but it has not led them very far.
So the new mind cannot come into being with authority, with the Masters, with gurus. You have to wipe off all that and start with a clean slate. And knowledge is not the way to clean the slate, knowledge is an impediment; knowledge is useful at a certain level, but not in the new mind. So the mind has to divest itself, of its own fears, its depths of sorrow and despair, to understand, to observe and to be aware of itself, to know itself and then see the futility of knowing itself. If you have once seen the absurdity of spiritual organizations - even of one organization, just one, whether you are a little group or a world organization as the Church or as something else - , when once you have seen it, it is over; when you have understood once, you have wiped the whole thing off completely. So you never belong to anything; therefore, there is no need to follow anybody.
So, you may be one of the happy few who say, "I have seen it", and who, in the breath of understanding, enter into the mind that is the Unknown. One can do it and from there reason logically, discuss. But most of you are unfortunate, you cannot do that because you have not the energy. Look at your lives, Sirs! You spend forty to fifty years working in an office with its routine, boredom, anxieties,fear, the mechanical nature of it; and at the end you say you must look into this. You are burnt out and you want to turn to something which is alive; you cannot though you may walk to the Himalayas or up and down the land - because you have not a fresh, eager, live mind. This does not mean that the bureaucrat, the office-worker has not got it, but he is destroying himself. He can get it there or anywhere, but it requires extraordinary energy. The yogis and the saints tell you, "you must be bachelors", "you must not smoke", "you must not get married", "you must not do this or that", and you follow them; but such following does not give that energy, that creates only conflict and misery. What releases that energy is direct perception, and that brings about the new mind.
It is only the mind that explodes without any direction that is compassionate - and what the world needs is compassion, not schemes. And compassion is the very nature of the new mind. Because the new mind is the unknown mind, it is not to be measured by the known; and one who has entered into it knows what it is to be in a state of bliss, to be in that state of benediction.
March 12, 1961
Bombay 10th Public Talk 12th March 1961
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