Bombay 5th Public Talk 27th February 1966
The last few times that we met here we have been talking over together several things, including how important it is that there should be a radical change in the human mind and heart. We went into the question of time and we said that thought is the product of time and thought cannot possibly under any circumstances bring about a revolution - thought can only bring about a modification, but not a radical revolution which is absolutely necessary. Also we talked over together the question of fear, sorrow and death.
Now, this evening, I would like to talk over with you, if I may, a very complex question, to examine which needs a fresh mind. It needs a mind that is willing to examine, to investigate, to discover for itself; it needs a mind that questions. And very few of us question. What you generally do is to question and try to find an answer. Surely a questioning that demands an answer has already ceased to be a question, because it is only interested in the answer and not in the question itself. What we are going to do this evening, if it is possible, is to question and not wait to find an answer.
To question anything there must be freedom. But if you question in order to find a convenient, comfortable, satisfying answer, you have stopped questioning; and one of the most difficult things in life is to question, never to accept but always to say `no' - that way we begin to uncover. We must be always `no-sayers' rather than `yes-sayers'. In that way we begin to discover for ourselves, without asking somebody else.
We are going to talk over together a thing that is tremendously important. I am using the word `tremendously' without exaggeration; it is of great significance. Because, if one does not know how to meditate, if one does not know what is the meaning of meditation, it is like being blind. You will never see the beauty of the sky, you will never see the colour, you will never see the movement of trees, the hills, the beauty of the earth. And to find out what it means to meditate - not how to meditate - demands a mind that is passionate. Very few of us are deeply passionate. We pursue pleasure and mistake pleasure for passion. Passion is not within the field of time, but pleasure is always within its field. And we need passion to question and to pursue that question to the very end. And where there is passion, you must have energy; and energy is not the product of thought or mentation. So we are going to find out together what it means to meditate.
We are always seeking some form of mystery in life; because our life is rather boring, lonely, ugly, insignificant, worthless, it has very little meaning. Going to the office every day, or labouring vainly - the whole of it is so boring, so lonely, without much meaning, that we would like to have some mystery in life, some romantic mythical feeling. And we hope through meditation to come upon this mythical, romantic experience. A mind that is questioning is never seeking experience. Please do follow all this. Because, if you do not, you will be left empty-handed and you will say at the end, "He never told us how to meditate". We are not concerned with how to meditate; but what is meditation is much more important. A mind that questions or asks how to meditate wants some experience. Because the world is very shallow, empty, dull, all our lives are without much meaning; so we want more and more experience and we hope, through drugs, through various forms of meditation, self-hypnosis and so on, to have experience of deeper things.
So we have to understand the significance of experience. You need experience in skill. To be a skilful doctor, you need experience - that is, practice. A good surgeon has operated on many people and knows that his hands are very delicate. The delicacy of the hand, its precision, is the result of a great deal of experience. And as we said, we want an experience in a different dimension, at a different level, so we are all asking how to meditate, what to do. Behind the `how' there is the pleasure which one seeks in greater experience. And so one seeks a method, a system, a practice; or one takes one of those modern drugs which give one a higher sensitivity, in which there is an experience, and that experience is always depending on the condition of one's mind, one's heart, one's culture, one's behaviour, what one's beliefs are. So the experiences, the visions, the methods only bring about the response of one's own condition. And so any experience, any vision, any demand for greater excitement, greater vision, is still within the field of one's own pleasure.
So a man who is really enquiring into this question of meditation - and you must enquire - must put aside completely the method, the desire to experience. Because, if you desire an experience, you will project what you want to experience. So you must completely put aside all that, and then you can begin to enquire. But if you are enquiring in order to experience some fantastic vision of your particular little god, created by your particular little mind or by the particular culture in which you have been brought up, then you will experience that vision. But it is the result of your narrow, petty little state; it has nothing whatsoever to do with reality. So that is clear. There is no method, no system. Meditation is not prayer, nor demanding from or supplicating to some deity, because you happen to be unhealthy, because you want a better job, and so on. If you have put away all that, then you can begin to enquire what is meditation. Because, as I said, if you are not capable of meditating, you do not know what it means; you will never know what beauty is; like a blind man, like a dead man, you will never hear the breeze among the leaves, you will never see the bird on the wing, you will never see the beauty of the hill, you will never hear the lonely call of a night. So every human being must understand what meditation is.
First of all, as we said, any enquiry demands passion. You can enquire casually, or enquire with curiosity, or enquire with a motive. If you have a motive, a curiosity, or a casual passing questioning, then you will never have the passion to put the question and pursue it to the very end. And to have passion you must have energy. As we said, pleasure, enthusiasm, is not passion. Passion implies constant, persistent energy, not limited within the field of your own little mind. If you want to know something - it does not matter what it is - you must have great energy, you must go after it. And that is what we are going to do, if we can, this evening.
First, how is one to release the energy? - an energy which is not twisted, which is not the result of torture; an energy which is free; an energy which is not contained within the space of one's thought, of one's desire, of one's pleasure. And to release that energy which is not contaminated by thought requires great attention, that demands total self-knowing. Energy is wasted through conflict, both outward and inward. To gather that energy, it has been said that you must do certain things: you must be a bachelor, you must suppress, you must control, you must regiment, you must drill it. When you do all those things, you are shaping the energy, or containing the energy within a formula and giving it a particular direction, depending on the motive.
So we expend our energy through conflict. When all the saints have said that you must be a bachelor to have this tremendous energy, what takes place? Observe it in yourself, and watch it. There is only suppression, control, and for the rest of your life you are in battle with yourself - your organism, your mind, your feeling. When you are looking at people, you are dulling your senses in order to preserve this energy, to transform or to transfuse this energy. So you shut away any sense of beauty - even to look at a tree - because it cultivates the senses, makes you feel very strongly to look at a tree, to look at a man or woman. And sex is taboo for a man who wants to find God - whatever that may mean. All this implies suppression, distortion, control, and putting a lid on yourself; and inside you are boiling. All that process is a distortion of energy.
When sex and all that business is part of life, you have to understand it - not suppress it, not deny it, nor indulge in it. And it becomes tremendously important. When you deny it, and when you don't find release all round, intellectually, emotionally, sensitively, that is the only thing you have which gives you satisfaction, pleasure. We are not advocating indulgence. As I said, we must understand.
So you see that to be passionate demands energy; and that energy must be completely free, not distorted. A mind that is tortured with conflict obviously is not a free mind; its energy is always distorted, warped, conditioned, held. And how can such a mind enquire? Enquiry demands great vitality, force, energy. And we waste the energy in conflict: the conflict of duality; the good and the bad, this is right and that is wrong, this must be done and the future idea, a formula with which you are acting. So you have to find out - which you are doing now - how to understand this duality and not be in conflict at any time with regard to it.
What is duality? There is duality - man and woman, black and white, morning and evening, the "me" and "not me", I want to achieve great success, an end towards which I am working and so on - in which we live. Yesterday, today and tomorrow; hating and pursuing love; being violent and desiring to be in a state of non-violence, action and inaction - we know what duality is, and we are caught in its corridor; thought is beaten, going back and forth between the two, creating misery for itself. So one has to understand it in order to go beyond it. You cannot go beyond it unless you understand it.
So one has to enquire how duality arises. Not that there is not duality, not that there is not the world and something far beyond the world, not that there is not brutality and love - but one has to understand the reality of this conflict in duality. Unless you understand it and are free of it, the energy which is taken up in conflict becomes distorted, perverted; and therefore you have no energy to question, to be passionate to find out how this duality arises, how we are caught in the opposites.
What makes a mind a slave to duality? Please listen. This is not a superficial question. It requires your attention. It requires your capacity to penetrate into this question. Why have you this division between the Hindu and the Muslim, the Catholic and the non-Catholic, why? Your country and another country, your God and another God, heaven and hell, why? To find out one has to enquire into the process of thinking. You know, one can very clearly analyse objectively. One can see very well what are the causes of war; it does not take a very clever, deep mind. There are many causes of war. After discovering the causes you will not be able to have the feeling that war, hate, destroys humanity. No amount of analysis will give you that feeling. So one has not only to analyse very clearly, objectively, ruthlessly, sanely, but also to have this feeling; because through analysis you will never come to the feeling, the feeling being `seeing something completely'. And for that you must have passion.
So we are going to go together into this question of duality. Please, you are not merely listening to the words of the speaker. You are actually observing, through the words of the speaker, the facts in which you live daily. Otherwise, as we are going to enquire deeply into this question of meditation, you won't be able to follow it. All this, from the beginning of this talk to the very end, is meditation; it is this sense of attention which has nothing whatsoever to do with concentration. Any child, any schoolboy can concentrate. But to go right through, putting aside all one's personal desires, ambitions, pleasures, and find out all about this question of duality, attention is necessary. Because, as I said, unless you do it, every form of conflict only distorts energy. It is wasted energy. Only when the mind has no wasted energy and is able to have complete energy without any effort, will that energy go very far. And we are going to do that, this evening, so that you will not only understand this question of duality, but be, as we go into it, free of it. You can only be free of it, not through analysis, but by seeing the truth which can only be perceived when you have the feeling. You have to see the truth that war, hate, does not answer any problem; and you cannot see the truth of it, if you are merely intellectualizing about it.
So why is the mind, our being - why is it caught in this conflict of duality? That is, why does the very root of our being bring about this conflict? I can look at a woman, a car, somebody; why should I be in conflict? I can see that there is beauty and ugliness; but why the conflict? I can see the loveliness of a face, the ugly behaviour of human beings; and yet why should I be caught in any conflict? We are going to go into this. To go into it we must question the very root and not the superficial branches, the symptoms.
As long as there is the thinker and the thought, there must be duality. As long as there is a seeker who is seeking, there must be duality. As long as there is an experiencer and the thing to be experienced, there must be duality. So duality exists when there is the observer and the observed. That is, as long as there is a centre, the censor, the observer, the thinker, the seeker, the experiencer as the centre, there must be the opposite.
So is it possible to end all seeking. Please listen to all this carefully. You have to end seeking. For the moment you seek, you have created the object towards which you are going. As long as there is an experiencer who wishes to experience, he has created the opposite which he is going to experience. As long as there is a censor, a judge, an entity that judges, evaluates, criticizes, condemns, justifies, there must be the opposite, and hence the conflict. Now can the thinker, the observer, come to an end without effort? If he makes an effort to end himself, then it is a perversion, it is a waste of energy, and to end the observer becomes a conflict and so on.
So, is it possible to look without the observer? I hope I am making this thing clear. Is it possible for me to look at that house, without the observer, so that the observer is the observed, and therefore there is no conflict? I hope that, as this is being said, you are watching your own mind and your own heart, and doing it. Because if you don't do it, you will not know the next step to go further.
Can you look at something without thought? - which does not mean that you are asleep, or that you are vacant, blank. Can you look at that tree, at that flower, at that woman, or at that sky with the sunset, without the observer partaking, judging? That is, when you look at a flower, a man, a woman, or a child, are you looking at it, or are you looking at the image which you have of that flower, man, woman, or child? Please follow this. When you look at your wife, your child, your neighbour, you have images of your wife, your child, your neighbour - the memories are the images. The image which you have about your wife and the image she has about you are looking at each other. When you are looking at that flower, you are not looking visually, with your eyes, at that flower, but you are looking at that flower through the word, through the botanical meaning of that flower, through giving it a name; and therefore you are not looking.
So when you look and when there is no naming, no evaluation, but actual observation, then there is no observer at all. That is, if you can look at your ambition, or your hate, or your anger, what takes place? You justify it. Let us say, you have greed - which is another form of ambition. When you look at greed what takes place? Either you justify it and say that the world has it, or you condemn it because you have moral concepts about greed; so you never are in contact with the fact of greed; you are always the entity that says, "I am greedy" - and greed are two different things. But the observer himself is greed. If you can look at the fact of greed, violence, directly - not through words, formulas, concepts, images - then there is no observer, and therefore there is no duality. There is only the fact and therefore there is never a conflict.
So, when you look at the fact, when there is the observation of that fact only, then, because there is no conflict, you have the energy to look, to observe, to act. So when one begins to see this duality with all its pain, anxiety, conflict, travail and the whole business of it, when the observer is the observed, the duality loses its meaning, its vitality. And you must see it, not say, "How am I to see it"? We have explained what prevents the mind from seeing the fact that the observer is the observed. So, when you see, you are no longer in conflict, no longer caught in duality, therefore, there is a release of energy which is not being twisted and which is therefore free.
Then what has taken place with all this, if one has gone through all this? To realize all this, that conflict and conscious or unconscious effort pervert energy at any level, at any time - it has demanded your attention; you have been listening to yourself, watching, observing. In that process, a certain discipline has naturally come into being. To listen to all these talks - if you are listening at all - the very act of listening is an act of discipline. That discipline is not enforced, that discipline is not imitative, that discipline does not conform to a pattern through fear. You have listened because you are interested, and that very interest has created its own discipline. Therefore, the energy that had gone into the disciplining by suppression, conformity and all the rest of it, is now an energy which is highly disciplined - not through desire, not through pleasure or experience - and is highly capable.
All this - the previous talks and this talk - is an unrollment, an unfolding of the whole process of thinking, of the whole process of consciousness. Now if you have gone that far, not verbally but actually, then you can begin to enquire into the question of space and emptiness. There must be space, otherwise there is no freedom. A little mind has no space. A respectable, bourgeois, very carefully educated mind with all its problems and anxieties and fears and despairs - such a mind has no space within itself. So one has to go into the question of what is space.
What is space? Space is created by the object. Please listen, find out. There is this microphone, the object. And because of the object, there is space around it; and the object exists because of space. There is a house, and in the house there is a room. The room, because of the four walls, creates the space within the four walls; and there is space outside the house. There is space, because there is a centre within us. There is a centre - the centre that is the observer, the censor, the seeker, the entity that says, `I must', `I must not', the entity that says `I have been', `I am that', `I will be'. That centre creates space round itself; otherwise the centre could not exist.
Now is there space without the centre? You can only answer that question non-verbally, non-argumentatively, without an opinion that it is this or that. You can only answer it if the centre is not. And if the centre is and if that centre creates space, in that space there is no freedom whatever; you are always a slave.
So freedom demands that you find out for yourself what space without the centre is. Where there is the centre, the object, it is creating the space round itself; and because it exists and because it can only exist in the space round itself, it has no freedom at all. Therefore, as long as there is a centre that is the observer, the seeker, there is no freedom; and freedom can only exist when there is complete space, not space within the boundaries of the mind.
And also we must enquire into the question of emptiness. It is an amazingly important question. Because, if there is no emptiness, no new thing can be. If there is only a continuity, which is time, then whatever the activity, whatever the action that is involved in the activity, it cannot bring about something new. What it can do is to bring about a modified continuity. We have no time to go into this. It is only a mind that has understood space, that knows, that is aware of this emptiness; it is only such a mind that can be completely still.
Quiet, stillness, silence is not a product of thought. Silence is outside the field of consciousness. You cannot say I have experienced a state of silence. If you have experienced it, it is not silence. If you say, "I want to find out what silence is, I practise silence by not saying a word", this or that, it is not silence. But if you have understood consciousness, duality, time, and this whole question of discipline, order, then you will have enquired and discovered for yourself what space is and what emptiness is - really you cannot discover it; it comes upon you, it is there. You cannot experience silence any more than you can experience space and emptiness. But this is absolutely essential. And then only is energy completely free, uncontaminated, without any direction brought about through pleasure.
Now if the mind has gone that far, which is all a part of meditation, then there is a fact which cannot be expressed through words. Because words always have a definite meaning. Every word is loaded. Take the word `love'. How loaded it is, how heavy it is! Or the word `beauty'. But the word `love' and the word `beauty' are not the fact. The fact of love is not the word. But to live in that quality of love and beauty there must be this space, this emptiness and this silence. And from this silence there is action - not `having learnt, act'. Because then every action is non-productive of conflict. Then life, living in this world, going to an office every day, doing everything - into it there comes a joy, there is a bliss which is not pleasure, there is an ecstasy which is not the product of time. And without that, do what you will, social order and disorder, wars, conflicts will not bring about a happy human being.
What brings about bliss is the total awareness of this intense silence and from that silence action. Then you will know what bliss is.
February 27, 1966
Bombay 5th Public Talk 27th February 1966
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