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Saanen 1972

Saanen 5th Public Dialogue 6th August 1972.

You know this is a dialogue, a conversation between us, between two friends who are seriously interested in all the problems of existence. So it is not a talk by me, but together to converse, to go into amicably, without any aggression into all the problems that perhaps one has. So what shall we talk over together this morning?

Q: (Italian)

K: Why don't we go straight to the point. We always go round and not come to the central issue. That's the first observation.

Q: (Italian)

K: I'm glad it's a nice morning, anyhow. We've know each other for the last forty years?

Q: Forty five.

K: Forty five - he says, why shouldn't we spend these three mornings talking over the question of how to look. If we had the key to that, then we can open any door. Do you want to discuss that? Yes, sir?

Q: It seems to me that one of our problems is that we have so many powerful motives to understand ourselves, and very little simple curiosity to learn the truth, find out the truth.

K: So what is the question?

Q: You have said several times that the motive to understand hinders understanding.

K: Quite. Now which do you want to discuss, talk over - observation? Yes? And we could include all the others in that, shall we? M. Ortalani asked if we could find out for ourselves how to look, how to observe, not only the world outside but also the world inside. And if we are capable or if we know or are aware how to look, then we have the key to many, many problems. And he wants to discuss, talk over what it is to observe. And I think if we could go into that, then the question of why don't you start from the unknown, but always have started from the known, then perhaps we shall be able to understand much more. And the relationship between thought and feeling - so perhaps we could include all those questions in this one question of his, which is: is it possible to observe or learn what observation is? Shall we start with that?

I wonder why we find it so difficult, this question of observation. To understand what observation is, we must also go into the question of abstraction, and 'what is'. Most of us live in abstractions. That's right isn't it? You know what I mean by abstraction. A formula or a belief, not entirely based on proof, short of proof. I looked up that word this morning in the dictionary - it says exactly that, and the root of that word is to stretch. Most of us look at things, at people, or ideas, with a mind that has already acquired a series of abstractions. Don't we? That is, abstractions are concepts, formulas, opinions, judgements - judgements which are contrary or acceptable.

So we have these abstractions, these images of words, ideas. We are sharing this together, please, you are not just listening to me - we are sharing together. Have you these concepts, ideas, beliefs, abstractions, which are short of proof? I have an opinion about you. I don't know you, I met you once or twice, but I have already opinions. I say, "You should or you should not." You know, you should do this or you should not do that. A judgement. You have opinions, haven't you, galore, about everything, almost - what I should do. Have you?

Q: Yes.

K: Now, how can you observe when these act as a screen between you and the thing which you observe? I've an opinion about the politicians, I've an opinion about the gurus, I've an opinion about, you know, dozens and dozens of things, of which I really don't know - I've no proof, but I have opinions, conclusions.

Now I'm asking myself why do I have opinions about anything, that is, images about anything? That lady asked, would you talk over laziness in relation to fear. Why have I an opinion about laziness? How do I know I am lazy? Discuss with me. How do I know that I'm indolent and therefore afraid to learn? When I say, I am lazy it's already an opinion, a conclusion, a judgement, which prevents me from looking at the fact that I do not want to learn, or that I want to learn. I've interposed the idea of laziness and fear.

Please, we're understanding, I'm not laying down the law, I'm not saying one should or not be lazy, I'm just looking at the fact that any abstraction, any image, any conclusion, and therefore any previous knowledge prevents perception. If I have an opinion about you, because I met you two or three times, next time I meet you the image which I have about you comes between you and me, therefore I do not perceive you, but I perceive you through the image which I have about you. Right? Wait, first see it. Then we will discuss what to do, how to prevent, or what is the mechanism which creates the image and see if that mechanism can lose its energy.

Have you images, conclusions about something? You have, haven't you, galore, dozens of them. Can you drop them? The next question is, how is it that these images come into being? What is the mechanism that produces these images? - images being conclusions, words, opinions, judgements, saying so and so is like that. Or so and so didn't listen to me while I was talking, and I'm hurt, because the person to whom I'm talking may be tired, may have been seeing all kinds of things happen to that person, and I want to hurt, or him to pay attention to what I'm talking about. So if that person doesn't, I get hurt. All these are abstractions. Are we sharing this, going together? Which means, you see the fact that you have images.

Q: (Italian)

K: Wait - he says, this applies to a false image, not to a right image. Wait - that's good enough, sir. There are good images and bad images, false images, and worthwhile images. Right? We are talking about all images, not the good and the bad.

Q: Is the structure of technology image-building?

K: Is it? I learn how to run a motor, and I have acquired knowledge of piston engines, internal combustion machine. And that knowledge is my memory, I've cultivated memory about that engine. And when I see another engine, a similar engine, my previous knowledge helps me to undo it or put it together again. That is, a mechanical thing, isn't it? We are talking not only of mechanical knowledge but psychological knowledge.

Q: If we're talking about psychological problems, knowledge, that doesn't seems to me that same, it isn't a formula.

K: Yes, it's a formula. But I need that formula to run a machine.

Q: That seems to apply only to mechanical things.

K: If I had no formula about a machine, must I learn each time? Must I each time forget what I've learnt and come to it new - about a machine?

Q: Obviously you couldn't.

K: Wait - obviously I couldn't, it would be absurd, wouldn't it? Now in human relationship, between you and me, you're not a machine, I'm not a machine.

Q: It seems to me you are avoiding the question, because if I have images about machines...

K: Wait - the gentleman says you are avoiding my question. We said, we need knowledge to run a machine, knowledge or a formula or previous examination and a remembrance of that. I need that to run a machine. Now between you and me, two human beings, you're not a machine and I'm not a machine. If I have a formula about you, a remembrance about you, a conclusion about you, or a judgement about you, that is the image I have about you. And you have an image about me. So what happens - the formula I have prevents me from meeting you anew.

Q: I still think the question is being avoided.

K: What do you mean - we are going into it, sir.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Sir, I want to know out of curiosity how to go to Montreux. I go and get in the station, get into that train, and the train is a mechanical thing that's moving down, going down, to Montreux. Now you and I are not, you are not a station, I'm not a passenger - we both are human beings - isn't there a difference between you and me and the train and the technology?

Q: Obviously there is.

Q: Obviously there's feeling.

K: Not only feeling, but we are such complex entities, aren't we? What is the difficulty in this?

Q: You know that a man has been in a concentration camp and certain subjects must not be spoken about. Isn't it a good thing to know this?

K: One has been to a concentration camp - and one has gone through hell. And isn't it good to remember - is that what you are saying?

Q: No, isn't it good for the other person to know that there are things not to be spoken about?

K: I have been to a concentration camp and it is good for another to know about it. Is that it?

Q: What the lady said was, if there was a man who had gone through concentration camp - isn't it a good to know certain things about this so that you do not touch on certain subjects.

K: That's it - you have understood the question? If a man has been to a concentration camp and you know that he has been there, you don't touch certain things - his experience, because it's painful to him, so you don't enter into that. So you have an image about that man which prevents you, or helps you not to enter into all his pain and revive his anxiety and all the rest of it.

Q: Sir, is it because we are either seeking expansion or avoiding contraction from the environment - the 'I' seeking expansion.

K: Look, sir, I just want to know, as the gentleman asked, how to look. What it is to look at trees, mountains, at the whole technological world, and also at the world within - I just want to look. And he wants to know, what does it mean to look. And we are making this tremendously complicated. I can't look at you if I have any opinion about you, that's a simple fact.

Q: Doesn't technology, the train and the passengers, force you to have opinions.

Q: (Italian)

K: He says, it's fairly obvious that opinions, judgements prevent understanding of each other. That's fairly obvious. And why don't we go further beyond that. You can't go beyond that if you haven't dropped your prejudice.

Q: (Italian)

K: I don't know how to deal with all of you - I'm lost. For me, it's very simple. May I state it, very simply? If I look at a tree, to me the seeing of a tree is the non-interference of thought. When thought interferes between my observation of that tree, I am not looking at the tree. Right? Thought is the knowledge of that tree, which is useful when I am classifying what kind of a tree it is. But before I classify it, I just want to look at it. And I cannot look at it if there is any form of image about it - that's simple. The same with the mountain, with the river and the green meadows. That is, when I look without the interference of thought, which is the response of memory, experience, knowledge, then there is a totally different relationship between me and the tree. I do not identify myself with the tree, but the observation is much more intense, the observation is completely total. So I observe without the interference of any conclusion - the mountain, the tree, the sunset. I don't know if you saw, yesterday evening, the sunset, on the hills. It was a marvellous sight, just to look at it, without saying how beautiful, how lovely, what extraordinary Alpengluhen, what a beautiful thing it is - just to observe, without a word, then you see much more, the intensity is much stronger. I do not know if you have ever done it.

Now, I want to look at you - you've hurt me, you've praised me, you've talked behind my back, you've said you should, you should not do that, this, you are an idiot, you are a great man, you're a saint, you're an ass - you've said all these things. And I look at you - should I look at you with all the incidents, accidents, words which you have used against me? If I look at you with all those, I don't see you. That's fairly simple, isn't it? I don't see you, I don't understand you, I have no relationship with you, though you have called me all kinds of things, pleasant, unpleasant, talked, scandalized me or whatever you do - that's your affair. And if I accept all the gifts you have given me, the insults, the flattery, the gifts become more important, don't they - I don't see you. And I want to see you. So any image that I have about you prevents me from looking at you.

Similarly, any conclusion I have about myself, that I'm good, that I'm bad, that I'm noble, ignoble, there is great nobility in me, but I act ignobly - all that kind of thing - all that is an image, a conclusion about myself. So I can't learn about myself if I have any previous opinion about myself. That's all. Wait. The world outside, technology, the trees, the mountains, science, all that, I want to look at it as though I'm looking at it for the first time in my life. If I do I see things much more vividly, more intensely. I find new things in that look. And if I want to look at you, if I have an image about you I can't see you, I have no relationship with you, the image prevents me from having a contact with you. Inwardly if the mind has any opinion about itself, then it can't learn about itself. That's very simple.

Now is that clear? Clear both verbally and intellectually - we're not talking about the feeling about it, the feeling that how destructive it is in relationship to have an image. We'll come to that. Now I say to myself, why do I have opinions or knowledge about the tree? You understand? I'm beginning with the most simple - why do I have knowledge about the tree? It is useful to have knowledge, it gives you interest, what species of pine, species of oaks and so on. It's fun to have knowledge about it. But when that knowledge comes between me and the tree, I don't see the tree. And to me the tree is extraordinarily important, the beauty of the tree, and so on and so on.

Now the next question is, why does the mind prevent direct contact with the trees, mountains and so on, but always it creates an image about it? Why does it do it? You've understood my question - you answer it, sir. Don't listen to me.

Q: Sir, is it possible to look at the image of the tree with the same intensity that I look at the tree?

K: Yes, sir.

Q: In other words, it's not the way of looking.

K: The capacity to observe - wait. The capacity to observe the image that you have about the tree, and the tree. To look, is what the question is. Now what happens, see the logic of it. To look at a tree without the image requires energy. To look at that tree, which is alive, which is moving, which is marvellous, with its branches, its leaves - to look at it you need energy. But that energy is dissipated when you have a conclusion about the tree, when you have knowledge-knowledge is useful about the tree, but when you're looking and that knowledge comes in, that knowledge prevents you observing with your total energy.

So laziness comes in when you have this conclusion, opinion and so on about the tree. Laziness is a conclusion. Right?

Q: I thing it might be useful to look at why society educates people to think in terms of cliche.

K: Why does society train people to think in cliches? Why do you blame society when you have them. Just a minute - stick to one thing, please.

Q: Sir, to look I must be present. To look, to observe, I must be there, I must be present. I have had also the feeling, I am present - it may be imagined but I don't think it is - this feeling, I am present, I am here.

K: Yes, sir, I understand your question but we'll come to that presently. For the love of god, stick to one thing, step by step into it.

Q: Sir, when you look at the tree, you suddenly see that you're looking at it through the image, a cliche - you can see that - I think it's very disagreeable so you drop it.

K: But do you drop it?

Q: I do.

Q: May I ask if perception is the same thing as the energy for perception? Does this happen the same with emotion?

K: Sir, go slowly with me, will you? Will somebody protect me?

Q: (Inaudible)

Q: (Italian)

K: No, I made that clear, sir. May I go into it a little bit - give me a little hearing, lend me your ears! Really, it's a very interesting problem, tremendously interesting, because we have made life so dull, so boring, so mechanical, there is nothing new, it is always secondhand. And to see a tree as though for the first time in your life - you understand what that means?

Q: (French)

K: He says, why do you talk about the mountain, trees, why don't you see the fact that we are here. The fact that you are here is because you have an image about me. Come on, sir. You don't know a thing about me, but you have an image about me, because you have read books, there has been propaganda, articles, all the rest of that rubbish. So you have an image.

Q: No, not necessarily.

K: Wait, madam. You have an image about me - why? What right have you to form an image about me, not knowing a thing about me. I may be a crook, I may be, god knows what - but why do you have an image about me?

Q: Don't you have an image about your secretary, sir?

K: Could I have an image about my secretary? I have no secretaries. Why should I have an image about my secretary? You don't meet it - you are avoiding the issue. You're all here because you have an image about me. Right?

Q: No. I mean, if you hear Beethoven once and you like music, you want to hear the music again - that's nothing to do with an image of Beethoven. If I am touched by your words, it's nothing to do with an image of you. Simply I'm touched by your words, as I'm touched by music.

K: Madam, just listen - I understand that. I took the train, the mountain, the river, the bird, because it's fairly easy to observe the images that we have about them. It's fairly easy. And I do not know if you have ever experimented with yourself to look at all that without a single word. Then if there is no movement of thought, which is the word, then you see the thing entirely differently - that's all my point.

Now you are here because some of you have an image about the speaker, and therefore you don't listen to the speaker at all. You are interpreting what he is saying according to the image you have about him. Now if you are listening for the first time, as though for the first time, then what is the relationship? Then you are curious. The next moment you and I are going to die, and then you would listen, wouldn't you? You'd put your heart and mind, you'd have no image, you'd say, "What are you saying? I want to find out." You won't be interpreting, you won't say, "Well, Jesus said that, the Buddha said that and Jung said that or Mr Smith said that." You don't listen.

Now, to come back to the question, why does the mind create these images, and live with those images, and project those images? Find out, sir, why. Why have you an image about the speaker? Or you may not have an image, you say, "By Jove, he's saying something, I'd like to find out, I like to hear music, I like to see that tree, it doesn't matter, a dozen times - it's different each time." Because each time I look at it without a single word, without a single thought, therefore it's always new. And therefore it's always my friend.

Now I want to find out why the mind creates these conclusions, images and holds on to them. And they are abstractions, they are not facts - the tree is the fact, not an abstraction about the tree. And I live in my abstractions. I don't know if you follow all this. Why do I do it? Why does the mind insist and sustain the images - what is the meaning behind it?

Q: Because we are taught to do so, we are trained to do it.

K: We are trained to do that.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Wait, just let's take that one question, please. We are trained, from childhood, by the culture we live in, the religions, with the image, all the rest of it. We are trained. And so you retain them? And if you see what it does, will you drop them?

Q: If...

K: Wait, find out, do listen to this. I've been trained by the society, the culture I live in, to have the images about my saviour, my god, my belief, my wife, my husband, my neighbour. I have images. I say, why do I have images, and I blame it on society, or I say, examine it, analyse it, but at the end of it I've got the images still.

Q: After...

K: Wait - I'm going to show you - be patient. I want to see why my mind creates it, and why it lives with these images. It lives with these images because it's essentially lazy - it's easier to live with an image than with the fact of a tree. Therefore I say, "By Jove, my mind is lazy and therefore it lives in abstractions." You've understood what I've said? Because it's easier to live with an idea, with an image, rather than with the fact which is always changing. It's easier for me to live with an image about you, because I've come to a conclusion, and, you know, I don't want to think any more about it. I think you are a great man and that's the end of it, or I think you're an ass, a fool, and that's the end of it?

So to learn means the image comes to an end, which means the mind must be active, alive, and it cannot be alive if there is an image.

Q: Sir, that simply means that the image is also a fact, but that fact doesn't observe the tree first.

K: Of course, sir, I'm telling you that, I've said that previously.

Q: Then the image disappears...

K: Wait, it doesn't disappear - look at it, take time - all that you are concerned about is how to get rid of the image. I'm not, I want to see why it comes into being, what is the machinery that builds the image, if that machinery has no energy it comes to an end naturally. So I want to see. Look what takes place. If I have an image about you, I'm in conflict with you, and I like that conflict. It says, "That keeps me alive". Which is part of my laziness.

So I see first of all, the mind is lazy and likes to live in a rut - the rut being the belief, the opinion, the conclusion. I've talked to several people, and they've formed an opinion about somebody, and you can't shake them - you show the facts, you show the logic of it, the truth of it, nothing doing, because their opinion is right. Haven't you met such people all your life? Christ exists and that's the end of it. Marx is right and that's the end of it, the Little Red Book is the most marvellous thing - that's the end of it. So why does the mind do it? Because it finds in the Red Book, in Marx, in Jesus, complete security, which means complete laziness - it hasn't to think any more. And it's afraid to learn any more, because to learn something more means disturbing 'what is', what is your conclusion, your image. So I see the brain likes to live in security, in abstractions. So abstractions are more important than the fact. I have formed an opinion about you, rightly or wrongly. And that opinion is a conclusion, and to change that, and say, "By Jove, I'm mistaken, you are different," that needs little thought, a little energy, that is, I don't want to be wrong. I would rather you be wrong.

So the brain, says, "I want security, and my security is in a belief, in a conclusion, and don't disturb it." Right? So having found what it imagines to be a belief and having found security and therefore becoming lazy, it doesn't want to be disturbed. Watch your own mind, sir, not mine - I haven't been through all this mess.

Q: It seems to me, sir, that when one observes something, say a mountain in all its glory, one receives an impression. Can you tell us what an impression is, it doesn't necessarily leave an image.

K: Of course, sir - an impression. I have an impression about the mountains, I have an impression about you - I don't know you, I have an impression, a vague feeling, you have impressed me, you've left a mark on me, pleasant or unpleasant. Next time I meet you, that impression is strengthened, and I say, "By Jove, he's a nice chap", or not a nice chap, and from that, the third time, the image is concluded. Please look at it - the brain would rather live in an abstraction, in which it finds security, and though it is very disturbing, that is the only security it has.

So the brain needs security. And therefore the image becomes the most important thing. I have formed a conclusion that there is no life after death, or there is life after death, it gives me tremendous comfort, don't talk any more about it. I live in that belief. It gives me tremendous security, whether that belief is neurotic, real, illusory, doesn't matter. So I've found out an image about you, about anything, gives security to the mind, to the brain, and therefore refuses to shake it. And that's what's the matter with all of you.

Q: Must we not see if there is such a thing as security, or it is just another concept?

K: I'm coming to that. So as I said, the brain needs security, otherwise you can't function properly. You understand, sir? Like a child given complete security, it's happy, it learns quicker. And when the family is broken up, when the father and mother are quarrelling, the poor child feels lost, gets neurotic, and becomes violent, begins to shoot, kill people. You've seen all this.

So do you find security in an image? Go into it, be aware of it, don't talk about good image, bad image, people who have been to concentration camps and all the rest of it - do you have images, conclusions, in which you take security - have you?

Q: Temporary.

K: Temporary security.

Q: Or if you are separated from your beloved, you have an image.

K: Yes - when you are separated from your beloved. That is, when you love somebody in America and you're here, and you feel separated, and therefore you have an image about him and temporarily that image gives you comfort. But my beloved over in India might be chasing another girl!

Q: Sir the whole of science is based on images, and that's natural.

K: Sir, keep it simple, it's complex enough. Do you have an image in which the brain, your mind, your feelings have established vested interest in them and therefore they won't break away, you won't drop them. And therefore your mind is lazy. Then you say to yourself, "How am I to stop image-making? How am I not to conclude at any time but always a mind that is completely free, so that it meets everything anew - the tree, you, everything anew, fresh, free?" I have seen how the machinery builds the image. Have you seen it? Have you really seen it, that is, to observe? Have you observed, have you an insight into the image-making? If you have an insight into it, you won't make any image at all, because the insight is the security. Do you get it? No, sir, don't shake your head.

Q: Is it your memory makes you aware of the image?

K: No. Is it your memory that makes you aware of the image? Not at all - I've been through this. Need I go through all that again? I've an impression about you, from the first time I meet you - impression, pleasant or unpleasant. That imprint may be very, very light, like a light footprint on the sands, but the next time I meet you that footprint has taken a little more shape. And the third time it's solid. Now, that impression has become strong by my contact with you, because if I had no impression I'd have to look at you each time anew, have to watch you, listen to you, have to feel you anew each time - which is much more troublesome, rather than say, "I've an image about you, you are this" - finished. And having established that image, it gives me security and I don't want to learn anything more about you.

So I see from that, I observe from that, the mind, the brain, having established a belief, finds in that belief security, whether it's real or unreal, and acts according to that belief, and therefore acts neurotically. I'm a Muslim - that's just an idea, and I take security in that. And because it is divisive it is neurotic action. Do you feel all this?

Q: Could we say that the energy to meet each new experience is our security?

K: No. Each new experience is our security - no, there is no security in that at all.

Q: No, the energy to meet the new experience is our security.

K: The energy to meet that experience, in that energy there is security.

Q: That is the security.

K: That is security. That is, to meet each experience anew demands energy, that energy is security. What do you say?

Q: (Italian)

K: He says - I understand what you have said very clearly. It is my laziness. And what is wrong? If I like my laziness, why should I change? I say, "Don't."

Q: (Inaudible)

K: The same thing.

Q: I don't go on...

K: Madam, you understand what that question was? He said to me - I understand what you have said very clearly, but I like to be lazy, and most people are.

Q: (Italian)

K: That is, when the security in illusion is convenient, happy, why leave it? Wait - don't leave it, stay with it, stew in it, boil in it. Wait - so you boil in your security, and the other has his security, and when you meet you have battle. The Communist finds in Marxism complete security, and the capitalist in his, and when they meet there is war. If you like it, keep it.

Q: (Italian)

K: Therefore I say that is no security at all. Security lies in the insight to see where there is no security. You have understood?

Q: Is there not the danger of the word?

K: The word also becomes illusory. Sir, have you understood this so far? Understood, that means you have insight into this, therefore you have dropped your laziness and your image. Have you? If you have not, why not, what's wrong? You've spent money, energy, sitting in a hot tent, and you leave it today with your images back. What's the point of it? Why do you go on when you see for yourself the stupidity, the lack of security in the things in which you have put your faith, your security in? Don't you, sir - the Stock Market, if you have any stocks, when you see danger in the Stock Market, don't you sell? Buy something which is much more secure? Why don't you do the same here - not that this is a Stock Market.

Q: Sir, if I drop my beliefs, my images now that I've seen them, there is nothing there. And I'm scared of having nothing.

K: I see if I drop my images, my conclusions, my laziness, I've nothing left and I'm frightened. Why do you drop them? Because somebody says drop them? Or you drop them because you have insight, you have an understanding in that, therefore your understanding is your security. Therefore there is no fear. You understand, sir? Once you have the key of observation, which is insight, which is the capacity to look, understand intelligently, then that intelligence is the security. And you're lazy, that's why.

So observation means non-abstraction. There is only observation, not the observer who is an abstraction. The observer is an abstraction, is an idea, is a conclusion, is the past. And through the eyes of the past you are looking at the trees, the mountains, your wife, your children and all the rest of it. And it's part of your laziness. Now to see that, to have an insight into it, to be aware of this extraordinary structure of illusion, which is an abstraction, that observation in itself is the total security. You've got it?

So can you leave this tent this morning happily, free of all the images, and therefore only have this light of insight? Have you?

Q: (Italian)

K: Madam - you've understood? I'm not going to translate, I'm sorry. She says - I must translate - The mountains and the trees, the rivers and the green meadows are different from man, and the collective man, the mass, the mass of people. Now what is my relationship with the mass? What is my relationship with this total seething mankind, with all its miseries, and all the rest of it? Is it laziness that I don't find my relationship with it? Is it my indifference? Or in asking that very question I have activated my energy to find out? Don't look at me, sir - what do you say? You understand? The lady says, it's easy to talk about the hills, the trees and the mountains and the flowers, but when it comes to human relationship, whether with one or with many, life becomes very difficult. It is difficult, as we said, because we have no relationship with anything - we have relationship in abstraction. And therefore we live in abstraction - the mass, the 'me', the conclusion, the image - we live in abstraction. Do you realize what it means? That we don't live at all but live in images, in conclusions which have no value.

Q: Sir, how can we get rid of all that?

K: I've shown it to you, sir. What shall I do? Look, sir, let me make it very simple - keep it very simple. When you see a physical danger you react, don't you. Why? When you see danger you react instantly, because you are conditioned to the danger, whether it's a wild animal, a bus or somebody trying to hit you, you react instantly. That is, you react according to your conditioning, instantly. Now you are conditioned psychologically, mentally, intellectually and in the cell, you are conditioned to live in speculations, in concepts, in formulas - you're conditioned to that, and you don't see the danger of it. If you saw the danger of it as you see the danger of an animal, you'd drop it instantly. So you say, "I don't see the danger of it, therefore I can't drop it. How will you help me to see the danger of it?" Are you doing the work or am I doing the work? I am doing the work, you are just listening. You're not working. You say, "Now tell me how to break down these images." That is, you are not exercising your energy to find out. That means you're being lazy, and want to be told. Then you can say, 'Well I agree or disagree, it's not convenient, it is so - ' you play with it. But if you say, "Look, I want to find out," because you see the truth of it - I can't live with images because they are destructive, they're dangerous. And you, to see that you must have energy, you must work, it isn't a matter to be told by another. I've told you, but you don't put your vitality into it.

So the mind, the brain, which is old, conditioned, and always living in the past, or projecting in the future from the past, cannot face something that is living, because it means you have to apply, you have to move, you have to watch. And so the mind says, "Please, I am lazy, don't, I'd rather live with my images, face the dangers, dangers of everything, but rather, please, I like to be comfortable." That's all you want.

But, sir, to find the truth you have to live tremendously, without a single security. That means, only security in intelligence that comes through insight. Then you'll be a first-class technician, because you don't project your image into doing a technical job. Then you have a marvellous relationship with each other.

Q: (French)

K: Madame, listen. Some author has written a book in which the author says that man must live alone now, not depend on Jesus, on Marx or this or that.

Q: (French)

K: Yes. God, heaven, hell, all the rest of the works. Now isn't it very strange that you read a book and learn from that? No? Somebody tells you, a first-class biologist, or a first-class physicist, or a first-class psychologist, that you must throw away all these cultural inhibitions, and fears and stand alone. And you read it, and you say, "By Jove, I must stand alone." Suppose there were no books at all, suppose there was nobody to tell you, what would you do? Which indicates you will accept a first-class biologist because he is a first-class, and therefore you don't live it yourself - you're all secondhand people.

Now what would happen if there was no Marx, no Jesus, no psychologist, you'd be left, wouldn't you? You have to solve this thing yourself. And that's what we have been trying to do, during these eight or nine talks, to force you into a corner so that you look at things. And if there is no speaker sitting on the platform, then you'll have to face it yourself - and we are too lazy to face it ourselves, we'd rather be told - and then make that into a problem.

So I hope this morning, after listening for an hour and a half, whatever time it is, that you walk out leaving all your images behind, and look at the tree as though you were looking at it for the first time. Then you will have tears in your eyes because of the beauty of the tree. Then you will see the mountains and the hills and the shadows as you have never seen them before. Then you will see your wife, your friend, your husband for the first time, and the beauty of that first time. And then you will see yourself without any image and you realize that you are nothing. And in that there is vast beauty, being absolutely nothing. Then you will know what truth is.


Saanen 1972

Saanen 5th Public Dialogue 6th August 1972.

Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.

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