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Bombay 1985

3rd Public Talk Bombay 9th February 1985

May we continue with what we were talking about last Sunday? We were talking about a holistic life, a way of living that's not fragmented, that's not broken up as our lives are, but to find out for ourselves a way of living that is holistic, that is whole, not fragmented, not broken up, not splintered. And we went into that question fairly deeply. We saw what were the causes of this fragmentation of the human brain. And also we talked about various factors in our social, moral and religious lives, that we have broken it up, as Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and so on. Religions have been greatly responsible for this catastrophe of human existence. And we talked also about time, time being not only the past, all the memories, the accumulated experiences and so on, modified by the present, and continuing into the future. That's our life. And we have existed on this earth according to the biologists and archaeologists and so on for over three and a half million years, and during that long interval of so-called evolution we have accumulated an enormous amount of memory.

And we also talked about the limitation of memory, and therefore the limitation of thought. And that limitation of thought has broken up the world geographically, nationally, religiously, as the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians and so on.

As we said the other day, this is not a lecture - lecture indicates to inform and to instruct, we are not doing that. You are not listening, if I may most respectfully point out, to a series of ideas, conclusions. But rather we are both together, you and the speaker, are taking a journey as two friends, talking over not only family problems but the world problems and so on. So this is as much your responsibility to listen to carefully as that of the speaker to say things clearly so that both of us understand what we are talking about.

And we are going to talk over many things, not only this evening but tomorrow evening, we are going to talk over together order and disorder, pleasure, love, sorrow and if we have time, death. These are all rather complicated questions which we all have to face in our daily life, whether you are rich or poor, or officials, a series of government officials, you have to face this problem of existence in which our lives are in a state of disorder, which is fairly obvious. Our lives, our daily lives, are in disorder, which means contradiction, saying one thing, doing another, believe in something and actually moving in a totally different direction from what we believe. And this contradiction creates disorder. I wonder if one is at all aware of these problems. Apparently there is going to be more and more disorder in the world on account of not only bad governments, economic conditions, social disorder and always the threat of war, which is becoming more and more imminent, more and more pressing. And all the governments are buying armaments all over the world, even the tiniest nations are buying armaments.

So there is, as you observe throughout the world, a great disorder. And our lives also, our daily lives are in disorder. And we are always pursuing order, not only governments, law, and so on, we want order because without order human beings will inevitably destroy themselves. I hope - one hopes that we are sharing the questions together. That you are also thinking about this question together, thinking together, observing together, listening together, having a dialogue in which you are participating. So it is not a matter of gathering some few ideas and conclusions, but together find out why we live in disorder, and can there be total order in our lives, and therefore total order is society. Society is brought about by us, is put together by us. Our greed, our ambitions, our envy, this individual concept of freedom, which we shall go into presently, this has brought about a great deal of disorder, a sense of individuality. Please listen, together let us listen to what is being said, actually listen. Not interpret, or resist, or defend, because we are not attacking anybody, we are merely observing what is going on in the world, together.

So in our lives, as we live it now, after all these millions of years, we still are in disorder. And man has always sought order because without order one cannot possibly function freely, holistically. Right? So to find out what is order, not a blue print, not something that you put into a frame and follow it. Order is something that is active, living, not conforming to a pattern, either the pattern being idealistic, historical dialectical conclusions, or religious sanctions. All religions throughout the world have laid down certain laws, certain sanctions, commandments, but human beings have not followed them at all. So we can put aside all those ideological conclusions. And also put aside your religious beliefs which have nothing to do with daily existence. You may conform, follow certain laws laid down by religion but that brings about also great bigotry, and so on.

So what is order? And is it possible to find out what is order when our brain is confused, disorderly? So we must first find out what is disorder, not order because when there is no disorder naturally there will be order. Right? So we must enquire together, together please, what is disorder? Why we live in disorder? One of the causes of this disorder, perhaps the major cause, is conflict, which we talked about in the last three talks, we won't go into it much more deeply this evening. Where there is conflict there must be disorder, not only between man and woman, but between nations, between the religious beliefs, faiths, conformity, there must be disorder. And one of the major causes of disorder is this concept, this illusion that we are all individuals.

As we said in the previous talks, we must question, doubt, doubt what the speaker is saying, question what he says, not accept anything from anybody, but question, investigate, not resist. If you merely resist what is being said, which may true or false, then our conversation comes to an end. If two people are talking over together their problems, if one is resisting then conversation ends. But if both of them, not persuading each other, not informing each other, not trying to influence the other, but together amicably, because they are friends, go into this question whether we live in this illusion that we are all separate individuals. The communist theory - most of you perhaps know it already - is that we are the result of a whole series of the environment, so change the environment then human beings change. Which is absurd altogether, because they have shown it - the Russian totalitarianism has pointed out very clearly the dominance of the few making them believe, controlling their thinking and so on and so on, has not brought about the end of individuality. On the contrary.

So we are going together to find out, because as we said that is one of the major causes of disorder in our life, each one thinking he is free, each one thinking his own fulfillment, his own desires, his own ambition, his own private pleasures. We are going to find out together if that is a fact, or a long established respectable illusion. May we go into this together? Together. Not accepting, nor denying. It's foolish to say, "I agree with you" or "disagree with you". Because you don't agree or disagree about the sun rising and the sun setting, it is a fact. You never say, "I agree with you, the sun rises in the East". So perhaps you could put aside the sense of agreement and disagreement. But together carefully without any bias or resistance, enquire whether there is actual individuality, or there is something entirely different. All right? Pull up your socks and let's talk over together.

Our consciousness has been the result of a million years, or more. Our consciousness contains all the animalistic, primitive essence. Because we come from the animal, from nature, so deep down in our consciousness one will find that there is still deeply the responses and the fears and the desire for security of the animals. That is part of our consciousness. Right? And also our consciousness contains all the innumerable beliefs, faiths, reactions and actions. Our consciousness is fear, pleasure, various memories, sorrow, and searching for something, to possess complete security. That is all what we are. You may think you are part of the divine, that is also part of your thinking. So all that consciousness we think is each one, it belongs to each one of us. Right? You all think, religions have maintained that you have separate souls - in Christianity, and Hinduism, and the various other forms of religious activity. Now we are questioning the whole of it. Do you not share the sorrow of the rest of human beings? All human beings throughout the world have various forms of fears, various forms of pleasure, they suffer as you suffer, they pray, they do all kinds of absurd ceremonies, as you do. Seeking stimulation through ceremonies, sensation, as you do. So we share the consciousness of all humanity. So you are the entire humanity. Right? Logically first see it. Logically every human being on this earth, whatever religion, belief, and so on, they suffer, every human being on this earth suffers, deeply or superficially, evading suffering and so on, we will go into that presently.

And this consciousness which we have considered mine, personal consciousness, is not a fact, because as we pointed out, every human being living on this marvellous, beautiful earth, which we are carefully destroying, we all are one because we all go through the same problems, same pain, anxiety and loneliness, depression, tears, laughter, contradictions, conflict between man and woman, husband and wife. Even in Russia this goes on.

So are you individuals in your consciousness? Because that is what you are, your consciousness. Whatever you think, whatever you imagine, whatever your tendencies, aptitudes, talent, gifts, faculty, it is shared by all other human beings, exactly similar to you. This is a logical fact. And logic has a certain place. One must think clearly, logically, reasonably, sanely, but it is based on thought. However logical one may be thought being limited - we have gone into it several times so we won't go into it this evening - that thought becomes reasonable but it is limited. So one must go beyond thought, beyond the necessity of the limitation of reason.

So you are the entire humanity. You understand? You are not an individual. You either listen to that statement, that is, that you are the entire humanity, you are humanity, not an Indian, or all the rubbish of that. And when you listen to a statement of that kind, that you are the entire humanity, do you make an abstraction of it? That is, bring about an idea of the fact. You understand? The fact is one thing, and the idea about the fact is another. Is this clear? The fact, which is that we have thought that we are individuals, our religions, our daily life, our conditioning, has made up believe that we are individuals. Somebody like the speaker comes along and says, look carefully, is that so? First we resist it, and say, what are you talking about. First we push it aside. But if you carefully listen, and as two friends are listening to each other, then you hear this statement that you are the entire humanity - how do you hear that statement, the sound of it? Do you make out of that statement an idea, away from the fact? Right? And pursue the idea? I don't know if you are following all this. Somebody please tell me. Do you understand?

The word is not the thing. Right? Which we went into. The microphone, the word microphone is not the actual think in front of the speaker. So you hear you are - because you are your consciousness, with all its reactions and actions, and that consciousness is shared by all humanity, because every human being goes through desperate loneliness, sorrow, pain, as you do - so you are the entire humanity. Now how do you listen to that statement? Do you reject it? Or do you examine it? Do you investigate that statement, or merely say, well, what nonsense? What are you doing, not tomorrow, now? What's your reaction? Because this is a very serious thing, that you are the entire humanity. Either you listen to the depth of it, the sound of it, the beauty of it, the immensity of it, with its tremendous responsibility. Or you treat it superficially, verbally, and say, yes, I understand it intellectually. But intellectual comprehension has very little meaning. It must be in one's blood, in one's guts, and out of that comes a total sense of a different quality of a brain that's holistic, not fragmentary. It is the fragment that creates disorder. We, as individuals, have fragmented the human consciousness and therefore we live in disorder.

Sir, when you realize that you are the entire humanity, that is what love is. You will not kill another, you will not harm another, you move away from all aggression, violence, and the brutality of religions.

So our consciousness is shared, is one with all humanity. You don't see the beauty of this, the immensity of it. You will go back to your own pattern, thinking you are all individuals, fighting, striving, competitive, each wanting to fulfil his own beastly little self. Right? So it means nothing to you because you go back to your old way of life. So it is much better not to listen to all this. If you listen to truth and you don't act upon it, it acts as poison. You understand this? That's why our lives are so shoddy and superficial.

And also we must talk over together why man not only lived in disorder for thousand and thousands of years, but also why man is perpetually seeking pleasure: pleasure in possessions, pleasure in achievement, pleasure in power, pleasure having a status, a symbol, not only sexual pleasure, and that pleasure is maintained by constantly thinking about sex, imaginary pictures, making images. Which is, thought gives pleasure, sensation is turned into pleasure. I wonder if you are following all this?

So we must understand what is pleasure, why we seek pleasure. We are not saying it is right or wrong. We are not condemning pleasure, as we are not condemning desire. Desire is part of pleasure. The fulfillment of desire is the nature of pleasure. So we ought to talk over together not only the nature of pleasure but also what is desire. Desire may be the cause of disorder, each one wanting to fulfil, achieve his own particular desire. You understand all this? Are we taking a journey together, or the speaker is going on talking to himself, or walking by himself? This is supposed to be a gathering; a gathering is a gathering of people who are concerned with serious matters, not with entertainment, not with intellectual games, but we are concerned with our lives, our daily monotonous, boring lives, trivial lives, shoddy lives.

So please together we are going to investigate if desire is one of the major causes of disorder, and desire in its fulfillment, in its achievement, in any direction, gives pleasure, gratifies. So we ought together investigate, explore, what is desire. Not condemning it, not escape from it, not try to suppress it, as most religions have said, suppress desire - which is absurd. So let us look at it. What is desire? When you put that question to yourself, what is desire, probably most of us have not thought about it at all. We have accepted it as a way of life, that it is a natural instinct of man or woman, and we say, why bother about it. Except those people who have so-called renounced the world - which they never have - and those who enter into monasteries, organized monasteries and so on, there they try to sublimate the desire with the worship of a person, a symbol and so on. So please bear in mind we are not condemning it. We are trying to find out together what is desire, why man has been for a million years, not only physically, biologically, but also psychologically caught in the trap of desire, in the network of desire. Right? Will you investigate with the speaker, or just listen to the speaker, while he investigates, explores on his own?

You know how easy it is to be caught in explanations, in descriptions, and we are satisfied with commentaries, descriptions, and explanations. But we are not doing that here. We have to explain, we have to describe, we have to point out, put it in the framework of words. But desire is one of the most complex things to understand, not intellectually but profoundly. So we are going to find out, together what is desire? Don't look to me. I'll explain, I will go into it, but you have to go into it too, not just say, yes, I agree, or disagree, that's silly. But to find out the nature of desire, the construction, how desire is put together, what is the origin of desire, the beginning of desire. Every animal on this earth has desire. Every human being is caught in this network of desires; and feels unhappy when his desires are not fulfilled, and when those desires are not fulfilled, whether those desires be ideological, religious, or platonic, or merely physical. What is the origin, the beginning of desire? The speaker will describe, not analyse. There is a difference between analysis and perception. Analysis implies the analyser and the thing to be analysed. Right? Right? The analyser and the thing he is going to analyse, which means the analyser is different from the analysed. Are they different? Suppose I am the analyser and I am envious, and I begin to analyse why I am envious, as though I am different from envy. But envy is me. Right? Envy is not separate from me. Greed, competition, comparison, all that is me. So we are not analysing. But we are looking, hearing, and the process of learning. Learning is not merely accumulating memory. That is necessary. But learning is something entirely different, it is not an accumulative process. You are moving, never recording, fresh. I won't go into that now, that takes us in a different direction altogether.

So together we are observing what is desire, what is the origin of desire, why human beings are caught in it endlessly. If you have a little money, you want more money; if you have a little power, you want more power. Right? And power in any form, whether power over your wife or your children, politically, religiously, it is an abominable thing, it is evil, because that is nothing to do with truth. We will go into that.

So what is the origin of desire? We live by sensation. If there was no sensation, both biologically and psychologically, we would be dead human beings. Right? We live by sensation. That crow, calling, that is acting on the ear drum, nerves, and translating the noise into the cry of a crow. That is a sensation. And sensation is brought about by hearing, or seeing, then contact. Right? Must I explain all these silly things? You see a nice garden, beautifully kept, the green is rich, perfect, there are no weeds in it, that lawn has been kept going for four hundred years. It is a lovely thing to watch, to see. Then the seeing, then if you are sensitive you go and touch the grass. That contact - seeing, contact, then sensation. Right? You are following this? Seeing a lovely garden, a nice car, a nice tree, and a beautiful man or woman - seeing, contact, then sensation. We live by sensation. It is necessary. If you are not sensitive, if you are dull, you are half living - as most of us are. So sensation, then what takes place? Take a very simple example: you see a nice sari, or a shirt in the shop, you see it, you go inside, touch it, and there is the sensation of touching it, you say, "By Jove, what a lovely material that is" - then what takes place? Do you understand? There is seeing, contact, sensation; then what takes place after that? Are you waiting for me to tell you? You see, sirs, please do listen to this. If you see this for yourself, not being told by another, then you will become the teacher and the disciple. Oh, do understand all this. But if you repeat, repeat, repeat what somebody has said, including the speaker, then you remain mediocre, thoughtless, repetitive. So let's go into it.

There is seeing, contact, sensation. You see that nice car, one of the latest cars in Europe, not here. There are no beautiful cars in India, except those imported from abroad. You see a beautiful car, you touch the polish, the shape of it, the texture, then out of that there is sensation. Then thought comes and says, how nice it would be if I got that. How nice it would be if I got into it and drove off. Right? So what has happened? Thought has given shape to sensation. Right? You are following this? Thought has given to sensation the image of you sitting in that car driving off. At that moment when thought creates the image of you sitting in the car, at that second desire is born. All right? Have you understood this? Desire is born when thought gives shape to sensation, gives an image to sensation.

Now the question is: sensation is the way of existence, it is part of existence, to be sensitive. And we have learnt to suppress, or to conquer, or to live with desire with all its problems. Now if one understands this not intellectually but actually, that thought gives shape through the image, at that second the origin of desire is there. Then the question arises: is it possible to see the car, which is sensation, touch it, but not let thought create the image, so keep a gap? You understand? Do you understand this?

You see sir, one must find out also in this question, what is discipline. This country is the most undisciplined country in the world, part of the world. You spit all over the place, you are untidy. Discipline, what is discipline, because it is related to desire? So let's talk about discipline and we will come back to desire afterwards. The word 'discipline' comes from the word disciple. The origin, the etymological meaning of that word is one who is learning, a disciple who is learning from his master. Learning, not conforming, not controlling, not suppressing, following, becoming obedient. On the contrary: learning from observation. That is you are learning what is desire, learning about it, which is not memorizing it.

So most of us are trained, especially if you are in the army or in all that business, trained to discipline according to a pattern, copy, follow, obey. That's what you are all doing. And that's called discipline, hoping that discipline will bring about order. But if one is learning, which is the root meaning of that word, then that very learning becomes its own order. You don't have order imposed by law or anything else.

So where thought gives shape to sensation by giving it an image, at that second desire is born. And to learn, to find out whether it is possible to allow sensation to flower and not let thought interfere with it, to keep the division - I won't use the word 'division' - to keep them apart. Will you do it? You can't, you have never done all this. Then you will find out that desire has its right place. And when you understand the nature of desire there is no conflict about it.

We ought also to talk over together what is love and sorrow and death. Shall we go on? Do you want the speaker to go on? Are you sure? Of course you love to hear somebody talk! Sirs, please this is much too serious all this. It affects your daily life, it is not something you intellectually play with. It concerns your life, not somebody else's life. The way you live. After all these million years, look what our lives are, how empty, shallow, how violent, brutal, inconsiderate, thoughtless, and all the rest of it. Look at it. And all this has created such havoc in the world. We all want to have high positions, achieve something, become something. And looking at all this, there is great sorrow, isn't there? Doesn't every human being in the world whether highly placed, or just an ignorant villager, doesn't he goes through great sorrow. He may recognize the nature and the beauty and the strength of sorrow, but he goes through pain, like you do, and mankind has gone through sorrow for a million years. They haven't solved the problem. They want to escape from it. They want it organized.

And what is the relationship of sorrow to love and death? Can there be an end to sorrow? This has been one of the questions mankind has asked for a million years. Is there an end to all the pain, the anxieties, to the grief of sorrow? Sorrow is not only your own particular sorrow, there is the sorrow of mankind. Historically speaking there have been five thousand years of war, every year there has been somebody killing somebody else, for their tribe, for their religion, for their nation, for their community, for their individual protection and so on and so on. Have you ever realized this, what the wars have done? You are fighting the Muslim, the Pakistan and the Hindu. Have you ever gone into the question of wars that have created havoc, how many millions have cried? How many millions are being wounded, without arms, without legs, without eyes, even without a face. You people don't know anything about all this.

So is there an end to sorrow and all the pain therein? And what is sorrow? Don't you know sorrow? Don't you? Are you ashamed to acknowledge it? When your son and daughter, and somebody whom you think you love, are taken away, don't you shed tears? Don't you feel terribly lonely? You have lost a companion for ever. We are not discussing about death. But this immense thing that man goes through and never having a solution, an answer to that. Without ending sorrow there is no love. Sorrow is part of our self-interest, it is part of our egotistic self-centred activity; self-interest. I cry for another, for my son, brother, mother. Why? Because I have lost something that I am attached to, lost something which gave me companionship, comfort and all the rest of it. And with the ending of that person I realize how utterly empty my life is, or how lonely my life is. And then I cry. And there are many, many thousands of people ready to comfort me. And I slip very easily into that network, into that trap of comfort. Whether it is the comfort of god, which is an image, put together by thought, or the comfort of some illusory concept, idea, but it gives me comfort, and that's all I care. But I never question the very urge and desire for comfort, whether there is any comfort at all. One needs to have a comfortable bed, that's all right, a nice comfortable chair. But the urge, the desire for comfort, we never question if there is any comfort at all, psychologically, inwardly. Or is it an illusion which has become our truth? You understand? An illusion can become our truth? I wonder if you understand this? The illusion that there is god, that god has been created by thought, by fear. If you have no fear there is no god. But god has been invented by man through fear, through loneliness, through despair, wanting this everlasting comfort. So we never question if there is comfort at all. Which is, deep abiding satisfaction. Because we all want to be satisfied, not only with the food that we eat, satisfied sexually, satisfied by achieving some position of authority and therefore having comfort in that position, in that state. Don't you know all this?

So we must ask if there is any comfort at all? If there is anything that will be gratifying, satisfying from the moment we are born until we die. Don't listen to me, find out. Give your energy, your thought, your blood, your heart, to find out. And if there is no illusion, is there any comfort? If there is no fear, do you want comfort? Comfort is another form of pleasure. Yes, sir, this is a very complex problem of our life. While we are so shallow, empty, filled by other people's knowledge, by books, we are not independent, free human beings to find out why we are slaves. This is not a rhetorical question, it is a question each one of us must ask. And in the very asking and the doubting there comes freedom. And without freedom there is no sense of truth.

So we will continue tomorrow afternoon with the question of death, and perhaps go into this question of sorrow, what is a religious life, what is religion, and is there something that is totally sacred, holy, nothing invented by thought. We will go into it tomorrow, not that the speaker is inviting you to come tomorrow. He doesn't care two pins if you come, or don't come. It's your life.


Bombay 1985

3rd Public Talk Bombay 9th February 1985

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