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Exploration Into Insight

Exploration Into Insight 'Silence and Disorder'

P: Can we discuss what is silence? Does silence have many facets or forms? How is it reached? Does it imply only the absence of thought? Or is the silence which arises through various experiences and situations, different in nature, dimension and direction?

K: Where shall we start? Are you saying: Is there a right approach to silence and if there is, what is it? And are there different varieties of silence, which means different methods by which to arrive at silence? What is the nature of silence? Shall we go into it in that order? First, is there a right approach to silence and what do we mean by `right'?

P: Is there only one approach? If all the silences are of the same nature, then there may be many approaches.

K: I am just asking: What do we mean by the right approach?

P: The only one as against the many.

K: Therefore, what is the one? What is the approach which is true, natural, reasonable, logical and beyond logic? Is that the question?

P: I would not put it that way. I would say that silence is when consciousness is not operating, when thought is not operating. Silence is generally defined as the absence of thought.

K: I can go blank without any thought,just repeat something and go blank. Is that silence?

S: How do you know what is true silence?

K: Let us begin by asking: Is there a right approach to silence and what is that right approach? Are there many varieties of silences and is silence the absence of thought? In that a great many things are implied such as: I can go blank suddenly; I am thinking and I just stop and look at something and then go blank - day-dreaming. I would like to approach this question by asking: Is there a true approach to silence? You started with that question. I think we ought to take that first and go into other things afterwards.

S: You seem to be giving emphasis to the true approach rather than to the true nature of silence.

K: I think so, because there are people who have practised silence by controlling thought, mesmerizing themselves into silence, controlling their chattering mind to such an extent that the mind becomes absolutely dull, stupid and silent. So I want to start with the enquiry from the point of right approach; otherwise we will wander off: Is there a natural, healthy, logical, objective, balanced approach to silence? Could we proceed from that? What is the necessity for silence?

P: The need for silence is easy to understand. Even in ordinary living when a constantly chattering, constantly irritated mind comes to rest, there is a feeling of being refreshed. The mind is refreshed quite apart from anything else, so silence in itself is important.

B: And also, even in the ordinary sense there is no seeing of colour, there is no seeing of things unless there is a certain quality of silence.

S: Then there is the whole tradition that maintains that silence is important, is necessary and the various systems of pranayama, breath control, exist to ensure it. So there are many states of silence and you cannot distinguish between an unhealthy state and a healthy one.

K: Supposing you don't know anything of what other people have said and why you should be silent, would you ask the question?

P: Even at the level of the tranquillizer, we would ask the question.

K: So you ask the question in order to tranquillize the mind.

P: Yes. K: Because the mind is chattering and that is wearisome and exhausting. So do you ask whether there is a way of tranquillizing the mind without drugs? We know the way of tranquillizing the mind with drugs, but is there another way which will naturally, healthily, sanely, logically bring about tranquillity in the mind? How would you approach this? Being weary, exhausted by the chattering of the mind, I ask myself, `Can I, without the use of drugs, quieten the mind?'

S: There are many ways of doing it.

K: I don't know of any. You all say there are many ways. I say, how can the mind do this without effort? Because effort implies disturbance of the mind, it does not bring about tranquillity, it brings about exhaustion. And exhaustion is not tranquillity. Conflict will not bring about tranquillity, it will bring about exhaustion and that may be translated as silence by those who are completely tired out at the end of the day. I can go into my meditation room and be quiet. But is it possible to bring about tranquillity in the mind without conflict, without discipline, without distortion - all those are exhausting processes.

S: When pranayama is done there is no conflict, it does not exhaust you but there is silence. What is its nature?

K: There you are breathing, getting more oxygen into your system and the oxygen naturally helps you to be relaxed.

S: That is also a state of silence.

K: We will discuss the states of silence afterwards; I want to find out whether the mind can become tranquil without any kind of effort, breathing, enforcement, control, direction.

Par: The mind only asks the question whether it is possible to have tranquillity without conflict because it is agitated, disturbed.

K: I asked: Can there be silence without conflict, without direction, without enforcement of any kind? I can take a drug, a tranquillizer and make the mind very quiet. It is on the same level as pranayama; I control the mind and silence can be brought about. It is on the same level as breathing, or drugs. I want to start from a point where the mind is agitated, chattering, exhausting itself by incessant friction of thought, and ask whether it is possible to be really quiet without any artificial means? To me that is a central issue. I would approach it that way if I went into this. I would discard artificial controls - drugs, watching the breath, watching light, mantras, bhajans - all these are artificial means and induce a particular kind of silence.

S: Are they external, motivated?

K: It is all part of it. I would consider all these means as artificial enforcements in order to induce silence. What happens when you look at a mountain? The greatness, the beauty, the grandeur of the mountains absorb you. That makes you silent. But that is still artificial. I would consider any form of inducement to bring about silence artificial.

S: Looking at a mountain is a non-dualistic experience. How can you then say that it is still not silence?

K: I would not call it silence because the thing is so great that for the time being its greatness knocks you out.

S: The absence of the `me' is not at the conscious level, but it is there.

K: You see a marvellous picture, a marvellous sunset, an enormous chain of mountains and it is like a child being absorbed with a toy; that greatness knocks out the `me' for the moment and the mind becomes silent. You can experiment with it.

S: But you say that is not silence.

K: I would not call that silence because the mountain, the beauty of something, takes over for the moment. The `me' is pushed aside; and the moment that is gone, I am back to my chattering. At least I want to be clear that any artificial act with a motive, with a direction, seems to K a distortion which will not bring about the depth of silence. In this are included practices, discipline, control, identification with the greater and there by making oneself quiet, and so on. Then I ask myself: What is the necessity of silence? If there was no motive, would I ask that question?

Par: Are you describing your mind?

K: No, sir, I am not describing my mind. I said: Any inducement in any form, subtle or obvious, would not bring about the depth of great silence. I would consider it superficial; I may be wrong, we are enquiring.

Par: The state of your mind is already a silent mind.

K: May be, I don't know. So what is the natural, healthy approach to tranquillity?

R: But an approach is a motivation.

K: I would not use that word. What is the state of natural tranquillity? How does one come upon it naturally? If I want to listen to what you are saying, my mind must be quiet - that is a natural thing. If I want to see something clearly, the mind must not be chattering.

P: In that state lies all poise, all harmony.

K: I would say the basis for the depth of silence is poise, harmony between the mind, the body and the heart, great harmony, and the putting aside of any artificial methods, including control. I would say the real basis is harmony.

P: You have used another word: `harmony'. How does this solve the problem? The only thing I know is conflict. I don't know silence.

K: Therefore, don't talk about silence. Deal with conflict, not with silence. If there is disharmony between the mind, the body, the heart, etc. deal with that, not with silence. If you deal with silence, being disharmonious, then it is artificial. This is so.

P: An agitated mind naturally seeks a state of non-agitation.

Be concerned with the agitated mind, not with silence. Deal with `what is' and not with what might be. R: Are you asking whether the agitated mind can deal with its own agitation?

K: That is a different question.

B: She is saying that the agitated mind naturally asks the question.

K: Yes, so be concerned, not with silence, but with why the mind is agitated.

P: It seeks the opposite state.

K: Then it is in conflict. The concept has its roots in its own opposite.

R: The concept itself is part of agitation.

K: I would say complete harmony is the foundation for the purity of silence.

S: How does one know of this complete harmony?

K: Let us go into that. We will later on come to the question of varieties of silences. So, what is harmony?

P: Does harmony arise when conflict ends?

K: I want to find out what is harmony between the mind, the body and the heart, a total sense of being whole without fragmentation, without the over development of the intellect, but with the intellect operating clearly, objectively, sanely; and the heart not operating with sentiment, emotionalism, outbreaks of hysteria, but with a quality of affection, care, love, compassion, vitality; and the body with its own intelligence, not interfered with by the intellect. The feeling that everything is operating, functioning beautifully like a marvellous machine is important. Is this possible?

Q: In that harmony is there a centre?

K: I don't know, we can find out. Can the mind, the brain function efficiently, without any friction, any distraction? Can the mind have the intelligence, the capacity to reason, to perceive, to be clear? When there is a centre it is obviously not possible, because the centre is translating everything according to its limitations. Am I reducing everybody to silence?

R: Why does this division arise between the mind and the body?

K: It arises through our education, where emphasis is laid on the cultivation of the intellect as memory and reason, as a function apart from living.

R: That is the over-emphasis on the mind. Even without education, there can be an over-emphasis on emotions.

K: Of course. Man worships the intellect much more than the emotions. Does he not? An emotion is translated into devotion, into sentimentality, into all kinds of extravagance.

Par: How does one differentiate between the accumulation of memory for technical or day-to-day purposes, and the accumulation of emotional memory?

K: That is very simple, sir. Why does the brain as the repository of memory, give such importance to knowledge - technological, psychological, and in relationship? Why have human beings given such extraordinary importance to knowledge? I have an office. I become an important bureaucrat, which means I have knowledge about performing certain functions and I become pompous, stupid,dull.

Par: Is it an innate desire?

K: It gives security - obviously. It gives you status. Human beings have worshipped knowledge - knowledge as identified with the intellect. The erudite person, the scholar, the philosopher, the inventor, the scientist, are all concerned with knowledge and they have created marvellous things in the world, like going to the moon, making new kinds of submarines and so on. They have invented the most extraordinary things and the admiration, the marvel at that knowledge is overwhelming and we accept it. So we have developed an inordinate admiration, almost verging on worship, of the intellect. This applies to all the sacred books and their interpretations. Correct me, if I am wrong. In contrast to that, there is a reaction to be emotional, to have feeling, to love, to have devotion, sentimentality, extravagance in expression, and the body gets neglected. You see this and therefore you practise yoga. This division between the body, the mind and the heart takes place unnaturally. Now we have to bring about a natural harmony where the intellect functions like a marvellous watch, where the emotions and affections, care, love and compassion are healthily functioning and the body, which has been so despoilt, which has been so misused, comes into its own. Now how do you do that?

GM: I adore knowledge because I need it.

K: Of course, I need it. It is very clear, sir, I need knowledge to talk to you in English. To ride a bicycle, to drive an engine, needs knowledge.

Q: I have to solve the problem of disease. I need knowledge to deal with it. That is still within the field of knowledge.

K: Knowledge is misused by the centre as the `me' which has got knowledge. Therefore I feel superior to the man who has less knowledge. I use knowledge to provide a status for myself, I am more important than the man who has no knowledge.

S: If I may say so, we started the discussion with silence and the various ways in which we arrive at silence. You pointed out that unless there is harmony, we cannot have a basis for questioning or for asking what silence is.

D: Do we not make a distinction between knowledge and the discovery of the new?

K: Of course, sir. When knowledge interferes there is no discovery of the new. There must be an interval between knowledge and the new; otherwise you are just carrying on the new like the old. R asked: `Why is there division between the mind, the heart and the body.' We see that. How is this division to come to an end naturally? How do you do it - through enforcement, through the ideals we have of harmony? Sir, one is aware of this division - isn't one - between the intellect, the emotions and the body. There is this gap between all of them. How is the mind to remove this gap and be whole? What do the traditionalists say?

M: Effort, clench your teeth.

P: We are getting bogged down. We started with silence. We don't touch silence; then you used the word `harmony' and we can't touch harmony.

K: Then what will you do? We will return to silence.

P: We come back to only one thing, which is, we know only disharmony.

K: Therefore let us deal with disharmony and not with silence and when there is the understanding of disharmony, from that may flow silence.

S: Also there is the question: How does one know that one has ended disharmony totally?

M: There is a Latin saying, `I know what is right, but I don't follow it.'

K: Don't bring in anything from the Latin. Face the thing as it is. Pupul says we started out with silence and we said it is no good discussing silence until you find out if there is a natural way of coming to it. The artificial way is not the way. The natural way is to find out if there is harmony, but we don't know anything about harmony because we are in a state of disorder. So let us deal with disorder, not with harmony, not with silence.

M: I observe my disorder and the disorder goes on looking at me.

K: Therefore there is a duality, a division, a contradiction in your observation, as the observer and the observed. We can play with this endlessly. Please follow what we have so far discussed. We started out with asking: What is the nature of silence, are there different varieties of silence, are there different approaches to silence? Pupul also asked: `What is the right way to silence?, We said perhaps there may be a `right' way but that any artificial means to bring about silence is not silence; we made that very clear. Don't let us go back. If there is no artificial way, is it possible to come upon silence naturally without effort, without inducement, without direction, without artificial means? In examining this we came to harmony. To that Pupul says: `We don't know what harmony is, but what we do know is disorder.' So let us put aside everything else and consider disorder, not what silence is. A mind that is in disorder enquires after silence. Silence then becomes a means of bringing about order or escape from disorder. Silence then is imposed on disorder. So we stop all that and ask: Why is there disorder? Is it possible to end disorder?

P: There is disorder when thought arises and I want silence.

K: No, you are looking for a cause, you want to find out what is the cause of disorder.

P: I don't.

K: Then?

P: I observe the nature of disorder. I don't look for the cause. I don't know.

K: One observes disorder in oneself.

P: I see that it is manifested as thought.

K: I don't know. I would like to go into it very carefully because it is rather interesting. Why do I call what I observe disorder?

S: Disturbance is disorder.

K: I just want to find out. Why do I call it disorder? Which means I already have an inkling of what order is. So I am comparing what I have experienced or known as order and thereby ask what is disorder. I don't do that. I say, don't compare, just see what disorder is. Can the mind know disorder without comparing it with order? So, can my mind cease comparing? Comparison may be disorder. Comparison itself may be the cause of disorder. Measurement may be disorder, and as long as I am comparing, there must be disorder. I am comparing my disorder at present with a whiff of order which I have smelt and I call it disorder. So I see it is comparison which is really important, not disorder. As long as my mind is comparing, measuring, there must be disorder.

R: Without comparing I look at myself and I see there is disorder because every part of me is pulling in a different direction.

K: I have never felt that I am in disorder, except rarely, occasionally. I say to myself: Why are all these people talking about disorder?

D: Do they really know disorder or do they only know it through comparison?

P: You bring in words which I find very difficult to understand. There is no conscious comparison by the mind which says, `This is disorder and I want to end it.' I know disorder.

A: A sense of uneasiness.

P: I see a sense of confusion, one thought against another thought. You will say the word `confusion' is again comparison. I know confusion.

K: You only know contradiction, which is confusion. Stick to that. You say your mind is in a state of confusion because it is contradicting itself all the time. Proceed from that.

B: There is a real difficulty here. You talked about silence, then about harmony, then about disorder. Why do we speak of disorder? We function partly in order also.

P: I am sorry, I don't know either harmony or silence. I say I observe my mind, I see disorder.

K: Then what? From there move.

P: Then I am bound to ask: Is it the nature of the mind?

K: Ask.

P: I ask, and there must be a way out of this. K: Then what?

P: Then I observe myself asking that question.

K: Yes.

P: For the time being the activity of the mind comes to an end.

M: What is the fallacy in this?

K: There is no fallacy in this. I am coming to that.

P: Look, sir, we need not have gone through this. But I thought it was better to go step by step. There is an ending here. May be to someone else there may not be an ending, but for me there is. What is the nature of this? I now come back to my first question: Is the undercurrent in that ending still operating? When we talk of different qualities and natures and dimensions of silence it means just this. The traditional outlook is that the gap between two thoughts is silence.

K: That is not silence. Silence between two notes is not silence. Listen to that noise outside. Absence of noise is not silence. It is only an absence of noise.

P: There is an ending of the perception of oneself in a state of disturbance.

K: Pupul, you have not been clear. When you say `disorder' I am not at all sure that you know what disorder is. You call it disorder. I overeat, that is disorder. I overindulge in emotional nonsense, that is disorder.

P: I catch myself talking very loudly and that is disorder.

K: So what is disorder? How do you know it is disorder? Listen, I overeat; I have tummyache. I don't call it disorder. I say, `I over-ate, I must not eat so much.'

P: We moved from silence to harmony and we found that it is impossible to go into the nature of harmony without going into disorder.

K: That is all. Keep to those three points. P: Why do you call it disorder?

R: It is not necessarily a recognition of disorder, because when there is a conflict between the body, the mind...

K: You associate conflict with disorder.

R: No, the conflict makes one weary, as you say, and one instinctively feels that there is something wrong with it.

K: So what you are saying is, if I understand it rightly, conflict indicates disorder.

R: Even when you don't name it.

K: Conflict is disorder. You translate it as disorder. Don't move around in circles.

P: I say you must be free of conflict.

M: Of disorder.

K: Which is the same thing. Silence, harmony, conflict. That is all - not disorder.

P: Forgive me for saying it but you can take the word `conflict' and go through the same gymnastics with it as you did with the word `disorder'. But what do I do about conflict?

K: That is all we are concerned with: silence, harmony, conflict. How am I to deal with conflict non-artificially? You know nothing. You are listening for the first time. You have to go into it with me. Don't say `How do I look at it for the first time?' Somebody comes and says: `Look at this marvellous machinery'. You look.

S: This much I can see clearly. I cannot think of silence or harmony when I am in conflict.

K: Is the mind capable of freeing itself from every kind of conflict? That is the only thing you can ask. What is wrong with that question?

R: It is the mind again which is asking the question.

S: It is a legitimate question. P: Can the mind be free of disharmony? I don't see the difference between the two.

K: We have reduced it to conflict. Now stick to it and see if the mind can be free of it. How can the mind, knowing what conflict is and what it does, end conflict? That is surely a legitimate question.

M: Because you assume that the mind can do it.

K: I don't know.

Q: If we look into this question of conflict, look into various aspects of it, we see there is no conflict without comparison.

K: Conflict is contradiction, comparison, imitation, conformity, suppression. Put all that into one word and accept the meaning of the word as we defined it, and ask whether the mind can be free of conflict.

S: Of course it can be free of conflict, but the question arises: What is the nature of that freedom from conflict?

K: How do you know before you can be free?

S: There is a knowing of the state of conflict for the time being.

K: Is there a complete ending of conflict?

That's why I asked the question: Is there a total ending of conflict?

M: I say there is no ending of conflict in the universe as we live in it from day to day.

K: Don't include the universe. In the universe everything is moving in order. Let us stick to our minds which seem to be endlessly in conflict. Now, how is the mind to end conflict naturally, because every other system is a compulsive, a directional method, a method of control and all that is out. How can the mind free itself from conflict? I ask: Where are you at the end of it? I say, the mind can be completely, utterly without conflict.

S: For ever? K: Don't use the words `for ever' because you are then introducing a word of time and time is a matter of conflict.

P: I want to ask you a question. Can the mind be totally in conflict?

K: What are you trying to say? I don't quite understand.

P: You see, I feel myself totally helpless in this situation. The fact is there is conflict and the operation of the self on it leads to further conflict. Seeing the nature of that, can the mind see that it is totally in conflict?

K: Can the mind be aware of a state in which there is no conflict? Is that what you are trying to say? Or can the mind only know conflict? Right? Is your mind totally aware of conflict, or is it just a word? Or is there a part of the mind which says `I am aware that I am totally in conflict and there is a part of me watching conflict.' Or is there a part of the mind wishing to be free of conflict, which means, is there a fragment which says `I am not in conflict' and which separates itself from the totality of conflict? If there is a separate fragment, then that fragment says: `I must do, I must suppress, I must go beyond.' So this is a legitimate question. Is your mind totally aware that there is nothing but conflict or is there a fragment which skips away and says, `I am aware that I am in conflict but I am not in total conflict.' So, is conflict a fragment or is it total? I will keep to the same word, not to be substituted by a different word, for the time being. Is there total darkness or a slight light somewhere?

R: If that light were not there, could there be awareness?

K: I don't know anything about it. Don't ask me that question. When there is a fragmentation of the mind, that very fragmentation is conflict. Is the mind ever aware that it is in total conflict? Pupul says `yes'.

P: You have moved away.

K: I have not.

P: I don't know anything about total conflict. K: Therefore you know only partial conflict.

P: No, sir, whether partial or not, we know the fact that there is conflict and I ask: Can there be a refusal to move away?

K: I have not moved away from silence, harmony or conflict.

P: Where is totality in this?

K: I think this is an important question.

R: Sir, the very awareness of the mind indicates that there is a fragment.

K: That is all. Therefore you say: Partially I am in conflict. Therefore you are never with conflict.

P: No, sir.

SWS: Total conflict cannot know itself unless there is something else.

K: We are going to go into that.

P: I am not making myself clear. The state of conflict does not have a wide, broad spectrum. When you say `total', it fills the mind.

K: When the whole room is full of furniture - I am just taking that as an example - there is no space to move. I would consider that to be utter confusion. Is my mind so totally full of confusion that it has no movement away from this? Is it so completely full of confusion, of conflict, as full as this room is of furniture? Then what takes place? That is what I want to get at. We are not discussing the partial this and the partial that. When the steam is at full pressure it must explode, it must do something. I don't think we look at conflict totally. Could I use the word `sorrow'? There is no moving away from sorrow. When you move away from sorrow, then it is just an escape. Is there such a thing as being full of sorrow? Is there such a thing as being completely happy? When you are aware that you are completely happy, you are no longer happy. In the same way, when you are completely full of this thing called confusion, sorrow, conflict, it is no longer there. It is only there when there is division. That is all.

R: No, sir, then it seems to be a hopeless problem.

K: That is why one has to remain with the truth of the thing, not with the confusion of it. There is the truth of the thing when the mind is complete with something; then it cannot create conflict. If I love you and there is attachment in it, that is a contradiction, therefore there is no love. So I say, remain with the fact of that thing. Is the mind totally full of this sorrow, this confusion, this conflict? I won't move away till that is so.

M: There is one peculiarity about your approach. When you draw a picture there is always a clear black outline. The colours don't merge. In reality there are no outlines, there are only colours merging with each other.

K: This to me is very clear. If the heart is full of love and there is no part of envy in it, the problem is finished. It is only when there is a part that is jealous, then the whole problem arises.

P: But when it is full of envy?

K: Then remain with that envy fully - be envious, feel it!

P: Then I know its total nature.

K: It is a tremendous thing. But you say, `I am envious and I must not be envious.' Somewhere in a dark corner there lies the educational restraint; then something goes wrong. But can I be envious and not move from that? Moving away is rationalizing, suppressing, all that. Just remain with that feeling. When there is sorrow, be completely with it. This is merciless. All the rest is playing tricks. When you are with something, action has taken place. You don't have to do anything.

Exploration Into Insight

Exploration Into Insight 'Silence and Disorder'

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