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Truth and Actuality

Part 1, Discussions With David Bohm

Truth and Actuality Part I Chapter 2 3rd Discussion with Prof. David Bohm Brockwood Park 31st May 1975 'Insight and Truth. Gulf Between Reality and Truth'

Krishnamurti: I am concerned with trying to find out if there is an action which is not a process of thought, an action which is of truth - if I can put it that way - an insight which acts instantly. I want to inquire into that question.

Dr Bohm: Perhaps one action that acts instantly is to see falseness.

K: Yes. It's difficult to take examples. I have an insight into the fact that people believe in God - I'm taking that as an example.

Dr B: What is the nature of your insight, then?

K: The insight into the fact that God is their projection.

Dr B: Yes, and therefore false.

K: I have an insight. If I had a belief in God it would drop instantly. So it is not a process of thought, it is an insight into truth.

Dr B: Or into falseness.

K: Or into falseness, and that action is complete, it's over and done with. I don't know if I'm conveying it: that action is whole, there is no regret, there is no personal advantage, there is no emotion. It is an action which is complete. Whereas the action brought about by thought, the investigation of an analysis whether there is a God or no God, is always incomplete.

Dr B: Yes, I understand that. Then there is another action in which you do use words, where you try to realize the insight

Let's say, you talk to people. Is that action complete or incomplete? Say you have discovered about God. Other people are still calling this a fact, and therefore...

K: But the man speaks from an insight.

Dr B: He speaks from an insight, but at the same time he starts a process of time.

K: Yes, to convey something.

Dr B: To change things. Let's now consider that just to get it clear. It's starting from an insight but it's conveying truth.

K: Yes, but it's always starting from an insight.

Dr B: And in doing that you may have to organise...

K: ...reasonable thinking and so on, of course. And the action of reasoned thought is different from the action of insight.

Dr B: Now what is the difference when insight is conveyed through reasoned thought? To come back again to your insight about God: you have to convey it to other people, you must put it into a reasonable form.

K: Yes.

Dr B: And therefore isn't there still some of the quality of the insight, as you convey it? You must find a reasonable way to convey it. Therefore in doing that, some of the truth of the insight is still being communicated in this form. And in some sense that is thought. K: No, when conveying to another that insight verbally, one's action will be incomplete unless he has insight.

Dr B: That's right. So you must convey what will give someone an insight.

K: Can you give an insight?

Dr B: Not really, but whatever you convey must somehow do something which perhaps cannot be further described.

K: Yes. That can only happen when you yourself have dropped the belief in God.

Dr B: But there is no guarantee that it will happen.

K: No, of course not.

Dr B: That depends on the other person, whether he is ready to listen.

K: So we come to this point: is there a thinking which is non-verbal? Would this be what communicates insight?

Dr B: I would say there is a kind of thinking that communicates insight. The insight is non-verbal, but the thinking itself is not non-verbal. There is the kind of thinking which is dominated by the word and there is another kind of thinking whose order is determined, not by the word, but by the insight.

K: Is the insight the product of thought?

Dr B: No, but insight works through thought. Insight is never the product of thought.

K: Obviously not.

Dr B: But it may work through thought. I wanted to say that the thought through which insight is working has a different order from the other kind of thought. I want to distinguish those two. You once gave an example of a drum vibrating from the emptiness within. I took it to mean that the action of the skin was like the action of thought. Is that right?

K: Yes, that's right. Now, how does insight take place? Because if it is not the product of thought, not the process of organized thought and all the rest of it, then how does this insight come into being?

Dr B: It's not clear what you mean by the question.

K: How do I have an insight that God is a projection of our own desires, images and so on? I see the falseness of it or the truth of it; how does it take place?

Dr B: I don't see how you could expect to describe it.

K: I have a feeling inside that thought cannot possibly enter into an area where insight, where truth is, although it operates anywhere else. But truth, that area, can operate through thought.

Dr B: Yes.

K: But thought cannot enter into that area.

Dr B: That seems clear. We say that thought is the response of memory. It seems clear that this cannot be unconditioned and free.

K: I would like to go into this question, if I may: how does insight take place? If it is not the process of thought, then what is the quality of the mind, or the quality of observation, in which thought doesn't enter? And because it doesn't enter, you have an insight. We said, insight is complete. It is not fragmented as thought is. So thought cannot bring about an insight.

Dr B: Thought may communicate the insight. Or it may communicate some of the data which lead you to an insight. For example, people told you about religion and so on, but eventually the insight depends on something which is not thought.

K: Then how does that insight come? Is it a cessation of thought?

Dr B: It could be considered as a cessation.

K: Thought itself realizes that it cannot enter into a certain area. That is, the thinker is the thought, the observer, the experiencer, all the rest of it; and thought itself realizes, becomes aware, that,it can only function within a certain area.

Dr B: Doesn't that itself require insight? Before thought realizes that, there must be an insight.

K: That's just it. Does thought realize that there must be insight?

Dr B: I don't know, but I'm saying there would have to be insight into the nature of thought before thought would realize anything. Because it seems to me that thought by itself cannot realize anything of this kind.

K: Yes.

Dr B.: But in some way, we said, truth can operate in thought, in reality.

K: Truth can operate in the field of reality. Now how does one's mind see the truth? Is it a process?

Dr B: You're asking whether there is a process of seeing. There is no process, that would be time.

K: That's right.

Dr B: Let's consider a certain point, that there is an insight about the nature of thought, that the observer is the observed and so on. K: That's clear.

Dr B: Now in some sense thought must accept that insight, carry it, respond to it.

K: Or the insight is so vital, so energetic, so full of vitality, that it forces thought to operate.

Dr B: All right, then there is the necessity to operate.

K: Yes, the necessity.

Dr B: But you see, generally speaking it doesn't have that vitality. So in some indirect way thought has rejected the insight, at least it appears to be so.

K: Most people have an insight, but habit is so strong they reject it.

Dr B: I'm trying to get to the bottom of it, to see if we can break through that rejection.

K: Break through the rejection, break through the habit, the conditioning, which prevents the insight. Though one may have an insight, the conditioning is so strong, you reject the insight. This is what happens.

Dr B: I looked up the word "habit" and it says, "A settled disposition of the mind", which seems very good. The mind is disposed in a certain fixed way which resists change. Now we get caught in the same question: how are we going to break that "very settled disposition"?

K: I don't think you can break it, I don't think thought can break it.

Dr B: We are asking for that intense insight which necessarily dissolves it.

K: So, to summarize: one has an insight into truth and reality. One's mind is disposed in a certain way, it has formed habits in the world of reality - it lives there.

Dr B: It's very rigid.

K: Now suppose you come along and point out the rigidity of it. I catch a glimpse of what you're saying - which is nonthinking - and I see it.

Dr B: In a glimpse only.

K: In a glimpse. But this conditioning is so strong I reject it.

Dr B: I don't do it purposely; it just happens.

K: It has happened because you helped to create that happening. Is that glimpse, first of all, strong enough to dissolve this? If it is not so strong, then it goes on. Can this conditioning dissolve? You see, I must have an insight into the conditioning, otherwise I can't dissolve it.

Dr B: Maybe we could look at it like this: conditioning is a reality, a very solid reality, which is fundamentally what we think about.

K: Yes.

Dr B: As we said in the previous dialogue, it's actual. Ordinary reality is not only what I think about, but it fits actuality to some extent - the actual fact. That's the proof of its reality. Now, at first sight it seems that this conditioning is just as solid as any reality, if not more solid.

K: Much more solid. Is that conditioning dissolved, does it come to an end through thing?

Dr B: It won't because thinking is what it is.

K: So thinking won't dissolve it. Then what will?

Dr B: We're back again. We see that it's only truth, insight. K: I think something takes place. I see I'm conditioned and I separate myself from the conditioning, I am different from the conditioning. And you come along and say "No, it isn't like that, the observer is the observed". If I can see, or have an insight, that the observer is the observed, then the conditioning begins to dissolve.

Dr B: Because it's not solid.

K: The perception of that is the ending of the conditioning. The truth is, when there is the realization that the observer is the observed. Then in that realization, which is truth, the conditioning disappears. How does it disappear? What is necessary for the crumbling of that structure?

Dr B: The insight into the falseness of it.

K: But I can have an insight into something that is false and yet I go on that way, accept the false and live in the false.

Dr B: Yes.

K: Now I don't know if I can convey something. I want to bring this into action in my life. I have accepted reality as truth, I live in that - my gods, my habits, everything - I live in that. You come along and say "Look, truth is different from reality" and you explain it to me. How will I put away that tremendous weight, or break that tremendous conditioning? I need energy to break that conditioning. Does the energy come when I see, "the observer is the observed"? As we've said, I see the importance, rationally, that the conditioning must break down, I see the necessity of it: I see how it operates, the division, the conflict and all the rest of what is involved. Now when I realize that the observer is the observed, a totally different kind of energy comes into being. That's all I want to get at.

Dr B: Yes, it's not the energy of reality then. I see it better when I say, "the thinker is the thought". It's actually the same thing.

K: Yes, the thinker is the thought. Now, is that energy different from the energy of conditioning and the activity of the conditioning and reality? Is that energy the perception of truth? - and therefore it has quite a different quality of energy.

Dr B: It seems to have the quality of being free of, not being bound by the conditioning.

K: Yes. Now I want to make it practical to myself. I see this whole thing that you have described to me. I have got a fairly good mind, I can argue, explain it, all the rest of it, but this quality of energy doesn't come. And you want me to have this quality, out of your compassion, out of your understanding, out of your perception of truth. You say, "Please, see that". And I can't see it, because I'm always living in the realm of reality. You are living in the realm of truth and I can't. There is no relationship between you and me. I accept your word, I see the reason for it, I see the logic of it, I see the actuality of it, but I can't break it down.

How will you help - I'm using that word hesitantly - how can you help me to break this down? It's your job, because you see the truth and I don't. You say, "For God's sake, see this". How will you help me? Through words? Then we enter into the realm with which I am quite familiar. This is actually going on, you understand? So what is one to do? What will you do with me, who refuses to see something which is just there? And you point out that as long as we live in this world of reality, there is going to be murder, death - everything that goes on there. There is no answer in that realm for any of our problems. How will you convey this to me? I want to find out, I'm very keen, I want to get out of this.

Dr B: It's only possible to communicate the intensity. We already discussed all the other factors that are communicated. K: You see, what you say has no system, no method, because they are all part of the conditioning. You say something totally new, unexpected, to which I haven't even given a single moment of thought. You come along with a basketful and I do not know how to receive you. This has been really a problem; to the prophets, to every...

Dr B: It seems nobody has really succeeded in it.

K: Nobody has. It's part of education that keeps us constantly in the realm of reality.

Dr B: Everyone is expecting a path marked out in the field of reality.

K: You talk of a totally different kind of energy from the energy of reality. And you say that energy will wipe all this out, but it will use this reality.

Dr B: Yes, it will work through it.

K: It's all words to me, because society, education, economics, my parents, everything is here in reality. All the scientists are working here, all the professors, all the economists, everybody is here. And you say "Look", and I refuse to look.

Dr B: It's not even that one refuses, it's something more unconscious perhaps.

K: So in discussing this, is there a thinking which is not in the realm of reality?

Dr B: One might ask whether there is such thought, in the sense of the response of the drum to the emptiness within.

K: That's a good simile. Because it is empty, it is vibrating.

Dr B: The material thing is vibrating to the emptiness.

K: The material thing is vibrating. Wait - is truth nothingness? Dr B: Reality is some thing, perhaps every thing. Truth is no thing. That is what the word "nothing" deeply means. So truth is "no-thingness".

K: Yes, truth is nothing.

Dr B.: Because if it's not reality it must be nothing - no thing.

K: And therefore empty. Empty being - how did you once describe it?

Dr B: Leisure is the word - leisure means basically "empty". The English root of "empty" means at leisure, unoccupied.

K: So you are saying to me, "Your mind must be unoccupied". It mustn't be occupied by reality.

Dr B: Yes, that's clear.

K: So it must be empty, there mustn't be a thing in it which has been put together by reality, by thought - no thing. Nothing means that.

Dr B: It's clear that things are what we think about, therefore we have to say the mind must not think about anything.

K: That's right. That means thought cannot think about emptiness.

Dr B: That would make it into a thing.

K: That's just it. You see, Hindu tradition says you can come to it.

Dr B: Yes, but anything you come to must be by a path which is marked out in the field of reality.

K: Yes. Now, I have an insight into that, I see it. I see my mind must be unoccupied, must have no inhabitants, must be an empty house. What is the action of that emptiness in my life? - because I must live here; I don't know why, but I must on the other side you do have to take care of your real material needs.

K: That's understood.

Dr B: There arises a conflict because what you are proposing appears to be reasonable, but it doesn't seem to take care of your material needs. Without having taken care of these needs you're not secure.

K: Therefore they call the world of reality "maya".

Dr B: Why is that? How do you make the connection?

K: Because they say, to live in emptiness is necessary and if you live there you consider the world as maya.

Dr B: You could say all that stuff is illusion, but then you would find you were in real danger...

K: Of course.

Dr B: So you seem to be calling for a confidence that nothingness will take care of you, physically and in every way. In other words, from nothingness, you say, there is security.

K: No, in nothingness there is security.

Dr B: And this security must include physical security.

K: No, I say, psychological security...

Dr B: Yes, but the question almost immediately arises...

K: How am I to be secure in the world of reality?

Dr B: Yes, because one could say: I accept that it will remove my psychological problems, but I still have to be physically secure as well in the world of reality.

K: There is no psychological security in reality, but only complete security in nothingness. Then if that is so, to me, my whole activity in the world of reality is entirely different. Dr B: I see that, but the question will always be raised: is it different enough to...

K: Oh yes, it would be totally different, because I'm not nationalistic, I'm not "English", I am nothing. Therefore our whole world is different. I don't divide...

Dr B: Let's bring back your example of one who understands and the one who wants to communicate to the other. Somehow what doesn't communicate is the assurance that it will take care of all that.

K: It won't take care of all that. I have to work here.

Dr B: Well, according to what you said, there is a certain implication that in nothingness we will be completely secure in every way.

K: That is so, absolutely.

Dr B: Yes, but we have to ask: what about the physical security?

K: Physical security in reality? At present there is no security. I am fighting all my life, battling economically, socially, religiously. If I am inwardly, psychologically, completely secure, then my activity in the world of reality is born of complete intelligence. This doesn't exist now, because that intelligence is the perception of the whole and so on. As long as I'm "English" or "something", I cannot have security. I must work to get rid of that.

Dr B: I can see you'd become more intelligent, you'd become more secure - of course. But when you say "complete security" there is always the question: is it complete?

K: Oh, it is complete, psychologically.

Dr B: But not necessarily physically. K: That feeling of complete security, inwardly, makes me...

Dr B: It makes you do the right thing.

K: The right thing in the world of reality.

Dr B: Yes, I see that. You can be as secure as you can possibly be if you are completely intelligent, but you cannot guarantee that nothing is going to happen to you.

K: No, of course not. My mind is rooted, or established, in nothingness, and it operates in the field of reality with intelligence. That intelligence says, "There you cannot have security unless you do these things".

Dr B: I've got to do everything right.

K: Everything right according to that intelligence, which is of truth, of nothingness.

Dr B: And yet, if something does happen to you, nevertheless you still are secure.

K: Of course - if my house burns down. But you see we are seeking security here, in the world of reality.

Dr B: Yes, I understand that.

K: Therefore there is no security.

Dr B: As long as one feels that the world of reality is all there is, you have to seek it there.

K: Yes.

Dr B: One can see that in the world of reality there is in fact no security. Everything depends on other things which are unknown, and so on. That's why there is this intense fear.

K: You mention fear. In nothingness there is complete security, therefore no fear. But that sense of no fear has a totally different kind of activity in the world of reality. I have no fear - I work. I won't be rich or poor - I work. I work, not as an Englishman, a German, an Arab - all the rest of that nonsense - I work there intelligently. Therefore I am creating security in the world of reality. You follow?

Dr B: Yes, you're making it as secure as it can possibly be. The more clear and intelligent you are, the more secure it is.

K: Because inwardly I'm secure, I create security outwardly.

Dr B: On the other hand, if I feel that I depend inwardly on the world of reality, then I become disorganised inwardly.

K: Of course.

Dr B: Everybody does feel that he depends inwardly on the world of reality.

K: So the next thing is: you tell me this and I don't see it. I don't see the extraordinary beauty, the feeling, the depth of what you are saying about complete inward security. Therefore I say, "Look, how are you going to give the beauty of that to me?"

Truth and Actuality

Part 1, Discussions With David Bohm

Truth and Actuality Part I Chapter 2 3rd Discussion with Prof. David Bohm Brockwood Park 31st May 1975 'Insight and Truth. Gulf Between Reality and Truth'

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