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Truth and Actuality

Part 3, Questions from Public Dialogues Saanen

Truth and Actuality Part III Chapter 14 Question From the 6th Public Talk Saanen 24th July, 1975 'The Stream Of"selfishness"'

One can see that thought has built the "me", the "me" that has become independent, the "me" that has acquired knowledge, the "me" that is the observer, the "me" that is the past and which passes through the present and modifies itself as the future. It is still the "me" put together by thought, and that "me" has become independent of thought. That "me" has a name, a form. It has a label called X or Y or John. It identifies with the body, with the face; there is the identification of the "me" with the name and with the form, which is the structure, and with the ideal which it wants to pursue. Also with the desire to change the "me" into another form of "me", with another name. This "me" is the product of time and of thought. The "me" is the word: remove the word and what is the "me"?

And that "me" suffers: the "me", as you, suffers. The "me" in suffering is you. The "me" in its great anxiety is the great anxiety of you. Therefore you and I are common; that is the basic essence. Though you may be taller, shorter, have a different temperament, different character, be cleverer, all that is the peripheral field of culture; but deep down, basically we are the same. So that "me" is moving in the stream of greed, in the stream of selfishness, in the stream of fear, anxiety and so on, which is the same as you in the stream. Please don't accept what I am saying - see the truth of it. That is, you are selfish and another is selfish; you are frightened, another is frightened; you are aching, suffering, with tears, greed, envy, that is the common lot of all human beings. That is the stream in which we are living, the stream in which we are caught, all of us. We are caught in that stream while we are living; please see that we are caught in this stream as an act of life. This stream is "selfishness" - let us put it that way - and in this stream we are living - the stream of "selfishness" - that expression includes all the descriptions of the "me" which I have just now given. And when we die the organism dies, but the selfish stream goes on. Just look at it, consider it.

Suppose I have lived a very selfish life, in self-centred activity, with my desires, the importance of my desires, ambitions, greed, envy, the accumulation of property, the accumulation of knowledge, the accumulation of all kinds of things which I have gathered - all of which I have termed as "selfishness". And that is the thing I live in, that is the "me", and that is you also. In our relationships it is the same. So while living we are together flowing in the stream of selfishness. This is a fact, not my opinion, not my conclusion; if you observe you will see it, whether you go to America, to India, or all over Europe, modified by the environmental pressures and so on, but basically that is the movement. And when the body dies that movement goes on... That stream is time. That is the movement of thought, which has created suffering, which has created the "me" from which the "me" has now asserted itself as being independent, dividing itself from you; but the "me" is the same as you when it suffers. The "me" is the imagined structure of thought. In itself it has no reality. It is what thought has made it because thought needs security, certainty, so it has invested in the "me" all its certainty. And in that there is suffering. In that movement of selfishness, while we are living we are being carried in that stream and when we die that stream exists.

Is it possible for that stream to end? Can selfishness, with all its decorations, with all its subtleties, come totally to an end? And the ending is the ending of time. Therefore there is a totally different manifestation after the ending, which is: no selfishness at all.

When there is suffering, is there a "you" and "me"? Or is there only suffering? I identify myself as the "me" in that suffering, which is the process of thought. But the actual fact is you suffer and I suffer, not "I" suffer something independent of you, who are suffering. So there is only suffering... there is only the factor of suffering. Do you know what it does when you realize that? Out of that non-personalised suffering, not identified as the "me" separate from you, when there is that suffering, out of that comes a tremendous sense of compassion. The very word "suffering" comes from the word "passion".

So I have got this problem. As a human being, living, knowing that I exist in the stream as selfishness, can that stream, can that movement of time, come totally to an end? Both at the conscious as well as at the deep level? Do you understand my question, after describing all this? Now, how will you find out whether you, who are caught in that stream of selfishness, can completely step out of it? - which is the ending of time. Death is the ending of time as the movement of thought if there is the stepping out of that. Can you, living in this world, with all the beastliness of it, the world that man has made, that thought has made, the dictatorships, the totalitarian authority, the destruction of human minds, destruction of the earth, the animals, everything man touches he destroys, including his wife or husband. Now can you live in this world completely without time? - that means no longer caught in that stream of selfishness.

You see there are many more things involved in this; because there is such a thing as great mystery. Not the thing invented by thought, that is not mysterious. The occult is not mysterious, which everybody is chasing now, that is the fashion. The experiences which drugs give are not mysterious. There is this thing called death, and the mystery that lies where there is a possibility of stepping out of it.

That is, as long as one lives in the world of reality, which we do, can there be the ending of suffering in that world of reality? Think about it. Look at it. Don't say yes, or no. If there is no ending of suffering in the world of reality - which brings order - if there is no ending of selfishness in the world of reality - it is selfishness that creates disorder in the world of reality - if there is no ending to that then you haven't understood, or grasped, the full significance of ending time. Therefore you have to bring about order in the world of reality, in the world of relationships, of action, of rational and irrational thinking, of fear and pleasure. So can one, living in the world of reality as we are, end selfishness? You know it is a very complex thing to end selfishness, it isn't just, "I won't think about myself".... This selfishness in the field of reality is creating chaos. And you are the world and the world is you. If you change deeply you affect the whole consciousness of man.

Truth and Actuality

Part 3, Questions from Public Dialogues Saanen

Truth and Actuality Part III Chapter 14 Question From the 6th Public Talk Saanen 24th July, 1975 'The Stream Of"selfishness"'

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