Banaras 3rd Public Talk 6th February 1949
Seeing that there are so few of us, should we turn this into a discussion first and answer questions afterwards? Perhaps it might be worth while to consider the question of revolution, of change and reform, their implications and their enduring significance in life, and whether revolution is not the only permanent solution, and not reform and change.
Reform in a given social order is merely retrogression - don't look surprised - is it not? Is not reform merely maintaining an existing social condition and giving it a certain modification, but fundamentally maintaining the same structure? Reformation is, is it not?, a modified continuity of a social pattern which gives a certain stability to society; and change also is of the same character, is it not? Change also is a modified continuity, because change implies a formula which you are trying to follow or a standard which you are establishing, approximating the present to that standard. So, reformation and change are more or less the same thing, basically. Both imply the continuance of the present in a modified form. Both imply, do they not?, that the reformer or the one who wishes to bring about the change, has a measure or a pattern according to which he is approximating his action; therefore his change, his reformation, is the reaction to the background in which he has been conditioned. So his reformation or change is the response of the background or the conditioning, which is merely approximating to a self-projected standard. I hope you are following all this. I am thinking aloud, I haven't thought of this before, so let us proceed.
So, a man who wishes to reform, to bring about certain reformation and change, is really a person who is acting as a detriment to revolution. A reformer or a man who wishes to bring about a change is really retrogressive; because either there is constant revolution, or merely change. a reforming modification. That modification, being the response of the background or of the conditioning in which he has been brought up, merely continues the background in another form. The reformer wishes to bring about a change in a given society, but his reformation is only the reaction to a certain background; the approximation to a certain standard he wishes to establish is still the projection of his background. So, the reformer, the one who wishes to bring about a change, acts in society as a retrogressive factor. Please think about it, don't deny, don't brush it aside.
Now, what is the relationship between the reformer and the revolutionary, and what do we mean by the revolutionary? Is a man who has a definite pattern or a formula and wishes to work out that for formula, is he a revolutionary? Whether the technique is pacific or bloody is irrelevant; that is not the point. Is a man who has a formula, a standard, a pat tern to which he is approximating his action, a revolutionary in the fundamental sense of the word? It is very important to find this out, because everybody is concerned, or at least many people are concerned, about the question of revolution, about the left, the right, the centre, and so on.
Now, when we talk about revolution it is about the revolution according to a pattern either of the left, or of the right, or from the centre; and when a person calls himself a revolutionary, is he not really a factor of retrogression in society, as is the reformer, as is the man who wishes to bring about a change? So, the man who has a formula and tries to approximate society to that, is really a person who acts as a retrogressive factor in society.
Who, then, is a real revolutionary? We can see that the revolutionary who has a formula, and the man who wishes to bring about a change, and the reformer, are alike. They are not dissimilar because they have basically the same attitude towards action. Action to them is the approximation to an idea; the idealist, the reformer, and the revolutionary, have a pattern. So, their actions are basically, are they not?, the reaction to their background and therefore a factor of retrogression.
And that is why such a revolution ultimately fails, because it is merely an approximation to the left or to the right, a reaction to an opposite. You follow? And reform is similar. The reformer wants to alter a certain maladjustment in society, and his reformation has its source in the response to his background, to his conditioning; so they all have a similarity, have they not? The bloody one, the reformer, and the continued modifier. They obviously are not really revolutionary.
Now, we are going to find out what we mean by revolution. Is not revolution a series of intervals between two conditioned responses? Is revolution the outcome of a static state, of action which is dynamic, or, is revolution the constant breaking away of the background and therefore leaving nothing static at any given moment? That is, is revolution a sudden break in the modified continuity and therefore in the response of the background, or is revolution a constant movement which is never at any given moment static?
Therefore, can revolution ever imply change or reform? Reform and change indicate a state in which there has been no true action and which must be transformed, changed, a static state which needs to be altered; and, as we said, the reformer or the one who wishes a change, and even the so-called revolutionary, are similar in their aims. Reform or revolution to them is only a gradual process of becoming static. I think that's clear. We allow ourselves, - that is, the society, the community, the group, - to become static, static in the sense of continuing the same pattern of action; though we may seem to move, live and act, produce children and build houses, it is always within the same static pattern.
Now, is what I suggest possible, and is that not the only true revolution, that is, of never allowing oneself to become static? Society, which is the relationship between you and me, must never become static; only then can there be constant revolution in our relationship. Now, what is it that makes us static, that makes us act without depth, without meaning, without purpose, without beauty - which is what most of our lives are? We live, we produce, we build, but it is a static state, surely, it is not a creative state. And what is it that makes us static, what is it that makes society - which is really our relationship, your relationship with me and my relationship with another static? What are the factors which produce action that has no significance, a life that has no meaning? What is it that produces in our relationship a sense of death? Though I may live with you, though I may work with you, there is something that is always destructive, that is always dead, that is always darkness, which is static. If we can understand and remove that, then, in our relationship, there will be constant revolution, constant dynamism, constant change - no, I don't want to use the word change - constant transformation.
Now what makes for transformation, what makes for true revolution and not the modified continuity, what brings about the destruction of this static state? What is it that brings about death in our relationship? Why do we grow stale, weary, exhaust ourselves sexually, physically, and in various ways decay, why? If we can understand that, then we will be in a constant state of transformation. Now, what makes for death in relationship? What makes us stale, spoiled, corrupted, and what makes us seek modification, change, and all the rest of it? Surely, our thinking, which is the outcome of the past? There is no thought without memory and memory is always the dead entity: it is over, only it revives itself in action in the present, but it is an action of decay, of death. Though it seems so active, so alive, so full of speed and energy, thought is really, is it not?, the outcome of a fixed pattern of memory. Memory is fixed and therefore what comes out of it must also be limited; and so does not the process of thinking itself bring about staleness, death, weariness, that static state? Therefore a revolution based on an idea, on thought, must sooner or later result in death. Thought which is ideation, or the groping towards an ideal, is the sacrifice of the present to an Utopia, the future. Sir, do you see something in this?
A relationship based on thought which is usage, habit, must produce a society which is static, and the action of the reformer who wishes to change that society is still the action of death, darkness or the response of a static mind. If you observe, what makes us stale in our relation ship, is thinking, thinking, thinking, calculating, judging, weighing, adjusting ourselves; and the one thing which frees us from that, is love, which is not a process of thought. You cannot think about love. You can think about the person whom you love, but you cannot think about love.
So, the man who loves is the real revolutionary, and he is truly the religious person; because what is truly religion, is not based on thought, or on beliefs or dogmas. A person who is a net of beliefs and dogmas is not a religious person, he is a stupid person; whereas the man who really loves is the real revolutionary, in him is the real transformation. So, love is not a thought process, you cannot think about love. You may imagine what it should be, that is merely a thought process, but it is not love; and the man who loves is the real religious person, whether he loves the one or the many. Love is not personal or impersonal; it is love, it has no frontiers, it has no class, race. A man who loves is revolutionary, he alone is revolutionary. Love is not the product of thought, for thought is the outcome of memory, the outcome of conditioning, and can only produce death, decay.
So, there can be true revolution, a fundamental transformation, only when there is love, and that is the highest religion. That state comes into being when the thought process ceases, when there is the abnegation of that process. There can be abnegation of something only when it is understood, not denied. A community, a society, a group, can be really revolutionary, continuously transforming itself, only when in that state, and not according to a formula; because a formula is merely the product of a thought process, and therefore inherently the cause of a static state. We can also see that hate cannot produce a radical revolution, for inevitably that which is the product of conflict, antagonism, confusion, cannot be real, cannot be creatively revolutionary. Hate is the outcome of this thought process, hate is thought; and that transformation which love brings can only be when the thought process ceases; therefore thought can never produce a living revolution.
Question: Do you believe in the soul?
Krishnamurti: Now let us examine those two words, `believe' and the word `soul.' Has the word belief a referent? You know what the word referent means? Something to which you refer. When you say you believe that there is `God', what is it, what is the referent behind that belief or behind that word God? I am not discussing God for the moment, but what is the referent behind that belief?
Surely, to believe is to project one's own intention, isn't it? Say you believe in God, you believe in nationalism. What does that mean? You clothe yourself with the idea, you use the idea of self-protection through nationalism and you come to believe in nationalism. A belief is surely the outcome of a desire to be secure subjectively or outwardly, or it is an experience based on memory which dictates your belief. When you say you believe in the soul, what makes you believe in it, put your faith in it, trust it, what you will? It's your conditioning surely? But the leftist, the non-believer, says there is no such thing, because he too has been conditioned in his way; the believer is conditioned, as the non-believer is conditioned.
Now, is there such a thing as the soul that's what you want to know from me? Soul, implying a spiritual entity, no; or character? Sirs, what do you mean by the soul, when you talk about the soul? You mean the psyche? We are asking ourselves, are we not?, if the soul, the psychological entity, exists. Obviously it exists, but surely we mean much more than that. Soul as character exists, but surely, we mean more than character when we talk about the soul? And character can be modified, changed according to environment. There is nothing permanent about character; it can be modified, changed. according to environmental influences. But we mean much more - there is the plus quality - when we talk about the soul, don't we? Something which we posit as spiritual, as the more. The difficulty is this, Sirs. When you ask a question of this kind, one must go into it very carefully.
As far as one can see, there is only character modified, controlled, shaped by the environment. One can find out if there is something more, only when the environmental influences and their limitations are understood and broken. The limited mind, which is the mind conditioned by environment, cannot find out if there is the plus quality, which is what you are asking. It is not a question of belief; either it is or it is not, and that can only be experienced, not believed in; and you can experience it only when there is no conditioning factor which is the thought process.
We can see very well what is happening in the world. The plus quality can never be controlled, shaped, caught in the net of time; but character can be changed. You are born in a certain country, there you have certain influences, certain moulds of character, certain factors which are shaping the mind; but in another country the same shaping is going on, in a different way. So, the so-called character of a person can be changed, modified, controlled, enlarged, what you will. Surely, that character is not the plus quality; therefore, to understand the plus quality, the character or the conditioning must cease. Which does not mean that you must become vague and loose; all we can do is to make the character fluidic, not static, capable of immediate adjustments. After all, virtue is the capacity for swift adjustment, it is not the cultivation of an idea; cultivation of an idea is not virtue. Virtue is not the denial of vice, it is a state of being, and being is not an idea. The man who cultivates virtue is not virtuous. To experience that which is not an idea, ideation which is thought process must cease.
So, we see that character can be modified, changed, moulded, and that is going on consciously or unconsciously all the time. But, the plus quality is what you are after. You cannot `believe' in it. The moment you use the word believe you will never find it, because believing is a process of thought. Thought can never find what is beyond, what is the plus. With the instrument of discovery that you have, which is the mind, you have never found it. You can invent, you can talk, you can describe, you can fool around with it. But, thought can never find it, because the plus quality is obviously not of time, and the only instrument that we have is of time, as character, so we come back to the same question in a different way.
As long as we use the mind as a means of understanding, there can be no understanding. Thought does not produce understanding; on the contrary, you understand only with the cessation of thought - don't call it intuition, for God's sake! By intuition you mean perception and not action, but such a division is not real. This implies a great deal, we will go into it another time.
Question: In the light of the new approach, what is the content of education?
Krishnamurti: Now, what do you mean by the new approach? Presumably, all that has been said during the last ten discussions - all that has been said, unfortunately, by me. Sorry to introduce myself into it. Now, the questioner wants to know what is the content of education in the light of all that.
Sir, what do you mean by education? Why are we educating ourselves? Why do you send your children to school? You would say, wouldn't you?, to learn a technique by which to earn a livelihood. That's all you are interested in, isn't it? As long as he becomes a B.A., an M.A., and God knows what else, you will give him a certain instrument, a certain faculty by which he will be able to earn his livelihood; isn't that it? You are only interested, the majority of you, in giving the child a technique, aren't you?
Now, is the cultivation of technique, education? I know it is necessary to be able to read and write, to learn engineering or something else, because in our society that is essential. But will technique give the faculty, give the capacity rather, to experience? Because, after all, what we mean by education is to be able to experience life, and not merely learn a technique which, surely, is only a part of life; we want to be able to experience life as a whole, don't we? Can I learn to experience as a whole through merely learning a technique? We admit technique is necessary; but to meet life as a whole, as an integrated whole, I need to experience, don't I? To experience pain, suffering, joy, everything, beauty, ugliness, love - I have to experience life, I have to taste life, haven't I? at whatever level. Now, will technique help me to face life? I know, we admit technique is necessary, don't let us minimize it, but if that is the only thing which we are striving for, are we not denying the whole experiencing of life? But if you can help one to experience life as a whole, then that very experience will create its technique and not the other way round.
Is this difficult, is this a little bit complicated? Now, Sir, let me put it in another way. We create the instrument to experience, isn't that so? After all, you educate your son to experience life, marriage, sex, worship, fear, government, which is all life. We create the instrument to experience; but, can the instrument, which is technique, experience? You give him the tools and say: "Go and experience". What? Can the tool, or the thing that holds the tool, experience?
If we approach it differently, that is, help the student to experience, then the very experiencing will create the instrument and not, as mere technique does now, act as a hindrance to experience. Is this a little bit abstract?
Again, let me put it differently. You teach me to be an engineer, give me the technique of livelihood, and my whole life is that of an engineer. I think, dream, compete, I am an engineer, I treat my wife, my children, my neighbours as an engineer. The profession, the technique, the faculty, the function, has become important, but the function cannot experience life; I mean the whole of life, not just the mere building of a bridge or the building of a road or an ugly house.
Now, what are we doing? We are emphasizing the making of the instrument. So, we hope through the instrument to experience life, and that is why modern education is a complete failure - because you have got only the technique, you have marvellous scientists, marvellous physicists, mathematicians bridge builders, space conquerors, and then what? Are you experiencing life? Only as specialists, and can a specialist experience life? Only when he ceases to be a specialist. So, first we make him the specialist and then hope he will experience. You see how wrong an approach it is? Whereas, is it not possible to create an environment in a school or in a community where the experiencing can go on, as a child, as a boy or a girl, directly through the capacity for experiencing? Do you see what is meant?
Surely, that is real revolution, to experience integrally, as a whole human being, and as he experiences he will create, obviously; that is, if he experiences art, beauty, he will inevitably create the technique of painting, writing. He will want to express it; but now, you stop him by telling him how to write essays, and teaching him styles and all the rest of it. But, if he is capable of experiencing a feeling, then the feeling will find its expression, then he will find his own style; when he writes a love poem it will be a love poem, not a carefully calculated rhyme.
So now what are we doing? We create the instrument but destroy the man. The function has become all important and not the man; but if the man is experiencing integrally all the time, he will create his own instrument. Sir, this is not an outrageous dream. This is what we do when we are real people, when we are not stuffed with stupid facts which we call education. When you have something to say, you say it, and it is style; but, now, we have nothing to say because we have destroyed ourselves through technique, and have made that the final aim of life because we treat life as merely a matter of earning bread and butter, a job; life is a job for us.
So if we see this, cannot those who are experiencing, express through teaching? If the person who is a teacher is really experiencing, then his expression will be teaching according to his temperament, faculties, capacities, and so on. Then that teaching will be the instrument of help to another human being to experience and not to be caught in a technique.
Sir, to put it differently: As long as we don't understand life we use the instrument hoping to understand life; but the instrument cannot understand life, life has to be lived, understood by life, by action, by experience. You see another factor is that the cultivation of technique gives one a sense of security, not only economic but psychological, because you think you have the capacity to do something. And the capacity to do something gives you an extraordinary strength. You say I can do this or that, I can play the piano, any time I can go out and build a house. That gives you a sense of independence, vitality. But we deny life and its experience by strengthening the capacity, because life is dangerous, it is unexpected, extraordinarily fluidic; we don't know the content of it, it must be experienced constantly, continually renewed. Being afraid of that unknown quantity we say, let's cultivate technique because that will give us a certain sense of security, inwardly or outwardly. So, as long as we use technique as a means of inward security, life cannot be understood; and without experiencing life, technique has no meaning and we are only destroying ourselves.
We have marvellously capable technicians, and what's happening? Techniques are being used by experts to destroy each other. That's what governments want. They want technicians, they don't want human beings because human beings become dangerous to governments. Therefore, governments are going to control all education because they want more and more technicians.
So, the new approach is not the mere cultivation of a technique, which does not mean you deny technique, but it is the helping to create an integrated human being, who will come by the technique through experiencing. Surely, Sir, that is very simple, I mean it is simple in words. But you can see the extraordinary effect it will have in society. We shall not be washed out at the age of 50 or 45 by a technique. Now, when I am 45 or 50, I am finished, having given my life to a rotten society or to a government that has no meaning at all except for the few who boss it; I have slaved my life away and I am exhausted. Whereas, life should become richer and richer, but that can happen only when technique is not used in the place of experiencing. Sir, if one really thinks of it, it is a complete revolution. As long as there is the cultivation of technique without experiencing the integrated action of life, there must be destruction, there must be competition, there must be confusion, ruthless antagonism. You are becoming entities with perfect capacities, and the more you emphasize technique the more destruction there will be. If there were people who are experiencing and there fore teaching, they would be real teachers and they would create their own technique.
Therefore, experiencing comes first, life comes first, and not technique. Sir, when you have the creative impulse to paint, you take a brush and paint, you don't bother about the technique; you may learn the technique, but that impulse creates its own technique and that's the greatest art.
There is something very interesting happening in the world, especially in America. The engineers are frantically designing engines which do not need a single human being to run them. Life will be run entirely by machines, by various kinds of machines, and what is going to happen to human beings? Be cause they are all fast becoming technicians, they are going to destroy one another, for they will have nothing else to do. They won't know how to utilize their leisure; so they will seek escape through magazines or verbose ideation's, through the radio, the cinema, and enfeebling amusements. What else will they have to do? The solution is in the capacity, the integrated capacity to experience life as a whole. Therefore, it means educating the educator to experience as a whole, helping him to be a human being, and not a technician, a specialist.
That is quite difficult as we have all learned some technique or other. Some of you know how to meditate, you learned the technique, but you are not meditators. Some of you have learned the technique of playing the piano, but you are not musicians. You know how to read, but you cannot write because there is nothing in you crying for expression; you have filled your hearts and minds with technique. You are full of quotations and you think you are marvellous because you can talk about what others have thought or said. What is there behind your technique? Words, words, mere verbalization which is the technique. This is what we are doing with ourselves - so don't laugh it off.
So, experiencing comes first, living comes first, not technique. Love comes first, not how to express love. You read books about love, but your hearts are dry; that is why you read, to stimulate yourself. That is what you are all doing, because you have cultivated thought, and thought is death; and as you are dying slowly, you want stimulation and think technique will give you that stimulation; but stimulation always brings decay, making you more and more dull and weary.
Question: You have been leading a crusade against blind belief, superstition and organized religion. Would I be wrong if I say that in spite of your verbal denunciation of the Theosophical tenets, you are fulfilling the central fact in Theosophy? You are preaching real Theosophy. There is no real contradiction between your position and the position of the Theosophical Society whose great President first introduced you to the world. (Laughter).
Krishnamurti: Now, don't let us discuss personalities, Dr. Besant and myself, for then we are lost.
Let us find out if I am leading a crusade against blind belief, superstition and organized religion. I am merely trying to state a fact. A fact can be interpreted by anyone according to his conditioning, but the fact will remain a fact. I may translate it according to my like and dislike, but that fact is not altered, it is there.
Similarly, a belief, a superstition, an organized dogma of religion, cannot help you to understand truth. Truth must be looked at without the screen of these, and only then is there understanding, and not according to my wishes; and organized beliefs, religions which are organized dogmas, cannot help me to understand life. They can help me to trans late life according to my conditioning, but that is not understanding life, which again means that I am translating life according to my instrument, faculty, or conditioning. But that is not experiencing life, and religion is not the experiencing of life through a belief; religion is experiencing life directly without the. conditioning. Therefore, there must be freedom from organized religion, and so on and on.
Now what is the Theosophical view? When the questioner says I am fulfilling the central fact in Theosophy, you and I must find out what the central fact in Theosophy is, and what the Theosophical Society is, according to the questioner. Now what is the central fact in Theosophy? I really do not know, but let us go at it. What are the certain facts of Theosophy, divine wisdom? That is what the word means. (Interruption) "No religion higher than truth." Is that the central fact?
Theosophy and the Theosophical Society are two different things. Now, which are you talking about? Please, Sir, first let me assure you, I am not at tacking or defending. We want to find the truth of the matter, at least I do. you may not; at least the adherents, those who have committed themselves, those who have vested interests in it, insist that this is Theosophy - but those people are not truth seekers, they are merely depending on their vested interest, hoping to be rewarded; therefore they are not truth seekers.
Now, we must find out if there is a difference between Theosophy and the Theosophical Society. Surely the teachings of Christ are different from the Church. The teachings of Buddha are different from Buddhism, the organized religion. Obviously. The teaching is one thing, and organized society, organized religion, organized teaching, is another, is it not?
So, Theosophy and the Theosophical Society are two different things, are they not? Now, which do you want to find: the central fact of Theosophy, or the Theosophical Society? If you are interested in the central fact of Theosophy which is divine wisdom, how are you going to find it out? That is, the central fact in Theosophy is wisdom, isn't it? Isn't that so, Sir? Call it divine or human wisdom, it doesn't matter which. Now, is wisdom sought in a book, is wisdom given by another, is wisdom to be described, put into words, verbalized, learnt and repeated - is that wisdom? When I repeat the verbalization of the experience of a Buddha, is that wisdom; and is not that repetition a lie? Is not wisdom to be directly experienced? And I cannot experience wisdom when I have only the information about the wisdom of another.
Sirs, those of you who want to find the central fact in Theosophy, please listen carefully, do not close your ears. Is wisdom to be organized, to be spread around as you spread political propaganda, or political views? Can wisdom be organized and spread around for the benefit of others? Is wisdom to be caught through authority, and is not wisdom come at through direct experience, and not through the technique of knowing what another has said about wisdom? Now, when you say that there is no religion higher than truth, it means that the central fact of Theosophy is to find truth, is it not? To discover truth, to understand it, to love it? And is truth a thing to be repeated and learned? Can you learn a truth as you can learn a technique? Again, is it not to be directly experienced, directly felt, directly known? I am not saying that Theosophy does not imply all this. We are discussing what the central fact is. I have not read Theosophical books any more than I have read other religious books... probably that is why one can think a little more freely about all these things.
So, can the central fact of Theosophy, which is wisdom and truth, be expressed through an organized society; or can an organized society help another to reach that? So let us leave that now - the central fact of Theosophy.
Now, the Theosophical Society. How you take notice, I don't know why you are interested in all this!
Now, what is an organized society, what is the function of an organized society - not as you would like it, but actually, factually? What is the function of an organized society, especially of this kind: to spread this wisdom, is it not? Then what? To translate this wisdom, to found a platform for people to come together in search of it? You would say yes, wouldn't you? That is, an organized society for the gathering together of those who will seek truth and wisdom? Surely! No? (Interruption) Sir, I am not trying to catch you, for, after all, an organized body exists for something. We at once become protagonists, he on one side, I on the other. (Laughter) He the ruler of a society or a section of the society, and I the opponent. Sir, let me please say here I am not your opponent; but I feel, on the contrary, that such societies are an impediment to under standing.
Why does your Society exist? To propagate ideas? Or to help people to seek the central fact of Theosophy? Or, to act as a platform of tolerance so that people of different views can translate truth according to their conditioning? You are either a group of people who feel congenial to each other and say: We are in this society because we have common views together; or you have come together as a means of seeking truth and helping each other to find it. These are four possibilities, and to these we can add. Now, all these resolve essentially into two: that we come together as a society to find truth, and to propagate truth. Now, can you propagate truth, and can you seek truth? Let us examine.
Can you propagate truth? What do you mean by propaganda? You think, for instance, that reincarnation is a fact. I am taking that as an example; you say let us go and propagate that, it will help people, alleviate their suffering, and so on - which means that you know the truth of reincarnation. Do you know the truth of reincarnation, or do you know only the verbal expression of an idea that there is continuity? You have read it in a book, and you propagate that, the words; you follow, Sir? Is that spreading the truth? Can you propagate truth? Then you might turn around and say to me: what are you doing? I tell you I am not propagating truth; we are helping each other to be free, so the truth may come to us. I am not propagating, I am not giving you an `idea'. What I am doing is to help you to see what are the impediments that prevent you from directly experiencing the truth. Is the person who propagates truth, a truth speaker? Please, this is a very serious question. You can propagandize, but your propaganda is not truth, is it? The word `truth' is not the truth, is it? You are merely spreading the word `truth', `reincarnation', or you are explaining it; but the word `truth' is not the truth. It must be experienced, therefore, your propagandizing is merely verbal, untrue.
The other point is: People come together to seek truth, that is part of it. Now, can you seek truth, or does truth come to you? There is an enormous difference there. If you seek truth, you are wanting to utilize truth. You are using truth as a safeguard or to reach comfort, security, this or that; you are using it as a means of your own gratification, or what you will. When I seek something, that is my objective; don't let us deceive ourselves by a lot of words. When I seek power I go after it, I use it. And when you go after truth it means you must already know it; for you cannot go after something unknown. When you know it, you are going to use it. What you know is self-protective and therefore it is not truth. Can truth be found, or can you receive truth through belief?
Now, in discussing the Theosophical Society - of course, you understand, I am not concerned with it, I am out of it completely. You want to know if what I am saying, teaching, and the central fact of Theosophy and the Theosophical Society, are the same. I say obviously they are not. You would like to patch it up and say we have produced you and therefore you are a part of us, as a baby is part of the father and mother. That is a very convenient argument, but actually the boy is entirely different from the father when he grows a little older.
Surely, Sir, when you are becoming more and more, spiritually climbing the ladder, you are denying truth, are you not? Truth is not at the top of the ladder; truth is where you are, in what you are doing, thinking, feeling, when you kiss and hug, when you exploit - you must see the truth of all that, not a truth at the end of innumerable cycles of life. To think that you may be a Buddha some day is but another self-projected aggrandizement. It is immature thinking, unworthy of people who are alive, deeply thoughtful, affectionate. If you think that you will be something in the future, you are not it now. What matters is now, not tomorrow. If you are not brotherly now, you will never be brotherly tomorrow, because tomorrow is also the now.
You have come together as a Society, and you ask me if you and I meet. I say we do not. You can make us `meet,' you can twist anything to suit your convenience. You can pretend that white is black; but a mind that is not straight, that is incapable of direct perception of things as they are, merely thinks in terms of vested interest, whether in belief, in property, or in so-called spiritual status. I am not saying you should leave your Society. I am not at all concerned whether you leave it or don't leave it; but if you think you are truth seekers, and have come together to find reality, I am afraid you are going about it very wrongly. You may say: `that is your opinion'. I would say that you are perfectly right. If you say: `we are trying to be brotherly', I would say again that you are going the wrong way, because brotherhood is not at the end of the passage; and if you say you are cultivating tolerance, brotherhood, I would say that brotherhood and tolerance do not exist. They are not to be cultivated, you do not cultivate tolerance, When you love someone, you do not cultivate tolerance. It is only the man who has no love in his heart that cultivates tolerance. It is again an intellectual feat. If you say your Society is not based on belief at all, inwardly or outwardly, then I would say that from your outward as well as your inward actions you are a factor of separation, not of unity. You have your secret rituals, secret teachings, secret Masters, all indicating separation. It is the very function of an organized society to be separate in that sense.
So, I am afraid that when you go very deeply into the matter, you, the Theosophical Society, and I, do not meet. You might like to make us meet, but that is quite a different matter - which does not mean you must leave yours and come over to this camp. There is no `this camp', there are no sides to truth. Truth is Truth, one, alone; it has no sides, no paths; all paths do not lead to Truth. There is no path to Truth, it must come to you.
Truth can come to you only when your mind and heart are simple, clear, and there is love in your heart; not if your heart is filled with the things of the mind. When there is love in your heart, you do not talk about organizing for brotherhood; you do not talk about belief, you do not talk about division or the powers that create division, you need not seek reconciliation. Then you are a simple human being without a label, without a country. This means that you must strip yourself of all those things and allow Truth to come into being; and it can come only when the mind is empty, when the mind ceases to create. Then it will come without your invitation. Then it will come as swiftly as the wind and unbeknown. It comes obscurely, not when you are watching, wanting. It is there as sudden as sunlight, as pure as the night; but to receive it, the heart must be full and the mind empty. Now you have the mind full and your heart empty.
February 6, 1949
Banaras 3rd Public Talk 6th February 1949
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