Bombay 8th Public Talk 13th March 1962
This is the last talk. I am going to talk this evening about the religious mind and the new mind. And to go into it, as I would like to go rather deeply, we must understand, I think, the significance of words.
Words are used for communication; but words become barriers to communication when we accept the common meaning of a word - which becomes the pattern of our thinking. I am going to use the word `religious' in quite a different sense. The religious mind has the capacity to act totally, not in fragments, not in divisions. A mind that is capable of seeing, in the immediate, the whole and not merely the particular, a mind that is capable of comprehending the totality of existence in the immediate now - such a mind essentially has beauty and that sense of love which alone binds action to the whole. And one has to understand this quality of the religious mind, whose action is not divided, broken up, fragmentary, but is total. Such a mind is essentially free from ideation as memory, the self. I think one knows, perhaps at rare moments, this quality of action that is not tinged by the self, the `me'. It is the self, the `me' that breaks up action into fragmentation; it is the self, the `me', that drives to acquire. And that sense of attachment can never comprehend the totality of action which is of the religious mind.
So, I am using the word `religious mind' as a state of action which binds all the various activities of life; it is not divided in itself as the world and the not-world, as the outside and the inside. There is no outside world and inside world. There is only a movement, as the outer and as the inner, like the tide that goes out and then comes in. The religious mind has the quality of comprehending the outer, and through the comprehension of the outer comes to the inner naturally, easily, without dividing the world as the `outer' and the `inner'.
But to comprehend this totality of the religious mind one must begin to enquire into the various complex processes of living. Our daily living is so confused; it is in conflict, it has innumerable sorrows, it is in contradiction, it is always striving - and that is our life. We only know that. We do not know any action apart from reaction. And it is this reaction that breeds sorrow; and from that sorrow there is further division as the outer and the inner, as something illusory and something real. There is only one world - not the outer and the inner, not that world divided as the outer and the inner. And without understanding the totality of action of the religious mind - do what you will, have every kind of revolution, economic or social, plan what you will - , prosperity becomes merely a means of destroying freedom; and though we must have prosperity, prosperity then becomes a means of psychological security. And a mind that is psychologically secure is not a religious mind.
So, to enquire into the nature of the religious mind, into that state of mind which is free from this conflict of the self, we must enquire into simplicity, To find what it is to be simple - not the idea of simplicity, not the ideal of simplicity, not the symbol of simplicity, but the actual state of a mind that is really simple. I mean by that word `simple' to face every fact of everyday and every minute, without any complexity, to look at facts without the complex process of thought, to look at facts without ideation, without ideals. And such simplicity is not in mere clothes, not in the loincloth and one meal a day, not in a long beard or a clean-shaven face; but it is the simplicity that has precision when it has to think, that has no conflict, that has no illusion, that has no future, that faces the fact and only the fact, nothing else but the fact.
Such a mind, such an approach to life, does bring about an extraordinary sense of joy. Very few of us are happy naturally, easily, spontaneously. We are so complex, we have so many problems; everything we touch either by the hand or by the mind becomes ugly. And when something becomes ugly, crude, vulgar, there is no sensitivity; and therefore there is no appreciation of things as they are. It is only in the understanding of the things as they are, actually facing things as they are, out of that comprehension, there is revolution.
Revolution is not brought about according to a pattern of some one else, of the economist, of the reformer, of the politician. The revolution of which we are talking, comes into being when you can see the fact and act according to that fact, from moment to moment. In so acting, you will find, out of that simplicity, not only there is an extraordinary sense of relief, a sense of unburdening, but out of that comes a deep joy. And without joy, without the spark, without a song in one's heart, life becomes so utterly empty. You may be very clever, you may have big houses, you may occupy very important positions, you may influence thousands of people through newspapers; but behind that facade of words, position, prestige and power there is a hollowness; such a mind is not a creative mind.
And it is important for the individual, for each one of us, to have this sense of unending joy. It does come, not because you have a job, not because you are happily married, or unhappily married; it has no reason. And there is that joy; you can only come to it darkly, unknowingly, when you understand the simplicity of virtue. Virtue is not something to be striven after - then it ceases to be virtue. When a man who is vain practises humility, then that humility is the essence of vanity. But virtue is order: just to have order in one's mind. And you can't have order if it is merely a pattern after the sanction of society, if it is merely a practice, a habit - then the mind is made dull. And a dull mind is not a virtuous mind; it may have excellent habits, it may never get angry, it may be self-righteous and comply with the commands of society; but such a mind is not a sensitive mind and therefore not a virtuous mind.
Do please listen to this, not that you are suddenly going to become virtuous. You will, suddenly on the instant, be virtuous, which is not after the pattern of an ugly, corrupting society; but you will have order and space in that order. That order brings about efficiency. It is the mind that is efficient in thought and that has no conflict, that is a virtuous mind, that lives virtuously. When virtue is the result of conflict, is the result of constant striving which is the battle of opposites, such a mind not only becomes insensitive, but is incapable of swift flight. It is only the efficient mind that is capable of rapidity, that sees things in a flash. For truth is perceived only in a flash, truth has no continuity. What has continuity is of time; and what has time has no space. And it is only a mind that has space, that can see in a flash what is truth. It is only the virtuous mind that has space; and therefore only such a mind can, in a flash, see immensity, that which is eternal. Virtue is not the outcome of memory. If virtue is the outcome of memory, then virtue is a reaction to memory; reaction is a reflex of memory. Such virtue as is recognized by society, by religious orders, by groups, does breed conflict; and therefore such a mind is not a simple mind.
You know the world is becoming more and more complex. Your relationship with another is getting more and more complex, not simpler. The complexity of life can only be understood when you approach it very simply, really very very simply. Life is not merely your daily existence - going to the office, the quarrels with your wife or husband, the nagging, the misery, the conflict of everyday existence. Life includes not only the past which projects itself into the future, but also death, happiness, and also something beyond time, beyond thought, beyond feeling. And you have to comprehend this immense totality of life - not your little corner of existence, not the little place on the earth which you call your country, not the little temple built by hand which has no meaning. Life is an extraordinary thing, a total thing in which all this is included. And without understanding the immensity of life in which is included everything - every cry, every tear, every song of every bird, the anguish, the misery, the travail of existence - , without understanding the totality of it, you will never have a flash of that immensity.
To understand this extraordinary thing called life - with its sexual demands, with its ambitions, drives, its frustrations, old age, decline and deterioration - , you must come to it very simply. And that is our difficulty, because we are such complex human beings, we have so many ideas. We are so clever. But we are all secondhand people; there is nothing original in us; and it is originality that makes for simplicity - not eccentricity, not the capacity to invent. But this simplicity is the simplicity of a mind that has understood all the facets of life - not the technical life, not the life of accumulated knowledge, because knowledge and technical knowledge can expand indefinitely. You will know more and more about things - about Venus, about Mars, about the Moon, how to get to the Moon - but less and less about yourself, about what you are. What you are is the totality of life. Because you are miserable, unhappy with all the anguish, the guilt and the agony that you go through silently or openly, to understand life, you have first to understand yourself.
You can understand yourself, who are a complex entity, by looking at yourself very very simply. And out of that perception, out of that seeing, out of that listening to yourself, you understand. You have to listen to yourself - not to your higher self - there is no higher self, there is no Atman; that is an invention of the mind, the result of thought, thought being the response of the mind, of the things that have been. So when you look at yourself every day, in every word, when you feel your way into the depth of your own heart and mind, then out of that looking, seeing, listening and hearing there comes simplicity; and out of that simplicity there is joy; and that is virtue.
The religious mind has really no experience. This is important to understand, because we all want experiences, more and more. And every experience, as I pointed out the other day, is the response to a challenge according to your background, according to your conditioning; and so every experience strengthens that conditioning, it does not liberate the mind. But you have to understand the nature of your own thought, the way of your action, the way you look - if you do look ever - at the face of a bus driver. Have you ever looked at a bus driver, have you ever looked at the bus-driver's face? I doubt it. Watch it sometimes, see how haggard it is, how weary, how worn out it is! Going up and down the same route day after day, month after month, as you go to your office - there is no joy, there is nothing but mechanical habit, and never being aware of the things about oneself. All that indicates, surely, does it not? a mind grown callous, a mind grown dull. Yet such a mind talks about God, Truth, wanting to understand; but it is not aware of the things about itself, the way one dresses, the way one talks, the way one regards the important people and the unimportant people. Without knowing all this, without laying the foundation through all this, you cannot go very far. And virtue is the awareness of the present.
You see, we are always living either in the past or in the future. Specially as you get older, the past becomes extraordinarily significant, and the future is only what you call death. So you go to the past and avoid the future - how happy you were, what a lovely youth you had, or what a miserable existence you had. So we live between the past and the future. If you are still young, you have still the future to make something of, and you shape it according to the past. So you are caught between the past and the future. Observe your own minds, your own life. Do not merely hear what I am saying, but actually observe your own existence. You will see how divided it is, between the past and the future; and if it is not divided, you are merely, living in the immediate, from day to day, making the very best of that. Because, there may be a war, there may be a revolution, an economic revolution, a social upheaval; anything may happen tomorrow; tomorrow is uncertain. Therefore, if you don't live between the past and the future, you live just for today. There are many who live for today and they call themselves by many names. And when you make the best of today, consciously or unconsciously, you are bound to be in despair.
Do please listen to what I am talking. You are in despair if you are living in the past or in the future; you are also in despair if you are living only for today - and that is what most people are doing; that is the political world. This unfortunate country is ruled by politicians. Before, it was the priest and the book; and now it is the politicians' turn. And the politicians are concerned only with the immediate; and that immediate may be extended for a while, but still it has its source in the immediate. Most people are wanting to be happy immediately, are wanting success immediately. When we are concerned with the immediate, all the indications of our existence are in terms of the immediate. When you pursue the immediate, you will come upon untold despair; and out of that despair you invent philosophies, you make a virtue out of that despair. And the more intellectual, the more learned and erudite you are, the more shallow becomes the immediate. So, whether you live in the past or in the future or just live for today, you are all caught in misery, in travail, in a life that is utterly superficial. I mean by that word `superficial' not `food, clothes and shelter' that every one must have, but the psychological superficiality of existence.
Now, if you understand the time past, the time present and the time future - which breed sorrow and despair, anxiety and guilt - , not little by little, not by examining or analysing the past, but by seeing the thing as a whole, then you see the totality of time divided as the past and the future and the now. If you see it, if you really comprehend it that way as a total thing, then you will see that out of that comprehension the mind is made free from the past, from the present and from the future. And the mind must be free. It is out of that freedom, that the individual comes into being.
It is immensely important that you must be an individual, because governments, education, society and religion are making you conform, making you into a machine which believes or does not believe. It is essential that you emerge as an individual, that is, with a mind that is free, that has lived in society and society has not left a mark upon it - and it can be done; it is not something vain, ideological or theoretical. You can have a mind unspotted, clear, precise, living in this world, in a corrupt society. But it can come about only when you understand the structure, the psychological state of society, which is the past, the present and the future - that is society; and you can comprehend the totality of it.
So, the religious mind is the revolutionary mind. We have thought of revolution only in terms of economic, social or structural upheaval. But every upheaval is a reflex of the past, and therefore it throws up a similar pattern but with a different set of people, with a different set of ideas, but it is still the same pattern. But we are talking of a religious mind that has really understood the whole structure of itself, the state of itself, and therefore denies. You must deny; you must always be a no-sayer, not a yes-sayer. And you know how difficult it is to say `no' - not to your wife or your husband, that is comparatively easy; but to say `no' to society, to say `no' to your ambition, to say `no' to your fears, to say `no' to authority. When you say `no', you mean `no' - completely `no'. If you will say `no', you will discover how extraordinarily complex it is.
But by saying `no' you will find out about yourself, what you are made of, how your thought functions, the deep corners, the deep untrodden space in your mind which you have never looked into. It is only when you discover yourself, you will emerge out of society, you become an individual. When you say `no', you will find that out of that comes energy. You must have energy. You do have energy when you go to the office day after day - there is the boredom of it; but you go. When you do your business, when you talk, when you ride in the bus, when you ride in your car - everything is a form of energy. Life is energy. Every thought, every feeling is a form of energy. But the energy that we breed, cultivate, comes into being through resistance - resisting, fighting, contradicting, complying, imitating. Through resistance, through suppression, you have energy; and that is all we know - when I push, you push in resistance; but that energy is entirely different from the energy of which we are talking.
The energy of which we are talking, is not the outcome of resistance. Resistance implies a motive, either of fear, or of loneliness, or of guilt, or of despair, or some form of attachment. Please look into your own mind and your heart, you will see. You have energy through a motive, and therefore such energy meets resistance; and so the battle begins in life - that is the only form of energy that we know. The so-called religious people - those people who are everlastingly seeking God but who never find God - cultivate energy by a denying which has a motive; they think this energy will come into being by becoming bachelors, by denying life - the natural process of life - , by withdrawing into a monastery and devoting themselves to good works, by controlling themselves. This does give energy; but that energy is born of resistance, born of conflict, born of suppression. You do have an extraordinary energy when you do suppress, like steam suppressed; only that suppression becomes religious, and it is married to Jesus or to Krishna or to somebody; and inwardly, such energy creates untold misery.
If you listen to what I am talking about, you will see how your energy comes into being. When you discover, uncover, your motives and are free of them, then out of that freedom comes a different kind of energy. This energy is born without any motive, because this energy is the very essence of a mind that is completely empty - not blank. A mind that is empty has no resistance, for all thought is resistance. It is that energy that you must have, not the energy born of motive, of conflict, of contradiction, of tension. Motive, conflict, contradiction, tension - they do breed certain forms of energy; and that energy brings, as you can see about you, extraordinary conflict, sorrow. That is your life, that is your everyday existence. You have to understand it - not try to seek that energy which has no motive; you can`t find it. You must be free of resistance. And you can only be free of resistance when you can look at life very simply, look at yourself totally without idea, without concept, without formulae, without comparing - when you just look. Then out of that you will see, if you go thus far, a mind that is free - which is not the result of search.
You know, we are all seeking, everyone of us. We are seeking truth, happiness, the purpose of life. What does seeking imply? You can only seek something which you have lost or something which you already know; you want to find it. When you say you are a seeker after truth - it is utter nonsense. When you say that, you already must have had the flavour of truth, you must have already comprehended what truth is. And if you are seeking it, you must have lost it - truth is not a thing to be lost, and you can't come to it through searching. All search must cease completely. And that is the beauty of truth. The moment you seek, you are in conflict; the moment you seek, you are setting into motion the energy of escape - escape from the fact, escape from what you are.
So, a mind that is seeking will never find, because that immensity is not recognizable. What you can recognize is what you have already known - you recognize your wife, your children, your town, because you already know them. But what you already know about truth is not truth. Truth is beyond time. Search implies distance - from this to that; and so, time is begotten. A mind that is seeking truth will never find it. Please do listen, please understand this once and for all. If you do, you will never seek truth.
If you seek, then the search becomes a problem. Don't have problems in life, not a single problem, even the problem of God, or the problem of truth, or the problem of happiness. Don't have a problem, because a problem implies struggle, conflict. And a mind in conflict can never understand what is truth. Resolve the problem by understanding what is implied in the problem, the root of the problem. Don't try to resolve it, don't try to break it up, don't try to find an answer to it. But study, go into it, don't escape, look at it with all your being. A mind that has problems can never understand, and therefore is never free. Not how to avoid problems, because everyday is a problem. If you are alive, really alive every minute, then it does not become a problem; but there is a constant regard, a constant look, which is the response, not of memory but of something much more, much wider, deeper.
So the religious mind is not a seeking mind. The religious mind is free of all problems and therefore can meet problems freely, and never gives soil to any problem to take its root in the mind. All this may sound extraordinarily difficult. But your life is difficult. It is a most difficult life you have - the going and the coming, the dying and the living from day to day without certainty, with desire for security, with despair. It is a very difficult life you lead.
But there is a life which is not difficult at all. We really mean what we are saying. It is not at all difficult. Only you must give attention to it, you must give attention to what you are doing. Attention is virtue, attention is order, attention brings efficiency. Whether you are a cook or a bureaucrat or a government official, what you will, when you give your attention completely with all your being, that is virtue. Virtue is not the tawdry thing which society helps you to cultivate.
As I said, it is love that binds all action for a religious mind. Because the religious mind sees every truth in a flash, from moment to moment, it has the quality of that love which binds all action together. I do not know if you have ever loved somebody - loved with all your being, with your heart, with your mind, with your body, with your thought, with your feeling, with everything that you have. If you have loved so completely, totally, then you will know from that state, that in every action, do what you will, there is no conflict, there is no problem. Every action is tied together, it is not born of an idea, it is not born according to your principle, because it is only the religious mind which understands the totality of existence, which we have so terribly broken up. It is only the religious mind that has this extraordinary quality of love, and therefore it can live in this world.
And it is love that is capable of destruction. You know, you must destroy, you must destroy society, not the building, not throw bombs at the governors and politicians - they have their own fate, you leave them to it. But destruction, the psychological destruction of what society has made you into, is necessary. And you can only destroy it completely when there is this quality of compassion. Compassion comes into being only when there is the total comprehension of life. Otherwise you are all very kind, very good, tender; but tenderness, kindness, being good, being considerate, is not love; it is a part of love but is not love. A mind has no love when it is not considerate, when it does not look about itself and around where it lives. Love is not a word, but an actual state. If there is no love, you cannot destroy; then you merely become a reformer.
Love and destruction always go together as creation. The three - that is creation, an ending or death, and love - are always together, they are inseparable. That creation - not painting pictures or breeding children - is energy which has no motive. That death is beyond time. And love comes with this. It is only then that you can see that which is beyond time, beyond all thought. Then only is the mind capable of seeing in a flash the unnameable. And there is the everlasting which is not the invention of the Gita, or the Bible. You have to put aside all the books, all ideas, all ideals, all traditions; you must be completely naked, empty, alone. Then only can that reality be seen.
March 13, 1962
Bombay 8th Public Talk 13th March 1962
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