New Delhi 1963
New Delhi 1st Public Talk 23rd October 1963
I think it would be wise from the very beginning to understand each other. For me there is only learning and no instruction. That is a very important thing to understand. The speaker is not teaching, for you to learn. Together, we are going to investigate, to learn. And to investigate, to learn, one must know what it is to observe - because through observation alone we learn to observe, to be conscious of all the things, not only outwardly but also inwardly, both outside the skin as well as inside the skin - the events, the reactions, the innumerable impressions and tensions. To observe these is to learn from them, and therefore immediately one becomes for oneself both the teacher as well as the disciple.
One learns; and to learn one has to observe. But most of us do not observe. We do not take what is, but we come to it with our opinions, with our judgments, with our condemnations and approvals. So we look at things through the screen of our own prejudices, of our own ideas and opinions. When we do observe, we investigate the truth of opinions rather than the fact itself. So we never learn.
We know what the facts are in the world and though those facts are constantly impinging on the mind with great virility, with an immediate demand for action, we never learn from these facts, because we approach them with our own conditioning, with our own peculiar, opinionated, dogmatic mind, with a mind which is afraid to investigate, to discover, to see what is new. So we approach the many facts with this peculiar half inattention, though all those facts demand action, demand a complete revolution in the state of the mind. Therefore we never learn.
During the talks here, together we are going to find out for ourselves. To find out you need a certain energy, an energy that is not the friction that comes through opinion, through conflict, through argument; but that energy comes only when you perceive what is true for yourself. And if I may point out, it seems to me that it is very important to understand the relationship between you and the speaker. Here, there is no authority of any kind whatsoever. We are both investigating, discovering. We are both searching out to discover what is true and immediately, totally to deny what is false. Otherwise, we cannot go very far; and we have to go very far and very deeply to understand, to act; for action is demanded. And to act one must observe the facts as they are about one.
So, first, let us look at the things about us outwardly because you cannot go very far, deeply within, if we do not understand what is the outward movement of life. I mean by that word `understand' to be conscious of it - not necessarily that one has to act definitely in a certain manner with regard to outward things but to be conscious of them, to be aware of them, to know their content, their meaning, their significance. Because you will see that as we begin to understand the outward things of life, we begin to go inwardly, naturally from the understanding of what is without. But without understanding the outer, the tide that is going out, you cannot flow with the tide that is coming in.
So, there is no division as the outer and the inner. It is a tide that has a movement that goes out infinitely far; and when you ride that tide, when the mind is of that tide, then that very tide carries you within very far, infinitely. But you cannot ride the inner tide, as most religious people try to do, without understanding the outer, the whole significance of existence, the outer existence, the daily acts, the daily faults, the reactions, the responses, the fears, the greeds, the ambitions, the corruption, the envy, the frustrations and the agonies. Without understanding all these, there is no meaning in the search for truth, which demands an astonishingly sharp, healthy, sane, rational mind, not a crippled mind, not a mind that is frightened, not a mind that is greedy, seeking, wanting, groping after something - those are all indicative of an unhealthy mind.
So, what we are going to do is first to observe, perceive the facts as they are in the world - not your fact and my fact, not your opinion and my opinion, not observe dialectically, because that is the art of investigating the truth of opinions. We are not concerned with opinions, nor with agreements. We are concerned with observing the actual facts, the what is. And to observe what is very clearly and to see the full significance of those facts, naturally we must look at it without all our conditioning. That is where the difficulty is going to lie, because you have opinions, you have values, you approach them as a Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, or what you will, with your nationalities, with your peculiar idiosyncrasies - and these prevent you from observing, from looking. Observation is an art. It is not easily learnt. One has observed neither the sunset nor the stars, neither the trees nor the facts, outwardly or inwardly.
So, if we are going to travel together - and I hope we will, during these talks - , we have to observe scientifically, ruthlessly and with great intelligence. I mean by that word `intelligence' not knowledge. Intelligence is not knowledge. A man who has read a great deal, who has accumulated knowledge is not necessarily intelligent. I mean by that word `intelligence' the capacity for insight, to see immediately what is true, to see what is false immediately and deny the false totally. That requires intelligence - which is not a thing to be cultivated. You have to perceive that which is true immediately; and you can only perceive what is true immediately if you understand the whole process of your reasoning, your incapacities, your shelters, your fears, your greeds - all this human psychological structure.
So, we are going to observe the facts, the what is; because, for me, the very act of observation is action. Action is not something apart from the act of observation. To see something totally - that very seeing is total action. I will go into that presently during these talks.
So, at the present moment in the world, as you and I and all know, there is great poverty - not only inwardly but outwardly - , lack of food, the appalling poverty of the whole of Asia and Africa. And there are tremendous technological changes going on, changes that are not in the thing that is changed but in the process of change, in the very change itself, not in what is changed. Do you understand the change? What was invented yesterday becomes obsolete by tomorrow; the thoughts that you have had about this or that, about God, about economy, about what you should do - they have already changed. There is a terrific movement of change going on in the world.
As the earth is broken up into fragments so our thinking is broken up as the artist, as the politician, as the economist, as the businessman, as the yogi, as the sannyasi, as the man who is seeking truth, as the social reformer - they are all functioning in fragments, all saying, "We are going to solve this human problem." You can endlessly explore these fragments and their activities - which would be a waste of time. You can see the fragmentation going on - the classes, the nations, the religious divisions, the sectarian divisions, those who believe in this and those who do not believe in that, the one saviour and the many saviours, one country against another and therefore cultivating nationalism. These are going on in the world, and they have been going on for some thousands of years, millennia, and none of us have solved this problem of living. And all religions have failed completely - whether you are a Hindu who reads the Gita and recites the innumerable phrases, or whether you are a Catholic, or whether you are a Mussulman or a Buddhist. They have no meaning any more, because they are not realities. You can escape through them. You can shut your eyes to all the process of living and escape through a narrow channel of what you call religious thinking; but that does not solve your agony, the agony of man, the despair, the sorrow, the appalling misery, confusion. You have to solve your problem, and therefore the urgency of solving the problem is immediate. It is something vital that demands your immediate action.
So you see all this in the world. There is the politician functioning in his own way, in the most confused, ruthless, corrupting way, fragmentarily; and there is the other, the religious man. By the politician, I mean also the businessman, the technician - the whole modern civilization which is fragmentary - with his education, escapes, drinks, amusements and all that. And then there is the other, the man who escapes or avoids, who lives there and tries to find reality somewhere else, through his religion, through his tradition. There is no answer in either - neither in communism nor in yoga. There is no answer, because you can see what is happening in the world. A wise man knows these, observes these and totally denies these both. Do you understand? We are human beings, not Hindus, not Mussalmans, not patriotic Indians.
It is a human problem whether you live in Russia or in America or in India or in China. It is a human problem we are confronted with. We have suffered too long. We are confused. Our actions are very limited. We have always looked to another to save us. All those have failed, totally. I think that is the first thing one has to realize, not cynically, not with bitterness; that is a fact. They have no meaning any more; they have a meaning only for those who want to escape like taking a drink. You can get drunk on whisky or on the idea of God - both are the same. You are no more holy when you get drunk on an idea than when you get drunk through whisky. So, we have to have a total perception of these fragmentations of existence, to observe them. And to observe, as I have pointed out, you need a very clear mind. You can have a clear mind if you want it. It is not very difficult to think clearly, sanely, rationally. And you can only do it when you have no fear.
So by observing you learn. The very facts teach you, the very facts give you information that you can no longer be a Hindu or a Christian or a Buddhist. You have to become a human being and to solve your problems immediately, because there is no leader any more, politically or religiously. There are leaders technologically - that is all. The scientists, the professors, can give you information, but they cannot remove all your sorrows, the agony of existence, the despair that follows every one. Nobody can solve this for you. And therefore, how you observe, what you do with what you have observed directly - that matters enormously.
The act of observation demands discipline. Please follow this closely. I am using the word `discipline' not in the orthodox sense of control, approximation, effort - that is what is generally implied in discipline. Approximation to an idea, to a symbol, to a pattern; control through fear, through subjugation, through reward and punishment; and conformity to a pattern - that is what is implied in the ordinary sense of the word `discipline'. The religious discipline, the military discipline, the discipline of education, the discipline of going to the office, however boring, tiresome, futile empty it is - it brings about a certain discipline in which is involved conflict, approximation, control. And that discipline is considered highly necessary, because it helps you to fit into a social pattern or into a religious pattern or into a political pattern, the party discipline and so on and on.
I am not using that word `discipline' in that sense at all. To me such discipline is most destructive, whether it is religious discipline or the political or the military - one must be careful when one talks about discipline in this country; well, it is up to you. The discipline I am talking of is something entirely different; I am not using that word in the context of the old pattern at all. I am using that word `discipline' to mean the discipline that comes through observation, through observing clearly, factually. In the very process of observation this discipline of which I am talking comes into being. To observe that flower, if you do at all observe a flower, demands a great deal of attention - to look at it without naming it, without saying, "It is a rose", "I like that colour", "I do not like that colour", or "I wish I had it" - without all that, merely to observe demands a great deal of attention. But to observe that way, you have to be aware of the chattering of the mind. We must be aware how we are distracted by our words, by our desires, by our urges, by our demands that prevent us from looking, seeing, observing, listening.
So the very act of observation is discipline. Do please understand this. This is really quite important. Once you grasp this, you will see the whole significance of all these talks. It is one simple fact: that is, you have to observe yourself all your reactions, all the psychological conflicts, demands, urges, tensions, fears, greed - just to observe, not to deny them, not to accept them, not to evaluate, not to compare or judge or deny but just to see. In that very act of seeing you become conscious of all your demands, urges, fears, complexes, greed etc; and to be aware of them demands discipline. So this whole process of looking, listening, is in itself a discipline in which there is no conflict, no contradiction, no conformity, no approximation to any pattern. Therefore you break down all your conditioning immediately. You try this; try it as I am talking, not when you go home. There is no time; there is only the present, the active present, now, not the present of the existentialist but the actual moment you are listening, observing - not only listening to the speaker but also observing yourself observing all your reactions, your fear your anxieties, your despairs, the ambitions, the greeds, the fears; just to observe, not to do away with them.
You will see that very observation, to see very clearly, brings about an astonishing freedom in discipline. That is absolutely necessary if you and I are going to travel together - and we are going to travel together. Because when you observe the facts of the world, there must be a new man born out of this confusing conflict, misery and despair; there must be a new mind, a new man, a new entity. And nobody is going to create that new entity except yourself. That is why through observing you will see that you will deny totally not partially or fragmentarily but completely, deny everything of authority - the gods, the religions, the rituals, the Gita, the Bible - , everything you destroy to find out. For that there must be a new thinking, a new way of looking. There must be a revolution in the mind so that you can look at all these problems with a fresh mind, not with a mind that is dead, corrupt, decaying with age, You need a new, fresh mind to solve this immense problem of living.
There must he a mutation. You know that word ' mutation' is not, being used a great deal not only among the scientists but among others. May I go into it a little bit, because it is quite interesting? To us change is gradual; time is involved in change - " I will be this tomorrow; "I won't be that tomorrow". Time is involved in change. In mutation time is not involved; the whole process of the mind, thought, has undergone a tremendous change, revolution - not in terms of time. I am going to go into that during these talks. That is what is demanded - a man totally born anew in a timeless state so that he can bring about a complete revolution in the world. And you need a revolution, not an economic or a social revolution. I am not talking of a superficial or fragmentary one, but of a revolution in the whole psyche, in the whole make-up of man so that he is no longer a businessman, no longer a religious man, separated, no longer an artist, a politician, but he is a total human being who is completely sensitive to the whole process of living.
You know what I mean by `sensitive', to be sensitive to the stars, to be aware of them, to be aware of the beauty of a tree, to be aware of that noise, that hammering going on, to be aware of the world, to be aware of your own agonies, hopes, fears, to be aware of all the falsity of existence invented by the politicians, by the religious people. To be sensitive to all these means you begin to live. But you cannot be sensitive if you are so conditioned. If you are burdened with your fears, with your agonies, you are not aware, there is no attention.
So all these things are necessary not only to understand this extraordinary world where there is immense material progress, but also what they are doing in Europe through the Common Market: the astonishing progress, the material well-being they are bringing about, the technological lightning changes that are going to liberate man and give him freedom, where a whole factory can be run by a couple of men, and the electronic brains that think, that write music, that translate. And then there is the whole experiment that is going on amongst certain people: taking drugs to see if they can expand consciousness. But this expansion in consciousness, or in technology, or the pursuit of being completely physically well is not going to answer any of these problems.
We must go beyond all that. And that means a new mind; a new mind must be born, not in your sons, not in the future, but it must he born now, in you. And that is the urgency. I mean exactly what I say; I am not a politician. I mean precisely, verbally, intellectually and - if you like to use that word: - spiritually, I mean exactly what I say, that there is no time. We have to make ourselves into a new human being immediately, and that is where the beauty of it lies. When you introduce time, you have sorrow and the ways of sorrow. So from the very beginning of this investigation and observation, this clear discipline in freedom comes into being and that is absolutely necessary. Then the mind becomes sharp through observation; then the mind becomes healthy, not afraid, then it has no authority.
And out of this observation comes energy. You must have energy, not the energy that is produced through conflict, through friction. With that we are all familiar. Through control, through suppression, through tension, through contradiction you have a certain energy. The more you are aware of your contradictions the more tense you become, and out of that tenseness there is a certain form of energy. You may have a certain capacity; then, you write a book or become a politician or God knows what else. I am not talking of that kind of energy. I am talking of that energy that is born within in which there is no conflict, that energy that has never been contaminated by effort. Only these two are absolutely essential to go any further, to discover for oneself not through any books, not through any religious leader - put them all away for God's sake the world has gone beyond all that. To find out for yourself as a total human being you must have this extraordinarily subtle discipline and this energy. Otherwise you will never find what is true. You may talk about it; but the reality of it, the beauty of it, the very essence of it you will never come to know. Because to find what is true, that which is immeasurable, which is beyond all words or description, you need an amazing energy, not the energy they talk about of being a bachelor - that is all infantile, immature thinking. I am talking of an energy that has never known what it is to be in conflict, an energy that is uncontaminated by our petty desires; and that comes - and that you must have - only when you understand this observation which is itself discipline. Then you go very far. Then you enter into a world in which all knowledge has ceased and then the mind is a fresh, young innocent mind. And certainly it is only the innocent mind, however much it may be experienced, however much it may have learnt, can put all that aside and be innocent. It is only that innocent mind that can understand that which is without limit, which is immeasurable. And that is the only religion. There is no other religion. Every other religion that man has put together can be torn down, because man has put it together through his fear, through his ambition. Through his despair and sorrow he has built this thing called religion, highly organized or individual; that is not religion. Religion is the discovery of what is true for oneself, which is not opinion, which is not based on authority. It is a living thing from moment to moment, to be discovered, to be lived, to be looked at, to be seen - the beauty of it. You cannot do it if your mind is destroyed by authority, by tradition, by nationalities, by fragmentation.
That is why by observing the world, the things that are going on outwardly, that tide of observation brings you within. And from that observation you begin to know yourself, not according to any psychology, not according to certain statements, however ancient. It is then you begin to know yourself as you are, never accepting a thing - that you are the atman, the soul, this and that; they have all lost their meaning. Please believe me; no, please do not believe me. (Laughter). They have lost their meaning, because you are in sorrow. There is death; there is appalling misery, not only collective but individual. There is mounting despair. It is there; you have not solved it. You have to solve it, completely resolve it - not in fragments, bit by bit, day after day - , immediately cut at the root of the whole thing. Then you become a new man. Then, out of that comes a different life, a different way of living in this world, not away from this world.
That is why it is very important from the very beginning of these talks to understand that there is only learning, not the accumulation of learning. You cannot learn if you are accumulating - then you belong to the past, you are a dead human being. You only learn as you are living, moving, running, flowing; and that demands your complete attention.
And virtue comes with attention, not the stupid morality of a certain society - that is not virtue. Virtue comes out of this attention. It is a thing that is not to be cultivated. It is like a perfume, it is there and therefore can never be destroyed. All these things are necessary if you go very far, deeply, beyond the measure of time, and beyond the measure of words. Then you do not invite that which is the immeasurable; it is there.
October 23, 1963
New Delhi 1963
New Delhi 1st Public Talk 23rd October 1963
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