Bombay 7th Public Talk 3rd March 1965
This is the last talk this year, at least in Bombay. It seems to me that man for so many centuries has always sought peace, freedom and a state of bliss which he calls God. One has sought it under different names and at different periods in history; and apparently, only a very few have found that inward sense of great peace, freedom, and that state which man has called God. And in modern times it has become of such little importance; we use the word "God" with very little meaning. We are always seeking a state of bliss, peace and freedom away from this world, and we take flight in various forms from this world, to find something which will be enduring, which will give us sanctuary and sanctity; which will give us a certain sense of deep inward quietness. Whether one believes in God or not depends on mental influence, tradition, climate. To find that state of bliss, that freedom, that extraordinary peace - that must be a living thing - one must. understand, I think, why one is not capable of facing the fact and transforming the fact and thereby going beyond it.
I would like this evening, if I may, to talk about, or rather communicate together, this feeling why we always give such great importance to idea and not to action. Though we have talked about it in different ways and at different times and also here in Bombay, during these talks, I would like to go into it in a different way. Because it seems to me that we are responsible totally, completely, for the society in which we live. For the misery, for the confusion, for the utter brutality of modern existence, each one of us is totally and completely responsible. We cannot possibly escape from it; we have to transform it. And the transformation of the human being who is part of society and has created this society - for this he is totally and completely responsible. And to bring about a mutation, a transformation within himself and thereby within the pattern of society, is only possible when he ceases completely to escape into ideas.
God is an idea depending on the climate, the environment and the tradition in which you have been brought up. In the communist world, they do not believe in God - again dependent on circumstances. Here you are dependent on your circumstances, on your life and on your tradition, and you have built up this idea. One must liberate oneself from these circumstances, from society; and only then is it possible for a human being, in his freedom, to find that which is true. But merely to escape into an idea called God does not solve the problem at all.
God - or any other name you would like to use - is the cunning invention of man; and we cover that invention, that cunningness, by incense, by ritual, by various forms of belief, dogmas, separating man as Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Buddhists - all the clever cunning structure invented by man. And man having invented it, is caught in it. Without understanding the present world, the world he lives in, the world of his misery, the world of his confusion, sorrow, anxiety, despair and the agony of existence, the complete loneliness, the sense of utter futility of life - without understanding all that, the mere multiplication of ideas, however satisfactory, has no value at all.
It is very important to understand why we create or formulate an idea. Why does the mind formulate an idea at all? I mean by "formulating" a structure of philosophical or rational or humanistic or materialistic ideas. Idea is organized thought; and in that organized thought, belief, idea, man lives. That is what we all do, whether we are religious or non-religious. I think it is important to find out why human beings throughout the ages have given such an extraordinary importance to ideas. Why do we formulate ideas at all? Why is it not possible to meet or rather act - always acting? We form ideas, if one observes oneself, when there is inattention. When you are completely active, which demands total attention - which is action - in that there is no idea; you are acting.
Please, for this evening, if I may suggest, just listen. Don't accept or deny; don't build defences so as to prevent listening, by having your own thoughts, beliefs, contradictions and all that. But just listen. We are not trying to convince you of anything; we are not forcing you through any means to conform to a particular idea, or pattern, or action. We are merely stating facts whether you like them or not; and what is important is to learn about the fact. "Learning" implies. total listening, a complete observation. When you listen to the sound of the crow, do not listen with your own noises, with your own fears, thoughts, with your own ideas, with your own opinions. Then you will see that there is no idea at all, but you are actually listening.
So in the same way, this evening, if I may suggest, just listen. Just listen, not only consciously but also unconsciously - which is perhaps much more important. Most of us are influenced. We can reject conscious influences; but it is much more difficult to put aside the unconscious influences. When you are listening in the manner of which we have talked, then it is neither conscious nor unconscious listening. Then you are completely attentive. And attention is. not yours or mine: it is not nationalistic; it is not religious; it is not divisible. Hence when you are so completely listening, there is no idea; there is only a state of listening. Most of us do this when we are listening to something rather beautiful; when there is lovely music; or when you are seeing a mountain, the light of the evening, or the, light on the water, or a cloud; then in that state of attention, in that state or listening, seeing, there is no idea. In the same way if you could listen with that ease, with that effortless attention, then perhaps one will see the great significance of idea and action. As I was saying, most of us formulate ideas when there is inattention. We create or conceive ideas when those ideas give us security, a sense of certainty. And that sense of certainty, that sense of being safe, brings about ideas; and into those ideas we escape, and therefore there is no action. And we create or formulate ideas when we do not completely comprehend that which is. So ideas become much more important than the fact.
To find out, actually, to find out the fact - if there is God or if there is no God - ideas have no meaning whatsoever. Whether you believe or don't believe, whether you are a theist or an atheist, it has no meaning. To find out you need all your energy - your complete, total energy; energy that is not spotted, that is not scratched; energy that has no twist, that has not been made corrupt. So to understand, to find out if there is such a thing as that reality which man has sought for so many millions of years, one must have energy - energy that is completely whole, uncontaminated. And to bring about that energy, we must understand effort.
Most of us spend our life in effort, in struggle; and the effort, the struggle, the striving, is a dissipation of that energy. Man, throughout the historical period of man, has said that to find that reality or God - whatever name he may give to it - you must be a celibate; that is, you take a vow of chastity and suppress, control, battle with yourself endlessly all your life, to keep your vow. Look at the waste of energy! It is also a waste of energy to indulge. And it has far more significance when you suppress. The effort that has gone into suppression, into control, into this denial of your desire, distorts your mind, and through that distortion you have a certain sense of austerity which becomes harsh. Please listen. Observe it in yourself and observe the people around you. And observe this waste of energy, the battle. Not the implications of sex, not the actual act, but the ideals, the images, the pleasure - the constant thought about them is a waste of energy. And most people waste their energy either through denial, or through a vow of chastity, or in thinking about it endlessly.
And as we were saying, man is responsible - you are responsible, and I - for the condition of the society in which we live. You are responsible, not your politicians, because you have made the politicians what they are - crooked, glorifying themselves, seeking position and prestige - which is what we are doing in daily life. We are responsible for society. The psychological structure of society is far more important than the organizational side of society. The psychological structure of society is based on greed, envy, acquisitiveness, competition, ambition, fear, this incessant demand of a human being wanting to be secure in all his relationships, secure in property, secure in his relationship to people, secure in his relationship to ideas. That is the structure of society which one has created. And society then imposes the structure psychologically on each one of us. Now greed, envy, ambition, competition - all that is a waste of energy, because in it there is always a conflict - conflict which is endless as in a person who is jealous.
Jealousy is an idea. The idea and the fact are two different things. Please listen. You approach the feeling called "jealousy" through the idea. You do not come directly into contact with the feeling called jealousy. But you approach jealousy through the memory of a certain word which you have established in your mind as jealousy. It becomes an idea, and that idea prevents you from coming directly into contact with that feeling which you call jealousy. Again, this is a fact. So the formula, the idea, prevents you from coming directly into contact with that feeling, and therefore the idea dissipates this energy.
As we are responsible for the misery, for the poverty, for wars, for the utter lack of peace, a religious man does not seek God. The religious man is concerned with the transformation of society which is himself. The religious man is not the man that does innumerable rituals, follows traditions, lives in a dead, past culture, explaining endlessly the Gita or the Bible, endlessly chanting, or taking sanyasa - that is not a religious man; such a man is escaping from facts. The religious man is concerned totally and completely with the understanding of society which is himself. He is not separate from society. Bringing about in himself a complete, total mutation means complete cessation of greed, envy, ambition; and therefore he is not dependent on circumstances, though he is the result of circumstances - the food he eats, the books he reads, the cinemas he goes to, the religious dogmas, beliefs, rituals and all that business. He is responsible; and therefore the religious man must understand himself, who is the product of society which he himself has created. Therefore to find reality he must begin here, not in a temple, not in an image - whether the image is graven by the hand or by the mind. Otherwise how can he find something totally new, a new state?
Peace is not merely the expansion of law or sovereignty. Peace is something entirely different; it is an inward state which cannot possibly come by the alteration of outer circumstances, though the change of outer circumstances is necessary. But it must begin within, to bring about a different world. And to bring about a different world you need tremendous energy; and that energy is now being dissipated in constant conflict. Therefore, one must understand this conflict.
The primary cause of conflict is escape - escape through idea. Please observe yourself: how, instead of facing - let us say - jealousy, envy, instead of coming directly into contact with it, you say, "How shall I get over it? What shall I do? What are the methods by which I cannot be jealous?" - which are all ideas and therefore an escape from the fact that you are jealous, the going away from the fact that you are jealous. The going away from the fact through ideas not only wastes your energy, but prevents you from coming into contact directly with that fact. Now, you have to give your complete attention, not through an idea. Idea, as we pointed out, prevents attention. So when you observe, or become aware of, this feeling of jealousy, and give complete attention to it without ideas, then you will see that not only you are directly in contact with that feeling, but because you have given your complete attention, not through ideas, it ceases to be; and you have then greater energy to meet the next incident or the next emotion, the next feeling.
To discover, to bring about a complete. mutation, you must have energy - not the energy which is brought about through suppression, but that energy that comes to you when you are not escaping through ideas or through suppression. Really, if you think of it, we know only two ways to meet life - either we escape from it altogether, which is a form of insanity leading to neurosis; or we suppress everything because we do not understand. That is all we know.
Suppression is not only putting the lid on any feeling or any sensation, but it is also a form of intellectual explanation, rationalization. Please observe yourself, and you will see how factual it is: what is being said. So it is necessary that you do not escape. And it is one of the most important things to find out, never to escape. It is one of the most difficult things to find out, because we escape through words. We escape from the fact not only by running to the temple and all the rest of that business, but through words, through intellectual arguments, opinions, judgments, evaluations - we have so many ways of escaping from the fact. For example, take the fact that one is dull. If one is dull, that is a fact. And when you become conscious that you are dull, the escape is to try to become clever. But to become sensitive demands that all your attention be directed to that state of mind which is dull.
So we need energy - which is not the result of any contradiction, any tension, but which comes about when there is no effort at all. Please do understand this one very simple, actual fact: that we waste our. energy through effort, and that waste of energy through effort prevents us from coming directly into contact with the fact. When I am making a tremendous effort to listen to you, all my energy is gone in making the effort, and I am not actually listening. When I am angry or impatient, all my energy is gone in trying to say, "I must not be angry". But when I pay attention completely to anger, or to that state of mind, by not escaping through words, through condemnation, through judgment, then in that state of attention there is a freedom from that thing called anger. Therefore that attention which is the summation of energy is not effort. It is only the mind that is without effort that is the religious mind. And, therefore, such a mind alone can find out if there is, or if there is not, God.
Then there is another factor: We are imitative human beings. There is nothing original. We are the result of time, of many many thousand yesterdays. From our childhood we have been brought up to imitate, to copy, to obey, to copy tradition, to follow the scriptures, to follow authority. We are not talking of the authority of law which must be obeyed, but we are talking of the authority of the scriptures, the spiritual authority, the pattern, the formula. We obey and imitate.
When you imitate - which is, to conform inwardly to a pattern whether imposed by society, or by yourself through your own experience - such conformity, such imitation, such obedience, destroys the clarity of energy. You imitate, you conform, you obey authority, because you are frightened. A man who understands, who sees clearly, who is very attentive - he has no fear; therefore, he has no reason to imitate. he is himself - whatever that himself may be - at every moment.
So imitation, conformity to a religious pattern, or nonconformity to a religious pattern but conformity to one's own experience, is still the outcome of fear. And a man that is afraid - whether of God, whether of society, whether of himself - such a man is not a religious man. And a man is only free when there is no fear. Therefore, he must come into contact with fear directly, not through the idea of fear.
Again, the coming together of that unspotted, uncorrupted, vital energy, can only happen when you reject. I do not know if you have noticed that when you reject something, not as a reaction, that very rejection creates energy. When you reject - let us say ambition - not because you want to be spiritual, not because you want to live a peaceful life, not because you want God or anything else, but for itself, when you see the utter destructive nature of conflict involved in ambition and when you reject it, that very act of rejection is energy. I do not know if you have rejected anything. When you reject a particular pleasure - for instance, when you reject the pleasure of smoking, not because your doctor has told you that it is bad for your lungs, not because you have no money to smoke umpteen cigarettes a day, not because you are caught in a slavish habit, but because you see it has no meaning - when you reject it without a reaction, that very rejection brings an energy. Similarly, when you reject society, not run away from it as the sannyasi, the monk and the so-called religious people do, when you reject the psychological structure of society totally, out of that rejection you have tremendous energy. The very act of rejection is energy. Now you have seen for yourself or understood or have listened this evening to the nature of conflict, effort, which dissipates energy; and you have understood or realized, not verbally but actually, this sense of energy which is not the outcome of conflict, but which comes when the mind has understood the whole network of escapes, suppression, conflict, imitation, fear. Then you can proceed, then you can begin to find out for yourself what is real, not as an escape, not as a means of avoiding your responsibility in this world. You can only find out what is real, what is good - if there is good - , not through belief, but through transforming yourself in your relationship with your property, with people and with ideas, and therefore being free from society. Only then have you that energy to find out, not by escaping or suppressing.
If you have gone that far, then you must begin to find out the nature of the discipline, the austerity which one has, either traditionally or because you have understood. There is a natural process of austerity, a natural process of discipline, which is not harsh, which does not conform, which is not merely imitating a particular pleasurable habit. And when you have done this, you will find there is an intelligence of the highest form of sensitivity. Without this sensitivity, you have no beauty.
A religious mind must be aware of this extraordinary sense of sensitivity and beauty. The religious mind of which we are talking is entirely different from the religious mind of the orthodox. Because to the religious mind of the orthodox there is no beauty; he is totally unaware of the world in which we live - the beauty of the world, the beauty of the earth, the beauty of the hill, the beauty of a tree, the beauty of a nice face with a smile on it. To him beauty is temptation; to him beauty is the woman, whom he must avoid at all costs to find God. Such a mind is not a religious mind, because it is not sensitive to the world - to the world of beauty, to the world of squalor. You cannot be sensitive only to beauty; you must also be sensitive to squalor, to dirt, to the disorganized human mind. Sensitivity means sensitivity all round, not just in one particular direction. So a mind that is not in itself aware of its beauty, cannot proceed further. There must be this quality of sensitivity.
Then such a mind, which is the religious mind, understands the nature of death. Because if it does not understand death, it does not understand love. Death is not the end of life. Death is not an event brought about by disease, by senility, by old age, or by accident. Death is something that you live every day with, because you are dying every day to everything that you know. If you do not know death, you will never know what love is.
Love is not memory; love is not a symbol, a picture, an idea; love is not a social act; love is not a virtue. If there is love, you are virtuous; you do not have to struggle to be virtuous. But there is no love, because you have never understood what it is to die - to die to your experience, to die to your pleasures, to die to your particular form of secret memory of which you are not aware. And when you bring out all that and die every minute - die to your house, to your memories, to your pleasures - voluntarily and easily and without effort, then you will know what love is.
And without beauty, without the sense of death, without love, you will never find reality; do what you will - go to all the temples, follow every guru invented by every unintelligent man - you will never find reality that way. That reality is creation.
Creation does not mean producing babies or painting a picture or writing a poem or producing a good dish of food - that is not creation; that is merely the result of a particular talent, a gift, or learning a particular technique. An invention is not creation. Creation can only come about when you are dead to time - that is, when there is no tomorrow. Creation can only take place when there is complete concentration of energy, which has no movement at all within or without.
Please follow this. Whether you understand it or not - it does not matter. Our life is so shoddy, so miserable; there is so much despair and so much misery. We have lived for two million years, and there is nothing new. We only know repetition, boredom and the utter futility of every act that we do. To bring about a new mind, a sense of innocence, a sense of freshness, there must be this sensitivity, this death and love and that creation. That creation can come about when there is this complete energy which has no movement in any direction.
Look! When the mind faces a problem, it is always seeking a way out, by trying to solve it, to overcome it, to go round it or beyond it or above it - by always doing something with the problem, moving out or within. If it did not move in any direction - when there is no movement at all, within or without, but there is only the problem - then there would be an explosion in that problem. You do it sometime and you will see the actuality of what is being said - about which you need not have to believe, to argue, or not to argue. There is no authority here.
So when there is this concentration of energy, which is the outcome of no effort, and when that energy has no movement in any direction, at that moment there is creation. And that creation is truth, God, or what you will - it has no meaning then. Then that explosion, that creation, is peace; you do not have to seek peace. That creation is beauty. That creation is love.
And it is only such a religious mind that can bring about order in this confused, sorrowing world. And it is your responsibility - yours and nobody else's - while living in this world to bring about such a creative life. And it is only such a mind which is the religious mind and the blessed mind.
March 3, 1965
Bombay 7th Public Talk 3rd March 1965
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