New Delhi 1965
New Delhi 1st Public Talk 7th November 1965
If I may, during these four talks here, I would like to talk about order, violence and peace.
We are not merely theorizing, or merely giving various explanations for various causes. What we are trying to do is to understand the whole movement of life, this vast panorama of conflict, not only in this country but also throughout the world where man is in conflict with another man, where man has lived for so many millennia of recorded history, fought over forty thousand six hundred wars, and has not been able to live peacefully with his neighbour, where nationalism, destructive and disorderly, is rampant throughout, where, though man endeavours everlastingly to find order within himself and also order outwardly, apparently it has been almost impossible for him to live peacefully.
It is only in peace that a human being can flower in goodness - not in war, not in violence, not in disorder, but only when there is a deep abiding peace. And to understand this whole phenomenon of hate, destruction and disorder, one has to enquire not merely intellectually - because such an enquiry is futile, worthless and has no meaning whatsoever - but actually what order means, what violence means, and the significance of peace; one has to enquire non-verbally, non-intellectually - which really has very little meaning, because most of us have read or indulged in theory what peace should be, how to get rid of violence, how to establish order; books, volumes, have been written about it.
In the first war that took place about five thousand years ago in recorded history, man must have thought that that would be the last war. And we are still at it. And so there must be something radically wrong, destructive, in human beings who divide themselves into nationalities, break their minds into fragments as religious sections with dogmas, beliefs, politics, into classes, divisions of every kind, and thereby hope to bring about peace and order. So apparently after these thousands upon thousands of years we have not found peace. As we said, there have been forty thousand six hundred wars; that means two-and-a-half wars every year. And yet we are going on living in the same stupid, destructive manner, hating each other, calling each other names, labelling ourselves as Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Russians, Communists and so on.
So you have to look at all this dispassionately, factually, not emotionally or in any prejudiced way; you have to regard it as a fact, not interpret it according to your particular likes and dislikes, according to your favourite war which you call righteous, or unfavourite war which you think is evil; you have to look at it as a phenomenon, as something animalistic, which must be solved by each human being. Because war, violence, disorder - along that path there is no peace, do what you will: there, a peace is an interval between two calamities between two wars, two destructions.
So one has to find a new way of living, not theoretically, not discussing everlastingly about it. We have to find actually in our daily life, a way to live totally differently - which means a total-revolution in our ways of thinking, living, feeling. And unless we discover that for ourselves as human beings, we shall never find order, peace and a state of mind that can flower in goodness. So, we are not indulging in words, in theories: what should be, what must be. But we are investigating actually what is, because it is only when you are capable of facing the fact that you can do something about it. If we refuse to face the facts then we get completely lost in opinions. And opinions - however clever, however erudite, however dialectical they may be - have very little meaning when you are confronted with hate, disorder, violence. And that is what we are faced with now, throughout the world. The war that is going on in Vietnam is your war, my war; so also the war that has been in this country, on the border.
Man has suffered indefinitely, infinitely. And as human beings who have lived so many millennia, you and I, as human beings - not as a Hindu, not as a Christian, not as a Communist or a Mahommedan or whatever you call yourselves - have to find order, because order is necessary, not only within but outwardly. And it is one of the most difficult things to find this order. Because the word "order" has an extraordinary depth if you go into it; it has an extraordinary significance, if you can unravel it, if you can look into it deeply. Order is not according to your order or my order; nor according to the politician, this person or that person. But the word itself has an extraordinary significance and an extraordinary depth if we can go into it. And that is what we are going to do together.
We are not doing any propaganda. I have a horror of propaganda. I am not trying to convert you to any belief, any dogma, or way of life - that will be too stupid. But what we are trying to do is to point out, investigate, talk things over together as two human beings confronted with the same enormous, complex problem. And if you cannot look at it dispassionately, then we shall live as human beings another five thousand years fighting each other, tearing each other's hearts out, destroying each other. And it is very strange: all the ancient teachers have talked about peace, not to hate another, to be kind, to be generous, to be forgiving; all that has been overthrown throughout the world. And in this country, which is supposed to be so old and ancient and full of wisdom - which is non-existent at the present time - that tradition, not the tradition practised by politicians or by the semi-political saints, that reality where you must not hurt another, where you must love another - all that has been set aside. And as human beings, you and I have to find out for ourselves a new way of living, a new order, the ending of violence, and therefore bring about in ourselves, outwardly as well as inwardly, peace.
So we are going to talk over together, first, this question of order. Our life is very disorderly, both outwardly and inwardly. We are in conflict, both outwardly and inwardly. We are in contradiction, outwardly as well as inwardly. And order is not possible when there is conflict, when inwardly there is a battle going on - hate, envy, greed, competition, brutal thoughts about somebody else. When there is this national prejudice - which is a poison - how can there be order? And you need order, you need an enormous order. And to have order you must have immense space, inwardly as well as outwardly. You cannot cut yourself off into a little country, or cultivate your own backyard and bring about an order in that little space, as an individual within yourself. Because the individual is a very limited mind and being; and if he brings about order within himself, it has no meaning whatsoever. But what has meaning and significance is that the individual becomes a human being not belonging to any religion, to any nationality, to any class, to any political party - a human being with his problems, suffering, aching, in agony, greedy and envious, seeking power, position. And we are such human beings, and therefore we have to bring about order.
We can only bring about order negatively. I mean by that: order cannot be brought about by or through imitation or conformity. Please do listen to this, not because I am talking about it, but because you have to find out the truth of all this; it is your life, it is your misery, your desperation. When you are living so close to disaster you have to solve it. So listen to it with dispassionate eagerness to find out how to live a different kind of life.
As we have said, order can only come about negatively. If you deliberately set about to bring order within yourself, you attempt it either through suppression, control, or through conformity. Do you understand? We want order; we see the importance of order, outwardly as well as inwardly; and there is no ideal pattern of orderliness. You cannot say, "This is order and this is not order. I will follow this path which will bring about order within myself". Order must begin within oneself first and then outwardly manifest itself. You cannot bring about order outwardly as every politician, every reformer does throughout the world - he is concerned with bringing about order outwardly. But there is order only when there is orderliness within. And then every action, every movement of life is orderly, sane, rational. So to find this order one must approach it negatively. We will explain what we mean. It may be a little complex, but it is not really so, if you will listen.
You know, it is one of the most difficult things to listen. We hardly ever listen. We listen to our opinion, we listen to our knowledge of what we have experienced, we listen to what other people have said or written. We listen to all the promptings of our own prejudices, but we never listen to our life. We talk about something which needs acute listening. You will have to listen to it, not counter it by your own knowledge, by your own information - you can do that much later. If you want to listen to somebody, you have to give attention. And you cannot give attention if your whole mind, your body, your nerves, your eyes, your ears do not listen totally. And one has to listen to life that way. Life demands this attention, not your casual, irresponsible, disorderly attitudes or opinions. Life demands that you listen to every movement of it. Life is yourself, your thoughts, your feelings, your activities, your ways of life. How you react to all that is the movement of life. And you have to listen to it passionately, completely, totally with all your being. Then only does one understand the actual fact of life and the movement of life in which thought and mind can flow.
So, kindly listen to what is being said, not accepting - that will be too immature - nor denying - which would be equally juvenile - listen to find out. To find out, you must listen with freedom. It is only a free mind that can find out. So we said that orderliness, order, comes about negatively - that is when you understand what does not bring about order. Order cannot come through compulsion, through discipline - please listen carefully, I will explain all this. Order cannot come through conformity, because conformity denies freedom. Conformity implies fear. In conformity there is subordination, obedience to authority. A mind that is ridden with authority, with compulsive force, cannot possibly have order. So one begins to see that conformity to a pattern, however good, however noble, however sufficient, does not bring order. Therefore, one has to investigate within oneself this whole process of submission to a pattern of life, and that is what actually is taking place. You are submitting to an idea as a national, as a Hindu, as a Muslim, and God knows what else. It is an idea, and you are submitting to it and therefore conforming to a tradition which has no value.
So, when you understand this whole significance of conformity, in which is involved authority, fear and the accepted norm as the way of life, then out of that understanding comes order. That is, when I see something as being false - not because somebody tells me, not because it is convenient for me, not because circumstances influence me, not because propaganda forces me to think in a certain way - actually when I see something as false, unreal, which has no validity at all in life, then that very perception of what is false brings about order. Therefore, order comes only through negation, not through the positive assertion of will. I hope I am making myself clear. If not, we are going to talk about it for the next three or four times, and I hope by then we shall be able to communicate with each other.
You know, to communicate with one another is one of the most difficult things to do. I want to tell you something. I am passionately interested in what I am telling you, because I think that is the only way to live in life, a different way. And to communicate with you, you must also be passionately interested, not when you go home, not when you are sitting in your office or in your business, but actually now. So, communion can only take place when you and I are both intense at the same time, at the same level; otherwise there is no communion between us. That intensity, that passionate attention is after all what we call love. When you love somebody intensely and that person also loves at the same time, at the same level, at the same intensity, then there is communion; then words have a different perfume, a different significance, a different value. And that is what we are doing.
If you do not want to listen so completely, with such intense passion, you won't understand this at all. Because our life is very short, we have to live so completely today and not tomorrow. So we have to understand this movement of life with its tradition, with its brutality, with its agony, with its violence, disorder; and in understanding this movement of confusion, conflict, out of such understanding comes order. So, order is only possible without your desiring it, and it comes about naturally. If you desired it, it would be an act of will and therefore would essentially create conflict. That is, I want to be orderly: which means what? I do not understand what has brought about disorder, but I am merely resisting disorder; so I can understand neither disorder nor order. I am only making a conceptual perception of what order should be and conforming according to that pattern. Therefore that very concept of order brings about disorder. So will, conformity or the ideal as a pattern according to which order will be brought about, can only bring about disorder.
You have to understand that completely; and you can only understand it completely, not verbally, by examining actually what is taking place within yourself, inside the skin - not trying to bring about order, but understanding the actual fact as it is, what is actually taking place within yourself. Then you will see that out of this understanding of what is the actual fact comes order.
How can you have order, if you are completely divided, if you have divided yourself into nationalities, into sects How can you have order, if you call yourself a Hindu, and I a Muslim? How can you have order if you are a Communist and I am an Imperialist, and I hold to my opinion and you hold to your values? We destroy each other. That is what is actually taking place in the world. There have been religious wars which have been called righteous wars. How can any war be righteous? To kill another - how can it be righteous? And our daily life of hate, competition, antagonism, ambition, seeking power, position, prestige - these bring about war. And war which is violence is the very essence of disorder.
You know, there is a great deal of the animal in us. The biologists tell you that, and we do not have to listen to the biologists if we observe ourselves and observe the animals. There is a great deal of the animal in us. We are authoritarian, brutal, violent, pushing others aside, aggressive - which the animals are. There is always the top animal, the dominant animal. All the characteristics of man, most of the characteristics of the human being are shown in the animal. Unless there is a transformation in each one of us as a human being - that is, freeing ourselves from the animal - we shall live everlastingly in conflict.
So, order is only possible when we understand the ways of disorder. Obviously, nationalism is a disorder. I know how the majority of you feel. When there is a war, the national spirit is very firm. Through hate we can unify ourselves, but that unity does not last. What brings about unity is the understanding of disunity. Nationalism, religious organizations, beliefs, dogmas, conceptual attitudes towards life - all these bring about disunity. You and I notice this; any intelligent man reading history, observing daily facts, knows all this; and yet we keep on repeating this pattern over and over again. So we do not learn through suffering, we do not learn through experience, we do not learn through history. But apparently we just want to live for the moment, suffer and die and not re-create a new world, a new sense of being.
So orderliness comes only when you understand the causes of disorder, when you cease to be a Hindu, or a Muslim, or a Communist, or a Socialist, belonging to this party or that party, or belonging to this group or that group - which are all such infantile business. When you see how the world is divided by religions, by sects, by politicians, by hate; when you see actually, not verbally, not theoretically; when you feel it in your blood, with your complete being, then you will do something. Then out of that perception comes order. Therefore, order is only possible negatively, not positively.
You know, the question of the positive and the negative is very important in life. The positive, as we know, is conformity, doing something because somebody has told you, or because you have experienced and the experience tells you that you must do it, or because you are afraid and therefore you are aggressive and so on. All such pursuit of pattern as tradition, as conforming to a particular public opinion and so on and so on, is what we call positive action. But such positive action is destructive action, because it breeds disorder. So, it is only when you begin to understand what brings about disorder, only when you understand that, not intellectually - there is no such thing as intellectual understanding; either you understand it or you don't - that out of this extraordinary clarity comes order.
And one of the causes of disorder is violence. Why are we human beings violent? Do you understand, sir, the word itself? Why are you violent? Not somebody else is violent, the Muslim, the Hindu; but you as a human being - why are you violent, violence being anger, hate, fear, accepting authority, asserting oneself constantly, hating, why? Because mostly each one of us wants security. When your security is threatened, when your country, when your ideas, when your concept of what God is, what truth is, what should be, or what should not be, when that conceptual attitude is threatened - which makes you feel so completely insecure - then you become aggressive, violent. This means that, as long as you are satisfied, as long as you are left undisturbed in your little backyard, as long as nothing threatens you, you live peacefully. But the moment there is any kind of threat, any kind of uncertainty - uncertainty about your relationship with your wife - you become violent; when there is uncertainty about your position, when you are not capable of fulfilling yourself, being somebody, having a position, prestige, when all those are threatened, you become violent.
So what you really want is not the ending of violence; what you really want is to be completely secure, both inwardly and outwardly. You want to be secure inwardly with your ideas, secure in your relationships, secure in your concepts. But unfortunately you can never be secure. That is one of the first things you realize: that life is not for the secure - which does not mean that you must be insecure or that you must seek insecurity. That is, each one of us, as a human being, wants to be secure within the pattern which we have created for ourselves as being secure, and that pattern will invariably contradict the pattern of another, and so there is a battle between us. And if you observe, not idealistically but factually, life is never secure. Your wife may run away, or my wife may die; there is disease; there is death; nothing is secure.
Do think about it, do reflect about it honestly, and you will find it for yourself - which means, to understand it is to be afraid. And we are frightened human beings, dreadfully frightened - frightened about insecurity, frightened about our relationship, frightened about our job, frightened about death, frightened about our love, our affections, our attitudes. So out of this fear comes violence. And we have lived that way for thousands of years and we seem to be incapable of breaking through that darkness of fear. So that is why we are violent. As a human being, can you understand for yourself - observing life, the every day incidents - that there is no such thing as security, that life is a movement, an endless movement? And a man who can move with it and go beyond this movement - he will find that peace, that joy, that eternity.
But that means one has to be rid of fear. And fear is one of the most difficult things to be free from. Therefore one has to investigate the whole structure, the psychology of fear. You know to understand something like fear you have to observe it in yourself - not to deny it or run away from it or suppress it, but just to observe it. And to observe it you must have clear eyes, you must listen to it completely. But you don't listen to it, you do not see the whole structure of fear. If you try to develop courage, it is an escape from the fact which is fear - I hope I am conveying all this. So first there is no escape, there must be no escape from fear. One has to observe it totally, completely. So there can be no escape. And you are caught in the network of escapes; your gods, your pujas, all the circus that exist around you are the network of escapes.
And a man who would really understand this and be free of fear, has no escape, not merely verbally - which is very difficult, because the word "fear" is in itself the cause of fear, if you observe it. Therefore, one must be free of the word, and therefore of the explanations of fear, of the causes of fear, the searching out, or the analysing of the process of fear, of the causes of fear. You must look at it totally, silently, completely. Then there is no escape, therefore you are confronted with a fact. You know, you have to be confronted with the fact of hate, not the justification of hatred because somebody hates you, but the fact of hate in the world. This hate is mounting, it is not decreasing. Every war, every conflict, every inward struggle is an expression of hate. And to look at it demands that you look at it non-verbally. You have to come directly in contact with this feeling of hate, which you cannot come directly in contact with if you have a verbal concept of it - that is, you must hate, or you must not hate.
To understand something, sirs, you must look. To understand this whole phenomenon of violence in the world you must understand the psychological structure of man who has immense fears. That means you have to look at your own fears which no God, no system, nothing will dissolve, except yourself. So you must become astonishingly serious. And seriousness leads to efficiency, clarity. It is only the serious, earnest man that lives, and the rest become merely either cannon fodder or useless human beings. And it is very difficult to be serious - not grow beards or put on a loin cloth, or a sanyasi's robes, or become a monk, or join an Ashram; such a person is not a serious man at all. A serious man is one who sees the facts of the world as they are, who is not caught in concepts, in formulas, or in ideals, but who sees things as they are in the world and faces them and resolves them. Such a man is a serious man. And it is only such serious men that can bring about a different society.
And we need a different society, because society as it is, is always in a state of disorder; because there are classes, the rich and the poor, the man who knows and the man who does not know, the leader and the follower, the ;guru and the disciple. Think of all that and see how totally disorderly all that is. And out of that disordered society you try to build an ordered society, or try to reform it. It is not possible. A new order can come into being only when we understand ourselves and bring about a total change within the human mind.
And the mind is extraordinarily capable of anything. Look at what they are doing - going to the moon, going under the sea, living under the sea - consider the electronic brain, automation, the extraordinary scientific facts and the discoveries. The mind is capable of anything. But not your mind, as your mind is small, petty, concerned with itself, with its dogmas, with its fears, with its pursuits of its own pleasures - all. that has to come to an end; then you will know for yourself what truth is. Then you will know for yourself whether there is infinite joy or not. It is not some one else's joy, some one else's peace that matters; it is yours that matters infinitely because you alone, as a human being in relation with another human being, can bring about a revolution, not an economic or a social revolution - which again is an outward thing. Revolution must begin within oneself. And then you will have peace, a state of non-violence, a state of freedom from violence and order. Without these we are not human beings; we are violent, destructive, incapable of order, and therefore we have no love. Sirs, I have said at the beginning of the talk that we are not doing propaganda. I am not trying to convince you of anything. All that we are trying to point out is that you, as a human being, can change and must change, not through any form of compulsion, not through some influence, but out of the necessity of it. And then only, out of that necessity, out of that understanding there will be a freedom. And it is only the free man that can bring about a new world, a new society.
November 7, 1965
New Delhi 1965
New Delhi 1st Public Talk 7th November 1965
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