Brockwood Park 1970
Brockwood Park 2nd Public Dialogue 10th September 1970
K: What shall we talk over together? I am sorry it is such a rough morning.
Q: Sir, could you talk about the relationship between pleasure and pain? We regard them, I think, as opposites, you say they are the same.
K: I didn't say there were the same. Do you want to discuss the relationship between pleasure and fear?
Q: Excuse me, may I suggest something else? I have been told that you are going to speak next in Perugia to a group of writers and speakers who are very much concerned about the killing of this earth. I wonder if we can broach that subject.
K: I am going to speak in Perugia in Italy to a lot of professors and scientists and philosophers and all the long haired ones. And?
Q: I wondered if these people and others are concerned about the gradual killing of the earth.
K: Oh, I see the gradual pollution and the destruction of the earth and so on. Do you want to discuss that? Or shall we discuss, talk over together what is sanity? Shall we? I am not saying what you ask is insane, or anything of that kind, but it might be rather worthwhile to talk over together what is sanity. Shall we?
K: Good! I wonder what is sanity. To be sane, healthy, to think clearly. What do you mean by that word, what does that word mean to you? Please go on sirs, I can go into this, I don't know if you... Would not any exaggeration of fragmentation of the mind be insanity? The exaggeration giving importance to, or putting all your thought and energy in one fragment, one fragment among many others fragments which make up the human mind, wouldn't you call that insanity, not balanced? And if you think that, are we sane in relation to that particular thing which we just now talked about, which is giving emphasis, putting all our energy in one direction, like sex, like earning money, like enjoyment, pleasure, or the pursuit of a fragment which is called god. Would you call any of that imbalance? What do you say, sirs?
Q: I think if it is putting so much tension in one fragment to the exclusion of other fragments...
Q: You become - the other parts will be unbalanced.
K: So you will consider if you give emphasis to one and not consider the rest it is obviously not a harmonious living, and therefore not sane. Now do we do this in our daily life? When one worships sex as the supreme thing in life, or taking drugs and thinking that is going to bring enlightenment, final illumination, or concentrate on earning a livelihood and the money, the prestige, the position - all those indicate a mind that is not harmonious, doesn't it. Or a mind that is concerned entirely with knowledge, or technique. What do you say? Are we in that sense balanced human beings? Obviously not. Should we be behind the bars, and an unbalanced humanity, as it is, must produce all kinds of catastrophes - wars, pollution, destruction of the earth, bringing about constant misery. If that is so, what then shall one do? I realize I am giving all my energies, thought and therefore action to - what, what would you suggest?
Q: To thought.
K: To thought. Right. That I worship thought as the supreme instrument of all culture, of all enlightenment, of all intelligence, of all action. Am I, or is one aware that one gives thought an extraordinarily important position, state, in life? And if one does realize that, what shall one do? Sir, please, this is supposed to be a discussion, not a talk by me, by the speaker. So what shall I do when I realize that my whole life is based on thought? Do I realize thought is only a fragment, a part of a whole? A segment among many other parts, do I realize that? Or do I think thought is the whole thing? What do you say, sir, please?
Q: I think one should differentiate between thought, a principle, and thought being my though, an individual's thought.
K: He says thought as a principle and individual thought. Is there a difference between thought as a principle and individual thought? I am asking, I am not saying there is not, I am just asking if there is a difference between individual thinking and collective thinking, thinking which man has gathered through millennia, through centuries upon centuries as knowledge - scientific, technological, knowledge of nature and so on and on. Is there a difference between a particular thinking, or the peculiarity of a thinking of an individual and the collective accumulation of thought of mankind? What do you say, sirs?
Q: I don't think so. The individual is influenced by the collective.
K: Sir, you say thought is conditioned by the culture, the society, the environment in which he lives, therefore there is no division between the individual thinking and the collective thinking.
Q: The collective thinking seems to be made up of personal experiences.
K: That's what we are saying, sir.
Q: And it seems to be in touch with your individual thought, your own thought, seems to be necessary if you are going to have any self-awareness.
K: Therefore you are separating individual thought from the collective thought. You think that there is individual thinking.
Q: I am not certain.
K: I am just asking. You say that there is an individual thinking apart from the collective. Is that so?
Q: I think that's why Jung...
K: Wait, sir, we'll come to that. Don't take a particular example. Is your thinking as an individual different from the collective thinking, or my thinking? Your thinking, is it different from my thinking as an individual, or the collective thinking? Or is all thinking more or less the same?
Q: The thought process, the source of all thought is the same, but the particular thought is different.
K: The source of thought is all the same, the questioner says, though there may be modifications or slight changes in the thought in an individual. Yes, sir?
Q: If the individual reacts to society, the individual's thoughts must be exactly the society's thoughts.
K: Obviously, sir. I don't quite see the difference, the basic difference between the collective thought and the individual thought, because the individual is part of the collective.
Q: He is at the same time greater, it seems to me. May be we misunderstand each other's words, but it seems to me that the reason for all these wars, and everything, is all the bad feelings that people have about themselves. It seems to be that they are thinking for themselves, and they find that what they think is relatively different from the collectivity thinks.
K: Look, sir, is your thinking different from mine coming from India, or from Russia, is your thinking different?
Q: The things that we think about.
K: Not the things, not what you think about, your thinking process.
Q: Oh, no, that's the same.
K: So the thinking process of human beings is more or less the same. Conditioned according to their background as Catholic, Protestant, Hindu and so on and so on. Right? And there may be modifications of that thought. I might as a German think differently from you who are American because I have been conditioned by the German culture in which I live. But the process of thinking is the same, isn't it, thought I call myself a German, and you an American, the process, the mechanism - the mechanism is memory, knowledge, experience. Otherwise if you had no knowledge, no experience, no knowledge, you couldn't speak. Right. So thought is the response of memory. That memory may be conditioned, it may be a little more free, a little less dogmatic, a little less assertive, a little less aggressive, but it is still the response of memory. And is your memory so very different from mine, as the German, as a human being? Please, sir, this is quite important, go slowly in this.
Q: It depends whether it is from the conscious or the unconscious. The problem arises when different people have a different awareness.
K: We will go into that madam, I am not at all sure - I am not saying that what you say is not true - but I am not at all sure that our thinking is not more or less the same. You, conditioned by the culture in which you live, and another conditioned by his particular culture, whether that culture is superficial or deep, whether it is conscious or unconscious, it is still part of the mechanism, or the process of thinking. Isn't it? We are learning. Please, wait a minute, sir. We are learning, aren't we? I am not being assertive, dogmatic. We are trying to learn about this whole process of thinking. Right? Whether it belongs to you as an individual whose thinking is completely different from another - you follow - we are going to learn about it. Therefore don't be assertive, dogmatic, let's enquire into it. Right, sir? There is somebody else, sir, before you.
Q: We have been discussing the question of the environment conditioning the thoughts of people, and groups of people, but some people follow different lines and gain inspiration from those lines, there are great musicians. Music, for example, of the great composers is not a conditioning of the environment because it is new, though it comes from somewhere.
K: Sir, look, don't take examples of the musicians or the artists or scientists, or a religious person; but we are asking ourselves whether the process of thinking is so very different from yours and mine - thinking. The machinery of thinking, sir, not what you think about, not how you express that thinking in music, in painting, in this or that.
Q: May we say that perhaps if the process if the same, there is difference in emphasis in different capacities?
K: But thinking is the same mechanism.
Q: Yes, indeed.
K: That's all that we want to establish first.
Q: Maybe the thinking, thought/energy, the original thought/energy appears to be different in different individuals if they have different conditionings, cultural conditioning. But some people may be different from his culture, his society, and even different from his own family. They all have their own conditioning.
K: Sir, please, do let's stick. Look, sir, we are talking about the machinery of thinking, not how you or I express that thought.
Q: No, what I am saying is that thought/energy, which is all the same.
K: Stay there. Stay there a minute. The energy of all thinking is the same. That's what you say. Which may express itself according to the capacity, to the gift, to a particular tendency and so on, that might vary, but the machinery of thinking is the same. Right?
K: Quite right, sir. That's right. You are saying, like the computer. We have got computer-like minds. And some are well informed, more alive, but it is a computer mind that is functioning all the time.
Q: Yes, our brains are all made of the same kind of cells.
K: Stick to that a little bit. Therefore what does that mean? Is there then, the next question, freedom in thinking? Freedom.
Q: No, sir. It is playing the same record all the time.
K: It is playing the same old record all the time with varying themes, depending on the circumstances. Therefore can thought, however capable, however efficient, however knowledgeable, can that bring freedom to man? Freedom in the sense, from fear, from anxiety, from guilt, from sorrow. You understand my question? Is sorrow different from my sorrow? Is your sense of guilt different from another? Is your sense of despair different from another, or your loneliness, your misery, your confusion? Please.
Q: Are you saying, sir, that ideally it is the same?
K: No, I am not saying that. Look, sir, the first part of the question was, can thought, which is the repetition of the computer knowledge, can that thought free the mind from all the reactions of fear and so on.
Q: It never has in the past.
K: It never has - until now?
Q: It never will.
K: It never will. How do you know?
Q: It is obvious, sir.
K: Why do you say that, sir? No, please sir, I am not saying you are right or wrong, I want to learn. Why do you say thought can never free jealousy, or anxiety?
Q: I disagree. I have found that if you understand a person's motive for doing something you can be much more tolerant, understanding, less jealous by using your understanding.
K: When you use the word 'understanding', what does that word mean?
Q: Well it has to start with thought. I have to pay attention to the fact that I am jealous. I have to think about the situation first. Then in that process you find you change your living, your thinking, your attitude, as I become clear.
K: Through thought - I'll have to repeat it.
Q: I must use my mind.
K: Wait a minute, madam, I'll have to repeat your question, statement, otherwise they can't hear it. If I mis-state it, please correct it. The questioner says, I must use my mind. I see, I am aware, or another is aware - I am aware of another's jealousy or my own jealousy. By understanding it, which is exploring, enquiring, I become tolerant, and therefore understand more of jealousy not only in myself or understand the jealousy of another.
Q: The cause of it.
K: The cause, the reactions, all the implications of jealousy. That is, you are saying, through thought, the exercise of thought, there is an understanding of jealousy and therefore freedom from it. Right? Is that so? I am not saying it is not.
Q: It seems that one comes to a less intense form of jealousy.
K: Sir, let's enquire into this particular thing. We say, by exercising thought we learn more about jealousy and are therefore free from it. To put it quickly.
Q: No, I would say that thought is just exercising thought.
K: No, sir. Don't you see? What caused jealousy?
Q: No, I disagree again. Very profoundly I disagree. Jealousy is an emotion, it is a sense of loss.
K: Which is part of thought.
Q: You are making it a childish, an infantile thing. It is not. If you understand what you have got, and if it even matters that you have got it, you mature to the point that you understand it doesn't matter.
K: I understand that, madam, just go slowly. Don't say, I profoundly disagree with you, we are trying to learn about things. Thought, if you had feeling without thought would there be jealousy? Just feeling. Would you call it jealousy?
Q: I think I would feel jealous.
Q: People are usually jealous when they are unconscious. Not when they are conscious.
K: No. You are now moving away - conscious, now we will have to go into that. Conscious and unconscious jealousy. I become conscious of a feeling which I call jealousy, a feeling. The feeling of jealousy, the word of jealousy is remembered from the past jealousies. Which is, the response of memory to a particular feeling which has been recognized as jealousy. Right? Whether that response is the outcome of conscious memory or unconscious memory we will leave that for the moment. So the feeling is recognized as jealousy through a word which thought has given meaning to.
Q: The recognition is thought, the feeling comes first.
K: I am saying that. I have a feeling, then I recognize it as jealousy. How do I recognize it as jealousy? Because I have had it before. I associate the present feeling with a past feeling which I have called jealousy. So it is still within the field of thought.
Q: Thought must come from the experience.
K: Wait, I am saying that. Wait, madam. Listen, otherwise I couldn't recognize it as jealousy. I an angry, and I say, 'By Jove, I am angry, why?' Because I have had that feeing before, and recognition implies a previous knowledge, which is thought, otherwise I wouldn't know that was anger.
Q: A baby can become angry, so can an animal.
K: But isn't there an operation of thought there also going on, in a dog?
Q: It doesn't know it.
K: Therefore let us babies and dogs alone. Let's talk about ourselves.
Q: We are babies. We are, I think you are very infantile.
K: I quite agree, I quite agree. But I want to find out if being infantile, whether that childishness is the result of thought.
Q: I think it is the result of lack of thought.
K: You say it is the result of the lack of thought. Wait. Madam, go slowly. Lack of thought. Therefore what is maturity?
Q: Ability to face truth in your conscious mind.
K: Wait. Ability to face truth consciously, which means able to face facts, able to face 'what is'. And not go round it, not escape from it, not cover it us, not condemn it, not judge it, not give various evaluations about it. To face 'what is'. Right? What prevents it?
K: What is fear? Go slowly. Without recognition, a new feeling, has it any significance? I am full of antagonism today, I feel this. Before, without giving a name to it, which is the response of memory, which is the response of recognition, this feeling has no meaning at all. I just feel something. It is only when I recognize it by using a word as aggression that it has significance; and the recognition is a process of thinking. Right? So without thinking feeling has very little meaning. Go slowly.
Q: Can I say something? You started by talking about sanity. I work in a mental hospital. The psychotics do not seem to have the same thing, it is very hard to communicate with them.
Q: They do not have your sense of recognition, some are terrible.
K: Yes, madam, I understand all this, I know what it means - I am not psychotic, but I can see, but please stick to one thing at a time. And we will explore all this together.
I am saying to myself, asking myself, has feeling any significance apart from thought?
K: Yes? Before you say, yes, let's find out. I feel a great sense of tenderness, a sense of love. Right? Can thought be related to it? Go slow, go slow. Then it becomes pleasure, doesn't it, then it must be translated in terms of recognition. Oh, my lord! Is love a product of thought?
Q: I don't think one can answer that.
K: Wait, we are going to answer it.
Q: People only seem to be able to achieve love, go beyond it, by using their minds to understand themselves.
K: Now, is that so? By understanding themselves they go beyond the travail of love? That is, love is not pleasure. Love is not desire.
Q: All of it, and pain.
K: Oh, so love is pleasure, desire, pain, sorrow, jealousy, hatred. Where do you draw the line?
Q: I think love goes beyond emotion. We get confused with our emotions and call them love and anti-love. But we have to use our minds.
K: We are using our minds now, as we are discussing. What is the thing we are trying to discuss? We are trying to find out...
Q: We are saying, can thought dissolve the problem of fear and pain.
K: Yes, can thought solve the problem of fear? And is not fear the creation of thought? No?
Q: A child on a dark night, it isn't thought, it's the feelings he has got.
Q: Unless thought sustains feeling, feeling evaporates very quickly, but thought gives it an object, gives it a drive in time, it sustains it.
K: Now sir, let's begin: you know what fear is, don't you. We all do: going in the dark, afraid of somebody and so on, death, everything. Right? We all know this fear. How does it come? How does it come about? I go out in the dark and suddenly I am afraid.
Q: Isn't it a physical reaction?
K: Which is, a physical reaction. Suddenly finding myself in the dark in a strange place, and the feeling of uncertainty, insecurity. The feeling of insecurity.
Q: That's fear by conditioning.
K: Wait, look at it slowly, sir. Please go into it slowly. I am not dogmatic, so please don't, we are trying to learn about it. There is sudden feeling of insecurity. What is that feeling of insecurity? What has brought about that feeling of insecurity?
Q: It is the thought that something might happen to one.
K: Isn't it? Something might happen to one, sudden danger, feeling of insecurity, feeling of being lost, where you might get attacked and all the rest of it. All that is the result of thinking, isn't it. It may be instant thinking. If there was no thought I wouldn't be afraid of the dark, I would walk through it. It's only the swiftness, the rapidity of thinking has brought this feeling of uncertainty. Otherwise I wouldn't be afraid of the dark.
Q: There must be a first time.
K: Wait, I am talking of a first, second, third, tenth time.
Q: I am sorry, I am stuck. The fact that the first time I was afraid I didn't know what it was.
K: Therefore what happens the second time?
Q: I wasn't thinking about being afraid.
K: No. But I said it was thought that was so rapid of which you are unaware. The next time it happens you say, well, I have had this fear, I won't be afraid so much; and the third, tenth time you have got used to it.
Q: But it takes my mind to get over it.
K: Wait. I am not talking how to get over it. The question of getting over it is quite a different matter. We are pointing out that thought has bred fear. Whether that thought is so rapid, of which one is not aware, or thought, not so rapidly thinks what is going to happen tomorrow: I might die, I have done something in the past, all that is a process of thinking whether it is instantaneous or gradual. It must be. Therefore fear is the product of thought. How to get over it is another matter. Like pleasure is the product of thought. No? I had the most extraordinary enjoyable evening yesterday in the wood, walking, looking at the sunlight, it was marvellous. And that was a delight which I would like to have repeated tomorrow. And this demand for repetition is the machinery of thought, the process of thinking. It's so simple. It's obvious.
Q: Fear is not thinking.
K: The recognition of that experience, we have said that. I looked at that sunset, it was splendid. Finished. But thought comes in and says, 'I wish I could have it, it was so enjoyable, it was a marvellous feeling, I'd like to have it again.' Stick to that simple example and you will see how this operates. Fear, I realize, is the product of thought. And pleasure is the product or the continuity of thought. After all, all sexual pleasure is thinking about it, chewing over it, going into it, and saying, how marvellous, and on and on and on. And fear is saying, my god, what is going to happen tomorrow, I might die. No?
Q: If I do not recognize my feeling as jealousy, does not there remain sorrow?
K: If I do not recognize my feeling - what is the next thing?
Q: Jealousy or fear and so on, does there not remain sorrow?
K: Ah! If I do not recognize the fear or pleasure, or guilt and so on, it has no profound affect?
Q: Sorrow remains.
K: Ah, just sorrow remains. Is that it? Does it? Sir, please. You see, when we use this word 'sorrow', what do you mean by that word? What is the content of that word? There is a tremendous quantity of self-pity in sorrow. No?
Q: Is not the question when you have the feeling like jealousy, if you don't recognize it, is that feeling painful?
K: Is that feeling not painful. Have you ever tried this? You have a feeling, can you remain - can the mind remain with that feeling without naming it? Without recognition? Then what is it? Is it pain? Is it sorrow? Look, the moment you say, it is pain, there is the process of thinking involved in it.
Q: Is not sorrow the basis of all our life?
K: Is not the sorrow the basis of our life. Is it? That's why, sir, when you use the word 'sorrow' we must go into it. Sorrow. What does that mean? Sadness, grief, the feeling of insoluble problems of life, feeling the death of someone, feeling loneliness, feeling deeply frustrated, not being able to do anything in this world and so on and on and on. Right? All that is implied in the word 'sorrow', isn't it? Right, madam? Now who is feeling all this? Feeling the loneliness, the despair, the utter misery, confusion, aggression, violence, who is it that is feeling all these things?
Q: There is sorrow and fear.
K: Who is feeling it? Answer that one question: who feels all this?
Q: I think we are, as it were, in a big psychic self.
K: Which is that? You give it a big psychic self.
Q: Most of us have two frames of being, one is our thinking self and one is unthinking.
K: All right. You think there are two superficial us - different. One is superficial and the other more profound. How does this division arise? You must answer all these questions.
Q: There is a deep self.
K: What is this deep self? And what is the superficial self?
Q: There is the conscious and the unconscious.
K: Which is what? Please, madam, go into it. Conscious and unconscious. Why do you divide it?
Q: Because only a little bit is lit, what is lit by awareness is our conscious self, and what is unlit is our unconscious self.
K: Therefore you say there is no division really.
Q: No, not really.
K: Wait, wait. Let's stick to the reality, not the superficiality of the division. So there is only a state of mind in which there is division, as the thinker and the thought. Right? As the experiencer and the experienced, as the observer and the observed. Right? The observed we say is the superficial, the observer is profound. Right?
K: No, no, don't say, maybe. Examine it, find out, we want to learn.
Q: I think the problem is lack of awareness.
K: No, no, wait. You see awareness - who is it that is aware? Don't throw up your hands. We must learn about it, we must find out. So we realize there is a division in life, in me, in you. The you and me are many fragments. Oneself is made up of many fragments. One of the fragments is the observer and the rest of the fragments are the observed. The observer becomes conscious of the fragments, but the observer is also one of the fragments; he is not different from the rest of the fragments. Right? Therefore you have to find out what is the observer, the experiencer, the thinker. What is he made up of, how does it come about this division between the observer and the observed? The observer, we say, is one of the fragments, why has he separated himself, assumed as the analyzer, the one who is aware, the one who can control, change, suppress and all the rest of it. The observer is the censor. Right? The censor is the result of the social conditionings. Right? Social, environmental, religious, cultural conditioning. Which is, the division between culture has said, you are different from the thing you are observing. You are god and that is matter, you are the higher self and that is the lower self, you are the enlightened and that is unenlightened. Now what has given him this authority to call himself enlightened? Because he has become the censor? Right? And the censor says, this is right, this is wrong, this is good, this is bad, I must do this, I must not do that, which is, the result of his conditioning. The conditioning of the society, of the culture, of the religion, of the family, of all the race, and so on.
So the observer is the censor, conditioned according to his environment. And he has assumed the authority of the analyzer. Right? And the rest of the fragments are also assuming their authority; each fragment has its own authority, and so there is battle. Right? And so there is conflict between the observer and the observed. So to be free of this conflict one has to find out if you can look without the eyes of the censor. That is to be aware. Aware - to be aware that the eyes of the censor are the result of his conditioning. And can those eyes look with freedom, look innocently, freely? Otherwise this conflict will exist, and therefore neuroticism and all the rest of it follow from this conflict. So you have to solve this question, learn about this, whether the mind can look without any conditioning. Which means without the censor, without the observer. Because the observer is the source of all conformity. And when you are conforming there must be contradiction, and therefore conflict, which are all the result of thinking.
So the thinker is not separate from thought. So the observer is not separate from the observed. And when this is an actual reality, fact, truth, 'what is', then conflict comes to an end. I won't go into all that.
Q: Sir, the concept you talked about, if you observe it and it was so divine, then at the moment when you are not doing it, you are still observing, then...
K: It comes back.
K: Which means what? Do listen to this, sir, this is quite extraordinary if you go into it. You saw that sunset yesterday. It was a great delight. It has left a memory.
Q: You see it.
K: It has left a memory, obviously, otherwise you couldn't see that sunset. It has left a memory, left a mark, and the response through thought, is, 'I wish I could have more of it'.
Q: No, you don't say that, but you can see it.
K: The seeing of it is the same, sir. So thought breeds fear and pleasure, sustains it, gives it a continuity. This is clear, isn't it? And if I can't have my pleasure I get upset, I get neurotic. And I want to avoid - the observer wants to avoid fear. Right? Wants pleasure and avoid fear. And the observer is the result of all thinking. Obviously. Look at the game he is playing with himself: with one hand he holds, with the other hand he rejects. But he is still the same observer. And if I can't have my pleasure I get angry, I suffer, I go into tantrums, and if I cannot resolve my fear I escape through amusements, through religions, through dogmas, through nationalities, through all kinds of ugly escapes. And that's what we human beings are.
Q: Can there be thought without the observer?
K: Wait, first see what takes place, sir. Then the next inevitable question comes next. See that is the fact, whether it is conscious, or unconscious, this is the whole momentum of our conditioning. Right, madam?
Now the next question is: can the mind be free of all this conditioning, and this conditioning is the observer, and not what he observes. Right? I am conditioned - this mind is conditioning by a culture which has existed for five, three thousand years in India, and when it meets a different culture, the Catholic, it says, my god - you follow. The observer rejects, and therefore conflict. So the inevitable next question is: can the mind, the brain cells themselves, be free of all conditioning as the observer, as an entity that is conforming, as an entity that is conditioned by the environment, culture, family, race - you follow - conditioned. If the mind is not free from conditioning it can never be free of conflict and therefore neuroticism. Therefore we are, unless you are completely free, we are unbalanced people. And out of our unbalance we do all kinds of mischief.
So maturity is not a frame but a freedom: freedom from conditioning. And that freedom is not obviously the result of the observer, which is the very source of all memory, of all thought. So can I look with eyes that have never been touched by the past? And that is sanity. Sorry! Can you look at the cloud, the tree, your wife, your husband, your friend, without an image? To be aware that you have an image is the first thing, isn't it. To be aware that you are looking at life through a formula, through an image, through concepts, which are all distorting factors. So to be aware of it. And to be aware of it without any choice. And as long as the observer is aware of these then there is distortion. Therefore can you look - can the mind observe without the censor? Can you listen without any interpretation, without any comparison, judgement, evaluation, listen, to that breeze, to that wind, without any interference of the past?
Sorry, I have taken the show away!
Q: If I see the tree and am delighted, and thought slipping in says, 'That is an oak tree', it is just words. Can we see without the observer?
K: Yes, sir, that's right. You do it. Look at the tree - haven't you ever done all these things. Look at the tree, a tree without naming it, without the interference of the knowledge about trees, just to look. What takes place when you do so look?
Q: You become the tree.
K: You become the tree. Have you looked at a tree that way and then can you say you are the tree? Don't say this, you have never looked. No, madam, you can never say you are the tree. That is an identification with the tree. You are not the tree, are you. I hope not!
Q: The feeling, profound relationship.
K: Wait, look, madam, profound relationship implies a relationship in which there is no image. Obviously. If you have an image about me and I have an image about you, our relationship is between two images, which is built up by thought. Right? This we call profound relationship. Therefore there must be freedom from the machinery of the image. Therefore can I look at a tree without the image of the tree? Which means, can I look without the observer, without the censor? Then what takes place? You are not the tree. That's a trick of the mind so say, I identify myself with the tree, with you, with god, with this, with that. When there is no movement of identification on the part of the observer, then what takes place? Who creates the space between the tree and you? There is actual space, you understand, there is a distance, it may be a foot, it may be ten feet. The physical distance. We are not talking about the physical distance, but the psychological distance between you and the tree, who has brought this about? The thinking, the observer, the censor. No? Now when that observer, that censor doesn't exist, but only look, what takes place?
Q: The mind becomes very still.
K: The mind becomes very still. Does it? When you observe that tree without the observer, we are asking, what happens.
Q: The distance between the tree and you is not there any more.
K: Are you saying the tree disappears?
Q: No, I am saying the distance between yourself and the tree.
K: That is what? The psychological distance between you and the tree has disappeared. Right? Are you guessing this, or have you actually done this thing? One of the factors of neurosis is obviously resistance, building a wall round oneself. One has built a wall as the observer, and when you look at a tree that wall separates you from the tree, psychologically, not in actual space. Now when there is no psychological space what happens?
Q: Then the tree is part of your being.
K: Oh, no. Your being is the observer. Do listen, sir. I said when you look at a tree, or a human being, without the observer, without that censor, without that thinker who says, that is the tree, that is what I like, or don't like, I wish I had it in my garden - when you look at it without all that, what happens?
Q: There is communion.
K: There is communion between you and the tree.
Q: It doesn't seem like a question that has any answers.
K: You see you are all guessing.
Q: Is it acceptance?
K: Is it acceptance of the tree. It is there, why should I have to accept it?
Q: Yes, but you might not like it, you build your resisting wall.
K: No, madam, I am asking you - we have been through all that - I am asking, what takes place when the observer is not.
Q: There is only the object.
Q: What happens when you do it?
K: When I do it? Why do you want to know? Are you interested? Theoretically?
Q: No, actually.
K: Then you have to do it yourself, haven't you. Therefore what happens to me is totally irrelevant. No?
Q: Then that means that we are all different.
K: You asked a question: what happens to you when you look without the observer. I said what value has it to you? Are you asking it as an example to copy, to verify your own particular experience, and so on. So what is important in this, not what happens to the speaker when he looks at the tree, but what actually takes place when you look.
Q: With respect, there are several answers here, which I suspect came from their personal experience, but you don't accept it.
K: No. I am not sure they are not repeating. Look, madam, what happens when you, when one looks at another, husband, wife, or children, or the politician, without the image, what takes place?
Q: The mind turns on, lights up.
K: I give it up!
Q: When you say what takes place?
K: What happens to you when you have no image, when you look at somebody without an image?
Q: You have a...
K: If you say, I really don't know - right - then we can proceed; but when you say it is this, it is that, I am not sure if it is real. When you say, really, I have never done it - that means tremendous discipline, not suppression, not all the rest of the nonsense with regard to discipline. This needs tremendous attention - not on the part of the observer. If the observer becomes attentive he is still separate.
So what takes place if you have really gone through this, not according to me, I am not the oracle, you will see it for yourself when the psychological space disappears there is a direct relationship. Isn't there? When you are married and you have a wife or between two people, there are images, each is building an image, and each is looking through those images at each other. Now if you have no image, what happens? Isn't that what is love? Which has nothing whatever to do with pleasure.
Q: When people are married they may carry each other's images.
K: They generally do, sir, they marry each other's images.
Q: Yes, but they may be able to...
K: Sir, you are guessing, this is all guess work please. Look, sir, either we talk very seriously to find out, to learn, not from me, to learn the nature of observing, the nature of looking, the nature of listening, so that when you do look, you look with eyes completely differently. Otherwise we play around with insanity.
And we started by asking what is sanity. There it is! A mind that is conditioned is not sane.
Q: When there is no psychological space between the tree and the observer, the experience must be the same for everyone.
K: Will the experience without the observer, will that experience be all the same or vary according to the individual.
Q: I have a feeling it will be the same.
K: Not, a feeling, you see. You have asked a question, sir, look at it, first look at the question. When you look without the observer, you are asking whether that observation, what takes place, will it vary according to the individual. If there is no observer at all, is there individuality?
Q: I see.
K: Individuality as we know it is fragmentation. Individual means indivisible. But we are divided human beings, broken up, fragmented, therefore we are not individuals.
What time is it, sir. This is the end of the discussion.
Brockwood Park 1970
Brockwood Park 2nd Public Dialogue 10th September 1970
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