Saanen 7th Public Dialogue 8th August 1972.
K: As this is the last discussion or dialogue, what shall we talk over together this morning?
Q: Could we continue with yesterday's discussion, the understanding of order and what is order?
Q: What is a religious mind and is it possible in this day and age to live such a life?
Q: How can I ask the right question when my mind is so confused?
K: How can I ask the right question when I've got a rather confused mind. Is that it? But we do ask questions, don't we, though we have confused minds and rather disturbed minds, we ask questions. And the gentleman asks, what is the right question to ask when one is confused.
K: You have affirmed that love is without object and without a continuity. What is this statement that has been made, that love is without object and has no continuity?
Perhaps we can answer all these questions if we go into the problem of time. Would you like to go into that? Does that interest you, because that will include, how to understand order, and perhaps we can then find out for ourselves if there is such a thing as love without an object and without time. Because love without continuity means love without time. Right? Are you interested in this?
K: You see, we've always been brought up in the prolongation of time, using time, which is measure, as a means of achievement, both outwardly, physiologically, as well as psychologically. (I see two or three people who are yawning - I hope you had a nice night). You know, it is really a very important question, this, because if we could understand it, really, deeply, then perhaps we'll solve this question of love, order, and what it means to live neither in the past nor in the future. So I think it is important to go into this question.
We use time as measure, both outwardly and inwardly. We use time as measure as going from here to there, that is, covering the distance needs time, physically. And we also think or have been educated in our culture, we think that psychologically, inwardly, inside the skin as it were, we need time to understand, we need time to conquer, we need time to break down our bondages, we need time to understand sorrow. So we use time as a measure both outwardly and inwardly.
This is a dialogue, please - I'm not talking by myself, which I can do in my room. We are discussing, trying to take the journey together. I need time to go from here to Geneva. I need time if my body is rather unwilling, the muscles are rather hard, I need time to make them subtle - it will take a week. That is, the week is the measurement of time which is necessary to make the body a little more subtle.
Q: Is it a fact that it takes?
K: Is it a fact that takes place in time. The fact that one's muscles are rather unyielding, it takes time to make them more subtle, there needs to be time. The fact is the muscles are rather hard, not soft, and to make them so you need week. The week is the measure, the week is time. To learn a language there needs to be time, two months, three months or six months.
So to cover, from a certain point to another point needs time, which is measure. Now we apply the same measurement inwardly. I need time to get over a habit, I need time to stop smoking, I need time to conquer my anger, I need time in order to achieve a certain psychological result, I need time to find enlightenment, I need time to get over my sorrow. So outwardly we apply the measure of time, and inwardly we do the same, psychologically. Gradualness is accepted as a fact. To put machinery together it must be done gradually, I can't all of a sudden put it together. Time is necessary, as a gradual process, in order to learn a language.
Now I ask myself, and I suppose you must have, whether time as measurement exists at all and is there psychological evolution at all, evolution being time? The brain has evolved through centuries upon centuries, to come to this unfortunate point. And it has evolved under great pressure, great uncertainty, calamities, pains, suffering. And it has achieved a certain result - it has evolved. And to have evolved up to this point you need time.
To learn a technology one needs time. Now we are asking if time is necessary at all for psychological understanding, for being free of a habit, habit being the conditioning. The mind, the brain is conditioned in the culture it has grown - religiously, psychologically, socially, economically, family and so on. That conditioning, does it need time to break it down, to go beyond it?
Q: But understanding itself, or the insight, does not need time, although a lot of work is necessary to come to that point.
K: Is insight time - does perception need time. Or time is not necessary for perception. That's what the questioner says.
Q: That wasn't the question - I was saying that insight itself is instant but there's a lot of work necessary.
K: Insight is instant but to carry it out needs time.
Q: No, not to carry it out.
K: To work it out. Look, I'll make it very simple. I have an insight that I shouldn't smoke, but it takes some time for the body to adjust itself because it has been drugged narcotically for many years, and it takes time to get over it. Is that what you were saying?
Q: The insight is instant but to come to the insight, that's what I think he wanted to say.
K: Insight is instantaneous but to come to that insight needs time. Let's put it that way, he says. I am lazy, one is lazy. And laziness prevents insight, obviously. But being lazy, to dissipate that laziness needs time. To approach insight, the approach needs time. That's what I've understood from his question.
Sir, let us go slowly into this, because we can ask all kinds of questions a little later, but let's get the simple fact. I need time to learn a language, and I'm asking myself, and we're asking ourselves, whether time is necessary to bring about a radical revolution psychologically? What do you think?
Let's begin: the brain has been conditioned in the culture in which it has grown. Does that conditioning, the freedom of that conditioning, does it require time - time being, being conditioned it'll take some time, days, years, months, to be free of that conditioning - now I'm asking, does it take time?
Q: Whatever takes place in time must cause more conditioning.
K: Whatever takes place in time must be more conditioning. Let's begin much simpler: one smokes, there is a habit of smoking - the abandonment of smoking, the giving it up, does it take time? I don't know, I don't smoke but tell me.
K: You say no. Why do you say no?
Q: I did it.
K: Because you did it. What is implied in that - the body has been accustomed, has acquired a habit of nicotine. And the body demands it, though intellectually you may have decided to give up smoking, the body being accustomed or used to nicotine, demands it. So there is the bodily demand and the decision to give up smoking. So there is a conflict, isn't there? And to overcome this conflict you say, I need time. Are we meeting each other - please let's get going, not let's stop at nicotine. And is there a way of giving up totally smoking without this conflict? Conflict implies time, the body, being used to nicotine, demands it. But the mind has said, 'How stupid, how dangerous it is to smoke, it will affect my heart - I won't do it.' So the decision and the fact, the fact being the body is used to nicotine, so there is conflict. And to overcome that conflict you need time. So you say, "I will gradually get over it." Now I'm asking myself, is there a way of dropping the habit totally without conflict, in which the body has accepted the fact?
Q: It seems to me that just as the body requires a week for its muscles...
K: Wait. I know that. We know this - I'm enquiring, don't assert anything. My body used to take nicotine, and the mind has said, "No, I won't do it." The body says, "I must have more of it." Now can the body be so intelligent that it sees the danger of it and drops it, doesn't demand it?
Q: Nine years ago I used to smoke. I had this battle between the body and decision. And suddenly I dropped it.
K: Is it casual or there was an instant co-operation of the body with the perception. Give a little time, please - time in the sense, you are impatient, you want to get ahead. I want to go into it step by step.
Q: It seems to me that in giving up smoking the conflict is not so much between the mind and the body as with the pain on the one hand and my decision to give up smoking, and the fact that I need to smoke as an escape.
K: Yes, sir, all that is implied. I want to find out if the body can also see as intelligently as the mind does, and give it up without the least friction. You've understood my question? How is this to be done? Take any habit, doesn't matter what habit, and there is the momentum of the body, the momentum of the mind that says, I must give it up, or I am afraid to give it up because I'm escaping from a particular thing. So can the body and the mind together see the fact and drop it? Discuss it.
Q: There is a separation between the mind and the body, therefore there is conflict.
K: There is the separation between mind and body, that's why there is this conflict. But the fact remains that nicotine has become a habit for the body, though the mind says, "I will drop smoking." There is this conflict.
Q: This 'I' makes the conflict.
K: No, don't reduce everything to that - haven't you got habits? And haven't you noticed to break a habit it takes time? The decision, you are aware of the habit, and you know, all the rest of it, it takes time, doesn't it. And I'm asking, why is there not a complete perception by the body as well as by the mind, so that it's finished?
Q: There's no doubt too that the nicotine causes some physical effect. But I wonder how much effect it really causes and is it perhaps possible that the mind or the body can cause conflict too.
K: Of course. You're conditioned, aren't you, as a Catholic, as a Christian, aren't you all? No? All right, some are not, some are. Or you're conditioned in another way. Now take your conditioning, if you're aware of it, and see whether that conditioning can be dropped instantly.
Q: Sir, it takes time, it takes time to make it, so it can't be dropped instantly.
K: Please, don't speculate.
Q: Sir, doesn't the word instant imply time?
K: Heavens, look, everything, conveying through words implies time. Instantly may be two seconds or a millionth of a second, but let's go beyond that word, if you don't mind.
Q: Then why do you stay with nicotine when you know that to give up nicotine the body itself has its own metabolic process and will not give it up. So why not go beyond. It is possible to stop smoking with no bad effects, but with a hard drug...
K: Hard drugs, that is heroine and all the rest of it, the hard drugs have affected the body, the cells. I wish we hadn't entered into the nicotine and the hard drugs, but because that needs a lot of time. I want to get at something much deeper than that, sir. Does the freedom from conditioning take time?
Q: May I say something? I was standing on a rock one day, there was lichen and rock and moss. This may have taken a million years or a billion to grow, but it seemed to me that in that moment the lichen and I existed together. Is there anything in this?
K: I don't know, sir. I'm only concerned with one thing - I am conditioned, brought up in the culture in which I was born. That culture has conditioned me, with its illusions, superstitions, with its myths, with its gods, with its economic and social status. And I want to find out if my mind can drop that conditioning without conflict, without time. I won't even use instantly, because then you'll say, instant is one millionth of a second. That's my concern, because I see that is the most important thing in relationship, that's the most important thing in the world where human beings have to live, not to be conditioned.
Please is this simple. Can I go on? Will it take time? That is, will it take time to see that I'm conditioned? And, the next step is, the decision to uncondition myself, and the effort involved in the unconditioning, and so on - all that is a progression in time. I want to find out if it can be done without time. Don't say it is possible, it is not possible - don't theorize about it, find out for yourself you're conditioned - to find that out, does it take time? It will take time if I tell you you're conditioned, then you accept the fact that you are conditioned, or disagree, or argue, and decide later that you are conditioned - all that implies time. But if you yourself see directly that you're conditioned, that doesn't take time. To see for yourself that you're hungry, it's a fact, you're hungry. But to be told that you are hungry, you say, "Am I really hungry?" You evade the question - how do you know I'm hungry? Does my face show it, my behaviour, and so on - you take time to be told that you're hungry and then say, "I'm hungry" takes time, but to see for yourself, to be aware for yourself that you're hungry needs no time. That's one fact - is that clear? Proceed, sir.
Q: It doesn't take time to see one single factor, but each moment is linked by thought, we don't see the totality of it.
K: Sir, you've gone ahead of me - come back where I am, which is, I said, to be told that you are conditioned and then be aware that you are conditioned takes time. But to be aware of conditioning needs no time. Now what is it with you? The speaker has said you are conditioned, and therefore you realize you are conditioned. And that realization comes through time - verbal message, arguing, disagreeing, but all that takes time. But to say, "Yes, I'm conditioned," that needs no time. Now which is it with you? Go on, sir. Move from there.
Q: I've already formed an opinion because you have said for many years that one must be free of the conditioning. And that doesn't need time. So I have accepted that as an opinion - I don't know. So that opinion now I have formed and to break it down needs time.
K: But if you are aware that you are conditioned, that needs no time. Look, sir, I say to you now, please listen very carefully, give your attention for two seconds, I say to you now, you are conditioned. How do you receive those words? Do you see instantly that you're conditioned, or do you say, "What do you mean by that? What's wrong with being conditioned, conditioning has helped to hold people together?" A myth, Jesus myth or any other myth has held people together for centuries. It's an historical fact. So I say to you, "Are you aware now, as you listen, that you're conditioned." Wait, please take a minute - are you aware? That has not taken time, has it? You see it.
Then, go the next step: is that conditioning to be broken down bit by bit, layer after layer, fragmentarily, or is it to be broken down instantly - not instantly, without time?
Q: If one sees the reason for conditioning.
K: Look, don't, please don't use the word if, when, those conditional clauses, then you'll never do it. Please listen to what I'm saying. I say to you that you are conditioned. You see that fact - without argument, without going all round it, say yes, that is so, it's so obvious.
Now my next question is, do you break down that conditioning fragmentarily or do you break it down totally? Listen quietly. Our mind is used to breaking down bit by bit.
Q: You put us in front of this problem. Our response to that problem is not adequate.
K: I'm making your mind adequate to look at it - I'm helping you. Stick to one thing.
Q: Sir, to say you are conditioned is wrong, you are wrong as you're saying it, because as you're saying it and see the conditioning it's gone.
K: Don't complicate it, sir. I say to you, are you aware of your conditioning?
Q: But you are conditioning.
K: No, I've been through all that, I'm asking you now, are you aware of your conditioning now. That's all, sir - skip the words.
Q: Just what do you mean by, am I aware of my conditioning - could you tell me that? When I came into this tent and I looked at you and I had a sort of hardness in my eyes, and I said, I'm being conditioned by Krishnamurti. Now when I saw that, was that being aware of my conditioning?
K: Obviously. Now you are aware of your conditioning as being competitive. Will it take time to be free of that conditioning, of that particular conditioning.
Q: Sir, when you say free, do you mean never do it again?
K: I mean, free means never again. Listen to it: when you see a poisonous snake, you're always careful, aren't you, after that. You're free to face danger, and to know what to do. I am asking if you are aware of your conditioning as being competitive. When you are aware of it, does it take time to be completely free of it? Go on, sir, help me.
K: Need I translate it? Yes? Somebody understands Italian and English - why don't they translate it. I'll do it. I want to go ahead - we are sticking at such small things. All right, sir - what did you say?
K: What M. Ortalani is saying is - I'll put it very briefly, sir, correct me if I'm wrong - that if I am aware of one conditioning, a particular conditioning, does it mean that I comprehend the total conditioning? Through a particular conditioning, will that make we aware of the total? Right?
Sir, I am aware that I am competitive, and does that awareness free the mind from all competition hereafter, there is no competition in my nature at all? I'm taking that one thing, for the moment. And the next question is, through a particular perception, will it reveal the whole structure of conditioning? I'll come back to that. That is, I am aware that I am conditioned to be competitive, will that awareness free the mind from all competitiveness, or will it take time to be free of that particular conditioning?
Stick to that one question, please. I am aware that I am competitive and I say to myself, I know that I am competitive, I see the effects of it in the world, logically, it's most destructive, it leads ultimately to war, both economically, socially and so on, I see, intellectually, verbally, I see very clearly the structure and the nature of competition. And does that wipe away altogether competition from my nature? Wait. I'm asking you. Or do I need time to wipe it away? Stick to that. Were you aware that you are competitive because you were told? No. Because you are competitive you are aware. Then what is the next step? We're all competitive, it isn't only that gentleman - everybody is competitive in some way or another, wanting bigger, better, nobler - this whole momentum of competition, which is really measurement. What is the next step when you are aware of it? Does that awareness wipe away competition from you?
Q: Apparently not.
K: Why not? That means, you are not aware, as you are aware of a poisonous snake. When you see a poisonous snake your body, your mind, your emotions, altogether move away. So you only perhaps saw - I'm not criticizing you, sir - perhaps you, many of us only saw intellectually that you're competitive.
Q: But the snake is outside, that is not competitiveness inside.
K: Yes, both outside and inside. I am competitive, one is competitive - do you see it completely, or do you see it partially?
Q: Like the nicotine, if you can't see it poisoning you, you can't stop.
K: Like nicotine, it can't stop, it's poisoning you and you go on smoking.
Q: No, you must feel the poisoning, you must not only think it.
K: That's right, sir, not you must, do you - don't preach to me.
Q: Yes, I must, I do.
K: Do you, when you see competitiveness and realize that it is poisonous, drop it altogether? If you don't, why don't you, is it that you see intellectually, verbally, that competitiveness is ugly, and you haven't related it to your heart, heart in the sense of feeling, you don't feel it? You verbally state it but without any content behind those words. If there is a content behind those words, which is, that you feel very strongly that competitiveness is destructive, if you see it, it is finished.
Q: Sir, who are the selves that are competitive? It's measuring.
K: Yes, I understand that, sir.
K: Not 'if', madam.
Q: Either you do see it, understand it totally, or you don't.
K: Wait - the lady says, either you see it, feel it, understand it totally or you don't. So it's much better to say, "Look, I haven't seen it, I don't feel it totally, it is only a fragmentary part of me that sees it, the rest of it is in darkness, the rest of it is not aware of the danger." Now why? But you are aware of the danger of a snake. You are aware of it because you have been conditioned to it, haven't you? Danger, a precipice, a bus, a poison is a frightful danger, and there is instinctive protection. Now you are not conditioned to the danger of competition. If you were conditioned to the danger of competition, you would not touch it. Wait, look at it. Consider it for a moment, don't raise a question, go into it. You are conditioned to the snake, you are not conditioned to the poison of competition. So if you were conditioned to the poison of competition you would react and say, "That's terrible." Listen to it carefully - but we are talking about conditioning, not competition to this or that - the fact of being conditioned. Do you see the difference, sir? Go slowly - I am conditioned to the snake, I'm not conditioned to the poison of competition. If I were conditioned to the poison of competition, I would avoid it, I would run away from it. Of course, it's an obvious fact.
So we act only according to our conditioning. Wait. But I'm questioning all conditioning. There with the snake I see how the mind has been conditioned, through centuries of experience it has been said, snakes are dangerous. And I say, "My god, I must be careful, I mustn't go near it" - tiger, crocodile, whatever it is. But I have not been conditioned to the poison of competition, so I go on. Wait. I go on.
So my mind depends for right action on conditioning. See the importance of that. My mind has been conditioned in a myth - Christian myth or Hindu myth or whatever it is - and that has held people together, all myths have held people together for some time. And that myth has conditioned me, and I act according to that myth - communist myth or any other myth.
So I realize my mind functions only happily when it's conditioned. No? Because then I'm sure what to do. There is no uncertainty in it. Snake is a snake, dangerous. Competition is poisonous. To follow anybody is poisonous. So your mind constantly functions only and happily in the field of conditioning. So I am questioning the whole field, not whether it's useful or not useful. If you haven't got it, I can't go on.
Q: Sir, the poisoning of the snake is there for everybody to see - you'd get plenty of support for that. But to see the poisoning of competition, you must see it for yourself.
K: Yes, sir, but I'm not...
Q: It seems I want to be competitive so I've allowed myself to be conditioned because that will help me to be competitive.
K: Right, sir, put it that way if you want to.
Q: I can't see my conditioning.
K: Don't you see your conditioning when you meet a snake - have you never met a snake, except in the Zoo? Then don't you react to it? So you're conditioned.
Q: You have told me I am conditioned.
K: No - I said you were conditioned with regard to the snake. You're conditioned, you're conditioned in a different way to competition - you accept it, that's you're conditioning. So you function only according to your conditioning. Obviously, sir. If you're conditioned through reward and therefore behave, you're conditioned, aren't you? If you're conditioned through punishment to behave rightly, that's also conditioning. So I am saying, look what happens when you are conditioned, your mind is mechanical.
Q: Sir, is there any action at all that is not conditioned?
K: We're coming to that, sir. So your action is always based on your conditioning, pleasant or unpleasant, rewarding or unrewarding. That's a fact. And if one's life is based on conditioning, life becomes mechanical. I'm a Christian for the rest of my life, I'm a Communist or whatever it is. I don't want to think, I don't want to observe, I don't want to go beyond the little narrow field of my conditioning. And I say, in that lies sorrow.
So I say to myself - follow this - one conditioning I can understand, two I can understand, but I want to understand the whole complex conditioning. Is that possible with one glance, not take little by little, but at one glance see the poisonous nature of all conditioning? You've got it now?
K: I didn't say it was difficult. You are saying it is difficult. The moment you say it is difficult you are blocking yourself.
Q: But you can't say that this conditioning is dangerous. You can see the conditioning, but you can't say the conditioning is dangerous.
K: I'll show it to you. Isn't nationalism one's conditioning? Isn't it dangerous. Isn't the conditioning about some god, a belief in something - isn't that dangerous? Because you believe in something and I believe in something else, and we are at each other's throat. So it is dangerous, isn't it?
Q: Can't I have my own space so that I don't interfere with you?
K: You have that space in tolerance, you tolerate me outside your little space. Isn't that dangerous?
Q: You've got to see that all your pleasures are dangerous.
K: It is so.
Q: Why is it so?
K: Because if you don't get your pleasures you're annoyed, aren't you, you get angry, you get frustrated, you begin to hate - depending on the denial and the strength of your pleasure.
Q: How can one be aware of one's brutality?
K: Don't ask that question yet, but first see how your mind operates. It functions what it considers happily in conditioning. The snake, and you're conditioning to be competitive, and you say, "Let's be competitive". You are conditioned to be nationalistic and you say, "Let's be nationalistic," wave the flag and fight each other - these are facts which are dangerous. Do you see the danger of it, not verbally but actually as you see the danger of the snake? And you may not see it as the danger of the snake because you're lazy, you don't want to see it, you've all kinds of objections and reasons for not seeing it. Now to get rid of all those objections, formulations and reasons, takes time. You're meeting all this?
So you would rather live and continue in the state in which you are, conditioned, creating mischief, not facing danger, and ready to be killed.
K: He says, why don't you talk about the conditioning here - I'm doing that. You are conditioned, aren't you - as a Frenchman or as a whatever it is - you're conditioned. And the mind takes shelter behind its conditioning because that is safe. It is safe for me to call myself a Hindu; I feel protected, and in that conditioning I accept and I live within that. But I don't see the danger of it.
Q: You are conditioned in this tent to listen to the speaker.
K: Are you conditioned by the words of the speaker?
Q: We are free to come or go.
K: We are free to come and go, the lady says - I'm not talking of that - of course you're free, nobody asks you to pay or whatever it is. Are you being conditioned by the words that the speaker uses? Are you being conditioned by the - not ideas, the idea - I'm not conveying ideas, I'm only conveying facts, and you turn it into ideas. Facts cannot condition you. What conditions you is the opinion about the fact.
K: Yes, madam.
K: Sir, the fact is that the mind functions in habits. That's a fact. No? But you don't see what that fact does, mechanical business, all the rest of it. Then if you see it, then you ask, how am I to get rid of it. So you're bringing an opinion or a desire to get rid of it, whereas if you merely look at that fact without any motive, then that fact undergoes a radical change. You don't listen - all right.
Q: I'm aware of the fact that to approve or disapprove of behaviour is conditioning. If I don't do one or the other, the children may beat each other up. Would you please speak about raising children?
K: Could you talk about raising children - please. You know, that's one of the things we could talk about, which means really, are the parents educated - educated in the deep sense of that word, not passing some exams, getting a job and all that - I mean educated. And the parents are not educated therefore the children are not educated. So the problem arises, how to educate the parents. Right, sir? You're a teacher. And how do you educate the parents? They don't want to be educated, because they're completely satisfied with their jobs, with their little house, with their gossip, all the rest of it.
So what is important is, the few of us here in this tent, listen to all this, not to the words, but to what is behind the word. And to see whether the mind can comprehend or be aware of the total conditioning. Not one should be free of it, one should go beyond it, or break it up, but to be aware of the totality of this conditioning - which means, mechanical habits, mechanical activities, slogans and all these things that follow.
K: Of course, sir. That's quite right, sir.
Now - we'd better stop, and this is the last discussion. What have you, as a human being, after listening to the seven discussions and seven talks, what have you learnt? Please just find out - take two minutes and find out - what have you learnt during these fourteen talks and discussions - what have you learnt? Not verbal conclusions, not ideas which you have picked up, but what have you actually learnt from it, which is yours?
Q: To be watchful all the time.
K: Is that all what you have learnt? What have you learnt so that your life is different?
K: Please don't tell me what you have learnt. I'm asking, during these fourteen talks and discussions, has your life changed? Is there a psychological revolution which will affect your outward activity? Or you have gathered a few ideas - and I am not a conveyor of ideas, I'm not providing you with intellectual words and statements - we're only concerned with facts. And during these fourteen days and fourteen discussions and talks, has your life changed, deeply? If not, why have you spent your time here? Just for amusement, curiosity?
So you have to face now for yourself, find out if your life has radically, deeply changed, or you are still playing with ideas. And if you are playing with ideas you have wasted your time - your time, your money, your energy. And that is not the reason why we gather here every year. Why we gather, as far as the speaker is concerned, is to bring about a different generation who see things directly and act directly. Not see and act - the interval, between seeing and acting, and during that interval, all the mess arises.
So can you, when you go home, or when you walk this afternoon, find out for yourself how deeply your life is changed, or not changed. When the house is burning there is no time to discuss about the man who set it on fire - the colour of his face, whether long hair or short hair - you put it out. And your house is burning. So it's up to you?
Saanen 7th Public Dialogue 8th August 1972.
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