Saanen 1974, unedited versions
Saanen 4th Public Talk 21st July 1974
We have been talking over together this whole materialistic attitude towards life. The word 'materialism' means having values, opinions, judgements based on matter, that there is nothing else but matter, its movement, its modification; also consciousness and will. That is generally accepted as the meaning of materialism. And philosophies, which really means the love of life, or the love of truth are not ideals, suppositions, theories and systems which have been invented, or been conceived, or formulated by philosophers. And most people in the world have been conditioned, shaped by these philosophies - religious, economic or social. And they has never tackled or enquired, come to grips with the whole structure of the mind - the mind that has built the egocentric activity. Egotism has been one of the major factors in our life, probably the only factor. And human beings have never come into reality with it, we have accepted it as inevitable, as natural. We have been concerned, personally, whether that me, the ego, the whole subtle structure of it, can be utterly dissolved and yet live in this society, utterly understood, not theoretically, not in a romantic identification with something greater, but actually to be free of this egocentric action, its demands, its pursuits, its attachments. I do not know if you have gone into it. I do not know if you have enquired intelligently whether this human mind throughout the world, under different guises, in different forms, with different identifications, has not been the central factor of man's cruelty, man's barbarity and suffering.
And I think it is important, at least this morning, and in life generally, if we could go into that, not as an idea but as an actuality, not the definition or the explanation of what the 'I' is, the 'me' the ego, the personality and all that structure, but consider as we are actually, and investigate whether the mind, which has become so mechanical, can ever be free to investigate. I hope I am making myself clear. You know, as we said repeatedly, this is a very serious subject, and it demands your attention, it demands your care, it demands your affection. When you care to investigate something you must also have affection, not the sense of brutal scientific analysis. And we must be serious, otherwise life is very shallow, life has very little meaning. Unless you are astonishingly, very deeply serious, it is like that water going by, just on the surface with all the reflections, with all the superficial beauty, with the noise, with the fuss the rivers make. But if you are really very serious, and I hope we are, we should really go into this question as to whether man can live intelligently, sanely and happily without the 'me', with all its complications, with all its travails, with its sorrows, with its fussy little demands. That is what we are going to do, if we may, this morning.
First of all to enquire into it we must understand our consciousness, which is the very centre of the 'me'. That consciousness may expand, include everything but it still has a centre, and that centre essentially with its structure, with its nature and activity is in essence the 'me'. To understand that 'me', the I, the ego, we must look into our consciousness. Consciousness means to be aware, to know, to comprehend. These are ordinary words, not a special jargon.
Consciousness, your consciousness is its content. Without its content there is no consciousness. That consciousness with its content may invent a super consciousness, but it is still within the field of thought which is aware of the past - right? I hope, please that we are communicating with each other. That means that we are sharing. You are not just listening to the speaker. You are really listening and observing your own consciousness through the words of the speaker. So the words of the speaker have little value except as an indication and a helpful hint to watch your own consciousness. Therefore it is a sharing, not a one sided affair, it is partaking together in this whole problem of human existence, which is your existence.
As we said the other day, consciousness with its content - the content being all the identifications, with the race, with the family, with the community, with an ideology, with a culture, with a tradition, and the misery, the conflict, the confusion, the struggle, the pain, the enormous amount of sorrow, with occasional joy and laughter, all that is its content - and that content is essentially the 'me' - obviously. Remove your furniture - what are you? Remove your name and what are you? Remove all the ideologies, experiences, knowledge, the fears, the hopes, the pleasures, the pursuits, the ambitions - there is nothing left. And we make such an enormous fuss, such an enormous struggle to maintain this structure.
And from that arises the question: is the mind mechanical? I mean by mechanical not merely the activity of a machine as a car, as an engine, but the activity of a mind that always operates in the field of the known - right? Please it is not difficult what we are talking about. We are using very simple words and it is very important, it seems to me, to understand this problem. Because if the whole of the mind is mechanical it may invent a theory which is not mechanical, and yet it will be still mechanical; it may out of its own desperation, misery, conceive or philosophize or invent a theory of desperation. That is still mechanical. And to find out if there is anywhere in the mind a field which is not mechanical - not invent it, because that has been done in India and here, thousands of years, that there is a greater, a superior consciousness. That is just a theory invented by a mechanical mind which always functions within the field of the known - right? Are we in communication with each other? At least some of us?
I mean by mechanical responses which are the outcome of a stored up knowledge - right? I am a Christian, and my conditioning being Christian I respond to that, or as a Communist, a Hindu, Socialist and so on and so on. So reflexive actions are mechanical. Right? And from that one has to go into the question as to whether the brain - I hope you don't object to all this penetration and that we will be able to follow each other - whether the brain, the totality of the brain is wholly conditioned by the culture, by the environmental influences, by economic conditions, by religious penetration of beliefs, ideals, gods, the hopes - all that. Is the whole of the structure of the brain conditioned? And so is the mind totally conditioned? Right? When we use the word mind, we are including in that not only the nervous responses of the body, the recognition of emotional states by thought, thought being the response of memory which is stored up as knowledge - all that I include in the mind. In that is included of course the intellect, emotions and all that. So mind is the total, not just a part - right?
And we want to find out if there is an energy which is non-mechanical. Right sirs? Because we have lived on an energy which is mechanical. I respond to your insult, or to your flattery. I respond according to my conditioning, my conditioning is always the result of the culture I have lived in - economic, social, religious, environmental and so on. That is all within the field of the known, and as long as there is an operation within the field of the known, it must be mechanical. Right? Man has recognized this and says, there must be an outside agency to change this. Because to live in the field of the known all the time is to live in a prison and so he says, there must be an outside agency, so he begins to speculate, invent, theorize and say there is god, super consciousness, Atman and so on and so on. But it is still born out of the known. It is the concept formed by the past therefore it is still within the field of time - right? So it is nothing new. And in that field we have lived, and in that field there is a certain energy created by thought and friction. That we know. Friction as ambition, friction as envy, friction as the competition and so on - all that - we have lived for centuries on that, in that field.
Please you are watching your own mind, your own life, not my life. You are watching your own ways of thinking, living, behaving, and responding. And when you watch it you will see it is always mechanical, it is always from the known. The known can project itself as the future, but it is still the known. And in that field one has enormous energy - as seen in the field of technology, science, the political divisions, quarrels, antagonisms, wars, the extraordinary inventions of destruction and so on - all that demands tremendous energy.
Now we are asking whether there is a field, an area of the mind or brain which has not been touched by the known? Is there a field, an area in the brain which is not contaminated, if I can use that word, by thought? - thought being the response of memory. You are following all this? This is real meditation to find out, not all the phoney stuff that goes on in the world in the name of meditation. How is the mind to find out? You understand? Not invent, not hypnotize itself in the hope of something new because it is in despair, because it is bored with existence, and wants something new. So to find that out every form of illusion must be totally put aside - right? You are understanding all this? To have no illusion - is that possible? What brings about illusion? Why does the mind deceive itself? And why does the mind not face the fact as it is? You are following? Why does the mind refuse to see what exactly is, and wants to cover it up, hide it, escape from it, and go beyond it? - which are all the activities of an illusory act - right? Why does the mind do this? Go on sirs. Why does the mind, your mind refuse to accept a fact? The fact being what is actually going on, not what should be, or what has been, but actually what is going on. The active present is the fact - whatever that fact is. And, if you observe, the mind refuses to face that fact.
Is it part of our education to never come directly in contact with 'what is' because we have ideals, because we have a sense of denial of 'what is', the incapacity to deal with 'what is' - is that why the mind refuses to face 'what is', but always plays around it - right? Why? Is it our education? Which is, be like somebody else, you are not as clever as your brother, you must be somebody in this beastly world. So we are educated to be other than what we are. And what we are we never find out because we are always educated to reform ourselves, to improve ourselves. And is it because we have ideals, which are always over there and never here, never actual but unreal? Is it because basically, fundamentally we don't know what to do with 'what is'? The incapacity to deal with 'what is', makes us move away from 'what is' - right? You are following all this? Do please. This is dreadfully serious because the world is in chaos, it is getting worse and worse everyday, and a serious man has a responsibility, tremendous responsibility how to face this chaos. Religions haven't answered the problem, nor the politicians, nor the businessman, nor the scientist, they are just drifting, and the more you drift the more chaos grows. There is always the perpetual threat of war in one place or another - the Greeks and the Turks are going on at it now. So the man who is really very, very serious and knows his responsibility, feels the responsibility and therefore he has to consider the transformation of his consciousness, because it is only there that there is any hope of bringing about a different world, a different human being, a different kind of education. And that is what he is trying to do.
So is it the lack of capacity that makes us run away from 'what is'? One suffers for various reasons - biological, physical, psychologically, intellectual and so on, one suffers, intensely, superficially or it passes away in a day. Man has never solved this problem of suffering. He has carried on for centuries upon centuries, and he has never faced it and gone beyond it totally. Is it because he has not the capacity to understand it, to look at it, to see what is totally involved within it, the nature, the structure and the activity of it? And to do that one must look at it, one must watch it with care, with attention, with that sense of great affection, because without affection and care you cannot possibly understand it. But we run away from it seeking comfort in another field, but the other field is still within the field of the known and so we go on from suffering to suffering. We will deal with suffering a little later as we go along.
So we are asking: the mind has been trained, educated, religiously, in every way, to operate and function in the field of the known - right? I won't enlarge on that because we have gone into it sufficiently. And man has invented an outside agency which is equally absurd. So the question arises: is there any area - (I won't use the word 'part' as we will then ask "Which part, is it in the front or the back or the side" - you follow? And we get lost in that rigmarole) - is there any area of the mind which is really free from the known? Is there any part of the brain which is not cultivated by thought? This is really important, please give your attention to this. If we do not find it then we will always live in the field of the known, from which thought arises, which is matter. Thought is matter, we went into it sufficiently. Thought is matter because it is the response of memory, memory is held in the brain cells and from there it responds, therefore it is still matter; and any activity of thought is still within the known and therefore matter. And you may try to worship god, and become terribly religious and phoney but it is still within that field. So you have to find out if there is any area of the brain, the mind that thought cannot possibly enter - right? To find that out one must be free of the known, and realize its value as function. I'll explain it. Go slowly.
You understand my problem? First understand the problem. And if we understand the problem then the problem will solve itself. The problem is this: man has cultivated the brain, the mind, giving a wide growth to knowledge. And there must be knowledge because otherwise I can't speak English, I can't drive a car, I wouldn't know where to go. So knowledge is essential to function, to go to a factory, to write a letter, anything, knowledge is necessary. And as long as the mind lives within that area it lives in a prison. It can decorate the prison, which we are doing, better bathrooms, better toilets, better cars, better this and better that, better, better, better. You know the better is the enemy of the good. Think about it.
So can the mind see the fact that knowledge is necessary, and yet realize, or see the truth that as long as it lives there, it will everlastingly suffer because it is based on thought. See the truth of it. And then can the mind realize its value as knowledge and not be a slave to it? If the mind realizes something it is free of it, and yet it has its value, it is not dependent on it, it is not caught in it, it is not enslaved by knowledge. Therefore a new quality comes into being, a new kind of energy comes into being. Are we communicating with each other? Please give your attention. So knowledge has its relative value, and being relative it is not all important, which we are now making it. Now can you, sitting there, see the reality of this, that you must operate in the field of knowledge and yet not be dependent on it, therefore a certain quality of freedom from the known.
Then you can begin to enquire by watching the movement of thought, and the source of thought, by watching it, by being aware, whether there is a demarcation, not drawn by thought, between the known and something else which is not at the behest of thought, which thought cannot capture at all?
Look sirs, let me put this thing differently. When we look at our life, our daily life, we are very materialistic people, we depend on our senses, our senses dictate our action, we are really totally worldly people. And materialism which has been the conditioning of our life, in that there are two principal factors: pain and pleasure. As long as we live within that field of materialism, pain, and pleasure become extraordinarily important and there is no escape from that as long as we live there. I don't know if you understand this. We are materialistic, we depend and react according to our senses, opinions, judgements, evaluations, which are all the product of thought - right? And thought is matter. And as that has become so extraordinarily important in the world, pleasure and fear are the factors, are the principal factors that drive us to behave or not to behave. Right? And as long as we live in that area these two factors dominate, and there can be no escape from it. There is no escape from it because what do you escape to - more pleasure or more fear? More pleasure conceived by thought? Or the avoidance of fear by seeking security in isolation? Looking after myself, looking after my country with which I have identified myself, my gods - you follow? - gradual identification and isolation and therefore more fear. Where there is isolation, division, there is inevitably wider and deeper fear because the mind, being materialistic, pursues pleasure, that is all it has, its gods, its moralities, its churches, its doctrines, beliefs, everything is based on the pursuit of pleasure. Right? And therefore more fear. Please do see this.
So unless the mind discovers, not as an illusion, not as a hope, not as a belief, not as an idea, discovers an area where thought cannot possibly enter then only fear disappears entirely. You understand? And therefore when there is no fear there is then the understanding of pleasure, not the pursuit of pleasure but the understanding of it. Right? Are we meeting each other somewhere?
So can the mind be free from the known and yet see how important the known is. If it sees this then in the field of the known the activity of the 'me' does not enter. You see the difference? Have I conveyed it to you? If I see the importance of knowledge and its value, its significance, its necessity, then the 'me', which has created such great mischief in the world, that 'me' has no place in knowledge, it can't identify itself with knowledge, because knowledge is pure function. But when function becomes status then it is the operation of the 'me'. I wonder if you get it all? Have you got it? Good!
So in the field of knowledge, objective efficiency without the ruthlessness of the 'me' entering into it, takes place, because it is pure function. Therefore the 'me' has no place at all. See the beauty of it sirs. Therefore the mind then begins to enquire, look, if there is any area where it is totally free of the human endeavour. You understand? - the human gathering, human struggle, human pain, sorrow. Unless the mind finds that there is no way out. You can invent a way out but it is still the known, the materialistic. Now how does one discover this? Obviously no system - system is still part of the known, please see all this. Therefore what is the instrument of enquiry? What is the instrument of observation? You are following? Do you know it? You probably have read a great deal, gone to many libraries, made research or looked into books and literature, religious literature, read intellectual literature and the existentialism, this and that, you know, you must have done all this, and have you found the answer? Or is this the first time that you are facing this problem? The first time in your life you are faced with this, and you have to find it out, not through somebody else, because if you find it through somebody else it is not truth, it is like living in a shadow of another. So when you are confronted with this problem for the first time, as you are, you have no answer - right? Really you have no answer. That is a great thing. You understand? It is a marvellous thing to say, "I have no answer". "I don't know what to do" - knowing that nobody is going to give you a hand to help you out, knowing that you can't possibly look to another. You understand? You really don't know - right? That is essential, that is real innocence - right? Please listen to this carefully. That is deep, inexhaustible innocence, to say, "I really don't know" - not that you are waiting for an answer, not that you are expecting something, because then we play that game again. To remain totally in that state of not knowing, then out of that not knowing you have got tremendous energy, haven't you? I don't know if you see? Then you are curious, you are not eager for satisfaction, you are not wanting to achieve something. Then in that state of not knowing totally, that not knowing is part of the brain which has not been contaminated - you understand? Are we meeting each other a little bit?
Look sirs, I can say, "I don't know but I'll find out". I can find out by searching in my memory, or by looking to somebody, or reading in a book - right? When I say "I don't know" that is one of our tricks, I am expecting an answer from you, from myself, or from somebody else, in a book, or some other so-called idiotic wise man. We have done that. Or I can say "I don't know, but do tell me" - it is still the same thing. Or I can say "I really don't know at all". When the mind says that, realizes that, is it not that area which has not been touched? You understand? It is very simple if you look at it, if you go into it. It is the part of that brain that actually says, "You haven't touched me at all". All the things which man has put together through centuries I know very well, but when I say "I don't know", I have entered, the mind has uncovered a field which has not been touched - you understand? Now can the mind remain there and function in knowledge? You follow? I wonder if you get this? May I continue?
We have searched for god, for happiness, for a better way of life. We have invented political philosophies, extreme Left, historical materialism, Capitalism, Socialism, we have invented various gods, saviours, Christ, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, dozens of them. And man has not been able to solve his problem of sorrow, because unless he solves that you cannot possibly come upon that area which has not been touched by thought. And can the mind see its activity because the observer is the observed, just to observe the activity, not try to change it, not to reform it, not to control it, just to observe it, and see what it discovers in the field of the known and be totally responsible for that. That means not to let the knowledge be used by thought as the 'me'. I wonder if you follow? Of course. Therefore I am only function, no status. Where there is status there is the 'me' operating - right?
Now can we do this? Can you do it, not theory, but do it in daily life. You know that means great attention, not the attention of will, just watch it as you watch a squirrel playing round the trees, as a child running about, just watch it, with care and affection. Then you will see that the 'me' doesn't enter at all in the field of the known, in the operation, in the function. Then you have a whole area of the mind, the brain, which is totally unoccupied. You know when there is no occupation it is free, it is alive, it is moving.
And from this arises another problem: is it a matter of time to see this? The reality of knowledge, and the non reality of knowledge, to see this, and to function in that, does that require time? I need time to learn a language, I need time to learn a function, drive a car, learn a new technique, time is necessary. But is time necessary in seeing the operation of the known, the reality of it, the necessity of it, the inevitability of it? And the freedom from that, an area which is totally innocent, innocent in the sense of an area which has not been hurt at all - you understand? We human beings are hurt, from our childhood we have been hurt, by the parents, by the fellow students, by everybody, the more sensitive we become the more hurt. And being hurt we resist, we withdraw and go through agonies of neurotic activity. And is there an area of the brain which has never been hurt - you understand? Now to come upon that, does it take time? It will take time if you make that into an ideal, which the mind will inevitably do - you understand? That it is a thing to be gained, that it is a thing to be achieved, that it is a thing which I want to identify myself with so that I will have more energy to create more mischief - you understand? Now the realization of all this, the totality of all this, does it take time? Or you see the whole thing instantly? You will see the whole thing, knowledge and the freedom from it, instantly when there is no direction, when you don't want to achieve this or that. Do you understand all this? The desire to achieve is the factor of the 'me', which gives a direction.
So is it a matter of time? Improvement is a matter of time, self improvement, but the total emptying of the mind of the 'me' is not of time because you see the reality. When you see something dangerous there is instant action. So do you see the whole of this, all that has been said this morning, the totality of it - the materialistic attitude, which is our life, our daily living, in which there is great fear and great pleasure as the two principals operating always in the field of materialism, within the field of the known. That is what we have lived on, and with that we are trying to get rid of fear and to hold on to pleasure - all that battle that has been going on. And see also, as long as the mind lives there, there is no escape from fear at all, there is no solution to fear, however deeply, energetically you analyse, there is no ending to fear, nor to sorrow. It is only when you come upon that other thing, then there is an ending to all that.
Now to see all that, the totality, the whole of it, doesn't require time at all. You either see it, or don't see it. You don't see it because either you don't want to see it, because you are so committed to your own belief, to your own knowledge, to your own little self, or you have not paid attention. Or you have not cared how you live, what you think, your behaviour, your attitude, everything, you don't care. Or you give your total attention, and when you do you can't help seeing the whole thing and then it is over, finished.
Q: When one speaks about an untouched area, isn't that in some sort of way projecting, and therefore we are once more being caught in a circle?
K: I have understood sir. Have I projected something for you to accept? The speaker has very carefully pointed out that as long as you live here, in this material world, and live with pleasure and pain and fear and pursuit of delight, then you are caught in that, there is no way out of it. And the human mind, if it is at all sane, rational, healthy, doesn't project an illusion. It says, "I know this, I have lived all this, I know all the implications of living in this area, nothing has escaped me, the deceptions, the delusions, the desire to achieve, the success, the pain and the delight, all that." So he says, "Is that my life, is that the whole of life, to live everlastingly in prison?" Now it enquires. It doesn't say, "There is", or it doesn't project, I have carefully explained. If it projects it is still within the same area.
So it says, "I don't know". I explained very carefully, "I don't know", and that very acknowledgement, the truth of "I don't know" is that area, and honesty - you can never say "I don't know" if you are not free of the known. And this requires tremendous honesty, which means no deception at any level. And deception only comes when you desire, when you want, when you want to succeed, when you want to achieve something, to attain something, then the operation of will brings illusion.
Q: My experience of life shows what you say is quite right but to me, in my life, the life of conflict, I think one needs more than what you say. There is behind what you say a good deal of love - this would send away all fear completely. I don't think there is any hope, I don't think there is any hope for me and the world in which I live. That is what I want to say.
K: I understand sir. Are you saying this sir? Please correct me if I am mispresenting you, or misquoting you. Are you saying: without that quality of love everything has no meaning? I purposely, the speaker purposely avoided using that word 'love'. We will go into it on Tuesday.
Q: I won't be here.
K: You won't be here. (Laughter) It is a thing that we must go into very, very deeply. The word love is not love. The word is never the thing. And to really deeply go into this question of what is love, not verbally, intellectually or emotionally, because without that, as the questioner pointed out, without having love you can 'whistle in the dark', but when you have that you can do what you will. But we haven't got that! We know what pleasure is, we know what lust is, we know what the passion generated by lust, by thought is, but there is a totally different kind of passion, which is love. But one must go into it not ten minutes, five minutes, one must take a whole hour, in the sense go into oneself very, very deeply to find it out, and that requires a mind that is clear, that is not caught in words, that is not caught in sentiment, emotion, romantic nonsense, it requires a very clear, excellent instrument, so that all romanticism, emotionalism, sentimentality is stripped. Then perhaps you will come upon it.
Q: The escape from the mechanical and the known, is that possible through the miracles of religion?
K: I understand sir. To escape or understand, or go beyond the field of the known, will the miracles of religion help?
Now first of all, what do you mean by a miracle, and what do you mean by religion? Just a minute sir. A miracle: the television set is a miracle, a motor car is a miracle, the aeroplane, if you watch it, it is extraordinarily beautiful, is a miracle. Miracle implies also an outside agency doing something to heal us of our wounds, so that we are clean. And you say, can religion do this. What do you mean by religion? Religion as we know it is the product of thought. Look at it carefully. I am not being dogmatic, don't accept what I say, or reject, just look at it. Religion as we know it is the invention of thought of the priests. The priest is not out there, but here. You understand? The priest who says, "I must find out" - or believes, or accepts, or follows authority, follows tradition. I am saying what is going on now in the world, which we call religion, organized belief. In India, in Europe, all over the world, it is organized belief - no? Conditioned through centuries of saying "You must believe in this, this is your god, this is your way of life", etc., etc., etc.
Now I do not call that religion. Religion is something entirely different. Religion implies a way of living daily, living a life of truth daily, not truth according to a book, a priest, an analyst, or some tradition, living a life of truth which is real philosophy, love of life, love of truth, so that there is no deception, no hypocrisy, no conflict - conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be'. A way of life that has great care, attention, love, and that cannot possibly be when I am concerned about myself, my improvement, my gods, my beliefs, my opinions. The way of religion is the emptying of the mind of the 'me' so that it lives in that sense of great honesty, great inward simplicity and without any sense of achievement, a direction, therefore right behaviour, not imitation of the behaviour which society imposes on me. And it means great inward peace, quietness, to know something other than 'what is'. All that and much more is religion, not all this circus that is going on.
Q: How can we put an end to the violence between youngsters in our family?
K: How can we put an end to the violence between the younger generation, young children. Oh Lord! (Laughter)
How can you put an end to violence in our children, in our younger generation, younger people? Why has, if I may ask, why has violence become so extraordinarily pervading, so incredibly increasing - why? Is it, first of all in our children, is it that the parents have no time to give to the children because they are to occupied with their own problems, earning their livelihood and so on and so on, that the children have no relationship between the older and the younger? Is that one of the reasons? I am not saying that is the only reason. The mother and the father go away to earn more money, and the children are sent off to schools. In the school there is competition, there is fighting, all that is going on in modern schools. There is no relationship between the teacher and the student. There is no real deep human communication with the so-called teacher and the pupil. He is occupied with his own problems. So he cannot talk to them before the class, the subject begins, about quietness, gentleness, living a life of goodness, talk to him, because he is himself doing it, not just talking about it. Is that one of the reasons? And is there another reason - pick up any newspaper and everyday there is some kind of violence - wars, somebody has been killed, raped, and kidnapped. It is pervasive, it is all around, this sense of violence. Why has this happened? You follow sir? Why has this happened right through the world, in these recent years? Is it a reaction to the Victorian ideals? Is it because some specialists have said that children must grow up and never be corrected? Let them grow up, don't tell them what to do, don't punish them. You follow? - that has been also. Is it because of the recent wars? There is so much violence all around us, in the air, is it because everything around us has lost its meaning? You understand? The Communists, with their gods and with their philosophy, say human beings are insects - you understand sir? - to be destroyed; millions and millions have been destroyed because they have been treated like so many insects. Is that one of the reasons? Is it because the younger generation see that the older generation has not given peace to the world and therefore they must be violent too? They see everything around them is a struggle, conflict, wanting security, success, position - you follow? - all around, this is the pattern. And we are educated to that, from childhood. And don't you think it is inevitable then that this violence comes into being?
And also religion, the real kind of religion, not this kind of phoney circus religion, the ordinary religion which everybody trots out has never said and maintained "Don't kill". They say kill when necessary, they have blessed the battle-ships, they have blessed the cannons, they have blessed the heroes - you follow? - but never said, 'Don't kill another human being'. They daren't say it because they are supported by governments, property and all the rest of it.
So taking all this into account, what is a child to do? He is sensitive, inquisitive, tender, has no affection or love at home except occasionally, he sees the parents, drinking, smoking, taking drugs, quarrelling, violent. There is the whole pattern set for him. Therefore what is one to do? What are you to do? If you have children what are you to do? Thank god for those who have no children at the present time. But for those who have, what are they going to do? Sir, this is a tremendous problem - you understand? - it is not just a morning's discussion for half an hour and talk over it and then go back to your life with violence. This requires tremendous responsibility. What are you to do? All the schools, the colleges, the universities are like this: passing exams, competition, struggle to have a place, the fear of not having a place. You know what is happening in the Communist world: if you cannot pass certain exams you become a worker for the rest of your life, therefore the competition is hectic, that means violence. So what will you do with your child? Will you form or help to create a new school? Will you undertake the responsibility with a few others, to create a new school - you understand? - responsible for money, for work, for everything involved in a school? Have you the energy, the interest, the care, the affection? And if you have not you will drift the way of the rest. If you have, and you cannot start a school, perhaps there are other kinds of schools, help them - do you follow? Create them. And we, the speaker and some others, we are doing this, we want to create schools, we are burning with it, it is our responsibility, not just to talk, talk, talk endlessly and do nothing.
Saanen 1974, unedited versions
Saanen 4th Public Talk 21st July 1974
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