Public Dialogues in Saanen 1974
Saanen 1st Public Dialogue 31st July 1974.
This is not a talk by me. I have done seven talks, so that's enough. But this is supposed to be a discussion - the word 'discussion' means, I have just looked it up in the dictionary, 'through argument find what is truth; and a dialogue is a conversation between people who are seriously interested in understanding certain problems; and dialecticism is the discovery or the examination through opinion of what is true. And opinion means, judgement based on a belief, a prejudice, or on a preconceived idea. So it is none of these that we are going to do; neither discussion - the root meaning of that is 'to shake' - nor a dialogue, nor an opinion, or offering opinions and investigating those opinions to find out if they have any value. But what we are trying to do in these - I don't know what it is called, dialogues, or discussions, all that - what we are trying to do is to expose certain problems which one may have, and understand those problems by looking at them, not offering an opinion, a judgement and your criticism, exposing them. In the very exposure one discovers what is the truth, what is the meaning. That is, we may have many problems, human problems, not technological problems, the speaker couldn't possibly deal with those - human problems, such as violence, sorrow, relationship and so on. And it is like talking over together with friends who are serious, not casual friends, who want to find an answer, who want to discover an approach through which the thing is resolved, not carry on day after day, day after day. That is the meaning of our gathering here for the next five mornings - which is, to converse together amicably, with care, with a sense of real affection, so that we understand the problem, our many problems and go beyond them - not carry them for next year, or for the next day.
So what shall we together talk over this morning?
K: I understand. One of the questions is: there must be total understanding to go beyond anything. Our understanding is only partial. How is a mind that is always looking, or thinking partially, to understand totally? That is one question. Any others?
Q: Would you talk over together the question of education?
Q: How is thought to end completely, without conflict?
Q: Please talk over relationship.
Q: Thought and feeling.
Q: Everyone contributes to the horror of war.
Q: Talk about fear.
K: Now wait a minute: you have asked, partial understanding, and how is one without conflict, without effort to come to total understanding? And would you talk about education, fear, and the ending of thought totally without conflict, and feeling and thought and their place in the mind. These are all the questions that have been put so far. Now can we discuss, or rather talk over together a question that will include all these? Can we put a question that will cover most of the questions that have been put this morning, can we do that? Including how is a mind that only sees the part and not the whole, a mind that is educated to war, a mind that sees the necessity of thought and its activities and movements coming to an end without effort, and a mind that has been so utterly wrongly educated, is there a different kind of education, and thought and feeling. Right?
Now, which question, which one of these questions could we ask so that it will give us a comprehensive understanding of all that, of all the questions that have been so far?
K: That is one of the questions, I am wondering. Would that also include fear, war, and the ending of thought, and its recognizable feeling, would all that be included in the understanding, or investigation, or examination of total understanding? I think it would, wouldn't it - right? No? Would that include how to observe, what is the process of observation, both inwardly and outwardly? I think it would, that one question. I am going to include it. Right, will you accept that?
Why does a mind accept war, with all its horrors and violence, and brutality, and at the same time talks about peace? Why is a mind afraid and so on? Now these are the various things: education, fear, observation, the ending of thought, feeling and thought, all these are factors of the mind. Right? Mind, heart, the brain and so on, which is the mind. Why is the mind so fragmented? You understand, sir? Why is an artist, who is sensitive, supposed to be, concerned with beauty, perception, sensitivity, and seeing something other than the mere object, why does such a mind live a shoddy life, which is fragmentation. Which is, seeing perhaps the whole and incapable of seeing total action in life.
Q: It is always in relation to oneself.
K: No, madam, we are just examining. The lady says it is always in relation to oneself. Look, I have all these problems as a human being - violence, war, partial understanding, education which is really no education at all, I have never been able to observe very clearly, and I also see the necessity of ending thought, because I understand though is the past and so on. I understand sometimes, a partial understanding, and it is never complete, so it is all fragmented, isn't it? Right, sir? Now why is the mind fragmented, broken up? Examine your own mind, your own life. Why is it that in your daily life there is this conflict of the opposites? Right? - conflict of duality, conflict which comes about through contradiction - I understand one minute, and the next minute I don't understand it at all, I see something very clearly for ten minutes and the rest of the day I don't see anything at all. Why is your mind broken up?
Q: It all depends on our laziness, because we are indolent.
K: Is that so? I may be very active, full of energy, not lazy, but yet I am fragmented.
Q: God is one, whole, complete and if we could invite that whole we will merge into it, be swallowed up by it, be covered by it.
K: How do you know god is whole?
Q: I know.
K: Now that is not serious. You are not talking seriously when you say, I know.
Q: It is my experience.
K: No, your experience has no validity. No, madam, you don't listen. Your experience may be a wish fulfilment and therefore it has no validity. Any man who says, "I have experienced god, who is whole" must be distrusted, because he has been educated, or believes in god, or he is frightened of living and invents a god, and according to that invention he experiences. That has no validity.
Q: Are there not serious people who have said that god is whole and they have experienced god?
K: I wonder what you call being serious? Look sir, an insane person can be very serious, a neurotic person can be very, very serious, a man who is convinced about his experience according to his background can be very, very serious. But a man who is free of all belief, who is free of his conditioning, has dropped his belief in all forms of gods and all the rest of it, such a man is really a free man and therefore a serious man.
Now sir, let's come back to it. Why is our mind so broken up, contradictory, dividing itself against itself, why, what is the cause of it - not what to do about it? If I know why my mind is broken up, fragmented, contradictory, saying one thing, doing another, thinking something else, acting in another direction, why is your mind like that? It is the result of our culture, the culture in which we live, whether that culture is in India, Russia, or in Europe and so on, our education, our culture, our thinking divides - why? The culture is what we have created. Right? My grandfather, the past generation, and the present generation, have created this culture, this culture which divides, breaks up life into fragments - business, artist, the scientist, the religious, the quack, the insane, you follow - all that. I am asking you, what is the cause of it, behind it, behind the culture? Do examine it, go into yourself please.
Please bear in mind that we are not offering opinions. Look, I seriously want to find out this, because where there is division there is conflict. Right? The Arab, the Jew, the Russians, the communists, the socialists, the capitalists, the Mao and so on and so on, where there is division in oneself or externally there is inevitably, logically, it is a law that there must be conflict. The culture has created it and we are asking, why is the culture, which we have created as human beings, what is the reason of it, what is behind it?
Q: This division comes about, the cause of it is because man is seeking security.
K: I am not saying it is not so, is that so? Security in religion, security in belief, security in experience, security in knowledge, security in relationship, and the desire to be secure brings about this fragmentation. Is that so? Examine yourself please, sir.
Q: Who is it that is seeking security?
K: We will go into that. Please, let's take it slowly, we have got the whole morning. The mind is seeking security and therefore, it is suggested that, the desire, the demand for security brings about this division. And from that the question is asked, who is it that is seeking security? You understand?
First of all, let's take security in a belief - right? Shall we go on with that? You are saying that the fragmentation of the mind is brought about through the demand of the mind to be secure, and it finds security in a belief, in god, or in something it calls god. Now is that belief, is that god, real, or an invention of thought?
Q: Is it that we are fundamentally, deeply frightened and therefore we are trying to find security in every direction?
K: First you say security, security in a belief, and there are other forms of security, is that demand for security born out of fear of - what? Of not knowing myself, of the unknown, of the uncertainty of life, of the future, this impermanency, and therefore the mind seeks permanency in a belief?
Q: Is every religious man insane?
K: I think I am dreadfully religious, am I insane? I don't think so. But a man, a religious man who believes in god, is somewhat neurotic. Please, sirs, you are not following this at all, if I may suggest. We are talking about the demand for security, and that security brings about fragmentation of our mind and life. And it is suggested by a questioner, that fear is the basis, or the root of this desire to be secure.
Then the problem is, if fear is the cause of this fragmentation, can that fear be completely wiped out? You follow? Completely wiped out, finished with, gone beyond? Please listen. That being afraid of uncertainty, being afraid to suffer, being afraid of this impermanency of life, being afraid of doing the wrong thing, that brings about the desire to find something secure, and I am attached to that security, and being attached to that security brings about division, which is fragmentation. Right, so far it is fairly clear.
Then the next question is: can the mind be free of fear altogether, not partially, not for a few days and then come back to it again, but completely be free of fear?
Q: How can one free oneself from the fear which paralyses the physical body, the mind, everything?
K: We are discussing now, going into, this question of fear which someone raised earlier. Please, give your attention because this is very serious, if you want to go into it. Since you have taken the trouble to come here this morning, sit there, do give your serious attention to this. Now can the mind be free of fear which brings about fragmentation?
Q: Is not fear necessary for survival, as animals have that fear which makes them aggressive and therefore survive?
K: Let's put it this way: fear of self survival, fear of not being able to survive brings about division. If I am living in the Arab world and I am not an Arab obviously physical survival becomes rather difficult. If I am living in a Catholic country and I am not a Catholic, that becomes rather difficult. If I am living in a Muslim - and so on and so on, in a communist world and so on. So we have adjusted ourselves to the communist world, to the Maoist world, to any world as long as we can be secure. And that desire for security is based, we have said, on fear. Now can we survive without fear and yet be secure? You understand sir? Be free of fear, which means no fragmentation, and out of that ending of that fear another factor comes in which in itself becomes security. I don't know if you follow this? Right? Now can the mind be free of fear?
Q: May be the mind itself is fear.
K: We are going to find out. If the mind itself is fear, then who is it that says he is afraid? You see we are going to block ourselves all the time, we are not proceeding further. I am asking a very simple, but very complex question, whether your mind, your whole being, can be free of fear?
Q: To end fear we must have total understanding of it.
K: That's right. We'll come to that in a minute, sir. But we haven't got that total understanding. So we are examining, sir, to find out if there is a total understanding of fear, not a partial understanding. We are answering your first question: that is, can this fear be observed totally and not partially? Right?
Q: How is it possible to examine fear totally when it has so many factors?
K: Of course. Fear of death, fear of losing money, fear of public opinion, fear of so many ways of fear. Now is there a central root of fear? And these are all factors, manifestations of that central root: it is like a tree, having many branches but it is only the trunk that makes all the branches. So can we find out the central root of fear? And then in the discovery of it I see the totality of fear. You understand, sir? Now can we look and find out for ourselves, not because somebody else says so, find out for ourselves what is the root of fear?
K: No. I am asking, please, I am asking myself and therefore you are asking yourself, what is the central factor of fear?
Q: It is thought, it can be unconscious.
K: Please find out. Don't merely express an opinion. I am explaining something. Do listen. Do put an opinion, a judgement, but find out for yourself deeply inside, what is the main root, or main substance, main cause, main drive of fear, conscious or unconscious? Give it a little minute, madam, don't be so impatient. Look, I want to find out what it is, I must look, I can't just throw out words, I must look, I must say, let me look, let me be silent for a minute, let me look inside to find out what in me is the root of this fear.
Q: Is it not the separation of me from total life?
K: When you say, 'is it not', that is an opinion, that is a judgement. I am asking something else.
Q: Fear is the denial of 'what is'.
K: That again is an opinion. You haven't found for yourself the root of fear.
Q: We are frightened to find out.
K: Yes. What is this fear? Have you ever asked this question?
K: Have you found out for yourself, madam, what is the cause of your fear?
K: Is that the root of fear?
Q: It is me separating itself, and the separation causes fear.
Q: It is the ego.
K: Please, would you mind for two minutes by the watch, or more, just without offering words, putting into words, find out for yourself, go into yourself, if you can, and find out without verbalizing what it is your are frightened of, and what is the root of that fear.
Have you found out? Yes?
Q: I am afraid of death.
K: Is that the root of fear?
It is a lovely morning, isn't it. So you haven't found out, therefore, sir, you don't know what the root of fear is.
Q: Awareness of oneself.
K: The consideration of oneself.
Q: I like to be afraid.
K: Now, if you like to be afraid, keep it and don't talk about it. But if you want to investigate what is the root of fear, please you haven't done it. You are just talking round it.
Q: How is one to find out?
K: I am going to show it to you sir, you haven't even the patience to listen.
Q: I want my desires to be fulfilled, I want my demands satisfied, and because they are not I get afraid.
K: I want to find out, because I am a serious man, I want to find out why there are so many fears, conscious as well as unconscious - losing a job, public opinion, being crippled physically, afraid of death, afraid of my wife, or husband, afraid of life, afraid of so many, many things. I am asking myself, why is there this fear, what is the central factor of it? Right? Please, one moment. I am asking, madam, I am investigating myself, so please I am trying to show how to investigate. My mind says, I know I am afraid - I am afraid of water, darkness, I am afraid of somebody, I am afraid of having told a lie being discovered, I want to be tall, beautiful, and I am not, I am afraid. I am investigating. So I have got many, many fears. Just a minute. I know there are deep fears which I have not even looked at, there are superficial fears. Now I want to find out the fears, both that are hidden and open, I want to find out how they exist, how they come into being, what is the root of them. Just a minute. Now how does one find out? I am going step by step into this. How does one find out? I can only find out if the mind sees that to live in fear is not only neurotic, but very, very destructive. Right? The mind must see that first, that it is neurotic and therefore neurotic activity will go on, destructive, and a mind that is frightened is never honest, a mind that is frightened will invent any experience, anything to hold on to. So I must first see the necessity clearly, wholly, that as long as there is fear there must be misery. Right? Now do you see that? That is the first requisite. That is the first truth, that as long as there is fear there is darkness, and whatever I do in that darkness is still darkness, is still confusion. Do I see that very clearly, wholly, not partially?
Q: One accepts it.
K: There is no acceptance, sir. Accepting I live in darkness? All right, accept and live in it. Wherever you go you are carrying the darkness, so live in the darkness. Be satisfied with it.
Q: There is a higher state.
K: A higher state of darkness?
Q: From darkness to light.
K: You see again this contradiction, darkness to light, which is a contradiction. No sir, please. I am trying to investigate, and you are trying to prevent me showing it to you.
Q: It is analysis.
K: I said to you, it is not analysis, please sir, do listen to what the poor chap has to say. He says, I know, I am aware, I am conscious that I have got many fears, hidden and superficial, physical and others, psychological. And I know also that as long as I live within that area there must be confusion. And do what I will I cannot clear that confusion until there is freedom from fear. That is obvious. Now that is very clear. Then I say to myself, I see the truth that as long as there is fear I must live in darkness - I may call it light, I'll go beyond it, but I still carry on that fear.
Now the next step is - not analysis, observation only - is the mind capable of examining? You understand? Is my mind capable of examination, observation? Let's stick to observation, it is better than examination - examination has another meaning and observation has another meaning. Is my mind capable, realizing that as long as fear exists there must be darkness, and is my mind capable of observing what that fear is, and the depth of that fear? Observing. Now, wait a minute. What does it mean to observe? Right? Can I observe the whole movement of fear, or only partially? You understand my question? Can the mind observe the whole nature, structure, function and the movement of fear, the whole of it, not just bits of it? I mean by the whole, not wanting to go beyond fear, because then I have a direction, I have a motive, therefore where there is a motive, there is a direction, I cannot possibly see the whole. Right? And I cannot possibly see the whole, observe, if there is any kind of desire to go beyond, rationalize, can I observe without any movement of thought? Do listen to this. If I observe fear through the movement of thought, then it is partial, it is obscured, it is not clear. So can I observe this fear, all of it, without the movement of thought? Don't jump. We are just observing, we are not analysing, we are just observing this extraordinarily complicated map of fear. When you look at the map of fear if you have any direction you are only looking at it partially. That's clear. When you want to go beyond fear you are not looking at the map. So can you look at the map of fear without any movement of thought? Don't answer, take time.
That means, can thought end when I am observing? When the mind is observing can thought be silent? Then you will ask me, how is thought to be silent. Right? That's a wrong question. My concern now is to observe, and that observation is prevented when there is any movement, or flutter of thought, any wave of thought. So my attention - please listen to this - my attention is given totally to the map and therefore thought doesn't enter into it. When I am looking at you completely nothing outside exists. You understand? So can I look at this map of fear without a wave of thought?
Q: Each time there is a surgence of fear I realize spontaneity ceases, and so is thought the reason of fear?
K: I want to look at the map of fear and thought is always interfering with it - I am afraid not to look, I like being afraid, I like having a neurotic activity and so on and so on. So thought is always precipitating itself, percolating when I am observing. So I say to myself, can thought stop? And if it stops, what takes place? You understand? So my question is, can it stop, not what takes place afterwards, but can it stop, voluntarily, without conflict - if there is a conflict, again the same problem. So can thought come to an end? Have you followed this so far? Are you doing it?
K: No, does your thought come to an end, not what happens afterwards.
K: No, sir, do listen, sir. I want to look at this map of fear, the whole of it, not just one end of it, or one part of it, or one branch of it. I want to look at this whole phenomenon of fear which you have kindly exposed to me. And I somehow can't observe, I can't keep my eyes totally on it because something is distracting all the time. The distraction is the movement of thought, (noise of train) or the sensation of that noise, or somebody on the telephone. So I am saying, to look at the whole width of that map of fear, the depth and the width and the height of that fear, thought must be in abeyance, because thought is divided - it says to me, "Look there, don't look there" - right? "This is good, this is bad, this is the way out of it". So thought is always interfering, so I say to myself, can thought quietly go to sleep for the time being? And it can't. Wait. I am going into it. It can't, it is so vital, it is so chattering, it is so alive. Right? So what is the mind to do, knowing - please listen - knowing that thought interferes in the total perception? Right?
And inevitably I must understand, observe, the total movement of thought - right? - not fear, but the total content of thought. You follow, sir, what has happened? I started out by asking, why am I afraid of death, of public opinion, of this attachment, why are there so many, many fears the mind is caught in. And I am observing that, this whole field of fear, and the observation is prevented by thought, by the movement of thought. So now my attention is given to the understanding of thought - right? - not of fear. Are you moving with me?
Now I want to find out, what is thought, why does thought interfere in everything I do - sexually, morally, religiously, every movement is there, of thought, why? Is it that the culture, religion, all the activities and education say, thought is the most important thing? Right? All the books, encyclopaedic knowledge, everything seems to have its root in thought. Right? When I say, "I love you", the very expression itself has its root in thought. Right? Not the feeling, not the factor of love, but the expression of it, the verbalization of that fact is the movement of thought - right? - my gods, my desire to be noble, my desire to have great success, my ambitions, all are based on thought - I am devoted to you because you are my god, you are my guru, you are my saviour, you are my blasted companion, whatever it is - thought. And this thought has been the current in every market of life - right? - from the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans and the present culture - thought. Right? And my brain, the area of my brain is the content of that thought. So I say to myself, that is a fact - learning a language and all the rest of it.
Now what is thought? What is thought, the direction of thought, what is thought moving to create, to destroy, what is this thing called thought? And can the mind be without thought, and what happens if it is without thought? We have seen examples, doctors and others, when there is no thought the mind becomes a vegetable - right? Amnesia, doesn't know a thing. Now what am I to do? You understand my question now? Thought prevents the understanding of the whole of fear, therefore there must be an understanding of thought, its structure, its nature, its activities, its limitations, its binding quality and so on. So what is thought? Why has man given such tremendous important to thought? In India, for example, they have given importance to thought by saying, life can be divided into many temples - the devotional, the active mind, the devotional mind, the active mind, the silent mind, the mind that requires knowledge - which are called the four yogas, the four philosophies. So again the division - you follow? The Greeks, not that I am a specialist in this, I have observed, I don't read history but just observe - the ancient Greeks said, thought is necessary because thought is measure, without measurement you can't do anything, you can't build a (?), you can't create a face without measurement. All their philosophy, their democracy and so on is based on measurement, to measure. And the Hindus said, on the other side, said to measure is illusion. They have a special word called 'ma' - 'ma' means to measure, maya means illusion. So India said, where there is measurement - please listen to this, it is very interesting - where there is measurement mind must create illusion. And the west, from the Greeks, said, measurement is necessary - and on that all our western world is founded, technology, everything is the movement of measurement. Right? Don't accept it, you can observe it as a fact. It is not my opinion. I have no opinions, thank god! So there it is.
So what is thought? Why are all our actions based on thought? Love has become part of thought. You follow? I love you. I am attached to you. I love you, I want to sleep with you - pleasure. And the measurement of pleasure is thought. Right? Measurement of pleasure. So where there is measurement there is time. Right? I will have that pleasure tomorrow, which is the time. The tomorrow is the measure of thought. Are you following all this? Does it interest you? For god's sake this is your life.
Q: (In Italian)
K: I'll translate it. The fear is the impermanency of ourselves, and the attachment - I'm translating generally - then becomes the cause of fear. Now just a minute, sir. You see how my investigation is going on.
I see around me in India, in Europe, in Asia, in America,the movement of thought, the movement is thought in relationship, the movement of thought in religion, all the inventions of their gods are the product of thought, and all the philosophies are based on thought, the philosophy of devotion, the philosophy of knowledge, the philosophy of action, everything around me is based on thought - thought being measure and therefore time. Right? And we call progress the measurement of time. Right? The growth of national products, everything. So what is wrong with thought? You understand? The Asiatics, especially India, India exploded over Asia, as Greece exploded over Europe, India exploded much more vastly over the whole of Asia. There they said, thought is measure, and to find the immeasurable, which is not measurable, thought must end. Right? Because they said, to live in thought is to live in prison, and prison is a measurement. See the beauty of it. I am thinking aloud for you, they don't say all this. To live in prison is measurement, and to be free of that measurement is to come upon that which is Brahman, which is immeasurable. Right? Therefore they said, control thought, suppress thought, thought is brought about through sensations, the senses, therefore don't look, don't go near a woman, don't touch, don't touch, don't see anything, but close your eyes, suppress thought and work at it.
And the western world has said, thought is absolutely necessary, there is no immeasurable. You can invent the immeasurable, all your gods are inventions - the serious investigators - they are all your emotional reactions, the wish for your father, as the Christ and so on, they won't even accept that.
So thought has become the foundation. Right? So what am I to do? I am investigating with you, I hope you are sharing and not just going off to sleep and polishing your nails.
The moment I say, the mind says, thought must end, who is it that says this? You are following this? In observation thought is interfering therefore there is an assertive action taking place - thought shall end. You follow this? Why do you come to that conclusion? Because it interferes with your observation? Therefore there is a motive for your desire to observe, and that motive is measure. I don't know if you follow this. Therefore that motive is time. I wonder if you see this, the subtleness of it.
So is your observation without a single motive? It is not, because thought says, I want to go beyond it. And thought has a cause, the cause being the desire to go beyond it, therefore it is measurable and therefore you are still caught in thought. So what is the mind to do? It is not interested in observation at all - observation of fear. Now it has turned its attention to the enquiry into the whole movement, structure, nature, function of thought. Not that it won't stop it, not that it wants to control it, just to observe. Right?
Why has man, right through the ages, given importance to thought?
K: Go a little deeper than that, we will go into all that. All cultures, ancient, those cultures that have disappeared, all cultures have given importance to thought. Why? Find the answer, don't give it up.
Q: It is the only instrument that we have.
K: Is that so? Wait, wait. You people don't know how to investigate. You all say, everyone says, including you, thought is the only instrument we have, and we abide by that. Right? Which is our tradition, of course. So see what has happened. We said that is the only instrument, and this has been handed down to us, generation after generation. Right? And I say, yes, that is the only instrument I have. Why do you limit the instrument that you have to only one thing? You understand my question? Aren't there other instruments? So I am asking, is there an instrument other than thought?
Q: I want to know the answer quickly.
K: Sir, the answer quickly is to observe without the movement of thought. Observe yourself, your wife, the world, everything about you, nature, the clouds, the beauty of the hills, the flowing waters, and the bird on the wing, everything observe, including your own desires, without a single movement of thought. That is the final answer.
Q: I am locked inside a room, and the key is on the other side of the door, and you are asking me to open the door, which is an impossibility.
K: That is a good simile but not real. By stating that the key is on the other side you have already blocked yourself. I have no key, I have no door, I have only one problem.
K: Wait. The gentleman wants to know, I have talked for fifty years, is it merely an intellectual philosophy, or is it something that is real? You know the meaning of the word 'philosophy' means, the love of truth. Right, sir? The love of life, not the invention which the intellect creates, that has nothing to do with reality. So I am not giving you a philosophy.
Q: We all want to change.
K: Change to what?
Q: To be a little free-er.
K: I am not interested in being a little free-er? Sir, you don't understand. You haven't taken the time or the trouble to read or find out what the speaker has to say.
Q: I have read all your books.
K: Then, sir, you know it by the mind, but we are talking of living, not speculating, not talking about it.
We have come to the point when we said, that we have only one instrument, the intellect, which is thought. And I am asking, why do we limit ourselves to one instrument? Is it that we are caught in habit, in tradition, in accepting there is only one instrument? Of course. So all this is involved in change in action, in our daily life, not in your speculative philosophies, in your gods, that has nothing to do with it. What we are talking about is your daily life. If your daily life is based on thought, then you are going to create such havoc in the world, which you have. And any change that thought brings about is still within the same area, whether communist, socialist, Catholic, or any other religion, it is still within the same area of confusion. So you have got to find out if you want to radically change. And to go into that you have to say, why does thought in your life play such tremendous importance?
Q: There is a tremendous urge to find out about life.
K: A tremendous urge to find out about live, which is thought. Your life is based on thought, all your activities are based on thoughts, your relationship is based on thought.
K: We are doing that, madam, we are doing that.
Q: We refuse to consider ourselves as a whole.
K: We are coming back to the same question. How do you consider yourself as a whole when you are looking at life partially? - my country, my god, my desires, my ambitions, all the rest of it - how can you see the whole?
As the gentleman pointed out, the speaker has talked for fifty years, and as he says, "Has the speech produced one single human being, apart from yourself, who is really free?" You understand? I am not interested if after fifty years I have produced one single human being who is free. You understand? I am not interested. If you are interested, take it; if you are not interested, don't take it. This is not propaganda, this is not something to convince you. If you are willing to listen, if you are willing to pay attention, if you say, look, I really want to understand what you are saying, I want to understand myself, I want to change totally myself, then give care, attention, affection. But if you are not, it doesn't matter. There are plenty of shrines, which are delusions, you can go to.
Q: I have a question about thought. When you have a new thought after...
K: There is no new thought. Is there a new thought? Or thought is always old? Thought can never be free. It may come up as new but it is still thought.
So I am left with this: thought is my life, thought is my actions, thought is my relationship, thought is my god, thought is the thing that man has put together for thousands of years, as devotion, as guru, as this, ten different things. And I see thought divides. Right? - my country, your country, my belief and your belief, my god and your god, my ideals and your ideals, and so on and so on. Thought divides. Right, are you following all this? True is it, or real to you? Thought divides. So thought is not love. So how can the mind, which has been put together through centuries, in the structure of thought - follow this, please - how can that mind which is the result of thought, whose essence is thought, how can that mind change radically? Right? To change radically thought must be understood, otherwise there is no escape. Can you understand your thought - your thought, not my thought? If you understand your thought then it is the thought of everybody. Right?
K: Sir, look, I know what you are saying is so, but to answer that question you also have - which is what we are trying to do - to see why this constant chain goes on, movement. Right? You have got to find the basis for all this, sir, haven't you, not intellectually but actually in your life? You see, sir, our difficulty is to sustain a continuous, sane, logical investigation. You haven't got the vitality or the energy, or the urgency of it, we are playing.
Now thought is the basis of our action and our life. Thought has produced such mischief, and also it has produced great architecture, great painting, but it is still thought. Right? And thought also brought wars, thought has destroyed millions of people. Right? Christianity has probably destroyed more human beings than any other religion in the world. Right? Swallow that pill! So thought has done all this, and so thought cannot bring change. It can go from one corner of the field to another corner, but it is still within the same field. Right? Communism, socialism - you understand? The change within that area of thought is the same, with modifications. Right? That is so, sir, there is no point in hesitating about this.
So thought is not the instrument of change. If I realize that, I have got to find another instrument. It is my responsibility, it is my duty, it is my tremendous necessity to find another instrument, because I am concerned with the world, which is myself. To bring a change in the world I must find out something which is not based on thought because thought will not solve it, all our misery. Right sir? Don't accept this, but look at it.
K: Sir, you haven't even accepted, you haven't even seen that thought is destructive, thought cannot bring about change. You put another question. Look, sir, please look. Look what has happened: in your Christian world, how many divisions of Christians there are. In your Christian world how many wars you have had. In your Christian world the division amongst people, class, quarrels, divisions, fight, fight, that's what your life is. And that is all the result of your thought; and you are using thought to bring a change. And I say, that is impossible, don't do it.
We must find a way which is not the way of thought. Right? But to find a way which is not the way of thought, you have to understand the whole business of thought, not say, "I must look in other directions". Because if you are still caught in the field of thought then you can't look in the other direction. So you must understand what thought is. Right? So if I understand how to run a car, there is no problem. But because we don't understand the nature of thought we go on employing it. So we are going to find out.
There are two questions involved in this: What is thought, what is thinking? And the necessity of thinking. Right? The necessity, because the very words you use and the expression is thought. So thought has its place, which is in the operational field, in the functional field. That is, speaking a language, driving a car, the business world, the technological world, which is all based on knowledge, experience, memory, thought - there thought must live, must operate. And I am asking, has it any other place except in that area only? Right? You are following this? Follow it in yourself, don't follow the description, follow the described. That is, I see thought is necessary to write, to speak, to communicate - there are other forms of communication - but thought is necessary, thought being knowledge, experience, accumulated memories, that is necessary; otherwise you can't go to your home, otherwise you can't travel, otherwise you can't speak and so on. And when there is observation why does thought move into that field? You have understood? I want to observe the beauty of those hills, and the beauty of light and shade, and the depth of shadows, and the movement of leaves, but thought comes in and says, "That is a lovely hill", or "I don't like this, I like that", "That is a bird" - you follow? Why does thought do all this?
Now is my mind concerned with the cause - please listen to this - is my mind concerned to discover the cause of thought and its activity? You understand my question? When I say, why does thought do this, keep interfering, I have put that question to find a cause, haven't I? Right, sir? So cause and effect. Right? Are you following this, it is fairly simple, isn't it? Cause - all right, I'll show it to you. I have said, why do thought do all this, interfere, push itself in? When I put that question I am looking for the cause, am I not? So there is a motive in looking for the cause. Right? You follow this? So what have I done? When I look to the cause, a motive, it is still the operation of thought, so I am not looking, I am only investigating the cause. So the cause becomes the time. I see that, therefore I won't ask that question. You understand, sir, are you following this? I won't ask the question, why does thought do this, because the moment I have put that question I am investigating the cause which is within the field of time. I wonder if you understand this.
Look, if I say, I love you, and I say to myself, why do I love you? What have I done? I don't love you, do I? You understand, sir? When I say, why do I love you, I have brought in an intellectual process which says there must be a cause. And where there is a cause there is no love, is there? What's the matter with you? So when I put the question, "Why does thought interfere, weave itself into observation", I am really putting a wrong question. I want the cause, and I want to destroy the cause. You follow? And therefore I am caught again in the process of thought.
So, see what I have done. I want to observe the map of fear, and thought interferes with it and I say, "I must find the cause", I am still within the same area, I haven't moved away from it. Right? So I play this game with myself all the time, and I am thinking I am changing. Whereas put the question and don't seek a cause. Just put it, and don't look for it. Then you will see the whole thing unfolds itself without your asking, why. You understand? When you put the 'why' and you find a cause, that is a direction. Where there is direction there is time, there is will, and therefore you are back again in the movement of thought. But if you say, "Yes, why is thought doing this?", just observe it, not saying, what is the reason for all this. Just observe. Sir, don't you ever do this when you love, do you say, "Why am I loving you?". Why I am talking for fifty years, and I say, my god, why am I doing this? Then I find a cause but it is not the real thing.
Now look at what we have done, see what we have done, we have said all our culture, past and present, is based on thought. And thought has divided the world, thought is the principle activity in life, as we know it - life being you and me. In that life it has created fragments - I am a Hindu, you are a Christian, and all the rest of it. And can I observe this whole - can the mind observe this whole phenomenon of thought without another thought? You understand? You have understood, sir? A cause without another thought, because if you have another thought it is still the same thing. You understand what we have done this morning. Do look at the structure of it, sir, the beauty of this thing, how it works.
We have put several questions this morning: wanting to see the whole, war, education, thought, feeling, all that, what we have talked about. We said we would take one question, which is, seeing the whole. To see the whole there must be no parts. And there is a part as long as thought interferes. Right? Seeing the whole means there must be no attachment, no root. Right? No cause. If there is a cause you can't see anything. If I say, "I love you" I have a cause which is because I want your money, or your body, it is not love. Right? So we see that thought divides, thought brings conflict, and all our work is that. Don't do anything but just look. Don't say, partial look, whole look, just look at this whole phenomenon of war, of education, not seeing the whole, fear, security, and always the mind searching for the cause, as though finding the cause you think you will be out of it.
Look sirs, we have had, man has had, in written history, five thousand wars within the last I don't know how many years. That means two and a half wars every year, in history. We know the cause - man's greed, man's desire for power, man's desire for economic position, man's desire to dominate the world and we know the cause but yet we are still going on with it. So the discovery of the cause doesn't eradicate. What brings eradication is to observe this extraordinary phenomenon, just to observe it. And if you can do that, then you are completely beyond it. And the speaker has shown how to observe all this morning.
Public Dialogues in Saanen 1974
Saanen 1st Public Dialogue 31st July 1974.
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