Saanen 3rd Public Dialogue 1st August 1975.
K: What shall we talk over together this morning?
Q: In the first dialogue there was a question, what would be the action of a man if and when he steps out of the stream, how would such a person act in the world of reality?
Q: Does it have any meaning at all to a man who is not free?
K: So what shall we discuss?
Would you like to discuss, talk over together, the relationship between reality and truth? Which means freedom from the cloying, clinging effects of reality, and if there is such freedom, what relationship is there between truth and reality?
Q: I have been listening to you for several years but I do not seem able to go beyond the word. I am a slave to words, one is caught in words, and one lives from a centre and how is one to act?
Q: Would you mind talking over together the energy that is necessary in daily life to maintain attention?
K: To maintain attention, what kind of energy is necessary in daily life?
Q: Is there anything like positive and negative thought?
K: Good thought and bad thought, right thought and not right thought. All thought is one, whether good or bad or indifferent. Now let's find out which shall we talk over together. That question that was put forward, time, where does thought come from? Now which shall we discuss or talk over together of all these questions?
Q: The first question.
K: What is the action of a man who is not caught in time? Shall we begin by talking over together, what is the relationship between reality and truth, if there is such a thing as truth, and what is a man to do who lives in the world of reality all the time, caught in that world of reality, verbal, imaginative, the world of conclusions, ideologies, tyrannies, what is a human being to do? Shall we discuss your question, sir, that includes all this? Shall we go into that?
What is the difference, or what is the relationship between truth and reality? We said reality is all that thought has put together, all that which thought reflects upon, or reflects about, all that thought remembers as knowledge, experience and memory, and acts in that area, and lives in that area, we call that reality. Right? Is that clear between us. Please, don't say at the end of it, 'What do you mean by reality?' We are saying reality, the word reality, the root meaning of that word is res, thing. So we live with things, we live with things created by thought as ideas, we live with things called conclusions, which are all verbal, and we have various opinions, judgements and so on. That is the world of reality. And what is the relationship between that and truth? How shall we find this out? This has been one of the problems of the ancient Hindus, and some philosophers and some scientists, modern and ancient: is there such a thing as truth, and if there is, is it within the field of reality, or is it outside reality, and if it is outside, what is the relationship between that and reality? Is the question clear?
What is the activity of reality? What takes place in the field of reality? Shall we begin with that, and see its meaning, its significance, and its value, and when we have understood completely or totally the field of reality, then we can enquire into the other, not the other way round? Is that clear? Because one's mind may not be capable of enquiring into truth. But we can enquire into the world of reality, its activity, how destructive, how constructive and so on. When we are absolutely clear, logical, sane, healthy about the world of reality then we can proceed to find out if there is truth. Would you go on with that? Would you concede that as a necessary step? Not what truth is, but then we can speculate about it, your speculation as well as somebody else's.
So what is the activity in the world of reality, both outwardly as well as psychologically, inwardly? Can we go on with that? I am not giving a talk, this is a dialogue between two people. In that world of reality there is always duality - right? The 'me' and you, we and they. This duality expresses, acts in the world of reality as nationalities, as religious divisions, as political division and tyrannies and domination, all this is actually going on. So there is this activity of duality - the 'me' and the 'you', and the 'me' separating itself from the actual, and having a conflict with the actual. I wonder if you see that. May we go on? Is this clear?
That is, the world of reality is created by thought. Thought, as we said, is movement in time and measure. That is the whole movement of thought in time as measure. That thought has created the centre, as we were talking about yesterday, that centre separates itself from thought, then that centre creates the duality as the 'you' and the 'me' - right? Is this clear? Please, not verbally, not intellectually, but actually, does one see the reality of this? - I was just going to say the truth of it. This is the truth, that which is, is the truth. And do I see that which is? That is, thought creating a centre, that centre assuming power, domination and all the rest of it, and creating division between the centre and the periphery, which is thought. We said thought, having created the centre, that centre becomes not only a cohesive, unitary process, but also it acts as a dividing thing. Right? Do you see it as clearly as you see this tent? The tent is real, it has been created by thought, that's independent of thought but it is actual. May we go on?
So we live outwardly and inwardly, psychologically, in the field of reality which is basically not only fragmentary but divisive, that is dual, divided. That is our life. One of the symptoms of this division is the centre trying to control thought, trying to control desire, trying to control various appetites, various reactions. So the centre becomes the factor of division. This is fairly simple. That is, in the field of reality conflict is always part of that - right? - conflict, not only within myself, but outwardly, not only in myself but in my relationship to others. Right? Please! So conflict is one of the principles of reality, as division is one of the principles and from that division conflict arises. This is factual. The centre separates itself from violence, and then that centre acts upon the violence, controlling it, dominating it, trying to change it into non-violence and so on, from the centre there is always the effort made to control, change. Politically this is happening, in the democratic world as well as in the tyrannical world where the few dominate the many, the few are the centre - I don't know if you see the beauty of all this. And the few want unity, and therefore they must dominate, etc., etc.
So in the field of reality division is one of the basic principles - the guru and the disciple, the guru who knows and the disciple who doesn't.
K: No, we are not children, we are talking about ourselves. If a child is born in a jungle and brought up differently, god knows what would happen. But your child and the other people's child are not born in a jungle. We are here in a jungle of reality.
So that is one of the principles in the world of reality - division, conflict. That is, the centre trying to control thought - please understand this because from this we are going to the world of truth, and if you don't understand this don't let's talk any more. Let's stick to this and understand it. We try to control anger, we try to control various forms of desires, always from the centre - the centre being that which thought has created, and which has become permanent, or rather attributed to itself the quality of permanency. Right?
So from that arises: is it possible to live - please listen - in the world of reality without control? You understand my question? Without any form of control - sexually, which predominates in the western world, and that is becoming a neurotic thing and distorting the mind, everything - no control, is it possible to live in the world of reality without a shadow of control? Go on, sirs.
Q: You can do this in the privacy of thought.
K: If you are by yourself, are you saying, you can do this, but if you are with others you cannot live a life in which there is no control - is that it? Yes? You see what you have said just now. I don't think you realize what you have said. That if you are by yourself perhaps you could do this, but if you have to live with others you cannot do this. Who are the others? Divided by thought as you and me, but the actuality is, you are me, I am the world, and the world is me, the world is you. I wonder if you see this. We went into all this.
Q: That is not true.
K: I think it would be more correct if you used the word 'correct' rather than saying, it is not true. Correct means care - it comes from the word care, accurate, accurate means care. You say, that is not so. Now let's look at it: basically - we have gone into this a dozen times before - basically whether you live in America, in France, or Europe, or Russia, China or India, basically we are the same - we have the same suffering, the same anxiety, the same grief, arrogance, great anxiety, uncertainty - basically we are the same. Environmentally, culturally, we may have different structure and therefore act superficially differently, but fundamentally you are the same as the man who is across the border.
Q: I need privacy.
K: Oh, you still want privacy. Who is preventing you? I don't understand the question. If you say, I still want privacy, you mean you still want to be enclosed by a house, by a garden, by a wall round your house, or enclosed so as not to be hurt. So you say, I must have a wall around myself in order not to be hurt. We went into this question the other day.
As we were saying, in the field of reality conflict and duality are the actual things that are going on - conflict between people, conflict between nations, conflict between ideals, conflict between beliefs, conflict between states, armaments - the whole field of reality is that. It is not an illusion. As the Hindus would say, 'That is a maya', in Sanskrit 'ma' means measure. Please understand that. 'Ma' means measure. So they said in the field of reality there is always measurement, and therefore that is illusory because measurement is a matter of thought, measurement is a matter of time, from here to there, and so on, and therefore they said that is illusion. But the world they wanted is also an illusion created by thought. I wonder if you see that. I won't go into all that.
So in the field of reality can one live completely without control, not permissiveness, not doing what you want to do, because that is too childish because you can never do what you want to do; one thinks one can? So is it possible to live a life without a shadow of conflict? I don't know if you have gone into this.
Q: It seems that when we are aware of all these processes that thought tries to control, this brings conflict and then to control thought brings more conflict, and then control again brings more conflict, then there is trouble. So why control?
K: No, sir, if I may a little bit go into it. Have you ever tried, or known how to act without control? You have appetites - sexual, sensory appetites. To live with those appetites, not yielding to them, not suppressing them, nor controlling them, to see these appetites and end them as they arise. Have you ever played that - not 'played', have you ever done this?
Q: It's impossible.
K: No, sir, I'll show it to you, sir. Don't say you can't do anything, the human mind can do anything - they have gone to the moon, before this century they said, 'Impossible' - they have gone to the moon, technologically you can do anything. So why not psychologically? Find out, don't say 'I can't, it's impossible'. Look, sir, go into step by step and you will see it. You see a beautiful house, lovely garden, a desire arises, and how does this desire arise? You understand my question? What is the nature of desire? And how does it arise? I'll show it to you. There is visual perception of that house, a beautiful garden, architecturally beautiful, nice proportions, lovely colours, and you see it visually. Then that vision thing is communicated to the brain, there is sensation, from sensation there is desire, and thought comes along and says, 'I must have it', or 'I can't have it, I am going to have it'. I don't know if you have watched all this. So - wait a minute - there is the beginning of desire, the beginning of thought - thought we said is physical as well as chemical - perception of that house, sensation, contact if you touch it, and desire and thought. Right? This is, sexually, visually, psychologically, intellectually. Right?
There is that beautiful house, the seeing, the sensation, the desire, can that desire end, not move with thought as possessing and all the rest of it? You have understood my question? The perception, sensation, desire and the ending - not thought coming along and saying, 'I must'. Now in that there is no control. I wonder if you see that.
K: No, sir, I am asking - let's stick to one thing - I am saying, can you live a life in the world of reality without control? And I will show you how it is done. All action comes from a desire, a motive, a purpose, an end. Surely this is simple, isn't it.
K: No, no. You eat a good omelette, tasty omelette, what takes place? The brain registers the pleasure, and demands that pleasure be repeated tomorrow. But that omelette is never going to be the same. You see what we are trying to point out is, the taste and not let it register as a desire, as a memory, and end it.
K: No, no. Desire, appetite, I am hungry, is that thought? But thought says, 'I would like to have such-and-such dish'. Appetite, hunger is not thought.
Q: We are not quick enough to stop the thought.
K: Therefore learn. Sir, look, as we said yesterday, let's learn about it, not how to do it. You see one's mind, or brain is traditional, you are always saying, 'I can't, tell me what to do' - it is all the pattern of tradition. What we are saying is very simple: which is, the seeing, the sensation, and desire. You can see the movement of this, can't you, in yourself? No? When you see a beautiful car, a beautiful woman, or beautiful man, or god knows what else, when you see it, and the sensation arises, and the desire. Now to be so alert to watch it, then you will see as you watch it thought has no place. I wonder if you see this.
So I am saying to you, I am suggesting, that in the field of reality as conflict is the very nature of that reality, the ending of conflict in oneself, in a human being, and therefore in the world, because you are the world, and the world is me, and the world is you, your consciousness with its content is the content of the world, so there is an understanding, a radical change in you, it affects the whole of consciousness of man. For god's sake see this.
Q: How can we get this to work, it is not a dialogue.
K: I have tried to make it a dialogue. As we can't hear, you have to speak louder or tell somebody to tell us. If somebody nearer has heard what she said, would you tell us what she said.
Q: May we go on?
K: We said this is a dialogue. Dialogue means conversation between two friends, or between people who are really serious to find out. It is not an argument, which becomes a discussion, nor a dialectic investigation, which is the investigation of opinions to see what is true in opinion, and opinions are prejudices, therefore we are not enquiring into truth, prejudices are prejudices. So we are having a dialogue, a conversation, and if somebody wants to say something which we can't hear, please convey to somebody near who will tell us. But don't let you and I have a battle about it.
So we are saying can a human being live in the world of reality without conflict? Because if he cannot then truth becomes an escape from reality. So he must understand the whole content of reality, how thought operates, what is the nature of thought.
Let's begin again: we said the field of reality is all the things that thought has put together consciously, or unconsciously, and one of the major symptoms of that reality, a disease of that reality is conflict - nationally, between the classes, between people, between individuals, between you and me, and so on and so on. Conflict outwardly and inwardly, that conflict is between the centre which thought has created and thought itself, because the centre thinks it is separate from thought, so there is that conflict of duality between the centre and the thought; and from that arises the urge to control thought, to control desire. Right? Now is it possible to live, not only in oneself, a life in which there is no control - please I am very careful in the usage of that word 'control', which does not mean doing what you want, permissiveness, all the modern extravagance which has become vulgar, stupid, meaningless. We are using the word 'control' in quite a different sense - a man who would want to live in complete peace must understand this problem of control. And this control is between the centre and the thought - the thought taking different forms, different objects, different movements. Now we say, one of the factors of conflict is desire, and its fulfilment. Desire comes into being when there is perception and sensation. That's fairly simple and clear. Now can that desire, as it arises, can the mind be totally aware of it and therefore end it, not give it movement first? You understand what that means.
Q: There is no recording in the brain as memory, which then gives vitality and continuity to desire.
K: That's right. I don't know if you see this point. I see a beautiful picture and the response is to have it - just one of the responses, or I may not have it, just look at it and walk off, but if there is a response to possess it then that sensation as desire is registered in the brain, the brain then demands the possession of it and the enjoyment of it. This is fairly simple. Now can you look at that picture - please experiment, it is so simple once you understand the whole movement of it - when you see the picture, desire, and the ending.
Q: Sir, I don't recognize that I have a desire until afterwards. In other words there is no recorder in my mind that tells me I am having desire.
K: Sir, I have gone into this. I said - we said, this is a dialogue between all of us - and we went into this question. Please listen, sir, you asked a question. We said in the world of reality conflict seems to be the nature of it. Right? And we are trying to find out if it is possible to live without conflict. And we said conflict arises when there is duality, the 'me' and the 'you', and the centre created by thought and thought itself. And the centre tries to control, shape thought. There lies the whole problem of conflict. And further, that desire arises through sensation - sensory perception. Sensory perception of objective things involving belief is illusion. I can believe that I am something when I am not, therefore there is the problem of conflict. So is it possible to live a life totally without conflict? I do not know if you have ever put this question to yourself. Or we live in the world of tradition and accept that world, that conflict is inevitable.
Q: Sir, I am not conscious of living in conflict.
K: All right, then you say, I am not conscious that I live in conflict. You say that you are not conscious that you live in conflict.
K: No, we are not talking of that, sir. We are talking over together this question of reality and truth. That's how this began. We said unless you understand the whole nature of reality, all its complexities, mere enquiry into what is truth is an escape. And we are saying let us look into the world of reality, the world of reality which thought has created, nothing else. And in that world of reality the conflict is the movement of life. I may not be conscious of that conflict sitting here but unconsciously, deeply, there is conflict going on. This is simple enough. I wish we could go on further.
So that is one of the things, conflict. And this conflict takes many forms, which we call noble and ignoble. The man who has ideals and is trying to live up to those ideals, which is conflict, we call him marvellous, a very good human being. Those ideals are projected by thought. Follow it. And the centre pursues that and so there is conflict between the ideal and the actual. This is what is happening in the world of tyranny, dictatorship. The few know what they think is right and for the rest to follow. So this goes on all the time. And it is the same with regard to authority - the authority of the doctor, the scientist, the mathematician, the informed man, and the uninformed man, the guru and the disciple - he wants to achieve what he has got, what he has got is still in the world of reality. Right? He may talk about truth but he is conducting himself in the world of reality, using the methods of reality, which is division between himself and the disciple. This is so obvious.
Q: What is the function of a teacher?
K: Am I teaching you anything? Be clear, don't accept, don't say, yes. Find out if I am teaching you anything. Please be serious for a few minutes. What is the function of a so-called teacher? There is the mathematician.
Q: You are not a professor because you have not accumulated and therefore are not giving that accumulated knowledge to us.
K: No, it is much more. What is a teacher, and who is the taught, and what is being taught? The teacher, a mathematical teacher, he has accumulated information about mathematics, biology or physics, or whatever it is, he wants to teach you, or give you information about mathematics. He can assume in that relationship that he is superior to the disciple and therefore there is a totally different kind of relationship between him and the student. Or both are learning; the teacher is learning about his conditioning, and in talking over with the student he is also helping the student to be aware of his conditioning. So both are learning.
We said, what is the teacher and the disciple, and what is taught? If both the teacher and the student and the disciples are learning, not the teacher accumulating knowledge and then gives it, then that is merely transferring information. In that giving information the teacher can assume extraordinary authority, position, give himself superior airs and all the rest of it. But if both are learning - and I hope this is what we are doing here - then there is no teacher and the taught, then there is no authority. And the field of reality has authority because authority then assumes status. Through function the teacher assumes a status. You understand that? Here we are not assuming any status - I am not, because I have made it perfectly clear right from the beginning that I am not your guru, you are not my followers, I am not your authority. But together, if you are serious, and I hope you are, if you are serious we are investigating, not offering one opinion against another opinion, I have no opinions, I have no belief. I don't rest on my laurels, I have no laurels. All that is stupid.
So if both of us are learning, then we are equal, and therefore we are free. And it is only in freedom you can learn. So we are learning together by investigating if it is possible to live in this world without conflict. That means you must exercise your brain, not just casually listen and interrupt with something or other. You are giving your attention to one thing only, which is to find out, to learn together whether it is possible to live in the world of reality without a single conflict. And I say to you, it is possible, let's find out. And to find out you must investigate, you must look, you must listen, that means you must be serious.
So we say, that desire, thought, is one of the factors of division, probably it is the only factor of division, and as long as we don't understand the whole nature of desire, there will be the fulfilment of it, and the despair of not fulfilling it and the conflict involved in fulfilling it, all that is involved in that word 'desire'. Desire arises - perception, sensation, contact, desire. Can that desire have no further movement? Investigate. Because what gives it vitality and the drive to fulfil - you understand my question?
Q: There is already in desire a conflict.
K: No. Just look at it sir, look, learn. I see that car, it is a beautiful Mercedes Benz, and naturally perception, sensation and I see it. Why should there be a strengthening of desire - you follow? Why should desire continue? And what gives continuity to desire? Do look at it, please learn. I see that car, there is the perceiving, sensation, desire. Then why is there a continuity of that desire?
K: Which means what? I have driven in a Mercedes before, it is a nice car, powerful, and somebody else drove me in it and I see that car, I'd like to have it. That is, the perception, sensation, desire, the memory, the response of that memory is thought, and thought says, 'I must have it'. This whole movement. So is it possible to live a life without conflict? There is much more involved in this, you don't quite see it. That is, our brains - as I said the other day, we are not professionals, I have not taken a degree in the structure of the brain, or studied it, but I have watched brains - the brain functions in tradition because in tradition there is safety, tradition being in knowing, whether that knowing, that knowledge, has been transmitted to me, to the brain, by the past, or acquired recently, that brain functions effectively when it is completely secure. You can watch this in babies, you can watch a professional technician, because he knows perfectly the motor there is no problem. That is, he functions in tradition. And our brains demand security, certainty, and it finds it in knowledge, in memory, in tradition, in experience, which is the past. So it is afraid to move out of that realm - if you have watched yourself. So a challenge is put to it: can you live without conflict? And the immediate response is, 'I can't because I have lived that way'. It is not learning. In learning things may alter. Therefore it is a 'Please, don't disturb'. So the brain seeking security, finds it in conflict, accepts it as suffering, pain, other things. So can the brain, listen to this, can the brain perceive, see, sensation, desire and not operate in the traditional way? Which means there must be an investigation into the whole structure of memory. We said, thought is the response of memory, thought is physical as well as chemical, so the cells are that, the cells of the brain.
Now my question is: can the mind - please listen to this - can the brain register only those things that are technological and nothing else? I wonder if you see this question. You understand my question - understand the question, not the answer. That is, the brain registers, it registers because it has to function efficiently and to function efficiently it must be sure, certain, sane. And it has found that safety in holding on to memories, in holding on to experiences, which is the whole content of knowledge. Now I am asking myself - you are asking this yourself too, please - we are asking can the brain, though its function is to register because that is the way to be safe, only register the activities in the field of the known and nowhere else? That is, no movement of thought outside its own area. You understand?
Q: Can you give an example?
K: I am sorry, I can't think in examples. We'll try. Look, sir, I see that car, there is perception of that Mercedes - I am not a propagandist for Mercedes! - there is that Mercedes, and there is perception, sensation, desire. The next movement is thought registering it in the brain and saying, 'I must have it'. Now can there be no interference of thought but only observation, sensation and no interference of thought? Have you understood?
Q: How do you..
K: We are learning, not how. There is no how. When the ask the 'how' you had better ask the professors. Here we are learning. You see it is much more complex that this because if you go into it, we are registering everything, every influence, anything that we see - the television, the books. Now you are registering what I am saying. And in that registered state the brain is completely secure, and it demands security. So it says, I will live in tradition, in knowledge. Now we are asking, challenging the brain, say, look, you have lived for millenia in conflict, find out how to live without conflict. And the brain refuses, which you are doing. You don't want to find out. You want to be told how to live, then that becomes security. You understand? So you say, 'Tell me quick'. But we are pointing out. The brain demanding security lives in the field of knowledge which is tradition, and that tradition is going on, being added to, modified, all the time. Now we are saying, look at that brain, look at yourself, which is your brain, your mind, your feelings, and all that, look at yourself and find out if you can live without a single conflict. In that there may be complete security. And because it is told you that there might be complete security in that you will begin to grab it. So find out if you can live without conflict. If I didn't know the way to the house I would be in conflict, but I do know the way to the house, it is registered, it is familiar and I go to it. I don't know mathematics, I learn about it. Or I don't know Russian and I go to somebody who teaches me Russian - or mathematics, or history, or medicine and so on and so on. What other place has thought? Has it any other place except in that field?
K: Don't say, 'No'. Learn. So freedom is not in the field of reality because freedom implies freedom from conflict. But if there is freedom from conflict such a mind will know how to live in reality. I wonder if you see that. If I have understood, if my brain has completely grasped the full significance of living a life without conflict, which means discovering the utter limitation of thought, its narrow boundaries, then the brain will know how to live in the world of reality and act in freedom from conflict. I wonder if you understand this?
Our whole society economically is based on buying and selling. Right? Produce, demand - consumerism. I see that. And I am greedy because that is my tradition. I have been educated from childhood to have plenty, you know, whatever it is, consume. And I see in the world of reality that this consumerism is doing a tremendous lot of harm, but I need clothes, shoes, a house, a shelter, but the need becomes the greed. You are following all this. So I am back again. So if I realize, if I see the whole nature of the world of reality, which is very complex, it isn't just a childish thing and throw it out, the world of reality in which the brain is involved, the brain that has functioned in the field of knowledge because that is the only thing it can be secure in. But that security it seeks psychologically - in ideas, in images, in beliefs, in opinions, in judgements and so on. So I say that as long as thought goes beyond the limit, which means no judgement, no opinion, no belief, no ideas, which are all projections of thought pretending that it is something totally different. And to live entirely in the field of reality, which is knowledge and be free to act there without the interference of belief, dogmas and all the rest of it. So action then in the field of reality is immediate. If I smoke - which I don't - if I smoke I realize, see the whole implication of it, end it instantly. Do it. Alcohol, anything. That is, see actually 'what is' and then the action is not tomorrow.
So when there is a total comprehension of the movement of thought as time and measure, which is the world of reality, then we can begin to enquire into truth.
Saanen 3rd Public Dialogue 1st August 1975.
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