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Ojai 1976

Ojai 1st Public Dialogue 6th April 1976

Krishnamurti: A lovely morning, isn't it, probably you ought to be on the hills walking. We are going to have a dialogue. The word `dialogue' comes from the Greek word logos, which means, words by which to express one's deep inner thoughts. Probably most of us don't want to go so deeply as that or expose ourselves too much but we could have a conversation, not dialectal which is argumentative, but rather a conversation in which we can share the problems however deep, and go widely and deeply into them. So this is not, if I may remind you, an argumentative dialectical conversation. That is, trying to find truth through opinions and arguments. I don't think one can ever come upon that. So we are going to, if we may this morning, spend an hour or so talking over some issue that is of vital interest.

Questioner: Education and may be the approach according to different ages.

K: The lady wants to discuss the question of education according to different ages.

Q: (Inaudible) God thought a tree and there was a tree, or God said, let there be light and there was light and I wonder if we could go into that problem of thought and what is often thought of as the absolute mind.

K: Could we also go into the question of the absolute truth or god or whatever name one likes to give to it and the hurt of everyday life.

Q: In the Bible it says, the wrath of god, the will of god, and it spoke almost as if god things.

K: In the Bible it says the wrath of god and so on, which implies god is thinking. I am sorry god is thinking - too bad! We will come to that. Do you want to discuss, talk over that?

Q: I want to discuss the problem of after you awaken the energy in you and your parents curse you and turn you out, and you have no friends, what do you do then, nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat?

K: When the parents get upset with you and turn you out and you have no place to go, no place to sleep, what is one to do.

Q: They didn't do this until I spoke of and told them that a certain energy had awakened in me.

K: Yes, I understand. So what is one to do.

Q: What is our function as a human being, why are we here, our function?

K: As a human being why are we here.

Q: Why do I desire a mate, why aren't I enough?

K: Oh, why does one desire a mate, why isn't one self-sufficient. Is that it?

Q: Why do you say one shouldn't escape from the world in which one lives actually and not escape into some monastic world?

K: I think that is enough. First of all you want to know what kind of education one should have in a school, not only in one's school, college and university, but throughout life, at whatever level one is at; and also you want to know, to talk over if there is a will of god, if there is the word of god, the wrath of god, so apparently god is thinking; then there is the question of when a person asserts himself with the parents or says something which he wishes the parents turn him out, no money, no place to sleep, what is one to do; and your question, why should one not live alone, be self-sufficient, one does one desire a mate. Now which of these questions do you think we should take, including yours, sir. No, please, I think they may be all related.

Q: How do we find the way to live?

K: I think if we could take one question, one issue and it may be that they are all related to each other - I think they are, because they are all human problems: being turned out of one's house, without money and food and shelter; and what kind of education one should have right through life, that means what is learning; and also if there is a god who thinks; and is it possible to be completely self-sufficient. I think they are all related, don't you, or not? So can we take one thing, which is learning. I think as we go along we will relate all these to that question - may we? What do you think is learning? Learning. That is - you know what the meaning of that word is - so what is learning? Why have human beings to learn and what to learn? What is the function of learning, why has education, whatever that may mean for the moment, why has it become so important in the world? Whether you go to India, the Middle East, or Japan or Russia or here, they are all being educated, going through the mill of education, the schools, colleges, if they are lucky and university; and then getting a job, getting married, settle down and having all the responsibility of a citizen, an honourable citizen or dishonourable citizen. So why are we being educated? No, please, why are you educated, if you are lucky enough to go to college and university, why?

Q: To accumulate information.

K: He says, accumulating information - for what? Please, go into it. Why should I accumulate information, what to do with it?

Q: I would like to learn to be free of prejudice.

K: We will come to all that. But first mustn't we find out why we are being educated, dozens and dozens and thousands of schools.

Q: To survive.

K: Go into it, don't just say one word, examine it, explore it. We are educated at the most expensive schools or the ordinary schools, why? Is it to conform to the pattern of society - please listen, find out - and become technicians in order to use what we know skilfully? Right? And earn a livelihood. That is one part of survival in a particular given society or culture. Right, that is part of that education. Which is, in a world that is becoming more and more over populated there must be more and more skilled people to do all kinds of things. And one is being educated to conform to that pattern. That's one side of it. And also in learning, what is taking place to the mind? In learning, acquiring information, learning a technique as a lawyer, business man, as a politician, as anything, learning a technique, what is happening to the whole structure of the brain, of the mind?

Q: It seems that it becomes fixed, or frozen.

K: Mustn't you have that?

Q: Yes, technically.

K: Technically you must have it. So what is the function of learning? You follow the question? I am a student, been to college and university, and I have acquired certain information, knowledge, stored up in memory and I use that memory skilfully in any job that I have to do, I specialize in whatever job, as a foreman, a labourer, whatever it is, as a lawyer, politician, a doctor and so on.

Q: The aspect of the brain is sharpened by functioning.

K: Yes, what takes place? Is that all my life? Is that all one's life? Are we educated in any other direction? You follow my question? We spend twenty or thirty years in acquiring a particular technological activity, learn all about it and disregard or neglect the totality of life. Right? Now we say, is that learning? When you emphasize one part of life, one segment of life, and learn all about it - how to earn bread and butter, to put it very simply - the other part totally disregard. That's what is happening. They don't disregard it but train you in certain beliefs, and dogmas - I am a Catholic, I am a Protestant, and all the rest of it. So is this education?

Q: No.

K: No, don't say, no. This is actually what is happening. If you had a son, if one had a son what is one to do in a world of this kind? You don't face the problem. You have children, if you educate them in only one area, small area of life and disregard the rest of it, you must have neurotic behaviour. Right? A life that is broken up, fragmented - no?

So then, what is learning and what is education when we think our children should be educated totally, all round? You have understood my question? I want him to understand not only technological things that he must know but also I want him to know beauty, I want him to know what his relationship is with nature, what his relationship is with human beings, what is death, what is love - you follow? - I want him to know the whole area of life. And no school teaches that. And therefore our problem becomes more and more complex because we don't know how to live but we only know the technological field. So what shall we do? So we have produced, our parents, grandparents, you and we, have produced a society, a culture, that says, learn that part, that segment of life, disregard the rest. What shall we do?

Q: Can a human being be educated in any other aspects besides technology?

K: Can there be education in the other areas of life. What do you mean by education? To be told, to be given information about the other areas of life? The psychologists are doing it, the anthropologists are doing it, the philosophers, so-called philosophers are doing it - is that what we call learning?

Q: Can education teach people how to learn and then apply?

K: We said that, sir, learn.

Q: Teach you how to learn, not to teach you facts, should not education teach you how to learn.

K: How to learn. That's what we are asking, how to learn. What does it mean, learning? I know we have to have facts about learning, I must learn how to drive a car from another, how to do this and so on. But can I know about myself, the vast area, from another? Please, this is a very important question. Can I learn - please - about not the technological area but the other areas of life from another, from the guru, from the psychologist, from the anthropologist, from all the Freuds and you know, can I learn from another?

Q: Perhaps the artist can help in that direction.

K: The artist. That means, can anybody help me to learn about myself? Come down to brass tacks - go on.

Q: I must first see that all of my education has been one of the accumulation of knowledge which has been passed down to me.

K: Yes, sir.

Q: If my education has been that then I should have learned about myself already, and I haven't, from another.

K: I am asking a much more serious question, sir, if you don't mind, do listen: I can learn medicine, doctors, surgery, how to drive a car and so on, the technology of all that, from another. Right? Can I learn about myself from Freud?

Q: No.

K: From psychologists? From gurus? From philosophers?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Please, just find out. If I learn from another, from a psychologist, am I learning about myself, or his interpretation about myself? You understand?

Q: He may point the direction so that you can look at yourself.

K: No, do try it, sir. I tell you to look at yourself in this way, in a particular way, and you try to follow my instructions about yourself. Does it mean then that you have learnt about yourself? Oh, this is such a simple question. Or must I learn how to look, not from another but learn what it means to look?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: First of all, sir, look: I am a human being, one is a human being, totally related to the rest of other human beings in the world. That's a fact. I am not an isolated entity, I am related to the rest of the world. And I can learn about myself by reading the book which is me, because I am the world. If I can read that book I don't have to go to anybody. Right? So how am I to learn to look at myself, which is the vast area which traditional education doesn't explore, traditional education doesn't help me. I wonder if you are getting all this. Are you following all this?

Q: Don't you have to have desire to learn first?

K: Mustn't one have the desire to learn. Do you have the desire to learn about yourself now, here? Would you be a little bit honest, if I may say so, and say, have you the desire, as the lady points out, to learn about yourself, not according to Freud, Jung, the latest psychologist, to learn about yourself because you are the world and the world is you, you are a human being totally related to all the rest of other human beings in the world, whether you like it or not. If you have a desire to learn, or the necessity, or the urgency and you see the importance of learning about yourself because if you don't know about yourself what can you know about life?

Q: Does the image of ourselves prevent us from looking at ourselves?

K: We are going to find out, we are going to find out how to look at ourselves, learn about ourselves.

Q: What is our reaction to stimulus around us?

K: My question, sir, as the lady put it, do we have the desire, or the urgency, or the necessity to see the importance that we must learn about ourselves? Do we have that urgency, or you just say, tell me all about it and I will take what parts I like and neglect what I don't like?

Q: It depends on how serious one is.

K: I am asking a very simple question.

Q: When you are confused you realize that we have that problem but we forget it. We are confused, we make mistakes, we don't know what's going on, then we have serious concern but most of the time we forget about it.

K: Look, I want to know about myself, so I must learn about myself, so I must find out what it means to learn. Right? And what it means to observe. There are two things involved in it: what it means to learn and what it means to observe. Or put it the other way round: what it means to observe and what it means through observation learning. May we go on from there? What does it mean to observe oneself? You understand, this vast area which has been neglected, which we have taken for granted, which is crowded with a lot of beliefs, prejudices, dogmas, and so on, I want to learn all about that. So I say, before I learn I must look. Right? Now how am I to look, what does it mean to look, the art of looking? You understand? The word `art' means to put everything in the right place, where it belongs, that's the meaning of that word art. The artist is one - please listen - not one who just paints pictures or write a poem - an artist is one who puts everything in its right place. So you are giving a new meaning to art, to an artist. You follow?

So the art of observation, what does it mean? How do I observe, not only myself, the world around me, the politicians, the businessman, the priest, the wife, the husband, the educator, you follow, how do I observe it?

Q: One must be receptive to what is actually there.

K: How do you observe things, sir? How do you look at that mountain?

Q: You look with your eyes, you see outside, but if you look with your mind, you look inwards.

K: We are coming to that. First how do you look at those mountains?

Q: You look with your eyes.

K: Of course, sir. You are sitting there with your eyes open and you see those mountains, that range of mountains. What is your reaction when you look at that?

Q: Silence.

Q: I would say you are not interested most of the time.

K: Sir, now you are looking at those mountains, what is your reaction?

Q: You are paying attention.

K: Out of that attention what is your reaction when you look at those?

Q: I don't think we ever have a reaction, at least very rarely, we are not even looking, I don't think.

K: That's it. Have you time to look at it? Do you, sitting there, say, wait I am going to look at those mountains and find out what my reactions are, what I see and use words by which you express that which you feel, which is a dialogue. What takes place when you look at those mountains? There is visual sensation, there is visual perception, there is sensation, isn't there. Then what takes place?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Do look, sir, don't.

Q: You name it.

K: You name it. You say, that's a mountain. Right?

Q: The reaction would seem to pass.

K: Yes, sir, I know.

Q: Then you start working on it.

Q: You forget about it.

K: Look, sir, may I go into it? You look at that mountain, you see it, there is the reaction of beauty, the shadow, the depth, the line of it, the valleys and you say, that's a mountain. You verbalize it. Then, it is beautiful. Right? So when you are verbalizing it you have gone away from looking. Right? Oh, do please.

Q: We experience it.

K: Experiencing what? You are experiencing the mountain?

Q: No, our reaction to the mountain.

K: I give up!

Q: When I look at the mountain I see everything, but I don't judge what I see.

K: You just observe, don't you. In that observation when there is verbalization you have already moved away from observation, haven't you? This is so simple, isn't it? So can you observe without verbalizing, just to observe without naming? Now can you look at yourself, observe yourself without saying, good, bad, get depressed, just to observe.

Q: That's so much harder.

K: Don't make it hard or easy. Just do it! Please, this is not group therapy. I have a horror of group therapy, it is silly. So, please, this is not group therapy. What we are trying to find out is the art of learning. The art of observing - can I observe the tree, the things about me, around me, the act of politicians, what is going on in the world, observe there, and observe myself, see actually what I am without any interpretation, without judgement, just to look at myself. Which is, art means, as we explained, to put everything where it belongs, in its right place. So I look at myself, myself which is the complex structure of my human activity. You follow? My ambitions, my greed, my envy, my deceits, my arrogance, my double talk, at everything, I look. My tradition which says, there is god, and my tradition also says, there is no god. One part of me says, the whole ritual of churches and so on is nonsense, another part is frightened if I say that out, I might lose my job or I might get into difficulties. One part of me says, I must take drugs because everybody is doing it and they say you get experience, the most extraordinary things, and the other part says, don't be silly. And so on and on and on. Can I look at all these various complex activities in myself? Probably one never has done it. Right?

So what am I to do? What is there to learn? You are following? You haven't gone to sleep? Is this all too much of a morning, on a lovely morning?

Q: How does one know what the right place is?

K: How does one know which is the right place. That's a good question, isn't it? How is one to know to put things in their right place? He has asked me that question, I'll show you. I don't know. Wait. He asked me a question, how do you put everything where it belongs, correct, accurate place, he asked me that. And I say, I don't know. Please listen. I don't know but I am going to find out. You understand? I don't say, this is the right place, that's the wrong place, so my mind is free to find out, so I don't accept tradition, which is the right place, I don't follow the authority which tells me which is the right place. You follow? So I say, I don't know. So I begin to observe. I see there is a contradiction in oneself. Right? Now why is there a contradiction in oneself? As long as there is a contradiction you cannot find the right place, can you? Do please see a very simple fact like this. I don't know but I do know that I am in conflict. Right? So I say, as long as I am in conflict I will never know what is the right place. So I must find out why I am in conflict, what is conflict. And if the mind can ever be free from conflict, then I will put everything in the right place. You have understood? Because I said, I don't know - which is a fact - but I do know I am in conflict. And as long as I am in conflict there is no right place. Right? So what is conflict? Because that becomes much more important that what is the right place. Why is a human being in conflict? Because he is divided in himself, contradictory. Right? Now why is there contradiction? Are you enquiring with me or are you just listening? Why is there conflict?

Q: You are in conflict when you don't trust your feelings.

K: Your feelings also may be contradictory. I want one thing and I don't want another thing, my feeling says, eat more, and my mind says, don't eat more. So feelings can't be trusted.

Q: Intuition.

K: You haven't understood what I said. Intuition, that's one of the most dangerous things, isn't it?

Q: I am in conflict when I am dividing `what is' from `what should be'.

K: That's right. But we are educated, trained to `what should be', so there is a contradiction. So as long as there is a contradiction I will not know what is the right thing to do. So I am in contradiction, therefore one is in contradiction. What is that, what is contradiction? Is it two opposing desires? Or opposing objects of desire? Or being uncertain I say one thing, and do another? You are following all this? So I say to myself, why does one live in contradiction. Why doesn't one live with `what is', not with `what should be', which is a contradiction. Why can't I live with actually `what is'? Do look at it. One is envious, live with it, not have the opposite - I mustn't be envious, it is immoral to be envious, or it is rational to be envious - live with it. We don't live with it because we don't know what to do with it. You understand? If you knew what to do with it then the opposite wouldn't exist. Have you understood?

Q: If you have a habit you can't learn about it if you are trying to change it - yes?

K: Look at it. If I have a habit, say of scratching myself, or twisting my fingers, something or other, look at it, be aware with all your senses, don't say, `I must not do that', that brings a conflict, that's a duality, that means conflict. Wait a minute. So we come to it, slowly we are learning, it is coming. Which is, as we do not know how to live with envy, what to do with it, we think we should get rid of it, or do something about it if we move away from it. Which is, not to be envious, the ideal of a human being who is not envious, who doesn't have any envy, that must be a marvellous state. So you move away from `what is', from the fact of envy. Right? When you move away from the fact of envy what takes place, when you don't move away what takes place?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Do look at it, do look at it. You remember yesterday we were talking about the scientists are saying, some of them at least I have been told, that when you look at a cell through a microscope, as you are observing it is undergoing a transformation. Now we are saying, as you observe envy without its opposite - you understand - without trying to avoid it, rationalize it, just to look at it, the very process of observation is transforming the envy totally. Listen to it carefully, you will get it in a minute. That is - we'll keep to envy - when we have that feeling of envy we either rationalize it, justify it or condemn it. Right? Which is a division, isn't it. In that there is a conflict: the observer says, I must not be envious, the observer says, why shouldn't I be envious, in a world that is full of envy if I am not envious I will be destroyed. Or he avoids it. And so the observer says, I must do something about it. So there is a division between the observer and the fact of envy. When you look at the microscope without the observer, you understand, then that which is envious undergoes a radical change. And I'll show you why. Don't accept what I am saying, I am not your authority, I am not your guru, for god's sake. It undergoes a change because justification, condemnation or rationalization is a wastage of energy. Right? And when you don't waste that energy through that you have that energy, that energy transforms the fact of envy.

Look: I have a habit, twisting my fingers, you know most people have it, they can't keep still, they are doing something or other. Look at it, don't rationalize it, don't say, well other people do it, why shouldn't I do it - just watch it. Which means you are not wasting your energy by saying, other people do it, why shouldn't I do it, I have been used to that, let it go. But when you don't waste all that energy in rationalization, justification and so on, you have all that energy. Right? Then observe with that energy the twisting of the fingers. I wonder if you get it, if you don't it's up to you. Let's get on with it.

Q: The energy of habit is one thing, and the energy of observation is another. But the two energies are not different, are they?

K: They are the same, of course.

Q: It's not just the feeling that they are different.

K: Wait, let's keep to simple things. If you have understood this thing, this principle, that when you rationalize, justify or condemn you are wasting energy, the energy that is needed to observe `what is'. Whether it is any kind of feeling, any kind of reaction, any kind of prejudice and so on.

Q: A man's action is if you are envious you want to say harsh words, he wants to...

K: Wait, I know all that, but extend a little bit.

Q: This is what I mean.

Q: How does one look at envy?

K: Aren't you envious? Aren't you? Everybody becomes silent. Aren't you envious, can't you look at it, know the feeling of it? Envy means comparison, doesn't it. I compare myself with you who are more intelligent, more bright, more clever and all the rest of it, taller, beautiful, and all that. I compare myself with you. So where there is comparison there must be envy. In that envy there is imitation, the desire to conform to the pattern. Right? All that is implied in being envious. Now you mean to say you can't look at it? Can't you look at the feeling of envy as it arises? Of course you can.

Q: What about judgement?

K: Just look at it. It is a wrong question to ask, how am I not to judge it. But you have been used to judging and therefore you say, how am I not to do it. If I tell you how not to do it then your old tradition and the new tradition will be in battle. I wonder if you see all this. Whereas if you say, look, I am envious, I am going to watch it, I am going to see if I am comparing myself with anybody. And we are educated to compare ourselves: I am poor, you are rich, both physically and psychologically and I am envious of you because I want to be rich like you. You mean to say you can't know the feelings that arise as they come up? Can't you watch that?

Q: If envy says, I don't want to sit here and be watched, I want to go and express myself?

K: Go ahead and do it.

Q: It won't sit still for you to watch it.

K: Go ahead and do it. Be caught by it. That's what we are all doing.

Q: How is it the same energy that can observe and also that justifies?

K: When I twist my fingers, twiddle my fingers, isn't that energy? When I condemn it, isn't that part of that same energy?

Q: I don't see how that is the same energy.

K: Ah, no. I am afraid you have not understood what I said. I am envious. Envy implies comparison, measurement, imitation, conformity. Right? All those are implied in envy. And most human beings are envious, almost everybody. And am I envious, I want to find out. Of course one is. Right? Are you following this, is this clear madam? Now can you watch it? Are you watching it with the feeling of condemnation, with the feeling of judgement, or just watching it? Because condemnation, justification, rationalization are a wastage of energy, the energy which is needed to focus all your attention on `what is' which is envy. Because when you condemn, justify, rationalize, it is the observer, the past which says, condemn, the past says, judge, the past says, it's quite all right. So the past which is also energy, when you don't waste that energy you have that energy to observe. Understood now?

Q: Is that different from the past?

K: Yes, totally different from the past.

Q: Sir, are you saying that one is that energy, the habit, the envy?

K: Of course.

Q: Consciousness is that. I mean it is absurd to say you are the energy.

K: You haven't understood it, sir, let's find out. When you think, you are using energy, aren't you? When you feel, that's a form of energy. When you get angry, envious, afraid, that's all energy, isn't it? Envy, jealousy, anger is you and so on. That whole complex structure is you, which means you, the past.

Q: Sir, when you look at envy and see that you are envious, then you also see you are judging envy. Will that energy of observing the fact that you are judging the fact that you are envious, will that energy transform the judgement?

K: You see you are still judging. For the love of Pete! Why do we judge? Which means you have a preconceived opinion, a prejudice - no? When you look at a picture in a museum, you just judge it, don't you. You judge it by saying, it is by so-and-so, he is already famous, already known, he must be a very good painter and therefore I like it, or I don't like it. You are judging already. You have formed an opinion, your brain is forming opinions all the time, it is part of your education, part of your tradition to judge. No? So you never look. If it is by Picasso, you say, my god, it is such a marvellous painter - it is already finished. Van Gogh or this or that. So you prevent yourself from looking.

Q: Thought creates the image and through the image I understand. How can I understand without the image?

K: Thought creates an image, image being prejudice. Right? Image being a conclusion. How can I look without a conclusion, without an opinion, without a judgement? You see how we are trained, educated, conditioned to operate always with judgement, opinions. And that you call freedom.

Q: If I pick that up I have to analyse the colour, analyse the size.

K: But can you just look at it without analysing?

Q: That's why I can't see envy because I can't even see the mountains.

K: That's just it, sir. So carry on now. From there, we said learning. We have only learnt about a very small part of existence, the technological existence, and the rest we do not learn about. And we say, how am I to learn about it. By observing it, looking at it myself, which is the world and the world is me, looking at this world which is me without any judgement. Right? Can you do it? As that gentleman pointed out, the parents turn you out because you do something, they are judging you, they are pushing you out of the house, they destroy your affection, the bitterness, and all the rest of it follows.

So there is a vast field, a complex area in the human mind which has not been explored. They have explored it, the psychologists, anthropologists and others have explored it theoretically, or experimented with animals, gone down to Africa and looked at the gorillas and say, by studying those I will learn about myself. Don't laugh, this is what is happening. You don't have to go to India, or to a Zen monastery to learn about yourself, you can learn about yourself where you are because that is your world. So don't waste money on going to Africa. So this is your world in which you live, with your neighbour, with your wife, with your husband and so on. The small micro world is the large world if one knows how to look at that small little world.

So learning implies when you look at yourself you can learn about yourself only when the accumulated experience doesn't interfere with the actual observation at the moment of `what is'. Have you understood that? Listen. I look at myself, myself is constantly moving, it isn't static. Right? Have you noticed it? One moment it is peaceful, the next moment it is angry, the third moment it is pursuing some pleasure, it is constantly in action, movement. And I have learnt by looking at myself something about it. Right? That becomes an experience, that becomes the knowledge, with which knowledge I look the next time. See what has happened. I look at the present movement with the past knowledge, therefore I never look. You have understood this? So can I look at the present movement without the past experience impinging upon it? I wonder if you follow all this.

Q: I ask myself the question, can I look without the past knowledge, but I am the past knowledge.

K: Yes, so can you look at yourself without the observer who is the past?

Q: It has to be in the present, it is the only way.

K: Now, what does that mean, you have to be in the present?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Just listen to that question, he says, I have to be in the present, what does that mean?

Q: You have to forget the past.

K: What does it mean to be in the present?

Q: You have to observe what is going on.

K: Can you observe without the past?

Q: It will be there.

K: Do it, sir, do it. Find out.

Q: I can see the past pop up. I can see in the present the past coming forward.

K: Sir, be very simple. Look: I flatter you, or I insult you. That is registered in your memory. Right? Now the next time I meet you can you forget those insults or the flattery and look at me? That is the present, isn't it.

Q: Sir, you asked a question, can you watch yourself without the past. Which is the same thing as saying, can you watch yourself without you.

K: That's right.

Q: And I don't understand that.

K: You are the past, aren't you? Your accumulated memories, experiences, knowledge, interests, all in the past, knowledge is the past. Knowledge is the past. Right? Sir, look: I read the Bible and it says, or some book says, god is will - I like that idea, I think it is marvellous and that becomes a prejudice, doesn't it. Whether it is reality, whether it has any truth in it, it doesn't matter, it appeals to me, that god is looking after me. Right? So I get a fixed idea, I am that fixed idea. And I live with that idea for many years, and you come along and say, `Don't be silly, that's a prejudice'. And you say, `I can't get rid of it'. Right? `It is so part of me'. Of course it is part of you. He says, don't get rid of it but look at it, observe it, don't fight it.

Q: It's observation, sheer observation with no past affecting the state of observation. What happens to the observer and the object observed?

K: That's just what I am saying, sir. What happens when the past doesn't interfere with the thing observed. Right, sir? What happens to the thing observed and what happens to the observer? Wait. Are you answering him?

Q: You asked a question. You don't exist any more.

K: You see this is all guess work. He asked a question, which is, what happens to the thing observed and to the observer when the past is not. Right, sir, that was the question? What is the observer? Is he not the past? Which is his experience, his prejudice, his knowledge. The observer in essence is the past.

Q: There is observation then.

K: There is only observation. Then that which is observed undergoes a radical transformation. I wish you would do it and find out.

Q: Anybody doing it besides yourself?

Q: Yes.

K: Sir, look, there is something I want to find out, which is, I want to find out if there is a way of living without conflict, right through my life, not just for a few minutes. Right? Because if there is conflict there is violence, there are all kinds of things that come out of that conflict: violence, bitterness, anger, hatred, throwing bombs, terrorism, brutality, comes out of that conflict. No civilization, no culture, can exist in conflict, as the modern world is living, the culture, it is destroying itself. So as a human being related to the world, I say, is it possible to live without a single conflict? Have you ever asked that question? Have you really? Not only between you and me, my wife, without a shadow of conflict in oneself. After having asked that question, I have gone into it because it is a very important for a human being to find out, otherwise he is going to destroy humanity. You understand? I don't think you see the importance of this. You see the conflict between the Arab and the Jew is going to destroy them, isn't it? No? Between the Muslim and the Hindu, that is going to destroy them; the communist and the capitalist, they are going to destroy each other; the Catholic, the Protestant - you follow? And conflict in oneself. As a human being living in this chaos, in this conflicting, mad, insane world you must find out.

So can a human being live in this modern culture, which is no culture, in this modern culture without a single conflict in himself? He can, if one goes into it very seriously you will find out. That is, conflict exists as long as there is fragmentation in oneself. Right? And this fragment is between the observer and the observed. Do you see it? As long as there is a division between the observer and the observed there must be conflict. I am a Jew, you are an Arab, or I want opposing contradictory desires. You follow all this?

Q: If we destroy each other there won't be the problem.

K: If we destroy each other there will be no problem - is that what you are saying?

Q: Not necessarily. If the Jew and the Arab eliminate Judaism and Arab-ism, the conflict, then there is no object and no subject.

Q: It seems that our divine wholeness is covered over by the illusions of self and other things, fragments.

K: How do you know you are covered over by divine intelligence?

Q: I don't. I didn't say I was covered over by divine intelligence; I said, if my divine wholeness is.

K: How do you know you are a divine whole?

Q: I am not a divine whole, I have experienced that there is a wholeness, which gets covered over by the fragments that we examined this weekend, fragments of self and other things. And you were saying that these divisions are fragments and not the discovery of the wholeness.

K: Sir, just take, `what is', don't let's imagine that we are perfect, just take actually what is going on outside of us and inside, actually.

Q: A life without conflict, without sorrow, without pain, isn't that a statement of perfection?

K: It is not a statement of perfection. Human beings suffer, one asks is there an end to sorrow. But it doesn't mean one wants to live a perfect life, I don't know what a perfect life is. We are moving away from something.

I have asked, is there a way of living in this culture, in this world, in your daily life, in which there is no conflict. We said as long as there is a division, outwardly, like the Arab, Jew, the Muslim, the Hindu, Communist and so on, as long as there is outward division there must be conflict, and as long as there is inward division there must be conflict. Right? The outward division we have created. Right? I am a Jew, or an Arab, and I won't give up my prejudice, my culture, my etcetera, I stick to my prejudice. You follow? So inwardly there is division as the observer and the observed. But the observer is the observed. If you see that once, the truth of it, then all conflict ends, then you won't be fighting that which is observed.

Q: After you have eliminated the conflict does the division remain?

K: No, of course not. How can it remain?

Q: There is no division, there is wholeness?

K: Don't go beyond, that's just an idea, find out what it means to live wholly. The word `whole' means healthy physically, sane, sanity, to think clearly, objectively, rationally, and holy, sacred. The word `whole' means all that.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Sir, I made it fairly clear.

Q: We can't be holy all the time you have to live.

K: What time is it?

Q: Twelve thirty.

K: We meet again on Thursday.


Ojai 1976

Ojai 1st Public Dialogue 6th April 1976

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