Ojai 1st Public Talk 2nd April 1977
I don't quite know how to begin these talks. As there are going to be six talks and seven discussions, I'd like to point out, if I may, that we are going to think over together our problems, we're going to use reason, clear thinking, and not any kind of assertive beliefs, opinions, judgements, or any form of conclusion. And therefore it becomes rather serious. It is not an entertainment, a morning off or an afternoon, Saturday and Sunday, but rather a serious gathering to consider very deeply the many human conflicts, problems, sorrows, pleasures, fears, and the nature of meditation and so on. We're going to go into all these talks, into all these matters.
But first I'd like to point out, if I may, the speaker is not trying to convince you of anything. Please believe it. He's not persuading you to think along his particular line. Again, please believe it. He's not offering a particular set of ideologies, nor beliefs, nor conclusions, because these have separated the world, human beings, one against the other. So we're not in any way concerned with any of those matters, neither belief, conclusion, opinions or judgements. But we are going together, and we mean together, you and the speaker, carefully, objectively, to look what is happening around us, not romantically, not sentimentally, but just to observe, without any conclusion, without offering any opinion, but just to look and reason together, think over together. And I think it's very important to understand that word 'together'. Most of us are accustomed to go to meetings or gatherings of this kind, either to accept what the speaker is saying or to reject, one opinion or one idea against another. Or persuade you through clever argumentation to follow or accept what he's saying. And therefore we are thinking together over these problems, sharing together. And this is really very important to understand, if I may go on with it, because one is apt to listen as though somebody was talking out these, and you're casually accepting or denying.
So it seems to me, that's your responsibility, responsibility being that you undertake seriously, to think together, to find out the accurate, true solutions to these problems, that we human beings are tormented with. So it behoves, on the part of each one of us, that reasoning, the capacity to think logically, sanely, wholly, becomes very important. We're apt to think anything that is the product of reason, clear thinking is too intellectual, and therefore not for each one of us. But on the contrary, I feel if we can think, observe, reason together, putting aside our personal conclusions, opinions, evaluations, what we like and what we don't like, what we're attracted to and so on, if we can put aside all those things, and able to think together, deeply, sanely, that is, objectively, wholly, then I think we shall be able to deeply transform ourselves. Because, when one goes round the world, as the speaker does, from India, Europe, and here, one sees great sorrow, wars, violence, all kinds of stupidities, terrorism, killing, drugs. You know what is happening as well as I do. And we are accepting these as though they are inevitable. And as most of us are traditionally minded, we naturally and easily put up with these things. Or we revolt against them. But revolt is a reaction, like Communism is a reaction to Capitalism, or Fascism.
So, without revolt, without going against something, and forming our own little group or communes, or following a particular guru or another guru, from India or from this country, and they are bursting like mushrooms all over the world, these gurus, unfortunately. But if we could, without accepting any kind of authority, because in spiritual matters there is no authority, there is no guru, there is no priest, there are no sanctions. And this is very important to understand if we are going to go together, investigating into all these problems that we human beings have had, centuries upon centuries, generation after generation. So first, if one may point out, there is no authority here, we are friends, two friends talking over together our conflicts, our uncertainties, our travail, the things that we human beings go through in our life, and end in death, without understanding what it is all about, or committed to a particular action, thinking that will solve all our human conflicts and miseries and fears.
When that is clearly and definitely understood, that there is no authority, the speaker has no authority whatsoever, though he may be sitting on a platform, because that's merely for convenience, so that we can all see each other. But a little height doesn't give him any authority. And so don't put him into authority, place him into, give him authority. And I really mean this, because in psychological matters, which we are going to investigate very deeply together, there is no authority, whether it is the European psychologists or the modern psychologists or the gurus or the books, or the saviours, ancient or modern, in that field of psychology to accept authority is to deny clarity, clear thinking, logic, and to be sane, and therefore whole. The word 'whole' implies having good health, having sanity, and also it implies h-o-l-y, holy. So when we use the word 'whole', holistic, it implies all that, health, sanity, clarity, and that which is holy, complete. So, as we were saying, in the psychological field, as there is no authority, we are putting aside all that people have told us, if we can, which is very difficult, and examine, step by step, again, if we can, into the enormous problem of existence, our daily living.
Psychologically, inwardly, we human beings, wherever we are, are the world - psychologically. The world is us, the world is me and I am the world. And that is a psychological, absolute fact, though you may have white skin, brown skin or black skin or whatever it is outwardly, affluent, rich, prosperous, many cars, all the rest of it. Or you may be very poor. But inwardly, deep down, we're all the same, we suffer, we're lonely, we're in sorrow, conflict, misery, confusion, depending on somebody to tell us what to do, how to think, what to think. We are slaves to propaganda, from the various churches and various religions, sects - that's what's happening all over the world, not only politically, by the experts, by the governments and so on, but inwardly, deep down we are slaves to propaganda, we are conditioned human beings, whether we live in India, in America or here.
I hope that one realizes that, not intellectually, not verbally because that has very little meaning, but actually see the fact of it, that you living in America, with all the riches, marvellous country, crazy people, drug-minded, you know, all that's happening in this country, the violence, the brutality, the divisive communes, based on their beliefs and so on. But when you sweep all that aside, put all that aside, whether here or in India or in Europe, we go through the same mill of misfortune, uncertainty, deep sorrow. So we are actually, psychologically, the world, and the world is you. Once you realize this fact, not verbally, not ideologically or as a statement of fact, but actually, deeply feel the fact, realize the fact, that you are not different from the other, however far away he is, inwardly, because he suffers enormously, he's terribly frightened, uncertain, insecure, both psysiologically as well as psychologically.
And when you realize that, and in examination of that realization you're not concerned with your little self, you're concerned with the total human being. You understand this? With the total humanity, which is you, because you are the world. So when we are talking about these matters, we are concerned with the human being, not with Mr X or Y or somebody else, because he is the total psychological entity as a human being, wherever he lives. I hope this is clear. This is factual. You may be conditioned in a particular way, you may be Catholic, a Protestant, god knows what else you are, Baptists and, you know, Jesus-minded - you're conditioned. And in India, which is the same, they are conditioned by thousands of years of certain kinds of beliefs, superstitions, ideas, gods and all the rest of it. But below that conditioning, in the depth of their human mind, when they're alone, when they are facing life, there is sorrow, there is pain, there is grief, there is anxiety.
So you are the world and the world is you. And when one sees that as an actual irrevocable fact, then you begin to think entirely differently, then you begin to observe, not personal, as a personal individual having troubles and anxieties, but the whole entire humanity is having it. Then it gives you an extraordinary strength. I don't know if you follow all this. It gives you extraordinary vitality, then you are not alone, you are the entire history of mankind, if you know how to read that book which is you.
And that's what we are going to do, we're going to read together the history of mankind, enshrined in you, as a human being. This is not rhetoric, this is not a verbal explosion, but a serious factor we're deeply concerned with, a fact which we deny, because we think we are so individualistic, we are so concerned with ourselves, with our petty little problems, with our little gurus, with our little beliefs, but when you realize an extraordinary fact, then either it gives you tremendous strength, a great urgency to investigate and transform oneself because you are mankind. And when there is such transformation, you affect the whole consciousness of man. I don't know if you realize this. You actually affect the whole consciousness of man because you are the entire humanity, and when you change fundamentally, deeply, when there is psychological revolution in you, then naturally as you are part of that consciousness of a human being, which is the rest of the humanity, the consciousness of the world is affected. You see the reason of it, the logic of it. Your consciousness is affected by the various prophets, the various warmongers, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, you know, all those people have affected mankind, but we're not aware of it.
And what we're going to do together, during these talks, is to penetrate the layers of our consciousness, and investigate whether it is possible to transform the content of our consciousness and out of that a different dimension of energy and clarity may come into being. That's what we're concerned with, and therefore it's a serious matter, not to be played with. If you're not interested, if you are not serious, don't waste your time coming here, it's a waste of your energy, and I really mean it, because this is very, very serious, and it is voluntary, not a thing that you are persuaded or rewarded - because our conditioning is reward and punishment. But in investigating our consciousness, which is the entire consciousness of mankind, we are delving into ourselves, and from there discover, come up on what is truth.
Having laid that, said all that, which is necessary, which is probably one of the most important things, which is the first step and therefore the last step, let us begin by investigating what human beings demand, what human beings basically, fundamentally, inwardly demand, ask. Which is, what is it that as a human being who is the representative of the world, and therefore he is the world, psychologically, what is the most, innermost demand of such a human being. Don't answer me, please - this is a question we are put so that we can think about it together.
Most human beings in one part of their consciousness, want to find both biological, physiological, as well as psychological security. You must have food, clothes and shelter. That's an absolute necessity. But also we want, we demand, we crave, we search for psychological security. To be psychologically certain about everything. Look into yourself, observe, use the speaker, if I may point out, as a mirror. The words which he's using are merely description, but the description is not the described. Right? Therefore you are looking at yourself and finding out what is the innermost demand that you want, that human beings want. And this whole struggle in the world, both psychologically as well as psysiologically, is to find security. No? The word 'security' means to be secure, your physical permanency, physically to be well, physically to continue, advance, grow, whatever it is; and psychologically, inwardly to find security, to find something that is permanent, because everything, psychologically, if you observe very carefully, is very impermanent. Your relationships, psychologically, are terribly uncertain. You may be temporarily secure in your relationship with another, man, woman, all the rest of it, temporarily. But that very temporary security is a danger of it being, becoming completely insecure.
Do please examine it, don't accept it, we are thinking over together, we are reasoning. To see the logic, the reason, the sanity of it, not because the speaker asserts it, not because he has some beastly reputation, because all those things are irrelevant when you are really going into something very, very serious.
So one asks, is there any security, psychologically, at all? That is, one seeks psychological security in the family. We'll go step by step into it - in the family, the family being the wife, the children. There you try to find in the wife, a relationship that will be secure, lasting, permanent, permanent being relative, because there is always death. And not always finding it, there are divorces, quarrels and all the misery, jealousies, anger, hatred that goes on. You must be aware of all this, aren't you? And also one tries to find security in a community, with a group of people, with the communes, large or small. One tries to find security in the world, a nation. I'm an American, I'm a Hindu, that gives a tremendous sense of identity with a group, and therefore security. Do please, as we said, listen to it, not reject it. There may be reason behind it, or there might not, but a serious man examines it, doesn't reject or accept.
And so when you try to find security psychologically in a nation, and therefore that nation is different from another nation, naturally there is division, and where there is division between nations, in which you have invested psychologically your security, there are wars, there are economic pressures, divisions - that's what is actually going on in the world. Right?
And if you seek security in ideologies - Communist ideology, the Capitalist ideology, religious ideology, conclusions, images, crosses and all the rest of it all over the world - again there is division. You believe in one set of ideals which you like, which give you comfort, in which you seek security, with a group of people who believe the same kind of nonsense. And another group believe another thing, and the same thing, people are divided. Religions have divided people. Right? The Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Muslims, you know, the Baptists, divide, again they are at each other, each believing something extraordinary, romantic, which is unrealistic, unreal, not factual.
So, seeing all this, not as a theory, not as something to be avoided or becoming supercilious or intellectual, or being attached emotionally, but seeing all this very clearly, one asks, is there psychological security at all. Right? You understand my question? And if there is no psychological security, then what is a human being? It becomes a chaos. Right? He loses his identity, because he's identified with America, he's identified with Jesus, he's identified with Buddha, he's identified with a nation and so on and so on, when reason, logic says how absurd all this is. Then does one go into despair or - please listen to this - or because you have observed the fallacy of these divisive processes, the unreality of these fictions, myths, fantasies which have no basis, and the very perception of that, is that not intelligence? Not the intelligence of a clever, cunning mind, not the intelligence of book knowledge, but the intelligence which comes out of clear observation. Right?
In that observation which brings about extraordinary intelligence, there is security, therefore that means that very intelligence is secure. No, please, you must have it, not agree with me and say, 'Yes, how extraordinary, I didn't think of that before,' but it must be part of you, it must be you that are finding it, not me that have found it and tell you and therefore you accept it or reject it. You see the difference?
As we said at the beginning, I'm not out to, the speaker is not out to convince you of anything - I'm not a propagandist - I don't want you to think as I think, because I don't think at all. And I mean it. We'll go into that later on, because that's an extraordinary fact, the capacity to observe without thought, therefore in that observation have a tremendous insight, and that insight is supreme intelligence, and that intelligence acts - which we'll go into, when we are discussing the whole structure and the nature of thought.
But as most of us will not let go, will not, are so frightened to let go and not finding security. You understand? I can let go, one can let go being a Catholic, Protestant, Communist, all the rest of that nonsense very easily. But when you do let go, when you cleanse yourself of all this, either you do it as a reaction, or you do it because you have observed intelligently, holistically, with great clarity, the absurdity, the fantasies, the make-believes. And because you observe without any distortion, because you're not out to get something from it, because you're not thinking in terms of punishment and reward, because you observe very clearly, then that very clarity of perception is intelligence. In that there is extraordinary security, not that you become secure, but intelligence is secure.
Are we meeting each other? Is there communication between each other? Or is it merely a verbal communication? Communication verbally is necessary, to use the correct word, and unfortunately in America the correct word is not being used - they use any old sloppy word and think they convey. But we're using correct words. And communication implies not only the usage and the comprehension on both sides, the meaning and the significance of the word correctly, but also it implies that we share, share what is being said, which is the responsibility of sharing, partaking together. So we are not merely communicating verbally, but also deeply sharing the fact: the fact being, the absolute fact, not relative fact, the absolute fact that there is no security in anything that man has invented, psychologically. All our religions are inventions, put together by thought. All our divisive endeavour, which come about when there are beliefs, dogmas, rituals, which is the whole substance of religion, when you see all this very clearly, not as an idea, but as a fact, then that very fact reveals the extraordinary quality of intelligence, in which there is complete, whole security. Right? I hope you see this fact of intelligence now, not tomorrow - don't go home and say, 'I'll think it over.' When you think it over tomorrow, you've already distorted it, but we are thinking together now, using our reason, our capacity to think clearly. So communication of the fact between you and the speaker is now, not eventually, not when it's convenient for you. Then you have lost time, you have wasted days and months. You don't do that when the house is on fire, you do, act.
So when you are concerned, as we are, I hope, all of us together, when you are concerned deeply with the transformation of man, because man must radically transform - when I use the word 'man' I am also including the woman, we are not talking about equal rights, women and men, the Women's Liberation, and all that. We are talking, when we say 'man', man - woman, so please forgive if I use that word 'man'. Don't write me letters, say, 'Why don't you also use woman'. As it has been done - which means they are not really listening, which means they are not, they are still thinking partially. We are thinking together holistically, as a whole, not you and I, separate human beings thinking together, we are looking at something together. You know, when you feel that we are doing something together there's a great deal of care, there's a great deal of attention, there's a great sense of sympathy, affection. And I'm using that word in all that sense together.
So in our consciousness, one of the factors is this demand and the search for psychological security. And when we are seeking psychological security in nations, in beliefs, in gurus, in books, in ideas and so on, in leaders, then because it brings about division, therefore physiologically there are divisions - Hindu, Buddhist, different nation, Englishman, American, Dutch, German, you know, division. And therefore when there is psychological attachment to a belief, to a nation, there is insecurity, physiologically. You understand, sir? Isn't that so? Isn't that a fact. When I'm attached to India - I'm not - when I'm attached to India and all that nonsense which represents India, just the image, the romanticism, you know, all that bilge - so when I'm attached to that, I separate myself from the rest of the world, psychologically, and therefore division invariably brings conflict. When there is division between man and woman - you understand? You are married, you've got all this misery in you. When there is division there must be conflict, inevitably, that's an absolute law. And this division is brought about by the attachment to psychological ideas. Therefore there is poverty, degradation, wars, terror in the world, the world is becoming a dangerous place to live.
So is it possible then for a human being, you, who are the world - please, that is the central issue in this matter - you are the world and the world is you. And the world out there and out here, inside, traditionally has been conditioned to be a fragment, a fragment - American fragment, Indian fragment and so on, Catholic fragment - therefore outwardly there is no peace. Right? And man cannot exist without peace, he cannot create, he cannot have affection, he cannot have compassion, love.
So part of this consciousness of man is the fact of the search and the demand and the attachment to a fragment, in which he hopes to find security. And to transform that fragment in which man has invested, hoping to find security, to completely transform that, can only come about when there is intelligence, intelligence which is perfection. I went into that. Right? Right, sir? Do you see it? And is there now, not tomorrow, when you go home and think about it - then you're lost - is there now, as you're sitting there, listening, using your reason, capacity, energy, affection, care, and attention, is there that transformation taking place? If not, you're not listening, you're not exercising your capacity to think clearly. Or you're caught in verbal images; or in a symbol to which you are attached, because if you let go that symbol you're frightened, and therefore you're lonely and all that begins. We'll discuss fear later on.
But as we are listening together, reasoning together, gathering our energies, is there that transformation, which is the freedom, complete freedom from trying to find security in a fragment. You understand? Is there freedom? Please ask it, demand it, because we're going to go into very complex matters - this is only just the beginning of it, because we're going to together go into this whole problem of what is consciousness, and the content of consciousness. Without the content there is no consciousness. Because part of the content of your consciousness, human consciousness, is this demand for security. Right? Security in god, which again is a word, a symbol, a belief, security in a nation, security in a group, security in a commune, security in the wife, the children, security in ideas, you know. That is part of our consciousness, that consciousness has been put together through millennia upon millennia, which we call evolution. A fragment cannot evolve, it will always remain a fragment. I wonder if you see this. A fragment cannot become the whole.
So part of our consciousness, which is the human consciousness of the world, a fragment of that consciousness is the demand and the search for psychological security. And that's one of the fragments of the content of our consciousness. Therefore the content makes for consciousness. See the truth of it, the reason of it. Part of one's consciousness says, 'I am an American, I am a Buddhist, I am this, I am that.' Or I've identified myself with something or other. And this identification is the demand or the desire to find security. That security either temporarily or permanently, there is no permanent security. And if there is temporary security, then that leads to havoc, as we pointed out.
So, can you, as you have listened for an hour, with your heart and mind, can you actually be aware of the fact that you're free of it? If you're not, either you haven't exercised your capacity to reason or to listen to somebody who says, 'Do please, for god's sake, look at this.' And you won't look. And if you don't look, nobody's going to persuade you, certainly not the speaker. Persuasion, propaganda, threats, offering rewards or punishment will never help you to look. If you look under compulsion it is distorted.
So can you, as a human being, after talking over together for an hour, see this extraordinary fact, and seeing the fact and the reality of it, free part of that consciousness of the fragment which is the demand, the search for security. Therefore the mind becomes extraordinarily awakened. You understand? It can then go into the problem of fear - which we will tomorrow and so on - into the enormous content of our consciousness. And ultimately the question is, can the content be completely emptied? You understand, sir? Emptied so that - empty, not something else. That means, reward.
So we'll stop today, if you don't mind, because we've talked for a hour, and to listen for an hour about serious things is quite difficult - probably you're not used to this kind of thing. I can go on but not you. So if you don't mind, we'll stop and meet again tomorrow morning.
Ojai 1st Public Talk 2nd April 1977
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