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Ojai 1977

Ojai 3rd Public Dialogue 12th April 1977

K: We are going to talk over together, as usual together, about education, this morning. But before we do that I would like to make an introduction about the whole K Foundations and their schools.

The speaker, K, has been concerned with education since 1925 - a long time. And he was concerned with education and he was responsible for choosing the sites in India. There is one school in the north, near Benares, which is four or five hundred miles from New Delhi, and there are about two hundred acres there on the river Ganga, the Ganges; and also there is a school in Rishi Valley, in south India, about one hundred and seventy miles from Madras, which is south India; and there are also two other schools, one in Madras itself, and one in Bombay. The one in Bombay which has been going on for twenty-five years is entirely and wholly for the poor people, very, very poor people, they have got one hundred and sixty students; and there is another school being brought into being near Bangalore. So there are five schools in India.

And there is a school, as perhaps some of you know, at Brockwood in Hampshire, England. That has been going on for nearly eight years. We have said we will limit it to sixty students, and there are only sixty students there. I believe there are about fourteen, I am not quite sure, nationalities there, from all over the world.

And this school here, we have been discussing with the teachers, with the parents, and with the architects for the last two years. This school here is entirely different from other schools in India and in England. Here the parents are involved in it, which is a new kind of experiment because if the children are going to be different the parents must also be different otherwise there is a contradiction between the children and the parents, and there will be conflict between them. So to avoid all that we thought it would be right that the parents as well as the teachers and the students work together as a family unit. So.

And with regard to the architecture here, we have been talking with some prominent architects for the last three years, or two years, I have forgotten now, and as Mr Mark Lee has pointed out, we are going to create it, not only a school but also a centre - which is going to happen in India, it is happening in England, and it must happen here, which is a centre where people can gather together for perhaps three weeks at a time to discuss, and be together, to be concerned with the problems and so on. That's the introduction.

So please the speaker is completely and totally involved in all the schools, in India, in England and here. These schools are not being created against his wishes, he is involved completely; and also with the centres. So having said that let us talk over together the question of education.

Q: If we as parents have not undergone a transformation then how can we bring about in our children such transformation?

K: I am going to go into that. Let me talk a few minutes first and then we will discuss the whole question.

I do not know why we educate our children. We have never asked, perhaps, what is the intention, what is the meaning of education. Is it to turn out so many engineers, technicians, academicians, professors, specialists, medically and otherwise? And apparently that is what is happening, the cultivation of memory about facts, technologically educated, so that human beings throughout the world can earn a livelihood, settle down in a particular pattern of society, and totally completely disregard the whole psychological structure of man. That is what is actually happening in the world: cultivate one fragment of the mind so that going through school, college and university, if one wants to, and learn sufficient information, facts, and act from that memory skilfully or not. That is the pattern set for man in education. Right? Do we agree to this? Please, not agree, do we see this together?

And the psychological factors of human beings, because they are so utterly neglected, so disregarded, never even thought about and gone into, has produced a society that is utterly lopsided, utterly fragmented. So if that is the education most of us want, and that is what our children are educated to, then we must inevitably face the fact of conflicts, wars, terrorism, and all the ugliness that is going on in the world. Again that is a fact.

So when we talk about education, what do we mean by it? Is it the cultivation, not only of knowledge, but also be concerned with the whole total man. You understand? The whole of man - or the woman; forgive me if I talk about man, in that is included woman. And if the cultivation, or the concern of education is not only the technical development of man, with considerable information and knowledge, but also include in education the understanding of the whole psychological structure - the two should go together, and not one ahead, or the other - so that man is a total human being, not a fragmented, broken being.

And also apparently through education as it is now, as knowledge is encouraged, is cultivated, many scientists, including some of the famous ones who have been talking on television in England and perhaps here also, that man can only ascend through knowledge. Do you understand? Ascend. Like Bronowsky and others are saying that man can climb, ascend, go forward only through the acquisition of knowledge. And these specialists, professors, experts, totally disregard the other field. And we all think in the Foundation that the two should go together, not one ahead of the other. So that education is concerned with the total cultivation, development, the whole of man. And to bring about that one needs not only teachers, or educators, who know a great deal about history and all the rest of it, but also are concerned with the other. Therefore one finds it terribly difficult to find such teachers. You understand? Who are really concerned with the total understanding of themselves and the children, the parents, as a unit, who are concerned with the whole of man. So that's one of our problems, to find proper teachers, who are really concerned with not only the deep inward cultivation, but also be excellent academically, the two marching together.

Then also one of the factors is, parents generally send their children to schools; day schools, state schools, free schools, private schools, residential schools and so on. They are not responsible for them. They feel as long as they are very young, up to perhaps five or six, they feel very responsible, after that let them go, throw them to the wolves. This has happened in India, and we have talked a great deal about it in India. And the parents for economic reasons, and also tremendous tradition of thousands of years want to say, 'You know better than we do about education, educate them, because we are much too occupied with our own lives'. So that is one of our problems: the parents are not totally responsible - in the sense we are using the word 'responsibility', which means being responsible, feeling the depth of their relationship to their children so that they themselves are educating themselves as well as the children, so that there is no contradiction, when they go home they don't find the parents totally in a different area, dimension. That's one of our difficulties.

The other difficulty is financial. Nobody wants to do this kind of work. They would rather send their children to private, public schools, because it is much safer - at least they think so. They think they will have a good job and all the rest of it.

So these are the many complex problems in real education. In the so-called education it is comparatively easy. I do not know if you were listening last night on the television, the President of Yale University, and a Californian university. As you listened to them, they are not concerned at all with the psychological unfoldment or freedom of man. They are concerned with that and not with the other.

So then we ask, what then is education? You understand? How is this to be brought about? What is the function of a teacher, the educator? What is his relationship to the student? And what is his relationship to the parent? You are following all this, I hope? Are we meeting each other?

Let's begin with what is the relationship of the educator with the student? What is his relationship to the student? The speaker, K, because when he goes to India he spends practically a month in each place at these schools, talking with the students, with the teachers, and all the whole school together, he knows a great deal, you know, we have been talking endlessly for last fifty-two years about education. So I am asking you, as parents, you, as educators, what is the relationship of an educator, the teacher, to the student. Is the relationship based on giving information from a status, as a teacher? You understand, status? He knows and the other fellow doesn't know, which is a fact, and so his relationship to the student is merely that of giving information, knowledge of a particular subject to the student. So he has really no relationship with the student. But when the educator comes, steps down from his platform, from his status, and begins to establish a relationship with the student, in the sense that the teacher is concerned not only with the technological knowledge, but with the whole psychological structure but also what kind of food he eats, what kind of clothes he wears, how he behaves, how he talks, how he eats, how he walks. Do you understand? All this is part of the relationship between the teacher and the student.

So there is no teacher separate from the taught. Am I making this clear? The teacher isn't merely the one who gives information, but the one who is so deeply concerned with the student, which means he is concerned with himself as well as with the student. That is, if I may explain a little more, if you will permit me. The student comes to the school conditioned. Right? Already conditioned, by the parents, by his friends, by the neighbour, and so on. He is conditioned. And the teacher is also conditioned. Right? Both the educator and the one to be educated are both conditioned. Right? So the responsibility of a good teacher is to explain to the student that we are both conditioned. Right? If he can explain it in different ways, it is comparatively easy, and say, 'I am conditioned as an educator, and so are you'. In talking over together, in discussing, having a dialogue with each other, when we are out for a walk and so on, explore this conditioning. You understand? So that it is a constant relationship with each other. I wonder if I am making something clear? We are trying this, please, in Brockwood and in India where one of the new Principals with whom we have been talking a great deal, we are trying this. So that there is no division psychologically between the teacher and the student. Which means the teacher cares for the student - cares in the profound sense of the word, you know, affection, all that. Am I making this clear somewhat, what we are trying to do, what we want to do, what we will do. If not it is not worth trying. You understand? Because there are millions of other schools.

So that's one of our problems. Not 'our' problem, it is a human problem. The other problem is: will the parent who is heavily conditioned, with his beliefs, with his ambitions, lack of time to be with the children, care for the children, and all the rest of it, and the mother too has very little time for them because in modern society both the parents, the father and the mother go out to earn more money to have more cars and more something else. So they have very little relationship with their children. So will the parents also be concerned with the total development of their children and of themselves, with the help of the teachers altogether. Do you understand the question? Are you following? Are we communicating with each other, somewhat?

And the other problem is: to relate history - I am taking that as an example - as a factual movement, to relate it so that the child, or the student understands the full meaning of history. You understand? If I am a teacher of history - god forbid, I am not a teacher of history - if I am a teacher of history, how am I to teach him the full meaning of history? You understand? The full significance of history, not the kings and the wars, and the dates of wars, you know what generally history is. But I want him to understand the story of man, which is history. Right? I wonder if we are meeting each other? The story of man, I want to tell him about that, not only the factual kings and queens, and the presidents and the wars and all the rest of it, but also I want him to see the extraordinary story of man who has grown, you follow, all that. How am I to teach him that? I don't know if you have ever thought about it. A few of us have already discussed this point here, the parents, and the educators. How is an educator to teach history, not of a particular country, of a particular group of people or a community, but the global history of man. Are we meeting each other?

If I was that teacher, educator, I would proceed this way: sorry! Because that student is the embodiment of total humanity. Right? Do you understand this? I wonder if you understand. We said in the talks here, the world is you, and you are the world. Right? That's an absolute truth to me. It may not be to you, but it is a complete, irrevocable, inviolable fact. And so is that student, he is the world and the world is him, because he is going to suffer, you know, go through all the mill and the travail of human beings, right throughout the world, so in him is the history of man. You understand what I am saying? Oh, come on! Do we understand this?

Q: Yes.

K: I am so glad some of you do. So I say now together we are going to learn the story of man, which is you. I would spend a great deal of time over that, how to read the history of man which is you, the book, the content of that book, which is you. So if he can read that book, that story of man, which is the student, which is the teacher, which is the parent, which is the man, human being, then also I would go into the question of wars, you know, the specialized communities - America, England, you know, the division, why the division takes place, all the rest of it, so that he learns the history of man through himself. You understand? Not through a book, not through some psychologist, professor and philosopher and all the rest of it. So he will be an authentic man. I wonder if you are getting this.

Q: Yes.

K: He will not be a secondhand man, or woman, as we are, but he will be the total human being. If I was a teacher in a school, that's how I would approach history. And if I was talking about mathematics, which is a little more complex a problem, I would be concerned with order. Right? Mathematics, part of it is very orderly. Right? Right, sir? Are there some mathematicians? It is very orderly. Higher mathematics, deeper, going into higher things, it may be rather confused, uncertain, unclear, but the general mathematics is order. So if I were a teacher of mathematics I would talk to him about order. You understand? Order in daily life, how he behaves, how he eats, how he talks, all these are very, very important. Consideration of others, politeness, which in America doesn't exist. Sorry, forgive me for saying this. There is no respect for anything. So order, consideration, how one behaves, how one talks, how one walks, and out of that comes naturally respect for each other. So order in his room. You understand, sir? Order in his clothes and so on. So I would begin with that so that he understands order. Not imposed discipline. I wonder if you see. Are you understanding, sir? Because together, the student and I, are concerned with order. Which means punctuality, which meaning turning up at meals at the correct time and so on. And I would talk a great deal about that. And introduce algebra and all the rest of it. So that he, in himself, he is bringing order out of this chaos, without discipline, which means, compulsion, reward, punishment, marks, good boy, encourage him. All that is so irrelevant. They have had discipline in all the schools, beaten them and all the rest of it, it has not created any different human being.

So that is how I would, if I were a teacher, how I would teach the two subjects and other subjects I would go into. So that my relationship to the student is not that of an elder brother, or a teacher, or somebody outside, but together we are learning. I believe the word 'school' comes from the word 'leisure'. Leisure implies a mind which is not occupied. Not occupied with books, family, problems, just not occupied. It is only when the mind is not occupied then you can learn. But if it is already occupied, crammed full of complexities, it can't learn, in the deeper sense of the word. So in a school of this kind there would be leisure. Not to do what you like - have leisure to sit and look. I wonder if you understand all this. It doesn't matter, we will go into it.

So that's our problem. That's the problem of education, if one is deeply concerned with humanity, with each other, as an educator and the person to be educated.

Now I have talked enough so perhaps you would like to. Yes sir?

Q: Your descriptions have been very clear, and I think well understood by me and they do raise the problems inherent today in education. However I wonder if you could answer me, how is it that when two entities comes together, the educator and the student, both who are conditioned, how can they generate education, create an education in that circumstance when both individuals are conditioned?

K: Wait a minute. You are the student, I am the educator. Have I to repeat that question? Have you heard that question?

Q: Repeat it, some people might not have heard it.

K: The questioner asks, how is it possible for the educator and the one to be educated, when both are conditioned, how to approach each other, how to free each other, how to bring about this freedom from which creation takes place. That's right, sir?

Q: That's right.

K: You have heard the question now? We are saying, you are the student, if I may, and I am the teacher. We both are conditioned. You in your way, and I am in my way, but deeply held in a trap. How do we free each other from this trap? If I remain as an educator, on the platform, the blackboard behind me, then I have authority. But if I step down from that metaphysical platform and I step down together, say I am conditioned, you are conditioned, right, let's go into it. What does it mean being conditioned? Being conditioned implies religiously, psychologically. Right? So as long as you belong to something, attached to something, you are bound to be conditioned, to a belief, to a person, to some kind of physical necessity and so on, you are bound to be conditioned. So I talk it over with you. Not as a man who says, 'I am free, and I'll tell you', but together we are both conditioned. Right, sir?

Q: But can the blind lead the blind?

K: No, you have missed my point. In talking with you I am realizing I am conditioned.

Q: You are saying you are blind, yes.

K: No, I am not blocked. When I am talking over with you I am exposing myself to you.

Q: Yes.

K: And you are exposing yourself to me.

Q: We are both exploring our states.

K: Yes, we are both seeing our conditioning.

Q: I see how it is.

K: So in talking it over together we are freeing ourselves from it.

Q: I don't see that point, sir. How I, in admitting to you that I am conditioned, and you in admitting to me that you are conditioned...

K: No, I'll show you.

Q: We are still conditioned.

K: I'll show you, sir. I am conditioned, if I am, as a Hindu. Right? As an Indian. And you are conditioned as a Christian, if you are, it doesn't matter. And I would go into my conditioning, how tradition, superstition, the handing down, etc., etc., I would go into it very, very carefully. And I would help you to go into it very, very carefully. So we see the fact. I see the fact that being conditioned as a Hindu, and you conditioned as a Christian, divide, divide people.

Q: Yes.

K: Wait, follow it. It divides people. From that division arises conflict - wars, etc., etc., etc. Do you as a student, and I as an educator, see this fact so that I am no longer a Hindu?

Q: You are a conditioned human being.

K: No, I am no longer a Hindu.

Q: Well, what are you then?

K: I am a free man, a free human being.

Q: No, sir. If I may beg to differ.

K: Don't beg sir, just differ.

Q: In showing me that you are a Hindu and I am a conditioned Christian, both mutually deeply understanding the point that we are both human beings with a conditioning imposed upon each of us, and understanding this point sincerely and deeply. My point remains that in spite of that deep understanding...

K: And freedom.

Q:... and feeling - no, we are still conditioned, we still remain conditioned understanding conditioned human beings.

K: No, sir, you are missing the point, sir.

Q: I must be. It does not liberate us in my mind to understand that one is in goal. It does not release one from being in prison.

K: It does.

Q: No, sir.

K: I'll show it to you. I'll go into it. Let's go into it quietly. You are the student, I am the educator. Forgive me, I am not, but we are putting it here. I would point out the meaning of division, what it does in the world, historically, physically, in relationship and so on, conflict. Right?

Q: If you wish.

K: Not, if I wish.

Q: Is conflict the relevant point that we are discussing. Because I thought conditioning was the relevant point.

K: No. If I am conditioned to the belief that all Christians are devils and only the certain type of Hindu, the Brahmins, are the holy people, what happens? We have no relationship.

Q: Yes. But if I was conditioned to understand that Hindus were beautiful people...

K: No, no. You may be conditioned as beautiful people but I am conditioned to treat you as the devil.

Q: In my mind we are still conditioned, sir. And it is to go beyond this conditioning that right education must begin.

K: I am showing you, sir.

Q: How to go beyond it.

K: To go beyond it. As long as I am conditioned, you are conditioned, there must be conflict. That's obvious, sir. The Arab and the Jew, the Catholic and the Protestant. And go to this village and you see how many churches there are, the Baptist, you follow.

Q: Conditioning can be negative, yes.

K: No, not 'can', does.

Q: All right.

K: So is it possible for you and me to uncondition ourselves?

Q: That's the question.

K: Uncondition myself implies not being a Hindu, not treating you as the white devil, and you not calling me the beautiful Indian. Of course.

Q: All right.

K: So we both of us then are free of our conditioning, of our prejudices, our superstitions.

Q: I hesitate that discussing it as we are does free one from that conditioning.

K: It does if you are paying attention to it.

Q: Good, then we are, and we are becoming free. Do you really therefore believe...

K: Not 'believe'.

Q: Or know...

K: Not even 'know'. Facts.

Q:... that the way to uncondition is through discourse.

K: Not only discourse. But through relationship.

Q: Through relationship.

K: I a married. I watch my wife and she watches me and I realize through relationship how very different, contradictory we are.

Q: Is this a speedy process?

K: You can do it instantly, or take time. If you are tremendously attentive, it is finished.

Q: All right. I have another approach that I can describe.

Q: No.

K: Wait a minute sir, let him.

Q: And that would be that the only way to uncondition an individual, or a group of individuals, is to introduce an element that has no conditioned aspect, that is unconditioned, a pure state which has no conditioning.

K: How do you know the pure state? That's a theory.

Q: No. If we assume that there is in creation a conditioned state, do we at least intellectually agree that there is somewhere an unconditioned state?

K: No. It is like saying - the Hindus have said this, and the Christians have said this for umpteen years and centuries - that there is god, who is the unconditioned.

Q: Yes. Oh, all right.

K: I don't accept all the gods and the unconditioned state. All that I can begin with is, I am conditioned.

Q: So there is no hope then?

K: You see, on the contrary. Your hope is based on a concept.

Q: No, sir. If we do not agree that there is a non-conditioned state...

K: Sir, the whole problem is that you are already conditioned that there is an unconditioned state. That's your conditioning.

Q: Whether I am or not is irrelevant.

K: No. The only relevant fact is human beings through centuries, through experience, etc., etc., are conditioned.

Q: I believe that there is an unconditioned state. That may be my conditioning.

K: It is.

Q: Fine.

K: Now break it, break it.

Q: All right. I want to ask a sincere question, and I don't mean to monopolize the floor, please.

Q: That's good.

Q: If there is, irrespective of my belief or not, if there is no unconditioned state then there can be no education.

K: Wait. It is for you and me to uncondition ourselves to find that state.

Q: Oh, we can uncondition ourselves, so there is an unconditioned state.

K: You see you are still sticking to your conditioning.

Q: How can you find what is not there?

Q: Don't try and find out from conditioning.

Q: You said...

K: Please, sir, do see it logically.

Q: I am trying, sir.

K: You suppose you believe there is that.

Q: Yes.

K: That is part of our conditioning.

Q: Yes, I understand that.

K: You accept that? So you are accepting something which is non-existent, or may be existent.

Q: Yes, I accept that.

K: So put that aside. It may be, or it may not be, so put it aside, break away from that conditioning and then start, say, look, we are conditioned, let us free ourselves first and see if there is there, or not. But don't presuppose. Surely that is simple.

Q: What will the end result be then if we do this?

K: First do it. Not seek the end result, or suppose. Let us first uncondition ourselves.

Q: Therefore there is an unconditioned state. I feel unconditioned now, therefore there is an unconditioned state. This is what I must arrive at in order for education to begin, my education.

K: No, forgive me for saying so, you have not broken away from your conditioning.

Q: No. At least intellectually I have.

K: No, intellectually is just playing words, throwing words at each other. Intellectually we can say, it is beautiful beyond that mountain.

Q: May I ask then, has anybody achieved this unconditioned state, other than intellectually, in the audience?

Q: Well the fact that we are listening.

Q: You are not listening to the question.

K: Wait a minute, sir, wait a minute. Suppose the speaker says he has, what is your position?

Q: My position is I also want to achieve that.

K: Suppose the speaker says he has unconditioned himself, what value has it to you?

Q: That is an example.

K: Which means imitation. Which means you have an example which you are going to follow.

Q: No, sir, a goal.

K: Which means a direction.

Q: All right, a direction.

K: When there is direction there must be conditioning. No, don't laugh. Where there is direction there must be a conditioning. Direction implies motive. Where there is a motive you are already veering off, you are already...

Q: The only unconditioned state which I agree is directionless, is omnipresent.

K: Ah, you see you are still caught in your old conditioning.

Q: Sir, why does motive imply conditioning?

K: No, I said motive implies direction. And where there is direction it is conditioned.

Q: Could we go back to that example of the mountain being over there.

K: Look, I sit here and imagine what the other side of side of the mountain is. Right? It's marvellous, it is beautiful, it must be, it is so hot here, over there it must be cooler, but I never get up from here, walk, climb and find out.

Q: Well, I have.

K: Which means you are free from the idea, the concept, the conclusion, the belief that there is an unconditioned state.

Q: You are only free of that concept when you realize it.

K: No, it is not a concept, it is a fact.

Q: You are only free of the knowledge of the fact when you arrive at that state you are unconditioned.

K: When you uncondition yourself you know the fact. It is not a belief, not an idea.

Q: The fact, the reality of it, that I know.

K: Then there is nothing more to be asked.

Q: No, there is, because I as a teacher and others as students, I must allow them to come to this unconditioned state also in order for their education to begin.

K: Which is, I would talk to them, as I said, about conditioning.

Q: Would you then hold it up to them as an ideal?

Q: No, sir, I would...

Q: That is the implication of what you are saying.

Q: Well I was try to arrive at it on a discourse level. It cannot be arrived at on that basis. It has to be experienced as an irrefutable reality.

Q: Why does it ever have to be even considered? The facts of conditioning demand action.

Q: Yes, correct.

Q: Why does the word 'unconditioned state' ever have to come into being?

Q: It doesn't, if the teacher has the skill to lead the conditioned student to the unconditioned state without...

K: You see!

Q: Don't the facts demand action, why does there need to be a leader when the facts demand the action?

Q: Sir, the river flows into the ocean, and in an ocean it realizes an unconditioned state, away from its boundary. A teacher in my mind, and I may be completely incorrect, at this moment is that he is the one with the knowledge. This is a fact, we have heard.

Q: No, no.

Q: He will bring the student to the awareness of this unconditioned state which is pure knowledge.

Q: (Inaudible)

Q: If I have missed the point, and I obviously have, it is because that I am here to learn.

Q: Get out.

K: What were you going to say, sir?

Q: Listen to the pitfalls in what you are saying, sir.

Q: Please explain them to me.

Q: I have the authority, I am the one who knows, you are below me, you are nothing. The pitfalls are terrible in this, sir. Q: No, sir. Please may I answer - this will be my last statement on the subject.

Q: Hooray!

Q: Once an unconditioned, or shall we say, once a teacher who is capable of bringing the awareness of the student to an unconditioned state - please be with me for a moment - once this teacher enables the student's awareness to come to an unconditioned level, then the truth itself is there for the student, he doesn't haven't to tell him anything more. Education has begun. The student knows the unconditioned state within himself, from that point on he can add the facts.

K: Sir, may I answer your question finally? How can the conditioned teacher say that there is an unconditioned state. Fact the facts, sir. How can the teacher, you a human being, caught in sorrow - you understand, sir?

Q: Sir, I heard your question very clearly. You asked me a question, how can the teacher, a conditioned teacher lead the student to an unconditioned state.

K: No, no.

Q: Pardon me. Please ask the question again.

K: How can the conditioned teacher talk about the unconditioned state?

Q: Because there are two forms of conditioning. There is a perpetual conditioned state and there is a temporary conditioned state. So a conditioned...

Q: Oh, no.

Q: Yes, please listen to me. It might be valuable also. In other words a conditioned teacher may have periods of clarity in which he is unconditioned.

K: Be careful. Don't get caught in temporary, you will then be lost.

Q: No, sir, please I am not. I am just trying to make a point. The conditioning can be intermittent. Would you agree with that point? Conditioning can be intermittent.

K: Wait, sir. We are saying, conditioning is the fact. Right? Is the fact. You may be temporarily unconditioned.

Q: Good.

K: Wait, sir, listen to the very end of it, you won't agree! One is conditioned. One may be temporarily, for a brief second, unconditioned. Wait. That state of briefness, temporary, which means what? A state in which time exists, for a brief moment time is not. Wait, wait, sir. Look, sir, I am conditioned, and for a moment I feel free. What is implied in that moment when I say, I am free? Can you ever say, I am free? No, go into it, sir. Can one ever say, I am free? Or put it round the other way, can one ever say, I am happy? The moment you have said it, it is gone.

Q: Yes, you can only say, I have been happy.

K: Please, listen to what I am saying, sir. The moment I acknowledge I am free, I am not free.

Q: I agree.

K: So the temporary freedom is no freedom at all.

Q: For that moment it is.

K: It is no freedom. Freedom means being out of the prison.

Q: Yes, but it is the only way out, temporarily at first.

K: Sorry.

Q: It then becomes permanent.

Q: No, no, no.

K: There is no temporary happiness. There is no temporary enlightenment. There is no temporary glory, or whatever it is. Either it is complete, or not, it is never fragmentary.

Q: How does it go from the none to the real?

K: First face the fact. I don't know if there is real, all that I know is that we live in a monstrous world. Right? All that I know is that I am conditioned by this world, I am that world. That's all I know. And I start from that, I don't imagine that there is an unconditioned state, there is a bliss, nothing, I start from the actual daily fact.

Q: What do you mean by monstrous?

K: Oh, no. Monstrous - all the killing, the terror, the mugging, rape, you know what is happening in the world.

Q: Excuse me, if I could make one suggestion. The questions all seems to point to the place of knowledge in the transformation of man. Maybe another time for a discussion.

K: The lady asks, sir, are you making a point, which is, knowledge is important in freedom?

Q: My point is that freedom is knowledge.

K: Eh!

Q: Is knowledge, that it can be gained temporarily and then on the basis of a temporary intermittent experience it can become permanent, but one has to start somewhere.

K: What a dangerous argument you are going into, sir, really don't, because you will be caught out.

Q: All right, I won't go into it.

Q: The original question that somebody brought up is, what do we do as parents with children, our children, how do we deal with them. As you were explaining the educator and the student.

K: How do you deal with the children who are not here.

Q: Our own children.

K: Your own children, all right, sir. How do we deal with our own children. How do you actually deal with them now?

Q: Without love.

K: So, first without love. Second you have no time for them. You go off to the office, she goes off to the office, or she pursues her ambitions, you pursue, you follow, so you have no time for them. Third, you are conditioned and they are conditioned. You conditioned them, and you are conditioned by society, by people round you, you are that. Right? So in fact there is no love, no care, no relationship, and they are your children.

Q: None, is there no relationship?

K: The questioner says, is there no relationship at all. That gentleman agrees sir, that gentleman who put that question says, you are right. We think we love them. If we love them do you think you would have wars? If you loved them do you think you would have all this terror going on in the world? If you really cared deeply for your children do you think you would have this kind of education? Your children are running away from you, they are escaping, they are forming their own little communes, you know what is happening in this country - divorce, each person occupied with his own sensations, problems. You know. So sir how will you deal with such people? So that is what we are saying, the father, the mother, are conditioned, for god's sake change, transform yourself. Then there is some hope for the world, but to merely live in a kind of abstraction means absolutely nothing. That's what all the priests, all the do-gooders, the idealists, live in a world of non-reality. The reality is what is actually going on with our daily life.

Q: We have come here to learn something.

K: If I had a child I would say, I am going to - you follow, sir? Because we have no love for them. Have you ever watched a mother caring for her little baby? What she goes through, getting up early in the morning, all through the night, watching, watching, watching. At the age until five, after that throw them out. Throw them to the wolves, in fact. So can you, as a parent, father, mother, uncle, whatever it is, can you change, you bring about in you the transformation? Which is to love a child right through life. The child is far more important because he is the future generation. If you condition him to be like you, which is to be concerned about oneself, about yourself, about your worries, about your ambitions, your fulfilments, and all the rest of it, you don't care a hoot for the child.

Q: I am the mother of two children. I find my time really occupied with their demands. And I see my three and a half year old son coming from a very pure and innocent state going through some strong changes, being very fascinated by excitement, violence, and I find myself trying to point out to him how the excitement is just a thrill, and help him to understand the violence. I find myself stopping constantly and I realize I don't know what to do.

K: I understand.

Q: When I don't know what to do, then something happens, or I show him something but he only seems to forget it.

K: The lady says, I have got two children. They are nice, clean, healthy, lovely children. And they watch the TV, the people around and they are fascinated by violence. And I, I talk to them, but they are much more attracted to that than to what I am saying. Right?

Q: They don't want to see me.

K: I know, you are a nuisance when they want the other. So what is she to do? You understand the question? What will you do? You understand, this is an agonizing problem, you understand, this isn't just an intellectual thing. What am I to do? I have got two children and they are attracted to guns, soldiers, violence, and I see the absurdity, the cruelty of all that, and how am I to stop them? You understand my question? How will you stop it?

Q: Sir, I don't think you can stop it. I think that in my own case I have the same problem with my child, but I am going along and watching the programmes with him, I am not dividing myself from him.

K: You are not answering the question. I am a mother. I see my children caught in this trap, or being attracted to the trap. And I see the danger, I see the horror, I see the misery of it. What am I to do?

Q: I think the only thing the mother, or the father, can do is to change themselves fundamentally.

K: Yes, sir, but in the meantime what am I to do with my child?

Q: Warn them.

Q: I find myself through relationship with those around me, with my child, that living exposure comes out of my own violence, I see it. As I understand it, really understand it...

K: I understand all that.

Q: As I really understand it, it no longer exists, but there is still enough violence.

K: Yes, madam, we have understood the question. The parents may be free from violence but my children are attracted to violence, what am I to do?

Q: Pay attention to them.

K: What do you do, sir, with your children who are attracted to violence, to all that, what will you do?

Q: It isn't the same.

K: See what happens, sir, look at it. Look at it. I can't keep them away from other children, can I. I can't take them away and go away, live in a forest with my children. That's impossible. I can't argue with them, I can't point out the dangers to them because they are much more attracted to the other. You understand? This is how all the youth movements, all the tyrannies with their youth movements are doing, making it so attractive that everyone wants to go and join it. Hitler did it, Stalin did it, the dictators are doing it. You follow? So what shall I do? Put yourself in that position, feel for it, for god's sake have passion about it.

Q: Try and educate them differently.

K: Keep them home and not meet other children, don't let them see TV, don't let them read violent books? And if you do, when they leave they are attracted to all that, the opposite.

Q: You have to be clear yourself which television is violent.

Q: The reason a child is attracted at say, age three, to television, or anything violent is because he already has an image that he cannot have the mother's attention, the father's attention.

K: That's what I am saying, I am coming to that, madam. Look at it, sir. He is attracted to it, attracted to all that, and he won't listen to my talk, he kind of avoids me. Right? Don't you know all this, as parents? No?

Audience: Yes.

K: So what am I to do? What is wrong that they should be attracted to that? Answer my question: why should they be attracted to that and not to something much more beautiful, or whatever it is?

Q: Because we are attracted to it.

K: Yes, sir, I understand. Then the child in the meantime grows up.

Q: We can expose them to other things.

K: We have done all this, expose them to the most beautiful music, pictures, good talk, literature, but they prefer that.

Q: They are attracted to the violence because they feel a separation, a lack of relationship with the parents.

K: Sir, are you a parent?

Q: No.

K: Put yourself in the position of a parent.

Q: I am trying to.

K: Sir, feel the misery of a mother who feels this thing, don't intellectually answer this.

Q: Why are my children so young attracted to this?

K: I am going into it, sir. What am I to do? I don't feel violent, I have worked myself out of it, I don't feel I want to kill somebody, I don't want to throw bombs at somebody. I don't want to create a physical revolution because I don't believe in physical revolutions but my two children are attracted to all that. What am I to do? What is wrong with society that allows this to happen? You don't face all this.

Q: Perhaps...

K: Let me go on, sir. You don't face this, which means what? You don't want to transform yourself or society, you don't feel passionate about anything. No? Sir, passion is something that comes out of great suffering. Right? But you avoid suffering, you escape from suffering. If you have no passion you can't create, you can't build anything.

So if I have two children and I have a passion, not just intellectual concepts of what I should do, should not do, a passion to see that they understand this thing. So I would spend my time with them, point out, I would do it because I have love for them, I have affection for them, I care profoundly for them. I am passionate about all this.

Q: I think a lot of compassion is dissipated in the search for a method.

K: Quite right, sir. Method...

Q: That man has never experienced that, it is agony observing the child, which is the fuel.

K: So, sir, if I was a mother and had two children, and I don't want them to be thrown to the wolves, that is, society, everything, I am concerned about them and myself, in my relationship, find out, I'd spend - you follow, sir - it's my passion. I'll find a way to do it.

Q: Maybe when you say 'passion' you mean something different from what we understand by that.

Q: May be if we had the enthusiasm to live.

K: Oh no, it's nothing to do with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm fades and disappears; you are enthusiastic about TV, or TM, which is transcendental meditation, enthusiastic about a new guru.

Q: I remember as a boy, I can't speak from the parent's point of view, but as a boy I must have been saying something very cruel to my parents, and they just broke down, both of them at once. It shocked me very much.

K: Yes, sir.

Q: I always remembers that.

K: Did you hear what he said?

Q: It really made me see the violence that I was doing, and it was just because they broke down, they cried and I had never seen them cry, may be two times in my life.

K: There you are. That's enough.


Ojai 1977

Ojai 3rd Public Dialogue 12th April 1977

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