Saanen 5th Public Dialogue 31st July 1977.
K: I am so sorry it is such bad weather. This is the last dialogue, or discussion, or whatever one likes to call it. I wonder how much one has got out of all these talks and discussions. Whether one has deeply understood and changed, transformed oneself, or do we still remain half way up the hill. Because I think we ought to ask this question of ourselves. We said the other day, the word mediocrity means going up the hill only half way; and excellence means going all the way up. And I wonder whether we are moving, or staying only half way, frightened, anxious, uncertain, not knowing what to do, and remain there.
So I think it would be rather interesting and worthwhile if you could go into this question for yourselves. But before I go into all this, there are really things to talk over together.
Q: Could we talk about the importance of relationship and self knowing?
Q: When thought stops, what exactly is aware, and what is the relationship of this awareness to the sacred?
Q: May I say something?
K: Please be very short, not ten minutes, a minute.
K: Sir, I have to translate what you say in English because many of them don't understand French. I think the gentleman is asking, if I can understand him properly, and if I am mistaken I am sorry, he is asking, why do you speak, you are a god to these people and so on and so on. Right? That's the real meaning of what he is trying to say. Why isn't there after so many years of talking, one person who can sit beside me. You come over and sit beside me, all of you! If there is one who really understood what the speaker has said then why doesn't he sit here and help me to convey? Then I invite all of you to come and sit here.
Q: Can love go beyond death?
Q: I have this process in myself and I wish to open myself. How can I do that without inventing a god?
K: What was your question, sir, the first question?
Q: The importance of relationship and self knowledge.
K: Shall we start with that?
Q: When I try to investigate these questions often there is a feeling of isolation.
K: I think by taking that question of what he said: relationship to self knowledge. Right? I think we will stay with that because otherwise we will get lost, and also I think we will finish with what we were talking about yesterday.
Let's be very clear about one or two things - not your god!
Q: Thank god!
K: Thank god! And I am not your leader or your guru, please for god's sake do listen to whatever we are saying. We are not trying to impress you, influence you, to tell you what to do, nothing of the kind. But I think it is very important for human beings to communicate with each other. To communicate implies we must both be interested in the same thing, at the same level, with the same intensity, otherwise you can't communicate. If you are not interested in this question of self, and the relationship of that self with another, which is a very important sociologically as well as psychologically, I don't think any talking about it becomes clear. Unless one wants to go into these things very carefully I think we had better stop talking to each other.
First of all yesterday we were talking about something very important, it seems to me at least. We were saying, what is love in relationship with each other. That was the thing we were talking about yesterday - the love that exists between man and woman, the love of a mother with her baby, the love of one's country and so on and so on. We were going to go into that question which said, can there be love if there is no total comprehension or self knowledge? Right? We were exploring that question. And that question also can be answered this morning when he put that question: what is the relationship between human beings who have self knowledge, or who are understanding themselves? That's the first question raised.
Are you all quiet now, after the morning's disturbance? I would like if I may to go into this question with a dialogue, that is, communication between us, both verbally and non verbally. Because most of us, as far as one sees throughout the world, have no real understanding, or the depth of this extraordinary word called love. And it is worthwhile, I think, to go into it very quietly, not offering opinions - your opinion against my opinion, or your ideas of what love is - exploring. Do you understand, which is quite different from offering opinions.
So can we go into that question, which is related to self knowledge. We said self knowledge, knowing oneself, must begin knowing the world outside, knowing what is happening in the world - politically, religiously, economically, socially, racially, the class differences, the totalitarian states, leftist, right and centre, all that one must observe. It is not possible to observe if one is prejudiced. That is very simple and very clear. If I stick to my nationality, to my belief, to my race, I cannot possibly investigate, explore, observe the world. Through the observation of what is taking place outside of each human being - without observing what is going on around us, socially, morally, religiously and so on, merely to investigate oneself leads to insanity, because there is the object very clearly to be observed, what is going on. From there you begin. Move from the outer to the inner, not the inner and then the outer. You can deceive yourself enormously if you begin with yourself. Whereas if one begins from the outer, then goes deeply within oneself, then you will see there is no difference between the outer and the inner. It may be like the sea, the ebb and flow, going out and coming in all the time.
Now to observe oneself, we said, one must be free to look. Freedom implies freedom from prejudice, belief, dogma, conclusion, so that you can observe yourself, otherwise you will see what you want to see, or deny what you see. Right? So to observe there must be freedom. That's simple. Now can we do this as we are talking? Can we, wanting to understand the extraordinary complex structure and the nature of the self, the 'me', observe that structure and that nature of this self without any conclusions? If you say, that is very difficult, one cannot do that, then you have blocked yourself. Right? That's simple Whereas if one is really involved in it because what one is the society, the religions, all that is the result. If you are envious, greedy, seeking power, position, you create a society which will bring about what you are - greed, power, position and all the rest of it.
Is it possible to observe oneself without any distortion? We say - please follow it step by step - we say it is possible only when there is no direction, when there is no motive. Because the motive dictates the direction, and distorts the observation. Right? That's clear. Then you will say, how can I observe myself without a motive because I am full of motives - motives being reward and punishment essentially. Isn't it? So can one look at oneself freely without this tremendous tradition of man seeking reward and avoiding punishment, but just to be free to look? Right? Let's do this as we are talking.
And in observing one of the most fundamental questions is: what is relationship between human beings - relationship, man, woman, husband, wife, mother and baby, and so on? Because if our relationship is not correct - I am using the word 'correct' in the English sense - actual, truthful, right - then we create a society, either a society which is so disintegrating, which is so appalling, or a world of totalitarianism, we create it, and accept it. We will go into that, leave it for the moment.
So it is very important to understand relationship. Right? Relationship implies, the meaning of the word is to be related, actually to be related, to be in contact, to have empathy, sympathy, a sense of sensitivity that understands each other completely, not partially. So as most human beings have not that relationship at all, their relationship is based on conflict, how does this conflict arise? You are following? Please this is important if you will go together into this because our life is involved, don't let's waste our life, we have got only this life - good enough, what the future life may be, it doesn't matter, if we don't change what we are now we will continue in a different form - I won't go into that.
So it is very important to understand this question of relationship because that is part of self knowledge, part of knowing oneself. Through relationship, which is the outside, you can then move from the understanding of relationship move inwardly. So it is important to understand relationship. Which is, are we related at all to anything - nature, to each other, private intimate relationship, sexual, the mother and the baby, and so on, relationship? Now what is this relationship based on? Please follow it for yourself. You have your husband, your girl friend, or boy friend, a mother with a baby, all that is part of our life, so please follow, if you will, be serious enough for once in your life.
What is this relationship based on? Is it two entities, two human beings deeply concerned with themselves, deeply occupied with their own ambitions, with their own worries, with their own anxieties, uncertainties, confusion, these two people meet - boy and a girl, and so on and so on. And then there is all the problem of sex, and in this relationship because each is separate inwardly - right - there is conflict. Obviously. Right? Can we go on with it?
So conflict becomes inevitable when each one of us is occupied so entirely with himself. Right? Which we are. And we need to be, in exploring this, tremendously honest otherwise the game is not worth playing. Now the problem is can this relationship exist without effort, without this constant strife between human beings, and what then is that relationship in which there is no conflict at all? You are following? So why does this conflict exist at all, first? It seems that this conflict exists because each one is centred within himself: from himself he goes out - right - from himself he acts, from himself he says, "I love you", but the centre is the 'me', the self. Right? This is clear, isn't it? We are describing what is very obvious.
Now the question is: can that centre be understood and dissolved? Otherwise life which is relationship must inevitably be a series of incidents and conflicts. That's clear. So we are asking: can this centre be understood, watched, see the nature of it, the structure of it, and end it - not verbally but actually end it? Right? That is our question. Therefore one must observe freely the nature and the structure of the self. Right? May I go on?
So various questions are put: what am I, who am I, accept what the psychologists say, and the latest psychologist with his peculiar ideas, and new ways of thinking, you say, "By Jove, I will accept that". We are saying don't accept anything because then you are merely copying what the psychologist says you are. Right? So there is no authority in the observation of oneself - Freud, Jung and the whole bally lot of them. Wipe it out, and begin. Because then what you discover is original, not secondhand. Right?
So it is only possible to observe oneself in relationship - how one reacts to another, how one looks at another, what are the verbal and non-verbal communications with each other. So it is only in relationship that one sees what one is, actually, not theoretically, not subjectively, but seeing in relationship your responses. Now the responses are the expression of what you have remembered. Are you following? You have remembered certain incidents, certain expressions, verbal, gestures, it is stored up, you have registered them, the brain has registered them. And what you have registered becomes a memory and with that memory you observe. That's fairly clear, right? You observe your relationship with another with a past memory, therefore you are not observing. Right? So is it possible not to register at all? Please this is really a very, very complex question. Unless you give your mind, your intelligence, your capacity to think clearly you won't capture this. And you must be serious because this is one of the most fundamental questions: whether the brain, which is registering all the time, which is consciously or unconsciously absorbing, which is registering, and this registration is like a tape which is being played over and over and over again. Right? So we are asking: is it possible for that tape, that machinery, which is registered, to stop? You understand? Are we meeting each other? Somebody tell me, please. Are we together?
K: Please, I am not your god. You are not my followers, I am not your guru; we are together taking the journey into something tremendously important in life. If you are not doing it don't listen, think of something else. But if you do pay attention, give your whole attention to it.
So the brain, its function is to register. It registers because in that registration there is security. Right? It feels safe because it says, "I know, I remember", and in that remembrance, in the conclusions which I have, I am secure. Right? So the brain demands security, like a baby, it must have security right from the beginning, otherwise it becomes neurotic, all kinds of things happen to the baby. Now the brain is seeking security because having security implies it can function effectively. If it is uncertain, unclear, then its efficiency is lost. This is clear, isn't it? I am not saying anything very strange, so please. I am going to say something very strange a little later on so go into it!
So the brain demands security. Then only it can function effectively, sanely, rationally. If there is any kind of uncertainty then its actions become neurotic. Right, that's clear. So it must register. So when in relationship there is constant registration and remembrance, then relationship becomes a conflict because you are remembering your incidents, accidents, what has been accumulated, and the other is also doing the same, so the centre is being strengthened. The 'me' is strengthened in me and in you. So the question is: is it possible only to register what is essentially important? What is important - not essentially, remove that word - what is absolutely important. Because if, as the brain demands security, it will find security in what is absolutely necessary. Right? It must have security in food, clothes and shelter, absolutely. In technological knowledge and so on and so on. But what is the need of registering any other factor? You understand what I am saying? Please go into it with me, if you don't mind. Don't offer opinions and judgements, we are investigating it. The brain is accustomed through millenia to register - my tribe, I live with my tribe I am safe, outside my tribe I am unsafe, outside my class, outside my group, outside my belief, I am uncertain, there is fear. So the brain through millenia has developed this quality of registering because in that there is safety. Right? Now we are saying, is there safety in the registrations that are going on psychologically? You understand what I am saying?
K: One moment. I am going to go into it. Sir, I said for ten minutes listen to me to the very end and then you can jump on me as much as you like, but please listen to what I have to say first. Because you are disturbing, I am going on with something, let me finish to the end of it. I am not being impatient or trying to prevent you from talking, you will have your opportunity afterwards.
We are asking: is there security in registering all the psychological hurts, all the psychological fears in relationship, the attachments - you follow? So take one thing: in relationship psychologically we are hurt - right - hurt, wounded from childhood. And the results of that hurt are violence, wanting to hurt others, or withdrawing not to be hurt anymore, and therefore isolating oneself, and being isolated act neurotically, and so on and so on and so on. So I am looking at that one thing for the moment, which is that we hurt each other in our relationship. The more intimate it is the more we get hurt. And is it possible not to be hurt at all? Which is, not to register the things said by another which may wound? You are following this? Do it in yourself as we are talking. In our intimate relationship with each other we say things casually, we say things rather brutally, you know, friction. And in that friction there is a great deal of hurt. Now we are asking, is it possible in that relationship with each other not to register and therefore not to be hurt? You have understood? All right?
We are saying it is possible. And I will go into it. Don't say it is impossible and then block yourself. Right? We are going into it. Don't say it is not possible, or it is possible. We are moving together, like a river going round, going, moving, flowing and any difficulties that come we will go round it, but keep going.
So we say it is possible not to register in relationship because love is not remembrance. Right? Love is not something that you say, "Darling, you were so good to me the day before yesterday." So love is not a thing of the past, a thing cultivated by thought, it is not a thing that can possibly happen when there is conflict in relationship. So we are trying to find out what is love in relationship in which there is no conflict. We are saying that it is possible only when you begin to understand yourself in relationship. In relationship there is hurt, many, many hurts. And those hurts can never heal completely because they are all the time happening. So is it possible in relationship not to get hurt? Please, this is a tremendous question, you understand? We are saying it is possible. And it is possible only when there is the realization, when there is the realization, the observation that any form of registration in relationship psychologically is hurting, and it is essential to register at a certain level, not at the psychological level. When you see that, when you observe it, when you know it, then you don't register. Say for example, in our relationship I call you a fool, or, you were terrible this morning, I want to read the newspaper and you come and take it away. I get irritated.
So at that moment, which is at the moment when you are being called a fool, or whatever you are, at that moment to be attentive. You understand? Attention implies, as we said the other day, there are three types, which is concentration, awareness and attention. Concentration implies focussing with your whole energy on a certain point, therefore excluding and there is constant resistance to other forms of thoughts coming in. We said choiceless awareness is to observe without any choice - we went into that. Now attention is when you attend completely, as I hope you are doing now, completely attentive, there is no centre. Right? Have you noticed it? So when another calls you an idiot in relationship, when you are so attentive it doesn't register. Don't ask, how am I to be so attentive. That is a silly question. There is no practice, there is no method, there is no system. But when you see the real importance, the truth of this fact, that any form of psychological registration will inevitably end in conflict and hurt and all the rest of it, when you see the truth of it clearly you don't register. Therefore at the moment when a person calls you an idiot when you are attentive there is no registration. Are you doing it? Will you do it, not in the future, actually sitting next to your boy friend, or husband, wife, or whatever it is, see the whole machinery of it, not just a single part but the whole structure of this.
We said, registration is the means of acquiring security. Right? It has sought security in the images that it has built in relationship, in the image. Right? That image ceases to exist when there is complete attention.
Now, wait a minute: the gentleman asked, what is it that divides that which is to be registered and that which is not to be registered. Right? Now when you see the nature and the structure of relationship, what happens, actually observe it with your heart, with your mind, with your blood, what happens out of that observation? There is not only attention there is intelligence, isn't there? No? Because you have seen something which is true. That is when you are not attentive hurts begin, when you are attentive there is no image forming. If you see the truth of that, the perception of that is intelligence. You have an insight into it. You have insight into the nature of registration of the brain, and that insight you can only have when you are free to observe. That is, insight can only take place when there is emptiness, not your prejudices, your hopes, your fears. Right? That intelligence says, this is where registration is necessary. Right? Therefore there is security for the brain in intelligence. You understand?
K: Not verbally, but in your blood. It is like seeming something tremendously dangerous it is finished, you don't approach it. In the same way when you see the extraordinary fact that hurts, all these conflicts between human beings - I have said it all.
Q: What about will in relationship?
K: I must do this and you want to do something else. Right? I want to become the chief executive of some business, and you want to do something else. Desire, which is the essence of will, pushes me in one direction and pushes you in another direction. Right? That is one of the factors in relationship. No? That's very simple.
Q: It is not simple at all.
K: Sir, it is very simple when you have got this intelligence. It is extraordinarily simple to understand the activity of will, which is the activity of desire. Please have an insight into it, you understand, not a verbal argument, saying, this is tremendously difficult, or not difficult. Have an insight into the whole movement of will, which is desire. I desire - I don't know - to play golf, to be a first-class golfer. My wife wants to be a social leader. And there is conflict between us. Right? I want that, and she wants that. Now how will you avoid the conflict? To avoid the conflict, to wipe away all conflict you must understand desire, why there are separate desires. I wonder if you have got this? You are following this? Why you have a particular desire, and another a totally different desire. Desire being for an object, for a position, for an idea, for something. Right? You have a desire for that, and she has a desire quite the opposite. If the two desires go together, both of us wish for the same thing we think there is perfect harmony. But when there is contradiction between the two then there is trouble. And the gentleman says, it is one of the principal causes of conflict.
Now is desire different? The object of desire may be varied. I may want a car, you may want a baby. And so there is conflict. But we are saying, is desire in itself different? You have understood? The objects of desire may vary. We will leave that. But is desire in itself different? Or is it essentially desire? If we understand what is the nature and the structure of desire, the essence of it, then what will happen? Now we will go into it.
I want to move to something else. Have patience. Is desire love? We said not. Right? We were very clear on that matter when we talked about love. And the nature and the structure of desire, we went into it very carefully some time ago, during this gathering here. Which is, perception, seeing, contact, sensation. Then thought taking it over, making it into desire and creating the image which will be fulfilled through the will of desire. It is simple. I am not going to go into that. No, because there is something we must talk about.
So if we understand desire, really, basically, have an insight into desire, you will have your object and I will have mine, there will be no conflict. It is only when we don't understand desire fundamentally then there is conflict. Leave that alone.
Now I want to go on. That is, we said registration in which thought has found security, the brain, now finds that psychologically there is no security at all, therefore there is no registration. But the discovery of that is intelligence. And in that intelligence there is complete security. Right? Complete security. Have you got that intelligence after listening to all these talks, and words and words and words? Have you captured that, has that intelligence been awakened?
And that intelligence can only be awakened when there is an observation which is to observe freely, without any distortion, without any motive in relationship, to observe. Out of that comes intelligence. So intelligence gives complete security, therefore it registers what is necessary and what is not necessary. So we are saying then, is love a remembrance? Right? Is love something to be thought about? Or can love be cultivated by thought? We said no. That is fairly simple, everyone agrees to that. Then what place has love in relationship? Right? If love is not desire, if love is not the pursuit of pleasure, then what is love in relationship? Go on work it our, sir. Would you ask that question when there is that sense of love? The problem is this: you have that love, which is not desire, which is not pleasure, etc., etc., which is the essence of intelligence. I wonder if you see it. Suppose you have that extraordinary essence which is of intelligence, which is love, and I haven't got it. In our relationship - I am fortunately, or unfortunately, I am married to you - and you have got it and I haven't got it, then what is our relationship? You understand this? You understand my question?
Q: I would like to ask a question, please.
K: It is raining very heavily.
Q: In discussing I really appreciate your talks and discussions, and everyone can see if there is some truth in what you have said or not. I would like to ask if you can imagine that I am there if you are not there.
K: No, sir, this is all theoretical.
Q: Do you not understand this?
K: Yes, yes. This has been an old question, I know it. But we are not discussing that at the moment. If you don't mind. What we are talking about is, when there is that quality of love which is not desire, which is not merely pressure, then what is the action of that love in relationship? Which is, we said, in relationship each one is concerned with himself.
K: No, wait sir. Don't jump to any conclusions. Don't use words yet. We said in relationship you discover what you are. Right? Your reactions, your pride, your envy, your this, and that. And through relationship you begin to dissolve all that. Right? Then you are beginning to understand yourself as deeply as possible, because in relationship it shows it. And you begin to realize that where there is attention there is no registration. We went through that. Then the problem arises, what is love in this relationship? Right? If there is no desire, if there is no pursuit of pleasure in this relationship, what is then relationship? You understand? Go on, sirs, think it out. I am not going to think it all out for you and then you accept it or reject it. Go into it. I love you.
K: Not attention, madam, we have gone into that. I love you - watch yourself do, you love somebody don't you? You love somebody and that love is not controlled by desire, that love is not the pursuit of pleasure - we went into all this before. Then what is the relationship between two human beings, man, woman, when there is this love?
Q: There is no centre, therefore they are one whole.
K: That is a conclusion, that's a theory. The lady says there is no centre therefore we are one. Is that it? You see none of you - forgive me for saying this - none of you do it, go into it.
Q: How do you know?
K: How do I know? If you did it you wouldn't be here. God, it's raining hard, isn't it. I hope you have got warm clothes.
We are asking: what is the place of this quality of love in relationship? Do you understand? We said there is the operation of intelligence, the awakening of intelligence, which is the essence of love. Right? And this intelligence is also compassion. This intelligence is also clarity, which we talked about. And also this intelligence acts skilfully. Right? Skillfully - got the meaning of it now? You are understanding it?
Q: Like a river.
K: Go into it for yourself and you will see the extraordinary thing that will happen in your life if you do it. Not verbally, not theoretically, not come to some conclusion, but actually have an insight into all this. And you can only have insight when there is freedom, psychological freedom, freedom from choice, freedom from direction so that you can look.
So we talked about compassion, clarity, and skill. We said, in that quality of love there is intelligence. Right? Intelligence is compassion, isn't it? Because you can't have compassion without clarity. So in one's relationship with another, when there is compassion - love, compassion, intelligence, clarity - you will act in excellent skill in relationship. Right? I wonder if you see this? Do you see it, or is it all Greek still?
As we said, we have great skill, we have acquired enormous skill in every direction - in the air, in the sea, on the earth, skill in being cunning in our relationships. Right? Deceptive, hypocritical, act in a skilful manner to avoid getting hurt, getting my own way and hoping you will follow me and therefore not create any conflict. We have learnt all this. But that skill is not out of clarity. That skill only emphasizes the more 'me'. We went into that.
So see what takes place. Just briefly I will go into it, what takes place logically. We said you can know yourself without distortion by observing what is outside, what is happening in the world. And from the world move inwards, and then whatever you see will be correct because you have learnt to observe correctly, truthfully, accurately, what is going on around you. So in observing yourself one of the major of factors in relationship is conflict - hurt, expression of will, desire. Right? Getting hurt, conflict and each one desiring his own particular way. All that emphasizes separation, division. So wherever there is division created by will, created by idea, created by desire, objects of different desires, pursuit of particular ideologies, divides people, and therefore there is tremendous conflict. My wife may be Catholic, and I may not be Catholic, and there is conflict. I want her to become non-Catholic and she wants to make me Catholic, so there is battle.
So we said, the brain registers because in registration there is security. And the security it has created is in the image that we have made about each other. And because there is the image of each other which is different there is conflict. So we are having an insight into oneself - right - through relationship. That insight can only take place when there is freedom and emptiness to look. You can't look if your mind, if your brain is full of prejudices, this and that. So there must be emptiness to look. That is, the observer ceases to be. We have gone into all that.
So we said registration, non-registration psychologically is possible only when there is that intelligence. That intelligence comes about when there is an insight. So that intelligence registers what is necessary and what is not necessary.
Then we went into the question of what is love. Is love desire, etc., etc? If it is not then love is intelligence in relationship. Right? And that intelligence is part of compassion. And that compassion can only be when there is clarity. Clarity which comes through freedom, and freedom of observation and insight. And compassion, clarity, will function with great skill in relationship. Right?
Now have you, at the end of all these talks and dialogues - if we have had dialogues, we haven't had dialogues at all, I have talked or the speaker has talked all the time, we must do it differently next year if we are here - we will be here! Now at the end of all this where are we? Have we together taken the journey, together all the way, flowing together, passing, like a river passing obstacles, it goes round it, have we moved that way? Or are we still part of the bank and looking at the river? You understand what I am saying? Are we sitting comfortably on the bank with our ideas, with our hope, with our security, you know all the rest of it, and watching the river go by? Which is it that we are doing? To be part of the river, to flow with the river you must leave the bank, naturally. I wonder - please don't answer - I wonder how many are flowing with all this. Then, sirs, look. Then it becomes very important that there isn't only one speaker like me. You understand? It becomes very important that you come and sit here instead of me. That you become the one that is enlightened, who has clarity, compassion, skill. Because the world is getting madder and madder, insane and some of you must go psychologically through tremendous revolution to come here and sit here and talk, go outside. Will you do all this? Or we are too old?
Q: You said at the end...
K: What is the time? I must stop. I can't talk any more. So I hope - not hope - that you have walked along together, and that together we have walked very far. Not stopped half way and say, well it is too difficult, I don't understand, I must understand him not myself. You know all that game we play with each other, and play with lots of ideas and cunning logic and all that, dropping all that, have we gone very far together?
Saanen 5th Public Dialogue 31st July 1977.
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