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Madras 1977

Madras 1st Dialogue 27th December 1977

K: Is it possible to have a dialogue, which means a conversation between two people? That is not possible because there are so many of us. So how shall we communicate with each other about things that apparently, or seriously concern our lives? So since you have taken the trouble to come so early in the morning, what can we talk over together that has real significance in one's life. Not some theory, not some abstract subject, but actually concerns our daily living, our daily relationship with each other, our sorrows, affections, and pains, and anxieties, amongst all these things what shall we talk over together?

Q: Often I am subjected to insults and feel really hurt. And you were kind enough to say that an innocent mind is incapable of hurt, but I cannot understand innocent.

K: You are often subjected to painful things in life and you don't understand what it means to be innocent. Is that it?

Q: What is the difference between sleep and meditation? Can sleep be converted into meditation?

K: Lovely questions!

Q: One question more, sir. Seeing the content of the consciousness is not the emptying of the consciousness? And if it is so why has not the essence come into being?

K: Seeing the content of one's consciousness, doesn't that very observation empty consciousness. Right? Yes, sir?

Q: In the life of the usual man there is dilemma in the form of 'I', the separative self-sense. Its dominant activity in consciousness serves to contract everything else in consciousness, or severely distort it, most unfortunately the heart, the metaphorical heart. It seems to me that traditional methods have failed, and theories have failed to bring about a lasting release of this contraction, or dilemma because they are in themselves only contracted. My question then is, sir, can we this morning find some movement, some natural event in consciousness to bring about the cessation of that thought, or thinking, which is the separative self-sense?

K: You have all heard the question, so I don't have to repeat it. Is it possible - if I understand the questioner - to eliminate the self which is brought about by thought, and live or be at a different dimension of consciousness. Isn't that right, sir?

Q: Yes.

K: Do you want to discuss that?

Q: Sir, what do you mean by pursue thought to the very end?

K: Sir, forget what I mean, because it's your life, not my life. How do you live your life, what does it mean? You have a number of years to live in which there are so many complications - jobs, pressure of overpopulation, all the vulgarity, the noise, the brutality that is going on in the world - what is your life. Instead of talking about meditation and all that - we will come to that - but first shouldn't we understand our daily life, what it means, why we live the way we are living. Aren't you interested in that?

Q: We are fed up with up daily life.

K: We are fed up with our daily life.

Q: Sir, I want to know a how to prevent the problem of poverty.

K: The problem of poverty, with all its degradation and so on. Is that what you are really concerned about?

Q: Poverty.

K: Sir, what you are really concerned about?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: I would like, if you don't mind, I would like to put you the question, and please be good enough to answer it.

Q: It seems to me...

K: Wait, sir. Let me first ask you something sir. I am not preventing you from asking questions but first may I ask you something. What are you, each one of you sitting here, concerned about? Seriously. What are you concerned about?

Q: With my life.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: I am asking you something and you are answering something else. Would you kindly listen and find out what I am asking. You may be full of your own questions, but first please kindly listen. What are you concerned about - your life, not poverty, this and that, what are you concerned in your daily life?

Q: My own happiness.

K: Are you concerned about it?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Just listen sir, and find out, don't be clever and just answer anything that comes into your minds. What are you concerned about if you look into yourself, and ask this question, what are you concerned about?

Q: What is the purpose of life?

Q: I think we are only concerned about ourselves primarily.

K: The questioner says he is concerned primarily about himself. Is that a fact? Could we start from that? No? Aren't you all concerned about yourself?

Q: There are a number of pressures on the brain...

K: Sir, just a minute, sir. It is the most extraordinary audience. I am asking you something very seriously, and apparently you don't take my question very seriously. I am asking you what is your daily concern in your life. Is it that you want more money?

Q: Well...

K: Just listen, sir. Listen to somebody, what he has to say first.

Q: Mental peace.

K: He wants mental peace. Is that your concern?

Q: I am not concerned about that for the time being.

(General discussion amongst audience)

K: I wonder why you have come this morning. You must have got up rather early, taken the trouble to come here, and apparently you just go on talking to yourself. So please would you kindly listen, try to find out what I am asking you. What is in your daily life, going to a factory, office, business, law, and so on, what is your chief concern in your daily living? Just think about it, don't answer it immediately. What's your chief concern?

Q: Relationship.

K: Don't invent something, sir. Apparently it is one of the most difficult things for you to pin down and find out what you are deeply concerned with in your daily life. Is it sex? Is it money? Is it relationship? Is it that you are unhappy? Is it that around you there is so much poverty, so much degradation? And are you concerned with searching, or trying to find out what truth is? What are you concerned about?

Q: A sense of reality.

K: I wonder why you come here at all really. You are not answering my questions at all.

Q: I am concerned with my life.

K: Concerned with your life, yes. What do you mean by that?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Find out what he means. Your life, what does it mean? Your daily life.

Q: I am concerned with dharma, duty.

Q: The lack of love is difficult in the human.

K: Is that your problem, sir?

Q: It is the lack of love.

K: No, your problem.

Q: Lack of love.

K: Just a minute, sir. Wait, sir. You have made a statement. If you want to sit here and talk to the audience, come and sit here, sir. Apparently you have never asked that question of yourself: what is my/your deep problem while you are living in this world, what is your problem? One says it is lack of love, somebody says lack of relationship. Any old thing you trot out, but you have never said and looked at yourself to find out what it is you are deeply concerned with. Are you concerned with death? Are you concerned with living a life that is righteous, that is honest, that is sane? What are you concerned about? Just carry on as you are?

Q: Sir, I feel I am concerned with sorrow.

K: You are concerned with sorrow, and is it possible to be free of it. Is that it? Are you really? Would you answer that question: are you concerned with sorrow, all of you?

Q: Yes.

K: Don't say, yes quickly.

Q: No, sir, we are not concerned with sorrow all the time, while we are sitting here. But there is a lot of misery everywhere. All the time everyone is seeking pleasure.

K: Sir, don't read you question, please.

(General discussion amongst the audience)

K: Sir, would you mind, talk amongst yourselves, get over it, and I'll wait. Talk over with yourself, with your friend, and look all around, who is here, and then answer my question after you have talked to your friends and looked to see who is here, and find out what you really want to find out. Why are you here, sir? Why are you here? Would you kindly answer me, it's simple enough. Why are you sitting here, so early in the morning, having taken all the trouble, why?

Q: I recognize the whole movement of my life is distorted, not truthful, not real.

K: Yes, sir. So the questioner says, I see my whole life is distorted, dishonest and I'd like to lead a life which is correct, which is honest. Is that right, sir?

Q: That is correct.

K: Is that what you are all interested in?

Audience: Yes, sir.

K: No, don't laugh, sir, for god's sake, what is there to laugh at.

Q: We are coming here to learn.

K: Sir, please, just listen, sirs. Don't you know that one leads a terribly hypocritical life: say one thing and do another, go to temples and cheat somebody, talk about god, this, that and the other, take vows and go to Tirupati, or some awful little temple and lead an ugly, brutal, daily violent life, that is contradictory, that is a way of hypocrisy. Are you aware of this? Don't you know this is happening in your life daily? You read the Gita, or the Upanishads, repeat mantras, and do puja, and the next minute go down the street and kill somebody, violent, spit, class divisions. Don't you know all this? So there is contradiction in your life, isn't there? Right, sir? Which means unless you lead an integrated life you live a life of hypocrisy. So can we talk about that?

You see how silent you are when it comes to real brass tacks, when you are really concerned with a way of living in which one's life is a hypocritical life, a contradictory life. Shall we discuss that? Sir, if you discuss with me, don't pretend, don't try to slur over, cover up your ugly life. We are going into it if you want to find out how to live a life that is whole, that's not broken up, that's not hypocritical.

Sir, don't take notes please. Please don't take notes, then you can't listen. You can't listen and take notes. So if you don't mind, either take notes or don't listen and go out.

We know, as that gentleman pointed out, that one leads a very dishonest life. That one has contradictions in oneself. We know this, don't we, sir? No? So can we start from there?

Q: Start there.

K: We are starting from there. First, are you aware, just conscious that you lead a double life? You understand? Are you aware of it?

Q: Yes but I don't...

K: Sir, may I ask you - don't duck your head sir - may I ask you why you are sitting there and asking these questions? Are you interested in what we are talking about? Be serious, don't be flippant. Are you?

(General discussion amongst the audience)

K: Sir, I am asking you to kindly listen to what I am asking, and enquiring. Does one know, do you know that you lead a double life, a contradictory life, a hypocritical life?

Q: Many of us know.

K: All right, if you know what will you do about it? Just put up with it, carry on everyday leading a double life like this?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: I understand, sir. So what will you do, sir, if you know that you lead a hypocritical life, what will you do about it? Just talk about it? Don't you want to break it, live a different way of life? Do you? I am asking a simple question. Please, does one know first that one leads a double life, say one thing, do another, think something and do quite the opposite. That way of living is a hypocritical way of living, isn't it, sir? Now, that way of life brings a lot of problems, doesn't it.

Q: Actually I do understand, but I don't understand that I am a hypocrite, although I can see it intellectually.

K: Intellectually, the gentleman says, I see my way of life is hypocritical, my way of life is distorted, confused - intellectually. Now what do you mean by that word 'intellectually'? Verbally?

Q: I see what you say but when I am involved I just react.

K: I understand this. I am asking you, you use the word 'intellectual', what do you mean by that word? I intellectually understand that there should be brotherhood - intellectually. But actually, in daily life you contradict that. Now when you say, I understand intellectually, you mean you understand verbally what is being said. Right? You don't feel it, you don't live it, you have an idea and you accept that idea and say, yes, that's a marvellous idea. Is that what you are all doing? That you verbally accept certain facts, but actually you have no relationship to it at all. You just repeat the words and live quite differently. Are you aware of this? Do you know this? Put on whatever you do, puja, which has no meaning, but carry on.

Q: That is so.

K: Right. If that is what is happening, what shall we do? Don't you want to break that pattern - a pattern of hypocrisy. How do you break it? You understand? All your tradition says, carry on. Right? Carry on, go to temples, do puja, it doesn't matter what kind of life you lead daily. So we are now reversing the process and saying: look, what matters is how you live daily. Right? So are you serious enough to be concerned with your daily life? Are you seriously concerned in the change of your daily, miserable, contradictory, hypocritical life? Then if we are, then we can discuss, then we can go into it, help each other to break down. But if you are not interested then it becomes very difficult. So I want to be quite sure that you are really interested in what we are talking about, which that gentleman raised. He said, my life is distorted, untrue, not straight, and I would like to change the pattern of that so that I lead a life that is true, that has no sense of contradiction, that is whole. Isn't that right, sir?

Q: Correct.

K: So can we go into that. Please, can we all of us go into this?

Q: Yes.

K: Don't casually agree, but find out if you really deeply want to go into this problem because it means changing your whole life. If you say, I want to live the way I am living, complete callousness, brutality, indifference, without any affection, hypocritical, then you are perfectly welcome to live that way. I am not saying you shouldn't. It's up to you. But if you want to find out a way of living in which there is no contradiction, which is not hypocritical, which is whole, then it's worthwhile talking about it. We will help each other. Right, sirs? Is this what you want? Is this what you want, sirs and ladies, to find out a way of living that is not contradictory, opposing, hypocritical, honest, a true way of living - do you want to find out? What do you say, sirs?

Q: Yes, we do.

K: Right. Why is there in our life contradiction? Why is there contradiction? In your life, sir, why is there contradiction? Please tell me.

Q: It is the experience we live.

K: Sir, would you kindly listen. I said, why is there in one's life a contradiction.

Q: Because we listen to other people, then we get confused.

Q: Because we apply the teachings.

K: Because you apply my teachings? What the dickens are you talking about? Sir, just look at yourself. Why do you say one thing and do another? Very simple, keep it at its simplest level. Why is there this contradiction, opposing desires? Right? Opposing wants, opposing purposes, why? Why is there this division in one's life? Think, watch it, find out, not from me, find out, we will help each other.

Q: The brain and mind are in conflict.

Q: Possibly because we have desires, and at the same time we have an idea that we should not have desires.

K: You understand, sir, you want something and you fight against it. I am asking you, why do you fight? Why do you have an opposite desire? If we could understand this one thing then perhaps it would clear up a great deal. You know what desire is, don't you. Don't you, sirs, you know what desire is? Wanting a shirt, wanting a car, wanting a woman, wanting pleasure, wanting to have better position in the world - desire. You understand, desire. Now, please listen: how does desire arise? Not for a car, or for good clothes, desire itself, how does it arise?

Q: Fear.

K: No, no, please. Desire, sir. I want a better house, more money, better wife, or god knows what else - desire, desire. Right, you know this, don't you. So I am not asking the objects of desire, but what is the source of desire?

Q: Could it be thought?

Q: Comparison.

K: Yes, comparison. Compare your little car with a bigger car, your little house with a bigger house, comparison. That is not what I am asking, if you will forgive me. I am asking, how does desire arise itself, not for a something, not for a big house, but the desire. What is the beginning of desire?

Q: A mental image, a thought.

K: You haven't even listened, sir.

Q: The search for happiness.

(General discussion amongst audience)

K: Look, sir. Finish all your... and then let's come back. You have stated all that you want to say, now let's come back and find out how desire arises. This is - please be good enough to listen - this is very important to find out, then you will know how to deal with it.

Q: There is something that you desire.

K: But sir, the origin, the beginning, how does desire - desire being wanting something, wanting or not wanting, this movement of desire - what is the origin, the beginning of desire?

Q: Thought.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: That's just the point, sir, I am trying to go into that. How does desire arise. Because unless you find out contradictory desires, then you battle with contradictory desires, but if you find out the beginning of desire then we can go into it further and deeply. Now I am going to go into it if you will kindly listen. You are ready to listen, you are not ready to find out. That's your culture, that's your training, that's your religious up-bringing - listen. You don't want to think for yourself but accept what other people say - Shankara, this person, that person, it doesn't matter, your pet guru. All that you are concerned with is, tell me what to do, not find out.

Q: It is sensation that brings desire.

K: Just a minute, sir, go slowly. We are trying to find out, enquire into the problem of desire, not the object of desire - woman, man, position - not the object of desire but desire itself, how it comes into being. I'll show it to you, and do it. You follow? There is nothing complicated about it.

Q: Sir?

K: Yes, sir?

Q: Does not the arising of desire happen simultaneously with the arising of time?

K: We will come to that, sir. First there is perception, isn't there? Seeing something, seeing a better house. Right? The seeing, then there is sensation - go slowly, do it, watch it. You see a car, you see a woman, you see a man in a big position, in authority and so on, you see that; from that there is sensation, then you touch it, contact. Seeing, contact, sensation. Right sir? Right? I see a car, touch it, like it, sensation; from sensation thought says, I like that, I want that. So please listen. Seeing, contact, sensation, then thought saying, I like that, I'd like to have more of it. So the whole process is: seeing, contact, sensation, desire. Right? That's very simple, you can watch it yourself. You see a nice house, then there is sensation, from that sensation identification with that object and you say, I would like to have it. Right, that's very clear. Right, sir?

Q: Can a blind man see?

K: A blind person doesn't see but he feels. You are not blind so please don't - you are not applying this to yourself, you run off to talk about a blind man. A blind man may not see but he touches, from the touching he has sensation, from sensation the feeling of like and dislike and all the rest of it, desire. So desire arises, seeing, perception, contact, sensation, then thought comes in and says, I like, I don't like and so on and so on. Have you got this simple fact?

Now why is there an opposing desire? You understand my question? Is desire in itself contradictory? Please think about it for a little. You see how desire arises, why is there a contradictory desire, opposing desire? Answer me, all of you.

Q: The difference in...

K: No, I am asking, sir, first listen to find out. We understand the nature of desire. I am asking a very simple further question: why is there an opposing desire? Wait, listen. And is desire in itself contradictory? Or the objects of desire vary, desire is not contradictory in itself but the objects of desire vary. You understand my question? That is, I see a car, I see a woman, I see a man in a good position, power and so on, so the objects vary. But desire itself doesn't vary, it is desire. Right, sir? So the contradiction exists with comparison, change of objects, one is more attractive than the other, but it is desire. So desire in itself is not contradictory. Is this too much? Do you understand this, sir? Discover this extraordinary fact that desire in itself is not contradictory. Desire can never be contradictory, but the objects can be contradictory. Right? Is this clear?

Q: Not clear.

K: Are you saying this is not clear? There is a fundamental thing that one has to understand that desire in itself is never contradictory. That's a marvellous thing to discover for yourself.

Q: Sir, perhaps if you would explain not the power of desire but the 'why', perhaps it would be clearer.

K: Why?

Q: Yes, the 'why' of desire, not the 'how'.

K: The 'why' of desire. That's our whole nervous organism, everything is geared to sensation, sensory perceptions, and from sensory perceptions desire arises. We went into that.

Q: It makes no sense to me, what you say. I'm sorry. I cannot put that together logically. There is some other element that I cannot touch.

K: No, there is no other element, sir. You see, don't you, you see a big house - let's take that. From that there is sensation, isn't there, the seeing, there is sensation, a natural sensation, like putting a pin in your leg it hurts. So there is seeing, sensation. Right? Then there is contact, either you touch it, or sensory touch it, then from that desire arises when thought says, I'd like to have that.

Q: Why does thought say that?

K: Why - because all our education, all our conditioning is to identify ourselves with what we want. Right? I want that big house. So desire is identification with the object of desire. The object of desire, there is nothing complicated, there is nothing that is not logical.

Q: Sir, in the child who has not yet been fully conditioned into the desire for a car or a house, or any of that business, there is still the activity of desire.

K: Of course, sir.

Q: How does it arise?

K: The activity of desire is immediately you give a toy to the child and the child possesses it, 'It's mine', and he will fight for it. This is very simple, sir, don't elaborate a simple thing more and more. There is seeing, contact, sensation. Right? From sensation there is the image-building, if you want to go much more deeply into it. The image of a big house and the identification by thought with that big house, is the whole movement of desire.

Now I am saying desire in itself is not contradictory. One has been told that to achieve god or enlightenment, or whatever it is, bliss, or whatever you want, you must become a sannyasi, renounce the world and follow a narrow path. But that is an idea, a concept, a thing which has been put forward and tradition says that's the way to achieve god, or whatever it is. But you have other desires. Right? You have sexual desires, you have desires for money, position, and so on. So there is contradiction. Right, you follow this? To serve god you must become a sannyasi, but your daily life is much stronger than the other, so you have a contradiction. Right? Now why do you have the image or the picture of a sannyasi? That is, a monk can only achieve the godhead, why? Why do you accept it? It may be totally wrong. Right? Why do you accept it?

Q: It is a reasonable thing.

K: Sir, look, look: the ideal of a sannyasi is non-existent. What is factual is your daily desire, not to serve god you must become that. That may be totally wrong, probably it is. So you have to say, first I will only deal with the fact, the actual, not the supposed way of living. The actual is one is burnt up with desire. Right? Therefore deal with that and not with the other. The other makes you a contradiction. I don't know if you follow this.

Sir, look, I'll explain. Tradition in India has established for thousands of years that to find enlightenment, to find god, to find whatever it is they promise, you must become a sannyasi, that is, renounce the world. Right?

(General discussion amongst the audience)

K: The tradition says this, sir, I am not saying it. Tradition says this. Now that has been established. But human beings are devoured by desire. Which is the fact, which is the actual?

Q: We are full of desire.

K: That is the fact and not the other. So you have invented something opposite from your daily life and therefore there is a contradiction. Whereas if you say, look, I am only concerned with desire and all the implications of it, dealing with facts, then there is no contradiction at all. I wonder if you see this. Have you understood this simple thing, sir? Look sir, suppose I am violent, angry, jealous, full of hatred and all the rest of it, now why can't I deal with that without having the opposite of it? You understand my question, sir? I am violent but all of you, including the gurus and the mahatmas say, live a way of life which is non-violent. The way of non-violence is fictitious, it is not real. What is real, actual, is I am violent. Right? I have to deal with that, not with non-violence. But your whole tradition says, deal with a fictitious non-violence. I wonder if you understand this? That's simple, sir, isn't it? So you have eliminated the contradiction. So you are only dealing then with facts. That is, I am violent. I am violent. Therefore my mind is free of the opposite because I am only dealing with what actually is going on, not with supposed non-violence, which is nonsense. You follow? So I have eliminated contradiction. I wonder if you see this.

Do you see this, sirs? If we are dealing with what is actually going on then there is no contradiction. Suppose I have cancer, and the doctor says, the surgeon says, you must be operated, but I am frightened, I hesitate and I talk. But the surgeon says, my dear chap you have to have it, you go on the table tomorrow, otherwise it will be the worse for you. I accept the fact. But if I live in a world of non-fact, as most of you do, then there is contradiction. As most of you live in a world of ideas and not with facts there is contradiction. I wonder if you see this. A simple fact. Right sir? Can you eliminate all ideals, which are fictitious, which are not real?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: I understand all that. I am asking you something different, would you kindly listen. Which is, eliminate that which is not factual, actual. Ideals are not actual. Right? This is obvious, isn't it, sir? Non-violence is not actual, it is an ideal opposed to violence. Right? Right, sirs? So if you had no ideals but only facts, you are only dealing with facts, then there is no contradiction. I wonder if you see this. I'll show it to you, sir.

I am violent - suppose I am - suppose I am violent. I have been told, my culture, my tradition, all the people have said, try to be non-violent. That is the ideal. So I have been conditioned to that. Which is, there is contradiction between what is happening, which is I am violent, and the ideal of non-violence. And I see that very clearly, so I say to myself, I have to deal with facts, not with ideals. So I put away all ideals and only deal with facts, which is the actual sense of violence. You follow? I have eliminated altogether a thing which brings about contradiction. Therefore I am dealing only with facts, which what is actually happening. That is, the actual happening is that a reaction has come into me which I have named as violence. I wonder if you are following this? There is a reaction. You have called me a fool and my reaction is to get annoyed. But my conditioning says, suppress it, go beyond it, control it. Which is the ideal interfering with the fact. I wonder if you see that.

So I see very clearly that any form of interference of ideals distorts, or makes me escape from the fact. Then I have no contradiction. See the beauty of it, sir. I have no contradiction because I am only dealing with facts. But when you are dealing with ideals - your ideal, my ideal, his ideal, there is contradiction. Right.

Now I am concerned only with the actual happening of violence. That is, a feeling has arisen because you have called me a fool, and I have named it, that reaction, I have named it as violence. Right? Now can I watch - is there an observation of that feeling without naming it? You understand? Try and do it, sir. Do it as we are talking. That is, not to name the reaction as being violent, because the moment you use the word 'violent' it has a great many connotations, associations. Which is, you mustn't be violent, you must be kind - again unreal. So can you observe that feeling without calling it violence? So can you observe without the word? You understand all this, sir? This requires tremendous observation, not discipline, just observation. Are you following all this? Following in the sense, are you doing it?

That is, we have become slaves to words. A Hindu is a category of a group of people called Hindus, and there is a category, a group of people called Muslims. The Hindus have their own conditioning, that they are this, that they are that, and the other fellow has his own conditioning, so there is battle between them. So to remove the contradiction deal only with facts, not with fictions, not with ideals. Right, sir? That is, I am violent...

Q: (Inaudible)

K: First see the problem as a whole, then we will deal in detail. That is, desire in itself is not contradictory. The objects of desire vary and therefore the contradiction lies in the objects. So that's one point.

The second point is, contradiction exists when we are not dealing absolutely with what is actually happening. Which means elimination completely of ideals. Which is very difficult because you are conditioned from childhood to have ideals - ideals of non-violence, ideals of nobility, ideals of a sannyasi, you follow, ideals. So can you see the falseness of ideals and therefore they have no value, not fight them. Seeing that they make life extraordinarily complicated, false, can you see the truth of it and therefore let it disappear. Like when you see a cobra, you know it is dangerous, it's finished, you don't play with it. So in the same way ideals are fictitious, they have no reality. What has reality, what is actually happening, is the fact.

So the fact is you call me a fool - please follow this - you call me a fool and the word 'fool' has many, many associations, and I get angry. There is anger. And that word 'violence' is applied to that feeling. Therefore in that very word there is contradiction. I wonder if you see his. Right, sir? So is there an observation of this arising of a sensation of reaction, but not naming it? Then you are dealing with fact, not with the word. I wonder if you see that.

Q: It is not easy.

K: Don't say, difficult. You are used to it, you are habituated to it, you are conditioned to it. See you are conditioned when you say, a Muslim. To a capitalist, communism is something terrible. So you are a slave to words. Your mind functions with words and you are used to a certain set of words. So find out whether you can observe without the word. That is, can you observe the tree without the word? Find out. Then you will see that you can observe a woman, a car, a tree, a sunset, without the word.

Sir, let me go into it a little more to make it really simple. The word 'microphone' is not the thing. Right? The word is not the thing. Right? Do you see this? I wonder. I wonder why you come here. You want to learn about all this, therefore find out, sir. Nobody is going to tell you all these things, no book, no guru, they are too damn silly. So find out. The word is not the thing, the 'door' is not the actual door. Right? The word 'tree' is not the actual tree. So the word is not the thing. That's one fact. Right? I can describe the mountain - beautiful, the beauty of the valley, the blue light, the clear line against the marvellous sky, the quality of the air, I can describe it, but the description is not the actual. Right? Now most of us are caught in descriptions. Right? In the word. So you have to eliminate the description, the word, and look at the fact. You see then you have eliminated so many contradictions. I wonder if you see this. See for yourself, or rather, learn, not memorize, but learn, which is, that there is a possibility of observation without the word. That means you have learnt a tremendous lot, that your brain is now active without the word. We function within the word - Gita: there is immediately some kind of absurd reaction. And if you say, the Bible, you don't pay so much attention to it. It's just the words. So are you aware that you are a slave to words? And a mind which is a slave to words battles with unrealities. But whereas if you say the word is not the thing, never, then you move into a different dimension altogether.

Q: You say the door is not the word. If you remove the word 'tree' then the tree and the door are the same.

K: What a crazy question! I said, sir, please listen, don't let's become terribly clever. The word 'microphone' is not the fact. Right, sir? The word 'door' is not that door. When I point to that and say, 'That's the door', then the word identifies itself with the fact, the door. But the door remains when the word is gone. So go into it a little bit. This is very, very important because you will see for yourself if you go into for yourself and learn, that for us the word has become much more important than the fact. God is tremendously important for all of you - if you believe in all that rubbish. And suppose you meet a man who says, 'I don't believe in god', you are fighting over words. You don't know what god is, you know the description, which is not the actual fact.

So first please see how important it is for yourself, and learn that the word is never the thing. The wife, the word 'wife' is not the wife. Perhaps you will understand that better. (Laughter)

K: So I am asking please learn. Learn, not memorize, but learn to observe how the thing arose, how the thing comes out. Which is, we have contradiction only when we are not dealing with what actually is going on. Right? Because we don't know how to deal with what is going on we invent the ideal, which is an escape from what is going on. And if you want to change what is going on don't have contradiction. You understand the point? It's so simple. Then you have the energy to deal with 'what is'. Instead of wasting that energy in contradiction, having ideals and all the rest of it. Do you see this? Look, sir, I am violent, and my conditioning has been by all the gurus, the mahatmas, the whole culture says, don't be violent. And I try all the time to be non-violent. But the actual fact is I am violent. So I am wasting my energy in trying to be non-violent. So when I remove that I have the energy to deal with 'what is'. You understand? But that energy is still wasted when I am using the word 'violence' and getting intoxicated with that word. So I have the energy to observe the fact of being angry. And I won't use the word 'anger' because the word is not the thing.

Q: Sir...

K: Wait, wait, let me finish, don't interfere. The word is not the thing, therefore there is only that reaction. Not named it. The moment you name it becomes stronger. You are strengthening by naming it, by associating through that word the past, therefore you are giving it strength. But if you don't name it, it soon dissipates. You have got this? So you have eliminated altogether contradiction. You are only dealing with what is actually going on. What is actually going on is poverty. Now please listen to this. The communists say, do this, the ideal. The congress people are all dealing with ideals, never dealing with the fact, which is poverty. Can poverty be solved by this country alone, or is it a global problem. If it is a global problem, which it is, then no nationalities, no division. We are concerned with facts. You understand sir? Then you and I can meet. I am not interested whether you are a Hindu, or a beastly something or other, I am not interested. Let's deal with the fact. But now economically we are divided, politically, religiously, and we fight over that and not with the facts. I wonder if you see this. It's so simple, it becomes extraordinarily clear. Because then you will find out what is right action. There can be no right action as long as you have ideals. Right, sir? Good!

Have you learnt something this morning?

Audience: Yes.

K: No, learnt, not memorized. See the difference between memorizing and learning. You memorize by listening to what I have said like a schoolboy learning mathematics. But that's your tradition, that's your conditioning, everything turned into memory, and repeat, repeat, repeat. Whereas if you are listening and learning, it is not accumulating memory, you are learning, you are moving. I wonder if you see that.

So if I may ask, have you learnt something this morning?

Q: Learnt to think.

K: I am very glad if you have learnt to think. If you have learned to think, sir, you won't belong to any society, to any group.

Q: I am a Theosophist.

K: Then drop it.

Q: Sir, may I ask a question. You have said when I look at a flower and I see the flower, I am conditioned to say, flower, and that's what I end up seeing, not the flower. So you have said if I recognize that I have done that, just see the flower without saying flower, then I see the truth, I am dealing with facts. The fact is in my case that I am conditioned to respond always with the word 'flower', or whatever it is, and I can see that and say, 'Ah, I see that I am saying, flower'. You see the problem?

K: I understand. That is, we are conditioned by words. We are conditioned by environment. Right, sir? One is conditioned by the culture one lives in. We are conditioned by the religion, all that is going on around us from childhood. Right? Now is one aware of this conditioning? Right? Which means you have no opposite to that conditioning. Please listen to it, just listen to it.

The gentleman asked a question, very simply: I am conditioned by the word 'flower', I am conditioned by the culture in which I live, I am conditioned by the religion, by the parents, by education: I am conditioned. Right? Now are we aware, know that we are conditioned? Right, sir? That's a simple fact. Do you know that you are conditioned? When you call yourself a Hindu, you are conditioned. Right?

Q: We don't know that.

K: I want that fact to be clear. You don't know it. You don't know it because it has become such a habit. It's like repeating, repeating, repeating, like your name, it's a habit. And the gentleman says, I cannot break down, or go beyond this habit. He is aware that he is conditioned, as most of you are not aware. He says, I know I am conditioned because of the flower, this, and that and the other. First be aware of it, and if you have an ideal, please listen, if you have an ideal that you must go beyond it, then you have contradiction. Right, sir? So remain only with the fact that you are conditioned. Right? Now, how do you observe that fact? Learn, please learn. How do you observe that fact that you are conditioned? Do you observe it with the desire, with the motive that you must be free of it? Then if that motive, that desire is to be free of it, you have created a contradiction. So can you be free to observe without a motive? The moment you have a motive, that motive is born out of your conditioning. You follow, sir? I am as good as any lawyer!

Q: I see that I am always conditioned.

K: Watch it, sir. I am saying, we are dealing with facts. See that clearly. So are you free of motive?

Q: No.

K: Therefore you don't see for yourself that when you have a motive you are introducing a factor which is non-actual.

Q: I am conditioned to have the motive though.

K: No. The word 'motive' means to move. Now let me go into it myself, I'll explain it and perhaps you'll see it better. I realize I am conditioned, actually realize, not just verbally say, I am conditioned. I am conditioned because I was born in India, as a Hindu, as a Brahmin and all the rest of it, I am conditioned by the western culture, I am conditioned by etc., etc. Now that is a fact. That is an actual daily fact that I am conditioned. Now I explained I am conditioned and the result of that conditioning is, I am separate from humanity. Right? I know all the reasons why that conditioning is dangerous, but it is still descriptive. So can I look at my conditioning without any kind of motive, which is to be free of it, which is to rationalize it, just to observe it without any motive. Unless I do that I will only move from one conditioning to another conditioning. So the importance is to find out if it is possible to observe without motive. If you say, that's impossible, then you give up, throw in the sponge and walk away. If you are serious, if you are really honest, want to find out the truth of it, you have to find out if you can live without a motive.

So when you have no motive then you are free to observe. You understand sir?

Q: I understand.

K: The very motive is more conditioning. So when you live in a motive you are also living in a conditioning.

Q: It is too difficult.

K: Ah, it is too difficult - never to use the word 'difficult'.

It's nine o'clock. I would like to ask, if I may, most respectfully and politely, whether you have learned, not memorized, anything this morning.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Have you learnt anything, sir? Which means you have really understood in your heart, not verbally, in your heart, that contradiction exists when you are not facing facts. If you learn that one thing you have learnt a tremendous lot. That means you have eliminated in life the conflict of opposites.


Madras 1977

Madras 1st Dialogue 27th December 1977

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