Saanen 5th Public Talk 18th July 1978
We have been talking over together the question of fear and whether after hearing it, after hearing our conversation together over this weight of fear, if one is at all free of it. Or one has merely heard it, saw the reason of it, the sanity of it and cannot do anything about it, and then just drift along. I wonder what one actually has done, each one of us with regard to that question of fear, and the identification of oneself with one's friends, family, furniture, house, country, ideas and so on. Whether after these four talks one has actually ended all identification and therefore there is a great deal of freedom, not relative, but freedom.
And when one asks these questions of oneself, whether we ask superficially, intellectually or as you would ask a question that affects you most profoundly, most seriously. (sound of an aeroplane) I am afraid, we are going to have lot of disturbance today; it's a lovely day for flight. And after asking these questions of oneself, and if we are at all serious, getting the house in order - our house, which is you. And when we put things in order in our house we are free, we have more energy. It is only when there is disorder that we waste energy. And order implies that one has understood deeply what are the movements of disorder in oneself, why we live, perhaps even in our own rooms, in such disorder. Or having in one's house order, in oneself there is such abiding deep disorder, uncertainty, why such human beings live in this disorder, from the moment they are born until they die - why? Why do we tolerate to live in such conditions?
I wonder if you have asked yourself these questions. If you have - perhaps some of you have - and discovering that one is in disorder, mechanically sets about to put everything in oneself in order. Thereby one cultivates discipline, follows a pattern, a pattern laid down after two thousand years, or ten thousand years, or the patterns laid down by some guru, some priest, some specialist in so-called spirituality. Or try to escape from this abiding, endless, seemingly endless, disorder, try to identify oneself with something that is supreme order, which is the cosmos, the heavens, the whole universe. I wonder what you, looking at yourself in the mirror which tells you exactly what is, I wonder what you do about this disorder? Is one aware that one lives in disorder? Is one aware that one lives in contradiction? This constant conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be'.
(sound of an aeroplane) I told you, it's going to be a difficult morning. If one asks oneself these questions, are you listening for an answer from yourself? Or are you listening for an answer from somebody else? I am afraid most of us are inclined to find order, not understanding disorder, in investigating what is order we easily accept some specialist, some authority, some priest, some guru who will tell us what is order. So our minds are becoming more and more mechanical because we accept a pattern of order, like a soldier drilled day after day, day after day, month after month, drilled, the drums beating out his brains. So we follow, accept, obey, conform. Is not that conformity, obedience, acceptance the very root of disorder? As we said, please do not accept anything whatsoever the speaker says. And I really mean it. These are the questions you are asking of yourself.
So does one discover for oneself how extraordinarily mechanical our actions are, our attitudes are, our reactions are? And so our brains, our whole existence becomes a routine. And that routine has made our minds - I mean by mind the brain, the thought, the whole content of our consciousness, the senses, all that I mean by the word, is conveyed by the word 'mind': consciousness, the senses, the movement of thought, the content of our consciousness, all that is the mind. I am using that word in that sense. We may alter later on, next year or tomorrow use a different word, but for now we are using mind to convey all that. If you observe in the mirror, don't you find that your mind, the whole content has become extraordinarily mechanical? You are Christians, or if you have given up your Christianity, you belong to something else, or if you have given that up you belong to something else. Or you follow a certain routine, a certain way of thinking according to your opinions, experiences, which always function within a narrow limit - right? Have you noticed this, that your mind is mechanical? Because please, we are going into something which is perhaps rather difficult. I don't know where it is going to lead us. It may become a little more complex therefore please give a little attention.
You know when you have a small child with you, you listen to the cries, you listen to the words, the murmur, you are so concerned, you listen - you may be asleep but the moment he cries you wake up. And you are all the time attentive because the child is yours, you must care for it, you must love it, you must hold it, and so you are tremendously attentive even though you are asleep, you wake up. Now could you so listen with that same quality of attention, affection, care, listening to every movement of that child? Could you do it in watching the mirror, not me, you are not listening to me, listening to the mirror, which is yourself, to what it is telling you, with that extraordinary concentrated affection, care? Will you do it?
So we are asking: why have human beings become so mechanical? That mechanical habit obviously produces disorder because if you are all the time functioning within a narrow limit, in that narrow limit there is always this energy limited and therefore it is struggling to break through, which is the essence of conflict - you understand? No, don't understand me, understand what the mirror is saying, there is no speaker here. So can you observe with that care, with attention, which is the feeling of great affection for what you are going to listen to?
We are talking about disorder. And we live in disorder, of habits, of beliefs, of conclusions, of opinions. This is the pattern we live in, which naturally, being limited, must create disorder. Now when one is in disorder to seek order is wrong, obviously, because the mind that is confused, unclear, seeking what is order will also be confused, will also be uncertain. That is clear. But whereas, if you look into disorder, if you understand the disorder in which you live, the causes of it, the movement of disorder, in the very understanding of it, out of that understanding comes order naturally, easily, happily without any compulsion, without any control. You understand what I am saying? This is what the mirror is telling you: that to understand, not verbally, intellectually or emotionally, but to understand the movement of disorder in oneself, why this disorder comes about, and you can discover the causes instantly if you give attention, that attention which you give to a small, defenceless child, which is to have an insight into disorder.
So what is the root of disorder? The root of it. There are many causes of disorder - comparison, comparing oneself with another, comparing oneself with what he or she should be, imitating an example, example being somebody who is a saint - you know, all that stuff, I don't have to go into all that nonsense. Or conforming - right? Conformity, imitation, adjustment to something you think is beyond that which is - right? So there is always conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be'. Got it? Which is to compare, which is the movement of thought: I was this, or I was happy and some day I will be happy again. So this constant measurement between 'what has been' or 'what is' and 'what should be'. This constant evaluation brings conflict and that is one of the basic reasons of disorder - right?
And another cause of disorder is operating from the past. Now is love a movement of time, of thought, of remembrance? You understand? Do you understand my question? The question the mirror is asking you,in which you are looking. And is this love, so-called love, not creating such extraordinary disorder between human relationships? Right? Look at it yourself, for god's sake.
Now what is the root of disorder? You can see the causes and we can add more, that is irrelevant. In examining what is the root of it don't analyse, we have been through that, just look. If you look without analysis you have an immediate insight into it. If you say, "I will examine, I will deduct," or from outside analyse, induction and deduction, it is still the movement of thought. Whereas if you can observe with that care, with that deep attention in which is involved a great deal of tenderness, affection, then you have an insight. So we are asking: what is the root of it? Go on sirs, find out. What is the root of our disorder, inward disorder and therefore outward disorder? You can see what terrible disorder there is in the world, agonizing disorder, people are killing each other, and the dissidents are being tortured, put into prison - you follow, all that is going on. We tolerate all that because our minds accept things, or try to change a little bit here and there. So what is the root of disorder? Which means you have to go into the question: what is our consciousness? You understand? What is your consciousness? As you look at yourself in that undistorted mirror, what is your consciousness? And that may be the essence of disorder. So we have to investigate together what is our consciousness.
Our consciousness is a living thing, a moving thing, it is active, not something static, closed, locked up - it is not like that. It is a thing that is constantly changing, but changing within a small limited border. It is like a man thinking he is changing when he changes a little bit there, in one corner, and he doesn't transform the rest of the field. So we have to understand the nature and the structure of consciousness. We are doing that to find out if that is the root of our disorder. It may not be. We are going to find out. So what is our consciousness? Is it not everything that thought has put together? The form, the body, the name, the senses with which thought has identified itself, the beliefs, the pains, the tortures, the agonies, the discomfort, the depressions and elations, the jealousies, the anxieties, the fears, the pleasures, my country and your country, I believe in god, I don't believe in god, Jesus is the most important, Krishna is much more important - and so on and so on and so on. Is not all that your consciousness? No? You can add more to it, in detail - I am brown, I wish I were lighter, I am black but black is beautiful and so on and so on. The past, the tradition, the heredity, the whole tradition of mankind is based essentially on this, its mythology - all that is the content. If you were born in India, or in Africa where Christianity is not the fashion, they have their own gods, their own images, their own forms of worship, that is part of their consciousness, as you have it here, only they call it by a different name, but essentially it is the same pattern. Right? And as long as one is unaware of the content of consciousness and acts, then that action must be limited and therefore disorder - no? You understand? Thought in its movement must create disorder unless thought has realized its proper place, which is knowledge. Knowledge is limited and therefore it has its proper place. That is clear. We have gone into this. I won't go into it over and over again.
So thought born of yesterday, or ten thousand million yesterdays, is limited, and the content of our consciousness is therefore limited, and our consciousness, however thought may say that this consciousness isn't limited and there is a higher consciousness, it is still a form of consciousness. You have got it? So thought which hasn't realized its proper place is the very essence of disorder. Right? Do you understand? This is not something romantic, vague, nonsense, but you can see for yourself if you are logical, sane, clear, that thought, being limited, must create disorder. Like a man who says, "I am a Jew", or "I am an Arab" - or a Chinese - he is limited, and therefore closing himself, resisting and therefore wars and all the misery begins. Right? Do you actually see this fact? - not as an idea, not something that somebody is telling you, but see it for yourself as you see, hear the cry of the baby. Then you act. You get up.
And part of our mechanical way of living is born out of this limited consciousness - right? So is it possible not to expand consciousness? Do you understand the meaning of that word? To expand, to enlarge it, to add more things to it, more knowledge, more experience, more moving from one corner to another, trying to enlarge it. There are schools which are doing this, by practice, by discipline, control, all that. So when you are trying to expand consciousness there is a centre of measurement. You understand? When you try to enlarge anything, enlarge a house, there is from a small foundation, a large foundation, you enlarge, there is a centre from which you enlarge. Similarly there is a centre from which there is an expanding, which is measurement. It doesn't matter if you don't understand: look at yourself. Aren't you trying to expand your consciousness? You may not use that word. You may say, "Well, I am trying to be better" - "I am trying to be more this or that" - or to achieve. So as long as there is a centre from which you act there must be disorder.
Then the problem arises: is it possible to act, function naturally, happily without a centre, without the content of consciousness? Do you understand these questions? We are putting fundamental questions. You may not be used to that. Most of us put questions rather slackly, or indifferently and move off. But we are asking questions that you must answer, must find an answer, go into it to discover for yourself the answer. Is it possible to act, to live our daily life without the centre? - which is the essence of disorder. That is, in your relationship with another, however intimate it may be, if you are all the time concerned about yourself, your ambitions, your personality, your beauty, your habits, you, in your relationship with another, and the other is also doing the same naturally there is conflict, which is disorder.
So is it possible not to act from a centre? We have gone into what is the centre. The centre is this consciousness with its content, and the content is all the things which thought has put together, with its sensations, with its desires, with its fears and so on and so on. Right? What is that action in which there is no contradiction, no regret, no reward or punishment, therefore an action that is whole - you understand? We are going to find out. We are going to find out, not I find out and answer it, tell you, but together we are going to find out, remembering that there is no speaker but only the mirror in which you are looking. To understand it we must go into the question of what is love. Because if we can find the truth of what is love that may completely dissolve the centre, completely bring about a holistic action. So we must go into it very, very carefully, if you are willing. That means are you willing to listen? You have your opinions about love, obviously. You have your conclusions about love. You say love cannot exist without jealousy, love exists only when there is sex, love exists only when you love all your neighbours, love the animals and all the rest of it. You have a concept, an idea, a conclusion about what love is. If you have then you cannot possibly investigate - right? If you already say, "This is so", you are finished. It is like one of those gurus who says, "I know, I have reached enlightenment" and you being gullible follow him. You never question him.
So here there is no authority, there is no speaker, but we are asking a very, very serious question, which may resolve the conflict, the control, the constant battle between oneself and with another. And to find that out we must go very deeply into this question of what love is, not what compassion is. I am talking of love. Don't bring in another word and then confuse it. We are just talking of what human beings call love. Love their animals, their pets, love their garden, love their house, love their furniture, love their girl or boy, love their gods, love their country - you follow? - this thing called love, which is so loaded, which is so trodden upon. We are going to find out what it is - right? Don't go to sleep! Or take notes. I believe you are going to have cassettes, which you can hear afterwards, if you want to. But to take notes while the baby is crying, that is a good simile for you, you will understand it, saying why is he crying, writing it all very carefully! (Laughter). So please pay a little attention, that is, to hear, that means the art of listening. You know that baby when he cries, you are listening with all your mind. The art of listening means - the word 'art' implies to put everything in its right place. If you understand the meaning of that word really, that is the real art, not painting pictures and all the rest of it, that comes secondary, or tertiary. But the art of putting your life in its proper place, which is to live harmoniously, when you have put everything in yourself in its right place you are free. That putting everything in its right place is part of intelligence. Then you say you are giving a new meaning to that word 'intelligence'. One must. Intelligence implies reading between lines, between words, between two silences, between speech, listening, so that your mind is all the time alert to listen. You not only hear with your ear, but also you hear without the ear.
So we are asking: what is the meaning and the beauty, if there is beauty, of love? That gives me an idea - not an idea. Have you ever considered what beauty is? What does beauty mean? Is it connected with desire? Don't deny it, look at it, carefully listen, find out. Is beauty part of desire? Is beauty part of the senses? You see a marvellous building, the Parthenon, an ancient Greek or Egyptian, or one of these cathedrals, marvellous buildings - your senses are awakened by the beauty of that. So is beauty part of this? And is beauty the face, the colour, the shape, the bones in the face, the clarity in the eyes and the skin and the hair, and the expression of a man or a woman? You understand all these questions? Or there is another quality of beauty which may transcend all this beauty, which when that is part of this life then the form, the face, everything has its place. Whereas if that is not captured, if that is not understood, the outward expression, the outward - all that becomes all important - right? So we are going to find out what that beauty is. If you are interested.
You know when you see something like that marvellous mountain against the blue sky, the vivid bright, clear, unpolluted snow, the majesty of it drives all your thoughts, your concerns, your problems out of it. Have you noticed that? You say, "How beautiful it is" and for two seconds perhaps, or for even a minute you are absolutely silent - right? Haven't you noticed it? Which means what? The grandeur of it drives away for that second the pettiness of ourselves - right? So that immensity has taken us over - right? Do you understand this? Like a child with an intricate toy - for an hour he is occupied, he won't talk, he won't make any noise, he is completely absorbed in that. Which means the toy has absorbed him - you follow this? I am getting tired. You understand?
So the mountain absorbs you and therefore for the second, or the minute you are absolutely quiet, which means there is no self. Now without being absorbed by something - you understand? - either a toy, a mountain, or a face, or an idea or this or that, to be in oneself completely without the me, is the essence of beauty. Do you understand all this?
So we are going to find what is love. Because if we can find that out our life may be totally different. One can live without conflict, without control, without any form of effort. We are going to find out.
First of all, as we said the other day, there is positive action, an action which is non-action - I went into that, right? Need I go into it again? In positive action there is doing something about it, controlling, suppressing, effort, dominating, avoiding, explaining, rationalizing, and in the very process of analysing, rationalizing, there is an action which is considered positive, doing something about it. Right? And we are saying there is non-action, which is not related to positive action, it is not the opposite of it, which is to observe without action. Then that very observation, as we pointed out, brings about a radical transformation in that which is being observed, which is non-action. Do understand this, a little bit. It doesn't matter. It is your life. We are so used to doing positive - right? "I must", "I must not", "This is right", "This is wrong", "This is correct", "This should be", "This must not be", "I'll suppress it, I'll control" - all this is struggling with the me, which is the essence of disorder, which is the essence of conflict. If you see that, not verbally or intellectually, or optically but actually see the truth of it, then there is non-action, in which there is no effort. Mere observation itself changes that which is being observed.
So we are asking: what is love? And we said that we have got so many opinions about it: opinions of specialists, opinions of gurus, opinions of priests, your wife says or your girl says, "This is love", or you say, "This is love", or you say it is related to sex and so on and so on and so on. Is it? Is it related to senses? From the senses arises desire. Have you followed this? Desire is the movement, the concentrated movement of desire, the movement of the senses is desire, obviously. Don't look puzzled! I see a beautiful thing, which is the senses are awakened and I want it. Come on! Look at it for yourself. You see we are saying when there is the movement of the total senses, the whole senses, not a particular sense, then desire is non-existent. You think it out.
So is love the movement of the senses with its desire? Right? Is love, to put it differently, desire? Sexually senses are in operation, the remembrance, the pictures, the images, the sensations all the time. And that movement of all that is considered love. Love, as far as one can observe, is part of desire. Go slowly. We haven't enlarged it. Don't look puzzled or say, "No, that can't be" - we are going into it. Is love attachment? You understand? I am attached to my girl or boy. I possess. So is attachment love? And our whole life is based on attachment - attachment to property, attachment to a person, attachment to a belief, to a dogma, to Christ, to Buddha, whatever it is, attached. Is that love? When you are attached, in that attachment there is pain, there is fear, there is jealousy, anxiety, you may lose. So we are asking: where there is attachment is there love? When you observe it and you are concerned deeply, most profoundly to find out what love is, then attachment becomes unimportant, it has no value, because that is not love.
So it is not desire. It is not remembrance. It is not attachment. Right? It is not that I am telling you and you accept it. It is so. And is love pleasure? Don't look so depressed. I am sorry. It doesn't mean you can't hold the hand of another. But we will find out, if you understand this. You see desire, the outcome of sensation, sensation attached to thought, thought attached to sensation, and from that sensation desire, and that desire wants to fulfil and we call that love. Is that love? Is attachment love? In attachment there is conflict, there is uncertainty and therefore the more there is uncertainty the more the fear of loneliness, the more you become attached, possessive, dominating, asserting, demanding, and hence conflict in relationship. And this conflict you think is part of love. And we are asking: is that love?
And is pleasure love? Pleasure is the movement of a remembrance - right? Don't memorize this phrase. Just listen to it. I remember how nice you were and how pleasant, how tender, how comforting, how sexual, this, that and the other - I remember that, and I say, "Darling, I love you". Is that love? And is pleasure to be denied? You must ask all these questions I am asking. You must ask, find out. Doesn't it give you a pleasure to look at the waters of a stream? What is wrong with that pleasure? Doesn't it give you pleasure to look at a solitary tree in a field? Doesn't it give you pleasure to see the moon over the mountains as last night, you saw it perhaps, some of you? A great delight wasn't it? What is wrong with it? But the trouble begins when thought says, "How beautiful this is, I must keep it. I must remember it. I must worship it. I hope to have more of it." - then the whole movement of pleasure comes into operation. And that pleasure we call love.
The child, the baby with the mother, she is full of that tender affection, the feeling of holding, is that love? Please don't jump on me, I am asking. Or that love is part of your heredity. Have you seen the monkeys holding their babies? The elephant caring for the little one infinitely. It may be that we have inherited this instinctual response to a baby. And then, "It is my baby". No, don't shake your head. "It is my baby, it has got my blood, my bones, my flesh, I love it". And if you do love your baby so greatly you will see he is properly educated, you will see that he is never violent, he is never killed or kills another. But you don't care. You only care for that little baby until he is about four, five, six and then throw him to the wolves - right?
So is all this love? Now the positive action is to say, "No. I will no longer have sex," I will no longer - you know, I will do this, I will get rid of this attachment, I will be free of attachment, I will work on attachment - you follow? Work, do something about it all the time. Whereas the negative action is to see it in its entirety, therefore have an insight into it. Then you will see that love is not any of these things, but because there is love, from that love all relationship changes. You know the ascetics, the monks, the sannyasis in India, in Europe and monks all over the world, they have said "No desire, no sex, don't look at a beautiful woman. If you do, think of her as your sister or your mother. Or, if you do look concentrate on the divine" - you follow? And all the rest of that. And they are burning inside. Outside denying but inwardly burning. And that is what they call a religious life; which means they have no love. They have an idea of what love is. The idea is not love. The idea, the word is not love. But only when you have seen the whole movement of desire, attachment, pleasure, then out of that depth of perception comes this strange flower with its extraordinary perfume. That is love.
Saanen 5th Public Talk 18th July 1978
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