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Madras 1979

Madras 2nd Public Dialogue 9th January 1979

Personally I don't like to sit on platforms. The little height doesn't give the speaker any authority. So this morning let us talk over together as a dialogue between two friends concerned with their life, with all the calamity of daily existence around them, their confusion, their misery; they are not talking about their theories or beliefs, they are deeply concerned to understand their own problems, their own misery, their own confusion. So if we could not discuss, or have a dialogue about theories, but actually be concerned with our daily life, then what shall we talk about together? It's up to you, sirs, this is a dialogue.

Q: Knowledge is essential and knowledge is also not essential, but living in a daily life we seek the knowledge, but as a matter of fact in daily life we must corrupt others, or we have to be corrupted ourselves. How to remove this confusion otherwise if we don't corrupt others or if we are not corrupted then we cannot have our basic needs.

K: How can one live in this world, in India, and probably he means Madras, without being corrupted amongst people who are already corrupt, how to live such a life in which there is no corruption. Any other questions? Sir, this is a dialogue between us two, between that gentleman and you, so let's all talk over, discuss, what would you like to ask apart from that question?

Q: You said psychological memory has to go altogether. Can we dispense with psychological memory altogether?

K: Can we dispense with psychological memories altogether? Any others?

Q: You said the observer is the same as the observed, and in the same breath you ask us to observe ourselves without referring to the past.

K: The observer is not different from the observed, and at the same time you say, observe without reference to the past.

Q: Are there two kinds of observation?

K: Yes, yes, we will go into it.

Q: Your teachings, sir, are very good directives so far as individual lives are concerned, but we are today in an atmosphere where politics is dominating the whole life, not merely our economic life, social life, political life, even philosophical life. How to combat that and improve the situation so that an atmosphere is created in which individuals can continue their own psychological and other ideas as well as the aims and objectives of individual lives.

K: The questioner asks, politics dominate, all our lives are controlled, shaped by politics. And is it possible for the individual to be free from this pressure of politics. Right sir?

Q: No, how to control that controller.

K: How to control the government. Right sir?

Q: Yes.

Q: Sir, you said it is thought that creates the division between the thinker and the thought, and therefore this division can go when we operate outside the realm of thought. But at the same time you can see, sir, that thought is necessary for mechanical things like driving a car, locating a house, or taking the drive which we did yesterday. To establish this order of keeping thought in the proper place, and excluding it, it means giving up every little thing that we have been caught up in. I have been hearing you, sir, for so many years, it is an extraordinary and very difficult effort to give up every little thing to which we have been clinging to. This is the difficulty, sir.

K: Right, sir. How is one to be totally detached from all the things that man has accumulated through thought, through millennia. Is that the question, sir?

Q: Yes.

Q: You say there is no god except that which is created by thought, then what is there?

K: What is there? Since you say, the speaker is saying, since you say there is no god except that which is created by thought, if there is no god then what is there. That's enough questions.

Q: One more question. I am not indulging in a trick of words, but you say keep your memory off except for facts, and do away with tradition. But we all listened to music yesterday, for example, and that music was wholly tradition and wholly memory, without perfection of tradition and the perfection of memory there would not have been that music. How do you explain that, sir?

K: There would be no music as yesterday afternoon if it wasn't traditional, and all the content of the song were totally and completely traditional.

Q: And also memory.

K: Memory is operating. I think that is enough. Just a minute, sir. All right, sir.

Q: Can we discuss observation is an instantaneous action.

K: All right, you have stated it. Yes, sir?

Q: Truth is indivisible and unchangeable, and how can it change from day to day, sir?

K: Truth is indivisible and unchangeable, how can truth change from day to day. If you don't mind my pointing out - how do you know what truth is? You have taken it for granted that there is truth, and how to apply that truth in daily life, from moment to moment. Sir, we very carefully explained - I will go into it later.

Now there are several questions put: the observer and the observed, the thinker and the thought, is it possible to observe without the observer; governments are controlling all our lives, can we unburden ourselves of this weight of governments; and - what else? I think generally all the questions apply, come to that point. Now which of the questions would you like to go into? And please bear in mind, has this any relationship with your daily life, or are we just playing with words outside somewhere?

Q: The question about relation which this gentleman put.

K: Has that any effect in our daily life? Are you asking this question from your consideration of your daily life? Can we go on with that question, do you want to discuss that question?

Q: We can discuss about the control of the government and our day to day life.

K: The control of government from day to day in our daily life. Can we dispense with that question? No, I'll answer it, we'll discuss it. What is government? And who are the politicians who are taking the responsibility of governing the people? In a democratic society, in a free election society, you elect the government, the politicians. Right? You are responsible for the government. And if you don't want that government, pull it down. It's for you. Right? By your vote, change the government, if you don't like it.

Q: The whole difficulty is with the majority of the people.

K: Wait. I am coming to that sir. The whole difficulty is that a few of us may desire, or want, feel the urge to change the governments, but the vast majority of people, ignorant, they don't know actually what is going on - right, sir - they are hood-winked, they are cheated, they are cleverly put into a corner where they cannot possibly respond, and what is one to do. Is that the question, sir?

Q: Though the governments are democratic they have authoritarian power, and these voters are merely individuals.

K: I know, he explained that, sir. The questioner - now first of all let's be clear. Those who are capable, desirous, wish through voting can bring about change, a few. The vast majority of people are ignorant, deceived, promised and all the nonsense of electioneering goes on, what is one to do? You and another may want to change the government, you may vote right, liberal, centre, conservative, and so on, what will you do when the vast majority of people elect somebody who is corrupt, power-minded, concerned with his own self, with his own little family, what are you to do? Answer me sir, it is your problem, not mine, what will you do? In a totalitarian government you have no choice, they are firmly fixed in their power. So what will you do? It's your problem, sir, don't just leave it to me because I am off in three weeks to Europe and America and so on, I have no vote, I don't want to vote. The whole rotten system, I don't want to come into it. What will you do? You understand, sir? This has been a human problem all along, from the ancient of times, the few want to change, live decently, not be corrupt, a few, but the vast majority is living a life of corruption, that is their way of living, smuggling and all the things that are going on. And what are the few to do?

Q: May I say a word, sir? On the lines we are discussing and on the lines we understand you.

K: No, you don't have to understand me at all.

Q: No. On the lines you want us to work.

K: No, no. We are thinking together.

Q: Yes, we work hard every day on this problem with ourselves, and yet we find thought is the stumbling block all the time, and so we continue to be clear and confused, clear and confused. That's what is happening.

K: That's what that gentleman was saying, the same thing, sir. Government is elected by the vast majority, the vast majority are ignorant - you know what they are. And the few wish to change, what will you do to bring about change in the vast majority? Please answer me, sir, it's your life.

Q: You have got to change yourself first. If you are at the centre of the change it permeates.

K: Right, sir, change yourself first. Will you? No, sir, I am not asking an insulting question or an impudent question. No, sir, please just listen, sir. It is very easy to say somebody must change, I must change - will you radically, deeply change?

Q: Why not?

K: I didn't say, why not. Will you?

Q: I will.

K: When?

Q: I am, right now. All the time I have been listening to you, yes.

K: Good, sir. Then how will you, if you change, affect the mass? That's the question, sir. That's one problem. Just listen to it. The other problem involved in governments, both totalitarian, communist, socialist, liberal and so on, is the question of power. Man desires power, both so-called siddhis as well as physical powers. Right sir? That question has not been solved. So how will you bring about a change in the cessation of power of the few, democratic, whatever party you have, and educate or help the vast majority who don't care as long as they have a little land, a little food, they are absolutely satisfied, what will you do?

Q: Educate is the only way, there is no other way.

K: Educate is the only way. Then why isn't there proper education in this country? Now education is being gradually controlled by the government, both in totalitarian states as well as here. Right sir? Now how will you change a government who will bring about the right kind of education? You see you are dodging the question. You move from government, to education, to individual. So it comes down to this, sir, doesn't it, if one may point it out: that we don't take the responsibility, each one of us, to see the thing doesn't happen. Will you educate your servants, if you have them? Come on, sirs. Educate their children? Obviously you won't because you are only concerned with yourself, with your little family. Right, sir? So will you do it? Absolute silence! Therefore you are going to have the government that you want - you deserve. Right, sir? Right sir? Let's face things as they are. One sees a great many officials, members of parliament, cabinet and all the rest of it, you know the game they are all playing so I don't have to go into it. So will you, as people who have the capacity to vote, be responsible for the care of human beings? You understand sir? Right? Will you do it? That means, sir, care implies love. Right, sir? Have you that care, that attention, that love brings? Go on, sir, answer it. Which means you will educate your servants' children. You must begin very near to go very far. But you attack at the top and not begin near. Is that question answered, sir?

Q: No, sir. How can a few individuals solve the problem unless you admit as a nation that the whole vast majority changes itself into this programme of action nothing can be done. And how to change the vast majority.

K: I am telling you, sir. The vast majority - how will you change it, sir, why ask me?

Q: Because I think I can get more light from you I ask you.

K: No, sir. We are friends. Right?

Q: Yes, but...

K: Wait, wait, wait. We are friends. And I am pointing out what can be done. The vast majority must be changed, must be made - I don't know if you want to go into the question of education, how to educate the vast majority. That's another one for the moment. What am I to do, or you to do surrounded by a vast majority of people who are so ignorant, so deplorably, you know, inwardly nothing. Right?

Q: When I say a vast majority, I don't mean those illiterate people are lost, I mean highly educated, learned, moneyed, the light of the society also.

K: Yes, sir. The moneyed people, educated people, the people who are very poor, and so on, how will they change? You tell me.

Q: Sir, in the tradition individual salvation has been the goal, so those who are capable of changing society are looking after themselves and their own souls rather than caring for what is called the community, the society, the raising effect. So they are as selfish as the other man who is pursuing money, wealth and pleasure.

K: Have we answered the question?

Q: Sir, you have just now described that we don't have the care and love. I may care for my children, or my employer, employees, as well as the leaders, but there is a limit to which an individual can act, beyond that he may not have the capacity.

K: Yes sir. Has one noticed that in history, only very few individuals bring about a change, don't they? Right, sir? Will you have the energy, the capacity, the drive, the love to bring about a different world? Sir, I do not know if you have realized that it is not a provincial problem, a tribal problem as it is becoming in India, tribal, but it is a global problem. You understand, sir? And the global problem can only be solved when we cease to be nationals. Right, sir? When we cease to be Indians. But nobody wants to do this. We want the top to bring about a change and then we comfortably fit into it. And the top, the highly political power-minded people are not going to change. That's enough of this.

Now we want to discuss what is one to do in daily life the question of the observer and the observed, the two divisions. Right sir? Now in understanding that, which we shall go into, will you see the relationship with your wife, with your children, with your neighbour, with the poor, it is related to that. Right, sir? So we are going to discuss, talk over that, to find a right kind of relationship with each other, with humanity. Right? Are you interested in that? That's what you are, sir. And that is what most of you want to go in to.

First of all let's begin at a very simple level, which is, have you observed visually with your eyes, a tree? Have you? Just a tree. And when you observe the tree what is going on in that observation? There is that thing, and you call it a tree. You call it a tree because the memory has come into operation, and it is generally recognized that thing is a tree. You give it a name, from recognition, and then the name, the recognition, the memory operates. Right, sir? It's simple enough, isn't it? Now can you observe the tree without naming it? Just look at the tree, sir. Just look at it and see if you can look at it without the operation of a single word or memory, just look. Can you?

Q: Without a motive, sir?

K: Just begin, sir, begin slowly.

Q: Momentarily, yes, for a moment.

K: Now wait a minute. For the moment.

Q: Then we are in time.

K: Just a minute. For the moment. That's fairly easy, isn't it. Which implies - just listen to it, sir - that the word 'tree' is not the actual fact. Right? Right? No, sir, don't accept what I am saying, just see. The word is not the thing. Right, sir? The word 'microphone' is not this actual thing. Right? Just a minute. So a description of a tree is not the described. Right, sir? So let's be clear. The word, the description, is not the thing or the described.

Q: How has it come into being?

K: Wait, sir. Find out, sir, do it.

Q: It has gone a functional reason, it works.

K: I am coming to that, sir. Have a little patience, sir.

Q: Sorry.

K: Don't be sorry, sir.

Q: OK.

K: Don't say, OK. So the word is not the thing. Can you look at that without the word? That's all. And you say, I can. Now can you look at your wife, or your husband, without using the word 'my wife'?

Q: Very rarely.

K: You are asking, the observer and the observed, are they different, if they are not different there is only observation. And we are going into this question very slowly, step by step, because if you once understand this there will be freedom from effort. The word is not the thing, the word 'door' is not the actual door. Right, sir? Right? The name 'K' is not the actual person, the reputation is not the actual person, the description is not the actual person, the photograph is not the actual person, or the image that you have made about this person is not the person. Right? So let us be very, very clear on this point: the description is never the described. You can paint the most beautiful mountain, but the picture is not that. Right? So the symbol is not that, the theory is not fact. So can I look, can you look at your wife or your husband without the word, first?

Q: Sir, to look like that is only possible when we are in an specific state, at other times it is not there.

K: We are going to go into that, sir.

Q: My point is whether I can attain this state by some other means and start looking at things like this.

K: Yes, I'll tell you other means: drugs, alcohol. They have tried that. They have tried LSD, cocaine, marijuana, hashish, there is the latest thing which is called angel foam or angel dust, which really kills you or you see something out of this world. So there are other ways of doing it, which destroys your brain, which destroys your body. If you want to go along that way this is a free country and if you have got drugs, go to it. But we are talking of a much more sane rational way of doing this. That is, we are saying when you observe your wife - I am sticking to wife and child because that's you life, your boss, your servants, your children, your neighbour, your politicians, all of them - can you look without the word - slowly - without the word, knowing the word is not the person, and the word represents a continuous memory, continuous association with the past. Right? That's simple, isn't it, sir? Sir, are you following this?

Q: Children alone can do this before they have not learnt any language.

K: At least children, you think, can do it. We are not children, we are grown up people so don't let's go back to children. Sorry, sir, I am not being rude.

Q: Sir, even if the naming process is suspended in the act of perceiving, you are still left with the problem of assuming. We assume on many levels. To assume means to act as if something was so. We assume the universe, you assume the presence of the audience. Now we act on the deep level as if there was another world outside.

K: I understand, sir. May I go on with this a little bit, step by step. So can one observe without the association which the word awakens? You follow all this, sir? And to observe the person, intimate or not intimate, can you do it? The word, the memory, is the past. Right? The past being all the incidents, events, all that you have accumulated during one's relationship between a husband and a wife, and a family, and a neighbour, and the government. Now can you observe - is there an observation, not you - is there an observation without association?

Q: Tell me the way.

K: You want to know the way. Yes, the gentleman wants to know the practical way. That is, tell me how to do it. That means what? Just listen. When you ask, how am I to do it, you are not actually doing it, are you. Please I am not insulting, I am just asking. So you are not doing it. So you want somebody to tell you how to do it, which means somebody who has found - who has done it and says, if you do this, this, this, you will also do it. Right? You want a system, a practice, a method. Right?

Q: But a genius like you...

K: I am not a genius.

Q: But as lesser mortals...

K: No, you are not listening, please, my darling sir, please listen. Sir, if one has lived this way, that we have lived in division, and from that division arose all the conflicts of humanity - the division of class, the division of nations, division of people, division of tribes, division of beliefs, division - you follow, the whole set up of human existence is based on this. And that has brought about tremendous conflict, wars, misery. Right? So one asks, is there a different way of living? You understand, sir? In which there will be no conflict. So one has to find out - and if you say, suppose somebody has found it and he says, do it. And if he says, follow this system, this method, this way, he is putting you back into the old rut of authority, following. You understand, sir? So as I explained many times, please: I am not your authority, I am not your guru, don't follow me but as two people, friends, talking over together let's solve this problem. That's all.

So I am saying, can you observe? You can observe that thing called tree without naming, can't you. That's fairly easy, if you have at all looked at nature, looked at birds, it is comparatively easy, to observe the world outside you is fairly easy. But the moment you turn it inward it becomes extremely difficult. Your reactions are so strong, so conditioned, so instantaneous, it is very difficult to say, well, I'll hold it back. So we are going into it step by step. First, see what you are doing actually in daily life. You and your wife. Right? You separate from your wife, and she separate from you, or you and your neighbour, separate, and so on. Where there is division there must be conflict. That's understood. Right, sirs?

Q: Yes sir, but this division is a fundamental sense of being alive.

K: Yes, sir.

Q: It's fundamental to the experience itself of existence. And it gives the sense of being separate.

K: That's what we have accepted.

Q: Right, that's what we have accepted.

K: We have accepted this illusion that we are living when we are separate. And that living when we are separate has brought such extraordinary misery.

Q: What is the alternative, sir?

K: You are all wanting the alternate road.

Q: Only to understand.

K: Yes, we are doing it, sir, we are doing it. I am asking you, or we are talking over together, will you find out how to look at your wife or your husband without all the memory of twenty or five days, or thirty days coming into operation, will you find out how to do it?

Q: If I reduce myself to a mirror which has no reaction, I think one can do it.

K: Sir, if you say 'if' - when you introduce the word 'if' then we are not doing it. If I am queen of England it would be marvellous, but I am not!

Q: That is the way in which we can wipe out all this.

K: No, sir, not by saying, if I am this, but only by facing the fact. The fact is governments want to control people, governments are incapable of governing as a whole humanity. Right, sir? So face the fact. Not, if we had a marvellous government - we haven't got a marvellous government anywhere. So the fact is we have this division, and this division bringing us as separate entities has caused tremendous misery in life - wars, destruction, and all the rest of it. And we have accepted that through centuries. That's our conditioning. So somebody comes along and says, let us find out if there is not a different way of living. So he says, first can you find out why this division exists. Right sir?

Q: When we observe you there is no need talking, there is no you and me.

K: That's right, sir. You have said it.

Q: That is, we are living one way, and what we are talking about.

K: Just listen, which means you are actually listening. Wait. There is no person, you don't exist and I don't exist, but you are actually listening to what is being said.

Q: Yes, sir.

K: That's all. Leave it there. You see it is so difficult to go step by step into it when you bring in something all the time. Now one realizes our brains are conditioned to this division. Right? Do you realize it sir, are you aware of this, that you are conditioned to accept this division - me, my wife, me and my country, me and my government, me and belief, you follow, this constant division. Are you aware of this division? And the consequences of this division?

Madam, you can't hear and at the same time take notes. Forgive me for pointing out. It is so impossible to go into this. As most people don't, and as most people have accepted this conflict between two people, between a group of people of different religions, we accept it, that has become our habit, that has become our custom. And we say, help me to break that custom. Right? Right, sir? Nobody is going to help you. Right? The gurus have promised it, the books have promised it, and you are still keeping this division. So can you - please listen - can you discard your books, your gurus, all your authority and face the fact? Will you? Face the fact that this division must create a corrupt, disintegrating world. If you accept it and say, 'Look, one can't live that way', you are challenging your brain, asking it to find a different way of living. Will you challenge your mind? No. You understand, sir? Will you? If you do then you have to find out, haven't you, not accept, not ask, 'Please tell me how to do it', it is that you have to do it. So what will you do? First see what is actually happening. Right sir? Then you ask, why does this division exist? Right, sir? Is the division created by the word? Is the division created by the image which I have built about my wife or my husband? Right? Is it this division exists because I am pursuing one line of desire and she is pursuing her own particular desire? You follow? So is it I am ambitious - one is ambitious and the wife is docile? Or is the wife ambitious and you are docile? You follow, sir? Are you aware of this?

Q: What is there to observe if there is no division?

K: We are going into it, sir. What is there to observer if there is no division. That's again, sir - you see you haven't even had the courtesy to listen.

Q: It is understood sir that only when we are aware there is no division.

K: When you are aware, if you are aware, should be aware, must be aware - it means you are not aware. So I am asking - so one is asking are you aware of this division? If one is, then why is there this division? This division has existed through millennia, through time immemorial. Right? Right, sir? Me and my god, me and my language, me and my belief. Right? From the ancient times, from the Sumerian times, that is about 7,000 BC it has been going on. And we have accepted it, and we say that is the way to live, with war, with destruction, with conflict, with faith. So we must find a different way of living, which means why is there this division, who has created it? You understand, sir? We are thinking together. Please, who has created this? Don't say, nature, god, something external, force. Human beings have created it. Right, sir? That is, what is a human being? His capacity to think. Right? So thought itself is limited, so whatever it creates it must be limited. Right? So in relationship with another when thought operates it must be limited. Right? When there is limitation there is division. When one tribe says, 'I am this particular tribe' and there is another tribe, there is a division. Right? So thought has brought about this division. Right, do you see this?

Q: Thought seems to be operative on all levels. The sensational level, and...

K: Sir, I agree.

Q: What do you mean by thought? Is it just the internal level that you are meaning?

K: Partly verbalization, partly - just a minute, I am describing the parts, but the parts do not make the whole. Right? I want to go into this a little bit.

Q: Division need not necessarily be a conflict, it can be co-operative.

K: Oh, sir, don't say necessarily, this is going on, why do you say necessarily? It's just an idea. You can't listen to sequential listening. Sir, you are here to find out what the speaker has to say. Right? You have asked this question, so kindly first listen and then you can tear it to pieces. You can throw it overboard, tread on it, do whatever you like, but first have the courtesy, the amicable attention.

First I say, why has this division existed, why has man accepted this division, who has created it, and how has it come into being? So one sees that it's either belief, tribalism, one tribe against another tribe. Right, sir, are you following all this? One set of dogmas against another set of dogmas, one set of tribal gods against another set of tribal gods, language divides people, and so on and so on. How has this come about?

Q: Isn't it, sir, that these things you have described have brought about division, but there is a very subtle level of division, the feeling that I am something separate. This seems to underlie all these other grosser forms of division.

K: I can't hear, you have to speak much louder.

Q: The divisions that you have been talking about, tribalism, nationalism, religion, all seem to be on a somewhat gross level, and that they are things which, if you turn your attention towards them, you can see somewhat into them.

K: I am coming to that sir, first I must begin from the outside and then come inside.

Q: So what seems to me very difficult to see into is the very basic sense of separation of the self as an individual.

Q: For him the difficulty is that there is a feeling, a sense of separation as an individual more fundamental to all of these separations.

K: I am coming to that, sir. We have nearly spent an hour, and we haven't even reached the rock bottom of it.

We are saying, man has lived not only on the senses, but also much more on the intellectual, verbal, thought level. And we are saying, thought in its very activity is divisive - divisive in the sense breaking up. Is that clear? You can observe it yourself, sir. All thinking is limited, fragmentary. Thought can conceive the whole but the conception is still thought. Right? Right, sirs?

So: now can thought, which is memory, experience, knowledge, which is the past, can that knowledge not operate when you are observing? That's all. When you are observing your wife and your husband and your family, or your servant or your neighbour, can this memory associated with the wife or the husband, be in abeyance, just to look. Will you? Will you do it? Can you do it? Realizing that thought is divisive, that thought is fragmentary, that thought is born of knowledge which is the past, and so you are always looking at your wife, at your neighbour with the eyes of the past. Or, looking at yourself with the eyes of the past which gives you the traditional conditioning, which is, I am different from somebody else. Have you followed all this, sir? Are you doing it?

Q: What becomes of the neighbour?

Q: It is all ego, sir.

K: What sir?

Q: It is all the ego in here that gives us all this sense.

K: That is, that ego, you are saying, the 'me', the self, is put together by thought - your name, your form, your desires, your anxieties, your sorrow, your pleasures, your fears, your arrogance, your vanity, your desire for power, is you.

Q: Sir, as I understand, you're saying that this ego, or this division is an activity maintained by the thinking process.

K: Yes. So can you observe - I am coming back to that - can you observe your wife or your husband without the past memory intruding? If it doesn't, then what takes place? You haven't even reached that point. You understand my question, sir? I look at my wife - I have no wife, but I can look at my wife. Can I look at her without the sexual memories, without the memories of dominance, without the memory of having comfortable associations, without all the petty little impatience and all the rest of it, can I look at her as though I was looking at her for the first time? Then when you do look in that way, which means there is no observer only observation - right? - then what takes place?

Q: Absence of the self.

K: Don't invent sir. Don't say, if, when, absence. You are not doing it.

Q: I am not able to do it, the past interferes.

K: Then find out why it interferes.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Do it, sir.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Can you look at that tree without the word? Why can't you do it there?

Q: But we are relatives.

K: Oh, you people, you don't test it, you don't work at it, you don't want to find out. You make statements. Sir, look.

Q: Pure existence. If we are aware only of existence and no division.

K: That is all just theories, sir. What are the good of theories? Your books are full of theories, your gurus, your churches, your temples, are full of theories. Where are you at the end of it? You and your country, and your people, where are you?

So, now sir, just listen to it. I have been assured by a prominent scientist when I have stated to them, the observer is the observed, they took some time to understand the verbal meaning of it, then they explained something to me. They said, when you observe without theories, without memory, without all the things, through a microscope, as you watch it the very thing you are watching is undergoing a change. Don't agree to this, you know nothing. The very thing you are watching is moving, changing, it is never the same. So - please listen - when you watch your greed, that is without the word, without the memory of 'I mustn't be greedy' and all the rest of it, when you watch that fact of the reaction called greed, that very reaction undergoes a radical change. That is the way to observe. To observe myself, my whole structure and nature of myself, with all the qualities, with all the ugliness, with all the pleasure, with all the misery, when I watch it - when there is a watching without the past association, that very watching brings about a change in what is happening.

Q: Putting it in words, in that state I am simple, humble, affectionate and loving.

K: What sir?

Q: Putting it in words...

K: Oh, no, don't put it into words. Have you understood what the speaker has to say?

Look, sir, let's look: there is violence. Right? Now it has become in the world tribal violence. Right, sir? Right? Even the so-called Brahmins - who unfortunately don't exist any more - even the so-called Brahmins have now become tribalists. So this very tribalism is creating violence. Can you look at violence - just listen to it, follow the sequence of it, I am going to explain step by step. First, you have become aware of your violence, which is anger, imitation is a form of violence, imitating somebody. When you compare yourself with somebody it is a form of violence. When you try to achieve a result, a success, it is a form of violence. So I am using violence in its widest sense, not only physical violence but psychological violence. Now when that feeling arises thought then comes and says, that is violence. Right, are you following this? Because thought can only operate through words, through pictures, through symbols, so it says, that's violence. So the past has recognized the new feeling and has called it violence. Are you following this, sir? So can you observe that emotion that has been called violence without naming it? Because when you don't name it, the very thing that is being observed changes. And in that there is no conflict. The moment the observer says, 'I am violent' then conflict begins: I mustn't be violent, tell me how not to be violent, I must pursue non-violence, and all the rest of it begins. Right, sir?

So can you test it, do it. Test it out. That when a feeling arises, anger, jealousy, greed, violence, sex, which is most important to most people, when that feeling arises watch it, observe it without bringing all the images, the pictures, the contradictions, you follow, only the fact, the fact of that feeling. Then you will discover for yourself that the fact has no opposite. Right? So when you move away from the fact the opposite comes in, and therefore conflict begins. Now we are saying just observe the feeling, and realize thought is destructive in observation. Have you understood this, sir?

Q: The last sentence I don't understand.

K: We said, thought is divisive.

Q: Thought is destructive in observation.

K: Yes, of course. When anything is divisive it is destructive. When I say, I am a Catholic, I only believe in the saviour of Jesus or whatever that stuff is, and you say, I am a Hindu with my - and the Muslim says, with my - you are destructive, you are destructive people.

So we are saying it is possible, not in theory, actually, in daily life, it is possible to live without any conflict when there is only pure observation. That demands no discipline, no control, just to watch: which means, the basic idea, the basic concept that me is essentially different from the other.

Q: Sir, you are saying that that assumption, that concept, must be radically undermined. It appears to me that when you watch, that watching is necessary, there is a tendency from the point of view of one who hears you to strengthen the sense of the ego it has appropriated...

K: Of course, of course.

Q:... and one isolates further.

K: Of course, of course. Because when you listen to it you are not listening to it completely. You are not listening, sir. We must go into again the question of listening.

Q: That area in human consciousness...

K: Yes, sir I know all that, we know all that. Look, sir, if one knows the art of listening everything becomes extraordinarily simple. You listened to that music, some of you, if you listened to it it is very simple. But our mind, our brains are so conditioned to complexity that we don't even listen.

Now at the end of this, an hour and a quarter, where are you? I know where I am, but where are you? Have you really understood this; that there is a way of living without a single shadow of conflict? When there is no conflict then you bring about a different society. For god's sake, and therefore different governments.

Q: Sir, a moment before you said, what is the feeling, and you defined it in terms of his ability to think. Now granted that there must be some failure of listening, or some misinterpretation of what you mean by thinking, because you seem to be asking for a radical change in the manner of experience, and yet you are asking for it on the level of the mind, and that is the level on which it is done by feeling, so that we seem to step more intensively into the process of separation.

K: I understand, sir. One has to use words to communicate. If we could communicate without words, which means - just listen - to communicate without words means you and the speaker must be at the same level, with the same intensity, at the same time, otherwise verbal communication is only possible. If you cannot meet the speaker at the same level, at the same time, with the same intensity, then words must be used to communicate. Love is that. When you have real love then communication is not necessary.

So I am asking, sir, before I stop, if I may, where are you, have you understood this? Which can be only tested when you go home, when you face your wife, when you face your boss, when you are working in an office, find out, test it. And the person who is seeking experience, he doesn't realize the experiencer is the experience. Because the experiencer, when he experiences, must recognize that experience. Which means he has already tasted it before, known it before, therefore the experiencer is the experience, the thinker is the thought, the observer is the observed. Right, sirs.


Madras 1979

Madras 2nd Public Dialogue 9th January 1979

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