Ojai 4th Public Talk 15th April 1979
May we go on talking over together what we were discussing, or enquiring yesterday and the last weekend too, may we?
First of all if one may enquire, I wonder why you all come. This is not asked as a flippant question but actually to find out why most of us take the trouble to come here. Is it because we are so used to being told what to do? We are not able to solve our own petty little problems, or great problems, or able to answer our own enquiries and challenges, so we look to others - the analysts, the priests, the specialists, and the gurus - they are always with us? And I'm asking why is it that we are not able to solve our own problems, why we enquire, or ask, or demand, or seek out, various types of analysts and psychologists and specialists and so on and ask them to help us. Is it because we ourselves are indolent, lazy, we haven't the time, and we think we have time when we pay others to tell us what we should do. And we have got into this habit, or into this conditioning that others have gone into the subject, have studied a great deal, know a great deal, and perhaps they will be able to help us. So we are always, it seems to me, relying on others to help us to escape this trap we are in. The religions throughout the world have offered this: organized, excellently put together, with their rituals, dogmas and so on, and we happily slip into that. And we are never able to resolve our own deep problems, we hand ourselves over to another. I wonder why we do this? It's all right physically when the organism is not healthy to go to a doctor, to a surgeon and so on, when you want to build a house, go to an architect. And so perhaps the same concept drives us to go to somebody else to help us. We are never able to read our own book, our own history, because we are perpetually depending on others - group therapy, the various types of psychosomatic treatments, psychotherapies, you know the multiplication of all that.
And we human beings, wherever we live, in Far East, the Near East and here, we are incapable of reading the whole story of mankind, which is ourselves. And is it possible for us to read this book which has been handed down generation after generation for many, many millennia, to read the story which we are? Not leave one chapter undone, unread, but read from the beginning to the end, the whole movement of mankind, his evolution, both physically and psychologically, inwardly. If we are able to read this book, which is astonishingly entertaining - if I may use that word - fascinating, it opens the door to enormous possibilities. So as we are the rest of mankind psychologically, and if we know how to read this book, then perhaps we shall be able to alter the course of our lives. Because that is what we are concerned with - at least the speaker is concerned about that, to bring about a radical transformation of the human mind and so bring about a good society: a society where there would be order, peace, some kind of security, some kind of happiness, and go beyond all that, enquiring into that which is immeasurable.
So we must first, it seems to us, learn how to read this book. So we must find out how to observe, not only visually but observe the whole movement of our consciousness, of ourselves, with all our complexities, with all our anxieties, fears, pleasures, joys, accumulated superstitions, both the superstitions of the scientists, of the psychologists, of the religious people, the whole thing, to be able to read very, very, very precisely, clearly and without any mistake. And that's what we are going to do this morning, if we can: learn, not that I am your instructor, we are doing this together, learn how to look in this extraordinary book, which is the self, which is the ego, the personality, the tendency, the characteristics, the impulses, the inhibitions, all that, which is our consciousness, to read that. And to read it one must have eyes and ears which are not dull, which are not blocked, which are not caught up in some kind of fanciful illusions - as most people are.
So one must obviously first enquire - we are doing this together, I am not doing this for you, or you are not doing it for me, we are doing it together, it's a dialogue between two people, there are many people here; it's a dialogue, a conversation between two friends who are concerned with the world, the terrible things that are going on in the world, and their own conflicts, problems of relationship, their sense of lack of love, and their burden of sorrow, and the problem of death. And as one has recently heard this word `meditation' brought over from the East, though there has been in Christianity another form of contemplation which is totally different from meditation, and to find out if there is something beyond all this, not invented by thought, but something actual, something that is not an imagination, a thing put together by the mind or by the hand. We are going to read all that. And to do that one must have clear eyesight to read this vast book, which is ourselves.
Observation implies that there must be no distortion in our reading. Any form of distorted observation will prevent clarity of reading. So are we distorted? Is our perception, our enquiry, our observation, is it distorted? Please, we are asking each other this, I am not telling you it is, or it is not, but we are asking, enquiring, exploring, into this question. It is distorted if I have a motive in reading the book and wanting to change what is in the book. Because if the observation has already come to a conclusion that the end of the book must be this, or that, there are certain chapters which the mind doesn't like in its observation, or that it must go beyond all this, all those factors bring about distortion. Obviously. I hope you are following all this. So before I begin to read the book there must be clarity, and the great energy that puts aside any form of distortion. That is, if one is already caught in an illusion, which most people are, then our concern is not the book but why the mind is caught in an illusion. Because with a mind that is already in illusion it can't read. Therefore my concern then is, why is the mind caught in an illusion. You are following all this? Is it fear? Is it that what I may find I may dislike, I may be disappointed, depressed and therefore I prefer to have my own illusions, my own concepts, my own conclusions about the book, and therefore I am incapable of reading it? So my concern then is to find out why this mind which is enquiring, which demands that it should read the book, why it is caught in an illusion. Is it fear? We went into it yesterday, the question of fear. And we won't go into it now because we have other things to go into. If it is fear, we explained fear is the movement of thought as time. If you have gone into it since yesterday.
And we said, the art of observation consists in giving thought its own place. Therefore the mind can totally, completely, absolutely be free from fear. Don't accept my word for this, but it is so if you have gone into it, psychologically there is an ending to fear. And there is the fear of pain, physical organic pain, which we also talked about yesterday, which is not to continue when the pain is over, as memory. Which is the registration of the pain of yesterday, and that registration is memory, and that memory hoping that there will not be pain another time. We went into that, and we will go into it much more in detail.
So when the mind is caught in illusion, is it aware that it is an illusion? You follow? Or it doesn't know at all it is an illusion? If the mind doesn't know that it is living in an illusion, in a make-believe world, how is it to become aware of it? You follow? You understand my question? Suppose I am caught in an illusion - the word `illusion' means illudere, to play, to play with ideas, to play with things that are not actual, which are conceptual, a series of conclusions and beliefs which are not actual. I play with them. If this belief doesn't suit me I take on another belief. I play with beliefs and this playing is illusion, because I cannot face the actuality of what is actually going on. So the mind invents beliefs, dogmas and all the rest of it. Now to be aware of it, to know I am in illusion - when you know you are in illusion it is finished. You understand? It is only when I do not know that I am in illusion then there is no possibility of moving out of it. But the moment I am aware that I am caught in illusion, the very awareness dispels illusion. Obviously. So my mind then is capable of reading this book, because we are concerned with bringing about a radical transformation of the human mind which has lived for millennia, this way we are living - which is the quarrels, the anxieties, the violence, the brutality, all that is going on around us and in us, and such human beings can only live in disorder, and can never bring about a good society, a good human being, you will never understand what is goodness. So we are doing this, we are enquiring into this.
Then what is this book, which is myself, which is yourself, which is the story of mankind? Not the story of mankind printed in books only, the historical evolution of man, but also much more an unwritten book which nobody can ever describe, or ever print in a book, because this thing, this enormous evolution of man which is the result at present is always moving, changing, modifying itself; it is never static. So my mind - one's mind must be as alert, as clear to read this book. Right? So what does the reading of the book mean - the reading, not the book? You understand? The capacity to read, which is the capacity to observe, the capacity to listen to the story, the capacity to learn what the book is saying. Those three things are involved: that is, the seeing, the hearing what the books says and learning from the book. Right? You are following this? Are we doing this together? That is, are we together observing the book freely? Or we are interpreting the book? You understand this? I read the book but my mind is interpreting what the book says according to my desire, my wishes, my longings, my fears, my loneliness, so I am really not reading the book but telling the book what I am, what I think is. You are following this? So first I must learn the art - one must, sorry to use the word `I' - one must learn the art of reading, that is the art of observing the book. That is, to observe, to see without the observer. I'll go into it, please have a little patience and go into it slowly. The observer is the past. Right? The observer is the experience, accumulated, the observer is the result of all the influences, pressures, knowledge, with that knowledge he is reading the book. Have you understood? But to read the book without the past. I wonder if you are following this, or it is too abstract? No, I don't think it is too abstract, it is quite simple. We think we know, we don't come to the book afresh. Like a schoolboy who goes to school for the first time, he doesn't know, he is fresh, he is young, he wants to learn. And one must read the book in the same way, you must come to it with a freshness, not with all the accumulated knowledge that we have acquired, which is the book itself. I wonder if you see that. So if you come to it, if you read it as an observer who already knows the content of the book, then you are incapable of reading what it says. So there must be the absence of the observer; there is only reading. Right? Not translate what you are reading into your own peculiar idiosyncrasies and illusions and desires. This is clear. So there is only reading, which is, only observing the book.
Then also the book is telling you a great deal. Right? And can you hear what the book is saying? You understand what I am saying? Hear the song of the book, it is telling you something, obviously, this enormous story it is telling you. But you must be capable of hearing it, not only reading it but capable of hearing this tremendous song of life that is going on. Right? So I can either hear with the ear, or hear without the noise of the outside. You understand what I am saying? I'll show you, I'm going to go into it a little bit. When you hear music your whole - music which you really love, has meaning, depth, vitality, and beauty, not just modern pop noise, sorry, you may like it, that's a different matter - then you hear it with all your being, absolutely you are with it, there is not a division between you and it, there is no sense of remembrance of something which you have heard before, you are with the whole movement. Right? When you hear Bach or Beethoven or Mozart, the real beauty of it, move with it. In the same way one must listen to the story that the book is telling you. May we go on? I hope you are following all this. That's why you are here, if you are not listening, don't waste your time. It's a lovely day, go and climb the hills, or play golf, or have a so-called amusing time. But you are here so please give your attention because it's your life.
And also there is the art of learning. This is a little more complex, I'll go into it. When we go to schools and colleges and universities we are learning, we are acquiring information, which is called knowledge, about various subjects in order to have a good career, a good job, or if you fail, you go to... and so on and so on, which is the accumulation of knowledge during a certain period of time, from boyhood until you leave university, which is the accumulation of knowledge, which can be used skilfully or otherwise. If you want to be a plumber, if you want to be a professor, if you want to be a scientists, if you want to be a mathematician, the whole process is the same, to learn. Which is to accumulate knowledge, and from that knowledge act. Right? And there is also act and from that action learn, which is also there. Isn't that clear? Of course. Which is, accumulated knowledge and act; act and learn; after acting, learning, accumulating knowledge, act. Both are the same essentially. But also there is another kind of learning which is a little more difficult. These two we know: accumulate knowledge and act; act and having acted learn from your action, which becomes the knowledge: so both are the same. We are saying something entirely different because this is mechanical. Are you following all this? Because this is a process of acting from the known - a conductor, a pianist, the plumber, the fiddler, the professor, the scientist, all these have accumulated knowledge and act. Therefore they are moving from the known, to the known, to the known, modifying all the time. Right? Now we are saying there is a different way of learning. I don't know if you are interested in this, because this requires a little more thinking together.
One sees the accumulation of knowledge is necessary, to drive a car and so on and so on; if you want to build a bridge you must know the stresses and the strains and the quality of the earth and so on and so on. That is, our mind has been informed, acquired knowledge and acted from there. This is the everlasting movement of man. You understand? That is, gather information, knowledge, act. So the knowledge is the past. Of course. And from that knowledge you act. This is clear, isn't it? Right? We must meet together otherwise I am talking to myself, which is no good, I can do that in my room. So we are saying there is a different kind of learning which hasn't its root in the known. Right? `In the known' in the sense, knowledge and then acting. See the difference. I am going to point out carefully this. There is acquiring knowledge and then acting from it; so action modifies the knowledge, the knowledge modifies the action. This is what we are doing all the time, therefore it becomes routine, mechanical, there is never a freedom to enquire into something which is not known, a freedom from the known to observe something you do not know. You follow? Are we meeting each other, a little bit?
So to the speaker, the ascent of man does not lie in the accumulated knowledge. Right? Listen to it first, don't agree, or disagree, first listen. People, scientists, others have said, man can only evolve by having more, more and more knowledge, climbing, ascent. But knowledge is always the past. And if there is no freedom from the past, his ascent will be always limited. Right? It will always be confined to a particular pattern. So we are saying: look, there is a different way of learning, which is, to see comprehensively, wholly, holistically the whole movement of knowledge, where it is necessary, because otherwise you couldn't live. But the very understanding of its limitation is to have insight into the whole movement of knowledge. I wonder if I have conveyed anything at all. I'll go into it a little bit. Probably most of you have never even thought about this. We have taken knowledge as natural, and live with knowledge and go on functioning with knowledge for the rest of our life. But we have never enquired what is knowledge itself, what is its relationship to freedom, what is its relationship to the actual happening? You understand? We have taken all this for granted, that's part of our education and conditioning.
So we are saying: when you begin to enquire into the whole movement of knowledge, which is time, which is thought, and see the limitations of knowledge, for knowledge is always in the past, and therefore fragmentary. You can add to it, take away from it, enlarge it, but it is always the movement of the past modifying itself. And so in that movement there is never freedom. You may not have gone into this, so this may be new to you, so please kindly listen to find out, not to agree or disagree, find out. We are saying in that field there is no freedom for man. He may be able to have better bathrooms, better heating systems and so on and so on, but psychologically, inwardly there is no freedom if the mind is constantly being driven, or held, or in bondage to the past.
So is there a way of learning which is not merely acquiring knowledge? You understand my question? I wonder if you see this. Please listen. Is there a way of looking, learning, hearing which is not the constant accumulation of knowledge from which to act? Is there an action which is not bound by the past? I'll put it this way, then perhaps we will understand each other. That is, I have acquired knowledge - there is the acquisition of knowledge and from that knowledge act. And in that action, that very action is limiting itself, it is not holistic, it's not the whole - there are regrets, all kinds of travail in that action come into being. Now we are asking: is there an action which hasn't its roots in the past, because if my action is born of the past it is always limited, it is always broken up, it is never complete, whole. So is there an action which is free from the past? Do you understand my question? Just understand the question then we can go into it. You may say, that question is silly, it has no meaning, but it has meaning when you see the whole complexity of knowledge and its limitation. And the action that is born out of its limitation must be limited and therefore confusing, and therefore out of this knowledge a good society can never come into being. You get it?
So we are saying, asking: is there action without the movement of the past? I say, there is. Which is, to have an insight into the whole structure of knowledge - insight, a deep understanding, a total comprehension of this whole thing: knowledge, action, limited, no freedom, therefore out of that there can be no good society. To see that, the truth of it, the perception of that truth is the release of a different kind of learning which is holistic. I wonder if you get this? Are you working-are we working together, or are you just listening?
Look, sir: let me put it this way: what is the relationship between man and woman? What is relationship? Generally, as it is generally accepted, relationship means to be together, sexually, in action, you earn a livelihood and the wife remains or goes out to earn a livelihood, cooking, you know relationship implies all that: affection, irritation, nagging, changing if you don't like one girl, or one boy, you go to another. This process is relationship - is called. We are asking what is actual relationship, is there such a thing at all? I am not saying there is, we are enquiring. There's no dogmatic statement in this matter. What is actually our relationship based on? Please enquire into it. You, you are related to somebody, life is relationship, you cannot exist without relationship, but what is that relationship? You say, yes, it's love. One is rather shy of that word because love is loaded with all kinds of idiotic meanings, and generally goes with the word `sex'. That love becomes mere sexual pleasure. But actually, when you go into the question of relationship, what is it based on? It is based, is it not, on the images that you have built about each other? Obviously. These two images have relationship. You are following this? No? I know perhaps you may not like this idea, or this actual fact, but you have to swallow it, whether you like it or not. The fact is each one creates the image about the other, and these images have some kind of relationship, because each one goes his own way - ambition, greed, you know, separating all the time, perhaps coming together in bed, but that's not relationship, it is superficial, sensational, pleasure. But actually this image is the divisive factor between the two.
Now the mechanism of this building images is the remembrance - remembrance of what she said, or what you said, the remembrance of your sexual images and so on and so on, the image of being kind, being angry, being nagged and so on, you have built a great image about each other. It is the movement of thought, which is the remembrance. Now we are saying, can there be a relationship without the image? And that is the only relationship. Now to see the truth of this, to see that where there is image there is division, and therefore if you have an image about her, and she has an image about you, these images keep people apart. If you see the full significance of this, which you can, then the mechanism of building images ends. Naturally, because all life is relationship, whether it is nature, with each other, it's a relationship. But if we have an image about the heavens, not the heaven, but heavens, the cosmos, the universe, if you have an image about it you have no relationship with it. You can have an image about nature, the image is more important than the actuality. So when you see the truth of this the image-making comes to an end, then there is a possibility of actual relationship with nature, with the universe, which is love - which we will go into another time.
So we are saying, there is a way of learning which is immediate action, it is not born out of knowledge. Which is not impulsive action, which is not emotional, romantic action, but it is the action born out of the comprehension of the whole movement of knowledge, which is the truth of the limitation of knowledge. Now my mind - the mind is prepared to read. You follow? Prepared to read the book without any distortion, because there is no illusion, it is able to hear the whole story completely, without saying, I like, or don't like. It reads it like music, there is no part saying, I don't like that part, it's music. And to learn from that book: in the very reading is action, not reading and action. Because if you do that it becomes memory, and limited, and action. I hope you are understanding all this - it's marvellous if you go into it.
So the mind is prepared to read. And it discovers - please listen to this-it discovers the book is the mind. Right? The book is the consciousness. The book isn't out there on a pedestal for me to read, the book is this whole content of my consciousness, of your consciousness - greed, envy, this, the other. So - you are following this? The book is not there, the book is here. Right? Then how will you read the book if it is here? You follow my question? We had thought reading is there, but the book is this, this quality of mind which is capable of such distortion, capable of such great events, technological, capable of disorder, capable of great fears, anxieties, brutalities, violence, affection, joy, all that. So the book is this. Right? So what am I reading? Before - see what has taken place-before I thought the book was out there for me to read, but now I have discovered the book is this thing itself. Therefore it can only read when there is absolute quiet observation in relationship. You understand? You are following this? It is only in relationship the book can be read. The relationship is my actuality - with my wife, my friend, my dog, my nature, the hills, the beauty of this valley and so on. Right? So there is no conflict. I am not telling the book what it should be, then there is conflict. But if the book is me, there is the end of division. Right? The end of escape, the end of inhibitions, the book is me. So there is no control, there is no desire different from the book itself. I wonder if you are capturing this? Because then the whole movement of conflict, struggle, becoming better, trying to, in a group, understand myself - you follow - all that ends because the thing is there. And then you discover the whole movement in daily relationship. But in that relationship you are observing, there is no conflict. Right? What is the time?
Q: Half past.
K: If this is clear we can go into the question now of something totally different. Which is, why has man throughout the ages, from the ancient of days, suffered? You understand? This is really a very important question. And apparently man has never ended sorrow. Right? Christianity has escaped from it by saying, somebody else suffers for you - the redeemer, you know, the whole business. And the Asiatics have translated it by saying, it is your past karma, which is past action, past life, for which you are paying now. If you behave properly the next life you will live in a palace! Or better, you know instead of becoming black you will become a lawyer, and so on and so on. Which is self-improvement. See the danger of both these tricks we play upon each other: escaping through an ideology, from somebody, through a concept, through an image; and the other explanation of sorrow because of the past. That is, the cause, the event. But the event becomes the cause. Of course. No? Have you understood this? Must everything be explained? Look, there is the cause and the effect; but the effect modifies itself which then becomes the cause for another effect. So it is a constant cause/effect, the effect becomes the cause all the time. And man, you, we human beings, whether we live here, or in Asia, or in India, or anywhere else, we have this extraordinary burden of sorrow, not only this so-called personal sorrow, but the collective sorrow of mankind. You understand? The poor man in a little village in India can never have a hot bath, clean clothes, have knowledge, can never ride in an aeroplane, can never see the beauty of the earth because he is toiling, toiling, toiling. And the thousands of people who have been killed in wars, and the mothers, their girl friends, their wives weeping. You follow? There is the sorrow of the world as well as your own little sorrow. I don't know if you have gone into this, or even thought about it. We are only concerned with our own little sorrows, with our own tears - this is hay fever only!
So there is not only personal, immediate sorrow of various kinds, the ultimate sorrow is death, death of someone whom you think you love, on whom you have depended, who has been a companion and so on and so on, but also there is this immense collective sorrow of mankind. So we are asking whether this sorrow can ever end, because if it doesn't end there is no love, you cannot have a good society, there can be no goodness. So one must find out, not only one's own personal sorrow whether it can end, but also not to contribute to the vast collective sorrow. Please, sirs, this is very, very serious, this is not a thing you play with, this is not a thing you argue and have opposing plans about sorrow. Nobody, no redeemer, no saviour has ever helped man to be free from sorrow; they have helped you to escape from sorrow. So we are asking a very, very serious question, and only a very serious mind, a mind that has gone through all that we have discussed, can find out, or ask the serious question whether sorrow, our own particular, personal, limited sorrow and whether it is possible not to add to the vast stream of sorrow.
So what is sorrow? You understand? Now, sir, in asking a question of this kind, and asking questions which we have asked previously, the question is not, and the enquiry, is not an analytical process. It is not analysis. You understand? I must explain this, a little bit. Analysis implies division, the analyser and the analysed. The analyser is the past. Right? What he has learnt, from childhood, you know, the whole psychological knowledge, and the various divisions in this professional, psychological structure. So the analyser is different from the analysed. Is that so? Or the analyser is the analysed? Please enquire sir. Of course it is. I am examining my inhibition - if I have any - and I am analysing it, go back to my childhood, or something or other, a past incident, and I am analysing it. So there is a division. And we are saying the analyser is the analysed. That is, seeing the truth that the division is illusory: the analyser is the analysed, the experiencer is the experience. Are you following all this? We say, I must have experience. We are searching for bigger, wider, nobler, extensive, godly experience, mystic experiences, which shows that the experiencer is different from that which he is experiencing. In that process the experiencer must recognize the experience, otherwise it wouldn't be experience, so the very recognition is the remembrance of something he has had. So the experiencer is the experience; the thinker is the thought. Thought is not different from the thinker. So the analyser is the analysed. That's good enough for the moment, discard it or take it, it is a fact, you go into it.
So when we ask a question we are not analysing. We are observing. In the observation there is no analysis because you are observing and the thing is revealing itself. You are not telling it, it is telling you. So there is only pure observation. So in the same way we are asking the question why man, human man, man who is the repository of thousands of years of sorrow, not only personal but this collective burden of sorrow, and why mankind has put up with it. Probably he has not been able to solve it, he hasn't the capacity to say, I don't know what to do with this. I suffer, I cry, I know I am lonely, I wanted success, I have failed, grief, sorrow, this sense of frustration, inhibition - all that is implied in that one word and more. And we are asking, we are observing, not analysing - why has man put up with this, tolerated it? You don't tolerate a toothache, you do something about it immediately. But man has not freed himself from this. Is it because he is incapable? Or he has so accepted it, it has become a habit, and so he says, I can't solve it, I can't free myself from it, as I can't, please help me? He says, god, Christ, Krishna, Buddha, somebody outside, please take away my sorrow. That hasn't worked either. One can escape into it but that is not an actuality - it is there. You may go to church every Saturday, or pray five times a day, but it is there.
So we are now asking why man, you, have not resolved it? What is sorrow? Please answer it, put that question to yourself: what is sorrow? The loss of somebody, the loss of your particular wishes, your desires, loss of somebody on whom you have relied, loss of companionship, is sorrow, this enormous sense of isolation, loneliness. So we are asking, what is the relationship between the `me' and the `you' in essence? The `me' that sheds tears when you are not there, the `me' that seeks fulfilment in something or other, noble or ignoble, imaginary or reality and the fulfilment is denied and I feel frustrated, inhibited, miserable, depressed. Is that the reason of sorrow? Or one has really never lived with sorrow - lived, not run away from it. You understand my question? Please understand this. One has not rationally explained it away, logically said, yes, that was the cause, this is the effect, therefore I suffer. You follow? We are asking, not analyzing, are all these the reason of sorrow, the cause of sorrow? Or is there something much deeper than the peripheral incidents that bring about sorrow? You understand? Most of us are caught in the peripheral incidents, accidents that bring about grief, and we are trying to resolve those outward incidents, and not being able to resolve them we escape; perhaps we have resolved them but there may be a much deeper cause to this enormous, endless sorrow of man.
What is that deep cause? You see, sir, I am enquiring, the speaker is enquiring, are you enquiring too? You understand my question? Or are you only concerned with the peripheral sorrows of fulfilment, non-fulfilment, I am angry when my wife leaves, when my husband goes away - the petty little sorrows that we have collected and say, that is sorrow, and we want to be free of those. That's very easy, those are petty, rather immature and they can be left aside, one can resolve them quite easily. But we are asking, is there a deep cause for this abiding, everlasting sorrow of man? If the speaker points out the cause, and there is a cause which the speaker has discovered, what value has it to you? This is not a trick I am playing. What will it do to you if I say, this is it, this is the real, this is the truth why mankind suffers - what will you do with it? You understand? Or will you say, oh, yes, that's a very good idea, I must think about it, it might help me to get rid of my sorrow? You follow? Sir, somebody gives you a precious jewel, what will you do with it? You understand? And what will you pay for it? If you are merely paying with the coin of thought, then it is valueless, it is no longer a jewel. But if you say, the jewel is the most precious thing in my life, I must hold it, I must look at it - then you are giving your heart, your mind, your blood, everything to hold to that.
So what is the deep cause of mankind, the cause that brings such an enormous burden of sorrow, not only the personal but this vast collective burden? Do you want me to tell you? Be clear, please, don't just shake your heads. Be very clear that you have accepted the question, that you have received the question with all your mind, with you heart, with your whole being because that's the most vital question that will totally resolve, not only the petty problems, resolve the conflict of man. If you receive that question completely, the question itself is the answer. Right? I wonder if you see this.
You see, sirs, if you ask a question, either you are expecting someone to answer it, or you are thinking, thinking, thinking, trying to find an answer. But thinking or waiting for somebody else to answer your question is not going to resolve it. Right? So how you receive the question is important, how you approach the question; if your approach is holistic, complete, then the answer is there. But if you say, well, tell me about it, lean back and wait, or ask your priest, or your guru, or your book, to tell you then there is no meaning. They have told you a thousand times. So it's like, you know, sir, like in a lake, you drop a stone, the lake is so still and you drop a stone and the waves go on, the question is that stone that is dropped in the lake. Do you understand? Right.
There are several things I meant to have talked about this morning, like love and death and meditation. We haven't time now but we will do it next Saturday and Sunday, because those are also very essential questions, questions that demand total answers: the nature of meditation, what is death, what is the movement of life and death, and what is the meaning of love. We will go into that next time.
Ojai 4th Public Talk 15th April 1979
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