Saanen 1st Public Talk 8th July 1979
I didn't expect so many people. I wonder what we shall talk about!
It seems to me that our self-centred problems and the problems that lie beyond our own personal crises, disturbances and miseries, the world about us is more or less in chaos, in great confusion. I think everybody will admit that without a great deal of trouble, with a great deal of investigation. And nobody apparently sees a solution for this, neither politically, nor religiously, nor economically. That again is an obvious fact. And nobody asks if there is a way out of all this, the trap in which human beings have been caught for millenia, if there is any way out of this mess, confusion, turmoil, terror. Not finding an answer many people resort to the old traditions, join old religions, or form a small community hoping thereby to solve their own particular problems. And if I may suggest, there is a way out of all this, out of our present continuous misery, conflict, strife, various forms of terror and the threatening wars, not only near but far. So to investigate all this and find out if there is a solution, a way out without suppression, without escape, without any kind of illusion. And if you will have the patience, energy and the serious responsibility that is involved we can think together. I hope you are prepared for that - thinking together.
There are two different kinds of thinking: one, thinking about something, about the problem, about a personal issue, or about the world and so on. That is, thinking about something. And is there another kind of thinking which is not about something? Please, carefully - I will go into this widely and deeply if I may.
So we are asking: our minds are accustomed to think about something, about a problem out of our personal desires, fulfilments, sorrow, anxiety and so on, about something. And we are accustomed to that, 'thinking about'. We are asking not about something but thinking itself. If this issue is clear, not about something which will come later on, but thinking together. Please see the difference: thinking together does not mean that you agree or disagree, accept or reject, defend or offend, but together find out if it is possible by thinking together we can act together, not about something - please apply your minds to this a little bit - not about something which we can more or less do. We can agree to act in a certain way, we can put our minds together to investigate a certain problem but we are not going into that for the present. But we are asking: thinking together without any barriers, without any inhibitions, without any prejudice, letting go your personal experiences, your personal urge to fulfil. Which means you and the speaker together be free to think. Is this somewhat clear?
Please this needs a great deal of investigation because we are conditioned to think together about certain ideas, about certain conclusions, philosophical, historical, and so on. Then there are those who agree, and those who disagree. They form two camps, each opposing the other, which is what is happening in the world. The Totalitarian, the so-called Democratic, the Capitalists and the Marxists and so on agreeing and disagreeing, opposing and defending. Whereas we are asking if we could think together freely, you letting go all your experiences, your conclusions, your desires, prejudices and so on, putting them aside so that together we can think. Will you do that? You and the speaker putting aside his beliefs, his opinions and judgements and evaluations, his hopes and so on, and together think, not about something but think. Shall we do it? Which means that being free of our own personal problems, urges, demands, fulfilments and so on, being free to investigate together, not investigate into something but the capacity, the spirit of investigation. Is this somewhat clear? Which requires not only that you listen, not to what is being said but to listen to the quality of a mind that is thinking, not with regard to something but listening to the whole quality of thinking, which requires certain awareness and attention. Right?
Where there is attention there is no centre from which you are attending. I wonder if you are doing it as we are talking. That is, when you attend, in which there is no division, then in that attention thought is not your thought or my thought, it is thinking. Can we proceed along these lines? Are we following each other?
When you give your attention, which means to give all your mind, your heart, your nerves, to completely give attention, do you find that there is a centre from which you are attending? So in that attention there is not you are thinking and the speaker thinking, there is only a quality of total attention - right? Don't look so mystified it is really quite simple!
You see our thinking, ordinary everyday thinking, is with regard to a certain subject, to a certain action, to a certain problem, thinking about something - right? That thinking is from an experience, from a memory, from a knowledge, therefore it is your experience opposed to another's experience. So there is always division - right? Please follow this. You have your opinion and another has his opinion and the two divisive opinions, dividing opinions can never come together. If you believe in something and another believes in something else strongly, then there is wide cleavage. To that way of thinking we are accustomed - right? Now we are asking: that thinking can never be together because it is always either opposing, defending or accepting. Whereas we are saying something entirely different. Thinking together implies that you and the other have let go all their prejudices and all their thinking together because in that thinking together there is no your thinking and my thinking separate, it is together thinking - right? Have you understood this?
Now please this is very serious because it is either you accept it as an intellectual concept, which then becomes your concept and his concept. If you merely accept the verbal explanation and draw from that explanation a conclusion according to your experience, knowledge, prejudices, and the other does the same, there is no coming together. You are following all this? It is important that we come together in our thinking so that there is no barrier between your thinking and my thinking, his or hers. Can we do this together? Because from this we can proceed because your mind then has a totally different quality. It is entirely objective, nothing personal. The self-centred problems with which we are burdened can never be solved unless there is a different quality of thinking or a different quality of perception, a different quality of insight into the problem - right? I wonder if you are following all this?
So our question then is: is it possible that two people, a group of people, undertake this responsibility? That putting aside your anxiety, attachment and so on, and the other meet so that there is never a question of division, opinion opposing opinion, knowledge opposing knowledge, experience contradicting another experience - you are following this? So that our minds are together. The Totalitarian States want this, they are the authority and they lay down what people should think, act and so on. That is what is happening. If you disagree you are shot, sent to a concentration camp, or exiled. We are not saying that at all. On the contrary. Two minds educated, concerned with the world and are committed to find out whether there is a way out of this, out of the trap, out of this terrible mess that man has created for himself and for others. Can we do this together? You understand the question now? Together our minds are equal so the speaker is not telling you what to do and you obey, or disregard, or accept, but our minds are together being free to solve our problems. Right? Can we do this? Will you give up your Zen meditation? Give up your particular guru? Give up your belief, your own experience to which you cling to, your own personal self-interested problems, let go and then meet together.
Do you see what takes place when you do this? Then we can investigate together every problem very simply and clearly and directly and act. That is clarity, to observe, to see without any distortion, to listen completely without making an abstraction of what you are listening to into an idea. Therefore there is only listening, there is only then seeing, not you see and I see differently, there is only seeing together. Right?
You see we have instantly moved away from our own little sphere, from our own backyard, from our own self-concerned innumerable problems. Have you? Please this is serious, we want to talk together, this is really important. Or do you carry the burden of all the troubles, anxieties, griefs and sorrows, and try to listen to another fellow, to what he is talking about? If you do that then you are trying to conform to the pattern set by another, obviously and so there is always division - right?
So we are asking something very serious and as you have taken the trouble to come into this tent, expenditure, energy, petrol and all the rest of it, are we together thinking? Not you think and I think, thinking together. Then we can go into this question of time, thinking together, not your time, or my time. It is very important because we are going to find out if we think together whether there is psychologically tomorrow at all, because that may be either an illusion, or a reality: if there is psychologically tomorrow - tomorrow means many, many, many tomorrows. Either that may be an illusion and so being an illusion we can put that aside and face this question whether there is psychologically a progressive evolutionary movement, which is time. I wonder if you follow all this?
Are you used to my language and therefore you can go to sleep? You might say, "Oh yes I have heard all this before." If you so think then you are not discovering for yourself, you are not thinking together. You have already stopped thinking together and say "I have heard it before." Because we are going very, very deeply into this therefore it is the first time you hear it. The speaker has been talking in this tent for the last nineteen years, next year it will be twenty years. And probably you will all turn up and say, "Oh, lord, he is back again, caught in a rut." We are not caught in a rut. We are free to listen, to observe and that very observation, listening reveals the truth, not the idea about truth. So we are asking a very serious question because all our conditioning, all our education, both religious, personal and worldly is allowing or giving time to achieve something; one needs time to learn a language, one needs time to learn how to drive a car, time is necessary for acquiring skill, technological skill. To be a good carpenter you need time. But we are asking something entirely different. There time is necessary. Psychologically, please bear in mind we are thinking together, not what you think, time is necessary or not, we are investigating together, therefore you are free to look, to question, ask. You cannot enquire, demand, be sceptical if you just say, "I'll hold on to my knowledge, I think time is necessary" and so on - then we don't meet together. We are thinking together about the whole question of psychological evolution. Because man throughout the millenia, has been accustomed, is used, conditioned to think that he will evolve. "I am this today. Give me time to change. I am envious, frightened, burdened with enormous sorrow and I must have time to get over it, to go beyond it." This is what we are used to. So the speaker is saying whether such psychological evolution exists at all. Or it is the invention of thought because it says, "I cannot change today, give me time for god's sake, tomorrow." The everlasting becoming. "I will be successful as an executive, as a first-class engineer, or a first-class carpenter." All this needs skill and you need time. But we are asking: is there psychological evolution at all, the 'me' becoming something? You understand? We are thinking together, not about whether time exists psychologically or not. We are thinking together, therefore there is no opposition - right?
So let us examine the whole conditioning of becoming, together, you understand, don't come to any conclusion. Or if you have conclusions let go and find out. You see the problem. If one's conditioning allows time then you are caught in the whole movement of becoming. That is, I am angry, one is angry, allow time to dissolve that anger. That is one's conditioning, one's habit. And if you cling to that we cannot think together. Therefore it is important to find out if you are clinging to something and at the same time trying to think together - right? If I cling to my belief, to my experience according to that belief, and you likewise, we can never think together, we can never co-operate together, there is no action which is not divisive. You are following? So are we prepared to investigate together - investigate implies looking, observing, thinking, rationally, sanely, patiently, deeply. Is one free to enquire into this question: the me, the self-centred activity, the constant movement, whether you are asleep, awake, walking, talking, it is this constant central activity of me? Has that a tomorrow, a progressive ending of it? Or a progressive continuity of it, a refinement of it? All that demands tomorrow.
Now psychologically, is there a tomorrow? Please this is a very serious question. The speaker put this question to somebody some time ago and the person said, "Oh, lord, I am going to meet my husband tomorrow." You understand? Oh come on, don't be puzzled! All hope, pleasure, you follow, the whole memory of the husband, and if there is no tomorrow what is my husband? Right? Please together. We are free together to enquire into this question. The speaker is not imposing a thing on you. But it is very important to find out if there is a tomorrow. If there is no tomorrow what takes place? We know what takes place when we have allowed multiple tomorrows: postponement, laziness, indolence, gradually achieving something, enlightenment. You understand? Nirvana and all the rest of it. Through many lives progress - do you follow? I wonder if you follow all this? The seriousness of this investigation. If there is no tomorrow psychologically then what happens to the quality of your mind? The mind that is thinking together, what is the quality of the mind - the mind, not your mind, my mind, but the mind - that has seen the whole progressive movement of the 'me' becoming, that has seen what is involved in this self-achieving, self-becoming and what is involved when psychologically there is no tomorrow, no future. Do you understand sirs?
Psychologically then there is a tremendous revolution - right? Is this taking place with you, that is what is important, not the words, not what the speaker is saying, but actually - actual means that which is happening now, the actuality - is the actuality that in investigating together the mind has discovered the truth that there is no tomorrow psychologically? Then what takes place with the quality of one's mind? You understand what I am saying?
All religions, the Christian, the Catholic and all the rest of it, have all said tomorrow is important. Tomorrow in the Christian world, one life. When you die one life only. The Asiatic world says multiple lives. Probably you neither believe or accept either of those two - I don't know. But when you begin to investigate the whole psychological movement the me, the 'X' becoming, becoming - you follow? - what is involved? Gradually you suffer and go on gradually lessening suffering until ultimately you are free, either in this life or in successive lives. The Christians accept this life, one life and the Asiatics accept many, many lives - you follow? That is psychologically one life and psychologically multiple lives. And together you and I have looked at it without any prejudice, without any conclusion, we are observing the fact, how people are caught in this.
And also we are asking: if there is no tomorrow psychologically what has happened to your mind, to your action, to your behaviour, to your responsibility? Do you understand my question? Have you understood the question? What is your conduct if there is no tomorrow? Conduct implying responsibility with regard to another in action. Do you understand sirs? Then what is your relationship to another? Please together we are investigating, don't look at me and say "Please tell me". Because there is no you and I in this thinking, in this observation, in this quality of listening. What is your relationship with another when there is no tomorrow psychologically? Either you despair, because this is a shock to one, do you understand, either you despair or you give up and say "I don't know," and throw it out. But if you are committed to this thinking together and enquiring into the progressive business and ending of today psychologically, then what takes placed actually - actually in the sense of that which is happening now in your relationship with another? Relationship being not only physical contact, sex and all the rest of it, but also the psychological relationship of dependence, attachment, comfort, loneliness and all the rest of it, what takes place? Would you tell me? Or is this totally new to you? You are listening for the first time and therefore there is no immediate response - right? And why not? You are following all this? I wonder if you are?
If there is no future, no future, the future to which you are accustomed, we know very well, the picture, the image, the pleasure, desire for success, spiritual and worldly, the priest wanting to become bishop, bishop wanting to become the cardinal, the cardinal becoming the pope, the whole racket of it, and in the world too, then if you see that implies constant strife, constant battle, a ruthless sense of me aggressively pushing, pushing, pushing. And so in that aggressive achievement there is security, hoping to have security. And in relationship also security in another, with all its implications; anxiety, jealousy, displeasure, tears - we know all that very well. But if there are no progressive tomorrows, what is one's relationship to another, intimate or not? Go on sirs, find out.
You see if you have understood the quality of thinking together - thinking together, not about something, but thinking together, you and I - then where does that thinking together lead in my relationship to another? You are following? The other doesn't know anything about all this, suppose. The other is attached and all the rest of it, what is your relationship to the other if there is this quality of thinking, which is absolutely together, which is not divisive? Do you want me to tell you?
Questioner: No sir.
K: Quite right sir. When you said "No sir", then we are together.
Q: Not quite sir.
K: You see that is our difficulty. You want to think together with me, and I can't let go my ambition, my vanity, my prejudice. I can't let go because you say, "Look, let's think together so that we have this quality, this spirit of actual co-operation in thinking". And I can't because I am attached to my thinking, to my memories, to my experience, to my accumulated knowledge. So it is I who have created the division, not you. You understand? You understand this? Are you doing that? Because if you are thinking, having that spirit, then if there is no tomorrow, what? You are missing the whole thing, come on sirs.
This is exactly what is going on between you and the speaker. The speaker says, "I have no personal problems", which is a fact. "I have no belief", which is fact. "I have no experience." I have had a great many but I don't carry them, they have gone. I am not entrenched in my particular opinion, prejudice, evaluations - right? Which is a fact. I would be a hypocrite if I said something else. So I say let's think together and see the beauty of thinking together. And you say, "How can I let go my knowledge, my experience, I can't, I love them. This is my life." So you create a division in the world - German, national - you follow? Both outwardly and inwardly. And where there is division there must be conflict, that is a law: the Catholic, the Protestant, the Communist, the Totalitarian. So the speaker says, please my friends let's think together. You understand sirs what has happened? When we think together you have lost all your personality. Ah, you don't see it. You follow? You are no longer Mr.Smith and Mr.K. Oh, come on sirs. What time is it sir?
This is the purpose of these talks and dialogues, that we together dissolve all our problems because the self-centred problem is greater than the problems of the world, political, energy, various countries divided, that is nothing compared to this. Because once you have resolved this you are master of the world. You understand? Master. Don't go off into some...!
I think that is enough for this morning, isn't it?
Saanen 1st Public Talk 8th July 1979
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