Madras 1st Public Dialogue 3rd January 1980
We are having a dialogue, not a discussion. The difference between dialogue and a discussion is a discussion implies trying to find truth or a conclusion between two opinions, between two arguments, dialectic, fanciful, imaginary, or romantic, even so-called historical. But a dialogue means a conversation - dialogos - that means conversation between two people. So this is a conversation between you and the speaker. A conversation implies two friends, I mean friends who like each other, who have a certain affection for each other, who are concerned about their personal problems and so they talk over things together, not try to brow beat one or the other by superior knowledge, or superior intellect, but to investigate together their own problems, their own difficulties, their own personal lives and so on. So please, if you don't mind, this morning we are going to have a dialogue, a conversation between you and the speaker. I see there are a lot of questions here, written questions; you doesn't write when people are walking together as two friends, you don't write questions to each other; you talk, you ask. So if you don't mind we will leave these questions aside for the moment and continue with our dialogue. So what shall we talk about this morning?
K: Physical pain?
Q: No, psychological pain.
K: Psychological pain.
Q: Pain of the heart.
K: Physical pain of the heart.
Q: No, psychological pain.
K: If some one hears it very clearly, would you like to pass it on to me. I am not deaf - maybe - but I like to be informed correctly.
Q: Are impediments in the way of passive observation.
K: Psychological pain, impediments that might prevent clear, acute, passive awareness and observation. Anything else?
Q: Does diet, natural food, help intelligence?
K: Oh, dietary. You can have marvellous nuts, and marvellous fruit, and marvellous diet but you may be equally stupid. So any other questions, sir?
Q: Why do you take only the crisis of a war when people think together, there may be thinking together without a crisis.
Q: He says there may be other examples of thinking together.
K: Oh, he wants other examples of thinking together. Any other questions?
Q: We have a national crisis that we are having within our country. We want millions of people to have this passive, total observation.
K: This country is in a crisis and we ask all the millions of people to be passively observant. I am afraid even those who are here won't even listen, let alone the millions. Any other questions sirs?
Q: Sir, the energy that is produced through drugs, the stimulation in various forms, is that different from the energy that you are talking about?
K: Chemical energy, which is, drugs are chemical energy, and is that energy different from the energy that we are talking about. Right, sir?
K: Just a minute, sir.
Q: What is that state when supreme intelligence dawns?
K: What is the state when that intelligence dawns. Now just a minute, sir, you have asked several questions, which of these shall we take? Physical, psychological pain, talking to the millions, what is the state of supreme intelligence, what is the mind, or the state which is passively observant. Now which of these shall we take?
Q: The last two.
K: Which is what?
K: I am asking, sir, which would be the most comprehensive question, which would include all the other questions, to discuss?
Q: Facing a crisis.
K: Facing a crisis, do you want to discuss that, have a dialogue about facing a crisis, or what is it to be attentively - the gentleman used, 'passively observant' - seeing. Which of these two? It's up to you.
Q: Does the movement of the planets affect the brain cells? Is there an astrological influence on the brain cells?
K: Oh, yes sir. Is that all the questions? You mean to say you have no personal questions? No personal problems?
Q: Our personal problems arise out of national problems.
K: Oh! Our problems arise from national problems. No, I won't go into this question. Which would you like to talk about?
Q: How to translate your ideas into the social, economic and political world.
K: I am afraid you can't!
Q: Would you speak of love and compassion?
K: You speak of love and compassion, would you talk about it, could we have a conversation about it.
Q: Love and compassion are so abstract, why talk about those abstractions when we are concerned with our daily life?
K: You mean to say, sirs, that you exclude love and compassion from your daily life?
Q: I will have a dialogue with you, sir, if you ask me. It is so.
K: What is so?
Q: Love and compassion, I have understood what it is, and how it can be related to daily life.
K: Have you understood the question? How can love and compassion be applied to daily life?
Q: When I came here I didn't know what you were talking about.
K: Quite right.
Q: I am not trying to conclude what you are going to talk about this morning, and I am freely observing what you are going to talk about and I am ready to learn. And when I am troubled about a particular point I am stopping that.
K; Yes, sir. Do you want to talk about compassion and love, which is an abstraction? Do you want to talk about an abstraction also called observation? An abstraction between the movements of the stars and your brain? An abstraction of pain in the heart? So which of these abstractions do you want to discuss, have a dialogue about?
Q: The difference between desire and consciousness.
K: Desire and consciousness, what is their relationship.
K: What shall we do, sir?
Q: Sir you asked that we should ask a personal question, and my personal question is about intelligence, because I see that lack of intelligence, or absence of it, brings all the problems. If that problem is solved then all the others are.
K: We have spent twenty minutes talking about abstractions, not about actually what we are, what we go through in our daily life, our miseries, our confusions, our travail, our ambitions and competition, but we want to talk about something else quite apart. So please let's come down to earth and let's talk together.
Q: My life, and most people's life that I see, it is because of the pain that they will not look at it.
K: All right, sir, shall we discuss that? Shall we talk over that?
K: Right. Most human beings, including ourselves, you and I can we talk about that, why human beings accept, live with, continue with pain, sorrow, anxiety and all that. Shall we talk about that? Right, let's do it.
Q: We want a solution.
K: There is a solution. Sir, before we begin to go into this, will you kindly listen? Listen; I listened to you, I listened to you for twenty minutes, so kindly also listen to each other, not that we are going to find a solution immediately, or try to convince each other of anything; we are trying to find out, or learn the movement of pain, common to all human beings, the tears, the anxieties, the grief, the sorrow and all that that makes up our human daily existence. Is that all right? Shall we talk about that?
When we say we have pain, are we aware of it, know it, observe it, as it is taking place? We are going into this step by step, if you don't mind, is that all right? Are we, each one of us, conscious of the pain, of various forms of griefs, anxieties, fears, are we aware of it as it takes place; or we are aware of it a few minutes, or a few seconds later? Let's talk about it. You understand my question? I have a toothache - one has a toothache; that's a physical fact and you know it instantly. Right? That is, immediately you know that there is a physical pain. And you act, if you can, immediately because the pain is intolerable and you act. Right? Now when we say we have pain, psychological, inward, inside the skin as it were, the pain, is that pain as acute, clear as toothache? You understand my question? Or we are aware of it after it has taken place? Would you please discuss with me, I am not giving a talk - the day after tomorrow.
K: Sir, I asked psychological pain, not physical pain.
Q: If it is not acute we are not aware of it.
K: So as long as the psychological state is not acute, not aware, not sensitive, we are not aware of it. So that is what I am asking: is the psychological pain, which we say we have, are we sensitive enough to act instantly, immediately, or not being sensitive we postpone it, or look at it a few minutes later and then try to say, what am I to do about it? I wonder if I am conveying this? Come and sit there, sir, out of the sun. Or would you like to come sit on the platform - anybody is welcome to come and sit on the platform, you can all come!
Is it that one is not sensitive to psychological pains, as one is very, very sensitive when one has physical acute pain? You understand my question? Won't you have a conversation with the speaker?
Q: When the pain comes, like someone you love, suddenly it arrests you, and you say, why.
K: Yes, sir.
Q: And you usually want to run away from it.
K: When you love somebody, or you think you love somebody, and that somebody does something that is not according to your like, or you dislike, then you feel the pain. Right? And what shall we do about it? What do you do about it, sirs?
K: Sir, don't just throw out words; just see what is happening, sir to each one of us: when somebody you love leaves you - at least, you think you love - leaves you, you go through great agony. I don't know if the Indians do. Some people do, when somebody whom you loves leaves, or you have a battle with your wife - at last you are waking up! - there is pain, there is jealousy, there is anxiety, the sense of antagonism, hatred - which are all various forms of violence - what then do you do? Come on, sirs, meet it, sir, have a discussion, have a dialogue with me; don't just sit there and wait for me to go on. What do we do when this happens - which is a crisis. It is not a national crisis, it is a crisis every day of our life, what do we do?
Q: React selfishly.
K: Yes. You react selfishly. What do you mean by that word 'selfishly'? Q: (Inaudible)
K: That's what I am saying, sir. He says, you react to that crisis through pain, jealousy. That's your reaction, it's not selfish. So when you have that reaction what do you do?
Q: I am just simple observing what is happening.
K: My darling sir, you are not meeting what I am saying. This is the crisis, sir, you won't even listen to what the other fellow has to say.
Q: You try to reduce the pain.
K: You try to reduce the pain, the anxiety and so on. What process do you go through to reduce it? Either run away from it, suppress it, or substitute and so on. Which is, in effect, run away from it. Right? Suppose I have pain because my husband has left me, and I shed tears, then I am lonely, I miss him - sexually, this way and that way and I am deeply hurt and I don't know what to do. Right? Then what happens? Not knowing what to do, I try to escape from it, I try to smother it, I try to go away to some psychologist, to some temple, anything away from the fact that I am in a great state of disturbance. Then how shall I deal with that disturbance if I don't escape? You understand my question? Do I know that I am escaping first? Or is it our natural, or unnatural response to escape? Sir, find out, go into yourself, find out.
Q: I endure it.
K: You don't endure if you have tremendous physical pain. You go to a doctor. Please kindly listen, sir. I said, endure it, suppress it, try to get out of it, escape from it. You do all kinds of things to avoid this pain.
K: Please would you mind listening before you agree. So what shall I do? Do we see the futility of escape? Not mentally, as an idea, but do we see the absurdity, the futility of any escape? If one sees that escape does not solve the problem, then what shall I do with the problem? Go slowly, sir. What shall I do with the problem?
Q: I try to accept.
K: I have just now said that madam, I said, escape from it - I included that word.
Q: Accept the problem.
K: Yes, that is endure, accept. So if I don't do any of those things what am I to do? I don't accept, why should I accept? Why should I endure this pain?
Q: In time, it will pass.
K: Yes, that is the same, escape, in time it will pass, endure it, accept it. But you don't accept physical pain.
Q: You must see what the problem is and deal with it.
K: We are going to do it sir. First that can only happen when I don't escape. But we have cultivated such a network of escapes that we don't know even that we are escaping. So I am just asking, most respectfully, do we see the fact, the truth, the fact that the moment you escape the problem still remains? I may postpone going to the doctor because one doctor, or several doctors have told me I have cancer; I say, it doesn't matter, I will put up with it, I can escape, but eventually I must be operated on, or die. So do I, do we acutely realize the fact that any escape in any form - acceptance, running away, enduring it, time will solve it - will never resolve the problem? Do we accept that? If that is so then what shall we do?
Q: Yes I do.
K: Do you?
Q: That situation has not arisen for me.
K: That you don't face the problem?
Q: He said he has not had an anxiety of any kind in his life.
K: You battle it out! This is most extraordinary. Sir, look: I realize the futility and the stupidity of escape, I realize it, the problem will not be solved, then what shall I do?
K: Are you telling me, or am I telling you?
Q: Understand the problem and then you can deal with it.
K: How do you understand the problem?
Q: You seek for the cause of the problem.
K: Wait, sir.
K: You try to understand the problem by analysing it, trying to find out the cause of it, trying to investigate it, look at it, and all that you are saying. Now, listen carefully please, if you will. I have a problem, I analyse it, try to find the cause of it - what is that? What is that process of analysing, trying to find the cause of it, what is taking place? Just watch it sir. Kindly give me two minutes. I have a problem, my husband has run away and I realize - I have shed tears and all the rest of it - and I realize I can't escape, it is there on my front door step. It is there. Then I say to myself, I must find the cause of it. Right? The cause, analyse, all that - what does that imply? Watch it sir, in yourself, don't just throw out words. Is that not also an escape? What do you say, sir, is that not an escape? Just a minute, sir, look at it, please. This is what our tradition is: I have a problem, either we escape in different forms or analyse it, go into the cause of it, there may be several causes and I have to examine each cause, there may be ten causes. So what have I done? I have moved away from the problem. Right? Do you see that, sir?
Q: How do you say that we have moved away from the problem? Are we not analysing that problem?
K: Yes, sir, I am saying exactly the same thing as you are. Which means what? Just a minute sir. Do you know what is implied in analysis? What?
Q: Finding out what has caused it.
K: No, what does it imply? What is implied in analysis?
K: Right. Now who is cutting it, analyzing it?
K: Myself. That is, yourself analysing the problem of my wife escaping from me, which means what? You have spent a couple of days, or a couple of months in analysing, which means what? Wait, sir, you haven't answered my question. I have analysed, I have taken a couple of years, I have been to an analyst, or done puja, or sat by myself and said, what is the cause of all that. What has happened? Have I solved the problem?
Q: It may.
K: You say, it may - have I?
Q: I have solved the problem.
K: I question it.
Q: I have, sir.
K: Good sir.
Q: In my daily life.
K: Yes, I am dealing with daily life.
Q: I think I have more intensive problems in my daily life than your respected self. I know how I am living.
K: Wait, forgive me, I have no problems.
Q: I have problems.
K: I know. I know, sir, you all have problems. I am trying to find out if you will kindly listen to me. I am trying to say that when we have a problem without escaping we begin to analyse. Right? Say, what am I to do. So I say, what is the cause of this, what is the root of this matter? Right? Then what happens? What is actually taking place when I say I am trying to find the root of the matter?
Q: I try to get clear about it.
K: That is, sir, you are analysing, aren't you? Now just let's stop there for a moment. What are the implications of analysis? Who is it that is analysing, thinking the analyser is different from the problem? Careful, go slowly, sir. The analyser thinks he is different from the problem, and therefore he is able to say to himself, I am going to understand, investigate, analyse the cause of it. That is, the analyser is different from the thing analysed. Just a minute, sir. Do you see that?
Q: I see that, but the problem is part of me and I am part of the problem. The problem and I are not different.
K: So what shall we do? If the problem is you, and the problem is interrelated, what shall we do? This is not a conversation between that gentleman and myself, please we are all involved in this.
Q: Step aside and watch.
K: Do you? You see you just throw out ideas.
Q: Stop, we would listen.
K: What am I to do sir? We don't seem to think together, we don't even look at the same thing at the same time together. Look sir, just listen to this for two minutes. I have a problem: my wife or my son or my husband has left me. It is an acute problem because I am then facing my loneliness, my lack of sexual relationship, my sense of isolation, my sense of being deserted, left. And one generally runs away from this fact. Right, sir? Runs away in different ways. Then I say, I won't run away, but then I must understand the problem. To understand the problem it is our tradition that says you must analyse. Now what does analyse mean?
Q: Well I analyse the problem and I think I will solve the problem, I don't know what else to do.
K: I am pointing this out, sir. I think by analysing I will be able to solve the problem. We haven't understood the full meaning of analysis. No, don't smile, look at it, sir. You have analysed, you are all experts at analysis, introspection, conversation, discussion, but the fact remains at the end of it, have you solved the problem? That is, by analysis perhaps you get at the root, all that is time. That is, through time we think we will have solved it, not through analysis. I don't know if you understand this. Wait, wait sir, don't be too quick. There is a problem, no escape and I analyse, one analyses, that involves time which means what? I think through time to resolve the problem, which is another escape. You don't even understand what I am talking about.
Sir, we act immediately - please listen to it - you act immediately if you have a very acute pain, physically - immediate action. Right? Why don't you do the same with regard to problems? Wait, sir, listen to it. I can answer all the questions you raise, sir. Why don't you act as acutely, shocked, immediately as you do with regard to physical pain, why don't you do the same with psychological pains? That is the real issue. Right? Listen to it. Why don't I do that? You understand, sir?
Q: Make a commentary.
K: We live on commentaries, sir. It's not worth it.
Q: Even in that freedom...
K: You are a free person, sir.
K: You may take, sir, a taxi to go to the hospital. Sir, don't let's play with words. If you have pain, it may take an hour to get to the doctor, but inwardly you have acted instantly, immediately. Now why don't you do the same? That is...
K: I know all this, sir, I know all these questions. I have lived with these questions for the last sixty years, everybody throws out an idea, and apparently one doesn't listen to what is being said. Listen, sir, please. I am saying, the physical pain may be compared with the psychological pain. The physical pain, you may allow ten minutes to go to the doctor, but the immediate decision is, act immediately. That action may take time, that is, ten minutes in a taxi. Is it possible, I am asking myself, to inwardly decide immediately, without analysis - wait sir, you haven't even listened and you disagree - can I decide immediately to end this problem? Not take time, not run away, not move away from that problem completely.
Q: I immediately accept it, this feeling of shock is the word.
K: This is a question I am asking, madam, find out what the question is first.
Q: I would treat it with the use of intelligence.
K: Yes, sir. When you act physically, pain, your intelligence acts. Here intelligence is not acting. And I say intelligence can only operate at the moment. So go slowly. I am asking myself, instead of going through all the process of analysis, escapes, time and all that, why can't I, the mind, say, this must be tackled instantly, immediately? Now, I'll show it to you in a minute. My wife has left me and I am terribly hurt, lonely. Right? Is it not possible to deal with that loneliness instantly? Right? Now probably you have never asked this question. Now I am pointing out how to do it, follow it - will you?
I am not - my mind is not allowing time to interfere with it. Sir, this is one of the most difficult things to do, don't just... Not to allow time as a means of the solution of a problem - time being analysis, escape, suppression, acceptance, all those imply time. Right? Right, sirs? No, not as an idea, see the fact that all those movements are away from the problem and involve time. And I say to myself, time will not solve it. It's obvious. Time has not solved the problem of war - for the last five thousand years historically there have been five thousand wars. So time psychologically, or outwardly, will not solve the problem. So I say, if I will not allow time to interfere what then takes place? Answer it, sir. It's up to you, the ball is in your court! What do you say, sir? Will you put yourself in that position of not allowing time at all?
Q: You give it your full attention.
K: Now you have said something. Which is, escape, suppression, acceptance, which are all implied in analysis, time, which is what? A wastage of energy. I don't know if you see this. That is, I have done all these things, like a silly person because my wife has run away, I have been through all this. And I suddenly realize time will not solve this. So what has happened? I have wasted my energy through analysis, through escape, through saying, I will accept it, but ache inside. All that allows time. Right? And time is not going to solve it. So I must find a way of dealing with the problem immediately. Right? The immediacy implies what? Please follow this. I have wasted energy in all this, and when I say the problem must be solved immediately I have brought all my energy to it, that means all my attention, to it. Have you?
So that means, what is attention? This bringing together all your energy to look at the problem, and you cannot have that total energy if you are wasting it through analysis, through suppression, through finding the cause, saying, yes, time will solve the problem. Right? Is this clear? Verbally at least? Now can that be brought to reality? That is, can I, having listened to you, say, time will not solve it and, because I am fairly intelligent, I won't remain in my old groove, I say, yes, you are quite right. I say, now am I in that position when I bring all my energy to the problem? What do you say, sirs? My wife and I quarrel, that's a problem. I say, I won't allow time, which is the most destructive way of thinking. So what happens? As the wife and I begin to quarrel, the good old business, then if I give attention at that moment what happens? Come on, sirs, what happens? You should know!
K: No, what actually takes place? Would you please, sirs?
K: Unfortunately, sir, you don't seem to apply the question to yourself. That is, you and your wife quarrel, don't you?
Q: I become silent.
K: Don't say, 'I become silent', sir. You and your wife quarrel, which is the common thing in the world. As the gentleman says, a daily fact. What happens when you don't escape from that fact?
Q: I open myself totally.
K: No, no, you don't open yourself.
K: Would you stop talking with your hands. What are you trying to say, lady?
Q: I open myself totally.
K: You open yourself totally to your wife - what does that mean?
K: I'll wave the hands and you talk! This is most extraordinary. Have you done this ever?
K: Then, lady, you have solved the problem. Have you done this ever, if you are honest? That is, I and my wife quarrel, at the moment of the quarrelling not to allow time to interfere. Which means you give all your attention at that moment to the quarrel. What happens? Do it, sir, for god's sake, do it.
K: I know sir, all that, we know all that. I know all that.
Q: Then what does it mean?
K: We know all that, sir. That's the common pattern we live by. And I am saying, forget the pattern and see what happens. Sir, please I am pointing out. Break the pattern, that is, the pattern is escape, time, all the rest of it, break it and say, I am going to give my full attention at the moment of quarrel.
K: Have you done it, sirs? Now wait a minute: you and I are quarrelling now, it is a quarrel, I'll show you. Will you give your complete attention? Then what happens? If you, as the husband or the wife, give complete attention what happens to the other person? Come on, sirs, what happens?
Q: I don't know what happens to the other party.
K: What happens to you?
Q: I look.
K: What are you looking at?
Q: At the pattern.
K: Sir, that gentleman is speaking.
Q: I watch.
K: That's all. That is, you and I are quarrelling, you are always quarrelling, this is an old game, not a recent game. Now I am paying full attention to what you are saying. Are you? No, no, don't be so quick. Are you giving complete attention when I am nagging you? Don't so easily agree, sir, wait sir. I explained what I mean by attention, don't say, yes, I understand. I am asking you: we are quarrelling, and I give my complete attention to that quarrel, and I mean by 'complete attention' I am not escaping, I am not analysing, all my energies are there, watching. So what happens here? I have stopped any sense of being hurt - being hurt - I am not building a wall against her, I am in a position of total attention. Now what's our relationship then? Sir, sir, if you don't talk somebody else will talk.
Q: I am absorbed.
K: No. You see you are using words, what do you mean 'absorbed', in what?
Q: I use words which may be incorrect.
K: Then use correct words, sir. It's not absorption.
K: No, that's not the word. To be absorbed in something implies like a child being absorbed in a toy.
Q: I am one with her.
K: This is a hopeless conversation. When you are completely attentive there is neither absorption, nor one with that, you are attentive. Right? You attend. Now what happens to the person who is not attending? That's your relationship now. I am attending because I don't care whether you listen to me or don't listen to me, but you want to quarrel with me, argue, discuss, so what is your relationship to me. I am attentive, but you are not, then what happens? What happens between two people sir?
Q: There is a division.
K: That's all. What do you do with that division? She is attentive, I am not, she is full of that intense energy, it's only when there is inattention, when there is no attention the quarrels begin. Right? You understand this, sir? When there is complete attention on both sides, nothing, no quarrel, no division. Because we think attention means there is a centre from which I am attending. I say attention means there is no centre at all. Right? So will you please attend? Attend, which means give your total energy to listen to problems that you have - running away from your wife, from your husband, thinking you are frightfully superior than your wife and so on and so on. So as long as there is a division between you and your wife, or your whatever it is, in your relationship, there must be quarrels, there must be fight. Like two nations - look what is happening in the world, fighting, fighting, fighting. So in the same way can you abolish this division? And that can only be wiped away when there is complete attention. Will you give that attention to your problems? You see, sir, in the business world, as I have been told, and I have watched it, the executive finally decides, the top boss, but before it comes to that it goes through various stages. Right? Don't you know all this? The clerk, the minor, it's conveyed to the top, the boss, and he decides. You are doing exactly the same thing. Right? You don't say, this has got to be solved immediately. Our minds don't work that way. We are so traditionally bound that we can't think anything anew. And that's why we become so very dull.
Enlightenment, sir, according to tradition, will take lives, time, struggle, sacrifice, control, you follow. Suppose I don't accept time at all, and say, that's all nonsense - what happens? You do it, sir!
Any more things, sirs? It's a quarter to nine, isn't that enough? Have I answered your questions, sirs? Or are you still carrying on the battle? You can carry on the battle, sir, I won't, the ball is in your court.
Q: In the case of death, don't you think that time helps?
K: I don't. I have explained, lady, time is one of the most destructive factors. Time is death. Yes, sir, you haven't understood what I have said. Time is death.
Q: You have shown us the pain of...
K: Will you do it? Not, I have shown - I have shown you nothing because it is a problem for all humanity. Which says, one day I will solve it, one day I will go to the analyst, or I will take time to analyse it. All that is a wastage of energy.
K: What are you pointing at, sir?
Q: Could you explain what you mean by 'time is death'?
K: Sir, explanations are pleasant, but they don't meet the fact. I can explain to you how beautiful the mountain is. Right? How lovely the snow, the lines, the valleys, the rivers and the beauty of the sky, but unless you see it yourself it has very little meaning. Now in the same way, I said, time is death. Right? What do you make of it? Don't ask me to explain, I won't, but what do you make of a statement of that kind? You are allowing time, aren't you now? All your life you have allowed time, so you are dying now. Look at you, you are dying. You think death is the final thing. Death is when your mind has gone, when you are caught in tradition - the tradition of time, the tradition of evolution, the tradition of gradualness, the tradition of analysis, all those are traditions in which you are caught. You see you won't break those and you talk about heaven. Right, sir?
Madras 1st Public Dialogue 3rd January 1980
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