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Colloquium: Creativity In Science. Los Alamos 1984

Los Alamos (usa) National Laboratory 2nd Colloquium 21st March 1984 'Creativity in Science'

K: There are here fifteen questions - which shall we take first? Shall we take the first one? "What is meditation and how is it related to creativity?" Could we take that first?

Meditation is a very complex business. This is a dialogue between us. And I said it is a very complex business. The word meditation implies both in Sanskrit and in English, not only the brain concentrating on a certain subject, but also it implies a great deal of attention. But primarily meditation means, in Sanskrit, to measure. And also in English etymologically, I believe, it is to measure. The whole question of becoming is involved in it, which is to measure: I am this, I will be that. I am greedy, but I will gradually become non-greedy, which is a form of measurement, which is form of becoming. Both becoming in the affairs of the world and psychologically becoming. That is the whole question of measurement. The Greeks, the ancient Greeks - you know all about that, I don't have to go into it - were the originators of measurement. Without measurement there would be no technology. And the Asiatics specially in India, said measurement is illusion, measurement means limitation. I am translating, they didn't exactly say this, they put it differently. So measurement means comparison, to compare 'what is', 'what should be', the ideal, the fact, the fact becoming the ideal. All that is implied in meditation.

And also in meditation is implied, the meditator and the meditation. If there is any difficulty in understanding what the speaker is saying jump on him, please. Because it is a very complex business. And specially some of the Indian gurus have brought this word into America and made a lot of money out of it. They are multi-millionaires, I have met them. They are appalling beings, they are all out for money.

So to enquire into meditation, you have to enquire first not only measurement, but also this constant becoming something, psychologically. Human beings are violent, and the ideal to be in a state of non-violence, which is to become.

Q: Do you set goals for your meditation?

K: I am saying what is implied in the whole structure and the nature of meditation. It is not how to meditate but what is meditation, rather than how. I hope I am making myself clear. And also there is a question involved in that: who is meditating? And most of the systems of meditation, whether the Japanese, and the Hindus, and so on, Tibetan, there is always the controller and the controlled. Right? Are we meeting each other? So there is the controller controlling thought, to quieten the thought, to shape thought according to a purposeful direction. So there is the controller and the controlled. Who is the controller? Please, all this is implied in meditation, not merely to control one's thought as is generally understood in meditation, whether it is Zen meditation, or the most complex forms of meditation which take place in India, and elsewhere, there is always the director, the entity that controls thought. So they have divided psychologically the thinker and the thought. So the thinker separates himself from the whole activity of thought, and therefore in meditation is implied the controller controlling thought so as to make thought quiet. That is the essence of meditation, to bring about a state of brain - I won't use the mind for the moment - to make the brain quiet. I'll explain a little more and go into that.

So there is a division between the controller and the controlled. Right? Who is the controller? Very few people have asked that question. They are all delighted to meditate, hoping to get somewhere - illumination, enlightenment and quietness of the brain, peace of mind and so on. But very, very few people have enquired: who is the controller? May we go on with that? The controller is also thought. The controller is the past, is the entity, or the movement of time as the past and measure. So there is the past who is the thinker, separate from the thought, and the thinker tries to control thought. Human beings have invented god - sorry, I hope you don't mind. You won't be shocked if I go into all this?

A: No, go ahead.

K: Human beings, out of their fear, invented god. And they tried to reach god, which is the ultimate principle, in India it is called Brahman, the ultimate principle. And meditation is to reach the ultimate. So meditation is really very, very complex, it is not just merely meditating for twenty minutes in the morning, twenty minutes in the afternoon, and twenty minutes in the evening - which is taking a siesta, not meditation at all. So if one wants to discover what is meditation one has to ask: why does one have to meditate? One realizes one's brain is constantly chattering, constantly planning, designing - what it will do, what it has done, the past impinging itself on the present, it is everlasting chattering, chattering, whether the scientific chatter - sorry! - or ordinary daily life chatter, like a housewife chattering endlessly about something or other. So the brain is constantly in movement. Now the idea of meditation is to make the brain quiet, silent, completely attentive, and in that attention find that which is - perhaps you will object to this word 'eternity' - or something sacred. That is the intention of those who really have gone into this question. The speaker has gone into this for the last sixty years or more. He has discussed this question with the Zen pundits, with the Zen patriarches, with the Hindus and Tibetan, and all the rest of the gang. I hope you don't mind my talking colloquially, do you?

And the speaker refutes all that kind of meditation because their idea of meditation is to achieve an end. The end being complete control of the brain so that there is no movement of thought. Because when the brain is still, deliberately disciplined, deliberately sought after, it is not silent. It is like achieving something, which is the action of desire. I don't know if you follow all this. May I go on?

So one has to enquire also, if one is interested in all this, what is desire? Not suppress desire, as the monks and the Indian sannyasis do, suppress desire, or identify desire with something higher - higher principle, higher image, if you are a Christian with Christ and so on. So one has to understand if one wants to find out what is meditation, one has to enquire into desire. All right, sirs?

Q: Is desire the same as will?

K: We will go into that in a minute. What is desire? Why man, human beings, a person, is so dominated by desire - desire to become rich, desire to become - you know various forms of desire. We are slaves to desire, which is a reaction. So what is desire? This is part of meditation. You understand? This is what the speaker is saying about meditation. That is, unless one understands the movement of time - right, may I go into all this? You are interested in all this? May I go on?

A: Please, yes.

K: It is fun if we begin to go into it. But if it merely intellectual excitement it has no value. So this very enquiry into what is meditation is part of meditation. So we are enquiring together what is meditation, what is desire. Desire is perception, contact, sensation. Right? The seeing something, a woman or a house, or a garden, or a lovely painting. Seeing, coming into contact with it, touching it, from that arising sensation, then what takes place? You understand? Seeing, contact, sensation. That's what actually takes place: when you go into a shop and you see a shirt that you want to buy, you see it, touch it, feel it, sensation, then what takes place? That is where the importance comes. Then thought gives shape to sensation, which is, "How would I look in that shirt?" You understand? So there is seeing, contact, sensation, then thought using the sensation as a means of self-gratification. Right? So can there be a hiatus, a gap between sensation, which is natural, healthy - unless one is paraylsed, of course - between that sensation and thought coming in and using it as a means of gratification. Have I made this clear?

Q: Gratification being the desire to possess it?

K: Desire to possess it, how would I look in it.

Q: In relationship to myself.

K: So thought creates the image of you in that shirt. That is desire and the intensification of that desire is will. I must have that.

Q: So will is the actual realization or the implementation of desire?

K: Desire, yes. Please, sir, this is a dialogue, it is not a matter of accepting something.

Q: You don't mind if we speak out?

K: No. If this is clear, whether it is possible to keep a wide gap, as it were, between sensation, which is healthy, normal, and thought creating the image of you in the car, of you in the shirt, creating the image which is the beginning of desire. I wonder if I am making it clear.

So that is one part of meditation - to understand the nature of desire, not to suppress it ever. I don't know if you understand the discipline this requires - discipline in the sense not conformity but the discipline of understanding, the discipline of learning.

Q: You are not going to turn off desire but merely to examine it more.

K: To be aware of this whole movement of desire, how desire arises, and so on.

Q: You are also saying to know it so well that you are able to impose a gap and the next step does not necessarily follow. To stop the step of implementation.

K: If you do it actually as we are talking about it, if you do it actually you will see what goes on. Which is, seeing, sensation, contact, then thought giving an image to that sensation, and fulfilling that desire with all its complications, conflicts and so on. So where there is a gap between sensation and thought creating the image, that is silence. I don't know if you follow all this. Don't agree with me, that is fatal.

Q: You make meditation sound like a very active enterprise and I think we normally think of meditation, or achieving a quiet mind, as being an inactive thing.

K: You can take a drug to quieten the mind, you can concentrate - I won't go into that for a moment. You can do various forms and tricks to quieten the mind, quieten the brain. It is a brain that is dull. But a brain that has understood the implications and the complications of meditation, the brain becomes an extraordinary instrument.

Q: So the quiet mind is not the empty mind?

K: Sir, emptiness. To have an empty mind means, full of energy. Emptiness is energy. Please, we must go into this step by step - you don't mind, sir.

Q: The quiet mind is perceiving things, is receiving sensory information from outside, but it is not manipulating those things?

K: Yes. So also it has to understand time, not scientific time in the sense of a series of moments. What is time, not as a special subject studied by scientists or by others, but what is, in our daily life, time? Because unless we lay a foundation in our daily life that's firm, still, then meditation becomes a form of illusory deception.

So I must understand desire, there is the understanding of desire. And also the understanding of time. What is time?

Q: A means to become. Isn't time just a means to become something?

K: Time is not only to become something. I am this, give me time and I will become that. I am violent, give me time, space, an interval, so that I will become a non-violent human being. That is part of time. And also time in our daily life is the accumulation of vast knowledge. Right? Time is also the future. So there is time - I am not a specialist please, forgive me if I am not.

Q: Is time the perception of cause and effect?

K: Where there is a cause the effect can be eradicated. So what is the source of time - time as a human being, not I was, I am, I will be? Time is also a movement to achieve the ultimate. I have one life, the whole Asiatics believe, I have one life and if I die I must have another life, it is called reincarnation, so that I will become better and better and better, life after life until I ultimately reach the highest principle, god or whatever you like to call it. So that is part of time. I am this, but I will be that. Is becoming a deception? You understand, sir, psychologically.

Q: I don't understand - becoming is a deception?

K: Yes. An illusion, if you like, to use a better word.

Q: I will have to work hard to understand that.

K: Yes, sir, that is part of meditation. Meditation is something extraordinary if you understand it.

Q: It seems to obvious. We see ourselves change, so how can you say that becoming is an illusion?

K: I am greedy. Suppose I am greedy, and my tradition, religion, intelligence says, minimize the thing, don't be everlastingly greedy, it is silly. So what has happened? I am, but I will be. You understand? I am violent, I will be non-violent. That is a movement in time. And in that movement I am still violent. I don't know if you understand. It is a dialogue between us, please.

Q: We cannot change.

K: Just listen to what I have said first. I am violent, and my tradition and all the people around me, the environment, tells me, religious books and so on and so on, society tells me, I must be non-violent. But I am violent. So what happens? There is a conflict between 'what is' and 'what should be'.

Q: I see what you are saying.

Q: Does that mean then that if I am violent and I want to make this change, this movement to non-violence I am making a violent act.

K: There is no change at all.

Q: You mean that...

K: You are jumping on me too quickly! Let's slowly go into it.

Q: It seems to me that there may be a change in degree. But you say that there is no change at all, it seems to me that denies the possibility of change in degree.

K: Give me a chance, just a minute. I am violent. Human beings are violent - that is an historical fact. After ten thousand, or fifty thousand years, we are still violent human beings, derived from the animal and so on. The fact is I am violent. That is a fact. The non-violence is non-fact. Right? It's an ideal, it's something, it is not. But this is a fact. But when I first pursue non-fact it creates more problems. So there is conflict between the fact and the non-fact. So what is important is to be free of violence, not achieve non-violence. I don't know if you see that. So when I am trying to achieve non-violence I am sowing the seeds of violence all the time until I reach that. Which I call a deception, a delusion, an illusion. Right? I don't know if you follow this?

Q: I don't see the difference between an absence of violence and non-violence.

K: To achieve non-violence is a deception, I said. So my problem - problem means something thrown at you, the word etymologically means, something thrown at you. Now this is a question I have to resolve, violence. What is violence? Not only physical damage, to hurt somebody, it is also to get angry, also to hate. Right? Violence is also conformity. Yes, sir. Listen. Violence is also conformity. And violence is a vocation of imitation. I know it goes against all you think. So I have to understand violence. Why is there violence? Because I am conforming, imitating, angry, jealous, and I am aware of the whole structure of violence. Aware, and give complete attention to that. When you give complete attention to that, it is like a flame burning out the violence. Sir, as scientists, you give complete attention to something, and you find an answer to it. Right? It is only inattention that creates the problem. I don't know if you follow all this.

Q: Sir, if I give complete attention to sensation, will I burn out desire?

K: Yes, sir. Of course. Not burn out - you see. If you agree to that, if you see the logic of it, then why have we given such extraordinary importance to desire? The whole American public is told, "Fulfil". Right? "Don't inhibit" That's terrible. "Don't control, let go, do what you like." And we are creating such havoc in the world. That's a different matter.

So when there is complete attention, which means gives your total energy to that fact of violence, that energy dissipates violence, the whole of it, not part of it. You understand? That is also meditation.

Q: It seems to me that there has to be another objective. You surely would not advocate that the sole objective of meditation would be to achieve non-violence? I mean, that's negative. You must seek something else. What else do you seek? It seems to me that you have discussed, or mentioned one objective: to achieve non-violence.

K: I took that is an example, sir.

Q: However it is confusing me. If you give complete attention to violence in order to find non-violence...

K: Ah, I am not doing that. I want to understand the nature of violence, as you want to understand the nature of the atom you have given your whole attention to the blasted thing. Of course. You have studied it, you went into it, you broke it up, Einstein, Oppenheimer and all the rest of them.

Q: I think there is something that is really puzzling me - this whole concept of giving complete attention to anything is to me something that is almost inconceivable, and I would disagree that we have given our attention...

K: How do you mean inconceivable, sir?

Q: I don't know what you mean.

K: What is the difference between attention and inattention? If you are disciplined along a certain line you give a great deal of attention to that. The rest of the time you are inattentive. This is a fact, a natural human fact. If I am terribly interested in something I give my attention to it, the rest of the time I am not attentive.

Q: You may give attention to many different things.

K: Sir, attention matters - not to different things.

Q: It is the attention itself that matters?

K: Of course.

Q: Rather than what you are putting the attention on?

K: The moment...

Q: But it is the notion of complete attention.

K: All right, sir, let us forget the word complete. Attention means complete. And also one has to understand oneself. Right, sir. This is the importance of meditation: time, desire, all the things I am. What am I? If I don't understand myself I may be deceiving myself all the time. I used to know a friend, who was an Indian, highly educated, been to Cambridge in England, and had a good position in India, and he became a judge. One morning he woke up and he said, "I pass judgement on these people, what is truth?" And it is part of the Indian tradition, specially among the Brahmins, to leave the family, and all that, and find out through meditation what truth is. He said that. So he went into the forest and all that, and for twenty five years he meditated to find out what truth was. So somebody brought him to one of the speaker's talks and he came to see the speaker afterwards, and he said, "Look, for twenty five years I have been deceiving myself". You understand, sir? You understand? Think of the courage of that man, etc. So we talked about it a great deal.

Now unless I understand myself, what is the self, the ego, the person, the persona, the ethos and so on, I may meditate for the rest of my life and may be deceiving myself. You understand? I may be living in a vast series of illusions, thinking those are real. So I must understand myself. Therefore I can understand myself not according to some psychologist, Freud and all the rest of it - I must understand myself, not through somebody.

Q: You can never be sure that you are not deluding yourself.

K: I am going to show you, sir. I must know myself, not according to any philosophy, according to any scientist, according to any psychiatrist and so on, not according to any system. I am understanding the system, not myself. You see the difference? Now how do I understand myself without any deception, otherwise I have played a wrong game, at the end of it I am deceiving myself. So how do I learn to understand myself so completely so that there is not a shadow of deception, self-illusion? Is that all right, may I go on? This is a dialogue please.

Q: What do you do with feeling in there?

K: Feeling is thought, isn't it. If I feel I have to recognize the feeling. Leave that for the moment.

Q: Sir, do we come back again to attention in terms of understanding myself?

K: No. You are too quick! I want to understand myself. And I must understand myself so thoroughly that there is not a slightest deception, a tremendous integrity and honesty. Right? Otherwise there is no point. Can you go along with this? Honesty and integrity. I realize there must be honesty, integrity and specially scepticism. In the Christian world, the whole of Christianity is based on the Bible, the Saviour and so on, and Christianity doesn't allow any doubt. Right? The religious Christian - any doubt, any scepticism. If there was scepticism and doubt the whole thing would collapse. When we were in Italy, I know Italian somewhat - and I heard the Pope say, he was preaching something or other, "You must have more faith". And a friend of mine who was sitting next to me, said, "Look, this is what they are doing, cultivating faith to destroy any kind of enquiry". So tremendous honesty, which is very difficult, sir, and great integrity.

Q: Another definition of faith in Christianity is trust, which is not a matter of destroying enquiry only, but having trust.

K: Trust in whom? Who do you trust? Do you trust your wife, do you trust your husband, do you trust your president? Why do you trust? What do you mean by trusting? If there is doubt you are enquiring, asking, demanding.

Q: You can trust and still enquire about the nature of God.

K: Sir, trust means what? If I have a wife, I trust her because I love her. I know she won't do anything ugly to me, and I know I won't do anything ugly to her because I love her. Where there is love there is trust. You don't trust by itself, it means loving. Please, let's come back.

So I must know myself. Without knowing myself deception of every kind is possible. Right sir? You agree to that? Honesty, integrity and scepticism, doubt. And that doubt must be kept on a leash - you know what a leash is, a dog kept on a leash, it must occasionally be free of the leash so that it can run. But if you keep it on the leash all the time it has no vitality, it isn't a dog any more. So we must have that quality. Right. Now how do I understand myself? This is part of meditation, you understand, sir? I understand myself through my relationship to the environment, to my wife, to my father, all that. In my relationship I see my reactions.

Are we following each other? Is that all right so far? Do you approve? Because without relationship I don't exist, I cannot exist, I may withdraw into a monastery, but still I am related - related to the past, related to a concept of what Jesus says and so on, so I am always related. Right? In that relationship which is a mirror I see myself as I am, not as I should be, but actually what I am.

Q: In terms of reactions?

K: All my reactions. So that requires an extraordinary watchfulness. I wonder if you can do all this? So relationship is the mirror in which I see myself as I am, which is far more important than what I should be, because what I am can be transformed - not transformed, that word transformed means moving from one form to another form, but bring about a mutation. I'll use that word. So that is the mirror. So I am watching the mirror in my relationship. The mirror is my relationship. So I see that I am creating an image about people all the time. I have created an image about my wife. I have lived with her for forty, twenty, ten days, I have already created an image about her, and she has already created an image about me. Right? So these are facts. So our relationship is between these two images. Right? Are you nervous if I say all this? Is your wife here too?

Q: If one measures oneself against the mirror of society - I may not have put that quite the way you would have done - the focus of my question is, what happens to one's self image if one changes the society?

K: Now just a minute, sir. Who created the society? We created the society. We are aggressive, we are violent, we are greedy, our society is ourselves. Society is not different from me. I am not a communist.

Q: If we move from one society to another.

K: It is the same. It's like I am a Catholic and I become a Buddhist, it is the same movement. I have changed the name but Buddhism is much more intellectual, much more subtle, much more etc., etc., than Christianity. So moving from one religion, or one state to another, is the same. I am questioning, I am saying, to understand oneself one has to see what our relationship is to nature, the trees, the world of nature, the reality of nature, the beauty, the depth and the glory of nature, and also the society. I am related to society. And I say I am different from society. I say we are not - we have created this society. Right? That's a fact, sir, isn't it? Let me finish this. Just a minute, please. We have created this society. Thought has created this society, the culture of a particular society. We are the result of all that, it is our action that has created this society. We are greedy, we are aggressive, violent, we are possessive, uncertain, wanting security, physical as well as psychological. So we have this society, which is corrupt as we are corrupt - sorry, you may all not be. So it is our product. So unless I, part of this society, change radically, psychologically, there will be no change in society. That's a fact. The Communists - if I may use that word, may I? - I used to have a lot of Communist friends at one time, card-carrying communists, not easy-chair communists! They were real Communists. And we used to discuss a great deal in Paris and other places, and they would go up to a certain point and then say, "Sorry, Marx is the limit". Like the Fundamentalists in this country - the bible is their limit. You can't discuss with them, it is finished.

So we are discussing meditation. And in that meditation what is creativity? That's the question. Now in relationship I see myself as I am. And also I see any movement to change what I am - please understand this, it's a little bit complex - any movement to change what I am is still in the same pattern. Right? I am - all right, let me put it differently. Who is it that is to change it? Right? I am greedy. Suppose I am greedy. In what manner do I change it? To change means to something else. Right?

Q: So wanting to not be greedy is another form greed?

K: That's just it. Not wanting to be greedy is another form of greed, of course. So how does that fact change? I discover in my relationship how greedy I am, how possessive I am, sexually, and all the rest of it, the attachment, with all the complexity of attachment, fear, jealousy, anxiety, hate; in that word all this is contained. All right, sirs? You are following all this? We are together in this, or am I just talking to myself?

Q: Sir, you have indicated that watchfulness is needed to see these things. But how can we help the watchfulness to be strong enough to see?

K: You can't help it. Sir, why are you a scientist? You want to be that. You spend years. I don't know how many years you spend to become a scientist, and you won't even give five minutes to this. I think to ask, if I may most respectfully point out, to ask how, is to ask for a system. Right? And system inevitably has a destructive quality inherent in it, entropy and the rest of it. So in my relationship I discover myself. Right?

And then the next question is: what is attention and what is concentration? You are following all this, does it interest you, all this? Don't be polite. I don't care if I go.

Q: Could we go back one notch to what we were talking about, the greed in various things, and trying to change them. Is that in the context of changing the sensation or changing the fulfilment of it? You say you are greedy, you mean you have the sensations. It looks like you can eliminate the fulfilment but still have the feeling.

K: No, that is a different question. What is the feeling of greed? Possessiveness. Right? You have a marvellous house, I want that kind of house too.

Q: That's the sensation then, want. Then you go out and get it.

K: Yes, here in America it's, buy, buy, buy.

Q: Go for the gusto!

K: Yes. Then I have to go into the question of concentration and attention. What is concentration?

Q: Concentration implies exclusion.

K: Go into it, sir, look at it carefully. In a school the child is told from the teacher to concentrate - don't let your thoughts run away with you, don't look out of the window - you follow? If you are a religious Christian you focus on Jesus, or Christ, or whatever it is. If you are an Indian you do the same thing with different names. We are a slave to names. Right, sirs? So concentration implies exclusion. I am concentrating but thought keeps on wandering, so I have to control it. Right, sir? And then the question is: who is the controller? The controller is the controlled. I wonder if you see that. Right sirs?

Q: Controlled - you mean controlled by his desires?

K: No sir. The observer is the observed.

Q: One thing I feel compelled to offer as a Christian - you mentioned that Christians concentrate on Christ, and although I attempt to be a Christian I am not a perfect one certainly, but one belief in Christianity is that one does not focus on an individual. And one thing that separates Christianity from other religions is that it is more altruistic. Instead of focusing on the self, Christianity focuses outwards, sacrificing yourself for others.

K: More altruistic, as you put it...

Q: I think there is a spread of feeling for all humanity.

K: Sir, let's leave out altruistic. We are trying to find out what is meditation and creativity, for the moment. We can talk about the various forms of religions, they are put together by thought, there is no question about that. All the rituals, all the dogmas, all the beliefs and all that, is put together by thought.

Q: Maybe I wasn't making myself clear.

Q: Let's not get into religion, please.

Q: I wasn't trying to defend a point.

Q: No, let's stick with the subject. OK?

Q: I think this relates to the subject. What is the difference between self and reflection?

K: Forgive me if I brought in Christ.

So we are talking about concentration. Concentration implies focusing your energy on a particular subject which is thought trying to concentrate on something. But thought is also vagrant, all the time wandering off. So there is conflict in that. Right? Back and forth. So one has to understand, if you are really interested in all this, what is conflict, why have human beings lived after so many thousands of years perpetually in conflict? It seems normal and you will say, "Yes, it is necessary to be in conflict to progress". What is progression? Are we progressing? Perhaps technologically, amazingly you are progressing. Otherwise are we progressing psychologically? Obviously not. We are what we have been for the last forty thousand years or more. So I have to understand what is concentration, which means exclusion, which means I live my life excluding everything, avoiding everything, resisting everything. You follow sir? So there is constant battle. And a brain in conflict wears itself out, loses its energy. Right? Agreed? This is so obvious, logical. So is it possible to live without conflict? You understand sir? You understand the depth of meditation, what is implied? Is it possible to live without conflict? The speaker says, yes. The speaker says, I am not boasting, he is not boasting or trying to be an example - he has a horror for all that kind of stuff - he says, yes, it is possible, he has done it. What is concentration? Why is there duality in us? Saying one thing, and doing something else, contrary to what you have said. And I am greedy, which is a contradiction. Right, agree sir? So in us there is duality all the time functioning. So duality is the cause of conflict. Is there duality at all?

Q: There is duality in...

K: Just listen one moment. We have to stop. Is there duality at all? There is duality; you are a woman, I am a man. I am tall, you are short or you are tall, I am short, or you are fair, I am dark, and so on; there is duality. There is sun rising, sun setting, darkness, light. There is duality. But psychologically is there duality at all, or only 'what is'? You understand, sir. There is only violence, not the opposite of it. The opposite of it is non-real, but we have made the opposite as real. And hence there is duality. I don't know if you are following all this. Heaven and hell, devil and god, you know, the whole psychological movement of duality we are discussing. And we are saying, the speaker is saying, there is no duality psychologically, there is only 'what is'. And if there is understanding of 'what is' then there is no duality. And therefore there is cessation of all conflict psychologically. Because meditation implies tremendous energy required, not just sitting in some silly corner and repeating something or other. There is a lovely story of a patriarch, wise and all that kind of thing, and a disciple comes to him and sits cross legged in front of him and closes his eyes. And the patriarch says, "My friend, what are you doing?" "Meditating, sir". He said, "Oh, is that so?" So he picks up two stones, the patriarch picks up two stones and rubs them together. The noise wakes him up, and the disciple says, "Sir, what are you doing?" "I am trying to make a mirror out of these two stones." And the disciple says, "Sir, you can rub them for the rest of your life you will never make a mirror." And so the patriarch says, "You can sit like that for the rest of your life..."!

So concentration. Then what is attention? In concentration there is always a centre. Right? The centre is the 'me' - me concentrating. I don't know if follow all this. Concentration emphasizes the 'me', the self. And attention has no centre whatever. When I am attending there is attention. It is not "I am attending". So where there is attention the centre with its periphery, with its diameter, with its extension and so on, there is none of that. And out of that we have to enquire what is a silent brain. We have laid the foundation; that is, to understand oneself so completely there is no fear, psychologically, no fear whatever. Otherwise fear will create all kinds of illusions.

Q: You talked about the mind and the brain, and you made very careful distinctions between them.

K: I am coming to that, sir. I am taking a breather, sir, sorry! Where there is attention there is silence. But that silence is like a flame. You understand? Alive, burning - not burning anything away, it is like the sun, etc. So attention means complete cessation of the self. You try it: when you are attending you have forgotten yourself, there is no self. The self exists only when there is inattention, when there is no attention. Love is attention. I don't know if you see. Not sex, not pleasure, not desire, which Americans have reduced to sex, pleasure and all that. So attention means silence and that silence is love. Without love there is nothing.

So then one asks: is there anything sacred, which thought has not touched at all? You understand? Is all life a material process? I don't know anything about god, I am not going to invent god, you understand. When there is no fear there is no invention for god, the origin of things. We will find out the origin of things when there is absolutely no fear, and the desire for any comfort, security. Right? Because they are all illusory. You understand? So when the brain is completely silent, and has that extraordinary energy, because it has now stopped chattering. I don't know if you follow all this? It has stopped chattering - please this is all logical, sane, rational, it is not some exotic Indian rubbish! I was brought up, when I left India at the age of nine. The speaker hasn't read any single religious book, or any philosophy, or any psychology. You may say, "You are a peculiar freak". A biological freak, I am not.

So where the brain is absolutely quiet, and therefore empty of images, and it has got that energy, and is there anything sacred, which means is there anything that thought, man, in his endeavour, in his search, in his conflict, in his suffering, hopes for something. You understand? You understand all this, sir? Then if he hopes then he will create, then he will project out of his hope something which he immensely wants. So that is a deception. All this implies an insight. Insight is not the result of remembrance. If it is based on remembrance it is just another continuity of memory, thought. So insight is unrelated to thought, memory, experience and time, something in a flash you see the whole thing. This happens to all of you; if you are scientists that insight is partial. Forgive me for saying so. Like an artist, it is partial. We are talking of insight as an holistic movement. These are not words, please. To me they are not anyhow.

So is there something that is beyond time, beyond measure, beyond all man's urges, desires, and so on. If one finds that life has a tremendous meaning. Right, sir? The speaker says there is. I can't prove it. Now this is meditation, and out of that is creation. Love, compassion, has its own intelligence and that compassion, love, intelligence is creativity. Because its creativity does not bring about destruction on the one side, building on the other. I don't know if I am making myself clear.

And there is the last question. "If you were a director of the laboratory, with responsibility for the defence of the country, and recognizing the way things are, how would you direct the activities of the laboratory and research?" Thank god I am not! But if I am, would I put this question? Is the question a right question?

Q: It is a question which is trying to find a connection between your theories and your beliefs of mankind and what we are all trying to do, and the practical everyday problems that exist.

K: Yes sir. Everyday problems: earning a livelihood, sex, having children, or not having children, vocation, which is now becoming imitation, everyday problems of quarrels, disagreements, pain, hurts, suffering. This is our daily existence. And our brains are trained from childhood to solve problems. And we are saying, the solution prevents the understanding of the problem. Seeking a solution prevents the understanding of a problem. Sorry, because our brains are trained to solutions. I have a problem with my wife, and I would say, "What is the solution?" Divorce, or go to a lawyer, or adjustment, or run away. You know all that kind of stuff. But the problem is what - my assertions, my wishes, my fulfilment, and hers. Let's understand that, discuss it, finish with it. But if I am seeking a solution I never go into the question. The causation of problems can be ended not through a solution but the understanding of the problem itself. Sorry this requires a great deal.

So the question is: if I am director - it is a wrong question because this should have been put right at the beginning, not now - at the beginning of killing man, one human being killing another human being in the name of religion, in the name of the country, in the name of god, in the name of the crown, and loyalty, my country as opposed to your country, my ideology opposed to your ideology, I am a devout Marxist - I am not - Leninist, and another is Catholic, and so we are at war with each other. That is the real question, not at the end of all this, what should I do? We have brought about this. We have divided the world - you are a Christian, I am a black, you are white, you are a caucasian, I am Chinese, or whatever the beastly thing is. We have divided, fought each other from the beginning of time. And the western civilization has killed more people than any other civilization. This is a fact, I am not against it, or for it.

Sir a group of people like you in Los Alamos, have given your time for destruction, and also some of you do other things - laser, sun rays. You know all that. You are doing benefit on one side, a great deal of benefit, on the other side you are destroying every human being on earth because you have recognized my country, my responsibility, my defence. And the Russians are saying exactly the same thing on the other side. India is saying the same thing, which has immense poverty, building up armaments. So what is the answer to this? The answer to that, sir, for me, I may be wrong, subject to your correction. As a group of people who have gathered together in Los Alamos for one purpose, and if another group who says, look, let's forget all nationalism, all religions, let us as human beings solve this problem, how to to live together without destruction. If we gave time to all that, a group of dedicated, absolutely people who are concerned with all the things we have been talking about then perhaps something new can take place.

Sir, we have never faced death. Oppenheimer, he knew Sanskrit, he said, "I have become death". You know that very well. And we don't understand death, either - which I haven't time to go into now. But we have become destroyers, and also benefit human beings at the same time. Right sir? Please, I am not asking you to do anything, I am not a propagandist. But the world is like this now. Nobody is thinking about a global outlook, a global feeling for all humanity - not my country, for god's sake.

Sir, if you went around the world, as the speaker does, you would cry for the rest of your life. Pacifism is a reaction to militarism. That's all. The speaker is not a pacifist. He says, let's look at the cause of all this, the beginning of all this. And if the causation is there, if we all see together, the causation, then the thing is solved. But each one has different opinions about the causation and sticks to his opinion, his historical dialectism.

So sirs, there it is.

Q: I think you have convinced us...

K: I am not convincing you of anything.

Q: Quite right. I think we have seen from the silence of the audience, that you seem to have given us energy to understand the appreciate the problem.

K: No, sir, it's not me.

Q: But what I mean is that when once we really try to understand this and do something in that direction, somehow we seem to lack the necessary energy. So we are still not able to make as much progress as we would all like, but I would like to hear a few comments from you as to what it is that is really holding us. We can see it, we can see the house on fire, but still we are not able to do anything about stopping the fire.

K: The house on fire, we think it is out there, it is in here. We have to put our house in order first, sir. Sorry, we have talked, they are looking at the clock.


Colloquium: Creativity In Science. Los Alamos 1984

Los Alamos (usa) National Laboratory 2nd Colloquium 21st March 1984 'Creativity in Science'

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