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Brockwood Park 1984

Brockwood Park 1st Public Question & Answer Meeting 28th August 1984

A lot of questions have been asked, a whole sheaf of them. Some of them are letters and some very short questions. And we can't answer all of them. That would be impossible. It would take many, many days. And some questions have been chosen out of that lot.

Before we go into these questions we ought to talk over together if we can ask a question from a state of mind, or brain, that is holistic, that sees, comprehends, or perceives the whole human problem. Not just one particular problem but all problems are related to each other. There is no one separate problem disassociated from the others. If that is so then to ask a question, or to face a problem from an integrated outlook. You understand what I mean? Most of us are fragmented, broken up - business, religious, family life, sexual life, religious life and so on and so on. We are all not a holistic whole human being, which is a fact. We look at life from a particular point of view, from a conclusion, or from some idealistic concepts. These are all fragmentations, fragmented outlook on life - right? We are talking things over together. And can we ask a - or face a problem from a wholly different outlook, which is not fragmented at all? Do you understand? Are we meeting each other in this? We have just thought of it as we came across the lawn here. Whether we ask any question, or face any problem holistically. I hope you don't mind using that word. Though it is a so-called scientific word - I hope the scientists will forgive us if we use that word. From a point of total integration, integrity and ask questions. It is rather interesting if we go into it.

Is it possible, recognizing that we are fragmented, broken up, divided in ourselves, contradictory, opposing one desire against another desire and so on, knowing all that, being aware of all that, could we face a problem, which is from a different focus? Why do we have problems? We have got so many problems - political, religious, sexual and so on - we have multiple problems in life. And problems are increasing. In a society that is so sophisticated, so complex, over population, bad governments and so on. And in the resolution of one problem we seem to increase many other problems - right? Why? In answering these questions that is going to raise - the answer is going to awaken similar problems. Why do we have problems and is it possible to meet a problem without a brain that is already conditioned to solve problems? Do you understand my question? Eh? You don't understand it. Neither do I for the moment! (Laughter)

So let's look at it. We go to school, very young, almost five or seven and so on. And children are faced with a problem - mathematical problem, how to write, how to read, how to learn mathematics, you know, it becomes a problem. So from childhood our brain is conditioned to solving problems. Right? This is a fact. It is not some fantastic theory of the speaker. So one goes to college, there are again problems. And university, jobs, various functions, vocations and so on, problem after problem. Our brain is full of problems - right? And we are always seeking from a brain that is conditioned to solve problems, we are always seeking a solution to problems - right? Is this clear? We are together in this? Now how can the brain solve problems if it is not free from problems? Right? Are we together a bit in this? It is rather an interesting question this, please let's go into this.

Our brains are conditioned to the resolution of problems, the solution of problems from childhood. And as the brain is conditioned to solve problems it is always seeking a solution, and it is not understanding the problem itself but the solution of the problem - right? Are we together a little bit in this? Good! And is it possible not to have a brain - to have a brain that is not conditioned to problems? You understand my question? I am asking you Sirs, and Ladies, your brain is conditioned now to the solution of problems, and we have never solved the problems. They are increasing more and more and more - why? Is it because a conditioned brain, which is embedded in problems can never solve problems? Right? You have understood this? Have I put the question? Oh, come on Sirs! Is it possible to have a brain that is not conditioned to the solution of problems but to the understanding of problems? Isn't there a difference between the solution of problems and the understanding of the problem? In the understanding of the problem the solution may lie in the problem. Not away from the problem - right?

Take a very ordinary example: we have never stopped wars. Human beings on this earth since they came on this earth have had wars, and we have never solved the problem of war. But we decided to reorganise how to kill man better. And this reorganization, how to kill man better, is called progress. I don't know if you are following all this. This is not a joke. So we move from organization to organization, we had first the League of Nations, and now we have the United Nations, but wars go on. They have different organisations - you understand? So we move from one organization to another hoping thereby to solve problems and multiply problems. So we never stop wars. And the cause of wars is nationalism, economic division, local division and so on and so on and so on - division - linguistic, racial, religious, economic, cultural and so on. These divide man. We are all human beings, we all suffer, we all have pain and anxiety, boredom, loneliness, despair. We don't tackle that but we want to solve the problems that seem to have external causes - right?

So we are asking: can the brain, recognizing, seeing that it is conditioned to the solution of problems from childhood, be free of it and then face problems? Right? All right Sirs? Will you do it? That is the question. To be conscious, to be aware that our brain, that we as human beings, from the beginning of life, we are always struggling with problems and trying to find the right answer to them. The right answer can only be when we recognize the brain is conditioned and as long as that brain is conditioned to solving problems we will never find the right answer - clear?

So do I recognize that fact, not the idea but the fact? There is a difference between idea and the fact - right? I hear this statement and from that statement I draw a conclusion - quite right, this is so, and from that statement I abstract an idea and then pursue the idea, not the fact that my brain is conditioned to solve problems. That is the fact, not that I should be free of this conditioning. That is non-fact. You understand? So the brain is conditioned and as long as that condition exists, multiplications of problems will go on, reorganization of the problems will go on and changing from one Capitalist society to Totalitarian society or this or that, will always bring about enormous problems - right? Can you and I be free of the brain that is conditioned? That is to be aware of it and see the depth of it, the truth of it, the logic, the sanity, the reason of it, and not move away from that, not find some abstract explanations. Right.

Is this all right? I am asking if it is all right, perhaps it is all wrong! (Laughter) No, it is not all wrong. This is a fact. If one cannot get on with one's wife, quarrels, contentions, you know, all the rest of it, and I divorce, one divorces, then choose another person. And keep on repeating this - right? If one has the money! (Laughter) If one has plenty of time and energy this is the game that is going on in the world, on a small or a bigger scale. But the problem is not divorce or - and all the complications of relationship, but to understand the depth of relationship, the meaning of relationship. Relationship, as we pointed out, is one of the most important things in life. Not the emotional expressions of it, the tantrums, the neuroticism of relationship, but what is important, significant, has depth in relationship. And we never ask that question. We want to solve the problem of relationship. You understand? And so we never solve them. The psychiatrists, psychotherapists and so on and so on, are multiplying in the world, like mushrooms. And they are not solving problems. They are not solving the depth of all this.

So we should consider together what is the art of living. Do you understand? Oh come on Sirs. It is a nice morning.

Audience: Are you saying that if we have a system for solving problems then every time we approach a problem we use our system instead of understanding?

K: That's right. The lady is saying if we have a system, a pattern, of solving a problem then the system is operating, not the understanding and the depth of the problem. It is the same thing. We were talking about the art of living - sorry these are the questions but they - You don't mind! (Laughter) We will come to them. There are many of them so we have chosen six of them. That will be enough for this morning. But we are asking what is the art of living? We have the art of poetry, painting, the art of so many - are of cooking, specially now, and so on. But we have never asked ourselves, perhaps which is the greatest art, what is the art of living? Is there an art? Or is it all just chance, or is it all some genes, a biological chance and so on? If one answers it, don't make a problem of it. Then the art is thrown out of the window.

So, let's look at it together to find out what is the art of living? - art in the widest and the depth of that word, not just all the contents of a museum. If you are asked that question, what is the art of living, what would be your answer? Not calculated answer, personal answer, or emotional, or romantic answer, which are meaningless - right? If I answer that question emotionally - oh, it is - the art of living is the highest aspiration - which is sheer nonsense. The art of living is the most exalted, intellectual, activity - right? That is only very partial. Or the art of living is to have an holistic outlook on life. It sounds excellent but factually it isn't. So what is the art of living? Obviously no conflict whatsoever - right? A brain that is in conflict all the time, having problems all the time, this tremendous self concern, such a brain must inevitably be limited - right? If one is thinking about oneself - how to meditate, whether you can - all the rest of it - your very meditation is self-centredness. So the art of living it appears - you can add to it more - is to live without conflict. Is that possible at all? That is, to understand the opposing elements in one's life - right? Desiring one thing, opposed to that desire another thing. You know this corridor of dualities. And the self-centredness, as long as that self-centredness exists there must be conflict because self-centredness is limited, small, petty. But you listen to all this but carry on. Right? And you say that is not possible in modern society to live without self-centredness, at least a little bit of it. (Laughter) Have you ever tried? Have you ever done, lived without self-centredness for one day, not to think about oneself? Just even for an hour! (Laughter) And see what happens. You haven't committed to anything! You can go back to your self-centredness, nobody is going to say how wrong it is, or right it is, that is the normal state of human beings apparently. So if one really tries for an hour, actually do it, not try it, do it, and see what happens. And if you do it one hour you can extend it. (Laughter) And it gives you tremendous energy. It gives you great sense of passion, not lust and all that business, but passion to pursue something profoundly to the very end of things. Right? Is that enough for this morning? We had better come back.

I haven't read these questions first. I haven't - this is the first time I am looking at them. So you are also looking at them for the first time.

1st QUESTION: What is attention if it has nothing to do with thought? Is it an activity of the brain? Is it a physical process? How does it come into being? You say we cannot bring about attention by an act of will? What must one not do in order to allow attention to exist?

Do nothing! Sorry, I must answer it.

What is attention if it has nothing to do with thought? Is it an activity of the brain? Is it a physical process? How does it come into being? You say we cannot bring about attention by an act of will? What must one not do in order to in order to allow attention to come into being? Right? You have got the question?

He is asking what is attention, is it a physical act? Is it the movement of thought? Is it an action of desire, which is the essence of will? Desire is the essence of will - right? How does this attention come about? Which is, can it come naturally, easily, without making tremendous effort - going to colleges, or attending some guru, being trained, can it all come about, this attention, naturally? We are going to talk over together - right? We are going to look at the question, not the answer. The question is: what is attention? In which is implied, not only the hearing of the ear but hearing without the ear. You understand? And also attention implies seeing, perceiving - right? Seeing visually, but also seeing with the inner eye, as it were - right? And attention also means learning - right? Agree? Seeing, hearing, and learning. Those three things are implied. Which means what is learning? Is it memorizing? You are following this? Somebody say, "Yes" - I don't want to go on talking to myself. So is it memorizing as we do when we go to the school, college, university, memorizing, storing up knowledge from books, from professors, from teachers, from house-masters and so on and so on? Which is always accumulating as knowledge and using that knowledge skilfully or not. Right? A carpenter - an apprentice to a master carpenter is learning the nature of the wood, what kind of wood, the grain, the beauty of the wood, the feeling of the wood, and the instruments which he is employing and so on, he is learning. And that learning is through experience, day after day, month after month, accumulating knowledge about carpentry, making a master cabinet maker - right? That is what we call learning. That kind of learning is limited, obviously because all knowledge is limited, now or in the past or in the future - right? Because all the scientists, biologists, etc. and so on are accumulating. They killed a man with an arrow, or a club, at the beginning of time, now you can blast the whole, millions and millions of human beings with one blow. That is tremendous accumulation of knowledge, to do that. Whether for good or for bad.

So - and that knowledge is always limited - right? So is there a learning which is not limited? It's fun, go on. I am just discovering something myself. Is there a learning that is not an accumulative process of knowledge, learning? In which is implied, hearing, not only the words, the significance of the words, your reactions to the words, your responses to certain favourite words, like love and hate, you know, and all the rest of it, and also seeing without any prejudice, seeing without the word - you understand? Can you look at a tree without the word? You understand? Have you ever done all this? That means seeing without direction, without motive, without any network of thought or blocking the seeing. And learning, which is a limitless process. So attention implies all that plus, or the beginning of it is to be aware - right? Are we aware as we sit here, the extent of this tent, the great number of people accumulated here, and the number of posts along there, and to look at all that without a single word. To be aware. But in that awareness you begin to choose. I like that blue shirt better than what I am wearing - right? I like the way your hair is done, better than mine. Right? You are always comparing, judging, evaluating, which is choice and to be aware without choice - you understand? As we are talking will you do all this? Or you are just listening to words? If we are doing this, then you begin to discover awareness is entirely different from concentration. Concentration implies focusing all thought on a particular subject, on a particular page, on a particular word. Which implies cutting off all other thoughts, building resistance to every other thought, which then becomes narrow, limited - right? So concentration is limited. But you have to concentrate when you are doing something, washing dishes. You have to wash the dishes very carefully - the right kind of soap, the right kind of water. You know all this. And awareness without choice, which means without concentration, to be aware of all this without judging, evaluating, condemning, comparing and from that move, which is attention, which is natural. That is, I want to listen to the story you are telling me, a very exciting thriller. And I listen to you very carefully. Or you are telling me something very, very serious and I pay, I am so eager, so attentive to understand what you are saying. I understand what I am thinking about, that is irrelevant, but I am tremendously concerned with what you are saying. Therefore I am all attention - all my nerves, my whole being says what are you talking about, I want to understand. In that attention there is no me - right? Get it? When there is this tremendous attention, which means all your energy is given to understand what you are saying, I am not thinking about myself, therefore there is no centre in me that says "I must attend" - right? I wonder if you get all this?

Audience: Is that the right question?

K: What Sir?

Audience: Is that the right question?

K: What is the right question here, the gentleman asks, if I understand rightly. Sorry if you ask questions from the audience we can never get through this. Not that we must get through it, but there are too many people, if you don't mind. What is the right question here and what is the right answer? If it is a right question you will never ask it! (Laughter) This is not just cleverness. A right question, if you put it you have the answer. But the right question is - doesn't - is not put because you want an answer, you are concerned, you are worried, you are biased - you follow? The right question, when you put it, the right question is the right answer.

2nd QUESTION: If the whole of life is one movement, with its own order, why is man so disorderly?

If the whole of life is one movement, with its own order, why is man so disorderly?

Why do we assume that the whole of life is one movement, with its own order? You first state a fact, it is supposed to be a fact, and then try and say why is there disorder. You understand? First you assume, one assumes that life is a vast movement, and in that vast movement, that very movement is order. You state that first: if. And then you say why is man so disorderly? Right? You understand? Wouldn't it be the right question to ask: why is man disorderly? Not assume that life is perfect order - right? The fact is we live disorderly, why? That is the question. Why do we live disorderly? What is disorder? What is disorder to you? Disorder is the activity of thought which is in itself limited. Right? Whatever the limited activity of thought does, it will bring about disorder. Because thought in itself is limited, because thought is born of knowledge, and knowledge is limited. Right? Oh God! This is not an epigrammatical statement. What is - I mistook it, sorry. What is order and what is disorder? How will you find order? Is order a definite pattern which you have set, which thought has set? You say, "I must get up at 6 o'clock in the morning, do this, this, this and go to the office" - or factory - is that a determined, planned, day after day, is that order? So we must first ask not what is order, but what is the cause of disorder - agree?

What is the cause of disorder in our life? First of all we must admit, whether we like it or not that we live a very, very disordered life. That is a fact, isn't it. Would you agree to that one thing at least? No? What is disorder? And then you have to ask, if it is lack of order, then what is order. How can a mind, brain, which is so disorderly find out what is order? Why don't we be a little bit logical, rational - though reason, logic are limited, you must begin with that and then go beyond it. But if you say order is this, then it becomes military - right? It becomes a tremendous discipline - agree? This is all so simple. All right.

So, we have to go into this carefully. First let us enquire what is discipline? The soldiers are trained day after day, month after month, haven't you seen them. The beating of the drum, the sergeant and all that, order, discipline, obey. And the obedience to an Abbot, to a Pope, to a... and so on - is called order. There is order according to the policeman. In Europe you drive on the right hand side, in this country you drive on the left hand side. That is order. And the man who is used to driving on the left hand side, goes over there and says that is disorder. Follow all this. So what is the cause of disorder. If I can understand that and be free of that cause there is naturally order. I don't have to find out what is order. So I have to first enquire why this enormous importance is given to discipline - in the schools, in our whole way of life, what is discipline? The word 'discipline' comes from the root disciple. A disciple is one who is learning from the master, learning - right? If you are learning in the sense we are talking about, not accumulating knowledge but learning without accumulation then discipline - the very learning is its own discipline - you understand? I wonder if you understand all this?

Audience: I still don't understand what learning is in your terms.

K: What?

Audience: I still don't understand what learning is because if one watches one's thoughts surely one is watching with one's thoughts. So I don't quite understand how you use learning.

K: I have tried to explain it. Must I go into it again? First of all are we aware, or do we see the fact, accumulating knowledge all our life is very limited. That's a fact because knowledge is limited whether now or in the eternal future it is still limited. And therefore if we act on that knowledge our action will always be limited. And therefore that is one of the causes of disorder - right? If I act always with the previous knowledge which I have accumulated and I know that knowledge is limited, and whatever I do is limited, and any limitation must produce disorder. That is, the Arab and the Jew, the Hindu and the Muslim, the Buddhist and the Catholic - you follow? - they are all limited. They are all functioning within the field of knowledge which is limited, or tradition. Right? We are following all this? So their activity of limited activity is bound to create disorder. If the wife or the husband, or the girl or the boy is thinking about himself - his ambitions, his progress, his fulfilment, and the other man or the woman is also thinking of his progress - right? - they are in conflict obviously. They may talk about love, they may talk about all kinds of things, but each woman and man is pursuing his own particular direction, his own ambition, which is all very self-centred, limited. Right? And so in the relationship that limitation creates disorder. Naturally. Are we meeting this?

So we are beginning to discover the disorder comes where there is limitation - right? Where I am thinking about myself and you are thinking about yourself, and we have a lovely relationship! We hold hands, we sleep together, we walk together, look at - but we both are going in different directions. Right? And therefore those directions are designed by thought, by desire. Is there time to go into desire here, now? No, that's too complicated.

So we begin to learn, to see, to have an insight - we are using the word 'insight' which is to observe something without time, without motive. To have an insight is not remembering, calculating and so on, it is to have instant insight into disorder, which is ultimately any limited action. Are we getting together on this a little bit? A fraction? And if it is a fraction, keep it and move with it, then you will see the thing begins to break up this self-centred process of living.

May I ask a question? Are you, all of us here, are we putting equal energy, as the speaker is putting it? (Laughter) Or are you just sitting and listening, listening to the aeroplane and listening to your own thoughts going on, or - you understand? - you are passionate to find out.

3rd QUESTION: How can our listening be adequate to the depth of what you are saying? What is the quality of mind that will allow the fullness of what you are saying to act in us?

I am afraid that is a wrong question but I will read it.

How can our listening be adequate to the depth of what you are saying? What is the quality of mind that will allow the fullness of what you are saying to act in us?

The speaker is saying something which you haven't, you yourself have not discovered. He is not talking about what he has discovered. That is totally irrelevant. But the words, what the telephone is saying, what the words, the content of the words, all that you are listening to. And the listening is watching your own thoughts, your own feelings, your own reactions - right? The speaker is merely acting as a mirror in which you, by listening, you are discovering yourself. You understand what I am saying? The speaker, as a person, as he has oft repeated, has no importance whatsoever. And he means this. And what he is saying is not something that is foreign, that you have to understand, that has to act upon you. Then if that is so, that it is something foreign that must act upon you, you might just as well take a drug. But if you are listening to what he is saying and saying, "What do I feel to what he is saying, what is my reaction to what he is saying?", there is a communication between what he is saying and yourself. Right? Communication ceases when you are merely listening to what he is saying. But what he is saying, and your relationship to what he is saying, and to discover your reaction to what he is saying, and your responses to his subtleties, or stupidities, or intelligence, you are then moving together. Then it is yours not his. I wonder if you understand.

Audience: No, you...

K: Please Madam, just I understand. Take a little time with what I am saying. Don't immediately - if I may ask most politely - don't immediately answer. But see what he is saying.

First of all he says he is not your guru, absolutely not. That is an anathema to him. And you are not his followers - right? And you haven't got to live what he is talking about. What he is saying is what your own deep undiscovered life - that's all - right? He is talking about you, not himself. He is talking about your life, your daily, monotonous, boredom, tiresome, fearful, sorrowful, lonely life. The violence, the chicanery, the dishonesty, the lack of integrity. Where there is integrity there is strength. But that's another matter. Then you can stand by yourself. Then nothing affects you, then you are not influenced by anybody because you are then discovering what is true for yourself. Not according to - truth according to you, or according to somebody else - truth, which is not his, or yours, it is something entirely not outside the activity of brain. I won't go into that for the moment.

So we are together finding what is truth. We are together finding out what is the art of living, what is the way to listen, what is the way to learn, what is the way of seeing. And if you see, it is yours, then you need no guru, no leader, no book - you understand? We are living on other people's knowledge. We have no insight into ourself, into our own existence. Right? Can I go on to the next question?

4th QUESTION: Is there such a thing as good or evil in the world - sorry I must read it again. Is there such a thing as good or evil in the world, or are these human concepts, values, projections? Is there such a thing as good and evil in the world? Or, are these human concepts, values, and suppositions and projections?

What is good? And what is so-called not good? If we use the word 'evil' that has got such connotations behind that word. Let's forget the word evil for the moment. The good and the bad. The badies and the goodies! - according to the cinemas. (Laughter) What is good? Now please, try, look at it for a minute. The speaker is asking the question, what is good? How do you listen to the word? How to you receive that word? It doesn't matter who says it. How do you listen to it, receive it? What is your taste of that word? What is your feeling, instinctive feeling to that word? Instinct - I don't mean - your immediate feeling for that word. And when you say the bad, what is your response to it? A repulsion? A thing that you see some bad thing being done? So to discover for oneself the reaction to these two words. Not what philosophers say. Not what other people, the bishops, the priests, the popes - I don't mean merely the Roman popes but the popes of all over the world of different religious oganizations, with their heads, with their tails and all the rest of it. When one listens to these two words, which have had tremendous effect on mankind historically, right from the beginning, the Christians have said, "This is good, if you go against it we will burn you" - they have - heretics, tortured them, burnt them for what they have done. And that is considered good. And you go to India to be burnt for your belief is considered a horror. You understand? So what - apart from all this - what is good and what is bad?

Now, I will go on, may I? Is the good related to the bad? And is the good in conflict with the bad? Novels are written about it. The good always conquering at the end! Even in the thrillers! And the bad is always being destroyed and the bad always coming up. The battle has been going on. You see it in Lescaux and other caves in France and other parts of the world, the battle - right? Good and the bad. The evil - I don't like that word evil, it stinks! Forgive me if I use that word. (Laughter) Sorry! (Laughter) So what is good and what is bad? Are they related to each other? Is goodness born out of that which is bad? Because I know that which is bad, tradition, conditioning, that which has - people have said, written, and that evil, that bad, that which is bad, is fighting that which is good. And the good is fighting that which is bad - right? So I am asking is that which is good born out of that which is bad? You understand my question? It is a simple question. If goodness is born out of that which is bad it is not good - right? Then they are related to each other. Therefore it is not good. Are you following? So they are two entirely different things, the one cannot become the other. If it can become the other it is already recognized by the other - you understand all this? - therefore it is not good. Goodness is something totally divorced from that which is bad - right? But we have mixed the two together and we say we must fight - each thing must be fought. You must resist, fight, put away evil, bad in order to be good - you understand? So the goodness is always in terms of the bad. And we are saying something entirely different. Goodness has no relationship whatsoever with that which is bad. For the goodness to exist the bad must cease. That's all. Not a battle between the two. This is simply logic, sanity.

Now to come very near home: in us there are these two opposing elements, this duality. Duality of wanting, aspire - I don't like, sorry, aspiration is a wrong word. Aspiration is something romantic and idealistic and rather stupid. Forgive me if I use that word. We are all aspiring for something. You are aspiring to become a manger of a good corporation. And you are also aspiring for God. It is the same thing. You understand? God is another form of good corporation! I am not being blasphemous but this is all so obvious. So goodness cannot exist where that which is bad. From the bad you cannot possibly go to the good. It is not a movement from this to that. It is not a process of time, from that which is bad to achieve that which is good - right?

Now the question arises from that: what is bad? You understand? I will know what is good only when that which is bad is not. So let's put away the good, don't let's say, "Tell me what it is secretly" - or tell me openly. Then I will follow that. But to understand that which is bad. Is it bad to be nationalistic? Come on Sirs, answer it. Say I am a Frenchman, I am British, or I am a Hindu, or a Sikh, or a Muslim - you know. Is that bad?

Audience: It might not be to some, but to us.

K: To other people, we are including all of us Sir, I am not saying, to me it is bad and to you it is not bad. That's rather... we are asking: what is bad, not according to me or according to somebody else. As long as there is division - right? - racial division, class division, religious division - right? Political, economic and so on, divisions, those divisions create conflict, war ultimately, killing each other. You understand? Isn't that bad? No?

Audience: Yes, yes.

K: Good, I am glad. (Laughter) And yet religions have supported it, you support it - you understand? You know all the rest of it. Can we be free of all that first? Not belong to any country, to any group, to any guru, to any religious organization because they are all divisive. That brings about another question: authority. Political authority, religious authority, the totalitarian authority - you understand? Is authority evil? Not authority in the hands of the wise is good. Do you understand? We have said that: authority of the wise is the salvation of the foolish! (Laughter)

So authority of the policeman, the authority of law. You have to pay tax - not for myself but... you have to pay tax. If you don't pay it you are punished in some way or another. So there is authority outwardly - right? Authority of keeping to the left side of the road, the authority of keeping to the right side in France and Europe. And there must be authority in a school, in a college, otherwise you can't - you follow? But we are talking about authority, the feeling of authority, the power of authority, to slaughter people. So authority, spiritual, authority in the deepest sense of that word is bad, is evil.

So, then the question is: the bad. The bad we said is any kind of division. Don't misunderstand. The religious division - right? The division that says "We are closed, you can't come in here" - psychologically. But the door is open if you want to come in. You understand? That is not closed. So go into all this. It all comes down to any form of psychological, individualistic division - the Arab, the Jew, the Muslim and so on. Any psychological organizational division in that sense of that word. That's bad. Right? And can one be free of all that? And not just say, "Yes, I see your point, but it's all right but we will go on with our war. It is nice. We are violent people, that is part of our expression of violence, the ultimate expression of violence to kill a million people at one blow." Or do we end all that in ourselves? In ourselves first not organizational thing. You know that story which the speaker thought out? There were two men walking along - you know it some of you, heard this? If you have forgive me. Don't get bored with it. Two men were walking along on a street talking about various things of life. And one of them sees something on the pavement, picks it up. The moment he looks at it his whole face changes, something tremendous has taken place in him. And he puts it in his pocket very carefully, in his inner pocket. And the friend says to him, "What is it you have picked up? Why have you become so extraordinarily... your face has changed." He said, "I have picked up truth". And his friend says, "By Jove, is that really so? I can see by how you look. So what shall we do about it?" And the friend says, "Let's go and organize it" (laughter) This is an old story which the speaker invented about forty or fifty years ago.

So can we, each one of us, not join an organization that will help us to be free from war. That's another form of organization. You follow? We don't begin with ourselves first. Can we, each of us, end this division in ourselves? Then you can use organisations - you understand? But if you use oganizations to change the inner you will never succeed.

So can we, each of us, put anything that divides us from another? Of course you must have your own house, your own garden, your own - you follow? - not psychologically, inwardly, subjectively. Then you don't have to search for the good. Then the good flourishes. Then goodness flowers. The beauty of that is endless. It never can be destroyed by anything.

Audience: Sir, in the animal kingdom...

K: Sorry I have to stop now.

Audience: In the animal kingdom the tiger eats the goat. Doesn't the goat look upon the tiger as a badie?

K: Of course not. The tiger kills the beautiful deer. And the tiger too is very beautiful. Have you been very close to a tiger, any of you? Of course not. You have seen them in zoos. I have been very close, about ten feet away from them. Don't bother. I am not inviting you to go and meet them. (Laughter) The tiger eats the deer. The big things eat the little things. And the bigger things eat the bigger - follow? Up and up. Is that evil? The tiger killing the deer? Of course not. You follow? That's nature. Why do we say the tiger is cruel? The cat playing with a mouse - you understand? Haven't you known that. That's rather ugly - you know. Our whole civilization is so monstrous - right? So we must begin with ourselves, not tigers, elephants and rats and snakes. I am afraid we all do this. We want to escape from ourselves. And ourselves is the most important thing. And to penetrate this sheathe, this outward appearance, outward show, outward thing, deeply to go inwards, that journey is endless, it has got such extraordinary beauty.

We will stop now. We will go into it another time.


Brockwood Park 1984

Brockwood Park 1st Public Question & Answer Meeting 28th August 1984

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