Ojai 3rd Public Talk 18th May 1985
It's a beautiful morning, isn't it? And I hope you are enjoying yourself. We have this morning's conversation between you and the speaker and also tomorrow morning. We have to go into various subjects or various problems. We're going to talk over together the whole question of pleasure, sorrow, death, and what is it that human beings throughout the world have sought beyond the physical daily troublesome, boring, lonely life, what is there beyond, not only for the individual, but the whole of humanity? What is there that is not touched by thought, that has no name, that may be eternal, that is lasting, enduring?
So we are going to talk over all these matters, including meditation, perhaps yoga too. Everybody seems to be terribly interested in yoga. They want to keep young and beautiful. Shall we begin with that? I thought you would be interested in it. (Laughter) Yoga has now become a business affair like everything else. There are teachers of yoga all over the world, and they are coining money, as usual. And, yoga at one time, I've been told by those who know about this a great deal, it was only taught to the very, very, very few. Yoga doesn't mean merely to keep your body healthy, normal, active, intelligent. But also it meant, the meaning of that word in Sanskrit means 'join together.' Joining the higher and the lower. I don't know who joins it, but that's the tradition. And also there are various forms of yoga. But the highest form is called raja yoga, which is the king of yogas. There that system, or that way of living was concerned not merely with the physical well-being, but also much more strict psychologically. There was no discipline, no system, nothing to be repeated day after day. But to have a brain that is in order, that is all the time active but not chattering, but active, that activity - the speaker is interpreting all this. Probably they wouldn't tell you all this. The speaker has talked to various scholars, pundits, real yoga teachers. There are very few of them now.
So to have a very deep, orderly moral ethical life, not just merely take various postures but to lead a very moral, ethical, disciplined life, that was the real meaning of the highest form of yoga. Thereby you kept the body healthy. Body was not first, of primary importance. What was of primary importance was to have a brain, a mind, a well-being, that is clear, active, not in the sense of movement, but in itself active, alive, full of vitality. But now it has become rather shallow, profitable and becoming mediocre. The speaker was taught - oh, many years ago - something that could not be taught to another. Let's leave it at that, shall we? Is that enough talk about yoga? Or you want me to tell you what I was taught? (Laughter) I'm sorry, I can't tell you. (Laughter) It's not to be taught to the casual. It is something that you do, perhaps every day, as the speaker does for an hour, to have perfect control of your body. So that you are watchful - I won't use the word 'control,' but to watch your body, not make any movement, any gesture, which is not observed. There is no unnecessary movement of the body. But it's not controlled. That's where the difference is. May we drop this subject and go on to something else? I know you are reluctant, because you think, perhaps you may consider yoga to be something to be practiced day after day, to develop your muscles, have a muscular body. It's not that at all. It is something you live all day long. Something you watch, observe, be clear about.
We were talking about the other day, the other Saturday and Sunday, the question of guilt, being psychologically hurt, wounded, and the various forms of relationship. Not only with human beings, with each other, but also our relationship to nature, to all the beauty of the world, to the mountains, to the meadows, to the groves, and the hills and the shadows, the lakes and the rivers. To have a relationship. We talked a little bit about that relationship too. Where there is an image made by thought between you and the mountain, all the fields and the flowers, as one makes an image about one's wife or husband and so on, that image prevents one from having complete relationship with another.
And our relationship with each other now, between you and the speaker, that relationship is very important to understand. He is not persuading you to any point of view. He is not putting any kind of pressure, so that you listen, accept or deny. He has no authority. He is not a guru. He has an abomination of all this idea of leadership psychologically or spiritually, if I can use that word. It's an abhorrence to him. And he really means it. It's not something to be taken lightly, that the speaker pretends. That's why one has to be extremely honest in all this.
And we talked about the activity of time. We went into it fairly clearly. And also the movement of thought. What is thinking. We talked about that too. Do you want the speaker to repeat it again? Please tell me. If it's not clear the speaker has got a great deal of patience about it. Perhaps I won't even use the world 'patience.' So we talked about all that, had a conversation between you and the speaker. Therefore that conversation is carried on mutually. It isn't one-sided conversation. And also we said the world is made up of bullies - the religious bullies, the newspapers, the politician, the guru, the priests, the bullies in the family. And those bullies make us feel guilty, they attack first and then you have to defend. That's the game that has been going on in our relationship with each other and so on. So that brings about this feeling of guilt. We talked a great deal about it.
And also we talked last Sunday about fear. Why human beings who have evolved through these many, many, many millennia, live with this terrible burden called fear. That fear is a sensation. And sensation takes many forms - the sensation of drugs, alcohol and so on, the sensation of sexuality, the sensation of achieving something - climbing the ladders, either mundane ladder or the so-called spiritual ladder.
We talked also what is the relationship between time and thought. Or are they one? And we went into that and also what is the root of fear? And we have many, many fears, which destroy not only the human capacity, distort the brain; distort or curtail or limit both biological and psychological activity. What's the root of it, root of fear? We went into it. We said the root of fear is time and thought.
One can listen to all this casually or seriously, listen to each other's conversation. But the words are not the thing. Fear is not the word. Or the word may create the fear. You understand? The word may create the fear or there is fear by itself. Right? Please understand. The word is the picture, the idea. But the fact of fear is quite different.
So one has to be clear that the word is not inducing, cultivating fear, and then overcoming that fear, which means overcoming the word but not the fact. You are following all this? And we said one has to face this fact. And how one faces this fact is all-important, not the fact, but how you approach it, how you come to it. If one has conclusions, concepts, how to get over fear, how to suppress it, or how to transcend it, or go to somebody who will help you to overcome that fear, then that fear will continue in different forms. It may be one day you are frightened of something, the next day another. And out of this fear we have done terrible things to mankind. We have done terrible things to each other. Out of this fear of not wanting security, or having security, we have destroyed human beings by the million. The last war and the previous war showed it. Where there is fear there is god.
And all the comfort that one derives out of illusion. But when there is psychological security and therefore biologically, not the other way around - it's not physical security first and then the psychological security after. The socialists, the communists, the radicals, so-called radicals, have tried to establish order outside. As the communists are trying to do, the totalitarians. And they're not succeeding. They are only suppressing. But if one starts to understand this whole psychological structure of every human being, of oneself, then one begins to understand the nature of fear. And it can be ended if we understand the nature of time, thought, which we went into.
And we ought to talk over together this morning, as it's such a beautiful morning, what is beauty. Are you interested in this? What is beauty? The speaker is putting you that question, and you must reply. Not all of you, that's impossible, or even one. What would be your reply, if one may ask respectfully, what is your response to that question? What is beauty? Is it in the mountains? In the shadows? In the dappled light under these trees? Is it a sheet of water still in the moonlight? Or the stars of a clear evening? Or the beautiful face - well-proportioned, having that weight and beauty inward? Or does it lie in the museums, the pictures, the statues? There is a marvellous statue in the Louvre in Paris. The statue of the Victory of Samothrace. It's a marvellous statue. And is that beauty? Someone should ask this question. Not the beauty in a magazine, is that beauty? A beautiful woman, carefully made up, etc., etc. Is that beauty?
So one should ask this question of ourselves. Because man, woman, are seeking this thing all the time. That's why museums become important because in ourselves we are so ugly. Not sinful, that's a wrong word to use. We are so broken up, fragmented, we can never see something whole, holistic way of living. And we think beauty is out there, in the pictures, in a lovely poem of Keats, or in marvellously written literature. So what is beauty? Are you waiting for the speaker to explain? Or, have you ever asked of yourself? Or, are you seeking for the experts to tell you? Can we go into it together? Not that the speaker wants to convince you, show you, tell you anything! That's very important to understand. He has not authority. He is not a public figure. He hates all that ugly reputation, success, becoming somebody. Then you can threaten that somebody. You understand? But it's not like that. We are two human beings, talking over together our whole complex problem of existence. So what is beauty? Is beauty love? Is beauty pleasure? Is beauty something that gives you an elan, a sensation? Ah, you say, how marvellous, how beautiful that picture is. So what is beauty? May we go into it together? Together.
When you see those hills behind there and the blue sky and the line of those mountains against the sky, and see some of the shadows on the sunburned grass and the shady trees, when you look at it, not verbalize it immediately but when you look at it, or see a great mountain full of snow, high peaks, and a sky that has never been polluted - when you see this majesty of a mountain, what takes place? Does the majesty of that mountain, the enormous solidity of it, the greatness of it, what happens at that second you see that mountain or that hill and those shadows or these dappled light under these trees? For a second, the greatness of the mountain drives away all our pettiness, all our worries and problems and all the travail of life, for that second. Then you become silent and look. Right?
Take a boy, - small boy or a girl, they have been running about all day long, shouting and, you know, being a little bit naughty, which is nice. But parents don't like them to be that way. What happens to their naughtiness when you give them a lovely toy, complicated toy? Their whole energy is concentrated in that toy. They are not naughty. Until they break that toy. (Laughter) Then the whole begins again. That is, the toy - please listen to this, together we are talking - that toy absorbs the child. The toy becomes all-important. He loves it, he holds it, he kisses it, you follow? You have seen teddy bears worn out. And all that naughtiness has gone because the toy has absorbed the naughtiness, the toy becomes important. Right? You know this if you are mothers and fathers. And the toy is the television, unfortunately. So the mountain absorbs us for the second. That's our toy. And we forget ourselves. Right? This is actuality. If you see a marvellous statue; not only Grecian statues, but the ancient Egyptian ones. Their extraordinary sense of earth, fullness, richness, stability, dignity. For a second, for a moment their dignity, their immensity drives our pettiness away.
So we are absorbed by the toys. The grownups too. It's maybe their business, their chicanery in politics. So all these things absorb us. And if there is nothing to absorb you, then you get depressed, try to escape from it, do all kinds of things to run away from what we are.
So is not beauty something that takes place when you are not? You understand? When you with all your problems, with your anxieties, insecurity, whether you are loved or not loved; when you with all these psychological complexities are not, then that state is beauty.
And this is one of the problems of meditation: to cultivate, practise, day after day, to see that you are not. And who is the entity that is practising? You understand? It's the same old toy. Only you call it meditation. So where you or K are not, there is beauty. As we said, beauty is not pleasure, it's not sensation.
So we ought to talk over together pleasure because for us pleasure is an extraordinarily important thing. The pleasure of a sunset; the pleasure of seeing somebody whom you like enjoying himself. So we ought to talk over together the whole concept of pleasure. Because that's what we want, if you are honest. And that's our difficulty, we are never seriously honest to ourselves. But we think to be so terribly honest to oneself may lead to further trouble, not only for yourself but your husband, wife, and all the rest of it. So to understand the nature of fear, guilt, relationship, and all the movement of our daily life one has to look at it very closely, not control it, shape it, and say, this must go that way or that way. But to look at it first, without fear, without being depressed or feeling that you must do something about it.
So we are going together to enquire what is pleasure. To possess a beautiful car! Or have lovely 12th century furniture; to polish it, to look at it, to evaluate. There is a furniture in England, in a particular room, it's about l6th, l5th century. And one has paid a great deal of money for it. And it gives you, watching it, great pleasure. Then you identify yourself with that furniture. Then you become the furniture, because whatever you identify yourself with, you are that. It may be an image, it may be a piece of furniture, it may be a man, woman, or it may be some idea, some conclusion, some ideology. And all the identification with something greater or something which is convenient, satisfying, doesn't give you too much discomfort, that brings us a great deal of pleasure.
And pleasure goes with fear. I don't know if you have watched it. It's the other side of the coin. But we don't want to look at the other side. But we say to ourselves, pleasure is the most important thing, either through drugs, which is now becoming more and more in this country - opium, cocaine, alcohol. You know all that, what is happening in the world, especially in this country, which breeds certain irresponsibility, gives you for the moment certain elan, energy, quietens the brain probably and dulls the brain, and ultimately destroys human beings. You have seen all this on television. If you haven't seen all this, you know of somebody and so on. We start with pleasure, and end up in ruination. And pleasure of possessing something, the woman or the man; pleasure of power - you understand - over somebody, maybe over your, if have domestic help, over that person, or your wife or husband or something or other, we want power. Right? Let's be quite honest about all this. We admire power, we extol power, we idolize power. Right? Whether it is spiritual power of the religious hierarchy, or the power of a politician, power of money. To the speaker power is evil. That's why followers are... who want power through knowledge, through enlightenment, you know all that rot they talk about. Not that there is not enlightenment, but rot, the stupidity, nonsense that they talk about. That gives them power.
Which is, if we may go on with it, our education, televisions, our environment, ambience, all that is making us mediocre. We have read too much of what other people say. The word 'mediocre' means 'going up the hill halfway and never reaching the top.' Not success, success is utter mediocrity. Sorry to talk emphatically about all these matters. If you don't want to listen, it's all right too. You are not entertaining the speaker, or he is entertaining you. These are all terribly serious matters. And we give power to others because we ourselves lack power, position, status, therefore we hand it over to somebody else. And then we worship that, adore it, or idolize it. And we have lived that way for millennia.
So power, identification, having security, money, and feeling that money will give you freedom, which is not freedom at all. You can choose, in freedom you can choose what you want or what you like; is that freedom? I do not know - one does not know if you have gone into this question of freedom, what does freedom mean? Not in heaven. Do you remember that joke - may I repeat a joke? (Laughter) Two men are in heaven with wings and halo, all that. One says to the other, "If I am dead, why do I feel so awful?" (Laughter) Have you got it? So all forms of pleasure are part of our life. It has become more and more sensational - it is becoming noisy, vulgar, mediocre. And so we go on with our pleasures, and in its wake comes fear. So unless one understands this activity of sensation, fear and pleasure will go on.
What is sensation? If one may go into it now. The actual meaning of that word is, 'the activity of the senses.' Right? Either that activity of the senses is partial, which it always is, or all the senses are fully awakened. You understand? When it is partial, it's limited. Right? You want more and more and more and more. And 'the more' means that the past sensation has not been sufficient. You want some more of it, go to different schools of thought, go from one sect to another. You've seen all this in this country, and elsewhere. So is there a holistic activity for all the senses - you understand my question? You understand? I am asking you a question. Our sensations are limited. And you take drugs and all the rest of it to have higher sensation. It is still limited because you are asking for more. When you ask for 'the more' there is always 'the little', therefore it's partial. Right? Simple. So we are asking, is there a holistic awareness of all the senses, therefore there is never asking for 'the more'.
I wonder if you follow all this? Are we together in this, even partially? And where there is this total, fully aware of all the senses, awareness of it - not you are aware of it, the awareness of the senses in themselves - then there is no centre in which there is an awareness of the wholeness. You understand? When you look at those hills, can you look at it not with only visual eyes, optic nerves operating, but with all the senses, with all your energy, with all your attention? Then there is no 'me' at all. Then when there is no 'me' there is no asking for more, or trying to become better.
Then we ought also to talk over together what is sorrow. You understand? All these are related to each other: guilt, the psychological wounds, which most people have. And what are the consequences of those psychological wounds, the vanity of one's own cultivated intelligence, which gets hurt, and the images that one has built about one's self, that gets hurt, nothing else. We went into all that. And we talked about relationship. We talked about fear, pleasure. They are all interrelated, they are not something to be taken bit by bit or separated and say, "This is my problem", and stick to that. If you say, "I can solve that, I don't mind the rest", but the rest remains there. So can one see this whole movement, not just one movement?
So we want to talk about sorrow. This is an immense subject. It brings tears to one's eyes. Not the words; the word 'sorrow' has been in the minds of men and women from the beginning of time. This feeling of sorrow, and sorrow has never ended. If one travels, especially in the Asiatic world or in Africa, this immense poverty, immense. And you shed tears or do some social reform, or give them food, or give them clothes and all the rest of it. But there is still sorrow there. And there is the sorrow of someone whom you have lost. You have their picture on the mantelpiece, or the piano or hung on the wall; and you remember it, look at it, shed tears, and all the memories connected with that picture. One sustains, nourishes, continues loyally with that picture. That picture is not the person. That picture is not the memories. But we cling to those memories, and that brings us more and more sorrow. And the sorrow of those people who have very little in their life, not only money, few sticks of furniture, but also ignorance, not the ignorance of something great, but the ignorance of their daily life, of their having nothing inside them - not that the rich people have either, they have it in the bank account, but nothing inside. Look at all this.
And there is the immense sorrow of mankind which is war. Thousands, millions have been killed, and if you have seen it in Europe, thousands of crosses all in straight line. How many women, men, parents have cried, not only in this country, every community, every country, every state. Have we realized that historically there have been wars every year? Tribal wars, national wars, ideological wars, religious wars. In the Middle Ages they tortured people, burnt them, they were heretics. You know all this, if you have listened, if you have looked.
And from the beginning of man or woman the sorrow has continued, in different forms: poverty of sorrow, poverty of ignorance, poverty of not being able to fulfil your desires, poverty of achievement - there's more to be achieved.
And all this has brought immense sorrow, not only personal sorrow, but also the sorrow of humanity. In Cambodia, what is happening there. What's happening in Russia. In the totalitarian states. We read about it, we never shed a tear! We are indifferent to all this because we are so consumed by our own sorrow, our own loneliness, our own inadequacy. So we are going to ask ourselves, is there an end to sorrow, ending, not what happens after sorrow? After the ending. Is there an end to our personal sorrow, with all the implications of it: ugly face - I won't call them ugly, it's a face you don't like? You know the whole business of all this. And one asks, if one is at all serious, involved, committed to find out, is there an end to sorrow? And if there is an end, what is there? Because we always want a reward. Something - if I end this, I must have that. We never end anything by itself, for itself per se. So can this sorrow end? Which means, can there be sorrow with love?
Let's go into it. I love my son. If I have a son or daughter, I love them. And they become every kind of human being: drugs, you know the whole process of it. And I cry. And I call that sorrow. What is the relationship of sorrow to love? You understand my question? I am asking you, please find out. We know what sorrow is: great pain, grief, loneliness; sense of isolation. My sorrow is entirely different from yours. In the very feeling of it I've become isolated. We know, not only verbally but in the depth, the feeling, inward feeling in our very being we know what the meaning of that word is. And what is the relationship of sorrow to love? Then we have to ask, what is love? You are asking this question, not the speaker. What is love? When one asks that question, does one come to it positively, in the sense, 'love is this', give it certain definition, verbal definition, or inward definition, and stick to it? Love of god, love of books, love of trees, love of a dozen things. So what is love? Have you ever asked this question? If you have, is it sensation - sexual, reading a lovely poem, looking at these marvellous old trees. Is love pleasure?
Please, we must be terribly honest to ourselves, otherwise there's no fun in this. Humour is necessary, to be able to laugh, to find a good joke, to be able to laugh together, not when you are by yourself, but together. And we are asking ourselves, what is love? Is love desire? Is love thought? Is love something that you hold, possess? Is love that which you worship? You understand, worship - the statue, the image, the symbol. Is that love? The symbol, the statue, the picture, is put together by thought. Your prayers you put together by thought. Is that love? Please, go into it for yourself. And when one realizes all that is not love - your pleasures, sensations, having a good cigar, good meal, well-clothed, with good taste. So is pleasure, desire - of course fear is not, obviously, love. Have you ever looked at hate? If you hate, you dispel fear. Yes, sir. If you really hate somebody there's no fear. Right? I hope you don't.
So can we through negation of what is not love, negate completely in oneself, totally put aside entirely all that which is not love? Then that perfume is there. And that perfume can never go once you have put aside completely those things which are not love. Then love, which goes with compassion, has its own intelligence. It's not the intelligence of thought, not the intelligence of the scientific mind, brain. When one has that love, that compassion, there is no grief, no pain, no sorrow. But to come to that - or not you, you can't come to it, sorry - it's there when you negate everything that is not. Not the beauty of an architect, which has put stones together. If you have seen those cathedrals, the temples and the mosques, they're all put together by thought and pleasure, or devotion, worship. Is all that love? If there is love, then you will never kill another. Never! You'll never kill another animal for your food. Of course, please, go on eating meat if you want to, I'm not telling you.
So it's an immense thing to come upon it. Nobody can give it to another. Nothing can give it to you. But if you, in your being you put aside all that which is not, all that which has thought put together: the rituals, all that thing that goes on, the special dresses. When you with all your problems are totally empty, then the other thing is, which is the most positive thing, most practical thing. The most impractical thing in life is to build armaments, to kill people. Isn't it? That's what you are spending your tax money on. So I'm not a politician, so don't listen to all this. But see want we are all doing. And what we are doing is the society which we have created. That society is not different from us. We may reform the society, lots of us are doing it, the socialists, the capitalists, especially the Communists tried to organize outside.
So love has nothing to do with any organization, or with any person. Like the cool breeze from the ocean, this breeze, you can shut it out or live with it. When you live with it, it's totally a different dimension. There is no path to it. There is no path to truth, either yours or mine. No path whatsoever: Christian, Hindu, sectarian. So one has to live it. You can only come to it when you have understood the whole nature, psychological nature and structure of yourself.
We ought to talk over sometime, tomorrow perhaps - it's now twenty to one, yes, it's twenty to one - do you want to talk over together death, or wait 'til tomorrow. This is not an invitation for you to come to tomorrow. Whether you come, don't come, it's totally indifferent to the speaker. That's a very, very complex problem, death. Death is not a sensation. Do you want the speaker, together, to go into all this now?
K: Are you quite sure?
Please - we are asking this because this is a very, very serious matter. All that we have talked about is very, very serious. We have time to go into it. You understand? We went through all this very detailed, we can go into these things during six talks and all the rest of it, any number of talks, any number of conversations. But to talk about death, it's not a morbid subject. It's not something to be avoided. Something at the end of one's life. I think we'd better wait 'til tomorrow. Because, just a minute, sir, just a minute, listen to what the speaker has to say.
If you have lived the thing that we have been talking about - you follow? - you must come to all this delicately, gently, quietly, not out of curiosity. You must come to it hesitantly, delicately, in a sense with great dignity, with inward respect. And like birth it's a tremendous thing. And to talk about death also implies creation - not invention. Scientists are inventing, because invention is born from knowledge. Creation is continuous. It has no beginning and no end, it's not born out of knowledge. And death may be the meaning of creation. Not having next life a better opportunity, a better house, better refrigerator. It may be a sense of tremendous creation, endlessly, without beginning and end. And to talk about it - you understand - after an hour and twenty minutes, after an hour and ten minutes or five minutes, doesn't matter, it requires your attention, care, a sense of delicate approach to it.
So may we, most humbly I am asking you, respectfully, can we go talk it about it tomorrow morning, when we'll have probably more energy?
Ojai 3rd Public Talk 18th May 1985
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