The Ending of Time
The Ending of Time Chapter 6 15th April 1980 Conversation with Prof. David Bohm 'Can Insight Bring About a Mutation of The Brain Cells?'
DAVID BOHM: You have said that insight changes the brain cells, and I wonder if we could discuss that?
KRISHNAMURTI: As it is constituted, the brain functions in one direction: memory, experience, knowledge. It has functioned in that area as much as possible, and most people are satisfied with it.
DB: Well, they don't know of anything else.
K: And also they have placed knowledge in supreme importance. If one is concerned with fundamental change, where does one begin? Suppose `X' feels he will go along a certain direction set by mankind. He has been going there century after century, and he asks himself what is radical change; if it is in the environment, or in human relationships; if it is a sense of love, which is not in the area of knowledge. Where is it to begin? You understand my question? Unless there is some mutation taking place inside here, inside my mind, the brain, I may think I have changed, but it is a superficial change, and not a change in depth.
DB: Yes. What is implied there is that the present state of affairs involves not only the mind but also the nervous system and the body. Everything is set in a certain way.
K: Of course. That is what I meant, the whole movement is set in a certain way. And along that pattern I can modify, adjust, polish a little more, a little less and so on. But if a man is concerned with radical change, where is he to begin? As we said the other day, we have relied on the environment or society and various disciplines to change us, but I feel these are all in the same direction.
DB: In so far as they all emanate from this thing, the way the mind and body are set, they are not going to change anything. There is a total structure involved which is in the brain, in the body, in the whole of society. K: Yes, yes. So what am I to do? What is `X' to do? And in asking this question, what is there to change?
DB: What exactly do you mean by `what is there to change'? What is to be changed?
K: Yes, both; what is there to be changed, and what is there to change? Basically, what is there to change? `X' sees that he can change certain things along this way, but to go much further than that, what is one to do? I am sure man has asked this question. You must have asked it. But apparently the mutation hasn't taken place. So what is `X' to do? He realizes the need for a radical revolution, a psychological revolution; he perceives that the more he changes, it is the same thing continuing; the more he enquires into himself, the enquiry remains the same, and so on. So what is there to change; unless `X' finds a way to change the brain itself?
DB: But what will change the brain?
K: That's it. The brain has been set in a pattern for millennia! I think it is no longer `what' should I change. It is imperative that I change.
DB: So it is agreed that there must be a change, but the question is still, how can the brain change?
K: One must come to that point. If this question is put to you as a scientist, or as a human being who is involved in science, what would your answer be?
DB: I don't think science can deal with it, because it doesn't go far enough. It can't possibly probe that deeply into the structure of the brain. Many questions are positing the relationship of brain and mind, which science has not been able to resolve. Some people would say that there is nothing beyond the brain...
K: ...Purely materialistic; I understand all that.
DB: If it is not materialistic, then for the moment science has very little to say about it. perhaps some people would try to, but science generally has been most successful, most systematic, in dealing with matter. Any attempt to do otherwise is not very clear.
K: So you would tell `X', to change inside in the brain cells, etc. My immediate answer to that is, how? Everybody asks that. It is not a matter of faith. It is not a matter of changing one pattern to another pattern. So you leave me without any direction - right? You leave me without any instrument that can penetrate this.
DB: Except that you are implying there is something beyond the brain, in putting that question. We don't know. The very statement implies that insight is somehow beyond the brain, else it couldn't change the brain.
K: Yes. So how am I to capture it? Maybe I can't capture it...
DB: ...but how will it come about? You are saying that something that is non-material can affect matter. This is the implication.
K: I am not sure.
DB: I think that clearing this up, would make more clear what your question is. It is somewhat puzzling if you don't.
K: All that you have said to me is, insight changes, brings about mutation in the brain. Now you explain what insight is, which is not a result of a progressive knowledge, not progressive time, not a remembrance. This insight may be the real activity of the brain.
DB: All right. Let's put it differently. The brain has many activities which include memory, and all these that you have mentioned. In addition there is a more inward activity, but it is still the activity of the brain.
K: It may be the same.
DB: You see, in putting this, something seems to be not quite clear.
K: Yes. We must be very clear that it is not the result of progressive knowledge; it is not come by through any exercise of will.
DB: Agreed. I think people can generally see that insight comes in a flash, it does not come through will. Those who have considered it at all can see that. Also, that chemistry will probably not bring it about.
K: I think most people who are concerned see that. But how am I, as `X', to have this insight? I see your logic, I see your reason. DB: In some ways it may disturb people. It is not clear what the logic is, what is going to make this change in the brain. Is it something more than the brain, or is it something deeper in the brain? This is one of the questions.
K: Of course.
DB: It is not quite clear logically.
QUESTIONER: Are you saying that there is a function of the brain which acts without reference to its content?
K: Yes, to the past, to the content.
DB: This is a good question. Is there a function in the brain which is independent of the content? Which is not conditioned by the content, but that might still be a physical function?
K: I understand. Is this the question? Apart from the consciousness with its content, is there in the brain an activity which is not touched by consciousness?
DB: By the content; yes.
K: Content is the consciousness.
DB: Yes, but sometimes we use the word in another sense. Sometimes we imply that there could be another kind of consciousness. So if we call it `content' it would be more clear.
K: All right. A part of the brain which is not touched by the content.
DB: Yes, this suggests that it may be possible for the brain to change. Either the brain is entirely controlled by its content, or in some way it is not conditioned.
K: That is a dangerous concept!
DB: But it is what you are saying.
K: No. See the danger of it. See the danger of admitting to oneself that there is a part of the brain...
DB: ...an activity...
K: ...all right, an activity of the brain which is not touched by the content. DB: It is a possible activity. It may be that it has not been awakened.
K: It has not been awakened. That's right.
Q: But what is the danger?
K: That is simple enough. The danger is that I am admitting there is God in me, that there is something superhuman; something beyond the content which therefore will operate on it, or that will operate in spite of it.
Q: But which part of the brain sees the danger?
K: Let us go slowly. Which part of the brain sees the danger? Of course it is the content that sees the danger.
Q: Does it?
K: Oh, yes, because the content is aware of all the tricks it has played.
DB: This is similar to many of the old tricks.
DB: Those tricks we have discussed before - the assumption of God within, the imagination of God within. There is a danger here obviously.
Q: But could the brain, seeing the danger, make that statement nevertheless? Because that statement might be pointing to the right direction.
DB: Even though it is dangerous, it may be necessary to do so; it may be on the right track.
K: The unconscious, which is part of the content, may capture this, and say, `Yes' - so it sees the danger instantly.
Q: It sees its own trap.
K: Yes, it sees the trap which it has created. So it avoids that trap. That is sanity: to avoid a trap is sanity. Is there an activity which is totally independent of the content? Then, is that activity part of the brain?
DB: Is it a natural activity of the brain? Material in the brain. K: Which means what?
DB: Well, if there is such a natural activity, it could awaken somehow, and that activity could change the brain.
K: But would you say it is still material?
DB: Yes. There could be different levels of matter, you see.
K: That is what I am trying to get at. Right.
DB: But you see, if you think that way, there could be a deeper level of matter which is not conditioned by the content. For example, we know matter in the universe is not conditioned by the content of our brains generally. There could be a deeper level of matter not conditioned in that way.
K: So it would still be matter, refined, or `super', or whatever; it would still be the content.
DB: Why do you say that? You see, you have to go slowly. Do you say that matter is content?
DB: Inherently? But this has to be made clear, because it is not obvious.
K: Let's discuss it. Let's grip this. Thought is matter.
DB: Well, thought is part of the content, part of the material process. Whether it exists independently as matter is not so clear. You can say, water is matter; you can pour water from one glass to another, it has an independent substance. But it is not clear whether thought could stand as matter by itself, except with some other material substance like the brain in which it takes place. Is that clear?
K: I don't quite follow.
DB: If you say water is matter, then it is clear. Now if you say, thought is matter, then thought must have a similar independent substance. You say air is matter - right? Or water is matter. Now waves are not matter, they are just a process in matter. Is it clear what I mean?
K: Yes. A wave is a process in matter. DB: A material process. Is thought matter or is it a process in matter?
Q: May one ask, is electricity considered to be matter?
DB: In so far as there are electron particles it is matter, but it is also a movement of that, which is a process.
Q: So it is two things.
DB: Well you can form waves of electricity, and so on.
Q: Waves would be the matter, but not the electrical action.
DB: The electrical action is like the waves, but the electricity consists of particles.
K: What is the question we are now asking?
DB: Is thought a material substance, or is it a process in some other material substance - like the brain?
K: It is a material process in the brain.
DB: Yes, scientists would generally agree with that.
K: Let's stick to that.
DB: If you say it is matter, they would become very puzzled.
K: I see.
Q: It doesn't exist apart from the brain cells. It resides in the brain.
K: That is, thought is a material process in the brain. That would be right. Then can that material process ever be independent?
DB: Independent of what?
K: Independent of something that is not a material process. No, wait a minute, we must go slowly. Thought is a material process in the brain. We all agree about this?
DB: Yes, you would get very wide agreement on that.
K: Then our question is, can that material process in the brain bring about a change in itself?
DB: Yes, that is the question. K: In itself. And if that material in itself can change, it would still be a material process. Right?
DB: Yes. Thought is always apparently going to be a material process.
K: And therefore it is not insight. We must come back to that.
DB: You are saying that insight is not a material process?
K: Go slowly. We must be careful in using words. Thought is a material process in the brain; and any other movement, springing from that material process, is still material.
DB: Yes, it has to be.
K: Right. Is there another activity which is not a material process?
DB: Of course people have asked that question for ages. Is there spirit beyond matter?
K: Spirit, Holy Ghost! Is there some other activity of the brain which cannot be related to the material process?
DB: Well, it cannot depend upon it. Insight cannot depend on the material process, as it would then be just another material process.
K: Insight cannot depend on the material process, which is thought.
DB: But you were putting it the other way round, that the material process may depend on insight, may be changed by insight.
K: Ah, wait. The material process is dependent on it, but insight is not dependent on that process.
DB: Now many people would not see how something non-material would affect something material.
K: Yes, quite.
DB: It might be easily agreed that something non-material is not affected by matter, but then how does the operation work the other way? K: What do you say? The brain thought, with its content, is a material process. Any activity from it is still part of that. Now is insight part of that too?
DB: We have agreed on its independence of that; it can't be part of it. But it can still act within the material process, that's the crucial thing.
K: Yes. That's right. Insight is independent of the material process, but yet it can act upon it.
DB: Let's discuss that a little. Generally speaking, in science, if `A' can act on `B' there is usually reciprocal action of `B' on `A'. We don't find situations where `A' acts on `B', but `B' never acts on `A'.
K: I see, I see.
DB: This is one of the difficulties you have raised. We don't find this elsewhere; in human relations, if I can act on you, you can act on me - right?
K: Yes, we see that human relationships are interaction.
DB: Yes, mutual relationships.
K: And in those relationships there is response, and so on. Now, if I don't respond to your action, I am independent of it.
DB: But you see, science generally finds that it is not possible to have a one-sided action.
K: Quite. So we are continually insisting that the material process must have a relationship to the other.
DB: An action, anyway. Relationship is an ambiguous word here. If you said action it would be more clear.
K: All right. The material process must be able to act on the non-material, and the non-material must act on the material.
DB: But that would make them both the same.
Q: Not necessarily. One could envisage that insight is a much larger movement than the material process of the brain, and therefore that the larger movement can act on the smaller movement, but the smaller cannot act on the larger.
K: Yes, we are saying the same thing.
DB: The small movement has no significant action on the larger movement. You can have a situation that if you drop a rock in the ocean, the ocean absorbs it with no significant change.
Q: So then they would still have a two-way action but only one action would be significant.
K: No, no. Don't enter into that too quickly, let us be careful. Love has no relationship to hate.
DB: Again there is this word `relationship'. Would you, for example, say that hate has no action on love?
K: They are independent.
DB: Independent, they have no action on each other.
K: Ah, it is a very important thing to discover this. Love is independent of hate. Where there is hate the other cannot exist.
DB: Yes, they can't stand side by side, acting on each other.
K: They can't. So when scientists say, if `A' has a relationship to `B', then `B' must have a relationship to `A', we are contradicting that.
DB: Not all scientists have said that; a few have said otherwise - I don't like to bring in Aristotle...
K: Bring him in!
DB: He said there is an unmoved mover, that God is never moved by matter; he is not acted on by matter, but he acts. Do you see? That is an old idea then. Since Aristotle's time, science has thrown out this concept, and said that it is impossible.
K: If I see clearly that love is independent of hate, hate cannot possibly act on love. Love may act on hate, but where hate is, the other cannot be.
DB: Well, those are two possibilities. Which are you saying? K: What are the two possibilities?
DB: You said, one possibility is that love may act on hate, and the other is that they have no action at all on each other.
DB: But which?
K: I understand. No, love cannot act on hate.
DB: Right. They have no relationship. But perhaps insight could, you see.
K: We have to be quite clear on this point. Violence, and being without violence, are two entirely different factors. One cannot act upon the other.
DB: In that case you could say that the existence of the one is the non-existence of the other, and there is no way in which they can act together.
K: That's right.
DB: They cannot be there together.
K: Absolutely. I'll stick to that. So when this material process is in action, the other cannot exist.
DB: What is `the other' this time? Insight?
DB: That denies what we were saying before; that there is an action from insight on the material process.
K: Now, steady, yes. Where there is violence the other - I hate to use the word `non-violence' - is not.
DB: Peace, or harmony?
K: Where there is violence, peace cannot exist. But where there is peace, is there violence? No, of course not. So peace is independent of violence.
Q: You have said many, many times that intelligence can act upon thought; insight can affect thought, but it doesn't work the other way round. You have given many examples of this. K: Intelligence can wipe away ignorance, but ignorance cannot touch intelligence - right? Where there is love, hate can never exist. Can love wipe away hate?
DB: We said that this doesn't seem to be possible, because hate appears to be an independent force.
K: Of course it is.
DB: It has its own momentum, you see, its own force, its own movement.
Q: I don't quite get this relationship of love and hate with the earlier discussion of insight.
DB: There seem to bc two different areas.
Q: Thought is a movement, and insight seems to be non-movement, where everything seemingly is at rest, and it can observe movement.
DB: That is what we are trying to get at, the notion of something which is not affected by anything else.
Q: Aren't you then saying, in looking at love and hate, that there is good and there is evil, and that evil is a completely separate, independent force?
DB: Well, it is independent of good.
Q: But is the process in the mind, or is it related to insight?
DB: We are coming to that.
Q: Take light and darkness. Light appears, and the darkness is gone.
DB: Good and evil; love and hate; light and darkness - when one is, the other can't be, you see. That is all we are saying so far.
Q: Do you mean, in a single brain?
DB: In any brain, yes, or in any group, or anywhere. Whenever there is hate going on in a group, there is not love.
K: Something has just come to my mind. Love has no cause. Hate has a cause. Insight has no cause. The material process, as thought, has a cause. Right? DB: Yes, it is part of the chain of cause and effect.
K: Can that which has no cause ever act upon that which has a cause?
DB: It might. We can see no reason why that which has no cause might not act on something that has a cause. There is no obvious reason. It won't happen the other way round. What has a cause cannot act on that, which has no cause, because that would invalidate it.
K: That's right. But apparently the action of insight has an extraordinary effect on the material process.
DB: It may for example wipe out some causes.
K: As insight is causeless, it has a definite effect on that which has cause.
DB: Well, it doesn't necessarily follow, but it is possible.
K: No, no, I don't say it is possible.
DB: I am saying we haven't quite seen why it is necessary. There is no contradiction when we say the word possible.
K: All right, I see. As long as we are clear on the word possible. We must be careful. Love is without cause, and hate has a cause. The two cannot co-exist.
DB: Yes. That is true. That is why there is a difference between love and insight. That is why it doesn't follow necessarily that if something has no cause it will act on something that has a cause. That is what I was trying to say.
K: I just want to explore a little more. Is love insight?
DB: As far as we can see it is not the same. Love and insight are not identical, are they? Not exactly the same thing.
DB: Insight may be love, but, you see, insight also occurs in a flash.
K: It is a flash of course. And that flash alters the whole pattern, operates on it, uses the pattern, in the sense that I argue, reason, use logic, and all that. I don't know if I am making myself clear? DB: I think that once the flash has operated, the pattern is different, and would therefore be more rational. The flash may make logic possible, because you may have been confused before the flash.
K: Yes, yes! Aristotle may have come to all this by logic.
DB: Well, he may have had some insight! We don't know.
K: We don't know, but I am questioning it.
DB: We really don't know how his mind operated because there are only a few books that have survived.
K: Would you say by reading some of those books that he had insight?
DB: I haven't really read Aristotle directly; very few people have because it is hard. Most people read what other people have said about Aristotle. A few phrases of his are common, like `the unmoved mover'. And he has said some things which suggest that he was quite intelligent, at least.
K: What I am trying to say is that insight is never partial; I am talking of total, not partial, insight.
Q: Krishnaji, could you explain that a little? What do you mean by `not partial' insight?
K: An artist can have a partial insight. A scientist can have a partial insight. But we are talking about total insight.
I: You see the artist is also a human being, so...
K: But his capture of insight is partial.
Q: It is directed to some form of art. So you mean that it illuminates a limited area, or subject. Is that what you mean by partial insight?
Q: Then what would be total insight? What would it encompass?
K: The total human activity.
DB: That is one point. But earlier on, we were asking whether this insight would illuminate the brain, the activity of the brain. In that illumination, it seems that the material activity of the brain will change. Would that be correct? We must get this point clear, then we can raise the question of totality. Are we saying that insight is an energy which illuminates the activity of the brain? And that in this illumination, the brain itself begins to act differently.
K: You are quite right. That's all. That is what takes place. Yes.
DB: We say the source of this illumination is not in the material process; it has no cause.
K: No cause.
DB: But it is a real energy.
K: It is pure energy. Is there action without cause?
DB: Yes, without time. Cause implies time.
K: That is, this flash has altered completely the pattern which the material process has set.
DB: Could you say that the material process generally operates in a kind of darkness, and therefore it has set itself on a wrong path?
K: In darkness, yes. That is clear. The material process acts in ignorance, in darkness. And this flash of insight enlightens the whole field, which means that ignorance and darkness have been dispelled. I will hold to that.
DB: You could say, then, that darkness and light cannot co-exist for obvious reasons. Nevertheless the very existence of light is to change the process of darkness.
K: Quite right.
Q: But what contributes the flash?
K: We haven't come to that yet. I want to go step by step into this. What has happened is that the material process has worked in darkness, and has brought about confusion, and all the mess that exists in the world. But this flash of insight wipes away the darkness. Which means that the material process is not then working in darkness. DB: Right. But now let's make another point clear. When the flash has gone, the light continues.
K: The light is there, the flash is the light.
DB: At a certain moment the flash is immediate, but then, as you work from there, there is still light.
K: Why do you differentiate flash from light?
DB: Simply because the word `flash' suggests something that happens in one moment.
DB: You see, we are saying that insight would only last in that moment.
K: We must go slowly.
DB: Well, it is a matter of language.
K: Is it merely a matter of language?
DB: Perhaps not, but if you use the word `flash', there is the analogy of lightning, giving light for a moment, but then the next moment you are in darkness, until there is a further flash of lightning.
K: It is not like that.
DB: So what is it? Is it that the light suddenly turns on, and stays on?
K: No. Because when we say `stays on' or `goes off', we are thinking in terms of time.
DB: We have to clear this up, because it is the question everybody will put.
K: The material process is working in darkness, in time, in knowledge, in ignorance and so on. When insight takes place there is the dispelling of that darkness. That is all we are saying. Insight dispels that darkness. And thought, which is the material process, no longer works in darkness. Therefore that light has altered - no, it has ended - ignorance.
DB: So we say that this darkness is really something which is built into the content of thought. K: The content is darkness.
DB: That's right. Then that light has dispelled that ignorance.
K: That's right. Dispelled the content.
DB: But still we have to be very careful, in case we still have content in the usually accepted sense of the word; you know, all kinds of things.
K: Of course.
DB: So we can't say that the light has dispelled all the content.
K: It has dispelled the centre of darkness.
DB: Yes, the source, the creator of darkness.
K: The self Right? It has dispelled the centre of darkness which is the self.
DB: We could say that the self, which is part of the content - that part of the content which is the centre of darkness, which creates it and maintains it - is dispelled.
K: Yes, I hold to that.
DB: We see now that this means a physical change in the brain cells. That centre, that content which is the centre, is a certain set, form, disposition of all the brain calls, and it in some way alters.
K: Obviously! You see, this has enormous significance, in our relationship with our society, in everything. Now the next question is, how does this flash come about? Let's begin the other way round. How does love come about? How does peace come about? Peace is causeless, violence has cause. How does that causeless thing come about when my whole life is causation? There is no `how' - right? The `how' implies a cause, so there is no `how'.
Q: Are you saying that since it is without cause, it is something that just exists.?
K: No, I don't say that it exists. That is a dangerous statement.
Q: It has to exist at some point.
K: No. The moment you say it exists, it is not. DB: You see, the danger is that it is part of the content.
K: The question you put was about a mutation in the brain calls. That question has been put after a series of discussions. And we have come to a point when we say that the flash, that light, has no cause; that the light operates on that which has cause, which is the darkness. That darkness exists as long as the self is there, it is the originator of that darkness, but light dispels the very centre of darkness. That's all. We have come to that point. And therefore there is a mutation. Then I say that the question of how do I get this flash of insight, how does it happen, is a wrong question. There is no `how'.
Q: There is no `how', but there is darkness and there is light.
K: Just see first there is no `how'. If you show me how, you are back into the darkness. Right?
K: It is a tremendous thing to understand that. I am asking something else, which is, why is it that we have no insight at all? Why is it that this insight doesn't start from our childhood?
DB: Well, the way life is lived...
K: No, I want to find out. Is it because of our education? Our society? I don't believe it is all that. You follow?
DB: What do you say then?
K: Is it some other factor? I am groping after this. Why don't we have it? It seems so natural.
DB: At first, one would say something is interfering with it.
K: But it seems so natural. For `X', it is quite natural. Why isn't it natural for everyone? Why isn't it possible? If we talk about blockages, education, etc., which are all in the realm of causation, then to remove the blockages implies another cause. So we keep on rolling in that direction. There is something unnatural about all this.
Q: If you would say that there are blocks...
K: I don't want to use that; it is the language of the darkness. Q: Then you could say that the blocks prevent the insight from acting.
K: Of course. But I want to move away from these blockages.
DB: Not exactly blockages, but we used the words `centre of darkness', which we say is maintaining darkness.
K: Why isn't it natural for everybody to have this insight?
DB: That is the question.
K: Why is love not natural to everybody? Am I putting the question clearly?
DB: I think, to make it more clear, some people might feel that it is natural to everybody, but being treated in a certain way they gradually get caught in hate.
K: I don't believe that.
DB: Then you would have to suppose that the young child meeting hate would not respond with hate.
K: Yes, that's right.
DB: Most people would say that it is natural for the young child meeting hate to respond with hate.
K: Yes, this morning I heard that. Then I asked myself why? Now just a minute. `X' has been put under all these circumstances, which could have produced blockages, but `X' wasn't touched by them. So why is it not possible for everybody?
DB: We should make it clear why we say it would be natural not to respond to hate with hate.
K: All right. Limit it to that.
DB: Even when one hasn't thought about it. You know, the child is not able to think about all this. Some people would say it is instinct, the animal instinct...
K: ...which is to hate...
DB: ...well, to fight back.
K: To fight back. DB: The animal will respond with love, if you treat him with love, but if you treat the animal with hate he is going to fight back.
K: Of course.
DB: He will become vicious.
DB: Now some people would say that the human being in the beginning is like that animal, and later he can understand.
K: Of course. That is, the human being's origins were with the animal, and the animal, the ape or the wolf...
DB: ...the wolf will respond with love too.
K: And we are saying, why...
DB: Look, almost everybody feels that what I said is true, that when we are very young children, we are like the animal. Now you are asking, why don't all young children immediately fail to respond to hate with hate?
K: That means, is it the fault of the parents?
DB: What you are implying is that it is not entirely that. There must be something deeper.
K: Yes, I think there is something quite different. I want to capture that.
DB: This is something that would be important.
K: How do we find out? Let's have an insight! I feel that there is something totally different. We are attacking it from a causational point of view. Would it be right to say that the beginning of man is not animal?
DB: Well, that is not clear. The present theory of evolution is that there have been apes, developing; you can follow the line where they become more and more like human beings. Now when you say that the beginning of man is not animal, it is not clear.
K: If the beginning of man is the animal, therefore that instinct is natural and then it is highly cultivated.
DB: Yes, that instinct is cause and effect. K: Cause and effect, and it becomes natural. But someone comes along and asks `Is it?'
DB: Let's try to get this clear.
K: I mean, scientists and historians have said that man began from the ape, and that, as all animals respond to love and to hate, we as human beings respond instantly to hate by hate.
DB: And vice versa, to love by love.
K: At the beginning there were a few people who never responded to hate, because they had love. Those people implanted this thing in the human mind. Right? That where love is, hate is not. And that has also been part of our inheritance. Why have we cultivated the response of hate to hate? Why haven't we cultivated the other? Or is the other - love - something that cannot be cultivated?
DB: It is not causal. Cultivation depends on a cause.
K: On thought. So why have we lost the other? We have cultivated very carefully, by thought, the concept of meeting hate by hate, violence by violence, and so on. Why haven't we moved along with the other line? With love, that is causeless? You follow my question?
K: Is this a futile question?
DB: One doesn't see any way of proceeding.
K: I am not trying to proceed.
DB: We have to understand what made people respond to hate with hate...
K: ...To `X', the other seems so natural. So if that is so natural to him, why isn't it natural to everyone else? It must be natural to others!
You know this ancient idea, which is probably in existence in the jewish and in the Indian religions, and so on, that the manifestation of the highest takes place, occasionally. That seems too easy an explanation. Has mankind moved in the wrong direction? Have we taken a wrong turn? DB: Yes, we have discussed this before, that there has been a wrong turning.
K: To respond to hate by hate, violence by violence, etc.
DB: And to give supreme value to knowledge.
Q: Wouldn't another factor also be the attempt to cultivate the idea of love? The purpose of the religions has been to produce love, and better human beings.
K: Don't go into all that. Love has no cause, it is not cultivatable. Full stop.
Q: Yes, but,the mind doesn't see that.
K: But we have explained all that. I want to find out why, if it is natural to `X', it isn't natural to others. I think this is a valid question.
DB: Another point is to say that you could see that the response of hate to hate makes no sense anyway. So why do we go on with it? Because many believe in that moment that they are protecting themselves with hate, but it is no protection.
K: But to go back to that question: I think it is valid. `X' is without cause, `Y' is caught in cause. Why? You understand? Is it the privilege of the few? The elite? No, no. Let's look at it another way. The mind of humanity has been responding to hate with hate, violence by violence, and knowledge by knowledge. But `X' is part of humanity, and he does not respond to hate by hate, like `Y' and `Z'! They are part of `X's' consciousness, part of all that.
DB: Why is there this difference?
K: That is what I am asking. One is natural, the other is unnatural. Why? Why the difference? Who is asking this question? The people, `Y' and `Z', who respond to hate by hate, are they asking the question? Or is `X' asking the question?
Q: It would seem that `X' is asking this question.
DB: Yes, but you see we were also just saying that they are not different. We say they are different, but also that they are not different.
K: Of course. They are not different. DB: There is one mind.
K: That's it, one mind.
DB: Yes, and how does it come that another part of this one mind says no?
K: That's the whole thing. How does it come about that one part of the mind says we are different from another? Of course, there are all kinds of explanations, and I am left with the fact that `A' `B' and `C' are different from `X' `Y' and `Z'. And those are facts - right?
Q: They appear to be different.
K: Oh, no.
Q: They are actually different.
K: Absolutely; not just apparently.
DB: I think the question we want to come back to is, why do the people who cultivate hate say that they are different from those who don't?
K: Do they say that?
DB: I think they do, in so far as they would admit that if there was anybody who didn't cultivate hate, they must be different.
K: Yes, that is clear - light and darkness, and so on. But I want to find out if we are moving in the right direction. That is, `X' has given me that gift, and I have not carried that gift. You follow what I mean? I have cultivated one response, but not carried this. Why? If a father has responded to hate by hate, why has the son not responded in the same way?
DB: I think it is a question of insight.
K: Which means that the son had insight right from the beginning. You follow what I am saying? Right from childhood, which means what?
K: I don't want to enter into this dangerous field yet!
DB: What is it? Perhaps you want to leave that. K: There is some factor that is missing. I want to capture it. You see, if that is an exception, then it is silly.
DB: All right. Then we agree that the thing is dormant in all human beings; is that what you want to say?
K: I am not quite sure that is what I want to say.
DB: But I meant that the factor is there in all mankind.
K: That is a dangerous statement too.
DB: That is What you were saying.
K: I know, but I am questioning. When I am quite sure, I will tell you.
DB: All right. We tried this, and we can say it seems promising but it is a bit dangerous. This possibility is there in all mankind, and in so far as some people have seen it.
K: Which means God is in you?
DB: No, it is just that the possibility of insight is there.
K: Yes, partly. I am questioning all this. The father responds to hate by hate; the son doesn't.
DB: That happens from time to time.
K: No, consistently from the beginning - why?
DB: It must depend on insight, which shows the futility of hate.
K: Why did that man have it?
DB: Yes, why?
K: And why if this seems so terribly natural to him, is it not natural to everybody? As water is natural to everybody.
DB: Well, why isn't insight present for everybody from the beginning?
K: Yes, that is what I am asking.
DB: So strongly that even maltreatment cannot affect it. K: Nothing can affect it, that is my point. Maltreatment, beating, being put into all kinds of dreadful situations hasn't affected it. Why? We are coming to something.
The Ending of Time
The Ending of Time Chapter 6 15th April 1980 Conversation with Prof. David Bohm 'Can Insight Bring About a Mutation of The Brain Cells?'
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