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The Ending of Time

Longer, Unedited Versions

Brockwood Park 10th Conversation with David Bohm 7th June 1980 'The Ending of Time'

Krishnamurti: Let's forget the audience. We are not performing for your amusement. I think we left off the other day, if I remember rightly, when the mind is totally empty of all the things that thought has put there, then begins real meditation - if I remember rightly. But I would like to go further in that matter - I would like to go back a bit and find out if the mind, if the brain, can ever be free, not only from all illusion, any form of deception but whether it can have its own order - the order not introduced by thought or make an effort, an endeavour to put things in their proper place. And also whether the brain, however much damaged it is, and most brains are damaged by shock, by all kinds of stimulations, whether that brain can heal itself completely. That is what I would like to go into.

So first let's begin by asking, if I may ask: is there an order which is not man-made, which is not the result of calculated order out of disturbance, an order that is probably very satisfying and so it is still part of the old conditioning, is there an order which is not man-made, thought-made?

Bohm: Are you referring to the mind? I mean you can say the order of nature exists on its own.

K: The order of nature is order.

B: Yes, it is not made by man.

K: But I am not talking of such. I don't think I want to - I am not sure that it is that kind of order. Is there cosmic order?

B: Well, right that is still the same thing in a sense because the word cosmos means order, but the whole order.

K: The whole order, I mean that.

B: Which includes the order of the universe and the order of the mind?

K: Yes. What I am trying to find out is: is there an order which man can never possibly conceive? You follow? Because any concept is still within the pattern of thought. So is there order which is not..

B: Well, how are we going to discuss it?

K: That is what I want to discuss. I think we can. What is order?

Narayan: I thought we were just discussing it..

K: We were discussing what?

N: At the table.

K: At lunch time.

N: At lunch. There is mathematical order. And generally mathematical order is the order of science, or sort of behind any particular order. That is the highest kind of order known to any discipline.

K: Would the mathematicians agree that mathematics is complete order?

N: Yes, mathematics itself is order.

K: Would they agree to that?

B: Well I think it depends on the mathematician, but there is a well known mathematician called von Neumann who defined mathematics as the relationship of relationships, which really he meant by relationship, order. To say that it is order working within the field of order itself and not on something else.

K: Order working in the field of order, yes.

B: Rather than working on some object.

K: Yes, yes, that is what I am trying to get at.

B: So the most creative mathematicians are having a perception of this, which may be called pure order, but of course it is limited because it has to be expressed mathematically..

K: Of course, of course.

B: In terms of formulae or equations.

K: Is order part of disorder as we know it?

B: Well that is another question, what we mean by disorder. It is not possible to give a coherent definition of disorder because this order is inherent.

K: What?

B: You cannot give a coherent account because this order violates order. Anything that actually happens has an order. Now you can call a certain thing disorder if you like.

K: Are you saying that anything that happens is order?

B: Has some order.

K: Has some order.

B: You see if you say the body is not functioning rightly, say cancer is growing, now that is a certain order in the cancer cell, it is just growing in a certain way.

K: A different pattern.

B: A different pattern which tends to break down the body, but the whole thing is a certain kind of order.

K: Yes, yes.

B: It has not violated the laws of nature.

K: Yes, yes.

B: But relative to some context you could say it is disorder because if we are talking of the health of the body then the cancer is called disorder.

K: Quite, quite.

B: But in itself..

K: Cancer has its own order.

B: But it is not compatible with the order of the growth of the body.

K: Quite. So what do we mean by order? Is there such a thing as order?

B: Well order is a perception - we can't get hold of order.

N: I think generally when we say order it is in relation to a framework or in relation to a certain field. Order always has that connotation. And when you say order of order, as the study of mathematics, some aspects of mathematics, we are going away from the limited approach to order.

B: We are not ordering things any more. You see most mathematics start with the order of the numbers, like 1, 2, 3, 4, and builds on that way, in a hierarchy. But then you can see what is meant by the order of the numbers, there is a series of relationships which are constant for example. You see in the order of the numbers you have the simplest example of order.

N: And a new order was created with the discovery of zero, a new set of order came into being. And is mathematical order and the order in nature a part of a bigger field? Or it is a localised form?

K: You see the brain, the mind is so contradictory, so bruised, it can't find order.

B: Yes, but what kind of order does it want?

K: It wants an order in which it will be safe. It won't be bruised, it won't be shocked, it won't feel the pain of physical or psychological pain.

B: The whole point of order is not to have contradiction.

K: That's right.

B: That is the whole purpose of mathematics.

K: But the brain is in contradiction.

B: Yes, and in some ways something has gone wrong, we said it took a wrong turn.

K: It took a wrong turn, we think, yes.

B: You see you could say that if the body is growing wrongly we have a cancer cell, which is two contradictory orders: one is the growing of the cancer and the other is the order of the body.

K: Yes. But I am just asking because I want to go into something, which is: can the mind, the brain, be totally free of all organized order?

B: Yes. You have to ask why you want it to be free of organized order and what you mean by organized order.

K: Then it becomes a pattern.

B: You mean by organized order a fixed order.

K: Yes, a fixed order, or fixed pattern.

B: Imposed.

K: Imposed or self-imposed. Because we are trying to investigate, at least I am trying to find out whether the brain can ever be free from all the impositions, pressures, wounds, bruises, all the trivialities of existence, pushing it in different directions, whether it can be completely free of all that. If it cannot, meditation has no meaning.

B: Yes, but you could go further and say probably life has no meaning if you cannot free it of all that.

K: No, I wouldn't say life has no meaning.

B: It goes on indefinitely.

K: Indefinitely like that, yes. If it goes on as it has done indefinitely for millennia, life has no meaning. But to find out if it has a meaning at all, and I think there is a meaning, the brain must be totally free of all this.

B: Well that is what you call disorder. You see, what is the source of what we call disorder? We could say it is like a cancer, almost going on inside the brain. It is moving in a way which is not compatible with the health of the brain.

K: Yes.

B: It grows as time goes on, it increases from one generation to another.

B: Now you say..

K: One generation produces the same pattern being repeated.

B: It tends to accumulate from one generation to another through tradition. Now we say - it is almost the same question to ask how are we going to stop these cancer cells from taking over.

K: That is what I want to get at. How is this pattern, which has been set, and which has for generation after generation accumulated, how is that to end, be broken through? That is the real question that is at the back of my mind.

B: Could we ask another question: why does the brain provide the soil for this stuff to go on, to grow?

K: It may be merely tradition, habit.

B: Well, why does it stay in that, you see?

K: It may be that it is so afraid of a new pattern, of something new taking place because in the old tradition it takes refuge. It feels safe.

B: Yes, well you see then we have to question why does the brain deceive itself? It seems that this pattern of disorder involves the fact that the brain deceives itself about this disorder. It doesn't seem to be able to see it clearly.

N: When you say order, in my mind there is intelligence behind order which makes use of it. I have a certain purpose, I create an order and when the purpose is over I set aside that order. So order has an intelligence which works it out. In usual parlance that is the connotation. But you are referring to something else.

K: I am asking whether this pattern of generations can be broken and why the brain has accepted that pattern in spite of all the conflicts, misery and goes on in the same way, and is it possible to break that pattern? That is all I am really asking.

N: Yes, I am saying the same thing in a different way. If an order has served its purpose can it be put aside because it is no longer..

K: Apparently it can't.

N:.. it is no longer useful or adequate.

K: Apparently it can't. Psychologically we are talking of, it can't, it doesn't. Take an ordinary human being like any of us, it goes on repeating fears, sorrow, misery, all that is part of its daily meal. And Dr Bohm asked, why does it go on, why doesn't it break through? And we said is it so heavily conditioned that it cannot see its way out of it? Or it may be merely the constant repetition so the brain has become dull.

N: The momentum of repetition is there?

K: Yes. That momentum of repetition makes the mind sluggish, mechanical. And in that mechanical sluggishness it takes refuge and says, 'It's all right, I can go on'. That's what most human beings do.

B: Well that is part of the disorder, to think that way is a manifestation of disorder.

K: Of course.

N: Do you connect order with intelligence? Or is order something that exists on its own? Any kind of intelligence.

B: Intelligence certainly involves order, intelligence requires the perception of order in an orderly way, without contradiction. But I think that in the terms that we were discussing before that we ourselves don't create this, we don't impose this order but rather it is natural.

K: Yes. Sir, let's come back. I am the ordinary man. I see that I am caught with my whole way of living; my thinking and my attitudes and so on, beliefs, is the result of enormous length of time. Time is, as we went into it the other day, my whole existence.

In the past, which cannot be changed, I take refuge. Right?

B: Yes. Well I think that if we were to talk to the ordinary man, the first thing he would feel is he doesn't really understand that time is something that happens to him.

K: We went into that. I am saying an ordinary man either sees, after talking over with you, I see that my whole existence is based on time. Which is, time is the past and in that the brain takes refuge.

B: What does that mean exactly? How does it take refuge?

K: Because the past cannot be changed.

B: Yes we agreed that. But then people also think that the future, you see it is common to think the future can change, the Communists have said, give up the past, we are going to change.

K: But I can't give up the past. We only think we can give up the past.

B: Yes, well that is the second point that even those who try to give up the past, those who don't want to take refuge in the past, still can't give it up.

K: That is just my point.

B: So it seems which ever way you do it you are stuck.

K: So the next step is: why does the brain accept this way of living, and why doesn't it break it down? Right? Is it laziness? Is it that in breaking it down it has no hope?

B: Yes, well that is still the same question.

K: Of course it is the same question.

B: Going from past to future.

K: So what is it to do? I think this is applicable to most people, isn't it? So what is there to be done?

B: We haven't understood why it does this. It is not clear. Say this behaviour is disorderly, irrational and so on, and people have said, 'OK, let's give up the past but we find we can't' - why can't we?

K: Why can't we give up the past? Wait, sir. If I give up the past I have no existence.

B: Well you have to clarify that because some people would say..

K: It is simple: if I give up all my remembrances, all my etc., etc., I have nothing, I am nothing.

B: I think some people would look at it a little differently, like the Marxists. Marx himself said that it is necessary to transform the conditions of human existence and that will remove this past, you see.

K: But it has not done this. It cannot be done.

B: Well that is because when he tries to transform it he still works from the past.

K: Yes, that is what I am saying.

B: If you say, don't depend on the past at all, then as you say, what are we going to do?

K: I am nothing. Is that the reason why we cannot possibly give up the past? Because my existence, my way of thinking, my life, everything is from the past. And if you say, wipe that out, what have I left?

B: Yes, well I think you could say we obviously have to keep certain things from the past like useful knowledge and technology.

K: Yes, we went through all that.

B: Now you could ask, suppose we keep that part of the past and wipe out all the parts of the past which are contradictory.

K: Which are all psychological, contradictory and so on. What is left? Just going to the office? There is nothing left. Is that the reason why we cannot give it up?

B: Well there is still a contradiction in that because you see if you say what is left, you are still asking for the past.

K: Of course, of course, of course.

B: I mean are you saying simply that when people say they are giving up the past, they just simply are not doing it.

K: They are not doing it.

B: They are merely turning it into another question which avoids the issue.

K: Because my whole being is the past, modified, changed, but it has its roots in the past.

B: Now if you told somebody 'Ok, give all that up and in the future you will have something quite different, better', then people would be attracted.

K: But 'better' is still from the past.

B: If you say that but you see perhaps it could even be open and creative. You see people want to be assured of at least something.

K: That is just it. There is nothing. You want to be assured, the common man, a human being, wants something to which he can cling to, can hold on to.

B: Reach for.

K: Reach.

B: They feel not that they are clinging to the past but they are reaching for something.

K: If I reach something it still is the past.

B: The past yes, but that is not often obvious because people say it is a big new revolutionary situation. But it has its roots in the past.

K: That is what I am asking. As long as I have my roots in the past there cannot be order.

B: Because the past is pervaded with disorder?

K: Yes, disorder. And is my mind, my brain, willing to see that there is absolutely nothing? If I give up the past - you follow, sir?

B: Yes, you say there is nothing to reach for.

K: Nothing, I mean there is no movement, therefore I cannot possibly give up the past. So people dangle in front of me a carrot and I, like a silly person, I follow it. So if I have no carrots, nothing as a reward or punishment, how is this past to be dissolved? Because otherwise I am still living in the field of time. And therefore it is still man-made. So what shall I do? Am I willing to face absolute emptiness? Right, sir?

B: Well, what will you tell somebody who is not willing?

K: I am not bothered. If somebody says, 'I am sorry I can't do all this nonsense' - you say, 'Well, carry on'. But I am willing to let my past go completely, which means there is no effort, no reward, no punishment, no carrot, nothing. And the brain is willing to face this extraordinary state, totally new to it, of being, of existing in a state of nothingness. That is appallingly frightening.

B: Even these words will have their meaning rooted in the past.

K: Of course. We have understood that, the word is not the thing.

B: But that is because of the fear, because from the roots in the past this notion of nothingness is..

K: My brain says, 'I am willing to do that'. I am willing to face this absolute nothingness, emptiness because it has seen for itself all the refuges, the various places where it has taken refuge are illusions, so it has finished with all that.

B: I think this leaves out something. You have also brought up the question of the damage of the scars to the brain.

K: That's just it.

B: The brain if it wasn't damaged possibly could do that fairly readily.

K: Look: can I discover what has caused damage to the brain? One of the factors is strong emotions.

B: Strong sustained emotions.

K: Strong sustained emotions, like hatred.

B: Probably a flash of emotion doesn't do it but people keep it up.

K: Of course. Hatred, anger, a sense of violence must obviously, they are not only a shock but they wound the brain. Right?

B: Well, excessive excitation too. Getting excessively excited by other means.

K: Of course, drugs and all that stuff. Excessive excitement, excessive anger, violence, hatred, all that. The natural response doesn't damage the brain. Right? Now my brain is damaged, suppose, it has been damaged through anger.

B: You could even say probably that nerves get connected up in the wrong way and the connections are too fixed. I think there is evidence that these things will actually change the structure.

K: The structure, yes, yes. That is, can I have an insight into the whole nature of disturbance, anger, violence, they are all part of the same. Can I have an insight into that? And so that insight changes the cells of the brain which have been wounded.

B: Well possibly it would start them healing, yes.

K: Yes. All right. Start them healing. That healing must be immediate.

B: In some way it may take time in the sense that if wrong connections have been made it is going to take time to redistribute the material. The beginning of it, it seems to me, is immediate.

K: Make it that way, all right. Can I do this? I have listened to you, I have carefully read, I have thought about all this and I see that anger, violence, hatred, all those excessive - or any form of excitement - and so on, does bruise the brain. And the insight into this whole business does bring about a mutation in the cells. It is so. And the nerves and all their adjustments will be as rapid as possible.

B: Something happens with cancer cells. Sometimes the cancer suddenly stops growing and it goes the other way, for some reason that is unknown but a change must have taken place in those cells.

K: Would it be, sir - if I may ask, I may be on the wrong track - when the brain cells change, a fundamental change there, the cancer process stops?

B: Yes, fundamentally it stops and it starts to dismantle.

K: Dismantle, yes that is it. So.

N: You are saying it sets into motion the right kind of connections?

B: Yes.

N: And stops the wrong connections?

B: Or even starts to dismantle the wrong connections.

N: So a beginning is made and it is made now.

B: At one moment.

K: That is the insight.

N: But there is no question of time involved because the right movement has started.

B: Yes.

K: What, what?

N: There is no time involved because the right movement has started now.

K: Of course, of course.

N: But there is another thing which I want to ask about the past: for most people the past means pleasure.

K: Not only past pleasures, the remembrance of all the things.

N: One starts disliking pleasure only when it becomes stale, or it leads to difficulties but one wants pleasure all the time.

K: Of course, of course.

N: Now it is very difficult to distinguish between pleasure and the staleness or the difficulties it brings in because on wants to keep the pleasure afresh and not have the staleness or the problems it brings. I mean the normal human being - I am asking what is your attitude to pleasure?

K: What do you mean, my attitude?

N: How does one deal with this immense problem of pleasure in which most people are caught because it is the past.

K: Pleasure is always the past but there is no pleasure at the moment it is happening. It comes in later when it is remembered. So the remembrance is the past. And I, as a human being, am willing to face nothingness, which means wipe out all that.

N: How does one wipe out this tremendous instinct for pleasure? It almost seems to be an instinct.

K: No, we went into that. Which is: what is the nature of pleasure? What is pleasure? It is a constant remembrance of things past which have happened.

B: And also the expectation that it will happen.

K: Of course, always from the past.

B: You have usually made this distinction of pleasure and enjoyment.

K: Yes, I did.

N: Of course you have made a distinction, but I am saying, still the human being, even though he understands what you are saying, he is sort of held back in this field.

K: No, Narayan, because he is not willing to face this emptiness.

Pleasure is not compassion. Pleasure is not love. But perhaps if there is this mutation compassion is stronger than pleasure. I don't know if you see. So pleasure has no place in the compassion.

B: Even the perception of order may be stronger than pleasure. If people are really concerned about something, the pleasure plays no role at that moment.

N: Yes, that is what I am trying to imply because it has a certain strength which can keep that in its place.

K: Compassion has got tremendous strength, an incalculable strength, pleasure is nowhere in it.

N: But what happens to a man in whom pleasure is dominant?

K: We said that. As long as he is unwilling to face this extraordinary emptiness he will keep on with the old pattern.

B: You see we have to say that this man had a damaged brain too. There is a certain brain damage which causes this emphasis on sustained pleasure as well as the fear and the anger and the hate.

K: But the damaged brain is healed when there is insight.

B: Yes. But I think many people would say, 'I understand that hate and anger and so on are products of the damaged brain', but they would find it hard to say that pleasure is the product of the damaged brain.

K: Oh yes, of course it is.

B: Whereas if you say there is that true enjoyment which is not the product of the damaged brain, which is confused with pleasure..

N: That is the difficulty because if pleasure gives rise to anger, anger is part of the damaged brain.

K: And also the demand for pleasure.

B: Which may give rise to anger and hatred and fear.

K: Of course. If I can't have the pleasure I want I begin to get annoyed. I feel frustrated and all the rest of it follows. So do I, do you, as a human being, have an insight into the past, how very destructive it is to the brain, and the brain itself sees it and has an insight into it and moves out of that?

N: You are saying the beginning of order comes from insight?

K: Obviously. Let's walk from there.

N: May I put it in a different way? Is it possible to gather a certain amount of order in a pattern sense, not artificially, so that it gives rise to a certain amount of insight?

K: Ah! You cannot through the false find truth.

N: I am saying it on purpose because for many people the energy that is required for insight or the keenness is lacking.

K: You are tremendously keen to earn a livelihood, to earn money, to do something if you are interested in something. If you are interested vitally in this transformation, etc., you have the energy.

May we go on, sir? I, as a human being, I have seen this insight has wiped away really the past, and the brain is willing to live in nothingness. We have come to this point several times from different directions. From there I want to go on; may we? There isn't a thing which thought has put there. There is no movement of thought, except thought, knowledge and all that which has its own place. But we are talking of the psychological state of mind where there is no movement of thought, there is absolutely nothing.

B: You mean also no feeling, you see the movement of thought and feeling is together.

K: Wait a minute. What do you mean by feeling there?

B: Well then usually people might say, well, OK, there is no thought, but they may have various feelings.

K: Of course, I have feelings. The moment you put a pin in to me..

B: These are sensations. And also the inner feelings.

K: Inner feelings of what?

B: It is hard to describe them, you see, those that can be easily described are obviously the wrong kind such as anger and fear.

K: Is compassion a feeling?

B: Probably not

K: No, it is not a feeling.

B: Though people may say they feel compassionate.

K: Of course, of course.

B: But even the very word suggests it is a form of feeling.

K: Of course, I feel compassionate.

B: Compassion has the word passion in it which is a feeling. It can be taken in that meaning. And you see it is a difficult question.

You could say what we usually call feelings anyway, those things that could be recognized as feelings, you know of a describable character.

K: Sir, let's go into that a little bit. What do we mean by feeling? Sensations?

B: Well, people don't usually mean that. You see sensation is connected with the body.

K: Body, senses.

B: The inner organs of the body.

K: So you are saying feelings which are not of the body.

B: Yes, or which are said to belong - you see in the old days they would have said they are of the soul, you see.

K: The soul, of course. That is an easy escape but it means nothing.

B: No.

K: What are the inner feelings? Pleasure?

B: Well in so far as you can label it that way it is clear that it is not valid there.

K: So what is valid? The non-verbal state.

B: It may be a non-verbal state which includes something that seems - would it have something analogous to a feeling which wasn't fixed, you see? That you couldn't name.

N: You are saying it is not a feeling, it is similar to feeling but it is not fixed?

B: Yes. I am just considering that could exist.

K: I don't follow.

B: If you say that there is no thought, I am trying to clarify it.

K: Yes, there is no thought.

B: Somebody could say, 'OK, I understand, I am not thinking, I am not talking, I am not figuring out what to do'.

K: Oh, no.

B: We have to go further. What does it really mean?

K: All right. What it really means is: thought is movement, thought is time. Right? There is no time and thought.

B: Yes, well perhaps no sense of the existence of an entity inside.

K: Absolutely, of course. The existence of the entity is the bundle of memories, the past.

B: But that existence is not only thought thinking about it but also the feeling that it is there, inside, you get a sort of feeling.

K: The feeling, yes. There is no being. Otherwise, you follow, there is nothing. If there is a feeling of the being continuing..

B: Yes, even though it doesn't seem verbalizable.

K: Of course. I wonder if you are caught in an illusion that there is such a state.

B: Well it may be. It would be a state without will, without..

K: Of course. All those are gone.

B: Now, how do we know that this state is real, is genuine?

K: That is what I am asking. How do I know, or realize, or state, that it is so? In other words you want proof of it.

B: Well at least..

N: Not proof, communication of that state.

B: Not proof.

K: Now wait a minute. How can you communicate with me, suppose you have this peculiar compassion, how can you communicate to me who is living in pleasure and all that? You can't.

N: No, but I am prepared to listen to you.

K: Therefore, prepared to listen - how deeply?

N: To the extent my listening takes me to.

K: Which means what?

N: That is all I could say.

K: No, no. It is very simple. You will go as long as it is safe, secure.

N: No, not necessarily.

K: The man says there is no being. And one's whole life has been this becoming, being and so on. And in that state he says there is no being at all. In other words, there is no me. Right sir? Now you say, 'Show it to me'. It can be shown only through certain qualities it has, certain actions. What are the actions of a mind that is totally empty of being? What are the actions? Wait a minute. Actions at what level? Actions in the physical world?

N: Partly.

K: Mostly that.

N: Not mostly, partly.

K: No, I am asking is that partial where - all right, this mam has got this sense of emptiness and there is no being, so he is not acting from self-centred interest. So his actions are in the world of daily living. That's all, you can judge only there, whether he is a hypocrite, whether he says one thing and contradicts it the next moment, or whether he is actually living this compassion - not 'I feel compassionate'.

B: Well if you are not doing the same you can't tell, you see.

K: That's just it. That's what I am saying.

N: I can't judge you there.

K: You can't. So how can you convey to me in words that peculiar quality of a mind? You can describe, you know go round it, but you can't give the essence of it. I mean David, for example, he can discuss with Einstein, they are on the same level. And he and I can discuss up to a certain point and if he has this sense of not being, empty, I can go very close but I can never enter or come upon that mind unless I have it.

N: Is there any way of communicating but not through words for one who is open?

K: We said compassion. It is not as David put it just now, it is not 'I feel compassionate'. That is altogether wrong. You see after all in daily life such a mind acts without the 'me, without the ego, and therefore it might make a mistake but it corrects it immediately, it is not carrying that mistake.

N: It is not stuck.

K: Stuck. We must be very careful here not to find an excuse for wrong.

So sirs, we come to that point, as we said the other day, what is then meditation? Right? The becoming man, or the being man, who meditates, has no meaning whatsoever. That is a tremendous statement. When there is this not becoming, not being, then what is mediation? It must be totally unconscious. Right sir? Totally uninvited.

B: Without conscious intention, is what you mean.

K: Yes, without conscious intention. Yes, I think this is right.

Would you say, sir - it sounds silly but - the universe, cosmic order, is in meditation?

B: Well if it is alive then you would have to look at it that way.

K: No, no, it is in a state of meditation.

B: Yes.

K: I think that is right. I stick to that.

B: We should try to go over what is meditation, what is it doing?

N: If you say the universe is in meditation, is the expression of it order? What order can we discern, which would indicate cosmic meditation or universal meditation?

K: The sunrise and sunset is order, all the stars, the planets, the whole thing is in perfect order.

B: We have to connect this with meditation.

K: He is bringing the word 'order'.

B: You see, according to the dictionary the meaning of meditation is to reflect, to turn something over in your mind and to pay close attention.

K: And also to measure.

B: That is a further meaning but it is to weigh, to ponder, it means measure in the sense of weighing.

K: Weighing, that's it. Ponder, think over and so on.

B: To weigh the significance of something. Now is that what you mean?

K: No.

B: Then why do you use the word, you see?

N: I am told that in English contemplation has a different connotation from meditation. Contemplation implies a deeper state of mind, whereas meditation is..

K: To contemplate.

N: That's what I was told.

B: It is hard to know. The word contemplate comes from the word 'temple' really.

K: Yes, that's right.

B: To make an open space really is its basic meaning. To create an open space so you can look at it.

K: Is that open space between god and me?

B: That is the way the word arose.

K: Quite.

N: From temple, space?

B: Which means an open space.

N: The Sanskrit word 'dhyana' doesn't have the same connotation as meditation.

K: Dhyana, no.

N: Because meditation has the overtones of measurement and probably in an oblique way that measurement is order.

K: No, I don't want to bring in order, leave the word order out, we have been through that, we have beaten that to death.

B: I just asked why you used the word meditation.

K: Don't let's use the word meditation.

B: Let's find out what you really mean here.

K: Would you say, sir, a state of infinity, a measureless state?

B: Yes.

K: There is no division of any kind. You see we are giving lots of descriptions, but it is not that.

B: Yes, but is there any sense of the mind being in some way aware of itself, you see, is that what you are trying to say? At other times you have said that the mind is emptying itself of content.

K: Yes. What are you trying to get at?

B: Well I am trying to get at that it is not merely infinite but it seems that something more is involved.

K: Oh, much more.

B: But in this emptying of content, we said that this content is the past which has become disorder. Then you could say that in some sense it is constantly cleaning up the past. Would you agree to that?

K: It is constantly cleaning up the past?

B: Yes.

K: No, no.

B: When you say the mind is emptying itself of content..

K: Has emptied itself.

B: Has emptied itself. All right, then you say when the past is cleaned up, then you say that is meditation.

K: That is meditation, no, contemplation..

N: Just a beginning. He is at the beginning.

K: Beginning?

N: The emptying of the past.

K: That must be done. Emptying the past which is anger, jealousy, beliefs, dogmas, attachments, all that is the content. If any part of that exists it will inevitably lead to illusion. Right? So we said that. The brain or the mind must be totally free of all illusion - illusion brought by desire, by hope, by wanting security and all that.

B: Are you saying when that is done this opens the door to something broader, deeper?

K: Yes. Otherwise life has no meaning, just repeating this pattern. I want to go into this. It is five o'clock.

N: What exactly did you mean when you said the universe is in meditation? You are trying to convey something when you say that the universe is in meditation.

K: I feel that way, yes. Meditation is a state of 'non-movement movement'.

B: All right, yes.

N: Is it..

B: Could we say first of all the universe is not actually governed by its past. That is the first point.

K: Yes, sir, yes sir.

B: It is free and creative.

K: It is creative, moving.

B: And then this movement is an order.

K: Would you, as a scientist, accept such a thing?

B: Yes. Well, as a matter of fact I would!

K: Are we both crazy?

B: You see the universe creates certain forms which are relatively constant, so that if people who look at it superficially only see that, it seems to be then determined from the past.

K: Yes. Sir, put the question the other way: is it really possible for time to end - time being the past, time, the whole idea of time, to have no tomorrow at all? Of course there is tomorrow, you have to go to a talk in the morning and I have to, and so on; there is tomorrow but the feeling, the actual reality of having no tomorrow. I think that is the healthiest way of living. Which doesn't mean that I become irresponsible - that is all too childish.

B: It is merely a question of physical time, it is a certain part of natural order.

K: Of course, that is understood.

B: Which we still have in mind but the question is whether we have a sense of experiencing past and future or whether we are free of that sense.

K: Sir, is the universe, as a scientists I am asking you, based on time?

B: I would say, no, but you see the general way it has been formulated..

K: That is all I want, you say no.

B: Yes.

K: And can the brain which has evolved in time..

B: Well, has it evolved in time, you see, that is a way of talking but it has become entangled in time.

K: Entangled, all right.

B: Entangled in time in some way because if you say the universe is not based on time, the brain is part of the universe.

K: I agree.

B: It can't be based merely on time.

K: No. The brain in the sense, thought.

B: Thought has entangled the brain in time.

K: In time. All right. Can that entanglement be unravelled, freed, so that the universe is the mind? You follow? If the universe is not of time, can the mind which has been entangled in time, unravel itself and so be the universe? You follow what I am trying to say?

B: Yes.

K: That is order.

B: That is order. Now would you say that is meditation?

K: That is it. Now I would call that meditation. Not in the ordinary dictionary sense of pondering over and all that, that is a state of meditation in which there is no element of the past.

B: You say the mind is disentangling itself from time and also really disentangling the brain from time.

K: Yes, sir. Would you accept that?

B: Yes.

K: As a theory.

B: Yes, as a proposal.

K: No, I don't want it as a proposal.

B: What do you mean by theory?

K: Theory as somebody comes along and says this is real meditation.

B: All right.

K: Wait. Somebody says one can live this way and life has an extraordinary meaning in it, full of etc., etc, compassion and so on, and every act in a world, in the physical world, can be corrected immediately and so on and so on. Would you, as a scientist, accept such a state, or say this man is cuckoo?

B: No, I wouldn't say that, no. I feel it is perfectly possible, it is quite compatible with anything that I know about nature.

K: Oh, then that's all right. So one is not an unbalanced cuckoo?

B: No. Part of the entanglement is that science itself has put time into a fundamental position which helps to entangle it still further.

K: We had better stop, sir. Shall we continue some more?

B: When do you want to continue?

K: Next Sunday.

B: I am going to be in America next Sunday.

K: Oh, when do you go to America?

B: Thursday.

K: Well, we can't.

B: Except by television!

K: Yes, very simple.

B: In the autumn, in September?

K: Yes, September. Of course putting it into words is not the thing. Right? That is understood. But can it be communicated to another?

B: Yes, well I think that the point about communication of this is to bring it about.

K: Of course. Now can some of us get to this so that we can communicate actually?

We had better stop.

The Ending of Time

Longer, Unedited Versions

Brockwood Park 10th Conversation with David Bohm 7th June 1980 'The Ending of Time'

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