The Flame of Attention
Longer, Unedited Versions
Saanen 3rd Public Talk 15th July 1982
May we continue where we left off the day before yesterday? We were talking about causation and the effects of that cause. We always apparently are concerned with the effects, the results, and try to change or modify the results, the effects. But apparently we never enquire very deeply into the cause of these effects. We went into that a little bit the other day and I think it is important to go into them quite deeply.
We also said that intelligence has no cause. And all our actions, our ways of thinking have always a ground, a reason, a motive. And if one ends the cause then what is beyond cause? That's what we were talking about the day before yesterday. One hopes you will not mind being reminded again that the speaker is totally, completely anonymous. The speaker is not important. What is said is important and to find out for oneself if what is being said is true or false depends on one's intelligence. We said intelligence is the uncovering of the false and totally rejecting the false. So please bear in mind during all these talks and question and answer meetings that together, in co-operation, we are investigating, examining, exploring into these problems. The speaker is not exploring but you are exploring with him. So there is no question of following him. There is no authority invested in him. I think this must be said over and over again as most of us are prone, have a tendency to follow, to accept, specially from those whom you think somewhat different or spiritually advanced, or all that nonsense. So please, if one may repeat it over and over again, because our minds and our brains are conditioned to follow, as you follow a professor in a university, he informs you and you accept because he certainly knows mathematics more than perhaps we do. But here it is not a matter of that kind. We are not informing you. We are not urging you to accept those things that are said, but rather together in co-operation investigate into these human problems, which are very complex, need a great deal of observation, a great deal of energy and enquiry. But if you merely follow you are only following the image that you have created about him or about the symbolic meaning of the words. So please bear in mind all these facts.
So we are going to enquire together what is intelligence? We are not defining what is intelligence. The dictionary probably has several meanings to it. Intelligence according to accepted good dictionaries, says it is gathering together information, reading between the lines, which are all the activity of thought. And is thought intelligent? Is thought, our thinking, the way we act, the whole social, moral world in which we live, or immoral world in which we live - is all that the activity of intelligence? Then we begin to enquire into what is intelligence? We said one of the factors is to uncover, explore, not say this is false and reject it, but explore the nature of the false because in the understanding of the false, in the uncovering of that which is illusion, there is the truth which is intelligence.
So we have inquired together, together, into the nature of intelligence. Has intelligence a cause? Thought has a cause - right? One thinks because one - the very word 'because' implies causation - one thinks because one has past experiences, past accumulated information and knowledge, that knowledge is never complete, that knowledge must go hand in hand with ignorance, and from this ground of knowledge with its ignorance thought is born. And that thought must be partial, limited, fragmented because it is the outcome of knowledge, and as knowledge can never be complete at any time, therefore thought must be incomplete, insufficient, limited. And we use that thought not recognizing the limitation of it, and living in thought and creating thoughts, the things which thought has created and worshipping the things that thought has created. Thought has created wars and the instruments of war. Thought has created the whole technological world, the terror and so on. We have gone into that previously.
So is thought, the activity of thought, which is to compare, to identify, to fulfil, to seek satisfaction, to seek security, which is the result, the cause of thinking - and is thought intelligent? Please, you understand my question? Don't wait for the speaker to tell us; we are together looking at this question of thought, its place, its activity in relationship to intelligence. We live by thought, yesterday, tomorrow and today. Is this movement from the past through the present, to the future, which is the movement of time and thought, that movement with its cunningness, with its capacity to adjust itself as no other animal does except a human being - is that movement of thought born of the past, is that intelligence? Will that produce confusion?
So thought has a causation, obviously. I want to build a house; I want to drive a car; I want to be powerful, well-known. I am dull, but I'll be clever. I will achieve, I will fulfil - all that is the movement of the centre from which thought arises. Right? It is so obvious. Through the obvious we are going to penetrate which may be different. But first we must be very clear of the obvious, that which has a cause and an effect, that effect may be immediate or postponed. The movement from the cause to the effect is time. Are you listening?
I have done something in the past which was not correct; it is not correct because of various causes, and the effect of that may be that I pay for it immediately, or perhaps five years later. So where there is a cause and there is an effect, the interval, whether it is the shortest interval, a second or years, is the movement of time. So is intelligence the movement of time? Please think it over, examine it because this is not a verbal clarification, it is not a verbal explanation, but the perception of the reality of it, the truth of it. Because we are going to go into various aspects of our life, our daily living, not some Utopian concept, or some ideological conclusion according to which we shall act, but in investigating our lives, our lives are the lives of all humanity, it is not my life or your life, life is a tremendous movement and in that movement we have separated a part of it and call ourselves individuals. We went into that the other day very carefully.
So we are saying, asking, where there is a cause there is an ending. If I have tuberculosis the cause is my coughing and the blood and all the rest of it, and that cause can be cured and the effect will disappear. Please follow this carefully, examine this carefully - I won't use the word follow, forgive me. We are saying where there is a cause the effect can be ended with the ending of cause. Right? And all our life is the movement of causation: I like you, you are my friend. You flatter me, I am delighted. I flatter you. You say something unpleasant, I hate you. In all this movement there is a causation - right? Of course. We are asking: is there a life, a living without causation? We must understand first the implications of ending. You understand? I end anger or greed in order to achieve something else. I love you because you are my audience. That is, you flatter me, I fulfil myself in talking to you, and I feel sad or depressed when there is no audience. So there is always a cause and an ending. So we are enquiring: what is it to end? Is ending a continuation, a continuation? I end something and begin something else, which is another form of the same thing. Are you following? We must go slowly, we must go into it very carefully.
You see to go into this very deeply one has to understand the conflict of the opposites - right? The conflict of duality. I am greedy, one is greedy and for various, social, economic, moral reasons one must end it. In the ending of it there is a cause because I want something else. The something else is the result of the cause. I have not really ended the greed, but I have replaced the greed by something else - right? I am violent, one is violent by nature because that violence has been inherited from the animal and so on, we won't go into that. We are violent human beings. The cause of that violence may be very complex but the result of that complex causation is violence. I want to end violence because I think it is too stupid. And so in ending I am trying to find a field which is non-violent, which has no shadow of violence in it. But I haven't really ended violence, only I have transmuted or translated that feeling into another feeling but the feeling is the same. Have you got it? I wonder if you capture this? Are we co-operating together in this? We will put it in ten different ways.
You see if thought has cause, which it has, then the ending of cause doesn't mean thoughtlessness. Or something totally different. If it is something totally different then it has no cause - right? Please understand this. Don't go to sleep please. This is not an intellectual entertainment or verbal exchange, but if we go into it very carefully, deeply, it will affect our daily life because that may be the ending of conflict. Because our life is in conflict, our consciousness is in conflict, it is messy, confused, contradictory. And our consciousness is the result of thought - right? And because thought has a causation our consciousness has a cause. And what has a cause, and the movement of that cause as effect is time. We went into that. Is there a way of observing without cause? You understand my question? I want to observe all my complex life, my contradictions, one's imitation, conformity, the various conclusions with their opposites, all that is a movement of causation - right? Of course. I can end that causation by will, by a desire to have an orderly life. The orderly life may be born out of a causation - right? Because I am disorderly. So when discovering the disorderliness of my life and wishing to have an orderly life that orderly life has a causation, and therefore it is not orderly - right? Is this clear?
It is a very complex subject and I hope you will have patience to go into it.
So has intelligence a cause? Obviously not. Right? I will go into it. What is order? There is the order of law based upon various experiences, judgements, necessities, convenience, to keep out the ill-doers and so on. So what we call order, social order, ethical order, political order and so on has essentially a basis, a background, a cause. Now we are asking: has order a cause? We are going to investigate together. Now do we recognise, see, how our lives are disorderly? Disorderly being contradictory, conforming, following, accepting, denying what we may want and accepting something else. The conflict between the various opposites, that is disorder. Right? Because I accept one form of thought as order, but I think also its opposite. The opposite may create disorder so I am living always within the field of these opposites - right? So will disorder end, completely end in my life, in our lives, if I want order? I want to live peacefully, I want to have a pleasant life, companionship and so on and so on, that desire is born out of this disorder. Get it? So the opposite is born out of this, out of its own opposite. I am angry, I hate, I mustn't hate, therefore I must try not to hate, and not to hate is the outcome of my hate - right? If there is no hate it has no opposite - right? So the ending of hate has no result. I wonder if you capture all this? I see not.
You see thought has created disorder. Let's see that fact. Thought has created disorder in the world through nationalities, through division, I am a Jew, you are an Arab, I believe and you don't believe - you follow? Those are all the activities of thought, which in itself is divisive, in itself, it can't bring unity, because in itself it is divisive, fragmented. That which is fragmented cannot see the whole - right? So I discover that my consciousness is entirely in disorder and I want order, hoping thereby I will end conflict. There is a motive. That motive is the cause of my desire to have an orderly life - right? So order is born there out of disorder - right? Therefore that order perpetuates disorder, which is happening in the political, religious and other fields. I wonder if you see that?
Now let's go back. Now I see the cause of disorder. I don't want to move away from disorder. I see the cause of it, that I am contradictory, that I am angry, the confusion, I see it. I see the cause of it. I am not moving away from the cause or the effect. I am the cause and I am the effect. Do you see that? I am the cause and the things that happen is myself also. So any movement away from that is disorder - right? I wonder if you get it?
So the ending without a future - right? The ending of 'what is' has no future. Any future projected by my demand for order is still the continuation of disorder. So is there an observation of my disorder and the ending of it without any cause? You get it? You understand? I am violent. One is violent. One wants to be famous. One wants so many things. And there is violence in human beings. The cause of that violence is essentially a self-centred movement - right? Right? You want, you are violent because you are self-centred. I am also violent because I am self-centred. Therefore there is a battle between us - right? This is obvious. So there is violence in you. Thought is not pursuing non-violence, which is a form of violence. If you see that very clearly then there is only the concern with violence. The cause of that violence, as we said, may be so many contradictory demands, so many pressures and so on and so on, we can go into all that but I don't want to go into all that for the moment. So there are many causes. One cause of violence is this self. The self being, it has many aspects, it hides behind many ideas, I am an idealist because that appeals to me and I want to work for that ideal, but in the working for that ideal I am becoming more and more important, or I cover up that by the ideal and the very escape from myself is part of myself - right? This whole movement is the factor of violence. I want to kill others because by killing them there may be a better world - you know all the stuff that goes on.
So is there an observation of disorder, seeing the cause of that disorder, and the ending of it without ending of it? You understand my question? Is this clear or not? Perhaps I smoke. It is a habit. A habit which I want to break, I want to break it because I want to be healthy, it is affecting my heart and my brain, my activity and so on and so on, therefore I want to end it. There is a motive behind it - right? I am really not ending it. I substitute smoking for something else, which is habit - right? So is there an ending of habit, an ending of it completely? Not replacing it by something else? Goodness, I have explained it in ten different ways. Is this clear? Can we move away from that?
So our life has many causes, the living. Is there a way of living without a single cause? Please enquire into this. It is a marvellous enquiry even, to put that question demands some deep searching to find out. I want security therefore I follow my guru. I am not following, I want security, I may put on his robes or copy what the man says and so on and so on but deeply I want to be safe. And I cling to some idea, some picture, some image. And the image, the idea, the conclusion, the person can never bring about security. So I have to enquire into security. Is there such a thing as security? Not physically, outwardly, there must be outwardly, inwardly I am talking about. Because I am uncertain, confused and you say, you are not confused, I will hold on to you. Because my demand is to find some kind of peace, hope, some kind of quietness in my life. You are not important but my desire is important. I worship you. I will do whatever you want to say, I will follow you. I am silly enough to do all that but the moment I enquire into the cause of it I discover deeply I want this protection, this feeling "I am safe". Now is there security psychologically - or rather can there ever be security psychologically? The very question implies the demand for intelligence. You understand? Putting that very question is an outcome of intelligence. But if you say, "No, there is always security in my symbol, my saviour, in this, in that" - then you won't move away from it. But if you begin to enquire, look, then you are bound to ask is there security?
So if there is a cause for security, it is not secure - right? Because the cause is more important than the desire for security. So has intelligence a cause? We have come back to that. Right? Of course not.
So has love a cause? Come on, you must answer this question. Look at it sirs, please take time, look at it very closely, let us go into it very carefully. We said intelligence has no cause, therefore it is not your intelligence and my intelligence, it is intelligence. It is light. Where there is light there is no your light or my light; the sun is not your sun or my sun. It is light, the heat, the clarity of light. Has love a cause? If it has not then love and intelligence go together. You follow? You see this? When one says to one's wife or one's girl-friend, "I love you", what does it mean? I love god - one loves god. Why? You don't know anything about that bird and you love him, because there is fear, there is a demand for security, there is the vast weight of tradition, the book says so, it gives you comfort - right? So you say, "I believe in god". But if there is no fear and the discovery that intelligence is total security, and that love is something beyond all causation - you understand? - which is order. And then the universe is open, because the universe is order - right? This is all clear.
Let us go into the question of what is intelligent relationship? Not the relationship of thought with its image. We will go into that. We will have to go into this a little more. Our brains are mechanical - right? Mechanical being repetitive, never being free, struggling within the same field, thinking it is free by moving from one corner to the other in the same field, which is choice, and thinking that choice is freedom, which is repeated. "I am free because I can choose to go to Zurich." But if I lived in Russia I cannot. Whatever place I wanted to go to there. Right?
So one's brain, which has evolved through time - right? - of course, that brain is not yours or mine, it is brain. Right? And that brain has become through ages, through tradition, through education, through conformity, through adjustment, mechanical. You can observe this in yourself. There may be parts of brain which may be free but we don't know. Don't assert that. Don't say, "Yes, there is part of me that is free", that is meaningless. But the fact remains that the brain has become mechanical, traditional, repetitive which has its own intelligence - right? Isn't it? Do you see that? No? It has - I won't use the word intelligence - it has its own cunningness, its own capacity to adjustment, to discern. But it is always within a limited area because thought itself is fragmented. And thought has its home in the brain, in the cells and so on. So, scientists are saying the same thing in different words.
Now, the brain has become mechanical. I am a Christian. I am a Hindu, I believe, I have faith, and I don't have faith, I am not a Christian - you follow? Which is all repetitive process, which is reaction to another reaction, which is mechanical. Now this brain, the human brain, has been conditioned, and being conditioned it has created its own artificial, mechanical intelligence. I will keep that word - mechanical intelligence. Like a computer. They are trying to investigate, spending billions and billions of dollars and money to find out if a computer can be exactly like the brain. Probably they will. So we are asking: is thought, which is born out of my memory, knowledge and so on, in the brain, and so thought is mechanical - right? It may invent but it is still mechanical. Invention is totally different from creation. I mustn't enter into that.
So the brain being almost, with an occasional flare, totally different from the mechanical process, but essentially it is repetitive, mechanical. And thought is trying to discover a way of a different life, a different social order. Thought is trying to discover it - right? And the discovery of a social order by thought is still within the field of confusion - right? We are asking then: is there an intelligence which has no cause and therefore from that intelligence act in our relationship, and not the mechanical state of relationship which exists now?
Are you all getting tired? (Audience: No.) It is too easy to say you are not tired.
Look sirs: our relationship is mechanical. I have certain biological urges and you fulfil them. I demand certain comforts, certain companionship because I am lonely, I am depressed and by holding on to you perhaps that depression will disappear. That is my relationship with you, intimate or otherwise, has a cause, a motive, a ground from which I establish a relationship with you - right? Biological, sex and so on. That is mechanical. This has been happening for a million years, which is, there is a conflict between a woman and a man, a constant battle, each pursuing his own line, never meeting, like two railway lines which never meet. This relationship is the activity of thought and therefore limited. And wherever there is limitation there must be conflict - right? Any form of association, I belong to this group, and you belong to another group - association. You belong to this group - so where there is separate associations there is solitude, isolation, where there is isolation there must be conflict - right? This is a law, not invented by the speaker, it is so. Right?
So thought is ever in limitation and therefore isolating itself. Therefore in relationship where there is activity of thought there must be conflict. Get it? No, but see the reality of it. See the actuality of this fact, not as an idea, as a something that is happening in my life, in one's active daily life: divorces, quarrels, hating each other, jealousy. You know all about it. The misery of it all. The wife wants to hurt you, is jealous of you, and you are jealous - you follow? Which are all reactions, which are repetitive and therefore the activity of thought in relationship must be mechanical and therefore brings conflict. Right? That is a fact.
Now how do you deal with a fact? Do you understand my question? Here is a fact: my wife and I quarrel. She hates me. And also - you follow? - the response, the mechanical response, the hate. And I discover that it is the remembrance of things that have happened and that memory is stored in the brain, it continues day after day. And my whole thinking is a process of isolation - right? And she also is isolating. We never discover the truth of the isolation. That wherever there is isolation of any kind, putting on purple robes, or green robes - you follow? - must be a factor of isolation, nationalism and so on, and it must breed conflict. Now that is a fact. Now how do I look at that fact? What am I to do with that fact? You understand my question? Please, I am not answering, you are answering, you are questioning it, you are putting this question to yourself. What is your response? How do you face this fact? With a motive? With a cause? Please, be careful, don't say, "No". My wife hates me. And I smother it over but I also hate her, dislike her, don't want to be with her, because we both of us are isolated. That is a fact. I am ambitious, she is ambitious, for something else. So we are operating in our relationship in isolation. Now what happens? I face the fact. You are facing the fact, not I. You are facing the fact. Do you approach it, the fact, with reason, with a ground, with a motive? So how do you approach it? Without a motive? Without cause? When you approach it without a cause what then happens? Please watch it. Please don't jump to something, watch it in yourself. So far I have mechanically approached this problem with a motive, with some reason, a ground from which I act. And I see the foolishness of such an action because it is the result of thought and so on. So then is there an approach to the fact without a single motive? That is, I have no motive. She may have a motive, or I may have a motive and she has not. Then if I have no motive how am I looking at the fact? The fact is not different from me - right? I am the fact. I am ambition, I am hate, I depend and so on, dependent on somebody, I am that. So there is an observation of the fact which is myself. And the observation of the fact, which is myself, without any kind of reason, motive. Is that possible?
If I don't do that I live perpetually in conflict. And you may say that is the way of life. If you accept that is the way of life, that is your business. That is your pleasure. That is what your brain, tradition, habit tells you, that is the inevitable. But when you see the absurdity of such acceptance then you are bound to ask this question. All this travail is myself, I am the enemy, not you. I have met the enemy and discovered it is me. So can I observe this whole movement of me, the self, separate, isolated, tradition, the acceptance that I am separate, which becomes foolish when you examine the whole field of consciousness of humanity. I am the entire humanity, which we went into, consciousness, my consciousness is common.
So I have come to a point in understanding what is intelligence. We said intelligence is without a cause, as love is without a cause. If love has a cause, it is not love, obviously. If I am intelligent because the government asks me, I am intelligent because I am following you, I am intelligent because I have worked in a factory, I have a great skill. We don't call all that intelligence, that is capacity. Intelligence has no cause. Therefore am I looking at myself with a cause? You understand? Are you following this? An I looking at this fact that I am thinking, working, feeling, in isolation? And that isolation must inevitably breed everlasting conflict. And that isolation is myself. I am the enemy, not the Argentines, or the Russians. I am the enemy. Now how do I look at myself without a motive? When I look at myself without a motive, is there myself? Myself is the cause, the effect, myself is the result of time, which is movement from cause to effect. So when I look at myself, at this fact, without any cause, there is the ending of something and the beginning of something totally new. Right? We had better stop now.
The Flame of Attention
Longer, Unedited Versions
Saanen 3rd Public Talk 15th July 1982
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