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Truth and Actuality

Part 1, Discussions With David Bohm

Truth and Actuality Part I Chapter 3 6th Discussion with Prof. David Bohm Brockwood Park 28th May 1975 'The Seed of Truth'

Krishnamurti: If a seed of truth is planted it must operate, it must grow, it must function, it has a life of its own.

Dr Bohm: Many millions of people may have read or heard what you say. It may seem that a large number of them haven't understood. Do you feel that they are all going eventually to see it?

K: No, but it's going on, they are worried about it, they ask, "What does he mean by this?" The seed is functioning, it's growing, it isn't dead. You can say something false and that also operates.

Dr B: Yes, but now we have a struggle between those two and we cannot foresee the outcome of this struggle; we can't be sure of the outcome.

K: You plant in me the seed that, "Truth is a pathless land". Also a seed is planted in my consciousness that says, "There is a way to truth, follow me". One is false, one is true. They are both embedded in my consciousness. So there is a struggle going on. The true and the false, both are operating, which causes more confusion, more misery and a great deal of suffering, if I am sensitive enough. If I don't escape from that suffering what takes place?

Dr B: If you don't escape, then it's clear what will take place. Then you will have the energy to see what is true.

K: That's right. Dr B: But now let's take the people who do escape, who seem to be a large number.

K: They are out, quite right, millions are out. But still, the struggle is going on.

Dr B: Yes, but it is creating confusion.

K: That is what they are all doing.

Dr B: Yes, but we don't know the outcome of that.

K: Oh yes, we do; dictatorship, deterioration.

Dr B: I know, it gets worse. But now we want to get i; clear. In a few people who face the suffering, the energy comes to perceive the truth. And in a large number, who escape from suffering, things get worse.

K: And they rule the world.

Dr B: Now what is the way out of that?

K: They say there is no answer to that, get away from it.

Dr B: That also won't do.

K: They say you can't solve this problem, go away into the mountains or join a monastery, become a monk - but that doesn't solve anything. All one can do is to go on shouting.

Dr B: Yes, then we have to say we don't know the outcome of the shouting.

K: If you shout in order to get an outcome, it is not the right kind of shouting.

Dr B: Yes, that is the situation.

K: You talk, you point out. If nobody wants to pay attention it's their business, you just go on. Now I want to go further. You see, there is a mystery; thought cannot touch it. What is the point of it?

Dr B: Of the mystery? I think you could see it like this: that if you look into the field of thought and reason and so on, you finally see it has no clear foundation. Therefore you see that "what is" must be beyond that. "What is" is the mystery.

K: Yes.

Dr B: I mean, you cannot live in this field of reality and thought, because of all we said.

K: No, of course not. But I don't mind, I have no fears.

Dr B: You don't mind because you have psychological security. Even if something happens to you, it does not deeply affect you.

K: I live in the field of reality, that is my life. There I am consciously aware, and I struggle and keep going in that field. And I can never touch the other. I cannot say, "I can touch it; there is no "I" to touch it when you really touch it.

You say to me, "There is a mystery which passes all understanding". Because I am caught in this, I would like to get that. You say there is a mystery, because to you it is an actuality, not an invention, not a superstition, not self-deception. It is truth to you. And what you say makes a tremendous impression on me, because of your integrity. You point it out to me and I would like to get it. Somehow I must get it. What is your responsibility to me?

You understand the position? You say words cannot touch it, thought cannot touch it, no action can touch it, only the action of truth; perhaps it will give you a feeling of that. And I, because I am a miserable human being, would like to get some of that. But you say, "Truth is a pathless land, don't follow anybody" - and I am left.

I realize, I am consciously aware of the limitation of thought, of all the confusion, misery, and all the rest of it. Somehow I can't get out of it. Is your compassion going to help me? You are compassionate, because part of that extraordinary mystery is compassion. Will your compassion help me? - obviously not.

So what am I to do? I have a consuming desire for that, and you say, "Don't have any desire, you can't have that, it isn't your personal property". All you say to me is: put order into the field of reality.

Dr B: Yes, and do not escape suffering.

K: If you actually put order into the field of reality then something will take place. And also you say to me, it must be done instantly.

Is that mystery something everybody knows? - knows in the sense that there is something mysterious. Not the desire that creates mysteries, but that there is something mysterious in life apart from my suffering, apart from my death, from my jealousy, my anxiety. Apart from all that, there is a feeling that there is a great mystery in life. Is that it? - that there is a mystery which each one knows?

Dr B: I should think that in some sense everybody knows it. Probably one is born with that sense and it gradually gets dimmed through the conditioning.

K: And has he got the vitality, or the intensity, to put away all that? You see, that means "God is within you" - that is the danger of it.

Dr B: Not exactly, but there is some sort of intimation of this. I think probably children have it more strongly when they are young.

K: Do you think that modern children have that?

Dr B: I don't know about them, probably less. You see, living in a modern city must have a bad effect. Dr B: There are many causes. One is lack of contact with nature; I think any contact with nature gives that sense of mystery.

K: Yes.

Dr B: If you look at the sky at night, for example.

K: But you see the scientists are explaining the stars.

Dr B: Yes, I understand that.

K: Cousteau explains the ocean; everything is being explained.

Dr B: Yes, the feeling has been created that in principle we could know everything.

K: So knowledge is becoming the curse. You see, perception has nothing to do with knowledge. Truth and knowledge don't go together; knowledge cannot contain the immensity of mystery.

Dr B: Yes, I think if we start with a little child, he may place the mystery in some part that he doesn't know. He could put it at the bottom of the ocean, or somewhere else outside, far away from where he is, and then he learns that people have been everywhere. Therefore the whole thing is made to appear non-existent.

K: Yes. Everything becomes so superficial.

Dr B: That's the danger of our modern age, that it gives the appearance that we know more or less everything. At least that we have a general idea of the scheme, if not of the details.

K: The other night I was listening to Bronowski, "The Ascent of Man". He explains everything. Dr B: The original impulse was to penetrate into this mystery, that was the impulse of science. And somehow it has gone astray. It gives the appearance of explaining it.

K: May I ask, do you as a trained scientist get the feeling of this mystery.

Dr B: I think so, yes. But I've always had some of that, you see.

K: But in talking now, do you get more of the intensity of it? Not because I feel intense, that's a totally different thing, that then becomes influence and all that. But in talking about something we open a door.

Dr B: Yes. I think that my particular conditioning has a great deal in it to resist this notion of mystery, although I think that science is now going in a wrong direction.

K: But even the scientists admit that there is a mystery.

Dr B: Yes, to some extent. The general view is that it could be eventually cleared up.

K: Cleared up in the sense of explained away.

Dr B: My own feeling is that every particular scientific explanation will be a certain part of this field of reality, and therefore will not clear away the mystery.

K: No, but it clears it away because I listen to you explaining everything, and then I say, "There is nothing".

Dr B: That is the main point of distinguishing between truth and reality, because we could say, in the field of reality we may explain more and more broadly without limit.

K: That is what the present day Communists are doing.

Dr B: Not only the Communists. K: Of course not, I'm taking that as an example.

Dr B: I think you could say, anything in the field of reality can be explained, we can penetrate more deeply and broadly, there is limitless progress possible. But the essence is not explained.

K: No, I am asking a different question, I'm asking you, in talking like this, do you have an intimation of that mystery. Being a scientist, a serious person, perhaps you had an intimation long ago. In talking now, do you feel it's no longer an intimation but a truth?

Dr B: Yes, it is a truth.

K: So it's no longer an intimation?

Dr B: I think it's been a truth for some time now. Because it's implied in what we have been doing here at Brockwood.

K: Yes. You see there is something interesting: the truth of that mystery makes the mind completely empty, doesn't it ? it's completely silent. Or because it is silent, the truth of that mystery is.

I don't know if I'm conveying anything. When the mind is completely silent, not in use, not meditated upon, and because it has put order in reality it is free from that confusion, there is a certain silence, the mind is just moving away from confusion. Realizing that is not silence, not moving away from that realization but staying with it, means negating that which order has produced.

Dr B: You say, first you produce order. Why is it necessary to produce the order first and then negate it?

K: To negate is silence.

Dr B: This is why it has to take place in that sequence. K: Because when I remove disorder there is a certain mathematical order, and as a result of that order my mind is quiet.

Dr B: You say that is not a true silence.

K: No. Realizing that is not true silence I negate the false silence, for the moment. So in the negation of that silence I don't want any other silence. There is no movement towards greater silence. Then this total silence opens the door to that. That is, when the mind, with all the confusion, is nothing - not a thing - then perhaps there is the other.

Truth and Actuality

Part 1, Discussions With David Bohm

Truth and Actuality Part I Chapter 3 6th Discussion with Prof. David Bohm Brockwood Park 28th May 1975 'The Seed of Truth'

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