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Wholeness of Life

Longer, Unedited Versions

3rd Conversation with Dr Bohm & Dr Shainberg Brockwood Park 18th May 1976 'Transformation of Man'

Krishnamurti: Shall we start where we left off? We were asking, weren't we, why do human beings live this way?

Dr Shainberg: What is the root?

K: The turmoil, the confusion, the sorrow behind it all, conflict, violence. And so many people offering different ways of solving the problems: the Asiatic gurus, and the priests all over the world, and the new books, you know, everybody offering a new solution, a new method, a new way of solving the problems. And I am sure this has been going on for a million years. "Do this and you will be all right. Do that you'll be all right". But nothing seems to have succeeded to make man live in order, happily, you know, intelligently, without any of this chaotic activity going on. Why? Why can't human beings, so-called educated, knowing all the scientific knowledge, biology, sociology, everything is now open to every human being; why do we human beings live this way, in this appalling misery? Some of them are conscious, some of them are unconscious, some of them say, "Well, this is all right, it is only for a few years and I will die. It is a jolly good business and it doesn't matter" - so why? What is it? Why?

S: Well, I have often said they do it because the very sorrow, the very turmoil, the very problems themselves, is the security.

Dr Bohm: I don't really think so.

K: That doesn't...

B: No. I think people just get used to it. I mean they miss anything they are used to. I mean people get used to scrap fighting and they miss it when they don't have it. But that isn't the primary reason in my view.

S: What is the primary reason in your view?

B: Whatever happens you get used to it, and you come to miss it after a while just because you are used to it.

S: Yes.

B: But that doesn't explain why it is there.

K: I was reading the other day some writer saying, historically, five thousand years historically, there have been five thousand wars, thousands of people killed, millions killed, women crying - you follow - and still we are going on.

S: That's right. I have the same experience. One time I was working, and a guy said to me that he wanted to go to Vietnam to fight because otherwise his life was every night at the bar.

K: I know, but that isn't the reason. Why?

S: That's not the reason but there is something they hope for. We hold on to the conflict and the sorrow.

K: Is it that we like it?

S: It is not that we like it; it is almost that we like not liking it. It is a kind of orientation, a kind of, I know my conflict, I know what I am at.

K: Have we all become neurotic?

S: Yes. The whole thing is neurotic.

K: Are you saying that?

S: Yes. The whole society is neurotic.

K: Which means the entire humanity is neurotic?

S: I think so. I mean this is the argument we have all the time: is the society sick? And then if you say the society is sick, what is your judgement, what is the value you are using for comparison?

K: Which is yourself, who is neurotic.

S: Right.

K: So when you are faced with that, that human beings live this way and have accepted it for millennia; there have been saviours, there have been gurus, there have been teachers, there have been - you follow - and yet they go on this way. And you say, well, we are all half crazy, demented, from top to bottom, corrupt; and I come along and say, why?

S: Why do we do it.

K: Why?

S: Why do we keep it up. Why are we crazy? I have it with my children. I say to my children, this is a sick society. Look, they spend fifty hours a week in front of the television box. That is their whole life. My children, they laugh at me, all their friends are doing it.

K: No, moving beyond that, why?

S: Why? Without it, what?

K: No: not without it, what.

S: That is what we run into.

B: No, that is very secondary. You see I think we get to depend on it, as we were saying this morning, to occupy us and so on. And Vietnam would seem some release from the boredom of the pub, or whatever, but that is secondary.

K: And also when I go to Vietnam, or fight the war, all responsibility is taken away from me. Somebody else is responsible - the general.

S: Right.

B: In the old days people used to think that war would be a glorious thing, you see. When the war started in England everybody was in a state of high elation.

K: High, exactly.

B: They didn't know what was in store, you see.

K: And all united. Why?

S: Why?

K: Is it that we have started out on the wrong path? Is it the species don't kill themselves, you know the animal species, but we are the species that kill each other?

S: Right.

K: So looking at all this panorama of horror, the misery - I feel this very strongly because I travel all over the place and I see this extraordinary phenomena going on, in India, in America, here, everywhere, and I say why do people live this way, accept these things, read history and, you follow, it is no longer conceived. They have become cynical. It is all there.

S: That's right. They have become cynical.

B: Nobody believes anything can be done about it.

K: That's it.

S: That's it.

K: Is it that we feel that we cannot do anything about it?

S: That's for sure.

B: That's been an old story. People say human nature...

K: ...can never be altered.

B: Yes. I mean that is not new at all.

K: Not new.

S: But that's certainly true that people feel, or we feel - let's not say people - we feel, like I said this morning, this is the way it is, this is the way we live.

K: I know, but why don't you change it?

S: Why don't we change it.

K: You see your son looking at the television for fifty hours; you see your son going off to Vietnam, killed, maimed, blinded, for what?

S: Right.

K: Sorry! There have been pacifists, there have been war mongers.

S: Many people have said that we don't accept that human nature is this way, we will try to change it, and it didn't work. You know, so many people did that right thing. The communists tried it, the socialists tried it, some others tried it.

K: The utopians.

B: The utopians, and there has been so much bad experience, it all adds up to the idea that human nature doesn't change.

K: Doesn't change.

S: You know when Freud came along, Freud made his studies: he never said psychoanalysis is to change people. He said we can only study about people.

K: I am not interested in that. I know that. I don't have to read Freud, or Jung, or you, or anybody, it is there in front of me.

S: Right. So let's say - that's good. We know this. We know this fact about people and we also know the fact of the matter is they don't try to change.

K: So what is preventing them?

S: That is the question. They don't. That is another fact.

B: People have tried to change it in many cases, but...

S: OK. But now let's say that they don't try to change it.

K: They do. They go to Ashramas, a dozen ways they have tried to change.

S: Right.

K: But essentially they are the same.

B: You see I think people cannot find out how to change human nature. You see.

K: Is that it?

B: Well, I mean what ever methods have been tried are entirely...

S: Is that it? Or is it the fact that the very nature of the way they want to change it is part of the process itself?

K: That's what he is saying.

B: No, but I am saying both. I say the first point is that whatever people have tried has not been guided by an understanding, a correct understanding of human nature.

S: So it is guided by this very process itself. Right? The incorrectness?

B: Yes, let's take the Marxists who say that human nature can be improved, but only when the whole economic and politician structure has altered.

K: Altered.

S: Right.

B: Then...

K: They have tried to alter it but human nature stays the same.

B: ...they can't alter it, you see, because human nature is such that they can't really alter it.

K: Because class society, they started of no wars, you know...

S: But they are using a mechanical way to make a mechanical change.

K: Look at it, sir: you, take yourself - sorry to be personal, if you don't mind, you be the victim!

S: Pig in the middle!

K: Right. Why don't you change?

S: Well, I...

K: No, no. Don't give explanations.

S: Well, the feel of it is, the immediate feel of it is that there is still, I guess I shall have to say there is some sort of false security, the fragmentation, the immediate pleasures that are gotten from the fragmentation; in other words there is still that movement of fragmentation. That's how come there is not the change. There is not seeing the whole thing.

K: I mean, when you say that, are you saying: political action, religious action, social action, all separate, all fighting each other almost, and we are that.

S: Right.

K: Is that what you are saying?

S: Yes, I am saying that. I mean we keep getting something back from it, we get these immediate pleasure and failures, frustrations from...

K: There is a much deeper issue than that.

S: Some more. My immediate response is: why don't I change? What is it that keeps me from seeing the total? I don't know. I keep coming up with a kind of feeling that I am getting something. I keep getting something from not changing.

K: No. Is it the entity that wishes to change sets the pattern of change, and therefore the pattern is always the same under a different colour? I don't know if I am making myself clear?

S: Can you say it another way?

K: I want to change. And I plan out what to change, how to bring about this change.

S: Right.

K: The planner is always the same.

S: That's right.

K: But the patterns change.

S: That's right. Yes. I have an image of what I want.

K: No, the patterns change, but I, who want to change, create the patterns of change.

S: That's right.

K: Therefore I am the old and the patterns are new but the old is always conquering the new.

S: Right.

B: Now when I do that I don't feel that I am the old...

K: Of course.

B: ...but I am the new, I mean.

K: Of course.

S: Yes, I have got a new idea.

B: But I really don't feel that I am involved in that old stuff that I want to change.

K: Just now after lunch you were saying the Kabala, that thing, there is a new system.

B: Yes.

K: New, say if you study this you will be transformed.

S: That's right.

K: This has been said a hundred million times: do this and you will be transformed. They try to do it but the centre is always the same.

B: And each person who does it feels that it has never happened before.

K: Never before. Yes. My experience through that book is entirely different, but the experiencer is the same.

S: The same old thing, right.

K: I think that is one of the root causes of it.

S: Yes, yes.

B: It is a kind of sleight of hand trick whereby the thing which is causing the trouble is put into position as if it were the thing that is trying to make the change. You see it is a deception.

K: I am deceiving myself all the time by saying, I am going to change that, become that; then if it doesn't, and so on and so on. Is that it?

S: That begins to get at it.

K: No, no. Look at yourself and say, "Is that it?" You read - wait a minute - Hindu, or some book.

S: Right.

K: And say, yes, how true that is, I am going to live according to that. But the 'me' that is going to live according to that is the same old me.

S: Right, yes. That's right. We run into this, I think that all the systems, for instance, of therapy, with patients, for instance, the patient will say, the doctor is going to be the one who is going to help him. Right? And then when they see that their doctor is...

K: ...is like you.

S: ...is like you, or is not going to help you, they are supposed to get better, they are supposed to be well, but in fact they have never touched that central issue, which is that I thought that somebody could help me. So then they go to something else, and they go to something else - most of them go to another theory.

K: Another guru.

S: Another guru.

K: After all, they are all men too. Talking about a new guru, or an old guru - you follow - it is all the same old stuff.

S: You are really getting at the issue that the fact that the root is this belief that something can help you.

K: No, the root remains the same. Right? And we trim the branches.

B: I think the root is something we don't see because we put it in the position of the one who is supposed to be seeing.

K: Yes.

S: Say that another way.

B: It is a sort of conjuring trick. You see we don't see the root because the root is put into the position of somebody who would be looking for the root. I don't know if you see it.

K: Yes. The root says, I am looking for the root.

S: Right.

B: It is like the man who says, I am looking for my glasses, and he has got them on!

S: Or like that Sufi story: I am looking for the key - you know the story? - I am looking for the key over here because it is locked. You understand? The Sufi, the guy comes along and the guy is crawling around under the lamppost, and a guy comes along and says, "What are you doing there?" "I am looking for my key". And he said, "Did you lose it here?" "No, I lost it over there but there is more light over here".

B: We throw the light on the other part.

K: Yes, sir. So if I want to change, because I don't want to live that way, I don't want to follow anybody because they are all like the rest of the gang. I don't accept any authority in all this.

S: Yes.

K: Authority arises only when I am confused.

S: Right.

K: When I am in disorder.

S: That's right.

K: So I say, can I completely change at the very root?

B: Let's look at that because you are saying, well there seems confusion in the language because you say 'I'.

K: Confusion in the language, I know.

B: I mean it makes it hard because you say, "I am going to change", and it is not clear what I mean by 'I'.

K: The 'I' is the root.

B: The 'I' is the root, so how can I change?

K: That is the whole point.

B: You see, the language is confusing because you say, I have got to change at the root, you see, but I am the root.

K: Yes.

B: So what is going to happen?

S: What is going to happen, yes.

K: No, no. How am I not to be I?

S: That's the question.

B: Well, what do you mean by that?

S: How am I not to be I. Let's role it back a second. You state you are not going to accept any authority.

K: Who is my authority? Who? They have all told me, "Do this, do that, do the other. Read this book and you will change. Follow this system, you will change. Identify yourself with god, you will change". But I remain exactly as I was before: in sorrow, in misery, in confusion, looking for help, and I choose the help which suits me most.

S: Can we stop here for a minute? What would you say - now I mentioned something about psychiatry here, and I'd like to get something straight if we can. There is this whole theory, and gurus have it, they don't talk about it, but they have it, and there is in all psychiatry and so forth, there is the theory that if I go along with the authority to where I see my addiction to authority then I free myself from the authority. You know that?

K: Yes. All right. The communists say, "Freedom comes at the end of good discipline. And discipline is what I tell you".

S: Right.

B: Yes.

S: Right. In other words by giving myself over I will discover my error. Now what do you want to say about that?

B: Isn't that obvious.

S: Right. It is obvious that I am doing the same thing, and then I see the failure of this authority, but you see there is a thesis there. That if I see the particular of my following authority, then I will see the universal in the root.

B: Yes, but why do you have to follow the authority to see authority? You see this is one of the questions. You see, do you have to deceive yourself in order to understand self-deception? I mean, do you say first, I deceive myself and then I look through it and I see through self-deception and I am free of it?

S: That is exactly it.

B: But I mean that is absurd because when you are deceiving yourself you don't know what you are doing. It is too late. If you don't truly deceive yourself, what is the point? But if you truly deceive...

K: Is it possible for a human being to change at the very root of his being? They have tried different ways, different, you know, Zen - you follow - ten, umpteen different ways they have tried to change man: rewarding him, punishing him, promising him. Nothing has changed, brought about this miraculous change. And it is a miraculous change.

S: It would be, yes, yes.

K: It is. Everyone promises: do this, do that, do the other.

S: Right.

K: And I, a man like we, comes along and says, look, I don't want to accept any authority.

S: Right.

K: Because you have misguided everybody - all the authorities.

S: Authority...

K: ...in itself is disorder.

S: Right.

K: Authority exists because human beings are in disorder. The disorder has created them, not clarity, not compassion, not something entirely different. It is the disorder that has created them. So why should I follow them? Though they promise, do this, discipline yourself according to this way and ultimately you will be free. I reject all that. Not intelligently but because I see it; it isn't a cantankerous rejection; it is a reasonable, sane rejection. So how do I proceed? I have got fifty years to live, I don't know what the future may be. I'll find out, but I have got fifty years to live probably. What is the correct action?

S: What is the correct action to live properly?

K: That's all. That's all. To be sane.

S: To be sane.

K: Not to be neurotic. Who is going to tell me? The communists? Marx? Lenin? Mao? The Pope? Or the local priest? Who is going to tell me? Because they don't act rightly either.

S: We have a whole group of people who don't say that they will tell you, we have a whole group of people who say, see how you follow me and see, if you follow me, see your tendency to follow me.

K: Yes, yes.

B: I understand that.

S: And then the same business of self-deception.

B: To see through that.

S: To see through your own self deception.

B: That is really an impossible trick you see, because if you say, follow me and deceive yourself, then you must genuinely deceive yourself, and you can't, you see.

S: That is right. The thesis is that if you deceive yourself you will see your own tendency to self-deception, which you don't see.

B: But that must be authority because it doesn't make sense to say that if I deceive myself I am going to see through deceiving myself. I mean the whole point of self-deception is that if I am really doing it right I don't know what I am doing.

S: Right.

B: Therefore how do you guarantee to me that I can see through self-deception by deceiving myself?

S: Because I am going to show you through - I am not going to participate. I am going to here, and you are going to deceive yourself and then you can see this authority in action, the way you need authority.

K: You are talking of group therapy.

S: I am talking about a kind of psychotherapy.

K: Psychotherapy.

B: You see, why do I need to go through all that to see self-deception? You see it is not clear.

S: No, it is not clear. But that is the only way. You are so desperately in need.

B: Yes.

S: You need me desperately.

K: I don't need you.

S: No, but he does.

K: That is fundamentally wrong.

B: I am accepting authority. Right?

S: Yes, but he is fundamentally wrong. Here he is, he is fundamentally wrong.

K: Tell him that. Tell him that.

S: You are fundamentally wrong, did you hear me?

K: No. Don't allow him to appeal to you.

S: Don't play along in this authority?

K: I can't help you.

S: I can't help you.

K: Because I am like you.

B: Then I'll take my trade elsewhere!

S: You'll go somewhere else.

K: So if everybody said, "I can't help you", you have to do it yourself, look at yourself, then the whole thing is beginning to act.

S: Right. But the whole thing doesn't work like that. There are a lot of people who will be willing to deceive themselves for two dollars.

K: So we know they are all neurotic people.

S: Right.

K: Here is a man who says, "I am neurotic. I won't go to any other of neurotic to become sane". I know. What does he do? He doesn't accept any authority, because I have created out of my disorder the authority.

B: Yes, well that is merely the hope that somebody knows what to do, you see.

K: Yes.

B: Because I feel this chaos is too much for me and I just assume that somebody else can tell me what to do. But that comes out of this confusion.

S: Yes, the disorder creates the authority.

B: The authority, yes.

K: In the school I have been saying: if you behave properly there is no authority. The behaviour we have all agreed to - punctuality, cleanliness, this or that. If you really see it, you have no authority.

S: Yes, I see that. That I think is a key point: that the disorder itself creates the need for authority.

K: Look what has happened in India. Mussolini is a perfect example.

B: It doesn't actually create a need for authority. It creates among people the impression that they need authority to correct the disorder, you see. That would be more exact.

K: Right.

B: Because the authority they don't need at all because it is just destructive.

S: Right, right.

K: So let's start from there. I reject all this - being not insane. In the rejection of authority I have become very sane, I am beginning to become sane.

S: Right.

K: So I say, now I know I am neurotic, as a human being, I say I know, now what shall I do? What is the correct action in my life? Can I ever find it, being neurotic?

S: Right.

K: I can't. So I won't ask what is the right action. I will say, now can I free my mind, the mind, from being neurotic, is it possible? I won't go to Jerusalem, I won't to - you follow - to Rome, I won't go to any authority - Park Avenue, doctors, nobody.

S: Right.

K: Because I am very serious now. I am deadly serious because that is my life.

B: But then you see you have to be so serious because then you say in spite of the immense pressure to escape...

K: I won't.

B: ...you won't. But I am saying that one will feel at this juncture that there will probably be an intense pressure towards escape, saying this is too much.

K: No. No, sir. You see what happens?

S: What happens?

K: When I reject authority I have much more energy.

S: Tremendous energy.

B: Yes, if you reject authority.

K: Because I am now concentrated to find out.

S: That's right. That is what happens.

K: I am not looking to anybody.

S: That's right. In other words then I have to be really open to 'what is', that is all I have got.

K: So what shall I do?

S: When I am really open to 'what is'?

K: Not open. Here I am, here is a human being, caught in all this, what shall he do? No authority, knowing social discipline is immoral. Right?

S: Then there is intense alertness.

K: No. Tell me. Tell me, you are a doctor, tell me what I am to do. I reject you.

S: Right.

K: Because you are not my doctor, you are not my authority.

S: Right.

K: You don't tell me what to do because you are confused.

S: Right.

K: So you have no right to tell me what to do.

K: So I come to you as a friend...

S: Right.

K: ...and say, let's find out. Because you are serious and I am serious.

S: That's right.

K: Let's see how...

S: ...we can work together.

K: No, no, be careful. I am not working together.

S: You are not going to work together?

K: No. We are together investigating.

S: OK we won't call it that. We are investigating together.

K: No, no. Working together means co-operation.

S: Right.

K: I am not co-operating. I say, you are like me. What are we going to co-operate with?

S: You don't want to co-operatively investigate?

K: No, no. Because you are like me.

S: That's right.

K: Confused, miserable, unhappy, neurotic.

S: Right, right.

K: So I say, well why should we, how can we co-operate? We can only co-operate in neuroticism.

S: That's right. You mean we will collude essentially to deceive ourselves. So what are we going to do?

K: So can we investigate together?

S: That is a very interesting question. Can we? How can we both investigate together if we are both neurotic?

K: No. So I say, look, I am going to first see in what ways I an neurotic.

S: OK. Let's look at it.

K: Yes, look at it. In what way am I neurotic, a human being, who comes from New York, or Tokyo, or Delhi, or Moscow, or wherever it is. He says, I know I am neurotic, society is neurotic, the leaders are neurotic, and I am the world and the world is me. So I can't look to anybody. Do you see what it does?

S: It puts you straight up there in front.

K: It gives you a tremendous sense of integrity.

S: Right. You have got the ball in your hands, now run with it.

K: Now can I - I being a human being - can I look at my neuroticism? Is it possible to see my neuroticism? What is neuroticism? What makes me neurotic? All the things that are put into me - into me in the sense of the me that has collected all this, which makes the me. Can my consciousness empty all that?

S: Your consciousness is that though.

K: Of course.

B: Is it only that?

K: For the moment I am limiting it to that.

S: That is my consciousness. The proliferation of my fragmentation, my thought is my neuroticism. What am I going to do with this, what am I going to do here, what am I going to get this, or do there, or how am I going to - I mean this me is made out of the proliferation of these fragments. Isn't that right?

K: Of course. But also it means it is a tremendous question, you follow. Can I, can the consciousness of man, which began five, ten million years ago, with all the things that have been put into it, generation after generation, generation after generation, from the beginning until now; we are asking all that is neurotic, old boy, all that is a fragmented collection: can you take one at a time and look at it? Or can you take the whole of it and look at it? I don't know if I am?

S: Yes. Can you take the whole of it and look - that's not clear. How can you take the whole of it and look at it?

B: It seems a waste, a language problem there because you say you are that, how are you going to look at it?

K: I'll show you in a minute. We'll go into it.

B: I mean it is a difficulty stating it.

K: I know, stating it. It is a verbal - you know, the words are wrong.

B: Right, the words are wrong.

S: The words are made by this very system.

B: So we shouldn't take these words too literally.

K: Too literally, of course.

B: Could we say that the words can be used flexibly?

S: Right. Now that's a good point.

K: No, the word is not the thing.

S: That's right. The word is not the thing but the word points at something much bigger than itself.

K: No. The word is not the thing. It may be the big thing or the little thing but the word is not that.

B: No, but we are using words and the question is how are we to understand them. You see they are in some way an...

K: ...an impediment and...

B: ...in some way a clue to what we are talking about. It seems to me, you see, that one trouble with the words is the way we take them. We take them to mean something very fixed, like say...

K: ...this chair.

B: ...this is exactly a chair. My consciousness is just so, you see. I am the neurosis, therefore we take it very fixed.

K: It is moving.

B: Yes, it is moving. It is changing, therefore you can't just exactly say I am the neurosis or I am not the neurosis.

K: It is constantly in flux.

B: Right.

S: But he is saying something bigger which is the fact that the very thing that we are investigating is the way we use words as the thing is the very movement that we are investigating. That is the consciousness.

K: That's it. Would you repeat that once more?

S: Yes. That the very act of the word being seen as the thing by consciousness, that very movement is the thing we must investigate.

B: Yes.

S: That is...

K: Now, can you look at it without the word? Is that possible? The word is not the thing. The word is a thought. And as a human being I realize I am neurotic - neurotic in the sense that I believe, I live in conclusions, in memories, which are all neurotic processes.

S: In words.

K: In words. Words, pictures and reality. I believe.

S: That is how you live.

K: My belief is very real, it may be illusory - all beliefs are illusory, but because I believe so strongly they are real to me.

S: Right.

B: Right.

S: They are very real to you.

K: Very. So can I look at the nature of the belief, how it arose, look at it?

S: Look at how I am living in the world in which I am trapped by the belief that the word is the thing. Look at that movement.

K: Don't expand that. I understand that. You have got a belief, haven't you?

S: Oh,yes.

K: Now look at it. Can you look at it?

S: I saw, I mean this morning we were talking about the fact that the belief is doctor, word, thing.

K: Don't expand it. Can you look at that fact that you have a belief? Whatever it is, god, the State is the most important, or whatever.

S: Right.

K: Marxist is nearest god, or Mao and so on and so on.

S: But I believe it is true.

K: No, no. Can you look at that belief?

S: As a belief and not as a fact.

K: Ah, no. It is a reality to you when you believe in it. Go to a Catholic or a Hindu, or a Marxist...

S: Right. But how am I going to look at it if I really believe it? In other words, look: I say there is a god.

K: Right.

S: Right. Now you are telling me to look at my belief in the god.

K: Why do you believe? Who asked you to believe? What is the necessity of god? Not that I am an atheist, but I am asking you.

S: God is there for me, if I believe.

K: Then there is no investigation, you have stopped. You have blocked yourself. You have shut the door.

S: That's right. So how are we going to - well you see we have got such beliefs.

K: Ask him.

B: What?

K: We have tried hundreds of times to show somebody who has a very strong belief, he says, what are you talking about? This is reality.

B: That's right. That is the thing of how our word becomes reality. Can we investigate that?

S: How can we get at this? Because I think we have loads of these unconscious beliefs that we don't really shake: like the belief in the me.

K: He is asking some other question.

B: How thought, the word, becomes the sense of reality, you see.

K: Why words have become reality.

B: You see I think a deeper question is, how the mind sets up the sense of reality, do you see. I mean if I look at things I may think they are real, sometimes mistakenly, you know, that's an illusion but you know, even with objects you can say a word and it seems real when you describe it that way. And therefore in some way the words sets up in the brain a construction of reality. Then everything is referred to that construction of reality.

S: How are we to investigate that?

K: What created that reality? Would you say everything that thought has created is a reality, except nature?

B: Thought didn't create nature.

K: No, of course not.

B: Can't we put it that thought can describe nature.

K: Yes, thought can describe nature, poetry and all the rest of it.

B: And also imagination.

K: Imagination and all the rest of it. Can we say thought, whatever it has put together is reality? The chair, the table, all these electric lights; nature it hasn't created but it can describe it.

B: And also make theories about it.

K: Make theories and all the rest of it. And also the illusion it has created is a reality.

S: Right.

B: But isn't it to a certain extent, this construction of reality has its place because you see if I feel that the table is real although the brain has constructed it, it is OK. But at some stage we construct realities that are not there, you see. We can see this sometimes in the shadows on a dark night, constructing realities that are not there.

K: That there is a man there.

B: Yes. You see and also tricks and illusions are possible by conjurors and so on. But then it goes further and we say that mentally we construct a psychological reality, which seems intensely real, very strong. But it seems to me the question is: what is it that thought does to give that sense of reality, to construct reality? Can we watch that?

K: What does thought do to bring about, to create that reality?

S: Yes. You mean like if you talk to someone who believes in god, they say to you that is real, that it is really there, it is not a construction. And if you talk to somebody who really believes in their self, I mean I have talked to many people and you have been talking to the psychotherapists, they say the self is real, that it exists, it is a thing. I mean you heard a man once say, a psychotherapist say to Krishnaji, "We know the ego exists. we have got a theory, it exists".

B: Well, it is not only that you see, but I think people have felt its reality and what happens is that the illusion builds up very fast; once you construct the reality also its events are referred to it as if they were coming from that reality. You see, and it builds up a tremendous structure, a cloud around it of support.

S: Right. So how am I to investigate my reality making a mechanism of it?

K: We have got five minutes more. So let's come to it. What are we doing now?

S: We are moving. It's moving.

K: What are we doing? We have said no authority, nobody can say to another, "This is the right thing to do", because we are trying to find out what is the correct action in life. I can only find that out if there is no disorder in me. Right? Me is the disorder.

S: Right. That's right.

K: However real that me is, that is the source of disorder.

S: Right.

K: Because that separates, that divides - me and you, and we and they, and my nation, my god - me.

S: Right.

K: Now we are asking: with its consciousness, can that consciousness be aware of itself? - aware like thought thinking.

B: Thinking about itself?

K: Put it very simply: can thought be aware of its own movement?

B: Yes.

S: That's the question.

B: That's the question. It could be say, self reference of thought, thought understanding its own structure.

S: And its own movement. But is that thought that is aware of itself? Or is it something else?

K: Try it! Try it!

S: Try that.

K: Do it now - four minutes you have!

S: Right.

K: Do it now. Whether you can be aware - not you - whether your thought can be aware of itself, of its movement.

(Long pause)

B: It stops.

K: What does that mean?

S: It means what it says: it stops, that it can't be. With the sense of the observation of thought, thought stops.

K: No, don't put it that way.

S: How would you put it?

K: It is undergoing a radical change.

B: So the word thought is not a fixed thing.

K: No.

B: The word thought does not mean a fixed thing. But it can change.

K: That's right.

B: In perception.

K: You have told me, and other scientists have told me, in the very observation through a microscope of the object, the object undergoes a change.

B: In the quantum theory the object cannot be fixed apart from the act of observation.

S: This is true with patients in psychoanalysis. Being with the patient they change automatically.

K: Forget the patient, you are the patient!

S: I am the patient, right. It changes.

K: What takes place when thought is aware of itself? You know, sir, this is an extraordinarily important thing.

B: Yes.

K: That is, can the doer be aware of his doing? Can I move this vase from here to there, can I be aware of that moving?

S: Yes.

K: I can physically. That is fairly simple.

S: Right.

K: I stretch out the arm and so on and so on.

S: Yes.

K: But is there an awareness of thought which says, "Yes, thought is aware of itself, its movement, its activity, its structure, its nature, what it has created, what it has done in the world, the misery, and all the rest of it"?

S: Is there an awareness of the doing of the brain? Let me ask you something? Why do you think you can be aware of...

K: It's time.

S: I want to save that question for tomorrow. The question is: when you are aware of your movement of the vase, it doesn't stop. But when you are aware of the movement of the brain it does stop. Isn't that interesting?

B: The irrelevant thoughts stop.

Wholeness of Life

Longer, Unedited Versions

3rd Conversation with Dr Bohm & Dr Shainberg Brockwood Park 18th May 1976 'Transformation of Man'

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