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Wholeness of Life

Longer, Unedited Versions

4th Conversation with Dr Bohm & Dr Shainberg Brockwood Park 19th May 1976 'Transformation of Man'

Krishnamurti: You know I don't think we answered yesterday the question: why human beings live the way the are living. I don't think we went into it sufficiently deeply. Did we answer it?

Dr Shainberg: We got to the point, we never answered that question. I left here feeling our discussion...

K: I was thinking about it last night, I mean this morning rather, and it struck me that we hadn't answered it fully. We went into the question of can thought observe itself.

S: Right.

Dr Bohm: Right, yes.

K: But I think we ought to answer that question.

B: But I think that what we said was on the way to answering it. I mean it was relevant to the answer.

K: Yes, relevant. But it is not complete.

S: No, it's not complete, it doesn't really get hold of that issue: why do people live the way they do, and why don't they change? Why, knowing this, they don't change.

K: Yes. Could we go into that a little bit before we go on?

S: Well, you know my immediate answer to that question was that they like it; we came up against that and then pulled away.

K: I think it is much deeper than that, don't you? Because what is involved, if one actually transformed one's conditioning, the way one lives, economically, you might find yourself in a very difficult position.

S: Right.

K: And also it is going against the current.

S: That's right.

K: Completely against the current.

B: Are you saying that it might lead to a certain objective insecurity.

K: Objective insecurity.

B: It is not merely a matter of the imagination.

K: No, no, actual insecurity.

B: Yes, you see because a lot of things we are discussing yesterday, was some illusion of security or insecurity. In addition there is some genuine...

K: ...genuine insecurity.

B: ...insecurity.

K: And also doesn't it imply you have to stand alone.

S: Definitely, you would be in a new - I mean, you would be in a totally different position.

K: No, because it is like completely - not isolated - away from the stream. And that means you have to be alone, psychologically alone; and whether human beings can stand that.

S: Well certainly this other is completely to be together.

K: That is herd instinct, which all these totalitarian people use, and also everything is together: be together, with people, don't be alone.

S: Be like them, be with them - it is all based on competition in some way: I am better than you.

K: Of course, of course. It is all that.

B: Well, it is unclear because in some sense we should be together but...

K: Of course.

B: ...society, it seems to me, is giving us some false sense of togetherness which is really fragmentation.

K: Quite right.

B: But it is called being together.

K: Right.

B: It makes you feel that way.

K: So would you say the reason, one of the main reasons, that human beings don't want to radically transform themselves is that they are really frightened not to belong to a group, to a herd, to something definite, which implies standing completely alone? And I think from that aloneness you can only co-operate; not the other way round.

S: Certainly. I mean empirically people don't like to be different, and that we know.

K: You must have seen on the television Chinese boys training, the Russians, all the eastern satellite people, all of them training, training, never alone.

S: Right.

B: Yes.

K: I once talked to an FBI man. He came to see me and he said, "Why is it that you walk alone all the time? Why are you so much alone? I see you among the hills walking alone, and why?" You follow? He thought it was very disturbing.

B: Well, I think that even anthropologists find that in the more primitive people, the sense of belonging to the tribe is even stronger, they feel completely lost, their entire psychological structure depends on being in the tribe.

K: And I think that is one of the reasons why we don't want to - we are frightened. After all, cling to the misery that you already know, than come into another kind of misery that you don't know.

S: That's right. But there is a whole action/reaction scheme. That is, by being with others...

K: ...You are safe.

S: ...you are safe. And I mean it even goes further: there is an action. It is almost as if you could say that being with others is the off-shoot of always living from, you're this, I compare myself with you and therefore, I am together with you, is the afterthought. In other words, that is part of the circle.

B: Even if you leave off comparison, there is something deeper in the sense that people feel this togetherness, this sense of belonging to a group, you know even if they are not comparing, they just feel it is safe, they will be taken care of, like their mother may have taken care of them, and that you are sort of gently supported, and that fundamentally it will be all right because the group is large, it is wise, it knows what to do. I think there is a feeling like that, rather deep. The church may give that feeling.

K: Yes. You have seen those animal pictures? They are always in herds.

B: Yes.

S: Except the mountain lion. Did you ever read about the lion? There have been some studies done by this fellow Shaller, in which he shows that always in lion groups there is always one who goes off alone.

K: Yes, I have read about that.

S: You have read about that?

K: Yes, I have heard about it.

B: Anyway the cats are not humans.

K: The feeling of aloneness is much more, it has got a great deal in it. It isn't just isolation.

S: Right, right.

B: I was asking, now people are seeking that sense, that from the group you have some support from the whole.

K: Of course.

B: Now, isn't it possible that you are discussing an aloneness in which you have a certain security? You see, that people are seeking in the group a kind of security, it seems to me, that can arise actually in aloneness.

K: Yes, that is right. In aloneness you can be completely secure.

B: I wonder if we could discuss that because it seems there is an illusion there: people sense that you might feel that you should have a sense of security.

K: Quite right.

B: And they are looking for it in a group, the group being representative of something universal.

K: The group is not the universal.

B: It isn't, but it is the way we think of it.

K: Of course.

B: The little child thinks the tribe is the whole world, you know.

K: I mean a human being as he lives this way, if he transforms himself he becomes alone, he is alone. That aloneness is not isolation and therefore it is a form of supreme intelligence.

B: Yes, but could you go into that a little further about it not being isolation, because at first when you say alone, the feeling that I am here, entirely apart. Right?

K: It is not apart, no.

B: But that is...

S: What do you think it is that a person experiences? I think there is one part of it that people, all people, seem to gravitate, like they have to be together, they have to be like other people. What would change that? That is one question. What would change anybody from that? And second of all: why should anybody change from that? And third: what would such a person experience when they are alone? They experience isolation.

K: I thought we dealt with that fairly thoroughly the other day. That is, after all when one realizes the appalling state of the world, and oneself, the disorder, the confusion, the misery and all the rest of it, and when one says there must be a total change, a total transformation, he has already begun to move away from all that.

S: Right. But here he is altogether, being together.

K: No. Being together, what does it really mean?

S: I mean being in this group.

K: Yes, what does it really mean?

S: Being together is different from this having to be...

K: No. Identifying oneself with the group, and remain with the group, what does it mean? What is involved in it?

S: That's right. What is involved in it? I think one of the things that is involved in it, is what I said before, it sets up this comparison.

K: No, no, apart from all that superficiality, what is involved in it? The group is me. I am the group.

S: Right, right.

K: Therefore it is like co-operating with myself.

B: Well, I think you could say like Descartes said, I think, therefore I am. Meaning that I think implies that I am there. You say I am in the group, therefore I am. You see if I am not in the group where am I? You see?

K: Yes.

B: In other words, I have no being at all. That is really the condition of the primitive tribe, for most of the members anyway. And there is something deep there because I feel that my very existence, my being psychologically, is implied in being first in the group. The group has made me, everything about me has come from the group. I say I am nothing without the group.

K: Yes, quite right. I am the group, in fact.

S: Right, right.

B: And therefore if I am out of the group I feel everything is collapsing. That seems to me deeper than the question of competing: who is the chief, or who is the big shot.

S: Right.

B: That is a secondary affair.

S: Well, except I wasn't really saying that that was important so much as I was saying that the very action - what I am trying to get at is some of the moment to moment experiences of being in the group, which is occupied.

B: Could I say that the more striking thing is what happens when a person is taken out of the group and he feels lost, you see. In other words, all that stuff seems unimportant because he doesn't know where he is.

S: Right, right. He doesn't know, he has no orientation or anything.

B: To life, or to anything.

S: Right.

B: And therefore you see that might be the greatest punishment that the group could make, to banish him.

K: Yes, they used to do that.

S: Oh, yes.

K: Look what is happening in Russia: when there is a dissenter he is banished.

S: Right, right.

K: Solzhenitsyn and all those people are against the group.

S: Right. Right.

B: Because such a banishment sort of robs them of his being, it is almost like killing him, you see.

K: Of course. I think that is where it is, that the fear of being alone. Alone is translated as being isolated from all this.

B: Right. Could we say from the universal?

K: Yes, from the universal.

B: It seems to me you are implying that if you are really alone, genuinely alone, then you are not isolated from the universe.

K: Absolutely. On the contrary.

B: That is what he is saying. And therefore we have to be free of this false universal first.

S: This false identification with the group.

B: Identification of the group as the universal, you see. Treating the group as if it were the universal support of my being, or something.

S: Right, right. Now there is something more to that. What is being said is that by the localised identification that I am the group, that me, that false security is dropped, then one is opened up to the participation in...

K: No, there is no question of participation; you are the universe.

S: You are that.

B: You see as a child I felt that, I was in a certain town, and I felt that was the whole universe, then I heard of another town beyond that which felt almost beyond the universe. That must be the ultimate limit of all reality, you see. So that the idea of going beyond that would not have occurred to me. (Laughter) And I think that is the way that the group is treated, you see. We know abstractly it is not so but the feeling you have, it is like the little child.

K: Therefore is it that human beings love, or hold on to their own misery, confusion, and all the rest of it because they don't know anything else?

B: Yes.

K: The known is so far, then the unknown.

S: Right. Right, yes, yes.

K: Now to be alone implies, doesn't it, to step out of the stream.

S: Of the known.

K: Step out of the stream of this utter confusion, disorder, sorrow and despair, hope, travail, all that, to step out of all that.

S: Right.

K: And if you want to go much deeper into that: to be alone implies, doesn't it, not to carry the burden of tradition with you at all.

B: Tradition being the group, then.

K: Group; tradition also being knowledge.

B: Knowledge, but it comes basically from the group. Knowledge is basically collective.

K: Collective.

B: It is collected by everybody.

K: So to be alone implies total freedom. And when there is that great freedom it is the universe.

B: Could we go into that further because you see to a person who hasn't see this, you know, it doesn't look obvious.

S: Well, it doesn't look obvious. I think David is right there. To a person, to most people, I think, and I have tested this out recently, that the idea, or even the deep feeling, that you are the universe, that you don't have to do anything, that seems to be so...

K: Ah, sir, that is a most dangerous thing. That is a most dangerous thing to say. How can you say you are the universe when you are in total confusion? When you are unhappy, miserable, anxious, you follow, jealous, envious, all that, how can you say you are the universe? Universe implies total order.

B: Yes, the Cosmos in Greek meant order.

K: Order, of course.

B: And chaos was the opposite, you see.

K: Yes.

S: But I...

K: No, listen: universe, Cosmos, means order.

S: Right.

B: And chaos is what we are.

K: Chaos is what we live with.

S: That's right.

K: How can I think I have universal order in me? That is the good old trick of the mind which says, disorder is there, but inside you there is perfect order, old boy. That is an illusion. It is a concept which thought has put there and it gives me a certain hope, and therefore it is an illusion, it has no reality. What has actual reality is my confusion.

S: Right.

K: My chaos. And I can imagine, I can project a Cosmos.

S: Right.

K: But that is equally illusory. So I must start with the fact of what I am.

S: Right.

K: Which is I am in a chaos.

S: I belong to a group.

K: Chaos; chaos is the group.

S: Right.

K: They have political leaders, religious, you follow, the whole thing is a chaos. So to move away from that into Cosmos, which is total order means not that I am alone, there is a total order which is not associated with disorder, chaos. That is alone.

B: Yes, well can we go into that. Suppose several people are doing that, in that state, moving into Cosmos, into order out of the chaos of society.

K: That's right.

B: Now then, are they all alone?

K: No, of course.

B: We want to get it clear.

K: No, they don't feel alone there. There is only order.

B: Are there different people?

K: Sir, would you say, suppose - no, I can't suppose. We three are in Cosmos, there is only Cosmos, not you, Dr Bohm, Dr Shainberg and me.

B: Therefore we are still alone.

K: Which is, order is alone.

B: Because I looked up the word 'alone' in the dictionary; basically it is all one.

K: All one, yes, yes.

B: In other words there is no fragmentation.

K: Therefore there is no tree; and that is marvellous, sir.

S: But you jumped away there. We got chaos and confusion. That is what we have got.

K: So, as we said, to move away from that most people are afraid, which is to have total order. Alone, as he pointed out, is all one. Therefore there is no fragmentation, then there is Cosmos.

S: Right. But most people are in confusion and chaos. That is all they know.

K: So move. How do you move away from that? That is the whole question.

S: That is the question. Here we are in chaos and confusion, we are not over there.

K: No, because you may be frightened of that.

S: May be frightened of that.

K: Frightened of an idea of being alone.

S: How can you be frightened of an idea?

B: That is easy!

K: Aren't you frightened of tomorrow? Which is an idea.

S: OK. That is an idea.

K: So they are frightened of an idea which they have projected, which says, my god, I am alone, which means I have nobody to rely on.

S: Right, but that is an idea.

B: Well, let's go slowly.

S: Yes, this is very important.

B: We have said to a certain extent it is genuinely so. You are not being supported by society and all that. You do have a certain genuine danger because you have withdrawn from the nub of society.

K: Yes. If you are a Protestant in a Catholic country it becomes very difficult.

S: I think we are confused here. I really do, because I think if we have got confusion, if we have got chaos...

K: Not 'if', it is so.

S: It is so, OK. I go with you. Now you have got chaos and confusion, that is what we have got. Now if you have an idea about being alone while in chaos and confusion that is just another idea, another thought, another part of the chaos.

K: That is all.

S: Is that right?

K: That's right.

S: OK. Now that is all we have got, chaos and confusion.

B: We must watch the question of language because you see when you use the word 'all' it closes things. You see, in other words...

S: All right.

B: ...we were saying yesterday that language has to be more free in its usage, perhaps, and if you use this world 'all' you have to watch it.

S: All right. But we have this.

B: We have chaos.

S: OK. Now that is what we have. Now I have an idea, let me say what my idea is: that most people are let's say unaware, unwilling, don't believe in, don't know anything about this 'all one'.

K: I am not talking about that. We are not talking about that.

S: That's right, we don't have that.

K: No.

S: All we have got right now is chaos.

K: Sir.

B: Leave out the word 'all'.

S: OK. We have got chaos. (Laughter) Chaos.

K: Chaos. Now wait a minute: being in chaotic conditions, to move away from that they have the feeling that they will be alone.

S: Right.

B: A sense of isolated.

K: Isolated.

S: Right.

K: Isolated.

S: That's what I am getting at.

K: They will be lonely.

S: That's right.

K: Isolated.

S: That's right.

K: Of that they are frightened.

S: Not frightened, in terror.

K: Yes. Therefore they say, "I would rather stay where I am, in my little pond, rather than face isolation".

S: That's right.

K: And that may be one of the reason that human beings don't radically change.

S: That's right.

B: That's like this primitive tribe: the worst punishment is to be banished, you see, or isolated.

S: You don't have to go to a primitive tribe: I see people and talk to people all the time; patients come to me and say, "Look, Saturday came, I couldn't stand to be alone, I called up fifty people looking for somebody to be with."

B: Yes, that is much the same.

S: "I had to join this group".

B: It is much the same. I think it comes in a more simple and pure form there, when people just frankly admit it and they know that is the case, you see.

S: Right.

K: So that may be one of the reasons why human beings don't change. The other is we are so heavily conditioned to accept things as they are. We don't say to ourselves, "Why should I live this way?"

S: That is certainly true. We don't. We definitely are conditioned to believe that is all.

K: No.

B: Well, that is important. That is an explanation, we are conditioned to believe that is all that is possible, you see. But this word 'all' is one of the traps.

S: Maybe that is the very fact. Right.

B: You see if you say "this is all that can be", then what can you do?

K: Nothing, nothing.

B: You see that is the use of language. You see this way of using language may be changed, you see.

K: Quite right, sir.

S: It is the condition.

B: But the word 'all'...

K: That is what he is pointing out.

B: The word 'all', you see the word...

K: When you say, "This is all I know", you have already stopped.

S: Right, right.

B: Because what does the word 'all' do, you see. It closes.

K: It closes it.

B: This thing is all reality, you see. It's got to be real.

K: Yes, quite right.

B: One thing it turns an idea into reality because apparently it gives that sense of reality to the idea, because if you say that is all there is, then that has to be real, do you see? You get me?

S: Yes. I think that is a very good point. I mean that is very much like the points that we have been making where the very act of the thinking, that thought is complete, a thought becomes reality - that is also. So again the language itself is the condition.

K: So shall we say human beings don't radically transform themselves, they are frightened of being isolated from the group, banished from the group. That is one reason.

S: That's one reason.

K: And also traditionally we are so conditioned that we would rather accept things as they are; our misery, our chaos, all the rest of it, and not say, "For god's sake, let me change this".

S: Right.

B: Well, we have to get out of this conviction that the way things are is all that can be, you see.

K: Yes, that's right. You see the religions have pointed this out by saying there is another world: aspire to that. This is a transient world, it doesn't matter, live as best as you can in your sorrow, but hand over your sorrow to Jesus, or Christ, or somebody, and then you will be perfectly happy in the next world.

S: Right.

K: So the communists say there is no next world, but make the best of this world.

B: Well I think they would say that there is happiness in the future in this world, you see.

K: Yes, yes. Sacrifice your children for the future; which is exactly the same thing.

B: But it seems that it is sort of a transformation of the same thing: if we say we have this society as it is and we want to give it up but we invent something similar...

K: Yes, quite.

B: ...to go to.

S: We have to invent, it has to be similar if we are inventing it.

B: Yes, but it seems it is an important point, that there is a subtle way of not being alone.

K: Quite right.

S: You mean to go ahead and make it out of the old ideas?

B: Yes. To make heaven for the future.

K: So what will make human beings change, radically?

S: I don't know. I think that, well even the idea that you are suggesting here is that they say it can't be different, or it is all the same, that is part of the system itself.

K: Agreed.

S: All...

K: Agreed. Now wait a minute. May I ask you a question? Why don't you change? What is preventing you?

S: I would say that it is - oh, it's a tough question! I suppose the answer would be that - I don't have any answer!

K: Because you have never asked yourself that question. Right?

S: Not radically.

K: We are asking basic questions.

S: Right. I don't really know the answer to the question.

K: Now sir, move away from that, sir. Is it as our structure, as our whole society, all religions, all culture, is based on thought, and thought says, "I can't do this, therefore an outside agency is necessary to change me"?

S: Right.

K: Whether the outside agency is the environment, the leader, Hitler, this, or Stalin, or Mao, or somebody outside, or god. God is your own projection of yourself, obviously. And you believe in god, you believe in Mao, you believe, but you are still the same.

S: That's right. Right.

K: You may identify with the State and so on and so on, but you are still - the good old me is operating. So is it thought doesn't see its own limit? And know, realize it cannot change itself? Realize it. it.

B: Well, I think that something more subtle happens: thought loses track of something and it doesn't see that it, itself is behind all this.

K: Of course. We said that. Thought has produced all this chaos.

B: But thought doesn't really see, you know, abstractly. But I think you see it is in the bones.

S: What about the whole business that thought, what thought does in fact is that it communicates through gradual change.

K: That is all invention of thought.

S: Yes, but that is where I think the hook is.

K: No, sir, please sir, just listen.

S: Sure.

K: Thought has put this world together.

S: Right.

K: Technologically as well as psychologically. And the technological world is all right, leave it alone, we won't even discuss that. It would be too absurd.

S: Right.

K: So psychologically thought has built all this world in me and outside me - the churches, society and so on. And does thought realize it has made this mess, this chaos?

B: I would say that it doesn't. It tends to look on this chaos as independently existent, do you see.

K: But it is its bogey!

B: It is, but it is very hard for it to see that. You see we were discussing that at the end of the hour yesterday really.

K: Yes, really we are coming back to that.

B: This question of how thought gives a sense of reality. You see we were saying that technology deals with something that thought made but it is actually an independent reality once it is made.

K: Made; like the table, like those cameras.

B: But you could say that thought also creates a reality which it calls independent but isn't, you see. I thought of a good example, that is: the Corporation, you see...

K: Yes, yes.

B: You see people are there working for the Corporation, it makes money, it loses money, they strike against the Corporation and so on. But actually you could say, where is the Corporation? It is not in the buildings because...

K: They are part of it.

B: ...well anyway if all the people were gone the buildings would be nothing. And if the buildings all burnt down the Corporation would still exist, as long as people think it exists.

S: Right. And it pays taxes, the Corporation pays taxes, not the individuals.

K: So, does thought realize, see, aware that it has created this chaos?

S: No.

K: Why not? But you, sir, do you realize it?

S: I realize that...

K: Not you - does thought? You see! I have asked you a different question: does thought, which is you, thinking, does your thinking realize that the chaos it has created?

B: You see, thinking tends to attribute the chaos to something else; either to something outside, or to me who is inside. I mean at most I would say that I have done it, but then thinking is attributing, saying that I am doing the thinking. Do you see what I am driving at?

K: Yes, yes.

B: But there is something thinking. I was going to say it is like the Corporation, thinking has invented a sort of a Corporation who is supposed to be responsible for thinking. Do you understand? We could call it 'Thinking Incorporated'!

K: 'Thinking Incorporated' - quite, quite.

B: And you see the Corporation is supposed to be thinking.

S: Yes, yes.

B: So we attribute, we give credit for thought to this Corporation called me.

S: Yes.

K: Thought has created me.

B: Me, because...

S: Me is an Institution.

B: But also thought has said that me is not thought, but in reality it is.

K: Of course, of course.

B: You see thought treats the Corporation as if it were there, just standing like the buildings. It says it is a reality, it is not a mere... I think it is in this question of reality, you see, if you say there are certain realities which are independent of thought, there are certain things that are appearances, like if you are standing on a cliff looking at the ocean, you see all the play of light which is not independent reality but it is due to the sky, the sea, and me, you see, all interrelated.

K: Of course, of course.

B: So it is important to keep clear whether it is a reality that is dependent on this whole movement, or whether it stands self-generated, you know - independent. Thought is treating me as an independent reality.

K: Of course.

B: And thought is saying it is coming from me and therefore it doesn't take credit for what it does.

K: To me thought has created the me.

S: That's right.

K: And so the me is not separate from thought. It is the structure of thought.

S: Right, right.

K: The nature of thought that has made me.

S: Right.

K: Now: does thought, does your thinking, or does your thought realize this?

S: I would say, yes and no.

K: No, no.

S: In flashes it does.

K: No, not in flashes. You don't see that table in a flash, it is always there.

S: I think what actually happens though is that you see the act. If one can be really honest about this, completely true about it, what happens, what is the actuality of thought seeing this creation?

K: No. We asked a question yesterday, we stopped there: does thought see itself in movement?

S: Right.

K: The movement has created the me, created the chaos, created the division, created the conflict, jealousy, anxiety, fear and all that.

S: Right. Now what I am asking is another question: that yesterday we came to a moment where we said thought stops.

K: No, that is much later. Please just stick to one thing.

S: OK. Thought - what I am trying to get at is what is the actuality of thought seeing itself.

K: Tell me. You want me to describe it?

S: No, no, I don't want you to describe it. What I am trying to get at is what is my actuality. I mean what is the actuality that thought sees. And as I observe this - we get into language here, the problem of language - but it seems that thought sees and forgets.

K: No, no, please. I am asking a very simple question. Don't complicate it.

S: Right.

K: Does thought see the chaos it has created? That's all. Which means, is thought aware of itself as a movement? Not I am aware of thought. The I has been created by thought.

B: I think the question that is relevant is: why does thought keep on going? You see how does it sustain itself? Because as long as it sustains itself it does produce something like an independent reality, an illusion of one.

K: Why does thought...

B: Why does thought keep on going?

S: What is my relationship to thought?

K: You are thought. There is not a you related to thought.

B: That's the way when the language says there is, when it says, 'I am the entity who is doing, producing the thought'.

K: Of course, of course.

B: Which is to say, like General Motors says, "I am the Corporation which is producing automobiles".

S: Right. But look, look: you are right. The question is: I say to you, "What is my relationship to thought?", you say to me, "You are thought". In some way what you say is clear, but that is still what's coming from me, do you see? That is still the way thought is moving, to say it is my relationship to thought.

B: Well that's the point, you see. Can this very thought stop right now? Do you see.

K: Yes.

B: What is sustaining this whole thing, at this very moment, was the question I was trying to get at.

S: Yes, that's the question.

B: In other words, say we have a certain insight, but something happens to sustain the old process nevertheless right now.

K: That's right.

S: Right now thought keeps moving.

K: No, he asked, Dr Bohm asked a very good question which we haven't answered. He said why does thought move?

B: When it is irrelevant to moving.

K: Why is it always moving?

S; That's right.

K: So what is movement? Movement is time. Right?

S: That's too quick. Movement is time.

K: Obviously, of course.

B: But I think...

S: Movement is movement.

K: No, no. From here to there.

S: Right, just like that.

K: Yes, from here to there.

S: Right.

K: Physically, from here to London, from here to New York. And also psychologically from here to there.

S: Right.

K: I am this; I must be that.

S: Right. But a thought is not necessarily all that.

K: Thought is the movement. We are examining movement, which is thought.

S: Thought...

K: Look: if thought stopped there is no movement.

S: Yes, I know. This has to be made very clear.

B: I think there is a kind of step that might help, you see. To ask myself what is it that makes me go on thinking or talking. In other words, I often can watch people and see they are in a hole just because they keep on talking: if they would stop talking the whole problem would vanish. I mean it is just this flow of words, because what they say then comes out as if it were reality in them, and then they say, that is my problem, it is real, and I have got to think some more. I think there is a kind of a feedback. Suppose I say, 'Well, I have got a problem, I am suffering'.

S: You have got an 'I' though.

B: Yes. I mean I think that, you see, therefore I have a sense I am real. I am thinking of my suffering but in that it is implicit that it is I who is there, and that the suffering is real because I am real.

S: Right.

B: And then comes the next thought, which is: since that is real I must think some more.

S: Right.

B: Because if it were that would be the case.

S: It feeds on itself.

B: Yes. And then one of the things I must think, what is my problem, which is that I am suffering. And I am compelled to keep on thinking that thought all the time. Do you see? And maintaining myself in existence. Do you see what I am driving at? That there is a feedback.

K: Which means that as thought is movement, which is time, as there is no movement I am dead! I am dead.

B: Yes, if that movement stops, then the sense that I am there being real must go, because that sense that I am real is the result of thinking.

K: Do you see this is extraordinary.

S: Of course it is.

K: No, no, actually. In actuality, not in theory.

S: No, right.

K: One realizes thought as movement. Right?

S: Right.

K: There is not, "I realize thought as a movement", thought itself realizes it is a movement. It is in movement.

S: Right.

B: And in this movement it creates an image of...

K: Of me, or...

B: ...that is supposed to be moving.

K: Yes, yes.

S: Right.

K: Now when that movement stops there is no me. The me is the time, is time, put together by time, which is thought.

S: Right.

K: So do you, listening to this, realize the truth of it? Not the verbal logical truth, logical statement, but the truth of such an amazing thing?

Therefore there is an action entirely different from that. The action of thought as movement brings about a fragmentary action, a contradictory action. When the movement as thought comes to an end there is total action.

B: Can you say then that whatever technical thought comes about has an order?

K: Of course.

B: In other words it doesn't mean that thought is permanently gone.

K: No, no.

S: It can still be a movement in its proper place. In its fitting order. Right and proper.

K: Of course.

S: And it comes about. I mean the brain can still do that thing.

B: Yes.

K: So am I - not, am I - a human being, is he afraid of all this? Unconsciously, deeply, he must realize the ending of me. Do you understand? And that is really a most frightening thing: my knowledge, my books, my wife - you followthe whole thing which thought has put together. And you are asking me to end all that.

B: I mean, can't you say it is the ending of everything? Because everything that I know is in there.

K: Absolutely. So you see really I am frightened, a human being is frightened of death - not the biological death.

S: To die now.

K: Death of this coming to an end. And therefore he believes in god, reincarnation, a dozen other comforting things but in actuality when thought realizes itself as movement and sees that movement has created the me, the divisions, the quarrels, the political - the follow - the whole structure of the chaotic world, when thought realizes, it sees the truth of it and ends. Therefore it is in Cosmos. Then there is Cosmos. Now you listen to this: how do you receive it?

S: Do you want me to answer?

K: Receive it.

S: Receive it.

K: I offer you something. How do you receive it? This is very important.

S: Yes. Thought sees its movement...

K: No, no. How do you receive it? How does the public, who listens to all this, say how am I listening to this, what is he trying to tell me.

S: How?

K: He says I am not telling you anything. He says listen to what I am saying and find out for yourself whether thought as movement, in that movement it has created all this, both the technological world which is useful, which is necessary, and this chaotic world.

S: Right.

K: How do you receive, listen to it; or the public, another who is not here, listen to it? How do you listen to it? How do you? What takes place in you when you listen to it?

S: Panic.

K: No. Is it?

S: Yes.

K: Eh?

S: There is a panic about the death, a sort of fear of the death. There is a seeing, there is a sense of seeing and then there is a fear of that death.

K: Which means you have listened to the words, the words have awakened the fear.

S: Right.

K: But not the actuality of the fact.

S: I wouldn't say that. I think that is a little unfair. They awaken the...

K: I am asking you.

S: ...they awaken the actuality of the fact, and then there seems to be a very quick process. There is an actuality of the fact and there seems to be a silence, a moment of great clarity that gives way to a kind of feeling in the pit of the stomach where things are dropping out and then there is a kind of...

K: Withholding.

S: ...withholding, right. I think there is a whole movement there.

K: So you are describing humanity.

S: Yes, I am trying. Yes; no, I am describing me.

K: You are the humanity.

B: You are the same.

S: Right.

K: You are the viewer, the people who are listening.

S: Right. That's right. So there is a sense of what will happen tomorrow?

K: No, no. That is not the point. What will happen...

S: That is, I am telling you, that is the fear.

K: No. When thought realizes as a movement, and that movement has created all this chaos, total chaos, not just patchy, but complete disorder, when it realizes that, what takes place, actually? You are not frightened, there is no fear. Listen to it carefully: there is no fear. Fear is the idea brought about by an abstraction. You understand? You have made a picture of ending, and frightened of that ending.

S: You are right. You are right. There's stop...

K: There is no fear.

S: No fear, and then there is...

K: There is no fear when the actuality takes place.

S: That's right. When the actuality takes place there is silence.

K: With the fact there is no fear.

B: But as soon as the thought comes in...

K: That's right.

S: That's right. Now wait a minute, no don't go away. (Laughter) When thought comes in...

K: We have got two minutes more.

S: OK. Three minutes.

K: Go on.

S: The fact and the actuality, no fear.

K: Ah, that's right. That's it.

S: Right. But then thought comes in.

K: No. Then it is no longer a fact. You can't remain with the fact.

B: Well that is the same as to say that you keep on thinking.

K: Keep on moving.

B: Yes. Well I mean as soon as you bring thought in it is not a fact, that is an imagination or a fantasy which is felt to be real, but it is not so.

S: Right, no.

B: Therefore you are not with the fact any longer.

K: We have discovered something extraordinary: when you are faced with fact there is no fear.

S: Right.

B: So all fear is thought, is that it?

K: All. That's right.

S: That's a big mouthful here.

K: No. All thought is fear, all thought is sorrow.

B: That goes both ways: that all fear is thought, and all thought is fear.

K: Of course.

B: Except the kind of thought that arises with the fact alone.

S: I want to interject something right here, if we have got one second. And that is, it seems to me that we have discovered something quite important right here, and that is at the actual seeing, then the instant of attention is at its peak.

K: No. Something new takes place, sir.

S: Yes.

K: Something totally that you have never looked at, it has never been understood or experienced, whatever it is. There is a totally different thing happens.

B: But isn't it important that we acknowledge this in our thought, I mean in our language?

K: Yes.

B: As we are doing now. In other words, that if it happened and we didn't acknowledge it then we are liable to fall back.

K: Of course, of course.

S: I don't get you.

B: Well, we have to see it not only when it happens, but we have to see it happens and we have to say that it happens.

S: Well then are we creating a place to localise this, or not?

K: No, no. What he is saying is very simple. He is saying, does this fact, actuality, take place. And can you remain with that, can thought not move in but remain only with that fact. Sir, it is like saying: remain totally with sorrow, not move away, not say it should be, shouldn't be, how am I to get over it, self pity and all the rest of it, just totally remain with that thing, with the fact. Then you have an energy which is extraordinary.

S: Right.

K: Can you?

Wholeness of Life

Longer, Unedited Versions

4th Conversation with Dr Bohm & Dr Shainberg Brockwood Park 19th May 1976 'Transformation of Man'

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