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Author

JidduKrishnamurtiorJ.Krishnamurti,(May12,1895February17,1986)wasa
wellknownwriterandspeakeronfundamentalphilosophicalandspiritual
subjects,suchasthepurposeofmeditation,humanrelationships,andhowtoenact
positivechangeinglobalsociety.Attheageof34,hepubliclyrenouncedthefame
andmessiahstatushehadgainedfrombeingproclaimedthenewincarnationof
theMaitreyaBuddhabytheTheosophicalSociety,andspenttherestofhislife
publishingregularlyandholdingpublictalks,mostlyinSouthAsia,Europeand
theUnitedStates.Atage90headdressedtheUnitedNationsonthesubjectof
peaceandawareness,andwasawardedthe1984UNPeaceMedal.
KrishnamurtiwasbornintoaTeluguBrahminfamilyinMadanapalle,India,
andin1909metC.W.LeadbeaterontheprivatebeachattheTheosophicalSociety
headquartersatAdyarinMadras(nowChennai),India.Hewassubsequently
raisedunderthetutelageofAnnieBesantandC.W.Leadbeater,leadersofthe
Societyatthetime,whobelievedhimtobeavehicleforanexpectedWorld
Teacher.Asayoungman,hedisavowedthisideaanddissolvedaworldwide
organization(theOrderoftheStar)establishedtosupportit.Hespenttherestof
hislifetravelingtheworldasanindividualspeaker,speakingtolargeandsmall
groups,aswellaswithinterestedindividuals.Heauthoredanumberofbooks,
amongthemTheFirstandLastFreedom,TheOnlyRevolution,and
KrishnamurtisNotebook.Inaddition,alargecollectionofhistalksand
discussionshavebeenpublished.HislastpublictalkwasinMadras,India,in
January1986,amonthbeforehisdeathathomeinOjai,California.
Hissupporters,workingthroughseveralnonprofitfoundations,overseea
numberofindependentschoolscenteredonhisviewsoneducationinIndia,
EnglandandtheUnitedStatesandcontinuetotranscribeanddistributemanyof
histhousandsoftalks,groupandindividualdiscussions,andotherwritings,
publishingtheminavarietyofformatsincludingprint,audio,videoanddigital
formatsaswellasonline,inmanylanguages.
(Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiddu_Krishnamurti)

Chapter 1
Manhasthroughouttheagesbeenseekingsomethingbeyondhimself,beyond
materialwelfaresomethingwecalltruthorGodorreality,atimelessstate
somethingthatcannotbedisturbedbycircumstances,bythoughtorbyhuman
corruption.
Manhasalwaysaskedthequestion:whatisitallabout?Haslifeanymeaningat
all?Heseestheenormousconfusionoflife,thebrutalities,therevolt,thewars,the
endlessdivisionsofreligion,ideologyandnationality,andwithasenseofdeep
abidingfrustrationheasks,whatisonetodo,whatisthisthingwecallliving,is
thereanythingbeyondit?
Andnotfindingthisnamelessthingofathousandnameswhichhehasalways
sought,hehascultivatedfaithfaithinasaviouroranidealandfaithinvariably
breedsviolence.
Inthisconstantbattlewhichwecallliving,wetrytosetacodeofconduct
accordingtothesocietyinwhichwearebroughtup,whetheritbeaCommunist
societyorasocalledfreesociety;weacceptastandardofbehaviouraspartofour
traditionasHindusorMuslimsorChristiansorwhateverwehappentobe.We
looktosomeonetotelluswhatisrightorwrongbehaviour,whatisrightorwrong
thought,andinfollowingthispatternourconductandourthinkingbecome
mechanical,ourresponsesautomatic.Wecanobservethisveryeasilyinourselves.
Forcenturieswehavebeenspoonfedbyourteachers,byourauthorities,by
ourbooks,oursaints.Wesay,Tellmeallaboutitwhatliesbeyondthehillsand
themountainsandtheearth?andwearesatisfiedwiththeirdescriptions,which
meansthatweliveonwordsandourlifeisshallowandempty.Weare
secondhandpeople.Wehavelivedonwhatwehavebeentold,eitherguidedby
ourinclinations,ourtendencies,orcompelledtoacceptbycircumstancesand
environment.Wearetheresultofallkindsofinfluencesandthereisnothingnew
inus,nothingthatwehavediscoveredforourselves;nothingoriginal,pristine,

clear.
Throughouttheologicalhistorywehavebeenassuredbyreligiousleadersthatif
weperformcertainrituals,repeatcertainprayersormantras,conformtocertain
patterns,suppressourdesires,controlourthoughts,sublimateourpassions,limit
ourappetitesandrefrainfromsexualindulgence,weshall,aftersufficienttorture
ofthemindandbody,findsomethingbeyondthislittlelife.Andthatiswhat
millionsofsocalledreligiouspeoplehavedonethroughtheages,eitherin
isolation,goingoffintothedesertorintothemountainsoracaveorwandering
fromvillagetovillagewithabeggingbowl,or,inagroup,joiningamonastery,
forcingtheirmindstoconformtoanestablishedpattern.Butatorturedmind,a
brokenmind,amindwhichwantstoescapefromallturmoil,whichhasdeniedthe
outerworldandbeenmadedullthroughdisciplineandconformitysucha
mind,howeverlongitseeks,willfindonlyaccordingtoitsowndistortion.
Sotodiscoverwhetherthereactuallyisorisnotsomethingbeyondthisanxious,
guilty,fearful,competitiveexistence,itseemstomethatonemusthavea
completelydifferentapproachaltogether.Thetraditionalapproachisfromthe
peripheryinwards,andthroughtime,practiceandrenunciation,graduallytocome
uponthatinnerflower,thatinnerbeautyandloveinfacttodoeverythingto
makeoneselfnarrow,pettyandshoddy;peelofflittlebylittle;taketime;
tomorrowwilldo,nextlifewilldoandwhenatlastonecomestothecentreone
findsthereisnothingthere,becauseonesmindhasbeenmadeincapable,dulland
insensitive.
Havingobservedthisprocess,oneasksoneself,istherenotadifferentapproach
altogetherthatis,isitnotpossibletoexplodefromthecentre?
Theworldacceptsandfollowsthetraditionalapproach.Theprimarycauseof
disorderinourselvesistheseekingofrealitypromisedbyanother;we
mechanicallyfollowsomebodywhowillassureusacomfortablespirituallife.Itis
amostextraordinarythingthatalthoughmostofusareopposedtopolitical
tyrannyanddictatorship,weinwardlyaccepttheauthority,thetyranny,of
anothertotwistourmindsandourwayoflife.Soflwecompletelyreject,not

intellectuallybutactually,allsocalledspiritualauthority,allceremonies,rituals
anddogmas,itmeansthatwestandaloneandarealreadyinconflictwithsociety;
weceasetoberespectablehumanbeings.Arespectablehumanbeingcannot
possiblycomeneartothatinfinite,immeasurable,reality.
Youhavenowstartedbydenyingsomethingabsolutelyfalsethetraditional
approachbutifyoudenyitasareactionyouwillhavecreatedanotherpatternin
whichyouwillbetrapped;ifyoutellyourselfintellectuallythatthisdenialisa
verygoodideabutdonothingaboutit,youcannotgoanyfurther.Ifyoudenyit
however,becauseyouunderstandthestupidityandimmaturityofit,ifyoureject
itwithtremendousintelligence,becauseyouarefreeandnotfrightened,youwill
createagreatdisturbanceinyourselfandaroundyoubutyouwillstepoutofthe
trapofrespectability.Thenyouwillfindthatyouarenolongerseeking.Thatisthe
firstthingtolearnnottoseek.Whenyouseekyouarereallyonlywindow
shopping.
ThequestionofwhetherornotthereisaGodortruthorreality,orwhatever
youliketocallit,canneverbeansweredbybooks,bypriests,philosophersor
saviours.Nobodyandnothingcananswerthequestionbutyouyourselfandthat
iswhyyoumustknowyourself.Immaturityliesonlyintotalignoranceofself.To
understandyourselfisthebeginningofwisdom.
Andwhatisyourself,theindividualyou?Ithinkthereisadifferencebetween
thehumanbeingandtheindividual.Theindividualisalocalentity,livingina
particularcountry,belongingtoaparticularculture,particularsociety,particular
religion.Thehumanbeingisnotalocalentity.Heiseverywhere.Iftheindividual
merelyactsinaparticularcornerofthevastfieldoflife,thenhisactionistotally
unrelatedtothewhole.Soonehastobearinmindthatwearetalkingofthewhole
notthepart,becauseinthegreaterthelesseris,butinthelesserthegreaterisnot.
Theindividualisthelittleconditioned,miserable,frustratedentity,satisfiedwith
hislittlegodsandhislittletraditions,whereasahumanbeingisconcernedwith
thetotalwelfare,thetotalmiseryandtotalconfusionoftheworld.
Wehumanbeingsarewhatwehavebeenformillionsofyearscolossally

greedy,envious,aggressive,jealous,anxiousanddespairing,withoccasional
flashesofjoyandaffection.Weareastrangemixtureofhate,fearandgentleness;
wearebothviolenceandpeace.Therehasbeenoutwardprogressfromthebullock
carttothejetplanebutpsychologicallytheindividualhasnotchangedatall,and
thestructureofsocietythroughouttheworldhasbeencreatedbyindividuals.The
outwardsocialstructureistheresultoftheinwardpsychologicalstructureofour
humanrelationships,fortheindividualistheresultofthetotalexperience,
knowledgeandconductofman.Eachoneofusisthestorehouseofallthepast.
Theindividualisthehumanwhoisallmankind.Thewholehistoryofmanis
writteninourselves.
Doobservewhatisactuallytakingplacewithinyourselfandoutsideyourselfin
thecompetitivecultureinwhichyoulivewithitsdesireforpower,position,
prestige,name,successandalltherestofitobservetheachievementsofwhich
youaresoproud,thiswholefieldyoucalllivinginwhichthereisconflictinevery
formofrelationship,breedinghatred,antagonism,brutalityandendlesswars.This
field,thislife,isallweknow,andbeingunabletounderstandtheenormousbattle
ofexistencewearenaturallyafraidofitandfindescapefromitinallsortsofsubtle
ways.Andwearefrightenedalsooftheunknownfrightenedofdeath,frightened
ofwhatliesbeyondtomorrow.Soweareafraidoftheknownandafraidofthe
unknown.Thatisourdailylifeandinthatthereisnohope,andthereforeevery
formofphilosophy,everyformoftheologicalconcept,ismerelyanescapefrom
theactualrealityofwhatis.
Alloutwardformsofchangebroughtaboutbywars,revolutions,reformations,
lawsandideologieshavefailedcompletelytochangethebasicnatureofmanand
thereforeofsociety.Ashumanbeingslivinginthismonstrouslyuglyworld,letus
askourselves,canthissociety,basedoncompetition,brutalityandfear,cometoan
end?Notasanintellectualconception,notasahope,butasanactualfact,sothat
themindismadefresh,newandinnocentandcanbringaboutadifferentworld
altogether?Itcanonlyhappen,Ithink,ifeachoneofusrecognisesthecentralfact
thatwe,asindividuals,ashumanbeings,inwhateverpartoftheworldwehappen

toliveorwhateverculturewehappentobelongto,aretotallyresponsibleforthe
wholestateoftheworld.
Weareeachoneofusresponsibleforeverywarbecauseoftheaggressiveness
ofourownlives,becauseofournationalism,ourselfishness,ourgods,our
prejudices,ourideals,allofwhichdivideus.Andonlywhenwerealize,not
intellectuallybutactually,asactuallyaswewouldrecognisethatwearehungryor
inpain,thatyouandIareresponsibleforallthisexistingchaos,forallthemisery
throughouttheentireworldbecausewehavecontributedtoitinourdailylives
andarepartofthismonstroussocietywithitswars,divisions,itsugliness,
brutalityandgreedonlythenwillweact.
ButwhatcanahumanbeingdowhatcanyouandIdotocreateacompletely
differentsociety?Weareaskingourselvesaveryseriousquestion.Isthere
anythingtobedoneatall?Whatcanwedo?Willsomebodytellus?Peoplehave
toldus.Thesocalledspiritualleaders,whoaresupposedtounderstandthese
thingsbetterthanwedo,havetoldusbytryingtotwistandmouldusintoanew
pattern,andthathasntledusveryfar;sophisticatedandlearnedmenhavetoldus
andthathasledusnofurther.Wehavebeentoldthatallpathsleadtotruthyou
haveyourpathasaHinduandsomeoneelsehashispathasaChristianand
anotherasaMuslim,andtheyallmeetatthesamedoorwhichis,whenyoulook
atit,soobviouslyabsurd.Truthhasnopath,andthatisthebeautyoftruth,itis
living.Adeadthinghasapathtoitbecauseitisstatic,butwhenyouseethattruth
issomethingliving,moving,whichhasnorestingplace,whichisinnotemple,
mosqueorchurch,whichnoreligion,noteacher,nophilosopher,nobodycanlead
youtothenyouwillalsoseethatthislivingthingiswhatyouactuallyareyour
anger,yourbrutality,yourviolence,yourdespair,theagonyandsorrowyoulive
in.Intheunderstandingofallthisisthetruth,andyoucanunderstanditonlyif
youknowhowtolookatthosethingsinyourlife.Andyoucannotlookthroughan
ideology,throughascreenofwords,throughhopesandfears.
Soyouseethatyoucannotdependuponanybody.Thereisnoguide,no
teacher,noauthority.Thereisonlyyouyourrelationshipwithothersandwith

theworldthereisnothingelse.Whenyourealizethis,iteitherbringsgreat
despair,fromwhichcomescynicismandbitterness,or,infacingthefactthatyou
andnobodyelseisresponsiblefortheworldandforyourself,forwhatyouthink,
whatyoufeel,howyouact,allselfpitygoes.Normallywethriveonblaming
others,whichisaformofselfpity.
CanyouandI,then,bringaboutinourselveswithoutanyoutsideinfluence,
withoutanypersuasion,withoutanyfearofpunishmentcanwebringaboutin
theveryessenceofourbeingatotalrevolution,apsychologicalmutation,sothat
wearenolongerbrutal,violent,competitive,anxious,fearful,greedy,enviousand
alltherestofthemanifestationsofournaturewhichhavebuiltuptherotten
societyinwhichweliveourdailylives?
ItisimportanttounderstandfromtheverybeginningthatIamnotformulating
anyphilosophyoranytheologicalstructureofideasortheologicalconcepts.It
seemstomethatallideologiesareutterlyidiotic.Whatisimportantisnota
philosophyoflifebuttoobservewhatisactuallytakingplaceinourdailylife,
inwardlyandoutwardly.Ifyouobserveverycloselywhatistakingplaceand
examineit,youwillseethatitisbasedonanintellectualconception,andthe
intellectisnotthewholefieldofexistence;itisafragment,andafragment,
howevercleverlyputtogether,howeverancientandtraditional,isstillasmallpart
ofexistencewhereaswehavetodealwiththetotalityoflife.Andwhenwelookat
whatistakingplaceintheworldwebegintounderstandthatthereisnoouterand
innerprocess;thereisonlyoneunitaryprocess,itisawhole,totalmovement,the
innermovementexpressingitselfastheouterandtheouterreactingagainonthe
inner.Tobeabletolookatthisseemstomeallthatisneeded,becauseifweknow
howtolook,thenthewholethingbecomesveryclear,andtolookneedsno
philosophy,noteacher.Nobodyneedtellyouhowtolook.Youjustlook.
Canyouthen,seeingthiswholepicture,seeingitnotverballybutactually,can
youeasily,spontaneously,transformyourself?Thatistherealissue.Isitpossible
tobringaboutacompleterevolutioninthepsyche?
Iwonderwhatyourreactionistosuchaquestion?Youmaysay,Idontwantto

change,andmostpeopledont,especiallythosewhoarefairlysecuresociallyand
economicallyorwhoholddogmaticbeliefsandarecontenttoacceptthemselves
andthingsastheyareorinaslightlymodifiedform.Withthosepeoplewearenot
concerned.Oryoumaysaymoresubtly,Well,itstoodifficult,itsnotforme,in
whichcaseyouwillhavealreadyblockedyourself,youwillhaveceasedtoenquire
anditwillbenousegoinganyfurther.Orelseyoumaysay,Iseethenecessityfor
afundamentalinwardchangeinmyselfbuthowamItobringitabout?Please
showmetheway,helpmetowardsit.Ifyousaythat,thenwhatyouare
concernedwithisnotchangeitself;youarenotreallyinterestedinafundamental
revolution:youaremerelysearchingforamethod,asystem,tobringabout
change.
IfIwerefoolishenoughtogiveyouasystemandifyouwerefoolishenoughto
followit,youwouldmerelybecopying,imitating,conforming,accepting,and
whenyoudothatyouhavesetupinyourselftheauthorityofanotherandhence
thereisconflictbetweenyouandthatauthority.Youfeelyoumustdosuchand
suchathingbecauseyouhavebeentoldtodoitandyetyouareincapableofdoing
it.Youhaveyourownparticularinclinations,tendenciesandpressureswhich
conflictwiththesystemyouthinkyououghttofollowandthereforethereisa
contradiction.Soyouwillleadadoublelifebetweentheideologyofthesystem
andtheactualityofyourdailyexistence.Intryingtoconformtotheideology,you
suppressyourselfwhereaswhatisactuallytrueisnottheideologybutwhatyou
are.Ifyoutrytostudyyourselfaccordingtoanotheryouwillalwaysremaina
secondhandhumanbeing.
Amanwhosays,Iwanttochange,tellmehowto,seemsveryearnest,very
serious,butheisnot.Hewantsanauthoritywhomhehopeswillbringabout
orderinhimself.Butcanauthorityeverbringaboutinwardorder?Orderimposed
fromwithoutmustalwaysbreeddisorder.Youmayseethetruthofthis
intellectuallybutcanyouactuallyapplyitsothatyourmindnolongerprojects
anyauthority,theauthorityofabook,ateacher,awifeorhusband,aparent,a
friendorofsociety?Becausewehavealwaysfunctionedwithinthepatternofa

formula,theformulabecomestheideologyandtheauthority;butthemomentyou
reallyseethatthequestion,HowcanIchange?setsupanewauthority,youhave
finishedwithauthorityforever.
Letusstateitagainclearly:IseethatImustchangecompletelyfromtherootsof
mybeing;Icannolongerdependonanytraditionbecausetraditionhasbrought
aboutthiscolossallaziness,acceptanceandobedience;Icannotpossiblylookto
anothertohelpmetochange,nottoanyteacher,anyGod,anybelief,anysystem,
anyoutsidepressureorinfluence.Whatthentakesplace?
Firstofall,canyourejectallauthority?Ifyoucanitmeansthatyouareno
longerafraid.Thenwhathappens?Whenyourejectsomethingfalsewhichyou
havebeencarryingaboutwithyouforgenerations,whenyouthrowoffaburden
ofanykind,whattakesplace?Youhavemoreenergy,haventyou?Youhavemore
capacity,moredrive,greaterintensityandvitality.Ifyoudonotfeelthis,thenyou
havenotthrownofftheburden,youhavenotdiscardedthedeadweightof
authority.
Butwhenyouhavethrownitoffandhavethisenergyinwhichthereisnofear
atallnofearofmakingamistake,nofearofdoingrightorwrongthenisnot
thatenergyitselfthemutation?Weneedatremendousamountofenergyandwe
dissipateitthroughfearbutwhenthereisthisenergywhichcomesfromthrowing
offeveryformoffear,thatenergyitselfproducestheradicalinwardrevolution.
Youdonothavetodoathingaboutit.
Soyouareleftwithyourself,andthatistheactualstateforamantobewhois
veryseriousaboutallthis;andasyouarenolongerlookingtoanybodyor
anythingforhelp,youarealreadyfreetodiscover.Andwhenthereisfreedom,
thereisenergy;andwhenthereisfreedomitcanneverdoanythingwrong.
Freedomisentirelydifferentfromrevolt.Thereisnosuchthingasdoingrightor
wrongwhenthereisfreedom.Youarefreeandfromthatcentreyouact.And
hencethereisnofear,andamindthathasnofeariscapableofgreatlove.And
whenthereisloveitcandowhatitwill.
Whatwearenowgoingtodo,therefore,istolearnaboutourselves,not

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accordingtomeortosomeanalystorphilosopherbecauseifwelearnabout
ourselvesaccordingtosomeoneelse,welearnaboutthem,notourselvesweare
goingtolearnwhatweactuallyare.
Havingrealizedthatwecandependonnooutsideauthorityinbringingabouta
totalrevolutionwithinthestructureofourownpsyche,thereistheimmensely
greaterdifficultyofrejectingourowninwardauthority,theauthorityofourown
particularlittleexperiencesandaccumulatedopinions,knowledge,ideasand
ideals.Youhadanexperienceyesterdaywhichtaughtyousomethingandwhatit
taughtyoubecomesanewauthorityandthatauthorityofyesterdayisas
destructiveastheauthorityofathousandyears.Tounderstandourselvesneedsno
authorityeitherofyesterdayorofathousandyearsbecausewearelivingthings,
alwaysmoving,flowing,neverresting.Whenwelookatourselveswiththedead
authorityofyesterday,wewillfailtounderstandthelivingmovementandthe
beautyandqualityofthatmovement.
Tobefreeofallauthority,ofyourownandthatofanother,istodieto
everythingofyesterday,sothatyourmindisalwaysfresh,alwaysyoung,
innocent,fullofvigourandpassion.Itisonlyinthatstatethatonelearnsand
observes.Andforthisagreatdealofawarenessisrequired,actualawarenessof
whatisgoingoninsideyourself,withoutcorrectingitortellingitwhatitshouldor
shouldnotbe,becausethemomentyoucorrectityouhaveestablishedanother
authority,acensor.
Sonowwearegoingtoinvestigateourselvestogethernotoneperson
explainingwhileyouread,agreeingordisagreeingwithhimasyoufollowthe
wordsonthepage,buttakingajourneytogether,ajourneyofdiscoveryintothe
mostsecretcornersofourminds.Andtotakesuchajourneywemusttravellight;
wecannotbeburdenedwithopinions,prejudicesandconclusionsallthatold
furniturewehavecollectedforthelasttwothousandyearsandmore.Forgetall
youknowaboutyourself;forgetallyouhaveeverthoughtaboutyourself;weare
goingtostartasifweknewnothing.
Itrainedlastnightheavily,andnowtheskiesarebeginningtoclear;itisanew

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freshday.Letusmeetthatfreshdayasifitweretheonlyday.Letusstartonour
journeytogetherwithalltheremembranceofyesterdayleftbehindandbeginto
understandourselvesforthefirsttime.

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Chapter 2
IfyouthinkitisimportanttoknowaboutyourselfonlybecauseIorsomeoneelse
hastoldyouitisimportant,thenIamafraidallcommunicationbetweenuscomes
toanend.Butifweagreethatitisvitalthatweunderstandourselvescompletely,
thenyouandIhavequiteadifferentrelationship,thenwecanexploretogether
withahappy,carefulandintelligentenquiry.
Idonotdemandyourfaith;Iamnotsettingmyselfupasanauthority.Ihave
nothingtoteachyounonewphilosophy,nonewsystem,nonewpathtoreality;
thereisnopathtorealityanymorethantotruth.Allauthorityofanykind,
especiallyinthefieldofthoughtandunderstanding,isthemostdestructive,evil
thing.Leadersdestroythefollowersandfollowersdestroytheleaders.Youhaveto
beyourownteacherandyourowndisciple.Youhavetoquestioneverythingthat
manhasacceptedasvaluable,asnecessary.
Ifyoudonotfollowsomebodyyoufeelverylonely.Belonelythen.Whyare
youfrightenedofbeingalone?Becauseyouarefacedwithyourselfasyouareand
youfindthatyouareempty,dull,stupid,ugly,guiltyandanxiousapetty,
shoddy,secondhandentity.Facethefact;lookatit,donotrunawayfromit.The
momentyourunawayfearbegins.
Inenquiringintoourselveswearenotisolatingourselvesfromtherestofthe
world.Itisnotanunhealthyprocess.Manthroughouttheworldiscaughtupin
thesamedailyproblemsasourselves,soinenquiringintoourselveswearenot
beingintheleastneuroticbecausethereisnodifferencebetweentheindividual
andthecollective.Thatisanactualfact.IhavecreatedtheworldasIam.Sodont
letusgetlostinthisbattlebetweenthepartandthewhole.
Imustbecomeawareofthetotalfieldofmyownself,whichisthe
consciousnessoftheindividualandofsociety.Itisonlythen,whenthemindgoes
beyondthisindividualandsocialconsciousness,thatIcanbecomealightto
myselfthatnevergoesout.

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Nowwheredowebegintounderstandourselves?HereamI,andhowamIto
studymyself,observemyself,seewhatisactuallytakingplaceinsidemyself?Ican
observemyselfonlyinrelationshipbecausealllifeisrelationship.Itisnouse
sittinginacornermeditatingaboutmyself.Icannotexistbymyself.Iexistonlyin
relationshiptopeople,thingsandideas,andinstudyingmyrelationshipto
outwardthingsandpeople,aswellastoinwardthings,Ibegintounderstand
myself.EveryotherformofunderstandingismerelyanabstractionandIcannot
studymyselfinabstraction;Iamnotanabstractentity;thereforeIhavetostudy
myselfinactualityasIam,notasIwishtobe.
Understandingisnotanintellectualprocess.Accumulatingknowledgeabout
yourselfandlearningaboutyourselfaretwodifferentthings,fortheknowledge
youaccumulateaboutyourselfisalwaysofthepastandamindthatisburdened
withthepastisasorrowfulmind.Learningaboutyourselfisnotlikelearninga
languageoratechnologyorinthepresentandknowledgeisalwaysinthepast,
andasmostofusliveinthepastandaresatisfiedwiththepast,knowledge
becomesextraordinarilyimportanttous.Thatiswhyweworshiptheerudite,the
clever,thecunning.Butifyouarelearningallthetime,learningeveryminute,
learningbywatchingandlistening,learningbyseeinganddoing,thenyouwill
findthatlearningisaconstantmovementwithoutthepast.
Ifyousayyouwilllearngraduallyaboutyourself,addingmoreandmore,little
bylittle,youarenotstudyingyourselfnowasyouarebutthroughacquired
knowledge.Learningimpliesagreatsensitivity.Thereisnosensitivityifthereis
anidea,whichisofthepast,dominatingthepresent.Thenthemindisnolonger
quick,pliable,alert.Mostofusarenotsensitiveevenphysically.Weovereat,we
donotbotherabouttherightdiet,weoversmokeanddrinksothatourbodies
becomegrossandinsensitive;thequalityofattentionintheorganismitselfismade
dull.Howcantherebeaveryalert,sensitive,clearmindiftheorganismitselfis
dullandheavy?Wemaybesensitiveaboutcertainthingsthattouchuspersonally
buttobecompletelysensitivetoalltheimplicationsoflifedemandthattherebeno
separationbetweentheorganismandthepsyche.Itisatotalmovement.

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Tounderstandanythingyoumustlivewithit,youmustobserveit,youmust
knowallitscontent,itsnature,itsstructure,itsmovement.Haveyouevertried
livingwithyourself?Ifso,youwillbegintoseethatyourselfisnotastaticstate,it
isafreshlivingthing.Andtolivewithalivingthingyourmindmustalsobealive.
Anditcannotbealiveifitiscaughtinopinions,judgementsandvalues.
Inordertoobservethemovementofyourownmindandheart,ofyourwhole
being,youmusthaveafreemind,notamindthatagreesanddisagrees,taking
sidesinanargument,disputingovermerewords,butratherfollowingwithan
intentiontounderstandaverydifficultthingtodobecausemostofusdontknow
howtolookat,orlistento,ourownbeinganymorethanweknowhowtolookat
thebeautyofariverorlistentothebreezeamongthetrees.
Whenwecondemnorjustifywecannotseeclearly,norcanwewhenourminds
areendlesslychattering;thenwedonotobservewhatiswelookonlyatthe
projectionswehavemadeofourselves.Eachofushasanimageofwhatwethink
weareorwhatweshouldbe,andthatimage,thatpicture,entirelypreventsus
fromseeingourselvesasweactuallyare.
Itisoneofthemostdifficultthingsintheworldtolookatanythingsimply.
Becauseourmindsareverycomplexwehavelostthequalityofsimplicity.Idont
meansimplicityinclothesorfood,wearingonlyaloinclothorbreakingarecord
fastingoranyofthatimmaturenonsensethesaintscultivate,butthesimplicity
thatcanlookdirectlyatthingswithoutfearthatcanlookatourselvesaswe
actuallyarewithoutanydistortiontosaywhenweliewelie,notcoveritupor
runawayfromit.
Alsoinordertounderstandourselvesweneedagreatdealofhumility.Ifyou
startbysaying,`Iknowmyself,youhavealreadystoppedlearningaboutyourself;
orifyousay,ThereisnothingmuchtolearnaboutmyselfbecauseIamjusta
bundleofmemories,ideas,experiencesandtraditions,thenyouhavealsostopped
learningaboutyourself.Themomentyouhaveachievedanythingyouceaseto
havethatqualityofinnocenceandhumility;themomentyouhaveaconclusionor
startexaminingfromknowledge,youarefinished,forthenyouaretranslating

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everylivingthingintermsoftheold.Whereasifyouhavenofoothold,ifthereis
nocertainty,noachievement,thereisfreedomtolook,toachieve.Andwhenyou
lookwithfreedomitisalwaysnew.Aconfidentmanisadeadhumanbeing.
Buthowcanwebefreetolookandlearnwhenourmindsfromthemomentwe
areborntothemomentwedieareshapedbyaparticularcultureinthenarrow
patternofthe`me?Forcenturieswehavebeenconditionedbynationality,caste,
class,tradition,religion,language,education,literature,art,custom,convention,
propagandaofallkinds,economicpressure,thefoodweeat,theclimatewelivein,
ourfamily,ourfriends,ourexperienceseveryinfluenceyoucanthinkofand
thereforeourresponsestoeveryproblemareconditioned.
Areyouawarethatyouareconditioned?Thatisthefirstthingtoaskyourself,
nothowtobefreeofyourconditioning.Youmayneverbefreeofit,andifyou
say,`Imustbefreeofit,youmayfallintoanothertrapofanotherformof
conditioning.Soareyouawarethatyouareconditioned?Doyouknowthateven
whenyoulookatatreeandsay,`Thatisanoaktree,or`thatisabanyantree,the
namingofthetree,whichisbotanicalknowledge,hassoconditionedyourmind
thatthewordcomesbetweenyouandactuallyseeingthetree?Tocomeincontact
withthetreeyouhavetoputyourhandonitandthewordwillnothelpyouto
touchit.
Howdoyouknowyouareconditioned?Whattellsyou?Whattellsyouyouare
hungry?notasatheorybuttheactualfactofhunger?Inthesameway,howdo
youdiscovertheactualfactthatyouareconditioned?Isntitbyyourreactiontoa
problem,achallenge?Yourespondtoeverychallengeaccordingtoyour
conditioningandyourconditioningbeinginadequatewillalwaysreact
inadequately.
Whenyoubecomeawareofit,doesthisconditioningofrace,religionand
culturebringasenseofimprisonment?Takeonlyoneformofconditioning,
nationality,becomeseriously,completelyawareofitandseewhetheryouenjoyit
orrebelagainstit,andifyourebelagainstit,whetheryouwanttobreakthrough
allconditioning.Ifyouaresatisfiedwithyourconditioningyouwillobviouslydo

16

nothingaboutit,butifyouarenotsatisfiedwhenyoubecomeawareofit,youwill
realizethatyouneverdoanythingwithoutit.Never!Andthereforeyouarealways
livinginthepastwiththedead.
Youwillbeabletoseeforyourselfhowyouareconditionedonlywhenthereis
aconflictinthecontinuityofpleasureortheavoidanceofpain.Ifeverythingis
perfectlyhappyaroundyou,yourwifelovesyou,youloveher,youhaveanice
house,nicechildrenandplentyofmoney,thenyouarenotawareofyour
conditioningatall.Butwhenthereisadisturbancewhenyourwifelooksat
someoneelseoryouloseyourmoneyorarethreatenedwithwaroranyotherpain
oranxietythenyouknowyouareconditioned.Whenyoustruggleagainstany
kindofdisturbanceordefendyourselfagainstanyouterorinnerthreat,thenyou
knowyouareconditioned.Andasmostofusaredisturbedmostofthetime,either
superficiallyordeeply,thatverydisturbanceindicatesthatweareconditioned.So
longastheanimalispettedhereactsnicely,butthemomentheisantagonizedthe
wholeviolenceofhisnaturecomesout.
Wearedisturbedaboutlife,politics,theeconomicsituation,thehorror,the
brutality,thesorrowintheworldaswellasinourselves,andfromthatwerealize
howterriblynarrowlyconditionedweare.Andwhatshallwedo?Acceptthat
disturbanceandlivewithitasmostofusdo?Getusedtoitasonegetsusedto
livingwithabackache?Putupwithit?
Thereisatendencyinallofustoputupwiththings,togetusedtothem,to
blamethemoncircumstances.`Ah,ifthingswererightIwouldbedifferent,we
say,or,`GivemetheopportunityandIwillfulfilmyself,or,Iamcrushedbythe
injusticeofitall,alwaysblamingourdisturbancesonothersoronour
environmentorontheeconomicsituation.
Ifonegetsusedtodisturbanceitmeansthatonesmindhasbecomedull,justas
onecangetsousedtobeautyaroundonethatonenolongernoticesit.Onegets
indifferent,hardandcallous,andonesmindbecomesdullerandduller.Ifwedo
notgetusedtoitwetrytoescapefromitbytakingsomekindofdrug,joininga
politicalgroup,shouting,writing,goingtoafootballmatchortoatempleor

17

churchorfindingsomeotherformofamusement.
Whyisitthatweescapefromactualfacts?WeareafraidofdeathIamjust
takingthatasanexampleandweinventallkindsoftheories,hopes,beliefs,to
disguisethefactofdeath,butthefactisstillthere.Tounderstandafactwemust
lookatit,notrunawayfromit.Mostofusareafraidoflivingaswellasofdying.
Weareafraidforourfamily,afraidofpublicopinion,oflosingourjob,our
security,andhundredsofotherthings.Thesimplefactisthatweareafraid,not
thatweareafraidofthisorthat.Nowwhycannotwefacethatfact?
Youcanfaceafactonlyinthepresentandifyouneverallowittobepresent
becauseyouarealwaysescapingfromit,youcanneverfaceit,andbecausewe
havecultivatedaholenetworkofescapeswearecaughtinthehabitofescape.
Now,ifyouareatallsensitive,atallserious,youwillnotonlybeawareofyour
conditioningbutyouwillalsobeawareofthedangersitresultsin,whatbrutality
andhatreditleadsto.Why,then,ifyouseethedangerofyourconditioning,dont
youact?Isitbecauseyouarelazy,lazinessbeinglackofenergy?Yetyouwillnot
lackenergyifyouseeanimmediatephysicaldangerlikeasnakeinyourpath,ora
precipice,orafire.Why,then,dontyouactwhenyouseethedangerofyour
conditioning?Ifyousawthedangerofnationalismtoyourownsecurity,wouldnt
youact?
Theanswerisyoudontsee.Throughanintellectualprocessofanalysisyou
mayseethatnationalismleadstoselfdestructionbutthereisnoemotionalcontent
inthat.Onlywhenthereisanemotionalcontentdoyoubecomevital.
Ifyouseethedangerofyourconditioningmerelyasanintellectualconcept,you
willneverdoanythingaboutit.Inseeingadangerasamereideathereisconflict
betweentheideaandactionandthatconflicttakesawayyourenergy.Itisonly
whenyouseetheconditioningandthedangerofitimmediately,andasyouwould
seeaprecipice,thatyouact.Soseeingisacting.
Mostofuswalkthroughlifeinattentively,reactingunthinkinglyaccordingto
theenvironmentinwhichwehavebeenbroughtup,andsuchreactionscreateonly
furtherbondage,furtherconditioning,butthemomentyougiveyourtotal

18

attentiontoyourconditioningyouwillseethatyouarefreefromthepast
completely,thatitfallsawayfromyounaturally.

19

Chapter 3
Whenyoubecomeawareofyourconditioningyouwillunderstandthewholeof
yourconsciousness.Consciousnessisthetotalfieldinwhichthoughtfunctionsand
relationshipsexist.Allmotives,intentions,desires,pleasures,fear,inspiration,
longings,hopes,sorrows,joysareinthatfield.Butwehavecometodividethe
consciousnessintotheactiveandthedormant,theupperandlowerlevelthatis,
allthedailythoughts,feelingsandactivitiesonthesurfaceandbelowthemtheso
calledsubconscious,thethingswithwhichwearenotfamiliar,whichexpress
themselvesoccasionallythroughcertainintimations,intuitionsanddreams.
Weareoccupiedwithonelittlecornerofconsciousnesswhichismostofour
life;therest,whichwecallthesubconscious,withallitsmotives,itsfears,itsracial
andinheritedqualities,wedonotevenknowhowtogetinto.NowIamasking
you,istheresuchathingasthesubconsciousatall?Weusethatwordveryfreely.
Wehaveacceptedthatthereissuchathingandallthephrasesandjargonofthe
analystsandpsychologistshaveseepedintothelanguage;butistheresucha
thing?Andwhyisitthatwegivesuchextraordinaryimportancetoit?Itseemsto
methatitisastrivialandstupidastheconsciousmindasnarrow,bigoted,
conditioned,anxiousandtawdry.
Soisitpossibletobetotallyawareofthewholefieldofconsciousnessandnot
merelyapart,afragment,ofit?Ifyouareabletobeawareofthetotality,thenyou
arefunctioningallthetimewithyourtotalattention,notpartialattention.Thisis
importanttounderstandbecausewhenyouarebeingtotallyawareofthewhole
fieldofconsciousnesstherenofriction.itisonlywhenyoudivideconsciousness,
whichisallthought,feelingandaction,intodifferentlevelsthatthereisfriction.
Weliveinfragments.Youareonethingattheoffice,anotherathome;youtalk
aboutdemocracyandinyourheartyouareautocratic;youtalkaboutlovingyour
neighbours,yetkillhimwithcompetition;thereisonepartofyouworking,
looking,independentlyoftheother.Areyouawareofthisfragmentaryexistence

20

inyourself?Andisitpossibleforabrainthathasbrokenupitsownfunctioning,
itsownthinking,intofragmentsisitpossibleforsuchabraintobeawareofthe
wholefield?Isitpossibletolookatthewholeofconsciousnesscompletely,totally,
whichmeanstobeatotalhumanbeing?
If,inordertotrytounderstandthewholestructureofthe`me,theself,withall
itsextraordinarycomplexity,yougostepbystep,uncoveringlayerbylayer,
examiningeverythought,feelingandmotive,youwillgetcaughtupinthe
analyticalprocesswhichmaytakeyouweeks,months,yearsandwhenyou
admittimeintotheprocessofunderstandingyourself,youmustallowforevery
formofdistortionbecausetheselfisacomplexentity,moving,living,struggling,
wanting,denying,withpressuresandstressesandinfluencesofallsorts
continuallyatworkonit.Soyouwilldiscoverforyourselfthatthisisnottheway;
youwillunderstandthattheonlywaytolookatyourselfistotally,immediately,
withouttime;andyoucanseethetotalityofyourselfonlywhenthemindisnot
fragmented.Whatyouseeintotalityisthetruth.
Nowcanyoudothat?Mostofuscannotbecausemostofushavenever
approachedtheproblemsoseriously,becausewehaveneverreallylookedat
ourselves.Never.Weblameothers,weexplainthingsawayorwearefrightenedto
look.Butwhenyoulooktotallyyouwillgiveyourwholeattention,yourwhole
being,everythingofyourself,youreyes,yourears,yournerves;youwillattend
withcompleteselfabandonment,andthenthereisnoroomforfear,noroomfor
contradiction,andthereforenoconflict.
Attentionisnotthesamethingasconcentration.Concentrationisexclusion;
attention,whichistotalawareness,excludesnothing.Itseemstomethatmostof
usarenotaware,notonlyofwhatwearetalkingaboutbutofourenvironment,
thecoloursaroundus,thepeople,theshapeofthetrees,theclouds,themovement
ofwater.Perhapsitisbecausewearesoconcernedwithourselves,withourown
pettylittleproblems,ourownideas,ourownpleasures,pursuitsandambitions
thatwearenotobjectivelyaware.Andyetwetalkagreatdealaboutawareness.
OnceinIndiaIwastravellinginacar.TherewasachauffeurdrivingandIwas

21

sittingbesidehim.Therewerethreegentlemenbehinddiscussingawarenessvery
intentlyandaskingmequestionsaboutawareness,andunfortunatelyatthat
momentthedriverwaslookingsomewhereelseandheranoveragoat,andthe
threegentlemenwerestilldiscussingawarenesstotallyunawarethattheyhad
runoveragoat.Whenthelackofattentionwaspointedouttothosegentlemen
whoweretryingtobeawareitwasagreatsurprisetothem.
Andwithmostofusitisthesame.Wearenotawareofoutwardthingsorof
inwardthings.Ifyouwanttounderstandthebeautyofabird,afly,oraleaf,ora
personwithallhiscomplexities,youhavetogiveyourwholeattentionwhichis
awareness.Andyoucangiveyourwholeattentiononlywhenyoucare,which
meansthatyoureallylovetounderstandthenyougiveyourwholeheartand
mindtofindout.
Suchawarenessislikelivingwithasnakeintheroom;youwatchitsevery
movement,youarevery,verysensitivetotheslightestsounditmakes.Suchastate
ofattentionistotalenergy;insuchawarenessthetotalityofyourselfisrevealedin
aninstant.
Whenyouhavelookedatyourselfsodeeplyyoucangomuchdeeper.Whenwe
usetheword`deeperwearenotbeingcomparative.Wethinkincomparisons
deepandshallow,happyandunhappy.Wearealwaysmeasuring,comparing.
Nowistheresuchastateastheshallowandthedeepinoneself?WhenIsay,`My
mindisshallow,petty,narrow,limited,howdoIknowallthesethings?BecauseI
havecomparedmymindwithyourmindwhichisbrighter,hasmorecapacity,is
moreintelligentandalert.DoIknowmypettinesswithoutcomparison?WhenI
amhungry,Idonotcomparethathungerwithyesterdayshunger.Yesterdays
hungerisanidea,amemory.
IfIamallthetimemeasuringmyselfagainstyou,strugglingtobelikeyou,then
IamdenyingwhatIammyself.ThereforeIamcreatinganillusion.WhenIhave
understoodthatcomparisoninanyformleadsonlytogreaterillusionandgreater
misery,justaswhenIanalysemyself,addtomyknowledgeofmyselfbitbybit,or
identifymyselfwithsomethingoutsidemyself,whetheritbetheState,asaviouror

22

anideologywhenIunderstandthatallsuchprocessesleadonlytogreater
conformityandthereforegreaterconflictwhenIseeallthisIputitcompletely
away.Thenmymindisnolongerseeking.Itisveryimportanttounderstandthis.
Thenmymindisnolongergroping,searching,questioning.Thisdoesnotmean
thatmymindissatisfiedwiththingsastheyare,butsuchamindhasnoillusion.
Suchamindcanthenmoveinatotallydifferentdimension.Thedimensionin
whichweusuallylive,thelifeofeverydaywhichispain,pleasureandfear,has
conditionedthemind,limitedthenatureofthemind,andwhenthatpain,pleasure
andfearhavegone(whichdoesnotmeanthatyounolongerhavejoy:joyis
somethingentirelydifferentfrompleasure)thenthemindfunctionsinadifferent
dimensioninwhichthereisnoconflict,nosenseof`otherness.
Verballywecangoonlysofar:whatliesbeyondcannotbeputintowords
becausethewordisnotthething.Uptonowwecandescribe,explain,butno
wordsorexplanationscanopenthedoor.Whatwillopenthedoorisdaily
awarenessandattentionawarenessofhowwespeak,whatwesay,howwewalk,
whatwethink.Itislikecleaningaroomandkeepingitinorder.Keepingtheroom
inorderisimportantinonesensebuttotallyunimportantinanother.Theremust
beorderintheroombutorderwillnotopenthedoororthewindow.Whatwill
openthedoorisnotyourvolitionordesire.Youcannotpossiblyinvitetheother.
Allthatyoucandoistokeeptheroominorder,whichistobevirtuousforitself,
notforwhatitwillbring.Tobesane,rational,orderly.Thenperhaps,ifyouare
lucky,thewindowwillopenandthebreezewillcomein.Oritmaynot.Itdepends
onthestateofyourmind.Andthatstateofmindcanbeunderstoodonlyby
yourself,bywatchingitandnevertryingtoshapeit,nevertakingsides,never
opposing,neveragreeing,neverjustifying,nevercondemning,neverjudging
whichmeanswatchingitwithoutanychoice.Andoutofthischoicelessawareness
perhapsthedoorwillopenandyouwillknowwhatthatdimensionisinwhich
thereisnoconflictandnotime.

23

Chapter 4
Wesaidinthelastchapterthatjoywassomethingentirelydifferentfrompleasure,
soletusfindoutwhatisinvolvedinpleasureandwhetheritisatallpossibleto
liveinaworldthatdoesnotcontainpleasurebutatremendoussenseofjoy,of
bliss.
Weareallengagedinthepursuitofpleasureinsomeformorother
intellectual,sensuousorculturalpleasure,thepleasureofreforming,tellingothers
whattodo,ofmodifyingtheevilsofsociety,ofdoinggoodthepleasureof
greaterknowledge,greaterphysicalsatisfaction,greaterexperience,greater
understandingoflife,alltheclever,cunningthingsofthemindandtheultimate
pleasureis,ofcourse,tohaveGod.
Pleasureisthestructureofsociety.Fromchildhooduntildeathwearesecretly,
cunninglyorobviouslypursuingpleasure.Sowhateverourformofpleasureis,I
thinkweshouldbeveryclearaboutitbecauseitisgoingtoguideandshapeour
lives.Itisthereforeimportantforeachoneofustoinvestigateclosely,hesitantly
anddelicatelythisquestionofpleasure,fortofindpleasure,andthennourishand
sustainit,isabasicdemandoflifeandwithoutitexistencebecomesdull,stupid,
lonelyandmeaningless.
Youmayaskwhythenshouldlifenotbeguidedbypleasure?Forthevery
simplereasonthatpleasuremustbringpain,frustration,sorrowandfear,and,out
offear,violence.Ifyouwanttolivethatway,livethatway.Mostoftheworld
does,anyway,butifyouwanttobefreefromsorrowyoumustunderstandthe
wholestructureofpleasure
Tounderstandpleasureisnottodenyit.Wearenotcondemningitorsayingit
isrightorwrong,butifwepursueit,letusdosowithoureyesopen,knowingthat
amindthatisallthetimeseekingpleasuremustinevitablyfinditsshadow,pain.
Theycannotbeseparated,althoughwerunafterpleasureandtrytoavoidpain.
Now,whyisthemindalwaysdemandingpleasure?Whyisitthatwedonoble

24

andignoblethingswiththeundercurrentofpleasure?Whyisitwesacrificeand
sufferonthethinthreadofpleasure?Whatispleasureandhowdoesitcomeinto
being?Iwonderifanyofyouhaveaskedyourselfthesequestionsandfollowed
theanswerstotheveryend?
Pleasurecomesintobeingthroughfourstagesperception,sensation,contact
anddesire.Iseeabeautifulmotorcar,say;thenIgetasensation,areaction,from
lookingatit;thenItouchitorimaginetouchingit,andthenthereisthedesireto
ownandshowmyselfoffinit.OrIseealovelycloud,oramountainclearagainst
thesky,oraleafthathasjustcomeinspringtime,oradeepvalleyfullofloveliness
andsplendour,oraglorioussunset,orabeautifulface,intelligent,alive,notself
consciousandthereforenolongerbeautiful.Ilookatthesethingswithintense
delightandasIobservethemthereisnoobserverbutonlysheerbeautylikelove.
ForamomentIamabsentwithallmyproblems,anxietiesandmiseriesthereis
onlythatmarvellousthing.Icanlookatitwithjoyandthenextmomentforgetit,
orelsethemindstepsin,andthentheproblembegins;mymindthinksoverwhat
ithasseenandthinkshowbeautifulitwas;ItellmyselfIshouldliketoseeitagain
manytimes.Thoughtbeginstocompare,judge,andsay`lmusthaveitagain
tomorrow.Thecontinuityofanexperiencethathasgivendelightforasecondis
sustainedbythought.
Itisthesamewithsexualdesireoranyotherformofdesire.Thereisnothing
wrongwithdesire.Toreactisperfectlynormal.IfyoustickapininmeIshallreact
unlessIamparalysed.Butthenthoughtstepsinandchewsoverthedelightand
turnsitintopleasure.Thoughtwantstorepeattheexperience,andthemoreyou
repeat,themoremechanicalitbecomes;themoreyouthinkaboutit,themore
strengththoughtgivestopleasure.Sothoughtcreatesandsustainspleasure
throughdesire,andgivesitcontinuity,andthereforethenaturalreactionofdesire
toanybeautifulthingispervertedbythought.Thoughtturnsitintoamemoryand
memoryisthennourishedbythinkingaboutitoverandoveragain.
Ofcourse,memoryhasaplaceatacertainlevel.Ineverydaylifewecouldnot
functionatallwithoutit.Initsownfielditmustbeefficientbutthereisastateof

25

mindwhereithasverylittleplace.Amindwhichisnotcrippledbymemoryhas
realfreedom.
Haveyouevernoticedthatwhenyourespondtosomethingtotally,withall
yourheart,thereisverylittlememory?Itisonlywhenyoudonotrespondtoa
challengewithyourwholebeingthatthereisaconflict,astruggle,andthisbrings
confusionandpleasureorpain.Andthestrugglebreedsmemory.Thatmemoryis
addedtoallthetimebyothermemoriesanditisthosememorieswhichrespond.
Anythingthatistheresultofmemoryisoldandthereforeneverfree.Thereisno
suchthingasfreedomofthought.Itissheernonsense.
Thoughtisnevernew,forthoughtistheresponseofmemory,experience,
knowledge.Thought,becauseitisold,makesthisthingwhichyouhavelookedat
withdelightandfelttremendouslyforthemoment,old.Fromtheoldyouderive
pleasure,neverfromthenew.Thereisnotimeinthenew.
Soifyoucanlookatallthingswithoutallowingpleasuretocreepinataface,a
bird,thecolourofasari,thebeautyofasheetofwatershimmeringinthesun,or
anythingthatgivesdelightifyoucanlookatitwithoutwantingtheexperienceto
berepeated,thentherewillbenopain,nofear,andthereforetremendousjoy.
Itisthestruggletorepeatandperpetuatepleasurewhichturnsitintopain.
Watchitinyourself.Theverydemandfortherepetitionofpleasurebringsabout
pain,becauseitisnotthesame,asitwasyesterday.Youstruggletoachievethe
samedelight,notonlytoyouraestheticsensebutthesameinwardqualityofthe
mind,andyouarehurtanddisappointedbecauseitisdeniedtoyou.
Haveyouobservedwhathappenstoyouwhenyouaredeniedalittlepleasure?
Whenyoudontgetwhatyouwantyoubecomeanxious,envious,hateful.Have
younoticedwhenyouhavebeendeniedthepleasureofdrinkingorsmokingor
sexorwhateveritishaveyounoticedwhatbattlesyougothrough?Andallthat
isaformoffear,isntit?Youareafraidofnotgettingwhatyouwantoroflosing
whatyouhave.Whensomeparticularfaithorideologywhichyouhaveheldfor
yearsisshakenortornawayfromyoubylogicorlife,arentyouafraidofstanding
alone?Thatbeliefhasforyearsgivenyousatisfactionandpleasure,andwhenitis

26

takenawayyouareleftstranded,empty,andthefearremainsuntilyoufind
anotherformofpleasure,anotherbelief.
Itseemstomesosimpleandbecauseitissosimplewerefusetoseeits
simplicity.Weliketocomplicateeverything.Whenyourwifeturnsawayfrom
you,arentyoujealous?Arentyouangry?Dontyouhatethemanwhohas
attractedher?Andwhatisallthatbutfearoflosingsomethingwhichhasgiven
youagreatdealofpleasure,acompanionship,acertainqualityofassuranceand
thesatisfactionofpossession?
Soifyouunderstandthatwherethereisasearchforpleasuretheremustbe
pain,livethatwayifyouwantto,butdontjustslipintoit.Ifyouwanttoend
pleasure,though,whichistoendpain,youmustbetotallyattentivetothewhole
structureofpleasurenotcutitoutasmonksandsannyasisdo,neverlookingata
womanbecausetheythinkitisasinandtherebydestroyingthevitalityoftheir
understandingbutseeingthewholemeaningandsignificanceofpleasure.Then
youwillhavetremendousjoyinlife.Youcannotthinkaboutjoy.Joyisan
immediatethingandbythinkingaboutit,youturnitintopleasure.Livinginthe
presentistheinstantperceptionofbeautyandthegreatdelightinitwithout
seekingpleasurefromit.

27

Chapter 5
BeforewegoanyfurtherIwouldliketoaskyouwhatisyourfundamental,lasting
interestinlife?Puttingallobliqueanswersasideanddealingwiththisquestion
directlyandhonestly,whatwouldyouanswer?Doyouknow?
Isntityourself?Anyway,thatiswhatmostofuswouldsayifweanswered
truthfully.Iaminterestedinmyprogress,myjob,myfamily,thelittlecornerin
whichIlive,ingettingabetterpositionformyself,moreprestige,morepower,
moredominationoverothersandsoon.Ithinkitwouldbelogical,wouldntit,to
admittoourselvesthatthatiswhatmostofusareprimarilyinterestedinme
first?
Someofuswouldsaythatitiswrongtobeprimarilyinterestedinourselves.
Butwhatiswrongaboutitexceptthatweseldomdecently,honestly,admitit?If
wedo,weareratherashamedofit.Sothereitisoneisfundamentallyinterested
inoneself,andforvariousideologicalortraditionalreasonsonethinksitiswrong.
Butwhatonethinksisirrelevant.Whyintroducethefactorofitsbeingwrong?
Thatisanidea,aconcept.Whatisafactisthatoneisfundamentallyandlastingly
interestedinoneself.
Youmaysaythatitismoresatisfactorytohelpanotherthantothinkabout
yourself.Whatisthedifference?Itisstillselfconcern.Ifitgivesyougreater
satisfactiontohelpothers,youareconcernedaboutwhatwillgiveyougreater
satisfaction.Whybringanyideologicalconceptintoit?Whythisdoublethinking?
Whynotsay,`WhatIreallywantissatisfaction,whetherinsex,orinhelping
others,orinbecomingagreatsaint,scientistorpolitician?Itisthesameprocess,
isntit?Satisfactioninallsortsofways,subtleandobvious,iswhatwewant.When
wesaywewantfreedomwewantitbecausewethinkitmaybewonderfully
satisfying,andtheultimatesatisfaction,ofcourse,isthispeculiarideaofself
realization.Whatwearereallyseekingisasatisfactioninwhichthereisno
dissatisfactionatall.

28

Mostofuscravethesatisfactionofhavingapositioninsocietybecauseweare
afraidofbeingnobody.Societyissoconstructedthatacitizenwhohasaposition
ofrespectistreatedwithgreatcourtesy,whereasamanwhohasnopositionis
kickedaround.Everyoneintheworldwantsaposition,whetherinsociety,inthe
familyortositontherighthandofGod,andthispositionmustberecognizedby
others,otherwiseitisnopositionatall.Wemustalwayssitontheplatform.
Inwardlywearewhirlpoolsofmiseryandmischiefandthereforetoberegarded
outwardlyasagreatfigureisverygratifying.Thiscravingforposition,for
prestige,forpower,toberecognizedbysocietyasbeingoutstandinginsomeway,
isawishtodominateothers,andthiswishtodominateisaformofaggression.
Thesaintwhoseeksapositioninregardtohissaintlinessisasaggressiveasthe
chickenpeckinginthefarmyard.Andwhatisthecauseofthisaggressiveness?Itis
fear,isntit?
Fearisoneofthegreatestproblemsinlife.Amindthatiscaughtinfearlivesin
confusion,inconflict,andthereforemustbeviolent,distortedandaggressive.It
darenotmoveawayfromitsownpatternsofthinking,andthisbreedshypocrisy.
Untilwearefreefromfear,climbthehighestmountain,inventeverykindofGod,
wewillalwaysremainindarkness.
Livinginsuchacorrupt,stupidsocietyaswedo,withthecompetitive
educationwereceivewhichengendersfear,weareallburdenedwithfearsofsome
kind,andfearisadreadfulthingwhichwarps,twistsanddullsourdays.
Thereisphysicalfearbutthatisaresponsewehaveinheritedfromtheanimals.
Itispsychologicalfearsweareconcernedwithhere,forwhenweunderstandthe
deeprootedpsychologicalfearswewillbeabletomeettheanimalfears,whereas
tobeconcernedwiththeanimalfearsfirstwillneverhelpustounderstandthe
psychologicalfears.
Weareallafraidaboutsomething;thereisnofearinabstraction,itisalwaysin
relationtosomething.Doyouknowyourownfearsfearoflosingyourjob,ofnot
havingenoughfoodormoney,orwhatyourneighboursorthepublicthinkabout
you,ornotbeingasuccess,oflosingyourpositioninsociety,ofbeingdespisedor

29

ridiculedfearofpainanddisease,ofdomination,ofneverknowingwhatloveis
orofnotbeingloved,oflosingyourwifeorchildren,ofdeath,oflivinginaworld
thatislikedeath,ofutterboredom,ofnotlivinguptotheimageothershavebuilt
aboutyou,oflosingyourfaithalltheseandinnumerableotherfearsdoyou
knowyourownparticularfears?Andwhatdoyouusuallydoaboutthem?You
runawayfromthem,dontyou,orinventideasandimagestocoverthem?Butto
runawayfromfearisonlytoincreaseit.
Oneofthemajorcausesoffearisthatwedonotwanttofaceourselvesaswe
are.So,aswellasthefearsthemselves,wehavetoexaminethenetworkofescapes
wehavedevelopedtoridourselvesofthem.Ifthemind,inwhichisincludedthe
brain,triestoovercomefear,tosuppressit,disciplineit,controlit,translateitinto
termsofsomethingelse,thereisfriction,thereisconflict,andthatconflictisa
wasteofenergy.
Thefirstthingtoaskourselvestheniswhatisfearandhowdoesitarise?What
dowemeanbythewordfearitself?IamaskingmyselfwhatisfearnotwhatIam
afraidof.
Ileadacertainkindoflife;Ithinkinacertainpattern;Ihavecertainbeliefsand
dogmasandIdontwantthosepatternsofexistencetobedisturbedbecauseIhave
myrootsinthem.Idontwantthemtobedisturbedbecausethedisturbance
producesastateofunknowingandIdislikethat.IfIamtornawayfrom
everythingIknowandbelieve,Iwanttobereasonablycertainofthestateofthings
towhichIamgoing.Sothebraincellshavecreatedapatternandthosebraincells
refusetocreateanotherpatternwhichmaybeuncertain.Themovementfrom
certaintytouncertaintyiswhatIcallfear.
AttheactualmomentasIamsittinghereIamnotafraid;Iamnotafraidinthe
present,nothingishappeningtome,nobodyisthreateningmeortakinganything
awayfromme.Butbeyondtheactualmomentthereisadeeperlayerinthemind
whichisconsciouslyorunconsciouslythinkingofwhatmighthappeninthefuture
orworryingthatsomethingfromthepastmayovertakeme.SoIamafraidofthe
pastandofthefuture.Ihavedividedtimeintothepastandthefuture.Thought

30

stepsin,says,`Becarefulitdoesnothappenagain,or`Bepreparedforthefuture.
Thefuturemaybedangerousforyou.Youhavegotsomethingnowbutyoumay
loseit.Youmaydietomorrow,yourwifemayrunaway,youmayloseyourjob.
Youmayneverbecomefamous.Youmaybelonely.Youwanttobequitesureof
tomorrow.
Nowtakeyourownparticularformoffear.Lookatit.Watchyourreactionsto
it.Canyoulookatitwithoutanymovementofescape,justification,condemnation
orsuppression?Canyoulookatthatfearwithoutthewordwhichcausesthefear?
Canyoulookatdeath,forinstance,withoutthewordwhicharousesthefearof
death?Theworditselfbringsatremor,doesntit,asthewordlovehasitsown
tremor,itsownimage?Nowistheimageyouhaveinyourmindaboutdeath,the
memoryofsomanydeathsyouhaveseenandtheassociatingofyourselfwith
thoseincidentsisitthatimagewhichiscreatingfear?Orareyouactuallyafraid
ofcomingtoanend,notoftheimagecreatingtheend?Istheworddeathcausing
youfearortheactualending?Ifitisthewordorthememorywhichiscausingyou
fearthenitisnotfearatall.
Youwereilltwoyearsago,letussay,andthememoryofthatpain,thatillness,
remains,andthememorynowfunctioningsays,`Becareful,dontgetill,again.So
thememorywithitsassociationsiscreatingfear,andthatisnotfearatallbecause
actuallyatthemomentyouhaveverygoodhealth.Thought,whichisalwaysold,
becausethoughtistheresponseofmemoryandmemoriesarealwaysoldthought
creates,intime,thefeelingthatyouareafraidwhichisnotanactualfact.The
actualfactisthatyouarewell.Buttheexperience,whichhasremainedinthemind
asamemory,rousesthethought,`Becareful,dontfallillagain.
Soweseethatthoughtengendersonekindoffear.Butistherefearatallapart
fromthat?Isfearalwaystheresultofthoughtand,ifitis,isthereanyotherformof
fear?Weareafraidofdeaththatis,somethingthatisgoingtohappentomorrow
orthedayaftertomorrow,intime.Thereisadistancebetweenactualityandwhat
willbe.Nowthoughthasexperiencedthisstate;byobservingdeathitsays,`Iam
goingtodie.Thoughtcreatesthefearofdeath,andifitdoesntisthereanyfearat

31

all?Isfeartheresultofthought?Ifitis,thoughtbeingalwaysold,fearisalways
old.Aswehavesaid,thereisnonewthought.Ifwerecogniseit,itisalreadyold.
Sowhatweareafraidofistherepetitionoftheoldthethoughtofwhathasbeen
projectingintothefuture.Thereforethoughtisresponsibleforfear.Thisisso,you
canseeitforyourself.Whenyouareconfrontedwithsomethingimmediatelythere
isnofear.Itisonlywhenthoughtcomesinthatthereisfear.
Thereforeourquestionnowis,isitpossibleforthemindtolivecompletely,
totally,inthepresent?Itisonlysuchamindthathasnofear.Buttounderstand
this,youhavetounderstandthestructureofthought,memoryandtime.Andin
understandingit,understandingnotintellectually,notverbally,butactuallywith
yourheart,yourmind,yourguts,youwillbefreefromfear;thenthemindcanuse
thoughtwithoutcreatingfear.
Thought,likememory,is,ofcourse,necessaryfordailyliving.Itistheonly
instrumentwehaveforcommunication,workingatourjobsandsoforth.Thought
istheresponsetomemory,memorywhichhasbeenaccumulatedthrough
experience,knowledge,tradition,time.Andfromthisbackgroundofmemorywe
reactandthisreactionisthinking.Sothoughtisessentialatcertainlevelsbutwhen
thoughtprojectsitselfpsychologicallyasthefutureandthepast,creatingfearas
wellaspleasure,themindismadedullandthereforeinactionisinevitable.
SoIaskmyself,`Why,why,why,doIthinkaboutthefutureandthepastin
termsofpleasureandpain,knowingthatsuchthoughtcreatesfear?Isntit
possibleforthoughtpsychologicallytostop,forotherwisefearwillneverend?
Oneofthefunctionsofthoughtistobeoccupiedallthetimewithsomething.
Mostofuswanttohaveourmindscontinuallyoccupiedsothatweareprevented
fromseeingourselvesasweactuallyare.Weareafraidtobeempty.Weareafraid
tolookatourfears.
Consciouslyyoucanbeawareofyourfearsbutatthedeeperlevelsofyour
mindareyouawareofthem?Andhowareyougoingtofindoutthefearsthatare
hidden,secret?Isfeartobedividedintotheconsciousandthesubconscious?This
isaveryimportantquestion.Thespecialist,thepsychologist,theanalyst,have

32

dividedfearintodeepsuperficiallayers,butifyoufollowwhatthepsychologist
saysorwhatIsay,youareunderstandingourtheories,ourdogmas,our
knowledge,youarenotunderstandingyourself.Youcannotunderstandyourself
accordingtoFreudorJung,oraccordingtome.Otherpeoplestheorieshaveno
importancewhatever.Itisofyourselfthatyoumustaskthequestion,isfeartobe
dividedintotheconsciousandsubconscious?Oristhereonlyfearwhichyou
translateintodifferentforms?Thereisonlyonedesire;thereisonlydesire.You
desire.Theobjectsofdesirechange,butdesireisalwaysthesame.Soperhapsin
thesamewaythereisonlyfear.Youareafraidofallsortsofthingsbutthereis
onlyonefear.
Whenyourealizethatfearcannotbedividedyouwillseethatyouhaveput
awayaltogetherthisproblemofthesubconsciousandsohavecheatedthe
psychologistsandtheanalysts.Whenyouunderstandthatfearisasingle
movementwhichexpressesitselfindifferentwaysandwhenyouseethe
movementandnottheobjecttowhichthemovementgoes,thenyouarefacingan
immensequestion:howcanyoulookatitwithoutthefragmentationwhichthe
mindhascultivated?
Thereisonlytotalfear,buthowcanthemindwhichthinksinfragments
observethistotalpicture?Canit?Wehavelivedalifeoffragmentation,andcan
lookatthattotalfearonlythroughthefragmentaryprocessofthought.Thewhole
processofthemachineryofthinkingistobreakupeverythingintofragments:I
loveyouandIhateyou;youaremyenemy,youaremyfriend;mypeculiar
idiosyncrasiesandinclinations,myjob,myposition,myprestige,mywife,my
child,mycountryandyourcountry,myGodandyourGodallthatisthe
fragmentationofthought.Andthisthoughtlooksatthetotalstateoffear,ortries
tolookatit,andreducesittofragments.Thereforeweseethatthemindcanlook
atthistotalfearonlywhenthereisnomovementofthought.
Canyouwatchfearwithoutanyconclusion,withoutanyinterferenceofthe
knowledgeyouhaveaccumulatedaboutit?Ifyoucannot,thenwhatyouare
watchingisthepast,notfear;ifyoucan,thenyouarewatchingfearforthefirst

33

timewithouttheinterferenceofthepast.
Youcanwatchonlywhenthemindisveryquiet,justasyoucanlistentowhat
someoneissayingonlywhenyourmindisnotchatteringwithitself,carryingona
dialoguewithitselfaboutitsownproblemsandanxieties.Canyouinthesame
waylookatyourfearwithouttryingtoresolveit,withoutbringinginitsopposite,
courageactuallylookatitandnottrytoescapefromit?Whenyousay,`Imust
controlit,Imustgetridofit,Imustunderstandit,youaretryingtoescapefromit.
Youcanobserveacloudoratreeorthemovementofariverwithafairlyquiet
mindbecausetheyarenotveryimportanttoyou,buttowatchyourselfisfarmore
difficultbecausetherethedemandsaresopractical,thereactionssoquick.So
whenyouaredirectlyincontactwithfearordespair,lonelinessorjealousy,orany
otheruglystateofmind,canyoulookatitsocompletelythatyourmindisquiet
enoughtoseeit?Canthemindperceivefearandnotthedifferentformsoffear
perceivetotalfear,notwhatyouareafraidof?Ifyoulookmerelyatthedetailsof
fearortrytodealwithyourfearsonebyone,youwillnevercometothecentral
issuewhichistolearntolivewithfear.
Tolivewithalivingthingsuchasfearrequiresamindandheartthatare
extraordinarilysubtle,thathavenoconclusionandcanthereforefollowevery
movementoffear.Thenifyouobserveandlivewithitandthisdoesnttakea
wholeday,itcantakeaminuteorasecondtoknowthewholenatureoffearif
youlivewithitsocompletelyyouinevitablyask,Whoistheentitywhoisliving
withfear?Whoisitwhoisobservingfear,watchingallthemovementsofthe
variousformsoffearaswellasbeingawareofthecentralfactoffear?Isthe
observeradeadentity,astaticbeing,whohasaccumulatedalotofknowledgeand
informationabouthimself,andisitthatdeadthingwhoisobservingandliving
withthemovementoffear?Istheobserverthepastorishealivingthing?Whatis
youranswer?Donotanswerme,answeryourself.Areyou,theobserver,adead
entitywatchingalivingthingorareyoualivingthingwatchingalivingthing?
Becauseintheobserverthetwostatesexist.
Theobserveristhecensorwhodoesnotwantfear;theobserveristhetotalityof

34

allhisexperiencesaboutfear.Sotheobserverisseparatefromthatthinghecalls
fear;thereisspacebetweenthem;heisforevertryingtoovercomeitorescape
fromitandhencethisconstantbattlebetweenhimselfandfearthisbattlewhich
issuchawasteofenergy.
Asyouwatch,youlearnthattheobserverismerelyabundleofideasand
memorieswithoutanyvalidityorsubstance,butthatfearisanactualityandthat
youaretryingtounderstandafactwithanabstractionwhich,ofcourse,you
cannotdo.But,infact,istheobserverwhosays,`Iamafraid,anydifferentfrom
thethingobservedwhichisfear?Theobserverisfearandwhenthatisrealized
thereisnolongeranydissipationofenergyintheefforttogetridoffear,andthe
timespaceintervalbetweentheobserverandtheobserveddisappears.Whenyou
seethatyouareapartoffear,notseparatefromitthatyouarefearthenyou
cannotdoanythingaboutit;thenfearcomestotallytoanend.

35

Chapter 6
FEAR,PLEASURE,SORROW,thoughtandviolenceareallinterrelated.Mostofus
takepleasureinviolence,indislikingsomebody,hatingaparticularraceorgroup
ofpeople,havingantagonisticfeelingstowardsothers.Butinastateofmindin
whichallviolencehascometoanendthereisajoywhichisverydifferentfrom
thepleasureofviolencewithitsconflicts,hatredsandfears.
Canwegototheveryrootofviolenceandbefreefromit?Otherwiseweshall
liveeverlastinglyinbattlewitheachother.Ifthatisthewayyouwanttoliveand
apparentlymostpeopledothencarryon;ifyousay,`Well,Imsorry,violencecan
neverend,thenyouandIhavenomeansofcommunication,youhaveblocked
yourself;butifyousaytheremightbeadifferentwayofliving,thenweshallbe
abletocommunicatewitheachother.
Soletusconsidertogether,thoseofuswhocancommunicate,whetheritisatall
possibletotallytoendeveryformofviolenceinourselvesandstillliveinthis
monstrouslybrutalworld.Ithinkitispossible.Idontwanttohaveabreathof
hate,jealousy,anxietyorfearinme.Iwanttolivecompletelyatpeace.Which
doesntmeanthatIwanttodie.Iwanttoliveonthismarvellousearth,sofull,so
rich,sobeautiful.Iwanttolookatthetrees,flowers,rivers,meadows,women,
boysandgirls,andatthesametimelivecompletelyatpeacewithmyselfandwith
theworld.WhatcanIdo?
Ifweknowhowtolookatviolence,notonlyoutwardlyinsocietythewars,the
riots,thenationalantagonismsandclassconflictsbutalsoinourselves,then
perhapsweshallbeabletogobeyondit.
Hereisaverycomplexproblem.Forcenturiesuponcenturiesmanhasbeen
violent;religionshavetriedtotamehimthroughouttheworldandnoneofthem
havesucceeded.Soifwearegoingintothequestionwemust,itseemstome,beat
leastveryseriousaboutitbecauseitwillleadusintoquiteadifferentdomain,but
ifwewantmerelytoplaywiththeproblemforintellectualentertainmentweshall

36

notgetveryfar.
Youmayfeelthatyouyourselfareveryseriousabouttheproblembutthatas
longassomanyotherpeopleintheworldarenotseriousandarenotpreparedto
doanythingaboutit,whatisthegoodofyourdoinganything?Idontcare
whethertheytakeitseriouslyornot.Itakeitseriously,thatisenough.Iamnotmy
brotherskeeper.Imyself,asahumanbeing,feelverystronglyaboutthisquestion
ofviolenceandIwillseetoitthatinmyselfIamnotviolentbutIcannottellyou
oranybodyelse,`Dontbeviolent.Ithasnomeaningunlessyouyourselfwantit.
Soifyouyourselfreallywanttounderstandthisproblemofviolenceletus
continueonourjourneyofexplorationtogether.
Isthisproblemofviolenceoutthereorhere?Doyouwanttosolvetheproblem
intheoutsideworldorareyouquestioningviolenceitselfasitisinyou?Ifyouare
freeofviolenceinyourselfthequestionis,`HowamItoliveinaworldfullof
violence,acquisitiveness,greed,envy,brutality?WillInotbedestroyed?Thatis
theinevitablequestionwhichisinvariablyasked.Whenyouasksuchaquestionit
seemstomeyouarenotactuallylivingpeacefully.Ifyoulivepeacefullyyouwill
havenoproblematall.Youmaybeimprisonedbecauseyourefusetojointhe
armyorshotbecauseyourefusetofightbutthatisnotaproblem;youwillbe
shot.itisextraordinarilyimportanttounderstandthis.
Wearetryingtounderstandviolenceasafact,notasanidea,asafactwhich
existsinthehumanbeing,andthehumanbeingismyself.Andtogointothe
problemImustbecompletelyvulnerable,open,toit.Imustexposemyselfto
myselfnotnecessarilyexposemyselftoyoubecauseyoumaynotbeinterested
butImustbeinastateofmindthatdemandstoseethisthingrighttotheendand
atnopointstopsandsaysIwillgonofurther.
NowitmustbeobvioustomethatIamaviolenthumanbeing.Ihave
experiencedviolenceinanger,violenceinmysexualdemands,violenceinhatred,
creatingenmity,violenceinjealousyandsoonIhaveexperiencedit,Ihave
knownit,andIsaytomyself,`Iwanttounderstandthiswholeproblemnotjust
onefragmentofitexpressedinwar,butthisaggressioninmanwhichalsoexistsin

37

theanimalsandofwhichIamapart.
Violenceisnotmerelykillinganother.Itisviolencewhenweuseasharpword,
whenwemakeagesturetobrushawayaperson,whenweobeybecausethereis
fear.SoviolenceisntmerelyorganizedbutcheryinthenameofGod,inthename
ofsocietyorcountry.Violenceismuchmoresubtle,muchdeeper,andweare
inquiringintotheverydepthsofviolence.
WhenyoucallyourselfanIndianoraMuslimoraChristianoraEuropean,or
anythingelse,youarebeingviolent.Doyouseewhyitisviolent?Becauseyouare
separatingyourselffromtherestofmankind.Whenyouseparateyourselfby
belief,bynationality,bytradition,itbreedsviolence.Soamanwhoisseekingto
understandviolencedoesnotbelongtoanycountry,toanyreligion,toany
politicalpartyorpartialsystem;heisconcernedwiththetotalunderstandingof
mankind.
Nowtherearetwoprimaryschoolsofthoughtwithregardtoviolence,one
whichsays,`Violenceisinnateinmanandtheotherwhichsays,`Violenceisthe
resultofthesocialandculturalheritageinwhichmanlives.Wearenotconcerned
withwhichschoolwebelongtoitisofnoimportance.Whatisimportantisthe
factthatweareviolent,notthereasonforit.
Oneofthemostcommonexpressionsofviolenceisanger.Whenmywifeor
sisterisattackedIsayIamrighteouslyangry;whenmycountryisattacked,my
ideas,myprinciples,mywayoflife,Iamrighteouslyangry.Iamalsoangrywhen
myhabitsareattackedormypettylittleopinions.Whenyoutreadonmytoesor
insultmeIgetangry,orifyourunawaywithmywifeandIgetjealous,that
jealousyiscalledrighteousbecausesheismyproperty.Andallthisangeris
morallyjustified.Buttokillformycountryisalsojustified.Sowhenwearetalking
aboutanger,whichisapartofviolence,dowelookatangerintermsofrighteous
andunrighteousangeraccordingtoourowninclinationsandenvironmentaldrive,
ordoweseeonlyanger?Isthererighteousangerever?Oristhereonlyanger?
Thereisnogoodinfluenceorbadinfluence,onlyinfluence,butwhenyouare
influencedbysomethingwhichdoesntsuitmeIcallitanevilinfluence.

38

Themomentyouprotectyourfamily,yourcountry,abitofcolouredragcalled
aflag,abelief,anidea,adogma,thethingthatyoudemandorthatyouhold,that
veryprotectionindicatesanger.Socanyoulookatangerwithoutanyexplanation
orjustification,withoutsaying,`Imustprotectmygoods,or`Iwasrighttobe
angry,or`Howstupidofmetobeangry?Canyoulookatangerasifitwere
somethingbyitself?Canyoulookatitcompletelyobjectively,whichmeans
neitherdefendingitnorcondemningit?Canyou?
CanIlookatyouifIamantagonistictoyouorifIamthinkingwhata
marvellouspersonyouare?IcanseeyouonlywhenIlookatyouwithacertain
careinwhichneitherofthesethingsisinvolved.Now,canIlookatangerinthe
sameway,whichmeansthatIamvulnerabletotheproblem,Idonotresistit,Iam
watchingthisextraordinaryphenomenonwithoutanyreactiontoit?
Itisverydifficulttolookatangerdispassionatelybecauseitisapartofme,but
thatiswhatIamtryingtodo.HereIam,aviolenthumanbeing,whetherIam
black,brown,whiteorpurple.IamnotconcernedwithwhetherIhaveinherited
thisviolenceorwhethersocietyhasproduceditinme;allIamconcernedwithis
whetheritisatallpossibletobefreefromit.Tobefreefromviolencemeans
everythingtome.Itismoreimportanttomethansex,food,position,forthisthing
iscorruptingme.Itisdestroyingmeanddestroyingtheworld,andIwantto
understandit,Iwanttobebeyondit.Ifeelresponsibleforallthisangerand
violenceintheworld.IfeelresponsibleitisntjustalotofwordsandIsayto
myself,`IcandosomethingonlyifIambeyondangermyself,beyondviolence,
beyondnationality.AndthisfeelingIhavethatImustunderstandtheviolencein
myselfbringstremendousvitalityandpassiontofindout.
ButtobebeyondviolenceIcannotsuppressit,Icannotdenyit,Icannotsay,
`Well,itisapartofmeandthatsthat,or`Idontwantit.Ihavetolookatit,I
havetostudyit,ImustbecomeveryintimatewithitandIcannotbecomeintimate
withitifIcondemnitorjustifyit.Wedocondemnit,though;wedojustifyit.
ThereforeIamsaying,stopforthetimebeingcondemningitorjustifyingit.
Now,ifyouwanttostopviolence,ifyouwanttostopwars,howmuchvitality,

39

howmuchofyourself,doyougivetoit?Isntitimportanttoyouthatyour
childrenarekilled,thatyoursonsgointothearmywheretheyarebulliedand
butchered?Dontyoucare?MyGod,ifthatdoesntinterestyou,whatdoes?
Guardingyourmoney?Havingagoodtime?Takingdrugs?Dontyouseethatthis
violenceinyourselfisdestroyingyourchildren?Ordoyouseeitonlyassome
abstraction?
Allrightthen,ifyouareinterested,attendwithallyourheartandmindtofind
out.Dontjustsitbackandsay,`Well,tellusallaboutit.Ipointouttoyouthat
youcannotlookatangernoratviolencewitheyesthatcondemnorjustifyandthat
ifthisviolenceisnotaburningproblemtoyou,youcannotputthosetwothings
away.Sofirstyouhavetolearn;youhavetolearnhowtolookatanger,howto
lookatyourhusband,yourwife,yourchildren;youhavetolistentothepolitician,
youhavetolearnwhyyouarenotobjective,whyyoucondemnorjustify.You
havetolearnthatyoucondemnandjustifybecauseitispartofthesocialstructure
youlivein,yourconditioningasaGermanoranIndianoraNegrooranAmerican
orwhateveryouhappentohavebeenborn,withallthedullingofthemindthat
thisconditioningresultsin.Tolearn,todiscover,somethingfundamentalyou
musthavethecapacitytogodeeply.Ifyouhaveabluntinstrument,adull
instrument,youcannotgodeeply.Sowhatwearedoingissharpeningthe
instrument,whichisthemindthemindwhichhasbeenmadedullbyallthis
justifyingandcondemning.Youcanpenetratedeeplyonlyifyourmindisassharp
asaneedleandasstrongasadiamond.Itisnogoodjustsittingbackandasking,
`HowamItogetsuchamind?Youhavetowantitasyouwantyournextmeal,
andtohaveityoumustseethatwhatmakesyourminddullandstupidisthis
senseofinvulnerabilitywhichhasbuiltwallsrounditselfandwhichispartofthis
condemnationandjustification.Ifthemindcanberidofthat,thenyoucanlook,
study,penetrate,andperhapscometoastatethatistotallyawareofthewhole
problem.
Soletuscomebacktothecentralissueisitpossibletoeradicateviolencein
ourselves?Itisaformofviolencetosay,`Youhaventchanged,whyhaventyou?

40

Iamnotdoingthat.Itdoesntmeanathingtometoconvinceyouofanything.Itis
yourlife,notmylife.Thewayyouliveisyouraffair.Iamaskingwhetheritis
possibleforahumanbeinglivingpsychologicallyinanysocietytoclearviolence
fromhimselfinwardly?Ifitis,theveryprocesswillproduceadifferentwayof
livinginthisworld.
Mostofushaveacceptedviolenceasawayoflife.Twodreadfulwarshave
taughtusnothingexcepttobuildmoreandmorebarriersbetweenhumanbeings
thatis,betweenyouandme.Butforthoseofuswhowanttoberidofviolence,
howisittobedone?Idonotthinkanythingisgoingtobeachievedthrough
analysis,eitherbyourselvesorbyaprofessional.Wemightbeabletomodify
ourselvesslightly,livealittlemorequietlywithalittlemoreaffection,butinitself
itwillnotgivetotalperception.ButImustknowhowtoanalysewhichmeansthat
intheprocessofanalysismymindbecomesextraordinarilysharp,anditisthat
qualityofsharpness,ofattention,ofseriousness,whichwillgivetotalperception.
Onehasnttheeyestoseethewholethingataglance;thisclarityoftheeyeis
possibleonlyifonecanseethedetails,thenjump.Someofus,inordertorid
ourselvesofviolence,haveusedaconcept,anideal,callednonviolence,andwe
thinkbyhavinganidealoftheoppositetoviolence,nonviolence,wecangetridof
thefact,theactualbutwecannot.Wehavehadidealswithoutnumber,allthe
sacredbooksarefullofthem,yetwearestillviolentsowhynotdealwith
violenceitselfandforgetthewordaltogether?
Ifyouwanttounderstandtheactualyoumustgiveyourwholeattention,all
yourenergy,toit.Thatattentionandenergyaredistractedwhenyoucreatea
fictitious,idealworld.Socanyoucompletelybanishtheideal?Themanwhois
reallyserious,withtheurgetofindoutwhattruthis,whatloveis,hasnoconcept
atall.Helivesonlyinwhatis.
Toinvestigatethefactofyourownangeryoumustpassnojudgementonit,for
themomentyouconceiveofitsoppositeyoucondemnitandthereforeyoucannot
seeitasitis.Whenyousayyoudislikeorhatesomeonethatisafact,althoughit
soundsterrible.Ifyoulookatit,gointoitcompletely,itceases,butifyousay,`I

41

mustnothate;Imusthaveloveinmyheart,thenyouarelivinginahypocritical
worldwithdoublestandards.Tolivecompletely,fully,inthemomentistolive
withwhatis,theactual,withoutanysenseofcondemnationorjustificationthen
youunderstanditsototallythatyouarefinishedwithit.Whenyouseeclearlythe
problemissolved.
Butcanyouseethefaceofviolenceclearlythefaceofviolencenotonlyoutside
youbutinsideyou,whichmeansthatyouaretotallyfreefromviolencebecause
youhavenotadmittedideologythroughwhichtogetridofit?Thisrequiresvery
deepmeditationnotjustaverbalagreementordisagreement.
Youhavenowreadaseriesofstatementsbuthaveyoureallyunderstood?Your
conditionedmind,yourwayoflife,thewholestructureofthesocietyinwhichyou
live,preventyoufromlookingatafactandbeingentirelyfreefromitimmediately.
Yousay,`Iwillthinkaboutit;Iwillconsiderwhetheritispossibletobefreefrom
violenceornot.Iwilltrytobefree.Thatisoneofthemostdreadfulstatements
youcanmake,`Iwilltry.Thereisnotrying,nodoingyourbest.Eitheryoudoitor
youdontdoit.Youareadmittingtimewhilethehouseisburning.Thehouseis
burningasaresultoftheviolencethroughouttheworldandinyourselfandyou
say,`Letmethinkaboutit.Whichideologyisbesttoputoutthefire?Whenthe
houseisonfire,doyouargueaboutthecolourofthehairofthemanwhobrings
thewater?

42

Chapter 7
THECESSATIONOFviolence,whichwehavejustbeenconsidering,doesnot
necessarilymeanastateofmindwhichisatpeacewithitselfandthereforeatpeace
inallitsrelationships.
Relationshipbetweenhumanbeingsisbasedontheimageforming,defensive
mechanism.Inallourrelationshipseachoneofusbuildsanimageabouttheother
andthesetwoimageshaverelationship,notthehumanbeingsthemselves.The
wifehasanimageaboutthehusbandperhapsnotconsciouslybutneverthelessit
isthereandthehusbandhasanimageaboutthewife.Onehasanimageabout
onescountryandaboutoneself,andwearealwaysstrengtheningtheseimagesby
addingmoreandmoretothem.Anditistheseimageswhichhaverelationship.
Theactualrelationshipbetweentwohumanbeingsorbetweenmanyhuman
beingscompletelyendwhenthereistheformationofimages.
Relationshipbasedontheseimagescanobviouslyneverbringaboutpeacein
therelationshipbecausetheimagesarefictitiousandonecannotliveinan
abstraction.Andyetthatiswhatwearealldoing:livinginideas,intheories,in
symbols,inimageswhichwehavecreatedaboutourselvesandothersandwhich
arenotrealitiesatall.Allourrelationships,whethertheybewithproperty,ideas
orpeople,arebasedessentiallyonthisimageforming,andhencethereisalways
conflict.
Howisitpossiblethentobecompletelyatpeacewithinourselvesandinallour
relationshipswithothers?Afterall,lifeisamovementinrelationship,otherwise
thereisnolifeatall,andifthatlifeisbasedonanabstraction,anidea,ora
speculativeassumption,thensuchabstractlivingmustinevitablybringabouta
relationshipwhichbecomesabattlefield.Soisitatallpossibleformantolivea
completelyorderlyinwardlifewithoutanyformofcompulsion,imitation,
suppressionorsublimation?Canhebringaboutsuchorderwithinhimselfthatitis
alivingqualitynotheldwithintheframeworkofideasaninwardtranquillity

43

whichknowsnodisturbanceatanymomentnotinsomefantasticmythical
abstractworldbutinthedailylifeofthehomeandtheoffice?
Ithinkweshouldgointothisquestionverycarefullybecausethereisnotone
spotinourconsciousnessuntouchedbyconflict.Inallourrelationships,whether
withthemostintimatepersonorwithaneighbourorwithsociety,thisconflict
existsconflictbeingcontradiction,astateofdivision,separation,aduality.
Observingourselvesandourrelationshipstosocietyweseethatatalllevelsofour
beingthereisconflictminorormajorconflictwhichbringsaboutverysuperficial
responsesordevastatingresults.
Manhasacceptedconflictasaninnatepartofdailyexistencebecausehehas
acceptedcompetition,jealousy,greed,acquisitivenessandaggressionasanatural
wayoflife.Whenweacceptsuchawayoflifeweacceptthestructureofsocietyas
itisandlivewithinthepatternofrespectability.Andthatiswhatmostofusare
caughtinbecausemostofuswanttobeterriblyrespectable.Whenweexamineour
ownmindsandhearts,thewaywethink,thewaywefeelandhowweactinour
dailylives,weobservethataslongasweconformtothepatternofsociety,life
mustbeabattlefield.Ifwedonotacceptitandnoreligiouspersoncanpossibly
acceptsuchasocietythenwewillbecompletelyfreefromthepsychological
structureofsociety.
Mostofusarerichwiththethingsofsociety.Whatsocietyhascreatedinusand
whatwehavecreatedinourselves,aregreed,envy,anger,hate,jealousy,anxiety
andwithalltheseweareveryrich.Thevariousreligionsthroughouttheworld
havepreachedpoverty.Themonkassumesarobe,changeshisname,shaveshis
head,entersacellandtakesavowofpovertyandchastity;intheEasthehasone
loincloth,onerobe,onemealadayandweallrespectsuchpoverty.Butthose
menwhohaveassumedtherobeofpovertyarestillinwardly,psychologically,
richwiththethingsofsocietybecausetheyarestillseekingpositionandprestige;
theybelongtothisorderorthatorder,thisreligionorthatreligion;theystilllivein
thedivisionsofaculture,atradition.Thatisnotpoverty.povertyistobe
completelyfreeofsociety,thoughonemayhaveafewmoreclothes,afewmore

44

mealsgoodGod,whocares?Butunfortunatelyinmostpeoplethereisthisurge
forexhibitionism.
Povertybecomesamarvellouslybeautifulthingwhenthemindisfreeof
society.Onemustbecomepoorinwardlyforthenthereisnoseeking,noasking,no
desire,nonothing!Itisonlythisinwardpovertythatcanseethetruthofalifein
whichthereisnoconflictatall.Suchalifeisabenedictionnottobefoundinany
churchoranytemple.
Howisitpossiblethentofreeourselvesfromthepsychologicalstructureof
society,whichistofreeourselvesfromtheessenceofconflict?Itisnotdifficultto
trimandlopoffcertainbranchesofconflict,butweareaskingourselveswhetherit
ispossibletoliveincompleteinwardandthereforeoutwardtranquillity?Which
doesnotmeanthatweshallvegetateorstagnate.Onthecontrary,weshallbecome
dynamic,vital,fullofenergy.
Tounderstandandtobefreeofanyproblemweneedagreatdealofpassionate
andsustainedenergy,notonlyphysicalandintellectualenergybutanenergythat
isnotdependentonanymotive,anypsychologicalstimulusordrug.Ifweare
dependentonanystimulusthatverystimulusmakestheminddulland
insensitive.Bytakingsomeformofdrugwemayfindenoughenergytemporarily
toseethingsveryclearlybutwereverttoourformerstateandthereforebecome
dependentonthatdrugmoreandmore.Soallstimulation,whetherofthechurch
orofalcoholorofdrugsorofthewrittenorspokenword,willinevitablybring
aboutdependence,andthatdependencepreventsusfromseeingclearlyfor
ourselvesandthereforefromhavingvitalenergy.
Weallunfortunatelydependpsychologicallyonsomething.Whydowe
depend?Whyistherethisurgetodepend?Wearetakingthisjourneytogether;
youarenotwaitingformetotellyouthecausesofyourdependence.Ifweenquire
togetherwewillbothdiscoverandthereforethatdiscoverywillbeyourown,and
hence,beingyours,itwillgiveyouvitality.
IdiscoverformyselfthatIdependonsomethinganaudience,say,whichwill
stimulateme.Iderivefromthataudience,fromaddressingalargegroupofpeople,

45

akindofenergy.AndthereforeIdependonthataudience,onthosepeople,
whethertheyagreeordisagree.Themoretheydisagreethemorevitalitytheygive
me.Iftheyagreeitbecomesaveryshallow,emptything.SoIdiscoverthatIneed
anaudiencebecauseitisaverystimulatingthingtoaddresspeople.Nowwhy?
WhydoIdepend?BecauseinmyselfIamshallow,inmyselfIhavenothing,in
myselfIhavenosourcewhichisalwaysfullandrich,vital,moving,living.SoI
depend.Ihavediscoveredthecause.
Butwillthediscoveryofthecausefreemefrombeingdependent?The
discoveryofthecauseismerelyintellectual,soobviouslyitdoesnotfreethemind
fromitsdependency.Themereintellectualacceptanceofanidea,ortheemotional
acquiescenceinanideology,cannotfreethemindfrombeingdependenton
somethingwhichwillgiveitstimulation.Whatfreesthemindfromdependenceis
seeingthewholestructureandnatureofstimulationanddependenceandhow
thatdependencemakesthemindstupid,dullandinactive.Seeingthetotalityofit
alonefreesthemind.
SoImustenquireintowhatitmeanstoseetotally.AslongasIamlookingat
lifefromaparticularpointofvieworfromaparticularexperienceIhave
cherished,orfromsomeparticularknowledgeIhavegathered,whichismy
background,whichistheme,Icannottotally.Ihavediscoveredintellectually,
verbally,throughanalysis,thecauseofmydependence,butwhateverthought
investigatesmustinevitablybefragmentary,soIcanseethetotalityofsomething
onlywhenthoughtdoesnotinterfere.
ThenIseethefactofmydependence;Iseeactuallywhatis.Iseeitwithoutany
likeordislike;Idonotwanttogetridofthatdependenceortobefreefromthe
causeofit.Iobserveit,andwhenthereisobservationofthiskindIseethewhole
picture,notafragmentofthepicture,andwhenthemindseesthewholepicture
thereisfreedom.NowIhavediscoveredthatthereisadissipationofenergywhen
thereisfragmentation.Ihavefoundtheverysourceofthedissipationofenergy.
Youmaythinkthereisnowasteofenergyifyouimitate,ifyouaccept
authority,ifyoudependonthepriest,theritual,thedogma,thepartyoronsome

46

ideology,butthefollowingandacceptanceofanideology,whetheritisgoodor
bad,whetheritisholyorunholy,isafragmentaryactivityandthereforeacauseof
conflict,andconflictwillinevitablyarisesolongasthereisadivisionbetween
`whatshouldbeand`whatis,andanyconflictisadissipationofenergy.
Ifyouputthequestiontoyourself,`HowamItobefreefromconflict?,youare
creatinganotherproblemandhenceyouareincreasingconflict,whereasifyoujust
seeitasafactseeitasyouwouldseesomeconcreteobjectclearly,directlythen
youwillunderstandessentiallythetruthofalifeinwhichthereisnoconflictatall.
Letusputitanotherway.Wearealwayscomparingwhatwearewithwhatwe
shouldbe.Theshouldbeisaprojectionofwhatwethinkweoughttobe.
Contradictionexistswhenthereiscomparison,notonlywithsomethingor
somebody,butwithwhatyouwereyesterday,andhencethereisconflictbetween
whathasbeenandwhatis.Thereiswhatisonlywhenthereisnocomparisonat
all,andtolivewithwhatis,istobepeaceful.Thenyoucangiveyourwhole
attentionwithoutanydistractiontowhatiswithinyourselfwhetheritbedespair,
ugliness,brutality,fear,anxiety,lonelinessandlivewithitcompletely;thenthere
isnocontradictionandhencenoconflict.
Butallthetimewearecomparingourselveswiththosewhoarericherormore
brilliant,moreintellectual,moreaffectionate,morefamous,morethisandmore
that.The`moreplaysanextraordinarilyimportantpartinourlives;this
measuringourselvesallthetimeagainstsomethingorsomeoneisoneofthe
primarycausesofconflict.
Nowwhyisthereanycomparisonatall?Whydoyoucompareyourselfwith
another?Thiscomparisonhasbeentaughtfromchildhood.IneveryschoolAis
comparedwithB,andAdestroyshimselfinordertobelikeB.Whenyoudonot
compareatall,whenthereisnoideal,noopposite,nofactorofduality,whenyou
nolongerstruggletobedifferentfromwhatyouarewhathashappenedtoyour
mind?Yourmindhasceasedtocreatetheoppositeandhasbecomehighly
intelligent,highlysensitive,capableofimmensepassion,becauseeffortisa
dissipationofpassionpassionwhichisvitalenergyandyoucannotdoanything

47

withoutpassion.
Ifyoudonotcompareyourselfwithanotheryouwillbewhatyouare.Through
comparisonyouhopetoevolve,togrow,tobecomemoreintelligent,more
beautiful.Butwillyou?Thefactiswhatyouare,andbycomparingyouare
fragmentingthefactwhichisawasteofenergy.Toseewhatyouactuallyare
withoutanycomparisongivesyoutremendousenergytolook.Whenyoucanlook
atyourselfwithoutcomparisonyouarebeyondcomparison,whichdoesnotmean
thatthemindisstagnantwithcontentment.Soweseeinessencehowthemind
wastesenergywhichissonecessarytounderstandthetotalityoflife.
IdontwanttoknowwithwhomIaminconflict;Idontwanttoknowthe
peripheralconflictsofmybeing.WhatIwanttoknowiswhyconflictshouldexist
atall.WhenIputthatquestiontomyselfIseeafundamentalissuewhichhas
nothingtodowithperipheralconflictsandtheirsolutions.Iamconcernedwiththe
centralissueandIseeperhapsyouseealso?thattheverynatureofdesire,ifnot
properlyunderstood,mustinevitablyleadtoconflict.Desireisalwaysin
contradiction.IdesirecontradictorythingswhichdoesntmeanthatImust
destroydesire,suppress,controlorsublimateitIsimplyseethatdesireitselfis
contradictory.Itisnottheobjectsofdesirebuttheverynatureofdesirewhichis
contradictory.AndIhavetounderstandthenatureofdesirebeforeIcan
understandconflict.Inourselvesweareinastateofcontradiction,andthatstateof
contradictionisbroughtaboutbydesiredesirebeingthepursuitofpleasureand
theavoidanceofpain,whichwehavealreadybeeninto.
Soweseedesireastherootofallcontradictionwantingsomethingandnot
wantingitadualactivity.Whenwedosomethingpleasurablethereisnoeffort
involvedatall,isthere?Butpleasurebringspainandthenthereisastruggleto
avoidthepain,andthatagainisadissipationofenergy.Whydowehaveduality
atall?Thereis,ofcourse,dualityinnaturemanandwoman,lightandshade,
nightanddaybutinwardly,psychologically,whydowehaveduality?Please
thinkthisoutwithme,dontwaitformetotellyou.Youhavetoexerciseyourown
mindtofindout.Mywordsaremerelyamirrorinwhichtoobserveyourself.Why

48

dowehavethispsychologicalduality?Isitthatwehavebeenbroughtupalways
tocompare`whatiswith`whatshouldbe?Wehavebeenconditionedinwhatis
rightandwhatiswrong,whatisgoodandwhatisbad,whatismoralandwhatis
immoral.Hasthisdualitycomeintobeingbecausewebelievethatthinkingabout
theoppositeofviolence,theoppositeofenvy,ofjealousy,ofmeanness,willhelp
ustogetridofthosethings?Doweusetheoppositeasalevertogetridofwhatis?
Orisitanescapefromtheactual?
Doyouusetheoppositeasameansofavoidingtheactualwhichyoudont
knowhowtodealwith?Orisitbecauseyouhavebeentoldbythousandsofyears
ofpropagandathatyoumusthaveanidealtheoppositeof`whatisinorderto
copewiththepresent?Whenyouhaveanidealyouthinkithelpsyoutogetridof
`whatis,butitneverdoes.Youmaypreachnonviolencefortherestofyourlife
andallthetimebesowingtheseedsofviolence.
Youhaveaconceptofwhatyoushouldbeandhowyoushouldact,andallthe
timeyouareinfactactingquitedifferently;soyouseethatprinciples,beliefsand
idealsmustinevitablyleadtohypocrisyandadishonestlife.Itistheidealthat
createstheoppositetowhatis,soifyouknowhowtobewith`whatis,thenthe
oppositeisnotnecessary.
Tryingtobecomelikesomebodyelse,orlikeyourideal,isoneofthemain
causesofcontradiction,confusionconflict.Amindthatisconfused,whateverit
does,atanylevel,willremainconfused;anyactionbornofconfusionleadsto
furtherconfusion.Iseethisveryclearly;IseeitasclearlyasIseeanimmediate
physicaldanger.Sowhathappens?Iceasetoactintermsofconfusionanymore.
Thereforeinactioniscompleteaction.

49

Chapter 8
NONEOFTHEagoniesofsuppression,northebrutaldisciplineofconformingto
apatternhasledtotruth.Tocomeupontruththemindmustbecompletelyfree,
withoutaspotofdistortion.
Butfirstletusaskourselvesifwereallywanttobefree?Whenwetalkof
freedomarewetalkingofcompletefreedomoroffreedomfromsome
inconvenientorunpleasantorundesirablething?Wewouldliketobefreefrom
painfulanduglymemoriesandunhappyexperiencesbutkeepourpleasurable,
satisfyingideologies,formulasandrelationships.Buttokeeptheonewithoutthe
otherisimpossible,for,aswehaveseen,pleasureisinseparablefrompain.
Soitisforeachoneofustodecidewhetherornotwewanttobecompletely
free.Ifwesaywedo,thenwemustunderstandthenatureandstructureof
freedom.
Isitfreedomwhenyouarefreefromsomethingfreefrompain,freefromsome
kindofanxiety?Orisfreedomitselfsomethingentirelydifferent?Youcanbefree
fromjealousy,say,butisntthatfreedomareactionandthereforenotfreedomat
all?Youcanbefreefromdogmaveryeasily,byanalysingit,bykickingitout,but
themotiveforthatfreedomfromdogmahasitsownreactionbecausethedesireto
befreefromadogmamaybethatitisnolongerfashionableorconvenient.Oryou
canbefreefromnationalismbecauseyoubelieveininternationalismorbecause
youfeelitisnolongereconomicallynecessarytoclingtothissillynationalistic
dogmawithitsflagandallthatrubbish.Youcaneasilyputthataway.Oryoumay
reactagainstsomespiritualorpoliticalleaderwhohaspromisedyoufreedomasa
resultofdisciplineorrevolt.Buthassuchrationalism,suchlogicalconclusion,
anythingtodowithfreedom?
Ifyousayyouarefreefromsomething,itisareactionwhichwillthenbecome
anotherreactionwhichwillbringaboutanotherconformity,anotherformof
domination.Inthiswayyoucanhaveachainofreactionsandaccepteachreaction

50

asfreedom.Butitisnotfreedom;itismerelyacontinuityofamodifiedpastwhich
themindclingsto.
Theyouthoftoday,likeallyouth,areinrevoltagainstsociety,andthatisa
goodthinginitself,butrevoltisnotfreedombecausewhenyourevoltitisa
reactionandthatreactionsetsupitsownpatternandyougetcaughtinthat
pattern.Youthinkitissomethingnew.itisnot;itistheoldinadifferentmould.
Anysocialorpoliticalrevoltwillinevitablyreverttothegoodoldbourgeois
mentality.
Freedomcomesonlywhenyouseeandact,neverthroughrevolt.Theseeingis
theactingandsuchactionisasinstantaneousaswhenyouseedanger.Thenthere
isnocerebration,nodiscussionorhesitation;thedangeritselfcompelstheact,and
thereforetoseeistoactandtobefree.
Freedomisastateofmindnotfreedomfromsomethingbutasenseof
freedom,afreedomtodoubtandquestioneverythingandthereforesointense,
activeandvigorousthatitthrowsawayeveryformofdependence,slavery,
conformityandacceptance.Suchfreedomimpliesbeingcompletelyalone.Butcan
themindbroughtupinaculturesodependentonenvironmentanditsown
tendencieseverfindthatfreedomwhichiscompletesolitudeandinwhichthereis
noleadership,notraditionandnoauthority?
Thissolitudeisaninwardstateofmindwhichisnotdependentonanystimulus
oranyknowledgeandisnottheresultofanyexperienceorconclusion.Mostofus,
inwardly,areneveralone.Thereisadifferencebetweenisolation,cuttingoneself
off,andaloneness,solitude.Weallknowwhatitistobeisolatedbuildingawall
aroundoneselfinordernevertobehurt,nevertobevulnerable,orcultivating
detachmentwhichisanotherformofagony,orlivinginsomedreamyivorytower
ofideology.Alonenessissomethingquitedifferent.
Youareneveralonebecauseyouarefullofallthememories,allthe
conditioning,allthemutteringsofyesterday;yourmindisneverclearofallthe
rubbishithasaccumulated.Tobealoneyoumustdietothepast.Whenyouare
alone,totallyalone,notbelongingtoanyfamily,anynation,anyculture,any

51

particularcontinent,thereisthatsenseofbeinganoutsider.Themanwhois
completelyaloneinthiswayisinnocentanditisthisinnocencythatfreesthemind
fromsorrow.
Wecarryaboutwithustheburdenofwhatthousandsofpeoplehavesaidand
thememoriesofallourmisfortunes.Toabandonallthattotallyistobealone,and
themindthatisaloneisnotonlyinnocentbutyoungnotintimeorage,but
young,innocent,aliveatwhateverageandonlysuchamindcanseethatwhichis
truthandthatwhichisnotmeasurablebywords.
Inthissolitudeyouwillbegintounderstandthenecessityoflivingwith
yourselfasyouare,notasyouthinkyoushouldbeorasyouhavebeen.Seeifyou
canlookatyourselfwithoutanytremor,anyfalsemodesty,anyfear,any
justificationorcondemnationjustlivewithyourselfasyouactuallyare.Itisonly
whenyoulivewithsomethingintimatelythatyoubegintounderstandit.Butthe
momentyougetusedtoitgetusedtoyourownanxietyorenvyorwhateveritis
youarenolongerlivingwithit.Ifyoulivebyariver,afterafewdaysyoudonot
hearthesoundofthewateranymore,orifyouhaveapictureintheroomwhich
youseeeverydayyouloseitafteraweek.Itisthesamewiththemountains,the
valleys,thetreesthesamewithyourfamily,yourhusband,yourwife.Buttolive
withsomethinglikejealousy,envyoranxietyyoumustnevergetusedtoit,never
acceptit.Youmustcareforitasyouwouldcareforanewlyplantedtree,protectit
againstthesun,againstthestorm.Youmustcareforit,notcondemnitorjustifyit.
Thereforeyoubegintoloveit.Whenyoucareforit,youarebeginningtoloveit.It
isnotthatyoulovebeingenviousoranxious,assomanypeopledo,butratherthat
youcareforwatching.
SocanyoucanyouandIlivewithwhatweactuallyare,knowingourselves
tobedull,envious,fearful,believingwehavetremendousaffectionwhenwehave
not,gettingeasilyhurt,easilyflatteredandboredcanwelivewithallthat,
neitheracceptingitnordenyingit,butjustobservingitwithoutbecomingmorbid,
depressedorelated?
Nowletusaskourselvesafurtherquestion.Isthisfreedom,thissolitude,this

52

comingintocontactwiththewholestructureofwhatweareinourselvesisitto
becomeuponthroughtime?Thatis,isfreedomtobeachievedthroughagradual
process?Obviouslynot,becauseassoonasyouintroducetimeyouareenslaving
yourselfmoreandmore.Youcannotbecomefreegradually.Itisnotamatterof
time.
Thenextquestionis,canyoubecomeconsciousofthatfreedom?Ifyousay,I
amfree,thenyouarenotfree.Itislikeamansaying,`Iamhappy.Themomenthe
says,`Iamhappyheislivinginamemoryofsomethingthathasgone.Freedom
canonlycomeaboutnaturally,notthroughwishing,wanting,longing.Norwill
youfinditbycreatinganimageofwhatyouthinkitis.Tocomeuponitthemind
hastolearntolookatlife,whichisavastmovement,withoutthebondageoftime,
forfreedomliesbeyondthefieldofconsciousness.

53

Chapter 9
IAMTEMPTEDTOrepeatastoryaboutagreatdisciplegoingtoGodand
demandingtobetaughttruth.ThispoorGodsays,`Myfriend,itissuchahotday,
pleasegetmeaglassofwater.Sothedisciplegoesoutandknocksonthedoorof
thefirsthousehecomestoandabeautifulyoungladyopensthedoor.Thedisciple
fallsinlovewithherandtheymarryandhaveseveralchildren.Thenonedayit
beginstorain,andkeepsonraining,raining,rainingthetorrentsareswollen,the
streetsarefull,thehousesarebeingwashedaway.Thediscipleholdsontohis
wifeandcarrieshischildrenonhisshouldersandasheisbeingsweptawayhe
callsout,Lord,pleasesaveme,andtheLordsays,`WhereisthatglassofwaterI
askedfor?
Itisratheragoodstorybecausemostofusthinkintermsoftime.Manlivesby
time.Inventingthefuturehasbeenafavouritegameofescape.
Wethinkthatchangesinourselvescancomeaboutintime,thatorderin
ourselvescanbebuiltuplittlebylittle,addedtodaybyday.Buttimedoesntbring
orderorpeace,sowemuststopthinkingintermsofgradualness.Thismeansthat
thereisnotomorrowforustobepeacefulin.Wehavetobeorderlyontheinstant.
Whenthereisrealdangertimedisappears,doesntit?Thereisimmediate
action.Butwedonotseethedangerofmanyofourproblemsandthereforewe
inventtimeasameansofovercomingthem.Timeisadeceiverasitdoesntdoa
thingtohelpusbringaboutachangeinourselves.Timeisamovementwhichman
hasdividedintopast,presentandfuture,andaslongashedividesithewill
alwaysbeinconflict.
Islearningamatteroftime?Wehavenotlearntafterallthesethousandsof
yearsthatthereisabetterwaytolivethanbyhatingandkillingeachother.The
problemoftimeisaveryimportantonetounderstandifwearetoresolvethislife
whichwehavehelpedtomakeasmonstrousandmeaninglessasitis.
Thefirstthingtounderstandisthatwecanlookattimeonlywiththatfreshness

54

andinnocencyofmindwhichwehavealreadybeeninto.Weareconfusedabout
ourmanyproblemsandlostinthatconfusion.Nowifoneislostinawood,whatis
thefirstthingonedoes?Onestops,doesntone?Onestopsandlooksround.But
themoreweareconfusedandlostinlifethemorewechasearound,searching,
asking,demanding,begging.Sothefirstthing,ifImaysuggestit,isthatyou
completelystopinwardly.Andwhenyoudostopinwardly,psychologically,your
mindbecomesverypeaceful,veryclear.Thenyoucanreallylookatthisquestion
oftime.
Problemsexistonlyintime,thatiswhenwemeetanissueincompletely.This
incompletecomingtogetherwiththeissuecreatestheproblem.Whenwemeeta
challengepartially,fragmentarily,ortrytoescapefromitthatis,whenwemeetit
withoutcompleteattentionwebringaboutaproblem.Andtheproblem
continuessolongaswecontinuetogiveitincompleteattention,solongaswe
hopetosolveitoneofthesedays.
Doyouknowwhattimeis?Notbythewatch,notchronologicaltime,but
psychologicaltime?Itistheintervalbetweenideaandaction.Anideaisforself
protectionobviously;itistheideaofbeingsecure.Actionisalwaysimmediate;itis
notofthepastorofthefuture;toactmustalwaysbeinthepresent,butactionisso
dangerous,souncertain,thatweconformtoanideawhichwehopewillgiveusa
certainsafety.
Dolookatthisinyourself.Youhaveanideaofwhatisrightorwrong,oran
ideologicalconceptaboutyourselfandsociety,andaccordingtothatideayouare
goingtoact.Thereforetheactionisinconformitywiththatidea,approximatingto
theidea,andhencethereisalwaysconflict.Thereistheidea,theintervaland
action.Andinthatintervalisthewholefieldoftime.Thatintervalisessentially
thought.Whenyouthinkyouwillbehappytomorrow,thenyouhaveanimageof
yourselfachievingacertainresultintime.Thought,throughobservation,through
desire,andthecontinuityofthatdesiresustainedbyfurtherthought,says,
`TomorrowIshallbehappy.TomorrowIshallhavesuccess.Tomorrowtheworld
willbeabeautifulplace.Sothoughtcreatesthatintervalwhichistime.

55

Nowweareasking,canweputastoptotime?Canwelivesocompletelythat
thereisnotomorrowforthoughttothinkabout?Becausetimeissorrow.Thatis,
yesterdayorathousandyesterdaysago,youloved,oryouhadacompanionwho
hasgone,andthatmemoryremainsandyouarethinkingaboutthatpleasureand
thatpainyouarelookingback,wishing,hoping,regretting,sothought,going
overitagainandagain,breedsthisthingwecallsorrowandgivescontinuityto
time.
Solongasthereisthisintervaloftimewhichhasbeenbredbythought,there
mustbesorrow,theremustbecontinuityoffear.Sooneasksoneselfcanthis
intervalcometoanend?Ifyousay,`Williteverend?,thenitisalreadyanidea,
somethingyouwanttoachieve,andthereforeyouhaveanintervalandyouare
caughtagain.
Nowtakethequestionofdeathwhichisanimmenseproblemtomostpeople.
Youknowdeath,thereitiswalkingeverydaybyyourside.Isitpossibletomeetit
socompletelythatyoudonotmakeaproblemofitatall?Inordertomeetitin
suchawayallbelief,allhope,allfearaboutitmustcometoanend,otherwiseyou
aremeetingthisextraordinarythingwithaconclusion,animage,witha
premeditatedanxiety,andthereforeyouaremeetingitwithtime.
Timeistheintervalbetweentheobserverandtheobserved.Thatis,the
observer,you,isafraidtomeetthisthingcalleddeath.Youdontknowwhatit
means;youhaveallkindsofhopesandtheoriesaboutit;youbelievein
reincarnationorresurrection,orinsomethingcalledthesoul,theatman,aspiritual
entitywhichistimelessandwhichyoucallbydifferentnames.Nowhaveyou
foundoutforyourselfwhetherthereisasoul?Orisitanideathathasbeen
handeddowntoyou?Istheresomethingpermanent,continuous,whichisbeyond
thought?Ifthoughtcanthinkaboutit,itiswithinthefieldofthoughtand
thereforeitcannotbepermanentbecausethereisnothingpermanentwithinthe
fieldofthought.Todiscoverthatnothingispermanentisoftremendous
importanceforonlythenisthemindfree,thenyoucanlook,andinthatthereis
greatjoy.

56

Youcannotbefrightenedoftheunknownbecauseyoudonotknowwhatthe
unknownisandsothereisnothingtobefrightenedof.Deathisaword,anditis
theword,theimage,thatcreatesfear.Socanyoulookatdeathwithouttheimage
ofdeath?Aslongastheimageexistsfromwhichspringsthought,thoughtmust
alwayscreatefear.Thenyoueitherrationalizeyourfearofdeathandbuilda
resistanceagainsttheinevitableoryouinventinnumerablebeliefstoprotectyou
fromthefearofdeath.Hencethereisagapbetweenyouandthethingofwhich
youareafraid.Inthistimespaceintervaltheremustbeconflictwhichisfear,
anxietyandselfpity.Thought,whichbreedsthefearofdeath,says,`Lets
postponeit,letsavoidit,keepitasfarawayaspossible,letsnotthinkaboutit
butyouarethinkingaboutit.Whenyousay,`Iwontthinkaboutit,youhave
alreadythoughtouthowtoavoidit.Youarefrightenedofdeathbecauseyouhave
postponedit.
Wehaveseparatedlivingfromdying,andtheintervalbetweenthelivingand
thedyingisfear.Thatinterval,thattime,iscreatedbyfear.Livingisourdaily
torture,dailyinsult,sorrowandconfusion,withoccasionalopeningofawindow
overenchantedseas.Thatiswhatwecallliving,andweareafraidtodie,whichis
toendthismisery.Wewouldratherclingtotheknownthanfacetheunknown
theknownbeingourhouse,ourfurniture,ourfamily,ourcharacter,ourwork,our
knowledge,ourfame,ourloneliness,ourgodsthatlittlethingthatmovesaround
incessantlywithinitselfwithitsownlimitedpatternofembitteredexistence.
Wethinkthatlivingisalwaysinthepresentandthatdyingissomethingthat
awaitsusatadistanttime.Butwehaveneverquestionedwhetherthisbattleof
everydaylifeislivingatall.Wewanttoknowthetruthaboutreincarnation,we
wantproofofthesurvivalofthesoul,welistentotheassertionofclairvoyantsand
totheconclusionsofpsychicalresearch,butweneverask,never,howtoliveto
livewithdelight,withenchantment,withbeautyeveryday.Wehaveacceptedlife
asitiswithallitsagonyanddespairandhavegotusedtoit,andthinkofdeathas
somethingtobecarefullyavoided.Butdeathisextraordinarilylikelifewhenwe
knowhowtolive.Youcannotlivewithoutdying.Youcannotliveifyoudonotdie

57

psychologicallyeveryminute.Thisisnotanintellectualparadox.Tolive
completely,wholly,everydayasifitwereanewloveliness,theremustbedyingto
everythingofyesterday,otherwiseyoulivemechanically,andamechanicalmind
canneverknowwhatloveisorwhatfreedomis.
Mostofusarefrightenedofdyingbecausewedontknowwhatitmeanstolive.
Wedontknowhowtolive,thereforewedontknowhowtodie.Aslongasweare
frightenedoflifeweshallbefrightenedofdeath.Themanwhoisnotfrightenedof
lifeisnotfrightenedofbeingcompletelyinsecureforheunderstandsthat
inwardly,psychologically,thereisnosecurity.Whenthereisnosecuritythereis
anendlessmovementandthenlifeanddeatharethesame.Themanwholives
withoutconflict,wholiveswithbeautyandlove,isnotfrightenedofdeathbecause
toloveistodie.
Ifyoudietoeverythingyouknow,includingyourfamily,yourmemory,
everythingyouhavefelt,thendeathisapurification,arejuvenatingprocess;then
deathbringsinnocenceanditisonlytheinnocentwhoarepassionate,notthe
peoplewhobelieveorwhowanttofindoutwhathappensafterdeath.
Tofindoutactuallywhattakesplacewhenyoudieyoumustdie.Thisisnta
joke.Youmustdienotphysicallybutpsychologically,inwardly,dietothethings
youhavecherishedandtothethingsyouarebitterabout.Ifyouhavediedtoone
ofyourpleasures,thesmallestorthegreatest,naturally,withoutanyenforcement
orargument,thenyouwillknowwhatitmeanstodie.Todieistohaveamind
thatiscompletelyemptyofitself,emptyofitsdailylonging,pleasure;andagonies.
Deathisarenewal,amutation,inwhichthoughtdoesnotfunctionatallbecause
thoughtisold.Whenthereisdeaththereissomethingtotallynew.Freedomfrom
theknownisdeath,andthenyouareliving.

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Chapter 10
THEDEMANDTObesafeinrelationshipinevitablybreedssorrowandfear.This
seekingforsecurityisinvitinginsecurity.Haveyoueverfoundsecurityinanyof
yourrelationships?Haveyou?Mostofuswantthesecurityoflovingandbeing
loved,butistherelovewheneachoneofusisseekinghisownsecurity,hisown
particularpath?Wearenotlovedbecausewedontknowhowtolove.
Whatislove?ThewordissoloadedandcorruptedthatIhardlyliketouseit.
Everybodytalksofloveeverymagazineandnewspaperandeverymissionary
talkseverlastinglyoflove.Ilovemycountry,Ilovemyking,Ilovesomebook,I
lovethatmountain,Ilovepleasure,Ilovemywife,IloveGod.Isloveanidea?Ifit
is,itcanbecultivated,nourished,cherished,pushedaround,twistedinanyway
youlike.WhenyousayyouloveGodwhatdoesitmean?Itmeansthatyoulovea
projectionofyourownimagination,aprojectionofyourselfclothedincertain
formsofrespectabilityaccordingtowhatyouthinkisnobleandholy;sotosay,`I
loveGod,isabsolutenonsense.WhenyouworshipGodyouareworshipping
yourselfandthatisnotlove.
Becausewecannotsolvethishumanthingcalledlovewerunawayinto
abstractions.Lovemaybetheultimatesolutiontoallmansdifficulties,problems
andtravails,sohowarewegoingtofindoutwhatloveis?Bymerelydefiningit?
Thechurchhasdefineditoneway,societyanotherandthereareallsortsof
deviationsandperversions.Adoringsomeone,sleepingwithsomeone,the
emotionalexchange,thecompanionshipisthatwhatwemeanbylove?Thathas
beenthenorm,thepattern,andithasbecomesotremendouslypersonal,sensuous,
andlimitedthatreligionshavedeclaredthatloveissomethingmuchmorethan
this.Inwhattheycallhumanlovetheyseethereispleasure,competition,jealousy,
thedesiretopossess,tohold,tocontrolandtointerferewithanothersthinking,
andknowingthecomplexityofallthistheysaytheremustbeanotherkindoflove,
divinebeautifuluntouched,uncorrupted.

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Throughouttheworld,socalledholymenhavemaintainedthattolookata
womanissomethingtotallywrong:theysayyoucannotcomeneartoGodifyou
indulgeinsex,thereforetheypushitasidealthoughtheyareeatenupwithit.But
bydenyingsexualitytheyputouttheireyesandcutouttheirtonguesforthey
denythewholebeautyoftheearth.Theyhavestarvedtheirheartsandminds;they
aredehydratedhumanbeings;theyhavebanishedbeautybecausebeautyis
associatedwithwoman.
Canlovebedividedintothesacredandtheprofane,thehumanandthedivine,
oristhereonlylove?Isloveoftheoneandnotofthemany?IfIsay,`Iloveyou,
doesthatexcludetheloveoftheother?Islovepersonalorimpersonal?Moralor
immoral?Familyornonfamily?Ifyoulovemankindcanyoulovetheparticular?
Islovesentiment?Isloveemotion?Islovepleasureanddesire?Allthesequestions
indicate,dontthey,thatwehaveideasaboutlove,ideasaboutwhatitshouldor
shouldnotbe,apatternoracodedevelopedbythecultureinwhichwelive.
Sotogointothequestionofwhatloveiswemustfirstfreeitfromthe
encrustationofcenturies,putawayallidealsandideologiesofwhatitshouldor
shouldnotbe.Todivideanythingintowhatshouldbeandwhatis,isthemost
deceptivewayofdealingwithlife.
NowhowamIgoingtofindoutwhatthisflameiswhichwecalllovenothow
toexpressittoanotherbutwhatitmeansinitself?Iwillfirstrejectwhatthe
church,whatsociety,whatmyparentsandfriends,whateverypersonandevery
bookhassaidaboutitbecauseIwanttofindoutformyselfwhatitis.Hereisan
enormousproblemthatinvolvesthewholeofmankind,therehavebeena
thousandwaysofdefiningitandImyselfamcaughtinsomepatternorother
accordingtowhatIlikeorenjoyatthemomentsoshouldntI,inorderto
understandit,firstfreemyselffrommyowninclinationsandprejudices?Iam
confused,tornbymyowndesires,soIsaytomyself,Firstclearupyourown
confusion.perhapsyoumaybeabletodiscoverwhatloveisthroughwhatitis
not.
Thegovernmentsays,`Goandkillfortheloveofyourcountry.Isthatlove?

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Religionsays,`GiveupsexfortheloveofGod.Isthatlove?Islovedesire?Dont
sayno.Formostofusitisdesirewithpleasure,thepleasurethatisderived
throughthesenses,throughsexualattachmentandfulfilment.Iamnotagainstsex,
butseewhatisinvolvedinit.Whatsexgivesyoumomentarilyisthetotal
abandonmentofyourself,thenyouarebackagainwithyourturmoil,soyouwant
arepetitionoverandoveragainofthatstateinwhichthereisnoworry,no
problem,noself.Yousayyouloveyourwife.Inthatloveisinvolvedsexual
pleasure,thepleasureofhavingsomeoneinthehousetolookafteryourchildren,
tocook.Youdependonher;shehasgivenyouherbody,heremotions,her
encouragement,acertainfeelingofsecurityandwellbeing.Thensheturnsaway
fromyou;shegetsboredorgoesoffwithsomeoneelse,andyourwholeemotional
balanceisdestroyed,andthisdisturbance,whichyoudontlike,iscalledjealousy.
Thereispaininit,anxiety,hateandviolence.Sowhatyouarereallysayingis,`As
longasyoubelongtomeIloveyoubutthemomentyoudontIbegintohateyou.
AslongasIcanrelyonyoutosatisfymydemands,sexualandotherwise,Ilove
you,butthemomentyouceasetosupplywhatIwantIdontlikeyou.Sothereis
antagonismbetweenyou,thereisseparation,andwhenyoufeelseparatefrom
anotherthereisnolove.Butifyoucanlivewithyourwifewithoutthought
creatingallthesecontradictorystates,theseendlessquarrelsinyourself,then
perhapsperhapsyouwillknowwhatloveis.Thenyouarecompletelyfreeand
soisshe,whereasifyoudependonherforallyourpleasureyouareaslavetoher.
Sowhenonelovestheremustbefreedom,notonlyfromtheotherpersonbutfrom
oneself.
Thisbelongingtoanother,beingpsychologicallynourishedbyanother,
dependingonanotherinallthistheremustalwaysbeanxiety,fear,jealousy,
guilt,andsolongasthereisfearthereisnolove;amindriddenwithsorrowwill
neverknowwhatloveis;sentimentalityandemotionalismhavenothing
whatsoevertodowithlove.Andsoloveisnottodowithpleasureanddesire.
Loveisnottheproductofthoughtwhichisthepast.Thoughtcannotpossibly
cultivatelove.Loveisnothedgedaboutandcaughtinjealousy,forjealousyisof

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thepast.Loveisalwaysactivepresent.Itisnot`Iwillloveor`Ihaveloved.Ifyou
knowloveyouwillnotfollowanybody.Lovedoesnotobey.Whenyoulovethere
isneitherrespectnordisrespect.
Dontyouknowwhatitmeansreallytolovesomebodytolovewithouthate,
withoutjealousy,withoutanger,withoutwantingtointerferewithwhatheis
doingorthinking,withoutcondemning,withoutcomparingdontyouknow
whatitmeans?Wherethereisloveistherecomparison?Whenyoulovesomeone
withallyourheart,withallyourmind,withallyourbody,withyourentirebeing,
istherecomparison?Whenyoutotallyabandonyourselftothatlovethereisnot
theother.
Doeslovehaveresponsibilityandduty,andwillitusethosewords?Whenyou
dosomethingoutofdutyisthereanyloveinit?Indutythereisnolove.The
structureofdutyinwhichthehumanbeingiscaughtisdestroyinghim.Solongas
youarecompelledtodosomethingbecauseitisyourdutyyoudontlovewhat
youaredoing.Whenthereislovethereisnodutyandnoresponsibility.
Mostparentsunfortunatelythinktheyareresponsiblefortheirchildrenand
theirsenseofresponsibilitytakestheformoftellingthemwhattheyshoulddoand
whattheyshouldnotdo,whattheyshouldbecomeandwhattheyshouldnot
become.Theparentswanttheirchildrentohaveasecurepositioninsociety.What
theycallresponsibilityispartofthatrespectabilitytheyworship;anditseemsto
methatwherethereisrespectabilitythereisnoorder;theyareconcernedonly
withbecomingaperfectbourgeois.Whentheypreparetheirchildrentofitinto
societytheyareperpetuatingwar,conflictandbrutality.Doyoucallthatcareand
love?
Reallytocareistocareasyouwouldforatreeoraplant,wateringit,studying
itsneeds,thebestsoilforit,lookingafteritwithgentlenessandtendernessbut
whenyouprepareyourchildrentofitintosocietyyouarepreparingthemtobe
killed.Ifyoulovedyourchildrenyouwouldhavenowar.
Whenyoulosesomeoneyouloveyoushedtearsareyourtearsforyourselfor
fortheonewhoisdead?Areyoucryingforyourselforforanother?Haveyouever

62

criedforanother?Haveyouevercriedforyoursonwhowaskilledonthe
battlefield?Youhavecried,butdothosetearscomeoutofselfpityorhaveyou
criedbecauseahumanbeinghasbeenkilled?Ifyoucryoutofselfpityyourtears
havenomeaningbecauseyouareconcernedaboutyourself.Ifyouarecrying
becauseyouarebereftofoneinwhomyouhaveinvestedagreatdealofaffection,
itwasnotreallyaffection.Whenyoucryforyourbrotherwhodiescryforhim.It
isveryeasytocryforyourselfbecauseheisgone.Apparentlyyouarecrying
becauseyourheartistouched,butitisnottouchedforhim,itisonlytouchedby
selfpityandselfpitymakesyouhard,enclosesyou,makesyoudullandstupid.
Whenyoucryforyourself,isitlovecryingbecauseyouarelonely,because
youhavebeenleft,becauseyouarenolongerpowerfulcomplainingofyourlot,
yourenvironmentalwaysyouintears?Ifyouunderstandthis,whichmeansto
comeincontactwithitasdirectlyasyouwouldtouchatreeorapillarorahand,
thenyouwillseethatsorrowisselfcreated,sorrowiscreatedbythought,sorrow
istheoutcomeoftime.Ihadmybrotherthreeyearsago,nowheisdead,nowIam
lonely,aching,thereisnoonetowhomIcanlookforcomfortorcompanionship,
anditbringstearstomyeyes.
Youcanseeallthishappeninginsideyourselfifyouwatchit.Youcanseeit
fully,completely,inoneglance,nottakeanalyticaltimeoverit.Youcanseeina
momentthewholestructureandnatureofthisshoddylittlethingcalled`me,my
tears,myfamily,mynation,mybelief,myreligionallthatugliness,itisallinside
you.Whenyouseeitwithyourheart,notwithyourmind,whenyouseeitfrom
theverybottomofyourheart,thenyouhavethekeythatwillendsorrow.Sorrow
andlovecannotgotogether,butintheChristianworldtheyhaveidealized
suffering,putitonacrossandworshippedit,implyingthatyoucanneverescape
fromsufferingexceptthroughthatoneparticulardoor,andthisisthewhole
structureofanexploitingreligioussociety.
Sowhenyouaskwhatloveis,youmaybetoofrightenedtoseetheanswer.It
maymeancompleteupheaval;itmaybreakupthefamily;youmaydiscoverthat
youdonotloveyourwifeorhusbandorchildrendoyou?youmayhaveto

63

shatterthehouseyouhavebuilt,youmaynevergobacktothetemple.
Butifyoustillwanttofindout,youwillseethatfearisnotlove,dependenceis
notlove,jealousyisnotlove,possessivenessanddominationarenotlove,
responsibilityanddutyarenotlove,selfpityisnotlove,theagonyofnotbeing
lovedisnotlove,loveisnottheoppositeofhateanymorethanhumilityisthe
oppositeofvanity.Soifyoucaneliminateallthese,notbyforcingthembutby
washingthemawayastherainwashesthedustofmanydaysfromaleaf,then
perhapsyouwillcomeuponthisstrangeflowerwhichmanalwayshungersafter.
Ifyouhavenotgotlovenotjustinlittledropsbutinabundanceifyouarenot
filledwithittheworldwillgotodisaster.Youknowintellectuallythattheunity
ofmankindisessentialandthatloveistheonlyway,butwhoisgoingtoteachyou
howtolove?Willanyauthority,anymethod,anysystem,tellyouhowtolove?If
anyonetellsyou,itisnotlove.Canyousay,`Iwillpractiselove.Iwillsitdown
dayafterdayandthinkaboutit.Iwillpractisebeingkindandgentleandforce
myselftopayattentiontoothers?Doyoumeantosaythatyoucandiscipline
yourselftolove,exercisethewilltolove?Whenyouexercisedisciplineandwillto
love,lovegoesoutofthewindow.Bypractisingsomemethodorsystemofloving
youmaybecomeextraordinarilycleverormorekindlyorgetintoastateofnon
violence,butthathasnothingwhatsoevertodowithlove.
Inthistorndesertworldthereisnolovebecausepleasureanddesireplaythe
greatestroles,yetwithoutloveyourdailylifehasnomeaning.Andyoucannot
haveloveifthereisnobeauty.Beautyisnotsomethingyouseenotabeautiful
tree,abeautifulpicture,abeautifulbuildingorabeautifulwoman.Thereisbeauty
onlywhenyourheartandmindknowwhatloveis.Withoutloveandthatsenseof
beautythereisnovirtue,andyouknowverywellthat,dowhatyouwill,improve
society,feedthepoor,youwillonlybecreatingmoremischief,forwithoutlove
thereisonlyuglinessandpovertyinyourownheartandmind.Butwhenthereis
loveandbeauty,whateveryoudoisright,whateveryoudoisinorder.Ifyou
knowhowtolove,thenyoucandowhatyoulikebecauseitwillsolveallother
problems.

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Sowereachthepoint:canthemindcomeuponlovewithoutdiscipline,without
thought,withoutenforcement,withoutanybook,anyteacherorleadercome
uponitasonecomesuponalovelysunset?
Itseemstomethatonethingisabsolutelynecessaryandthatispassionwithout
motivepassionthatisnottheresultofsomecommitmentorattachment,passion
thatisnotlust.Amanwhodoesnotknowwhatpassioniswillneverknowlove
becauselovecancomeintobeingonlywhenthereistotalselfabandonment.
Amindthatisseekingisnotapassionatemindandtocomeuponlovewithout
seekingitistheonlywaytofindittocomeuponitunknowinglyandnotasthe
resultofanyeffortorexperience.Suchalove,youwillfind,isnotoftime;sucha
loveisbothpersonalandimpersonal,isboththeoneandthemany.Likeaflower
thathasperfumeyoucansmellitorpassitby.Thatflowerisforeverybodyand
fortheonewhotakestroubletobreatheitdeeplyandlookatitwithdelight.
Whetheroneisverynearinthegarden,orveryfaraway,itisthesametothe
flowerbecauseitisfullofthatperfumeandthereforeitissharingwitheverybody.
Loveissomethingthatisnew,fresh,alive.Ithasnoyesterdayandno
tomorrow.Itisbeyondtheturmoilofthought.Itisonlytheinnocentmindwhich
knowswhatloveis,andtheinnocentmindcanliveintheworldwhichisnot
innocent.Tofindthisextraordinarythingwhichmanhassoughtendlesslythrough
sacrifice,throughworship,throughrelationship,throughsex,througheveryform
ofpleasureandpain,isonlypossiblewhenthoughtcomestounderstanditselfand
comesnaturallytoanend.Thenlovehasnoopposite,thenlovehasnoconflict.
Youmayask,`IfIfindsuchalove,whathappenstomywife,mychildren,my
family?Theymusthavesecurity.Whenyouputsuchaquestionyouhavenever
beenoutsidethefieldofthought,thefieldofconsciousness.Whenonceyouhave
beenoutsidethatfieldyouwillneverasksuchaquestionbecausethenyouwill
knowwhatloveisinwhichthereisnothoughtandthereforenotime.Youmay
readthismesmerizedandenchanted,butactuallytogobeyondthoughtandtime
whichmeansgoingbeyondsorrowistobeawarethatthereisadifferent
dimensioncalledlove.

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Butyoudontknowhowtocometothisextraordinaryfountsowhatdoyou
do?Ifyoudontknowwhattodo,youdonothing,dontyou?Absolutelynothing.
Theninwardlyyouarecompletelysilent.Doyouunderstandwhatthatmeans?It
meansthatyouarenotseeking,notwanting,notpursuing;thereisnocentreatall.
Thenthereislove.

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Chapter 11
WEHAVEBEENenquiringintothenatureofloveandhavecometoapoint,I
think,whichneedsmuchgreaterpenetration,amuchgreaterawarenessofthe
issue.Wehavediscoveredthatformostpeoplelovemeanscomfort,security,a
guaranteefortherestoftheirlivesofcontinuousemotionalsatisfaction.Then
someonelikemecomesalongandsays,Isthatreallylove?andquestionsyouand
asksyoutolookinsideyourself.Andyoutrynottolookbecauseitisvery
disturbingyouwouldratherdiscussthesoulorthepoliticaloreconomic
situationbutwhenyouaredrivenintoacornertolook,yourealizethatwhatyou
havealwaysthoughtofasloveisnotloveatall;itisamutualgratification,a
mutualexploitation.
WhenIsay,`Lovehasnotomorrowandnoyesterday,or,`Whenthereisno
centrethenthereislove,ithasrealityformebutnotforyou.Youmayquoteitand
makeitintoaformulabutthathasnovalidity.Youhavetoseeitforyourself,but
todosotheremustbefreedomtolook,freedomfromallcondemnation,all
judgementallagreeingordisagreeing.
Now,tolookisoneofthemostdifficultthingsinlifeortolistentolookand
listenarethesame.Ifyoureyesareblindedwithyourworries,youcannotseethe
beautyofthesunset.Mostofushavelosttouchwithnature.Civilizationis
tendingmoreandmoretowardslargecities;wearebecomingmoreandmorean
urbanpeople,livingincrowdedapartmentsandhavingverylittlespaceevento
lookattheskyofaneveningandmorning,andthereforewearelosingtouchwith
agreatdealofbeauty.Idontknowifyouhavenoticedhowfewofuslookata
sunriseorasunsetorthemoonlightorthereflectionoflightonwater.
Havinglosttouchwithnaturewenaturallytendtodevelopintellectual
capacities.Wereadagreatmanybooks,gotoagreatmanymuseumsandconcerts,
watchtelevisionandhavemanyotherentertainments.Wequoteendlesslyfrom
otherpeoplesideasandthinkandtalkagreatdealaboutart.Whyisitthatwe

67

dependsomuchuponart?Isitaformofescape,ofstimulation?Ifyouaredirectly
incontactwithnature;ifyouwatchthemovementofabirdonthewing,seethe
beautyofeverymovementofthesky,watchtheshadowsonthehillsorthebeauty
onthefaceofanother,doyouthinkyouwillwanttogotoanymuseumtolookat
anypicture?Perhapsitisbecauseyoudonotknowhowtolookatallthethings
aboutyouthatyouresorttosomeformofdrugtostimulateyoutoseebetter.
Thereisastoryofareligiousteacherwhousedtotalkeverymorningtohis
disciples.Onemorninghegotontotheplatformandwasjustabouttobeginwhen
alittlebirdcameandsatonthewindowsillandbegantosing,andsangaway
withfullheart.Thenitstoppedandflewawayandtheteachersaid,`Thesermon
forthismorningisover.
Itseemstomethatoneofourgreatestdifficultiesistoseeforourselvesreally
clearly,notonlyoutwardthingsbutinwardlife.Whenwesayweseeatreeora
floweroraperson,doweactuallyseethem?Ordowemerelyseetheimagethat
thewordhascreated?Thatis,whenyoulookatatreeoratacloudofanevening
fulloflightanddelight,doyouactuallyseeit,notonlywithyoureyesand
intellectually,buttotally,completely?
Haveyoueverexperimentedwithlookingatanobjectivethinglikeatree
withoutanyoftheassociations,anyoftheknowledgeyouhaveacquiredaboutit,
withoutanyprejudice,anyjudgement,anywordsformingascreenbetweenyou
andthetreeandpreventingyoufromseeingitasitactuallyis?Tryitandseewhat
actuallytakesplacewhenyouobservethetreewithallyourbeing,withthetotality
ofyourenergy.Inthatintensityyouwillfindthatthereisnoobserveratall;there
isonlyattention.Itiswhenthereisinattentionthatthereistheobserverandthe
observed.Whenyouarelookingatsomethingwithcompleteattentionthereisno
spaceforaconception,aformulaoramemory.Thisisimportanttounderstand
becausewearegoingintosomethingwhichrequiresverycarefulinvestigation.
Itisonlyamindthatlooksatatreeorthestarsorthesparklingwatersofariver
withcompleteselfabandonmentthatknowswhatbeautyis,andwhenweare
actuallyseeingweareinastateoflove.Wegenerallyknowbeautythrough

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comparisonorthroughwhatmanhasputtogether,whichmeansthatweattribute
beautytosomeobject.IseewhatIconsidertobeabeautifulbuildingandthat
beautyIappreciatebecauseofmyknowledgeofarchitectureandbycomparingit
withotherbuildingsIhaveseen.ButnowIamaskingmyself,`Isthereabeauty
withoutobject?Whenthereisanobserverwhoisthecensor,theexperiencer,the
thinker,thereisnobeautybecausebeautyissomethingexternal,somethingthe
observerlooksatandjudges,butwhenthereisnoobserverandthisdemandsa
greatdealofmeditation,ofenquirythenthereisbeautywithouttheobject.
Beautyliesinthetotalabandonmentoftheobserverandtheobservedandthere
canbeselfabandonmentonlywhenthereistotalausteritynottheausterityofthe
priestwithitsharshness,itssanctions,rulesandobediencenotausterityin
clothes,ideas,foodandbehaviourbuttheausterityofbeingtotallysimplewhich
iscompletehumility.Thenthereisnoachieving,noladdertoclimb;thereisonly
thefirststepandthefirststepistheeverlastingstep.
Sayyouarewalkingbyyourselforwithsomebodyandyouhavestopped
talking.Youaresurroundedbynatureandthereisnodogbarking,nonoiseofa
carpassingoreventheflutterofabird.Youarecompletelysilentandnature
aroundyouisalsowhollysilent.Inthatstateofsilencebothintheobserverand
theobservedwhentheobserverisnottranslatingwhatheobservesintothought
inthatsilencethereisadifferentqualityofbeauty.Thereisneithernaturenorthe
observer.Thereisastateofmindwholly,completely,alone;itisalonenotin
isolationaloneinstillnessandthatstillnessisbeauty.Whenyoulove,istherean
observer?Thereisanobserveronlywhenloveisdesireandpleasure.Whendesire
andpleasurearenotassociatedwithlove,thenloveisintense.Itis,likebeauty,
somethingtotallyneweveryday.AsIhavesaid,ithasnotodayandnotomorrow.
Itisonlywhenweseewithoutanypreconception,anyimage,thatweareable
tobeindirectcontactwithanythinginlife.Allourrelationshipsarereally
imaginarythatis,basedonanimageformedbythought.IfIhaveanimageabout
youandyouhaveanimageaboutme,naturallywedontseeeachotheratallas
weactuallyare.Whatweseeistheimageswehaveformedabouteachotherwhich

69

preventusfrombeingincontact,andthatiswhyourrelationshipsgowrong.
WhenIsayIknowyou,ImeanIknewyouyesterday.Idonotknowyou
actuallynow.AllIknowismyimageofyou.Thatimageisputtogetherbywhat
youhavesaidinpraiseofmeortoinsultme,whatyouhavedonetomeitisput
togetherbyallthememoriesIhaveofyouandyourimageofmeisputtogether
inthesameway,anditisthoseimageswhichhaverelationshipandwhichprevent
usfromreallycommuningwitheachother.
Twopeoplewhohavelivedtogetherforalongtimehaveanimageofeach
otherwhichpreventsthemfromreallybeinginrelationship.Ifweunderstand
relationshipwecancooperatebutcooperationcannotpossiblyexistthrough
images,throughsymbols,throughideologicalconceptions.Onlywhenwe
understandthetruerelationshipbetweeneachotheristhereapossibilityoflove,
andloveisdeniedwhenwehaveimages.Thereforeitisimportanttounderstand,
notintellectuallybutactuallyinyourdailylife,howyouhavebuiltimagesabout
yourwife,yourhusband,yourneighbour,yourchild,yourcountry,yourleaders,
yourpoliticians,yourgodsyouhavenothingbutimages.
Theseimagescreatethespacebetweenyouandwhatyouobserveandinthat
spacethereisconflict,sowhatwearegoingtofindoutnowtogetheriswhetherit
ispossibletobefreeofthespacewecreate,notonlyoutsideourselvesbutin
ourselves,thespacewhichdividespeopleinalltheirrelationships.
Nowtheveryattentionyougivetoaproblemistheenergythatsolvesthat
problem.WhenyougiveyourcompleteattentionImeanwitheverythinginyou
thereisnoobserveratall.Thereisonlythestateofattentionwhichistotalenergy,
andthattotalenergyisthehighestformofintelligence.Naturallythatstateof
mindmustbecompletelysilentandthatsilence,thatstillness,comeswhenthereis
totalattention,notdisciplinedstillness.Thattotalsilenceinwhichthereisneither
theobservernorthethingobservedisthehighestformofareligiousmind.But
whattakesplaceinthatstatecannotbeputintowordsbecausewhatissaidin
wordsisnotthefact.Tofindoutforyourselfyouhavetogothroughit.
Everyproblemisrelatedtoeveryotherproblemsothatifyoucansolveone

70

problemcompletelyitdoesnotmatterwhatitisyouwillseethatyouareableto
meetallotherproblemseasilyandresolvethem.Wearetalking,ofcourse,of
psychologicalproblems.Wehavealreadyseenthataproblemexistsonlyintime,
thatiswhenwemeettheissueincompletely.Sonotonlymustwebeawareofthe
natureandstructureoftheproblemandseeitcompletely,butmeetitasitarises
andresolveitimmediatelysothatitdoesnottakerootinthemind.Ifoneallowsa
problemtoendureforamonthoraday,orevenforafewminutes,itdistortsthe
mind.Soisitpossibletomeetaproblemimmediatelywithoutanydistortionand
beimmediately,completely,freeofitandnotallowamemory,ascratchonthe
mind,toremain?Thesememoriesaretheimageswecarryaboutwithusanditis
theseimageswhichmeetthisextraordinarythingcalledlifeandthereforethereisa
contradictionandhenceconflict.Lifeisveryreallifeisnotanabstractionand
whenyoumeetitwithimagesthereareproblems.
Isitpossibletomeeteveryissuewithoutthisspacetimeinterval,withoutthe
gapbetweenoneselfandthethingofwhichoneisafraid?Itispossibleonlywhen
theobserverhasnocontinuity,theobserverwhoisthebuilderoftheimage,the
observerwhoisacollectionofmemoriesandideas,whoisabundleof
abstractions.
Whenyoulookatthestarsthereisyouwhoarelookingatthestarsinthesky;
theskyisfloodedwithbrilliantstars,thereiscoolair,andthereisyou,the
observer,theexperiencer,thethinker,youwithyourachingheart,you,thecentre,
creatingspace.Youwillneverunderstandaboutthespacebetweenyourselfand
thestars,yourselfandyourwifeorhusband,orfriend,becauseyouhavenever
lookedwithouttheimage,andthatiswhyyoudonotknowwhatbeautyisor
whatloveis.Youtalkaboutit,youwriteaboutit,butyouhaveneverknownit
exceptperhapsatrareintervalsoftotalselfabandonment.Solongasthereisa
centrecreatingspacearounditselfthereisneitherlovenorbeauty.Whenthereis
nocentreandnocircumferencethenthereislove.Andwhenyouloveyouare
beauty.
Whenyoulookatafaceopposite,youarelookingfromacentreandthecentre

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createsthespacebetweenpersonandperson,andthatiswhyourlivesareso
emptyandcallous.Youcannotcultivateloveorbeauty,norcanyouinventtruth,
butifyouareallthetimeawareofwhatyouaredoing,youcancultivate
awarenessandoutofthatawarenessyouwillbegintoseethenatureofpleasure,
desireandsorrowandtheutterlonelinessandboredomofman,andthenyouwill
begintocomeuponthatthingcalled`thespace.
Whenthereisspacebetweenyouandtheobjectyouareobservingyouwill
knowthereisnolove,andwithoutlove,howeverhardyoutrytoreformtheworld
orbringaboutanewsocialorderorhowevermuchyoutalkaboutimprovements,
youwillonlycreateagony.Soitisuptoyou.Thereisnoleader,thereisno
teacher,thereisnobodytotellyouwhattodo.Youarealoneinthismadbrutal
world.

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Chapter 12
PLEASEGOONwithmealittlefurther.Itmayberathercomplex,rathersubtle,
butpleasegoonwithit.
Now,whenIbuildanimageaboutyouoraboutanything,Iamabletowatch
thatimage,sothereistheimageandtheobserveroftheimage.Iseesomeone,say,
witharedshirtonandmyimmediatereactionisthatIlikeitorthatIdontlikeit.
Thelikeordislikeistheresultofmyculture,mytraining,myassociations,my
inclinations,myacquiredandinheritedcharacteristics.ItisfromthatcentrethatI
observeandmakemyjudgement,andthustheobserverisseparatefromthething
heobserves.
Buttheobserverisawareofmorethanoneimage;hecreatesthousandsof
images.Butistheobserverdifferentfromtheseimages?Isnthejustanother
image?Heisalwaysaddingtoandsubtractingfromwhatheis;heisalivingthing
allthetimeweighing,comparing,judging,modifyingandchangingasaresultof
pressuresfromoutsideandwithinlivinginthefieldofconsciousnesswhichishis
ownknowledge,influenceandinnumerablecalculations.Atthesametimewhen
youlookattheobserver,whoisyourself,youseethatheismadeupofmemories,
experiences,accidents,influences,traditionsandinfinitevarietiesofsuffering,all
ofwhicharethepast.Sotheobserverisboththepastandthepresent,and
tomorrowiswaitingandthatisalsoapartofhim.Heishalfaliveandhalfdead
andwiththisdeathandlifeheislooking,withthedeadandlivingleaf.Andin
thatstateofmindwhichiswithinthefieldoftime,you(theobserver)lookatfear,
atjealousy,atwar,atthefamily(thatuglyenclosedentitycalledthefamily)and
trytosolvetheproblemofthethingobservedwhichisthechallenge,thenew;you
arealwaystranslatingthenewintermsoftheoldandthereforeyouare
everlastinglyinconflict.
Oneimage,astheobserver,observesdozensofotherimagesaroundhimself
andinsidehimself,andhesays,`Ilikethisimage,Imgoingtokeepitor`Idont

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likethatimagesoIllgetridofit,buttheobserverhimselfhasbeenputtogether
bythevariousimageswhichhavecomeintobeingthroughreactiontovarious
otherimages.Sowecometoapointwherewecansay,`Theobserverisalsothe
image,onlyhehasseparatedhimselfandobserves.Thisobserverwhohascome
intobeingthroughvariousotherimagesthinkshimselfpermanentandbetween
himselfandtheimageshehascreatedthereisadivision,atimeinterval.This
createsconflictbetweenhimselfandtheimageshebelievestobethecauseofhis
troubles.Sothenhesays,Imustgetridofthisconflict,buttheverydesiretoget
ridoftheconflictcreatesanotherimage.
Awarenessofallthis,whichisrealmeditation,hasrevealedthatthereisa
centralimageputtogetherbyalltheotherimages,andthecentralimage,the
observer,isthecensor,theexperiencer,theevaluator,thejudgewhowantsto
conquerorsubjugatetheotherimagesordestroythemaltogether.Theother
imagesaretheresultofjudgements,opinionsandconclusionsbytheobserver,and
theobserveristheresultofalltheotherimagesthereforetheobserveristhe
observed.
Soawarenesshasrevealedthedifferentstatesofonesmind,hasrevealedthe
variousimagesandthecontradictionbetweentheimages,hasrevealedthe
resultingconflictandthedespairatnotbeingabletodoanythingaboutitandthe
variousattemptstoescapefromit.Allthishasbeenrevealedthroughcautious
hesitantawareness,andthencomestheawarenessthattheobserveristhe
observed.Itisnotasuperiorentitywhobecomesawareofthis,itisnotahigher
self(thesuperiorentity,thehigherself,aremerelyinventions,furtherimages;itis
theawarenessitselfwhichhadrevealedthattheobserveristheobserved.
Ifyouaskyourselfaquestion,whoistheentitywhoisgoingtoreceivethe
answer?Andwhoistheentitywhoisgoingtoenquire?Iftheentityispartof
consciousness,partofthought,thenitisincapableoffindingout.Whatitcanfind
outisonlyastateofawareness.Butifinthatstateofawarenessthereisstillan
entitywhosays,`Imustbeaware,Imustpractiseawareness,thatagainisanother
image.

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Thisawarenessthattheobserveristheobservedisnotaprocessof
identificationwiththeobserved.Toidentifyourselveswithsomethingisfairly
easy.Mostofusidentifyourselveswithsomethingwithourfamily,ourhusband
orwife,ournationandthatleadstogreatmiseryandgreatwars.Weare
consideringsomethingentirelydifferentandwemustunderstanditnotverbally
butinourcore,rightattherootofourbeing.InancientChinabeforeanartist
begantopaintanythingatree,forinstancehewouldsitdowninfrontofitfor
days,months,years,itdidntmatterhowlong,untilhewasthetree.Hedidnot
identifyhimselfwiththetreebuthewasthetree.Thismeansthattherewasno
spacebetweenhimandthetree,nospacebetweentheobserverandtheobserved,
noexperiencerexperiencingthebeauty,themovement,theshadow,thedepthofa
leaf,thequalityofcolour.Hewastotallythetree,andinthatstateonlycouldhe
paint.
Anymovementonthepartoftheobserver,ifhehasnotrealizedthatthe
observeristheobserved,createsonlyanotherseriesofimagesandagainheis
caughtinthem.Butwhattakesplacewhentheobserverisawarethattheobserver
istheobserved?Goslowly,goveryslowly,becauseitisaverycomplexthingwe
aregoingintonow.Whattakesplace?Theobserverdoesnotactatall.The
observerhasalwayssaid,`Imustdosomethingabouttheseimages,Imust
suppressthemorgivethemadifferentshape;heisalwaysactiveinregardtothe
observed,actingandreactingpassionatelyorcasually,andthisactionoflikeand
dislikeonthepartoftheobserveriscalledpositiveaction`Ilike,thereforeImust
hold.IdislikethereforeImustgetridof.Butwhentheobserverrealizesthatthe
thingaboutwhichheisactingishimself,thenthereisnoconflictbetweenhimself
andtheimage.Heisthat.Heisnotseparatefromthat.Whenhewasseparate,he
did,ortriedtodo,somethingaboutit,butwhentheobserverrealizesthatheis
that,thenthereisnolikeordislikeandconflictceases.
Forwhatishetodo?Ifsomethingisyou,whatcanyoudo?Youcannotrebel
againstitorrunawayfromitorevenacceptit.Itisthere.Soallactionthatisthe
outcomeofreactiontolikeanddislikehascometoanend.

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Thenyouwillfindthatthereisanawarenessthathasbecometremendously
alive.Itisnotboundtoanycentralissueortoanyimageandfromthatintensity
ofawarenessthereisadifferentqualityofattentionandthereforethemind
becausethemindisthisawarenesshasbecomeextraordinarilysensitiveand
highlyintelligent.

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Chapter 13
LETUSNOWgointothequestionofwhatisthinking,thesignificanceofthat
thoughtwhichmustbeexercisedwithcare,logicandsanity(forourdailywork)
andthatwhichhasnosignificanceatall.Unlessweknowthetwokinds,wecannot
possiblyunderstandsomethingmuchdeeperwhichthoughtcannottouch.Solet
ustrytounderstandthiswholecomplexstructureofwhatisthinking,whatis
memory,howthoughtoriginates,howthoughtconditionsallouractions;andin
understandingallthisweshallperhapscomeacrosssomethingwhichthoughthas
neverdiscovered,whichthoughtcannotopenthedoorto.
Whyhasthoughtbecomesoimportantinallourlivesthoughtbeingideas,
beingtheresponsetotheaccumulatedmemoriesinthebraincells?Perhapsmany
ofyouhavenotevenaskedsuchaquestionbefore,orifyouhaveyoumayhave
said,`Itsofverylittleimportancewhatisimportantisemotion.ButIdontsee
howyoucanseparatethetwo.Ifthoughtdoesntgivecontinuitytofeeling,feeling
diesveryquickly.Sowhyinourdailylives,inourgrinding,boring,frightened
lives,hasthoughttakenonsuchinordinateimportance?AskyourselfasIam
askingmyselfwhyisoneaslavetothoughtcunning,clever,thoughtwhichcan
organize,whichcanstartthings,whichhasinventedsomuch,bredsomanywars,
createdsomuchfear,somuchanxiety,whichisforevermakingimagesand
chasingitsowntailthoughtwhichhasenjoyedthepleasureofyesterdayand
giventhatpleasurecontinuityinthepresentandalsointhefuturethoughtwhich
isalwaysactive,chattering,moving,constructing,takingaway,adding,
supposing?
Ideashavebecomefarmoreimportanttousthanactionideassocleverly
expressedinbooksbytheintellectualsineveryfield.Themorecunning,themore
subtle,thoseideasarethemoreweworshipthemandthebooksthatcontainthem.
Wearethosebooks,wearethoseideas,soheavilyconditionedarewebythem.We
areforeverdiscussingideasandidealsanddialecticallyofferingopinions.Every

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religionhasitsdogma,itsformula,itsownscaffoldtoreachthegods,andwhen
inquiringintothebeginningofthoughtwearequestioningtheimportanceofthis
wholeedificeofideas.Wehaveseparatedideasfromactionbecauseideasare
alwaysofthepastandactionisalwaysthepresentthatis,livingisalwaysthe
present.Weareafraidoflivingandthereforethepast,asideas,hasbecomeso
importanttous.
Itisreallyextraordinarilyinterestingtowatchtheoperationofonesown
thinking,justtoobservehowonethinks,wherethatreactionwecallthinking,
springsfrom.Obviouslyfrommemory.Isthereabeginningtothoughtatall?If
thereis,canwefindoutitsbeginningthatis,thebeginningofmemory,becauseif
wehadnomemorywewouldhavenothought?
Wehaveseenhowthoughtsustainsandgivescontinuitytoapleasurethatwe
hadyesterdayandhowthoughtalsosustainsthereverseofpleasurewhichisfear
andpain,sotheexperiencer,whoisthethinker,isthepleasureandthepainand
alsotheentitywhogivesnourishmenttothepleasureandpain.Thethinker
separatespleasurefrompain.Hedoesntseethatintheverydemandforpleasure
heisinvitingpainandfear.Thoughtinhumanrelation.shipsisalways
demandingpleasurewhichitcoversbydifferentwordslikeloyalty,helping,
giving,sustaining,serving.Iwonderwhywewanttoserve?Thepetrolstation
offersgoodservice.Whatdothosewordsmean,tohelp,togive,toserve?Whatis
itallabout?Doesaflowerfullofbeauty,lightandlovelinesssay,`Iamgiving,
helping,serving?Itis!Andbecauseitisnottryingtodoanythingitcoversthe
earth.
Thoughtissocunning,soclever,thatitdistortseverythingforitsown
convenience.Thoughtinitsdemandforpleasurebringsitsownbondage.Thought
isthebreederofdualityinallourrelationships:thereisviolenceinuswhichgives
uspleasurebutthereisalsothedesireforpeace,thedesiretobekindandgentle.
Thisiswhatisgoingonallthetimeinallourlives.Thoughtnotonlybreedsthis
dualityinus,thiscontradiction,butitalsoaccumulatestheinnumerablememories
wehavehadofpleasureandpain,andfromthesememoriesitisreborn.So

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thoughtisthepast,thoughtisalwaysold,asIhavealreadysaid.
Aseverychallengeismetintermsofthepastachallengebeingalwaysnew
ourmeetingofthechallengewillalwaysbetotallyinadequate,hence
contradiction,conflictandallthemiseryandsorrowweareheirto.Ourlittlebrain
isinconflictwhateveritdoes.Whetheritaspires,imitates,conforms,suppresses,
sublimates,takesdrugstoexpanditselfwhateveritdoesitisinastateof
conflictandwillproduceconflict.
Thosewhothinkagreatdealareverymaterialisticbecausethoughtismatter.
Thoughtismatterasmuchasthefloor,thewall,thetelephone,arematter.Energy
functioninginapatternbecomesmatter.Thereisenergyandthereismatter.That
isalllifeis.Wemaythinkthoughtisnotmatterbutitis.Thoughtismatterasan
ideology.Wherethereisenergyitbecomesmatter.Matterandenergyare
interrelated.Theonecannotexistwithouttheother,andthemoreharmonythereis
betweenthetwo,themorebalance,themoreactivethebraincellsare.Thoughthas
setupthispatternofpleasure,pain,fear,andhasbeenfunctioninginsideitfor
thousandsofyearsandcannotbreakthepatternbecauseithascreatedit.
Anewfactcannotbeseenbythought.Itcanbeunderstoodlaterbythought,
verbally,buttheunderstandingofanewfactisnotrealitytothought.Thoughtcan
neversolveanypsychologicalproblem.Howeverclever,howevercunning,
howevererudite,whateverthestructurethoughtcreatesthroughscience,through
anelectronicbrain,throughcompulsionornecessity,thoughtisnevernewand
thereforeitcanneveransweranytremendousquestion.Theoldbraincannotsolve
theenormousproblemofliving.
Thoughtiscrookedbecauseitcaninventanythingandseethingsthatarenot
there.Itcanperformthemostextraordinarytricks,andthereforeitcannotbe
dependedupon.Butifyouunderstandthewholestructureofhowyouthink,why
youthink,thewordsyouuse,thewayyoubehaveinyourdailylife,thewayyou
talktopeople,thewayyoutreatpeople,thewayyouwalk,thewayyoueatif
youareawareofallthesethingsthenyourmindwillnotdeceiveyou,thenthereis
nothingtobedeceived.Themindthenisnotsomethingthatdemands,that

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subjugates;itbecomesextraordinarilyquiet,pliable,sensitive,alone,andinthat
statethereisnodeceptionwhatsoever.
Haveyouevernoticedthatwhenyouareinastateofcompleteattentionthe
observer,thethinker,thecentre,theme,comestoanend?Inthatstateofattention
thoughtbeginstowitheraway.Ifonewantstoseeathingveryclearly,onesmind
mustbeveryquiet,withoutalltheprejudices,thechattering,thedialogue,the
images,thepicturesallthatmustbeputasidetolook.Anditisonlyinsilence
thatyoucanobservethebeginningofthoughtnotwhenyouaresearching,
askingquestions,waitingforareply.Soitisonlywhenyouarecompletelyquiet,
rightthroughyourbeing,havingputthatquestion,`Whatisthebeginningof
thought?,thatyouwillbegintosee,outofthatsilence,howthoughttakesshape.
Ifthereisanawarenessofhowthoughtbeginsthenthereisnoneedtocontrol
thought.Wespendagreatdealoftimeandwasteagreatdealofenergyall
throughourlives,notonlyatschool,tryingtocontrolourthoughts`Thisisa
goodthought,Imustthinkaboutitalot.Thisisanuglythought,Imustsuppress
it.Thereisabattlegoingonallthetimebetweenonethoughtandanother,one
desireandanother,onepleasuredominatingallotherpleasures.Butifthereisan
awarenessofthebeginningofthought,thenthereisnocontradictioninthought.
NowwhenyouhearastatementlikeThoughtisalwaysoldor`Timeis
sorrow,thoughtbeginstotranslateitandinterpretit.Butthetranslationand
interpretationarebasedonyesterdaysknowledgeandexperience,soyouwill
invariablytranslateaccordingtoyourconditioning.Butifyoulookatthe
statementsanddonotinterpretthemallbutjustgivethemyourcomplete
attention(notconcentration)youwillfindthereisneithertheobservernorthe
observed,neitherthethinkernorthethought.Dontsay,`Whichbeganfirst?That
isacleverargumentwhichleadsnowhere.Youcanobserveinyourselfthataslong
asthereisnothoughtwhichdoesntmeanastateofamnesia,ofblanknessas
longasthereisnothoughtderivedfrommemory,experienceorknowledge,which
areallofthepast,thereisnothinkeratall.Thisisnotaphilosophicalormystical
affair.Wearedealingwithactualfacts,andyouwillsee,ifyouhavegonethisfar

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inthejourney,thatyouwillrespondtoachallenge,notwiththeoldbrain,but
totallyanew.

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Chapter 14
INTHELIFEwegenerallyleadthereisverylittlesolitude.Evenwhenweare
aloneourlivesarecrowdedbysomanyinfluences,somuchknowledge,somany
memoriesofsomanyexperiences,somuchanxiety,miseryandconflictthatour
mindbecomedullerandduller,moreandmoreinsensitive,functioningina
monotonousroutine.Areweeveralone?Orarewecarryingwithusallthe
burdensofyesterday?
Thereisarathernicestoryoftwomonkswalkingfromonevillagetoanother
andtheycomeuponayounggirlsittingonthebankofariver,crying.Andoneof
themonksgoesuptoherandsays,`Sister,whatareyoucryingabout?Shesays,
`Youseethathouseoverthereacrosstheriver?Icameoverthismorningearlyand
hadnotroublewadingacrossbutnowtheriverhasswollenandIcantgetback.
Thereisnoboat.`Oh,saysthemonk,`thatisnoproblematall,andhepicksher
upandcarriesheracrosstheriverandleavesherontheotherside.Andthetwo
monksgoontogether.Afteracoupleofhours,theothermonksays,`Brother,we
havetakenavownevertotouchawoman.Whatyouhavedoneisaterriblesin.
Didntyouhavepleasure,agreatsensation,intouchingawoman?andtheother
monkreplies,`Ileftherbehindtwohoursago.Youarestillcarryingher,arent
you?Thatiswhatwedo.Wecarryourburdensallthetime;weneverdietothem,
weneverleavethembehind.itisonlywhenwegivecompleteattentiontoa
problemandsolveitimmediatelynevercarryingitovertothenextday,thenext
minutethatthereissolitude.Then,even,ifweliveinacrowdedhouseorareina
bus,wehavesolitude.Andthatsolitudeindicatesafreshmind,aninnocentmind.
Tohaveinwardsolitudeandspaceisveryimportantbecauseitimpliesfreedom
tobe,togo,tofunction,tofly.Afterall,goodnesscanonlyflowerinspacejustas
virtuecanfloweronlywhenthereisfreedom.Wemayhavepoliticalfreedombut
inwardlywearenotfreeandthereforethereisnospace.Novirtue,noqualitythat
isworthwhile,canfunctionorgrowwithoutthisvastspacewithinoneself.And

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spaceandsilencearenecessarybecauseitisonlywhenthemindisalone,
uninfluenced,untrained,notheldbyinfinitevarietiesofexperience,thatitcan
comeuponsomethingtotallynew.
Onecanseedirectlythatitisonlywhenthemindissilentthatthereisa
possibilityofclarity.ThewholepurposeofmeditationintheEastistobringabout
suchastateofmindthatis,tocontrolthought,whichisthesameasconstantly
repeatingaprayertoquietenthemindandinthatstatehopingtounderstandones
problems.Butunlessonelaysthefoundation,whichistobefreefromfear,free
fromsorrow,anxietyandallthetrapsonelaysforoneself,Idonotseehowitis
possibleforamindtobeactuallyquiet.Thisisoneofthemostdifficultthingsto
communicate.Communicationbetweenusimplies,doesntit,thatnotonlymust
youunderstandthewordsIamusingbutthatwemustboth,youandI,beintense
atthesametime,notamomentlateroramomentsoonerandcapableofmeeting
eachotheronthesamelevel?Andsuchcommunicationisnotpossiblewhenyou
areinterpretingwhatyouarereadingaccordingtoyourownknowledge,pleasure
oropinions,orwhenyouaremakingatremendousefforttocomprehend.
Itseemstomethatoneofthegreateststumblingblocksinlifeisthisconstant
struggletoreach,toachieve,toacquire.Wearetrainedfromchildhoodtoacquire
andtoachievetheverybraincellsthemselvescreateanddemandthispatternof
achievementinordertohavephysicalsecurity,butpsychologicalsecurityisnot
withinthefieldofachievement.Wedemandsecurityinallourrelationships,
attitudesandactivitiesbut,aswehaveseen,thereisactuallynosuchthingas
security.Tofindoutforyourselfthatthereisnoformofsecurityinany
relationshiptorealizethatpsychologicallythereisnothingpermanentgivesa
totallydifferentapproachtolife.Itisessential,ofcourse,tohaveoutwardsecurity
shelter,clothing,foodbutthatoutwardsecurityisdestroyedbythedemandfor
psychologicalsecurity.
Spaceandsilencearenecessarytogobeyondthelimitationsofconsciousness,
buthowcanamindwhichissoendlesslyactiveinitsselfinterestbequiet?One
candisciplineit,controlit,shapeit,butsuchtorturedoesnotmakethemindquiet;

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itmerelymakesitdull.Obviouslythemerepursuitoftheidealofhavingaquiet
mindisvaluelessbecausethemoreyouforceitthemorenarrowandstagnantit
becomes.Controlinanyform,likesuppression,producesonlyconflict.Socontrol
andoutwarddisciplinearenottheway,norhasanundisciplinedlifeanyvalue.
Mostofourlivesareoutwardlydisciplinedbythedemandsofsociety,bythe
family,byourownsuffering,byourownexperience,byconformingtocertain
ideologicalorfactualpatternsandthatformofdisciplineisthemostdeadening
thing.Disciplinemustbewithoutcontrol,withoutsuppression,withoutanyform
offear.Howisthisdisciplinetocomeabout?Itisnotdisciplinefirstandthen
freedom;freedomisattheverybeginning,notattheend.Tounderstandthis
freedom,whichisthefreedomfromtheconformityofdiscipline,isdisciplineitself.
Theveryactoflearningisdiscipline(afteralltherootmeaningoftheword
disciplineistolearn),theveryactoflearningbecomesclarity.Tounderstandthe
wholenatureandstructureofcontrol,suppressionandindulgencedemands
attention.Youdonthavetoimposedisciplineinordertostudyit,buttheveryact
ofstudyingbringsaboutitsowndisciplineinwhichthereisnosuppression.
Inordertodenyauthority(wearetalkingofpsychologicalauthority,notthe
law)todenytheauthorityofallreligiousorganizations,traditionsand
experience,onehastoseewhyonenormallyobeysactuallystudyit.Andto
studyittheremustbefreedomfromcondemnation,justification,opinionor
acceptance.Nowwecannotacceptauthorityandyetstudyitthatisimpossible.
Tostudythewholepsychologicalstructureofauthoritywithinourselvesthere
mustbefreedom.Andwhenwearestudyingwearedenyingthewholestructure,
andwhenwedodeny,thatverydenialisthelightofthemindthatisfreefrom
authority.Negationofeverythingthathasbeenconsideredworthwhile,suchas
outwarddiscipline,leadership,idealism,istostudyit;thenthatveryactof
studyingisnotonlydisciplinebutthenegativeofit,andtheverydenialisa
positiveact.Sowearenegatingallthosethingsthatareconsideredimportantto
bringaboutthequietnessofthemind.
Thusweseeitisnotcontrolthatleadstoquietness.Noristhemindquietwhen

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ithasanobjectwhichissoabsorbingthatitgetslostinthatobject.Thisislike
givingachildaninterestingtoy;hebecomesveryquiet,butremovethetoyandhe
returnstohismischiefmaking.Weallhaveourtoyswhichabsorbusandwethink
weareveryquietbutifamanisdedicatedtoacertainformofactivity,scientific,
literaryorwhateveritis,thetoymerelyabsorbshimandheisnotreallyquietat
all.
Theonlysilenceweknowisthesilencewhennoisestops,thesilencewhen
thoughtstopsbutthatisnotsilence.Silenceissomethingentirelydifferent,like
beauty,likelove.Andthissilenceisnottheproductofaquietmind,itisnotthe
productofthebraincellswhichhaveunderstoodthewholestructureandsay,`For
Godssakebequiet;thenthebraincellsthemselvesproducethesilenceandthatis
notsilence.Norissilencetheoutcomeofattentioninwhichtheobserveristhe
observed;thenthereisnofriction,butthatisnotsilence.
Youarewaitingformetodescribewhatthissilenceissothatyoucancompare
it,interpretit,carryitawayandburyit.Itcannotbedescribed.Whatcanbe
describedistheknown,andthefreedomfromtheknowncancomeintobeingonly
whenthereisadyingeverydaytotheknown,tothehurts,theflatteries,toallthe
imagesyouhavemade,toallyourexperiencesdyingeverydaysothatthebrain
cellsthemselvesbecomefresh,young,innocent.Butthatinnocency,thatfreshness,
thatqualityoftendernessandgentleness,doesnotproducelove;itisnotthe
qualityofbeautyorsilence.
Thatsilencewhichisnotthesilenceoftheendingofnoiseisonlyasmall
beginning.Itislikegoingthroughasmallholetoanenormous,wide,expansive
ocean,toanimmeasurable,timelessstate.Butthisyoucannotunderstandverbally
unlessyouhaveunderstoodthewholestructureofconsciousnessandthe
meaningofpleasure,sorrowanddespair,andthebraincellsthemselveshave
becomequiet.Thenperhapsyoumaycomeuponthatmysterywhichnobodycan
revealtoyouandnothingcandestroy.Alivingmindisastillmind,alivingmind
isamindthathasnocentreandthereforenospaceandtime.Suchamindis
limitlessandthatistheonlytruth,thatistheonlyreality.

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Chapter 15
WEALLWANTexperiencesofsomekindthemysticalexperience,thereligious
experience,thesexualexperience,theexperienceofhavingagreatdealofmoney,
power,position,domination.Aswegrowolderwemayhavefinishedwiththe
demandsofourphysicalappetitesbutthenwedemandwider,deeperandmore
significantexperiences,andwetryvariousmeanstoobtainthemexpandingour
consciousness,forinstance,whichisquiteanart,ortakingvariouskindsofdrugs.
Thisisanoldtrickwhichhasexistedfromtimeimmemorialchewingapieceof
leaforexperimentingwiththelatestchemicaltobringaboutatemporary
alterationinthestructureofthebraincells,agreatersensitivityandheightened
perceptionwhichgiveasemblanceofreality.Thisdemandformoreandmore
experiencesshowstheinwardpovertyofman.Wethinkthatthroughexperiences
wecanescapefromourselvesbuttheseexperiencesareconditionedbywhatwe
are.Ifthemindispetty,jealous,anxious,itmaytaketheverylatestformofdrug
butitwillstillseeonlyitsownlittlecreation,itsownlittleprojectionsfromitsown
conditionedbackground.
Mostofusdemandcompletelysatisfying,lastingexperienceswhichcannotbe
destroyedbythought.Sobehindthisdemandforexperienceisthedesirefor
satisfaction,andthedemandforsatisfactiondictatestheexperience,andtherefore
wehavenotonlytounderstandthiswholebusinessofsatisfactionbutalsothe
thingthatisexperienced.Tohavesomegreatsatisfactionisagreatpleasure;the
morelasting,deepandwidetheexperiencethemorepleasurableitis,sopleasure
dictatestheformofexperiencewedemand,andpleasureisthemeasurebywhich
wemeasuretheexperience.Anythingmeasurableiswithinthelimitsofthought
andisapttocreateillusion.Youcanhavemarvellousexperiencesandyetbe
completelydeluded.Youwillinevitablyseevisionsaccordingtoyour
conditioning;youwillseeChristorBuddhaorwhoeveryouhappentobelievein,
andthegreaterabelieveryouarethestrongerwillbeyourvisions,theprojections

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ofyourowndemandsandurges.
Soifinseekingsomethingfundamental,suchaswhatistruth,pleasureisthe
measure,youhavealreadyprojectedwhatthatexperiencewillbeandthereforeit
isnolongervalid.
Whatdowemeanbyexperience?Isthereanythingnewororiginalin
experience?Experienceisabundleofmemoriesrespondingtoachallengeandit
canrespondonlyaccordingtoitsbackground,andtheclevereryouareat
interpretingtheexperiencethemoreitresponds.Soyouhavetoquestionnotonly
theexperienceofanotherbutyourownexperience.Ifyoudontrecognizean
experienceitisntanexperienceatall.Everyexperiencehasalreadybeen
experiencedoryouwouldntrecognizeit.Yourecognizeanexperienceasbeing
good,bad,beautiful,holyandsoonaccordingtoyourconditioning,andtherefore
therecognitionofanexperiencemustinevitablybeold.
Whenwedemandanexperienceofrealityaswealldo,dontwe?to
experienceitwemustknowitandthemomentwerecogniseitwehavealready
projecteditandthereforeitisnotrealbecauseitisstillwithinthefieldofthought
andtime.Ifthoughtcanthinkaboutrealityitcannotbereality.Wecannot
recognizeanewexperience.Itisimpossible.Werecognizeonlysomethingwe
havealreadyknownandthereforewhenwesaywehavehadanewexperienceit
isnotnewatall.Toseekfurtherexperiencethroughexpansionofconsciousness,as
isbeingdonethroughvariouspsychedelicdrugs,isstillwithinthefieldof
consciousnessandthereforeverylimited.
Sowehavediscoveredafundamentaltruth,whichisthatamindthatis
seeking,craving,forwideranddeeperexperienceisaveryshallowanddullmind
becauseitlivesalwayswithitsmemories.
Nowifwedidnthaveanyexperienceatall,whatwouldhappentous?We
dependonexperiences,onchallenges,tokeepusawake.Iftherewerenoconflicts
withinourselves,nochanges,nodisturbances,wewouldallbefastasleep.So
challengesarenecessaryformostofus;wethinkthatwithoutthemourmindswill
becomestupidandheavy,andthereforewedependonachallenge,anexperience,

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togiveusmoreexcitement,moreintensity,tomakeourmindssharper.Butinfact
thisdependenceonchallengesandexperiencestokeepusawake,onlymakesour
mindsdullerItdoesntreallykeepusawakeatall.SoIaskmyself,isitpossibleto
keepawaketotally,notperipherallyatafewpointsofmybeing,buttotallyawake
withoutanychallengeoranyexperience?Thisimpliesagreatsensitivity,both
physicalandpsychological;itmeansIhavetobefreeofalldemands,forthe
momentIdemandIwillexperience.Andtobefreeofdemandandsatisfaction
necessitatesinvestigationintomyselfandanunderstandingofthewholenatureof
demand.
Demandisbornoutofduality:`IamunhappyandImustbehappy.Inthat
verydemandthatImustbehappyisunhappiness.Whenonemakesanefforttobe
good,inthatverygoodnessisitsopposite,evil.Everythingaffirmedcontainsits
ownopposite,andefforttoovercomestrengthensthatagainstwhichitstrives.
Whenyoudemandanexperienceoftruthorreality,thatverydemandisbornout
ofyourdiscontentwithwhatis,andthereforethedemandcreatestheopposite.
Andintheoppositethereiswhathasbeen.Soonemustbefreeofthisincessant
demand,otherwisetherewillbenoendtothecorridorofduality.Thismeans
knowingyourselfsocompletelythatthemindisnolongerseeking.
Suchaminddoesnotdemandexperience;itcannotaskforachallengeorknow
achallenge;itdoesnotsay,`Iamasleepor`Iamawake.Itiscompletelywhatitis.
Onlythefrustrated,narrow,shallowmind,theconditionedmind,isalways
seekingthemore.Isitpossiblethentoliveinthisworldwithoutthemore
withoutthiseverlastingcomparison?Surelyitis?Butonehastofindoutfor
oneself.
Investigationintothiswholequestionismeditation.Thatwordhadbeenused
bothintheEastandtheWestinamostunfortunateway.Therearedifferent
schoolsofmeditation,differentmethodsandsystems.Therearesystemswhich
say,`Watchthemovementofyourbigtoe,watchit,watchit,watchit;thereare
othersystemswhichadvocatesittinginacertainposture,breathingregularlyor
practisingawareness.Allthisisutterlymechanical.Theothermethodgivesyoua

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certainwordandtellsyouthatifyougoonrepeatingityouwillhavesome
extraordinarytranscendentalexperience.Thisissheernonsense.Itisaformofself
hypnosis.ByrepeatingAmenorOmorCocaColaindefinitelyyouwillobviously
haveacertainexperiencebecausebyrepetitionthemindbecomesquiet.Itisa
wellknownphenomenonwhichhasbeenpractisedforthousandsofyearsinIndia
MantraYogaitiscalled.Byrepetitionyoucaninducethemindtobegentleand
softbutitisstillapetty,shoddy,littlemind.Youmightaswellputapieceofstick
youhavepickedupinthegardenonthemantelpieceandgiveitaflowerevery
day.Inamonthyouwillbeworshippingitandnottoputaflowerinfrontofit
willbecomeasin.
Meditationisnotfollowinganysystem;itisnotconstantrepetitionand
imitation.Meditationisnotconcentration.Itisoneofthefavouritegambitsof
someteachersofmeditationtoinsistontheirpupilslearningconcentrationthat
is,fixingthemindononethoughtanddrivingoutallotherthoughts.Thisisa
moststupid,uglything,whichanyschoolboycandobecauseheisforcedto.It
meansthatallthetimeyouarehavingabattlebetweentheinsistencethatyou
mustconcentrateontheonehandandyourmindontheotherwhichwanders
awaytoallsortsofotherthings,whereasyoushouldbeattentivetoevery
movementofthemindwhereveritwanders.Whenyourmindwandersoffit
meansyouareinterestedinsomethingelse.
Meditationdemandsanastonishinglyalertmind;meditationisthe
understandingofthetotalityoflifeinwhicheveryformoffragmentationhas
ceased.Meditationisnotcontrolofthought,forwhenthoughtiscontrolledit
breedsconflictinthemind,butwhenyouunderstandthestructureandoriginof
thought,whichwehavealreadybeeninto,thenthoughtwillnotinterfere.That
veryunderstandingofthestructureofthinkingisitsowndisciplinewhichis
meditation.
Meditationistobeawareofeverythoughtandofeveryfeeling,nevertosayitis
rightorwrongbutjusttowatchitandmovewithit.Inthatwatchingyoubeginto
understandthewholemovementofthoughtandfeeling.Andoutofthis

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awarenesscomessilence.Silenceputtogetherbythoughtisstagnation,isdead,but
thesilencethatcomeswhenthoughthasunderstooditsownbeginning,thenature
ofitself,understoodhowallthoughtisneverfreebutalwaysoldthissilenceis
meditationinwhichthemeditatorisentirelyabsent,forthemindhasemptied
itselfofthepast.
Ifyouhavereadthisbookforawholehourattentively,thatismeditation.Ifyou
havemerelytakenawayafewwordsandgatheredafewideastothinkaboutlater,
thenitisnolongermeditation.Meditationisastateofmindwhichlooksat
everythingwithcompleteattention,totally,notjustpartsofit.Andnoonecan
teachyouhowtobeattentive.Ifanysystemteachesyouhowtobeattentive,then
youareattentivetothesystemandthatisnotattention.Meditationisoneofthe
greatestartsinlifeperhapsthegreatest,andonecannotpossiblylearnitfrom
anybody,thatisthebeautyofit.Ithasnotechniqueandthereforenoauthority.
Whenyoulearnaboutyourself,watchyourself,watchthewayyouwalk,howyou
eat,whatyousay,thegossip,thehate,thejealousyifyouareawareofallthatin
yourself,withoutanychoice,thatispartofmeditation.
Someditationcantakeplacewhenyouaresittinginabusorwalkinginthe
woodsfulloflightandshadows,orlisteningtothesingingofbirdsorlookingat
thefaceofyourwifeorchild.
Intheunderstandingofmeditationthereislove,andloveisnottheproductof
systems,ofhabits,offollowingamethod.Lovecannotbecultivatedbythought.
Lovecanperhapscomeintobeingwhenthereiscompletesilence,asilencein
whichthemediatorisentirelyabsent;andthemindcanbesilentonlywhenit
understandsitsownmovementasthoughtandfeeling.Tounderstandthis
movementofthoughtandfeelingtherecanbenocondemnationinobservingit.To
observeinsuchawayisthediscipline,andthatkindofdisciplineisfluid,free,not
thedisciplineofconformity.

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Chapter 16
WHATWEHAVEbeenconcernedwithallthroughthisbookisthebringingabout
inourselves,andthereforeinourlives,ofatotalrevolutionthathasnothing
whatsoevertodowiththestructureofsocietyasitis.Societyasitis,isahorrifying
thingwithitsendlesswarsofaggression,whetherthataggressionbedefensiveor
offensive.Whatweneedissomethingtotallynewarevolution,amutation,inthe
psycheitself.Theoldbraincannotpossiblysolvethehumanproblemof
relationship.TheoldbrainisAsiatic,European,AmericanorAfrican,sowhatwe
areaskingourselvesiswhetheritispossibletobringaboutamutationinthebrain
cellsthemselves?
Letusaskourselvesagain,nowthatwehavecometounderstandourselves
better,isitpossibleforahumanbeinglivinganordinaryeverydaylifeinthis
brutal,violent,ruthlessworldaworldwhichisbecomingmoreandmoreefficient
andthereforemoreandmoreruthlessisitpossibleforhimtobringabouta
revolutionnotonlyinhisoutwardrelationshipsbutinthewholefieldofhis
thinking,feeling,actingandreacting.
Everydayweseeorreadofappallingthingshappeningintheworldasthe
resultofviolenceinman.Youmaysay,`Icantdoanythingaboutit,or,`Howcan
Iinfluencetheworld?Ithinkyoucantremendouslyinfluencetheworldifin
yourselfyouarenotviolent,ifyouleadactuallyeverydayapeacefullifealife
whichisnotcompetitive,ambitious,enviousalifewhichdoesnotcreateenmity.
Smallfirescanbecomeablaze.Wehavereducedtheworldtoitspresentstateof
chaosbyourselfcentredactivity,byourprejudices,ourhatreds,ournationalism,
andwhenwesaywecannotdoanythingaboutit,weareacceptingdisorderin
ourselvesasinevitable.Wehavesplinteredtheworldintofragmentsandifwe
ourselvesarebroken,fragmented,ourrelationshipwiththeworldwillalsobe
broken.Butif,whenweact,weacttotally,thenourrelationshipwiththeworld
undergoesatremendousrevolution.

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Afterall,anymovementwhichisworthwhile,anyactionwhichhasanydeep
significance,mustbeginwitheachoneofus.Imustchangefirst;Imustseewhatis
thenatureandstructureofmyrelationshipwiththeworldandintheveryseeing
isthedoing;thereforeI,asahumanbeinglivingintheworld,bringabouta
differentquality,andthatquality,itseemstome,isthequalityofthereligious
mind.
Thereligiousmindissomethingentirelydifferentfromthemindthatbelieves
inreligion.YoucannotbereligiousandyetbeaHindu,aMuslim,aChristian,a
Buddhist.Areligiousminddoesnotseekatall,itcannotexperimentwithtruth.
Truthisnotsomethingdictatedbyyourpleasureorpain,orbyyourconditioning
asaHinduorwhateverreligionyoubelongto.Thereligiousmindisastateof
mindinwhichthereisnofearandthereforenobeliefwhatsoeverbutonlywhatis
whatactuallyis.
Inthereligiousmindthereisthatstateofsilencewehavealreadyexamined
whichisnotproducedbythoughtbutistheoutcomeofawareness,whichis
meditationwhenthemeditatorisentirelyabsent.Inthatsilencethereisastateof
energyinwhichthereisnoconflict.Energyisactionandmovement.Allactionis
movementandallactionisenergy.Alldesireisenergy.Allfeelingisenergy.All
thoughtisenergy.Alllivingisenergy.Alllifeisenergy.Ifthatenergyisallowedto
flowwithoutanycontradiction,withoutanyfriction,withoutanyconflict,then
thatenergyisboundless,endless.Whenthereisnofrictiontherearenofrontiersto
energy.Itisfrictionwhichgivesenergylimitations.So,havingonceseenthis,why
isitthatthehumanbeingalwaysbringsfrictionintoenergy?Whydoeshecreate
frictioninthismovementwhichwecalllife?Ispureenergy,energywithout
limitation,justanideatohim?Doesithavenoreality?
Weneedenergynotonlytobringaboutatotalrevolutioninourselvesbutalso
inordertoinvestigate,tolook,toact.Andaslongasthereisfrictionofanykindin
anyofourrelationships,whetherbetweenhusbandandwife,betweenmanand
man,betweenonecommunityandanotheroronecountryandanotherorone
ideologyandanotherifthereisanyinwardfrictionoranyoutwardconflictin

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anyform,howeversubtleitmaybethereisawasteofenergy.
Aslongasthereisatimeintervalbetweentheobserverandtheobservedit
createsfrictionandthereforethereisawasteofenergy.Thatenergyisgatheredto
itshighestpointwhentheobserveristheobserved,inwhichthereisnotime
intervalatall.Thentherewillbeenergywithoutmotiveanditwillfinditsown
channelofactionbecausethenthe`Idoesnotexist.
Weneedatremendousamountofenergytounderstandtheconfusioninwhich
welive,andthefeeling,`Imustunderstand,bringsaboutthevitalitytofindout.
Butfindingout,searching,impliestime,and,aswehaveseen,graduallyto
unconditionthemindisnottheway.Timeisnottheway.Whetherweareoldor
youngitisnowthatthewholeprocessoflifecanbebroughtintoadifferent
dimension.Seekingtheoppositeofwhatweareisnotthewayeither,noristhe
artificialdisciplineimposedbyasystem,ateacher,aphilosopherorpriestallthat
issoverychildish.Whenwerealizethis,weaskourselvesisitpossibletobreak
throughthisheavyconditioningofcenturiesimmediatelyandnotenterinto
anotherconditioningtobefree,sothatthemindcanbealtogethernew,sensitive,
alive,aware,intense,capable?Thatisourproblem.Thereisnootherproblem
becausewhenthemindismadenewitcantackleanyproblem.Thatistheonly
questionwehavetoaskourselves.
Butwedonotask.Wewanttobetold.Oneofthemostcuriousthingsinthe
structureofourpsycheisthatweallwanttobetoldbecausewearetheresultof
thepropagandaoftenthousandyears.Wewanttohaveourthinkingconfirmed
andcorroboratedbyanother,whereastoaskaquestionistoaskitofyourself.
WhatIsayhasverylittlevalue.Youwillforgetitthemomentyoushutthisbook,
oryouwillrememberandrepeatcertainphrases,oryouwillcomparewhatyou
havereadherewithsomeotherbookbutyouwillnotfaceyourownlife.And
thatisallthatmattersyourlife,yourself,yourpettiness,yourshallowness,your
brutality,yourviolence,yourgreed,yourambition,yourdailyagonyandendless
sorrowthatiswhatyouhavetounderstandandnobodyonearthorinheavenis
goingtosaveyoufromitbutyourself.

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Seeingeverythingthatgoesoninyourdailylife,yourdailyactivitieswhen
youpickupapen,whenyoutalk,whenyougooutforadriveorwhenyouare
walkingaloneinthewoodscanyouwithonebreath,withonelook,know
yourselfverysimplyasyouare?Whenyouknowyourselfasyouare,thenyou
understandthewholestructureofmansendeavour,hisdeceptions,his
hypocrisies,hissearch.Todothisyoumustbetremendouslyhonestwithyourself
throughoutyourbeing.Whenyouactaccordingtoyourprinciplesyouarebeing
dishonestbecausewhenyouactaccordingtowhatyouthinkyououghttobeyou
arenotwhatyouare.itisabrutalthingtohaveideals.Ifyouhaveanyideals,
beliefsorprinciplesyoucannotpossiblylookatyourselfdirectly.Socanyoube
completelynegative,completelyquiet,neitherthinkingnorafraid,andyetbe
extraordinarily,passionatelyalive?
Thatstateofmindwhichisnolongercapableofstrivingisthetruereligious
mind,andinthatstateofmindyoumaycomeuponthisthingcalledtruthor
realityorblissorGodorbeautyorlove.Thisthingcannotbeinvited.please
understandthatverysimplefact.Itcannotbeinvited,itcannotbesoughtafter,
becausethemindistoosilly,toosmall,youremotionsaretooshoddy,yourwayof
lifetooconfusedforthatenormity,thatimmensesomething,tobeinvitedinto
yourlittlehouse,yourlittlecorneroflivingwhichhasbeentrampledandspat
upon.Youcannotinviteit.Toinviteityoumustknowitandyoucannotknowit.It
doesntmatterwhosaysit,themomenthesays,`Iknow,hedoesnotknow.The
momentyousayyouhavefoundityouhavenotfoundit.Ifyousayyouhave
experiencedit,youhaveneverexperiencedit.Theyareallwaysofexploiting
anothermanyourfriendoryourenemy.
Oneasksoneselfthenwhetheritispossibletocomeuponthisthingwithout
inviting,withoutwaiting,withoutseekingorexploringjustforittohappenlikea
coolbreezethatcomesinwhenyouleavethewindowopen?Youcannotinvitethe
windbutyoumustleavethewindowopen,whichdoesntmeanthatyouareina
stateofwaiting;thatisanotherformofdeception.Itdoesntmeanyoumustopen
yourselftoreceive;thatisanotherkindofthought.

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Haventyoueveraskedyourselfwhyitisthathumanbeingslackthisthing?
Theybegetchildren,theyhavesex,tenderness,aqualityofsharingsomething
togetherincompanionship,infriendship,infellowship,butthisthingwhyisit
theyhaventgotit?Haventyoueverwonderedlazilyonoccasionwhenyouare
walkingbyyourselfinafilthystreetorsittinginabusorareonholidaybythe
seasideorwalkinginawoodwithalotofbirds,trees,streamsandwildanimals
hasntitevercomeuponyoutoaskwhyitisthatman,whohaslivedformillions
andmillionsofyears,hasnotgotthisthing,thisextraordinaryunfadingflower?
Whyisitthatyou,asahumanbeing,whoaresocapable,soclever,socunning,so
competitive,whohavesuchmarvelloustechnology,whogototheskiesandunder
theearthandbeneaththesea,andinventextraordinaryelectronicbrainswhyisit
thatyouhaventgotthisonethingwhichmatters?Idontknowwhetheryouhave
everseriouslyfacedthisissueofwhyyourheartisempty.
Whatwouldyouranswerbeifyouputthequestiontoyourselfyourdirect
answerwithoutanyequivocationorcunningness?Youranswerwouldbein
accordancewithyourintensityinaskingthequestionandtheurgencyofit.But
youareneitherintensenorurgent,andthatisbecauseyouhaventgotenergy,
energybeingpassionandyoucannotfindanytruthwithoutpassionpassion
withafurybehindit,passioninwhichthereisnohiddenwant.Passionisarather
frighteningthingbecauseifyouhavepassionyoudontknowwhereitwilltake
you.
Soisfearperhapsthereasonwhyyouhavenotgottheenergyofthatpassionto
findoutforyourselfwhythisqualityofloveismissinginyou,whythereisnot
thisflameinyourheart?Ifyouhaveexaminedyourownmindandheartvery
closely,youwillknowwhyyouhaventgotit.Ifyouarepassionateinyour
discoverytofindwhyyouhaventgotit,youwillknowitisthere.Through
completenegationalone,whichisthehighestformofpassion,thatthingwhichis
love,comesintobeing.Likehumilityyoucannotcultivatelove.Humilitycomes
intobeingwhenthereisatotalendingofconceitthenyouwillneverknowwhat
itistobehumble.Amanwhoknowswhatitistohavehumilityisavainman.In

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thesamewaywhenyougiveyourmindandyourheart,yournerves,youreyes,
yourwholebeingtofindoutthewayoflife,toseewhatactuallyisandgobeyond
it,anddenycompletely,totally,thelifeyoulivenowinthatverydenialofthe
ugly,thebrutal,theothercomesintobeing.Andyouwillneverknowiteither.A
manwhoknowsthatheissilent,whoknowsthatheloves,doesnotknowwhat
loveisorwhatsilenceis.

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