Tuesday, September 09, 2008

1. KRISHNAMURTI on Violence and Other Matters

[LIVING IN AN INSANE WORLD is a selection of passages from books and discussion groups with J. KRISHNAMURTI. From that, in turn, I have tried to make a finer selection]:

“Most of us take a pleasure in violence, in disliking somebody, hating a particular race or a group of people, having antagonistic feelings about others. There is a certain pleasure in this, which I think most of us are aware of. But I don’t think we realize that there is a far greater state of mind in which all violence of any sort has come to an end. In that there is far more joy than in the mere pleasure of violence with its conflicts, with its hatred and fears. So if we are at all serious we should by discussing, by the exchange of ideas, thoughts, feelings, we should discover whether it is at all possible totally to end every form of violence. I think it is possible and yet to live in this world, in this monstrous brutal world of violence.

“We took a part of this violence, which is anger, and we were trying to find out how to meet it without suppressing it, sublimating it, or accepting it. We said that it is quite an art to look at anger without any justification or condemnation. To look at ourselves without accepting or denying, to see ourselves exactly as we are, is quite a difficult thing to do, and therefore one has to learn how to look. If one knows how to look at violence outwardly in society – wars, riots, the nationalistic antagonisms, the class conflicts – then perhaps we can observe violence in ourselves: sexual, ambition, aggression, the violence of defending oneself. Then perhaps we shall be able to go beyond it.”

“If I do not know not to analyze, how to look, I cannot come upon the other. I cannot have this total perception if I don’t know how to look. My mind has been trained for generations to analyze; it is extremely arduous to realize that analysis in any form doesn’t lead anywhere. But I must know how to analyze; otherwise I cannot come upon the other. This means, in the very process of analysis my mind becomes extraordinarily sharp, and it is that quality of sharpness, attention, seriousness that will give a total perception. You see, we are so eager to get the total, to see the whole thing in one glance. But we haven’t the eyes to look. It is only possible to have that clarity if I can see the detail and then jump.

“Nationalism, with its unfortunate patriotism, is really a glorified form, an ennobled form, of tribalism. In a small tribe or in a very large tribe there is a sense of being together, having the same language, the same superstitions, the same kind of political, religious system. And one feels safe, protected, happy, comforted. And for that safety, comfort, we are willing to kill others who have the same kind of desire to be safe, to feel protected, to belong to something. This terrible desire to identify oneself with a group, with a flag, with a religious ritual and so on, gives us the feeling that we have roots, that we are not homeless wanderers. There is the desire, the urge, to find one’s roots.”

“This separative spirit of nationalism is spreading like fire all over the world. Patriotism is cultivated and cleverly exploited by those who are seeking further expansion, wider powers, greater enrichment; and each one of us takes part in this process, for we also desire these things. Conquering other lands and other people provides new markets for goods as well as for political and religious ideologies.”

“Nationalism, the patriotic spirit, class and race consciousness are all ways of the self, and therefore separative. After all, what is a nation but a group of individuals living together for economic and self-protective reasons? Out of fear and acquisitive self-defense arises the idea of ‘my country,’ with its boundaries and tariff walls, rendering brotherhood and the unity of man [woman] [The Human] impossible.

“The desire to gain and to hold, the longing to be identified with something greater than ourselves creates the spirit of nationalism; and nationalism breeds war. In every country the government, encouraged by organized religion, is upholding nationalism and the separative spirit. Nationalism is a disease, and it can never bring about world unity. We can not attain health through disease, we must first free ourselves from the disease.”

“Organized religions, with their temporal and spiritual authority, are equally incapable of bringing peace to man, for they also are the outcome of our ignorance and fear, of our make-believe and egotism.”

“If you change, it will affect the whole of mankind.”

“There is really a very important and urgent question; whether man [woman] [a human], you, can bring about this change in yourself – not say, ‘If I change, will it have any value? Won’t it be just a drop in a vast lake and have no effect at all? What is the point of my changing?’ That is a wrong question. It is wrong because you are the rest of mankind. You are the world, you are not separate from the world. You are not an American, Russian, Hindu, or Muslim. You are apart from these labels and words; you are the rest of mankind because your consciousness, your reactions are similar to the others. You may speak a different language, have different customs, which is superficial culture – all cultures apparently are superficial – but your consciousness, your reactions, your faith, your beliefs, your ideologies, your fears, anxieties, loneliness, sorrow, and pleasure are similar to the rest of mankind. If you change, it will affect the whole of mankind.”

“When we remove the division between the ‘me’ and the ‘you,’ the we’ and the ‘they,’ what happens. Only then, and not before, can one perhaps use the word ‘love.’ And love is that most extraordinary thing that takes place when there is no ‘me’ with its circle or wall.”


“Man [woman] [the human] has accepted conflict as an innate part of daily existence because he [she] has accepted competition, jealousy, greed, acquisitiveness, and aggression as a natural way of life. When we accept such a way of life, we accept the structure of society as it is and live within that pattern of respectability. And that is what most of us are caught in because most of us want to be terribly respectable. When we examine our own minds and hearts – the way we think, the way we feel, and how we act in our daily lives – we observe that as long as we conform to the pattern of society, life must be a battlefield.”

“Anger is to be studied tolerantly and understood; it is not to be overcome through violent means. Anger may be the result of many causes, and without comprehending them there is no escape from anger.”

“We have to understand the cause of enmity and cease to feed it by our thought, feeling, and action. This is an arduous task demanding constant self-awareness and intelligent pliability, for what we are the society is, the state is. The enemy and the friend are the outcome of our thought and action. We are responsible for creating enmity, and so it is more important to be aware of our own thought and action than to be concerned with the foe and the friend, for right thinking puts an end to division. Love transcends the friend and the enemy.”

“Now, if you want to stop violence, if you want to stop wars, how much vitality, how much of yourself do you give to it? Isn’t it important to you that your children are killed, that your sons go into the army where they are bullied and butchered? Don’t you care? My God, if that doesn’t interest you, what does? Guarding your money? Having a good time? Taking drugs? Don’t you see that this violence in yourself is destroying your children? Or do you see it only as some abstraction?”

“All of us are discontented when we are young, but unfortunately our discontent soon fades away, smothered by our imitative tendencies and our worship of authority. As we grow older, we begin to crystallize, to be satisfied and apprehensive. We become executives, priests, bank clerks, factory managers, technicians, and slow decay sets in. Because we desire to maintain our positions, we support the destructive society, which has placed us there and given us some measure of security.”

“War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday living. We precipitate war out of our daily lives; and without a transformation in ourselves, there are bound to be national and racial antagonisms, the childish quarrelling over ideologies, the multiplication of soldiers, the saluting of flags, and all the many brutalities that go to create organized murder.

“Education throughout the world has failed, it has produced mounting destruction and misery. Governments are training the young to be the efficient soldiers and the technicians they need; regimentation and prejudice are being cultivated and enforced.”

”The greater our love, the deeper will be its influence on society. But we are all brains and no heart; we cultivate the intellect and despise humility. If we really loved our children, we would want to save and protect them, we would not let them be sacrificed in wars.

“I think we really want arms; we like the show of military power, the uniforms, the rituals, the drinks, the noise, the violence. Our everyday life is a reflection in miniature of this same brutal superficiality, and we are destroying one another through envy and thoughtlessness.

“We want to be rich, and the richer we get, the more ruthless we become, even though we may contribute large sums to charity and education. Having robbed the victim, we return to him a little of the spoils, and this we call philanthropy. I do not think we realize what catastrophes we are preparing. Most of us live each day as rapidly and thoughtlessly as possible and leave to the governments, to the cunning politicians, the direction of our lives.”

“The sovereign state does not want its citizens to be free, to think for themselves, and it controls them through propaganda, through distorted historical interpretations, and so on. That is why education is becoming more and more a means of teaching what to think and not how to think. If we were to think independently of the prevailing political system, we would be dangerous; free institutions might turn out pacifists or people who think contrary to the existing regime.”

“We want a little reform here and there, but most of us are afraid to tear down the present society and build a completely new structure, for this would require a radical transformation of ourselves.

“On the other hand, there are those who seek to bring about a violent revolution. Having helped to build the existing social order with all its conflicts, confusion, and misery, they now desire to organize a perfect society. But can any of us organize a perfect society when it is we who have brought into being the present one? To believe that peace can be achieved through violence is to sacrifice the present for a future ideal; and this seeking of a right end through wrong means is one of the causes of the present disaster.”

“Outward security for all can come only when there is love and intelligence….The true educator is concerned only with right living, right education, and right means of livelihood.

“The more irresponsible we are in these matters, the more the state takes over all responsibility. We are confronted, not with a political or economic crisis, but with a crisis of human deterioration which no political party or economic system can avert.”

“We want to do patchwork reform, which only leads to problems of still further reform. But the building is crumbling, the walls are giving way, and fire is destroying it. We must leave the building and start on new ground, with different foundations, different values.”

“Only by intelligently freeing ourselves from the spirit of nationalism, from envy and the thirst for power, can a new social order be established.”


“We are violent human beings. To say, ‘You have not changed, why haven’t you?’ is a form of violence. It doesn’t mean a thing to me to convince you of anything. It’s your life, not my life; the way you live is your affair. And if you want to live with great happiness, great bliss, with a great sense of ecstasy, we’ll communicate with each other. If you don’t, you don’t, and what am I do? Human beings are violent, and is it possible for that violence to be totally eradicated? That is the only question we are concerned with, not whether the rich or poor are better; all that has no meaning.

“Now is it possible for me and for you to end violence in ourselves? Which means, I must find out for myself what kind of violence there is in me. Is it defensive violence to defend myself? I defend myself through my nationality, through the religion I belong to, through an ideology, whether it is communist or Catholic or Buddhist, or whatever it is. The very process of defending and resisting is a form of violence. When a nation says: I defend myself only – such a concept obviously means I am prepared to fight. So there is no such thing as defense and offense, because both contain in themselves violence. That’s one form of violence. Then there is a form of anger, in which is involved hate, jealousy, aggressive acquisitiveness, the demand to dominate, to possess; all those are forms of violence. Or do you call violence merely killing another? Is it not violence when you use a sharp word against another? Is it not also violence when you make a gesture to brush away a person, or when you obey because there’s fear? So violence isn’t merely killing another – in the name of God, in the name of society, in the name of the country – this organized butchery. Violence is also much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depth of violence. If one is not subtle enough, clear enough to follow to the very end the root of violence, which is both in the conscious as well as in the so-called deeper layers of consciousness, I don’t see how you can ever be free of violence. After all, why shouldn't one be violent? We take it for granted that we should not be violent. I don’t know why. You’ve had in Europe two dreadful wars, with all the brutality, the exterminations of the concentration camps, the butchery, and yet you haven’t changed. You’re still Germans, Austrians, Russians, Catholics, and all the rest of it. So you have accepted that as the way of life – haven’t you? Obviously, sirs. And can you voluntarily, sanely (not neurotically) put away that?

“Psychologically begin with that and see where it will lead you. Can one do that? My friend up there [A Questioner] says it cannot be done.” [Questioner: “Is it not a question of the emotions? – One has bouts of anger.”] Certainly it is related to emotion. Which is what, sir? Look you hit me for whatever reason (I’ve insulted you). There is an emotion – anger – but that anger is sustained by thought. Thought gives to that feeling a continuity. I hate you hereafter because you have hit me. I want to hit you back, I’m watching, waiting for an opportunity to hurt you, which is all the process of thinking.”

[Questioner: Is it not rather the relationship of the emotions?”]

"That’s only a part of it. Take this whole thing – emotion, thought, the power to retain, which is memory; from that memory, my conditioned responses, I act. I am a Catholic, a communist, I have been conditioned that way and if anybody attacks that, questions that, I get annoyed, angry, which is an emotional response according to my conditioning. We’re saying: Can one go to the very root of violence and be free of it? Otherwise we are not human beings; we shall live everlastingly in a battle with each other. If that is the way you want – which is apparently what human beings want – then carry on. But if you say there might be a different way of living, there might be a different process of responding to life, then we can discuss, when we shall be able to communicate with each other. But if you say, ‘Well I’m sorry, violence can never end,’ then you and I have no means of communication, you have blocked yourself.”

“We are conditioned to violence and in violence …. My mind is distorted because it is conditioned….Are you and I aware of our conditioning? …. If it is merely a conditioned response which says: don’t be violent – then it is another form of violence. You follow? It’s like a Catholic saying there is a savior, there is sin, and only this savior can save. That’s a conditioned response, it has no meaning whatsoever.”

“….Can I, can you, become aware of your conditioning?”

[Questioner: “One cannot, it is an essential part of living.”]

“Sir, look. We are conditioned by the climate, by the food we eat, by the newspapers we read, by the company we keep; we are conditioned by the wife, by the husband, by the job, by techniques, by everyday influences and experience. We are conditioned! Now, can I become aware of that condition, just one conditioning? … Whether it is pleasureable conditioning or unpleasant conditioning, are you aware of your conditioning? …. When one is aware of one’s conditioning, as a Jew, as a Hindu, as a Negro – whatever it is – then in it there is not only great pleasure but also, as you say, great discomfort. Now, does this conditioning bring a sense of imprisonment or not? Or, do you say, ‘Well the pleasure outweighs the discomfort and therefore it’s all right.’ You follow what I mean? Or, do you say, ‘It isn’t good enough.’ …. Then when you come to a precipice, you know how dangerous your conditioning is. But without coming upon that precipice, you play with your conditioning. So, are you willing to push the awareness of your conditioning until you come to that precipice – when you’ve got to act! Or, are you merely playing with your condition from a safe distance?”


"If you have been so prepared then to withdraw from worldliness at any age, you withdraw to flow into deep and pure awareness, you withdraw not into isolation but to find the real; to help to transform the ever congealing, conflicting society and state. … But if you really thought it worthwhile, then you would set about it, not as a wonderful act of renunciation, but as a natural and intelligent thing for a thoughtful man [woman] [the human] to do. How extraordinarily important it is that there should be at least some who do not belong to any particular group or a race or to any specialized religion or society! They will create the true brotherhood of man [woman] [the human] for they will be seeking truth. To be free from outward riches there must be the awareness of inward poverty, which brings untold riches. The stream of culture may change its course through a few awakened people. These are not strangers but you and me.”

“What is important is not to let hate take root in your mind … If each time hate arises you let it go by, then you will find that your mind becomes very sensitive without being sentimental; therefore it will know love.”

“The world, then, is an extension of yourself. If you as an individual desire to destroy hate, then you as an individual must cease hating. To destroy hatred, you must dissociate yourself from hate in all its gross and subtle forms, and so long as you are caught up in it, you are part of that world of ignorance and fear. Then the world is an extension of yourself, yourself duplicated and multiplied. The world does not exist apart from the individual. It may exist as an idea, as a state, as a social organization, but to carry out that idea, to make that social or religious organization function, there must be the individual. His [her] ignorance, his [her] greed, his [her] fear maintain the structure of ignorance, greed, and hate. If the individual changes, can he [she] affect the world, the world of hate, greed, and so on? First make sure, doubly sure, that you, the individual, do not hate. Those who hate have no time for thought; they are consumed with their own intense excitement and with its results. They won’t listen to calm, deliberate thought; they are carried away by their own fear; and you cannot help these people, can you, unless you follow their method, which is to force them to listen, but such force is of no avail. Ignorance has its own sorrow. After all, you are listening to me because you are not immediately threatened, but if you were, probably you would be thoughtful. The world is an extension of yourself so long as you are thoughtless, caught up in ignorance, hatred, and greed, but when you are earnest, thoughtful, and aware, there is not only a dissociation from those ugly causes which create pain and sorrow, but also in that understanding there is a completeness, a wholeness.” --

“The mind can pursue sensations, desires, but it cannot love. Love must come to the mind. And when once love is there, it has no division as sensual and divine – it is love. That is the extraordinary thing about love: it is the only quality that brings a total comprehension of the whole of existence.”


“Goodness can only flower in freedom, not in tradition. The world needs change, you need tremendous revolution in yourself. … Order is peace; and this order, with its virtue and peace, can only come about when you come directly into contact with disorder in your daily life. Then out of that blossoms goodness, and then there will be no seeking any more. For that which ’is,’ is sacred.”

“Peace is from within, not from without.”

“A belief is ever of the past, of the created, and such a belief becomes a hindrance to the experiencing of the real. When thought-feeling is anchored, made dependent, understanding of the real is not possible. There must be open, still freedom from the past, a spontaneous overflow of silence in which alone the real can flower….”

“If you assert and I assert, if you stick to your opinion, to your dogma, to your experience, to your knowledge, and I stick to mine, then there can be no real discussion because neither of us is free to inquire. To discuss is not to share our experiences with each other. There is no sharing at all; there is only the beauty of truth, which neither you nor I can possess. It is simply there.… We are neither asserting nor seeking to dominate each other, but each is talking easily, affably, in an atmosphere of friendly companionship, trying to discover. And in that state of mind we do discover, but I assure you, what we discover has very little importance. The important thing is to discover, and after discovering, to keep going. It is detrimental to stay with what you have discovered, for then your mind is closed, finished. But if you die to what you have discovered the moment you have discovered it, then you can flow like the stream, like a river that has an abundance of water.”

“Is it not very evident that each one of us is responsible for war? Wars do not come into being out of unknown causes; they have definite sources, and those who wish to extricate themselves from this periodic madness called war must search out these causes and free themselves. War is one of the greatest calamities that could happen to man [woman] [human], who is capable of experiencing the real. He [she] must be concerned with eliminating the cause of war within himself, not with who is less or more degraded and terrible in war. We must not be carried away with secondary issues but be aware of the primary issue, which is organized killing itself….. Having lost the eternal value, the passing sensory values become all-important. There is no end to ever-expanding desire. Things are necessary but have no eternal value, and the mad desire for possessions ever leads to strife and misery.

“When acquisitiveness in every form is encouraged, when nationalism and separate sovereign states exist, when religion separates, when there is intolerance and ignorance, then killing your fellow man [woman] [human] is inevitable. War is the result of our everyday life. Passion, ill will and oppression are justified when they are national; to kill for the state, for the country, for an ideology is considered necessary, noble. Each one indulges in this degrading ruthlessness, for there is in each one the desire to do harm. War becomes a means of releasing one’s own brutal instincts and encourages irresponsibility. Such a state is only possible when sensate values predominate.”

“[Then] we have lost the feeling of humanity; we feel responsible only to the class or group to which we belong; we feel responsible to a name, to a label. We have lost compassion, the love of the whole, and without this quickening flame of life we look to politicians, to priests, to some economic planning for peace and happiness. In these there is no hope. In each one alone is their creative understanding, that compassion which is necessary for the well-being of man. Right means create right ends, wrong means will bring only emptiness and death, not peace and joy.”


[Questioner: How can one free himself from the indescribable sorrow which in the nature of things is caused by the death of someone he [she] really loves?]

“What is the cause of suffering in this case? And what is it that we call suffering? Is suffering merely a shock to the mind to awaken it to its own insufficiency? The recognition of that insufficiency creates what we call sorrow. Suppose that you have been relying on your son or your husband or your wife to satisfy that insufficiency, that incompleteness; by the loss of that person whom you love, there is created the full consciousness of that emptiness, of that void, and out of that consciousness comes sorrow, and you say, 'I have lost somebody.'

“So through death there is, first of all, the full consciousness of emptiness, which you have been carefully evading. Hence where there is dependence there must be emptiness, shallowness, insufficiency, and therefore sorrow and pain. We don't want to recognize that; we don't see that that is the fundamental cause. So we begin to say, 'I miss my friend, my husband, my wife, my child. How am I to overcome this loss? How am I to overcome this sorrow?'

“Now, all overcoming is but substitution. In that there is no understanding and therefore there can only be further sorrow, though momentarily you may find a substitution that will completely put the mind to sleep. If you don't seek an overcoming, then you turn to séances, mediums, or take shelter in the scientific proof that life continues after death. So you begin to discover various means of escape and substitution, which momentarily relieve you from suffering. Whereas, if there were the cessation of this desire to overcome and if there were really the desire to understand, to find out, fundamentally, what causes pain and sorrow, then you would discover that so long as there is loneliness, shallowness, emptiness, insufficiency, which in its outer expression is dependence, there must be pain. And you cannot fill that insufficiency by overcoming obstacles, by substitutions, by escaping or by accumulating, which is merely the cunning of the mind lost in the pursuit of gain.

“Suffering is merely that high, intense clarity of thought and emotion which forces you to recognize things as they are. But this does not mean acceptance, resignation. When you see things as they are in the mirror of truth, which is intelligence, then there is a joy, an ecstasy; in that there is no duality, no sense of loss, no division. I assure you this is not theoretical. …You will see how memory creates greater and greater dependence, the continual looking back to an event emotionally, to get a reaction from it, which prevents the full expression of intelligence in the present.

[Questioner: What suggestion or advice could you give to one who is hindered by strong sexual desire?]
“After all, where there is no creative expression of life, we give undue importance to sex, which becomes an acute problem. So the question is not what advice or suggestion I would give, or how one can overcome passion, sexual desire, but how to release that creative living and not merely tackle one part of it, which is sex; that is, how to understand the wholeness, the completeness of life.

“Now, through modern education, through circumstances and environment, you are driven to do something which you hate. You are repelled, but you are forced to do it because of your lack of proper equipment, proper training. In your work you are being prevented by circumstances, by conditions, from expressing yourself fundamentally, creatively, and so there must be an outlet; and this outlet becomes the sex problem or the drink problem or some idiotic, inane problem. All these outlets become problems.

“Or you are artistically inclined. There are very few artists, but you may be inclined, and that inclination is continually being perverted, twisted, thwarted, so that you have no means of real self-expression, and thus undue importance comes to be given either to sex or to some religious mania. Or your ambitions are thwarted, curtailed, hindered, and so again undue importance is given to those things that should be normal. So, until you understand comprehensively your religious, political, economic, and social desires, and their hindrances, the natural functions of life will take an immense importance, and the first place in your life. Hence all the innumerable problems of greed, of possessiveness, of sex, of social and racial distinctions have their false measure and false value. But if you were to deal with life, not in parts but as a whole, comprehensively, creatively, with intelligence, then you would see that these problems, which are enervating the mind and destroying creative living, disappear, and then intelligence functions normally, and in that there is an ecstasy.


”Although war is so obviously detrimental to society, we prepare for war and develop in the young the military spirit.
But has military training any place in education? It all depends on what kind of human [woman] [human] beings we want our children to be. If we want them to be efficient killers, then military training is necessary. If we want to discipline them and regiment their minds, if our purpose is to make them nationalistic and therefore irresponsible to society as a whole, then the military is a good way to do it. If we like death and destruction, military training is obviously important. It is the function of generals to plan and carry on war, and if our intention is to have constant battle between our neighbors and ourselves then by all means let us have more generals.

“If we are living only to have endless strife within ourselves and with others, if our desire is to perpetuate bloodshed and misery, then there must be more soldiers, more politicians, more enmity – which is what is actually happening. Modern civilization is based on violence and is therefore courting death. As long as we worship force, violence will be our way of life. But if we want peace, if we want right relationship among men, whether Christian or Hindu, Russian or American – if we want our children to be integrated human beings, then military training is an absolute hindrance, it is the wrong way to set about it.”

“To raise a child sanely, to help him to be perceptive so that he [she] sees through these stupid prejudices, we have to be in close relationship with him. We have to talk things over and let him listen to intelligent conversation; we have to encourage the spirit of inquiry and discontent which is already in him, thereby helping him to discover for himself what is true and what is false.

“It is constant inquiry, true dissatisfaction that brings creative intelligence; but to keep inquiry and discontent awake is extremely arduous, and most people do not want their children to have this kind of intelligence, for it is very uncomfortable to live with someone who is constantly questioning accepted values.


“One can have Abiding, lasting peace only when the individual understands himself [herself] and his [her] relationship with another, which makes society. Peace is within and not without…. We cannot create a peaceful, intelligent society if the individual is intolerant, brutal, and competitive. If the individual lacks kindliness, affection, thoughtfulness, in his [her] relationship with another, He [She] must inevitably produce conflict, antagonism, and confusion. Society is the extension of the individual; society is the projection of ourselves….”

“Man [woman] [The Human] is the measure of all things [being the creature that measures], and if his [her] vision is perverted, then what he [she] thinks and creates must inevitably lead to disaster and sorrow. Out of what he [she] thinks and feels, the individual builds the society. I personally feel that the world is myself, that what I do creates either peace or sorrow in the world that is myself, and as long as I do not understand myself, I cannot bring peace to the world; so my immediate concern is myself, not selfishly, not merely to alter myself in order to gain greater happiness, greater sensations, greater successes, for as long as I do not understand myself, I must live in pain and sorrow and cannot discover an enduring peace and happiness.”

“Instead of strengthening beliefs and ideologies, become aware of your thoughts-feelings, for out of them spring the issues of life. What you are the world is; if you are cruel, lustful, ignorant, greedy, so is the world. Your belief or your disbelief in God is of little significance, for by your thoughts-feelings-actions, you make the world terrible and ruthless, peaceful and compassionate, barbarous or wise.”

“You learn while you are doing. The doing is the learning.”

”I can’t sit in my room and try to find out whether I am violent. I can imagine I’m not violent, but the real test, the real action comes in relationship, to see if I am like that. That’s real work. And if you do that, you have tremendous energy because your life is in order.”

“Then there is the deeper conditioning, such as an aggressive attitude towards life. Aggression implies a sense of dominance, of seeking power, possessions, and prestige. One has to go very deeply to be completely free of that, because it is very subtle, taking many different forms. One may think one is not aggressive, but when one has an ideal, an opinion, an evaluation, verbal and nonverbal, there is a sense of assertiveness, which gradually becomes aggressive and violent. One can see this in oneself. Behind the very word ‘aggression’ – though you may say it very gently – there is a kick, there is a furtive, dominant, compulsive action, which becomes cruel and violent. That aggressive conditioning one has to discover, whether one has derived it from the animal or has become aggressive in one’s own self-assertive pleasure.”


“Another form of conditioning is that of comparison. One compares oneself with what one thinks is noble or heroic, with what one would like to be, as opposed to what one is. The comparative pursuit is a form of conditioning; again, it is extraordinarily subtle. I compare myself with somebody who is a little more intelligent, or more beautiful physically. Secretly or openly, there is a constant soliloquy, talking to oneself in terms of comparison. Observe this in yourself. Where there is comparison, there is a form of aggression in the feeling of achievement; or, when you cannot achieve, there is a sense of frustration and a feeling of inferiority. From childhood we are educated to compare. Our educational system is based on comparison, on the giving of marks, on examinations. In comparing yourself with somebody who is cleverer, there is envy, jealousy, and all the conflict that ensures. Comparison implies measurement; I am measuring myself against something I think is better or nobler.

“One asks: can the mind ever be free of this social and cultural conditioning, of the mind measuring and comparing, the conditioning of fear and pleasure, of reward and punishment? The whole of our moral and religious structures are based on this. Why is it that we are conditioned? We see the outward influences which are conditioning us, and the inward voluntary demand to be conditioned. Why do we accept this conditioning? Why has the mind allowed itself to be conditioned? What is the factor behind it all? Why do I, born in a certain country and culture – calling myself a Hindu, with all the superstition and tradition imposed by the family, the society – accept such conditioning? What is the urge that lies behind this? What is the factor that is constantly demanding and acquiescing, yielding to or resisting this conditioning?

“One can see that one wants to be safe and secure in the community, which is following a certain pattern. If one does not follow the pattern, one may lose one’s job, be without money, not be regarded as a respectable human being. There is a revolt against that, and that revolt forms its own conditioning – which all the young people are going through now. One must find out what is the urge that makes one conform. Unless one discovers it for oneself, one will always be conditioned one way or the other, positively or negatively. From the moment one is born until one dies, the process goes on. One may revolt against it, one may try to escape into another conditioning, withdrawing into a monastery – as do the people who devote their life to contemplation, to philosophy – but it is the same movement right through. What is the machinery that is in constant movement, adjusting itself to various forms of conditioning?


“To discover what part education can play in the present world crisis, we should understand how that crisis has come into being. It is obviously the result of wrong values in our relationship to people, to property, and to ideas. If our relationship with others is based on self-aggrandizement, and our relationship to property is acquisitive, the structure of society is bound to be competitive and self-isolating. If in our relationship with ideas we justify one ideology in opposition to another, mutual distrust and ill will are the inevitable results.

“Another cause of the present chaos is dependence on authority, on leaders, whether in daily life, in the small school, or in the university. Leaders and their authority are deteriorating factors in any culture. When we follow another there is no understanding but only fear and conformity, eventually leading to the cruelty of the totalitarian state and the dogmatism of organized religion.

“To rely on governments, to look to organizations and authorities for that peace which must begin with the understanding of ourselves, is to create further and still greater conflict; and there can be no lasting happiness as long as we accept a social order in which there is endless strife and antagonism between man [woman] [the human] and man [woman[[human]. If we want to change existing conditions, we must first transform ourselves, which means that we must become aware of our own actions, thoughts, and feelings in everyday life.

“But we do not really want peace, we do not want to put an end to exploitation. We will not allow our greed to be interfered with, or the foundations of our present social structure to be altered; we want things to continue as they are with only superficial modifications, and so the powerful, the cunning inevitably rule our lives.”

“The only moral or righteous action is voluntary, and understanding alone can bring peace and happiness to men [humans].”
“Belief, ideologies, and organized religions are setting us against our neighbors; there is conflict, not only among different societies, but among groups within the same society. We must realize that as long as we identify ourselves with a country, as long as we cling to security, as long as we are conditioned by dogmas, there will be strife and misery both within ourselves and in the world.”

”The constantly repeated assertion that we belong to a certain political or religious group, that we are of this nation or of that, flatters our little egos, puffs them out like sails, until we are ready to kill or be killed four our country, race, or ideology. It is all so stupid and unnatural. Surely, human beings are more important than national and ideological boundaries.


“To me, the true artist is one who lives completely, harmoniously, who does not divide his [her] art from living, whose very life is that expression, whether it be a picture, music, or his [her] behavior; who has not divorced his [her] expression on a canvas or in music or in stone from his [her] daily conduct, daily living. That demands the highest intelligence, highest harmony. To me the true artist is the man [woman] [human] who has that harmony. He [She] may express it on canvas, or he [she] may talk, or he [she] may paint; or he [she] may not express it at all, he [she] may feel it. But all this demands that exquisite poise, that intensity of awareness, and therefore his [her] expression is not divorced from the daily continuity of living.”


”Without comprehending the present, which is rooted in the past, you will have no understanding. The present misery of man [woman] [humanity] is understood when through the door of the present, he [she] is able to be aware of the causes that have produced it. You cannot brush aside the present in trying to understand the past, but only through awareness of the present does the past begin to unfold itself. …. The present is of the highest importance; the present, however tragic and painful, is the only door to reality…. The present is the only time for understanding, for it extends into yesterday and into tomorrow. The present is the whole of time; in the seed of the present are the past and the future; the past is the present and the future is the present. The present is the eternal, the timeless….. Look only to the present, neither to the past nor to the future, for love is the present, the timeless.”

“The past is the world of our ancestors, the previous generations, with their ignorance, fears, and so on, which limit the present, the ‘I’ of today and gives birth to the ‘I’ of tomorrow, the future. Each one of us is this accumulated past, with which is incorporated the present with its reactions and experiences. Individuals are the result of varied forms of influence and limitation, and the relationship of one individual with another creates the world – the world of values. The world is the social, moral, spiritual structure based on values created by us, isn’t it? The social world, as well as the so-called spiritual world, is created by us individuals through our fears, hopes, cravings, and so on. We see the world of hate taking its harvest at the present. This world of hate has been created by our fathers and their forefathers and by us.”

“The present is the eternal…. As each experience arises live it out as fully and deeply as possible; think it out, feel it out extensively and profoundly; be aware of its pain and pleasure, of your judgment and identifications. Only when experience is complete is there a renewal. We must be capable of living the four seasons in a day; to be keenly aware, to experience, to understand and be free of the gatherings of each day. With the end of each day, the mind-heart must empty itself of the accumulation of its pleasures and pains. We gather consciously and unconsciously; it is comparatively easy to discard what has been consciously acquired, but it is more difficult for thought to free itself from the unconscious accumulations, the past, the uncompleted experiences with their recurring memories. Thought-feeling clings so tenaciously to what it has gathered because it is afraid to be insecure.

“Meditation is renewal, the dying each day to the past; it is an intense passive awareness, the burning away of the desire to continue to become. As long as mind-heart is self protecting there will be continuity without renewal. Only when the mind ceases to create is there creation.”

“If you rely on memory as a guide to conduct, as a means of activity in life, then that memory must impede your action, your conduct, because then that action or conduct is merely the result of calculation, and therefore it has no spontaneity, no richness, no fullness of life. … You cannot forget the past. You cannot blot it out of your mind. …If my experiences and remembrances of the past are becoming hindrances in the present through their reaction, then I cannot comprehend or live fully, intensely, in the present.”

“You react to the past because the present has lost its significance, or because you want to avoid the present; so you go back to the past and live in that emotional thrill, in that reaction of surging memory, because the present has little value. … You cannot lose memory, but by living completely in the present, in the fullness of the moment, you become conscious of all the subconscious entanglements of memory, the dormant hopes and longings which surge forward and prevent you from functioning intelligently in the present. If you are aware of that, if you are aware of that hindrance, aware of it at its depth, not superficially, then the dormant subconscious memory, which is but the lack of understanding and incompleteness of living, disappears, and therefore you meet each movement of environment, each swiftness of thought anew.“

“Can you see without the movement of thought? The movement of thought is memory, because all thought is the response of memory, therefore it is always old….. Is it possible to look at you, or to look at me, without the image you have about me or I have if I thought it was new?.. .. From the moment you are born until the moment you die, you are conditioned. Therefore, if you like it, remain in it. … [And] don’t reduce everything to ‘continuously aware.’ See one thing very clearly, which is: that I can never see anything except through my conditioned eyes. That is it! To realize that is a tremendous shock to me. You understand? It’s a shock to realize that I’m a dead human being. No? …. Do you realize that you are a dead human being when you say that you see with conditioning; therefore, you are looking at life with the past? That’s all. Can one realize that? …. I am talking because we said at the beginning of this discussion that it is a dialogue, a conversation between two people who are serious, who want to go into this question of violence, of conditioning. And we see that we look at life with our conditioning – life being my relationship to my wife, to my husband, to my neighbor, to society. We are looking at everything with closed eyes. That’s all. And how is it possible to open my eyes? Nobody can do it. Religions have tried to tear my eyes apart by believing, by dogma, by rituals, and all the rest of it. And the communists say, ‘You can never be unconditioned, that’s part of life, always live in prison, only decorate the prison more and more.’ But a man [woman] [human] who says, ‘Such a way of living is not freedom’ must find a way out of this; and to find a way out is to become aware of your own conditioning and discover that you look at your own condition through conditioned eyes. Find out whether you can live in that state! Do you know, sirs, I have watched snakes – several of them around me – poisonous cobras, in India, many of them. And you know what happens to you? You’re terribly awake! You’re watching everything! Your nerves, your eyes, your ears are listening to every movement! And that’s the way to live with yourself – without going mad.”


“Conflict exists as long as there is an observer, and the observer is the producer of images; he [she] is the tradition, he [she] is the conditioned being, he [she] is the censor. If you see that, not as an idea, but actually, then you will observe without the observer, then you will see the totality of existence.”

“Conflict in every form: between husband and wife, between two groups of people with conflicting ideas, between ‘what is’ and tradition, between ‘what is’ and the ideal, the should be, the future. Conflict is inner and outer strife. At present there is conflict at all the various levels of our existence, the conscious as well as the unconscious. Our life is a series of conflicts, a battleground – and for what? Do we understand through strife? Can I understand you if I am in conflict with you? To understand there must be a certain amount of peace.”

“ ‘What should be’ is an invention, is an escape from the fact of ‘what is.’ Because we do not know how to come to grips with ‘what is,’ we invent the future. If I knew what to do with my violence now, today, I should not think about the future. If I knew what it meant to die today completely, I should not be afraid of tomorrow, of death and old age, which are the products of thought, the conception of tomorrow. So, there is only one thing: ‘what is.’ Can I understand that? Can the mind completely understand it and go beyond it? That means, not admitting time at all, because time is an invention of thought. So, to understand ‘what is’ I must give my whole mind and heart to it. I must understand violence; violence is not something separate from me, I am violence; violence is not over there and I am here; I am the very nature and structure of violence. Any act on the part of the mind to do something about violence is still violence. So, the mind realizing that whatever it thinks about violence is part of violence, its thinking comes to an end and therefore violence ceases. The perception of that is immediate, not something to be cultivated through time, to be attained at some future date. So there is, in that perception, the seeing of something immediately; in that there is no time or progress or evolution; it is an instantaneous perception and action. And surely love is like that, is it not? Love is not the product of thought; love, like humility, is not something to be cultivated. You cannot cultivate humility; it is only the vain man [woman] [human] who cultivates humility, and when he [she] is ‘cultivating,’ that is, progressing towards humility, he [she] is being vain; like a man [woman] [human] who practices nonviolence, in the meantime he [she] is being violent.

“So, surely love is that state of mind when time, when the ‘observer’ and the ‘observed’ are not. You know, when we say we love another – and I hope you do – there is an intensity, a communication, a communion, at the same time, at the same level; and that communion, that state of love, is not the product of thought or of time.”

“As I said, search implies duality, contrast. Now, where there is contrast, duality, there must be identification with one of the opposites, and from this there arises compulsion. When we say we search, our mind is rejecting something and seeking a substitute that will satisfy it, and thereby it creates duality, and from this there arises compulsion. ….This clinging through attraction, or rejection through fear, creates influence over the mind. … That is, when the mind is trying to overcome, it must create duality, and that very duality negates understanding and creates the distinctions which we call class, religion, sex. That duality influences the mind, and hence a mind influenced by duality cannot understand the significance of environment or the significance of the cause of conflict. …. From this distinction there arises the classification of influences as beneficial and evil.

“Now, if you can become aware of this influence, then you can discern its cause. Most people seem to be aware superficially, not at the greatest depth. It is only when there is awareness at the greatest depth of consciousness, of thought and emotion, that you can discern the division that is created through influence, which negates understanding.”
“I am not giving you a mold or a code by which you can live, or a system which you can follow. All that I am saying is, that to live creatively, enthusiastically, intelligently, vitally, intelligence must function. That intelligence is perverted, hindered, by what one calls memory,….So long as there is this constant battle to achieve, so long as mind is influenced, there must be duality, and hence pain, struggle; and our search for truth or for reality is but an escape from that pain.

“And so I say, become aware that your effort, your struggle, your impinging memories are destroying your intelligence. To become aware is not to be superficially conscious, but to go into the full depth of consciousness so as not to leave undiscovered one unconscious reaction. All this demands thought; all this demands an alertness of mind and heart, not a mind that is cluttered up with beliefs, creeds, and ideals. Most minds are burdened with these and with the desire to follow. As you become conscious of your burden, don't say you mustn't have ideals, you mustn't have creeds, and repeat all the rest of the jargon. The very ‘must' creates another doctrine, another creed; merely become conscious and in the intensity of that consciousness, in the intensity of awareness, in that flame you will create such crisis, such conflict, that that very conflict itself will dissolve the hindrance.”

“The mind sees that distortion must take place when it follows an ideology, the idea of what should be as opposed to ‘what is;’ hence a duality, a conflict, a contradiction and so a mind that is tortured, distorted, perverted. There is only one thing, that which is, ‘what is,’ nothing else. To be completely concerned with ‘what is’ puts away every form of duality, and hence there is no conflict, no tortured mind. So meditation is a mind seeing actually ‘what is’ – without interpreting it, without translating it, without wishing it were not, or accepting it; a mind can only do this when the ‘observer’ ceases to be. Please, this is important to understand. Most of us are afraid; there is fear, and the one who wants to get rid of fear is the observer. The observer is the entity that recognizes the new fear and translates it in terms of the old fears, which it has known and stored up from the past, from which he [she] has escaped. So as long as there is the ‘observer’ and the thing observed, there must be duality and hence conflict, the mind becomes twisted; and that is one of the most complicated states, something which we must understand. As long as there is the ‘observer,’ there must be the conflict of duality. Is it possible to go beyond the ‘observer’? – The ‘observer’ being the whole accumulation of the past, the ‘me,’ the ego, the thought which springs from this accumulated past. So, meditation is the understanding of the whole machinery of thought. I hope, as the speaker is putting it into words, you are listening to and observing it very early, to see if it is possible to eliminate all conflict, so that the mind can be utterly at peace – not contented; contentment arises only when there is dissatisfaction, which again is the process of duality. When there is no ‘observer’ but only ‘observing,’ and hence no conflict then only can there be completely peace; otherwise, there is violence, aggression, brutality, wars, and all the rest of the ways of modern life. So meditation is the understanding of thought and the discovering for oneself whether thought can come to an end. It is only then, when the mind is silent, that it can see actually ‘what is,’ without any distortion, hypocrisy, or self-illusion.’

“When you look as one fragment looking at the other fragments, then that one fragment0 has assumed authority, and that fragment causes contradiction and therefore conflict. But if you can look without any fragment, then you look at the whole without the observer.”

“You are aware of anger with your whole being. If you are, is there anger? Inattention is anger, not attention. So attention with our entire being is seeing the whole, and inattention is seeing the particular. To be aware of the whole, and of the particular, and of the relationship between the two, is the whole problem. We divide the particular from the rest and try to solve it. And so conflict increases and there is no way out.”

“The first challenge is to observe ‘what is,’ which is to know yourself as you really are, not as you should be… Firstly, we must observe without identification, without the word, without the space between the observer and the thing observed; we must look without any image, without the thought, so that we are seeing things as they actually are.”

“When I say to myself, ‘I must not be violent,’ then there is the fact of my own violence and the ideal of what should be (that I must not be violent); hence there is a conflict between ‘what is’ and what should be, and, for most of us, that is our life.”

“If you really want to learn about yourself, then you must put away all the comforting authority of others, and observe.”

“When the observer finds out for himself that he [she] is the observed, he [she] is the violence, and that it is not something separate from him which he [she] can change or control, then the division between the observer and the observed no longer exists, so the observer has instantly removed the cause of conflict and contradiction within himself. However, the fact of violence remains – I am still violent by nature, my whole being is violent, and it is sheer nonsense to say that part of me is gentle and loving, while the other part is violent. Violence means division, contradiction, conflict, separateness, and a lack of love; but I have now realized the central fact, which is that the observer is the observed, and is, therefore, no longer in conflict with the observer. I am the world and the world is me; I am the community and the community is me. So to bring about a radical transformation in society and in oneself, the observer must undergo a tremendous change – that is, to realize that the observer and the observed are one. Now my mind can observe the image of what I consider to be violence and also my vested interests in the violence, because the whole image I have about myself and the violence must disappear, so that the mind is free to observe. And after observing, the fact still remains that I am violent, even though I may say that I and the violence are one; so what am I to do? When I observe that I am violent, and I see very clearly that the observer is that violence, then I realize I cannot possibly do anything at all, because any action whether it be positive or negative is still part of that violence.

“Let’s put it differently! There is this whole problem of egocentricity; we are enormously selfish, extraordinarily self-centered. We may go out of our way to help others, but deep down, the root, the core is this self-centered activity. It is like a tree whose main root has a thousand roots, and whatever the mind does or does not, nourishes this root. Am I making it clear, because we are dealing with a very complex problem, so please bear in mind what we said earlier – that the description is never the described. Mindful of this, therefore, one sees the necessity of being in direct contact with the fact of this egocentric operation that is going on all the time within each one of us, which is the action of separation, isolation, division, and fragmentation, and whatever one does is part of that action. So one asks oneself whether there is a different kind of action, but the very asking of that question is still part of this fragmentation. One then realizes one must look at violence in complete silence. What is important is for you to find out these things for yourself, so that you are free and not secondhand human beings. You must look to find out, to find out whether or not it is possible for the mind to be completely and totally free of this violence, pride, and arrogance, and so come upon a different quality altogether.”


“Can peace be brought about by the mind? …. If we are not very alert and observant, that word ‘peace’ becomes like a narrow window through which we look at the world and try to understand it. Through a narrow window we can see only part of the sky, and not the whole vastness, the magnificence of it. There is no possibility of having peace by merely pursuing peace, which is inevitably a process of the mind.”

“Can peace ever come about through any quieting, through any control or domination of thought? We all want peace; and for most of us, peace means to be left alone, not to be disturbed or interfered with, so we build a wall around our own mind, a wall of ideas.”

“What most of us call peace is a process of stagnation, a slow decay. We think we shall find peace by clinging to a set of ideas, by inwardly building a wall of security, safety, a wall of habits, beliefs; we think that peace is a matter of pursuing a principle, of cultivating a particular tendency, a particular fancy, particular wish. We want to live without disturbance, so we find some corner of the universe, or of our own being, into which we crawl, and we live in the darkness of self-enclosure.”
“We may be discontented while we are young, but as we grow older, unless we are very wise and watchful, that discontent will be canalized into some form of peaceful resignation to life. The mind is everlastingly seeking a secluded habit, belief, desire; something in which it can live and be at peace with the world. But the mind cannot find peace, because it can think only in terms of time, in terms of the past, the present, and the future: what it has been, what it is, and what it will be. It is constantly condemning, judging, weighing, comparing, pursuing its own vanities, its own habits, beliefs; and such a mind can never be peaceful. It can delude itself into a state which it calls peace, but that is not peace. The mind can mesmerize itself by the repetition of words and phrases, by following somebody, or by accumulating knowledge; but it is not peaceful, because such a mind is itself the centre of disturbance, it is by its very nature the essence of time. So the mind with which we think, with which we calculate, with which we contrive and compare, is incapable of finding peace.

“Peace is not the outcome of reason; and yet, as you will see if you observe them, the organized religions are caught up in this pursuit of peace through the mind. Real peace is as creative and as pure as war is destructive and to find that peace, one must understand beauty. That is why it is important, while we are very young, to have beauty about us – the beauty of buildings that have proper proportions, the beauty of cleanliness, of quiet talk among the elders. In understanding what beauty is, we shall know love, for the understanding of beauty is the peace of the heart.

“Peace is of the heart, not of the mind. To know peace you have to find out what beauty is. The way you talk, the words you use, the gestures you make – these things matter very much, for through them you will discover the refinement of your own heart. Beauty cannot be defined, it cannot be explained in words. It can be understood only when the mind is very quiet.

“So, while you are young and sensitive, it is essential that you – as well as those who are responsible for you – should create an atmosphere of beauty. The way you dress, the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you eat – all these things, and the things about you, are very important. As you grow up you will meet the ugly things of life – ugly buildings, ugly people with their malice envy, ambition, cruelty; and if in your heart there is not founded and established the perception of beauty, you will easily be swept away by the enormous current of the world. Then you will get caught tin the endless struggle to find peace through the mind. The mind projects an idea of what peace is and tries to pursue it, thereby getting caught in the net of words, in the net of fancies and illusions.


“Peace can come only when there is love. If you have peace merely through security, financial or otherwise, or through certain dogmas, rituals, verbal repetitions, there is no creativeness; there is no urgency to bring about a fundamental revolution in the world. Such peace only leads to contentment and resignation. But when in you there is the understanding of love and beauty, then you will find the peace that is not a mere projection of the mind. It is this peace that is creative that removes confusion and brings order within oneself. But this peace does not come through any effort to find it. It comes when you are constantly watching, when you are sensitive to both the ugly and the beautiful, to the good and the bad, to all the fluctuations of life. Peace is not something pretty, crafted by the mind; it is enormously great, infinitely extensive, and it can be understood only when the heart is full.”

“To me there is a reality, an immense living truth; and to comprehend that, there must be utter simplicity of thought. What is simple is infinitely subtle, what is simple is greatly delicate. … I say there is this living reality, call it God, truth, or what you like, and it cannot be found or realized through search…. Whenever mind is seeking, it must inevitably imply a division…. which does not mean that mind must be contented, does not mean that mind must be stagnant. There is that delicate poise, which is neither contentment, nor this ceaseless effort born of search, of this desire to attain, to achieve; and in that delicacy of poise lies simplicity…a simplicity born of this delicacy of thought, in which there is neither search nor contentment.”
“I mean by thought, not mere intellectual reasoning, which is but ashes, but that poise between emotion and reason, between affection and thought; and that poise is not influenced, is not affected by the conflict of the opposites. But if there is neither the capacity to think clearly, nor the intensity of feeling, how can you awaken, how can there be poise, how can there be this alertness, awareness? So life becomes futile, inane, worthless.

Hence the very first thing to do, if I may suggest it, is to find out why you are thinking in a certain way, and why you are feeling in a certain manner. Don't try to alter it, don't try to analyze your thoughts and your emotions, but become conscious of why you are thinking in a particular groove and from what motive you act. Although you can discover the motive through analysis, although you may find out something through analysis, it will not be real; it will be real only when you are intensely aware at the moment of the functioning of your thought and emotion; then you will see their extraordinary subtlety, their fine delicacy. So long as you have a 'must' and a 'must not' in this compulsion you will never discover that swift wandering of thought and emotion. And I am sure you have been brought up in the school of 'must' and 'must not',’ and hence you have destroyed thought and feeling. You have been bound and crippled by systems, methods, by your teachers. So leave all those 'musts' and 'must nots.' This does not mean that there shall be licentiousness, but become aware of a mind that is ever saying, 'I must'; and 'I must not'; Then, as a flower blossoms forth of a morning, so intelligence happens, is there, functioning, creating comprehension.”


“Someone comes to you because you have gone from the beginning to the end. And now you are at the end with a totally different kind of movement, which is timeless, and all that. You are in that. I come to you and ask, ‘What is that state of mind? What is the state of your mind, that has walked on that path and ended something, that has totally moved out of darkness?
“If we could find out the quality of a mind that has been through all that from the beginning to the end, all that we have talked of in our recent discussions; that man’s [woman’s] mind is entirely different, yet he [she] is in the world. How does he [she] look upon it? You [as the ‘Changed One’] have reached and come back – these are approximate terms – and I [the ‘Unchanged One’] am an ordinary man [woman], living in this world. So what is your relationship to me? Obviously none, because I am living in a world of darkness and you are not. So relationship can only exist when I come out of it – when darkness ends. … But now there is division between you and me. And I look at you with my eyes, which are accustomed to darkness and to division. You have to have some contact with me – however superficial, however slight – a certain relationship with me. Is that relationship compassion, and not something translated by me as compassion? From my darkness I cannot judge what compassion is. … You [the ‘Changed One’] have been through all that and come back.”

Questioner: “Why hasn’t [the Unchanged One] done so?

“I [the Unchanged One) ask, ‘Who are you? You seem so different. Your way of looking at life is different.’ And what will I [the Unchanged One] do with you [the Changed One]? That is the question. Not what will you [the Changed One] do to me [the Unchanged One]. I think what would happen generally is that I [the Unchanged One] would worship, kill, or neglect you [the Changed One]. Right? If the Unchanged One worships the Changed One, then everything is very simple, but what will the Changed One do with the Unchanged One, but say, ‘Look, walk out of this darkness; there is no answer in the darkness, so walk out.’ It doesn’t matter, whatever phrases we use – walk out, dispel it, get rid of it, etc. And the Unchanged One says, ‘help me, show me the way’ and is back again in darkness – you follow? The Changed one says he [she] is sorry; I am not interested in proving anything. It isn’t a mathematical or a technical problem to be shown and proved. The Changed One says that he [she] has walked from the beginning of man [woman] [human] to the very end, and that there is a movement which is timeless. The ground, which is the universe, the cosmos, everything, doesn’t need the man [woman] [human], but the man [woman] [human] has come upon it. …. I am not ‘satisfied’ in leaving this immensity to be reduced to some few words. It seems so stupid, so incredible. You see, man [woman] [human] – the Unchange One – is concerned with concepts like ‘show me,’ ‘prove it to me,’ ‘what benefit has it?,’ ‘will it affect my future?’ So, he [she] reduces that immensity to his [her] pettiness, and puts it in a temple and has therefore lost it completely. But the Changed One says, ‘I won’t even look at that; there is something so immense, please do look at it.’ But the Unchanged One is always translating it by wanting demonstration, proof or reward. He [she] is always concerned with that. The Changed One brings light. That’s all he [she] can do. Isn’t that enough?”

Questioner: “Do you think it is possible that something like this could divert the course of mankind away from the dangerous path it is taking?”

“Yes, that is what I think. But to divert the course of man’s destruction, somebody must listen. Right? Somebody – ten people -- must listen!”

Questioner: “Yes.”

“Listen to that immensity calling.”

Questioner: “So the immensity may divert the course of man. The individual cannot do it.”

“Yes. The individual cannot do it, obviously. But the Changed One, who is supposed to be an individual, has trodden this path, and says, ‘Listen.’ But man [woman] does not listen.”

Questioner: “Well, then, is it possible to discover how to make people listen?”

Monday, September 08, 2008

Kafka and the Great Wall of Soros

I sent this email to the Open Society Institute & Soros Foundation Network:

It would be great if all great and immense charitable organizations had their employees read and post nearby Kafka's THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA, a parable about a simple peasant who has a crucial message for the Emperor, but can never hope to reach his ear to impart that secret. I feel that urgency -- and that despair.
On last Friday's BILL MOYERS JOURNAL, showing the distress of U.S. National Guard families, the most horrifying moment was when a woman accepted her husband's absence from family and exposure to death and killing in Iraq because she felt she must be resigned, as he was "bringing to others the freedom we enjoy." At this date, after the epic tragedy of U.S. hubris, such ignorance is worthy of a howl in a Greek tragedy.
Of course, Moyers could not intrude on that pain with the true facts. And, even at that, how many U.S. citizens watch Bill Moyers Journal on Friday nights -- the only moment in media where they would be exposed to some modicum of the truth. The disturbing facts are well documented in the plethora of recent documentaries -- seen only by liberals in urban areas of the U.S.
With our situation desparate, the only answer is an impossible one -- that national media show those documentaries (some of them listed below), and, of course, that is not going to happen. The only solution -- that even the great, progressive and generous George Soros could not effect -- would be a national television network that would provide the U.S. public the true facts -- desperate and horrifying, but not facing them only leads to more desperate and horrible happenings as what is clearly the downward slide of the U.S. out of any kind of moral code into something resembling Hitler's dream of a Third Reich where torture and murder are accepted as commonplace.
Does anyone at the Soros Foundation have an answer to this message -- that falls short, I know, of reaching the Emperor's ear - will not even get past the first gate leading to the impenetrable inner sanctum of power? If only I could show the Emperor these documentaries, surely he would hock his last royal robes to assure that they will be seen by all U.S. Americans: No End in Sight....Why We Fight....Body of War....Winter Soldier.... When the Mountains Tremble.... Internationally Speaking... Iraq for Sale.... The Ground Truth....Our Brand is Crisis....Sir No Sir.... Fahrenheit 911....to name just a few of the great films. Also, The Power of Nightmare. Also, certain fictional accounts: The Valley of Elah, Badland (2007).
Well...Onward and Downward....