The Nature of the Mind Part Three The Need for Security This is one of a series of
dialogues between J Krishnamurti, David Bohm, Rupert
Sheldrake, and John Hidley. The purpose of these discussions
is to explore essential questions about the mind, what is
psychological disorder, and what is required for
fundamental psychological change. J Krishnamurti is a religious
philosopher, author, and educator, who has written and given lectures
on these subjects for many years. He has founded elementary
and secondary schools in the United States,
England, and India. David Bohm is professor
of theoretical physics at Birkbeck College,
London University in England. He has written numerous books
concerning theoretical physics and the nature
of consciousness. Professor Bohm and
Mr. Krishnamurti have held previous
dialogues on many subjects. Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist,
whose recently published book proposes that learning in
some members of a species affects the
species as a whole. Dr. Sheldrake is presently
consulting plant physiologist to the International
Crops Research Institute in Hyderabad, India. John Hidley is a psychiatrist
in private practice, who has been associated
with the Krishnamurti school in Ojai, California
for the past six years. In the first two dialogues
consideration has been given to the process of
self identification. A range of subjects has been
related to this process including the problem
of suffering, the role of thinking
and memory, images, and the uniqueness
or commonality of consciousness. Can these processes be observed,
and what is the relationship of observation to order,
responsibility and change? Today’s discussion
focuses on the question: is there such a thing as
absolute psychological security? H: We would like to talk about
the question of whether there is a deep security, whether
the self can be dissolved. You have suggested that if that’s possible,
then the problems that the individual brings
to the office, the problems… K: Sir, why do we seek security,
apart from physical? Apart from terrestrial
security, why do we want
security? H: Well, we know moments
of peace and happiness, and we want to stabilise
that and hold that. K: Then that
becomes a memory. H: Yes.
K: Not actual security. A memory that one day
you were happy, and I wish one could
go back to it. Or you project an idea and
a hope someday to achieve it. But why is it that human beings,
probably throughout the world, seek security? What
is the raison d’être, if I may put it,
the demand for security? What makes people ask
for security, psychologically? H: Well, they’re occupied,
they’re filled with their problems. There’s the feeling that
if I can solve the problem, if I can find out what
the right answer is, if… K: That’s not
security, surely. There is great
uncertainty, great sense of emptiness
in oneself, loneliness. Really, loneliness
– let’s take that for an example. H: OK. K: I may be married, I may have
children, and all the rest of it, but I still feel
isolated, lonely. And it’s frightening,
depressing, and I realise
it is isolating. After all, loneliness is
the essence of isolation, in which I have no
relationship with anybody. Is that one of the reasons
why human beings seek security, this desire for security?
H: Yes, to fill that up. K: Or much deeper
than that. To be secure
in my fulfilment, to be free of fear,
free of my agony. I want to be free of all those,
so that I can be completely secure, in peace and happiness.
Is that what we want? H: Yes.
K: Is that the reason why we seek? H: And we want that
to be stable over time. K: Stable, permanent
– if there is anything permanent. Is that the reason why we crave this,
demand, crave for security? H: Yes. K: That means to be free from fear,
and then I am totally secure. H: It feels like I have to be that way
in order to function adequately. K: Function adequately
comes later. H: What do you mean? K: If I am secure, I’ll function.
H: Yes. K: If I am very anchored in something
which I think is false or true, I’ll act according
to those two principles. But is it that human
beings are incapable of solving this deep-rooted fear
– for example, I am taking fear – and they have not
been able to solve it. H: Yes, that’s right.
K: Psychological fears. K: And to be free from that
is to be so marvellously secure. H: You are saying that
if we can solve these problems at a fundamental level. K: Otherwise what’s the point,
how can I be totally secure? H: Yes. K: So, is it the physical security,
of bread, of shelter, food and clothes, spilling over
to the psychological field? You understand
what I mean? H: Do you mean, is that where
the psychological feeling of the need for security comes from?
K: Yes, partly. One must have food,
and clothes, and shelter. That’s absolutely essential,
otherwise you four wouldn’t be sitting here.
H: Yes. K: In the search of that,
psychologically also, I want to be
equally secure. H: They seem
to be equated. K: Yes, I’m questioning
whether it is so. H: Yes. K: Or the psychological desire to be
secure prevents physical security. H: It seems like the psychological
desire to be secure arises out of the necessity
to function in reality. K: I want to be
psychologically secure. H: Yes. K: So, I am attached to a group,
a community, a nation. H: Yes. K: Which then prevents me
from being secure. Security means
long-lasting security. But if I identify myself, in my
search for psychological security, and attach myself to a nation,
that very isolation is going to destroy me.
H: Yes. K: So, why do we
seek this? H: OK, then you’re saying
that there is a mistake, which is that we
identify ourselves, attach ourselves to something
and seek security in that, and that that’s
fundamentally wrong. K: Yes. No, not fundamentally.
I won’t say right or wrong. H: OK.
K: I am asking why? Why do human
beings do this? A fact which is right through
the world, it’s not just for certain communities – all human beings
want to be so… unshakeable security. H: Yes.
K: Why? B: Well, I think that
people have some answers. You see, if you say,
there’s a young child, or a baby, now, he feels the need to be loved
by his parents, and it seems that at a certain stage the infant
has the need for a kind of psychological security, which
he should grow out of, perhaps, but since he isn’t properly taken
care of by his parents very often, he begins to feel lost,
as you say, alone, isolated, and there arises the demand
that he become inwardly secure. K: A baby must
be secure. B: Yes, psychologically as well
as physically, would you say? K: Yes, there must be. B: Now, at some stage you would say,
that it would change. K: Yes.
B: I don’t know what age. K: Why… No, a certain age,
a small baby, or a young child,
it must be protected. B: In every way, psychologically.
K: Yes, psychologically… B: It must not be
shocked psychologically. K: You protect it with affection,
taking it in your lap, cuddling him or her,
and holding his hand, you make him feel that he is loved,
that he is cared for. That gives him a feeling
– here is somebody, who is looking after me,
and there is security here. B: Yes, and then I suppose, he will
grow up not requiring that security. K: That’s it. I am questioning,
as he grows up, and as he faces the world,
why does he crave for security? B: Well, I think very few children
ever have that love to begin with. K: Oh, that’s it.
So is that the problem? B: Well, I don’t know,
but that’s one factor in there. K: That we really
don’t love? And if one loves, there is no need
for security. You don’t even
think about security. If I love you,
not intellectually, not because you give me comfort,
sex, or this, or that, if I really have this deep
sense of love for another, what is the need
for security? It’s my responsibility
to see that you are secure. But you don’t demand it.
H: Yes. K: But human beings do.
And does that mean we don’t love another? H: Yes, it means that
what we love is the… K: I love you because
you give me something. H: Yes. You make me feel like I’m going
to get that security which I crave. K: Yes. So, no, we are
skirting around this. Why? Why do I want security,
so that I feel completely content, without fear, without anxiety,
without agony, and so on? Is fear the root
of all this? H: Oh, we seem to have mentioned
already several things that are the root of it.
As the baby grows up and isn’t loved, he feels the need for that,
he remembers that, he tries to return to that,
or get that as an adult, he’s afraid because
he’s not protected, and as an adult he tries
to get that protection. K: Or, sir, is it
unconsciously we know that the self,
the me, the ego is really totally
unstable. H: You are saying that in its nature
it’s totally unstable? K: In its nature,
unstable. And therefore, there is this anxiety
for security, outside or inside. H: Why do you say
it’s totally unstable? K: Isn’t it? Isn’t our consciousness
unstable? H: It seems to have two sides to it.
One side says that if I could just get such and such,
I would be stable. K: Yes. And there is
a contradiction to that. I may not be. H: I may not be.
K: Yes, of course. H: I’m not yet, but I will be.
K: Will be. H: Yes. K: No, much more
fundamentally, is not this… the self itself in a state
of movement, uncertainty, attached, fear in attachment
– all that? That’s a state
of lack of stability. Therefore, I am asking,
is that the reason that human beings
unconsciously, knowing the instability
of the self, want security
– God, the saviour? H: Wanting something
absolute. K: Yes, completely…
that’ll give complete contentment. Because our consciousness
is its content. Right?
H: Yes. K: And the content is always
in contradiction. I believe…
H: That’s right. K: …and yet I’m frightened
of not believing. H: That’s why you’re saying
it’s in essence unstable. K: Obviously, it is unstable.
So clearly unstable. I want this thing, and some other
desire comes along and says, ‘Don’t have that, for god’s sake’.
There is this contradiction, there is duality, all that exists
in our consciousness: fear, pleasure,
fear of death, you know all the content
of our consciousness – all that. So that is unstable. H: Now, sensing all of that,
people generally say, ‘This problem is too deep,
or too complex, there’s no way
to solve it, we can maybe just
make some adjustments’. K: Yes, yes. And in that adjustment
also there is lack of stability. So, unconsciously there must be
craving for security. So, we invent God. H: We keep inventing lots
of different things we hope will give
us that security. K: We create God,
he’s our creation. We are not the creation of God,
I wish we were. We would be
totally different. So, there is this illusory
desire for security. H: Wait a minute, why do
you say that it’s illusory? K: Because they invent something,
in which they hope they’ll be secure. H: Oh, I see. Yes. K: So, if the content of our
consciousness can be changed – quotes, changed –
would there be need for security? H: If we could eliminate
all these contradictions? K: Yes, contradictions. H: Then maybe we would
have the security, because our consciousness
would be stable. K: So that maybe…
We may not call it security. To be secure, which is a really
disgusting desire, sorry. To be secure in what?
About what? Personally, I never thought about
security. You might say, well, ‘You are looked after, you
are cared for by others’, and all the rest of it,
therefore there is no need for you to think about security, but I never
– I don’t want security. I need, of course, I need food,
clothes and shelter, that’s understood,
somebody to… H: But we’re talking about
psychological security. K: Yes, I’m talking of
much deeper issue. H: And you’re saying that
that occurs because the contents of consciousness
are no longer contradictory. K: Is there a consciousness… It may not be what we know
as consciousness, it may be something
totally different. All that we know is fear,
reward and pleasure, and death, and constant conflict in relationship
– I love you, but… H: Within limits.
K: Within limits. I don’t know
if that’s called love. So, the content
of consciousness is all that, which is me.
My consciousness is me. In this complex, contradictory,
dualistic existence, that very fact creates
the demand for security. H: Yes. K: So, can we eliminate
the self? H: But we haven’t
– have we got into the self? It seems like there’s somebody
in there, in here, who’s going to juggle all these things
and get rid of the contradictions. K: But that means you are different
from this, from consciousness. H: Right. K: But you are that!
You are pleasure, you are fear, you are all belief
– all that you are. I think we… don’t please agree with what we
are talking about, what I’m saying. It may be all tommyrot. H: I think there are a lot of people
who wouldn’t agree with that. I think that
they would say that… K: I know there’re a lot of people
who wouldn’t agree, because they
haven’t gone into it. They just want
to brush all this aside. H: Let’s look at this. Is there a
self that’s separate, that’s going to be able to somehow
iron out these contradictions? K: No! S: But how do you know? I mean,
it seems to me that there is a… at least, it may be illusory,
but it’s very easy to think that one is separate from
some of these problems, and that there’s something inside
one which can make decisions. K: Doctor, am I separate
from my fear? Am I separate from the agony
I go through? The depression? S: Well, I think that there’s
something within one, which can examine these things,
and that’s why it indicates there is some
kind of separation. K: Because there is the observer
separate from the observed. S: Yes.
K: Is that so? S: Well, it seems to be so.
K: It seems to be so! S: Now, this seems to be the problem,
that it does seem to be so. I mean, in my own experience,
of course, and many other people’s, it does indeed seem that there is
an observer observing things like fear and one’s own reactions.
And it comes out most clearly, I find, in insomnia,
if one’s trying to sleep, there’s one part of one
which, say, is just going on with silly worries and ridiculous
thoughts, round and round’, there’s another part of one
that says, ‘I really want to sleep, I wish I could stop
all these silly thoughts’. And there one has
this actual experience of an apparent separation.
K: Yes. Of course, of course. S: So, this isn’t just a theory,
it’s an actual fact of experience that there is this
kind of separation. K: I agree, I agree. But why does that
division exist? S: Well, this is a good…
K: Who created the division? S: It may just be a fact. K: What may? S: It may just be a fact.
K: Is that so? I want to examine it. S: Yes, so do I. I mean, is it indeed
a fact that consciousness, as it were, has levels,
some of which can examine others, one at a time? K: No. Would you kindly consider,
is fear different from me? I may act upon fear, I may say,
‘I must suppress it, I may rationalise it, I might
transcend it’, but the fear is me. S: Well, we often…
K: I only invent the separation where I want
to act upon it. But otherwise
I am fear. S: The common and ordinary
way of analysing it would be to say ‘I feel afraid’ as if the afraidness
was separate from the I. I want to get out of this state
of feeling afraid, so I want to escape from it,
leaving the fear behind, and the I will pass beyond it
and somehow escape it. This is the normal way we think.
K: I know. S: So, what’s wrong
with that? K: You keep up
this conflict. B: But I think, he is saying
it may be inevitable. S: It may be inevitable, you see.
K: I question it. B: Well… How do you propose
to show it’s not inevitable? K: First of all, when there is anger,
at the moment of anger there is no separation. Right? S: When you’re very angry…
K: Of course. S: …what we normally say is
you lose control of yourself, and the separation disappears,
you become the anger, yes. K: At the moment when you are
really angry, there is no separation. The separation only
takes place after. ‘I have been angry’.
Right? Now, why?
Why does this separation take place? S: Through memory. K: Through memory, right.
Because I have been angry before. So, the past
is evaluating, the past is
recognising it. So, the past
is the observer. B: That may not be obvious.
For example, I may have physical reactions
that go out of control, like sometimes the
hand or the body, and I say, ‘I am observing
those physical reactions going out of control and I’d like to
bring them back in’. I think somebody might feel
the same way, that his mental reactions
are going out of control, and that they have momentarily
escaped his control, and he’s trying
to bring them back in. Now, that’s the way it may look
or feel to many people. K: So what? B: Well, then it is not clear. Have we made it clear
that that is not the case? K: Sir, I am trying
to point out, and I don’t know
if I made myself clear: when one is frightened,
actually, there’s no me
separate from fear. K: When there is a time interval,
there is the division. And time interval,
time is thought. And when thought
comes in, then begins the division. Because thought
is memory, the past. S: Thought involves
memory – yes. K: Yes, involves
memory, and so on. So, thought, memory,
knowledge, is the past. So, the past is
the observer who says, ‘I am different from fear,
I must control it’. H: Let’s go through this very slowly,
because it’s seems like the experience is that
the observer is the present. It seems like he’s saying,
‘I’m here now, and what am I going to do about this
the next time it comes up’. K: Yes. But the ‘what am I going
to do about it’ is the response of the past, because you have
already had that kind of experience. Sir, haven’t you had fear?
H: Surely. K: Deep, you know, something,
a fear that has really shaken… H: Yes.
K: …devastating one. H: Yes. K: And at that second
there is no division, you are entirely
consumed by that. H: Yes. K: Right?
H: Right. K: Now, then thought comes along
and says, ‘I’ve been afraid because of this and because of that,
now I must defend myself, rationalise fear’ and so on,
so on, so on. It’s so obvious. What are we discussing?
H: OK. B: I think, coming back again
to the physical reaction, which can also consume you,
and at the next moment you say, ‘I didn’t notice it at the time’
thought comes in and says, ‘That’s a physical
reaction’. K: Yes.
B: Now I know it, what is the difference
of these two cases, that in the second case
it would make sense to say, ‘I know that I have reacted
this way before’, right? I can take such
and such an action. K: I don’t quite
follow this. B: Somebody can feel that it’s true,
I get overwhelmed by a reaction, and thought comes in.
But in many areas that’s the normal procedure
for thought to come in. If something shattering happens,
and then a moment later you think, what was it? Right?
K: Yes. In some cases that
would be correct, right? K: Quite right. B: Now, why is it
in this case it is not? K: Ah, I see
what you mean. Answer it, sir, you are…
Answer it. You meet a rattler on a walk.
B: Yes. K: Which I have done very often.
You meet a rattler, it rattles,
and you jump. That is physical,
self-protective intelligent response. That’s not fear. B: Right. Not psychological fear.
K: What? B: It has been called
a kind of fear. K: I know, I don’t call
that psychological fear. B: No, it’s not psychological fear,
it’s a simple physical reaction… K: Physical reaction…
B: …of danger. K: …which is an intelligent reaction
not to be bitten by the rattler. B: Yes, but a moment later
I can say, ‘I know that’s rattler’ or it’s not a rattler,
I may discover it’s not a rattler, it’s another snake
which is not so dangerous. K: No, not so dangerous,
then I pass it by. B: But then thought comes in
and it’s perfectly all right. K: Yes.
B: Right? K: Yes. B: But here, when I am angry
or frightened… K: Then thought comes in.
B: And it’s not all right. K: It’s not all right.
B: Yes. K: Oh, I see what you
are trying to get at. Why do I say
it is not all right? Because fear is
devastating, it blocks one’s mind, thought,
and all the rest of it, one shrinks
in that fear. B: Yes, I think I see that.
You mean that possibly that when thought comes in,
it cannot possibly come in rationally in the midst of fear, right?
K: Yes. B: Is that what you mean?
K: That’s what I’m trying to say. B: So, in the case of physical danger,
it could still come in rationally. K: Yes. Here it becomes irrational.
B: Yes. K: Why, I am asking, why? Why doesn’t one
clear up all this awful mess? H: Well, it isn’t clear. K: Look, sir, it is
a messy consciousness. H: Yes, it’s
a messy consciousness. K: Messy consciousness,
contradicting… H: Yes. K: …frightened, so many fears, and
so on, it’s a messy consciousness. Now, why can’t
we clear it up? H: Well, it seems we are always
trying to clear it up after the fact. K: No, I think the difficulty lies,
we don’t recognise deeply this messy
consciousness is me. And if it is me,
I can’t do anything! I don’t know
if you get the point. S: You mean we think
that there’s a me separate from this
messy consciousness. K: We think we are separate.
And therefore we are accustomed, it is our conditioning,
to act upon it. But I can’t very well
do that with all this messy consciousness
which is me. So, the problem then arises,
what is action? We are accustomed
to act upon the messy
consciousness. When there is realisation
of the fact that I can’t act,
because I am that. H: Then what is action?
K: That is non-action. H: OK. K: Ah, that’s not OK,
that is the total difference. H: Yes, I think I understand.
On the one hand there’s the action of consciousness on itself
which just perpetuates things. And seeing that,
then it ceases to act. K: It’s not non-violence.
Sorry. S: Sorry, sir, you’re saying that
normally we have the idea that there’s a self
which is somehow separate from some of the contents
of our messy consciousness. K: That’s right,
that’s right, sir. S: If someone tells us
we’re wonderful, we don’t want to be separate from that,
but if we feel afraid and if somebody tells
we’re awful, we do want to be
separate from that. K: Quite. S: So, it’s rather selective.
But nevertheless we do feel there’s something in us
which is separate from the contents of this messy consciousness.
We normally act in such a way as to change either the contents
of the consciousness, or our relation to them, or our
relation to the world, and so on. But we don’t normally examine
this apparent separation between the self, the me, and the
contents of the messy consciousness. That’s something we don’t challenge.
Now, you’re suggesting that in fact, this separation,
which we can actually experience and do, most of us
do experience, is in fact something we ought
to challenge and look at, and we ought
to face the idea that we actually are
the messy consciousness and nothing other.
K: Of course. It’s so obvious. S: Well, it isn’t obvious,
it’s very non-obvious, and it’s a very difficult thing
to realise, because one’s very much in the habit of
thinking one is separate from it. K: So, it’s our
conditioning, can we move away
from our conditioning? Our conditioning is me. And then I act upon that
conditioning, separating myself. But if I am that… no action, which is
the most positive action. H: The way that that would be
heard, I’m afraid, is that if I don’t act on it it’s just
going to stay the way it is. K: Ah! S: You’re suggesting that by
recognising this, there’s a sort of the process of recognising it,
facing up to… K: It’s not facing up. Who is to
face up? Not recognise. Who is to recognise it? You see, we
are always thinking in those terms. I am that, full stop. We never come
to that realisation, totally. There is some part of me which
is clear, and that clarity is going to act upon that
which is not clear. Always this goes on. S: Yes.
K: I am saying, the whole content of one’s
consciousness is unclear, messy. There is no part of it
that’s clear. We think there is a part, which is the observer,
separating himself from the mess. So, the observer
is the observed. Gurus, and all that. B: You were raising
the question of action. If that is the case,
how is action to take place? K: When there is perception
of that which is true, that very truth
is sufficient, it is finished. B: Yes. You have said also,
for example, that that mess itself realises
its own messiness, right?
K: Yes. Messiness, it’s finished. S: Sir, are you suggesting,
the realisation of the messiness itself in some way
dissolves the messiness? K: Yes. Not a separative
realisation that I am messy. The fact is
consciousness is messy, full stop. And I can’t act upon it. Because previously acting upon it
was a wastage of energy. Because I never
solved it. I have struggled,
I have taken vows, I have done all kinds of things
to resolve this messy stuff. And it has never
been cleared. It may partially,
occasionally… H: Well, I think that’s another
aspect of this. In therapy, or in our own lives, we seem
to have insights that are partial, that we clear up a particular
problem and gain some clarity and order for a time. And then the thing
returns in some other form or…
K: Yes, yes. H: …the same form. You’re suggesting that
the thing needs to be done across the board in some way.
K: You see, sir, before, the observer
acted upon it, upon the messy
H: Yes. K: Saying, ‘I’ll clear this up,
give me time’, all the rest of it. And that’s a wastage of energy.
H: Right. K: When the fact that you are that
– you are not wasting energy. Which is attention. I don’t know
if you want to go into this. S: No, this is very interesting.
Please do. K: Would we agree that acting
upon it is a wastage of energy? H: Yes. This creates
more disorder. K: No. It creates
more disorder, and there is this constant conflict
between me and the not me. The me who is
the observer, and I battle with it, control it,
suppress it, anxious, worry, you follow? Which is all
essentially wastage of energy. Whereas, this messy
consciousness is me. I have come to realise
that through attention. Not ‘I have come to realise’, sorry.
B: Would you say that the consciousness itself
has come to realise it? K: Yes.
B: I mean, it’s not me, right? K: Yes. Which is total attention
I am giving to this consciousness, not ‘I am’ – there is
attention and inattention. Inattention is
wastage of energy. Attention is energy. When there is observation
that consciousness is messy, that fact can only exist
when there is total attention. And when there is total attention,
it doesn’t exist any more confusion. It’s only inattention
that creates the problems. Refute it! S: But, sir, I didn’t
understand entirely… This total attention
that you’re talking about would only be able
to have this effect if it somehow
was something completely in the present
and devoid of memory. K: Of course, of course,
attention is that. If I attend to what
you have said just now, – devoid of memory,
which is attention – I listen to you
not only with the sensual ear, but with the other ear,
which is: I am giving my whole attention
to find out what you are saying, which is actually
in the present. In attention
there is no centre. S: Because the attention
and the thing attended to become one, you mean. You mean there’s no centre
in the attention, because the attention is all there is,
the thing attended to and the attention
is all there is. K: Ah, no, no. There is messiness,
because I have been inattentive. Right?
S: Yes. K: When there is the observation
of the fact that the observer
is the observed, and that state
of observation, in which there is no observer
as the past, that is attention. Sir, I don’t know if you have gone
into the question of meditation here.
That’s another subject. H: That may be
a relevant subject. It seems that what you’re
talking about may happen partially. K: Ah! It can’t happen, then you keep
partial mess and partial not mess. We’re back again
to the same position. H: Yes. S: But do you think this kind
of attention you’re talking about is the sort of thing that
many people experience occasionally in moments of great
beauty, or occasionally a piece of music they’re really enjoying,
they lose themselves, and so on? Do you think that many of us
have glimpses of this in these kinds
of experiences? K: That’s it. That’s it.
When I see a mountain, the majesty, the dignity and
the depth of it drives away myself. A child with a toy,
the toy absorbs him. The mountain
has absorbed me, toy has absorbed
the child. I say, that means there
is something outside, which will absorb me, which will make
me peaceful. Which means an outside agency
that’ll keep me quiet – God, prayer, looking up
to something or other. If I reject an outside agency
completely, nothing can absorb me. Let’s say, if you absorb me, when
you are gone I am back to myself. H: Yes. K: So, I discard any sense
of external agency which will absorb me. So I am left with myself,
that’s my point. H: I see. So you’re suggesting
that when this happens partially it’s because we’re depending
on something. K: Yes, of course.
H: I see. K: It’s like my depending on my wife.
H: Or my therapist, or my problem. K: Something or other.
H: Yes. K: Like a Hindu, Catholic, or anybody,
they depend on something. Therefore dependence
demands attachment. H: Now, it’s possible to listen
to you say this, and have the idea of what you are talking
about, and try and do that. K: Ah, you can’t do it!
That means you are acting again. You want something
out of it. In exchange, I’ll give you this, you give me that.
That’s just a trade. Here it’s not like that,
you are enquiring into something which demands
a great deal of thought, great deal
of intelligence, and attention that says,
‘Look, why is there this division,
this mess in the world?’ Because our consciousness is messy
and so the world is messy. So, from that arises, is it possible
to be free of the self? Consciousness, the messy
consciousness, is the self. S: It is not possible to be free
from the contents of consciousness, different experiences,
as long as my eyes are open, I’m looking, I see all sorts
of different things. Now, what you were saying
about the attention, when one’s looking at a mountain,
for example, are you suggesting that if I have that
same kind of attention to everything I experience,
that then this is the… K: You see, again,
you experience. S: Yes, well, all right, but…
K: But you are the experience. S: Yes. K: Right? That means,
there is no experience. S: There’s just
attention, you mean. K: Experience involves
remembrance, time, which is the past. Therefore the experiencer
is the experienced. If I seek illumination, enlightenment, or whatever
you might like to call it, I am then trying to do all kinds
of things to achieve that. But I don’t know
what illumination is. I don’t know. Not because you said it, or Buddha
said it, or somebody else said it, I don’t know.
But I am going to find out. Which means the mind must be
totally free – from prejudice, from fear, all the rest
of that messy business. So, my concern is not
illumination, but whether the content
of my consciousness can be cleansed
– whatever word you use. That’s my concern
– not concern, that’s my enquiry. And as long as I am separate
from my consciousness I can experience it,
I can analyse it, I can tear it to pieces,
act upon it, which means perpetual conflict
between me and my consciousness. I wonder why
we accept all this. Why do I accept
that I am a Hindu? Why do I accept
that I am a Catholic? You follow?
S: Yes. K: Why do we accept
what other people say? H: We say it ourselves. K: Yes. No, not only
we say it ourselves, but it’s encouraged,
by people outside. Why? Why do we accept? He is a professor and he is
teaching me, I accept that. Because he knows biology much more
than I do, I go to his class, and I am being informed
by what he says. But he’s not my guru,
he’s not my behaviour guide. He is giving me information about
biology, and I am interested in it. I want to study it,
I want to go out into the field and do all kinds
of stuff. But why do we
accept authority, psychological authority, spiritual – quote spiritual –
authority? Again, we come
back to security. I don’t know what to do,
but you know better than I do; you are my guru. I refuse that position. S: But don’t we arrive
at the same set of problems, if we start not from authority
but from responsibility; say, I’m a father,
I have this child, we’ve agreed
some time ago… K: You have to instruct it,
of course. S: You have to look after this baby.
K: Of course, of course. S: Fine. But now, in order to feed
the baby you become preoccupied with security, job, tenure,
you know, house… K: Of course, of course.
S: …protecting the house against marauders, and so on.
K: Of course, of course. S: Then you get into the same
lot of things about preoccupation with security, starting not from
authority but from responsibility for others, for children,
for example. K: Of course. S: So, then what is
the answer to that? It’s easy to say you should
reject responsibility. K: Of course, I have money,
if I earn money, job, so on, I have to look after myself.
If I have servants, I have to look after servants,
my children, perhaps their
children too. I am responsible for all that.
S: Yes. K: Physically I am responsible.
To give them food, to give them the right
amount of money, allow their children go to
a proper school, like my children – I am responsible
for all that. S: But isn’t that going to bring
you back to the same position of insecurity, and so on,
that you were trying to dissolve by this rejection
of authority? K: I don’t see why I need
spiritual or psychological authority. Because if I know
how to read myself, I don’t need anybody
to tell me. But we have never attempted
deeply to read the book of myself. I come to you and say,
‘Please, help me to read.’ And then the whole
thing is lost. H: But I think what
Rupert is asking is that if we start by assuming
responsibility for other people, that entails…
K: What? My earning capacity? H: Which must be secure.
K: Yes, secure as much as possible. Not in countries where there’s
tremendous unemployment. H: So, you’re saying that that doesn’t
entail any psychological insecurity. K: No, of course not.
But when I say, ‘He’s my servant, I’m going to keep him
in that place,’ you follow? H: No. Tell me more.
K: I mean, I treat him as a servant. H: Yes. K: Which becomes irresponsible
– I don’t know… naturally. H: But if it’s a servant, he can
come and go. But if it’s a child, he can’t come and go.
K: Ah! He’s part of my family. B: I think the question is
something like this: suppose, you are responsible for a family
and the conditions are difficult, you may not have a job, and
you may start to worry about, and become insecure
psychologically. K: Yes.
B: Right? K: I don’t worry about it, there
it is, I have no more money. So, my friend, I have no more money,
if you want to stay, share the little food I have,
we’ll share it. B: You’re saying that even if you are
unemployed and you are responsible for a family, it will not disturb
the order of the mind, right? K: Of course, not. B: You will find an intelligent way
to solve it. K: Deal with it.
B: Yes. S: But this kind of worry as a result
of responsibility is relative. K: I don’t call it worry.
I am responsible. S: Yes. K: And therefore I look after
as much as I can. S: And if you can’t?
K: Sorry? S: If you can’t?
K: I can’t. Why should I worry and bother
– I can’t, it’s a fact. B: You’re saying that it’s possible
to be completely free of worry, for example, in the face
of great difficulties. K: Yes. There is no…
You see, that’s what I am saying. Where there is attention, there
is no need to… there is no worry, because there is no centre
from which you are attending. S: There are still problems,
and there may still be responsibilities
that one has. K: Of course, I have problems,
so I resolve them. S: But if you can’t
resolve them. K: Then I can’t.
S: If your family is starving. K: I can’t. Why should I worry about
it? I can’t be Queen of England. S: No. K: No. So, why should I
worry about it? S: But if you’re a poor Indian,
unemployed, your family is starving,
there’s nothing you can… You’ve tried everything,
you’ve failed. You don’t worry.
Actually, surprisingly enough, a lot of poor Indians in just
that situation don’t worry – that’s the most amazing thing
about India. But then, of course, people coming
along looking from outside say, ‘Well, this is fatalism’.
K: Yes, that’s right. S: And it’s often regarded as the
disease of India, the very fact that so many people manage not
to worry in those circumstances, to the degree that
we would expect. K: I’d like to ask you a question.
You’ve listened to all this – messy consciousness – does one realise it,
and empty the content, fear, you know,
the whole business? Does it interest you?
H: Yes. K: Totally?
H: Yes. K: That means what? H: It means you
just listen. K: No, it means a conversation,
dialogue between us. Penetrating deeper,
and deeper, and deeper. Which means you must be
free to examine. Free from your prejudice,
from your previous experience. Of course, otherwise you can’t
examine. You can’t investigate. ‘Investigare’
means explore, you know, push it, push it,
push it further and further. Now, are you, are we
willing to do that, so that actually
the self is not? But when the self is not, it
doesn’t mean you neglect your wife, your children – you follow? That becomes so silly,
it’s like becoming a sannyasi, going off
to the mountains, a monk going off
into a monastery. That’s an
extraordinary escape. The fact is I have to deal
with my wife and children, and if I have,
a servant. Can I be so totally
without the self that I can intelligently
deal with these problems?